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MTSU finalizes list of spring 2015 graduates

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

An MTSU student waves excitedly to supporters in the stands at Hale Arena inside Murphy Center as she and her classmates file in for the summer 2015 commencement ceremony Saturday, Aug. 8. (MTSU photo by GradImages.com)

An MTSU student waves excitedly to supporters in the stands inside Murphy Center as graduates file in for the summer 2015 commencement ceremony Aug. 8. (MTSU photo by GradImages.com)

This list, alphabetized by home county and surname, is the final compilation by the MTSU Registrar’s Office of the names and hometowns of MTSU’s summer 2015 graduates. The PDF is available by clicking here.

Full news coverage of the summer 2015 commencement ceremony on Aug. 8, including videos and links to plenty of photos, is available here

MTSU graduation lists are finalized after each commencement day. An archive of recent graduation lists by semester is available here.

Please note: These final graduation lists are provided by the MTSU Registrar’s Office and are compiled from information from each student’s official records. The Office of News and Media Relations does not compile nor create the final graduation list.

For questions about an individual student’s inclusion on the list, please contact the Registrar’s Office at 615-898-2111 or records@mtsu.edu.

MTSU receives $91K to boost student veterans’ success [+VIDEO]

NASHVILLE — Middle Tennessee State University will receive a state grant of nearly $91,000 to support its ongoing efforts to help student veterans successfully pursue their higher education degrees.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced Aug. 10 that 11 colleges and universities will receive the Veteran Reconnect Grant, a competitive grant focused on improving the success of student veterans enrolled in Tennessee colleges and universities.

“From 2008 to 2013, we saw a 200 percent increase in the number of veterans enrolling in our Tennessee colleges and universities,” Haslam said in a release from his office.

Gov. Bill Haslam

Gov. Bill Haslam

Graduating MTSU student-veteran Kendra Buster, left, talks with Keith M. Huber, senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives, and Hilary Miller, director of the Veterans and Military Family Center, before the second Graduating Veterans Stole Ceremony. The event was held Aug. 5 in the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

Graduating MTSU student-veteran Kendra Buster, left, talks with Keith M. Huber, senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives, and Dr. Hilary Miller, director of the Veterans and Military Family Center, before the second Graduating Veterans Stole Ceremony Aug. 5 in the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

“Our Veterans Education Task Force has been working to address the unique needs that our service men and women have when they come home and go back to school, and these competitive grants will help two-year and four-year schools develop initiatives specifically designed for veterans to be successful in earning a degree or certificate.”

MTSU continues to enhance services for its student veteran population of roughly 1,000 including family members.

The university recently announced details of the new Veterans and Military Family Center, which will create a virtual one-stop-shop to meet a variety of academic-related needs.

The 2,600-square-foot center will be located on the first floor of the Keathley University Center and is set to open later this fall. It nearly doubles existing space allotted for student veterans services and will address a number of needs, such as financial aid and academic advising. The university has committed $329,000 toward the project.

MTSU’s $90,999 veterans’ education grant will go toward supporting center programs, officials said.

“These funds will enhance our efforts to better serve our student veterans, and we appreciate the state’s support,” said Dr. Hilary Miller, director of MTSU’s new military center.

“Our student veterans and their families deserve the best services available, and with the opening of our new Veterans and Military Family Center this fall, this grant will provide a timely boost as we develop new programs and services for this unique student population.”

Haslam included the grant in his fiscal year 2015-16 budget amendment, and the General Assembly approved $1 million for the Veteran Reconnect Grant, the release states.

Grant proposals were requested in May and applicants had a July 2 submission deadline. A committee of higher education and veterans service leaders reviewed the proposals.

Other Tennessee recipients of the Veteran Reconnect Grant include:MT Vet-Reconnect combo web

  • Belmont University, $95,000.
  • Chattanooga State Community College, $92,000.
  • Columbia State Community College, $92,797.
  • East Tennessee State University, $95,000.
  • Jackson State Community College, $94,151.
  • Lipscomb University, $80,415.
  • Maryville College, $82,257.
  • Northeast State Community College, $94,600.
  • University of Memphis, $93,374.
  • Volunteer State Community College, $89,104.

