Christ Temple Church
2601 Lexington Ave.
Ashland, KY 41101 | Map
Time: 3 p.m.
Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church
320 North Bypass Road
Pikeville, KY 41501 | Map
Time: 11 a.m.
Consolidated Baptist Church
1625 Russell Cave Road
Lexington, KY 40505 | Map
St. James AME Church
124 Walnut Street
Danville, KY 40422 | Map
First Baptist Church
37 North Highland Ave
Winchester, KY 40391 | Map
First African Baptist Church
465 Price Rd
Lexington, KY 40508 | Map
State Street Baptist Church
340 State Street
Bowling Green, KY 42101 | Map
Time: 10 a.m.
Saint Joseph Catholic Church
434 Church Street
Bowling Green, KY 42101 | Map
Time: 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. (Worship time)
New Hope Missionary Baptist Church
1591 Hill Street
Radcliff, KY 40160 | Map
Time: 10:45 a.m.
College Fair: 2 p.m.
Gateway Community and Technical College – Urban Center
525 Scott Boulevard
Covington, KY 41011 | Map
Time: 1 p.m., College Fair
Consolidated Baptist Church
180 Winterberry Street
Hazard, KY 41701 | Map
First Missionary Baptist Church
20 South Elm Street
Henderson, KY 42420 | Map
Time: Service 11 a.m.
College Fair: 1:30 – 3 p.m.
Mt. Sterling Cumberland Presbyterian Church
618 Pike Street
Sturgis, KY 42459 | Map
Time: Service 10 a.m.
College Fair: 12:30 – 2 p.m..
Durrett Avenue Baptist
1918 Church Street
Hopkinsville, KY 42240 | Map
443 Moore Drive
Hopkinsville, KY 42240 | Map
6530 Newstead Road
Hopkinsville, KY 42240 | Map
Mt. Olive Baptist
801 E. 4th Street
Hopkinsville, KY 42240 | Map
171 Jefferson Street
Cadiz, KY 42211 | Map
Freeman Chapel CME
137 S. Virginia Street
Hopkinsville, KY 42240 | Map
McCarroll Hill Baptist
10217 Princeton Road
Cerulean, KY 42215 | Map
First Baptist Church of Elkton
304 McReynolds Drive
Elkhorn, KY 42220 | Map
First Gethsemane Baptist Church
1159 Algonquin Parkway
Louisville, KY 40208 | Map
Time: 7:45 a.m., 10:10 a.m.
College Fair: 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
St. Stephen Church
Family Life Center, 1018 South 15th St.
Louisville, KY 40210 | Map
Services: 8 a.m., 9:40 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
College Fair: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Oak Grove Baptist Church
309 Graves Street
Madisonville, KY 42431 | Map
Time: 2 p.m.
Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church
411 North First Street
Central City, KY 42330 | Map
Second Baptist Mayslick
5005 Raymond Road
Mayslick, KY 41005 | Map
First Baptist Church
128 West 8th Street
Paris, KY 40361 | Map
Zion Baptist Church
2311 West 9th Street
Owensboro, KY 42301 | Map
Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist
99 Bourbon Road
Somerset, KY 42501 | Map
Time: 11:30 a.m.
Altamont Baptist Church
1110 Littontown Road
East Bernstadt, KY 40679 | Map
Time: 11:15 a.m.
First Baptist Church
300 Francis Street
Richmond, KY 40745 | Map
St. Paul AME Church
Town Branch Road
Manchester, KY 40962 | Map
Harlan Campus Theatre
164 Ball Park Road
Harlan, KY 40831 | Map
Time: 1 p.m.
Harrison St. Missionary Baptist
1126 Harrison Street
Paducah, KY 42001 | Map
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Ninth Street Church of Christ
715 South 9th Street
Paducah, KY 42003 | Map
First Baptist Church
233 S. Main Street
Versailles, KY 40383 | Map
Evergreen Baptist Church
749 Florida Street
Lexington, KY 40508 | Map
Time: 10:40 a.m.
For Melinda Johnson, an associate in science degree from Ashland Community and Technical College (ACTC) began a journey into higher education she believed was unobtainable.
Growing up in South Point, Ohio where many families focus on graduating high school, followed by work in the manufacturing industry because of little to no other options, it was difficult for her to break the cycle of "blue collar" employment and begin a new chapter in her life as a college student.
Being a non-traditional student with children, Ms. Johnson has received an enormous amount of encouragement and support from all of those involved in her accomplishments in math and natural sciences at ACTC. She received many awards and honors for her academic success. Her achievements at ACTC have given her the initiative to help other students succeed by becoming a Supplemental Instruction Leader at the college in math and natural sciences.
Building on her science background from ACTC, Ms. Johnson will graduate from Marshall University in May 2013, with a bachelor of science degree. Additionally, she will complete her first study on cancer research in mice at Marshall University for publication in the spring. She will pursue a master’s degree from the same institution in biomedical science, with emphasis in molecular biology geared toward cancer research.
Ms. Johnson will continue to serve as a role model, encouraging students in her community to follow their educational dreams, as she has done.
For Raul Urias, returning to college at the Pikeville Campus of Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) fulfilled a journey he began 11 years earlier, leading to an associate degree in industrial maintenance and a new career option.
Born in Anchorage, Alaska, Mr. Urias grew up on the Fort Richardson Army base where his mom was stationed. After graduating from high school in 1997 he enrolled in Prestonsburg Community College but veered off of the educational path. He was encouraged by his wife of 10 years to return to school, complete his degree and be a role model for their nine year-old daughter.
Mr. Urias praises BSCTC faculty and staff for his wonderful postsecondary educational experience. He says they guided him in a direction he needed in order to succeed and accomplish his goals. "I had one instructor, Mr. Charles K. Moore, who went above and beyond and he is a cherished friend now. The Karate Club and Christian Student Union (C.S.U.) also helped me in so many ways to not just develop my mind, but also my body and soul."
Support from BSCTC gave Mr. Urias the confidence he needed to pursue a field outside his degree. He is now a Corrections Officer/Deputy Jailer for the Pike County Detention Center.
Mr. Urias plans to pursue his lifelong ambition to earn an associate degree in criminal justice. He keeps a simple philosophy in mind for every situation... "It's like a recipe. You may like some ingredients better than others, but all ingredients are needed. This is proof the road of life will lead you down different paths, but with hard work everything will fall in place."
Ed L. Thompson, Jr. began his career with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in 1987 and became a Student Trainee in 1988. He obtained an associate in science degree from Lexington Community College (LCC), now known as Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC).
Mr. Thompson initially enrolled at the University of Kentucky (UK), but quickly transferred to LCC to complete his basic undergraduate studies. He later transferred back to UK and received a bachelor of science degree in Agronomy in 1993.
During his 25 years with the USDA, Mr. Thompson has served as a technical professional within the NRCS. He is currently a program manager with the USDA Office of Advocacy and Outreach Administration. Mr. Thompson is responsible for student recruitment and retention in the fields of agriculture, sciences and technology, and also as a liaison for services to individuals and groups through Kentucky State University. "I use my experience of working with the students, faculty and staff in preparing graduates for employment with the USDA and private sector agricultural based industries," said Thompson. He also administers the USDA 1890 National Scholars Program, which provides new and continuing college students full tuition scholarships and career experiences.
Mr. Thompson attributes completing a college degree to choosing the right environment. "LCC let me focus on pursuing my degree while allowing me to juggle my part-time career with USDA. The small classroom setting prepared me to transfer to a larger higher education institution."
With hard work and determination, Ed made it. And, so can you.
Addi Hernandez is the first person in her family to graduate from high school and attend college. She was born in Michoacan, Mexico the youngest of 10 children. She moved to the United States at the age of two.
Ms. Hernandez completed an associate of applied science degree at Bowling Green Technical College (BGTC). She did not have to look far to find a good career fit. She became employed by BGTC as an administrative assistant at the college’s Kentucky Advanced Technology Institute campus. She is currently pursuing an interdisciplinary studies degree at Western Kentucky University.
In addition to her academic and career accomplishments, Ms. Hernandez became a United States citizen in 2012. She also continues to provide encouragement and outreach to Latino students.
For Cedric Burnam attending Bowling Green Technical College was a stepping stone to a successful career niche.
