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


Jamie Herring, chief of police for the Murray State University Police Department, was recently elected president of the Kentucky Association of University Law Enforcement Administrators. Jeff Gentry, assistant chief, was elected vice president. The department received their third five-year accreditation as well.



GEAR UP Kentucky (GUK) is a six-year grant program that is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and currently taking place on the Murray State University campus. GEAR UP stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs; the program serves 29 middle schools and their corresponding high schools.


Students have a daily schedule of classes taught by college professors, and they get the chance to experience life as a college student by staying in a campus residence hall, eating in campus dining halls and interacting with college staff and students. The goal of the program is to help students to develop the skills needed for college and career success and create the opportunity to visualize themselves as a future college student. In addition to academic content, students will explore different career and college options, learn how to apply for college and financial aid and get insight into life on a college campus.


A grant in the amount of $85,000 was awarded to Janeen Winters through Murray State’s office of regional academic outreach to support this program. The current three-week program has included a partnership with Murray State’s Institute of Engineering with a focus on mechatronics and robotics. The collaborative partnership has also included the assistance of current Murray State engineering students. Along with the three-week mechatronics curriculum, summer academy students were engaged in enrichment projects with community partnerships with Murray Art Guild and Playhouse in the Park. Students were also able to attend field trips to Hancock Biological Station, Briggs & Stratton, Land Between the Lakes and Discovery Park of America. Instructors included Bryant Harrison and Rudy Ottway with Murray State University’s Institute of Engineering, and Jeff Slaton of Calloway County High School.


Students are working in teams to design and build a robot that will shoot a basketball. The final competition for program attendees will take place on Saturday, July 29 at 1 p.m. inside the Curris Center large ballroom. The competition is free to attend, and all are welcome.



The Murray State University Women’s Center and Purchase Area Sexual Assault Center are partnering to host an event on August 2 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Barkley Room at the Curris Center. Titled “A Campus Collaborative to Address Sexual Violence,” the keynote speaker will be Gretchen Hunt from the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office of Victim Advocacy. The presentation will outline differences between campus (Title IX) investigations, criminal investigations and civil proceedings, followed by a discussion with campus and community stakeholders on opportunities for further collaboration.



Murray State University faculty member Dr. Alexey Arkov of the Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology recently received a $695,254 grant from the National Science Foundation.


“This grant will allow us to explore a potential for cellular nanoscale structures to self-assemble and drive complex biological processes. These processes ensure the development of germline tissues which give rise to egg and sperm and, therefore, ensure the continuity of life,” said Arkov. “These studies may also lead to the design of artificial nanoparticles with desired molecular characteristics, therefore resulting in technological breakthroughs. In addition, this grant will provide exciting research and education opportunities for undergraduate, graduate students and a postdoctoral scholar.”


The Murray State University Police Department recently received their third five-year accreditation. Pictured from left to right: Brandon Barnhill, chief of police, Paducah Police Department and President of the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police; Jeff Gentry, assistant chief, Murray State Police Department; Ryan Orr, sergeant, Murray State Police Department; Roy Dunaway, captain, Murray State Police Department; Jamie Herring, chief of police, Murray State Police Department; James Pendergraff, executive director of the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police.