News

4/22/2016

By Jenny Wells

(April 22, 2016) — Female students are less likely than their male counterparts to pursue careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (also known as STEM), but a group of women at the University of Kentucky are trying to change that.

In partnership with the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Kentucky branch, a group of UK students, faculty and staff have launched the #IAmAWomanInSTEM initiative this semester, bringing together over 160 female student ambassadors to encourage the study of STEM and health care among women at UK and empower them to persist in those fields.

“Time and time again we hear and read about the challenges and barriers women in STEM have overcome to get where they are today,” said Margaret Mohr-Schroeder,

4/21/2016

By Whitney Hale

(April 21, 2016) – The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that 12 of the university's students and alumni have been selected to receive government-funded National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships. The fellowships award more than $100,000 to use toward research-based master's or doctoral degrees. In addition, four other UK students and alumni received honorable mention recognition from the NSF.

This year's selection of a dozen UK students and alumni for NSF Graduate Research Fellowships is believed to be the largest in the school's history and is four times the number of selections for 2015. To put more of emphasis on the fellowship, 

1/19/2016

By Weston Loyd, Whitney Harder

(Jan. 19, 2016) — Catherine Linnen, an assistant professor in the University of Kentucky Department of Biology, has been awarded a three-year, $468,527 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Institute of Food and Agriculture.

The grant will fund her project, "Comparative Genomics of Specialization: The Genetic Basis of Interspecific Variation in Pine Use in Neodiprion Sawflies."

"The purpose of the research is to increase the understanding of how insects come to prefer or avoid different plant species," Linnen explained. "To a large extent, an insect's willingness to feed on a new host plant is determined by its perception of and response to chemical compounds found in the plant."

12/17/2015

By Jenny Wells, Sue Scheff

(Dec. 17, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Honors Program recognized 10 first-year students as recipients of the T.W. Lewis Scholarship beginning fall 2015. These scholars, representing Fayette County and a select number of Appalachian counties in Kentucky, joined the current cohort, who were admitted to the program in 2014. The Lewis Scholars in the new cohort are off to a great start as they begin their spring semester.

The new 2015-16 Lewis Scholars are:

Sarah Anders, a graduate of Corbin High School in Whitley County, majoring in biology  Ryan Booth, a graduate of Lafayette High School in Fayette County, majoring in university studies Zach Byrd, a graduate of Henry Clay High School in Fayette County, majoring in agricultural biotechnology Zachary Cassidy, a graduate of South Laurel High School in
12/10/2015

By Whitney Hale

(Dec. 10, 2015) — Two University of Kentucky seniors have been awarded Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships to study abroad this spring. The scholarship will fund studies in the Czech Republic for human nutrition major Rebecca Blair and in Germany for biology major Austin E. Eirk.  

The Gilman Scholarship is a congressionally funded scholarship sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Institute of International Education.

The scholarship

10/28/2015

By Whitney Harder, Kody Kiser, Amy Jones-Timoney

(Oct. 28, 2015) — Hannah Latta, a University of Kentucky junior from Mayfield, Kentucky, is a Chellgren FellowGaines Fellow and member of the UK Honors Program. A biology major planning to attend medical school, Latta has a lot going on. But she is able to do it all and still graduate in four years, in May 2017, thanks to planning ahead and the perfect course load each semester.  

For Latta, graduating in four years has been an important goal since arriving at UK.

"I didn't want to graduate early, like two or three years,

10/6/2015

By Whitney Harder

(Oct. 6, 2015) — With "Banned Books Week" celebrated last week and "Teen Read Week" coming up Oct.18-24, exploring the world through literature seems to always be in season. For professors at the University of Kentucky, books have impacted their lives and careers in surprising ways.

Read below for the third and final piece in a series of professors reflecting on the books that shaped them. 