Following electronics training, Mr. Burnam continued his education at the Kentucky School of Mortuary Science. He now serves as the President, Owner, Funeral Director/Embalmer and Restorative Art Expert at Burnam and Sons Mortuary & Cremation Services. He has assisted those who have experienced the loss of a loved one since 1974.
Mr. Burnham proudly served his country as a United States Navy Hospital Corpsman and continues to give back to his community. He is a member of New Bethel Baptist Church, Ancient Landmark Lodge # 28 F.& A.M.— P.H.A. and Western Kentucky University President’s Circle. He was elected magistrate/Justice of Peace in Warren County (2nd District— 2003-2006). Mr. Burnam and his wife, Judy have three children. With hard work and determination, Mr. Burnam developed the skills to become a successful business owner/entrepreneur and is an inspiration to anyone who strives to do the same.
Charlie Fraley achieved a distinguished army career and retired into a different adventure. He earned his diploma from the Culinary Arts program at what is now known as Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC). Mr. Fraley won gold medals in the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America (VICA) Culinary Arts, at the local, state and national levels.
Mr. Fraley has been married for 49 years to his high school sweetheart and they have three children and five grandchildren. He worked in food service throughout the Hardin County area until 1999. He and his wife then opened their own business, C&C Mr. Fraley's BBQ, which they operated successfully in Radcliff for more than 10 years. "I love to cook and the culinary arts program gave me the skills I needed to be successful in both the food preparation side and the business side of operating a small business," said Fraley.
In 1987 he culminated 26 years of honorable service as a veteran. Mr. Fraley is most proud of his duty assignments with the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions wherein he rose to the rank of sergeant major. His awards and merits include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal and Numerous Foreign Decorations. He received badges for Combat and Expert Infantryman's, Master Parachutist and Drill Sergeant.
Mr. Fraley takes time to participate in civic affairs, and has served as president of the Radcliff Chamber of Commerce, Radcliff Rotary Clubs and as a member of the Radcliff Housing Authority.
Chenel Stewart began her unforgettable educational journey in the business field, resulting in an associate in applied science degree in business management from Gateway Community and Technical College (GCTC).
For Stewart, the thought of higher education was more than a privilege. "By the time I turned 17, I was a married mother. Going to college was never my aspiration; however, after many obstacles and life experiences, I found myself desiring to pursue an education."
Intrigued by business structure and profit generation, Stewart was motivated to apply practical aspects of her education at GCTC. She earned certificates in basic business administration, general business and leadership. As a result, Stewart leads administrative and financial concerns for Totally Radical Young Believers Engaged (TRYBE) ministry in her spare time.
Stewart utilized both traditional and online classes and applauds her instructors at GCTC for their compassion and going beyond their duties to enhance her learning experience. Additionally, she was given the opportunity to immediately utilize her textbook knowledge by operating MoJoe’s Café, the first-student run business at Gateway. "I believe the sky is the limit because of my education at Gateway Community and Technical College. This experience has exceeded my wildest expectations," she said.
Stewart hopes to continue to improve things and dynamically empower her community.
For Ludrenia Sue Hagans-Shepherd, Hazard Community and Technical College (HCTC) provided her stepping stones to achieve her goals of teaching and caring for others.
In August 1990, Ms. Hagans-Shepherd completed an associate in applied science degree (AAS) in nursing from HCTC, the college where she currently works as a nursing professor. After graduating with her AAS and her registered nursing license, she worked in the healthcare industry for two years before beginning her teaching career in 1992.
Early in her teaching career Ms. Hagans-Shepherd was also caring for eight children, her disabled husband and adopting/fostering many children. Ms. Hagans-Shepherd earned a bachelor of science degree in nursing from the University of Kentucky in 1997, graduating with her eldest child. She later earned her master's degree from Eastern Kentucky University in 2000. Following the death of her husband in 2003, she took a first-time flight to Rutgers University and earned a Post-Master's certificate in education. She recently earned certification as a professional legal nurse consultant.
HCTC Nursing Professor Hagans-Shepherd says teaching is personally rewarding. "I have the opportunity to guide students to reach high expectations, be the best they can be, and never stop learning. My life is a testament of where students can go with persistence and dedication for the care of our people in eastern Kentucky."
Along with her other accomplishments, Ms. Hagans-Shepherd has been active with the NAACP, serving as president and currently advisor for six years. She appreciates HCTC for allowing her dreams to "become a true life story."
Larry Tutt uses a unique opportunity to wear several hats as an educator and a community mentor. His actions provide clear examples of his commitment in the role of associate professor at Henderson Community College (HCC). He also currently serves as the coordinator of Disability Support Services. Mr. Tutt graduated from Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee and earned a bachelor of arts degree. He later continued his education at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky where he earned a master of science degree in human services.
Mr. Tutt is proud of his 24 years at HCC. In addition to the roles mentioned above, he has held several other integral roles such as coordinator of the human service program, coordinator of student activities, and off campus coordinator to part-time instructors. His commitment to education has brought attention to his qualities for teamwork and leadership. Mr. Tutt has been chosen to participate on the committee for Braves 2 College. Braves 2 College is a scholarship program at Union County high school that requires recipients to maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA during their four years of high school.
Mr. Tutt is a member of HCC's Diversity Learning Community and enjoys the opportunity to coordinate the annual Super Sunday Initiative, in Union County. He hopes to continue inspiring others as an educator, coordinator and a committed community representative.
For Danny Anderson, graduating from Hopkinsville Community College (HCC) in 2008 with a degree in nursing has opened his eyes to the world and allowed him to represent a beacon of hope to other African-American males.
Mr. Anderson is the first male in his family to graduate from college. He grew up in Detroit, Michigan with his five siblings and remembers how his mom stressed the need for education. After graduating high school, he joined the military and worked as an aviation and communication equipment repair specialist. Mr. Anderson served six years in the military, followed by work in a Hopkinsville auto factory.
He says the most memorable and pivotal life moments in 2001 were: "The moment I decided the need to do something different — go to college, and September 11." Mr. Anderson was alongside his factory co-workers as the news unraveled of the attacks. Soon after that tragic day, the auto industry slowed down. It wasn't a good sign for a recent high school graduate like Anderson.
Mr. Anderson is very appreciative of his HCC journey. "Education has broken the "generational curse" that many children are born into, where they just do not see opportunities for success in their future," said Anderson. He and his wife are role models to their nieces and nephews. They're able to witness a "hands on, no excuses philosophy toward community college education— that is accessible to everyone. You just have to take the step to enroll."
Mr. Anderson is employed in the Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit at TriStar Centennial Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. He completed his bachelor's degree in nursing in December 2012.
Chris Locke has demonstrated a long history of community service and leadership for which he credits Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC). He began his postsecondary education at JCTC in the early 1990s and later transferred to the University of Louisville where he earned a bachelor's degree. Following graduation, Mr. Locke launched an extensive career dedicated to serving others, which lead to his current role as vice president of employment services for Goodwill of Southern Indiana, Inc. He is also a member of the Leadership Southern Indiana class of 2013 and a graduate of the Leadership and Diversity Class, sponsored by Spalding University and the Bearden Group.
Mr. Locke says JCTC was critical during that time of his life. "It put me in the company of positive, passionate, and caring individuals and sparked my belief in life-long learning. If not for several faculty and staff demonstrating a vested interest and confidence in me, many of the opportunities I've experienced would not have happened."
When not at his day job, Mr. Locke serves on the Community Development Corporation for Highland Park Missionary Baptist Church and holds numerous honors including a Governor's Citation from the KCCVS, and the Oliver Heston Volunteer Service Award from Jefferson County Public Schools Headstart Programs. He has led many educational initiatives with the local PTA, Parent Leadership Programs, and as chairman for the Head Start Policy Council.
For Brittany Bard the confidence to change her major early in her educational journey was made possible via options at Madisonville Community College (MCC).
As a result of her hard work and determination, Ms. Bard is now a certified occupational therapist assistant (OTA) at Kindred Healthcare in Bowling Green, Kentucky. She earned an associate in applied science from MCC in 2008. That same year she was the only minority student in the OTA program, and began a journey to provide a need for a diverse and globally connected workforce in her field.
Ms. Bard began her college studies at Murray State University (MSU) in Murray, Ky. After being enrolled a year and changing her major, of which MSU did not offer, she became aware of the OTA program at MCC. She quickly enrolled at MCC with the hopes of making her hard work bring success in something she felt was a fit for her. After graduation Ms. Bard received her certification from the National Board of Occupational Therapy and began a career that allowed her to provide a range of treatment activities to encourage people from all walks of life.
