Scholar Stage

Molly KarnesMolly Karnes

Major: Earth Science
Hometown: Mount Vernon, Illinois
High school: Mount Vernon Township High School

Activities and Organizations

I am president of Geoclub and our student chapter of the American Institute of Professional Geologists. I also volunteer with Conversation Partners, which pairs you with English as a Second Language (ESL) students who want to practice English and learn more about American culture.

Molly's Scholarships

This year, I have received the Regent’s Scholarship; Barbara and Hays Brooks Scholarship; Jeffrey J. and Sallie Clark Endowed Scholarship; and Jesse D. and Deborah C. Jones Scholarship for the Advancement of Math and the Sciences.


What do you want to do after graduation?

After graduation, I will be going to graduate school. My dream is to become a professor.

Who has influenced you the most in your life and why?

My grandmother has always been a huge influence in my life. She taught me to take advantage of every chance to learn something new and to always question the world around me. I was a very curious child who often asked questions she didn’t have the answers to, but she would help me search for an answer in her encyclopedia set.

What hands-on learning opportunities have you participated in during your time at Murray State?

I am a teaching assistant for the department of geosciences. Teaching labs has greatly improved my public speaking skills and has shown me how much I love teaching.

I am also working on a research project for the McNair program with Dr. Michelle Casey, assistant professor of geosciences, that I will be presenting at a national conference in Seattle this October. This project has given me the opportunity to learn more about the scientific process, and I will be able to meet other researchers when I present at the conference.

Why did you decide to attend Murray State?

I first visited because it’s only a couple hours from home, but I decided to stay because of how welcoming the campus was. The campus is beautiful and easy to navigate. The people I met were also incredibly kind.

What is something you’ve accomplished at Murray State that you’re most proud to have done?

I am most proud of my research project. I have put a lot of time and effort into it, and I am very excited to present it this October. I see it as my first major step towards making my dream of graduate school a reality.

What other opportunities have you been afforded at Murray State?

Murray State has afforded me classroom and research opportunities that boosted my self-confidence and allowed me to realize my childhood dreams of graduate school are well within reach.

What advice would you give to incoming freshmen?

I think it’s important to participate in events and programs on campus. Classes are important, but you must make time for other things. Maybe step out of your comfort zone a little bit and try something new. Some of my favorite things on campus, like Cinema International and Conversation Partners, I would have never seen myself doing when I was in high school.

Take the next step

© Murray State University Department of Web ManagementWe are Racers.