By Samantha Almedia

Two University of Kentucky students received nationwide recognition at Confucius Institute U.S. Center’s inaugural National Honor Gala held Sept. 24.

David Cole and Rachel Lietzow, both members of the UK Honors Program, were acknowledged among eight individuals from across the nation with a People to People Exchange Award for creating cross-cultural connections and initiatives between China and the United States.

"Never have I found myself surrounded by people who I couldn't verbally understand, but I wholeheartedly felt a connection toward," said Cole, honoree and UK senior majoring in English. A native of Monticello, Kentucky, Cole participated


By Victus V. McDaniel II

Brenna Reinhart Byrd, assistant professor of German studies at the University of Kentucky, has been awarded the Kentucky World Language Association (KWLA) Teacher of the Year Award. She will represent Kentucky at the Southern Conference on Language Teaching (SCOLT) in Orlando, Florida.   If Byrd is chosen as the conference teacher of the year, she would represent the southern region at the national conference of the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) conference next fall in Nashville.   Byrd has over 15 years of education and teaching experience in the German language. She received her bachelor’s degree in German and a minor in linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin and both her master’s and doctoral degrees in Germanic linguistics from University of California, Los Angeles, before accepting a position at UK in
By Gail Hairston  

More than vegetables and herbs are grown in the small garden adjacent to Arbor Youth Services’ emergency shelter on West Third Street, Lexington. This particular garden is blessed by more than sunshine and rain; it’s made fertile with the hopes, dreams, faith and goodwill of the homeless teenagers who tend it.   None of it would exist without the inspiration and devotion of one University of Kentucky freshman who dreamed of making a difference. He applied for and won a $1,500 grant from Clinton Global Initiative. He chose his objective, the Arbor Youth Services’ Metro Alternative Shelter House, or “MASH House” to its young, temporary residents.   When Beau Revlett first appeared one early spring day on the MASH doorstep to present the full scope of his desire to help the facility, its executive director, Ginny
By Gail Hairston   University of Kentucky alumna Christine Ann Elder has been appointed the new United States Ambassador to the West African nation of Liberia.   At her welcoming ceremony, Ambassador Elder, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service expressed gratitude for the level of cooperation that currently exists between the two countries.   “The U.S. government wouldn’t have done what she has and [is] doing in the country without the cordial level of cooperation from the Liberian people and government,” Elder said.   Ambassador Elder was making reference to the numerous interventions that the U.S. government has been making in several sectors in Liberia, including governance, security, education, agriculture, health and others.   Although Liberia and the U.S. are traditional partners, Ambassador Elder described the current partnership subsisting between

The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that international studies junior Shauna Rust andforeign language and international economics junior Amaris Wade have been awarded theNational Security Education Program (NSEP) David L. Boren Scholarship for up to $20,000 toward the study of Russian and Chinese languages abroad. Rust and Wade are two of 165 undergraduate student award winners selected nationally from a pool of 820 applicants.


Boren Scholarships, an initiative of the National Security Education Program, provide funding opportunities for U.S. undergraduate students to study


The following University of Kentucky students have been awarded U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarships (CLS) to study critical languages during the summer of 2016:

Name Language Host Locations Lauren Copeland Arabic Meknes, Morocco Bridget Nicholas Chinese Changchun, China Faiyad Mannan Japanese Hikone, Japan Morgan Saint James Russian Nizhny Novgorod, Russia Kathryn Showers-Curtis Russian Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

The Critical Language Scholarship Program is part of a U.S. government effort to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. These students are among the


By Whitney Hale

(April 21, 2016) – The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that 12 of the university's students and alumni have been selected to receive government-funded National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships. The fellowships award more than $100,000 to use toward research-based master's or doctoral degrees. In addition, four other UK students and alumni received honorable mention recognition from the NSF.

This year's selection of a dozen UK students and alumni for NSF Graduate Research Fellowships is believed to be the largest in the school's history and is four times the number of selections for 2015. To put more of emphasis on the fellowship, 


By Dara Vance

The Classical Association has awarded Laura Manning, a master's student studying classics in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures, a scholarship to participate in a panel presentation at the association’s 2016 annual conference in Edinburgh, Scotland.  

Manning will be presenting her paper “Living Latin at the University of Kentucky,” and is excited for the opportunity to interact and speak Latin with international scholars. “I will have the chance to share ideas with classics scholars from around the United Kingdom and around the world,” Manning said.

Manning will be discussing the University of Kentucky’s innovations in classics pedagogy and the way UK students benefit from the program.

Manning is a non-traditional student, with three adult children and a grandchild, and finds the Institute for Latin

By Gail Hairston   (March 11, 2016) - Excerpts from Doug Slaymaker’s translation of Furukawa Hideo’s latest book “Horses, Horses, in the Innocence of Light” were published on the online journal Words Without Borders.   The publication is in commemoration of the 3.11 earthquake/tsunami/meltdown disasters four years ago. The book is the account of how one man, one nation endured an unbearable tragedy. Written in reverse chronology, it begins exactly one month after the magnitude 9 underwater earthquake spawned deadly tsunamis and a nuclear power plant meltdown. It is the distillation of a witness’s narrative of a disaster that killed nearly 16,000, moved the main island of Japan eight feet eastward, and shifted the Earth on its axis as much as 10 inches.   In Words Without Borders’ introduction Slaymaker described his work: “The translation tries to preserve the herky-jerky

By Gail Hairston

(March 8, 2016) — Five years ago this Friday, the world watched in horrified disbelief as one disaster after another pummeled Japan to submission … earthquakes, tsunamis, nuclear meltdown.

Some say northeast Japan may never completely recover from its own private apocalypse; yet the island nation’s authors, artists and philosophers are determined to help their country and the world understand and convalesce.  

