WKU

Lisa Autry

If you eventually get vaccinated against the coronavirus, a Western Kentucky University professor had a small hand in helping researchers learn more about how to create an effective vaccine.

Psychological Sciences Professor Matt Woodward took part in biotech company Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine trials

In an interview with WKU Public Radio, Woodward said he's been touched personally by the virus.  His parents and one set of grandparents, living in different states, contracted the virus at the same time shortly after he began participating in the trial.

Woodward took part in the study through Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.  He says he got two injections one month apart this fall, and has had no side effects.  He's unaware of whether he received the actual vaccine or was in the placebo group.


Creative Commons

A mental health counselor at Western Kentucky University is urging families to improvise this holiday season in place of their traditional gatherings. 

From cooking and shopping, to gift-giving and holiday parties, COVID-19 is replacing the typical stress of the season with loneliness and anxiety. 

Lacretia Dye is a licensed counselor and professor at Western Kentucky University.  In an interview with WKU Public Radio, Dye said it’s important to have the right perspective to avoid feeling depressed or isolated.

“How can we reframe it and say this is a challenge?" she asked. "I’m not able to do it how I usually do it, but what’s another way he could creatively do it? Perhaps we could do it over the phone or talk about what we plan to do next year.”

J.C. Kirby & Son Funeral Chapels

Western Kentucky University is mourning the loss of one of the school’s most beloved athletics figures.

John Oldham passed away Monday morning in Bowling Green.

He was 97 years old.

“We are very saddened to learn of the passing of John Oldham,” WKU Director of Athletics Todd Stewart said.  “Coach Oldham is one of the all-time iconic figures in Western Kentucky University Athletics history who impacted the Hilltoppers as a player, head coach, athletics director and developer of the Red Towel athletics logo."

The Ohio County native played four seasons with the WKU men’s basketball team, and served three years in the U.S. Navy during World War II after his freshman season.

Lisa Autry

U.S. Senator Rand Paul moved a presentation at Western Kentucky University on Monday outdoors, rather than put on a mask in compliance with the school’s COVID-19 policy

Senator Rand Paul was promoting his book The Case Against Socialism to a group of economics students when an administrator interrupted the Republican lawmaker to inform him of WKU’s mask policy.  Calling it ridiculous, Paul moved the class outdoors and continued speaking without a mask.  Paul said he thinks generalizing the risk of the coronavirus to everyone is wrong.

“I think each individual should get to make their choice on what their risks are," Paul said. "For young people under age 25, the death rate from the coronavirus is one in a million.”

Becca Schimmel

Students in the seven states that border Kentucky will soon be able to attend Western Kentucky University at in-state tuition rates.

The school announced Thursday that starting next fall, in-state tuition rates will be offered to residents of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

WKU currently offers in-state tuition rates to residents of a few counties in neighboring states, mostly in northern Tennessee and southern Indiana. 

WKU also announced Thursday it will offer in-state tuition rates to the children and grandchildren of school alumni, regardless of what state they live in.

Lisa Autry

Western Kentucky University is taking another step toward increasing access and affordability for low-income students. 

President Timothy Caboni announced a new initiative on Thursday called the Hilltopper Guarantee. Starting next fall, WKU will be tuition-free to any first-year students from Kentucky who receive Pell Grants and have at least a 3.0 high school GPA.  

“This is a tremendous promise to the young people of this state, that we can guarantee if you’re from a low-income family but you’re a high achiever, a four-year degree from WKU is in your future," Caboni said.

WKU Political Engagement Project

Each year colleges across the county celebrate National Voter Registration Day in late September with organized events aimed at registering young people to vote.  

On the campus of Western Kentucky University, the annual Rock the Vote Festival usually nets hundreds of newly registered voters. But the COVID-19 pandemic has forced organizers to reimagine this year's event by turning to social media. 

Saundra Ardrey is a WKU Political Science Professor who coordinates the Rock the Vote effort at the school.

