Kevin Willis

News Director

Kevin is the News Director at WKU Public Radio.  He has been with the station since 1999, and was previously the Assistant News Director, and also served as local host of Morning Edition.  He is a broadcast journalism graduate of WKU, and has won numerous awards for his reporting and feature production.  Kevin grew up in Radcliff, Kentucky and currently lives in Glasgow.

Ways To Connect

Bowling Green, Ky – The Carol Martin Gatton Academy for Math and Science in Kentucky is now in its third year on the campus of WKU. Some of the best high school juniors and seniors take classes alongside WKU undergraduates, and engage in research projects with school faculty. After they graduate from Gatton, students can attend college anywhere. Kevin Willis has this report on the decision facing Gatton graduates: should they stay on at WKU, or pursue higher education elsewhere?

Owensboro, Ky – As newspapers throughout the country struggle with the issue of making their online operations profitable, a publisher in Owensboro says papers have to stop giving away their product for free. Bob Morris is group publisher for the company that produces several papers in Kentucky, including the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer. Morris says not charging for online content gives the impression the product has no value. We also hear from Jeff Jobe, a publisher based in Glasgow.

Bowling Green, Ky – An Elizabethtown-based group that serves 42 Kentucky counties is trying to get food to hungry children. Feeding America, Kentucky's Heartland is trying to rally support for its "Adopt-A-Backpacker" program, which provides basic food items for children to take home on the weekends. Each Friday, school personnel put a bag of food in the child's backpack. The organization's Development Director, Tami Delaney, says this is done to avoid stigmatizing the child. Kevin Willis reports.

Glasgow, Ky – Many restaurants in the region--and nation--have been trying to survive during a time of decreased consumer spending. One such place is Sorrento Italian restaurant in Glasgow. It opened in May of 2008, right when the full impact of the recession was being felt in consumers' pocketbooks. Sorrento owner Dawn Purvis says to make it in the restaurant business, you have to be willing to do a little bit of everything--even wash dishes. Kevin Willis has our report.

Owensboro, Ky – Groundbreaking HIV research ongoing in Owensboro could one day impact the lives of people in the developing world. Dr. Kenneth Palmer is leading a study that has successfully grown an HIV-blocking protein in the Kentucky tobacco plant. Kevin Willis visited Dr. Palmer's offices in Owensboro to learn about the research and how it could one day save lives by preventing the spread of the virus that causes AIDS.

Bowling Green, Ky – A WKU Economics Professor says there's never been a better time than now to mount a defense of capitalism. Dr. Brian Strow was recently named the school's first BB&T Professor for the Study of Capitalism. He acknowledges that a recent survey shows more than 25% of Americans don't believe capitalism is the best way to organize a society. This is the complete, unedited version of Dr. Strow's recent interview with WKU Public Radio.

Nashville, TN – All over the world, scientists are trying to unlock the secrets of the human brain. At Vanderbilt University in Nashville, researchers are engaged in cutting-edge experiments designed to reveal how we arrive at legal decisions, such as guilt and innocence. As Kevin Willis reports, the research could help us understand how juries and judges administer verdicts.

Glasgow, Ky – A grassroots organization in Barren County is pushing for greater reliance on locally produced food. Sustainable Glasgow is one of a growing number of groups throughout the US focusing on the promotion of local food markets as a way to bolster the regional economy. Kevin Willis recently visited Glasgow to meet members of the group and find out what they hope to accomplish.

Nashville, TN – A one-of-a-kind partnership is taking place between Vanderbilt University and Johnson & Johnson that could change the way pharmaceutical drugs are produced. Normally, universities conduct general research and publish their findings in journals. Now, researchers at Vanderbilt are looking to discover new molecules that will lead to schizophrenia medications. Kevin Willis visited Vanderbilt University to meet the director of the school's drug discovery program.

Owensboro, Ky – In Owensboro, the Charles Medley Distillery has been largely dormant for more than two decades. That's changing now, as the distillery will soon become Kentucky's most far-western bourbon producer. WKU Public Radio went to Daviess County to meet plant manager Derek Schneider, who explained bourbon's growing popularity both here and abroad, and how Owensboro's underground limestone river will be the key to great bourbon production.

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