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MTSU recognizes high achievers on spring 2015 Dean’s List

Almost 4,200 MTSU students are included on the latest Dean’s List for their academic achievements for the spring 2015 semester.

spring 2015 deans list graphic croppedThis list, alphabetized by home county and surname, is the final compilation by the MTSU Records Office of the names and hometowns of students receiving the Dean’s List distinction for the spring. The PDF is available by clicking here.

To qualify for the Dean’s List, a student must maintain a current semester grade-point average of 3.5 or above and earn at least 12 semester hours.

The “Dean’s List” notation applies only to undergraduate students. MTSU’s lists are updated after each semester ends and student grades are posted.

An archive of recent Dean’s Lists by semester is available here.

Please note: These lists are provided by the MTSU Registrar’s Office and are compiled from information from each student’s official records. The Office of News and Media Relations does not compile nor create the final Dean’s List.

For questions about an individual student’s inclusion on the list, please contact the Registrar’s Office at 615-898-2111 or records@mtsu.edu.

MTSU finalizes list of spring 2015 graduates

MTSU is proud to release a printable list of the graduates who received their degrees in the recent spring 2015 commencement ceremony.

This list, alphabetized by home county and surname, is the final compilation by the MTSU Registrar’s Office of the names and hometowns of MTSU’s spring 2015 graduates. The PDF is available by clicking here.

One of MTSU's student veterans proudly holds his degree aloft to show family and friends during the university's spring 2015 morning commencement ceremony inside Murphy Center May 9. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

One of MTSU’s student veterans proudly holds his degree aloft to show family and friends during the university’s spring 2015 morning commencement ceremony inside Murphy Center May 9. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Full news coverage of the spring 2015 commencement ceremony on May 9, including videos and links to plenty of photos, is available here

MTSU graduation lists are finalized after each commencement day. An archive of recent graduation lists by semester is available here.

Please note: These final graduation lists are provided by the MTSU Registrar’s Office and are compiled from information from each student’s official records. The Office of News and Media Relations does not compile nor create the final graduation list.

For questions about an individual student’s inclusion on the list, please contact the Registrar’s Office at 615-898-2111 or records@mtsu.edu.

Anderson Foundation announces 3 MTSU scholarship winners

Three young women with unconventional career paths now have a little more money with which to pursue their educational goals.

The June S. Anderson Foundation granted full-tuition scholarships to MTSU students Lori Grimes, Latesha Fitzgerald and Amanda Adams, all rising seniors, at a May 13 luncheon at B. McNeel’s Restaurant, 215 N. Church St. in Murfreesboro.

The 2015 June Anderson Foundation Scholarship recipients are, left to right, Lori Grimes, a rising senior from Shelbyville, Tennessee, majoring in organizational communication; Latesha Fitzgerald, a rising senior from Brentwood, Tennessee, majoring in computer science; and Amanda Adams, a rising senior from Lewisburg, Tennessee, majoring in geosciences. (Photo by MTSU News and Media Relations)

The 2015 June Anderson Foundation Scholarship recipients are, left to right, Lori Grimes, a rising senior from Shelbyville, Tennessee, majoring in organizational communication; Latesha Fitzgerald, a rising senior from Brentwood, Tennessee, majoring in computer science; and Amanda Adams, a rising senior from Lewisburg, Tennessee, majoring in geosciences. (Photo by MTSU News and Media Relations)

Grimes, a Shelbyville, Tennessee, resident, who is majoring in organizational communication, was living in California when pregnancy interrupted her attendance at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Her husband is retired from the Los Angeles Police Department, where he served for 25 years before an on-duty injury forced his retirement 13 years ago.

Now that her daughter has graduated from MTSU and her son is a student at the university, Grimes is resuming her own college career.

Fitzgerald, a Brentwood, Tennessee, resident who is majoring in computer science, has three grown children.

Her stepson is a pilot for Alaska Airlines, and her daughter is an actress. Her son, Jordan, is a junior majoring in graphic design at MTSU.

Fitzgerald said her dream to research solar and wind power was pre-empted by a 12-hour work shift and family obligations. Now, she said, she has time “to research cleaner concepts of electricity generation.”

Adams, a Lewisburg, Tennessee, native who is majoring in geosciences, is married with two children, ages 9 and 2.

Dr. June S. Anderson

Dr. June S. Anderson

She said she has been interested in geology ever since she was a child and created her own rock collection.

“This makes it possible for me to continue and not take out the maximum amount of student loans just to survive,” Adams said of her award.

Dr. June S. Anderson, a professor of chemistry at MTSU for more than 25 years, established the June S. Anderson Foundation in 1982 to award scholarships to MTSU students majoring in programs of study underrepresented by women.

The Ripley, Tennessee, native founded Concerned Faculty and Administrative Women in 1975 at MTSU as an academic support service for women and established the Women’s Information Service for Education in 1977.

She also founded Women in Higher Education in Tennessee, participated in the Rape Alert program, conducted women’s studies classes and championed pay equity, child care centers and proper campus lighting.

For more information about the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students and scholarship opportunities, contact Dr. Mary Magada-Ward, foundation president, at 615-898-5174 or mary.magada-ward@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

MTSU expands dual enrollment, offers tuition-free online courses

Qualified high school juniors and seniors statewide will be able to take tuition-free online courses for college credit through Middle Tennessee State University’s recently expanded dual-enrollment program.

The move, announced Tuesday, May 12, follows a new emphasis by the university on its dual-enrollment outreach, which includes MTSU courses to be taught this fall on high school campuses in Rutherford, Williamson and Bradley counties.

