Want to start a family business? Take this new MTSU course

MTSU students can gain first-hand insight into what it takes to run a family business through a new course being offered by the Jennings A. Jones College of Business beginning in the spring.

Assistant professor Jerry Kudlats in the Business Communication and Entrepreneurship Department will be teaching BCEN 4100 — Family Business.Family Business logo

According to Kudlats, family businesses are the predominant form of business in the world, with almost 80 percent of new ventures “born as family firms.”

“In these firms, family members significantly influence the business, including its creation, continuity, mode and extent of growth, and exit,” Kudlats says. “This course will prepare students to work effectively and professionally in and with family firms, and to launch and create cross-generational wealth in family firms.”

Several local family business owners will enhance the classroom experience by sharing their personal involvement in their own family businesses, Kudlats added.

The course will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 2:25 p.m. in Room S338 of the Business and Aerospace Building.

For more information, call the Business Communication and Entrepreneurship Department at 615-898-2902.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

Will inclement weather affect MTSU’s schedule? Find out here!

If inclement weather forecasts have you wondering if MTSU classes and events will be delayed or cancelled, bookmark this page, mtsunews.com/weather, to keep track of the latest updates!

If inclement weather arises that will affect university operations, MTSU will always inform the campus and surrounding community via:
  • alerts from MTSU’s Rave Mobile Safety system;
  • local radio and television stations (see list below);
  • the “Alert Updates” web page at www.mtsu.edu/alertupdates;
  • a note on the MTSU home page at www.mtsu.edu;
  • the university’s Twitter feed, @mtsunewsand
  • the MTSU hotline (615-898-2000).


All current  MTSU students, faculty and staff automatically receive email alerts from Rave, including weather-related emergencies, delays and cancellations.
If you want to receive text and/or voice alerts too, click here and log in with your PipelineMT username and password to update your information.

(Rave Alert FAQs, including adding or changing contact information, are available here .)

If MTSU classes are cancelled or delayed, the announcement will apply to all classes, credit and noncredit. All university offices will be open unless the announcement specifically says they’ll be closed. Overnight decisions will be announced by 6 a.m. the following day.

Radio Stations
TV Stations

Students concerned about class attendance during inclement weather can refer to the university’s 2014-15 “Blue Raider Planner and Handbook ,” which explains that

… students will be allowed to use their own discretion when snow and icy conditions exist — they will be given the opportunity to make up missed classes should they decide not to attend. (page 24)

The Ann Campbell Early Learning Center, MTSU’s early intervention preschool, also has updated its inclement-weather closing policy. You can read the policy here and also check the ACE Learning Center’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ProjectHelp for its weather closing updates.

MTSU also tests its tornado sirens monthly to ensure proper operation during tornado warnings and other emergency alerts. A schedule of the monthly tests is available at mtsunews.com/tornado-siren-testing. That page also includes a link to locations of the safest places on campus.

The MTSU Alert4U emergency weather information page at http://mtsu.edu/alert4u/tornado.php also includes tips on preparing for tornado weather and a “Frequently Asked Questions” link to MTSU-specific information for tornado warnings.

MTSU issues ‘timely warning’ after reported attempted robbery

MTSU Alert graphicMiddle Tennessee State University has issued a “timely warning”  after a report of an attempted robbery Thursday night, Nov. 13, on the university campus.

The following text comes from the university’s “Alert Updates” page, located at www.mtsu.edu/alertupdates, which is part of the network of campuswide information sources linked to MTSU’s Rave Mobile Safety emergency notification system.

2:40 P.M., NOV. 14, 2014, MTSU TIMELY WARNING: On Nov. 13, 2014, at 9:03 p.m., Middle Tennessee State University Police received an attempted robbery complaint from a female student.

The victim stated that she was walking from the Honors Building to the Stark Agriculture Building earlier in the evening, when a male suspect attempted to take her phone and in the process grabbed her wrist. No weapon was used.

The incident occurred on the north side of the Stark Agriculture Building near the Cummings Hall parking lot. The victim dropped the phone, shattering it. The suspect ran away toward the Cummings Hall parking lot.

The suspect was described as a black male, approximately 5 feet 9 inches tall and 160 pounds, with a skinny build. He was wearing a gray jacket with a hood, jeans and red Air Jordan sneakers.

