AIKCU launches Workforce Development Advisory Council

Leaders in business, education, and public sectors make up initial appointees

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 9, 2020) — The Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AIKCU) has announced the creation of a new Workforce Development Advisory Council to advise the organization on public policy and market-based solutions to Kentucky’s education and workforce needs.

Initial members of the AIKCU Workforce Development Council include:

  • Deputy Secretary Josh D. Benton, Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet (proxy for Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman)
  • Acting Commissioner Kevin C. Brown, Kentucky Department of Education
  • Senator Max Wise, Chair, Senate Standing Committee on Education
  • Representative Bobby McCool (proxy for House Majority Floor Leader John Carney)
  • Dr. Jim Flynn, Executive Director, Kentucky Association of School Superintendents
  • Dr. Aaron Thompson, President, Council on Postsecondary Education
  • Brigitte Blom Ramsey, President and Chief Executive Officer, Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence
  • Ashli Watts, President and Chief Executive Officer, Kentucky Chamber

“I’m thrilled that this group of leaders has agreed to help advise me and our members on critical workforce issues,” said Dr. OJ Oleka, AIKCU President. “We have great independent colleges and universities throughout the state producing graduates with the skills and attributes that employers want and need. It’s my hope that this new Advisory Council will help us better connect the dots and more effectively link our efforts with employer and workforce demands.”

The group, which is expected to expand to represent the geographic and employer diversity of Kentucky, will have its initial meeting in June 2020.

“This is an impressive list of core members,” said Dr. Oleka. “And as I make my way around the state on my upcoming listening tour, I look forward to connecting with more business and community leaders and expanding this initial group.” 

The Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AIKCU) serves as the voice of Kentucky’s private, nonprofit, four-year colleges and universities. AIKCU’s 18 member colleges and universities serve more than 56,000 students and play a critical role in Kentucky’s postsecondary education system, awarding nearly 11,000 degrees annually.

AIKCU Voices: Jeremy Cloyd, Lindsey Wilson College ’15

For 2020 we’ve been asking students and alumni of Kentucky’s independent colleges and universities to share something about their college experiences in a series we’ve been calling AIKCU Voices. We pressed pause on these for a bit as we dealt with the immediate ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic, but it’s important to keep celebrating the students, alumni, and faculty who make our institutions such special places. If you’d like to share your story, email us at info@aikcu.org.

man in front of colorful background

My name is Jeremy Cloyd. I graduated in 2015 with a BA in Theatre and a BA in English from Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Kentucky. I grew up only 45 miles away in Tompkinsville, KY.  Interestingly enough, I did not choose LWC initially. I told myself repeatedly that there was no way I would go to a college so small and so close to my hometown. Aside from that, I wanted to pursue theatre, and there was only a minor in theatre offered at LWC in 2011 when I was applying – so why would I choose Lindsey?

Maya Angelou said “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” That is exactly what got me to Lindsey and inevitably what kept me at Lindsey. I was intent on attending a larger state school. In fact, I only applied to Lindsey Wilson because an admissions counselor sat me down in the cafeteria and talked me through the application before I could leave for my daily internship. I had completely forgotten about LWC until the larger state institution sent me three emails, all of which were addressed to an eight digit number rather than “Jeremy.” The emails were vague and told me nothing about what I needed to do to become a part of their school. That same night, Sara Hargis (now Sara Foos), the admissions counsellor who had talked me through the application process, had a student ambassador call me to inform me that I was now eligible to compete for something called the Begley Scholarship. From there I sent dozens of emails to Sara, all of which were answered excitedly with both my name in the message and ways in which Sara could see me at Lindsey Wilson College. After bugging Sara for months, both in person and over the phone, about everything from financial aid to classes to housing, I finally ended up at Lindsey, and the rest seemed to fall into place. All of this to say, I don’t remember a single thing that the larger school did for me or offered me, but I remember how they made me feel: like a number. 

Coming from a very small high school, which graduated around 140 my senior year, expectations were fairly low for what I could do with my life. I constantly asked myself: “how can a guy from a town whose largest attraction is the Watermelon Festival each year, ever do the things that he dreamed of?” That is where the biggest shock of all came. From the first day I set foot on LWC’s campus, I learned that a small school doesn’t mean fewer opportunities, in fact it meant MORE opportunities for anyone willing to ask.  

