MURRAY, Ky. — Below is information regarding recent news, notes and accomplishments from Murray State University for the week of April 29 – May 4.


On Wednesday, April 25, all meals for guests in the Oakley Dining Room at Murray State were paid for by a generous contribution from the Kindness Revolution organization on behalf of Ed and Debra Horrell of Memphis, Tennessee.

The Oakley Dining Room is a pop-up restaurant managed by students in the University’s nutrition, dietetics and food management program in the School of Nursing and Health Professions. Every Wednesday from March 28 to May 2, students in the senior capstone course taught by Dr. Karen Byrd, RD, LD, were responsible for planning, producing and managing meals to be served to guests.

The menu and bookmark displayed on the tables in the Oakley Dining Room.

Debra, who is a Murray State alumna, learned about the Oakley Dining Room from her parents, residents of Murray who enjoyed their own experience in the pop-up restaurant. The Horrells then decided to purchase all 36 meals for the April 25 diners as a surprise in the name of the Kindness Revolution, a not-for-profit organization founded by Ed with the objective of sharing acts of kindness by paying them forward.

“We do this in the name of raising awareness for kindness and thought since this was Murray and since [Debra’s] folks were involved that it was a nice way to do something nice for the people who are coming to have lunch,” Ed said. “What we’re trying to do is give people a reason to pause and think.”

In addition to having their meals paid for, diners received bookmarks with reminders to pay the gesture forward through their own acts of kindness — both large and small — for others.

“Our guests were quite surprised and elated when the hostess for the day explained there was no cost for the meal,” Byrd said. “This gesture from the Kindness Revolution was a great example for our students about thinking beyond themselves and looking for opportunities to ‘pay it forward.’”


Beginning with the fall 2018 semester, the College of Education and Human Services at Murray State will offer a course in Giving, Philanthropy and Grant-making at the University’s regional campus in Paducah.

The new course is offered through the nonprofit leadership studies program at Murray State and is modeled after a similar course on the University’s main campus. Throughout the semester, students will participate in a real grant-making process: researching local needs, writing a request for proposals, evaluating grant proposals, conducting site visits and awarding a $1,000 grant to a local nonprofit organization.

Students pose for a photo, holding a giant check for $3,000.
Students in the fall 2017 iteration of the Grant-making and Philanthropic Foundations course present a check in the amount of $3,000 from the Giving Back Endowment to Way of Wellness, a local nonprofit organization the students selected as the grant recipient.

“This course supports the Paducah community directly through a monetary grant but also indirectly by leading students to research local needs and thus raise awareness of both the challenges and opportunities we as a community face,” said Dr. Peter Weber, assistant professor and director of the nonprofit leadership studies program.

The class is an opportunity to make a difference in the local community while gaining invaluable skills and competencies in a variety of areas, such as grant-making strategies, best practices for grant writing, professional skills, networking and more. Although the course is offered in the nonprofit leadership studies program there are no prerequisite requirements and the course is open to students of all majors.

“This course is of value for students of all majors because it provides skills that are useful across multiple industries and because the course aims to help students develop their own civic identities, which represent the foundation of an engaged citizenry,” Weber said.

Contact Dr. Peter Weber at 270-809-3079 or for additional information about the Giving, Philanthropy and Grant-making course.


Dr. Bommanna Loganathan, professor of chemistry at Murray State, recently published two volumes of his co-edited book: “Persistent Organic Chemicals in the Environment: Status and Trends in the Pacific Basin Countries.”

Dr. Bommanna Loganathan holds both volumes of his new book.
Pictured is Dr. Bommanna Loganathan, professor of chemistry at Murray State.

The book, which was compiled and edited by Loganathan and co-editors Dr. Jong Seong Khim (Seoul National University in South Korea), Dr. Shigeki Masunaga (Yokohama National University in Japan) and Dr. Prasada Kodavanti (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), was printed and released in two volumes by Oxford University Press and the American Chemical Society in February 2018. The volumes cover current environmental contamination status and projected future trends of these pollutants in the countries situated along the Pacific Rim.

The project was based on a symposium Loganathan co-chaired with his international colleagues during PACIFICHEM 2015, an International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies event organized by chemical societies in seven countries and one of the largest conferences in the world. The symposium brought together leading experts in the field, covering a broad spectrum of expertise pertaining to persistent organic pollutants from countries in the Pacific Rim. Many symposium presenters as well as renowned experts in the field contributed chapters to the newly published volumes.

Loganathan holds a joint appointment in the department of chemistry and the Watershed Studies Institute at Murray State. His research group, including both undergraduate and graduate students, conducts research on environmental distributions, behaviors and fates of highly toxic persistent organic pollutants and their effects on wildlife and humans.


Daryl Phillipy, an associate professor of theatre at Murray State, will have an original short play produced as part of the upcoming Four from the Bluegrass: A Night of Kentucky Playwrights festival.

The play, entitled “Bound by Blood,” will receive full staging during the one-act festival. Performances take place June 7–10 at Bluegrass Technical and Community College in Lexington.

“The opportunity to have an original play produced is, I think, the truest accomplishment for any playwright — even more than it being published,” Phillipy said. “Plays are written to be seen by an audience so, for me, this opportunity gives me faith that I have something to say as a playwright that others also find value in and that they will be moved by the characters and the story.”

More information about the upcoming festival will be shared by Bluegrass Technical and Community College as it becomes available.


The Center for Student Involvement at Murray State recently honored students and campus organizations during the Student Leadership Awards and Recognition ceremony.

The annual Student Leadership Awards and Recognition is intended to acknowledge students for their service leadership both on campus and in the community throughout the 2017–18 academic year. As such, awards were delivered to the following recipients:

— Lauren Wagner of Murray received the Rising Racer Award

— Amie Jones of Hopkinsville received the Graduate Student Leadership and Service Award

— Karlie Blain of Leitchfield received the Student Organization President of the Year Award

— The Alpha Gamma Delta sorority received the Outstanding Community Service Project of the Year Award

— The Alpha Sigma Alpha and Alpha Gamma Delta sororities received the Student Organization of the Year Award

The recipients of Student Leadership Awards pose for a photo together.
The Center for Student Involvement at Murray State recently honored students and campus organizations during the Student Leadership Awards and Recognition ceremony.

The top 10 student leaders as determined by the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs were also recognized. These individuals include: Bailey Bohannan (Athens, Illinois), Kaylee Capps (Murray), Austin Desjardins (Upton), Katie Gipson (Paducah), Kayla Grunduski (Louisville), Megan Homme (Chesterton, Indiana), Rebecca Mackey (Elizabethtown), Kelsey McIlroy (St. Charles, Missouri), Emily Mitchell (Henderson), Connor Moore (Boyd, Illinois) and Kayla Speis (Paducah).

All registered student organizations at Murray State were eligible to recommend honorees for the Student Leadership Awards and Recognition.


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