Michael Vetter, vice president and dean of students at Transylvania University, has announced that the Rev. Nancy Jo Kemper has been named interim associate dean of interreligious life for a one-year appointment effective Aug. 1.
Kemper, a 1964 graduate of Transylvania, is executive director and pastor of New Union Christian Church and served as the executive director of the Kentucky Council of Churches from 1991-2009. She holds a Master of Divinity degree from Yale University Divinity School and holds ministerial standing in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ.
Kemper will advise faith-based student organizations, coordinate church related internships, provide social justice and interreligious programming and work with the interreligious life team to develop a new model for campus.
Yale University Divinity School honored Kemper with the 2010 William Sloane Coffin Jr. Peace and Justice Award, given in honor of Coffin, former chaplain to Yale University and one of the 20th century's most significant religious leaders. Kemper is the first female graduate of Yale Divinity School to receive this honor.
■ Eastern Kentucky University communication instructor Marie Mitchell has been awarded a grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women to continue an after-school arts program for select girls at Clark Moores Middle School in Richmond. The Madison County program, called the Pencil Breakers, is operated under the umbrella of Writers Express, created by author Beth Dotson Brown in Garrard County.
In addition to writing, the girls are exposed to a variety of arts and artists.
■ Ten June graduates of Fayette County Public Schools are among the winners of National Merit Scholarships financed by colleges and universities.
Henry Clay High School: Matthew Powell, writing, Arizona State University. Lafayette High School: Andrea Nicole Frost, medicine, Centre College; Adam Williams, mathematics, University of Kentucky. Paul Laurence Dunbar High School: Nashwin Laungani, dentistry, Transylvania University; Emily Lin, finance, New York University; Patrick Michael, medicine, Auburn University; Roshan Palli, law, University of Kentucky; Kelsey Randhawa, law, Kenyon College; Wilson Shirley IV, diplomatic service, Northwestern University; Rory Young, medicine, Tufts University.
The colleges selected their winners from among finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program who will attend their school. The awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study. For more information, visit Nationalmerit.org.
■ The University of Kentucky Alumni Association recently presented its annual Distinguished Service Awards to honor and recognize those who have provided extraordinary service to the university and the association. The 2011 recipients were John T. "Pete" Flaugher, Turner LaMaster, Peggy Meszaros, William P. Perdue Jr., Patricia "Patsy" Brantley Todd and Elaine Wilson.
The UK Alumni Association recently also announced its 2011-2012 board of directors' officers. They are Cammie DeShields Grant, president; George Ochs, president-elect; Brenda Gosney, treasurer; and Stan Key, secretary. The new officers took office July 1 and will serve until June 30.
■ The Military Order of the Stars and Bars recently announced the winners of its annual literary awards. Of the three awards presented, two went to books published by the University Press of Kentucky (UPK).
My Old Confederate Home: A Respectable Place for Civil War Veterans, by Rusty Williams, was named the winner of the Douglas Southall Freeman History Award for "the best published book of high merit in the field of Southern history beginning with the colonial period to the present time."
Also, One of Morgan's Men: Memoirs of Lieutenant John M. Porter of the Ninth Kentucky Cavalry, edited by Kent Masterson Brown, was named the winner of the General Basil W. Duke Literary Award, which is given "to encourage the re-issuance of out-of-print books that accurately present history of the War for Southern Independence."
■ University of Kentucky College of Agriculture students recently claimed high honors in an international quarter-scale tractor competition in Peoria, Ill.
The team, made up of undergraduate students, entered a quarter-scale tractor they designed and built with supervision from their faculty advisers. It was UK's 13th-straight entry in the 14-year-old competition sponsored by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. The team also brought home first overall in the design portion of the competition.
For the competition, students build a tractor from the ground up, document their market research, testing and development; present their design to a mock corporate management team; and demonstrate performance in a live tractor pull. Each team is supplied a 16-horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine and a set of tires; they are responsible for acquiring all other components of their machines. All tractors run on a 10-percent ethanol fuel blend.
Team members were Jordan Cook, Mt. Vernon; Chance Corum, Lewisburg; John Evans and Silas Gray, Lexington; Nick Rhea, Franklin and Andy Watson, Flemingsburg. Faculty advisers were Scott Shearer, Tim Smith and Carl King.
Features of the 2011 UK entry included the 31 horsepower Briggs & Stratton Vanguard engine, a continuously variable transmission, quick-change transaxle and on-board, radio-transmitted data acquisition.
■ The Lafayette Alumni Association recently recognized the Alumni Scholarship recipient for 2011-12, Sharon Rodriguez. Sharon graduated from Lafayette with high distinction as a pre-engineering and SCAPA student, and received a Commonwealth Diploma. She was awarded a $2,000 scholarship for each of her four years at Ohio State University, where she will major in health sciences.
The Association also honored Michael Anderson, class of 1957, who was inducted into the Lafayette Hall of Fame at the school's graduation exercise, June 4. Anderson, retired and living in Lexington, has had a career as a photojournalist and was the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize.
Association officers for 2011-12 will be president, Maud West Johnson; vice president, Barbara Kain Maddox; secretary, Nancy Mefford Littrell; and co-treasurers, Beth White and Beth Pennington.
For information about becoming a member of the Lafayette Alumni Association, call (859) 278-1489.
■ The student government association at Bluegrass Community and Technical College will participate in the Salvation Army's LemonAiD Days, a monthlong charity event where participants set up lemonade stands and donate the proceeds to the Salvation Army to help homeless families.
BCTC will have lemonade stands 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Cooper Campus, 470 Cooper Drive, and 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 27 at the Leestown Campus, 106 Opportunity Way.
For more information about LemonAiD Days, go to Lemonaiddays.org.