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Country music’s Atkins learns about MTSU veterans center

When MTSU’s Keith M. Huber met country music entertainer Rodney Atkins for the first time Thursday (Feb. 16), they discovered they had much in common.

Keith M. Huber, left, senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives at MTSU, visits with country music signer Rodney Atkins following the entertainer's visit to campus Feb. 16 to learn more about and visit the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center. Atkins, who has performed with the USO in Iraq and Afghanistan, to Huber Daniels had been his mentor since 2006. (MTSU photo by Pat Thomas)

Keith M. Huber, left, senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives at MTSU, visits with country music signer Rodney Atkins during the entertainer’s visit to campus Feb. 16 to learn more about the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center and Daniels Transitioning Home office. Atkins, who has performed with the USO in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been mentored by Daniels since 2006. (MTSU photo by Pat Thomas)

Huber, senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives at MTSU, served nearly 40 years in the military, retiring as a lieutenant general. Atkins has entertained for troops with the USO in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Daniels Veterans Center logo webThey both know legendary entertainer Charlie Daniels: Huber through Daniels’ gifts totaling $125,000 for the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center and Atkins through Daniels’ mentoring that began in 2006.

Atkins’ scheduled visit to meet Huber included a visit to the Daniels Veterans Center on the first floor of Keathley University Center and just-opened Daniels Center Transitioning Home office on the third floor of KUC. The Curb Records singer wound up staying two hours.

“He came here to see what we do for our veterans and is receptive to getting involved with our veterans,” Huber said of Atkins’ visit.

Some of the songs by the singer/songwriter, a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, include “If You’re Going Through Hell,” “It’s America,” “Watching You,” “Honesty” and more.

Including family members, MTSU has a student veteran population of about 1,000.

Honors lectures on ‘rhetoric in contemporary culture’ open to the public

The general public is once again welcome to join an MTSU Honors College class for the spring 2017 Honors Lecture Series each week for topics on “Rhetoric in Contemporary Culture.”

Honors Lecture Series poster

Click on the poster to see a larger PDF version.

The series continues at 3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20, when MTSU alumnus Keel Hunt, a public affairs consultant, author and former journalist, will discuss “Political Speech: How Candidates Win and Leaders Lead.”

Honors College logoThe spring lecture series takes place from 3 to 3:55 p.m. every Monday with the exception of March 6, when MTSU students and faculty will begin spring break.

The lecture series ends April 10.

MTSU’s Honors Lecture Series, which is always free and open to the public, has been a staple in the fall and spring semesters for two decades. It features focused topics and presenters from multiple disciplines on and off campus and is a required course for upper-division Honors College students.

Lectures are held in the Simmons Amphitheatre, Room 106, in the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building. A searchable campus map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap. Off-campus visitors attending the lectures can obtain a special one-day parking permit at www.mtsu.edu/parking/visit.php.

Dr. Kaylene Gebert

Dr. Kaylene Gebert

Politics, social issues, climate change are among the upcoming lectures. To view the full schedule, visit http://mtsu.edu/honors/lecture-series/2017-spring.php.

“Rhetoric in Contemporary Culture” explores arguments that people use for various contemporary — and often controversial — topics, said Dr. Kaylene Gebert, an Honors College faculty member and a former university provost.

“While rhetoric is an ancient art, rhetoric or persuasion is clearly evident in our daily world, including a newer form: social media,” said Gebert, who collaborated with Associate Honors Dean Philip Phillips to develop the theme and to schedule presenters.

“The series provides a diverse, yet powerful, set of exemplars, pictures, arguments and studies that pervade our culture and attempt to persuade us,” Gebert said. “The goal of the series is to promote informed reflection and constructive dialogue on rhetoric and the pervasive role it plays in how we perceive the world around us.”

For more information about the Honors Lecture Series or MTSU’s University Honors College, call 615-898-2152.

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

Brief tornado-siren testing planned for MTSU campus Tuesday afternoon

MTSU plans to test its tornado sirens on campus and at the Miller Coliseum Complex Tuesday, Feb. 14, at 12:20 p.m.

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

If harsh weather is in the area around the time of the scheduled testing, the test will be canceled.

