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Will inclement weather affect MTSU’s schedule? Find out here!

If inclement weather forecasts have you wondering if MTSU events will be delayed or cancelled, bookmark this page, mtsunews.com/weather, to keep track of the latest updates!

If inclement weather arises that will affect university operations, MTSU will always inform the campus and surrounding community via:
  • alerts from MTSU’s Rave Mobile Safety system;
  • local radio and television stations (see list below);
  • the “Alert Updates” web page at www.mtsu.edu/alertupdates;
  • a note on the MTSU home page at www.mtsu.edu;
  • the university’s Twitter feed, @mtsunewsand
  • the MTSU hotline (615-898-2000).

 

All current  MTSU students, faculty and staff will be automatically notified via email alerts from Rave regarding weather-related emergencies, delays and cancellations.
If you are an MTSU student, faculty member or staff member and want to receive text and/or voice alerts too, click here and log in with your PipelineMT username and password to update your preferences.

(Rave Alert FAQs, including adding or changing contact information, are available here .)

If MTSU classes are cancelled or delayed, the announcement will apply to all classes, credit and noncredit. (MTSU students currently are on winter break. Classes will resume Tuesday, Jan. 20, when the spring 2015 semester begins.)

All university offices will be open unless the weather announcement specifically says they’ll be closed. Overnight decisions will be announced by 6 a.m. the following day.

Radio Stations
TV Stations

Students concerned about class attendance during inclement weather can refer to the university’s 2014-15 “Blue Raider Planner and Handbook ,” which explains that

… students will be allowed to use their own discretion when snow and icy conditions exist — they will be given the opportunity to make up missed classes should they decide not to attend. (page 24)

The Ann Campbell Early Learning Center, MTSU’s early intervention preschool, also has updated its inclement-weather closing policy. You can read the policy here and also check the ACE Learning Center’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ProjectHelp for its weather closing updates.

MTSU also tests its tornado sirens monthly to ensure proper operation during tornado warnings and other emergency alerts. A schedule of the monthly tests is available at mtsunews.com/tornado-siren-testing. That page also includes a link to locations of the safest places on campus.

The MTSU Alert4U emergency weather information page at http://mtsu.edu/alert4u/tornado.php also includes tips on preparing for tornado weather and a “Frequently Asked Questions” link to MTSU-specific information for tornado warnings.

Professor discusses managing musicians on ‘MTSU On the Record’

The movers and shakers behind the musicians and singers were in the spotlight on a recent edition of the “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Dr. Paul Allen

Dr. Paul Allen

Allen Artist Mgt cover webHost Gina Logue’s interview with Paul Allen, an associate professor of recording industry in MTSU’s College of Mass Communication, first aired Dec. 8 on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org ). You can listen to their conversation here.

Allen recently released the third edition of his book, “Artist Management for the Music Business,” with a new chapter on entrepreneurship and expanded and updated social media information.

The book also contains information on income from live performances, songwriting and recording, and examples of artist management contracts, partnership agreements for band members and recording contracts.

Allen also includes lessons learned from the careers of numerous top managers, including the late Peter Grant, who managed Led Zeppelin, and René Angélil and Sharon Osbourne, who handle the careers of their respective spouses, Celine Dion and Ozzy Osbourne.

“You need to be able to show those who can make you a big star that you can make money and understand that it’s a business, not something that is just limited to expression of art,” Allen said.

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit 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 examines media coverage on NewsChannel5+

An MTSU journalism expert analyzed two hot topics that have dominated media coverage for days in an interview with a Nashville television station.

Dr. Larry Burriss

Dr. Larry Burriss

Dr. Larry Burriss, a professor in MTSU’s School of Journalism, was the guest on “MorningLine with Nick Beres” Thursday, Dec. 4, on NewsChannel5+. You can view the archived conversation online here.

The winner of MTSU’s 2012 Career Achievement Award, Burriss teaches introductory quantitative research and media law courses. His research publications include studies of presidential press conferences, radio news and NASA photography, among other subjects.

Burriss has served as director of the School of Journalism, dean of the College of Mass Communication and president of the MTSU Faculty Senate.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and a master’s degree 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.

NC5Plus logo webBurriss discussed online comments by a former aide to Rep. Stephen Fincher, R-Tenn., about Sasha and Malia Obama’s behavior and attire at the annual presidential turkey-pardoning ceremony Nov. 26.

