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‘MTSU On the Record’ ponders wisdom of NFL coaching changes

A professor will provide his view of turnover among head coaches in the National Football League on the next edition of the “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Michael Roach, assistant professor of economics, will air from 8 to 8:30 a.m. Sunday, May 31, on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org ).

Dr. Michael Roach

Dr. Michael Roach

After analyzing all NFL teams between 1995 and 2012, Roach concluded that, on average, teams fare even worse in the win column after changing head coaches.

Roach discovered that firing a head coach reduces the next season’s win total by eight-tenths of a win, the difference between the number of points scored by the team and the number of points scored against it by 27 points and the likelihood of making the playoffs by 12 percent.

“If you’re an organization, and you think that a change of coaching is going to change your on-field fortunes overnight, I think it’s useful to understand that that’s, on average, not the case,” Roach said.

Roach, who teaches sports economics at MTSU, published his research in the academic journal “Applied Economics Letters.”

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

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

WGNS features MTSU CUSTOMS, journalism camp, language institute

MTSU faculty and staff hit the airwaves recently to discuss new student orientation and recruitment, a new summer journalism camp and a language institute still open to the campus and wider community.

Listeners of WGNS radio heard details on these efforts during the May 18 “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 on the WGNS-FM Radio program "Action Line" on May 18. Guests included: Top, left to right, Gina Poff, Vincent Windrow and Wendi Pelfrey. Bottom left, from left to right, Brian Roberts and Dr. Shelley Thomas. Bottom right, Val Hoeppner (MTSU News photo by Jimmy Hart)

MTSU was featured on the WGNS-FM Radio program “Action Line” on May 18. Guests included: Top, left to right, Gina Poff, Vincent Windrow and Wendi Pelfrey. Bottom left, from left to right, Brian Roberts and Dr. Shelley Thomas. Bottom right, Val Hoeppner (MTSU News photo by Jimmy Hart)

• Wendi Pelfrey, interim director of undergraduate recruitment; Gina Poff, director of New Student and Family Programs; and Vincent Windrow, interim vice provost for Student Success discussed the CUSTOMS new student orientation program and recruiting efforts.

Pelfrey also provided details about a May 31 event in partnership with Olive Branch Church in which the church will host an event that targets high school juniors and seniors and connects them with MTSU staff to gather information and be able to ask questions about admission to MTSU.

• Val Hoeppner, director of MTSU’s Center for Innovation in Media in the College of Mass Communication, discussed the inaugural “Innovation J-Camp,” which will be held on campus July 13-17.

The weeklong workshop will guide students who’ve completed the ninth grade to become digital storytellers who can produce content for video, Web, mobile, social media and print audiences. Only a few spots remain, Hoeppner said. Read the full story here.

• Dr. Shelley Thomas, founder of the MTSU Summer Language Institute and a professor of foreign language, and Brian Roberts, assistant director of the Summer Language Institute, discuss this year’s Summer Language Institute.

MTSU again is offering the community a chance to quickly learn a foreign language this summer through its Center for Accelerated Language Acquisition. Registration is open for classes at this year’s institute, which includes various levels of Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Latin and Spanish — all taught in a fun, interactive atmosphere. Classes for Chinese begin in mid-May, with the majority of classes scheduled for June, with some also offered in July and August.

Classes are for residents age 13 and older. For a full schedule, to register and to view a video, go to http://www.mtsu.edu/cala and click on the “See Our Classes” button. 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.

Social media in classroom is focus of ‘MTSU On the Record’

The impact of social media use during classroom activities will be the topic on the next edition of the “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Dr. Stoney Brooks

Dr. Stoney Brooks

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Stoney Brooks, an associate professor of computer information systems, will air from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Sunday, May 24, on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org ).

Brooks’ report, “Does personal social media usage affect efficiency and well-being?”, was published in the Computers in Human Behavior academic journal.

He asked students from an unnamed university to watch a 15-minute video on a computer while leaving tabs open in their browser windows for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media sites.

Brooks found that many students logged onto the social media sites, apparently believing they could multitask sufficiently to understand the video while engaging in social media.

“Most of the students, just from my own observation, tried to do a really good job paying attention for the first minute or two,” said Brooks. “And, then, after that, the temptation of the computer in front of them really got to a lot of them.”

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at www.mtsunews.com/category/audio-clips/on-the-record/.

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

‘MTSU On the Record’ considers social effects of ‘morning-after pill’

The next edition of the “MTSU On the Record” radio program will look at the accessibility of emergency birth control.

Dr. Karen Mulligan

Dr. Karen Mulligan

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Karen Mulligan, an associate professor of economics, first aired May 18 on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org ). You can listen to their conversation here.

