UK alum receives movie deal for fiction novel

July 31, 2014

ALECIA_bio_2013

UK alumna and author Alecia Whitaker ’02 FA, CI recently received a movie development deal for her novel “The Queen of Kentucky.”queenofkentucky

The book, which was released in 2012, is a fictional story about a young girl, Ricki Jo Winstead, who moves to a new town and is determined to reinvent herself. Winstead, a farmer’s daughter, takes on the name of Ericka and tries to strip herself of her country roots. In her journey to become more popular, Winstead loses sight of who she truly is.

The novel is set to be adapted for the big screen by Katie Ford, writer of “Miss Congeniality” and co-creator of NBC’s “Working the Engels.” The deal is a project of Permut Presentations and Unbridled Films.

Will Winstead get caught up in trying to be someone she’s not or will she finally realize it’s better to be herself? If you can’t wait for the film to hit theaters to find out, “The Queen of Kentucky” is available for purchase at Barnes & Noble. While the deal is still in its early stages, you can watch a trailer for the book’s release, below.

Whitaker’s second novel “Wildflower,” a tale about a 16-year-old country star’s journey to fame, was released July 1.

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Tips for traveling Wildcats

July 29, 2014

Whether it’s for a family vacation or a business meeting, traveling is often exciting. For the ill-prepared, it can be a frustrating experience, too. Patti Rai Smith, UK home-based business specialist, offers these tips to help keep your travels smooth sailing:

  • Select the right luggage — Choose appropriately-sized luggage for your travels. Going on a business trip? Try a larger suitcase that allows you to lay jackets, skirts or shirts flat with few folds. Waterproof luggage is also key and will keep other elements, like dirt, out, too. Lightweight, collapsible luggage carts or suitcases with wheels can also make travel less frustrating.
  • What to take — Review your plans. Think about what you will be doing and what you need to wear. How many changes of clothing will you need? Will you be able to do laundry? Most important, learn to travel light. Select two colors for your foundation wardrobe and don’t take anything that won’t work with them. Don’t forget to pack those items you might need, just in case! It’s always a good idea to bring an all-weather coat and folding umbrella.
  • Packing for your trip — Make a list of what you will need before packing. This will also provide you with an inventory in case your luggage is lost. Keep valuables and/or medications with you in a carry-on bag if traveling by plane, and pack heavy items in the bottom hinged end of your suitcase.
  • Before you leave home — If you will be gone for several days, ask the post office to hold your mail or ask a neighbor to collect it for you. Request your newspaper delivery be stopped, as a pile-up of newspapers can serve as announcement to thieves that you are gone. An automatic timer can also be helpful, as it will turn lights off and on in various rooms and appear as though someone is home. Make sure to check appliances, and turn your air conditioning or heat down or off. Cell phones aren’t always fail-proof, so don’t forget to leave a telephone number where you can be reached in case of an emergency.

 

Safe travels, Wildcats!

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UK alum claims Miss Kentucky crown

July 24, 2014
Ramsey carpenter

The top five Miss Kentucky contestants are pictured above. Ramsey Carpenter, center, was named Miss Kentucky earlier this month. Photo courtesy of the Miss Kentucky Pageant.

Newly-crowned Miss Kentucky, Ramsey Carpenter ’14 ED of Hartford, is postponing her budding teaching career for a year as she sets out as a representative of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. “As the top five dwindled down, each time a runner-up position was called out I thought, ‘I am still standing here. This dream might really be coming true!’” she says.

She’ll be working with the Department of Agriculture, reaching out to people with her platform of spreading awareness of Multiple Sclerosis and preparing for the Miss America pageant, which is set for Sept. 14.

UK Alumni Association members: Look for a full-feature article about Carpenter in the winter issue of Kentucky Alumni magazine in November.


UK alum helping to make Louisville neighborhood a better place

July 22, 2014

UK alumnus Theo Edmonds helped secure a $250,000 national arts grant for Louisville and its ongoing project to develop a Creative Innovation Zone (CIZ) to fuel citizen engagement in the Smoketown neighborhood. The CIZ will place artists and innovators in advisory and supporting roles in revitalization efforts in order to find new ways for themselves and the community to work together to create new opportunities in education, environmental design and entrepreneurial activity leading to more jobs.

One University of Kentucky alumnus is helping fuel citizen engagement in a downtown Louisville neighborhood.

Theo Edmonds ’13 FA recently helped to secure a $250,000 arts grant for Louisville to develop a Creative Innovation Zone known as Ideas 40203, a place where artists and innovators will assist with efforts to find new ways to benefit their community. Their efforts will be focused on the Smoketown neighborhood and will consist of coming up with ways to create new opportunities in education, environmental design and entrepreneurial activity.

The grant was one of only 55 awarded by ArtPlace America out of a pool of nearly 1,300 applicants. To learn more, courtesy of UK Public Relations & Marketing, click here.


Commonwealth Stadium coming together

July 17, 2014

Renovations are ongoing at Commonwealth Stadium! While the project isn’t expected to be completed until 2015, the stadium will be open this season for home games. Check out these photos, courtesy of UK Athletics.

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UK produces ecofriendly mosquito management research

July 15, 2014

The University of Kentucky is home to a broad amount of research that helps not only those in the Bluegrass state, but in many cases, those across the country and the world.

Take the case of MosquitoMate, for instance, a biopesticide technology that can be integrated with existing mosquito control methods or used alone.

The new method was discovered by professor and researcher Stephen Dobson and his former graduate student and UK alum, Jimmy Mains. An important advantage of this proposed method, which targets only female mosquitoes, is that chemicals in traditional pesticides have the potential to harm beneficial insects, such as bees, butterflies and others.

Learn more about the new ecofriendly discovery via the video above, courtesy of UK Public Relations & Marketing.


Meet the Saha family

July 10, 2014

Legacies and families have always played an important role at the University of Kentucky.

Meet Sibu Saha, the chairman of cardiothoracic surgery in the College of Medicine and his son, Shubin Saha, horticulture extension professor and specialist in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. Both have given back to the university by working to conduct a variety of research in their respective fields, sometimes even crossing paths and working together.

It gets even deeper than that, though. Becky Saha, Sibu Saha’s wife, previously served as the president of Friends of the Arboretum, and Amanda Saha, Shubin Saha’s wife, is an academic coordinator at the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

Talk about a Big Blue family! Learn more about the Saha family by watching the video above, courtesy of UK Public Relations & Marketing.


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