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Johnson named interim vice provost for academic affairs at MTSU

MTSU Provost Brad Bartel has named Dr. Newtona “Tina” Johnson as interim vice provost for academic affairs.

Johnson, a professor of English and director of the university’s Women’s and Gender Studies program, assumes her new position Aug. 1.

“I am extremely pleased that Dr. Johnson will be joining the Provost’s Office in this role,” Bartel said. “She has had experience with administrating our Women’s and Gender Program and has received extensive administrative mentoring through an American Council on Education Fellowship and participation in the Summer Bryn Mawr Institute.

Dr. Brad Bartel

Dr. Brad Bartel

Dr. Newtona "Tina" Johnson

Dr. Newtona “Tina” Johnson

“Tina will have a full array of administrative duties at MTSU including working with the Diversity Council, participation on various university committees, and working on issues of faculty mentoring.”

In 2013-14, Johnson was selected for a fellowship with the American Council on Education, one of the top leadership programs in the nation. Johnson has also participated in the Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) Bryn Mawr Summer Institute, a premier professional-development program that seeks to improve the opportunities and status of women in higher education.

A past recipient of the MTSU John Pleas Faculty Award and the Ayne Cantrell Award, Johnson was also one of 13 women in Rutherford County nominated for the 2015 Rutherford ATHENA International Leadership Award. She is former chair of the MTSU President’s Commission on the Status of Women.

She serves on the board of the June S. Anderson Foundation and is a founding member and outgoing president of the Southeastern USA branch of Annie Walsh Girls Association, which advocates educational opportunities for girls in Sierra Leone.

Johnson fills a role previously held by Dr. John Omachonu, who left his position this spring to become senior vice provost at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

‘MTSU On the Record’ examines future U.S.-Russian relations

Prospects for improved relations between the United States and Russia will be the topic on the next “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Dr. Andrei Korobkov

Dr. Andrei Korobkov

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Andrei Korobkov will air from 8 to 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 2, on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org ).

Korobkov, a professor of political science at MTSU, said in an interview published June 5 in Russia Direct magazine that “as a pragmatist, (President) Obama is much more beneficial for Russia than any other presidential candidate of the current campaign. So, after the 2016 presidential campaign, changes are highly likely to be negative of any new change in thinking about Russia.”

In his radio interview, Korobkov added, “The irony is that right now there is a very widespread irritation with American policies among various groups of the Russian population.”

Korobkov also sized up the current crop of Democratic and Republican presidential candidates according to their likelihood of establishing good relations with Russia if elected.

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at www.mtsunews.com.

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

Technology helps dance professor enhance classes [+VIDEO]

Technology may not be the first thing to come to mind when thinking of dancing and choreography, but Marsha Barsky is changing that perception.

“I integrate technology into all of my classes and have found exciting and novel approaches to using computer and video technology for studio classes,” she said.

MTSU Dance Program Director Marsha Barsky poses for a photo in the observation area above one of the dance studios inside Murphy Center. Barsky has incorporated technology into her teaching with a unique video platform that lets her provide detailed feedback on her students' performances. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU Dance Program Director Marsha Barsky poses for a photo in the observation area above one of the dance studios inside Murphy Center. Barsky has incorporated technology into her teaching with a unique video platform that lets her provide detailed feedback on her students’ performances. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

“For example, in the annual senior seminar, I work with my students to create an individualized online dance portfolio that integrates a wide range of applications, including social media, and, most recently, I have integrated cutting-edge technology into my studio-based choreography classes.”

As director of the MTSU dance program, Barsky has taught a variety of classes including all levels of modern dance technique, choreography, dance history, dance studies, dance pedagogy, and the Alexander Technique, a somatic movement practice inspired by the teachings of actor Frederick Matthias Alexander.

Since Barsky’s choreography class is studio-based, most class time is allotted to movement studies and presentations.

Her class adheres to a well-honed method that traces its roots to the early days of choreography, and the intricacy and technical nature of Barsky’s instruction requires students time to absorb it. As a result, Barsky turned to technology for help.

Like any educator, Barsky recognizes the challenges of integrating technology in the classroom and also understands the importance of technology in modern academia. She evaluates which form of technology is most effective and then reevaluates and rethinks her teaching methods on these bases.

“The work that I do happens in a physical space, with the moving body, and as such, my appeal to technology has only been to enhance my teaching,” she said. “The crucial concern for educators is to find an appropriate role in higher education and to tailor it to the task at hand.

