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‘The Garden Party’: MTSU TXMD Runway Show scheduled April 1

Career-conscious MTSU student fashion majors’ and others’ work will be on display at The Garden Party: the annual Textiles, Merchandising and Design, or TXMD, Runway Show.

The event will be held starting at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, April 1, at the Miller Education Center, 503-509 Bell Street, in Murfreesboro. Doors will open at 4:30. To find parking at the center, visit http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

MTSU senior Jessie Hindes walks down the runway at the 2016 MTSU TXMD show. (MTSU file photo by Darby Campbell)

MTSU senior Jessie Hindes walks down the runway at the 2016 MTSU TXMD show. (MTSU file photo by Darby Campbell)

The student-produced, approximately 90-minute show is open to the public. Tickets are required and can be purchased through https://tinyurl.com/lksgggq.

Ticket prices, which help provide scholarships for current and potential students in the Department of Human Science’s TXMD program, are $20 and $50 for VIP seating.

The MTSU TXMD Runway Show is the final event scheduled for MTSU Scholars Week as recognition of creativity and scholarly endeavor. Any MTSU student was welcome to participate.

MTSU students will construct every garment showcased at the event. Garments can be repurposed from an existing garment (to encourage sustainability), made from a commercial pattern (emphasizing sewing skills) or made from an original pattern (emphasizing design and construction skills).

“Fashion is documented as the number one growth industry in Middle Tennessee,” said Rick Cottle, assistant professor in the textiles, merchandising and design program. “Apparel is the number two consumer good (behind only food) in the world.”

Cottle said MTSU TXMD is the only apparel design program and the largest fashion merchandising program offered by a Tennessee public institution.

“We are proud of our students and strive to provide this growth industry with both design and merchandising entry-level employees who are well prepared,” Cottle said.

A highlight of the show is the senior apparel design student showcase. Each senior will be showing an original fashion line of at least four garments.

Past participants in this show have gone on to show at Nashville Fashion Week, Utah Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week, Cottle said.

For more information, contact Cottle at 615-494-8752 or Rick.Cottle@mtsu.edu.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

The Garden Party Flyer (Final)

MTSU research is focus of annual Scholars Week March 27-April 1

Research, special events and performances are being showcased March 27-April 1 during the annual MTSU Scholars Week, which recognizes the ongoing scholarly efforts and research at the university.

MTSU senior photography major Kirsten Coutts, left, of Russellville, Ark., receives help in flying a drone simulator online from Jacob Andrews, a sophomore aerospace unmanned aircraft systems major, at the Drones iVue table March 27 during the Jones College of Business Scholars Week Business Plan Competition in the Student Union Building. (MTSU photos by Randy Weiler)

MTSU senior photography major Kirsten Coutts, left, of Russellville, Ark., receives help in flying a drone simulator online from Jacob Andrews, a sophomore aerospace unmanned aircraft systems major, at the Drones iVue table March 27 during the Jones College of Business Scholars Week Business Plan Competition in the Student Union Building. (MTSU photos by Randy Weiler)

Colleges, centers and departments hold Scholars Day activities during the week. The universitywide Scholars Day runs from 12:40 to 3:15 p.m. Friday, March 31.

To conclude the week, the Department of Human Science’s textiles, merchandising and design program will hold its annual Garden Party 2017 TXMD Runway Show at 5 p.m. Saturday, April 1, in the Miller Education Center on Bell Street.

Tickets are required and can be purchased through https://tinyurl.com/lksgggq.

For more information and the full schedule, visit www.mtsu.edu/scholarsweek. All events are open to the public.

To find parking, visit http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap. To learn about parking regulations for visitors, visit www.mtsu.edu/parking/visitors.php.

Helping kick events off March 27 are:

  • Dr. Tim Odegard, Murfree Chair of Excellence in Dyslexic Studies at MTSU, speaking at 5:30 p.m. in College of Education Building Room 160.
  • Scholars Week web bannerNoted author Nicholas “Nick” Carr, presenting the Scholars Week keynote adress at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom. His talk is expected to center on the influence of the Internet.
  • A free performance by traditional string musicians Bobby Taylor on fiddle and Ken Perlman on banjo at 8 p.m. in MTSU’s State Farm Lecture Hall, Room S-102, in the Business and Aerospace Building, presented by the Center for Popular Music.

