Logo

LGBT+ College Conference is the topic on the next ‘MTSU On the Record’

The second annual MTSU LGBT+ College Conference will be the subject of the next “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

MT Lambda Secretary Shaela Dennis, left, and Elizabeth Villasana, MT Lambda president, discuss the upcoming LGBT+ College Conference on campus during a conversation on the “MTSU On the Record” radio program. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

MT Lambda Secretary Shaela Dennis, left, and Elizabeth Villasana, MT Lambda president, discuss the upcoming LGBT+ College Conference on campus during a conversation on the “MTSU On the Record” radio program. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Elizabeth Villasana and Shaela Dennis of the MT Lambda student organization will air from 5:30 to 6 p.m. Monday, March 30, and from 8 to 8:30 a.m. Sunday, April 5, on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org ).

Hosted by MT Lambda and the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, the MTSU conference is an opportunity for students, faculty and staff from colleges and universities across Tennessee to discuss subjects important to the LGBT+ communities.

“We are including veterans,” said Villasana. “We’ve got allies. We’ve got the Tennessee Board of Regents helping us out.”

“And we have Greek life, as well,” added Dennis. “We try to reach everybody.”

Corporate sponsors of the conference include Deloitte Services LLC, a financial advisory firm, and Nissan North America.

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit 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.

Groups learn about MTSU mechatronics program from student

MTSU senior Daniel Kiviniemi enjoyed showing off his other workplace space when the Precision Metalforming Association’s Tennessee district met on campus March 19.

Kiviniemi works for Feintool Tennessee Inc., an Antioch, Tennessee-based company making parts through a special process for its customers. When not at Feintool, he is a student majoring in mechatronics in the MTSU Department of Engineering Technology.

MTSU senior Daniel Kiviniemi, center, explains how the mechatronics operations work to Jeff Fredline, sales and project manager with Industrial Maintenance Company in Gallatin, Tennessee, March 19 while touring the MTSU engineering technology facilities. Phil Stinson, left, maintenance manager with Feintool Tennessee Inc., where Kiviniemi is employed, listens. Freidline serves as Tennessee district director for the Precision Metalforming Association, which held a meeting on campus. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

MTSU senior Daniel Kiviniemi, center, explains how the mechatronics operations work to Jeff Fredline, sales and project manager with Industrial Maintenance Company in Gallatin, Tennessee, March 19 while touring the MTSU engineering technology facilities. Phil Stinson, left, maintenance manager with Feintool Tennessee Inc., where Kiviniemi is employed, listens. Fredline serves as Tennessee district director for the Precision Metalforming Association, which held a meeting on campus. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Early on, Kiviniemi, who lives in Murfreesboro, majored in electromechanical engineering technology. But when mechatronics — a program that combines mechanical, computer and electrical engineering, systems integration and project management — became a reality in 2013, he was among the first to jump on board.

Kiviniemi and his fellow Precision Metalforming Association colleagues and a 40-member group from The Academy of Information Technology at Overton High School met in the Tom H. Jackson Building and toured the engineering technology facilities.

“I love it,” Kiviniemi said of the mechatronics program. “It’s definitely a lot of math. You learn a lot of skills you don’t learn anywhere else. As soon as mechatronics started, I switched.”

The program has grown to more than 120 students in its second year and engineering technology Chair Walter Boles anticipates nearly 200 by the time classes begin for the 2015-16 academic year in August.

Along with mechatronics director Ahad Nasab, Kiviniemi showed the program’s equipment to the veteran members of the association and to 35 Overton IT academy students who also were impressed.

“This was like my first exposure (to mechatronics),” said junior Noah Aldridge of Nashville. “It’s not that I’m skeptical, but it piqued my interest.” He added that he learned “how much MTSU cares for students” from the visit.

Junior Regan Holmberg of Nashville, who has older siblings who have attended and graduated from MTSU, found it “good to see how hands-on engineering technology is, how it works and how mechatronics works.”

“Mechatronics is something I’m interested in now and really like to be exposed to — how the technology part I’m familiar with can impact the mechanical part,” she added.

Tennessee district Chair Perry Hytken, who works in sales for Nashville-based Ace Machine and Metal Fabrication, said he found the tour and total experience “to be life-changing … for business groups and several of these students. I wouldn’t be surprised if you don’t see some of these students in mechatronics some day.”

