College of Education and Human Services holds annual Honors Luncheon

By Natalie Copeland | May 24, 2023

COEHS honors luncheon

Dean David Whaley speaks to graduating students at the annual College of Education and Human Services Honors Luncheon on May 12.

MURRAY, Ky. – On May 12, Murray State University’s College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) held its annual Honors Luncheon to recognize graduating student teachers and outstanding seniors in the college. 

Reflecting on the event, the COEHS Dean, Dr. David Whaley, expressed that “the Honors Luncheon for our graduating seniors is one of our signature events in this college. These students have worked for years to arrive at this moment, and we want to be with them to acknowledge their achievements. Whether they go on to become teachers, social workers, counselors, speech language pathologists, criminal justice practitioners or more, we join them in celebrating their graduation as they move on to the next chapters of their lives. This college is immensely proud of our graduates and we wish them the very best.”

Each academic department nominated outstanding seniors and student teachers, who were then presented with College-branded swag, plaques and certificates.

The honorees are listed below:

  • Outstanding COEHS Student Teaching - Teacher Performance Assessment Awards, presented by Dr. Alesa Walker, Director of Teacher Education Services

    • Fae Harrell of Columbia, Illinois

    • Jenny Mays of Wingo, Kentucky

    • Kayla Ross of Madisonville, Kentucky

  • Department of Adolescent, Career, & Special Education - presented by Dr. Kemaly Parr, Department Chair, and Dr. Kelly Rogers, Program Coordinator for Health and Physical Education

    • Outstanding Senior in Career and Technical Education - Caryl Lyn Akers of Versailles, Kentucky 

    • Outstanding Senior in Middle School Education - Hannah Corbin of Madisonville, Kentucky

    • Outstanding Senior in Health & Physical Education - Reed S. York of Murray, Kentucky

    • Outstanding Scholarship Student in Learning & Behavior Disorders - Payton Carter of Henderson, Kentucky

    • Outstanding Senior in Learning & Behavior Disorders - Katie Myers of St. Louis, Missouri

  • Department of Community Leadership & Human Services - presented by Dr. Katy Hancock, Department Chair

    • Outstanding Senior in Criminal Justice - Kelli Gore of Browder, Kentucky

    • Outstanding Senior in Criminal Justice - Caleb Walden of Arrowsmith, Illinois

    • Outstanding Criminal Justice Student Leader - Jennifer Armstrong of Barnhart, Missouri

    • Outstanding Senior in Social Work - Tiffany Prince of Fort Stewart, Georgia

    • Outstanding Senior in Social Work - Kenneth Samples of Paducah, Kentucky

    • Outstanding Member in the Student Association of Social Workers - Hunter Barrows of Murray, Kentucky

  • Department of Early Childhood & Elementary Education - presented by Dr. Stephanie Sullivan, Department Chair

    • Outstanding Senior in Elementary Education - Jenny Mays of Wingo, Kentucky

    • Outstanding Senior in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education - Heather Vance of Madisonville, Kentucky

  • Department of Educational Studies, Leadership, and Counseling - presented by Dr. Justin Brogan, Program Coordinator for Human Services

    • Outstanding Senior in Human Services - Chelsea Marie Shoebottom of Lincolnton, Georgia

  • Teacher Education Services & College of Education and Human Services Dean's Office - presented by Dr. David Whaley, COEHS Dean

    • Outstanding Student Teacher Award - Kayla Ross of Madisonville, Kentucky

    • Outstanding Student Teacher Award - Lauren Fuqua of Owensboro, Kentucky

    • Donald B. Hunter Distinguished Service Award - Grace Gibson of Milan, Tennessee

The COEHS congratulates all of its seniors on their graduation. Photos from the event can be viewed on the COEHS’ Facebook page at For more information about the COEHS please visit

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