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MTSU on WGNS: Lifelong Learning, migrant exhibit, women’s expo

MTSU faculty and staff took to the radio recently to discuss an upcoming series of classes open to the community, an ongoing exhibit about Midstate migrants and an upcoming showcase targeting women entrepreneurs.

The details were shared during the April 18 “Action Line” program with host Scott Walker. The live program was broadcast on FM 100.5, 101.9 and AM 1450 from the WGNS studio in downtown Murfreesboro. If you missed it, you can listen to a podcast of the show here.

Guests included:

MTSU guests for the April 18 WGNS "Action Line" program are, top left, from left, students Joy Rogers, Dalton Cantrell, Mia Kozul, Sam Hulsey and Global Stuies professor Dr. Antonia Vasquez; at right, Connie Huddleston, College of Liberal Arts; bottom right, from left, small business owners Latoya Bennett, Shalonda Brown and Meichelle Gibson. (MTSU photo illustration)

MTSU guests for the April 18 WGNS “Action Line” program are, top left, from left, students Joy Rogers, Dalton Cantrell, Mia Kozul, Sam Hulsey and Global Stuies professor Dr. Antonia Vasquez; at right, Connie Huddleston, College of Liberal Arts; bottom right, from left, small business owners Latoya Bennett, Shalonda Brown and Meichelle Gibson. (MTSU photo illustration)

• Connie Huddleston, coordinator for the College of Liberal Arts, discussed the College of Liberal Arts’ Lifelong Learning Program that starts up again in May.

The homework-free, exam-free classroom experience for older learners is slated for four Mondays — May 2, 9, 16 and 23 — in the Ingram Building, located at 2269 Middle Tennessee Blvd. in Murfreesboro.

Classes in “The Civil War” will take place from 9 to 10:30 a.m. “The History of American Sports” is slated for 10:45 a.m. to noon. “The Philosophy of Happiness” is scheduled for 12:15 to 1:45 p.m.

Learn more here.

• Dr. Antonio Vasquez, professor in the Global Studies and Cultural Geography program, and MTSU student Sam Hulsey, exhibit co-coordinator, along with students Mia Kozul, Dalton Cantrell and Joy Rogers.

The student-led “Migration with Dignity in Middle Tennessee” multimedia exhibit will be open through April 27 at the Heritage Center of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County, 225 W. College St. in downtown Murfreesboro.

Free and open to the public, the exhibit includes 17 individual testimonies of migrants and their families from different countries of origin who now all call Tennessee their home. Several pieces of student artwork from MTSU professor Sisavanh Houghton’s painting class, as well as video excerpts, are included in the exhibit.

Learn more here.

• Shalonda Brown, owner of The Couture Experience by Shalon (TCES); Latoya Bennett, owner of Ellie Colour wardrobe stylist firm; and Meichelle Gibson, co-owner of Gibson Consulting and Entertainment Group (GCEG), discuss the upcoming “Couture Experience Women in Business Showcase,” a free expo for women.

The showcase will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 30, at the MT Center in the Sam H. Ingram Building on Middle Tennessee Boulevard. The event is part of MTSU’s celebration of National Women’s History Month and is being co-sponsored by the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students at MTSU.

The Couture Experience is designed to highlight women who are new in business that focus on health, wellness, beauty and fashion. This free half-day power-packed, informative, interactive expo features foods, products, services and strategies for the new/aspiring business owner.

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.

Telescopes are Alumni Spring Weekend Star Party topic

A special MTSU Alumni Spring Weekend Star Party will feature professor John Wallin discussing “Buying and Using a Telescope” starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 22.

The final Department of Physics and Astronomy Star Party of the 2015-16 academic year will take place in Room 1006 of the Science Building, 440 Friendship St.

Professor John Wallin will discuss buying and using telescopes at the April 22 MTSU Star Party. (MTSU photo by Creative and Visual Services)

Professor John Wallin will discuss buying and using telescopes at the April 22 MTSU Star Party. (MTSU photo by Creative and Visual Services)

The public and campus community are invited. To find parking near the event site for the free event, visit http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

The department conducts star parties as an outreach to the public.

