▪ Sahar Mohammadzadeh, a junior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, has been named to the Commissioner’s Student Advisory Council, which provides input to Kentucky education chief Stephen Pruitt. She and 15 others join seven returning council members this fall.
The council, a year-long program for students in grades 10 through 12, is composed of a diverse group of teenagers with new ideas and thoughtful insight into how public schools and student achievement can be improved. The program engages student leaders in learning by doing as they meet with Pruitt and Kentucky Department of Education staff to discuss how decisions made at the state level affect their schools and provide input on critical issues.
▪ Jamie Vescio, a Transylvania University senior and graduate of Lafayette High School, has received the Transylvania Scholarship and Junior Class Award in recognition of her accomplishments during the previous academic year. The Junior Class Award is conferred upon a student who has the highest cumulative grade point average in courses taken at Transylvania.
Vescio, who is from Lexington, is an anthropology and French double major. She has participated in a public health study-abroad program in Tanzania and the Yale Interdisciplinary Summer Seminar in Bioethics during her time at Transylvania. She is also the president of Chi Omega sorority.
▪ Anna Burch, a senior tennis player at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, has been selected by USTA Kentucky for the 2016 Mary Lou Hambrick Sportsmanship Award. This recognition honors the ideals of good sportsmanship and fair play held dear by Hambrick, a long-time junior tennis leader.
Anna was a finalist in two summer tournaments in the Girls 18s, the inaugural Bluegrass Summer Slam, and the Frankfort Tennis Classic, and was named to the All-Region 11 Team during the high school tennis tournament last May.
▪ The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment recently honored 25 students, staff, faculty and alumni for empowering women during the college’s second annual Multicultural Awareness Day.
The nominees honored at the Women in CAFE—Empowering our Future Luncheon and Awards Ceremony, which was held at the Hilary J. Boone Center on campus, spanned the three aspects of the university’s land-grant mission, teaching, research and extension, as well as alumni and students.
“With the college’s first female dean, we felt it was imperative that we took time to recognize all the women and the work they’ve been doing in our college, and most importantly, unsung heroes — those who may not always get the spotlight,” said Natasha Saunders, extension associate for diversity recruitment and retention and a member of the event’s planning committee.
Currently, more than 57 percent of undergraduate students in the college are women. A little more than a quarter of the faculty are women and 38 percent of those in college leadership roles are women.
Winners of this year’s awards are:
Trailblazer Award: Nancy Cox, first female dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment
Passing the Torch Student Award: Elham Darbandi, graduate student, Agricultural Economics, and Barbara Wadsworth, graduate student, Animal and Food Sciences
Community Empowerment Award: Hazel Forsythe, retired professor, Dietetics and Human Nutrition, and Ashley Searles, Farm Credit Mid-America
Alumni Legacy Award: Martha Thompson, retired, UK Cooperative Extension Service
Research Empowerment Award: Sue Nokes, chair, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, and Lesley Oliver, associate director, UK Agricultural Experiment Station
Instruction Empowerment Award: Czarena Crofcheck, professor and director of undergraduate studies, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, and Krista Jacobsen, assistant professor, Horticulture
Extension Empowerment Award: Kim Henken, assistant to the director, Human Environmental Sciences; Ashley Holt, 4-H youth development education agent, Jefferson County; Janet Mullins, extension professor, Dietetics and Human Nutrition; and Kim Ragland, 4-H youth development education agent, Boyle County
▪ Students who enjoy reading and baking stepped up to the challenge in the recent edible book contest organized by the Lexington Public Library. (Edible books are food creations that depict a particular book.)
Local chef Dan Wu, Scott County High School cafeteria assistant manager Trahnel Mitchel, and Lexington library Executive Director Ann Hammond judged the contest and announced these winners:
High school: Makenzie Bartley of Henry Clay, “The Shining”
Middle school: Cooper Cohron of Morton, “The Fourteenth Goldfish”
Elementary: Harrison librarian Stephanie Meyer’s reading group – Sherlin Agustin, Bradley Carter, Ruby Esteban, Wyatt Hart, Kylinn Kubitz, Anya Spencer and Jayden Strunk for “The Tale of Despereaux”
Honorable mentions went to Ethan Goecke of Glendover Elementary with “Wild Wings” and Abby Meadors of Tates Creek Middle for “Alice in Wonderland.”
▪ Eleven Central Kentucky students earned honors in statewide piano and violin competitions sponsored by the Kentucky Music Teachers Association and the Music Teachers National Association. Students receiving accolades during the Oct. 22-23 state conference at the University of Louisville included:
Anna Du, third-grader at Athens-Chilesburg Elementary, and Sabrina Doll, seventh-grader at All Saints Academy Homeschool, runners-up in piano (KMTA Bluegrass elementary contest)
Wenbo Fan, eighth-grader at SCAPA Bluegrass, runner-up in piano (KMTA Bluegrass junior high division)
Ligia Tossato, sophomore at Eastern Kentucky University, runner-up in piano (KMTA Bluegrass young artist division)
David Moore, sophomore at West Jessamine High School, first place in piano; and Andy Du, sophomore at Paul Laurence Dunbar, runner-up in piano (MTNA high school division)
Matthew Meier and Michael Meier, both homeschooled seniors, were representatives in the MTNA high school piano duet competition.
Alexander Auer and William Auer, seventh-graders at SCAPA Bluegrass, were the winner and runner-up in violin (MTNA junior high)
David Ma, junior at Dunbar, was the state representative in the MTNA high school violin competition
The KMTA Bluegrass competitions end at the state level. State winners and representatives in the MTNA competitions advance to the U.S. regional level and then nationals. The MTNA Southern Regional, which covers Kentucky and eight other states, is slated for Jan. 13-16 at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.
▪ The League of Women Voters of Lexington is sponsoring a contest for Fayette County high school students asking them to write an essay on the following:
“No matter what the outcome, the 2016 presidential election campaign has been, by all accounts, brutally divisive. With all of the noise it has been difficult to discern truth. This year we are asking you, as a voter or a potential voter, to tell your story as a citizen who has lived this experience and learned from it.”
Examples of questions to answer in the essay — although participants may choose to address other ones — are: Which candidate did you find compelling and why? What standards did you use to judge candidate competency to fulfill the office of president, if elected? What sources of information did you rely upon and how did they shape your thinking? What lessons for the future did you learn?
The contest is open to any student in grades 9-12 who attends a Fayette County school. Private school and home-schooled students are eligible. The deadline for submission is Dec. 9.
Prizes include $250 for first place, $150 for second place and $100 for third place and will be awarded in January. An honorarium will be awarded to the teacher/sponsors of the top three writers.
Students and teachers can learn more about the contest by emailing Essay Contest Committee Chair, Judy Johnson, at Lexington.firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting the League’s website at Lwvlexington.com.