CU’s Amy Etherington Wins National Science Scholarship

Oct. 22, 2009
For Immediate Release


By Hillary C. Wright, student news writer

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky.–Amy Etherington of Versailles has been named a recipient of the national Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) scholarship.


Etherington, a junior, is majoring in biology and a minor in environmental science.

Amy Etherington, right, of Versailles, looks at a cave beetle in a local cave during her Campbellsville University Environmental Studies Internship Experience (CUES). John McDermond, a senior Howell Scholar from Florence, Ky., is at left.   

Amy Etherington, right, of Versailles, looks at a cave beetle in a local cave during her Campbellsville University Environmental Studies Internship Experience (CUES). John McDermond, a senior Howell Scholar from Florence, Ky., is at left.
STEM scholars are high-achieving students who are committed to a career in one of the fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics. The scholarship is part of the National Science Foundation and was awarded via the Appalachian College Association.

“I would have never thought I could receive a scholarship like STEM,” said Etherington who said prayer led her to make her decision to attend Campbellsville University.

“Everything worked out for me to come here and I’ve had a lot of wonderful experiences,” Etherington said. “I really love the science department at Campbellsville University. I feel like the professors really care about how I am doing in and out of the classroom. They have given me many opportunities to help me achieve my future career as a biologist.”

Etherington said the application process for the scholarship involved submitting a transcript, letter of reference, a statement of financial needs and an essay.

“Winning this scholarship just reminds me not to lose sight of what I want to do in my future,” Etherington said. “I believe God has given me this desire and love for the environment for a reason. Because I am continuing to try to let God take control of my life, I can rest assured that I’ll end up where He wants me and that’s better than anything I could have planned out for myself.”

In addition to the scholarship, Etherington also completed an internship in the program called the environmental studies internship.

“The main objective [of the internship] is to give the students experience in different environmental projects and research. Also it gives the student a better idea of the different environmental agencies out there,” she said.”

Etherington worked with several projects with several agencies including Mammoth Cave National Park, Fish and Wildlife Services and the National Resource Conservation Service, where she helped with completing a survey, worked with birds, and worked with Clay Hill Memorial Forest.

“The people I met at Mammoth Cave were really fun to work with,” said Etherington. “It was such a great learning experience!  I truly recommend this internship to anyone remotely interested.”

“Amy has been involved in undergraduate research and plans to present a preliminary study poster at a national meeting this year,” said Dr. Richard Kessler, associate professor of biology and environmental studies and program coordinator at CU.     “She is working on developing a better understanding of the life history characteristics of a special organism to our region, the bottlebrush crayfish, an endemic species only found in the upper Green River ecosystem.

“In addition, Amy is a team player and can be counted on to assist other students and faculty in their own research when the opportunity arises. We need more students like Amy in the Appalachian region—those with a deep appreciation for nature and our environment and with a strong desire to learn more about it so that it may be conserved for future generations by an application of that knowledge.”

Etherington is the daughter of Dan and Debbie Etherington of Versailles.

Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 3,006 students who represent 97 Kentucky counties, 30 states and 37 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2010 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 23rd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South, tied for fifth in “most international students” and fourth in “up-and-coming” schools in baccalaureate colleges in the South. CU has been ranked 17 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges® and to G.I. Jobs magazine as a Military Friendly School. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his 11th year as president.