MURRAY, Ky. — Murray State University held its first-ever Faculty Appreciation Festival Oct. 1 at Pogue Library, honoring University faculty for their commitment to student success.

Organized by five faculty members serving as fellows in the Bluegrass Academic Leadership Academy (BALA), an initiative of the Bluegrass Higher Education Consortium, the event honored newly-tenured and promoted faculty with an evening of refreshments and conversation.

The festival was organized by Faculty Regent Dr. Melony Shemberger, Department of Educational Studies, Leadership and Counseling chair Dr. Susana Bloomdahl, School of Nursing and Health Professions interim dean Dr. Dina Byers, Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology assistant dean Dr. Maeve McCarthy and Department of Political Science and Sociology interim chair Dr. Drew Seib.

The five fellows will discuss the festival project as a presentation at the next BALA meeting, set for Oct. 18 at Kentucky State University. As part of the year-long fellowship, the group was tasked to identify a specific campus need and execute a project to address it. 

Pictured from left are Faculty Appreciation Festival organizers: School of Nursing and Health Professions interim dean Dr. Dina Byers, Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology assistant dean Dr. Maeve McCarthy, Department of Educational Studies, Leadership and Counseling chair Dr. Susana Bloomdahl, Department of Political Science and Sociology interim chair Dr. Drew Seib and Faculty Regent Dr. Melony Shemberger.

“The Faculty Appreciation Festival involved months of planning,” Shemberger said. “The five of us are extremely busy in our roles at Murray State, but we wanted to have a program centered on faculty recognition, as this was a need we identified as a high priority. We are extremely pleased with how this event evolved, and the faculty response to it was positive.

“We are grateful to former Provost Dr. Mark Arant and Interim Provost Dr. Tim Todd for their encouragement and support of this project. We could not have done this without them.”

Shemberger added that more than 80 faculty members attended the festival.

“Personally, I am thankful to have worked with the other fellows,” Shemberger said. “We had a lot of fun networking and getting to know each other better. We worked hard and successfully as a team. I am honored to have been a part of this.”

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