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Scholar discusses ‘Native Histories of Washington, D.C.’ March 21

A visiting scholar and author who studies Native American and indigenous peoples will explain how they used what’s now the nation’s capital in a free public lecture set Tuesday, March 21, at MTSU.

Dr. Joseph Genetin-Pilawa

Dr. Joseph Genetin-Pilawa

Dr. Joseph Genetin-Pilawa, an assistant professor of history at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and MTSU’s 2017 Strickland Visiting Scholar in History, will speak on “The Indians’ Capital City: Native Histories of Washington, D.C.” March 21 at 6:30 p.m. in Room 106 of MTSU’s Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building.

A campus map with parking notes is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

Genetin-Pilawa, who is the author of “Crooked Paths to Allotment: The Fight over Federal Indian Policy after the Civil War,” also will meet with Department of History students and faculty during his visit to MTSU, which is coordinated by the College of Liberal Arts.

College of Liberal Arts logo webThe professor co-edited “Beyond Two Worlds: Critical Conversations on Language and Power in Native North America” and has held fellowships at the Smithsonian Institution, working at the National Museum of the American Indian, and at the Library of Congress’ Kluge Center. His current research examines the visual, symbolic and lived indigenous landscapes of Washington, D.C., focusing on ways native visitors and residents claimed and reclaimed spaces in the city.

The Strickland Visiting Scholar program allows students to meet with renowned scholars whose expertise spans a variety of historical issues. The Strickland family established the program in memory of Dr. Roscoe Lee Strickland Jr., a longtime professor of European history at MTSU and the first president of the university’s Faculty Senate.

For more information about this Strickland Visiting Scholar Lecture, please contact MTSU’s Department of History at 615-898-5798.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Native delegations meet with President Andrew Johnson, center, in this lithograph from the March 16, 1867, edition of Harper’s Weekly, created from a photograph by Alexander Gardner and included in the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division. The print shows members of the Yankton, Santee Sioux (Dakota) and Upper Missouri Sioux tribes at a reception in the East Room of the White House on Feb. 23, 1867, and is part of MTSU's Strickland Visiting Scholar Joseph Genetin-Pilawa's research on indigenous peoples in the Washington area. (photo courtesy of the Library of Congress)

Native delegations meet with President Andrew Johnson, center, in this lithograph from the March 16, 1867, edition of Harper’s Weekly, created from a photograph by Alexander Gardner and included in the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division. The print shows members of the Yankton, Santee Sioux (Dakota) and Upper Missouri Sioux tribes at a reception in the East Room of the White House on Feb. 23, 1867, and is part of MTSU’s Strickland Visiting Scholar Joseph Genetin-Pilawa’s research on indigenous peoples in the Washington area. (photo courtesy of the Library of Congress)

MTSU notes parking, traffic changes for TSSAA tourney March 15-18

The TSSAA high school basketball tournaments continue this week on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University, and the university is making temporary parking and traffic changes to accommodate its guests.

traffic advisory graphicThe boys’ TSSAA Division I High School Basketball Tournaments is set Wednesday-Saturday, March 15-18, inside Murphy Center’s Hale Arena on the northwest side of the MTSU campus. The girls’ high school tournaments concluded March 11.

Once again, motorists should be aware of several factors affecting campus roads and parking as a result of the tournament and its visitors.

  • MTSU’s East Main Street and Rutherford Boulevard entrances will be the most convenient campus entry points during the tournament, university officials said.
  • The Greenland Drive parking lot will be reserved for TSSAA ticketholders during the tournament, and vehicles must pay $5 to park there. Students and faculty who use the Greenland Drive lot should prepare now to find alternative parking on campus, including the Tennessee Livestock Pavilion lot off Greenland Drive and the Rutherford Boulevard parking lots.
  • The university will reserve parking during the tournament in the Middle Tennessee Boulevard (Woodfin), Cason-Kennedy Nursing Building, Holmes and Smith Field lots for vehicles displaying appropriate campus permits. Visitors with appropriate permits also will be allowed to park in those lots.
  • The Champion Way entrance at Greenland Drive will be closed March 15-18, and eastbound Greenland Drive traffic will be directed to Rutherford Boulevard. Campus traffic can still exit via Champion Way onto Greenland.
  • Faulkinberry Drive and Normal Way will be closed to accommodate TSSAA team buses. No parking or street access will be available.

University officials are encouraging motorists to avoid Middle Tennessee Boulevard if possible, or at least allow extra time to reach their destinations, because of ongoing road construction and the additional tournament traffic congestion around campus. They also can use the university’s perimeter parking lots, including the Tennessee Livestock Pavilion and Rutherford lots, during the tournament.

