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Recording artist Crissy Collins to speak Oct. 5 at MTSU’s Tucker Theatre

Crissy Collins, the recording artist who is also known for her work with artists including Beyoncé, Kelly Price and Luther Vandross, will speak about her career and music on Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 7 p.m. at MTSU’s Tucker Theatre.

Collins, who will perform background vocals in Nashville as part of Beyoncé’s Formation World Tour on Oct. 2, will have a conversation with Beverly Keel, chair of MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry, about working with Beyoncé, Tyler Perry and others.

She will also perform several songs with a group of students from MTSU’s recording industry and music departments.

Recording artist Crissy Collins will speak Oct. 5 in MTSU's Tucker Theatre. (Submitted photo)

Recording artist Crissy Collins will speak Oct. 5 in MTSU’s Tucker Theatre. (Submitted photo)

“I’ve always enjoyed working with people who really want to learn. It’s not easy out here in this industry. A little help along the way can benefit anyone,” Collins said.

The event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the event begins at 7 p.m. A searchable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

Beverly Keel

Beverly Keel

“This will be an unforgettable night for our students and the MTSU community,” Keel said. “We are so grateful that Crissy has generously agreed to remain in the area after performing with Beyoncé to share her experience and wisdom with us.

“We are eager to hear about her own recording and movie career, including her album ‘Faith in Progress,’ as well as her four world tours with Beyoncé.”

A native of Niagara Falls, N.Y., Collins first pursued a recording industry career with her sister Tomika and her aunt Nora in a group called Collins Sisters and Company, which released the album “He Cares.”

A lifelong praise and worship leader, she got her start at her late grandmother’s church, House of God, in Lockport, N.Y. She continues to work closely with her mother, Evangelist Sandi Collins, who has several ministries based in Atlanta.

Collins has appeared on numerous gospel television shows and performed in many music festivals, where she has worked with artists such as Edwin Hawkins, Shirley Caesar, Dorothy Norwood, Mary Mary, Dr. Bobby Jones and many others.

She toured with Tyler Perry’s stage play “Madea Goes to Jail,” and her show-stopping rendition of “Yes, Jesus Loves Me” led to big-screen opportunities. She has appeared in Tyler Perry movies such as “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” “Madea’s Family Reunion,” “Daddy’s Little Girls” and “The Family That Preys.”

She has performed in other inspirational stage plays, including “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” “Where Have All the Good Men Gone” and “Love Should Have Brought You Home.” She also performed the national anthem at the 2010 NBA finals.

Since 2008, Collins has toured the globe singing background for Beyoncé and also has performed with a list of artists that also includes Glenn Jones, Little G of Silk, Monica and Gloria Gainer.

Now residing in Atlanta, Collins said her goal is to develop television projects and work on her next album.

Lynda.com training available for MTSU faculty, staff, students

To hear the talk around MTSU, you might think there is a new teacher on campus named Lynda whose class everyone wants to take.

And you wouldn’t be far off — the University’s new contract with online training website Lynda.com is creating a lot of buzz this fall.

Billy Pittard, chairman of MTSU’s Department of Electronic Media Communications, knows the company’s namesake, Lynda Weinman, and in fact worked for her three years before joining the MTSU faculty in 2011.fall_2016_communicator_lynda_graphic

He said the campus-wide Lynda.com subscription is a tremendous benefit for educators, staff and especially the University’s 22,000-plus students.

Billy Pittard

Billy Pittard

“It’s a tragedy when you have to spend class time teaching software skills, because everyone is at different levels,” said Pittard, who worked at Lynda.com in California during 2008–2011. “This is one of those opportunities to flip the classroom. You can assign learning software skills outside of class, then in class learn how to do something worthwhile with that software.”

Frustrated over the complex, hard-to-follow technical manuals available at the time, Weinman launched Lynda.com in 1995 as a site where students could get free training. Such resources are common today, thanks in large part to her work.

