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Our Community

Our Community

Western Kentucky University's culture promotes social responsibility and civic involvement. Our students volunteer frequently in Bowling Green, Warren County, and the surrounding areas, and many of our departments sponsor programs that benefit the community. Read about some of these great programs below, and explore this site to see the ways WKU stays involved in Southern Kentucky. 



Leadership & Volunteerim  has implemented various programs to encourage leadership and volunteerism among the student body of WKU. Through specific fundraising events like Midnight on the Hill and ongoing efforts like alternative breaks and the Dynamic Leadership Institute, students are able to give back to their community and experience the benefits of volunteerism first-hand. | Learn More

Honored as a Green Ribbon School by the US Department of Education, WKU strives to reduce our impact and assist the surrounding community in sustainability efforts. The Office of Sustainability ensures that WKU is an institution that provides innovative solutions to global challenges, prepares students as engaged and responsible citizens, and observes best practices in campus operations and services. | Learn More




Stories from Inside and Outside the Classroom


Jump Rope Applied Research project
Jump Rope
Community-Based Research

Murray Huber, a recent WKU graduate,  completed a research project to learn the effects of jump rope camps on refugee populations. Huber, who has been involved in the sport since elementary school, also leads the WKU Jump Rope Club. Last summer, she worked with the Bowling Green International Center to host a jump rope summer camp for the local refugee population. 

Jump Rope

Mobile Grocery Store Service Learning
Mobile Grocery Store
Service Learning

Students in WKU's Masters in Business Administration program worked with the Housing Authority of Bowling Green, Broadway United Methodist Church, and First Christian Church to develop a plan for the Mobile Grocery Store. According to WKU MBA student Amanda Seng, "The Mobile Grocery Store is a refurbished bus stocked with food and toiletries that will travel to food desserts in the Bowling Green community." The students developed a business plan and presentation that can be used to obtain donations. 

First Things First internship
First Things First

Kelsey Redding, a WKU student from White House, Tennessee, coordinated the First Things First event for Sexual Assault Prevention MonthRedding started interning at Hope Harbor, sexual trauma recovery center to complete an internship for her criminology major. “Advocating for sexual assault prevention and survivors is something I've been passionate about for a while and I loved what Hope Harbor was doing to be a part of that.”

First Things First


Boys to men program
Boys to Men
Volunteer Service

Members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Eta Rho Chapter volunteer with the Boys to Men Program. At Parker-Bennett-Curry Elementary School students assemble every morning to catch up on the school wide achievements and get excited about the day. On Fridays during assembly a special group of young men get a chance to dress in their best shirt and put a tie on for the school day. These boys wear their ties as a symbol of good behavior and show they want to become the best men they can be. Student Relationship Coordinator Tyreon Clark talks about the program in this video and what something small like wearing a tie to school can mean. 

Watch the PBS video

Dance Big Red benefit for Norton Children's Hospital
Dance Big Red

In March 2019, WKU students and organizations joined together to fundraise for Norton Children's Hospital through Dance Big Red. A total $71, 780.17 was raised from Dance Big Red as of April 1st. Learn more about the event by visiting their Facebook page or website linked below. 

Dance Big Red

Take back the night
Sexual Assault Prevention
Awareness & Advocacy

Each year the nation recognizes Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and a committee of WKU and nonprofit organizations plan activities to raise awareness for prevention in Bowling Green. Activities are geared toward educating individuals on sexual violence and promoting resources for those who have experienced sexual assault or sexual misconduct. You can read about last year's event on WKU's news or visit the website below.

Sexual Assault Prevention





Big Red's Blitz Video Preview


Every August, WKU’s newest Hilltoppers are invited to participate in M.A.S.T.E.R. Plan, the university’s five day transition program for new students, which takes place the week before classes begin.  One of M.A.S.T.E.R. Plan's featured events is Big Red’s Blitz, where participants “blitz” Bowling Green, completing four hours of service at local non-profit agencies/organizations.

Big Red’s Blitz volunteers, also known as “Blitzers,” are sent out into the community in groups to work alongside Big Red, M.A.S.T.E.R. Plan Mentors, and fellow classmates, to complete various service projects. Whether they’re sorting items at The Salvation Army, cleaning up local parks and wooded areas with Bowling Green Public Works, pulling invasive species at Lost River Cave, organizing building materials with Habitat for Humanity, or painting picnic tables at Potter Children’s Home, Blitzers are committed to “getting off the bench” and “doing something big” in their community! 



Service-Learning (SL) and Community-Based Research (CBR) are a few ways that Western Kentucky University implements High Impact Practices. Below you can find a short list of faculty that utilize service-learning and/or community-based research within their curriculum. Please note that this list is growing, and more instructors will be added over time. To confirm whether a course section uses service-learning, check the course description and syllabus. 

Carrie Cox, Applied Human Sciences – SL
Mariah Yates, Business Admin - SL
Natalie Mountjoy, Biology - SL
Barbara Brindle, Communication Disorders - SL
Molly Kerby, English - CBR
Tim Evans, Folk Studies - SL
Barry Kaufkins, Folk Studies - SL
Kate Horrigan, Folk Studies – SL
Elizabeth Gish – SL
Alex Olsen, Honors – SL
Jason Crandall, Kinesiology, Recreation & Sport – SL
Sonia Lenk, Modern Languages - Both
Gayle Mallinger, Social Work - SL
Simon Funge, Social Work - SL
Jay Gabbard, Social Work - SL
Nicole Breazeale, Sociology - SL, CBR
Donielle Lovell, Sociology - SL, CBR
Holli Drummond, Sociology - SL, CBR
Lauren McClain, Sociology – SL, CBR


There are several ways for organizations to serve as community partners. A few of those include working with faculty/staff member for curriculur or co-curricular service learning or community-based research. A second approach is serving as a site for internships. 

Contact Leah Ashwill if you are interested in learning more about partnerships service-learning or community based research at leah.ashwill@wku.edu

For internships, you can contact a specific department to share your opportunity. You may also contact Becky Tinker in the Advising & Career Development Center to learn how to post your internship opportunity. Learn more




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 Last Modified 7/6/21