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MSU recognizes distinguished faculty and staff at convocation

Morehead State University officially opened the new academic year with Fall Convocation today, Aug. 14.

President Dr. Jay Morgan welcomed faculty and staff, reflecting on last year’s successes and offering encouragement for the new academic year.  

Faculty and staff were recognized for their research, service and teaching with MSU’s Distinguished Faculty and Staff Awards. 


Gary Mesa-Gaido, professor of art, is the recipient of the Distinguished Creative Productions Award. An active artist for more than 25 years, he has participated in numerous national and regional exhibitions, including solo, two-person, and small and large group. The recipient of various grants and awards, Mesa-Gaido has been recognized with two prestigious Kentucky Arts Council Al Smith Fellowships and a Great Meadows Foundation Artist Professional Development Grant. He has been awarded four MSU Creative Production Grants and, in 2010, he received his first Distinguished Creative Production Award from MSU. He has taught in MSU’s Department of Art and Design since 1992. He earned an M.F.A. from Ohio University and a B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh.

John Haky, assistant director of student housing, is the recipient of the Distinguished Staff Service Award. He has served on MSU’s Staff Congress, in leadership positions with the Kentucky Association of Housing Officers, the American College Personnel Association’s Coalition on Men and Masculinities and Rho Alpha Sigma. Haky is the advisor for MSU’s Residence Hall Association, the Kentucky Association of Residence Halls and for the Kentucky Association of Residence Halls’ Annual Conference Committee. He is the recipient of the Mid-Level Professional Award from the American College Personnel Association's Commission for Administrative Leadership, the Ruth Ann Howard Service and Advisor of the Year award from the Kentucky Association of Residence Halls. He is a certified instructor with the QPR Institute’s Gatekeeper Suicide Prevention course and has organized the Office of Student Housing’s Build-a-Bed team for three years.

Dr. Brian Mason, interim associate dean of the school of creative arts, professor of percussion, and coordinator of the percussion studies program, is the recipient of the Distinguished Teacher Award. He is respected worldwide as a leader in the marching arts through his high-profile, international activity for more than three decades. Mason has been a member of the Percussive Arts Society Board of Advisors, past president of the KY PAS Chapter, is associate principal percussion with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, principal percussion for the Cave Run Symphony Orchestra and appears as a guest artist with high school and university percussion ensembles across the United States. Mason is a recipient of the MSU Distinguished Faculty Service Award, the KMEA College/University Teacher of the Year Award and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Boyle County High School. 

Dr. Daryl Privott, associate professor of adult and higher education, is the recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Service Award. He has worked at MSU since 2013 and also serves as the director of the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL). During his time at MSU, he has been an active member of the community by serving on 12 university committees, including Faculty Senate Governance and Evaluation, Strategic Planning Committee and the SACSCOC Fifth-year Reaffirmation Committee. In addition to his University service, Privott has represented MSU at various conferences, events and presented at many university workshops. He is a first-generation college graduate and holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in higher education administration from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV), an M.P.A. in Public Administration from UNLV and a B.S.P in Industrial Technology from East Carolina University.

Dr. Brian Reeder, professor of biology, is the recipient of the Distinguished Researcher Award. He is the founder of the MSU Center for Environmental Education and co-founder of the first MSU Program of Distinction, the Institute for Regional Analysis and Public Policy (IRAPP). Over his past 30 years at MSU, he has published over 30 scientific articles, given more than 100 scholarly presentations and acquired more than $20 million to fund research, teaching and service. His research was completed with the help of hundreds of undergraduate students and more than 40 graduate students. Reeder has earned MSU’s two other distinguished faculty awards: Teacher (2007) and Service (2004). He was a previous recipient of the Distinguished Researcher Award in 1994.

Move-in days for new students will begin Aug. 15 at 9 a.m. and will continue through Aug. 16.

Classes for the fall semester begin on Monday, Aug. 19.
Photo: from left, Dr. Jay Morgan, Dr. Brian Mason, Dr. Brian Reeder, Gary Mesa-Gaido, John Haky and Dr. Daryl Privott. 
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