WKU

Science
1:11 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Impressive Meteor Shower Expected Early Saturday Morning

The director of WKU's Hardin Planetarium says a meteor show early Saturday morning could be the best of the decade
Credit Abbey Oldham/WKU Public Radio

If you’re up late Friday night – or early Saturday morning, you could be in store for a dramatic light show in the sky.  Dr. Richard Gelderman, director of WKU’s Hardin Planetarium says we could see the best meteor shower of the year – possibly the decade.

“A comet has just passed near the sun and we are about to run into its trail,” said Gelderman.  “That’s going to probably be a whole lot of dust. It’s going to come when the moon is not going to be in the sky, so it will be nice and dark and it will come when our part of the earth is slamming right into the dust stream.”

Gelderman says the best time to view the comet will likely be between midnight and 2 a.m. central time Saturday morning, but he notes those time estimates aren’t always precise.

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Regional
7:26 am
Thu May 22, 2014

WKU Professor Thought He Would Die Following Fall in Himalayas

Dr. John All was treated at a hospital after falling while climbing in the Himalayas
Credit American Climber Science Program

A WKU professor says he fell into a crevasse on a mountain in Nepal but managed to crawl to his tent despite broken ribs and an arm before being rescued the next morning.

Geography and Geology Professor John All said Thursday he thought he was going to die after falling 70 feet into the crevasse with no hope of rescue. It took him six hours to crawl out of the hole and another three hours to reach his tent and spent the night in pain before rescuers reached him the next morning.

All and his team had moved to Mount Himlung in north central Nepal because Mount Everest was closed last month after 16 Sherpa guides died in an avalanche.

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Regional
6:01 am
Tue May 20, 2014

WKU Professor Recovering in Hospital After Falling While on Himalyan Mountains

Dr. John All
Credit American Climber Science Program

Update at 6:02 a.m.:

A WKU professor who fell into a 70-foot crevasse in the Himalayan mountains is recovering at a hospital in Nepal after being rescued by a helicopter.

Dr. John All was conducting climate research at Mount Himlung when he fell into the crevasse and suffered a broken arm, broken ribs, and internal bleeding.

According to a report in the Himalayan Times, Dr. All underwent treatment at Norvic International Hospital in Kathmandu. The helicopter mission that rescued Dr. All was conducted by the group Global Rescue, which led the operation from its operations centers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Thailand.

The WKU Geography and Geology Professor moved his expedition to Mount Himlung after a deadly avalanche shut down the 2014 climbing season on Mount Everest.

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WKU
10:56 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Photo Gallery: WKU's 175th Commencement Ceremonies

WKU graduate candidates file into Diddle Arena Saturday, May 17, 2014.
Abbey Oldham

About 2,000 undergraduate, master's and doctoral students at WKU were honored at commencement ceremonies in front of a packed E.A. Diddle Arena this weekend. Graduate candidates donned lavishly decorated hats, listened to a speech by President Gary Ransdell, had their names read as they walked across the red carpet, and posed for photos in their caps and gowns.

This weekend marked WKU's 175th commencement ceremony. Photojournalist Abbey Oldham gathered these images of the weekend's events.

Science
4:24 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

WKU Professor Who Served on Climate Panel Says Kentucky Can't Afford Complacency

WKU Professor of Geography and Geology Rezaul Mahmood
Credit Abbey Oldham

A WKU professor who served on the panel behind the recently released national climate change report says Kentucky hasn’t been as impacted by climate change as several other states.

But Dr. Rezaul Mahmood says that could change in the coming years.

The WKU Geography and Geology Professor is one of about 60 members of the National Climate Assessment Development and Advisory Committee. The group’s 1,100 page report, released Tuesday, says the impacts of climate change are being seen across the country.

While Kentucky hasn’t seen the degree of temperature change that some western and east-coast states have experienced, the WKU Professor says policy makers and residents in the commonwealth shouldn’t be complacent.

“If changes in other regions happen, that will eventually impact Kentucky, Dr. Mahmood said. "For example, if watersheds in other states are getting lots of rain, or not enough rain, eventually our water supply is going to be affected."

Dr. Mahmood says one way Kentucky has been proactive about climate change has been the creation of a comprehensive drought plan that coordinates efforts at the state and local levels.

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WKU
1:59 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

WKU Student Arrested After Incident Involving Unloaded Gun

Michael Dearborn
Credit Warren County Regional Jail

A WKU freshman was arrested after pulling an unloaded gun on campus.

Michael Dearborn of Goodlettsville, Tennessee, was taken into custody late Wednesday morning by WKU Police and faces charges of menacing, terroristic threatening, and wanton endangerment.

