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MTSU’s Department of Recording industry is on Top 25 list for 3rd year

For the third straight year, MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry is part of an international list of acclaimed music schools praised by The Hollywood Reporter that includes Juilliard, Berklee and London’s Royal College of Music.

Formal RIM logoThe department is No. 18 on the magazine’s “Top 25 Music Schools 2016,” which is online here and in the Dec. 2 edition of the publication.

The Reporter’s editors, who compiled the list, urge music hopefuls to consider an education with one of the included institutions, noting that “for many, music schools can, at the very least, provide the necessary experience and training to help navigate a particularly cutthroat industry.”

The MTSU listing mentions the plethora of live musical performances presented each year by the university’s School of Music, which collaborates with the Department of Recording Industry on a “music industry” minor concentration that allows students to minor in music-industry entrepreneurship or recording industry.

Beverly KeelThe Department of Recording Industry, which is part of the College of Media and Entertainment at MTSU, focuses less on live public performances and more on bringing songwriters, producers, engineers and other music-industry experts to campus for public and student discussions and hands-on demonstrations of their craft.

“It was so exciting to learn that MTSU’s recording industry program has made The Hollywood Reporter’s list for the third consecutive year,” said department chair Beverly Keel.

Hollywood-Reporter-logo-web“We’ve worked hard to offer our students a world-class education, and this is validation that we are on the right track. It is such an honor to be included on this prestigious list with schools such as Juilliard, Yale and Columbia.”

The Hollywood Reporter, which regularly ranks entertainment-industry programs at universities around the world for their educational quality and students’ preparedness for jobs, lauded MTSU’s recording industry program in its “Top 25 Music Schools” lists for 2014 and 2015.

This year’s accolade also mentions multi-award-winning alumnus George S. Clinton, who praises the university’s “incredible communication department” for its music as well as news media training for students.

Clinton, a 1969 alumnus, is the man behind the music of the “Austin Powers” film series, “Mortal Kombat,” and the second and third “Santa Clause” films, among many. He currently chairs the Film Scoring Department at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, for which he also offers accolades in the list’s No. 8 spot.

George S. Clinton

George S. Clinton

“They have an incredible communication department, a mass communication division that encompasses not only music in terms of writing music for media, but also journalism, television production and production for media,” Clinton said of MTSU.

Recording industry undergrad majors in the College of Media and Entertainment at MTSU can focus on audio production, commercial songwriting or music business. A Master of Fine Arts degree in recording arts and technologies prepares MTSU graduate students for advanced work in audio production, recording and integrated electronic media.

Almost 20 MTSU alumni or former students and faculty from around the university have been nominated for Grammy Awards in the last five years, and seven have won Grammys so far. The annual Country Music Association Awards regularly include nominations for MTSU-trained professionals, including several repeat contenders.

Nominations for the 59th annual Grammy Awards will be announced Tuesday, Dec. 6. The Grammy ceremony will be held Sunday, Feb. 12, at Los Angeles’ Staples Center.

You can learn more about MTSU’s recording industry program, part of the College of Media and Entertainment, at www.mtsu.edu/recording-industry.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Natasha Branch, a graduate student working toward her Master of Fine Arts degree in recording arts and technology, adjusts a recording in the MIDI Lab in MTSU's Bragg Media Building in this file photo. MTSU's recording industry program has been included in The Hollywood Reporter's "Top 25 Music Schools" list for a second year. (MTSU file photo by Darby Campbell)

Natasha Branch, a graduate student working toward her Master of Fine Arts degree in recording arts and technology, adjusts a recording in the MIDI Lab in MTSU’s Bragg Media Building in this November 2015 file photo. MTSU’s recording industry program has been included in The Hollywood Reporter’s “Top 25 Music Schools” list for a third year. (MTSU file photo by Darby Campbell)

U.S. Navy Seabees veteran and MTSU music business major Kevin Quarles of La Vergne, Tenn., center, and senior commercial songwriting major Lauren Wilson of Bremen, Ga., hash out a song with Nashville songwriter George Teren, left, during an “Operation Song” session Oct. 28 at MTSU. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

U.S. Navy Seabees veteran and MTSU music business major Kevin Quarles of La Vergne, Tenn., center, and senior commercial songwriting major Lauren Wilson of Bremen, Ga., hash out a song with Nashville songwriter George Teren, left, during an “Operation Song” session Oct. 28 at MTSU. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

African Cultural Awareness Night spotlights Senegal at MTSU Wednesday

Join the MTSU community Wednesday, Nov. 30, to celebrate the musical and culinary culture of Africa with a spirited party promoting study-abroad opportunities.

