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MTSU Alumni Summer College ‘Greatest Hits’ awaits June 21-23 attendees

The 10th year of Alumni Summer College at MTSU will combine the best of the previous nine years, as music, food, athletics, history and more await an expected 100 attendees.

Alumni Summer College graphic“Greatest Hits: A Remix of ASC Classics” will be the theme for the June 21-23 event, which will be held at on- and off-campus venues.

Alumni Summer College is an annual three-day program presented by MTSU’s Office of Alumni Relations. Alumni and friends are invited to campus to connect with the university, learn about interesting subjects and have loads of fun, said Rhonda King, alumni assistant director.

MTSU faculty, alumni, and local experts present information in an “edutaining” way through classroom lectures and interactive field trips, King said.

Included are the classes, field trips, tour admissions, meals and traveling by coach buses. Lodging reservations are the responsibility of the participants.

Tuition is $250 per person. Space is limited, and there is a May 15 registration deadline. To learn more, visit www.mtalumni.com or call the Office of Alumni Relations at 615-898-2922.

Alumni Summer College participants are scheduled to hear from Hugh Berryman, nationally recognized forensic scientist. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Alumni Summer College participants will hear from Dr. Hugh Berryman, nationally recognized forensic scientist. (MTSU file photo by J. Intintoli)

Each year focuses on a different theme that showcases MTSU’s work and study in that particular field, King said. Past themes have included “Exploring Our History,” “How Things Work,” “A Song’s Life,” “Wide World of Sports, “A Century in the Making,” “Whodunnit?”, “Stories from the American Civil War,” “The Science Around Us” and “Food for Thought.”

Here’s a sample of “classes” this year:

  • Touring Davis Science Building and Wiser-Patten Science Hall, which reopened in January after two years and $20 million in renovations.
  • An update from Dr. Hugh Berryman, nationally recognized forensic scientist, on the Mexican-American War Dead Identification Project. Remains of soldiers, most likely Tennesseans, were discovered in Mexico and returned to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware in 2016 after five years of negotiations, sparked by Berryman’s urging.
  • Insights on MTSU men’s and women’s basketball success from head coaches Kermit Davis and Rick Insell.
  • Learning about the MTSU Center for Coaching and Student Success from Department of Health and Human Performance professor Colby Jubenville. The College of Behavioral Sciences center has been designed to address the challenging gap between approaching graduation, graduation and securing gainful employment.
  • Scheduled visits to the Ryman Auditorium, backstage at the Grand Ole Opry and Studio A and dinner at Five Senses Restaurant.

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

The world famous Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville will be a stop for those attending the 2017 MTSU Alumni Summer College June 21-23. (Photo by Chris Hollo)

The world famous Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville will be a stop for those attending the 2017 MTSU Alumni Summer College June 21-23. (Photo by Chris Hollo)

MTSU collects more than 92 pounds of unwanted medications

Dominic Cooper was one of dozens of MTSU employees and area residents bringing their old, unwanted medical prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs to campus Thursday (April 20).

It was for the annual MTSU Drug Take-Back Day, a 5½-hour collection held adjacent to the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center on the east side of campus.

Campus Pharmacy's Tabby Ragland accepts unwanted prescription drugs from Don Daniel April 20 at the collection site adjacent to the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

Campus Pharmacy’s Tabby Ragland accepts unwanted prescription drugs from Don Daniel April 20 at the collection site adjacent to the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

It was part of the Drug Enforcement Agency’s overall national efforts to remove excess drugs from communities where they could be abused or misused, diverted into the wrong hands or disposed of in environmentally unsafe ways.

By the end of the collection period, MTSU officials collected 92.2 pounds — a 20 percent increase from fall 2016.

A relatively new MTSU employee, Cooper said it was his first time to bring his unwanted medications to the university.

“I have been trying to get rid of these,” said Cooper, a West Tennessee admissions counselor in the Office of Admissions. “I would rather they be in safe hands than at my house sitting in the bathroom medicine cabinet.”

Cooper said one of his medicines, a strong pain pill, was one that was prescribed for him after dental work, but he really did not need it because he’s “good with pain.”

Assisting Campus Pharmacy director Tabby Ragland and Health Promotions director Lisa Schrader in the spring collection were Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy doctoral students Kara Stockdale and Kaylee Cerminara. Both are from Nashville.