With thousands of training videos, Lynda.com is designed to help anyone learn business, software, technology, and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals.

Pittard, who developed content and recruited teachers for Lynda.com, said the first step in getting the most out of the website is to learn how to learn from it.

“You can go ahead and browse Lynda.com to get ideas about how you might use the materials for your classes—and also about how you might use them for your own professional/personal development. Lynda.com has excellent search-ability, so give that a try for any specific topics you might be interested in,” Pittard said.

He said his department has been using it for years and envisions a benefit for every campus college.MTSU Wordmark

“You can assign a whole ‘course’ and require the students to earn a certificate of completion. The subscription includes the ability to download all materials used in the course videos,” he said.

The benefit for MTSU students from this subscription will be long-lasting, he said, both for their education and subsequent career. An individual subscription to Lynda.com costs hundreds of dollars.

“When I was working at Lynda.com, it was amazing to me the feedback we got from subscribers. A total stranger would walk up and say, ‘So you work at Lynda.com?’ I would say, ‘Yeah.’ They would say, ‘I got my job because of Lynda.com,’ ” he said.

Michael Wheaton

Michael Wheaton

“For someone trying to learn a piece of software, I honestly don’t think there is a better way.”

Michael Wheaton, assistant to the director of library technology at the James E. Walker Library, has already discovered that.

“I was trying to figure out how to make a YouTube video accessible to people with hearing disabilities. I was having trouble figuring out how to caption a video,” he said.

He did a quick Lynda.com search for “captioning YouTube video” and 3 minutes later was doing it.

“I didn’t have to sit through a long lecture that covered way more than I needed to accomplish that task. Instead, I received exactly the dose of information needed,” Wheaton said.

“Because Lynda.com tracks progress by user, it allows larger training packages to be broken into manageable chunks based upon the amount of time available, and when it is convenient, students return right where they left off.”

— Craig Myers, Information Technology Division

EMC’s ‘First Look 2016’ gives students screening opportunity

Several students in the MTSU College of Media and Entertainment were given a taste of what their futures in film could possibly hold during a Wednesday, Sept. 21, event in the Student Union Building.

As a part of MT Engage Week, the Department of Electronic Media Communication hosted “First Look 2016: Students on the Verge of an Oscar” inside the Student Union ballroom. MT Engage is the university’s latest Quality Enhancement Plan, or QEP, to promote student involvement on campus and enhance the curriculum.

Attendees watch one of the films screened Wednesday, Sept. 21, during the Department of Electronic Media Communication-hosted “First Look 2016: Students on the Verge of an Oscar” held inside the Student Union ballroom. (MTSU photo by Steven Michael Johnson)

Attendees watch one of the films screened Wednesday, Sept. 21, during the Department of Electronic Media Communication-hosted “First Look 2016: Students on the Verge of an Oscar” held inside the Student Union ballroom. (MTSU photos by Steven Michael Johnson)

For “First Look 2016,” one of a series of events sponsored by various colleges and organizations across campus as part of the first MT Engage Week, a select group of animation, photography, film and video students were able to have their work shown on the big screen in the Student Union Ballroom E.

As noted by some of the students, this was the first time many of them had their films and projects displayed, which is a rewarding experience for the future filmmakers.

This poster welcomed attendees Wednesday, Sept. 21, to the Department of Electronic Media Communication-hosted “First Look 2016: Students on the Verge of an Oscar” held inside the Student Union ballroom. (MTSU photo by Steven Michael Johnson)

This poster welcomed attendees Wednesday, Sept. 21, to the Department of Electronic Media Communication-hosted “First Look 2016: Students on the Verge of an Oscar” held inside the Student Union ballroom.

“Overall this event allows students the chance to see their own work and some of their classmates, which is what we want as filmmakers,” said senior film and video production student Josh Beluit.

“It also shows all the good things happening in the Bragg (Media and Entertainment) Building,”

Dozens of students submit their films to a server throughout the year before a group of five to six EMC faculty members choose which films will be used in the screenings.

