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MTSU on WGNS: Pigskin Pre-Game, language, yoga and new bacteria

MTSU faculty and staff took to the radio recently to share information about an MT Athletics upcoming promotional tour,.

The details were shared during the Aug. 15 “Action Line” program with host Bart Walker. The live program was broadcast on FM 100.5, 101.9 and AM 1450 from the WGNS studio in downtown Murfreesboro. If you missed it, you can listen to a podcast of the show here.

Guests included:

MTSU faculty and staff are shown Aug. 15 at WGNS Radio in downtown Murfreesboro. Guests for the "Action Line' program included: At top from left, Brian Roberts, assistant director of the Center for Accelerated Language Acquisition; Dr. Mary Farone, biology professor and researcher; yoga instructor Rishi; and Dr. Shelley Thomas, director of CALA. (MTSU photo illustration)

MTSU faculty and staff are shown Aug. 15 at WGNS Radio in downtown Murfreesboro. Guests for the “Action Line’ program included: At top from left, Brian Roberts, assistant director of the Center for Accelerated Language Acquisition; Dr. Mary Farone, biology professor and researcher; yoga instructor Rishi; and Dr. Shelley Thomas, director of CALA. (MTSU photo illustration)

• Paul Wydra, MTSU Alumni Relations assistant director, talked about the annual Pigskin Pre-Game fundraiser set for Saturday, Aug. 27. The event will once again kick off the MTSU Blue Raiders football season for alumni and friends of the university.

A fundraiser for the Alumni Legacy Scholarship, the event will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday at The Grove at Williamson Place, 3250 Wilkinson Pike, just off Medical Center Parkway across from Embassy Suites Hilton near Interstate 24.

Read more here.

• Dr. Shelley Thomas, professor of foreign language and director of the Center for Accelerated Language Acquisition (CALA) at MTSU, was joined by Brian Roberts, assistant director of CALA, and CALA Yoga teacher Rishi to discuss ongoing accelerated Spanish language classes and classical Indian yoga classes offered this fall.

CALA, the language training center of the MTSU Honors College, is hosting accelerated five-day accelerated Spanish classes this fall. These classes are open to any one in the community (ages 13 and up). Costs are discounted for MTSU faculty, staff, and students as well as for high school students and K-12 teachers/administrators.

CALA also is offer classical Indian yoga at MTSU this fall. These classes feature practices designed to activate your body, mind, and energy in a way that promotes holistic health and well-being. Learn more about the Spanish and yoga, including dates, location and costs.

• Dr. Mary Farone, MTSU biology professor and researcher, discussed how MTSU and Tennessee Technological University student and faculty researchers discovered two new species of bacteria found in a cooling tower and hot tub in Putnam County, Tennessee.

The discovery may provide clues to new pathways of disease and treatment, said the lead scientists, whose nearly 20-year research endeavor was published in the January 2016 edition of “Genome Announcements” and the February “International Journal of Systematic Microbiology.” Read more and see a video 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’ guest denounces tobacco suit ‘malpractice’

An historian who takes members of his own discipline to task for “historical malpractice” will be the guest on the next “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Louis Kyriakoudes

Louis Kyriakoudes

Host Gina Logue’s interview with historian Louis Kyriakoudes will air from 8 to 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 28, on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org ).

Kyriakoudes, the director of the Albert Gore Research Center, also is an expert in the history of the cigarette industry worldwide. He is one of only a handful of historians who have been called to testify on behalf of plaintiffs who sued the tobacco industry over the impact the product has on their health.

Using the industry’s own documents, Kyriakoudes has shown that tobacco manufacturers knew their product was addictive and hazardous to human health decades before the 1964 U.S. Surgeon General’s report that drew a direct connection between smoking and cancer.

Condemning what he calls “historical malpractice,” Kyriakoudes asserted that law firms representing the industry have practically told historians testifying for the industry what sort of evidence to provide for the trials.

“The tobacco industry’s efforts to buy expertise and to create a body of knowledge is a form of scientific denialism not unlike the climate change science denialism,” said Kyriakoudes, “but, because it deals with these legal issues of informed assumption of the risk, of knowledge, what people knew and when they knew it, it has a significant public policy and legal impact.”

This fall, Kyriakoudes will teach a class examining the history of the cigarette industry from pre-colonial times to the present day.

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

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

Sayward, Franklin to advise U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

Two MTSU educators have been appointed to the Tennessee Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

The Washington, D.C.-based federal commission announced MTSU’s Professor Amy Sayward of the Department of History and associate professor Sekou Franklin of the Department of Political Science and International Relations as members Aug. 3.

The commission is an independent bipartisan agency with the mission of informing “the development of national civil rights policy” and enhancing “enforcement of federal civil rights laws,” according to www.usccr.gov.