Lisa Autry

As colleges across Kentucky and the nation are back underway with in-person classes, students, parents and employees have multiple ways to get updates on COVID-19 cases on campus.

Technology has encouraged transparency in the time of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Kentucky Department for Public Health online dashboard lists COVID-19 cases at colleges and universities across the state. The cases listed as of Aug. 27 include 550 students and 42 staff. 

Western Kentucky University reported 86 new cases in its weekly update posted Aug. 28 on its online dashboard. The total number of cases at the university since July 1 is 299, including students, faculty, staff and on-campus contractors.


Freshman Taylor Vibbert has always wanted to be in a sorority. When she signed up to rush this fall at Western Kentucky University, she was looking forward to the fanfair, house tours and meet-and-greets.

Then she got some bad news: Greek recruitment would be mostly virtual this year.

"That was a bummer," the 18-year-old from Louisville, Ky., said in early August. "Honestly, if I would have known, I probably wouldn't have signed up."

Vibbert was concerned she would be more outgoing in-person than over the computer, but she was willing to see how it goes.

WKU

Western Kentucky University has announced that it will no longer require standardized test scores, like the ACT and SAT, from most applicants for admission.

That change goes into effect beginning with the spring 2021 semester.

The university said it began considering such a change last year, and in the meantime has consulted “internal constituencies” that endorsed the move.

WKU Vice President for Enrollment and Student Experience Ethan Logan said in a statement Friday the school looked at multiple national studies indicating that a student’s high school grade point average is a better predictor of collegiate success than standardized testing scores.

Clinton Lewis | WKU

Monday marked the first day of the fall semester at Western Kentucky University.

Like schools across the country, COVID-19 safety precautions and restrictions are in place, and WKU students have been given choices on attending classes in-person, or studying remotely.

Just ahead of the start of the semester, WKU President Timothy Caboni spoke to WKU Public Radio about the school’s approach to conducting the elements of higher education amid a pandemic.


WKU Panhellenic Council

Western Kentucky University is offering virtual sorority recruitment on campus this fall, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The school's Panhellenic Council voted to allow WKU's nine sorority chapters to proceed with recruitment using Zoom technology to eliminate in-person contact.  

"Each chapter will have their own Zoom account and they're creating links for all of the parties during the day," said Andrew Rash, WKU's Coordinator for Student Activities. "Move in is still the same, those ladies going through recruitment will still have recruitment counselors who will inform them about the process, show them their schedules, (and) counsel them if they need to counsel them."

As he has said many times before, the leader of Western Kentucky University is reiterating the upcoming school year will be unlike any other in the school’s history.

During an online forum with faculty and staff on Monday, President Timothy Caboni fielded questions concerning how the campus will operate under the coronavirus pandemic.

"There is no risk-free environment," stated Caboni. "There will be COVID cases on this campus and our job is to identify them, isolate them, contract trace them as quickly as we can."

WKU

Kentucky’s public universities and colleges suffered a $145 million hit from coronavirus-related expenses and declining revenues, a top state education official said Wednesday.

The financial loss represents 17% of the money state lawmakers put towards funding higher education during the budget for the last fiscal year, which ended on June 30.

Aaron Thompson, president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education predicted during a legislative hearing on Wednesday that enrollment and revenue from events and tuition will continue to be down in the coming academic year.

Rhonda J. Miller

The Bingocize program based at Western Kentucky University has been awarded a federal grant of $504,000 to expand into 60 additional Certified Nursing Facilities in Tennessee.

The program that's a combination of exercise and bingo, and focuses on balance, fall prevention, range of motion, and mobility for older adults, is already in 40 nursing homes in the Volunteer State.

Bingocize was created by WKU Associate Professor of Exercise Science Jason Crandall and is based at the Center for Applied Science in Health and Aging, or CASHA, in Bowling Green.

The new grant brings the total federal funding to more than $1 million to expand the project, with a goal of having it in 100 nursing homes in Tennessee.

Pages