Oct. 21 is deadline for students to create QEP logo for contest

MTSU students have until Oct. 21 to showcase their visual creative skills and submit the winning logo to represent the university’s next Quality Enhancement Plan.

The Quality Enhancement Plan, or QEP, is an accreditation review requirement of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, which is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the South.

According to the accrediting association, widely known as SACS, the QEP “describes a carefully designed course of action that addresses a well-defined and focused topic or issue related to enhancing student learning and/or the environment supporting student learning and accomplishing the mission of the institution.”

Click on the image for more details and a printable entry form.

Click on the image for more details and a printable entry form.

MTSU’s previous QEP centered on Experiential Learning, a highly successful initiative in which the university emphasized hands-on activities and public service as an integral part of a student’s learning experience.

The next proposed QEP — which is still being developed by a committee representing a cross-section of faculty, staff and students — involves students in active learning and critical reflection. This would be accomplished “by creating a culture of engagement emphasizing within the classroom and beyond the classroom experiences and reflecting on these experiences within an ePortfolio that showcases the knowledge, skills and abilities achieved.”

The theme for MTSU’s new QEP is “MT Engage: Engage Academically, Learn Exponentially and Showcase Yourself.” Participants of the logo design contest are asked to use the three different sections of the theme as a guideline for creating their own logo. Organizers said it is important for the logo to capture the theme of the entire QEP in a single visual.

Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. Oct. 21. For more information, rules and regulations, visit www.mtsu.edu/logocontest or send an email with subject line “logo contest” to qep@mtsu.edu.

MTSU has been working closely with Dr. Tricia Farwell’s fall advertising campaigns class to help plan the logo contest and kick-off event. The students enrolled in the course make up a team that includes: Chad Jones, Sonia Torres, Laura Moore, Taylor Sloan, Courtney Webb, Grace Mueller and Morgan Mosley.

“Our team is heavily involved in this campaign and we are excited to see the positive impact of our hard work in the final outcome of this wonderful opportunity we’ve been given,” student Sonia Torres said.

The top three logos will be showcased at a university wide event at 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, on the Student Union Commons.

Voting will take place during the event and the logo an MTSU student designs could be selected as the official logo for MTSU’s QEP. In addition the top three logo designers will receive a gift card award.

“We are really glad that MTSU has allowed our class to be a part of this,” said student Morgan Mosley. “We are excited to see what kind of creative logos our fellow students can come up with. It is cool how students are given the opportunity to leave their mark on our school.”

For more information about MTSU’s QEP, visit http://www.mtsu.edu/QEP/.

MTSU student’s comments land Science Building role (+VIDEO)

Kenneth Ball

Kenneth Ball

Kenneth Ball never imagined a cameo appearance in a news video would lead to having to speak in front of influential people including Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam.

But that’s exactly what happened and led College of Basic and Applied Sciences Dean Bud Fischer to select him to represent students during the 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15, grand opening of the new Science Building on campus.

Haslam will be the featured speaker for the occasion, which includes a ribbon-cutting for the $147 million, 257,000-gross-square-foot structure that includes 13 research laboratories, 36 teaching labs and six classroom lecture halls.

Ball, chemistry professor Tammy Melton, Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan and state legislator Bill Ketron also will be among those who speak.

“Kenneth is an excellent student who has a strong grasp of how this building can increase student engagement and create intellectual atmosphere,” said Fischer, who was taken by Ball’s comments in a video about the Aug. 25 first-day impressions of the Science Building


Ball, 21, a senior from Savannah, Tennessee, said it “definitely is a privilege” to be the student speaker.

“I’m humbled to do it,” he said. “I know there are a lot more qualified students, but I will do the best I can.”

Ball, who said he would write his speech while at home on fall break, said he plans to touch on “the difference between the new and the old buildings,” the latter referring to the Davis Science Building and Wiser-Patten Science Hall, both of which will remain functioning facilities.

“One of the big things for me is the availability of being able to study,” Ball said. “There are open-area desks, lobby areas and rooms just for studying.”

The general science major said he hopes to graduate in 2016. Nearly all of the classes in his major have been completed.

His minor in secondary education and two student teaching residencies are what is extending his MTSU time. He plans to be a secondary school teacher after graduating.