The Veteran Reconnect Grant is part of the governor’s Drive to 55 initiative aimed at increasing the number of Tennesseans with a certificate or degree beyond high school. By 2025, 55 percent of the jobs in Tennessee will require a post-secondary degree or credential. Currently, only 33 percent of Tennesseans qualify, according to figures from the governor’s office.

For more information on MTSU’s veterans services, visit www.mtsu.edu/military.

You can also watch this video about MTSU’s plans for its Veterans and Military Family Center.

http://youtu.be/j5_UapxO_Wk

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

MTSU songwriters can find more ‘income streams’ with course

MTSU recording industry students have another career-expanding option with a new course on “jingle writing” this fall that relies on a renowned Nashville musician’s expertise in commercials, television and film.

Jerry Kimbrough

Jerry Kimbrough

Jerry Kimbrough’s guitar skills have kept him in constant demand for more than two decades as a studio and session musician for artists ranging from Ray Stevens to Point of Grace. Now he’s adding the new class to his ongoing guitar course in the Commercial Songwriting Program.

“We wanted to give our student songwriters other opportunities for income streams,” explains program director Odie Blackmon. “This course can give somebody a career or put food on the table while they’re waiting for that big ‘No. 1’ hit.”

Kimbrough’s jingle clients include Coca-Cola, Cartoon Network and CBS Sports. He’s played on thousands of albums for all the major record labels, and his commercial music helps sell “cars, beers, soaps, cereals, restaurants, antacids, tacos, tires, clothes, stores, banks (and) insurance,” he jokes on his website.

He’s one of the right-hand men at Warner-Chappell Production Music, a special division of the Warner Music Group that creates custom music for TV shows, movies and commercials.

Odie Blackmon

Odie Blackmon

Searching “Kimbrough” at the WCPM site turns up hundreds of examples of his work in all genres.

“You can turn on the radio any day, anywhere, and hear Jerry Kimbrough,” Blackmon says, “and since he already teaches guitar for us, we thought it’d be a great fit and a great opportunity for our students.”

Blackmon, himself a Grammy-nominated MTSU alumnus, says word’s already gotten around the industry about MTSU’s new course offering.

“The ones we’ve talked to know that it’s a big thing to be able to use your talents in more than one way to provide yourself with an income. Jerry does that, and our students can do it, and the reaction’s been positive to it.”

A couple of spots are still open in this fall’s jingle-writing course for MTSU students who contact Blackmon immediately at Odie.Blackmon@mtsu.edu, odieblackmon@me.com or 615-898-5030.

Students who can fit the course into their spring 2016 schedule are welcome to contact him, too.

To learn more about Kimbrough, visit his website, http://ProGuitarTracks.com.

For more information about MTSU’s Commercial Songwriting Program, visit www.mtsu.edu/programs/commercial-songwriting. More details on the Department of Recording Industry are available at www.mtsu.edu/recording-industry.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

MTSU, 40 colleges recruit students Aug. 31 on campus

For one of the first college recruiting fairs in the Middle Tennessee region, area high school students and their parents and families are invited to attend the upcoming Rutherford County College Night.

The event, which features about 40 colleges and universities in the Southeast, will be hosted by MTSU. It will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 31, in the Student Union Ballroom, 1768 MTSU Blvd., on the MTSU campus in Murfreesboro. For general information, visit www.mtsu.edu/rccn.

Rutherford County College Night will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 31, in the Student Union Building Ballroom. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

Rutherford County College Night will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 31, in the Student Union Building Ballroom. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

Anyone planning to attend should park in the Rutherford parking lot off Rutherford Boulevard on the east side of campus. Shuttles will transport visitors to the Student Union Building and return them when they leave. To find parking and building location, a printable campus map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParking2015-16.

Students from Rutherford and surrounding counties are welcome to attend. No registration is required.

Along with MTSU personnel, dozens of colleges and universities will send representatives in their effort to recruit students for the 2016-17 academic year and beyond.

“This is an efficient way for students in Rutherford and neighboring counties to maximize interactions with multiple institutions in a short period of time,” said Kristen Russell, senior admissions counselor in Admissions and Enrollment Services.

