Features — 09 May 2013

The Outstanding Seniors at Murray State University for the May 2013 Commencement have been announced. Kristen Nicole Tinch and Thomas Anthony Werfel were selected for the honor.

Kristen, the daughter of Anna Tinch of Bowling Green, Ky., and formerly of Lewisburg, Ky., and the late Frank Tinch, will receive a bachelor’s degree in English/Spanish/education. A Dean’s List student, Tinch has a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

She is a member of the Honors Program at Murray State. A Presidential Scholar, Tinch’s recognition includes being named the Outstanding Senior in English.

Tinch’s activities at Murray State include active membership on the Honors Program Student Council, holding the offices of secretary and treasurer. She is also an office assistant for the Honors Program, coordinating events and assisting with program recruitment and web publications.

Other academic interests are memberships on the Freshman Reading Experience Selection Committee and the National Council of Teachers of English student chapter, serving as an ambassador for the department of modern languages, consulting with students in the Racer Writing Center and tutoring for the Murray State Community College developmental education program. Tinch has also been a “conversation partner” through the Institute for International Studies with students from South Korea, China and Puerto Rico.

Research highlights for Tinch encompass her senior honors thesis, participation in Posters-at-the-Capitol, and presentations during the MSU Scholars Week, at the Kentucky Council of Teachers of English and at the Southern Regional Honors Conference. As a recipient of the Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Activity Fellowship, Tinch completed 300 hours of research on visual literacy in secondary classrooms.

Her campus and community connections include Racer Band activities, volunteering for the Shakespeare in the Schools initiative and as an After-School Spanish Program volunteer, and 50+ hours of teaching in the Murray and Calloway County schools.

Tinch has taken advantage of study abroad programming in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Costa Rica and Austria.

Tinch will be teaching Spanish at Bowling Green High School this fall.

Thomas, the son of Boyd and Karen Werfel of Waverly, Tenn., will receive a bachelor’s degree in physics with a minor in chemistry. A Dean’s List student, Werfel has a 3.93 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.

He is an Honors Program student at Murray State and a Presidential Scholar. Active in the Honors Program, Werfel held the position of Sergeant at Arms and was a class representative to the council during his freshman, sophomore and junior years. He also participated on several committees for the program.

Werfel received recognition during Sigma Xi’s Scholars Week for the Best Engineering and Physics Research Poster and as the Outstanding Student Researcher in 2012, and for the Best Undergraduate and Best Multidisciplinary Research Posters in 2011.

An active researcher, Werfel completed a biomedical engineering internship at Yale University, an NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates at the Vanderbilt Institute for Nanoscale Science and Engineering, and was a research assistant in MSU’s Biomedical Plasmas Lab.

Werfel has also served as a physics teaching assistant at Murray State.

His other activities at the university include membership on the Student Government Association, president of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and involvement with the Baptist Campus Ministries. Werfel received a Top 10 Student Leaders Award from the vice president of student affairs on campus.

Werfel has traveled abroad on service mission trips to Zimbabwe and El Salvador.

This fall, Werfel will begin graduate study in biomedical engineering at Vanderbilt University.

Both Tinch and Werfel are graduating in May. The Murray State University Commencement ceremony begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 11, at the CFSB Center.

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