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MTSU closes May 25 for Memorial Day; no classes scheduled

MTSU will be closed Monday, May 25, for the Memorial Day holiday.

All offices will be closed and no summer term classes will be held.

Offices will reopen at 8 a.m. Tuesday, May 26. All summer term classes will resume at their regular times May 26.

In this July 2014 file photo, an American flag sits in a bed of flowers atop the U.S. Army monument at the MTSU Veterans Memorial site outside the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU file photo by Randy Weiler)

In this July 2014 file photo, an American flag sits in a bed of flowers atop the U.S. Army monument at the MTSU Veterans Memorial site outside the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU file photo by Randy Weiler)

Memorial Day weekend hours of operation for specific buildings and venues include:

  • James E. Walker Library: open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, May 22; open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 23; and closed May 24-25. It will reopen at 7 a.m. May 26.
  • Campus Recreation Center: open from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 22 and closed May 23-25. It will reopen at 6:30 a.m. May 26.
  • Student Health Services in the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center: open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 22 and closed May 23-25. Offices will reopen at 8 a.m. May 26.
  • Campus Pharmacy in the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center: open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (drive-thru open until 4:30 p.m.) May 22 and closed May 23-25. Pharmacy and drive-thru will reopen at 8 a.m. May 26.
  • Student Union: open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. May 22; closed May 23-25; reopens at 6 a.m. May 26.
  • Keathley University Center: open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 22 and closed May 23-25. It will reopen at 7 a.m. May 26.
  • James Union Building: open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. May 22 and closed May 23-25. It will reopen at 8 a.m. May 26.
  • ARAMARK/MT Dining: Visit http://www.campusdish.com/en-US/CSS/MiddleTennessee and click on “Locations” to see which dining establishments will be open and operating hours.

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

 

13 Central Magnet valedictorians make ‘True Blue’ college choice

How will Murfreesboro’s Central Magnet School accommodate 41 valedictorian speeches at its May 17 graduation ceremony?

The answer to that question will be up on the big screens at Murphy Center, thanks to a set of 30-second videos of their valedictory remarks prepared in advance by MTSU’s marketing and communications office.

Central Magnet High School valedictorian Tatum England, 17, of Murfreesboro, Tenn., plans to study nursing or enter the pre-professional program at MTSU with the help of her new Buchanan Fellowship, the university’s highest academic scholarship to an entering freshman. England aims to become a nurse anesthetist or a doctor. (Photos by MTSU News and Media Relations)

Central Magnet High School valedictorian Tatum England, 17, of Murfreesboro, Tenn., plans to study nursing or enter the pre-professional program at MTSU with the help of her new Buchanan Fellowship, the university’s highest academic scholarship to an entering freshman. England aims to become a nurse anesthetist or a doctor. (Photos by MTSU News and Media Relations)

The video support is part of the university’s ongoing relationship with the East Main Street magnet school, recently named one of the top four public high schools in the state of Tennessee.

And among these 4.0 GPA scholars were 13 students — roughly a third of Central’s valedictorians this year — who plan to be back on the Blue Raider campus this fall as part of the newest freshman class.

MTSU WordmarkOne of them is Tatum England, 17, of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, who comes to campus with a Buchanan Fellowship, the university’s highest academic scholarship to an entering freshman.

She plans to study nursing or enter the pre-professional program at MTSU with an eye toward a career as a nurse anesthetist or a doctor.

“The academics I could get here are equal to anywhere else you could go or even more advanced,” England said. “I can stay here and still be with my family.”

England already has strong MTSU ties; her mother, Susan England, works in the university’s Human Resources Department, and her brothers have attended MTSU.

“This place just really feels like home,” England said. “I sort of grew up here. A lot of the people in the Honors College I’ve also grown up with and I’ve watched them make incredible advances. … I want to follow suit.”

All of Central’s valedictorians recently visited MTSU’s campus to shoot their videos, a visit that gave those students who chose to attend different institutions a chance to get another look at the university and its academic offerings as well as interact with faculty such as Honors College Dean John Vile and Basic and Applied Sciences Dean Bud Fischer.

