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MTSU seniors recognized for plans to restore 3 songwriters’ copyrights

Two MTSU seniors are the dual recipients of MTSU’s 2016 Chitwood Award for Excellence for their plans to help three best-selling songwriters reclaim ownership of two of their popular compositions.

Peyton Robinette

Peyton Robinette

Robert Williford

Robert Williford

Peyton Robinette and Robert Williford accepted the awards during a special ceremony Nov. 30 in MTSU’s Bragg Media and Entertainment Building.

Their honors recognize the best “Recapture Projects of 2015-16” proposed by a Department of Recording Industry student in MTSU associate professor Deborah Wagnon’s copyright law class.

The projects affect the songs “Dirty Pool,” created by the late musicians Stevie Ray Vaughan and Doyle Bramhall, and singer/songwriter Mike Reid’s classic “Stranger in My House,” performed by Ronnie Milsap.

Deborah Wagnon

Deborah Wagnon

“The power of each of these 1983 songs made this a particularly exciting opportunity to shine the light on both blues and country works that have stood the test of time,” Wagnon said.

The Recapture Project is tied to U.S. Copyright Act (Section 203), which lets copyright creators terminate their publishers’ rights and reclaim ownership of their songs or books after a 35-year moratorium. Each student studying copyright law with Wagnon is required to participate in the project.

Wagnon, who also is an entertainment business attorney, said she will contact the Vaughan and Bramhall estates and Reid’s representatives to present the students’ proposal.

Each of Wagnon’s students also must create a plan of action for the recaptured work, including information that’s needed to reclaim the copyright 35 years after the original grant, assignment or license was finalized.

“This means Peyton and Rob had to demonstrate a future plan hat will be inventive and timely in the marketplace as of Dec. 31, 2019,” Wagnon explained.

Robinette specifically sought out works by some of his favorite artists and realized the time frame would fit songs from Vaughan’s debut album, “Texas Flood.” The commercial songwriting major from Rockwood, Tennessee, recognized Bramhall’s name thanks to seeing the late musician’s son, Doyle Bramhall II, on stage with Eric Clapton.

“When I realized the connection between the two, my heart was set on the song ‘Dirty Pool,’” Robinette said. “This recapture project … blended legal process with art, allowing me to fully dive into my efforts.”

Doyle Bramhall

Doyle Bramhall

Stevie Ray Vaughn web

Stevie Ray Vaughn

Williford, a Nashville recording industry major who also is a songwriter and musician, said his project on Reid’s 1984 Grammy winner for best country song “presented a particularly interesting and educational opportunity to gain real-world experience in the publishing world.”

“Drafting a proposal outlining the process which would allow Mr. Reid to exercise his right to recapture his intellectual property was a unique, exciting endeavor,” he added. “I especially enjoyed the creative challenge of envisioning ideas for potential exploitation of his song in the future.”

Mike Reid webMTSU’s Department of Recording Industry inaugurated the Chitwood Award of Excellence in fall 2014 to honor recording industry major David “Ritt” Chitwood, who was killed in a January 2014 traffic accident near campus. Organizers said Chitwood, a Nolensville, Tennessee, resident, served as an inspiration for faculty and students alike because of his optimism and eagerness to learn after surviving a near-fatal 2006 car wreck.

They expanded the award this year to also honor the estate of Charles Monroe Johnson, a Tennessee attorney, author and World War II veteran whose 1954 memoir, “Action with the Seaforths,” had fallen into the public domain and has now been restored to Johnson’s family in a new copyrighted derivative work with new photos, a foreword by Johnson’s daughter, Mona, and a new cover illustrated by recording industry graduate Victoria Richardson.

Wagnon began the Recapture Project in 2011 for her copyright law classes to encourage research and legal detail as well as creativity and entrepreneurial thinking. Copyright law is a required course in MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry, which is a part of the university’s College of Media and Entertainment.

For more information about the Department of Recording Industry at MTSU, visit www.mtsu.edu/recording-industry.

MTSU scholar wins $1K study-abroad grant from Phi Kappa Phi

The nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society has presented a $1,000 grant to an MTSU student.

Tiffany Miller

Tiffany Miller

Tiffany Miller, a junior from Bell Buckle, Tennessee, received the stipend from The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. She is one of only 26 students nationwide to receive the study-abroad grant.

Miller, who majors in both international relations and Spanish, will use the money to study at Universidad Andres Bello in Santiago, Chile.