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

Members of the campus community can prepare for emergency weather situations anytime by checking MTSU’s list of recommended shelter locations at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUTornadoShelters. You also can make note of the siren-testing schedule by visiting www.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 www.mtsunews.com/weather and use the “click here and log in” link to make those notification changes.

Latest MTSU ‘Global Commerce’ report assesses Tenn.-Mexico trade

MTSU’s Business and Economic Research Center explores the trade relationship between Tennessee and Mexico in its latest “Global Commerce” report.

Report author Steven Livingston notes that Mexico “is a large part of Tennessee’s economy,” with the Volunteer State exporting almost $5 billion to Mexico in 2015 while importing $7 billion that same year. The report comes as President Donald Trump and his administration scrutinizes the relationship with the key trade partner along the country’s southern border, including the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.

Dr. Steven Livingston

Dr. Steven Livingston

The Tennessee-Mexico trade relationship, a good deal of which is concentrated within the automotive industry, “is larger than the entire economy of the Clarksville or Kingsport areas,” stated Livingston, a political science professor and editor of Global Commerce. “Only eight American states export more to Mexico, and only four import more.”

View the full “Global Commerce” report, including maps and charts, at http://capone.mtsu.edu/berc/globalcommerce.html.

BERC Global Commerce logo-horizIn 2015, 15 percent of Tennessee’s foreign shipments went to Mexico, while 9 percent of its imports came from Mexico, the report states. The majority of exports to Mexico were destined for states where U.S. automakers have manufacturing operations.

“For the most part, it’s not a matter of exchanging products but of sharing supply chains,” Livingston noted about the auto industry trade. “Policies that aim to change that would certainly have a significant impact on the Tennessee economy and in ways that would be difficult to predict.”

For more information about the report, contact Livingston at 615-898-2720 or email steven.livingston@mtsu.edu.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

These charts shows the value of trade (exports and imports) between Tennessee and Mexico since 2010 as well as the percentage of Tennessee’s overall trade that involves Mexico. (Source: MTSU Global Commerce Report)

These charts shows the value of trade (exports and imports) between Tennessee and Mexico since 2010 as well as the percentage of Tennessee’s overall trade that involves Mexico. (Source: MTSU Global Commerce Report)

MTSU ‘Go Red Day’ raises awareness about women’s heart health

The normally True Blue MTSU campus added a dash of red to the color scheme Friday, Feb. 3, to celebrate National Wear Red Day.

The campus community attended MTSU Student Health Services and MTSU Health Promotion festivities for an annual event to raise awareness for the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign in the Liz and Creighton Rhea Atrium in the Science Building.

Nearly 70 people from the campus community attended National Wear Red Day in the Liz and Creighton Rhea Atrium in the Science Building Feb. 3. The American Heart Association event promotes awareness for women's heart health. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

Nearly 70 people from the campus community attended National Wear Red Day in the Liz and Creighton Rhea Atrium in the Science Building Feb. 3. The American Heart Association event promotes awareness for women’s heart health. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

Go Red for Wome small logo72For this occasion, it was totally OK for the nearly 70 campus employees to wear red.

Ellen Slicker, board president for the Rutherford County American Heart Association, welcomed attendees, who learned about risks and symptoms of heart disease in women and men, too. They also took part in games and activities with an opportunity to win prizes.

Heart disease affects millions of Americans each year, organizers said. Heart disease and stroke kill one in three women, but they said those deaths are nearly 80 percent preventable.

Many on campus have been affected by heart disease, including Carolyn Hopper, now a retired University Studies professor.

Hopper told the audience that her heart story began as she developed breathing difficulties as the fall 2014 semester ended and Christmas holidays approached.

Her condition worsened, and she was in cardiac arrest as she reached the local emergency room. She was sent to Nashville, where doctors inserted a stent in her heart to open the narrowed arteries, then she returned to St. Thomas Rutherford for rehabilitation.

“It was scary,” Hopper recalled at the campus event. “It made me pay attention. I really watch what I eat, and I go to SportsCom five to six days a week. The doctors, in following up, said that made a difference.”

