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In the News: McPhee guest column on Student Success Advantage

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee emphasized the university’s recently unveiled financial incentives to help future students stay enrolled in a guest commentary published Wednesday, Oct. 8, in The Tennessean and on www.tennessean.com.

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee

The MTSU Student Success Advantage was announced last month during the first leg of the university’s annual six-city True Blue Tour to recruit students across the state.

The plan, which has the theme of “Graduate in Four and Get More,” will supplement by $1,000 the HOPE Lottery Scholarships of incoming students who stay on track to graduate in four years.

You can read the column online here for a limited time or click here for a readable pdf version.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

Be a ‘#trueGIVER’ during 2014 MTSU employee giving campaign (+VIDEO)

With a goal of $130,000 in pledges, the 2014 MTSU Employee Charitable Giving Campaign is underway in support of a number of local charities making a positive impact on the community.

This year’s campaign runs from Oct. 1-31, with a theme of “#trueGIVER.” Find more details, including the online pledge form and brochure, at www.mtsu.edu/givemtsu.

Click the image for a printable version.

“With just over 2,200 employees here at MTSU, this goal can be easily attained if each employee pledged $59 per year. That’s just $4.92 per month,” said campaign chair Gloria Bonner, assistant to the president in the Office of Community Engagement and Support.

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee

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Dr. Gloria Bonner

Organizers will be recognizing all defined university units, such as offices, centers, departments, dean’s offices and administration groups, who record 100 percent participation. The Provost Cup will again be awarded this year to the college with the highest percentage of participation.

The Jones College of Business won the cup last year.

“I hope we can demonstrate our True Blue pride by encouraging 100 percent participation in this effort by your office, department, center or other defined unit in this effort,” MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee said in a kickoff message for this year’s effort.

Gifts may be designated to any charitable organization from a list of nine independent charities and three federated charitable organizations including Community Health Charities, Community Shares and local United Ways.

Information sessions were held Oct. 7 in the Faculty Senate Room, Room 100, of the James Union Building. For more information, visit the following agency websites:

“The payroll deduction option is provided and is a very cost-effective way of making your gift,” Bonner added.

Donors are reminded that donations pledged for the 2014 calendar year will not automatically continue into the new year. Each year, donors may change contributions or renew an existing one by submitting a new pledge form, so a new form should be submitted for the 2015 calendar year.

For more information about the campaign, contact Allison McGoffin in the Office of the University Provost at 615-898-2953 or visit www.mtsu.edu/givemtsu.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

Watch a kickoff video below:

http://youtu.be/Ca66AJOF_EY

‘MTSU On the Record’ takes rides on student-made experimental vehicles

Solar boats and moon buggies are among the topics on the next edition of the “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Dr. Saeed Foroudastan

Dr. Saeed Foroudastan

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Saeed Foroudastan, associate dean of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, will air from 8 to 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 12, on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org ).

Foroudastan, who also is a professor in the Department of Engineering Technology, is in charge of the Experimental Vehicles Program.

Its students are encouraged to build vehicles such as a solar-powered boat, an open-wheeled racer in the style of a Formula One car and a buggy that can withstand the simulated terrain of the moon’s surface. These vehicles consistently win design and performance awards at competitions all across the country.

“When they beat a top-notch team from a big engineering school, they feel good about the program at MTSU, what they have done and, overall, it is like a couple of years of work experience,” Foroudastan said.

To listen to previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, go to the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at www.mtsunews.com/ontherecord/.

For more information about “MTSU On the Record,” contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.

A video clip of the interview may be seen below.

http://youtu.be/851X49zDt2A

 

Dr. Saeed Foroudastan, center, who serves as director of the Experimental Vehicles Program, watches MTSU senior Zack Hill, left, and sophomore Jasmine Johnson perform a timed practice to quickly unfold and get seated in the MTSU moon buggy before the April 12, 2014, NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge. (MTSU file photo by News and Media Relations)

Dr. Saeed Foroudastan, center, and MTSU freshman Alec Urban, far right, watch MTSU senior Zack Hill, left, and sophomore Jasmine Johnson perform a timed practice to quickly unfold and get seated in the MTSU moon buggy before leaving for the April 12, 2014, NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge. The MTSU moon buggy team won the 2014 Neil Armstrong Best Design Award at the Huntsville, Alabama, event. (MTSU file photo by News and Media Relations)

In the News: MTSU faculty weigh in on crime, politics, farming

MTSU faculty continue to share knowledge and experience with national and international audiences, most recently on topics of crime, politics and farming.

