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Feb. 15 deadline nears for transfer students’ guaranteed scholarships

Prospective students planning to transfer from community colleges or other four-year schools to MTSU need to be aware of an upcoming deadline:

For those who are eligible, you need to apply by Monday, Feb. 15, to receive the MTSU Guaranteed Transfer Promise Scholarship.

Wendi Pelfrey

Wendi Pelfrey

The university is offering $3,000 per academic year and renewable for up to four semesters.

The requirements include:

  • 3.0 cumulative college GPA.
  • Forty-five to 105 earned hours after the fall semester before enrolling in the summer or fall at MTSU.
  • Make application for admission and meet all scholarship requirements by Feb. 15. No separate scholarship application is required for the Transfer Promise Scholarship.

More information can be found at http://www.mtsu.edu/financial-aid/scholarships/incoming-transfer.php. Other scholarships available to transfer students can be viewed at this site.

“We don’t want first-time transfer students to miss an opportunity to secure scholarship funds by missing the upcoming February 15 deadline,” said Wendi Pelfrey, interim director of undergraduate recruitment.

MTSU transfer recruiters and admissions staff have been emphasizing the deadline during recent “Paint the Community Colleges True Blue” visits across the state and contact with other potential transfers.

To contact admissions, call 615-898-2233 or email admissions@mtsu.edu.

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

MTSU student leaders raise funds, awareness for Flint water crisis

The Flint, Michigan, water crisis has dominated national headlines in recent weeks as organizations across the nation have banded together to aid in relief efforts for the city.

MTSU’s Student Government Association joined the effort this week through a partnership with the United Way to raise donations to supply bottled water for Flint residents.

From left, Student Government Association senators Colton Anderson, Brandi Holt and Marthony Sanders took donations and passed out pamphlets about the Flint, Mich., water crisis recently during an awareness event held in the lobby of the Student Union Building. Donations will be given to the local United Way to purchase bottled water for Flint residents. (MTSU photo by Steven Michael Johnson)

MTSU Student Government Association senators Colton Anderson, left, Brandi Holt and Marthony Sanders take donations and pass out pamphlets about the Flint, Michigan, water crisis Feb. 3 during an awareness event held in the lobby of the Student Union Building. Donations will be given to the local United Way to purchase bottled water for Flint residents. (MTSU photos by Steven Michael Johnson)

The organization set up a small table in the lobby of the Student Union Building and stationed members there from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. both Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 3 and 4.

SGA official sealFor the past year, Flint residents have been plagued with a water supply containing hazardous levels of lead and government officials stuck in a cycle of finger-pointing.

SGA senators cited the simple desire to provide aid as their reason for setting up the donation and relief events.

“Our goal is to obviously help anybody that we can and because this is something we can help with, of course we decided that we needed to do this,” said SGA senator Colton Anderson.

“The goal of SGA is always to help anyone we can.”

Anderson said the organization didn’t have a set goal for the amount of donations throughout the two-day event but was proud of any amount of money the members could raise.

Members of the Student Government Association passed out pamphlets about the Flint, Mich., water crisis recently during an awareness event held in the lobby of the Student Union Building. (MTSU photo by Steven Michael Johnson)

SGA senators passed out pamphlets about the Flint, Michigan, water crisis recently during an awareness event in the lobby of the Student Union Building.

“Our goal is just to raise whatever amount of money we can and just do the best with whatever amount we receive from the university,” he added.

Students gradually flocked over to the table and left cash donations for the relief effort. Each donor was rewarded with an SGA pin and also received an informational packet detailing how and why the SGA planned to help out.

MTSU student Jasmine McCraven added that the organization’s efforts have created a sense of pride within her and her peers on campus.

“I just think it’s really amazing to see all the philanthropists and celebrities aid the city, and now, for us to join in, I think it’s pretty cool,” she said.

“I’m really curious to see how much money they’ll be able to raise, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to donate and help.”

SGA senator Marthony Sanders noted that this was merely the first step in their plan to help the city.

“The fundraising turned out pretty good. I don’t have the exact amount we raised on Wednesday and Thursday but we were definitely pleased,” Sanders added. “I know we’re still looking for more ways to have people get involved in giving back heading into next week.”

— Steven Michael Johnson (news@mtsu.edu)

Sign up now to swim with whale sharks in Honduras during spring break

MTSU has set a Feb. 12 deadline for applying to escape the winter chill of the United States for the warm, inviting waters off Honduras in Central America.

This photo by Paul Cowell shows the size difference between a whale shark and a human as the gentle creature, which weighs an average of 9 tons and is about 32 feet long, seems to offer its best side for the diver's camera. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

This photo by Paul Cowell shows the size difference between a whale shark and a human as the gentle creature, which weighs an average of 9 tons and is about 32 feet long, seems to offer its best side for the diver’s camera. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Ray Wiley, associate director of campus recreation, will lead a group to Utila, Honduras, during the university’s spring break March 5-12.

Although the trip is recreational, it will include a trip to an institute to learn more about whale sharks, the largest fish in existence.

The creatures are considered vulnerable to poachers because of their lack of speed.

“They are slow, swimming at 3 miles per hour, but they can travel 8,000 miles in just 37 months,” said Wiley. “Whale sharks are a migratory species.”

Many divers swim with the gentle giants, who are docile and pose no danger to humans. Wiley said the group plans to swim in the waters off the bay islands of Honduras for five days.

Meals, lodging, island transportation and diving are included in the price, which is $1,450 excluding airfare. All participants must have valid passports.

Participants who wish to dive must become certified. They can do this through short classes at MTSU’s Campus Recreation Center, but Wiley said those who need certification should enroll as soon as possible.

For more information, contact Wiley at 615-898-4701 or ray.wiley@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Grad student recalls wild WWI kidnap plot on ‘MTSU On the Record’

An MTSU doctoral student related the tale of several Tennessee youths’ attempt to kidnap Kaiser Wilhelm II after World War I on a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Darrin Haas

Darrin Haas

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Darrin Haas, command historian with the Tennessee Military Department, first aired Jan. 25 on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org ). You can listen to their conversation below.

Haas, who is writing his dissertation on Tennessee’s memorialization of World War I, was a rescue swimmer with the U.S. Navy for five years. He currently serves as a military police major in the Tennessee Army National Guard and includes tours in Iraq and Kosovo on his service record.

Wilhelm II, German emperor

Wilhelm II

One of Haas’ anecdotes is about the bungled 1919 attempt by Luke Lea, future publisher of The Nashville Tennessean, future American League president Larry MacPhail and other Tennessee soldiers to kidnap the German emperor from the Dutch castle where he was living in exile. They intended to drag the Kaiser to the Paris Peace Conference to face a possible war-crimes tribunal.

The young men concocted their plot during post-Armistice nights of drunken revelry in Europe. It went about as well as those kinds of plots do.