If anyone has any information about this individual or have knowledge of this incident, they are urged to contact MTSU Police at 615-898-2424. If you have knowledge about this or any other crime, you may also contact CrimeStoppers at 615-893-STOP (7867).

All students are encouraged to remain aware of their surroundings, walk in well-lit areas and consider other personal safety tips found at the MTSU Police Department website, http://police.mtsu.edu. The website also has information about services offered by MTSU Police, including the Student Escort Program and the free MTSU Rave Guardian app, which turns a mobile phone into a “virtual escort” that connects directly to MTSU Police in case of emergency.

This timely warning notification is made in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Act and the Higher Education Opportunity Act.

Today’s notifications went automatically to all current  MTSU students, faculty and staff via email alerts from the Rave Mobile Safety system. When necessary, the campuswide alerts also include weather-related university scheduling changes, building closures and more.

MTSU students, faculty and staff who also want to receive text and/or voice alerts can click here, log in with a PipelineMT username and password to update their contact information. You also can find a link to information about the new Rave Guardian app for Android phones and iPhones there. (Rave Alert FAQs, including adding or changing contact information, are available here.)

When there’s not a situation on or near campus warranting emergency alerts, the “Alert Updates” page displays a generic message advising visitors to check back when necessary and to contact the MTSU Police Department if any suspicious activity is observed.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Dining at Chili’s can again help restock MTSU Raiders’ Closet

Patrons dining at a Murfreesboro restaurant could mean more good news for a worthy MTSU student service.

The Chili’s restaurant at 755 N.W. Broad St. in Murfreesboro will donate 10 percent of its Tuesday, Nov. 18, sales to Raiders’ Closet.

The restaurant conducted a similar successful Raiders’ Closet fundraiser last month.

Created by Dr. Virginia Hemby-Grubb, a professor in MTSU’s Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship, the operation is located in Room 327 of the Keathley University Center.

It provides gently used professional attire for students who need appropriate clothing for job interviews, internships and other professional endeavors.

Students may try on clothing and keep the items they choose. The closet relies on donations to stock suits, blouses, dresses, skirts, shoes, ties and accessories.

The Raiders’ Closet also has an MTSU foundation account, which enables it to collect money to restock its inventory and to find special clothing sizes.

The Nov. 18 giveback is good only at the Northwest Broad Street Chili’s location from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. It’s valid for all food and nonalcoholic beverage sales.

For more information, contact Hemby-Grubb at 615-898-2369 or virginia.hemby-grubb@mtsu.edu or Jaye Kiblinger at 615-898-2902 or jaye.kiblinger@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Dr. Virginia Hemby-Grubb displays some of the items available for students preparing for job interviews and new jobs at the MTSU Raiders’ Closet. (file photo)

MTSU music business program on ‘Hollywood Reporter’ top-25 list

MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry is on an international list of acclaimed schools touted by The Hollywood Reporter that includes Juilliard, Berklee, Yale and even London’s Royal College of Music.

Click on the screen grab above to see the complete list.

The department’s music business program is part of the magazine’s “Top 25 Music Schools 2014,” which was published online and in the Nov. 14 edition of The Hollywood Reporter.

The international list, which refers to MTSU’s “music business school,” was compiled by the publication’s editors and “dozens of industry and academic insiders” who “assessed each school’s reputation,” according to the report. The schools then ranked each other anonymously.

“We are thrilled that the national recognition continues for the Department of Recording Industry, which was recently named by Billboard as one of its Top 5 schools to study music internationally,” said Beverly Keel, department chair.

Beverly Keel

“Our faculty is dedicated to providing students with a foundation of communication and critical thinking skills that will prepare them for careers in the ever-changing music business. Our alumni have become award-winning artists, songwriters and producers, as well as managers, publishers, booking agents, publicists and label executives, and we are so proud of all they have accomplished.”

Recording industry undergrad majors in the College of Mass Communication 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 recording industry department, which is regularly included in top-program listings around the world, 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.

The Hollywood Reporter listing noted that MTSU’s “music business school grads run the Nashville outposts of Sony Music and Universal Music (Group) as well as New York’s Electric Lady Studios. Chris Young and Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott went there, too.”

The mention also quoted longtime music journalist Alanna Nash as saying that MTSU has “an incredible music business school.” Like the other schools, the MTSU item included a pair of notable alumni — Sony Music Nashville Chairman and CEO Gary Overton and multi-Grammy-winning producer Blake Chancey.