Dr. Sekou Franklin

Dr. Sekou Franklin

Dr. Amy Sayward

Dr. Amy Sayward

Sayward, who serves as her department’s interim director of general education, specializes in modern international history with a focus on the 20th century and modern United States history with a focus on the post-1945 era.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from St. Bonaventure University in 1991 and her master’s and doctoral degrees from The Ohio State University in 1993 and 1998, respectively.

Franklin’s areas of expertise are American politics and government, pressure groups and political parties, African-American politics, racial and ethnic politics, American and comparative social movements, citizen participation and urban politics.

US Comm on Civil Rights logoHe earned his bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara University in 1994, his master’s degree from San Francisco State University in 1996 and his doctoral degree from Howard University in 2001.

State advisory committees to the commission are responsible for reports and recommendations on state and local civil rights issues in their areas. These issues include but are not limited to justice, voting, discrimination, housing and education.

Members of state advisory committees serve four-year terms without financial compensation.

Sayward lives in Murfreesboro and Franklin lives in Nashville. Other members of the 16-member Tennessee Advisory Committee hail from Nashville, Cane Ridge, Madison, Mount Pleasant, Knoxville and Antioch.

For more information, contact Sayward at amy.sayward@mtsu.edu or Franklin at sekou.franklin@mtsu.edu or go to www.usccr.gov.

— Gina Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

MTSU professor wins 3rd top national award for gang violence research

For the third time in his career, an MTSU professor has won one of his profession’s highest honors.

Dr. Carter F. Smith, a lecturer in the Department of Criminal Justice, received the Frederick Milton Thrasher Award from the “Journal of Gang Research” Aug. 8 at the International Gang Specialist Training Conference in Chicago.

Dr. Carter Smith

Dr. Carter Smith

The Thrasher Award was established in 1992 “to honor and recognize superior scholarship, leadership, accomplishments and service contributions by individuals and by programs in dealing with public safety issues like that posed by gangs,” as stated on the award certificate.

While Smith has won the honor twice before, this is the first Thrasher Award to single out his “superior scholarship.”

Smith is retired from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigations Command, for which he served for more than 22 years, 15 of those at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. At Fort Campbell, he established the Army’s first gang and extremist investigations team.

MTSU WordmarkHe provided and directed the security of several U.S. Army bases, supervised multinational fraud and theft investigations and conducted various criminal and cybercrime investigations in Germany, South Korea, Panama and the U.S.

Smith’s areas of expertise include street gangs, military-trained gang members, gangs in the military, gangs in colleges and universities, organized crime, international and domestic terrorism and employment in the criminal justice professions.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from Austin Peay State University in 1999, his master’s degree from Southern Illinois University in 2002 and his doctoral degree from Northcentral University in Prescott Valley, Arizona, in 2010.

For more information, contact Smith at carter.smith@mtsu.edu or go to www.ngcrc.com.

— Gina Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

‘MTSU On the Record’ guest analyzes students’ psychology stereotypes

College students’ perceptions of the field of psychology and those perceptions’ impact on the profession were the topics of a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Dr. Thomas Brinthaupt

Dr. Thomas Brinthaupt

Click on the journal cover to read the MTSU-conducted study.

Click on the journal cover to read the MTSU-conducted study.

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Thomas Brinthaupt, a professor of psychology at MTSU, first aired Aug. 15 on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org ). You can listen to their conversation below.

Brinthaupt, joined by master’s degree candidates Jennifer Hurst and Quinn Johnson, conducted a study of stereotypes about psychology, questioning both psychology majors and college students who have chosen other majors.

The international journal “Psychology Learning and Teaching” published the study in its March 2016 edition; you can read it here.

“Most of the information that they did get about the beliefs or stereotypes came from their peers or their classmates or their friends, as opposed to their family members,” said Brinthaupt, who also serves as director of faculty development for MTSU’s Learning, Teaching and Innovative Technologies Center.

“Obviously, MTSU is really interested in student success, and there’s really not a lot of research on major choice and why people change majors. So I’m interested in that.”

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

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

https://youtu.be/H54EIn9KXas

MTSU’s Bullington appointed to 2016 TNCPE Board of Examiners

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Middle Tennessee State University business professor Kimball Bullington has been appointed to the 2016 Board of Examiners for the nonprofit Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence.

Each year, the TNCPE Award Program recognizes local, regional and statewide organizations that demonstrate excellence in business operations and results.

Dr. Kimball Bullington

Dr. Kimball Bullington

As a TNCPE examiner, Bullington is responsible for reviewing and evaluating organizations that apply for the TNCPE Award. Bullington is a professor in the Department of Management in the Jennings A. Jones College of Business at MTSU.

