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Biology professor Otter earns MTSU President’s Silver Column Award

Ryan Otter’s work as a teacher, researcher and advocate for student success has led to special recognition by MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, the university announced Wednesday.

Otter, an associate professor of biology, is the eighth recipient of the President’s Silver Column Award, which McPhee established in 2004. McPhee, along with Dean Bud Fischer of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, recently surprised Otter at his office in the Science Building with the news.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, left, congratulates Ryan Otter, associate professor of biology, after presenting him with the PresidentÕs Silver Column Award. Bud Fischer, dean of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, is at right. (MTSU photo by Andrew Oppmann)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, left, congratulates Ryan Otter, associate professor of biology, after presenting him with the President’s Silver Column Award. Bud Fischer, dean of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, is at right. (MTSU photo by Andrew Oppmann)

McPhee said the award “recognizes excellence at the highest level” and cited Otter for his “passion for what you do, not only as a teacher, but as a researcher (who) is really making a difference in your field and for this university.”

Otter, an environmental toxicologist, was part of a multiagency response team that assessed the impact of the 2009 ash spill near TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant, described as one of the state’s worst environmental disasters.

Dubbed “MTSU’s Spiderman,” Otter used long-jawed orb weaver spiders to measure and gauge the contamination of the Kingston spill by measuring the toxins absorbed in the fat levels within hundreds of insects he collected at the site.

“I’ve been given the freedom to do what I wanted to do,” Otter said. “The lifestyle I can live here, both professionally and personally, allow me to pursue my passion without having the hurdles in the way.”

McPhee also cited Otter’s work as part of the management team for the university’s Quest for Student Success, a series of reforms launched by MTSU to increase retention and graduation through changes such as academic course redesigns, enhanced advising, and new student data-tracking software.

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Through that work, the president said, he observed Otter’s “true commitment to students, your high expectations for students, that passion and desire to see students (be) successful.”

Born in suburban Detroit, Otter enrolled at Michigan State University, where he struggled the first couple of years with what he wanted to do for the rest of his life until the fear of graduation and life after college sank in.

After talking with professors and using existing tools to help students facing similar issues, he developed a method to pick the right career path. The method, which he called “The College Game Project,” helped him hone in on science as a career. He later wrote a book on the method for prospective students.

Otter graduated from Michigan State with his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in zoology and his Ph.D. in environmental toxicology from Clemson University. After an 18-month postdoctoral research fellowship at Miami University, he accepted a research and teaching position at MTSU in 2007.

Ryan Otter, an associate professor of biology at MTSU, used long-jawed orb weaver spiders to measure and gauge the contamination of the 2009 fly ash spill near Kingston by measuring the toxins absorbed in the fat levels within hundreds of insects he collected at the site. (MTSU file photo by J. Intintoli)

Ryan Otter, an associate professor of biology at MTSU, used long-jawed orb weaver spiders to measure and gauge the contamination of the 2009 fly ash spill near Kingston by measuring the toxins absorbed in the fat levels within hundreds of insects he collected at the site. (MTSU file photo by J. Intintoli)

Otter, who lives in Murfreesboro with his wife, Liz, and their two sons, enjoys the convenience of having a home just a mile and a half away from campus.

“We chose to stay here; my wife and I chose to raise our family here … so we’re (on campus) more often,” he said in thanking McPhee. “My kids are here everyday. It’s the environment that we love.”

Previous Silver Column Award recipients include:

  • Ron Malone, assistant vice president for events and transportation
  • Cliff Ricketts, a 38-year MTSU School of Agribusiness and Agriscience professor and alternative fuels researcher
  • Judith Iriarte-Gross, an MTSU chemistry professor, 18-year faculty member, director of the WISTEM Center and champion of the cause of recruiting girls and young women into science, technology, engineering and math fields
  • Sherian Huddleston, associate vice provost for enrollment services, now retired
  • Larry Sizemore, supervisor of ground services
  • Suma Clark, retired director of publications and graphics (now Creative and Visual Services), who now serves as a part-time Web management team-project coordinator
  • The late Charles Wolfe, a distinguished folklorist, accomplished author and music historian and English professor.

— Andrew Oppmann (andrew.oppmann@mtsu.edu)

Jones College of Business academic adviser receives regional award

Jones College of Business academic adviser Paula Calahan routinely answers emails after hours and on weekends “just to keep in touch with what’s going on with the students.”

