University of Kentucky GEAR UP KY Summer Academy@UK 2015

GEAR UP Kentucky Summer Academy@UKThe University of Kentucky will offer the second of three residence-based, three-week summer enrichment academies in July 2015 for GEAR UP KY (GUK) students. In partnership with the Kentucky Council for Postsecondary Education (CPE) and their GUK staff, the UK Division of Undergraduate Education (UGE) works with many different colleges, academic support units and student services to provide a safe and educational college/career readiness program for selected Kentucky high school students in the CPE’s GUK schools. For some great photos and videos of past activities related to GUK at the University of Kentucky in 2013 and 2014, see the UGE Flickr albums.

The academic and student life programming are directly linked to and should show evidence of students’ successful transition over the three years’ time to the University’s general education UK Core Program student learning outcomes. Each of the contributions from the many different parts of the UK community directly benefit this college-readiness program for selected high school students in Kentucky. For more information on the specific relationship of the overall learning outcomes for Summer Academy@UK to the statewide Kentucky College/Career Readiness goals outlined in Senate Bill 1 (2009), and for the relationship for each of the academic offerings and the co-curricular events to transition from high school to the University of Kentucky, see the Summer Academy@UK section of the UGE website.

All of this work is to support the long-term goals and objectives of the Summer Academy@UK wherein Kentucky high school students during the summers of 2014 through 2016 return to the UK campus to complete the agreed-upon academic trajectories toward their entry in to the University of Kentucky as first-year, first-time, degree-seeking undergraduate students matriculating in the fall of 2017.

Personnel for the Summer Academy@UK 2015

If it is possible to top last year’s terrific successful collaboration across colleges and support units at UK, the generosity of the UK community has grown even more this year. Personnel for Summer Academy@UK 2015 consist of a mix of staff, students and faculty at UK who will work together with CPE GUK staff before and during the three weeks here on campus.

Academic Support and Leadership

While Dr. Randolph Hollingsworth serves as the Campus Liaison to CPE and the UK Colleges, the primary running of the Summer Academy@UK 2015 falls on the shoulders of Matthew Deffendall, Director of First Gen Initiatives in UGE. As the UK Site Director, he will work in partnership with the GEAR UP KY Site Director assigned by the CPE (Omari Gletten) to develop and implement evening and weekend activities that blend the curricular and residential experiences in ways that create opportunities for deeper understanding and integration of the academic goals and student learning outcomes for the Academy students. He coordinates communication meetings as needed with the onsite staff to intervene with students’ issues associated with the Academy. He is to provide guidance and support for all academic related matters, including the development and implementation of Café College, a college readiness co-curricular program that supports the overall Academy goals. The wonderful administrative support of Terri Runyon, Gloria Robinson, Evie Russell and Lynn Hiler who are taking on the extra tasks associated with the Summer Academy@UK budget and grant processing — together with the budget officers in the partnering colleges and units — cannot be underestimated.

The Summer Academy@UK Living Learning Community Director is a new position this year as an improvement strategy for supporting high quality co-curricular activities that relate closely to the academic programming. Kelsey Carew, who reports regularly to Matthew Deffendall in the UGE Office of First Gen Initiatives, offers her expertise in maintaining on a day-to-day basis the direct relation of the co-curricular activities in the Academy@UK to the University’s expectations for a quality Living Learning Program for first-year UK students.

Dr. Laurie Henry, Associate Dean in the College of Education, together with Dr. Sarah Kercsmer in the College of Communications & Information, provide oversight of the instruction and student completion of the General Core Studies digital badge requirements (which is required for all 80 students).  They are also providing the academic faculty oversight of the instructional assistants (IAs), online and in face-to-face settings, to ensure the quality of the work of the IAs with the students in relation to the performance requirements for all the digital badges.


Instructors for Summer Academy@UK consist of a mix of staff, students and faculty at UK, and their work is to design the curriculum that will be used to determine the performance of student learning outcomes identified in the appropriate digital badges as well as the co-curricular programming in college readiness (“Café College”) for the Summer Academy@UK. The instructors will be working with the students directly in the classroom (face-to-face) as well as online in the Summer Academy@UK courses where the digital badges are tied to assessment rubrics the instructors will use to determine student success.