The event is very selective, and officials said only 15 percent of submissions are actually used.

Tom Neff

Tom Neff

The students fortunate enough to have their work displayed get a chance to connect with professionals in their industry and have an opportunity to find employment.

“The genesis of this concept was for professionals to see what our students were doing and to get their work out there. Many connections are made here at ‘First Look’ as students showcase their work. Many of our students have gotten hired because of this,” said EMC professor Tom Neff.

Neff helped start the event four years ago and has overseen the event every year. The hourlong showcase featured 30 films and included short films, documentaries and 3-D animation.

For more information on “First Look,” visit http://emcmtsu.com/first-look or contact the Department of Electronic Media Communication at 615-898-5628.

— Steven Michael Johnson (news@mtsu.edu)

A scene from one of the animated films screened Wednesday, Sept. 21, during the Department of Electronic Media Communication-hosted “First Look 2016: Students on the Verge of an Oscar” held inside the Student Union ballroom. (MTSU photo by Steven Michael Johnson)

This photo shows a scene from one of the animated films screened Wednesday, Sept. 21, during the Department of Electronic Media Communication-hosted “First Look 2016: Students on the Verge of an Oscar” held inside the Student Union ballroom. 

 

New provost featured on MTSU’s ‘Out of the Blue’ TV show [+VIDEO]

Veteran MTSU administrator Dr. Mark Byrnes, who became interim provost in April, is the featured guest on September’s “Out of the Blue,” the university’s public affairs television program.

This month’s program, which airs on NewsChannel 5+ and cable outlets throughout Middle Tennessee, also includes an interview with Dr. Chrisila Pettey, chair of MTSU’s Department of Computer Science, and looks back at the August commencement speech by former Faculty Senate president Dr. Tricia Farwell.

Andrew Oppmann, the university’s vice president for marketing and communications, became the show’s permanent host in September.

The show has had interim hosts since the departure of Mike Browning, who left MTSU in 2014 to become public information officer for the city of Murfreesboro. Watch the full episode below:

https://youtu.be/TWx9pRJJWRA

Byrnes, a 1983 graduate of MTSU, joined the university faculty in 1991 and has served as dean of the College of Liberal Arts since 2010 until he was named chief academic officer by President Sidney A. McPhee. Byrnes talks with Oppmann about his new role and his goals as provost.

Andrew Oppmann

Andrew Oppmann

Pettey recalls in her segment the successful Hack-MT, a 36-hour marathon in MTSU’s Science Building last January, when students teams from around the region created apps, games and gadgets.

Dr. Mark Byrnes

Dr. Mark Byrnes

Dr. Chrisila Pettey

Dr. Chrisila Pettey

And the show concludes with a four-minute clip from Farwell’s commencement speech in August, which was described by McPhee as the shortest such talk in the university’s history.

“Out of the Blue” airs at 3:30 p.m. Sundays on NewsChannel 5+, which can be found on Comcast channel 250 in Nashville and Murfreesboro; Charter channel 182 in Nashville and WTVF’s HD channel 5.2.

It also airs daily at 7 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Comcast channel 9 (MTSU’s Education Resource Channel) in Murfreesboro; AT&T U-Verse channel 99 in Murfreesboro; channel 195 on DTC Communications in Alexandria, Tennessee, and channel 206 digital on United Communications in Chapel Hill, Tennessee.

It is available online on the university’s Out of the Blue playlist on YouTube, which can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/MTSUOutoftheBlue.

WMOT-FM becomes ‘roots radio’ with Americana format [+VIDEO]

NASHVILLE — With a seamless segue from a classical rendition of Aaron Copland’s “Hoedown” to its Americana interpretation, a new player emerged Friday, Sept. 2, in the Nashville radio market.