MTSU’s Dual Enrollment Program allows Tennessee high school students, who meet the university’s admissions criteria and gain approvals from their guidance counselors, to take college classes before they graduate.

Dr. Mike Boyle

Dr. Mike Boyle

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee

“Students receive many benefits,” said University College Dean Mike Boyle, who oversees the Dual Enrollment Program. “They may be able to take classes that are required by their high school, but earn both college and high school credit at the same time. It also allows them to make an easier transition to college and can shorten how long it takes to earn their college degree.”

The online offerings, which range from courses in Aerospace to Recording Industry, will likely be attractive options to home-schooled students in search of additional academic enrichment opportunities, Boyle said.

The greatly reduced costs for the offerings are possible, Boyle said, because of a recently expanded Tennessee Dual Enrollment Grant and a decision by the Tennessee Board of Regents to reduce tuition rates for dual-enrollment students.

The state recently set higher payouts for the dual enrollment grant, starting with juniors in the 2015-16 school year. Beginning with those students, the grant will pay out $500 for the first and second dual-enrollment courses, which will cover MTSU’s tuition charges. They are also eligible for $200 in grant funding for a third course.

Next fall’s seniors, however, are not eligible for the grant’s higher payouts. But MTSU created a one-year supplemental scholarship to offset the balance between the $300-per-course grant and the $500-per-course tuition cost.

Students must pay a $25 admissions application fee to MTSU. And, those taking online courses will be assessed a fee of $10 per course credit hour. Students must also assume costs for textbooks and applicable lab fees for science courses.

MTSU’s online opportunities for dual-enrollment students include:MTSU Wordmark

  • Aerospace 1010: Introduction to Aerospace
  • Agribusiness and Agriscience 1101: Greenhouse Management online
  • Agribusiness and Agriscience 2130: Ag Business
  • Anthropology 2010: Cultural Anthropology
  • Anthropology 2210: Introduction to World Prehistory
  • Communications 2300: Interpersonal Communication
  • Economics 2410-DE1: Macroeconomics
  • Geography 2000: Introduction to Regional Geography
  • Global Studies 2010: Introduction to Cross-Cultural Experiences
  • Music 1030:  Introduction to Music
  • Political Science 1005: Introduction to American Politics
  • Political Science 1010: Introduction to Global Politics
  • Political Science 2020: State and Local Government
  • Recording Industry 1020: American Media and Social Institutions
  • Sociology 1010: Introductory Sociology
  • Sociology 2010: Social Problems

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee said the university’s expansion in dual enrollment, expected to grow from about 35 students this year to 500 in the fall, is an important investment.

“The governor’s Drive to 55 identifies earlier engagement by students as a key advantage for helping grow the state’s levels of educational attainment,” McPhee said. “TBR feels, and we concur, that high schools and students should have a variety of options for dual enrollment, which why they established an attractive tuition rate for its universities to offer such courses.

“We at MTSU also value the chance to establish ties sooner with students who have identified attending a four-year institution as their higher educational goal.”

Students and parents can learn more by visiting www.mtsu.edu/dualenrollment or contacting Mona Snell, MTSU’s dual enrollment advisor, at 615-898-5251 or mona.snell@mtsu.edu.

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

MTSU marketing class takes deeper dive into Google searches

MTSU marketing professor Don Roy recognizes the challenges today’s students face in a hyper-competitive job market, so what better way to give his students an edge than connecting them with search engine giant Google?

Students enrolled in Roy’s “Applied Promotional Strategy” undergraduate marketing course during this recently ended semester learned more than the fundamentals of search engine marketing by participating in the Google Online Marketing Challenge for the first time.

MTSU senior Paul Douglas, an electronic media communication major from Nashville, Tennessee, reviews analytics from a Google AdWords campaign developed by him and fellow classmates as part of the Google Online Marketing Challenge. Students in professor Don Roy's marketing class inside the Business and Aerospace Building participated in the challenge as part of their spring class. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

MTSU senior Paul Douglas, an electronic media communication major from Nashville, Tennessee, reviews analytics from a Google AdWords campaign developed by him and fellow classmates as part of the Google Online Marketing Challenge. Students in professor Don Roy’s marketing class inside the Business and Aerospace Building participated in the challenge as part of their spring class. (MTSU photos by Jimmy Hart)

The challenge is a global collegiate competition in which student teams run a three-week Google AdWords campaign for a local business or nonprofit organization. The challenge is open to student teams of three to six members from university undergraduate or graduate programs, regardless of a student’s major.

The 25 students in Roy’s class were divided up into eight teams that had to find a real business to market. Their budget came in the form of a $250 credit provided by Google for each team. The teams then had to develop a marketing strategy and objectives for their clients before launching a three-week AdWords campaign using paid advertising.

Google AdWords-webAnd while technical glitches prevented Roy’s class from fully participating in the competition, students such as senior Paul Douglas, an electronic media communication major from Nashville, Tennessee, gained valuable insights into how search engine marketing works.

Douglas was part of a four-member team that developed a marketing campaign for the Nashville Venom indoor football team. He was also among four students in the class that studied independently and passed two exams to achieve Google AdWords certification, a credential that lasts a year.

Dr. Don Roy

Dr. Don Roy

Now able to converse more intelligently about “impressions” and “click-through rates,” Douglas said the class allowed him and his classmates to communicate directly with clients and get hands-on experience in developing an online marketing campaign. He even built an online display ad for the football team.

“We got an almost 1 percent click-through rate, which I think is pretty good,” said Douglas as he pointed to the computer screen showing his team’s analytics on the last day of class, his assessment confirmed by Roy. “It’s been pretty cool. … The knowledge this has given me is valuable.”