  • College of Agriculture: Molly Davis (Director of the Arboretum); Jason Headrick (Director of Student Relations); Associate Dean, Dr. Larry Grabau; Dr. Stacy Vincent and Aly Sowder (Ag Education) for “Walk Across Kentucky” and “Following Our Food, Learning to Lead” in Ag Sciences
  • College of Arts & Sciences: Maher Alkateeb (Arabic Studies) for Global Studies
  • College of Communication & Information: Dr. Allyson DeVito and Dr. Sarah Kercsmer (Instructional Communication & Research) for General Studies Core – Communications
  • College of Design: Patrick Lucas on Interiors and Creativity of Design
  • College of Education: Fatih Destebasi for Global Studies (Turkish as a Second Language); Associate Dean, Dr. Laurie Henry and Erin Sienicki for General Studies Core – Education
  • College of Engineering: Dr. Bruce Walcott for “Engineering and Autonomous Systems”
  • College of Fine Arts: Robert Dickes (School of Visual Arts); Justin Cornelison (Music); Dana Clark (School of Visual Arts); Michael Lewis Johnson (Theatre); Erin Walker (Music); Nicole White (School of Visual Arts) for the Arts & Creativity Core
  • Campus Recreation in the Division of Student Affairs: Ron Lee, Executive Director for College Café session on a tour of the University’s campus recreational facilities
  • Center for Enhancement of Learning and Teaching: Cara Worick for General Studies Core (video production and blogging)
  • International Center: Karen Slaymaker for Global Studies
  • Science Outreach Center (in the College of Medicine): Margaret McConnell and Dr. Don Frazier for “Using Problem-Solving Tools in Science”
  • Office of Sustainability: Shane Tedder and Victor Smith for College Café sessions on sustainability on campus and bicycle safety
  • UK Libraries: Jaime Burton (Special Collections) for General Studies Core – research

Instructional Assistants

In addition to the instructors, the colleges and UGE are offering 6 instructional assistants (IAs) and 5 residential instructional assistants (RIAs) to work in the Summer Academy@UK. The IAs assume responsibility for the safety of the students to and from class as well as ensure participation of all students by identifying to the Site Directors those who show symptoms of homesickness or other behaviors that may affect their overall success in the program. They are assigned to the instructors by academic discipline according to their own educational experience and credentials. They will contribute also to the online “Student Homeroom” course in Canvas where the co-curricular programming/events are listed in the calendar, and their small group sessions for college readiness activities are managed. They will also participate in the Instructor Lounge in Canvas where student alerts (“How Did It Go Today?” discussion threads) and policies/procedures for all instructional staff are located. The RIAs will work more hours since they will be housed in the residence hall with the students and assume more responsibility for student behaviors.

  • College of Agriculture, Food & Environment: Allisa Sowder
  • College of Communication & Information: Amanda Slone, Anna de Le Serna
  • College of Education: Cody Blair, Thomas Clouse, Lyuda Ivanyuk, Bharath Kumar, Maggie Scarboro
  • Undergraduate Education in partnership with CPE GEAR UP KY: Mark Sherfey (a WKU graduate student in Rhetoric); Alicia Riley (a secondary school teacher from Morehead); Jordan Smith (a teacher’s aide and substitute teacher in Ashland)

Resident Advisors

The two resident advisors (RAs) come from a pool of experienced RAs at UK: Hajong (Jason) Yoo  and Karaline Wood. They live and work in the residence halls during the Summer Academy@UK and will supervise all program participants between the hours of bedtime and breakfast each day from July 5 through July 25, 2015. They are to rely on their UK training and professional development in educational policy and evaluation to enforce rules and regulations that support both the Academy and University policies to ensure student safety and overall success in the program. They participate in meetings set by the Site Directors (both Matthew Deffendall and the CPE GUK Site Director, Omari Gletten) and will participate in a 24-hour on-call rotation for emergencies.

Final Showcase and Dinner for the Summer Academy@UK 2015

Don Witt and Enrollment Management staff are supporting the Summer Academy@UK again this year with a big event at the end of classes – the Final Showcase and Dinner. Last year over 300 people attended: family members of the students came as well as faculty, staff and students from UK together with the GUK CPE staff came to hear the GUK students present their capstone projects. Associate Provost Ben Withers presided over the event – President Capilouto kicked off the event, Provost Riordan and CPE Vice President Aaron Thompson also spoke. We anticipate a similar celebration on Friday evening, July 24th, this year.