The Strickland Visiting Scholar Program and the MTSU Distinguished Lecturers Fund are sponsoring Carr’s keynote with additional support from the Department of Computer Information Systems, the Department of History, the Office of the Provost, the Office of Research and the College of Liberal Arts.

Faculty and Scholars Week committee member Andrienne Friedli reports the number of posters for the universitywide Scholars Day March 31 “has grown by 25 percent over Scholars Week 2016.”

Performances are scheduled for 11:30 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. March 31 in the area just outside the ballroom.

For more information, call 615-494-7600.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

MTSU senior organizational communications major Brooke Greene, left, of Knoxville, Tenn., offers faculty member and Scholars Week committee member Andrienne Friedli the opportunity to smell carpet treated to eliminate odors March 27 at the Smells Don't Sell table as part of the Jones College of Business Scholars Week Business Plan Competition in the Student Union.

MTSU senior organizational communications major Brooke Greene, left, of Knoxville, Tenn., offers Dr. Andrienne Friedli a chance to smell carpet treated to eliminate odors March 27 at the “Smells Don’t Sell” table in the Jones College of Business Scholars Week Business Plan Competition in the Student Union. Friedli is an MTSU chemistry professor and Scholars Week committee member.


Noted author Nick Carr helps kick off MTSU Scholars Week March 27

Best-selling author and culture critic Nicholas “Nick” Carr will deliver the MTSU Scholars Week keynote address at 7 p.m. Monday, March 27, in the Student Union Ballroom.

A group of MTSU students will meet and visit with Carr — 2011 Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of New York Times bestselling book “The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains” in the general nonfiction category — before his talk.

Nick Carr

Nick Carr

The lecture is open to the public. To find parking and the Student Union, visit http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

Scholars Week emphasizes the research, scholarly efforts and collaboration of undergraduate and graduate students and faculty. To learn more about Scholars Week at MTSU, including a complete schedule of events March 27-31, www.mtsu.edu/scholarsweek/index.php.

Carr is a stimulating and thought-provoking speaker on issues related to technology, culture and business, according to his website, www.nicholascarr.com.

In his presentation, Carr will provide an examination of how the Internet influences the brain and its neutral pathways, concluding with a petition for balancing our human and computer interactions.

Dr. Susan Myers-Shirk

Dr. Susan Myers-Shirk

“He’ll be talking about the Internet and how it has changed the way we read, write and think,” said Dr. Susan Myers-Shirk, interim chair in the Department of History. “It’s an ideal keynote lecture for Scholars Week because the Internet has clearly changed how scholars work.”

Myers-Shirk said she and other Scholars Week leaders look forward to Carr’s appearance.

He has spoken to professional and academic audiences around the world, including providing the keynote address at Google’s first Atmosphere conference in London, England; at the Seoul Digital Forum; at Futurecom in Rio de Janiero, Brazil; Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, California; and at MIT, Dartmouth, Harvard, NASA and other schools and institutions.

Carr’s books have been published in 30 countries.

The keynote lecture is presented by the Strickland Visiting Scholar Program and the MTSU Distinguished Lecturers Fund with additional support from the Department of Computer Information Systems, the Department of History, the Office of the Provost, the Office of Research and the College of Liberal Arts.

You can listen to Myers-Shirk discuss Carr’s visit on a recent edition of “MTSU On the Record,” which aired on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and www.wmot.org, below.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Nick Carr, center, author of "The Shallows" and 2017 MTSU Scholars Week keynote, visits with students Lydia Harris, left, and Matthew Clements. Carr had dinner with history and computer information systems students in the BAS Sun Trust Room. Harris is a master's public history major from Antioch, Calif., while Clements is a senior and CIS major from Mt. Juliet, Tenn. (MTSU photos by Eric Sutton)

Nick Carr, center, author of “The Shallows” and 2017 MTSU Scholars Week keynote, visits with students Lydia Harris, left, and Matthew Clements. Carr had dinner with history and computer information systems students in the BAS Sun Trust Room. Harris is a master’s public history major from Antioch, Calif., while Clements is a senior and CIS major from Mt. Juliet, Tenn. (MTSU photos by Eric Sutton)

MTSU senior Titus Ballentine, left, and freshman Haley O'Neal, right, are shown with Scholars Week keynote speaker and noted author Nick Carr just before a dinner Carr had with computer information systems and history students March 27 in the BAS Sun Trust Room. Both are history majors.

