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Sept. 26 Engineering Technology Golf Classic benefits student projects

An artist’s rendering of the Champions Run Golf Course clubhouse in Rockvale, Tennessee, site of MTSU’s third annual Engineering Technology Golf Classic. (Champions Run graphic)

Participate in MTSU’s third annual Engineering Technology Golf Classic and you will be helping fund nationally recognized student projects.

The event will be held starting at noon Friday, Sept. 26, at Champions Run Golf Course, 14262 Mount Pleasant Road, in Rockvale, Tennessee, near Eagleville.

A light lunch will kick off the activities at noon, followed by a 1 p.m. shotgun start. A silent auction will be held during the day. Following the end of play, awards will be presented and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

Sponsorship levels will include platinum ($2,000 for two teams/eight golfers), gold ($1,000) and silver ($500). Hole sponsorships are $250 and the fee for individual golfers will be $125.

Prizes will be awarded to the first-, second- and third-place teams.

RSVP by mailing your registration form and check to Jennifer Tweedie, c/o Department of Engineering Technology, P.O. Box 19, Murfreesboro, TN 37132. The deadline to enter is Monday, Sept. 1. A copy of the form is available on the department website, http://www.mtsu.edu/et/, or call 615-898-5009.

Walter Boles, Engineering Technology chair, said thousands of dollars are needed annually to defray expenses incurred by the various team projects, which gain the department and university considerable recognition when competing against other colleges and universities.

 The Experimental Vehicle Program and other projects include the solar boat, the moon buggy or NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge vehicle, the Raider Robotics Team, alternative energy and other technology-based ventures. The solar boat and moon buggy earned “Best Design” awards during national competitions this year. Both will be on display at the tournament.

The Davis Groupe of Murfreesboro is a primary sponsor. Engineering technology is one of 11 departments in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences.

To learn more about Engineering Technology’s offerings, including mechatronics engineering, visit the department website above and http://www.mtsu.edu/programs/engineering/.

For more information, call 615-898-5009 or email Jennifer.Tweedie@mtsu.edu.

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

MTSU’s third annual Engineering Technology Golf Classic will be held Friday, Sept. 26, at Champions Run Golf Course in Rockvale, Tennessee. Pictured are participants from the 2013 event. (Submitted photo)

Upcoming workshop helps investigators evaluate death scenes

MTSU’s 2014 Death Scene Investigation Workshop, set Aug. 13-14 on campus, is aiming to help the people who work with death sites get ready to secure, investigate and prosecute deadly crimes.

Click on the poster to register or for more details on the workshop.

Click on the poster to register or for more details on the workshop.

The free workshop, sponsored by MTSU’s Forensic Institute for Research and Education, is open to law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, first responders such as emergency medical services and fire personnel, public defenders and medical examiners.

With the help of professionals from various specialties, including Dr. Hugh Berryman, MTSU professor of anthropology and the director of the Forensic Institute for Research and Education, the workshop will address the role of the medical examiner, forensic anthropology, mass fatalities, drug overdose and child death investigations.

Attendees also can earn Continuing Education Unit or Continuing Professional Education credits for the workshop.

To register for the workshop or get more information, including an agenda, please visit www.mtsu.edu/fire/Law_Enforcement_Training.php or contact the Forensic Institute for Research and Education, or FIRE, at fire@mtsu.edu.

The 2014 Death Scene Investigation Workshop is supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

MTSU WISTEM Center’s guest speaker energizes Nashville teens (+VIDEO)

The conversation from a national official to a group of budding East Nashville scientists was profound and to the point: Persevere. Stay focused. Never give up. Do and be your best at all times.

These were some of the energizing messages LaDoris “Dot” Harris, a director with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, shared with nearly 40 East Nashville youth attending the June 17 Green Girls STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education program at Martha O’Bryan Center (http://www.marthaobryan.org).

Harris spent nearly 90 minutes with the teenagers, who participate in the program that promotes renewable energy. Harris was invited to speak by MTSU WISTEM (Women in STEM) Center Director Judith Iriarte-Gross, who had heard Harris communicate with passion about her career in 2013 at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

“My message to the Martha O’Bryan school is one of perseverance, never give up and stay focused on what you’re doing,” said Harris.

