• EKU-General Atomics Partnership to Boost Sustainable Biofuel Production in KY
• Brereton Jones, Nick Clooney to Speak at Fall Commencement
• Dancing Out of the Darkness
• Professional Education Fellows Make a Difference in Schools
• COE Announces Third Year of Teacher Sabbatical Program
• EKU Re-Dedicates Granny Richardson Springs One-Room Schoolhouse
• QEP Stars
• Kwanzaa Celebration to be Held Dec. 5
• Industrial Technology Senior Named Top Co-Op Student in KY
• Moving Forward Together: Leadership Spotlight
• Grants Awarded
President Doug Whitlock speaks at a news conference at the State Capitol announcing the EKU-General Atomics partnership. Also speaking at the event were, from left, 73rd District State Rep. Don Pasley, Gov. Steven Beshear, Sixth District Congressman Ben Chandler, EKU Executive Vice President for Administration Harry Moberly Jr., and William Davison, vice president of advanced process systems for General Atomics.
A partnership between Eastern and General Atomics, announced at a news conference at the State Capitol in Frankfort earlier today, could provide the basis for a new and sustainable fuel production industry in Kentucky and ultimately have a global impact, officials said.
With the establishment of the EKU Center for Renewable and Alternative Fuel Technologies (CRAFT), researchers will examine the potential for a cellulose-derived biodiesel industry in Kentucky.
By using algae techniques to process cellulosic materials that are available in Kentucky, the project offers both a technological underpinning for sustainable fuel production and a technology that could benefit agriculture in Kentucky.
General Atomics, headquartered in San Diego, Calif., was founded in 1955 and specializes in diversified research, development and manufacturing in defense, energy and other advanced technologies. Affiliated manufacturing and commercial service companies include General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., which produces the Predator® family of UAVs.
President Whitlock said, “Kentucky’s current economic situation makes this a critical time for the initiation of such a project. President-Elect Obama has made it clear that the development of alternative energy will be a centerpiece of his economic plan.
“The efforts of Congressman Ben Chandler and Governor Steve Beshear have made possible our partnership with General Atomics. This partnership links Kentucky and EKU with an international business leader that is turning its focus and considerable resources to biomass-to-fuel initiatives. This project is different in that it will be focused on production of biodiesel and ultimately bio jet fuel using non-food cellulosic materials in a process that will utilize algae to convert the biomass into bio-oils. The research at EKU will determine both the optimal ‘recipe’ of cellulosic material and the economic feasibility of the project.”
President Whitlock said the project is “important to Kentucky’s farmers looking for cash crops to replace tobacco, to the Commonwealth’s carbon footprint, and for making Kentucky a leader in an emergent technology.
“Kentucky is most fortunate to have Congressman Chandler and Governor Beshear, whose combined visionary leadership support alternative energy technologies that will ultimately drive much of the nation’s economic future.”
Recognizing the progress already made on alternative energies at other educational institutions statewide, Whitlock said the EKU Center will pursue opportunities to develop collaborative relationships with other colleges and universities.
Much of the initial funding for this project was contained in H.R. 2638, the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act of 2009 which became law on Sept. 30, 2008.
"I am thrilled that I was able to secure $4 million of federal money to make alternative fuel production in Kentucky a reality—creating jobs, and giving Kentucky, especially Eastern Kentucky University, the opportunity to be a national leader in the field,” Chandler said. “It has been extremely rewarding working with General Atomics, President Doug Whitlock, my longtime friend, Vice President Harry Moberly. I look forward to working with Governor Beshear to ensure the long-term success of this innovative research project. I applaud the Governor’s focus on biofuels and his commitment to alternative fuels.”
Beshear said: "It is vital that we examine innovative, long-term solutions to the energy issues we face. Due in part to our fertile farms, Kentucky has the ability to greatly contribute to the research and development of alternative fuel sources. I am pleased that General Atomics sees as much potential in our state as President Whitlock and I do."
