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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.

MTSU aerospace helps present Great Tennessee Air Show (+VIDEO)

SMYRNA, Tennessee — The Department of Aerospace at Middle Tennessee State University was out in full force Saturday at the Great Tennessee Air Show.

MTSU was the presenting sponsor for the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels precision flight team. About 25 faculty and students worked a display tent about the aerospace department that featured two training aircraft.

“It’s important not only to expose our aerospace department, but our school,” said Tyler Babb, an assistant professor of aerospace and organizer of the air show effort for the university.

“There are a lot of people in the community who know about us, who know that we’re there, who know we’re a big school,” he continued, “but to actually show up (at the air show) and hand them information about our school is a very direct link.”

You can watch a video from the day’s events below.

 

 

President Sidney A. McPhee and Dr. Bud Fischer, dean of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, toured the Air Show on Saturday and spent time with students and faculty at the MTSU aerospace tent.

“It’s very appropriate for MTSU, one of the premier aerospace universities in the country, to have a very visible and prominent role at one of the nation’s top air shows,” McPhee said.

The president  said he also was pleased to see two of the aerospace department’s Diamond DA40 aircraft at the show. Show goers were allowed to climb behind the controls of the aircraft.

“We have made considerable investments in our aerospace department,” McPhee said. “I’m pleased our partnership with the Great Tennessee Air Show allows us to showcase our program.”

McPhee and other MTSU representatives toured the flight line following the Blue Angels’ show and met with the Navy and Marine pilots and crew members.

The air show continues Sunday. For more information, visit greattennesseeairshow.com. For more information about the Department of Aerospace at MTSU, visit www.mtsu.edu/aerospace.

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

Skip Stewart, left, a 1992 graduate of MTSU’s Department of Aerospace, meets with MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee following Stewart’s aeronautical performance at the Great Tennessee Air Show in Smyrna. (MTSU photos)

Skip Stewart, left, a 1992 graduate of MTSU’s Department of Aerospace, meets with MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee following Stewart’s aeronautical performance at the Great Tennessee Air Show in Smyrna. (MTSU photos)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, center, meets with students and faculty of MTSU’s Department of Aerospace, one of the primary sponsors of the Great Tennessee Air Show in Smyrna. MTSU was the presenting sponsor for the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels demonstration flight squadron, and the aerospace department also operated an information tent on the tarmac.

Students and faculty from MTSU’s Department of Aerospace look on as members of the public view one of the university’s two DA-40 Diamond Star training aircraft on display at the Great Tennessee Air Show in Smyrna on Saturday.

MTSU aviation camp attracts nearly 40 high school students (+VIDEO)

The third annual MTSU Introduction to Aviation Summer Camp attracted nearly 40 high school students from across the region and even one from as far away as Texas.

With assistance from flight instructors and other MTSU personnel, director Wendy Beckman made sure the 36 teenagers gain a full grasp of all aspects of aerospace.

“This gives students a chance to look at aviation maintenance, air traffic control, professional pilot and aerospace technology to find out if there’s something they’re interested in for a career,” said Beckman, a professor in the Department of Aerospace, one of the university’s premier programs.

The introduction camp was held June 9-13. From June 16-18, the Professional Pilot Advanced Camp features more flight time and ground instruction for 10 participants.

“The students rotate through a number of stations,” Beckman added. “They get to fly in our Diamond sim(ulator). They actually get to go in a Diamond flight. They spend an hour going on a short cross-country trip. So they get introduced to a lot of aspects of aviation.”

As Ethan Scott, 15, a rising junior at Ensworth High School in Nashville, studies the instrument panel in the MTSU Diamond DA-40 four-seat plane, senior and flight instructor Alex Arcamuzi makes final preparations for the flight that included Wade Yawn, 15, a sophomore at Lighthouse Christian School in Nashville. (MTSU photos by News and Media Relations)

As Ethan Scott, 15, a rising junior at Ensworth High School in Nashville, studies the instrument panel in the MTSU Diamond DA-40 four-seat plane, senior and flight instructor Alex Arcamuzi makes final preparations for the flight that included Wade Yawn, 15, a sophomore at Lighthouse Christian School in Nashville. (MTSU photos by News and Media Relations)

Incoming MTSU freshman Mathew Shearer discussed the maintenance side to the camp.