The drug take-back event is a joint venture between the pharmacy and Campus Police.

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

MTSU pharmacist Tabby Ragland, foreground, and Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy doctoral students Kaylee Cerminara, left, and Kara Stockdale, inspect medications collected during the April 20 MTSU Drug Take-Back Day next to the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU pharmacist Tabby Ragland, foreground, and Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy doctoral students Kaylee Cerminara, left, and Kara Stockdale, inspect medications collected during the April 20 MTSU Drug Take-Back Day next to the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

 

Walker Library exhibit showcases memories of Welty’s life, work

Dr. J. Lee Owen reminisced about his passion for searching for and collecting vintage books, especially first edition print copies by southern author Eudora Welty from his hometown of Jackson, Mississippi.

Michael Kreyling, professor emeritus of English at Vanderbilt University, squeezed decades of research and insight regarding Welty, who wrote about the American South, especially her native Mississippi, into a captivating 40-minute talk.

With images of the southern author in the background, Vanderbilt University Professor Emeritus Michael Kreyling shares stories about Eudora Welty. (MTSU photos by James Cessna)

With images of the southern author in the background, Vanderbilt University Professor Emeritus Michael Kreyling shares stories about Eudora Welty. (MTSU photos by James Cessna)

Owen, Kreyling and others spoke on the occasion of the opening of the “Eudora Welty: Her Life and Legacy” exhibit that will continue through Thursday, May 4, in Special Collections, Room 444, in and the James E. Walker Library.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. To find the library and nearby parking, visit http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap. To learn about visitor parking regulations, including free parking in the Rutherford lots, purchasing a one-day parking permit and more, visit http://www.mtsu.edu/parking/visitors.php.

Owen and his wife, Sophia, who live in Murfreesboro, knew Welty, who died in 2001. J. Lee Owen, a pediatrician in Jackson for 50 years, became charmed with her works.

“Miss Welty was a wonderful and gifted Mississippi lady,” Owen said. “… She got everything (award-wise) except one thing — a Nobel Prize — and she should’ve gotten that.”

He shared a story of attending a used book sale and finding a signed, first edition Welty book. The price marked was $2.

“I thought I’d found a pot of gold,” said Owen, knowing the true value of the book. He quickly grabbed some cookbooks for his wife, and in the final exchange needed one more item to finish the $13.75 transaction he paid with in cash. “I bought a $3,500 book for $2 and a (25-cent) doughnut.”

Vanderbilt University Professor Emeritus Michael Kreyling, left, discusses various photographs of author Eudora Welty with MTSU Honors College associate dean Philip Phillips and Walker Library Dean Bonnie Allen. (MTSU photo by James Cessna)

Vanderbilt University Professor Emeritus Michael Kreyling, left, discusses various photographs of author Eudora Welty with MTSU Honors College associate dean Philip Phillips and James E. Walker Library Dean Bonnie Allen during the opening of the exhibit.

After being introduced by Honors College associate dean Philip Phillips, Kreyling told the audience, “I wish I could’ve found that book.” Owen’s quick response: “Everything has a price.” It generated laughter from attendees.

Kreyling, who met Welty for the first time in 1973, retraced the author’s career through research-based stories and online images from the 1930s forward.

“She was just like a (regular) person more than a (famous) author,” he said.

Walker Library Dean Bonnie Allen said she is just thrilled the collection was made available for 30 days.

“I hope our students take advantage of this excellent opportunity,” she said. “It’s a valuable collection of a southern author and a great one at that.”

Phillips recognized the efforts of his research assistant, Megan Donelson, a doctoral English student from Wooster, Ohio, who was co-curator with him, and Susan Lyons, who befriended the Owens and learned about the Welty collection.

Laura Owen of Nashville and Margaret Showalter of Murfreesboro, two of the Owens’ four children, attended the opening event.

The exhibit is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts, Department of English, Honors College and Walker Library.

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

Dr. J. Lee Owen, right, who has a collection of southern author Eudora Welty’s works, shares stories with MTSU Honors College students Hannah Berthelson, left, and Benjamin Koulas. The Welty collection continues through May 4 in Special Collections in the James E. Walker Library.

Dr. J. Lee Owen, right, who has a collection of southern author Eudora Welty’s works, shares stories with MTSU Honors College students Hannah Berthelson, left, and Benjamin Koulas. The Welty collection continues through May 4 in Special Collections in the James E. Walker Library.