MTSU senior Titus Ballentine, left, and freshman Haley O’Neal, right, are shown with Scholars Week keynote speaker and noted author Nick Carr just before a dinner Carr had with computer information systems and history students March 27 in the BAS Sun Trust Room. Both are history majors.

Blackman Collegiate Academy explores MTSU science options

Blackman Collegiate Academy juniors sampled science at MTSU and the University Honors College during a Friday (March 24) visit to campus.

Geosciences, biology, physics and astronomy, Concrete Industry Management and the university’s Experimental Vehicles Program were areas the Blackman High School students discovered in the school’s second visit to MTSU this year.

MTSU biology chair Lynn Boyd addresses research and career opportunities in her field March 24 in the new Science Building during the Blackman Collegiate Academy Day at MTSU. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

MTSU biology chair Lynn Boyd addresses research and career opportunities in her field March 24 in the Science Building during the Blackman Collegiate Academy Day at MTSU. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

The MTSU-Blackman partnership is one of several arranged each semester during the academic year. It allows freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors opportunities to spend time on the college campus, meeting MTSU students, faculty and administrators and learning about many of the university’s 140-plus programs.

As part of the partnership, which is designed to give them a competitive edge as they prepare for college, juniors and seniors in the academy who meet eligibility standards can take up to six hours of university courses taught by MTSU instructors at Blackman at no cost. The credits will count on high school and college transcripts.

Diamond Bradley, 17, was one of nearly 10 students taking in a 45-minute session on concrete. They even made concrete coasters.

“This has been a good experience,” Bradley said at the conclusion of the session. “I had trouble with mine, but I enjoyed the process. There’s a lot to learn off simple concrete. There’s a lot to the process.”

Classmate Gabrielle Brown, 16, liked the fact “a lot of job opportunities” can be found in the concrete industry.

Blackman High School junior Gabriele Brown makes a concrete coaster during a session led by Concrete Industry Management's Nicole Green as part of the March 24 Blackman Collegiate Academy Day at MTSU.

Blackman High School junior Gabriele Brown makes a concrete coaster during a session led by Concrete Industry Management’s Nicole Green as part of the March 24 Blackman Collegiate Academy Day at MTSU.

Zach Rachidi, 16, was with a group in Wiser-Patten Science Hall witnessing “cool” things happening in physics, led by Department of Physics and Astronomy chair Ron Henderson.

“Actually it was pretty cool and entertaining (demonstrations by Henderson), but it is not something I want to do,” said Rachidi, who expressed a strong interest in being a pilot and following an aerospace path.

Rachidi said he “learned a lot about the Honors College — the GPA requirements and the (Honors) opportunities at MTSU.”

Henderson, concrete’s Heather Brown and Nicole Green, biology chair Lynn Boyd, geosciences chair Warner Cribb and engineering technology chair Walter Boles discussed careers in their respective fields. In addition to Wiser-Patten, sessions were the new Science Building, Davis Science Building, Voorhies Engineering Technology Building

Dean John Vile and event coordinator Susan Lyons provided a complete rundown of Honors College options and requirements as they toured the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building.

Concluding their visit, Blackman students heard about “a typical day in the life of a college student” from MTSU Student Ambassadors in the Student Union Building.

After arriving on campus earlier in the day at the Student Services and Admissions Center/MT One Stop, Blackman students received True Blue Bags and heard about the admissions process from Linda Olsen, director of undergraduate recruitment, and recruiter Joey Clark.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

MTSU Department of Physics and Astronomy chair Ron Henderson explains how various heat and water processes will create steam and eventually cause the sides of aluminum can to cave in March 24 to Blackman Collegiate Academy students visiting MTSU.

MTSU Department of Physics and Astronomy chair Ron Henderson explains and then shows Blackman Collegiate Academy students how various heat and water processes create steam and eventually cause the sides of aluminum can to cave in March 24 at MTSU.

 

Siemens officials tour MTSU mechatronics, engineering facilities

Representatives from Siemens and other interested parties visited MTSU March 22, touring the Department of Engineering Technology’s mechatronics and other lab facilities as it considers building on the current partnership.

Dana Soukoup, vice president of Siemens Building Technologies Division in Chicago, Illinois, was joined by fellow Siemens officials Judith Bevels of Murfreesboro and Sara Mould of Nashville; Jimmy Davis of Murfreesboro-based The Davis Groupe; and Keith Hamilton, who retired in 2016 from Bridgestone Americas Inc. and continues to promote mechatronics engineering at all levels.