TSSAA logoThe Raider Xpress shuttle service will operate on its normal schedule during the boys’ TSSAA tournament with the exception of the “Green Route,” which will not serve the Greenland Drive parking lot.

All other events scheduled on campus during the tournament will be allowed first-come, first-served parking in any of MTSU’s free lots, based on availability.

A searchable campus map with parking and travel notes is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

For more information about MTSU traffic, parking and road closures, call MTSU Parking and Transportation Services at 615-898-2850 between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Central time or visit www.mtsu.edu/parking. For more information about the TSSAA state tournaments, visit www.tssaa.org or call 615-889-6740.


MTSU has parking, traffic tweaks for TSSAA tourneys March 8-18

TSSAA high school basketball tournaments are returning like robins this spring to the campus of Middle Tennessee State University, and the university is making temporary parking and traffic changes to accommodate its guests.

traffic advisory graphicThe TSSAA Division I High School Basketball Tournaments are set March 8-11 for the girls and March 15-18 for the boys inside Murphy Center’s Hale Arena on the northwest side of the MTSU campus.

As a result, motorists should be aware of several factors affecting campus roads and parking.

  • MTSU’s East Main Street and Rutherford Boulevard entrances will be the most convenient campus entry points during the tournament, university officials said.
  • The Greenland Drive parking lot will be reserved for TSSAA ticketholders during the tournament, and vehicles must pay $5 to park there. Students and faculty who use the Greenland Drive lot should prepare now to find alternative parking on campus, including the Tennessee Livestock Pavilion lot off Greenland Drive and the Rutherford Boulevard parking lots.
  • The university will reserve parking during the tournament in the Middle Tennessee Boulevard (Woodfin), Cason-Kennedy Nursing Building, Holmes and Smith Field lots for vehicles displaying appropriate campus permits. Visitors with appropriate permits also will be allowed to park in those lots.
  • The Champion Way entrance at Greenland Drive will be closed March 8-11 and March 15-18, and eastbound Greenland Drive traffic will be directed to Rutherford Boulevard. Campus traffic can still exit via Champion Way onto Greenland.
  • Faulkinberry Drive and Normal Way will be closed to accommodate TSSAA team buses. No parking or street access will be available.

University officials are encouraging motorists to avoid Middle Tennessee Boulevard if possible, or at least allow extra time to reach their destinations, because of ongoing road construction and the additional tournament traffic congestion around campus. They also can use the university’s perimeter parking lots, including the Tennessee Livestock Pavilion and Rutherford lots, during the tournaments.

TSSAA logoMTSU will be on spring break March 6-11, during the first TSSAA tournament. No classes will be held, but university offices will be open regular hours.

The Raider Xpress shuttle service will not run while the university is on spring break. It will operate on its normal schedule during the boys’ TSSAA tournament, however, with the exception of the “Green Route,” which will not serve the Greenland Drive parking lot.

All other events scheduled on campus during the tournaments will be allowed first-come, first-served parking in any of MTSU’s free lots, based on availability.

A searchable campus map with parking and travel notes is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

For more information about MTSU traffic, parking and road closures, call MTSU Parking and Transportation Services at 615-898-2850 between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Central time or visit www.mtsu.edu/parking. For more information about the TSSAA state tournaments, visit www.tssaa.org or call 615-889-6740.

MTSU’s annual Jazz Festival expands to 3 days of ‘must-see’ concerts, clinics

MTSU’s annual Illinois Jacquet Jazz Festival has expanded to three days with three special featured artists to help the MTSU School of Music close out its 2016-17 Jazz Artist Series.

Jamey Simmons, director of MTSU’s Jazz Studies Program, said renowned saxophonist Rich Perry, the U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors and “Jazz Master” award winner and jazz educator Jamey Aebersold will be part of concerts and special clinics featured Thursday through Saturday, March 23-25.

Jamey Aebersold

Jamey Aebersold

“This year’s festival features a unique triple bill that is a must-see for jazz students and audiences,” Simmons said.

Aebersold, who is a saxophonist, will open the festival at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, March 23, joining students for a free, public jazz improvisation clinic in Hinton Hall inside MTSU’s Wright Music Building.

“As an author, clinician, performer, publisher and owner of jazzbooks.com, Aebersold has influenced several generations of musicians with the philosophy that ‘anyone can improvise,’” said Simmons.

At 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 24, the Jazz Ambassadors, the premier big band of the U.S. Army, will perform a free concert in Hinton Hall. Formed in 1969, the Washington, D.C.-based ensemble performs a variety of jazz styles at home and abroad.

Rich Perry

Rich Perry

And at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 25, Perry will join the MTSU Faculty Jazztet and the MTSU Jazz Ensemble 1 for the final concert of the festival as well as the final concert of this season’s MTSU Jazz Artist Series.

