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Terrence J. cancels Feb. 23 Black History Month appearance at MTSU

Terrence J., set as the featured speaker for MTSU’s 2017 Black History Month celebration, will not be able to visit the campus as planned.

Terrence J.

Terrence J.

The Black History Month Committee said the television personality, whose real name is Terrence Jenkins, is canceling his scheduled 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, address in the Student Union because of “an unavoidable scheduling conflict with a movie project that is currently filming on location.”

MTSU’s Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs is working with the MTSU Women’s History Month Committee to book a high-profile replacement speaker for Women’s History Month in March. More details are expected soon.

For more information, contact the Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs at 615-898-5812 or ida@mtsu.edu. You can find information on the remaining Black History Month activities at MTSU, along with an events calendar, at www.mtsunews.com/black-history-month-2017.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

‘MTSU On the Record’ examines U.S.-Russia relations in Trump era

With questions continuing to swirl around President Donald Trump’s attitude toward Russian President Vladimir Putin, the future of U.S.-Russia relations in the Trump administration is the focus of the next “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Dr. Andrei Korobkov

Dr. Andrei Korobkov

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Andrei Korobkov, a professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations, will air from 6 to 6:30 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 20, on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and www.wmot.org.

Korobkov’s latest commentary for www.russia-direct.org, an English-language website based in Russia, asserts that Trump seems to want to mimic the foreign policy approach Secretary of State Henry Kissinger took during President Richard Nixon’s administration.

WMOT-new web logo“(Trump) considers international relationships practically on power considerations … and there is not much place there for such things as ideology, moral issues and so on,” said Korobkov. “So he is very close to the Nixon-Kissinger line of the 1970s.”

Korobkov said the difference is that Nixon and Kissinger played up to China to put pressure on Russia, while Trump seems to play up to Russia to put pressure on China.

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.

Learn about eclipses as MTSU continues ‘Friday Star Parties’ Feb. 3

The MTSU Department of Physics and Astronomy resumes First Friday Star Parties for the spring 2017 semester this Friday, Feb. 3.

Dr. John Wallin

Dr. John Wallin

Dr. John Wallin kicks things off with “Darkness Fell Over the Land: Eclipses in Religion and History” at 6:30 p.m. Friday in Room 102 of the newly remodeled Wiser-Patten Science Hall.

The star parties are free and open to the public.  A searchable, printable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap, and parking will be free behind the Wiser-Patten Science building.

Wallin is a professor and director of the MTSU computational science doctoral program. To learn more about the program, visit www.mtsu.edu/programs/computational-science-phd.

Other star parties this semester include:

  • March 3 — “Solar Science,” led by professor JanaRuth Ford.
  • April 14 — “The 2017 Great American Eclipse at MTSU,” led by Dr. Chuck Higgins.
  • May 5 — “Funky Fizix in Film,” led by Dr. Eric Klumpe.

For more information, call 615-898-2130 or visit www.mtsu.edu/programs/astronomy and www.mtsu.edu/programs/physics.

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

MTSU astrophysicist John Wallin, shown here inside the university's observatory, will lead a discussion on “Darkness Fell Over the Land: Eclipses in Religion and History” starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, when MTSU launches the spring 2017 series of "First Friday Star Parties." (MTSU file photo)

MTSU astrophysicist John Wallin, shown here inside the university’s observatory, will lead a discussion on “Darkness Fell Over the Land: Eclipses in Religion and History” starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, when MTSU launches the spring 2017 series of “First Friday Star Parties.” (MTSU file photo)

Click on the poster to see a larger PDF version.

Click on the poster to see a larger PDF version.

Politifact chief to share ‘Pants on Fire’ election stories at free Feb. 2 talk

There are facts, and there apparently are “alternative facts,” and the founder of the Pulitzer Prize-winning informational website Politifact has plenty of both to share from the 2016 election during a free public event set Thursday, Feb. 2, at MTSU.