The criticism of President Obama’s daughters sparked a social media firestorm that ended with an apology from the aide and her eventual resignation.

Burriss also dissected the media coverage of and fallout from five St. Louis Rams players’ decision to display the “hands up, don’t shoot” sign just before their home game with the Oakland Raiders Nov. 30.

The players said they were showing solidarity with demonstrators upset with a grand jury’s decision not to indict a former Ferguson, Missouri, police officer for shooting and killing an African-American youth.

The St. Louis Police Officers Association issued a statement describing the gesture “tasteless, offensive and inflammatory” and called for the players to be punished.

Rams head coach Jeff Fisher and representatives of the National Football League’s corporate offices have said the players will not be punished. Fisher specifically has referred to the players’ First Amendment rights in answering reporters’ questions.

“MorningLine with Nick Beres” takes phone calls from the public during its initial airing at 615-737-7587 (737-PLUS).

NewsChannel5+ is available on Comcast 250, Charter 150 and digital 5.2. For more information, go to www.newschannel5.com.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

President Barack Obama, left, stands with daughters Sasha and Malia at a Nov. 26 White House ceremony "pardoning" a turkey before Thanksgiving. (Screen grab courtesy NBC News)

President Barack Obama, left, stands with daughters Sasha and Malia at a Nov. 26 White House ceremony “pardoning” a turkey before Thanksgiving. (Screen grab courtesy NBC News)

Elizabeth Lauten, former communications director for West Tennessee Congressman Stephen Fincher, is shown in a screen grab with her Nov. 27 Facebook post criticizing the behavior and clothing of the Obama daughters at a White House event.

Elizabeth Lauten, former communications director for West Tennessee Congressman Stephen Fincher, is shown in a screen grab with her Nov. 27 Facebook post criticizing the behavior and clothing of the Obama daughters at a White House event.

Five members of the St. Louis Rams make the "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" gesture supporting demonstrators in suburban Ferguson, Missouri, as they enter the field at  the Edward Jones Dome Nov. 30 for pre-game introductions. (Screen grab courtesy NBC News)

Five members of the St. Louis Rams make the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” gesture supporting demonstrators in suburban Ferguson, Missouri, as they enter the field at the Edward Jones Dome Nov. 30 for pregame introductions. (Screen grab courtesy NBC News)

MTSU honors newly tenured, promoted faculty at reception

MTSU recognized and honored 53 newly tenured and/or promoted faculty members at a recent reception in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building.

Newly tenured faculty and their respective colleges are:

  • Behavioral and Health Sciences — Cathy A. Cooper, School of Nursing, associate professor; Mark C. Frame, psychology, associate professor; and Barbara F. Turnage, social work, professor.
  • Education — Amy L. Childre, elementary and special education, professor.
  • Liberal Arts — Maria K. Bachman, English, professor; John P. Donovan, art, associate professor; Kyle D. Kennedy, speech and theatre, associate professor; and Gregory N. Reish, School of Music/Center for Popular Music, professor.

Newly promoted faculty and their respective colleges are:

  • Basic and Applied Sciences — Mark J. Abolins, geosciences, professor; Daniel B. Erenso, physics and astronomy, professor; Mary B. Farone, biology, professor; Matthew Klukowski, biology, professor; and D. Christopher Stephens, mathematical sciences, professor.
  • Behavioral and Health Sciences — Richard S. Farley, health and human performance, professor; Minsoo Kang, health and human performance, professor; and Lisa M. Sheehan-Smith, human sciences, professor.
  • Business — Mamit Deme, economics and finance, professor; and M. Wayne Rollins, business communication and entrepreneurship, professor.
  • Education — Becky B. Alexander, elementary and special education, associate professor; and Kyle A. Butler, educational leadership, professor.
  • Liberal Arts — Debrah C. Sickler-Voigt, art, professor.
  • Mass Communication — Sanjay Asthana, School of Journalism, professor; and Jennifer B. Woodard, electronic media communication, professor.
  • University College — Marva S. Lucas, university studies, professor; and Scott N. McDaniel, university studies, professor.