Jones College of Business academic adviser Paula Calahan, left, was recently named the recipient of the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Region III Excellence in AdvisingÐPrimary Role award for the state of Tennessee. Fellow Jones College adviser Amber Bollinger, right, nominated Calahan for the award. (MTSU photos by Jimmy Hart)

Jones College of Business academic adviser Paula Calahan, left, was recently named the recipient of the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Region III Excellence in Advising-Primary Role award for the state of Tennessee. Fellow Jones College adviser Amber Bollinger, right, nominated Calahan for the award. (MTSU photos by Jimmy Hart)

For her ongoing role in helping students succeed, Calahan was recently named the recipient of the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Region III Excellence in Advising–Primary Role award for the state of Tennessee.

An MTSU alumna, Calahan has worked at MTSU for 10 years and has been an adviser for eight of those years — starting in the College of Mass Communication for the first four years before moving over to the Jones College.

Calahan worked two years on course redesign after earning an educational specialist degree in curriculum and instruction from MTSU in 2011, but was drawn back to advising two years ago.

“My mission is mainly to make students feel like they’ve found their home away from home,” she said of her role as an adviser. “That we … are people that they can rely on and trust when they are away from their normal support system.”

nacada-logoFellow Jones College adviser Amber Bollinger nominated Calahan for the award, which was presented to Calahan during the NACADA Region III conference held April 13-14 in Covington, Kentucky. Region III covers Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Noting that many of her colleagues are deserving of similar recognition, Calahan said that “it’s nice to be recognized” for her work. The university’s increased emphasis on student advising and the hiring of more advisers this year sends a strong message of how important advisers are in retaining students and helping them earn their degrees.

“I think that’s going to have a huge impact on the student body because we have more people doing what I do,” Calahan said.

Founded in 1979, NACADA promotes the quality of academic advising in institutions of higher education. NACADA is dedicated to the support and professional growth of academic advisors, administrators and the advising profession. Through its publications and conferences, NACADA provides a forum for discussion, debate and the exchange of ideas regarding the role of advising in higher education.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

Jones College of Business academic adviser Paula Calahan was recently named the recipient of the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Region III Excellence in Advising-Primary Role award for the state of Tennessee. Fellow Jones College adviser Amber Bollinger nominated Calahan for the award. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Jones College of Business academic adviser Paula Calahan was recently named the recipient of the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Region III Excellence in Advising-Primary Role award for the state of Tennessee. Fellow Jones College adviser Amber Bollinger nominated Calahan for the award. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

May 3 ‘MTSU On the Record’ looks at law enforcement licensing

The standards that police officers must meet before being hired is the topic on the next edition of the “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Click on the cover of the February 2014 issue of Police Chief Magazine to read Dr. Tom Jurkanin's complete article.

Click on the cover of the February 2014 issue of Police Chief Magazine to read Dr. Tom Jurkanin’s complete article.

Dr. Tom Jurkanin

Dr. Tom Jurkanin

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Tom Jurkanin, an assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice Administration, will air from 8-8:30 a.m. Sunday, May 3, on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org ).

Jurkanin’s research, which was published in the February 2014 edition of Police Chief Magazine, shows that there is some inconsistency among states in satisfying the model of professional licensure provided by Police Officer Standards and Training, or POST, boards.

A review of the 36 POST panels showed that 53 percent require completion of a state licensing exam, while 47 percent do not require that test to be administered.

In addition, Jurkanin says, the lack of a mandated minimum education requirement is “the most glaring deficiency” in police licensing.

“One of the components of licensing is that there should be some educational standard,” said Jurkanin. “So, if you look at teachers, you look at accountants, you look at (the) medical field, they have a specified educational component that you must achieve before you would ever be accepted into the profession.”

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 on WGNS: Cedar Glade festival, drone program, health literacy

MTSU faculty and staff took to the airwaves recently to discuss an upcoming festival that celebrates nature, a new aerospace degree program that’s creating lots of buzz and a grant to help improve health literacy in the community.

Listeners of WGNS radio heard details on these efforts during the April 20 “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.

