Education notes: May 9

Inaugural recipients of the David A. Sayre Merit Scholarship are, seated from left, Jack Bergstrom and Missy Hill, and, standing from left, Zachary Grissom, Clara de Castro, Nicholas Waltman and Athena Frasca.
Inaugural recipients of the David A. Sayre Merit Scholarship are, seated from left, Jack Bergstrom and Missy Hill, and, standing from left, Zachary Grissom, Clara de Castro, Nicholas Waltman and Athena Frasca.


Sayre School has announced the first recipients of the $10,000 David A. Sayre Merit Scholarships, initiated by the Sayre School Board of Trustees in 2011. Applications were accepted from students throughout Fayette and surrounding counties. The screening process included standardized testing, teacher recommendations, assessment of interpersonal and writing skills, and involvement in extracurricular activities. The following six students were selected based on their strong academic foundation.

Rising sixth-graders: Athena Frasca, daughter of Mike Frasca and Zoe Strecker of Harrodsburg; Missy Hill, daughter of Drs. Daniell and Kelly Hill of Versailles.

Rising seventh-grader: Jack Bergstrom, son of T. Scott and Dr. Sharon Bergstrom of Lexington.

Rising eighth-grader: Zachary Grissom, son of Steve and Dr. Rhonda Grissom of Paris.

Rising ninth-grader: Clara de Castro, daughter of Dr. Fernando and Anne de Castro of Lexington.

Rising 11-grader: Nicholas Waltman, son of Dr. Jonathan C. and Wendy Waltman of Lexington.

As long as continuation criteria are met, the scholarships are renewable each year until graduation.

Merit applications for the 2013-14 school year will be accepted beginning Oct. 1. For more information, contact Sayre Admission at (859) 254-1361, Ext. 208.

Damien P. Angel, a junior at the University of Kentucky from Paint Lick and founding president of the UK chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon, has been selected for a one-of-a-kind study program through the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. The program, the Tragos Quest to Greece, is a 10-day journey through Greece with 15 fellow undergraduate members of Sigma Phi Epsilon from across the United States, alumni mentors and university faculty. Angel was selected as one of the top 16 undergraduate members in the country from a pool of more than 15,000. The Quest focuses on the ideals of sound mind and sound body, two of SigEp's core practices that help carry out its mission of building balanced men. William F. Maloney, Raymond-Shaver chair professor of construction engineering and project management at UK, chapter counselor and faculty adviser for the Kentucky chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon, was selected as one of five faculty mentors for the trip.

Aaron McKee, a Western Kentucky University student from Lexington, received the Outstanding Chemistry Major Award from the Department of Chemistry at the WKU Ogden College of Science & Engineering Student Awards Ceremony on April 22 at the Carroll Knicely Conference Center in Bowling Green.

■ Teams from Breathitt, Clay, Laurel, Lee, Madison, Mason and Perry County and Jackson Independent schools competed in the third annual Kentucky Space Movie Project. Movies explored robotics, comets, space radiation, missions to Mars and Mercury, and the search for life in space.

Farristown, Lee County and North Laurel middle schools were recognized April 20 for their first-, second- and third-place finishes in the competition at Hazard Community and Technical College. The competition was the first held by the Challenger Learning Center of Kentucky in Hazard and the first for middle school teams. All the student projects may be viewed at

The Challenger Learning Center in Hazard is one of only 47 Challenger Learning Centers worldwide that were started by the family members of the astronauts killed in the Challenger space shuttle explosion in 1986. The centers continue the educational mission of the crew that included Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher involved in NASA space travel. The centers provide programming in science, technology, engineering and mathematics through their simulated space mission, Mars invasion, coal camp to space camp, robotics and summer camp programs. Tom Cravens is director of the Challenger Learning Center.

Athens-Chilesburg Elementary School in Lexington and the Bluegrass Youth Sustainability Council have each received the 2012 Toyota Environmental Youth Leadership Award.

ACE students accepted the elementary-level honor April 23 at their school.

Athens-Chilesburg, the first Energy Star school in the Fayette County Public Schools System, participates in the Trout in the Classroom program, offers an outdoor classroom and garden, and works with the NEED project to promote energy conservation.

Members of the Bluegrass Youth Sustainability Council visited Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky in Georgetown on April 24 and were recognized for their efforts to improve environmental literacy and promote responsible action in the region. The coalition of public and private high schools works with community partners and other students to support initiatives such as recycling and rain gardens. Members also volunteer at The Arboretum, lead outreach programs at elementary schools and help with local science fairs.