The “Eudora Welty: Her Life and Legacy” exhibit will continue through May 4 in the James E. Walker Library. Attending the opening event April 4 were Michael Kreyling, professor emeritus of English at Vanderbilt University; co-curator and MTSU doctoral English student Megan Donelson; collection owner Dr. J. Lee Owen; and Honors College associate dean Philip Phillips, an exhibit co-curator.

The “Eudora Welty: Her Life and Legacy” exhibit will continue through May 4 in the James E. Walker Library. Attending the opening event April 4 were Michael Kreyling, professor emeritus of English at Vanderbilt University; co-curator and MTSU doctoral English student Megan Donelson; collection owner Dr. J. Lee Owen; and Honors College associate dean Philip Phillips, an exhibit co-curator.


Eudora Welty collection visits Walker Library through May 4

From a friendship with physician J. Lee Owen and his wife, Sophia, MTSU’s Susan Lyons learned about the Owens’ collection of celebrated author Eudora Welty’s works. Now the Owens have brought the collection to campus for a free, public 30-day exhibit.

“Eudora Welty: Her Life and Legacy,” a special exhibition of rare materials from J. Lee Owen’s Welty collection, will be on display from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday through May 4 in Special Collections, Room 444, in the James E. Walker Library.

Eudora Welty flyer72

To find the library and nearby parking, visit http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap. Off-campus visitors can obtain a special one-day permit www.mtsu.edu/parking/visitors.php.

Welty, a short story writer and novelist who lived her entire life (1909-2001) in Jackson, Mississippi, wrote about the American South. Her works included “The Optimist’s Daughter,” which was published in 1972 and earned a Pulitzer Prize in 1973.

After college, Welty worked in radio, wrote society columns for the Memphis Commercial Appeal and took photographs as a junior publicity agent for the Works Progress Administration. The photos were exhibited in New York but weren’t published, at her request.

Her first publication of many was a short story, “Death of a Traveling Salesman.”

An opening event held April 4 featured presentations by Owen and Michael Kreyling, professor emeritus of English at Vanderbilt University and an authority on Welty’s life and works.

“Eudora Welty is recognized as one of the great Southern authors and one of the most significant writers of the 20th century,” said University Honors College associate dean Philip Phillips.

He recently went to Jackson with co-curator Megan Donelson, a doctoral English student from Wooster, Ohio, and Lyons, the Honors College’s special events coordinator, to visit the archives, secure photographs and gain additional background for the MTSU exhibit.

“She is best known for her short stories and her novels, including ‘The Optimist’s Daughter,’ a semi-autobiographical work,” he added.

Phillips said the MTSU exhibit “aims to showcase the variety of other work, which also includes original photographs and provides an overview of her life and influences.”

“It’s a really impressive collection that expresses Welty not just as a great writer, but that she had deep, loyal friendships and a great sense of humor,” said Donelson, who has studied museum exhibit design as an MTSU graduate student.

Lyons has known the Owens for two years, meeting them through a monthly technology program Honors College students attend.

“Dr. Owen shared with me about his Eudora Welty collection and introduced me to her stories,” Lyons said. “I knew the collection was special, so I shared about it with Drs. Phillips and (John) Vile.” She eventually introduced Owen to Phillips and Vile, dean of the Honors College.

Lee Owen was a pediatrician in Jackson, Mississippi, for 50 years before he and his wife moved to Murfreesboro.

The exhibit is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts, Department of English, Honors College and Walker Library in partnership with Eudora Welty LLC and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

For information about Special Collections, contact Alan Boehm, Special Collections librarian, at 615-904-8501 or Alan.Boehm@mtsu.edu.

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

Sophia and Dr. J. Lee Owen are shown in their Murfreesboro home. A special exhibition of rare materials from the Eudora Welty collection of J. Lee Owen will be at MTSU from April 4 to May 4. (MTSU photo by

Sophia and Dr. J. Lee Owen are shown in their Murfreesboro home. A special exhibition of rare materials from Lee Owen’s Eudora Welty collection will be at MTSU from April 4 to May 4. (MTSU photo by Susan Lyons)

MTSU plans Veteran and Family Benefits Expo for community April 22

Veterans at MTSU and across the Middle Tennessee region are welcome to attend the Veteran and Family Benefits Expo, which will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 22, on campus, event organizers said.