WMOT-FM, MTSU’s 100,000-watt professional radio station at 89.5 on the dial, officially changed formats at 11 a.m. Friday from a mix of classical, jazz and news-talk to Americana music in a ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame’s Ford Theater in downtown Nashville.

The transition makes WMOT-FM the region’s only station devoted to the unique amalgam of bluegrass, folk, gospel, soul, country and blues music defined in the music industry as Americana.

A combination of two banjos, two fiddles, a bass, a guitar, a dulcimer and a dobro ushered in the new format at the launch event by picking up “Hoedown,” the final classical piece played on the station, in mid-swing and playing it Americana style during the simulcast on WMOT and www.musiccityroots.com.

https://youtu.be/xLfQdtQVOA0

WMOT-FM, which first went on the air in April 1969, is now known as “WMOT-FM/Roots Radio 89.5” through a partnership with Music City Roots, a Nashville-based firm that provides programming for both radio and television.

“It helps to extend, promote and advance the Americana genre and will give valuable air time to those various, vibrant artists, many of whom live and work in Nashville,” said MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee.

Ken Paulson, dean of the College of Media and Entertainment, added that the partnership will be equally beneficial to the university community.

WMOT-new web logo“Our goals were to serve a wide audience, give our students more professional opportunities, reflect what we teach within the four walls of our College of Media and Entertainment and to tap the talents of our music-savvy faculty,” said Paulson.

WMOT’s listening area extends as far north as Bowling Green, Kentucky, and south to the Alabama border. The station will remain the flagship for Blue Raider Athletics and will continue to air “MTSU On the Record,” a 30-minute public affairs interview program highlighting the university community, as well as regular local and national news updates.

In a nod to its tradition of jazz programming, the MTSU Jazz Network also was launched on WMOT’s secondary FM signals, 104.9 in Brentwood and 92.3 in Murfreesboro, as well as the station’s HD channel.

“Through our unique partnership with Music City Roots, we are able to bring the sound of Nashville’s heritage to our listeners, continue great jazz programming on our secondary channels and, most importantly, continue to mentor and train students at MTSU for careers in journalism, the recording industry, radio, television and beyond,” said Val Hoeppner, executive director of MTSU’s Center for Innovation in Media.

With Americana artists such as Jim Lauderdale, Will Hoge, Suzy Bogguss and Mike Farris jamming onstage, the moment was an emotional one for aficionados who have promoted the music they love for years.

Jed Hilly, executive director of the Americana Music Association, praised Music City Roots founders John Walker and Todd Mayo for maintaining the integrity of the music and giving its artists a home.

“I was ready for the corporate monstrosities to buy you out and eliminate Music City Roots,” said Hilly. “I thought that would happen. You did not let that happen.”

For programming information, go to www.wmot.org or www.musiccityroots.com. To learn more, contact Hoeppner at 615-898-2337 or val.hoeppner@mtsu.edu or Music City Roots at 615-669-1627 or info@musiccityroots.com.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Music City Roots Program Director Jessie Scott, left, and announcer Keith Bilbrey celebrate the transition of WMOT-FM, MTSU’s 100,000-watt radio station, to Americana music at a Sept. 2 ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Music City Roots Program Director Jessie Scott, left, and announcer Keith Bilbrey celebrate the transition of WMOT-FM, MTSU’s 100,000-watt radio station, to Americana music at a Sept. 2 ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. (MTSU photos  by J. Intintoli)

Americana artists welcome the transition of WMOT-FM to an Americana format by performing “Sittin’ On Top of the World” at a Sept. 2 ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. The vocalists are, from left to right, Will Hoge, Jim Lauderdale, Suzy Bogguss, and Mike Farris. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Americana artists welcome the transition of WMOT-FM to an Americana format by performing “Sittin’ On Top of the World” at a Sept. 2 ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. The vocalists are, from left to right, Will Hoge, Jim Lauderdale, Suzy Bogguss, and Mike Farris. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

