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Murray State Christ Ambassador, relief team aids in Nepal

Story by Zachary Orr, Assistant News Editor

People stand on rubble after the second earthquake to hit Nepal in two weeks. Photo courtesy of Ryan Brooks.

People stand on rubble after the second earthquake to hit Nepal in two weeks. Photo courtesy of Ryan Brooks.

Two hours into his return to Kathmandu from a remote village in Nepal April 28, Ryan Brooks felt the ground shift beneath his four-wheel drive truck as a 7.2 magnitude earthquake shook the earth beneath him.

He was experiencing the second largest earthquake to hit Nepal in the last three weeks. The first one, which registered 7.9 on the Richter scale, occurred April 25 and killed an estimated 8,500 people. The first earthquake inspired Brooks, lead missionary for Murray State’s Chi Alpha, to travel with a team for a two week relief project.

The quake Brooks was experiencing killed 48 more and left thousands injured. Brooks was on the side of a mountain four hours northeast of Kathmandu when it hit.

After experiencing dozens of tremors during his stay in Nepal, Brooks said he wasn’t scared for his life, but looking back he understands the danger of the situation he and his teammates were in.

“Maybe I should have been concerned for my safety,” he said.

Murray State alumna Liz Woods was a member of the relief team Brooks took part in. They, alongside members of the Evangel World Prayer Center in Louisville, Ky., spent the last two weeks aiding Nepalese citizens, trying to put their lives back together as much as possible. … Continue Reading

Murray State fills role as emergency center

May 1, 2015 News

Story by Zachary Orr, Assistant News Editor,  and Julia Mazzuca, Staff writer

Photo Courtesy of WKMS Murray State was declared a Storm Ready University in January 2011. Murray State, along with four other universities in Kentucky, is considered to be Storm Ready by the National Weather Service.

Photo Courtesy of WKMS
Murray State was declared a Storm Ready University in January 2011. Murray State, along with four other universities in Kentucky, is considered to be Storm Ready by the National Weather Service.

Murray State not only impacts the community through providing higher education and acting as one of the area’s largest employers, but also is the Emergency Operations Center.

This role, said Jeff Steen, assistant director of Public Safety and Emergency Management, is unusual for a university to play. 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) defines an Emergency Operations Center, or EOC, as “A location from which centralized emergency management can be performed. EOC facilities are established by an agency or jurisdiction to coordinate the overall agency or jurisdictional response and support to an emergency.”

The University’s role as the community’s chief EOC was established in 2009, when a severe ice storm placed both Calloway County and Kentucky in a state of Emergency, said Roy Dunaway, director of Public Safety and Emergency Management.

During the storm, when the Calloway County EOC’s generator failed, the county asked to join Murray State’s EOC. Steen said the city’s EOC quickly expended all its resources and asked to join Murray State’s EOC as well. 

Dunaway said Murray State had the resources and was better prepared for this scale of emergency, that left much of the area without power, water or phone service.

“Due largely to that success, we’re still the Emergency Operations Center of the county,” Dunaway said. … Continue Reading

$25,000 donation more than just a check

The staff editorial is the majority opinion of The Murray State News Editorial Board.

Katie Wilborn/The News

Katie Wilborn/The News

$25,000 will be donated to the Murray State Office of LGBT Programming in the form of a five-year endowment by alumna Kristie Helms and her wife – an investment not just for financial support, but for hope as well.

No matter the benefactor, a donation of any size by alumni means a great deal to the University and to its students. It’s one of the many examples of how we can continue to make a difference at Murray State after we graduate, and we should see more support like this from alumni in all aspects of the University.

According to the Murray State Alumni Association website, more than 66,000 alumni have the opportunity to show this kind of support.

There are 66,000 people who are supposed to be the most loyal and strongest supporters of Murray State. There are 66,000 people who have the best chance of promoting the University by word-of-mouth advocacy among their respective professional and social networks.

Alumni are who we, as current students of Murray State, look up to as role models.

They come back as speakers, professors and mentors to guide us to success after graduation so we, in turn, can do the same. … Continue Reading

Alumna makes $25,000 donation

April 24, 2015 News

Story by Abby Siegel, Contributing writer

Photo courtesy of linkedin.com Alumna Kristie Helms is an activist for LGBT rights.

Photo courtesy of linkedin.com
Alumna Kristie Helms is an activist for LGBT rights.

Murray State alumna Kristie Helms and her wife donated $25,000 to the University’s Office of LGBT Programming to begin an endowment that will “help students be exactly who they want to be.”

With roots in small town Possum Trot, Ky., Helms has seen a change in scenery since her childhood. She now works as the Global Head of Social Business and Promotional Strategy for State Street – a global Fortune 500 company with headquarters in Boston.

Helms said her desire to give back to the University stems from the support she has received in her company while being openly gay.

She and her wife of 14 years, Kathryn Carter Nettles, want to create an atmosphere of acceptance and provide awareness opportunities for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students in western Kentucky, similar to what they receive in Boston, she said.

“No one in Boston bats an eye when I mention that I’m married to a woman,” Helms said.

