Water Week at UK

The Department of Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering will kick off a week of events on Saturday, October 7th, and continues through Friday, October 13th. They have an exciting line of up of events related to water, most of which are centered on the theme of climate change.

All events are free and food is provided. Here’s a quick summary of events:

Saturday, October 7
9 am to 4 pm
Project WET, certification workshop for K-12 teachers, cooperative extension agents and students who are studying to become teachers
Raven Run Nature Sanctuary, 3885 Raven Run Way, Lexington 40515
Monday, October 9
6-8 pm
Ignite Talks & Panel Discussion on Climate Change – includes lunch (see details and pre-register at www.uky.edu/bae/ignite)
Hillary J.Boone Center, University of Kentucky
Tuesday, October 10
6-8 pm
Chasing Ice” Film Screening & Panel Discussion led by Steve Evans, Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute – refreshments served at 5 p.m.
W.T.Young Library Auditorium
Wednesday, October 11
11:45 am to 1:30 pm
Talk by Randy Kolka, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, on SPRUCE Project, peatlands and climate change
The 90, Room 202
Thursday, October 12
12:30-1:30 pm
Career Panel – refreshments served at 12 noon – panelists:

  • Andrea Erhardt, paleoceanography
  • Jennifer Hubbard-Sanchez, director of Center for Environmental Ed at Ky. State U.
  • Rick Price, Director of Global Environment, Health & Safety for Beam Suntory
  • Jon Walker, a hydrologist at U.S. Forest Service

W.T.Young Library, Multipurpose Room, B-108

Thursday, October 12
4-5 pm
Seminar: Geoff Ellis, research geologist with U.S. Geological Survey, on Coal Sourced National Gas Resources in the US and China – refreshments served at 3:30 pm
Chem-Phys, Room 139
Friday, October 13
3-6 pm
CATchment Cleanup, a service activity led by biosystems and ag engineering students – all are invited to help trim, mulch and mow
Rain Garden at Farm Road (near the Gluck Equine Research Center)

You can learn more about the events by visiting http://tfise.uky.edu/water_week_2017 or their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/UKWaterWeek/.

Please distribute information on Water Week to your colleagues and students (download the flyer here – 2017_WaterWeekFlyer). They encourage you to distribute to those outside of UK. If you teaching a class, please consider providing extra credit for attendance. They will have sign-up sheets for students at all events.

To register for the Ignite event, visit the BAE website at www.uky.edu/bae/ignite.

Water Week 2017 is sponsored by the Colleges of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Arts and Sciences, and Engineering, and the Kentucky Geological Survey (members of the Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability and the Environment’s water systems working group), and the Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute.

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Neesa Medina on “Deportations and Force Migration: The View from the Honduras” Oct 11th, 4 pm

Since the 2009 military coup in Honduras, murders and attacks against Honduran human rights defenders have reached alarming levels. The U.S. continues to send tens of millions of dollars in aid to the Honduran police and military who have been involved in human rights abuses. In addition, the U.S. backs neoliberal projects that lead to displacement and migraction. To learn more about this topic, come to the invited lecture by Neesa Medina, “Deportations and Forced Migration: The View from the Honduras.”

When: October 11 at 4pm
Where: 114 Classroom Building

Neesa Medina is a Honduran feminist sociologist and she currently works as a Security and Gender Analyst at Centro de Derechos de Mujeres (CDM – Center for Women’s Rights). At the national level, she participated in forums on violence against women organized by civil society as well as in several panels discussing reforms to the Criminal Code to protect women and their sexual and reproductive rights. She also developed mobilization and communication campaigns around the same themes. At the international level, she participated in several conferences as a speaker, exposing the situation of structural violence agains women in Honduras and talking about the Security policies that have been implemented by the government so far. In addition, she participated in the civil society delegation that drafted and presented the Alternative Report to the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Finally, in recent years, she has testified as an expert on more than a dozen cases of women seeking asylum in the United States.

For additional information, contact:

  • Scott Hutson, Professor and Director, Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies at scott.hutson@uky.edu
  • Carol E. Jordan, Executive Director of the Office for Policy Studies on Violence Again Women at carolj@uky.edu

This talk is sponsored by: College of Arts & Sciences * Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies * Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women * Department of Geography * Department of Gender & Women’s Studies * Students for Peace and Earth Justice, BCTC

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Constitution Day 2017 Essay Contest Winners Announced

At the First Amendment Celebration hosted by the Scripps Howard First Amendment Center in the UK School of Journalism and Media last night, we announced and gave awards to the six undergraduates who won the UK Constitution Day 2017 Essay Contest. This Essay Contest is sponsored by the University of Kentucky Office of the President, the Provost’s Office of Academic Excellence, and the UK Scripps Howard First Amendment Center.

