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Keep up with MTSU faculty, staff news, accomplishments

Learn about recent accomplishments by MTSU faculty, staff and administrators and stay informed about their activities with these regular updates. To submit an item for the update, email gina.fann@mtsu.edu.

Spring 2015 Update
Accomplishments
Dr. Murat Arik

Dr. Murat Arik

Dr. Joseph Akins

Dr. Joseph Akins

A new album by Dr. Joseph Akins (recording industry) has been nominated for an award by Zone Music Reporter, the industry source for new age, world, ambient, electronic, solo piano, relaxation, instrumental and other genres of music. Akins’ “A Southern Sun” was nominated for Best Piano Album – Solo. ZMR will announce winners in this category and 12 others May 9 at the 11tn annual ZMR Music Award Concert in New Orleans, Louisiana. “A Southern Sun” also was included in MainlyPiano.com’s list of “Top 30 Favorites of 2013,” and Enlightened Piano Radio nominated it as Album of the Year.

Dr. Murat Arik (Business and Economic Research Center) has published a new book, “Understanding and Analyzing Competitive Dynamics,” to which BERC senior research associate Steve Livingston also contributed. It analyzes business and economic dynamics from an interdisciplinary perspective by incorporating tools and approaches from regional economic development, international business and strategic management literature. The book aims to help economic development students understand what makes a region stand out from the crowd, why some regions with a similar institutional structure and business environment perform better than others and how leaders can set new strategic directions for their regions.

Professor Marc Barr

Professor Marc Barr

Dr. Hugh Berryman

Dr. Hugh Berryman

Professor Marc Barr (electronic media communication) will serve as conference chair for the 42nd International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, or SIGGRAPH, to be held in Los Angeles Aug. 9-13. The annual SIGGRAPH conference is a five-day interdisciplinary educational experience in the latest computer graphics and interactive techniques including a three-day commercial exhibition that attracts hundreds of exhibitors from around the world.

Dr. Hugh Berryman (sociology and anthropology, Forensic Institute for Research and Education) has been named to the Crime Scene/Death Investigation Scientific Area Committee’s Anthropology Subcommittee within the Organization of Scientific Area Committees. The Organization of Scientific Area Committees has been established to coordinate new standards and guidelines for the forensic science community. Its 402 new members will serve on 23 subcommittees to develop uniform guidelines for forensic practices in biology/DNA, chemistry/instrumental analysis, crime scene/death investigations, digital/multimedia and physics/pattern interpretation. You can learn more about the members’ responsibilities at www.nist.gov/forensics/osacroles.cfm.

Professor John Hill

Professor John Hill

Dr. Ken Hollman

Dr. Ken Hollman

Dr. Ken Hollman (Martin Chair of Insurance, economics and finance) has been named a recipient of a “Ruthies Award” for “Favorite MTSU Professor” as voted upon by the readers of the Daily News Journal. Hollman also received the honor in 2013.

An album project that professor John Hill (recording industry) recorded and mixed for cellist Michael Samis received the “Best New Classical Recording” selection by the Nashville Scene. The album, featuring a “lost” cello concerto by Carl Reinecke, was released by Delos in June 2014 and also features collaborations with the Gateway Chamber Orchestra and percussionist Eric Willie. Hill also is mixing an album featuring ALIAS and PORTARA, two ensembles from Nashville who also received “Best of Nashville” nods for their own classical music contributions. That album will be released as part of a full album of Moravec compositions on the Delos label later this year.

Beverly Keel

Beverly Keel

Jacki Lancaster

Jacki Lancaster

Beverly Keel (recording industry), chair of the Department of Recording Industry, is one of four people to be honored May 14 by the Nashville Public Education Foundation with its annual Distinguished Alumni Awards at a Hall of Fame luncheon. Keel, an alumna of Nashville’s McGavock High School as well as MTSU and Columbia University, is being recognized for her professional and personal accomplishments as an award-winning journalist, music industry executive and MTSU administrator and professor. Keel was honored in 2014 with Murfreesboro Magazine’s Women in Business Award and the Nashville Business Journal’s Women in Music City Award. The Nashville Public Education Foundation is a nonprofit organization that works to combine community intellectual, creative and financial resources to improve the city’s education system.

 

Additions and Changes
Joe Whitefield

Joe Whitefield

Alan Thomas

Alan Thomas

Jacki Lancaster (New Student and Family Programs) is the new coordinator for the MTSU Office of New Student and Family Programs. Most recently an enrollment counselor in the MT One Stop, Lancaster previously worked with New Student and Family Programs as an undergrad and as a graduate assistant. She now works with CUSTOMS and is the direct liaison with the university’s Parent and Family Association.

The Division of Business and Finance at MTSU has implemented personnel changes after a pair of retirements. Alan Thomas, formerly controller in MTSU’s Business Office, moved to the position of associate vice president for business and finance. He replaces Mike Gower, who retired from MTSU in December. Joe Whitefield, previously executive director of facilities services, moved into the position of assistant vice president for facilities services. He replaces David Gray, who also retired in December.

 

Appearances

 Kent Syler (political science) and Dr. Robert “Bob” Bullen (education, retired) were part of the November 2014 episode of “Murfreesboro Storytellers,” a 30-minute interview program hosted by John Hood (government and community affairs) on CityTV, the Murfreesboro City Government channel. Bullen, who also served 24 years on the Rutherford County Commission, and Syler, also an MTSU alumnus, swapped political stories with county election administrator Alan Farley on the program. You can watch the show at http://youtu.be/pb7vwXH8KzM or at www.murfreesborotn.gov/storytellers.