For more information, contact Drs. Eric Klumpe at 615-898-2483 or Eric.Klumpe@mtsu.edu or Chuck Higgins at 615-898-5946 or Chuck.Higgins@mtsu.edu.

The star party is just one of many alumni weekend events scheduled through Sunday, April 24. To learn more, visit www.mtalumni.com or call 615-898-2922.

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

MTSU library highlights British book jacket art at April 21 reception

Through the end of May, MTSU’s James E. Walker Library will pay tribute to the beauty of a subject seldom discussed today outside the walls of a publishing house.

Guest curator Kyle Stoneman, a lecturer in the Department of Art, will describe and explain the collection at a reception beginning at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 21, in the Special Collections Reading Room.

Waugh book exhibit webSitwell book exhibit webOrwell book exhibit web

A printable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

“All these books used to be very cheap and are now worth hundreds of dollars each,” Stoneman said.

The private collection includes book covers for the works of distinguished authors such as Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and T.S. Eliot.

“These were authors who had an interest in visual culture,” said Stoneman. “They were intimately connected with their own aesthetic.”

The artists who created the designs include Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, Rex Whistler and Cecil Beaton.

Kyle Stoneman

Kyle Stoneman

Walker LibraryMany were members of the so-called “Bloomsbury Group,” a loosely knit, influential collection of avant-garde authors and artists who grew up between World War I and World War II. Stoneman said their works had a modernist, whimsical quality.

“In many cases, they haven’t been realized as works of art,” Stoneman said. “Now people are starting to realize how wonderful they are.”

“Lightly Worn” is open for free public viewing from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The April 21 discussion also is free and open to the public.

Off-campus visitors viewing the exhibit should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation at www.mtsu.edu/parking/visit.php.

For more information, contact Stoneman at 615-898-2455 or kyle.stoneman@mtsu.edu or Special Collections in the James E. Walker Library at 615-904-8503..

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Investigator set to discuss ‘medical serial killers’ at MTSU April 19

His topic is nightmare fodder, but investigator Bruce Sackman hopes that creating greater awareness of potential serial killers lurking in health care facilities will help prevent more injuries and deaths.

Bruce Sackman

Bruce Sackman

Sackman, the spring 2016 guest of MTSU’s William M. Bass Legends in Forensic Science Lectureship series, will speak Tuesday, April 19, at 6:30 p.m. in the university’s Student Union Ballroom.

His free public talk, “When the Intensive Care Unit Becomes a Crime Scene: Serial Killers in Health Care,” is being presented by MTSU’s Forensic Institute for Research and Education, or FIRE. A searchable, printable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

Sackman spent more than three decades in federal service, including more than 10 years as special agent in charge of the criminal investigation division at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Inspector General. In that role, he led fraud and official misconduct investigations covering 295 veterans facilities and more than 50,000 employees across the northeastern corner of the country, as well as supervising homicide investigations involving medical serial killers throughout the United States.

Click on the poster for more lecture details.

Click on the poster for more lecture details.

He has worked since his 2005 retirement as a private investigator in New York specializing in health care fraud. Sackman has lectured across America on medical serial killers, speaking to forensic scientists, criminal investigators and VA medical centers as well as university audiences, and his investigations have been featured on CNN, “America’s Most Wanted,” the Discovery Channel’s “Medical Fraud Investigators,” and HBO.

According to Sackman, 317 confirmed deaths and 2,113 suspicious deaths have been associated with 54 convicted health care providers since 1970.

One of those providers, a German nurse, was jailed for life in 2015 for killing two patients with lethal injections of heart medication and is now suspected in at least 24 more patient deaths. The man told investigators that he injected more than 90 patients with the drug so he could save their lives and appear heroic to his colleagues.

Other “medical serial killers” in the United States include Charles Cullen of New Jersey, who confessed in 2003 to killing 40 patients during his 16-year nursing career and whom authorities fear may have killed more than 300, and Kimberly Saenz of Texas, who was convicted of the 2008 deaths of five dialysis patients after injecting bleach into their dialysis lines.

The Bass Lecture Series, named for internationally 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’ guest dissects serial murders in health care

The possibility of murderers lurking in hospital halls and nursing homes was the topic of a recent “MTSU On the Record.”