The youngest of Bob and Carol Ball’s five children, Kenneth Ball has three siblings who have earned MTSU degree: Bobby Ball Jr., Hilary Ball Kakanis and Kathryn Ball.

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

MTSU, Sony/ATV Nashville introduce ‘All Access’ for students

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A new partnership between Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville and MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry will allow students to submit two of their songs directly to Sony/ATV’s creative team.

Troy Tomlinson

 Sony/ATV will then select a number of students to perform two more songs at a live showcase.

“We are constantly searching for new writers and writer/artists,” said Troy Tomlinson, president and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Nashville. “The ‘All Access’ program is designed to make access to industry professionals easy and rewarding for talented students.”

After the live performances, Tomlinson said, the Sony/ATV team may extend an invitation to a limited number of students to experience a day in the publishers’ Music Row studios.

Beverly Keel

Beverly Keel, chair of MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry in the College of Mass Communication, said the partnership “provides a pathway for MTSU students to share their talent and work with industry professionals.”

Keel said students can submit two songs via YouTube to Sony/ATV Music Publishing by Saturday, Nov. 15. Interested students should first contact Keel at beverly.keel@mtsu.edu for information on submitting their entries.

The opportunity is open to both songwriters and singers, Tomlinson said. Songwriters must submit original songs, and singers may send a song written by another writer or a cover of a song by another artist that has not been a radio single. All genres of music are welcome.

Ken Paulson, dean of MTSU’s College of Mass Communication, said the partnership will continue through the spring 2015 semester.

“This is a special opportunity for talented students to showcase their work for an audience of accomplished music professionals,” Paulson said. “This bridges the gap between the classroom and recording industry in a creative and positive way.”

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

MTSU recording industry seniors Logan Rhea, left, a senior from Norcross, Georgia, and Kelsey Feltman of Nashville listen to professor Matt Foglia as they prepare to record juinor Katy Bishop inside MTSU's Studio A in the Bragg Mass Communication Building. MTSU students can submit songs for consideration by Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville thanks to a new partnership between the university and the music publisher. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU recording industry seniors Logan Rhea, left, a senior from Norcross, Georgia, and Kelsey Feltman of Nashville listen to professor Matt Foglia as they prepare to record junior Katy Bishop of Jonesboro, Arkansas, inside MTSU’s Studio A in the Bragg Mass Communication Building. MTSU students can submit songs for consideration by Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville thanks to a new partnership between the university and the music publisher. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

‘MTSU On the Record’ hoists the flag with student honoring service (+VIDEO)

An MTSU student who is carrying on several family traditions was featured on a recent edition of the “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Host Gina Logue’s interview with 20-year-old chemistry major and Woodbury, Tennessee, native Tyler Stone first aired Sept. 29 on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org ). You can listen to their conversation here.

Tyler Stone

Tyler Stone

Stone is descended from a long line of pioneers. His forefathers date back to 1766, when Uriah Stone and his entourage became the first white men to settle in Tennessee’s Central Basin. Stones River is named for Uriah Stone.

American Legion Post 279 in Woodbury is named for Hilton Stone, Tyler’s great-grandfather. Hilton Stone served in the U.S. Army from 1932 to 1947 and in the U.S. Air Force from 1959 to 1971 before settling into a job as a military recruiter.

Tyler Stone is commander of Squadron 279 of the Sons of the American Legion, a youth group that devotes itself to good works in service of the legion’s four pillars — veterans’ affairs and rehabilitation, national security, Americanism and children and youth.

“Everyone has their own stories, their own feelings,” said Stone of the differences between different generations of veterans. “But overall, everyone … has served their country in the most beautiful, patriotic way possible.”

Following in his mother’s footsteps, Stone said he already is qualified as an emergency medical technician at the state and national level. He aspires to become an emergency room physician after college.

To listen to previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, go to the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at www.mtsunews.com/ontherecord/.

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

A video clip of the interview may be seen below.\


Prospective graduate students seek ‘a leg up’ at MTSU Grad Fair

A pre-nursing major minoring in Spanish, MTSU junior Brianne Knight of Selmer, Tennessee, was among dozens of visitors Tuesday who stopped by the MTSU Grad Fair to collect information about taking their undergraduate degree to the next level.

