■ Bluegrass Community and Technical College has been awarded two federal grants to increase services to students who are low-income, disabled or the first in their family to attend college.
Each grant awards an annual amount of $220,000, which amounts to $1.1 million each over five years, toward the Student Support Services (SSS) program and will help approximately 140 students attending Lexington campuses (Cooper and Leestown campuses) and the Danville campus. The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Education and take effect this month.
The program offers academic tutoring, financial counseling, and assistance with transferring to four-year colleges and universities. In addition, students will be assigned a personal adviser and participate in college career workshops, a peer-mentoring program, and cultural and social events.
■ Eastern Kentucky University's newly designed Web site, www.eku.edu, earned a near-perfect score from a video blogger who reviews higher education Web sites nationwide.
Nick DeNardis, associate director of Web communications at Wayne State University and a staff writer at .eduGuru, a higher education marketing and Web development blog, critiques sites from the point of view of a first-time visitor, judging the design, information architecture and underlying code of the sites.
The review gives EKU's new design an "A" with an overall score of 284 points out of a possible 300, rating the site highest on its visuals.
Nearly 74,000 unique visitors viewed the EKU home page in the first four days after its unveiling.
■ Harrison Elementary Principal Tammie Franks will receive the Service Award for School Administrators from the Kentucky School Media Association.
"Tammie was selected for her strong support of our school library, literacy program and reading initiatives here at Harrison," said librarian Sharon Ledford, who nominated her.
Among the efforts at Harrison are the Battle of the Books, which pits students against staff; the Reading Extravaganza book clubs; and the Passport to Reading program, which encourages children and families to read together. Franks also leads a "book talk" moment on the school's morning news show and includes book suggestions in her staff newsletter.
The Kentucky School Media Association is the professional organization of school library media specialists across the state. Franks will receive a plaque during the group's fall conference Sept. 15-18 in Louisville.
■ James Lyons, a member of Scott County Future Farmers of America, has been named one of four finalists for the American Star Farmer award, FFA's highest honor. Lyons is the son of Alvin and Debbie Lyons of Stamping Ground. Lyons' Scott County farms consist of a total of 440 acres, 270 of which are rented. He raises 71 feeder cattle and 14 beef cows and he has half interest with his father in 60 head of replacement heifers. He tends to 68 acres of corn, 35 acres of alfalfa, 20 acres of soybeans and 8 acres of tobacco. He sells 5,000 square bales of hay each year. He is scheduled to graduate from the University of Kentucky in December with a degree in agricultural economics.
■ The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence has recognized an Eastern Kentucky University official for his commitment to Kentucky education.
State Rep. Harry Moberly, who also serves as executive vice president for administration at EKU, recently received the committee's Award of Excellence.
After serving 30 years in the General Assembly, Moberly chose not to seek re-election this year.
The Prichard Committee is an independent citizens' advocacy organization working to improve education for Kentuckians.
■ University of Kentucky architecture alumnus Scott C. Veazey, of Evansville, Ind., was elected first vice president/president-elect of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) at its 91st Annual Meeting and Conference in San Francisco. Veazey was also presented with the NCARB President's Medal for Distinguished Service at the annual meeting. Veazey will assume the NCARB presidency in July 2011.
Veazey was first elected to the NCARB board of directors as the Region 4 director from 2005-07 by his colleagues from the Mid-Central Conference (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin). Since his term as Region 4 director, he has continued to serve the organization as secretary in 2007, treasurer in 2008, and second vice president in 2009.