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Intercultural and Diversity Affairs reception honors grads

The MTSU Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs hosted an Intercultural Graduation Reception Tuesday, April 14, in the Tom H. Jackson Building.

Students graduating this year raise their hands during the MTSU Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs' Intercultural Graduation Reception held April 14 at the Tom H. Jackson Building.

Students graduating this year raise their hands during the MTSU Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs’ Intercultural Graduation Reception held April 14 at the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photos by Jimmy Hart)

Each spring and fall, the office invites all students of color who are graduating to this reception “to recognize them for their accomplishments,” said Jonell Hinsey, interim director of the MTSU Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs.

Dr. Deb Sells, vice president of student affairs and vice provost of academic and enrollment services, gave remarks and graduates Jeania Ware and Sydney Eakes gave reflections on their academic careers.

Students accepting invitation to the latest reception will graduate in May or August. They included Margaret Blakemore, Michelle Fields, Mai Abdelmonem, Yerlyn Castro-Vargas, Maryam Afzali, Megan Ballou, Tiara Battle, Kavonda Camady, Jeanette Adereti, Desiree DeStefano, Kenya Gray, Sydney Eakes, Nichole Bell, Atria Davis, Gabriell Gassaway, Kimberly Corado, Amanda Davis, Brittany Harris, Jeania Ware, Julie Carter, and Tiffany Hopkins.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

Jonell Hinsey, interim director of the MTSU Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs, gives opening remarks at the April 14 Intercultural Graduation Reception at the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photos by Jimmy Hart)

Jonell Hinsey, interim director of the MTSU Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs, gives opening remarks at the April 14 Intercultural Graduation Reception at the Tom H. Jackson Building.

Dr. Deb Sells, vice president of student affairs and vice provost of academic and enrollment services, and Sarah Sudak, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students, listen to opening remarks at the MTSU Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs' Intercultural Graduation Reception.

Dr. Deb Sells, vice president of student affairs and vice provost of academic and enrollment services, and Sarah Sudak, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students, listen to opening remarks at the MTSU Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs’ Intercultural Graduation Reception.

Attendees listen to opening remarks at the MTSU Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs' Intercultural Graduation Reception.

Attendees listen to opening remarks at the MTSU Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs’ Intercultural Graduation Reception.

The MTSU Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs held an Intercultural Graduation Reception April 14 at the Tom H. Jackson Building.

The MTSU Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs held an Intercultural Graduation Reception April 14 at the Tom H. Jackson Building.

Attendees await the beginning of the MTSU Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs' Intercultural Graduation Reception held April 14 at the Tom H. Jackson Building.

Attendees await the beginning of the MTSU Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs’ Intercultural Graduation Reception held April 14 at the Tom H. Jackson Building.

Ginger Freeman, director of the Office of Alumni Relations, gives remarks at the MTSU Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs' Intercultural Graduation Reception April 14.

Ginger Freeman, director of the Office of Alumni Relations, gives remarks at the MTSU Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs’ Intercultural Graduation Reception April 14.

Inclement weather cancels today’s MTSU tornado-siren test

MTSU will not conduct its routine monthly test of campus tornado sirens on campus today, April 14, because of stormy weather forecast throughout the day.

The brief test had been planned for 12:20 p.m. today. Officials said they wanted to prevent any potential confusion about the siren test if a thunderstorm happened to be imminent when the sirens sounded.

Testing will resume as planned next month.

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

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

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

Sexual assault awareness is April 13-17 focus at MTSU

As spring arrives each year, activists against sexual assault spring into action at MTSU, so several campus events are planned for April 13-17 in observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

T-shirts bearing messages of sexual assault survivors will be displayed in the Student Union in the traditional Clothesline Project throughout the week.

Its On Us graphic 2015 webThe impact of human trafficking is the subject of “No Girl’s Dreams,” a documentary slated for viewing at 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 14, in the Student Union Theatre.

The film features testimony from trafficking survivors as well as information and advice from experts on trafficking prevention.

Campus Greek men and women will take a stand against sexual assault with the “It’s On Us” pledge drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, in the Student Union.

Students will be asked to sign promises that they will take action and not remain uninvolved bystanders if they see what they believe to be sexual assault occurring.

A 90-minute interactive session on how to recognize and help stop potentially dangerous situations will be available on request for classes and organizations to schedule through Thursday, April 30. It is available through the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students.

