Undergraduate Research Annual Showcase, April 25

The Office of Undergraduate Research staff invites you to attend the 12th Annual Showcase of Undergraduate Scholars next Wednesday, April 25 from 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM at the WT Young Library.

Office of Undergraduate Research. Explore. Engage. Emerge. University of Kentucky. funding opportunities. presentation opportunities. research opportunities.The Opening Ceremony will open with recognizing the 2018 Faculty Mentor of the Year Award nominees and announcing the award winners. Visitors are encouraged to walk around the forum and find out about our next generation of performers and researchers.  Almost 500 undergraduate students are presenting their research and creative projects at this year’s event.


See the list of Faculty Mentor of the Year nominees for 2018 below:

Also, the Office of Undergraduate Research launched the Faculty Mentor of the Week recognition program in August 2017. Each week one of UK’s outstanding and very much appreciated undergraduate research faculty mentors was highlighted for their leadership and support of undergraduate student researchers.

Faculty Mentor of the Week, Office of Undergraduate Research Congratulations to all the 2017-2018 Faculty Mentors of the Week!


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Call for student leaders to guide the Center for Student Philanthropy

This message is from Katie Sanders, UK Philanthropy:

This fall, the Office of Philanthropy will be opening the Center for Student Philanthropy in the new Student Center. The Center for Student Philanthropy, will be a hub for all things philanthropic on campus, connecting students and student organizations to needed resources.

To make sure the Center for Student Philanthropy is serving students, it will be facilitated by a Student Philanthropy Board. The Board will be a group of highly motivated leaders from across campus, who will work to program events and provide resources to students involved in philanthropic work on campus. This is a chance for student leaders to become founding members in a group driven by giving back.

We would love to have bright, passionate leaders apply for a spot on the Board as they continue to impact the campus and community. If you know any students who would make excellent board members, we would appreciate you passing this info along to them. Interested students can apply by filling out the application from our website at: www.uky.edu/philanthropy. Completed forms should be emailed to PHILAN_StudentPhilanthropy@l.uky.edu along with a resume and unofficial transcript by Wednesday, April 18th at 11:59pm.

If you have any questions about the Student Philanthropy Board or the Center for Student Philanthropy in general, I’d be more than happy to answer them.

All the best,


Katie Sanders
Assistant Director of Annual Giving – Student & Young Alumni Philanthropy
University of Kentucky
Sturgill Philanthropy Building
Lexington, KY 40506
859/323-5574 | katie.sanders@uky.edu

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KY College Readiness Indicators 2018-19

This announcement came in from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education Academic Affairs staff. The Council of Chief Academic Officers (including UK’s Provost David Blackwell) have formally approved the chart of College Readiness Indicators for the incoming students for 2018-2019. The academic leaders of all the public colleges/universities in Kentucky agree that students admitted to their institutions that, upon admission, score at or above these benchmark scores will not be reqired to complete developmental coursework before entering an introductory course in that academic area. Download the chart in a .pdf file from the CPE website here: http://cpe.ky.gov/policies/collegereadiness.html.

Chart showing College Readiness indicators benchmark scores

In sum, the changes from the previous year’s Indicators are as follows:

  • In the introductory language, we removed the extraneous descriptors in the last sentence regarding student rights to NOT be put into developmental coursework if meeting benchmarks. This was because of academic efforts to support students at the lowest levels of meeting the benchmark scores with requirements to enroll in co-requisite classes and/or supplemental instruction.
  • Due to the changes in the SAT test, the base Scores for each of those academic areas were adapted to match the (unchanged) ACT scores, as per the following:
    • English/Writing – from 430 to 480
    • Reading – from 470 to 480
    • Math (gen ed QR) – 460 to 500
    • Math (College Alg) – 510 to 560
    • Math (Calculus) – 610 to 650
  • Due to the new exam available in GED Honors/College Readiness series, added base score for Math (College Alg) of 175
  • Added ALEKS placement scores for Math readiness at the 3 levels as part of gen ed transferability for evidence of college readiness
  • Revised statement of shelf-life for the exam scores to read that they can remain an indicator of academic readiness “for a minimum of twelve (12) months from the date of administration” so that individuals institutions may extend the length of time that scores remain viable if they want.