Fall Dance Concert dancers web

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

“Through appropriate technologies, educators can have the opportunity to remodel their pedagogical approach, and when it’s done well, it’s possible to create a diverse learning environment suited to a host of different students.”

Barsky, who directed the Vanderbilt dance program from 2003 to 2007 and joined the MTSU dance faculty in 2006, recognized that technology could be used to advance what she considers the most vital component for her class—the ability to offer meaningful, constructive feedback.

“It can be difficult to recreate the precise movement at issue for the discussion, and this need for precision––and the time limitations seemed to offer ideal platforms for the integration of media-based technology,” she said.

While researching several dance education journals, Barsky discovered a Web-based video platform called Acclaim, which is a video organizing and discussion website that allows instructors to offer real-time movement, assessment, and feedback in ways similar to the instant replay seen in sports broadcasts.

“Since Acclaim is an online platform that allows for students and professors to embed, record, or upload videos, I was able to capture and then comment upon students’ movement practices in the classroom in real time,” she said.

“At the same time, since this is a video platform, once videos are available, my comments can be directly applied at specific locations in the video. These comments can then be downloaded into an Excel file for further referencing.”

The Acclaim platform allows Barsky to critique specific portions of student work such as recorded choreographic studies. Each comment is clickable, and once clicked, the video will jump to the appropriate moment being discussed. Students can also view and respond to comments from their peers.

“It allows students to closely analyze their work in their own free time and offers them the possibility to make appropriate revisions to their choreographic assignments before the next class,” Barsky said. “Many responded very well and used it as a tool for learning. There can be a steep learning curve for technology like this, but all-in-all, everyone comes to appreciate the ability to record, upload, and receive feedback on their assignments.”

Although she plans to continue using Acclaim to enhance instructional approaches in her classes, Barsky acknowledges that technology can never replace the physical aspect of dance education. Instead, she uses technology as a tool rather than a proxy for the classroom itself.

“Carefully selected technology is enhancing my teaching and has made the teaching and learning process more meaningful to both me and my students,” she said. “I know that there are many other ways to incorporate technology into my teaching, and I am looking forward to experimenting with those unknown terrains.”

http://vimeo.com/107968388

You can watch a video of “Moments of Awakening,” a dance performance choreographed by Barsky and performed by members of the MTSU Dance Theatre, above. It also features Barsky’s commentary on the origins of the performance. You can learn more about Barsky at her website.

(originally published in the Summer 2015 edition of Communicator, the MTSU Information Technology Division Newsletter)

— Dan Copp (daniel.copp@mtsu.edu)

Tumbleson joins MTSU as Jones College of Business development director

Carolyn B. Tumbleson has been named the new development director for the Jennings A. Jones College of Business at Middle Tennessee State University.

Carolyn Tumbleson

Carolyn Tumbleson

Tumbleson, who comes to MTSU with a strong sales and not-for-profit background, assumed her new role June 29, according to an announcement from Jones College Dean David Urban and Joe Bales, MTSU vice president for university advancement.

Tumbleson has a broad knowledge of the region and hundreds of business relationships forged through her recent work as vice president of development and engagement with United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties.

In her role as development director for the Jones College, Tumbleson will build connections with support from alumni, business and community leaders and assist the dean in raising major financial and resource support for priority initiatives of the college.WordmarkJonesCollege

As an active community volunteer, Tumbleson has worked with the Blue Raider Athletic Association, is a member of the RutherfordCABLE board and is a graduate of the 2013 Leadership Rutherford Class. She has also served as a fundraising volunteer for local schools and the Monroe Carrel Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. She currently serves as a member of the board of Tennessee Fisher House.

Tumbleson holds a marketing degree from the University of South Florida.

You can reach Tumbleson at Carolyn.Tumbleson@mtsu.edu.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

MTSU staffer to discuss area’s African-American archaeology July 16

MTSU staffer Zada Law will discuss the latest research on African-American life in Civil War-era Tennessee Thursday, July 16, as the special guest of the Rutherford County Archaeological Society.

Click on the graphic to see the interactive online map of the African-American Geography of Civil War Tennessee.

Click on the graphic to see the interactive online map of the African-American Geography of Civil War Tennessee.

The free public discussion is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. July 16 at the Heritage Center of Murfreesboro, located just off the Public Square at 225 W. College St.

