Nominated by Dr. Elizabeth Gailey, communication major Sunny Murray became a finalist for the Stargazer Scholarship, an award offered by the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce in its 4th annual Chattanooga Nautilus Awards competition. The purpose of the Stargazer Scholarship is to provide financial assistance to a non-traditional student who intends to advance her career through furthering her education.
After graduating from Cleveland State with honors, Murray was accepted to Indiana University but couldn’t afford tuition and decided to join the U.S. Navy instead. In Third World countries she encountered people who had even less than her family did when she was a child.
Murray dropped out of UTC for three months to help care for her ailing mother in Indiana. She persevered and returned to her studies at UTC, with plans to graduate in August 2010. She serves as an intern in communications at Unum.
“I am passionate about education, it is one of the most important things about life and the best way to get out of poverty. As a child of poverty, I really appreciate what an education can do for you,” Murray said.
Saying “every single one of my communication professors has been outstanding,” Murray says the faculty encourages students and generates a lot of energy. She said she is among many students who admire Gailey, Associate Professor of Communication.
“She has a way of teaching that makes even mundane information interesting,” Murray said. “Her students are taught how to deeply evaluate and get to the core of each issue.”