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Hardin County Native Returning To Kentucky To Take Job At WKU

Elizabethtown native Catherine LaRoche is moving back to Kentucky to become Assistant Vice President for Student Engagement at WKU in Bowling Green. She graduated from Central Hardin High School in 2005 and the University of Louisville in 2009. She is currently Assistant Dean of Students at the University of Arizona. When asked how this new job came about, Dr. LaRoche replied, “I was not a hundred percent looking for jobs at the time. I actually had a friend who lives in Texas and they were like ‘Hey, a recruiter reached out to me for the Assistant Vice President position at Western Kentucky. I’m not interested in leaving Texas. So I recommended you because I know you’re from Kentucky, so why don’t you take a look and see if it’s something you’re interested in.’ ” When offered the new job, she said, “It was kind of a no-brainer for me. When I got the offer, I kind of already knew, like if they offered it to me, I will most likely say yes.” When asked what she wanted to accomplish in her new position, Dr. LaRoche laid out her first ninety days plan. “It’s going to definitely get to understand where the division or the University is at. What are the priorities? You know, at a lot of colleges, a big priority, especially in the state of Kentucky, is retention, retaining students at the University beyond their first year. And then the other piece is: how do you increase enrollment?” When she begins her new position, Dr. LaRoche stated that staff will be one of her top priorities. “I want to see my staff succeed, so that is a big thing that I will bring to the University, is figuring out where my staff are? Where do they want to be? What is their potential and really help them reach their goals.” For students and families considering WKU, Dr. LaRoche said this. “Really what families can think about or look forward to when sending their student to WKU is those students really getting the opportunity to engage at high levels. Those living on campus, living off campus after their first two years and really just making sure they’re getting involved. That they’re successful both inside and outside of the classroom and then also making sure that they feel welcome, they feel connected to the university.” Dr. LaRoche will begin her new job as Assistant President for Student Engagement at WKU on July 17. 

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