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New location brings elegance to Greek restaurant

Does political polarization make us hate each other?



WKU students in Italy to return early



As coronavirus outbreaks spread around the world, five WKU students studying in Italy are being impacted by increased travel warnings. At least three students studying in Italy were called back to the U.S. because of increased travel warnings from the coronavirus, said Bob Skipper, director of media relations. One student is transferring early to London where she had already planned to complete the third block of her trip. While catching the disease is a concern, Skipper said WKU is also worried students in high-risk countries like Italy would be trapped there because of travel restrictions. Skipper said the five students were MORGAN BASS • HERALD not located in Milan, where the maRedshirt junior pitcher Michael Darrell-Hicks waited 562 days between starts while healing from a UCL injury he sustained in the summer of 2018. “I like the grind of baseball,” Darrell-Hicks said. jority of cases are located, and would likely not be quarantined. However, he said they may be asked to self isolate or monitor their symptoms during the next two weeks. In February, three WKU students completing an internship in China were called back to the U.S., and WKU halted all travel to China. While there is no concrete plan, Skipper said WKU is evaluating how future study abroad programs, specifically summer programs, may be impacted. In making a decision, he said WKU is looking at what other universities like the University of Evansville are doing. University of Evansville, which also BY MATTHEW WILLIAMS as a collaborative endeavor between ed around the world make language participates in the Harlaxton program, the U.S. Department of Education communication skills essential. has cancelled spring and summer HERALD.NEWS@WKU.EDU Undergraduate International Studies The Arab American Institute lists programs to Italy, China and South and Foreign Languages and WKU. the Arab ancestry population as more Korea, according to WEVV 44 News. WKU’s Arabic program was the first than one million in the U.S. and more As the coronavirus outbreaks conWKU is emphasizing the value of in the state, according to the program than 9,514 out of the 4 million resitinue to escalate, Skipper said WKU will Arabic language and culture through website. dents in Kentucky. Specifically, the continue to monitor and assess the risk the only “proficiency-oriented” Arabic DiMeo started teaching at WKU Arab population is listed as 1.16% of to WKU students and the campus. Curmajor and minor program in the state, during the college’s transition into Bowling Green’s 84,961 residents. rently, he said several groups are workwhich has connected graduates to a offering students a more international DiMeo first studied Arabic while he career in the military and politics. ing together to create emergency plans. education. served 26 years in the U.S. Army. He While other Kentucky universities “We’re planning for the worst and “This was part of President Ranssaid he never learned Arabic in school offer majors or minors in Arabic or dell’s vision to make this [WKU] a because it wasn’t offered in his area hoping for the best,” Skipper said. Islamic Studies, David DiMeo, Araleading American university within but quickly learned the importance of Currently, there have been no rebic assistant professor and program international reach,” DiMeo said. the language. ports of the virus in Kentucky. Howcoordinator explained WKU’s Arabic Former WKU President Gary Rans“As we used to say in the Army, ever, should the coronavirus impact program emphasizes language profidell’s efforts led to the creation of when people stop talking, people start the campus directly, Skipper said ciency which makes graduates more the Arabic and Chinese program and dying,” DiMeo said. “I realized there the university may suspend in-permarketable to government agencies or other study abroad opportunities for was and still is a tremendous need and son classes and large gatherings. employers. students in Kentucky that put WKU on shortage for Arabic speakers.” In an email to all faculty and staff, The Arabic program in the Departthe map. He knows Arabic has been at the top acting Provost Cheryl Stevens enment of Modern Languages offers DiMeo said unlike some universities of the list of demand for government numerous Arabic courses about how couraged everyone to stay informed that only teach Arabic of the Quran, agencies, branches of services and to become well-versed in a culture on the situation by monitoring the the Arabic program at WKU is career intelligence agencies because of the and language that is becoming more focused and offers paths in internashortage of communicators. Centers for Disease Control and Prerelevant in the United States. tional service, journalism and internaThe need for Arabic speakers vention website and WKU’s website The Arabic language program betional business. provides Arabic majors at WKU with dedicated to coronavirus updates. gan in early 2014 through the Arabic DiMeo said the large demand of Stevens said teaching faculfor International Careers program translators and communicators needty and staff should also consider SEE ARABIC • PAGE A2 how to include students who stay at home due to illness, and she directed them to the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. As spring break is just a week away, Stevens also enfort for the Rally for Higher Education tion President Will Harris said. “They couraged people to check travBYJULIANNA LOWE on March 3. At 10 a.m., about 400 stu- have reserved the rotunda in the cap- el advisories for their destination. dents will fill the Capitol rotunda to itol building from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. HERALD.NEWS@WKU.EDU “Above all, we must remain supopen a conversation with the common- EST.” portive of each other as a commuwealth’s legislators. Organized by the University of Lounity,” Stevens said in the email. “With the addition of private and isville’s SGA, the rally has brought Students of all public and private technical institutions, the rally should the Board of Student Body Presidents Editor-in-Chief Rebekah Altechnical colleges and universities have around 400 students in atten- (BSBP) together to give Kentucky’s vey can be reached at rebekah.alacross Kentucky will gather in Frank- dance,” Student Government Associavey660@topper.wku.edu. Follow SEE RALLY FOR HIGHER ED • PAGE A2 her on Twitter at @bekah_alvey.

