MURRAY, Ky. — Below is information regarding recent news, notes and accomplishments from Murray State University for the week of Nov. 25-29.

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Christian County School District Eagle Family Resource and Youth Services Center (FRYSC) Director Chris Dudley, a 2014 graduate of the Murray State University social work program, accepted the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Harry J. Cowherd Award of Excellence on behalf of the FRYSC at a ceremony in Lexington earlier this month.

Christian County School District Eagle Family Resource and Youth Services Center (FRYSC) Director Chris Dudley, a 2014 graduate of the Murray State University social work program, accepted the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Harry J. Cowherd Award of Excellence on behalf of the FRYSC at a ceremony in Lexington earlier this month. Dudley, right, accepted the award from CHFS Division of FRYSC Director Melissa Goins.

The award recognizes family resource centers that best provide children and family services including family skills training, parent and child education, daycare provider support and training, health services and referral.

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Two Murray State students in the Department of Biological Sciences received awards for their poster presentations at a major biomedical conference earlier this month.

Aaron Voshage, a biology pre-med major and senior from Jackson, Missouri, and Samuel (Jake) Tindell, a biology graduate student from Murray, Kentucky, received the undergraduate and graduate poster awards in general biomedical science awards at the Southeast Regional IDeA Conference in Louisville held from Nov. 6-8.

The conference was attended by students and faculty from universities in several states and territories including Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and West Virginia, as well as by high-ranking officials from the National Institutes of Health. 

Aaron Voshage, a biology pre-med major and senior from Jackson, Missouri, and Samuel (Jake) Tindell, a biology graduate student from Murray, Kentucky, received the undergraduate and graduate poster awards in general biomedical science awards at the Southeast Regional IDeA Conference in Louisville held from Nov. 6-8. From left, Voshage and Tindell are pictured with their awards.

Voshage’s presentation research project was carried out at the University of Kentucky during his undergraduate research, which was sponsored by the Kentucky Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network this summer. Tindell presented research performed in Dr. Alexey Arkov’s laboratory at Murray State.

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Murray State University has received renewed recognition as a StormReady campus through 2022.

Established by the National Weather Service, the StormReady program recognizes entities that are prepared for severe weather through advanced planning, awareness and community education efforts.

StormReady communities, counties, universities, military bases and other groups are recognized for taking a grassroots and proactive approach to emergency preparedness and having established guidelines and protocols to help save lives.

To be officially StormReady, a community must: 

  • Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center 
  • Have more than one way to receive severe weather warnings and forecasts and to alert the public 
  • Create a system that monitors weather conditions locally 
  • Promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars 
  • Develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.

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As point of contact for the Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) at Murray State, professor Dr. Abdul Yarali travelled to Phoenix, Arizona, on Nov. 19 to attend the National Initiatives for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) conference and receive the CAE-CD designation award from the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security for Murray State’s bachelor’s degree in telecommunications systems management. 

The gathering in Phoenix was a joint symposium by NICE and the NSA from Nov. 18 to Nov. 22 focused on energizing and promoting robust cybersecurity network and ecosystem education, training and workforce development. This year, Murray State University was among 56 other institutions in the United States to receive this prestigious designation based on meeting the cybersecurity requirements and criteria set by the NSA.

As point of contact for the Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) at Murray State, professor Dr. Abdul Yarali (pictured center) travelled to Phoenix, Arizona, on Nov. 19 to attend the National Initiatives for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) conference and receive the CAE-CD designation award from the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security for Murray State’s bachelor’s degree in telecommunications systems management. 

“From bank account transactions to sensitive military communications, cybersecurity workers protect important and private information,” Yarali said. 

Based on information published by government agencies from the NSA from October 2018 through September 2019, there were 270,000 position openings for information security analysts, but only 112,000 workers are currently employed in those positions — an annual talent shortfall of 158,000 workers for cybersecurity’s largest job. There are 235,000 additional openings requesting cybersecurity-related skills, and employers are struggling to find workers who possess that required background in cybersecurity studies. As a result, the average cybersecurity role takes 20 percent longer than other IT jobs.

“Murray State is developing cybersecurity programs that emphasize both the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills required to prepare students to learn these critical skills needed to succeed in this field and the cybersecurity workplace,” Yarali said.

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