The benefits expo featuring at least 20 vendors will be held outside the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center, 1848 Blue Raider Drive, on the east side of campus in Murfreesboro.

Veteran and Family Benefits Expo in the Campus Rec Center.

Veteran and Family Benefits Expo in the Campus Rec Center.

In the event of rain, activities will move inside one of the Campus Recreation Center gymnasiums. To find the rec center and nearby parking, visit http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

Sponsored by The Journey Home Project, MTSU Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veteran and Military Family Center and June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students, the expo is held to help veterans and their family members be aware of available assistance

“We welcome people from the community and campus, and want them to bring their families,” said Heather Conrad, counselor and rehabilitation counselor for VetSuccess on Campus.

Veteran service providers will include Greenhouse Ministries, Waffle House, Two Men and a Truck, Vietnam Veterans of America, Tennessee Department of Labor Mobile “Career Coach,” Tennessee Valley Health Services Women’s Health Center, Rolling Thunder Inc., Whelen Security, Wounded Warrior Project, Veterans Recovery Center/Mental Health Counsel and more.

Food is being provided by The Journey Home Project and will be served from 4 to 6 p.m.

Families are welcome to utilize the rec center’s indoor pool during the event.

The event will be hosted by the Blue Raider American Veteran Organization, or BRAVO, Tennessee Department of Labor, VetSuccess of Campus, Veterans Benefits Administration and Veterans Health Administration.

For more information, call 615-898-2974 or 615-898-2540.

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

MTSU salutes student veterans during seventh Stole Ceremony [+VIDEO]

With an eye toward next week’s NFL Draft or signing as a free agent for a potential pro career, former MTSU football standout and U.S. Marine Steven Rhodes remained focused on the present.

Rhodes joined other student veterans, their families, other guests and MTSU administrators and staff during the seventh Graduating Veterans Stole Ceremony Wednesday (April 19) in the Tom H. Jackson Building’s Cantrell Hall.

The university recognized nearly 50 of 122 student veterans planning to graduate Friday, May 5, in College of Graduate Studies ceremonies, or Saturday, May 6, for undergraduate commencement during the event.

Since May 2015, MTSU has honored its graduating student veterans with a formal ceremony, presenting them with special red stoles.

“This is a blessing to me and my family,” Rhodes said of the occasion. “This is special to be able to show other veterans they can earn their degree.”

At MTSU, he was a 6-foot-3, 253-pound honorable mention All-Conference USA defensive end, voted the Armed Forces Merit Award winner by the Football Writers Association of America, and carried a 3.2 GPA student in the classroom. He majored in organizational communication in the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences.

The Journey Home Project’s David Corlew, left visits with Adrienne and Steven Rhodes and their sons, Kameron, 6, and Devon, 4, before the April 19 Graduating Veterans Stole Ceremony in Cantrell Hall of the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

The Journey Home Project’s David Corlew, left visits with Adrienne and Steven Rhodes and their sons, Kameron, 6, and Devon, 4, before the April 19 Graduating Veterans Stole Ceremony in Cantrell Hall of the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

Raising a family with a wife Adrienne and sons Kameron, 6, and Devon, 4, playing football, studying and the rest of life’s opportunities, Rhodes, a Nashville native, said it had been challenging.

“My wife has helped out and I have had a great support system with parents helping,” he said, relieved “my school work is finished and I can’t wait to graduate.”

Rhodes and MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, a big admirer of the athlete, exchanged a huge hug during the ceremony when all student veterans came forward to be recognized. He said he had “a great workout” for the Tennessee Titans and “is looking forward to the call, whether it’s the draft or free agency. I’ll be somewhere in a month.”

McPhee told the student veterans he looks forward “to greeting you and personally thank you in a few weeks at graduation.”

Many-Bears Grinder, commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Veterans Services, attended the ceremony, as did other VA personnel, retired Brig. Gen. David Ogg (Class of 1978) and David Corlew with The Journey Home Project and longtime manager for country music legend Charlie Daniels, an avid supporter of the MTSU Veterans and Military Family Center that now bears his and his wife’s name.

For more on the assistance offered by the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center, call 615-904-8347 or visit http://mtsu.edu/military/index.php.

