By Jesi Jones-Bowman

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 28, 2021) — The University of Kentucky Office of Undergraduate Research has announced the fourth annual 5-Minute Fast Track student research competition finalists. These undergraduates competed in the competition’s two preliminary rounds and were selected as Top 10 finalists to present their research during the final round on Thursday, Oct. 28, in the Gatton Student Center Worsham Cinema.

Finalists will present their research in five minutes in front of a panel of five judges and a live audience using only a single static slide. This challenges students to develop their academic, presentation and research communication skills while also allowing them to showcase their research in a captivating way.

The goal of this


By Lindsey Piercy

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 6, 2021) — From routine disruption to social isolation, the COVID-19 pandemic has and continues to affect children in various ways.

Added stress can change a child’s ability to stay focused, as well as negatively impact their appetite and quality of sleep. As a parent, it’s normal to worry about your child's well-being. But how can you lend support in a positive way? 

In the Q&A session below, Michelle Martel, a psychology professor in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky, shares her expertise and offers tips for helping your child cope with COVID

September Meeting Minutes

Welcome and introductions

Review of our policies, procedures, and initiatives developed over the past 8 months

Identifying the leadership subcommittee

Shannon Sauer-Zavala (Faculty), Krystal Cashen (post-doc), and Emily Lapidus and Baylee Jenkins (graduate students) self-nominated and the larger group approved. We are pleased to have stakeholders at all levels represented in leadership. 


Decolonizing Syllabi: The goal is to create a list of recommendations for readings and class activities that highlight work from scholars from diverse backgrounds, as well as make recommendations for the articles students read as part of


By Jesi Jones-Bowman

UK undergraduate researchers Bridget Bolt and Gretchen Ruschman. Students are encouraged to explore undergraduate research opportunities at the Research + Creative Experience Expo.

At the University of Kentucky, undergraduates have access to outstanding research and creative work activities led by world-class faculty and staff that promote self-discovery, experiential learning and lifelong achievement.

Explore exciting undergraduate opportunities at the first annual UK Research + Creative Experience Expo 3-5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 13, around the Gatton Student Center’s Social Staircase.

“The goal of the Research + Creative Experience Expo is to introduce undergraduates to the diversity of research and creative work conducted at UK,” said Chad Risko, faculty director of the



African American Research Training Scholars Present Neuroscience Research at 1st Symposium By Jenny Wells-Hosley Aug. 18, 2021 1 of 4             AART Scholar Bisimwa “Jack” Nzerhumana presents at the first AARTS Symposium on Aug. 11. Photo by Jacob Klein.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 18, 2021) — The University of Kentucky Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center (SCoBIRC) hosted a symposium last week featuring its first class of African American Research Training Scholars (AARTS).

The five scholars each gave a presentation on their research in neurotrauma.

“This scholarship program was

July Meeting Minutes Summary Dr. Christia Brown (in her role as Associate Chair) joined us to discuss Departmental support for the DEI commitee (e.g., a protected meeting time, web edit access, financial support, effort support). She also suggested several ideas to add to our list of potential initatives (support related to immigration status issues amongst our students, affinity groups for students, reading lists/syllabi edits to help faculty decolonize their syllabi, teaching workshops for grad students/faculty, self study [do we have acheviement gaps based on student backgroud - # of students in research labs, placement of our students after graduation rates, retention rates in the major, acceptance rates of grad students.
  Adoption of Department-wide Diversity Statement on Sylllubi/Canvas (an update): Dr. Jessica Burris is the

By Richard LeComte

LEXINGTON, Ky, -- Three University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences professors are combining their research with outreach to the community in a quest to understand mental health and bring their findings to bear on treatment. 

Founded in the fall of 2019, the Clinic for Emotional Health, part of UK’s Department of Psychology, unites faculty members and graduate students to execute three goals: 1) to conduct research on the nature of emotional disorders and their treatment; 2) to provide the highest quality care to community members who


By Hillary Smith

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 30, 2021) — The University of Kentucky’s Neuroscience Research Priority Area supports a "collaborative matrix," bringing together diverse groups of investigators, trainees and research groups from nine different colleges across the University of Kentucky campus.

“The key underlying strategy of the NRPA is to provide broad-based support for basic, translational and clinical neuroscience-related research across campus,” said NRPA Co-Director Dr. Larry Goldstein, Ruth Louise Works Endowed professor and chairman of UK College of Medicine’s Department


By Lindsey Piercy

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 29, 2021) — Pandemic restrictions are beginning to ease as the state, and country, returns to “normal.”

For nearly a year, we relied on masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Now, many are removing the facial coverings, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy to shed the anxiety that accompanies a global pandemic.

If you’re having difficulty coping with this added stress, psychology experts at the University of Kentucky say you’re not alone.

Shannon Sauer-Zavala is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences, and

By Lindsey Piercy May 24, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 24, 2021) — It's a question that is critical to families and communities across the Commonwealth — how do we tackle the opioid epidemic?

The University of Kentucky is helping to organize and host the second annual Edward Kremers Seminar in the History of Pharmacy & Drugs in hopes of continuing the conversation surrounding addiction and recovery.

The 2021 “Kreminar” will feature virtual seminars about the history and contemporary status of opiates, opioids and addiction.

