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Eighteen new cadets join MTSU ROTC program at swearing-in ceremony

MTSU’s military science program ushered in the fall 2016 semester with a brief but formal swearing-in ceremony as 18 newly contracted students took the oath Friday, Aug. 19, on campus after passing their physical training exercise Aug. 18.

Part of the group of 18 newly contracted cadets take the oath during the fall 2016 ROTC swearing-in ceremony Aug. 19 at MTSU. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Part of the group of 18 newly contracted cadets take the oath during the fall 2016 ROTC swearing-in ceremony Aug. 19 at MTSU. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

“New cadets take the oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, which, at their age, is very impressive,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jackie McDowell, who leads the program and administered the oath to the 18- to 21-year-olds.

“It’s significant that our nation has been at war since they were 5 years old. They took an oath knowing at some point they will be deployed and be in harm’s way.”

New cadets include:

  • Terrah Black of Clarksville, Tennessee.
  • Anthony Burton of Jackson, Michigan.
  • Chance Cunningham of Franklin, Tennessee
  • Bryce DeLozier of Dalton, Georgia.
  • John Gibbons of Pleasant View, Tennessee.
  • Benjamin Gober of Gadsden, Alabama.
  • Antonio Hiles of Wartrace, Tennessee.
  • Daryl Jackson of Memphis, Tennessee.
  • Nicholas King of Nolensville, Tennessee.
  • Christian Moskovitz of Memphis.
  • Sydney Moskovitz of Tampa, Florida.
  • Jonathan Nunley of Winchester, Tennessee.
  • Allison Perkins of Gallatin, Tennessee.
  • Devin Pope of Chattanooga, Tennessee.
  • Bryce Teague of Franklin, Tennessee.
  • Brandon Valentin of Smyrna, Tennessee.
  • Seth Whitehead of Tullahoma, Tennessee.
  • Thomas Wiseman of Murfreesboro.

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

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jackie McDowell, front, swears in 18 new ROTC cadets during the fall 2016 military science swearing-in ceremony Aug. 19 on campus. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jackie McDowell, at left, faces 18 new ROTC cadets to administer their oath of enlistment during the fall 2016 military science swearing-in ceremony Aug. 19 on campus.

MTSU solar boat soars to second in world once again [+VIDEO]

Maybe the third time will be the national championship charm for MTSU at the 2017 Solar Splash World Championship.

For the second straight year, MTSU finished No. 2 and earned a number of awards in the 23rd Solar Splash World Championship of Intercollegiate Solar Boating at Eastwood Park in Dayton, Ohio, earlier this summer.

Solar Splash is an intercollegiate solar and electric competition dedicated to showing the feasibility of solar energy. Teams come from across the country to compete.

The crafts are powered by designated batteries and solar arrays and must maintain a height of 1.5 meters above the water line at all times. Competitive teams must showcase hydro dynamically effective designs that utilize solar power effectively.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHXukSw1CHM

MTSU finished runner-up to Cedarville University and ahead of third-place University of South Carolina. The top five included fourth-place University of New Mexico and The College of New Jersey, which placed fifth.For all results, visit http://solarsplash.com/2016-event/.

Pilot David Sprouls guides the MTSU entry in the 2016 Solar Splash competition to a first place in qualifying and second in sprint (the speed of the boat). (Submitted photos)

Pilot David Sprouls guides the MTSU entry in the 2016 Solar Splash competition to a first place in qualifying and second in sprint. (Submitted photos)

In addition to second overall, Solar Splash team awards MTSU received included:

  • First in qualifying.
  • Second in sprint (speed of the boat).
  • Outstanding workmanship.
  • Third in Visual Display.

All teams received a plaque for entering and competing.

The 2016 MTSU Solar Boat Team members included Cary Woodson, Matthew Ham, Syed Bukhari, Colton Adcock, Michael Raymond, Lindsey Blankenship, David Sprouls, Mikhail Milton Ault-Normandie, Kelly Maynard and James “Sam” Fassnacht.

