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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: Page 1
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.

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