Mulligan’s study, published in the academic journal “Health Economics,” analyzed the impact of the Food and Drug Administration’s 2006 decision to make emergency birth control, sometimes referred to as the “morning-after pill,” accessible over the counter.

Using statistics from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and state health databases, Mulligan analyzed the impact of readily available morning-after pills on abortion rates and sexually transmittable diseases.

“Obviously, when I set out to do this, I was very agnostic,” said Mulligan. “I didn’t have any expectations … and the main finding is that, as a result of providing over-the-counter access to emergency birth control, the STD rates are increasing. And this is for all age groups. We don’t see any impact on abortion rates.”

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives here.

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

A video clip of the interview is available below.

https://youtu.be/vALE4zlSzho

New Jones College executive in residence brings ‘practical lessons’

Bringing a wealth of sales, management and training experience with him, John Boyens has been named executive in residence in the Jennings A. Jones College of Business at Middle Tennessee State University.

Boyens is co-founder and president of the Boyens Group, a Nashville-based sales and management training and consulting firm. His designation is effective immediately and will continue through the 2015-6 academic year, said Dr. David Urban, dean of the Jones College.

“John Boyens is a world-class sales productivity expert, business strategist, and entrepreneur,” Urban said. “He is in high demand as a speaker, facilitator, business consultant and coach.

“His concepts and methods lead to significant tangible results. He will provide our students with many important practical lessons about business success.”

John Boyens

John Boyens

Dr. David Urban

Dr. David Urban

Before co-founding the Boyens Group, Boyens spent 22 years in corporate America as a senior executive for several Fortune 1000 companies.

He led national sales, service and marketing organizations to consistently increase sales productivity, improve market share, accelerate revenue performance and deliver bottom-line profit results.

Boyens’ role at MTSU as executive in residence is to provide professional development presentations, curriculum advice and other input to enhance the educational programs in the Jones College.

During the 2014-15 academic year, Boyens has delivered several customized seminars to graduate business students in the Jones College that received excellent reviews, Urban noted.

WordmarkJonesCollege“I am honored to be associated with the Jones College of Business at MTSU,” Boyens said.

“The fact that over 18,000 of the 21,000-plus living alumni live and work in the Middle Tennessee area is a testament to the impact the Jones College of Business has had on the community and the area. They are truly preparing tomorrow’s business leaders today.”

Under Boyens’ direction, the Boyens Group has specialized in custom-designing all of its training, consulting or coaching programs based upon the unique needs of its customers, the markets that they serve and their budgets. He has addressed thousands of business and franchise executives as well as sales and marketing specialists.

Boyens has also interviewed and coached more than 30,000 salespeople, sales leaders and business executives from a variety of industries worldwide.

He has translated this experience into two books: “Real World Sales Strategies that Work” and “Creating a Productive Selling Zone” and also created 15 audio CDs, including “Techniques of World Class Sellers,” “Proven Prospecting Techniques” and “Outsmart Your Competition.”

Boyens is a graduate of North Central College in Illinois and is an active member of the National Speakers Association, the American Society for Training and Development, the International Speakers Network and Sales and Marketing Executives International.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

In this October 2014 file, John Boyens of The Boyens Group gives a professional development seminar for the Jennings A. Jones College of Business. Boyens has been named executive in residence at the Jones College. (MTSU file photo by Darby Campbell)

John Boyens of The Boyens Group gives a professional development seminar for the Jennings A. Jones College of Business in this October 2014 file photo. Boyens has been named executive in residence at the Jones College. (MTSU file photo by Darby Campbell)

MTSU professor’s paintings part of new City Hall Rotunda exhibit

MTSU sociology and anthropology professor William H. “Will” Leggett’s work is part of a new art exhibit on display through Friday, June 12, in the Rotunda Gallery of Murfreesboro’s City Hall, located at 111 W. Main St.

Dr. William H. “Will” Leggett

Dr. William H. “Will” Leggett

Leggett, a cultural anthropologist who focuses his academic expertise on globalization, colonization, economic anthropology and urban anthropology, is a 2013 Outstanding Teaching Award recipient from the MTSU Foundation and a member of the advisory board for MTSU’s Center for Popular Music and the university’s Institutional Review Board.

He’s also a gifted painter whose diverse art subjects include “cityscapes, portraits, and landscapes that are dynamic, colorful and constructed in a style that speak of interpretation of subject over feigned realism,” said Eric Snyder, chair of the Murfreesboro City Hall Art Committee and director of MTSU’s Todd Art Gallery.