Ms. Bard enjoys working in a skilled nursing facility, providing therapy and treatment results to elderly patients. She hopes to continue serving this particular need in a community where it is needed.
Ashley is a teacher at Southside Elementary School. She is a 2004 Madisonville Community College (MCC) graduate. She successfully completed the 2+2 program with Murray State University, earning her bachelor’s degree in 2006.
Ashley was one of two minority students in her 2006 graduating class. Since she could not afford to go away to college, she stayed local and enrolled at MCC. She dabbled in a few areas of study, mainly Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education and Accounting, before completing her associate in applied science degree in accounting. She also holds an associate in arts transfer degree. Making full use of her Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship money and other minority scholarship awards, Ashley was able to attend college and graduate debt-free. Ashley works with a summer youth program for minority students and tries to be positive role model.
David Henry, a native of Maysville, Kentucky and the youngest of nine children did not know what the future held for him but Maysville Community and Technical College (MCTC) allowed him to design a plan toward a true calling. Mr. Henry graduated cum Laude with an associate in arts degree from MCTC in 2001.
He graduated from Maysville High School in 1986 and decided to attend Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). After being enrolled at EKU for a year, Mr. Henry made a decision to serve his country.
He enlisted in the navy in 1987 and served in the Persian Gulf War. Afterward, he returned to Maysville and worked for Hillshire Farms/Sara Lee until he determined his future goals. "I needed more in my life and had an experience that would change my life forever" said Henry. His need to seek more ambition to succeed led him to MCTC. He was active on campus, serving as the vice president for the student body, founder/president of Christian Fellowship Club, and Phi Theta Kappa Honors Program.
Mr. Henry later utilized his degree and became an entrepreneur for several ventures: David Henry's Trucking Company/Logistic, D & V Carpet Cleaning and co-owner of Exclusive Clothing.
Mr. Henry currently resides in Jacksonville, Florida and works at the Mayo Clinic. Personally, he wants to remain known by many as "a faithful friend, superintendent of Sunday school, deacon, minister, faithful husband and dedicated father."
Shalanda Williams began her journey at Owensboro Community and Technical College (OCTC) with hopes of a higher education, even when others believed it was unobtainable. "When God tells you your purpose, follow it. It took me a while, but I am on my way to following God's purpose" said Williams.
Ms. Williams dreamed of being a lawyer or a judge. But after high school graduation in 1999 she went to college and encountered people who challenged her dream. "They told me I wasn’t smart enough. They said law school would be too challenging for a single mother. They were wrong; I just needed time to prove it."
Ms. Williams began at OCTC and studied radiology, then business. Later, she dropped out but then returned to college at the Owensboro campus of Western Kentucky University. She still had the goal in mind to be a lawyer and after more discouragement from others she tried another major but quickly lost interest. After her second child was born, Ms. Williams decided she was going to follow her dream.
Being a non-traditional student, working full-time and taking care of her children, Ms. Williams took classes at OCTC & WKU to complete a bachelor's degree. She worked diligently, even taking a class during her lunch hour. Upon graduating from WKU, she was accepted to Florida A&M College of Law in Orlando, Florida. She packed up her family of three children and moved to Orlando. In April 2012, she graduated from law school. Well on her way to accomplishing her dreams, Shalanda passed the Georgia bar exam in October 2012.
Mr. Derek Brown excelled in academics, explored new skills, and created opportunity when he graduated from Somerset Community College (SCC) in May 2011 with an associates in applied science degree from the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program.
Mr. Brown received The John T. Smith Scholarship presented to academically prepared minority students. Prior to attending the SCC PTA program, he received a bachelor's degree in business administration and computer information systems from Morehead State University. In June 2011, Mr. Brown became employed with Drayer Physical Therapy in Winchester, Ky. He also serves Saint Joseph Healthcare in Lexington, as a PTA and has been a physical therapy technician at Saint Joseph Healthcare and Central Baptist Hospital.
Mr. Brown volunteered as a past co-coordinator for the SCC annual Career Fair and as a volunteer speaker for the PTA Program's New Student Orientation. During campus tours he presented to students about the physical therapy profession and was a student co-coordinator for the PTA Program's Excellence through Diversity meet and greet. Mr. Brown was a member of the SCC Physical Therapy Student Organization and led others as a PTA class liaison and class historian.
Mr. Brown worked for the Richmond Police Department's youth summer camp. He has also been an integral part in the SCC Governor’s Minority Student College Preparation Program serving, as an educator/mentor during the year-long programs. "Those are two years of my life that will never be forgotten and will remain in my heart as two of my better years in life" said Brown.
Lee A. Jackson graduated from Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College (SKCTC) in 1970 and the University of Kentucky (UK) in 1973. His accomplishments follow him even beyond retirement, as he never stops giving back to his community.
Mr. Jackson is now retired after spending 31 years in state government. He served as president of the Kentucky Association of State Employees (KASE) AFT-Kentucky and vice president of the Kentucky State AFL-CIO. He spends a commendable amount of his time volunteering in his church, the Lexington community and his fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Mr. Jackson holds the title of the current president of the Lyman T. Johnson University of Kentucky Alumni Constituency Group. His other endeavors include serving in the capacity of financial secretary for the Dr. Roy P. and Juanita Betz Peterson Arts and Education Fund, Inc., vice chair of Evergreen-Brucetown, Inc. and coordinator of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Breakfast in Lexington-Fayette Urban County. Mr. Jackson was honored as a recipient of the UK Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award in 2010.
For Michael Alexander, Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College (SKCTC) was the initial step toward his outstanding academic career. Mr. Alexander earned a Juris Doctor (JD) degree from the University of Louisville.
Before completing his JD degree, Mr. Alexander completed a bachelor of arts degree from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, as well as a master of education degree.
While growing up in Lynch, his major pursuits were having a good time, partying and dancing. No one would have guessed Mr. Alexander would eventually become Deputy General Counsel to the Governor of Kentucky. Mr. Alexander has held this role since April 1993 and he still considers it "exciting and rewarding." He has worked for the last four Kentucky Governors rendering professional legal advice. Mr. Alexander also is a member of the National Bar Association, Kentucky Bar Association and the NAACP.
Mr. Alexander credits W. Bruce Ayers, president and CEO of SKCTC, as an outstanding inspirational foundation in his academic career. "When I was preparing to attend high school in 1969, Bruce put me in the Upward Bound Program and taught me the fundamental writing skills that I’ve used on a daily basis since then." Mr. Alexander also has high praise for the quality teaching he received at Southeast. "I am most fond of my spring and summer classes of 1973 and those during the summer of 1974. I will cherish those days."
Mr. Alexander is married and is the proud father of eight children. He also is a member of the Calvary Missionary Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky.
Porter G. Peeples, Sr., is the chairman of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) Board of Regents. He is a graduate of the former Southeast Community College (now Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College) and the University of Kentucky, where he earned a bachelor of arts in elementary and special education. For the past 42 years Mr. Peeples has served as the President/CEO of the Lexington Urban League.
Over the years, Peeples has helped others by raising money, finding people jobs and helping them with affordable housing. He still believes in the value of hard work and education he learned at an early age, and said preparing for success should always be a goal for students.
Peeples was appointed in August 2006 by then Gov. Ernie Fletcher to serve a six-year term on the KCTCS Board of Regents. In 2009, he was elected to serve a two-year term as KCTCS board secretary and as a board vice chair in 2010. His new chair position will expire in June 2013. He is the fifth person to serve in this role.
Carlos Ransey decided he needed more education and turned to West Kentucky Community and Technical College. Eagerly, he enrolled in the Physical Therapist Assistant program in the fall 2006. After hard work and dedication, he graduated with honors and has never looked back.
During high school, life was great for Mr. Ransey academically and the football team he played for had an exceptional record his senior year. But that spring his life took a drastic turn. His beloved aunt passed away and he became deeply depressed, dropping out of school just a few months shy of graduation. Determined to get back on track, he graduated from high school in 1993 and attended Murray State University on a football scholarship. After nearly 10 years, he earned a bachelor's degree in exercise science, yet felt something was still missing.
