Page 1

Photojournalist covers conflict in Bosnia

Recapping historic football signing class

FEATURES • PAGE C1

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2018

SPORTS • PAGE B4

WESTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY

VOLUME 93, ISSUE 30

ENROLLMENT SHIFTS CHANGE COLLEGES College of Education & Behavioral Sciences 2007 3,295

2017 2,154

College of Health & Human Services 2007 3,568

2017 4,703

-34.63%

+31.81%

PHOTO BY SILAS WALKER, GRAPHIC BY CRAIG OSTERTAG • HERALD

More students are pursuing degrees in healthcare BY MONICA KAST HERALD.NEWS@WKU.EDU

This story is the first in a series about enrollment and budgets for the different colleges at WKU. Make sure to pick up next week’s edition of the Herald to read part two.

W

hen Ronnie Weissend’s mother was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of cancer, in 2012, his family began spending a lot of time in hospitals. “She was in and out of hospitals hundreds and hundreds of times,” Weissend said of his mom. Weissend, now a junior from Flint, Michigan, said it was there, seeing how the doctors and nurses interacted with his mother, that made him consider a career in nursing. “When it came down to the people who had the biggest effect on her mood, it was always nurses,” Weissend said. “Doctors come in for a minute, check on you and tell you what’s go-

Ogden College of Science & Engineering

Gordon Ford College of Business

+25.79%

+2.82%

2007 2,928

2017 3,683

2007 2,201

2017 2,263

Potter College of Arts & Letters

University College

-24.32%

-27.61%

2007 4,025

2017 3,046

2007 1,833

2017 1,327

ing on, but the nurses are there all the time.” Weissend said when his mom entered home hospital care, it was the nurse who came to their home to care for her who further inspired him to pursue a career in nursing. “The home health nurse was really, really awesome when it came to making my mom feel comfortable or making us feel comfortable, and that’s pretty much why,” Weissend said. As a nursing major, Weissend is enrolled in the college that has seen the largest growth in the last 10 years, the College of Health and Human Services. Enrollment in CHHS has grown nearly 32 percent since 2007 or by over 1,100 students, according to data from the WKU Fact Book and public records requests made by the Herald. The College of Health and Human Services is the largest college at WKU, with 4,703 students currently enrolled, according to public records. CHHS was previously the second-largest college, behind Potter College of Arts and Letters.

SEE ENROLLMENT • PAGE A3

Service Dog Awareness Freshman runs off-road Program to receive grant auto parts business BY OLIVIA EILER HERALD.NEWS@WKU.EDU

The Jessie Ball duPont Fund has awarded a WKU faculty member a grant to expand a Service Dog Awareness Program. Darbi Haynes-Lawrence, an associate professor in child and family stud-

ies, received the grant of $5,000 from the Fund’s Small But Great Grants program, which funds organizations that address specific community needs. Haynes-Lawrence’s Service Dog Awareness Program educates people on how to act around service dogs.

SEE GRANT • PAGE A2

BY AMBRIEHL CRUTCHFIELD HERALD.NEWS@WKU.EDU

A red, four-door Jeep Wrangler is the first car many 17-year-olds would dream of owning. Freshman Robert Bowden dreamt of a Wrangler, but he wanted something different, a rugged look which included adding suspension to raise the height

and wheels to go with a new set of tires. Bowden’s parents were not open to upgrading the car because they believed if he worked for it, he would cherish it more. Though Bowden was upset about his parents saying no, he decided to find a way to get the parts so he could modify the car. Bowden says people often question

SEE ONLINE BUSINESS • PAGE A2


A2 NEWS

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2018 WESTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY

GRANT

it instead of laying around and crying about it,” Haynes-Lawrence said. “I asked [Sami] what we should do. And she said, ‘Come talk to my class.’ And I said, ‘Okay.’”

CONTINUED FROM FRONT Inspiration Haynes-Lawrence recognized the need to educate individuals on service dog etiquette through personal experience. Haynes-Lawrence has multiple sclerosis, a disease of the central nervous system that can cause nerve damage, according to the Mayo Clinic. The Indiana Canine Assistant Network paired Haynes-Lawrence with service dog Jaeger two years ago to assist her. Although being paired with Jaeger assisted Haynes-Lawrence in living with multiple sclerosis, adapting to life with a service dog was not without challenges. “[My family and I] were psyched because service dogs are cool,” Haynes-Lawrence said. “And then we

”If there’s a problem, we’ve got to fix it instead of laying around and crying about it.” Associate professor DARBI HAYNES-LAWRENCE

went to Target. We walked in, and the attention that we got from the community was terrible. Jaeger was fascinating to the community, but we couldn’t go in and grab a gallon of milk. We couldn’t do anything without being bombarded: people trying to touch the dog, people running screaming because they would see a dog.” The experience also impacted her daughter, Sami, who was in fifth grade when her mother was paired with Jaeger. “That took a toll on my daughter: people giving us this attention,” Haynes-Lawrence said. “It was one thing that she was watching her mom decline. I went from being physically active to not being able to walk, in and out of a wheelchair. I have a really bad tremor, so I wiggle when I walk. It’s mortifying for a little girl who’s turning into a teenager. Parents are mortifying when they’re normal, but she’s watching her mom through all this stuff and then having attention from the community.” The family decided to address the issue head-on. “If there’s a problem, we’ve got to fix

ONLINE BUSINESS CONTINUED FROM FRONT

the need to invest more money into a car, but he feels it’s a way each person can be unique and show their own look. “Well, you spend so much time in your car, why not enjoy it?” Bowden said. “Even if it’s just sitting in traffic, a lot of people like having a really cool car because you get a lot of looks.” Bowden began using Instagram to market businesses in hopes of receiving free or discounted aftermarket car parts so he could transform his Jeep. His marketing business soon became an online business that connected manufacturers and consumers by selling aftermarket car parts.

Program Beginnings & Expansion Haynes-Lawrence and Jaeger presented to Sami’s fifth-grade class in the small town of Newburgh, Indiana. Haynes-Lawrence created three teaching objectives for improving behavior around service dogs: don’t touch the dog, don’t talk to the dog and ask the handler polite questions. She printed the objectives on pencils to distribute to the elementary students. “The kids - you would of thought I had given them a bucket full of gold,” Haynes-Lawrence said. “They were thrilled. It was a pencil.” Word-of-mouth informed other area teachers about Haynes-Lawrence’s Service Dog Awareness Program. By the end of the program’s first semester, spring 2016, she had presented to more than 400 elementary students. “We see these kids in the community now,” Haynes-Lawrence said. “They call me the dog lady. No one can remember my name. They can remember Jae’s name. They know Jae. They’ll say, ‘I know you, and I’m not supposed to talk to you.’ And the parents will say, ‘Sarah came home and told us all about your program. Now I know ‘don’t talk to the dog.’’ We started seeing results in the community, and that was super cool.” A $400 grant from the Kiwanis Club allowed the Service Dog Awareness Program to reach 995 kindergarten to fifth-grade students and faculty the next year. Her recent grant from the Jessie duPont Fund will be used to purchase t-shirts for students and teachers. The shirts will list the three objectives Haynes-Lawrence teaches students. “We thought, well, if we got a larger grant and had t-shirts, more people would see these children out in the community, read their t-shirts, read the teachers’ t-shirts,” Haynes-Lawrence said. Haynes-Lawrence is aiming to expand her Service Dog Awareness Program even further. “Right now, I’m writing a $30,000 [grant] to try to broaden to the neighboring county so we can keep going out and getting larger,” Haynes-Lawrence said.

PHOTO COURTESY OF DARBI HAYNES-LAWRENCE

program. “Just like Western has to be certified to show that we’re a good school and that we’re actually teaching people, that’s what Assistance Dogs International does for nonprofit service dog organizations,” Haynes-Lawrence said. She emphasized that service dog knowledge is an area of expertise. “What I wouldn’t do is get information from a general dog trainer,” Haynes-Lawrence said. “PetSmart teaches your dog to pee outside and sit, but they don’t know anything about service dogs.” Haynes-Lawrence expressed a growing need for service dog awareness. “There’s a new law going into effect where our service members can get a dog for [post-traumatic stress disorder],” Haynes-Lawrence said. “When you have a service dog with PTSD, you really need to leave that handler and that dog alone.” She cited both handler and child safety as concerns “Some of these other dogs, I don’t know how they’re trained,” Haynes-Lawrence said. “I don’t know if it’s a fake service dog. There’s a lot of fake service dogs, so kids get bit. Keeping these kids safe is so important, but so is keeping the person with the disability safe, too.” Other Projects

For individuals in other communities, including Bowling Green, she suggested visiting the websites of the Indiana Canine Assistant Network and Assistance Dogs International to learn more about service dogs. The Indiana Canine Assistant Network pairs handlers with service dogs. Assistance Dogs International is an accreditation

Haynes-Lawrence’s educational efforts extend beyond her Service Dog Awareness Program. She received a Faculty-Undergraduate Student Engagement grant in 2015 to write a children’s book about MS. “This disease is awful, and it’s challenging for anyone who has it,” Haynes-Lawrence said. “But it’s worse on your children because your children are watching you decline, and nobody wants that to happen. I was diagnosed when my daughter was four. So

Spartan 4x4 is Bowden’s online retail company that sells aftermarket, off-road parts. His business gives clients the opportunity to customize their car with lights and other accessories that distinguish the car from the original manufacture design. The company began in Atlanta, but relocated to Bowling Green in fall 2017 after Bowden began studying entrepreneurship at WKU. While exploring organization options, he was told about the Student Business Accelerator which helps students develop the next steps with their business and connects them to resources in the community. Bowden presented a 12-page business plan explaining Spartan 4x4 and the future goals for the business. He also provided information to show his business is legal and operates by

state and federal laws. After presenting this to the director of the WKU Center for Research and Development, Jeff Hook, Bowden had the opportunity to lease a 300 square foot space in the Center for Research and Development. His office is currently located there. Bowden said the opportunities have provided him with a professional environment to network and access to consulting services for his business. The assistant director of the Center for Research and Development, Andrea Hales, said she enjoys working with student entrepreneurs because she believes they are more likely to plant their business roots in Bowling Green. “What is exciting about working here is the spirit alive in each entrepreneur we work with,” Hales said.