I had the honor of being a part of numerous organizations at LWC, including the Lindsey Wilson Singers. The Lindsey Wilson Singers have taken me all over the country and the world. I have been on tours in the southeast, New England, the midwest, and the east coast. I was also blessed with the opportunity to go to Europe and perform in Paris, France as part of the Paris Choral Festival. I could talk all day about the amazing places I have gone and things I have done with the Lindsey Wilson Singers, but what I need to tell you is that Maya Angelou’s quote holds true here as well. I may forget the details of each tour and each concert, I may forget what the tux looks like, and I may forget the names of the songs we sang, but I will never forget the family I was a part of with the Lindsey Wilson Singers. 

Singers was a large part of my college experience, but clearly not the only factor. Coming into LWC I was immediately enrolled in my first college level acting class. I knew that there was only a minor for theatre here, but I also knew I still needed to have theatre in my life so I decided that was what I was going to do: minor in theatre. I became acquainted very quickly with this funny and sarcastic professor, Robert Brock. Little did I know that not only would he become one of my favorite professors academically, but he would become someone that I look up to and to whom I owe so much. In my Sophomore year, Robert came to me with this crazy question “If we were to have a major in theatre, would you want to pursue that?” I thought: “What kind of a question is that? Of course I would!”

Now I have to stop here to mention that I was in another major before this and called my parents at least once a semester for 4 semesters having a complete meltdown because I didn’t think I wanted to do that major but that it was “a stable career field” – whatever that means. So I changed my major, I traveled to New York City and worked with members of TWO broadway revivals of musicals, traveled to the American Shakespeare Center to watch amazing shows and do workshops, traveled to North Carolina for an audition that landed me a job for the most amazing summer of my life working in theatre, and even traveled to NYC again to audition for graduate schools and speak with their representatives. During my undergraduate career, I was in or worked on over 20 productions in my time at LWC. Again there are a million things I could say about the things I was told in classes and what I learned during each show, but it means much more to me that I felt like someone truly believed in me and supported my wild dreams and crazy ambitions. 

Upon graduating from LWC, I had several decisions to make about what I was going to do and where I was going to go. To bridge this, I accepted an internship with TheatreFest!, the summer theatre at LWC. While in this, I was offered the opportunity to stay on with LWC the following year working for AmeriCorps and doing several things with the Theatre Program, not the least of which was producing and directing a reader’s theatre production that highlighted latinx stories from Appalachia. While this position was drawing to an end, I was still searching for the next opportunity. Luckily, LWC wasn’t done with me yet. In 2016 I accepted a new position as the Assistant to the Director of Theatre. Up until this point, the Theatre Program was completely made up of one professor who had come to the college from a long career in professional theatre. While serving in this new position I was able to complete an MA in Theatre and begin teaching for the Theatre Program as an Adjunct Instructor.

This January I was fortunate enough to be named an Instructor of Theatre and begin working full time as a faculty member in the very program that helped to shape me as an artist and a person. While I have both worked professionally and taught Theatre, I find that none of what I have been able to accomplish would be possible without the education and opportunities presented to me while attending LWC. I can only hope now that I am able to inspire in my students the same trust in themselves that I had in 2015 when I walked across the stage and shook President Luckey’s hand knowing that I had everything I needed to begin my life and career, and a family that supported me every step of the way.

There’s a popular hashtag on twitter that supports this: #LWCisFamily. And this couldn’t be more true. No matter where I end up, I will always remember Lindsey Wilson College. LWCisFamily, and that is what I want to continue for years after I have left. I want people to say that I made them feel like family. 

Jeremy Cloyd
Tompkinsville/Columbia, Kentucky
Lindsey Wilson College ’15
Instructor of Theatre, LWC

AIKCU Voices: Samuel Golden, University of the Cumberlands

For 2020 we’ve been asking students and alumni of Kentucky’s independent colleges and universities to share something about their college experiences in a series we’ve been calling AIKCU Voices. We pressed pause on these for a bit as we dealt with the immediate ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic, but it’s important to keep celebrating the students, alumni, and faculty who make our institutions such special places. If you’d like to share your story, email us at info@aikcu.org.

UC student Samuel Golden in lab

Having come from a small Christian high school, University of the Cumberlands seemed like a perfect fit for me! The small class sizes and tight-knit community feel among the students and faculty drew me in and made me feel right at home. The success of UC graduates in being placed in medical schools and other graduate programs reinforced my decision strongly, and makes me feel confident that Cumberlands is preparing me for a bright future. The education I am receiving at the University of the Cumberlands is immensely valuable to me. My experience here has given me the knowledge and confidence I need to pursue the big goals I have in life. I have also been encouraged to give back to the community, a practice that I plan to continue for the rest of my life especially as a medical professional here in Kentucky. 

