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Mechatronics projects shine at engineering technology open house

Mechatronics engineering senior projects were highlights of the annual MTSU Department of Engineering Technology Open House and scholarship awards ceremony Thursday (April 28).

Murfreesboro residents Carter, 7, front left, Jennifer, Adele, 4, and Charlie Smith check out the BR-8 Star Wars-type robot being built by MTSU Engineering Technology students. They were attending the April 28 department open house featuring student projects and awards in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

Murfreesboro residents Carter, 7, front left, Jennifer, Adele, 4, and Charlie Smith check out the BR-8 Star Wars-type robot being built by MTSU Engineering Technology students. They were attending the April 28 department open house featuring student projects and awards in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

The mechatronics senior projects included two “Skittles Sorters“ and two H-bot laser printing wipe board projects.

The open house was held in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building. It was open to the public and campus community.

In addition to poster presentations with hands-on projects, student work on display will include the solar boat, Formula SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) and lunar rover. Student awards for the 2015-16 academic year were presented.

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

Lei Miao, left, MTSU assistant professor in Engineering Technology's mechatronics engineering program, shoots video of the H-bot laser printing wipe board project Zach Hunter and others were involved with during the 2015-16 academic year. They were attending the annual Engineering Technology Open House April 28 in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building.

Lei Miao, left, MTSU assistant professor in Engineering Technology’s mechatronics engineering program, shoots video of the H-bot laser printing wipe board project Zach Hunter and others were involved with during the 2015-16 academic year. They were attending the annual Engineering Technology Open House April 28 in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building.

ET Open House flyer

MTSU rugby team falls short in Elite Eight competition

The MTSU Rugby Club’s run toward a national title ended over the weekend with a loss to Notre Dame College (Ohio) in an Elite Eight matchup, according to the Goff Rugby Report.MTSU Rugby logo

Coached by MTSU alum and former player Jody Hensley, the 32-member team competed in its second Elite Eight appearance in the USA Rugby National Championships and the first since 2000.

You can follow the team through its @MTSURugby account on Twitter and the MTSU Rugby Fans page on Facebook.


 

MTSU rugby team playing in Elite Eight this weekend

April 21, 2016

The 2015-16 academic year has been a wonderful time for MTSU athletics with both the men’s and women’s basketball teams capturing conference championships and appearances in their respective NCAA tournaments.

The women’s golf team also repeated their Conference USA championship this spring, and excitement is also bubbling around the football team with the return of offensive coordinator Tony Franklin.

But there’s another Blue Raider team that should have campus excited about an impressive run of its own — the MTSU Rugby Club. The 32-member team has advanced all the way to the Elite Eight in the USA Rugby National Championships, just the second such run in program history and the first since 2000.

The MTSU Rugby Club will play Ohio’s Notre Dame College on Saturday, April 23, in Bowling Green, Ohio. A victory will secure the team’s first spot in the Final Four and a chance to compete for the Men’s Division 1-AA national title in California.

In this March photo, MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, center, poses for a photo with the MTSU Rugby Club, which will compete in the Elite Eight in Ohio on Saturday, April 23, for a spot in the Final Four of the USA Rugby National Championships. (Photo courtesy of MTSU Rugby)

In this March photo, MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, center holding ball, poses for a photo with the MTSU Rugby Club, which will compete in the Elite Eight in Ohio on Saturday, April 23, for a spot in the Final Four of the USA Rugby National Championships. (Photo courtesy of MTSU Rugby)

As head coach, MTSU alumnus and former player Jody Hensley has been instrumental in reshaping the rugby team, racking up numerous South Independent Rugby Conference titles and bids to the national championship tournament.

MTSU plays in a conference that includes Central Florida, Florida International, Florida State, Georgia Southern, Georgia Tech, Kennesaw State, Memphis and South Florida.

Having watched the program’s progress over the years, Hensley said this team, the most successful during his tenure, is truly special.

“We’re definitely not a big team in comparison when we step out on the field, we’re always the little guy. We gameplan around our strengths and let our speed attack the bigger guys and let our endurance take over,” said Hensley.

