Wesleyan Women of Distinction-Dr. Jessica (Keenan) Estes ’01

Why did you choose Wesleyan?
“I am a 1997 graduate of Hancock County High School. I was never in a classroom with more than 30 people, so when I started looking at colleges, I wasn’t ready to be in a place where I didn’t even know the names of my classmates. I wanted a solid science program that offered the opportunity to get into multiple graduate options. KWC had three fantastic biology faculty; Dr. Oetinger, Dr. Kingsolver and Professor Davenport. It was clear when speaking with graduate programs that they had stellar reputations.”

What are special memories of your years at Wesleyan?
“It was such a fun time in my life. At the time of my attendance, my husband and future sister-in-law and one of my best friends also attended.  You could see us all at the Mr. KWC competition annually. I was a Kappa Delta and my sorority involvement was also high. Probably my favorite memory is chemistry lab and nearly setting the ceiling on fire in the old building in an experiment gone awry.”

Gratitude, Great Memories and Medical School

Ohio County High School
Major: Chemistry
Accepted to University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington

Kiah Gledhill described his four years at Kentucky Wesleyan as “a super big blessing.”

He chose Wesleyan because he was focused on becoming a physician, and he knew the College’s stellar reputation for preparing students for medical school. He was named a Brown Scholar and had the opportunity to play baseball, too.

“Wesleyan was a good fit for me,” reflected Kiah. “Every year has been great in many ways. I’m leaving with gratitude and great memories, and I’m ready for medical school.”

Meet Dr. Kyle Besing

Assistant professor of Mathematics and Mathematics Program Coordinator

Education: “I earned my B.S. in mathematics with a minor in physics from the University of Southern Indiana. I did my graduate work at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where I earned an M.S. in applied mathematics as well as a Ph.D. in applied mathematics with a minor in physics. My dissertation was on several models used to study quantum oscillator systems. My research interests are in spectral theory and mathematical physics. However, I have also become interested in studying mathematics education. This is an exciting time in mathematics education, and there is a big push to move away from the traditional lecture model into a more active and student-focused classroom model.”

Why did you become a teacher?
“I have been interested in teaching since middle school. Originally, I was a mathematics secondary education major at USI, but I fell in love with mathematics and wanted to pursue graduate studies. Teaching at the college level allowed me to both teach and continue my studies.”

Kentucky Wesleyan Welcomes Interim President Dr. Gene Tice

Dr. Gene Tice is focused and intentional. When he sets goals, he sets big ones, and the Appalachian Trail was on his list. It extends for 2,200 miles of wilderness through 14 states from Springer Mountain in Georgia along the ridgeline of the Appalachian Mountains to Mount Katahdin in Maine.

He got in shape for the arduous journey and set out from Georgia with a friend and a backpack stuffed with 40 pounds of supplies and equipment. A fall in North Carolina resulted in broken ribs and a detour back to Kentucky to recover.

Two months into the detour, his phone rang. “I was asked to serve as the interim president of Kentucky Wesleyan, and I couldn’t say ‘no,’” he remembered. “The College is a beautiful place, and I’ve spent a lot of time with President Darrell in recent years. I’ve been very impressed with his accomplishments and with the sense of excitement he has generated about Wesleyan. It will be an honor to be a part of the College in the months ahead.”

Kentucky Wesleyan Online Graphic Design program one of the nation’s best

Kentucky Wesleyan College has been named one of’s Best Online Bachelor’s in Graphic Design programs for 2019, ranked seventh in the nation. BestColleges ranks college programs based on a combination of factors including academic quality, affordability and online competency. The Kentucky Wesleyan program includes foundational and advanced graphic arts courses including drawing, typography, branding design, web design, print publication and animation. Students gain practical experience through two internships.

“This ranking reflects that our program is competitive and fosters professional quality work through one-on-one attention from experienced faculty who have worked in the field,” said Heather Logsdon, M.F.A., associate art professor and director of graphics, art and art education. “Our broad curriculum is competitive in teaching the skills needed for a fast-paced market with hands-on projects that support creative and critical thinking.”