More than a dozen MTSU alumni or former students and faculty from around the university have been nominated for Grammy Awards in the last four years. Seven have won Grammys, including a couple of repeat recipients, in categories from classical to gospel to bluegrass.

Former students, including Young, Scott, Eric Paslay and Brett Eldridge, have found themselves on the Billboard Country Airplay chart simultaneously.

On the THR music school list, The Juilliard School in New York City took top honors, followed by Boston’s Berklee College of Music, the University of Southern California at Los Angeles, UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music and the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio.

MTSU was No. 23 on the list, just ahead of fellow music-business player Belmont University’s Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business.

In September, Billboard magazine included MTSU among 11 of the best music business schools in North America in “Music Business 101: Schools Where You Can Learn About the Industry.”

You can learn more about MTSU’s recording industry program at http://recordingindustry.mtsu.edu.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Music publisher Woody Bomar, center, makes a comment while observing fellow songwriter Bobby Taylor’s guest-teaching stint in a Commercial Songwriting class at MTSU Wednesday, Nov. 12. Bomar, a native of Wartrace, Tennessee, and an MTSU alumnus, is the founder of Green Hills Music Group and the former senior vice president of Sony/ATV Music Publishing and president and co-owner of Little Big Town Music. He also wrote No. 1 singles for Conway Twitty and Jim Glaser and has written songs for Hank Williams Jr., Loretta Lynn, T.G. Sheppard and Lee Greenwood. MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry, which offers the Commercial Songwriting course in its curriculum, was included this week in The Hollywood Reporter’s “Top 25 Music Schools 2014.” (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

Bobby Taylor, right, smiles at a student’s comment during a guest-teaching stint in a Commercial Songwriting class at MTSU Wednesday, Nov. 12. The two-time MTSU alumnus and Cumberland County, Tennessee, resident wrote the Billboard-charting “Hillbilly Shoes” for Montgomery Gentry and “A Man’ Holdin’ On” for Ty Herndon and also has written songs for the Oak Ridge Boys, Mark Collie, Gretchen Wilson, Billy Ray Cyrus, the Marshall Tucker Band and the Road Hammers.

Japanese consul-general headlines International Education Week

The consul-general of Japan highlights a dynamic celebration of International Education Week at MTSU, set Nov. 10-14.

Motohiko Kato, Japan’s consul-general stationed in Nashville, will present “Japan in the World: Challenges and Opportunities in Japan’s Efforts to Increase Global Peace and Prosperity” at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12, in the Parliamentary Room of the Student Union.

Motohiko Kato

You can see a larger version of this flier by clicking on it.

Kato, whose diplomatic career began in 1982, was deputy chief of mission at the Japanese Embassy in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2007. He worked closely with his American counterparts there on various reconstruction efforts.

The Consulate-General of Japan at Nashville covers Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Kato is responsible for protecting the interests of Japanese companies, promoting Japanese culture and caring for Japanese citizens in the five states.

“This year’s International Education Week at MTSU highlights the on-campus screening of documentaries produced as part of our MTSU Signature Education Abroad Programs,” noted Dr. David Schmidt, director of the Office of International Affairs.

MTSU student nurses who raised money for an education abroad program to Central America will be celebrated in “Medicine for Guatemala,” a documentary to be shown at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11, in the Keathley University Center Theater.

Dr. Ric Morris of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, who accompanied the nurses on their summer 2014 education-abroad experience, produced the documentary.

The Office of International Affairs and the Intercultural and Diversity Affairs Center will present “This is Me” at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the KUC Theater.

This event will feature MTSU students telling how they stretched their comfort zones to achieve and succeed in different cultures.

MTSU student nurses, the subject of the documentary “Medicine for Guatemala,” pose for a photo during their summer 2014 education-abroad experience. In the front row are, from left, Tara Ghodrat, Katie Mullen, Danielle Bowland and Brooke Bilbrey. In the back row are Hannah Owensby, Olivia Lovell, Sarah Wilkerson and Lauren Stamps. (photo submitted)

MTSU student nurses, the subject of the documentary “Medicine for Guatemala,” pose for a photo during their summer 2014 education-abroad experience. In the front row are, from left, Tara Ghodrat, Katie Mullen, Danielle Bowland and Brooke Bilbrey. In the back row are Hannah Owensby, Olivia Lovell, Sarah Wilkerson and Lauren Stamps. (photo submitted)

Eleven students from the College of Mass Communication will screen the documentaries they created during a study-abroad trip to France at 4 p.m. Thursday in the Student Union Theater.

