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Contributors EKU Magazine is a collaborative effort between EKU Alumni Engagement and EKU Communications and Brand Management. EKU President Michael T. Benson


Interim Vice President, Development and Alumni Relations Dan McBride, ’89 Assistant Vice President, Communications and Brand Management Doug Cornett Photography Kerry Brooks Amanda Cain Gary Chapman Matthew Phelps, ’11 Chris Radcliffe, ’04 Tim Webb, ’92 EKU Special Collections & Archives Contributing Writers Kevin Britton, ’00 ’11 Steven Fohl, ’07 ’12 Joshua Kegley, ’07 Kristi Middleton Jerry Wallace Editorial Managing Editor Brandon Moore, ’14 Design and Layout Senior Graphic Designer Mickey Thomas Graphic Designer Tara Leisure, ’16 Design Management Jessica Holly

Eastern Kentucky University

521 Lancaster Ave. Richmond, KY 40475-3102


OCTOBER 19 - 20

Alumni Engagement Staff Senior Director for Engagement and Communications Steve Greenwell, ’06 Coordinator of Engagement and Communications Alex Hanavan, ’15 ’17 Coordinator of Alumni Programming and Student Philanthropy Sarah Baker, ’15 International Alumni Association Board President Amy Jo Smith Gabel, ’05 ’08 Immediate Past President Tom Martin, ’93 ’01 Vice President; Chair, Alumni Awards and Recognition Bob Sullivan, ’72 (ROTC Representative) Secretary; Chair Development Ray Arnold, ’09 ’13 Board Members: Deborah Alexander, ’77, Tichaedza Chikuni, ’05 ’11, Afsi Davis, ’10, George Demaree, ’82, Christopher Eden, ’09, David Fifer, ’07, Dana Daughetee Fohl, ’07, Kelvin Ford, ’94, Stephanie Goodpaster, ’08, Tonita Goodwin, ’80, DaJuane Harris, ’13 (Chair, Alumni Programming and Student Success), Kristine Herrera (Student Alumni Ambassador President), Jeffery Humble, ’07, Miranda Massey, ’17, Ryan Kennedy, ‘14 (Chair, Board Development), David McFaddin, ’99 ’16, Barbara Phillips, ’73, Chris Radcliffe, ’04 ’12, Laura Rudolph, ’08, Lori Tatum, ’01, Lelani Turrentine, ’71, Ray Walker, ’79

Visit us online:

eku.edu stories.eku.edu alumni.eku.edu development.eku.edu

Eastern Kentucky University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and educational institution and does not discriminate on the basis of age (40 and over), race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, ethnicity, disability, national origin, veteran status, or genetic information in the admission to, or participation in, any educational program or activity (e.g., athletics, academics and housing) which it conducts, or in any employment policy or practice. Any complaint arising by reason of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Office of Equity and Inclusion, 416 Jones Building, CPO 37, Eastern Kentucky University, 521 Lancaster Avenue, Richmond, Kentucky 40475-3102, 859-622-8020 or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Building, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC. 20202 1-800-421-3481 (V), 1-800-877-8339 (TDD).

SPRING 2018 3 Building the Next Generation

4 EKU Stories


BEST OF EASTERN 2017 Alumni Award Winners

30 #EKU

34 Navigating the Pilot Shortage

38 Athletics Highlights

40 Monument to Excellence

44 Alumni News

47 In Memoriam


COMPETITION MEETS COMPASSION Alex Dominguez Credits Lessons Learned at EKU for Unprecedented Success

ON THE COVER: Detail, South Elevation Building Sections, from the 1971 Reconstruction of Keen Johnson Student Union Building. Johnson-Romanowitz Architects.

First a football player, then a successful real estate executive, this Forever Colonel is now helping Atlanta’s disadvantaged families.





The new buildings on EKU’s campus are more than showpiece structures. Their purpose is the same as the University’s mission — to empower students to succeed. Read how four Colonels are using these new environments to make a difference in their lives and in the lives of their peers.

EKU Grad Tracie Prater Is Helping Turn Humanity into a Spacefaring Species Living in space long term will require a way to manufacture tools and components on the fly. A Colonel is helping put the puzzle pieces together.

Martin Hall Resident Assistants Jayde Preece, senior athletic training major (left), and Cheyenne Morgan, junior English teaching major, talk with President Benson at the Martin Hall ribbon cutting event on August 14, 2017.


NEXT GENERATION Building. Whether as a verb or a noun, it may be the one word repeated the most on our campus these days. It’s not hard to see why. Look in any direction, and you’ll see tangible signs of progress. New residence halls. The completion of our Science Building, now the largest facility of its type on any college campus in the Commonwealth. A Scholar House for single parents. A new dining hall. The University’s first parking garage. Construction has begun on a new Student Recreation and Wellness Center, and renovations will begin soon toward a much improved student union. A new overpass across the by-pass will better connect our north and south campuses and enhance pedestrian safety. But it’s the building that you can’t see from your car window or even on a walk through “The Campus Beautiful” that excites me most — and it has been happening on these grounds since our forerunner, Central University, opened its doors here with just one classroom facility in 1874. It’s the building you can’t see that attracted me here four years ago and has long focused our dedicated faculty and staff. It’s the building you can’t see, but on which we truly stake our reputation. I’m speaking, of course, of what happens inside our everchanging facilities. It’s not so much the external brick and mortar, but the building of lives and communities that makes Eastern special. Certainly, modern, well-equipped and comfortable facilities have a critical role in recruiting, retaining and graduating students and in the teaching-learning process. But let us never forget the true cornerstones of the Eastern Experience upon which our alumni of all ages have built successful lives: a well-prepared, nurturing faculty; carefully designed academic programs that equip students not just with knowledge but with the critical thinking skills to apply that know-how in their professions and communities; a pervasive commitment to student success; and a living and learning environment that is friendly, welcoming and inclusive. In this issue of EKU Magazine, you will see inspiring examples of “building” in every sense of the word. We trust that these stories will reimpress upon you what you already know to be true: that Eastern always has been and still is today all about building — whether it’s facilities to match the high quality of our academic programs and faculty, or what we do every day in buildings both old and new, in ways both large and small, to transform the lives of our students.

It’s not so much the external brick and mortar, but the building of lives and communities that makes Eastern special.

As we move forward together into a challenging new era for EKU and higher education, you, our alumni and friends, will continue to be among our most valuable architects, helping us design an Eastern that builds on its historic qualities as it employs innovative strategies to prepare students for the careers of tomorrow and best serve the needs of our region and Commonwealth. n

Michael T. Benson President, Eastern Kentucky University



– EKU STORIES – In this

issue New Memorial Honors Veterans Craig and Madonna Turner Honor Family with Leadership Gift “Dreamer” Is Top Honors Student in Nation Project Funds Solar Panels, Scholarships New Rec Center Continues Campus Transformation Professor’s Life Subject of Book, Movie Office of Regional Stewardship Helps Make Kentucky Work Ready Recalling His “Way Out,” Rednour Funds Scholarship

Read more about these stories and access additional content at


President Michael Benson and Executive Director for Enrollment Management Lt. Colonel Brett Morris, Ret., unveil Veterans Memorial.

NEW MEMORIAL HONORS VETERANS Tommy Fagan found his purpose in life, his sense of belonging through his service in the military. The Richmond native returned from the battlefield, even went on to earn two degrees from EKU but, like so many of his fellow soldiers, found that the scars of war never really heal. At age 34, he passed away in 2016 from a massive seizure. Now, however, thanks to a recent addition to the Veterans Memorial on the Richmond campus, his life of service will never be forgotten. In Veterans Day ceremonies, the University unveiled a Fallen Soldier Cross in memory of all those who lost their lives because of their service, but not while in active service. The sculpture was fashioned by Allen Ferg, a platoon mate of fellow Vietnam veteran and former EKU history professor Dr. Robert Topmiller, another of the day’s honorees. It features a bronze casting of the traditional upside-down rifle, boots and helmet, surrounded by a stainless steel sphere that “symbolizes that PTSD is not unique to America, and represents the global nature of the problems facing all warriors after they leave service,” said Dr. Brett Morris, former professor of military science with the University’s ROTC program, who has been involved with the Veterans Memorial project since its inception. Family members of Fagan, Topmiller and others were invited to attach replica “dog tags” to the sphere to create a wind chime effect.

04 SPRING 2018


CRAIG AND MADONNA TURNER HONOR FAMILY WITH LEADERSHIP GIFT As chair of the EKU Board of Regents the past five years, Craig Turner knows firsthand that the need for private support of the institution has never been greater.

search committee that tapped Michael Benson in 2013 to become the University’s 13th president. Soon the institution embarked on the most ambitious campus revitalization initiative in its history, one designed to transform the living and learning experience of all its students. Many of the completed and ongoing projects are public-private partnerships requiring no tax or tuition dollars.

It is why he and wife, Madonna, both Eastern graduates, are also among the University’s most generous financial supporters. In Fall 2017, Eastern announced a $1 million leadership gift “Eastern Kentucky University has been blessed throughout its commitment from the Turners for a variety of academic, athletic history with hundreds of outstanding Regents — men and and facility initiatives. The bulk of the commitment will be women who combined a bold fulfilled over the next three to five years, with the remainder a vision and leadership acumen Madonna and I have a special place in bequest through their estate. to help move the University our hearts for Eastern ... We are grateful to forward, even during difficult “Madonna and I have a special have been EKU scholarship recipients and times,” EKU President Michael place in our hearts for Eastern are pleased and proud to honor our time Benson said. “That certainly Kentucky University,” Mr. Turner describes Craig Turner, whose and experiences at EKU by giving back. said. “Our intent is to honor our foresight and tireless efforts as parents, siblings and numerous chair of our board will resonate family members who are also EKU alumni. We are grateful to here for generations to come. Fortunately for Eastern, the story have been EKU scholarship recipients and are pleased and proud doesn’t stop even there. Craig and Madonna are also among our to honor our time and experiences at EKU by giving back.” most generous financial supporters. The University community is most grateful for this significant gift commitment, which Mr. Turner, the founder and CEO of CRM Companies, a Lexingtonfurther testifies to the Turners’ boundless love for this based commercial development company, joined his alma institution and to their desire to see it continue to grow mater’s Board of Regents in 2006. The Fraser, Michigan, native, and prosper.” who came to Eastern on a basketball scholarship, headed the

The Turner family gathers outside Turner Gate at the grand opening on August 17, 2016.