MTSU chemistry professor and WISTEM Center Director Judith Iriarte-Gross, left, and Dot Harris, director, Office of Economic Impact and Diversity in the U.S. Department of Energy, admire the renewable energy home models built by middle school students attending the Martha O'Bryan Center in Nashville July 17. MTSU students work one day a week with the East Nashville teenagers in the Green Girls program. Iriarte-Gross oversees the WISTEM (Women in STEM) program. (MTSU photos by News and Media Relations)

MTSU chemistry professor and WISTEM Center Director Judith Iriarte-Gross, left, and Dot Harris, director, Office of Economic Impact and Diversity in the U.S. Department of Energy, admire the renewable energy home models built by middle school students attending the Martha O’Bryan Center in Nashville July 17. MTSU students work one day a week with the East Nashville teenagers in the Green Girls program. Iriarte-Gross oversees the WISTEM (Women in STEM) program. (MTSU photos by News and Media Relations)

Near the end of Harris’ visit, she and Iriarte-Gross helped judge an activity where six teams competed in a design contest to create green energy homes. The middle school students used crafts and cardboard boxes to build their houses in the days preceding the guest speaker’s appearance.

“As I told the kids, I’ve been to probably 20-plus countries around the globe, and nothing’s more amazing and more innovative/creative than the mind of an American kid,” she said. “We have to have them first understand themselves that they are capable (of achieving). Once they understand and appreciate the values of themselves first, you’ll be amazed how they flourish and grow from that.”

Among the attendees was MTSU sophomore chemistry major Josh Loomis of Murfreesboro, one of two WISTEM Center student participants who work directly with the Martha O’Bryan Center teens in the program.

Other MTSU personnel attending included:

• Marian Wilson, new assistant to the president for Institutional Equity and Compliance; and

• Rose Johnson, grants coordinator for the College of Basic and Applied Sciences.

Knoxville, Tennessee-based TN-SCORE Outreach Director Samantha K. Brown and Outreach Coordinator Angela Gilley represented their agency, which also sponsored the summer program in addition to providing opportunities to develop platforms for enhanced research capacity and greater competitiveness within all of Tennessee’s diverse academic institutions. To learn more, visit http://www.tnepscor.org/.

Junior biology major Caleb Hough of Murfreesboro was unable to attend because of a class commitment, Iriarte-Gross said, adding that Hough works with the center teens once a week.

For more information about the WISTEM Center, call 615-494-7763 or email Iriarte-Gross at Judith.Iriarte-Gross@mtsu.edu.

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

Dot Harris, director in the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity for the U.S. Dept. of Energy, promotes STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) to middle school students participating in the Green Girl program at the Martha O'Bryan Center in Nashville July 17.

Dot Harris, director in the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity for the U.S. Dept. of Energy, promotes STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) to middle school students participating in the Green Girl program at the Martha O’Bryan Center in Nashville July 17.

Scandinavian study abroad finds ‘happiness’ for art exhibit (+VIDEOS)

MTSU students learned firsthand why the people of Scandinavia’s cozy countries continually top the United Nations’ “World Happiness Report,” and their own report is “Passport to Happiness,” a new art exhibit open through Aug. 15 in MTSU’s Todd Art Gallery.

Click on this exhibit card to see more of the "Scandinavia Abroad" group's adventures at their Facebook page.

Click on this exhibit card to see more of the “Scandinavia Abroad” group’s adventures at their Facebook page.

Created by MTSU students and Danish and Norwegian children during a special MTSU study-abroad program, the art exhibit features multimedia pieces and artifacts created in Denmark and Norway and in America, all focusing on happiness.

Dr. Debrah Sickler-Voigt, MTSU art education associate professor, took seven students to Denmark and Norway in May to study art, stay with area families and teach in local schools for the “Scandinavia Abroad” project.

Brittany Gardner, LeAnne Hannington, Bailey Ingram, Ciara Knight, Whitney Proper, Kaitlyn Roberts and Tucker Webb made the trip, making stops in the capital cities of Copenhagen and Oslo, swimming in the waters of the Arctic Circle, visiting Legoland Billund, climbing mountains and admiring fjords, churches and museums while immersing themselves in the region’s culture.

The students worked with youngsters in the Anna Trolles Skole, or School, in Brenderup, Denmark, and the Svolvær Skole in Svolvær, Norway, to create original works inspired by Scandinavian folklore, art history and visual culture.