Cumberlands has given me valuable experience, especially in the lab setting. By being given the opportunity to be a lab TA, I have improved my knowledge of lab techniques and will be able to separate myself from the crowd through my proficiency and confidence in the lab. Likewise, the relationships I have built with professors in my department have given me confidence that any of them could write me a solid recommendation and help me make the next steps towards my career. State aid such as KEES not only helped me cover college expenses but encouraged me to stay in Kentucky for my education.

Samuel Golden
Somerset, Kentucky
University of the Cumberlands

AIKCU Voices: Princess Lyons, Lindsey Wilson College ’19

For 2020 we’ve been asking students and alumni of Kentucky’s independent colleges and universities to share something about their college experiences in a series we’ve been calling AIKCU Voices. We pressed pause on these for a bit as we dealt with the immediate ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic, but it’s important to keep celebrating the students, alumni, and faculty who make our institutions such special places. If you’d like to share your story, email us at info@aikcu.org.

LWC Online graduate Princess Lyons with LWC President Bill Luckey at commencement

I am a 37-year-old, divorced mother of three. I’ve worked in the human service field for 10 years. However, I wanted to set an example for my children that they can accomplish anything they set their minds to and at any age! More importantly, I wanted to finish my education to prove to myself that I could do it!

Lindsey Wilson’s online Human Services and Counseling Program has changed the quality of my life, and the future for myself and my children. I was already working at DCBS for Protection and Permanency and upon completion of my degree, I hope to obtain a position with the state as a Social Services Worker. I’m very grateful!

Princess Lyons
Paintsville, Kentucky

Big Sandy Community and Technical College transfer
Lindsey Wilson College Online
December 2019 Graduate

OJ Oleka named President of Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities

OJ Oleka will assume the role of AIKCU President on December 1, 2019

FRANKFORT, Ky. (November 7, 2019) — After an extensive search, the Board of Directors of the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AIKCU) has named OJ Oleka as its next president. Oleka, who currently serves as Chief of Staff for Kentucky State Treasurer Allison Ball, will assume his duties as AIKCU president on December 1. Oleka succeeds Gary S. Cox, Ph.D., who is retiring after serving as AIKCU president since 1997.

“The search process was a difficult one that included several outstanding candidates,” said University of Pikeville president Dr. Burton Webb, who co-chaired the search process. “OJ’s passion for higher education, his work advocating for those things in which he believes, and his strong relationships within the legislature will be incredible assets for AIKCU in the years to come.”

Oleka brings a deep understanding of higher education and workforce issues to his new role at AIKCU. Earlier this year Oleka was appointed by Governor Bevin to the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education and he has served on a number of state and local workgroups, boards, and committees focused on education and workforce issues. 

“I am honored to have been selected to serve as president of AIKCU and work alongside our member institutions to create a new vision for independent higher education in Kentucky,” Oleka said in a statement. “Expanding access to higher education, advocating affordability for every student, and communicating to the legislature and business community how our institutions are essential to Kentucky’s economic and workforce needs will be the foundation of our success. I am fully prepared to lead that effort.”

Oleka is slated to earn a Ph.D. in Leadership in Higher Education in 2020 from Bellarmine University, where he previously earned an MBA. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisville, where he served as student body president and chaired the Kentucky Board of Student Body Presidents. 

In addition to his experience working with policymakers as Chief of Staff in the Kentucky State Treasurer’s office, Oleka has directed campaign operations for a statewide gubernatorial campaign. He has served as an adjunct professor and published in peer-reviewed and popular publications. His education experience extends to the K-12 level, where he served Teach for America first as a corps member teaching in an under-resourced public school and later as a regional recruiter.

“The search committee selected OJ from a strong pool of candidates, and I am confident he will provide exceptional leadership to AIKCU and our members during these challenging times,” said outgoing AIKCU President Cox. “I feel good about the fact that I’m leaving the organization in capable hands.” 

Oleka takes over a strong member organization representing the interests of Kentucky’s 18 four-year nonprofit private colleges and universities. During Dr. Cox’s 22-year tenure AIKCU merged the operations of its two precursor organizations, the Kentucky Independent College Foundation and the Council for Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities; enhanced the role of private colleges in Kentucky’s education policy arena; substantially increased collaborative activities among members; and saw Kentucky Lottery-funded financial aid distributions to private college students grow from just over $10 million to more than $60 million per year.