Ashley Seifert

Assistant Professor of Biology 

For me, the most influential books have been all about timing. As a young college graduate, I came upon Benjamin Hoff’s "The Te of Piglet." Hoff’s condemnation of man’s disharmony with the natural world resonated deeply with me. But it was his elegant illumination of Taoist philosophy communicated through A.A

9/25/2015

By Whitney Harder

(Sept. 25, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Staff Senate is welcoming a slate of new officers for the 2015-2016 year.

The Staff Senate serves as the administrative voice for the more than 17,000 full and part-time staff at UK, and also runs several key activities for the university community, such as the CRISIS financial assistance program, Outstanding Staff Awards program (OSA) and the annual UK Appreciation Day through the UK Appreciation Day (UKAD) Commission. 

This year, the leadership team represents a range of areas across campus.

Chair Jann Burks is in her 24th year at the university, currently serving as a 4-H Youth Development extension specialist. She has also worked in the 

8/26/2015

By Jenny Wells

(Aug. 26, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence honored its newest class of Chellgren Fellows Sunday, Aug. 23. Five Chellgren Endowed Professorships were also announced. 

The Chellgren Fellows Program is for students with exceptional academic potential and aspirations, who are eager to participate in a special learning community designed to cultivate extraordinary achievement. Outstanding faculty members from across campus serve as individual mentors for the Fellows.

The students selected as 2015-16 Chellgren Fellows include:

•  Sloan Ander, a

8/5/2015

By Guy Spriggs

(Aug. 5, 2015) — Started in the summer of 2012 as an intensive “boot camp” to help the University of Kentucky’s new students prepare for college-level calculus, the FastTrack program has become an integral part of efforts to help students transition to the college classroom and set them up for success in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The curriculum for FastTrack has expanded over the last four years, and now gives students an invaluable introduction to UK’s math, biology, chemistry, engineering, Spanish and WRD (Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Studies). A key part of the program’s continued growth is the recent addition of FOCUS (FastTrack Orientation for College Undergraduate Success), a component built around developing the non-academic skills students need to achieve

7/9/2015

By Taylor McClure

(July 9, 2015) — University of Kentucky alumna Alyssum Pohl, a 2004 biology graduate and former Gaines Fellow, has embarked on a journey from source to sea kayaking the Mississippi River while documenting water pollution. The journey is a self-motivated effort to increase awareness about the health of our rivers and oceans. 

The trip will take Pohl an estimated three months. She started her trek June 27, in Lake Itasca, Minnesota, the base of the Mississippi River, and will end it in the Gulf of Mexico near New Orleans, 2,552 miles downstream. Pohl is calling the project

7/1/2015

By Chris Shoals

(July 1, 2015) — Student-athletes from all eight of Kentucky's spring sports teams combined to earn a total of 84 spots on the Southeastern Conference Spring Academic Honor Roll, Commissioner Greg Sankey announced on Tuesday.


UK's honorees included 22 baseball players, 14 softball players, 13 women’s track and field members, 13 men’s track and field members, eight women’s tennis players, four men’s tennis players, six men’s golfers and four women’s golfers.

A total of 1,191 student-athletes from around the league earned spots on the honor roll, which is based on grades from the 2014 summer, 2014 fall and 2015 spring terms. In order to make the SEC Academic Honor Roll, a student-athlete must have a 3.0 grade-point average for the preceding academic year or his/her entire collegiate career, be at least a sophomore in academic standing,

5/26/2015

By Whitney Harder

(March 26, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Department of Biology welcomed researchers from Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky, as well as renowned Dutch scientist Serge Daan, as it hosted the 4th Biennial Conference of Rhythms in the Southeast Region (RISER) this past weekend.

At the UK/Lexmark Center for Innovation in Math and Science Education on Saturday, May 23, researchers presented their work in oral and poster presentations throughout the day. Daan, the Niko Tinbergen Distinguished Honorary Professor in Behavioural Biology at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, delivered a keynote speech on the history of the chronobiology. 

