News

9/18/2020

                Cherish Derrickson and Anastasia Zevan are two juniors studying Political Science here at the University of Kentucky. Having met two years ago in their Writing, Rhetoric, & Digital Studies (WRD) 110 class and becoming instant friends, neither of them knew that they would come together and form a club that aimed to foster civil discourse and constitutional knowledge amongst UK undergrads. This spring marks a year from when the students first had the idea and have since been able to turn their ambition into action with the start of the Constitution Club that now meets monthly and has experienced steady membership growth.

                From Paris, Kentucky, Cherish isn’t too far away from home while she studies at UK. Aside from her Political Science major, she has a strong interest in sociology and “anything that has to do with people.” Anastasia comes from

9/11/2020
By Lindsey Piercy  

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 11, 2020) — Most choose to attend college to earn an education — hoping they will gain knowledge to prepare them for the pursuit of a career. But the path to a degree can unlock more than job opportunities.

Just ask Chris Gorman.

It was fall of 1961, and the University of Kentucky freshman was eager to embark on his six-year plan — a fast-track strategy that would allow him to earn both a bachelor’s degree and a law degree by the age of 24. 

“By nature, I’m a very social person,” he said. “To go from a small elementary school and high school to a major university was like putting a kid in a candy shop.”

Gorman referred to himself as a “bright-eyed kid,” but he was prepared to persevere and leave the

9/3/2020

This summer, political science Ph.D. student Matthew Cain served as a summer research associate for RAND in their Washington, D.C. office. RAND is a federally funded public policy research  organization that has a broad focus on national security. As an adjunct researcher, Cain will work on ongoing projects under the guidance and mentorship of RAND’s Director of the Cyber and Intelligence Policy Center.

During his first year of graduate school, Cain learned of RAND through political science alumnus Pete Schirmer during an alumni board meeting. Cain was drawn to RAND because of his interest in cybersecurity policy. “Most of cybersecurity research is done in the policy world, and not as much is done in the political science field,” explained Cain. “Throughout my academic career, I’ve cited RAND’s work in my own research, and I really wanted to capture this opportunity to be a

9/3/2020
Young Alumni Profile: Sydney Darwin, B.A. Political Science 2017

By Julie Wrinn

In less than three years since earning her degree at UK, Sydney Darwin has become a terrific example of how a political science major can lead to a surprising array of fields. While still in school, Darwin worked as a digital media intern for Cornett, an advertising company in Lexington, and as a communications intern for the Nevada Policy Research Institute. After graduating college, she joined Richard Becker's campaign for the Kentucky House of Representatives as a campaign strategist. After that, Darwin served as a Marshal’s Aide for the U.S. Supreme Court and was soon promoted to assistant supervisor of the Marshal’s Aides. This led to an assignment for the Chambers of retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy as a Temporary Judicial Assistant while his Judicial Assistant was on maternity

8/10/2020

By Richard LeComte

On episode five of “Holler Back!,” Stacie Fugate and Michael Hamilton converse with Montgomery County High School senior Larah Helayne, a singer-songwriter whose activism for LGBTQ issues in Montgomery County, Kentucky, has brought her attention in Appalachia. During the podcast, Fugate talks to the teenager about her strong emotional reaction to hearing Helayne’s songs.

“I’m sitting in the audience and crying,” Fugate says. “It wasn’t just me; everybody around me is crying.”

That kind of emotional attachment to Appalachia and its people sparks the passion Fugate and Hamilton bring to “Holler Back!,” a podcast run by two Appalachian Studies minors in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Kentucky. The podcasts themselves are part of the programming of UK’s

8/3/2020

By Olivia Bloss

In spring 2020, I had the opportunity to present my peace studies capstone research at a national conference in Washington, D.C. My research was inspired by experiences in the Peace Studies Program and a semester-long internship on Capitol Hill. This activity started my freshman year when I enrolled in Introduction to Peace Studies. Upon enrolling in the class, I didn’t have the slightest idea of what peace studies actually was. I quickly discovered that peace studies is unique in that it offers a holistic, interdisciplinary perspective on personal biases, civil conflicts, political unrest and state instability, which is extremely valuable for promoting peace and stability.