This year’s writing prompt was – as in the past – timely and challenging:

Donald J. Trump is not the first U.S. president to confront the news media over its reporting on him, his policies, and his administration. (Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, Grant, Truman, Nixon, and George W. Bush, among others, often were subjected to harsh press coverage).  While the First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees journalists the right to publish information without government interference – except in special cases, particularly those involving national security – it also ensures that the president and other government officials are free to criticize the news media.
Essays must address this question:
When President Trump disparages the news media by talking about “fake news,” “the failing @nytimes,” the press as the “enemy of the American people,” does he strengthen the First Amendment by engaging in a lively debate about an important subject, or does he weaken freedom of the press by attempting to persuade people that most journalists cannot be trusted?

The contest is open to all UK undergraduate students. Entries could not exceed 750 words (excluding title or references) and are submitted online. A panel of judges selected by the Director of the UK Scripps Howard First Amendment Center scores the entries based on the following criteria: historical and legal accuracy of the content, the strength and logic of the argument, the original ideas presented, the organization of the argument, including the thesis, and the quality of the writing. By uploading an essay for judging, students agree to the release of their essay for public viewing. All winning essays are archived in the University of Kentucky Digital Repository at http://uknowledge.uky.edu/cdec (“Constitution Day Essay Contest”).

Winners receive a cash prize ($500 first prize, $300 second prize, $200 third prize) and honorable mentions receive a hardback copy of Richard Labunski’s James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights (Oxford University Press, 2006).

The prize winners this year were:

Honorable Mention

  • Emily Baehner (a journalism junior from Hebron, Ky.) “On Freedom of Expression”
  • Duncan Barron (a political science sophomore from Midway, Ky.) “On the Consequences of ‘Free Speech’”
  • Callum Case (a history freshman from Island, Ky.) “Liberty and Responsibility”

Third Place –

Michael Di Girolamo, a Foreign Language and International Economics sophomore from Lexington, KY
“The Fine Line Between Criticism and Control: How the Trump Administration is Weakening Freedom of the Press”

Second Place

Kelsey Mattingly, a journalism senior from Mount Vernon, KY
No title – but the main points are:  “Without a free and independent press, America is no longer a democracy, but a dictatorship…” and without public trust in news organizations, “both the First Amendment and democracy will die in America…”

First Place –

RyAnn Schoenbaechler, a political science first-year student from Louisville, KY
“Donald Trump: The Modern Day Killer of the First Amendment”

We congratulate all the winners of this year’s essay contest, and encourage everyone to go to the UKnowledge repository to download and read these excellent examples of  UK undergraduate student writing.

Constitution Day at UK September 18, 2017

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Diversity Weekend at UK – International Student Leadership Team and African Student Association

The International Student Leadership Team and UK’s African Student Association have organized a weekend festival called Diversity Weekend that will celebrate diverse identities and global perspectives at UK and in Lexington. This three day event, September 29 through October 1, will foster a greater sense of belonging for all students, faculty, and staff as well as engage with the greater Lexington community.

The weekend celebration will feature field activities followed by guest speakers and an art exhibition on Friday; complemented by an international tailgating event for the UK Football game on Saturday; then ends with the long-awaited Cultural Market at which organizations have an opportunity to promote their missions while displaying information about the diversity that they add to our campus they will be accompanied by a variety of cultural performances. FREE FOOD will be provided at all events!

Sept 29
3-5 pm – Ice Cream (from Sav’s Chill) and Bubble Ball, JC Fields beside the blue courts (Rain location: Seaton Center)

7-8 pm – Panel of three professors and two students will share their experiences and reflections on diversity and inclusion, Briggs Theatre, Fine Arts Building

8-10 pm – Art Exhibit of works from local artists from all over the world, Art Museum, Singletary Center for the Arts

Sept 30
2 pm – International Tailgate, Tobacco Research Lawn, corner of University Drive & Cooper Drive

4 pm – UK Football Game

Oct 1
 noon-4 pm – Cultural Market, Memorial Hall Amphitheatre (Rain location: Buell Armory)

12:30 pm – Workshops

1:30 pm – Lunch

2 pm – Performances

Check out the Facebook event page for more details. This celebration is sponsored by the UK Office of Institutional Diversity and the International Student and Scholar Services in the UK International Center.