After injury, WKU pitcher returns to rotation


Arabic program stands out in state

SGA to attend Rally for Higher Education


post-secondary education students a space to voice their concerns. “The BSBP has been working on this since last May,” Harris said. “The rally is a re-occuring event every year.” The Rally for Higher Education seeks to persuade and educate both students and legislators about the current state of Kentucky’s higher education institutions. This year, items on the students’ agenda include pension reform, budget and funding. “We want to rally on a united front,” Harris said. “We will be rallying for pension reform, performance-based budget model increases and asset preservation funding.” Beyond rallying for these agenda items, the event will also provide an outlet for students to participate in their community and contribute to the well-being of their education. “Although we will be rallying for specific agenda items, it is also a great opportunity for individuals to learn many tangible skills such as public speaking, lobbying and networking, while also learning about the government system in Kentucky,” Harris said. The BSBP has reached out to the SGAs of colleges and universities across Kentucky to encourage students to get involved. WKU’s SGA is taking measures to do just that. Students that plan to attend the rally will have an option to sign up for free transportation with SGA to and from the Capitol. At 6 a.m., WKU attendees will depart from Diddle Arena to attend the rally in Frankfort. “Students who are interested in at-


CONTINUED FROM FRONT exclusive opportunities to pursue international work in esteemed positions. “Majoring in Arabic is a great opportunity for our students here in Kentucky who want to get out and pursue careers in the government or in non-government organizations,” DiMeo said. DiMeo knows graduates of the program who currently work in Congress and were hired specifically for their expertise in Arabic. He’s seen graduates go on to work for different military branches, intelligence agencies or complete charitable work with refugees. In addition to the courses offered at WKU, students in the Arabic program are encouraged to study abroad in Jordan or Morocco to immerse themselves in the language and culture. Some students who partake in the Arabic Debate Team at WKU or Gatton Academy have traveled to the QatarDebate Centre, a member of Qatar Foundation for Education. Lhousseine Guerwane, instructor of Arabic, started the Arabic Debate


tending the rally will be provided with transportation to and from Frankfort,” Harris said. “They will also be provided with a university excused absence.” For senior communication studies and psychology major Daysha Chase, the incentive to attend was far beyond free transportation, an excused absence and the extra credit offered by her professor. “I’ll be working in higher education after I graduate in May,” Chase said. “This is also an opportunity to network and get to know people both in the field of communications and Kentucky legislation.” Being a Memphis, Tennessee, native, Chase also took interest in participating in Kentucky legislation as a way to see how systems differ between states. “Although I know this will be a fairly large event, I hope to be able to meet and greet with the people that make universities like WKU function,” Chase said. SGA Senator-at-Large Brigid Stakelum also plans to attend the rally to advocate against cuts to higher education funding on behalf of WKU students who have seen their tuition raise. “In order to minimize the damage done by budget cuts, universities often prioritize need-based aid,” Stakelum said. “Thus, they are decreasing merit-based aid or making the merit-based aid so difficult to attain that students who meet those requirements are looking elsewhere at more prestigious universities.” Stakelum, a senior international affairs and French major from Louisville, has experienced this firsthand, as her brother is attending post-secondary

Sipes said the competition challenged her team because they were one of the only teams without non-native speakers on it, but they experienced a great time in the country. “We hung out and were able to make friends with high schoolers from all over the world and the Arab world,” Sopes said. “It was really a great experience and very different from any experience I’d had before that.” Sipes said the Arabic language and culture is beautiful but could tell some people allow politics or stereotypes to keep them from wanting to learn Arabic. “I think there’s a stigma around the Middle East, Middle Eastern cultures and subsequently around Arabic,” Sipes said. “It’s important for us to meet people who are actually from those places and break down those stereotypes that we may have.” Sipes studied abroad in Morocco for a few days in Spring 2019 and had an interesting experience while practicing Arabic in the country. “In the markets, they were really excited to hear my Arabic even though it wasn’t great or anything,” Sipes said. “They were excited that I made the effort and care to learn Arabic.”


Garrett Edmonds, executive vice president for the WKU Student Government Association, will join his SGA colleagues at the Kentucky Rally for Higher Education on March 3 in Frankfort.

education out of state because his major was too expensive in Kentucky’s higher education. Stakelum hopes to reduce what she calls “brain drain” in Kentucky. If all goes as planned, students in attendance will be able to privately converse with state legislators after hearing a few keynote speakers. “This will be a great opportunity for students interested in higher education and public policy to apply what they are learning inside of the classroom to an audience,” Harris said. While the rally will serve as an outlet for Kentucky’s higher education students, it will also bring opportunities for experience, networking and fun to those students like SGA senators who

are passionate about the conditions of their education. “I’m looking forward to a day filled with advocating for WKU in Frankfort and rallying on a united front alongside other students from across the commonwealth,” Harris said.

Features reporter Julianna Lowe can be reached at 270-745-6291 and julianna.lowe253@topper.wku.edu. Follow Julianna on social media at @ juliannalowe.


Professor Lhousseine Guerwane instructs his intermediate Arabic class on Friday afternoon, Feb. 28 in the Mahurin Honors College and International Center. Guerwane, originally from Morocco, is fluent in Arabic, French, Spanish and English.

sities in Kentucky start offering Arabic as a major to students because they’re missing out on the benefits of being able to communicate with people from other cultures. “In order to improve our country, I think it’s important that we take it upon ourselves to learn other languages and especially Arabic at this point in American history,” Lewis said. She said giving students the opportunity to learn Arabic will open up the Check out the Herald’s new weekly sports job market, international trade and podcast, posted every Friday morning. allow Americans to possess the skills to communicate with some of our best allies and sometimes most common enemies. “We should explore other languages and cultures so that we can better understand the diversity that is happening in America right now,” Lewis said.


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News reporter Matthew Williams can be reached at matthew.williams904@ topper.wku.edu.


Guerwane writes new vocabulary words for his intermediate Arabic students on the white board during class. The intermediate Arabic 202 level class is comprised of both Gatton Academy and WKU students.

Team, which competes nationally and internationally againsts teams from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and more. Lindy Sipes, a WKU student, said she gained a first-hand account of the Arabic culture in Qatar as a Gatton Academy student on the high school Arabic Debate Team. Sipes already spoke Spanish after learning the language at her former high school before Gatton. She then chose to take Arabic when Gatton Academy offered students the opportunity to take a critical language in addition to their required classes. Sipes said she likes the Arabic program because it presents a challenge for her to push past the constructs English speakers adhere to. “It is hard because it’s a whole new alphabet and also reads from right to left,” Sipes said. “But it’s been a really fun experience for me.” Her love for the Arabic culture and language eventually led to her being able to travel to Qatar for the debate tournament.

