‘Passport to Happiness’ exhibit unlocks Scandinavia’s rosy outlook (VIDEO)

MTSU students learned firsthand why the people of Scandinavia’s cozy countries continually top the United Nations’ “World Happiness Report,” and their own report is “Passport to Happiness,” a new art exhibit open through Aug. 15 in MTSU’s Todd Art Gallery. Check out this short video about the exhibit:

Read more about the exhibit here.

Chinese professors absorb language, culture in MTSU program

Chinese professors are immersing themselves in American culture at MTSU in order to teach the English language more proficiently.

For the fourth year, the university’s Center for East and South Asian Studies is sponsoring the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages program, also known as TESOL.

A total of 17 English instructors from three institutions have taken in everything from seminars on grammar and teaching methodology to American culture.

Participants in the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages program pose with MTSU personnel in front of Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House and Restaurant in Lynchburg, Tennessee. Dr. David Schmidt, vice provost for international affairs, is standing third from left, next to the door, on the back row, while Yuiping Cui, associate director of MTSU’s Confucius Institute, kneels at far right in the front row. Mike Novak, Confucius Institute assistant director, stands at far right. (Photo submitted)

“Most of them have been teaching for many years in China,” said Dr. Guanping Zheng, director of the MTSU Center for East and South Asian Studies, “so this gives them an opportunity to see how we approach teaching foreign languages.”

The visitors’ itinerary has included participation in the Summer Language Institute, where Dr. Shelley Thomas of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures teaches the Total Physical Response, or TPR, method.

TPR engages the learner in the process through storytelling and physical movement, enabling the rapid acquisition of vocabulary.

Zheng said that large class sizes prevent the Total Physical Response method from being copied for use in Chinese institutions, but the ideology still can be applied.

While visiting MTSU, the Chinese group also has ventured to several nearby locations for a taste of Southern hospitality, including the Stones River National Battlefield northwest of Murfreesboro, the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee, and a local church.

“I think it is a very good cooperation between China’s universities and MTSU,” said Lynn Zhang of Inner Mongolia University of Nationalities, one of the visitors. “I appreciate this program, and we learned a lot from our respective professors.”

One group of instructors will leave Aug. 1, but the rest will remain on campus until Oct. 1.

For more information about the program, contact Zheng at 615-494-8696 or guanping.zheng@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Veteran visual journalist leads MTSU’s Center for Innovation in Media

A longtime visual journalist who expanded her focus to train others to use mobile media will lead MTSU’s nationally recognized Center for Innovation in Media, university officials have announced.

Val Hoeppner, who’s served since last fall as journalist in residence in the School of Journalism in MTSU’s College of Mass Communication, took the reins July 1 at the student-focused center, which houses all student media plus the university’s National Public Radio station, WMOT 89.5 FM, under one roof.

Val Hoeppner

“Val Hoeppner brings a special combination of journalistic experience, digital expertise and impressive teaching skills to her new role at MTSU,” said Ken Paulson, dean of the College of Mass Communication.

“She’ll build on the foundation of innovation established by our former director, Stephan Foust, and give our students the kind of skills and experience that will best prepare them for opportunities in a digital era.”

Foust worked closely with college administrators to open the almost-$700,000 facility inside the Bragg Mass Communication Building in January 2012 and had directed its operations since. A veteran broadcast journalist and corporate communications consultant, Foust is retiring from the university.

“The CIM job is a dream job, really,” Hoeppner explained, “as I get to spend my days helping student journalists find their voice and pursue a career as a storyteller. Our students’ stories may be written, photographed, voiced, filmed or sung.

“That’s the most unique thing about our College of Mass Communication and the center itself. We have a traditional newspaper that is going digital, a radio station that is both on-air and streamed, a television station using digital technology to broadcast and a record label using social media to bring attention to its artists.”

Click on the logo to visit the Center for Innovation in Media website.

Click on the logo to visit the Center for Innovation in Media website.

The Associated Press Media Editors lauded the Center for Innovation in Media soon after it opened 2½ years ago for its efforts in “reforming and reshaping its student media.” The center received an honorable mention in the “Innovator of the Year for College Students” category in the 2012 APME Journalism Excellence Awards.