Dr. Saeed Foroudastan, associate dean in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, serves as faculty adviser for all Experimental Vehicles Program projects in engineering technology. These include the solar boat, lunar rover, formula hybrid and Baja Society of Automotive Engineers, or SAE, collegiate design series.

Foroudastan praised Woodson and Blankenship “without whose heart and dedication the solar boat (success) would not have come to fruition.” He congratulated the entire team “for their contributions and the dedication to the success of this project” and for the well-deserved honors.

For more information about the program, call 615-494-8786 or email Foroudastan at Saeed.Foroudastan@mtsu.edu.

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

MTSU team members receive one of a number of awards presented by a Solar Splash official during the 2016 competition held near Dayton, Ohio.

MTSU team members receive one of a number of awards presented by a Solar Splash official during the 2016 competition held near Dayton, Ohio.

MTSU team members are shown with their 2016 solar boat, which placed second overall in the competition held at Dayton, Ohio.

MTSU team members are shown with their 2016 solar boat, which placed second overall.

The MTSU solar boat team collected a number of awards including first place in Outstanding Workmanship and first place in qualifying.

The MTSU solar boat team collected a number of awards including first place in Outstanding Workmanship and first place in qualifying.

 

Local students see fruits of their ‘Project Seed’ research [+VIDEO]

Two Rutherford County high school students, Helene Hamo and Edgar Lozano, are seeing the results from their MTSU “Project SEED” research efforts this summer.

Hamo, a Stewarts Creek High School senior, and Lozano, a senior at Central Magnet School, worked in the program under the guidance of MTSU Department of Chemistry chair Greg Van Patten and graduate and undergraduate students.

https://youtu.be/H2f-dRFXT0g

Project SEED, or Summer Education Experience for the Economically Disadvantaged, is a research program that gives high school juniors and seniors an opportunity to work with scientist-mentors on research projects in industrial, academic and federal laboratories.

The American Chemical Society and the National Science Foundation sponsor the program.

“They’ve made really great progress,” said Van Patten. “They’ve been taking semiconductor quantum dots that are known and have certain kinds of interesting properties and trying to change those properties by introducing new materials into them through a new kind of chemical reaction: a cation.”

Project SEED students Helene Hamo, left, and Edgar Lozano, seated front, observe as MTSU graduate student Alex Morris adjusts equipment before they resume their research project Aug. 2 in an MTSU Science Building research lab. (MTSU photos by Randy Weiler)

Project SEED students Helene Hamo, left, and Edgar Lozano, seated front, observe as MTSU graduate student Alex Morris adjusts equipment before they resume their research project Aug. 2 in an MTSU Science Building research lab. (MTSU photos by Randy Weiler)

Cations are atoms that have lost electrons.

Van Patten said experts have known for some time that cadmium could be exchanged with silver in tiny quantities and expensive reagents, “and these guys (Hamo and Lozano) found a way to scale that up to large quantities with cheap reagents.”

The pair, who each received a $2,500 fellowship, finished their two-month research endeavor Aug. 4. Their mentors also included chemistry graduate students Alex Morris and Ryan Tilluck and senior biochemistry major Ron Higdon.

Project SEED logo72Lozano, 16, called their summer a fun experience where they enjoyed doing new things.

“We’ve learned a lot about safety in the lab,” Lozano said. “Then we also learned how to keep up with lab notebooks to keep our research, to keep a current record of everything we do.”

For Hamo, 17, it “has been a really unique experience and I’ve learned a lot.”

“I’ve had really great people teaching me in the beginning, and then we were kind of led off on our own,” she added. “This is definitely a much bigger scale than it is in high school. And I’ve learned lots of new terms and lots of new things.”

To learn about Project SEED opportunities for 2017, call Van Patten at 615-898-2956 or email Greg.VanPatten@mtsu.edu.

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

Project SEED students Edgar Lozano, left, and Helene Hamo listen as mentor and MTSU Department of Chemistry chair Greg Van Patten explains a research process Aug. 2 in a Science Building laboratory.