Her time in Qatar put into perspective how much people from other cultures appreciate when others put in the effort to learn their native language. Margaret Lewis, another WKU senior and 2018 graduate of Gatton Academy, also gained lasting experiences and life-long friendships during her time in Qatar on the Arabic Debate Team. “It was a great networking system,” Lewis said. “Everybody became really good friends and basically spoke Arabic the entire time.” Lewis competed in the debate championship in Qatar as a Gatton Academy student but returned last year when the QatarDebate Elite Academy chose her to return and strengthen her Arabic training skills with other selected debaters. She said during the trip that she learned even more from residing in a place where Arabic is the only spoken language and never thought as a 15-year-old going into Gatton Academy that some of her best friends would live in Qatar. Lewis said she hopes other univer-

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PARTISAN AND POLARIZED Does our political party system make us hate each other more?


Democrats and Republicans are more divided now than at any point in the last 25 years. And while there is nothing new about parties disliking each other, the intensity of hate is greater than it has been in a long time. Politics seem to be seeping more and more into every aspect of life, and though college students often say they don’t care about politics, the number of college students who voted nearly doubled from the 2014 to 2018 midterm elections, according to a report from Tufts University Institute for Democracy & Higher Education. In my American literature class, fierce debate erupted over immigration and race relations. And while the two students going back and forth probably have a lot of things in common considering they’re both English majors, it seemed they could not get past their ideological differences when one student identified himself as conservative. Thomas Rowe, a senior English for secondary teachers major, considers himself a “conservatarian” — a fusion of conservative and libertarian — making him an outlier in an English class taught by a professor who strongly identifies as a progressive liberal. The heated talk between students has its roots in the rising partisan animosity that has been growing nationally for some time. In 1994, only 21% of Republicans had very unfavorable views of Democrats — similarly, only 17% of Democrats had very unfavorable views of Republicans, according to the Pew Research Center. These numbers of strong dislike have nearly tripled, and it has led to people’s inability to compromise and find common ground. Rowe said he thinks the two-party system creates an “us versus them” mentality. “There are approximately 325 million Americans,” Rowe said. “Do we really believe that we can all easily fit into only one of two boxes? The answer is obviously no, we cannot.” He said the rise of the “tea party” movement began the split within the Republican party, and Trump’s election further increased the divide because of the “never Trump” faction. And on the left, the rise of Bernie Sanders and socialist sentiment has splintered the Democrats. So why do we still only have two parties


if Americans’ views are growing further from the center? Scott Lasley, head of WKU’s political science department, said via email that the two-party system is a consequence of a number of institutional factors such as the existence of single member plurality districts and ballot access rules.

er democracies showing that satisfaction in democracy tends to be higher where there are multiple viable parties, especially under proportional representation (PR) systems.” He brought up several more alternatives to the single-member plurality system, such as the alternative vote, in which


Senior English for secondary teachers major at WKU

Do we really believe that we can all easily fit into only one of two boxes? The answer is obviously no, we cannot. Single member plurality (SMP), Kentucky’s voting system and the most common in the U.S., works with geographically defined districts that send one representative to a legislature. Voters cast a single vote, and the winner takes all. “The American two-party system has shown itself to be quite durable and is continuously evolving,” Lasley stated in an email. “One factor in the equation is that parties developed in part to help meet the goals of the individuals who created them. Change would be most likely to occur if they no longer meet the needs of ambitious politicians. That has not happened, and there is not a lot of evidence to suggest that it will happen anytime soon.” He added that two-party systems have often been fairly moderate and less polarized than other systems. “Increased polarization in American politics is a lot more complicated than just saying that it is the result of a two-party system,” Lasley said. Of the several political science professors I contacted, all were quick to separate the ideas of political parties and polarization. Timothy Rich, WKU associate professor, said polarization also occurs when there’s more than two parties, but Americans would prefer more options. “It’s not just that they [the U.S. public] want more options on the ballot, as most presidential and legislative races have candidates with no chance,” Rich said in an email. “They want candidates and parties that might win a few seats … There is also decades of research in oth-


voters rank candidates on the ballot. This system is used in Nevada. “This system eliminates wasted votes and strategic voting, encourages smaller parties and usually generates a candidate that is fairly moderate compared to the district’s voters,” Rich said. However, third parties could also create a less stable political system. Jeffery Budziak, WKU associate professor, said that a downside of multi-member systems with third parties are potentially wilder swings in types of government from election to election. “There are countries that have these systems that go from having a borderline facist, kind of right-wing government to a socialist communist government from election to election,” Budziak said. “We kind of force everything in our system to the middle.” He said two parties are not the cause of political polarization. Instead, people loading their identities on top of each other is the leading factor. Budziak said that knowing someone’s demographic information, like their religion and race, is much more telling of their political beliefs than it used to be. “If you’re a non-religious person of color living in an urban area, I have almost mathematical certainty that you’re a Democrat,” Budziak said. “And if you’re a Christian white male living in a rural area, I have almost mathematical certainty that you’re voting Republican.” He said since people load all their identities up, someone whose party is criticized also feels like the rest of their identities are being attacked as well.