In honor of his grandmother whom he lost to a heart attack in 1998, Mr. Ransey wanted to make a difference in the lives of others with heart problems. He chose a new career in cardiac rehabilitation. Mr. Ransey currently works in outpatient therapy at Murray Calloway County Hospital. "I can't imagine doing anything else with my life. I love helping others and get joy from seeing them realize they can have a better quality of life if they are willing to work for it. I owe it all to God and WKCTC," said Ransey.
V. Ann Newman was appointed by the governor as a
board member for the Kentucky Commission on Human
Rights, representing the 7th Supreme Court District,
and also a board member of the Martin Luther King Jr.
Commission in Frankfort.
Ann began taking classes at ACC in the early 1980s,
where she went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree at Ohio
University-Southern Campus, and in 2010 she completed
her Master’s Degree from Ashford University. She is Vice
President of Compliance and Internal Controls at Ashland
Credit Union and serves the community in several offices:
President of the Boyd and Greenup County Branch,
Secretary and Auditor of the Kentucky State Conference
of the NAACP. She is a board member of FIVCO, board
member of Boyd County Cooperative Extension Service,
and treasurer, usher and trustee of New Hope Baptist
Church. She was recently appointed to the diversity
council for Ohio University and ACTC.
Ann is also the President and CEO of Newman and
Associates Consulting, LLC, a firm providing diversity and
business training, image and agent consulting services.
With hard work and determination, she succeeded. And,
so can you.
Mrs. Zita Eley graduated from Ashland Community College, a predecessor of ACTC, with an Associate Degree in Nursing and from Ohio University Southern with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing. She is certified in wound care by the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society (WOCN®).
A lifelong Ashland, KY resident, Eley has worked for over 20 years at the VA Medical Center in Huntington, WV, where she is currently Wound Care Coordinator. She is dedicated to her patients and her profession. "I owe the veterans my freedom, and that is one of the reasons I love my job," she said.
She is a member of the National WOCN Society and is active in Christ Temple Church. She is an advocate of higher education and encourages young people to make the most of their educational opportunities.
Samuel Thomas graduated from Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) in May 2011 with an Associate in Science degree. While at BSCTC, Samuel raised his GPA and was included on the President’s List and Dean’s List multiple times. Currently, Samuel is enrolled at both BSCTC and Morehead State University. He is vice-president of BSCTC’s Student Government Association and treasurer of its Multi Student Organization. Samuel’s goals for the future include developing a non-profit biodiesel research company in Salyersville, KY.
Emmanuel Joseph came to BSCTC in the fall of 2009 from Ouanaminthe in the northeastern part of Haiti.
Emmanuel excelled academically and was an exemplary scholar in the BSCTC Honors Program. Emmanuel has maintained a 3.72 overall GPA in a very rigorous, pre-professional curriculum.
Emmanuel was accepted to Alice Lloyd College in Pippa Passes, Kentucky in 2011.
"My stay at Big Sandy has been the greatest thing ever in my
life. I cannot imagine a better place than Big Sandy Community and Technical College. Deep in my heart, I consider and will
always consider the college as my "mother-college", meaning the one that has given birth to me as far as geng a higher
education is concerned. I would not change this wonderful environment for anything at all. The education system here is of great quality. The folks are loving and caring. I just love it here! And no matter where I go and who I become, Big Sandy will always have a special place in my heart."
Gary Hunter graduated from Big Sandy Community and
Technical College (BSCTC) in May 2009 with an applied
Science degree and a diploma in electronics, electricity,
robotics and electrical technology.
While at BSCTC, Gary maintained a 4.0 GPA and was on
the President’s List and Dean’s list each semester. On June
12, 2009, he was among 32 of Kentucky’s top community
college students to be honored as members of the
Kentucky Community and Technical College System’s
2009 All-Academic Team. In addition to making the All-
Academic Team, Gary also received the 2009 All Student
Academic Achievement Award.
Gary is a proud father of twin girls and a son. He currently
resides in Pikeville, KY.
Kathryn H. Hunt graduated from Lexington Community College (LCC) now known as Bluegrass Community & Technical College (BCTC) in 1989 with an associate in arts degree and later transferred to the University of Louisville where she became the first African American to graduate from the physical therapy program.
Upon completion of the physical therapy program, Hunt worked at the University of Kentucky outpatient department for thirteen years before joining Drayer Physical Therapy Institute, where she has worked for the last seven years. She also works as a lab assistant to Tony English Ph.D., where she provides clinical input and serves as a mentor for current and perspective physical therapy students. Additionally, Hunt works with Fayette County Public School’s Experienced-Based Career Education program for high school students, and with other student volunteers who have an interest in the physical therapy profession.
As a child, Hunt had to overcome significant academic challenges and a childhood spent caring for her ill mother. When she began college, she arrived with a strong desire to achieve, but lacked confidence in her academic abilities. She recounts, "I remember my notebook paper smudged and torn, by repetitive erasing, and soggy from tears . . . from my difficulties [with math]". But Kathryn's dedication to learning prevailed and today her occupational achievements in the field of physical therapy and her role as a mentor to young students across Fayette County make her a notable alumnus of Bluegrass Community and Technical College.
Miriam Teresa Porter graduated from Marion County High
School in 1985 and enrolled in Bluegrass Community and
Technical College (BCTC - formerly Lexington Community
College) shortly thereafter. She later transferred to the
University of Kentucky (UK) where she obtained a bachelor
of science in health administration in 1989; the first female
African-American, Kentucky native, to graduate from this
After graduating from UK she decided to enroll again at
BCTC to pursue additional technical degrees. In 1992 she
graduated with an associate of applied science in computer
information systems, and followed in 1993 with an associate
degree of applied science in nuclear medicine technology.
During her second collegiate endeavor, she served terms
as both the president of the Student Union, as well as the
president of the Black Student Union. In 1993, she was the
first African-American female from Kentucky to graduate and
be licensed in the field of nuclear medicine technology.
In 2006 she relocated to Arizona where she is currently the
Coordinator of the Nuclear Medicine Department at St. Mary’s
Hospital in Tucson. Throughout her professional career she
has been very active in leadership roles on the national,
regional and local levels of a number of nuclear medicine
societies including, serving as president of the Arizona
Nuclear Medicine Society.
James Barue Wilson graduated from Lexington Community College (now known as Bluegrass Community and Technical College) in 1999 with an associate degree. He continued his education, earning his bachelor's degree in integrated strategic communications at the University of Kentucky and his MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University.
After completion of his bachelor's degree he was hired by AT&T where he held multiple positions before accepting his latest position as Executive Manager of Escalation & Resolution. James's five year plan includes earning his law degree, establishing a real estate company and running for the U.S. Senate.
With hard work and determination, Barue Wilson made it. So can you.
Sherita Clark graduated from Bowling Green Technical College with an Associate’s Degree in General Occupational Technical Studies and is currently pursuing a second Degree in Business Administration Human Resource Management. She started as a student worker for Bowling Green Technical College’s Business Studies Division while she pursued her first degree, and soon after graduation she was hired in a full-time role as the Administrative Assistant. Her role at the college has proven to be invaluable, as she serves as a motivator and mentor for all students on a daily basis. Her drive and determination to continue to strive towards completing her educational goals are just a few of the many things that make Sherita an exemplary role model.
Ashley Kirk graduated from Bowling Green Technical
College (BGTC) with an associate degree in surgical
technology and returned to obtain an associate degree
in nursing. She is currently continuing her education
at Western Kentucky University, pursuing a bachelor’s
degree in nursing. Ashley previously worked as a surgical
technologist at T.J. Sampson Hospital in Glasgow and is
now working in the intensive care unit of The Medical
Center of Bowling Green as an registered nurse.
Ashley chose BGTC for her educational preparation
because of the high quality of education and Individual
attention they provide. Her positive experience at BGTC
helped jump-start her education and career.
Lawrence White was born in the Delafield community of Bowling Green, one of thirteen children of Mattie and the late Ollie White. He graduated from Warren Central High School in 1979 and decided to take technical classes in auto mechanics at what was then called Bowling Green State Vocational School, now Bowling Green Technical College.
White left the auto dealership to accept a position with Monarch Environmental where he worked as Operations Manager until 1999. White then became co-owner of Scott Waste Services and was vice president and general manager serving twelve counties and 55,000 customers in the state of Kentucky.
White and his partner sold Scott Waste Services to Waste Connections in 2004 and he became District Manager, overseeing three districts and managed three offices. He resigned from Waste Connections in 2008 and he is currently a managing consultant with an environmental consulting firm.