Larry MacPhail

Larry MacPhail

Luke Lea

Luke Lea

“They weren’t going to talk about it (afterward),” said Haas. “They weren’t going to bring it up. They were hoping to kind of never be found out, really.”

The Kaiser didn’t see it that way, however. He complained to Dutch authorities.

“Of course, the newspapers got ahold of it, and it just blew up into this kind of sensationalized story,” Hass said.

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at www.mtsunews.com.

For more information about “MTSU On the Record,” contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.

https://youtu.be/3wGYI_sWmXE

MTSU’s ‘Paint the Community Colleges True Blue’ tour nears

MTSU soon will add a personal touch as it courts community college students at campuses across the Tennessee.

The university’s second “Paint the Community Colleges True Blue” tour runs from Jan. 26 through Feb. 11, as teams of admissions counselors and representatives assist students who want to declare dual admissions and plan to transfer to the four-year institution in Murfreesboro.

T-shirts signify Motlow College students made MTSU their choice during the first "Paint the Community College True Blue" tour at the Lynchburg, Tenn., campus, in this March 2015 file photo. (MTSU file photo by David Foster)

T-shirts signify Motlow College students made MTSU their choice during the first “Paint the Community College True Blue” tour at the Lynchburg, Tenn., campus, in this March 2015 file photo. (MTSU file photo by David Foster)

Dates and college campuses include:

  • Jan. 26 — Motlow State Community College’s Lynchburg campus.
  • Jan. 27 — Motlow State’s Smyrna campus.
  • Jan. 28 — Chattanooga State Community College.
  • Feb. 2 — Jackson State Community College.
  • Feb. 4 — Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin.
  • Feb. 10 — Nashville State Community College.
  • Feb. 11 — Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville.

No registration is required. Free food and giveaways are planned.

Workshops will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. local time. They will be free and, while geared to community college students, will be open to the public.

Dr. Laurie Witherow

Dr. Laurie Witherow

“We’re excited about the opportunity to meet with future MTSU students wanting to transfer to earn their undergraduate and perhaps even graduate degrees,” said Laurie Witherow, associate vice provost for undergraduate recruitment. “Our transfer admissions staff and other team members are committed to providing a smooth transition from their community college to our university.”

In addition to declaring dual admissions and meeting with MTSU personnel, the community college students can obtain an MTSU ID card, learn more about Tennessee Transfer Pathways to help them successfully transfer and register for the Finish Line Scholarship to offset any tuition increases while they are enrolled at MTSU.

Agreements signed between MTSU and Tennessee Board of Regents community colleges in recent years allow two-year students to enroll as MTSU students while still pursuing an associate degree. If the students transfer before getting an associate degree, the pacts allow the “reverse transfer” of MTSU credits back to the colleges to earn a two-year credential.

MTSU, which has more than 140 academic programs for students to choose from, offers guaranteed scholarships to transfers who meet academic requirements and are from the TBR system’s 14 community colleges.

For more information, visit http://www.mtsu.edu/schedule-a-visit/special-events.php or call 615-898-2233.

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

Media, mobile, millennials: MTSU’s CME to launch ‘Studio M’ lab

To prepare its students for successful careers in an ever-changing media landscape, MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment is launching a “teaching hospital” approach to journalism this month that focuses on mobile storytelling about issues facing millennials.

“Studio M” was jump-started by a $50,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to support talent and leadership, and advance excellence in journalism.

Other founding contributions included $25,000 from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and $10,000 from The Tennessean.

Val Hoeppner

Val Hoeppner

Ken Paulson

Ken Paulson

Studio M Logo_2016 webStudio M — which stands for media, mobile, millennials and MTSU — will allow students to be immersed in tracking millennials and issues that affect them, especially in the lead up to the 2016 election.

Issues such as employment, health care, the economy, education, student loan debt, gender pay gap, religion, race and diversity will be reported, recorded, produced and written in partnership with The Tennessean and other news organizations.

“This is about young journalists reporting about their own generation through multiple media and on multiple platforms,” said Ken Paulson, dean of the College of Media and Entertainment at MTSU. “Studio M gives our students invaluable experience and will allow us to tell insightful stories about millennials and their growing impact on society.”

“The media lab will use a unique approach in preparing the next generation of journalists to meet changing community information demands,” said Shazna Nessa, Knight Foundation director for journalism.

“It will combine issues important to millennials with a growing focus on mobile technology, making students their own test subjects for audience engagement, while encouraging them to experiment and innovate.”

MTSU students work on deadline inside the Center for Innovation in Media in this file photo from the university's College of Mass Communication, soon to be known as the College for Media and Entertainment. (MTSU file photo)

MTSU students work on deadline inside the Center for Innovation in Media in this file photo from the university’s College of Media and Entertainment. (MTSU file photo courtesy of the Center for Innovation in Media.)

This new teaching approach will primarily target mobile news platforms and will launch in conjunction with MT Now, an app developed by MTSU’s Center for Innovation in Media.

The goal is to provide the best possible mobile experience for users of Studio M and media partner apps. That’s important since social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and SnapChat have become the default mobile experience for millennials, who are more accustomed to “bumping into news” on mobile devices, said Val Hoeppner, project leader and director of the Center for Innovation in Media.

The center houses the university’s student-run media entities under one roof inside the Bragg Media and Entertainment Building.

“The heart and soul of the project will be in classrooms where a low-cost teaching hospital method will train students to tell complex stories for a mobile and millennial audience,” Hoeppner said. “Studio M students will use a combination of data and old-fashioned reporting to create comprehensive stories that look at millennials across the state and across the nation.”knight foundation logo

In the first year of operation, Studio M will reach nearly 130 School of Journalism students through courses such as Advanced Reporting, Immersion Media, Feature Writing, Reporting and Data Journalism. Students will work under the direction of professional journalists and professors of practice, those who continue to practice their craft in addition to teaching courses.

Studio M faculty include:

  • Hoeppner, who will direct the creation of multimedia content including video, interactive timelines, photography, podcasts and social media distribution and engagement. Hoeppner is a nationally known expert in mobile news strategy and storytelling.
Dr. Ken Blake

Dr. Ken Blake

Whitney Matheson

  • Whitney Matheson, a former USA Today writer with experience in podcasting, pop culture, blogging, social media and digital media. Matheson will direct the project’s writing, paving the way for students to find national sources, experts and data.
  • Dr. Ken Blake, who heads the MTSU Poll and teaches data journalism courses. Blake will lead the data analysis efforts of Studio M and also break down millennial data within the MTSU Poll for use by Studio M and its media partners.
  • Leon Alligood, a professional journalist and associate professor in the College of Media and Entertainment. Alligood teaches long-form writing and will work with students in his immersion and interactive media courses.
  • Pat Embry, a professional journalist and the Seigenthaler Chair in the College of Media and Entertainment. Embry, who also runs the Seigenthaler News Service at MTSU, will act as writing coach and editor.

