In this issue:
• Fall Commencement Ceremonies Dec. 17 to Recognize 1,128 Degree Candidates
• Local Author Signs Books
• EKU Professor’s Book on ‘Plant Life of Kentucky’ A First in Kentucky
• EKU to Host International Conference on Educational Leadership
• America's Promise
• Frank X Walker Receives Prestigious Lannan Writing Fellowship
• Occupational Therapy Students Receive Scholarships
• EKU Presents 'Battle of the Belts' Trophy
• Moving Forward Together: Leadership Spotlight
EKU will recognize 1,128 degree candidates at its annual Fall Commencement on Saturday, Dec. 17.
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.
The honorees include 773 bachelor’s degree candidates, 237 master’s degree candidates and 118 associate degree candidates.
Dr. Gary Booth, a 1962 Eastern graduate who retired after a 31-year career in Research and Development at P & G (formerly Procter & Gamble), will address the morning graduates and receive an honorary doctor of science degree. Dr. Paul Chellgren, retired Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Ashland Inc., will speak and receive an honorary doctor of science degree in the afternoon ceremony.
The last 10 years of Booth’s career were spent in Europe, where he was vice president of Research and Development, with responsibility for Europe, Africa and parts of Asia. When barriers began to fall in Russia and China in the early 1990s, Booth led efforts to recruit scientists from those countries and research institutes to perform contract research for P & G.
Chellgren retired in 2002 after 28 years in progressively responsible positions with the company. As chief operating officer and chief executive officer, he helped guide Ashland Inc. through a period of rapid growth, including a merger in 1997 with Marathon. He also serves on the EKU Foundation Board.
Speaking as representatives of their graduating class in the morning and afternoon ceremonies, respectively, will be Katy Clipson, an elementary education major from Cincinnati, and Tichaedza Chikuni, a computer information systems major from Zimbabwe.
Receptions for graduates and their families will be held in the Fred Darling Gymnasium in Alumni Coliseum immediately after each ceremony.
Renowned local author Charles Bracelen Flood, whose latest book chronicles “Grant and Sherman: The Friendship That Won the Civil War,” signed copies of the book following his presentation on campus Dec. 6. Earlier in the day, the Bookstore hosted a “Meet-and-Greet” with the author in the store.
Rhodora, the journal of the New England Botanical Club, called it a “monumental and much-needed work.”
Modern Mountain Magazine said the book is “ideal for students, teachers, landscapers and consultants, wildlife biologists, county agents, environmentalists and amateur naturalists.”
Taxon, the International Journal of Plant Taxonomy, Phylogeny and Evolution, said Daniel Boone “would have loved” this “beautifully and comprehensively executed book,” adding that non-residents of the Bluegrass State “should be green with envy.”
Dr. Ron Jones’ new book “Plant Life of Kentucky: An Illustrated Guide to the vascular Flora,” the first volume ever of its kind in the Commonwealth, has garnered praise from academicians and gardeners alike and earned for its author the 2005 Biological Diversity Protection Award from the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission. The impetus for the book, however, was deeply rooted in simple necessity.
“When I first started teaching, I could have used a book like this,” said Jones, in his 25th year as a biology professor at Eastern.
Now in its second printing by the University Press of Kentucky, the 834-page hardback is finding a home in college and university classrooms and home libraries across a wide region of the country. The Louisville Courier-Journal even called it a “must-have for serious gardeners.”
“Plant Life of Kentucky” is a comprehensive guide to the 2,600 native and naturalized ferns, flowering herbs and woody plants of the Commonwealth as well as 250 additional species outside the state, and tells readers where the plants grow, when they bloom, their degree of rarity, and of their possible medicinal or herbal uses.
The 105-page introduction includes information on prehistoric and historical changes in the flora, rare and endangered species, natural regions and plant communities, significant botanists, and current threats to plant life.
Although the idea germinated for many years, Jones, also the herbarium curator at EKU and a founder of the Kentucky Native Plant Society in 1986, began work in earnest on the book about 10 years ago. With the help of colleagues and graduate and undergraduate students along the way, the book was published earlier this year by the University Press of Kentucky.
“The flora of Kentucky has long been recognized for its richness, having been formed by the intermixing of plant species over millions of years of geologic and climatic change,” Jones said in his preface to the book.
Jones is more concerned, however, about the future of Kentucky’s plant life.
“I feel like we’re at a crossroads,” Jones said. “We’ve seen a decline in our environment, and we need a major reference to tell us where we stand now. There is increasing awareness, both among professionals and the general public, of the state’s rich natural heritage and of the value of protecting this biodiversity. I wanted to discuss the increasing threats to us and other organisms.”
While such books are more common in other sections of the country, “Plant Life of Kentucky” is the first book of its kind, outside Florida, in the southeastern U.S. in 30 years. For that reason, Jones said, the book would prove helpful in bordering states such as his native Tennessee and can serve as a model for all states.