In addition to a successful career, White has assisted the community by serving as a member of the: Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce Board, Human Rights Commission Board, Boy and Girls Clubs of America Board, Kiwanis Club, South Central Minority Economic Development Council, and currently serves as a member of Black Men United, and the West Side Camp.
"My training at the school gave me a solid foundation for employment and put me on the path for a successful career," said White.
Reverend John Pettigrew graduated from Elizabethtown Community and Technical College in 1966 with an Associate in Arts Degree, and continued his undergraduate education at Rehboth Christian College and graduate work at Christian Theological Seminary. John focused on ministering to the needs of disadvantaged inner city youth, and his programs have been recognized as exemplary models of successful intervention. Today, Pettigrew Ministries creates new church starts to eventually hand over to young first-time pastors. He mentors student ministers, is publishing a training manual and is pursuing a doctorate in theology.
Reverend Pettigrew followed his life's passion and lives his dream. And, so can you.
One credential from Elizabethtown Community and Technical
College (ECTC) was simply not enough for Charlotte Davis.
Twelve years after earning a diploma in accounting, she
completed an associate degree in medical office technology.
A believer in lifelong learning she went on to earn a bachelor’s
degree last year in applied technology from Western Kentucky
University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in
mental health counseling.
Charlotte serves as director of human resources for Lincoln
Trail Behavioral Health Systems in Radcliff. She is a member of
the Elizabethtown Society of Human Resources Managers and
the Leadership Elizabethtown Alumni Association.
Charlotte believes in giving back to her community. She has
served as an ambassador for the Elizabethtown/Hardin County
Chamber of Commerce, site coordinator for the United Way,
volunteer leader for the Fund for the Arts, and treasurer and
youth bus ministry coordinator for the Hodgenville Church of
God of Prophecy.
For the past 16 years, she has served ECTC as a member of
the business technology program advisory committee.
Kinta Joseph graduated from Gateway Community and Technical College with an associate degree in criminal justice and transferred to Northern Kentucky University, where she plans to obtain a bachelor’s degree. A Hurricane Katrina survivor from the 8th Ward in New Orleans, Kinta did not believe she was college material when she moved to Northern Kentucky in 2005. A social worker pointed her to the former Urban Learning Center, now Gateway’s Urban Center, where she took a few college classes. This experience led her to become a full-time student at Gateway and to eventually obtain a degree. Along with her degree, Kinta scored A’s in all her classes and received the 2009 President’s Award as Gateway’s most outstanding graduate.
A few years ago, Kinta was locked in a succession of dead-end jobs. Now she looks forward to a future helping juvenile offenders rebuild their lives.
With hard work and determination, Kinta is climbing the ladder of success. So can you.
Tynea Harris graduated from Gateway Community and Technical College in the spring of 2010 with an associate in arts degree. Tynea was no stranger to Gateway when she enrolled; she had previously worked at the college as an AmeriCorps volunteer. Tynea has enjoyed her years at Gateway so much she now works at the college in the adult education program, and she is continuing to take classes, this time in business administration. Her ultimate goal is to work in the human services field.
These days, Tynea spends much of her time encouraging students to follow a path similar to hers. As an administrative assistant, she encourages adult students to work toward earning a GED and continuing their education.
It's a formula for success that is working for Tynea. It can work for you, too.
For Jarvis Williams, Hazard Community & Technical College was the first step toward his extensive academic career which resulted in his earning a doctorate degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) in Louisville.
While growing up in Red Fox in Knott County where basketball and baseball were the most important things to him at the time, he would not have guessed that he would now be an assistant professor of New Testament and Greek at Campbellsville University in Campbellsville.
Dr. Williams has high praise for the quality teaching he received at HCTC. “They were especially personable and compassionate. I am most fond of the English courses I took during the spring of 1997 and summer of 1999.”
Dr. Williams graduated from Knott County Central in 1996 where he was a sports standout. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from the James P. Boyce College in Louisville; a Master of Divinity in Biblical and Theological Studies, a Master of Theology, and a Doctorate of Philosophy from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville.
Dr. Williams was attracted to teaching for several reasons; he said his top two were: “My love and desire to impact and shape the minds of the future with a Christ-centered, biblical worldview and my love for Christian scholarship.”
Besides being an author of several books and articles, Dr. Williams is a member of The American Academy of Religion, The Evangelical Theological Society, The Institute for Biblical Research, and The Society of Biblical Literature.
Charlene Faye Turner Walker is the current vice-president of
multiculturalism and inclusion at Bluegrass Community and
Technical College. She began her higher education journey at
Hazard Community and Technical College and transferred to
Eastern Kentucky University where she received a bachelor’s
degree in social work and a master’s degree in counseling. She has
also done post graduate work in women’s studies and appalachian
studies from the University of Kentucky and diversity management
course work from Cornell University in New York, NY.
Prior to becoming involved in academia, Charlene was employed
in Hazard as a social worker with Family and Protective Services
and as a physical planner providing technical assistance to local
governments in the Kentucky River Area Development District.
Charlene has served numerous civic and community organizations
including chair of the National Conference for Community
and Justice. She is also the founder and director of Carnegie
Hall, a STEM camp for high school juniors and seniors from the
burgeoning population, and an alumnus of Leadership Bluegrass
and Leadership Kentucky. Charlene resides in Lexington and is the
mother of two adult children; Carmen and Colby Combs, and the grandmother of two grandsons; Camdyn and Cadyn.
Michelle Chappell graduated from Henderson Community College (HCC) with an Associate of Science degree in Management Information System and bachelors of Science degree from University of Southern Indiana (USI) in Applied Computer Science. She is currently enrolled at Morehead State University in the Masters of Science Information System program and will complete this degree in December 2011. She is currently employed at the Henderson Community College as an Information Technology Instructor in the Social/Behavioral Sciences and Related Technologies Department.
Michelle credits much of her success to the support of her family, friends and extended family at Henderson Community College and Owensboro Community and Technical College. They have mentored her through her journey and still are good resources to use if she ever has a problem or needs advice. Education is a key to her success and using the motivating message from her late grandmother, “Education is something no one can take from you; always get as much of it that you can.” She hopes to inspire her students with this philosophy.
Michelle Tutt Schlager graduated from Henderson
Community College (HCC) with an associate's degree in
nursing and from Union College with a bachelor's degree
in psychology and English. After graduation from HCC,
she moved to Ohio, to work as a registered nurse at Fort
Hamilton Hospital in Hamilton, Ohio. Two years later she
accepted her current position at Mercy Hospital working
in the obstetrics and neonatal area.
Michelle credits much of her success to the warmth,
openness and commitment to excellence of HCC's faculty
and staff. She says, "My professors expected perfection,
punctuality, professionalism, and strong study skills….
but at the same time they showered all the students with
compassion, empathy and understanding for that little
thing called "life" that often gets in the way and never
makes things easy".
Dr. Jahrael Burrell began his higher education endeavors at Hopkinsville Community College (HCC) in the spring of 1993. He then transferred to Kentucky State University (KSU) Kentucky’s only Historically Black College. In addition, he also attended Western Kentucky University (WKU) as a Visiting Scholar in the summer of 1996.
In 1998, he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and History from KSU where he focused on cultural similarities, critical synthesis, and integrated studies. He graduated cum laude and was nationally recognized for his scholarship and research in the social sciences. His Senior Thesis was entitled, A Comparative Narrative: W.E.B. Dubois and Aristotle’s Talented Tenth.
Dr. Burrell earned a Masters of Science degree in human ecology from Kansas State University in 2003, where he focused his research on families and diversity looking at the perceptions of individuals and their commitment to strong families across race and ethnicity.
He earned his Ph.D. in family studies and human services in May of 2009 at Kansas State University. There he was an instructor, researcher, and mentor in the College of Human Ecology. He wrote his dissertation entitled, The Influences of Gender, Generation, and Race/Ethnicity on Hegemony in Contemporary America so the voice of minority groups will be heard and that their rights, their thoughts, and their ideas will no longer be silent.
Dr. Jahrael Burrell is currently serving as interim program coordinator and instructor for human services program at Hopkinsville Community College.
Ernie graduated from Hopkinsville Community College
(HCC) with an associate in arts degree in May 2010.