General admission tickets for the Jazz Artist Series concert are $10 each, and tickets are free for MTSU students, faculty and staff with a current MTSU ID. Discounts for area band students and educators are also available.

Perry also will teach a free public jazz clinic beginning at 2:10 p.m. March 25 in Hinton Music Hall.

“The (Saturday) evening concert will showcase Perry’s abilities alongside our student and faculty artists,” said Simmons. “It caps the daylong educational festival for area middle and high school jazz students.”

To reserve tickets for the March 25 Jazz Artist Series concert, call Simmons at 615-898-2724 or email James.Simmons@mtsu.edu.

School of Music new logo webThe MTSU Jazz Artist Series, which is closing out its 18th season, brings internationally renowned jazz artists to campus for performances and educational workshops.

The annual Jazz Festival, an educational event, offers junior high and high school instrumental and vocal students an individual focus on the jazz style and the art of jazz improvisation. The full schedule is available at www.mtsu.edu/music/jazzfest.php.

The MTSU School of Music renamed its annual Jazz Festival in 2016 to honor the American jazz tenor saxophonist Jean-Baptiste “Illinois” Jacquet, who died in 2004 after a storied 60-year-plus career that deeply influenced artists in jazz, rhythm and blues and rock ‘n’ roll.

The Illinois Jacquet Foundation established a new MTSU jazz scholarship in 2014. For more information, visit www.illinoisjacquetfoundation.org.

For more information about MTSU’s Jazz Artist Series, visit www.mtsu.edu/music/jazzseries.php.

For details on other MTSU School of Music performances, call 615-898-2493 or visit the “Concert Calendar” link.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

The U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors, shown here in a formal photo, will perform Friday, March 24, in a free concert at MTSU as part of the annual Illinois Jacquet Jazz Festival. The event also features concerts on March 23 and 25 as well as classes and clinics for jazz musicians. (Photo submitted)

The U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors, shown here in a formal photo, will perform Friday, March 24, in a free concert at MTSU as part of the annual Illinois Jacquet Jazz Festival. The event also features concerts on March 23 and 25 as well as classes and clinics for jazz musicians. (Photo submitted)

Future teachers get in-depth view of potential career during MTSU visit

High school students with a serious interest in education visited Tennessee’s first public teacher-training university Tuesday, March 7, to learn more about becoming educators with the help of a degree from MTSU.

Bobbi Lussier, executive director of the Office of Professional Laboratory Experience and Teacher Licensure in MTSU’s College of Education, welcomes a group of Tennessee high school students, all members of Future Teachers of America, to an MTSU campus tour Tuesday, March 7. Students from Cocke County High School, Franklin County High School, Siegel High School and the University School of Nashville visited as part of the Tennessee Education Association’s annual “Civication” event for prospective teachers. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

Bobbi Lussier, executive director of the Office of Professional Laboratory Experience and Teacher Licensure in MTSU’s College of Education, welcomes a group of Tennessee high school students, all members of Future Teachers of America, to an MTSU campus tour Tuesday, March 7. Students from Cocke County High School, Franklin County High School, Siegel High School and the University School of Nashville visited as part of the Tennessee Education Association’s annual “Civication” event for prospective teachers. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

Fifty-plus young members of Future Teachers of America chapters at Cocke County High School, Franklin County High School, Siegel High School and the University School of Nashville toured the rain-soaked Murfreesboro campus to learn about enrolling in a degree program with MTSU’s College of Education, getting scholarships, staying healthy and active while they’re earning their degrees and what to expect as college students.

Their visit was part of the Tennessee Education Association’s annual two-day “Civication” event, which invites FTA members to visit the state Capitol during spring break and learn about education legislation.

With MTSU on the way for several groups attending “Civication,” it made sense to arrange an informational visit before a scheduled trip to Legislative Plaza.

FTA logo webDr. Jim Rost, manager of student success and advising services for MTSU’s College of Education, was among several campus leaders who spoke with the visitors. He told the aspiring young educators that each will find a different, but best-suited, path of teaching.

“I found my own calling, and I committed to serving a different population (than a K-12 teacher): as an administrator and in teaching higher education,” Rost said. “The best thing about my job is not the paycheck. It’s the fact that I get to talk with people like you guys and somehow have a positive impact on someone at the end of each day.”

Future Teachers of America helps prepare future educators for the classroom as they become involved at the local, state and national levels of the TEA to advocate on behalf of children and public education. The National Education Association chartered the first high school chapter in Wyoming in 1936, and in only 15 years, the organization expanded nationwide to include more than 1,200 high school and college chapters and 40,000-plus young members.