To help explain millennial issues on platforms millennials prefer, Studio M will hire a coding coach to help students organize and visualize data, create APIs — or application programming interfaces — for building apps to take advantage of a mobile audience, and help maintain mobile and digital distribution channels.

Pat Embry

Pat Embry

Leon Alligood

Leon Alligood

CME logo for webThe Center for Innovation in Media in the MTSU College of Media and Entertainment combines the newsrooms for Sidelines, the student newspaper; WMTS-FM, the student-run radio station; Match Records, the student-run record label; MT10, the student-operated cable television station; and WMOT-FM, the 100,000-watt public radio station, in a single location.

Learn more at www.mtsu.edu/innovationinmedia.

The Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. For more information, visit knightfoundation.org.

MTSU recognizes 4,600+ high achievers on fall 2015 Dean’s List

More than 4,600 MTSU students are included on the latest Dean’s List for their academic achievements for the fall 2015 semester.

fall 2015 deans list graphicThis 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 fall. 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 615-898-5170 or records@mtsu.edu.

MTSU Records Office provides final list of fall 2015 graduates

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

Newly minted MTSU graduates listen as joyful audience members shout encouragement during the fall 2015 afternoon commencement ceremony in Murphy Center. (MTSU photo by GradImages.com)

Newly minted MTSU graduates listen as joyful audience members shout encouragement during the fall 2015 afternoon commencement ceremony Dec. 12 in Murphy Center. (MTSU photo by GradImages.com)

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 fall 2015 graduates. The PDF is available by clicking here.

Full news coverage of the fall 2015 commencement ceremony on Dec. 12, 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 615-898-5170 or records@mtsu.edu.

MTSU EXL students hone skills with workplace civility project [+VIDEO]

An impressive panel of area business professionals listened and watched intently as four student teams from professor Jackie Gilbert’s upper-level management course consolidated months of research and collaboration into 15-minute presentations inside a classroom at MTSU’s Business and Aerospace Building.

The self-managed teams — Team Schaeffer Analytics, Team Gratify, Team MC Corporation and Team Proactivists — were part of Gilbert’s Fall 2015 MTSU EXL Principles of Management class in the Jennings A. Jones College of Business.

Dressed in business attire and fighting nerves throughout, the groups gave presentations surrounding the workplace bullying issues of stalking, emotional abuse, hazing and mobbing. Each four- to six-member team focused on a specific topic.

MTSU student Jackie Villamizar discusses the issue of stalking during student-team presentations Nov. 12 inside the Business and Aerospace Building as part of Dr. Jackie Gilbert's EXL Principles of Management class. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU student Jackie Villamizar discusses the issue of stalking during student-team presentations Nov. 12 inside the Business and Aerospace Building as part of Dr. Jackie Gilbert’s EXL Principles of Management class. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

Dr. Jackie Gilbert

Dr. Jackie Gilbert

The goal of the semester-long experiential learning, or EXL, course was to give students hands-on project-building experience while promoting civility in the workplace, a topic close to Gilbert’s heart, teaching and research.

In recent years, she’s had her EXL classes address the issue of bullying through projects associated with Oakland High School in Rutherford County, Nissan North America’s headquarters in Franklin, Tennessee, and the MTSU campus.

“Bullying is a serious health concern, not just in schools, but also in the workplace,” said Gilbert. “This training is crucial to educate the next generation of leaders to the importance of this issue and how a culture of fear in which bullies rule can result in unethical practices and potentially in white-collar crime.”

For the latest class, Gilbert brought in 20-plus area business executives and HR professionals from companies and organizations such as Bridegstone Americas, UBS, General Mills and United Way, to name a few.

They volunteered their time to not only attend the evening presentations in mid-November, but they also attended a reception afterward where they networked with the students and offered feedback.

“One of the missions of EXL is community outreach,” Gilbert said, “so I wanted a project where students could both learn about a topic and serve the community by educating on that topic. … There isn’t a lot of education in this area (of workplace bullying), so I thought this would fill a need in the business community.”

Gilbert charged her student teams with developing professional presentations for the panel of experts that defined the team’s assigned incivility topic, explained the consequences to employees and an organization and outlined steps that should be taken to make sure such incivility isn’t allowed within an organization.

With a mixture of skits, humor, TV clips, brochures, testimonials, PowerPoint presentations and more, the teams showcased the professional skills developed the past few months that they ideally will carry beyond the MTSU campus to successful careers of their own.

http://youtu.be/NWYGZBD54sk

As members of Team MC Corporation, Amelia Vernon, a senior business administration major from Columbia, Tennessee, and Amanda Mills, a junior economics major from McMinnville, Tennessee, said the project was eye-opening.

“I think one thing we’ve learned, and I’m sure all the other groups did too, is working with groups … working with multiple people and multiple personalities,” Vernon said. “Something we struggled with was scheduling — six different people with six different schedules. … But we learned to work around it.”

Mills noted that just like in the real workforce, the project presented unexpected challenges that students had to address in order to complete the assignment.

“It showed us how to compensate when someone doesn’t show up,” Mills said. “You’ve got to step forward a little bit when someone else doesn’t.”

That echoed the advice shared by guest professional and business owner Jeff Bonner, a retired U.S. Army colonel, former MTSU military science professor and the 2015 MTSU Distinguished Alumni recipient.

“You’re going to be asked to do things above and beyond because you’re a professional,” he told the students, “… not (in) some little defined box that you live in and that’s where you stay.”

Retired U.S. Army Col. Jeffery Bonner, an MTSU alumnus, shares advice with students during team presentations Nov. 12 inside the Business and Aerospace Building as part of Dr. Jackie Gilbert's EXL Principles of Management class. Bonner was one of 20-plus area business leaders and HR professionals invited to the presentations. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Retired U.S. Army Col. Jeffery Bonner, an MTSU alumnus, shares advice with students during team presentations Nov. 12 inside the Business and Aerospace Building as part of Dr. Jackie Gilbert’s EXL Principles of Management class. Bonner was one of 20-plus area business leaders and HR professionals invited to the presentations.

Bonner attended the presentations with his wife and fellow military retiree, Darla, who participated in Team Schaeffer Analytics’ presentation by sharing a stalking experience she went through years ago. She agreed to do so at the request of the couple’s daughter, Forest, who was a student member of Team Gratify.

Also among the professional guests were two winners of this year’s Jones College of Business Awards: Scott Brisson, head of service delivery for group operations for financial services firm UBS and winner of the Jones College of Business Young Professional of the Year Award; and David Tincher, plant manager at General Mills and winner of the Jones College of Business Exemplar Award.

Jean Delbridge, regional human resources director at HCA Physician Services and an MTSU mass communication alumna, said the event “was excellent” and insightful.

“I actually learned about some different aspects of behavior that maybe I had seen and didn’t know how to term,” she said. “This is a valuable experience for me as someone in business, as well as the students. I’d love to come back.