TACRAO logo“The event is planned in the evening, which allows parents and families to attend with their students as they play a large role in the college decision-making process,” Russell added.

For questions about the event, call 615-898-2233 or email admissions@mtsu.edu.

On the night of the event, anyone having a problem with directions or last-minute questions can call 615-898-5670 until 7:30, Russell said.

The Tennessee Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers endorses the event.

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

New MTSU grads should ‘be greedy’ in life choices: speaker [+VIDEO]

Newly minted MTSU graduates can treasure the “years of dedication, sacrifice and hard work” that earned their new degrees and still “be greedy” when facing new choices, a longtime sociology professor said Saturday, Aug. 8.

Dr. William Canak, outgoing president of the MTSU Faculty Senate and a professor of sociology, makes a point during his commencement address at the summer 2015 commencement ceremony Saturday, Aug. 8, inside Murphy Center. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Dr. William Canak, outgoing president of the MTSU Faculty Senate and a professor of sociology, makes a point during his commencement address at the summer 2015 commencement ceremony Saturday, Aug. 8, inside Murphy Center. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

“We’re marking this special day, the culmination for you all of years of dedication, sacrifice and hard work — something that we don’t often do,” Dr. William Canak, outgoing president of the university’s Faculty Senate, told the 903 students in his summer 2015 commencement address.

“What will become of this marker? Is this a fork in the road? And you know what Yogi Berra said about forks in the road. ‘Take them,’ he said. In the 21st century, your century, there will be many forks in the road. Choosing one fork in the road doesn’t mean not choosing others. BE GREEDY. Choose a lot of forks.”

Of the 903 MTSU students receiving degrees in the Aug. 8 celebration, 673 were undergraduates and 230 were graduate students, including 214 master’s degree recipients, five education-specialist degree recipients and 11 new doctoral degree-holders. One graduate student received a graduate certificate.

You can find the official program from the Aug. 8 summer commencement ceremony here. More photos from the event are available here.

Juliana Morgan

Juliana Morgan

New graduate Juliana Morgan of Memphis, Tennessee, said her road to commencement was a long one. Graduating with honors with a 3.8 GPA, Morgan majored in child development and family in the Department of Human Sciences.

“It’s crazy it’s finally here,” said Morgan, 21, whose entire family attended the event. “It’s not hit me yet. There’s been a lot of hard work. I didn’t feel like it was going to end.”

A member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Morgan will continue working at Primrose School of Murfreesboro, which cares for preschool and kindergarten students. She said she knows she “wants to work with children. I’m not sure where it’s going to take me. We’ll see where God leads me.”

Canak encouraged students not to fear taking changes in the next phases of their lives.

“What will the next decades bring and mean for you, and how can you negotiate the challenges, still sustaining a moral compass and sustaining a secure identity as you go beyond MTSU?” Canak asked the students.

http://youtu.be/zbB3-nJMthY

“On a day when we celebrate your success, I want to encourage you to, with an open mind and heart, also be fearless and embrace failure. Consider your capacity to sustain learning, to sustain engagement, to sustain contributing to your community. These are the foundations for a meaningful life. I wish you many wonderful adventures. Real ones come with risks, but they can bring the possibility of happiness. I wish you all much nachas — that’s happiness.”

Wearing his Army blues for the ceremony, psychology major Ryan McCoy of Nashville has been finishing college while working for a Nashville sign company and interning with the Army National Guard.

Ryan McCoy

Ryan McCoy

“I’m the first of three brothers in my family to graduate from college,” said McCoy, 22, who will lead a maintenance and ordnance platoon that fixes trucks for the Guard. “I’m excited to graduate. I graduated almost on time. I’m glad to be finished.”

A former cadet in the military science ROTC program, McCoy was commissioned in May and finished his course work this summer.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee encouraged the graduating students to thank the family members, friends and others who helped them reach this personal milestone of accomplishment.

“We see this time of commencement as a comma, rather than a period, in your life,” he said. “This is just the beginning of greater things to come for you.”

