MURRAY, Ky. — See below for the latest news from Murray State University, including student, faculty, staff and alumni accomplishments, announcements, upcoming events and much more for the week of May 18-22.

In this Racer Report:

  • Chemistry graduate’s paper accepted for publication
  • Professor launches online children’s philosophy series
  • PM-DNP, RN-BSN programs earn accolades

A paper by Catherine O’Rourke, a chemistry graduate from Paducah, Kentucky, has been accepted for publication in Environmental Science and Technology, regarded by many as the premier environmental chemistry journal of the American Society of Chemistry. O’Rourke’s research, under the guidance of faculty mentor Dr. Bikram Subedi, is the first-ever scientific report of the prevalence of synthetic cathinones, synthetic cannabinoids, and synthetic opioids in U.S. communities based on wastewater analysis.

“Working with Dr. Subedi made me appreciate those who dedicate their lives to research,” O’Rourke said. “It requires lots of time and effort, but in the end, being involved in undergraduate research was one of the most rewarding experiences during my college career. I was able to learn additional techniques and skills outside of the classroom while becoming more integrated in the scientific community, within and outside Murray State.  I will always be thankful for the opportunities and support Murray State has provided me.”

O’Rourke will attend the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy this fall to pursue a doctorate in pharmacy.

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Murray State University assistant professor of philosophy Dr. Michelle Panchuk has launched a new web series centered around philosophical discussions between young children.

“Philosokids,” hosted on its Facebook page at facebook.com/philosokids, covers an assortment of philosophical questions. These can range from concepts of courage and humility to more complex topics, such as whether or not a person is still truly their original self after using a teleportation device.

Panchuk said she launched the program as a fun and educational “philosophy circle” for children ages 4-10 that she could coordinate with her young daughter and her friends while home from school or daycare.

(Philosokids): Murray State University assistant professor of philosophy Dr. Michelle Panchuk, center-top, has launched a new web series centered around philosophical discussions between young children.
(Philosokids): Murray State University assistant professor of philosophy Dr. Michelle Panchuk, center-top, has launched a new web series centered around philosophical discussions between young children.

“Rather than viewing the circle as a class where I teach the kids about philosophy, I see my role as one of guiding the children through the questions to give them space to explore the possible answers for themselves,” Panchuk said. “It’s a delight to see how critically and creatively they can think from such a young age.”

Anyone is welcome to join the discussions; weekly links to Zoom meetings are available on the group’s Facebook page. Archived Zoom videos are publicly posted, though individuals are not required to use a webcam to participate.

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Murray State University’s Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (PM-DNP) program has been named among the most affordable degrees in the country by Online U.

Online U’s rankings place Murray State at No. 24 overall. The University is the only institution in Kentucky to be recognized in the top 25.

The ranking was based on the program’s available degrees, tuition rates, course work and more.

Murray State’s DNP program — named among the country’s best by U.S. News and World Report — prepares graduates for the next step with a 100 percent online degree. Nursing faculty support Racers one-on-one every step of the way as they advance to careers in hospitals, clinics, home-health, management, research and much more. The curriculum can be completed in as little as 20 months, with classes scheduled year-round. Students are eligible for affordable in-state tuition rates regardless of their geographical location.

For more information, please visit bit.ly/DNPMSU.

Additionally, the University’s RN to BSN program was recently recognized as the No. 4 best online program in Kentucky by registerednursing.org, a nursing advocacy organization. Nursing programs were assessed on several factors centered on how well a program supports students during school, towards licensure, and beyond. 

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