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Smithsonian’s Owsley returns to MTSU with ‘seriously amazing’ info

Ready for some “Seriously Amazing Moments in Smithsonian Bone Research”? Dr. Douglas Owsley is returning to MTSU with the latest news Tuesday, March 3, in a free public lecture.

Click on the poster to see a larger version.

Click on the poster to see a larger version.

Owsley, head of the Division of Physical Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History, will speak at 6:30 p.m. March 3 in the second-floor ballroom of MTSU’s Student Union.

The free public talk is part of the university’s renowned William M. Bass Legends in Forensic Science Lectureship, presented by MTSU’s Forensic Institute for Research and Education, or FIRE. A searchable campus map with parking details is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParking14-15.

Owsley, one of the world’s most recognized and consulted archaeologists and forensic anthropologists, regularly helps law enforcement agencies by examining remains in unsolved cases. The U.S. Department of Defense presented him with the Army Commander’s Award for Civilian Service for his help identifying 60 victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the Pentagon.

Dr. Douglas Owsley

Dr. Douglas Owsley

He’s worked on cases ranging from the deadly 1993 siege of the Branch Davidian complex near Waco, Texas, to identifying casualties of Operation Desert Storm and of colonial and Civil War soldiers.

He teamed with MTSU professor Hugh Berryman and nine other top U.S. researchers in 2005 and 2006 to examine ”Kennewick Man,” a nearly 9,000-year-old skeleton found near the Columbia River in Washington state.

Owsley also served as the Bass lecturer at MTSU in October 2007, when he spoke on forensic cases involving the Chesapeake region of the 17th century.

His new book, “Kennewick Man: The Scientific Investigation of an Ancient American Skeleton,” includes a chapter written by MTSU’s Berryman and will be available for purchase and signing after the lecture.

The Bass Lecture Series, named for renowned University of Tennessee forensic anthropologist Dr. William M. Bass, brings forensic science experts to the MTSU campus each fall and spring.

MTSU’s FIRE, established in 2006, also provides regular educational and training opportunities for law enforcement, medical examiners, coroners, attorneys, social workers, and other groups in forensic science and homeland security.

For more information on this lecture or other FIRE programs and events, contact the FIRE offices at 615-494-7713 or visit www.csimtsu.com.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

‘MTSU On the Record’ delves into mind of Edgar Allan Poe

One of America’s greatest writers was the subject of a recent edition of the “MTSU On the Record” radio program and a rescheduled symposium.

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Harry Lee Poe, an indirect descendant of Edgar Allan Poe, first aired Feb. 9 on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org ). You can listen to their conversation here.

Dr. Harry Lee Poe

Dr. Harry Lee Poe

Harry Lee Poe, the Charles Colson Professor of Faith and Culture at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, was scheduled to speak at “A SymPoesium on Place” Feb. 18 in the Simmons Amphitheatre of MTSU’s Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building.

University closures because of inclement weather forced the cancellation of the symposium, however. Organizers say the event will be rescheduled later this semester.

When it is conducted this spring, the symposium will be a daylong exploration of the role locations play in Edgar Allan Poe’s prose and poetry, aiming to delve deeper than his pop-culture image as the master of gruesome horror tales.

Click on the poster to see a printable version.

Click on the poster to see a printable version.

Experts will discuss the intellect and skill of the author of such staples of American literature as “The Cask of Amantillado,” “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Pit and the Pendulum” and “The Fall of the House of Usher,” as well as poems such as “To Lenore, “Annabel Lee” and “The Raven.”

A special exhibition of Edgar Allan Poe’s artifacts from Harry Lee Poe’s personal collection also will be displayed in the special collections area on the fourth floor of the James E. Walker Library the day of the symposium.

Dr. Poe also will speak at the library, and a reception will follow.

“What set Poe apart was the skill with which he told a story,” the scholar explained, “and, for Poe, if you’ll notice, the horror takes place offstage.