During the commencement ceremony, Ernie was
awarded the "Spirit Cup" and named the outstanding HCC
graduate. After graduation, he transferred to Western
Kentucky University to pursue a bachelor's degree, with
plans of becoming a high school science teacher.
"It's all about education – trying to make my life better."
— Ernie Simmons, Hopkinsville Community College
graduate, Class of 2010
Sherman Bush received an associate degree from Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC), and his bachelor and master’s degrees from the University of Louisville.
He is a counselor and professor at JCTC.
“My life is much better because of my deciding to pursue a college degree. I learned so much, met wonderful people and sat at the feet of great instructors and professors. Further, it prepared me for life and the benefits a college education would provide.”
Doug Davis graduated from Madisonville Community College with an Associate in Arts Degree, and is continuing his education at Murray State University in pursuit of a degree in Social Work.
Just as higher education transformed Doug’s life, he hopes to make a difference in other people lives. Doug is employed with ResCare and Pennyroyal Mental Health Center where he mentors children and adults. He also works part-time at UPS.
With hard work and determination, Doug made it. And, so can you.
Grace Milan graduated from Madisonville Community College with an Associate in Arts Degree, and continued her education at Western Kentucky University where she earned a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education.
Grace is currently employed at Longest Elementary School as a second grade teacher. This is her eleventh year teaching.
With hard work and determination, Grace made it. And, so can you.
Andy Johnson graduated from Madisonville Community
College with a diploma in nursing and an associate of
applied science degree. He is continuing his education
through KCTCS to obtain licensure as a registered nurse.
His career aspiration is to work in the field of forensic
Andy currently works as a unit manager for a local
rehabilitation and nursing facility. He previously owned
a healthcare contracting business. When asked about
his success, Andy says he gives credit to his teachers and
staff who helped him, his children for inspiration, his wife
for drive, and most of all, God for strength, courage and
With hard work and determination, Andy made it. So
Lesley Mayberry graduated from Maysville Community and Technical College with an associate in arts degree in 2006. She enrolled in the University of Kentucky to pursue a bachelor of arts degree in English, which she completed in 2008. While attending UK, she worked at the Disability Resource Center and discovered a passion for helping individuals with disabilities.
A year later, Mayberry continued into the graduate program in rehabilitation counseling at UK and received her master’s degree in December 2010, along with her certification. She currently volunteers at Hospice of Hope as well as in a Straub Elementary preschool classroom.
Mayberry is involved with The Learning Academy, a group designed to help children who need extra assistance in school. She also assists with the design and implementation of learning activities for the Ann DeSpain Reading Program, and serves as secretary on the Board of Founders.
Melitta Williams graduated from Maysville Community & Technical College in 2004 with an Associate in Arts degree. She continued her education through Lindsey Wilson College in 2006 where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Services and Counseling. In 2010, Melitta went back to further her education by completing a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Capella University. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Adult Education and will graduate in 2012.
"As I look back on my beginning journey at Maysville Community & Technical College," says Williams, "I have learned it is important to have a mission and vision in getting to the next steps of my professional endeavors. I have been able to obtain success through hard work and determination. It is a great pleasure and honor to be acknowledged for success in life."
Melitta is the mother of a five year old daughter. She plans to continue her education by completing a doctoral degree in the criminal justice field within the next six years.
Dr. Edna Thomas was in the first graduating class of
Maysville Community and Technical College in 1970. She
received her bachelor’s degree from Ohio Dominican
College in 1984, a master’s degree from The Ohio State
University in 1992, and a doctoral degree in philosophy
from The Ohio State University in 1999.
Dr. Thomas has been employed with Columbus Public
Schools for the past 26 years as a classroom teacher, Title
1 Reading teacher, curriculum facilitator and professional
development facilitator. She is currently responsible for
all of the professional development for teachers and
administrators in six schools who are involved in the
Teacher Advancement Program with Columbus City
Schools. She is also a professor of records at The Ohio
State University for Columbus City Schools, as well as
an adjunct faculty member of Ashland University, in
After working in manufacturing all her life at 39 years old, Alitta Leachman found herself a divorced mother of two. She realized that she needed to take control of her life. Enrolling at OCTC she found she was eligible for the Ready to Work program. She served as a work-study student while earning her Associate in Science degree and became an employee of the college as a Transitional Specialist in the adult education program. Alitta continued her educational path while working at OCTC earning both a Bachelor’s degree in HR from WKU with a double minor in CIS and Entrepreneurship, then going on to earn a Master’sdegree in Human Development and Leadership from MSU.
Alitta applies that same dedication to her job helping students. “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to work with many students of various cultures and different backgrounds. I enjoy seeing the students achieve their educational, work and personal goals. It gives me great satisfaction to know that I had a part in helping someone take control of their life and achieve their goals.”
With hard work and determination, Alitta made it. And, so can you.
Pamela LaVerne Smith-Wright was born and raised in
Owensboro. She graduated from Owensboro High
School where she was on the first Girls Track Team,
winning a state championship in her senior year. After
earning her license in Cosmetology, Pam was the first
African-American to work in an all white beauty salon
in Owensboro. She has owned Tastefully Yours, a
catering business, for over 20 years. Pam was the first
African-American to hold the office of President of the
Kentucky AmVets Ladies Auxiliary. In her bid for a
seat on the Owensboro City Commission, she was the
top vote getter in the primary and general elections,
making her the first woman to hold the office of Mayor
Pam has served on the Advisory Board of Cosmetology
for OCTC since 1975. She is a graduate of Leadership
Owensboro and The Kentucky Women’s Leadership
Network. She holds the rank of Kentucky Colonel and
serves as President of the Lady Kentucky Colonels.
She is Past President of the Owensboro Human
Relations Commission and she received the Owensboro
Human Relations Humanitarian Award in 1999. In
2005 and 2010 she was an Athena Award nominee.
Pam and her husband Eugene Wright have two children
and two wonderful grandchildren.
With hard work and determination, Pam made it. And, so can you.
George Henderson graduated from Owensboro
Community and Technical College with associate
degrees in accounting and business, as well as a minor
in computer science. He continued his education,
earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science from
Kentucky Wesleyan College and an MBA in technology
management from the University of Phoenix.
"I was a non-traditional student. I was coming out of the
workforce, caught in a layoff, and did not have a job. I
thought the best thing for me to do was to go back and
complete my education."
George began his career at UniFirst as a computer
programmer and now serves as their quality manager. He
is a member of the Owensboro Community and Technical
College Board of Directors and the Owensboro Medical
John L. Perkins, lifelong resident of Pulaski County, is
well-known to most people in our city and county. He was
educated in the Somerset City Schools and is a graduate of
Somerset Community College (SCC).
Mr. Perkins began his career as a mail carrier and was later
promoted to the Somerset Postmaster where he served the
citizens of this area for many years. Upon retirement, Mr.
Perkins became a private business entrepreneur when he
opened, owned, and operated, along with his family, the
Johnny B’s Restaurant — the best barbeque in the south!
A firm believer in the importance of education he has
served on both the Somerset Board of Education and the
Somerset Community College Board of Directors. During
his tenure on SCC’s board he led the community-wide
effort to recognize former Somerset resident, Robert Todd
Duncan, a world-renowned star of opera and Broadway,
who broke down segregation barriers around the world
in the 1930’s. His effort resulted in Mr. Duncan’s induction
into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, the Kentucky
Civil Rights Hall of Fame, and the Wall of Great Black
Jonathon Wilson a native of Somerset, Kentucky, Jonathon Wilson followed his dream of many years. After graduating from Somerset High School, he enlisted in the United States Army and underwent training that resulted in his becoming a Military Police Officer with specialized Airborne Training. This path led him to accept deployments to Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo; the Pentagon; and to Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan – all in his first stint in the service.
When Jonathon returned from service to Somerset, he immediately enrolled in Somerset Community College where he earned two Associate Degrees, one in Applied Science, and one in Criminal Justice. He also served Somerset Community College as its first Safety and Security Coordinator, responsible for safety and security for all six College sites.
As a transfer student, Eastern Kentucky University was his next location where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice with an emphasis in Police Studies and a minor in Psychology. There he was inducted into the Criminal Justice professional fraternity of Lambda Alpha Epsilon Chapter Lambda Omicron Pi.
