Archive | Alumni

Thomas chronicles Star Trek lessons

Posted on 30 December 2016 by jmcjournal

Elizabeth Thomas presented at the spring 2016 National Popular Culture/American Culture Association Conference in Seattle, Wash. Her presentation titled, “50 Years of Trek and the Fascinating Lessons We’ve Learned” chronicles the morals and life lessons taught through 50 years of incarnations of the Star Trek series and films. 

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KPA selects assistant professor

Posted on 30 December 2016 by jmcjournal

Leigh Wright, assistant professor of journalism and mass communications, was named as a journalism education representative to the Kentucky Press Association Board of Directors in January 2016.

Wright will serve a three-year term. The other education representative is Al Cross of the University of Kentucky.

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KPA awards professor for investigative reporting

Posted on 30 December 2016 by jmcjournal

Dr. Melony Shemberger, assistant professor of journalism and mass communication, was recognized by the Kentucky Press Association for her investigative journalism in education news reporting.

Shemberger won third place in the best investigative story or series category for weekly newspapers in KPA’s 2015 Excellence in Kentucky Newspapers contest. Results were announced Feb. 25 during an awards banquet held at Madisonville Community College.

Shemberger’s winning news article, published in August 2015 in the Todd County Standard, focused on costly mold damage at an elementary school. Contractors did not want to admit fault when they failed to provide overnight air movement after shutting down the air system for repairs. They also were difficult to contact and interview for the story.

“The pressure this reporter put on those involved for answers made me proud to be a journalist,” the contest judge wrote about Shemberger’s entry. “Great work holding their feet to the fire and taking a meeting story a step beyond. As a reader, I’d be anxious to learn the final outcome and how it would affect me as a taxpayer.”

Shemberger is a longtime education reporter, having covered the beat since 1998. She reports on education news as a freelance journalist for the Todd County Standard, a weekly community newspaper in Elkton.

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Gross wins top Sigma Sigma Sigma award

Posted on 13 January 2016 by jmcjournal

Lexy Gross, a May 2015 Murray State University graduate with majors in journalism and political science, has won the Mabel Lee Walton Leadership Award for 2015.

The award is the top individual award that can be won by a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma national sorority. She received the award from national vice president Courtney Stone at the MSU chapter’s Founders Day event in May. She had been the Outstanding Sigma Sigma Sigma member in the region.

Gross was selected to be in Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities and was the top senior in the journalism major. She served as president of the Panhellenic Council.

She served in several positions on The Murray State News, including editor in chief.

She had internships with Lexington Herald, the Nashville Tennessean and the Chicago Tribune. She was a correspondent for USA Today, Paducah Life Magazine and the Murray Ledger and Times.

Gross was a Roy Howard National Reporting Competition Fellow, a Top 10 Student Leader at Murray State and the recipient of the William Broughton Fellowship.

She is currently working for the Louisville Courier-Journal.

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Shemberger studies Civil War newspaper editorials

Posted on 13 January 2016 by jmcjournal

Dr. Melony Shemberger, assistant professor of journalism and mass communication, presented and published a paper in 2015, focusing on editorials published in Kentucky during the Civil War.

The title of her talks and subsequent article was “Voices of a Border State: Editorials of the Civil War Kentucky Press.”

First, she was the guest speaker at the spring meeting of the Jackson Purchase Historical Society in April.

Her presentation became the basis of an article published in the summer 2015 edition of the Journal of the Jackson Purchase Historical Society. The article concentrated on west Kentucky newspapers.

Then, Murray State’s history department invited Shemberger to present her work at the History Research Forum in October 2015.

Shemberger’s 2015 scholarly endeavors on Civil War editorials in Kentucky newspapers stem from a paper she presented at a Civil War symposium in November 2014 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Here is an abstract of Shemberger’s work:

In Civil War research, editorials often are used as anecdotal material to support or add dimension to a scholar’s arguments. However, these pieces rarely have been warranted as texts to be examined, thus becoming an overlooked signature feature of a Kentucky Civil War newspaper. Kentucky’s dividing position of neutrality and looming Confederate invasion prompted editorials to shed light on the support given to the Confederacy or the Union.

Shemberger’s study reviewed several Kentucky newspapers published mostly in 1861 and 1862. Many of these editorials expressed strong pro-Union support. Editors were aware of the need their papers filled at this critical time, and as the war heightened in the border state, many wrote passionately in support of the Union. Yet, they did so in such a way that their opinions educated readers, regardless of which side they took or how they felt.