The students, led by instructor Tom Neff, created stories about artists who live and work in Paris.

Intl Education Week 2014 graphic“The documentaries are amazing and demonstrate the true impact of education abroad and the caliber of our students,” Schmidt said.

Dr. David Schmidt

Dr. David Schmidt

Chinese culture will be front and center when the Confucius Institute at MTSU presents a Chinese music performance at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, in the James E. Walker Library lobby.

Members of the institute also will prepare and serve a traditional Chinese meal at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Raiders for Christ building, located at 1105 East Bell St. in Murfreesboro.

All events are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact the Office of International Affairs at 615-898-2116 or the Office of Education Abroad at 615-898-5179.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

MTSU to test campus tornado sirens Wednesday morning

MTSU plans to conduct a routine monthly test of its tornado sirens on campus and at the Miller Coliseum Complex Wednesday, Nov. 12, at 11:15 a.m.

This is a brief, routine test of the system, and no safety actions will be required.

The university notifies the campus and surrounding neighborhoods before these tests each month. Tests are conducted on alternating Tuesdays and Wednesdays to minimize distractions for classes and neighbors.

Members of the campus community can prepare for emergency weather situations anytime by checking MTSU’s list of “safe places” at http://bit.ly/MTSUSafePlaces. You also can make note of the siren-testing schedule by visiting http://mtsunews.com/tornado-siren-testing. Bookmark both sites!

Remember that, in the event of a weather emergency, all students, faculty and staff automatically receive a Rave alert at their MTSU email addresses. If you’re not already receiving text and/or voice alerts too, visit http://mtsunews.com/weather and use the “click here and log in” link to make those notification changes.

Murfreesboro’s Denson, 9, ‘signs’ with MT Baseball (+VIDEO)

Luke Denson became the youngest player ever to sign with Middle Tennessee’s baseball team when he inked a national letter of intent during a press conference at the Kennon Hall of Fame Building Nov. 6.

Denson, a 9-year-old who attends Erma Siegel Elementary, was well received by his new Blue Raider teammates who, along with coaches, attended the press conference. Athletic department employees were also on hand for the special event.

You can watch a video from the signing below.


After signing his letter of intent, Denson was in the spotlight as head baseball coach Jim McGuire and Director of Athletics Chris Massaro presented him with a Blue Raider jersey and a MT baseball cap.

Denson beamed as he proudly stood between Massaro and McGuire, soaking in the moment as photographers captured the moment amidst a rousing ovation.

The youngster appeared as excited as any high school player on National Signing Day, and with good reason.

Denson was united with Middle Tennessee baseball through Team Impact, a Boston-based nonprofit organization. He lives with Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome, a rare congenital disorder characterized by exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, bone marrow dysfunction, skeletal abnormalities and short stature.

“He is a motivation to me,” said Blue Raider senior Jake Ingold. “We are all excited to have Luke with our team. He is a Blue Raider.”

McGuire said Team Impact contacted him about Denson’s interests.

“Luke lives here, and Team Impact contacted me about him, and everyone here was excited to get on board,” McGuire said.

“Luke will be at our practices and games and other events. He will be around the team a lot, and it really is a win-win situation for all of us. Luke is an inspiration to us.”

Luke Denson, 9, of Murfreesboro signs a letter of intent Nov. 6 with MTSU’s baseball team during a press conference in the Kennon Hall of Fame Building. (MTSU Athletics photo)

Denson is an official member of the Blue Raiders from his signing day through graduation. He will attend practices, games and social events while forming relationships with the student-athletes and coaching staff.

Luke’s mother, Honey, said the pairing with Middle Tennessee baseball has been a blessing for the family.

“I believe this is something that benefits all of us,” Honey Denson said.

“This can help Luke gain self-confidence, just being accepted. He loves it, and the (players) have received him well. He really likes the team.”

Players chatted with young Luke Denson during a post-press conference pizza party, already treating him as one of the team, sitting around and sharing stories. That was until Denson realized another side of athletics – the media.

Media members were lined up to talk to the Blue Raiders’ newest member, and he obliged, honoring all media requests by donning his Blue Raider gear.

You can read more about Denson here.

