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MTSU students ‘Meet Murfreesboro’ businesses, community

New and returning MTSU students, faculty and staff have one additional opportunity to “Meet Murfreesboro.”

Day 2 of Meet Murfreesboro — the New Student and Family Programs Week of Welcome event to partner local businesses, restaurants, banks, ministries and others with students, faculty and staff — will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 26, in the Student Union Commons.

Students have opportunities to earn prizes, receive free food and water and learn what’s beyond campus borders with Murfreesboro’s businesses and other organizations that registered to attend this year.

Day 1 of Meet Murfreesboro was held Aug. 25.

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

MTSU seniors Ala El-Assuli, left, holding nachos and cheese, and Dana Albawab of Murfreesboro share a laugh with Christiana, Tenn.-based Believers' Faith Fellowship pastor Jason Scales, second from right, and church music director Joshua Jamerson Aug. 25 during "Meet Murfreesboro" in the Student Union Commons. El Assuli is a special education major originally from Dubai while Albawab is a finance/insurance major originally from Jordan. A Week of Welcome event, Meet Murfreesboro will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 26. (MTSU photos by Randy Weiler)

MTSU seniors Ala El-Assuli, left, holding nachos and cheese, and Dana Albawab of Murfreesboro joke with Christiana, Tenn.-based Believers’ Faith Fellowship pastor Jason Scales, second from right, and church music director Joshua Jamerson Aug. 25 during “Meet Murfreesboro” in the Student Union Commons. El Assuli is a special education major originally from Dubai while Albawab is a finance/insurance major originally from Jordan. A Week of Welcome event, Meet Murfreesboro will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 26. (MTSU photos by Randy Weiler)

Attending the annual "Meet Murfreesboro" Aug. 25 in the MTSU Student Union Commons, seniors Hillary Keel, left, of Dover, Tenn., and Alannah Keele of Manchester, Tenn., follow Lisa Wilson's registration instructions at the Bed, Bath & Beyond table. Keel is an accounting major while Keele is a marketing major.

Attending the annual “Meet Murfreesboro” Aug. 25 in the MTSU Student Union Commons, seniors Hillary Keel, left, of Dover, Tenn., and Alannah Keele of Manchester, Tenn., follow Lisa Wilson’s registration instructions at the Bed, Bath & Beyond table. Keel is an accounting major,and Keele is a marketing major.

Natalie Hughes, right, business development officer with Ascend Federal Credit Union in Murfreesboro, hands out blue-and-white shakers to students attending "Meet Murfreesboro" Aug. 25 in the Student Union Commons. Students include, from left, Brittney Williams, a sophomore child development and family studies major from Maury City, Tenn.; sisters Elizabeth and Miriam Kash, respective business and sociology majors from Murfreesboro; and freshman Allie Cudd, an elementary education major from Chattanooga, Tenn.

Natalie Hughes, right, business development officer with Ascend Federal Credit Union in Murfreesboro, hands out blue-and-white shakers to students attending “Meet Murfreesboro” Aug. 25 in the Student Union Commons. Students include, from left, Brittney Williams, a sophomore child development and family studies major from Maury City, Tenn.; sisters Elizabeth and Miriam Kash, respective business and sociology majors from Murfreesboro; and freshman Allie Cudd, an elementary education major from Chattanooga, Tenn.

McPhee hails MTSU retention efforts in ‘State of the University’ [+VIDEO]

Accentuating the positive, MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee delivered his 15th “State of the University” address before a packed house Friday, Aug. 21, at the 2015-16 Fall Faculty Meeting at Tucker Theatre.

McPhee emphasized the university’s continuing drive to improve student retention and graduation rates, symbolized by the Quest for Student Success initiative implemented by the university in the 2014-15 academic year.

“Within the first six months of implementing just two key components of the quest — a new advising model and a predictive analytics software system to better monitor student progress — encouraging increases in student persistence rates were observed,” McPhee told the several hundred faculty and staff in attendance.

http://youtu.be/4-en397p5TE

McPhee noted that persistence, a measurement of the rates at which students stay in college and return for future studies, increased by 2.2 percentage points for new freshmen, 4.5 percentage points for transfers and 2.1 percentage points for sophomores.

“The quest is helping redefine and refocus our efforts and investments in classroom teaching, recruitment and advising to better meet the needs of our students,” the president said.

In fact, the advising corps impressed McPhee so much that he decided to honor the entire university advising team throughout all colleges and departments with the 2015 President’s Student Success Award.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee makes a point during his 2015 Fall Faculty Meeting address to university faculty, staff and friends Aug. 21 in Tucker Theatre. McPhee emphasized the university’s continuing drive to improve student retention and graduation rates in the new academic year, which begins Aug. 24. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee makes a point during his 2015 Fall Faculty Meeting address to university faculty, staff and friends Aug. 21 in Tucker Theatre. McPhee emphasized the university’s continuing drive to improve student retention and graduation rates in the new academic year, which begins Aug. 24. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

As documented by the Office of Student Success in the six months between October 2014 and last April, advisers:

  • conducted more than 19,000 in-person discussions with students;
  • participated in more than 5,700 email or online advising sessions;
  • advised more than 700 students by phone; and
  • reached out to assist more than 12,000 students after scrutinizing their files.

In all, the president said, the advisers made more than 40,200 contacts with students during that brief initial usage period.

McPhee noted that the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities also named MTSU one of five national finalists for its Project Degree Completion Award. The honor recognizes institutions that employ innovative approaches to improve retention and degree completion.

McPhee also praised the Division of University Advancement for making fiscal year 2015 one of the top five fundraising years in MTSU history.

Gifts to MTSU in that time period exceeded $11 million, including the establishment of an international scholarship program and major donations to the University Honors College, the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences and the Blue Raider Athletic Association.

In looking ahead, McPhee addressed upcoming work on reaccreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, which sets standards to assure academic credibility and effectiveness in higher education in the Southern states.

Representatives of the accrediting body are scheduled to visit MTSU in March 2016. In preparation for that visit, McPhee noted that MT Engage, a plan to help faculty infuse their classes with more stimulating teaching, was initiated in fall 2014. Plans are underway for a full-scale launch of MT Engage in fall 2016.

MT Engage logo-web“Clearly, the university is committed to the success of every student, and we have committed considerable resources to making MTSU a success-oriented institution,” McPhee said.

