MURRAY, Ky. — Lindsay Crafton of Bragg City, Missouri, will soon graduate from Murray State University with a degree in communication disorders. During her time on campus, Crafton has immersed herself in the Racer community across academics, student organizations and more as a member of the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, National Student Speech Language Hearing Association, Honors College and the College of Education and Human Services Dean’s Student Advisory Council, to name just a few.

While Crafton will return to the University this fall to pursue a master’s degree in speech-language pathology, we asked her about some of her favorite Murray State memories and the biggest influences on her undergraduate education in this Q&A.

Who has influenced you the most in your life and why?

I can’t pick just one person as an answer to this question, but my parents and younger sister have played a large role in me getting to where I am today. They have always pushed me to be my best and have had my back throughout all of my endeavors. Their love is unconditional and they have always believed in me, even in the times that I didn’t believe in myself. There is not a day that goes by that I am not grateful for all that they have done for me.

What first sparked your interest in your chosen field?

I haven’t always known what I wanted to study, but for as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be in a career where I can make a difference in the lives of others. I also enjoy being around children so when I started looking at careers that involved making an impact on kids, I stumbled across speech-language pathology. After doing some research my senior year of high school, I discovered that this is what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. If I’m wanting to make a difference, giving children the gift of communication is a valuable way to do so. I declared my major at my summer orientation and have loved it ever since!

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

I would love to spend one hour with my grandfather who passed away in October right before Homecoming. He was very excited for my Homecoming Court experience as well as my future career. To sit down and talk to him about life and my future plans would mean the world to me. I know my Papa-T has been here for it all, but I’d sure love to get a hug and see his smile.

Why did you select Murray State?

When I was a senior, I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go to college or if I could even handle being away from my family and small town. At my high school’s college fair, I found Murray State’s table and they were friendly and welcoming to all questions. I decided to go ahead and apply since it was only a few hours away from home. Murray State was the only university I toured and I knew that it was where I wanted to be. Not only did I pass so many friendly people on campus, but I also got to meet my soon-to-be advisor, Susan Brown, who told me that I could handle whatever challenges college would bring. This personal encouragement and friendly atmosphere more than convinced me that I was meant to be a Racer!

Who is one of your favorite professors and why?

I absolutely love all of the professors in the CDI department, but one of my favorites is Dr. Stephanie Schaaf! I have only had her as a professor for one course, but she was also my thesis advisor so she has seen me at my best and worst. She is such a compassionate, student-focused individual with a love for all things in our field. Not only is she great with students, but she is equally as amazing with her clients! I look up to her more than she will ever know!

What is one of your favorite Murray State traditions/experiences?

My favorite Murray State tradition is All Campus Sing. I love seeing our campus and community come together for an entire afternoon. No matter what residential college, student organization, fraternity or sorority a student may be in, we all are able to gather in the quad to watch fun and entertaining performances and cheer on all of the participants.

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

One of my accomplishments at Murray State that I am most proud of is the completion of my honors thesis. I spent the fall semester writing a research paper entitled “Investigating Disparity Between Females and Males with Autism Spectrum Disorders.” After writing the paper, I presented my research at Scholar’s Week on campus and at the Kentucky Speech-Language Hearing Association Convention. Completing this research was something I had never done before, but now that it is completed, I am very proud of all I did to make it happen.

What opportunities have you been afforded at Murray State?

During my four years at Murray State, I have been blessed with an abundance of opportunities, a few of which include being an active member of numerous organizations, being president of two different student organizations, studying abroad in two beautiful countries, learning so much in and out of the classroom and finding my greatest support system at my home away from home!

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

I would say that the family feel of campus is what makes Murray State different from other universities. During my time as a student, I have never felt that I am just a number to the University, but instead that I am a part of a close-knit community that supports me in all that I do.

What advice would you give to incoming students?

Don’t be afraid to expand your comfort zone! Get involved with student organizations. Smile and wave to people on campus, even if you don’t know them. Ask for help when you need it, not when it’s too late. Be yourself because you are more than enough. Make the most of your time on campus. It flies by!

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 murraystate.edu/commencement.

Photo: Lindsay Crafton of Bragg City, Missouri, will soon graduate from Murray State University with a degree in communication disorders.

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