The tour included the various classroom and shop areas, which include the MTSU Experimental Vehicles Program featuring the NASA Lunar Rover, solar boat, SAE Formula One and Mini Baja racing vehicle.

Saeed Foroudastan, associate dean for the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, shared his passion for the program and how MTSU students learn through teamwork and hands-on experience. Dean Bud Fisher toured with the association members and their Overton guests.

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

Companies recruit MTSU students during annual Ag Career Fair

More than 100 MTSU students mainly from the School of Agribusiness and Agriscience met with representatives from nine vendors and the Peace Corps during the annual Ag Career Fair March 18 in the Tennessee Livestock Center.

MTSU seniors Joshua Young, left and Allyssa Vandenburg listen as Sarah Hollins of Natural Creations LLC in Nashville answers questions about her company March 18 during the annual School of Agribusiness and Agriscience Career Fair in the Tennessee Livestock Center. Young, who is from Smyrna, Tennessee, and Vandenburg, who is from Ramer, Tennessee, are plant and soil science majors scheduled to graduate in December. (MTSU photos by News and Media Relations)

MTSU seniors Joshua Young, left, and Allyssa Vandenburg listen as Sarah Hollins of Natural Creations LLC in Nashville answers questions about her company March 18 during the annual School of Agribusiness and Agriscience Career Fair in the Tennessee Livestock Center. Young, who is from Smyrna, Tennessee, and Vandenburg, who is from Ramer, Tennessee, are plant and soil science majors scheduled to graduate in December. (MTSU photos by News and Media Relations)

Agriculture-related companies and universities also included Farm Credit Mid-America, Cal-Main Foods Inc., Thompson Machinery, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Tyson, Tennessee State University’s College of Graduate Studies, Natural Creations LLC, Landscape Services Inc. and the Rutherford Farmers Co-Op.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

MTSU seniors Janie Bell, right, and Matthew Bergin listen to Natural Resources Conservation Service representatives including Leon Tillman talk about their company during the School of Agribusiness and Agriscience Career Fair March 18 in the Tennessee Livestock Center. NRCS was among 10 vendors recruiting from more than 100 students. Bell, an animal science major from Nashville, will graduate in May. Bergin, a senior animal science major from Omaha, Nebraska, is scheduled to graduate in December. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

MTSU seniors Janie Bell, right, and Matthew Bergin listen to Natural Resources Conservation Service representatives including Leon Tillman talk about their company during the School of Agribusiness and Agriscience Career Fair March 18 in the Tennessee Livestock Center. NRCS was among 10 vendors recruiting from more than 100 students. Bell, an animal science major from Nashville, will graduate in May. Bergin, a senior animal science major from Omaha, Nebraska, is scheduled to graduate in December.

MTSU debaters hope to thwart Ireland’s best in April 1 championship

The best of the Emerald Isle will take on the best of the Blue Raider Nation Wednesday, April 1, in what promises to be a rollicking talkfest.

Click on the poster to see a larger version at the MTSU Debate Team's website.

Click on the poster to see a larger version at the MTSU Debate Team’s website.

Members of the MTSU Debate Team will test their mettle against the three individual winners of the 2015 Irish Times Debate Championship at 7 p.m. April 1 in the State Farm Lecture Hall of MTSU’s Business and Aerospace Building.

The event is free and open to the public. For a campus parking map, visit http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParking14-15.

The subject for the noncompetitive exhibition is “Resolved: The United Nations has an obligation to protect.”

The debaters will decide whether that topic will focus on the intervention of the U.N.’s blue-helmeted, armed peacekeeping forces in conflicts around the world or include a discussion of the U.N.’s overall mission.

MTSU’s debaters will be Leigh Stanfill, a junior communication studies major from Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee; Hailey Lawson, a senior psychology major from Smyrna, Tennessee; and Alvin Loyd, a senior political science major from Memphis, Tennessee.

The backup debater will be Michaela Edwards, a senior with double majors in industrial/organizational psychology and communication studies from Madison, Tennessee.

Ireland will send Eoin MacLachlan of University College Dublin and Ronan O’Connor and Hugh Guidera, both of Trinity College Dublin.

