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Scholars Week Alumni Spotlight

2018 Alumni Spotlight

Tuesday, April 10, 2017
Dick Mayo Allen Auditorium (Library 108)
Crabbe (Main) Library

The Scholars Week Alumni Spotlight offers the campus community the opportunity to hear about academic experiences, success stories, and lessons learned from EKU alumni. Faculty are encouraged to incorporate the Alumni Spotlight into course syllabi and can find more information here. The 2018 Alumni Spotlight speakers are:

Gwenda Bond

Gwenda Bond | Author
B.A., Journalism: Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky, 1999
M.F.A. in Writing: Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, Vermont, 2009

Gwenda Bond is the author of numerous works of fiction. Among others, her novels include the Lois Lane trilogy, which puts the iconic comic book character front and center in her own young adult novels, and the Cirque American trilogy, in which daredevil heroines discover magic and mystery lurking under the big top. She and her husband author Christopher Rowe also co-write a children's series, the Supernormal Sleuthing Service. Her nonfiction writing about books and publishing has appeared in the Eastern Progress (!), Publishers Weekly, Locus Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and many other publications.

Before becoming a full-time author, she spent more than a decade in government, where she served first as an assistant to the Kentucky Governor's Communications Director and later as Assistant Communications Director of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. She also holds an MFA in writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. A native of Eastern Kentucky, she now lives in a hundred-year-old house in Lexington with her husband and their unruly pets. There are rumors she escaped from a screwball comedy, and she might have a journalism degree because of her childhood love of Lois Lane. Visit her online at or @gwenda on Twitter.

Presentation Abstract

So You Want to Be a Writer

Every path to a writing career is as unique as a fingerprint, with the commonality of perseverance in the pursuit of an artistic path through an insanely competitive industry. This talk will cover the ways in which although it might seem a journalism degree (with an English minor, of course) isn't the ideal training for a novelist, it turned out to be for this one. From a government "day job" that proved rewarding in many ways for many years to building a track record and researching the publishing industry writing freelance articles and reviewing books for various publications, Bond's background at Eastern in her degree program, other writing classes, and working for the Eastern Progress proved invaluable. In the long run, the only way to learn to write is to write, and to focus on the voice--or your point of view on the world and the way you express it--only you possess. 


Stephanie Stockburger

Stephanie Stockburger, MD | Associate Professor, University of Kentucky Adolescent Medicine Clinic
General Music, B.A., 2004; Honors Scholar
M.D.: University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, Kentucky, 2008

Stephanie Stockburger, MD, graduated from Eastern Kentucky University Summa Cum Laude with a degree in General Music in 2004. During college, her path changed from focusing on a career in music to a career in medicine. She went on to the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and graduated in 2008. Following medical school, she completed a 3-year residency in Pediatrics, also at UK. Since residency, Dr. Stockburger has been employed at the Adolescent Medicine Clinic at UK, where she sees newborns through age 24 for a variety of medical concerns, including sick visits and well-visits.  Her practice focuses on the often turbulent time of adolescents and works to support teens and their families through the teenage years; she also devotes time to writing articles and chapters and giving lectures regarding adolescent health topics in the community. Additionally, Dr. Stockburger teaches medical students and residents who rotate through the clinic. She currently lives in Lexington with her husband Rev. Charles Kemp, who is the full-time pastor at Clintonville Christian Church, and their five-year-old son, Luke. 

Presentation abstract:

When I attended Eastern Kentucky University, the mission statement involved “helping the student succeed.” I felt this was true in the deepest part of my soul while I attended EKU. I had many key professors at EKU, but professors in the Music department, the Honors Program, and the Sciences really supported me to propel me forward. I started (and finished) as a music major, but midway through college I developed the courage, and confidence, to apply to medical school. I was convinced by Dr. Karin Sehmann, in the music department, to continue to finish my degree in music while taking the classes to apply to medical school—she even found research indicating that music majors were more likely to get into medical school than biology or chemistry majors! I took her advice and now am a practicing pediatrician. At EKU, I had wonderful support, challenges and opportunities. With hard work, supportive relationships, and some good guidance, you, too, can meet your goals and EKU can help get you there!

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