The study will focus on determining appropriate cellulosic feedstocks and defining a strategic plan for starting up an industry that will convert those feedstocks to biodiesel products, and describe the technologies required along with their developmental costs, risks and schedules. Research and development will be performed on key elements of the required technologies in order to quantify and mitigate risks. The work will be performed by a team comprised of EKU and General Atomics representatives, with EKU as prime contractor and General Atomics providing the technical lead.
According to Bill Davison, GA’s vice president for the group doing biofuels development programs, “We are very excited by this opportunity to work together with EKU to develop and deploy a technology that we believe has great economic, environmental and strategic potential.”
Cellulose-derived biodiesel process systems design and modeling, to be led by General Atomics, will define the conceptual design for the overall cellulose-derived biodiesel processing plant and establish an economic model for the processing plant to be used for guiding the developmental work.
Agricultural and economics modeling research led by EKU, will identify and develop baseline agricultural and economics data. The work will include: a) the prioritization of agricultural crops that would make good feedstock for the production of bio-oils, b) the identification of land that could be cultivated without negatively impacting existing agricultural businesses, c) the determination of potential/probable crop yields, d) the identification of the economic impacts on the Commonwealth’s agricultural, transportation, and biofuels industries, and e) the determination of transition scenarios for moving toward a biofuel industry in the Commonwealth. Co-products will also be evaluated during this process systems and modeling phase.
General Atomics will provide input on the biofuel conversion costs and issues of various cellulosic feedstocks to be studied. The result will be a technical report covering biofuel crop feedstocks in Kentucky and an economic impact model for this crop and biofuel industry.
Biomass survey research will be performed principally by EKU to assess the current and potential sources of biomass in the Commonwealth, including the economics and logistics of transportation to regional processing facilities. Types of biomass will include such sources as agricultural residues (corn stover), forestry wastes (such as saw dust, tree thinning, or pulp-mill residues), and purpose-grown crops for either marginal land (switch grass) or cropland (sorghum). The research will gather and archive representative samples for chemical analysis and laboratory-scale testing which will result in a technical report entitled “Assessment of the Economics, Transportation & Logistics of Biomass Utilization in Kentucky for BioFuels Production.”
Cellulose conversion research will focus on conversion of cellulosic feedstocks to useable sugars. The task will primarily be performed by General Atomics. Evaluations of technologies for conversion of cellulosic materials to sugars will be performed to determine the best technologies to pursue. This work may include subcontracts to companies with unique processes that may be appropriate for this critical step. Existing strains of heterotrophic algae will be used to determine which cellulosic feedstocks provide the most suitable sugar sources.
A technical report will summarize the research and recommend the follow-up work required for development of a commercially viable cellulose-to-biodiesel production process.
The morning ceremony at 10 a.m. will honor candidates from the Colleges of Education, Health Sciences and Justice & Safety. The afternoon ceremony, at 3 p.m., will recognize candidates from the Colleges of Arts & Sciences and Business & Technology. Both ceremonies will be held in Alumni Coliseum and are open to the public.
Former Kentucky Gov. Brereton Jones will address the graduates at the morning ceremony and receive an honorary doctor of laws degree. After serving one term as lieutenant governor, Jones served as governor from 1991 to 1995. His victory margin was at the time the largest ever achieved by a Kentucky gubernatorial candidate. He and his wife Libby operate Airdrie Stud in Woodford County, and he continues to actively promote the thoroughbred industry.
The afternoon ceremony will feature remarks from Maysville native Nick Clooney, an acclaimed print and broadcast journalist in Cincinnati who gained national notoriety as a game show host and then as host on the AMC television network. The father of actor George Clooney and the brother of legendary singer Rosemary Clooney, he has in recent years become a strong activist for the strife-torn Darfur region of Sudan. Clooney will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree.
Speaking as representatives of their graduating class in the morning and afternoon ceremonies, respectively, will be Hannah Walls, a general studies in education major from Hustonville; and Taryn Edgington, a communication studies major from Richmond.
Receptions for graduates and their families will be held in the Fred Darling Gymnasium in Alumni Coliseum immediately after each ceremony.
The Dance Theatre's Fall Concert offered a wide variety of performances Nov. 19-22, including several that focused on life’s trials and tribulations.