Students, staff, alumni and members of the local community were invited to the annual event, held this year in the second floor ballroom of the Student Union. Hosted by the College of Graduate Studies, the free event allowed faculty and staff from across the university to discuss opportunities to pursue an advanced degree — online or on campus — and boost careers.

Dr. Jackie Eller, left, interim vice provost for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies, talks to MTSU senior Kimberly Corado about graduate degree opportunities during the 2014 Grad Fair on Tuesday, Sept. 30, at the Student Union. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

Dr. Jackie Eller, left, interim vice provost for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies, talks to MTSU senior Kimberly Corado about graduate degree opportunities during the 2014 Grad Fair on Tuesday, Sept. 30, at the Student Union. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

Knight said obtaining an advanced degree will likely give her “a leg up” once she enters the job market. By attending Tuesday’s Grad Fair, she was able to connect with advisers within her major and gain a better idea of the steps she needs to take to attend graduate school and obtain a master’s degree.

“I learned that there are plenty of opportunities out there that students don’t know about, but that they need to know about,” said Knight, who wants to use her health care and multilingual talents as a traveling nurse throughout the world. “I got connections today … It was very helpful.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that by the year 2018, one in every seven new jobs will require a graduate degree. And U.S. Census figures show that adults with advanced degrees earn an average of 44 percent more than those with undergraduate degrees.

MTSU offers 100 graduate programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, education and business, including the Accelerated Bachelor’s-to-Master’s program, which allows eligible undergraduates in certain disciplines to earn both degrees in five years.

Dr. Jackie Eller, interim vice provost for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies, said the interdisciplinary programs within MTSU’s graduate studies, such as the Master of Professional Science program with six concentrations, and the Master of Science in Management with three concentrations, “are just what many employers are seeking for their staff members’ professional development.”

Janet Kelly, enrollment management specialist in the College of Graduate Studies, talks Tuesday, Sept. 30, to MTSU seniors Kristian Eagle and Rachel Matthews about graduate degree opportunities during the 2014 Grad Fair at the Student Union.

Janet Kelly, enrollment management specialist in the College of Graduate Studies, talks Tuesday, Sept. 30, to MTSU seniors Kristian Eagle and Rachel Matthews about graduate degree opportunities during the 2014 Grad Fair at the Student Union.

The master’s in professional science, for example, combines business management skills commonly found in traditional MBA programs with advanced learning in specific science concentrations.Graduate Studies-logo

“These programs are enjoying robust enrollment,” Eller said. “Many of our graduate programs enjoy a national reputation in disciplines as diverse as public history, molecular biosciences, and recording arts and technologies.”

The university recently added a human resources leadership concentration in the Master of Professional Studies. That program now offers three concentrations: strategic leadership, training and development, and now, human resources leadership, which is designed for working adults and offers the flexibility of both on campus and online studies.

Knight convinced her friend Danyel Woody, a junior exercise science major from Memphis, Tennessee, to join her at the Grad Fair. Woody, who is minoring in coaching, was glad she decided to come along.

“I didn’t know I could venture out (and study) other things,” she said, such as studying health in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences. “I do want to go to grad school. … If you have a master’s, it looks better than someone with just a bachelor’s degree.”

For more information about MTSU’s graduate programs, call the College of Graduate Studies at 615-898-2840 or visit www.mtsu.edu/gradschool.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

MTSU students premiere Paris documentaries at Nashville’s Belcourt

Eleven MTSU College of Mass Communication students screened their cinematic work from their summer travels to Paris during a special event at Nashville’s Belcourt Theatre.

The students traveled to France in May as part of the MTSU Signature Documentary Program Abroad to create stories about artists who live and work in Paris. The three short films that resulted had their premieres Sept. 30 at the Belcourt.

The MTSU students who filmed and produced Paris documentaries are: (back left to right) Lucas Fleming, Richard Adams, Tiffany Murray, Amber Bradford, Justin Carroll, Samantha Hearn and Kelly Rozell; (front left to right) Kelsey Price and Bing Li. (Submitted photo)

The MTSU students who filmed and produced Paris documentaries are Kelsey Price and Bing Li, seated in front, and from left, Lucas Fleming, Richard Adams, Tiffany Murray, Amber Bradford, Justin Carroll and Samantha Hearn. (Submitted photo)

Led by Documentary Channel founder and MTSU associate professor Tom Neff, the program resulted in films centered on up-and-coming fashion designers and musicians. The films — “Fighter,” “A Designer’s Canvas” and “Le Debut” — were directed, produced and edited entirely by the students.