“DREAMER” IS TOP HONORS STUDENT IN NATION They call them “Dreamers,” these children who were brought here at a young age and, for EKU senior Omar Salinas Chacón, another dream came true in November 2017 in Atlanta, where, competing against leading honors students from across the U.S., the political science and Spanish major was named Student of the Year by the National Collegiate Honors Council. Salinas Chacón doesn’t shy away from talking about his DACA status and his uncertain future in the U.S., or the irony of winning such a prestigious national honor in the city where his American journey began 17 years ago. His working-class parents, escaping a bloody civil war, gang violence and extreme poverty in El Salvador, fled to America with little more than a dream: that Omar and his brother would one day enjoy “a better life than they did ... not only live, but thrive.” “I grew up in a time right after 9/11 and a wave of anti-immigration sentiment hit the country,” Salinas Chacon said. “I was not encouraged to speak Spanish. I was told that I was ‘other.’ I was told that my culture and heritage did not contribute and will not contribute anything to this country. I was told that at best I was but a servant.”

So Salinas Chacón set out to “be the person my family needed when I was younger. I see families like mine get overlooked all the time. I want to be that person who helps them lift up themselves and their communities because, at the end of the day, we are all part of the community.”

PROJECT FUNDS SOLAR PANELS, SCHOLARSHIPS Aided by a visionary graduate who retired from a successful career in research and development with Procter and Gamble, an effort is underway at EKU to provide “Photons for the Future.”

and scholarships, which enable students of limited means to go to college,” Booth explained. “I also think it is important that EKU, as a university, stay in the forefront of developing technology.”

By literally “plugging into” a drive to install solar panels at the University’s new Science Building and elsewhere around campus, alumni and friends can help the University on its path to energy savings and, eventually, carbon neutrality.

The EKU College of Science and the Department of Chemistry partnered with the Center for Economic Development, Entrepreneurship and Technology (CEDET), the EKU Office of Sustainability and Facilities Services and Capital Planning, as well as Wilderness Trace Solar in Danville — a solar panel provider in the University’s service region — to make Booth’s vision a reality.

Dr. Gary Booth, ’62, a former vice president of research at P & G, recently contributed $25,000 as a lead gift to fund the purchase and installation of the first 25 solar panels of a 100-plus solar array at the Science Building. He immediately followed the initial gift with a $5,000 donation toward funding the first group of Photon Fellows, recipients of the Photons for the Future Scholarship, with the intent that future funding for the scholarship come from the savings realized by the solar array and gifts from alumni and others. “My passions are science and math education, which is important both for individuals and the economic development of the region,

06 SPRING 2018

Contributions to the Solar Energy Fund can be made through University Development, CPO 19A, Eastern Kentucky University, 521 Lancaster Avenue, Richmond, KY 40475, or online at development.eku.edu/solar-energy-fund. “We want to invite contributions to fund more panels,” Booth said. “It is a way to contribute to EKU’s leadership in alternative energy, and fund additional scholarships. Our intent is to engage alumni who contribute in an ongoing dialogue with professors and students around alternative energy.”



A rendering of the new rec center.

The transformation of EKU continued in December 2017 with groundbreaking for a new Student Recreation and Wellness Center. The new center, which at approximately 130,000 square feet will be more than double the size of the University’s existing fitness center, is expected to open in Fall 2019 on the former site of Todd and Dupree residence halls and adjacent to a soon-to-berenovated student union facility. Together with Case Dining Hall, which opened in January 2018, and the renovated student union, the new recreation center will “breathe new life into the epicenter of campus,” said President Michael Benson. The facility would not have been possible if not for the 201415 EKU Student Senate, which overwhelmingly approved

a student fee that is also financing the Powell Building renovations and a pedestrian overpass across the Eastern By-Pass near Alumni Coliseum. Dr. Billy Martin, associate vice president and chief student affairs officer, predicted that the new facility would “have a profound impact on recruitment and retention.”

PROFESSOR’S LIFE SUBJECT OF BOOK, MOVIE She came from a poor family in rural Malaysia that often struggled to put food on the table. Her parents divorced when she was 2, and she was raised by a grandmother who had no formal education.

an economic recession in her homeland in 1998 resulted in the suspension of her scholarship. A divorced and single mother at the time, she worked for a year as a full-time custodian at SIU to finance her education and support her young son.

When she did persevere to pursue a college education more than 9,000 miles from home at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale,

Faridah Awang could have become just another statistic, relegated to the margins of society, but for the vision of that grandmother who nonetheless prized education and for the photographs on the free calendars that adorned the walls of their modest home in Endau, Johor. Perhaps it was those calendar scenes from all around the world that permeated Awang’s childhood home with a distinct sense of hope. Awang remembers learning that her first name meant, in a word, “exceptional,” and her grandmother’s vision that “one day, I would make a name for myself in a foreign land.” The grandmother’s dream came true. Today, Dr. Faridah Awang is an award-winning professor of corporate communications and technology at Eastern Kentucky University and the first MalaysianAmerican to earn a full professorship in her academic field in the U.S. An autobiography about her life is a big hit back in Malaysia, where Awang is a regular guest on radio and television talk shows, and plans are underway to produce a movie based on her life. The autobiography, “Musafir Cinta 4 Musim,” which is not yet available in English but translates as “A Journey into a Four-Season Land,” sold more than 2,000 copies in its first week of release this summer and continues to fare well.



OFFICE OF REGIONAL STEWARDSHIP HELPS MAKE KENTUCKY WORK READY Bruce Carpenter wears many hats while serving southern Kentucky. He directs the Corbin Economic Development Agency, the Southern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the Southeast Kentucky Industrial Development Authority, a regional partnership between six counties. All of these organizations help businesses thrive by creating a strong economic climate in the region. When Carpenter learned about the Kentucky Work Ready program — which prepares skilled workers to attract potential employers — he knew the Tri-County area needed to take part. Carpenter reached out to David McFaddin, Eastern Kentucky University’s Vice President for Engagement, Regional Stewardship and Government Relations. Office of Regional Stewardship staff worked with Carpenter to form Work Ready working committees for both Knox and Whitley counties, and facilitated meetings, producing the work needed to apply for Work Ready-in-Progress certification. With EKU’s assistance, both counties were certified Work Ready-in-Progress by the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board. In order to become a Work Ready-in-Progress community, both counties had to meet predetermined thresholds in the areas of Graduation Rate, National Career Readiness Certificate Holders,

Digital Literacy and more. It could take three years to move from Work Ready-in-Progress to Work Ready. “This program allows us to demonstrate to industries that we have a trained workforce ready and waiting,” Carpenter said. “We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with EKU as we work toward full certification.” For more information about the program, visit workready.ky.gov.

RECALLING HIS “WAY OUT,” REDNOUR FUNDS SCHOLARSHIP When he was an EKU student, Ritchie Rednour served as president of the Student Government Association and student regent. Fifteen years later, he is still a leader, serving on the University’s Foundation Board. And now the Powell County entrepreneur and real estate broker has pledged $100,000 to establish the Ritchie Rednour Endowed Scholarship. The scholarship will assist students from Eastern’s service region who are in the final semester of their coursework but

08 SPRING 2018

need some additional assistance to complete their classes and earn their degree. “I grew up poor, in a small southeastern Kentucky town,” Rednour said. “There weren’t a lot of opportunities. There weren’t a lot of success stories. EKU was my way out. “It is hard to say where I would be today but for the grace of God and those who took me under their wing, mentored and guided me at EKU,” he continued. “I took lessons not only from the classroom, but from campus life, and I learned how to become a successful entrepreneur and community leader. Creating a scholarship endowment is simply an avenue to give back to the place that has given me so much, and to maybe, just maybe, help give another poor kid from somewhere in Kentucky a chance for a leg up in life.”

TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAMES Season tickets for EKU Softball and Baseball are now available for only $25.

For less than the cost of dinner for two, you will receive 24 general admission baseball tickets or 15 general admission softball tickets.

The best part? You can use your tickets however you want. Bring 23 friends


FEB 28 (WED) • 3 PM VS


MAR 2 (FRI) • 4 PM / MAR 3 (SAT) • 2 PM and MAR 4 (SUN) • 1 PM VS


MAR 21 (WED) • 4 PM VS


MAR 23 (FRI) • 4 PM / MAR 24 (SAT) • 4 PM and MAR 25 (SUN) • 1 PM VS


to one game, or attend multiple home games during the 2018 season — this

MAR 27 (TUE) • 4 PM

Reserved, chairback seating is also available for Colonel Club members only.

APR 6 (FRI) • 6 pm / APRIL 7 (SAT) • 4 PM and APRIL 8 (SUN) • 1 PM

flexible plan puts the choice in your hands. These packages start at $35.

Call the EKU Ticket Office at 1-844-3-GOBIGE for more information.