Faculty who are both newly tenured and promoted are, by college:

  • Basic and Applied Sciences — Patricia J. Boda, geosciences, associate professor; Andrea M. Georgiou, aerospace, associate professor; Christopher R. Herlihy, biology, associate professor; and Nathanael Smith, physics and astronomy, associate professor.
  • Behavioral and Health Sciences — Gina R. Pisut, human sciences, associate professor.
  • Business — Charles F. Beauchamp, economics and finance, associate professor; Juanita G. Brooks, computer information systems, associate professor; Diane R. Edmondson, management and marketing, associate professor; Daniel L. Morrell, management and marketing, associate professor; Deana M. Raffo, management and marketing, associate professor; and Min Zhao, economics and finance, associate professor.
  • Education — Terry L. Goodin, educational leadership, associate professor; and Cheryl J. Hitchcock, elementary and special education, associate professor.
  • Liberal Arts — Priya Ananth, foreign languages and literatures, associate professor; Julie A.M. Barger, English, associate professor; Meredith H. Dye, sociology and anthropology, associate professor; Amy S. Kaufman, English, associate professor; M. Dawn McCormack, history, associate professor; Ann M. McCullough, foreign languages and literatures, associate professor; and Kari S. Neely, foreign languages and literatures, associate professor.
  • Mass Communication — Leon Alligood, School of Journalism, associate professor; Tricia M. Farwell, School of Journalism, associate professor; Matthew M. Foglia, recording industry, professor; Katherine A. Foss, School of Journalism, associate professor; Philip A. Loubere, School of Journalism, associate professor; and Jason B. Reineke, School of Journalism, associate professor.
  • James E. Walker Library — Christy A. Groves, associate professor; and Jason M. Vance, associate professor.

MTSU recognizes its newly tenured and promoted faculty members each fall with a special ceremony. The professors have earned their new status during the preceding academic year.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Dr. Bud Fischer, center left, dean of MTSU’s College of Basic and Applied Sciences, joins University Provost Brad Bartel, right, to congratulate newly promoted and tenured faculty members in the college during the university’s recent reception in the James Union Building. From left are aerospace professor Andrea M. Georgiou, biology professor Matthew Klukowski, Fischer, geosciences professors Mark J. Abolins and Patricia J. Boda, physics and astronomy professor Nathanael Smith, and Bartel. Not pictured are physics and astronomy professor Daniel B. Erenso, biology professors Mary B. Farone and Christopher R. Herlihy, and mathematical sciences professor D. Christopher Stephens. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

Dr. Terry Whiteside, center, dean of MTSU’s College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, joins University Provost Brad Bartel, right, to congratulate newly promoted and tenured faculty members in the college during the university’s recent reception. From left are Minsoo Kang, health and human performance professor; social work professor Barbara F. Turnage; Lisa M. Sheehan-Smith, human sciences professor; Whiteside; psychology professor Mark C. Frame; nursing professor Cathy A. Cooper; and Bartel. Not pictured are health and human performance professor Richard S. Farley and human sciences professor Gina R. Pisut.

Dr. David Foote, left, associate dean of MTSU’s Jones College of Business, joins University Provost Brad Bartel, right, to congratulate newly promoted and tenured faculty members in the college during the university’s recent reception. From left are Foote, economics and finance professors Kevin Zhao and Mamit Deme, computer information systems professor Juanita G. Brooks, management and marketing professors Deana M. Raffo and Daniel L. Morrell, and Bartel. Not pictured are economics and finance professor Charles F. Beauchamp, management and marketing professor Diane R. Edmondson and business communication and entrepreneurship professor M. Wayne Rollins.

MTSU Provost Brad Bartel, left, congratulates newly promoted and tenured professors in the College of Education during the university’s recent reception. From left are Bartel, elementary and special education professors Cheryl J. Hitchcock and Becky B. Alexander and educational leadership professors Kyle A. Butler and Terry L. Goodin. Not pictured is elementary and special education professor Amy L. Childre.

MTSU Provost Brad Bartel, left, joins Dr. Karen Peterson, fourth from right, associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts, to congratulate the college’s newly promoted and tenured professors during the university’s recent reception. From left are Bartel, foreign languages and literatures professor Ann M. McCullough, English professor Maria K. Bachman, art professors John P. Donovan and Debrah C. Sickler-Voigt, history professor M. Dawn McCormack, Peterson, sociology and anthropology professor Meredith H. Dye, speech and theatre professor Kyle D. Kennedy and English professor Julie A.M. Barger. Not pictured are foreign languages and literatures professors Priya Ananth and Kari S. Neely, English professor Amy S. Kaufman and music professor Gregory N. Reish.

