Murray State Alumni Honors

This past week I was named one of Murray State University‘s Top 22 Under 40 Young Alumni, an honor that I am very excited to receive. I graduated from Murray State in 2005 with a degree in print journalism and a minor in equine science. I was a member of the Rodeo and Equestrian Teams (captain of MSUET my senior year), was a student-teacher in one of the Beginner Horsemanship classes, member of the award-winning Shield Yearbook as a photographer, President of the Society for Student Journalists and worked at RSEC as an usher for the Racer Basketball games.

Photo by Rachel Griffin Photography, featuring Lark, who also attended Murray State as a school and MSUET horse my senior year.

I have always wondered what life would be like had I not attended Murray State, and the answer is always the same–it probably wouldn’t be as full as it is now. There comes a time when your choices start to really build who you are, and without choosing Murray State over Butler (thank you, Westfield High School journalism teacher Mrs. Davis), I wouldn’t have been able to hone my education so I could focus on horses AND journalism. I wouldn’t have been a member of the Rodeo and Equestrian Teams. And, I wouldn’t have the friendships and connections I have now.

You see, it was an advisor who told me, my junior year, that I couldn’t expect to graduate and go directly to working for magazines. That I had to earn my way by working for newspapers. (Mind you, this was in the day before social media was a thing…Facebook wasn’t open to Murray State until the end of my senior year in 2005. That’s right, at first Facebook was a collegiate only thing.) But I persisted. I spent just as much time at the barn as I did in the journalism building, and it wasn’t uncommon to see me in the classroom with my boots and spurs on. I met one of my close friends on the Equestrian Team, who just so happened to be a part of the cutting industry. Her parents were friends with the then-editor of the Quarter Horse News, Katie Timms. It was that connection that got me my first freelance writing gig.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

I love that path that I’ve taken to build my career in the past 17 years.

I love my career.

I love Murray State.

Go Racers.

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