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Meet the Professor: Ann Murray

Professor Ann Murray

Kansas State University's Ann Murray, Associate Professor of Family Studies and Human Services, is dedicated to her students and committed to making their courses as enhanced as possible for an online learning environment. Dr. Murray was an early adopter of distance learning technologies on the Kansas State University campus and one of the first professors to use K-State's course management system, K-State Online, to teach courses to residential and distance students. She has taken part in making her courses available online for students across the nation and the world. Currently, she teaches three online courses: Assessment of Young Children, Child Development, and Infant Behavior and Development.

Dr. Murray received her Ph.D. in Psychology with concentration in the areas of developmental psychology, infancy, and parent-infant interaction from Macquarie University in 1979. Since then, she has received a number of teaching awards, given presentations at over 40 conferences, and published countless publications in her field.

With over 200 residential and distance students who have taken her online courses, Dr. Murray has assisted many students in achieving their education at a distance. Her students enjoy her methods of teaching and the courses she offers:

"I have been impressed with this class in that it is not as much a directed learning wherein the instructor gives us information that is expected to be given back in a similar form-rather, it is the presentation of concepts that we, the students, are given the opportunity to reflect on, discuss, and then generate critical thought about-incorporating not only the material, but our life experiences and our own view of ethics, morality, etc. to expand our knowledge and also to look beyond the limitations of our experiences to view those concepts from a wider perspective. This should be the ultimate goal of education far and above the accumulation of 'facts.'" -Anonymous Student

"Dr. Murray is my mentor for how to effectively educate adult learners. She demonstrates care and concern for not just her students' learning, but for their general well-being and development as a person. She always takes the time to answer questions and encourages students to fully understand topics and how they relate to their personal lives. She has a way of making learning meaningful, memorable, and enjoyable by individualizing assignments and creating opportunities for students to explore topics that are relevant not just to our careers, but our personal lives. This is one of the things I aspire to accomplish, after seeing how effective this is from a learner's perspective." - Anne Cravens, Early Childhood Education Graduate

Dr. Murray aspires to make her online classroom as engaging as possible for her students. She uses a constructivist, learner-centered approach and strives to make her students as active as possible when teaching her online courses.

Along with making every effort to have the best teaching methods, Dr. Murray is a supportive mentor. While one of her students, Teresa Bartel, was pursuing her doctorate degree, her husband accepted a job offer on the East Coast, and they needed to move half way across the country. Despite the distance, Dr. Murray took the time to work with Teresa through hundreds of e-mails. Dr. Murray convinced Teresa's dissertation committee to allow Teresa to do her proposal through a teleconference so she would not have to travel to the campus. Dr. Murray also helped Teresa set up a teleconference to defend her doctorate. She even attended her graduation picnic and gave a toast in Teresa's honor for being a "pioneer in using today's technology."

"When I sat down to meet with my major professor regarding possibly pursuing my doctorate degree, she highly recommended that I choose Dr. Murray because of her knowledge of the subject matter I was interested in, her dedication to students, and her research experience. Needless to say, I was never disappointed in that decision. It is Dr. Murray who is the "pioneer" in giving students the wings to achieve their dreams while giving them the support they need when they stumble. Dr. Murray is the kind of person that I strive to become every day. She is someone who is respected and loved as a person and as a professor." - Teresa Bartel, Program Developer at the Child and Family Center at Shippensburg University

Dr. Murray's mentoring and teaching efforts are recognized through the various awards she has received. In 2007, she was awarded the Great Plains Region Excellence in Teaching Award from the University Continuing Education Association (UCEA). She also received the 2007 Outstanding Faculty Award from Colleague to Colleague, an award given to an individual that best exemplifies customer service and outstanding performance in assisting with technology advancements. In 2008, she received the UCEA Excellence in Teaching Award, which accepted nationwide nominations. She has also helped many universities receive countless grants and contracts.

Dr. Ann Murray is an accomplished mentor and teacher. She has helped hundreds of students succeed in their distance education efforts. She continues her contributions to Kansas State University, currently serving as a Faculty Advisory Committee member for the Division of Continuing Education and on the K-State Online Advisory Committee helping to beta-test new versions of K-State's course management system. Her efforts will further develop K-State as a national leader in distance education and distance learning technologies.