Dr. Justin Gardner

Dr. Mary A. Evins

Chief Buddy Peaster

Buddy Peaster, director of public safety and chief of the MTSU Police Department, provided warnings about scam artists who target college students for www.moneylife.in. The article may be read here.

Dr. Mary Evins, a professor of history and director of the American Democracy Project at MTSU, weighed in on how to get teenagers interested in the democratic electoral process for www.nyparenting.com and Rochester and Genesee Parent Magazine. Evins’ views are available here.

Dr. Justin Gardner, an associate professor of agribusiness, offered his perspective on the impact of digital technology on agriculture for www.fundweb.co.uk. The story is available here.

Reporters seeking expertise from MTSU personnel, as well as members of the campus community with expertise for media, may contact Gina Logue in the Office of News and Media Relations at 615-898-5081 or via email at gina.logue@mtsu.edu.

Center for Popular Music director visits ‘MTSU On the Record’ (+VIDEO)

Modern preservation of vintage music was the topic of a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Dr. Greg Reish

Dr. Greg Reish

CPM logoHost Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Greg Reish, director of the Center for Popular Music, first aired Sept. 15 on WMOT-FM  (89.5 and www.wmot.org ). You can listen to their conversation here.

Reish, who took over as center director July 1, was most recently associate professor of music history at Roosevelt University in Chicago. He is writing a book about American vernacular guitar styles from the mid-19th century through bluegrass and country music of the 1940s.

In addition, Reish is a professor of musicology in the MTSU School of Music and an accomplished singer and instrumentalist on guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, dulcimer and ukulele.

“I would like to see much more public performance programs, workshops, conferences that aren’t necessarily traditional academic conferences but that are more fan-friendly and student-friendly and that have more music-making involved in them,” Reish said of his future priorities.

To listen to previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, go to the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at www.mtsunews.com/ontherecord/.

For more information about “MTSU On the Record,” contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.

A video segment of the interview may be seen below.

http://youtu.be/I3PifFiu9xA

‘MTSU On the Record’ to air abbreviated ‘State of the University’ address

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee’s annual fall semester address to the faculty was the focus of the Sept. 8 “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee addresses the crowd during his State of the University address Friday morning during the 2014 Fall Faculty Meeting inside Tucker Theatre. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee addresses the crowd during his State of the University address Aug. 22 during the 2014 Fall Faculty Meeting inside Tucker Theatre. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

An abbreviated version of the hourlong speech aired on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org ). You can listen to it here.

WMOT aired McPhee’s “State of the University” address live in its entirety on Friday, Aug. 22, from MTSU’s Tucker Theatre.

The speech covers the accomplishments of the 2013-2014 academic year and the challenges that lie ahead as a change in the state’s funding formula for publicly funded institutions of higher learning necessitates an intensified approach to retention and graduation.

“The bottom line is our survival, now and in the future, will not be saying that we’re the largest undergraduate university in the state of Tennessee,” McPhee said.

“It is going to be the number of students that this university produces for the workforce in this region and the state and whether or not those students receive job offers.”

You can watch the complete speech on video hereA transcript is available here.

To listen to previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, go to the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at www.mtsunews.com/ontherecord.

For more information about “MTSU On the Record,” contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.

Professor helps shape Tenn. workplace anti-bullying law, policy

An MTSU business professor continues her push for a more civil workplace.

Dr. Jackie Gilbert, a professor of management in the MTSU Jones College of Business, joined forces with like-minded people across the state and nation to help craft legislation and guidelines that will help do just that within government agencies.

Dr. Jackie Gilbert, center in red, a professor of management in the MTSU Jones College of Business, joined other workplace civility advocates at the June 3 signing of the Healthy Workplace Act. Seated is Gov. Bill Haslam, who signed the bill into law. (Submitted photo)

Dr. Jackie Gilbert, shown at center in red, a professor of management in the MTSU Jones College of Business, joined other workplace civility advocates at the June 3 signing of the Healthy Workplace Act. Seated is Gov. Bill Haslam, who signed the bill into law. (Submitted photo)

Gilbert was part of a group of advocates who helped shape the Healthy Workplace Act, which was signed into law in June by Gov. Bill Haslam. The legislation, sponsored by state Rep. Antonio Parkinson, D-Memphis, grants legal protection to those government agencies that adopt a model policy to combat abusive behavior in the workplace or craft comparable guidelines of their own.

The law applies to any agency, county, metropolitan government, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state.

By enacting the law, Tennessee became the 26th state to introduce the Healthy Workplace Bill and the first to pass it. The national grassroots legislative movement began more than a decade ago to get workplace anti-bullying laws passed in every state.