Bruce Sackman

Bruce Sackman

Host Gina Logue’s interview with private investigator Bruce Sackman first aired April 4 on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org ). You can listen to their conversation below.

Sackman will deliver the spring address in the William M. Bass Legends in Forensic Science Lectureship series, “Serial Killers in Health Care,” at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, in the Student Union Ballroom.

FIRE logoMTSU’s Forensic Institute for Research and Education, or FIRE, presents the Bass Legends lecture series each semester.

For 32 years, Sackman served as the special agent in charge of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Northeast field office in the criminal investigations division of the Office of Inspector General.

Until he retired in May 2005, he was responsible for all major criminal investigations from West Virginia to Maine in VA facilities.

Sackman also was responsible for supervising the nation’s first homicide conviction in connection with pharmaceutical research.

“The overwhelming majority of health care professionals are honest, hard-working, dedicated people,” said Sackman. “In fact, that’s how we find out about these suspicious deaths.”

Since 1970, Sackman said, there have been 317 confirmed deaths and 2,113 suspicious deaths associated with 54 convictions of health care providers.

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.

Veteran-turned-writer separates fact from fiction in April 14 visit

A retired U.S. Marine who turned his military career into critically acclaimed literature will share his experiences at MTSU Thursday, April 14.

Michael Pitre, a veteran of two tours of duty in Iraq and author of “Fives and Twenty-Fives,” will speak at 5 p.m. April 14 in Room 106 of the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors College Building. A printable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

Michael Pitre

Michael Pitre

Pitre book cover webA graduate of Louisiana State University, Pitre joined the Marine Corps in 2002. He attained the rank of captain before leaving the service in 2010 to obtain his master’s degree in business administration from Loyola University.

“Fives and Twenty-Fives,” his first novel, tells the story of three members of a road repair platoon during the Iraq War and their struggles on the battlefield and in readjusting to life stateside after they returned home.

The title comes from a warning issued to the road repair crew: When investigating a possible roadside bomb, stay in the vehicle and scan five meters in every direction. After the all-clear is given, get out and sweep the territory for 25 meters. This practice helped keep the road crew alive.

Pitre will sign copies of his book following his address.

Writers’ Corps, an MTSU creative writing workshop designed for student veterans, and the Blue Raider American Veterans Organization, or BRAVO, are bringing Pitre to campus.

This event is free and open to the public. MTSU’s College of Liberal Arts, Distinguished Lecture Fund, Peck Lecture Fund, and the Department of Communication Studies and Organizational Communication are providing funding for the event.

For more information, contact Matthew Brown, a lecturer in the Department of English and co-founder of Writers’ Corps, at 615-898-2503 or matthew.brown@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Relationship experts discuss ‘loving right’ at MTSU April 5

Two relationship experts will bring their knowledge of what makes couples click to MTSU on Tuesday, April 5.

Dr. Joni Frater, left, and Esther Lastique, relationship experts and co-authors of the Amazon best-seller "Love Her Right," will visit MTSU Tuesday, April 5, for a free public discussion on effective relationships.

Dr. Joni Frater, left, and Esther Lastique, relationship experts and co-authors of the Amazon best-seller “Love Her Right,” will visit MTSU Tuesday, April 5, for a free public discussion on effective relationships.

“Loving Right: Earn Me Mind, Body and Heart” is slated for 7 p.m. April 5 in the Learning Resources Center. A printable campus map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

Dr. Joni Frater and Esther Lastique developed their program in 2013. Their topics for April 5 include effectively communicating what one needs to feel loved; understanding signs of unhealthy relationships, especially those that have the potential to spiral downward into violence; and empowering students to recognize unhealthy dating behaviors.

Lastique, a graduate of State University of New York at Stony Brook, is a lifelong activist for women’s rights and gay rights.

In 1989, she was chosen as one of Glamour Magazine’s Top Ten College Women for her commitment to activism. She established an art gallery after graduation.

Frater, a graduate of Columbia University and Tufts Dental School, developed a unique approach to helping patients overcome their fear of dentistry using humor, patience and sensitivity before embarking on her career as a “sexologist.”

