Saint Catharine College Clock Tower photo

News Release Index

Congrats to the newly crowned Mr. and Miss St. Catharine, as well as the new Mr. and Miss St. Catharine Junior. Pictured from left to right are Miss St. Catharine Junior Kourtney Current, Jamaal Wilson (standing in for Mr. St. Catharine Junior William Broady), St. Catharine College President William D. Huston, Miss St. Catharine Mariah House and Eric Walker (standing in for Mr. St. Catharine Marc Mason).

St. Catharine College Instructor of Humanities Matthew Branstetter's "Homelessness and Issues of Faith" class was featured in the Sunday, Feb. 22 edition of The Kentucky Standard. 

To view the story online, go here. Note: the Kentucky Standard is behind a paywall, which requires first paying a subscription fee to view the story.  

Congratulations to the 2015 Mr. and Ms. St. Catharine candidates. 

Winners will be announced at halftime of the men's basketball game on Feb. 26. 

Ms. St. Catharine candidates include Lauren Johnston, Megan Wolford, Mariah House and Allison Mattingly. 

The Ms. St. Catharine Junior candidate is Cynthia Cavazos. 

Mr. St. Catharine candidates are Britton Spears and Marc Mason.

Ms. St. Catharine Junior candidates are Vincent Robinson and William Broady. 

St. Catharine College has a long-time relationship with Channel Six Television. Check out these recent episodes of the St. Catharine College Spotlight from January 2015. 

Hemp for Fiber: Decortication Demonstration

KYHIA and St. Catharine's Berry Farming Program offers hemp education


St. Catharine, Ky. - The Berry Farming and Ecological Agrarianism Program at St.

Catharine College will host a hemp decortication (processing into fiber material) demonstration on Friday, Feb. 20, at 1 p.m. EST. The event is public and open to those interested in learning about last year's Homegrown By Heroes crop and textile research project conducted through the partnership of Patagonia, Fibershed, Bastcore, Freedom Seed and Feed, and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA).


Mike Lewis, Vice President of Freedom Seed and Feed, a Berry Farming Program

student, and Kentucky hemp farmer who tended the Homegrown By Heroes crop, will conduct the demonstration and discuss his experience working with industrial hemp.


"The Berry Farming Program at St. Catharine's is dedicated to teaching students the

historic, and all too often forgotten, agrarian principles of Wendell Berry in hopes of empowering its students to 'resettle' America in a sustainable way that provides empowerment and security to the land and its inhabitants," said Lewis, a founding member of the KDA's Homegrown By Heroes program. "I could not imagine a more fitting location for us to process this historic crop and prepare it for market. The sustainable synergy between Fibershed, Patagonia, Freedom Seed and Feed, Bastcore, and the farmers in this process represent the future of the Kentucky artisan fiber industry. American farmers and consumers are fortunate to have these groups working together for our collective future, and I am proud to have been able to play a part."


"The Berry Farming Program is pleased to host this historic event at St. Catharine

College. Hemp production holds an important place in Kentucky's agricultural history, and this decortication exercise signals yet another step in re-establishing hemp's part in bolstering sustainable, diversified, family farm production," said Dr. Leah Bayens, Berry Farming Program coordinator at St. Catharine College. "We are proud of BFP student Mike Lewis's leadership in this project and his service to the community testing out propagation and processing techniques. We hope our neighbors near and far will join us to learn about this generations-old practice revitalized in central Kentucky."


John Lupien, founder of Bastcore, LLC, said he is honored and thrilled for the

opportunity to process Kentucky's first hemp crop since prohibition with the "hemp gin" decortication system. "Our goal is to provide the missing processing infrastructure, thereby bridging the farm to the end markets," Lupien said. "We hope this work sufficiently proves economic feasibility to a degree that enables the agricultural return of this historic crop to Kentucky and spurs economic revitalization through the myriad industries that currently seek hemp materials for their products."


Fibershed's founder, Rebecca Burgess, said: "Fibershed is elated at the opportunity to

facilitate, support, and nurture this emerging Kentucky hemp fiber agricultural movement, and we are very interested in seeing fiber processing and value addition take place on and near farms where the fiber is grown for the enhancement and creation of flourishing rural economies."


