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Read about student press freedom on the Herald’s 94th birthday

Two WKU students are developing technology you can wear.





Early retention data sparks hope for WKU’s future BY NICOLE ZIEGE HERALD.NEWS@WKU.EDU


he first to second semester persistence rate for fall 2018 first-time, first-year WKU students has increased by 4 percent since 2017, President Timothy Caboni announced last week. Among low income first-time, first-year students, retention improved by 5 percent, and 5.2 percent among first generation first-time, first-year students. The retention of first-time, first-year underrepresented minority students increased by 7.8 percent. The numbers are preliminary and unofficial until the data report is released in March. While Caboni said the numbers are liable to change in the coming days and weeks, he said the increases are a sign WKU is headed in the right direction. “These are remarkable metrics and a testament that we can enable student success with the right mix of attention, energy and investment,” Caboni said in the email. “These results are due to the work of our entire community. We have much more to do, but this is terrific progress. One of Caboni’s primary initiatives includes the WKU 10-year strategic plan, which was approved in August 2018 by the Board of Regents and focused on improving persistence and retention. The plan included several retention initiatives, including more centralized advising and peer mentoring, which have revealed positive preliminary results in the retention rates of fall first-time, first-year freshmen enrolling in the spring semester. Since the start of Caboni’s presidential tenure, WKU has introduced several retention initiatives and focuses, including the Intercultural Student Engagement Center and the Kelly M. Burch Institute for Transformative Practices in Higher Education. He said ISEC produced a 98-percent preliminary persistence rate from fall to spring. The Kelly M. Burch Institute, an ev-

idence-based initiative to improve student success, opened in April 2018 and produced a 96 percent first-to-second-semester retention rate through its retention project called Freshman Guided Pathway. The project focused on a group of 50 first-time, first-year freshmen as they started at WKU last fall. As the students transitioned from high school to college, university employees at the institute provided answers to all of their college-based questions and provid-


ed the students with mentorship during their transitions. The students also completed study hours, reported back to the faculty and became eligible for earned scholarships. Daniel Super, director of the Kelly M. Burch Institute, said he did not want to speak on the retention data released by Caboni because it will not be official until the retention data report is released. However, Super said the project has shown significant promise through facul-

Student Group









Underrepresented minority






ty engagement in the students’ lives and mentoring them through their transition into WKU. He said 48 of the 50 students in the project enrolled in spring semester courses, and the GPAs of the students involved in the project look positive moving forward into the spring. “I want the reputation of WKU to be that we care so much for our students that parents sending their kids here, they can be rest assured knowing that we’re going to take care of them,” Super said. “Students feeling like they belong and like they have a safe place to land, it is a major factor of them staying in school.” Brian Kuster, vice president for the Division of Enrollment and Student Experience, said the numbers look promising as the university moves forward, and much of that has to do with the retention initiatives and efforts pushed forward by Caboni. Another initiative includes the centralization of student advising, which made way for the creation of the Academic Advising and Retention Center in Downing Student Union. Kuster said part of the centralized advising included WKU faculty providing reports for their students’ fifth-week assessments. He said 93 percent of the faculty reported fifth-week assessments for the Fall 2018 semester, which provides insight into how students are doing in their classes. “That allows us to reach out to those students and create an intervention with these students,” Kuster said. “I think everybody on the campus understands that retention is not just one person’s job.” Another significant focus in Caboni’s strategic plan is diversity, equity and inclusion, which includes continuing to expand on-campus and study-abroad educational opportunities. Revealed at the 2019 Student Success Summit, persistence rates of students involved in study abroad have proven to help them graduate. Ninety-four percent of students who studied abroad graduated across six-year graduation rates compared to 47 percent of non-study abroad students, according SEE IMPROVEMENT • PAGE A2

Library to become intellectual hub for campus


While WKU students today may think of the Helm Library as a place for quiet study, WKU administration has envisioned a repurposed version of the library which encourages commuter and on-campus residents to study, dine and interact in new ways. President Timothy Caboni’s Investiture Address in April 2018 included a plan to renovate Helm and rename it the WKU Commons, a collaborative space for students to study and eat. Caboni said this is an opportunity to install new dining services by replacing Garrett Conference Center to create an “intellectual hub that invigorates, stimulates learning and creates a sense of com-


WKU Commons will transform Helm Library to be a hub for students, faculty and staff to dine, study and interact.

munity for the entire WKU family.” WKU Commons will be a space for faculty and students to work together and for commuter students to have a central space to dine and work. Caboni said he wants to move away from the idea of the library as just a book warehouse to make it more engaging and attract students to a central area. He also said the library is an important resource for students to graduate. Nashville junior Arlette Alcala said this renovation is a great opportunity for students. “I definitely agree that there should be a dining area in the Hill for students whose classes are up there,” Alcala said. “There aren’t many places where students can find a quiet place to study and have the ability to get food while doing so.” SEE COMMONS • PAGE A2


CONTINUED FROM FRONT Among Pell Grant-eligible students, 92 percent of students who studied abroad persisted to graduation compared to 36 percent of students who did not study abroad. For non-Pell Grant eligible-students, 95 percent of those who studied

TUESDAY, JANUARY 29, 2019 WESTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY abroad graduated compared to 54 percent who did not. Regarding underrepresented minority students, 90 percent who studied abroad graduated compared to 29 percent who did not. Also, 91 percent of first-generation students who studied abroad persisted to graduation compared to 39 percent who did not.