TNCPE logoAppointed by TNCPE’s Board of Directors, the Board of Examiners comprises experts from all sectors of the regional economy, including health care, service, nonprofit, manufacturing, education, and government.

All board members complete training in the Baldrige Excellence Framework, a nationally recognized framework for organizational improvement.

“Examiners take the skills and expertise developed during training and the assessment process back to their own jobs, benefiting and improving their own organizations and helping make Tennessee a better place to live and work,” TNCPE officials said in a release.

Each year, the TNCPE Board of Examiners contributes more than 10,000 hours of volunteer service to organizations across Tennessee. For more information, visit www.TNCPE.org.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

TBR approves Thomas as VP for business and finance at MTSU

The Tennessee Board of Regents has approved Alan R. Thomas as MTSU’s vice president for business and finance, President Sidney A. McPhee announced Tuesday, Aug. 9.

Thomas, who served in an interim role since January, succeeds John Cothern, who retired in December. Thomas, who first began work at MTSU in 1990, was associate vice president for business and finance before moving into the interim role.

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee

Alan Thomas for business and finance

Alan Thomas

“I’m pleased that Alan’s outstanding service to our University will continue in this permanent role,” McPhee said. “We have been well served throughout the years by his insights and expertise.”

Thomas is now responsible for the management of the university’s budget and financial planning; the Office of Business and Finance; Campus Planning; Facilities Services; Human Resource Services; University Police; and the Administrative and Business Services Department, which includes the MTSU Post Office, Phillips Bookstore, Vending, Procurement and Logistic Services, Contract Office, Distribution Services, and Receiving and Moving Services.

MTSU WordmarkHe also oversees other administrative offices, including Event Coordination; Production Services; Parking and Transportation Services; the Murphy Center Complex; the Tennessee Livestock Center; and the Tennessee Miller Coliseum.

Thomas is a 1987 graduate of MTSU with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting. He received his Master of Education in Administration and Supervision degree from MTSU in 1998.

“It is wonderful to continue my service to my alma mater in this new, permanent role,” Thomas said. “Our division has a true ‘can-do’ spirit and I’m honored to work with them.”

Thomas and his wife, Kandi, have lived in the Rutherford County or Murfreesboro area since 1990. They have one daughter, Briana, who is attending MTSU and is also a member of the MT Cheer team.

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

Professor discusses childbirth education on ‘MTSU On the Record’

The tactical tightrope that childbirth educators must walk when trying to help women through pregnancy and labor was the subject of a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Dr. Barbara Turnage

Dr. Barbara Turnage

Click on the cover to visit the magazine website.

Click on the cover above to read the magazine. The article begins on page 18.

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Barbara Turnage, a professor in the Department of Social Work, first aired Aug. 8 on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org ). You can listen to their conversation below.

Turnage, along with assistant professor Justin Bucchio and department chair Rebecca Smith, authored the article “Child-birthing Practices on a Global Level” for the April 2016 edition of the “International Journal of Childbirth Education.”

In the article, the professors pointed out the role of childbirth educators in assisting women in making birthing decisions and dealing with cultural and family issues that might affect the health of the mother and child.

“We want them to make the best choice based on this information they have,” Turnage notes during the WMOT interview. “But sometimes, even though the woman might want to go and get the medical services, they might not have the ability to make that decision. And you have to accept that.”

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

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

https://youtu.be/JNfYP-pgUt8

‘MTSU On the Record’ guest explores amending U.S. Constitution

In the aftermath of the national political parties’ conventions, the next “MTSU On the Record” radio program considered the possibility of a different kind of governmental gathering.

Host Gina Logue’s interview with John Vile, a political scientist and dean of the University Honors College, first aired Aug. 1 on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org). You can listen to their conversation below.

Dr. John Vile

Dr. John Vile

Conventional Wisdom cover-Vile

Vile is the author of “Conventional Wisdom: The Alternate Article V Mechanism for Proposing Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.”

The book examines the portion of the Constitution that allows the states to call a convention to consider amendments to the country’s bedrock legal document.

Under Article V, the states have an option to call a convention to endorse changes that can become part of the Constitution once they’re ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the states or by conventions in three-fourths of the states.

Vile said, however, that it’s still a matter of conjecture as to just what a national constitutional convention would look like and how it would be run.

“Many of the people who are most in favor of calling a convention believe that the states would be in complete control,” said Vile.

“I don’t believe that …. In my judgment, the convention itself probably would settle on most of the rules by which it would be governed.”

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

For more information, contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.

MTSU, Tennessee Tech researchers discover new bacteria [+VIDEO]

Middle Tennessee State University and Tennessee Technological University student and faculty researchers have discovered two new species of bacteria found in a cooling tower and hot tub in Putnam County, Tennessee.