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

David Moore, foreground, takes a photo of his stepson, MTSU student veteran Stephen White, right, and Sean Martin, transition manager for the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center April 19 in Cantrell Hall of the Tom H. Jackson Building during a Stole Ceremony recognizing veterans who are about to graduate from MTSU.

David Moore, foreground, takes a photo of his stepson, MTSU student veteran Stephen White, right, and Sean Martin, transition manager for the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center April 19 in Cantrell Hall of the Tom H. Jackson Building during a Stole Ceremony recognizing veterans who are about to graduate from MTSU.

MTSU student veteran Michael Brzezicki, second, from left, is shown with MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, left, interim Provost Mark Byrnes and Keith M. Huber, senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives, April 19 during the spring Stole Ceremony in the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU student veteran Michael Brzezicki, second, from left, is shown with MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, left, interim Provost Mark Byrnes and Keith M. Huber, senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives, April 19 during the spring Stole Ceremony in the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU Graduate Professional Development Day helps students grow

All MTSU master’s degree and doctoral students are welcome to attend Graduate Professional Development Day at MTSU.

Events will occur from 8:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Saturday, April 22, in Room N119 of Cason-Kennedy Nursing Building, 610 Champion Way. To find the Nursing Building and nearby parking, visit http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

College of Graduate Studies logo webSeating is limited. To register, email gsa@mtsu.edu.

Hosted by the Graduate Student Association and sponsored by the College of Graduate Studies, the professional development day will feature presenters providing career insight, guided assistance with thesis and dissertations and CV/resume writing and how to connect with fellow alumni through the MTSU Alumni Association.

Dr. Janet McCormick

Dr. Janet McCormick

Dr. Charles Apigian

Dr. Charles Apigian

Presenters will include:

  • Charles Apigian, chair of MTSU’s Department of Computer Information Systems and Nashville Technology Council leader, who’ll discuss “Job Opportunities in the Growing Nashville Market.”
  • Janet McCormick, a professor in MTSU’s Department of Communication Studies and Organizational Communication, who’ll present “$tart $mart Workshop — Negotiating Your Salary and Benefits.”
  • Jennifer Way, founder of Way Solutions and a personal career management expert and human resources consultant, who’ll discuss “Networking and Job Searching — Connecting Locally and Abroad.”
  • Kia Jarmon, a Nashville entrepreneur and public relations and brand strategist and MEPR agency founder, who’ll present “Personal Branding — Discover and Manage Your Personal Brand.”
  • Jeff Porter, a director in the MTSU Office of Research Services, who’ll discuss ways to competitively seek out and apply for grant funding in“External Grant Funding.”

Attendees will receive complimentary breakfast starting at 8:15 a.m. and lunch, organizers said.

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

Microsoft Word - Graduate Professional Development Day_Flier.doc

MTSU biologists share medicinal plant research at Adventure Science Center

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — As part of the Adventure Science Center’s “Wicked Plants” exhibition, underway through May 29, MTSU students and faculty in the Tennessee Center for Botanical Medicine Research presented a series of events featuring medicinal plants.

Assistant professor Iris Gao and two of the MTSU center’s graduate students, Shannon Smith and Matthew Fuller,  have participated in the exhibition twice this year.

MTSU biology assistant professor Iris Gao, left, and graduate students Shannon Smith and Matthew Fuller prepare to meet the public during one of their two visits to Adventure Science Center. They discussed botanical medicinal research and conducted interactive sessions. (Photos submitted)

MTSU biology assistant professor Iris Gao, left, and graduate students Shannon Smith and Matthew Fuller prepare to meet the public during one of their two visits to Adventure Science Center. They discussed botanical medicinal research and conducted interactive sessions. (Photos submitted)

Tennessee Center for Botanical Medicine Research officials viewed the visits as opportunities to interact with people, especially children, and serve the community, Gao said.

“Through the exhibition, we hope to raise awareness for scientific research, particularly on herbal medicine research, and also to make science education more interesting and meaningful,” Gao said.

“It’s exciting to share the knowledge derived from our research with the community. All these make us feel fulfilled about what we are doing.”

In the first visit, the MTSU trio hosted three interactive stations, highlighting their research in front of more than 500 visitors.