It took years to mold the program into what it is today, but Hensley’s main focus centered on shedding the stigma of a “bad rugby reputation” at MTSU.

“A lot of these guys just weren’t used to winning. So our main focus was to clear that up, because there are so many good athletes out here,” Hensley added. “We have guys out here who have represented their country playing rugby and sometimes people write them off because this is just a club team.”

In this March photo, MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee speaks to the rugby team at their practice in preparation for an upcoming Sweet 16 match. (Photo courtesy of MTSU Rugby)

In this March photo, MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee speaks to the rugby team at their practice in preparation for an upcoming Sweet 16 match. (Photo courtesy of MTSU Rugby)

MTSU Rugby logo

Hensley set out to change that. As the team’s success began growing and they were afforded the ability to offer limited scholarships, he was able to begin recruiting and improving the talent pool.

Now players such as senior captain Josh Pentecost actually choose the university for its outstanding rugby team.

“I love this team,” Pentecost said. “In my four years with the program this has been my favorite team to be a part of. I would say the aspect of our team is one of a family.”

Pentecost graduated from high school in Canada and was drawn back to the States due to the performance of MTSU’s rugby team and the campus proximity to his grandparents, who also live in Murfreesboro.

“We know what it takes to win on this level now and these guys know what it takes for us to win a national championship and I would love to end my senior year with a title,” he said.

While men’s rugby is not an NCAA-sanctioned sport, it is a fast growing club sport on college campuses nationwide. On campus, men’s and women’s rugby are overseen by Campus Recreation.

The Elite Eight game against Notre Dame College will be taped and broadcast at a later time. For game and team updates follow the @MTSURugby account on Twitter and the MTSU Rugby Fans page on Facebook for more information.

For more information about USA Rugby, visit http://usarugby.org.

— Steven Michael Johnson (news@mtsu.edu)

In this April photo, several members of the MTSU Rugby Club pose for photo following a sevens tournament. (Courtesy of MTSU Rugby)

In this April photo, several members of the MTSU Rugby Club pose for photo following a sevens tournament. (Courtesy of MTSU Rugby)

Student veterans get stronger campus voice with new SGA position

The 956 student veterans and their families on MTSU’s campus finally have an official voice in student government.

The Student Government Association formally created a Veteran Senator position at the beginning of the spring semester and hosted its first election this semester for the new position as well.

Sociology major and student veteran Sean Anthony Martin, who was appointed to be the first veteran senator late in the fall 2015 semester, has relished in serving his peers.

Sean Martin

Sean Martin

“It’s really been fascinating to see how so many people are concerned about their representation in the SGA now,” said Martin, a U.S. Marine veteran from Smyrna, Tennessee. “It’s something we haven’t had before and it’s great.”

Martin has already been a key figure on campus working in the new Veterans and Military Family Center, which opened in November in renovated space on the first floor of Keathley University Center

It was his time there, along with his participation on Gov. Bill Haslam’s task force for veterans’ education, that made him the most logical option as the initial appointment to represent student veterans on the SGA, said Dr. Hillary Miller, director of the Veterans and Military Family Center.

Lindsey Pierce

Lindsey Pierce

Dr. Hilary Miller

Dr. Hilary Miller

“One of the things I love about Sean is how he sees the big picture. He understands policy,” Miller said. “His work on the governor’s task force was about creating policies for veterans. He has the mind for this, and it’s been a perfect fit.”

SGA President Lindsey Pierce played a vital role in aggressively creating the position with input from Miller. The two have been working on the position since spring 2015.

“Our student veterans have been involved in the SGA for years, but always wanted a formal position,” Miller added. “After (Pierce) was elected, she really made this an initiative and reached out to us and we said we wanted a seat and she did as well.”

The two worked diligently to create the seat and getting it approved by SGA senators. Miller then approached Martin, who quickly accepted the appointment to serve until SGA elections this spring.