Part of the solution, Budziak said, is meeting people who are not in your tribe. He said it’s obvious that we should be friends with those of differing beliefs, but the reality of how to do that is the hard part. “Everything is becoming sorted,” Budziak said. “People’s lives are more sorted. Thinking about how we forge group identities that cut across these cleavages, one thing I tell students is to join local community groups.” He said local politics, something even as simple as fixing potholes, involves a lot less partisanship. “My guess is that being Democrat or Republican does not really dramatically change how you fix the potholes in the road,” Budziak said. “And so getting people active in local and state governments is really valuable because you meet people with differing political backgrounds who actually agree with a lot of the things you’re doing.” Unfortunately, the media has become increasingly nationalized, and people think nationally when they think about politics, causing them to jump into their separate camps. Budziak added becoming involved in local affairs requires you to interact with people in real life, rather than staying in online communities where it is very easy to cluster yourself within your tribe and be mean to people. Finally, Craig Cobane, executive director of the Mahurin Honors College, said that the problem is not too few parties or the wrong types of parties but that the issue lies in too much state power. “To what lengths would people and parties go to have the ability to make laws and edicts that impact hundreds of millions of people?” Cobane said. “Similarly, think about the types of groups and people are attracted to having that type of power and control. Why do they sacrifice so much to get that power? Where it is a two party or multi-party system, you will still have the same problem.” Overall, the current U.S. political system thrives on politicians attacking their opponents to get reelected. When politicians, cable news and online influencers are constantly bashing the “other side,” it becomes difficult for the common American to stay level headed. So while the two-party system may not be a direct cause of polarization, anyone with eyes and ears can tell that the parties are radicalizing and political discourse growing more unpleasant by the year. Opinion editor Jake Dressman can be reached at jacob.dressman200@topper. wku.edu.


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Ultimately, the recreational activities are designed to be fun, but Levis wants his programs to span beyond that. “Everybody’s kinda got that competitive edge inside of them and that desire to pursue a competition and achieve a goal. Set it, and achieve it, and kind of reach that mountain. With adaptive sports, I think that’s a huge thing, to give them an opportunity to kind of reach that pinnacle to be an athlete,” Levis said.


housands of individuals live everyday with physical and mental disabilities that make even the simplest of tasks an uphill battle. As a society, a common perception is that these people are unable to care for themselves or do not possess the same attributes as able-bodied individuals. Cameron Levis is looking to inspire others to challenge that idea. As the special populations instructor for Bowling Green Parks and Recreation, Levis aims to help educate the general public about people with disabilities as well as foster an environment for those with disabilities to have fun and compete in athletics.

Outside of the recreation center, Levis shows the people of Bowling Green how to better understand those with disabilities through advocacy and education. “If you don’t know, you don’t know, but I always like to say ‘don’t settle for that’. If you don’t know how to interact with a person with a disability, try to learn, ask,” Levis said. “And so I like providing those opportunities to expose them. So then they come to that realization for themselves pretty quickly that we are a lot of like.”

Lafe Ives shoots a midrange shot during a game of open wheelchair basketball on Jan. 27, 2020 at the Kummer Little Recreation Center in Bowling Green. Open wheelchair basketball has been an ongoing program at Kummer Little for the last three years, largely in part to their Special Populations Instructor, Cameron Levis. Levis hopes to change the stigma surrounding people with disabilities. “Obviously we want to impact the individuals with a disability and give them these opportunities. But ultimately what I hope is to change views on what disability means,” said Levis.

While Levis’ work revolves around athletics, he believes the Kummer Little Recreation Center offers much more than sporting activities. “I think naturally parks and recreation creates that (social community) for people. It creates a social community for them to be a part of, which is all part of enhancing quality of life and giving people better experiences. Better ways to live in their communities. So in a sense it’s just like, being there for these people,” Levis said.





Customers dig into “Saganaki Cheese,” an appetizer of fried cheese and pita bread that arrives at the table in flames, on March 1.


Downtown restaurant delivers authentic Greek cuisine BY LIZA RASH HERALD.FEATURES@WKU.EDU

There aren’t many palaces in Bowling Green, but a newly reopened restaurant located at 1202 State St. gives off royal vibes. Decorated to the nines with massive baby blue velour curtains, stained-glass windows, flashy chandeliers and heliotrope lighting, Anna’s Greek Restaurant could be considered among Bowling Green’s finest restaurant locations thanks to its venue: a newly renovated Catholic church. Anna’s re-opened on Dec. 11, 2019, and business is already booming. It was originally established as a junior food store then converted to a restaurant. That restaurant opened in 2007 on Three Springs Road in Bowling Green, and relocated to Glasgow in 2014. Now, Anna’s is back in a much grander way than ever before. Co-owner and operator Vilson Qehaja said this new and improved location has been nothing but extremely beneficial for business. “All the positive feedback I’ve gotten is almost unbearable and overwhelming,” Qehaja said. “Some nights, I can’t really work because I’m just listening to people admire the place.” He also gushed over the beauty of the freshly renovated church. Three large stained-glass windows illuminate the bar lo-

cated on the first floor of the restaurant, and he adores them. But the church was not always this breathtaking. It took four and a half years to renovate the building before Qehaja was pleased enough with its appearance to open its doors to the public. Qehaja said the opportunity to take over

auction, and I tried to do it justice with the restoration.” The wait staff at Anna’s is equally enthusiastic about their new location. “The quality of the food has never changed,” server and bartender Chandra Serrano said. “I guess, more than anything, the biggest difference now is the magnitude


Co-Owner and Operator of Anna’s Greek Restraunt

Some nights, I can’t really work because I’m just listening to people admire the place. such a unique venue was just too good to pass up. He decided to have it designed and renovated to accommodate large events like weddings and banquets. Qehaja said he was not in the market to buy the church. “I guess God wanted me to have it,” Qehaja said. “It just happened. I just liked the building. It had a lot of artistic elements that connect with Greece and the time period we’re going for. It was awarded to me at an

of people we get compared to our location in Glasgow.” Serrano said her guests have endlessly expressed their admiration for the restaurant. “Everybody says the same thing: ‘It’s absolutely amazing. It’s beautiful,’” Serrano said. “It blows your mind when you come in! It’s the total package.” Anna’s accommodated 380 people nightly last weekend, proving not only its popularity but also how large the restaurant really is.