MTSU'S John Hood,left, interviews retired MTSU professor Bob Bullen, a former Rutherford County commissioner; MTSU instructor Kent Syler; and county election administrator Alan Farley about political stories in Murfreesboro for the November 2014 episode of “Murfreesboro Storytellers,” presented by the city of Murfreesboro. (photo submitted)

MTSU’S John Hood ,left, interviews retired MTSU professor Bob Bullen, a former Rutherford County commissioner; MTSU instructor Kent Syler; and county election administrator Alan Farley about political stories in Murfreesboro for the November 2014 episode of “Murfreesboro Storytellers,” presented by the city of Murfreesboro. (photo submitted)

 

In Memoriam
Dr. George Benz

Dr. George Benz

Dr. George W. Benz (biology), a biology professor at MTSU since 2004, died Feb. 9, 2015. Before joining the MTSU family, Dr. Benz was affiliated with the Tennessee Aquarium from 1991 to 2003 and served as founding director of the Tennessee Aquarium Research Institute from 1997 to 2003. His broad interests in applied and basic biology led to research on parasites, freshwater mussels, freshwater turtles and fishes, but he specialized in studying fish parasites. His most recent research dealt with movements and feeding strategies of sleeper sharks. Dr. Benz earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut, his Master of Science in renewable natural resources conservation (fisheries science) from the University of Connecticut and his doctorate in zoology (parasitology) from the University of British Columbia.

Johnnie B. Cantrell

Johnnie B. Cantrell

Mr. Johnnie B. Cantrell (Facilities Services), a custodian for MTSU’s Facilities Services from July 2004 until his retirement in July 2014, died Feb. 28, 2015. Memorial services were held March 7 at Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Lascassas. He is survived by a host of devoted family members and friends.

Raymond Lee Garner

Raymond Lee Garner

Mr. Raymond Lee Garner (Grounds Services), a maintenance utility worker for MTSU’s Grounds Services from April 1987 until his retirement in April 1997, died Feb. 9, 2015. A native of Sherwood, Tennessee, Mr. Garner lived in Murfreesboro most of his life and was a heavy-equipment operator and farmer. He was preceded in death by his parents, Buford and Ona Mae Garner; brother Donald; and sister Mary Cussins. Mr. Garner is survived by his wife of 57 years, Mamie Lois Garner; his children, Nancy Garner, Paul (Debbie) Garner and Robert Garner; and his grandsons, Josh and Andrew Garner. He also is survived by his sisters, Deloris Campbell, Wanda Sanders and Sandra Steele, and brothers, Kenneth Garner, Harold Garner, Gene Garner, and Bill Garner, as well as many nieces and nephews.

Wanda Lou Hannah

Wanda Lou Hannah

Mrs. Wanda Lou Hannah (Phillips Bookstore), a technical clerk in MTSU’s Phillips Bookstore from July 1973 until her retirement in June 2002, died Feb. 24, 2015. Mrs. Hannah was a native of Coffee County, member of the Bell Springs United Methodist Church, a 1954 graduate of Manchester High School and attended MTSU. She was the daughter of the late Robert Leland and Rose Adeline Thomas. She was also preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth Lyle Hannah, and a brother, Jack Nolan Thomas. Mrs. Hannah is survived by her daughters, Tammy Hannah McCrary and her husband Wayne, Cindy Hannah, and Jodi Hannah; grandchildren, Adam and Andy McCrary, Chris and Rob Bellenfant, and Amanda Curran; and three great-grandchildren, all of Murfreesboro, along with many nieces, nephews and other loving family.

Dr. Linda Patterson

Dr. Linda Patterson

Dr. Linda Patterson (health and human performance), who taught at MTSU from September 1968 until her retirement in June 1999, died Nov. 3, 2014. Dr. Patterson was an assistant professor in what was then known as the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. A graduate of Watertown High School, she earned her master’s degree from MTSU and her doctorate from the University of Indiana. Her survivors include her children, Bryan (Barbara) Patterson and Michael (Christie) Patterson, both of Watertown, and Jamie (Kevin) Vaught of Beech Grove and Ginny Patterson of Lebanon; her grandchildren, Adam (Elizabeth), Dalton, Taylor and Victoria Patterson, Ethan (Lacey), Amelia and Anthony Patterson, Dakota, Dylan and Delaney Vaught, and Drew and Rylee Agee; her great-grandson, Crockett Patterson; and her siblings Gail (Harry) Bennett of Watertown, Georgia (Terry) Wilkerson of Dickson, Karen Gilbert of Waco, Texas, and Wayne (Gail) Thompson of Hawley, Texas, as well as nieces and nephews.

Dr. Daniel “Dan” Reynolds

Dr. Daniel “Dan” Reynolds

Dr. Daniel “Dan” Reynolds (accounting), who taught at MTSU from August 1974 until his July 2010 retirement, died Feb. 18, 2015. Dr. Reynolds was a professor in the Department of Accounting and also taught business law. Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, he was the son of the late Eli and Maggie Melton Reynolds. Dr. Reynolds is survived by his wife, Karen Reynolds, and son, Michael Reynolds, both of Murfreesboro, and a brother, Donald Q. Reynolds of Champaign, Illinois. He was preceded in death by a sister, Doris Jackson.

