Forward Kentucky Contributors Skip to content

Forward Kentucky Contributors

Photo by "My Life Through A Lens" / Unsplash

Forward Kentucky is built on the work of many people, and among the most important are our contributors. We value their insights, their varied experiences, and their willingness to share their expertise and their creative work with others. The best way you can thank them is to consume their work and engage them with your comments – but a nice Thank You sent to will work too! (And a special thank you to Mac Brown Media for all the professional portraits!)

Amye Bensenhaver, former assistant attorney general (photo provided by Ms. Bensenhaver)

Amye Bensenhaver is a retired assistant attorney general who, for twenty-five years, specialized in Kentucky’s open records and meetings laws. She is the co-founder of the Kentucky Open Government Coalition. (Stories)

Berry Craig of Arlington, Ky., is a professor emeritus of history at West Kentucky Community College in Paducah and an author of seven books and co-author of two more, all on Kentucky history. His latest book is Kentuckians and Pearl Harbor: Stories from the Day of Infamy, published last fall by South Limestone Books, an imprint of the University Press of Kentucky. (Stories)

Trent Garrison grew up on southeastern Kentucky. He later went to EKU and then UK for his PhD. After working for state government for 6 years, he attended Graduate School at Kentucky State University where he studied Public Administration, and later Harvard Extension School in Professional Communications. Dr. Garrison has taught classes in science policy, served as Director of Legislative Affairs, been a legislative liaison to two non-profits, and has co-hosted several shows/podcasts focused on Kentucky. His interests are science, data, policy, communication, local politics, the outdoors, friends and family, and his 3 cats. (Stories)

Robert Kahne is a graduate of the University of Kentucky’s Martin School for Public Policy. He works as a data scientist in Louisville, where he lives with his wife Kelsey, his dog Gertie, and his cat Cookie. In addition to hosting My Old Kentucky Podcast, Robert serves on the board of Highlands Community Ministries, volunteers with the Civic Data Alliance, and attends Highland Baptist Church. (Stories)

Kimberly Kennedy is a freelance writer, editor, blogger, and artist who
specializes in parenting, social justice, women's issues, and
education. She can be found on one of Kentucky's majestic hiking
trails. Her website is (Stories)

Dan Nolet is an MIT graduate and retired Engineering Fellow after a 41 year career with Corning Incorporated. He now divides his time with organizing and advocacy work with the Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, the MIT Environment and Sustainability Network, and Citizen’s Climate Lobby. He is also active in his church community in Danville, Kentucky.

Joanie Prentice, a native Louisvillian, is a Mom, Grandma, RN and a self anointed "Legislative Nerd". She is an activist who is passionate about voter registration and educating voters on the nuts and bolts of election details and candidates. Door knocking has become her passion, second only to following the KY State Legislature. She follows and tracks all bills filed during each legislative session and issues calls to action when legislation needs support or
opposition. (

Ivonne Rovira, a teacher and an activist, is the research director for the statewide organization Save Our Schools Kentucky. Ivonne previously worked for The Miami Herald, the now defunct (and greatly lamented) Miami News, and The Associated Press. All three of her children are proud products of Jefferson County Public Schools. (Stories)

Jazmin Smith is a born and raised Bullitt Countian. She holds a J.D. from the University of Kentucky College of Law and is now a public defender in Louisville. She is also a member of the Louisville Bar Association. When she’s not in Smoketown recording My Old Kentucky Podcast, you can find her at Yelp Elite events, Rooster’s, and the Louisville Free Public Library. (Stories)

Neal Turpin (square)

Dr. Neal Turpin is a City Planner and Part Time Faculty in the University of Louisville’s Department of Political Science. He enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, working out at the Southeast YMCA, learning how to bake, and reading about public policy. He is active at Buechel Park Baptist Church. (Stories)

Paul Wesslund (square)

Paul Wesslund retired in 2015 after 20 years as editor of Kentucky Living magazine, and is now a freelance writer living in Louisville. His latest book, “Small Business, Big Heart,” has just come out in audio format. (Stories)

Marshall Ward taught high school history and economics for twenty years in Charleston, SC. He then moved to Murray, KY, where he taught AP history for seventeen years. He also taught at the Murray State Commonwealth Honors Academy, and was a supervising teacher for numerous student teachers from MSU. He is the former president of the Calloway County Retired Teachers Association, and serves on the executive council of the Kentucky Retired Teachers Association. In addition to writing for Forward Kentucky, he is a columnist for the Murray Ledger and Times. (Stories)

Dr. Ken Wolf spent 40 years teaching European and World History, punctuated by several administrative chores, at Murray State University, retiring in 2008. During his career he also served as a Dean in the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program and was a founder of the Commonwealth Honors Academy at Murray State. He lives with his wife Deanna in Murray; they have three adult children, all living in Kentucky. He considers himself a “long-haul liberal outsider/insider” in his adopted state. He now spends his time writing short essays on politics and religion/spirituality in an attempt to make “good trouble.” (Stories)

Other Contributors

Christina Conover (Stories)

Catherine Hill (Stories)

Nick Lacy (Stories)

Dr. Greg Leichty (Stories)

Anora Marie Morton (Stories)

Dr. Del Ramey (Stories)

Aaron Smith (Stories)

Ariana Velasquez (Stories)