You can learn more about MTSU’s College of Education anytime at www.mtsu.edu/education.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

MTSU senior Alex Fingeroot, center, a political science major from Nashville, explains campus recreation options in front of the climbing wall at the Student Recreation, Wellness and Health Center Tuesday, March, 7, to a group of Tennessee high school students and their teachers during an MTSU campus tour. Students from Cocke County High School, Franklin County High School, Siegel High School and the University School of Nashville visited as part of the Tennessee Education Association’s annual “Civication” event for prospective teachers.

MTSU senior Alex Fingeroot, center, a political science major from Nashville, explains campus recreation options in front of the climbing wall at the Student Recreation, Wellness and Health Center Tuesday, March, 7, to a group of Tennessee high school students and their teachers during an MTSU campus tour. Students from Cocke County High School, Franklin County High School, Siegel High School and the University School of Nashville visited as part of the Tennessee Education Association’s annual “Civication” event for prospective teachers.

MTSU alumnus engineers audio role in Oscar-winning animated short

MTSU alumnus and adjunct professor Daniel Rowland is hearing an entirely new song — one of international congratulations — after a successful working relationship with music virtuoso Adrian Belew led to creating the score for an Oscar-winning animated short film.

“Piper,” the six-minute Pixar short that preceded the record-breaking “Finding Dory” in theaters, took home the Oscar for best short film (animated) for director-writer Alan Barillaro and producer Marc Sondheimer.

The tiny tale tells the story of a baby sandpiper, frightened by the giant waves that nearly wash her away as she searches with her speedy, spindly-legged family and friends for food on the shore, and how she overcomes her fear. (You can watch the trailer below.)

Belew composed the music for the beloved little film, and Rowland, a 2008 alumnus of MTSU’s Master of Fine Arts program in music technology and recording arts and an adjunct instructor in the College of Media and Entertainment, produced and engineered the tracks, all in Belew’s Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, studio.

The pair are featured in a March 6 CNBC feature that you can read here.

Rowland, who’s now a senior audio engineer at LANDR, a Toronto-headquartered online automated mastering service, wound up using the LANDR systems to master “basically every mix I exported out of Pro Tools,” according to a story on the LANDR blog about the project.

The alumnus has taught at MTSU since earning his master’s degree, presenting introductory and advanced Pro Tools classes as well as “Electronic Music, Synthesis, and MIDI,” “Critical Listening” and “Recording Studio Techniques.”

Daniel Rowland

Daniel Rowland

CME-logo-webHe was able to accommodate students’ hectic schedules as well as his own by offering several of those courses online via instructional videos from his own business, The Online Audio School.

In 2010, he met Belew, the frontman, singer, co-writer and guitarist for progressive rock powerhouse King Crimson for 30 years as well as a multi-instrumentalist for David Bowie, Frank Zappa, Paul Simon, Nine Inch Nails, Tom Tom Club and the Talking Heads. The pair worked together at Belew’s Mt. Juliet studio, and Rowland ultimately became Belew’s audio engineer and co-producer on the artist’s world tours and several albums.

The partnership expanded when Rowland co-founded the app company NOIISE and released an iOS professional multi-effects processor app, FLUX:FX, with Belew and the Amsterdam-based companies Mobgen and Elephant Candy. They followed that with another app, FLUX by belew, a re-imagining of the album format that never plays the same way twice, featuring hundreds of tracks that Rowland recorded, mixed and co-produced.

Rowland’s other recent projects include mastering for artist Tank’s No. 1 R&B/hip-hop album “Sex, Love & Pain II”, the “Star Wars Rebels” animated series and Gwen Stefani.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Visitors bring gifts of reading, play to grateful ACE Center youngsters

The youngsters of the Ann Campbell Early Learning Center at MTSU spent much of Thursday, March 2, happily greeting visitors with gifts intended to expand their minds and bodies.

Two-time MTSU alumna Lashan Mathews Dixon, former Miss MTSU and current National Miss Unite, reads to children at the Ann Campbell Early Learning Center Thursday, March 2, as part of "Read Across America Day." (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Two-time MTSU alumna Lashan Mathews Dixon, former Miss MTSU and current National Miss Unite, reads to children at the Ann Campbell Early Learning Center Thursday, March 2, as part of “Read Across America Day.” (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

First, in observance of “Read Across America Day,” the little ones at the North Baird Lane facility listened excitedly to storybooks read by two-time MTSU alumna LaShan Mathews Dixon, a health educator with the Rutherford County Health Department and a former Miss MTSU and Miss Black Tennessee and current National Ms. Unite.

