Research and Creative Activity Council
The Research and Creative Activity Council (RCAC) serves as an advisory committee
to the Associate Provost for Research and Creative Activity. The RCAC provides counsel
on a wide variety of matters relating to the research and creative enterprises of
WKU faculty, staff, and students. The group is composed of the following members:
Dr. Ritchie Taylor is the Faculty Fellow for Research in the College of Health and Human Services. A major objective of this role is to create a CHHS research mentorship program to ensure successful tenure and promotion of junior faculty. Dr. Taylor is the founding Director of the Center for Environmental and Workplace Health. His research is focused on assessing exposures of firefighters in Kentucky to fire smoke contaminants and occupational hazards, assessment of hazardous materials transport and risks, and watershed health impacts from stormwater runoff. Taylor’s international work is part of a team assessing road environment risks to youths in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Dr. Lily Popova Zhuhadar received her Ph.D. degree in Computer Science and Computer Engineering from the University of Louisville. Dr. Zhuhadar’s applied research is directed toward collaborating with colleagues from various disciplines in the USA and Europe to solve today's Big Data problems by using Data Mining methodologies. The impact of her research has been witnessed by its contribution to more than 50 publications in peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and national/international conference proceedings. Dr. Zhuhadar is a fellow of several associations such as AAAI, AACSB International, ACM, IEEE to name a few.
Dr. Bruce A. Schulte is the Associate Vice President for Strategy, Performance and Accountability and a University Distinguished Professor noted for his studies on elephant behavior and conservation. He was co-chair of the WKU Strategic Plan Climbing to Greater Heights development process, and he chairs the Strategic Plan Implementation Committee. The WKU Strategic Plan set as a goal for Our Community & Beyond for WKU to serve as a Regional Lighthouse “to provide resources, attract talent, and nurture intellectual capital in the communities we serve.”
Dr. Jeffrey Budziak is an Associate Professor of Political Science and currently serves as the Assistant Dean in the Potter College of Arts and Letters. Dr. Budziak’s scholarly interests focus on American government, law and courts, and statistical methodology. His research primarily investigates the behavior and decision-making patterns of the United States Supreme Court and the United States Courts of Appeals. This research has been published in scholarly journals such as The Journal of Law and Courts, Political Behavior, and Political Science Research and Methods.
Yvonne Petkus, artist and Professor of Art in the WKU Department of Art & Design, was recently awarded the distinction of University Distinguished Professor. Petkus has presented her work in exhibition venues and conferences across the U.S. and internationally, and honors include artist grants and awards from the Kentucky Arts Council, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and the Great Meadows Foundation. Competitive artist residencies and fellowships include an artist residencies in New York at the School of Visual Arts, and Iceland, and the 2017 Zuheir Sofia Endowed International Faculty Seminar Fellowship Program in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Dr. Jenni Redifer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and also is the Assistant to the Dean for Research in the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. Her research examines cognitive factors related to student learning and achievement. She is also the Lab Director of the Attention and Memory Lab which examines cognitive factors related to student learning and achievement. The lab investigates how working memory capacity (the limited attentional resources we have available during effortful tasks) influences problem-solving and retrieval of information from long-term memory.
Dr. Cathleen Webb is presently serving as the Associate Dean of Research of the Ogden College of Science and Engineering. Dr. Webb recently completed twelve years as Department Head of Chemistry. Dr. Webb has had continuous and diverse external research funding (federal – NSF, NPS, USGS, BLM, EPA, and USFS, state and private) since 1991, with over 40 grants totaling over $3M, including an SBIR Phase I and Phase II grant from the EPA. She has published over 40 articles, chapters, conference proceedings, and technical reports. Her research area of specialty is environmental and geochemistry and impacts on water quality.
Dr. Anthony Paganelli is the business and law librarian instructor for WKU Libraries’ Department of Public Library Services. He has been with the WKU Libraries since 2012. Research interests includes the academic library role in blockchain technology, social entrepreneurship, and makerspaces. Further research in academic libraries involve innovative library services in embedded librarianship, personal librarianship, online and distance librarianship, and library learning modules. Dr. Paganelli writes the column Legally Speaking for the Against the Grain journal and is a reviewer for the Journal of Academic Librarianship.