Those interested in cannabis reform can attend a community educational forum on Thursday.

"Our event is a fantastic opportunity for people who are curious to learn more about cannabis reform as well as the impact legalization has had on other states across the country," said Matthew Bratcher, president and executive director of Ky NORML.

The event will be held on Eastern Kentucky University's campus at the Perkins Building in room 202. Bratcher will be joined by other experts in the field, former LMPD narcotics officer Steve Watts, cannabis entrepreneur Ashly Taylor, Kentuckians for Medical Marijuana (KY4MM) Director Jaime Montalvo, and Americans for Innovative Medicine (AIM) director and hospice nurse Shannon Stacy.

Each speaker brings different perspectives to the conversation. The event will educate attendees on topics about the history of cannabis, the endocannabinoid system, a legally-regulated industry, as well as economic and societal impact that legalization has had in the 32 states that have passed medical cannabis reform.

"Kentucky's children, patients and veterans deserve the right to seek relief with medical cannabis, which has been proven by countless studies to be a safe and effective alternative to damaging and dangerous pharmaceuticals", said Lauren Morgan Kie, deputy director of KY NORML.

The education forum starts at 5:30 p.m Thursday and is expected to last until 8. EKU's Perkins Building is at 4436 Kit Carson Drive, Richmond.

Phi Kappa Phi

Some 22 students from Berea College were initiated into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, one of the nation's oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for academic disciplines.

Only the top 10 percent of seniors and 7.5 percent of juniors are eligible for membership. Graduate students in the top 10 percent of the number of candidates for graduate degrees may also qualify, as do faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction. The 22 students from Berea College join about 30,000 other students, faculty, professional staff and alumni to be initiated into Phi Kappa Phi each year.

Some of the organizations most notable members have included former President Jimmy Carter, NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence, novelist John Grisham and YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley.

The 22 students initiated are: Favour Akabogu, Bridget Bill, Sarah Blank, Shyeila Bowers, Yacine Choutri, Teresa Davis, John Grove, Jacquelyne Howard, Kemo Jammeh, Samriddha Kc, Briana Lanham, Breanna Lawson, Sierra Massucco, Aubrey Melton, Sharyn Mitchell, Kateryna Nabukhotna, Kenny Nelson, Raymond Okyere-Forson, Anne Otieno, Matthew Sadler, Rebecca Sizemore, Dostonbek Toirov.

EKU scholarship opportunity

Studious students who plan on attending Eastern Kentucky University in fall 2019 can now qualify for a new scholarship opportunity.

The Study Strong Award provides scholarships based on prior EKU Dual Credit course work or Advanced Placement (AP) exams.

Study Strong recipients earn $300 for every EKU Dual Credit grade of A, or for every AP exam score of 5, $225 for every B or 4 and $150 for every C or 3, up to the maximum award. Awards can be stacked on top of EKU's new merit awards, which range from $2,000 to $16,000 per year. Combined with other scholarships and financial aid, a student's semester becomes more affordable.

"It's a really nice bonus for hardworking students," EKU Admissions Director Stephanie Whaley said.

Students in high school can already earn money toward their college education through the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES), which rewards strong high school GPAS and ACT scores. The Study Strong scholarship award is designed to enhance KEES.

The scholarship also works to complement the existing benefits of EKU Dual Credit program, which awards college credit to high school students that in turn, shortens their time drastically for college graduation. The EKU Dual Credit program pairs with more than 50 high schools and serves more than 1,100 students.

"It's an additional incentive for students who challenge themselves with college coursework in high school to look at EKU's stellar programs and become part of the Colonel family," said John Williamson, dean of K-12 programs at EKU. "We expect to see many of Kentucky's best and brightest in our upcoming freshman classes."

Students who excel in AP courses allow them to test out of low-level college courses, as well, which only compounds their chance for more scholarship opportunities, and advancement toward an early graduation.

To receive the Study Strong Award, students must attend EKU in the term following high school graduation. While EKU does accept dual credit course work from other colleges and universities, only students who have taken EKU Dual Credit courses are eligible for the Study Strong Award.

The new scholarship is replacing the EKU Now! scholarship, which funded one dual credit course per semester for high school students.

To place your school news, event or photos in the Education Notebook email Add "Education Notebook" to the subject line when submitting. Reach Kaitlyn Brooks at 624-6608; follow her on Twitter @kaitlynskovran.

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