“I could tell that the students did their research. They were prepared, they cared about their topic, and I’m impressed with Dr. Gilbert reaching out to the community to say, ‘Come see what we’re doing with future leaders.’”

Gilbert randomly selected team members, who then had to assign roles of leader, speaker, researcher and PowerPoint master. The groups held meetings throughout the semester, after hours and on weekends, in preparation for their presentations — just like in the real world.

MTSU business students created this brochure about the issue of "mobbing" in the workplace that was passed out during student-team presentations Nov. 12 inside the Business and Aerospace Building as part of Dr. Jackie Gilbert's EXL Principles of Management class. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU business students created this brochure about the issue of “mobbing” in the workplace that was passed out during student-team presentations Nov. 12 inside the Business and Aerospace Building as part of Dr. Jackie Gilbert’s EXL Principles of Management class. (MTSU photo)

“In companies, you’re often assigned to a team where you don’t have a choice in the matter,” she said. “They had to navigate these team dynamics and work out conflicts and gel as a team over the course of several months. … I think they did whatever they needed to do to get where they needed to go. I’m very proud of them.”

Gilbert has taken her passion for civility beyond the classroom: She was part of a group of advocates who helped shape the Healthy Workplace Act, which was signed into law in June 2014 by Gov. Bill Haslam.

The legislation grants legal protection to those government agencies that adopt a model policy to combat abusive behavior in the workplace or craft comparable guidelines of their own.

Citing the book “Moral Courage in Organizations: Doing the Right Thing at Work,” Gilbert notes the author’s position that “an organization culture of genuine respect and empowerment would enhance employee satisfaction. This would boost productivity, reduce turnover, and ultimately yield more profit.”

She also notes that in 2013, the Society for Human Resource Management suggested that companies adopt an “anti-bullying policy,” while a 2014 Zogby survey found that “72 percent of the adult American public is familiar with workplace bullying,” with 27 percent having suffered abusive conduct at the hands of their employers.

On Feb. 27, 2016, Gilbert will be giving a two-hour civility seminar as part of the Jones College Executive Education Program. Registration is open at http://mtsu.edu/business/civilityseminar.php.

Gilbert also teaches an online graduate-level management course that addresses workplace dynamics and explores ways managers “can transform their workplaces so that they’re more inviting and more inclusive.”

The course is part of the Jones College M.S. in Management Program, but can also be audited and taken for non-credit while having access to all of the resources and class discussion.

For more information, contact Gilbert at Jackie.Gilbert@mtsu.edu.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

MTSU students Forest Bonner, left, and Jessica Dickens, center, discuss the issue of emotional abuse in the workplace during student-team presentations Nov. 12 inside the Business and Aerospace Building as part of Dr. Jackie Gilbert's EXL Principles of Management class. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU students Forest Bonner, left, and Jessica Dickens, center, discuss the issue of emotional abuse in the workplace during student-team presentations Nov. 12 inside the Business and Aerospace Building as part of Dr. Jackie Gilbert’s EXL Principles of Management class.

MTSU Jones College of Business student Garrett Fullagar talks about workplace hazing during student-team presentations Nov. 12 inside the Business and Aerospace Building as part of Dr. Jackie Gilbert's EXL Principles of Management class. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU Jones College of Business student Garrett Fullagar talks about workplace hazing during student-team presentations Nov. 12 inside the Business and Aerospace Building as part of Dr. Jackie Gilbert’s EXL Principles of Management class. (MTSU photo)

MTSU student Devin Kern discusses the issue of stalking during student-team presentations Nov. 12 inside the Business and Aerospace Building as part of Dr. Jackie Gilbert's EXL Principles of Management class. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU student Devin Kern discusses the issue of stalking during student-team presentations Nov. 12 inside the Business and Aerospace Building as part of Dr. Jackie Gilbert’s EXL Principles of Management class. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Celebrate achievement with some of MTSU’s top new graduates!

More of MTSU’s finest students celebrated their fall 2015 graduation and discussed their futures with President Sidney A. McPhee during a photo session early this month in the Cope Administration Building. The students graduated with honors Dec. 12 after years of dedicated study to earn the highest grade-point averages in their class: cum laude, which denotes a 3.5-3.74 GPA; magna cum laude, 3.75-3.89 GPA; and summa cum laude, 3.9-4.0 GPA.

photos by J. Intintoli, MTSU Creative and Visual Services

 

Bedford County Honor Graduates – Fall 2015

 

Bedford fall 2015 honor grads

President McPhee, center, joins two Bedford County residents, who graduated with honors during the university’s recent fall 2015 commencement ceremony, to discuss their future plans. Standing at left is Niki Lane Huff, a cum laude graduate who received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, and at right is Ashleigh Nash, a summa cum laude graduate who received a Bachelor of Science in agribusiness degree. Both women are Bell Buckle, Tennessee, residents and Cascade High School alumnae.

Huff plans a career in women’s health and intends to earn a nurse practitioner’s degree in the near future. She is the daughter of Shannon and Laura Huff of Bell Buckle.

Nash, who minored in leadership and was an Experiential Learning Scholar while at MTSU, plans a career in agriculture. Her family members include her parents, Steve and Jeanne Nash, and her siblings, Savannah and Colin Nash, all of Bell Buckle.

Davidson County Honor Graduates – Fall 2015

 

Davidson honors fall2015 web

President McPhee, seated at left, joins four Davidson County residents, who graduated with honors during the university’s recent fall 2015 commencement ceremony, to discuss their future plans. Seated with McPhee is Yvonne Efenwumgbe Ejorh of Antioch, Tennessee, a cum laude graduate who received a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry. Standing are, from left, Jasmine Stevenson of Nashville, a magna cum laude graduate who received a Bachelor of Science degree in global studies and cultural geography; Federico Gonzalez-Rivera of Antioch, a cum laude graduate who received a Bachelor of Science degree in interior design; and Lauren Heusinkveld of Nashville, a magna cum laude graduate who received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology.

Ejorh, a Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High School alumna, minored in neuroscience and was a member of Golden Key International Honor Society, the National Society of Leadership and Success, and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars while at MTSU. She plans to earn a doctorate in biochemistry or neuroscience and go to medical school to become either a neurologist or neurosurgeon. Her long-term career goals include working with organizations like Doctors Without Borders to help with global health outreach. Her family members include her parents, Juliet and Dennis Ejorh; brother, Dennis Ejorh Jr.; and cousins, Nicholas Tudeme and Stephanie Atuah-Kyei, all of Nashville.

Stevenson, a Cane Ridge High School alumna, minored in business administration and was a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Golden Key and Omicron Delta Kappa honor societies and Pi Gamma Mu social science honor society, as well as president of the local chapter of Humans in Crisis and secretary of the Geography Club, while at MTSU. She plans to earn a doctorate in occupational therapy and work in that field. Her family members include her mother, Pamela Toran, and grandmother, Annie Toran, both of Nashville.