The Scandinavian countries — Denmark, Norway and Sweden — regularly rank at the top of the United Nations’ annual “World Happiness Report,” thanks to their solid incomes, top healthcare and schools, and balancing their work and personal lives via generous parental leave and vacation time and inexpensive child care. Combine those factors with scenic vistas and hearty outdoor activities, and it’s no surprise that citizens in those nations where the sun shines only seven hours a day in deepest winter still consider themselves “happy.”

MTSU student Bailey Ingram incorporates the technology of the iPhone into her work with two young students at the Svolvær Skole in Svolvær, Norway, during this summer’s “Scandinavia Abroad” trip. (Photos courtesy of Dr. Debrah Sickler-Voigt)

“We had read that Scandinavians were the happiest because of their high standard of living,” Sickler-Voigt explained during a radio interview this week, “so the students came up with the lessons we taught: how can we communicate the idea of happiness that extends beyond the things we buy and shows quality-of-life happiness.”

The students used their time with their host families in Denmark to brainstorm project ideas for their young charges during their classroom visits.

“We learned a lot about the culture, every ‘little thing’ in life that makes them happy,” Gardner said during the interview. “We did some projects in photography, book arts and paper weaving to show how happy they are.”

“In Norway, we asked children to write sentences in Norwegian and English about things that made them happy. They didn’t come up with ‘shopping’ or ‘money’; they came up with things like ‘my dog,’ ‘my family,’ ‘my friends,’ and it was beautiful,” added Roberts.

The result is a series of projects displayed in the Todd Gallery featuring the children’s work as well as the MTSU students’ art inspired by their experience. The “Passport to Happiness” exhibit also includes hand-carved trolls from the collection of MTSU professor Kent and Lynell Syler’s family, along with original Oleana sweaters and knitted goods from the Norwegian company.

“Our goal for the exhibition guests is to consider the importance of happiness in daily life and how to implement a positive lifestyle by simply enjoying ‘the little things,’” Gardner said. “Everything that the (Scandinavian) students made is up on display, so you can really see what makes them happy.”

You can watch a video Ingram created about the experience below, and other videos are included in the “Passport to Happiness” exhibit, too. More photos and details about the trip are available at www.facebook.com/MTSUScandinaviaStudyAbroad.

 

 

You also can watch a video report on the “Passport to Happiness” project by Lauren Dickens, a graduate assistant in the Office of News and Media Relations, below.

 

 

Support for “Passport to Happiness” is provided by the MTSU Office of International Affairs, Todd Art Gallery, Anna Trolles Skole, Svolvær Skole, Nordnorsk Kunstnersenter, Oleana, the MTSU College of Liberal Arts, and Kent and Lynell Syler.

MTSU’s Todd Art Gallery is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and is closed on weekends and state and university holidays.

For more information about the exhibit, including parking and directions, contact Todd Art Gallery Director Eric Snyder at 615-898-5653 or eric.snyder@mtsu.edu, or visit www.mtsu.edu/art.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Celebrating Norwegian Flag Day’s Bicentennial in Svolvær, Norway, in May are, from left, MTSU professor Debrah Sickler-Voigt and her “Scandinavia Abroad” students Kaitlyn Roberts, LeAnne Hannington and Ciara Knight on the front row and Brittany Gardner, Tucker Webb, Whitney Proper and Bailey Ingram on the back row.

MTSU student Brittany Gardner, center left, works with students at the Svolvær Skole in Svolvær, Norway, during this summer’s “Scandinavia Abroad” trip.

‘Saddle Up’ July 31 with MTSU to give happy cowpokes a hand

Get ready to give some of Rutherford County’s finest young wranglers a hand Thursday, July 31, at the annual “Saddle Up” fundraiser for MTSU’s Ann Campbell Early Learning Center.

Some of Rutherford County’s finest cowgirls and cowboys are ready for the annual Saddle Up fundraiser for MTSU’s Ann Campbell Early Learning Center July 31 at the MTSU Foundation House. Get more details by clicking on this photo. (Photos courtesy of the Ann Campbell Early Learning Center at MTSU)

“Saddle Up” gets underway at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 31, at the MTSU Foundation House, located at 324 W. Thompson Lane next to the university’s Tennessee Miller Coliseum.

Funds raised at this year’s event will be used to continue expanding services at the ACE Learning Center, which is Rutherford County’s only community- and center-based program serving very young children, including those with special needs.