MTSU anthropology professor Will Leggett's "Bass Man" is part of a new art exhibit at Murfreesboro City Hall's Rotunda Gallery through June 12.

MTSU anthropology professor Will Leggett’s “Bass Man” is part of a new art exhibit at Murfreesboro City Hall’s Rotunda Gallery through June 12.

Leggett is the author of “The Flexible Imagination: At Work in the Transnational Corporate Offices of Jakarta, Indonesia,” a behind-the-scenes ethnography examining the social interactions between individuals from different cultural and national backgrounds working together in some of Southeast Asia’s most notorious Fortune 500 corporations.

The professor currently is researching the changing demographics in Middle Tennessee, focusing on the challenges immigrants and refugees recently settled in Rutherford County face in maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Murfreesboro photographers Vicky Taub and Sally Wright also are part of the new City Hall exhibit.

Taub’s work focuses on wildlife and nature, while Wright says her photos are “…a rather eclectic collection of subjects.”

All exhibits at Murfreesboro City Hall’s Rotunda Gallery are open to the public at no charge. Exhibit hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. A free public reception for the artists also is planned Friday, May 8, from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

You can learn more about the exhibit at the Rotunda Gallery’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/RotundaArt.
— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

MTSU anthropology professor Will Leggett's "Fishy Griffin III," above, and "Bass Man," below, are part of a new art exhibit at Murfreesboro City Hall's Rotunda Gallery through June 12.

MTSU anthropology professor Will Leggett’s “Fishy Griffin III,” above, and “VI” below, are part of a new art exhibit at Murfreesboro City Hall’s Rotunda Gallery through June 12.

Leggett VI web

‘MTSU On the Record’ explores grief, healing after losing a child

A publishing house founded by former MTSU professors is giving a grieving mother a chance to share her journey with others.

Dr. Ron Messier

Dr. Ron Messier

Kristi Hay

Kristi Hay

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Kristi Hay and Ron Messier first aired May 4 on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org ). You can listen to their conversation here.

Hay, a registered nurse and childbirth educator, is the author of “Our World Turned Upside Down: Life after the Death of a Child.”

The book chronicles the death of her second son, Aidan, only four days after his birth, as well as the path of her family’s healing process.

Hay grief book cover web“I needed to find what I could do to heal physically, emotionally and spiritually in combination,” Hay said. “It was a very slow process, and one part of that might have a greater need than another at any given time.”

Messier, a professor emeritus of history and former director of the University Honors Program, is a co-founder of Twin Oaks Press, the publishing house that produced Hay’s book.

“Kristi’s book is the 10th book that Twin Oaks Press has published,” Messier said. “If you look at the list of the 10 books, you’ll see that there’s quite a variety of genres represented.”

In addition to Hay and Messier, Twin Oaks has produced books by former Honors Program director June Hall McCash, former Honors College Dean Philip Mathis, economics Professor Emeritus Reuben Kyle and former College of Liberal Arts Associate Dean Jan Leone.

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives here.

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

A video clip of the interview is available below.

https://youtu.be/oIIzymE3FLg

MTSU honors 4 of its finest staffers as ‘Employees of the Year’

Four of MTSU’s finest staff members celebrated their recognition as the “Employees of the Year” during a special ceremony and reception in the university’s James Union Building.

MTSU employees Ed DeBoer, left, Yvonne Dunaway, Pansey Carter and Jeremy Stanley pose with their engraved crystal awards after they were named Employees of the Year during the Employee Recognition Awards reception and ceremony April 22 at the James Union Building. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU employees Ed DeBoer, left, Yvonne Dunaway, Pansey Carter and Jeremy Stanley pose with their engraved crystal awards after they were named Employees of the Year during the Employee Recognition Awards reception and ceremony April 22 at the James Union Building. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

The 2014-15 winners are:

  • Administrative Employee of the Year Ed DeBoer.
  • Classified Employee of the Year Yvonne Dunaway.
  • Secretarial/Clerical Employee of the Year Pansey Carter.
  • Technical/Service Employee of the Year Jeremy Stanley.

DeBoer is an event coordinator in the university’s Event Coordination Department, and Dunaway is a lead custodian for MTSU’s Facilities Services. Carter is an executive aide in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and Stanley is a Help Desk technician in MTSU’s Information Technology Division.

The winners received engraved crystal awards and monetary gifts for their work excellence and commitment to making MTSU and its students successful. They were nominated by their fellow university employees during the 2014-15 academic year and chosen by the university’s Employee Recognition Committee.

For more information about MTSU’s Employee Recognition Programs, visit www.mtsu.edu/hrs/relations/recog.php.