Local Learning

she went through that two year process with us of Momma getting diagnosed and having all these tests. I had always thought I should write something about this to help other families who have MS and help explain the disease to their children.” The book, “A Conversation About Monkey Snot,” is published and distributed by the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation. “We had a problem,” Haynes-Lawrence said. “We needed to help parents educate their young children about what MS is and what MS isn’t, and so we did it. We solved that problem. I wrote [the book]. [One of my students, Niah Soult] illustrated it, and my daughter Sami helped to write it. It follows a mom and a little girl named Sam through the diagnostic process. ‘What does this mean? Is Mommy gonna die?’ All of those types of things.” Haynes-Lawrence is currently working on a second book. “Along Came Jae: a Conversation About Service Dogs for People with MS” addresses the challenges of incorporating a service dog into a family. “It’s really hard when you’ve got a child and you have that child saying, ‘I’m embarrassed when you use your cane. I’m embarrassed when you use your wheelchair. I’m embarrassed when you use your service dog,’” Haynes-Lawrence said. “[The book is] about us helping Sam through that process of using those modalities and helping her feel as normal as possible.” The book will be completed in December 2018. In the meantime, Haynes-Lawrence will continue presenting her Service Dog Awareness Program to students.

News reporter Olivia Eiler can be reached at 270-745-6011 and olivia.eiler789@topper.wku.edu. Follow Olivia on Twitter at @oliviaeiler16.

“It’s very evident they have their minds and their dreams and aspirations set on following the idea or service that they have in their mind into fruition.” Bowden said he wants to use Bowling Green as the headquarters as he expands his business nationally. “I take a lot of small steps because that’s how they add up to your big goals,” Bowden says. “Focusing on the end goal is the biggest part, and our end goal is having a physical installation center and then creating this brand that is known nationwide.”

News reporter Ambriehl Crutchfield can be reached at 270-745-6011 and ambriehl.crutchfield629@topper. wku.edu. Follow Ambriehl on Twitter at @ambriehlc.

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NEWS A3

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2018 WESTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY

White Squirrel Weather in top 100 Twitter accounts BY EMILY DELETTER HERALD.NEWS@WKU.EDU

The WKU student-run White Squirrel Weather was recently included in AtmoLife’s top 100 meteorology Twitter accounts. AtmoLife, a “meteorology site for meteorology people,” released an unranked list that named WKU as one of three universities included. Pennsylvania State University and North Carolina State University were also named in the list. White Squirrel Weather launched a free app in August 2017 and provides current weather conditions taken from six White Squirrel stations and forecast information for each of those sites. White Squirrel Weather is affiliated with WKU’s meteorology program and independent from data collected by the Kentucky Mesonet at WKU. Data collection stations include locations on top of the Environmental Sciences and Technology building, Houchens–Smith Stadium, intramural fields on South Campus, stations at WKU campuses in Glasgow and Owensboro and one station shared with the Early College and Career Center in Elizabethtown. Josh Durkee, director of White Squirrel Weather and a meteorology professor at WKU, said the idea for the app came along as a way to get students involved with the meteorology program.

HUNTER HALLORAN • HERALD

WKU student Chris Portman fires up his White Squirrel Weather app on a rainy day on campus on Feb. 10. The app was developed by a student-run meteorology group at WKU and has been included in the top 100 meteorology apps by AtmoLife.

“We wanted to create a student-centered, applied-research initiative in a way we could put directly into the hands of the students,” Durkee said. Durkee said they initially hoped to fund the app by going to WKU athletics, showing that the app could provide “hyperlocal” conditions for the football and baseball fields. Information is available for fans’ health and safety conditions in the stands and real time lightning alerts. Funding for the app is also support-

ed by partners who buy in. Some of White Squirrel Weather’s largest contributors are the WKU Department of Environmental Health and Safety and the National Weather Service-Louisville. Durkee said the way the meteorology program handles training and services is unique from other universities. There are currently 25 students actively participating in running the White Squirrel Weather app. They gather data and help with other as-

pects of the service such as coding the website. “Everything we’re doing is organic and coming from the bottom,” Durkee said. “We try to not be dramatic with weather information and emphasize accuracy and communication with our community.” At almost 800 downloads, Durkee said the app is the most requested thing from White Squirrel Weather’s followers on their other forms of social media. “[Social media] is a tough audience to grab because of the different ways different age groups use different social media, but the app is one unique thing among all the people,” Durkee said. Looking forward, White Squirrel Weather hopes to stay relevant in the community by updating the app to function better by including notifications. They hope to change the app from something that just provides information to the viewer to a customizable alert and notification system. Although he said he still is not sure who nominated White Squirrel Weather to be put on AtmoLife’s list, Durkee said he was surprised and proud of the accomplishments of the students involved. “We’re test-driving a lot of things, and knowing we’re on this list was a validation of our efforts,” Durkee said.

News reporter Emily DeLetter can be reached at 270-745-6011 and emily. deletter304@topper.wku.edu. Follow her on Twitter at @EmilyDeLetter.

Glasgow native, ambassador to Canada visits WKU BY EMMA COLLINS HERALD.NEWS@WKU.EDU

A Glasgow native serving as the U.S. ambassador to Canada is scheduled to visit the Gatton Academy and WKU this week. Kelly Craft was appointed as the ambassador to Canada by President Donald Trump in fall of 2017. Cecile Garmon, director of the Center for Leadership and Excellence, said Craft’s sister contacted Garmon and said Craft would like to visit Gatton Academy. Craft co-founded the Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics, a residential high school at Morehead State University similar to Gatton Academy. Garmon said she was excited after learning the ambassador was interested in visiting campus. The visit is scheduled

ENROLLMENT CONTINUED FROM FRONT

Weissend said being enrolled in a CHHS major has been challenging, but the school’s high expectations help create successful graduates. “The classes are just kind of on a different level,” Weissend said. “Just because … you’re there for nursing, that’s what you’re learning. You’re not getting your basic stuff out of the way, so they kind of have high expectations. I love it, though.” Danita Kelley, associate dean of CHHS, was contacted for comment but did not respond in time for publication. Ogden College of Science and Engineering has also seen an increase in enrollment, growing nearly 26 percent, or by over 700 students, since 2007. Other colleges, however, have seen sharp declines in their enrollment. The College of Education and Behavioral Sciences has seen a nearly 34 percent drop in enrollment, or 1,141 fewer students enrolled, according to data from the WKU Fact Book and public records requests made by the Herald. Sam Evans, dean of CEBS, said there has been a nationwide drop in enrollment in education programs by about one-third. Evans attributed this drop to changes in the job market. “As the market changes, job opportunities change with that,” Evans said. Evans said one of the main reasons why there is less interest in entering the education field is money. According to a study done by Education Week, a survey of more than 500 kindergarten through 12th grade teachers listed salary as the top reason why they would “remain or leave their current job.” The second-highest response was “school climate.” Evans also cited this as a top reason why interest in education as a profession has changed. “What that really indicates, the demands placed upon teachers are so great that they’re finding it difficult to do what they feel they really need to

for Thursday, Feb. 15. “I don’t know when we’ve had a sitting ambassador here before,” Garmon said. Craft’s visit includes breakfast with President Timothy Caboni, an interview with WKU media, lunch at the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, a discussion with a group of WKU women faculty and a presentation for students in Gary Ransdell Hall Auditorium, according to a tentative agenda. Craft attended the University of Kentucky and graduated in 1985 with a Bachelor of Arts in topical international law, according to the UK registrar’s office. She founded a marketing and business advisory firm and has served on the UK Board of Trustees, according to the website for the U.S. Embassy in Canada. Craft also served as an alternate delegate to the United Nations General Assembly after former-President George W. Bush appointed her as one in 2007.

Craft and her husband, Joe, are wellknown Republican donors, according to the Glasgow Daily Times. The Federal Election Commission’s October 2016 third quarter report of receipts and disbursements for the committee named “Trump Victory” shows Craft and her husband donated over $430,000 to Trump’s campaign between July and September 2016. The Crafts were also co-chairs of Inaugural Committee for Kentucky’s Republican Gov. Matt Bevin. They chaired the Kentucky campaign for 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, according to the Glasgow Daily Times. Garmon said she was surprised when Craft’s sister contacted her to set up a visit. Garmon said she was friends with Craft’s mother and knew Craft when she was a young girl, but she never envisioned her coming to Bowling Green as an ambassador.

be able to do and that is help kids be successful,” Evans said. The same survey from Education Week asked, “What should districts do differently to find and hire high-quality teachers?” The largest response, 36 percent, answered “improve pay and benefits.” Evans said along with those two reasons, a strong economy means that individuals who may have become teachers are pursuing higher paying jobs, like jobs in healthcare fields. Evans said CEBS remains a strong college that is producing “quality” and “passionate” graduates. “There’s a tremendous need for high-quality people, and the only thing we have to market is quality,” Evans said. “And we are putting out a very good product within the college.” When Carolina Escobar moved to Bowling Green from California when she was 10, she said it was her fifth grade teacher who helped make the transition easier. “It was just like a really big culture shock to me,” Escobar said. “So my fifth grade teacher was actually the person that inspired me because she basically changed my whole life and … motivated me.” Escobar, now a senior and elementary education major, said she hopes she can do that for someone as well. “I just really want to inspire someone and change someone’s life, if that makes sense,” Escobar said. Escobar said she has found being part of CEBS to be “really helpful,” including assisting her with scholarships. “It’s a good program,” Escobar said. “I really enjoy it, and I would love for more people to join into it.” Potter College of Arts and Letters, while remaining one of the top-enrolled colleges, has seen a drop in enrollment as well. Since 2007, their enrollment has dropped over 24 percent, according to data from the WKU Fact Book and public records. University College has seen a drop in enrollment as well, with enrollment declining by 27.6 percent or over 500 students since 2007.

Students enrolled in exploratory or other areas have declined by over 44 percent from 2007, with 779 students in that area to 433 in 2016. Information from fall 2017 enrollment in the exploratory program was not included with the records provided to the Herald. Brian Meredith, chief enrollment officer at WKU, was contacted for comment but did not respond in time for publication. According to the fall 2017 enrollment report, WKU’s enrollment was 20,267, down 10 students from the previous fall. WKU’s enrollment has been declining since fall 2012, when enrollment was 21,124. However, WKU has also seen shifts in the makeup of students enrolled. In fall 2017, there were 2,861 high school or dual-credit students enrolled at WKU, an increase of 499 stu-

Garmon said she never imagined the young Craft growing up to be the ambassador to Canada. “It was exciting when I saw that President Trump had appointed her,” she said. Garmon said she thinks it’s good for young people from the area to see they have a wide range of opportunities. “It’s really exciting for us to see that can be the future,” Garmon said. All students are invited to hear Craft speak at 2:20 p.m. Thursday in Ransdell Hall Auditorium. The hour-long event will include a presentation and a question-and-answer session, according to the schedule. Garmon said the event is designed for students, but is open to anyone.

