Education notes: Oct. 13

Kathy Previs
Kathy Previs


■ Eastern Kentucky University aviation major Matt Jones loves taking to the air and sharing his adventures with people on the ground.

The sophomore from Louisville was recently awarded the Calvin L. Carrithers Aviation Scholarship for the second consecutive year. The scholarship, which comes with a $1,000 award, is given to only four full-time aviation students nationwide.

The scholarship was created last year and as part of a trial run, advertised to a small audience. Jones, along with two other EKU students, was among the four winners. This year, the scholarship was advertised nationally, and Jones won again, edging out a much larger pool of applicants.

In receiving the scholarship, winners agree to create a blog for the school year and make weekly posts. Jones' blog,, is in its second year and allows him to share experiences and advice as an aviation student.

For more information about EKU's aviation program, go to

■ The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment's Department of Animal and Food Sciences has recognized two men who have been supporters of Kentucky animal agriculture for decades.

David Switzer is the 2015 Distinguished Alumnus. Switzer, a 1967 graduate of the college, has been associated with the Thoroughbred industry for more than 50 years, working in both racing and breeding. For 21 years, he was the executive director of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. He retired in 2014 and soon after began serving as a lobbyist for Keeneland Association and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, where he continues to advocate for agriculture.

He was a lead supporter of the capital project for the expansion of the UK Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and was instrumental in the project finally gaining full approval in 2008. Switzer received the Friend of the UK Equine Initiative Award in 2006 and was inducted into the UK CAFE Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 2012, the highest award the college bestows.

Gary T. Lane is the 2015 UK Department of Animal and Food Sciences Hall of Fame inductee.

After growing up on a dairy and row crop farm in Central Kentucky, Lane graduated from Lindsey Wilson Junior College in Columbia in 1961 and received a bachelor's degree in agriculture from Berea College in 1963. He then earned a master's and a doctoral degree from Purdue University before joining the faculty at Texas A&M University.

In 1977, Lane came to UK as dairy extension specialist. During his tenure he served as dairy section leader and overall extension leader for the Department of Animal and Food Sciences. Lane left UK in 1986 to become a nutritionist and director of technical service at Burkmann Feeds in Danville.

At the time, the company had one mill and one company store in Central Kentucky. During his 20 years of service, Lane helped the company grow to nine feed mills and five company stores. Today Burkmann Feeds sells feed throughout most of Kentucky and has expanded to Tennessee. He retired in 2006 but continues to work part time.

Lane was instrumental in the formation of the Kentucky Dairy Development Council in 2005, consisting of dairy producers and allied industry members.

For more information, go to

■ Phi Theta Kappa has announced that Bluegrass Community and Technical College's Hanna Floyd has been selected as a 2015 Pearson Scholar.

Each Pearson Scholar will be provided with a $1,000 scholarship to complete an associate degree, and an additional $4,000 to complete a bachelor's degree.

Each Pearson Scholar will be paired with a Pearson Mentor and receive complimentary access to Pearson textbooks and digital access codes to support them as they complete their degrees.

Floyd, a Danville native, is a sophomore at BCTC. Candidates were required to be a member of Phi Theta Kappa with a minimum of a 3.5 cumulative grade point average, and were selected based on civic engagement, showing commitment to their communities through service, demonstrating persistence and leadership, and exhibiting academic rigor and excellence. Preference was given to first-generation college students.

■ Two Eastern Kentucky University faculty have been honored by the Kentucky Communication Association.

Kathy Previs, associate professor of public relations, received the Applegate Award for Excellence in Research and Deborah T. Givens, assistant professor of journalism, received the Vernon Gantt Award for Distinguished Service.

Previs' research focuses on how issues and stories of science and technology are communicated to the public, and the role of public relations in those discourses. She has published numerous articles pertaining to public relations, social media, crisis communication, presidential rhetoric and pedagogy. Her most recent research, which examines how race and gender of scientists in popular media are portrayed, was presented at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication in San Francisco in August.

Givens is a director on the boards of the Society of Professional Journalists and the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors. She is also the SPJ Region 5 director for Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky and served as adviser to the Eastern Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, which has twice been recognized as an outstanding chapter. Givens has hosted and organized conferences for ISWNE, SPJ and the Appalachian Studies Association.

Givens began teaching at Eastern in 2006, following a 20-year career as a newspaper editor and publisher.

■ Sayre Lower School art teacher Georgia Henkel recently returned from a trip to Cuba where she fulfilled a long-term professional dream to establish a children's art exchange. Her trip was made possible through a summer sabbatical grant from Sayre School.

It was also her desire to establish a youth art exchange in a more obscure and underserved area, a place where this had not been done before. She decided to do this in Baracoa, a small city in Guantánamo Province, on the Eastern tip of Cuba.

After some negotiating with the minister of culture, the lead teacher, Jorge Vinent, arranged for Georgia to exhibit the Sayre artwork at the Casa de Cultura.

■ Kentucky State University associate professor of psychology and sociology Mara Merlino has been awarded grant funding of $728,615 from the National Institute of Justice for her new project, "Cognitive Human Factors and Forensic Document Examiner Methods and Procedures."

Merlino says the project deals with the examination of handwriting, hand printing and questioned documents.

This grant follows earlier funding that Merlino was awarded by the National Institute of Justice. In 2010, KSU received a little more than $467,000. Funding from the previous study supported the establishment of the Interdisciplinary Behavioral and Social Science Research Lab in Hathaway Hall, which currently houses the eye-tracking system, computer work stations for undergraduate and graduate research assistants, and facilities and equipment that support survey research and other experimental projects. The research team, led by Merlino and co-investigator Tierra Freeman, took several years to complete the project.

Lindsey Wilson College's counselor education and supervision doctoral program has received the Outstanding Doctoral Counselor Education and Supervision Program Award, given by the Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision.

The doctoral program has five areas of focus: teaching; advanced counseling; research and scholarship; leadership and advocacy; and consultation. For more information go to