She said having the same rights as her “straight neighbors” is something she is proud of. In Kentucky this is not the case, she said.

According to the Kentucky Revised Statutes, “marriage refers only to the civil status, condition, or relation of one (1) man and one (1) woman united in law for life, for the discharge to each other and the community of the duties legally incumbent upon those whose association is founded on the distinction of sex.”

Alongside Kentucky, 13 other states do not allow gay marriage, including Ohio and Tennessee. … Continue Reading

SELF-MADE SELFIE MAN

Photo courtesy of Davies’ Instagram account President Bob Davies poses with students of the Governor’s Scholars Program during his first lunch as president at Winslow Dining Hall.

Photo courtesy of Davies’ Instagram account
President Bob Davies poses with students of the Governor’s Scholars Program during his first lunch as president at Winslow Dining Hall.

With thousands of state-run, private and technical colleges in the U.S., the world of academia and the way these establishments are run changes with the times.

Handling students while trying to maintain interconnectivity between faculty and students is a tough balance to keep.

Murray State President Bob Davies has found ways to adapt to the ever-changing cultures within the young adult world.

Davies holds a track record of interpersonal skills, along with a PhD in higher education administration, and has worked to bridge the gap between students and faculty  through the use of new media, in particular: selfies.

While the “selfie” craze swept the nation in the last few years – even having found its way into the Merriam-Webster dictionary’s online database – Davies has taken this social media bull by the horns.

Taking selfies on campus and off, Davies has developed quite the social media following, under the screen name of @MurrayStatePrez.

Yes, that is “Prez” with a “z.”

One routine the president has taken up is targeting members of the student body for his selfie shenanigans.

Tanelle Smith, sophomore from Henderson, Ky., is a student that matches the president’s social media antics. … Continue Reading

A year in review

April 10, 2015 News, Slider Featured stories

President Bob Davies’ investiture marks the closing of a “phenomenal” first year

Jenny Rohl/The News

Jenny Rohl/The News

On March 12, 2014, a man from Eastern Oregon University received a phone call as his plane was taxiing to the gate. On the other end of the line was an offer: the 13th Murray State presidency.

After deliberations, interviews and forums, the Board of Regents unanimously chose Bob Davies as president and four months later on July 14, Davies began his official duties.

Entering with intentions of making his presidency at Murray State his “capstone presidency,” Davies’ first academic year as president now inches toward a close, which he described with a smile as nothing other than “phenomenal.”

Friday marks a historical moment for Davies and the University with Davies’ investiture beginning at 2 p.m. in Lovett Auditorium, the first investiture in eight years since former President Randy Dunn’s in 2007.

Lovett’s steps will greet students, faculty, staff, Board of Regents members, family, friends and others including Gov. Steve Beshear, where Davies will speak his message of “Achievement, Endeavor and Hope.” While such sentiments are shared throughout the University, they do not stop there.

‘NOTEWORTHY’ AND ‘REFRESHING’ PRESIDENT

Two days before the official offer, Caitlin Dunaway, Panhellenic President and Student Government Association senator, met with Davies with 11 of her peers as a representative of the Freshman Council. … Continue Reading

60 years of history

April 3, 2015 News, Slider Featured stories
Photo Courtesy of the Paducah Sun Mary Ford Holland taught until 1971 and died in 1999 at the age of 92.

Photo Courtesy of the Paducah Sun
Mary Ford Holland taught until 1971 and died in 1999 at the age of 92.

In the spring of 1955 hundreds of people chanting and yelling racial slurs stormed the gates of other universities across the South in protest of the Supreme Court’s order to the lower federal courts to require desegregation as quickly as possible.

The order came as a result of Brown v. Board of Education, in which the Supreme Court determined that having separate schools for people of different races was inherently unconstitutional.

In response to the Supreme Court ruling, Murray State acted immediately, admitting the first black student, Mary Ford Holland, for the summer semester of 1955.

This year marks the 60th anniversary celebrating Holland’s enrollment.

Holland, who died in 1999 at the age of 92, enrolled at the University when she was a 48-year-old teacher who strongly wanted a college degree. … Continue Reading

Paducah campus likely to change ownership

April 3, 2015 News
Kalli Bubb/The News The Murray State Crisp Center located in Paducah, Ky., was opened in January 2014.

Kalli Bubb/The News
The Murray State Crisp Center located in Paducah, Ky., was opened in January 2014.

With the enrollment of Murray State’s Paducah campus increasing consistently, Murray State will likely receive ownership of the $10 million Paducah facility paid for by the City of Paducah and McCracken County.

In 2011 when the city of Paducah, Ky., McCracken County and the Paducah Economic Development Council met to determine whether or not to invest into a four-year college opportunity for their area, they developed a legal document, called a memorandum of understanding, to outline the terms they wanted to be met by Murray State.

Because of financial restrictions in the University, Murray State was unable to borrow sufficient funds to build the facility.

Murray State bought the land and the City of Paducah and McCracken County borrowed money to build the $10 million facility.

They agreed  that Murray State would pay only the interest on the borrowed money every year, which was expected not to exceed more than $290,000. … Continue Reading

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