Lisa Schrader, director of health promotion, said those unable to attend the event can still “Go Red”:

  • Get your numbers — Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose.
  • Own your lifestyle — Stop smoking, lose weight, be physically active and eat healthy.
  • Raise your voice — Advocate for more women-related research and education.
  • Educate your family — Make healthy food choices for you and your family. Teach your children the importance of staying active.
  • Donate — Show your support with a donation of time or money.

To learn more about the national “Go Red” heart health movement, visit www.goredforwomen.org/wearredday.

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

As part of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign, National Wear Red Day members of the campus community created and photographed a red heart in support of women’s heart health in the lobby of the Science building. Carolyn Hopper, Faculty retired.

Retired MTSU professor Carolyn Hopper discusses her own heart-related health scare and her follow-up actions during “National Wear Red Day” festivities Feb. 3 in the Science Building’s Liz and Creighton Rhea Atrium.

Tenn. Business Barometer hits new high as Trump presidency begins

The Tennessee Business Barometer Index hit a record high following the election of President Donald Trump, according to the latest online survey by MTSU’s Jones College of Business.

The quarterly index rose to 470 this month, up from 177 in October and 153 in July.

Dr. Tim Graeff

Dr. Tim Graeff

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

“The largest gain was seen in the outlook for the future of the economy,” reported Dr. Tim Graeff, MTSU professor of marketing and coordinator of the index through the Jones College’s Office of Consumer Research. “This follows Donald Trump’s election in the presidential election and signals newfound optimism among business leaders.”

The overall index score is totaled from four sub-indices measured in the 17-question survey: current economic situation, future economic expectations, business/firm performance and employment outlook.

Asked a series of questions about the potential impact of Trump’s presidency in the latest survey, the vast majority (73 percent) of Tennessee business leaders expect Trump’s election to have a positive effect on the American economy resulting from reduced taxes and decreased regulation.

“Such upturns in optimism can lead to increased investments and hiring, which can have subsequent positive effects leading to growth in the overall economy,” Graeff said.

Business leaders remain concerned about being able to find enough qualified employees.MTSU TN Chamber new combo

The quarterly index is a collaboration between Middle Tennessee State University and the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry to capture the mood and outlook of business leaders. The index is computed by adding the percentage of positive responses to each question and subtracting the percentage of negative responses. The inaugural survey in July 2015 registered an index of 325.

The current online survey of 66 business leaders from across Tennessee was conducted Jan. 17-27. The margin of error is 12 percent. Respondents included business owners, vice presidents, senior managers, and managers at firms of various sizes. The next Tennessee Business Barometer survey is planned for April.

Find the full report and previous reports at http://www.mtsu.edu/consumer/reportsbarometer.php. For more information about the MTSU Office of Consumer Research, visit www.mtsu.edu/consumer.

For more information, contact Graeff at 615-898-5124 or tim.graeff@mtsu.edu. For more information about the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry, visit www.tnchamber.org.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

This graph shows the overall index and sub-indices measured by the Tennessee Business Barometer conducted by the MTSU Office of Consumer Research in partnership with the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The January index of 470 is a record high. (Courtesy of the MTSU Office of Consumer Research)

This graph shows the overall index and sub-indices measured by the Tennessee Business Barometer conducted by the MTSU Office of Consumer Research in partnership with the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The January index of 470 is a record high. (Courtesy of the MTSU Office of Consumer Research)

History, future converge in 2017 MTSU Black History Month events

(Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the cancellation of featured speaker Terrence J‘s scheduled Feb. 23 appearance.)

MTSU’s celebration of Black History Month is all about marching ahead while appreciating the marches of history.

“Empowering Future Leaders: Moving Forward while Reaching Back” is the theme of the 2017 Black History Month events, which will begin with the official kickoff from noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1, in the Student Union’s first-floor atrium.

Click on the poster to see a larger PDF version.

Click on the poster to see a larger PDF version.

The Black History Month Committee will cut a special cake and provide other refreshments while introducing the month’s agenda. 

A printable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMapOff-campus visitors attending daytime events should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation at www.mtsu.edu/parking/visit.php.