“I have judged many festivals for documentaries, and the excellence of the work of these MTSU students rivals anything being produced in the country today,” said Neff, a lecturer in the university’s video and film production program.

“The audience will be very impressed with the quality and professionalism of the documentaries the students have created, and the films showcase the ability and talent of the students at MTSU.”

The students, who attended the screening, represent a mix of film, electronic media communication and journalism majors. They included Richard Adams, Amber Bradford, Justin Carroll, Mayra Cervantes, Lucas Fleming, Samantha Hearn, Bing Li, Will Messerschmidt, Tiffany Murray, Kelsey Price and Kelly Rozell.Belcourt flier-designer-webBelcourt flier-fighter-webBelcourt flier-le debut-web

“Fighter” is about an Afro-French singer named Jara Ezo and her first big solo, “Dangerous Fighter.” With immigrant parents from Togo, Africa, Ezo grew up in the south of France. As a child she was beaten and bullied for being the only black girl in town, an experience that haunted her until her father taught her to fight back. He died when she was 17, and Ezo was left to continue fighting for her dreams without him. She leaned on the women in her life who taught her dance, music and courage. In “Fighter,” viewers will meet the three women who help shape her destiny.

“A Designer’s Canvas” is about a young fashion designer named Pierre-Henry Bor, who has been an artist since he was a kid. The spark for fashion design came to him when he came across the fashion institute, Instituto Marangoni. He has interned for famous designers such as Eric Charles Donatien and Iris Van Herpen. His designs are heavily influenced by these designers and reflect the classic architectural style of Paris.

And “Le Debut” is about Alice Elia, the latest winner of Suzy Amis Cameron’s Red Carpet Green Dress Competition. Growing up in Bordeaux, France, Elia’s growing heart for fashion began to bloom at the early age of 7. Being chosen as the winning designer for the Red Carpet Green Dress Competition, her design was worn by Hollywood actress Olga Kurylenko at the Oscars in March. Le Debut follows Elia as her time at design school is coming to an end, and her debut into the real world of fashion is beginning.

Neff said the MTSU Signature Documentary Program Abroad provides a unique opportunity for film students to travel abroad to gain valuable experience under the direction of faculty and staff.

“These students went to a foreign city, worked with a new artist for only three weeks, produced three documentaries of the highest caliber, comparable to any films coming out of any film school, bar none,” Neff said.

“They faced and overcame obstacles that would be challenging for the most experienced professionals, much less student filmmakers. The films are highly visual, inspiring, and engaging and will be a treat to the audience. We should all support the incredible talent we have in Tennessee.”

For more information about MTSU College of Mass Communication’s video and film program, visit http://mtsu.edu/programs/video-production/.

Tom Neff, front left, an MTSU lecturer in video and film production, enjoys dinner with students participating in the MTSU Signature Documentary Program Abroad during their travels to Paris in May. The students will premiere three documentaries they created based on the trip at a Sept. 30 screening in Nashville. (Submitted photo)

Tom Neff, front left, an MTSU associate professor in video and film production, enjoys dinner with students participating in the MTSU Signature Documentary Program Abroad during their travels to Paris in May. The students premiered three documentaries they created based on the trip at a Sept. 30 screening in Nashville. (Submitted photo)

Raiders’ Closet to celebrate grand reopening in KUC Oct. 1

The proprietors of Raiders’ Closet are flinging the doors open wide for a grand Oct. 1 reopening in its new MTSU location.

The repository of gently used business clothing for students to wear for job interviews and other professional activities will welcome all visitors from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1, in Room 327 of the Keathley University Center, next door to the Career Development Center.

Racks of suits and dress shirts await students who need professional attire at Raiders’ Closet’s new location in Room 327 of the Keathley University Center. (Photos submitted )

“Bill Fletcher and his crew in the CDC are always willing to help students,” Dr. Virginia Hemby-Grubb, a professor in the Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship, said of the Career Center’s director.

“And now that Raiders’ Closet is right next door, we can ensure that every student puts his or her best foot forward in those first few seconds of a face-to-face interview for that first job.”

Raiders Closet logo webAll items in the Raiders’ Closet are free to students. They can keep the clothing and accessories.