With just one semester on the job, Martin has worked to make sure his short term is successful. His main project has been to work on the addition of another seat to the SGA, this time for disabled students including some veterans.SGA official seal

“I think us (veterans) coming into the programs as nontraditional students, sometimes we’re behind the curve. We hear the term ‘disabled’ a lot, especially with Veterans Affairs. I’ve sat down with other senators and we’ve all agreed we need to facilitate an ‘accessibility’ senate seat,” said Martin.

Martin thinks an accessibility seat would help bridge the gap between traditional and nontraditional students as well as force an open conversation about the needs of disabled students that may not otherwise be had.

Martin will graduate in May and three students are on the spring SGA election ballot to be the next veteran senator. SGA elections are being held April 11-14 to elect the executive officers and senators, with results expected to be released sometime during the next week.

For more information on the veteran senator position and the Veterans and Military Family Center, contact Dr. Hillary Miller at Hilary.Miller@mtsu.edu.

For more information about the SGA, visit www.mtsu.edu/sga.

— Steven Michael Johnson (news@mtsu.edu)

MTSU students turn out in a big way for ‘BIG Event’ at Old Fort Park

MTSU students made sure a heavily used local green space was covered in blue over the weekend as dozens volunteered to do their part for this year’s BIG Event at Old Fort Park.

One of the nation’s largest one-day community service projects involving college students, this year’s BIG Event was held Saturday, April 16, in conjunction with the National Park Day centennial, with volunteers helping to cut down invading flora, plant new trees and remove trash from the area around Old Fort Park.

MTSU senior Myeshia Burchett of Memphis, Tennessee, at left facing camera, talks to a crew leader Saturday, April 16, at the BIG Event community service activity at Old Fort Park. Burchett is the philanthropic coordinator for the MTSU Student Government Association. (MTSU photo)

MTSU senior Myeshia Burchett of Memphis, Tennessee, at left facing camera, talks to a crew leader Saturday, April 16, at the BIG Event community service activity at Old Fort Park. Burchett is the philanthropic coordinator for the MTSU Student Government Association. (MTSU photo)

Big Event 2016 graphicThe MTSU Student Government Association, Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, MTSU Stormwater Program and the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties were among key partners for the event, as well as the city of Murfreesboro and the Stones River National Battlefield.

Hundreds of MTSU students have participated in the BIG Event for the last several years, helping the community by painting and cleaning buildings, delivering meals to senior citizens, building a children’s play area and organizing donations for a local mission.

MTSU student Myeshia Burchett, a senior nursing major from Memphis, Tennessee, and SGA’s philanthropic coordinator, said this year the SGA decided that rather than having students spread throughout the community for multiple events, students would come together to focus on a single activity “to have a bigger impact.”

“I love serving and have always been very involved in the community,” said Burchett, who spent the morning making sure students registered, filled out liability forms and were assigned to their proper crew leaders.

Student volunteers then joined other community volunteers in Saturday’s cleanup, bringing the total to more than 400 participants. The results left almost 9,000 invasive plants cut and treated, 65 pounds of trash removed and 246 trees planted.

Park Day 2016 collage-web

Freshman Austin Hardy, a marketing major from White House, Tennessee, joined a group of several friends dispersed among about 200 MTSU student volunteers. While admittedly not a big fan of community service while in high school, Hardy said he’s glad that MTSU has provided opportunities for him to give his time and talents.

“It’s kind of cool helping out the community,” he said, sporting the blue “Live United” T-shirt handed out to all student volunteers.

“It gives students a bigger picture … that it’s not just all about me. Instead of just living my own life and doing my own thing, to help out people, and not just people, but the Earth too.”

Jackie Victory, director of the Office of Student Organizations and Service in the Division of Student Affairs, said such events are a key part of MTSU’s Connection Point program, which awards students with a series of buttons for their participation in campus activities.

“Connection Point is all about getting our students to get engaged and be apart of the campus life and the campus culture that we have,” Victory said.

SGA President Lindsey Pierce has participated in the BIG Event since her freshman year, previously serving as a site leader.