The program featured the following MTSU guests:

MTSU was featured on the April 20 WGNS Radio "Action Line" program. Guests included, top left, Dr. Kim Sadler, associate professor of biology; top right, Doug Campbell, UAS Operations manager in the MTSU Department of Aerospace; and bottom, left to right, Dr. Catherine Crooks and Dr. Stuart Bernstein, professors of psychology. (MTSU photo illustration by Jimmy Hart)

Guests pose for photos at the MTSU-focused April 20 edition of WGNS Radio’s “Action Line” program. Featured on the program were, clockwise from top left, Dr. Kim Sadler, associate professor of biology; Doug Campbell, UAS operations manager in the MTSU Department of Aerospace; and Drs. Catherine Crooks and Stuart Bernstein, professors of psychology. (MTSU photo illustration by Jimmy Hart)

  • Dr. Kim Sadler, associate professor of biology at Middle Tennessee State University and co-director of the MTSU Center for Cedar Glade Studies, who discussed the 38th annual Elsie Quarterman Cedar Glade Wildflower Festival. The festival, which is co-sponsored by the Center for Cedar Glad Studies, will be held May 1-2 at Cedars of Lebanon State Park and is free to the public. Some of the finest botanists, ecologists and naturalists will discuss the beauty and uniqueness of the Cedar Glades through lectures, workshops, hikes, fieldvtrips and exhibits. Learn more here.
  • Doug Campbell, UAS operations manager in the MTSU Department of Aerospace, who discussed the new bachelor’s degree in unmanned aircraft operations. Unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS, are creating thousands of new jobs in many industries and proving to be a major fixture in the future of aviation worldwide. The new UAS operations concentration will be a part of a rising business sector expected to bring 70,000 new jobs, starting salaries of $50,000 or higher and contribute $13.6 billion to the U.S. economy in the next three to five years. Read more here.
  • Drs. Stuart Bernstein and Catherine Crooks of the MTSU Department of Psychology, who discussed the $43,000 grant they received to promote healthy behaviors through literacy. The two researchers will use funding from the Baptist Healing Trust to continue the Healthy Raiders Reading Program, a service-learning endeavor that helps members of underserved populations learn more about health care. In staffing the program, MTSU undergraduate students in the psychology, allied health and pre-medical disciplines learn how to explain to clients the importance of becoming active participants in maintaining their own health. Read 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.

 

Five local ATHENA Award nominees hail from MTSU

A celebration of women’s achievements is set for April 30, when Rutherford CABLE presents the Rutherford ATHENA Award Program at the Stones River Country Club. The ATHENA Award recognizes an exemplar who excels in her profession, gives back to the community, and helps raise up other leaders-especially women.RutherfordCABLE logo-new

Thirteen area women were nominated by various nonprofit organizations to be recognized for their exceptional professional and personal leadership, accomplishments and contributions. Five of those women come from MTSU.

Dr. Jill Austin

Dr. Jill Austin

Dr. Jill Austin

United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties

Dr. Jill Austin is department chair in the Department of Management and Marketing in the Jones College of Business at MTSU. She serves on the Executive Board of the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties and is chair of the Community Impact Committee; she also serves as a mentor in the RutherfordCABLE mentor program. Austin is a founding member of the interfaith group Rutherford County Women of Faith. Her honors include Outstanding Faculty Member–MTSU Jones College of Business, and Innovations Award from the TBR Distance Education Committee. 

Suma M. Clark

Suma M. Clark

Suma M. Clark

League of Women Voters of Murfreesboro/Rutherford County

Suma Clark was director of MTSU Publications and Graphics for more than 30 years, responsible for creating and preserving a consistent and appropriate image for the university. Following her retirement, she wrote “Traditions of Excellence: The First 100 Years,” published as part of MTSU’s Centennial Celebration. Clark has been involved with the League of Women Voters for over 40 years, serving in various leadership roles. An avid recycler, she is also founding co-president of Recycle Rutherford.

Dr. Jackie Eller

Dr. Jackie Eller

Dr. Jackie L. Eller

MTSU June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students

Dr. Jackie Eller is interim vice provost for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies at MTSU; she is a professor of sociology and past chair of the university’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Among her honors, Eller has received the MSSA Career Award in Sociology, the MTSU Outstanding Teacher Award, and the Ayne Cantrell Award for Outstanding Leadership in Women’s Studies. She is an active supporter of the Rutherford County Domestic Violence Center and the Tennessee Coalition against Capital Punishment.

Dr. Newtona "Tina" Johnson

Dr. Newtona “Tina” Johnson

Dr. Newtona Johnson

MTSU President’s Commission on the Status of Women

Dr. Newtona “Tina” Johnson is an MTSU professor of English and director of Women’s and Gender Studies. She was selected as an American Council on Education Fellow; she is also recipient of the MTSU John Pleas Faculty Award and Ayne Cantrell Award. Johnson 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 current president of the Southeastern USA branch of Annie Walsh Girls Association, which advocates educational opportunities for girls in Sierra Leone.