African-American Studies logo webAfrican Cultural Awareness Night is slated for 5 to 8 p.m. Nov. 30 in the Tom Jackson Building.

A printable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

Students who participated in last year’s study-abroad course in the west African nation of Senegal will describe their experiences.

Dr. Thomas Bynum

Dr. Thomas Bynum

Dr. Aliou Ly

Dr. Aliou Ly

“This course is an excellent opportunity for students to learn about the history and the culture of the Senegalese people and Africa in general,” said Dr. Thomas Bynum, director of MTSU’s African-American Studies Program and an associate professor of history.

Dr. Aliou Ly, an assistant professor of history, accompanied several students on the 14-day trip last year. Students who sign up for the study-abroad opportunity can earn three credit hours toward their degree requirements.

Encompassing an area slightly smaller than the state of South Dakota, Senegal has an estimated population of more than 14 million people.

The Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook notes that Senegal “remains one of the most stable democracies in Africa” and has a history of participating in international peacekeeping and regional mediation.

Attendees at African Cultural Awareness Night will be treated to Senegalese music and traditional African food.

The free public event is sponsored by the African-American Studies Program and MTSU’s Black Faculty and Staff Association.

For more information, contact Bynum at 615-898-2760 or thomas.bynum@mtsu.edu or Ly at 615-898-2627 or aliou.ly@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

MTSU enjoys holiday break; classes resume, offices reopen Nov. 28

MTSU students and faculty will enjoy a four-day break Nov. 23-26, and MTSU will be closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 24-25, as the university family observes the Thanksgiving holiday.

Fall semester classes will resume Monday, Nov. 28. All business offices will return to their normal 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. operating hours that day.

True Blue Thanksgiving croppedA Thanksgiving meal for students remaining on campus will be served Nov. 24 in the Scarlett Commons Clubhouse from 2 to 5 p.m. The MTSU Parent and Family Association will provide the food, which will be catered by MT Dining. The Housing and Residential Life staff will set up and serve the meal.

All other food venues will be closed that day.

The MTSU Blue Raiders close out their football regular season at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26, hosting Florida Atlantic University for Senior Day.

Hours of operation for certain buildings and offices during the holiday include:

  • Student Union — Open 6 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23, closed Nov. 24-26, and open 4-10 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27.
  • James E. Walker Library — Open 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Nov. 23, closed Nov. 24-26, and open 1 p.m. Nov. 27 to to 2 a.m. Nov. 28.
  • Campus Recreation Center — Facility hours will be 6 a.m.- 2 p.m. Nov. 23. The Rec Center will be closed Nov. 24-27.
  • Student Health Services — Open 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 23 and closed Nov. 24-27.
  • Campus Pharmacy — Open 8 a.m -noon and 1-4 p.m. Nov. 23 with drive-thru open until 4:30 p.m. The pharmacy will be closed Nov. 24-27.

MT Dining venue hours of operation:

  • Nov. 23: McCallie Dining Hall will be open 7 a.m.-6 p.m.; Walker Library Starbucks, open 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Chick-Fil-A open 7 a.m.-3 p.m.; and Subway open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. in Keathley University Center. Dunkin Donuts will be open 7 a.m.-4 p.m. and Popeye’s and Panda Express will be open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Student Union.
  • Nov. 25-26 — McCallie Dining Hall will be open 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. All other venues will be closed.
  • Nov. 27 — McCallie Dining Hall will be open 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m., and Walker Library Starbucks will be open 3 p.m.-midnight. Cyber Café Provisions on Demand and Subway will be open 4-10 p.m. The Student Union POD and Panda Express will be open 4-10 p.m., and Popeye’s will be open from 4-9 p.m. All other venues will be closed.

All food venues resume their regular hours Nov. 28.

