MTSU ‘Cyber Summit’ offers free expert advice for online operations

Organizers of MTSU’s 2015 Middle Tennessee Cyber Summit, set Tuesday, May 5, want to help public and private-sector operations protect their operations from online attackers.

Click on the graphic above for more information about the 2015 Middle Tennessee Cyber Summit at MTSU.

Click on the graphic above for more information about the 2015 Middle Tennessee Cyber Summit at MTSU.

The theme of the summit, presented by MTSU’s Forensic Institute for Research and Education, is “Safeguarding Identities and Emerging Threats.” The 8 a.m.-5 p.m. event in the second-floor ballroom of MTSU’s Student Union is open to the public at no charge.

Attendees can register and check in at 7:30 a.m. May 5 in the Student Union ballroom. A searchable campus map of MTSU, complete with parking details, is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParking14-15.

Organizers say this year’s Cyber Summit should be of particular interest to information technology professionals in federal, state and local government agencies, along with K-12 and higher education, financial services, utilities, business and law enforcement agencies.

The summit will feature discussions on preventing and/or alleviating cyberthreats to critical infrastructure, “phishing” schemes, risk management and the facts of security on cloud-based storage.

Speakers will include representatives from:

  • the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  • the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cyber Incident Analysis Division.
  • digital forensics company Stroz Friedberg.
  • the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
  • Presidio security management company.
  • the nonprofit Center for Internet Security.
  • the Nashville-headquartered financial, staffing and technology services firm LBMC.

Attendees who want to earn Continuing Education Unit or Continuing Professional Education credits for the summit may do so by paying a $10 processing fee.

To register for the summit or get more information, please visit www.csimtsu.com or contact FIRE at 615-898-2221 or fire@mtsu.edu.

Along with MTSU’s FIRE, Presidio, LBMC, Stroz Friedberg and Vaco Risk Solutions are the sponsors for the 2015 Middle Tennessee Cyber Summit.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Griffey Sr. hits it out of the park as conference closes (+VIDEO)

Middle Tennessee State University rolled the tarpaulin over the infield April 3 and said goodbye to the Baseball Literature and Culture Conference.

Ken Griffey Sr., right, signs a copy of his book, “Big Red: Baseball, Fatherhood and My Life in the Big Red Machine,” for Brian Steverson of Knoxville, Tennessee, at the Baseball Literature and Culture Conference at MTSU April 3. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Ken Griffey Sr., right, signs a copy of his book, “Big Red: Baseball, Fatherhood and My Life in the Big Red Machine,” for Brian Steverson of Knoxville, Tennessee, at the Baseball Literature and Culture Conference at MTSU April 3. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

The gathering of baseball aficionados and scholars will be hosted next year by Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas, about 100 miles from Kansas City, Missouri.

“Strategically, it makes some sense,” said Andrew Hazucha, a professor of English at Ottawa University, who will be coordinating the conference next year.

In addition to the presence of the Kansas City Royals major league team about 100 miles up the road, Hazucha said, “the Negro Baseball Hall of Fame is in Kansas City. In Lawrence, Kansas, 20 miles from Ottawa, Bill James, the statistician lives. You have Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas, where Jim Thorpe attended school.”

“We’ve done it for 10 years,” added Warren Tormey, a professor of English at MTSU and co-coordinator of the conference with fellow English professor Ron Kates. “We’ve had a great run. The time is right to pass it on to a new set of organizers.”

The conference was located in Terre Haute, Indiana, from 1996 to 2005 and at MTSU from 2006 to 2015.

During MTSU’s tenure as the host campus, the conference welcomed an all-star lineup of former major leaguers, including Bill “Spaceman” Lee, Mudcat Grant, Denny McLain, Tommy John, Ferguson Jenkins, Willie Wilson and Jim Bouton.

Batting last in the lineup for MTSU was luncheon speaker Ken Griffey Sr., whose tenure with “The Big Red Machine” of the 1970s netted him World Series championship rings in 1975 and 1976 and trips to the All-Star Game in 1976, 1977 and 1980.

Griffey book cover webGriffey Sr., the father of 13-time All-Star Ken Griffey Jr., now is a roving instructor for the Reds as well as the author of a new book, “Big Red: Baseball, Fatherhood, and My Life in the Big Red Machine.”

He said he tells young up-and-coming players that persistence is the key to a successful major league career.

“They think they have to hit 50 home runs, drive in 150,” said Griffey. “Instead of that, just be steady — steady and consistent, and they’ll find out they’ll be up there a lot longer.”