The three Irishmen won the 55th annual debate competition sponsored by the Irish Times newspaper in February. Dr. Pat Richey, director of forensics at MTSU and mentor to the debate team, selected the MTSU trio of representatives.

MTSU’s debate team is in the midst of a prize-winning year, including bringing home a regional championship earlier this semester. You can learn more here.

Dr. Patrick Richey

Dr. Patrick Richey

Richey, who also is an assistant professor of communication studies and organizational communication, said the tone of the debate will be different from what the Americans are accustomed to seeing in collegiate competition.

“Sometimes it’ll be referred to as ‘pub debate’ … because, in Ireland and Britain, they enjoy debating in the pubs,” Richey said. “It’s a pastime for them.”

While it is a formal parliamentary style of debate, the use of topic-related humor and sarcasm is characteristic of the style, but Richey noted that  no personal attacks are allowed.

Which team will argue for or against the debate topic will be determined by a coin toss on the night of the contest, Richey said.

“A good student and a good debater is holistic,” Richey said, “so they’ll watch the BBC. They’ll watch Al-Jazeera. They’ll watch Fox News. They’ll watch CNN. Because, between all those, you get a more realistic picture of what’s going on.”

For more information, contact Richey at 615-898-2273 or patrick.richey@mtsu.edu.

You can listen to Richey’s interview about the upcoming debate here. The program originally aired March 9 on “MTSU On the Record” on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org).

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

MTSU students’ research grabs Scholars Week spotlight (+VIDEO)

College of Mass Communication senior Will Messerschmidt thought it was cool that video and films were a part of this year’s Scholars Week agenda and hopes they will have a strong presence in the future.

“We have a lot of talent in animation, music and short films,” said Messerschmidt, an Electronic Media Communication’s film and video major from Johnson City, Tennessee, who participated in the universitywide Scholars Day March 20 to conclude the week’s activities.

Now in the ninth year, Scholars Week accentuates the research, scholarly efforts and collaboration of undergraduate and graduate students and faculty.

http://youtu.be/ALkasWj_8sE

Messerschmidt had a hand in the films shown March 20 during the universitywide Scholars Day held in the Student Union Ballroom and Theater. He helped introduce a series of videos and short films in the Student Union Theater.

From a production standpoint, he became involved with “Happy New Year Mr. Kates” as a second assistant director and producer for “Paris Documentaries,” both of which were shown during the afternoon along with “First Look” and “Tethered and Coffee.”

“The first time I ever worked on an actual film, I instantly fell in love with it,” Messerschmidt said. “I knew I wanted to work on set.”

MTSU sophomore Evan Snapp, right, tells senior James Cooper about the computational science research project he and graduate student Ian Murray collaborated on for the 2015 Scholars Week. The universitywide Scholars Day March 20 concluded the week’s activities. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

MTSU sophomore Evan Snapp, right, tells senior James Cooper about the computational science research project he and graduate student Ian Murray collaborated on for the 2015 Scholars Week. The universitywide Scholars Day March 20 concluded the week’s activities. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

This led to Messerschmidt becoming involved with the MTSU Film Guild.

“We helped show students interested in the field how to make movies, the terminology and what all’s involved with making a film,” he said.

Friday’s showcase was a testament to the variety of research being pursued across disciplines.

Take sophomores Christopher Adereti of Antioch, Tennessee, and Justice Adewumi of Nashville, who led a 17-member group in their quest to study the effect of herbal extract used in traditional Chinese medicine on breast cancer cells.

“This was eye-opening. We took a first step,” said Adereti, who is a biology major.

“To do it so early in pursuit of my career” is important to Adewumi, who is a biology major planning to pursue pre-med.

Adereti and Adewuni also are part of the FirstSTEP Summer Immersion program.

Nearly 200 MTSU undergraduate and graduate student and faculty posters lined the Student Union Ballroom during the universitywide Scholars Day March 20.

Nearly 200 MTSU undergraduate and graduate student and faculty posters lined the Student Union Ballroom during the universitywide Scholars Day March 20.

Meanwhile, three undergraduate students — sophomores Abdulhadi Alanazi from mechanical engineering technology in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences and nursing major Ashley Heath in the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences and freshman Ashley Bass in the College of Education — pursued sexual assaults on college campuses as a research project.