Then, friends from Nissan North America in Smyrna delivered four new “Cozy Coupe” riding toys for the ACE Center’s playground, which is being revamped into a natural playscape that’s fully wheelchair-accessible.

“What an exciting day! We’re beyond grateful to people in the community coming to read and bringing us donations,” said center director Christy Davis.

“The children love to have company here, and the parents love it too, because the more people we have coming in to the center, the more excitement and fun and more new friends and relationships that we’re building in the community.”

MTSU’s ACE Learning Center provides learning environments for children with and without developmental delays from age 13 months to kindergarten, allowing them to play together and learn from each other. Teachers at the center plan activities that help each child develop good communication, social, cognitive and motor skills, and students majoring in early childhood education work with and monitor the children for class credit.

Dixon and her husband, Lamar, have an almost-2-year-old daughter, Londyn, so she easily joked, answered questions, showed off her sparkling pageant crown and shared hugs with the children in the ACE Center’s Green Room, which serves 13- to 24-month-old toddlers; the Red Room, where 2- and 3-year-olds learn; and the Blue Room, which serves 3- and 4-year-olds. The center teaches 4- to 5-year-olds in its Yellow Room in the Fairview Building across campus.

Christy Davis, center, director of MTSU’s Ann Campbell Early Learning Center, joins JaMichael Smith, left and Magen Clayton of Nissan North America’s Multicultural Business Synergy Team Thursday, March 2, to admire four new “Cozy Coupe” riding toys at the center’s playground, which is currently being renovated as a natural, wheelchair-accessible playscape. The Nissan visitors, who regularly help the ACE Center with supply donations, delivered the toys for the youngsters at the center to use. (Photo submitted)

Christy Davis, center, director of MTSU’s Ann Campbell Early Learning Center, joins JaMichael Smith, left and Magen Clayton of Nissan North America’s Multicultural Business Synergy Team Thursday, March 2, to admire four new “Cozy Coupe” riding toys at the center’s playground, which is currently being renovated as a natural, wheelchair-accessible playscape. The Nissan visitors, who regularly help the ACE Center with supply donations, delivered the toys for the youngsters at the center to use. (Photo submitted)

A farm animals book got a good response from the youngest children, but pulling out “Llama Llama Red Pajama” wound them up like little alarm clocks, yelling “HEYYYY!” with the frantic title character, imitating telephones and begging “Read it again, please!” while their fish-filled aquariums burbled in the background.

“I love storytime so much,” Dixon told the kids. “I read to my baby girl all the time, and she acts like y’all do about her books.”

Nissan representatives, working through the company’s Multicultural Business Synergy Team, contacted Davis to see what items the center might need this spring.

The company, like others in the community, works through the ACE “Wishing Tree” program to bring in napkins, paper towels, wet wipes, paper cups, cleaning supplies and other similar items donated by its employees.

Magen Clayton, an engineer in Nissan’s New Model Trim and Chassis Engineering department, and JaMichael Smith, an inventory control analyst for Nissan Supply Chain Management, returned to North Baird this time with new smiling-faced Little Tikes cars, which are favorites among the center’s children.

ACE Learning Center + MT logo web“About every couple of months I’ll get a call from someone in the community, asking, ‘Can we help you?’ and of course we say, with open arms, ‘Absolutely! And thank you!’” said Davis. “There are times when someone will say that they have something for us, or ask whether this is a need, and there’s times they’ll say, ‘Will you send me a wish list? What are you needing at the present?’”

Obviously, with 45 busy children, supplies run out and even well-maintained equipment gets worn, so the ACE Center appreciates donations of all kinds to serve its students.

Individuals and businesses wanting to help can contact the center at acelearningcenter@mtsu.edu or 615-898-2458. Financial donations, such as those intended to help fund the playground project, can be made by contacting Lucie Burchfield, development director for MTSU’s College of Education, at 615-898-5032 or lucie.burchfield@mtsu.edu.

The ACE Center children conducted their own fundraiser for the playground last fall, creating four special pieces of art for an “art ransom” event, then inviting the community to their Fairview Building “gallery” to view the artwork, enjoy snacks and purchase each piece.

“Right now we have a temporary playground,” Davis said. “The children call it the ‘new playground,’ but I can’t wait to see their faces when it actually is the new playground, especially since it’ll be wheelchair-accessible.

“We’ve had babies in the past, and I’m know we’ll have more in the future, who use wheelchairs, and this will be a great asset for them.”

For more information about the Ann Campbell Early Learning Center and its work, visit www.mtsu.edu/acelearningcenter or check its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/AnnCampbellEarlyLearningCenter.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Will inclement weather affect MTSU’s schedule? Find out here!

