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Sept. 30 MTSU Grad Fair offers tips on pursuing advanced degrees

MTSU students, staff, alumni and members of the local community looking to pursue advanced degrees are encouraged to stop by the Student Union Tuesday, Sept. 30, for this year’s Grad Fair.

Hosted by the College of Graduate Studies, the annual event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday in the second floor ballroom of the Student Union. No registration is required for this free event. A printable campus map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap14-15.GradFair-web

Faculty members from across the university will be on hand to discuss opportunities to pursue an advanced degree — online or on campus — and boost careers.

MTSU offers 100 graduate programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, education and business, including the Accelerated Bachelor’s-to-Master’s program, which allows eligible undergraduates in certain disciplines to earn both degrees in five years.

Dr. Jackie Eller, interim vice provost for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies, pointed to the benefits of some of the interdisciplinary programs within graduate studies, such as the Master of Professional Science program.

“This program is designed for working adults and offers the flexibility of both on campus and online studies,” Eller said.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that by the year 2018, one in every seven new jobs will require a graduate degree. And U.S. Census figures show that adults with advanced degrees earn an average of 44 percent more than those with undergraduate degrees.

Learn more about MTSU’s graduate programs at www.mtsu.edu/gradschool.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

As fall preview days approach, note Dec. 1 scholarship deadline

In the midst of a busy fall campaign to recruit students for 2015 and beyond, MTSU officials want people to be aware of a key date along the way.

It’s Monday, Dec. 1 — the deadline for prospective students and their parents or guardians to complete and send in their admissions application to be fully considered for major scholarships.

“It’s important for students to come out and visit early and make their decision,” said Dr. Laurie Witherow, associate vice provost for enrollment at MTSU.

“We encourage students to apply early to be fully considered for the scholarships we are offering.”

Information on scholarships available to MTSU students can be found at www.mtsu.edu/financial-aid/scholarships.

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Prospective MTSU students take information from the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership table in the Student Union earlier this year. The first in a series of on-campus visits occurs Saturday, Sept. 27, with a Fall Preview Day. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU is in the middle of its annual statewide fall True Blue Tour.

MTSU officials and academic staff have visited Chattanooga, Johnson City and Knoxville, and the MTSU Caravan visits Nashville Tuesday, Sept. 30. The final swing will be to the west, visiting Memphis and Jackson.

Saturday, Sept. 27, marks the first of two Fall Preview Days on campus. Students and their parents have time to register at www.mtsu.edu/rsvp.

“People can still register,” said Melinda Thomas, director of undergraduate recruitment in the Office of Admissions, “and we encourage them to get there early.”

The preview day starts at 8 a.m. Saturday, but participants can arrive as early as 7:30 to check in inside the Student Union on the east side of campus. A printable campus map at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap14-15 shows parking and MTSU buildings.

Campus and housing tours and academic sessions will be available throughout the day. Lunch vouchers will be provided to registered students. The preview day ends at 3 p.m.

Any student already admitted to MTSU will receive an “I Choose True Blue” T-shirt, Thomas said.

MTSU recruiters are trying to meet with students earlier in the recruiting process, Thomas said, adding that financial aid and application workshops are being conducted in different regions across the state. This includes the recently announced scholarship incentives promoting the “Graduate in 4 and Get More” offerings. Learn more at www.mtsu.edu/apply.

Other upcoming on-campus recruiting events include:

  • Friday, Oct. 17 — “True Blue Experience Day” for students who will be part of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences.
  • Saturday, Nov. 1 — Fall Preview Day.
  • Friday, Jan. 23 — “True Blue Experience Day” for prospective students in the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences and the College of Liberal Arts.
  • Friday, Jan. 30 — “True Blue Experience Day” for prospective students in the College of Mass Communication, the Jones College of Business and the College of Education.

Daily campus tours also are continuing. Call 615-898-5670 or visitwww.mtsu.edu/rsvp to find available dates and to register.

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

Stormwater Program seeks student help for Sept. 27 park cleanup

The MTSU Stormwater Program is joining the Stones River National Battlefield and eight other partners for a Saturday, Sept. 27, cleanup event to improve Old Fort Park in Murfreesboro.

Volunteers are needed for the event, which will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Old Fort Park, located off Old Fort Parkway. The purpose of the cleanup is to remove “invasive exotic plants” and pick up trash in the park, specifically along the Lytle Creek Greenway and at Fortress Rosecrans.Nat Public Land Day

MTSU students are encouraged to volunteer for the event, which provides a great opportunity for students to earn community service hours and/or extra credit in some of their classes.