Griffey Sr. criticized modern changes in the game, such as the experimental 20-second pitch clock and the option for managers to call for an instant replay ruling on an umpire’s call by throwing a flag onto the field.

“When you have a manager who has to have a flag in his back pocket, that’s crazy,” Griffey said.

As new MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred considers reinstating former Reds player and manager Pete Rose to baseball, Griffey Sr. defended his former teammate.

Commissioner Bart Giamatti banned Rose from the sport in 1989 amid reports he gambled on baseball. Griffey said the all-time career hits leader should be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

“I played with Pete for six years, and he was probably more of a teammate than anybody I’ve played with, ever,” Griffey said. “People don’t know that about Pete. All they see is his hard-nosed tactics out on the field.”

You can watch an excerpt from Griffey’s talk below.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)


Investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson plans April 7 MTSU discussion

Award-winning investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson will discuss governmental intimidation of journalists, network news’ increasing reliance on pop-culture “reporting” over investigative news and more when she visits MTSU Tuesday, April 7.

Sharyl Attkisson

Sharyl Attkisson

The former CBS News and CNN reporter will offer a free public address beginning at 6 p.m. April 7 in MTSU’s Tucker Theatre inside the Boutwell Dramatic Arts Auditorium. She also will talk with several journalism classes during her MTSU stop.

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

Attkisson has been nominated for and won multiple Emmy Awards for her investigative journalism, including wins for stories on the American Red Cross and the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.

A former Capitol Hill correspondent and anchor for CBS News, Attkisson also has won the Radio Television Digital News Association’s Edward R. Murrow Award twice as part of a CBS News team and individually for her 2012 reporting on the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’ “Fast and Furious” weapons controversy.

Attkisson Stonewalled cover webAttkisson left CBS in spring 2014 and later released her book, “Stonewalled: One Reporter’s Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation and Harassment in Obama’s Washington,” accusing the network of running advertorials and allowing biased coverage of the Obama administration.

Her MTSU talk will include discussions of governmental intimidation and pushback towards journalists, blurred lines between traditional news and pop-culture websites and lessening network news commitment to investigative hard news.

Longtime Nashville CBS affiliate anchor Chris Clark, who now teaches at MTSU, will moderate the event and will lead a question-and-answer session.

Attkisson’s visit is sponsored by the university’s Distinguished Lecture Committee, College of Mass Communication, School of Journalism, Department of Electronic Media, the John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies, the American Democracy Project and the College of Behavioral Health and Sciences and College of Liberal Arts.

You can learn more about Attkisson at her website, http://sharylattkisson.com.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Georgia Tech researcher plans April 3 ‘Golden Goggles’ lecture

For the 19th annual MTSU Department of Chemistry Golden Goggles Award lecture, event organizers have invited one of Georgia Tech’s top researchers to serve as the keynote speaker.

Dr. Christopher “Chris” Jones, associate vice president for research, will be speaking at 6 p.m. Friday, April 3, in Science Building Room 1003. It is free and open to the public.

For parking and building location information, a printable campus map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParking14-15.

Chris Jones

Dr. Chris Jones

The “Golden Goggles” lecture has become one of the MTSU Department of Chemistry’s highlight events. Well-known speakers, usually from higher education, share timely topics; past speakers have discussed therapeutic cloning, herbal remedies and green chemistry.

“We invited him to share his great knowledge on green chemistry and technology development for CO2 (carbon dioxide) separation and conversion,” said Dr. Keying Ding, an assistant chemistry professor.

“Green chemistry and technology represent the fundamental building blocks of sustainability. The scientific and technological breakthroughs in green chemistry and technology will be not only crucial to the global economy, but also have a great impact on the environment, such as consuming less energy for chemical production, limiting pollutants emissions and reducing waste disposal.”

Jones, 41, a Detroit, Michigan-area native, said he is “honored and pleased to have the opportunity to meet students, faculty and staff at MTSU and discuss our shared interest in chemistry.”

“Chemistry is the ‘central science,’ touching all aspects of daily life, and any opportunity to share my passion for chemistry with others is always rewarding,” he added.