All MTSU Sexual Assault Awareness Month activities are free and open to the public.

Sponsors include the Women’s and Gender Studies Program; the School of Social Work; the departments of psychology, sociology and anthropology, and criminal justice administration; the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students; and Nashville You Have the Power.

For more information, contact Barbara Scales, director of the June Anderson Center, at 615-898-5812 or barbara.scales@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

MTSU students promote equal pay for equal work in April 14 events

Women’s ongoing struggle for pay equity will get a boost at MTSU Tuesday, April 14, as the student chapter of the American Association of University Women hosts Equal Pay Day activities on campus.

Equal Pay Day AAUW 2015 illus webBaked goods will be on sale in the Keathley University Center lobby from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 14.

An information table with pay equity literature will be in the Student Union lobby from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The National Committee on Pay Equity reports that median salaries of year-round, full-time women workers are only 77 percent of their male counterparts’ salaries.

During the last 23 years, the wage gap has narrowed by about 15 percentage points. About 60 percent of the change, however, is due to the decline in men’s real earnings.

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research estimates that it will take about 50 years to close the wage gap if change continues at that pace.

Women are encouraged to wear red on Equal Pay Day to symbolize the fact that it takes from Jan. 1 to Equal Pay Day for women to get “out of the red.”

For more information, contact AAUW MTSU President Sophie Naomi Plant at ncp2q@mtmail.mtsu.edu or Dr. Ayne Cantrell, MTSU professor emerita and president-elect of Tennessee AAUW, at acantrell@comcast.net.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Survey: Millennials have goals, but lack comprehensive financial plan

While almost three quarters (72 percent) of millennials set financial goals, very few (20 percent) have a plan to achieve those goals, according to online financial adviser iQuantifi in a report released Tuesday, April 7, in partnership with MTSU.

iQuantifi, which provides comprehensive, goal-based planning advice to millennials and young families, conducted the inaugural Millennial Money Mindset Survey on the financial habits of millennials in partnership with Middle Tennessee State University’s Jones College of Business.

Dr. Tim Graeff

Dr. Tim Graeff

Dr. Don Roy

Dr. Don Roy

“Millennials’ information sources for advice and managing their finances is a blend of old school and new school consumer behavior,” said Don Roy, an MTSU marketing professor who worked on the survey. “Many millennials seek advice from trusted sources, most notably family (71 percent) and friends (45 percent), rather than from marketer-controlled information sources such as a financial adviser, website or blog.

“These behaviors reinforce the influence of word-of-mouth and the benefits of customer satisfaction as people will share their experiences, good and bad, with others.”

The survey showed that only 29 percent of millennials ages 21-34 said they have sought advice from a professional, such as a traditional financial adviser.

Millennials are interested in using online solutions to plan their futures, with 76 percent saying they would consider utilizing a free ‘app’ or online tool to accomplish their goals. Notably, only 17 percent indicated they needed to meet with a live person to be comfortable with the advice.

Debunking the myth that this generation is not thinking of their financial futures, 59 percent of respondents claimed that increasing their overall savings was a major goal for the next year, and nearly half (43 percent) of respondents indicated that they would “do whatever it takes to achieve” their financial goals.

“Millennials recognize that setting financial goals is important, but they’re grasping for ways to reach those goals because they don’t have a comprehensive plan,” said Tom White, CEO and co-founder of Nashville-based iQuantifi. “There is untapped demand for virtual financial advisers to help millennials set and achieve goals. This presents a tremendous opportunity for banks, credit unions and other institutions to attract and retain millennials by offering goal-based planning services online.”

Millennials’ top savings goals include:MTSU-iQuantifi graphic-web-1

  • Saving for retirement (64 percent);
  • Saving for a vacation (68 percent);
  • Buying a car (66 percent);
  • Paying down credit card debt (63 percent); and
  • Saving for a house (60 percent).

Their biggest challenges include not making enough money (56 percent), staying on budget (41 percent), developing a budget or financial plan (28 percent), managing debt (27 percent) and understanding where and how to invest money (26 percent).

“It is clear that millennials are comfortable developing such trusting relationships in an online environment,” said MTSU marketing professor Tim Graeff, who also worked on the survey. “Perhaps, treating millennial customers as friends or family members might go a long way in their willingness to work with and purchase financial services and advice from financial planners.”