Since the program was established in 2001 by EKU’s College of Education, approximately 50 University educators from all academic colleges have shared their expertise in more than a dozen different school districts. Each participating EKU faculty member works with a school district for at least 40 hours on site over a three-year period.
“We want school systems to see not only the College of Education, but the entire University as a resource and our faculty and staff as colleagues,” said Dr. Billy Thames, coordinator of the program. “The schools tell us what their needs are, and then we see how we can fit together and design a programs to meet those needs. We (EKU Fellows and school officials) are all professionals.”
Each Professional Education Fellow receives a stipend in addition to professional development funds. “This doesn’t cost the school systems a cent,” Thames noted.
In recent years, EKU Professional Education Fellows have assisted:
- schools in securing accreditation from the Southern Association for Colleges and Schools.
- middle school teachers in developing National History Day student projects.
- a school district in securing more than $250,000 in grants for library improvements.
- in preparing grant proposals for district-wide school safety programs.
- a school in improving student writing skills, resulting in improved CATS scores.
- with leadership for adapted physical education to involve special needs students in physical activities.
- with a New Principal Training Program.
- with intervention strategies in K-5 mathematics.
- with individual and group mentoring for fourth- and fifth-grade girls.
For more information about the program, contact Dr. Billy Thames at 622-2581.
The Teacher Sabbatical Program (TSP), in its third year, is “an effort to get meaningful input from our constituents into our programs in the College of Education and in the discipline fields taught across the campus,” said Dr. Billy Thames, program director. “Those selected will be asked to assist us in the redesign of courses and programs to ensure that they address the issues and realities that exist in the Commonwealth’s schools.”
The 16 participants will include two each from these divisions: primary, elementary, middle school, high school, special education, counselors, central office supervisors and principals. Each participant will have all expenses paid plus a $250-per-day stipend.
The selected educators and their families will be housed in a local motel as the participants spend five days on the EKU campus during their Spring Break working with an adviser or consultant to address a College curriculum issue or need. The educators will return to campus for two days during the summer term for follow-up activities.
Thames termed the program a “renewal opportunity” for the participants. “Evidence indicates that many teachers face a mid-career crisis that may lead to burnout or in their leaving the profession. Our hope is that this Teacher Sabbatical Program will provide that renewal that educators need at this time in their careers.”
To be selected for the TSP, educators must submit a letter of application, with an endorsement by an immediate superior. Each applicant must have at least 10 years of experience, a master’s degree or Rank One certification, and be recognized as a committed leader in the school or district, with significant experience and interest in assessment and/or differentiated instruction.
This year’s TSP participants were: Dorothy Contini, Cindy Stallard, Chuck Stallard, Danville Independent Schools; Michele Reedy Anderson, Kristal Doolin, David Cox, Corbin Independent Schools; Donna Wilson House, Debbie Felts, Cheryl Huffines, Laurel County Schools; Renee Boss, Ann Lytle-Burns, Dana Moore, Fayette County Schools; Ken Jones, Powell County Schools; Leah Turner, Wayne County Schools; Crystal Huckaby, Casey County Schools; Michelle Robbins, Berea Independent Schools; Johnnie Coffey, Rockcastle County Schools; and Linda Rudolph, Garrard County Schools.
The application letter, outlining the applicant’s qualifications and including a strong justification for selection, should be submitted, along with the letter of endorsement by Feb. 1, 2009, to: William Thames, Director; The Teacher Sabbatical Program; College of Education, Combs 213; Eastern Kentucky University; Richmond, Ky., 40475.
For more information, contact Thames at 622-2581 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donald Sparks, shown here inside the renovated Granny Richardson Springs One-Room Schoolhouse at EKU, started attending the School in Estill County in 1933. Heirs of the late Eli Sparks donated the schoolhouse to Eastern Kentucky University. Sparks was one of many Estill Countians to attend the Nov. 18 re-dedication ceremony.
School bells were sounded. The “Pledge of Allegiance” was recited. And all those in attendance sang “School Days” and “My Old Kentucky Home.”