Serrano added that it definitely gets busy, but it all seems to run smoothly. Since it was renovated for the purpose of hosting weddings and other large events, it has high ceilings, expansive seating space and two floors for dining. It doubles as an event venue called The Century Palace. Event coordinator Gia Flaherty raved about the beauty of the weddings he gets to oversee at Anna’s. The first wedding will be in April, and there are many more to come this year. “All of last year, while we were under construction, I was attending wedding expos and giving hard hat tours in an unfinished facility,” said Flaherty. “Century Palace opened New Year’s Day 2020 with 18 weddings already booked.” Flaherty added people just love the history of the building. “They love the beauty of it. The windows, everything. It is a niche, though,” Flaherty said. “Seven out of every 10 brides in Southern Kentucky want a barn — they want an outdoor wedding. To book here, you’ve got to want a palace, a fairytale.” To those who work and dine at Anna’s, it’s not just the fairytale-like decorations that make the restaurant stand out. The building’s rich history alone is enough to leave patrons with a desire to keep coming back and enjoying its authentic ambience. Features reporter Liza Rash can be reached at liza.rash282@topper.wku.edu. Follow Liza on social media at @l1za_.

How WKU is celebrating 5th annual Social Work Month BY JULIANNA LOWE HERALD.FEATURES@WKU.EDU

The beginning of March marks the beginning of “Social Work Month” — a time to celebrate the social workers in the community and the WKU students studying social work. “Social workers do so much,” child welfare coordinator Julie Jones said. “It’s such a broad profession, and social workers do so much that the awareness of what social workers do is why Social Work Month is important.” According to social work department head Patricia Desrosiers, social workers are generally undervalued. Social workers receive small incomes in comparison to the large amount of education required to do their jobs. “It’s not a profession where you’re going to earn a bunch of money,” Jones admitted. “There’s a quote that floats around: ‘Social workers are in it for the outcome, not the income.’ And that’s very true.” In response to this underappreciation of social workers and the importance of the work they do, Jones and Desrosiers both believe Social Work Month is important. March provides an arena for people to celebrate the difficult work that social workers do. “Social workers’ jobs are very complex because people are complex,” Desrosiers said. “They have respect for everybody’s dignity and self-worth. They work with the people nobody else works with.” Contrary to the popular belief that all social workers are employed with Child Protective Services and take babies away, Desrosiers joked, social work is a broad profession with many opportunities for its students. The basic professions of social work include child protective services, working in substance abuse treatment, conducting

mental health services, advocacy, working in the school systems and sports arenas as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and serving the growing aging population. “Especially with the substance abuse epidemic in our society, there is such a need for social workers,” Jones said. “We’ve got to celebrate social workers because they have very tough jobs serving the public in the manner that they do. It’s very emotionally draining.” With the work that social workers do being so heavy, Jones said that she hopes her students leave the social work program with an understanding of self-care. Self-care for social workers can include taking time off, picking up hobbies or even pursuing more education. “Obviously burnout is a big deal,” Jones said. “Part of preventing burnout is making changes and going to different parts of the profession.” March serves as a time to celebrate the broadness of social work and the beauty of it as a profession, Jones said. Social workers can work in one part of the profession for years, but they can also switch gears to a completely different part of the profession if they decide to do so. “It’s never a dull or boring profession,” Jones said. “It’s a helping profession—one in which you can help people in so many different areas.” Social Work Month also serves the purpose of admiring the character of social workers themselves, noting the qualities that they possess as professionals. “For many social workers, we have a calling,” Jones said. “One of the characteristics of social workers is the passion to help others in ways that we were helped in our past.” Desrosiers said that a lot of social workers are from backgrounds of poverty or have lived stressful lives, so they know what it’s like to be down-trodden or oppressed. However, being personally motivated to become a social worker is not all that it takes. Social workers face adversities and


Julia Jones is the child welfare coordinator in the master of social work program at WKU. She has been working in the program for a year and half and spent 19 years working in child services.

barriers in their education and professions every day. Jones, who worked in child protective services for 19 years before coming to WKU, said that social workers are always misconstrued as the bad people. “Social workers are not always viewed in the light that they should be,” Jones said. “Social workers in CPS do so many good things everyday for families.” Painting social workers in a good light is one of the focuses of WKU’s social work program. Jones, who graduated with a Master of Social Work degree from WKU, said that this is one of the things that pulls students into the program. “The draw for me was the faculty that was so passionate in social work,” Jones said. “Our faculty is so amazing and still does so much within the community to give back.

Their passion is a big part of pulling students in.” Not only is the faculty unique, but WKU’s Department of Social Work offers two different programs: the bachelor’s program and the master’s program. While the undergraduate program has a unique emphasis on social justice, the master’s program is the really unique part of WKU. “We have a unique specialty area of advanced generalist practitioner in rural settings,” Desrosiers said. “Most people don’t look at rural settings. Not a lot of programs have an advanced generalist specialization.” Desrosiers explained that the MSW is complicated, but it means that the students can work across all levels and systems. Students will be able to get careers working with individuals, groups, state legislators or even federal policymakers. Social workers work with their clients, not at them, which is why most social work students at WKU choose to pair their degree with minors or certificates in gender and women’s studies, clinical and community behavioral health or family home visiting, according to WKU’s social work website. “It depends on what job students are looking to get when they graduate,” Desrosiers said. “If you’re going to work in domestic violence, it’s a very good idea to know about the criminal justice system. The way to do that is to get a degree in criminology or sociology.” WKU started celebrating its social work students for the work that they do within the community four years ago. Desrosiers and the rest of the faculty have planned for this Social Work Month to be full of self-care. “Social work month is important to recognize what we do and get the awareness out to society of everything that we do,” Jones said. Features reporter Julianna Lowe can be reached at julianna.lowe253@topper.wku. edu.