The purpose of their generalized research, which indicated 19 percent of undergraduate females are victims of sexual assault on university campuses around the country, was to encourage people to report incidents of rape, to be aware and to know help is out there.

“It’s a topic that touched all of us,” said Heath, who is from Mt. Juliet, Tennessee.

Their solution: More campus security and the on-campus emergency alerts.

Jackie Eller, vice provost for research and interim dean for the College of Graduate Studies, came away “really impressed with the quality of work students are doing, from high school students to graduate students.”

“It’s so encouraging to see them passionate about discussing their work,” added Eller, who said she encountered another professor from another university whose response about MTSU’s Scholars Day, was, “Wow, I’m really impressed with the work being done here.”

Among the five faculty posters was one on the research being conducted by longtime chemistry professor Martin Stewart on the history of buildings and laboratories for chemistry at MTSU. He plans to write a book.

During the week, the College of Business held a competition that had “Shark Tank” implications — and serious prize money — for the finalists.

All of the colleges held Scholars Days during the week.

Judges selected first-, second- and third-place winners in the various colleges. First-place posters will be on display in the main lobby of the James E. Walker Library through Friday, April 3.

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

MTSU graduate student Marquita Harvey, left, talks with fellow grad student Tracy Morris about her research poster display "Physical Activity Impacts Health and Medical Costs" during Scholars Week March 20 in the Student Union Ballroom.

MTSU graduate student Marquita Harvey, left, talks with fellow grad student Tracy Morris about her research poster display “Physical Activity Impacts Health and Medical Costs” during Scholars Week March 20 in the Student Union Ballroom.

MTSU Scholars Week climate change researcher shares expertise

University of Alabama-Birmingham marine biology and climate control researcher James McClintock spent more than 30 years in the field, particularly in the Antarctic Peninsula.

Now, after walking the walk in an eventful 30-plus year career, he feels his calling is talking the talk.

University of Alabama-Birmingham marine biology and climate control researcher James McClintock speaks to MTSU students during his presentation Monday, March 16, as part of the 10th annual Scholars Week at MTSU. McClintock, who has spent more than 30 years in the field, particularly in the Antarctic Peninsula, spoke at the Student Union. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Dr. James McClintock, a University of Alabama-Birmingham marine biology and climate control researcher, speaks to MTSU students during his presentation Monday, March 16, as part of the ninth annual Scholars Week at MTSU. McClintock, who has spent more than 30 years in the field, particularly in the Antarctic Peninsula, spoke at the Student Union. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

“Sharing my experiences with students and the general public is what I now consider the most important part of my scientific career,” McClintock said while appearing during the ninth annual Scholars Week at MTSU on Monday, March 16.

Scholars Week, a weeklong showcase of academic pursuits and research, continues throughout the week. All of the colleges within the university participate with their own Scholars Days.

McClintock shared with students, faculty and the general public during the first of his two-day appearance at MTSU.

He held a one-hour “Adventures in Field Work” and Q&A session with students, where he opened with a few words about his history of “working in remote polar environments beginning as a graduate student.” He discussed what the experience has taught him about “biological and environmental issues, as well as the value of interdisciplinary collaborative research and cooperation when working in remote field settings.”

The students’ questions guided the remainder of the discussion.

McClintock’s career and research passions have allowed him an “extraordinary lifetime of opportunity to study one of the most intriguing and challenged regions of our planet.”

“Antarctica has put me in the unique position to leverage a lifetime of scientific discovery to educate the public about environmental issues increasingly confronting humankind,” he added.

Regarding his keynote message about the Antarctic Peninsula, he said it is one of the most rapidly warming regions on the planet.

“Sea ice and glaciers are retreating and ice shelves are breaking apart,” he said. “These changes are impacting Antarctic marine life — from the smallest plankton to the largest of whales on this stunningly beautiful and surprisingly fragile continent.”

Rapid anthropogenic climate warming and ocean acidification are twin challenges in a high carbon dioxide world.

“Hope for a better future is illustrated with the discovery and ongoing remediation of the massive hole in the ozone over Antarctica,” he said.

