Dr. Mike Perlow named 2024 Murray State University Alumni Association Distinguished Professor

By Ellie Krouse | Mar 29, 2024

collage of Distinguished Professor Dr. Mike Perlow and his award

Murray State University Nursing Professor Dr. Mike Perlow has been selected as the 2024 Murray State University Alumni Association (MSUAA) Distinguished Professor.

MURRAY, Ky. – Murray State University Nursing Professor Dr. Mike Perlow has been selected as the 2024 Murray State University Alumni Association (MSUAA) Distinguished Professor.

Perlow started his teaching journey at Walton-Verona Schools in Walton, Kentucky, after receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Purdue University in 1970. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from Eastern Kentucky University in 1976, and went on to work as a registered nurse at Chandler Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky. 

His career in nursing education started not long after that, as he taught as an assistant professor of nursing at Illinois Eastern Community College and then at the University of Evansville. While teaching nurses in the classroom, he also continued working in the field at Community Methodist Hospital in Henderson, Kentucky, and the Evansville State Hospital in Indiana. 

He earned his Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in 1979 from the University of Evansville and then went on to pursue his Doctor of Nursing Science degree from Indiana University, which required a four-hour commute while earning his advanced education.  

His teaching journey led him to apply to Murray State, where he was hired in 1984. 

Perlow has spent much of his academic career teaching adult health nursing and nursing research. Students describe him as challenging, but caring. The content that he teaches can be difficult, but he always maintains an open-door policy and welcomes the opportunity to help.

“Dr. Perlow has been one of the most influential professors in my nursing journey,” said Hope Ware, one of Perlow’s students who nominated him for the award. “He teaches a very daunting nursing course in the first of five semesters. Doing well in his class takes a lot of determination and focus. He made me laugh every day in class while also teaching me information I will need throughout my whole nursing career. He would send you a personal message after each exam if you had done well. He recognizes how hard the major is and also gives you the space to struggle to become stronger as a student and nurse. I am so thankful for his course and the work ethic I built throughout it.”

Each year, the MSUAA recognizes the University’s Distinguished Professor as nominated by Murray State students. The award is reserved for those faculty members who have served the University unselfishly, have distinguished themselves professionally and have been recognized by students as outstanding teachers and mentors.

“A lot of the nursing faculty had Dr. Perlow as a professor,” said Dr. Dina Byers, dean of the School of Nursing and Health Professions. “We all agree that he is kind, patient, and cares a lot about the students. We are thankful for the 40 years that he has given to Murray State University and to the nursing profession.”  

Dean Byers, Perlow’s wife, Carol, and University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Tim Todd joined Alumni Director Carrie McGinnis and many other colleagues, friends and students as they surprised him with the MSUAA Golden Apple Award during his first class of the day on March 27. As part of a longstanding tradition, the Distinguished Professor serves as the mace-bearer during commencement exercises, leading the academic procession and placing the mace in its holder on stage. The mace, which symbolizes order and authority, was designed and hand-crafted by Murray State’s department of industrial education in 1968.

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