“In Poe’s stories, everything is understated, and what he does is collaborate with the reader’s imagination so that the reader has to fill in part of the terror and part of the horror.”

Harry Lee Poe was president of The Museum of Edgar Allan Poe in Richmond, Virginia. He is author of “Evermore: Edgar Allan Poe and the Mystery of the Universe.”

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.

Artists’ MTSU lectures celebrate creativity with disabilities (+VIDEOS)

Organizers of a lecture series welcoming three renowned artists to the MTSU campus this spring have announced a scheduling change for one of the guests.

Actor/author/teacher Estelle Condra had been scheduled to visit MTSU Feb. 20, will now perform a play and discuss creating live performances as an artist with a disability during her rescheduled Friday, March 6, lecture in the Keathley University Center Theater.

Bob Stagner

Bob Stagner

Estelle Condra

Estelle Condra

Guy Gilchrist

Guy Gilchrist

Condras’s free public lecture is set for 12:40 to 1:40 p.m. A searchable campus map of MTSU, complete with parking details, is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParking14-15.

Also visiting MTSU as part of a 40th Anniversary Lecture Series celebrating the accomplishments of creative people with disabilities is drummer Bob Stagner, who will share techniques for helping young people with disabilities or terminal illnesses via percussion during his Friday, Feb. 27, visit to the KUC Theater.

Stagner’s lecture also is open to the public and is scheduled for 12:40 to 1:40 p.m.

Guy Gilchrist, co-creator of “Muppet Babies” and cartoonist for the classic comic strip “Nancy” since 1995, discussed using the arts to address social issues during his Feb. 13 lecture in MTSU’s College of Education Building.

The trio’s visits are being presented by VSA Tennessee, the state organization on arts and disability that was established in 2001 on the MTSU campus.

VSA, an international organization on arts and disabilities, is observing its 40th anniversary in 2014-15. Founded in 1974 by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith and formerly known as Very Special Arts, VSA merged with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2011 to expand its services.

VSA Tennessee logo webGilchrist, a resident of Gallatin, Tennessee, took over the “Nancy” strip after the death of creator Ernie Bushmiller and immediately put his own stamp on it by incorporating the names of musical performers, athletic teams, universities and special events into background items, T-shirts and the like. He even included “MTSU Blue Raiders” on a T- shirt worn by the character “Aunt Fritzi” in October 2013.

Gilchrist, whose work is part of a permanent collection at the Smithsonian Institution, lectured on cartooning and taught audience member to create a cartoon during his MTSU visit. His credits also include drawing the “Jim Henson’s Muppets” comic strip as well as cartoons for “Looney Tunes,” “Bugs Bunny,” “Tom & Jerry,” “The Pink Panther” and “Fraggle Rock.”

You can watch a video of Gilchrist’s “Using Your Gifts” inspirational talk below.

http://youtu.be/0G-pWoBBzkw

Condra was among the first artists VSA Tennessee brought to visit MTSU and has returned to campus several times to share her work and lecture on the importance of the arts. A native of South Africa who now lives in Tennessee, she worked internationally in theater for many years until retinitis pigmentosa began taking her sight.

She then moved to solo performances as an artist-in-residence for organizations throughout the country, including the Nashville Institute for the Arts in conjunction with the Lincoln Center Institute for the Arts. During her Feb. 20 MTSU visit, Condra will present a 15-minute play, “The Luncheon,” and discuss her live performance techniques.

You can watch an excerpt of Condra’s performance in “Vibrations of Laughter” below.

http://youtu.be/6m0-O3FZL3c

Stagner, a Chattanooga native, has worked with artists ranging from Blueground Undergrass to Derek Bailey to the Rev. Howard Finster. He and Dennis Palmer co-founded the free improvisation duo the Shaking Ray Levis and the Shaking Ray Levi Society, an arts education organization that supports emerging artists in performance, art and film.

Stagner, who also works with The Rhythmic Arts Project, founded by drummer Eddie Tuduri, to present music workshops for people with physical and mental disabilities, will use his Feb. 27 MTSU visit to discuss how percussion can help young people.

