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WKCTC Celebrates 200th Science Seminar February 26

Published on Feb 22, 2018

PADUCAH, KY (02/22/2018) Renowned theoretical physicist and international best-selling author Stephen Hawking said, "Science is beautiful when it makes simple explanations of phenomena or connections between different observations." This idea fits nicely into West Kentucky Community and Technical College's Science Seminar Series, which will present its 200th seminar Monday, February 26.

WKCTC Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, (Dr. Sam) S.V. Suryanaranyana established the series in February 1985 as an opportunity to expose faculty, students and community members to advanced topics in the various areas of science, making important connections about science with seminar audiences. Today, as it was at its inception, a science seminar series and a focus on research is unique for community colleges.

Thirty-three years later, the series is still going strong. Students, faculty, staff and community members are invited to attend the free presentation and to enjoy refreshments as a panel of current WKCTC science faculty presents "Journey of Discovery: What We Learn through Scientific Research" Monday from 11a.m. to noon in the college's Waller Hall, Room 112.

WKCTC Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs and Science Seminar series co-sponsor Dr. Karen Hlinka said the 200th seminar is an opportune time to reflect on the importance of scientific research, academic freedom, and the peer-review process in advancing scientific breakthroughs that advance society and our every-day lives. "Historical anecdotes, some serious and some humorous, will be shared about what happens when research goes well... and when it doesn't. We invite everyone to come celebrate with us," she said.

A wide variety of subjects have been presented over the past 33 years with the first seminar in February 1985, presented by Dr. Andrew Wood that covered industrial toxicology. Faculty from Murray State University and Western Kentucky University have spoken on topics including environmental causes of cancer and earthquake risks in western Kentucky. University of Kentucky's Dr. Jeffrey Seay, who teaches for the university on the WKCTC campus, has also shared his, and his undergraduate students' work in a presentation titled "Development of a Sustainable Low Cost Process for Biodiesel Production in Sub-Saharan Africa." Hlinka said local physicians, including Dr. Patrick Withrow and Dr. Evelyn Jones, have also participated in the series to provide important health information to audience members on topics such as opioid addiction and skin cancer.

"We are absolutely indebted to all the 199 speakers who have volunteered to share their passion and their expertise over the years," said Hlinka. "Without their generosity, this series would not be possible."

Co-sponsors of the science series include WKCTC science faculty Drs. Shen Liu, Victor Taveras, and Rebecca Brown. For more information about the WKCTC Science Seminar series, contact Hlinka at