“Chile is considered one of the most prosperous nations in South America, and I’m intrigued by what mechanisms are in place in Chile that allow it to thrive,” said Miller.

phi kappa phi logo web“Understanding this blend of political and economic success will enrich my other interests in international relations and economics.”

Miller added that in her opinion, Chile is one of the most beautiful places that a person can visit.

“Santiago is nestled in between the Atacama Desert to the north, the Andes Mountains in the east, the Pacific Ocean in the west and frozen Patagonia in the south,” she said.

The MTSU student said she’s considering many options for her future, including seeking a Fulbright grant, attending graduate school and pursuing a career in higher education.

Founded in 1897, Phi Kappa Phi inducts approximately 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni each year. The society has chapters at more than 300 select colleges and universities, including MTSU.

Membership for undergraduates is by invitation only. It’s offered to the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students and the top 7.5 percent of juniors.

For more information, contact Gina Logue, public affairs officer of MTSU’s Phi Kappa Phi chapter, at 615-898-5081 or gina.logue@mtsu.edu.

Singer Young creates scholarship for recording students

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — RCA Records Nashville artist and former MTSU student Chris Young celebrated the season of giving Nov. 27 by creating an annual scholarship for recording industry students at his alma mater.

“MTSU helped to give me a foundation for the music business, and I want this scholarship to help other students who are looking to take a similar path,” said Young, a native of Murfreesboro.

Chris Young

Chris Young

Young’s gift will allow MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry to award a yearly scholarship, starting this fall, for a rising junior or senior.

“Chris has remained a loyal and connected MTSU alumnus through the years,” said Joe Bales, vice president of university advancement.

“He’s returned to perform several times in MTSU’s Murphy Center as his music career ascended and remains generous with his time and talent, even donating some of his touring audio equipment and accessories a few years ago.”

Young, who just released his first holiday-themed album, “It Must Be Christmas,” continues to give back to communities along his remaining 2016 “I’m Comin’ Over Tour” stops. Through Dec. 10, he’s encouraging fans to bring a new, unwrapped toy or book to his concerts; the gifts will then be donated to local Toys For Tots campaigns.

With five albums to his credit, Young has amassed eight No. 1 singles and 15 gold/platinum certifications. His hits include “Gettin’ You Home,” “Voices,” “Tomorrow,” the platinum-certified “I’m Comin’ Over” and “Think of You,” a duet with Cassadee Pope.

Formal RIM logoThe former MTSU student, who attended in 2005, has performed several times at the university. In 2008, Young was the special guest of MTSU’s Invention Convention — the same event he attended as a child — where he sang several songs to an excited crowd of 300 middle-school youngsters.

The Department of Recording Industry in MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment has been consistently recognized by international publications and organizations as one of the top programs in the world.

Recording industry undergrad majors at MTSU can focus on audio production, commercial songwriting or music business. A Master of Fine Arts degree in recording arts and technologies prepares MTSU graduate students for advanced work in audio production, recording and integrated electronic media.

The department also collaborates with MTSU’s School of Music on a “music industry” minor concentration that allows students to minor in music-industry entrepreneurship or recording industry.

MTSU students who are interested in applying for the scholarship may contact the Department of Recording Industry office at 615-898-2578.

MTSU hosts fun-filled ‘de-stressing’ event to prep students for final exams

Final exams are just weeks away for MTSU students and a host of organizations have banded together to help relieve the pressure.

The Raider Health Corps along with MTSU Health Promotion, Campus Recreation, the Nutrition and Dietetic Association and the Center for Accelerated Learning Acquisition partnered together to put on De-stress Fest.

Matt Formisano, left, community outreach coordinator for Healthworks Chiropractic, explains spinal functions to a student during the De-stress Fest held Wednesday, Nov. 16, at the MTSU Campus Recreation Center. (MTSU photo)

Matt Formisano, left, community outreach coordinator for Healthworks Chiropractic, explains spinal functions to a student during the De-stress Fest held Wednesday, Nov. 16, at the MTSU Campus Recreation Center. (MTSU photo)

Usually held every semester, De-stress Fest is designed to help students unwind and get prepared mentally and physically for final exams. The event began Monday, Nov. 14, as students were invited to participate in a free yoga class at the Rec Center.

Festivities continued Wednesday, Nov. 16, as students participated in a variety of games and events at the Rec, including massages, receiving healthy snack samples, guided meditation sessions and fitness assessments among other things.