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

The MTSU Parent & Family Association and Housing & Residential Life sponsor the annual Thanksgiving dinner, which will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 24, in the Scarlett Commons Clubhouse. (Submitted photo)

The MTSU Parent & Family Association and Housing & Residential Life sponsor the annual Thanksgiving dinner for MTSU students, which will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 24, in the Scarlett Commons Clubhouse. (Submitted photo)

MTSU again seeks Secret Santas for ‘Little Raiders’ gift-giving drive

Middle Tennessee State University is again calling out to all True Blue Secret Santas for this year’s Little Raiders gift-giving campaign.

A group of Little Raiders pose for a photo during the annual Little Raiders Christmas Party held Dec. 11 at MTSU. The event benefits area families needing a helping hand at Christmas, including families from the local domestic violence program. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

In this 2015 file photo, a group of Little Raiders pose for a photo during the annual Little Raiders Christmas Party at MTSU. The event benefits area families needing a helping hand at Christmas, including families from the local domestic violence program. (MTSU file photo by Jimmy Hart)

The annual event seeks to bring some holiday cheer to needy children and youth in the Blue Raider community.

Until Dec. 2, members of the campus community can “adopt” a Little Raider by picking a numbered paper ornament hanging on three Christmas trees across campus. The ornaments will list a needy child’s age, gender, clothing size and wish list.

This year, the University Police Department, MTSU Campus Recreation Center, MTSU Student Health Services, the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students, the Golden Key Honor Society, and MT Lambda are jointly sponsoring the campaign.

The effort targets the children of low-income MTSU students as well as the children of parents receiving assistance from the local Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Program.

This Little Raiders ornament is among those hanging on three trees across campus supporting the Little Raiders gift-giving campaign. Secret Santas can pick an ornament to "adopt" a local child's Christmas wish list. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

These Little Raiders paper ornaments are available on three trees across campus. (MTSU file photo)

Secret Santa participants are asked to pick an ornament from a tree at one of the following three locations and to please register as a Secret Santa at that location.

  • MTSU University Police Department Lobby, 1412 E. Main St.
  • June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students on the third floor of the Student Union, 1768 MTSU Blvd.
  • MTSU Student Health Services lobby, 1848 Blue Raider Drive

Donated items should be dropped off to the University Police Department no later than Monday, Dec. 5.

For more information about the campaign, contact University Police Sgt. Vergena Forbes at 615 898-2424.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

In this 2015 file photo, plenty of gifts and stockings awaited eager "Little Raiders" during the annual Little Raiders Christmas Party at MTSU. The event benefits area families needing a helping hand at Christmas, including families from the local domestic violence program. (MTSU file photo by Jimmy Hart)

In this 2015 file photo, plenty of gifts and stockings awaited eager “Little Raiders” during the annual Little Raiders Christmas Party at MTSU. The event benefits area families needing a helping hand at Christmas, including families from the local domestic violence program. (MTSU file photo by Jimmy Hart)

ACE Learning Center tots use art to help fund playground update

Parents, grandparents, friends and supporters opened their wallets for a special art show — and a special cause — as the youngsters of MTSU’s Ann Campbell Early Learning Center used their talents to help renovate their playground.

A young artist acts as a gallery guide for the adults examining the artwork for sale by the children of MTSU’s Ann Campbell Early Learning Center during a special “art ransom” event Thursday, Nov. 11, in the center’s Fairview Building site. Funds raised at the event will help renovate the children’s playground at the center’s North Baird Lane headquarters. (MTSU photo by Eric B. Sutton)

A young artist acts as a gallery guide for the adults examining the artwork for sale by the children of MTSU’s Ann Campbell Early Learning Center during a special “art ransom” event Nov. 10 in the center’s Fairview Building site. Funds raised at the event will help renovate the children’s playground at the center’s North Baird Lane headquarters. (MTSU photos by Eric B. Sutton)

The facility’s 45 youngsters, who range from 13 months to 5 years old, each created four special pieces of art for an “art ransom” event, then invited the community to their Fairview Building “gallery” Nov. 10 to view the artwork, enjoy snacks and purchase each piece for a minimum $5 bid.