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Appalachia in the Age of Trump: Uneven Ground Revisited by Ron Eller, Sept 28th 6 p.m.

UK Department of History Alumni Lecture

Appalachia in the Age of Trump: Uneven Ground Revisited

Speaker: Ronald D. Eller, Distinguished Professor of History, Emeritus
Date: 09/28/2017
When: 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Where: Hillary J. Boone Center Ron Eller

Originally from southern West Virginia, Ron Eller has spent more than forty years writing and teaching about the Appalachian region. A descendent of eight generations of families from Appalachia, Dr. Eller served for 15 years as the Director of the University of Kentucky Appalachian Center where he coordinated research and service programs on a wide range of Appalachian policy issues including education, health care, economic development, civic leadership and the environment. As Distinguished Professor of History at UK, Dr. Eller is in demand as a speaker on Appalachian issues at colleges, conferences, and community forums throughout the nation, and he serves as a frequent consultant to civic organizations and the national media. A former Rockefeller Foundation Scholar, he holds the Ph.D. in American history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and is widely known as a scholar of Appalachian history and the study of rural economic development and social change. He has published more than sixty articles and reports but is most well known for his award-winning books. Miners, Millhands and Mountaineers: The Industrialization of the Appalachian South was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1983 and won the 1982 Willis Weatherford Award in Appalachian Studies and the 1983 Thomas Wolfe Literary Award. His most recent book, Uneven Ground: Appalachia Since 1945 won the 2008 Willis Weatherford Award and the 2009 V.O. Key Award for the best book on Southern Politics from the Southern Political Science Association.

Professor Eller has also served as Chairman of the Governor’s Kentucky Appalachian Task Force, the first Chairman of the Kentucky Appalachian Commission and as a member of the Sustainable Communities Task Force of President Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development. Among other awards, he is the recipient of the Jim Wayne Miller Award for Distinguished Service to Appalachia, two East Kentucky Leadership Foundation Special Awards (1999 and 2009), and the University of Kentucky William E. Lyons Award for Outstanding Public Service. He has worked on projects in rural education reform with the Ford Foundation, the American Council on Education, and the American Association of Community Colleges and has served as the John D. Whisman Visiting Scholar for the Appalachian Regional Commission in Washington. He retired from teaching in 2013 and is currently working on a personal history of Appalachia.

Sponsored by the University Press of Kentucky, UK Appalachian Center, College of Arts and Sciences “Keys to Our Common Future” Theme Year

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Workshop: Teaching with Open Educational Resources, Sept 28th 11 a.m.

Workshop: Teaching with Open Educational Resources
When: Thursday, September 28, 11:00-12:00
Where: Presentation U! in the Basement Hub of WT Young Library
Refreshments served, register at link below

Amid the concerns about the costs of higher education are the escalating prices of textbooks. According to the Census Bureau, the costs of college textbooks have risen 812% from 1978 to 2012. To alleviate students’ financial burdens, some educators have switched to library resources and/or openly licensed peer-reviewed materials (open educational resources, OER) in place of traditional textbooks. In addition to being free of charge to students, OER allow instructors to customize the content to suit their pedagogical needs and provide students with up-to-date information on the subject. As a 2016 survey of 16 studies of OER adoption in higher education found, “students generally achieve the same learning outcomes when OER are utilized and simultaneously save significant amounts of money.”[1]

This workshop aims to introduce participants to the forms and purposes of OER, provide resources and best practices for finding OER, and connect OER to participants’ course goals and student learning outcomes. Formal presentations will be brief, and time will be focused on thinking about current and potential resources, as well as the means to locate and implement open resources for future learning designs.

This workshop was offered last semester and was well attended. We offer it again for a new round of UK Libraries’ OER grant recipients, as well as any who missed our last workshop and would like to get a start on using OER for their teaching.

Register at https://uky.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9yryC3KmTks8ydD. Contact Trey Conatser (trey.conatser@uky.edu) from CELT or Adrian Ho (adrian.ho@uky.edu) from W.T. Young Library with questions. Coffee, water, and snacks will be served. Note: for this event, please bring a laptop or tablet.

[1] John Hilton III, “Open educational resources and college textbook choices: a review of research on efficacy and perceptions,” in Educational Technology Research and Development, vol. 64, no.4, 2016, pp. 573–590.

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African American and Africana Studies Carter G. Woodson Lecture Series 2017

The African American and Africana Studies department in the College of Arts & Sciences announces the offerings in the Carter G. Woodson Lecture Series for this fall. All lectures are at 12 noon in the MLK Center, 313 Blazer Hall.

