Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

December 17, 2013

In Your View

The Independent

ASHLAND — WKU offers  engineering

The mayors of Kentucky’s two largest cities are calling for more funding to train more engineers as a way to expand manufacturing clout. We couldn’t agree more. Helping Kentucky produce more engineers will provide a significant boost in the Commonwealth’s efforts to attract more jobs in the manufacturing sector.

We at Western Kentucky University are already providing access to engineering programs that support economic growth and workforce development in the southcentral Kentucky region and beyond.

For 10 years, WKU has offered undergraduate degree programs in civil, electrical and mechanical engineering. We have graduated more than 450 engineers over that time, including 64 during the 2012-13 academic year.

These programs are nationally accredited, led by highly-credentialed faculty using state-of-the-art facilities. We work closely with our 10 industrial partners who provide leadership, financial support and internship/employment opportunities. Our graduates are helping meet the needs of regional industry, pursuing advanced degrees, serving as officers in the military and becoming licensed professional engineers. In addition, WKU offers the only Flood Plain Management certificate program in the United States and a certificate in land surveying.

    The programs at WKU are geared toward project-based learning in small classes. Our students are consistently successful in concrete canoe, steel bridge and baja vehicle competitions. They build robots, mechanical first responders and submersibles. They work on collaborative projects with several of our industrial partners to address real needs and solve real problems.

The WKU engineering programs are supporting the Statewide Strategy in Engineering by increasing the number of baccalaureate engineers in Kentucky and providing greater geographic access and productivity in engineering education. The WKU’s engineering programs have a healthy undergraduate enrollment, successful graduates, engaged faculty, modern facilities and industrial and community partners suggests.

By the way, want to know what the world would be like without engineers? Just watch the video on our website: http://www.wku.edu/engineering/.

Dr. Cheryl Stevens, dean, Ogden College of Science and Engineering, Western Kentucky University

The wrong kind of gifts received

I'm a struggling mother who is unemployed and enrolled in the K-TAP program, which is frowned upon by many.

 I have been volunteering at the Highlands Museum now since May. That is the program’s requirements,

I signed my only child up for the CAReS Giving Tree,  hoping I could give my child an OK Christmas.

Two years ago I signed my boy up for his first Christmas, and he received a baby doll, and a package of socks for a 3-year-old.

The woman who gave me the package said she was sorry I didn't receive more. I took it with a smile, thanked her, and also wished her merry Christmas. Fortunately, my mother was there to pick up the slack that year.

When I read this year so many children weren't going to get toys through CAReS, and then two businesses donated over $15,000 to CAReS. 

Do you want to know what I received? A riding toy for 12-24 month old child, a blue-ray DVD. I have no blue-ray player, and an 18-month-old outfit. What am I to do with that?

I don't know what to do. As a mother we sign up on these programs to relieve some of the stress and pressure of the holidays.

Programs like this is supposed to be Santa, and its just depressing that two times my son has been shafted

Unfortunately my mother now has four grandchildren to buy for and can’t help me at all. Toys and presents do not matter. What matters the most is our love for one another. And again I’m truly grateful to CAReS.

Tabitha Poplin, Ashland