APRIL 10 (TUE) • 4 PM VS


APRIL 20 (FRI) • 6 PM / APRIL 21 (SAT) • 6 PM and APRIL 22 (SUN) • 1 PM VS


MAY 4 (FRI) • 6 PM / MAY 5 (SAT) • 4 PM and MAY 6 (SUN) • 1 PM VS


MAY 15 (TUE) • 6:30 PM VS


MAY 17 (THU) • 6 PM / MAY 18 (FRI) • 4 PM and MAY 19 (SAT) • 1 PM VS




MAR 7 (WED) • 3 PM VS


MAR 9 (FRI) • 12:30 PM VS


MAR 9 (FRI) • 3 PM VS


MAR 10 (SAT) • 12:30 PM VS


MAR 10 (SAT) • 3 PM VS


MAR 11 (SUN) • 5 PM VS


MAR 21 (WED) • 4 PM VS


MAR 24 (SAT) • 1 PM VS


MAR 25 (SUN) • 1 PM VS


MAR 30 (FRI) • 1 PM VS


APR 3 (TUE) • 6 PM VS


APR 14 (SAT) • 1 PM VS


APR 17 (TUE) • 4 PM VS


APR 21 (SAT) • 1 PM VS


APR 22 (SUN) • 1 PM VS


Larry Kirksey, LEFT, and Lt. Colonel Harve Turner


of EASTERN 2017 ALUMNI AWARD WINNERS EKU graduates have always gone on to do great things. They save lives in the medical field. They protect the safety and security of Americans as members of the military. They keep the economy strong as business owners and executives. They mentor the next generation of college students, so that others might follow in their tracks. And much more. Then, there are alumni who do that while still finding time to stay involved with the University, raise families or perform volunteer work. These hardworking Colonels represent the best of us, and the annual EKU Alumni Awards are how we honor their dedication and acknowledge their personal and professional accomplishments.

Each award winner was nominated by a friend or peer who recognized the great work they do. Through this honor, we can all recognize it, too — and strive to reach the same heights. n For more information about the winners, visit alumni.eku.edu/award-winners.



After his mother died when he was just 3 years old, Larry Kirksey’s

Harve Turner came to Eastern to play baseball and learn how to

father and great-aunt gave him this advice: “Keep moving forward,

teach and coach the sport, but quickly found his true passion when

and do the right thing.” That’s just what he did, excelling in school

he joined the Army ROTC. He volunteered for four tours in Vietnam,

and on the football field, which earned him a scholarship to EKU.

where he earned more than 20 medals and badges. Today, the

He went on to coach 14 different college and NFL teams, and today

decorated aviator is director and secretary of the Retired Officers

mentors young coaches and athletes in Atlanta.

Corporation, the proud sponsor of Freedom Plaza, a retirement community in Florida.


DISTINGUISHED SERVICE HONOREES DR. MORIAH BECK, ’99 Dr. Moriah (Williams) Beck was a chemistry major and Honors Scholar at EKU. Now, as an associate professor of chemistry at Wichita State University, she prepares the next generation of scientists. She earned the 2016 Phenomenal Woman Award from WSU and has been designated a National Academy of Science Education Fellow.

VICKI JOZEFOWICZ, ’85 ’98 ’15 Dr. Vicki (Messer) Jozefowicz’s motto is “never leave a situation worse than you found it.” A former EKU social work student, she now works with Kentucky River Foothills Development Council, the largest human services agency in Madison County. She became executive director in 2002 and serves today as its chief administrative officer.

DANIEL ELLIS, ’05 Officer Daniel Ellis was killed in the line of duty in 2015, leaving a campus and community saddened but proud of the dedicated public servant and loving father. “His humility, his kind heart and willingness to admit his mistakes made him a great police officer,” said Katie Ellis of her late husband.

ALLISON ALLGIER, ’92 As the clinical program manager for the Brachial Plexus Center at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Allison Allgier helps young patients and their families deal with a unique nerve injury that impacts motion and feeling in the arm. She also established an endowed scholarship to honor her late father, EKU administrator David Allgier.

LEFT TO RIGHT: Dr. Moriah (Williams) Beck; Vicki (Messer) Jozefowicz; posthumous winner Daniel Ellis, represented by wife Katie (Gruenwald) Ellis and son Luke; Allison Allgier.

LEFT TO RIGHT: Theresa Klisz, Colonel Clay Tipton, Andrew Page and Kelly (King) Bakehorn


PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT HONOREES THERESA KLISZ, ’78 As a reporter and news executive for the past 40 years, Theresa Klisz has covered everything from Miss America pageants to the Olympics to the 9/11 terror attack in Washington, D.C. “EKU made my world bigger,” she said, giving her “the confidence to walk into any door, any time.”

COLONEL CLAY TIPTON, ’92 “EKU football taught and reinforced a commitment to a program, being part of something bigger than yourself,” said Clay Tipton. The highly decorated Marine turned that experience into a 25-year military career, having just returned from a seven-month deployment as commanding officer of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

ANDREW PAGE, ’92 Andrew Page came to EKU on a track scholarship and studied physics, but realized he wasn’t “all in” on his science major. A roommate steered him toward accounting. Today, he is the vice president and corporate controller for Under Armor Inc., the $5-billion-a-year global leader in performance apparel.

KELLY BAKEHORN, ’96 People wondered whether Kelly (King) Bakehorn had lost her mind when she told them she purchased a 4,200-square-foot warehouse in an industrial part of Lexington. That acquisition became the first part of The Venues of The Grand Reserve, four unique special events spaces that now host 350 weddings and many other events a year.


YOUNG ALUMNI HONOREES DR. STEPHANIE STOCKBURGER, ’04 Dr. Stephanie Stockburger manages a full-time patient schedule in the University of Kentucky College of Medicine’s Adolescent Medicine Clinic, while also teaching and mentoring medical students and residents. She said her time as French horn player in EKU’s Horn Studio taught her the confidence and teamwork she needed to succeed.

JULIANA COFFEY, ’12 Juliana (Moore) Coffey represents clients in primarily family court cases with the law firm of Triplett & McCoy in Jackson County. She has come a long way since high school, where she said she was “a habitual truant.” EKU triggered the change. “For the first time, I felt challenged, which inspired me,” she said.

CHARLIE VANCE, ’05 An investor was seeking a self-starter with business and law expertise for his start-up company, which would help businesses with HR needs like hiring, compliance and payroll. He found it in Charlie Vance, who now serves as CEO. The company, ERIGO Employer Solutions, is one of the fastest-growing businesses in Northern Kentucky.

TYIANA THOMPSON, ’05 As enrollment manager for online learning at the University of Louisville, Tyiana (Watt) Thompson helps students further their education. As Mrs. Kentucky 2017, she is proud to represent married women who have families and successful careers. She earned her title after winning five of 10 categories, including career achievement and most photogenic.

ALLISON KILBURN, ’13 Allison (Miller) Kilburn found her calling in the male-dominated field of quality assurance. As a quality engineer for Mubea, she has stayed in touch with her roots at Eastern. She assists EKU’s Applied Engineering Management Program by serving on its Industrial Advisory Council, giving advice and encouragement to graduating seniors.

LEFT TO RIGHT: Dr. Stephanie Stockburger, Juliana (Moore) Coffey, Charlie Vance, Tyiana (Watt) Thompson and Allison (Miller) Kilburn

18 SPRING 2018


COMPASSION Alex Dominguez Credits Lessons Learned at EKU for His Unprecedented Success.

When Alex Dominguez, ’83, was a linebacker for EKU, he was part of one of the winningest teams in college football. From 1979 to 1982, the Colonels never lost a home game, won two national championships and were undefeated his senior year. However, the victories didn’t shape his successful career as an executive at one of the nation’s leading restaurant chains. “I remember being runner-up more than I remember winning,” he said. In particular, he recalled the 1980 NCAA national championship game against Boise State University. The Broncos were trailing 29-24, facing an 80-yard drive with less than 60 seconds on the clock. The Colonels were already celebrating. Yet, with just 12 seconds left in the game, BSU quarterback Joe Aliotti threw a touchdown pass that earned the Broncos their second-ever national championship win — and sent the Colonels home stunned and empty-handed. “What that taught me is you never, ever, ever quit,” Dominguez said. “The game isn’t over until it’s over. In the game of life and in business, you don’t let up. You get to the goal line and you keep pushing.” The former football player has parlayed this intensity into a rewarding career at Chick-fil-A, the fast-growing chicken chain that opened its 2,000th location last year. As senior director of real estate, Dominguez was personally involved with deploying approximately 350 of those restaurants. During his career, the company has grown from $391 million in total unit sales to nearly $10 billion in 2017.

Alex Dominguez surveys blighted property in Atlanta’s west side, where he works with several community groups.


“ EKU was unforgettable.

It galvanized a lot in my life.

I’ve always said I have a fairytale life, and I continue to live it. I’m humbled, but I

live it.”

— Alex Dominguez, ’83

“It’s been a 25-year run of one of the most exciting careers in real estate that anyone could aspire to, dream of or be blessed with,” he said. “To stay with a company this long and be part of that kind of growth, it’s unprecedented. Every day was a highlight, and I still, to this day, love what I do.” Dominguez’s path to success wasn’t easy. His family fled his home country of Cuba in 1968 after the communist government nationalized his father’s businesses, which included a dairy farm, a beef cattle farm, a grocery store and a five-and-dime. With nothing more than the clothes on their backs, the family sought refuge in the U.S. and moved in with Dominguez’s aunt in Miami, Florida. His father worked 60 to 70 hours a week to support the family, and his mother worked from home, instilling a work ethic in Dominguez that he channeled on his high school football field. His skill on the gridiron earned him a full ride to EKU, but he admits he didn’t find the same drive in the classroom — that is, until he took Real Estate 101 with the late Dr. Donald E. Bodley. “The first day of class, it just captivated me. I had no idea what I wanted to do before that. I knew it was something with business, but I had no real plans,” he said. In the last three years, Dominguez’s role at Chick-fil-A has evolved. Today, he primarily supports the business’s robust

20 SPRING 2018

ABOVE: The former EKU linebacker is using his real estate expertise to help restore disused properties like this old church.

philanthropic arms from the company’s headquarters in Atlanta, where he has lived since 1984. With Chick-fil-A’s support, he also works with or serves on the boards of 11 nonprofits, churches and cooperatives. Most of those organizations are dedicated in some way to improving the lives of families and children in Atlanta’s struggling west side neighborhoods. For example, the Atlanta Music Project provides a free, intensive music education for underserved youth; Bearing’s Bike Shop teaches children important life skills by allowing them to volunteer their time and build up points toward a new bike; and City of Refuge helps families with food, housing, education and career needs. This second career in the nonprofit sector is ideal for Dominguez, who has always been passionate about helping others reach their full potential. He counts himself lucky that he works for a philanthropic company that allows him to indulge his need to give back, and he is thankful for EKU, which showed him what can happen when you combine hard work with teamwork. “EKU was unforgettable. It galvanized a lot in my life,” he said. “I’ve always said I have a fairytale life, and I continue to live it. I’m humbled, but I live it.” n


CHANGES LIVES Every annual gift, no matter the size, directly impacts the lives of these and thousands of other students. The best part? You choose how! Pick your passion and make your gift today!