MTSU Provost Brad Bartel and College of Mass Communication dean Ken Paulson, center left and right, congratulate the college’s newly promoted and tenured professors during the university’s recent reception. From left are journalism professors Jason B. Reineke, Philip A. Loubere, Leon Alligood and Tricia M. Farwell; Bartel; Paulson; journalism professor Katherine A. Foss; recording industry professor Matthew M. Foglia; journalism professor Sanjay Asthana; electronic media communication professor Jennifer B. Woodard; and Dr. Zeny Panol, associate dean of the college.

Dr. Mike Boyle, left, dean of MTSU’s University College, joins University Provost Brad Bartel, right, to congratulate recently promoted university studies professors Scott N. McDaniel and Marva S. Lucas during the university’s recent reception in the James Union Building.

MTSU Provost Brad Bartel, left, joins David Nelson, right, chair of collection development and management for the university’s James E. Walker Library, to congratulate the library’s newly promoted and tenured professors during the university’s recent reception in the James Union Building. From left are Bartel, professors Jason Vance and Christy Groves, and Nelson.

 

Housing discrimination is topic of ‘MTSU On the Record’ (+VIDEO)

A recent edition of the “MTSU On the Record” radio program outlined how America’s tortured history of racial discrimination continues to ripple through society.

Dr. Louis Woods

Dr. Louis Woods

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Louis Woods, an associate professor of history, first aired Nov. 24 on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org ). You can listen to their conversation here.

In a paper published in the Summer 2013 edition of “The Journal of African-American History,” Woods details the bureaucratic policies and U.S. Supreme Court decisions that made it almost impossible for blacks to get home loans between 1917 and 1960.

“Virtually ‘No Negro Veteran…Could Get a Loan:’ African-American Veterans, the GI Bill, and the NAACP’s Relentless Campaign against Residential Segregation, 1914-1960” is part of a larger book project, “Contesting Negro Exclusion: The NAACP’s Fight for Fair Housing, 1914-1965,” which examines the multifaceted institutional impediments to fair housing long endured and challenged by African-American.

Another Woods paper, co-written with Mary Shaw-Ridley and Charlotte A. Woods for the journal “Health Promotion Practice,” makes the connection between systemic housing segregation and the deterioration of African-Americans’ physical and mental health.

“If you’re trying to intervene in communities that have very little wealth based largely on policies that they didn’t control, that happened before some of their grandparents were alive, but still resonate within their family and their conditions, it’s very difficult … to argue to them that they just need to walk more,” Woods said.

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit 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/dwXxCtvjhXc

In the News: Experts discuss ‘superweeds,’ addiction, more

MTSU’s faculty experts recently shared their expertise with the national media on a number of topics, including agriculture, nuclear energy, economics and public health.

Dr. Justin Gardner

Dr. Justin Gardner

Dr. Michael Allen

Dr. Michael Allen

Dr. Justin Gardner, an associate professor in the Department of Agribusiness and Agriscience, commented on the creation of herbicide-resistant weeds in separate stories for CNBC and NBC News.

The CNBC story may be read here, and the NBC News story is available here.

Dr. Murat Arik

Dr. Murat Arik

Lisa Schrader

Lisa Schrader

Dr. Mike Allen, a professor of engineering technology and an expert on nuclear power security, commented for the Voice of America on Lockheed Martin’s fusion reactor plan.

Allen’s views can be accessed here.

Dr. Murat Arik, interim director of the MTSU Business and Economic Research Center, analyzed Tennessee’s high unemployment rate for the Credit Union Times.

His report is available here.

Lisa Schrader, director of health education, discussed addictions among college students for www.thechoiceblog.com. Schrader’s perspectives may be read 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.

 

Civic duty, student success, Center for Popular Music on WGNS

MTSU faculty and staff shared efforts to increase student civic involvement, improve student graduation rates and promote the university’s Center for Popular Music with listeners of WGNS Radio during the Nov. 17 “Action Line” program with veteran host Bart Walker.

The live program aired 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.

