Racer Report: Feb. 5-9
By Dani Ray | Feb 8, 2024
MURRAY, Ky. – The latest Murray State University Racer Report includes student, faculty, staff and alumni accomplishments, announcements, upcoming campus events and more for the week of Feb. 5-9.
Dr. Dan Wann, professor of psychology at Murray State and expert on sports fandom, was featured in a Jan. 16 ESPN article about San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Brock Purdy. Wann has 40 years of expertise in the field of sports psychology and has been tapped for countless features from media outlets across the country.
To read the full article, visit es.pn/3vOALJy.
Dr. Leiza Nochebuena-Evans, assistant professor of finance in the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business, was featured in a Jan. 29 WalletHub article about credit cards for people with no credit. Nochebuena-Evans’s area of expertise is corporate finance, trade finance and financial technologies. Her research focuses on the use of financial technology and the effects financial technology has on people who are already in debt.
To read the full article, visit bit.ly/42hpyNK.
Charley Allen-Dunn, director of web management and digital marketing for Murray State and an alum of the Department of English and Philosophy, celebrated the publication of her debut poetry collection, “The Scar It Leaves,” with a reading and book signing on Feb. 2 at the Murray Art Guild.
Allen-Dunn’s 15-piece poetry collection was published on Jan. 12.
Allen-Dunn attended Murray State from 1999 to 2003 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in creative writing. Her passion for writing began early in life, leading her to pursue her major and goal of being a writer. As a student worker, Allen-Dunn worked on websites and took an interest in web management. Though her main career path changed, she continued to write poems periodically as a way to manage thoughts and emotions.
Allen-Dunn’s poetry often has a narrative structure, capturing small but memorable moments. She said many poems in “The Scar It Leaves” are connections between childhood memories and current events in her life. Sometimes, past journal entries will influence her works. The poems share real and imagined situations through a relatable lens, exploring themes of grief, generational trauma, addiction, relationships and love. She uses her writing as an avenue to explore how those themes set a path for people in their adult lives.
To learn more about “The Scar It Leaves” or purchase a copy of the book, visit finishinglinepress.com/
In fall 2023, the Murray State University College of Humanities and Fine Arts (CHFA) awarded its first CHFA Outstanding Scholar Award to graduating senior Madison Johns.
Johns completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in graphic design last fall. As part of her final degree requirements, she completed a BFA exhibition that she titled “Murder & Merlot,” which was inspired by her interest in murder mystery games and love of interactive design.
“I want the audience to have as much fun experiencing ‘Murder & Merlot’ as I have had with my grandmother and friends over the past few years,” Johns said.
In addition to being an excellent student, a Dean’s List and President’s List student in fall 2023, she was an active member of two student groups. She was the secretary of the Graphic Design Club and an active member of the Organization of Murray Art Students (OMAS). Read more about Madison and her experience at Murray State at bit.ly/madisonjohns.
Boaz Burnett, a Murray State University senior and electromechanical engineering technology major from Murray, Kentucky, was part of the team which won second place in Camp 2030 held in New York City last fall.
Camp 2030 brings together young leaders from around the world to come up with innovative solutions to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which include tracks like zero hunger and no poverty.
“The startup we settled on was named FishFert; its goal was to help fishing and farming families in Haiti,” Burnett said. “We planned to accomplish this by using the waste products from the fishing industry in Haiti, such as bones, scales, organs, etc. to produce fertilizer that could be sold at much lower prices than that of imported fertilizers.”
Burnett received a $5,000 grant from the Kentucky Commercialization Venture to further his senior design project, which is a parking vision system designed to detect if parking spots are available in a given lot, done through the use of cameras and machine learning.
Because Murray State electromechanical engineering technology graduates often earn professional positions as automation engineers or control engineers, most of their classwork is focused on state-of-the-art autonomous industrial equipment. Each student completes a senior design course that allows them to think creatively and actually build a project by utilizing the skills that they learned throughout their program.
“I knew that Boaz has an entrepreneurial mind, so I connected him to Chris Wooldridge, the Murray State University Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Development director to further pursue his project,” said Jake Hildebrant, electromechanical engineering technology/manufacturing engineering technology program coordinator. “We are very proud of all of our students, but Boaz has always thought outside the box, and has never been afraid to try and accomplish anything that he found interesting. I am confident that Boaz will be successful in all of his endeavors.”
To read more about Burnett’s Camp2030 experience, visit bit.ly/boazburnett.
To learn more about the Murray State University School of Engineering, visit murraystate.edu/engineering.
Murray State alumnus and Chief Executive Officer of Sierra Partners Consulting, Derek Somerville, recently presented a donation of $5,000 to Dr. Megan St. Peters and Dr. Sean Rife of the Murray State University Department of Psychology.
Somerville's generous gift will allow Murray State students to travel to the Midwestern Psychological Association conference in Chicago this spring.
For more information about supporting students in the Department of Psychology, contact Development Officer Kala Allen-Dunn at firstname.lastname@example.org or 270-809-3940.