“Dr. Gary Cox has been the consummate professional in leading our association of private higher education institutions in Kentucky for more than two decades. He has faithfully represented the diversity of our private colleges and universities while helping us to collectively tell our story of the role we play in enriching the quality of life in Kentucky and beyond,” said Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University and chair of the AIKCU Board of Directors. “Dr. Cox’s service has not been to just private higher education. He has worked alongside the leaders of our public universities and colleges in a manner that has enriched our Commonwealth. All of us on the Board wish Dr. Cox the very best in the days ahead!”

2017 spring commencements announced

As the spring semester winds down, our member institutions are preparing to celebrate their graduates’ accomplishments at spring commencements.

Commencement speakers this year include civil rights leader and current U.S. Representative Congressman John Lewis, New York Times bestselling author of Hillbilly Elegy J.D. Vance, national and community leaders, and institutional presidents.

This list of Spring 2017 commencement information for Kentucky private colleges will be updated as additional information becomes available.


Alice Lloyd College

Saturday, May 6

12:15 PM


Asbury University

Saturday, May 6

APS/Graduate Commencement: 10:00 AM

Undergraduate Commencement: 2:00 PM

Speaker: Commissioner David Jeffrey, National Commander, The Salvation Army National Headquarters


Bellarmine University

Saturday, May 13

9:00 AM

Clayton Field in the Owsley Brown Frazier Stadium (Severe weather location: Knights Hall)

Speaker: Elmcroft Senior Living Chairman and CEO Pat Mulloy

Honorary Degrees: Honorary doctorates for Pat Mulloy, Leonard Spalding and Susan Spalding

Pat Mulloy to speak at Bellarmine’s spring commencement


Berea College

Sunday, May 7

2:00 PM

Seabury Center

Speaker: U.S. Representative John Lewis, Georgia 5th District

Honorary Degree: Congressman John Lewis


Brescia University

Saturday, May 6

10:00 AM CT

RiverPark Center, Owensboro

Speaker: Dr. Belle Wheelan, President of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)


Campbellsville University

Graduate Commencements:

Friday, May 12

4:00 PM

Ransdell Chapel

Number of graduates: 116 Master’s students

Friday, May 12

7:00 PM

Ransdell Chapel

Number of graduates: 167 Master’s students

Undergraduate Commencements:

Saturday, May 13

9:00 AM

Speaker: The Honorable Max Wise, Kentucky State Senator, 16th Senatorial District, 1997 Campbellsville University graduate

Number of graduates: 140 Bachelor of Science Undergraduate Students

Noon

Powell Athletic Center
Speaker: The Honorable Max Wise, Kentucky State Senator, 16th Senatorial District, 1997 Campbellsville University graduate

Honorary degree: The Honorable Max Wise, Kentucky State Senator, 16th Senatorial District, 1997 Campbellsville University graduate, Honorary doctorate of Public Service

Number of graduates: 128 Associate and other Undergraduate Students

Campbellsville University to graduate record-number of graduates in May of 558; 760 for academic year


Centre College

Sunday, May 21

3:00 PM

Newlin Hall, Norton Center for the Arts

Speaker: J.D. Vance, New York Times best-selling author of Hillbilly Elegy

Honorary Degree: J.D. Vance


Georgetown College

Saturday, May 13

10:00 AM

Giddings Lawn (Rain location: Davis-Reid Alumni Gym)

Speaker: Dr. Ralph D. West, founder and senior pastor of The Church Without Walls (Brookhollow Baptist Church, Houston, TX)

Honorary Degree: William H. McIntyre, local historian


Kentucky Christian University

Saturday, May 6

10:00 AM

Lusby Center Gymnasium

Speaker: Dr. Marvin Elliott


Kentucky Wesleyan College

Saturday, April 29

10:00 AM

Owensboro Convention Center

Speaker: Brian Kelley, former chief executive officer, president and director of Keurig Green Mountain

The Path to Success: Kentucky Wesleyan class of 2017 graduates at convention center

126 degrees awarded


Lindsey Wilson College

Saturday, May 13


Midway University

Saturday, May 13

11:00 AM

Graves Amphitheater on Midway campus

Speaker: Susan Martinelli Shea, Lexington Legends owner and philanthropist


Spalding University

Saturday, June 3

10:00 AM

Canaan Christian Church

Speaker: President Tori Murden McClure

Honorary Degree: Lonnie Ali


Thomas More College

Graduate Commencement

Friday, May 12

5:00 PM

Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel

Undergraduate Commencement

Saturday, May 13

11:30 AM

Connor Convocation Center


Transylvania University

Saturday, May 27

9:00 AM

Old Morrison Lawn (Rain Location: Beck Center)