Gonzalez-Rivera, an alumnus of McGavock Comprehensive High School, minored in Spanish and was the recipient of the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences Academic Award and the National Society of Leadership and Success Honors Award while at MTSU. He will be attending graduate school at MTSU to earn a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in foreign languages and literature and plans to continue working as a freelance designer. His family members include his parents, Isabel Rivera and Federico Gonzalez-Sanchez of Antioch; his friends, Alma Bolaños of Nashville and Caroline Bizot of New Orleans; and his mentor, Carol Cubillo of Hendersonville, Tennessee.

Heusinkveld, a Cedarcreek Schoolhouse Academy alumna, minored in chemistry and psychology and was the recipient of the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society’s Grant-in-Aid of Research, the Undergraduate Research Experience and Creative Activity Silver Scholar Grant, the Mary C. Dunn Freshman Biology Scholarship, John A. Patten Biology Scholarship and Elliott Dawson/Bioventures Biotechnology Scholarship while at MTSU. She plans to become a physician. Her family members include her parents, Regan Logan and David Heusinkveld, and her grandmother, Sandra Irvine, all of Nashville.

 

Rutherford County Honor Graduates – Fall 2015

 

Rutherford honors fall2015 web

President McPhee, seated at left, joins four Murfreesboro residents, who graduated with honors during the university’s recent fall 2015 commencement ceremony, to discuss their future plans. Seated with McPhee is Austin Burleyson, a cum laude graduate who received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. Standing are, from left, Austin Black, a magna cum laude graduate who received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree; TeShena Woods, a magna cum laude graduate who received a Bachelor of Social Work degree; and Kimberly Kokoski, a cum laude graduate who received a Bachelor of Social Work degree.

Burleyson, a David Lipscomb High School alumnus, minored in chemistry and plans a career in the healthcare industry. He is married to Yanjin Burleyson of Murfreesboro.

Black, a Blackman High School alumnus, minored in economics and finance and was a member of Beta Gamma Sigma business honor society while at MTSU. The Eagle Scout plans a career in marketing or human resources and also hopes to expand his photographic work into a business. His family members include his parents, Beth Black and John and Libby Black, and his grandmother, Wanda Copley, all of Murfreesboro; and his sister, Chelsea Black of Chicago.

Woods, also a Blackman High alumna, minored in child development and family studies and was a member of Phi Alpha social work honor society, the National Association of Black Social Workers and the National Society of Leadership and Success while at MTSU. She plans to attend graduate school at MTSU. Her family members include her son, K.J. Green, and her parents, Keith Sneed and the late Chenay Woods, all of Murfreesboro.

Kokosksi, an alumna of Keystone High School in LaGrange, Ohio, was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Alpha honor societies and the Social Work Forum while at MTSU. She plans to work with children to help improve schools and communities. Her family members include her parents, Sue Kokoski of LaGrange, Ohio, and Steve Kokoski of Elyria, Ohio; sisters, Bethany Kokoski of Franklin, Tennessee, and Mackenzie Kokoski of LaGrange, Ohio; her grandparents, Clark and Shirley Ekleberry of Ocala, Florida, and Doris Kokoski of Elyria, Ohio; and her boyfriend, Brett Kastor of Valley City, Ohio.

 

Williamson County Honor Graduates – Fall 2015

 

Wililamson fall 2015 honor grads

President McPhee, center, joins two Williamson County residents, who graduated with honors during the university’s recent fall 2015 commencement ceremony, to discuss their future plans. Standing at left is John Burton of Spring Hill, Tennessee, a summa cum laude graduate with a four-year 4.0 GPA who received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, and at right is Makenzie Ruberto of Brentwood, Tennessee, a magna cum laude graduate who received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

Burton, holder of a General Education Development diploma, minored in chemistry and mathematics and was a four-year member of the Dean’s List while at MTSU. He plans to become a medical doctor. His family members include his parents, Rachel and Peter Burton of Spring Hill, and his brother, Stanton Burton of Brooklyn, New York.

Ruberto, a Brentwood High School alumna, minored in health and was a member of the Dean’s List while at MTSU. She’s been hired into the Nurse Residency Program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Surgical Intensive Care Unit and plans to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Her family members include her husband, Anthony Ruberto, who received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in management from MTSU this semester, and her parents, Mark and Deah Hayden, all of Brentwood.

 

Wilson County Honor Graduates – Fall 2015

 

Wilson honors fall2015 web

President McPhee, seated at left, joins four Wilson County residents, who graduated with honors during the university’s recent fall 2015 commencement ceremony, to discuss their future plans. Seated with McPhee is Brayden Jackson of Mt. Juliet, a magna cum laude graduate who received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Standing are, from left, Stephanie Whitmore of Mt. Juliet, a cum laude graduate who received a Bachelor of Science degree in advertising/public relations; Linda Bean of Lebanon, a summa cum laude graduate with a four-year 4.0 GPA who received a Bachelor of Science degree in interdisciplinary studies for grades 4-8; and Kayla Williamson of Lebanon, a summa cum laude graduate who received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting.

Jackson, a Wilson Central High School alumna who minored in education and French, plans to become a middle- or high school teacher. She is the daughter of Jennifer and Dale Jackson.

Whitmore, a Mt. Juliet High alumna, minored in entrepreneurship and sociology and was a Tennessee Scholar and recipient of the School of Journalism’s Internship Scholarship Award and John Seigenthaler Journalism Award for Outstanding Senior in Advertising while at MTSU. She plans to join the U.S. Air Force. Her family members include her parents, Pat and Ted Whitmore, and sister, Kristina Whitmore, all of Mt. Juliet, and her brother, Teddy Whitmore of Abilene, Texas.

Bean, an alumna of Brandon (Mississippi) High School, was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi and Golden Key International honor societies while at MTSU. She plans to teach fourth through eighth grades in Tennessee. She is married to David Bean of Lebanon and is the daughter of Vera and the late Tommie L. Stringer of Florence, Mississippi.

Williams, a Lebanon High alumna, minored in business administration and was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi and Beta Gamma Sigma honor societies while at MTSU. She plans to earn a master’s degree and her Certified Public Accountant license and ultimately open her own tax or public accountancy practice. She currently works for Bane & Associates in Lebanon. Her family members include her parents, Dawn and Dwayne Grissom and Danny and Christy Williams, all of Lebanon.

You can see full news coverage of MTSU’s fall 2015 commencement, including photos and videos, here.

