Keith Hautala

Helping High Schoolers 'see blue' in Engineering

Published: Jul 29, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 29, 2013) — William Henderson is driven to help young people succeed. As director of diversity programs and out-of-state recruitment for the University of Kentucky College of Engineering, it's part of his job description.

 

"If you want to go to college, you need to have a plan," Henderson tells Justin Truax, a 16-year-old recruit from Henry Clay High School in Lexington, here at UK for a campus visit. "You need to have a plan for how to get in, but you also need to have a plan to stay once you get here and have closure by obtaining your degree."

 

Education is Henderson's abiding passion. A two-time UK graduate, with both bachelor's and master's degrees in math education, Henderson was an athletic director, taught math, coached football and track for nearly a decade in local schools, and he has coached youth sports since 1996. From his perspective, education is not a process of filling students heads with facts and figures and ideas, but of developing their ability to think, which is latent within them. 

 

"As one of my mentors always used to say, 'You've got to educe,'" Henderson says. "If you look at the root word of educate, educe means to bring out, or to develop.  I work to bring out the potential that already exists in students.  A good teacher will shine a light, point it in the right direction, and help to clear any obstacles in the student's path."

 

Henderson returned to UK in 2011. In his newly created role, he points academically talented high school students toward UK's College of Engineering. Henderson does everything he can to make sure that students who have both the ambition and the ability to study engineering have the opportunity to do so.

 

"There are a lot of misconceptions out there," Henderson says. "A lot of kids might think that college is beyond their reach, or that UK isn't the right kind of school for them, or maybe that they're not the right kind of person for UK. I have found that if I can actually get young people to come here in person, they can see for themselves just what UK has to offer — the kinds of resources we have available, and the real diversity that exists here, not just on campus, but in the College of Engineering itself."


Diversity has accelerated within the college in the roughly two years since Henderson came on board. In 2012, overall minority enrollment rose to the highest levels in the college's history, as did enrollment of women and out-of-state students.  African-American enrollment grew by 30 percent, and Hispanic enrollment increased by more than 48 percent, compared to 2011 figures. Participation in the college's Minority Engineering Day has more than doubled, with attendance rising from 72 to 176 participants.

 

Henderson has focused recruitment efforts on metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Columbus and a few other select areas.  Also, he has turned his attention to big cities in the midwest such as Chicago and St. Louis, where in-state cost of attendance is exceptionally high, and UK is a competitive option, even for students paying non-resident tuition.

 

As part of that effort, Henderson created the Chicago Area See Blue in Engineering (CASBE) Tour, which brings academically qualified students by the busload from Chicago and surrounding suburbs to UK for campus visits in the spring and fall. The program has been a tremendous success in its first year. From its inception, seven students were granted admission as engineering majors. Three of those ended up attending school at UK this past fall.  Henderson looks to expand this tour to other cities that will produce “big results” for UK.

 

Darius Williams, a graduate of Team Englewood High School in Chicago, was part of the second CASBE tour, in December 2012. Williams says that, although he originally had his heart set on the University of Miami, a visit to his school by Henderson made him start to look at UK. Henderson convinced Williams to get on the bus and come take a look for himself.

 

"Kentucky already had my favorite basketball team," Williams said. "But when I came to visit, it made all the difference. Engineering especially stood out. When I went into the mechanical engineering labs and saw all of the different kinds of things people were working on, I just loved it."

 

Williams will begin attending UK this fall. He says Henderson's warm, engaging style helped to close the deal.

 

"Mr. Henderson makes it feel more like family," he said. "He's a very welcoming person."

 

With all of those years of experience teaching and mentoring, Henderson has some solid, practical advice for any high school juniors or seniors who wish to become engineers:

 

"Take Advanced Placement classes such as calculus, chemistry and physics now, if you haven't already. You're going to have to take them eventually, and if you do it before you get here, you'll be that much farther ahead and you will gain the necessary academic exposure to succeed in engineering.  Most importantly, follow your passion, and make it match your academic endeavors."

 

Take it from the former math teacher. He knows what he's talking about.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Keith Hautala, 859-323-2396; keith.hautala@uky.edu

