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Shannon Bell Noted for Work with Rural Sociological Society's Journal

UK sociology professor Shannon Bell and University of Oregon sociology professor Richard York received recognition for the Best Article by the Rural Sociological Society. Bell’s work currently focuses on the barriers to local participation in the environmental justice movement in response to mountaintop removal in Central Appalachia.


The article, “Community Economic Identity: The Coal Industry and Ideology Construction in West Virginia,” was published in the March 2010 issue of Rural Sociology. Using the Appalachian coal industry as a case study, the article explores the relationship between capitalist modes of production and ecological destruction, chronicling the ways in which declines in industry jobs and the rising tide of protest against mining practices have challenged the coal industry’s hold on political power.

Scientists in the Classroom, Stars on the Softball Field


In an exciting victory this past weekend, the UK Women’s Softball Team advanced past Michigan to seal the program’s first NCAA Super Regional bid. With UK down by one, senior Meagan Aull hit her tenth home run of the season to put the Cats back in the game. Junior Rachel Riley’s pitching performance also played a major role in the win – Michigan only got one hit and walked four. The full recap is at the UK Official Athletics Site.

While Aull and Riley are talented players on the field, they are also outstanding students in the classroom. Both are A&S biology majors and have received All-SEC Academic Team Honors during their time on the field. Aull will be applying to dental school this summer and Riley to medical school next summer.

Congratulations to both of our student athletes and to the UK Women’s Softball Team!

Two A&S Professors Receive Honorary Degrees


I am pleased to note that two distinguished A&S professors recently received honorary degrees. Gurney Norman, English professor, Kentucky Poet Laureate in 2009-2010, and director of UK’s Creative Writing Program, received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Berea College. With a career spanning over 30 years at UK, Norman is a respected authority on the literary culture of Appalachia. He is the author of several works, including Divine Right’s Trip and Kinfolks. Norman has also written and presented documentary films for KET and been involved with three short films based on his stories.


A frequent lecturer in Appalachia and senior writer-in-residence at Hindman Settlement School's annual Appalachian Writers Workshop, Norman was honored in 2002 by the Eastern Kentucky Leadership Conference and in 2007 with the Appalachian Studies Association Helen M. Lewis Community Service Award for his work in the region.


George Herring, Professor Emeritus, former history department chair, and Fulbright Scholar, also received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from his alma mater, Roanoke College. Herring’s work focuses on U.S. foreign relations and the Vietnam War and connected him both with the A&S history department and the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce. He is the author of several books, including From Colony to Superpower: American Foreign Relations Since 1776 and America’s Longest War: The United States and Vietnam, 1950-1975.


Herring was a visiting professor at the U.S. Military Academy in 1993 and at the University of Richmond in 2001. He was also awarded the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations’ Norman A. Graebner Prize for distinguished contributions to the field in 2002.


Congratulations to both of these outstanding individuals!

Comparative Decision Making Conference


Several A&S faculty members are part of an international conference being held here in Lexington May 13-15. A&S Biology professor Phillip Crowley and psychology professor Thomas Zentall along with agricultural economics professor Helen Pushkarskaya and computer science professor Judy Goldsmith lead the UK interdisciplinary team on Comparative Decision Making (CDM) and scheduled the conference. Close to 25 researchers from UK’s colleges of Agriculture, A&S, Business & Economics, Education, Engineering, and Medicine formed the CDM group to explore different viewpoints, methods, and applications of decision-making analysis on campus and beyond. While the group meets regularly for seminars and other events, their ultimate goal is to create a new Graduate Certificate Program in Comparative Decision Making Studies.

The conference will include speakers from across the globe, faculty and student poster presentations, and discussions on how to encourage the development of the emerging CDM field. Zentall and Crowley plan to edit a book based on the presentations which will be published by Oxford press.

The conference is hosted at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Lexington May 13-15.

Crossings: Latino/a & Chicano/a artists living in America


The Loudoun House will be the site of a Lexington Art League gallery talk and panel discussion featuring several College of Arts & Sciences faculty members. History department professor and chair Francie Chassen-Lopez will moderate the discussion which will feature commentary by Ana Liberato, sociology professor, Christina Alcalde, gender and women’s studies professor, Sophia Wallace, political science professor, and Andres Cruz, editor of La Voz de Kentucky, on topics of globalization, immigration, and migration.

The panel is part of Crossings, an exhibition focusing on Latino/a and Chicano/a artists living in America and the issues faced by this community. Artworks explore issues of immigration and trans-border crossing experiences as well as the points at which gender, labor, race, class, sexuality and cultural identity intersect.  Guest curators Marta Miranda, Andres Cruz and Diane Kahlo invited artists from Illinois, Florida, Texas, Missouri and Kentucky to create work for this exhibition that illuminates the expanding role Latin/a culture is having on contemporary life. The exhibit will be available for viewing until May 15 at the Lexington Art League’s Gallery in the Loudoun House.