MTSU and Music City applaud Americana performers as they usher in the new WMOT-FM/Roots Radio 89.5 at a Sept. 2 ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame. From left to right, front row, are Ken Paulson, dean of the College of Media and Entertainment; MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee; and Val Hoeppner, executive director of the Center for Innovation in Media. In the second row, from left to right, are Laurie Gregory, senior producer for Music City Roots; John Walker, executive producer for Music City Roots; Abby White, development director for MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment; and Greg Reish, director of MTSU’s Center for Popular Music. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU and Music City applaud Americana performers as they usher in the new WMOT-FM/Roots Radio 89.5 at a Sept. 2 ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame. From left to right, front row, are Ken Paulson, dean of the College of Media and Entertainment; MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee; and Val Hoeppner, executive director of the Center for Innovation in Media. In the second row, from left to right, are Laurie Gregory, senior producer for Music City Roots; John Walker, executive producer for Music City Roots; Abby White, development director for MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment; and Dr. Greg Reish, director of MTSU’s Center for Popular Music.

Bag checks, other changes made to MTSU football game-day operations

With a new season set to get underway Saturday, Sept. 3, against Alabama A&M, patrons and fans to Middle Tennessee football games can expect some noticeable changes to game day operations, including bag checks at the gate and relocation of some tailgating areas, MT Athletics announced this week.

Perhaps the biggest change patrons will see this season is before they even get to the game.

Middle TN Blvd construction ongoing

Construction on Middle Tennessee Boulevard to the west of campus has closed some of the routes fans may have taken to games in the past.

Construction continues on Middle Tennessee Boulevard on the west side of campus, meaning slower game day traffic for the 2016-17 football season. (MTSU file photo by Jimmy Hart)

Construction continues on Middle Tennessee Boulevard on the west side of campus, meaning slower game day traffic for the 2016-17 football season. (MTSU file photo by Jimmy Hart)

Kortne Gosha

Kortne Gosha

“(The construction) will slow down the flow of traffic in and out of campus,” said Kortne Gosha, MT associate athletic director of operations. “I’m telling anyone I come in contact with to avoid Middle Tennessee Boulevard from the corner of Greenland to Main. It is going to be extremely slow and extremely congested.”

The Middle Tennessee Boulevard construction has also created a slight change in parking. In the Greenland Drive parking lot to the north of campus, patrons can park there for $10 per game. BRAA members with the Greenland or RV passes will also be able to park there.

“Due to the Middle Tennessee Boulevard construction, people are going to gravitate to get as close to the stadium as they can, so the Greenland lot may fill up a little bit quicker,” Gosha said. “For our patrons, it’s just a good note to leave five or 10 minutes early coming to the game and enjoy some of the pregame festivities.”

Tailgating changes

For fans that are looking forward to tailgating this season, there is a change there, as well.

In the past, patrons were able to tailgate in the cove between the Tom Jackson and James Union buildings and Middle Tennessee Boulevard. However, this season that area is not available for tailgating. Patrons can instead head to the lawn at the Wood-Stegall building along Alumni Drive or to the grass area next to the Greenland Drive parking lot and Middle Tennessee tennis courts. All of these areas are free and on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Greenland tailgating area will be split into 50, 30-by-30-foot plots. Patrons can use them on a first-come, first-served basis and can pull their vehicles right into the space and pop up a tent if they so wish.

“That will be new for a lot of the people who are tailgating in that area, but they will see our lined plots out there,” Gosha said. “We think the Greenland grass tailgating area will be a vibrant area for patrons this year.”

New bag checking policy; no weapons

Once fans get to the gates to get into the game, they will see another change. For the first time this season there will be bag checks at every entrance to Floyd Stadium. This will be standard bag check and not a clear bag policy.

All bags 14-by-14-by-10 inches and smaller will be allowed into the stadium, and every bag will be checked before patrons are allowed to enter. There will also be separate lines for those without bags.