Scholars Week culminates with a universitywide Scholars Day Exposition in the Student Union Ballroom from 12:30 to 3 p.m. Friday, March 20. Performances, video and animation presentations, recording industry songwriters and research posters will be on display. The public is invited.

For building and parking locations, a printable campus map can be found at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParking14-15. To learn more about Scholars Week, visit www.mtsu.edu/research/scholarsweek.

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

About 130 posters were displayed during the College of Basic and Applied Sciences' Scholars Day March 17 in the Liz and Creighton Rhea Atrium in the Science Building. (Submitted photo)

About 130 posters were displayed during the College of Basic and Applied Sciences’ Scholars Day March 17 in the Liz and Creighton Rhea Atrium in the Science Building. (Submitted photo)

Blue Raider Debaters capture regional title amid strong season

The MTSU Blue Raider Debaters have backed up their strong fall with an impressive spring season thus far, including winning a regional championship earlier this semester.

The team competed in tournaments that included both National Parliamentary Debate Association and International Public Debate Association debate formats.

In NPDA competition, two-person teams debate head-to-head in multiple rounds, with a new topic presented each round. In IPDA formats, debaters primarily go one-on-one, with various time limits in effect for both formats.

The MTSU Blue Raider Debate Team captured the top prize at the Southeast Regional Debate Championships in Sevierville, Tennessee, earlier this semester. In this photo at Keathley University Center, some debate team members are pictured with the championship trophy in the center along with other trophies the team has captured this debate season. The team is coached by Patrick Richey, MTSU director of forensics. Clockwise, from bottom left, are Kiera Jackson, a junior industrial organizational psychology major; Abby Howard, a freshman communication studies major; Katelyn Brooks, a freshman anthropology major; Colin Bentley, a freshman engineering major; Stephen Duke, a junior majoring in international relations and German; Abbey Barnes, a freshman English major; Hailey Lawson, a senior psychology major; Colonial Geiger, a junior computer science major; and Samantha Abbott, a freshman marketing major. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Some members of the MTSU Blue Raider Debate Team display the top prize won earlier this semester at the Southeast Regional Debate Championships in Sevierville, Tennessee, in this photo at Keathley University Center, along with other trophies the team has captured this debate season. The team is coached by Patrick Richey, MTSU director of forensics. Clockwise from bottom left, are Kiera Jackson, a junior industrial organizational psychology major; Abby Howard, a freshman communication studies major; Katelyn Brooks, a freshman anthropology major; Colin Bentley, a freshman engineering major; Stephen Duke, a junior majoring in international relations and German; Abbey Barnes, a freshman English major; Hailey Lawson, a senior psychology major; Colonial Geiger, a junior computer science major; and Samantha Abbott, a freshman marketing major. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Here’s a recap of their success, according to debate team coach Dr. Patrick Richey, director of forensics at MTSU.

• The team traveled to Knoxville, Tennessee, for the University of Tennessee Volunteer Classic during the last weekend of January.

In NPDA parliamentary debate, two out of three teams made it to the out rounds. Freshman Abbey Barnes and junior Kiera Jackson won the novice division of NPDA debate and brought home third and fourth place speaker awards respectively.

In individual IPDA debate, freshman Samantha Abbott was a quarterfinalist in the novice division, freshman Abby Howard was a finalist in the novice division, and junior Michaela Edwards was a finalist in the varsity division. Junior Stephen Duke took home a third place speaker award in the pro division and senior Hailey Lawson was the first place speaker in the varsity division.

Blue Raider Debate Team coach Patrick Richey, director of forensics at MTSU, holds the Malcolm McAvoy Award for coaching excellence he received following the debate teamÕs participation in the Southeast Regional Debate Championships at Walters State Community College in Sevierville, Tennessee.

Blue Raider Debate Team coach Patrick Richey, director of forensics at MTSU, holds the Malcolm McAvoy Award for coaching excellence he received after the debate team’s participation in the Southeast Regional Debate Championships at Walters State Community College in Sevierville, Tennessee.

The team as a whole won second place sweepstakes in NPDA, missing first place by only two points; won first place sweepstakes in IPDA; and took home the first-place overall sweepstakes award, winning the tournament.

