Constantine W. Curris, Chair, recently retired from the presidency of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), a position he has held since October 1999. He was the fourth chief executive for AASCU - a national association of over 400 public colleges and universities. He is a Kentucky native and has served as president at three universities: Murray State University for 10 years, the University of Northern Iowa for 12 years and Clemson University (SC) for over four years until his selection as AASCU's president. He is a strong advocate for public higher education and its students and a proponent of the qualitative strengthening of higher education institutions in order to meet public needs and expectations in the 21st century. He has been associated with AASCU since 1973 as a member of several Association committees, its Board of Directors and in 1995 as chairman of the Board. Other professional experiences include appointments to the 1998 Commission on the Future of the South, the Kellogg Commission on the Future of State and Land-Grant Universities, the Education Commission of the States, the Iowa Board of Economic Development, the South Carolina Research Authority, the Sigma Chi Foundation and the chairmanships of American Humanics and the Iowa Task Force on Teacher Education and Certification. He received his baccalaureate and doctorate degrees from the University of Kentucky and his master's from the University of Illinois. His term on the MSU board expires in 2015.
Marilyn Reed Buchanon, Vice Chair,
of Grand Rivers holds a bachelor’s degree in business education from MSU and is a private investor. She and her brother were the former owners and operators of Reed Crushed Stone Company, Inc., the largest limestone quarry in the nation. In addition, she has served as chairman of the board of the Bank of Livingston County and served as a member of the board of directors of Area Bank and BB&T. A life member of the MSU Alumni Association and member of the President’s Club, she served on the MSU Foundation board of trustees from 1987 to 1992. She is a member of the Grand Rivers United Methodist Church where she serves as pianist. An advocate for people of all ages, her face is familiar as a devoted volunteer of both the elementary school and convalescent center in Calvert City. She was part of a volunteer committee that raised funds for the West Kentucky Academic Bowl Scholarship and has been a significant contributor to many key projects at Murray State, including the Regional Special Events Center, MSU athletics, University Libraries, Endowed Chairs, WKMS, Boy Scout Museum, Vision Quest Capital Campaign, etc. Her term on the MSU board expires in 2014.
K. Renee Fister of Murray was elected in April 2013 to serve as Faculty Regent. She received her bachelor of arts degree in mathematics from Transylvania University and her Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 1996. She is a tenured professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and has been at Murray State University for 17 years. For her teaching, research, and mentoring, she has received awards as the MSU Board of Regent’s Teaching Award, Kentucky Academy of Sciences Outstanding Teacher, Dr. Virginia Slimmer Outstanding Faculty Award, MSU Presidential Research Fellowship, MSU Distinguished Mentor, and Richmond and Hester Colleges Member of the Year. She works collaboratively to enhance student learning through innovative uses of technology in the classroom and through interactive research. She has served as the principal investigator of three large National Science Foundation grants that has supported 60 students and 9 faculty members in cutting edge bio-mathematical research. She has held leadership positions in professional and community organizations which have included serving as a board member and treasurer of the Society for Mathematical Biology, clerk for the Association for Women in Mathematics, and representative for a local Site Based Decision Making Council. Her term on the Murray State University Board of Regents expires in 2016.
is a crime victim advocate and has worked with the Graves County Attorney's Office in Mayfield since 1990. She received the bachelor of science degree in political science from Murray State University and has completed all required course work for the master of arts degree in education. She has been a member of the board of directors for the Mayfield-Graves County Chamber of Commerce since 2005, is a member of the Mayfield City Council, serves on the board of trustees for the Jackson Purchase Medical Center, served as assistant governor of Rotary Club District 6710 (Mayfield, Murray, Hickman, Fulton and Clinton) since 2007, and serves on the board of directors of the Mayfield/Graves County Child Advocacy Program. She has been a member of the Mayfield Rotary Club since 1999 and has served as chair of the International Service Committee, Dictionary Project, Joe and Ella Evan's Scholarship Committee and Foundation Committee. She served on the MSU alumni association board of directors from 2001-08 and was president in 2006-07. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, National Association of Professional Women and was a member of the Kentucky Advocates for Higher Education from 2002-04. Her term on the MSU board expires in 2015.