You can watch a video of the Shaking Ray Levis performing with MTSU alumnus and fellow artist Wayne White below.

http://youtu.be/QNx3LGZi3BY

For more information about VSA Tennessee, visit its website at http://vsatn.org.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Actor Hill Harper urges students to create life blueprint (+VIDEO)

In a spirited presentation Wednesday night to a packed ballroom in MTSU’s Student Union, actor and author Hill Harper challenged attendees to map a course for their lives that speaks to their true passions and effects change in the world around them.

“We can build lives just like an architect builds a structure,” said Harper, best known for his roles in the television series “CSI: NY” and “Covert Affairs.” “And it starts with a blueprint or a plan. … Go home and write out a blueprint.”

Harper was keynote speaker for the event, a highlight of MTSU’s celebration of Black History Month. His appearance, which was free and open to the public, drew a standing room only crowd and featured a Q&A session at the end. A closed session with Harper for black males and a book signing were held just prior to the keynote address.

http://youtu.be/XT-i_lNh10s

Floating around the ballroom and recruiting a few students to assist with illustrating some of his points, Harper mixed in references to physics, historical figures, famous quotes and personal anecdotes in a high-energy presentation aimed at driving home a message of personal and collective change.

“Dr. (Martin Luther) King said that we are all tied together in the single bond of a mutual destiny,” he said. “Which means to me that no matter how well I’m doing out in Hollywood, if there’s a brother or sister in Murfreesboro not doing well, then I’m not doing well. Because my destiny is inextricably linked to yours.”

Witty throughout, Harper said his visit to Murfreesboro wasn’t his first, having traveled here years ago with director Spike Lee and a cast and crew for filming a scene of Lee’s 1996 movie “Get on the Bus,” a story about a bus trip by a group of black men to the historic Million Man March in Washington, D.C.

Back then, he recalled, it felt like there weren’t that many people living here. “But I drove here today, and I experienced worse traffic than I did in Los Angeles!” he said, drawing laughter from the crowd. “Things have changed in Murfreesboro.”

MTSU junior Darian Harlan (right) helps keynote speaker, actor Hill Harper, illustrate a point during Harper’s appearance Wednesday night in the MTSU Student Union Ballroom. The event was part of MTSU’s 2015 celebration of Black History Month. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU junior Darian Harlan (right) helps keynote speaker, actor Hill Harper, illustrate a point during Harper’s appearance Wednesday night in the MTSU Student Union Ballroom. The event was part of MTSU’s 2015 celebration of Black History Month. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

A cum laude graduate of Harvard University’s law school, Harper embraced acting as a member of Boston’s Black Folks Theater Company. Upon graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career.

During the Q&A portion, MTSU graduate student Darell Baptist asked Harper to talk about the keys to living a successful life and what motivated him to achieve his goals.

“At what point did you make the choice that you were going to be successful?” Baptist asked.

Harper said the mistake people often make is allowing others to define success for them. That can lead to overly cautious decisions that lead to unfulfilled lives, when people should instead be taking more risks, regardless of their age.

“Success is absolutely how you define it, so I knew I was going to be successful … no matter what,” he said. “We get into this world where we think success is about comparing … That’s not success. To me, success is living a life where I’m actually being true to myself, but also improving the condition of others around me.”

Jonell Hinsey

Jonell Hinsey

Harper is also the author of several New York Times bestsellers, including “Letters to a Young Brother,” “Letters to a Young Sister,” and “The Conversation: How Black Men and Women Can Build Loving, Trusting Relationships.” For both his writing and his acting, Harper has won seven NAACP Image Awards.

Harper is the founder of the Manifest Your Destiny Foundation, a nonprofit organization created “to provide underserved youth a path to empowerment and educational excellence through mentoring, academic enrichment programming, college access skills obtainment and the facilitation of psychosocial and physical development strategies,” according to www.mydf.org.