• The next weekend, the team traveled to Sevierville, Tennessee, for the Southeast Regional Championships at Walters State Community College.

Once again, Abbey Barnes and Kiera Jackson made it to finals in the novice division of NPDA and were second place in the novice division. Every novice debater — Abbott, Howard, Barnes and Leigh Stanfield — from MTSU broke into octofinals in IPDA. Junior Stanfield fought all the way to finals in the novice division and won second place as well as a fourth-place speaker award.

The team took away second place in IPDA sweepstakes and once again took first place in overall sweepstakes, making the Blue Raider Debate Team the Southeast Regional Champions.

Richey received the Malcolm McAvoy Award for coaching excellence in the southeast region.

• After dominating the regionals, the team moved on to the Tennessee Intercollegiate Forensics Association for the state tournament at Tennessee State University in Nashville. The MTSU debaters placed in both NPDA and IPDA and placed in several different individual forensics events.

Sophomore Mitchell Brisbon and his sister Liana Brisbon won finals in novice NPDA. Barnes and Lawson placed in quarterfinals in IPDA novice and varsity divisions. Stanfield took semifinals in IPDA. Barnes received a third-place speaking award, and Stanfield was awarded fifth.

The team took third place IPDA sweepstakes. In individual events, Barnes placed sixth in both Dramatic Interpretation and Program Oral Interpretation. Freshman Jason Watkins placed sixth in Radio Broadcasting.

The team’s combined effort has made it among the top teams in the nation. As it stands, the Blue Raider Debate Team is fifth in the nation in the novice division and 11th in the nation in the varsity division, Richey said.

Novices Howard and Stanfield are fourth and fifth in the nation “and hot on the heels of individuals ranked above them,” Richey noted.

MTSU’s debate team, founded with the university in 1911, was revamped in 2011. It immediately began recruiting members and hosting special debate events on campus. In October 2012, the team hosted its first tournament on campus in nearly a decade and now participates in debates throughout the region.

For more information about MTSU Blue Raider Debate, contact Richey at 615-898-2273 or email him at Patrick.Richey@mtsu.edu. You can also visit www.mtsu.edu/debate/index.php.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

This trophy case inside Keathley University Center shows some of the hardware won this season by the Blue Raider Debate Team.

This trophy case inside Keathley University Center shows some of the hardware won this season by the Blue Raider Debate Team.

High school, college women: Get advice for success March 19

Female high school and college students are invited to jump-start their futures at MTSU as part of a celebration of National Women’s History Month.

AAUW Mboro logo webThe American Association of University Women in Murfreesboro and the organization’s MTSU student chapter will co-host a panel discussion, “Notes to My College Self: Advice for Navigating Your Path to Success,” from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, March 19, in Room 101 of the Sam Ingram Building, located at 2269 Middle Tennessee Blvd.

Panelists include:

  • Dr. Dawn McCormack, assistant dean of the MTSU College of Liberal Arts and a professor of history.
  • Dr. Ronda Henderson, associate professor, MTSU Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship.
  • Karen Alea Ford, an author and director of The Writer’s Loft, an MTSU creative writing certificate program,
  • Collier Andress Smith, a member of the Murfreesboro School Board.

The panel will provide female high school and college students real-world advice on preparing for a career, facing gender bias in the workplace and understanding pay inequity, among other issues.

“Raising awareness of these issues and arming young women with facts and strategies to deal with these issues is an important step in breaking down these barriers to their future success,” said Dr. Ayne Cantrell, head of communications for AAUW of Murfreesboro and president-elect of AAUW of Tennessee.

This event is free and open to the public. A free public reception will follow the panel discussion.

For more information, contact Cantrell at acantrell@comcast.net.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

MTSU student veterans bring concerns, questions to ‘roll call’ events

Keith M. Huber wanted to hear questions, concerns and constructive dialogue related to the MTSU student veterans and life for them on campus.

As Huber, the new senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives, and University Provost Brad Bartel listened, nearly 20 student veterans responded.

The one-hour, 15-minute conversation marked the first day of the two-day military-type “roll call” meeting, held in Cantrell Hall of the Tom H. Jackson Building. Huber wanted to meet the student veterans and begin to assess their needs.