The operation had been located in the Business and Aerospace Building since it opened in January 2013, but it was open only from 2 to 4 p.m. on Fridays.

From now on, Raiders’ Closet will be open Monday through Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. A graduate student will be on hand to help students Monday through Thursday, and Hemby-Grubb will staff the Raiders’ Closet on Fridays.

Hemby-Grubb and her husband, Dr. Skip Grubb, have put in hours of labor preparing the closet for the grand opening. They shopped for racks and accessories to display and store the items, and her husband spent the better part of a week, as well as Saturdays, putting racks on the walls.

“Now that we have completed our tasks, I am working to get all of the clothing items arranged by size for both men and women and to ensure that our display in the front area is visually attractive,” Hemby-Grubb said.

Dr. Virginia Hemby-Grubb displays some of the items available for students preparing for job interviews and new jobs at the newly relocated Raiders’ Closet.

The closet currently has about 120 women’s suits and 70 men’s dress shirts, but shoes and accessories are in short supply. Men’s black dress shoes and women’s dress pumps with closed toes and heels no higher than one to one-and-one-half inches are needed.

Monetary donations also are welcome through an MTSU Foundation account. Gift-in-kind donations may be made through the university’s Development and Foundation Office. Instructions are available here.

“We have had several instances where students needed an interview suit and our inventory did not have the needed size,” said Hemby-Grubb.

“Access to monetary funds through the Raiders’ Closet (MTSU) Foundation account allows us to immediately purchase a suit for a student in the specific size he/she needs from a consignment shop in the local area or the Goodwill stores.”

Monetary and clothing donations may be made to Jaye Kiblinger in the Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship office, located in Room N429 of the Business and Aerospace Building, weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

To arrange for clothes to be picked up at the north side of the building, call Kiblinger in advance at 615-898-2902.

For more information, contact Hemby-Grubb at 615-898-1369 or Virginia.Hemby-Grubb@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

MTSU offers Oct. 1 ‘Tunnel of Love’ to help students stay healthy

The annual “Tunnel of Love” is returning to MTSU, but contrary to its title, the emphasis is not on romance.

Sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Performance, the event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1, in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building.

Casie Higginbotham

Casie Higginbotham

Casie Higginbotham, a lecturer in the department, said students, faculty and staff will be able to walk through the event in about 20 minutes to learn how sexually transmitted infections, or STIs, are transmitted, treated and prevented.

“We know that some of the most common infections, like chlamydia and gonorrhea, can be asymptomatic and therefore persist in the body for years because an individual does not seek treatment,” Higginbotham said. “For women, this is especially damaging, as it may compromise fertility later in life.”

tunnel of love broken heart graphic croppedThe Centers for Disease Control estimates that young people ages 15-24 make up about a quarter of the sexually active population but account for about half of new STI cases.

“We in (the Department of) Health and Human Performance want the students on our campus to understand risk and prevention when it comes to their sexual health,” said Higginbotham.

“We believe that being informed about STIs will lead students to responsible choices.”

Nashville CARES, a nonprofit organization with a mission “to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Middle Tennessee,” according to www.nashvillecares.org, will be on hand to provide free HIV testing. Higginbotham said students will receive results within minutes.

Some professors may offer extra credit for attendance. Students are asked to complete a worksheet provided at the event entrance and return it to faculty as proof of attendance.

For more information, contact Higginbotham at 615-904-8274 or casie.higginbotham@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

MTSU, Northeast State sign pact for transfer student success

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — The presidents of Middle Tennessee State University and Northeast State Community College signed agreements Monday, Sept. 22, to ease the transition for students seeking to transfer from the community college to the university.

MTSU’s Dr. Sidney A. McPhee and Northeast State’s Dr. Janice Gilliam authorized three agreements that create dual admissions and reverse transfer options between the community college, which has a main campus in Blountville, Tennessee, and is about to open a fourth satellite campus, and MTSU, located in Murfreesboro.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, left, and Northeast State Community College President Janice Gilliam sign agreements signifying a dual-admissions partnership between the two Tennessee Board of Regents schools. The signing occurred Sept. 22 at The Millennium Center in Johnson City, Tennessee, also the site of the MTSU True Blue Tour reception to recruit upper East Tennessee high school students. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

The signing occurred at The Millennium Center in Johnson City, where the second leg of the six-city True Blue Tour was held later for prospective students and their guests.