That commitment includes facility upgrades, he said, noting among other projects the ongoing renovations to the Davis and Wiser-Patten science buildings and the Bell Street multipurpose building as well as the recently opened Adams Indoor Tennis Complex at Old Fort Park that will be home to Blue Raider tennis.

You can read the president’s address in its entirety via PDF here.

The Fall Faculty Meeting is also a time where outstanding faculty awards are presented. Dr. Carroll Van West, director of the Center for Historic Preservation and Tennessee State Historian, received the Career Achievement Award.

You can learn more about the 2015 MTSU Foundation awards here.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

‘Week of Welcome’ activities greet new, returning MTSU students

Thousands of MTSU students will arrive on campus this week to begin the fall semester and start the 2015-16 academic year.

The mix of new freshmen and transfers will join returning students in their quest for academic success and the experience of college life.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, left, and “We-Haul” volunteer Graem Merritt, an MTSU sophomore, assist then-freshman Macie Mussleman of Collinwood, Tennessee, and her father, Matt, with the move in to Corlew Hall in this August 2014 file photo. MTSU We-Haul will be held Friday and Saturday, Aug. 21-22. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, left, and “We-Haul” volunteer Graem Merritt, an MTSU sophomore, assist then-freshman Macie Mussleman of Collinwood, Tennessee, and her father, Matt, with the move in to Corlew Hall in this August 2014 file photo. MTSU We-Haul will be held Friday and Saturday, Aug. 21-22. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

To help jump-start the fall, MTSU’s Office of New Student and Family Programs once again is offering “Week of Welcome” activities with a them “Raiders Just Wanna Have Fun” for 2015.

Week of Welcome activities will run from Friday, Aug. 21, through Monday, Sept. 7, when “Eighties Night” — a fun time in what’s typically a quiet zone — takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. in the James E. Walker Library to conclude the special events.

New Student and Family Programs holds Week of Welcome to not only welcome new students to campus but also returning students awaiting the first day of classes Monday, Aug. 24.

To see the complete list of Week of Welcome activities, visit www.mtsu.edu/nsfp/welcome.php.

“Students look forward to Week of Welcome each year,” said Jacki Lancaster, coordinator in the Office of  New Student and Family Programs. “It’s such an exciting time on campus for everyone — new and returning students and their families.”

“Week of Welcome provides the perfect opportunity for new students to get their MTSU experience off on the right track,” Lancaster added. “There are events for students to have fun, meet new people and bring their entire family. We look forward to having the campus buzzing with students and their families this weekend.”

Activities include:

  • We-Haul — 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 21-22, at campus residence halls. Volunteers from MTSU and off-campus organizations will assist students moving into dormitories.
  • University Convocation, followed by the President’s Picnic — 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 23, in Murphy Center. Convocation features Jay Allison, author of “This I Believe II: More Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women,” the Summer Reading Selection for the Class of 2019.
  • “Meet Murfreesboro” — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 25-26, in the Student Union Commons. This event helps students learn about local businesses.
  • Volunteer Fair — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1, in the Student Union Commons. This event allows campus organizations to provide students with volunteer options.
  • Comedy show featuring comedian Ben Bailey — 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4, in Tucker Theatre.
  • Tailgating and MTSU football — Saturday, Sept. 5, when the student tailgate event in Walnut Grove at 3 p.m., followed by the 6 p.m. kickoff for Blue Raiders vs. Jackson State game in Floyd Stadium.

Music, fun and lots of free food also are scheduled for students throughout the two weeks-plus of activities.

Candle Wishes founder and Executive Director Jenny Williams, right, watches as then-MTSU freshman Andrea Hampton of Memphis, Tennessee, registers as a potential volunteer with the nonprofit organization in this September 2014 file photo. This year’s Volunteer Fair takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1, in the Student Union Commons. (MTSU file photo by Randy Weiler)

Jenny Williams, right, founder and executive director of the Candle Wishes nonprofit organization, watches as then-MTSU freshman Andrea Hampton of Memphis, Tennessee, registers as a potential volunteer in this September 2014 file photo. This year’s Volunteer Fair takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1, in the Student Union Commons. (MTSU file photo by News and Media Relations)

Students are encouraged to bring their IDs for Connection Point activities, helping them become connected and engaged in the campus.

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

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

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

MTSU inducts 4 members into Tennessee Insurance Hall of Fame

Four insurance industry veterans were honored this year, including one posthumously, with induction into the Robert E. Musto Tennessee Insurance Hall of Fame at Middle Tennessee State University.

The Class of 2015 inductees included the late Scott Clayton of Nashville, Tennessee; Eugene “Gene” Frazer Jr. of Knoxville, Tennessee; and David Meador and Ken Pinkston, both of Nashville.

The induction ceremony was held July 28 at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Murfreesboro. The Insurance Hall of Fame has inducted 62 since its inception, according to Dr. Kenneth Hollman, holder of the Martin Chair of Insurance at MTSU.

Four new members were inducted into the Musto Tennessee Insurance Hall of Fame at MTSU for 2015. Pictured, from left, are John Major, emcee; inductees Gene Frazer; inductee Ken Pinkston; Dollye Clayton and Beth Scott Clayton Amos, wife and daughter of posthumous inductee Scott Clayton; and inductee David Meador. The induction ceremony took place July 28, 2015, at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Murfreesboro. (MTSU photo)

Four new members were inducted into the Musto Tennessee Insurance Hall of Fame at MTSU for 2015. Pictured, from left, are John Major, emcee; inductees Gene Frazer; inductee Ken Pinkston; Dollye Clayton and Beth Scott Clayton Amos, wife and daughter of posthumous inductee Scott Clayton; and inductee David Meador. The induction ceremony took place July 28, 2015, at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Murfreesboro. (MTSU photo)

Spurred by a sincere belief in helping others, Scott Clayton entered the life insurance business and gradually expanded his services to include disability insurance, long-term care insurance, equities, business succession planning, executive benefits and his favorite — estate planning — for over 51 years.

Scott Clayton

Scott Clayton

Clayton worked with Connecticut Mutual and Mass Mutual for over 60 years, winning numerous awards, including 50 years a qualifying member of the Million Dollar Round Table.

He was active in professional organizations and championed the causes and interests of agents throughout his career. Among his community involvement, he was president and a board member of Nashville Chapter of the American Red Cross and a board member of the Nashville Rescue Mission.

Accepting on Clayton’s behalf were his widow Dollye Clayton and daughter Beth Scott Clayton Amos.