Wilson briefly served in the U.S. Marshall Service in Washington, DC, and immediately followed this service as an Officer in the U.S. Army. He currently serves our country in Afghanistan and plans to return to Fort Knox, Kentucky in the near future. Following his enrollment and completion of degrees at Somerset Community College, Wilson made a successful transition to life. His life was transformed by his education in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.
Counselor! Scholar! Master Teacher! Advocate! Leader! Diplomat! Pioneer! Communicator! Achiever! All are fitting to describe Harlan County native Dr. Jerome (Ronnie) Ratchford.
He was born in Lynch the eldest child of Otis and Louvenia Ratchford. His journey has extended from Lynch West Main High School, class of 1960, to academic experiences and degrees earned at the University of Kentucky, Indiana University and Bowling Green State University, where he was awarded a Ph.D. in educational leadership. He began his collegiate studies as one the first students to enroll at Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College. That journey has also seen him hold academic and administrative posts at Talladega College, Emory University, Lincoln University and Kennesaw State University.
Dr. Ratchford enjoyed an exceptional professional career. He has taught graduate-level educational leadership and curriculum development courses to aspiring principals and career teachers. He has also taught graduate-level students in the area of working effectively with learners who are culturally diverse.
Overall, Dr. Ratchford has served professionally as an administrator in higher education. He has had administrative oversight over a number of units at the institutions he has served. Presently, he serves as Vice President of the Division of Student Success at Kennesaw State University in suburban Atlanta. Prior to this position, he served as the Dean of Students and Director of the Student Development Department.
Additionally, he has frequently been asked to serve as a presenter, keynote speaker, panelist, workshop facilitator and researcher. He is the recipient of numerous honors and special recognitions. One such honor was the “Jerome Ratchford Lifetime Achievement Award” which was established by the Executive Board of the African American Student Alliance (AASA). He is also the recipient of Kennesaw State University Administrative Service Award.
He is married to Dr. Cynthia W. Ratchford; they are the parents of two children.
William H. Turner is currently Distinguished Professor of
Appalachian Studies & Regional Ambassador at Berea College.
Born and raised in a large coal mining family in Lynch (Harlan
County, KY) Bill was awarded an Associates of Arts degree from
Southeast Community College (1966), the Bachelor of Science
degree in sociology from the University of Kentucky (1968) and
the doctorate in sociology and anthropology from Notre Dame
Bill was the first to combine interests in the fields of African-
American (AAS) and Appalachian Studies, having been the first
Director of AAS at Notre Dame (1969) and publishing a book
titled simply Blacks in Appalachia (1985). Appointed (Visiting)
Goode Professor of Black & Appalachian Studies at Berea
(1988), Turner has held teaching positions at Fisk and Howard
universities and administrative positions at Kentucky State
University (Dean and Interim President) and Vice President at the
University of Kentucky. Among the many honors Bill has received
throughout his illustrious career, in 2009, the Appalachian Studies
Association (ASA) honored him for a lifetime of service to the
Appalachian region with its Cratis D. Williams/James S. Brown
Service Award. The Christian Appalachian Project recognized
Turner as its Citizen of the Year in 1994. In 2006, he was inducted
as a Notre Dame Black Exemplar; and, in 2007, he was honored
with the State of Kentucky's Dr. Martin Luther King Citizen's
Award. Turner was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of
Fame in September 2007.
Pastor Michael Pryor graduated with
distinction from West Kentucky Community and Technical
College with an Associate of Arts degree. Pastor Pryor
earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biblical studies from
Mid-Continent Bible College; and he is currently pursuing a
Master of Divinity degree from Murray State University.
Originally from Fulton, Pastor Pryor owned and operated a
successful barber and beauty shop in the small town for
more than ten years. But in 2008, "God compelled me to
establish the House of Hope Ministries," he said, "a church
offering hope to the hopeless, faith to the faithless and
Christ to the Christ-less."
With what began with just seven faithful followers, House
of Hope has grown to more than 200 members in a little
more than three years.
With faith and determination, Pastor Pryor made it. And, so
On February 12, West Kentucky Community and Technical College will host its Second Annual Super Sunday event. This unique college fair promotes the many educational opportunities available to African Americans and individuals of color at the various colleges within the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.
As part of this initiative, KCTCS is honoring alumni for their achievements by inclusion in the Super Sunday Hall of Fame.
Teresa Spann, pictured above, graduated in 1995 with an Associate of Science degree in education from the community college in Paducah, KY. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Western Kentucky University and is currently pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership from WKU and a principal certificate from Murray State University.
Spann, an eighth grade teacher at Paducah Middle School, believes in teaching her students about the importance of getting a college education and using God’s gifts to help them achieve their goals.
"I tell them that everyday is a learning moment and the decisions they make today directly affects their choices of tomorrow." With hard work and determination, Teresa makes a difference every day.
Melinda Roberson graduated from West Kentucky
Community and Technical College (WKCTC) with an
associate degree in science and a certificate as a data
A 1999 Paducah Tilghman High School graduate, she
experienced hard times in her life before deciding to
enroll at WKCTC. As single parent, Roberson worked a fulltime
job to support her family while going to college.
At 26, Roberson became marketing director of Chick-fil-A
in Paducah. She is now a patient access specialist in the
emergency room at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta,
and is working on her MBA with an emphasis in human
resource administration at Georgia State University’s
Keller School in Atlanta, GA.
With hard work and determination, Melinda made it. So
Everything you need to know about Super Sunday!
Super Sunday is an annual student recruitment initiative specifically targeting African-American students and their families, with information and resources to support college admissions and enrollment. On Sunday, February 24, 2013, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS), and each of its 16 colleges will partner with African-American churches throughout the state to host college information fairs for prospective college students and their families. The day will promote higher education to show students how they can achieve a college education. It will also highlight the role of parental involvement and early preparation in facilitating successful access to college for African- Americans. It is part of the KCTCS Super Sunday statewide effort to encourage early planning for college and the involvement of community members as mentors for young people.
In 2011, KCTCS’ inaugural year, Super Sunday proved to be a huge success. More than 30 churches participated statewide with a total attendance of more than 4,000 people. Leading up to and during the event, KCTCS received 373 media hits statewide.
At each church there will be a worship service. Speakers from KCTCS will be invited to speak about the value of higher education, the importance of early planning and the involvement of community members as mentors for young people. After the worship service, representatives from each college will share information about the college planning process, admissions, degree programs, financial aid, scholarships and more.
Each event will implement the following basic agenda:
No, the event is free and open to the public.
KCTCS faculty and staff will be on-hand at each church to share information about college planning, financial aid, admissions requirements and college programs. Prospective students and their parents will also be able to connect with a college mentor who will serve as a college liaison to assist them with their long-term college planning needs.
Each event is open to the public, and people of all ages are invited to attend. Research has shown students begin contemplating college as early as elementary school, so students from K-12, their parents and families are the key audience for Super Sunday.
Churches are a vital part of the African-American community and we recognize the importance of meeting students where they work and live. Super Sunday will be held at churches throughout the state as a way to convene religious, community, civic, business and education leaders together to develop partnerships to educate youth, their parents and families about the value of a college degree to ensuring individual success.
Everyone is invited to this event. This is part of KCTCS’ mission to increase the educational opportunities for people of color, including African-Americans and Latinos. Super Sunday is an annual event for KCTCS and its 16 colleges.
The KCTCS Super Sunday event is modeled after a highly successful program developed at California State University (CSU). The CSU program is designed to connect with and inform African-American students and their families about what it takes to get into college.
Super Sunday is an event that seeks to promote a college-going culture. People interested in attending any college are invited.
As an open-access institution, one of KCTCS’ goals is to increase the educational attainment of diverse populations. Super Sunday is a KCTCS program to connect with and inform African-American students and their families about what it takes to get into college.
Research shows that students and families from all racial and ethnic groups have high aspirations for a college education, but the pipeline carrying students from one level of education to another is dangerously leaky, especially from the African-American and Latino quarters. A 2011 KCTCS prospective student research study reveals that historically underserved respondents have a greater desire as a percent of Kentucky’s undereducated adult population than do Caucasians to pursue a higher education. National industry trends indicate the majority of future growth in higher education will come primarily from these segments of the population.
Kentucky’s public and independent colleges and universities estimate that they have conferred 63,000 degrees and credentials during the 2011‐12 academic year, representing an overall increase of four percent over last year. The largest one‐year increase was seen at the associate level, with substantial increases in all sectors, led by an estimated increase of 20 percent or 1,600 degree earners, at KCTCS (source: Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education).