The Center for Innovation in Media combines the newsrooms for Sidelines, the student newspaper; WMTS-FM, the student-run radio station; Match Records, the student-run record label; MT10, the student-operated cable television station; and WMOT-FM, the 100,000-watt public radio station, in a single location.

MTSU’s center enables students from all media disciplines to hone their real-world skills by writing stories for print and the Web, creating audio versions of the same stories for broadcast on radio stations and providing video versions of those stories for use on MT10 and on the station and center websites.

Before joining the MTSU staff, Hoeppner served as director of education for the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute for five years and spent 20 years in newsrooms as a photojournalist, newsroom leader and multimedia director at The Indianapolis Star.

“I got into journalism to make a difference in people’s lives. I was lucky enough to do just that in a variety of newsroom roles,” Hoeppner said.

“The CIM is a great sandbox to play in, and every day I find new ways to stretch our storytelling skills.”

Learn more about the Center for Innovation in Media at MTSU at its website, www.mtsu.edu/innovationinmedia.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)


Then-senior Jeff Cyrus prepares for a live broadcast from the Center for Innovation in Media's newsroom soon after the facility opened in 2012 inside the Bragg Mass Communication Building at MTSU. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

Then-senior Jeff Cyrus prepares for a live broadcast from the Center for Innovation in Media’s newsroom soon after the facility opened in 2012 inside the Bragg Mass Communication Building at MTSU. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU Pigskin Pre-Game moves to new Rockvale site for Aug. 9 event

The annual MTSU Pigskin Pre-Game preseason social event will offer another new venue and will be held earlier this year.

Pigskin Pre-Game 2014 graphic webThe event, sponsored by the Office of Alumni Relations and the MT Alumni Association, will start at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, at Annalee Acres, 11000 state Route 99, in Rockvale, Tennessee.

For directions, visit www.annaleeacres.com and click on the “Contact” link or call 615-274-3376.

The Pigskin Pre-Game serves as the kickoff for the MTSU Blue Raiders football season each year and a fundraiser for the Alumni Legacy Scholarship.

“All proceeds of this event benefit the Alumni Legacy Scholarship, which is awarded to children or grandchildren of MTSU alumni,” said Paul Wydra, Alumni Relations assistant director.

“We love this event every year because it is a great chance for everyone to get together for a good cause and get ready for some Blue Raider football.”

Wydra added that the alumni association has been “very fortunate with the support Pigskin Pre-Game has garnered through the years and looks forward to having another successful event.”

Ticket prices are $30 for adults. Children 12 and under will be admitted free.

Attendees must pay in advance and RSVP by Wednesday, Aug. 7, to secure their tickets. Admission will include food, beverages, entertainment by the Nashville-based O’Donnells, door prizes and more.

For more information about the event and sponsorship opportunities, or to reserve tickets, call 800-533-6878 or 615-898-2922, or visit www.mtalumni.com.

Payments can be mailed to the Office of Alumni Relations, MTSU Box 104, Murfreesboro, TN, 37132.

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

MTSU Pigskin Pre-Game attendees enjoy food and fellowship in this file photo from the 2013 celebration. The 2014 event will be held Aug. 9 at Annalee Acres in Rockvale, Tennessee. (MTSU file photo)

MTSU Pigskin Pre-Game attendees enjoy food and fellowship at the 2013 celebration. The 2014 event will be held Aug. 9 at Annalee Acres in Rockvale, Tennessee. (MTSU file photo)

Alumna, now a Buddhist nun, outlines her life on ‘MTSU On the Record’

MTSU alumna Dolma Johanison, whose personal path has led her from toting a gun to becoming a nun, will be the guest on the next edition of the “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Dolma Johanison

Dolma Johanison

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Johanison will air from 5:30 to 6 p.m. Monday, July 28, and from 8 to 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 3, on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org ).

Johanison graduated from MTSU in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Her career includes a stint with the Army National Guard, a job as a criminal analyst at the Pentagon and her current profession as an acupuncturist in Poolesville, Maryland.

She considers her conversion to Buddhism, however, to be the defining moment of her life. In 2008, she took more than 200 vows at Poolesville’s Kunyang Padyul Choling temple to become a nun, dedicating her life to alleviating suffering wherever she finds it.

