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UK STUDENTS OFFER LEADERSHIP ON APPALACHIA ISSUES

By Selena Stevens

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The students are recommending the Appalachian Regional Commission continue to focus attention on areas of human services, employment diversification, education and training and public services in the most seriously distressed counties of the region.

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July 16, 1999 – (Lexington, Ky.) – With President Bill Clinton's New Market Initiative recently launched, 12 graduate students from the University of Kentucky are ready to offer their own solutions to Appalachia's problems.

The students, members of UK's Appalachian Development Seminar led by Appalachian Center director Ron Eller, will present the results of their research to the Appalachian Regional Commission during its regular meeting from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. July 21 in Washington, D.C.

After seven months of research and field work in eight counties across five states, the students are recommending the commission continue to focus attention on areas of human services, employment diversification, education and training and public services in the most seriously distressed counties of the region. The research being presented includes information on human and economic resource development, family literacy and adult education programs, civic involvement, water and sewer planning, and transportation.

"These students have been out in the field looking intently at the issues," said Eller, who also serves as the ARC's John D. Whisman Scholar. "The recommendations the students are making come from their experiences in the field rather than just academic theories."

The students' experiences will allow the commission to see the region from another perspective, said ARC federal co-chairman Jesse L. White Jr.

"Earlier this month, President Clinton saw for himself the progress and opportunities that exist in Appalachia," White said. "The president challenged the nation to see our region with new eyes. Professor Eller has given his students a unique opportunity to do just that. I know the commission looks forward to hearing about the students' discoveries, about their impressions and about the vision they can see for Appalachia in the future."

During the seminar, the graduate-level students reviewed data and spent time in communities, talking with residents, reviewing local information and speaking with leaders. The multidisciplinary seminar included students from seven fields of study and was taught by professors from seven disciplines.


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