The center was formerly known as Project Help and was renamed last spring to honor its founder, the late MTSU special education professor Ann Campbell.

For only $50 per ticket, guests can show off their favorite jeans, boots and cowboy hats while they enjoy a Western-themed evening filled with barbecue from Bob’s BBQ, beer donated by Mayday Brewer and wine from Stones River Total Beverage.

Guests will be treated to live music from Rhythm Kitchen as well as a “step & repeat” with Cynthia Jones Photography at Studio C. “Saddle Up” also will include a silent auction featuring spa packages, golf excursions, gift baskets and cards, cookware, trips to the Nashville Zoo, a hosted holiday party and more.

 For information on sponsoring the event and tickets, contact Saddle Up Chair Lindsey Fournier at lindsey.fournier@gmail.com.

Previous “Saddle Up” events have helped the program grow into new classroom space and offer services to older children. The center’s ultimate goal is to operate a one-stop wrap-around educational and therapeutic center for families in Middle Tennessee.

Founded in 1983, the nonprofit ACE Learning Center provides inclusive classes for children ages 3 months to kindergarten, where little ones with developmental delays play and learn with those who are developing typically. A “prep” program helps 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds get ready for public school.

The center also provides home-based services for families of children from birth to age 3 who have developmental delays. It’s affiliated with the Tennessee Early Intervention System and provides hands-on learning experiences for MTSU and Motlow State Community College’s Nursing Program students who work with the children and staff.

Grants from the Tennessee Department of Education through Early Intervention Services and the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties partially fund the ACE Learning Center’s work. Dozens of community organizations and businesses also provide the center with much-needed equipment, toys and consumable items every year.

Tickets also are available by calling the ACE Learning Center at 615-898-2458. You can find up-to-the-minute details on “Saddle Up” 2014, including photos of the center’s children and the silent-auction items, here. You can learn more about the center anytime at www.mtsu.edu/acelearningcenter.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Two of Rutherford County’s finest young wranglers are on the lookout for rustlers and people without tickets to the July 31 “Saddle Up” fundraiser for MTSU’s Ann Campbell Early Learning Center. Don’t get stuck in the hoosegow and miss all the fun!

This busy young cowpoke is packing his saddlebags for the annual “Saddle Up” fundraiser for MTSU’s Ann Campbell Early Learning Center July 31 at the MTSU Foundation House.

MTSU in China 2014: Botanical research pact extended through 2021

NANNING, China — Middle Tennessee State University signed an agreement July 21 to extend its research partnership with the world’s largest medicinal herb garden in China through 2021.

The pact, signed by MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee and Miao Jianhua, director of the Guangxi Botanical Garden of Medicinal Plants, also secures MTSU’s worldwide rights, excluding China, to patent and market products developed in the partnership. The partners agreed to a 50-50 split of any profits from the collaboration.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee (center) presents a banner from the university to Miao Jianhua (second from right), director of the Guangxi Botanical Garden of Medicinal Plants in Nanning, China, after signing an agreement Monday to extend a research pact between the entities until 2021. Assistant professor Iris Gao (far left), state Sen. Bill Ketron (next to Gao) and professor Elliot Altman (far right) accompanied McPhee to the ceremony. (MTSU photo)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, center, presents a banner from the university to Miao Jianhua, second from right, director of the Guangxi Botanical Garden of Medicinal Plants in Nanning, China, after signing an agreement July 21 to extend a research pact between the entities until 2021. Assistant professor Iris Gao, at left, state Sen. Bill Ketron and professor Elliot Altman, at right, accompanied McPhee to the ceremony. (Photos by MTSU Marketing and Communications)

It extends an exclusive agreement that began in 2011 between the Tennessee Center for Botanical Medicine Research at MTSU, led by professor Elliot Altman in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, and the garden to accelerate the development of Western medicines from plant extracts.

“This is an important milestone in the continuation of our relationship,” said McPhee, who was joined by state Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, at the ceremony.

“It speaks to the long-term potential of our work and our mutual desire to plan ahead for future collaborations.

“We are leveraging our resources and our expertise in China and the United States in a way where it will be a win-win for both of us,” McPhee said.

Located in Nanning in southern China, the garden was named in 2011 as the world’s largest medicinal herb garden by the Guinness Book of World Records. It features more than 7,400 medicinal plants.