The Eastern Fund provides funding for academic programs as well as support services on campus:

such as the ASLIE Lab have been crucial for my program. “ Resources, They not only help us improve our sign language skills and connect us with the deaf community while we are still students, but it allows us to record high quality videos to send to potential internship opportunities and employers for after graduation. Thank you to the donors who provide these practical experiences! — Zach, Deaf Studies


In 2016-2017, more than 1,150 students were awarded in excess of $1 million in Foundation Scholarships:

Even with working 20 hours a week, I would not be able to afford “ tuition if it were not for EKU Foundation Scholarships. They are making it possible for me to focus on my classes and my future. Thank you! ” — Katie, Communication Disorders


Thanks to contributions like yours, students can take part in once-in-a-lifetime experiences:

summer studying abroad in Ireland was an amazing opportunity! “ ItMyenhanced my entire EKU education and made me more marketable to future employers. I am so grateful for this once in a lifetime experience and the donors who made it possible! — Bailey, Agribusiness

go.eku.edu/give Eastern Kentucky University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and Educational Institution.

PURPOSE BUILT EKU’s new buildings are more than structures. They’re places where dreams are chased, friendships are made and success is shared. Here are the stories of four exceptional Colonels who are succeeding in new environments. For more information about new builds and additional content, visit: go.eku.edu/purposebuilt.

TUTORS ON CALL AT NORTH HALL Motivating students to take advantage of EKU’s many tutoring options is sometimes easier said than done, but a friendly face and ease of access can overcome any barrier. The Student Academic Success Team (SAST), operated by the Office of Housing and Residence Life, places tutors directly in several EKU residence halls, including the brand-new North Hall. Every Sunday through Thursday, student workers set up shop in the lobby and invite any resident who needs some one-on-one instruction to simply ask. “You don’t have to go anywhere and it’s very casual, so there’s no reason not to do it,” said tutor and senior forensic science major Delaney Stovall. “You can come and get tutored in your pajamas if you want to.” Stovall, an honors student from Owensboro, Kentucky, regularly tutors North Hall students in statistics, although she works in other halls, too. However, North Hall holds a special place in her heart because it’s more than just her office — she also lives there. “The great thing about being in the residence halls is that the students see us around. They know us,” she said. “We’re friendly, familiar faces, which makes it easier for people to approach us and ask for help.” SAST reaches more and more students each year, creating a better-prepared student body one person at a time. “It can be really hard for students to find the time or motivation to get tutored. They might be worried about the negative stigma around it. They might not know where to go, or might not even recognize they need tutoring,” Stovall said. “So we make it as easy as possible.”

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Student tutor Delaney Stovall, RIGHT, instructs one of her peers in North Hall. INSET: One of North Hall’s well-equipped common areas.


EKU pre-occupational therapy student Noah Short and her daughter, Niaya, sit down to play in their Scholar House apartment. INSET: Eastern Scholar House exterior.

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MAKING SCHOLAR HOUSE A HOME Two-year-old Niaya Short hopped on and off her mother’s lap a dozen times. She asked for a popsicle and Lunchable, eating only half of each. Later, she opened a whole Advent calendar, made Play-Doh animals, combed her mother’s hair and changed the TV channel from cartoons to C-SPAN, insisting that, yes, this was exactly what she wanted to watch. That was just in the span of one 30-minute interview with Niaya’s mom in their apartment on EKU’s campus. The practiced patience with which pre-occupational therapy student Noah Short tends to her daughter’s boundless energy is a thorough reminder that parenting is a full-time job. Yet, with the help of the Eastern Scholar House Program, the single mother has been able to study, work and take care of Naiya. Opened in September 2017, and operated by the Kentucky River Foothills Development Council, the Scholar House Program helps single parents like Short become self-sufficient and successful. The program, which is open to eligible full-time students enrolled in any approved postsecondary institution, provides income-based housing, as well as Head Start child development, financial planning and much more. For Short, who had put her college career on hold, Scholar House is transformative. “This semester I’ve gotten the best grades I’ve ever had. I never imagined in a million years I could succeed back at school,” she said. “I’m so grateful.” Scholar House Director Melissa Gross said dozens of students have experienced the same success as Short. “If you’re in this program, you’re already an overachiever,” she said. “The students here will be future leaders. Of that I have no doubt.”



DROPPING THE MIC IN CASE DINING HALL Nothing pairs better with a group meal than great conversation, songs and storytelling. Aramark, the operator of EKU’s new Case Dining Hall, hasn’t forgotten that, partnering with EKU student groups to make the new facility more than just a place to grab a bite. One such group, Eastern Open Mic, recently held its first show in the new venue. The program, which was founded two years ago by music marketing major Dante “Racks” Beausejour, teaches students about performing, organizing and promoting live music. Today, EOM’s live performances bring in audiences of up to 300 students. “Case is a great venue. It’s big, everyone knows where it is, and it’s already where people go to relax and hang out,” said student musician Alonzo “Zotorious” Spears. Spears’ blend of rap and pop has already earned him a sizable fan following and put him in talks with a record label. For some student musicians, EOM is their first live performance. For more experienced performers like Spears, it allows them to fine-tune their stage presence. “Other than education, the number one thing you’re going to get out of college is experience. It’s about finding out who you are,” Spears said. “For musicians, that means getting out there, performing and finding out if the audience likes your music. It’s insanely cool that EKU and Aramark provide space for that.” Before the facility was opened in January, EOM was held in the Powell Building, the former home of campus dining. Students say it bodes well for Case Dining Hall that it continues to be a place where musicians get real-world experience and students can catch a live show.

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Alonzo “Zotorious” Spears, MIDDLE, meets up with members of Eastern Open Mic in Case Dining Hall. INSET: Case Dining Hall exterior.


Dr. Lindsay Calderon, LEFT, is mentor to McNair Scholar Aggie Williams as she conducts research on a new cancer treatment. INSET: The Science Building atrium.

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SCIENCE BUILDING PUTS FOCUS ON RESEARCH As a McNair Scholar, EKU chemistry major Aggie Williams knew she would get to spend a semester conducting scientific research — it’s one of several academic requirements for the prestigious scholarship program. However, she had no idea her EKU professors would provide an opportunity to research a potentially lifesaving new cancer treatment, nor that her work would help the University take its first tentative steps toward becoming a biomedical research institution. Over the summer, Williams tested a chemotherapeutic agent designed to target triple negative breast cancer and other hard-to-treat, aggressive cancers. The compound was created through a cross-departmental collaboration between two EKU professors — Dr. Margaret Ndinguri, in chemistry, and Dr. Lindsay Calderon, in biology. Williams studied the effects of the treatment on mice, recording reductions in tumor size and weight to determine therapeutic doses that may one day help humans. She has already presented her research at two conferences, with more to come. “I have gotten to do a lot of things that most students don’t get to do until post-grad,” said Williams, who will graduate with a bachelor’s degree this year. “It’s been a really fun ride. I have been very lucky.” Dr. Calderon, Williams’ mentor, said helping students do more than they thought possible is exactly what the new Science Building represents. “It consolidates all the sciences into one place, which makes it easier to collaborate on projects like this,” she said. “It also demonstrates a new focus on STEM. It’s no longer just ‘work with what you’ve got.’ We focus on it, buy equipment for it and get students involved. Our goal is to improve their education by getting them in grad schools, in papers and to conferences.”




#EKU “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” – John Steinbeck Day and night. History and modernity. Competition and relaxation. There are plenty of contrasts at Eastern Kentucky University, and they’re part of what makes it The Campus Beautiful. Thankfully, there is no shortage of talented photographers to capture EKU’s distinct, dynamic scenes. Enjoy this selection of photos taken by Colonels and shared on social media.

Share your photos using

#CampusBeautiful @easternkentuckyu

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Eastern Kentucky University








10 01. The #EKU Pedway at night @saharakelley 02. Case Dining Hall @ekudining 03. New beginnings with @ekunorthhall 04. Sunset over the baseball fields @

juliad444 05. Sun rising over Martin Hall @mckaylan.drach 06. Preparing for

#EKUGame day @guardie3 07. The first day of snowfall on the #CampusBeautiful @easternkentuckyu 08. The new Roy Kidd statue overlooks the football field after the Colonels win @ekualums 09. Students enjoy a nice fall day relaxing near the Moore Building @sawyer_marie 10. A beautiful view of the Carloftis Gardens in front of the new Martin Hall @morgan_keona


MANUFACTURING in EKU Grad Tracie Prater Is Helping Turn Humanity into a Spacefaring Species

“We’re building the ‘replicator’ from Star Trek.” That’s how engineer and EKU alumnae Dr. Tracie Prater describes for the layperson her role at NASA. For those who aren’t familiar with the long-running sci-fi show, the replicator is spaceship technology that can create almost any item seemingly from thin air by rearranging subatomic particles. In the real world, such advanced technology is a long way off, but recent advances in 3D printing could meet similar needs, and Dr. Prater, ’06, is at the forefront of figuring out how. Her true job description is more of a mouthful. Dr. Prater is the technical integration lead for the In-Space Manufacturing Project at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. She is part of a team developing processes, skills and systems that will allow humans to fabricate tools and components on-site in zero- or micro-gravity environments to support long-duration human exploration missions. “Currently, everything we use in space is manufactured on and launched from Earth. That works well for the International Space Station, which is just 200 miles above the planet,” she said. “But that paradigm can become a huge logistics problem