Civil War research will continue, but it is hoped that editorials published during this historic event will be regarded as more than mere anecdotes — and recognized more as a newspaper’s bold voice that deserves to be heard.

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The News, alumni receive Ky. Press Association awards

Posted on 13 January 2016 by jmcjournal

Student staff members of The Murray State News won 22 awards at the annual Kentucky Press Association newspaper competition in the University division.

The News placed third overall behind the College Heights Herald and the Kentucky Kernel.

The News staff was second in Best Newspaper Website, third in Best Special Section and honorable mention for Best Use of Multi/Social Media.

Individual winners were:
Best Editorial–Carley Besser, second place
Best Breaking News–Meghann Anderson, first place
Best General News–Rebecca Walter, honorable mention
Best Column–Carley Besser, second place
Best Sports Column–Lexy Gross, third place
Best Sports Story–Jonathan Ferris, second place
Best Enterprise or Analytical Story–Rebecca Walter, second place; Mary Bradley, third place
Best Ongoing Coverage–Lexy Gross, Meghann Anderson, Rebecca Walter, Mary Bradley, second place
Best Business/Agribusiness News Story–Kate Russell, first place; Ben Manhanke, second place
Best Breaking News Picture–Lori Allen, third place
Best Graphics–Ryan Richardson, Jared Jeseo, Kate Russell, Fumi Nakamura, third place
Best Sports Section–Ryan Richardson, third place
Best Sports Special Section–Ryan Richardson, honorable mention
Best Lifestyle Page–Savannah Sawyer, third place; Hunter Harrell, honorable mention
Best Editorial Page–Carley Besser, first and second place
Best Front Page–Lexy Gross, honorable mention

In addition, JMC alumni won awards in their respective divisions:

Weekly Class 1
Best Column–Daryl Tabor, Crittenden Press, second place
Loyd Ford, The Lake News, third place
Best Enterprise or Analytical Story–Melony Shemburger, Todd County Standard, honorable mention
Best Sports Picture–Loyd Ford, first place
Best Special Section–Crittenden Press staff, Chris Evans, editor, third place
Best Graphic–Daryl Tabor, first, second and third place

Weekly Class III
Best Editorial–Stevie Lowery, Lebanon Enterprise, first place
Best Column–Stevie Lowery, second place
Best Investigative Story–Stevie Lowery and two others, second place
Best Ongoing Coverage–Lebanon Enterprise staff, second place
Best Special Section–Lebanon Enterprise staff, first place
Best Editorial Page–Stevie Lowery, second place
Best Front Page–Stevie Lowery, second place

Daily 1 Class
Best Breaking News–Greg Travis, Murray Ledger & Times, second place
John Wright, Murray Ledger & Times, honorable mention
Best Special Section–Ledger & Times staff, Greg Travis, editor, second place
Best Headline–John Wright, third place

Daily 2 Class
Best Editorial– Jennifer Brown, Kentucky New Era, first place
Best General News Story–Alyssa Harvey, Daily News, second place
Best Column–Jennifer Brown, third place
Best Editorial Page–Jennifer Brown, first and second place

Associates Division
David Snow, Oak Grove Eagle Post
Best Breaking News Coverage–second place
Best General News Picture–second and third place
Best Sports Picture–honorable mention
Best Sports Special Section–certificate of merit
Best Front Page–third place
Best Headline–third place

Michelle Vowell, Fort Campbell Courier
Best Sports Story–second place
Best Ongoing Coverage–first place
Best General News Picture–first place
Best Sports Picture Essay–first place
Best Special Section–second place
Best Front Page–second place

The awards were announced at the annual meeting of the Kentucky Press Association in Louisville Jan. 23.

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AP broadcasting awards announced

Posted on 13 January 2016 by jmcjournal

Murray State broadcasting students and staff won nine awards in the 2015 Kentucky AP Broadcasting competition announced April 24.

In the collegiate division in TV, the students won three awards. Brieana Johnson took second place for best videographer, Paige Hoffmeister won second for best feature and Benjamin Manhanke finished third for best videographer.

Staff members of WKMS-FM won six awards. Chad Lampe won first place for best special/series documentary, second place for best use of sound and first place (with John Null and Whitney Jones) for best political coverage.

Jones took second place for best long sports feature and honorable mention for best long public affairs program. Null received honorable mention for best long enterprise reporting.

Chad Darnall, an MSU RTV alumnus who works at WPSD-TV in Paducah, won six awards in the TV division two competition.

He won first place (with Robert Bradfield) for best enterprise or investigating story. The two also won honorable mention in the same category.