Click on the poster to see a larger PDF version.

Click on the poster to see a larger PDF version.

Bill Adair will discuss the future and relevance of fact-checking in “Pants on Fire: A Fact-Checker’s Tales from the 2016 Election” at 11:20 a.m. Feb. 2 in the Parliamentary Room, Room 201, of MTSU’s Student Union.

A searchable, printable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap. Off-campus visitors attending the lecture can obtain a special one-day permit at www.mtsu.edu/parking/visit.php.

The event is part of the Pulitzer Prize Series sponsored by the John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies and the College of Media and Entertainment at MTSU.

Adair started Politifact.com, a project operated by the Tampa Bay Times in conjunction with the Congressional Quarterly, in 2007 when he was Washington bureau chief for the Times. Since then, Politifact has expanded to state-focused projects with the Austin-American Statesman in Texas, Florida’s Miami Herald, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Providence (Rhode Island) Journal, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Richmond (Virginia) Times-Dispatch and The Oregonian.

The site investigates and rates the accuracy of claims of elected officials, political candidates “and others who speak up in American politics.” Politifact won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for its coverage of the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign.

In determining the award, the Pulitzer committee praised Politifact for “its fact-checking initiative during the 2008 presidential campaign that used probing reporters and the power of the World Wide Web to examine more than 750 political claims, separating rhetoric from truth to enlighten voters.”

Adair recently said that fact-checking organizations like Politifact and FactCheck.org still have record traffic and reached new levels of prominence during the 2016 presidential campaign. Unfortunately, he said, fact-checkers were slow to recognize the “onslaught of fake news,” and he predicts that 2017 will be “the year of the fact-checking bot.”

Adair, who also serves at Duke University as Knight Professor of the Practice of Journalism and Public Policy and the director of the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy, plans a similar talk in Nashville at 6 p.m. Feb. 2 at the John Seigenthaler Center, located at 1207 18th Ave. S. on the Vanderbilt University campus. His appearance there will launch the Seigenthaler Series, programs presented by the First Amendment Center of the Newseum Institute to explore emerging issues involving the media and America’s fundamental freedoms.Seigenthaler Chair new logo web

A reception will follow Adair’s Nashville talk at 7 p.m. Organizers of that event are encouraging visitors to RSVP at www.newseum.org/events-programs/rsvp3 because space is limited.

MTSU established the Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies in 1986 to honor the iconic journalist’s lifelong commitment to free expression. 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.

You can learn more about MTSU’s John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies at http://mtpress.mtsu.edu/firstamendment.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

VA health leader brings ‘Trusted Leadership’ talk to MTSU campus

Jennifer Vedral-Baron, Tennessee Valley Healthcare System director, spoke on “Trusted Leadership” Jan. 26, in the Simmons Amphitheatre, Room 106, of the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building at MTSU.

Honors College logo cropped

Jennifer Vedral-Baron

Jennifer Vedral-Baron

“This presentation is another example of director Vedral-Baron’s commitment to MTSU and our students,” said Dr. Hilary Miller, director of the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center, one of the co-sponsors along with the University Honors College and the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society.

“Since moving into her new position, the director has already attended a Graduating Veterans Stole Ceremony and been instrumental in providing academic and career opportunities to our students,” Miller added.

“The director’s leadership and military experience as well as her medical background should make the presentation appealing to many groups.”

The event was open to the public.

In 2016, Vedral-Baron retired as a captain after 30 years of active military service with the U.S. Navy. She most recently served as director of the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, where she was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal.

Daniels Veterans Center logo webDuring her service, she also received the the Legion of Merit Award three times, four Meritorious Service Medals, four Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals and five Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.

Vedral-Baron also holds the distinction of being the only U.S. Navy Hospital commanding officer to have led her teams to five Military Health System Patient Safety Awards.

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners selected her a fellow in 2011, and she also was recognized as a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. She maintains certification as an adult nurse practitioner.