Roy said students such as Douglas discovered that search engine marketing works better for some types of businesses than others, but that’s just the type of insight that students can carry with them into their careers.

“More employers are seeking graduates with search engine marketing skills, and this challenge is a means for acquainting students with paid search advertising practices,” Roy said.

Matthew Job, an executive with Local Search Masters, a Nashville-based search marketing firm, visited professor Don Roy's class earlier this semester for a guest lecture on search engine marketing.

Matthew Job, an executive with Local Search Masters, a Nashville-based search marketing firm, visited professor Don Roy’s class earlier this semester for a guest lecture on search engine marketing.

According to Google, the challenge is a unique opportunity for students to experience and create online marketing campaigns using Google AdWords and Google+. Over 80,000 students and professors from almost 100 countries have participated in the past seven years, the company says.

Teams that develop and communicate the most successful campaigns win prizes, including trips to Google offices. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the optional Google+ Social Media Marketing category by creating and managing a Google+ Page for their clients over a five-week period.

To help his students better understand the online marketing landscape, Roy invited executive Matthew Job with Local Search Masters, a Nashville-based search marketing firm, to visit his class for a guest lecture earlier in the semester.

“I can tell you from being in the world of search marketing that there is definitely a demand for people who know what they’re doing,” said Job, vice president of business development for the firm. “And there are not a lot of people who I can truly say know what they’re doing.”

Among the insights Job shared was how potential clients for search marketing services don’t want to be oversold on your firm’s abilities.WordmarkJonesCollege

“Part of what we try to avoid when we are selling a client is to avoid talking about us. Because what we’ve found is … the more you talk about how awesome you are or how cool you are, the less people care,” he said.

“If you’re cool and fantastic, you don’t need to tell people that. They’ll know it based on the work that you do.”

Despite the technical glitches this year, Roy said he will have next spring’s class try the Google Online Marketing Challenge again in hopes of getting an earlier start and allow students to get the full experience of the competition.

“I’m going to give it another shot because I’m convinced that students can benefit from having this knowledge and this skillset,” he said.

The Department of Management and Marketing is part of the Jennings A. Jones College of Business. For more information about the department, visit http://mtsu.edu/mgmtmkt/.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

MTSU marketing professor Don Roy allowed students enrolled in his ÒApplied Promotional StrategyÓ undergraduate marketing course during this recently ended semester to participate in the Google Online Marketing Challenge for the first time.

MTSU marketing professor Don Roy allowed students enrolled in his ÒApplied Promotional StrategyÓ undergraduate marketing course during this recently ended semester to participate in the Google Online Marketing Challenge for the first time.

 

MTSU grads’ efforts ‘a big deal,’ show need for ‘detours’ (+VIDEO)

MTSU’s 2,511 newly minted graduates rightly should be proud of their hard-won accomplishment because “it is a BIG DEAL,” but should always consider “detours” to find new opportunities, commencement speakers said May 9.

An MTSU graduate's mortarboard celebrates her accomplishment at the spring 2015 morning commencement ceremony inside Murphy Center. (MTSU photo by GradImages.com)

An MTSU graduate’s mortarboard celebrates her accomplishment at the spring 2015 morning commencement ceremony inside Murphy Center. (MTSU photo by GradImages.com)

“This is a day to celebrate all of you and this major accomplishment in your lives. It’s a BIG DEAL,” Tennessee Higher Education Commission Chairman Evan Cope told the audience inside Murphy Center for the morning ceremony at MTSU’s spring 2015 commencement.

“But it’s not just a big deal to you, and it’s not just a big deal to your family and your friends and your loved ones who supported you through this long process. It’s a big deal to our society, and it’s a big deal to our democracy. As a society we all benefit as a collective whole from your accomplishment.”

That benefit creates an educated, informed electorate, he explained.

“We’ve got a duty to be informed and to be educated about the issues that inform our world,” the Murfreesboro attorney continued. “It’s our duty to be informed.

Evan Cope

Evan Cope

Darin Gordon

Darin Gordon

“Higher education is vital to the preservation and perpetuation of our democracy. We have to have an educated population, and we have to make higher education as available and accessible to as many people as we possibly can.”

Afternoon speaker Darin Gordon, director of health care finance and administration for the state of Tennessee and an MTSU alumnus, encouraged the graduates to “appreciate the vast unpredictability of life and to be on the lookout for detours, even when they don’t look like the paths you were first expecting.”

Gordon noted that he’d planned since fifth grade to become an attorney, but he heeded an unexpected suggestion from his political science professor, now liberal arts dean Dr. Mark Byrnes, to take a state government internship that changed his focus.

http://youtu.be/ip8KxdXoQuE

“There were stops different from the one I’d mapped out from my fifth-grade plan. I went down this path, and … each step I took was full of growth opportunities,” he said. “I want you to have the courage to take a new path, even if it’s different from the one you thought you would take, for it may take you where you never knew you needed to go.”

The first Class of 2015 receiving degrees from MTSU May 9 included 2,128 undergraduates and 383 graduate students — the third largest graduating class in the university’s 104-year history.

Students from the College of Graduate Studies, Basic and Applied Sciences, Jennings A. Jones College of Business and the College of Education received their degrees in the morning ceremony. Students in the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, College of Liberal Arts, College of Mass Communication and the University College received their degrees in the afternoon event.

With hopes of investment banking on the horizon, Frederick Eddins Jr., 23, of Nashville, cherished his moment with about 30 family members, led by parents Andrea and Frederick Eddins Sr. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration during the morning ceremony.