Darnall won first place and honorable mention for best feature videography. He took second place for best news videography, second place (with Mychaela Bruner) for best light news feature and honorable mention (with Julie Collins) for best hard news feature.

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Shuffett named distinguished Kentuckian

Posted on 13 January 2016 by jmcjournal

David Shuffett, a 1982 radio-TV graduate, has been named the 2015 Distinguished Rural Kentuckian by the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives (KAEC).

The longtime Kentucky broadcaster, columnist and outdoors enthusiast received the award at KAEC’s annual meeting in Louisville in November.

The award recognizes outstanding individuals who have devoted their life to Kentucky in a way which matches the co-op mission of enhancing the quality of life in Kentucky.

Shuffett’s television career has spanned more than 20 years on Kentucky Educational Television, first as host of “Kentucky Afield: and later as host of “Kentucky Life”. He retired from that position in 2014.

He is also a columnist for KAEC’s Kentucky Living Magazine. Chris Perry, president and CEO of KAEC, said, “Shuffett could be called Mr. Kentucky. His commitment to our state, its culture and its people resonates with cooperative family and mission.”

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McGaughey receives Golden Horseshoe award

Posted on 13 January 2016 by jmcjournal

Dr. Bob McGaughey, retired professor and chairman emeritus of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, received the Golden Horseshoe award Oct. 9 at the dinner for the Golden Anniversary of the graduating class of 1965.

Doc McGaughey visits with JMC alumni at Tent City during the Homecoming festivities each year. Pictured from left: Dr. Bob Jackson, Murray State Foundation president; Amanda Saunders, 2006 advertising alumna; and McGaughey.


MSU President Bob Davies presented the award on behalf of the MSU Alumni Association, citing McGaughey’s years of service and support of the University.

McGaughey, a member of the last graduating class of Murray State College, and Bob Valentine, senior instructor in the JMC department, were the speakers at the dinner.

McGaughey received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Murray State and his doctorate from Ohio University.

He joined the MSU faculty in 1969 as the adviser to The Murray State News and journalism instructor. He became department chairman in 1974.

He retired in 1997 after 27 years and 23 years as the chairman. He then taught part time and worked with the BIS program in MSU’s Continuing Education unit until December 2010.

McGaughey has received several awards/honors for his work at Murray State. He won the Max Carman Outstanding Teacher of Year in 1984 and was named the Distinguished Professor by the Alumni Association in 1990.

Selected eight times to attend the International Radio and Television Society (IRTS) faculty-industry seminar in New York City, he was named the Frank Stanton Fellow as the distinguished broadcast educator in the U.S. by the IRTS.

He was named Boss of the Year by the Murray chapter of the Professional Secretaries International in 1989, the Distinguished Organization Adviser by Omicron Delta Kappa in 1997 and as one of the Outstanding Teachers in America in 1996-97.

He received a special award from the Kentucky Press Association for service upon his retirement in 1997. He served two terms as the educational representative to the KPA board of directors and 10 years as executive director of the West Kentucky Press Association.

His other honors include being named to “Personalities of the South,” International Men of the Year,” “Who’s Who in America,” “Who’s Who in the South and Southwest,” “Who’s Who Among American Teachers,” “Who’s Who in the Media and Communications,” “Who’s Who Registry of Business Leaders,” and “Men of Achievement.” In 2012 he was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame.

An honor graduate of Murray State’s ROTC program, he served two years on active duty and 18 years with the 100th Army Reserve Division. He retired in 1985 with the rank of major. His nine ribbons and medals include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal and the Vietnamese Service Medal.

He may be best known for his work with fellow professor and close friend, Bob Valentine. The two have done workshops in communications, public relations and advertising and their two-man comedy act since 1978. McGaughey was named to “Who’s Who in American Entertainment in 1991 and 1995.

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Shemberger, Wright demonstrate social media

Posted on 13 January 2016 by jmcjournal

Two faculty members in the JMC department presented a pedagogical method at the Journalism Interactive Conference on Journalism Education and Digital Media held in April at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

Dr. Melony Shemberger and Leigh Wright, both assistant professors in the JMC department, presented “#TestReview: Using Social Media as a Digital Study Guide.”

Their pedagogical method focused on how social media could help students study for course examinations. The practice uses Twitter and Storify to help students recall information more effectively.

Participants in the conference session tweeted a mock test review.

Shemberger and Wright also presented at Kentucky Pedagogicon Conference held May 22 at Eastern Kentucky University.

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