Project SEED students Edgar Lozano, left, and Helene Hamo listen as mentor and MTSU Department of Chemistry chair Greg Van Patten explains a research process Aug. 2 in a Science Building laboratory.

Central Magnet School senior Edgar Lozano, left, watches as Stewarts Creek senior Helene Hamo prepares a sample while conducting research Aug. 2 in the MTSU Science Building lab. The two Project SEED students spent two months conducting research.

Central Magnet School senior Edgar Lozano, left, watches as Stewarts Creek senior Helene Hamo prepares a sample while conducting research Aug. 2 in the MTSU Science Building lab. The two Project SEED students spent two months conducting research.

New MTSU graduates can create ‘outrageous adventures’ [+VIDEO]

MTSU’s newest alumni have countless “outrageous adventures” ahead, one of their professors assured them Saturday, Aug. 6, at the university’s summer 2016 commencement ceremony in Murphy Center.

“We wish we could guarantee that things would be spectacular as soon as you cross this stage,” Dr. Tricia Farwell, an advertising and public relations professor and the outgoing MTSU Faculty Senate president, told the 886 graduates.

“But you’re not here to live a fairy tale. … You are the only one who can hold you responsible.”

https://youtu.be/zUSnUItxMH0

The summer 2016 graduates included the first 10 recipients of MTSU’s new Doctor of Education in Assessment, Learning, and School Improvement degree — the first of its kind in Tennessee.

The program in the College of Education began in fall 2013 and trains educators in pre-K through 12th grades to analyze student-learning data and pinpoint areas of success as well as areas in need of attention.

“Adventures planned and unplanned are what make us who we are,” Farwell continued. “Live your adventures, find your voice and have your own experiences. Starting this moment, take the time to create the biggest, most spectacular, most outrageous adventures that you can.”

One of those new graduates, Mark Eischeid of Murfreesboro, completed one of his adventures by checking off a long-delayed item on his to-do list.

Dr. Tricia Farwell

Dr. Tricia Farwell

The area business manager at the Bridgestone/Firestone plant in La Vergne, Tennessee, struck up a conversation with university officials during an Aug. 2 plant tour for some MTSU faculty.

Eischeid said he’d entered MTSU in 1980 as a marketing major but dropped out in 1984 after acquiring a job in Smyrna.

Assistants to David Gotcher, interim dean of the university college, checked the 54-year-old Eischeid’s transcript and found out that he was eligible for a bachelor’s degree if he switched his major to liberal studies, a major that didn’t exist in 1984. MTSU’s degree-track analysts went into overdrive to determine whether Eischeid could join Saturday’s ceremony.

“We were just able to restructure the courses that he was taking to allow him to legitimately, academically finish a degree,” said Gotcher, whose college specializes in working with adult learners.

He pointed to Eischeid as a great example of former students who are being aided by Tennessee Reconnect and Graduate MT, an outreach program that targets adults who want to finish their college degrees. Gotcher said about 200 students have taken advantage of the program in the past year.

“He was on our list,” said Gotcher. “We just hadn’t heard from him yet, so we followed up.”

Murfreesboro resident Mark Eischeid, right, happily accepts his Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree from MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee at the university’s summer 2016 commencement ceremony Saturday, Aug. 6. Eischeid, who left school in 1984 for work, discovered after a chance workplace conversation Aug. 2 with the interim dean of MTSU’s University College that he had enough credits to graduate. (MTSU photo by j. Intintoli)

Murfreesboro resident Mark Eischeid, right, happily accepts his Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree from MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee at the university’s summer 2016 commencement ceremony Saturday, Aug. 6. Eischeid, who left school in 1984 for work, discovered after a chance workplace conversation Aug. 2 with the interim dean of MTSU’s University College that he had enough credits to graduate. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

“I’m actually very excited, kind of shocked,” said Eischeid as he waited for commencement to begin.

Eischeid, who has been with Bridgestone for 17 years, said he “just got busy with life” with his wife, family and career and “put the degree on the back burner.”

