■ Desmond Howard, a student at Bryan Station High School and a member of the Black Males Working Academy at First Baptist Church Bracktown, has been named the recipient of a Ron Brown Scholarship, named in honor of the late Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown, whose life was inspired by his dedication to public service. The BMW Academy is a private academic enrichment program for black boys that meets on Saturdays. More than 5,000 students from across the United States applied for this scholarship, which is valued at $40,000. Desmond attends Bryan Station Senior High, where he has an unweighted grade point average of 3.98. He will attend the University of Pennsylvania in the fall. Desmond is the son of Debra Howard.
■ Marissa Phillips of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School placed first among nearly 1,700 high school girls in the NASP national archery tournament — shooting a 296 out of a possible 300. She also was runner-up overall in the girls' field of 5,500 students and sixth overall among the 12,000 archers. After the competition, Marissa participated in a shoot-off among the top five girls and received a $15,000 scholarship for her performance.
As a group, Dunbar finished 21st out of 192 teams in the May 7 to 9 national tournament in Louisville, and Lafayette was 19th.
In other end-of-season news, Dunbar's Haley Townsend and Lafayette's Katie Weitlauf will attend college next year on archery scholarships.
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■ UK Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that three of the university's students have been selected to receive government-funded National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships. The fellowships award more than $100,000 to use toward research-based master's or doctoral degrees.
NSF fellows receive a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees. They also are given opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose.
UK's newest NSF fellows are: James "Wes" Morris, a natural resources and environmental science senior, from Georgetown; Tamas Nagy, a chemistry and mathematics senior from Lexington; and Joe Papp, a chemical engineering senior from Nicholasville.
■ Eastern Kentucky University Libraries recently presented two students with the Library Research Award for Undergraduates.
Brooke King, an occupational science major from Tipp City, Ohio, and Catherine Gerteisen, a communication disorders major from Owensboro, are this year's first- and second-place honorees, respectively.
■ Fifty-six students from Eastside and Southside technical centers participated in the 2015 SkillsUSA state conference April 22-25 in Louisville, where they competed in various categories, conducted business for the Kentucky chapter, met with business and industry representatives, and heard from government officials. The following 11 gold medalists also qualified for the National Leadership and Skills Conference, set for June 22-26 in Louisville.
Gold medals: Paxton Barnett and Rylan Toland, interactive applications and game development; Matthew Gabbard, American spirit; Charles Greenlee and Darion Walker, digital cinema; Kaytlynn Robinson, power equipment; Shaylan Oates, employment application process; Jacob Fleckinstein, collision repair; and Jessica Bryant, community service, all of Eastside Technical Center.
Gold medals: Hollie Coyle, commercial baking; and Hannah Simms, first aid/CPR, both of Southside Technical Center.
■ The Eastern Kentucky University Department of Communication has named Marcus C. Whitt as its 2015 Distinguished Alumnus.
Most recently, Whitt served 12 years as EKU's associate vice president of public relations and chief communications officer. Currently, he is the public relations and marketing columnist for University Business magazine, the most regularly read publication for higher education leaders in the U.S. He has also taught public relations at EKU as an adjunct for the previous eight years.
■ Doug Whitlock, EKU president emeritus, will be inducted into the Ohio Valley Conference Hall of Fame on May 29. Whitlock first began following Eastern sports teams and the OVC as a teen growing up in Richmond. He went on to spend most of his adult life on the Eastern campus — first as a student who earned two degrees and then throughout an administrative career that spanned parts of six decades, culminating in the EKU presidency 2007-2013.
■ Lexington Traditional Magnet School and Cassidy Elementary topped the 2015 Battle of the Books reading incentive program, a series of competitions in Fayette County Public Schools. The LTMS winning team included Kitty Hannah, Sebastian Fonseca, Elizabeth Bates, Maya Anderson, Kiarah Higgins and Lillian Winchester; and the Cassidy group included Carter Cohron, Cooper Cohron, Madeline Deep, Kiera Fehr, Addison Kenny, Declan Wittkamp and Keelin Wittkamp.
In the middle school finals on April 23 at Norsworthy Auditorium, Marcus C. Whitt was runner-up and Tates Creek was third. In the elementary finals April 30, Harrison and Veterans Park placed second even after a tie-breaker, and Garden Springs finished third.
■ The Creative Alliance for Arts Education will present the 2015 Reimagine art exhibition through June 13 at the Downtown Arts Center, 141 Main Street. In this project, more than 40 local professionals have created finished pieces of artwork based on elementary students' ideas and drawings. The project involved children from Ashland, Booker T. Washington, Cardinal Valley, Dixie Magnet, Harrison, James Lane Allen, Millcreek, Picadome, Veterans Park and William Wells Brown. Sayre School and The Lexington School also participated as an outreach to public schools.
■ The 16th District PTA gathered at Fasig-Tipton for its annual awards luncheon May 6 to mark the successes of 2014-2015, salute outstanding volunteers and school chapters, and install new officers for the next two-year term.
Executive board members for 2015-2017 include James Brown, president; Adrienne Thakur, first vice president; David Kidd, second vice president/membership; Denise Bauer, recording secretary; Jesi Bowman, corresponding secretary; and Liz Hill, treasurer.
The PTA also presented $1,000 scholarships to high school seniors Ivan Chavez Olivas of Bryan Station, Sabrina Miracle of Henry Clay, Jazz Cole of Lafayette, Rochelle Foxx of Paul Laurence Dunbar, Allon Stephens of Tates Creek and to Bryan Station's Campbell Wade, who received the exceptional-child scholarship, which goes to a student with special needs.
National PTA Lifetime Achievement Award: Kathy Smiley, outgoing 16th District PTA president
Judi Conrad Leadership Award: Laura Clifford, Garden Springs Elementary PTA
Maggie Price Award, for courage and devotion through volunteerism: Rhonda Black, Garden Springs Elementary PTA
Key Collins Award, for 100 percent student participation in the Reflections art competition: Tates Creek Elementary PTA, Dixie Magnet Elementary PTA, and The Academy for Leadership at Millcreek Elementary PTA
Outstanding Program Awards: Booker T. Washington Intermediate PTA (Beep Beep Summer Reading); Cardinal Valley Elementary PTA (Faith Feeds/Glean KY partnership); and STEAM Academy PTSA (student internships)
Judy Whitmer Award: Maxwell Elementary PTA
Harold L. Steele Award: Winburn Middle School PTSA
Ronald Walton Award: Lafayette High School PTSA
Highest percentage of PTA membership, based on student enrollment: Veterans Park Elementary PTA, Beaumont Middle PTSA and Lafayette High School PTSA.