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when we look at a 500-day mission to Mars, a sustained presence on the moon or a deep-space habitat.” One of the biggest priorities for Dr. Prater and NASA is the completion of an all-in-one manufacturing capability for space stations called the Multimaterial Fabrication Laboratory, a refrigerator-sized unit that will print intricate metal and plastic components, inspect them for integrity and also recycle materials. The possibility that the project could be seen as the first-generation replicator is a dream come true for Dr. Prater, who has been fascinated with outer space since childhood. Her interest in engineering blossomed later, during a foretelling field trip in high school as part of the Governor’s Scholars Program. “We went to the headquarters of Lexmark, the printer company, and I had lunch with a female engineer there. I had never considered printers to be exciting, but it seemed incredible to me

ABOVE: Dr. Tracie Prater consults with EKU astronomy professor Dr. Marco Ciocca during a recent visit to EKU.

that she actually got to help design things that were used in virtually every home and office,” she said. However, turning her interests into an aerospace career was a challenge for a girl who grew up in a small town in Eastern Kentucky. Many people, with the exception of her family and teachers, questioned whether Dr. Prater’s dreams of working at NASA were realistic. While she had always been a gifted student, those doubts eventually manifested in her as well, and she contemplated changing majors “at least four or five times” in college. Her advice to other young women pursuing careers in STEM fields is simple but powerful: don’t give into doubt. “It’s been my experience that many women suffer from imposter syndrome. You have to believe that you’re as good as anyone in the room, and you most likely are,” she said. “If you’re having trouble understanding theoretical physics, it’s not because of your gender. It’s because theoretical physics is really hard. It’s okay to struggle with it.” Dr. Prater graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in physics before receiving her master’s and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at Vanderbilt, where she also interned at

“You have to believe that you’re as good as anyone in the room, and you most likely are,” she said. “If you’re having trouble understanding theoretical physics, it’s not because of your gender. It’s because theoretical physics is really hard.” NASA. After graduation, she worked as a materials and processes engineer for rocket manufacturer United Launch Alliance before being offered a full-time job with NASA, “which I accepted enthusiastically,” she said. NASA is leading the next steps of human space exploration with missions to the moon, where astronauts will build and begin testing the systems needed for challenging missions to other destinations, including Mars, and deeper into space. Dr. Prater’s work will be instrumental in allowing spacefarers to cut their tether to Earth and create self-sustaining environments in a brand-new frontier. n



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Luke Easley, ’16, always wanted to be a pilot. As a kid, he mapped out major cities on his family’s Stamping Ground, Kentucky, farm. Countless hours were spent soaring his toy jetliners over a pretend map of the world that spanned several acres. “I would even have emergencies along the way every so often, so I would have to divert to a closer city,” he said, laughing at the memory. Easley was in luck. Today, it is easier than ever for a newly trained pilot to land his or her first job. That’s because airlines, aircraft manufacturers and industry analysts all say there are far too few pilots being trained to meet the ever-growing demand for air travel. The pilot shortage has created an unprecedented opportunity for professionals like Easley. Since graduating from EKU’s aviation program, the 24-year-old is a first officer with a regional airline. He’s on track to fly for a major national airline before he turns 30. While the shortage is good for pilots, it has left the rest of the industry in a state of uncertainty. The demand for air travel is outpacing the supply of pilots so quickly that airlines have no idea how they will staff flights in the coming decades. Unless the gap is closed, the pilot shortage will slow or halt industry growth, and travelers could soon find it harder to get a flight as airlines are forced to park planes, reduce routes and raise ticket prices. “It’s a huge concern in the industry. We’re talking about a shortage of thousands of pilots per year,” said EKU Aviation Program Coordinator Dennis Sinnett. In his role, Sinnett directs EKU’s aviation program, recruits aspiring pilots, and instructs them on the methods and principles of flight and management. To do so, he keeps his finger firmly on the pulse of the industry.

“The pilot shortage is not going away,” he said. “It is real. Every major airline is trying to invest in it in some way, shape or form.”

THE DEPTH OF THE PILOT SHORTAGE Aircraft manufacturer Boeing, in its 2017 Pilot Outlook industry forecast, calculated that the global aviation industry will need 637,000 new commercial pilots between now and 2036. That breaks down to 33,500 pilots trained each year, 91 new pilots trained each day or one new pilot trained every 15 minutes. CAE Inc., a leading maker of flight simulation technology, released a similar forecast. It says 255,000 pilots will be needed in the next 10 years, of which less than 50 percent of are currently being trained. The primary cause of the pilot shortage is that the airline industry is tied to the health of the economy, and the economy is soaring. As America continues its steady recovery from the Great Recession, and new middle classes emerge in Asian and other overseas markets, more and more people are gaining access to air travel. “The proliferation of commercial aviation, the affordability and the access to it worldwide has expanded greatly,” said Sinnett. “It’s readily available. It’s the safest way to travel long distances. And now, more people are in the financial position to afford it.” Commercial passenger airlines aren’t the only ones struggling. Cargo airlines like those that contract for FedEx and UPS —


which both have major import-export hubs in Louisville — are feeling the strain as more and more people shop online and have items delivered to their home.

“Over the last 15 or 20 years, the military has been downsizing,” Sinnett said. “There aren’t enough aviation squadrons to fill that gap anymore.”

However, the economy isn’t solely to blame, particularly in America, which accounts for 18 percent of Boeing’s projected global pilot shortage. There are a number of other factors.

Additionally, there are simply fewer would-be pilots pursuing their dream career. Many have been turned off by stories of low pay and tough working conditions at regional airlines, where most of the growth in the aviation industry is taking place.

For example, more than 40 percent of pilots at major carriers will reach age 65 in the next 10 years, the Federal Aviation Administration’s mandatory retirement age, leading to an exodus of 18,000 to 25,000 experienced flyers. Unlike most other industries, aviators can’t be replenished quickly or trained on the job. Due in part to stringent FAA safety regulations, flight training can take years, creating significant lag in filling entry-level positions. Most notable is the FAA’s 2013 regulation that first officers must hold an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate, which requires 1,500 hours of flight time, before co-captaining a commercial airline. Previously, first officers needed only a commercial pilot certificate, which required 250 hours of logged flight time. “Some people view that as somewhat draconian, but it’s done for the right reasons,” Sinnett said. “When you’re flying a $100-million or $200-million airplane with dozens of passengers, your level of technical expertise needs to be high. That’s the standard the FAA established.” The U.S. Air Force and Navy used to be the most reliable pipeline for replenishing the ranks of commercial pilots, but fewer military pilots are being trained than any time in recent history. Military officials have said they currently have a pilot shortage of their own — the Air Force currently has about 2,000 fewer pilots than it needs.

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THE REGIONAL TURNAROUND Regional airlines, such as ExpressJet, American Eagle and Delta Connection, generally subcontract with major carriers to provide overflow flights on small jets and turboprops. They’re also where new commercial pilots cut their teeth, building flight time in the hopes of obtaining a job with a major carrier, which requires 3,000 to 4,000 hours in the air. Historically, new pilots have accepted sub-par conditions at regional airlines because it was considered a stepping stone to a more fruitful career. However, some estimates say regional airlines now account for about 50 percent of domestic flights, and that number is growing. Faced with the prospect of working a whole career at a regional airline after spending years and tens of thousands of dollars training, many potential pilots have opted out. “Not that long ago, entry level pay at a regional airline would start at $20,000 or $25,000,” Sinnett said. “You were renting an apartment with three or four other pilots, sleeping on a sofa and eating ramen noodles, just waiting to build your time so you can go fly with a major carrier like Delta or American.” That’s not the case anymore. Due to the shortage of experienced pilots, regional airlines are raising pay and improving working conditions to attract and retain new pilots. Pilots can now make a good wage while still pursuing their dreams of flying for larger airlines and earning six figures.

“I’ve met many pilots who stepped away from flying for a long period of time and sought other opportunities outside of the airlines, or aviation in general,” Easley said. “They only returned, from my observation, because pay had increased fourfold.”

Some of the earliest graduates of EKU’s professional flight program are now serving as captains for Delta, American and Northwest Airlines, Walker said. The current demand for pilots will enable EKU to continue that success on a larger scale.

Starting pilots now often make $60,000 or more in their first year, including signing bonuses.

Airlines, as well as students, are drawn to four-year programs like EKU’s because they get graduates in the pilot seat faster than traditional flight schools. The FAA’s 1,500-hour ATP rule includes a provision that takes into account the training and education pilots earn at four-year colleges. EKU students holding a four-year degree receive a restricted ATP certificate with just 1,000 flight hours, shaving significant time off training.

“Regional airlines are now giving new pilots $20,000 or $25,000 signing bonuses, where that was never done before,” Sinnett said. “You’re in high demand. There is some negotiation among the regional airlines for your talents.”

THE RISE OF THE FOUR-YEAR PROGRAM To fill the gaps, many airlines are turning to four-year universities like EKU. That’s good news for students, as college aviation programs now have effectively a 100 percent employment rate post-graduation. “Students, as I understand it now, are guaranteed a job with an airline the minute they graduate,” said Willi Walker, one of the founders of EKU’s aviation program. “For the most part, they end up with some kind of employment right after graduation, simply because there is a need for pilots.” EKU offers the only FAA-approved, four-year professional pilot program in the state of Kentucky. It is also one of the oldest four-year flight programs in the country. Walker, a professor in the geography program, co-founded the program in 1983 with Dr. Joseph Schwendeman, a former Navy aviator. The four-year professional flight degree was formally established in 1991.

“Part of what drew me to EKU was the 1,000-hour track to get to the airlines instead of the 1,500 hours at some other flight schools,” Easley said. “Plus, I received a four-year degree while learning to fly. I knocked out two birds with one stone.” Less than two years after graduating, Easley is months away from taking captain’s training with his current company and becoming first-in-command on his craft. Then, it’s onto the big leagues. His advice to anyone who’s always dreamed of flying jets is simple — now is the time. “Today the pilot has the edge,” he said. “Due to the pilot shortage, the aviation industry is in an unusual position where it has to stand up and bet on the pilot. There has never been a better time to start a career in commercial aviation.” n See a profile of EKU aviation student Horace Hunter at go.eku.edu/pilots.