— MTSU Athletics (goblueraiders.com)

Mentoring expert is part of MTSU Nontraditional Student Celebration

Practical advice to help bridge the gap between college and work is on tap for this year’s Nontraditional Student Celebration at MTSU Nov. 10-18.

Robin Crawford

Robin C. Crawford

Valerie Avent

Valerie Avent

Robin C. Crawford, founder of WORKZGOOD, will be the speaker for the Nontraditional Student Week Dinner, which is slated to start at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11, in the Student Union Ballroom.

Crawford, a certified life coach, leads two professional networking and development groups in the greater Atlanta area. Her business provides work-life consulting, professional mentoring, education and speaking services.

The dinner is free and open to the public, but seating is limited to the first 100 people.

“We are very proud of our nontraditional students, who are aged 24 and older,” said Valerie Avent, assistant director of the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students.

“They have assumed leadership roles at MTSU and make time to take part in various aspects of campus life along with their professional and family responsibilities. They are growing in number both locally and nationally as more and more adults make career transitions and postpone retirement.”

The week’s activities begin with a free T-shirt giveaway to the first 100 MTSU students from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 10, in Room 330 of the Student Union Building.

You can see a larger version of this poster by clicking on it.

You can see a larger version of this poster by clicking on it.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday in the Student Union lobby, the Student Government Association will provide a variety of international food samples.

The June Anderson Center shares sponsorship duties with the Office of International Education for “This is Me,” an open microphone event at which members of the MTSU community are invited to share stories celebrating diversity.

The event is slated for 7 p.m. Monday in the Keathley University Center Theater.

From 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Nov. 11, student government members will travel around campus in a golf cart handing out goodies on “Toss-Out Tuesday.”

SGA will team with Dunkin’ Donuts to offer free hot cocoa, coffee and doughnuts from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12, in the Student Union lobby.

Student government leaders will host “What Can SGA Do for You?,” a meet-and-greet event from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, in Room 330 of the Student Union. Attendees are invited to contribute nonperishable food items for donation to the Student Food Pantry.

A free legal clinic is slated for 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, in Room 330 of the Student Union.

The June Anderson Center collaborates with the Rutherford-Cannon County Bar Association to host the clinic, which is free and open to all MTSU students, faculty and staff.

For more information about Nontraditional Students Week activities, or to make legal clinic reservations by Monday, Nov. 10, call 615-898-5812.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Educators: Learn about school-improvement degree at MTSU Nov. 20

Educators eyeing a doctoral degree to help boost their pre-K through 12th-grade students’ academic achievement can learn more about MTSU’s new education degree at a free session set for Thursday, Nov. 20, on campus.

Dr. Rick Vanosdall, interim director of the university’s program for the Doctor of Education in Assessment, Learning and Pre-K-12 School Improvement degree, will present information and answer questions beginning at 6 p.m. in Room 202A of MTSU’s College of Education Building.

Click on the brochure above to see a full-size, printable version with more information about the Doctor of Education degrees in Assessment, Learning and Pre-K-12 School Improvement at MTSU.

A searchable campus map with parking notes is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParking14-15.

Reservations are required for the session and must be made before Thursday, Nov. 13. Interested teachers may call 615-898-2995 or email EdD@mtsu.edu to reserve a seat for the event.

The program, also known as the Ed.D. in ALSI, is the first of its kind in Tennessee and aims to help educators serving pre-K through 12th grade improve their students’ academic achievement.

It launched in fall 2013 and targets all levels of pre-K through 12th-grade educational leaders, including teacher-leaders, administrators, district office personnel, policy makers, policy advisers and staff members of philanthropic and not-for-profit agencies focused on school improvement.

The new doctorate will train educators to analyze student-learning data and pinpoint areas of success as well as areas in need of attention. MTSU also offers doctoral degrees in economics, English, human performance, literacy studies, molecular biosciences, computational science, public history, and mathematics and science education.

Applicants for the new education doctoral program must have earned a master’s degree and “be in a position to effect immediate pre-K-12 school improvement and gains in student learning,” according to program specifications.

The deadline for applications for the fall 2015 program is Jan. 31, 2015.

For more details on MTSU’s Doctor of Education degree in Assessment, Learning and Pre-K-12 School Improvement, visit www.mtsu.edu/education/EdD_ALSI.php. You also can find a brochure with more details at http://ow.ly/DsxVb.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)