College of Arts and Sciences inducts 4 into Hall of Fame

LEXINGTON, Ky. (October 18, 2021) – Three alumni and a faculty member were inducted into the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame at a ceremony on campus last Friday.

Now in its 22nd year, the Hall of Fame recognizes alumni and faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences who have made significant contributions to the university, the Commonwealth and the nation in their respective fields.

“The life stories of the Arts and Science Hall of Fame laureates reflect the power, breadth, longevity and relevance of a liberal arts education,” said Christian Brady, Interim Dean of the college. “The lives of this year’s inductees have enriched our community and our nation, and it has been an honor to celebrate their accomplishments. “

The 2021 inductees include:

Former inductees

Barbara Bailey Cowden, General Studies, BA (1977)

Barbara Bailey Cowden is from Harlan, Ky. She started out as a performance pianist in the UK, but a summer job changed her course and she graduated with a BA in General Studies in 1977. Her first job in journalism was as a staff member. reporter for his hometown newspaper, The Harlan Daily Enterprise. Under the guidance of Enterprise Editor-in-Chief Ewell Balltrip, she discovered her passion for journalism. After her first signing in the journal, she knew she had found the career path she wanted.

Cowden looks forward to the opportunity to come back to campus when she can, speak at journalism classes, and meet students. Along the way, Cowden also taught journalism in the UK and at Asbury University.

She started working at WKYT in 1979, never realizing it would be a career of more than 40 years. She co-hosted the regularly ranked No. 1 newscast with John Lindgren, Sam Dick and Bill Bryant. During her tenure at WKYT, Cowden worked as a reporter, presenter, producer and meteorologist in almost every time slot. She worked early in the morning, late at night, on weekends and during the day.

She was inducted into the Kentucky Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2019 and was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Kentucky School of Journalism in 2018. She was also inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame in the fall of 2020 .

Gurney Norman, English, Bachelor (1959)

Gurney Norman’s relationship with the College of Arts and Sciences spans 66 years, from 1955 when he enrolled in his first year in the UK in the fall of 2021 as he entered his 42nd year of college. teaching creative writing in the English department.

Norman grew up in the southern Appalachians, raised alternately by his paternal and maternal grandparents. From age 9 to 18, he attended Stuart Robinson School, a Presbyterian boarding school in the coalfields of eastern Kentucky. At Stuart Robinson, he developed an interest in writing. He enrolled in the UK with an interest in journalism. In creative writing classes, he was mentored by Professors Hollis Summers and Robert Hazel, and formed long-standing friendships with Kentucky writers Wendell Berry, James Baker Hall, Ed McClanahan, and Bobbie Ann Mason. He has also written for the Kentucky Kernel, published short stories in the English department’s literary journal Stylus, and helped edit the Kentuckian yearbook. He was at the ROTC and then spent two years in the US Army.

In 1960, Norman received a Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Creative Writing at Stanford University, where he studied with critic Malcolm Cowley and famous Irish short story writer Frank O’Connor. He joined a writing class with Ken Kesey, Larry McMurtry, Peter Beagle, James Baker Hall and other young writers. After his military service, 1961-1963, Norman returned to eastern Kentucky and worked as a reporter for his hometown newspaper, The Hazard Herald. During the summers of 1966 and 1967, he was a lookout for the US Forest Service in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. In 1972, his novel “The Journey of Divine Law” was published by Dial Press. In 1977, his short story book, “Kinfolks”, was published by Gnomon Press. He returned to Kentucky to join the Faculty of English in the United Kingdom in the fall of 1979.

In the 1980s, Norman wrote and narrated three documentaries on Kentucky and the Appalachian region for Kentucky Educational Television. In 2011, he published a short story, “Ancient Creek: A Folktale” (Old Cove Press). In 2020, his book of autobiographical stories, “Allegiance,” was published by Old Cove Press and distributed by Ohio University Press. Norman was the 2009-10 Kentucky Poet Laureate. In 2019, he was inducted into the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame.

William H. Turner, sociology, license (1968)

William H. Turner, Ph.D., the fifth of 10 children, was born in 1946 in the coal town of Lynch, Ky., In Harlan County. His grandfathers, his father, his four uncles and his older brother were coal miners. He obtained a BA in Sociology from the UK and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Notre Dame. In addition, he completed the Howard University Foreign Affairs Scholarship Program and did postdoctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania and Duke University.

During his academic career, Turner served as chairman of the department of social sciences at Winston-Salem State University; Dean of Arts and Sciences and Acting President, Kentucky State University; Vice President of Multicultural Affairs UK; and Distinguished Professor of Appalachian Studies and Regional Ambassador at Berea College. When he retired at the end of 2017, Turner was responsible for scientific research at Prairie View A&M University College of Agriculture and Human Sciences, where he led the collection and analysis of data on underserved Texans.

Turner has spent his professional career studying and working on behalf of marginalized communities, helping them create opportunities in the wider world while not abandoning their important cultural connections. He is best known for his groundbreaking research on African-American communities in the Appalachians. As an academic and consultant, he has studied economic systems and social structures in the urban South and thriving Latin American communities in the Southwest. He co-edited the Blacks in Appalachia textbook and thematic essays on the Black Appalachians in the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture and the Encyclopedia of Appalachia, and he worked as a research associate (1979-1991) for the ‘Roots’ author Alex Haley.

Turner was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame in 2007, and the Appalachian Studies Association honored Turner for a lifetime of service to the Appalachian region.

Faculty member

Paul Eakin, Department of Mathematics

Paul Eakin was born in New Orleans in 1942 and raised in central Louisiana. He attended Louisiana State University, where he obtained a BS in 1964 and a doctorate. in 1968, both in mathematics. After a postdoctoral year at the University of Rochester, he joined the UK Department of Mathematics in 1969 and spent the 1970s teaching, researching and working with graduate students in mathematics.

He became president in 1980; in this role, he saw that the math department had a statewide responsibility to support Kentucky math teachers. As Kentucky had hundreds of math teachers (spread across the state) and, at that time, only 55 math teachers in the UK (all in Lexington with all their other duties), he decided to train partnerships with other institutions. To these institutions, the UK could bring new materials, new technologies, project coordination and the ability to mobilize and manage the financial resources needed to apply them. As a result, Eakin has helped form many regional, statewide and multi-state K-12 / college partnerships that support STEM education. The largest, the Appalachian Math Science Partnership (AMSP), involved four states and was funded by the UK’s largest external grant at the time.

Two decades later, the Educational Research Laboratory established to develop mathematics teaching technology continues to be the UK Department of Mathematics ‘Mathskeller’ Teaching Laboratory. The technology component of AMSP continues in the Kentucky KYOTE (Kentucky Online Testing) program. The latter is operated daily by more than a thousand Kentucky math and English teachers. Schools use it for college and dual-credit placement, and it offers Kentucky seniors the opportunity to skip college remedial work by establishing college preparation in math, reading and composing.

This year’s recipients join more than 60 alumni and 20 faculty members who have already been inducted. More information on each inductee, including the full biography, can be read at

A recording of the ceremony can be viewed at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *