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University of the Cumberlands Convocation Honors program


Williamsburg, Ky. - University of the Cumberlands (UC) held a University Recognition Program on Tuesday, December 4,, 2012, in Gatliff Chapel.

Convocation director, Rick Fleenor, opened the night and welcomed the students by saying, “Students are a lot like coal. They are diamonds in the rough, and they transform throughout their college years and, while under pressure, they turn into something great, like diamonds.”

During the ceremony, three individuals were honored for their efforts in the energy business. These individuals have helped make great strides toward making energy affordable, accessible, and clean.

Barbara F. Altizer, of Richlands, Virginia, received an Honorary Doctorate of Administration from UC during the convocation honors program. Altizer has become a vital administrative figure in her home state in a male-dominated job market. She has spent the past 30 years as executive director of the Eastern Coal Council, centering her career on energy and community advocacy.

Kenneth J. Nemeth, of Duluth, Georgia, received an Honorary Doctorate of Science Degree from UC. Nemeth has researched and given multitudes of presentations over varying types of energy, such as biomass to energy organizations over the duration of his career. Nemeth currently resides as the executive director and secretary for the Southern States Energy Board (SSEB).

Arthur Preston, a geologist from Texas, and president of Presco, Inc., a company founded with his brothers, received an Honorary Doctorate of Science. He is an example of the ultimate entrepreneur. He has further expanded his work by diving into real estate, cattle, horse racing and breeding, fiber optics, restaurants, and geothermal power general companies.

The Convocation Honors Program was closed by Dr. Barry Vann, the founding Director of the Doctor of Education Program (Ed.D.) and Professor of Higher Education and Geography at UC. He gave an informative and personal speech on how the energy industry has shaped Appalachia throughout the course of history.

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; seven graduate degrees, including a doctorate and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.

Article provided by Rhyana Barker, University of the Cumberlands Multimedia and Athletic Services Department Student Assistant