Eugene “Gene” Frazer Jr. of Knoxville, Tennessee, retired from the Shafer Insurance Agency in Knoxville, where he served for 34 years.

Eugene "Gene" Frazer Jr.

Eugene “Gene” Frazer Jr.

To start his career, Frazer went to work with Travelers Insurance Company as a casualty underwriter in Nashville in 1960 before being transferred to Knoxville and joining Shafer Insurance Agency as marketing manager. He was named vice president a few years later and retired from the agency in May 2001.

A U.S. Army veteran and Vanderbilt University graduate, Frazer was known among his colleagues as a student of insurance. He was active in leadership roles within professional insurance associations on both the local and state level.

Among his civic involvement, Frazer served as a board member of both the Free Medical Clinic of America and the Board of Wesley House Community Center. He has been active in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Knoxville beginning in the mid 1970’s and also served on an allocation committee for the United Way of Greater Knoxville.

Blinded since college following an automobile accident, David Meador currently makes his living as a motivational speaker after retiring from the insurance industry in 2002.

David Meador

David Meador

After earning his bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University and a master’s from Loyola of Chicago, Meador went on to become a 20-year career sales representative with Northwestern Mutual in Nashville, where he set the agency record for consecutive weeks of production — bringing in new business every week for 11 straight years.

He was a member of both the National Association of Life Underwriters and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors for a decade.

Upon his retirement, Meador moved to public speaking at civic clubs and corporate conventions. He was also very active in the United States Blind Golf Association, winning the national championship in 1976, 2011, 2012 and 2013 and receiving the Ben Hogan Award at the 2013 Masters Tournament.

An alumnus of Martin Methodist College, MTSU (B.S. ’64) and Vanderbilt, Ken Pinkston began his career in the insurance industry in 1964 with Traveler’s Insurance Company in Nashville.

Ken Pinkston

Ken Pinkston

He then joined what would become the Willis Group, filling various roles including president of the company’s research and sales development division and chairman and CEO of Willis operations in North America and vice chair of global operations.

Pinkston supported professional organizations throughout his career, at one point serving as a member of the board of directors of the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers in Washington, D.C.

Among his civic involvement, Pinkston is a past member of the board of directors of PENCIL, a nonprofit dedicated to improving public education in the Nashville area and served in a tutoring program for elementary school students. He is a past board member of the Middle Tennessee Council of the Boy Scouts of America and currently serves as a board member of Community Care Fellowship, an organization focusing on the homeless.

MTSU offers an insurance concentration through the Department of Economics and Finance within the Jennings A. Jones College of Business. For more information about the department, go to www.mtsu.edu/econfin.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

MTSU on WGNS: Football tickets, religious plurality, ancient finds

MTSU faculty, alumni and staff discussed the latest campus happenings during the Aug. 17 “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.

Guests included:

MTSU was featured during the Aug. 17 "Action Line" program on WGNS-FM radio. Guests included, at top from left, Dr. Mary Evins, James Kentfield and Danielle Mayeaux; at bottom, Dr. Shannon Hodge. (MTSU illustration by Jimmy Hart)

MTSU guests on the Aug. 17 “Action Line” program on WGNS-FM radio include, shown from left in the top photo, Dr. Mary Evins, James Kentfield and Danielle Mayeaux; and Dr. Shannon Hodge, shown in the lower photo. (MTSU illustration by Jimmy Hart)

• James Kentfield, director of ticket operations for Blue Raider Athletics, and Danielle Mayeaux, assistant athletic director for marketing and ticket sales for MT Athletics, who shared information on how Blue Raider fans can get their season tickets for the upcoming football season, which is fast approaching. Kentfield and Mayeaux also talked about the upcoming promotions and special events scheduled for the season, including the family-friendly Raider Fun Zone and live music during pregame activities.

For more information, visit www.goblueraiders.com/tickets.

• Dr. Mary Evins, a professor with MTSU’s Center for Historic Preservation and coordinator of the American Democracy Project, who discussed religious plurality in higher education curriculums. Evins is coordinating a $120,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to help higher education faculty improve their students’ understanding of diverse cultures.

MTSU joined forces with Cleveland State and Jackson State community colleges, as well as Nashville State at Cookeville and Dyersburg State at Collierville to implement the program. Professors from those schools and other Tennessee Board of Regents schools gathered at MTSU in mid-July for workshops. Read more here.

• Dr. Shannon Hodge, an archaeologist and associate professor in the MTSU Department of Anthropology and Sociology, who discussed a Native American prehistoric site discovered at Black Cat Cave in Murfreesboro.

The discovery of the Native American cemetery at the archaeological site has led the city of Murfreesboro, MTSU, and other public and private partners to secure the cave area and discuss plans for its future. Read more here.

Students, faculty and staff who are interested in guesting 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 renames mass comm college to reflect industry, societal changes

MTSU’s College of Mass Communications is updating its name to better reflect the 24-hour media cycle and the growing demand for content that informs, engages and entertains.

Effective with the new 2015-16 academic year, which kicks off Aug. 24 with the first day of fall classes, the college will become the MTSU College of Media and Entertainment.

MTSU students work on deadline inside the Center for Innovation in Media in this file photo from the university's College of Mass Communication, soon to be known as the College for Media and Entertainment. (MTSU file photo)

MTSU students work on deadline inside the Center for Innovation in Media in this file photo from the university’s College of Mass Communication, soon to be known as the College for Media and Entertainment. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

“It’s a clear and contemporary name that reflects the way media work today,” said Ken Paulson, dean of the college since July 2013. “The media world isn’t driven by mass communication anymore; it’s now all about targeted audiences, tailored content and strategic audience-building.

“Though traditional media have been buffeted by digital technology, there’s more media being consumed around the world today than at any other time in history. The four channels on a TV 50 years ago have been replaced by tens of thousands of content providers.”

Paulson said that the college, first established as a department in 1972, then elevated to school and finally college status by 1989, has always focused on preparing students to perform every facet of communicating news and information within their specialties: journalism, electronic media and the recording industry.

This name change, he said, reflects the college’s goal of giving students skills across multiple media to ready them for their futures as well as providing a solid, broad-based education.

Ken Paulson

Ken Paulson

“The rebooted College of Media and Entertainment will strive to give students the skills and insights they’ll need to engage, inform and entertain audiences on multiple platforms,” he said. “That means learning to communicate effectively through words, audio and video.