“These agreements point to the need for higher education institutions to work together more closely to help more Tennesseans earn a college degree,” said McPhee.

“This partnership with Northeast State is part of MTSU’s ongoing efforts to remove barriers for students seeking their degrees and to support the state’s goal of producing a more educated workforce.”

Gilliam said Northeast State is “delighted to have this opportunity to work with Middle Tennessee State University.”

“This agreement is a great opportunity for students to establish a relationship with both Northeast State and MTSU, which we believe will enhance their academic experience and help them achieve their goal of college completion,” she added.

The agreements allow Northeast State students to interact with MTSU advisers and have access to faculty and programs within their proposed majors.

Students completing an associate’s degree will be granted access to register early for university classes.

Northeast State logo webMTSU WordmarkAnother element of the agreements is reverse transfer. A student completing MTSU courses can transfer those credits back to Northeast State to help meet requirements for an associate degree.
To learn more, students should email transfer@mtsu.edu or visit www.mtsu.edu/apply.

MTSU, the largest and oldest institution in the Tennessee Board of Regents system, also has established dual-admission programs with Nashville State, Chattanooga State, Dyersburg State, Motlow State, Jackson State and Roane State community colleges.

Northeast State is a two-year TBR college providing university parallel programs designed for students who plan to transfer to another college or university, career programs for students planning to enter the workforce immediately upon graduation, and continuing education and community service programs for professional growth and personal enrichment to citizens from five counties. Northeast State has campuses in Blountville, Elizabethton, Gray and Kingsport and one soon to open in Johnson City.

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

MTSU urges students to collect, connect with popular button campaign

MTSU has an answer to the age-old question, “Button, button, who has the button?”

Students who are involved in many different extracurricular activities are displaying increasingly popular MTSU buttons, each of which symbolizes a different aspect of campus life.

In the second year of the button campaign, there are thousands of small metal buttons in circulation.

Nathan Haynes, assistant director of recruitment, proudly displays MTSU buttons on a lanyard that he wears around his neck. (Photo by MTSU News and Media Relations)

“We saw that students liked buttons,” said Nathan Haynes, assistant director of recruitment. “They already wore them on their backpacks. I know that I certainly did as a student.”

The idea came out of a January 2013 brainstorming session involving Laurie Witherow, vice provost for admissions and enrollment services, then-Student Government Association President Coby Sherlock and Haynes.

Dr. Deb Sells, vice president for student affairs, paid for the minimal start-up costs. Brian Evans in the Office of Creative and Visual Services draws the designs. The buttons themselves cost only 15 cents each to make.

The button campaign won a Special Merit Award at the 2014 Council for the Advancement and Support of Education Region III convention.

However, there’s more at stake than just promoting MTSU’s numerous academic and organizational assets.

“The buttons are tangible, collectible items that stand for positive student behaviors,” Haynes said. “Each is associated with a behavior that leads to student success.”

Click on the graphic above for more information on collectible MTSU buttons.

Click on the graphic above for more information on collectible MTSU buttons.

Research shows that the more involved students are with campus life, the more likely they are to graduate.

The buttons with the dusty blue background are associated with the Connection Point campaign in which students swipe their identification cards at designated events so that the university can track their degree of involvement.

Some Connection Point buttons depict, for example, homecoming events, Volunteer Day and Freshman Day of Service, among other endeavors.

Some of the newer buttons that are not part of the Connection Point program depict summer school, experiential learning, graduate studies, counseling services and the debate team. The colors of these buttons are as diverse as the rainbow.

“We realized very quickly that everyone would want blue,” said Haynes. “That doesn’t look good when you are looking at an overall color palette. You want to have a little variety.”

The only consistent requirement for all buttons is that they have “MTSU” at the bottom.

Haynes says he knows of several students who are trying to collect all 62 buttons and are trading with fellow students to get them, not unlike the way some collectors trade Olympic pins.

In fact, the identification badge Haynes wears is decorated with numerous MTSU buttons.

“A few (students) offered to buy this lanyard of buttons off my neck,” Haynes said.

For more information, go to www.mtsu.edu/buttons or contact Haynes at 615-898-5484 or nathan.haynes@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)