 

Summer 2015

More of MTSU’s finest students celebrated their summer 2015 graduation and discussed their futures with President Sidney A. McPhee during an August photo session in the Cope Administration Building. The students graduated with honors Aug. 8 after years of dedicated study to earn the highest grade-point averages in their class: cum laude, which denotes a 3.5-3.74 GPA; magna cum laude, 3.75-3.89 GPA; and summa cum laude, 3.9-4.0 GPA.

photos by J. Intintoli, MTSU Creative and Visual Services

 

Cheatham County Honor Graduate – Summer 2015

 

Cheatham County native Jessica Jade Cummings, seated at right, an organizational communication major who graduated with honors during the university’s summer 2015 commencement ceremony, joins MTSU President McPhee to discuss her future plans. Cummings, a Cheatham County High School alumna who now lives in Murfreesboro, received her Bachelor of Science degree in organizational communication and minored in psychology as a cum laude graduate. She plans to work with orphan advocacy and awareness and is the daughter of Jennifer Cummings and sister of Josh Cummings, both of Ashland City, Tennessee.

 

Rutherford County Honor Graduates – Summer 2015

 

President McPhee, seated at left, joins two Rutherford County residents who graduated with highest honors and with dual degrees during the university’s summer 2015 commencement ceremony to discuss their future plans. Seated with McPhee is Biven Alexander of Murfreesboro, a summa cum laude graduate who received a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial/organizational psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish. Standing is Dalton Lauderback, also of Murfreesboro and a summa cum laude graduate who received a Bachelor of Science degree in global studies and a Bachelor of Arts in political science.

Alexander, a Riverdale High School alumna, was the winner of the Larry W. Morris Outstanding Senior in Psychology Award as well as the Willard K. Kerr Award of Excellence during her time at MTSU. She also won the Outstanding Senior in Industrial/Organizational Psychology Award and is working toward a position in human resources. Her parents are David and Becky Alexander of Murfreesboro.

Lauderback, also a Riverdale alumnus, minored in German and psychology while at MTSU. He currently is a real estate agent and plans a career with the Peace Corps. His parents are George and Tina Lauderback of Smyrna, Tennessee.

 

Sullivan County Honor Graduate – Summer 2015

 

Sullivan County native Adria N. Arnold, seated at right, a business administration major who graduated with honors during MTSU’s summer 2015 commencement ceremony, joins President McPhee to discuss her future plans. Arnold, a Dobyns-Bennett High School alumna from Kingsport, Tennessee, received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree and is a cum laude graduate. Her minors were economics and finance, and she is the wife of Donnie Shannon and daughter of Jerry and Elaine Arnold, all of Kingsport.

 

Wilson County Honor Graduates – Summer 2015

 

President McPhee, seated at left, joins two Williamson County residents who graduated with honors during the university’s summer 2015 commencement ceremony to discuss their future plans. Seated with McPhee is Taye Nelson of Franklin, a cum laude graduate who received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in economics. Standing is Jacob Benjamin Lax of Spring Hill, a summa cum laude graduate who received a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology.

Nelson, a Centennial High School alumnus who minored in business administration, plans to attend graduate school to earn his MBA degree and continue a career in the entertainment industry. He is the son of Tammy Woods of Franklin.

Lax, a Middle College High School alumnus, minored in psychology and received the College of Liberal Arts’ Senior Honor Award as well as the Marian Clark Scholarship. He plans to earn his master’s degree in sociology at MTSU. He is the son of Michael Lax, also of Spring Hill.

 

Wilson County Honor Graduates – Summer 2015

 

Wilson County native Crystal Chevalier-Lowe, seated at right, an accounting major who graduated with honors during the university’s summer 2015 commencement ceremony, joins President McPhee to discuss her future plans. Lowe, a Watertown, Tennessee, resident and Lebanon High School alumna, received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree and minored in business administration. She is a lifetime member of Beta Gamma Sigma honor society and graduated cum laude from MTSU. Chevalier-Lowe plans to pursue the Certified Fraud Examiner designation and a career in the fraud field. She’s the daughter of Shery and Joe Martin and the niece of Bruce and Sue Bolton and Tim and Deena Dowd, all of Watertown.

Wilson County native Catlyn Marie Taylor, seated at right, an speech language pathology and audiology major who graduated with highest honors during the university’s summer 2015 commencement ceremony, joins President McPhee to discuss her future plans. Taylor, a Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, resident and Mt. Juliet High School alumna, received her Bachelor of Science degree and minored in psychology. She graduated summa cum laude from MTSU and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi national honor society, as well as the recipient of the Outstanding Speech Language Pathology and Audiology Major Award. She plans to attend graduate school and become a pediatric speech-language pathologist with the goal of working with children with autism and opening a private practice. She’s the daughter of Tom and Chris Taylor of Mt. Juliet and the sister of Trey and Candace Taylor of Cincinnati, Ohio.

You can see full news coverage of MTSU’s summer 2015 commencement, including photos and videos, here.

 

Spring 2015

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee sat down with several students in the Cope Administration Building recently to discuss their plans after their May 9 graduation with honors from the university. The students graduated with honors after years of dedicated study to earn the highest grade-point averages in their class: cum laude, which denotes a 3.5-3.74 GPA; magna cum laude, 3.75-3.89 GPA; and summa cum laude, 3.9-4.0 GPA.

photos by Andy Heidt, MTSU Creative and Visual Services

 

Cumberland County Honor Graduate – Spring 2015

 

Cumberland County native Joseph Ryan Mosqueda, seated at right, a genetics and biotechnology major who graduated with honors during the university's spring 2015 commencement ceremonies, joins MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee to discuss his future plans. Mosqueda, a Crossville, Tennessee, resident and 2010 alumnus of Cumberland County High School, received his Bachelor of Science degree in biology. He was selected as the Peter I. Carl Outstanding Senior in Biology for 2014-15 and is an Honors College Graduate with Distinction in the University Honors College as well as a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. Mosqueda, a magna cum laude graduate and alumnus of the Institute of Leadership Excellence, is the son of Sabine Smid and the brother of Sarah and Mary Mosqueda and Emelia, Natalya and Hannah Smid, all of Cumberland County. He plans to pursue a doctorate in molecular biology as a Chancellor’s Graduate Fellow at Washington University in St. Louis, the nation’s fifth ranked genetics program.

Cumberland County native Joseph Ryan Mosqueda, seated at right, a genetics and biotechnology major who graduated with honors during the university’s spring 2015 commencement ceremonies, joins McPhee to discuss his future plans. Mosqueda, a Crossville, Tennessee, resident and 2010 alumnus of Cumberland County High School, received his Bachelor of Science degree in biology. He was selected as the Peter I. Carl Outstanding Senior in Biology for 2014-15 and is an Honors College Graduate with Distinction in the University Honors College as well as a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. Mosqueda, a magna cum laude graduate and alumnus of the Institute of Leadership Excellence, is the son of Sabine Smid and the brother of Sarah and Mary Mosqueda and Emelia, Natalya and Hannah Smid, all of Cumberland County. He plans to pursue a doctorate in molecular biology as a Chancellor’s Graduate Fellow at Washington University in St. Louis, the nation’s fifth ranked genetics program.

