Friday, August 12. 2011
Greetings for this week.

The parking lots are getting full…Murray traffic is getting worse…Wal-Mart is overstocked for move-in weekend…so it must be time for the 2011-12 academic year to get underway. I hope all of you are having success in getting yourselves readied and organized for the new term—whether that’s writing new syllabi in a faculty office, rearranging procedures in a student services area, finishing the clean-out of barns for boarding horses, redecorating or sprucing up a commons area—however and whatever you do about this time each year.

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Now find all your MSU news, social media and events at MSU Today

Thursday, August 11. 2011

University Communications today launches a new website for university news, social media and campus events. MSU Today brings together all university media such as the latest news and campus activities, select features from Jim Carter and Sarah Clark at Roundabout U, top stories from Racer athletics, The Blue and Gold Magazine, Points of Pride Annual Report, new video, photo galleries and more.

Visit today and browse the latest headlines, read the stories, then leave your comments on what you find interesting.

Be sure and visit MSU Today soon, bookmark it, and return often.

Racer Academy — high school students in college

Thursday, August 11. 2011
Murray State University’s Racer Academy for high school juniors and seniors in the area not only gives them a jumpstart on college, but also is an opportunity to lower some of the cost of earning university credit.

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Do the Racer Shuffle

Thursday, August 11. 2011
The Shuffle has hit Murray State! From August 19 through 25, we will be taping the Racer Shuffle all over campus. We may show up in a classroom, in an office, anywhere outside. This video will give you an idea of what we're looking for. So when the music starts, we want to get every Racer shuffling!

Roundabout U samples the best of the Fancy Farm Picnic

Thursday, August 11. 2011
Roundabout U co-hosts Sarah Clark and Jim Carter traveled down the road to the well-known Fancy Farm Picnic in Graves County, Ky. This was the 131st year for the picnic, which draws crowds of thousands including local, state and national politicians.

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President's State of the University Address is Oct. 5

Thursday, August 11. 2011
In a departure from previous years, President Dunn will not deliver the State of the University Address at the faculty and staff luncheon this year. Instead, Dunn will deliver the address at a stand-alone event on October 5 in Freed Curd Auditorium. Be sure to mark your calendar for this important event. (Read more about the State of the University Address in this week's Commentary by Dr. Dunn.)

Student Intervention Committee established

Thursday, August 11. 2011
Murray State University is committed to the success of each student and to maintaining an inclusive, safe, and caring campus community. In this regard, the university has established a Student Intervention Committee so that staff from various departments on campus can collect and evaluate reports from all parts of campus concerning students whose behavior may pose a threat to their own safety or the safety of others. The committee is composed of representatives from Student Affairs, Provost Office, Judicial Affairs, Psychological Center, Counseling and Testing, Student Health Services, Public Safety, and the University Attorney’s Office.

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Employee tuition waiver benefits – August 22 deadline

Thursday, August 11. 2011
After extensive review and analysis by our external auditors, it has been determined that the University’s educational benefits to employees should follow different limitations and tax implications depending on the level of study. These new tax implications will begin for all employee tuition waivers used for fall 2011.

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Charge purchases to your student account at the University Store

Thursday, August 11. 2011
Through September 6, students can charge textbooks and other eligible classroom supplies to their student accounts and pay later or make payments. Eligible items include required textbooks, study guides and syllabus items, classroom supplies such as notebooks, pens, art supplies and nursing uniforms, backpacks, calculators, Murray State day planners, jump drives, rewriteable CDs and prepackage orders. For more information contact the University Store at 270.809.4388 or drop by during our extended hours! View extended hours at


Thursday, August 4. 2011
And once again, they’re baaaaack! (And so is my column.)

Greetings for the 2011-12 Academic Year!

Well, they’re not all here yet as I write this opening column for the new term, but certainly campus activity is starting to pick up generally in Murray. In fact, “they” never really left as MSU first played host to Commonwealth Honors Academy students, then 350+ rising high school seniors in our second year of having the Governor’s Scholars Program on campus, plus roughly 2,400 individuals from first-graders to senior citizens in about 30 different summer campus and institutes over the past ten weeks or so. It’s been busy to say the least!

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Once again, Forbes ranks Murray State University among “America’s Top Colleges”

Thursday, August 4. 2011

MSU top ranked Kentucky public regional on list; only Kentucky public to be named a “Best College Buy”

Forbes has recognized Murray State University (MSU) for the fourth consecutive year on its 2011 America’s Top Colleges list. In addition to landing on the “Top Colleges” listing, Murray State was also designated one of “America’s Top 100 Best College Buys.”