News editor Emma Collins can be reached at 270-745-6011 and emma.collins399@topper.wku.edu. Follow Emma on Twitter at @_mccain_emma_.

dents over the previous fall, according to the fall 2017 enrollment report. Enrollment in masters programs at WKU also decreased this year by 5.3 percent, or 107 fewer students from the 2016 fall semester, according to the enrollment report. Evans said the decrease in graduate students also goes along with national trends. “We’re right in there as far as the trend when you think about professional education,” Evans said. “And it doesn’t just impact our college, it impacts other colleges on campus as well.”

Print managing editor Monica Kast can be reached at 270-745-6011 and monica.kast187@topper.wku.edu. Follow her on Twitter at @monica_ kast.

Call for Abstracts Oral papers | posters | exhibits | displays demonstrations | performances | videos

Deadline for submission: February 16, 2018. Submit at wku.edu/studentresearch


A4

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2018 WESTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY

OPINION AUSTIN’S ABROAD

A journalist’s journey in Argentina

BY EMMA AUSTIN HERALD.OPINION@WKU.EDU

EDITORIAL

SCOREBOARD SCARE Don’t allow the cost of renovations to fall on students BY HERALD EDITORIAL BOARD

Hello, Hilltoppers! You may recognize my byline from stories last year about university budget problems or dining service fees. This semester, however, I’m spending three months studying Spanish in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Alas, the Herald has yet to get rid of me. I’ll start by telling you about my first day, which was a little overwhelming. Even seven years studying Spanish hadn’t completely prepared me for being fully immersed in the language. I don’t think I did much to prepare myself for living in another country for a semester apart from overpacking. After my plane landed, one of the first things I wished I had done was learn how Argentinians greet one another. When I found my program director waiting for me, I reached out my hand to shake his, but he kept coming, so I went in for a hug, but that’s not what he was going for either. Turns out people kiss each other on the cheek when greeting one another, which my program director assured me is the “proper” thing to do in Argentina. After stepping into the 90 plus degree heat, I remembered reading somewhere that air conditioning was not standard in Buenos Aires, and by noon, I was almost ready to board a plane and head back to the freezing weather in Bowling Green. However, after the first rough few days, which included an unexpected visit from a paramedic, Buenos Aires started to feel like just any big city I’d been to in the United States, except with more impressive architecture and, of course, Spanish. It’s scary talking in a new language to people who grew up speaking it, but so far everyone has been very understanding if I have to say “Perdón, no entiendo,” in response to a question. People use the English they know to explain unfamiliar words to me, and store clerks turn the register around when I’m not sure exactly how many pesos I owe them at check-out. The WKU Study Abroad Office isn’t paying me to write this column, but I do have to say I’m grateful for how easy our university makes it for students to spend an entire semester abroad. I also want to say being here makes me regret not being more intentional about getting to know international students at WKU. I’m thankful when Argentinians are patient and take the time to help me practice my Spanish, and that’s something we could all easily do with students who want to practice their English at WKU.

HERALD.OPINION@WKU.EDU

ISSUE: The Hilltopper Athletic Foundation recently reported a lack in funding to the tune of $5.5 million for its annual fund. That, in addition to the university’s $40 million central budget crisis, presents the very real potential that student fees will increase to help offset the university’s dire financial predicament. Despite these issues, the HAF has announced a “strategic fundraising campaign” to renovate the video boards at Houchens-Smith Stadium and Diddle Arena to “increase the size of the viewing area by nearly 400 percent.” OUR STANCE: The HAF could not have picked a worse time to announce and implement these renovations. While maintaining a Division I athletic program can attract potential students, the athletic program at WKU has partly relied on university and student contributions in the past, specifically through a $218 athletics fee included in student costs. It’s not the appropriate time to be making these unnecessary, costly additions while tough budget cuts are being forced on everyone else. According to a news story recently published in the College Heights Herald, “the fee for athletics is the highest mandatory student fee at WKU.” That fee, the highest mandatory student fee at WKU, comes in addition to an approximated $40 million dollar university budget deficit that is a result of a combination of low enrollment, state pension obligations and other various cuts made to higher education in Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed cuts budget proposal. So the question we’re all wondering has to be, where is the HAF getting the money to fund these costly renovations? Better yet, what happens if this “strategic fundraising campaign” doesn’t raise the money necessary to fully fund the new scoreboards? The contractors in charge of the renovation projects, which is set to begin this Wednesday for Houchens-Smith Stadium and after May commencement for Diddle Arena, are going to be paid.

ILLUSTRATION BY EMILY VOGLER • HERALD

How much of the final cost, which is set right now at $2.4 million, will be placed on the university and its students is still up for speculation. However, Todd Stewart, athletic director has said the project will be entirely funded by private donations per the Bowling Green Daily News.If history tells us anything, funding from the university to the athletic department will have to increase but will not be able to given the university’s lack of financial resources. This leaves one to speculate that an increase in the student athletic fee is on the horizon. According to the most recent Herald article on student fees, WKU funding decreased by almost 19 percent in the 2015-2016 school year, while the total revenue student fees rose by nearly 11 percent. It is important to note that, annually, the athletic department’s total revenue has been supported by school funds and student fees to match expenses like scholarships, coaching and facilities. The student athletics fee also may not even be touched if the HAF’s fundraising campaign is effective or they decide to scrap the renovations alto-

gether within the next few days. It would be wrong to claim that an increase in funds to the athletic department wouldn’t attract more students who want to attend a school with a successful Division I athletic tradition. Ask just about any student at the University of Kentucky and they’re sure to mention “Big Blue Nation.” Even President Timothy Caboni was quoted in a meeting with Herald editors as saying “I came from the University of Kansas. If you ask someone what they know about the University of Kansas, they will tell you one of two things: Jayhawk or basketball. They don’t know that it was the No. 2 pharmacy school in the nation for research.” The issue arises when it becomes a habit for the athletics program, or the university in general, to count on students to bail them out of costly projects when there’s just no money for them right now. If the administration wants to build and maintain trust with its student body, not allowing student fees to increase as a result of expensive project goals is an excellent place to start.

SALTED POPCORN

‘The 15:17 to Paris’: A film that comes up short of its potential BY CAMERON COYLE HERALD.OPINION@WKU.EDU

Director Clint Eastwood’s new film, “The 15:17 to Paris,” is a disappointing exercise in an attempt to allow real heroes to re-enact their own story. The film, based on true events, follows Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler, who each play themselves, as they try to find a meaning in life while simultaneously cutting to the moments before the three thwarted an attempted terrorist attack on a French train. At one point while sightseeing in Europe, Sadler tells Skarlatos to take a candid picture of him, which warrants Skarlatos to respond that you cannot

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fake something and make it candid. This small portion of dialogue perfectly encapsulates the problems with “The 15:17 to Paris.” Stone, Sadler and Skarlatos undoubtedly have an unbreakable bond between the three of them in real life. No reasonable person could argue against this or claim that their friendship and love for each other produced anything short of the utmost level of comradery people can have between each other. However, neither Stone, Sadler nor Skarlatos are professionally trained actors and this naturally leads to disheartening moments where one of them will utter a line that merits a sigh or cringe. Comparatively, the 1990 film “CloseUp,” which is also based on a true story, features the people from the actual event portraying themselves and cre-

ates an in-depth, nuanced look at what transpired by occasionally under-emphasizing the drama. “The 15:17 to Paris” puts its leads in a predicament by asking them to recreate epiphany-like moments, when really this effort to make the film feel more true causes what transpires on screen to seem even more fake, with the exception of the climax. Stone, Sadler and Skarlatos are given an incredibly lopsided amount of screen time, which may be validated by each person’s degree of involvement with the incident on the train, but the film suffers for it. What is initially presented as a friendship to the audience will grow gradually into an account of Stone’s struggle to find a purpose in life. Skarlatos is temporarily absent from the film, only to

return with no character growth while Sadler is simultaneously reduced to a sidekick who spouts off tiring comedic relief usually pertaining to selfies. The three men’s relationship should have been a satisfactory emotional anchor to the movie, but instead is progressively diluted into cliché friendship tropes. While the bulk of “The 15:17 to Paris” is an optical drudge, nothing should be taken away from the final 20 minutes of the film. The act these three men performed is a heroic and brave one filled with tension that easily — and predictably — leads to the best scene of the movie. The film perpetuates a message about fulfilling your potential but fails to take its own advice and comes up noticeably short of what it could have been. I give “The 15:17 to Paris” a “C-.”

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TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2017 WESTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY

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A6

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2018 WESTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY

PHOTO

SILAS WALKER • HERALD

The Lone Star Rodeo came to Bowling Green featuring more than six events, including bareback bronc riding and bull riding. Competitors who won in Bowling Green qualified for the Lone Star National Rodeo.

ALONG FOR THE RIDE Annual rodeo comes to Bowling Green BY LYDIA SCHWEICKART HERALD.PHOTO@WKU.EDU

Bowling Green held its 36th annual Lone Star Rodeo this past weekend at the Agricultural Exposition Center. The contest included bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, cowgirl’s breakaway roping, team roping, cowgirl’s barrel racing and brahma bull riding. The rodeo also featured fancy trick riding by Jessica Fowlkes and

10-year-old Oralee Madison. Performers had to pay a $65 entry fee in the hopes of winning cash prizes for each event category. The highest amount awarded at the Rodeo was $1,135 to Kenzley Wilson, for first place in barrel racing. There were other attractions at the event, including a bestdressed contest and gold rush for ages 10 and under. Mighty Mike Wentworth performed as the clown throughout the rodeo, adding comedic elements to each event.

LYDIA SCHWEICKART • HERALD

John Beckwith of Athens, Ala., competes in the calf roping event during the Lone Star Rodeo on Sunday. This was Bowling Green’s 36th annual rodeo, held at the Western Kentucky Agricultural Exposition Center.

SILAS WALKER • HERALD

A cowboy prepares to ride out into the middle of the Agricultural Exposition Center on Sunday during the Lone Star Rodeo. The rodeo featured more than 6 events including bareback bronc riding and bull riding. Competitors who won in Bowling Green qualified for the Lone Star National Rodeo.

SILAS WALKER • HERALD

SILAS WALKER • HERALD

Ten-year-old trick rider Oralee Madison bows and holds the American flag and bows her head as the national anthem plays before the beginning of the Lone Star Rodeo at the Agricultural Exposition Center. “You won’t see any of our athletes kneeling in front of Old Glory here,” the announcer said before the national anthem was played.