All services were free for students and this year De-stress Fest was able to partner with Healthworks Chiropractic to bring an official chiropractor in for students. According to health educator Vinny Black, this new partnership is one of the most valuable aspects of the event.

“We were able to reach outside of campus and bring in the chiropractic folks, which is good since it’s a brand new partnership. It’s big, because we wanted to get the community involved as well with the campus groups,” he said.

From left, MTSU students Josh McCray, Krista Brown, and Matty Frutiger discuss proper eating habits at the De-stress Fest held Wednesday, Nov. 16, at the MTSU Campus Recreation Center. (MTSU photo)

From left, MTSU students Josh McCray, Krista Brown, and Matty Frutiger discuss proper eating habits at the De-stress Fest held Wednesday, Nov. 16, at the MTSU Campus Recreation Center. (MTSU photo)

Black said De-stress Fest receives normally 100 to 150 students each semester and he hopes that each year the event will continue to grow and get more campus and community groups to contribute and participate.

The final event will take place on Nov. 30 when Black and other members from the Raider Health Corps will pass out de-stress kits in the James E. Walker Library atrium.

“While students are working hard studying and knocking out papers, we’ll be passing out kits that’ll have some free tea bags, paprika, and coloring sheets for people that want to de-stress that way,” Black said. “We want to help students before the exams and try again while they’re in midst of them.”

For more information of De-stress Fest, contact the Raider Health Corps at 615-494-8704 or visit their website http://www.mtsu.edu/healthpro/peer-health.php.

— Steven Michael Johnson (news@mtsu.edu)

From left, MTSU students Joey Rosen, Lawrence Gant and Randon Allen work one of the snack booths at the De-stress Fest held Wednesday, Nov. 16, at the MTSU Campus Recreation Center. (MTSU photo)

From left, MTSU students Joey Rosen, Lawrence Gant and Randon Allen work one of the snack booths at the De-stress Fest held Wednesday, Nov. 16, at the MTSU Campus Recreation Center. (MTSU photo)

MTSU students visit the various booths at the De-stress Fest held Wednesday, Nov. 16, at the MTSU Campus Recreation Center. (MTSU photo)

MTSU students visit the various booths at the De-stress Fest held Wednesday, Nov. 16, at the MTSU Campus Recreation Center. (MTSU photo)

MTSU-based wheelchair rugby program rolling to bright future

Before this semester, there were only two universities in the country affiliated with a wheelchair rugby team.

That number has increased to three as a Middle Tennessee State University-based team officially began its inaugural season over the weekend.

MTSU Exercise Science faculty adviser Gerald Christian, team manager and player for the QuadCrushers wheelchair rugby team based at MTSU, takes a break during a recent team practice inside the Campus Recreation Center. (MTSU photo by Kimi Conro)

MTSU Exercise Science faculty adviser Gerald Christian, team manager and player for the QuadCrushers wheelchair rugby team based at MTSU, takes a break during a recent team practice inside the Campus Recreation Center. (MTSU photos by Kimi Conro)

The team was formally founded a year ago this month after the extensive work of MTSU Exercise Science faculty adviser Gerald Christian, who also serves as team manager.

The team will compete as the QuadCrushers this season as a part of the United States Quad Rugby Association, which has teams representing cities and states all across the country.

“We have really awesome disabled student services. The campus itself is very open-minded and handicap friendly,” said Christian, who has been a quadriplegic since he was injured in a car wreck as a teenager.

“We wouldn’t even have it if the school wasn’t as accessible or accommodating as they are.”

Wheelchair rugby is considered one of the most physically demanding quadriplegic sports. Games are played inside on hardwood courts, and physical contact between wheelchairs is an essential part of the game. The QuadCrushers practice on auxiliary basketball courts in Murphy Center and the Campus Recreation Center.

The MTSU-based team recently competed in its first tournament in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and defeated the state of Indiana’s team 38-20 in its first match. The QuadCrushers later faced teams from Chicago, Detroit, and Texas, taking losses in each but gaining valuable experience along the way.

The dream for Christian and those involved is to make MTSU’s wheelchair rugby team a club sport, which will allow the program to officially represent MTSU at athletic events and showcase the university’s commitment to disabled students.

MTSU WordmarkBecoming an official club sport also could prompt other universities across the nation to follow the University of Houston, University of Phoenix and MTSU and start their own wheelchair rugby programs and leagues.

