A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

WKU scientist, meteorology students part of NSF-funded project on how irrigation affects precipitation

Western Kentucky University meteorology students and a Kentucky Climate Center scientist have been gathering data this summer in Nebraska as part of the Great Plains Irrigation Experiment (GRAINEX), a National Science Foundation-funded research project to further understand how irrigation may be affecting precipitation. The project highlights the engagement of the Kentucky Climate Center and WKU students...

WKU leadership approves strategic plan to serve as campus roadmap for next 10 years

Western Kentucky University’s Board of Regents has approved a plan that will serve as the roadmap for the university for the next 10 years. WKU Board of Regents Chair Phillip Bale (left) swore in Regent Linda Gamblin Ball (center) and Staff Regent David Brinkley (right) on Aug. 3. (WKU photo by Bryan Lemon) “Climbing to Greater Heights: The WKU Strategic Plan 2018-2028″ is the result of an...

WKU alumnus enhances scholarship fund, begins role at UK College of Medicine-Bowling Green

As the inaugural class of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine-Bowling Green campus dons their white coats Friday in the closing event of their orientation week, Dr. Todd Cheever reflects on his time as a Western Kentucky University student and how his role as the first associate dean of the new campus brought him back to Bowling Green. Originally from London, Ky., Cheever came to WKU in...

WKU announces record year for philanthropy with more than $45 million in private charitable gifts

Western Kentucky University surpassed its previous record of private support in a fiscal year with a new high of $45 million in private support in 2017-2018. This total includes gifts from more than 14,000 donors from all 50 states and eight countries who made more than 31,000 individual gifts. Donors direct how their philanthropy is allocated, and 786 different initiatives received support that benefited...

WKU shakes up M.A.S.T.E.R. Plan transition program in August for ‘a new generation of Hilltoppers’

Western Kentucky University’s transition program for new students, M.A.S.T.E.R. Plan, is shaking things up for about 2,300 members of the Class of 2022 who will arrive on campus in August. “Last year M.A.S.T.E.R. Plan celebrated its 25th year and we thought this would be a perfect time for us to pull up, reconsider M.A.S.T.E.R. Plan and determine whether or not we thought the program was meeting...

WKU Hall of Distiguished Alumni to welcome three new inductees during 2018 Homecoming activities

An award-winning actress of the stage and screen, a pioneer in Kentucky education reform and a nationally and internationally recognized pediatric surgeon will join Western Kentucky University’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni this fall. Becky Ann Gelke Baker, Nettie Bayless Courts Depp and Dr. Richard C. Rink will be inducted during WKU’s 2018 Homecoming Celebration. The 27th class of noted alumni...

Two WKU faculty among inaugural recipients of $5,000 ACLS Project Development Grants

Western Kentucky University faculty members Audra Jennings and Alexander Olson are among the inaugural recipients of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Project Development Grants. Audra Jennings Dr. Jennings, an associate professor of History and director of WKU’s Office of Scholar Development, received a grant for her project, Insecurity: Disability, the Great Depression, and the New...

Western Kentucky University welcomes stickwork sculptor Dougherty to campus October 1-19

Western Kentucky University’s Cultural Enhancement Series and the Kentucky Museum will host award-winning artist Patrick Dougherty Oct. 1-19 on WKU’s campus in Bowling Green. Dougherty creates large-scale environmental sculptures made from intertwined tree saplings. His next installation will be located in front of the Kentucky Museum. This installation is open to the public at all times during...

WKU Board of Regents approve $388.4 million budget for 2018-19, a 6 percent reduction from last year

The Western Kentucky University Board of Regents last week approved a $388.4 million budget for 2018-19, a 6 percent reduction from the current budget. “This has been a challenging budget to build as we strive to correct our own structural imbalances and prepare for decreasing state appropriations and increasing pension obligations,” WKU President Timothy C. Caboni said. “This budget serves as...

WKU names Corinne Murphy new dean of College of Education and Behavioral Sciences

Dr. Corinne Murphy, the interim vice provost at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, has been named Dean of Western Kentucky University’s College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. Murphy will assume her duties on Aug. 1. She replaces Dr. Sam Evans, who is retiring. Dr. Corinne Murphy“I am delighted to join Hilltopper nation as the next Dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences,”...