Katie Deckard of Murray, KY. races across the Agricultural Exposition Center during the Lone Star Rodeo on Sunday. Barrel riding combines the athletic ability of the horses and the skills of the rider to maneuver around barrels in an arena.


B1

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2018 WESTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY

SPORTS Signee Banton plays in Bowling Green Tournament BY ALEC JESSIE HERALD.SPORTST@WKU.EDU

in Saturday night’s win. “I thought it loosened us up by playing quick,” Stansbury said.“Normally we pass it inside to get people in foul trouble. We attacked it off the bounce and got in the double bonus early. We shot 31 free throws in the second half and 39 for the game. That’s a huge stat and it’s because we were smaller attacking the rim.” Despite not starting the game, Bearden took on a bigger role than

The top-ranked WKU signee for the 2018 class took his talents to the hardwood in Bowling Green for the first time last weekend as four-star guard Dalano Banton played in the Wes Strader Schoolboy Classic. Banton, a 6-foot-6 point guard from Troy, New York, was the marquee player at the third annual Wes Strader Classic, hosted by Warren Central High School. Banton very much enjoyed the atmosphere and the opportunity to play in front of Hilltopper fans for the first time. “This is a very good environment,” Banton said. “A lot of people came out. I really like the environment for it just being a high school game.” While Banton’s Redemption Christian Academy fell to Cooper High School 75-60, Banton gave the Bowling Green community a taste of what he can do with the ball in his hands. He spread his production all over the stat sheet, tallying 17 points, nine rebounds, five assists and three steals. Banton is taller than most point guards, and he thinks his abnormal height gives him an edge over his competition. That height advantage showed during Saturday’s strong performance. “It causes a lot of mismatches for other point guards,” Banton said. “I can see over the defense, so it allows me to make better passes and better plays.” Previously a part of the 2019 class, Banton reclassified up a year in order to get to the collegiate level earlier. He said the transition has been smooth and it has made him a better player, beyond just his basketball skills. “Now being a leader, my

SEE MBB • PAGE B2

SEE DALANO BANTON • PAGE B2

SILAS WALKER • HERALD

Freshman guard Taveion Hollingsworth (13) passes to senior Justin Johnson (23) during WKU’s game vs. Florida Atlantic in Diddle Arena on Thursday, Feb 8. Hollingsworth scored the most points on the team and played 37 minutes.

SMALL BALL

Hilltopper guards shine in smaller lineup

BY SAM PORTER HERALD.SPORTS@WKU.EDU

The WKU men’s basketball team took care of business on Saturday night, handling Florida International University 74-63 in Diddle Arena. But the win came with a bit of a different look. Graduate transfer forward Dwight Coleby left the game early with an apparent leg injury which left senior forward Justin Johnson as

the only true post player on the floor for the majority of the game. In Coleby’s absence, the Hilltoppers revealed a four guard lineup featuring graduate transfer guard Darius Thompson, junior guard Lamonte Bearden and freshman guards Taveion Hollingsworth and Josh Anderson. Despite not having Coleby in the game, head coach Rick Stansbury believes having four guards on the floor helped WKU get to the free throw line. The Hilltoppers shot 39 free throws compared to FIU’s 10

Lady Toppers no longer control own destiny in C-USA BY TORY BOWLING HERALD.SPORTS@WKU.EDU

WKU women’s basketball dropped its second Conference USA game of the year on Saturday night with a 73-58 loss to Rice University. The loss knocked the Lady Toppers out of first place in the C-USA standings. The Lady Toppers (18-6 overall, 9-2 C-USA) took a two-point lead into the second quarter, but were outscored in each of the final three quarters of the game, including the Owls going on an 18-9 run in the fourth quarter to secure the victory. Ivy Brown recorded her 30th career double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds, and Tashia Brown led all scorers with 23 points, but those two efforts were not enough to overcome Rice’s 52.8 percent shooting. The Lady Toppers shot just 33.3 percent for the game, including Tashia Brown

going just 7-for-22 en route to her 23 point performance. The loss pushed WKU back to second in the C-USA standings at 9-2, behind 9-1 University of Alabama-Birmingham. The Lady Toppers no longer control their own destiny in the regular season C-USA race. In order to regain at least a share of the conference title, WKU will need UAB to drop at least one of its last six games. Success on the road will be key, as WKU must play three of its final five games on the road, including Thursday’s trip to Murfreesboro, Tennessee to take on Middle Tennessee State University. The road tests have been a weak point this year, as WKU is just 4-4 when playing away from Diddle Arena. MTSU is 8-4 this season at home, including losing its last home game against Louisiana Tech University. WKU will travel to the University

HANNAH LEBOEUF • HERALD

Senior forward Tashia Brown shoots a free throw in the Lady Toppers’ game against Old Dominion on Feb. 8 at Diddle Arena. Brown led WKU with 23 points for a final score of 62-48.

SEE WBB • PAGE B2

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B2 SPORTS MBB CONTINUED FROM PAGE B1

usual in Saturday’s win. The former Buffalo Bull played more at the point guard position, which is where Thompson usually plays. Bearden scored 15 points and dished out four assists. He didn’t turn the ball over once from the point guard position. “Before the game, Darius told me I was going to be playing the one a little bit more tonight,” Bearden said. “I just took on the challenge and came ready to play. We play a little bit faster when its not so clogged up in the lane. I think we like playing smaller.” The decision came after Thompson, the team’s leading scorer, had struggled scoring the basketball as of late. Stansbury wanted to put Thompson in a better position to score which meant moving the former Virginia guard on the wing and allowing Bearden to run the offense. Thompson scored 18 points after not even breaking double figures the previous three games. “It’s been a long time since Darius scored good points for us,” Stansbury said. “We’ve always said, when Darius scores, that’s when we’re at our best. That’s why we wanted to get him off that point, but to do that you have to get Lamonte under control. Tonight, we had him under control.” For the first time since his

WBB CONTINUED FROM PAGE B1

of Southern Mississippi on March 1. Southern Miss is 10-3 at home this season, but lost its most recent home game to Old Dominion University. WKU will hit the road to play its last game against the University of Texas-El Paso. The Miners are 7-4 on the season at home and lost their latest home game to LA Tech. The Lady Toppers will get an average of three days off before each of their final five games. That is a positive compared to

DALANO BANTON CONTINUED FROM PAGE B1

confidence level is up,” Banton said. “And having to lead a team helped me a lot. Knowing I’m going to college next year pushes me to produce as much as I can during my last high school season.” According to the 247 Sports industry rankings, Banton is a four-star player and a top-100 recruit. But instead of waiting for high-major schools to recruit him, Banton signed in November with the Hilltoppers. He attributed a similar timeline both he and WKU had as a major factor in why he signed with

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2018 WESTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY

debut at Marshall back in January, Anderson gave WKU very valuable minutes. The former four-star recruit made his second consecutive start and made the most of it, scoring 13 points and grabbing nine rebounds while playing a career-high 29 minutes. With the Hilltoppers holding on to a 64-61 lead with 5:23 to play, Anderson’s putback slam as well as two free throws down the stretch helped WKU pull away from the Golden Panthers and remain tied for second place in Conference USA. “It felt good playing 29 minutes and getting some more reps in,” Anderson said. “I’m learning a lot from the upperclassmen. They talk to me a lot and tell me what I need to do better. Just being able to watch them with their experience and stuff, I just try to soak it all in.” With six games remaining in the regular season, expect to see personnel similar to this past Saturday, especially if Coleby isn’t healthy. As of now, WKU sits at 18-7 (10-2 C-USA) and is tied for second place with Old Dominion. The Hilltoppers travel to Denton, Texas to take on North Texas University on Saturday at 8 p.m.

Sports Reporter Sam Porter can be eached at 270-799-8247 and sam. porter270@gmail.com Follow him on Twitter at @SammyP14.

Redshirt junior Lamonte Bearden lays up the ball after a break-away steal during WKU’s game vs. Florida Atlantic in Diddle Arena on Thursday, Feb. 8. Bearden scored 5 points and played 25 minutes of the game.

UAB’s remaining schedule, as the Blazers must play six games down the stretch, including also having to play two road games to finish out the season at North Texas University and University of TexasSan Antonio. The Blazers are set to begin a four-game home stand starting this Wednesday, but each of the four games will be against teams slotted just under UAB and WKU in the C-USA standings. Rice (third), MTSU (fourth), Charlotte (fifth) and LA Tech (sixth) are slotted 3-6 in the conference standings, so UAB will get tested at home before heading out of town

to finish the season. Cheryl Miller Award candidate Tashia Brown is likely to have a major impact on WKU’s shot at a regular season conference title. Brown is averaging 23.2 points per game this season, a conference best, and has 19 20 point games this season, including six in a row. WKU is 16-3 this season when she scores 20 or more points, compared to 2-3 when she scores less than 20. The Lady Toppers are also 3-0 in Brown’s 30+ point games. Brown’s scoring efficiency has been another key factor in WKU’s success. In WKU wins

the school. “We had the same time frame,” Banton said. “Everyone thinks staying in high school another year is the best way to prepare for college basketball. But I felt if I go 2018 and go into college, I’ll be getting high level training I need in order to get my body right.” Banton believes the pace that this year’s Hilltoppers play with is a strong fit for how he runs a team as a point guard. “They like to play fast as well and move the ball,” Banton said. “I think that’s a good fit for me. From passing the ball, getting everyone involved,

also trying to score for myself, it all plays into my versatility. I think they can help me use my strengths and limit my weaknesses.” While Banton is a very talented player, he knows there is much to improve on, and the reclassification to 2018 will present some obstacles along the way. “One of my weaknesses is trying to keep shorter, faster players out of the lane,” Banton said. “I want to try to contest every shot at the backboard. I also want to work on my jump shot and getting that more consistent.” Banton visited WKU later on

SILAS WALKER • HERALD

this season, she is shooting 44.6 percent from the field. In games WKU has lost this season, that number is just 33.3 percent. UAB will begin its four-game homestand by hosting Rice this Thursday night, the same time the Lady Toppers will look to start another winning streak when they take on MTSU in Murfreesboro.

Sports Reporter Tory Bowling can be reached at tory.bowling437@ topper.wku.edu. Follow them on Twitter @tory_bowling24.

Saturday and was in Diddle Arena for the Hilltoppers’ win against Florida International University. Banton and RCA played a second game in-state against Monroe County High School. RCA won 8976.

Sports reporter Alec Jessie can be reached at 502-648-7190 and alec.jessie226@topper.wku.edu. Follow Alec on Twitter at @Alec_ Jessie.

