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Contact Us

Peggy Whaley

Peggy Whaley

Director
Student Engagement and Success

425 Wells Hall

Peggy Whaley is the Director of Student Engagement and Success at Murray State University. She leads institutional retention and student success efforts and initiatives. She also serves as the coordinator of the student success seminars and first-year experiences for the University. She received her M.Ed. in Instructional Leadership (1997) and B.S. in Agricultural Education (1995) from Colorado State University. Peggy has been a teacher, advisor, and advocate for students and their success for over 15 years both at Murray State University and at Colorado State University. Peggy, along with two of her Murray State colleagues, received the Best Practices Award from the Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange at the 2018 National Symposium on Student Retention in Salt Lake City, UT.

Jennifer Smith

Jennifer Smith

Assistant Director
Student Engagement and Success

425 Wells Hall

Jennifer Smith is the assistant director for the Center for Student Engagement and Success, serving as an advisor to undeclared students and assisting students with success goals, leading the Parent and Family Council, and the development and implementation of other retention initiatives. She also assists in Enrollment Management with communication initiatives. Jennifer received her B.S. in Plant and Soil Science (1996) from the University of Tennessee at Martin, working for the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, before transitioning to education in her local county school system. Jennifer has worked in the Office of Admissions, and the Office of Enrollment Management at Murray State University, and is dedicated to helping students find their passion, set goals, and achieve success in their future endeavors in her role with Student Engagement and Success.

Jordan Garner

Jordan Garner

Student Success Coordinator
Student Engagement and Success

425 Wells Hall

Jordan Garner is the Student Success Coordinator for the Center for Student Engagement and Success. Jordan received his B.S. in Business Management in 2021, and will graduate with his M.A. in Postsecondary Education in 2023 from Murray State University. Jordan has previously worked in Career Services at Murray State University and is passionate about helping students grow and succeed in their time as a Racer and beyond.

Leanna McClure

Leanna McClure

Coordinator of First-Year Academic Advising
Student Engagement and Success

425 Wells Hall

Leanna McClure is the Coordinator for First-Year Academic Advising. Leanna received her M.S. in Organizational Communication (2012) and B.A. in Organizational Communication (2010) from Murray State University. Leanna has worked full-time at the University for over ten years, holding prior positions in the Office of Veteran and Military Student Success and Office of the Registrar, and part-time as an adjunct instructor. Leanna understands that the first-year sets the foundation for the college experience and is passionate about collaborating with University faculty and staff to ensure that students are provided with the holistic care, resources and intentional guidance they need to successfully advance during their studies and beyond.

Ann Matheny

Ann Matheny

Strategic Learning Coordinator/Instructor
Student Engagement and Success

G9 Lowry Center

Ann Matheny is the Strategic Learning Coordinator/Instructor for the Center for Student Engagement and Success. She received her B.S. in Business and Marketing Secondary Education (2003) from Murray State University. Ann taught middle school career and technical classes before returning to Murray State in August of 2006. She received her M.S. in Organizational Communication (2012) from Murray State University and joined the faculty at the former Center for Academic Success in August 2016 as the Reading and Study Skills Coordinator. She is currently working towards receiving her Ed.D. in P-20 Education and Community Leadership with a focus on Postsecondary Education. Ann’s goal is to help support students in developing the proper techniques to make themselves successful. Her teaching interests include first-year experience, college transitions, and study skills. Personal interests are spending time with family, going to the theater, watching documentaries, and crafting.

Sarah Williams

Sarah Williams

Tutoring Specialist
Student Engagement and Success

109 Lowry Center (2nd Floor)

Sarah Williams is the Tutoring Specialist in the Center for Student Engagement and Success. Sarah has a Bachelor's in Criminal Justice and a Master's degree in Postsecondary Education Administration, both from Murray State. She enjoys getting to know students and helping them solve whatever problems they come across, academic or otherwise. When she is not working, Sarah enjoys traveling and playing board/video games with her husband and kids.

Jillian Smith

Jillian Smith

Graduate Assistant
Division of Student Affairs / Student Engagement and Success

425 Wells

Jillian Smith is a graduate assistant for Student Affairs. Jillian graduated in 2022 with a B.A in Political Science. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Mass Communication with a concentration in Public Relations. She is passionate about helping students navigate college life and ensuring they have a wonderful experience at Murray State. As an undergrad, Jillian worked at the Dean’s Office of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts and was a staff writer at the Murray State News.

AJ Cunha

AJ Cunha

Coordinator
Veteran and Military Student Success

456 Blackburn Science Building

AJ Cunha is the Coordinator of Veteran & Military Student Success at Murray State University. He supervises the certification of U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs educational benefits, processing of Federal Tuition Assistance and serves as the advocate for all active, guard, reserve and Veteran students attending Murray State University. In his role, he connects students with resources and referral services on campus to include: disability counseling services, career services, academic advising, financial aid, tutoring center, and VA tutorial assistance. Additionally, he serves as the Staff Advisor for the Student Veterans of America Organization on campus and manages the Veterans Lounge. Mr. Cunha served 20 years on active duty in the U.S. Navy retiring as a Master Chief Petty Officer in 2021. He earned his B.A. in Criminal Justice from Columbia College of Missouri in 2009, M.S. in Homeland Security from Saint Joseph’s University in 2011 and Senior Strategic Leadership Certificate from the U.S. Naval War College in 2017. AJ enjoys spending time with family, traveling, playing golf, tennis, Racers athletics and giving back to the Murray community through Lions International, United Way and church. In 2021, he was awarded the highest title of honor bestowed by the Governor of Kentucky, Kentucky Colonel, for outstanding service to our community, state, and nation.

Colleen Anderson

Colleen Anderson

SCHOOL CERTIFYING OFFICIAL
Veteran and Military Student Success

456 Blackburn Science Building

Colleen Anderson is the School Certifying Official (SCO) for Murray State University. As the SCO, she submits enrollment certification to the Department of Veteran Affairs for all students using Veteran Affairs benefits. These benefits include: Chapter 33 (Post 9/11 GI Bill), Chapter 30 (Active Duty GI Bill), MGIB Selected Reserve (1606), Chapter 35 (Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program) and Fry Scholarship. Ms. Anderson received her B.S. in Physical Education (1986) and her M.S. in Human Development & Leadership (2017), both from Murray State University. Colleen is originally from Ridgway, Illinois and enjoys reading, playing games, watching movies, and working outside. She is a widow with three children and three grandchildren. She was a Camp Director for 23 years before coming to Murray State University in 2009. Every October, she becomes someone different when she portrays different characters at Talon Falls Scream Park! Her favorite thing about the VMSS is the people and assisting with benefits and education! For the past 13 years, she has worked at MSU in the Educational Studies, Leadership, and Counseling Department as an Administrative Assistant I, Career Services Department as an Administrative Assistance II, and now Veteran & Military Student Success. She enjoys donating her time giving back to the Murray community in various ways, attending church events, travel and very proud to be a Racer!

 

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