‘Winning and losing is a fine line’ WKU basketball still in solid position as C-USA Tournament approaches

BY ELLIOTT WELLS HERALD.SPORTS@WKU.EDU The WKU men’s basketball team (19-10, 12-5 C-USA) will be no worse than the No. 3 seed in the Conference USA Tournament, which will take place from March 11-14 in the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas, after splitting a pair of overtime games against Louisiana Tech (20-8, 11-5 C-USA) and North Texas (20-10, 14-3 C-USA) over the weekend. Prior to the weekend, WKU was tied with LA Tech for second place, with both squads just one game back of first-place North Texas in the league standings. The Hilltoppers defeated the Bulldogs 95-91 in overtime on Feb. 27, setting up a scenario where WKU could’ve moved into a tie for first with a win over the Mean Green on Sunday. North Texas defeated WKU 78-72 in overtime, claiming the C-USA regular-season title and the No. 1 seed in the upcoming C-USA Tournament in the process. Head coach Rick Stansbury has stressed that his team still controls its own destiny, and that remains true ahead of the final C-USA regular season game left on its schedule. With a win in their final road matchup at Florida International (18-11, 9-7 C-USA), the Hilltoppers would lock up the No. 2 seed in the C-USA Tournament. Even with a loss to the Panthers, WKU could still secure the No. 2 seed depending on how LA Tech fares in its last two outings. One game remains for the Hilltoppers, and WKU will have plenty of positives and negatives to take away from a weekend that saw the program post a

1-1 record in two overtime classics. “It doesn’t change what we’re trying to do,” redshirt junior forward Carson Williams said. “We’re coming out and we’re going to fight regardless of whether we’re fighting for first place

Mean Green, but the 6-foot-2-inch guard struggled from the free-throw line, making just 5-of-9 shots. Two of his misses at the charity stripe came in the final five seconds of regulation, as both shots he received after a


WKU junior guard Taveion Hollingsworth (11) looks on after the basketball game against Louisiana Tech on senior night in Diddle Arena on Feb. 27, 2020.

or last place. That’s the kind of players we’ve got in this locker room. Don’t expect anything different.” Junior guard Taveion Hollingsworth recorded one of the top individual efforts in C-USA history against LA Tech, but he also came up short at the line when WKU needed him most against North Texas. The Lexington native netted 17-of-19 free throws on Feb. 27, leading to a career-high of 43 points, which were the most points scored by a WKU player since Jim McDaniels scored 49 points at Tennessee Tech on Jan. 4, 1971. Hollingsworth also led the Hilltoppers in scoring on Sunday against the

shooting foul failed to snap a 63-63 tie prior to an overtime period. Hollingsworth — who was named C-USA Co-Player of the Week for the second time this season on Monday afternoon — was far from the only WKU player to struggle at the line in Denton, Texas. As a team, the Hilltoppers shot just 10-of-18 from the charity stripe against Mean Green. “Winning and losing is a fine line,” Stansbury said. “Make one free throw, you might win the game. That gets magnified toward the end. There’s a lot of other plays throughout the game.” The Hilltoppers have played in many


CONTINUED FROM PAGE B4 As of Feb. 28, Darrell-Hicks (1-1) has accumulated 13.2 innings pitched in three appearances, allowing eight hits, seven earned runs and nine walks while striking out 14 batters. He has a 4.61 ERA with a 1.29 WHIP, both encouraging marks for the returning Darrell-Hicks.

close games throughout their 2020 C-USA slate, as 14 of their 17 conference games have been decided by 10 points or less. WKU has played into an overtime period in three of its last four games, with each of its last six outings having been decided by six points or less. “Our margin for error is zero,” Stansbury said on Feb. 22. “It’s not like we can show up against bad teams and have easy nights … There’s really no bad team in this conference this year that you can just show up and beat somebody. Not us, we don’t have that kind of fire power.” In the past two postseasons, WKU’s attempts at making an NCAA Tournament appearance for the first time since 2012 have been derailed by its play during the final few possessions of both the 2018 and 2019 C-USA Tournament championship games. Marshall defeated the Hilltoppers 67-66 in 2018 and Old Dominion outlasted WKU 62-56 in 2019, preventing Stansbury’s squad from grabbing the league’s automatic-qualifier spot. But before the C-USA Tournament picture comes into focus, the Hilltoppers will hit the road one last time, travelling to Miami for the second time in five weeks. WKU and FIU previously met on Feb. 1, and FIU defeated the Hilltoppers 81-76 in the Ocean Bank Convocation Center. The Hilltoppers’ second matchup with the Panthers is slated for a 6 p.m. tipoff on March 7. The regular season finale will be streamed live on CBS Sports Network on Facebook.

Reporter Elliott Wells can be reached at douglas.wells357@topper.wku.edu. Follow Elliott on Twitter at @ewells5.

“My approach in-game is that I’m better than any batter that I’ll face,” Darrell-Hicks said. “Before a pitch, I think to myself that this guy can’t hit me, and in between I just like to have fun and maybe smile a little bit.”

Reporter Nick Kieser can be reached at nick.kieser036@topper.wku.edu. Follow Nick on Twitter at @KieserNick.

y r a u r Feb


Heart Health Month

Know Your Numbers! Watch your cholesterol Strive for a total cholesterol less than 200 mg/dL. Keep an eye on your triglyceride levels Normal triglyceride levels in the blood are less than 150 mg per deciliter (mg/dL) KEILEN FRAZIER • HERALD

WKU pitcher Michael Darrell-Hicks (15) delivers a pitch against Valparaiso at Nick Denes Field on Feb. 15, 2020. WKU defeated the Crusaders 9-3.

Control your blood sugar Aim for a fasting blood glucose less than 100 mg/dL. Manage your A1C levels A normal range for your A1c is between 4% and 5.6% Monitor your blood pressure Keep you numbers below 120/80 mm Hg.