Together, they are authors of the Amazon bestseller “Love Her Right,” which grew out of their mutual desire to help end relationship failure after feeling the heartache of divorce in their own families.

They have been partners in life as well as in business for the last 11 years.

MTSU’s June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students, the Student Government Association and MTSU Health Promotion are the sponsors of this free public event.

You can learn more about Frater and Lastique’s program from this video, which features Frater, from their 2014 campus visit to nearby Austin Peay State University.

http://youtu.be/tFP9fVmyG2I

For more information, contact Barbara Scales, director of the June Anderson Center, at 615-898-2913 or barbara.scales@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Crisis management expert Judy Smith gets message across

Getting the message right was the message crisis management expert Judy Smith delivered at MTSU.

Smith, who was the inspiration for the character of Olivia Pope on the ABC television series “Scandal,” ventured into the audience to field questions from students and others in the James Union Building March 28 during her National Women’s History Month keynote address.

Crisis management expert Judy Smith emphasizes a point during her National Women's History Month keynote address inside MTSU's James Union Building Monday, March 28. Smith, whose work inspired the character of Olivia Pope on the ABC television series “Scandal,” is an author, TV producer and founder, president and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based crisis management firm Smith & Company. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Crisis management expert Judy Smith emphasizes a point during her National Women’s History Month keynote address inside MTSU’s James Union Building Monday, March 28. Smith, whose work inspired the character of Olivia Pope on the ABC television series “Scandal,” is an author, TV producer and founder, president and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based crisis management firm Smith & Company. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

During a wide-ranging career that includes stints in the George H.W. Bush administration, at NBC and in the office of independent counsel Lawrence Walsh during the Iran-Contra scandal, Smith gleaned a wealth of knowledge that enabled to found her own firm, Smith and Company, with offices in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.

“What we really do is try to help corporations, associations and individuals navigate problems as they go along and try to protect their brand and their reputation,” Smith said.

Noting that she had worked all weekend before the Monday night event, Smith explained, “It’s the kind of career that is not for the faint of heart … Crisis is not a 9-to-5 job. It’s a 24/7-plus kind of job.”

Smith advised students eager for success after graduation to pay attention to what they do on social media, be open to trying new things and have clarity about what they want to accomplish.

“You should never underestimate hard work,” Smith said when asked what she had learned from her various jobs. “I know it’s not the cool, hip, ‘in’ thing to do, but hard work really pays off.”

When asked what kind of people she would hire for her firm, Smith said she looks for strategic thinking and discretion. She added that it’s important for managers to get outside their comfort zones and not surround themselves only with people who will validate their established views.

“I tend to look for people that are not like me, people who don’t think the way I think, and I think that is really important,” Smith said.

Smith, whose former clients include U.S. Sen. Larry Craig, NFL quarterback Michael Vick and actor Wesley Snipes, said she considers it “critical” to avoid making distinctions among people based on status, wealth or connections.

“For me, the cab driver who dropped me off is just as important as the president of the United States,” she said. “There’s no distinction in that.”

The Distinguished Lecture Fund, the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance, Intercultural and Diversity Affairs, the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students, the MTSU National Women’s History Month Committee and the Department of Recording Industry sponsored Smith’s MTSU appearance.

— Gina Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Actors Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn appear in a scene from the hit ABC drama "Scandal." Washington's character, Olivia Pope, is based on the real life of Judy Smith, who will deliver a keynote address Monday, March 28, for MTSU's observance of National Women's History Month. (Courtesy of ABC)

Actors Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn appear in a scene from the hit ABC drama “Scandal.” Washington’s character, Olivia Pope, is based on the real life of Judy Smith, who delivered the keynote address March 28 for MTSU’s observance of National Women’s History Month. (Courtesy of ABC)

Arts leader Bill Ivey to provide Scholars Week keynote March 28

A folklorist with wide acclaim in arts, music and public policy discussed “Creativity, Career and Public Education” when he spoke on the MTSU campus earlier this week.

Bill Ivey, one of America’s foremost arts administrators and public policy leaders, delivered the keynote address for the 10th annual Scholars Week.