“Respectful interaction at work is a priority,” said Gilbert, who has incorporated anti-bullying concepts into her teaching. “This law is going to set the stage for providing some guidance for what is acceptable and what is not acceptable at work.”

Dr. Jackie Gilbert

Gilbert is a member of Tennessee Healthy Workplace Advocates, which worked toward passage of the bill. She was recently appointed to serve on a workplace civility workgroup that is advising the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, or TACIR, on developing a model policy for Tennessee’s state and local governments. The legislation requires that a model be in place by March 15, 2015.

Lynnisse Roehrich-Patrick, TACIR’s executive director, is appreciative of Gilbert’s contribution to this effort.

“Dr. Gilbert brings an academic perspective that is a welcome addition to our work group and complements the expertise of the public administration, legal, and human resource professionals on the team,” Roehrich-Patrick said. “Her knowledge of effective methods to prevent abusive conduct and her commitment to workplace civility are essential to their work.”

Government employers can create their own policy if it helps employers recognize and respond to abusive conduct, and prevents retaliation against any reporting employee. Abusive conduct is defined as repeated verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, humiliation or work sabotage.

To craft the legislation, Parkinson convened a think tank that included Gilbert; Arlene Martin-Norman, co-coordinator, Tennessee Healthy Workplace Advocates; Dr. Gary Namie, director of the Workplace Bullying Institute; Dr. David Yamada, professor of law at Suffolk University and director of the New Workplace Institute; John McManus, legislative liaison and public information officer at the Tennessee Department of Human Resources; Michelle Gaskin, attorney for the Tennessee General Assembly; and Sarah Adair, governmental affairs director at the Tennessee State Employees’ Association.

Earlier this year, Gilbert was named a founding fellow to the U.S. Academy on Workplace Bullying, Mobbing, and Abuse. In June, she conducted a workshop on the Healthy Workplace Act at a Tennessee State Employees’ Association assembly in Murfreesboro.

For more information about the TACIR workgroup, visit http://bit.ly/tacir-civility.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

MTSU Foundation honors accounting professor, more faculty (+VIDEO)

With more than 30 years of service molding future accountants as a member of the Jones College of Business faculty, Dr. Paula Thomas was honored Friday as the 13th recipient of the Career Achievement Award during MTSU’s Fall Faculty Meeting at Tucker Theatre.

Thomas holds the Deloitte Foundation Professorship in Accounting, an honor “that reflects her success in instilling knowledge and professionalism in students and preparing them for careers,” University Provost Brad Bartel said.

http://youtu.be/P_fPYqrh4Q4

In accepting the award from the MTSU Foundation, the Fayetteville, Tennessee, native said her position at MTSU had “allowed me to do things I had never dreamed of … It’s provided me a career, opened doors and allowed me to pursue opportunities in the accounting profession and accounting education well beyond our campus.”

Dr. Paula Thomas was honored Friday as the 13th recipient of the Career Achievement Award during MTSU’s Fall Faculty meeting at Tucker Theatre. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Dr. Paula Thomas was honored Friday as the 13th recipient of the Career Achievement Award during MTSU’s Fall Faculty meeting at Tucker Theatre. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

After starting her professional year as an accountant in Nashville, Thomas caught the teaching bug after teaching night courses in accounting at a community college and decided to pursue an academic career. Her research on cash-balance pensions was a resource for IBM employees who were concerned about their reduced pension benefits resulting from IBM’s pension plan conversions.

At MTSU, Thomas has previously served as a department chair, has worked on accounting curriculum at the national level through a variety of professional organizations, and currently serves as faculty adviser for Beta Alpha Psi, an international honors organization for financial information students and professionals. Last year, the group’s service and professional activities earned it “Superior Chapter” status, Beta Alpha Psi’s highest designation.

Thomas thanked her husband, Earl, also a member of the business faculty, and her three children for supporting her while also praising current and former colleagues, administrators and students “for allowing me to be a part of their lives and allowing me to see their successes. That’s really the most rewarding part of my job.”

Other faculty awards

Other faculty members were also honored during Friday’s meeting. Presented by alumna Kathy Jones (B.S. ’83), current president of the MTSU Foundation, the five recipients of the 2014 Outstanding Teacher Award are:

  • Dr. Heather J. Brown, Department of Concrete Industry Management.
  • Dr. Rebecca M. Fischer, speech-language pathology and audiology, Department of Health and Human Performance.MTSU Wordmark
  • Associate professor Sisavanh Houghton, Department of Art.
  • Dr. Victor J. Montemayor, Department of Physics and Astronomy.
  • Dr. Nathan C. Phillips, horticulture, School of Agribusiness and Agriscience.