Speaker: Bill Farmer, President and CEO of United Way of the Bluegrass


Union College

Sunday, May 7

10:30 AM

John M. Robsion Jr. Arena

Speaker: Bishop Leonard Fairley, United Methodist Church resident Bishop of the Louisville Episcopal Area


University of the Cumberlands

Saturday, May 6

Undergraduate Commencement: 10:00 AM

Graduate Commencement: 6:00 PM

O. Wayne Rollins Center

Speaker: Dr. Larry L. Cockrum, University of the Cumberlands president


University of Pikeville

Saturday, May 20

Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine Commencement

9:30 AM

East Kentucky Expo Center

Speaker: David O. Barbe, M.D.,MHA, Board-certified family physician and president-elect of the American Medical Association

Honorary Degree: Dr. Barbe, Doctor of Science

University of Pikeville Commencement

2:00 PM

East Kentucky Expo Center

Speaker: Irene Trowell-Harris, R.N. Ed.D., Maj. Gen., USAF, Ret., Former Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Center for Women Veterans

Honorary Degree: Dr. Trowell-Harris, Doctor of Humane Letters

New study reveals nonprofit private colleges add $700 million to Kentucky economy annually

bar charts

Kentucky’s private nonprofit colleges and universities add $700 million to the Kentucky economy each year and are responsible for creating nearly 10,600 Kentucky jobs, according to a new study commissioned by the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AIKCU).

The economic impact report underscores the public benefits that a healthy private college sector provides to the commonwealth, calling the nonprofit private college sector both “one of the greatest economic and social bargains for the residents and taxpayers of Kentucky” and “one of Kentucky’s primary economic engines.”

Altogether, AIKCU’s 18 members are responsible for 10,588 Kentucky jobs with average salaries of nearly $49,000 per year (inclusive of benefits). The report breaks down the $700 million annual economic activity attributed to the private nonprofit college sector into direct, indirect, and induced economic effects as follows:

  • $404 million in direct effects from the employment of private college faculty and staff. AIKCU members directly employed 6,755 people (4,864 full-time,1,891 part-time) in 2014-15, with average wages (inclusive of benefits) of $53,674
  • $121 million in indirect effects, resulting from the purchase of goods and services necessary for the colleges’ operations. These indirect effects created 1,400 Kentucky jobs, with the average annual salary for these suppliers estimated at $38,915 (inclusive of benefits).
  • $175 million in induced effects resulting from the Kentucky economy’s response to the private colleges, with re-spending of the income received at the direct and indirect stages. This induced spending created another 2,443 Kentucky jobs with an average salary of $40,613 (inclusive of benefits)

These economic effects are felt throughout the state, with 85% of Kentucky’s population residing within a one hour drive of at least one private college. And although these nonprofit colleges are themselves tax-exempt, the report estimates their economic effects generate $24 million in Kentucky state and local taxes and $98 million in federal tax revenue annually.

“While this report doesn’t even attempt to measure our biggest contributions to the Commonwealth — the increased knowledge, civic engagement, and earning power of our graduates — it highlights the critical role our colleges play as employers, nonprofit businesses, and job creators throughout Kentucky,” said Gary S. Cox, president of the Association of Independent Ky. Colleges and Universities.

The AIKCU economic impact estimate employs a more narrow methodology than some other higher education economic impact studies. It does not factor in what the author identifies as “perhaps the greatest benefit AIKCU’s member institutions provide for the state of Kentucky” — the human capital that private college alumni add to the commonwealth’s economy through higher wages, increased tax revenue, improved health outcomes, and other factors. It also excludes the non-recurring economic benefits from capital construction projects; spending by students, alumni and visitors to the colleges other than tuition; the value of research, grant, or community service activities; and of course the many intangible social and cultural benefits these institutions provide their communities.

The AIKCU study was conducted by a practicing economist with more than 30 years experience in the field of economic development and updates a 2014 study by the same author. The report utilizes 2014-15 employment and wage data reported to the National Center for Education Statistics Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (the most current data publicly available). This focus on the institutions’ recurring economic benefits derived from annual operations parallels the process many state governments use to evaluate the appropriateness of economic development incentives for new or existing businesses.

Download the full AIKCU 2014-15 Economic Impact Report.