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

As MTSU students and staff members listen, guest lecturer Jennifer Vedral-Baron discusses "Trusted Leadership" from her 30-year military career Jan. 26 in the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building's Simmons Amphitheatre. She is director of the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System. (MTSU photos by Eric Sutton)

As MTSU students and staff members listen, guest lecturer Jennifer Vedral-Baron discusses “Trusted Leadership” from her 30-year military career Jan. 26 in the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building’s Simmons Amphitheatre. She is director of the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System. (MTSU photos by Eric Sutton)

Jennifer Vedral-Baron, right, talks to a group of MTSU students following her "Trusted Leadership" talk Jan. 26 in the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building.

Jennifer Vedral-Baron, right, talks to a group of MTSU students following her “Trusted Leadership” talk Jan. 26 in the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building.

Tennessee Valley Healthcare Director Jennifer Vedral-Baron, top left, and event attendees listen as an MTSU student asks a question following her "Trusted Leadership" talk Jan. 26.

Tennessee Valley Healthcare Director Jennifer Vedral-Baron, top left, and event attendees listen as an MTSU student asks a question following her “Trusted Leadership” talk Jan. 26.

 

Grammy-winner Mattea gives guest lecture on music history [+VIDEO]

MTSU student and aspiring country music artist Hunter Wolkonowski of Winchester, Tennessee, knew that singer-songwriter Kathy Mattea was coming to give a guest lecture earlier this semester. But the real thing — which even included a few songs by the Grammy-winning country music artist — was still surreal.

“I’ve been a fan of country music since I was a young girl, and I’d come in the house and I’d hear my Nana playing records on the record machine, and she’d play Kathy Mattea,” said Wolkonowski, who’s majoring in recording industry management in the College of Media and Entertainment.

Grammy-winning country music artist Kathy Mattea makes a point during her guest lecture to MTSU professor Kris McCusker’s “American Music in the Modern Age” class inside Peck Hall in late November. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Grammy-winning country music artist Kathy Mattea makes a point during her guest lecture to MTSU professor Kris McCusker’s “American Music in the Modern Age” class inside Peck Hall in late November. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

“I’ve always looked up to (Mattea), so when I walked in, I couldn’t believe it was her. She was super nice, super grounded … I guess she is something I’d want to be when I grow up, because I’m wanting to be in country music.”

Wolkonowski was among the 20 or so students in MTSU professor Kris McCusker’s popular music studies class, “American Music in the Modern Age,” who were treated to more than an hour of insights and wisdom from the Nashville singer-songwriter earlier this semester.

McCusker, a professionally trained ethnomusicologist and historian, said her MTSU Department of History course looks at how historical events have shaped music, such as producing certain kinds of “sounds” and/or musicians.

“What we do is see the ways that history produces music, how music is the outcome of political, cultural and social changes at various points in the past,” she said.

Mattea’s visit stemmed from an interview she did with a graduate student last spring. McCusker assisted the student with the phone interview, which was done from MTSU’s Center for Popular Music in the Bragg Media and Entertainment Building, and an invitation was extended, which Mattea graciously accepted.

Dr. Greg Reish, director of the Center for Popular Music, assisted McCusker with the logistics to bring Mattea to campus.

“She’s a real educator at heart,” said McCusker, who noted that her class was studying music the 1980s and 90s, a period when Mattea was hitting it big on the country music charts. Mattea rose to prominence in the 1980s with hits such as “Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses,” “Goin’ Gone” and “Love at the Five and Dime.”

Mattea’s been nominated for multiple Grammys and other industry awards. She won the 1991 best country vocal performance Grammy for her classic “Where’ve You Been” and the 1994
best Southern, country or bluegrass gospel album for “Good News,” which includes the Christmas standard “Mary Did You Know?”

Here’s a short video of McCusker discussing the visit and a few clips of Mattea performing “Seeds” for the class:

Mattea shared with students how she got started in her music career and also discussed her social activism around issues such as HIV/AIDS and the environment. Mattea’s AIDS activism was sparked by friends who died from AIDS, but “nobody was talking about it,” McCusker said.