CHRIS KOHLEY • HERALD

WKU basketball signee Dalano Banton of Redemption Christian Academy appeared at Warren Central High School playing in the Wes Strader Schoolboy Classic at Warren Central High School on Satuday. Banton is rated as a four-star prospect by rivals.com and 247Sports.


SPORTS B3

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2018 WESTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY

Lady Toppers start season 3-1 thanks to strong offense BY CASEY MCCARTHY HERALD.SPORTS@WKU.EDU

The WKU softball team finished off an impressive weekend at the Gardner-Webb University Tournament, with a pair of offensive outpourings Saturday that helped the Lady Toppers start the season 3-1. WKU had 46 hits, 18 for extra bases, in the first weekend with a .365 team batting average. WKU’s four triples accumulated surpasses their total of three from last season. The team has generated 38 runs off its increased production. “We are getting a lot of contributions from a variety of players in a lot of different ways,” head coach Amy Tudor said in a WKU press release. “Defensively, we had two mishaps but made some phenomenal plays as well. It didn’t hurt us because we had ample run support.” Freshman Maddie Bowlds began her WKU career in impressive fashion, finishing the weekend going 7-for-10 at the plate, including a double, a triple, two RBI and a stolen base. Bowlds’ seven hits leads the Lady Toppers on the season after the weekend. Bowlds was 4-for-4 in her collegiate debut before being called out on her fifth at bat for stepping out of the box. Freshman Shelby Nunn (3-1) collected every decision in the circle for WKU on the weekend. “Nunn showed a few different look from the mound today, which resulted in more strikeouts - she was impressive,” Tudor said. WKU defeated Hampton University in game one, 7-6 in eight innings. Freshman Jordan Thomas kicked off the 2018 campaign with a free base to set up an RBI double by Bowlds to put WKU ahead. Junior Rebekah Engelhardt opened the second with a double, before transfer Junior Jordan Vorbrink brought Engelhardt home to double the lead. Thomas doubled in the second to bring home Vorbrink before Bowlds brought her home for her second run of the day on an

RBI triple to cap a four-run inning. Engelhardt hit her first home run of the season, the sixth of her career, in the third, before Hampton responded in the bottom of the frame with a three-run home run. WKU pushed the margin back to three in the fourth after senior Brittany Vaughn plated Bowlds on a RBI single. Hampton evened the score in the seventh before the Lady Toppers’ first double play of the season helped send the game to extra innings. Vorbrink plated Engelhardt, who started on second base with the international tiebreaker rule in place, after the runner made it to third on a wild pitch. Nunn came to the mound in the eighth to pick up her first win in her debut. Sophomore Haley Towers got the start, pitching three innings with two strikeouts before being relieved by fellow sophomore Kelsey Aikey, who pitched the next three innings with five strikeouts. WKU dropped the second game against Gardner-Webb University by a score of 5-4. WKU’s second game of the day was back-and-forth with four lead changes total. WKU again got on the board first in the second inning as junior Kelsey McGuffin found the plate when sophomore Morgan McElroy reached on an error. Bowlds scored in the third, coming home on a double from fellow freshman Kendall Smith after her sixth hit of the day. Host team GWU retaliated with three runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 3-2 lead into the fourth. WKU got on the board again in the sixth. Jordan Vorbrink had her second goahead hit of the day, a single with the bases loaded that brought Englehardt and sophomore Tommi Stowers across the plate, giving WKU a 4-3 advantage. GWU responded in the sixth with two runs in the bottom of the inning on three hits, including a double, to secure the victory. Shelby Nunn was on the hook for the loss in a complete game effort. She notched four strikeouts. Coach Tudor said the team’s ability to attack the opposing pitcher early helped the team produce runs.

NIC HUEY • HERALD

WKU infielder Brittany Vaughn (5) collides with University of Alabama - Birmingham catcher Olivia Black (44) during the Lady Toppers’ 7-3 win on April 1, 2017 at the WKU Softball Complex.

“If we’re able to carry on this approach, we will put ourselves in a position to continue to be productive offensively, which will in turn help our young pitching staff,” Tudor said in a press release. “All in all, we had a lot of good things happen today that will aid us down the road. WKU run-ruled Youngstown State University in game three of the weekend, winning 17-6 in five innings. The Lady Toppers never trailed against YSU. Freshman Kendall Smith hit her first collegiate home run to give WKU a 3-0 advantage early. The Lady Toppers added two more runs in the second to push the lead to 5-0. The Lady Toppers sent 11 batters to the plate in the third, scoring seven runs on three hits and four errors. A two-run home run by the Penguins in the bottom of the inning left the score 12-2. A trio of RBI in the fourth pushed the lead again, before YSU added a tally to make it 15-3. The Lady Toppers closed the game the next inning securing an 11-run margin of

victory, its largest since defeating FIU 11-0 in 2015. WKU then beat HU for the second time in a 10-2 game that only went six innings and ended on a run rule walk-off. The Lady Toppers held Hampton scoreless up until the fifth frame. The Lady Toppers broke a scoreless tie in the third with a five run barrage, including RBI from Smith, Vaughn, and Stowers. The team scored two runs in the next two innings, before Tommi Stowers brought Cassidy Blackford home to end the game in the bottom of the sixth. Stowers has had WKU’s first walk-off hit in each of the last two seasons. Nunn tossed her best game as a Hilltopper, carrying a no-hitter into the top of the fifth, with 11 strikeouts. WKU’s final game of the weekend against HU was canceled. WKU has another five-game slate ahead starting Friday in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Reporter Casey McCarthy can be reached at (270)-929-7795 and casey.mccarthy573@topper.wku.edu.

Track and Field wraps up indoor season at Vanderbilt BY ALEC JESSIE HERALD.SPORTS@WKU.EDU

The WKU track and field squad closed its indoor season with the Music City Challenge this last weekend at Vanderbilt University, where the team made 32 changes to its top-five lists. The men accounted for 18 of the revisions to the season top-five ranks while the women accounted for the other 14. Head coach Erik Jenkins said he liked the improvement his team made through the last indoor meet. “We saw some good things happen this weekend at Vanderbilt,” Jenkins said in a press release. “I was pleased with the continued progress our team has made through this indoor season.”

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On the women’s side, the Lady Toppers had strong finishes on the track. Juannae Lewis ran a time of 25.65 seconds in the 200-meter, grabbing a season top-five finish. Ariel Terrell, Aairiona Hayden-Ransom, and Rebecca Cook all had season top-five finishes in the 400-meter. Savannah Ames got a personal best finish in the 800-meter, finishing with a time of 2 minutes, 15 seconds and 24 tenths of a second. The Lady Toppers 4x400 relay team got their second-best finish of the season, with a mark of 3:47.96. Morgan McIntyre continued her pole vaulting dominance. She cleared a 3.79 meter mark for the fourth-best pole vault of the season for WKU. Adarian Gray and Kira Harmon notched a couple of changes to the season top-five lists in the shot put and weight throw. Gray threw 7.69 meters and Harmon

threw 7.53 meters. Track events were a success for the men’s team as well. Austin Hayes and Will Bush both notched season top-five finishes in the 60-meter dash, running 6.93 and 6.94 respectfully. Hayes also got a personal best and WKU’s second-fastest finish in the 200-meter dash, running a 21.53 clip. Oliver Alexandre, Charles Shimukowa and Maor Seged also posted changes to the season top-five list in the 400-meter dash. In the mile run, Julien Cuyeu notched the Hilltoppers best mark of the year, finishing it in 4:20.80. Jonathan Hayden shot up the record books with a 7.97 finish in the 60-meter hurdles. Not only was it a personal best, it ranks third all-time in the WKU indoor record books. Both the A and B units for the men’s 4x400 relay set season-best marks. The A

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unit clocked a 3:08.46 finish, which ranks third all-time in the WKU indoor record books. The B unit ran a 3:15.07, which is their second-best finish of the season. In the field events, Chard Muhwanga tallied a pair of revisions to the season-best list. He did in in shot put, with a 12.77-meter throw, and in weight throw, with a 13.61-meter throw. Both Hilltopper squads will travel south yet again this upcoming weekend to Birmingham, Alabama. This match will be of greater importance, as both squads look to place well in the C-USA Indoor Championship. Last year, the men’s team was the runner-up and the women’s team placed fifth.

Sports reporter Alec Jessie can be reached at 502-648-7190 and alec.jessie226@topper.wku.edu. Follow Alec on Twitter at @Alec_Jessie.

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B4 SPORTS

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2018 WESTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY

Recruiting improvement shows after signing day quarterback position. You want your quarterback to be the leader of your football team and certainly you want him to be the leader of your class.” WKU’s 2018 class draws from nine WKU football completed a historic states, including 10 players from Georgia signing day last week as the Hilltoppers and six from Florida. got 10 new signees and climbed to their The 2017 class drew from eight states highest-ranked recruiting class in school and also drew heavily from the deep history. south, with 10 players from Georgia and WKU’s 2018 class ranks No. 81 in four from Florida. the nation by 247 Sports, currently the “We’re going to be back into Florischool’s highest ever as it surpasses da deep, getting great players,” Sanford 2017’s 82nd-ranked class. said. “We’ve got to be in Florida. Georgia Head coach Mike Sanford was able to continues to be a huge part of what we improve upon last season’s recruiting do. Two years in a row we’ve added quite class, which included players originally a few players from the great state of Georrecruited by the Hilltoppers’ previous gia.” head coach Jeff Brohm who left for PurSanford was able to greatly increase due and took several players with him. the caliber of recruits for 2018 over 2017 “After this past season we had to get with seventeen three-star or higher ratback to the drawing board in terms of ed players signing with the Hilltoppers, just continuing to enhance this roster a huge improvement over 2017, when and make this roster better and better WKU signed only nine three-star reevery single year,” Sanford said during cruits. his press conference on National SignBrohm signed nine three-stars in 2014, ing Day. “I think we were five in 2015 and eight able to achieve that.” in 2016, giving him a The 2018 class ranks total of 22. Sanford has fifth in Conference USA signed 25 three-star or by 247Sports, which better recruits in his first eclipses the 2017 class two recruiting classes. on a national scale, but Brohm’s recruiting falls one spot behind it classes relied more on the conference scale. heavily on players from Sanford’s first two reKentucky than Sanford KEVARIS THOMAS cruiting class rankings has so far. Only one have improved on those signee of this year’s of Brohm, who in his first class comes from the QB 6’3/230 LBS. two years had his classes Commonwealth, plus LAKELAND, FLORIDA ranked 88th and 111th one grey shirt. The 2017 by 247. Brohm’s final reclass featured just two cruiting class was ranked Kentucky signees. 101st. Brohm’s classes featured six from Ken2018’s class is helped by the first four- tucky in his 2016 group, nine in 2015 and star recruit in WKU football history, Kev- 10 in 2014. aris Thomas, a 6-foot-4-inch, 220-pound “From our home state, I feel like we’re quarterback from Lakeland High School ongoing with putting our class togethin Lakeland, Florida. Thomas is a du- er,” Sanford said. “With the acquisition al-threat quarterback who comes to WKU of grey shirts, who we can’t comment on after turning down offers from Colorado at this time, and we had an unbelievable State University, Florida Atlantic Univer- weekend of preferred walk-ons that came sity and Florida International University, in, we want to get the best players from among other schools. the state on our team.” “That’s where you want it to start,” Dalvin Smith from Glasgow, Kentucky, Sanford said of getting a four-star quar- signed as a grey shirt prospect Thursday. terback. “You want it to start with your Per the rules of a grey shirt commitment, BY MATT STAHL HERALD.SPORTS@WKU.EDU

Player Name, 247 Sports Composite Star-Ranking, Pos., Ht., Wt., Hometown, State

GINO APPLEBERRY

RB

5’8/183 LBS.