“We all possess what is referred to as ‘the Buddha seed,’” Johanison said. “And ‘the Buddha seed,’ upon watering and nourishment, will grow and flourish internally, reaching our spiritual attainment, ascending to a higher level of being.”

To listen to previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, go to the searchable “Audio Clips” archives here and here.

For more information about “MTSU On the Record,” contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.

NIH gives MTSU nearly $400K for more treadmill research (+VIDEO)

For three years, Middle Tennessee State University’s exercise science experts have worked wonders with people who suffer from incomplete spinal cord injuries.

Now the National Institutes of Health is giving them an opportunity that could change the way health professionals treat these patients, who retain some preservation of sensation or motor function at the lowest segment of the spinal cord.

Carmen Thompson of Nashville works out on an underwater treadmill in MTSU’s Alumni Memorial Gym while Dr. Sandy Stevens, left, watches. Thompson was paralyzed when a two-ton A-frame structure fell on top of her in 2007 accident. (MTSU file photo by J. Intintoli)

With a $388,894 grant from the federal agency, Drs. Don Morgan and Sandy Stevens will conduct a comprehensive study beginning in fall 2014 by recruiting, testing and following up with clients suitable for walking in MTSU’s underwater treadmill laboratory.

Thirty participants, including part of a control group, will help the university scientists determine the impact of underwater treadmill training on partially paralyzed individuals’ mobility, health and quality of life.

“We can improve their leg strength,” said Morgan, a professor of exercise science in the university’s Department of Health and Human Performance.

“We can improve their balance. We can reduce the need for external help when they walk.”

The primary goals are to improve the participants’ mobility, reduce physical inactivity, increase their participation in life activities and improve aerobic fitness.

Over a 16-week period, the participants’ gait patterns will be tracked.  They’ll be videotaped and will have electrodes attached to their bodies. These electrodes will enable researchers to determine if the activity and coordination of their leg muscles change after the aquatic walking program.

Dr. Don Morgan

Dr. Brian Hinote

Dr. Brian Hinote, an associate professor of sociology, will evaluate the participants’ lifestyles before and after the treadmill trials.

“We want to assess the degree to which the people are able to carry on the activities of their daily lives, both at home and in their communities,” Hinote said.

Morgan’s earlier research with the underwater treadmill focused on children with cerebral palsy. The results were promising enough to lead him to believe it could work for other populations, including diabetics and stroke survivors.

“It could certainly be a complementary therapeutic technique that, for some, could really spell the difference between being able to be mobile on land instead of being relegated primarily to a wheelchair or a walker,” Morgan said.

Stevens, an assistant professor of exercise science, works most directly with the clients, transferring them safely into the treadmill, adjusting the water temperature and adjusting the height of the tank for the armrests.

She knows that while restoring their full mobility might not be possible, their mobility can be increased.

“It really is possible to restore that level of independent functioning, and a lot of it can be done through fairly low-tech interventions that could potentially be done within a community,” Stevens said.

You can watch an archived video about the underwater treadmill research program below.



Part of the NIH funding will pay undergraduate and graduate students to assist with the study. It’s a move that will better prepare MTSU graduates for jobs in the health professions and improve the university’s research profile, the professors said.

Morgan and Stevens will speak directly to students during fall classes to help choose the lucky few assistants. They said they expect the humanitarian aspect of the work to be a major selling point.

“You have a chance to impact the lives of people in a positive way, and that is incredibly fulfilling,” Morgan said.

The NIH-funded study is noteworthy for a university not connected to a college of medicine or a teaching hospital, and Morgan is encouraged by the agency’s approval of MTSU’s proposal.

“We’re doing work here at MTSU that, as far as I know, is not being done anywhere else in the world at this level,” said Morgan.

For more information about the program, contact Morgan at 615-898-5549 or don.morgan@mtsu.edu or Stevens at 615-494-7905 or sandra.stevens@mtsu.edu.

You also can read the personal stories of clients who’ve used the underwater treadmill project to help increase their mobility in this story published in the April 2014 edition of “MTSU Magazine.”