Marion Henry Veals

Marion Henry Veals

Frederick Eddins Jr.

Frederick Eddins Jr.

“This is a pretty big step up for me, being the first person in my family to graduate,” said Eddins, who wore both military veteran and fraternity regalia on his MTSU commencement gown. He has served four years in the Army National Guard and is a member of Phi Delta Theta.

“I jumped a big hurdle in my life, being the first in the family, and knowing the retention rate — not a lot of people graduate — so I’m proud to be part of the retention rate. After this, I’ll look for a job and hope to find something in Nashville.”

For 60-year-old Marion Henry Veals, the spring 2015 graduation was about proving something to himself and to others.

Veals, an intermediate studies major from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in the College of University Studies, first attended MTSU in the 1970s.

Life intervened, and he worked at Murfreesboro’s General Electric plant for 20 years. When he returned to MTSU, he needed only four more semesters of credits to obtain a bachelor’s degree.

Veals, who now uses a wheelchair after surgery damaged his knee three years ago, said building accessibility for people with disabilities is especially important to him.

“It’s 2015,” said Veals. “Everything ought to be accessible to everybody. It’s OK to be beautiful, but it should be beautiful and functional at the same time.”

Achieving goals while living with disabilities wasn’t all Veals intended to prove.

“I wanted to prove to my daughter that you’re never too old to follow your dreams,” Veals said.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee encouraged the new graduates to “bask in the glory that surrounds this day” but reminded them that it’s also a starting point for their next adventures.

“You may feel that this long journey is over,” McPhee said. “We feel that it is just a comma, not a period, in your story. It is just the beginning of even greater things to come.”

MTSU’s commencement ceremonies are always free and open to the public. Friends, families and supporters who can’t attend in person can watch each ceremony live online via streaming video; more than 1,800 people from around the world watched this semester’s commencement ceremonies online.

MTSU’s summer 2015 commencement is scheduled Saturday, Aug. 8, inside Murphy Center.

The university’s 2015-16 academic year begins Monday, Aug. 24, with the first official day of fall 2015 semester classes. University Convocation, a public ceremony welcoming new freshmen into the MTSU family, is set for Sunday, Aug. 23, at 2 p.m. in Murphy Center.

-– Gina E. Fann, Randy Weiler and Gina K. Logue  (news@mtsu.edu)

A prospective MTSU spring 2015 graduate receives congratulatory smooches from loved ones inside Murphy Center before the morning commencement cermony begins May 9.

A prospective MTSU spring 2015 graduate receives congratulatory kisses from loved ones inside Murphy Center before the morning commencement cermony begins May 9.

MTSU family members and friends of new graduates eagerly await the spring 2015 morning commencement ceremony inside Murphy Center May 9. (MTSU photo by GradImages.com)

MTSU family members and friends of new graduates eagerly await the spring 2015 morning commencement ceremony inside Murphy Center May 9. (MTSU photo by GradImages.com)

Bruce Petryshak, left, MTSU vice president for information technology and chief information officer, jokes with Dr. Debra Sells, vice president for student affairs and vice provost for enrollment and academic services, before the spring 2015 morning commencement ceremony inside Murphy Center May 9. (MTSU photo by GradImages.com)

Bruce Petryshak, left, MTSU vice president for information technology and chief information officer, jokes with Dr. Debra Sells, vice president for student affairs and vice provost for enrollment and academic services, before the spring 2015 morning commencement ceremony inside Murphy Center May 9. (MTSU photo by GradImages.com)

Graduates file into MTSU's Murphy Center for the spring 2015 morning commencement ceremony May 9. (MTSU photo by GradImages.com)

Graduates file into MTSU’s Murphy Center for the spring 2015 morning commencement ceremony May 9. (MTSU photo by GradImages.com)

Graduates file into MTSU's Murphy Center for the spring 2015 morning commencement ceremony May 9. (MTSU photo by GradImages.com)

Graduates file into MTSU’s Murphy Center for the spring 2015 morning commencement ceremony May 9. (MTSU photo by GradImages.com)

Prospective graduates, surrounded by their friends and family in the audience, wait for the morning spring 2015 commencement ceremony to begin inside Murphy Center May 9. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Prospective graduates, surrounded by their friends and family in the audience, wait for the morning spring 2015 commencement ceremony to begin inside Murphy Center May 9. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, standing far right, congratulates the spring 2015 graduates during the morning ceremony in Murphy Center May 9. Listening are, from left, Dr. Jackie Eller, interim vice provost for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies; Dr. John Omachonu, vice provost for academic affairs; Dr. Brad Bartel, university provost; and commencement speaker Evan Cope, chairman of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. (MTSU photo by GradImages.com)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, standing far right, congratulates the spring 2015 graduates during the morning ceremony in Murphy Center May 9. Listening are, from left, Dr. Jackie Eller, interim vice provost for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies; Dr. John Omachonu, vice provost for academic affairs; Dr. Brad Bartel, university provost; and commencement speaker Evan Cope, chairman of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. (MTSU photo by GradImages.com)

One of MTSU's student veterans proudly holds his degree aloft to show family and friends during the university's spring 2015 morning commencement ceremony inside Murphy Center. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

One of MTSU’s student veterans proudly holds his degree aloft to show family and friends during the university’s spring 2015 morning commencement ceremony inside Murphy Center. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU honor graduates rise to be recognized during the spring 2015 afternoon commencement ceremony inside Murphy Center. (MTSU photo by GradImages.com)

MTSU honor graduates rise to be recognized during the spring 2015 afternoon commencement ceremony inside Murphy Center. (MTSU photo by GradImages.com)

A prospective MTSU graduate shows off his new eyewear while waiting for the spring 2015 afternoon commencement ceremony to begin inside Murphy Center. (MTSU photo by GradImages.com)

A prospective MTSU graduate shows off his new eyewear while waiting for the spring 2015 afternoon commencement ceremony to begin inside Murphy Center. (MTSU photo by GradImages.com)

You also can see more photos from the May 9 spring 2015 commencement ceremonies here on the MTSU Facebook page.