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Blackboard usernames are changing

Thursday, August 4. 2011
In a continued effort to reduce the number usernames needed to access our campus systems, Blackboard will begin using the myGate username for all users on August 10. This is an exciting step that puts us closer to a "consolidated" set of credentials. Here is what you need to know:

If you already have a username that matches your myGate account, no changes will be made to your username.

Users with an old format account (john.doe) will log in to Blackboard using their myGate username (jdoe17) beginning at 8am on Wednesday, August 10th.

Passwords will NOT be changed

Don't have a myGate username? Users with "s_" or "g_" in their usernames will not experience changes at this time and may continue to use those usernames. If you have problems accessing Blackboard, contact the CTLT Helpdesk at (270) 809-2346 or at

Professional photos of faculty and staff to be taken at faculty/staff luncheon

Thursday, August 4. 2011
University Communications needs professional head shots of all faculty and staff. Don't miss this perfect opportunity to have your photo taken in a professional setting. Photos will be made at the Faculty/staff luncheon, August 12, 3rd floor of the Curris Center, beginning at 10 a.m. These photos, taken by a professional photographer, will be kept on file for future professional use and there is no cost to your department. For more information, contact Jayme Jones at #3271.

Roundabout U stays in Murray for a conversation with local tobacco researcher

Thursday, August 4. 2011
Co-hosts Sarah Clark and Jim Carter spend the week in Murray where they had a chat with Murray State University alumnus Dr. Richard Hurt. Hurt has appeared on national television, including The Today Show, for his research on tobacco.

They also caught up with top achieving high school students on the MSU campus for Kentucky’s Governor’s Scholars Program. Other guests on the show include campus director Charles Myers, newspaper and magazine journalist Billy Reed, and Aaron Thompson.

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Cofer, Pittman-Munke, and Randall to present on engaging LGBT/friendly students

Thursday, August 4. 2011
On Saturday, August 13, Jody Cofer, Academic Program Specialist, Dr. Peggy Pittman-Munke, Associate Professor of Social Work, and Morgan Randall, student, will present at the annual conference of the Equality Federation Institute being held in Madison, Wisconsin. Research shows that youth are generally more accepting on issues of inclusion for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals. Through a presentation and panel discussion, they will explore some of the great changes taking place for LGBT university students and explore what other opportunities are available.

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New parking management system now online

Thursday, August 4. 2011
Murray State Public Safety and Emergency Management is excited and pleased to announce a new parking management system. Murray State’s Parking System offers the campus community the convenience of registering their vehicles; appealing citations; and paying citations on-line. Additional information will be arriving in an e-mail in the near future. Please contact the Murray State Parking Office with any questions at 809-4812.

Murray State University Printing Services is implementing the use of QR Codes on all printed material

Thursday, August 4. 2011
What is a QR code?
QR is short for Quick Response because they can be read quickly on a mobile device. You may see QR Codes on a magazine advertisement, on a billboard, a web page or even on someone’s t-shirt. They can store (and digitally present) much more data than a regular barcode, including URL links, geo coordinates, and text among many other things. Smart-phones can scan QR Codes in seconds.

Who is using them and what can they be used for?

  • Use of QR codes spans across almost all industries but the number one industry making the most of QR codes is education. The rest of the top categories include tourism, food and beverage, music, real estate and retail. Vanderbilt is one the universities mentioned in the early adopters of this tech for our industry.

  • Use for QR codes in 2010 went up 1200% from July to December alone and 2011 stats show an already astounding 800% growth in number of scans. (Jumpscan findings 2010)

Why should we use them?

  • The best reason for using QR codes is to extend the content experience and engagement with our brand.

  • We have a lot of digital content to push out to our students and future students. Users between the ages of 13 and 24 represented nearly one fourth of all smartphone owners (23.8%) and that number is expected to double.-

  • It is easy and cheap (free to MSU staff/faculty). Once you have chosen what the code will go to, it takes literally minutes to create the code.

What they will be used for at MSU
Your area/department/office at MSU, no matter how small or large, could use QR codes in a number of ways. They will now be added to any print piece including business cards, brochures, flyers, posters, and can be added to items such as envelopes, invitations, etc. These codes can lead to your website, contact details, event details or schedules, social media pages or video… the options are limitless. For each code that you use, think of something specific you want that audience to see/use. It may be a specific page on your website or a specific event or media piece. The more specified to the audience, the better.

Don’t worry – we will help you every step of the way!!! Call University Communications for more information or start today and set up your own QR Code by calling Tobie Johnson in the Office of Print Media at ext. 4747.