Central Magnet valedictorian Kimi Warren, 18, of Smyrna, Tenn., plans to double major in forensic science and psychology at MTSU. (MTSU News)

Central Magnet valedictorian Kimi Warren, 18, of Smyrna, Tenn., plans a double major in forensic science and psychology at MTSU.

A recent Daily News Journal survey of valedictorians and salutatorians graduating this year from Rutherford County high schools showed that MTSU was the school of choice for the largest number of those students.

Wendi Pelfrey

Wendi Pelfrey

“Our office has enhanced its focus on reaching high-ability students, because some of them view us as just another large state institution,” said Wendi Pelfrey, interim director of undergraduate recruitment.

“However, MTSU features world-class facilities where students can work one-on-one with top-tier professors and be a member of an intimate community of elite scholars. Our students have the same opportunities as those at Ivy League schools, but at a greatly reduced cost.”

Central valedictorian Kimi Warren, 18, of Smyrna, Tennessee, plans a double major in forensic science and psychology at MTSU.

The eldest of four siblings, Warren chose MTSU because she wanted to get a quality education close to home so that she could still influence her younger siblings and “encourage them to keep learning.”

Central’s seniors must complete an “intense” thesis project their final year that requires independent research and is based on the rubric for the MTSU Honors College, Warren said, explaining that she therefore “spent a lot of time” on campus the past year being exposed to MTSU resources and networking with faculty.

Warren said she hopes to tap into MTSU’s study-abroad opportunities to visit other countries and expand her worldview. After getting her graduate degrees, she said she eventually wants to work for the FBI as a behavioral analyst, perhaps within its Office of Victim Assistance.

“What I really want to do with that is maybe work with Interpol to stop international sex trafficking,” she said.

Central Magnet High School valedictorian Asfah Mohammed of Murfreesboro poses for a photo outside of the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building May 8. Mohammed, a Buchanan Fellow, plans to study in the chemistry pre-medicine program at MTSU. (MTSU News)

Central Magnet High School valedictorian Asfah Mohammed of Murfreesboro poses for a photo outside the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building May 8. Mohammed, a Buchanan Fellow, plans to study in the chemistry pre-medicine program at MTSU.

Like classmates Warren and England, 18-year-old Asfah Mohammed, 18, of Murfreesboro, comes to MTSU with high aspirations.

She wants to become a pediatric oncologist with a goal of eventually helping find a cure for cancer, a disease that claimed her grandmother’s life.

“Ever since then, I’ve grown more interested in the field,” said Mohammed, who, like England, is also a Buchanan Fellow. She will study in the chemistry pre-medicine program at MTSU.

Central Magnet logo-webComing to the Blue Raider campus wasn’t a hard decision. Mohammed’s mother attended graduate school here, and her sister, Yusra, also a Buchanan Fellow, is a junior studying biology.

“MTSU feels like home to me,” Mohammed said. “Every time I’ve come on campus or every time I’ve talked to faculty, I’ve always felt welcome. And the Honors College program is great. It definitely helped push me in this direction.”

Pelfrey said she isn’t surprised to hear such praise.

MTSU’s Honors College offers students small discussion-based classes, hands-on learning, study-abroad opportunities in more than 100 countries and the potential of earning nationally recognized scholarships such as the Rhodes, Fulbright and Goldwater.

MTSU also provides numerous scholarship opportunities for prospective students, awarding $764,000 in scholarships this year to Central Magnet students alone.

“The university was recently classified as the top producer of Fulbright winners in the state of Tennessee and one of the top 20 nationally,” Pelfrey noted. “MTSU may be in their backyard, but it can take them anywhere.”

Mohammed said she’s ready to begin her journey: her graduation speech will be a thank-you to her parents and to “those who’ve helped make me the person I am,” she said, including her fellow Class of 2015 comrades, a whopping one-fifth of who earned the valedictorian honor.

“Everyone at my school is so motivated,” Mohammed said. “We are going to do many great things.”

Central Magnet’s graduation will be held at 7 p.m. Sunday, May 17, at MTSU’s Murphy Center.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

McPhee lauds Bridgestone on Warren County plant’s 25th year

MORRISON, Tenn. — MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee extended congratulations Thursday, May 14, to senior managers and employees of Bridgestone’s Warren County plant on the eve of the tire-making facility’s 25th anniversary.