Chris Jones, associate vice president for research at Georgia Tech, conducts research in the laboratory. Jones will speak at MTSU Friday, April 3, at the 19th annual Golden Goggles Award lecture. (Georgia Tech file photo by Rob Felt)

Dr. Chris Jones, associate vice president for research at Georgia Tech, conducts research in the laboratory. Jones will speak at MTSU Friday, April 3, at the 19th annual Golden Goggles Award lecture. (Georgia Tech file photo by Rob Felt)

Jones, who serves as the New-Vision Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Tech, will speak on the carbon dioxide-related research he and the Jones Research Group have been conducting.

“In my opinion, the most important problem of the current era is the energy/climate problem associated with all the carbon dioxide human activity has produced in the last 100 to 150 years, which is altering the global climate,” he said of his planned talk.

“My research talk will frame this problem for students, faculty and staff unfamiliar with the details of it, as well as how my own research is aimed at making large-scale carbon dioxide capture feasible,” he added.

Jones directs a research program focused mainly on catalysis and carbon dioxide separation, sequestration and utilization. Among many honors, he received the Ipatieff Prize from the American Chemical Society in 2013 for his work on palladium catalyzed Heck and Suzuki coupling reactions.

His efforts have brought in more than $46 million in sponsored research in the past 15 years. In his vice presidential role at Georgia Tech, he directs campuswide research administrations with a focus on interdisciplinary research efforts and policy related to research institutes, centers and research core facilities.

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

Lisa Ling at MTSU: Journalism means telling untold stories (+VIDEO)

For Lisa Ling, journalism is all about telling the stories that aren’t being told.

The executive producer and host of CNN’s “This is Life with Lisa Ling” made that clear in her keynote address at MTSU’s Women’s and Gender Studies Conference Thursday, March 26.


Ling related a number of anecdotes about the stories she has covered in a career that first took her abroad when she was 22 years old.

Lisa Ling delivers the keynote address for MTSU’s biennial Women’s and Gender Studies Conference March 26 in the Student Union Ballroom. (MTSU Photo by J. Intintoli)

Lisa Ling delivers the keynote address for MTSU’s biennial Women’s and Gender Studies Conference March 26 in the Student Union Ballroom. (MTSU Photo by J. Intintoli)

Since her initial overseas assignment — covering women’s dress code enforcement in Iran — her work has also taken her to North Korea and to China.

Ling said the ability to travel, which was not financially possible when she was younger, “opened my eyes in a profound way.”

She recalled speaking to Iranian women who expressed a yearning for greater freedom in their homeland, noting that she now believes “Iran will have freedom in my lifetime.”

Ling also discussed the consequences for females of China’s “one-child policy” of population control. The result has been the abandonment of thousands of female babies, she said, in favor of keeping male children.

In North Korea, which she visited with a Nepalese surgeon, Ling said she encountered 24-hour surveillance and the removal of her crew’s technical devices. She described the citizens’ devotion to President Kim Jung-un as “robotic.”

NWHM 2015 poster webWhile visiting countries where children are allowed to stay with their mothers in prison, Ling said she found that female prisoners are less prone to violence in those institutions. The experience prompted her to look at how other countries do things with a less American-centric viewpoint.

“How often do we seek information about our world?” Ling asked the audience.

Ling also cited her reporting on sex trafficking in America as an example of how the media present teenaged girls who become caught up in the trade as the perpetrators.

Observing that the girls’ pimps take every cent they make, Ling said the practice should be considered slavery.

“If you don’t call that slavery, I don’t know what you call it,” said Ling, who advised the audience to spend a day in juvenile court to see the tragedies unfold.

In the first season of “This is Life,” Ling tackled a wide range of subjects, including visiting a sperm bank to create genius babies, the hazards of dating a “sugar daddy,” the world of traveling strippers and the gay rodeo circuit.

Ling’s experience includes co-hosting ABC’s “The View” and hosting “National Geographic Explorer” on the National Geographic Channel and “Our America with Lisa Ling” on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Holocaust scholar explains anti-Semitism links March 31 at MTSU

As the world marks the 70th year since the liberation of the Third Reich’s victims from Nazi death camps, Middle Tennessee State University will pause to examine a part of that tragic history on Tuesday, March 31.

Dr. Dagmar Herzog will discuss “Nazi Anti-Semitism and the Christian Churches” in the 2015 MTSU Holocaust Commemoration Presentation at 4 p.m. March 31 in Room 100 of the James Union Building.

Her talk is free and open to the public.

Dr. Dagmar Herzog

Dr. Dagmar Herzog

Herzog is a distinguished professor of history and Daniel Rose Faculty Scholar at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her books include “Sexuality and German Fascism” and “Sex after Fascism: Memory and Morality in Twentieth-Century Germany.”

