In sports, it might be called a dynasty in the making.
Eastern Kentucky University, home to more than 1,200 veterans and their dependents, has earned its second No. 1 national ranking from Military Times EDGE magazine in its annual “Best for Vets: Colleges” issue.
The magazine rates four-year colleges and universities on their commitment to helping military veterans further their education.
The win follows a No. 1 ranking two years ago and a No. 2 ranking last year from the magazine, which considers institutions’ programs, services and policies that support veterans as well as their accreditations. The complete story and rankings can be viewed at militarytimes.com.
The news prompted Lt. Col. Allen Back (USAR), director of EKU’s Office of Military and Veterans Affairs, to recall the words of an American literary giant.
“As Mark Twain once stated, ‘History doesn’t necessarily repeat itself, but it does rhyme,’” Back said. “Achieving this number-one ranking for a second time in three years demonstrates EKU’s commitment to our nation’s veterans … and provides the recognition so richly deserved that EKU is sincere about veteran success.”
Pointing to a “long tradition at EKU that honors and values military service,” Back said Eastern “continues to be a school of choice among military and veteran students.”
Other national honors in recent years further validate the university’s reputation among veterans, EKU President Doug Whitlock said.
Eastern has been recognized by G.I. Jobs as a Military Friendly School each of the past four years and this year was named a Pat Tillman Military Scholar Partnership University, one of only 14 in the nation. Andrew Napier, an EKU senior from Richmond, was one of only 59 Tillman Military Scholars nationwide.
Also this year, EKU was named a VetSuccess University by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and now boasts a full-time employee on staff to help veterans with their benefits issues.
In 2010, Eastern launched Operation Veteran Success, a series of initiatives designed to make the university even more veteran-helpful. These initiatives include:
• No admission fees for undergraduate veterans
• In-state tuition for all out-of-state veterans nationwide
• Maximum credit hours for military experience
• Priority registration
• Book vouchers and Books for Boots Exchange Library
• Veterans Bridge to College Success cohort classes
• Veterans orientation course
• Veteran-helpful withdrawal and readmission policy
• Vet-2-Vet sponsorship program and active Vets Club
• Recreational and other extracurricular activities
• Specially designated housing for student veterans.
Veteran Studies minor, believed to be the nation’s first, to help those who haven’t served in the military to better understand the issues that veterans face, and to help the veterans themselves deal with those issues.
EKU also is home to The Journal of Military Experience, the first volume of which won one of 14 Phi Kappa Phi national literacy grants and “Program of the Year” honors from Student Veterans of America for providing EKU veterans with a voice in 2011. The second volume, published this year, provides the same service to veterans nationwide and includes the scholarship of researchers interested in bridging the gap between civilian and military cultures.
As more and more troops return from Iraq and Afghanistan, EKU has more than doubled its number of military veterans and dependents in recent years. Many are pursuing baccalaureate degrees in criminal justice, police studies, homeland security, fire and safety, and nursing, or a graduate degree in safety, security and emergency management.
This fall, the EKU Military and Veterans Affairs Office moved to a new location, 317 Lancaster Ave., a converted home adjacent to Irvine-McDowell Park. Kim Dickey, a full-time campus-based VA employee, is also available to help veterans with their benefits issues. For more information about opportunities and services available to veterans and their dependents at EKU, visit va.eku.edu or call 622-2345.
In sports, it might be called a dynasty in the making.
Veteran certification officer fired from EKU
Accusations of cheating on an online test led to the firing of an 18-year Eastern Kentucky University employee Wednesday.
Retha Sandlin, formerly a veteran certification officer in the Burnam House for EKU’s student veterans, said the decision resulted from a misunderstanding on the part of Jaime Roberts, the house’s interim office manager.
Hundreds turn out for fishing team’s fundraiser
Madison Central High School’s bass fishing team got a boost Saturday when its first-ever Fishing Tackle Swap turned out to be a huge success.
About 500 buyers showed up to check out what the 38 vendors had to offer. At least 17 of the vendors were from outside Madison County. There were even a few boats for sale.
Eastern students practice fire fighting in burning building
Thick barrels of smoke rolled out of the room as nearby observers could feel the fire’s heat on their faces. Furniture and drywall fueled the blaze. Flames licked the top of the door frame and the flat ceiling.
Another day on the slopes
Enjoying their 14th snow day of the school year, a group of Madison County School students enjoyed a slope in front of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Richmond on Tuesday.
Warming temperatures melted the snow into a hard-packed surface that crunched with every footfall and provided prime sledding conditions.
Caudill Middle takes first-place in mock trial competition
A team from B. Michael Caudill Middle School took first-place in the seventh annual Kentucky Middle School Mock Trial Competition conducted Friday in the Madison County courtrooms.
Model Laboratory Middle School earned second-place.
County, Berea schools out Wednesday
Both the Madison County and Berea school district have cancelled Wednesday classes because of road conditions. This will be the 15th day the county has cancelled school because of the weather.
County school staff are to report by 9 a.m., according the the district's website.
School canceled Tuesday for Madison County, Berea districts
Madison County and Berea Independent school districts have announced school has been canceled for Tuesday, March 4.
Student scores hold steady with some notable increases
Results are in for the EXPLORE and PLAN tests, administered to Madison County eighth- and tenth-grade students, respectively, in September.
EXPLORE and PLAN are two legs of an ACT series of tests used to assess students for college and career readiness, components of the state’s accountability system called Unbridled Learning.
EKU students turn trash into ‘fash’
Eastern Kentucky University students showed off outfits made from some unlikely materials during a Thursday night fashion show.
Strutting down the runway wearing garbage bags, rusted metal and even Maxi Pads, participants showed the audience that anything can become chic if used correctly.
Many contestants twirled, danced or posed for the audience to show personality during the high-energy show.
Even Arts and Sciences Dean John Wade was involved in the fun by the show’s conclusion.
‘Don’t Monkey Around, Be A Children’s Champion’
You don’t have to wait around to be a children’s champion and you shouldn’t have to think about it, said Raelynn Miller, 11, a fifth-grader at Daniel Boone Elementary.
"You just do it ― like the Nike concept,” she said explaining her winning poster entry “Don’t Monkey Around” in the annual Be A Children’s Champion billboard contest.
- More Education Headlines
- Veteran certification officer fired from EKU