 

Hamilton County Honor Graduate – Spring 2015

 

Hamilton County native Haley Cothran, seated at right, an organizational communications major who graduated with honors during MTSU’s spring 2015 commencement ceremonies, joins MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee to discuss her future plans. Cothran, a Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee, native and 2011 alumna of Soddy-Daisy High School, received her Bachelor of Science in organizational communications. Cothran, a magna cum laude graduate, attended MTSU on a golf scholarship and was recognized at the university’s athletics awards programs for earning a 4.0 GPA her freshman, junior and senior years at MTSU. She also was the recipient of the Outstanding Academic Award in Organizational Communication. Cothran is the daughter of Todd and Diane Cothran of Soddy-Daisy and plans to work in public relations.

Hamilton County native Haley Cothran, seated at right, an organizational communications major who graduated with honors during MTSU’s spring 2015 commencement ceremonies, joins McPhee to discuss her future plans. Cothran, a Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee, native and 2011 alumna of Soddy-Daisy High School, received her Bachelor of Science in organizational communications. Cothran, a magna cum laude graduate, attended MTSU on a golf scholarship and was recognized at the university’s athletics awards programs for earning a 4.0 GPA her freshman, junior and senior years at MTSU. She also was the recipient of the Outstanding Academic Award in Organizational Communication. Cothran is the daughter of Todd and Diane Cothran of Soddy-Daisy and plans to work in public relations.

 

Marshall County Honor Graduate – Spring 2015

 

Marshall County native Cheyenne Plott, right, a dual Spanish and organizational communications major who graduated with highest honors during MTSU’s spring 2015 commencement ceremonies, joins MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee to discuss her future plans. Plott, a Lewisburg, Tennessee, native, is a 2011 alumna of Marshall County High School. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and a Bachelor Science degree in organizational communications and also is a graduate of the University Honors College and a member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society. The recipient of the College of Liberal Arts’ Outstanding Student in Spanish Award, Plott, a summa cum laude graduate of MTSU, is the daughter of Julie Plott and the late Marty Plott and the sister of Laramie Plott, all of Lewisburg. She plans to continue her education and pursue a career in the nonprofit sector.

Marshall County native Cheyenne Plott, right, a dual Spanish and organizational communications major who graduated with highest honors during MTSU’s spring 2015 commencement ceremonies, joins McPhee to discuss her future plans. Plott, a Lewisburg, Tennessee, native, is a 2011 alumna of Marshall County High School. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and a Bachelor Science degree in organizational communications and also is a graduate of the University Honors College and a member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society. The recipient of the College of Liberal Arts’ Outstanding Student in Spanish Award, Plott, a summa cum laude graduate of MTSU, is the daughter of Julie Plott and the late Marty Plott and the sister of Laramie Plott, all of Lewisburg. She plans to continue her education and pursue a career in the nonprofit sector.

 

Roane County Honor Graduate – Spring 2015

 

Roane County native Cody C. Thomas, seated at right, a nursing major who graduated with honors during MTSU’s spring 2015 commencement ceremonies, joins McPhee to discuss her future plans. Thomas, a Harriman, Tennessee, native and 2010 alumna of Harriman High School, received her Bachelor of Science in nursing and is a magna cum laude graduate. She is the daughter of Danny and Susan Thomas, the sister of Jessica Thomas and the aunt of Jayden and Grayson Howard, all of Harriman, and has been offered a position in the obstetrics department at Harton Regional Medical Center in Tullahoma, Tennessee.

Roane County native Cody C. Thomas, seated at right, a nursing major who graduated with honors during MTSU’s spring 2015 commencement ceremonies, joins McPhee to discuss her future plans. Thomas, a Harriman, Tennessee, native and 2010 alumna of Harriman High School, received her Bachelor of Science in nursing and is a magna cum laude graduate. She is the daughter of Danny and Susan Thomas, the sister of Jessica Thomas and the aunt of Jayden and Grayson Howard, all of Harriman, and has been offered a position in the obstetrics department at Harton Regional Medical Center in Tullahoma, Tennessee.

 

Rutherford County Honor Graduates – Spring 2015

 

In the photo above, McPhee, seated at left, joins five Rutherford County residents who graduated with highest honors during the university's spring 2015 commencement ceremonies to discuss their future plans. Seated with McPhee is Yerlyn Castro-Vargas of Murfreesboro, a summa cum laude graduate who received a Bachelor of Science degree in political science. Standing are, from left, Samuel Benjamin Black of Lascassas, a summa cum laude graduate who received a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice administration; Chase Zingale of Murfreesboro, who received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in marketing and graduated summa cum laude; Crystal LeAnn Scott of Murfreesboro, a summa cum laude graduate who received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting; and Anna Chelsea Neal of Rockvale, a summa cum laude graduate who received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology.

In the photo above,  McPhee, seated at left, joins five Rutherford County residents who graduated with highest honors during the university’s spring 2015 commencement ceremonies to discuss their future plans. Seated with McPhee is Yerlyn Castro-Vargas of Murfreesboro, a summa cum laude graduate who received a Bachelor of Science degree in political science. Standing are, from left, Samuel Benjamin Black of Lascassas, a summa cum laude graduate who received a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice administration; Chase Zingale of Murfreesboro, who received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in marketing and graduated summa cum laude; Crystal LeAnn Scott of Murfreesboro, a summa cum laude graduate who received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting; and Anna Chelsea Neal of Rockvale, a summa cum laude graduate who received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology.

Castro-Vargas, a native of Costa Rica, minored in international relations and criminal justice and received the College of Liberal Arts’ 2015 Senior Honor Award for political science as well as the Department of Political Science’s 2015 C.C. Sims Award. She is a member of the Pi Sigma Alpha political science, Alpha Phi Sigma criminal justice and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies and wants to work for the federal Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. She is working toward that goal by preparing for law school to become an immigration attorney and seeking employment at a local nongovernmental organization serving immigrants and refugees. Castro-Vargas lives in Murfreesboro with her husband and daughter, Marvin and Valerie M. Barrantes.

Black, a 2012 alumnus of the Middle Tennessee Christian School, minored in agriculture and received the 2014 R.B.J. Campbelle Jr. Criminal Justice Scholarship at MTSU. He plans to attend law school at Belmont University to become an attorney. His family includes his parents, Tim and Melinda Black of Lascassas, and his grandparents, Sam and Frances Black of Murfreesboro and Linda and Buddy Brown of Lascassas.

Zingale, a 2010 alumnus of Siegel High School, minored in business administration and was named the Outstanding Marketing Senior for his top grade-point average. He also is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma honor society. He is the son of Michelle and Chuck Zingale and the brother of Reid and Alex Zingale, all of Murfreesboro.