More higher education isn’t off the table. “I’ll think about this, but, you know, if it’s out there, there’s maybe a couple of opportunities for a further degree,” Eischeid said.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee told the excited crowd that he considers commencement “the single most important event of this university” and encouraged the new graduates to “bask in the glow that comes with this day.”

A complete list of the 273 graduate and 613 undergraduate degree recipients from all nine of MTSU’s colleges is available in the summer commencement program at http://ow.ly/uW0o302Zp0k.

The event program also includes a list on page six of the university’s newest professors emeriti, which is an honor bestowed during MTSU’s summer commencements upon retiring professors as thanks for their exceptional service and achievements.

More photos from the summer 2016 commencement ceremony are available here.

MTSU graduation information is always available online at www.mtsunews.com/graduation-info.

The university’s 2016-17 academic year begins Monday, Aug. 22, with the first official day of fall 2015 semester classes. University Convocation, a public ceremony welcoming new freshmen into the MTSU family, is set for Sunday, Aug. 21, at 2 p.m. in Murphy Center.

— Gina E. Fann and Gina K. Logue (news@mtsu.edu)

A newly minted MTSU graduate celebrates, hard-earned degree in hand, on the stage at Murphy Center during the university’s summer 2016 commencement ceremony Saturday, Aug. 6, in Murphy Center. (MTSU photo by j. Intintoli)

A newly minted MTSU graduate celebrates, hard-earned degree in hand, on the stage at Murphy Center during the university’s summer 2016 commencement ceremony Saturday, Aug. 6. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

A new MTSU graduate holds her hard-earned degree sky-high to show family and friends while returning to her seat at Murphy Center during the university’s summer 2016 commencement ceremony Saturday, Aug. 6, in Murphy Center. (MTSU photo by j. Intintoli)

A new MTSU graduate holds her hard-earned degree sky-high to show family and friends while returning to her seat at Murphy Center during the university’s summer 2016 commencement ceremony Saturday, Aug. 6, in Murphy Center. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU graduate faculty and degree candidates file into Murphy Center Saturday, Aug. 6, in preparation for the university’s summer 2016 commencement ceremony. (MTSU photo by GradImages)

MTSU graduate faculty and degree candidates file into Murphy Center Saturday, Aug. 6, in preparation for the university’s summer 2016 commencement ceremony. (MTSU photo by GradImages)

A new MTSU graduate’s mortarboard spells out his plans at the summer 2016 commencement ceremony Saturday, Aug. 6, in Murphy Center. (MTSU photo by GradImages)

A new MTSU graduate’s mortarboard spells out his plans at the summer 2016 commencement ceremony Saturday, Aug. 6, in Murphy Center. (MTSU photo by GradImages)

Kimberly Wade Osborne, one of the first recipients of MTSU’s new Doctor of Education in Assessment, Learning, and School Improvement degree, joyfully accepts her doctoral hood from Dr. Donald Snead, a graduate faculty member in the Womack Department of Educational Leadership in the College of Education, during the university’s summer 2016 commencement ceremony Saturday, Aug. 6, in Murphy Center. Osborne, who holds four degrees from MTSU, was the Metro- Nashville Public Schools district numeracy coach and is the new assistant principal at Murfreesboro’s Hobgood Elementary School. (MTSU photo by Kimi Conro)

Kimberly Wade Osborne, one of the first recipients of MTSU’s new Doctor of Education in Assessment, Learning, and School Improvement degree, joyfully accepts her doctoral hood from Dr. Donald Snead, a graduate faculty member in the Womack Department of Educational Leadership in the College of Education, during the university’s summer 2016 commencement ceremony Saturday, Aug. 6, in Murphy Center. Osborne, who holds four degrees from MTSU, was the Metro- Nashville Public Schools district numeracy coach and is the new assistant principal at Murfreesboro’s Hobgood Elementary School. (MTSU photo by Kimi Conro)

$10K diversity scholarship will help MTSU senior in medical lab career

Ciara Taylor wants to assist doctors and nurses by working in a laboratory, providing diagnostic test results in her future career contribution to patient care.

