■ Jane Stephenson, founder of New Opportunity School for Women, has been recognized with the inaugural Champions of Appalachia Award by the Christian Appalachian Project. The award honors those who have created a lasting legacy of significant impact to the Central Appalachian region. As the first recipient of this award, Stephenson was honored for creating the New Opportunity School for Women and celebrated for the difference the school has made and continues to make in the lives of Appalachian women.
■ The Kentucky Association for Psychology in the Schools has tapped Rachel Rice of Bryan Station High School as its 2015 School Psychologist of the Year. Rice, who will be the state's nominee for the national-level honor, also received a Best Practices Award at the recent state conference in Louisville. In addition, Robyn Henrich of Northern and Mary Todd elementaries earned a regional Best Practices Award for the Central Kentucky Educational Cooperative.
■ The Urban League of Lexington has awarded its 2015 Individual Champion of Diversity to Charlene Walker, vice president of multiculturalism and inclusion at Bluegrass Community & Technical College.
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The Urban League's annual diversity awards are presented to recognize an individual and a business that embrace, celebrate and apply holistic inclusion and participation of a diverse people.
At BCTC, Walker has supported Latino Outreach, International Students and Scholars Services, Diversity Outreach, Intramural Sports, Ready-to-Work and BLINKS, a program for students transferring to Kentucky State University.
■ Members of Academic Enhancement at University of Kentucky have received the Frank Christ/National College Learning Center Association Outstanding Learning Center Award, which gives national recognition to the work done by learning centers and to foster their growth and development. Each year, the association may recognize two learning assistance centers for excellence: one two-year college and one four-year college or university.
On hand to accept the award for UK Academic Enhancement was Jim Breslin, UK alumnus and 2014-15 interim director of academic enhancement. Additionally, Jane Jensen, assistant provost for transformative learning; Molly Reynolds, executive director of transformative learning; Tourgee Simpson, director of academic enhancement; Christie Maier, assistant director of peer-tutoring; Abby Essinger, program coordinator; Mary Ann Nestmann, instructional technology director of transformative learning; Chanson Davenport, director assessment for transformative learning; and Rachael Deel, marketing director for transformative learning, were present to represent and support academic enhancement.
■ Amy Wang, a junior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, earned first-place honors Oct. 24 in the senior performance category of the Music Teachers National Association's statewide competition. Amy will represent Kentucky in the nine-state southern division contest in January.
Amy was also one of three winners in this fall's Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras' Borchardt Concerto Competition, where she played Chopin's Grand Polonaise Brillante in E-flat Major, Op 22. She will perform a piano solo with the CKYO Symphony Orchestra on Feb. 21 in the Singletary Center.
■ Five Eastern Kentucky University music students earned first-place awards in a recent competition sponsored by the Kentucky Music Teachers Association.
Top finishers in the National Division were Ciarra Kist, Williamstown, brass; and Jordan Durham, Lexington, voice. Kist is a student of Joseph Van Fleet, and Durham is a student of Zach Marshall. In addition, Yuhan Lu, China, a student of Bernardo Scarambone, received honorable mention in piano.
First-place winners in the Bluegrass State Division were Tim Montgomery, Lexington, cello; Jeffrey Doll, Lexington, brass; and Adam Kern, Lexington, voice. Montgomery is a student of Nathan Jasinksi, Doll is a student of Van Fleet and Kern is a student of Marshall.
■ Ryan Wilson, a Clay County native and three-time graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, has been named director of regional programming at EKU.
Most recently, Wilson was program director of student success for the College of Education, leading its undergraduate advising, retention, recruitment and marketing efforts. Under his leadership, the freshman fall-to-fall retention rate increased 5.2 percent in two years.
■ Thomas M. Martin, previously senior fellow for research and economic policy at the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, has joined Eastern Kentucky University as executive director of its Center for Economic Development, Entrepreneurship and Technology.
Martin, a two-time EKU graduate, joined the center in 2011 as senior associate for academic affairs. He served as senior policy adviser for research and economic engagement from 2012 to 2014, when he was named senior fellow.