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The City Journals

Presidential scholar winner is all business

Jul 26, 2017 10:57AM ● By Jet Burnham

Marin Murdock and her teacher Julianna Wing, both recipients of this year’s Presidential Scholar Awards. (Kathy Liu/Presidential Scholar)

By Jet Burnham | [email protected]


Marin Murdock believes big goals are achieved by taking one small step at a time. She took the small step of joining FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) her sophomore year at Herriman High School. She stepped up to leadership positions. Three years later, she was Sterling Scholar in business and marketing. Now she has been named a Presidential Scholar Winner.

“I love the feeling of challenging myself to learn new things and become a better student and person,” said Murdock. “I honestly never thought I would be able to accomplish something of this magnitude.”

The Presidential Scholar is awarded to just 161 students in the nation each year. Murdock was one of 20 specifically selected for success in the career and technical education (CTE) fields.

Joining FLBA led Murdock to discover her passion for business and marketing. It also put her in the path of Julianna Wing, the business and marketing teacher, who was named a 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholar Distinguished Teacher.

 “Marin is the kind of student that comes by once in a career,” said Wing. “What has set Marin apart is her ability to recognize opportunities and spend hours relentlessly working toward her goals.”

Murdock said her main goal was to work hard every day to become a little more successful than the day before.

“There’s always something positive that can come out of trying to be your best self,” said Murdock.

She learned that if she focused on the everyday small wins, they would add up to make a big win. She said her instructors were a huge influence on her.

“The last three years have consisted of Mrs. Wing pushing me out of every comfort zone I ever had (in order) to be the best possible version of myself,” said Murdock. “I learned that success lies outside of your comfort zone.”

She was also inspired by her business teacher, Randall Kammerman.

“He lives every day as an improvement on yesterday, which is what I aspire to do in my everyday life,” said Murdock. “As I have seen him change the lives of more people than I can count, he has become an inspiration for who I want to become.”

Murdock was actively involved with service-oriented school clubs at HHS, such as Interact and National Honor Society. She took a total of 18 business classes and held leadership positions in FBLA and DECA.

 “As a scholar in the area of CTE, Marin has shown what can be accomplished when the skills gained in the classroom are applied to her community,” said Wing.

As a junior, Murdock and two peers (Keenan Budd and Hannah Pedersen) saw the need for successful businesses to support the rapidly growing city of Herriman. The students worked to establish the first-ever Herriman City Chamber of Commerce. Murdock then served on its board of directors.

“The Herriman City Chamber of Commerce will continue to help the community for years to come, and it solved a real-world issue,” Murdock said.

She said the best part about business and marketing is its potential to make an impact on her community and on the world.

“The thought of having the ability to make the world a better place is what continually drives me—what makes me get up in the morning,” said Murdock. She feels business and marketing have given her an avenue to reach many of lives. Her dream job is to create a business that will ultimately build up third-world economies, providing relief from tragedy, hunger and disease—conditions she saw while on a humanitarian trip to Mexico. 

Wing and Murdock traveled to Washington, D.C., in June for the Presidential Scholar Awards Ceremony where they each received their medallions.

“This award has given me confidence that I am able to achieve anything I set my mind to,” said Murdock. “I will be more open to seizing opportunities and taking chances because I know the benefits of achieving something beyond what I previously thought possible.”