This class immediately drew me to studying peace, because as a global citizen, I believe it is important to appreciate societal differences without those differences resulting in acts

6/30/2020

By Adrian Ho and Richard LeComte

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 30, 2020) — Six College of Arts & Sciences faculty members received Alternative Book Grants from the University of Kentucky Libraries.

These faculty members plan to replace

6/5/2020

By Whitney Hale

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 5, 2020) — University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that five recent UK graduates of the College of Arts & Sciences received Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarships. The UK recipients are among approximately 2,100 U.S. students who will travel abroad for the 2020-21 academic year.

Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected based on academic or professional achievement as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in more than 160 countries. 

The UK alumni awarded Fulbright grants are:

Evan Lenzen, a 2020 
6/3/2020

The College of Arts and Sciences is committed to learning and working environments that are diverse, inclusive, and equitable for students, staff, and faculty.

We stand in solidarity with those working to confront systemic racial injustice in our communities and in the United States. We recognize the disproportionate burden of racism and other forms of violence on many within our A&S community during this time. We affirm our support of faculty, students, staff, and alumni in standing against all forms of racism, discrimination, and bias.

During this time of pandemic and continued racism and violence that especially impact marginalized communities of color, we recognize the disproportionate impact on Black and African-American people. In the context of the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and here in Kentucky, Breonna Taylor and David McAtee, we affirm that

5/27/2020

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 27, 2020) — The COVID-19 pandemic has turned life upside down for almost everyone, and University of Kentucky students had to quickly adapt to finish out a semester that was unlike any other in UK history. Maria Sanchez, who graduated from UK this May, was no stranger to these challenges. Sanchez chose to share her personal story of family, hard work and resiliency, and how she plans to use her skills and experiences to create a better tomorrow.

From Mexico to the United States

Sanchez has lived in Chicago for more than half of her life and identifies as a Chicagoan. However, she was originally born in Mexico City and lived in the city’s outskirts as a young child. Her father died when she was just 1 year old, leaving her mother as

5/21/2020

By Madison Dyment

Senior University of Kentucky students Bushra Bani-Salman, Candela Arias Perez and Olivia Bloss were selected to present their independent research at the Pi Sigma Alpha National Student Research Conference in Washington, D.C.

The students are Political Science majors receiving Peace Studies certificates in the College of Arts & Sciences. 

"Getting the opportunity to both conduct independent research and present it in a national conference, and getting to watch my peers do the same, is one of the biggest highlights of my undergraduate career," Arias Perez said. "It was a wonderful learning experience."

Pi Sigma Alpha serves as the national honors society for political science undergraduates. Over President’s Day weekend in February 2020, the society held its centennial conference. At the conference:  

Bani-Salman covered how U.
5/11/2020

By Richard LeComte

Israel’s drift among the young toward right-wing, anti-Arab politics worries Mark Peffley. Peffley, a UK political scientist, is studying the drift through survey research with colleagues in Israel, and he sees the trend as troubling. Peffley has devoted his career to exploring the extent that intolerance influences political psychology and behavior.  

“We’re looking at the politics of tolerance and the political aspects of tolerance,” Peffley said. “More Israeli Jews are identifying with the right wing. As terrorism escalated, Jews were less likely to see Israeli Arabs as true Israelis, and instead view them as the enemy.”

Peffley, one of the 400 most highly cited political scientists in the United States, was selected as a 2019-2020 University of Kentucky Research Professor. For several years, Peffley and his co-authors have documented how

5/5/2020

By Danielle Donham

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 4, 2020) — The University of Kentucky has honored two senior students with the Otis A. Singletary Outstanding Senior Award at the virtual Lead Blue: Student Organizations Celebration and Award Ceremony on April 28. This year’s recipients were Michael Hamilton and Joe Walden.

The Otis A. Singletary Outstanding Senior Award was established in 1978 as the first award recognizing overall student leadership at UK. The award is named after former University of Kentucky President Otis A. Singletary.