FAIRBURN, GEORGIA

DEVIN BELL

WDE 6’5/235 LBS.

GOSHEN, ALABAMA

SHANNON BISHOP

CB

5’9/ 160 LBS.

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY

ARTHUR BRATHWAITE

S

6’0/180 LBS.

MIAMI, FLORIDA

GUNNER BRITTON

OT

6’6/275 LBS.

CONWAY, SOUTH CAROLINA

MASON BROOKS

OT

6’5/255 LBS

CEDAR PARK, TEXAS

RUSSELL BROWN

WR

6’3/ 180 LBS.

LEHIGH ACRES, FLORIDA

AVONTA “BJ” CRIM

S

6’0/195 LBS.

OCALA, FLORIDA

SPENCER GADDIS

WR

6’0/165 LBS.

ALPHARETTA, GEORGIA

JAY GIBSON

TE

6’5/235 LBS

CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE

GARLAND LAFRANCE

RB

5’9/169 LBS.

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA

TRE LESLIE

ILB

6’0/210 LBS.

TUCKER, GEORGIA

CARDAVION MYERS

CB

6’0/175 LBS.

PIEDMONT, ALABAMA

MALIK OCCIUR

S

5’11/189 LBS.

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA

JAYDEN PATTERSON

CB

6’0/185 LBS.

LAWRENCEVILLE, GEORGIA

DEPORESS SCHLETTY

DT

6’2/275 LBS.

ALPHARETTA, GEORGIA

ANTHONY SPURLOCK

WR

6’1/160 LBS

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA

NAZIR SY

DT

6’2/326 LBS.

NORCROSS, GEORGIA

LICHON TERRELL

DT

6’2/260 LBS.

HOGANSVILLE, GEORGIA

KEVARIS THOMAS

QB

6’3/230 LBS.

LAKELAND, FLORIDA

TREY URQUHART

OLB

6’1/210 LBS.

KENNESAW, GEORGIA

KAWAN WILLIAMS

WR

6’0/174 LBS.

SAVANNAH, GEORGIA

MARIO WRIGHT

ILB

6’2/205 LBS.

FLOSSMOOR, ILLINOIS

GRAPHIC BY ALEXUS SMITH • HERALD

he’ll have five years to complete his four years of eligibility after his initial enrollment, which will be in the second term of his freshman year. WKU football opens its season in the fall against University of Wisconsin Aug. 31.

Reporter Matt Stahl can be reached at 615-681-7372 and matthew.stahl551@ topper.wku.edu Follow him on Twitter at @mattstahl97.

DOWN TO THE WIRE

Free throw shooting has been Hilltoppers’ key HERALD.SPORTS@WKU.EDU

The WKU basketball team has shown marked improvement in many aspects as they’ve put together one of the team’s best seasons in recent years. One of the more under-the-radar aspects of success this season has been the Hilltoppers’ ability to get to the free-throw line. Through 25 games this season, WKU has shot more free throws than its opponent 19 times. They are 16-3 in those 19 games. But it’s not just that WKU is getting to the line more than its opponent, it’s that the Hilltoppers’ advantage in free throws attempted has been eye-popping several times this year. WKU has had 13 games this season in which it made more free throws than its opponent even attempted. The Hilltoppers are 11-2 in those games. Only once this season has another team done

that to the Hilltoppers, as Ohio University went 31-of-35 from the foul line in an 89-84 win over the Hilltoppers, who went 15-of-24 from the line. “Huge stat as always, make more free throws than the opponent shoots,” head coach Rick Stansbury said after WKU’s win over Marshall Jan. 27. “We had 20, I think they attempted ... 14. Huge stat.” The sheer number of free throws attempted by WKU has helped make up for the fact that the Hilltoppers are in the bottom third of the nation in free throw percentage. They rank 45th in the nation in free throw attempts, but 244th in percentage. And even in losses, WKU’s ability to get to the free-throw line has helped them compete. In WKU’s loss to Middle Tennessee State University Jan. 20, WKU got outshot from the field and lost the turnover battle, but kept the losing margin to just four points thanks to going 25-of-31 from the foul line, while MTSU went 14-of-16.

WKU’s last outing against Florida International University was the team’s best of the season in terms of its ability to get to the line. The Hilltoppers went 28-of-39 from the foul line, while FIU went 8-of-10. That game was the second in a row in which Stansbury went to a smaller lineup, playing most of the game with four guards. The guards spaced the floor and created more driving lanes, which Stansbury said led to more fouls. “With our ability to spread the floor, we’re able to attack that rim off the dribble and not the pass,” Stansbury said after the game. “We got into that double-bonus early, and we shoot 31 free throws the second half, 39 for the game. That’s a huge stat.” Junior guard Lamonte Bearden said the speed advantage WKU has when it plays small helps to get that free throw advantage. “We’re playing faster, so, I mean their four guy is not going to be able to guard

Darius [Thompson] usually, so yeah we just try to attack,” Bearden said. “That’s our goal, get to the free-throw line, shoot more free throws than the other team.” That speed advantage that the guards have has helped Bearden attempt a team-high 109 free throws and shoot a team-best 82.6 percent from the foul line. Part of the reason why WKU ran a four guard lineup so heavily was because graduate transfer forward Dwight Coleby left the FIU game with a knee injury. Stansbury said afterward that the team thinks Coleby is OK. Whether the Hilltoppers will play a four guard lineup more often may depend on Coleby’s status going forward, but playing small certainly gets WKU to the line more often.

Sports editor Jeremy Chisenhall can be reached at 859-760-0198 and jeremy. chisenhall921@topper.wku.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @JSChisenhall.

2017-2018 WKU Cultural Enhancement Series presents

DR. PAUL ALAN COX Ethnobotany and the Search for New ALS & Alzheimer's Drugs in Remote Villages

l Rea V

BY JEREMY CHISENHALL

Meet the "Most interesting Man in the World!"

February 13, 2018 Open Q&A Session: 1:00 p.m. Snell Hall 1108

Keynote: 7:30 p.m. Van Meter Hall

FREE ADMISSION. Swipeable Event. Books will be available for signing at 7:30pm event only.

www.wku.edu/go/ces


C1 LIFE

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2018 WESTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY

LIFE

‘HAVE A VISION’ Photojournalist dedicates himself to telling stories of Bosnia, creates documentary

BY SILLE VEILMARK

HERALD.FEATURES@WKU.EDU

In 1992, the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina erupted, and photojoutrnalist Roger M. Richards decided to cover the siege of Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia. The war lasted for four years, but Richards dedicated himself to telling the stories of the Bosnian people, and for 26 years he has been back and forth. His final product, the cinematic documentary “Sarajevo Roses,” was screened in Jody Richards Hall on Jan. 31. “Oh my god, I have entered hell itself,” Richards said he remembered thinking as he arrived in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo one day after the national library was attacked and set on fire in August 1992. “You could see the smoke rising,” he said. “Buildings were burning and it felt like driving into hell. The street was completely deserted and in the air, where there’s usually a sound of bustling activity, there was nothing. It was dead quiet besides gunshots and explosions.” Beginning in 1991, Yugoslavia dissolved. National conflicts between Serbia and the rest of the Republic led to the removal of Slovenia, Macedonia, Croatia and Bosnia. The war in Bosnia broke out in 1992, after the country declared its independence,

and the siege of Sarajevo began with a sniper attack on a peace demonstration in April 1992. It was a war between the country’s ethnic groups: Bosnian Serbs, Croats and Muslims. For four years, the groups fought in different alliances and with support from troops and weapons from Serbia and Croatia. Richards lived in Florida at that time. He was 30 years old and as a photojournalist, he had previously covered conflicts such as the U.S. invasion of Panama, the civil wars in Nicaragua and El Salvador and had the experience of maneuvering around in war zones. As he visited his mother in Spain, he had gotten so curious about Sarajevo that he decided to go. For 26 years, he dedicated himself to the story of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Richards said he’s lost track of how many times he went to Bosnia throughout those 26 years. “It overcomes you,” Richards said. “You realize there’s a certain point where it becomes personal. You realize certain abilities and obligations. I learned that I could function when everything was going crazy around me, and that I had the ability to find my core purposes for being a photojournalist. You either walk away, or you jump all the way in. And I decided on the SEE BOSNIA • PAGE C2

SILLE VEILMARKT • HERALD

Photojournalist Roger M. Richards decided to cover the siege of the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo in 1992, but ended up spending 26 years telling the story of the Bosnian War. His cinematic essay “Sarajevo Roses” is currently in limited screening, and was presented at WKU on Jan. 31.

Super Saturdays offers classes for gifted students BY SARAH YAACOUB HERALD.FEATURES@WKU.EDU

“Those are the eggs,” said sevenyear-old Emma, a student in the Super Saturdays Learning with Legos class. She pointed to one of the corners of her Lego board, where she had constructed a set of yellow rectangles built in the likeness of ladybug eggs. This was the first stage of a ladybug’s life cycle, which the Legos students were studying and attempting to recreate with the brightly-colored plastic blocks. While many children were at home enjoying the weekend, hundreds of students in first through eighth grades sat in classrooms across WKU’s campus, preparing for lessons and handson activities. The first Saturday of this month, Feb. 3, was the first Saturday of the fourweek winter Super Saturdays event

series during which gifted and talented students come to WKU and take a class of their choosing focused on an area that interests them. The event will take place again Feb. 17 and Feb. 24. This season, topics for classes range from bridge-building to musical theatre, and many of them center around things children don’t typically learn in grade school. Julia Roberts, executive director of The Center for Gifted Studies, said the Super Saturdays program has been in operation for about 25 years. The Center, which Roberts founded 37 years ago, hosts Super Saturdays semiannually and exists to serve gifted students, their parents and their educators. This year’s winter courses consists of 25 classes taught by a variety of instructors. Some are public school teachers with training in gifted education, some are WKU faculty and others SEE SUPER SATURDAYS • PAGE C2

CHRIS KOHLEY • HERALD

Nevaan Chandak (left), 7, Nora McCutcheon (center), 6, and Angelina Goulbourne (right), 7, play a game of dominos in Super Saturdays Master Mathematicians course in the Honors College & International Center. The course was designed for grades 1-2 to “explore fun and challenging games, puzzles, and exciting missions.”