Last year, Patagonia provided Fibershed with funding to support the Homegrown by

Heroes pilot project in its efforts to create the tools and processing equipment for its first hemp fiber crop. Patagonia is interested in seeing a truly sustainable domestic fiber supply manifest and views hemp farming as a critical step toward renewing an organic American textile culture.


"It is a great honor that Patagonia's grant is helping to nudge along the work of folks with such ability and vision," said Patagonia employee Dan Malloy. "I believe it is this kind of work that will bring the ecologic, economic and cultural renewal that our country so desperately needs."


"Mike Lewis and the businesses involved in this project are showing that it's possible to

create a supply chain that will serve a prosperous industrial hemp industry," said Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, who has led the charge to legalize industrial hemp production in the Commonwealth since he took office in January 2012. "The caliber of our business partners in this venture - especially Patagonia, with an international profile and a well-earned reputation as a good corporate citizen - shows that business is interested in Kentucky-grown industrial hemp."


Josh Hendrix, President and Founder of the Kentucky Hemp Industries Association,

offered to present this event as an educational opportunity for the public. "With 2014 being Kentucky's first year growing and all the circumstances that came into play just trying to get this crop in the ground, it is exciting to see some of our members already being so progressive in their efforts with hemp," said Hendrix. "To rebrand Kentucky as America's Hemp Capital or 'The Hemp State', as it was once known, we will need to rely on such projects and partnerships, as well as others throughout the state to keep Kentucky at the forefront of this emerging industry. Exciting times are certainly ahead of us and we look forward to building off of this momentum in 2015 with even more forward thinking research projects here in the bluegrass to showcase."

Join us for homecoming festivities during the week of Feb. 23 - 27. 

A full week of activities have been planned, including special recognition for the class of 2005 through 2010. Please join us as we celebrate our alumni. 

At last year's 10th International Conference on Sustainability in Croatia, Dr. David Donathan, professor of management at St. Catharine College, presented an interdisciplinary class he teaches which incorporates sustainability and environmental business (eco-business) practices into a business class. At this year's conference in Copenhagen, Donathan took sustainable education inclusion a step farther by showing how to incorporate sustainability and ecological issues into academic courses in any discipline.

According to Donathan, "In education, we fence topics into academic fields. Sustainability is generally agriculture, biology, ecology. By incorporating it into a business class, it seamlessly becomes an integral part of best business practices."

During the workshop, participants discussed sustainability as a universal underpinning to classes and how to weave particular facets into course work to enhance both an understanding of the theory of sustainability and environmental preservation and practical applications which foster care for land and environment. Natural pairings such as tourism, historic site preservation, agriculture, hormone-free cattle, truck gardening, organic fertilizers/pesticides and similar eco-friendly practices.

Following the discussions, participants took part in an interactive-exercise designing a business-based class titled "The Business of Bees." As the class developed, it became a truly multidisciplinary educational experience as subjects included entrepreneurship, sources of revenues from beekeeping, environmental roles of bees and the impact of environmental factors such as urbanization and chemical use on bee populations. In addition to academics, the class was designed to include practical work ranging from visits to apiary and "backyard beekeepers" to actually setting up a small beekeeping operation and later to assisting with a honey harvest.

As the workshop concluded, Donathan emphasized that it is more effective to infuse as many academic courses as possible with sustainability and eco-friendly information so that concern for environmental protection and the opportunities to do so become an underlying, integral part of a student's thought process.
The community is invited to join us for a free mini health fair sponsored by KentuckyOne Health on Wednesday, Feb. 18 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the Lourdes Hall gymnasium. Please see the flyer for details.

St. Catharine College President William D. Huston announced to trustees, faculty, staff and students on Feb. 3 that he plans to retire from the presidency when his contract expires at the end of June 2015.