WKU Director of Media Relations Bob Skipper says the incident began when university police received a call about a verbal altercation at Centennial Mall, near the center of campus.

“As the police were en route, they got a 911 call saying there was somebody brandishing a gun," Skipper told WKU Public Radio. "Officers were on the scene quickly, found the person who matched the description, and then several students pointed him out, as well.”

Skipper says that Dearborn ran after being approached by police, and was apprehended along the steps near the Downing Student Union and Academic Complex.

The College Heights Herald quoted a student eyewitness as saying Dearborn didn't run very fast, as it appeared he was trying to hold his pants up.

Police found an unloaded gun on Dearborn and placed him under arrest. He was taken to the Warren County Regional Jail.

Education
2:06 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

WKU One of Nine Schools Receiving Grant Money to Boost Minority Students in STEM Fields

WKU hopes to attract more minority students into degrees related to the STEM fields.
Credit WKU

WKU is part of a collaborative effort to increase the number of minority students pursuing degrees in the so-called “STEM” fields.

WKU and eight other higher education institutions in the commonwealth and West Virginia have been awarded a five-year, $ 2.5 million National Science Foundation grant that will primarily focus on undergraduates seeking diplomas in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

WKU’s Associate Vice President for Retention and Student Services, Joelle Davis Carter, says she hopes some of the school’s grant money will be used to create a “summer bridge” program.

“This would be an opportunity for prospective college students to come to campus a little earlier, maybe five weeks earlier, stay on campus, and participate in reiterations of math and science,” she told WKU Public Radio.

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Arts & Culture
3:48 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

2014 SOKY Book Festival to Feature Nearly 150 Authors

The 2014 SOKY Book Fest is Saturday, April 26.
Credit Southern Kentucky Book Fest

An organizer of an upcoming book festival in Bowling Green says it’s becoming more of a challenge to get authors at larger publishers to appear at events for free.

Kristie Lowry is literary outreach coordinator with WKU Libraries, and an organizer with the Southern Kentucky Book Festival. She says book companies have cut their budgets related to book tours and marketing campaigns.

“So getting the authors to come to an event like ours for free, which would have been a little easier back in the day, is harder to do now,” Lowry told WKU Public Radio. “And Penguin and Random House have their own speaker bureaus now, so they market their authors, but you have to pay a fee in order to have them come into town.”

Lowry says another growing trend in the literary world is the rising number of self-published authors. She says many self-published writers in the southern Kentucky region, like Allison Jewell and Jennie Brown, have loyal followings and are well-received when they appear on panels at local book festivals.

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Environment
3:40 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

WKU Celebrates Earth Day with Help of Bus Serving as Mobile Produce Market

Maggie Jolly, 9 (left) and Eliza Beth, 7, and Carter Howell, 10, play in the mobile farmers market on WKU's campus on Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Abbey Oldham

Bowling Green’s new mobile farmer’s market is offering fresh food on wheels to areas of the city where fresh produce may be hard to find. 

The market was introduced to the public at an Earth Day event at WKU. 

When Jackson Rolett started up the old, retro-fitted school bus Tuesday, it was a proud moment.  He’s been working since last spring on a traveling farmer’s market that will deliver fresh, locally grown produce to under-served areas of the city. 

"We're seeking to address accessibility," said Rolett.  "Transportation is a big issue with food access, especially in certain areas of Bowling Green, so we thought 'Why not bring the food to those people?'"

Funded with a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the market also accepts forms of government assistance. 

Kentucky’s Agriculture Commissioner James Comer has praised the effort and hopes similar markets can launch statewide. 

Bowling Green’s mobile market will travel Wednesday to the Barren River District Health Department and the Boys and Girls Club.

Education
2:44 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

WKU's Ransdell: U.S. Schools Need to Grow International Student Populations--While They Still Can

WKU President Gary Ransdell
Credit WKU

WKU President Gary Ransdell is confident the school will be able to grow its international student body over the next several decades.

But he admits it will become more difficult to do so as countries such as China and India become wealthier and begin to build more of their own universities.

“There are not enough colleges and universities to meet the needs in an awful lot of the countries that have growing economies and growing populations. Therefore, we’re a solution," the WKU President said. "Now, in another generation—in another 25 or 30 years—they may have built enough universities to meet their needs.”

Dr. Ransdell says WKU is actively recruiting in several countries where the school has previously not had a presence.

“South America is really an emerging market for higher education," Ransdell said during a break in Friday's Board of Regents meeting. "We’re looking at as many as 90 students from Brazil next year. We’re always looking for new markets. Turkey is an emerging market for us. Their economy is doing great, and their families are looking for a place to send their sons and daughters.”

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