McPhee, who visited the Morrison plant to present a workshop on leadership, extolled the impact of the plant on the economy of Warren County and the Middle Tennessee area, as well as MTSU’s continuing partnership with Bridgestone.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee delivered a workshop on leadership Thursday, May 14, to senior managers and employees of BridgestoneÕs Warren County plant in Morrison, Tenn. (MTSU photos by Andrew Oppmann)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee delivers a workshop on leadership Thursday, May 14, to senior managers and employees of Bridgestone’s Warren County plant in Morrison, Tenn. (MTSU photos by Andrew Oppmann)

“This plant and its employees have made a tremendous impact throughout our region,” McPhee said. “I wish to offer my congratulations to all of you for reaching this quarter-century milestone and all of your many achievements in these years.”

The Warren County facility, which began operations in 1990, manufactures 9,000 Bridgestone and Firestone truck and bus tires per day and employs 990 people. In 2008, it was the first tire plant in the world to earn certification from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, which was renewed last year.

Although the plant’s actual anniversary is Friday, May 15, Bridgestone will mark the occasion formally with a ceremony next week in Morrison.

MTSU and Bridgestone, along with automaker Nissan, are partners in the university’s new and fast-growing Mechatronics Engineering degree program, which combines mechanical, computer and electrical engineering along with systems integration and technical project management.

John Stewart, Warren plant manager, and Brian Sears, human resources division manager, took McPhee on a tour of the facility after the workshop.

“What a wonderful presentation,” Sears told the crowd. “Dr. McPhee really gets us.”

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

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee congratulated managers and employees of the Bridgestone Warren County tire-manufacturing plant in Morrison, Tenn.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee congratulates managers and employees of the Bridgestone Warren County tire-manufacturing plant in Morrison, Tenn.

Brian Sears, left, human resources division manager at Bridgestone's Warren County plant, gave MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee some Bridgestone-branded items after his speech Thursday, May 14.

Brian Sears, left, human resources division manager at Bridgestone’s Warren County plant, gives MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee some Bridgestone-branded items after his speech Thursday, May 14.

UPDATE: Renovations, demolitions continue to transform campus

Many renovations of campus buildings are underway or were recently completed. Here is a brief update on recent and current projects.

Davis Science Building
The Davis Science Building is undergoing renovations to upgrade and expand instructional space for the College of Basic and Applied Sciences. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

The Davis Science Building is undergoing renovations to upgrade and expand instructional space for the College of Basic and Applied Sciences. (MTSU photos by News and Media Relations)

Renovations continue on the Davis Science and Wiser-Patten Science Buildings. The project-design documents are complete, and internal demolition has begun. Building mobilization is planned by fall 2016, with occupancy expected in January 2017.

Renovations include a connector between the two buildings that will create a new central entrance for both. The upgrades will provide ADA accessibility within both buildings and includes installation of new elevators at Wiser-Patten. Strobel Annex between Davis and Wiser-Patten eventually will be removed.

Programs benefiting most from this renovation include Geosciences, Physics, Anthropology and Forensic Science and new offices for the College of Basic and Applied Sciences academic advisors.

 

Wiser-Patten Science Building
Renovations have begun on the Wiser-Patten Science Building. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Renovations have begun on the Wiser-Patten Science Building.


McFarland Building
Photos are on display just inside the entrance to the McFarland Building. Renovations are complete on the building on the north side of campus, which now houses the Photography Department. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Photos are on display just inside the entrance to the McFarland Building. Renovations are complete on the building on the north side of campus, which now houses the Photography Department.

The McFarland Building renovation project is complete. The building has been renovated to accommodate the relocation of the Photography Department from the former Photography Building that is being razed near the quad.

Demolition of the former Photography Building is almost complete, eventually providing an open green space between Davis Science and Bragg Mass Communication.

Expected to be finished by the end of May, the demolition is part of the university’s master plan, and the remaining open area eventually will have improvements made to sidewalks and landscaping.