In 2012, Herzog won a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship for her work in intellectual and cultural history.

Dr. David A. Meola, visiting assistant professor of history at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, will introduce Herzog.

“Her works are must-reads, not only for their content but for the intellectual vigor with which she pursues each topic,” said Meola.

“Her present work on post-Holocaust anti-Semitism and the psychiatry of trauma is a novel way to see the struggles of Holocaust survivors within the postwar political environment and the rise of a new anti-Semitism in Europe.”

This event is sponsored by the Holocaust Studies Program, the Jewish and Holocaust Studies Minor and the College of Liberal Arts.

For more information, contact Dr. Elyce Helford, a professor of English and director of Jewish and Holocaust Studies, at 615-898-5961 or elyce.helford@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Media theorist Douglas Rushkoff plans free April 6 talk at MTSU

Media theorist Douglas Rushkoff will tackle the pervasiveness of social media in our culture — for good and bad — Monday, April 6, at a free public lecture at MTSU.

Douglas Rushkoff

Douglas Rushkoff

The 7 p.m. lecture, titled “Don’t Sell Your Friends: How Social Media Became Social Programming,” is planned for Room 221 of MTSU’s McWherter Learning Resources Center. A searchable campus map with parking details is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParking14-15.

Rushkoff book cover webRushkoff is the author of “Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now” as well as a dozen other bestselling books on media, technology and culture. He’s known for coining terms and concepts including “viral media,” “digital native” and “social currency” and is a professor of media theory and digital economics at City University of New York, Queens College.

In both his books and lectures, Rushkoff frequently explores the themes of how to make media interactive and how to help people — especially children— effectively analyze and question the media they consume.

Rushkoff earned his doctorate in new media and digital culture from Utrecht University with a dissertation on “Monopoly Moneys: The Media Environment of Corporatism and the Player’s Way Out.” He received his undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Princeton University and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in directing from California Institute of the Arts.

His credentials also include a postgraduate fellowship from The American Film Institute, a Fulbright award to lecture on narrative in New Zealand and a Director’s Grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Rushkoff’s visit is sponsored by the MTSU Distinguished Lecture Fund, the John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies at MTSU, the Tom T. Hall Writers Series, MTSU’s College of Mass Communication and College of Liberal Arts, and the Department of Electronic Media Communication at MTSU.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Jazz great Werner plans free MTSU Windham Lecture March 26

Internationally renowned jazz pianist and composer Kenny Werner will bring his artistic vision and advice to MTSU Thursday, March 26, as part of the university’s 24th annual Windham Lecture in Liberal Arts.

Kenny Werner

Kenny Werner

The free public event is set for 8 p.m. in Hinton Hall inside MTSU’s Wright Music Building. A searchable campus map with parking details is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParking14-15.

Werner, who was part of MTSU’s 2004 Jazz Festival, recently returned to his alma mater, Boston’s Berklee College of Music, to serve as artistic director of its Performance Wellness Institute.

Windham Lecture logo webHis 2014 CD release, “Coalition,” will be followed later this year by two new albums: a reunion of the Kenny Werner Trio with bassist Johannes Weidenmueller and drummer Ari Hoenig, and a duo CD with Brazilian singer/composer/guitarist Joyce Moreno.

The Brooklyn, New York, native began playing and performing as a child, first studying classical piano but quickly absorbing and playing anything he heard on the radio. At age 11, he recorded a single with a 15-piece orchestra and appeared on television playing stride piano. Enrolling at Berklee in 1970, his teacher, Madame Chaloff, encouraged his focus on music “conscious of its spiritual intent and essence.”

He then studied in Brazil with pianist Joao Assis Brasil, who provided another piece of the puzzle for Werner’s work that would lead to “Effortless Mastery: Liberating the Master Musician Within,” his 1996 book on distilling the emotional, spiritual and psychological aspects of an artist’s life. The text on music and improvisation remains widely read today and is required reading at many universities.

Werner has performed with and composed for many trios and other small group configurations in his career, but after he joined the Mel Lewis Orchestra — now the Village Vanguard Orchestra — in the mid-1980s as a pianist, he began composing and arranging for large ensembles such as jazz orchestras and full orchestras as well as wind ensembles, choirs and string quartets.