The stations included:

  • Tea tasting, where visitors could sample ginseng and chrysanthemum tea.
  • A bookmark station, where visitors could create their own bookmarks with the leaf vein of medicinal plants.
  • A plant terrarium station, where visitors could make their own terrariums with eight common medicinal plants.
A Nashville-area family makes leaf bookmarks in a craft developed by MTSU Tennessee Center for Botanical Medicine Research personnel during an Adventure Science Center exhibit.

A Nashville-area family makes leaf bookmarks in a craft developed by MTSU Tennessee Center for Botanical Medicine Research personnel during an Adventure Science Center exhibit.

Gao, Smith and Fuller delivered a live science presentation to the public in the Cosmic Rays Theater on their second visit.

During the lecture, the three biologists talked about the history of medicinal gardens, medicinal plant compounds and ongoing medicinal plant research topics.

“It was a way of interacting with the public to introduce them to valuable concepts and help them question things,” Smith explained.

“This was a wonderful opportunity to help generate interest in the science and research that we do at MTSU and the botanical medicine research center,” Fuller added. “Seeing and helping to inspire the next generation of scientists was a reward in and of itself.”

Tiffany Ellis Farmer, director of education and community engagement at Adventure Science Center, told Gao that the facility’s educational partnership with MTSU “will truly make our exhibition a much richer experience.”

“People are interested to know how medicinal plants can be helpful for their life and health, and we feel excited and privileged to spread the knowledge in the community,” Gao said.

For more information about the botanical medicine research center, call 615-494-8681 or visit www.mtsu.edu/tcbmr.

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

MTSU graduate student Shannon Smith, representing the Tennessee Center for Botanical Medicine Research at the university, talks about genomics to visitors attending the Nashville Adventure Science Center’s “Wicked Plants” exhibition earlier this year.

MTSU graduate student Shannon Smith, representing the Tennessee Center for Botanical Medicine Research at the university, talks about genomics to visitors attending the Nashville Adventure Science Center’s “Wicked Plants” exhibition earlier this year.

Friday Star Party features ‘Great Tennessee Eclipse at MTSU’

Associate professor Chuck Higgins’ discussion for the Friday, April 14, MTSU Physics and Astronomy Star Party focuses on this summer’s solar eclipse, whose path will go directly across Nashville.

Tennessee Eclipse map w MTSU marked“The 2017 Great Tennessee Eclipse at MTSU” star party will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Room 102 of Wiser-Patten Science Hall. A telescope viewing will follow the 45- to 60-minute lecture.

The star parties are always free and open to the public. To find Wiser-Patten Science Hall and nearby parking, visit http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

Dr. Chuck Higgins

Dr. Chuck Higgins

The April Star Party is part of the Alumni Spring Showcase, which includes dozens of events and activities for MTSU students, alumni and friends of the university.

The eclipse will occur Monday, Aug. 21. For Nashville, the largest U.S. city wholly within the path of the eclipse, the event should begin around 1:28 p.m. and last nearly two minutes. Because of the path of the eclipse, it is considered a 100-year event.

“The moon will pass directly between the Earth and the sun, and the shadow of the moon will follow a path across the continental United States from Oregon to South Carolina,” Higgins said. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime event.”

On Aug. 21, MTSU will host a public viewing session at the MTSU observatory.

“We will have telescopes set up for safe viewing and special glasses for viewing the sun will be available to borrow or for sale,” Higgins said, adding MTSU physics and astronomy students and faculty will be available to answer questions.

School groups will be invited to attend that day. Higgins said they plan to livestream the event and provide links to education activities at www.mtsu.edu/eclipse.

“Funky Fizix in Film” will be Dr. Eric Klumpe’s topic for the Friday, May 5, MTSU Star Party.  You can get a preview of the events and more information about the eclipse from Higgins and Klumpe in the video below.

For more information, call 615-898-2483 or 615-898-5946 or visit www.mtsu.edu/programs/astronomy and www.mtsu.edu/programs/physics.

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

MTSU ag students show youngsters the origins of their food [+VIDEO]

G’Anni Milton, Tinsley Pittenger and Allison Swenson and nearly 900 other Rutherford County schools students had no idea how much MTSU senior Austin Brennstuhl wants them to know where their food comes from — and he doesn’t mean the grocery store.

The children from 10 schools across the county learned about farm life Tuesday, April 11, during the fourth annual MTSU Agricultural Education “Spring Fling” in the Tennessee Livestock Center.