Call your doctor today to make an appointment

(270) 781-5111

/GravesGilbert | /GravesGilbertClinic |

@GravesGilbert www.gravesgilbert.com




CLASSIFIEDS FOR SALE The Great Escape Records & Comics. BUY - SELL - TRADE:

Last week’s solution:













13 14 15 16 1 Blotter letters 4 Victoria’s Secret 17 18 19 20 item 21 22 23 24 25 7 Masterpiece 10 Celestial altar 26 27 28 13 Dejected 14 Summer mo. 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 15 Ended a fast 36 37 38 39 40 16 “China Beach” setting 41 42 43 44 45 46 17 Hydromassage facility 47 48 49 50 51 18 Pastoral place 52 53 54 19 Toddler, in Italy 21 Big name in 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 computers 23 Father figures 62 63 64 65 66 25 Desert sight 67 68 69 70 71 26 Chess ending 27 Apiece 72 73 74 75 28 Irish dance 29 Punching tool 76 77 78 79 31 Romanov ruler Copyright ©2020 PuzzleJunction.com 33 Gumshoe 36 Sultanate in 66 After door or grand 8 Greek vowel 37 Incursion northwestern 67 Cocktail type 9 Autobiography 38 Biblical Borneo 69 C.E.O.’s degree 10 French cordial preposition 39 Yang’s 71 Tofu base flavoring 43 Small dog counterpart 72 A Beatle bride 11 Indian royal 45 Gallivant 40 “Catch-22” pilot 73 Hotel freebie 12 Book after Joel 49 Sign of boredom 41 Hightailed it 74 Lithium-___ battery 20 Breathalyzer 51 Approach 42 Short snooze 75 Helm heading attachment 53 Vinegary 44 Semi 76 Force unit 22 Like Jack Sprat’s 55 Flurry 46 Kind of testing 77 “Wheels” diet 57 Come out of 47 River islet 78 Children’s game 24 Pretentious denial 48 Purchase 79 Lobsterlike 27 Malleable 59 Cheapskate 50 Two-seater 28 Building 60 Thunderstorm 52 Nigerian Down custodian product language 30 Pilar cyst 61 Excited, with “up” 53 Aquatic plant 1 State in NE India 32 Round Table 62 Kind of alert 54 Catullus 2 Certain sorority address 63 Corn cake composition woman 33 Mrs. Lincoln’s 64 Lip balm 55 Phenom 3 Show flexibility maiden name ingredient 56 Combat 4 Cotton bundle 34 River to Donegal 65 Perpetually 58 Out of control 5 Parisian way Bay 66 Twinge 62 Garden tool 6 Visibly shocked 35 Pull an all-nighter 68 Wood sorrel 65 Conclusion 7 Schmoozes 36 Highlands hillside 70 ___ constrictor

To solve the Sudoku puzzle, each row, column and box must contain the numbers 1 to 9.

3 6

1 8 4

6 8 5 3

5 9

7 6

4 9

3 4 5 6

8 3 7 1 2

Copyright ©2020 PuzzleJunction.com 4 8 9 5 7 6 2 3 1

5 3 1 9 8 2 7 6 4

3 5 8 1 6 7 4 2 9

7 1 4 2 9 3 5 8 6

6 9 2 8 4 5 1 7 3

8 4 5 6 2 9 3 1 7

1 7 3 4 5 8 6 9 2

9 2 6 7 3 1 8 4 5

1951 Scottsville Road

2 6 7 3 1 4 9 5 8

Cherry Creative







he afternoon of Feb. 15 featured temperatures in the high 40s, and the sun intermittently brightened what was otherwise a partly cloudy day at Nick Denes Field. To the 507 fans in attendance, the weather was perfect for baseball, even if that wasn’t true just days before. Redshirt junior pitcher Michael Darrell-Hicks was slated to be the opening day starter for the WKU baseball team against Valparaiso on Feb. 14, but the Hilltoppers’ first game of the 2020 campaign was pushed back a single day due to projected inclement weather in the area. The original season opener would have marked 561 days between starts for the right-hander, so increasing the number of days since he last stepped onto the mound for a start to 562 wasn’t exactly make-or-break territory for Darrell-Hicks. His time was still coming, and he knew it. When the weather cooperated and the time was finally right for the Hilltoppers and Crusaders to square off on the diamond, Darrell-Hicks strolled up to the mound for pregame warmups as his selected hype song, “Back On” by Lil Baby, blasted over the stadium’s loudspeakers. As the Bowling Green native delivered his razor-sharp warmup pitches, an understandably anxious — yet clearly formidable — Darrell-Hicks was poised to pick up right where he’d left off. “I wasn’t nervous, but I was just thinking of how hard I worked and what if it didn’t go the way I wanted it to,” Darrell-Hicks said. “I just wanted to see what I had and just went out there.”

‘I knew what it was’

After leading WKU with a 12.9 K/9 rate (31 strikeouts in 21.1 innings) as a sophomore in 2018, Darrell-Hicks spent the subsequent offseason playing for the Southern Ohio Copperheads of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League. He had tremendous success with the Copperheads, being named as a First Team All-GLSCL pitcher and starting the league’s all-star game in July 2018. Darrell-Hicks had already logged 3.1 more innings against the Hamilton Joes on Aug. 2, 2018, but he knew his outing was over after throwing a pitch in the top of the fourth. “I felt a pop in my elbow, and I knew what it was,” Darrell-Hicks said. He feared he’d torn his ulnar collateral ligament, and his intuition proved to be accurate. After the conclusion of a 5-3 win for Southern Ohio, Darrell-Hicks contacted his family to fill them in on what had just taken place. The next number he dialed belonged to redshirt junior pitcher Bailey Sutton, a WKU teammate and one of Darrell-Hicks’ closest friends. “When he got hurt, he called me that night and he was like, ‘Yeah, I threw and I felt a pop and I don’t know what it is, but I’m going to get it checked on,’” Sutton, who at the time was recovering from a partially torn UCL that forced him to miss the entire 2018 season, said. Once family and friends were notified, Darrell-Hicks’ final call was to the Hill. WKU baseball head coach John Pawlowski and Dustin Wilson, an associate athletic trainer who primarily works with the Hilltopper baseball program, were then briefed on the unfortunate injury. “You hate to hear those things,” Pawlowski said. “I told him that you have to go through the process, and you can’t speed it up.”