Jazz pianist and composer Kenny Werner is bringing his artistic vision and advice to MTSU March 26 for the 24th annual Windham Lecture in Liberal Arts. The free public event begins at 8 p.m. in Hinton Hall inside MTSU's Wright Music Building.

Jazz pianist and composer Kenny Werner is bringing his artistic vision and advice to MTSU March 26 for the 24th annual Windham Lecture in Liberal Arts. The free public event begins at 8 p.m. in Hinton Hall inside MTSU’s Wright Music Building.

In addition to performing with jazz greats Charles Mingus, Archie Shepp, Rufus Reid, Jaki Byard, Mel Lewis, Bobby McFerrin and Marian McPartland, Werner continues his longtime collaborations with saxophonist Joe Lovano and harmonica player Toots Thielemans. He’s also served as pianist, arranger and musical director for Broadway legend Betty Buckley for more than two decades.

His 2004 MTSU performance received high praise from a reviewer at the Nashville Scene, who said the trio “ventured far beyond anything that local audiences have seen in years.”

In 2010, Werner received a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship Award for his seminal work, “No Beginning No End,” an album released after his daughter’s death in a 2006 car accident.

The release featured performances by 70 musicians and had been commissioned before the tragedy, but Werner, with the help of his wife, Lorraine, was able to expand and refine the works into a collection called “a rare masterpiece” by AllAboutJazz.com.

Werner currently serves as an artist-in-residence at New York University and regularly teaches and presents musical clinics worldwide. You can learn more about him at his website, www.kennywerner.com, and watch a video of the Kenny Werner Trio from a performance at New York City’s historic Blue Note jazz club below.


MTSU’s Windham Lecture Series in Liberal Arts was established by William and Westy Windham through the MTSU Foundation.

Dr. William Windham was a member of the MTSU faculty from 1955 to 1989 and was chairman of the Department of History. His first wife, the late Westy Windham, earned a master’s degree in sociology at MTSU and was the founder of the Great American Singalong. Since Westy Windham’s death, Windham and his current wife, Doris, have continued their sponsorship of the lecture series.

The inaugural Windham Lecture in 1990 featured Drs. Dan T. Carter of Emory University and Dewey W. Grantham of Vanderbilt University, who spoke on “The South and the Second Reconstruction.” Since then, the Windham Lectures have addressed topics spanning from American music to U.S. foreign policy and have included such speakers as musician Bela Fleck, filmmaker Rory Kennedy and retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

The March 26 lecture is sponsored by the MTSU College of Liberal Arts. For more information, please contact the College of Liberal Arts at 615-494-7628.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Playwright brings award-winning ‘No Child …’ to MTSU March 26

Actress and playwright Nilaja Sun is bringing her Obie Award-winning solo show “No Child …” to MTSU’s Student Union Ballroom Thursday, March 26, for a free public performance.

Nilaja Sun

Nilaja Sun

The teaching artist, a native New Yorker, will begin her performance at 7 p.m. March 26. You can find a searchable campus map with parking details at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParking14-15.

Sun created “No Child …” in 2004 via a commission from the Epic Theatre Ensemble, where she was the first artistic associate.

Her one-woman play is based on her experiences as a teaching artist in the New York City school system, and in it she depicts students, educators, parents and staffers struggling to learn and guide others in a troubled public school system.

Her multilayered presentation depicts a young artist’s attempts to teach a class of young high-schoolers about “Our Country’s Good,” the 1988 Timberlake Wertenbaker play about the real-life 18th century officer who put on a performance of a 1706 comedy with a group of Australian convicts. Both “Our Country’s Good” and Sun’s play focus on the ways theater can lift up unsettled people and communities.

You can watch an excerpt from “No Child …” that includes Sun’s comments on her work below.


Sun won the 2007 Off-Broadway, or Obie, Theater Award for her performance in “No Child …” as well as 16 other theater awards and the Best One-Person Show at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen.

Along with her solo show, Sun’s theater credits include “Einstein’s Gift,” “Pieces of the Throne” and “Time and the Conways.” She has also been seen on “Louie,” “30 Rock,” “Law and Order: SVU,” as Detective Gloria Hubbard in the film “The International” and on AMC’s “Rubicon.”

MTSU’s Virginia Peck Trust Fund, the Department of Speech and Theatre and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program are presenting Sun’s performance. For more information, contact Dr. Claudia Barnett at claudia.barnett@mtsu.edu.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Miki Agrawal highlights second MTSU Nonprofit & Social Innovation Week

Social entrepreneur and author Miki Agrawal will visit MTSU Monday, March 23, to encourage students and the campus community to do cool things and create their best lives by starting their own businesses.