The partnership plays to the strengths of both institutions, Miao said. Garden researchers cultivate and prepare extracts. MTSU scientists then screen the samples to determine their promise in the treatment of ailments.

The application of traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of a variety of diseases is an ancient and respected tradition widely accepted in the Far East and gaining in awareness in Western cultures.

The pact declares the shared goal for “research and development opportunities for possible, beneficial, medicinal compounds and supplement compounds of potential commercial value.”

Iris Gao, an MTSU assistant professor who works with Altman, said an analysis of 52 plant extracts recently provided by the garden identified 29 with promising results, including 12 with anti-cancer activity; eight with promising anti-inflammatory activity; and one that may be useful to treat diabetes.

This set of 52 extracts is in addition to the almost 40 results identified last year with showing promise in the treatment of cancer, viral infections and other aliments.

Ketron, the Senate’s majority caucus chairman and a 1976 graduate of the university, has closely followed MTSU’s work in the partnership. He was instrumental in starting MTSU’s work as a demonstration project to determine ways for Tennessee farmers to grow ginseng as a cash crop.

Last year, McPhee, Ketron and Miao celebrated the partnership’s progress with the christening of an MTSU-branded Joint Research Center at the garden’s research laboratory and headquarters.

During the July 21 brainstorming, Ketron challenged the team to focus initially on three or so products with the greatest potential to move to market, which will most likely be over-the-counter treatments for rashes, aches and insect bites.

“I am pleased to see how this partnership is progressing and lengthening,” Ketron said. “This is important work that could potentially yield great benefits on many levels, especially for our university and state.”

Miao agreed, saying he hopes to draw upon MTSU’s expertise in the Jones College of Business to help market products to reach Western consumers.

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

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee (front, left) and Miao Jianhua (front, right), director of the Guangxi Botanical Garden of Medicinal Plants in Nanning, China, signed an agreement Monday to extend a research pact between the entities until 2021. State Sen. Bill Ketron (back, center), professor Elliot Altman (back, second from left) and assistant professor Iris Gao (back left) accompanied McPhee to the ceremony. (MTSU photo by Marketing and Communications)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee and Miao Jianhua, director of the Guangxi Botanical Garden of Medicinal Plants in Nanning, China, shake hands in front of a group of supporters after signing an agreement July 21 to extend a research pact between the entities until 2021. MTSU professors Iris Gao and Elliot Altman and state Sen. Bill Ketron, shown standing from left behind McPhee, accompanied the president to the ceremony.

Murfreesboro Breakfast Rotary Club members visit MTSU Farm (+VIDEO)

Rising with the roosters, members of the Murfreesboro business community spent part of their workday at MTSU Farm.

As invited guests July 17 of the MTSU School of Agribusiness and Agriscience Experiential Learning and Research Laboratory, about 30 members of the Murfreesboro Breakfast Rotary Club and others experienced the agricultural side of the Middle Tennessee State University campus.

Not only did they have sausage biscuits compliments of Batey Farms, orange juice and chocolate mile from the nearby MTSU Dairy, they received a tour of the facility and learned what the future holds for the property located about 6 miles east of campus in Lascassas, Tennessee.

“This was fun, educational and uplifting,” said club member Barb Ford, a local food columnist and businesswoman.

“This was an extremely informative meeting, to learn about the amazing programs that MTSU offers,” said club member Lori Williams, who serves as comptroller for the Murfreesboro Electric Department.

Rotary Club member Faye Johnson, assistant to the MTSU provost for special initiatives, said “everybody loved it” and many members were not aware MTSU had a farm.

MTSU Farm Laboratory Director Matthew Wade, left, shares with Rutherford County FirstBank President Ben Weatherford of Murfreesboro all that the Experiential Learning and Research Center has to offer students at the Lascassas, Tennessee, site. (MTSU photos by News and Media Relations)

MTSU Farm Laboratory Director Matthew Wade, left, shares with Rutherford County FirstBank President Ben Weatherford of Murfreesboro all that the Experiential Learning and Research Center has to offer students at the Lascassas, Tennessee, site. (MTSU photos by News and Media Relations)

School of Agribusiness and Agriscience Director Warren Gill and farm lab Director Matthew Wade shared the virtues of the farm and the MTSU students who are learning quality work ethic that should bode well for their careers after graduation.