For six years, the foundation has sponsored the Summer Empowerment Academy, a free weeklong mentoring event for eighth-graders entering the ninth grade from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in Los Angeles.

“We were thrilled to have Mr. Harper on campus,” said Jonell Hinsey, director of MTSU’s Intercultural and Diversity Center and chair of the Black History Month Committee. “His message really inspired our students to think seriously about their passions and how they can impact the world now and for years to come.”

For more information, contact Hinsey at 615-898-5797 or jonell.hinsey@mtsu.edu.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

‘Still a lot of work to do’ to solve issues raised in Ferguson: panelists

A trio on the front line of America’s most vocal civil- and human-rights unrest in decades agreed Tuesday night at MTSU: Ferguson, Missouri, has forced the nation to face and talk about its freedoms.

Two journalists and a St. Louis city alderman discussed their experiences with a standing-room-only crowd inside the university’s Tucker Theatre at “From the Front Lines of Ferguson: Covering the New Civil Rights Movement,” a special Feb. 10 panel discussion presented by the John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies at MTSU.

St. Louis 21st Ward Alderman Antonio French, center, makes a point during a Feb. 10 discussion at MTSU, “From the Front Lines of Ferguson: Covering the New Civil Rights Movement." Listening are fellow panelists David Carson, left, St. Louis Post-Dispatch photojournalist, and USA Today reporter Yamiche Alcindor. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

St. Louis 21st Ward Alderman Antonio French, center, makes a point during a Feb. 10 discussion at MTSU, “From the Front Lines of Ferguson: Covering the New Civil Rights Movement.” Listening are fellow panelists David Carson, left, St. Louis Post-Dispatch photojournalist, and USA Today reporter Yamiche Alcindor. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

“It was a complete failure of government, a complete breakdown of government,” St. Louis 21st Ward Alderman Antonio French told the audience, speaking specifically of the November night after a grand jury decided not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the fatal Aug. 9 shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.

Authorities pulled police and fire protection out of parts of the community. Protestors set several buildings afire and destroyed them, including one on West Florissant Street housing the offices of Heal-STL, an organization French set up to house community outreach programs.

“It didn’t have to happen that way,” French said. “For us in St. Louis and in Missouri, this is actually delayed history. The conversations now in St. Louis were put off for a long time, and we still have a long way to go.

“Things have gotten better (since Ferguson), but … in some ways, some things have gotten worse — the divisions, the entrenchment of opinions. It’s pretty divided in St. Louis County right now. We still have a lot of work to do, and it’s going to start with conversations, but it has to result in actions. That’s what people really want to see: actions, and progress.”

Students in the audience, including many from the College of Mass Communication’s School of Journalism, questioned the militarization of local police after viewing St. Louis Post-Dispatch photojournalist David Carson’s photos and videos from the Ferguson streets and inside police armored vehicles.

Others expressed their fears that the crises witnessed by the world — first after Brown was shot and when the local grand jury chose not to indict the officer — would soon be passed over for the next big story. Several in the audience were in tears as they watched videos from days and nights in Ferguson projected on a large screen behind the guests.

Protestors shout "hands up, don't shoot" as they confront police officers arriving to break up a crowd on Canfield Drive in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 9, 2014, after a police officer shot unarmed youth Michael Brown. Photo © David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Protestors shout “hands up, don’t shoot” as they confront police officers arriving to break up a crowd on Canfield Drive in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 9, 2014, after a police officer shot unarmed youth Michael Brown. (Photo © David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

“Ferguson didn’t really have those weapons, those vehicles; they came from St. Louis (County),” Carson clarified, pointing to one of his most widely circulated photos: a helmeted officer using a tear-gas launcher on a Ferguson street.

“But they had snipers on top of those vehicles, pointing at peaceful protestors, at children,” French noted. “That only escalated the problem.”

USA Today reporter Yamiche Alcindor, who also covered the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Connecticut and the George Zimmerman murder trial in Sanford, Florida, said she hoped the risks she and others faced in covering Ferguson would ultimately be seen as useful.