Each event will implement the following basic agenda:
The echoes of a choir singing "Yes You Can" said it all at a Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) Super Sunday press event today at the Capitol. Super Sunday is an annual student recruitment initiative specifically targeting African-American students and their families. On February 24, KCTCS and each of its 16 colleges will partner with African-American churches in their communities to host information fairs for prospective college students and their families.
Read the full press release »
Videos with the KCTCS Board Chair and college presidents about Super Sunday 2013.
System Director of Marketing & Public Relations
System Director for Cultural Diversity
Senior Public Relations Manager
Public Relations Manager
KCTCS Super Sunday 2012 Video
(Press Conference) Gov. Beshear: "As Governor today I'm officially naming February 12
(VOICEOVER PHOTOS OF PROCLAMATION) as KCTCS Super Sunday day in the Commonwealth of
(Press Conference) (DR JAY BOX) "Super Sunday is an annual initiative we at KCTCS are
extremely proud to sponsor"
(WTVQ NEWS CLIP) "Kentucky is trying to attract more minority students to its community
and technical college system."
(WLEX NEWS CLIPS) "The goal of this is for more African American students to be enrolled
(RADIO NEWS CLIP) "Only 8 out of every 100 African-American students will graduate from
college and that number has the attention of community leaders, the Kentucky Community and
Technical College System and Governor Steve Beshear."
(GOV BESHEAR) "8 out of 100, that's unacceptable folks, that's a lot of lost opportunity
and a lot of unrealized potential."
(WKYTNEWS CLIP-P.G. Peeples) "What we want to do is make sure students know they can
attend college it's affordable. It's accessible.
(KCTCS Graphic-Music Plays) YES YOU CAN" -DONNIE MCCLURKIN)
(REV PRENTICE BRUTON) "We want to give our children an opportunity to excel, to achieve
and to grow (VOICEOVER CHURCH COLLEGE FAIR PHOTOS) and the only way to do that is to get a
(REV FLOYD GREENE) "We have got to get back to educating our kids according to their
purpose and potential. (VOICEOVER CHURCH PHOTOS) So I think this kind of initiative partners
with the church to let them know the intrinsic value of education."
(MUSIC "Yes you can. You can do anything if you try just try...yes you can")
(P.G. Peeples-VOICEOVER CHURCH PHOTOS) "By doing this we let the community know there is
a place for African-American students at any of the 16 KCTCS college"
(MUSIC "You can make it through your trials for your trials will just make you strong.
You can do anything"
DR AUGUSTA JULIAN) "We serve communities throughout Central Kentucky and we're actually
in nine different locations
(VOICEOVER CHURCH PHOTOS) so we think it's really important to reach out to our other
communities and to give the message that anyone can go to college and we are open for
(KATHRYN HUNT) "Yes you can was always there. All I needed was "show me the way"
and that's what the community college did for me,(VOICEOVER CHURCH PHOTOS) they showed me the
(MUSIC) "Let them know that they can go far".
(SHERITA CLARK) "Being at Bowling Green Technical College they had hands on skills I
already had and helped me build on those to be successful in the workplace."
(MUSIC PLAYS OVER -CHURCH PHOTOS) "For that day the provision would make the decision you
can do all things through your faith. Yes You Can."
(DR. THELMA WHITE) "College is available. Now we know students have to prepare themselves
and (VOICEOVER CHURCH PHOTOS) and we want them to know they should take it seriously but if they
are serious about a college education it is available right here in our community."
(MUSIC OVER CHURCH PHOTOS) "What you have inside...you can make it..through your
(REV. RICHARD FOWLER) "Having an avenue of approaching the community, having direct contacs
with individuals allows us (VOICEOVER CHURCH PHOTOS) that podium and that platform to present
the neccessity of education."
(MUSIC "Yeah..yeah...yeah..Yes I can" )
(DR. STEVE GREINER)"Students may be thinking about college but often times don't feel it's
VOICEOVER CHURCH PHOTOS) "and by events such as this we can show them how it's very
possible, it's within their means and it is the best bargain in higher education in the
(MICHELLE CHAPPELL) "My late grandma she always told me education is something nobody
can take from you, get as much as you can."
(MUSIC OVER CHURCH PHOTOS) "through my trials..trials will just make me strong. You can
do it. I can do anything...just believe it. Yes I Can."
(DR. BOX VOICEOVER CHURCH PHOTOS) "Prospective college students and their families will
learn on Super Sunday that:
"Yes you can go to college.
Yes you can get a college degree..."
and yes you can have a high paying job."
(MUSIC OVER CHURCH PHOTOS) "Yes I can do anything... can you believe it I can I can
(KATHRYN HUNT VOICEOVER CHURCH PHOTOS) "Yes you can achieve, it means yes you can do anything you want to do."
"but you have to believe in yourself."
(MUSIC OVER CHURCH PHOTOS) "I can...I can...yes I can do anything."
(REV SHALMON RADFORD) "For many years the African-American church particularly has been
(VOICEOVER CHURCH PHOTOS) "it has been the hub of information for our communities."
"and if our communities are going to hear of the significance of this endeavor from
"it will be heard in our churches."
(MUSIC OVER CHURCH PHOTOS) "You can do anything if you try..just try...yes you can."
(REV. RODNEY BENNETT) "We're in an age and time when education is truly the cornerstone
of future opportunity."
(VOICEOVER CHURCH PHOTOS) "and the church as much as educational facilities should be
a transformation station."
(MUSIC OVER CHURCH PHOTOS) "Through your trials.."
(DR. ED STORY) "we are extending a hand to them, they are extending a hand back to
(MUSIC OVER CHURCH PHOTOS) "Yes you can..."
(DR. JAMES KLAUBER) "Education is the new civil right it's the coin of the realm.
(VOICEOVER CHURCH PHOTOS) "It's the thing, the tool that all people need to move forward
in the modern workplace."
(MUSIC) "Train them as they go, let them know that they can go far..."
(ELAINE WILSON) "We want them to understand that no matter who they are they're welcome
at the community college system.
(VOICEOVER CHURCH PHOTOS) "We want them to know we'll do whatever we can do to encourage them...
"to become a member of the society that values them because they have an education.""
(DR BRUCE AYERS) "We're going to work as hard as we can to provide a path for them to
come to the college..."
(VOICEOVER CHURCH PHOTOS) "and not only to come to the college but more importantly
succeed once they arrive."
(REV JAMES CHESNEY) "We believe in education we believe in trying to help the community
to raise its educational levels."
(MUSIC OVER CHURCH PHOTOS) "You can make it. Through your trials
(MUSIC) "when trials will just make you strong,..you can do anything."
(DR. BARBARA VEAZEY NEWS CLIP) "We want to say you can go to college you have every
(MUSIC) "Yes you can...oh...oh..."
(P.G. PEEPLES) "KCTCS should be commended for taking this proactive step..."
(VOICEOVER CHURCH PHOTOS) "..reaching out to the African-American commuity."
(GOV. BESHEAR VOICEOVER CHURCH PHOTOS) "I want to congratulate all of you on this initiative."
(VOICEOVER) "And I must tell you, you have my full support on behalf of 4.3 million
Kentuckians, thank you."
(GRAPHIC) "Thanks to all who made Super Sunday a Statewide Success!"
(GRAPHIC) "More than double last year's participation!"
we believe that uh... pardoning with churches
the local communities we can create partnerships in programs
to stop the leakage that exist in kentucky's educational pipeline
leakage is resulting only fifty seven percent of minority students
graduating from high school
forty two percent interning college
and eight percent
we need to do something that we need to be heart
of the solution for this
out on the college front not another african americans are graduating
kentucky but a new program program is heartening churches drivers than ever
back in america to graduate from college in kentucky created
estimated in kentucky fewer than one sixteenth of all college degrees are
awarded the african-americans
an effort to change that kentucky community and technical analysis reports
say blacks are less than one sixteen of the college diplomas in our state
we must ensure that our kentucky citizens
sees this page occasional opportunity
and we can must pay special attention
to our african-american population
over an eight-year period
our colleges awarded almost a hundred and two thousand bachelor degrees
less than sixty five hundred of those degrees
with this card you'll see that i come here today
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and we want to help them to make informed choices
and we want them to heaven all the information we can provide about actual
community and technical college
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about financial and may not know about career possibilities
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