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Richard Locke of Murfreesboro works out on an underwater treadmill in MTSU’s Alumni Memorial Gym. Locke, who suffered a stroke that affected muscle ability on the left side of his body, is one of several clients who have benefitted from research conducted by MTSU’s exercise science professionals. (Photos by MTSU Office of News and Media Relations)

Richard Locke works to improve his gait while walking on an underwater treadmill in MTSU’s Alumni Memorial Gym.


Upcoming workshop helps investigators evaluate death scenes

MTSU’s 2014 Death Scene Investigation Workshop, set Aug. 13-14 on campus, is aiming to help the people who work with death sites get ready to secure, investigate and prosecute deadly crimes.

Click on the poster to register or for more details on the workshop.

Click on the poster to register or for more details on the workshop.

The free workshop, sponsored by MTSU’s Forensic Institute for Research and Education, is open to law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, first responders such as emergency medical services and fire personnel, public defenders and medical examiners.

With the help of professionals from various specialties, including Dr. Hugh Berryman, MTSU professor of anthropology and the director of the Forensic Institute for Research and Education, the workshop will address the role of the medical examiner, forensic anthropology, mass fatalities, drug overdose and child death investigations.

Attendees also can earn Continuing Education Unit or Continuing Professional Education credits for the workshop.

To register for the workshop or get more information, including an agenda, please visit www.mtsu.edu/fire/Law_Enforcement_Training.php or contact the Forensic Institute for Research and Education, or FIRE, at fire@mtsu.edu.

The 2014 Death Scene Investigation Workshop is supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

MTSU’s Center for Popular Music acquires Spring Fed Records

The Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University has acquired the renowned Spring Fed Records from the Arts Center of Cannon County.

The Arts Center has donated the Grammy-winning label’s name and rights and sold its existing inventory to MTSU, said Dr. Greg Reish, the Center for Popular Music’s new director.

  Founded in 2002, Spring Fed Records is devoted to issuing unique and historically significant recordings of traditional Southern music, including old-time country, blues and gospel. Among its featured titles are music by Uncle Dave Macon, Sam and Kirk McGee, The Fairfield Four, Frazier Moss and Mississippi John Hurt.

Spring Fed’s compilation of field recordings by pioneering African-American folklorist John Work III won a Grammy in 2008 for its liner notes by former CPM staffer Bruce Nemerov.

The label established a strong partnership with MTSU and the Center for Popular Music from its inception with contributions from Nemerov, former CPM director Paul Wells and the late Dr. Charles Wolfe, a venerated scholar of traditional music.

Dr. Greg Reish

“Spring Fed’s regional emphasis on traditional music fits well with the CPM’s mission and will allow us to explore even further the vast repository of historically and culturally significant recordings in the CPM archive,” Reish said.

The Center for Popular Music is affiliated with MTSU’s College of Mass Communication and is housed in the Bragg Mass Communication Building on campus.

Production and marketing of new Spring Fed releases will also work in cooperation with the College of Mass Communication’s highly regarded Department of Recording Industry program, giving students the opportunity to work in a specialized sector of the business.

Beverly Keel, recording industry department chair, said the acquisition is “a wonderful opportunity both for the music of Spring Fed Records and for MTSU, which has one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious music business programs and the highly esteemed Center for Popular Music.

“Our students will get a chance to gain real-world experience by promoting this music and scholars everywhere will have the opportunity to study the history of Spring Fed at MTSU.”

Mass Comm logo croppedKen Paulson, dean of MTSU’s College of Mass Communication, added that the addition of “Spring Fed Records gives MTSU an extraordinary opportunity to use the recordings of the past to enhance the college’s future. The label adds a new dimension to our educational opportunities and underscores the pivotal role the Center for Popular Music plays in the College of Mass Communication.”

Spring Fed will be housed in the Center for Popular Music, and CPM staffer John Fabke will manage its day-to-day operations. A new marketing and sales structure, including a new website, will roll out soon.

The Spring Fed catalog is distributed by City Hall Records of San Rafael, California. Selected titles are also available as digital downloads from Amazon.com, iTunes and CD Baby.

The Center for Popular Music at MTSU is a research center devoted to the study and scholarship of popular music in America. Established in 1985 by the Tennessee Board of Regents as one of 16 Centers of Excellence across the TBR system, MTSU’s CPM maintains an archive of research materials stretching from the early 18th century to the present and develops and sponsors programs in American vernacular music.