A native of West Virginia coal country, Mattea would later turn her attention to the environment.

Grammy-winning country music artist Kathy Mattea, top right, gives a guest lecture to MTSU professor Kris McCusker’s “American Music in the Modern Age” class inside Peck Hall in late November. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Grammy-winning country music artist Kathy Mattea, top right, gives a guest lecture to MTSU professor Kris McCusker’s “American Music in the Modern Age” class inside Peck Hall in late November. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Using McCusker’s class guitar, Mattea even performed a few songs, including Pat Alger and Ralph Murphy’s “Seeds,” which includes this verse:

“In the end, we’re all just seeds in God’s hands, we start the same, but where we land, it’s sometimes fertile soil, it’s sometimes sand, we’re all just seeds in God’s hands.”

In the wake of a bitterly divisive presidential election, Mattea discussed with students “the beginnings of the ways she started seeing music differently, from simply being an entertainment medium, to a medium that builds relationships among people, that crosses political barriers around certain environmental and social issues,” McCusker said.

Wolkonowski, who performs under the name “Hunter Girl a few times each week at various venues in Nashville, said she was inspired by Mattea’s socially conscious perspective.

“I really liked how she had the ability to write songs that pertain to what’s going on in the world right now,” she said.

“All of her songs have a story … she really puts social and economic things that are going on in our life today and puts them into words for people who can’t really speak up about things.”

McCusker said Mattea plans to return to MTSU in the spring to work with Reish in the Center for Popular Music.

For more information about the MTSU Department of History, visit www.mtsu.edu/history.

For more information about the Center for Popular Music, visit www.mtsu.edu/popmusic.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

Grammy-winning country music artist Kathy Mattea, center, is pictured with MTSU professor Kris McCusker (kneeling at right of Mattea) and students in McCusker’s “American Music in the Modern Age” class inside Peck Hall. Mattea gave a guest lecture to the class in late November. (Photo courtesy of Kris McCusker)

Grammy-winning country music artist Kathy Mattea, center, is pictured with MTSU professor Kris McCusker (kneeling at right of Mattea) and students in McCusker’s “American Music in the Modern Age” class inside Peck Hall. Mattea gave a guest lecture to the class in late November. (Photo courtesy of Kris McCusker)

Grammy-winning country music artist Kathy Mattea, right, takes a photo with MTSU students Hunter Wolkonowski, left, and Terri Harris following Mattea’s guest lecture to a music history class in late November. (Photo courtesy of Kris McCusker)

Grammy-winning country music artist Kathy Mattea, right, takes a photo with MTSU students Hunter Wolkonowski, left, and Terri Harris following Mattea’s guest lecture to a music history class in late November. (Photo courtesy of Kris McCusker)

MTSU on WGNS: The Founders, security boosts, consumer polls

MTSU faculty and staff took to WGNS Radio recently to share information about recent efforts to boost campus security, a spring break honors course to study the Founding Fathers, and a recap of recent results for our quarterly statewide consumer survey.

The details were shared during the Dec. 19 “Action Line” program with host Bart Walker. The live program was broadcast on FM 100.5, 101.9 and AM 1450 from the WGNS studio in downtown Murfreesboro. If you missed it, you can listen to a podcast of the show here.

Guests and their topics were as follows:

MTSU faculty and staff appeared Monday, Dec. 19, on WGNS Radio’s “Action Line” program. Pictured are, top left, University Police Chief Buddy Peaster; bottom left, Dr. Tim Graeff, director of the MTSU Office of Consumer Research; and Dr. John Vile, dean of University Honors College. (MTSU photo illustration by Jimmy Hart)

MTSU faculty and staff appeared Monday, Dec. 19, on WGNS Radio’s “Action Line” program. Pictured are, top left, University Police Chief Buddy Peaster; bottom left, Dr. Tim Graeff, director of the MTSU Office of Consumer Research; and Dr. John Vile, dean of University Honors College. (MTSU photo illustration by Jimmy Hart)

• MTSU Police Chief Buddy Peaster discussed recent campus security upgrades, including the creation of “active shooter” pocket guides and installation more surveillance cameras throughout campus.

