By Gail Hairston

Janice Fernheimer recently added another title to her long list of accomplishments for the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences. Fernheimer, director of UK’s Jewish Studies Program, was recently awarded the Zantker Charitable Foundation Professorship in Jewish Studies.   “We are delighted to support a faculty member whose work embodies a diverse range of study and commitment to Jewish studies,” said Mark Lawrence Kornbluh, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “Dr. Fernheimer is most deserving of this professorship and her passion and enthusiasm is evident in the great strides she has made as director of the Jewish Studies Program.”    With her academic background and interests, the Zantker Charitable Foundation Professorship in Jewish

By Gail Hairston

    With the notable exception of the southeast, craft beers have flooded most regions of the country in the past decade. Microbreweries, craft brews and brewpubs, large and small, have challenged the way Americans drink and think about beer.   Once regarded as a product created exclusively by traditionalists and hobbyists for self-consumption, craft beer has become one of the fastest-growing segments of alcoholic beverage sales in the United States. According to the Brewers Association, which calls itself “a passionate voice for craft brewers,” craft beer provides over 108,000 jobs, and many of the breweries and brewpubs have, in turn, helped revitalize city neighborhoods, generated new jobs in related industries, and played a key role in expanding digital and social media usage.   According to

By Jay Blanton, Kody Kiser

 Steven Alvarez is used to questions about language, words and meaning.   But he couldn’t have been prepared for the questions being posed for teaching one class last semester.   Provocatively titled, “Taco Literacy,” the class taught by Alvarez to undergraduates in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Studies (WRD) at the University of Kentucky used food to explore issues of Hispanic language and culture — a growing population in Lexington.   Some, however, criticized the class as an example of being frivolous. Soon, media in Lexington — and across the country — were approaching Alvarez to ask what he meant by “taco literacy.”   The class, while exploring some of the culinary smells and tastes of Hispanic and Latino food in Lexington,
by Gail Hairston   Jim Ridolfo of the University of Kentucky and co-editor William Hart-Davidson of Michigan State University (MSU) were recently awarded the Computers and Composition Distinguished Book Award for their book “Rhetoric and the Digital Humanities.”   The distinguished book award is given once a year at the Computers and Writing Conference by the Conference on College Composition and Communication for book-length works that contribute in substantial and innovative ways to the field of computers and composition.   Ridolfo is an associate professor and director of composition at the UK College of Arts and Sciences Department of Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Studies. His second book, "Rhetoric and the Digital Humanities," was published by University of Chicago Press in January 2015.   Hart-Davidson is associate dean of graduate studies in the College of Arts

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 14, 2015) — A University of Kentucky senior and recent graduate have been selected for fellowships from the Princeton in Asia program. As part of the program, biochemistry senior Calvin Hong and 2015 arts administration and Spanish graduate Brittney Woodrum will teach in Hong Kong and Myanmar respectively.

Princeton in Asia (PiA) sponsors more than 150 fellowships and internships in 20 countries and is the oldest and largest organization of its kind, unique in its scope, size, century-long expertise and emphasis on service. The essence of PiA is to provide transformative,


Janie-Rice Brother, an architectural historian of the Kentucky Archaeological Survey recently received the UK Department of Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Studies' Campus and Community Excellence in Writing award for her blog titled Architecture and Landscapes from the Bluegrass and Beyond.

Brother has over 15 years of cultural resource experience in the Ohio River Valley, the Mid-Atlantic, and southeast. Prior to coming to UK, Brother spent four years at the Kentucky Heritage Council, the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), where she was responsible for review of the above-ground Section 106 projects in the state. While at the SHPO, she oversaw a county-wide survey that culminated in the documentation of over 800 rural and urban resources and numerous public presentations.

Brother studies the landscape of Kentucky and blogs about its vanishing heritage. She also


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 Whitney Harder

(Oct. 6, 2015) — With "Banned Books Week" celebrated last week and "Teen Read Week" coming up Oct.18-24, exploring the world through literature seems to always be in season. For professors at the University of Kentucky, books have impacted their lives and careers in surprising ways.

Read below for the third and final piece in a series of professors reflecting on the books that shaped them. 

Ashley Seifert

Assistant Professor of Biology 

For me, the most influential books have been all about timing. As a young college graduate, I came upon Benjamin Hoff’s "The Te of Piglet." Hoff’s condemnation of man’s disharmony with the natural world resonated deeply with me. But it was his elegant illumination of Taoist philosophy communicated through A.A. Milne’s Piglet



Intermezzo - - dedicated to publishing work too long for an article and too short for a monograph has published its inaugrual book. Intermezzo is leading the way with digital longform publications, the fugure of academic scholarship. 


Intermezzo is edited by Jeff Rice, Chair of WRD. 