“It’s actually pretty neat, getting to learn about the internal combustion engines for aircraft,” said Shearer, 18, a Williamson County, Tennessee, resident and 2014 Page High School graduate.

“We actually started one up, got to see how it works, learned some of the fire safety systems, what they do for non-destructive inspections so they know when something is going wrong,” he added. “We got to do a few hands-on things in some classroom. It was a pretty neat experience to see what all goes on behind the scenes.”

Jake Garrette, 17, a rising senior at Community High School in Unionville, Tennessee, said visiting the air traffic control tower in the Business and Aerospace Building was “one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.”

“They simulate a full control tower,” said Garrette, who added he plans to attend MTSU starting in the 2015-16 academic year and major in the professional pilot concentration. “It was so much fun. You could be a pilot or a controller and guide the planes in. We knew no lives were at stake, but we could learn how it all works. It was unbelievable.”

Garrette, who said he is considering joining the U.S. Air Force or another military area after graduating from MTSU, said he “feels reassured what I want to do after seeing all this.”

Bryson Garrett, 14, of Murfreesboro, a rising freshman at Central Magnet School, and Matt Gibson, 15, who attends Harwood Junior High School in Bedford, Texas, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, shared how much fun it was to fly the Diamond DA-40 planes, which are a major part of the MTSU fleet.

Regarding the aerodynamics of flight, Carly Alsup, 13, of Murfreesboro, a rising eighth-grade student at Central Magnet School, said she “really liked learning about the more technical side of it, like how the plane can fly and why it does, and some tips on actually getting up in the plane.”

Look for dates for the 2015 camps on the aerospace website, http://mtsu.edu/aerospace/, sometime after Feb. 1. The site also has other information about the camps and the aerospace department.

For more information, call 615-898-2788.

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

Michaela George, 15, a rising 11th-grade student homeschooled under the Family Christian Academy umbrella, sits at the controls of the Diamond simulator at the MTSU Flight Operations Center at Murfreesboro Airport June 12. Her training came during the third annual Introduction to Aviation Summer Camp.

Michaela George, 15, a rising 11th-grade student homeschooled under the Family Christian Academy umbrella, sits at the controls of the Diamond simulator at the MTSU Flight Operations Center at Murfreesboro Airport June 12. Her training came during the third annual Introduction to Aviation Summer Camp.

MTSU aerospace helps present Great Tennessee Air Show (+VIDEO)

SMYRNA, Tennessee — The Department of Aerospace at Middle Tennessee State University was out in full force Saturday at the Great Tennessee Air Show.

MTSU was the presenting sponsor for the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels precision flight team. About 25 faculty and students worked a display tent about the aerospace department that featured two training aircraft.

“It’s important not only to expose our aerospace department, but our school,” said Tyler Babb, an assistant professor of aerospace and organizer of the air show effort for the university.

“There are a lot of people in the community who know about us, who know that we’re there, who know we’re a big school,” he continued, “but to actually show up (at the air show) and hand them information about our school is a very direct link.”

You can watch a video from the day’s events below.

 

 

President Sidney A. McPhee and Dr. Bud Fischer, dean of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, toured the Air Show on Saturday and spent time with students and faculty at the MTSU aerospace tent.

“It’s very appropriate for MTSU, one of the premier aerospace universities in the country, to have a very visible and prominent role at one of the nation’s top air shows,” McPhee said.

The president  said he also was pleased to see two of the aerospace department’s Diamond DA40 aircraft at the show. Show goers were allowed to climb behind the controls of the aircraft.

“We have made considerable investments in our aerospace department,” McPhee said. “I’m pleased our partnership with the Great Tennessee Air Show allows us to showcase our program.”

McPhee and other MTSU representatives toured the flight line following the Blue Angels’ show and met with the Navy and Marine pilots and crew members.

The air show continues Sunday. For more information, visit greattennesseeairshow.com. For more information about the Department of Aerospace at MTSU, visit www.mtsu.edu/aerospace.

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

Skip Stewart, left, a 1992 graduate of MTSU’s Department of Aerospace, meets with MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee following Stewart’s aeronautical performance at the Great Tennessee Air Show in Smyrna. (MTSU photos)

Skip Stewart, left, a 1992 graduate of MTSU’s Department of Aerospace, meets with MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee following Stewart’s aeronautical performance at the Great Tennessee Air Show in Smyrna. (MTSU photos)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, center, meets with students and faculty of MTSU’s Department of Aerospace, one of the primary sponsors of the Great Tennessee Air Show in Smyrna. MTSU was the presenting sponsor for the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels demonstration flight squadron, and the aerospace department also operated an information tent on the tarmac.

