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Linkages Online Newsletter Spring 2014

CHHS Inaugural Hall of Fame Inducts Three FACS Alumni 

    The Department of Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) is proud to announce that three FACS alumni were inducted into the inaugural class of the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS)  Hall of Fame on Friday, May 2.  The inductees were:

      Dr. Mary Heltsley, a1960 Home Economics Education graduate, is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota, served as Associate Vice President for Outreach in the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, Interim Provost for the University of Minnesota-Rochester and Dean of the College of Human Ecology.  Dr. Heltsley served as program director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Cooperative State Research Service.  While at the University of Minnesota, she received praise for securing funding to provide a lasting home for the School of Social Work and was the guiding force behind the creation of a technology center designed to aid both faculty and students. Dr. Heltsley received the University of Minnesota Women's Leadership Award and the Osborne National Teaching Award from the National Council on Family Relations.

      Dr. Martha Jenkins, a 1959 Home Economics Education graduate and FACS faculty emeritus, has been a persistent advocate for WKU and the FACS Department for over 50 years.  She has served in multiple leadership roles in the Dream Factory, Inc. of Bowling Green, International Textiles and Apparel Association, Kentucky Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, the Costume Society of America, Phi Upsilon Omicron at WKU and is a past National President of Phi Upsilon Omicron.  Dr. Jenkins was instrumental in getting the Beta Delta chapter of Phi Upsilon Omicron established at WKU in May of 1966, and she was a founding member of the Home Economics Alumni Association for the department in 1989.

     Mr. Joseph Micatrotto, II, a 1997 Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management graduate, is the President and Chief Executive Officer for MRG Marketing & Management, Inc. and has overseen the development of Raising Cane's Chicken Finger brand throughout Nevada and Arizona.  He is active in the Las Vegas Executives Association, the Nevada Restaurant Association, the United Way of Southern Nevada, the United Way Valley of the Sun, and the University of Nevada Las Vegas Foundation and President's Advisory Council.  He is the Vice Chairman of the Nevada Restaurant Association's Education Foundation and is Founding Chairman of the United Way's Young Philanthropist Society.  In 2008, he was named Restaurateur of the Year by the Nevada Restaurant Association and was selected as one of In Business Las Vegas magazine's "Top 40 Under 40" and received the 2010 Executive of the Year award.  In 2014, Mr. Micatrotto was named as Director Emeritus of the Nevada Restaurant Association.


                                             Joseph Micatrotto and Martha Jenkins

                                                                              Mr. Joseph Micatrotto and Dr. Martha Jenkins

                                                                         (Dr. Mary  Heltsley was unable to attend this event)

     All three of these alumni were named in 2011, during the Department's 100th year,  as one of the 100 FACS alumni and friends of the department who have made a significant contribution to their career fields, their communities, and to WKU.

 FACS graduate named Kentucky Young Dietitian of the Year

     Kaitlin Harrison,  2009 dietetics alumni, has been named Kentucky Young Dietitian of the Year for 2014 by the Kentucky Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The Morgantown, Ky., native  is currently the director of nutrition services at Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center in Leitchfield, Ky.  Learn more about Kaitlin and her service to her career field in the Living, Learning, Leading article below.

FACS Students Earn Scholar of the College Honors

     Three FACS students were named among the Scholars of the College in 2013.  Jan R. Clausen, Audrey T. Kaelin, and Ethan J. Mattingly, all Hospitality Management and Dietetics majors, are the most recent FACS students to earn this designation.  FACS students have been awarded this honor 15 times since 2002.  Congratulations to these students!

FACS Students Honored at College Awards Banquet

     The following FACS Students were honored on April 5, 2014 at the CHHS College Awards Banquet, held in the Main Ballroom of the Carroll Knicely Center:

Ashley N. Wise of Elizabethtown, Ky. - Outstanding Child Studies Senior

Brianna Poynter of  Glasgow, Ky. - Outstanding Early Childhood Education Student 

Katie L. Meers of Rineyville, Ky. - Outstanding Family and Consumer Sciences Education Student

Emily G. Allen of Campbellsville, Ky. - Outstanding Fashion Merchandising Senior

Shelby E. Hooper of White House, Tn. - Outstanding Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management Senior

Mallory T. Scanlon of Louisville, Ky. - Outstanding Interior Design Student

Jamey L. Rice of Madisonville, Ky. - Outstanding Nutrition and Dietetics Senior

Katherine N. Miller of Louisville, Ky. - IIDA Leadership Award

Aaron L. Armstrong of Bowling Green, Ky. - Phi Upsilon Omicron Outstanding New Initiate Award

Caitlynn R. Oberhausen of Auburn, Ky. - Phi Upsilon Omicron Excellence in Service and Phi Upsilon Omicron Academic Excellence Awards

Jamey L. Rice of Madisonville, Ky. - Phi Upsilon Omicron - Excellence in Leadership Award

Wilson Authors Book

     Travis Kelly Wilson, Architect and Interior Design faculty member, is helping to spark youngsters interest in his areas of expertise through the book he authored: "The Aspiring Architect: An Activity Book for Kids".  The book helps kids to learn what architecture is, how it helps us to understand our past and provides a fun way for them to become more interested in the art of architecture.  This book is available from several book sellers such as Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com.

 Silfies Retires

     Patty Silfies, Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management instructor, is retiring from WKU at the end of the Spring 2014 semester.  A retirement reception was held on May 14 to honor her 19 years of service and was well attended by current students, alumni and CHHS faculty and staff.  She will be returning to Pennsylvania to live near her family and has plans to travel once she is retired.

Living, Learning, Leading - the FACS Legacy

     This article is a snapshot of how the faculty, students, and graduates of the FACS department are living out the FACS Legacy in 2014.