“MTSU is extremely accommodating to individuals with disabilities, so it would be great to represent MTSU by competing across the nation,” Christian said. “We will see where it goes, and how much student involvement we get.”

Even though the program has just started, “Full House” actor John Stamos apparently thinks highly of it, posting a news story about the team by student television station MT10 News to his Facebook profile. The story has been viewed at least 200 times and shared another 15 times.

You can watch the MT10 News story below:

Stamos and Christian met at a Beach Boys concert a few years ago and have kept in touch since the group invited Christian onstage to sing their classic “Surfing USA.”

Christian began the process of developing a team by consulting with the director of adaptive athletics at the University of Houston, Michael Cottingham. Cottingham started the first wheelchair rugby teams at Houston and the University of Phoenix.

Caleb Pascall, adaptive recreation and exercise coordinator

Caleb Pascall

Christian eventually turned to MTSU Campus Recreation’s adaptive recreation and exercise coordinator Caleb Paschall. With Paschall’s assistance he was able to get the wheelchair program listed as an Adaptive Rec program.

While the process of organizing a team was strenuous, Christian again lauded the university’s open-minded environment for people with disabilities. Paschall said he’s pleased to be a part of the process and credited Christian for doing most of the legwork.

QuadCrushers wheelchair rugby player Walter Lowery, center, tries to block a pass by fellow player Matthew Taylor during a recent practice inside the MTSU Campus Recreation Center. (MTSU photo by Kimi Conro)

QuadCrushers wheelchair rugby player Walter Lowery, center, tries to block a pass by fellow player Matthew Taylor during a recent practice inside the MTSU Campus Recreation Center. 

“This was really Gerald’s baby. He was working on this for a few years before he came to me, and I’m just glad we’re finally doing this on campus,” Paschall said.

The rec program is all-inclusive. Both disabled and non-disabled students are invited to come out to learn, watch and even play.

The QuadCrushers will compete in multiple tournaments this year, and the state of Alabama’s wheelchair rugby team, Lakeshore Demolition, will be traveling to MTSU for a contest in January, which Christian plans to promote around campus.

Paschall is confident that the program would be able to meet Christian’s expectations.

“I definitely think it will grow. Right now we’re just trying to get it off the ground and get more people to know about it and eventually join,” he said. “You have to have a certain amount of students involved to be considered a club, and I think we’ll get there once more start to find out about this.”

While Christian is quick to point out that his goal may be years down the road, he said the benefits of the program for both disabled and non-disabled students is already clear.

“It’s been really big for people to experience new things and see sports really is for everyone …. We eventually want people to come here because of this. It’s benefitted a bunch of people in many different ways,” Christian said.

For more information, contact Christian at gerald.christian@mtsu.edu or call 615-898-4807.

— Steven Michael Johnson (news@mtsu.edu)

The QuadCrushers wheelchair rugby based at MTSU practice recently inside the Campus Recreation Center. Shown, from left, are players Shakir Perry, an MTSU leisure, sport and tourism studies major, team coach and Paralympic gold medalist Eddie Crouch, Justin Jordan and David Jordan. (MTSU photo by Kimi Conro)

The QuadCrushers wheelchair rugby based at MTSU practice inside the Campus Recreation Center. Shown, from left, are players Shakir Perry, an MTSU leisure, sport and tourism studies major; team coach and Paralympic gold medalist Eddie Crouch; Justin Jordan and David Jordan.

QuadCrushers wheelchair rugby player Zion Min Redington, center, holds the ball as team coach and Paralympic gold medalist Eddie Crouch guards him during the team’s recent practice inside the MTSU Campus Recreation Center. (MTSU photo by Kimi Conro)

QuadCrushers wheelchair rugby player Zion Min Redington, center, holds the ball as team coach and Paralympic gold medalist Eddie Crouch guards him during a team practice inside the MTSU Campus Recreation Center. 

MTSU’s Rhodes named 2016 Armed Forces Merit Award recipient

FORT WORTH, Texas — U. S. Marine veteran Steven Rhodes, a senior defensive end at Middle Tennessee State University, is the fifth recipient of the Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America, or FWAA.

Steven Rhodes

Steven Rhodes

Coordinated by the staff at the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, the Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the FWAA was created in June 2012 “to honor an individual and/or a group within the realm of the sport of football.”