“We are very pleased the Murfreesboro morning Rotary Club came and visited the farm,” said Gill. “They seemed to be very interested in trying some of the products that either our students or alumni produce. They had a good time learning all they could about the MTSU Farms.”

Alumnus John L. Batey of Murfreesboro and owner of Batey Farms, an eight-generation family farm in the Blackman Community, provided the sausage. MTSU students grew the tomatoes, which also were available for consumption.

MTSU sophomore Brandon Taylor attended the event. He serves as president of the MTSU Rotaract Club and was invited by professor Lara Daniel, Rotaract adviser and Rotary Club member. Taylor is majoring in finance with an emphasis in insurance. Rotaract, or Rotary in Action, is the Rotary-sponsored service, leadership and community service organization for members between the ages of 18 to 30.

The Rotary Club’s motto is “Service Above Self.” The Murfreesboro Breakfast club normally meets at 6:45 a.m. on Thursdays at Stones River Country Club. To learn more about the club, visit http://portal.clubrunner.ca/5997.

To learn more about the School of Agribusiness and Agriscience, visit http://www.mtsu.edu/abas/.

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

Rutherford County Circuit Court Clerk Eloise Gaither, left, learns more about the MTSU Farm in Lasscassas, Tennessee, from Ralph Smith, a member of the MTSU Dairy staff, July 17 when the Murfreesboro Breakfast Rotary Club visited the site, which is about 6 miles east of campus. Also pictured is Murfreesboro physician George Smith.

Former Rutherford County Circuit Court Clerk Eloise Gaither, left, learns more about the MTSU Farm in Lasscassas, Tennessee, from Ralph Smith, a member of the MTSU Dairy staff, July 17 when the Murfreesboro Breakfast Rotary Club visited the site, which is about six miles east of campus. Also pictured is Murfreesboro physician George Smith.

MTSU workshop trains teachers to help struggling readers

As he floated between the rows of educators inside MTSU’s College of Education Building, literacy trainer Ron Yoshimoto drew lots of laughter but also equal amounts of attention from a group of Tennessee teachers eager to help their struggling students with reading.

Literacy education trainer Ron Yoshimoto, left, demonstrates proper one-on-one reading instruction with veteran Rutherford County educator and education consultant Nancy Duggin during a literacy training session Thursday for about 35 Tennessee educators inside the MTSU College of Education Building. The training was hosted by the Tennessee Center for the Study and Treatment of Dyslexia at MTSU. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Literacy education trainer Ron Yoshimoto, left, demonstrates proper one-on-one reading instruction with veteran Rutherford County educator and education consultant Nancy Duggin during a literacy training session Thursday for about 35 Tennessee educators inside the MTSU College of Education Building. The training was hosted by the Tennessee Center for the Study and Treatment of Dyslexia at MTSU. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Yoshimoto, the statewide special education literacy resource teacher trainer for Hawaii, conducted a 40-hour training program that ran July 14-18 and was hosted by the Tennessee Center for the Study and Treatment of Dyslexia at MTSU. Yoshimoto is considered a master trainer of the Orton-Gillingham instructional approach to reading, which emphasizes phonics-based, multi-sensory, hands-on learning.

The training, attended by about 35 educators from throughout the state, focused on how to not only help students who may be suffering from dyslexia, but any students struggling with reading, spelling, writing and reading comprehension. Using a variety of training tools ranging from a bingo-themed game to index cards, Yoshimoto kept his class engaged.

“Sometimes (student) reading comprehension is low, but their listening comprehension is high,” Yoshimoto told the group during a Thursday discussion about how to properly conduct one-on-one reading instruction.

“I don’t want you to overly focus on speed,” he said later as the training continued. “There’s more than speed to think about.”

Workshop participant Cindy Nickerson, a third grade teacher at Lascassas Elementary School in Rutherford County, is excited about using the teaching methods shared by Yoshimoto with her third-graders, who are in a critical transition where “they are switching from learning to read to reading to learn.”

“I wanted something that would help me with those students who are struggling with reading, and this is a very systematic approach that I think will help keep students on track and help those who are struggling catch back up,” she said. “This is one more tool to add to my tool belt to help me really address the differentiating needs of my students.”