M and E logo for web“It also means coming to grips with change. The most important traits we can instill in our students are a receptivity to change and a comfort level with technology. Colleges need to be as contemporary as possible, incorporating the latest technology, encouraging innovation and fostering an entrepreneurial spirit.”

The fifth largest communication program in the nation, the MTSU College of Media and Entertainment offers degree concentrations in 14 major areas — ranging from the recording industry to journalism to filmmaking and animation— and is accredited by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

The college also is home to three unique and nationally recognized operations:

  • the John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies, which supports a variety of activities related to free speech, free press rights and other topics of concern for contemporary journalism.
  • the Center for Popular Music, devoted to the study and scholarship of popular music in America and one of only 16 Centers of Excellence across the Tennessee Board of Regents system.
  • the Center for Innovation in Media, which unites student-run media and MTSU’s National Public Radio affiliate, WMOT 89.5 FM, in a single site to facilitate convergence.

For more information about MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment and its departments and majors, visit www.mtsu.edu/media.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Marc Parrish, standing at right, director of technical systems for MTSU's College of Mass Communication, leads a tour group of prospective students and their parents through the $1.8 million Mobile Production Lab during a 2015 True Blue Experience Day. The college is being renamed as the College of Media and Entertainment. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

Marc Parrish, standing at right, director of technical systems for MTSU’s College of Mass Communication, leads a tour group of prospective students and their parents through the $1.8 million Mobile Production Lab during a 2015 True Blue Experience Day. The college is being renamed as the College of Media and Entertainment. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU now a national award finalist for promoting student success

Less than two years after the initiation of its Quest for Student Success initiative, MTSU is in the running for a top national award for its efforts.

Click on the graphic for more details on MTSU's "Quest for Student Success" project.

Click on the graphic for more details on MTSU’s “Quest for Student Success” project.

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities has selected MTSU as one of the five finalists for its APLU Project Degree Completion Award.

The honor recognizes universities that implement innovative strategies to increase undergraduate retention and graduation rates.

“This … is really recognition by a professional association in a very competitive environment,” said Dr. Richard Sluder, vice provost for student success.

“We’re in stiff competition with schools that have been doing this for a lot longer than MTSU.”

Dr. Richard Sluder

Dr. Richard Sluder

Morgan State University, the University of South Florida, the University of Texas at El Paso and the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, round out the field of finalists.

The award will be presented at APLU’s annual meeting, which is scheduled for Nov. 15-17 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

In submitting data to APLU for consideration, Dr. Cornelia Wills, director of the MTSU Office of Student Success, cited:

  • an increase of two percent in the 2014-2015 academic year in sophomores returning for the spring semester.
  • a rise of 4.1 percent in the 2014-2015 academic year in new transfer students returning for the spring semester.
  • a 2.5 percent boost in the 2014-2015 academic year in freshmen returning for the spring semester.

APLGU logo webMTSU’s award application also notes that it’s the top producer of graduates in the Tennessee Board of Regents system and the No. 1 producer of both adult and lower-income graduates in Tennessee.

Sluder also hailed MTSU’s increase in academic advisors, now numbering 87 campuswide, and the expenditure of more than $200,000 last year on tutoring, which made free tutoring available for 165 courses, as contributing factors.

The award is an aspect of Project Degree Completion, a project developed by APLU and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

Nearly 500 public institutions, including MTSU, have pledged to award a total of 3.8 million more degrees by 2025.

For more information, contact Sluder at 615-898-2324 or richard.sluder@mtsu.edu. To learn more about the APLU Project Degree Completion Project, go to www.aplu.org.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Journalism Hall of Fame honors legacies of 9 newest inductees

Former Murfreesboro Mayor Tommy Bragg was humbled and delighted to accept the awards for his late father and grandfather during the Class of 2015 induction ceremony for the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame.

The two generations of publishers — former state Rep. John Bragg and his father Minor Elam Bragg — were among nine posthumous inductees to be honored at this year’s ceremony, held Tuesday afternoon at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Former Murfreesboro Mayor Tommy Bragg, center, accepted Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame Class of 2015 induction awards on behalf of his late father, state Rep. John Bragg, and late grandfather, Minor E. Bragg. Pictured with Bragg is his son, John Bragg III, far left, and Larry Burriss, Hall of Fame president and journalism professor at Middle Tennessee State University. The induction ceremony was held Aug. 11, 2015, at Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Former Murfreesboro Mayor Tommy Bragg, center, accepts Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame Class of 2015 induction awards on behalf of his late father, state Rep. John Bragg, and late grandfather, Minor E. Bragg. Pictured with Bragg is his son, John Bragg III, far left, and Dr. Larry Burriss, Hall of Fame president and journalism professor at Middle Tennessee State University. The induction ceremony was held Aug. 11 at Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

So perhaps it was fitting that two more generations of Braggs — Tommy and his adult children, John III and Beth — attended the occasion to recognize their ancestors’ legacy.

Minor Bragg and John Bragg left their marks on journalism through the elder’s creation and stewardship of the Cannon Courier and Rutherford Courier and the younger’s work to develop the state’s open meetings laws as a state lawmaker.

“If my dad taught me about public service, my granddad and my grandma taught me about business, how to make living,” Tommy Bragg said in accepting his grandfather’s award.

“It’s a pleasure to accept this on behalf of ‘Paw Paw.’ I’m greatly honored, (and) I know my family is.”

Click image to go to the Hall of Fame website.

This was the third class of inductees and first in which all recipients were recognized posthumously. The ceremony came in conjunction with the 67th annual Tennessee Association of Broadcasters conference.

WSMV-TV longtime news anchor Demetria Kalodimos emceed the program, and family and friends of the honorees were on hand to accept the awards.

Another inductee with a strong local connection was iconic sports journalist Grantland Rice, who was born in Murfreesboro and worked at regional newspapers, including The Nashville Tennessean, before moving to New York to create a legendary career as a syndicated columnist.

Accepting the award on his behalf was longtime former Tennessean sports writer and columnist Joe Biddle, who noted that Rice was “ahead of his time” and whose first name dons the masthead of an ESPN-affiliated website today, a testament to his lasting influence.