Former Photography Building Razed
Demolition of the former Photography Building in front of the new Science Building wrapped up in recent weeks. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Demolition of the former Photography Building in front of the new Science Building wrapped up in recent weeks.


Bell Street Building
Middle Tennessee State University’s Bell Street property, shown here, is being renovated by Turner Construction Co. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Middle Tennessee State University’s Bell Street property, shown here, is being renovated by Turner Construction Co.

Project manager Turner Construction “is making excellent progress” on the former Middle Tennessee Medical Center property on Bell Street and completion is planned by early 2016, said Patti Miller, assistant vice president for campus planning and university architect.

Occupants will include graduate business studies for Jennings A. Jones College of Business, University College, the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services, and the brand-new Center for Chinese Music and Culture.

The site will also include a satellite office for the MTSU Police Department as well as office space for Event Coordination.

In addition, there will be lighting improvements in the garage and new lighting in the surface parking lots as well as new fencing around the green space. Fencing installation is expected to begin this summer and a historic marker will eventually be placed there in commemoration of the site once being home to Rutherford Hospital and Middle Tennessee Medical Center.


 

Flight Simulator Building

Aerospace logo

The Flight Simulator Building project is designed to house new and existing flight simulators for the Department of Aerospace. Construction has started and is planned for completion by fall 2015. The facility will be located at Murfreesboro Airport.


 

Warehouse Upgrades
The warehouse on Greenland Drive will be renovated beginning this summer. (Photo by MTSU News and Media Relations)

The warehouse on Greenland Drive will be renovated beginning this summer. (Photo by MTSU News and Media Relations)

Renovations to the warehouse off Greenland Drive that houses Procurement Services will include upgrades to restrooms and installation of a conference area as well as reworking a portion of the loading dock and office space. Construction is expected to start in summer 2015 and be finished sometime this winter.

“That’s a really important project. They provide such a vital service for the university,” Miller noted. “The staff has had to grow because of the volume of the work they do, so they need adequate space.”


 

Intramural Field Lighting
The university has begun installing lighting on the intramural fields off East Main Street so students now will be able to play games at night. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

The university has begun installing lighting on the intramural fields off East Main Street so students now will be able to play games at night.

Intramural/Recreational Field Lighting. The university has begun installing lighting on the intramural fields off East Main Street so students now will be able to play games at night. Because of extended periods of rain earlier this spring, construction crews are waiting for the fields to dry a bit more before completion. All installation should be finished by late summer, early fall.


 

Underground Utility Project
Underground utility work has temporarily closed a portion of the Cope Administration BuildingÕs east lot. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Underground utility work has temporarily closed a portion of the Cope Administration Building’s east lot.

Underground Electrical Project. Campus Construction is beginning the final phase of the Underground Electrical Project. The latest phase includes the installation of an emergency generation for the Cope Administration Building. Work is planned to start Monday, May 11, and requires a portion of the Cope Administration East parking lot to be blocked off beginning Sunday, May 10. The lot will remain blocked off until mid-July.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

Young artists in ‘Winners’ Circle’ at MTSU’s Todd Gallery through May 29

Young Murfreesboro and Rutherford County artists’ interpretations of America’s diversified unity are the focus of a special invitational exhibit at MTSU’s Todd Art Gallery through Friday, May 29.

The city and county schools students created works of art with a theme of “E Pluribus Unum: From Many, One,” showing how many people, races, cultures and religions come together to create the United States.

Award winners will be announced at a special May 21 reception hosted by Dr. Mark Byrnes, dean of the MTSU College of Liberal Arts.

The Todd Gallery is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and is closed on weekends and state and university holidays. The awards reception is planned May 22 from 4 to 6 p.m.

Student artists in both Murfreesboro City Schools and Rutherford County Schools systems compete annually for awards sponsored by the Murfreesboro City Hall Art Committee and displayed in the rotunda at Murfreesboro’s City Hall.

MTSU arts logoMTSU’s Department of Art is continuing the community art support by displaying the winning works from the school competitions in the Todd Gallery as the “Winners’ Circle” exhibit.