MTSU faculty and staff made guest appearances on the Nov. 17 "Action Line" program on WGNS radio. Clockwise, from top left, are Dr. Mary Evins, MTSU history professor and coordinator for the American Democracy Project; Dr. Greg Reish, director for the Center for Popular Music at MTSU; and bottom, left to right, Dr. Rick Sluder, vice provost for Student Success, and Vincent Windrow, assistant vice provost for Student Success. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

MTSU faculty and staff make guest appearances on the Nov. 17 “Action Line” program on WGNS radio. Clockwise, from top left, are Dr. Mary Evins, MTSU history professor and coordinator for the American Democracy Project; Dr. Greg Reish, director for the Center for Popular Music at MTSU; and bottom, left to right, Dr. Rick Sluder, vice provost for student success, and Vincent Windrow, assistant vice provost for student success. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Guests included:

  • Dr. Mary Evins, MTSU history professor and coordinator for the American Democracy Project, who discussed efforts to get college students more engaged in the democratic process. Evins said one of the project’s goals is to increase “students’ growth in awareness of American heritage and their personal responsibilities in a participatory democracy.” Learn more about the project here.
  • Dr. Richard “Rick” Sluder, vice provost for Student Success, and Vincent Windrow, assistant vice provost for Student Success, who discussed MTSU’s ongoing efforts to help students earn their degrees. Sluder joined MTSU Sept. 15 as part of MTSU’s “Quest for Student Success” initiative, a series of reforms launched in October 2013 to better help students stay on track academically and complete their degrees. Windrow is assisting in this effort to make sure that students are aware of the many resources available to help them stay on track to graduate. Learn more here.
  • Dr. Greg Reish , director of the Center for Popular Music at MTSU, who discussed his goals after taking over as center director July 1. 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. Learn more here.

Students, faculty and staff who are interested in guesting on WGNS to promote their MTSU-related activities should contact Jimmy Hart, director of news and media relations, at 615-898-5131 or via email at jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu.

‘MTSU On the Record’ presents an ‘animated’ conversation

An opportunity for MTSU students to learn the art of stop-motion animation was the topic of a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Host Gina Logue’s interview with professors Erin Anfinson and Marc Barr first aired Nov. 17 on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org ). You can listen to their conversation here.

Marc Barr

Marc Barr

Erin Anfinson

Erin Anfinson

Anfinson, an associate professor in the Department of Art, and Barr, a professor in the Department of Electronic Media Communication, will facilitate the 2015 Visiting Artists Seminar at MTSU Feb. 23-27, 2015.

The spring semester course is an intensive, interdisciplinary weeklong pass/fail course conducted under the auspices of the University Honors College. It is open to all students with a minimum 3.25 GPA.

For the course, MTSU will partner with Tiny Circus, “a community-based organization that uses the medium of stop-motion animation to create and tell stories,” according to www.tinycircus.org.

“They let the students collaborate together developing the story and developing the images,” Barr explained.

By week’s end, the students will have created a short film by painstakingly shooting one frame at a time, moving the props gradually in setting up for each individual shot.

“It’s a really great introduction for anybody who’s interested in collaborative work, collaborative creative work or in learning the stop-motion animation process,” Anfinson said.

The Visiting Artists Seminar has been offered 11 times at MTSU and has encompassed a variety of topics, including songwriting, filmmaking, poetry writing and performance art.

To learn more about the course, contact Dr. Claudia Barnett at 615-898-2287 or claudia.barnett@mtsu.edu, or visit www.mtsu.edu/honors/visitingartist.php.

You can watch view a film created by MTSU students with Tiny Circus during the April 2012 seminar below.

http://youtu.be/jCzCx8eBwyk

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit 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.

MTSU professor lays hands on folklore, snake handling in Nov. 20 talk

MTSU English professor and folklorist Patricia Gaitely will lay hands on a controversial yet fascinating religious practice when she speaks Thursday, Nov. 20, in a free public lecture on campus.

Gaitely lecture poster web“There’s a Whole Lot of Snaking Going On: Folklore, Serpent-Handling and Appalachian Life” is the topic of Gaitely’s talk, set from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 in the Tennessee Room inside MTSU’s James Union Building.

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

Gaitely, an associate professor in the English department and a native of Great Britain, came to the United States to attend graduate school. She joined the MTSU faculty in 2006 and began a closer study of the predominantly Appalachian churches that use venomous snakes in their services to demonstrate the depth of members’ faith.

“As a Christian, I am very interested in how others of the same faith express that faith,” Gaitely said in an interview published in the fall 2014 edition of MTSU’s College of Liberal Arts magazine.

“I’m also interested in snakes and belonged to a reptile club in Alabama. So it was an intriguing combination for me.”

Snake handling was first documented in East Tennessee in 1909, and the state banned the practice in 1947. The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled in 1975 that the practice was too dangerous to the public to be permitted in the name of freedom of religion.

Recent cases involving ministers arrested for possessing venomous snakes, however, have been dismissed after grand juries refused to indict them.