MTSU junior mechanical engineering technology major Tony Cheatham, left, discusses information about one of two lunar rover entries the Experimental Vehicles Program will have in an upcoming NASA-sponsored world competition March 22 in a Voorheis Engineering Technology building lab. Obsrving are, from left, Dana Soukoup, vice president of Siemens Building Technologies Division; Jimmy Davis of The Davis Groupe; Judith Bevels and Sara Mould of Siemens; and Keith Hamilton, a 2016 Bridgeston Americas retiree who promotes mechatronics engineering at middle school, high school, community college and university levels. (MTSU photos by Randy Weiler)

MTSU junior mechanical engineering technology major Tony Cheatham, left, discusses one of two lunar rover entries the Experimental Vehicles Program will have in an upcoming NASA-sponsored world competition in a Voorheis Engineering Technology building lab March 22. Observing are, from left, Dana Soukoup, vice president of Siemens Building Technologies Division; Jimmy Davis of The Davis Groupe; Judith Bevels and Sara Mould of Siemens; and Keith Hamilton, a 2016 Bridgeston Americas retiree who promotes mechatronics engineering at middle school, high school, community college and university levels. (MTSU photos by Randy Weiler)

Mechatronics engineering is a multidisciplinary field of engineering with a combination of systems in mechanical, electrical, telecommunications, control and computer engineering.

Mechatronics is based on a three-level international certification program created by Siemens, a German engineering company. To date, MTSU is the only Siemens-certified Level 3 four-year mechatronics program in the world.

Engineering Technology Chair Walter Boles led the entourage on the tour of mechatronics and engineering facilities. College of Basic and Applied Sciences Dean Bud Fischer joined them for tours of the new Science Building and just-renovated Davis Science Building.

In a hands-on lab, MTSU graduate assistant Joel Clements of Murfreesboro and junior mechanical engineering technology major Tony Cheatham of Knoxville, Tennessee, shared about the Experimental Vehicles Program in engineering technology.

The group had a business lunch with MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, interim Provost Mark Byrnes and other MTSU officials.

Later, they toured the mechatronics facility at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Smyrna, Tennessee, and met with state officials in Nashville.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

MTSU junior Tony Cheatham demonstrates how the Experimental Vehicles Program's lunar rover collapses for storage. Department of Engineering Technology graduate assistant Joel Clements, back left, Jimmy Davis of The Davis Groupe, Judith Bevels and Sara Mould of Siemens and Keith Hamilton, a Bridgstone Americas Inc. retiree who promotes mechatronics engineering at all levels, watch and listen March 22 at MTSU. Siemens officials, including vice president of BT Americas Dana Soukoup (not pictured), learned more about MTSU's mechatronics and engineering technology facilities.

MTSU junior Tony Cheatham demonstrates how the Experimental Vehicles Program’s lunar rover collapses for storage. Department of Engineering Technology graduate assistant Joel Clements, back left, Jimmy Davis of The Davis Groupe, Judith Bevels and Sara Mould of Siemens and Keith Hamilton, a Bridgstone Americas Inc. retiree who promotes mechatronics engineering at all levels, watch and listen March 22 at MTSU. Siemens officials, including vice president of BT Americas Dana Soukoup (not pictured), learned more about MTSU’s mechatronics and engineering technology facilities.

Jimmy Davis, left, of the Murfreesboro-based Davis Groupe, shares how his company utilizes MTSU mechatronics graduates March 22 at MTSU. Listening are, from left, Sara Mould and Judith Bevels of Siemens, MTSU Department of Engineering Technology chair Walter Boles and Dava Soukoup, vice president of Siemens Building Technologies Division. Siemens visited MTSU's mechatronics engineering and other facilities.

Jimmy Davis, left, of the Murfreesboro-based Davis Groupe, shares how his company utilizes MTSU mechatronics graduates March 22 at MTSU. Listening are, from left, Sara Mould and Judith Bevels of Siemens, MTSU Department of Engineering Technology chair Walter Boles and Dava Soukoup, vice president of Siemens Building Technologies Division. Siemens visited MTSU’s mechatronics engineering and other facilities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Signs of the times: MTSU ‘flips’ over free tutoring success [+VIDEO]

To spread the word about finals in six weeks and the fact free tutoring is available at MTSU’s Tutoring Spot in the James E. Walker Library, campus Student Success officials threw a party for students Tuesday, March 21.

