Featured Students

Featured Student: Kaley Owens



  • Name: Kaley Owens
  • Year: Senior
  • Major: English and Philosophy
  • Hometown: Metropolis, IL
  • Favorite food/drink on/near campus: Coffee from Gigabytes
  • Best book you’ve read recently: Turn of the Screw by Henry James
  • Favorite book: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
  • What you like to do on campus: Apparently, study because leisure time does not exist



Tell us about yourself:

I am a senior at Murray State. My family is from Metropolis. I have a wonderful dog, Jake, whom I love so much. Of course I’m an English student so I love books, any kind of books and literature. I’m a big nerd. I just received the ORCA Research Fellowship Grant. Right now, I’m working on a publication with Dr. Binfield.

What made you come to Murray State?

It is the nicest university, anywhere remotely near here. Out of all the universities that I visited, this was the place where I thought I could actually have a complete academic learning environment. That is definitely the case because I have learned so much here. It really is a great university.

Who have you enjoyed working with?

Dr. Binfield, of course. He was my professor for English 321 last spring and that was when the budget cuts happen. President Davies sent us all an email telling us about how tuition would go up, and Dr. Binfield came in, sat us down in that class, and just told us the truth about everything. He said that our voices would be heard; we just had to get up and start getting younger people to get involved. So that’s how Emily and I ended up coordinating the march in Frankfort. Lots of Murray State students made the trip to protest the Governor’s cuts to universities.  Then Dr. Binfield asked me to collaborate on some research. We’re doing research about asylum patients and their writings at the retreat in York, England.

Who inspires you in life?

My mom is my inspiration because she has made it through so much in her life. I can keep going, and the reason I get up in the morning is from the example she has set for me.

What made you choose the major you did?

I love English, and I love reading. I’m pursuing the English and Philosophy Bachelor in Science, it’s a new degree program. My major was chemical engineering before I decided to switch my major. When I switched, I had a lot of science credits and our college was offering this new program and they told me to check it out.  I took a couple of Philosophy classes and I really loved them, so that is another part of my area.

Work/projects related to your major?

The research we’re doing is about the asylum patients that participated in the Retreat. They encouraged people to write, and the writings have been been studied. We are the first people to actually do any kind of publication on them. And since I’m an English student and because I’ve been taught how to critically analyze pieces of literature, it makes me able to do something like this even though I’m an under-graduate. I can still analyze these works just as well as anyone else.

Recent awards/ honors?

I got the ORCA Fellowship Grant, which will enable me to travel to England to work with manuscripts in the archive, and I made the Dean’s list.

Future plans:

I plan on attending Graduate School and then getting into a doctoral program. Murray of course has a great graduate program, but it’s only 30 hours. I’m also looking forward to the new Star Wars, The Last Jedi.


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