     Susan Harper, Child Studies alumni, is a perfect example of how graduates of FACS programs are living out the legacy.  Susan is utilizing her background in Child Studies in her current position as a graduate assistant for the Talley Family Counseling Center housed in Gary Ransdell Hall, where she is serving the local community with family, individual and couples counseling. The counseling services are provided free to the client and are available for anyone in the WKU and Warren County communities.  Susan states she always had an interest in working with children and families and that her Child Studies degree helped her to understand the development of children and family dynamics throughout the lifespan, which has helped her to understand potential clients and their presenting issues.  The advice she would give students who might be thinking of a major in FACS is to get to know the faculty in the department, including the department head, and to be open and honest with them about your future plans, so they can best guide your choice of courses to best fit your educational goals. 

     Anessa Chumbley, dietetics alumni, has been asked to be the spokesperson for the national grocery chain, Albertson's, and recently filmed a series of videos for the chain, entitled: "12 Roasts of Christmas," which were aired in-store and on the web.  This alum is utilizing the education and skills she received at WKU to enhance not only her own life and family, but to also demonstrate to others

proper cooking techniques and good food choices.


     Kaitlynn Oberhausen, a Nutrition and Dietetics student, is using her personal experience and knowledge of diabetes gained in her Dietetics courses  to help educate young children about this disease.  Kaitlyn said that when she was diagnosed with diabetes, she found that there wasn't a lot of age-appropriate information for young people who develop this life-changing disease , and she wanted to help children better understand what was happening to their bodies.  Kaitlynn is the author of a short book entitled, "The Truth About Type 1 Diabetes: The Myths Exposed."  This book was part of a class assignment and was written to help children understand their disease, to address the myths that abound about Type 1 diabetes, and to provide a basic understanding of what living with Type 1 diabetes is like.  This book may be purchased for those who are interested in learning more about this disease.

     The Interior Design IDFM 302 Studio IV class has spent part of this semester working of a project that has taken them out of their comfort zone.  The class was assigned a project entitled "Sacred Spaces," which involved preparing a redesign for the Cottage Chapel Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Bowling Green, which was established in 1891 and is the third oldest African American Seventh-Day Adventist Church. The church meets in what was once the boys and girls club building with the sanctuary being built in 2006.  After touring the facility,  talking with the pastor, Pierre Quinn, and preparing their designs, three student groups presented their design ideas to the pastor for the consideration of the church.  After the presentation, Pastor Quinn said, "We can take elements from each one [design] and each group can feel they have their "signature."  The students said they learned a great deal from completing this project for a real client rather than just as a "made-up assignment."

     This same group of IDFM 302 students were asked in Fall, 2013, to help in the renovation of the Cave City (Ky.) Welcome Center, using recycled materials such as wooden pallets, old ladders, large wire spools, and shutters.  The students presented their designs to the Cave City Tourism and Convention Commission and the City Council of Cave City in November, 2013. The designs were then put into place during the renovation of the facility.  The newly-renovated Cave City Welcome Center held it's grand opening in April 2014 and prominently displays the interior design work of the FACS students.   


     Kaitlin Harrison, dietetics alumni, as reported above has been honored with the Kentucky Young Dietitian Award for 2014, but she is also living out the FACS legacy by supervising and mentoring WKU Dietetic Internship students as they get real-life experience in her facility. This WKU Herald article demonstrates how this alum is using her FACS degree to lead in her field.  http://wkuherald.com/news/article_79514782-d0bf-11e3-ab6f-0017a43b2370.html

     Dr. Doris Sikora, FACS Department Head, had the honor of attending the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) National Convention in Las Vegas, NV, in December, 2013, as a Kentucky delegate.   ACTE is the only national association for teachers and professionals in the field of Career and Technical Education (CTE), which encompasses Family and Consumer Sciences, Agriculture, Business and Marketing and other educators.  This organization provides a voice for CTE teachers with state and national legislators concerning specifically Carl Perkins funding and issues affecting the field.   Officers of state executive boards are eligible to become delegates, but only a select few from each state are allowed to attend this meeting where delegates administer the business of the organization, including by-laws, slate of officers for election by the general membership and making recommendations to the national Board of Directors regarding future goals and policy.  As President of the Kentucky Association of Career and Technical Education (KACTE), Dr. Sikora represents the interests of the general membership of KACTE members.  The advise Dr. Sikora would give to teachers and professionals in CTE areas is:  Become a member of this professional organization, as it gives you a voice with legislators that determine what direction your career may take because of decisions they make  regrading public policy and funding.  Participating in this organization is a way to give back to your profession and to gain knowledge of current issues and curriculum that directly affect you as a CTE professional.  It is also a great way to network with your peers, which is invaluable as you advance in the field. 

    Each of these individuals are part of the proud legacy of Living, Learning, and Leading through Family and Consumer Sciences.  The article Living, Learning, and Leading will be an ongoing feature in the Linkages newsletters, so if you have a story that demonstrates these any of these characteristics, please share them with the Lauri Warden (270-745-4352 or lauri.warden@wku.edu) for possible inclusion in future editions of Linkages.



Connie Wiley Graham, a 1943 graduate of the FACS department, passed away on December 9, 2013.  She was the wife of Dr. Lewis W. Graham.

FACS Alumni

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Accreditations achieved within the Applied Human Sciences Department

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) - Nutrition & Dietetic Undergraduate and Graduate programs

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) - Early Childhood Education Associate Degree

National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) - Interior Design program

Department of Applied Human Sciences, Academic Complex 302 , phone 270-745-4352


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 Last Modified 2/15/19