Fall 2014 Update
Accomplishments

Dr. David Lavery

Dr. Katie Foss

Dr. Katie Foss (mass comm graduate faculty) has published a chapter, “From Welby to McDreamy: What TV teaches us about doctors, patients, and the health care system,” in the new book “How Television Shapes Our Worldview: Media Representations of Social Trends and Change.”

The book, edited by Drs. Deborah A. Macey and Kathleen M. Ryan of Saint Louis University and Noah J. Springer, a doctoral candidate at the University of Colorado-Boulder, is published by Lexington Books. Foss also wrote an invited entry on breastfeeding in the “Encyclopedia of Health Communication,” edited by Dr. Teresa L. Thompson of the University of Dayton and published this year by Sage Publications.

Dr. David Lavery (English, graduate studies) presented an invited lecture, “Neverending Story: Time Lords and Narrative Time in Doctor Who,” Sept. 25 at Belmont University’s Humanities Forum.

Dr. Roy Moore

Regina Puckett

Dr. Roy Moore (School of Journalism) has been saluted with a rare honorary membership in the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses for his work as co-editor on the fourth edition of “Fundamentals of Occupational and Environmental Nursing: AAOHN Core Curriculum” (Occupational and Environmental Medicine Press, 2013).

Moore and his wife, Dr. Pamela V. Moore, a director of the nursing association’s Southeast Region, worked nearly two years on an extensive redesign and content revision of the textbook, which serves as a resource for a variety of readers, including beginning occupational health nurses, experienced OHNs seeking a “consult” on a particular topic, occupational health nurses studying for certification exams, nursing faculty searching for authoritative source information and more. Dr. Pam Moore also was honored at the AAOHN national conference in Dallas with a lifetime membership.

Regina Puckett (advancement services) has published her latest novel, “Concealed in My Heart,” planned as the kickoff for a five-book series. She writes in multiple genres, including romance, horror, inspiration and children’s picture books, and has been nominated for multiple awards for her prose as well as her poetry collections.

Appearances

Dr. Jim Williams

Kent Syler

Dr. Jim Williams (Albert Gore Research Center) and Kent Syler (political science) appeared on WTVF-TV and NewsChannel 5+ on the Inside Politics program Oct. 24-26 to discuss the Gore Research Center’s Political Jingle Project.

You can learn more about the project here.

 

 

 

 

 

In Memoriam

Dr. William F. Greene

Thomas “Buddy” Taylor

Dr. William Fisher Greene (accounting) died Oct. 24, 2014.  Dr. Greene was employed with MTSU from September 1968 until his retirement in July 1994, serving multiple roles at the university, including assistant professor, administrative assistant to the president, budget director, vice president of business and finance and as an associate professor in accounting.

Thomas “Buddy” Taylor (information technology) died Oct. 21, 2014.  Mr. Taylor was employed with MTSU as a manager for the Information Technology Division from September 1971 until his retirement in February 1996.

MTSU debating the Irish, painting colleges, driving on chicken fat

MTSU students, faculty and staff took to airwaves recently to discuss a highly successful season thus far by the Blue Raider Debaters, a recently launched tour of community colleges to bring more transfer students to campus and a longtime professor’s recently completed cross-country trip fueled by chicken fat!

Listeners of WGNS radio heard details on these efforts during the March 16 “Action Line” program with veteran 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:

MTSU was featured during the March 16 "Action Line" program on WGNS radio. Guests included (top, l to r) Dr. Pat Richey, debate team coach, and team captain Hailey Lawson; (bottom right) Wendi Pelfrey, interim director of undergraduate recruitment; and Dr. Cliff Ricketts, alternative fuels research and professor in the School of AgriScience and Agribusiness. (MTSU graphic by Jimmy Hart)

MTSU was featured during the March 16 “Action Line” program on WGNS radio. Guests included (top, l to r) Dr. Pat Richey, debate team coach, and team captain Hailey Lawson; (bottom right) Wendi Pelfrey, interim director of undergraduate recruitment; and Dr. Cliff Ricketts, alternative fuels research and professor in the School of AgriScience and Agribusiness. (MTSU graphic by Jimmy Hart)

• Dr. Pat Richey, MTSU director of forensics and coach of the Blue Raider Debate Team, and MTSU senior Hailey Lawson, team captain, discussed the team’s impressive spring season thus far, including winning a regional championship earlier this semester. The team is fifth in the nation in the novice division, and 11th in the nation in the varsity division.

The team is excited to host the Irish debate team from March 31-April 3, including an April 1 exhibition debate between MTSU and Irish debaters in the State Farm Lecture Hall of the Business and Aerospace Building. That event is free and open to the public.

• Wendi Pelfrey, MTSU interim director of undergraduate recruitment, discussed the recently launched “Paint the Colleges True Blue” tour. MTSU is sending teams of counselors and representatives to seven Tennessee Board of Regents community colleges in March and April to aid students who have their sights set on the four-year institution.

Representatives will assist students who wish to transition to MTSU and provide them with information about the Murfreesboro campus, the transfer process and the university’s advising and student success services. The workshops will also help students who wish to declare Dual Admissions status. Read the full story here.