Caryn Lindsay, director of WKU’s Study Abroad and Global Learning, said study abroad helps students by promoting student engagement and providing important relationships between faculty and students. She said first-generation and low-income students benefit the most from study abroad opportunities. “I’m excited because of how global

learning is infused throughout the strategic plan,” Lindsay said. “I’m also excited to see more WKU students engage in more international study abroad opportunities.”

Nicole Ziege can be reached at 270-7456011 and nicole.ziege825@topper.wku. edu. Follow Nicole Ziege on Twitter at @ NicoleZiege.



Students had a chance to voice their opinions for WKU Commons through a survey that asked what they wanted to see with the enhancement of the library. In a previous Herald article, Caboni said he wants the project to be completed within 18 to 24 months from the time it starts. Piper Keusch, a sophomore from Jasper, Indiana, said she is excited for the idea of a library renovation but also shared potential concerns. “That would create more traffic in the library in a positive way, but also, people could be loud and disrupt others who are actually working in the library,” Keusch said. In a meeting with the Herald editorial board, Brian Kuster, the vice president for Enrollment and Student Experience, emphasized the need for WKU to be student-centered. “Our students have different needs, and we need to meet those needs,” Kuster said. “We have to look at what’s best for the students.” Kuster said the plans imagine a hub for students to sit at a coffee shop, get food or study in a modern way. “You can create some very dynamic space that draws faculty and staff


Students at Western Kentucky University study in the University Commons area in Helm Library on Jan. 27.

renovate Garrett Conference Center, which was first built in the 1950s and renovated in the 1960s. Kuster said once Caboni joined WKU, the university started explor”You can create some ing more options. He said WKU needed to enhance food options very dynamic space but also wanted to create a “library that draws faculty of the future,” which includes more than a coffee shop. Here, Kuster said and staff back in the there was an opportunity to combine library.” initiatives. Through the contract, students who opted out of a WKU meal plan Vice President for Enrollment and Studen Experience were required to pay a fee, which BRIAN KUSTER translates to Flex Dollars. Kuster said for commuters who pay the fee, back in the library,” Kuster said. WKU Commons will provide more available options for food and study “You won’t see stacks of books.” WKU signed a contract with Ar- services. “We felt like we needed to create a amark in June 2017 which Kuster said provides WKU with $35 million place on top of the Hill more like an designated for food services reno- intellectual hub,” Kuster said. While Panda Express is a frequent vations. Originally, the plan was to

choice, Kuster said other food options at the top of the Hill are outdated and neglected. He said during conversations about WKU Commons, they are hoping to add more unique food options instead of typical chain restaurants. By offering food options students want, Kuster said he hopes this will make top of the hill food options more profitable. Through the planning process, Kuster said they looked at several different libraries at other universities, especially those which incorporated food options. He mentioned one the team appreciated, operated in more of a community space for interaction rather than just grabbing lunch and leaving. “That’s really what this WKU Commons is going to be about, is how do we connect our students and our faculty and staff, and give them a

place,” Kuster said. Now, there are mainly long tables in Helm. Kuster said it envisions private and group study rooms added to the library. He said the project would also add several technological improvements for studying, including one-button recording rooms or spaces for presentations. There will still be stacks in Cravens Library, but today Kuster said research is more online, and the changes will cater to this. Overall, Kuster said he hopes the changes will encourage more interaction. Looking toward the future, Kuster said WKU Commons will be a marketable aspect to WKU to improve enrollment and retention.

News reporter Natasha Breu can be reached at 270-745-6011 and Follow Natasha on Twitter @nnbreu.

International enrollment at WKU has dropped BY ABBIGAIL NUTTER HERALD.NEWS@WKU.EDU Over the past four years, international enrollment at WKU has been in decline, dropping from 1,400 students to about 400. Nearly a decade ago, international enrollment stood where it is now with 400 students. In a meeting with the Herald editorial board, WKU President Timothy Caboni said international enrollment increased to 1,400 in four years but has been on a decline for another four years. “We raised the international enrollment budget thinking it was a trend, but it was just a blip,” Caboni said. “We had four years of tremendous growth and then four years of tremendous decline.”

Over the next couple of years, Caboni predicts WKU will see another year and a half of declining international enrollment before it bottoms out. He explained the fluctuations in international student enrollment had tuitions revenue implications for WKU as a university and also said revenue should not be the end goal in international student enrollment. “The purpose of international programs at this university cannot be revenue,” Caboni said. “It has to be educating people from away. It has to be about our domestic students learning next to those undergraduate students in a way that makes for a more interesting and complex undergraduate experience.” Caboni also linked the experiences of undergraduates who study abroad to enrollment persistence and said there is a 94 percent grad-

uation rate among students who study abroad in comparison to a 47 percent graduation rate in students that didn’t have those experiences. “International education is still extremely important to us as a university, and it’s important to our students,” Caboni said. “We’re going to remain committed to that.” John Sunnygard was announced as the Associate Provost for Global

Learning and International Affairs during the summer of 2018 and assumed his role that August. He is now responsible for international recruitment and student services at WKU. Sunnygard said WKU is not unique in its struggle with maintaining international retention. “We live in a very competitive




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Four years ago, WKU saw a peak in international enrollment with 1,400 students. Now, enrollment has dropped to 400 students.