Interestingly, while more millennial men say they have financial goals (76 percent) than women (68 percent), millennial women are more likely to say they want to achieve their financial goals (49 percent) than men (43 percent).

For complete results from the survey click here: http://iquantifi.com/2015-millennials-money-mindset-report/.

MTSU loans Strolling Jim portrait to Walking Horse Museum

Visitors to the Tennessee Walking Horse National Museum in Wartrace, Tennessee, will now be greeted with a special color portrait of the breed’s first world grand champion.

Middle Tennessee State University has agreed to perpetually loan a portrait of Strolling Jim, the 1939 World Grand Champion, to the museum in Bedford County. University representatives presented the portrait to museum President Philip D. Gentry and Vice President Paul Cross recently at the Wood-Stegall Center on campus.

Philip D. Gentry, left, president of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Museum in Wartrace, Tennessee, holds a portrait of Strolling Jim just presented to him by MTSU officials outside the Wood-Stegall Building on the MTSU campus. At far right is Ron Malone, MTSU assistant vice president for events and transportation, and Joe Bales, MTSU vice president for university advancement. In the background are Andy Womack, right, a member of the Tennessee Miller Coliseum Board, and Paul Cross, vice president of the museum. MTSU transferred the portrait on perpetual loan to the museum. (MTSU photos by Jimmy Hart)

Philip D. Gentry, left, president of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Museum in Wartrace, Tennessee, holds a portrait of Strolling Jim just presented to him by MTSU officials outside the Wood-Stegall Building on the MTSU campus. At far right is Ron Malone, MTSU assistant vice president for events and transportation, and Joe Bales, MTSU vice president for university advancement. In the background are Andy Womack, right, a member of the Tennessee Miller Coliseum Board, and Paul Cross, vice president of the museum. MTSU transferred the portrait on perpetual loan to the museum. (MTSU photos by Jimmy Hart)

The 20-by-24-inch framed portrait of the chestnut gelding had been on display at the MTSU Foundation House next to Tennessee Miller Coliseum on Thompson Lane after being given to MTSU by the Burke family. It was painted by Bill Humphreys in 1940.

Strolling Jim’s connection to Wartrace runs deep. His owner was top trainer Floyd Carothers, who also owned the historic Walking Horse Hotel in Wartrace. Strolling Jim died in 1957 and was buried in a pasture behind the hotel.

Gentry said the nearby museum has been located in Wartrace for about three years, having previously been located at the Calsonic Arena in Shelbyville, Tennessee, site of the annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, and also for a time in Lynchburg, Tennessee.

“It’s another wonderful piece to really tie the industry to Wartrace,” Gentry said of the portrait. “We’ve seen several of these that are black and white, but we do not have this (in) color and we do not have this size. This is just an immaculate piece. It’ll be on display right as you come into the museum.”

MTSU has other ties to walking horse history, with the remains of Wilson’s Allen, perhaps the high-stepping breed’s greatest sire, resting on the grounds of the MTSU Horse Science Center near Tennessee Miller Coliseum. Strolling Jim was one of Wilson Allen’s many offspring.

“We’re thrilled that Strolling Jim’s portrait will be showcased at the Tennessee Walking Horse Museum for visitors to enjoy for many years to come,” said MTSU alumnus Andy Womack, a member of the Tennessee Miller Coliseum Board. “It’s certainly appropriate that the portrait be located near the same site where Strolling Jim was laid to rest.”

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

From left to right are Paul Cross, vice president of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Museum in Wartrace, Tennessee; Philip D. Gentry, museum president; Andy Womack, a member of the Tennessee Miller Coliseum Board; Joe Bales, MTSU vice president for university advancement; and Ron Malone, MTSU assistant vice president for events and transportation. MTSU recently transferred a portrait of Strolling Jim, the first walking horse world champion, to the museum on perpetual loan.

From left to right are Paul Cross, vice president of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Museum in Wartrace, Tennessee; Philip D. Gentry, museum president; Andy Womack, a member of the Tennessee Miller Coliseum Board; Joe Bales, MTSU vice president for university advancement; and Ron Malone, MTSU assistant vice president for events and transportation. MTSU recently transferred a portrait of Strolling Jim, the first walking horse world champion, to the museum on perpetual loan.