The 12 additional MTSU Foundation Award winners for 2014 are:

  • Drs. Ashley B. Morris, Department of Biology, and Ahad Nasab, Department of Engineering Technology – Special Projects Award.
  • Dr. Janis Brickey, interior design, Department of Human Sciences – Creative Activity Award.
  • Drs. Cyrille L. Magne, Department of Psychology, and Ngee Sing Chong, Department of Chemistry – Distinguished Research Award.
  • Dr. M. Dawn McCormack, Department of History – Outstanding Teaching in General Education Award.
  • Drs. Jonathan M. Bradley, Department of English; Thomas M. Brinthaupt, Department of Psychology; and Michael S. Fleming, Department of Recording Industry – Outstanding Achievement in Instructional Technology Award.
  • Dr. Wendy Beckman, Department of Aerospace; Nancy E. Stubblefield, College of Mass Communication; and Dr. Jeremy Winters, Department of Elementary and Special Education –Outstanding Public Service Award.

To view a PDF of the MTSU Foundation Awards 2014 program, visit http://ow.ly/ACj0h.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

MTSU faculty members gather for a group photo after they were recognized by the MTSU Foundation for their service at Friday’s Fall Faculty Meeting inside Tucker Theatre. Thirteen of the 18 recipients and their 2014 honors include, front row from left, Nancy E. Stubblefield, Outstanding Public Service Award; Dr. Ashley Morris, Special Projects Award; Dr. Paula Thomas, Career Achievement Award; Dr. M. Dawn McCormack, Outstanding Teaching in General Education Award; and Dr. Janis Brickey, Creative Activity Award. Second row from left are Dr. Ngee Sing Chong, Distinguished Research Award; Dr. Cyrille L. Magne, Distinguished Research Award; Michael S. Fleming, Outstanding Achievement in Instructional Technology Award; Dr. Wendy S. Beckman, Outstanding Public Service Award; and Dr. Jeremy Winters, Outstanding Public Service Award. Standing from left are Dr. Thomas M. Brinthaupt, Outstanding Achievement in Instructional Technology Award; MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee; MTSU Foundation President Kathy Jones; Dr. Jonathan M. Bradley, Outstanding Achievement in Instructional Technology Award; and Dr. Rebecca M. Fischer, Outstanding Teacher Award.

Nashville Business Journal honors MTSU marketing chief

NASHVILLE — Andrew Oppmann, MTSU’s vice president for marketing and communications, was recognized by the Nashville Business Journal as one of the area’s top chief marketing officers for the second consecutive year.

Andrew Oppmann

Andrew Oppmann

Oppmann was among 13 executives in the greater Nashville area who received honors in the NBJ’s annual Chief Marketing Officer Awards. NBJ solicited nominations from the community and the final list was decided by a panel of judges who looked at each nominee’s work during the past year.

“This honor reflects the great work done by the team of professionals that tell the stories of our university on all our platforms,” Oppmann said.

He joined MTSU in 2010 after serving as president and publisher of Gannett Tennessee’s media groups in Murfreesboro and Clarksville and a vice president of The Tennessean in Nashville.

Professor to analyze Ferguson coverage on NewsChannel5+ Aug. 27

An MTSU journalism professor will assess media coverage of racial tensions in Ferguson, Missouri, on a Nashville television program.

Dr. Larry Burriss

Dr. Larry Burriss

Dr. Larry Burriss will appear on “MorningLine” from 8 to 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 27, on NewsChannel5+.

Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has been beset by unrest since the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old African-American, by a white police officer. The incident has sparked more national conversation about the treatment of young black men by law enforcement authorities.

A CBS/New York Times poll shows that 68 percent of white Americans said they did not have enough information to determine whether the shooting of Brown was justified. However, the same survey showed 57 percent of black Americans believe the shooting was unjustified.

Burriss teaches introductory and media law courses to undergraduates. At the graduate level, he teaches quantitative research methods and media law.

A veteran of print, broadcasting and public relations, Burriss is a past director of the School of Journalism and former president of the MTSU Faculty Senate.

He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from The Ohio State University, a master’s degree in human relations from the University of Oklahoma, a doctorate in journalism from Ohio University and a law degree from Concord Law School.

You can watch the program live locally on Comcast/Xfinity Channel 250 or live online at the station’s website, www.jrn.com/newschannel5/watch-live/plus.

If you miss the live broadcast, NewsChannel5+ also archives “MorningLine” programs at www.jrn.com/newschannel5/plus/morningline.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)