Former longtime Tennessean sports writer and columnist Joe Biddle gives remarks while accepting the posthumous award for legendary sports columnist and Murfreesboro native Grantland Rice, who was inducted into the 2015 class of the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony was held Aug. 11, 2015, at Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. (MTSU photo)

Former longtime Tennessean sports writer and columnist Joe Biddle gives remarks while accepting the posthumous award for legendary sports columnist and Murfreesboro native Grantland Rice, who was inducted into the 2015 class of the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony was held Aug. 11 at Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. (MTSU photo)

“I’m honored to even be associated with Grantland Rice,” Biddle said. “He put sports writing on the map” during the first half of the 20th century and was often referred to as the “dean of sports writing in America.”

The Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame is an independent partner with MTSU’s College of Mass Communication, which houses the hall in its Center for Innovation in Media inside the Bragg Mass Communication Building on the MTSU campus. Journalism professor Dr. Larry Burriss is current president of the hall.

MTSU Wordmark MTSU Mass Communication Dean Ken Paulson told the crowd that his college is creating a multimedia display that will be located in the College of Mass Communication where visitors can find information about the hall’s inductees since its inception.

“It is so important that our students understand those who have gone before them, those who have made a difference,” Paulson said. “These are the heroes of Tennessee journalism, men and women who have made a real difference in their communities.”

Other members of the 2015 class included:

  • Kent Flanagan.
  • Jack Knox.
  • Roy McDonald.
  • Bob Parkins.
  • John N. Popham III.
  • Drue Smith.

Flanagan was a native Texan and veteran Associated Press executive who practiced journalism on various platforms. Accepting the award on his behalf was his widow, Janet Flanagan. Also attending the ceremony was current Tennessee AP bureau chief Adam Yeomans.

Kalodimos announced that a scholarship fund has been established through the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee for the Kent Flanagan Memorial Scholarship. The fund has raised $2,800 thus far, and its goal is at least $10,000 to endow the scholarship for an annual award to a journalism student. Donations can be made online at www.cfmt.org.

In accepting the award, Janet Flanagan said her late husband had two goals in life: to be a good man and to be a good journalist.

“And he succeeded at both,” she said. “He loved journalism … He loved mentoring the people that he worked with. He loved teaching the students at MTSU.”

Flanagan served as journalist-in-residence at MTSU from 2005 to 2009.

From left, Michelle Williams, AP director of major accounts; Kent's brother, Gary Flanagan; Kent's wife, Janet Flanagan; Kent's cousin, Helen Murphy; Kent's sister, Kathy McCuistion; Adam Yeomans, AP South regional director. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Michelle Williams, left, AP director of major accounts; honoree Kent Flanagan’s brother, Gary Flanagan; Kent’s wife, Janet Flanagan; his cousin, Helen Murphy, and sister, Kathy McCuistion; and Adam Yeomans, AP South regional director, pose with a photo of Kent at the Aug. 11 Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame induction in Murfreesboro. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Knox, a nationally recognized editorial cartoonist who practiced his wit and biting commentary in three of the state’s four largest cities. Accepting the award on his behalf was one of his sons, Brit Knox.

Brit Knox said his mother, Edith, “jokingly” suggested that her then-21-year-old husband start drawing cartoons during the Great Depression when the family’s coffee business was struggling.

Knox’s wife had stumbled upon a correspondence course on cartooning that he had purchased while in junior high. The family estimates that Knox drew more than 12,000 cartoons during his four-plus decades plus of drawing editorial cartoons.

“He met, knew and corresponded with seven presidents,” Brit Knox told the crowd. “When he was just 23 years old, he and another cartoonist, Joe Parrish, met personally with FDR in the White House. Also, he had cartoons that hung in the White House during the Kennedy Administration.

“Thank you for honoring our father … for his contribution to Tennessee journalism.”

Brit Knox, son of the late editorial cartoonist John Knox, stands next to a photo of his father and the award honoring his father's induction into the 2015 Class of the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame. Brit Knox accepted the posthumous award on his father's behalf during the induction ceremony held Aug. 11, 2015, at Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Brit Knox, son of the late editorial cartoonist John Knox, stands next to a photo of his father and the award honoring his father’s induction into the 2015 Class of the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame. Brit Knox accepted the award on his late father’s behalf during the induction ceremony held Aug. 11 at Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

McDonald’s bigger-city publishing career traces back to an advertising sheet he started to promote his grocery business in Chattanooga. Accepting the award on his behalf was his grandson, Roy McDonald Exum.

Exum lauded his grandfather as “the most innovative guy I’ve ever been around” because of the diversity of interests in which he excelled. The younger man noted that McDonald was in numerous halls of fame, ranging from insurance to hospitals to cattle to journalism.

McDonald started a grocery chain flier that eventually evolved into the Chattanooga News-Free Press, a direct competitor to the more established Chattanooga Times, before the two papers merged decades later.

The News-Free Press was able to “beat” the Times, Exum recalled, by tapping into people’s thrill of seeing photos of themselves in print.

“We would take 1,500 pictures a week. We took a picture of anything that moved,” Exum said, drawing chuckles from the crowd. “He (McDonald) was a master innovator. He loved to compete. He loved to do it the right way. My grandfather would deeply, deeply love this.”

Roy McDonald Exum accepted the award on behalf of his late grandfather, Chattanooga publisher Roy McDonald, for his posthumous induction into the 2015 class of the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony was held Aug. 11, 2015, at Embassy Suites in Murfreesbor, Tenn. (MTSU photo)

Roy McDonald Exum accepts the 2015 Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame award on behalf of his late grandfather, Chattanooga publisher Roy McDonald, at the induction ceremony held Aug. 11, at Embassy Suites in Murfreesbor, Tenn. (MTSU photo)

Parkins was a small-town dairyman who grew his rural West Tennessee newspaper from scratch through merger. Accepting the award on his behalf were his widow, Dorris Parkins, and one of his sons, Victor Parkins.

Bob Parkins served as owner, publisher and editor of the paper until his death in 2008. His wife now serves as publisher and his son Victor as the paper’s editor.

“He was a true newspaper man at heart,” said Victor Parkins, who fondly recalled how his parents juggled the responsibilities of running a weekly newspaper with the need to milk 300 dairy cows every day.

“He was a true journalist, and he loved to write,” added Dorris Parkins. “We had an old typewriter, and if he wasn’t in the barn, he was working on a story.”

