MURRAY, Ky. — Below is information regarding recent news, notes and accomplishments from Murray State University for the week of March 26–30.


Two faculty members and one student in the Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology at Murray State published a peer-reviewed article in “Science of the Total Environment” about the consumption of illicit drugs in two western Kentucky communities.

Dr. Bikram Subedi, assistant professor of analytical chemistry, and Dr. Dena Weinberger, assistant professor of biology, conducted the research with assistance from Katelyn Foppe, a senior chemistry student from Troy, Illinois. The group analyzed sewage water to determine the semi-real-time consumption rate of drugs in various communities.

“With the current national public health emergency for opioid abuse in the U.S., this approach of semi-real-time determination of drug consumption in our communities will help authorities to determine consumption rates, identify effectiveness of new drug treatments and identify susceptible areas and populations for policy development,” Subedi said.

Among the primary takeaways from the research, according to Subedi, was that the two communities that were studied, despite being similar in size and only 50 miles apart, experienced a significantly different rate of illicit drug consumption. The group also observed that consumption increased at a higher rate during scheduled holidays, such as Independence Day, as well as during non-holiday events like the solar eclipse. The use of methamphetamine was higher than the use of cocaine, Subedi said.

“Conventional approaches to determine the community consumption of drugs can underestimate the actual consumption in communities,” Subedi said. “Continual monitoring of opioids in communities utilizing cost- and time-effective approaches, such as the one we report in this study, would help authorities to map the hotspots of drug abuse, assess the trends in drug abuse and evaluate the effectiveness of preventive measures of drug abuse.”


Winslow Dining Hall at Murray State is hosting Easter Brunch on April 1 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The price is $9.25 plus tax per person for the all-you-care-to-eat meal.

Carved glazed ham, sweet potato casserole, creamed corn, whole green beans with walnuts, potatoes au gratin, fresh baked rolls and much more will be served during Easter Brunch. Beverages and desserts are also included.


T. Michael Martin, director of University Galleries and professor of art and design at Murray State, will have a curated exhibit on display in April at the Cluster Gallery in Brooklyn, New York.

Martin curated the exhibit, “Persona: Process Portraiture,” which brings together four contemporary artists — Marcia Goldenstein, Judith Page, Leah Schrager and Gail Skudera — who are currently working with or expanding the definition of portraiture. Their artwork originates from photographic portraits that have been physically manipulated or altered by combining other mediums and multiple techniques. The artists then reveal new meanings and construct new questions based on these modifications as the figures in each piece are redefined, allowing the viewer the freedom to compose new definitions.

Although Martin has previously exhibited artwork and served as a juror in New York City, “Persona: Process Portraiture” is his first curatorial project to be on display in the city.


Daryl Ward Phillipy, an associate professor of theatre at Murray State, recently completed filming as a cast member on the independent film “The Silent Natural.” The film is a biopic that tells the story of one of the first deaf Major League Baseball players: William Hoy.

Daryl Ward Phillipy stands in front of a fence in a baseball uniform.
Daryl Ward Phillipy in costume for his role as Hoy’s teammate Tom Lovett in “The Silent Natural.”

“I get to knock out two childhood dreams: getting paid to play baseball and to act in a film,” Phillipy said. “And I continued to learn more about working in the medium of film as the bulk of my career has been working on the stage.”

Phillipy plays Hoy’s teammate Tom Lovett. Filming for “The Silent Natural” took place at multiple locations in the region, including Hopkinsville, Bowling Green, Dawson Springs and Chattanooga, Tennessee. Phillipy worked on a Screen Actors Guild contract with several accomplished actors, including Sam Jones, Tyler Mane, Courtney Gains and Barry Livingston. The film is slated for a release in early spring of 2019.

“Opportunities from Hollywood can come to our rural communities,” Phillipy said. “It provides opportunities for local actors, make-up artists and costume designers as well as sound, lighting and camera technicians to work professionally without leaving the state. Literally hundreds of people work on these films — they spend their money in our state — which in turn also gives a boost to our economy.”


The student body at Murray State voted in March to elect new representatives for the Student Government Association (SGA) for the 2018–19 academic year. The election was conducted online through students’ myGate accounts.

J.T. Payne of Reed was elected president of SGA, while Kelly McIndoo of Henderson was elected vice president. Additionally, Kelsey Calhoun of Jackson, Tennessee, was named vice president of administration, Bennett Estes of Paducah was named vice president of finance and Becca Weyerbacher of Henderson was named RCA president.

Positions for at-large senators were also filled during the election, including Rob Dawson (Henderson), Bethany Waggoner (Mayfield), Kara Marr (Fern Creek), Nevan Houser (Paducah), Chris Reed (Water Valley), Aaron Martin (Paducah), Nolan Mullican (Owensboro) and Suphat Yoopensuk (Murray).

Senators representing academic colleges include Landon Hawkins (Madisonville), Tanner Weatherbee (Metropolis, Illinois) and Megan Rohrer (Shelbyville, Illinois) representing the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business; Alyssa Brunston (Murray) representing the College of Education and Human Services; Cody Hayden (Bardwell), Andrew Kane (Evansville, Indiana) and Lucas Hill (San Diego, California) representing the Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology; Claire Schmitt (Gibson City, Illinois), Tommy Copeland (Greenwood, Indiana) and John Ryne Winchester (Murray) representing the Hutson School of Agriculture; and Erica Holt (Mayfield) and Emily Weber (Cape Girardeau, Missouri) representing the School of Nursing and Health Professions. The position for the College of Humanities and Fine Arts currently remains vacant.

Residential college senators include Heaven Meredith (Winchester) representing Clark Residential College, Keenan Lautner (Elberfeld, Indiana) representing Hester Residential College and Camryn Clift (Princeton) representing Springer-Franklin Residential College.

Any remaining vacancies will be filled according to the Student Government Association’s constitution and bylaws.

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