 

See an MTSU video about Strolling Jim below:

http://youtu.be/ug-ltUolhQw

MTSU faculty, staff give input at MT Engage town hall sessions

Several members of the Middle Tennessee State University faculty and staff had questions during a pair of recent town hall meetings to discuss MT Engage, the university’s next Quality Enhancement Plan.

Dr. Dianna Rust, associate professor in university studies who’s heading the process, gave a PowerPoint presentation to about 30 attendees at an April 1 meeting inside the Tom H. Jackson Building’s Cantrell Hall. It was the second of two such informational meetings to gain feedback from faculty and staff about the plan, also known as a QEP.

Dr. Dianna Rust, associate professor in university studies who's heading the MT Engage process, gave a PowerPoint presentation at an April 1 town hall meeting inside the Tom H. Jackson Building's Cantrell Hall. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Dr. Dianna Rust, associate professor in university studies who’s heading the MT Engage process, gave a PowerPoint presentation at an April 1 town hall meeting inside the Tom H. Jackson Building’s Cantrell Hall. (MTSU photos by Jimmy Hart)

If implemented properly, “MTSU will be known as a campus that values engaged learning,” Rust told the group. “Students will be expected to actively contribute to their learning environment through class activities, collaborations, research, service, civic engagement. … Students will have a better understanding of themselves and their learning, as well as their skills and abilities through integrative and reflective thinking.”

The QEP is an accreditation review requirement by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the regional accreditation body for higher education institutions in the South. MT Engage will be a five-year initiative to improve student learning.

Since MTSU’s plan will need to be implemented in time for the SACS on-campus review in spring 2016, Rust said pilot courses will be launched in fall 2015. A survey of faculty found that 41 faculty members were willing to pilot an MT Engage course for the fall, Rust noted, adding that currently MT Engage would be an opt-in program for students.

MT_Engage_new web“Time will be a factor” for both faculty and students, Rust said.

Among incentives being considered are MT Engage scholarships, mentoring programs, a recognition banquet and special designations on student transcripts.

A key aspect of the QEP is an e-portfolio that will allow students to reflect on their learning in the classroom and beyond the classroom. Rust shared that the e-portfolio will allow students to present:

  • Personal information about themselves;
  • A sample of the breadth and depth of work that the student has completed;
  • Reflective statements documenting how the student has grown and developed as a result of completing assignments;
  • Products or artifacts that demonstrate the students’ range of knowledge, skills, abilities, achievements, experiences, growth, development, and attitudes as a result of their educational experiences; and
  • Integration of learning experiences.
Dr. Philip Phillips, foreground, associate dean of the University Honors Colleges, asks a question during the April 1 town hall meeting for MT Engage.

Dr. Philip Phillips, foreground, associate dean of the University Honors Colleges, asks a question during the April 1 town hall meeting for MT Engage.

Dr. Philip Phillips, associate dean of the University Honors Colleges, asked about the format for the e-portfolio and suggested that the electronic document be pared down as students approach entry into the job market or graduate school so that their best work is showcased.

The QEP is still being developed by a committee and subcommittees representing a cross-section of faculty, staff and students.

MT Engage follows the university’s previous reaffirmation initiative, the Experiential Learning, or EXL, program, which emphasized hands-on activities and public service as an integral part of a student’s learning experience during their junior and senior years.

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

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

Psychology professor Tom Brinthaupt asks a question during the April 1 MT Engage Town Hall Meeting held in Cantrell Hall of the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Psychology professor Tom Brinthaupt asks a question during the April 1 MT Engage Town Hall Meeting held in Cantrell Hall of the Tom H. Jackson Building.

Dr. Dianna Rust, associate professor in university studies who's heading the MT Engage process, shows an example of a student e-portfolio during an April 1 town hall meeting inside the Tom H. Jackson Building's Cantrell Hall. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Dr. Dianna Rust, associate professor in university studies who’s heading the MT Engage process, shows an example of a student e-portfolio during an April 1 town hall meeting inside the Tom H. Jackson Building’s Cantrell Hall.

Dr. Dianna Rust, associate professor in university studies who's heading the MT Engage process, answers questions at an April 1 town hall meeting at Cantrell Hall. (MTSU photo by Calvin McKinney)

Dr. Dianna Rust, associate professor in university studies who’s heading the MT Engage process, answers questions at an April 1 town hall meeting at Cantrell Hall. (MTSU photo by Calvin McKinney)

Register now, earn credits at Accounting Alumni Appreciation Day

The 24th annual Accounting Alumni Appreciation Day at Middle Tennessee State University will be held Thursday, April 30, in the State Farm Lecture Hall of the Business and Aerospace Building.