Law, who serves as director of MTSU’s Fullerton Laboratory for Spatial Technology in the Department of Geosciences, will speak on “Landscape of Liberation: Archaeology and the African-American Geography of Civil War Tennessee.”

Zada Law

Zada Law

She was part of a research team specializing in archaeology, public history and archival science that recently completed an interactive online map — The African-American Geography of Civil War Tennessee, available at http://tnmap.tn.gov/civilwar/freedmen — that shows the landscape of emancipation across Tennessee from 1861 to 1865.

The project includes more than 100 unique sites showing the transition from slavery to freedom in Tennessee, displayed with historical maps, manuscripts and photographs. It includes details on “contraband,” or refugee, camps; United States Colored Troops soldiers’ encampments; freedmen schools; labor impressment locations; and similar sites from the period.

Every point on the map is connected to descriptive data and digitized primary source documents such as photographs, engravings, diaries or publications that tell the story of people, places and events as the former slaves made the transition from captivity to become free men and women.

Law’s presentation will give an overview of the map and show how to access and use the “Landscape of Liberation” GIS Project data as well as the role it can play in archaeological research.

Law, a cultural resource specialist with more than 25 years’ experience conducting archaeological surveys and planning assessments and evaluating archaeological sites for National Register of Historic Places eligibility in the Southeast and Midwest, has been the principal investigator for more than 150 archaeological and historic resources surveys. She also is a doctoral candidate in public history at MTSU.

The Rutherford County Archaeological Society meets monthly at the Heritage Center and welcomes guest speakers, the community and professional archaeologists to discuss the county’s past and how to document and learn from it.

For more information on the Rutherford County Archaeological Society, visit http://facebook.com/groups/RCAS.TN or contact Laura Bartel at lbanthro@gmail.com.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Faculty Focus: Dr. Joey Gray teaches recreation, sport with high energy

For the media theorist Marshall McLuhan, the medium was the message.

For leisure, sport and tourism associate professor Joey Gray, the motivation is the message.

Dr. Joey Gray; an associate professor in MTSU's Sports; Leisure and Tourism Studies program; stands on the second floor of the Student Health; Wellness and Recreation Center. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Dr. Joey Gray, an associate professor in MTSU’s Sports, Leisure and Tourism Studies program, stands on the second floor of the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

“I’m very passionate about teaching,” said Gray. “I’m very passionate about advising.”

How passionate is she? When Gray became pregnant with twins and complications arose, she declined maternity leave.

“I sent my grad assistant into the classroom with a video camera, and I Skyped in and I taught via Skype,” Gray said. “I was on bedrest for about a month. So I put it on my belly and taught via Skype.”

Gray, her wife, Cindy, and the twin boys, Seth and Aiden, are all fine. And the teaching has been filled with both educational advancement and fun, qualities Gray does not find mutually exclusive.

“When I’m teaching, I’ll move around a lot, and I’m very animated in class,” she said. “I use humor a lot.”

Gray teaches sport courses, event planning courses, doctoral courses and provides professional development for doctoral students. She admits, though, that she savors working with undergraduates.

“They’re challenging, but they’re like new, shiny souls, you know, that you can shape and help guide,” she said.

Gray grew up in Smithville, North Carolina, and anticipated majoring in equine science in college. However, she changed her major at Averett University in Danville, Virginia, to sports management in preparation for a career as a softball and volleyball coach, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in 1996.

She earned her master’s degree in parks, recreation and tourism management from North Carolina State University in 2000 and her doctorate in leisure behavior from Indiana University in 2006.

Dr. Joey Gray, far left, talks with students on the field at MTSU's Floyd Stadium during the spring 2015 semester. Gray is an associate professor in MTSU's Sports, Leisure and Tourism Studies program. Students shown include, from bottom right, Connor Fite, Tara Fleming, JT Farmer, Takyra Wright and Requavius Macon. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Dr. Joey Gray, far left, talks with students on the field at MTSU’s Floyd Stadium during the spring 2015 semester. Gray is an associate professor in MTSU’s Sports, Leisure and Tourism Studies program. Students shown include, from bottom right, Connor Fite, Tara Fleming, JT Farmer, Takyra Wright and Requavius Macon.

Gray’s discipline virtually requires both individualized attention to students and experiential learning. In her event planning class, students learn the rigors of logistics and teamwork as they design and execute such activities as a three-on-three basketball tournament and a cardboard boat race.