AIKCU members fare well in U.S. News rankings

AIKCU members have again fared well in the latest U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings. The U.S. News rankings are arguably the most recognizable and influential among the ever-growing roster of college rankings.

U.S. News separates its rankings into categories based on mission and Carnegie classifications. Once an institution is assigned to a category, U.S. News uses “data from each college on up to 16 indicators of academic excellence” to come up with a composite score for that institution before ranking all the colleges or universities within a category against their peers. (See: How U.S. News Calculated the 2016 Best Colleges Rankings.)

AIKCU members appear in the rankings under three different categories: National Liberal Arts Colleges, Regional Universities South, and Regional Colleges South.

Three AIKCU members ranked among the Top 100 National Liberal Arts Colleges: Centre College at #45, Berea College at #67, and Transylvania University at #82. Georgetown College was also ranked.

Five AIKCU member were named among the Top Regional Universities in the South: Bellarmine University at #13, Thomas More College at #53, Union College at #83, Campbellsville University at #84, and University of the Cumberlands at #87.

Six AIKCU members were ranked in the Top Regional Colleges in the South: Asbury University at #3, Kentucky Wesleyan College at #27, Alice Lloyd College at #30, Brescia University at #50, Midway University at #54, and Kentucky Christian University at #58.

For the complete lists, visit the U.S. News & World Report 2016 Best Colleges Rankings.

AIKCU launches Intern Scholarship Program thanks to grant from Council of Independent Colleges

AIKCU has been awarded a $25,000 Scholarship Challenge Grant from the Council of Independent Colleges to provide scholarship support for to low-income students pursuing an internship during the 2015-16 academic year.

AIKCU recently completed raising the required matching funds from private sources, bringing the total amount available to support the 2015-16 AIKCU Intern Scholarship Program to $50,000.

One low-income student at each of the 19 AIKCU member institutions will receive a $2,632 stipend to help with additional expenses incurred while completing an internship experience during the 2015-16 academic year.

“Meaningful internships give students the experience they need and help graduates, especially those in the liberal arts, be more competitive in the job market,” said Gary S. Cox, AIKCU president. “Unfortunately, the additional expenses associated with completing an internship, from travel expenses to purchasing a professional wardrobe, can add up to put these experiences out of reach for students who would benefit the most.”

Students interested in the new Intern Scholarship should contact their institution’s office of career services.

AIKCU member institutions are responsible for identifying the recipient on their campuses. Students must be low-income — as verified by their receipt of a Pell Grant, CAP grant, or Kentucky Tuition Grant — and in good academic standing. The stipend may not be used to replace other external or institutional aid. Institutions are responsible for verifying student qualifications and internship placement and completion.

For more details, see the AIKCU Intern Scholarship Application.

Brescia SGA President to represent AIKCU students on Kentucky Board of Student Body Presidents

Brescia SGA President CJ BrightOWENSBORO, Ky. – Brescia University Student Government Association president Carleigh “C.J.” Bright has been appointed by the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AIKCU) to represent students from Kentucky’s nonprofit private colleges and universities on the Kentucky Board of Student Body Presidents.

Bright is a senior political science major who hails from Gilbertsville in Marshall County, which she describes as “between Possum Trot and Monkey’s Eyebrow.” She plans to attend law school after graduation.

The Kentucky Board of Student Body Presidents was formally established by state statute in 2013 to advise the legislative and executive branches of state government and the Council on Postsecondary Education regarding postsecondary education issues and the concerns of college students. The Board is composed of the student body presidents from Kentucky’s eight public universities, two representatives from the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS), and a nonprofit private college representative selected by AIKCU.

As the voice for private college students on the Board, Bright hopes to bring increased attention to the importance of funding for state financial aid programs and explore potential areas of collaboration between institutions.

“I am really excited about getting the opportunity to share ideas with peers from other institutions,” said Bright. “Also, I’m excited to get to represent Brescia.”

In addition to serving as the president of Brescia’s Student Government Association, Bright has been an Orientation Leader and Student Ambassador and held several other leadership roles on the Owensboro campus.

“C.J. is an exemplary student and the embodiment of what we call the Brescia difference,” said Father Larry Hostetter, Brescia University President. “Since arriving at Brescia as a freshman, C.J. has been actively involved in campus life, serving in various leadership roles. Her positivity and servant leadership will serve her well in her role on the Kentucky Board of Student Body Presidents. We are proud to have her representing Brescia University and look forward to her contributions.”