WKU

Education
8:12 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Minter Won't Run for Another Term as WKU Faculty Regent

Dr. Patricia Minter, WKU History Professor and Faculty Regent
Credit WKU

WKU History Professor Patti Minter, in an email to WKU faculty Thursday evening, says she will not stand for re-election for another term as faculty regent.

Minter's last day as regent will be Oct. 31, the same day as the fourth quarterly meeting of the Board of Regents.

"My seven years on the Board of Regents have been interesting, challenging, and often lively," Minter said in her email. "As the faculty’s voice and advocate on the Board, I have always done my best to strengthen WKU’s educational mission and to advocate for the interests not only of my faculty constituents but also for all employees and students of Western Kentucky University."

"I have also worked hard to abide by my oath of office and fiduciary responsibility to act in the University’s best interests, even when this meant voicing dissent. In closing, I want to offer my heartfelt thanks for your past support, without which any forward progress would not have been possible."

Regional
2:50 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

WKU Army ROTC Remembers Graduate Killed in Action with Race, Scholarship Effort

1LT Eric Yates was a WKU ROTC cadet killed in Afghanistan in 2010.
Credit WKU Army ROTC

The WKU ROTC program is remembering a fallen comrade during a memorial event in Warren County.

First Lieutenant Eric Yates was a Hardin County native and WKU graduate who was killed in action four years ago today in Afghanistan.

Wednesday evening marks the fifth annual Eric Yates Memorial 5K Run and Walk, with all proceeds going to a scholarship fund for WKU ROTC cadets.

“This particular run, last year, supplied two different scholarships. But our goal this year is at least five scholarships for our ROTC cadets,” said Andrea Greenwood, with the WKU Department of Military Science.

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Education
1:44 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Kentucky Higher Education Leaders Consider Funding Formula Based Partly on Performance

Schools like WKU are preparing for a possible move to a performance-based funding model for higher education.
Credit WKU

Kentucky’s Council on Postsecondary Education and university presidents are working to craft proposed changes to the state’s higher education funding formula.

The CPE and school leaders can’t change the funding formula on their own. Such a move would have to be approved by state lawmakers. But university and CPE leaders meet on a monthly basis, and a major topic of discussion recently has been a proposal to include “performance funding.”

Such a plan could potentially reward schools based on factors such as enrollment levels, graduation rates, or efforts in closing achievement gaps. Any effort at instituting performance funding, however, is likely contingent on lawmakers increasing the overall amount of higher education funding.

The Courier-Journal reports University of Louisville President James Ramsey sent a letter to the CPE last month saying he would only support performance-based funding if it came with new money.

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Sports
1:01 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Doughty Named C-USA Offensive Player of the Week for Second Time this Season

WKU senior quarterback Brandon Doughty
Credit WKU Athletics

WKU quarterback Brandon Doughty is being honored for his record-breaking performance in Saturday’s loss to Middle Tennessee.

The Blue Raiders beat the Hilltoppers 50-47 in double overtime, dropping WKU to 1-2 on the season.

The loss came despite Doughty’s 593 yards in passing and four touchdowns. The passing yards set WKU and Conference USA records, and earned the senior quarterback the league’s Offensive Player of the Week  award for the second time this season.

Doughty was previously recognized after he threw for 569 yards against Bowling Green State in WKU’s season-opening win.

Health
4:33 am
Fri September 12, 2014

WKU Student Develops App Used to Track Ebola Outbreak

Armin Smailhodzic developed The Ebola Project app as part of his master’s thesis in Homeland Security in WKU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Credit Bryan Lemon, WKU

A WKU student has come up with a way to track the Ebola virus outbreak.

Armin Smailhodzic developed a smartphone app that uses Twitter data to track the virus. Western says the app could predict the spread of the virus.

Smailhodzic began working on the app as part of his Master's thesis in the Homeland Security program at WKU. Initially, he wanted to track Twitter data to gather information about political unrest in the Middle East. Then, WKU chemistry professor Cathleen Webb suggested using the idea to track Ebola.

Smailhodzic, a Bosnian native, says they were surprised to find so much information being shared on Twitter.

The Ebola Project app is available in the app store for Ios and the Google store for android devices.

Education
3:06 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

WKU Offers Second 'MOOC' Focusing On Sports In American Culture

Over the last six years, a new type of online learning has developed across the country. They are classes called MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses.  WKU is offering its second such course this fall, called Origins and Progressions of Sports in America. It’s taught by retired kinesiology professor Randy Deere.

“It’s a free course and it’s not like a typical online course that you might sign up for through the university,” said Deere.  “All the material has to have…you have to have open access, open domain material.”

Deere says an unlimited number of people can sign up for the class. He says 70 people took the course this summer.