Susan Shaffer Guess from Paducah, Kentucky, is Senior Vice President/ Marketing Director of The Paducah Bank and Trust Company, in Paducah, Kentucky. Ms. Guess received a B.S.in Public Relations from Murray State University in 1987 and a M.P.A. from the University of Louisville in 1991. She currently serves as the Chair of the Lourdes Hospital Foundation, as a member of the Rotary Club of Paducah and the Lourdes Strategic Planning and Project Review committees. Ms. Guess previously served for two terms as Chair of the Board for the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce, President of the Paducah River City Business and Professional Women, Chair of the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Guess is a Leadership Kentucky and Leadership Paducah graduate, Leadership Paducah Alumni Association President, United Way Division Chair, B-B-Q on the River Co-Chair, member of the Broadway United Methodist Church Leadership Council, USEC 50th Anniversary Community Committee Co-Chair, Focus Louisville graduate and Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education Board member. In addition to leadership in multiple organizations, Ms. Guess has been recognized with the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award from the Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism, Leadership Paducah “Class Member of the Year,” a Housing and Urban Development National Community Service Award, Kentucky Young Careerist from the Kentucky Federation of Business and Professional Women and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education Bronze Medal Award (for serving as Homecoming Chair at Murray State University). Ms. Guess is filling the unexpired term of former Regent Laxmaiah Manchikanti. Her term on the MSU Board expires in 2013.
Jeremiah Johnson of Hopkinsville was elected President of the Student Government Association in April 2011 and serves as the Student Regent at Murray State University. He is pursuing a degree in agriculture education. Mr. Johnson is a 2008 graduate of Christian County High School and the son of Garry and the late Melanie Johnson. While at Murray State, Mr. Johnson has been active in Alpha Gamma Rho, Collegiate Future Farmers of America (FFA), Collegiate 4-H, Agriculture Leadership Council, Order of Omega, Hutson School of Agriculture-Agriculture Ambassador and Alpha Zeta Honorary Agriculture Fraternity. Additionally, Mr. Johnson has served on the Kentucky State Fair Young Adult Project Advisory Committee, received his American Degree from the National FFA Organization and is currently President-elect of the Christian County High School FFA Alumni Association. He was the 2010 Murray State University Homecoming King, Outstanding Man in Alpha Zeta, Outstanding Man in Collegiate FFA and an MSU Vice President of Student Affairs Top 10 Student Leader. He was re-elected and his term on the MSU board expires in 2014.
of Murray is the Telecommunications Systems Management On-line Advisor for Murray State University and serves as the staff regent. He holds a bachelor of science degree in education with an industrial arts major from Murray State University and a master of arts in teaching degree from Southeast Missouri State University. He was a secondary school educator for 33 years before coming to Murray State in 2001. He has held leadership roles in many educational and community organizations which included being the founder of Technology Student Association clubs in the state of Missouri and serving as its state advisor and as state sponsor for the Missouri chapters of The National Beta Club. During his career he has been the recipient of the "Outstanding Industrial Arts Teacher in Missouri" award and the Missouri State Teacher Association's "Southeast District Meritorious Service Award." He has held leadership roles in his church and Lions Club and is a member of the Masonic Lodge and a Kentucky Colonel. He served as Murray State Staff Congress President in 2008-2009. His term on the Murray State University Board of Regents expires in 2015.