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University of Kentucky Diversity Goals and Academic Program Eligibility

University of Kentucky Diversity Plan Progress Update to the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education Committee on Equal Opportunities, March 2015The 2014 University of Kentucky’s work of assessing its own diversity performance was evaluated by the Kentucky Council for Postsecondary Education (CPE) in March 2015 and all six objectives were determined to have been met.  This evaluation is based on CPE Kentucky Public Postsecondary Education Diversity Policy and Framework for Institution Diversity Plan Development.

The Kentucky Public Postsecondary Education Diversity Policy focuses on four areas: student body diversity, student success, workforce diversity, and campus climate. In March, Terry Allen presented a set of slides to the CPE Committee on Equal Opportunities that described the work UK faculty, staff and students have done to meet the University’s goals for achieving a greater diversity and educational excellence. (Download the .pdf file of the presentation slides by clicking the thumbnail image above – you can download the full report from UK here.)

from Terry Allen's presentation to CPE's EEO committee, March 2015

Fall 2007-2014 Enrollment Growth, slide from Terry Allen’s presentation to CPE’s EEO Committee, March 2015

Student Body Diversity

As part of his presentation to the CPE’s Committee on Equal Opportunities, Terry Allen emphasized several historic firsts for student body diversity in UK history. First of all, the Fall 2014 student enrollment was up and students of color (specifically, African American / Black, Hispanic / Latino, and those who identified themselves as “two or more races”) matriculated at an all-time high within an historic total enrollment of over thirty thousand total students:

  • 30,131 total student enrollment; 22,274 total undergraduate students
    • 20,977 In-state; 9,154 Out-of-state
    • 27,342 Full-time; 2,789 Part-time
  • 3,113 Underrepresented minority students
  • 1,997 Black or African American students
  • 1,033 Hispanic or Latino students
  • 772 Two or more races
Chart showing improvement of UK student body diversity

UK Student Body Diversity Target Goals, slide from Terry Allen’s presentation to CPE EEO Committee, March 2015

UK met its target improvement rate for enrollment of African American / Black students (7.7% increase from 2011-12 to 2013-14); and, we exceeded the projected target of 2.7% increase of Hispanic / Latino undergraduate enrollment by achieving at 3.3% increase by 2013-14. This is the result of much work by staff, faculty and students across campus, including expanded recruitment efforts toward underrepresented students, the application fee waiver through the Veterans Resource Center, the development of a new Scholarship Search Tool, the continued success of the First Scholars Program and several new college readiness workshops/programming offered by colleges and support units.

Chart showing drops in retaining African American students at UK

Retention Rates for Underrepresented Minorities in the 2010, 2011 and 2012 cohorts

Student Success

In addition to the recruitment and first-time, first-year enrollment of a more diverse student body, the University seeks to improve its retention rates for underrepresented minorities. In this category, we have slipped in retention rates for African American / Black undergraduates – especially during and after the sophomore year. Meanwhile, retention rates for Hispanic / Latino students improve over time at UK – if we can hold on to them in their first year.

Chart showing poor graduation rates for URM

Graduation Rates, Bachelor’s Degrees Awarded and STEM+H Degrees Awarded to Underrepresented Minorities at UK, 2011-12 to 2013-14

Looking specifically at the key performance metrics for African American / Black students as well as Hispanic / Latino students, the University has not met its proposed targets of 59.2% graduation rates. Even though there are more bachelor’s degrees awarded than ever before, by not retaining our first-year, first-time degreeseeking students our student success rates suffer overall.

Chart showing increase especially in African American / Black student transfers - from 37 in 2011 to 51 in 2013

Increase in KCTCS transfer students, 2011-2014

The number of transfer students coming in from the Kentucky Community & Technical College System has increased slightly in the past few years from 608 total transfers in 2011-12 to 658 total transfers in 2013-14. However, the sharp increase in African American / Black students transferring in to UK – primarily from Bluegrass Community and Technical College where we have a UK transfer advisor located half-time, explains the growth in degrees earned by this demographic population recently.

Workforce Diversity

Chart showing a drop of .3% from 2012 to 2013 in the Executive/Administrative/Managerial rank for all minority groupsFor the past two years, UK faculty have consistently exceeded the University’s goals for the percentage of underrepresented minorities: reaching over 19% in both 2012 and 2013 academic years though the target goal was 15.8%. However the overall percentage of tenured African American faculty has decreased from 47.8% in 2010 to 44.2% in 2013 – while faculty of all minority groups (including women) has increased dramatically from 40.5% in 2010 to 59.6% in 2013.