13 MTSU cadets commissioned into Army at ceremony (+VIDEO)

On the eve of graduating from MTSU, 13 senior military science ROTC cadets received a ceremonial send-off into their U.S. Army careers.

All were commissioned as second lieutenants during the Blue Raider Battalion spring ceremony Friday, May 8, in the MTSU Veterans Memorial outside the Tom H. Jackson Building.

The twice-yearly event recognizes the cadets’ completion of the ROTC program and their commitment to the U.S. Army.

https://youtu.be/gozk5VcOZX0

Maj. Gen. Jeffrey H. “Jeff” Holmes served as guest speaker. An MTSU alumnus, he is deputy adjutant general of the Tennessee National Guard.

Holmes is responsible to the adjutant general, Maj. Gen. Terry M. “Max” Haston, for the supervision of training and readiness for the 14,000-plus soldiers and airmen within the Tennessee National Guard. Haston is an alumnus of MTSU and the military science program.

“So I challenge you to lead these soldiers, the nation’s most precious commodities and most precious resource,” Holmes said in conclusion to his remarks. “Prepare yourself well, and I know you’ll do your best and do your duty. God bless you, and I’ll see you on the high ground.”

MTSU military science chair Joel Miller, left, administers the U.S. Army oath to part of the 13 senior cadets who became U.S. Army second lieutenants. The spring commissioning ceremony took place Friday, May 8, outside the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

MTSU military science chair Joel Miller, left, administers the U.S. Army oath to part of the 13 senior cadets who became U.S. Army second lieutenants. The spring commissioning ceremony took place Friday, May 8, outside the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

The ceremony marked the final public event for U.S. Army Lt. Col. Joel Miller, the department chair. After a three-year stint as program leader, he is leaving to become an assistant professor in the history department at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York.

Those commissioned include:

  • Breven Addington, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice. He was placed on the armor branch with the Tennessee Army National Guard.
  • Aaron Bruney, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Business Administration in computer information systems. He was placed on the signal corps branch with the Tennessee Army National Guard.
  • Tierra Kendrick, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in recording industry. She was placed on active duty with the military intelligence branch and will be camp cadre at cadet summer training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, beginning May 27 and will then go to Fort Huachuca, Arizona, to begin the basic officer leader course in August.
  • Shade Manning, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in psychology. He was placed on the military intelligence branch with the Tennessee Army Reserves.
  • Ryan McCoy, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in psychology. He was placed on the signal corps branch with the Tennessee Army National Guard.
  • Justin McIntosh, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in engineering technology. He was placed on active duty with the signal corps branch and will go to Fort Gordon, Georgia, and begin his basic officer leader course in October.
New U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Brevan Addington, center, gets pinned by his grandfather, Dean Trent, left, of Kingsport, Tennessee, and his father, Mark Addington, also of Kingsport.

New U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Brevan Addington, center, is pinned by his grandfather, Dean Trent, left, and his father, Mark Addington, both of Kingsport, Tennessee.

  • Jacob McLeod, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in engineering technology. He was placed on the signal corps branch with the Tennessee Army National Guard.
  • Paul Moret, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in international relations. He was placed on the transportation corps branch with the Tennessee Army Reserves.
  • Jason Seiber, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry. He was placed on the military intelligence branch with the Tennessee Army National Guard.
  • Vagif Seidov, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in liberal studies. He was placed on active duty with the quartermaster branch and will go to Fort Lee, Virginia, and begin his basic officer leader course in late May.
  • Ryan Shoemaker, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in liberal studies. He was placed on the medical services branch with the Tennessee Army National Guard.
  • James Thomas, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice. He was placed on active duty with the infantry branch and will go to Fort Benning, Georgia, and begin his basic officer leader course in January 2016.
  • Jonathan Wright, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Science  in aerospace. He was placed on the ordnance branch with the Tennessee Army National Guard.

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

MTSU alumnus and Maj. Gen. Jeff Holmes delivers the commissioning ceremony address Friday, May 8, in the MTSU Veterans Memorial site.

Maj. Gen. Jeff Holmes, an MTSU alumnus, delivers the commissioning ceremony address Friday, May 8, at the MTSU Veterans Memorial.

Family and friends and MTSU faculty, staff and administrators attend the spring 2015 ROTC commissioning ceremony Friday, May 8, outside the Tom H. Jackson Building. The military science program saw 13 senior cadets be commissioned as second lieutenants.

Family, friends and MTSU faculty and staff attend the spring 2015 ROTC commissioning ceremony Friday, May 8, outside the Tom H. Jackson Building. The military science program saw 13 senior cadets commissioned as second lieutenants.

College of Business awards program recognizes top students

The Jennings A. Jones College of Business at Middle Tennessee State University celebrated some of its top scholars during the E.W. “Wink” Midgett Awards Program held in early April at Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Murfreesboro.

Scholarships and academic recognitions were presented by the departments of Accounting, Business Communication and Entrepreneurship, Computer Information Systems, Economics and Finance, and Management and Marketing; and the Martin Chair of Insurance, and Weatherford Chair of Finance.