Bill Straub: McConnell to become longest-serving GOP boss, takes home-run trot as ‘Rome’ burns

WASHINGTON – Back in January 2007, when Mitch “Root ‘n Branch’’ McConnell was just beginning what will become his historic run as the longest serving Senate Republican leader in history, Congress was held in broad contempt by the American public with only 35 percent of those questioned in the Gallup Poll expressing approval. Sen. Mitch McConnell Under McConnell, first as the minority leader...

Louisville middle school teacher among eight chosen for National Stem Scholar program at WKU

Ten middle school science teachers from eight states have been selected to participate in the prestigious National STEM Scholar Program, a unique professional development program that provides advanced training for the middle school teachers of aspiring scientists nationwide. Created in partnership between the National Stem Cell Foundation and The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science at Western...

Two alumni make gifts to support Western Kentucky University’s Ogden Innovation Endowment Fund

Two WKU alumni who graduated from programs within the Ogden College of Science and Engineering have made gifts to support the Ogden Innovation Endowment Fund. In recognition of these gifts, spaces within the new Ogden College Hall were named in their honor. Dr. Talia McKinney Collins (’93) and her husband, Patrick, recently made a gift to support the Ogden Innovation Endowment Fund, an endowment...

WKU SkyTeach master teacher Rico Tyler named Outstanding Master Teacher at UTeach Conference

Rico Tyler, master teacher with WKU’s SKyTeach program, received the Outstanding Master Teacher Award this week at the 2018 UTeach Conference in Austin, Texas. “SKyTeach has a long association with the national UTeach effort and the UTeach STEM Educators Association,” Tyler said. “Being part of this national effort to improve mathematics and science education is exciting work.” Dr. Max Dass...

Jerry E. Baker Foundation commits $10 million endowment for student scholarships at WKU

The Jerry E. Baker Foundation, established through the estate of Jerry E. Baker, a generous longtime supporter of Western Kentucky University, has pledged a $10 million endowment for student scholarships. Annual investment earnings from the endowment will be gifted to WKU to enhance the Jerry E. Baker Student Scholarship Fund, which was initially created through a direct bequest by Baker. The scholarship...

Six Western Kentucky University students awarded Fulbright students grants for international studies

Six Western Kentucky University students have been offered Fulbright U.S. Student Grants for the 2018-19 academic year from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Sarah Angelle of Monticello, Sarah Linder of Louisville, Logan Mitchell of Hebron, Lily Nellans of Windsor Heights, Iowa, Maggie Sullivan of Louisville and Elizabeth Upshur of Antioch, Tennessee...

Eleven WKU fraternity members to make cross country ride, raise money for Alzheimer’s research

Eleven members of a Western Kentucky University fraternity will make the sixth Bike4Alz cross country ride this summer to raise money for Alzheimer’s research. The members of WKU FIJI (Phi Gamma Delta) are riding with the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization Bike4Alz, which was founded by WKU students in 2010. The previous five teams have biked more than 13,000 miles and raised nearly $250,000 for research. The...

WKU to award 3283 degrees at 183rd commencement May 11; additional recognition events scheduled

Western Kentucky University will reimagine an old tradition with some new additions for its 183rd Commencement on May 11. For the first time since May 2006, WKU’s spring ceremony will be conducted outdoors at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium. Two new events will bookend the ceremony – the Topper Walk as WKU faculty and the Class of 2018 make their way from the Kentucky Museum into the stadium...

Western Kentucky University names former California State University dean Terry Ballman as next provost

Terry Ballman, Dean of the College of Arts and Letters at California State University, San Bernardino, will be the next Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Western Kentucky University. Dr. Ballman will begin Aug. 1, succeeding David Lee, who is retiring. Terry Ballman “I was drawn to the mission of WKU as a student-centered applied research university that prepares students of all...

Former Owen Co. star, Kentucky Mr. Basketball Carson Williams to finish college career at WKU

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Former Kentucky Mr. Basketball Carson Williams will finish out his collegiate career at Western Kentucky University. Carson Williams The former Owen County High School standout played the past two seasons at Northern Kentucky University and averaged 12 points and 5.6 rebounds per game last season. Williams was named the Horizon League’s All-Freshman team during his...