For more information on the Center for Popular Music and its projects and special events, visit http://popmusic.mtsu.edu.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Scandinavian study abroad finds ‘happiness’ for art exhibit (+VIDEOS)

MTSU students learned firsthand why the people of Scandinavia’s cozy countries continually top the United Nations’ “World Happiness Report,” and their own report is “Passport to Happiness,” a new art exhibit open through Aug. 15 in MTSU’s Todd Art Gallery.

Click on this exhibit card to see more of the "Scandinavia Abroad" group's adventures at their Facebook page.

Click on this exhibit card to see more of the “Scandinavia Abroad” group’s adventures at their Facebook page.

Created by MTSU students and Danish and Norwegian children during a special MTSU study-abroad program, the art exhibit features multimedia pieces and artifacts created in Denmark and Norway and in America, all focusing on happiness.

Dr. Debrah Sickler-Voigt, MTSU art education associate professor, took seven students to Denmark and Norway in May to study art, stay with area families and teach in local schools for the “Scandinavia Abroad” project.

Brittany Gardner, LeAnne Hannington, Bailey Ingram, Ciara Knight, Whitney Proper, Kaitlyn Roberts and Tucker Webb made the trip, making stops in the capital cities of Copenhagen and Oslo, swimming in the waters of the Arctic Circle, visiting Legoland Billund, climbing mountains and admiring fjords, churches and museums while immersing themselves in the region’s culture.

The students worked with youngsters in the Anna Trolles Skole, or School, in Brenderup, Denmark, and the Svolvær Skole in Svolvær, Norway, to create original works inspired by Scandinavian folklore, art history and visual culture.

The Scandinavian countries — Denmark, Norway and Sweden — regularly rank at the top of the United Nations’ annual “World Happiness Report,” thanks to their solid incomes, top healthcare and schools, and balancing their work and personal lives via generous parental leave and vacation time and inexpensive child care. Combine those factors with scenic vistas and hearty outdoor activities, and it’s no surprise that citizens in those nations where the sun shines only seven hours a day in deepest winter still consider themselves “happy.”

MTSU student Bailey Ingram incorporates the technology of the iPhone into her work with two young students at the Svolvær Skole in Svolvær, Norway, during this summer’s “Scandinavia Abroad” trip. (Photos courtesy of Dr. Debrah Sickler-Voigt)

“We had read that Scandinavians were the happiest because of their high standard of living,” Sickler-Voigt explained during a radio interview this week, “so the students came up with the lessons we taught: how can we communicate the idea of happiness that extends beyond the things we buy and shows quality-of-life happiness.”

The students used their time with their host families in Denmark to brainstorm project ideas for their young charges during their classroom visits.

“We learned a lot about the culture, every ‘little thing’ in life that makes them happy,” Gardner said during the interview. “We did some projects in photography, book arts and paper weaving to show how happy they are.”

“In Norway, we asked children to write sentences in Norwegian and English about things that made them happy. They didn’t come up with ‘shopping’ or ‘money’; they came up with things like ‘my dog,’ ‘my family,’ ‘my friends,’ and it was beautiful,” added Roberts.

The result is a series of projects displayed in the Todd Gallery featuring the children’s work as well as the MTSU students’ art inspired by their experience. The “Passport to Happiness” exhibit also includes hand-carved trolls from the collection of MTSU professor Kent and Lynell Syler’s family, along with original Oleana sweaters and knitted goods from the Norwegian company.

“Our goal for the exhibition guests is to consider the importance of happiness in daily life and how to implement a positive lifestyle by simply enjoying ‘the little things,’” Gardner said. “Everything that the (Scandinavian) students made is up on display, so you can really see what makes them happy.”

You can watch a video Ingram created about the experience below, and other videos are included in the “Passport to Happiness” exhibit, too. More photos and details about the trip are available at www.facebook.com/MTSUScandinaviaStudyAbroad.



Support for “Passport to Happiness” is provided by the MTSU Office of International Affairs, Todd Art Gallery, Anna Trolles Skole, Svolvær Skole, Nordnorsk Kunstnersenter, Oleana, the MTSU College of Liberal Arts, and Kent and Lynell Syler.