“MT Flips Over Tutoring” featured university President Sidney A. McPhee, interim Provost Mark Byrnes and other campus leaders flipping signs promoting the Tutoring Spot in the quad in front of the library.

Tutoring is available in more than 200 courses and 9,000 students participated last fall, said Vincent Windrow, vice provost for student success and master of ceremonies.

“Free tutoring is an amazing advantage that we offer to our students,” McPhee said. “It is easy to find, easy to schedule and proven to provide a boost to grades. It’s an opportunity that should be used and used frequently.”

Byrnes explained “the large range of services” available to students as the audience enjoyed cake, cookies and lemonade and took home “MT Flips Over Tutoring” stylus pens and printed material about the options.

Imani Joyner, a 19-year-old sophomore multimedia journalism major from Memphis, Tennessee, said she just discovered the Tutoring Spot and free tutoring by attending the event.

Students wait in line for cake and cookies as MTSU officials hold an "MT Flips Over Tutoring" event in the quad outside the James E. Walker Library March 21. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Students wait in line for cake and cookies as MTSU officials hold an “MT Flips Over Tutoring” event in the quad outside the James E. Walker Library March 21. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

“I need tutoring,” said Joyner, who is minoring in entrepreneurship. “When finals come around, I’ll be there. We all should take advantage of a great opportunity. Finals will be a good time for everybody to get tutoring help.”

College of Basic and Applied Sciences Dean Bud Fischer, Department of Journalism Chair Greg Pitts and University Counsel Heidi Zimmerman were among the MTSU officials flipping signs for two hours.

The Tutoring Spot is hitting the spot in terms of students’ increased academic success.

An initiative launched last fall, Study Skills and Learning Strategies, is paying dividends, said Cornelia Wills, director in the student success office. Feedback from students led to the tutoring plan.

Students who received tutoring in study skills had significantly higher midsemester grades than those who did not receive tutoring, Wills said. Tutoring Spot topics included time management, note-taking, where and when to study, and memory and learning principles.

The Office of Student Success has been tracking the impact of tutoring, Willis said, and “we are excited about the early indicators.

Collected research information shows the study skills aspect is “one of the highest-attended tutoring sessions” and science-focused tutoring, including biology, chemistry and physics as well as math, had the highest attendance among all disciplines.

Highlights of the impact analysis include:

  • Twenty-six percent more freshmen and 90 percent more juniors made an A when they received study skills tutoring compared to a matched sample of those who did not.
  • Forty percent more sophomores and 26 percent more juniors made a B with study skills compared to counterparts who did not attend study skills tutoring.
  • Fall-to-fall retention rates for students who made use of tutoring “are on an upward spiral,” Wills said. Her statistics revealed retention rates of 97 percent (sophomores) and 86 percent (freshmen) and an overall 83 percent retention rate for all students participating in tutoring, compared to a study of students not receiving tutoring (80 percent sophomores and 70 percent for freshmen).

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, right, flips a free tutoring sign as Vincent Windrow, vice provost for Student Success, revs up the crowd attending the “MT Flips Over Tutoring” event March 21 outside the James E. Walker Library.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, right, flips a free tutoring sign as Vincent Windrow, vice provost for student success, revs up the crowd attending the “MT Flips Over Tutoring” event March 21 outside the James E. Walker Library.

Tyesha Manuel, 21, an MTSU junior business administration major from Nashville, Tenn., samples the cake given to students attending the "MT Flips Over Tutoring" March 21 in the quad outside the James E. Walker Library.

Tyesha Manuel, 21, an MTSU junior business administration major from Nashville, Tenn., samples the cake given to students attending the “MT Flips Over Tutoring” March 21 in the quad outside the James E. Walker Library.

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MTSU Experimental Vehicles Program earns national recognition

The Middle Tennessee State University Experimental Vehicles Program has received national acclaim with the 2016 Clips & Clamps Industries Educational Institution Award from the Precision Metalforming Association.