The university’s 2015-16 academic year begins Monday, Aug. 24, 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. 23, at 2 p.m. in Murphy Center.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu) and Randy Weiler (randy.weiler@mtsu.edu)

A summer 2015 MTSU graduate beams at the camera as she and  her classmates anticipate receiving their degrees at the Saturday, Aug. 8, ceremony inside Murphy Center. (MTSU photo by GradImages.com)

A summer 2015 MTSU graduate beams at the camera as she and her classmates anticipate receiving their degrees at the Aug. 8 ceremony inside Murphy Center. (MTSU photo by GradImages.com)

An MTSU summer 2015 graduate's mortarboard relays a message similar to the commencement speaker's comments as she waits for the ceremony to begin Saturday, Aug. 8, inside Murphy Center. (MTSU photo by GradImages.com)

An MTSU summer 2015 graduate’s mortarboard relays a message similar to the commencement speaker’s comments as she waits for the ceremony to begin Aug. 8 inside Murphy Center. (MTSU photo by GradImages.com)

A pair of MTSU students joyfully discuss receiving their degrees as they wait for the summer 2015 commencement ceremony to begin Saturday, Aug. 8, inside Murphy Center. (MTSU photo by GradImages.com)

A pair of MTSU students joyfully discuss receiving their degrees as they wait for the summer 2015 commencement ceremony to begin Aug. 8 inside Murphy Center. (MTSU photo by GradImages.com)

Family, friends and other supporters of MTSU's summer 2015 graduating class exchange smiles, laughs and baby Blue Raiders as they wait for the ceremony to begin Saturday, Aug. 8, inside Murphy Center. (MTSU photo by GradImages.com)

Family, friends and other supporters of MTSU’s summer 2015 graduating class exchange smiles, laughs and baby Blue Raiders as they wait for the ceremony to begin Aug. 8 inside Murphy Center. (MTSU photo by GradImages.com)

An MTSU student waves excitedly to supporters in the stands at Hale Arena inside Murphy Center as she and her classmates file in for the summer 2015 commencement ceremony Saturday, Aug. 8. (MTSU photo by GradImages.com)

An MTSU student waves excitedly to supporters in the stands at Hale Arena inside Murphy Center as she and her classmates file in for the summer 2015 commencement ceremony Aug. 8. (MTSU photo by GradImages.com)

Help students through Aug. 19 with ‘Great Giveaway’ donations

New and gently used household items can serve as the foundation for a new home and a new life for some MTSU students in the annual “Great Giveaway.”

nternational students choose their bicycles in the 2014 Great Giveaway sponsored by MTSU’s Raiders for Christ student organization, 1105 E. Bell St. in Murfreesboro. The 2015 Great Giveaway is slated for 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 22. (Photos courtesy of MTSU Raiders for Christ)

International students choose their bicycles in the 2014 Great Giveaway sponsored by MTSU’s Raiders for Christ student organization, 1105 E. Bell St. in Murfreesboro. The 2015 Great Giveaway is slated for 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 22. (Photos courtesy of MTSU Raiders for Christ)

Raiders for Christ, an MTSU student organization, will accept donations of gently used and new furniture and other goods from 8:30 a.m. to midnight through Wednesday, Aug. 19, at its headquarters, 1105 E. Bell St. in Murfreesboro.

The items will be given to MTSU international students from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 22.

“Most of those are new students to MTSU, but some of the international students will come back year after year,” said Sarah Johnson, director of women’s outreach for Raiders for Christ.

Johnson said the group needs such items as couches, tables, chairs, beds, dishes, pots and pans, bicycles, small appliances, sheets and pillowcases, pillows, eating utensils and umbrellas.

Donors are asked not to contribute televisions, computers or any perishable items.

RFC logo web“Almost all of the furniture gets taken, especially the beds,” said Johnson. “Bicycles go really well because most of them don’t have cars or any kind of transportation.”

Some contributors choose to go to discount stores and purchase sponges, mops, brooms, dishwashing liquid, towels and washcloths to donate to take a few housekeeping worries off the students’ checklists.

On Aug. 22, each student who lines up at the RFC office will receive two Post-it notes. They can write their names on the notes and tag two large items that they want while gathering as many small items as they desire. Volunteers with trucks will help the students transport the larger items to their residences.