MTSU freshman Crystal Richardson, left, of Fayetteville, Tennessee, chats with Keith M. Huber during the first "roll call" town hall meeting he held for the university's student veteran population Monday (March 2) in Cantrell Hall of the Tom H. Jackson Building. The second military-type roll call will be held starting at 11:20 a.m. Tuesday, March 3, in Cantrell Hall. (MTSU photos by News and Media Relations)

MTSU freshman Crystal Richardson, left, of Fayetteville, Tennessee, chats with Keith M. Huber during the first “roll call” town hall meeting he held for the university’s student veteran population March 2 in Cantrell Hall of the Tom H. Jackson Building. The second military-type roll call will be held starting at 11:20 a.m. Tuesday, March 3, in Cantrell Hall. (MTSU photos by News and Media Relations)

Day 2 of the roll call sessions will be held from 11:20 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Tuesday, March 3, also in Cantrell Hall. All student veterans and their family members are welcome to attend. To find the building location, a printable campus map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParking14-15.

Huber is hopeful word will spread and many more of the estimated 1,000 student veterans on campus, including their dependents, will bring their questions and concerns.

“What I need to hear from you are your experiences at MTSU,” Huber told the group. “… I’m here for you. This university cares about you.”

The three-star general, who retired as a lieutenant general in the U.S. Army after a 38-year career, said he had Ray Howell, coordinator in the MTSU Veterans Affairs office, send a nine-question survey to nearly 1,000 student veterans.

As of Monday’s roll call, almost 100 had responded and more responses are expected.

“Every veteran you come across, carry that message — ‘MTSU cares about you’ — to them,” Huber said. “I want them to share with me what concerns they have.”

MTSU junior accounting major Christopher Jeffery of Nashville said he would like to see a building like Tom Jackson, which is adjacent to the Veterans Memorial, “become dedicated space.”

“Part of my task is to improve the Veterans Center,” Huber said. He and Bartel explained how “we’ve got to get a better facility” while praising the efforts of Howell, who handles the veterans’ paperwork, and Heather Conrad, who directs the VetSuccess on Campus program. Both Howell and Conrad manage with small office space in Keathley University Center.

MTSU student veterans listen as Keith M. Huber, foreground right, answers questions regarding issues they encounter on campus Monday (March 2) in the Tom H. Jackson Building’s Cantrell Hall. It marked the first day of back-to-back "roll call" town hall meetings held by Huber. The new senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives will conduct the second roll call starting at 11:20 a.m. Tuesday, March 3, in Cantrell Hall.

MTSU student veterans listen as Keith M. Huber, foreground right, answers questions regarding issues they encounter on campus March 2 in the Tom H. Jackson Building’s Cantrell Hall. It marked the first day of back-to-back “roll call” town hall meetings held by Huber. The new senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives will conduct the second roll call starting at 11:20 a.m. Tuesday, March 3, in Cantrell Hall.

“I agree with the statement about space on campus,” Bartel said, noting he has the same concern for graduate and international students.

Graduate student Ryan DeBooy, 29, who is studying information systems while the Army pays for his education, requested Huber and the university do something to improve streamlining forms and student access to Huber.

Freshman plant and soil science major Crystal Richardson, 28, of Fayetteville, Tennessee, said it was “not only good to meet him (Huber), but also to get to meet other veterans who are here. I’m still trying to learn what’s available.

Huber first told the group he wasn’t on Twitter of Facebook and doesn’t send text messages. However, he later told them he “is receptive to change my personal habits. … I will change if that’s the way I need to communicate with veterans.”

He told them he could be reached by email at Keith.Huber@mtsu.edu and available in person in Room 111 in Cope Administration Building.

The group learned from Bartel that university President Sidney A. McPhee has approved a software package for text-messaging bursts specifically for veterans.

Huber and Hilary Miller, a member of the university’s Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, plan to visit Arizona State University and its Pat Tillman Veterans Center in several weeks.

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

Scholarship deadline is March 9 for student leaders event

MTSU could send a representative to the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders.

The conference is slated for May 28-30 at the University of Maryland, College Park, and is designed to enhance the leadership skills of college women students and to promote effectiveness in their work on campus and in the community.