You won’t hear crickets chirping in Gray’s classes, either. Discussions are lively and uninhibited by distracted students playing around on social media.

If you’re caught using your cellphone in Gray’s class, you are required to write a five-page paper on cellphone use and leisure.

But Gray’s devotion to teaching is so comprehensive that her appreciative students reward her with their full attention.

She even created and implemented her own marketing plan for the leisure, sport and tourism program in 2014. The slogan is “Do what you love.”

Joey Gray obviously is one educator who lives what she loves.

MTSU’s Sports, Leisure and Tourism Studies program is part of the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences. Learn more about the program at http://mtsu.edu/programs/lsts.

— Gina Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

MTSU professor launches ‘self-reliance’ column for Washington Times

The newest columnist in the Washington Times has an MTSU pedigree.

Alongside widely read conservative commentators like Monica Crowley and Cal Thomas, Dr. Colby Jubenville will now contribute his views on self-reliance in both column and blog formats for the national publication.

Dr. Colby Jubenville

Dr. Colby Jubenville

Jubenville’s first writing in the conservative-leaning newspaper was posted at www.washingtontimes.com June 17. Future online postings are slated for two to three times a week and occasionally in hard-copy editions.

In his initial offering, which is available here, the sports management professor in MTSU’s Department of Health and Human Performance advises readers to “go your own way.”

“While you should always surround yourself with people who are smarter than you, nobody can help you like you can help yourself,” Jubenville writes.

“And when you develop a firm enough sense of self-reliance, at that point, you’ll have found your own lane and be able to stay there.”

Jubenville said he realizes that his philosophy is at variance with much of corporate America’s practices, but he insisted that there’s increasing momentum for change toward a culture that empowers employees and respects their autonomy.

Click on the Washington Times front page above to read Dr. Colby Jubenville's inaugural column for the paper.

Click on the Washington Times front page above to read Dr. Colby Jubenville’s inaugural column.

“I do think that if you hire the right people and build the right culture that you can, in fact, run a business that way,” he said. “We live in this world where people are taught to go by way of the herd, and I’ve never done that.”

The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce will present Jubenville with the YP Nashville Impact Award at the Nashville Emerging Leader Awards ceremony July 30 at Lipscomb University.

The award honors an individual dedicated to community leadership and professional development. Jubenville said the award represents what should be at the core of education.

“My whole focus at MTSU over the last 15 years is really about helping kids find their voice, and voice is the intersection of talent, passion, conscience and need in the world,” he said.

In his role as special assistant to the dean for student success and strategic partnerships, Jubenville will have even more opportunities to put his philosophy into practice. He said he will help Dr. Harold “Terry” Whiteside, dean of the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, with “collecting intellectual capital and unleashing it to industry.”

Jubenville said he sees himself as a mentor who works to instill confidence in students so they will be able to achieve their goals.

“If I look back on my life, the greatest time period when I saw myself develop as an adult was from 20 to 30,” Jubenville said.

“Well, we’re taught that, from 20 to 30, you’ve got all the time in the world. You know as well as I do you’re going to blink and be 40.”

The professor can be contacted at Colby.Jubenville@mtsu.edu or at his business, Red Herring Innovation and Design, at 615-498-6802.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

‘MTSU On the Record’ examines horse supplement industry

A recent edition of the “MTSU On the Record” radio program focused on the questions surrounding nutritional supplements that horse lovers feed their animals.

Dr. Holly Spooner, left, and graduate student Nicole Swirsley discuss nutritional supplements for horses on the June 22 edition of "MTSU On the Record." Spooner holds the Miller Chair of Equine Health at MTSU. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Dr. Holly Spooner, left, and graduate student Nicole Swirsley discuss nutritional supplements for horses on the June 22 edition of “MTSU On the Record.” Spooner holds the Miller Chair of Equine Health at MTSU. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Holly Spooner and Nicole Swirsley first aired June 22 on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org ). You can listen to the conversation here.

Spooner, who holds the Miller Chair of Equine Health at MTSU, mentored Swirsley, a graduate student from Villa Rosa, California, in a study of how horse owners obtain information about their horses’ nutritional supplements.

“There’s a huge number of supplements, all in the equine market, probably somewhere in the number of thousands,” Spooner said.

“The claims are anywhere from helping with hoof growth … up to improving performance or solving behavioral problems.”

The professor noted, however, that since these supplements are not regulated as drugs are, there is little proof of their efficacy.