For many of the 200 or so packed into an adjacent tent, it was like taking a step back in time. But the re-dedication of the Granny Richardson Springs One-Room Schoolhouse on campus Tuesday, Nov. 18, was also a major step forward for all those who wish to preserve an important slice of rural Kentucky history.
The facility, located on Kit Carson Drive across from the Perkins Building, has undergone an extensive facelift that includes new weather boarding, painting, new windows, interior and exterior lighting, landscaping, new concrete walks and signage. It is again available for school and group tours by calling the College of Education, 622-1175.
More than half of the ceremony attendees came from Estill County, the original home of the school before it was moved to EKU in 1976. President Whitlock, who alluded to some family roots in Estill County, talked about the quality of education one could receive in a one-room school.
“I know many people who attended one-room schools and I saw nothing wanting in their education,” Whitlock said. “If there’s a place in America to lift up the one-room school, it’s EKU because it was such a part of the educational landscape of eastern Kentucky for many, many years.”
Also among the speakers was Robert Grise, retired EKU professor and local historian who served as “curator” for the schoolhouse for 19 years and led many tours of the facility, often bringing his own firewood and kerosene lantern for a touch of authenticity. He stressed that more historically appropriate items are always needed, especially old school books, and then presented President Whitlock with several 19th century McGuffey Readers from former College of Education Dean Dixon Barr.
Anyone interested in making tax-deductible donations of either cash or artifacts for the Schoolhouse should contact Kim Naugle, Associate Dean of the College of Education, at 622-1175 or email@example.com.
The West Irvine Elementary School Choir performed “God Bless America.”
In 2003, EKU’s College of Education launched an effort to raise funds to renovate the schoolhouse. A $35,000 grant from the EKU Foundation augmented approximately $12,000 in money raised through a benefit event starring Carl Hurley and the late Homer Ledford and from individual contributions.
The Granny Richardson Springs School opened in Estill County in 1900, six years before Eastern Kentucky State Normal School was established, and closed in 1964. Thirty-one students were enrolled in the school’s first year. That number grew steadily, especially after oil was discovered in the area, but declined again during and after World War II. By 1963, only six pupils attended.
It was donated to EKU by the heirs of the late Eli Sparks. The Lee County Board of Education donated furnishings.
Long-range plans for the schoolhouse call for the establishment of a one-room school museum that would display educational artifacts and documents representing the growth of public school education in the Commonwealth.
“The vision for the schoolhouse project was to connect the present-day campus with the rich history of the structure as well as to the history of public education in Kentucky,” said Tom Bonny, retired superintendent of Estill County Schools and now assistant director of the South East/South Central Educational Cooperative, who has played a leading role in the restoration of the schoolhouse. “The realization of this vision will now create an extraordinary opportunity for the public and students of all ages to experience the environs and learn of life in a one-room school, the standard for early education in Kentucky. The development of the museum will extend the vision beyond the walls of the schoolhouse through the creation of exhibits and an archive supported by research into Kentucky’s rich heritage in public education.”
QEP Stars, a new regular feature in EKUpdate, will take a look at those faculty members who are incorporating critical/creative thinking and communication strategies with their students. The feature hopes to show how those strategies have impacted the classroom experience, both from a learning and teaching standpoint. This issue's "QEP Star" is Stephen Haggerty, Coordinator of Curriculum Development & Peer Mentoring, NOVA TRiO Student Support Services
How are you helping to implement the EKU Quality Enhancement Plan?
I serve on the QEP Instructor Team for GSD 101: Foundations for Learning, I currently teach the two sections of GSD 101 for the NOVA Program (TRiO Student Support Services), I attend and participate in critical thinking roundtable discussions and presentations at the TLC, I am an active member of the GSD 101 work group, I am a QEP Critical Thinking Assessment Scorer, I serve on a Department of Communication grant for incorporating critical and creative thinking in a CMS 100 course I teach as adjunct faculty, and I am a member of the University-level Service Learning Committee. I support and encourage my peers to bring more critical and creative thinking to their classrooms, in their offices, and in their lives. NOVA also actively engages in service-learning.
How can this transform and enrich the educational experience of our students?