This crucially important task of increasing the number of people of color in University leadership has not been as successful in other parts of the UK workforce. Diversity in the professional staff ranks has not significantly changed over the past two years (though exceeding the University’s goal of 9.1%). And, more significantly for those in the Executive/Administrative/Managerial ranks where discussions of administrative regulations and policy depend on a diversity of experience and background in order to improve the University overall, we have not met our modest goal of reaching 12.1%. In fact, the University dropped from 40 individuals in this rank to 39 (only 7.3% of this rank are categorized as members of any minority groups).

Lists showing initiatives from Colleges of Design, CAFE, Fine Arts, Health Sciences, Nursing, B&E, Education, Law, Medicine, Public Health, Pharmacy, DentistryCampus Climate

The University relies on the Equal Opportunity Committee – Campus Environment Team to monitor plans and programs that ensure equal opportunity. They recommend new processes to assist the University community especially in facilitating the development and implementation of diversity perspectives. Some examples from the last two years include the Latino Task Force, the LGBT Task Force, the Black Male Student Success Initiative, the creation of a Women’s Leadership and Career Development Task Force, a review of USDA Civil Rights Compliance and participation in a Fraternity and Sorority Diversity initiative. Many colleges work specifically on addressing issues of diversity and campus climate, and several of these were listed in Terry Allen’s presentation to the CPE’s EEO Committee in March (click on image above for the list of diversity initiatives from selected colleges).

Goals Met

The above data and accompanying narrative provide a brief snapshot of the health of the University. It also illustrates UK’s continued interest in the educational benefit of diversity. Every year more work needs to be done in terms of intentionality in improving the University’s diversity goals — removing barriers to student success, seeking out representatives of demographic groups not present in leadership areas or decision-making meetings, insisting on civil and respectful dialog that constructs a more inviting place for us all to learn together.

Kentucky statute states that an institution’s eligibility for new academic programs is connected to its performance in implementing equal opportunity objectives.  See more information about credentials earned by race and ethnicity can be found in the CPE Data Portal.

By achieving continuous progress in 6 of 6 objectives, UK has “Automatic” eligibility status to submit requests for new academic programs during 2015 calendar year.

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Provost Tracy provides update on UK’s Strategic Plan on WUKY

See Blue - Tim TracyProvost Tim Tracy was recently interviewed by Tom Goddell on WUKY about the UK Strategic Plan. The goal of the University of Kentucky is to be “one of the handful of exceptional public residential research institutions in our country with an unwavering commitment to our Commonwealth.”

In the interview, Provost Tracy describes the current Strategic Planning process which relied on the work and feedback from faculty, staff and students (including the recent Town Halls). He addresses the University’s emphasis on undergraduate education.

Provost Tracy emphasizes that the most challenging part is the implementation of all the action steps and how to allocate the resources so we are successful. However, later in the interview, the Provost reiterates the importance of our recent improvements in retention and graduation rates. He states unequivocally that undergraduate education is a key emphasis for UK moving forward: “It’s the reason we are here.”

WUKYOur work — all of us working together to improve the lives of undergraduates here at the University of Kentucky — will serve as a driving factor for achieving the university’s mission. Dr. Ben Withers, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, states that he is confident that “we can continue to make a difference on campus.”

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Internship Programs in South Africa include partnership with A&S, UGE’s EXP courses and Study Abroad

This just in from Dr. Steve Davis in the History Department:

Steve Davis

Steve Davis, History

My name is Steve Davis and I’m an assistant professor in History who is also the director of two internship programs in Cape Town, South Africa.

Both programs allow students to earn credits for interning, and also provide opportunities to take classes either in their major and take a survey course on South African history and cultural diversity.  One program runs during Summer I and the other runs the entire Spring semester.

We offer a wide array of internships with several non-profit organizations whose missions run the gamut from capacity building and fund raising in the non-profit sector, to the development of a sustainable arts community, to care for victims of domestic violence, to research on HIV-AIDS treatment and drug trials.  Each year we select new non-profits to work with so this list is by no means unchanging.

The Spring semester program requires students take courses at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) alongside South African students and students from other parts of Africa.  UWC has all of the same majors as UK, save for a few, and a majority of their courses are equivalent to three credit hour courses at UK.  We’ve done some work finding exact course equivalencies between UWC and UK courses, and plan on working out equivalencies for more this fall.