The funds will be used to renovate the center’s North Baird Lane facility playground, upgrading equipment and creating a natural playscape that’s wheelchair-accessible.

The center also is selling T-shirts through Friday, Nov. 18, to help fund the playground renovations. Anyone who’d like to buy a T-shirt or donate to the ACE Learning Center playground fund can email the center at acelearningcenter@mtsu.edu or call 615-898-2458.

“We had so many wonderful people come to see our children’s work, and they were so enthusiastic!” a happy ACE Center Director Christy Davis said.

“It was such a special night for our little ones to be able to express their creativity and for the community to come out and see our artwork and learn about our playground.”

The children, acting as miniature gallery personnel with help from volunteers from Siegel High School’s chapter of the Excalibur National Honor Society, showed the adults around “the Big Room” at the center’s Fairview Building site, pointing out their handprint plates, canvas paintings, special booklets and custom photo frames on display alongside their friends’ pieces.ACE Learning Center + MT logo web

Christy Davis

Christy Davis

They watched excitedly as the grownup art connoisseurs cooed over each piece, gladly offering tidy sums for new works to adorn refrigerators, walls, tables and workplace desks.

MTSU’s ACE Learning Center provides learning environments for children with and without developmental delays from age 12 months to kindergarten, allowing them to play together and learn from each other.

Teachers at the center plan activities that help each child develop good communication, social, cognitive and motor skills.

For more information about the Ann Campbell Early Learning Center and its work, visit www.mtsu.edu/acelearningcenter or check its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/AnnCampbellEarlyLearningCenter.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Family members inspect artwork for sale by the children of MTSU’s Ann Campbell Early Learning Center during a special “art ransom” event Thursday, Nov. 11, in the center’s Fairview Building site.

Family members inspect artwork for sale by the children of MTSU’s Ann Campbell Early Learning Center during a special “art ransom” event Nov. 10 in the center’s Fairview Building site.

Adult art connoisseurs exclaim over artwork for sale by the children of MTSU’s Ann Campbell Early Learning Center during a special “art ransom” event Thursday, Nov. 11, in the center’s Fairview Building site.

Adult art connoisseurs exclaim over artwork for sale by the children of MTSU’s Ann Campbell Early Learning Center during a special “art ransom” event Nov. 10 in the center’s Fairview Building site.

Works by the young artists of MTSU’s Ann Campbell Early Learning Center are displayed during a special “art ransom” event Thursday, Nov. 11, in the center’s Fairview Building site.

Works by the young artists of MTSU’s Ann Campbell Early Learning Center are displayed during a special “art ransom” event Nov. 10 in the center’s Fairview Building site.

MTSU will remember transgender murder victims with Nov. 19 vigil

MTSU will set aside Saturday, Nov. 19, as a day to reflect on people who were murdered because of their gender identity or expression.

(Graphic courtesy of MT Lambda)

(Graphic courtesy of MT Lambda)

The Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs and MT Lambda will present the Transgender Day of Remembrance beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, with an all-day display on the Student Union Commons.

The event will culminate with a walk from James E. Walker Library to the commons beginning at 5 p.m.

A printable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender activist, started the observance to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was stabbed to death Nov. 28, 1998, in her Boston, Massachusetts, apartment.

The first vigil honoring Hester and other transgender murder victims was conducted in San Francisco’s Castro district in 1999. The Transgender Day of Remembrance is now celebrated worldwide each Nov. 20.

According to the International Transgender Day of Remembrance’s website, https://tdor.info, at least 87 transgender people around the world have been murdered in of Nov. 7, 2016. The website includes a printable list of those victims

MT Lambda is an MTSU student organization that provides support to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender members of the campus community.

The MTSU Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs serves the university community by promoting “cultural awareness, understanding and a sense of belonging for all students at MTSU,” according to its website, www.mtsu.edu/idac/mission.php.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance observance is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs at 615-898-5812 or ida@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

MTSU surpasses $120K goal for annual employee giving campaign

The 2016 MTSU Employee Charitable Giving Campaign was a resounding success, with university personnel pledging more than $121,000 to support area nonprofits over the next year.

With a theme of “Shine the Light on Giving,” the University launched the annual campaign in October, with the ultimate goal of raising at least $120,000 to help a host of area nonprofits provide a variety of services to those in need.