“Together, we hope to bring more than 100 citizens of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County together for a morning dedicated to properly managing the lands and waterways that are a critical to our quality of life in Murfreesboro and Rutherford County,” according to a release from the National Park Service.

stormwater logoThe effort is part of National Public Lands Day, the nation’s largest single-day, hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance public lands. It is sponsored by the National Environmental Education and Training Foundation in partnership with Take Pride in America.

“In the process, we will improve the condition of our national and city parks as well as the critical watersheds of Lytle Creek and the Stones River,” the release states.

Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. at Picnic Pavilion No. 2 in Old Fort Park. Volunteers should bring work gloves and wear long sleeved shirts, work pants, and closed toe shoes.

Lunch will be provided at noon by Walmart and the Friends of Stones River National Battlefield.

To sign-up early or find out more, contact Amanda Sherlin with the MTSU Stormwater Program at 615-904-8575 or call 615-893-9501, or email stri_administration@nps.gov.

 — Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

What to know

What: National Public Lands Day cleanup at Old Fort Park

When: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 27

Where: Meet at Picnic Pavilion No. 2 at Old Fort Park, Murfreesboro

What to Bring: Work boots or closed toe shoes, long-sleeved shirt, work pants, and work gloves

Some tickets still available for this week’s ‘American Tall Tales’

A few tickets are still available for this week’s MTSU Arts performances of the original production “American Tall Tales” in Tucker Theatre, but they’re moving fast!

“American Tall Tales” features student- and faculty-written tunes and tales about incredible characters like Pecos Bill, John Henry, Slue-Foot Sue, Annie Christmas and Johnny Appleseed. The show focuses on family fun with 7:30 p.m. performances set this Wednesday through Saturday, Sept. 24-27, at MTSU and a 2 p.m. matinee planned for Sunday, Sept. 28.

Performances are being scheduled at area schools, too.

MTSU theatre students Erin Davidson, left, Dominic Gillette and Harley Walker pretend to see a bear — or maybe it’s just a grownup demanding they come down from the attic and take their baths — during rehearsals for “American Tall Tales,” an award-winning original production with performances set Sept. 24-28 in the university’s Tucker Theatre. Tickets are available online, and performances are being scheduled at area schools, too. (MTSU photo by Darby Campbell)

Tickets for the MTSU Arts performances, sponsored by Ascend Federal Credit Union, are available online here and at the Tucker Theatre box office an hour before curtain times.

“All these stories came from hardships. … They’re bigger than life,” explains Dr. Jette Halladay, MTSU theatre professor and the “Tall Tales” director.

“It’s kind of an American spirit that we take these hardships and turn them into stories of incredible courage and strength.”

Most Americans have heard or read the outlandish tales and impossible boasts of these “incredible” stories during childhood. Students in Halladay’s Theatre for Young Audiences course in 2003 turned to those tales when searching for a unique children’s play.

“They wanted to tour with it and not have to deal with royalties,” Halladay recalls, “so they wrote the script and the songs. It took us a full year to prepare it for Tucker (Theatre performances), and then we were invited to youth theater festivals in Finland, Russia and Latvia, winning two awards at the Baltic Theatre Festival.”

Those award-winning summer 2004 overseas performances, along with recent summer theatre trips to Honduras and Guatemala to present other original plays to young audiences, helped students set the stage to bring “American Tall Tales” back to MTSU.

“Theatre is a whole different experience with kids,” senior theatre major Harley Walker of Murfreesboro says with a laugh. “The energy is entirely different, which is so nice. Of course, it’s a family show as well. Parents can come and still enjoy it, and older kids too.”

The updated production, set in an attic where the players take turns telling their stories, features a simple and easily transported set and costumes designed by theatre professor Virginia Donnell with assistance from student designer Stephanie Bottum.

Dr. Jette Halladay

Dr. Jette Halladay

“We’re doing everything (in the play) with stuff we found in an attic,” adds senior theatre major Erin Davidson of Eagleville, Tennessee. “Any of the kids can go home and say ‘I can do that! I can pull stuff out of the attic and I can make a play, too, with my friends!’”

Davidson is portraying “Sage the Bear,” and Walker is “Slue-Foot Sue.” Parents and teachers who want to share the characters’ stories with their children and students can download the “American Tall Tales” educational packet, which Bottum also prepared, at www.mtsu.edu/theatre/TTEd.pdf.