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CONTINUED FROM FRONT “We live in a very competitive global environment and so students have many options,� Sunnygard said. “We are not the only university in the country that’s experiencing this— every university in the country is experiencing declines in international student enrollment.�

Sunnygard said one reason for the decline in international student enrollment is the transition in the King Abdullah Scholarship Program (KASP) from Saudi Arabia to become more restrictive, which led to fewer students from Saudi Arabia studying in the United States. During the Fall 2018 semester, 239 Saudi students were enrolled at WKU, 202 males and 37 females. Sunnygard estimated that 99 percent are funded to

study through KASP. However, Sunnygard said WKU might have an advantage in retention of international students. He explained WKU excels at integrating international students into the community which helps with international enrollment. Sunnygard said he believes that WKU’s domestic student population has a part to play in improving the retention of international students. He said students should continue to

connect with their international peers, and emphasized that there is so much to learn from each other. “Every international student is a student just like you,� Sunnygard said. “I would encourage every WKU student to reach out to an international student and give them a very warm welcome.�

Abbigail Nutter can be reached at 270-745-6011 and abbigail.nutter168@




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As the Herald celebrates another birthday, student press freedom remains under attack

BY HERALD EDITORIAL BOARD HERALD.OPINION@WKU.EDU The Issue: Student journalists are often overlooked and under-supported by the communities they are trying to benefit. Accusations of amateurism, “fake news” and irrelevance wrongly discredit the impactful journalism done by students both at the Herald and across the country. Our Stance: Student journalism matters and deserves the recognition and appreciation it has earned over time. More importantly, student journalists deserve an equal right to the freedom of the press which is so largely under attack today. As the Herald celebrates its 94th birthday, we also turn our attention to celebrating and demanding student press freedom today and every day with the first Student Press Freedom Day following on Wednesday. Today is the College Heights Herald’s 94th birthday. Today, journalism is under more attack than it has been in generations. Student journalists are especially victimized by these attacks. Perhaps the most significant challenge in American journalism history is concurrently unfolding with a president undermining its value seemingly every day and his supporters championing his vitriolic stance. Kentucky’s governor is no exception to this crowd of national leaders attacking journalism. In some unfortunate ways, WKU fits into this crowd as well. WKU’s School of Journalism & Broadcasting has been and remains one of the most accomplished and respected of its kind in the country. But, even at universities and colleges with strong journalism schools, leadership can quickly lose sight of which battles are worth fighting.

As the Herald celebrates 94 years of serving WKU today and Student Press Freedom Day on Wednesday, another noteworthy date is also fast approaching. Feb. 24 will mark the two-year anniversary of WKU’s lawsuit against the Herald over access to public records involving faculty sexual misconduct. When the lawsuit began under former WKU President Gary Ransdell, the university claimed it had no choice but to take the matter to court in order to protect the student victims of the alleged sexual misconduct. Ransdell’s successor, President Timothy Caboni, doubled down on this stance when he arrived at WKU despite his chance to drop the lawsuit and hand over the records as Kentucky’s attorney general ordered them to be. But the Herald’s open records request for these documents was never driven by an interest in revealing personal details about the victims. The request for these records redacted of any student information was aimed at trying to provide transparency to students about hidden wrongs which have taken place at WKU. While WKU was busy denying these records and getting its attorneys in line for a legal battle against its own student newspaper, six other Kentucky universities released the same exact kinds of records without batting an eye. Herald reporter Nicole Ares took the information from those employee sexual misconduct records and delivered a national-award-winning investigative story that exposed the disturbing pattern of sexual misconduct by faculty across the state’s universities. And she did it all without identifying a single student. While WKU generally has a long track record of supporting its student journalists, praising their work and touting their accomplishments, the current litigation sadly isn’t the only exception to the rule. In 1988, WKU President Kern Alexander attempted to install faculty editors at the Herald to oversee students’ editorial content—essentially censorship. A loud response from WKU’s student body and an uprising from the Herald’s alumni helped walk Alexander off campus within a

This week’s pool:


month. The same kind of public support for student journalism still exists today, as evidenced by the thousands of dollars the Herald has received to help pay its legal bills since the lawsuit began. The legal defense funds from both the Kentucky Press Association and the Society of Professional Journalists have donated a combined total that nearly reaches $30,000. Herald alumni have reached into their own pockets, as well, giving an amount close to $7,000. These student press freedom predicaments could greatly benefit from campus-wide student support, but a national onslaught of criticism regarding journalism has trickled down to the college level, causing students to either lose sight of the importance of journalism or simply not care. Reasons for that very kind of student support can be found in the work we do. There is no “fake news” in reporting on harassment by faculty members. There is no lack of importance in reporting how the government shutdown affects universities. There are no traces of limitations caused by “amateur journalism” in telling a student body about the extent of mold in campus dorms. Even with the current lawsuit, WKU has largely been supportive of its journalism program and the Herald. Caboni takes the opportunity to sit down with the Herald editorial board for an hour at the beginning of each semester to provide a constructive dialogue about what’s happening at WKU. The university takes pride in promoting the student journalists’ first-place finish in the national Hearst competition. It proudly celebrates the two national Pacemaker Awards won by the Herald in the past two years. It also vigorously defends its stance in a lawsuit that could potentially unravel Kentucky’s Open Records laws if WKU comes out victorious. Student press freedom is more than just another issue of debate. It’s a freedom that, if not protected, could have implications much larger and more damaging than a tainted public image for one university.