An MTSU senior and single mother of two children, Taylor, 23, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, is one of three recipients of $10,000 scholarships from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation announced Aug. 1, which will allow her to further her education.

MTSU student Ciara Taylor of Chattanooga, Tenn., stirs chemicals she is preparing in an MTSU Science Building research lab. (Photo by Sergio Plecas)

MTSU student Ciara Taylor of Chattanooga, Tenn., stirs chemicals she is preparing in an MTSU Science Building research lab. (Photos courtesy of Sergio Plecas Photography)

The organization launched its diversity scholarship program to help address the growing need for a qualified and more inclusive workforce to deliver health care in Tennessee.

The BCBST Health Foundation presented the scholarship in partnership with the Memphis chapter of the National Association of Health Services Executives to recognize achievements in academics, community service and leadership.

“I have always loved science with a passion but never wanted to limit myself to just one area,” Taylor said, adding that the scholarship will offer “a lot of help. It makes you want to continue on. It’s very hard to pay for college and hard to find financial aid.”

Her scholarship application included two letters of recommendation and a 500-word essay about how to help BlueCross BlueShield and the health care field work together to save lives and help people.

The 2010 Hixson High School graduate is studying pre-medical technology in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences at MTSU. She has been a part of a 3+1 program — three years at MTSU, one year at a partner university — and said she’s hopeful about fulfilling the partner school portion.

Taylor, who lives in Murfreesboro, works as a server in one of the Marriott Renaissance Nashville Hotel’s restaurants and as a pharmacy tech at Walgreens near MTSU.

Her parents, April and Jerome Taylor of Chattanooga, help Taylor with Glory, 4, and Scarlettte, 3.

Fellow scholarship recipients Andrea Murrell, a University of Tennessee-Martin nursing student, and Myah Mukes, a UT-Chattanooga nursing student, joined Ciara Taylor at the Aug. 1 presentation ceremony at BlueCross corporate headquarters in Chattanooga. Murrell and Mukes are Memphis residents.

Through its health foundation and community trust, BlueCross has invested $105,000 in diversity scholarships since 2013, awarding three each year.

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

(From left) BlueCross Chief of Staff Calvin Anderson; 2016 diversity scholarship recipients Andrea Murrell, Myah Mukes and Ciara Taylor; and BlueCross CEO JD Hickey are shown during the Aug. 1 presentation at BlueCross corporate headquarters in Chattanooga. (Photo by Sergio Plecas)

MTSU senior Ciara Taylor, second from right, is joined by Calvin Anderson, left, senior vice president and chief of staff for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee; fellow 2016 diversity scholarship recipients Andrea Murrell and Myah Mukes; and BCBST CEO J.D. Hickey at the Aug. 1 scholarship presentation at BlueCross corporate headquarters in Chattanooga.

MTSU student Ciara Taylor is one of three scholarship recipients receiving $10,000 awards from the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation as outstanding minority college students pursuing degrees in the health care field. (Photo by Sergio Plecas)

MTSU student Ciara Taylor is one of three recipients of $10,000 scholarships from the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation as outstanding minority college students pursuing degrees in the health care field.

MTSU senior wins $1,000 study-abroad grant from national honor society

An MTSU senior is the recipient of a $1,000 grant from the national headquarters of MTSU’s most prestigious honor society.

Rebecca Clippard

Rebecca Clippard

Rebecca Clippard, a Murfreesboro resident majoring in Japanese and Spanish, received the stipend from The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines.

The Oakland High School alumna and MTSU Buchanan Scholar is one of only 25 students nationwide to receive the award.

“I am so grateful for the Phi Kappa Phi grant,” said Clippard. “Learning has always been one of my passions, and I want to earn a Ph.D. in Japanese and be a college professor.”

phi kappa phi logo webClippard will use the grant to study at Kansai Gaidai University in Hirakata, Japan, an institution with which MTSU has a long-standing partnership. She plans to depart later this month and return at the end of May or June 2017, depending on the scheduling of her final exams.