Winners’ Circle art jurors evaluate the winning pieces and name an “MTSU Arts Best of Show Award” as well as a “Circle Best Artwork” for both the city and county schools.

The student Winners’ Circle pieces that best represent criteria such as “most original” or “best interpretive” also are eligible for the “True Blue Award” and first, second, third and honorable mention awards in four age groups.

Like all Todd Art Gallery events, the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.

For more information about MTSU’s Todd Art Gallery, including parking and directions, contact gallery director Eric Snyder at 615-898-5532 or eric.snyder@mtsu.edu or visit www.mtsu.edu/art. You also can find a campus parking map at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParking14-15.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

"Birch Trees," an original work of art from an Overall Creek Elementary School student, is part of the third- through fifth-grade "Winners' Circle" exhibit at MTSU's Todd Art Gallery through May 29.

“Birch Trees,” an original work of art from an Overall Creek Elementary School student, is part of the third- through fifth-grade “Winners’ Circle” exhibit at MTSU’s Todd Art Gallery through May 29.

"The Crayon Box," an original work of art from a Northfield Elementary School student, is part of the kindergarten through second grade "Winners' Circle" exhibit at MTSU's Todd Art Gallery through May 29.

“The Crayon Box,” an original work of art from a Northfield Elementary School student, is part of the kindergarten through second grade “Winners’ Circle” exhibit at MTSU’s Todd Art Gallery through May 29.

This untitled work from an Eagleville High School ninth- to 12th-grader is part of the "Winners' Circle" exhibit at MTSU's Todd Art Gallery through May 29.

This untitled work from an Eagleville High School ninth- to 12th-grader is part of the “Winners’ Circle” exhibit at MTSU’s Todd Art Gallery through May 29.

Show support for MTSU Arts by joining patron society for 2015-16

Aficionados of the fine arts at Middle Tennessee State University have a new opportunity to show and share their love of both by becoming members of the MTSU Arts Patron Society for the 2015-16 season.

Click on the new brochure cover above for more information on the MTSU Arts Patron Society.

Click on the new brochure cover above for more information on the MTSU Arts Patron Society.

The university offers hundreds of visual and performing arts events to the public each year, most at no charge, but those MTSU art, dance, music and theatre offerings are not free to present.

Expenses add up quickly for performance licensing, equipment, paints and canvases, advertising, guest performers’ fees and even the lumber and sequins necessary to produce the consistently professional caliber of each MTSU Arts event.

MTSU arts logoThe university allocates funding to fine arts departments in the College of Liberal Arts like other colleges on campus, and more costs are alleviated by the incalculable volunteer work hours contributed by students, faculty and staff devoted to creating memorable MTSU Arts events.

“One of the outstanding advantages of living near a great university is the access the local community has to numerous high-quality music and dance concerts, plays and art exhibits. These opportunities enrich the culture of the entire community,” said Dr. James “Jim” Brooks, former chair of the MTSU Department of Speech and Theatre.

He and his wife, Rebecca, have supported the arts at MTSU for many years and were among the first MTSU Arts patrons.

Joining the MTSU Arts Patron Society for 2015-16 helps students in the university’s performing and fine arts programs and gives members special access to exhibits, events, receptions and performances beyond the regular season’s busy schedule.

All levels of donations are welcomed. Supporters who contribute $100 to $2,500 can receive perks that range from special event recognition and exclusive advance copies of the College of Liberal Arts’ award-winning CLA Magazine to VIP tickets and a private dinner with university president Dr. Sidney A. McPhee.

More details on each level of giving are available at the “Patrons Society” link at www.mtsuarts.com.

MTSU then-sophomore Kelsey Blackwell plots some fun as she portrays Mouse in the fall 2013 MTSU Arts production of "A Year with Frog and Toad." (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU then-sophomore Kelsey Blackwell plots some fun as she portrays Mouse in the fall 2013 MTSU Arts production of “A Year with Frog and Toad.” (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

Using funds from MTSU Arts patrons, departments have been able to bring guest lecturers and artists into the classroom, help students travel to music education workshops, produce student-recorded music CDs and host an awards banquet for theater and dance students.