MTSU Experimental Vehicles Program adviser Saeed Foroudastan, left, accepts the 2016 Clips & Clamps Industries Educational Institution Award from company president Jeffery Aznavorian. (Submitted photo)

MTSU Experimental Vehicles Program adviser Saeed Foroudastan, left, accepts the 2016 Clips & Clamps Industries Educational Institution Award from company president Jeffery Aznavorian. (Submitted photo)

The Department of Engineering Technology program, which gives students extensive hands-on experience by creating and assembling vehicles to compete in collegiate competitions, earned the organization’s sole educational recognition in its Awards of Excellence in Metalforming.

Dr. Saeed Foroudastan, adviser for the program and associate dean in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, accepted the award and a $1,500 grant in Las Vegas, Nevada, from Jeffery Aznavorian, president of Clips & Clamps.

“This is a very prestigious award because Precision Metalforming Association is a nationwide organization with more than 900 member companies and represents $137 billion of the metal forming industry in North America,” Foroudastan said.

MTSU students in the EVP program “are devoted to excellence and working as team members to prepare their projects for competition,” Foroudastan added.

The program includes four experimental vehicle projects that divide students into peer-led teams, where they must research, design and manufacture original vehicles. On average, 70 to 80 students per semester participate in the program.

Students use the skills they gain from the program, including problem-solving, innovation and resourcefulness, in their careers in the metal forming industry.

Engineering Technology logoForoudastan said students learn valuable job functions, including tensile forming and bending and shearing, and are exposed to fabricating machinery while they manufacture and develop the experimental vehicles.

Students in the program also must present their design reports and technical work, which allows them to learn communication skills alongside their technical expertise.

MTSU’s NASA lunar rover team placed first nationally and third in an international competition, earning the Safety Award and Neil Armstrong Outstanding Design Award in 2015. That year, the MTSU solar boat team placed second in the nation and earned Outstanding Workmanship, Outstanding Electrical System Design and Outstanding Drive Train awards.

More than 90 percent of MTSU engineering technology students involved with experimental vehicles have a job lined up in the metal forming industry when they graduate or soon thereafter, Foroudastan said, adding that the students are in demand by metal forming industry recruiters because they need less training and have more knowledge and problem-solving ability learned in the program.

The MTSU program receives financial support and mentoring from companies in the industry.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

MTSU lunar rover drivers Zack Hill, left, and Nichole Wanamaker pedal toward the finish line at the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge in Huntsville, Ala., in this April 2015 file photo. MTSU placed third in international competition and was best in the U.S. (Submitted photo)

MTSU lunar rover drivers Zack Hill, left, and Nichole Wanamaker pedal toward the finish line at the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge in Huntsville, Ala., in this April 2015 file photo. MTSU placed third in international competition and was best in the United States at the event. (Submitted photo)

MTSU students getting the message about April 3-14 priority registration

Last fall, MTSU students received a friendly reminder from McCallie Dining and Raider Zone cashiers and servers that it was time to register for spring semester classes.

Those same smiling faces may be at it again as it’s almost time for students to register for summer 2017 and fall 2018 classes.

MT Dining cashier June Campbell, left, checks with a trio of MTSU students, asking if they have taken care of their priority registration, which runs Nov. 15-18.

MT Dining’s June Campbell, left, and other cashiers, food service personnel and academic advisers will pitch summer and fall class priority registration, which runs April 3-14, to MTSU students. (MTSU file photo by Randy Weiler)

Priority registration will be April 3-14. Students can access the current MTSU Registration Guide here.

“Dining staff were so helpful last year; they were professional, collegial and their assistance is much appreciated,” said Dr. Rick Sluder, vice provost for student success and dean of the University College.

“We have received several comments from colleagues from across the country about the work going on at MTSU to involve all areas of campus to change the culture about the importance of early registration for the next semester,” Sluder added. “They especially appreciated our engagement of dining staff in this endeavor.”

Sluder said other methods of providing friendly reminders about registration include university residence halls staff, advisers and digital signage in advising centers and the James E. Walker Library.

Tyler Henson, assistant director in the Scheduling Center in the Student Services and Admissions Center, said priority registration for summer and fall is crucial for currently enrolled students because they can register ahead of thousands of new incoming first-year and transfer students.

“Those who wait risk losing their seats as early as the Monday after priority registration, when the new students can register for summer courses,” Henson said, “so it’s in their best interest to register at their assigned time and not wait until August, or even May, to sign up for fall classes.”

