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MSU announces student speakers for Spring 2023 Commencement 

Morehead State University has announced the student speakers for the 2023 Spring Commencement. The ceremonies take place at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, May 13, at the Academic-Athletic Center (AAC). 

The 10 a.m. ceremony will recognize graduates from the Ernst and Sara Lane Volgenau College of Education, and the College of Science. The 2 p.m. ceremony will recognize graduates from the Elmer R. Smith College of Business and Technology, and the Caudill College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.  

Keenan Conley of Salyersville will represent the College of Science and is the son of Lora Leigh Sellers (Class of 2022), Matthew Sellers and Rhonda Conley. He will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences.

embedded-news-keenan-conley.webpAs an undergraduate student, Conley earned a 4.0 GPA and was on the Dean's List for seven consecutive semesters.  

Conley is a member of the MSU Chemistry Club, the MSU Pre-Med Club, and the Herron Leadership Program and served as service chair and biology tutor of the Tri-Beta Club. He is also a Delta Tau Delta Fraternity member, serving in roles including Southern Division Conference delegate, Karnea delegate, new member class president, secretary, alum coordinator, FAAR coordinator and vice president of communications. He is also a two-time recipient of the Delta Tau Delta Zeta Zeta Academic Scholarship.  

Conley has participated in the Undergraduate Research Fellowship program since August 2020 under the mentorship of Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Melissa Mefford. He designed and performed experiments using state-of-the-art methods to screen through yeast colonies to look for novel mutations within the telomerase RNA gene. Conley also performed data analysis using DNA sequence alignment software and Microsoft Excel. Conley and others presented their findings at the 2022 Celebration of Student Scholarship, where he received an award of merit based on his group's poster presentation. He also shared his research through a virtual talk at the Southeast Regional Yeast Meeting as one of the few undergraduate students to participate.  

Conley works as a Be You Medical Spa patient care coordinator in Prestonsburg.  

While at MSU, Conley completed the Rural Physician Leadership Program Bootcamp. He was one of five students awarded automatic conditional acceptance into the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Medicine through its Early Assurance Program. Conley is enrolling in the UK College of Medicine's Rural Physician Leadership Program as an M.D. candidate.  

"I feel like I truly belong, and that feeling is something I believe is unique about MSU. I want to remind my class of this feeling," Conley said. "I want them to reflect on the last four years and think about their own experiences and on what MSU means to them. I want to empower them and leave them with motivation as they prepare to begin the next journey of their lives. Being an Eagle is special, and no matter where our lives take us after graduation, we will always have a home here at Morehead State University."  

embedded-news-kelton-crank.webpKelton Crank of Pikeville is the commencement speaker representing the Elmer R. Smith College of Business & Technology. He is the son of Johnna Stafford. He will graduate with a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Health Systems Management.  

As an undergraduate student, Crank earned a 4.0 GPA and was on the Dean's List. He also was accepted into the AHEC (Area Health Education Center) Scholars Program, a program to strengthen skills for healthcare professionals.  

Crank's extracurricular activities included serving on the Student Government Association (SGA) as vice president, commuter representative, and chief of staff. He was first chair of the Funding and Awards Committee, a member of the Traffic and Appeals Committee, the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, and the Kentucky Rural Health Association. Crank is also a Beta Gamma Sigma honors society member and an Advocacy Fellow for the Fund for Global Health.  

"My time at MSU has taught me the importance of actively being a part of a community," Crank said. "My campus involvement has instilled in me a greater sense of self that has urged me to take advantage of every future opportunity to be involved."  

Crank completed two healthcare internships in 2021. He was a physician practice administration intern for Pikeville Medical Center in Pikeville and a healthcare administration intern for St. Claire Healthcare in Morehead. On campus, Crank also worked as an Information Technology student resource specialist and a tutor at MSU's Tutoring and Learning Center.  

Crank was awarded the James Still Fellowship and will continue his education by completing the Master of Health Administration program at the University of Kentucky. He aspires to be a director within the healthcare system and, eventually, a legislator focused on healthcare policy.  

For more information on MSU's 2023 Spring Commencement and to live stream the ceremonies, visit

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