Dr. Gloria Bonner

Dr. Gloria Bonner

This year’s campaign yielded $121,342 from 665 donors. Last year’s campaign raised $118,000.

Employees could designate gifts to any charitable organization from a list of 13 independent charities and three federated charitable organizations including Community Health Charities, Community Shares, and local United Ways.

“Consistent with the mission of the institution, we have always been about supporting others and building community,” said Dr. Gloria Bonner, campaign chair and assistant to the president in the Office of Community Engagement, in a message thanking the campus community and campaign planning committee.shine-light-on-giving-square-graphic

“Everybody wins when you touch the lives of individuals and families in meaningful and impactful ways through charitable giving. These positive results have benefits that create a ripple effect throughout the community as a whole.”

Meanwhile, the Jennings A. Jones College of Business, with roughly 75 percent of its employees participating in the campaign, again took home the Provost Cup for the fourth year in a row as the academic unit having the highest rate of employee participation.

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee applauded the entire campus community for reaching and surpassing this year’s goal.

“This campaign represents the very definition of what it means to be True Blue,” McPhee said. “We’re blessed to be a part of this institution and this community, so pledging these funds to support the critical services provided by these many nonprofits is a very tangible way to show our appreciation while at the same time helping our neighbors in need. My sincere thanks to every MTSU employee who was able to give.”

Anyone with questions about this year’s Employee Charitable Giving Campaign should contact Allison McGoffin in the Office of the Provost at 898-2953.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)


MTSU sets $120K goal for charitable giving effort [+VIDEO]

Oct. 10, 2016

MTSU Interim Provost Mark Byrnes choked up as he shared how the MTSU Employee Charitable Giving Campaign personally helped his family several years ago.

His daughter, Abby, just shy of her fourth birthday at the time, suffered a major stroke following complications from an E. coli infection one summer, eventually requiring ongoing specialized care from a local Christian-based nonprofit, Special Kids Therapy and Nursing Center.

“We really quickly went from people who gave a little bit of extra money to charity to people who needed help. … It wasn’t theoretical anymore, it was real,” Byrnes told the crowd of university leaders gathered at the Student Union Building to kick off the annual charitable giving campaign.

While noting an abundance of help from relatives, their church and others, Byrnes emphasized that such support couldn’t substitute for the institutional help his family needed from organizations such as Special Kids to help Abby.

Now 15 and almost as tall as he is, he said Abby enjoys a better quality of life because of that support.

Dr. Gloria Bonner

Dr. Gloria Bonner

“At the drop of a hat, our lives can change,” Byrnes reminded the crowd. “Thanks for the giving you’ve done, but I urge you to join me in giving again this year.”

With a goal of $120,000 in pledges and a theme of “Shine the Light on Giving,” the University is conducting the annual campaign through Nov. 1, with the ultimate goal of helping a host of area nonprofits fulfill their missions of providing a variety of services to those in the community in need.

“With just over 2,200 employees here at MTSU, this goal can be easily attained if each employee pledged $55 per year,” said Dr. Gloria Bonner, campaign chair and assistant to the president in the Office of Community Engagement. “That’s just $4.55 per month.”

MTSU WordmarkThe payroll deduction option is again available and “is a very cost effective way of making your gift,” noted Bonner, who also reminds 2016 donors that their contribution doesn’t automatically roll over into the new year, so a new pledge form must be filled out.

Donations can be made online at www.mtsu.edu/givemtsu, where employees can also find campaign brochures and updates.

Speaking at the kickoff, MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee again urged the deans, department chairs, top administrators and campus leaders in attendance to set an example for their staffs and “raise the bar on giving.”

Last year’s campaign raised $118,000.

“Even though we are in a region that economically is one of the most prosperous regions in the country in terms of economic growth, there’s still a tremendous amount of need across the board for members of this community,” McPhee said. “We really need to find a way to step up.”