“As I got older, I discovered Japanese was a complex and beautiful language, and I had no hesitation in choosing Japanese as my major,” Clippard said.

She also is the recipient of the Bridging Scholarship for Study Abroad in Japan, a national scholarship funded by the American Association of Teachers of Japanese.

Phi Kappa Phi has chapters at more than 300 colleges and universities in North America and the Philippines, including MTSU. Membership is by invitation only to the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students and 7.5 percent of second-term juniors.

Since the program’s inception in 2001, the honor society has awarded more than $750,000 in study-abroad grants.

“I understand how much dedication this will take and am glad that there are scholarships out there that encourage students to fulfill their dreams,” Clippard said.

For more information, visit www.phikappaphi.org.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

New ‘Common App’ online option targets out-of-state students

Out-of-state students applying to Middle Tennessee State University for 2016-17 will now have the ability to do so through the Common Application, an online system used by nearly 700 influential colleges and universities in the United States and around the world to manage the college admission process.

By becoming a Common App member, MTSU gains the opportunity to discover those out-of-state students who may not have been reached in the past. Students from across the globe are able to explore the exceptional programs at the university and apply to in a streamlined way when they are ready.MTSU-Common App graphic

MTSU officials say they believe the Common App adds a convenient option for prospective out-of-state students, particularly those interested in the MTSU Regional Scholars Program.

Started last year, the program allows select non-Tennessee resident students who live within 250 miles and who meet specific academic requirements to attend MTSU at a greatly reduced rate and qualify for certain scholarships.

Dr. Debra Sells

Dr. Debra Sells

Dr. Deb Sells, vice president of student affairs and vice provost for enrollment services, noted that using the standard MTSU online application found at mtsu.edu/apply will still be the most convenient option for in-state students or those applying only to MTSU from out-of-state.

“The Common App will make it easy for out-of-state students applying to top schools around the world to also apply to MTSU,” Sells added. “We are proud to be in the very good company of institutions such as Harvard, Princeton, Vanderbilt and the University of Chicago, who are also participants in The Common Application.”

Prospective out-of-state students can create a Common Application account to learn more about MTSU. Common App accounts created will roll over to 2016-17 and beyond.

“Each of our new members comes to The Common Application with a unique mission and distinctive qualities that attract a broad range of bright and talented students,” said Paul Mott, CEO of The Common Application. “We are excited to welcome innovative institutions that all share our commitment to advancing college access.”

The answers for any of the questions that appear in the six sections of the “Common App” tab (Profile, Family, Education, Testing, Activities, and Writing) will be preserved. High school counselors can use Common App Ready, a flexible advising tool, to introduce students and families to the college preparation and application processes whenever is best for individual needs. To learn more, visit commonapp.org.

The Common Application is a not-for-profit member organization of nearly 700 leading colleges and universities in the United States and around the world. Since 1975, The Common Application has worked toward access, equity and integrity in the college admission process. Each year, more than 900,000 students use the online system to submit more than 4 million applications. Follow @commonapp #commonapp.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

Honors College student rides on international stage [+VIDEO]

Meghan Miller plans to trust her riding ability and her horse named Remington as she competes in the Adequan/FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships starting Tuesday, July 26.

The MTSU junior integrated studies major, Honors College Buchanan Fellow and Murfreesboro resident will compete against U.S., Canadian and Mexican riders in the event at Colorado Horse Park in Parker, Colorado, about 25 miles southeast of Denver.

https://youtu.be/Y_SaizCkrmg

The event is the premier equestrian competition in North America for junior and young riders age 14 to 21. It is presented by the Westchester, New York-based Gotham North farm and home owned by professional equestrian, philanthropist and young adult novelist Georgina Bloomberg.

Young equestrians compete for team and individual FEI medals in the three Olympic equestrian disciplines of show jumping, dressage, eventing, the Para-Olympic discipline of para-dressage and the FEI World Equestrian Games disciplines of reining and endurance. The competition is run under the rules of the Federation Equestre Internationale, or FEI, the international governing body for equestrian sport and the only FEI championship held annually on this continent.