“MTSU’s Arts Patron Society is important because it gives members an avenue to express appreciation for this enrichment in the arts and to provide some additional financial support to further encourage and develop young artists and their faculty mentors,” said Brooks, who also served as director of the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts at MTSU from 1995 to 2000.

“We joined the society as soon as it was established, and we have enjoyed seeing the membership grow.”

This upcoming season, which begins in August with the university’s 2015-16 academic year, features unique arts opportunities almost daily. The season’s events include a special exhibit at the Todd Gallery, “Still Life: The Art of Moonshine,” MTSU Theatre’s presentations of “Uncle Vanya” and “West Side Story” and the Tennessee Jazz Collective’s performance of “The Jazz Nutcracker.”

The deadline for joining the MTSU Arts Patron Society for the 2015-16 season is Monday, Aug. 31, but donations and memberships are accepted year-round.

Learn more about MTSU Arts events anytime at www.mtsuarts.com. The website includes more details about the Patron Society, a calendar of MTSU Arts events and ticket information by clicking the appropriate box on the left side of the Web page. You can also call 615-898-5223.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

MTSU design alumnus Kyle Jones, "Space Cadet" was part of the "Tracking Characters: Connecting 40 Years of Design Grads" exhibit at the Todd Art Gallery in early 2015.

MTSU design alumnus Kyle Jones, “Space Cadet” was part of the “Tracking Characters: Connecting 40 Years of Design Grads” exhibit at the Todd Art Gallery in early 2015.

MTSU dancers Fernando Ramos Cintron, left, and Amy Huffines perform “Plume” at the 2013 Fall Dance Concert in Tucker Theatre. (Photo courtesy of Martin O’Connor)

MTSU dancers Fernando Ramos Cintron, left, and Amy Huffines perform “Plume” at the 2013 Fall Dance Concert in Tucker Theatre. (File photo courtesy of Martin O’Connor)

MTSU helps Black Fox school celebrate multiple cultures

MTSU students and administrators are planning to co-host a fun-filled night of culture and creativity for the entire community Thursday, May 14.

Chinese dancers entertain the crowd at The Discovery Center at Murfree Spring last September during a special Chinese Culture Celebration Day. MTSU will sponsor a similar event, "Asian Night," at Black Fox Elementary School May 14. (MTSU photo)

Chinese dancers entertain the crowd at The Discovery Center at Murfree Spring last September during a special Chinese Culture Celebration Day. MTSU will sponsor a similar event, “Asian Night,” at Black Fox Elementary School May 14. (MTSU file photo)

The Confucius Institute at MTSU and the Saudi Students Association will be two of the organizations contributing to “Asian Night” from 6 to 8 p.m. May 14 at Black Fox Elementary School, 1753 S. Rutherford Blvd. in Murfreesboro.

Activities will include children’s games, calligraphy, tea ceremonies, Chinese dances and traditional music and food.

Confucius Institute logo“Through the years, the Confucius Institute’s partnership with Murfreesboro City Schools has only grown stronger,” said Mike Novak, assistant director of the Confucius Institute. “Asian Night is one example of our partnership.”

Saudi Students Association logo webThe mission of the Confucius Institute at MTSU is to enhance the understanding of Chinese language and culture, facilitate engagement with China and create opportunities for exchange and collaboration between communities in Tennessee and China.

“Asian Night” is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the institute at 615-494-8696 or Black Fox Elementary at 615-893-6395.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

City schools’ students experience life at MTSU farm, dairy (+VIDEO)

Some 1,200 Murfreesboro City Schools students experienced the sights, sounds and smells of life on the MTSU farm and dairy May 12 in Lascassas, Tennessee.

It took 19 buses to bring the third-graders from 12 city schools — Black Fox, Erma Siegel, Hobgood, John Pittard, Northfield, Overall Creek, Reeves-Rogers and Scales Elementary, Bradley and Cason Lane Academy, the Discovery School at Bellwood and Mitchell-Neilson Schools — from the city to the country on a picture-perfect day.

