WKU

Sports
5:00 am
Fri September 20, 2013

WKU Hilltoppers Looking Forward to First Game in Bowling Green, Hope to Notch Second Win

WKU coach Bobby Petrino spoke to members of the media ahead of Saturday's game vs. Morgan State.
Credit Kevin Willis

After starting the season with three games away from home, the WKU football team is gearing up for its first contest at L.T. Smith Stadium.

The Hilltoppers host Morgan State this Saturday night, and hope to get back in the win column after dropping their last two games.

WKU head coach Bobby Petrino says players and staff are excited to finally play in Bowling Green.

"I'm looking forward to the routine for a home game, and what you do, and how you prepare," the first-year Hilltopper coach said. "I'm looking for a crowd that will come out with a lot of energy and excitement. It's always great to play at home. And hopefully that's something that will really help us and give us energy and help in our preparation."

This will be the first time WKU has played Morgan State, which brings an 0-3 record into Saturday's game.

WKU opened the season with a win in Nashville against Kentucky, but then lost at Tennessee and at South Alabama.

You can see WKU's season schedule here.

Regional
4:47 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

WKU Graduate Named Executive Editor at Courier-Journal Newspaper

A longtime journalist who received his bachelor's degree from Western Kentucky University has been chosen to lead the Lousiville Courier-Journal.  The paper announced Neil Budde, will take over as executive editor on Monday.  Budde, 57, replaces Bennie Ivory who retired earlier this year after 16 years in charge.

Budde, who has worked as an editor and reporter at the Courier-Journal, has also spent time with the Wall Street Journal's online publication and with the Yahoo! news division.

After his time at WKU, Budde received his MBA from the University of Louisville.

Business
5:51 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Bowling Green, WKU Leaders Say New Hyatt Place Hotel will Connect Campus and City

Political, business, and education leaders from Bowling Green and WKU broke ground Tuesday on a new 108-room hotel.
Credit Kevin Willis

A new hotel is being called a bridge that will bring WKU and downtown Bowling Green closer together.

City and university leaders Tuesday announced that a 108-room Hyatt Place hotel will be built adjacent to the WKU Augustein Alumni Center. Construction on the four-story building will start this fall, with a scheduled opening in fall of 2014.

WKU President Gary Ransdell described the effort as a "cornerstone" that will help unite the school's campus and the city's downtown.

"This is what begins to marry Western Kentucky University--our physical campus--with downtown Bowling Green. This project is going to be the bridge which begins to bring these two very important variables in our community together."

The hotel will be owned by Dellisart Wellspring, LLC, the same group behind the Staybridge Suites Hotel in Bowling Green at the intersection of Nashville Road and Campbell Lane.

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Sports
10:58 pm
Sat September 14, 2013

WKU Drops Sun Belt Opener Against South Alabama

Tyrell Pearson's interception return with just more than two minutes left set up a 1-yard plunge by Trey Fetner that lifted South Alabama to a 31-24 win over visiting Western Kentucky in the Sun Belt Conference opener for both teams Saturday night.

The Hilltoppers (1-2, 0-1) took a 21-10 lead in the first half but could only manage a field goal in the second half - that coming on a 44-yard boot to start the fourth quarter by Garrett Schwettman after the Jaguars tied the game at 21-21.

Aleem Sunanon kicked a 37-yard field goal two minutes later to tie the score at 24-24.

Ross Matheny completed 11 of 15 passes for 193 yards to lead South Alabama (2-1, 1-0).

Brandon Doughty was 27 of 47 for 282 yards and three touchdowns to lead Western Kentucky, but he was also intercepted three times.

Sports
11:39 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Hilltoppers Look To Rebound Against South Alabama

Credit WKU Athletics

The Western Kentucky University football team travels to Mobile, Alabama this Saturday, hoping to get back into the win column as they begin Sun Belt Conference play.  They’ll be facing South Alabama for the first time.

After an impressive 35-26 win over Kentucky to start the season two weeks ago,  WKU stumbled in a 52-20 loss to Tennessee.  The game featured seven Hilltopper turnovers.

South Alabama is also 1-1 on the season.  The Jaguars were edged by Southern Utah in their season opener, 22-21, but then topped Tulane 41-39.

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Sports
2:35 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

WKU Turns the Ball Over Often Early, Fades Late Against Tennessee

WKU couldn't overcome seven turnovers in their loss against Tennessee Saturday.
Credit Megan Stearman

In the end, WKU's success against the SEC only went so far.

