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


By Whitney Harder

(April 1, 2015) — The Southeast Enzyme Conference, also referred to as the SEC, provides a unique opportunity for scientific exchange among faculty, students and researchers working at the forefront of enzymology. This year, the conference is being led by Anne-Frances Miller, professor in the University of Kentucky Department of Chemistry and director of the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility.

A one-day event, the SEC will be held Saturday, April 11, at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference will


By Guy Spriggs

Concussions and brain injury have become topics of social concern in response to controversies involving sports – namely the National Football League. But Tanea Reed, who earned her doctorate from the Department of Chemistry in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Kentucky, has been researching therapeutic interventions in traumatic brain injury since long before concussions became matters of public concern.

While Reed’s research predates popular interest in issues related to traumatic brain injury, she says her interest in this field is a direct result of her time spent working on her doctorate at UK – specifically


By Lydia Whitman

(March 12, 2015)   The University of Kentucky Gaines Center for the Humanities has chosen 12 outstanding undergraduates as new scholars for the university's Gaines Fellowship Program for the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 academic years. Gaines Fellowships are given 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.

Gaines Fellowships are awarded for the tenure of a student's junior and senior years, or for the last two years of a five-year program; students in


By Whitney Harder

(March 10, 2015) — Showcasing undergraduate research in the chemical sciences from across the Commonwealth and surrounding states, the University of Kentucky Department of Chemistry will hold its annual Regional Poster Competition Friday, April 17, in combination with its annual Lyle Dawson Lecture, and is accepting submissions for abstracts for the competition until April 10.

The competition, which does not require a registration fee, provides an opportunity for undergraduates to share their chemistry research

By Dorothy Freeman, Clark Bellar

(March 9, 2015) — The Art Museum at the University of Kentucky is hosting "Looking for Light: Chemistry, Art, Story, and Song," the third annual event of the Math, Arts, and Sciences Coalition (M.A.S.C.). This free public event will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 12, at the museum in the Singletary Center for the Arts, with a reception to follow.

The event explores the idea of interconnectedness between the arts and sciences and features a collaborative mixed media performance by vocalist and UK doctoral student Shareese Arnold, Lexington-based artist


By Whitney Harder

(March 2, 2015) — Featuring world-renowned scientists, the University of Kentucky’s 2015 Naff Symposium will host three prize-winning chemistry experts Friday, March 6, at the William T. Young Library's UK Athletics Auditorium. A poster session will be held in conjunction with the symposium in Room B108C at William T. Young Library.

Presented by the Department of Chemistry in the UK College of Arts and Sciences, the chemistry and molecular biology symposium is interdisciplinary in nature, and is attended by students and faculty in the chemistry, biochemistry, biology, pharmacy, engineering, agriculture and medical fields from UK, as well as other colleges and universities in Kentucky and surrounding states.

The symposium was established in honor of


By Whitney Harder

(Feb. 13, 2015) — In any given program and semester, college students are leaving the classroom, and often times campus, to get a glimpse of the professional world or their future career by interning. What isn't as common are high school students going to a college campus every day to get that same experience, but for STEAM students interning at the University of Kentucky, that's just what they did.

"Most high schools give you one perspective of how the real world is, but in an internship like this, you get to really experience it," said Gaby Carreno, a sophomore at the STEAM Academy who has been interning with the Hive, the


From Staff Reports

Faculty members in the Department of Chemistry characterize Alexis Eugene as an outstanding student, critical thinker and driven researcher. Her accomplishments were recently recognized at the national level as she received the Graduate Student Award from the Environmental Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS). This prestigious award is given to students with strong research productivity, and Eugene’s record – which includes co-authorship on a letter in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and an article in


Ashley Morris, a senior research engineer at UK CAER, does a demonstration for fourth and fifth grade students at the Energy Fair Dec. 9 in the UK Student Center Grand Ballroom.

by Jenny Wells

(Jan. 16, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) hosted an Energy Fair on campus last month for 271 fourth and fifth graders from Russell Cave, Yates and Cassidy Elementary Schools in Lexington. The fair provided the students with opportunities to meet scientists, learn about different forms of energy, participate in hands-on experiments, and even tour UK's campus. 

In addition to CAER, represenatives from the UK Chapter of the Society of Mining Engineers, Fayette County Public Schools Energy and Sustainability, Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Kentucky Geological Survey, and Bluegrass Energy provided interactive stations for the students.

"The Energy Fair trip was a tremendous success," said Josh Radner, a science teacher at Yates Elementary. "



Burton H Davis, an adjuct faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and an Associate Director at UK's Center for Applied Energy Research was honored recently by West Virginia’s Governor Earl Ray Tomblin with the “Distinguished West Virginian Award.” The Governor applauded Dr. Davis while declaring that the award represents the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a person from West Virginia for outstanding achievement and meritorious service. Senator Joe Manchin was also present during the celebration as well as Jeff Herholdt, Director of the West Virginia Division of Energy.