She and Carson spoke of dodging bullets and tear gas with the crowds on the city’s streets. Protestors in Ferguson assaulted Carson, who had been embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and French was arrested for unlawful assembly while trying to help keep the peace in the neighborhood around the fatal shooting site.

“I don’t see Ferguson as this new civil rights movement,” said Alcindor, whose source network from the Zimmerman case helped her get exclusive interviews with Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden. “I think Ferguson may be starting a new medium. I think the conversation they’re having there (about civil and human rights) are conversations they’ve been having for generations.”

Antonio French

Antonio French

David Carson

David Carson

Yamiche Alcindor

Yamiche Alcindor

“I disagree a little bit,” Carson said, “because white America was not having these conversations. White America is now having these conversations about race. My family never talked about race, and the conversation is happening now.”

“I covered the Trayvon Martin case,” Alcindor replied, “and for two years I talked with people of all different colors that came to Sanford and we heard all these different stories (about race and civil rights) there. Maybe this influences some families.

“I’m not saying that Ferguson isn’t a huge thing for some people, a catalyst for speaking about it in your home, but I think people of all races started talking about it when Trayvon Martin was killed, and that includes white families.”

John Seigenthaler

John Seigenthaler

Pat Embry, director of the Seigenthaler Chair, reminded the audience that the late newspaperman fought for civil rights during his work as a Justice Department aide in the Kennedy administration. Seigenthaler was assaulted and nearly killed by white rioters while he tried to protect Freedom Riders arriving in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1961.

MTSU established the John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies in 1986 to honor the iconic journalist’s lifelong commitment to free expression, including freedom of the press, of speech, and to peaceably assemble.

“We asked John what he wanted the chair’s activities to be in the next few years, and he said, ‘I hope you’ll focus on civil rights and women’s rights,’” Embry recalled. “That’s why we’re all here tonight.”

The Seigenthaler Chair supports a variety of activities related to topics of concern for contemporary journalism, including distinguished visiting professors and visiting lecturers at MTSU, research, seminars, and hands-on training for student journalists.

Learn more about MTSU’s John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies at http://mtpress.mtsu.edu/seigenthaler.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

‘MTSU On the Record’ hits fast track with Black History Month scholar

A speedy trailblazer who outraced bigots and drove into history was the subject of a recent edition of the “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Dr. Derek Alderman

Dr. Derek Alderman

NASCAR Hall of Fame logo webHost Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Derek Alderman, head of the Department of Geography at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, first aired Feb. 2 on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org ). You can listen to their conversation here.

Alderman is an expert in African-Americans’ attempts to claim their history through cultural geography. He presented “The ‘Hard Driving’ of NASCAR’s Wendell Scott: The Politics of African-American Survivability and Counter-Mobility,” an MTSU Black History Month event, Feb. 10 in MTSU’s Cason-Kennedy Nursing Building.

Scott, who was the first African-American racer in stock car racing’s top division, was inducted Jan. 30 into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina, nearly 15 years after his death.

Wendell Scott

Wendell Scott

While he won only one race, Scott achieved 20 top five finishes and 147 top 10 finishes in his 13-year career. All the while, he endured racist indignities and attempts on his life and his loved ones’ lives during the Jim Crow era.

“Wendell Scott actually has an important thing to teach younger generations, particularly as we recognize that the black experience is still a matter of survivability,” said Alderman.

“If we look at what’s happened with Michael Brown, with Eric Garner, in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City, respectively, we see that Wendell Scott was talking about or, at least, living these issues.”

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.

Music pioneer Peer is lecture topic at Center for Popular Music

Music journalist Barry Mazor will focus on Ralph Peer’s pioneering role in bringing the recording, marketing and publishing of blues, jazz, country, gospel and Latin music to the world in a special Monday, Jan. 26, lecture at MTSU’s Center for Popular Music.

Click on the poster to see a larger, printable version.

Click on the poster to see a larger, printable version.