"My upcoming 68th birthday this month coincides with the end of my contract in June," Huston said in a letter he issued to the college community. "After much thought and prayer, I have made the decision to not seek renewal of my contract and to transition into retirement from my presidency at St. Catharine College. I have been very blessed to have had a professional career that has included 40 years in higher education and a 36-year career in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard."

John Turner, the chairman of the St. Catharine College Board of Trustees, said the trustees are very appreciative of the 18 years of service Huston has given to the college and to the tri-county communities.

"When he arrived, there were less than 150 students and an operating budget less than $250,000," Turner said. "Today enrollment exceeds 775 full-time and part-time students, with over280 residential students and an annual operating budget that exceeds $12 million. The campus currently has seven buildings constructed in the last 18 years that represent over $32 million invested. Total investment, including renovations, infrastructure and athletic facilities, is $35 million."

New additions to the campus during Huston's tenure include the Emily W. Hundley Library, the Richard S. Hamilton Health & Science Building, the Spalding Student & Community Center, Aquinas Hall, Althaire Hall, Dominic Hall, Siena Hall and the Cambron-Ice Clock Tower. The college also acquired over 90 acres of adjoining land, as well as two houses.

"We can all feel a great degree of accomplishment and pride as we look back," Huston said. "The community and regional support has been unbelievable.  Nowhere in Kentucky have the local community and region embraced their local college like they have in our tri-county region."

When Huston first came to St. Catharine College, it was one of two remaining junior colleges in Kentucky. During the last 18 years, the school has transitioned from offering two-year degrees to offering four-year and graduate degrees.

"Bill's legacy includes advancing opportunities for many non-traditional students and first-generation college students," Turner said. "That, from my perspective, is President Huston's enduring legacy; the opportunity for people in our tri-county area to acquire an education that affords meaningful career and economic advancement opportunities."

Huston said he looks forward to spending more time with his wife, Linda, his children and his grandchildren while his health is still excellent.

Announcing his intentions now, he said, gives the board of trustees time to find the next president to continue the mission of St. Catharine College and the Dominican Sisters of Peace.

"A new leader with passion and energy will answer this call to take St. Catharine College through the refinement and development of a destination for excellence," Huston said. "Words cannot express how honored I have been to serve the mission of this college, the Dominican Sisters of Peace, board of trustees, faculty, staff, students and all the supporters of this institution of higher learning. Although the journey has not always been easy, it has been one very rewarding in seeing the progress made and most importantly seeing the many new opportunities our students and graduates have today in a competitive world work environment."

St. Catharine College was founded in 1931 and has been sponsored by the Dominican Sisters of St. Catharine, now known as the Dominican Sisters of Peace.

"The opportunity to work at St. Catharine College and the Dominican Sisters has provided so many areas of growth," Huston said. "When you work at a mission-driven college supported by the Dominican pillars of prayer, study, ministry and community, you know you have much support as you make your journey."

St. Catharine College students are eligible to apply for The Garden Club of Kentucky, Inc. Scholarships for the 2015-16 academic year. 

To be eligible, applicants must 

  • be a resident of Kentucky
  • be a junior, senior or graduate student for the 2015-16 academic year
  • Attend a Kentucky university with an accredited program
  • Major in horticulture, plant pathology, landscape design, botany, forestry, environmental concerns, urban planning, land management, agronomy or related subjects

Applications will be evaluated on academic record, the applicant's letter, extracurricular, honors and work experiences, financial need and recommendation. 

To mail the application or for more information:

GCKY State Scholarship Chairman

Carcille C. Burchette

717 Redbud Place

Corbin, KY 40701

(606) 344-6164

Thirteen students from five nonprofit private colleges and universities-Alice Lloyd College,Campbellsville UniversityGeorgetown CollegeSt. Catharine College, and the University of Pikeville-are in the state capital this spring getting a close look at the workings of Kentucky state government.

The students were selected through a competitive process to participate in the Frankfort Semester Internship Program, sponsored by the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities. Throughout the spring semester they will work approximately 30 hours per week in state agencies or carefully selected organizations tied to the Kentucky political process.

This year's intern class includes students from a variety of backgrounds and majors and, somewhat unusually, three international students. 