Click on the poster above for ticket information for “American Tall Tales” at MTSU’s Tucker Theatre Sept. 24-28.

“This is our cast’s take on it, and that’s what makes it even more special to us,” explains Dominic Gillette, a junior theatre major from Chattanooga, Tennessee, who’s portraying “John Henry” onstage.

“We hear these songs being sung that we’ve created and it gives us that feel-good type of vibe. Creating together with a group is great.”

The cast also includes Joshua Jackson as Johnny Appleseed, Aaron Brooks as Billy, Chelsea Bell as Annie Christmas, Abbey Kairdolf as Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind, Steven Johnson as Pecos Bill and Jasmine Reid as Cici. MTSU alumnus Micah Snow is the production’s music director, and new assistant dance professor Margaret “Meg” Brooker is the choreographer. MTSU senior Jessica Gregory is stage manager for this production.

“American Tall Tales” will also be touring area schools on Fridays until the end of spring 2015 to share the fun more conveniently and inexpensively with local children.

“For a school to come to see a matinee at Tucker Theatre costs $3 per child,” Halladay says, “which is a good price, but then they also have the cost of the buses and then scheduling the times and getting the chaperones. If a school has 300 children, it would cost them $900 for tickets alone. We can bring the performance to the school for $700 a show and save them hundreds of dollars.”

Halladay, who’s won multiple awards and grants for her children’s theatre projects, teaches classes on children’s drama and speech, storytelling, theatre in education and playwriting. Her love for children’s theatre has spread to her students, too, as they’ve learned to write and perform for young audiences as well as more typical theater crowds.

During last spring’s colorful production of “A Year with Frog and Toad,” for example, “the whole cast was expecting squirming and yelling in the seats,” says Paul Gary, a sophomore theatre major from Knoxville who portrayed “Toad.”

“But they were just sitting there, with the rest of the audience, paying attention,” he adds as he prepares to play “Mike Fink.” “Jette is truly a blessing. I wouldn’t have anyone else do this show with us.”

Funds raised by local performances and school tours will help with expenses when the troupe takes “American Tall Tales” to Ireland and other portions of the United Kingdom next May, Halladay says.

“This show’s great because it’s a bunch of children who are playing in an attic, and they find this magic pot that turns them into these legends,” she adds. “But we also make it clear that every child has a legend in him. Every child is a hero.

“Also, these children are just using junk they find in an attic. You don’t need money to buy props and costumes and all. As long you have an imagination, you can turn it into whatever you want.”

General admission tickets are $10 each and $5 for K-12 students and senior citizens. MTSU students with valid IDs will be admitted free.

Tickets for “American Tall Tales” also can be ordered by phone by calling 888-71-TICKETS (888-718-4253) 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Friday.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

MTSU, city utility invite public to Sept. 23 stormwater meeting

Middle Tennessee State University and the Murfreesboro Water and Sewer Department will hold a public meeting Sept. 23 to highlight the annual report and outcomes of the campus stormwater program.

The meeting will be held at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23, at the Murfreesboro Water and Sewer Department Operations and Maintenance Facility, located at 1725 S. Church St.stormwater logo

MTSU is co-permitting with the city of Murfreesboro for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, or NPDES, MS4 Permit. The permit is required by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation as mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Water Act of 1972.

This is the third year of the program for MTSU and is also the third year of the co-permit between the city and the university.

MTSU and the city are required by TDEC and the permit to hold a public meeting to gather public participation and community involvement with the programs, according to Shelia Knight, environmental engineer with MTSU Environmental Health and Safety Services.

The primary goal of this permit is to improve the quality of surface waters by reducing the amount of pollutants in the runoff water.

Polluted stormwater runoff is commonly transported through municipal storm sewer systems, from which it is often discharged untreated into local bodies of water. To prevent harmful pollutants from being washed or dumped into such a system, operators must obtain a permit and develop a stormwater management program.

For more information about MTSU’s stormwater program, visit www.mtsu.edu/stormwater.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

MTSU Survey: Midstate consumers optimistic heading into holiday season

Consumers in three Midstate counties continue to feel better about the economy, according to the latest economic survey by Middle Tennessee State University.

The overall Middle Tennessee Consumer Outlook Index rose to 226 for September, up from 203 in May.

Dr. Tim Graeff

Dr. Tim Graeff

The current poll of 343 randomly selected adult residents of Davidson, Rutherford and Williamson counties was conducted Sept. 8-10. The index score is computed by adding the percentage of favorable responses to each survey question and subtracting the percentage of negative responses.