MTSU’s Todd Art Gallery is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and is closed on weekends and state and university holidays.

For more information about the exhibit, including parking and directions, contact Todd Art Gallery Director Eric Snyder at 615-898-5653 or eric.snyder@mtsu.edu, or visit www.mtsu.edu/art.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Celebrating Norwegian Flag Day’s Bicentennial in Svolvær, Norway, in May are, from left, MTSU professor Debrah Sickler-Voigt and her “Scandinavia Abroad” students Kaitlyn Roberts, LeAnne Hannington and Ciara Knight on the front row and Brittany Gardner, Tucker Webb, Whitney Proper and Bailey Ingram on the back row.

MTSU student Brittany Gardner, center left, works with students at the Svolvær Skole in Svolvær, Norway, during this summer’s “Scandinavia Abroad” trip.

‘Saddle Up’ July 31 with MTSU to give happy cowpokes a hand

Get ready to give some of Rutherford County’s finest young wranglers a hand Thursday, July 31, at the annual “Saddle Up” fundraiser for MTSU’s Ann Campbell Early Learning Center.

Some of Rutherford County’s finest cowgirls and cowboys are ready for the annual Saddle Up fundraiser for MTSU’s Ann Campbell Early Learning Center July 31 at the MTSU Foundation House. Get more details by clicking on this photo. (Photos courtesy of the Ann Campbell Early Learning Center at MTSU)

“Saddle Up” gets underway at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 31, at the MTSU Foundation House, located at 324 W. Thompson Lane next to the university’s Tennessee Miller Coliseum.

Funds raised at this year’s event will be used to continue expanding services at the ACE Learning Center, which is Rutherford County’s only community- and center-based program serving very young children, including those with special needs.

The center was formerly known as Project Help and was renamed last spring to honor its founder, the late MTSU special education professor Ann Campbell.

For only $50 per ticket, guests can show off their favorite jeans, boots and cowboy hats while they enjoy a Western-themed evening filled with barbecue from Bob’s BBQ, beer donated by Mayday Brewer and wine from Stones River Total Beverage.

Guests will be treated to live music from Rhythm Kitchen as well as a “step & repeat” with Cynthia Jones Photography at Studio C. “Saddle Up” also will include a silent auction featuring spa packages, golf excursions, gift baskets and cards, cookware, trips to the Nashville Zoo, a hosted holiday party and more.

 For information on sponsoring the event and tickets, contact Saddle Up Chair Lindsey Fournier at lindsey.fournier@gmail.com.

Previous “Saddle Up” events have helped the program grow into new classroom space and offer services to older children. The center’s ultimate goal is to operate a one-stop wrap-around educational and therapeutic center for families in Middle Tennessee.

Founded in 1983, the nonprofit ACE Learning Center provides inclusive classes for children ages 3 months to kindergarten, where little ones with developmental delays play and learn with those who are developing typically. A “prep” program helps 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds get ready for public school.

The center also provides home-based services for families of children from birth to age 3 who have developmental delays. It’s affiliated with the Tennessee Early Intervention System and provides hands-on learning experiences for MTSU and Motlow State Community College’s Nursing Program students who work with the children and staff.

Grants from the Tennessee Department of Education through Early Intervention Services and the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties partially fund the ACE Learning Center’s work. Dozens of community organizations and businesses also provide the center with much-needed equipment, toys and consumable items every year.

Tickets also are available by calling the ACE Learning Center at 615-898-2458. You can find up-to-the-minute details on “Saddle Up” 2014, including photos of the center’s children and the silent-auction items, here. You can learn more about the center anytime at www.mtsu.edu/acelearningcenter.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Two of Rutherford County’s finest young wranglers are on the lookout for rustlers and people without tickets to the July 31 “Saddle Up” fundraiser for MTSU’s Ann Campbell Early Learning Center. Don’t get stuck in the hoosegow and miss all the fun!

This busy young cowpoke is packing his saddlebags for the annual “Saddle Up” fundraiser for MTSU’s Ann Campbell Early Learning Center July 31 at the MTSU Foundation House.