The book was hardly a solo project. In addition to the assistance from EKU colleagues and students, the late John Thieret of the Northern Kentucky University faculty served as editor and Charles Lapham served as technical adviser, and other colleagues assisted by proof-reading the manuscript. Financial contributors included the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Touchstone Energy Cooperatives, Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission, EKU Division of Natural Areas, and the Kentucky Native Plant Society.
Jones’ wife, Kathleen, contributed the highly praised cover photograph, taken in the Red River Gorge.
The book, which retails for $75, is available at most regional bookstores and at Amazon.com.
Throughout 2006, Jones will speak on “Plants and People” in a series of presentations sponsored by the Kentucky Humanities Council at various locations around the Commonwealth.
From May 29 through June 26 of 2006, Jones will be in Ecuador, teaching Tropical Biodiversity and Conservation through the Kentucky Institute of International Studies. For more information, e-mail Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The event, which also is expected to attract some international participants, will be held Aug. 1-4, 2006, at the Marriott at Griffin Gate Resort in Lexington.
The theme for the 2006 conference is “Unbridled Spirit: Best Practices in Teaching, Scholarship and Service for Effective Educational Administration.” This will be the first time for the conference to be held in Kentucky.
“The conference brings educational leadership professors so they can share their research and dialogue with each other,” said Dr. Jack Herlihy, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at EKU and conference host. Eastern faculty will be among the presenters.
Established in 1947, NCPEA is committed to the improvement of the practice and study of educational administration. The Council’s activities include, but are not limited to: providing information and leadership, improving the preparation of school administrators, encouraging research and service, promoting high professional standards, focusing attention on educational problems and opportunities, and cooperating with other professional organizations interested in excellence in education.
For more information, visit the NCPEA web site at www.ncpea.net or contact Herlihy at 859-622-1128 or email@example.com.
EKU students spent eight days this semester teaching two different groups of sixth-graders at Clark Moores Middle School about "The Power of Five," created by America's Promise. On Dec. 7 and 8, the middle school students were presented with t-shirts and certificates to recognize their graduation from the program, designed to teach the students how to be safe and give back to others in their life and their community.
“Building a national reputation in the larger literary community has been a professional goal” of Frank X Walker.
Consider it reached.
The EKU English professor and leading “Affrilachian” poet learned recently that he had received a prestigious Lannan Writing Fellowship. He is one of only nine nationally to receive a Lannan Literary Award or Fellowship for 2005 and one of only three Kentuckians to have earned the honor in the Lannan Foundation’s 17-year history, joining Wendell Berry and Chris Offutt.
The award, accompanied by a $75,000 literary prize, honors “both established and emerging writers whose work is of exceptional quality” and recognizes writers of “distinctive literary merit who demonstrate potential for continued outstanding work.”
Earlier this year, Walker was one of 12 new poets selected as a Cave Canem Fellow, “a major milestone.” He has also received the Jesse Stuart Award for his documentary “Coal Black Voices” and the Lillian Smith Book Award for “Buffalo Dance: The Journey of York,” which is written in the voice of York, the slave who accompanied legendary explorers Lewis & Clark. He continues to make presentations and teach writing workshops at colleges and universities nationwide.
The Danville native, who joined the EKU creative writing faculty in 2004 and also serves as interim director of the University’s African/African-American Studies Program, is a founding member of the Affrilachian Poets. Walker is the editor of “Eclipsing A Nappy New Millennium” and the author of three collections of poems: “Affrilachia,” “Buffalo Dance,” and, most recently, “Black Box: Poems.”
“‘Black Box’ continues the family, place, identity and social justice issues from ‘Affrilachia,’” Walker said. “I hope it continues to attract new readers of poetry.”
Current and upcoming projects include writing the lyrics for an opera in collaboration with University of Kentucky music professor Everett McCorvey, a novel, an anthology of multi-ethnic poets from around the nation, two instructional manuals and another collection of poems.
“It’s difficult to do it all and do it all well,” said Walker of his two-track career, “but my creative writing students have appreciated having an active writer in the classroom.”
Mullins has received the first Jean Steffan Smith Memorial Scholarship, established by Smith’s father, Ralph Steffan, to honor the memory of the former Department of Occupational Therapy faculty member. Smith, who joined the EKU faculty in 1991, died of a rare form of cancer in 1996 at age 43.
The scholarship provides full tuition for one year and gives first consideration to current or former residents of eastern or southeastern Kentucky.
Mullins received an associate degree in art from Hazard Community College and a bachelor’s degree in occupational science from EKU in May, 2005. While she was enrolled at EKU, she worked at the East Kentucky Therapy Clinic with speech and occupational therapists. Throughout her education, Mullins has maintained high academic standards.
The youngest of six children, Mullins is the first person in her family to attend college. During her first four years of college she worked at a parttime job and commuted to school so she could spend time with her mother, who is not well.
Vetter was awarded EKU’s first Occupational Therapy Faculty Scholarship in the amount of $500. The scholarship was established and funded solely by the occupational therapy faculty, who have been keenly aware of the need for scholarships for occupational therapy students and developed this scholarship to assist with this need.