“In 2009, horse owners spent over $49 million on supplements purchased just through veterinarians alone, and supplements purchased through veterinarians is the smallest part of the market,” Swirsley said.

“More people buy them from feed stores or online through online producers than they do from their veterinarians. It’s a huge industry.”

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at www.mtsunews.com.

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 can be viewed below.

https://youtu.be/ycEnsX57gu4

‘MTSU On the Record’ examines horse supplement industry

The next edition of the “MTSU On the Record” radio program will focus on the questions surrounding nutritional supplements that horse lovers feed their animals.

Dr. Holly Spooner, left, and graduate student Nicole Swirsley discuss nutritional supplements for horses on the June 22 edition of "MTSU On the Record." Spooner holds the Miller Chair of Equine Health at MTSU. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Dr. Holly Spooner, left, and graduate student Nicole Swirsley discuss nutritional supplements for horses on the June 22 edition of “MTSU On the Record.” Spooner holds the Miller Chair of Equine Health at MTSU. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Holly Spooner and Nicole Swirsley will air from 8 to 8:30 a.m. Sunday, June 28, on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org ).

Spooner, who holds the Miller Chair of Equine Health at MTSU, mentored Swirsley, a graduate student from Villa Rosa, California, in a study of how horse owners obtain information about their horses’ nutritional supplements.

“There’s a huge number of supplements, all in the equine market, probably somewhere in the number of thousands,” Spooner said.

“The claims are anywhere from helping with hoof growth … up to improving performance or solving behavioral problems.”

The professor noted, however, that since these supplements are not regulated as drugs are, there is little proof of their efficacy.

“In 2009, horse owners spent over $49 million on supplements purchased just through veterinarians alone, and supplements purchased through veterinarians is the smallest part of the market,” Swirsley said.

“More people buy them from feed stores or online through online producers than they do from their veterinarians. It’s a huge industry.”

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at www.mtsunews.com.

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

WGNS features dual enrollment, Camp STEM, entrepreneurs [LISTEN]

MTSU faculty and staff hit the airwaves recently to discuss expanding the university’s dual-enrollment offerings, a STEM-focused summer camp and a new book on

Listeners of WGNS radio heard details on these efforts during the June 15 “Action Line” program with 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:

The June 15 WGNS "Action Line" program featured MTSU happenings. Guests included: top, left to right, David Lockett, teacher at Campus School; Gabriel Peebles-Ross, camp participant; Nora Peebles-Ross, camp participant; Racquel Peebles, parent; bottom left, Dr. Mike Boyle, dean of University College; bottom right, Dr. Wayne Rollins, professor of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship. (MTSU photo illustration by Jimmy Hart)

The June 15 WGNS “Action Line” program features MTSU happenings with guests that included, from left to right in the top photo, David Lockett, teacher at Campus School; Gabriel Peebles-Ross, camp participant; Nora Peebles-Ross, camp participant; and Racquel Peebles, parent; Dr. Mike Boyle, shown below left, dean of the University College; and Dr. Wayne Rollins, below right, professor of business communication and entrepreneurship. (MTSU photos by News and Media Relations)

  • Dr. Mike Boyle, dean of the University College, who discussed MTSU’s expansion of its dual-enrollment offerings. Qualified high school juniors and seniors statewide will be able to take tuition-free online courses for college credit through the university’s recently expanded program. The move follows a new emphasis by the university on its dual-enrollment outreach, which includes MTSU courses to be taught this fall on high school campuses in Rutherford, Williamson and Bradley counties. Read the full story here.
  • David Lockett, a fourth-grade teacher at Homer Pittard Campus School, who talked about Camp STEM at MTSU, a series of four one-week camps for K-5 students focusing on the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. An average of 25 to 50 children attend each week. Joining Lockett on the program was camp participant Nora Peebles-Ross, an 11-year-old homeschooled student from Smyrna. Read the full story and watch a video about the camp here.
  • Dr. Wayne Rollins, a professor of business communication and entrepreneurship in the Jennings A. Jones College of Business, who discussed a new book he co-authored with entrepreneur Gary Bentley, “Million Dollar Turtles.” The book is a quick read that shares “life principles for financial success” and consists of a compilation of anecdotes from the authors’ experiences. The entrepreneurial spirit is emphasized throughout the book.

Students, faculty and staff who are interested in a guest appearance 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.