Many items find their way back to Raiders for Christ for others to use when the international students graduate or return to their home countries.

“The students are really good about donating the items back when they’re finished and they go back home,” said Johnson.

To donate items or for more information, contact Raiders for Christ at 615-896-1529 or email Johnson at sarahfjohnson@yahoo.com.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

International students line up to search for free donated furniture and household goods in the 2014 Great Giveaway at MTSU’s Raiders for Christ headquarters. The 2015 Great Giveaway is set Aug. 22.

International students line up to search for free donated furniture and household goods to outfit their homes away from home in the 2014 Great Giveaway at MTSU’s Raiders for Christ headquarters. The 2015 Great Giveaway is set Aug. 22.

Students land jobs quickly in MTSU master’s internship program

MTSU graduate student Jeremy Posey will miss the university’s Saturday, Aug. 8, commencement. He’s moving his wife and three sons to Michigan.

A job opportunity with Auburn Hills, Michigan-based Fiat Chrysler Automobiles — one that presented itself because of both his skillset and his participation in the MTSU Master of Science in Professional Science program — is taking him North to be a powertrain controls engineer.

Former MTSU Experimental Vehicles Program director Jeremy Posey will go to work Aug. 17 with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The engineering management grad student made his MTSU internship presentation Aug. 6 in the Science Building. (MTSU photos by Randy Weiler)

Former MTSU Experimental Vehicles Program director Jeremy Posey will go to work Aug. 17 with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The engineering management grad student made his MTSU internship presentation Aug. 6 in the Science Building. (MTSU photos by Randy Weiler)

MSPS logo webThe program, commonly called professional science masters or PSM, is an award-winning two-year master’s degree in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM disciplines that equips students for work in public and private business and academia.

Twenty-three other graduate students joined Posey, 33, a native of Adairville, Kentucky, in the MSPS internship presentations Thursday, Aug. 6, in the Science Building.

The concentrations include biostatistics, health care informatics, geosciences, engineering management, actuarial science, biotechnology and business education.

Posey, who has served as director of the engineering technology Experimental Vehicles Program for two years, was interviewed by his new employer in April while MTSU was competing in the Formula Hybrid event in New Hampshire. He also interviewed with companies in Florida and Memphis, Tennessee.

“Rather than being in manufacturing, I’ll be involved in design and calibrating — new product development for new vehicles,” Posey said.

Posey learned a lot in the professional science master’s program, “most of which I’ll be able to apply pretty quickly in my job,” he said.

MTSU biotechnology master’s degree candidate Kourtney Kizer shares her Master of Science in Professional Science internship presentation Aug. 6 in the MTSU Science Building. She interned with the American Diabetes Association in Nashville.

MTSU biotechnology master’s degree candidate Kourtney Kizer shares her Master of Science in Professional Science internship presentation Aug. 6 in the Science Building. She interned with the American Diabetes Association in Nashville.

“I learned a lot on the business side,” he added. “The engineering side, there were things I already was exposed to. The business side was all new to me.” Business areas included managerial, communication, leadership, accounting and legal issues for managers.

Posey, wife Jennifer, and sons Jeremy, 10, Gabriel, 8, and Hunter, 7 months, left Friday, Aug. 7, for Clarkston, Michigan, where they will live.

Saeed Foroudastan, the MSPS director, said this summer’s participants are the largest group to date. All must complete a minimum of 250 hours with the company where they are interning.

“This program is very successful,” Foroudastan said. “We now graduate more than 60 students a year. We need to do a lot of recruiting. They come in, get a degree in two years or less, have a job and go to work.”

Generally, “most graduate and get a job right away and make twice the money they would’ve gotten with a Bachelor of Science degree,” Foroudastan said. He adds that 70 percent receive a job offer at the place of their internship.

To learn more, call 615-494-7618, email Saeed.Foroudastan@mtsu.edu or visit http://www.mtsu.edu/msps/about.php.

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

Summer celebration showcases MTSU student research [+VIDEO]

Ashley Corson’s research will take her to the American Chemical Society’s national conference later this month. It also is the subject of her MTSU Honors College thesis.