Chronobiology is the study of

5/13/2015

By Sarah Schuetze

They conduct lab research and teach classes, but they are neither faculty nor graduate students. Postdoctoral scholars, or postdocs, serve an important role at UK, a research institution. However, they are scattered across various departments and have not always had an opportunity to meet and share their work.

Professor Susan Odom in Chemistry said, “Most postdocs don’t have any kind of formal gatherings that are specifically targeted toward them.“ In 2014, Odom collaborated with Matt Casselman, a postdoc in Chemistry, to organize UK’s Society of Postdoctoral Scholars (SOPS). SOPS offers weekly activities like professional development workshops or research presentations.  

On Friday, June

5/8/2015

By Blair Hoover, Rebecca Stratton

(May 8, 2015) — Three University of Kentucky students have received the Undergraduate Research Abroad Scholarship (UGRAS), which will support their international independent research projects during the 2015 summer session.

Annie Griggs, a biology major in the College of Arts and Sciences, Faith VanMeter, a psychology major in the College of Arts and Sciences and Marcel Roman, a political science and international studies double major in the College of Arts and Sciences are the recipients of the scholarship — chosen because they demonstrate the ability to explore exceptional academic undergraduate research abroad with the support of UK faculty mentors.  UGRAS is a result of funding from a collaboration between the

5/7/2015

By Whitney Hale

(May 7, 2015) — Two seems to be a lucky number for graduating senior Sibi Rajendran, of Frankfort, Kentucky.

Two years ago, Rajendran, the son of Narayanan and Preetha Rajendran, graduated from two high schools simultaneously in two different Kentucky communities. He finished his secondary studies at Franklin County High School, in Frankfort, and the Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science, in Bowling Green, in May of 2013.

On May 9, with the benefit of college studies completed at the Gatton Academy, Rajendran is finishing up his major in biology and minor in

5/4/2015

By Whitney Harder

(May 4, 2015) — In the fall of 2014, a group of 235 incoming students became the first class of STEMCats at the University of Kentucky. This week, they are not only wrapping up their first year at UK, but also a semester of original research; an unusual experience for many college freshmen.

The STEMCats living learning program, sponsored by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and directed by UK Department of Biology Chair Vincent Cassone, was launched to increase retention of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) majors at UK.

A key component of the program is an authentic research experience for the freshmen, in addition to pre-fall "

4/30/2015

By Whitney Hale

(April 30, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that three of the university's students have been selected to receive government-funded National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships. The fellowships award more than $100,000 to use toward research-based master's or doctoral degrees. In addition, four other UK students received honorable mention recognition from the NSF.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the U.S. and reinforces its diversity. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology,

4/24/2015

By Tony Neely

(April 24, 2015) — Sixty-five University of Kentucky Wildcats earned a place on the 2015 Winter Sports Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll announced by SEC Commissioner Mike Slive.

UK's total of 65 honorees is the fourth-most among the 14 league teams. UK has eight representatives from the men’s basketball team,  six from women’s basketball, 12 from gymnastics, 10 from rifle, 10 from men’s swimming and diving and 19 from women’s swimming and diving. 

The 2015 Winter SEC Academic Honor Roll is based on the grades from the 2014 spring, summer and fall terms. Among other qualifications, a student-athlete must have a grade-point average of 3.00 or above for the preceding academic year or have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or above in order to make the honor roll, in addition to being a sophomore or higher in academic standing.

4/23/2015

By Whitney Harder

(April 23, 2015) — The realm of science in the United States — education, research and career opportunities — is always a hot topic, but especially so in the last several years. Technology has transformed students' learning experiences and the National Science Board (NSB) called on education and policy to foster "the next generation of STEM innovators."

In 2010, the University of Kentucky Department of Biology responded with a curriculum reform, changing the way undergraduate biology is taught at UK, and perhaps leading to more UK students pursuing scientific careers.

The curriculum reform, led by Vincent Cassone,

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