President’s Awards for Diversity and Inclusion

The President's Commission on Diversity and Inclusion is pleased to announce the development of two new President's Awards for Diversity and Inclusion. Adding to the existing award, which is for faculty/exempt staff, the two new awards are for non-exempt staff and students. The purpose of these awards is to recognize institutional change agents who foster success for historically underrepresented populations, work through a lens of appreciation for diversity and advance an inclusive community for all at Murray State. The guidelines are available for download. Please note the nomination deadline is the 3rd Tuesday of February. Contact the President's Commission on Diversity and Inclusion with question.

Previous Award recipients

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Over the years, Dr. Murphy has served as an advocate for underrepresented communities. His research has focused on several areas, including gender and sexuality. In 2007, Dr. Murphy published “Men, Masculinities, and Feminism” in the International Encyclopedia of Men and Masculinities and in 2006 he published “Living by His Wits: The Buffoon and Male Survival” in the journal Signs. His work on feminism and masculinity is featured by the Kentucky Humanities Council as part of their Speaker’s Bureau. His service to underrepresented communities spans beyond his academic work, which includes teaching in the Gender and Diversity Studies program, to include organizing allies under the name “Straight People for Gay Rights” to participate in Murray State’s annual homecoming parade.

NON-EXEMPT STAFF*: Carruth Kitrell
Carruth Kitrell has innate understanding of the importance of inclusivity. Her approach to diversity work spans across areas and populations. This has led to her involvement in variety groups at the institution and in the community. She has led and participated in programs with Murray State's Office of Multicultural Initiatives, Student Leadership & Inclusive Excellence, the Murray State Black Faculty and Staff Association, Murray Needline, and the community jail ministry. She frequently challenges those around her to think about the way different people view the world and encourages a dialogue about that. She encourages people to think about diversity not outward looking, but internal with an individual’s character, personality, attitude, and skills.

STUDENT*: Morgan Randall
Morgan Randall, a senior animal health technology major in the Hutson School of Agriculture, moved to Murray in 2008 from Louisville, KY. Morgan serves as Vice President on the Executive Board of Murray State Alliance, a student organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT), as well as ally, students. She also serves on Murray State’s LGBT Programming Advisory Committee as a student representative. Morgan is frequently called upon to provide administrative and organizational support for many of Murray State Alliance’s programs, as well as LGBT Programming, throughout the year. She is frequently among the first to arrive for activities and can be found with those staying to the very end of programs to assist with clean-up. Her passion for diversity programming, specifically focusing on issues of sexuality, serves to enhance diversity and improve campus life. She rarely seeks out recognition and proactively avoids it whenever possible. Last year, she served as Secretary for the organization.

* Implemented in 2013-2014


At Murray State, Jody has championed human rights for all in the university community. Jody facilitated the creation of LGBT Programming as part of the Division of Student Affairs, which led in part to Murray State being recognized with a “Catalyst for Fairness” award from a statewide human rights organization. Since 2008, Jody has advised Murray State Alliance, the primary LGBT/ally student organization. Between 2009 and 2011, Jody co-chaired the Murray State President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion during which the institution drafted and adopted a Diversity Plan that was referred to as an example by the some officials at the Council on Postsecondary Education. In 2011, Jody received a Staff Excellence Award, but Jody was unable to be present during the award luncheon due to a previously scheduled conference presentation in Wisconsin the same day on “Engaging LGBT Students for Success on College Campuses.” As a resident of Murray, Jody oversaw the Bully Free Community Education Campaign as a citywide effort, inclusive of Murray State, to eradicate bullying and continue to make Murray the friendliest small town in America. Nationally, Jody served an unprecedented three years as Board Co-Chair of the Equality Federation, the national alliance of statewide LGBT advocacy organizations.


Dr. Clark-Sarr came to Murray State in 1987 as a student. She began working at the institution in 1988 and has served in a number of positions that directly impact minority and underrepresented students. Dr. Clark-Sarr has served as Coordinator of Minority Affairs, Coordinator of African American Recruitment and Retention, and Associate Director of School Relations prior to her current role as Director of Adventure in Math and Science (AIMS)/Upward Bound Programs. She is an extensive world traveler and has even served as a business partner for an international travel agency. Her involvement with the company has included taking groups of students as well as faculty to the Gambia to experience African Culture as well as giving faculty the opportunity to present and lecture at the University of the Gambia. Dr. Clark-Sarr has an extensive record of academic accomplishment relating to diversity with presentations at the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the National Association of African American Studies, and the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. Her community involvement includes serving on the Murray City Council, Murray Human Rights Commission, Character Counts Coalition of Murray-Calloway County, and the Murray Housing Authority. She has been involved for many years with the Kentucky Association of Blacks in Higher Education and the Kentucky Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel.


FACULTY/EXEMPT STAFF: Peggy Pittman-Munke, Ph.D.
Dr. Pittman-Munke spends tireless hours advising and consulting with present and future students as a faculty member and friend. Her efforts reach beyond the walls of Murray State to insure each student has a successful experience to become the best social worker possible. She emphasizes a high degree of integrity, responsibility, and ambition and instills the same in her students who are encouraged to be change agents. She frequently uses her various roles to lend a voice of support when one might not be heard otherwise. She speaks often of society meeting the needs of all people regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, socio-economic status, or other in her role as President of the Murray State Faculty Senate and as a Board member for the Social Work Baccalaureate Program Directors. Dr. Pittman-Munke serves on the City of Murray Human Rights Commission.


Upon arriving at Murray State, SG Carthell began to immediately effectuate changes to enhance the Office of Multicultural Initiatives, Student Leadership & Inclusive Excellence and the overall campus climate for minority students. He managed the process to rebrand the office from African American Student Services and Ethnic Programs to its name today to better reflect inclusion for all students. Over the years, he has developed numerous programs that have impacted thousands of students such as the Emerging Scholars Institute to mentor students, Somo Lo Maximo to support Hispanic student needs, and the Diversity Scholars Program to provide opportunities and support to minority students that they might not otherwise receive. He oversaw the renovation of the physical space, the Dr. Marvin D. Mills Sr. Multicultural Center, where the office is housed. He student services have raised the grade point average of African American students and his retention initiatives have been recognized by professionals around the state.