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee encourages university leaders to lend their support to this year’s Employee Charitable Giving Campaign during the Sept. 27 campaign kickoff inside the Student Union Ballroom. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee encourages university leaders to lend their support to this year’s Employee Charitable Giving Campaign during the Sept. 27 campaign kickoff inside the Student Union Ballroom. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

University colleges will again have the extra incentive of trying to wrestle the Provost Cup from the Jennings A. Jones College of Business, which had just over 80 percent of employees participate last year. The college is seeking to win the cup for the fourth year in a row for having the highest rate of employee participation.

MTSU alumna Meagan Flippin, president and CEO of United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties, talks about the importance of giving at this year’s Employee Charitable Giving Campaign kickoff, held Sept. 27 inside the Student Union Ballroom. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU alumna Meagan Flippin, president and CEO of United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties, talks about the importance of giving at this year’s Employee Charitable Giving Campaign kickoff, held Sept. 27 inside the Student Union Ballroom.

With the shiny Provost Cup again in hand at this year’s kickoff, Jones College Dean David Urban shared a story of being involved with United Way a few years ago to help children in need with back-to-school clothes.

While helping a young boy find the right size shoes to purchase, Urban said his daughter, whom he brought along to help, realized that the boy had never had a pair of shoes that fit properly.

“People who need our help are all around us,” he said.

shine-light-on-giving-logo_webPrizes throughout the month will include drawings for luggage and parking passes.

McPhee sweetened the incentive to give at the kickoff event by offering a reception at the President’s House, club-level passes for athletic events and five tickets midcourt for Blue Raiderhoops games for divisions or colleges achieving 90 percent participation.

MTSU alumna Meagan Flippin, president and CEO of United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties, explained how a program through her organization was able to help an MTSU student with emergency funds to pay a utility bill and buy clothing for her children while she cared for her son, who needed a bone marrow transplant.

“Giving is really a lifestyle,” Flippin said. “Giving should really be who you are and not just an act that you do.”

Anyone with questions about this year’s Employee Charitable Giving Campaign should contact Allison McGoffin in the Office of the Provost at 898-2953.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

John Hood, director in the MTSU Office of Community Engagement and Support, holds a True Blue lantern as he announces the theme for this year’s Employee Charitable Giving Campaign — “Shine the Light on Giving” — during the Sept. 27 campaign kickoff inside the Student Union Ballroom. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

John Hood, director in the MTSU Office of Community Engagement and Support, holds a True Blue lantern as he announces the theme for this year’s Employee Charitable Giving Campaign — “Shine the Light on Giving” — during the Sept. 27 campaign kickoff inside the Student Union Ballroom.

Jennifer Dillon, left, of Special Kids Therapy and Nursing Center, chats with Casey Warren, right, of United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties during the MTSU Employee Charitable Giving Campaign kickoff held Sept. 27 inside the Student Union Ballroom. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Jennifer Dillon, left, of Special Kids Therapy and Nursing Center, chats with Casey Warren, right, of United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties during the MTSU Employee Charitable Giving Campaign kickoff held Sept. 27 inside the Student Union Ballroom.

Jones College of Business Dean David Urban holds up the Provost Cup during the Sept. 27 campaign kickoff of the annual Employee Charitable Giving Campaign inside the Student Union Ballroom. The Jones College has won three years in a row for having the highest participation rate. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Jones College of Business Dean David Urban holds up the Provost Cup during the Sept. 27 campaign kickoff of the annual Employee Charitable Giving Campaign inside the Student Union Ballroom. The Jones College has won three years in a row for its top employee participation rate.

Tracey Hawks, left, of Community Shares and Stephanie Pearson of FACES chat during the MTSU Employee Charitable Giving Campaign kickoff held Sept. 27 inside the Student Union Ballroom. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Tracey Hawks, left, of Community Shares and Stephanie Pearson of FACES chat during the MTSU Employee Charitable Giving Campaign kickoff held Sept. 27 inside the Student Union Ballroom.

Interim Provost Mark Byrnes shares how the MTUS Employee Charitable Giving Campaign helped his family during the Sept. 27 campaign kickoff inside the Student Union Ballroom. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Interim Provost Mark Byrnes shares during the Sept. 27 campaign kickoff how the MTSU Employee Charitable Giving Campaign helped his family.

Pay tribute to Native Americans at MTSU’s ‘Rock Your Mocs Day’

Native Americans will be in the spotlight at MTSU as students and others don some comfortable footwear on Tuesday, Nov. 15.

