News

2/1/2016

By Jenny Wells

(Jan. 29, 2016) — A group of University of Kentucky Honors students has been selected as a finalist for the second year in a row in the Knight Cities Challenge. Funded by the Knight Foundation, the challenge is a national call for new ideas to make 26 communities around the country more vibrant places to live and work.  

Clay Thornton, an economics and political science sophomore from Lexington, submitted the proposal on behalf of his UK Honors class, "Citizen Kentucky," taught by Associate Professor Buck Ryan. They are now one of 158 finalists out of more than 4,500 submissions from many public and government organizations, design experts, urban

12/18/2015

Greetings to former undergraduates, graduate students, and other alumni! I hope you will enjoy this Political Science Department newsletter. As I enter the fifth year of a six-year stint as chair, I will be leading a department that has experienced a lot of change since most of you were students here. Our 16 tenured and tenure-track faculty do include some seasoned professors, like Horace Bartilow, Mark Peffley, Ellen Riggle, Stephen Voss, and Rick Waterman. But they have been joined by talented newcomers, including Tiffany Barnes, Abby Cordova, Jill Haglund, Jesse Johnson, and Michael Zilis. In between are faculty member Emily Beaulieu, Clayton Thyne, Dan Morey, and Justin Wedeking, all of whom earned tenure and promotion over the last few years. Sadly, by the end of this academic year, we will lose to retirement two colleagues and former chairs, Don Gross and Karen Mingst.

12/7/2015

By Whitney Harder, Elizabeth Adams

(Dec. 7, 2015) — A student falling behind in math class at William Wells Brown Elementary counted figures on a color-coded worksheet aloud with help from a guest tutor on Oct. 23.

On her first day as a volunteer, Jenna Hatcher, a University of Kentucky College of Nursing associate professor, pulled a chair up to the young girl’s desk in the hallway of the school, providing individual attention as they solved problems as a pair. For Hatcher, who is more accustomed to teaching students at the doctoral level, working with a young mind was a refreshing reminder of the curiosity and enthusiasm at earliest stages of learning.

“The most special thing about reaching out to local children at a young age is the ability to work with them while they are still so open and innocent,”

11/18/2015

By Whitney Harder

(Nov. 18, 2015) — A new collaboration between the University of Kentucky College of Law and College of Arts and Sciences will allow students seeking a law degree to save time and money by graduating in six years instead of seven.

The UK BLUE (Bachelor-to-Law Undergraduate Education) program is open to incoming freshmen who know early on they plan to pursue a law degree. The program reduces total tuition costs by one year and exposes students to the practice and study of law early on in their undergraduate career.

"For highly motivated, exceptional students, this is a targeted pathway to help them reach their career goals," said Sarah Ballard, an academic advisor in the College of

11/9/2015

By Jenny Wells, Whitney Harder

(Nov. 9, 2015) — It's a partnership unlike any other, relying on each other to complete pivotal projects and daily deeds, constantly working together to find solutions. Yes, the city of Lexington and the University of Kentucky are intertwined, but a recent discovery proves it's much more than a partnership — it's a new species of community.

Lexington, often referred to as a college town, has evolved into a "university city," according to new research by Lexington's own Scott Shapiro, senior advisor to Mayor Jim Gray, which was confirmed in an analysis by UK Department of Statistics Professor and Chair Arnold Stromberg. As a university city, Lexington boasts the positive characteristics of both a large city and

11/3/2015

By Gail Hairston

(Nov. 3, 2015) — Stephen Voss is a frequently quoted analyst of Kentucky politics. In recent years, the University of Kentucky associate professor of political science has been interviewed by some of the most prestigious newspapers and broadcast news organizations in the nation, as well as publishing in equally prominent professional journals.

In recent weeks, as the anticipation of today's election has grown, Voss has been a very busy man, even if you don’t count his hours in the classroom. He describes himself as a quantitative analyst specializing in elections and voting behavior, with a focus on the U.S. South and the politics of race, ethnicity and culture. In a recent interview with UKNow, he shared some of his insight into Election Day 2015 and the nature and history of Kentucky politics.

10/29/2015

By Blair Hoover, Bailey Klutts

(Oct. 23, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Debate team competed in the 44th Run for the Roses. The Run for the Roses is a small round robin format tournament where eight of the top teams in the country were invited to compete against the top Kentucky team.

The field represented the best of the best including Harvard, Michigan, Georgetown and Emory. The Kentucky team of Donald Grasse and Theo Noparstak — both political science majors at UK — finished as the tournament’s first and third speaker. This was the first time a Kentucky debater had won the top speaker since 1993 (Paul Skiermont).

A day later the entire Kentucky squad and almost 100 more teams joined the field for the 45th Henry Clay Invitational. Donald Grasse would again take the top speaker (out of 186 competitors) and he and his partner would make another incredible run

10/21/2015

Students studying the history of legislative reforms addressing violence against women benefited from a special guest in their Monday political science class taught by Professor Carol Jordan. Representative John Tilley (D, 8th House District) served as the primary sponsor for the most significant piece of legislation related to domestic violence and sexual assault passed by the 2015 General Assembly. He spoke to Professor Jordan’s PS 492 class about the need for what became known as House Bill 8; the provisions of the bill; and how it will expand protection to a broader group of assault, rape, and stalking victims.  Political Science and Gender & Women’s Studies majors in the class also posed questions to him about the political process that ultimately resulted in the bill’s passage.