“I think it’s important for the students to give back to the community that they’re surrounded by,” she said. “I mean they give so much to our campus as it is.”

Cynthia Allen with the Stormwater Program explained to students that the cleanup would help protect the water flowing into Lytle Creek, which runs through a portion of Old Fort Park and is part of the Stones River Watershed.

“We’re trying to protect the waterways for recreation and wildlife,” she said. “The volume of work couldn’t happen without the volunteers, so we’re very thankful for you.”

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

MTSU students sign in Saturday, April 16, at the BIG Event community service activity at Old Fort Park in partnership with United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties. About 200 students volunteered for the event. (MTSU photo)

MTSU students sign in Saturday, April 16, at the BIG Event community service activity at Old Fort Park in partnership with United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties. About 200 students volunteered for the event. (MTSU photo)

MTSU students pose for a photo Saturday, April 16, before beginning their work at the BIG Event community service activity at Old Fort Park. About 200 students volunteered for the event, which was held in partnership with United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties. (MTSU photo)

MTSU students pose for a photo Saturday, April 16, before beginning their work at the BIG Event community service activity at Old Fort Park. About 200 students volunteered for the event, which was held in partnership with United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties. (MTSU photo)

MTSU students get instructions Saturday, April 16, before beginning their work at the BIG Event community service activity at Old Fort Park. At right is Cynthia Allen with the MTSU Stormwater Program. At left is Jackie Victory, director of the Office of Student Organizations and Service at MTSU. (MTSU photo)

MTSU students get instructions Saturday, April 16, before beginning their work at the BIG Event community service activity at Old Fort Park. At right is Cynthia Allen with the MTSU Stormwater Program. At left is Jackie Victory, director of the Office of Student Organizations and Service at MTSU. (MTSU photo)

MTSU students get gloves and other gear Saturday, April 16, before beginning their work at the BIG Event community service activity at Old Fort Park. (MTSU photo)

MTSU students get gloves and other gear Saturday, April 16, before beginning their work at the BIG Event community service activity at Old Fort Park. (MTSU photo)

Attorneys provide free legal clinic for MTSU student vets, families April 23

The Rutherford and Cannon County Bar Association is offering free consultation for MTSU student veterans and their families Saturday, April 23, at MTSU.

Vets Legal Clinic72The 30-minute consultation with a licensed attorney will take place from 8 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. in the Veterans and Military Family Center, Room 124, in Keathley University Center.

A searchable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

To schedule an appointment, contact Jennifer Brown by email at Jennifer.Brown@mtsu.edu or call 615-904-8347 by 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 20.

All areas of legal assistance will be available, including:

  • Wills and estate planning.
  • Financial counseling.
  • Family law.
  • Criminal defense.
  • Veterans Affairs or VA benefits.
  • Employment-related issues.
  • Education.
Keith M. Huber

Keith M. Huber

The Rutherford/Cannon County Bar Association “has reached out to our student veterans and their military families in order to address their current legal needs in a gracious pro bono fashion,” said Keith M. Huber, senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives for the university.

“This group of patriotic lawyers, several who are veterans themselves, has taken their time to research the specific needs of our veterans and will provide a tailored team to specifically address these identified issues,” Huber, who retired as a lieutenant general from the U.S. Army after nearly 40 years of service, added.

“I personally appreciate and respect this clear demonstration of community commitment for our veterans by this group of professional leaders.”

The inaugural biannual clinic is sponsored by the bar association and the veterans center.

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

College pilot sets sights on aviation history on ‘MTSU On the Record’

An MTSU student’s attempt to replicate a pivotal moment in aviation history was the subject of a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Collin McDonald

Collin McDonald

Host Gina Logue’s interview with aerospace major Collin McDonald first aired April 18 on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org ). You can listen to their conversation below.

The Carthage, Tennessee, native intends to fulfill his senior thesis by recreating the 1911 cross-country flight of Calbraith Rodgers, who took flight lessons from aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright.

aerospace logo webWith funding from a company eager to use the stunt to promote a new soft drink, Rodgers set out more than 100 years ago to become the first aviator to fly from coast to coast in 30 days or less.