Professor Jan Fernheimer discusses her new project with J.T. Waldman on Kentucky Jewish life and the history of bourbon. Read in its entirety at HBI Research.

In the summer of 2013, JT Waldman and I made some curious observations taking in the sites on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. JT noticed a lot of Jewish-sounding names, like Shapira and Boehm, while touring the 


By Guy Spriggs

(Aug. 5, 2015) — Started in the summer of 2012 as an intensive “boot camp” to help the University of Kentucky’s new students prepare for college-level calculus, the FastTrack program has become an integral part of efforts to help students transition to the college classroom and set them up for success in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The curriculum for FastTrack has expanded over the last four years, and now gives students an invaluable introduction to UK’s math, biology, chemistry, engineering, Spanish and WRD (Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Studies). A key part of the program’s continued growth is the recent addition of FOCUS (FastTrack Orientation for College Undergraduate Success), a component built around developing the non-academic skills students need to achieve in coursework.


By Whitney Harder

(Sept. 3, 2015) — Who said reading only had one season? Sure, fall is approaching and life is getting busy, but an interesting book could be the perfect way to wind down after those jam-packed days, or to inspire you for the week ahead. For professors at the University of Kentucky, books have impacted their lives and careers in surprising ways.

Read below for the second in a series of professors reflecting on the books that shaped them, and you just may find a title or two to add to your own bookshelf. 

Christia Brown

Associate Professor of Psychology

One of the most influential books I ever read was Toni Morrison’s "The Bluest Eye," which I read my first year of college as a class assignment. It forced me, as a white girl from Tennessee, to evaluate and come


WRD faculty have been busy this summer.

In June, Jim Ridolfo participated in A&S' Passport to the World initiative and travelled to Jordan and Morocco for a faculty development seminar. 

Jenny Rice gave an invited talk at Bar Ilan University this June entitled "What Are the Digital Humanities and Why Should We Care?"

Jeff Rice gave an invited talk at Bar Ilan University this June entitled "Digital Outragicity."

Brian McNely published a visual documentary entitled "The 4th on Film."

Along with Sara Alvarez, in July, Steve Alvarez taught a four day Personal Statement course at Bluegrass Community Technical College.

Steve Alvarez also received a Smith Symposium Fellowship to attend the Southern Foodways Alliance Symposium in Oxford, Mississippi this October. 


By Blair Hoover

(July 6, 2015) — In support of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Passport to the World Initiative and the 2015 Year of the Middle East campaign, University of Kentucky Education Abroad partnered with the college to sponsor a faculty development seminar in the Middle East focusing on contemporary issues pertinent to the region.

The seminar was developed to provide faculty members with an opportunity to gain firsthand experience with the issues concerning the region and thus, to better equip them to share their knowledge and experience with their students and subsequent international initiatives, such as developing institutional partnerships and further education abroad programming at UK.

The following faculty members were selected to


By Sarah Schuetze

“We thought we’d do one more run,” said Cory Zigmund about a trip he took to Colorado to visit his brother during the summer of 2013. They were on a backcountry glacier and planned to hike to the top and snowboard down. On the ride down, Zigmund hit a ditch on the rough slope and wiped out, completely dislocating his shoulder. As a trained U.S. Navy SEAL medic, Zigmund knew how to fix it, but his brother had to do it. Step-by-step, he walked his brother through the processes of popping his bone back into joint so they could complete the run.

Zigmund has filled his life with adventures — most of which have not required impromptu medical assistance on the face of a glacier. But even the especially challenging ones haven’t discouraged him from taking advantage of an opportunity to explore something new.

Hiking, climbing, snowboarding, and diving


Our age is an age of writing. Social media. Podcasts. Websites. Video. News. Stories. Analysis. Critique. Reports. Advertisements. Technical documentation. Writing is everywhere we look. 

WRD prepares you for a career in writing. Every industry includes writing. Every industry supports the writing of internal and external documents (memos, reports, technical documents, research studies, social media usage, website development). Every industry sponsors trade writing (magazines, journals, newsletters, other publications). 

WRD prepares you for a career as a writer. Scientists write. Engineers write. Those who work in the horse industry write. Brewers write. Chemists write. Nurses write. If you are a professional, you write. 

Imagine yourself a lawyer drawing on argumentative, research, and storytelling skills you learned in WRD.

Imagine yourself working for


By Kathy Johnson

(April 17, 2015) — 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, Godell talks to Lexington Herald-Leader columnist Tom Eblen and Peter Brackney, author of “Lost Lexington,” — both are winners of Excellence in Writing awards from UK's Department of Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Studies (WRD).  Jenny Rice, associate professor and director of composition, WRD, also joins the conversation.

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


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