  • Cynthia Cavazos, a junior liberal arts and social sciences major at St. Catharine College, is interning with the Office of the Inspector General in the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
  • Sarah Haydon is a junior business management major at St. Catharine College. She is interning with the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet.

Interns are supervised and guided throughout the semester by program coordinator Richard Wilson, a member of the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame. In addition to their work experience, they complete two upper-division academic seminars focused on public administration and Kentucky government and politics. Completion of the program qualifies them for up to a full semester of academic credit from their home institutions. Interns also receive a $2,500 stipend to partially cover their living expenses for the semester.

Since its inception in the year 2000, 129 students from Kentucky's 19 independent colleges and universities have participated in the AIKCU Frankfort Semester Internship Program. More information about the AIKCU internship program is available at

The Berry Farming Program students were introduced and shared their testimonies on Jan. 25 at Waterfront Park Place in Louisville at a reception held in their honor. 

To view the event in its entirety, click the video below. 

To learn more about the program and how to apply, click here. 

St. Catharine College Professor of Criminal Justice and Sociology Dr. Harry Toder recently published a book review of 41: A Portrait of My Father

Toder's review was published in the Jan. 21 edition of The Springfield Sun. The online version of the review can be found here:

On a cool, foggy, fall morning, Jacob Settles greeted the day early to feed the cows.
The cows are normally in the fields, but on this morning they're in the lots close to the Settles home in Washington County. Johnson grass and frost make a toxic combination for cows, he said, so they were brought in from the fields.
Settles, who majored in business management, is the third member of his family to graduate from St. Catharine College.
His mother, Charlotte Settles, graduated from here, as did his older brother, Jordan.
This trio of St. Catharine alums aren't just family, they're business owners.
Rising Sons Beef, a conception-to-consumption enterprise (as Jacob put it), is owned and operated equally by the mother and her sons. In fact, Jacob has been in the business since 2007 (long before he set foot on a college campus).
The Settles family, under the Rising Sons Beef name, sells freezer beef across the country. The cattle raised by Rising Sons are on the Settles' farm from birth-to-slaughter.
"They're on our farm and we know everything that's been done to them," Jacob said. "They're antibiotic, hormone and steroid-free beef. I can say that and I guarantee that because they've never left my farm and I'm the one handling the animals so I know that that's true."
The beef does leave the farm briefly for processing before it's distributed. The family sends it to Central Kentucky Custom Meats, a USDA-inspected plant in Casey County.
"That's the only time it's out of our hands. After it's been processed, we go pick it up and we'll deliver it to you," Jacob said. "The first time you technically have to touch it is when you walk to your freezer to see what you want for dinner."
Jacob said that Rising Sons guarantees the beef is USDA Choice.
"So you get a very, very good product," he said.
Jacob's dad, Jeff, ran the business in a similar fashion but on a smaller scale for about 30 years before he passed away. When he passed, the family kept the business going.
Jacob said selling beef is something he's known his whole life.
"Tobacco was what we did when I was growing up, but in 2003 (at the time of the tobacco buyout) I was 10 years old. The majority of my working life, this is all I've known," he said.
When he was nine-years-old, he and Jordan were given a heifer, he said.
"From then, we increased our own herd as far as that heifer would have a calf and we'd either sell it or keep it back and we grew that way through raising our own heifers. But when my dad passed away, we officially took over the whole operation in conjunction with my mother, all on equal thirds," he said.
His family took the tobacco buyout in 2003 and started selling beef on a larger scale in 2005. Jeff Settles passed away in 2007 and the company name was born in 2009.
As time went on, Jacob entered high school and continued with the business. He also got involved with a lot of extracurricular activities and earned 30 hours of college credit before he graduated from high school. As a result, Jacob has learned excellent time management skills.
Jacob said taking on so much was his own choice, so he had to learn how to get things done. Not much changed when he came to college and graduated in two-and-a-half years while running a business full time, earning membership in the Alpha Chi National Honor Society and serving on the planning committee of the first-ever Patriot Career Fair.
"I'm very task oriented," he said. "I don't waste a lot of time. A lot of days my lunch time consists of about 10 minutes whenever I can find it."
"Jacob has had to become an excellent time manager," Dr. Dave Donathan, professor of business management at St. Catharine, said. "As a fulltime undergraduate student as well as a full-time independent business man, he has to make the most of every hour. His ability to prioritize tasks and his self-discipline have enabled him to successfully fill both roles."
Planning has also been crucial for Jacob.
He set up his class schedule so that he was only on campus two days a week (sometimes three), which often led to long days and late nights at St. Catharine. It also meant choosing electives that fit into his schedule instead of choosing electives he just wanted to take.
While already operating a successful business, Jacob said he chose to pursue a degree at St. Catharine for a variety of reasons.
"Things change. Events happen. You don't know the future," he said. "I need an education as a back-up plan for one and secondly you never stop learning. The day that you stop learning is when we go out of business or something else has to change."
His presence at St. Catharine College has benefitted Rising Sons Beef and the classes he has taken.
"I've been able to use some of the courses that I had at St. Catharine to implement certain decision-making skills, to use certain concepts within the business that I didn't have previously and implement those," he said.
"He sees first-hand how theory works when applied in real world," Donathan said. "This experience has also allowed him to provide an outside perspective to class discussions which enables students to better understand the difference between 'what should happen' and what actually happens when the theoretical and the actual collide outside the classroom."
Jacob officially graduates in December with a business degree. From there, he'll continue with running Rising Sons Beef with his mother and brother.
Rising Sons Beef can be found on Facebook or contacted via phone at (859) 262-5166 or (859) 805-0724. Rising Sons has shipped beef all over the country including Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, Indiana and, as he put it, from Paducah to Pikeville.