Rock Your Mocs @ MT 2016 graphicMTSU’s Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs is sponsoring “Rock Your Mocs Day” on campus to celebrate and honor indigenous cultures.

The worldwide movement originated six years ago in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as a way to unify Native American, aboriginal, First Nations, Alaskan Native and other indigenous people around the world.

Members of the campus community are being encouraged to wear moccasins and to post their photo on social media with the hashtag #RYM2016 or #RockYourMocs at www.facebook.com/mtsuidac. The person wearing the most unique moccasins will win a prize from IDA.

The national “Rock Your Mocs” Facebook page, www.facebook.com/RockYourMocs, suggests that participants tell the stories behind their moccasins or perform a dance or song while wearing them or engage in other creative activities.

For more information, contact the Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs at 615-898-5812 or ida@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

MTSU offers executive training for workplace violence plans

Middle Tennessee State University’s Executive Education Program is offering a half-day workplace violence training seminar to the public.

The seminar will be beneficial for business owners, managers, employees 
and others who are looking to learn about the legal implications of workplace violence and how to create a workplace violence plan.

The four-hour seminar will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14, in the Jones College of Business Executive Education Center, located in the Miller Education Center, 503 E. Bell St.

The cost is $250 and seating is limited.Jones College of Business logo-updated

Susan K. Bradley

Susan K. Bradley

Organizers note that while federal guidelines state that an employer has a legal obligation to keep their employees safe, many employers don’t have a plan to address threats or active-shooter incidents.

The seminar will teach attendees how to create a workplace violence plan and a crisis response team, how to respond to violence and how to document incidents and will discuss the legal ramifications for employers.

The instructor is Susan K. Bradley, an attorney and certified CPI Prepare Training Program instructor. She also teaches the Legal Environment of Business and Industrial Relations Legislation courses at MTSU.

To register for this seminar or get more information about the Jones College of Business Executive Education Program, visit http://mtsu.edu/business/execed.php, call 615-898-2964 or email Chrissy.Koepfgen@mtsu.edu.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

MT Engage moving forward after ‘exciting’ launch celebration

With almost 1,900 students enrolled this fall in MT Engage courses, the university’s latest Quality Enhancement Plan, or QEP, is off to a strong start, officials said.

Members of the campus community gathered inside the Student Union Ballroom recently to celebrate the successful launch of MT Engage, an academic improvement initiative that will have an impact on curricula across campus for at least the next five years.

“I’m working with a group of folks who are committed to thinking about learning and instruction so that we can really address the goals that we have at this university, not only the goals that we have for our Quality Enhancement Plan,” Dr. Mary Hoffschwelle, a professor of history and faculty fellow director of MT Engage, told the crowd gathered inside the ballroom Oct. 25.

From left, Dr. Philip Phillips, assistant dean of University Honors College, Dr. Mary Hoffschwelle, left, faculty fellow director of MT Engage, Dr. Dianna Rust, QEP Committee chair, and MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee are shown at Oct. 25 MT Engage Celebration at the Student Union Ballroom. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

MTSU leaders are shown at the Oct. 25 MT Engage Launch Celebration at the Student Union Ballroom. From left are Dr. Philip Phillips, assistant dean of the University Honors College; Dr. Mary Hoffschwelle, faculty fellow director of MT Engage; Dr. Dianna Rust, QEP Committee chair; and Dr. Sidney A. McPhee, university president. (MTSU photos by Jimmy Hart)

With a motto of “engage academically, learn exponentially, showcase yourself,” MT Engage encourages students to not only think in a more integrative way about their academics but to reflect on their experiences inside and outside of the classroom from the time they set foot on campus.

The mission of MT Engage is to create opportunities for students “to become physically and psychologically involved in productive learning activities.”

A key aspect of MT Engage is an ePortfolio created by students throughout their academic careers. These electronic documents could be critical for students in marketing themselves as they prepare to pursue a career or graduate degree.

The university developed MT Engage following a series of town hall meetings last fall and spring to get faculty, administration and staff input on the MT Engage concept, which was created by a committee and subcommittees representing a cross-section of faculty, staff and students.