“Honestly, it was the most critical flight since the invention of the aircraft itself,” said McDonald. “Prior to this time, everyone saw the airplane as a hobby, an adrenaline rush, and it was something fun to do. Rodgers set out to prove that the aircraft could be used for mass transportation eventually.”

McDonald plans to take off from Murfreesboro Municipal Airport May 19 and stop off at the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Regional Fly-In on May 21 before attempting to recreate Rodgers’ flight from Long Island, New York, to Long Beach, California.

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/-CAcNx4R_tQ

State insurance chief applauds newest Gamma Iota Sigma members

As president of the MTSU chapter of the Gamma Iota Sigma insurance fraternity, senior Cierra Baker of Athens, Tennessee, can quickly rattle off the benefits of being a member of the honorary professional group.

“You meet a lot people in the industry,” Baker said. “A lot of internships (are available) in the industry and a lot of scholarships.”

Julie Mix McPeak, Tennessee commissioner of commerce and insurance, speaks during the induction ceremony for the MTSU chapter of the Gamma Iota Sigma insurance fraternity held Wednesday, April 13, in the Business and Aerospace Building. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Julie Mix McPeak, Tennessee commissioner of commerce and insurance, speaks during the induction ceremony for the MTSU chapter of the Gamma Iota Sigma insurance fraternity held Wednesday, April 13, in the Business and Aerospace Building. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

A finance and insurance major in the Jennings A. Jones College of Business, Baker is scheduled to graduate this December, with an internship lined up back home in Athens and with plans to get into sales once she gets her degree.

That’s good news to Julie Mix McPeak, commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance and guest speaker Wednesday, April 13, for the induction ceremony for about a dozen of the newest members of Gamma Iota Sigma inside the Business and Aerospace Building.

“I’m pleased to see so many of you choosing insurance as a major,” McPeak told Baker and the other students, faculty, staff and alumni in attendance. “We really need bright people to be joining our industry right now. … And when you have those degrees, don’t forget about government service, because we need you too.”

Appointed in January 2011 by Gov. Bill Haslam to lead the department of 900-plus employees, McPeak gave an overview of her department’s responsibilities, including the critical roles of TennCare oversight, licensing insurance agents — Tennessee has more than 160,000 licensed agents — and making sure companies selling insurance in the state “are capable of meeting its obligations to consumers.”

The purpose of Gamma Iota Sigma is to encourage, establish and enhance the professionalism of students in the risk management, insurance, and actuarial science majors within the Jones College.

Julie Mix McPeak, left, Tennessee commissioner of commerce and insurance, presents a certificate to MTSU international student Bashair Albalushi, a senior business finance major with a minor in insurance, during the induction ceremony for Gamma Iota Sigma insurance fraternity held Wednesday, April 13, in the Business and Aerospace Building. McPeak was guest speaker for the ceremony. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Julie Mix McPeak, left, Tennessee commissioner of commerce and insurance, presents a certificate to MTSU international student Bashair Albalushi, a senior business finance major with a minor in insurance, during the induction ceremony for Gamma Iota Sigma insurance fraternity.

Inductee and MTSU senior Bashair Albalushi, an international student from Oman majoring in business finance and minoring in insurance, said her interest in joining the fraternity blossomed once she learned of the community service work that members do, such as homeless outreach.

Dr. Emily Zietz

Dr. Emily Zietz

“I think it will help me out as well when I graduate,” she said, adding that she’ll include fraternity membership on her resume. Also scheduled to graduate in December, Albalushi plans to pursue a master’s degree in finance and eventually land a banking position in the Chicago area.

MTSU junior and inductee Aaliyah Yisrael, a finance and insurance major from Jackson, Tennessee, said she took her first insurance class this spring and credited the encouragement of Dr. Emily Zietz, insurance professor in the Department of Economics and Finance, for prompting her to join the fraternity.