“The Cooperative for the Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) is pleased to co-sponsor these events because it is important to understand that


By Danielle Donham

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 26, 2021) — Two University of Kentucky faculty members in the College of Arts and Sciences are recipients of The Graduate School’s distinguished annual awards for exemplary research in the last four years and outstanding contributions to graduate student mentoring and graduate education.

Mark T. Fillmore, Director of Graduate Studies and professor of cognitive science in the Department of Psychology, is the 2021 recipient of the William B. Sturgill Award, an honor given each year to a graduate faculty member who has provided outstanding contributions to graduate education at UK.

In addition, 


By Danielle Donham

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 17, 2021) ­— The University of Kentucky honored two winners for the Otis A. Singletary Outstanding Senior Award, Auburn Mattingly and Ngoc Phan, and two finalists, Lily Hurt and Courtney Wheeler, along with many other students and staff members during the hybrid Lead Blue: Student Organizations Celebration and Award Ceremony on April 28.

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 dedicated to service through campus


UK Neuroscientist and Psychology Professor Dr. Michael Bardo Studies a New Medication to Treat Opioid Use Disorder

Dr. Michael Bardo and his laboratory have recently completed studies demonstrating that the stress-hormone receptor blocker “PT150”, a gift of Palisades Therapeutics in New Jersey, reduces fentanyl seeking in addicted laboratory rats following a stressful event. This research, funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, suggests that targeting stress systems may be an effective way to treat opioid relapse among those seeking treatment. A new grant application, with collaborator Dr. Craig Rush from the College of Medicine, is being prepared to test the potential efficacy of PT150 in humans.


By Richard LeComte 

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Usually one part of a semester is sure to bring happiness to students: the end. But in one University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences class, students are learning tools – backed by real science -- that will help them cultivate happiness throughout their academic year and even beyond. In fact, the class’s professor, Shannon Sauer-Zavala, wants her students to use the course material to find their own happy places.  

“I feel like every single thing that we learned about in my class, I have been trying to attempt in my own life,” said Sohayla Elhusseini, a senior psychology major from Lexington who’s taking the class this spring. “That’s definitely encouraged by Shannon as well.” 

The class where Elhusseini and her peers find all that encouragement is PSY 375:


UK professors Dr. John Littleton and Dr. Mark Prendergast are investigating the effects of COVID-19 “spike proteins” on the brain. COVID-19 spike proteins may be toxic in the brain, particularly in an alcohol-dependent brain. Many patients with COVID-19 are reporting losses of smell and taste, indicating that the virus or proteins associated with it are entering the brain (as HIV-1 does). Because of the unique molecular structure of the virus spike proteins, they are likely to target neurochemical receptors that are "upregulated" by chronic alcohol intake. This suggests that alcohol-abusing individuals may be particularly susceptible to COVID-19- related CNS symptoms. Prendergast and Littleton have received a grant to the National Institutes of Health to extend their studies on viral proteins in the brain. Better understanding how viral proteins interact with the brain is the first


By Mallory Profeta

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 26, 2021) — Since 2018, the Disparities Researchers Equalizing Access for Minorities (DREAM) Scholars Program has supported the training of exceptional, underrepresented pre-docs, post-docs and assistant professors at the University of Kentucky who are committed to health equity research.

The program began in 2015 as mentoring program in the UK College of Nursing for “people who needed to belong—racial, sexual, and gender minorities”, said Lovoria Williams, Ph.D., who currently co-directs DREAM. Now led by the Center for Clinial and Translational Science (CCTS) and the Center


By Elizabeth Chapin

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 27, 2021) – Each year, the University of Kentucky’s Students Participating as Ambassadors for Research in Kentucky (SPARK) gives a select group of undergraduates from diverse backgrounds a unique, hands-on research opportunity to prepare them for graduate study in health-related fields. Student recipients include two in the College of Arts & Sciences. 

While the COVID-19 pandemic provided new obstacles for SPARK’s 2020 cohort, the three students – Alexis James, Hope Makumbi and Roberto Obregon Garcia – say the challenges brought opportunities to focus on their research, particularly with communication.

SPARK, which was launched last year by UK’s Center for Health Equity Transformation (


Neuroscience and Psychology major Abigail (Abby) Wilcox is an Ambassador for Bumble's marketing campaign. Initially launched as a dating app, Bumble has become a powerful player in creating healthy relationships, friendships and business connections!  Abby is a Bumble Brand ambassador and Campus Director at UK and works hand in hand with their marketing team sharing her knowledge! Her photo was recently posted on the NASDAQ Jumbotron in Times Square New York City recognizing their success and Bumble becoming a publicly-traded company. 

The intersection of neuroscience and marketing has created a growing career path for students with training in neuroscience, with capitol investment, direct sales, and giant social media firms recruiting recent neuroscience graduates with an interest in the coporate side of human behavior. 




By Richard LeComte 

LEXINGTON, KY. -- One member of the University of Kentucky’s College of Arts & Sciences is contributing to the cultural life in Lexington during the COVID-19 pandemic with a colorful painting at a local gallery. 

“Change is in the Air,” an artwork by Jennifer Hunt, associate professor of gender and women’s studies, is on display at the Living Arts & Science Center, 362 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Lexington. The work is part of “Black Lives Matter: The Call for Positive Change,” which is on display through March 26. The exhibit, including Hunt’s painting, can be viewed