Last week’s pool:


Griffin Fletcher* Copy Desk Chief

OUR TEAM Evan Heichelbech* Editor-in-chief

Cameron Coyle* Opinion Editor

Kayla Robinson Distribution Manager

Spencer Harsh* Print Managing Editor

Matt Stahl* Sports Editor

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Advertising: 270.745.2653 Editor: 270.745.5044 Opinion: 270.745.4874 Newsroom: 270.745.6011

REPORT AN ERROR 270.745.5044

Opinions expressed in this newspaper DO NOT reflect those of Western Kentucky University’s employees or of its administration.

Jeremy Chisenhall* Mhari Shaw* Digital Managing Editor Multimedia Editor Emma Austin* Engagement Editor

Abigail Dollins* Will Hoagland Assist. Multimedia Editor Advertising Adviser

*Denotes editorial board members. The Herald publishes on Tuesdays during the school year. The first copy is free, and additional copies are $1 each, available in the Student Publications Center on Normal Street.

Rebekah Alvey* News Editor

Laurel Deppen* Features Editor

Carrie Pratt Herald Adviser

Emily DeLetter* Assist News Editor

Brandon Edwards* Design Editor

Chuck Clark Director of Student Publications

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Classified Advertising Manager: Will Hoagland


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Trivia Mish-Mash ©2019

1. What was the first vegetable grown in space? (a) Potato (b) Carrot (c) Green onion 2. The Bay of Fundy is between what two land areas? (a) Sweden & Finland (b) New Brunswick & Nova Scotia (c) Queensland & Northern Territory, Australia 3. The Turner Prize is awarded annually to recognize excellence in what field? (a) Sailing (b) Architecture (c) Art 4. Na is the chemical symbol for what element? (a) Sodium (b) Tin (c) Silver 5. What is the name given for the fear of failure? (a) Astraphobia (b) Pyrophobia (c) Atychiphobia 6. What is the national flower of China? (a) Lotus (b) Peony (c) Carnation 7. What is the world's smallest rodent? (a) Cape gerbil (b) Agouti (c) Pygmy jerboa 8. What fish is known to have no bones? (a) Shark (b) Marlin (c) Barracuda 9. What cartoon character's middle name is Fauntleroy? (a) Bart Simpson (b) Donald Duck (c) Fred Flintstone 10. What explorer coined the phase 'New World'? (a) Ferdinand Megellan (b) Hernan Cortes (c) Amerigo Vespucci

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE A7 on the record—it’s not doctored up. We tried to keep it as pure as possible.” Cope said this was done by employing a recording technique known as “live tracking,” where a band records a song not individually by instrument but together as if performing live, on many of the album’s songs. Cope said this technique allowed the band to keep its music genuine. “We recorded that thing 95-percent live,” Cope said about “Old News.” “We wanted to capture that feeling.” Over a week since its release, “Old News” debuted at number 18 on the “Americana/Folk Albums” chart released by Billboard on Jan. 2. Cope said The Steel Woods is grateful for the chance to share its music with anyone who cares to listen. “It’s a dream come true,” Cope said. “I’m just grateful for the opportunity, and it’s exciting to make this piece of art and get it out to the world.” The band is currently on a nationwide tour to promote “Old News” and has no plans of slowing down, Cope said. He added that in 2016 alone the band traveled enough miles to cover the circumference of the Earth twice. “We’ve been hitting it,” Cope said. “We’ve been hitting it hard.” In part with its tour, The Steel Woods is set to perform in Bowling Green at The Warehouse at Mt. Victor on Saturday. The band’s other tour dates may



Heintzman met Haskamp the same way Seymour did, when he came into the MakerSpace looking for a 3D printer to fix his skateboard. “He just likes to create things,” Heintzman said of Haskamp. She said Haskamp has learned and grown extensively since she first met him, and she believes he is “thinking far beyond himself.” The two entrepreneurs said they believe the notion that college guarantees success is outdated. “As two young entrepreneurs, we’ve



Tilford said she leaves each session feeling like she’s bettered herself in a variety of ways. Customer Carol Crowe and her daughter have been patrons for more than seven years, and they continue to enjoy sessions together. “I’ve gotten a lot from hot yoga,” Crowe said. “It’s a way to stay fit, relax and learn to deal with stress. It’s also taught me how to breathe through difficult situations and remain calm.”


CONTINUED FROM PAGE A8 numbers of the season, with 6,369 in attendance to see the Hilltoppers pull off an 85-74 win over the Thundering

TUESDAY, JANUARY 29, 2019 WESTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY be found on its website. Cope said he loves performing in Bowling Green on account of its proximity to Nashville, the band’s home base. “I like when it’s on the map,” Cope said about Bowling Green. “We just get to bounce right there, bounce right back. I play there, and I’m sleeping in my bed at night.” Cope said interested concertgoers may expect music across the band’s varied discography, most of which might be best described “southern-rock” or “blues-rock” country music. “We’ll be playing songs off both our albums on 11,” Cope said. The concert is open to all ages and is available for $12 to all WKU students who present a valid student ID at the door. Other tickets are $15 for standing and $20 for sitting. The show is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. with opening performer Josh Card and is expected to end around 10:30 p.m. The Steel Woods is expected to begin performing around 8:45 p.m. All other questions may be referred to The Warehouse at Mt. Victor’s website. The Warehouse at Mt. Victor owner Larry Deaton of Bowling Green said the venue has seen the likes of other aspiring country music acts like Jason Isbell and Sturgill Simpson since its opening in 2009. Deaton said he believes The Warehouse at Mt. Victor presents the musicians who perform there an opportunity to connect with an audience on a more personal level.