The family of the late Bob Parkins, owner, publisher and editor of the Milan Mirror-Exchange until his death in 2008, attended the ceremony for Parkins' posthumous induction into the 2015 class of the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame, held Aug. 11, 2015, at Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro, Tenn. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

The family of the late Bob Parkins, owner, publisher and editor of the Milan Mirror-Exchange until his death in 2008, attends the ceremony for Parkins’ posthumous induction into the 2015 class of the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame held Aug. 11 at Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro, Tenn. At center left is Parkins’ son Victor, now editor of the paper, and at center right in red is his widow, Dorris Parkins. With them are five of the Parkinses’ daughters and a grandchild; not pictured is son Denton and another daughter. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Popham was a native Virginian who landed in Tennessee to cover the South and civil rights for The New York Times and stayed. Accepting the award on his behalf was his son, John Popham IV.

John Popham IV pointed out an Associated Press photo on display alongside the podium showing his father during his service in World War II. John Popham III, a Marine captain and war correspondent, was kneeling in prayer at Catholic services held for native Chamorros at a Marine Civil Affairs Internment Camp on the Japanese island of Saipan.

The younger man said the photo reflected the three aspects of his father’s life, other than family, that were probably most important to him: faith, military service and journalism.

“My father would have been particularly thrilled, honored and humbled to receive this award because he loved journalism,” the younger Popham said. “He believed journalism was a profession, a public trust … and believed that newspapers had a mandatory role in educating the citizenry.”

John Popham IV accepted the award on behalf of his late father, journalist John Popham III, for his posthumous induction into the 2015 class of the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony was held Aug. 11, 2015, at Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro, Tenn. (MTSU photo)

John Popham IV accepts the award on behalf of his late father, journalist John Popham III, for his posthumous induction into the 2015 class of the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony was held Aug. 11, 2015, at Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro, Tenn. (MTSU photo)

Smith was a trailblazing woman who started in newspapers before switching to become a respected and colorful broadcast political reporter. Accepting the award on her behalf was her daughter, Drucilla Smith Fuller.

Dressed in hot pink in honor of her late mother’s colorful wardrobe, Fuller expressed thanks that Smith was being inducted into the hall in the same class as McDonald, who gave Smith her first job as a columnist in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

“She was a trailblazer for women,” Fuller said, explaining how the respect Smith cultivated as a journalist allowed her to fight for and win access for women to previously male-only private clubs around Nashville. “She certainly had so many firsts.”

Fuller noted that Smith also had a close connection to another Class of 2015 inductee through her work as a radio correspondent at the State Capitol.

“A lot of what she did on Capitol Hill, her informant was often John Bragg, who was a wonderful friend of hers always,” Fuller said.

Drucilla Smith Fuller holds a photo of her late mother, trailblazing journalist Drue Smith, and the posthumous award Smith received for her induction into the 2015 class of the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony was held Aug. 11, 2015, at Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro, Tenn. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Drucilla Smith Fuller holds a photo of her late mother, trailblazing journalist Drue Smith, and the posthumous award Smith received for her induction into the 2015 class of the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony was held Aug. 11 at Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro, Tenn. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Hall of Fame inductees can include reporters, writers, editors, publishers, news directors and other managers, as well as those who have excelled in advertising or public relations and journalism, advertising and PR education.

The Hall of Fame’s bylaws note that its inductees represent “those who have made significant and substantial contributions to the journalism profession.” Honorees may be living or deceased, native Tennesseans who spent much of their career in state or out of state, or non-natives who spent a substantial part of their career in Tennessee.

For more information about the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame, visit its website at www.tnjournalismhof.org or contact Hooper Penuel, TJHOF secretary, at 615-347-1672.

Below are more detailed biographies of the 2015 honorees in alphabetical order.

John Thomas Bragg

John T. Bragg (1918-2004) came from a newspaper family that owned the Cannon Courier and later started the Rutherford Courier, but distinguished himself in another form of public service as a legislative reformer and expert in government finance during a 30-year career in the Tennessee House of Representatives.

Former state Rep. John Bragg

Former state Rep. John Bragg

Born in Woodbury in 1918, he graduated from what is now MTSU in 1940 with a degree in social studies. He was student body president and editor of the student newspaper, Sidelines. Bragg did graduate work in history at the University of Tennessee and worked briefly as executive director of the Tennessee Press Association in Knoxville. He served in the Army Air Corps from 1942 to 1946, returning to Murfreesboro to join his father on the Rutherford Courier and in Courier Printing. The Rutherford Courier was sold in 1958.

Bragg was later elected to the Tennessee House and served from 1964 until his retirement in 1996, with a break in 1969-70. In 1974 Bragg sponsored the Tennessee Open Meetings Act, which is known as the “Sunshine Law” and mandates most official meetings of governing bodies be open to the public. He sold his interest in the printing company in 1981 to his son, Tommy. From then on, Bragg’s professional life focused on state government, where he chaired the powerful Finance, Ways and Means Committee. He helped leverage state funding for the mass communications building at MTSU that bears his name.

Minor Elam Bragg

Minor E. Bragg (1894-1966) was born in Woodbury, Tennessee, to Thomas D. Bragg and Mary Elizabeth Keele. Married to the former Callie Luree Bragg, who was no relation, the couple had two children, including John, who followed him into the publishing business.

Minor Elam Bragg

Minor Elam Bragg

In the 1920s, Minor Bragg was the editor and publisher of the Cannon Courier, a publication he sold in 1933 after launching the Rutherford Courier in Murfreesboro and Smyrna two years before. Minor launched the new Courier and a printing company despite existing competition. His son John remembered him as an old-school journalist who thought it important for the public to have more than one source for news and discussion of public affairs.

Minor Bragg attended Middle Tennessee Normal School, which later became MTSU, taught briefly at Bradyville School in the 1920s, and had interests in a funeral home, a radio station and grocery store in Woodbury. The Rutherford Courier was sold in 1958, and its founder died in 1966. Tommy and brother David would resume publishing their grandfather’s first newspaper — the Cannon Courier — between 1980 and 1995, marking a third generation of Braggs in journalism.

Van Kent Flanagan

Kent Flanagan, former Associated Press bureau chief, deceased, TNJHOF

Kent Flanagan

Kent Flanagan (1945-2015) was a native Texan who spent more than 40 years in journalism, practicing on distinct platforms, including 21 years as the chief-of-bureau for the Associated Press in Tennessee. By his count, it was much “more than” four decades. He told an interviewer in 2012: “I’ve been a journalist since the age of 12. I got drafted in middle school to write sports for the student newspaper and kept going.”