The Spring Program will earn students 12-15 credit hours:

  • ISP 599
  • A&S 300
  • EXP 396
  • 2-3 UWC courses (at 3 credits each)

The Summer Program will earn students 7 credit hours:

  • ISP 599
  • A&S 300
  • EXP 396

The cost of the Spring program (airfare included) is about $400.00-$500.00 more than what the University estimates students will pay in tuition, supplies and living expenses while studying at UK.  The Summer Program typically works out to about $3500 for the program fee and about $1500.00-$2000.00 for airfare.  Students are eligible for student loans and scholarships for both programs.

We’ve put together a short promotional video that might give interested students a visual sense for what both programs offer:

I was hoping to make everyone aware that this opportunity existed for interested students.  I’d be happy to meet with you if you’d like to learn more about the program.

All the best,
Stephen R Davis
Assistant Professor
Department of History
University of Kentucky

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Call for Nominations for Leadership Positions in the UK Advising Network

This just in from Jamie Dunn, 2014-15 Chair-Elect of the UK Advising Network

UK Advising Network - Student Success, Collaborating, Caring, CommunicatingThe Advising Network is seeking nominations for the 2015-16 Executive Committee and University Senate Committee positions below.

As you know, the Advising Network provides professional development and learning opportunities for advisors from all units and contributes to a strong campus-wide advising community. Serving on the Executive Committee or a University Senate Committee is an excellent way to not only contribute to the success and effectiveness of advising at UK but also to positively impact the advising environment on campus. It is essential, especially in times of great change, for our presence to remain strong and our voice to be heard.

My experience has been that everyone on the Executive Committee helps each other and the group works well as a team.  We want to encourage all Network members to participate but especially those who have not yet served in a particular role!  You will have lots of tangible support in learning your new role—past and current leaders stand ready to assist you.  Remember, we all came into these positions as newbies so we know what it’s like!  We also have some fun at our meetings!

The Executive Committee usually holds a short meeting twice each month.  University Senate committee meetings are scheduled by the leader of the committee in question.

Please take a moment to nominate yourself or someone you think would be interested in serving in one of these positions through the link at the bottom of this message.

  • Chair-Elect: The chair-elect’s responsibility is to learn from the chair and past-chair before assuming the role of network chair. The chair-elect coordinates the annual network elections and chairs the elections committee. In addition, the chair-elect is responsible for planning the calendar and network meetings.
    CURRENT POSITION HELD BY JAMIE DUNN, AGRICULTURE, FOOD & ENVIRONMENT  (Year 1 – Chair-Elect, Year 2 – Chair, Year 3 – Past-Chair)
  • Treasurer:  The treasurer is responsible for preparing and managing the annual budget, processing financial transactions and assisting the chair with compiling the annual report for the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education.  This is a two year position.
  • Public Relations Coordinator: This position will oversee the electronic newsletter, post information to the advising network website, chair the public relations committee, and assist other committee members as needed to coordinate publicity. This is a one year position and can be jointly held.
  • Events Coordinator: This position coordinates, with additional help from the membership when needed, Advising Network events to include Day of Service, holiday social event, advising awards (Ken Freedman Outstanding Advisor Award and luncheon, NACADA awards, etc.) and other events as developed.  For each event, the coordinator handles invitations, tracks attendance, reserves rooms, negotiates menus and prices with catering, and handles event publicity. Also, this position chairs the events committee, which organizes all components of an event including decorations, publicity, programs, IT support, and budget. This is a one year position and can be jointly held.
  • Admissions & Academic Standards Committee: Represent the Advising Network as a non-voting member of the University Senate’s Admissions and Academic Standards Committee (SAASC).  This committee examines and recommends to the University Senate: changes regarding admission requirements and grading rules; standards for granting academic credit; probation and suspension procedures; and degree and graduation requirements.  Meeting frequency varies up to biweekly during the fall and spring semesters.  This is a three year position.


  • Undergraduate Council:  Represent the Advising Network as a non-voting member on the Undergraduate Council which functions to review proposals for new and revised undergraduate courses and degree programs.  Meeting frequency is generally once or twice during the fall and spring semesters.  This is a three-year position.


Nomination Survey:


If you have any questions please contact me at  If you would like to learn more about a particular position, also feel free to contact the person currently in the role.  You can find contact info for all current representatives on the Advising Network website.