By engaging our learners to think things through, by increasing our learners’ skills in assessing the arguments and opinions presented to them each day, and by immersing our learners in thinking critically and creatively while communicating effectively, we assist our learners in developing as students and citizens of the world. We all want learners who think critically, and by teaching thinking, we teach our learners how to become more successful by thinking things through and making wise choices. Have your learners engage in service learning!
How have you changed the way you teach?
I find each day I am able to use the SEEI method of thinking things through (State, Elaborate, Exemplify, Illustrate) to gauge my learners’ comprehension of material presented in class. I reflect on my teaching and notice I emphasize the elements and standards of thought to my learners when they share with me concerns about their other classes. I believe my teaching has improved as a result of using critical and creative thinking as a foundation for the important, powerful, and fundamental concepts of my classes.
What changes are you seeing in student performance because of an emphasis on critical thinking and/or communication skills in your classroom?
The learners I have think things through more often. I see their faces during class when I ask a question…I can see the wheels turning differently. I believe many of my learners think of the SEEI before they argue a point. I see a level of engagement in my class that indicates the learners are hungry for information, and most learners are seeing how the concepts of critical and creative thinking are used in all of their classes, not just mine! By engaging in service-learning, our NOVA participants are impacting lives while they learn about leadership!
How has the approach benefited you?
It makes me think more critically and creatively. It assists me in developing my own presentations and training workshops. It definitely enhances the way I advise. It improves the clarity I have with my family. Being mindful of how to think critically and creatively has enhanced my world beyond the academic boundaries of EKU. Not only can I think more clearly, but I can be more clear. That is the key; theory and practice!
If you could offer one suggestion to your colleagues related to integrating our QEP theme, what would that be?
Do it. Try it. Go to every presentation and workshop available to you to help you see how you can infuse critical and creative thinking in your classroom, your office, your program, and your division. Attend a workshop or roundtable on service-learning and see how it can be incorporated into your program. In the NOVA Program, we train our learners to be leaders, we encourage our learners to be thinkers and doers. By utilizing critical and creative thinking within our program design of persistence, retention, and service we are developing more successful participants. I encourage anyone who wants their learners and/or employees to be thinkers and doers to explore how critical and creative thinking and a model of service-learning can assist in this goal.
The African/African-American Studies Program will host a Kwanzaa celebration on Friday, Dec. 5, at 11 a.m. in the Jaggers Room of the Powell Building.
A meal will be catered by EKU Aramark and entertainment will be provided by the Model Middle School Choir. Also, a silent auction of the African textile designs of faculty member Ida Kumoji will be held. The African/African-American Studies Program will be taking canned and dry good donations for The Food Pantry.
The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are requested by Dec. 1 to Evelyn Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EKU senior Samuel Arnold is presented KACECE's Ken Noah Outstanding Co-op/Intern Award by Gladys Johnson, director of Cooperative Education at EKU.
EKU senior Samuel Arnold, an industrial technology major from Richmond, received the Ken Noah Outstanding Co-op/Intern Award from the Kentucky Association of Cooperative Education and Career Employment (KACECE) at the organization’s fall conference in Bowling Green on Nov. 13.
Arnold, who did his co-op at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, was one of two recipients of the award, which included a $300 prize.
At Toyota, Arnold was project lead for a robotic delivery project and served as key engineering support to another project – both with a capital investment in excess of $1.5 million.
In addition to his excellent engineering work, Arnold was nominated for the award by his supervisor David Euler, assistant manager of production engineering, because of his “strong commitment to seeing that this project is a complete success,” working long days and weekends to meet milestones.
“Sam’s ability to interact with a very large diverse group of people and earn their respect is equally impressive to us,” Euler added.
Arnold was also named an Outstanding Co-op Student at EKU during the University’s spring awards ceremony.
Mustapha Jourdini, Academic Advisor, Honors Program
Mustapha Jourdini, Academic Advisor with the Honors Program, is featured in this ongoing series designed to allow EKU leaders and others in prominent positions to discuss their roles as well as campus issues. Jourdini, who holds an associate's degree from Caddi Ayyad University in Morocco and bachelor's and master's degrees from EKU, joined Eastern as a full-time employee in 2004. On Dec. 2, he will present "The Truth about Islam: Unveiling the Myths and Misconceptions about the Islamic Religion." The 11 a.m. program, sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, will be in the Kennamer Room of the Powell Building.