Dr. Richard Sluder

Dr. Richard Sluder

Advisers have been working since the fall 2016 semester began to help students prioritize having a plan, mapping their degree progress and staying on track, Sluder said.

“Part of this educational process is to encourage students to get their courses set by taking advantage of priority registration,” he added. “MTSU’s complete focus on the student, keeping them on track and facilitating their success, is what has made a difference and brought the university national prominence.”

Sluder said MTSU makes a special effort to inform students about summer classes  because they can enroll in summer 2017 classes when they enroll for fall 2018.

Organizers will provide a variety of giveaways, including fans, flying discs, T-shirts and cups, all containing summer school messaging.

“Students who attend summer school have higher rates of degree completion and finish their degrees quicker than students who do not attend summer,” Sluder said.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

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Noted immigration attorney to give March 15 guest lecture at MTSU

Noted Nashville immigration law specialist Elliott Ozment will speak on the “History of Xenophobia in America” at MTSU.

Ozment’s talk will start at 2:20 p.m. Wednesday, March 15, in the Simmons Amphitheatre (Room 106) of the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building. The talk is open to the public.

Elliott Ozment

Elliott Ozment

All visitors are requested to use parking meters or obtain a permit from the Parking and Transportation Services office at 1403 E. Main St. or purchase and print a visitor pass at https://mtsu.t2hosted.com.

Ozment’s visit is presented by the MTSU Department of Political Science and University Honors College, which often invites guest speakers to share expertise — often about timely topics.

Xenophobia, Ozment’s topic, relates to the fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners.

An alumnus of MTSU for his undergraduate degree in political science and Vanderbilt University for his law degree, Ozment has focused his practice in immigration law since 1998.

Ozment has provided initial consultations to more than 1,000 individuals and families and represented hundreds of clients in Immigration and Naturalization Services cases in Tennessee and around the country.

He has earned a number of awards and is a former member of the Tennessee House of Representatives.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

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Get a closer look at MTSU during upcoming Spring Preview Days

Middle Tennessee State University will host hundreds of prospective students and their families Saturday, March 18, for the first of two Spring Preview Days on campus.

MTSU holds preview days as a way for prospective students to see the campus, take tours given by student guides, learn about departments, programs and student organizations and meet faculty and staff from academic areas and Student Affairs.

Transfer students visiting MTSU listen as Emilie Hendren, second from left, a public relations major, informs them about the James E. Walker Library's many features. (MTSU photos by Eric Sutton)

Virtually all MTSU campus tours include a stop in the James E. Walker Library. (MTSU file photo by Eric Sutton)

To register for any preview day or other special events, visit http://www.mtsu.edu/schedule-a-visit/special-events.php. Preview Day events begin in the Student Union Building, 1768 MTSU Blvd. To find various buildings and parking, visit http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

The second preview day will be Saturday, May 13.

MTSU admissions officials want prospective students and their families to enjoy the full campus experience during preview days. Visit http://www.mtsu.edu/schedule-a-visit/docs/Preview-Day-Agenda.pdf for the complete schedule that begins with the 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. check-in and registration in the Student Union lobby.

For questions about the admissions process, email admissions@mtsu.edu or call 615-898-2233.

For questions about special events and tours, email tours@mtsu.edu or call 615-898-5670. Daily campus tours begin at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

In late March, admissions staff and recruiters will begin holding the first of seven Paint Your Future True Blue events at community colleges across Tennessee.

The community college visits include Pellissippi State (March 28) in Knoxville; Nashville State (April 4); Vol State (April 5) in Gallatin; Jackson State (April 6); Motlow State (April 11) in Lynchburg; Chattanooga State (April 13); and Motlow State (April 19) in Smyrna.

All of the community college events will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. local time. No registration is required.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Kyle Elliot, front left, a former Blue Elite tour guide member, leads an MTSU campus tour past the Student Union and near the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center in this file photo. (MTSU file photo by Randy Weiler)

Kyle Elliot, front left, a former Blue Elite tour guide member, leads an MTSU campus tour past the Student Union and near the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center in this file photo. (MTSU file photo by Randy Weiler)

Governor pushes jobs at state Veteran Education Academy at MTSU

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam not only loves veterans who served their country, but he wants them in Tennessee’s workforce.

Haslam said jobs were the primary reason he attended the second Statewide Veteran Education Academy, hosted Wednesday, March 8, at Middle Tennessee State University.

