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Meet the Center Staff
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Meet the Center Staff

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Meet the Center Staff

The Center for Academic Advising staff are passionate about good advising and have many years of advising and mentoring experiences.




Ms. Olympia Stewart is the Coordinator of Academic Transitions, Advising, and Advising Center Operations for the Center for Academic Advising. Ms. Stewart is a graduate of Murray State University and a native of Milan, TN.  She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Middle School Education (Math/Social Studies), a Master’s of Arts in Education in Guidance and Counseling and a Master’s of Science in Human Development and Leadership with an emphasis in Organizational Communication.  Ms. Stewart advises students who are undeclared and unconditionally admitted.   She manages the day-to-day affairs of the office, manages student workers and scholarship workers, is a liaison for support service offices, and assists with retention and recruitment efforts.  She leads efforts to assist undeclared students to determine the best career path according to their personality, values, and interest by providing career counseling.  She teaches an Undeclared Transitions course that focuses on career exploration and success for the new freshmen. She coordinates the annual Major’s Fair that draws over 300 students and high school students from the surrounding counties.    Prior to working in the Center for Academic Advising, she was the Retention Specialist for the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Murray State University.  Ms. Stewart enjoys advising students and helping students connect their personality, values, and interest to discovering their career path. In her spare time, she enjoys leading women’s groups, singing, and traveling.





Mrs. Peggy Whaley is the Coordinator of Academic Transitions, Advising, and Advising Center Communications for the Center for Academic Advising at Murray State University. In this role Mrs. Whaley leads efforts to coordinate and deliver the new student orientation courses for first-year students and advises students who are undeclared and conditionally admitted to Murray State University. She also manages the website for the Center for Academic Advising. Mrs. Whaley came to Murray State with academic degrees (M.Ed.in Instructional Leadership and B.S. in Agricultural Education) from Colorado State University where she also taught introductory education courses and advised students in the school of education. While at Colorado State, Mrs. Whaley’s academic advising efforts were recognized by students and colleagues when she was awarded the College of Applied Human Sciences Outstanding Advisor Award. Most recently she served as the director of information services for the Gilbert Community School District in Iowa. Mrs. Whaley has published scholarly articles, won a number of grants, and presented at national conferences on her collaborative work with admission and retention efforts. She has served in university and state organizations and assisted in the national accreditation of academic programs. Mrs. Whaley enjoys all aspects of advising and especially enjoys supporting students as they explore and select a major or area that fits their interests and passions. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends and exploring the state of Kentucky.






Dr. Barbara Cobb earned a Ph.D. from Rutgers University and is an Associate Professor in the Department of English and Philosophy. She joined the Murray State University faculty in 2002. As Coordinator of Academic Advising, Dr. Cobb works to provide resources and training for all academic advisors, including the close to 300 faculty academic advisors from disciplines in every college and school on our campus. In addition to this work, Dr. Cobb teaches courses in Shakespeare and English Renaissance literature, as well as introductory courses for English majors. She also serves as the Coordinator for the Liberal Arts major, an innovative program that allows students to build their own major by combining three fields of study, study abroad, internship, and a capstone senior project. Dr. Cobb is the Director of the Shakespeare in the Schools Partnership Initiative, in which she trains teachers to incorporate fun Shakespeare units into grade 3-8 curricula. She also serves as the Associate Chair and Teacher Education Coordinator for the Murray Shakespeare Festival. In her spare time, Dr. Cobb enjoys writing scholarly articles and hanging out with her family.


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