• Dr. Cliff Ricketts, alternative fuels researcher and professor in the School of Agriscience and Agribusiness, discussed his “Southern Fried Fuel” cross-country trip, which recently wrapped up in Seattle and was fueled by biodiesel made from chicken fat and used cooking oil from MTSU dining services.

The 38-year-veteran MTSU alternative fuels researcher had his 2014 trip aborted by a transmission problem near Kansas City last November, but vowed to regroup in the spring. Ricketts and his team make the 1,850-mile trek March 8-10, during spring break for MTSU students and faculty members. Read about the trip 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’s Clouse receives national entrepreneurship advocacy award

MTSU College of Education research professor Wilburn “Wil” Clouse has been recognized for his decades of work promoting entrepreneurship as recipient of this year’s John E. Hughes Award for Entrepreneurial Advocacy from the U.S. Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

“For me, this is the highest award that I’ve ever received for my lifetime work in creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship,” Clouse said.

MTSU research professor Wilburn (Wil) Clouse has been recognized for his decades of work promoting entrepreneurship, receiving this yearÕs John E. Hughes Award for Entrepreneurial Advocacy from the U.S. Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

MTSU research professor Wilburn “Wil” Clouse has been recognized for his decades of work promoting entrepreneurship, receiving this year’s John E. Hughes Award for Entrepreneurial Advocacy from the U.S. Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Clouse, a 1968 MTSU alumnus, wants to sow the spirit of entrepreneurship within disciplines throughout the MTSU campus through his current position as a research professor in the College of Education’s Womack Educational Leadership Department.

“We are very pleased to have Wil Clouse at MTSU, and his expertise and enthusiasm have helped to infuse innovation, problem-based learning and entrepreneurship education across our campus,” said Dr. Lana Seivers, dean of the MTSU College of Education.

MTSU associate education professor Terry Goodin nominated Clouse for the Hughes Award, citing among other accomplishments:

  • Clouse’s four-decade plus career at Vanderbilt University, where he developed the Center for Entrepreneurship Education at Vanderbilt.
  • His tenure at Western Kentucky University, where he developed two centers of Excellence — the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Entrepreneurial Academy of Excellence — and served as the first executive director before leaving in 2013.

“He has an entrepreneurship spirit that permeates his life as a teacher, researcher, consultant and independent entrepreneur,” Goodin wrote in his award nomination letter. “In his work at four different universities over the past 54 years, Wil has had the opportunity to spread the entrepreneurship spirit to some 10,000 students.”

Dr. Lana Seivers

Dr. Lana Seivers

Terry Goodin

Terry Goodin

The Hughes Award is one of three awards given by the U.S. Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, which USASBE says provides its highest recognition to individuals “who have demonstrated clearly a significant leadership role in promoting entrepreneurship through their work and contributions to the field.”

The awards were presented Jan. 23 at USASBE’s annual meeting in Tampa, Florida.

Clouse has also held the Mattie Newman Ford Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship at WKU, serves as a professor emeritus at Vanderbilt, and founded and served as president for three entrepreneurial ventures: Clouse and Associates (1975), Matrix Systems Inc. (1981) and the Clouse–Elrod Foundation Inc. (2011).

He purchased his first IPO at age 14.

“I’ve always been an outside-of-the-box thinker,” Clouse said from his office on the third floor of the MTSU College of Education Building. “I’ve always been into creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, but never really recognized it in the early days of my life.”

Clouse grew up in Nashville and attended public schools there, showing a penchant for business at an early age. He said he bought that first IPO as a teenager for $100 — a hefty chunk of cash in the 1950s for a teen — as an investment in a new insurance company startup.USASBE_logo_web

He recalled as a youngster a storm hitting his neighborhood, downing trees in the yards of some homes, so he went from door to door, asking homeowners if they’d like him to remove the fallen trees and limbs for a fee.

While some neighbors questioned whether a youngster of his size could handle such a job, he assured them he could before bringing on his dad as a subcontractor to do the work.

“When I came up, you had to hustle to live,” Clouse said. “When I’d see new opportunities in the neighborhood, I’d contract with people to do the jobs.”

Clouse’s first job out of college was as a research assistant in the Department of Biochemistry in the School of Medicine at Vanderbilt University. He later moved to a chemical engineering position with the DuPont Company and was a patent coordinator at one point.

To complement his technical expertise — he already had a bachelor’s degree in chemistry — with some business acumen, Clouse began taking night/weekend classes in economics at MTSU.

While there, Dr. Furman Cunningham, then dean of the MTSU College of Business, asked Clouse if he’d like to teach some economics courses. He was at first hesitant but gave it a shot and found his place in academia.

He would later go on to develop the first computer science technology program as one of the founding faculty at Columbia State Community College. He thereafter moved his work in technology to Vanderbilt, where he had earned his doctorate in educational administration.

Clouse had a number of creative assignments at Vanderbilt, including the last 20 years working in innovation and entrepreneurship education. While there, he developed a working relationship with Hughes Award namesake John Hughes, who agreed to fund Clouse’s entrepreneurship efforts at Vanderbilt through the Coleman Foundation grants.