Brant Ringler, the executive director of the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, and Steve Richardson, the FWAA’s executive director, announced Friday that Rhodes, who will be 28 in 11 days, as the 2016 recipient during an 9 a.m. teleconference.

MT Veterans Salute logoA seven-person committee made up of FWAA members and Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl officials selected Rhodes from a list of 16 nominations for the 2016 award.

Nate Boyer of the University of Texas was the initial recipient of the award in 2012, followed by Brandon McCoy of the University of North Texas in 2013, Daniel Rodriguez from Clemson University in 2014 and Bret Robertson of Fulton, Missouri’s Westminster College in 2015.

All four were U. S. Army veterans before playing college football.

“On this very special day, Veterans’ Day 2016, we are pleased to join with the Football Writers Association of America to honor Steven Rhodes as the fifth recipient of the Armed Forces Merit Award,” said Ringler.

“We had a list of 16 outstanding nominations for this year’s award and it is difficult to honor only one each year when we have individuals and programs that are very deserving of the honor.”

Click here to read the full story on goblueraiders.com.

MTSU senior football player Steven Rhodes, shown carrying the American flag in this file photo, was named Friday as the 2016 Rhodes 2016 Armed Forces Merit Award recipient. (MTSU photo)

MTSU senior football player Steven Rhodes, shown carrying the American flag in this file photo, was named Friday, Nov. 11, as the 2016 Rhodes 2016 Armed Forces Merit Award recipient. (MTSU photo)

MTSU sorority raising cancer awareness with Think Pink Week

Breast Cancer Awareness Month may have just ended, but that hasn’t stopped one Middle Tennessee State University sorority from continuing to bring attention to a public health concern that has an impact on thousands of families each year.

The ladies of Zeta Tau Alpha are hosting their annual Think Pink Week, which is designed promote breast cancer education and awareness as well as raise donations as a part of the sorority’s philanthropy.

A student stops by the table of MTSU’s Zeta Tau Alpha sorority during its “Kiss Away Cancer” event Wednesday, Nov. 2, in the Student Union atrium. (MTSU photo by Steven Michael Johnson)

A student stops by the table of MTSU’s Zeta Tau Alpha sorority during its “Kiss Away Cancer” event Wednesday, Nov. 2, in the Student Union atrium. (MTSU photo by Steven Michael Johnson)

As a part of the weeklong awareness effort, the sorority hosted its annual “Kiss Away Cancer” event Wednesday, Nov. 2, in the Student Union atrium. People were invited to stop by the Zeta booth where they put on pink lip gloss or lipstick and kissed the sorority’s banner. The sorority also accepted donations and passed out pink ribbons.

ZTA, which plans to hang the banner in front of their sorority house on Greek Row, hopes their events will serve as an invitation for on-campus participation.

“Think Pink” ribbons were passed out by Zeta Tau Alpha sorority.

“It’s for people to be more involved on campus and to get the community involved. Not just our sorority and Greek life, but the entire community,” said junior Emma Graham.

Graham has been involved with Think Pink Week since her freshman year and has high expectations for the turnout this year.

“We don’t really have a particular goal, but I know we were trying to double our goal from last year. We raised $10,000 last year and this year we’re trying to double that,” she said.

A student kisses the breast cancer awareness sign at the “Kiss Away Cancer” event Wednesday, Nov. 2, in the Student Union atrium. Event sponsor Zeta Tau Alpha sorority will hang the sign on their house. (MTSU photo by Steven Michael Johnson)

A student kisses the breast cancer awareness sign at the “Kiss Away Cancer” event Wednesday, Nov. 2, in the Student Union atrium. Event sponsor Zeta Tau Alpha sorority will hang the sign on their house. (MTSU photo by Steven Michael Johnson)

On Thursday, ZTA will also be selling pink shirts for their annual “pink-out” football game, which will be played Saturday, Nov. 5.

On Friday the sorority will host its chalkboard event where the campus community will be invited to write on the organization’s chalkboard and explain who they wear the color pink to honor.

According to sophomore Leah Jones, the entire week has been a rewarding experience and shown a different side to Greek life.

“It’s been really great because a lot of people think of sororities as just glitter and social events, but it’s really nice to know you’re a part of something that gives back to not only your campus, but the community and the people you know personally,” she said.

For more information on Think Pink week, visit www.zetataualpha.org or contact the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life at 615-898-5812.