Literacy education trainer Ron Yoshimoto, the statewide special education literacy resource teacher trainer for Hawaii, conducts a training session Thursday for about 35 Tennessee educators inside the MTSU College of Education Building. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Literacy education trainer Ron Yoshimoto, the statewide special education literacy resource teacher trainer for Hawaii, conducts a training session Thursday for about 35 Tennessee educators inside the MTSU College of Education Building. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Lenise Moore feels the workshop will greatly assist in her role as an instructional coach for teachers at Southside School, a Pre-K through eighth grade school in Lebanon, Tennessee.

“This is one of one of the best workshops I’ve attended for at-risk students,” she said, adding that workshop participants are learning how to effectively help students in one-on-one and small group settings.Dyslexia Center logo web

“We still have middle schoolers who are struggling to read, so this will benefit them as well. We have several English language learners that will benefit, and we have struggling readers at all grade levels that this will help.”

Dr. Jim Herman, director of the Tennessee Center for the Study and Treatment of Dyslexia, said Yoshimoto, who has taught thousands of educators across the U.S., Canada and Singapore, has developed his own comprehensive program within the Orton-Gillingham framework.

“Teachers should have this in their backgrounds to teach,” Herman said. “It’s great for general education, but it’s great for special education also. A special education teacher could really use this to upgrade their reading instruction.”

Herman said there was a waiting list of teachers seeking Yoshimoto’s training and plans are to bring him back to campus next year for a similar session.

“I believe if all teachers had this reading training, our reading scores would go up. It’s that good.”

For more information about the Tennessee Center for the Study and Treatment of Dyslexia and its training programs, visit www.mtsu.edu/dyslexia/index.php, call 615-494-8880 or email dyslexia@mtsu.edu.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

Literacy education trainer Ron Yoshimoto makes a point during a training session Thursday for about 35 Tennessee educators inside the MTSU College of Education Building.

Literacy education trainer Ron Yoshimoto makes a point during a training session Thursday for about 35 Tennessee educators inside the MTSU College of Education Building.

Girls rock MTSU at annual Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp (+VIDEO)

The summer fun is only beginning for girls who know how to rock and roll.

Girls practice their guitar licks as a bandmate looks on at the 2013 Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp at MTSU. (MTSU file photos by News and Media Relations)

Girls practice their guitar licks as a bandmate looks on at the 2013 Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp at MTSU. (MTSU file photos by News and Media Relations)

Girls ages 10-17 will be attending the 12th annual Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp, which is slated July 21-26 on the MTSU campus.

Most of the day camp’s activities will take place in the Wright Music Building on campus with musical performances inside Wright’s Hinton Hall.

Registration/check-in is at 8:30 a.m. each day, followed by assembly at 9 a.m. Campers are to be picked up by 5:30 p.m. each day.

To find parking and buildings on campus, attendees can use the printable map at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap13-14.

“Basically, the mission of the camp to get diverse groups of girls to work together, value collaboration over competition, create media that represent them, to learn how to play an instrument and then use that knowledge to write a song to express themselves along with other girls their own age,” said Sarah Bandy, administrative director of the camp’s parent organization, Youth Empowerment through Arts & Humanities.

Full and partial scholarships are available to help cover the fee of $310, which includes instruments and supplies. For more information, to register or to apply for scholarships, go to www.sgrrc.com.

You can watch a video from the 2013 camp below.

 

 

At this summer’s camp, participants can receive instruction from experienced musicians in vocals, beginning and advanced guitar, keyboards, electronic music, bass and beginning and advanced drums.

In addition, workshops on recording, screen printing, photography, image and identity, and music herstory are available. Campers who attend this year’s recording workshop will learn how to build contact microphones and use them to turn everyday objects into instruments.

Click on the poster for a link to more info on Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp 2014 at MTSU.

Click on the poster for a link to more info on Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp 2014 at MTSU.

Featured artists for the camp’s daily noon concerts and question-and-answer sessions in Hinton Hall will be Hear, Hear on Monday, The Graces on Tuesday, Pretty Little Demons on Wednesday, Idle Bloom on Thursday and Jasmin Kaset on Friday.

All of these midday performances are also open to the public. A $5 donation is requested.

The campers will have an opportunity to put their newly acquired knowledge to the test when they perform in groups at the showcase concert at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 26, at Central Magnet School, located at 701 E. Main St. in Murfreesboro.

Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for ages 10-17 and free for children under 10.

