Featured Students

CHFA Featured Student: Emily Ferguson

Emily wields the megaphone at the March for Education rally
  • Name: Emily Ferguson
  • Year: Junior
  • Major: English – Creative Writing
  • Hometown: Owensboro, Kentucky
  • Quirky Fact: I ride a unicycle and I can juggle while riding it. The unicycle’s name is Claude.
  • Favorite place to eat in Murray: Dumplins
  • Favorite Food: Breakfast food of any kind
  • Favorite Movie Ever: The Parent Trap
  • Best book you’ve read recently: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North
  • I Never Eat: Tomatoes (Ketchup)

What made you decide to focus on creative writing?

I have never not been a writer. It was the only thing I’ve ever done or wanted to do. I was reading Harry Potter when I was in 2nd grade. I remember writing my first short story in the third grade. It was a really lousy story about a boat that got sucked into a whirlpool and they got shipwrecked on an island. They were looking for firewood and they found logs that realized were gold. But I’m not a fiction writer, I’m a poet. So that was a very short-lived career.

What are some things you’ve liked about studying creative writing at Murray State ?

I like having found my tribe of people that I’ve come up through the workshop with. We’re familiar with each other’s work. I like my creative writing professors – they’re all characters. I also like working in the department (as a student assistant), so I can see my profs outside of class and developing relationships with them. I really liked Carrie Jerrell’s class – we’ve worked with the book binding class, in conjunction with other artists. It’s really neat to work with another type of artist in order to create something that both is and isn’t a poem. It’s intriguing to involve that whole other perspective in your writing.

As pictured above, Emily was recently a leader of the “March for Education,” which occurred Thursday, February 25th at the State Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky. The Murray students and faculty who attended the peaceful protest are pictured below. Click here for more media coverage of the event.


How did you get involved with the recent “March for Education”

Kevin Binfield took the time out of one of his classes and told us about the proposed budget and how it would affect us and our school, classes, and programs. All of us kept asking questions, trying to figure out why. At the end of class, we asked what we could actually do – he said if we could get students to Frankfort that would be something more than just a petition or letters to legislators.

After class, Kaley Owens and I were both interested and got together. Later, I encountered Katherine Summerfield, and she told me that the theater department was going. We had something we could work with and began formulating a plan from there.


How do you feel about the protest?

I think it was a success. We had a really good turnout and everyone was excited and passionate even though it was cold and snowy. Everyone definitely wanted to be there. Attorney General Andy Beshear and Senator Gerald Neal addressed the crowd to say they were on our side, which was really encouraging. We also saw President Davies who had been in the legislative session and he reassured us that we had definitely been heard and that the legislators were talking about us.

What is the message you want the protest to get across?

This generation is stereotyped as apathetic, disengaged, and lazy. But we, the college kids of Kentucky, are educated, informed, and passionate about Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed budget cuts to higher education, and we won’t stand for it. Education is the most important thing, and we have to protect it in order to protect the future of Kentucky. The March for Education is a collective effort by all the universities of Kentucky, and it will continue until funding for higher education is restored.


About Emily, Carrie Jerrell writes, “​Emily Ferguson’s dedication to her studies and talent as a young poet are matched only by her kindness and generosity of spirit. Don’t let her quiet demeanor fool you; once you get to know her, you’ll find she brims with wit and insight. She’s a buoyant, poised presence both in and outside of the classroom, a true investigator of beauty who’s also bent on making the world a little better while she’s in it. I have no doubt she’ll continue, with pronounced success, to do just that.”



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