– ATHLETICS HIGHLIGHTS – RUNNERS RECOGNIZED FOR RESEARCH Two students from Kenya arrived at EKU to fulfill their dreams of running at one of the nation’s top cross country schools under the tutelage of legendary Coach Rick Erdmann. Both left the Richmond campus last fall as nationally recognized student researchers. Ambrose Maritim and Amos Kogsey, two of EKU’s top distance runners over the past five years, were two of only four students nationally to be recognized by the Association of Environmental Health Academic Programs as Student Research Competition winners. Each received $1,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip to the National Environmental Health Association’s annual meeting. Maritim’s presentation, “Household Treatment in Relation to Total Coliform and E. coli Densities in Uasin Gishu County, Kenya,” was carried out in 2016 with faculty mentor Dr. Jason Marion. Maritim’s presentation spotlighted water quality issues and the benefits and deficiencies in point-of-use water treatment methods impacting 421 persons across 77 households. Kosgey’s presentation, “Antibiotic Residues in Milk from Milk ATMs in Eldoret, Kenya,” was supported by a mini-grant to Marion by the EKU Office of Sponsored Programs. Kosgey’s work

assessed antibiotic residues in 80 milk samples. He observed detectable antibiotic residues in 29 percent of samples from mobile milk vending machines used by local dairy farmers and 24 percent of samples from street vendors. Four years after arriving at EKU, Maritim graduated in December with a bachelor’s degree in environmental health science. Kosgey graduated with a master’s degree in public health after earning a bachelor’s degree in medical laboratory science.

ROJAS OVC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF YEAR IN VOLLEYBALL Junior libero Chloe Rojas was named the Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year in addition to two other EKU volleyball players picking up all-conference honors. Rojas and senior Celina Sanks were tabbed All-OVC First Team, while junior Cassie Knutson garnered second team honors. This is the first time since 2005 that Eastern has had three players between the first and second teams and had a defensive player of the year when it placed Brittany Nobilio Defensive Player of the Year (2004-06), Kelly Jennings and Liz Guard on the first team. The last time two Colonels were placed on the first team was 2006. Dena Ott was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2014. Rojas led the defensive effort for Eastern this past season, racking up 20 or more digs in a match 11 times during the season with two 30-dig outings. She led the conference during league-only action nearly the entire season, finishing with 354 digs. Rojas ended regular-season play with 524 digs to lead the Colonels.

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MOBERLY RANKED AMONG BEST WOMEN’S GOLFERS IN U.S. EKU’s Elsa Moberly is ranked among the top women golfers in the nation, according to Golfstat rankings. The Somerset, Kentucky, native is ranked 32nd among all NCAA Division I players. Four times last fall, the junior, who broke her own record with a round of 65, was chosen as the Adidas OVC Women’s Golfer of the Week. Moberly earned Kentucky Miss Golf honors in 2014 as a senior at Pulaski County High School. Her father, Erich, ’95, also played golf at Eastern.

STUDENT-ATHLETES GRADUATE AT 82% RATE EKU’s student-athletes who entered college 2007-10 on scholarship are graduating at a rate of 82 percent, according to an NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) report released in November 2017. Eastern volleyball and men’s basketball programs (tied) posted the highest GSR in the Commonwealth, and the football program’s GSR just missed the top spot. The volleyball program achieved a perfect 100 percent GSR. In all, seven EKU sports teams had rates among the top four in the Commonwealth. The graduation rates for football, men’s basketball and volleyball ranked among the top two in the Ohio Valley Conference in those respective sports. Volleyball’s perfect rate tied for first in the conference.

MAYO NAMED TO MALONE AWARD WATCH LIST EKU junior Nick Mayo was one of only 20 players named to the 2018 Karl Malone Award Watch List. The award is given annually to the top power forward in Division I men’s college basketball. Mayo, the only Ohio Valley Conference player and one of only five mid-major players on the list, was voted first team All-OVC for the second straight year in 2016-17 after averaging 19 points and seven rebounds a game. The 6-foot-9 forward from Oakland, Maine, is on pace to be EKU’s all-time leading scorer after he became the first Colonel to reach the 1,000-point plateau as a sophomore.




COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL of FAME For almost four decades, Roy Kidd was synonymous with Colonel football. And what a legacy he fashioned: 314 wins, two national titles, 16 Ohio Valley Conference crowns and induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. But as much as for the winning tradition he built at his beloved alma mater, Coach Kidd will be remembered as a molder of men. A group of admiring former players banded together to pay tribute one more time to a demanding but nurturing mentor whose life lessons resonate to this day. “Because of you, we all know what it’s like to be winners,” said former player Rick Sang, ’81. It was Sang, a wide receiver and punter on Kidd’s 1979 I-AA national championship team, who helped lead a $60,000plus fundraising effort to honor Kidd with a lifesize bronze statue that overlooks the north end of the stadium bearing his name. Fashioned by Dr. John P. Savage, an

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orthopedic surgeon and part-time sculptor from Canton, New York, the statue was unveiled in festivities before the Sept. 23 football game. Coach Kidd, as he has always been quick to do, generously shared the credit. “I realize the statue is me,” he told WEKU, “but it takes a lot of people to get that done, you know. To have the record that we have, I had some good assistant coaches. I had some great players and some great fans here in Richmond, so it takes a lot of people to have a good team like we did and a good program.” He also credited the support of his wife, Sue. “She raised three kids,” he noted, “and I love her dearly.” Kidd, who also served four years as athletics director at EKU, added his support for a proposed wall of honor behind the statue that would recognize all who have ever coached or played football at Eastern. “I can’t wait to get that wall up,” he said. “I’m honored but if you want to make me happy, do that.”

“Because of YOU, we all know what it's like to be WINNERS.” ­­— Rick Sang, '81


The ceremony came only a day after the University honored a Kidd-coached team that many credit for kick-starting what soon became a dynasty: the 1967 squad that went on to win the Grantland Rice Bowl, 27-13 over Ball State. Many of those ’67 players were also on hand for the unveiling. Kidd’s fourth team featured “only four or five superstars,” as safety Ted Green, ’70, recalled. “The rest of us worked very hard to be the best we could be. We are all very proud of putting the program on the map.” Also that weekend, the Colonel’s new locker room, facilitated by a $250,000 donation from Green, was dedicated in honor of the ’67 squad. Green’s gift was primarily used to purchase “the best of the best” lockers and “enhance the space to give our players an elite locker room experience,” said Austin Newton, ’05, assistant athletics director for development. A plaque in the facility recognizes the groundbreaking ’67 team. The locker room is part of the expansion project on the east side of Roy Kidd Stadium that also features more than 3,000 new ABOVE: Coach Kidd’s extended family attended the unveiling. RIGHT: Coach Kidd and his wife, Sue, smiled as the statue is unveiled.

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bleacher seats and a concourse with modern concessions and restroom facilities. The first floor is dedicated to the benefit of Colonel football student-athletes and includes the locker room, lounge, equipment room and game-day training area. The Grantland Rice Bowl team also featured an undersized (5-foot-11, 180-pound) but tough-as-nails nose guard by the name of Teddy Taylor, ’75 ’83. Collectively, the defense was known as “The Headhunters.” “We only had 83 points scored against us the whole season,” Taylor told the Richmond Register. “We weren’t the biggest or the strongest. We just played together.” It was Taylor’s timely swipe of the pigskin from Ball State quarterback Doc Heath and subsequent dash to the end zone that proved to be the pivotal play of the bowl game. The Colonels earned national championships in 1979 and 1982, finished as runner-up in 1980 and 1981 and typically closed regular seasons atop the OVC standings. And Taylor, who went on to assist Kidd and coach high school football, was inducted years later into the EKU Athletics Hall of Fame. The Harrison County native has lived most of his life in Madison County. “I’ve gotten to know a lot of people in Richmond,” he said. “They were football fans, and they loved Coach Kidd. It all just kind of fell into place.” n For more information about the Roy Kidd statue, visit: go.eku.edu/kidd

CELEBRATE EXCELLENCE Donate to the Colonels’ Wall of Fame

The student-athletes who played for Coach Roy Kidd have impacted all of us — EKU alums, friends and families. They gave us some of our best college memories, united us through our love of football and showed the world what we Colonels can do. Now, it’s time to give back. You can help build a Wall of Fame that will serve as a permanent monument to hundreds of EKU players who fought to make every game a winning one. Join your teammates and classmates and send in your contribution to mark the stellar accomplishments of nearly 40 years’ worth of Colonels. Contact Austin Newton at 859-622-5073 or visit go.eku.edu/roykidd to make your contribution today.

– ALUMNI NEWS – In this

issue Class Notes Alumni Profiles Emory Attig Jim Evans Chryssa Zizos

In Memoriam

For a comprehensive list of Class Notes or to share your good news with fellow

Dear Fellow Alumni, I have been thinking a lot about growth over these first few months of 2018. On a personal level, how do I best take care of myself so I can take care of my family? Professionally, how do I continue to be creative, strategic and kind in a world of increasingly high demands and shortened attention spans? And as a volunteer, how do I prioritize my commitments, and who/when do I ask for help so that I make progress on my goals? I have also considered the growth of our beloved EKU, as every time I come back to campus there is something new to see. I have pondered what it has taken for us to get here, how many people have been involved in making this magic happen and how we will continue to keep the necessary pace into the future. You see, growth is hard. It was hard for me to find out that Todd and Dupree halls were being demolished, and Greek students once again had to move. (And I didn’t even live there — I’m Telford 10th!) It was hard until I saw the plans for the new student rec center and heard about the impact it will have on fostering healthy student lifestyles. It was hard for me to see Case come down because my mom lived there her freshman year, and I spent lots of Honors Program hours in that place. It was hard until I understood the plan for the revitalization of the heart of campus and had a meal in the new Case Dining facility. Growth is hard, but

necessary. It is my responsibility to recognize and embrace this fact. Growth is hard because it is not comfortable. Growth is hard because it requires work. Growth is hard because it takes commitment, patience and vision. Growth takes time. And energy. And us. When was the last time you were on The Campus Beautiful? If it wasn’t within the last six months, I encourage you to plan a trip home. The Alumni Board spent time on campus in January and was both inspired and challenged by all the growth we saw — new faces, new buildings, new programs, new construction. Not sure what to do or see when you come back? Call us. We’ll help. If your last trip was recent and you are ready to grow in your EKU engagement, we would love to hear from you! Let’s talk about where you can be plugged in and how you can help serve our Eastern family. Our Eastern. Never forget that you, my fellow alumni, are still very much a part of the Eastern story. Keep reading. New buildings aren’t all that is happening here. We are in the business of building lives. With Colonel Pride,

Amy Jo Gabel Classes of ’05 and ’08

alums, visit

alumni.eku.edu/ Class-Notes. We want to hear from you!