“They like to play where they feel like they’re more intimate with the audience,” Deaton said. As many of the performers he’s seen over the years have gone on to perform at venues such as the famous Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Deaton said he believes The Steel Woods aren’t far

off. “They’re gonna be huge,” Deaton said. “It won’t be long until they’re headlining at the Ryman.”

overcome a lot,” Haskamp said. Skeptics might argue personal-sized heating and cooling units is not a necessity, but Haskamp argues otherwise. He said people consider heat and air units in their homes to be necessities, so having one for your clothing should be viewed similarly. “It’s a modern necessity,” Haskamp said. Haskamp is the CEO for BioTek. He mainly handles the marketing and business-minded front, and Seymour handles more behind-the-scenes and technological aspects. “It’s a good dynamic,” Seymour said. “He’s seen enough of my driving to

start giving backseat directions.” Heintzman has known the two since the beginning of their process and hopes to continue sharing her support. “I’ve been on the fringes,” Heintzman said. “I don’t ask what they’re up to. I ask how I can help.” Haskamp and Seymour said many engineers and other working professionals told them they would never be able to create the AirBox. However, BioTek already has other inventions lined up, all of them being wearables. Assuming the release of the AirBox goes well, Heintzman and Seymour to launch and sell their other inventions. Once they collect data on who would

be interested in buying the AirBox, they will begin to market more toward specific demographics. Sales will begin online but eventually move to in-store retail if things go as planned, Haskamp said. Haskamp and Seymour said they have learned not to listen to those who doubt them, rather to listen to their own determination and the support of those who believe in their ambition. “I don’t think there is any limit of where they can go,” Heintzman said.

Anicie said she finds just as many benefits in hot yoga as her clients, but for her, the best part of the business is connecting with the clients. “The people are really my favorite part,” Anicie said. “People have been coming here for years, and they really do become part of the family.” Anicie said the idea of family is what makes their business so special to them. “You’ve got your ‘Yoga Mama’ and your ‘Yoga Daddy,’ because everyone needs a place to feel safe, a place to let their hair down and feel at home and a person that they can trust,” Anicie said. “That’s what we’re here to give everyone.”

”It’s a way to stay fit, relax and learn to deal with stress. It’s also taught me how to breathe through difficult situations and remain calm.”

The family-like feeling is evident as clients come in to get ready for a class. Tony and Anicie know where each patron’s favorite spot is, what’s going on with their family and what sort of activities they enjoy. Customers frequently stop to chat before and after each class just to catch up. “It’s a fun but challenging, friendly, great place to be,” Crowe said. “It’s easy to get comfortable here.”


Features reporter Julie Sisler can be reached at 270-745-6291 and Follow Julie on social media at @julie_sisler.

Herd. “A lot of fans come out and show their support, and we appreciate them a lot,” sophomore forward Josh Anderson said after the game. “I feel like they play a big part of the game, and we feed off of their energy.”

WKU currently has a home record of 6-2, with its only losses coming against Troy and C-USA opponent FIU. The Hilltoppers have four more home games left to play in the regular season, with the next two being back-toback home games, first on Thursday

against Texas-San Antonio and Saturday against Texas-El Paso.

Lady Toppers always seemed to have an answer. Instead of getting shaken, WKU was steady in its intensity. “There was a more concerted effort on the team to make sure the energy level was high,” Collins said. “I felt like our energy was at an all-time low against Southern Miss leading into the game, and that resulted in a really poor performance. So, credit to our players, because they really focused on keeping the energy level up.” In both contests, sophomore forward Raneem Elgedawy built upon her recent success. The reigning C-USA Player of the Week had 20 points and nine rebounds in the loss against Southern Miss. Elgedawy, who was also named to the NCAA Weekly Starting Five last week, tallied 18 points and seven rebounds against LA Tech. Elgedawy also had eight steals between the two games. Elgedawy ranks second in C-USA with 2.1 steals per game in league play. Elgedawy is second to her own teammate, as redshirt junior forward Dee Givens (2.6 steals per game) leads the conference. Through seven conference games, Elgedawy is still the only player who ranks in the top five in both scoring and rebounding in C-USA. Elgedawy is averaging 19.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per contest, good for second and fifth in the league, respectively. The Lady Toppers rank first in scoring since C-USA play began, averaging 78.3 points per game. WKU also ranks first in field goal percentage (.496) and

3-point percentage (.419) in league play. The Lady Toppers are currently slotted third in C-USA standings. WKU will look to continue its winning ways during two road games in Texas this week. The Lady Toppers will tip off their road trip with a weekday matchup against Texas-San Antonio (6-13, 1-6 C-USA) on Thursday. The game will take place on the Roadrunners’ Education Day, which means a raucous crowd of children will be on hand to make it difficult for WKU to pull off the program’s first-ever win in UTSA Convocation Center. Two days later, the Lady Toppers will travel about 550 miles for a meeting with Texas-El Paso (4-16, 1-6 C-USA) on Feb. 2. The Miners are averaging only 51.6 points per game in conference play, which ranks last among 14 C-USA teams. UTEP leads the all-time series 3-2, including an 80-75 win over WKU at the Don Haskins Center a year ago. “We’re always going to bring the other team’s best effort,” Collins said. “We expect nothing less. I think our players are starting to get adjusted to that and realize that we’re going to kind of be the bull’s eye on everybody else’s schedule, so we got to make sure we’re bringing that same kind of intensity.” WKU will be looking for a 7-1 start in C-USA action Thursday at 11 a.m. in San Antonio.