Between 1,000 and 1,200 people participated in the MTSU agritourism class-led field trip to show the youngsters all kinds of farm animals and products, including vegetables and chocolate milk from the university’s dairy.

Brennstuhl, 23, from Eagleville, served as student coordinator for the event, which is operated by the agritourism class led by instructor Alanna Vaught. He said he wishes the ag spring fling could expand. The one-day event currently must limit attendance to a first-come, first-served basis.

“My heart has always been here,” said Brennstuhl, who was an agritourism class member in 2016.

MTSU student Rachel Elrod tells the school children about the natural honey that comes from bees. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

MTSU student Rachel Elrod tells the young visitors about the natural honey that comes from bees. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

“It’s what I’ve always loved — to teach kids about a lost time. … I would love to see this grow bigger and longer, add days, even having special-needs children come and get the same experience.”

The children — from Eagleville, Walter Hill, Kittrell, Buchanan, La Vergne Lake, Thurman Francis, Campus, Middle Tennessee Christian and McFadden schools — saw two corn mazes, a cornhole game, a barrel-racing horse and about 10 other animal friends, farm equipment and a beekeeping demonstration during their visit.

Milton, 4, a Kittrell Elementary kindergarten student whose mother, Monique Alsup, served a a chaperone, said she enjoyed the playground and “picked all kinds of fruit and vegetables and eggs, too.”
Pittenger, 8, a second-grader at Eagleville, said she had “a lot of fun … milking the cow, the corn maze and seeing all the animals, especially the horse.”

Swenson, 7, a second-grader at Walter Hill Elementary, liked “petting the animals, and the maze, picking the fruit and vegetables, and learning about bees.”

Nearly halfway through the event, Vaught said it appeared that everything was running smoothly. One of her checklist items was participant safety, so a student who is a registered nurse and several other students with CPR training were available during the event to help as needed.

“You want students to enjoy the experience and not be bored,” she said.

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

MTSU School of Agribusiness and Agriscience student Detorie Walker uses a small ear of corn to inform the children about this popular vegetable.

MTSU School of Agribusiness and Agriscience student Detorie Walker uses a small ear of corn in a discussion with the children about the vegetable.

MTSU Ag Education Spring Fling Director Alanna Vaught informs school children about things that live and grown on a farm.

MTSU Ag Education Spring Fling Director Alanna Vaught tells children what lives and grows on a farm.

MTSU recruiters ‘Paint Your Future True Blue’ at Motlow College

Middle Tennessee State University continues its “Paint Your Future True Blue” spring tour with upcoming visits to Motlow College’s main campuses.

MTSU recruiters will travel to Tullahoma, Tennessee, Tuesday, April 11, and to Motlow’s Smyrna, Tennessee, campus Wednesday, April 19. In between, a visit is planned for a “paint” event at Chattanooga State Thursday, April 13. All visits are from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. local time.

T-shirts signify Motlow College students made MTSU their choice during the first "Paint the Community College True Blue" tour at the Lynchburg, Tenn., campus, in this March 2015 file photo. (MTSU file photo by David Foster)

T-shirts signify Motlow College students made MTSU their choice during the first “Paint the Community College True Blue” tour at the Lynchburg, Tenn., campus, in this March 2015 file photo. (MTSU file photo by David Foster)

University recruiters and other staff have been visiting community colleges across the state in order to recruit students who will be graduating and want to continue their higher education at MTSU.

‘We are hosting these events on the community college campuses in an attempt to bring MTSU to the students,” said Mark Murphy, coordinator of enrollment in the Office of Admissions.

Admissions representatives will be available to answer questions and discuss the transferring process, Murphy added.

“We will also have a representative from the MT One Stop on hand to field questions regarding financial aid, scholarships and more,” he said.

“Our mission is to bridge the gap from the community college and MTSU and hopefully make the transition from their current school to MTSU a smooth one once they have earned their two-year degrees.”

At the event, admitted students can get an MTSU ID card, learn more about Tennessee Transfer Pathways and other programs to help them successfully transfer and register for the Finish Line Scholarship. For more information, visit www.mtsu.edu/financial-aid/scholarships/transfer-finish-line.php.

MTSU’s other “paint” stops in Tennessee have included Pellissippi State in Knoxville; Nashville State; Volunteer State in Gallatin; and Jackson State.

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

 

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