The university has created and begun distributing an active shooter pocket guide while also increasing video surveillance and announcing plans to install emergency call stations around campus.

The multi-year camera project represents a $1.1 million investment that will allow police to better investigate incidents captured on video as well as better respond to situations in real time. Read more at www.mtsunews.com/active-shooter-guides-cameras.

• Dr. John Vile, dean of the University Honors College and well-respected Constitutional scholar, discussed his spring 2017 Constitutional course that includes a trip with students to Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Vile, a political scientist and native Virginian, will teach the spring 2017 course “Junior Interdisciplinary Seminar: The Constitutional and Political Legacy of America’s Founders.”

During spring break, March 4-11, the class will visit numerous locations in Virginia and the District of Columbia. You can learn more about his plan at www.mtsunews.com/vile-on-the-record-dec2015.

• Dr. Tim Graeff, director of the MTSU Office of Consumer Research in the Jones College of Business, discussed the latest Consumer Outlook Survey that shows more optimism this holiday season.

The Tennessee Consumer Outlook Index soared to 113 from 47 in September. The quarterly survey consists of a series of questions that measure areas such as how consumers feel about the local, state and national economies as well as their personal financial situations and the job market.

When asked about the possible effects of the recent presidential election on the economy, the majority of Tennessee consumers expect that Trump’s victory will have a positive effect on the future of the overall American economy.

Read more and see the full survey report at www.mtsunews.com/tenn-consumer-outlook-dec2016.

Students, faculty and staff who are interested in guesting on WGNS to promote their MTSU-related activities should contact Jimmy Hart, director of news and media relations, at 615-898-5131 or via email at jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu.

‘MTSU On the Record’ takes historic road trip to America’s origins

A deeper look at what motivated our Founding Fathers to build a new nation is ahead on the next “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Dr. John Vile

Dr. John Vile

WMOT-new web logoHost Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. John Vile, dean of MTSU’s University Honors College, aired from 6 to 6:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, on WMOT-FM/Roots Radio 89.5 and www.wmot.org. (Listen to the full interview below)

Vile, a political scientist and native Virginian, will teach the spring 2017 course “Junior Interdisciplinary Seminar: The Constitutional and Political Legacy of America’s Founders.”

During spring break, March 4-11, the class will visit numerous locations in Virginia and the District of Columbia.

The itinerary for the spring break trip includes:

  • Poplar Forest, President Thomas Jefferson’s private retreat in Forest, Virginia.
  • Monticello, Jefferson’s estate, and Ash Lawn, President James Monroe’s home, both in Charlottesville, Virginia.
  • Montpelier, President James Madison’s home, in Orange, Virginia.
  • St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia, where Patrick Henry delivered his famous “give me liberty or give me death” speech in 1775.
  • Several sites in Williamsburg, Virginia, including the College of William and Mary.
  • Mount Vernon, President George Washington’s home, in the Virginia community named for it.
  • Gunston Hall, the Lorton, Virginia, home of George Mason, a delegate to the first Constitutional Convention and the acknowledged “father of the Bill of Rights.”
  • The National Archives and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

“We’re primarily concentrating on the period from 1776 to roughly 1791, you know, some of the early presidents,” said Vile. “We are going to try to integrate some work related to women and African-Americans, who sometimes get overlooked in the period.”

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.

MTSU on WGNS: MTSU Arts, political polling and social work

MTSU faculty and staff took to WGNS Radio recently to share information about an upcoming theatrical production at Tucker Theatre, the future of political polling and growth in the field of social work.