While somewhat prepared for the MTSU farm environment with rubber boots and overalls, Discovery School at Bellwood third-grader Caitlyn Olsen covers her nose and mouth with her T-shirt to avoid the odor made by the herd of 60 dairy cows Tuesday (May 12) during the Murfreesboro City Schools’ field trip. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

Discovery School at Bellwood third-grader Caitlyn Olsen covers her nose and mouth with her T-shirt to avoid the odor made by the MTSU herd of 60 dairy cows May 12 during the Murfreesboro City Schools’ field trip. (MTSU photos by News and Media Relations)

The field trip is part of an ongoing partnership between Murfreesboro City Schools and MTSU.

The two entities have collaborated to bring more than 21,000 students for three annual Education Days at MTSU women’s basketball games and teamed for a multitude of student-teaching events and educational and academic endeavors through the years.

MT Agriculture logo“MTSU is a fantastic partner,” said Meri Leigh Smith, coordinated school health supervisor with the City Schools. “They have been very gracious in hosting all 1,200 students, supplying milk and being on hand to be educational spokespeople.”

MTSU faculty, students and staff, city schools’ faculty and staff and even help from Leshan Dixon, Rutherford County Health Department health educator, and others combined to facilitate the handling of two groups of about 600 students in separate two-hour field trips.

http://youtu.be/23taV54QRPc

While one group visited four stations atop the hill with the dairy facilities, another group of 300 moved through four stations featuring agriculture.

The dairy area stations included feed and equipment and MTSU chocolate milk, the milking parlor, the pack barn and compost and an education station, where the students learned how cream is turned into butter.

Murfreesboro City Schools logo“I really liked the cows,” said Caitlen Olsen, 10, a Discovery School at Bellwood student who was shy about approaching a cow.

“When I petted the cow, it felt both rough and soft. The cow produces one of my favorite drinks. I love milk.”

The agriculture-related stations featured bees, beekeeping and honey, feed and equipment, chocolate milk, plants, vegetables and greenhouse and a city schools’ education area making a craft out of lima beans.

Lashan Dixon, left, Rutherford County Health Department health educator, shows a group of Murfreesboro City Schools’ third-graders how to make a craft with lima beans. The activity occurred Tuesday (May 12) during the schools’ morning field trip to the MTSU farm and dairy in Lascassas, Tennessee. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

Lashan Dixon, left, Rutherford County Health Department health educator, shows a group of Murfreesboro City Schools’ third-graders how to make a craft with lima beans. The activity occurred May 12 during the schools’ morning field trip to the MTSU farm and dairy in Lascassas, Tennessee.

MTSU senior plant and soil science major Viktoria Coan of Franklin, Tennessee, told the youngsters that while their parents may buy food at grocery stores, it actually comes from the farm.

Murfreesboro City Schools participates in the national Farm2School Network program.

Smith said the students who visited the farm and dairy, officially called the School of Agribusiness and Agriscience Experiential Learning and Research Center, already have been shown the transportation and distribution side of the process. By the end of the term, they will learn about good gardening practices.

“They’re getting to experience a little bit of that today,” added Smith, who said she hopes future City Schools students can visit the MTSU property.

MTSU faculty member Alanna Vaught coordinated the effort for MTSU.

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

AAUW annual meeting features May 14 ‘Buffalo Raffle’ with global flair

The local chapter of the American Association of University Women is adding a global flair to its upcoming fundraiser.

AAUW Mboro logo webAAUW of Murfreesboro will conduct its annual meeting from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 14, at Forest Oaks No. 1 Clubhouse, 1002 E. Northfield Blvd.

The gathering will include a “Shape the Future” Buffalo Raffle. With the theme of “International Bazaar,” items that represent countries other than the United States will be raffled off.

Members will donate items they obtained during international travel, gifts they have received or items they have purchased.

Seventy-five percent of the raffle proceeds will benefit branch operations. The other 25 percent will go to AAUW’s legal and education funds.

New members may join at the meeting for $36, which is one-half of the regular dues. Members and their guests will enjoy a potluck dinner.

Attendees are requested to donate children’s underwear for the local domestic violence shelter.