The Ballinger, Texas, native graduated from Angelo State University in 1968 and served four years in the Army, including service in Vietnam. He later worked for the Fort Lauderdale News and Sun-Sentinel in Florida and the San Antonio Express-News before joining the AP as a newsman in Pennsylvania in 1979.

AP sent him to South Carolina and North Dakota before his Nashville posting in 1983. In 2000, he witnessed and covered Tennessee’s first execution in 40 years. He left the AP in 2004 and served four years as journalist-in-residence at Middle Tennessee State University and then more than two years as editor of the Shelbyville Times-Gazette. Flanagan was 2012-13 executive director of the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government, a nonprofit alliance of media, citizen and professional groups he helped form in 2003. He died in February 2015 after a long illness.

Jack Knox

John “Jack” Gill Knox Jr. (1910-1985) was a Nashville-born artist and illustrator best known for the editorial cartoons drawn over more than 40 years for Tennessee newspapers. He was nationally recognized because his cartoons were often reprinted and sought by newsmakers, including presidents from the time of Dwight Eisenhower.

Jack Knox

Jack Knox

His wit and biting conservative commentary appeared for 26 years in the Nashville Banner. His work previously appeared in The Evening Tennessean in Nashville in 1933-34 and then for 11 years at the The Commercial Appeal in Memphis.

Fascinated by horses from growing up in Texas, he took a year off and worked on a ranch there before joining the Banner in 1946. He was a mainstay there until retiring in 1972, but continued drawing cartoons for the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1975. In between he authored and illustrated his second book: “America’s Tennessee Walking Horse,” published in Nashville by Hoss Country Publishers. A graduate of Castle Heights Military Academy in Lebanon, Tennessee, he was mostly self-taught and received no formal art training beyond a correspondence course his wife recommended. The Jack Knox Political Cartoon Collection in the Nashville Main Public Library consists of 240 original editorial cartoon drawings featuring his conservative political satire and caricatures in addition to his original art and writings about Middle Tennessee rural life and life on the grand rivers.

Roy McDonald

Roy McDonald, Chattanooga Free Press founder, deceased, TNJHOF

Roy McDonald

Roy McDonald (1901-1990) started out as a grocer looking for what the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture described as “an inexpensive alternative to the dominant Chattanooga Times” to advertise his chain of Home Stores. That led him in 1933 to found the Free Press, first as a small flier, which proved a popular and growing enterprise in southeast Tennessee for decades to come. McDonald added news features and comics to the Sunday weekly three years later and eventually began charging 5 cents.

In August 1936, the Free Press began daily publication and was in direct competition with the morning Times and the afternoon Chattanooga News. McDonald purchased the News in 1939 and launched a new afternoon daily, the Chattanooga News-Free Press, targeting blue-collar workers whose shifts ended at 4 o’clock.

In what could be described as urban community journalism, McDonald filled his publication with folksy hometown news and upbeat business features, steadily building circulation against the better-known and respected Times. They entered a joint operating agreement — described as a “truce” — in 1942 wherein the two papers shared advertising, circulation and production departments, but maintained separate news and editorial staffs. The News-Free Press became increasingly conservative in its editorial policy. McDonald’s increasing use of photographs of events spurred readership. McDonald died in 1990, but his son, Frank McDonald, became chairman and president of the newspaper. In 1993 the newspaper became the Chattanooga Free Press again. In 1998, it was sold to an Arkansas publisher who later acquired the Chattanooga Times and merged the newspapers ultimately under the flag of the Chattanooga Times Free Press. It continued to publish separate editorial pages.

Bob Parkins

Bob Parkins, owner, Milan Mirror-Exchange, deceased

Bob Parkins

Bob Parkins (1929-2008) was a local dairyman when he and his wife, Dorris, founded the Milan Mirror in 1965, launching a career and family legacy of community journalism. Parkins purchased The Milan Exchange in 1977, naming the new enterprise The Milan Mirror-Exchange. The Exchange was 103 years older at the time.

Parkins distinguished his newspaper by winning countless Tennessee Press Association awards and himself through leadership in the industry he loved as president of the Tennessee Press Association. He published and edited the paper until his death in 2008.

For several years he served as a state correspondent for The Nashville Tennessean, filing community features and occasional hard news pieces at a time when city papers tried to cover more territory through the use of stringers. It helped keep Gibson County, in central West Tennessee, connected to the world.

John N. Popham III

Marine Capt. John N. Popham takes time out from the fierce Saipan fighting to kneel in prayer at Catholic services held for native Chamorros at a Marine Civil Affairs Internment Camp on July 22, 1944. (Photo courtesy of Associated Press/Chattanooga Times Free Press)

Marine Capt. John N. Popham

John N. Popham III (1910-1999) was dispatched by The New York Times in 1947 to cover the South, an area his editors described as “from the Potomac to central Texas.” It was an assignment in which he would distinguish himself with his coverage of the civil rights movement. The last 20 years of his 45-year career was spent at The Chattanooga Times, where he retired as managing editor in 1977.

A Fredericksburg, Virginia, native and Fordham University graduate, Popham joined the Times in the 1930s. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1942, earning a Bronze Star for service in the Pacific during World War II. A year after his return to the Times, he landed the Southern correspondent assignment with two conditions of management: he had to drive, not fly, from place to place, and he had to keep an office at the sister Chattanooga Times.

He became known to friends as “Pops” or “Johnny” and to everyone else for his heavy Tidewater Virginia accent and the trademark hats, fitting the caricature at the time of a newspaperman. Post-retirement and at the age of 72, he earned a law degree from the John Marshall Law School after commuting hundreds of miles a week to Atlanta.

Henry Grantland Rice

Grantland Rice, legendary sports journalist from Murfreesboro, deceased, TNJHOF

Grantland Rice

Grantland Rice (1880-1954) was an icon among sports journalists but may be remembered as much for a poem as any of the estimated 22,000 columns he wrote. He was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in 1880 and educated at Vanderbilt University, where he played football and baseball. After graduation in 1901, he worked at the Nashville (Tennessee) Daily News, The Nashville Tennessean and the Atlanta Journal before joining the New York Evening Mail in 1911. In 1914 he became a sportswriter for the New York Tribune, later the Herald Tribune. He served in the Army in World War I.