"Having Representative Tilley speak to the students was an incredible opportunity for them

9/21/2015

By Mariana Moreno

(Sept. 21, 2015) — Donald A. Ritchie will deliver the University of Kentucky Libraries 2015 Edward F. Prichard Lecture, sponsored by the Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Center. He will deliver a talk titled "Where Is Henry Clay Now That We Really Need Him? Political Compromise in an Uncompromising Era." The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will begin 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, in the UK Athletics Auditorium of William T. Young Library.

Ritchie is the historian emeritus of the United States Senate. He earned his bachelor's degree from

9/9/2015

(Sept. 9, 2015) — This Sunday, the University of Kentucky community will tune in to see one of its own compete for the title of Miss America. Vocal performance and political science sophomore Clark Janell Davis is currently competing in preliminary competitions for the coveted title in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The pageant finals will air live 9 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13, on ABC.

In addition to watching Davis compete for the crown, Big Blue Nation can vote for Davis to be selected as America's Choice in the pageant. Individuals can vote daily for one contestant to be named America's Choice through Sept. 10 via social media. On Facebook, type both Kentucky and

8/26/2015

By Carl Nathe

(Aug. 26, 2015) — "For a chapter which did not even exist six-and-a-half years ago, we're doing pretty well."

That quote about the University of Kentucky Phi Kappa Phi (PKP) Chapter from chapter President  Frank Ettensohn, professor of earth and environmental sciences and Jefferson Science Fellow, is best described as an understatement. Chartered in April 2009, the UK chapter of the nation's oldest, largest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines is doing more than 'pretty well.'

In its brief history, UK's PKP chapter has been selected as a 'Chapter of Excellence' by national headquarters in two separate years and has been named a '

8/3/2015

By Whitney Harder

(Sept. 3, 2015) — Who said reading only had one season? Sure, fall is approaching and life is getting busy, but an interesting book could be the perfect way to wind down after those jam-packed days, or to inspire you for the week ahead. For professors at the University of Kentucky, books have impacted their lives and careers in surprising ways.

Read below for the second in a series of professors reflecting on the books that shaped them, and you just may find a title or two to add to your own bookshelf. 

Christia Brown

Associate Professor of Psychology

One of the most influential books I ever read was Toni Morrison’s "The Bluest Eye," which I read my first year of college as a class assignment. It forced me, as a white girl from Tennessee, to evaluate and come

7/16/2015

By Whitney Harder

(July 16, 2015) — The University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences has named Shaunna Scott as the new director of its Appalachian Studies Program and Christopher Barton as the new director of the Appalachian Center.

"Chris Barton and Shaunna Scott will make a great leadership team along with the staff of the Appalachian Center," said Ann Kingsolver, former director of both the Appalachian Center and Appalachian Studies Program. "They

7/13/2015

By Whitney Hale

(July 13, 2015) — This weekend Lexington will be in the spotlight as C-SPAN airs coverage of the city as part of its "2015 C-SPAN Cities Tour." Viewers of "Lexington Weekend" will learn about the city's rich history, as well as the community's non-fiction literary culture on programming airing July 18-19 as part of "BookTV" on C-SPAN2 and "American History TV" (AHTV) on C-SPAN3. Many University of Kentucky experts from the College of Arts and Sciences and Libraries lend a hand in sharing Lexington's story.

C-SPAN’s "2015 Cities Tour" is traveling to

7/7/2015

By Auden Lohr

(July 6, 2015) — On July 4, University of Kentucky sophomore Clark Davis, Miss Horse Capital of the World, was crowned Miss Kentucky 2015 at the Singletary Center for the Arts. She will represent Kentucky in the Miss America Pageant to be held Sunday, Sept. 13, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The national pageant will be broadcast live on ABC.

A native of Lexington, Davis, 17, is the daughter of Ginger and Jonathan Davis. She is majoring in vocal performance with a minor in political science and will be a sophomore in the fall at UK.

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, and meet

5/12/2015

By Whitney Hale

(May 12, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Gaines Center for the Humanities and the UK College of Arts and Sciences are teaming up to present a series of workshops on violence and the human condition. The first of several events, a workshop on political violence and how it is measured, will take place Wednesday-Friday, May 13-15, at various locations across campus. This workshop is free and open to the public.

Arts and Sciences and the Gaines Center are sponsoring a year of programming around the broad theme of "Violence and the Human Condition."  Over the course of the 2015-16 academic year, faculty members from many different UK departments will collaborate with each other and with visiting experts from other universities in a

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

4/17/2015

By Blair Hoover, Rebecca Stratton

(April 17, 2015) — Provost Tim Tracy honored seven faculty members and three teaching assistants with Provost's Outstanding Teaching Awards at the 2015 UK Faculty Awards Ceremony.  The ceremony took place Wednesday, April 15, in the Lexmark Public Room in the Main Building.

This annual award recognizes faculty and graduate teaching assistants who demonstrate special dedication and outstanding performance in the classroom or laboratory.  Recipients were selected via nomination and reviewed by a selection committee based in the Provost's Office of Faculty Advancement.

Winners received cash prizes of $5,000 for regular and special title series faculty and $1,000 for teaching assistants.

The Outstanding Teaching Faculty Award

4/17/2015

By Kelli Elam, Amy Jones-Timoney, Whitney Harder

(April 17, 2015) — What makes a university thrive as a community and a center for knowledge? At the University of Kentucky, it's the people, and not only the outstanding faculty, staff and students, but the alumni who create and continue a legacy of excellence. This year, the UK Alumni Association is recognizing 23 former UK students — leaders who have impacted the Commonwealth, the nation and the world through their work — with induction into the 2015 Hall of Distinguished Alumni.

This year’s class will be honored tonight, Friday, April 17, at the Hilton Lexington Downtown Hotel, 369 West Vine

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