Alumni Board members and past presidents gather in the classroom space of recently opened Martin Hall for the winter meeting. 44 SPRING 2018

Class Notes Larry Parks, ’62 ’66, was posthumously inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. He led rural Arlington (Indiana) High School to notable success and graduated as the all-time leading scorer in Rush County history. A three-year letter winner at Eastern, he led his team to a conference championship as a junior, averaged 13.5 points and 9.8 rebounds as a senior co-captain and earned 1962 first-team All-OVC honors. He went on to be a teacher and coach. William E. Ellis, ’67, has recently authored “Irvin S. Cobb: The Rise and Fall of an American humorist,” published by University Press of Kentucky. Bill Whitlow, ’71, has been inducted into the Mason County (Kentucky) Alumni Association Hall of Fame. In 2007, he earned the Virginia State Police Superintendents Award of Merit for his superior response and leadership in the wake of the Virginia Tech shooting tragedy.



Ruth Ann McKinney Pasley, ’76, has retired after a career as an RN and is enjoying her family and longarm quilting.

Seven years after graduating from EKU and now living eight hours away, Emory Attig’s blood still runs maroon. Just how dedicated is he? The former Colonel defensive lineman and his wife, Betsy (Keithley) Attig, ’11, named their firstborn son Boone.

Brian Cornish, ’77, has retired after more than 38 years of service as a security police officer at the U.S. Department of Energy Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Site. He had a total of 40 years of public safety service, including 15 concurrent years as a volunteer firefighter/EMT/fire investigator.

“He was named after Daniel Boone,” Attig said. “He got his first picture with the statue at Homecoming this past year.”

Thurman Glenn Caleb Jr., ’78, has been named president and chief executive officer of First National Bank and Trust, based in London, Kentucky.

On the field and in the classroom, the Georgia native said, his alma mater helped teach him what it takes to be successful. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in communications studies, Attig started graduate school and took a job at the University of Maryland’s athletic department development office. However, he had also learned that finding success meant following his dreams, and he soon realized they didn’t lie in sports administration.

Dr. James D. Hill, ’73, Irvine, Kentucky, recently celebrated his 40th year of providing dental care. Dan Klingstein, ’76, Carmel, Indiana, has been named business development manager, focusing on material handling equipment sales for Blue Horseshoe.

Shelley (Steele) Park, ’80, has been appointed to the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority Board of Directors and the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corp. Board of Directors. She is a retired executive director for retention and graduation at EKU. Steven Pollock, ’80, was selected to speak with Daro Mott, MPA, MUP, PMP, about a project to refresh Louisville Metro’s problem-solving system. Danny Underhill, ’80, recently retired after 36 years with Owens-Corning Fiberglass. Rich Dickerson, ’81, recently retired as fire chief for Captiva Island, Florida. Nancy Ross, ’82, received her master’s degree in conflict management from Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia. She manages a sleep disorders center for the Piedmont Healthcare hospital system. Connie Esh, ’83, longtime writer for Main Street Media of Tennessee, recently announced her plans to retire from the Murfreesboro (Tennessee) Post. Timothy Lyon, ’83, was recently appointed as director of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation in Virginia. (James) David Williams, ’83, St. Petersburg, Florida, has worked for 30 years as a visual journalist. He maintains a fine art studio where he produces large-format, post-modern paintings. His work has been exhibited across the country and overseas in museums as well as corporate and private collections. For more information, visit painterwilliams.com. Debbie Edelen, APRN, ’85 ’00, has joined the staff at North Garrard Family Medical Center. She will see patients of all ages for their primary and acute care needs.

“I just realized I wanted to do something else,” he said. “So I took a position with an outdoor furniture manufacturer and later landed a position at American Office.” American Office is a contract furniture dealership that represents over 300 manufacturers, and it is the largest distributor of Herman Miller furniture in the mid-Atlantic. In his role as an account executive, Attig was responsible for more than $8 million in sales in each of the last two years. He married Betsy in May 2014 and they welcomed little Boone into the world two years later. Between his success in business and his family connection, it’s safe to say he’ll never forget his roots at EKU. n



Michael T. Evanoff, ’85, has been appointed by President Donald Trump as assistant secretary of state, diplomatic security. Since 2014, he has served as vice president for asset protection and security at International Walmart Stores Inc. in Arkansas. Steve Butcher, ’87, superintendent of Pulaski County (Kentucky) Schools, has been named 2018 Superintendent of the Year by the Kentucky Educational Development Corporation, sharing the honor with Dr. Tom Bobrowski, superintendent of Owsley County Schools. Melissa Belew, ’89, is the new chief executive officer of the Penobscot Bay (Maine) YMCA. Pete Ramsey, ’89, vice president of sales for Kentucky Lottery, has received the highest individual honor awarded by the North American lottery industry. The Powers Award was presented to Ramsey, who oversaw the Kentucky Lottery’s sales operation during its achievement of the organization’s first $1 billion sales year in FY17. Bill Wilson, ’89, is the new athletics director and development officer for the University of Montana Western. He spent the past three years as athletics director at Pratt (Kansas) Community College.

Dr. Jim EVANS, ’92 ’99

A SUPER ACHIEVEMENT Many Colonels move back to their hometowns after graduation with the goal of making their communities better. Dr. Jim Evans is one such Colonel — and he recently received a major award recognizing his service. Dr. Evans, a lifelong native of Lee County, was named 2018 Kentucky Superintendent of the Year by the Kentucky Association of School Administrators (KASA). He has served as superintendent of Lee County Schools for 10 years, following roles as a special education instructional aide, teacher, assistant principal, principal and transportation director. He was nominated for the award due to the extraordinary measures the district has taken to provide for Lee County students, 79 percent of whom qualify for free or reduced lunch. By partnering with local agencies that provide social, medical and emotional help for students and their families, Evans has led Lee County Schools to become one of only 16 districts recognized as a District of Distinction by the state, meaning they are quickly improving in key categories. The Superintendent of the Year award was given to Dr. Evans at a surprise ceremony in December. A WYMT news camera captured his reaction as he was presented with the award by his colleagues and community officials, who had kept his winning a secret for six weeks. n

46 SPRING 2018

John Breslin, ’92, won Video Director of the Year honors from the Country Music Association for his work on Garth Brooks’ tour. He works for MooTV, a Nashville-based company that provides video and creative content for major events, including music tours. Since 2014, he has toured with Brooks, providing video services at each show. Sgt. David Light, ’92, recently retired after 25 years of service with the Knox County (Ohio) Sheriff’s Office. Gabriel Nkengfack, ’93, has been appointed vice president for outreach and international affairs at the Catholic University Institute of Buea, Cameroon. He previously worked with AARP in Washington, D.C., for 13 years. Silas House, ’94, was recently inducted into the prestigious Fellowship of Southern Writers. He was one of only five writers inducted into the Fellowship this cycle. Founded by writers such as Robert Penn Warren and Eudora Welty, among others, the Fellowship is composed of approximately 50 active members. Dr. Marty Pollio, ’95, has been named superintendent of Jefferson County Public Schools. He was principal of Louisville Doss High School before serving as acting superintendent. Lisa Brockhoeft Rizzo, ’97, a veteran educator and administrator, is the new food service director for Newport (Kentucky) Independent Schools. Laura (Barker) Allen, ’99 ’16, Flatwoods, Kentucky, has joined the staff of Bon Secours Kentucky Health System, delivering services at Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital. Jeremiah Hale, ’00, has been named vice president of the Keystone Insurers Group, one of the nation’s largest property and casualty partnerships. Jessica Cope, ’01 ’17, recently earned a doctoral degree from EKU. Erin Brusie Sullivan, ’01, Louisville, Kentucky, is a special education consulting teacher for Jefferson County Public Schools. She is married and has a three-year old Future Colonel. Officer Nichole Gibson, ’05 ’08, was presented with the “Time Out for People” Award by Lexington Mayor Jim Gray (pictured at right) for her service as a community volunteer. Officer Gibson participates in a mentoring program for young women through the Fayette County school system and is involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters. She was nominated for the award by Sgt. William Powers. She was also recognized as the Police Officer of the Year in June and as the 2017 Kentucky Women’s Law Enforcement Network Officer of the Year. Nathan Vinson, ’06, became a partner at English Lucas Priest & Owsley LLP in January 2018. He handles tax law, estate and probate cases and corporate transactions, works with clients who need tax planning for their personal property or businesses, and has handled entertainment law.