And the discovery may provide clues to new pathways of disease and treatment, said the lead scientists, whose nearly 20-year research endeavor was published in the January 2016 edition of “Genome Announcements” and the February “International Journal of Systematic Microbiology.”

http://youtu.be/f6UH42rrc4I

Including nearly $1 million in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant funding, MTSU and Tennessee Tech researchers and students used a variety of microscopic and genomic techniques to describe these organisms, which have been named “Candidatus Berkiella aquae” and “Candidatus Berkiella cookevillensis.”

MTSU professor Mary Farone named them in honor of the city of Cookeville, where the cooling tower and hot tub were located, and for Dr. Sharon Berk, a Tennessee Tech researcher for 27 years, who is now an MTSU senior scientist writing grant proposals for research for the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

“We are hoping that the genetic assessments will lead to how it’s getting into the nucleus and maybe using that to figure out how to take things into a cancer cell that you want to target, that would be the ultimate good thing about it,” said Berk.

“The significance of this work is we’re finding new organisms in cooling towers and in constructed environments like hot tubs and showers, but primarily in cooling towers.”

Kelly Saine, left, and Alex Barr perform research related to the discovery of new bacteria in the MTSU Science Building in 2016. (File photo by Dr. Mary Farone)

Kelly Saine, left, and Alex Barr perform research in July in the MTSU Science Building related to the discovery of new bacteria. (File photo by Dr. Mary Farone)

Along with the Cookeville samples, researchers took samples from cooling towers primarily in Sparta, Tennessee, and Murfreesboro as well as in Texas and New Jersey.

Through the years, about 15 Tennessee Tech undergraduate and graduate students and more than a dozen MTSU grad and undergraduate students assisted with the research in on-campus laboratories and locations where bacteria samples were collected.

Bacteria "Candidatus Berkiella cookevillensis," shown in green, are packed inside the red nucleus of an amoeba in this enlarged photo. (Photo submitted)

Bacteria “Candidatus Berkiella cookevillensis,” shown in green, are packed inside the red nucleus of an amoeba in this enlarged photo. (Photo submitted)

Although pneumonia is the leading reason for adult hospitalization in the United States, a cause for pneumonia is detected in less than 40 percent of the cases, Farone said.

“Neither of the new bacteria are currently associated with respiratory disease as far as we know, but their small size, location in the nucleus and failure to grow by conventional laboratory methods may prevent their detection,” the professor  said. “However, their unusual movement into and replication to large numbers in the cell nucleus represents a novel bacterial cause of cell death.”

Although other bacteria have been shown to infect the nuclei of certain cells, the new bacteria reproduce to high numbers in the nucleus, killing host cells — including in one case, human cancer cells — in less than five days, she said.

“Amoebae are the organisms also responsible for transmission of bacteria that cause Legionnaires’ disease, a pneumonia illness first described in 1976,” Farone said.

“Although the bacteria responsible for Legionnaires’ disease do not infect the cell nucleus but divide in cytoplasm of human cells, genomic analysis shows these two newly described intranuclear bacteria share some of the same disease-causing genes with Legionnaires’ disease bacteria.”

Farone, Berk and the other lead researchers’ findings include outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease being reported in New York City and Flint, Michigan, in the past year and are typically associated with human-constructed water systems such as cooling towers.

Dr. Mary Farone, seated foreground, Dr. Sharon Berk and MTSU doctoral candidate Brock Arivett view a graphic image of the amoebae, which is part of their nearly 20-year study with Tennessee Tech researchers finding bacteria in a hot tub and cooling towers in Cookeville, Tennessee. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Dr. Mary Farone, seated foreground, Dr. Sharon Berk and MTSU doctoral candidate Brock Arivett view a graphic image of the amoebae, which is part of their nearly 20-year study with Tennessee Tech researchers finding bacteria in a hot tub and cooling towers in Cookeville, Tennessee. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Berk, who worked at Tech and MTSU, joined Drs. Mary and Anthony Farone and Anthony Newsome at MTSU and Tennessee Tech biology associate professor John Gunderson in playing vital roles in the study.

At MTSU, former grad student Yohannes Mehari and molecular bioscience doctoral candidate Brock Arivett have proven to be invaluable in the research experience, the study leaders said.

“Hopefully, this will be important for us to be able to determine the way to transport things into the nucleus for future studies,” Arivett said.

The project began with an ecological study of amoebae and bacteria in natural versus human-constructed environments.

The TTU Center for the Management, Utilization and Protection of Water Resources, also known as the Water Center, and MTSU provided support for the project along with many Cookeville and Murfreesboro businesses that agreed to provide water samples.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)