Students and faculty from MTSU’s Department of Aerospace look on as members of the public view one of the university’s two DA-40 Diamond Star training aircraft on display at the Great Tennessee Air Show in Smyrna on Saturday.

Registration underway now for Sept. 20 girls’ math-science event

EYH logoWith registration already underway, middle school and high school girls should act early to secure their spot in the 2014 Expanding Your Horizons in Science and Mathematics Conference at MTSU.

The 18th annual event will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, on campus. The registration fee is $18. The deadline to register is Sunday, Aug. 31.

Freneka Minter

Freneka Minter

To register, go to www.mtsu.edu/wistem/eyh/index.php and click on “Registration.” A link for the parent or guardian release form is included on the registration page.

Expanding Your Horizons is a hands-on math and science event to help girls consider careers in these fields as well as engineering and technology, said Dr. Judith Iriarte-Gross, EYH and WISTEM (Women in STEM) Center director.

Katrina Smith

Katrina Smith

Iriarte-Gross, who is a chemistry professor at MTSU, added that the EYH event gives them opportunities to talk with women in science careers and attend this type of conference with other girls who share their interests. STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.

MTSU alumna Freneka Minter, a Vanderbilt University Medical Center program coordinator in the Center for Health Services Research, will serve as keynote speaker for the middle school and high school girls. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the university.

Alumna Katrina Smith, a research assistant in the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery, will be a second keynote speaker for the high school girls later in the day. She graduated from MTSU in December 2013.

Up to 275 middle school girls and up to 75 high school girls from across the region are welcome to attend the event, Iriarte-Gross said.

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

MTSU anticipates 700-plus visiting for June 7 Summer Preview Day

Prospective students and their families file past the new Science Building in the background during the March 22 Spring Preview Day on campus. In addition to daily campus tours, the next admissions special event will be the Saturday, June 7, Summer Preview Day. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Prospective students and their families file past the new Science Building in the background during the March 22 Spring Preview Day on campus. In addition to daily campus tours, the next admissions special event will be the Saturday, June 7, Summer Preview Day. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

High school students from across Tennessee and other states are invited to attend the Summer Preview Day, which will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 7, in the Student Union on the Middle Tennessee State University campus.

More than 700 visitors —prospective students and their parents and family members — have registered to attend the preview day, said Rob Patterson, assistant director of undergraduate recruitment.

To find parking on the east side of campus and to locate the various buildings, a printable campus map can be found at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap13-14.

It will be the final prospective student event MTSU will host until the fall semester begins. To register, visit http://www.mtsu.edu/how-to-apply/ or http://www.mtsu.edu/schedule-a-visit/special-events.php online.

Patterson and Melinda Thomas, director of undergraduate recruitment, said the admissions plan is to target rising seniors and underclassmen, to get them to think about the next stage in their academic careers.

Unlike the March Spring Preview Day, which had a major focus on the science areas because of the new $147 million Science Building being built, the June 7 preview day will feature the traditional schedule of events, Patterson said.

Prospective students and their families attending the Saturday, June 7, Summer Preview Day may see chemistry in action as the Spring Preview Day visitors did in March. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Prospective students and their families attending the Saturday, June 7, Summer Preview Day may see chemistry in action as the Spring Preview Day visitors did in March. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

The preview day schedule:

• 8 to 8:50 a.m. — Check-in and academic browsing;

• 9 a.m. — Welcome;

• 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. — Academic Session 1 with eight colleges from within the university and Education Abroad;

• 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. — Academic Session 2 with eight colleges within the university and Education Abroad; and

• 11:30 to 11:55 a.m. and noon to 12:25 p.m. — Financial aid and scholarships; housing presentation; student involvement; and freshman admissions presentation.

Campus and housing tours will begin at noon, 12:30, 1 and 1:30 p.m. Campus Recreation Center tours will be held at noon and 12:30 p.m.

Daily campus tours are held at 10 a.m. and special tours can be scheduled in the afternoons, Patterson said. Also, a Saturday option for tours will be offered June 28, July 19 and Aug. 2, he added.

To learn more, visit the admissions website or call 615-898-2111.

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