What is the most common myth, or misconception, Among Americans about Islam?
That Islam was spread by the sword, which goes against the Qur’anic teachings of, “There is no compulsion in faith.” Nothing imposed on any people by force has any chance to be accepted let alone to flourish for a long time. Islam has been in existence for 1,500 years and it claims 1.5 billion adherents from all ethnic and racial backgrounds. I will say more on this controversial topic during my presentation on Dec 2.
How did your life change on Sept. 11, 2001? What were your emotions on that day?
When/where do you feel most uncomfortable, or even frightened?
I still remember that tragic day vividly; I was struck with grief for quite a long time. The terrorist attacks doubled my sorrows. On the one hand, for the unnecessary loss of innocent victims and, on the other, for my faith that was hijacked by merciless fanatics.
Anywhere there are security checks, but especially at airports.
How did the propaganda campaign to convince voters that Barack Obama is a Muslim make you feel? And should it even matter?
American media, especially such outlets as Fox News, treat Islam not as a world religion but as a terminal disease. Until Americans learn to think more critically about the information that pours forth from such sources, even a highly qualified American Muslim is unlikely to be elected president of this great country.
If you could describe Osama Bin Laden with one word what would that be? Explain.
Munafiq, hypocrite, one who professes to act as a true Muslim but who in fact acts in violation of Muslim precepts. With his short-sighted vision and misguided thinking, Bin Laden has terrorized Muslims and non-Muslims alike. He has done a huge disservice to the pure faith he claims to profess by reinforcing stereotypes that Islam is a violent religion.
Are peace and stability possible in the Middle East? If so, how can it best be achieved?
How much diversity of thought and practice exists within Islam?
As a Muslim, I can’t help but be optimistic that the future of the world will be better than it is right now. The several conflicts at issue in the Middle East are very complex and their resolution depends on a minimum of two conditions: (1) we must recognize the conflicts are primarily political and not religious ones, and (2) the United States must encourage international cooperation by ensuring that its own role is evenhanded toward all parties.
Islamic thought and practice is like a mosaic produced by the greatest Muslim artists: its coherence depends very much on the many different cultural elements that go into it.
Have you faced much criticism within your own family for your western ties?
What one thing do you most want non-Muslims to know about you?
I am, first of all, a human being from planet earth.
Susan Fister, Baccalaureate and Graduate Degree Nursing, was awarded $13,000 as a subaward from Hope Center Inc. to support HIV/AIDS and Substance Abuse outreach activities of the Bluegrass Community Health Center.
Monday-Sunday, December 1-7, 2008
AIDS Awareness Week event, Powell Building Lobby, sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
8 p.m., Gifford Theatre.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Larry Nelson, director, 8 p.m., Gifford Theatre.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Women's basketball, 5:30 p.m.; men's basketball, 7:30 p.m.; Paul McBrayer Arena.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Women's basketball, 4 p.m.; men's basketball, 7 p.m.; Paul McBrayer Arena.
Sunday-Friday, December 7-19, 2008
Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition, mixed media exhibit by graduating BFA students in the Department of Art and Design, Fall 2008 Gallery hours are Mondays and Wednesdays, 9 a.m.-noon and 12:15-5 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m.-12:15 p.m. and 1:30-5:30 p.m.; and Fridays 10 a.m.-2 p.m. For more information, call 622-8135 or contact Esther Randall at 622-1639 or email@example.com.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Connie Rhoades, director, 8 p.m., Gifford Theatre.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
EKU vs. Covenant College, 7 p.m., Paul McBrayer Arena.
Friday-Saturday, December 12-13, 2008
Sue Ellen Ballard, director, 7 p.m., Keen Johnson Ballroom, $25, contact Colonel One Office at 622-2179.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
1 p.m., Brock Auditorium.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
EKU vs. Houston Baptist, 1 p.m., Paul McBrayer Arena.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Mick Sehmann, director, 8 p.m., Gifford Theatre.