Kentucky Wesleyan announces appointment of vice presidents

Kentucky Wesleyan College President Barton D. Darrell ’84, J.D. has announced the appointment of Matthew Ruark ’09 as vice president of admissions and financial aid, and Eddie Kenny as vice president of advancement.

“Matt and Eddie have proven themselves to be among the best anywhere in their respective areas, and I could not be more proud or more excited that they have both accepted these important positions with Kentucky Wesleyan,” said Darrell. “We are in good leadership hands with these two high level professionals as we continue to build on our momentum in both areas.”

Why We Give – Dr. Joe ’79 and Lynn Morton

Hometown: Henderson, Ky. (Originally from Peninsula, Ohio)
Married to Lynn since 1994. She is the dental practice office coordinator.
Four children: Drake, Dylan, Lilly and Lucie

Kentucky Wesleyan is a long way from Northern Ohio. Why did you choose Wesleyan?
“My high school guidance counselor, Ruth Arnold, whose son was a Wesleyan graduate, encouraged me to apply to Kentucky Wesleyan. In fact, I didn’t apply anywhere else. I had wanted to be a dentist since I was six years old. I learned that Wesleyan graduates had good track records for acceptance to professional schools, and I was one of the original students to receive a James Graham Brown scholarship. Dr. Bill Davis ’80 and Dr. Mark Perko ’78 also attended Wesleyan through her guidance and became dentists, as well. Ms. Arnold was a great Wesleyan ambassador, and her influence was far reaching.”

What memories of your Wesleyan years stand out to you?
“The College was the perfect fit for me. I came from a small high school, and I thrived in the small college atmosphere. I got involved in many campus activities, and I doubt that I would have done so at a large university. It was easy to assimilate into the Wesleyan family and accept leadership roles. I joined a fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon, and later served as president. I was also the Judicial Council chairman for the Student Government Association and president of Alpha Chi. I was honored to be named to the Order of Oak and Ivy.

Making History: First Rogers Fellow to Graduate

Brooklyn Stepro ’19
Green Valley High School Henderson, Nev.
Major: Political Science and History
Accepted to University of Nevada, Reno-Master of Public Administration program

Brooklyn Stepro made history when she received her diploma at Wesleyan’s 151st Commencement on April 27 as the first Rogers Fellow to graduate from the College. A member of the initial group of Rogers Fellows who arrived at the College in August 2016, she earned her degree in three years and will enter the University of Nevada, Reno in the fall. “I’m very grateful to the Rogers Foundation for their generosity,” reflected Brooklyn. “They have done a lot for Clark County [Nevada], and they have done a lot for me.”

From Wesleyan to the World

Natalie (Mercer) Payne ’19
Ohio County High School
Major: Biology and Chemistry
Minor: Music (trombone)
Accepted to the University of Arizona – Ph.D. program in Genetics

Natalie Payne anticipates that her career will someday take her around the world. In graduate school, she plans to work in the conservation of Arizona’s wild cat species (pumas, bobcats and jaguars), focusing on measuring the genetic diversity, health and sustainability of populations of cats. She decided three years ago that her first step was Wesleyan; she knew the outstanding reputation of the science programs and the high acceptance rate of Wesleyan graduates to medical schools.

“I’m going to miss the Wesleyan faculty,” said Natalie. “They were interested in my success and gave me lots of opportunities to gain experience in research and peer education. I’m glad I came here. It was the right decision, and the small school environment was perfect for me.”

Kentucky Wesleyan College President Barton D. Darrell ’84, J.D. Resigns

Barton D. Darrell ’84, J.D. will step down from his role as President of Kentucky Wesleyan College effective June 1, 2019.

Darrell began his role as the college’s 34th president in September 2014 after serving as vice president of external services. Since then, Kentucky Wesleyan has experienced a reversal of enrollment trends with growth in both freshmen class sizes and in retention. During his tenure, Darrell introduced “The Wesleyan Way,” which became part of the College’s overall brand and culture. The College also had a complete overhaul of its campus ministry program, led the state in average CPA exam scores and saw an increase in the academic profile of the student body.