It will be Miller’s first and last time to compete in the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships.

“For both ‘Remy’ and myself, it’s our first international competition,” said Miller, 20, who competes in dressage, a system that develops strength, balance and grace in the horse and clarifies communication between horse and rider.

“I’m just really hoping to not be too nervous and to get through it and just ride like I do at home. We’ve been training really well. I hope I can carry that on there.”

Meghan Miller and her horse Remington preparing to train for a national dressage competition.

MTSU student Meghan Miller of Murfreesboro rides Remington before a recent training session at Roberson Equestrian Facility. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

As for “Remy,” Miller said the 16-year-old Hanoverian bred in Germany and born in the United States is “very reliable at shows, so I’m expecting him to be pretty chilled as usual and hoping he will come out looking good.”

Miller said Remy, who weighs about 1,500 pounds, has overcome a sinus infection in the past month.

“He had some soreness. He needed time to recover,” Miller said. “I’m excited about him peaking at the competition.”

Jen Thompson of Nashville owns Remington. With instruction from Jessica Roberson Wright, Miller trains with Remy at Roberson Equestrian Facility on Manchester Pike in Murfreesboro.

Miller’s ambitions include riding in the Olympics and becoming a trainer, teacher and professional rider.

Laura Clippard, the Honors College Undergraduate Fellowship Office coordinator, said Miller “is a remarkable student who is very hard-working, determined and academically gifted.”

“Meghan always reaches for new opportunities, and I am not surprised that she has accomplished so much in her two years at MTSU,” Clippard added. “She has great diplomatic skills and does well working with faculty, staff and other students. Meghan is very focused and her interest in working with horses is one of her many talents. As a Buchanan Scholar, Meghan represents the best of MTSU and the Honors College.”

Miller’s minors at MTSU include psychology and agriculture with an emphasis in horse science. Her Buchanan scholarship is the highest award given to an entering MTSU freshman. It is named in honor of the university’s Nobel Prize-winning alumnus, the late Dr. James M. Buchanan.

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

MTSU junior integrated studies major and Honors College Buchanan Fellow Meghan Miller mounts “Remy,” the horse she will ride in this week’s North American Junior and Young Rider Championships in Parker, Colorado.

MTSU junior integrated studies major and Honors College Buchanan Fellow Meghan Miller mounts “Remy,” the horse she will ride in this week’s North American Junior and Young Rider Championships in Parker, Colorado.

Meghan Miller and her horse Remington preparing to train for a national dressage competition.

MTSU Honors College Buchanan scholar Meghan Miller of Murfreesboro applies braces to the legs of her competition horse, Remington, before a recent workout with him.

Innovation J-Camp equips future journalists with enhanced skills

For the past week, 14 youngsters have delved into the world of professional journalism in a supportive, fun-filled multimedia environment.

They departed MTSU’s second annual Innovation J-Camp, which was held July 11-15 on campus, with a greater knowledge of what it takes to be skilled in videography, still photography, audio gathering and editing, internet posting and writing stories.

“We just pushed them a little harder because we found out that it didn’t take them as long as we thought it would to write a story or to edit pictures or to create a website,” said Val Hoeppner, director of MTSU’s Center for Innovation in Media and camp director.

Abby Latture, a junior at Madison Academic Magnet High School in Jackson, Tenn., edits her video on a computer at MTSU’s Center for Innovation in Media during the 2016 Innovation J-Camp. (MTSU photo by Gina Logue)

Abby Latture, a junior at Madison Academic Magnet High School in Jackson, Tenn., edits her video on a computer at MTSU’s Center for Innovation in Media during the 2016 Innovation J-Camp. (MTSU photo by Gina Logue)

One of Hoeppner’s games, “Photo Bingo,” challenged the campers to take pictures of specific scenes around campus in order to fill all the squares on their bingo cards. Some of the scenes included “skateboard or bicycle” and “something blue.”