Thank you for participating in the nomination process!


Jamie R. Dunn, M.S.
Chair-Elect, UK Advising Network
Director of Student Success
Agriculture Residential College Coordinator
College of Agriculture, Food and Environment
University of Kentucky
N8 Agricultural Science Center
Lexington, KY  40546-0091
(859) 257-3468 Phone (859) 323-8495 Fax

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Undergraduate Scholars Showcase – 3-6 pm April 29 – come show your support!

Come over to the Student Center Ballroom to show your support for our undergrads who are showing the results of their research tomorrow in the 9th annual Undergraduate Scholars Showcase. We invite all faculty, instructors and professional staff to take a role in tomorrow’s wonderful events, even just as visitors to the event. Rather than just wandering by to watch all the terrific events, think about how you might help make the event even better for the students by showing your support? Think about how you might interact with these excited (and nervous) students about their research and the kinds of questions you might ask ask as you look at their posters?

Since not everyone may have gotten a chance to talk to many visitors, you might come ready to ask as many of the poster presenters as possible at least one or two questions while showing a positive interest in their responses.  (We’re thinking this is kind of like the “Granny” who, according to the great educator Sugata Mitra of Newcastle University, is not necessarily a subject matter expert but serves a critical component to supporting active learning and creative performances by self-motivated students.) Here’s some example questions that we think would be very supportive:

  • What led you to want to research this particular topic?
  • What about the process of the research or writing up the findings did you enjoy the most?
  • As you did your research, what surprised you the most about this topic?
  • What was your greatest difficulty or toughest challenge about doing the research for this project? biggest obstacles? most important factor in its success?

Keep in mind that some few of the student presenters are minors and currently are high school students. So it’s important that we are careful about expectations and keep any personal questions (about their family or age) out of your conversations.

Here’s what our UK students have to say about the event:

Please come and show your support by giving positive feedback. Help the students feel confident about their work and the extra step they took to try out what it takes to create and defend a scholarly publication.

See more about the students and the Showcase at the UKnow article by Jenny Wells, UKPR: “UK Undergraduates to Present Research at 2015 Showcase.”

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Congratulations to Honors Program students and Chellgren Fellow for authoring scholarly publications with UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center

Stacie Williams

Stacie Williams

On Thursday, April 16th from 3-4:30 p.m. the University of Kentucky Libraries Special Collections Research Center will be celebrating the results of four undergraduate researcher’s projects in their Learning Lab internship program. Stacie Williams, Learning Lab Manager and Honors Program instructor, started up this important program two years ago. It has served as a powerful way to engage students in experiential education as well as to combine their academic work from traditional classroom settings with service-learning projects that will benefit the community for years to come.

We here in UGE are proud to see that two of the four interns are part of our Academy for Undergraduate Excellence programs:

  • Ann Baillie

    Ann Baillie

    Ann Baillie, a rising junior and English major, is a Honors Program student currently enrolled in the HON 395 independent study course taught by Stacie Williams.

    Baillie’s project for the Learning Lab internship was to process the “Cakes & Ale Club” records, a collection from the Club’s founder, the Lexington lawyer Judge Samuel M. Wilson. Wilson was a great supporter of Lexington Public Library and the Kentucky Historical Society. Baillie has written an article about her experiences that has been reviewed and accepted for publication in The Reading Room by summer 2015.

  • Faith vanMeter

    Faith vanMeter

    Faith vanMeter, a rising senior majoring in psychology and piano performance, is an Honors Program student as well as having served as a Chellgren Fellow. Her research project as a Fellow last year was a study on correlations between substance abuse, socio-economic status and child abuse, and she was mentored by Dr. Peggy Keller of the Department of Psychology.

    vanMeter’s work in the Learning Lab was to compile primary sources that document the history of the U.S. Public Health Service Hospital here in Lexington known as the “U.S. Narcotic Farm.” Founded in 1935 to serve “volunteer” patients for experimental treatments for drug and alcohol abuse, the institution became a federal prison in 1974 but kept its “psychiatric hospital” title until 1998. vanMeter’s scholarly product as a result of this work will be a poster presentation at the 2015 Kentucky Library Association Conference in September in Louisville.

This kind of connection between the UGE’s Academy for Undergraduate Excellence, internships in the University’s laboratories (whether for the bench sciences or, as in this case, for the humanities and social sciences), and scholarly publications is an important one for UK student success. Congratulations to the faculty and staff who advised and mentored these students as they contributed to the “wealth” in the knowledge society of our Commonwealth.