The event, which runs from 7:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. April 30, is targeted to those interested in accounting, taxation and computer training. The fee will be $125 for MTSU alumni and $175 for others. Net proceeds will be earmarked for accounting scholarships. Lunch will be provided at the Student Union Building.WordmarkJonesCollege

Seating is limited, so participants should register early. To do so, visit http://www.mtsu.edu/accounting and click the “Alumni” tab.

Participants will earn eight hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credit and have the opportunity to visit with alumni and former professors and see how the campus configuration is changing.

David J. Urban, dean of the Jones College of Business, and Sandra Smith Benson, accounting department interim chair, will open the conference and introduce the first speaker, Don Mills, Tennessee State Board of Accountancy investigator. Mills will speak on Tennessee-specific ethics, followed by Stan Clark, MTSU associate professor, who will give a Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) update.

The sessions and presenters include:Accounting graphic

  • Managing Four Generations in the Workplace — Cindy Beresh-Bryant, HR Solutions;
  • COSO Framework Improvements— Tim Staggs, Healthcare Realty Trust;
  • Advanced Excel and other Information Technology Issues — Tammy Bahmanziari, MTSU associate professor;
  • Enterprise Risk Management — Jim Burton, MTSU professor;
  • The State of Estate Taxes— Lara Daniel, MTSU professor and alumna;
  • Accounting Contributions to World War II — Mark Jobe, MTSU assistant professor;
  • Health Care Reform and Employers — Tim Koski, MTSU professor;
  • Auditing Update — Bill Mooningham, MTSU faculty and alumnus;
  • Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Update— Robert Smith, MTSU faculty emeritus.

For more information, call the MTSU Department of Accounting at 615-898-5306.

Sign up now for summer session of rape-defense classes at MTSU

The MTSU Police Department will offer a free five-week series of RAD, or Rape Aggression Defense, classes beginning Wednesday, June 10, for MTSU students, faculty and staff, along with the general public.

 The Rape Aggression Defense Class is a program of realistic defense tactics and techniques. The comprehensive course for women emphasizes awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance and progresses to the basics of hands-on defense training.

Certified RAD instructors teach the free course.

The summer classes will be held each Wednesday from June 10 to July 8 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Attendance at all five sessions is mandatory for participants to ensure they receive all necessary information and training.

Class size is limited for this summer RAD course, so the MTSU Police Department is encouraging interested parties to enroll soon.

Participants should email their names and contact information to rad@mtsu.edu. Instructors will notify participants about their enrollment and the class location via email or phone.

For more information about MTSU’s RAD classes, send an email to rad@mtsu.edu.
— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

MTSU workshop can guide death investigators at dangerous scenes

MTSU’s 2015 Death Scene Investigation Workshop, set Wednesday, April 22, wants to help the people who examine highly dangerous sites of deaths stay safe while they do their jobs.

Click on the poster above to see a larger version.

Click on the poster above to see a larger version.

The free workshop, called “Death Scene Investigation: Know Your Risks,” is presented by MTSU’s Forensic Institute for Research and Education and will be held in the Student Union Ballroom.

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

It’s open to the public but will be of special interest to those in law enforcement agencies, first responders such as emergency medical services and fire personnel, social workers and medical examiners.

With the help of professionals from various specialties, including Dr. Hugh Berryman, MTSU professor of anthropology and the director of the Forensic Institute for Research and Education, the workshop will help investigators learn how to examine highly dangerous death scenes, including methamphetamine labs, scenes of carbon monoxide and dioxide poisoning, electrocution, infectious disease and more.

Attendees also will be able to earn Continuing Education Unit or Continuing Professional Education credits for the workshop.

You can register for the workshop here; more information is available at www.csimtsu.com, and the day’s agenda is available here.

MTSU’s FIRE, established in 2006, brings forensic science and other experts to campus for special lectures and provides educational and training opportunities for law enforcement, medical examiners, coroners, attorneys, social workers, and other groups in forensic science and homeland security.

For more information on this workshop or other FIRE programs and events, contact the FIRE offices at 615-494-7713 or visit www.csimtsu.com.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)