MTSU research professor Wilburn (Wil) Clouse was recognized for his decades of work promoting entrepreneurship, receiving this year's John E. Hughes Award for Entrepreneurial Advocacy from the U.S. Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

MTSU research professor Wilburn “Wil” Clouse was recognized for his decades of work promoting entrepreneurship, receiving this year’s John E. Hughes Award for Entrepreneurial Advocacy from the U.S. Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Clouse would go on to create his own foundation, the Clouse-Elrod Foundation Inc., which has funded projects at MTSU in agribusiness and education.

He is currently working on a research paper about the challenges facing all educators in teaching the millennial generation and properly preparing to be productive in the marketplace. Clouse said he believes traditional methods of teaching must evolve to engage millennials more deeply and to be centered on authentic problem-based learning.

“Dr. Clouse brings years of valuable experience in higher education to our department and is helping us become a leader throughout the state in ‘problem-based learning,’” said Dr. Jim Huffman, chair of MTSU’s Womack Educational Leadership Department.

Clouse’s focus is on cross-disciplinary entrepreneurship and innovation. He is currently working with MTSU faculty members to help develop a culture of innovation and commercialization across all disciplines at the university. His partners in this new project include Dr. Andrienne Friedli, professor of chemistry and assistant vice president for research; Dr. Charles Perry, professor of engineering technology and holder of the Russell Chair of Manufacturing Excellence; Dr. Bill McDowell, holder of the Wright Travel Chair of Entrepreneurship; and Dr. Warren Gill, director of the School of Agribusiness and Agriscience.

Dr. Bill McDowell

Dr. Bill McDowell

McDowell was in Tampa when Clouse received the award and said he looks forward to working with Clouse more closely on the MTSU campus.

“Dr. Clouse is an excellent mentor and friend, and he continues to pour himself into developing entrepreneurs,” McDowell said. “Currently, he is working with me on the Wright Travel Chair of Entrepreneurship Business Plan Competition by serving as a judge and a coach/mentor to some of the competition finalists.  In addition, through the Clouse-Elrod foundation, he will be funding some individual level awards for the best plan in certain functional areas.”

Clouse has even more plans.

“I’d like to be able to infuse innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship across the entire MTSU campus,” he said, adding that he’s working to develop problem-based modules that encourage creative and innovative thinking by students, “so that when a student learns the academics of that class, he or she will see the opportunities to take that idea from that class into the marketplace.”

For more information about the MTSU College of Education’s Womack Educational Leadership Department, visit http://mtsu.edu/edu_leadership.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

MTSU faculty share knowledge on journalism, fashion, social media

MTSU faculty experts recently shared their knowledge of journalism, fashion and social media with various national media outlets.

Dr. Joonghwa Lee

Dr. Joonghwa Lee

Dr. Rick Cottle

Dr. Rick Cottle

Dr. Rick Cottle, an assistant professor of human sciences, provided his views on high-end clothing for a story posted Jan. 20 at www.mainstreet.com.

The story is available here.

Dr. Joonghwa Lee, an assistant professor of journalism, offered an overview of the state of social media that was published Feb. 23 at www.econtentmag.com.

Lee’s statements can be read here.

Dr. Larry Burriss

Dr. Larry Burriss

Dr. Mary Farone

Dr. Mary Farone

Dr. Larry Burriss, a professor of journalism, analyzed the Federal Communication Commission’s vote to preserve “net neutrality” for a Feb. 27 story at www.mainstreet.com. The story also was published by the Trentonian of Trenton, New Jersey; the Repository of Canton, Ohio; www.wickedlocal.com (Boston, Massachusetts); and 21 other American newspapers.

Burriss’ comments are available here.

Dr. Mary Farone, a professor of biology, explained antibiotic-resistant “killer bacteria” for a March 4 post at www.livescience.com.

Her remarks can be read here beginning under the heading “Symptoms.”

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.

 

MTSU veterans’ reps tour Arizona State’s Pat Tillman Center

TEMPE, Arizona — Lt. Gen. Keith Huber, the retired Army general now advising MTSU on ways to enhance its service to veterans, visited Arizona State University March 12 with Dr. Hilary Miller of MTSU’s Veterans and Military Affairs Committee to tour ASU’s Pat Tillman Veterans Center.

Retired Lt. Gen. Benjamin Freakley, center right, who serves as Arizona State University’s special adviser to the president for leadership initiatives, talks about ASU’s Pat Tillman Veterans Center with MTSU representatives retired Lt. Gen. Keith Huber, left, and Dr. Hilary Miller. At center left is retired U.S. Navy Capt. Steven Borden, director of the Tillman Center.

Retired Lt. Gen. Benjamin Freakley, center right, who serves as Arizona State University’s special adviser to the president for leadership initiatives, talks about ASU’s Pat Tillman Veterans Center with MTSU representatives retired Lt. Gen. Keith Huber, left, and Dr. Hilary Miller, right. At center left is retired U.S. Navy Capt. Steven Borden, director of the Tillman Center. (MTSU photos by Andrew Oppmann)

The center was founded in 2011 in memory of Tillman, an ASU and Arizona Cardinals football star who gave up his pro football career to enlist in the Army after the 9/11 attacks. Tillman was killed while serving in Afghanistan.

The Tillman Center provides assistance and services to roughly 4,000 veterans on ASU’s campuses.