If inclement weather forecasts have you wondering if MTSU classes and events will be delayed or canceled, bookmark this page, mtsunews.com/weather, to keep track of the latest updates!

When inclement weather affects university operations, MTSU will always inform the campus and surrounding community via:

  • direct communication with students, faculty and staff through alerts from MTSU’s Critical Notification System;
  • local radio and television stations (see list below);
  • the “Alert Updates” web page at www.mtsu.edu/alertupdates;
  • a note on the MTSU home page at www.mtsu.edu;
  • the university’s Twitter feed, @mtsunewsand
  • the MTSU hotline (615-898-2000).

 

All current  MTSU students, faculty and staff automatically receive email alerts from the university about weather-related emergencies, delays and cancellations.
MTSU students, faculty and staff who also want to receive text and/or voice alerts may add those preferences by clicking here and logging in with a PipelineMT username and password.

(Campus Alert FAQs, including adding or changing contact information, are available here.)

If MTSU classes are canceled or delayed, the announcement applies to all classes, credit and noncredit. All university offices will be open unless the weather announcement specifically says they’ll be closed. Overnight decisions will be announced by 6 a.m. the following day.

Radio Stations
TV Stations
Student class attendance during inclement weather when the university remains open is addressed in MTSU’s 2016-17 “Blue Raider Planner and Handbook .” It explains that

… students will be allowed to use their own discretion when snow and icy conditions exist — they will be given the opportunity to make up missed classes should they decide not to attend. (page 25)

The Ann Campbell Early Learning Center, MTSU’s early intervention preschool, also has updated its inclement-weather closing policy and follows the university’s closure decisions. You can read the policy here and also check the ACE Learning Center’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AnnCampbellEarlyLearningCenter for more information.

MTSU tests its tornado sirens monthly to ensure proper operation during tornado warnings and other emergency alerts. A schedule of the monthly tests is available at mtsunews.com/tornado-siren-testing. That page also includes a link to recommended tornado shelter locations on campus.

The MTSU Alert4U emergency weather information page at http://mtsu.edu/alert4u/tornado.php also includes tips on preparing for tornado weather and a “Frequently Asked Questions” link to MTSU-specific information for tornado warnings.

Young geniuses learn collaboration at 25th annual Invention Convention

They spent the last few months brainstorming, collaborating and implementing their ideas, so the 630-plus young Midstate inventors were ready to burst when they crammed into MTSU’s Student Union Thursday, Feb. 23, for the 25th annual Invention Convention.

“They are thoroughly enjoying this day. They look forward to it every year,” said Diane Vantrease, the “learning leader” at Coles Ferry Elementary School in Lebanon, Tennessee, as several excited students scurried past, relieved that their inventions had passed the judges’ inspections and ready to check out other students’ ideas around the room.

“By Christmas break, they have to at least have the name of their invention and the general idea, and when we come back to school the first of January, we jump headfirst in and are working every class period until this past week.”

Young inventors, parents, teachers and supporters crowd into MTSU’s Student Union ballroom to await the judges at the 2017 Invention Convention Thursday, Feb. 23. The event, now in its 25th year, welcomed 637 fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders from 49 schools across the Midstate with their 340 gadgets, contraptions and devices designed as games or to “make life easier.” (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

Young inventors, parents, teachers and supporters crowd into MTSU’s Student Union ballroom to await the judges at the 2017 Invention Convention Thursday, Feb. 23. The event, now in its 25th year, welcomed 637 fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders from 49 schools across the Midstate with their 340 gadgets, contraptions and devices designed as games or to “make life easier.” (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Asked to invent games and items to “make life easier,” the fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders responded with more than 320 unique gadgets, contraptions and devices for this year’s event. Elementary education professor Tracey Huddleston established MTSU’s Invention Convention in 1993 in tribute to her mother, True Radcliff, a longtime fifth-grade teacher who conducted “Invention Convention”-type events at her school.

The Invention Convention participants are public- and private-school students in Coffee, Davidson, DeKalb, Franklin, Grundy, Rutherford, Sumner, Warren, Wilson and Williamson counties. More than 110 received ribbons or trophies for their 2017 creations, and several of those winners are headed next to the national Invention Convention set for June in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Tracey Huddleston

Dr. Tracey Huddleston

By comparison, Huddleston recalled, the inaugural Invention Convention in 1993 at MTSU welcomed 56 young inventors and their 42 inventions to the James Union Building, enjoying plenty of presentation space in a cordoned-off half of the cavernous Tennessee Room.

You can see a list of the 2017 MTSU Invention Convention winners here. This year’s convention program, which includes the names of all the young inventors, is here. State Farm Insurance is the longtime local sponsor of MTSU’s annual Invention Convention.

