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Behind the Blue

Some stories require a little more – a little more discussion, more context, more depth and breadth. That’s the idea behind “Behind the Blue” – a weekly podcast created by UK Public Relations and Marketing. It is designed to explore through probing interviews the in-depth the stories that make UK the university for Kentucky and that have impact across the institution, the Commonwealth and, in some cases, the world.
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Now displaying: November, 2020
Nov 26, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 26, 2020) – Coming from a large family in Nebraska, Dr. Mark Prendergast grew up with a desire to help others.

Prendergast, the Director of the Neuroscience Bachelor of Science degree program in the UK College of Arts & Sciences, has used that desire to find demonstrative ways to increase the number of students of color in the neuroscience field.

“We have a longstanding commitment to addressing issues of diversity, inclusivity and equity,” says Prendergast. “And one of our most important missions as faculty and scientists is to train the next generation of scientists and professors. And we have to, absolutely must do that, with diversity, inclusivity and equity in mind.”

From 2013-2019, he co-directed a NIH-funded research training program for undergraduate students. The 10-week lab course studied alcohol at different levels of analysis, including cellular, behavioral and social. Prendergast says their mission was to address underrepresented minorities in the program.

In 2020, Prendergast began working with Joe Springer, Director of the UK Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center, to develop the African-American Research Training Scholars Program. The program funds up to five 12-month awards for undergraduate students who identify as Black or African-American to work in a laboratory studying spinal cord injury or neuro-trauma.

On this episode of Behind the Blue, UKPR’s Carl Nathe talks with Prendergast about developing partnerships across campus, keeping students engaged in programs with work opportunities and mentorships, and more.

"Behind the Blue" is available on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and Spotify. Become a subscriber to receive new episodes of “Behind the Blue” each week. UK’s latest medical breakthroughs, research, artists and writers will be featured, along with the most important news impacting the university.

For questions or comments about this or any other episode of "Behind the Blue," email BehindTheBlue@uky.edu or tweet your question with #BehindTheBlue.

To discover what’s wildly possible at the University of Kentucky, click here.

Nov 19, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 19, 2020) – The statistics on Alzheimer’s and dementia inducing brain disease are frightening to look at, and unlike research into cancer and heart disease, researchers have often been frustrated in their efforts to make progress in understanding these diseases.

Dr. Peter Nelson, of the University of Kentucky’s Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, has spent the last 15 years in the Commonwealth helping to lead the fight against Alzheimer’s and dementia inducing brain disease. “Clinical trials are where we’re going to make the difference in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia research,” says Nelson. “My colleagues who do the clinical trials do the most clinical trials of anybody in the country. More than Harvard, more than Stanford, more than U. Chicago, the very best in the world. So, if people want to be involved in clinical trial research, this is the place they go.”

On this episode of Behind the Blue, UKPR’s Carl Nathe talks with Nelson about the work of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, the strategies involved in working with such a complex set of diseases, the personal experience that drives his efforts in this research, and more.

"Behind the Blue" is available on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and Spotify. Become a subscriber to receive new episodes of “Behind the Blue” each week. UK’s latest medical breakthroughs, research, artists and writers will be featured, along with the most important news impacting the university.

For questions or comments about this or any other episode of "Behind the Blue," email BehindTheBlue@uky.edu or tweet your question with #BehindTheBlue.

To discover what’s wildly possible at the University of Kentucky, click here.

Nov 12, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 12, 2020) – The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on colleges and universities across the country, and while current students have been severely affected, prospective students are also suffering due to limitations on taking the standardized ACT or SAT tests for admission.

As the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s flagship, land-grant institution, UK is doing everything possible to insure that access to higher education is simpler for future students. For the 2021-22 academic year admissions cycle, the University of Kentucky will be test-optional, meaning students can apply without a test score.

“We ran our data here at the University of Kentucky, and it paired very well with the national data” says Christine Harper, UK’s Associate Vice-President for Student Success and Chief Enrollment Officer, “finding that GPA is a better indication of student success and retention.”

On this episode of Behind the Blue, Harper is joined by Asia Payne, UK’s Assistant Director of Academic Scholarships to talk about what test-optional means for prospective students, the range of scholarships available, the continuing availability of campus tours, and more.

"Behind the Blue" is available on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and Spotify. Become a subscriber to receive new episodes of “Behind the Blue” each week. UK’s latest medical breakthroughs, research, artists and writers will be featured, along with the most important news impacting the university.

For questions or comments about this or any other episode of "Behind the Blue," email BehindTheBlue@uky.edu or tweet your question with #BehindTheBlue.

To discover what’s wildly possible at the University of Kentucky, click here.

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