“Security and safety is our no. 1 priority,” Gosha said. “We have collaborated with Murfreesboro Police, University Police, the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security and a division of the FBI to talk about game-day security and some of the logistics in getting people in and out.

“We do know the first time or two will be different for our fans, but we hope and anticipate it will not slow down our lines for getting people in.”

The Blue Raider football team kicks off the 2016 season Saturday, Sept. 3, at Floyd Stadium, where fans will notice operational changes such as bag checks. (Courtesy of MT Athletics)

The Blue Raider football team kicks off the 2016 season Saturday, Sept. 3, at Floyd Stadium, where fans will notice operational changes such as bag checks. (Courtesy of MT Athletics)

There will be A-frame signs placed throughout the tailgating areas and stadium entrances telling patrons what they can and can’t bring into the stadium.

While a bill was signed by Gov. Bill Haslam earlier this year allowing guns on college campuses in Tennessee, they will not be allowed in any of Middle Tennessee’s athletics facilities.

“There are no weapons of any kind, carrying permit or not, within any athletic venue on campus,” Gosha said. “Part of that is to make sure all of our fans are secure and safe at every opportunity when they come on campus.”

Raider Town changes

MT Logo-plain_web

Another tweak to game day involves Raider Town. For the 2016 season, Raider Town will open at 4 p.m. and will be located near Floyd Stadium in the Gate 3 area, which is easy access to the stadium so fans can enjoy all the pre-game festivities. Raider Town is free to the public and will feature different vendors, food trucks, give-a-ways, inflatables, and music.

With all of the changes to game-day operations for Blue Raider football games, patrons are asked to be patient with traffic and encouraged to have a fun and safe game-day experience. For any questions or concerns, please contact the Middle Tennessee Ticket Office at 615-898-5261.

MT Athletics Communications

For safety reasons, the following items are NOT PERMITTED in Floyd Stadium:

  • Alcoholic beverages (with the exceptions of the suites, outdoor suites and Hendrix Club)
  • Bottles
  • Cans
  • Food
  • Coolers
  • Video cameras
  • Laser pointers
  • Artificial noise makers
  • Umbrellas
  • Backpacks
  • Shoe bags
  • Fireworks
  • Weapons or any other items deemed dangerous or inappropriate by security or game management

Patrons found in possession of any restricted items may be subject to expulsion from the facility and the restricted items confiscated.

MTSU’s Bullington appointed to 2016 TNCPE Board of Examiners

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Middle Tennessee State University business professor Kimball Bullington has been appointed to the 2016 Board of Examiners for the nonprofit Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence.

Each year, the TNCPE Award Program recognizes local, regional and statewide organizations that demonstrate excellence in business operations and results.

Dr. Kimball Bullington

Dr. Kimball Bullington

As a TNCPE examiner, Bullington is responsible for reviewing and evaluating organizations that apply for the TNCPE Award. Bullington is a professor in the Department of Management in the Jennings A. Jones College of Business at MTSU.

TNCPE logoAppointed by TNCPE’s Board of Directors, the Board of Examiners comprises experts from all sectors of the regional economy, including health care, service, nonprofit, manufacturing, education, and government.

All board members complete training in the Baldrige Excellence Framework, a nationally recognized framework for organizational improvement.

“Examiners take the skills and expertise developed during training and the assessment process back to their own jobs, benefiting and improving their own organizations and helping make Tennessee a better place to live and work,” TNCPE officials said in a release.

Each year, the TNCPE Board of Examiners contributes more than 10,000 hours of volunteer service to organizations across Tennessee. For more information, visit www.TNCPE.org.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

Sportscaster Greg Gumbel set for keynote at sold-out BRAA dinner

The Blue Raider Athletic Association’s annual Donor Celebration Dinner will have a different flair this year. The change received a tremendous response as the event is already sold out.

Slated for Friday, Aug. 12, this year’s dinner will for the first time be held at Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro. The event will also for the first time feature a guest speaker – sportscaster Greg Gumbel.

