The Gatton Academy's News Archive
Gatton Academy Awarded $15,000 through General Motors Community Impact Grant, Bowling Green Assembly
- Thursday, June 29th, 2023
The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science at Western Kentucky University was named one of eight organizations to receive a collective $100,000 from the GM Bowling Green Assembly Plant through the GM Community Impact Grants (CIG) Program. The Gatton Academy received $15,000 to support five students participating in summer academic opportunities across Kentucky and the United States.
Through the CIG Program, the Bowling Green Assembly collaborated with GM Corporate Giving to identify programs that are helping to address local issues within the community. “It’s a great program that GM makes possible and allows our plant to be part of. The organizations that are being recognized today are well deserving of these monetary donations due to their commitment to the surrounding area, and their drive to make our communities a better place to live and grow,” said Carter Sperry, Assistant Plant Director at Bowling Green Assembly.
Students benefiting from the awarded funds are pursuing research and engagement opportunities at Mammoth Cave National Park, Brown University, and Indiana University in Bloomington.
Recent Gatton graduate Kenyan Wood, also of Caverna High School, and rising Gatton senior Lyla Wood, also of Edmonson County High School, are conducting internships with Mammoth Cave National Park. Kenyan Wood is working in Communications and Social Media and Lyla Wood is working in Curation and Digital Services.
Two students are spending a portion of their summers in Rhode Island at Brown University. Rising Gatton seniors Sara Nath, also of Larry A Ryle High School, and Vivianna Weaver, also of Garrard County High School, are conducting faculty-mentored research. Nath is developing deep learning models to predict Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis accurately with Dr. Ritambhara Singh of Brown’s Department of Computer Science. Weaver is using zebrafish to examine how exposure to per and polyfluoroalkyl substances affect brain development and seizure susceptibility with Dr. Jessica Plavicki of Brown’s Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.
Rising Gatton senior Braeden Patrick, also of Southwestern High School, is working with Gatton alumna Dr. Shelby Rader in Indiana University in Bloomington’s Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. Patrick is processing and studying the metal concentration in plants harvested from the Bismark Mine in Montana.
“Gatton is extremely grateful to GM for investing in our students. Their work at these institutions not only assists the faculty and staff, but also incentivizes our students to investigate future educational and career opportunities in STEM-related fields,” said Cheryl Kirby-Stokes, Coordinator for Academic Opportunities at The Gatton Academy.
GM held a small ceremony in May at the Bowling Green Assembly with the recipients, Bowling Green Assembly leaders, and plant employees to bring awareness to the work of the selected organizations.
About The Gatton Academy: Established in 2007, The Gatton Academy is Kentucky’s first residential two-year program for gifted and talented juniors and seniors. The Gatton Academy’s students enroll as juniors and are full-time WKU students pursuing their interests in advanced science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The Gatton Academy is a recipient of the 2022 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from Insight Into Diversity Magazine and the Innovation Partnership Award from the National Consortium for Secondary STEM Schools.
About General Motors: General Motors (NYSE:GM) is a global company focused on advancing an all-electric future that is inclusive and accessible to all. At the heart of this strategy is the Ultium battery platform, which powers everything from mass-market to high-performance vehicles. General Motors, its subsidiaries and its joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Baojun, and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety and security services, can be found at https://www.gm.com.
Caption: Lyla Wood (Edmonson County High School) scans a historical map of Mammoth Cave from the curatorial archive during the internship.