Performing a chemistry research project — synthesizing or making rapid compounds in order to kill the organism, comprising three different varieties of fungi — with mentor and assistant professor Kevin Bicker for the past 18 months led her to this point.

Corson’s highly scientific project was among nearly 50 showcased during the annual MTSU Summer Research Celebration July 31 in the Student Union Ballroom.

http://youtu.be/1JuXXI9lg1Y

“This definitely pushed me to do my best work, be independent and think on my feet when the professor’s not here,” said Corson, 21, a senior biochemistry major from Greenbrier, Tennessee.

MTSU student Caleb Hough, left, explains his summer research project to Dr. Jackie Eller, interim vice provost for research dean of the College of Graduate Studies, July 31 in the Student Union Ballroom. Hough, a senior, chose "Green Girls: Renewable Energy Activities for Science and Civic Engagement" as his research topic. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

MTSU student Caleb Hough, left, explains his summer research project to Dr. Jackie Eller, interim vice provost for research dean of the College of Graduate Studies, July 31 in the Student Union Ballroom. Hough, a senior, chose “Green Girls: Renewable Energy Activities for Science and Civic Engagement” as his research topic. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

Nearly 90 students and 40 faculty participated in the summer research through various means, including:

  • URECA, or Undergraduate Research Experience and Creative Activity.
  • National Science Foundation-sponsored REU, or Research Experiences for Undergraduates.
  • MSPS or Master of Science in Professional Science, a groundbreaking two-year master’s degree in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, disciplines, that equips students to work in public and private business enterprises and in the academic world.
  • Two sections of professor Laura Dubek’s freshman English class, “Research and Argumentative Writing,” that featured 30 students.
  • The MTSU Honors College and College of Basic and Applied Sciences and departments of recording industry, physics and astronomy, engineering technology/mechatronics engineering, biology, psychology, chemistry and the Women in STEM (WISTEM) Center.

Nontraditional student Charlotte “Cat” Archer, 54, of Murfreesboro, traced four distinct movements — free speech and student rights, civil rights for blacks, women’s rights and gay rights — in her research.

Dr. Bud Fischer, left, dean of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, listens as Daniel Deal discusses his project, "Precipitation Effects on Community Composition and Structure of Cedar Glades," during the July 31 Summer Research Celebration in the Student Union Ballroom.

Dr. Bud Fischer, left, dean of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, listens as Daniel Deal discusses his project, “Precipitation Effects on Community Composition and Structure of Cedar Glades,” during the July 31 Summer Research Celebration in the Student Union Ballroom.

Archer, a senior majoring in the sexuality track of women’s and gender studies and minoring in psychology, anticipates graduating in May 2016.

Her report, which also will be used as part of her honors thesis, raises many questions.

“It is my hope we will answer some of these questions by examining a current social movement,” she said, referring to gay rights efforts, “which has recently been very successful in achieving some of the strategic goals for which they’ve been working over the last few decades.” She also plans an expanded survey.

Dr. Jackie Eller, interim vice provost for research and dean for the College of Graduate Studies, said she was “really impressed with the diversity and quality of the presentations the students are doing” this summer.

For more information about MTSU’s research, call the Office of Research at 615-898-5005 or visit www.mtsu.edu/research.

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

MTSU Veterans and Military Family Center renovation nears [+VIDEO]

Administrative efforts to make MTSU both a statewide and national leader in educating veterans takes a significant turn this fall.

By late October, the new Veterans and Military Family Center will be up and running, enabling the university’s student-veteran population to have a virtual one-stop-shop to meet a variety of academic-related needs.

Along with part of an MTSU campus map and exterior photo of Keathley University Center, here is a hallway perspective of an artist’s rendering of the Veterans and Military Family Center. (MTSU Creative and Visual Services)

Along with part of an MTSU campus map and exterior photo of Keathley University Center, here is a hallway perspective of an artist’s rendering of the Veterans and Military Family Center. (MTSU Creative and Visual Services)

MTSU will celebrate the dedication of the center at 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 5, highlighting a busy fall semester for student-veterans. The public and MTSU community are invited.