Named by Forbes magazine as one of 2013’s “Top 20 Millennials on a Mission,” Agrawal will speak from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday in the Student Union Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public. For parking, a printable campus map can be found at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParking14-15.

Dr. Leigh Anne Clark

Dr. Leigh Anne Clark

Click the image to see a larger version of this flier.

Click the image to see a larger version of this flier.

Agrawal’s appearance is part of the second annual MTSU Nonprofit & Social Innovation Week.

Last year’s inaugural event featured a one-day summit that drew a cross-disciplinary mix of almost 140 student participants, said Dr. Leigh Anne Clark, associate professor of management in the Jennings A. Jones College of Business.

This year’s week of events concludes Friday, March 27, with a half-day student summit featuring guest presenters and a volunteer/internship fair, both events at the James Union Building.

Miki Agrawal

Miki Agrawal

“We realized that a lot of students were interested in doing something with purpose in their careers, and this was throughout the colleges at the university,” Clark said of the genesis of the event.

“So we wanted to do an event with all students … and provide them with skills, tools and networking opportunities to help them get into the careers they wanted to get into or help them create their own opportunities.”

A New York City native, Agrawal is author of the book “Do Cool Sh*t,” which shares insights from her journey of leaving a traditional job that she hated to founding the popular farm-to-table pizza restaurant, WILD — formerly known as SLICE — in New York and branching into other socially conscious businesses that spoke to her personal passions and purpose. The book features a foreword by Tony Hsieh, the founder of online retailer Zappos.

Clark said Agrawal’s book, which at one point hit No. 1 on Amazon’s bestseller list,  “had a lot of practical business knowledge, written in a way that we thought would appeal to college students.” As a Millennial herself, Agrawal relates to a younger generation of students who “want flexibility, and what they do spend their time working on, they want it to matter,” Clark added.

In a guest column for the website Inc.com, Agrawal explained how to find your passion and turn it into a career:

So how did I go from being a miserable 100-hour-per-week investment banker who was overworked and unfulfilled to a happy social entrepreneur and author? I asked myself two questions: What am I really good at? What can I be passionate about for a really long time?

Once you can answer this, you should be willing to fight through the crazy ups and downs and the years (yes, years) of potential struggle in business and life. Because you’ll be waking up with a sense of purpose daily. When you find that sense of purpose, the pain of the process all becomes worthwhile.

Here’s a video by Agrawal on her YouTube channel where she shares her perspective on life.


In addition to Agrawal’s visit, the week’s events include a Wednesday, March 25, event where students can volunteer with the CEO Club assisting Greenhouse Ministries.

WordmarkJonesCollegeThe week concludes Friday, March 27, with the MTSU Nonprofit & Social Innovation Student Summit from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the James Union Building.

Guest speakers will conduct sessions on: funding; social innovation; career-focused volunteering; passion to purpose; beyond ordinary marketing; cool people care; and new nonprofits.

Social entrepreneur and author Miki Agrawal holds a copy of her bestselling book "Do Cool Sh*t" in this promotional photo. Agrawal will speak at MTSU Monday, March 23, as part of the second annual Nonprofit and Social Innovation Week. (Courtesy of mikiagrawal.com)

Social entrepreneur and author Miki Agrawal holds a copy of her bestselling book “Do Cool Sh*t” in this promotional photo. Agrawal will speak at MTSU Monday, March 23, as part of the second annual Nonprofit and Social Innovation Week. (Courtesy of mikiagrawal.com)

As part of Friday’s activities, a Nonprofit Volunteer/Internship Fair will be held from noon to 1:15 p.m. in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building.

The sessions are free and open to students, and while registration isn’t required, students are encouraged to register at http://MTSUStudentSummit.eventzilla.net so that organizers have an idea of how many students plan to attend.

The week of events is being hosted by the Departments of Management and Marketing and Business Communication and Entrepreneurship in the Jones College of Business and the Department of Communication Studies and Organizational Communication in the College of Liberal Arts.

Agrawal’s visit is made possible with support from MTSU’s Distinguished Lecture Fund, Jones College of Business, the College of Liberal Arts and the Jennings and Rebecca Jones Foundation.

For more information about the lineup of events, contact Dr. Leigh Anne Clark at la.clark@mtsu.edu.

For more information about Agrawal, visit www.mikiagrawal.com.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)