Huber’s West Point classmate, retired Lt. Gen. Benjamin Freakley, and retired U.S. Navy Capt. Steven Borden, director of the Tillman Center, welcomed Huber and Miller to ASU. Freakley serves as special adviser for leadership initiatives to ASU President Michael Crow.

Earlier this month on the MTSU campus, Huber hosted a series of “roll call” meetings in which student veterans and their families were invited to meet him at the Tom H. Jackson Building to provide feedback and discuss any concerns with him.

The three-star general, who retired as a lieutenant general in the U.S. Army after a 38-year career, wants to enhance services to the nearly 1,000 student veterans and family members on campus.

Huber can be reached by email at Keith.Huber@mtsu.edu and is available in Room 111 in the university’s Cope Administration Building.

Steven Borden, a retired U.S. Navy captain and director of Arizona State University's Tillman Center, discusses the legacy of center honoree Pat Tillman with Dr. Hilary Miller and retired Lt. Gen. Keith Huber of MTSU and ASU's retired Lt. Gen. Benjamin Freakley. (MTSU photos by Andrew Oppmann)

Steven Borden, left, a retired U.S. Navy captain and director of Arizona State University’s Tillman Center, discusses the legacy of center honoree Pat Tillman with Dr. Hilary Miller, second from left, and retired Lt. Gen. Keith Huber of MTSU as ASU special adviser Benjamin Freakley, right, also a retired Army lieutenant general, looks on.

Math educator ‘grateful’ for major MTSU faculty award (+VIDEO)

“It’s one thing to give honor … but you also have to learn to receive honor.”

Those words came Thursday from an “overwhelmed” Dr. Michaele Chappell, who knows how to receive honor—with gratitude.

The MTSU professor received multiple kudos from faculty, students and community leaders in receiving the 2015 John Pleas Award, presented annually to a black faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in teaching, research and service.

http://youtu.be/AlBdo8_-2fM

Chappell, a professor of mathematics education and program coordinator for the Masters of Science in Teaching program, was presented with the honor in a Feb. 26 ceremony in the Tom Jackson Building as part of MTSU’s celebration of Black History Month.

In accepting the award, Chappell said, “When colleagues take the time to honor you for your work, for your efforts, all I can think about is what my mom used to teach me … just to be grateful.”

Dr. Michaele Chappell receivd the 2015 John Pleas Outstanding Faculty Award in a Feb. 26 ceremony at MTSU’s Tom Jackson Building. (MTSU Photo by J. Intintoli)

Dr. Michaele Chappell speaks to the crowd after accepting the 2015 John Pleas Outstanding Faculty Award in a Feb. 26 ceremony at MTSU’s Tom Jackson Building. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Dr. Bud Fischer, dean of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, praised Chappell in prepared remarks as “a first-rate scholar, teacher and co-learner.”

Chappell has authored or edited five manuscripts or books, authored more than two dozen academic articles and book chapters and given more than 65 presentations at conferences.

“Dr. Chappell has been a wonderful mentor during my graduate studies and her guidance has provided me with experiences that have supplemented my coursework nicely,” said Derek Smith, a Nashville-based graduate student in MTSU’s Mathematics and Science Education program.

Among the grants Chappell has been awarded is the $2.3 million National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teaching Scholarship, for which she is co-principal investigator.

Dr. John Pleas

Her passion is promoting math literacy in historically disadvantaged communities. Chappell has administrated four summer institutes at MTSU that trained STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) educators who work with at-risk populations.

Chappell also has served in multiple positions with the Benjamin Banneker Association, enabling her to mentor STEM teachers working in African-American communities.

“You are strong, accomplished, you are stable and wise, and, in my words, you are a ‘bad chick,’” said graduate student and Rutherford County Schools teacher Melnequa Holloway of Antioch, Tennessee.

Chappell, who has worked at MTSU for 14 years, earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Georgia Southern University in 1981 and 1983, respectively, and her doctorate from Florida State University in 1991.

The John Pleas Faculty Award was established in 1997 to honor Dr. John Pleas, MTSU professor emeritus of psychology and recipient of an MTSU Outstanding Teaching Award in 1999.

Previous winners of the Pleas Faculty Recognition Award since its inception are:

  • Dr. Robert Rucker, social work professor, 1997.
  • Dr. Bichaka Fayissa, economics professor, 1998.
  • Dr. Laura Jarmon, English professor, 1999.
  • Dr. Gloria Bonner, dean of the College of Education, 2000.
  • Dr. Sharon Shaw-McEwen, social work professor, 2001.
  • Dr. Alphonse Carter, engineering technology professor, 2002.
  • Dr. Bertha Clark, professor of communication disorders, 2003.
  • Dr. Anantha Babbili, 2004, then-dean of the College of Mass Communication.
  • Dr. Pat Patterson, professor of chemistry, 2005.
  • Dr. Rosemary Owens, dean of continuing studies and public service, 2006.
  • Dr. Connie Wade, chair of the Department of Elementary and Special Education, 2007.
  • Dr. Marva Lucas, chair of the Department of University Studies, 2008.
  • Dr. Adonijah Bakari, history professor, 2009.
  • Dr. Dwight Patterson, 2010, chemistry professor.
  • Dr. Raphael Bundage, 2011, music professor.
  • Dr. Cheryl Slaughter Ellis, professor of community and public health, 2012.
  • Dr. Newtona “Tina” Johnson, professor of English and director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, 2013.
  • Dr. Sekou Franklin, political science professor, 2014.

