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MSU students, faculty and staff receive engagement, experiential education awards

Morehead State University’s Center for Career Development & Experiential Education (CCDEE) presented awards to recognize students, faculty, staff, and employers for prioritizing hands-on experiences inside and outside the classroom to prepare students for career success.

The ceremony was part of the 19th Annual Celebration of Student Scholarship last month. The experiential education awards, presented by Rebecca Wright, coordinator of internships, honored those whose contributions to and investments in career development via experiential education were exceptional. All students, employers, and faculty engaged in experiential education – internships, co-ops, clinicals, practicums, and student-teaching – during 2023 were eligible for nomination.

The community and civic engagement awards, presented by Coordinator of Service Learning Andrew Sexton (Class of 2020, 2022), recognized the achievements of students, staff and faculty who used their time and experience to give back to Morehead and the service region.

“Through their dedication and passion, the individuals highlighted below embody the values of Morehead State University and inspire us all to strive for excellence in preparing students for success both inside and outside the classroom,” Sexton said. “These awards underscore our commitment to preparing students for success in their careers while instilling in them a sense of responsibility to give back to their communities. We are proud of the impact these honorees have made and excited for future collaborations that will further enrich both our students' experiences and the communities we serve."


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2023-24 Experiential Education and Engagement Award Winners

Left to right: Dr. Alana Scott (Faculty Supervisor of the Year), Haley Edrington (Community and Civic Engagement Student), Dr. Michele Paise (Community and Civic Engagement Faculty) and Sara Larson (Community and Civic Engagement Staff)

2023 Faculty Supervisor of the Year - Dr. Alana Scott

Dr. Alana Scott is an associate professor of history is the Caudill College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences. Scott has encouraged and supported countless students throughout their internship experiences. She is a champion of hands-on learning experiences, as is evidenced by her ongoing engagement with the Level UP program. According to students, Dr. Scott is a “student-focused and personable professor” who “pushes her students to work hard and produce significant material” and who is also “a great support as role model and mentor.”

2023 Employer of the Year - UK King’s Daughter Medical Center

The mission of UK King’s Daughter Medical Center in Ashland is to care, to serve, and to heal. Their vision is to provide world-class care in their communities. This award recognizes Samantha Chaffins, a radiologic technologist and clinical instructor, who embodies this mission and vision with her work, including supervising MSU radiology students completing their clinical experiences. Chaffins and King’s Daughters exemplify experiential education's positive impact on students gaining academic knowledge and professional skills.

2023 Student Intern of the Year - Emma Horn

Emma Horn is an agronomy major from Pendleton who interned with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office in Morehead. While interning with NRCS, Horn had the opportunity to be part of daily job duties such as surveying, planning and implementing conservation practices, restructuring farm records, creating presentations for local schools, and assigning in the recording and planning of conservation plans. This internship allowed Horn to build valuable career skills such as teamwork, critical thinking, and professionalism.

2023-24 Community and Civic Engagement Faculty - Dr. Michele Paise

Dr. Michele Paise is an associate professor of music and music education coordinator at the Caudill College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences. Paise earned this recognition for her engagement with the community of Morehead through her March to Service project entitled: "Random Acts of Music." She and her students planned various musical service projects by collaborating with elementary schools, music teachers, local businesses, the Cave Run Symphony Orchestra (CRSO), and others to engage in partnerships that would be mutually beneficial for all involved. The "Random Acts of Music" project encompassed public performances across campus, an undergraduate Music Research Symposium, guest speakers in the field of music education, volunteer work in music teachers' classrooms, reading musical children's stories to local students at CoffeeTree Books, volunteering at the District 8 Elementary Honors Chorus event, volunteering at the District 8 High School Choral Assessment event, working with a local Girl Scout troop on completing their music badge, and an Instrument Petting Zoo, where music education students taught local children about orchestral instruments before the Safari-themed CRSO concert.

2023-24 Community and Civic Engagement Staff - Sara Larson (Class of 2004)

Sara Larson, assistant director of advising and retention, was selected for her work as an advisor in supporting the Herron Leadership Organization, a student organization of students selected for their leadership abilities from each of the 22 counties of MSU's service region. Larson supports each of the Herron Leaders during their weekly meetings, where they complete hands-on service projects to give back to the local community, such as making Valentine's Day cards for nursing home residents in each student's hometowns, putting together teddy bears for patients at St. Claire Healthcare, and many more ways in which they contribute to the campus community. For the last two semesters, she has coordinated the Herron Leaders to assist with helping first-year students give back through making over 150 tie blankets for child patients at St. Claire Healthcare as part of Make an Impact Day for First Year Seminar.

2023-24 Community and Civic Engagement Student - Haley Edrington

A junior veterinary technology student, Haley Edrington demonstrates a commitment to excellence in her academic pursuits and a compassionate approach to animal care. Her leadership shines through her proactive involvement in initiatives such as the partnership with Saving the Animals of Rowan (STAR), where she spearheaded volunteering efforts to provide essential care for rescued animals. Additionally, Edington's initiative in organizing events like the Vet Tech Club (VTC) Community Dog Wash highlights her ability to mobilize resources and foster community engagement by inviting community members to bring their dogs to bathe by students in the vet tech program. As an agriculture ambassador, she passionately shares her experiences with prospective students, leaving an impression with her professionalism and dedication. Through her efforts in organizing community tours and hosting industry leaders at the University Farm, Edington not only enriches the educational experience of her peers but also strengthens connections within the veterinary community, such as 4-H, FFA, and other high school groups.

"We are thrilled to recognize the outstanding achievements of our students, faculty, staff, and community partners who have demonstrated a steadfast commitment to experiential education and community engagement,” says Dr. Chris Schroeder, associate provost. “These awards celebrate not only individual excellence but also the collective impact of our university community in preparing students for success beyond the classroom.”

Community partners interested in working with Morehead State University for future service projects can complete a survey.

MSU's Center for Career Development & Experiential Education provides students with helpful tools, knowledge, and opportunities to achieve career success. For resources, upcoming events and more information, call 606-783-2233 or email