News Brief

Forensics continues reign

The Western Forensics team added a few more titles to its impressive resume at the National Forensic Association Tournament.

Western is the first team in the 34-year history of the event to win both individual events sweepstakes and debate sweepstakes.

Western won the individual events title with 509 points, 34 more than runner-up Illinois State. Eighty-seven universities were represented in the tournament.

Stacy Bernaugh, a senior from Seaside, Calf., was national runner-up in the debate tournament. Jennifer Purcell, a junior from Lewisville, Texas, finished third.

Caleb Williams, a junior from Lewisville, Texas, was the national champion in the informative speaking competition. Williams also finished fourth out of 1,400 entries in the individual sweepstakes.

Lyndia Nelson, a freshman from Carver, Mass., finished third in after-dinner speaking and fourth in informative speaking.

Other top-five finishers included Adam Henze, a junior from Evansville, Ind., Courtney Wright, a sophomore also from Evansville, and Ryan Howell, a sophomore from Plymouth, Ind.

Western repeated as the champion of the International Forensics Association and American Forensics Association Tournaments earlier this year.

– Michael Casagrande

Energy experts to speak

A distinguished Chinese expert on environmental and energy issues will speak on campus on April 30.

Jennifer Turner’s seminar is titled “Water is Fighting: Resolving Water Conflicts in China.” The seminar will be presented at 2:30 p.m. in room 219 of the Thompson Complex Center Wing.

Her speech is part of the Hoffman Environmental Research Institute’s Distinguished Speakers in the Environmental Speakers Series.

Turner coordinates the China Environment Forum at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

Turner will discuss the challenges and opportunities for the United States and China’s cooperation over water.

It is a research center with the primary mission of uniting the world of ideas by supporting pre-eminent scholarship and linking that scholarship to issues of concern to officials in the nations capital.

Congress established the Woodrow Wilson Center in 1968.

“China’s severe water degradation and scarcity contributes to population movements, health risks, food scarcity problems and rising income disparities,” she said in a press release. “These problems raise humanitarian concerns and also have the potential to affect China’s social, political and economic stability.”

“Jennifer’s extensive experience in China and her deep insight into the evolving environmental protection scene there have provided a great benefit to those of us at WKU who are working on challenging water resource issues in China,” said Chris Groves, director of the Hoffman Institute within the Applied Research and Technology Program.

– Danny Schoenbaechler

Western places fourth in Hearst

For the sixth consecutive year, Western has finished in the top four nationally in the Hearst Journalism Awards Program.

Western placed fourth in the competition behind Missouri, North Carolina and Northwestern. Florida and Penn State tied for fifth.

Western’s other overall Hearst finishes since 1999 are two firsts, one second and two thirds.

The Hearst program includes photojournalism, writing and broadcast news competitions.

In this year’s competition, Western won the photojournalism competition and finished 10th in broadcasting.