St. Catharine College professor Dr. Becky Meadows will be the first featured author of the college's spring author series.

Meadows will be speaking about her new book, Damnation in Matthew Lewis's The Monk: A Hermeneutic-Phenomenological Approach.

"I worked with Cambria Press for two years on the book, but there are probably two additional years of research and writing involved in it. It's actually a revision of my doctoral dissertation," Meadows said.

The English professor said she fell in love with hermeneutic phenomenology in relation to Gothic literature, art and film when she was a Ph.D. student at the University of Louisville.

"I have loved Gothic and horror since I was a child and my older brother and I watched the Universal Monsters films such as Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Dracula, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, etc.," Meadows said. "Hermeneutic phenomenology is really a type of philosophy, and I was bitten by the philosophy bug when I began taking philosophy courses at the University of Louisville. My studies in culture concentration for my Ph.D. included 18 graduate hours in philosophy."

Meadows will speak on the second-floor mezzanine of the Emily W. Hundley Library on Feb. 3 at 2 p.m. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.

The event is sponsored by the Emily W. Hundley Library, rtl3 and Alpha Chi. Planning is underway for additional authors in the spring series. 

Sign up today to give blood on Tuesday, Jan. 27. Follow the link to sign up online.

The Kentucky Mu chapter of the Alpha Chi National College Honor Scholarship Society earned Star Chapter honors for 2013-14.

According to a letter from Lara Q. Noah, director of operations at  Alpha Chi, St. Catharine College's chapter was one of 47 out of nearly 300 institutions that met the criteria.

"This award recognizes your institution's important role in Alpha Chi and its support for the ideals of the society," Noah wrote.

According to Noah, the criteria for earning the distinction include inducting members locally, sending at least one faculty sponsor and one student member to the annual convention, having at least one student presentation on the convention program, nominating at least one student for a national Alpha Chi fellowship or scholarship and sponsoring at least one on-campus program in promotion of scholarship.

"Clearly your leadership of Alpha Chi affects individual students and your campus academic community," Noah wrote.

According to the Alpha Chi website, the organization is a national college honor society that admits students from all academic disciplines. Membership is limited to the top 10 percent of an institution's juniors, seniors and graduate students. There are approximately 300 chapters, located in almost every state and in Puerto Rico, which induct more than 12,000 members annually.