Fall 2023 Outstanding Senior recipients

By MSU Public Relations | Nov 15, 2023

Syler Kennedy and Kaid Marek

Syler Kennedy and Kaid Marek

MURRAY, Ky. – Murray State University has named Syler Kennedy and Kaid Marek as the recipients of the fall 2023 Outstanding Senior recognition. Students recognized with this honor are known for their academic excellence and professionalism. 

Syler Kennedy, the son of Tori and Eric Kennedy of Murray, Kentucky, will earn a Bachelor of Science in Sociology, is minoring in Legal Studies and has been a member of the Dean’s List and President’s List for multiple semesters. Kennedy holds a 3.97 overall GPA and is an alumnus of the Governor’s Scholars Program.

In May, Kennedy was named Outstanding Senior in Sociology, is a member and president of the Murray State University Sociology Club and is an inductee of Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society. Kennedy volunteers at Playhouse in the Park and Soup for the Soul while completing internships at the Calloway County Attorney’s Office and HOPE Calloway. Kennedy has been employed at Sirloin Stockade as a server while attending Murray State.

After graduation, Kennedy plans to attend law school, studying in a Health Law concentration. 

“It is truly shocking to think I was selected to receive this prestigious honor,” said Kennedy. “My time at Murray State has shaped me into becoming the person I am today, and it was the best college experience I could have asked for. I am incredibly grateful to have been surrounded by excellent peers who became lifelong friends and esteemed professors who helped me throughout my undergraduate journey. I will forever appreciate the academic opportunities and constant support Murray State has provided me. Last but not least, Shoes Up and Go Racers!”

Kaid Marek, the daughter of Sherry and Brian Marek, Clarksville, Tennessee, will earn a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, is minoring in Gender and Diversity Studies, and has been a member of the Dean’s List and President’s List for multiple semesters. 

Marek serves as a research assistant in the Biopsychology Lab and has conducted advanced research in emotion and bias-based bio-neuropsychology. Marek is a primary investigator of a research project examining the relations between attitudes towards gender and prejudice, and has given multiple conference presentations. Marek is also a member and president of the Psi Chi chapter.

After graduation, Marek plans to attend doctoral school to study Experimental Psychology with an emphasis in Social Psychology. 

“When I put in my transfer application to Murray State, I had a feeling that I would be expedited into reaching my goals than ever before, and it is truly thanks to the best faculty a university could ever have,” said Marek. “I have been given so much unconditional appreciation and support from friends and professors here, which has allowed me to thrive and accept this award today. Academia has become my love language, and I can’t wait to keep giving back to this community through impactful, significant research. Becoming a Racer has been the best decision of my life yet, and my shoes will stay up long after my attendance here!”

The fall 2023 commencement ceremony will take place on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 10 a.m. at the CFSB Center. Please visit murraystate.edu/commencement for additional information.

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