Six movies to watch and love on Valentine’s Day BY LAUREL DEPPEN HERALD.FEATURES@WKU.EDU

Whether you’re single, in a relationship or in a more complicated situation this Valentine’s Day, watching a movie can be the perfect way to spend your evening. Finding the perfect movie can be a challenge, so here are some recommendations for you to consider, depending on how you feel about the holiday. If you love love but you’re single,

watch “Love Actually.” Though it is usually more of a Christmas movie, the 2003 romantic comedy is perfect for you because it showcases many different types of love. Whether it’s between siblings, friends, family, coworkers or couples, love is a key part of the human condition, and “Love Actually” is a celebration of it. There’s some heartbreak, but there are plenty of sweet moments. As a bonus, Mr. Bean is in it, along with some of your favorite “Walking Dead” and “Harry Potter” characters. If you claim you’re just friends with

someone and don’t want anything serious, watch “500 Days of Summer.” The movie perfectly captures both the excitement and frustration of early relationships and the bitterness of having your heart broken because you weren’t on the same page as someone. With a soundtrack featuring some token hipster artists like The Smiths and Regina Spektor, “500 Days of Summer” is funny, poignant and will definitely make you think. For the serious, long-term relationship folks, watch “The Notebook.” I’ve personally never seen it because I’m a

cynic, but I hear that it’s good. If you don’t want to watch a movie about love, watch “The Social Network.” If you don’t really dig the whole love thing and just want to listen to smart people argue instead of watching a Valentine’s Day movie, “The Social Network” is the way to go. Keep your mind off of the Valentine’s Day stuff and ponder other questions. Does power destroy friendship? Did Mark Zuckerberg aide in Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election? Does SEE VALENTINE’S DAY • PAGE C2


C2 LIFE

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2018 WESTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY

SUPER SATURDAYS CONTINUED FROM PAGE C1

are people with a passion for teaching and a particular expertise for the subject they teach. Renee Hale is the school media librarian at Warren County’s Drakes Creek Middle School, and she has taught the Learning with Legos class for the past five years. She said the environment at Super Saturdays differs from that of traditional classes, and she appreciates the freedom she has in planning the lessons. “It’s fun to work with students more creatively than in a school setting,” she said. “A school environment has more standards, so the option to teach in a more creative way is limited.” Super Saturdays instructors are given more freedom in their classrooms because there is no state-mandated set of curricula to cover. Roberts said the subjects typically offered encompass art, science,

BOSNIA CONTINUED FROM PAGE C1 last thing.” Getting films shipped out in a conflict zone was a difficulty Richards faced in the beginning of the 1990s. He said making satellite phone calls and finding strangers as couriers, hoping that your films would be developed in a different country is an extinct method of storytelling. Technology has made it easy for everyone to shoot moving pictures and stills, and you don’t have to call yourself a documentarist, a journalist or a photojournalist anymore to be able to shoot and broadcast footage, he said. The siege of the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, beginning in 1992, was the longest of the 20th century. Four years of suffering, not unlike the genocide in

VALENTINE’S DAY CONTINUED FROM PAGE C1 Armie Hammer actually have a twin? If you want love but you’re scared of it, watch “When Harry Met Sally.” It’s a sweet movie following Harry and Sally, two friends navigating the dating scene while maintaining their platonic

CHRIS KOHLEY • HERALD

Kendall Lambert, 8, puts together a structure of legos in Super Saturdays Learning With Legos course in Gary Ransdell Hall on Saturday. Super Saturdays is a four-week program hosted by the WKU Center for Gifted Studies in the fall and winter for grades one thorugh eight.

would be difficult to come by in most school course catalogs, while others, like Crazy for Coding, may cover subject matter that may be taught, but normally much later than third or fourth grade. Over the years, Super Saturdays has expanded to match the needs of a growing student population. “We started smaller, adding classes to meet the demand,” Roberts said. She said the Center now partners with WKU’s art department and the Kentucky Science Center in Louisville to offer a wider variety of opportunities for its students. “It engages children in learning something that isn’t offered in schools and builds interest in a content area,” she said. The program may have gotten bigger, but the aim of the classes remains the same.

Features reporter Sarah Yaacoub can be reached at 270-745-6291 and sarah. yaacoub214@topper.wku.edu. Follow her on Twitter at @SarahYaacoub1.

language arts and problem-solving, sometimes even blending areas and

blurring the lines between disciplines. Some classes, like Zombie Science,

Rwanda, the war in Bosnia triggered the worst mass killings of civilians in Europe since the Holocaust in World War II. The 1990s were full of conflicts. There were 500,000 casualties since the Somali Civil War in 1991, and the number of casualties in the genocide of Rwanda in 1994 was nearly 1 million. During the siege of Sarajevo, hundreds of thousands of artillery and mortar were fired into the city from the surrounding hills. As each exploded, it left a crater in concrete resembling a flower. Citizens painted the craters red and called them “Sarajevo roses.” The following is a brief question and answer session with Richards on his documentary. Some answers have been condensed for space and clarity. Q: Why did you choose to cover the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina?

Shouldn’t people care about Rwanda and Somalia as well? Richards: It is a personal decision. You get committed. I think what happened in Bosnia proved that civilization is a fragile thing. Our modern world, everything we have – that could all go away very quickly. I could identify with Bosnia. If it could happen here, it could happen anywhere in the world. Q: In a world where everyone has access to cameras, why is photojournalism still important? Richards: Photojournalism is to communicate. To have a vision. To get other people to grasp. People can shoot beautiful pictures, and they edit it and put music on it and call it a film. But that’s no story. There has to be a point to it. If people don’t get the point, there’s no communication. Q: What is it you want to communicate?

Richards: The main thing is to see that civilization is fragile. And how to treat each other will determine how things will end out. It does not matter if it’s in Bosnia, it can happen anywhere. There’s a fine line between civilization and chaos. The film “Sarajevo Roses” is currently in limited release. The upcoming screenings will be: Feb. 20, 2018 Landmark Tivoli Cinema, 6350 Delmar Blvd, St. Louis, MO USA. March 8, 2018 Landmark Century Centre Cinema, 2828 N Clark St., Chicago, IL, USA. March 29, 2018 Celebration! Cinema Grand Rapids South, 1506 Eastport Drive SE, Grand Rapids, MI, USA.

relationship. It’s hilarious and frustrating and will leave you rooting for them the entire time you’re watching. For the most cynical of the cynics, watch “Blue Valentine.” If you haven’t heard of it, maybe you did a quick IMDb search and quickly scoffed because it looks like just another mushy romance. Oh, no. “Blue Valentine” is one of the most emotionally scarring

movies I have ever seen. It’s beautiful, intricate and it feels so real. Everything about it is raw. It documents a couple’s relationship from the very beginning to its bitter end, showing the most ugly and heartbreaking moments. It will make you think. It will probably make you cry. It will probably make you more horrified to fall in love than you already are.

For the hopeless, or not so hopeless, romantics, watch “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” This movie isn’t going to change the cinematic world, but it’s funny, cute and enjoyable.

Features reporter Sille Veilmark can be reached at 270-745-6291 and sille. baltserveilmark276@topper.wku.edu.

Features reporter Laurel Deppen can be reached at 270-745-6291 and laurel.deppen774@topper.wku.edu.

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LIFE C3

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2018 WESTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY

‘The Shape of Water’ breathes life into familiar story BY NOAH MOORE HERALD.FEATURES@WKU.EDU

As pieces of furniture whirl around in placid water until finding their place on the ground, the scene transcends from underwater to a small apartment above a movie theater in the early 1960s. The audience is introduced to a mute woman, played by Sally Hawkins in all of her Oscar-worthy glory. This is just a glimpse of the gorgeous combination of direction and cinematography coupled with stellar performances in Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water,” a modern and dark yet ironic take on “Romeo and Juliet.” The film, which just racked up 13 Academy Award nominations, is the clear frontrunner for Best Picture at this year’s awards show, and it is not without reason. The film follows Elisa Esposito, played by Hawkins, as she begins her job as a janitor at a government laboratory, which gives her exposure to some of the government’s innermost secrets. As she becomes close with a mutant humanoid amphibian and feeds it her lunch, the two develop chemistry that simply can’t be explained. The government soon finds out, and the plot un-

ravels to tear the two apart, mainly because a mutant creature and a human are not a conventional pair. The ending fuses the story’s meaning in a beautiful way that is nothing less than presumptive from del Toro. By using the audience’s perspective of Elisa to his advantage, del Toro takes the screenplay and creates an ending that is familiar yet unexpected. Each character has an ulterior motive that makes the plot seem so egocentric, yet they all possess some degree of human nature that makes it all work, even the mutant humanoid amphibian. The storyline is well thoughtout and, though it has been done before, it feels avant-garde in a sense. Standout performances include Hawkins’ performance as the main character. Her character is mute, yet she grips our hearts with her eyes and bold looks so much that we root for her unconventional love. Her performance is as deceptive as it is delighting. Richard Jenkins stands out as Giles, Esposito’s neighbor, in a dramatic yet not overbearing manner. Octavia Spencer also stands out as Zelda Delilah Fuller. The emotional backbone of the piece arrives in full force through Alexandre Desplat’s Golden Globe-winning score which emboldens the plotline without bullying the dramatic nature of the

ILLUSTRATION BY EMILY VOGLER • HERALD

piece. Each part works with the other in tandem in this film to deliver a story of simplicity enraptured in bizarreness and intrigue. “The Shape of Water” is a cinematic tour-de-force and should not be missed. Many Oscar nominees come and are forgotten years later, but this film feels as essential as water itself and has earned itself a place among Hol-

lywood’s best. Expect a big night in March for this picture, including strong chances in Best Picture, Best Director, Best Score and Best Production Design.

Features reporter Noah Moore can be reached at 270-745-6291 and noah. moore786@topper.wku.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @noah_moore18.