The free public discussion is set for 4:30 p.m. in Room 160 of the College of Education Building on the MTSU campus. A searchable campus map of MTSU, complete with parking details, is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParking14-15.

Mazor’s newest book, “Ralph Peer and the Making of Popular Roots Music,” is the first biography of the adventurous A&R man for Victor Records who discovered Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family at the famed “Bristol sessions” in East Tennessee in 1927.

Peer, who later founded the world’s largest independent music publishing firm known today as PeerMusic, also played a role in recording Mamie Smith’s “Crazy Blues,” which first popularized the blues in 1920.

new Center for Popular Music logo webHe helped bring Latin American music to the forefront during World War II and revolutionized popular music in the postwar era by pushing regional music to the nation and publishing million-sellers recorded by artists ranging from Bing Crosby to Buddy Holly.

Mazor, who also is the author of “Meeting Jimmie Rodgers: How America’s Original Roots Music Hero Changed the Pop Sounds of a Century,” is a longtime music, media and business journalist.

He has written for the Wall Street Journal and No Depression magazine, and his writing also has appeared in the Oxford American, The Washington Post, the Village Voice, Nashville Scene, American Songwriter and the Journal of Country Music.

American roots music is a specialty of MTSU’s Center for Popular Music, which was established in 1985 by the Tennessee Board of Regents as one of 16 Centers of Excellence across the TBR system. It’s devoted to the study and scholarship of popular music in America, and its staff maintains a unique archive of research materials that spans shaped-note songbooks to hip-hop mash-ups in a collection stretching from the early 18th century to the present.

The Center for Popular Music also develops and sponsors programs in American vernacular music and regularly presents special concerts, lectures and events for the campus community.

For more information on the Jan. 26 lecture at MTSU, email the Center for Popular Music at popular.music@mtsu.edu.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

WGNS showcases MTSU arts, business contest, student recruiting

MTSU students, faculty and staff took to the airwaves recently to discuss efforts to share student art with the public, jumpstart entrepreneurship in the area and help prospective students with financial aid as well as lure them to the MTSU campus.

Listeners of WGNS radio heard details on these efforts during the Dec. 15 “Action Line” program with veteran host Bart Walker.

MTSU guests on the Dec. 15 "Action Line" program on WGNS radio: At top, left to right, are Student Gallery Committee members Melody Tang, Erin Potter and Mika Mollenkopf; bottom left, Coby Sherlock, left, an assistant enrollment counselor at MT One Stop, and Nathan Haynes, assistant director of recruitment; and bottom right, Dr. Bill McDowell, professor and chair holder of the Wright Travel Chair in Entrepreneurship in the Jones College of Business. (MTSU photo)

MTSU guests on the Dec. 15 “Action Line” program on WGNS radio: At top, left to right, are Student Gallery Committee members Melody Tang, Erin Potter and Mika Mollenkopf; bottom left, Coby Sherlock, left, an assistant enrollment counselor at MT One Stop, and Nathan Haynes, assistant director of recruitment; and bottom right, Dr. Bill McDowell, professor and chair holder of the Wright Travel Chair in Entrepreneurship in the Jones College of Business. (MTSU photo)

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:

  • Student Gallery Committee members Mika Mollenkopf, Erin Potter and Melody Tang, who discussed their work on a new “Fall/Winter Exhibition” open weekdays through Friday, Jan. 2, at the Murfree Art Gallery, located in the Rutherford County Office Building just off the Murfreesboro Public Square. Members of MTSU’s Student Gallery Committee earned more professional experience in gallery curation, installation and display for this public exhibit. Read more about the exhibit here.
  • Dr. Bill McDowell, professor and chair holder of the Wright Travel Chair in Entrepreneurship in the Jones College of Business, who discussed the Entrepreneurship Business Plan Competition, open to all current MTSU students and alumni. The competition is designed to help students and alumni in launching new business ventures, including for-profit businesses, not-for-profit businesses, corporate entrepreneurship, and social enterprise. Learn more here.
  • Coby Sherlock, an assistant enrollment counselor at MT One Stop, and Nathan Haynes, assistant director of recruitment, who discussed upcoming financial aid and student recruiting events. Sherlock focused on College Goal Tennessee at MTSU, a January event to help prospective students fill out their required FAFSA forms to be eligible for financial aid. Haynes discussed upcoming recruitment-related events such as True Blue Experience Days, Honors College Open House and Preview Day. For more information about special tour events, visit 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 group explores possibility of ‘5th dimension’

Is the “fifth dimension” more than just a singing quintet?