“Horses, Horses, in the End the Light Remains Pure,” the most recent work by Hideo Furukawa, as translated by University of Kentucky Professor of Japan Studies Doug Slaymaker, is gathering global acclaim for its ability to capture the shock and disorientation of the event.


By Kathryn Macon

(March 8, 2016) — The University of Kentucky Gaines Center for Humanities has selected 12 exceptional undergraduates as new scholars for the university's Gaines Fellowship Program for the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 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 all disciplines and with any intended profession are given equal consideration.

UK's 12


By Lauren Henrickson

(March 4, 2016) — Throughout the year University of Kentucky Confucius Institute (UKCI) brings Chinese cultural showcases to schools and communities around the Commonwealth, but this winter the UKCI team did a special weeklong trip to eastern Kentucky as part of a proposal by the Kentucky Department of Education.

During the December visit, a UKCI team of six specialists worked with more than 900 K-12 students, teaching classes and presenting varied performances, including acts of martial arts, Chinese painting, folk music using such Chinese instruments as the erhu and guzheng, paper cutting and calligraphy.

"From a young age, these students are given access to Chinese culture that they may


By Whitney Hale

(Feb. 26, 2016) — In order to strengthen collaborative teaching and research between the University of Kentucky and China's universities, the UK Confucius Institute is offering three summer teaching programs at Jilin, Shanghai and Qingdao Technological universities. UK faculty wishing to apply to any of these summer programs, should submit their application by Friday, March 4.

UK Faculty China Short-Term Teaching Program in Jilin University

The UK Confucius Institute is working with Jilin University Academic Affairs Office and Office of International Affairs to present the 2016 UK Faculty China Short-Term Teaching Program at Jilin University, in Changchun, China, as part of the university's


By Lauren Henrickson

(Feb. 24, 2016) — The University of Kentucky Confucius Institute (UKCI)Explorium of Lexington and Lexington’s Children’s Theatre (LCT) have partnered to provide an experiential event for Lexington’s kids on Saturday, Feb. 27, to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

Guests will have the rare opportunity to explore Chinese culture by participating in a variety of activities from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. From calligraphy, paper cutting and martial arts to learning how to play elegant Chinese instruments like the erhu and guzheng, attendees will be able to enjoy and explore Chinese culture and traditions.

“Besides UK’s campus and the K-12 schools we work with, we are


By Whitney Hale

(Feb. 16, 2016) — The University of Kentucky Confucius Institute (UKCI) is currently taking applications for faculty grants that help fund China-focused academic endeavors. Applications for 2016 spring and summer grant proposals are due Monday, Feb. 22.

"This is UK Confucius Institute's effort to support faculty in their China-related research and travel. We are offering a wide range of grants for travel and course development. I hope faculty will take advantage of these funds to advance their research and course development on China-related topics," said Huajing Maske, director of UKCI and executive director of the Office of China Initiatives.

Funded through the institute, the UKCI faculty


By Kathy Johnson

(Feb. 5, 2016) — WUKY's "UK Perspectives" focuses on the people and programs of the University of Kentucky and is hosted by WUKY General Manager Tom Godell. Today, guest host Chase Cavanaugh speaks with Huajing Maske, director of the University of Kentucky's Confucius Institute, which offers programs on Chinese language and culture. 

To listen to the podcast interview from which "UK Perspectives" is produced, visit

"UK Perspectives" airs at 8:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. each Friday on WUKY 91.3, UK's NPR station.


By Lauren Henrickson

(Feb. 5, 2016) — To kick off the Year of the Monkey, the University of Kentucky Confucius Institute (UKCI) is hosting its inaugural Chinese New Year Dinner Celebration. The event will take place 5-7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8, at the Hilary J. Boone Center.

Open to UK faculty and staff, guests will enjoy a delicious Chinese dinner, a performance of Chinese culture and learn more about how UKCI works to fulfill both its core mission and the mission of the university.

"This is our first annual Chinese New Year Dinner Celebration at the Boone Center. We are very excited and hope to take this opportunity to celebrate diversity on campus, as well as announce new UKCI initiatives," said Huajing Maske, director of


By Whitney Hale, Jacob Smith

(Jan. 28, 2016) — The Bluegrass community is invited to ring in the Year of the Monkey this weekend with the University of Kentucky Confucius Institute and the Kentucky Chinese American Association (KYCAA). The Chinese New Year celebration featuring Chinese food, art, crafts, displays and performances will fill the Lexington Opera House on Saturday, Jan. 30.

The Chinese New Year program will begin with a holiday market including festival foods, crafts, traditional costumes, calligraphy, mini-Chinese lectures, cultural displays and family activities. Patrons may


By Whitney Hale

(Jan. 19, 2016) — Claire K. Oldfather, a University of Kentucky classics and folklore and mythology senior from Madison, Alabama, has been selected to present the 22nd annual Edward T. Breathitt Undergraduate Lectureship in the Humanities at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, in the UK Athletics Auditorium at William T. Young Library. Oldfather's free public lecture focuses on the evolution of the Pandora motif and how woman has gone from being characterized as wondrous to a witch.

The Breathitt Lectureship was named for an outstanding UK alumnus who showed an exceptional interest


By Whitney Hale

(Jan. 13, 2016) — The University of Kentucky's Confucius Institute brings together two worlds of style at "East Meets West: Fashion, Dance and Music." The fashion and performing arts program will begin 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16, at the Haggin Auditorium of Transylvania University's Mitchell Fine Arts Center. This event is free and open to the public.

Directed by Shuling Fister, "East Meets West" hopes to introduce Western audiences to Chinese history and culture through the artistry of Chinese fashion. Fashion designer Qi Zhou, Shuling Studio


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