In addition to her research on snake handling, Gaitely’s folklore studies expertise has also led to publications, presentations and research on topics such as folklore in the fiction of James Lee Burke and the appearance of birds as harbingers of hope for grieving people.

You can read a printable version of the College of Liberal Arts magazine article “Faith Handlers: A folklorist studies a widely misunderstood Appalachian tradition” here.

Gaitely’s lecture is presented by MTSU’s College of Liberal Arts and the Department of English. For more information, contact Connie Huddleston at connie.huddleston@mtsu.edu or 615-494-7628, or Dr. Bené Cox at bene.cox@mtsu.edu or 615-898-2714.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

MTSU double feature focuses on professor’s animated short films

The short films in MTSU’s latest double feature are home-grown: they’re new animated short films by Kevin McNulty, an assistant professor in the Department of Electronic Media Communication.

“Tethered,” the story of a lonely red balloon fighting oppression, and “Coffee,” a tale of the delicious brew mixed with consumerism and ignorance, will be screened Tuesday, Nov. 18, at 4:30 p.m. in Room 103 of the Bragg Mass Communication Building.

The screenings are free and open to the public. A searchable campus map with parking notes is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParking14-15.

McNulty will be on hand to answer questions about the short films and the animation used to create them.

“Tethered,” which originated in 2009, was completed this summer. McNulty’s plan to explore an “otherworld” where balloons are alive began as a simple story of self-discovery but soon developed into a stirring portrayal of maltreatment.

Kevin McNulty

Kevin McNulty

“It’s about bullying and oppression as seen through the eyes of one balloon,” said McNulty. “It’s about how it can psychologically beat you down. The red balloon sees the atrocities going on, and it does something about it.”

Fellow mass communication faculty member Dr. Joseph Akins provided an original composition for the film. Otherwise, the film was a solo project; McNulty created, animated and rendered the film on his own.

McNulty’s writing, directing and producing efforts on that film convinced him to enlist help for “Coffee,” a commentary on consumerism and what McNulty calls the “don’t care where it comes from as long as it’s cheap, works and/or tastes good” mentality.

“I got smart on this one,” said McNulty. “I applied for the URECA (Undergraduate Research Experience and Creative Activity) Summer Teams grant in Spring 2014 and basically said, ‘Anybody want to make a film with me?’”

A group of MTSU animation students volunteered, and the team worked from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays beginning June 9. McNulty often came in on the weekends, too.

“The dedication was amazing,” the professor said. “Some students had jobs at night to go to after working on the film during the day.”

Senior Kelsie Richards even delayed her graduation until August to complete the film. Andie Ayotte, Derek Barnes, Chris Dyer, Simon Idiare Jr., Erin Thompson and Raphael Williams made up the rest of the student team.

MTSU assistant professor Kevin McNulty, far right, leads his digital animation students in a chorus of screams for the the soundtrack of his animated short film “Coffee.” Joining the professor are, from left, Kelsey Hoggard, Simon Idiare, Chris Dyer, Raphael Williams, Andie Ayotte and Michael Hegner (MTSU photo by Darby Campbell)

Jacob Loper, a member of the death-metal band Hell Forged, supplied the music, and Aaron Trimble, a graduate student in the Department of Recording Industry, helped with recording the vocal performances.

McNulty and the students provided all the voices for the film, creating a caffeinated 4.5-minute ride complete “with screams.”

McNulty earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from New York’s Rochester Institute of Technology and focuses on digital animation, motion graphics, stop-motion and traditional animation.

Currently an adviser for the ACM SIGGRAPH Student Chapter, McNulty also teaches Intermediate Digital Animation 3310, Advanced Digital Animation I and II and Animation Seminar I and II classes, where students create a 30-second short film over the course of two semesters.

“Coffee” is part of Nashville’s 2014 Artlightenment Festival, and McNulty plans to submit “Tethered” to film festivals too.

You can learn more about the animation program in the College of Mass Communication at www.mtsu.edu/programs/animation.

The red balloon that stars in MTSU assistant professor Kevin McNulty’s animated short film, “Tethered,” appears to have picked up a passenger in this scene. “Tethered” and a second film, “Coffee,” will be screened free at MTSU Tuesday, Nov. 18, at 4:30 p.m.

One of the scenes from MTSU assistant professor Kevin McNulty’s animated short film, “Coffee,” shows a coffee-bean family happily growing in the sun.