The MTSU Science and Spirituality Group will explore that question in a presentation titled “Conscious, the Paranormal and Higher Dimensions” at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 23, at Unity of Murfreesboro, 130 S. Cannon Ave. in Murfreesboro.

Dr. Horace "Hap" Crater

Dr. Horace “Hap” Crater

Dr. Horace W. “Hap” Crater, a physics professor at the University of Tennessee Space Institute in Tullahoma, Tennessee, will be the guest speaker.

Crater will examine the possibility that the space-time continuum is not limited to the four dimensions accepted by physicists and cosmologists — length, width, height and time.

Crater proposes that a possible “fifth dimension” in the universe “might provide a physical way of allowing our personal consciousness to extend beyond the normal four dimensions,” said Dr. Gary Wulfsberg, MTSU chemistry professor emeritus.

“The existence of consciousness outside the normal four-dimensional physical universe cannot now be rejected out of hand as absolutely unverifiable by science,” Wulfsberg added.

Crater, who teaches several physics courses at UTSI, also conducts research on theoretical physics. He earned his bachelor’s degree from The College of William and Mary and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Yale University.

The Science and Spirituality Group grew out of conversations between MTSU professors about humanity’s place in the cosmos.

Since 2008, the group has brought accomplished speakers to campus to allow students, faculty and the public an opportunity to see both science and spirituality “as a valuable lens through which to explore perennial questions of human interest,” according to the group’s website at http://library.mtsu.edu/spirituality/aboutus.php.

For more information, contact Wulfsberg at gary.wulfsberg@mtsu.edu or Unity of Murfreesboro at 615-907-6033.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

MTSU welcomes music historian for ‘Hillbilly to Rockabilly’ lecture

Music producer, historian and educator Jerry Zolten will link artists like Uncle Dave Macon and Bill Monroe to musicians like Elvis Presley and his contemporaries in a special lecture, “From Hillbilly to Rockabilly: The Country Roots of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” Friday, Nov. 21, at MTSU’s Center for Popular Music.

Zolten poster webThe free public lecture is set from 11 a.m. to noon in the center’s reading room, located in Room 140 of MTSU’s Bragg Mass Communication Building.

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

Zolten, producer of the Grammy-winning Fairfield Four and author of “Great God A’Mighty! The Dixie Hummingbirds: Celebrating the Rise of Soul Gospel Music,” is an associate professor of communication arts and sciences and American studies at the Pennsylvania State University at Altoona.

Jerry Zolten

Jerry Zolten

Among his specialties is American roots music, which also is a specialty of MTSU’s Center for Popular Music.

The center, established in 1985 by the Tennessee Board of Regents as one of 16 Centers of Excellence across the TBR system, is devoted to the study and scholarship of popular music in America.

Its staff maintains a unique archive of research materials that spans shaped-note songbooks to hip-hop mash-ups in a collection stretching from the early 18th century to the present.

The Center for Popular Music also develops and sponsors programs in American vernacular music and regularly presents special concerts, lectures and events for the campus community.

Zolten’s Nov. 21 MTSU talk will include historic performance clips of artists such as Jimmie Rodgers, Macon and Monroe and show how they pointed the way to supercharged rockers such as Presley, Carl Perkins and the like.

Zolten also is set to present the lecture at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22, at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in downtown Nashville. That talk will be included in the $24.95 museum admission price.

For more information on the Nov. 21 lecture at MTSU, email the Center for Popular Music at popular.music@mtsu.edu.