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MSU’s Honors Program experiences and support helps bright students shine even brighter

Morehead State University has always emphasized academic quality, opportunities for real-world experience, and supportive faculty and staff. One of the places where these qualities are most evident is the experience academically exceptional students get both in and out of the classroom through the George M. Luckey, Jr. Academic Honors Program. 

Students accepted into the Academic Honors Program receive the Honors Scholarship, which covers tuition, housing and a one-time study abroad experience. The goal of the program is to provide a curriculum that challenges their academic capabilities while, more importantly, allowing exceptional students opportunities to accelerate and broaden their personal development. This is done through more participation-based classes, undergraduate research and international experiences.  

“There’s a lot more to learning than getting ‘A’s,’” said Dr. Philip Krummrich, director of the Academic Honors Program. “We’re more interested in learning experiences than specific classes.” 

Tyler Syck (18) from Pikeville graduated from MSU with bachelor’s degrees in government and history and is a graduate student at the University of Virginia studying to earn a Ph.D. in political science. As a student in the Academic Honors Program, Syck completed an internship at the Canadian Parliament and did a two-week education abroad trip to Italy. However, it was the program’s mandatory undergraduate research component that he believes proved crucial to his acceptance into graduate school and career path. 

“The Undergraduate Research Fellowship is what really made me decide to be a professor,” Syck said. “I think every different aspect of the Honors Program seems to be designed to get into a graduate program.” 

Kristen Ammons, a senior and space systems engineering major from Morehead, said the program’s research requirement allowed her to work at MSU’s Space Science Center on its CubeSat mission. She has presented at NASA in support of this mission on three separate occasions. In addition to its educational benefits, she said she has benefitted from the relationships with fellow students while also interacting with faculty and staff that put make the students’ needs a top priority. 

“I cannot begin to describe how wonderful the Honors Program faculty and staff have been,” she said. “I would not have been able to achieve this success without the support of the Honors Program.” 

“Something I say to prospective honors students and current honors students is that I’ve always believed that our best students deserve more of our time and attention,” Krummrich said. “Our goal is to create an environment in which they can thrive.” 

MSU’s Academic Honors Program is currently accepting applications this fall for the 2020-21 academic year. For more information, visit, email or call 606-783-2205. 

Pictured, right: MSU Academic Honors Program graduate Tyler Syck (18, right) poses for a picture with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (left) while completing an internship with the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa, Canada. 

Pictured, left: Kristen Ammons, a senior in the MSU Academic Honors Program, posed for a selfie in the Colosseum in Rome, Italy, during the program’s education abroad experience.