Click on the program cover below for a full listing of honorees:

Click on the cover for a complete lists of scholarship and award winners.

Click on the cover for a complete lists of scholarship and award winners.

For more information about the Jones College of Business at MTSU, visit www.mtsu.edu/business.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

Finalists’ pitches earn seed money at MTSU biz plan contest (+VIDEO)

As a graduate student in MTSU’s molecular bioscience program, Matthew Wright of Knoxville, Tennessee, mixed his deep knowledge of cells with his growing knowledge about sales during the 2015 MTSU Business Plan Competition.

Wright stood before a panel of five area business leaders inside the Student Union Ballroom recently to pitch his three-member team’s proposal for Salomon’s House LLC, a startup whose ambitious mission is to discover disease-curing compounds that it in turn sells to the pharmaceutical industry.

Representing his student team's proposal for the business Green Source Energy Recovery, James Sherrill, a senior from Nashville, Tenn., makes his pitch to a panel of judges inside the MTSU Student Union Ballroom Tuesday, April 21, during the finals of the 2015 MTSU Business Plan Competition. Sherrill's team took second place and a $5,000 prize.

Representing his student team’s proposal for the business Green Source Energy Recovery, James Sherrill, a senior from Nashville, Tenn., makes his pitch to a panel of judges inside the MTSU Student Union Ballroom Tuesday, April 21, during the finals of the 2015 MTSU Business Plan Competition. Sherrill’s team took second place and a $5,000 prize.

One of three teams to make it to the competition finals, Salomon’s House LLC was the top winner for this year’s competition, an achievement that earned team members $7,500 in seed money to help bring their entrepreneurial idea into reality. Launched last year, the competition was a welcomed opportunity to this year’s finalists and is “what changed everything” for Wright and his team.

“We’ve been working on the science — getting our protocols, getting our lab space done,” a relieved Wright said after his presentation, clutching the team’s first place plaque. “The competition caused us to put everything — business, financials — down on paper, and I believe it’s providing a quicker route to getting this thing off the ground.”

Wright teamed with alumnus Jacob Basham, a University Honors College graduate from Portland, Tennessee, and alumnus Eric Vick of Bellevue, Tennessee, who graduated last year with a doctoral degree in molecular biosciences.

“It’s a conversation we started probably three years ago, doing something like this,” said Basham, who serves as chief drug development officer for the business. “This is the first tangible thing we’ve gotten our hands on, as far as a success to where this is headed. I think it’s setting the precedent for good things to come.”

“It really focused us,” added Vick, chief science officer for the company. “… We’re going to change the world.”

http://youtu.be/BdD2QQ2pQEI

Each team was represented by one spokesperson at the April 21 finals who gave detailed PowerPoint presentations on their startup company, including things such as financial projections that reached the millions in some cases, overhead costs, strengths and weaknesses and competitive landscape.

They were then peppered with questions from a panel of area business professionals who not only challenged some of the projections but also offered advice on how contestants could improve their business plans going forward.

Dr. Bill McDowell

Dr. Bill McDowell

WordmarkJonesCollegeThe judges, who scored the presentations on a number of criteria, included: Thom Coats, vice president of sales for software consulting company JourneyTEAM; Tim Cronin, a local social media marketing entrepreneur; Jonathan Eby, vice president of operations for classical music label and distributor Naxos of America Inc.; Pete Hendrix, entrepreneur and host of local television program “Score on Business”; and Chip Higgins, senior vice president for Pinnacle Financial Partners.

The MTSU student team representing Green Source Energy Recovery won second place and a $5,000 prize. The team consisted of three environmental science majors in James Sherrill, a senior from Nashville, Tennessee; Symone Foster, a senior from Jackson, Tennessee; and Ryan Cunningham, a senior from Tullahoma, Tennessee; and environmental health and safety major Taylor Drury, a junior from Franklin, Tennessee.

The company’s concept was to partner with MTSU to provide bio-methane gas to use in the university’s cogeneration facility to help power the campus. The company would essentially take organic waste from sources such as farms, landfills and wastewater treatment and convert it into biogas for commercial purposes.

The other finalist was student Theresa Daniels of Nashville, founder of Theresa’s Twist-Pretzels with a Purpose. The nonprofit food service company has a mission to provide job opportunities and family support to others like Daniels with Asperger’s syndrome, a condition on the autism spectrum. Theresa’s Twist would enable those with Asperger’s gain valuable social and job skills and future employment.

MTSU junior Theresa Daniels of Nashville, founder of Theresa's Twist-Pretzels with a Purpose, was the third finalist at the 2015 Business Plan Competition. The nonprofit food service company has a mission to provide job opportunities and family support to others like Daniels with Asperger's syndrome, a condition on the autism spectrum.

MTSU junior Theresa Daniels of Nashville, founder of Theresa’s Twist-Pretzels with a Purpose, was the third finalist at the 2015 Business Plan Competition. The nonprofit food service company has a mission to provide job opportunities and family support to others like Daniels with Asperger’s syndrome, a condition on the autism spectrum.

“We really had a great opportunity to see some neat and unique business ideas presented,” said Bill McDowell, chair holder of the Wright Travel Chair of Entrepreneurship, which sponsored the competition. “I believe this is a great opportunity to stir entrepreneurship and innovation across campus.”

Organizers say the process allows students to enhance their learning experience, gain feedback on ideas, develop networks and expose their ideas to potential investors. Early-stage company investors, entrepreneurs and business leaders from the Midstate will judge presentations by the finalist teams.