Yisrael said she’s looking forward to “getting to know people in the field” through Gamma Iota Sigma as well as seeing which areas of insurance she most enjoys. Right now, she’s leaning toward insurance underwriting.

For more information about Gamma Iota Sigma, visit http://www.mtsu.edu/gis/. For more information about MTSU’s insurance program, visit http://mtsu.edu/programs/insurance/.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

Julie Mix McPeak, left, Tennessee commissioner of commerce and insurance, shakes hands with MTSU junior Aaliyah Yisrael, a finance and insurance major from Jackson, Tennessee, during the induction ceremony for Gamma Iota Sigma insurance fraternity held Wednesday, April 13, in the Business and Aerospace Building. McPeak was guest speaker for the ceremony. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Julie Mix McPeak, left, Tennessee commissioner of commerce and insurance, shakes hands with MTSU junior Aaliyah Yisrael, a finance and insurance major from Jackson, Tennessee, during the induction ceremony for Gamma Iota Sigma insurance fraternity held Wednesday, April 13, in the Business and Aerospace Building.

Students are science superheroes to 5th-grade friends [+VIDEO]

Using superheroes as an educational tool, an MTSU honors science class brought the STEM Extravaganza to Bellwood Discovery School for the second year.

The 14-member Contemporary Issues in Science honors class for non-science majors promoted science and sustainability to 80 Discovery School fifth-graders April 14. STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

https://youtu.be/BZqf3IHtp7E

Class members formed four groups to showcase specific STEM concepts in a fun, hands-on way. The groups included:

  • “Batman and friends from Gotham City,” who used liquid nitrogen to make ice cream.
  • “The Avengers,” who studied ultraviolet radiation.
  • “The Powder Prism Boys,” who checked out light and color.
  • “The X-Men,” “Spider-Man” and other superheroes, who studied the Science of Polymers — plastics, DNA and protein.
MTSU sophomore Andrew Gilliam, left, a film and video production major, leads a “Science of Polymers” group exercise with Bellwood Discovery School fifth-graders April 14. Nash Rutledge, center left, appears surprised at his experiment’s results as Chloe Northcutt looks on and Esten Cook works on his project. (MTSU photos by Randy Weiler)

MTSU sophomore Andrew Gilliam, left, a film and video production major, leads a “Science of Polymers” group exercise with Bellwood Discovery School fifth-graders April 14. Nash Rutledge, center left, appears surprised at his experiment’s results as Chloe Northcutt looks on and Esten Cook works on his project. (MTSU photos by Randy Weiler)

Discovery School student Henry Vance, 10, said the entire session by the MTSU class was “pretty cool.”

“I like the liquid nitrogen,” he added. “They showed us how to make ice cream. It was amazing. And I liked how they had a superhero theme.”

Teacher Lora Taylor said she loved how the class was “hands-on and an experience all of my kids can share together.”

“Back in the day, you taught skills,” Taylor added. “Now, you start with an experience they all share and you know they all have it, and you build on the experience. If you do something with them, they all have the same experience.”

From the visit, Taylor became reacquainted with former Bellwood student Marilin Kelley, a freshman math major from Murfreesboro.

“We’re showing these kids all the different things that makes science amazing in life and they can be science superheroes every day,” Kelley said.

Dr. Judith Iriarte-Gross, who also serves as director of MTSU’s Women in STEM Center, said her class members “get to choose their own projects. However, the main focus is on a sustainable planet.”

“One of my goals is to have our students who are non-science majors be able to understand and communicate science,” Iriarte-Gross added. “As an experiential learning project, we worked all semester to develop demonstrations on different scientific concepts that we present to local schools.

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

Discovery School fifth-grader Kate Wofford, left, tests the ultraviolet reading on her sunglasses as MTSU sophomore music business major Hayley Gannon, a member of the Contemporary Issues in Science class, checks the level April 14.

Discovery School fifth-grader Kate Wofford, left, tests the ultraviolet reading on her sunglasses as MTSU sophomore music business major Hayley Gannon, a member of the Contemporary Issues in Science class, checks the level April 14.