Please contact your department faculty leadership, the staff in Transformative Learning, or your contact in Enrollment Management to make sure that the new indicators of college readiness are included in the appropriate course prerequisites for registration.


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7th Annual Student Success Summit

The seventh annual Kentucky Student Success summit sponsored by the Kentuck Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) will explore “The Future of Undergraduate Education, The Future of Kentucky.” It will take place in Louisville at the Marriott Louisville East, on April 9-10th. Early bird registration is $125/person from Kentucky public colleges and universities.

The Future of America report coverThis theme is modeled after a a report from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS): “The Future of Undergraduate Education: The Future of America.” In this final report of their findings, the AAAS Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education describes a national strategy to achieve a more inclusive and high quality approach to higher education – and that more diverse students can complete the studies they begin in our colleges and universities.

The first day of the CPE’s summit will feature two invited speakers:

  • Dr. Michael S. McPherson, co-chair of the Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education and the president emeritus of the Spencer Foundation, who will speak on Kentucky CPE’s strategic goals for educational quality and completion; and,
  • Dr. Judy Genshaft, president of the University of South Florida, who will explore how big data and analytics transform institutional culture to raise retention and graduation rates.

The second day of the Summit will include invited speaker Sarah Ancel, senior vice president of Complete College America. She will speak on strategies on how to recruit and graduate non-traditional students in our effort to raise the Kentucky citizenry’s educational attainment of some higher education degree or certificate program to 60% by 2030.

You can download the full agenda-at-a-glance here (.pdf file); and you can register online for the event here: http://cpe.ky.gov/studentsuccess/.

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CPE workgroup on co-requisite courses for first-year students not meeting college readiness scores

A statewide workgroup has been addressing the new programmatic efforts to reduce the placement of first-year college students into traditional developmental education courses. This collaborative work being led by staff at the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education with faculty and administrators from across the state in the effort to improve success rates for students in the first year of college whose scores are below the state benchmarks in reading, writing or mathematics.

This work is a continuation of a conversation among the higher education institutions in Kentucky to maintain academic quality while closing achievement gaps in gateway courses. This is important for all of us because the legislature last summer passed a new funding model for public postsecondary institutions that emphasizes student success and completion, especially focusing on our success with those students who tend to fail and dropout of school when faced with traditional remediation for gateway courses.

For more details,
you can download
these CPE documents.

The group identified three corequisite models used in Kentucky colleges/universities:

  1. Embedded supports in gateway courses
    (e.g., at UK, for math readiness support we use ALEKS and in addition, offer – but do not require – peer mentors in The Study, and graduate students/faculty tutors in Mathskeller)
  2. Paired support courses
    (i.e., UK 120 for reading co-requisite with a UK Core class and UK 130 for writing along with CIS 110 or WRD 110)
  3. Boot camps
    (not currently offered at UK UK at a central, programmatic level for this student population, though CARES, SSS and First Gen Initiatives purposely design programming/advising for students in their cohorts whose placement scores are below benchmarks)

The data that CPE gathered from the comprehensive universities and KCTCS colleges where these models were used are compelling reasons to scale this model further and to reduce reliance on developmental courses.

  • Math remediation at comprehensive universities garnered 38% completion rates in a gateway course in two years – yet with a co-requisite model in place, over 60% of students completed college algebra in one semester and 70% in other gen ed math courses in one semester.
  • English remediation at comprehensive universities garnered 56% completion rates in a gateway course in two years – yet with a co-requisite model in place, 70% of students completed the related gateway course in their first year.

At UK we currently only offer two non-credit courses: UK 095 and 096 – math courses often required as a stand-alone experience rather than as a co-requisite with an entry-level math course. Talk with your college HANA Tableau superuser (see list of college superusers here) about how your students in these developmental education courses have been doing.

According to the workgroup of Kentucky higher ed representatives, the key for future successes in corequisite education in Kentucky is dependent on:

  • Effective communication and training associated with the models and best practices – especially for faculty and advisors.
  • Ease of and purposeful intervention/accountability for optimal class scheduling for these targeted students to get what they need right away in their first year of college.
  • Evaluation of the program’s success, making needed program changes and communication to all the university’s stakeholders to bolster the belief in (and ownership of) the model being used.

For more information about this statewide work in corequisite education, contact Dr. Dawn Offut at the KY Council on Postsecondary Education (dawn.offutt@ky.gov).