Vetter, who holds a bachelor’s degree in human services from Lindsey Wilson College, attended graduate school at the University of Louisville for one year prior to enrolling at EKU. She has served as a crisis counselor for the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center in Lexington and as care coordinator for the Volunteers of America and a family advocate for the Center for Women and Families, both located in Louisville. She has maintained high scholastic standards throughout her career as a student, and received the Professional Development Award and highest exit exam grade from Lindsey Wilson College.
EKU senior nursing students organized the third annual Battle of the Belts competition among all Madison County high schools to promote the use of seat belts while driving/riding. On Dec. 1, Madison Central High School was presented the first-place prize in the contest, co-sponsored by the Madison County Health Department. On hand for the award ceremony were, from left, Lloyd Jordison of the health department; EKU nursing stduent Sarah Peacock; Elaine Waters, assistant professor of nursing; EKU nursing students Patricia Hibbitts, Kalena Hunt, Effie Sizemore, Taryn Brandenburg, Lindsay Davis, Lisa Watson and Johnnida Caldwell; Madison County High School Assistant Principal Chris Young; EKU nursing student Tasia Rader; Sgt. Willard Reardon of the Richmond Police Department; Madison Central High students Sarah Baird and Rogers Summers; and MCHS teacher Jamie Ford.
Carole Garrison, Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice and Police Studies
Carole Garrison, chair of the Department of Criminal Justice and Police Studies, is featured in this ongoing series designed to allow EKU leaders to discuss their roles as well as campus issues. Garrison, who joined the EKU faculty more than five years ago, holds a Ph.D. in public administration from Ohio State University, a master's degree in government administration from The Institute of Government Administration at Georgia State University, and a bachelor's degree in history and government from the University of Miami.
Chair, Department of Criminal Justice and Police Studies
How is your academic department contributing to the University's goal of national distinction?
Our faculty's scholarly articles and textbooks are used in CRJ & Police studies programs around the U.S. and around the world. Faculty present at the professional meetings both in the states and abroad, representing the department and EKU as a center of excellence. Our students, undergraduate and graduate, have gone on to doctoral programs and are now teaching at major universities … others have graduated and become distinguished practitioners in the fields of criminal justice.
What are your goals for the department?
To continue to provide the best educational experience for our students; provide a core social science base, which offers the maximum occupational flexibility, while continually integrating emerging critical content such as The Implications of Homeland Security and the War on Terror on Democratic Institutions and Policing; maintain small classes despite large numbers of majors; offer a selected number of on-line classes as a completion strategy for timely graduation for our undergrad and grad students whose ability to be residential or on campus is disrupted; to increase the diversity of our student body and faculty; and, finally, continue to support the Commonwealth through our scholarly participation in the Program of Distinction.
You are heavily involved in the SACS review process. How will the University benefit from having undertaken this effort?
My role in SACS has been primarily as chair of the University Assessment Committee. Working under the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and with the Office of Institutional Research, this committee of outstanding EKU faculty and staff provides the meta-analysis of the University’s progress on achieving their strategic directions, General Education’s achieving their learning outcomes, and how the SAC’s leadership team is meeting the requirements for reaffirmation. It is through this systematic analysis and review of “how we are doing” that allows the university to monitor its progress, provide critical feedback for improvement and plan for EKU’s future. It also allows us to identify areas where we need to collect and assess additional information. EKU will benefit from having better information and data upon which to make its decisions and budget allocations to best meet its mission and goals.
What makes EKU special?
This one is easy – a talented faculty, motivated and nice students, committed and highly competent staff, and a leadership team that is working 24-7 for this University. We are an academic institution uniquely situated to enhance the quality of life in our service area, the Commonwealth and in the U.S. through our academic and extra curricular programs.
In what areas does it need to improve?
I think that EKU still needs a more coherent focused vision to realize its place in the 21st century, better and more realistic information to enhance decision making, and realignment between the demands on faculty/staff and the work load/salary realities for EKU. I would like to see a total revision of the job descriptions for hourly staff. I would like to see us realize President Glasser’s dream of a financially independent institution so that we, the academic institution, can determine how best to educate our students and free ourselves from the political and corporate pressures which erode academic freedom, drive curricular decisions, and dictate the allocation of our resources. I would like to return to a greater emphasis on the integration of the arts across the academic and college experience and better utilization of the artistic resources on campus to enhance the learning environment. Finally, I would like to see student learning, our top priority, in action and all of our component units synergistically supporting that mission as their priority. We are a university…not a multiversity and thus we need each unit and each employee, faculty and staff, contributing to the whole.
Sunday-Saturday, December 4-17, 2005
Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition, Giles Gallery, Campbell Building, call 622-8135 for Gallery hours.
Monday, December 19, 2005
Men's basketball, 7 p.m., Paul McBrayer Arena.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
EKU vs. Indiana State, 5:30 p.m., Paul McBrayer Arena.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Men's basketball, 7 p.m., Paul McBrayer Arena.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
EKU vs. Eastern Illinois, 5:30 p.m., Paul McBrayer Arena.
Friday, December 30, 2005
Men's basketball, 7 p.m., Paul McBrayer Arena.