The camp’s partnership with Canon made it possible for the students to learn their craft with some $60,000 worth of donated photography equipment.

Rebecca King, a 17-year-old Central Magnet School student, said she gravitated toward still photography more than any other medium, a tendency she had not discovered before attending the camp.

Central Magnet student Rebecca King focuses her camera as CMS freshman Ross Eady looks on as they cover the Stamps-Baxter Music Camp at MTSU for a video story. The budding journalists attended MTSU’s Innovation J-Camp July 11-15.

Central Magnet student Rebecca King focuses her camera as CMS freshman Ross Eady looks on as they cover the Stamps-Baxter Music Camp at MTSU for a video story. The budding journalists attended MTSU’s Innovation J-Camp July 11-15.

Val Hoeppner

Val Hoeppner

“I wasn’t sure exactly what kind of field I wanted to go into in the media,” said King. “So this is a good way to experience journalism and filmmaking and photography and see where I really fit in.”

King also noted that the camp has given her a head start on creating work with which she can impress college recruiters and prospective employers.

“It helps you build a portfolio so you can already have things to show people,” she said.

Hoeppner confirmed that the camp is an amazing recruitment tool, noting that three incoming freshmen in the fall 2016 semester will be former campers.

Each camper paid $150 for the intense, weeklong experience, which covered meals, snacks and water. The instructors included Ken Paulson, dean of the College of Media and Entertainment; journalist-in-residence Whitney Matheson; incoming assistant professor Rhyne Piggott; filmmaker Allie Sultan; songwriter and assistant professor Odie Blackmon; and three student mentors.

For more information about Innovation J-Camp, contact Hoeppner at 615-898-2337 or val.hoeppner@mtsu.edu.

— Gina Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

High school students learn about research at MTSU via Project SEED

Instead of summer vacation at the beach, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or another popular destination, local high school students Helene Hamo and Edgar Lozano are conducting chemical research in an MTSU Science Building lab for two months.

Teachers nominated Helene Hamo, left, of Stewarts Creek High School and Edgar Lozano of Central Magnet School for Project SEED research roles at MTSU this summer. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

Teachers nominated Helene Hamo, left, of Stewarts Creek High School and Edgar Lozano of Central Magnet School for Project SEED research roles at MTSU this summer. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

It was their choice to work with MTSU graduate students and Department of Chemistry chair Greg Van Patten after they were selected as Project SEED recipients.

Project SEED, or Summer Education Experience for the Economically Disadvantaged, is sponsored by the American Chemical Society. The summer research program gives high school juniors and seniors an opportunity to work with scientist-mentors on research projects in industrial, academic and federal laboratories.

As they discover potential career paths while approaching critical turning points in their lives, recipients receive a $2,500 fellowship and learn fundamental laboratory skills and analytical methods during the program.

An important feature of Project SEED is its emphasis on career development and its motivation of students to pursue higher education in the natural sciences.

Hamo, 17, of Murfreesboro, will be a senior at Stewarts Creek High School in Smyrna, Tennessee. Chemistry teacher Kevin Vaughn nominated her.

Lozano, 16, of Murfreesboro, will be a senior at Central Magnet School. Advanced Placement chemistry teacher Julie Mullane nominated him.

Dr. Greg Van Patten

Dr. Greg Van Patten

They are working under Van Patten, who is investigating nanomaterials called “quantum dots.” Together, the team will be working on making and studying new types of quantum dots, which have been identified as candidates in next-generation solar cells, lasers, energy storage devices and quantum computers.

Project SEED logo72Van Patten has served as a mentor for Project SEED students since 2013. Although the American Chemical Society provides no monetary compensation for the researchers who work with SEED students, Van Patten said he believes the program is worth the extra effort.

“The practice of science is not a classroom endeavor, so I believe it’s critical to get interested students involved in the research laboratory as early as possible,” he said.

“This program allows students to get involved after a high-quality, one-year high school experience, and both of these students have that.”

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