MURRAY, Ky. — Below is information with recent news, notes and accomplishments at Murray State University.

The Kentucky Innovation Network’s Next Big Thing regional high school innovation and entrepreneurship competition will be hosted at Murray State University on April 25 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Curris Center. Since the competition’s inception, close to 900 high school students have participated, with some winning statewide competitions and one recipient forming and launching a new company. A total of 46 teams will be competing this year.

In other news, Murray State hosted the Region One competition of the Lieutenant Governors Entrepreneurship Challenge on April 10.  Teams made up of students from high schools throughout west Kentucky competed for two golden tickets to the finals and a chance to compete for a share of over $80,000 in scholarship money.

The first team announced as a winner, Tracemill Corporation was from Trigg County High School.  Team members are Timothy Duggan, William Rogers, Matthew Walker and Grace Knight.  The second team announced as a winner, Dolphin Logger was from Daviess County High School.  Team members are Seth Phillips, Seth Cooper, Nick McDaniel and Elijah Eckstein.

Lt. Gov. Hampton watched students pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges.  Teams presented a 10-minute presentation followed by 10 minutes of questions from the judges.  Scores from the presentation were combined with scores from their written business plan.  The top two scoring teams received the golden ticket to the finals in Lexington.

The LGEC Finals, scheduled for April 29 at the University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics in Lexington, will consist of 10 finalist teams that will compete for $80,000 in scholarships. The top three teams will split the scholarship funding, which can be used at any postsecondary institution in Kentucky.


James Duane Bolin, professor of history at Murray State, will do a book reading and signing for “Home and Away: A Professor’s Journal” at Madisonville Community College at noon on Wednesday, April 26.


Dr. Crystal Rae Coel, director of speech and debate, senior lecturer in the department of organizational communication in the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business, head of Elizabeth College and program administrator for the Diversity Development Initiative, was recently selected to participate in the virtual summit entitled “Mastering Mentorship: How To Get And Keep The Many Mentors You Need Today To Be A Powerhouse Professor In Your Field Tomorrow” for the American Education Research Association’s SIG #27: Critical Examinations of Race, Ethnicity, Class, and Gender (CERECG)’s 2017 Graduate Student Service Initiative. Her virtual summit interview went live across the country earlier this month, with a replay between April 26 and 28. She has also been asked as an expert in mentoring to serve as a panelist at the working breakfast entitled “The Mastering Mentorship Graduate Student Breakfast: Workshopping Ideas, Strategies, & Approaches Together” at AERA’s annual conference April 27–30 in San Antonio.

Students and faculty can register for summit access at


Murray State University alumni Wendy Gamblin (’11, ’15), Amy Argo (’11) and Taylor Clements (’11) have been selected by the Kentucky Department of Education and Valvoline as recipients of the 2018 Valvoline Teacher Achievement Awards. These teachers qualify to compete for the 2018 Kentucky Teacher of the Year Award, which will be announced in May. All 24 teachers who have been recipients will be honored at a ceremony in Frankfort on May 16 in the State Capitol building.

Gamblin teaches at West Broadway Elementary (Hopkins County), Argo at Lyon County High School and Clements at Atherton High School (Jefferson County).


The National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) is a leadership-based honorary, comprised of exemplary residential students who value service and recognition, with more than 200 chapters affiliated through the NACURH Information Center. Murray State’s NRHH chapter is comprised of 29 members, representing every residential college on campus.

In February, Elizabeth College’s Madrigal Committee won an Of the Month (OTM) award on the campus, Regional: South Atlantic Affiliate of College & University Residence Halls (SAACURH), and National: National Association of College & University Residence Halls (NACURH) levels for the Spotlight category. Elizabeth College’s residence director, graduate student Tyler Bradley was the author for the original OTM submission, which was the Murray State NRHH’s first national-winning OTM.


The Murray State University department of modern languages recently hosted its annual Murray State Language Showcase. The event brought 10 schools and more than 350 participants to the Murray State campus for an opportunity to demonstrate their expertise in their language of study. The Language Showcase offered a fun and competitive atmosphere conducive to learning about languages and the cultures surrounding them.

Every aspect of the showcase provided creative opportunities for elementary, middle and high school students to interact with language speakers at the university level. The competition included 196 total entries in events such as crafts, dramatic scenes, dance and songs.

Cultural tables for each language — Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish — offered hands-on activities for students to learn about languages and cultures, including Japanese calligraphy and origami and guitar music by Spanish and Latin American composers, performed by Mackenzie Halsell, classical guitar student at Murray State.

The Murray State Language Showcase serves the western Kentucky and northwest Tennessee region in supporting and promoting the study of languages and cultures.


Murray State University’s Dr. Marvin D. Mills Sr., Multicultural Center, in collaboration with the Office of Student Affairs, Office of the Provost, and the Office of the President, hosted the 12th annual Diversity Achievement Awards Reception on April 7.

The event celebrated the academic achievements of many multicultural students at Murray State while honoring students and student organizations who have contributed in making Murray State a diverse and welcoming place for everyone.

As part of the evening’s event, a generous donation by Murray State alumnus Johnnie Green provided scholarships to five Murray State students.

Murray State University hosted the 12th annual Diversity Achievement Awards Reception on April 7. As part of the evening’s event, a generous donation by Murray State alumnus Johnnie Green provided scholarships to five Murray State students. Pictured from left to right are Johnnie Green, Maria Celeste Siqueiros, Jocelyn Rhymes, Jade Townsley, Deonte’ Turnley and Maya Yandal.