Murray State College Dean of Learning and Student Success Tracey Hickman was awarded the 2024 Benjamin Cooper Academic Ambassador Award.

Hickman is also the tournament director of the NAQT Oklahoma State Championship since 2014. He was selected for the award because his dedication to tournament direction and outreach has expanded pyramidal quiz bowl across the state of Oklahoma.

“This award is much more than another one,” Hickman said. “It signifies recognition of years of service to the Oklahoma Quizbowl Community. I’m lucky to have had teammates in this journey along the way who provided invaluable assistance.”

Hickman’s outreach work has expanded the field from six teams from four schools to 54 teams from 36 schools across the state. As the director of Oklahoma Quiz Bowl Camp, he has taught more than 200 students, most attending multiple times, about quiz bowl each summer since 2016.

“The growth of quiz bowl in Oklahoma has been tremendous,” Hickman said. “I’m excited to see it continue to grow from here.”

As the Dean of Learning and Student Success, Hickman oversees Murray State’s Academic Resource Center (ARC). The ARC provides students with resources to enhance their college-going experience, like tutoring, study labs, online library resources, ADA assistance, testing and more.  

“Dean Hickman’s dedication to education and his commitment to fostering young minds have a profound and lasting influence on his students,” said Becky Henthorn, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs. “The achievements of his camp are mirrored in the success of the Murray State Academic Team, his classes and the Murray State College Academic Resource Center under his leadership.”

Before joining Murray State, Hickman led the quiz bowl teams at Coalgate High School to the national stage as the team’s founder and coach. He now adds Murray State College to those accolades.

“Tracey passionately champions for his students inside and outside of the classroom,” said Dr. Tim Faltyn, Murray State College President. “He plays an integral part in our students’ success. We are blessed to have him as part of the Murray family.”