Each Invention Convention also features a guest speaker who focuses on encouraging the youngsters to embrace their creativity and their imaginations to solve problems. Guests over the years have included astronauts, artists, athletes, musicians, scientists, historians and more; the 2017 guests were a trio of musicians — Victoria and Stephen Carey and Ian Christian — who explained the importance of collaboration when bringing inventions alive. The three cited examples of songs that need help from many people to reach an audience.

“The avenues of a song are very different, but they all come together in one way or another, whether you’re writing it and recording it and producing it or performing it on tour or hearing it on the radio,” Stephen Carey explained after the trio danced and sang with the youngsters to the strains of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Up,” George Strait’s “Check Yes or No” and their own wedding song, “Forever All Mine.”

MTSU Invention Convention guest speakers Victoria Carey, left, Ian Christian and Stephen Carey sing, dance and laugh while playing a snippet of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” for the young inventors Thursday, Feb. 23, inside MTSU’s Student Union ballroom to demonstrate how collaborating on ideas can improve them. The trio are musicians and friends, and Victoria Carey also is a graduate student in MTSU’s College of Education. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

MTSU Invention Convention guest speakers Victoria Carey, left, Ian Christian and Stephen Carey sing, dance and laugh while playing a snippet of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” for the young inventors Thursday, Feb. 23, inside MTSU’s Student Union ballroom to demonstrate how collaborating on ideas can improve them. The trio are musicians and friends, and Victoria Carey also is a graduate student in MTSU’s College of Education. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

“It’s very exciting how these inventions, these songs that you create with other people, become all these different things. It’s an exciting process from the beginning to wherever they end up, just like your inventions.”

The convention also showcases an everyday object and explains its history as an invention, such as a tape measure, golf ball, USB charger, Frisbee, dice and pair of sunglasses; this year conventioneers learned about headphones, invented in 1910 to help naval radio operators hear better, and received a tiny pair of customized “Invention Convention 2017” earbuds to take home.

Like inventor Nathaniel Baldwin working at his kitchen table on that first pair of headphones, Huddleston urged each of the conventioneers to continue inventing.

“Remember: You’ve created something today that wasn’t here before. Regardless of who walks away with a special award, all of you are walking away with an invention, and I want you to keep inventing,” she said as the students, teachers and parents celebrated.

“Come back here next year, and the next year. I want you to believe in yourself. That’s part of the collaboration — if we didn’t have other people to believe in us, where would we be? Keep inventing, keep thinking, keep problem-solving. There are tons of problems that need to be solved.”

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

MTSU Invention Convention judges Will Clouse, center left, and Terry Goodin, right, listen carefully as a Coles Ferry Elementary School student explains her group’s invention inside MTSU’s Student Union ballroom Thursday, Feb. 23. Clouse and Goodin are also professors in the Department of Elementary and Special Education in MTSU’s College of Education. The event, now in its 25th year, welcomed 637 fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders from 49 schools across the Midstate with their 340 gadgets, contraptions and devices designed as games or to “make life easier.” (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU Invention Convention judges Will Clouse, center left, and Terry Goodin, right, listen carefully as a Coles Ferry Elementary School student explains her group’s invention inside MTSU’s Student Union ballroom Thursday, Feb. 23. Clouse and Goodin are also professors in the Department of Elementary and Special Education in MTSU’s College of Education. The Invention Convention, now in its 25th year, welcomed 637 fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders from 49 schools across the Midstate with their 340 gadgets, contraptions and devices designed as games or to “make life easier.” (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU Invention Convention judge Marrie Lasater, center, points out an interesting portion of “World War Fun,” a game by Northfield Elementary fifth-graders Haylee Campbell, left, and Jacob Wells inside MTSU’s Student Union ballroom Thursday, Feb. 23. Not pictured is co-inventor Lucian Begley. Lasater is a member of the graduate faculty in the Department of Elementary and Special Education in MTSU’s College of Education. The Invention Convention, now in its 25th year, welcomed 637 fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders from 49 schools across the Midstate with their 340 gadgets, contraptions and devices designed as games or to “make life easier.” (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU Invention Convention judge Marrie Lasater, center, points out an interesting portion of “World War Fun,” a game by Northfield Elementary fifth-graders Haylee Campbell, left, and Jacob Wells inside MTSU’s Student Union ballroom Thursday, Feb. 23. Not pictured is co-inventor Lucian Begley. Lasater is a member of the graduate faculty in the Department of Elementary and Special Education in MTSU’s College of Education. The Invention Convention, now in its 25th year, welcomed 637 fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders from 49 schools across the Midstate with their 340 gadgets, contraptions and devices designed as games or to “make life easier.” (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU concludes Keyboard Artist Series Feb. 27 with free Endahl concert

Pianist, composer and MTSU faculty member Matt Endahl will jazz up the final notes of MTSU’s 2016-17 Keyboard Artist Series Monday, Feb. 27, with a free public concert in the university’s Wright Music Building.