“The fact that the overall outlook index has remained above 200 since May of this year indicates that consumers believe that the economy has improved and has begun to gain a solid footing,” said Timothy Graeff, director of the Office of Consumer Research in the Jones College of Business.

consumer outlook sept13 graphic cropped“However, concerns about the future of the overall American economy are evident. Any drastic changes in world events could cause consumers to lose confidence and decrease spending in reaction to potential threats to continued economic growth.”

Other indices tracked within the survey also show positives, with the “current situation index” rising from 38 to 48, while the “purchasing index” jumped from 79 to 98.

“This is good news for local businesses as many retailers begin setting their sights on the ever important Christmas and holiday shopping season,” Graeff said. “This positive view toward spending could signal healthy sales at the cash register later in the year.”

Local consumers have become more concerned about what lies ahead for the American economy. The percent of consumers who believe U.S. business conditions will be “better” six months from now dropped from 31 to 22 percent.

Read a pdf version of the full report at http://bit.ly/1rftqZQ. Read a Word version of the full report at http://bit.ly/1r2qNdx.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

WGNS radio features MTSU food course, alumni events, sexual assault awareness

MTSU faculty and staff shared information about a new course, Homecoming 2014, sexual assault awareness and more with listeners of WGNS radio during the Sept. 15 “Action Line” program with veteran host Bart Walker.

The live program was broadcast on FM 100.5, 101.9 and AM 1450 from the WGNS studio in downtown Murfreesboro. If you missed it, you can listen to a podcast of the show here.

Clockwise, from top left, Tony Johnston, professor of food science and agribusiness in MTSU’s School of Agribusiness and Agriscience; top right, Rhonda King, assistant director, MTSU Office of Alumni Relations; bottom, left to right, Barbara Scales, director, June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students; Jonell Hinsey, interim director, Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs; and Kim Reynolds, a victim’s advocate with the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Program in Rutherford County. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Clockwise, from top left, Tony Johnston, professor of food science and agribusiness in MTSU’s School of Agribusiness and Agriscience; top right, Rhonda King, assistant director, MTSU Office of Alumni Relations; bottom, left to right, Barbara Scales, director, June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students; Jonell Hinsey, interim director, Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs; and Kim Reynolds, a victim’s advocate with the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Program in Rutherford County. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Guests included:

  • Dr. Tony Johnston, professor of food science and agribusiness in MTSU’s School of Agribusiness and Agriscience, who discussed “World Food and Society,” a new University Honors College course he created and begins teaching this fall. Students will explore economic, political, social and cultural issues related to food and hunger in the world, including malnutrition, food production, biotechnology, ecological destruction and food aid.
  • Rhonda King, assistant director, MTSU Office of Alumni Relations, who discussed a whole host of upcoming alumni-related events as well as Homecoming Week 2014, which is just month away. Among Homecoming Week activities is the Oct. 17 Golden Raiders Reunion and Induction Ceremony honoring the Class of 1964. For more information, visit www.mtalumni.com.
  • Barbara Scales, director, June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students; Jonell Hinsey, interim director, Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs; and Kim Reynolds, a victim’s advocate with the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Program in Rutherford County. They discussed the university’s ongoing efforts to combat sexual violence on campus, including the Oct. 21 public event featuring educator, activist and international lecturer Tony Porter who will share his “A Call to Men” initiative aimed at stopping violence against women.

Students, faculty and staff interested in being a guest on WGNS to promote their MTSU-related activities should contact Jimmy Hart, director of News and Media Relations, at 615-898-5131 or via email at jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu.

MTSU gets help from special guests to celebrate Constitution Day 2014

Celebrating the 227th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution took a new learning turn Sept. 17 at MTSU as special guests helped students, faculty and staff read the historic document.

Sixth-graders from Murfreesboro’s Mitchell-Neilson Elementary School joined Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett, MTSU coaches and student-athletes, and volunteers from the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences to read the Constitution’s seven articles and 27 amendments, including the Bill of Rights, outside MTSU’s Cason-Kennedy Nursing Building for almost 90 minutes.

“You all were absolutely the best readers here,” Dr. Terry Whiteside, dean of the College of Behavioral Sciences, told the nearly 50 youngsters from Jennie Lovvorn’s and Gayle Porterfield’s sixth-grade classrooms.

“We’re counting on you to carry this knowledge on. I’m really so proud of you all.”

