MURRAY, Ky. — Below is information regarding recent news, notes and accomplishments from Murray State University for the week of July 30–Aug. 3
Dr. Rachel Whittaker, assistant professor of chemistry at Murray State, has been selected to receive the 2018–19 Karl F. Hussung Professorship in Chemistry Award in the Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology.
“Dr. Whittaker is a great example of the dynamic and productive faculty we have here at Murray State,” said Dr. Steve Cobb, professor and former dean of the college. “Rachel has gained a reputation as one who makes valuable contributions to her department and our college. She is very deserving of this recognition.”
The award recognizes a chemistry faculty member for outstanding commitment to the University and to the Department of Chemistry as evidenced by teaching excellence, exceptional service to the University and professional activity and research. The Hussung Award was established as a special tribute to Dr. Karl Hussung, professor emeritus of chemistry, by distinguished Murray State alumnus Dr. Jesse D. Jones.
Dr. Michael Flinn, associate professor and interim chair in the Department of Biological Sciences at Murray State, has been selected to receive the 2018–2019 Neil Weber Award for Excellence in the Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology.
Flinn is an aquatic ecologist who studies stream restoration and the role of invasive Asian carp on reservoir biology. He was recently named interim chair for the biological sciences department.
“Dr. Flinn is known as a dedicated teacher and scholar who actively engages students in the educational process,” said Dr. Steve Cobb, professor and former dean of the Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology. “He is most deserving of this recognition.”
The Neil Weber Award for Excellence recognizes a different faculty member in the Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology each year for his or her outstanding service and contributions to the University through academic research, program development, classroom instruction and student support. It was established in 2008 through an endowment provided by distinguished Murray State alumnus Dr. Jesse D. Jones as a special tribute to Neil Weber, the college’s former dean, upon his retirement from Murray State.
Brandon Shaw, a junior from Nortonville studying agriculture systems technology at Murray State, found success at four tournaments in the United States Collegiate Archery Association during the spring 2018 semester.
Shaw competed in the men’s bowhunter category at all four tournaments, which took place across the state and country. At the U.S. Intercollegiate Indoor Archery Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada, he brought home second place, while at the U.S. Intercollegiate Archery Championships in Jackson, Mississippi, he earned third place. He also competed in Kentucky at the South Region Qualification in Madisonville to earn fourth place and the South and East Region Intercollegiate Archery Championships in Williamsburg to earn first place.
“I love the fact that I’m able to compete for and represent a large school that’s so close to home,” Shaw said. “Next year will hopefully be a great year for myself and the program.”
The archery team at Murray State is a club sport led by Coach Tom Patterson of Princeton. The team, which began three years ago, consists of 14 members as of July 2018.
“We are small in numbers, but the quality of archers at Murray State have shown their ability this past season,” Patterson said.
Murray State’s chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) was recently recognized as a Silver Star Chapter for the 2017–18 academic year.
NSCS is an honor society for freshman and sophomore students who rank in the top 20 percent of their class with grade point averages of 3.4 and above. NSCS emphasizes the importance of scholarship, leadership and service, providing career and graduate school connections in addition to national scholarship opportunities for study abroad, merit, graduate study and more.
Murray State’s chapter of NSCS is recognized as a registered student organization at the University and has received the prestigious Silver Star Chapter distinction from the national organization for its implementation of engaging and student-centered events on campus and in the community. The group inducts new members every fall semester and holds monthly planning meetings to organize events and volunteer efforts. Murray State students aim to plan one significant service project each semester and have previously assisted with the Need Line Food Project, Calloway County Animal Shelter and the Run with Cops event in Paducah.
“The organization is very student driven with the students making most of the decisions,” said Kenny Fister, faculty representative for NSCS at Murray State and senior lecturer of math. “It is their desire and involvement that helps create the accountability and success they have seen. The group has worked hard this last year to grow the chapter and increase its presence on campus. Being awarded Silver Star Status is a byproduct of their hard work.”
Pamela Parker, administrative assistant for the Department of Art & Design at Murray State, was named one of 16 Kentucky artists to be awarded the Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council.
The fellowship recognizes professional artists in a variety of disciplines and consists of a monetary award of $7,500 per recipient. Parker was recognized for her work as a poet.
“To receive an Al Smith Fellowship is a huge honor under any circumstances,” Parker said. “This award will allow me to travel and study in Europe next spring. I can think, ‘my poems sent me here — and so did my home state.’ My gratitude to the Kentucky Arts Council is immeasurable.”
Parker graduated from Murray State with a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in English. Most recently, she earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University in 2008. She currently works in the Department of Art & Design and has taught humanities, creative writing, contemporary poetry and forms of fiction at the University for the last decade. She has published two chapbooks, titled “Other Four-Letter Words” and “A Walk through the Memory Palace,” in addition to having her work appear in various publications, such as New Madrid, American Poetry Journal, Best New Poets 2011 and more. She has also served as a freelance medical editor and as the prose editor for the Alligator Juniper literary magazine.
“The Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship is a prestigious and significant award that recognizes Pamela Parker as a Kentucky poet engaged in high-quality creative work,” said Nicole Hand, professor of art and assistant dean for the College of Humanities and Fine Arts. “This achievement acknowledges her success as a writer.”
Parker is the second person from the University’s MFA program to earn this recognition. Dr. Carrie Jerrell, program director, previously received the award.
The Epsilon Lambda chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at Murray State was recently named a Smythe Chapter for 2017–18 by the national organization.
The Robert Adger Smythe Award recognizes the top 10 percent of all Pi Kappa Alpha fraternities across North America. Murray State’s Epsilon Lambda chapter was one of 22 chapters to receive the award. It is the first time the organization has brought home the award since 1980.