There is a new resource available in the area that is taking Murray State College faculty out of campus and into schools, meetings, club events and more to showcase the employee’s skills and expertise on a number of topics.
The college has announced the formation of the speakers bureau, which is a group of various staffers with a desire to step back from their Murray State classrooms and venture into the community sharing on the role of women in medieval times, the history of the Masonic Lodge, an in-depth discussion on how to view art, investing in the stock market and more.
The speaker bureau was formed to showcase the faculty and to serve the community, says organizer Sharon Burris.
“MSC actually does have rocket scientists working here - two, in fact, who worked for NASA,” says Burris, who is a speaker who presents on basic grammar for businesses and reading and writing poetry. “We have Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and FBI officers who instruct our criminology classes — we have faculty who have traveled to other countries for ornithology studies, and who have hobbies ranging from old Oklahoma highways to amazing stories of state history. The main reason I wanted to organize a Murray State College Speakers Bureau was because since coming here more than a decade ago, I have been constantly amazed by the quality of faculty working here.”
There is no cost for an organization, school club or other group to book a speaker from the bureau. A full list of speakers and presentations is available on the college’s website. There are eight speakers who make up the 29 speaking topics, which range from Oklahoma history to arts discussions.
One speaker who has a mix of topics is history instructor Rebecca Jacobs-Pollez. Jacobs-Pollez presents several topics related to world history, including the role of women during medieval times.
“As I tell my students, history is fascinating because it is the study of people and people have done some amazing and weird things,” says Jacobs-Pollez.  “My specialty is medieval women’s history and women have been ignored for too long. I want to inform my audience of the important role that women have played throughout time. In addition, there are quite a few misconceptions about history and I would love to help dispel some of them.”
It is not just historical topics that Jacobs-Pollez presents. She also has a presentation about NASA astronaut training, called NASA Astronaut Training and Procedures: Behind the scenes look at what it takes to have “the right stuff,” from a NASA insider. Information presented comes from Jacobs-Pollez experience working at Houston’s Johnson Space Center for 30 years in the areas of crew training and operations for both the shuttle and the Space Station.
Another interesting presentation comes from Ronnie Coppedge  on the topic of the “History of Freemasons.”  Coppedge is a fourth generation Freemason, and has been an active member of the local Blue Lodge, Tishomingo #91 for 25 years. He is also a member of all other Masonic bodies, including the Scottish Rite, York Rite, and Order of the Eastern Star. He was elected to the highest office in Oklahoma Freemasonry, Grand Master, in 2004.
He says that anyone who is interested in the history of the United States will find his topic interesting.
“How Freemasonry and the founding fathers of our nation are all connected is an incredible true story,” Coppedge says.  “I show how the teachings of Freemasons were included in the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights, and other important documents of our nation.”
Burris says the eight speakers are well-known in their fields of studies and have received awards and recognition for their work.
“There’s such a wealth of interesting information available, creating a format to connect community organizations seeking presenters and knowledgeable faculty members just seemed a natural way to better connect both MSC campuses with area communities,” Burris says.
A list of presenters is available on the Murray State College website at To ask questions about a presenter or to book, schedulers should contact the presenter individually.