Davis graduated with a B.S. in chemistry from West Virginia University in 1959 followed by a M.S., from St. Joseph's College (Philadelphia) and a Ph.D. from the University of


by Whitney Harder

(Dec. 18, 2014) — Thirteen University of Kentucky students took home top honors at the Kentucky Academy of Science 100th Annual Meeting in November, where hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students from Kentucky colleges and universities participated in research competitions.

Winners included graduate and undergraduates from the College of Agriculture, Food and EnvironmentCollege of Arts and SciencesGatton College of Business and EconomicsCollege of Health Sciences and College of Public Health.

Graduate oral presentations:

Congming Zou


by Jenny Wells

(Dec. 17, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Office for Undergraduate Research has presented 17 students with the Oswald Research and Creativity Program awards.

"There is so much high quality research being done by UK undergraduate students," said Diane Snow, director of the Office for Undergraduate Research. "We're very grateful for funding through the Oswald Awards to be able to recognize and reward these exceptional individuals!"

Established in 1964 by then-UK President John Oswald, the Oswald Research and Creativity Program encourages research and creative activities by undergraduate students at UK. The objectives of the program are to stimulate creative work by undergraduate students and to recognize individuals who demonstrate outstanding

Jeff Babbit

UK College of Arts and Sciences' video with Jeff Babbitt. A transcript of this video can be found in the document attached to this article. 

by Whitney Harder and Brian Connors Manke

(Dec. 16, 2014) — When University of Kentucky faculty need a piece of specialty glasswork designed, like laboratory instruments, they rely on the only scientific glassblower on campus. Jeff Babbitt has been running the Department of Chemistry's Glass Shop for almost 25 years now, providing unique skills and quick service to the UK community.

Babbitt does a variety of things — from simple repairs to the construction of complicated vacuum line systems. His job is a highly specialized one and as


Guzman with Pillar, Camm and others. Left to right: Alexis Eugene, Evie Zhou, Elizabeth Pillar, Marcelo I. Guzman, Shasha Xia and Robert Camm.

by Whitney Harder

 (Dec. 1, 2014) — Environmental Science and Technology, a journal of the American Chemical Society, recently published research by University of Kentucky chemistry Assistant Professor Marcelo Guzman, graduate student Elizabeth Pillar and senior Robert Camm.

Environmental Science and Technology publishes papers that are particularly significant and original in the fields of environmental science, technology and policy.

The article, "Catechol Oxidation by Ozone and Hydroxyl Radicals at the Air-Water Interface," features the team's findings from work funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of


STEMCats undergraduate instructional assistants.

(Nov. 20, 2014) — As University of Kentucky freshmen settle into life as college students, a new resource on campus has been helping them adjust to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs, known for difficult coursework. Undergraduate instructional assistants (UIAs) within one of the university's newest Living Learning ProgramsSTEMCats, use their past experiences to mentor incoming UK students.

The College of Arts and Sciences recently produced a podcast about the STEMCats community, featuring many STEMCats UIAs explaining what they enjoy about the program and their connections with younger STEM students.

"You get to help them succeed


(Nov. 10, 2014) - The Lexington Herald-Leader took a look at a creative new undertaking that is becoming available at the University of Kentucky - an undergraduate certificate in distillation, wine and brewing studies.

>>Read the full Herald-Leader article


In 2013, a group of Chemistry Department faculty, students and alumni met to discuss reviving the department's newsletter, and an outgrowth of that effort to re-establish communications among current and future alumni was the Chemistry Alumni Board (CAB) which held its organizational meeting on Saturday, October 11, 2014.

A lot of positive energy came out of the meeting as the Board looks for ways to establish contact and communications between the UK Department of Chemistry and all of its alumni. 

The Board discussed ways to share with current students the experiences of alumni and to increase awareness of the diversity of careers available to chemists.

At the meeting, the Board also discussed some of the major


By Keith Hautala

(Oct. 21, 2014) — Trick or treat! The University of Kentucky is offering local children a sugar-coated chemistry lesson a full week before Halloween.

“The Sweet Side of Chemistry: Candy” is the theme of this year’s annual demonstration show, presented by the UK Department of Chemistry's graduate students at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24, in Room 139 Chemistry/Physics Building. The show presents the students' favorite live chemistry demonstrations in a fun, easy-to-understand format, in celebration of National Chemistry Week, Oct. 19-25.

Families are encouraged to attend the event, which promises lots of kid appeal.  

“This event is a great way to share our enthusiasm for science with the people of Lexington” said UK Chemistry Professor Anne-Frances Miller. “They’ll come away with an understanding that chemistry is everywhere — not just in


by Keith Hautala

(Oct. 17, 2014) — Research from the University of Kentucky Department of Chemistry will help batteries resist overcharging, improving the safety of electronics from cell phones to airplanes.                        

The research, led by Susan Odom’s group, has focused on the design, synthesis, and testing of organic compounds that can be incorporated into the electrolytes of lithium-ion batteries to improve their safety profiles. Specifically, Odom’s team is studying compounds called redox shuttles.

Lithium-ion batteries are the energy storage technology of choice for portable consumer electronic devices such as laptops and cell phones. Over the past few years, these batteries have been incorporated on larger scales into electric vehicles and airplanes. Battery safety


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