Recovery Once Darrell-Hicks had his right elbow operated on, the rehabilitation process started very shortly thereafter. Darrell-Hicks said he worked with Wilson every day for “four to five months,” stretching himself beyond his comfort zone as the physical therapy wore on. SEE BELOW


Redshirt junior pitcher Michael Darrell-Hicks (15) waited 562 days between starts while healing from a UCL injury he sustained in the summer of 2018. “I like the grind of baseball,” Darrell-Hicks said. “It’s not like tossing around weight for football and hitting people. Baseball is a different mentality, taking one pitch at a time.”

“Dustin made sure my arm was stretched every day and made sure everything was going OK,” Darrell-Hicks said. “He scheduled live batters for me to face too.” Throughout Darrell-Hicks’ grueling and repetitive recovery schedule, his teammates were there alongside him, watching him progress day-byday. Sutton knew what it was like to go through a UCL injury, which made him an asset to Darrell-Hicks. “I felt like I was just there to support him and feed him some positive energy,” Sutton said. “Any little tweak you have in your arm feels more significant than it used to feel. It’s a lot more to get over it in your head than it is armwise.” As much as he possibly could, Darrell-Hicks tried to keep himself plugged in as a key member of the Hilltoppers’ clubhouse. Darrell-Hicks said he was in attendance at every home game, and he and his adoptive father Bart Darrell also travelled to Biloxi, Mississippi, to watch WKU play in the 2019 Conference USA Tournament. “Although he couldn’t pitch, he was still a big part of our team,” Pawlowski said. “He was there to support his teammates — physically, emotionally, spiritually. It was an important piece as to him coming back even stronger than he was before.” Eight months into recovery, Darrell-Hicks began to throw again and faced teammates before or after practices. He faced whomever Wilson scheduled, taking each pitch one by one and hoping that nothing would go amiss while regaining his form and strength.

“It was more of a nervous factor,” Darrell-Hicks said. “At first I was facing guys like Kevin [Lambert] and a bunch of the older guys. I could only throw fastballs and changeups — I was going like 75% and just hoping nothing would come back at me.” As Darrell-Hicks invested more time into throwing, he was able to mature and even perfected a “pretty good” changeup pitch he didn’t previously have in his repertoire. “The goal was to get back to where I was before I got hurt,” Darrell-Hicks said. “Then, I wanted to take a step and add velocity to my pitches and get in better shape.”

Hometown kid Darrell-Hicks started playing T-ball at 3 years old, sparking a passion that has continued to blossom. He has consistently embraced the grind of baseball, which has allowed him to evolve into a 6-foot-5-inch prospect with a bright future. Darrell-Hicks played under head coach Chris Gage at South Warren High School, earning the nickname “Big Nasty” during his four-year tenure. Gage placed Darrell-Hicks on the junior varsity team to begin his prep career, but he put the eventual star pitcher into a varsity game as a freshman. Although Darrell-Hicks was initially surprised he belonged on a varsity mound, Gage said he eventually realized his potential. “I saw early on in his high school days how good of a player he could be,” Gage said. “The biggest thing was

for him to realize how good he was and how good he could be.” “To watch somebody who didn’t believe in themself until they realized it was quite different,” Gage continued. “He had a whole different attitude his junior and senior year. The nickname ‘Big Nasty’ came up because we wanted him to see how good he could be.” Darrell-Hicks racked up 92 strikeouts in 82.2 innings as a senior, going 9-4 with a 1.44 ERA and confirming his readiness for college baseball. Now, the sky’s the limit, Gage said. “Michael’s ceiling is incredibly high, and it’s probably the highest we’ve had come out of here,” Gage said. “He had a work ethic that you wouldn’t see out of most high school kids.” Pawlowski said he’s assessed what skills Darrell-Hicks must refine in order to reach the next level during his time at WKU, noting strides in many areas, particularly his “maturity.” “I think we’re just starting to scratch the surface of where he’s going to be,” Pawlowski said. “He’s one of the most passionate people, and he is a Hilltopper through and through.”

Cloud nine As the 2020 season approached, Darrell-Hicks was far from guaranteed to be the pitcher getting the ball on opening day for the Hilltoppers. Pawlowski said his plan was to see how Darrell-Hicks progressed during the practices leading up to the season opener. After Darrell-Hicks was deemed ready to go, the WKU skipper said his job became bringing Darrell-Hicks

down from the clouds after telling him he’d have the ball. “You never know what you’ll get in that first start back,” Pawlowski said. Darrell-Hicks was extremely happy as he trotted out to the mound because he knew what he’d get — no more of the same old WKU batters. Valpo players would soon be coming up to the plate to face him, which meant his work would be for real this time. Sutton watched intently as his friend warmed up for his season debut, and he said Darrell-Hicks’ impending return made him feel anxious the same way his own appearances do. “I was more nervous for him than maybe he was for himself,” Sutton said. “I was super pumped for him. I was sitting there nervous like how a parent is for their kid.” Darrell-Hicks looked just like his old self after sitting out the entire 2019 season, earning a win over the Crusaders after allowing just one hit and no runs. The strikeout machine also fanned eight Valpo batters in just 5.0 innings of work. “I thought he did outstanding,” Pawlowski said. “To be able to get back on the field and compete, it’s a great feeling knowing the time and effort he put into it. Seeing him stand on the mound and deliver that first pitch was pretty special.” After Darrell-Hicks exited the game in the fifth inning, the 22-year-old was welcomed back to the dugout by his teammates for the first time since his sophomore campaign. SEE DARRELL-HICKS • PAGE B2

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March 3, 2020  

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March 3, 2020  

This publication is brought to you by the College Heights Herald. For more content and coverage of WKU, be sure to visit wkuherald.com.

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