Upcoming Dates:

September 27
Vanessa Holden, “Generation, Resistance, and Survival: Black Children and Nat Turner’s Rebellion of 1831”

October 25
Ray Block, Jr., “Race, Law Enforcement, and Public Opinion: How Polling Practices Reflect Contemporary Debates”

November 29
Anastasia Curwood, “Before Obama: The Political Career of Shirley Chisholm”

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SALutations! | Transforming our first-year experience at UK

Merriam-Webster:  Salutary [săl′yə-tĕr′ē].
Promoting or intended to promote an improvement or beneficial effect.

Salutary neglect was a term used in the 17th and 18th centuries by the British to refer to their policies of ignoring strict enforcement of parliamentary laws that were created to exert control over the American colonies. The end of salutary neglect was a major impetus for the American Revolutionary War.

First-year Experience

In higher education, the first-year student experience was historically characterized as one of salutary or benign neglect—the programming received by incoming students was thought to be helpful, but not much effort went into coordinating the overall experience or assessing its effectiveness. Salutary neglect of the first-year experience is no longer practiced at many colleges, serving to instigate an American student success revolution; however, one characterized more by cooperation than conflict. The roots of this revolution can be traced back to the 1970s, a time period of unrest and protest on college campuses around the country. At the University of South Carolina, President Thomas Jones sought to counter the divisions created by this turmoil through the creation of a new course designed to bond students to the institution and transform undergraduate teaching. A more intentional approach to the first-year college experience grew out of this vision, and today the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition continues to operate at the University of South Carolina.

A tremendous amount of work has gone into creating a more intentional first-year experience at UK, and the success of this effort speaks for itself. We are on track to report record retention and graduation rates this year.  Complacency, however, does not align with UK’s aspirational student success goals. There is more work to be done. The Student and Academic Life Division will be launching an effort to re-examine and further improve the first-year experience at UK. This work will incorporate the outstanding efforts that are already taking place in this area, while working to better coordinate them across campus. It is important to recognize that the first-year experience involves everyone at UK—anyone who interacts with first-year students, in any way, plays a role in their success. Thus, we will work to include faculty, staff and students from across campus in this endeavor. If you would like to be a part of this campuswide effort, contact us at apsal@uky.edu, and please feel free to offer suggestions, resources and comments.

Our Influence

One of the most gratifying experiences for a faculty or staff member occurs when we are reminded that we made a difference in a student’s life. This sense of gratification is most tangible when a student reconnects after many years—to thank you for a class you taught, the mentorship you provided, or the kindness you showed. Sometimes your influence can profoundly change the course of a student’s life.

John Thomas Scopes was a student at UK during the 1920’s, providing him firsthand exposure to the efforts at UK (led by Professors William Funkhouser, Arthur Miller and Glanville Terrell, as well as President McVey) to preserve the right to teach evolution discussed in my last brief (link to last brief). Following graduation, while Scopes was working as a substitute teacher in Tennessee, he volunteered to be prosecuted under an anti-evolution law that was established there, leading to the eponymous “Scopes Monkey Trial.”  In “Defending Darwin,” current UK Biology Professor James J. Krupa cites a stirring homage to Professor Funkhouser taken from Scope’s memoir:

Teachers rather than subject matter also rekindled my interest in science. I saw Dr. Funkhouser … was a man without airs, who could have passed for a grocer or some other businessman, but he taught zoology so flawlessly that there was no need to cram for the final examination; at the end of the term there was a thorough, fundamental grasp of the subject in bold relief in the student’s mind, where Funkhouser had left it.

The Funkhouser Building is situated across from McVey Hall and houses UK’s Undergraduate Admission, Registrar, Financial Aid and Student Billing Offices.


Earlier this month the Trump Administration announced it will rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows those who entered the United States as minors to receive deferred action from deportation, along with eligibility to work. Congress was asked to develop a legislative solution before DACA is set to expire in six months. Please read President Capilouto’s message reaffirming The University of Kentucky’s commitment to and continued solidarity with our “DACA students” and their families during this time of uncertainty. In addition, the Dean of Students Office has created a central repository of resources available to those who might be impacted by these events.

Emergency Assistance

If you know of any UK students whose lives have been significantly impacted by the multitude of hurricanes this year, please make them aware of the Emergency Assistance and Relief Fund that has been established to assist students facing financial emergencies. Please direct these students to the MoneyCATS team.

Feel free to send your comments to apsal@uky.edu.

Greg Heileman
Associate Provost for Student & Academic Life

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