By one authoritative estimate, Rice wrote more than 67 million words, produced popular short motion pictures of sporting events, and according to newworldencyclopedia.org, became the first play-by-play baseball announcer carried live on radio during the 1922 World Series. It was Rice who in 1924 named that year’s Notre Dame’s football backfield as the “Four Horsemen.” His column would eventually syndicate in more than 100 newspapers.

He published three books of poetry, and it was a poem that became his most quoted work: “For when the one Great Scorer comes to write against your name, He marks—not that you won or lost—but how you played the game.” His autobiography, “The Tumult and the Shouting,” appeared in 1954 — the year he died of a heart attack in his office. He had just completed a column about Willie Mayes and the 1954 All-Star game.

Drue Smith

Drue Smith, trailblazing print and radio journalist, deceased, TNJHOF

Drue Smith

Drue Smith (died in 2001) was a journalist of many firsts, which made her a pioneer among women in the profession. First a feature writer for the Chattanooga News-Free Press, she later switched to the job of “society editor” at the Chattanooga Times. She would live to see the two newspapers merge under the Chattanooga Times Free Press nameplate in 2001.

Smith switched to radio and hosted shows on WAPO, WDOD and later WDEF, where she was public affairs director. The day in 1954 that WDEF-TV signed on the air, so did she with “Drue’s Party Line.” She came to Nashville to work in communications for Gov. Frank Clement, leaving that job to cover political news for United Press International, WLAC Radio, the Tennessee Radio Network, WVOL Radio and multiple Nashville community newspapers.

The American Women in Radio and TV named her their Broadcaster of the Year at their convention in Las Vegas. The Tennessee House and Senate named her the 133rd — honorary — member of the General Assembly. The Tennessee Broadcasters’ Association made her a life member. She was the first woman to cover politics full time at the Capitol, was the first female chair of the Capitol Hill Press Corps, the first woman inducted into the local Society of Professional Journalists (Sigma Delta Chi) chapter, and became its first female president.

She raised thousands of dollars for college journalism scholarships through selling tickets to the Nashville Gridiron Show. The SPJ/Drue Smith scholarship is still awarded annually by the Community Foundation. Veteran Capitol Hill reporters remember Smith for her trademark, sound-bite-grabbing strategy at the end of all gubernatorial press conferences she covered: “Governor, what is the bottom line?”

MTSU Magazine features acclaimed concrete industry program

The summer 2015 edition of MTSU Magazine profiles MTSU’s Concrete Industry Management Department on the eve of its 20th anniversary. The program is broadly recognized as the first and finest of its kind in the United States.

From cutting-edge research to virtually guaranteed student success and job placement to the recent rollout of a new executive management training program attracting concrete professionals from around the world to study, the CIM program is one of the university’s biggest success stories.

Click the image for access to online versions of the stories as well as find links to electronic pdf copies of the print edition.

Click the image for access to online versions of the stories as well as find links to electronic pdf copies of the print edition.

Adding interest to the mix is that steering the department is a woman: Dr. Heather Brown, who has defied stereotypes and carved out a solid reputation in the national concrete industry.

Under her solid leadership and with the continued support of industry, which helped fashion the program at MTSU nearly two decades ago, the program has since been modeled by other universities — California State University–Chico, New Jersey Institute of Technology and Texas State University — to better serve industry needs beyond the Southeast.

Other articles in the new edition of the magazine include:

  • A presidential look at the new center for the study of Chinese music, the latest development in a partnership between MTSU and China’s Hangzhou Normal University.
  • A glimpse into how journalist-in-residence Whitney Matheson found herself at the forefront of new media.
  • The story of how one of MTSU’s newest professors is working to keep the memory of country music legend George Jones alive while simultaneously helping MTSU Recording Industry students build careers.
  • A study of tattoos, which have been around for tens of thousands of years but can still can be an obstacle to MTSU graduates entering the workforce
  • A list of 10 things you probably don’t know about one of MTSU’s best-known educators, Dean Terry Whiteside of the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences.

Readers may also download MTSU Magazine free for their iPads and Android devices. The MTSU Mag app, available in the iTunes store and now at Google Play, includes special multimedia content built into every issue that’s not available in the print editions.

Printed copies of MTSU Magazine are distributed twice annually to more than 105,000 alumni readers. The publication also is distributed to interested community members, including state lawmakers and members of the Tennessee Board of Regents.

MTSU Magazine also is available online at www.mtsumagazine.com.

— Drew Ruble (drew.ruble@mtsu.edu)

MTSU’s Confucius Institute plans language, after-school courses

MTSU’s Confucius Institute will offer its noncredit Chinese language courses and after-school activities for children as the fall 2015 semester starts.

Confucius Institute logo webThis year’s Chinese language classes will begin Saturday, Aug. 29, and continue on Saturdays throughout the fall 2015 semester at the Confucius Institute, which is located in Room 106 of Peck Hall on campus.

From 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., classes that are continuations of the 2015 spring semester classes in adult beginning, intermediate and advanced Chinese will be held.

Other classes for adult beginners who started in spring 2015 are slated for 10:40 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m.

Students who started taking elementary Chinese for children in the spring 2015 semester are scheduled for classes from 10:40 a.m. to 12:40 p.m.

Confucius Institute logoChinese classes for youngsters from Chinese heritage families will take place from 10:40 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. and from 2 to 4 p.m. Advanced Chinese classes for children from Chinese heritage families are slated for 2 to 4 p.m.

The Confucius Institute’s after-school program for children ages 6 to 12 will run from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. each Thursday in the fall 2015 semester beginning Thursday, Sept. 3.

Mike Novak

Mike Novak

This language and cultural enrichment program focuses on basic conversation, entry-level vocabulary and writing Chinese characters.

To assist students who find Saturdays inconvenient, the institute is making an effort to be more accommodating with scheduling this year.

“If we have five people say, ‘Hey, we could do it Wednesday,’ then we’ll do it Wednesday,” said Mike Novak, the institute’s assistant director.

“We’re trying to be a little more flexible, just making sure we meet everybody’s needs if we have an interest.”

Tuition for all classes is $140 per semester. Tutoring also is available at the rate of $15 per hour; students, teachers and parents can arrange times and dates.

The Confucius Institute works to enhance understanding of Chinese language and culture, provides outreach to create collaboration between Tennessee communities and China, and serves as a resource center for Chinese language, history and culture.

To enroll in classes or to obtain more information, contact the institute at 615-494-8696 or at cimtsu@mtsu.edu. Visitors to campus can find a printable campus map here.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)