Mark Gwyn

Mark Gwyn

Featured items include the 21st annual Unity Luncheon, which is slated for 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, in the second floor ballroom of the Student Union. MTSU alumnus Mark Gwyn, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation director, will deliver the keynote address.

The luncheon honors unsung leaders who have made outstanding contributions in the areas of education, community service, civility advocacy, sports and black arts. Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for students or $250 for a table. Tickets may be purchased online at http://mtsu.edu/aahm/unity_luncheon.php.

Dr. Kyle Mays-Wabinaw, a scholar of African-American and Native American studies from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, will speak at the Phi Alpha Theta initiation ceremony, which will start at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, in Room 160 of the College of Education building.

A reception with light refreshments will precede the ceremony. This event is co-sponsored by the MTSU Department of History and the African-American Studies Program.

Dr. Kyle Mays-Wabinaw

Dr. Kyle Mays-Wabinaw

The winner of the 2017 John Pleas Award will be announced in a ceremony from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, in the Hazlewood Room of the James Union Building.

The award is presented each year to a black faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in teaching, research and service. It was established in 1997 to honor Dr. John Pleas, an MTSU professor emeritus of psychology.

With the exception of the Unity Luncheon, all events are free and open to the public. For a complete list of events, go to www.mtsu.edu/aahm/docs/2017-aahm-calendar2.pdf.

For more information, contact Daniel Green, director of the Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs, at 615-898-5812 or daniel.green@mtsu.edu.

— Gina Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

MTSU Theatre brings Tony-winning ‘Next to Normal’ to life Feb. 2-4

Sharing the story of a family struggling with mental illness has been much more than a “Next to Normal” challenge for the MTSU Department of Theatre and Dance cast of the Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning rock musical.

Advance tickets are $10 general admission and $5 for senior citizens 55 and older and are available at www.mtsuarts.com. Show times are 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 2-4, in MTSU’s Tucker Theatre.

The six-member cast, guided by director Skylar Grieco of Knoxville, Tennessee, has been grappling for weeks with portraying the emotions required of the acclaimed 2009 Broadway show, not to mention the vocal pyrotechnics.

“It’s hard at the end of a four-hour rehearsal where you’re just going back and repeating emotionally charged scenes over and over again to try and get them right, changing small things to get them to the right place,” Grieco, a senior theatre major, explained. “It’s exhausting both emotionally and physically. And I’m not even the one up here doing the scenes!”

“Next to Normal” looks in on Diana, a suburban mom, and her family as she wrestles with bipolar disorder. Her husband, Dan, and children, Natalie and Gabe, join her doctors in trying to help Diana, and the story follows the family’s trials with grief, drug abuse, suicide, psychiatric ethics and methods, and fitting into the neighborhood.

The MTSU troupe chose the play because of its originality, its music and its unflinching look at mental illness. The “Next to Normal” program, available at http://ow.ly/Knpx308qdTy, not only lists the entire cast and crew but explains their personal involvement in its focus. You can also see a video preview of the production below.

MTSU Theatre recommends parental guidance for those under 18 because of the serious subject matter and language.

Dallas Boudreaux, a Knoxville junior portraying Natalie, called “Next to Normal” the “most emotionally exhausting show I have ever been in.” Along with her director’s rehearsal regimen of stretching, breathing, laughing and plenty of breaks, she said she’s relying on Netflix comedies to restore her equilibrium off-stage.

Regan Holmberg, a Nashville resident by way of Pensacola, Florida, and freshman computer science major making her MTSU Theatre debut as Diana, also admitted that “everything about this show is incredibly difficult.”

“I was never really a singer and I got cast and had to become one quickly,” she said. “It’s a new experience for me for which I’m very, very grateful. And emotionally, this show … it’s a powerful story of the effect of mental illness on a family as a whole. I think it’s safe to say that it hits very close to every single one of us, especially with mental illness.”