Dr. Russell Bogue, retired dean, College of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics Dr. Martha Smith Conaway, retired professor of English, German, Japanese and French Dr. A.G. Dunston-Coleman, retired professor of history Dr. Ted George, retired chair of physics and astronomy Dr. Martha Grise, retired professor of English Susie Hayes Heil, retired Model Laboratory School teacher Dr. Robert Nayle, retired professor of mathematics

JOHN HINGSBERGEN John Hingsbergen, associate manager and program director for WEKU, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, Nov. 28. Mr. Hingsbergen, who joined the radio station in 2011, had oversight responsibilities for all programmatic content on the WEKU family of stations (WEKU and Classic 102.1) and provided technical supervision to the operations department. Mr. Hingsbergen’s dedication to the mission of broadcasting endeared him to listeners and colleagues alike, as he worked tirelessly to support the station’s standard of excellence. He was the long-time host of Eastern Standard, and his commitment to civil discussions of sometimes controversial issues on the program, as well as his work with student employees, was exceptional. He also served as the public broadcasting representative on the Kentucky Broadcasters Association board. John was the consummate professional: incredibly well prepared with insightful questions while also adding his unique touch of humor and warmth, which served to humanize the program and ingratiate himself to his listeners. He will be terribly missed by all of us who came to appreciate the dedication to his craft that he displayed daily as well as his unyielding commitment to WEKU. n

A.L. Whitt, retired professor of biology

DR. DAISY (BURNS) FRENCH, ’54 ’57 Dr. Daisy (Burns) French, ’54 ’57, retired accounting professor and former member of the EKU Board of Regents and Foundation Board, passed away on Oct. 18, 2017. She was 91. Dr. French taught at her alma mater from 1956 to 1989. She served on the EKU Board of Regents from 1998 to 2004, including a period as vice chair. She received the Presidential Award of Merit in 2007 at the EKU International Alumni Association’s annual awards banquet. Whether as a professor or board member, Dr. French was a passionate advocate for students and keenly interested in their success. Educators statewide knew her from her service on the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, and she was highly respected for her vast knowledge of and support for higher education across the Commonwealth. She also received an Outstanding Service Award from the Kentucky Division of the American Association of University Women. n

William David Barbieux, ’50

Jessica Floyd, ’39

Richard L. Murphy, ’63

Anita H. Barker, ’61

Tom Frazier, ’66

James J. Neale, ’38

Stuart Bell, ’66

Hobart Clay Johnson, ’52

Paul Oliver, ’11

James K. Boutcher, ’66

Barbara B. Leach, ’60

Raymond L Polly, ’56 ’57

Lewis R. Calico, ’49

William D. Lewis, ’77 ’85

Patsy J. Purkey, ’53

Carter L. Combs, ’57

Audrey Martin, ’57

Ronald Lee Strange, ’67 ’76

Cecil E. Duff, ’50

Charles B. Mercer, ’57

Sam W. Turner, ’55

Elmeda Dunagin, ’62

John P. Moore, ’68

James H. Washam, ’59


EKU ATHLETICS HALL OF FAME The EKU Athletics Hall of Fame enshrined its 12th induction class, featuring eight individuals and the 1982 national championship football team, in October. The 2017 induction class included: Evy Abell McKemie (volleyball, 1975-78), Michael Haney (men’s basketball, 2001-05), Elroy Harris (football, 1985-88), Brad Morris (men’s golf, 1998-02), Dallas Robinson (men’s track and field, 2003-06), Charlotte Sizemore (women’s basketball, 1997-02), Jessie Small (football, 1985-89), Guy Strong (men’s basketball and baseball, 1955, 1967-73) and the 1982 football team.

THE INDUCTEES: • Abell McKemie received an inaugural women’s basketball scholarship at EKU. She also pursued volleyball as a new sport upon entering Eastern and played only that sport her junior and senior years. She was selected as volleyball “Sportswoman of the Year” her junior and senior years. • Michael Haney was named first team All-Ohio Valley Conference and OVC Tournament MVP as a senior. He was also a member of Eastern’s All-Century Team, chosen in 2009. Since 2005, he has been involved with an Australian professional basketball league, playing six seasons with the Goldfields Giants before serving as coach. • Elroy Harris had a brilliant three-year career running the football. Selected as EKU’s All-Century tailback in 2009, he closed his career with 4,555 yards rushing, second on the Colonels’ all-time list. He also scored 58 career touchdowns and totaled 355 career points, both Eastern records. • Brad Morris served as co-captain his final two years. He led Eastern to a second-place finish in the OVC Tournament in 2002 and won three individual tournament titles that year. Morris was listed among the nation’s top five golfers in scoring average in Fall 2001, was a two-time All-OVC selection and Male Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2002.

48 SPRING 2018

• Dallas Robinson was an OVC Indoor and Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year, earning 16 top-three finishes at the OVC championships and nine gold medals. He is also the United States’ only ever three-sport Team USA qualifier in USA Rugby Sevens and Fifteens and USA bobsled two- and four-man national team. • Charlotte Sizemore is EKU’s seventh all-time leading scorer, with 1,561 career points. She is also the 10th all-time leading rebounder with 611 rebounds, tied for ninth in three-pointers with 122 and sixth in career blocks with 71. Sizemore was a three-time All-OVC performer. • Jessie Small was a two-time All-OVC performer and in his senior season was named first team All-America by Kodak, Football News and Sports Network. He continues to hold the Eastern single season record for quarterback sacks with 13. The Philadelphia Eagles chose him as the 49th pick of the NFL draft, and, in three seasons there, Small played in 47 games, starting 23. He then played for the Arizona Cardinals and Houston Oilers before spending three years in the Canadian Football League. • Guy Strong was head coach of the EKU men’s basketball team 1967-73, leading the Colonels to an appearance in the NCAA Tournament. After playing three seasons at the University of Kentucky, he transferred to Eastern in 1951 and went on active military duty 1952-54. He then returned to help Eastern win the 1955 conference championship. • The 1982 national championship football team compiled a perfect 13-0 mark. The Colonels defeated Idaho 38-30 and Tennessee State 13-7 to reach their fourth consecutive national title game, where they defeated the University of Delaware with a final score of 17-14. n For more information, visit: go.eku.edu/hof 2017


Kyle Coates, ’07, is an athletics trainer for Seymour (Indiana) High School. Alicia Hunter, ’07, has been selected as instructional supervisor for Madison County (Kentucky) Schools. Emily Childers, ’08, Versailles, Kentucky, has been named as manager of the Kentucky Oil and Gas Association. She had spent the previous nine years in various event management roles. Angela Cherie Barger, ’09, is a manager of digital and social marketing and a working mom to a 3 ½-year-old child. Lauren Pingleton, APRN, ’09 ’13, an advanced practice provider, has joined the staff at the Ephraim McDowell Garrard Clinic, working with Dr. Steven Green. Kerrie Bal, ’11, received the WHAS-TV ExCEL Award for Elizabethtown (Kentucky) Independent Schools. The annual award recognizes excellence in classroom and educational leadership. She teaches at T.K. Stone Middle School. Frank Magnera, ’11 ’15, has been named fire chief for Canandaigua, New York. Most recently, he worked as a corporate security fire protection lead analyst for Avangrid’s New York state territory. Erica Childress, ’12, and Robbie Marye, ’11, were married in October 2017. They met on campus in 2010 when Robbie was part of the Theta Chi fraternity and Erica was in Kappa Delta Tau. Amanda (Pierce) Shelton, ’13, and Lynsey Shelton, ’12, were married in December 2016 after having met in Walters Hall, where both lived. They reside in Louisville, are excelling in their respective careers and are in the licensing process to become foster parents. Brittany Phelps, ’12 ’15, started teaching English online to students in China, enabling her to stay at home with her Future Colonel. Jessica Mueller, ’13, Newport, Kentucky, has been promoted to senior client lead with 84.51°, Cincinnati, a customer engagement firm. She is responsible for the creation and execution of customer-focused client plans for consumer packagedgoods clients. Previously, she worked as a subject matter expert with 84.51°. Brooke Powers, ’13, was one of 44 nationally and the only Kentuckian to win the prestigious Milken Award, which was described by Teacher magazine as the “Oscar of Teaching.” She teaches at Beaumont Middle School in Lexington, Kentucky. Jessika Turner, ’14, is the new executive director of The Gladys Project, an early childhood literacy and kindergarten preparedness program. Cassie Scott, ’15, has been named assistant vice president, operations manager for WealthSouth, a division of Farmers National Bank of Danville, Kentucky. Lawrence Weathers, ’15, is the new police chief for Lexington, Kentucky. For the past year, he has served as director of law enforcement for Fayette County Public Schools after 27 years with the Lexington Police Department.


ALL ABOUT PRESENTATION No matter how smart, motivated or creative you are, you won’t get far in business without a little stage presence. Chryssa Zizos has capitalized on that fact, coaching Fortune 100 business leaders in the art of public speaking through her Washington D.C.-based company, Live Wire Media Relations. Zizos’ expertise as a speaking coach — honed by years of media appearances and training sessions with clients — is unquestioned. During the 2016 presidential election, she appeared on news segments throughout the country, deftly analyzing the subtleties of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s stump speeches and debates. Today, the entrepreneur is betting big on a new venture that combines her expertise with advanced artificial intelligence. Partnering with a Mumbai-based tech company, Zizos is pioneering a software that records users’ speeches and presentations and provides automated, real-time feedback. This new technology is poised to revolutionize the way corporations train their employees in public speaking. Zizos will split her time between her new venture and Live Wire, while also planning a wedding. She recently got engaged to Briana Scurry, a two-time Olympic gold medalist who played on the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team for 15 years. The two met several years ago, when Scurry was a client. A field hockey scholarship brought Zizos to EKU, where she studied journalism and served as a sports editor for the Eastern Progress. She founded Live Wire in 1998 after a whirlwind start to her career that, at one point, saw her serving as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s publicist at the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. While Zizos has always had an entrepreneur’s spirit, she credits two retired EKU journalism professors for helping her utilize it to its fullest: Dr. Libby Fraas and Dr. Liz Hansen. “Those two were both examples of strong, successful women. Dr. Fraas was a tough, edgy, strong woman, and Dr. Hansen was very compassionate, warm and kind,” she said. “They equally shaped who I am today as a woman in business.” n


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See Where Maroon Nation Hits the Greens As an esteemed EKU alum, you have access to the University Club at Arlington for up to five rounds of golf per year. To check out one of Central Kentucky’s best, most scenic golf courses, simply complete the Arlington Member for a Day Alumni Access Form at go.eku.edu/


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EKU Magazine Spring 2018