Toyota's leadership award includes a transportation reimbursement of up to $300 to offset the cost of a field trip to its Environmental Education Center and Nature Trail, which recently marked its fifth anniversary. Coupled with a Web-based curriculum, the trail has educated nearly 7,000 students from more than a third of Kentucky's counties since the program debuted in 2007. On the trail, students learn about the state's ecosystems and how people may have a positive effect on their local environment.

Beverly Hart has earned Eastern Kentucky University's highest honor for teaching excellence. Hart, a professor in the department of baccalaureate and graduate nursing, has received the 2012-14 EKU Foundation Professorship. The annual honor recognizes those who demonstrate outstanding abilities in the three primary roles of a faculty member: teaching, service and research. The professorship provides a salary supplement for two years.

Hart, who joined the EKU faculty in 1989, has taught a variety of courses across the department and has served since 2001 as coordinator of the RN-to-BSN program.

Kelsey Hawkins of Frankfort, a human resources management major at Eastern Kentucky University, has been elected vice president of Kentucky Phi Beta Lambda and will join the state officer team at the business fraternity's National Leadership Conference this summer.

Also, Marla Workman, a managerial finance major from Berea, and Hawkins both placed in state-level competitive testing events. Workman was first in macro economics and second in international business. Hawkins took third place in international business. Their wins qualify them for testing at the National Leadership Conference.

■ Twenty-nine Lexington-area public and private schools have raised more than $22,000 in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Pennies for Patients campaign.

Christ the King School led with donations totaling $3,299. They were followed by Sande, with donations of $2,322, and Tates Creek Elementary, $2,163.42. Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary collected $2,024. All four schools became members of the LLS Lifesaver's Club for collecting more than $2,012 during the 2011-12 school year.

The national fund-raiser encourages students to collect spare change to help battle blood cancers. Leukemia is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among children and young adults younger than 20.

■ The University of Kentucky recently achieved two top-10 rankings in social media.

The university was ranked seventh on the Top 100 Social Media Colleges list created by In addition, UK was ranked fifth in social media use in a list of U.S. colleges ranked by Track Social in April.

On a daily basis, tracks thousands of colleges and universities on more than 100,000 data points in a statically valid study to determine their respective social media uses. Data tracked include total Facebook fan counts, total number and effectiveness of Twitter followers, taking into account adjustments of school enrollment, among other factors including other social media engagement at each school.

■ Composer and University of Kentucky doctoral candidate Adam Sovkoplas has taken top honors in the Magnum Opus: A New Composer's Competition presented by the Mary B. Martin School of the Arts at East Tennessee State University. Sovkoplas' orchestra work Tom Bombadil was performed by the Symphony of the Mountains on Saturday.

Tom Bombadil, half of Sovkoplas' dissertation composition, is based on the poem The Adventures of Tom Bombadil by J.R.R. Tolkien.

■ University of Kentucky journalism senior Cassidy Herrington has received a 2011 Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Herrington was named the national winner in the radio in-depth reporting competition for her story about Kentucky agriculture's dependence on migrant labor, which aired on WUKY in November.

The Mark of Excellence Awards recognize collegiate journalists' work published or broadcast during the preceding year. This year, student journalists submitted more than 4,000 entries.

Judges chose one national winner in each category and two national finalists.

After graduation, Herrington will work for WBEZ-FM, the leading public radio station in Chicago, as a reporter on the arts and culture desk.

■ Paul Laurence Dunbar High School librarian Lynda Short has been named outstanding library media specialist for the Central Kentucky School Media Association, which encompasses about two dozen counties.

Short, who has worked at Dunbar for 14 years, now is in the running for the statewide award, which will be announced this fall during the Kentucky Library Association/Kentucky School Media Association conference in Louisville.

Short, who lives in Nicholasville, earned a degree in English from the University of Missouri at Rolla and a master's in library science from the University of Kentucky. She is working on a doctorate in English at UK, serves on the Kentucky Virtual Library's marketing committee and chairs the Kentucky Bluegrass Awards High School Master List.

■ The UK College of Arts and Sciences will see two of its professors, Richard Schein and Sue Roberts, travel to Finland on Fulbright Scholarships during the 2012-13 school year.

Meanwhile, Ani Katchova of the College of Agriculture received a Fulbright Specialist grant for a short-term assignment in Austria.

