Students offer creative policy solutions for state pension system

MURRAY, Ky. — Three students from the Murray State Department of Political Science and Sociology participated in the inaugural College Summit on Kentucky Pensions at the Henry Clay Center in Lexington, Kentucky, from Oct. 17-19.

The summit largely revolved around discussion of key issues in the debate around Kentucky’s state pension system. Each team was tasked to examine the economic, political and budgetary dynamics of the system and to craft policy recommendations on how best to enact reform.

“Overall, the team did very well,”  said assistant professor of political science Dr. Andrew Morelock, the group’s faculty advisor. “They were well-prepared and made policy recommendations that were clear and thoughtful. The team conducted an extensive amount of research on public sector pensions and retirement accounts. Based on this work, they developed a series of policy recommendations to help alleviate the pension crisis.”  

Three students from the Murray State Department of Political Science and Sociology participated in the inaugural College Summit on Kentucky Pensions at the Henry Clay Center in Lexington, Kentucky, from Oct. 17-19. Pictured from left are Jodi Henon, Katie Zinselmeyer, Abby Rock and Dr. Andrew Morlock.

Morelock helped the Murray State delegation prepare for the summit and traveled with them to Lexington. Delegates included senior Abby Rock, a political science/pre-law major from Munfordville, Kentucky, senior political science major Jodi Henon from Bowling Green, Kentucky, and Katie Zinselmeyer, a senior sociology major from Gilbertsville, Kentucky.

“Attending the summit was a very beneficial experience,” said Henon. “Through this summit, I was able to gain a real-world perspective of what is learned inside the classroom. Overall, this experience added to what I learned while at Murray State by illustrating the real-world application of the material.” 

“It was interesting seeing the different ideas that other teams came up with during their process and how it differed from ours,” said Zinselmeyer.

“I learned a lot about how complicated the pension crisis really is,” added Rock. “While the issue is one with many complex terms and structures, it was made apparent to me during this conference that in order for a solution to be crafted, Kentuckians need to at least partially understand the issue that we as a state are facing.”

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