Any enrolled MTSU student or MTSU alumnus could participate in the competition. A team could consist of one or more contestants and include nonstudents, but there must be at least one MTSU student or alumnus on each team. That person was responsible for making key presentations during the course of the competition and had to be included in top management for the proposed business.

After an initial screening round, participants went through an entrepreneurial boot camp of sorts where more specifics were shared about what’s needed in the business plan and how to put together presentations for potential stakeholders and investors.

Later, a tradeshow round was held where judges narrowed down the field to the top three entries. Mentors were assigned to the teams to help them polish their presentations and business plans for final evaluation by judges.

Secondary and specialty awards were also presented, including awards funded by a grant from the Clouse-Elrod Foundation that included a monetary gift of $250 for each category.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

The student/alumni team representing Salomon’s House LLC won the top prize of $7,500 for the 2015 MTSU Business Plan Competition. From left to right are Bill McDowell, chairholder of the Wright Travel Chair of Entrepreneurship; alumnus Jacob Basham of Portland, Tenn.; graduate student Matthew Wright of Knoxville, Tenn.; alumnus Eric Vick of Bellevue, Tenn.; and David Urban, dean of the Jones College of Business. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

The student/alumni team representing Salomon’s House LLC won the top prize of $7,500 for the 2015 MTSU Business Plan Competition. From left to right are Bill McDowell, chairholder of the Wright Travel Chair of Entrepreneurship; alumnus Jacob Basham of Portland, Tenn.; graduate student Matthew Wright of Knoxville, Tenn.; alumnus Eric Vick of Bellevue, Tenn.; and David Urban, dean of the Jones College of Business. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

The MTSU student team representing Green Source Energy Recovery won second place and a $5,000 prize in the 2015 MTSU Business Plan Competition. From left to right are Bill McDowell, chairholder of the Wright Travel Chair of Entrepreneurship; James Sherrill, a senior from Nashville, Tenn.; Symone Foster, a senior from Jackson, Tenn.; Taylor Drury, a junior from Franklin, Tenn.; Ryan Cunningham, a senior from Tullahoma, Tenn; and David Urban, dean of the Jones College of Business.

The MTSU student team representing Green Source Energy Recovery won second place and a $5,000 prize in the 2015 MTSU Business Plan Competition. From left to right are Bill McDowell, chairholder of the Wright Travel Chair of Entrepreneurship; James Sherrill, a senior from Nashville, Tenn.; Symone Foster, a senior from Jackson, Tenn.; Taylor Drury, a junior from Franklin, Tenn.; Ryan Cunningham, a senior from Tullahoma, Tenn.; and David Urban, dean of the Jones College of Business.

Revved-up MTSU Formula Hybrid team competes in New Hampshire

Seeking a third straight success story for the MTSU Experimental Vehicles Program, nine members of the Formula Hybrid team are in Loudon, New Hampshire, this week competing in the Society of Automotive Engineers, or SAE, Collegiate Design Series.

The April 27-30 Formula Hybrid competition is an interdisciplinary design and engineering challenge for undergraduate and graduate university students.

It's all hands on deck for the MTSU Formula Hybrid team. Before leaving for Loudon, New Hampshire, for the April 27-30 competition, they made numerous adjustments to their vehicle. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

It’s all hands on deck for the MTSU Formula Hybrid team. Before leaving for Loudon, New Hampshire, for the April 27-30 competition, they made numerous adjustments to their vehicle. (MTSU photos by Randy Weiler)

They must collaborate to design and build a formula-style electric or plug-in hybrid racecar and compete in a series of events. This educational competition emphasizes drivetrain innovation and fuel efficiency in a high-performance application.

MTSU will be looking for a third straight strong performance in the past four weeks from its Experimental Vehicles Program entries.

On April 18, one engineering technology department lunar rover entry placed first in the U.S. and third against international competition at the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge in Huntsville, Alabama. MTSU placed in the top 30 universities at the Baja SAE Collegiate Design Series at Opelika, Alabama, near Auburn, April 9-12.

This marks MTSU’s first time to compete in Formula Hybrid. Competitors will include defending champion University of Idaho, Lawrence Technological University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in the hybrid division, and defending champion Dartmouth, the University of Vermont and Carnegie Mellon University in the electric-only class.

In what team captain Daniel Morgan of Battle Creek, Michigan, calls the “hardest competition of all the school events” the MTSU experimental vehicles enter — solar boat, lunar rover and Baja SAE regional and national events — Morgan said he feels “confident in the vehicle, but we know we have some things to fix.”

“We’ve got some fine-tuning to do,” added Morgan, a mechatronics engineering major and Michigan State graduate, on the eve of the team’s departure from MTSU for Loudon and the start of the competition at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The track is the home of NASCAR and IndyCar events and the Loudon Classic, the oldest motorcycle race in North America.

Captain Daniel Morgan inspects the batteries to be used in the MTSU team's Formula Hybrid SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) vehicle. They are competing against other universities at the New Hampshire Motor Raceway in Loudon, New Hampshire.

Captain Daniel Morgan inspects the batteries to be used in the MTSU team’s Formula Hybrid SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) vehicle. They are competing against other universities at the New Hampshire Motor Raceway in Loudon, New Hampshire.

Including the driver, the MTSU open-air, single-seat Formula Hybrid vehicle weighs about 900 pounds. It features both combustion and an electrical engine. Last-minute circumstances forced the team to buy a 250cc Kawasaki motorcycle in order to transfer its combustion engine to deliver the hybrid aspect to the MTSU entry.

