Posts Tagged ‘Western Kentucky University’


Spotlight: Leslie McCarty

In Spotlight on March 2, 2016 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged: , , , ,

Leslie McCarty

Leslie McCarty at the WWII memorial in Owensboro holding photos of her husband’s grandparents.

Get to know your KATH Board Members! Here’s a spotlight post on Leslie McCarty, the Librarian/Archivist Representative. She is the Kentucky Room Manager at the Daviess County Public Library in Owensboro, KY.

Current School and alma/mater: I received my Masters in Library Science from Texas Woman’s University in 2008. I graduated from Western Kentucky University in 2002 with a Bachelors of Arts. I majored in History and minored in broadcasting.

Fields of Interest: American History–World War II, Civil War, early 20th Century, Jewish History, Kentucky history, genealogy.

When did you first develop an interest in history? I became very interested in genealogy and local history when I was a teenager. I always wondered how my family came to Hardin County, KY and was curious about the cultural context in which my ancestors lived. Learning that I was at least a 6th generation Kentuckian, this because a source of pride and I developed a love of Kentucky and local history. The concepts and events behind historical events always came easy for me to understand, and it helped me to appreciate other cultures and to have a deeper understanding of the why in our daily lives. This was extremely fascinating to me when I took Kentucky history and American History classes in college. In 2000 I was commissioned by the Fort Duffield Heritage Committee to interview West Point town historian Richard Briggs about life in the 20th century in West Point. These interviews culminated into a book called Driftwood on the River: Life and Times of West Point in the 20th Century.

How have your interests changed since graduate school? Because of my connection with the Kentucky Room, and I have done many presentations in the community focused Owensboro history. Working as Kentucky Room Manager has given me the opportunity to use the library’s video and audio equipment to do oral histories with WWII and Korean War veterans. I have also filmed many local events and have been able to do behind the scenes documentaries about them. I am still interested in the context behind an event, but it is more personal because I have heard so many oral histories. Also, part of my job is adult program coordinator. I have hosted many speakers from different walks of life. Two of my favorite speakers have been Holocaust survivors. Their stories have had a major impact on me, especially because these two speakers have become dear friends. Their connection to that part of history makes it tangible.

What projects are you currently working on? I am working with a local committee to honor the 20-year anniversary of the clean-up of Greenwood Cemetery, which is a historic African-American Cemetery in Owensboro. We will have a small program and dedication of a marker, bench and tree in the cemetery to honor those who contributed to the clean-up. This will be my ninth year as lead researcher for Voices of Elmwood. Voices of Elmwood is a community presentation about the lives of those buried in Elmwood Cemetery. We research those buried in Elmwood, take the research and turn it into a five-minute monologue, and in September the public can pay to ride a hay wagon through the cemetery and “visit” 10 performers who tell the story as if they were that person. People are in period costumes. We have done 90 stories. This is partnership with the Owensboro Museum of Science and History and Theatre Workshop of Owensboro.

Is there an article, book, movie, blog, etc., that you could recommend to fellow KATH members? One of my favorite books is called Passing for Black: The Life and Careers of Mae Street Kidd. She was an innovative businesswoman, a civic leader, and a skilled politician. She had a distinguished career in public relations, served in the Red Cross during World War II, and was a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1968 to 1984, representing Louisville’s 41st state legislative district. During her tenure in elective office, she was known for her sponsorship of landmark legislation. House Bill No. 27 which became law in 1972 created the Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC) which promotes and finances low-income housing in the state. In 1974, this particular bill was officially designated as the “Mae Street Kidd Act.”

I also recently watched Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story. You may not agree with his politics, but he has a remarkable story of how he overcame obstacles to become a doctor. I also loved the movie Men of Honor about the first African-American to graduate the Navy diving program. (I must love Cuba Gooding, Jr.!)

Other than history, what are you passionate about? I am very passionate about honoring veterans. My dad served for two years in the Marine Corps, so I was around veterans growing up. I have become involved with Honor and Remember, who gives flags to the families of soldiers who were Killed in Action. For three years this organization has helped plan the Kentucky Remembers 5K race with Kentucky Gold Star Mothers. I recently became a board member of the Brandon Scott Mullins Foundation. Brandon was killed in Afghanistan in 2011. I have been a guardian for two Honor Flights. My other passion is television, professional wrestling and my two pugs, Murphy and Pumpkin.

Any final thoughts? Get to know your community. So many people that you are not aware of had made amazing contributions either in their profession or in military service. Never forget those who came before you. They are the reason you have freedom.





2015 KATH Writing Award Winners

Congratulations to all our 2015 KATH Writing Award winners!

