A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

People in the News: MSU’s Woolridge joins industry foundation board; education council picks Bennett

Chris Wooldridge, Kentucky Small Business Development Center district director for the Murray State University SBDC and Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business, has joined the board of directors of the Foundation for Kentucky Industry.

FKI is a statewide, not-for-profit, with the goal of strengthening manufacturing in Kentucky, a very important economic driver in the commonwealth. FKI’s Board of Directors is comprised of manufacturing, education, economic development and public policy leaders.

Chris Wooldridge

Project and program partners currently include LIFT (Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow), JPMorgan Chase, KY FAME (Federation of Advanced Manufacturing Education), business and public partners.

“We are pleased to announce Chris Wooldridge, District Director of the Kentucky Small Business Development Center at the Murray State University Bauernfeind College of Business, will be joining the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Kentucky Industry. Mr. Wooldridge’s experience and expertise regarding business and economic development will be a great asset to the Foundation’s work of maximizing career opportunities for both Kentuckians and industry in 21st century manufacturing,” according to Mary C. Breeding, President and CEO, Foundation for Kentucky Industry (FKI).

Bennett named executive director of state environmental education council

Kentucky native Billy Bennett has been named the executive director of the Kentucky Environmental Education Council (KEEC) in the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Bennett, who has 10 years of experience in environmental education, was the director of the Center for Environmental Education and part-time faculty in the College of Education at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) prior to his appointment as executive director. He also served as the chair of the Kentucky Association for Environmental Education (KAEE) and the Kentucky University Partnership for Environmental Education (KUPEE).

“Billy Bennett is highly qualified to head the staff of the Kentucky Environmental Education Council. KEEC council members believe that Mr. Bennett is an excellent leader who will provide a creative vision for environmental education efforts in Kentucky,” said KEEC Chairman Horace Brown.

The KEEC was established to improve Kentuckians’ understanding of their environment. Although a major focus is primary and secondary education, the council also works with colleges and universities, businesses, local governments, private organizations and citizens to provide citizens with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about the environment.

“I am honored to be appointed as the executive director of the Kentucky Environmental Education Council in a state that is a national leader and a model for environmental education efforts across the nation,” Bennett said.

“The Commonwealth is unique in the fact that it has a strong and committed team of environmental educators that belong to different state agencies, nonprofit organizations, and higher education centers that are committed to work together to ensure that Kentuckians are environmentally literate. I am excited for the opportunity to work with all of our partners and environmental educators,” Bennett said.

The resident of Winchester holds a bachelor’s degree in middle school education and master’s degrees in secondary education and elementary education from EKU. Currently he is a doctoral student in educational leadership at EKU. He holds a Rank 1 teaching certificate for 5th-8th grade science/social studies, as well as 8th-12th grade earth science, and has an Environmental Education Endorsement for grades K-12. In addition, he is a certified master environmental educator through the KEEC.

His professional affiliations include the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), the Kentucky Association for Environmental Education (KAEE), The Kentucky Science Teachers Association (KSTA), and the National Science Teachers Association and (NSTA). He is also a member of the National Eagle Scout Association (NESA).

For more information about KEEC, visit keec.ky.gov.

UK professor Novo awarded American Council of Learned Societies fellowship

University of Kentucky Associate Professor of Anthropology Carmen Martínez Novo has been awarded an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellowship for the year 2017-2018.

She will use it to complete her new book, tentatively titled “The Decline of Indigenous Rights in Latin America.” Martínez Novo will address the following questions:

Carmen Martínez Novo (UK Now Photo)

What explains the retrenchment of indigenous rights in Latin America after several decades of social movement growth and of increasing inclusion of indigenous peoples in Latin American democracies?

How is the deterioration of indigenous rights linked to political economic transformations such as renewed state dependency on the extraction of oil and minerals?

Are left wing administrations more vulnerable to dependency on natural resource extraction due to their wish for autonomy from the U.S. and multilateral organizations?

Why has the World Bank retreated from its earlier support of indigenous rights?

The book focuses on the decline of indigenous rights and natural resource extraction under the new left in Ecuador. It is based on Martínez Novo’s fieldwork in indigenous communities in the Andes and Amazon regions of Ecuador since 2002.

Her research also includes the formation of ethnic identities through intercultural interactions. She published a book on this topic in 2016 titled “Who Defines Indigenous? Identities, Development, Intellectuals, and the State in Northern Mexico” (Rutgers University Press).

Martínez Novo was born and raised in Madrid, Spain. She earned her bachelor’s degree in geography and history from Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in Spain. She holds a master’s degree in historical studies and anthropology and a doctoral degree in anthropology from the New School for Social Research in New York.

Staff report

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