Murray State University is one of the best colleges in the nation to work for

Thursday, July 28. 2011
Murray State University (MSU) is one of the best colleges in the nation to work for according to a new survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education. The results, released today in The Chronicle’s fourth annual report on The Academic Workplace, are based on a survey of nearly 44,000 employees at 310 colleges and universities.

This year represents the second time Murray State has participated in the survey and marks MSU’s appearance as one of only 111 institutions to achieve “Great Colleges to Work For” recognition for specific best practices and policies. The university also gained recognition during its earlier participation in 2009.

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Second Roundabout U show from three weeks in China

Thursday, July 28. 2011
Co-hosts Sarah Clark and Jim Carter are still in China for this second edition of Roundabout U in Asia. Murray State University has a partnership with Qingdao Agricultural University (QAU), so while the two were there, they caught up with the QUA president and other professors and students. Aside from learning the culture and the Mandarin language, Carter and Clark toured the QAU campus and interacted with the students.

With the help of faculty and staff at Qingdao Agricultural University, Carter and Clark are supporting President Barack Obama’s “100,000 Strong” initiative, aimed at getting more American students to study in China.

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Fister organizes symposium on biomathematics

Thursday, July 28. 2011
Professor Renee Fister, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, organized a minisymposium titled, Differential Equations Studies in Biomathematics Applications, at the 7th International Congress of Industrial and Applied Mathematics in Vancouver, Canada in July. The session is to be highlighted by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). The final video clips will be promoted on the SIAM website, on SIAM's social media pages, and on its YouTube channel.

Professor Maeve McCarthy, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, was invited to give a talk in this session. Dr. McCarthy's talk,"Inter-morph Cannibalism amongst Tiger Salamanders," was named the most interesting title of the conference. This is work that began through the National Science Foundation, Biology and Mathematics in Population Studies (BioMaPS) program.

This project involves student and faculty teams in mathematics and biology that have done work here at Murray State University and at Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory with collaboration with Professor Whiteman.

Help teens in foster care find HOPE

Thursday, July 28. 2011
Murray State University’s Training Resource Center and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services need your help to provide HOPE for foster teens in Kentucky. HOPE is: Helping to Organize, Provide for and Empower youth. The goal of the program is simple: to help teens in out-of-home care (foster care) transition successfully into adulthood. You could be a mentor to a teen who lives in your community! We are looking for mentors that are at least 21 years old and can make a one year commitment. Please join us for an orientation session from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m., September 14, at the MSU Paducah Campus, 3000 Irvan Cobb Dr., Paducah, Ky.

Connecting People & Place features Bruton, Boyd and Grogan on August 4

Thursday, July 28. 2011
Murray State's public radio service WKMS-FM is featuring a second airing of the original series Connecting People & Place. It is a documentary radio project celebrating the rich cultural heritage of Between the Rivers in west Kentucky and Tennessee, Thursdays at noon from August 4 through September 8.

The first hour-long presentation on August 4 includes the voices of Mildred Phillips Bruten , Oneida Ahart Boyd, and Verona Smith Grogan. Mildred Phillips Bruton recalled growing up in Mint Spring, Tenn., and the sacrifices her parents made so she could attend high school in Dover. Oneida Ahart Boyd remembered how moving to Murray from Between the Rivers was a journey of more than miles. Verona Smith Grogan, who lived near the Birmingham Ferry, recalled life on the farm with her parents and sisters.

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United States Geological Survey announced partnership with MSU

Thursday, July 28. 2011
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) and Murray State University announced a partnership to provide internships to students in the Department of Geosciences. The USGS is the principal Federal earth-science agency dedicated to collecting, analyzing, interpreting, publishing and disseminating information about the Nation's energy, land, mineral and water resources. MSU students will assist staff at the USGS’s field office in Murray, in the monitoring and collection of information about the water resources of the western Kentucky region.

Maya Angelou to speak at Murray State University

Thursday, July 21. 2011
The Murray Reads Maya initiative continues with a visit by author Maya Angelou at the CFSB Center on Murray State University’s campus on Aug. 24 at 8 p.m. Angelou is a poet, educator, historian, bestselling author, actress, playwright, civil rights activist, producer and director.

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Roundabout U hosts introduce viewers to China

Thursday, July 21. 2011
It’s a road show for Roundabout U anchors Sarah Clark and Jim Carter for the next two weeks as they “Discover” China and its connections on the other side of the world at Murray State University. The duo experienced more in China than one show could hold so the next two episodes will feature their adventures in China.

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