MURRAY, Ky. — Allie-Kate Wiles will soon cross the stage of the CFSB Center, shake Murray State University President Bob Davies’ hand and earn her degree. It is the moment Wiles has been waiting for.
“Looking back on all that it has taken me to get to this point is amazing — talk about a roller coaster of emotions,” Wiles said. “College graduation is an accomplishment for anyone, so I would say this is a pretty big milestone.”
Wiles is from Paris, Tennessee, and will graduate in May with a Bachelor of Integrated Studies in Health and Exercise Science. When she began her college journey, she started her undergraduate study at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Ultimately deciding she wanted to be closer to home, Wiles transferred to Murray State and began commuting to the University from Paris.
She has not looked back since.
“I knew Murray State would be the perfect fit for me,” Wiles said. “Murray State has developed me into a stronger individual mentally. The college experience and relationships you make will impact your life forever.”
When it came time to select her degree field, Wiles recalled the feeling that a career in medicine and health care was inevitable. As a student athlete throughout high school, Wiles experienced a number of injuries, including a torn ACL. Twice. After working with doctors and physical therapists through the various surgeries and recovery periods, Wiles found her calling.
“I think after going through that along with other struggles in my life, I just want to show someone that you can make a difference in your own life if you put in the work,” Wiles said.
Now, prior to her May graduation, Wiles works in the emergency room at Murray-Calloway County Hospital. She is also pursuing a physical therapy assistant program at West Kentucky Community and Technical College in addition to the bachelor’s degree she will graduate with from Murray State.
Looking back on the last few years, Wiles’ time at Murray State is filled with memories that will stick with her long after she turns her tassel. Those memories range from sliding down hills in the snow outside the Curris Center and completing a 50-page research paper about chronic traumatic encephalopathy to participating in field trips for classes with Dr. Miranda Terry, assistant professor in the department of applied health sciences and director of the public and community health program. Since transferring to Murray State, Wiles has also found that, above all else, the University is a community.
“I love the atmosphere on campus. The Wellness Center is always full of people, everyone comes to the basketball games and baseball games are fun to watch when the weather is nice,” Wiles said. “And everywhere I go in this town, I see someone with a Murray State t-shirt on. Having that support in the community makes such a huge difference in so many aspects.”
For future Murray State students, Wiles advises them to cherish their time at the University: “Happiness is a journey,” she said, “not a destination.”
Commencement services at Murray State will take place May 12 in the CFSB Center with an undergraduate ceremony at 9 a.m. and a graduate and doctoral ceremony at 2 p.m. Tickets will not be required for either ceremony. Use #RacerGraduation on social media to share the commencement experience. Additional information is available at murraystate.edu/commencement.