Keith M. Huber, center, MTSU senior advisor for veterans and leadership initiatives, discusses the importance of the Daniels Center Veterans Transitioning Home during a tour of the center at the March 8 Veteran Education Academy hosted by MTSU. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

Keith M. Huber, center, MTSU senior advisor for veterans and leadership initiatives, discusses the importance of the Daniels Center Veterans Transitioning Home during a tour of the center at the March 8 Veteran Education Academy hosted by MTSU. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

Haslam, Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder and others addressed more than 100 representatives from more than 40 higher education campuses, discussing topics that included mental health, data collection and the Tennessee STRONG ACT, which gives eligible National Guard members tuition to earn first-time bachelor’s degrees.

“We’re competing with states and countries all over the world for the right workforce,” said Haslam. “Veterans are a competitive advantage for us. One of the things we are trying to do is have a veterans’ task force to help ease the transition for veterans as they come back into public life. Education is a key piece of that.”

The governor said student veterans “enrich the campuses across the state with their life experiences, leadership, wisdom, commitment and determination to persevere. This population is a critical piece of our Drive to 55 initiative to increase the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary degree or credential to 55 percent by 2025.”

In introducing Haslam, interim Provost Mark Byrnes noted that MTSU is:

  • excited about “the plan to offer free college access to adults through the Tennessee Reconnect program.”
  • ready to “transition a new wave of community college graduates toward four-year degrees.”
  • thankful for the recent grant allocated by the governor through the Tennessee Higher Education Commission to create the new Veterans Transitioning Home Office, the first major expansion of the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center.

Haslam established the Veterans Education Task Force in November 2013.

In addition to touring the Daniels Center, attendees heard presentations from representatives of the Student Veterans of America, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, Tennessee Board of Regents and Tennessee Army National Guard.

Keith M. Huber, MTSU senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives, told the group the MTSU “approach to life is one of being a student of life. We learn by the people we have the privilege to interact with every day.”

Huber, who obtained the THEC grant for the Veterans Transitioning Home Office, also is a retired lieutenant general who served nearly 40 years in the U.S. Army.

Grinder said the task force’s efforts and regional meetings have “helped strengthen the campus network through a shared commitment to student veteran success through improved data collection, information sharing and practices to address transitional challenges.”

MTSU Division of Information Technology systems analyst Janae Peterson received the state’s first Transformation Award for developing the most comprehensive data collection program now being shared across Tennessee.

“You are a star,” Grinder said of Peterson, who traveled to each of Tennessee’s three grand divisions to share her work. “I want to see where this is going to take us.”

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam tells the crowd of more than 100 people that jobs will be a major focus for veterans transitioning to the workforce after graduating from state colleges and universities March 8 in the Student Union Ballroom on the MTSU campus.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam tells the crowd of more than 100 people that jobs will be a major focus for veterans transitioning to the workforce after graduating from state colleges and universities March 8 in the Student Union Ballroom on the MTSU campus.

Dr. Hilary Miller, director of the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center, visits with attendees at the March 8 Statewide Veteran Education Academy at MTSU in the Student Union Ballroom.

Dr. Hilary Miller, director of the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center, visits with attendees at the March 8 Statewide Veteran Education Academy at MTSU in the Student Union Ballroom.

MTSU systems analyst Janae Peterson, third from right, holds the inaugural Transformation Award presented to her March 8 by the Tennessee Department of Veterans Services. Also pictured are, from left, Lisa Rogers, MTSU information technology associate vice president; Bruce Petryshak, IT vice president; Teana Harle of the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center; Daniels Center Director Hilary Miller; Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder of the Tennessee Department of Veterans Services; and Keith M. Huber, MTSU senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives.

MTSU systems analyst Janae Peterson, third from right, holds the inaugural Transformation Award presented to her March 8 by the Tennessee Department of Veterans Services. Also pictured are, from left, Lisa Rogers, MTSU information technology associate vice president; Bruce Petryshak, IT vice president; Teana Harle of the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center; Daniels Center Director Hilary Miller; Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder of the Tennessee Department of Veterans Services; and Keith M. Huber, MTSU senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives.

Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder of the Tennessee Department of Veterans Services speaks during the 2017 Veterans Education Academy March 8 at MTSU.

Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder of the Tennessee Department of Veterans Services speaks during the 2017 Veterans Education Academy March 8 at MTSU.

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