At the second Graduating Senior Stole Ceremony Aug. 5 in the Tom H. Jackson Building’s Cantrell Hall, university President Sidney A. McPhee unveiled renderings for the proposed facility, providing facts and the need for the center.

“This center will open in November, just before Veterans Day and our Salute to Armed Services football game this November,” McPhee said. “And it will be largest and most comprehensive veterans center among Tennessee universities.”

McPhee added that the center “will be a place for our student-veterans to study, to gather and to get help from fellow veterans, who will serve as peer advisers and sponsors.”

http://youtu.be/j5_UapxO_Wk

University Provost Brad Bartel shared the academic component for the center. Keith M. Huber, senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives at MTSU, talked about the impact the center will have on student-veterans.

The renovated 2,600-square-foot center will be located on the first floor of Keathley University Center. The university has committed $329,000 toward the project.

“This center will provide a specifically detailed awareness and direct access to the complex and often confusing system of the federal Department of Veterans Affairs,” Huber said.

The center will occupy space formerly held by the Disability and Access Center, the first VetSuccess on Campus office in Tennessee, and the Military Center.

The Tennessee Board of Regents approved the name change to Veterans and Military Family Center in early July.

A graphic artist’s rendering of how space will be utilized in the 2,600-square-foot MTSU Veterans and Military Family Center on the first floor of Keathley University Center. (MTSU graphic by Creative and Visual Services)

A graphic artist’s rendering of how space will be utilized in the 2,600-square-foot MTSU Veterans and Military Family Center on the first floor of Keathley University Center. (MTSU graphic by Creative and Visual Services)

Nearly doubling in size from its former space, the center will address a number of student needs, including financial aid and academic advising.

The Disability and Access Center will be moving to the newly remodeled KUC Testing Center.

“It will be a singular location where everything they need for success will be available, from scheduling courses and completing government paperwork to answering questions concerning benefits and employment opportunities,” said Huber, who retired as a lieutenant general from the U.S. Army after nearly 40 years on active duty as an infantry and Special Forces officer.

The center will have distinctive space for discussions, study sessions and will be staffed by fellow student veterans, who will serve as peer advisers and sponsors. There will be a conference room for video teleconferencing and employer job interviews.

Huber credits McPhee’s vision for recognizing the need for the center and “providing essential resources, combined with his personal leadership, to demonstrate a significant commitment,” he said.

The university named Dr. Hilary Miller, a military spouse and family member, as center director earlier this summer. She will lead an experienced staff alongside VA employees Heather Conrad with VetSuccess on Campus and Ray Howell, Veteran Affairs coordinator.

While the renovation is in progress, personnel will temporarily move to the Midgett Building and Kirksey Old Main. Miller’s office will be in the James E. Walker Library.

Someone will sit at a table outside the area being renovated and direct student veterans to the person they need to see, officials said.

The MTSU Veterans and Military Family Center

  • Name: Veterans and Military Family Center.
  • Location: First floor of Keathley University Center.
  • Director: Dr. Hilary Miller.
  • Size of facility: 2,600 square feet.
  • MTSU financial commitment: $329,000.
  • MTSU student veteran population: 1,000, including family members.
  • Center features: Conference room, five office spaces, adviser workspaces, student computer area, reception area, lounge area, kitchenette.
  • Move-in date: Monday, Oct. 19 (tentative).
  • Dedication time/date: 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 5.

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

‘MTSU On the Record’ leads the way with undergrad research on leadership

The nature of effective leadership was the topic of a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Leigh Stanfield

Leigh Stanfield

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Leigh Stanfield first aired Aug. 3 on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org ). You can listen to their conversation below.

Stanfield, a communication studies major from Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee, presented her research in May at the 2015 NCA Undergraduate Honors Conference at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Her paper, titled “Prototypicality and Punishment in Leadership,” found that “do as I say” leadership is more effective than “do as I do” leadership. She studied the MTSU Band of Blue as her research subject.

“Punishment-style leadership is kind of a misnomer,” said Stanfield. “It actually refers to punishments and rewards, and, so, it’s basically just a leader that has punishment or reward power in the group.”

 

 

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.

A video clip of the interview also is available below.

https://youtu.be/kaEvROhju20