Prizes to be raffled off to audience members at the showcase are donated by Goodbuy Girls, Loveless Café, the Chattanooga Zoo, the Chattanooga Lookouts, Disneyworld, Demos’ Restaurant, Five Senses, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream and Mayday Brewery.

Sponsors of the 2014 Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp include the Tennessee Arts Commission, Gruhn Guitars, Concert Musical Supply, the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Guitar Center, Fender Music Foundation, Mayday Brewery, Infinity Cat Recordings and MTSU.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Two members of a band rehearse at the 2013 Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp at MTSU.

Two members of a band rehearse at the 2013 Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp at MTSU.

A camper receives instruction in mixing audio on a computer during the 2013 Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp at MTSU.

A camper receives instruction in mixing audio on a computer during the 2013 Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp at MTSU.

No kidding: Youngsters experience 1st MTSU Goat Camp (+VIDEO)

The back of their MTSU blue T-shirts read: BYOG (Bring Yer Own Goat).

Thirty-six youth from across the state brought their own goats and learned more about preparing them for competition at the first Goat Camp Tuesday, June 24, in the MTSU Tennessee Livestock Center.

“We’re really excited about this,” said Alanna Vaught, camp director and School of Agribusiness and Agriscience faculty member. “We’ve got kids from all across the state of Tennessee. They’ve brought their goats. We’ve invited some professionals to teach them about caring for, clipping, grooming, showing — anything they possibly would need to know to be successful with their meat goats.”

Jessie Hickerson, 14, a rising sophomore at Stewarts Creek High School in Smyrna, Tennessee, said raising goats for the past six years has taught her responsibility.

“It teaches me leadership,” Hickerson said. “I have to be responsible for myself, and make sure they are ready for showing.”

MTSU alumnus and Oakland High School agriculture teacher Matt Farris, center, discusses techniques for bracing goats during the MTSU Block and Bridle Club-sponsored Goat Camp at the Tennessee Livestock Center June 24. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU alumnus and Oakland High School agriculture teacher Matt Farris, center, discusses techniques for bracing goats during the MTSU Block and Bridle Club-sponsored Goat Camp at the Tennessee Livestock Center June 24. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

For the MTSU Block & Bridle Club-sponsored camp, Hickerson brought 5-month-old Ellie-Mae, a traditional Boer goat — with red head and white body.

Emily Wilson, 13, lives on a farm with her family in Christiana, Tennessee. The homeschooled ninth-grade student began raising goats when she was 9. Wilson said she learned “how to look at marketing goats” at the camp.

Another homeschooled student, rising sixth-grader Liam Allen, 11, of College Grove, Tennessee, in Williamson County, said he “learned a lot … mostly about the standards.”

The camp featured the husband-and-wife team of Rusty and Rayna Lee of Winder, Georgia, which is outside of Athens.

The Lees shared about various aspects of caring for goats and preparing them for competition.

“What we’re trying to do with the Goat Camp is teach these kids what to look for in their breeding stock and the show animals, and how to trim and prepare them for show day and be able to exhibit them the best way possible,” Rayne Lee said.

Mitchell Mote of Murfreesboro and an agent with the UT Extension also participated. MTSU associate professor Jessica Carter, adviser for the Block & Bridle Club, assisted in the running of the event.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Vaught said. “And at the end of the day, everybody can come in and see kids (children) showing kids (goats).”

The youngsters in attendance will be gearing up for the Oct. 3-4 Heart of Tennessee Meat Goat Classic, which will be held in MTSU’s Tennessee Livestock Center.

For more information, call 615-898-2523. To learn more about the first Goat Camp, visit http://mtweb.mtsu.edu/bandb2/goatcamp.html.

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

Participants at the first MTSU Goat Camp June 24 line up their goats in the Tennessee Livestock Center’s swine floor area.

Participants at the first MTSU Goat Camp June 24 line up their goats in the Tennessee Livestock Center’s swine floor area.

MTSU alumnus and Oakland High School agriculture teacher Matt Farris, center, discusses techniques for bracing goats during the MTSU Block and Bridle Club-sponsored Goat Camp at the Tennessee Livestock Center June 24. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU alumnus and Oakland High School agriculture teacher Matt Farris, center, discusses techniques for bracing goats during the MTSU Block and Bridle Club-sponsored Goat Camp at the Tennessee Livestock Center June 24.