For more information, contact Jonell Hinsey, director of the Intercultural and Diversity Center and chair of the MTSU Black History Month Committee, at 615-898-5797 or jonell.hinsey@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Dr. Michaele Chappell, right, accepts the 2015 John Pleas Faculty Award from 1998 Pleas Award winner Dr. Bichaka Fayissa, a professor in the Department of Economics and Finance, in a Feb. 26 ceremony at MTSU’s Tom Jackson Building. (MTSU Photo by J. Intintoli)

Dr. Michaele Chappell, right, accepts the 2015 John Pleas Faculty Award from 1998 Pleas Award winner Dr. Bichaka Fayissa, a professor in the Department of Economics and Finance, in a Feb. 26 ceremony at MTSU’s Tom Jackson Building. (MTSU Photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU professor’s lecture to examine ‘Orange is the New Black’ Feb. 26

An MTSU professor will peek behind the prison bars of the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black” in an upcoming lecture set Thursday, Feb. 26.

Dr. Clare Bratten

Dr. Clare Bratten

Dr. Clare Bratten, a professor in the Department of Electronic Media Communication, will present “Orange is the New Black: How We Talk About the Show” at 3 p.m. Feb. 26 in Room 100 of the James Union Building.

The comedy-drama follows the plight of Piper Chapman, a woman who loses her comfortable New York life when she is convicted in connection with a youthful indiscretion.

Plots revolve around how she adjusts to a life of prison privation and an array of quirky fellow inmates and guards.

“Orange is the New Black” has been nominated for numerous awards and won a Peabody Award in 2013.

OITNB graphic webThe show also won the award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series at the 2015 Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony and the 2014 Emmy Award for Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series.

Uzo Aduba, who portrays Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren, captured the 2015 SAG award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series as well as the 2014 Emmy for Oustanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.

“The talk explores whether the wildly popular series … is a soap opera-styled serial, a socially conscious critique of prison life or a continuation of a ‘Women In Prison’ genre that began in the early days of Hollywood,” Bratten said.

Bratten’s free public presentation is the latest in MTSU’s Women’s and Gender Studies Research Series.

For more information, contact the Women’s and Gender Studies office at 615-898-5910 or womenstu@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Media center director talks innovations on ‘MTSU On the Record’

The person at the helm of MTSU’s incubator for budding journalists will be the guest on the next edition of the “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Val Hoeppner, director of MTSU’s Center for Innovation in Media in the College of Mass Communication, will air from 8 to 8:30 a.m. Sunday, March 1, on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org ).

Val Hoeppner

Val Hoeppner

Hoeppner is in charge of operations for all student media at the center, which houses student radio station WMTS-FM; student-operated television station MT10; and student-run record label Match Records, as well as National Public Radio affiliate WMOT-FM.

Click on the logo to visit the Center for Innovation in Media website.

Click on the logo to visit the Center for Innovation in Media website.

A veteran of 20 years as a photojournalist and multimedia director at the Indianapolis Star, Hoeppner served as director of education for the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute for five years prior to joining MTSU.

Hoeppner said she is most proud of the students who created an iPad application for MTSU’s Center for Popular Music located inside the John Bragg Mass Communication Building and filled it with content during the fall 2014 semester.

“You can … get a full panoramic tour of the center,” said Hoeppner. “There’s an interactive timeline in there. There are several videos produced by the students and of course writing done by the students.”

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 brings ‘Kennewick Man’ to life in book about discovery

An MTSU professor’s contribution to a new book has helped alter the discussion about the origins of humankind on the North American continent.

Dr. Hugh Berryman is the author of a chapter in “Kennewick Man: The Scientific Investigation of an Ancient American Skeleton,” which was published in late 2014 by Texas A&M University Press.

Dr. Hugh E. Berryman of MTSU, at right, and his colleagues discuss the Kennewick Man discovery in this 2005 file photo from the Smithsonian Institution. Seated from left are geochemist Thomas Stafford of the University of Wisconsin; C. Wayne Smith, curation specialist, Texas A&M; attorney Alan L. Schneider; and Smithsonian anthropologist Douglas W. Owsley. (photo courtesy Smithsonian Institution/Chip Clark)

Dr. Hugh E. Berryman of MTSU, at right, and his colleagues discuss the Kennewick Man discovery in this 2005 file photo from the Smithsonian Institution. Seated from left are geochemist Thomas Stafford of the University of Wisconsin; C. Wayne Smith, curation specialist, Texas A&M; attorney Alan L. Schneider; and Smithsonian anthropologist Douglas W. Owsley. (Photo courtesy Smithsonian Institution/Chip Clark)

Berryman, a research professor and forensic anthropologist, was one of 11 top American researchers who collaborated in the 2005-06 examination of a nearly 9,000-year-old skeleton that forced the scientific community to rethink the history of the peopling of the Americas.

“It’s allowed a window into not just a time but perhaps a group of people that we really were not aware of,” said Berryman, who also is director of MTSU’s Forensic Institute for Research and Education.

The more than 300 bones and bone fragments were discovered accidentally in 1996 by two teenagers along the Columbia River at Kennewick, Washington.

Under the direction of Dr. Douglas Owsley, head of the Division of Physical Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History, the experts scrutinized the bones.