— Steven Michael Johnson (news@mtsu.edu)

Members of MTSU’s Zeta Tau Alpha sorority held its annual “Kiss Away Cancer” event Wednesday, Nov. 2, in the Student Union atrium as part of its Think Pink Week to raise breast cancer awareness. People were invited to stop by the Zeta booth where they put on pink lip gloss or lipstick and kissed the sorority’s banner. The sorority also accepted donations and passed out pink ribbons. (MTSU photo by Steven Michael Johnson)

Members of MTSU’s Zeta Tau Alpha sorority held its annual “Kiss Away Cancer” event Wednesday, Nov. 2, in the Student Union atrium as part of its Think Pink Week to raise breast cancer awareness. People were invited to stop by the Zeta booth where they put on pink lip gloss or lipstick and kissed the sorority’s banner. The sorority also accepted donations and passed out pink ribbons. (MTSU photo by Steven Michael Johnson)

This sign by MTSU’s Zeta Tau Alpha sorority encourages visitors to its table to "Think Pink" during its “Kiss Away Cancer” event Wednesday, Nov. 2, in the Student Union atrium. (MTSU photo by Steven Michael Johnson)

This sign by MTSU’s Zeta Tau Alpha sorority encourages visitors to its table to “Think Pink” during its “Kiss Away Cancer” event Wednesday, Nov. 2, in the Student Union atrium. (MTSU photo by Steven Michael Johnson)

A student gets a fresh coat of lipstick before participating in the “Kiss Away Cancer” event Wednesday, Nov. 2, in the Student Union atrium. (MTSU photo by Steven Michael Johnson)

A student gets a fresh coat of lipstick before participating in the “Kiss Away Cancer” event Wednesday, Nov. 2, in the Student Union atrium. (MTSU photo by Steven Michael Johnson)

A member of MTSU’s Zeta Tau Alpha sorority passes out pink ribbons during the sorority's annual “Kiss Away Cancer” event Wednesday, Nov. 2, in the Student Union atrium. (MTSU photo by Steven Michael Johnson)

A member of MTSU’s Zeta Tau Alpha sorority passes out pink ribbons during the sorority’s annual “Kiss Away Cancer” event Wednesday, Nov. 2, in the Student Union atrium. (MTSU photo by Steven Michael Johnson)

MTSU experts tackle debates, John Deere, disaster, coffee, NCAA

MTSU faculty and staff experts contributed their knowledge to various national media outlets recently, sounding off on presidential debates, competing heavy equipment firms, caffeine addiction and the challenge of explaining 9/11 to small children.

Dr. Justin Gardner

Dr. Justin Gardner

Dr. Larry Burriss

Dr. Larry Burriss

Dr. Larry Burriss, a journalism professor, stated his views on the town hall format in presidential debates for an article in Variety magazine. His commentary is available here.

Dr. Justin Gardner, an associate professor of agribusiness, compared farm equipment companies John Deere and Caterpillar for U.S. News and World Report. Gardner’s quotes can be accessed here.

MTSU WordmarkDr. Andrew Polk, a history professor and coordinator of history education, described how to explain the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America to schoolchildren for Raycom Media. The story can be read here.

Lisa Schrader, director of health promotion, explained how college students can know when they’re addicted to caffeine for www.more.com. Her quotes are available here.

Chris Massaro

Chris Massaro

Lisa Schrader

Lisa Schrader

Dr. Andrew Polk

Dr. Andrew Polk

MTSU Director of Athletics Chris Massaro talked about college football conference realignment in this article by the New York Times. His quotes are available here.

Reporters seeking expertise from MTSU personnel, as well as members of the campus community with expertise for media, may contact Gina Logue in the Office of News and Media Relations at 615-898-5081 or via email at gina.logue@mtsu.edu.

MTSU frat reaches $10K goal to help injured football player

MTSU’s chapter of Sigma Chi Fraternity, Eta Gamma, used their philanthropy week recently to reach their $10,000 fundraising goal to help a local high school student who suffered brain trauma.

All 2016 Sigma Chi Derby Days proceeds will go to Baylor Bramble, a student at Siegel High School who was seriously injured playing football last year. The funds will be donated to Bramble’s family to aid with his medical bills, rehabilitation equipment, and related family needs.