Justin Coleman and Cameron Sutton returned interceptions for touchdowns Saturday as Tennessee scored after each of Western Kentucky's five first-quarter turnovers in a 52-20 victory.

Following last week's win over Kentucky in Nashville, Hilltopper fans were primed for a second straight win over an SEC team.

That won't happen when you give the ball away like WKU did in Knoxville.

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Education
12:41 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Embracing the Role of "Campus Mom", a WKU Student Reflects Rising Number of Non-Traditionals

Samantha Johnson and her 15-year-old son, Drew
Credit Kevin Willis

Kevin's profile of WKU-Glasgow's Samantha Johnson, one of a growing number of non-traditional students across the nation.

Glasgow resident and full-time college student Samantha Johnson could serve as “exhibit A” of a growing trend being seen throughout America’s colleges and university campuses.

When Johnson enters a classroom at WKU-G, as the campus is known, she brings with her a lifetime of experiences that the average 18 to 22 year old lacks.

Johnson is a 45-year-old single-mother who knows what it’s like to brave the job market with only a high school diploma. She has raised two sons, experienced divorce, and survived a bout with cancer.

After all that, a 100-level psychology class looked like a piece of cake.

Non-traditional is Now the Norm

More than ever before, the face of the average U.S. college student looks more and more “non-traditional.” According to U.S. Education Department data, only 29% of the country’s 18 million undergraduates are what’s known as “traditional students”—those who graduated from high school and then enrolled full-time in four-year public or nonprofit colleges or universities.

Nearly one million undergraduates were at least 25, and nearly half a million were in their 30s or older.

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Regional
4:19 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Native Syrian Living in Kentucky Talks about Possible U.S. Military Strike

Huda Melky left her native Syria in 1976, but visited family every year before the country's civil war started in March 2011. She hasn't returned since.
Credit Lisa Autry

For one Warren County woman, the conflict in Syrian hits close to home. 

Huda Melky grew up in Syria and several members of her family are still there. She spoke to WKU Public Radio in her office where she serves as WKU's Equal Opportunity Director. 

In this interview, she talks about the long-running civil war, the Washington debate over military action, and fears for her family's safety.

Sports
4:54 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Report: WKU Athletic Trainer Fired After Clashing with Petrino

Bobby Petrino is the first-year head coach of WKU football.
Credit WKU Athletics

An online article highlights clashes between WKU football coach Bobby Petrino and a medical trainer who was fired in the spring.

The Chronicle of Higher Education story about friction between coaches and athletic trainers singled out the relationship between Petrino and former WKU associate athletic trainer Danny Cobble. The Chronicle’s story says Petrino questioned Cobble’s medical abilities, grew impatient with return-to-play times for players, and pushed back against decisions made by physicians.

Cobble says he was fired in the spring after being at WKU since 2009. When asked by the Courier-Journal about the article, A WKU athletics spokesman said neither coach Petrino or WKU Athletic Director Todd Stewart would comment.

The Chronicle story spotlighted an incident in which Cobble says a doctor ordered surgery for an unidentified WKU football player. Cobble says Petrino wanted to treat the player with a cortisone shot instead. The player eventually had surgery.

The Chronicle surveyed hundreds of athletic trainers and staff for their story. Of the 101 who responded, 53 said they felt pressure from football coaches to get players back on the field faster than the trainers felt was medically prudent.

You can read the full article from The Chronicle of Higher Education here.

Education
3:55 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

WKU Professor Takes Turn in Baseball Broadcast Booth

Dr. Stuart Foster

WKU Professor Stu Foster talks about his summer in the broadcast booth

The next time you listen to a baseball game on the radio, notice how many times the weather is referenced.

"The weather is certainly one part of trying to convey to the listener the scene of what's happening and the setting for the game and what might turn out to be an important component that affects the way the game turns out,” said Stu Foster, WKU professor, Kentucky state climatologist and part-time color commentator for the Bowling Green Hot Rods.

"Whether it's a clear, deep blue sky that might be a problem for outfielders, whether there's a strong breeze blowing in or out,” said Foster.  “We had a game recently where there was a heavy dew that came on the field as the game went on that could've come on to affect the game."

Foster said a few conversations last winter led to the opportunity to sit in on a dozen games as color commentator for the Midwest League affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. He says his weather expertise wasn’t the only part of his “day job” that helped ease his transition into the broadcast booth.

He says in both broadcasting and being a professor, the goal is the same: communicate a message with a large audience. 

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