CONTINUED FROM PAGE A8 Eagles to open the game on a 22-5 run. Southern Miss snapped WKU’s program record for consecutive home conference wins in an easy 69-56 road triumph. WKU never led against Southern Miss, falling into an insurmountable hole early. “The first quarter was exactly what killed us tonight,” redshirt junior guard Alexis Brewer said. “If we would have been in the game then, we would have won the game at the end because we played with them the rest of the time. But then again, rebounding killed us, first quarter, second quarter, the whole game. So, that was really the problem tonight.” Collins said he noticed his players getting discouraged by their struggles on offense. “We still kind of base our play a little bit on our ability to score,” Collins said. “I felt like we’ve grown in the past five or six games and really kind of taken a lot of pride in what we’ve done on the defensive end … We really got to get back at making sure we focus on getting stops and that means getting that defensive board and then pushing the ball.” The Lady Toppers rekindled their defensive fire and more against LA Tech on Jan. 26, completely flipping the script on a disappointing outing two days prior.


Freshman Meral Abdelgawad makes her way to the hoop during WKU Lady Toppers game against Southern Miss. WKU lost its first home conference game to Southern Miss in Diddle Arena Jan. 24 in Bowling Green.

“I think it was a big wake-up call,” sophomore guard Sherry Porter said. “Of course, we wanted to execute the game plan Thursday, but we didn’t quite do that, so we had to get back in practice Friday, get back focused, locked in, take the ‘L’ on the shoulder and keep it going.” LA Tech boasted senior guard Kierra Anthony, the top scorer in C-USA at 22.3 points per contest. Anthony tallied 23 points, but WKU was not intimidated. The Lady Toppers locked down on defense and translated 17 turnovers into 26 points. WKU shot 35 free throws, sinking six in the final minutes to seal an 81-76 victory inside Diddle Arena. The Lady Techsters trimmed a 21-point deficit to only three points late in the contest, spurred by sophomore guard Raizel Guinto. Guinto came off the bench and scored 19 points on six made 3-pointers for LA Tech, but the


Reporter Griffin Fletcher can be reached at 270-745-2655 and griffin.

Features reporter Katelyn Latture can be reached at 270-745-6291 and

Sports reporter Kaden Gaylord can be reached at 270-745-6291 and kaden. Follow him on Twitter at @_KLG3.

Women’s basketball reporter Drake Kizer can be reached at 270-745-2653 and Follow him on Twitter at @drakekizer_.




Yoga couple creates friendly atmosphere with hot setting BY JULIE SISLER HERALD.FEATURES@WKU.EDU


Liam Seymour (left) and Jacob Haskampe (right) invented their company under the name BioTek Inc. that seeks to solve problems with innovations. “I came up with the idea eight months ago and brought Liam on this idea three months ago,” Haskampe said. “Competition-wise there is nobody with the same technology we have.” Jacob Haskampe is majoring in computer science and in the process of changing to entrepreneurship. Liam Seymour is majoring in computer science.

OUTSIDE THE BOX WKU students develop wearable tech

BY KATELYN LATTURE HERALD.FEATURES@WKU.EDU Two young men in Bowling Green have been making advances in the technology and business worlds alike. Sophomore Jacob Haskamp and Liam Seymour, a 21-year-old who is taking a gap year, have created a new wearable technology to make people more comfortable. Haskamp and Seymour created their company, BioTek, Inc., this past year and are launching their first product, AirBox, on Kickstarter this March. BioTek is already receiving some funding from Riverside Technologies, but using Kickstarter will help it complete funding and gather information

on the demographic best suited for its product. The AirBox, which is not much bigger than an index card, “functions by cooling and heating air (based on your preference) and pumping it through the wearer’s clothing,” a BioTek press release stated. The initial idea for the product came when Haskamp was cleaning his grandmother’s attic. He said he remembered thinking, “Man, it would be nice if I had a jacket that would cool me.” Haskamp said he forgot about the idea until he rediscovered it in an old journal. Not long after, he met Seymour, his future business partner and friend. Seymour was working at the WKU Makerspace when Haskamp came in

seeking someone who could help him make blocks for his skateboard. Seymour was in charge of the 3D printing machine that would help create Haskamp’s blocks as well as BioTek’s AirBox. “There’s a shorter list of what he can’t do,” Anne Heintzman, a WKU MakerSpace instructor, said. She said she’s watched Haskamp and Seymour’s journey since it began last year and remembers how she met them two and a half years ago. Heintzman hired Haskamp to work at the MakerSpace, and she said he cheerfully works there despite it not paying much. Haskamp fixes machines and teaches others how to do the same. SEE BIOTEK • PAGE A6

Nashville band makes stop in Bowling Green BY GRIFFIN FLETCHER HERALD.FEATURES@WKU.EDU

Nashville country-rock band The Steel Woods formed in 2015 when guitarist Jason “Rowdy” Cope and guitarist and vocalist Wes Bayliss became friends and began writing music together by the Harpeth River in Tennessee. Paired with a mutual friend and business partner, the three bought an old shuttle bus to help with touring. “We basically got a shuttle bus and converted it into a tour bus,” Cope said. “Wood floors, steel ceiling. No joke.”