— Gina Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

With Smithson’s retirement, Roach sisters’ reign at MTSU ends

More than 100 friends and well-wishers — from the MTSU campus and across the region— helped celebrate Betty Smithson’s final working day at the university.

On the eve of flying to California for a family visit, Smithson retired April 28 after nearly 50 years at the university.

During a celebration in her honor on Betty Smithson's final day of work at MTSU April 28, the administrative assistant to Vice President of Student Affairs Deb Sells admires a framed gift signed by friends and colleagues. (MTSU photos by Randy Weiler)

During a celebration in her honor on Betty Smithson’s final day of work at MTSU April 28, the administrative assistant to Vice President of Student Affairs Deb Sells admires a framed gift signed by friends and colleagues. (MTSU photos by Randy Weiler)

There were many hugs, lots of laughter and no tears as an era came to a close in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs in Keathley University Center.

Smithson is the last of the Roach sisters from Cannon County, Tennessee, to retire. She spent 49.5 years, retiring as an administrative assistant to VP Deb Sells and ending a combined 142 years of dedicated service by the sisters.

Eldest sister Martha Roach Turner, who started in 1958, retired after 45 years in what became the Career Development Center. Taking a sabbatical from the university in 1960, she referred her sister Frances Roach Rich as her replacement. Rich retired with 48 years of service, completing her tenure in the Office of the President.

Smithson considered all the memories a half-century of service holds.

“Working with students … involvement with them, and being able to help people” is how Smithson recalls her MTSU years, which began in 1965 just after graduating from Woodbury Central High School. “I enjoyed all MTSU football and basketball games. This has been a great thing for my family.”

Former Student Government Association presidents Shane McFarland and Toby Gilley, now respectively Murfreesboro’s mayor and General Sessions Court judge — value their friendship with her.

Former MTSU Student Government Association presidents Toby Gilley, left, and Shane McFarland attended the retirement party for Betty Smithson April 28 in Keathley University Center. Gilley serves as General Sessions Court judge in Murfreesboro, where McFarland is in his first term as mayor.

Former MTSU Student Government Association presidents Toby Gilley, left, and Shane McFarland attended the retirement party for Betty Smithson April 28 in Keathley University Center. Gilley serves as General Sessions Court judge in Murfreesboro, where McFarland is in his first term as mayor.

“Betty was my mom away from home,” said McFarland, SGA president in the 1994-95 academic year. “She was the go-to person if you needed advice or help. She was one of my fondest MTSU memories.”

“She was like a best friend and sister and mother, all rolled into one,” said Gilley, SGA president in 1992-93.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee said the university benefited from (the Roach sisters’) years of caring and loving people.

“The lives you all have impacted would be in the thousands,” he said.

As for Smithson, McPhee said: “Betty, you have been absolutely outstanding.” He added her “responsiveness and attentiveness” are tremendous traits, telling her family, friends and co-workers she always would have Sells return his calls almost immediately.

Sells called Smithson “a good friend. She taught me the Betty Smithson way to do things. … She made a huge impact on the SGA students and every student who ever entered the office.”

The president told Smithson that as she enjoyed her trip to California she should ”think about all the people you impacted. We are truly grateful — and you just can’t replace that.” He said her “responsiveness and attentiveness” were great traits.

As for leaving any unfinished work, Smithson said, “Not too much, actually. I’ve done a pretty good job knocking it out.”

As the clock trickled past 4:30, Smithson and a colleague collaborated on closing the book on her work and her time at MTSU. With wonderful parting gifts and memories, sunny California and retirement appears next on her agenda.

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

University President Sidney A. McPhee, left, and Vice President of Student Affairs Deb Sells, right, joined other friends and colleagues in celebrating the retirement of Betty Smithson after nearly 50 years of service to MTSU.

University President Sidney A. McPhee, left, and Vice President of Student Affairs Deb Sells, right, joined other friends and colleagues in celebrating the retirement of Betty Smithson after nearly 50 years of service to MTSU.

The Roach sisters of Woodbury, Tennessee — Martha Turner, left, Betty Smithson and Frances Rich — celebrate Smithson's 49-plus years of service to MTSU during a retirement gathering in her honor April 28 in Keathley University Center.

The Roach sisters of Woodbury, Tennessee — Martha Turner, left, Betty Smithson and Frances Rich — celebrate Smithson’s 49-plus years working at MTSU during a retirement gathering in her honor April 28 in Keathley University Center. They combined for 142 years of service at MTSU.

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.

http://youtu.be/cegkBZJqo3Y

MTSU Wordmark

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)