MURRAY, Ky. — Below is information regarding recent news and updates from the Honors College at Murray State University.

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Murray State honors students share research in Washington, D.C.

Twelve students in the Honors College at Murray State University traveled with Warren Edminster, Lori Rogers and Carole Inman to Washington, D.C. from April 5–8 to present their undergraduate research at the Southern Regional Honors Conference (SRHC).

Sabrina Pratt stands behind a podium in a conference room.
Sabrina Pratt, a third-year student, delivers a paper at the conference.

Students gave both oral and poster presentations on research topics that ranged from political science and veterinary practice to literary analysis and research into diabetic treatment.

While the group was in Washington, D.C., they were able to take group excursions to visit monuments on the National Mall, to browse through the Smithsonian and other museums and to tour the U.S. Capitol. The students individually visited the White House, Arlington National Cemetery and other locations.

The students, faculty and staff also connected with many alumni living in the area. After the conference concluded April 7, Jason Albritton, ’03, and his wife Tracy hosted a drop-in at their home for alumni and the students attending the conference. It was a fantastic opportunity to catch up with old friends and for current students to get to know alumni.

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Opportunities in the Honors Living Learning Community in HC Franklin Hall

For decades, Honors students at Murray State University dreamed of an Honors living space in the residential colleges. That dream became a reality in fall 2016 when HC Franklin opened with three of its eight wings reserved exclusively for Honors students. Those three wings expanded to five this past fall with the Honors Living Learning Community (LLC) set to expand even further this upcoming fall semester.

In the Honors LLC, Honors students are able to live with other Honors students with whom they share common classes and curriculum requirements, such as study abroad and the senior thesis, which means the learning community transcends the boundaries of the classroom.

However, what the Honors LLC is not is just as important as what it is. First, the LLC is not mandatory for Murray State Honors students. They may apply to live with other Honors students to live in the Honors wings, but they are not required to do so. Additionally, Honors students who do not live in Franklin are always invited and welcome to participate in any LLC programming. Roughly two-thirds of incoming Honors students desire to move into HC Franklin, but the students who choose to live elsewhere are just as valued in the Honors community. Second, the LLC is not intended to be exclusively elite. Honors students may live together on the LLC wings, and they tend to take up a majority of those rooms, but any rooms not taken by Honors students are opened up to non-Honors students who want to share in the Honors community ethos. The LLC wings tend to be a little more studious than other residential college settings with many non-Honors students appreciating that environment as well.

A large group of students wearing hats pose together in the residence hall's lobby.
The Honors Student Council hosts a hat night at the residence hall.

Ultimately, the Honors LLC is about more than just living spaces. HC Franklin includes a first-floor classroom where close to a third of Honors seminars take place as well as a large commons area for the bulk of the Honors College’s extracurricular programming. Taking learning outside the classroom is central to the Honors LLC concept, so the Honors College regularly plans cultural events, TED Talks and educational panels in the commons area and classroom. The Honors Student Council organizes many of their extracurricular events in these spaces, too. Altogether, HC Franklin has become the center of Honors College life.

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