After recording throughout 2015, the band gained local interest by burning its own three-song CDs titled “The Steel Woods” to personally hand out to construction workers in downtown Nashville. Cope said bringing the band’s music “straight to the people” and remaining humble is something The Steel Woods continues to strive toward. “We’ve been our own crew and techs for a long time,” Cope said. “I think doing it this way makes you really grateful.” In 2017, the band recorded its first full-length album, “Straw in the Wind,” alongside current The Steel Woods members Jay Tooke and Johnny Stan-

ton. The album featured guest writing from Grammy-nominated musician Brent Cobb on the album’s final song, “Let the Rain Come Down,” which Cobb recorded his own version to on his debut album, “Shine On Rainy Day.” On June 10, 2017, “Straw in the Wind” peaked at number 42 on the “Independent Albums” chart put out by Billboard. The band released its sophomore album, “Old News,” on Jan. 18. Cope said he believes “Old News” is a testament to The Steel Woods’ musicianship. “We’re trying to promote real musicianship,” Cope said. “What you hear SEE STEEL WOODS • PAGE A6

Few business owners are able to give background on each and every one of their clients. Even fewer business owners are greeted as “Mama” and “Daddy” by their clients. However, for Hot Yoga Bowling Green owners Tony and Anicie Bishop, this is the only way they could imagine running a business. Hot Yoga Bowling Green, which has been voted “best place to do yoga in Bowling Green” in the Herald’s “Best of the Hill” seven years in a row, is going into its 13th year of business. Hot yoga encompasses a variety of yoga styles, all of which are performed in hot, often humid, conditions. At Hot Yoga Bowling Green, this means taking classes in a dimly lit, humid room set to 90 degrees. Hot Yoga Bowling Green features an array of classes Monday through Saturday, catering to different levels and interests. Tony and Anicie teach multiple classes every day, and there are also guest instructors on a regular basis. “We have a staff made up of people from all professions, including nurses and even professors from WKU,” Anicie said. Some classes focus on restoration, while others, like Anicie’s “Skinny Jeans” class, focus on certain exercises meant to strengthen and tone specific areas. Tony said Hot Yoga Bowling Green focuses on the many benefits of yoga: physical, mental, spiritual and emotional. “When you ask, ‘Why yoga?’ the answer is that yoga is everything,” Tony said. “You can gain so much from an hour of yoga. You’re working on so many different parts of yourself—your body, your mind, your soul.” This sentiment is echoed in the testimonials of various customers, all of whom cite hot yoga as a way to improve themselves in various areas. Customer Ashlee Tilford has been going to Hot Yoga Bowling Green for eight years and said it’s a full-body and mind exercise. “A lot of people think yoga is sitting and meditating, but we leave exhausted yet invigorated and free from the stress of the day,” Tilford said. SEE HOT YOGA • PAGE A6


Kelly Rice practices advanced yoga poses during the Hot Yoga Traditional/Blend class on Jan. 23. This class welcomes all levels of yoga, including beginners.


TUESDAY, FEB 26. DOWNING STUDENT UNION Get your questions answered with representatives from Bowling Green apartment complexes.


Basketball attendance continues to rise




It’s no secret that home crowds can change the momentum of a game in an instant, and WKU is trying to get that momentum on its side, coining the hashtag #SellOutDiddle, which has turned into a catchphrase for Diddle Arena and the WKU fanbase. Over the past couple of seasons, the campaign seems to be working, as the average attendance of WKU men’s basketball games has increased year-overyear. For the 2017-2018 season, the men’s team had the eighth-largest attendance average increase in Division l basketball, going from 3,915 fans per game in 2016-17 to 5,487, which was a 40 percent average increase of 1,572 fans per game, according to WKU Athletics. Through the first eight home games of the 2018-2019 season, WKU has had an average attendance of 5,781 fans, an increase of 294 fans per game from the previous year. The Hilltoppers have also set some individual game attendance records early in the season. WKU’s home-opening crowd of 5,815 on Nov. 10 against UT Martin was the largest home-opening attendance since the 2007-2008 season of 6,271 against Kennesaw State. “It’s a start,” head coach Rick Stansbury said at the time. “We need all those butts in those seats … the atmosphere is great, it helps our team … and we just got to keep building on it.” Attendance remained strong for the Hilltoppers until winter break started, when it predictably dropped off while students were away from Bowling Green. Even with the lack of student support, numbers remained high, with the lowest-attended game of the season against Florida Atlantic, which drew 4,963 fans to Diddle, still being registered as a sellout. The game’s attendance was also much higher than the lowest-attended game of 2017-2018, a contest against Nicholls State that drew 3,378 to Diddle to see the Hilltoppers win 100-86. Both years’ lowest-attended games crushed the one from 2016-2017, when only 2,568 made their way to the arena for a winter-break C-USA matchup against Charlotte. This season’s winter-break slump was broken shortly after Christmas when WKU fans responded to Stansbury’s early-season challenge in the teams’ biggest win of the season against 15th-ranked Wisconsin on Dec. 29 when the Hilltoppers recorded their largest attendance of the season, 7,614 fans, making it their fourth-largest crowd in Diddle Arena since its renovation. “That was the best [crowd] I have seen so far,” freshman guard Dalano Banton said. “We need that every time to help us play with the energy we played with in order to win big games.” The Hilltoppers’ most-recent home win was a revenge game against a Marshall team that beat them in the C-USA championship game last season by one point and pulled off a comeback victory several days earlier in a game at Marshall. The Bowling Green faithful made its presence known by posting its second-highest attendance SEE MEN’S BASKETBALL • PAGE A6


Freshman center Charles Bassey battles for a shot during WKU’s 72-66 win over Florida Atlantic in Diddle Arena Saturday Jan. 19, 2019.

