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UKIC / Partnerships Research / 90 Fulbright Visiting Scholars from 49 countries come to UK to learn the latest on combating addiction

90 Fulbright Visiting Scholars from 49 countries come to UK to learn the latest on combating addiction

Wednesday, March 6, 2019 | By Paulina Zarate

The University of Kentucky International Center, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs and the Institute of International Education (IIE) , is hosting the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Enrichment Seminar: Combating Addiction, March 20-23, 2019. This event brings 90 scholars from around the world to UK for a holistic intensive program considering many aspects of addiction. These scholars are at various universities in the U.S. through the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program and they are ready to learn about the current interdisciplinary research, education, clinical and community outreach practices around addiction and recovery.

The University of Kentucky increasingly is recognized as a center for innovative multi-disciplinary approaches to the treatment of various types of addiction. Addiction is not simply a local, regional, or national problem, it is a global issue, and the U.S. Department of State and IIE recognize that the University of Kentucky, as a globally-engaged research institution with a land-grant mission, is uniquely positioned to host this prestigious seminar.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright visitors to UK will exchange ideas with key UK researchers and with other experts, bringing a comparative context to the cutting-edge work being done at UK and in Kentucky to combat addiction. 

According to Beth Barnes, professor in the College of Communication and Information and co-organizer of this event, the seminar will sharpen Fulbright Visiting Scholars’ ability to examine the crisis of addiction “through the lenses of medicine, social constructs, policy, government and the legal system and NGO interventions.”

“UK has a number of research, intervention and treatment programs in place and in development seeking to address varied aspects of addiction,” Barnes said. Visiting scholars will have the opportunity to learn more about the programs UK has to offer and consider how they can apply aspects of these back in their home countries.

“This program gives Fulbrighters from all over the world and currently visiting and working in universities all across the U.S., an opportunity to network with one another, see a different part of the U.S. and experience a different regional culture and learn about a critical current issue in a uniquely interdisciplinary context,” said Tim Barnes, UKIC’s executive director of international partnerships and research and co-organizer of the seminar.

Scholars will be introduced to the horse culture of the Bluegrass as they participate in visits to key sites to learn about the culture, history and geography of Lexington and the surrounding region.

Scholars will visit several locations such as the Mayor’s office, Chrysalis House, Keeneland Race Track, Kentucky Horse Park and UK research facilities. These visits will provide scholars with an immersive experience so they can better understand the context for the research and other programs they will be learning about and so they can get to know something about the Bluegrass Region. A special feature of this Fulbright Enrichment Seminar is a dinner in the home of a local resident. The Seminar participants, who are from over 49 countries all around the world, will be hosted in small groups for home-cooked dinners by local families. A treasured part of the Fulbright experience is this kind of people-to-people cultural exchange.

Several events that are part of this Fulbright Seminar are open to the public:

  • March 21, 8:30 a.m.: Keynote Plenary Address by Beth Macy, journalist and bestselling author, who addressed America’s twenty-plus year struggle with opioid addiction in her latest book, Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America. Location: Gatton Student Center Worsham Cinema

Guest speaker Macy will discuss the trajectory of opioid addiction in the southeastern U.S. in particular. Following the keynote, attendees will also able to purchase the book and network with Macy.

  • March 21, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.: Screening of the Documentary: The Narcotic Farm

In this award-winning documentary, former inmates at America’s first prison for drug addicts tell a fascinating and untold story of jazz, human drug testing and secret CIA research. From 1935 until 1975, almost every American junkie busted for dope went to the United States Narcotic Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, an ambitious government center dedicated to finding a cure for addiction. This film tells the story of this fascinating institution through rare photographs and film, forgotten press clippings, revealing government documents and historically significant new interviews with prisoners, doctors and guards who were there.

            Location: Gatton Student Center Worsham Cinema

  • March 22, 9-10:30 a.m.: Plenary Session by John C. Tilley, Secretary of the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, who will be speaking on “Public Policy, State and Federal Intervention approaches to combating addiction.”

Location: Gatton Student Center Worsham Cinema

On March 28, the Office of Institutional Diversity will also be hosting a related talk by Sam Quinones. Quinones, journalist and author of the book Dreamland, will be speaking on the issue of opioid addiction in America. This event is open to the public and will begin at 10 a.m. in the Gatton College of Business and Economics.

According to Barnes, over the past decade, more than 50 UK faculty have received Fulbright U.S. Scholar awards to teach and conduct research in 33 different countries and more than 30 Fulbright Visiting Scholars from around the world have chosen the University of Kentucky and Lexington as their home away from home. For more information on Fulbright opportunities at UK, visit

2019 - 10:00amWednesday, March 6, 2019 Share