The history and folklore of the Kissing Bridge BY LAUREL DEPPEN HERALD.FEATURES@WKU.EDU

On top of the Hill, the Old Fort Bridge stays tucked away, but it is not overlooked. More commonly known as the Kissing Bridge, the Old Fort Bridge was built in 1925 by WKU Manual Arts Students, according to the WKU Archives. Most WKU students are aware of the legend of the Kissing Bridge. Whether it’s a story that has been told to them by friends, family or they’ve had a personal experience, the Kissing Bridge tradition is one of the university’s oldest and fondest. Though it has many variations, the general legend of the bridge is if a couple shares their first kiss on the bridge they are destined to spend the rest of their lives together. This tradition is what Ann Ferrell, a professor of folk studies, calls a perfect example of campus folklore. Ferrell explained that traditions like the Kissing Bridge are common across college campuses.

“When you have any group of people who are closely associated with each other, they develop stories [or] traditions,” she said. Ferrell said these legends are commonly passed from older generations and then from students to their peers. Many WKU alumni have a story relating to someone they’ve kissed on the bridge becoming their life partner. The most notable of these is former university president Gary Ransdell and his wife, Julie. “College is a time where you’re out in the world for the first time, exploring independence and so forth,” Ferrell said. “That sort of romance of meeting your life partner on campus and having a special ritual that you have together is part of it as well.” A “kissing spot” is a common tradition on college campuses. Ferrell commented that many campuses have a particular stone or tree that is a symbol of “true love” or “magic.” Ferrell tied this phenomenon of love found on college campuses to the mindset of young adults attending universities. “Being in college, and the excite-

“Out of nowhere, he’s on one knee asking me to marry him. I was blown away.” WKU alum KIMBY TAYLOR-PETERSON

ment of your future and the idea of meeting your forever partner—there’s magic involved in that,” Ferrell said. For one WKU couple, the magic of the Kissing Bridge extends past it—or under it, in their case. Kimby Taylor-Peterson graduated from WKU in 1992 with a double major in theatre and broadcasting. Her husband, Tom Peterson, graduated two years later with a major in advertising. Taylor-Peterson recalls having a Saturday off one August afternoon. Peterson suggested they go to Bowling Green to meet up with one of their friends. When they arrived, they had

extra time, so they went to campus. As a theatre student, Taylor-Peterson recalls spending a lot of her free time sitting on a rock under the bridge. She would study her lines and design costumes there. “That was a special place to me for reasons other than anyone else’s,” she said. The bridge was the spot where she got engaged. “Out of nowhere, he’s on one knee asking me to marry him,” she said. “I was blown away. I didn’t see it coming and I especially didn’t see something like this. There was no friend in town. He just drove two hours to do something he could have done anywhere. To this day, that was the most — probably the only — romantic thing he’s ever done.” Now, 21 years later, the pair remains happily married and recalls their time spent at WKU fondly.

Features reporter Laurel Deppen can be reached at 270-745-6291 and laurel.deppen774@topper.wku.edu.

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LIFE C4

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2018 WESTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY

WKU alumna builds art business from the ground up BY NOAH MOORE HERALD.FEATURES@WKU.EDU

WKU alumna, local glass artist and entrepreneur Elizabeth Rhodes ditched conventional studies in favor of stained glass, ceramics and making a difference through art. Rhodes moved to Bowling Green just before her senior year of high school, where she continued to take art classes. She then got accepted into Vanderbilt University, where she entered as an undeclared major. Creativity runs through her veins, but she wasn’t always so fixated on artistry as a career. “I guess a turning point in my career was when I started at Vanderbilt and decided that I needed to be doing something with my hands,” Rhodes said. “They didn’t offer any arts classes, so I registered for an extracurricular stained glass class offered to help the medical school students have a creative outlet.” Rhodes said it was from there she found her passion and her “happy place.” She transferred to WKU for its arts program with a major in studio art and an emphasis in graphic design. Some of her favorite classes at WKU included fiber arts and ceramics. Rhodes graduated from WKU in 1995 and began to build her art business, Elizabeth Rhodes Studio, in

Bowling Green. As the mother of two boys, she began to find more of her passion as her sons grew more independent. She says the years she spent as a full-time mom, doing art projects with her sons and making her own art during nap times was when she truly cultivated her creativity. Now that her boys are 14 and 17, she has found time to focus on her business. Her sellable and commissioned artwork ranges from hangable glass art to murals and handmade canvas pieces. Rhodes has also participated in the local Gypsy Moon Art Sales at Highlands Stables and will be participating again this coming fall with various art pieces for customers to purchase. Her pieces are among the favorites of longtime customer Alison Sexton of Bowling Green. “She is absolutely amazing,” Sexton said. “She not only designed my daughter’s playroom but I also have 13 pieces of her glass art. My most favorite is the Mother’s Day gift from my husband. It is a large horse that hangs in my breakfast area and is so gorgeous.” Rhodes’ connection with returning clients is one of the cornerstones of her business. She offers weekly classes at The Resurrection Shop, a furniture and art store in Bowling Green, in painting and glass collage making. She

KATHRYN ZIESIG • HERALD

Elizabeth Rhodes is a WKU alumna and local glass artist in Bowling Green. She graduated from WKU in 1995 and began her art business the same year. Rhodes still creates many commissioned art pieces for clients, but she also teaches weekly painting and glass collage making classes at the Resurrection Shop.

also teaches private art lessons and at other local and out-of-town venues. To Rhodes, this is the thing that brings her utmost joy. “It brings me extraordinary joy to be able to teach others how to create and make beautiful art,” she said. “Students in my classes rarely realize the depth of their talent until they are given the opportunity to be creative. Watching that come to life is the es-

sence of fulfillment.” For more information on Elizabeth Rhodes’ classes or commissioned artwork, call (502) 384-5194 or visit her Facebook page at Elizabeth Rhodes Studio.

Features reporter Noah Moore can be reached at 270-745-6291 and noah. moore786@topper.wku.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @noah_moore18.

Saudi Arabian student finds new perspective in the U.S.

BY SRIJITA CHATTOPADHYAY HERALD.FEATURES@WKU.EDU

With a smile on his face, a backpack around his shoulders and a coffee cup in his hand, Ammar Alruwaili sat down in the science fiction aisle of Barnes and Noble. As he thumbed through George R.R. Martin’s “Game of Thrones,” he said he has the liberty to read whatever he wants in America. “I like being in this country,” Alruwaili, now a senior accounting major, said. “When I came here, I found freedom.” Alruwaili, 26, traveled to the United States in June 2011 from Saudi Arabia. What started out as a step to receive a degree from a foreign university turned into a voyage of self-discovery, self-identity and social freedom. Life in Saudi Arabia was “normal” for Alruwaili. He would hang out with friends, go to family dinner meetings and walk to the nearest mosque for prayers with his siblings. His life was simple, but there was a sense of unknown he said that he had within. “I felt lost,” he said. After completing high school, Alruwaili said he was not sure what he wanted to do. He had no aim in life and said he was not sure what he wanted to go to college for. After nine months of pondering, he finally went out on a limb and decided to move to the United States. Because he grew up watching Hollywood movies and shows, Alruwaili said

the culture was not a shock to him. In fact, he said he was excited and nervous for what the new journey would bring him. After being in America for over a year, Alruwaili started school at WKU along with his older brother Yazeed Alruwaili. He said his main focus from the get-go was to excel in his academics. He said he would spend hours at the Helm-Cravens library without a break just to get the best grades in his class. As months rolled by, Alruwaili said he started to warm up more and more to American culture. “I could suddenly think what I want. I could do what I want,” he said. “In Saudi Arabia, I felt separated in the society. I found a kind of freedom.” Alruwaili’s stark change in attitude and personality surprised his brother Yazeed. Growing up in Saudi Arabia meant that life had to be led a certain way, Yazeed said. Therefore, people try not to do things that would offend the collective society. “Because of America’s high levels of social freedom over other countries, Ammar was able to craft an identity for himself,” he said. Being around the same group of people and doing the same exact things each day made Alruwaili claustrophobic in his regular life, he said. He said he felt like every other person walking the streets of Dammam and that he somehow lacked a sense of uniqueness.

SRIJITA CHATTOPADHYAY • HERALD

Ammar Alruwaili, 26, is a social butterfly. Having been an introvert most of his life in Saudi Arabia, he felt like he was ready to come out of his shell. Moving to America gave him that platform. Today, the WKU accounting senior can easily strike up a conversation with a stranger at a library or a restaurant. “I found freedom here,” he said.

“Before, I would care about myself and my immediate family members,” he said. “Now, I care about everyone no matter their religion, color or gender.” Alruwaili’s attitude and perception changed to the extent that he was not afraid to mingle with people from cultures other than his own. By his second semester, he had found new friends from brand new cultures who appreciated him and his culture. Whitney Davis Kinslow, 25, was Alruwaili’s first American friend on campus. Kinslow said that from day one, she felt comfortable with him because he was a warm and accepting person. “Initially, he was very strict on himself and what he would allow himself to do,” Kinslow said. “But, after a while, he started to loosen up, and now he can strike up a conversation with an American person as graciously as he would with a Saudi person.” As a young child growing up in Saudi Arabia, Alruwaili said he would often wonder why the Mosque elders would emphasize on the “others” being bad and why everyone who was of a different faith was an “infidel.” He said the idea of not wanting to appreciate people of other cultures was acceptable to him when he lived in Saudi Arabia, but in Bowling Green, he realized people of other cultures are people too. “They are so nice,” he said. “They should not be going to hell.”

Moving abroad for education helped him find an identity that he feels comfortable with and gain a worldly perspective about the good, the bad and the ugly, he said. Alruwaili said he now practices his understanding of the quote “hurt no one, help everyone.” “This is much better than me in the past thinking that infidels are bad and everyone who is not like me are bad,” he said. International Student Office adviser George Dordoni, said international students who come to study in America from vastly different and possibly repressed cultures and sheltered upbringings often change their perceptions of themselves. “Some international students would have this feeling of not belonging at home anymore and not fully belonging to the United States either,” he said. Alruwaili expects to graduate this May. After he graduates, he plans to go back to Saudi Arabia to be with his family. He said being with family is going to make him happy, but adjusting to the societal norms will be difficult. “By hanging out with like-minded people in Saudi would make that transition much easier,” he said. “I will learn to adapt once again.”

Features reporter Srijita Chattopadhyay can be reached at 270-745-6291 and srijita.chattopadhyay524@topper. wku.edu.

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February 13, 2018  
February 13, 2018  
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