It's been a good couple of months for author and WKU English Professor David Bell.
He recently won the Le Prix Polar International de Cognac, a prestigious French literary award given to the best crime novel published by a non-French author, for his 2011 book Cemetery Girl. His most recent book, Never Come Back, was published in October.
Never Come Back tells the story of Elizabeth Hampton, who--in the book's opening pages--arrives at her mother's home to find police detectives and crime scene investigators.
David Bell spoke to WKU Public Radio about the origins of his new work, and how Bowling Green and his parents have influenced his writing.
Where did you come up with the idea for your new book?
The president of WKU is on the list of speakers at a forum on rising student debt being held by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
WKU President Gary Ransdell is in Missouri Monday for the event titled “Generation Debt: The Promise, Perils, and Future of Student Loans”.
According to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the average student debt per follower grew from $16,000 in 2005, to $25,000 in 2012. The College Board found that an estimated 66 percent of seniors graduating in 2011 had student loan debt.
Economic and education analysts are increasingly worried that the growing debts faced by college graduates will impair the upward mobility of young Americans.
Monday’s forum on student debt is being webcast live from St. Louis, beginning at 12:30 pm central. You can see that webcast here.
Of all the college campuses across the United States, only 75 can officially be called “Bike Friendly Universities” and WKU is now among them.
The League of American Bicyclists praised Western Kentucky for the leading the way to a healthier, more sustainable future. For the university’s Parking and Transportation director Dr. Jennifer Tougas, that’s the whole point.
“Bicycling is a very economical way to get around on short trips around town and it saves students who are strapped on cash a lot of money," said Tougas. "It also has a lot of health benefits as well.”
She says the addition of bike lanes along Chestnut Street and over 600 bike rack spots has been worth the investment.
"From the university’s point of view, if we can reduce parking demand that reduces the need to build more parking decks which are extremely costly or to build additional parking lots which have additional environmental effects."
The next WKU men’s basketball recruiting class features players from three different parts of the country.
WKU head basketball coach Ray Harper announced today that the school has received national letters of intent from Justin Johnson of Hazard, Kentucky; Derrick Clayton from Castro Valley, California; and Avery Patterson of Decatur, Georgia.
Johnson is a 6'7" forward who averaged over 16 points and 10 rebounds a game as a junior at Perry County Central High School last season.
Clayton is a 6'5" guard who scored 17 points a game as a junior in California.
Patterson is from the same high school in Georgia that produced current Hilltopper Niger Snipes. Coach Harper says he believes the 6'1" guard can compete for playing time as a freshman next season.
Since the beginning of the 1990's, the percentage of Kentucky's population comprised of immigrants has soared by more than 300%. While their overall number is still small, WKU economics professor Dr. Brian Strow says their effect is being felt and it's a net plus.
Strow's study shows immigrants locally have a higher employment percentage than native born people and a higher mean income. There's also a higher number who are self-employed.
Joe Corcoran spoke with Dr. Strow about the benefits of immigrant entrepreneurs.
WKU senior Antonio Andrews has been named a semifinalist for the 2013 Doak Walker Award, given annually to the nation’s best college running back.
Andrews leads the nation in all-purpose yardage with nearly 2,200 yards and ranks second nationally in total rushing yards.
Andrews is one of ten semifinalists being considered for the award. Members of the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will next cast their votes for three finalists, who will be named November 25.
The winner of the award will be announced December 12.
WKU is being recognized for its efforts in reaching out to military veterans.
The school was ranked seventh among all four-year schools in the 2014 "Best for Vets" report published by the Military Times. WKU was praised for having the state's only Veterans Upward Bound program, as well as a tuition discount for active duty military.
WKU Military Student Services Director Tonya Archey, a 10 year Navy veteran, says schools have to work to convince some veterans that they can succeed academically after being out of the classroom for many years.
"Speaking for myself, and many of my students, we can tell you that we've been out for a long time and we lack some of the confidence--do I have what it takes to make it through college? Many wonder since they've been out of high school so long, are they going to be really rusty on a lot of the basic stuff."
The "Best for Vets" rankings factored in a school's service member enrollment, percentage of tuition covered by the G.I. Bill, and the presence of programs designed to help active duty and former military personnel.
The WKU men’s basketball team opens up its season in unusual fashion Monday evening.
Actually, make that Tuesday morning.
The Hilltoppers are on the road at Wichita State for a game that begins at midnight Tuesday morning. The unorthodox scheduling is a result of WKU’s participation in ESPN’s Tip-Off Marathon, an event the network has billed as “24 hours of hoops.”
The WKU-Wichita State game is being televised on ESPN2.
The WKU women’s basketball team is also kicking off its regular season, and looking to win on the road against Vanderbilt for the first time in nearly 15 years. The Lady Hilltoppers play the Commodores tonight at 7 p.m. at Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville.
The WKU women’s team won its season-opener Saturday against Austin Peay.
Monday is Veteran's Day, and all across our region and nation, people are taking part in parades and ceremonies honoring those who have served in the military.
With U.S. personnel still fighting in Afghanistan, and following eight years of fighting in Iraq that formally ended in 2011, we thought we would introduce you to a young veteran from our region who is now helping other veterans create new lives after leaving the active service.
Kent Johnson joined the U.S. Marines in 2004 after graduating from high school in Columbia, Tennessee. As a member of a Marine Corp Infantry Unit, Kent served two tours in the Middle East, including a combat deployment to a town outside of Fallujah, Iraq. He got out of the service in 2008.
Here are some excerpts from our interview with Kent:
What was life like for you after you got out of the Marines?