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Campus news: 2014 SOKY Book Fest headliner selected; Century employees complete training; purchasing director honored

Here is a listing of news from WKU departments and programs:

Book Fest: Charlaine Harris to headline 2014 event

Charlaine Harris

Charlaine Harris

New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris will headline the 16th annual Southern Kentucky Book Fest scheduled for April 26, 2014. Born and raised in the Mississippi River Delta area, Harris has been writing for 30 years and is best known for her Sookie Stackhouse series.

“We’ve invited Charlaine to Book Fest over the past several years, but scheduling conflicts have prevented her from coming. Happily, we contacted her early enough this year to get on her schedule for 2014,” said Kristie Lowry, Literary Outreach Coordinator for WKU Libraries and Book Fest organizer. “The Book Fest partnership strives to invite authors who will have broad appeal, and Charlaine’s fans include young adult and adult readers–men and women–and her appearance will also pull fans of the show True Blood to Book Fest. We are thrilled to have Charlaine Harris coming to Bowling Green next April.”

Harris began writing plays when she attended Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., switching to novels a few years later and published her first book, Sweet and Deadly, in 1981. After publishing two stand-alone mysteries, Harris launched the lighthearted Aurora Teagarden books with Real Murders, a Best Novel 1990 nomination for the Agatha Awards. Harris wrote eight books in her series about a Georgia librarian. In 1996, she released the first in the much darker Shakespeare mysteries, featuring the amateur sleuth Lily Bard, a karate student who makes her living cleaning houses. Shakespeare’s Counselor, the fifth—and last– was printed in fall 2001.

After Shakespeare, Harris created an urban fantasy series about a telepathic waitress named Sookie Stackhouse who works in a bar in the fictional Northern Louisiana town of Bon Temps. Each book follows Sookie through her adventures involving vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures. The series has been released worldwide and is so popular that writer and producer Alan Ball created the HBO series True Blood based on Harris’s novels.

SOKY Book Fest is a partnership project of WKU Libraries, Warren County Public Library, and Barnes and Noble Booksellers.

Contact: Kristie Lowry, (270) 745-4502.

DELO: Century Aluminum employees complete training program

Century Aluminum, an aluminum manufacturing plant in Hawesville, partnered with WKU Career & Workforce Development (CWD) to offer a training program for their supervisors. The Century Aluminum Supervisor Certificate Training Program began in September at the WKU-Owensboro Campus. More than 80 participated and are expected to graduate this month.

Jason Curry, Century Aluminum human resources manager, said that the program is designed to build supervisor competencies in key areas of influence: improving others, improving processes and improving self. “Supervisors play a significant role in the overall success of our company,” Curry said. “This program cultivates the most vital skills required to be effective supervisors.”

Curry said this type of program is a great fit for Century Aluminum because it helps employees grow. “We know how valuable our employees are, and training programs like this offer a great opportunity to invest in them,” he added.

Dr. Gene Tice, regional chancellor of the WKU-Owensboro Campus, was involved in developing the partnership. He said that this is unique because it delivers WKU leadership training directly to the people within his service area. “This partnership allows us to reach out to our region with services typically only offered near WKU’s main campus, and we are excited to bring this leadership program to Daviess County,” he said.

CWD offers training programs on a variety of subjects, including communication in the workplace, customer service, health & safety, quality assurance and others.

For information about programs offered through the WKU Career & Workforce Development, visit www.wku.edu/cwd. For information about WKU-Owensboro, visit www.wku.edu/owensboro. The WKU Career & Workforce Development, a unit of Extended Learning and Outreach, provides employee training programs for businesses and industries in South Central Kentucky.

Contact: Patti Shields, (270) 745-1919

Purchasing: Baushke honored by national organization

Ken Baushke

Ken Baushke

The National Association of Educational Procurement (NAEP), the nationwide organization focused exclusively on procurement in higher education, has announced the winners of its Annual Recognition Awards for the year 2012. The Professional Perspective Award, for the best article in NAEP’s Journal of Educational Procurement, went to Ken Baushke, C.P.M., Director of Purchasing/Accounts Payable at WKU. The awards were presented at a ceremony held at the Association’s 92nd Annual Meeting in Orlando in April.

Baushke has been at WKU since February 2000 and has been involved with NAEP for 25 years. His article, Procurement—Is It Still Innovative?, was the cover story for the Fall 2012 issue.

About National Association of Educational Procurement: Founded in 1921, the National Association of Educational Procurement is based in Baltimore on the campus of the University of Maryland Baltimore County. More than 4,000 procurement professionals representing 1,500 of our country’s most respected educational institutions are actively engaged in the association.  Dedicated to professional development, community development and collaborative development, NAEP has on-staff resources and an active peer network easily available to all members to aid in the modeling of cutting-edge, cost-effective, socially responsible procurement practices and programs. NAEP delivers continuing professional development in face-to-face venues, webcasts and at its flagship event, NAEP’s Annual Meeting and Exposition, held every spring.

Contact: Shane Boyle, (443) 543-5540

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