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myUK GPS Degree Audit update

From a message from Mike Shanks, Associate Registrar, Office of Enrollment Management.

As of February 15th all UK undergraduate majors, minors and certificate programs associated with the 2015-16 Catalog are live in myUK GPS Degree Audit.

Advisors should use myUK GPS degree audit for students that have a 2015-16 Catalog Bulletin year listed for them. If the student had an exception identified in the old APEX system, the advisor should send the exceptions to the Degree Audit team listserv. The team will continue to process exceptions in APEX as long as the student graduates by May 2018.

By mid-May, the next group of students who will be able to use the new myUK GPS degree audit system are those with the catalog year of 2014-15 but did not graduate in May 2018.

Any questions? Contact Mike Shanks (mike.shanks@uky.edu) in the Office of Enrollment Management at 257-6306.

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Invitation: On the Table Community Dialog at UK

On Wednesday, March 28, 2018, please join in for a unique opportunity to gather around a table here at UK with friends, colleagues, or students and have a real conversation about what’s important to each of us about our community.

On The Table - Your voice matters. Join us on March 28!

On the Table is a one-day community-wide dialog that takes place around small tables across Lexington.  The initiative is sponsored by the Blue Grass Community Foundation (BGCF) in partnership with Lexington Fayette Urban County government, the University of Kentucky, and community organizations throughout our city.

During the first On the Table event in March 2017, over 11,000 participants came together around 1,200 tables throughout Fayette County to discuss not only what’s great about our community, but ways to make it even better — more engaged, dynamic, and vibrant.  Those conversations helped inform Lexington’s Comprehensive Plan. Here’s a 2-minute video from the 2017 conversations:

Like last year, we’ll share our experiences and hear about others’ experiences.  We’ll learn about what matters to each of us.  We’ll talk about ways to build and maintain the neighborhoods and community we desire.  We’ll connect.  And, we’ll ask ourselves how we can impact the future of Lexington through individual and collective civic action.

The conversation continues on Wednesday, March 28, and we invite YOU to participate!

We invite you to host a table, or just participate around one, sometime during the day.  We would love to see conversations across our campus among students, faculty, and staff – in classrooms, department conference rooms, residence halls, and Greek and student organizations.  We will have a specific UK question that explores how we as a campus can better engage with our community.  We look forward to seeing the results!

To register as a table host or as a participant, please go to http://servelearnconnect.uky.edu/OnTheTable.  (Note: If you register here, you do not need to register on the BGCF On the Table webpage).

We hope you can participate!  Please feel free to contact Todd Stolzfus, Program Director for Civic Engagement (email todd.stoltzfus@uky.edu or phone 257-4673), if you have questions.

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SALutations! Spring Semester

I hope everyone is well on their way to a highly successful and enjoyable spring semester. The University of Kentucky campus is currently celebrating Black History Month with a wide variety of opportunities for everyone to participate.


Now that the drop/add date for this semester has passed, we can report a fall-to-spring semester retention rate of 93.7% for the first-year cohort that started at UK last fall. A tremendous campus-wide effort went into reaching this student success milestone. We should all take pride in this achievement as we all play a role in student success.

At the same time, we still have work to do.

Historically, a larger percentage of the first-year cohort fail to return for the following fall term.  Last year, our fall-to-fall retention rate for the 2016 first-time full-time freshman cohort was 83.3% (their fall-to-spring retention was 93%).

The University of Kentucky has a goal of 90% fall-to-fall retention for the 2019 first-year cohort, so the next few months will be critical as we continue our work together.

Freshman Experience

Drew Koch headshot from JNGI website

Dr. Drew Koch, President & COO, John N. Gardner Institute

On January 19, we hosted a Student Success Summit to launch the Wildcat Foundations effort. Drew Koch, President and Chief Operating Officer at the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, provided a keynote address titled Redesigning Foundational Experiences for More Equitable First-Year Student Success.

Drew provided a copy of his slides (download .pptx file here); and given the overflow audience, we also live streamed and recorded the talk (watch YouTube video here). Following the talk, the more than 200 attendees broke up into subcommittees around the nine foundational dimensions associated with the Foundations of Excellence process that form the basis of the Wildcat Foundations effort.

If you’d like to participate, there is still time to get involved. Check out the Wildcat Foundations website, and please contact project director Grace Hahn (gracehahn2@uky.edu).