Scott, a Baroda, Michigan, native who lives in Murfreesboro, received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting and minored in business administration and is a member of the Gamma Beta Phi and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. She is the daughter of Samuel and the late Rita Scott of Bridgman, Michigan, and the granddaughter of Shirley and the late Samuel Scott of Baroda and Robert and Nancy Curtis of New Johnsonville, Tennessee. Her sisters are Shannon, Kathryn and Kaleigh Scott, all of Stevensville, Michigan, and her fiancé, William Taylor, and her daughter, Carmen, live in Murfreesboro. Scott is interning this summer in the Internal Audit Department of the Nashville-based health care company HCA and plans to return to MTSU this fall to earn her master’s degree and her designation as a certified public accountant.

Neal, a 2011 alumna of the Daniel 1 Academy, minored in agriculture and is a graduate of the MTSU University Honors College who successfully defended her honors thesis on honeybees last fall. She plans to obtain employment as a staff zoologist at a zoo or a museum curator. Her parents, Willie H. Neal Jr. and A. Cornelia D. Neal, and her brother, J. Ethan Neal, all live in Rockvale.

You can see full news coverage of MTSU’s spring 2015 commencement, including photos and videos, here.

 

Fall 2014

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee sat down with several students in the Cope Administration Building recently to discuss their plans after their Dec. 13 graduation with honors from the university. The students graduated with honors after years of dedicated study to earn the highest grade-point averages in their class: cum laude, which denotes a 3.5-3.74 GPA; magna cum laude, 3.75-3.89 GPA; and summa cum laude, 3.9-4.0 GPA.

photos by J. Intintoli, MTSU Creative and Visual Services

 

Hamilton County Honor Graduates – Fall 2014

 

Hamilton honors fall2014

In the photo above, McPhee, seated at left, joins a trio of fall 2014 Hamilton County honor graduates to discuss their future plans. Seated with McPhee is Jalisa Jones of Chattanooga, a criminal justice major; standing are Carly Duffy, left, of Chattanooga, a genetics and biotechnology major, and Kaitlin Pitre of Soddy-Daisy, an interdisciplinary studies/elementary education major.

Jones, a cum laude graduate who received her Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice, is a 2011 alumna of Notre Dame High School and also was a member of Gamma Beta Phi honor society, the Scholars Academy, the National Society of Leadership and Success, and Collegiate 100 Black Women of MTSU during her college career. She is the daughter of Lisa and Michael Jones Sr. of Chattanooga and plans to become a defense attorney.

Duffy, a magna cum laude graduate who received her Bachelor of Science degree in genetics and biotechnology, is also a 2011 graduate of Notre Dame and was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi and Omicron Delta Kappa honor societies, as well as the National Society of Leadership and Success and the recipient of the Eliot Dawson Bioventures/Biotechnology Scholarship, during her college career. She is the daughter of Claudia and Terence Duffy and the sister of Julianne Duffy and the late Luke Duffy, all of Chattanooga. She plans to attend graduate school to earn a doctorate for a career in laboratory research.

Pitre, a summa cum laude graduate who received her Bachelor of Science degree in interdisciplinary studies/elementary education, is a 2011 alumna of Soddy-Daisy High School. She is the daughter of Ann and Mark Pitre and the sister of Mark Pitre, all of Soddy-Daisy, and will begin her studies for a master’s degree in literacy this spring. She also will serve as a graduate assistant in MTSU’s Department of Elementary and Special Education.

 

Rutherford County Honor Graduates – Fall 2014

 

Rutherford honors fall2014

In the photo above, McPhee, seated at left, joins nine fall 2014 Rutherford County honor graduates to discuss their future plans. Seated with McPhee is Zac Woodward of Murfreesboro, a music business major; standing are, from left, Amethyst McClellan of Murfreesboro, a nursing major; Amanda Gambill of Smyrna, a public relations major; Robert B. Allen II of Smyrna, a financial institutional management major; Shannon Hallavant of Murfreesboro, a mathematics education major; Jonathan Driver of Murfreesboro, a psychology major; Austin Hitt of Murfreesboro, a professional computer science major; Molly Devine of La Vergne, an English major; and Jessica Schwendimann of Murfreesboro, a sociology major. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Woodward, a cum laude graduate who received his Bachelor of Science degree in music business, is a 2010 alumna of Mt. Juliet High School and minored in media management. He is the son of Kris Wienk and Bob Lynch of Murfreesboro and plans a career as producer of a Nashville radio show.

McClellan, a magna cum laude graduate who received her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, is a 2010 alumna of Riverdale High School and an Experiential Learning Scholar at MTSU. She is the daughter of Consuelo Motto of Murfreesboro and plans to obtain her nursing license and begin her career in health care, then earn a master’s degree in nursing.

Gambill, a summa cum laude graduate who received her Bachelor of Science degree in public relations, is a 2011 alumna of Smyrna High School. She minored in office management and women’s studies at MTSU. Her parents are Rita and Dave Gambill of Smyrna, and she plans to work in a public relations agency in Nashville.

Allen, a summa cum laude graduate who received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in financial institutional management, is a 2011 alumnus of Smyrna High School. He is the son of Nichole and Robert Allen and the brother of Austin Allen, all of Smyrna, and plans a career in investment banking in Nashville.

Hallavant, a summa cum laude graduate who received her Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics education, is a 2010 alumna of Riverdale High School and the recipient of the Frances Stubblefield Calculus II Award and the Robert Noyce Teaching Scholarship during her MTSU career. Her husband, Buddy Hallavant; sister and brother-in-law, Rachel and Leo Davenport; and cousin, Brandy Herman, all live in Murfreesboro. She plans a career teaching mathematics at Stewarts Creek High School.

Driver, a magna cum laude graduate who received his Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, is a 1999 alumnus of Oakland High School and a Dean’s List honoree throughout his MTSU career. He also is a 2014 and 2014 recipient of the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences’ Certificate of Superior Academic Performance – Psychology and a graduate of the University Honors College. He is the son of Kathryn A. Driver of Murfreesboro and Jimmy C. Driver of Lebanon and plans to attend graduate school to earn a doctorate in clinical psychology.

Hitt, a summa cum laude graduate who received his Bachelor of Science degree in professional computer science, is an alumnus of Oakland High School and recipient of the Richard Detmer Award for Computer Science and the Excellence in Computer Science Award during his career at MTSU.

Devine, a cum laude graduate who received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English, is a 2010 alumna of Aaron Academy. She minored in history and information systems and served as treasurer of Phi Alpha Theta history honor society during her MTSU career. Her fiancé, Andrew Stophel, is a Smyrna resident, and her parents, Windi and Mike Devine, live in La Vergne. She plans a career as a librarian.

Schwendimann, a cum laude graduate who received her Bachelor of Science degree in sociology, is a 2010 alumna of Siegel High School and minored in psychology and child development/family studies during her MTSU career. Her parents, Renee and Alan Schwendimann, and brother, Will Schwendimann, all live in Murfreesboro. She plans a career as a licensed school counselor.

You can see full news coverage of MTSU’s fall 2014 commencement, including photos and videos, here.