Hometown: New Paltz, N.Y.
Major: Education / Instructional Leadership
WCSU Degree: Doctorate of Education
Activities: Full-time secondary education science teacher at North Salem High School. Avid martial artist trained in Japanese Karate and Krav Maga. A sponsored athlete and member of the US National Karate team, competing locally, nationally and internationally for the past eight years who has represented the U.S. at the World Martial Arts games several years in a row.
Honors and Awards: Earth and Planetary Sciences Department Award as an undergraduate, graduated magna cum laude for Bachelor's and Master's degrees, graduating summa cum laude for doctoral degree
Katie Murphy has been a student at Western for the past 10 years, obtaining an undergraduate, graduate and now, a doctoral degree, during that time. "I transferred into WCSU my junior year to complete an undergraduate degree in Secondary Education: Earth Science (graduated 2005). I continued my studies at Western to complete my Master of Science in Instructional Technology degree in 2007. And in 2009, I began my doctoral studies, which is a five-year program.
Murphy says she decided to pursue education because she really wanted to teach, to inspire young learners and share her love for science. "Years later, I chose to enter the doctoral program because I wanted to take my own personal education to the highest level possible and become an expert in my field."
She decided to pursue her terminal degree at WCSU for several reasons. "I was an undergraduate here. Most importantly, Western's education program has a great reputation. I wanted a credible program that was going to prepare me the best way possible. Also, Western was located within a manageable commute distance and its tuition costs were feasible."
During her time at Western, Murphy says she had the privilege of being mentored by Professor of Astronomy Dr. Dennis Dawson in her undergraduate senior research in astronomy. "More recently, my doctoral dissertation adviser was Professor of Education and Educational Psychology Dr. Marcy Delcourt, a truly remarkable, supportive, energetic and brilliant professor."
Asked what she will remember most about her Western experience, Murphy says, "Since I attended Western for many years, I have had several memorable experiences. My favorites were nights in the Astronomy Observatory as an undergraduate and the many nights our doctoral cohort found a reason to have a party in class. The ultimate memory will always be that feeling of complete satisfaction when I gave the last statement in my dissertation defense and I knew I was done!"
After graduation, Murphy plans to continue teaching high school science, but would like to explore adjunct teaching positions at the university level, especially in education.
Murphy's advice to new students entering WCSU is: "Take the time to get to know your professors! They can be instrumental in helping you succeed. They can also guide you in your chosen field, and may have contacts to professionals when it comes time to start looking for internships or a job."