The cast of the MTSU Theatre production of “Next to Normal” rehearses for their Feb. 2-4 performances in Tucker Theatre. Seated from left are MTSU students Gerold Oliver and Regan Holberg, while student Aaron Johnson stands on the scaffolding. Tickets are available at http://www.mtsuarts.com. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

The cast of the MTSU Theatre production of “Next to Normal” rehearses for their Feb. 2-4 performances in Tucker Theatre. Seated from left are MTSU students Gerold Oliver and Regan Holberg, while student Aaron Johnson stands on the scaffolding. Tickets are available at http://www.mtsuarts.com. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

“All the emotion happens whenever I’m not on stage,” adds Memphis sophomore Donovan Hughes, who portrays the daughter’s potential boyfriend, Henry, “so a lot of times I’ll just sit back there and I’ll listen to the songs and then I’ll just start to tear up.

MTSU Next to Normal graphic web

Click on the poster for a link to ticket information.

“I’m like, ‘I’m not part of this. This is not happening to Henry.’ I’m just listening to it like somebody would be watching the show listening to it and having the same emotions, and it never stops.”

Junior Gerald Oliver of Smyrna, Tennessee, a biochemistry major who switched to theatre, is portraying the dual role of Diana’s doctors, Fine and Madden. He joked that where he expected “huge dance numbers and choreography,” unlike most musical productions, “Next to Normal” will intrigue the audience as well as the cast.

“You’re laughing and thinking, ‘Oh the audience is going to love this, they’re gonna applaud! They’re going to go crazy!’ Throughout this entire process, this one is ‘Oh, you’re going to cry here.’”

Aaron Johnson, the Kingsport, Tennessee, sophomore playing son Gabe, said audiences for this production definitely will find it worthwhile.

“It’s a show that no matter who you are, you can find some way to relate to this and have it have an impact on you in a strong way,” he said, “whether it’s from the least severe moments in the play or the most musical. Everyone can find themselves in this story in some way, and that, to me, is amazing.”

Knoxville senior Paul Gary said he tried to stretch his acting training by using different personal experiences to relate to his role as the middle-aged father.

“I think the theater has a way of telling the right story at the right time,” he said, “and this piece is nuanced enough that every audience member will have a moment of personal recognition unmatched by most theater experiences.

“Come with an open mind and an open heart, and we can provide a light in the darkness.”

Tickets also will be available at the Tucker Theatre box office one hour before curtain times. For more information about the show, visit www.mtsuarts.com.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

The cast of the MTSU Theatre production of “Next to Normal” rehearses for their Feb. 2-4 performances in Tucker Theatre. From left on the front row are MTSU students Gerold Oliver, Regan Holberg and Paul Gary; on the scaffolding are, from left, Aaron Johnson, Dallas Boudreaux and Donovan Hughes. Tickets are available at http://www.mtsuarts.com. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

The cast of the MTSU Theatre production of “Next to Normal” rehearses for their Feb. 2-4 performances in Tucker Theatre. From left on the front row are MTSU students Gerold Oliver, Regan Holberg and Paul Gary; on the scaffolding are, from left, Aaron Johnson, Dallas Boudreaux and Donovan Hughes. Tickets are available at http://www.mtsuarts.com.

MTSU freshman Regan Holberg, center, and junior Dallas Boudreaux sing "Catch Me I'm Falling" during rehearsals for the MTSU Theatre production of “Next to Normal.” Performances of the Tony- and Pulitzer-winning rock musical are set Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 2-4, in MTSU’s Tucker Theatre, and tickets are available at http://www.mtsuarts.com.

MTSU freshman Regan Holberg, center, and junior Dallas Boudreaux sing “Catch Me I’m Falling” during rehearsals for the MTSU Theatre production of “Next to Normal.” Performances of the Tony- and Pulitzer-winning rock musical are set Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 2-4, in MTSU’s Tucker Theatre, and tickets are available at http://www.mtsuarts.com.

Jazz, dance programs collaborate for Feb. 2 Jazz Artist Series show

MTSU is bringing together jazz and dance faculty, students and guests Thursday, Feb. 2, for a unique collaboration of music and movement in the second concert of the 2016-17 MTSU Jazz Artist Series.

Don Aliquo

Don Aliquo

Jamey Simmons

Jamey Simmons

Marsha Barsky

Marsha Barsky

The special production will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Hinton Hall inside MTSU’s Wright Music Building. A searchable, printable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

Tickets for the Feb. 2 concert are $10 for the public. Admission is free for MTSU students, faculty and staff with a valid ID, and discounts for area music students and educators also are available.

