WKU recognizes top students at 182nd Commencement

Kelly Burgess received the Ogden Foundation Scholar Award at the morning ceremony of WKU's 182nd Commencement. (WKU photo by Bryan Lemon)

WKU recognized top students, doctoral graduates and ROTC cadets at its 182nd Commencement on Saturday.

Ogden Foundation Scholar

Kelly Burgess, a Hospitality Management and Dietetics major and graduate of the Mahurin Honors College, was recognized as the Ogden Foundation Scholar at the morning ceremony. The award, WKU’s top graduation honor, is presented to one graduating baccalaureate degree senior who has demonstrated exceptional academic achievement and outstanding university and civic engagement. (More: Class of 2017 encouraged to make a good life; photos from Commencement activities are posted on the WKU Facebook page.)

Burgess, the daughter of Keith and Beth Burgess of Franklin, Tennessee, also was recognized as a scholar of the College of Health and Human Services.

Scholars of the College

WKU recognized 12 other Scholars of the College, who had the highest GPAs in their colleges while completing at least 60 credit hours at WKU.

  • College of Health and Human Services: Megan Fulcher of Russellville, a Nursing major, a Mahurin Honors College graduate, daughter of Lisa and Roger Lindsey and spouse of Troy Fulcher; JoAnna Tinnell of Shepherdsville, a Nursing major and daughter of Fonda and Donnie Tinnell.
  • Gordon Ford College of Business: Katherine Manning of Louisville, a double major in Economics and History, a Mahurin Honors College graduate and daughter of Sherry and Phil Manning.
  • University College: SeRina Moody of Bowling Green, an Interdisciplinary Studies major, daughter of Lucy Smith and spouse of Keith Moody.
  • College of Education and Behavioral Sciences: Jennifer Willis of Glasgow, a Psychology major and daughter of Judy and Jeff Willis.
  • Ogden College of Science and Engineering: Tyler Pitcock of Glasgow, a Chemistry major and son of Julie and Brandon Pitcock; Kaylan Shull of Falls of Rough, a Biology major and daughter of Angie and Wesley Shull.
  • Potter College of Arts & Letters: Laura Bunning of Fort Thomas, a Political Science major, a Mahurin Honors College graduate and daughter of Kay and David Bunning; Rachel Mahoney of Gilbertsville, a Film major and daughter of Sally and Joseph Mahoney; Trent Marcum of London, a double major in English and Film, a Mahurin Honors College graduate and son of Paula and Lonnie Marcum; Grant Rohleder of Louisville, who is receiving dual degrees with majors in Chinese and Accounting (he also is a Scholar of the Gordon Ford College of Business), a Mahurin Honors College graduate and son of Lisa and Nicholas Rohleder; Dylan Wright of Frankfort, a Music major and son of Patty and Mark Wright.

ROTC commissioning

Seven Army ROTC cadets were commissioned as second lieutenants and are beginning careers in the U.S. Army and the National Guard. They are (name, hometown, first duty assignment): Kyle Baker of Danville, assigned to Kentucky National Guard; Clayton Cassidy of Hopkinsville, assigned to Fort Lee, Virginia; Joseph Gray of Springfield, Tennessee, assigned to Fort Rucker, Alabama; Thomas Mitchel of Atlanta, Georgia, assigned to Fort Benning, Georgia; Jordan Neumann of Finchville, assigned to Fort Sam Houston, Texas; Nicholas Reif of Radcliff, assigned to Maryland National Guard; and Alexandrea Rogers of Louisville, assigned to Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

Educational Leadership Doctoral Program graduates

Graduates of WKU’s Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership participated in a hooding ceremony Saturday morning and were recognized at the afternoon commencement ceremony.

They are (name/dissertation title): Eugene Basil, Developing a Blended Learning Model in Advanced Manufacturing Programs: Faculty Development Through Action Research; Lori Elliott Buchanan, A Narrative Policy Analysis of the Responses to Tennessee Promise and Plans to Provide Transfer Receptivity by Six Tennessee Public Universities' Presidents and Provosts; John-Patrick G. Clark, Engagement's Mediation of the Relationship Between Personalized Learning and Engagement; Jennifer M. Hein, Litigation in Search of Educational Opportunity: An Analysis of Abbeville County School District, et al. v. the State of South Carolina, et al.; Richard L. Hunt, Overcoming Failure: Characteristics of Leaders Who Have Successfully Recovered From A Significant Setback; Kanglei Meng, The Perception of Chinese Higher Educators Toward Leadership Effectiveness in Regard to Gender; Christy L. Spurlock, Best Practices in Parent and Family Engagement: Implications for Student Success; Scott W. Taylor, The Evolution of College Algebra: Competencies and Themes of a Quantitative Reasoning Course at the University of Kentucky; Cheryl L. Wright, Confabulation in Individuals with Disorders of the Corpus Callosum: Educational Implications; and Betty ShengHuei Yu, A Case Study of Hanban's Chinese Language Teaching Program at Western Kentucky University: Developmental History and Preliminary Outcomes.

Commencement notes

  • The morning ceremony included graduate and undergraduate degree candidates in the Gordon Ford College of Business, College of Health and Human Services and University College. The afternoon ceremony included graduate and undergraduate degree candidates in the Potter College of Arts & Letters, College of Education and Behavioral Sciences and Ogden College of Science and Engineering.
  • English Professor Walker Rutledge, a faculty member for 48 years, served as chief marshal of the grand march.
  • Thirty-five current and former Hilltopper and Lady Topper student-athletes received their degrees, and the cumulative grade point average of the 35 was a 3.01.
  • The ceremonies included the parade of U.S. and international flags.
  • Each graduate was given a Class of 2017 WKU red towel to wave at the end of the ceremony.

More: Commencement program; for social media posts about Commencement, follow #WKUGrad

Contact: Registrar, (270) 745-3351

Posted with permission from WKU News