The details were shared during the Nov. 21 “Action Line” program with host Bart Walker. The live program was broadcast on FM 100.5, 101.9 and AM 1450 from the WGNS studio in downtown Murfreesboro. If you missed it, you can listen to a podcast of the show here.

Guests and their topics included:WGNS new logo 2015_web crop

• Meredith Kerr, development director for the College of Liberal Arts, Justin Reed, production manager at Tucker Theatre, and theatre student Skylar Grieco, one of the performance directors, discussed the recent “Joys of the Season” showcase held Dec. 1 at Tucker Theatre.

Meredith Kerr

Meredith Kerr

MTSU Arts proudly presented “Joys of the Season,” a collection of holiday performances and artwork from the MTSU performing and fine arts departments that will entertain and delight people and children of all ages.

First held last year, the event is a showcase of music, art, theater and dance. Presenting sponsor for this production was Ascend Federal Credit Union and the media sponsor was WGNS Radio.

Learn more at www.mtsuarts.com.

• Drs. Ken Blake and Jason Reineke, director and associate director of the MTSU Poll, discussed the MTSU Poll and the future polling in the wake of the surprising presidential election.

Dr. Ken Blake

Dr. Ken Blake

Dr. Jason Reineke

Dr. Jason Reineke

For over a decade, the MTSU Poll has been providing independent, non-partisan, unbiased, scientifically valid public opinion data regarding major social, political, and ethical issues affecting Tennessee. The poll began in 1998 as a measure of public opinion in the 39 counties comprising Middle Tennessee and began measuring public opinion statewide in 2001.

The future of polling has been under intense scrutiny following the surprise election of Republican Donald Trump, in spite of the fact that many polls gave the edge to Democratic contender Hillary Clinton. In recent months, Trump frequently lambasted the polls as inaccurate and not reflective of his overall support. Many professional pollsters have been analyzing the results to find out what went wrong.

Learn more at http://mtsupoll.org.

• Dr. Angela Pharris, assistant professor in the Department of Social Work and coordinator of the Master of Social Work program, discussed the growth of MTSU’s social work program.

Dr. Angela Pharris

Dr. Angela Pharris

With 330 plus students enrolled, the MTSU Department of Social Work boasts the largest undergraduate program in Tennessee and continues to build an innovative master’s program that shares resources with Austin Peay State and Tennessee State universities.

Social Work is a growing profession with a 19 percent faster than average growth rate in the United States. Social workers help people solve and cope with problems in their everyday lives. One group of social workers, clinical social workers, also diagnose and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional issues.

Learn more at http://mtsu.edu/socialwork/index.php.

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.

Adams creates archive of Appalachian images at Baldwin Gallery

Award-winning environmental portrait photographer Shelby Lee Adams will create a special archive at Middle Tennessee State University of his works that explore rural Appalachian family life.

Adams, whose friendship with MTSU professor Tom Jimison led to the creation of the archive, will provide a significant portion of his photographic collection to the Baldwin Photographic Gallery in the university’s College of Media and Entertainment. A selection of Adams’ work can be found at a special exhibit in the Baldwin Gallery that opened Oct. 24 and will run through Jan. 19.

Tom Jimison

Tom Jimison

Shelby Lee Adams

Shelby Lee Adams

Adams will discuss the gift during his appearance on the MTSU campus at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, for a lecture on his career and works.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held in Room 221 of the Ned McWherter Learning Resources Center, located at 1558 Military Memorial.

The Eastern Kentucky native will allow MTSU to keep part of the proceeds from sales of prints of his compelling portfolio of powerful images created from more than four decades of visiting, photographing and collaborating with families in Appalachia.

“An artist of the magnitude of Shelby Lee Adams will raise the stature of the Baldwin Gallery and raise the consciousness of students and scholars looking to understand the conditions and quality of life in Appalachia,” said MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee.