See also Whitney Hale’s article in UKNow (April 15, 2015).

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Grant to support research assistant salaries in clinical & basic sciences – hire an undergraduate!

We just got a notice that the application deadline for the FY 14-15 UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) Small Grant Funding Program has been extended to May 7, 2015. Here’s a great way for UK faculty to help support undergraduate research – up to $5000 of a total of $10,000 award may be used for research support (including research assistant salaries) critical to completion of a project in the clinical and basic sciences.

If you have any doubts about whether or not undergraduate students can serve as your research assistant, rest assured! There are plenty of great undergraduates who are conducting independent study research with faculty mentors and are looking for new projects now that the semester is coming to an end. Check with UGE’s Office of Undergraduate Research to ask about the students who are registered there and looking for research projects.

The application is online at the CCTS website ( and requires a 2 page, single-spaced summary of the proposal describing the study and expected outcomes in terns of next steps based on the data obtained (they prefer proposals from those who are working to get preliminary data for an extramural grant submission).

Note that the CCTS Small Grants Program is a rolling submission format. Proposals are accepted year-round; submissions are reviewed and awards made on an ongoing basis.


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New Questions for the Teacher and Course Evaluations (TCEs) for the University of Kentucky

At the University Senate meeting on March 9, 2015, the Faculty of the University of Kentucky approved the recommendations of the ad hoc Committee on Teacher-Course Evaluations. The members of the committee were:

  • Dr. Kelly Bradley (Department of Educational Policy Studies & Evaluation, College of Education)
  • Dr. Ben Braun (Department of Mathematics, College of Arts & Sciences)
  • Dr. Alan Brown (Department of Hispanic Studies, College of Arts & Sciences)
  • Ms. Beth Ettensohn (School of Art & Visual Studies, College of Fine Arts)
  • Dr. David Fardo (Department of Biostatistics, College of Public Health)
  • Dr. Jonathan Golding (Department of Psychology, College of Arts & Sciences), Chair
  • Dr. Peter Mirabito (Department of Biology, College of Arts & Sciences)
  • Ms. Tara Rose (Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Director of Assessment)
  • Dr. Roger P. Sugarman (Office of Analytics and Technologies, Director of Institutional Research)

The committee had found that there was a lack of university-wide support for the current Teacher and Course Evaluation (TCE) form. The last time the Senate had reviewed the TCE form was in the early 1990s. Since then many colleges and departments/programs had used their own evaluation measures. The Senate’s ad hoc committee began meeting during the spring of 2014. They had been charged to review and propose a revised evaluation form that would include 18 items evaluating course content (to be approved by Senate) and instructor performance (to be approved by the Provost). In addition, the committee would assess college-specific practices and assure that the form would be universally accepted and/or offers the opportunity for units to customize their own evaluation form more in keeping with their unit’s assessment needs. This model, according to the report,

“allows UK to  have a common instrument that addresses issues related to students’ perceptions of the quality of the course and corresponding instruction. In addition, it ensures that all units and faculty members can assess the quality of the pedagogy within their discipline.” (2)

The committee put forward to the Senate that the new TCE form would include three levels of questions:

  1. limited number of common rating and open-ended questions that can be answered by students in all units;
  2. additional specific questions developed and asked by each unit; and,
  3. additional specific questions developed and asked by individual faculty members.

The committee’s recommended common questions for the new TCEs read as follows (from the report’s Appendix A):

Appendix A of the Ad Hoc Committee ReportIn regards to the reporting out of TCEs, the committee recommended that the new TCE form should include the total enrolled in a course being evaluated. In addition, the report will include the response count, median score, mean score, and bar graphs showing the distribution of ratings across the 5-point scale of the answers.

The University Senate agreed to:

  1. accept the Committee’s report from November 2014 – download the full Report of the UK Senate Teaching Evaluation Ad Hoc Committee (November 2014) here;
  2. endorse the mandate that the questions put forward by the Committee will be the common questions that all programs will use on their Teacher-Course Evaluations (with exceptions made for courses with certain characteristics); and,
  3. the use of the new common questions be made effective as soon as practically possible.

For more information about the new TCEs, contact Dr. Roger Sugarman, Director of Institutional Research in the Office of UK Analytics & Technologies; or Ms. Tara Rose, Director of Assessment in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

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