Donations from Alumni in Honor of Retired WKU Professor Support Student Research Conference
- Tuesday, November 30th, 2021
WKU students attended the Kentucky Exceptional Children's Conference in Louisville to present research projects. The cost was covered by the Janice Ferguson Fund, an alumni led initiative in honor of one of their favorite professors.
KYCEC is the annual conference for professionals who work in special education. It is typically attended by practitioners (teachers, SLPs, school psychologists) and leaders in the field of special education. The conference is an opportunity for professionals to come together and learn new strategies, network with one another, and celebrate the successes in our state. 18 undergraduate students and 11 graduate students attended presentations alongside practitioners and presented their original research during the student poster session. Every scholar presented on their interdisciplinary posters and a small group presented a training on incorporating Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices into classroom instruction.
Two WKU Alumni were also honored. Stacie Hutchison is a Kentucky Teacher of the Year finalist and a video about her was shown during the keynote speech. Kaitie Morris was selected as the winning teacher for the Yes I Can! National award in academics.
Alumni Sarah Render is one of the donors and explains why they wished to honor Dr. Janice Ferguson in this way. “She was an instrumental and impactful professor that helped to support special education majors during her extensive tenure at WKU. Dr. Ferguson herself was very involved with KYCEC and through her leadership mentored students to not only join the student division but become leaders. Her passion for CEC was contagious and because of this passion and investment in her students, we were able to attend, present, and take active roles within this organization. When given the opportunity to support students at WKU, it only seemed fitting to honor Dr. Ferguson who invested so much in us!” Students and alumni also met at a dinner to reconnect and network.
Additional funds for the trip to this conference were provided by the Project PREP grant and the Haselton Family Fund for Excellence.
KYCEC 2021 conference celebrated its 55th year and was held on November 21-23. You can learn more at kentucky.exceptionalchildren.org. For more information on the Special Education program at WKU, go to wku.edu/ste/sped. To join these WKU Alumni in supporting CEBS students, go to bit.ly/3o75Py3.
Contact: Jessica Basham: Jessica.firstname.lastname@example.org or 270-745-4030