MURRAY, Ky. — Below is information regarding recent news, notes and accomplishments from Murray State University for the week of April 9–13.


Murray State’s graduate program in postsecondary education administration is offering an information session Wednesday, April 18, for students interested in pursuing work in higher education or student affairs. The session begins at 3:30 p.m. in room 2204 of Alexander Hall.

A master’s degree in postsecondary education administration from Murray State prepares students for careers in academic advising, admissions and recruitment, career services, Greek life, housing and residence life, intramural and campus recreation, international student affairs and study abroad, LGBTQ programs, marketing and public relations, multicultural affairs, orientation programs, student disability and support services, transfer services and more.

The information session will cover classes, internship and job placement opportunities, extracurricular activities and more. RSVP in advance at

Individuals who are unable to attend the information session but are interested in the program are encouraged to schedule an advising appointment with Dr. Ben Littlepage, program coordinator, at


A group of Murray State students from the Model United Nations Club attended the 2018 National Model United Nations Conference in New York City at the end of March. They were joined by the club’s faculty advisor Dr. Choong-Nam Kang.

“All of our students have worked diligently for the last seven months — even during the winter break — to prepare for the 2018 National Model U.N. Conference, the largest Model U.N. Conference in the world,” Kang said.

As the delegation of Uzbekistan, the students competed with approximately 3,000 students from around the country to write and pass resolutions on various global issues. Two students on the team — Brett Schario of Perryville, Missouri, and Leah Feldhaus of Murray — both won awards for Best Position Paper. This year marked the third consecutive year that the University’s Model United Nations students won awards in national and regional conferences.

Students post together holding a poster that says Uzbekistan.
Pictured, from left to right, are (front row) Allison Grzywacz, Brett Schario, (back row) Erin Wallace, Laurie Abbott, Leah Feldhaus and Dr. Choong-Nam Kang.

Altogether there were six Murray State students competing, including Samuel Hoffman, a sociology and history student from Louisville; Schario, an international studies student; Erin Wallace, an international studies and history student from Louisville; Feldhaus, an international studies student; Laurie Abbott, an international studies student from LaGrange; and Allison Grzywacz, a political science and history student from Lexington.

“The students conducted a lot of research on Uzbekistan as well as assigned global issues and developed negotiation strategies,” Kang said. “I am so proud of my students and their achievement. I also believe the students learned a lot of important skills and knowledge from this invaluable experience.”

The Murray State Model United Nations Club is sponsored by the department of political science and sociology in the College of Humanities and Fine Arts.


David Beck, a Murray State alumnus, was recently named president and CEO of Kentucky Venues, which is governed by the Kentucky State Fair Board and manages the Kentucky Exposition Center and Kentucky International Convention Center.

“I’m truly humbled and excited for the opportunity to lead Kentucky Venues,” said Beck in a statement released by Kentucky Venues. “Kentucky is thriving like never before, and I look forward to enhancing the properties and working with our partners to market and grow our business to attract even more national and international events.”

Beck graduated from Murray State in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture. The Murray State Alumni Association later awarded Beck the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2006 for his many successful contributions to his profession. Prior to assuming his new role with Kentucky Venues, Beck served as the CEO for the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation.


A Murray State professor participated in a conference held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from April 4–5 that was aimed at discussing and preventing corruption.

Dr. Seid Hassan, professor of economics in the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business, joined his co-author, Dr. Berhanu Mengistu of Old Dominion University in Virginia, for the two-day conference in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh. Hassan and Mengistu presented a paper entitled “Protecting Integrity and Fighting Corruption in Privatization Programs” and were among 36 experts and keynote speakers who shared research findings and presentations with government officials, university deans and researchers. The pair also conducted a workshop during the conference to discuss the role of research, information and data while protecting integrity and fighting against corruption.

“We discussed the contextual corruption syndromes observed in Saudi Arabia and then explored the feasibilities of the two-tier anti-corruption model that we presented to them focusing on corruption at the top and corruption at the bottom,” Hassan said. “We also discussed several avenues of research in regards to the protection of integrity in the fight against corruption. Among such avenues included exploring the integrity fault lines within the agency itself.”

Hassan’s current research interests include economics of corruption, effectiveness of anti-corruption agencies, humanitarianism and corruption, developmental aid and corruption, trade and economic development, economics of migration and more. Hassan has also been published in a number of peer-reviewed journals. His forthcoming peer-reviewed manuscript is entitled “Corruption, State Capture and the Effectiveness of Anti-Corruption Agency in Post-Communist Ethiopia,” which will soon be published in the Journal of Economic and Political Studies.


Kaleb Lee, a former Murray State student, is now competing on the current season of NBC’s “The Voice,” a reality TV singing competition. Lee, who is known for his soulful country music, has made it to the show’s live competition.

Lee’s hometown is in Marshall County although he currently lives in Ormond Beach, Florida. He is competing on the team led by recording artist and “The Voice” coach Kelly Clarkson.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email