The award-winning Nashville musician will perform at 8 p.m. Feb. 27 in the Wright Building’s Hinton Music Hall. A searchable campus map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

Matt Endahl

Matt Endahl

Endahl’s concert set list will feature works by jazz greats Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, W.C. Handy and more, including Ellington’s classic “I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart” and Handy’s “St. Louis Blues.”

One of Nashville’s most in-demand pianists, Endahl has performed in groups led by Jeff Coffin, Rahsaan Barber, Duffy Jackson, Christina Watson, Marcus Finnie, Dara Tucker and many others. He also has shared the stage with legendary jazz figures like Arthur Blythe, Jimmy Heath, Jane Ira Bloom, Dave Liebman and the late Marcus Belgrave.

School of Music new logo webEndahl studied piano at the University of Michigan, where he earned his master’s degree in improvisation in 2012. In 2008 he was a Bösendorfer Montreux Jazz Solo Piano Competition semi-finalist, and from 2008 to 2013, he was a member of the music faculty at Hillsdale College. He has presented performances, compositions and research at numerous international music association meetings and performed at Jazzanooga, the Detroit International Jazz Festival and the avant-garde music festival Edgefest in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

From 2010 to 2013, Engdahl hosted jazz and experimental music radio programs on WCBN-FM Ann Arbor, interviewing music legends Henry Grimes, Mayo Thompson, and Larry Austin. Since 2008 he has managed Sound Mansion Recordings, an outlet for his experimental music, and he also operates “A Shot in the Dark,” a blog devoted to his jazz and improvised music research.

Along with his classes at MTSU, Endahl teaches at Belmont University and the Nashville Jazz Workshop and maintains a private teaching studio.

For more information on the Keyboard Artist Series at MTSU, visit www.mtsu.edu/music/keyboardseries.php. For details on more MTSU School of Music events, call 615-898-2493 or visit the “Concert Calendar” link.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

MTSU plans RAVE safety alert test Wednesday for campus community

MTSU will briefly test its emergency alert system Wednesday, Feb. 22, with a special message for the university’s 25,300-plus registered users via email, text and automated phone calls.

MTSU students take advantage of the springlike late-winter weather outside the Student Union and Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors College Building. The university will test its Critical Notification System Wednesday, Feb. 24, with a simple email, text and voice message to more than 26,000 users to ensure that students, faculty and staff properly receive urgent communications. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU students take advantage of the spring-like late-winter weather outside the Student Union and Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors College Building. The university will test its Critical Notification System Wednesday, Feb. 22, with a simple email, text and voice message to more than 25,000 users to ensure that students, faculty and staff properly receive urgent communications. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

The test of MTSU’s Critical Notification System, conducted each semester by the University Police Department, is set for 1:15 p.m. Wednesday.

Students, faculty and staff will automatically receive a test email to ensure the emergency system is working properly. Those who’ve added phone numbers to their notification preferences will also receive a text message and/or recorded phone call.

“We encourage our community members to be connected by the various means available for receiving the alerts,” said MTSU Police Lt. Broede Stucky, who serves as the department’s emergency operations and public information officer.

“Doing so increases the likelihood they’ll receive important and timely information that could assist in their personal safety.”

The university’s website, www.mtsu.edu, its MTSUNews.com news site, and all digital signage around the Murfreesboro campus will display the test message just as they do during a real emergency, along with the university’s primary social media channels.

Click on the MTSU Police Department's logo to visit the university's FAQ page for its critical notifications system and "Alert4U" tips.

Click on the MTSU Police Department’s logo to visit the university’s FAQ page for its critical notifications system and “Alert4U” tips.

The university’s Twitter account, @MTSUNews, will tweet the test alert, and the alert also will post to the MTSU and university police Facebook pages.

MTSU evaluates its Critical Notification System each semester during and after each test to pinpoint and fix any potential problems.

Rave Mobile Safety logo webPrevious tests continue to show a near-100 percent message success rate, and digital signage in campus buildings displayed the test alerts within 30 seconds of transmission.

All current MTSU students, faculty and staff can verify and update their Rave notification preferences by using their PipelineMT usernames and passwords at www.getrave.com/login/mtsu.

You can learn more about MTSU’s Critical Notification System at www.mtsu.edu/alert4u and at its FAQ page, www.mtsu.edu/alert4u/faqs.php. Information about the alert system is also always available on the university’s weather information page, www.mtsunews.com/weather.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

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