Hoffschwelle gave special thanks to the MT Engage leadership team of Dr. Dianna Rust, QEP Committee chair; Dr. Michelle Boyer-Pennington, psychology professor and chair of the Student-Learning Outcome and Assessment Subcommittee; Lara Daniel, accounting professor and chair of the Action Steps Subcommittee; and Jason Vance, information literacy librarian in the James E. Walker Library and chair of the Research Subcommittee.

Dr. Mary Hoffschwelle, left, faculty fellow director of MT Engage, and Vincent Windrow, assistant vice provost for student success, are shown at Oct. 25 MT Engage Celebration at the Student Union Ballroom. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

MT Engage logo-web“I want to celebrate how faculty, students and event community members came together to really think about what we could do to make student learning at MTSU even stronger and their student experience even stronger,” Rust said.

“It was my pleasure to work with each of you, because everyone came with the attitude of ‘let’s make an impact.’ … It’s been the most exciting experience that I’ve been blessed to have.”

MTSU students also were involved in the QEP’s development, including several who served on committees. Upper-level advertising classes last fall and spring devised marketing and advertising materials for the initiative, which is being branded with a student-created logo.

The QEP is a requirement by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, or SACSCOC, the regional accreditation body for higher education institutions in the South.

While acknowledging that developing a QEP was an accreditation requirement, Interim Provost Mark Byrnes praised the QEP group for establishing a program that “is both meaningful and significant to our students. I’m really quite excited about it. … It has all sorts of academic and frankly professional benefits to our students.”

A SACSCOC review committee visited campus in late March for a campus assessment of MT Engage.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee echoed Byrnes’ praise, noting that the review committee didn’t have any recommended corrections or changes regarding MTSU’s proposal, which SACSCOC has asked be highlighted at its upcoming national meeting.

Dr. Dianna Rust, right, QEP Committee chair, presents a special gift to special assistant to the provost Faye Johnson at the Oct. 25 MT Engage Launch Celebration. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Dr. Dianna Rust, right, QEP Committee chair, presents a special gift to Faye Johnson, special assistant to the provost, at the Oct. 25 MT Engage Launch Celebration. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

“I’m pleased to be here to say two very simple words: thank you,” the president told the crowd. “This particular project fits perfectly with the No. 1 strategic goal of our university, the Quest for Student Success.”

The Quest for Student Success is MTSU’s campuswide initiative to improve student retention and graduation rates.

Rust presented Faye Johnson, assistant to the provost for special initiatives, with a special gift for her unique insights and guidance, noting that Johnson has help guide the university through three SACS and two QEPs during her almost five decades of service to MTSU.

Reflecting on the 2 ½ years of planning needed to develop MT Engage, Johnson said, “The beautiful part of this … the energy that came together to make this project possible is really rather extraordinary.”

In addition to Hoffschwelle, other MT Engage staff include:

  • Lexy Denton, who is assistant director of MT Engage with responsibilities for MT Engage experiences initiatives, student outreach and recognitions, and marketing and communications for the program. Denton was involved in the development of the MT Engage program as assistant to Rust and is an MTSU alumna. Reach her at Alexis.Denton@mtsu.edu or 615-904-8281. Her office is in Walker Library Room 236.
  • Scott McDaniel, professor of University Studies, who serves as the faculty fellow coordinator of Assessment for MT Engage, MTSU’s Quality Enhancement Plan.
  • Shakeya Fielder, who is the secretary for MT Engage and responsible for office management. She previously worked at Health Connect America and Tuskegee University. Reach her at Shakeya.Fielder@mtsu.edu or 615-898-2761. Her office is in Walker Library Room 216.

To learn more about MT Engage, visit www.mtsu.edu/MTEngage.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

From left, Bea Perdue, development director for the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, CBHS Dean Harold Whiteside and Dr. Tina Johnson, interim vice provost for academic affairs, are shown at the Oct. 25 MT Engage Launch Celebration in the Student Union Ballroom. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Bea Perdue, development director for the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, left; CBHS Dean Harold Whiteside; and Dr. Tina Johnson, interim vice provost for academic affairs, pause for a photo at the Oct. 25 MT Engage Launch Celebration in the Student Union Ballroom.

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