MTSU students will go green at playground April 16 for ‘The BIG Event’

MTSU’s Student Government Association will do its part to enhance the greenery around one of Murfreesboro’s most popular recreation spots this Saturday, April 16.

Big Event 2016 graphic

Click on the graphic for more details and to register.

“The BIG Event” will take place at 8 a.m. April 16 the at Kids’ Castle Playground, located at 200 Golf Lane off Old Fort Parkway, in partnership with the MTSU Center for Student Involvement and Leadership and the United Way.

“The BIG Event” is one of the nation’s largest one-day community service projects involving college students.

Hundreds of MTSU students have participated for the last several years, helping the community by painting and cleaning buildings, delivering meals to senior citizens, building a children’s play area and organizing donations for a local mission.

“Students will be joining forces with the community to celebrate the centennial of National Park Day,” said Myeshia Burchett, a senior nursing major from Memphis, Tennessee, and SGA’s philanthropic coordinator.

More than 400 volunteers, including students and community members, are expected to help cut down invading flora, plant new trees and remove trash from the area. More details are available at www.mtsu.edu/sga/bigevent.php.

“MTSU SGA is ready to give back and make this year bigger than ever,” said Burchett.

For more information, call Burchett at 615-494-8912 or sgaphil@mtsu.edu. Sign up to volunteer at https://mtsu.collegiatelink.net.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Graduating MTSU vets recognized during Stole Ceremony [+VIDEO]

Nearly 50 student veterans were joined by family, friends, university administrators and staff for the budding tradition of recognizing the students before commencement during the fourth Graduating Veterans Stole Ceremony Wednesday, April 13, in Cantrell Hall of the Tom H. Jackson Building.

Keith M. Huber, MTSU senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives and retired U.S. Army lieutenant general, oversaw the ceremony.

https://youtu.be/FxlTql4geUw

MTSU student veteran Ryan DeBooy, second from left, is joined by university President Sidney A. McPhee, left, Provost Brad Bartel and Keith M. Huber, senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives, during the fourth Graduating Veterans Stole Ceremony April 13 in Cantrell Hall of the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

MTSU student veteran Ryan DeBooy, second from left, is joined by university President Sidney A. McPhee, left, Provost Brad Bartel and Keith M. Huber, senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives, during the fourth Graduating Veterans Stole Ceremony April 13 in Cantrell Hall of the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, Provost Brad Bartel and Dr. Hilary Miller, director of the Veterans and Military Family Center in Keathley University Center, also provided congratulatory words to students.

Starting with the first Stole Ceremony in May 2015, MTSU began to honor its graduating veterans with a formal ceremony. They receive red stoles to wear during the university’s commencement ceremonies.

MTSU will see 114 student veterans, including several husband-and-wife pairs, graduating in May.

The university begins a new tradition this spring with a separate ceremony for students receiving doctorates, master’s degrees, education specialist degrees and graduate certificates from the College of Graduate Studies at 3 p.m. Friday, May 6.

Commencement ceremonies for undergraduates will be held at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, May 7. For more information, visit www.mtsunews.com/graduation-info.

For more information about the MTSU Veterans and Military Family Center and the Stole Ceremonies, call 615-904-8347.

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

MTSU student veteran Dave Beardsley, left, talks with Dr. Hilary Miller, director of the university's Veterans and Military Family Center, before the start of the Graduating Veterans Stole Ceremony April 13 in the Tom H. Jackson Building.

MTSU student veteran Dave Beardsley, left, talks with Dr. Hilary Miller, director of the university’s Veterans and Military Family Center, before the start of the Graduating Veterans Stole Ceremony April 13 in the Tom H. Jackson Building.

Keith M. Huber, MTSU senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives, praises graduating student veterans for achieving their educational goals April 13 during the annual Graduating Veterans Stole Ceremony in the Tom H. Jackson Building.

Keith M. Huber, MTSU senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives, praises graduating student veterans for achieving their educational goals April 13 during the annual Graduating Veterans Stole Ceremony in the Tom H. Jackson Building.