MURRAY, Ky. — Below is information regarding recent news, notes and accomplishments from Murray State University for the week of July 15–19.

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The Murray State Delta Tau Chapter of Alpha Sigma Phi has earned its sixth Grand Senior President’s Cup award from the national fraternity organization, marking one of the highest honors a chapter can receive.

The award was announced at the ASP’s 25th annual Elevate –International Leadership Conference, held earlier this month in Phoenix, Arizona. Awarded to top chapters across three categories (small, medium and large university), the GSP Cup recognizes chapters who go above and beyond in their service to the community.

“It’s an honor to kick off our 25th year being at Murray State by receiving the GSP award,” said Mike Young, Alpha Sigma Phi grand chapter advisor and retired Murray State associate vice president for student affairs. “Being recognized as the top chapter in the country in our category is truly an honor, and it’s a testament to the type of young men that are in Alpha Sigma Phi and the work that they do to not only better themselves, but to better the community around them.”

Murray State’s Delta Tau Chapter previously took home the award in 2017, 2012, 2010, 2002 and 2000.

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From June 27–28, Murray State psychology professor Dr. Daniel Wann was the invited speaker for ESPN’s prestigious Newsmakers Series. 

Murray State psychology professor Dr. Daniel Wann and his wife, Michelle, post for a photo at the ESPN offices in New York City. From June 27–28, he was the invited speaker for ESPN’s prestigious Newsmakers Series.

Accompanied by his wife Michelle, Wann was first hosted at the New York City ESPN broadcast offices. After a showing of the ESPN documentary “Dr. Fandom” that profiled him and his sport fandom research, Wann gave a keynote address. In his invited presentation, “The ABCs of the Psychology of Sport Fandom: What We Know and Where We Should Go,” Wann talked about how the relationships fans have with their favorite teams and players have a powerful impact in their lives and about issues that will likely lead to changes in fandom. 

The next day, at ESPN’s national headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut, Wann was recognized as one of ESPN’s Newsmakers. Wann, the first academic to be invited to join the ESPN Newsmakers Series, gave a talk on his journey as a sports fan and sport scholar and discussed what has and what has not been studied within the psychology of sport fandom. Previous speakers for the Newsmakers Series include comedian Jon Stewart, journalist Tim Russert, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, Los Angeles Lakers president Jeanie Buss, musician Willie Nelson, Oakland As general manager Billy Beane, and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

“Michelle and I really enjoyed our time in New York and Bristol!” Wann said. “The ESPN facilities were quite impressive and the tour of their studios gave us a unique perspective on the operations at ESPN. It was truly an honor to be a part of the Newsmakers Series. Academics rarely have this type of opportunity and I’m extremely thankful for the chance to speak to their employees.”

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The Murray State University Trombone Ensemble, led by assistant professor of music Dr. Li Kuang, performed in the 2019 International Trombone Festival held July 10 in Muncie, Indiana. The ensemble was selected to perform after an extensive audition process alongside peer institutions including the University of Michigan, Eastman School of Music and others.

Hundreds of guests were in attendance to view the live performance, with many traveling from all over the world in anticipation of this year’s festival. The show marked the ensemble’s premier of “Tip of the Spear,” composed by professor of music Dr. Mike D’Ambrosio. Additionally, the students were able to take part in several recording sessions, thanks to Department of Music instructor Justin Patton.

On the ITF’s third day, Kuang presented a solo performance during the University Faculty Recital.

“I want to thank the Department of Music and College of Humanities and Fine Arts for their generous support to make this trip possible,” Kuang said. “I believe our presence at this high-caliber international event has become a great asset that will benefit our department, college and University for many years. I also want to thank Dr. D’Ambrosio for writing this wonderful octet piece for our trombone ensemble and spending hours working with our students.”

“The commitment by our faculty and students to make themselves available for this opportunity is extraordinary and speaks volumes about the integrity of those in our department,” said Dr. Lucia Unrau, Department of Music chair and professor of music. “We can’t underestimate what this conveys to high school band directors, private teachers and prospective students about Murray State’s commitment to excellence. I want to congratulate Dr. Kuang, the Murray State Trombone Ensemble and Dr. D’Ambrosio on their performance, and thank them for their hard work and commitment.”

The Murray State Department of Music has been a member of the National Association of Schools of Music since 1936 and has a long and outstanding tradition of excellence. Graduates with degrees in music from Murray State serve as leading musicians in such roles as popular recording artists, professional symphony musicians, jazz educators, songwriters, recording engineers, television writers, public school music teachers, university music department chairs, instrument technicians, church musicians and college music teachers. Within this academic framework, the department provides a comprehensive music education for the aspiring professional teacher, performer and composer.

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