Sixth-grade students at Murfreesboro’s Mitchell-Neilson Elementary School pose for a photo with Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett, shown standing on the back row at center left wearing a tie, before they and Hargett read portions of the U.S. Constitution at MTSU Wednesday, Sept. 17. The youngsters were special guests of the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences during the daylong Constitution Day celebration at MTSU, where students, faculty, staff and volunteers participated in readings of the Constitution, voter registration drives and civic awareness activities. (MTSU photos by Darby Campbell)

The children grinned their thanks and looked forward excitedly to an unexpected ice-cream treat before their brief field trip ended.

“They practiced hard this morning and on the bus over here, too,” Lovvorn explained as her young charges sat on the grass, listened to their friends read, and watched college students scurry past en route to classes. Their principal, Robin Newell, looked on approvingly.

“We were honored to help. It’s another great opportunity for us,” Newell said, explaining that the special field trip allowed students to expand the Murfreesboro City Schools system’s partnership with the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences.

The alliance includes a new Collaborative Learning and Leadership Institute at Mitchell-Neilson, which launched this school year to address educational and environmental issues that affect student and family success and help students develop lifelong learning and leadership skills. MTSU students are serving as mentors to the children and working alongside classroom teachers, in part thanks to an $8,000 grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation earlier this year.

During their campus visit, some of the Mitchell-Neilson students said their family members attend MTSU. Others said they’ve already decided that MTSU is the school for them — in a few more years.

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett reads a portion of the U.S. Constitution Wednesday, Sept. 17, during the daylong Constitution Day celebration at MTSU. Shown behind Hargett outside the Cason-Kennedy Nursing Building at MTSU is Dr. Harold Whiteside, dean of the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences.

Lovvorn said the students learned about American history last year and are studying world history in the sixth grade. She added that Mitchell-Neilson was “glad to use this to incorporate another great lesson about leadership.”

All around campus, at similar intervals throughout the day and early Thursday, Sept. 18, volunteers from MTSU’s colleges stood outside their buildings and read passages from the Constitution. Some held forth to relatively large crowds, while others spoke quietly to a handful of people.

“We ask our professors to facilitate their students’ involvement in Constitution Day by taking them to the reading in their college, or in another college, so they can engage as citizen scholars,” said Dr. Mary Evins, an associate research professor at MTSU’s Center for Historic Preservation and coordinator for the MTSU chapter of the American Democracy Project.

“In the MTSU tradition that is recognized statewide for its excellence in civic leadership, we as a university pause to participate in this national day of civic learning and share it across the disciplines.”

MTSU observes the Constitution’s 1787 signing every year with special events and programs organized by the American Democracy Project.

This year’s special civic-awareness efforts also included a voter registration drive, assisted by the League of Women Voters, Tennessee Citizen Action, the American Association of University Women, the MTSU Democrats and the College Republicans, as well as Hargett and his staff. The nonprofit organizations also plan to return to campus Sept. 24 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for National Voter Registration Day.

The next state and federal general election in Tennessee is Tuesday, Nov. 4, and early voting begins in Tennessee Oct. 15. According to Tennessee law, voters:

  • must be a citizen of the United States who will be 18 years old or older before the date of the next election.
  • must be a resident of Tennessee.
  • cannot have been convicted of a felony, or if you have, your voting rights have been restored by a court order or pardon.
  • must be properly registered no later than 30 days before the election.

For more information about American Democracy Project events at MTSU, email amerdem@mtsu.edu.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Pat Embry, the new director of the John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies at MTSU, emphatically reads a portion of the U.S. Constitution Sept. 17 during a daylong Constitution Day celebration on campus. Behind Embry at the Bragg Communication Building, a group of students waits their turns to read the document.

MTSU sports leaders join Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett before the Sept. 17 Constitution Day celebration outside the Cason-Kennedy Nursing Building. From left are MTSU track coach Dean Hayes, head golf coach Whit Turnbow, head football coach Rick Stockstill, Hargett, head women’s basketball coach Rick Insell and Chris Massaro, MTSU director of athletics. The men are holding signs that read “I’m registered to vote. Are you?”, which advertise www.GoVoteTn.com, a new informational app for voters provided by Hargett’s office. (MTSU photo by GoBlueRaiders.com)

MTSU issues ‘timely warning’ after reported campus incidents

MTSU Alert graphicMiddle Tennessee State University has issued a “timely warning”  after reports of two incidents late Tuesday night, Sept. 16, 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.