The 2014-15 team inherited the metal frame that was designed several years ago.

Led by Morgan and co-captain Robert Johnson, 25, of Spring Hill, Tennessee, the team redesigned various front-end suspension components. Graduate student Cary Woodson, 47, of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, assisted Johnson with all the electrical aspects on the rear end.

Morgan said a cool feature is running the brakes on the sprockets (a wheel with teeth that mesh with a chain or other material) — something he has seen on motorcycles, but never on a four-wheel vehicle like this.

Technical inspections highlighted most of the April 27 schedule. For more information, including the schedule and to follow the results, visit http://www.formula-hybrid.org/.

College of Basic and Applied Sciences Associate Dean Saeed Foroudastan serves as faculty mentor in the Experimental Vehicles Program.

To learn more about the program and the various opportunities to work with the vehicles, call Foroudastan at 615-494-8786 or email Saeed.Foroudastan@mtsu.edu.

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

Thomas Kenney, Beau Hallavant and Zach Hunter make front-end adjustments to the Formula Hybrid in the Voorhies Engineering Technology Building shop before traveling to Loudon, New Hampshire, for the April 27-30 competition.

MTSU seniors Thomas Kenney, Beau Hallavant and Zach Hunter make front-end adjustments to the Formula Hybrid in the Voorhies Engineering Technology Building shop before traveling to Loudon, New Hampshire, for the April 27-30 competition.

Lunar rover team 3rd in world, regains top U.S. status (+VIDEO)

The MTSU Experimental Vehicles Program lunar rover team has regained its status as the best in the United States.

A 5-minute-plus finish April 18 on the U.S. Space and Rocket Center’s half-mile obstacle course in Huntsville, Alabama, propelled the MTSU rover, nicknamed “The Beast,” to a third-place finish behind Russia and runner-up Germany in the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge.

The event is held annually for university and high school teams to encourage research and development of new technology for future mission planning and crewed space missions to other worlds.

http://youtu.be/uPpuIMYqp6Y

No. 1 in the United States and No. 3 in the world are A-OK with captain Beau Hallavant.

“It’s a breath of fresh air … the weight off our shoulders,” said Hallavant, a senior mechanical engineering technology major from Bell Buckle, Tennessee, recalling all the hard work and preparation leading to the two-day competition. “I don’t know that it’s sunk in yet.”

“I don’t have time to soak it up,” added Jeremy Posey, the engineering technology graduate student in charge of the entire Experimental Vehicles Program. “There’s too much to do. We have to leave Saturday (April 26) for the Formula Hybrid competition.”

The MTSU Formula Hybrid team will make the 22-hour journey to Loudon, New Hampshire, where the event will be held at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

MTSU lunar rover drivers Zack Hill, left, and Nichole Wanamaker pedal toward the finish line recently at the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge in Huntsville, Alabama. (Submitted photo)

MTSU lunar rover drivers Zack Hill, left, and Nichole Wanamaker pedal toward the finish line at this year’s NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge in Huntsville, Alabama. (Photo submitted)

All involved point to the drivers, Zack Hill of Hendersonville, Tennessee, and Nichole Wanamaker of Clarksville, Tennessee, and the team’s depth and experience as the reasons for MTSU’s high finish — the same as 2013 — after placing fourth in the United States and fifth overall in 2014.

“We’ve never had drivers with that much heart, and that made all the difference,” Hallavant said.

Posey added that the drivers “didn’t give up. They pushed all the way to the end.

“Everyone jumps right in,” he said of the team. “We have so many now so willing to do the work. As leaders, we can step back, and all we have to do is direct the workflow.”

College of Basic and Applied Sciences Dean Bud Fischer said he was extremely proud of the team.

NASA U.S. Space and Rocket officials award the overall third-place trophy to the MTSU lunar rover team April 18 following the end of the two-day NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge. (Submitted photo)

NASA U.S. Space and Rocket officials award the overall third-place trophy to the MTSU lunar rover team April 18 following the end of the two-day NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge. (Submitted photo)

“The students who worked on this project have demonstrated the same innovation and ambitious spirit that put the first Apollo-era lunar rover on the moon four decades ago,” Fischer said.

“These types of hands-on experiences, which allow students to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to applied problems, are what make the College of Basic and Applied Sciences at MTSU the place to be for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).”

The design of “The Beast,” which was built for the 2014 competition and modified this year, is “the best design MTSU has ever come up with and one of the best NASA’s ever seen,” Posey said.

MTSU’s second entry, nicknamed “The Model-A,” placed 19th with a best time of 9:17 April 18. Hallavant said the course was tougher this year. Russia’s winning time of 4:22 was 13 seconds slower than the 2014 winner, the University of Puerto Rico Humacao Team 2.

MTSU team members said they were glad they finished ahead of their in-state rival, fourth-place Tennessee Tech. LSU placed fifth.

Murfreesboro’s Central Magnet School placed 11th in the high school division. MTSU provides parts, machining and advising to the CMS students.

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

Sitting in the front seat of the MTSU lunar rover nicknamed "The Beast," Provost Brad Bartel is shown with team members and Department of Engineering Technology faculty, staff and administrators April 15 outside the Tom H. Jackson Building. The lunar rover is one of four Experimental Vehicles Program projects students participate in during the year.

Sitting in the front seat of the MTSU lunar rover nicknamed “The Beast,” Provost Brad Bartel is shown with team members and Department of Engineering Technology faculty, staff and administrators April 15 outside the Tom H. Jackson Building. The lunar rover is one of four Experimental Vehicles Program projects students participate in during the year.