Scholars-Week-graphic-web-109x300

Bill Ivey brings the keynote address about "Creativity, Career and Public Education" for MTSU Scholars Week March 28 in Student Union Ballroom. (MTSU photos by Rachel Helms)

Bill Ivey brings the keynote address about “Creativity, Career and Public Education” for MTSU Scholars Week March 28 in Student Union Ballroom. (MTSU photos by Rachel Helms)

Ivey spoke March 28 in the Student Union Ballroom. The event was attended by a number of faculty and administrators.

Scholars Week emphasizes the research, scholarly efforts and collaboration of undergraduate and graduate students and faculty. You can learn more and find a complete schedule here.

“Bill Ivey is one of the nation’s leading thinkers on culture and creativity, and his insights into the arts and public policy are consistently thought-provoking and impactful,” said College of Media and Entertainment Dean Ken Paulson, who also serves as president of the First Amendment Center.

Ivey’s abstract for his MTSU talk reveals that “in an era when business, technology, economics and education are increasingly intertwined, he seeks to explore and define a balanced understanding of artistic expression, creativity, scholarship and their impacts on American democracy and quality of life.”

Ivey is a visiting research associate in the Indiana University Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology.

Highlights of Ivey’s career include his service as:

  • founding director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University from 2002 to 2012.
  • team leader in the 2007 Barack Obama presidential transition.
  • the seventh National Endowment for the Arts chairman (1998-2001). He was appointed to the post by President Bill Clinton.
  • first full-time director of the Country Music Foundation and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, 1971-98.
  • two-term chair of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Ivey is a trustee of the Center for American Progress, a Washington-based think-tank, and is the author of numerous articles and two books about art, public policy and politics: “Arts, Inc.: How Greed and Neglect Have Destroyed Our Cultural Rights” and “Handmaking America: A Back-to-Basics Pathway to a Revitalized American Democracy.”

Ivey has written and lectured extensively about the importance of cultural policy and the value of cultural engagement in the pursuit of a high quality of life. He coined the phrase “Expressive Life” to define the part of the human experience shaped by cultural heritage and creative practice.

The Distinguished Lecture Fund, Department of Recording Industry and College of Media and Entertainment are sponsoring his appearance.

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

Keynote speaker Bill Ivey, left, and professor and Scholars Week committee member Will Langston visits listens as MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee makes a comment during their casual conversation March 28.

Keynote speaker Bill Ivey, left, and professor and Scholars Week committee member Will Langston visits listens as MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee makes a comment during their casual conversation March 28.

Education pioneer Inge Meyring Smith shares story at MTSU March 28

A woman who escaped Nazi terror to become one of the most dynamic forces in Tennessee education will share her story at MTSU Monday, March 28.

Inge Meyring Smith

Inge Meyring Smith

Inge Meyring Smith doc poster webInge Meyring Smith, who fled Germany with her parents in 1938, will discuss her childhood and her career as an educator at 6 p.m. March 28 in Room 160 of the College of Education building.

A printable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

Smith and her family left Dresden on Kristallnacht, or “The Night of Broken Glass,” a coordinated attack on Jewish Germans on Nov. 9, 1938, when she was 15 years old. Arriving in New York, she struggled in school because she could read only German.

After corresponding with Paul W. Smith throughout World War II, marrying him and moving to Franklin, Tennessee, she earned her specialist’s degree in education from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, became a civil rights advocate and helped to develop and teach in the federal Head Start program before launching the Head Start program in Tennessee.

In 1969, Smith created Harpeth Academy, a private elementary school that later became Battleground Academy Lower School, in Franklin. Her motto was, “Teach the child, not the subject.”

She later founded Smith Preschool, bringing her experience in conveying the love of learning to Tennessee children to a total of 62 years.

Smith, whose birthday is July 4, is co-author of “Born for America: The Life of Inge Meyring Smith” and was the inspiration for the 2010 documentary “One of the Miracles: The Inge Meyring Smith Story.”

You can watch the trailer for the film below.

http://youtu.be/wWw4eUySYfQ

This Scholars Week event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be available following the question-and-answer period.

For more information, contact Dr. Nancy Caukin, an assistant professor of educational leadership, at 615-898-5982 or nancy.caukin@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)