MURRAY, Ky. — Kaylin Duke of Channahon, Illinois, will graduate from Murray State University on May 11 with a bachelor’s degree in animal and equine science. After her involvement in several campus organizations, including the Horseman’s Association, Stock Horse Show Team and Rodeo Club, as well as her hands-on agriculture classes, she took time reflect on her Racer experience.

This is her story.

How do you define success?

To simply put it, I believe success is being proud of what you are doing and who you are. Success is not about the money or fame. Success is about the goals you have set and all that you have accomplished. Success is being happy with who you are, being the best person that you can be and having the people who matter most to you standing by your side.

If you could spend one hour with anyone, who would it be and why?

I would love to spend an hour with Temple Grandin. She is such an iconic person in the livestock industry. I have heard her speak at an event, but I would love to personally talk to her for an hour. She has such a different outlook on not only livestock, but on life. She is so intelligent and true. She does not care what people think about her, so I know she will always tell me how she really feels. I have so many questions that I would ask and I would love to see what she had to say.

Why did you select Murray State?

Initially, I liked the atmosphere of the campus; but when I talked one-on-one with Dr. Shea Porr and Dr. Amanda Davis during my campus visit, I was blown away with their knowledge and passion in their fields. I really liked the small program size and that I would be directly under Dr. Porr for my major and studies. I knew I would get a lot out of my education coming here.

Who is one of your favorite professors and why?

Dr. Shea Porr is one of my favorite professors here at Murray State. I really enjoyed her classes while I was here. They were hard and you had to work for your grades in her classes, but it was all worth it. I definitely learned the most in her classes. She makes you really think about things more in depth than you probably are comfortable with. She not only taught us the material, but taught us more about ourselves than I have ever had in a class setting.

What is something you’ve accomplished at Murray State that you’re most proud of and why are you proud of it?

I received the Outstanding Senior in Equine Science award at the Hutson School of Agriculture spring banquet. It came as a huge shock to me, but I was extremely blessed and thankful for simply being nominated. I have worked really hard this past year with two jobs, an internship and taking care of my own animals. It meant so much to me to be recognized for that.

What opportunities have you been afforded at Murray State?

I had a great experience when I decided to study agriculture abroad for two weeks in Ireland. It was one of the best experiences that I have ever had and I would not have had that opportunity without Murray State.

What do you think sets Murray State apart from other universities?

The atmosphere and the personal relationships you are able to have with your professors sets Murray State apart from the rest. The professors truly care about you and your success.

What advice would you give incoming students?

Get involved! Really get to know the people you are going to spend a lot of time with, especially those in your major. Have goals and do not lose sight of them, because no one else is in charge of your success besides you!

What do you want to do after graduation?

I would love to get a job with an animal nutrition company and continue my education with a master’s degree.

The May 2019 commencement ceremony will take place May 11 at 9 a.m. in the CFSB Center for graduates of the Bauernfeind College of Business, College of Humanities and Fine Arts and Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology, with a 2 p.m. ceremony planned for graduates of the College of Education and Human Services, Hutson School of Agriculture, School of Nursing and Health Professions and interdisciplinary studies (Associate of General Studies and BIS Degrees). Use #RacerGraduation on social media to share your commencement experience. Additional information about the ceremony and a live stream link are available at

Photo: Kaylin Duke of Channahon, Illinois, will graduate from Murray State University on May 11 with a bachelor’s degree in animal and equine science.

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