What's New From COEHS?

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Faculty Highlights

Dr. Brian Bourke, Associate Professor of Educational Studies, Leadership, and Counseling

Dr. Brian Bourke is an inductee into the Hall of Fame with the College Personnel Association of Kentucky, a chapter of ACPA College Student Educators International. This honor recognizes outstanding educators and professions within the Commonwealth of Kentucky who have served their respective institutions, state, region, and national associations through leadership and services.

If you want to support the College Personnel Association of Kentucky's Foundation, which includes conference scholarships for graduate students, visit their campaign page.

Dr. Kemaly Parr, Associate Professor of Adolescent, Career, and Technical Education

Dr. Kemaly Parr was recently recognized as a finalist for the Kentucky Career and Technical Education (CTE) Teacher of the Year. She was nominated as the Career and Technical Postsecondary Teacher of the Year.

More information on this award can be found at the Kentucky Teacher website.

Dr. Stephanie Sullivan, Assistant Professor of Educational Studies, Leadership, & Counseling

Dr. Stephanie Sullivan recently was granted a renewal of the KY LEADS grant, which is directed toward the recruitment and retention of Director of Special Education candidates.

Dr. Stephanie Sullivan states, "This is a grant that we initially received last year; however, we were able to renew it for this year. It is renewable for up to 5 years. We are one of three universities in the state to receive this $1,000,000 federal grant, along with Western and Morehead. Fifteen candidates are selected across the state each year. This year, we have seven candidates who are attending Murray State University. "

Additional details are listed below:

The KY LEADS grant is a $1,000,000 federal grant that focuses on the recruitment, retention and mentoring of candidates for the Director of Special Education (DoSE) program. Three universities in the state have been granted this award, Murray State University, Western, and Morehead. The KY LEADS grant provides approximately $36,000 in scholarship to candidates each year at our university and is renewable to span a total of five years. In the grant’s second year of implementation, thirteen of the thirty DoSE candidates have selected Murray State University.

Alumni Highlights

Alumnus Dr. Chett Daniel, Associate VP Strategic Initiatives and Community Engagement, Crowder College

Dr. Chett Daniel, recent graduate of the Ed.D. in P-20 and Community Leadership program, wrote a grant that was awarded nearly $500K. The grant, which will focus on helping students connect with high tech careers, is related to research he conducted for his dissertation. Congratulations Dr. Daniel!

You can find more information here.

Student Highlights

Alexis Fortner


  • Name: Alexis Fortner
  • PREFERRED PRONOUNS: She/her/hers
  • HOMETOWN: Murray
  • YEAR AT MURRAY STATE: Senior, but still have credits to take
  • DEGREE: Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education & Art
  • QUIRKY/FUN FACT: I have purple hair and I'm president of the IECE student organization!
  • FAVORITES: I love watching the show Bones -- so much that I named my dog after the main character! My all-time favorite book is American Elsewhere by Robert Jackson Bennett, and my favorite food (if it counts as a food) is an M&M milkshake from Cookout.
  • FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS: The ceramics studio.
  • FAVORITE CAMPUS EVENT: Murray Pride 🏳️‍🌈


Why did you choose to attend Murray State?

Because it's home. It's both my hometown and it just feels like I'm coming home.

Why did you choose your major/minor?

IECE: Helping kids reach those early milestones and celebrating their success together is a joy like no other.

ART: The act of creating beautiful works of art from basic supplies is just astounding to me.

Tell us about a few of your favorite courses, projects, or mentors.

I think my favorite course I’ve taken so far has to have been with Dr. Islam for Early Literacy. We discussed our favorite children’s book authors and practiced reading to one another.

Tell us about any accomplishments you've experiences while at MSU, or any clubs/organizations you've enjoyed being a part of.

I love being a part of the Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education Club! We try to get together a couple of times each semester and provide snacks and fun activities for members to participate in. I can’t recommend it enough!

What are your plans for after graduation?

Honestly, I’m not sure yet but I think I’ll leave my options open for a while just to see if the world has more to offer.

What advice would you give to incoming students at MSU?

It’s okay to take time for yourself every once in a while. You have to focus on you before you can do anything productive so don’t be afraid to take a quick nap or a short bath.

Thank you, Alexis! Keep up the great work!

Nominate Faculty/Staff

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Nominate Alumni

Nominate alumni for their accomplishments! You can nominate someone you know, or even yourself.

Nominate Students

Nominate your students to be highlighted! We want to see them, too!

Upcoming Events

March 3, 2022 at 12 PM - 1 PM: Postsecondary Education Administration Information Session

Have you ever considered working on a college or university campus after graduation? If your answer is "yes", Murray State offers a graduate program in Postsecondary Education Administration (PSE) for individuals like you. Check out our promo video. Take what you have learned as an undergraduate and help future students succeed in college. Students in our program are qualified to work in offices related to:

· Academic Advising and Retention Services
· Admissions and Recruitment
· Campus Life & Student Activities
· Career Services
· Greek Life
· Housing and Residence Life
· Intramural and Campus Recreation
· International Student Affairs & Study Abroad
· LGBTQ+ Programs
· Marketing & Public Relations
· Multicultural Affairs
· Orientation & New Student Programs
· Student Disability Services
· Student Support Services
· Transfer Services

Fast Facts

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states

· college administration jobs will grow by 8% over the next 8 years

· median income with a master's degree and 5 years experience is $46.87 per hour or $97,500 annually

· the profession welcomes all undergraduate majors

· job availability and upward mobility are promising across the 4,300+ postsecondary education institutions in the United States

The PSE program has a graduate tuition of $378.50 per credit hour, which is among the least expensive at MSU.

PSE Information Session

Dr. Brian Bourke and I will host a PSE Information Session on Thursday, March 3 from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. via Zoom. Join us if you would like further information about the PSE program and/or would like to talk with us about a career in higher education and student affairs. Our profession is growing and we are looking for leaders.

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