Associate professor and graduate program director Dr. Bellarmine Ezumah begins her 10th year at Murray State
MURRAY, Ky. — Dr. Bellarmine Ezumah became an intricate part of Murray State University in the fall of 2011. Ezumah received her doctoral degree from Howard University, Washington, DC, her Master of Science from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, and her Bachelor of Science from St. John’s University, New York. Before coming to Murray State, Ezumah worked as an Instructor and Frederick Douglass Fellow at Howard University. Her teaching experiences have only bloomed during her time at Murray State. She currently teaches graduate, undergraduate, online, on-ground and hybrid courses. These courses range from introduction to graduate studies in mass communications to the graduate comprehensive project.
In Ezumah’s spare time she continues to research, develop and examine a plethora of works within her studies. She has experience working as an external examiner, formulated a curriculum design for international experience and so much more. Her honors and awards include:
- Academic Leadership Development Institute – Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education
- Carnegie Fellow- Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program (CADFP)
- Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business Notable Accomplishment Award 2016
- Scripps Howard Academic Leadership Academy for Journalism Educators
- Emerging Scholar Award from Murray State University Alumni Association
- Excellence in Faculty Service Award from Murray State University Black Faculty & Staff Association
- Kopenhaver Fellow AEJMC Commission on the Status of Women
- Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business Research Travel Grant $3,500 to Nigeria
- Kentucky Colonel Commission for service at the Governor’s Scholars Program (GSP)
- Best Paper Awards at Academy of Business Research Conference
- NSF/AECT Early Career Symposium—Anaheim, California
- The National Science Foundation (NSF) Dissertation Improvement Grant
When questions were asked about Ezumah’s overall experience at Murray State, here’s what she had to say:
What do you enjoy most about Murray State University?
Dr. Ezumah: Murray State is an institution that recognizes and appreciates my efforts as a teacher, scholar, researcher and a member of the community.
What has kept you grounded within the Murray State community?
Dr. Ezumah: I love what I do. I teach courses in my areas of expertise and I love the students. Murray State provides a fertile ground for two of my professional passions – research and teaching. I must also add that I love the community, especially my faith community – St. Leo Catholic Church.
What are you currently working on here at Murray State? Projects?
Dr. Ezumah: I work on a lot of things and I like to keep myself busy. In addition to my teaching and advising duties as the Graduate Program Director for the Journalism and Mass Communications department, I am currently revamping courses for our 100% online program in Public Relations – JMC 658 (New Technologies and JMC 690 – Comprehensive project) and developing one course for the campus track – Research Methods JMC 660 which I will teach in the summer. I am also working with two colleagues from Minnesota and California in finishing a research project we conducted during the COVID-19 lockdown on the impact of the quarantine, and the role of emergent technologies, especially social media, in ameliorating perceived emotional, relational and spiritual challenges during the 2020 national quarantine. The paper has been accepted for publication and we are effecting minor changes. Additionally, I am working with some colleagues from Liverpool, UK, and South Africa in editing a volume on the critical perspectives of social justice, sustainability and digital education, and I will be focusing on media and technology. I also look forward to delivering a keynote speech in May at the 2nd Global Development and Education Symposium in Ghana – don’t worry, it’s virtual! After this, I will work on preparing for the AEJMC conference coming up in August as the Religion and Media Interest Group Head. I have been working with the AEJMC Council of Divisions in the overall preparation and I look forward to having a lot of our graduate students tune in. This will also be virtual this year and we succeeded in getting a very low registration rate for graduate students.
What has been your proudest moment as a professor at Murray State?
Dr. Ezumah: I am fortunate to have had several proudest moments ranging from when my graduate students’ papers got accepted for presentation at national and international conferences, to getting a call or email from my students announcing their acceptance to PhD programs, to reading class reflection/application papers where my students critically applied concepts learned in class to contemporary issues to seeing some of my students – both undergraduate and graduates who were on the verge of dropping out of school, to regaining the love for learning after an advising session. I have also had moments of some achievements of my own from winning the Murray State Alumni Association Emerging Scholar Award in my second year as a tenure-track professor to earning my tenure and promotion two years ahead of time.
Who have you influenced?Dr. Ezumah: I would begin first with what, and then go to who. I would say that my vocation as a Catholic Nun influences me the most; because I consider my work at Murray State first as a vocation/mission and then as a job. I strive to give my best and aim for excellence. In terms of who influences me, I would say I come from a family of renowned teachers – my dad and mom. I have had the greatest opportunity to be taught and mentored by excellent teachers and scholars at Howard University, many of whom are still my mentors and we have grown to be great friends.