11 A.M., SEPT. 17, 2014, MTSU TIMELY WARNING: On Sept. 16, 2014, at 8:34 p.m., Middle Tennessee State University Police received a robbery complaint from a female student. A timely warning concerning an attempted armed robbery was issued. Subsequently, based on information obtained from the victim, this incident is now being investigated as a sexual battery, and this warning is being distributed to better inform the campus community of the seriousness of the incident.

The suspect was described as a light-skinned black male with freckles on his face. He was possibly 18 to 25 years old and was wearing a dark gray hoodie.

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.

—————–

12:02 A.M., SEPT. 17, 2014: MTSU Police have issued the ALL CLEAR alert. The suspect has not been apprehended, but he is not believed to be on campus. Resume normal activities, and please report suspicious activity to MTSU Police at 615-898-2424.

11:14 P.M., SEPT. 16, 2014: Armed robbery reported at Scarlett Commons, located at the intersection of MTSU Boulevard and Blue Raider Drive on the MTSU campus. Leave that area immediately and stay away. The suspect was described as wearing all black clothing and black ski mask, and he was armed with a black handgun. Please report suspicious activity to MTSU Police at 615-898-2424.

—————–

10:35 P.M., SEPT. 16, 2014: MTSU Police have issued the ALL CLEAR alert. The suspect has not been apprehended, but he is not believed to be on campus. Resume normal activities, and please report suspicious activity to MTSU Police at 615-898-2424.

9:01 P.M., SEPT. 16, 2014: Attempted armed robbery reported at the MTSU Lot at the intersection of MTSU Boulevard and South Rutherford Boulevard. Leave that area immediately and stay away. The suspect was described as a tall, light-skinned black male with a lot of freckles on his face. He was wearing a gray hoodie and carrying a knife and was last seen on foot running south toward Greek Row. Please report suspicious activity to MTSU Police at 615-898-2424.

Tonight’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. (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)

MTSU tops fall enrollment among TBR despite challenges

Middle Tennessee State University remains the largest institution in the Tennessee Board of Regents system, despite a decline in enrollment from last year, figures released Sept. 12 show.

MTSU also welcomed TBR’s largest class of freshmen and transfer students for the 2014 fall semester and set a new record for international enrollment.

In addition, the class of 2018 had an average ACT of 22.3, a slight increase over the record mark of 22 put forward by last year’s freshmen.MTSU Wordmark

MTSU’s Fall 2014 head count is 22,729, which includes 20,262 undergraduates and 2,467 graduate students. The university’s enrollment is down 4.82 percent over last year.

The university welcomed 2,932 freshmen and 1,809 transfer students this fall. Also, MTSU has 768 international students — a 20 percent increase over last year and 33 percent over three years.

“MTSU, like many other institutions, is grappling with several enrollment challenges, including rising tuition costs and a declining population of high school seniors in Tennessee,” said Deb Sells, vice president for student affairs and vice provost for enrollment services.

“Nevertheless, in a marketplace where students have ever-increasing options, we are pleased that the majority of students in the TBR system chose MTSU for their higher education,” she said.

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee

Dr. Debra Sells

Dr. Debra Sells

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee pointed to the university’s Quest for Student Success initiative, which fully deployed this fall, as a way to improve student retention and graduation rates.

“I want our university to focus not only on bringing in new students, but also keeping and graduating those who have invested with us,” McPhee said. “These efforts underway this fall will have a direct impact upon our future enrollment.”

McPhee also said MTSU will be announcing other new initiatives shortly that will reinforce the Student Success push and help with recruitment of high school seniors and transfers. McPhee and other top university leaders are again hitting the road beginning this week for the six-city True Blue Tour to recruit top prospective students across the state.

Earlier this year, MTSU announced that it will guarantee five of its major scholarships next fall to prospective students who meet the application requirements and deadlines.

And the university’s Transfer Academic Scholarships have switched from competitive-based to guaranteed next fall for qualifying students transferring from any of the state’s community colleges.

McPhee said he was pleased about the significant increase in MTSU’s international population, which reflects the strategic priority placed upon outreach to those students.

“We anticipate to see these numbers grow even further as our most recent efforts in China and elsewhere come to fruition,” he said.

For more information on MTSU’s student success efforts, visit www.mtsu.edu/studentsuccess.

The Tennessee Board of Regents system consists of 46 institutions with a combined annual enrollment of over 200,000 students, making it among the nation’s largest systems of public higher education. The TBR’s six state universities, 13 community colleges, and 27 colleges of applied technology offer classes in 90 of Tennessee’s 95 counties.

— Andrew Oppmann (andrew.oppmann@mtsu.edu)