Schein, a professor in the department of geography, was appointed as the Fulbright Bicentennial Chair in American Studies at the University of Helsinki, Finland, which ranks among the most distinguished Fulbright honors. The award focuses on American studies, ranging from American history, political science, cultural studies, sociology and international relations.

Schein also will conduct his own research, some of it expanding on his work on historical geographies of land and property in the United States and some of it exploring the Northern European and Finnish tradition of landscape study.

Roberts, chair of the department of geography, received the Fulbright University of Turku Scholar Award, an honor designed to foster greater understanding between the United States and Finland through educational exchange of individuals from the professional and academic communities.

A research award, the honor will allow Roberts to meet with graduate students in Finland and deliver lectures. She will be based at the University of Turku, a prominent Finnish university in the south, about two hours west of the capital, Helsinki.

Katchova, an associate professor in the College of Agriculture's department of agricultural economics received a Fulbright Specialist grant to teach a graduate-level applied econometrics course this summer in Austria. She is teaching at BOKU, the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna.

■ University of Kentucky School of Music doctoral student Phillip Chase Hawkins won first place in the graduate solo division of the National Trumpet Competition in Fairfax, Va., in March. Hawkins competed against 38 other players from across the country at this annual competition.

He is the only graduate student in the SEC to ever achieve the honor.

The National Trumpet Competition is the largest and most prestigious competition of its kind in the country. The panel of judges and guest artists represents performers and educators from across the United States

Hawkins, a native of South Carolina, has been playing the trumpet for 16 years, since he was 10. He is pursuing his doctorate and is the teaching assistant for the trumpet studio at the UK School of Music in the UK College of Fine Arts.

■ Members of the Future Business Leaders of America from Fayette County Public Schools competed in various categories during the state conference April 23 to 25 in Louisville. First-, second- and third-place finishers will advance to the national contests June 29 to July 2 in San Antonio.

Bryan Station High: Clark Murray, second, impromptu speaking.

Paul Laurence Dunbar High: Ryan Blood, first, personal finance; Vania Ma, Andrew Brennen and Lilly Xie, first, global business; Matthew Wu, first, introduction to business; Vincent Cao and Nelson Ng, second, entrepreneurship team; Nigel Zhang, second, cyber security.

Tates Creek High: Alanna McGlothlin, fourth, introduction to business.

■ Young artists from Lexington-area schools picked up a dozen awards in the Kentucky Art Education Association's all-state competition.

The judges looked for art that expressed imaginative content, personal interpretation, originality, individual viewpoints, technical competence and skill in handling the media. Top-scoring pieces from the Bluegrass regional exhibition advanced to the state contest, and these FCPS students were recognized at the April 22 closing reception in Kenton County.

Henry Clay High School: Katelyn Francis, second, mixed media; honorable mention, sculpture.

Lafayette High School: Elaine Barkley, second, painting; Joseph Wrightson, second, fiber arts/ textile; Paige Roglitz, third, ceramics; Darien Fisher, honorable mention, mixed media; Miranda Holm-Hudson, honorable mention, jewelry/ metalsmith.

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School: Melinda McKinley, second, ceramics; Neena Phan, third, fashion; honorable mention, painting; Lydia Livas, honorable mention, sculpture.

Lexington Catholic High School: Jinseong Son, third place, digital media; Suzie Napier, honorable mention, painting.

■ These students were honored by Xavier University of Cincinnati at its All Honors Day on April 21. Arianne Riley of Lawrenceburg received the John A. Wiethe Award, given in memory of Wiethe, Class of 1934, to upperclass students majoring in international studies and demonstrating academic excellence and promise as graduate students.

Hannah Baker of Mount Sterling received the Sweeney Achievement Award, presented to students completing the English major with highest distinction. She also received the Matias Vega Spanish Award, given in memory of Vega and presented to a senior demonstrating the highest linguistic achievement in Spanish and interest in Hispanic culture. Baker also was inducted into Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit Honor Society.

Juliana Wedel of Richmond received the Comer-Reynolds Award, presented by the Cincinnati chapter of the American Statistical Association to a student outstanding in statistics.

Sean Minion of Lexington received the Alice Ragland Latin Award, given in memory of Ragland and presented to a student excelling in the study of Latin. He also received the Sally Watson Leadership Award, dedicated to the memory of Watson, Xavier's former assistant to the vice president for student development and the director of orientation. Her leadership style and care for each person were two characteristics that made Watson a much loved colleague, administrator and friend. The recipient of this award exemplifies these qualities.