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Campus news: Advising program earns national honor; senior honored by Phi Eta Sigma; hemp topic on ‘Kentucky OUTLOOK’

Here’s a listing of recent news from WKU programs and departments:

Advising: Best Expectation Program receives national honor

A WKU program designed to help students be successful is being honored by the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA).

Best Expectation Programs (BEP), an advising program administered by the Academic Advising & Retention Center, was selected as an Outstanding Institutional Advising Program Certificate of Merit recipient. The award is part of the 2013 annual awards program for academic advising and will be presented this fall at the NACADA Annual Conference in Salt Lake City.

Retention Coordinator Brittan Wagner said BEP was nominated for serving at-risk students. The award recognizes programs that document innovative and/or exemplary practices that have resulted in the improvement of academic advising services.

BEP teaches students the importance of positive study habits and time management and provides academic support to help students be independent and successful learners, Wagner said.

“These academic services offer participating students the opportunity to better prepare and adapt to college life and to improve their academic skills and performance in college courses,” she said. “BEP serves a variety of at-risk students, including students on academic probation, academic dismissal and academically underprepared students.”

Since 1983, NACADA has honored individuals and institutions making significant contributions to the improvement of academic advising. Its goal is to promote quality academic advising and professional development of its membership to enhance the educational development of students.

Contact: Brittany Wagner, (270) 745-5065.

Honors College: WKU senior awarded national scholarship 

James Austin Boys, a WKU senior from Greeneville, Tenn., has been awarded a $6,000 Distinguished Member Scholarship Award for the 2013-2014 academic year from the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society Scholarship Committee.

Boys, a meteorology major and student in the Honors College at WKU, has been heavily involved in Phi Eta Sigma. He served as the WKU student delegate to the 2012 bi-annual convention in Salt Lake City last October, served as the chair of the Professional Development committee for the WKU chapter, and also assisted the national office in updating chapter membership maps through geographic information systems technology.

Caelin Smith and Andrew Swan, WKU’s Phi Eta Sigma Chapter Advisors, both worked with Boys on his scholarship application. “As advisors, we encourage students to become as active in the chapter as possible, and it is great to see Austin’s hard work and dedication pay off. We feel Boys has set a positive example to fellow members during a rebuilding phase for the local chapter,” Smith said. Boys is the first member of the WKU Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society chapter in several years to be awarded a scholarship from the national office.

Boys competed nationally against applications from more than 365 individual chapters of Phi Eta Sigma. The $6,000 Distinguished Member Scholarship is the second-highest tier of competitive scholarships awarded by the national office to undergraduate students and only 37 are awarded annually in this amount.

“I had the honor of receiving this national scholarship, which will greatly benefit my opportunity to continued education in meteorology and GIS. Overall, this has been a very rewarding experience, ” Boys said.

About Phi Eta Sigma: Founded in 1923 at the University of Illinois, Phi Eta Sigma is the nation’s oldest and largest honor society for first-year college and university students in all disciplines. Students elected to membership must have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale at the end of any first year, full-time curricular period, provided they have carried a normal academic load acceptable toward a bachelor’s degree and rank in the upper 20 percent of their class.

Contact: Caelin Smith, (270) 745-2081.

WKU PBS: ‘Kentucky OUTLOOK’ examines hemp legislation

Industrialized hemp is at the center of much discussion and debate, from the Kentucky State Capitol to the chambers of the Senate in Washington, D.C.  Join WKU-PBS as Kentucky OUTLOOK gets the latest on attempts to include hemp legislation in the farm bills being considered by the U.S. House and Senate.

Host Barbara Deeb welcomes WKU Public Radio News Director Kevin Willis for an update of the bill’s legal journey, followed by a conversation with U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky as he applauds bi-partisan support for the hemp legalization effort.  The locally-produced public affairs program rounds out the half-hour when WKU Agriculture Professor Dr. Todd Willian dispels some of the myths and exposes some of the truths surrounding the hemp plant.

Kentucky OUTLOOK premieres on WKU Public Television Thursdays at 9:30 p.m., with encore presentations Sundays at 8:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. The discussion on industrialized hemp will air Thursday and Sunday (May 23 and May 26). Consult local listings for the cable channel nearest you.

Contact: Linda Oldham, (270) 745-2400.

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