For more information, contact Dr. Ayne Cantrell, MTSU professor emerita and president-elect of AAUW of Tennessee, at acantrell@comcast.net.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

MTSU ‘honor flights’ bring smiles to veterans, family members (+VIDEO)

Eight veterans who served their country with pride received an airplane ride they’ll cherish the rest of their lives Wednesday (May 6).

The eight men — seven from the Tennessee State Veterans Home and the eighth a former military member from Tullahoma, Tennessee — were flown in a 1952-53 de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver by MTSU chief pilot Terry Dorris.

Starting in 2009, Dorris, an aerospace department faculty member, and School of Agribusiness and Agriscience professor Tony Johnston have collaborated on veterans’ flights once every one to two years.

http://youtu.be/TYoglkdZ2Zk

“This is a way we can appreciate military veterans late in their lives,” said Johnston, who is a veteran himself and former member of the MTSU Veterans and Military Affairs Committee.

“Many of them have not flown in a plane since they left the military,” Johnston added. “For many, this is a lifelong objective to fly one more time.”

MTSU professor Tony Johnston, who helps coordinate the Veterans Honor Flights with chief pilot Terry Dorris, talks with William Ellis and Riley Howard Jr. before their May 6 flight at Murfreesboro Airport. Ellis and Howard reside at the Tennessee State Veterans Home in Murfreesboro. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

MTSU professor Tony Johnston, who helps coordinate the Veterans Honor Flights with chief pilot Terry Dorris, talks with William Ellis and Riley Howard Jr. before their May 6 flight at Murfreesboro Airport. Ellis and Howard reside at the Tennessee State Veterans Home in Murfreesboro. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

Kent Ervin, 66, of Tullahoma, last flew on a Beaver 47 years ago. He was a crew chief on 16 Beavers while serving in Vietnam, but only flew one time.

“I heard about these veterans’ flights and saw it on YouTube several years ago,” he said. “The Beaver has been a pretty hard plane to find, except in Alaska and the Florida Keys. This is where the real connection to want to fly began.”

After waiting for the seven Tennessee State Veterans Home vets to fly, Ervin and part of his family — son Anthony Ervin of Tullahoma, daughter Kristi Deaton and her children Lucas and Sarah, all from Murfreesboro, were transported across the city by Dorris.

“It makes for a good day to be together and spend a little time with family,” he said.

William Ellis, Riley Howard Jr., Albert L. Powell, James Brown, Larry Blankenship, Lee Bickford and John Hockaday enjoyed their moments to bask in the flying spotlight.

“This is one great plane,” said Blankenship, a native of Huntington, West Virginia, who moved to Murfreesboro about a year ago.

Jill Coble, daughter of John Hockaday, a member of the Army Air Force, brought her 9-month-old granddaughter AnnaFaye Woodward, to be a part of 90-year-old great-grandfather John Hockaday’s flight with Lee Bickford.

Jill Coble, far left, and her 9-month-old granddaughter, AnnaFaye Woodward, see off John Hockaday and his fellow veteran Lee Bickford May 6 in the Honor Flights at Murfreesboro Airport. Hockaday is Coble’s father and great-grandfather of Woodward. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Jill Coble, far left, and her 9-month-old granddaughter, AnnaFaye Woodward, see off John Hockaday and his fellow veteran Lee Bickford May 6 in the Honor Flights at Murfreesboro Airport. Hockaday is Coble’s father and great-grandfather of Woodward. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

“The honor flight he made to Washington, D.C., was very important to him and this one was, too,” Coble said of her father’s desire to fly one more time. “This is sort of the culmination for him. Fortunately, his mind’s still good.”

A number of veterans’ family members attended the special flights.

Ervin is well aware of the quality of service given to veterans by the staff at the Tennessee State Veterans Home. His in-laws, R.H. and Bea Carr, lived there.

“They do some mighty fine things over there,” he said.

For more details about future Veterans Honor Flights, call Johnston at 615-898-2421 or email Tony.Johnston@mtsu.edu.

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

 

 

Anthony Ervin stands with his father, Vietnam veteran Kent Ervin, in front of the vintage MTSU de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver aircraft.

Anthony Ervin stands with his father, Vietnam veteran Kent Ervin, in front of the vintage MTSU de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver aircraft.