“The Cock Fighter” is among Shelby Lee Adams’ portfolio of powerful images created from more than four decades of visiting, photographing and collaborating with families in Appalachia. (Courtesy of Shelby Lee Adams)

“The Cock Fighter” is among Shelby Lee Adams’ portfolio of powerful images created from more than four decades of visiting, photographing and collaborating with families in Appalachia. (Courtesy of Shelby Lee Adams)

“We are honored that Mr. Adams has entrusted our university to ensure the legacy of his work and allow it to educate and inform our students and our communities.”

Adams met Jimison in 1980, when Jimison asked the photographer to exhibit his work at the University of Dayton, where Jimison was teaching.

“It was my first one-person exhibition,” Adams recalled. “We became fast friends and we have continued our relationship.”

It also made sense for MTSU to house the archive, Adams said, because of the “proximity of MTSU to the people in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky I have photographed and the fact the people I have photographed will receive a portion of the print sales.Baldwin Gallery logo web

“They will also be able to come to the archive and enjoy the photographs — and receive digital photocopies of my work.”

The gallery, located on the second floor of the Bragg Media and Entertainment Building, is free and open to the public. Check baldwinphotogallery.com for hours.

A Kirkus review of a book of Adams’ 1993 work, “Appalachian Portraits,” described his photographs as “frank, unsentimental but often affectionate.” His photographs, the review said, show the effects of poverty but also “a resilience and grace….

“These black-and-white photographs of families gathered on the porches or in the crowded rooms of their hardscrabble, venerable homes show a remarkable crispness of detail.”

Adams, 66, graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1974 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, then earned a master’s degree in photography from the University of Iowa in 1975 and a Master of Fine Arts from the Massachusetts College of the Arts in 1989.

He was one of seven photographers selected in 1978 by the National Endowment for the Arts to collectively make images in Kentucky for a publication, “Appalachia: A Self-Portrait.” He received an NEA fellowship in 1992.

In 1989, Adams was selected for the Massachusetts Artist Fellowship Program and from 1989 to 1992 earned artist support grants from Polaroid Corp. He received the Guggenheim Photography Fellowship in 2010.

Adams said his perspective was shaped by growing up in Appalachia during President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty” program.

“Many of the media representations of the people of the mountains of Eastern Kentucky were disappointing or embarrassing,” he said. “I decided then to dedicate my life to photographing the people of the mountains in a way that was both honest and accepted by the subjects.”

MTSU will offer a special limited-edition print of the photograph “The Brothers Praying” (1993) for sale to initiate the archive’s funding. The negative will be permanently retired after this printing of 12 images.

Dr. Harold Baldwin, an MTSU mass communication professor emeritus, displays one of the masterpieces in the university gallery collection that bears his name. The Ansel Adams print of "Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico," now has a new home inside the Bragg Mass Communication Building on campus. (MTSU file photo by J. Intintoli)

Dr. Harold Baldwin, an MTSU professor emeritus. (MTSU file photo by J. Intintoli)

The Baldwin Gallery, part of the Department of Electronic Media Communication, is named for Professor Emeritus Harold Baldwin, who established MTSU’s photography program in 1959 and established the gallery five years later to expose the university community to work by leading photographers. Jimison has curated the gallery since 1991.

The gallery, renamed in 1996 to honor Baldwin, grew from a hallway in the MTSU Ned McWherter Learning Resource Center to a 1,300-square-foot facility in 2014 with museum-quality lighting in the Bragg building, thanks to a $100,000 gift from Baldwin to enhance the facility.

For off-campus visitors interested in the Adams lecture and/or visiting the gallery, a searchable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap. Those visiting the Baldwin Gallery during normal business hours should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation at www.mtsu.edu/parking/visit.php.

The College of Media and Entertainment, first established as a department in 1972, then elevated to school and then college status by 1989, has focused on preparing students to perform every facet of communicating news and information within their specialties: journalism, electronic media and the recording industry.

For more information about the college, visit www.mtsu.edu/media.

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

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