Results are in from the George C. Herring Graduate Student Writing Award committee chair, Dr. Melanie Goan. The winner is:

Mel Kapitan, University of Kentucky
for her research paper
“Rebellion in Speech and Monks in Seclusion:
Hildemar of Corbie’s Expositio regulam Sancti Benedicti
and the Community of Monks in Ninth-Century Civate”
Sponsored by University of Kentucky History professor, Dr. Gretchen Starr-LeBeau

According to the KATH Betts Award committee chair Dr. Randolph Hollingsworth, the judges for the Raymond F. Betts Undergraduate Student Writing Award have selected the winner to be:

Sarah Fox, Western Kentucky University
for her research paper
“Soviet Influence on the Music of Socialist Republics”
Sponsored by Western Kentucky University History professor, Dr. Marc Eagle

And the winner of the Thomas D. Clark Undergraduate Student Writing Award is:

Mattie Bruton, Transylvania University
for her research paper
“Sallie Southall Cotten: Womanhood, Racial Purity, and Defining ‘Progress’ in the New South”
Sponsored by Transylvania University History professor, Dr. Melissa McEuen

From Cheryl Caskey, the committee chair for the Anita Sanford Tolson Student Writing Award for high school students, the winner is:

Amir Abou-Jaoude, Henry Clay High School, Fayette County Public Schools
for his research paper
“Richard Wagner and the Legacy of the Leitmotif”
Sponsored by Henry Clay High School social studies teacher, Jonathan McClintock

Please join the 2015 KATH Board in celebrating these students and their faculty sponsors at the 40th Annual Meeting on Saturday, October 3rd in Owensboro. Register to attend now – using our secure online payment process. Download the KATH conference brochure here (.pdf file).

Posted September 29, 2015 by Randolph Hollingsworth


KY Geography Alliance blog

In Spotlight on November 17, 2013 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged: , , , ,

Scott Dobler (l) and Amy Murrell Taylor (r) disussing the use of GIS in Kentuky history research

KATH 2013: “Using Geographic Information Systems to Analyze Kentucky Battlefields” with Scott Dobler (left), KY Geography Alliance, WKU

This just in from WKU geography professor, Scott Dobler of the Kentucky Geography Alliance (presenter at the 2013 KATH conference):

The Kentucky Geographic Alliance and National Geographic Education is partnering with H-Kentucky on H-Net <> to celebrate Geography Awareness Week.

A series of Kentucky-based maps will be presented to the Kentucky P12 community. Education and content experts will be answering questions from you and your class about the maps and other questions engaged in the series of blogs. Please stop in for some interesting conversations.

The conversation will begin on Monday, and you can access it through the Kentucky Geographic Alliance Blog via the H-Kentucky network. In order to join the conversation on the content presented, first log in at H-Kentucky (create an account <>) and then post your comments.

We will also be promoting Geography Awareness Week information via our Facebook <> and
Twitter <> pages, so be sure to interact with us there as well.

Scott Dobler
Kentucky Geographic Alliance


Spotlight: Wendy Davis, Campbellsville U

In Spotlight on June 25, 2013 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Wendy Wood Davis

Dr. Wendy Wood Davis, Campbellsville University

Dr. Wendy Wood Davis has been a member of the Campbellsville University faculty since 2007. As an associate professor in history, she is the faculty sponsor of the Campbellsville University Collegiate Historians, which is now the Alpha Xi Sigma Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society. CU’s Phi Alpha Theta has been very active, including a trip last January to Washington D.C. to attend the Presidential inauguration. She organized student trips to Boston; Cherokee, N.C.; and a “Civil Rights Movement” trip in the Spring of 2012 when the students traveled to Charleston, S.C. and Savannah, GA. You can keep up with the students’ experiences on CU Phi Alpha Theta’s Twitter @CUPhiAlphaTheta.

Valiant efforts are required of historians working in Kentucky’s small private schools – and they often must take on a variety of jobs all in one. She works closely with the Taylor County Historical Society and works with her students to hold fundraisers for this sister organization’s benefit. As one of her students wrote in a testimonial for the University: “Dr. Wendy Davis has been very instrumental in shaping me as a person and a lover of history and teaching. I can honestly say that she cares about all of her students and desires to make history fun and exciting not only for history majors, but for her general education students as well.”

Dr. Davis earned a Bachelor’s degree in Social Studies Secondary Education and Masters in History from Western Kentucky University (WKU). She received a PhD from the University of Kentucky and returned to WKU to get a graduate certificate in women’s studies. She has taught at the college level for the past sixteen years. Her specialty is women’s history, religious history and modern America.

She also serves as an adjunct professor in women’s studies at Western Kentucky University where she teaches both online and face-to-face classes.  As she states in her bio on the WKU website: “I love teaching Women’s Studies because it allows me to help students see the world around them differently. Looking through the lens of gender and from the perspective of women, allows them to understand how diverse experiences can be in today’s society. I also love to watch my students get involved in campus events and causes that are especially important to them.”

Congratulations to Dr. Wendy Wood Davis for all her hard work in furthering the education of so many of our Kentucky students.

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