Sportscaster Greg Gumbel will be the keynote speaker at the sold-out Aug. 12 Blue Raider Athletic Association Celebration Dinner at Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro. (Submitted photo)

Sportscaster Greg Gumbel will be the keynote speaker at the sold-out Aug. 12 Blue Raider Athletic Association Celebration Dinner at Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro. (Submitted photo)

“We’ve never had a guest speaker of this magnitude before, so having Greg Gumbel there will be a huge addition,” said Bethany Thurston, director of development/stewardship and special events for the Blue Raider Athletic Association.

Gumbel is best known for his work on CBS broadcasts of the National Football League and college basketball. He is currently the host of “Inside the NFL,” which airs on Showtime and NFL Network.

BRAA new logo-webIn addition to his work on CBS, Gumbel has worked on networks like ESPN, NBC and others, and has hosted the Winter Olympics and World Figure Skating Championships to go along with football, basketball and baseball duties. He is also one of four broadcasters to have been a host and play-by-play announcer for Super Bowls, and was the first African-American (and Creole) announcer to do play-by-play for a major sports championship in the U.S.

Gumbel was secured through the Jones College of Business, through his involvement with the Premiere Speakers Bureau. The partnership between the Jones College and the Premiere Speakers Bureau was shared with the BRAA.Jones College of Business logo-updated

“The Jones College of Business has been a huge help with this event, financially and with the planning process,” added Thurston. “It’s always a great thing when two campus groups can partner to show our appreciation for the generous contributions that we receive from our donors.”

Read the full GoBlueRaiders.com story here.

[WATCH] MTSU’s China educational exchange program welcomes fifth year

HANGZHOU, China — Several Rutherford County schoolchildren, parents and teachers were welcomed to China Tuesday, July 19, as part of a unique educational exchange organized by MTSU. The 28-member delegation, in country for two weeks, will visit classrooms, participate in enrichment activities and go with Chinese families for home visits as part of the reciprocal exchange with Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University. It is the third such trip led by MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee and his wife, retired Murfreesboro City Schools teacher Elizabeth McPhee. Rutherford students visited China in 2012 and 2014, and Dongcheng students came to Murfreesboro in 2013 and 2015.

https://youtu.be/KDO0WrsXa44

Read the full story at http://www.mtsunews.com/mtsu-china-exchange-july2016/.

— Video by Andrew Oppmann

Last day to vote for Blue Raiders for ‘Best Upset’ ESPY!

MTSU basketball fans still have times to cast their votes for the Blue Raider men’s team to win the “Best Upset” category in this year’s ESPY Awards.

The Blue Raiders made history in March when they became just the eighth No. 15 seed to defeat a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, upending No. 2 ranked Michigan State Spartans in the opening round, 90-81, on March 18.

MTSU men's basketball players Reggie Upshaw, left, and Perrin Buford were key members of the team that pulled an historic upset over Michigan State earlier this year. (MTSU photo illustration)

MTSU men’s basketball players Reggie Upshaw, left, and Perrin Buford were key members of the team that pulled an historic upset over Michigan State earlier this year. (MTSU photo illustration)

The ESPYs take place at 7 p.m. CT Wednesday, July 13, and will be televised on ABC. Fan voting for each category can be found at ESPYs.com and is open until the beginning of the awards show.

Cast your vote now here.

Murfreesboro mayor and MTSU alumnus Shane McFarland is doing his part to encourage Middle Tennessee to vote for the Blue Raiders.

“As a mayor and Blue Raider alumnus, I couldn’t be more excited about supporting MT Basketball in national recognition for the team’s upset against Michigan State in the NCAA tournament earlier this year,” McFarland said in a city news release. “Now we have the opportunity to show our appreciation by voting the amazing game as the ‘Best Upset’ in this year’s ESPY Awards. I encourage all MT fans to go online and vote.”

Fans can follow MTSU athletics anytime at www.goblueraiders.com, the official website of MT Athletics.