Dr. Cathy Carey, professor of Economics in the Gordon Ford College of Business at WKU, has been named the Dugas Family Professor.
For the next two years, Dr. Carey will research the economic impact for the Dugas Community Park, which is located in Allen County, Kentucky. The results of her research will provide an opportunity for others create business and marketing plans for the Park, as well as allow other colleagues to design and implement a variety of educational experiences that directly involve WKU students along with K-12 students in Allen County in a real world environment.
“I am excited and grateful to have the opportunity to play an instrumental role in this phase of the development of Dugas Community Park,” Carey said. “I look forward to working with students and engaging faculty across multiple disciplines to create recreational, educational, and research experiences. As someone who grew up on a farm of similar nature and spent hours upon hours covering every inch of it on foot, horseback, and tractor, I can appreciate how meaningful it is to want to share that experience with others. I am happy to have the chance to help the Dugas family and the members of the Friends of Dugas Community Park Board of Directors preserve that legacy for future generations.”
Dugas Community Park encompasses roughly 320 acres and provides a unique rural heritage area for the residents of Allen County.
“We are grateful for the generosity of the Dugas Family and are excited about creating educational opportunities for our students that partner with the Friends of Dugas Community Park to improve the quality of life for the region,” Dr. Donald Smith, President of the College Heights Foundation at WKU, said. “We are thrilled with the appointment of Dr. Carey as the Dugas Family Visiting Professor and her experience will prove to be beneficial at this stage in the development of the Park.”
The Friends of Dugas Community Park have recently broken ground on new walking and hiking trails, an amphitheater, a pavilion, playground, and restrooms. Future plans include a farmers market, tree house village, horseback riding trails and stable, and mountain biking trails.