The concert will showcase the choreography of Marsha Barsky, assistant professor of dance, and a new musical composition by trumpeter Jamey Simmons, director of jazz studies in MTSU’s School of Music, and saxophonist Don Aliquo, a professor of jazz studies.

“The relationship between jazz music and dance is a close one, but as jazz has evolved into art, music collaborations between dancers and choreographers have become more common,” Simmons said.

Simmons and Aliquo co-wrote “Leaving Home,” which Simmons said aims to “recreate the universal narrative elements inherent in the process of movement of people from the familiarity of home to a different life — the movement away from oppression, the struggle to escape, personal pilgrimage, the presence of friends and enemies and the final liberation of the individual to new levels of freedom and discovery.

MTSU Jazz Studies logo

“We hope that the originally composed music and dance are universal in nature, as they can also represent the artistic, personal and spiritual search for new life,” he added.

Now in its 18th season, the MTSU Jazz Artist Series brings internationally renowned jazz artists to campus for performances and educational workshops. Past guest artists have included some of the most important musicians and educators in jazz history.

MTSU Theatre and Dance logo web

The 2016-17 Jazz Artist Series concludes Saturday, March 25, with the series’ third concert planned to celebrate the MTSU Illinois Jacquet Jazz Festival.

For more information about MTSU’s Jazz Artist Series, please visit www.mtsu.edu/music/jazzseries.php.

For details on other MTSU School of Music performances, call 615-898-2493 or visit the MTSU School of Music “Concert Calendar” link.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Members of the MTSU Dance Theatre troupe perform a lift in "Moments of Awakening," a performance choreographed by director Marsha Barsky, in Tucker Theatre in this file photo. (Photo by Martin O'Connor)

Members of the MTSU Dance Theatre troupe perform a lift in “Moments of Awakening,” a performance choreographed by director Marsha Barsky, in Tucker Theatre in this file photo. (Photo by Martin O’Connor)

MTSU jazz faculty, students and guests perform in a recent concert in Hinton Hall in the Wright Music Building.

MTSU jazz faculty, students and guests perform in a recent concert in Hinton Hall in the Wright Music Building.

Sign up now for new free rape-defense classes at MTSU beginning Feb. 1

MTSU’s popular Rape Aggression Defense classes will continue this spring with a new five-week session for safety-conscious women on and around the MTSU campus beginning Wednesday, Feb. 1.

A Rape Aggression Defense Systems instructor, wearing red protective gear, tangles with a student during a RAD course after she knocks another instructor to the ground. The MTSU University Police Department has set a new five-week RAD course beginning Wednesday, Feb. 1. (Photo courtesy of R.A.D. Systems)

A Rape Aggression Defense Systems instructor, wearing red protective gear, tangles with a student during a RAD course after she knocks another instructor to the ground. The MTSU University Police Department has set a new five-week RAD course beginning Wednesday, Feb. 1. (Photo courtesy of R.A.D. Systems)

The MTSU Police Department’s newest session of free RAD classes will run Wednesdays from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. through March 1. It’s open to all female MTSU students, faculty and staff, along with the general public.

Organizers say that participants must attend all five Wednesday sessions to ensure that their training is complete. Class size is very limited for this new course series because of increasing community interest, so the department is encouraging participants to enroll as soon as possible.

RAD color logo webThe Rape Aggression Defense System is a comprehensive program of realistic defense tactics and techniques for women that emphasizes awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance, and progresses to the basics of hands-on defense training.

MTSU’s nationally certified RAD instructors have recently been certified to teach RAD System Aerosol Defense Options, which means class participants also will learn about carrying pepper spray and other aerosol self-defense variants, what to look for when purchasing a self-defense spray and how to use it for protection.

The Rape Aggression Defense program is designed for women age 13 and older with no previous experience or background in physical skills training. Instructors also can accommodate any participant’s physical impairments.

Participants should email their names and contact information to rad@mtsu.edu. Instructors will call or email participants with more details about enrollment and the class location.

For more information about MTSU’s RAD classes, email rad@mtsu.edu.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

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