Dr. Lana Seivers

Dr. Lana Seivers

Dr. Lana Seivers

Murfreesboro Chi Omega Alumnae Chapter

Dr. Lana Seivers is dean of the MTSU College of Education. Prior to that she was appointed Tennessee commissioner of education by Gov. Phil Bredesen. At MTSU, she led the creation of the first education doctoral degree and efforts to redesign the teacher-education program. As commissioner of education, she helped establish the Tennessee Voluntary Pre-K program and the adoption of more rigorous state standards through the Tennessee Diploma Project. Seivers serves on numerous local boards of directors including the Murfreesboro City Schools Foundation Board.ATHENA International logo

Rutherford CABLE is a local organization formed in 2009 to help women widen their professional and personal circles and connect with greater business opportunities.

To register for the April 30 Rutherford ATHENA Award ceremony, please visit Rutherfordcable.org/event-1838794.

For additional information, please contact Deborah Roberts, ATHENA Chair, at deborah.d.roberts@gmail.com, or 615-330-8569.

MTSU professors receive $43K grant to promote healthy behaviors

Two MTSU researchers will continue their work promoting health education with a $43,000 grant from the Baptist Healing Trust.

Dr. Catherine Crooks

Dr. Catherine Crooks

Dr. Stuart Bernstein

Dr. Stuart Bernstein

Drs. Stuart Bernstein and Catherine Crooks of the Department of Psychology will use the funding to continue the Healthy Raiders Reading Program, a service-learning endeavor that helps members of underserved populations learn more about health care.

In staffing the program, MTSU undergraduate students in the psychology, allied health and pre-medical disciplines learn how to explain to clients the importance of becoming active participants in maintaining their own health.

The program partners with Read to Succeed, St. Thomas Mobile Medical Unit, Head Start and Murfreesboro City and Rutherford County Schools under the Collaborative Learning and Leadership Institute.

“The work of Drs. Bernstein and Crooks speaks to our primary mission in the college,” said Terry Whiteside, dean of the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences.

“They are not only training the next generation of professionals to make an immediate impact upon graduation, but they are using that training in real world settings to address one of our most intractable issues, health literacy.”

The Baptist Healing Trust, a private foundation, awarded more than $1.07 million in its most recent grant cycle. It has provided more than $69 million to worthy causes since 2002.

For more information, contact Bea Perdue, development director of the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, at 615-898-2417 or bea.perdue@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Forensic anthropologist is on the case on ‘MTSU On the Record’ (+VIDEO)

A recent edition of the “MTSU On the Record” radio program took a look at professional development opportunities for law enforcement personnel.

Dr. Hugh Berryman

Dr. Hugh Berryman

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Hugh Berryman first aired April 6 on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org ). You can listen to their conversation here.

Berryman, a research professor and forensic anthropologist, will explain several upcoming workshops under the auspices of MTSU’s Forensic Institute for Research and Education.

These workshops offer instruction in tracking individuals, investigating death scenes, skeletal recovery, blood pattern analysis and mental health. You can learn more about the April 22 Death Scene Investigation Workshop here.

“We try to have people here that are established in the area that they’re going to be lecturing on,” said Berryman. “They’re well-known, and we’ve had fair success at having some people that are internationally known.”

MTSU also will serve as host for the 2015 Middle Tennessee Cyber Summit in the Student Union Ballroom Tuesday, May 5, with the theme of “Safeguarding Identities and Emerging Threats.”

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.

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National media seek MTSU expertise on animals, wine, infants

In several national media outlets, MTSU faculty recently expressed their views on the treatment of circus animals, the impact of a compound found in wine and the ways a baby grows in the latter part of the first year of life.

Dr. Angela Mertig

Dr. Angela Mertig

Dr. Angela Mertig, a professor of sociology, shared her perspective on the decision by Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus to stop using elephants in its performances for an article in the March 12 Christian Science Monitor.

Her comments, found toward the bottom of the article, may be read here.

Dr. Jane Lim

Dr. Jane Lim

Dr. Tony Johnston

Dr. Tony Johnston

Dr. Tony Johnston, a professor in the School of Agribusiness and Agriscience, commented on the presence of resveratrol in wine and its impact on the human body for a March 13 post at www.bestfoodfacts.org.

His views are available here.

Dr. Jane Seok Jeng Lim, an assistant professor of early childhood education, explained the stages of development in babies from 8 to 12 months of age for a March 26 post at www.care.com.

Her statements can be accessed 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.

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.