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Craft Academy recognizes graduating class of 2024

Morehead State University’s Craft Academy for Excellence in Science & Mathematics hosted its graduation ceremony for the Class of 2024 on Saturday, May 11.

The Academy recognized 54 students representing 30 counties across the Commonwealth of Kentucky at the ceremony. Craft Academy graduates will attend 17 different colleges and universities across the United States, including four students who will enroll at MSU:

2024 Craft Academy Graduation

  • Brooklyn Adams of Lincoln County, Nursing, University of Kentucky
  • Elizabeth Arnold of Pendleton County, Undecided, Miami University (Oxford)
  • Alexandria Black of Pendleton County, Undecided, University of Louisville
  • Jeremyah Cabrera of Harrison County, Medical, University of Kentucky
  • Hailey Castle of Shelby County, Undecided
  • Madison Collins of Knott County, Meteorology, University of Oklahoma
  • Karlee Compton of Montgomery County, Undecided
  • Cady Cooley of Pike County, Undecided, University of Louisville
  • Wren Cragle of Boyd County, Undecided, University of Louisville
  • Jackson Curtsinger of Shelby County, Undecided, University of Kentucky
  • Samuel Darbyshire of Franklin County, Anthropology, University of Kentucky
  • Sophia Day of Scott County, Undecided
  • Marlee Dinsmore of Letcher County, Undecided
  • Emma Dolan of Boone County, Undecided
  • Madison Eubanks of Fayette County, Education, Midway University
  • Jayben Fraley of Madison County, Undecided, Morehead State University
  • Kaden Gillum of Montgomery County High School, Political Science, Harvard University
  • Oliver Guthrie of Nicholas County, Data Science, Wofford College
  • Wade Hayden of Bullitt County, City Planning, University of Cincinnati
  • Casey Hovis of Lawrence County, Nuclear Engineering, North Carolina State University
  • Jia Jie Huang of Clark County
  • Kaden Hunter of Floyd County
  • Freya Isenhart of Oldham County
  • Isabella Johnson of Mason County
  • Rebekah Jones of Montgomery County
  • Charlotte Knapp of Scott County
  • Sarah Lakes of Harrison County, Biology, University of Kentucky
  • Elijah Loiacono of Pulaski County
  • Whitley Martin of Nicholas County, Neurobiology, University of Cincinnati
  • Alexander Masterson of Fayette County, Communication and Media Studies, University of Kentucky
  • Alex McCray of Letcher County, Biology
  • Hope Meyers of Fayette County, Biology
  • Graeme Miracle of Fayette County
  • Maddison Moore of Breathitt County, Political Science, University of Louisville
  • Shelby Moore of Lawrence County, Agriculture, Morehead State University
  • Ethan Moulton of Madison County, Nuclear Engineering
  • Dakota Murphy of Laurel County, Engineering, University of Alabama in Huntsville
  • Matthew Mynk of Powell County, Meteorology, University of Oklahoma
  • Jennifer Nguyen of Carter County
  • Blake Ott of Bath County, Engineering
  • Brayden Paynter of Carter County, Undecided, Morehead State University
  • Lilliann Poe of Harrison County, Business
  • Landon Pritchett of Anderson County, Undecided, Vanderbilt University
  • Zion Scott of Fayette County, Accounting, Davidson College
  • Mary Sherrard of Carter County, Undecided, Dartmouth College
  • Alejo Stacy-Brandenburgh of Bath County, Computer Science, United States Military Academy at West Point
  • Ella Terry of Garrard County, Earth Sciences, University of Kentucky
  • Trinity Townsend of Fayette County, Computer Science, University of Dayton
  • Josephine Traver of Pulaski County
  • Anakin Walker of Boyle County, Mechanical Engineering, University of Kentucky
  • Abby Wallace of Bourbon County
  • Sophia Whitlock of Spencer County, Nursing, University of Kentucky
  • Serenity Willinger of Scott County, Undecided, Morehead State University

Dr. Joseph W. Craft III of Lexington, president and CEO of Alliance Resource Partners LP, was the guest speaker at this year’s graduation ceremony. He and his wife, Ambassador Kelly Craft, are co-founders of the Craft Academy, initially pledging $4 million, the single largest cash gift in the history of the University.

In 2023, the Crafts donated additional funding for new and modern facilities in Alumni Tower, including expanded maker space, improved study spaces, a new computer lab, and tools conducive to an advanced learning environment. The generous donation also expanded Academy enrollment by 40, providing opportunity to enroll 240 students.

The Craft Academy graduation speaker was Jennifer Nguyen from Carter County. She is the daughter of Cindy Ngo and Wayne Nguyen. She plans to pursue a career in biomedical engineering at Boston University (BU).

Nyugen is one of 70 students nationwide selected to the BU Kilachand Honors College. She is also a semi-finalist for the U.S. Presidential Scholarship Program.

“From the beginning, we looked beyond ourselves to uplift others. As Eagles, we soared to new heights by presenting ground-breaking research, furthering professional fields, and undergoing personal growth,” Nguyen said. “Class of 2024, the world awaits us. Let us continue our paths, one step at a time, but always forward.”

The Craft Academy for Excellence in Science & Mathematics is a dual-credit academy for academically exceptional Kentucky students. Craft Academy provides students with postsecondary residential experience to complete their junior and senior high school years by enrolling in college courses. The Craft Academy aims to meet the unique educational needs of academically gifted and talented high school juniors and seniors in the Commonwealth. The academic rigor of the Craft Academy challenges students to excel at their highest level through project-based STEM+X courses and hands-on learning experiences with an emphasis on innovation, design and creativity, and civic and regional engagement.

For more information on the Craft Academy for Excellence in Science & Mathematics, contact 606-783-9025, email


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