Jenny Lynn Sewell of Dawson Springs, KY, is the President and Owner of Beshear Funeral Home in Dawson Springs, where she has worked since 1991, and is the third generation of her family to own and operate the business. Mrs. Sewell received the Bachelor of Music Education degree in 1974 and the Master of Education degree in 1976, both from Murray State University. She has a varied background in education serving as both an educator and a local school board member for 23 years. She began and continued her business career in 1977 through 1991 as a General Lines and Life Insurance representative and Real Estate Broker. Mrs. Sewell has an extensive and successful background in downtown and area economic and recreational development and grant writing. Currently, she serves on the Pennyrile Area Development District Board of Directors and the Kentucky Recreational Trails Authority. She serves as President of the Friends of Pennyrile State Park and Forest Foundation, Vice Chair of Preserve Darby House, Incorporated, Chair of the Dawson Springs area Chamber of Commerce and member of the Main Street Program Board of Directors. Mrs. Sewell and her husband, David, have two sons, one of which is currently attending Murray State University. Her term on the MSU Board expires in 2017.
Jerry Sue Thornton
of Moreland Hills, Ohio, is President of Cuyahoga Community College (CCC), a multi-campus college of 30,260 headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. Prior to becoming President of CCC, Dr. Thornton served as President of Lakewood Community College in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, from 1985 to 1992. She received a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and a M.A. and B.A. from Murray State University. Dr. Thornton is a Director of American Greetings Corporation, American Family Insurance, Republic Powdered Metals, Inc. (RPM, Inc.) and Applied Industrial Technologies, Inc. She is a member of the Board for the Cleveland Museum of Art, Greater Cleveland Partnership (Chamber of Commerce), Playhouse Square Foundation, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum (Cleveland and New York), United Way of Greater Cleveland and University Hospitals Health Systems. Her term on the MSU Board expires in 2016.
Harry Lee Waterfield II
was raised in Clinton, Kentucky, but has spent most of his adult life in Frankfort. He is President, Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the Board of Investors Heritage Life Insurance Company and Investors Heritage Capital Corporation (formerly Kentucky Investors, Inc.). Mr. Waterfield graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1965 and served five years as an officer of the National Association of Life Companies – serving as Chair of the Board during his final year. Mr. Waterfield received the Association's Poindexter Award in 1990, was one of three founders of the National Alliance of Life Companies and served as the first president of the organization - a position he held for two years - and in 1995 he received that organization's first Governor's Award. Currently Mr. Waterfield is an Advisory Director of the Whitaker Bank in Frankfort, Kentucky; a member of the Board of Trustees, Lees College Foundation in Jackson, Kentucky; and former member of the Board of Trustees, Murray State University Foundation. He recently served as a member of the Board of Regents, Kentucky State University in Frankfort, Kentucky, serving as Vice Chair of the Board and Chair of the Finance and Administration Committee from July 2000 through January 2005. He is Past President of the Frankfort/Franklin County Chamber of Commerce and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Frankfort, and Vice Chair of the Frankfort Tourist and Convention Commission. He is a former Board member of Junior Achievement of Frankfort, the Kentucky State Fair Board and the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and is a former member of the Kentucky Air National Guard. Mr. Waterfield and his wife, Lee, have two sons, two daughters and five grandsons. His term on the MSU Board expires in 2016.
Stephen A. Williams is President and CEO of Norton Healthcare in Louisville, Kentucky, and is a native of Livingston County. He has been with Norton since 1977 and has served as President/CEO since 1993. He began his career as administrator of Livingston County Hospital from 1972 to 1977 at age 22. He received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Murray State in 1972 and a master’s in health care administration from the University of Minnesota in 1978 and has received Distinguished Alumnus awards from both universities. Mr. Williams has served as a trustee of the American Hospital Association and as chair of its Regional Policy Board covering seven states and Washington, DC. He was chairman of the board of trustees of the Kentucky Hospital Association and received its prestigious Award of Excellence. He has chaired or served in leadership roles on the boards of numerous healthcare and civic boards at the state and national levels, including Louisville’s Chamber of Commerce, Regional Workforce Investment Board, Leadership Louisville, University Medical Center, Passport Health Plan, Metro United Way, Bellarmine University and Health Insights Foundation. His term on the MSU board expires in 2018.