 

henderson1.jpghenderson2.jpghenderson3.jpg
Tags:
March
1
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Sun
2
Wildcat Wellness: Expressions (Creative Stress Relief)
Resume & Cover Letters that Work
Mon
3
Wildcat Wellness: Relaxation
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Grad Salute
2nd Annual UK Work-Life Summer Camps Fair
UK Elder Care Lunch & Learn - Keeping Your Brain Healthy
Successful Networking & Job Search
Guest Lecture
Documentary Screening: "Forgotten Wars, Forgotten Victims"
Bangladeshi Garment Worker Speak Out
A Reading by Nic Brown
CatWatch Party #3
Tue
4
LNFS Presents: The Mighty Ducks
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
Internship Info Session
Grad Salute
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Brazilian Conversation Hour
Art Therapy Table
OUTspoken with J Mase III
CANCELED: Appalachian Forum with Crystal Wilkinson entitled: Birds of Opulence: Black Women, Madness, and Resilience in Appalachia
Wed
5
LNFS Presents: Typeface
LNFS Presents: Space Jam
Grad Salute
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Wildcat Wellness: Healthy Habits
Food for Hope
Thu
6
LNFS Presents: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
LNFS Presents: Pokémon: The First Movie
Cultural Coffee Hour
Grad Salute
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Japan Today
Fri
7
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Karnival Around The World
Graduate & Professional School Prep:KAPLAN Free Practice Test for MCAT and LSAT
PharmD Open House
Sat
8
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Sun
9
Midterm of 2015 Spring Semester
Wildcat Wellness: Expressions (Creative Stress Relief)
GUEST LECTURE
Appalachian Forum with Rebecca Klenk, Topic: Global Uttarakhand: Development, Neoliberalism and Social Justice in Himalayan India
Ballroom Thieves
Mon
10
Wildcat Wellness: Relaxation
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Job Club: Staying Positive During A Job Search
Massage on the Go #2
Tue
11
LNFS Presents: Only Lovers Left Alive
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Brazilian Conversation Hour
Jin Shin Jyutsu Self-Help Class
Leadership Assessment
#TrendingTopics: Immunization
True Songs
Wed
12
LNFS Presents: Into the Woods
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Wildcat Wellness: Healthy Habits
Free Spring Break Shuttle to Blue Grass Airport
LNFS Presents: Waiting for 'Superman'
Thu
13
LNFS Presents: Vertigo
Cultural Coffee Hour
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Free Spring Break Shuttle to Blue Grass Airport
LNFS Presents: Trainspotting
Fri
14
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Sat
15
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Sun
16
Spring 2015 Spring Vacation
Mon
17
Spring 2015 Spring Vacation
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Tue
18
Spring 2015 Spring Vacation
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Wed
19
Spring 2015 Spring Vacation
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Thu
20
Spring 2015 Spring Vacation
Cultural Coffee Hour
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Plating Design Demonstration with Dan Wu
Fri
21
Spring 2015 Spring Vacation
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Sat
22
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Sun
23
Wildcat Wellness: Expressions (Creative Stress Relief)
"Thrive: The Kentucky Wine Tradition" Documentary Screening
Mon
24
Wildcat Wellness: Relaxation
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Job Club: A Snapshot of the Central Kentucky Labor Market
Career & Major Exploration Session @ 1 p.m.
Career & Major Exploration Session @ 2 p.m.
Career & Major Exploration Session @ 3 p.m.
Kentucky Teacher's Network Career Fair
Tue
25
LNFS Presents: Rear Window
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
Internship Info Session
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Brazilian Conversation Hour
Healthy Smoothie Demonstration
Virtual Dementia Tour
Career & Major Exploration Session @ 1 p.m.
Healthy Smoothie Demonstration
Career & Major Exploration Session @ 2 p.m.
Career & Major Exploration Session @ 3 p.m.
Women of the World: Rosario Dawson
Wed
26
LNFS Presents: The Imitation Game
LNFS Presents: Blade Runner
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Wildcat Wellness: Healthy Habits
Student & Employer Mixer
Young Artists Exhibit Reception
Thu
27
LNFS Presents: Psycho
LNFS Presents: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
Cultural Coffee Hour
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Fri
28
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Sat
29
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Lion King Trip
Sun
30
Wildcat Wellness: Expressions (Creative Stress Relief)
Mon
31
Wildcat Wellness: Relaxation
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Tue
 
 
 
 
Mar 05
LNFS Presents: Typeface 03/05/2015

Repeats every day until Fri Mar 06 2015 .
Fri, 03/06/2015

Repeats every day until Sun Apr 12 2015 except Mon Feb 02 2015, Mon Feb 09 2015, Mon Feb 09 2015, Mon Feb 16 2015, Mon Feb 23 2015, Mon Mar 02 2015, Mon Mar 09 2015, Mon Mar 16 2015, Mon Mar 23 2015, Mon Mar 30 2015, Mon Apr 06 2015.
Fri, 03/06/2015

Repeats every day on January, February, March, April every Tuesday and every Wednesday and every Thursday and every Friday and every Saturday and on the first Sunday until Sun Apr 12 2015 except Mon Jan 12 2015, Mon Jan 26 2015, Mon Feb 02 2015, Mon Feb 09 2015, Mon Feb 16 2015, Mon Feb 23 2015, Mon Mar 02 2015, Mon Mar 09 2015, Mon Mar 16 2015, Mon Mar 23 2015, Mon Mar 30 2015, Mon Apr 06 2015.
Fri, 03/06/2015

Reset Page