College Party Culture

On college campuses around the country, including the University of Kentucky, there are ongoing conversations around how the college party culture affects the health and well-being of our students. Jason M. Lindo, Peter Siminski, and Isaac D. Swensen are economists who recently studied the mechanisms through which partying may increase the incidence of sexual assault.

Their results are presented in the paper “College Party Culture and Sexual Assault,” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 2018, 10(1): 236–265. This paper is free and open for all to download and read.

CPR Training Saves Lives

In the case of cardiac arrest, the earliest intervention is crucial (see the ScienceDaily article on this topic here). And early intervention is something anyone can do. Campus Recreation and Wellness is offering free training that includes basic first aid, hands only CPR, along with an overview of the use of the automated external defibrillators (AEDs) located throughout campus. This training is intended to provide basic skills related to managing emergency situations; it does not lead to certification. Three identical training classes are scheduled for 8:30 am–10:30 am on Feb. 14, Feb. 28 and April 4.  All classes will be in Seaton Center, Room 119.

Please register for the training using your Link Blue ID.  Classes are limited to 20 participants, so departments that want to do this as a group should register early for the same class. If you have any questions, please contact Ron Lee, Director, Campus Recreation and Wellness (relee1@uky.edu).

Verbal Judo

Verbal Judo bookcoverIn Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion, George Thompson and Jerry Jenkins describe this de-escalation training technique as a “martial art of the mind and mouth that can help you defuse confrontations and generate cooperation.”  They further note that “when you react, the event controls you. When you respond, you’re in control.”

Major Nathan Brown, a member of the UK Police Department, will coordinate this training being offered to all SAL employees (but open to anyone) on Thursday, Feb. 15, from 9-11:30 a.m. and on Wednesday, Feb. 21, from 8:30-11 a.m. in 200 McVey Hall. At the very least, if you operate a reception desk as a part of your unit, I hope that you will consider sending those who staff the desk to this training, but please feel free to send others as well.  Please RSVP your spot by sending an email to Terri Runyon (terri.runyon@uky.edu) and indicate which session you plan to attend.

Thank you,

Greg Heileman
Associate Provost for Student & Academic Life

View SALutations! archived newsletters here.

I welcome any feedback you’d like to provide. Once again, my hope is that every complaint is accompanied by proposed solutions, and that we always remember to celebrate our successes. Please feel free to send your comments to apsal@uky.edu.

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Facing Change Week

1st Annual Facing Change Week, April 2-6, 2018This just in from Jamari Michael White, social justice educator in Bias Incident Support Services (BISS):

During the week of April 2-6, 2018, Bias Incident Support Services in collaboration with a number of campus and community partners will be offering Facing Change Week, a week-long program of events and opportunities for University of Kentucky students, staff, and faculty to connect, engage, and be challenged around issues of diversity, belonging, and social justice!

With the theme, Starting Somewhere, Facing Change Week will comprise activities, such as workshops, dialogues, guest speakers, experiential activities, and community art events, aimed at inviting members of our community to connect with and participate in UK’s pillar of Belonging and Engagement (see more about the four pillars of UK’s Academic Excellence here), and the UK Counseling Center’s commitment to inclusive excellence.

A full schedule of events will be forthcoming later in February, so please follow us on InstagramTwitter, and check back on the Facing Change Week website for the latest updates!!!

If you, your university office, or student organization are interested in partnering or volunteering, please contact Jamari White at Jamari.white@uky.edu.

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
― James Baldwin

Jamari Michael White, MSW
Pronouns: He/Him/His
Social Justice Educator
University of Kentucky Bias Incident Support Services
Frazee Hall, Lower Level, Suite 4

How have you contributed to a culture of belonging today?

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UK’s John Thelin on History of 1965 Higher Education Act

U.S. CapitolThe National History Center has announced they will offer a Congressional Briefing on the History of the Higher Education Act of 1965. The briefing will take place in Washington D.C. in the Rayburn House Office Building, room 2060, on Friday, February 16 at 11:30 a.m. Together with Arnita Jones of American University serving as moderator, the two featured speakers are:

See more information about this program on the NHC website.

If you can’t get to Washington D.C. to see the Congressional Briefing in person, stay tuned – you can eventually see the recording once it is posted on the NHC website at:

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