THROWN AWAY Hilltoppers offense struggles due to turnovers BY ALEC JESSIE HERALD.SPORTS@WKU.EDU

The WKU men’s basketball team has had its fair share of issues leading up to and during the 2018-2019 season. Suspensions, arrests and the departure of graduate transfer senior Desean Murray have been a constant source of distraction off the court. On the court, issues at point guard and the inability to protect a big lead have cost WKU multiple games. Now, with conference play well underway, the Hilltoppers have a glaring problem: They can’t score, in part caused by inconsistency. “We’ve had all the games under control for the most part,” WKU head coach Rick Stansbury said after the team’s recent win against Southern Mississippi. “Had big leads in them. Couldn’t hang on and finish them.” The WKU offense has become completely inept in one of the more important stretches of the regular season. Even worse, the offense became the most stagnant in the most crucial points in the games. According to KenPom statistics, the Hilltoppers rank just 181st in adjusted offensive efficiency. Since the beginning of conference play, WKU has managed 70 or more points just twice in eight games. The Hilltoppers had scored 70 or more points in the seven non-conference games leading up to conference play, including 83 points against the then-15-ranked Wisconsin Badgers. WKU has hit 10 or more 3-pointers just once in conference play and shot 40 percent or higher from deep just twice in that span as well. The Hilltoppers have turned the ball over 125 times in conference play, good for almost 16 giveaways a game

compared to just 11 assists a game. Saturday’s loss at Louisiana Tech is the latest example of the Hilltoppers’ inability to put the ball in the bucket. WKU took a 28-21 lead into halftime and were playing with confidence on the road. The Hilltoppers shot a respectable 47 percent from the floor and 40 percent from deep. The second half was a completely different story. The Bulldogs blitzed WKU with a 22-4 run to take a lead they would not give back. WKU would score just two points in the final five minutes in a 6250 defeat. “Just didn’t play with the same confidence that we played with the first 20 minutes,” Stansbury said after the loss. “Hard to imagine how we can turn the switch on sometimes then flip it right back off again.” The defensive end has a lot to do with the lackluster offense. Stansbury

leading to transition stuff for them,” Stansbury said. Even in the wins, the Hilltoppers have been turning it over an astronomical amount, including 21 times in a win over Marshall. Even with Bearden back in the rotation after missing the first nine games due to suspension, quality ball handling and passing has been hard to come by for the Hilltoppers. Stansbury is not pleased with the ball movement in his offense. “The ball didn’t move at all,” Stansbury said after Saturday’s loss. “Again, when people make runs at us, we try too much individually break off and do things.” Stansbury’s players believed turnovers are a key factor in the offensive slump as well. “Turnovers hurt us,” sophomore guard Taveion Hollingsworth said. “We started the half off with two big

“Just didn’t play with the same confidence that we played with the first 20 minutes. Hard to imagine how we can turn the switch on sometimes then flip it right back off again.” Head Coach RICK STANSBURY said that when opponents get hot on the offensive end and make a run, it rattles the young WKU squad. “When someone makes a run at us, it speeds us up,” Stansbury said. “We take too many quick shots. We try to do things one on one. Most times it ends up being bad.” The bad offense puts stress on the defense as well. Poor shot selection leads to easy buckets for the opponents, Stansbury said. “Quick and bad shots ended up

turnovers and gave them a lot of momentum. When you get a lot of momentum, the rim just gets bigger, and that’s what it looked like. WKU will look to break out of its offensive slump at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Diddle Arena against Texas-San Antonio.

Men’s basketball reporter Alec Jessie can be reached at 270-745-6291 and Follow Alec on Twitter at @Alec_Jessie.

Lady Toppers seeking consistency following loss BY DRAKE KIZER HERALD.SPORTS@WKU.EDU


WKU’s sophomore guard Sherry Porter drives to the hoop in Diddle Arena on Jan. 26. WKU beat Louisiana Tech 81-76.

Prior to Thursday, the WKU women’s basketball team had not lost a game since Dec. 19. The Lady Toppers were winners of six straight and also possessed an active streak of 22 consecutive wins in Conference-USA home games that dated back to Feb. 25, 2016. Wins over Southern Mississippi (1110, 3-5 C-USA) and Louisiana Tech (10-11, 2-6 C-USA), the ninth and 10thplace teams in league standings respectively, seemed almost inevitable. In a word, the Lady Toppers (12-9, 6-1 C-USA) were comfortable. “I think that was part of the reason we lost on Thursday,” head coach Greg Collins said. “I think we had, whether consciously or subconsciously, several

players that just got comfortable thinking that, ‘Oh, we’ve won a bunch of games by a comfortable margin, this is going to happen again,’ and they forget quickly, you know, their memories are pretty short, how hard you work to get better to do the things that you’ve got to do.” WKU’s performances against the Lady Eagles and Lady Techsters were almost mirror images, mostly because the Lady Toppers got comfortable with being uncomfortable. Southern Miss ruined any sense of security WKU had very quickly on Jan. 24. The Lady Toppers managed only 32 percent shooting from the floor and 11 percent from deep. WKU was out-rebounded 42-26 and committed 15 turnovers after allowing the Lady SEE LADY TOPPERS • PAGE A6

Profile for College Heights Herald

January 29, 2019  

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

January 29, 2019  

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

Profile for wkuherald