AAUW graphic croppedThe deadline for Tennessee colleges and universities and Tennessee branches of the American Association of University Women to nominate students for the conference scholarship is Monday, March 9. Nominees must submit applications by Friday, March 13.

Naomi Plant-Moran, an MTSU senior anthropology major from Murfreesboro, attended last year’s conference. This year, she is president of the MTSU student chapter of AAUW.

“I had never heard of NCCWSL before my involvement with AAUW, and, as a single mother of two children, struggling through my undergraduate degree and battling poverty every day, the idea that I would ever get to do something like attending the national conference was like a dream,” Plant-Moran said.

The 2014 gathering attracted more than 500 young women from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Jamaica. Plant-Moran said Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former President Bill Clinton and former U.S. Sen. and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was the keynote speaker.

“I never knew women could be so kind to each other or raise such a feeling of love in a room, and the AAUW scholarship made it possible for me to be able to attend the conference and get to have that experience,” Plant-Moran said. “I will treasure it for my entire life.”

The scholarship will cover conference registration, lodging and meals. Universities and AAUW branches are expected to contribute to travel funds.

For more information about the the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders, visit www.nccwsl.org.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

MTSU students, professor, alumna capture honors in dietetics field

Two MTSU students, a professor and an alumna recently captured top honors based on their proficiency in the dietetics field.

Ashley Vairin, a senior from Nashville, Tennessee, won the Outstanding Dietetics Student Award and Haley Overby, a senior from Smyrna, Tennessee, won the Student Scholarship at the Nashville Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spring meeting Feb. 10 at Maggiano’s Restaurant in Nashville.

Dr. Lisa Sheehan-Smith, center, a registered dietician and professor in the MTSU Department of Human Sciences, shows her award for Outstanding Dietetics Educator from the Nashville Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Sheehan-Smith is flanked by Haley Overby, left, winner of the NAND Student Scholarship, and Ashley Vairin, winner of the NAND Outstanding Dietetics Student Award. The honors were presented Feb. 10 in Nashville. (Photo submitted by Dr. Lisa Sheehan-Smith)

Dr. Lisa Sheehan-Smith, center, a registered dietician and professor in the MTSU Department of Human Sciences, shows her award for Outstanding Dietetics Educator from the Nashville Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Sheehan-Smith is flanked by Haley Overby, left, winner of the NAND Student Scholarship, and Ashley Vairin, winner of the NAND Outstanding Dietetics Student Award. The honors were presented Feb. 10 in Nashville. (Photo submitted by Dr. Lisa Sheehan-Smith)

Vairin received the top student award after a unanimous endorsement by all faculty in MTSU’s Nutrition and Food Sciences program.

Overby received the scholarship after earning a minimum 3.0 GPA, =receiving a letter of recommendation from faculty and submitting a personal letter discussing her leadership, academic record and reasons why she should receive the stipend.

Dr. Lisa Sheehan-Smith, a registered dietician and professor in the MTSU Department of Human Sciences, was honored with the Outstanding Dietetics Educator Award.

“I think the award, which was based upon a nomination and then selection by a committee of my peers, recognizes my desire to not only provide the necessary education our dietetic students need for their future careers, but also to go beyond the educational process by supporting and mentoring current students and program graduates,” said Sheehan-Smith.

Trish Marzella Mathisen

Trish Marzella Mathisen

Trish Marzella Mathisen, a Nashville-based MTSU alumna, received the Iris Award for her work in nutrition and support of registered dieticians.

Mathisen is the creator of www.nutrisha.com, a culinary nutrition education platform that connects nutrition to local and seasonal eating, according to the website.

“Since starting my own business in 2012, I have worked to connect consumers to applicable nutrition information by emphasizing procurement of and cooking local food,” Mathisen said. “Receiving this award from the Nashville Academy of Nutrition in Dietetics is an incredible endorsement of the work I have done.”

The Iris Award winner must promote the advancement of nutrition in Tennessee in one or more of the following ways: through scientific knowledge or technical skills, demonstrating goodwill through notable service in furthering the advancement of dietetics, furthering the cultural growth of dietetics or contributing to the public awareness of dietetics.

The Nashville Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics serves as an advocate for Nashville dieticians and the dietetic profession by promoting optimal nutrition, health and well-being, according to the group’s website, www.eatrightnashville.org.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)