The gallery talk and panel discussion will begin at 7 p.m. on May 11 at the Loudoun House in Lexington. We hope to see you there!

Awards for Outstanding Teaching


I am very pleased to announce the recipients of the College’s 2010-2011 Awards for Outstanding Teaching.  They are Ben Braun (Mathematics), Nathan DeWall (Psychology), Paul Koester (Mathematics) and Linda Worley (Modern and Classical Languages).  Drs. Braun, DeWall, Koester, and Worley are all exemplary practitioners of the art of teaching and are to be congratulated for their dedication to making the classroom a rewarding place for students and instructors alike.  These faculty members have also made significant contributions to education beyond the classroom, including to University-wide and national educational initiatives.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank Peter Mirabito (chair), Chana Akins, Juliana McDonald, and Leon Sachs for their sterling effort as this year’s selection committee.

Congratulations to our distinguished faculty recipients!

A&S Online Summer Courses

Take a trip this summer and go places with A&S online courses! Learn about Japanese culture, astronomy, oceanography, Greek and Roman mythology, and many other subjects from home or abroad. This is a perfect opportunity for students who want to continue their studies or explore new topics. Online courses also offer plenty of flexibility for busy summer work schedules. With over 50 courses, A&S has something for everyone – from anthropology and biology to political science and statistics.

The courses range from general education classes to requirements for your major and will be offered in two summer sessions.

Summer Session I
4-week Session (May 10-June 7)
First 6-week session (May 10-June 21)

Summer Session II
8-week session (June 9-August 4)
Second 6-week session (June 23-August 4)

Please check course pre-requisites, APEX, and discuss summer registration with your academic advisor. For more information and a complete list of courses, visit:

Enroll this summer and see where A&S online courses can take you!

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A&S online summer courses

Distinguished Professor Lecture: Peter Perry's "Making Waves with Mathematics" on Thursday

I would like to invite everyone to attend this year’s A&S Distinguished Professor Lecture given by Dr. Peter Perry from the Department of Mathematics. Dr. Perry’s research focuses on spectral and scattering theory, spectral geometry, inverse problems and nonlinear partial differential equations. He is former chair of the Department of Mathematics and currently serves as the Director of the MathExcel Program. His awards and honors include UK University Research Professor, an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship, and Fulbright Fellowship. He is the author of numerous books and articles, the organizer of a host of meetings and conferences, and has given presentations across the globe.

Since 1944, A&S has recognized the accomplishments of its faculty with the Distinguished Professor Award – the highest professional recognition offered by the College. It is bestowed on the basis of three criteria: outstanding research, exceptionally effective teaching, and distinguished professional service.

Dr. Perry’s lecture, “Making Waves with Mathematics,” will be held at the W. T. Young Auditorium on Thursday, April 28 at 7:30 p.m. There will be a reception immediately following in the W. T. Young Gallery.

Congratulations to our A&S Distinguished Professor – we hope to see you there!

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Nate Self to discuss Leadership in Crisis

Please join us on April 26 at the Student Center Small Ballroom for a presentation given by former Army Ranger and Infantry officer, Nate Self. Captain Self’s talk,
"Leadership in Crisis,"
is open to all students and will begin at 11:00 am.

As an Army Ranger Captain, Self led a group of soldiers to the top of Takur Ghar Mountain in Afghanistan in 2002 to rescue a missing-in-action Navy SEAL. What ensued was the highest-altitude battle ever fought by U.S. troops, as well as the first War on Terror casualties. The effort was dubbed “Rescue on Roberts Ridge” and had it not been for Self’s quick-thinking and leadership, more men could have been lost.

Upon his return home, Self was awarded a Silver Star, Bronze Star, and a Purple Heart for his outstanding valor. He was invited by President Bush to attend the 2003 State of the Union Address. Shortly after leaving the Army, however, Self began to battle PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Drawing upon his leadership experience and resolve, Self now works with other veterans returning from the Iraq/Afghanistan War who battle this same condition, ensuring they get the help they need while also training future Army leaders. He is also the author of Two Wars.

Congratulations to Jessica Baer and Rachel Philbrick


I would like to recognize two members of the A&S community on their recent accomplishments. First, I am proud to announce that A&S academic advisor Jessica Baer was selected as a NACADA Outstanding Advising Award winner in the Primary Advising category. The award is part of the National Academic Advising Association’s annual awards program which honors advisors for their dedication to student success. She had been previously honored as a Ken Freedman Outstanding Advisor at UK earlier in the year.

I am also pleased to note that Rachel Philbrick, a graduate student in Classics, was the recipient of a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship from the United State Department of Education. This competitive fellowship is given to only 33 graduate students who are pursuing degrees in the social sciences, arts, and humanities who demonstrate outstanding academic ability. Upon completion of her degree, Ms. Philbrick will continue her studies in a doctoral program where she plans to become a professor.

Congratulations to both on their exceptional achievements!

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Jessica Baer