While earning a bachelor of science degree in psychology with a minor in business at BSU, she worked as a research assistant for two of her professors.
After graduating, Murphy took an array of jobs, including office management at a realty, behavioral assistant at St. Joseph Hospital in Kokomo, program coordinator for the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA), educational development counselor for the UAW/GM, and multiple positions at Ivy Tech.
While working full time she obtained a master of science degree in human resource development at Indiana State in 2003.
All this as a divorced single mother.
“I do understand some of the challenges that our students face while trying to obtain a degree while also managing their busy lives,” Murphy says.
She also understands Ivy Tech’s image is changing — for the better, she believes.
“Having a local presence has helped improve our image in the Peru community and helped those who may not have known about us get to know us better,” she says. “Our ability to offer a vast array of transferable courses and degrees to the four-year state institutions has helped strengthen our image as a community college.
“I think there is still a misconception about transferability, because there are people who, in the past, have had difficulties with transfer.”
Murphy encourages students to make known their interest in transferring early on. That helps students to connect with their chosen institutions. And it helps Ivy Tech advisers provide accurate information when students select classes.
Transferable classes in liberal arts and nursing have the highest enrollment in Peru, Murphy said.
Ivy Tech is still known for its technical training and nursing programs, Murphy said, adding she thinks that’s a plus.
But Ivy Tech has been diversifying at a steady pace.
Two new programs were added this fall in Peru: culinary courses leading to a culinarian certificate, and an associate of nursing program. A newly equipped TKC Culinary Arts lab has been funded and named by the donor, Ken Licklider of Vohne Liche Kennels. The nursing program has received a “generous donation” from the Dukes Healthcare Foundation.