Members of MTSU’s chapter of Sigma Chi Fraternity with Baylor Bramble at his Senior Night at Siegel High School in Murfreesboro. (Submitted photo)

Members of MTSU’s chapter of Sigma Chi Fraternity with Baylor Bramble at his Senior Night at Siegel High School in Murfreesboro. (Submitted photo)

Upon removing a piece of his skull, the doctors found that he had a large blood clot in his brain. They said that Bramble had little chance of surviving. After rigorous months of rehabilitation, Bramble is now back at home. He can now see, hear, and communicate via iPad, but his journey to recovery will be a long road, organizers said.

Siegel High School student Baylor Bramble is shown in uniform before his head injury. (Submitted photo)

Baylor Bramble

sigma-chi-logo-webThe brothers of Sigma Chi Fraternity had raised roughly $7,000 before asking for the public’s help through the tilt.com website and mobile app to meet their goal of $10,000, hoping to make a significant impact on Baylor and his family.

The community could go to http://bit.ly/pray4baylor to donate. When the drive closed on Oct. 30, the total was $10,230!

MTSU student and Sigma Chi member Houston Forsythe posted a thank you on the tilt.com fundraising page:

“I just wanted to take a second to thank each and every person who has donated. Your donations are going to help an amazing family. The Bramble family, the community, and we as Sigma Chi’s will remember this past week for years to come.”

In the News: MTSU’s ‘Dolly project’ featured on Nashville Public Radio

“Inspirations from Tennessee,” an arts-inclusive project funded by an MTSU grant, is releasing a musical CD with the same title in January 2017 featuring seven newly commissioned works inspired by country music superstar Dolly Parton’s repertoire.

Songwriters, artists, composers and musicians from Tennessee, including MTSU music faculty, have been the building blocks toward creating musical works drawing inspiration from other Tennessee artists. Dubbed “the Dolly project,” the initiative first premiered in October 2015.

From left to right, MTSU School of Music faculty members Rebecca Murphy on flute, Windell Little on piano, and Deanna Little on flute perform a song from “The Dolly Project” for the Live in Studio C program for Nashville Public Radio’s WFCL-FM Classical 91.1. (Photo courtesy of Nina Cardona/Nashville Public Radio)

From left to right, MTSU School of Music faculty members Rebecca Murphy on flute, Windell Little on piano, and Deanna Little on flute perform a song from “The Dolly Project” for the Live in Studio C program for Nashville Public Radio’s WFCL-FM Classical 91.1. (Photo courtesy of Nina Cardona/Nashville Public Radio)

Nashville Public Radio recently featured the project in an online report published after one of WFCL-FM Classical 91.1’s “Live in Studio C” segments in late September.

The online report includes a podcast featuring an interview and performances by Deanna Little, a professor of flute in the MTSU School of Music who is spearheading the project, as well as MTSU faculty members Rebecca Murphy on flute and Windell Little on piano.

Listen to the podcast here.

Composers on this project include MTSU School of Music faculty and/or graduates Cedric Dent, Bruce Dudley, Paul Osterfield, Jamey Simmons, Andy Smith, and Kristy Sullivan, plus Recording Industry faculty member Joseph Akins.

Some of the other performers include Akins and music faculty and/or graduates Todd Waldecker, Christine Kim and Celine Thackston. Recording Industry faculty member John Hill recorded the new works this past summer.

Six of the project’s pieces use Parton’s song, “Coat of Many Colors,” as their inspiration. The other piece, at Osterfield’s request, uses her children’s book “I Am a Rainbow.”

For Little, “Inspirations from Tennessee” is an idea she had “for a long time.”

School of Music new logo web“I wanted to connect different elements of the arts based on Tennessee culture. I originally was looking for a poet to start with but didn’t find anyone I connected with,” she said.

“One day it dawned on me to use lyrics and the work of Dolly Parton as the root of my project. I admire her because she has contributed much to the people of Tennessee and the world through her music, movies, Imagination Library (literacy initiative) and is a role model we can all look up to. She came from a poor family and worked hard to make her life what it now is. That is an inspiration to me and a value I strive for … work hard, do good things and be happy!”

The project is funded through an MTSU Faculty Research and Creative Project grant. The idea is to link different forms of art though Tennessee artists — Parton, composers, performers, recording artists and CD artwork.

Little believes the joining of the creative and performing arts, as well as the creation of art inspired from people that are immersed in Tennessee’s culture, will not only contribute to the enrichment of music-making, but also will show how art of all kinds are connected to the lives we live and that one is not separate from the other.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

Here’s a YouTube video of Parton performing “Coat of Many Colors” in 1979:

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