“Sport is a big domestic product and a huge domestic product financially for our country. It’s who we are it’s what we do and the information we’re trying to disseminate gives people a nice background of the country and how sport fits into it,” said Deere.

Deere says the course promotes lots of discussion among those who participate.  The MOOC begins September 21st. 

Arts & Culture
1:46 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Not Your Grandfather's Rocking Chair: WKU Features Over Twenty Chairs Made By Kentucky Artist

The Nixon chair, with White House photo of Nixon, Cornett, and Rep. Walter Powell
Abbey Oldham, WKU Public Radio

A set of chairs currently on display at The Kentucky Museum on WKU’s campus offers a glimpse at some of the finest pieces of Appalachian art ever created.

The exhibit, “Chester Cornett: Beyond the Narrow Sky” features over 20 chairs made by Cornett, a simple and quiet man from the Appalachian region of Kentucky who possessed an amazing talent. Cornett was born in 1913 in Letcher County, and learned chair-making from his grandfather and uncle. He served in WWII, and then returned to his mountain home in 1945.

Brent Bjorkman, director of the Kentucky Folklife Program at WKU, says Cornett seemed to be at peace when he was creating chairs—a peace that alluded him in other aspects of his life.

“He grew up as a loner,” Bjorkman told WKU Public Radio. “Chester was a mountain kid who had difficulty fitting in with the community. He was also married a couple of times, and I think dealing with people was pretty hard for him. So I think he back again and again to expressing himself through this creative form that he felt was something familiar to him.”

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Sports
4:33 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Four to Be Inducted Into 2014 WKU Athletic Hall of Fame

The 2014 WKU Athletic Hall of Fame class be inducted this November.
Credit WKU

WKU has announced the names of four individuals who will make up the 24th class of the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame. The quartet will be inducted during WKU’s homecoming weekend, Nov 7-9.

The four are:

  • Dan King/ Men’s Basketball 1952-54; Baseball 1952-54

King helped the basketball team win 85 percent of its games during his time on the Hill, and a star on the school’s 1954 team that won 4th place in the NIT. Coach E.A. Diddle oncecalled King, a 6’5” power forward, the fastest player he ever coached.

King also once pitched both games of a doubleheader and won both contests. He helped lead the WKU baseball team to two Ohio Valley Conference championships, in 1952 and 1953.

  •  Darnell Mee/ Men’s Basketball 1991-93

Mee was named an All-America selection in 1993, the same year he helped lead the Hilltoppers to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Mee scored 1,253 points during his career, ranking him 18th all-time on that list. He was drafted by the Golden State Warriors in 1993 and played in Denver from 1993 to 1995.

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Sports
8:52 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Former WKU Star to Help Mexico Take on U.S. in FIBA World Cup Knockout Stage

Orlando Mendez-Valdez played at WKU from 2005-09, and is currently on Mexico's FIBA World Cup team.
Credit WKU Athletics

WKU basketball fans who watch Saturday’s U.S.A-Mexico FIBA World Cup game will recognize one of the Mexican players from his time on the Hill.

Guard Orlando Mendez-Valdez played at WKU from 2005 to 2009, and was a key member of the Hilltoppers’ 2008 team that reached the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16. Mendez-Valdez plays in a professional league in Mexico, and has been a key contributor to the country’s World Cup team.

The U.S. team went 5-0 in the tournament’s group stage, and is led by a group of NBA stars including James Harden, Derrick Rose, and former University of Kentucky standout Anthony Davis.

The U.S. takes on Mexico in the knockout stage of the FIBA World Cup Saturday at 9 a.m. central. The game is being televised on ESPN 2.

Education
3:27 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

WKU's Girls in Science Day Encourages Female Students to Pursue STEM-Related Classes

Educators nationwide have become concerned recently over the lack of girls in certain science-related classes and professions.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons

WKU wants to convince more middle and high school girls to pursue classes in the STEM fields. More than 200 area girls in grades 5-12 will be on campus Saturday, Sept. 6, for the Girls in Science Day event.

The effort will focus on helping girls explore fields of study in science, technology, engineering, and math. Program coordinator Melissa Rudloff says many girls who initially excel in science-related classes take fewer of those courses as they get older.

“Research tells us that going back to elementary and middle school, many of those girls who may have entered those professions definitely had interest and ability in those fields. But somewhere along the way they become channeled in different directions. And many may do that themselves, or maybe it’s through the lack of experiences they have,” said Rudloff, who is the Professional-In-Residence at WKU’s SKyTeach program, which instructs future middle and high school math and science teachers.

One of the events at the Girls in Science Day gathering will be a talk led by Cheryl Stevens, Dean of the Ogden College of Science and Engineering. Rudloff believes it’s extremely important for girls to meet women who have succeeded in science-related fields.

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