Dr. Hugh Berryman

Dr. Hugh Berryman

Remarkably, the bones were in excellent shape, having survived centuries of weather, insects, animals, erosion and human activity. Owsley called it “as complete a skeleton as has been found in North America.”

Dubbing the skeleton “Kennewick Man,” the scientists determined that this hardy, rugged individual lived into his mid- to late-30s and that his right arm was stronger than his left because he threw spears with his right arm as a hunter.

In fact, Kennewick Man died with the point of a spear stuck into his right hip, although Berryman said that injury did not cause his death.

The details of Kennewick Man’s life could lead to a definitive determination of his ethnic origins. The bones reveal that some of his physical characteristics didn’t resemble those of Native Americans.

“Maybe we’re dealing with a group that came into North America by living off the sea and moving around from Asia into North America,” said Berryman, a faculty member in MTSU’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

Kennewick Man’s facial features more closely resemble those of the Ainu, an aboriginal Japanese group of people who have different ethnic characteristics from other Japanese, than those of Native American tribes, Berryman said.

“Bone is great at recording its own history,” Berryman said in a 2006 MTSU News story shortly after Kennewick Man was studied. “Throughout your life, there are different things that you do, and they may leave little signs in the bone. If you can read those signs, it’s almost like interviewing a person.”

Dr. Douglas Owsley

The bones of Kennewick Man, a nearly 9,000-year-old skeleton whose origins could rewrite history. Dr. Hugh Berryman, an MTSU forensic anthropologist, was one of the scientists who examined the bones and recorded his findings in a new book. (Photo courtesy of Smithsonian Institution)

The bones of Kennewick Man, a nearly 9,000-year-old skeleton whose origins could rewrite history, are shown in this Smithsonian Institution photo. Dr. Hugh Berryman, an MTSU forensic anthropologist, was one of the scientists who examined the bones and recorded his findings in a new book.

Owsley, who co-authored the book with Richard L. Jantz, has known Berryman since 1973, when they picked apart human remains as students at the University of Tennessee’s “Body Farm.” He said Berryman immediately came to mind as the person to scrutinize these rare bones.

“Berryman wrote a spectacular chapter for the volume,” Owsley said. “I am firmly convinced that no other scientist could have read the fracture patterning as carefully and thoroughly.”

The chapter written by Berryman has the somewhat murky title of “Postmortem Breakage as a Taphonomic Tool for Determining Kennewick Man’s Burial Position.”

In short, Berryman examined the bones to figure out how they broke and under what conditions. With that knowledge, he was able to determine that Kennewick Man was buried in a supine position — face up, lying on the back, as most

“It takes some energy to dig a hole even with a modern-day shovel, let alone a digging stick,” said Berryman, whose expertise frequently leads to requests for his testimony in criminal trials.

“If you’re buried, that tends to imply that you had somebody that cared something about you.”

Who were those people? Perhaps future study will reveal conclusive answers to that question. The Kennewick Man story has not been completely written.

“I don’t want the discussion to end here,” said Owsley. “I expect there to be different opinions. It will set a standard in terms of how much you can determine after the fact.”

Owsley is scheduled to visit MTSU as the William M. Bass Legends in Forensic Science Lecturer at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 3, in the Student Union Ballroom. His subject will be “Seriously Amazing Moments in Smithsonian Research.”

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

WGNS spotlights MTSU anthropology and history projects, changing media

MTSU faculty and staff took to the airwaves recently to discuss a university anthropological research project in Brazil, a history project focused on documenting the storied past of a local public school, and ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the First Amendment.

Pat Embry

Pat Embry

Dr. Brenden Martin

Dr. Brenden Martin

Dr. Richard Pace

Dr. Richard Pace

Listeners of WGNS radio heard details on these efforts during the Feb. 16 “Action Line” program with veteran 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:

  • MTSU anthropology professor Dr. Richard Pace talked about the ongoing media research in Brazil and how this has now developed into the InDigital Latin America Conference co-sponsored by MTSU and Vanderbilt University to be held on the Vanderbilt campus March 26-28. Part of the planned events is a screening and Q&A session by two Kayapo filmmakers and anthropologist Glenn Shepard at MTSU March 24 sponsored by the Distinguished Speaker Series. The Kayapo are a well-known tribe from the Brazilian Amazon who were featured in National Geographic (January 2013). MTSU will have top scholars of indigenous media presenting their work at the conference.
  • MTSU history professor Dr. Brenden Martin discussed a project in which MTSU graduate students are seeking assistance from Murfreesboro and Rutherford County residents in preserving the history of what is now Central Magnet School. Martin is guiding the students as they interview teachers and alumni, seek donations of artifacts and peruse documents and photos from the campus’s nearly 175-year history. An interpretive exhibit will be placed in the magnet school’s “College Corner” in the western side of the building. MTSU students also will create a website where audio, video and still images will be posted. Read the full story here.
  • Pat Embry, new director of the John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies in the MTSU College of Mass Communication, talked about his role since taking the reins last summer and how technology has changed media. The Seigenthaler Chair supports a variety of activities related to free speech, free press rights and other topics of concern for contemporary journalism. The Seigenthaler Chair recently sponsored a Feb. 10 public forum at MTSU’s Tucker Theatre entitled “From the Front Lines of Ferguson: Covering the New Civil Rights Movement.” Read a recap of that event 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.