Dr. Wilson earns Fulbright to study in South Africa

University of Limpopo
University of Limpopo

Dr. Kristin Wilson, associate professor in WKU’s Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research, has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct research in South Africa during the next three years. Dr. Wilson uses qualitative methods to study post-secondary education. Through her Fulbright she will explore college persistence patterns among South African students, primarily at the University of Limpopo.

During the Summer of 2015, Dr. Wilson participated in the Sophia Zuheir Endowed International Fellowship program, which sponsored a group of WKU faculty members to visit South Africa over a three-week period. She made contacts with various universities there and leveraged the experience into a successful Fulbright application.

Traditionally Fulbright fellowships are for a six-month stay in a host country, but Dr. Wilson received one of the first “flexible” Fulbrights, which will allow her to visit for two months each year over a three year period. The extended engagement will allow her to follow students she is studying over the majority of their university experience.

Dr. Wilson joined the faculty of WKU in 2013. She teaches post-secondary leadership and qualitative research methods courses in the Doctor of Educational Leadership program.

EALR professor Dr. Gary Houchens appointed to state board of education

Dr. Gary Houchens
Dr. Gary Houchens

This past May, Governor Matt Bevin appointed EALR associate professor Dr. Gary Houchens to a four-year term on the Kentucky Board of Education.  Dr. Houchens was sworn in to service on the 11-member board on June 8.  The Kentucky Board of Education helps establish policy and provides oversight to the Kentucky Department of Education.

“I’m tremendously honored by this opportunity,” Dr. Houchens said. “I’ve devoted my career to improving leadership and student outcomes for Kentucky’s schools and will do my best to bring those experiences and perspectives to the work of the Board.”  Dr. Houchens said he anticipates the board will be actively engaged in work to overhaul the state’s school accountability system and revisions to the teacher and school principal evaluation programs.

Dr. Houchens is a former teacher, assistant principal, principal, and school district administrator.  He joined the faculty of WKU in 2010. He primarily teaches courses in the principal certification program but also advises doctoral students and is engaged in several on-going research initiatives.  Dr. Houchens received the 2016 College of Education and Behavioral Sciences Faculty Excellence Award for Student Advising.

Dr. Everson helps launch International Year of South Korea

Dr. Kimberlee Everson, assistant professor in WKU’s Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research and researcher methodologist for the WKU Doctor of Educational Leadership program, was selected to participate in the Zuheir Sofia Endowed International Faculty Seminar (ZSEIFS) program during the summer of 2016 and visited South Korea as the first step in WKU’s celebration of the International Year of (IYO) South Korea, which lasts throughout the 2016-2017 academic year.

Dr. Everson, second from left, during her visit to South Korea
Dr. Everson, second from left, during her visit to South Korea

Dr. Everson joined a select group of other WKU faculty for a visit of almost three weeks to numerous locations throughout South Korea.  The purpose of the trip was to engage in cultural learning and sharing, but also to make contacts with academic, business, and government leaders for future collaboration.  “The experience in South Korea gave me confidence in my ability to international research in the future,” she said.

ZSEIFS participants like Dr. Everson will help facilitate numerous campus events during IYO South Korea to promote cultural exchange and engagement of entire WKU community in learning about South Korea, including a film festival, workshops, and numerous presentations and seminars.