MURRAY, Ky. — See below for the latest news from Murray State University, including student, faculty, staff and alumni accomplishments, announcements, upcoming campus events and much more for the week of March 16-20.

In this Racer Report:

  • Omicron Delta Kappa Circle celebrates 50 years
  • Professor contributes to research paper on ancient humans
  • University to offer ServSafe program in May


The Omicron Delta Kappa Circle at Murray State University was congratulated recently on the 50th anniversary of its chartering. 

The circle at Murray State was established Feb. 15, 1970 with a mission to identify, honor and develop leaders in collegiate and community life; to encourage collaboration among students, faculty, staff and alumni to advance leadership; and to promote and publicize their ideals. Members were recognized in a letter sent by Omicron Delta Kappa National Headquarters. 

“The Omicron Delta Kappa Circle has been a significant and contributing honor society at Murray State University for 50 years,” said Dr. Don Robertson, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management, and circle faculty secretary. “Obtaining membership is a very selective process and composed of the best leaders on campus. It is one of the highest recognitions a student can receive based on academics, leadership, campus and community service. The Murray State University Circle has had a long and distinguished presence on this campus and the community.”


Murray State University professor Gary Stinchcomb has contributed to a research paper on ancient human environments that has been published in “Science Advances.”

The team, which Stinchcomb worked with across two sites in Gona, Afar, Ethiopia, uncovered remains of two Homo erectus crania along with a wide range of stone tools that proved human ancestors were more varied physically and behaviorally than previously known. The first find, a nearly-complete cranium dated to roughly 1.26 million years ago, was discovered in 1999, with the second — roughly dated 1.5 million years old — a year later.

Stinchcomb helped to reconstruct the ancient environments of these two sites using fossilized soils, called paleosols. 

“By examining the chemistry of these paleosols, we were able to determine that the sites existed in a semi-arid climate adjacent to a stream channel,” Stinchcomb said. “These data are consistent with other paleoclimate data reported in the study and further strengthen our understanding of the past environments of these two important sites.” 


Murray State University will offer a ServSafe Manager Certification course and exam through MS, RD, LD Josie Bryant on May 16, 2020 at 8 a.m. at the Murray campus. This program is open to students and community members. For food service providers, this certification will satisfy the requirement by the Kentucky Department for Public Health and the 2013 FDA Food Code to have at least one employee who has supervisory and management responsibility and the authority to direct and control food preparation. 

Murray State University offers a ServSafe Manager Certification course and exam through MS, RD, LD Josie Bryant on May 16, 2020 at 8 a.m. at the Murray Campus.

This course will offer regional professionals an opportunity for hands-on, individual training from a specialized instructor using our campus’ specialized food service training facilities. 

Learn more at

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