Students nominated for this award have displayed outstanding leadership while attending the University of Kentucky, made significant contributions to academics and are

5/4/2020

By Richard LeComte

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Thirteen University of Kentucky students were on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., as they pursued political science classes and internships with legislators this spring. Then, the pandemic hit.

“The 13 students were all living together in a row house rental for interns on Capitol Hill, which is super,” said Tiffany Barnes, associate professor of political science in the College of Arts & Sciences, who runs the program. “But then we realized we needed to act when the pandemic broke out.”

Over UK’s spring break, a cadre of UK faculty teamed up to get the WilDCats at the Capitol program students out of D.C. and back home. The process of getting UK students home took some maneuvering – both the students themselves and their belongings needed to go home.

“With all the difficult decisions being made by government, we

4/28/2020

By Danielle Donham and Lindsey Piercy

While the 2020 general election is still more than six months away, the COVID-19 pandemic has sidelined much of the presidential campaign. Meanwhile, state and county officials across the U.S. are already preparing ways to allow voters to cast their ballots safely. 

University of Kentucky faculty members with expertise in politics have been closely monitoring the evolving situation.

Michael Zilis, an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science in the College of Arts and Sciences, teaches courses in American

4/15/2020
A portrait of Michael Zilis

While the 2020 general election is still more than seven months away, the COVID-19 crisis has paused much of the presidential campaign. Meanwhile, state and county officials across the U.S. are already preparing ways to allow voters to cast their ballots safely. UK faculty members with expertise in politics have been monitoring the evolving situation and are available to comment: 

Tiffany Barnes - Political Science, College of Arts & Sciences. - Stephen Voss - Political Science, College of Arts & Sciences. - Michael Zilis - Political Science, College of Arts & Sciences.

UK will continue adding experts to this resource in an effort to be an even more efficient and effective resource for the

4/13/2020
A picture of the Gaines Center building.

By Gabriela Antenore

The University of Kentucky Gaines Center for the Humanities has selected 12 undergraduate students as new scholars for the Gaines Fellowship Program.

The Gaines Fellowship is presented in recognition of outstanding academic performance, demonstrated ability to conduct independent research, an interest in public issues and a desire to enhance understanding of the human condition through the humanities. Founded in 1984 by a gift from John and Joan Gaines, the Gaines Center for the Humanities functions as a laboratory for imaginative and innovative education on UK’s campus. The Gaines Center is designed to enrich the study of the humanities at the University of Kentucky.

3/30/2020

By Ryan Girves

Before the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 50 outstanding University of Kentucky undergraduate research students learned they were selected to present their faculty-mentored research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. The event was canceled, but UK's Office of Undergraduate Research is noting the achievement. Among them are more than a dozen students in the College of Arts & Sciences. 

The student conference, which would have been held this past weekend at Montana State University, is dedicated to promoting undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activity in all fields of study. It provides models of exemplary research and scholarship and strives to improve the state of undergraduate

2/17/2020
A photo of Michael Zillis behind a graphic board.

By Whitney Hale and Jenny Wells-Hosley

The year 2020 kicks off a new decade. What will the next 10 years bring in the areas of health, technology, climate, the economy, politics and more? In a new recurring series, UKNow explores the next decade by asking University of Kentucky experts to discuss and predict upcoming trends in their areas.

Today, we spoke with Michael Zilis. As an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science, he is looking ahead at the issues that will shape 2020 and beyond.

Zilis teaches courses on American government, constitutional law and judicial decision-making. He emphasizes student engagement inside and outside of the

2/12/2020

General Health Guidance

As we enter flu season, please consider the medical resources available for all students feeling physically unwell. You are encouraged to rest, wash your hands, seek medical care, and stay home, if you are sick. Furthermore, contact University Health Service at 859-323-2778. If you are experiencing emotional or behavioral issues, please seek help through our UK Counseling Center, your residence hall assistant, your academic advisor, or other University personnel.  There is help available to mitigate stress and anxiety through The Study, Transformative Learning, the Counseling Center, the Disability Resource Center, and Presentation U.

Influenza:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently reporting that the flu is widespread in Kentucky.

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