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Learn how students are tackling local homelessness on ‘MTSU On the Record’

MTSU students’ efforts to devise a better way for Murfreesboro to help the homeless are the topic of the next “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Dr. Michael Sherr

Dr. Michael Sherr

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Michael Sherr, chair of MTSU’s Department of Social Work, will air from 9:30 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, March 28, and from 6 to 6:30 a.m. Sunday, April 2, on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and www.wmot.org.

Sherr and his students are working with the city of Murfreesboro to study the concept of a centralized campus where social service agencies could establish satellite offices, creating a “one-stop” environment for many types of assistance.

WMOT-new web logoCoordinating with the Homeless Alliance of Rutherford County, the MTSU contingent hopes to have a proposal to present to the City Council in May. One graduate student and two undergraduate students have been working with Sherr since January on the project, which is being funded with a $15,000 grant from the city.

The social work majors are gaining valuable internship experience at The Journey Home, 308 W. Castle St., working 20 to 25 hours each week with homeless individuals.

“The problem is getting worse,” said Sherr. “The city is getting bigger … [and] there are enough people, enough stakeholders from different parts of our community that need and want to make something happen.”

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.

MTSU on WGNS: Fermentation degree, Alumni Spring Showcase, Scholars Week

MTSU faculty and staff took to WGNS Radio recently to share information about the university’s new fermentation science degree, a revamped alumni-oriented event and the just started Scholars Week activities .

The details were shared during the March 20 “Action Line” program with host Bart Walker. The live program was broadcast on FM 100.5, 101.9 and AM 1450 from the WGNS studio in downtown Murfreesboro. If you missed it, you can listen to a podcast of the show here.

Guests and their topics were as follows:

The March 20 WGNS “Action Line” program featured, counterclockwise from top left, Dr. Tony Johnston, professor in the School of Agribusiness and Agriscience; Dr. Susan Myers-Shirk, interim history department chair; and Paul Wydra, assistant director in the Alumni Relations Office. (MTSU photo illustration by Jimmy Hart)

The March 20 WGNS “Action Line” program featured, counterclockwise from top left, Dr. Tony Johnston, professor in the School of Agribusiness and Agriscience; Dr. Susan Myers-Shirk, interim history department chair; and Paul Wydra, assistant director in the Alumni Relations Office. (MTSU photo illustration by Jimmy Hart)

• Tony Johnston, professor in the School of Agribusiness and Agriscience, discussed MTSU’s new fermentation science degree program.

Johnston wrote the proposal for the new fermentation science major, the first degree program of its type in Tennessee.

Read more at http://www.mtsunews.com/mtsu-crafts-fermentation-degree/.

• Paul Wydra, assistant director in the Alumni Relations Office, discussed the new Alumni Spring Showcase set for April 7-15.

The MTSU Alumni Relations Office is launching the new initiative to attract more alumni back to campus and deepen interaction with current students and the wider community.

See the full slate of events at mtalumni.com: http://bit.ly/2mWawvg.

• Dr. Susan Myers-Shirk, professor and interim chair in the Department of History, discussed MTSU Scholars Week activities.

Best-selling author and cultural critic Nicholas Carr is giving a keynote address for MTSU’s Scholar Week at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 27, in the Student Union Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public. A book signing will follow.

MTSU Scholars Week is an annual weeklong celebration of research, scholarship, and creative projects and will take place March 27-31 this year.

For more about Scholars Week, visit http://mtsu.edu/scholarsweek.

Students, faculty and staff who are interested in guesting on WGNS to promote their MTSU-related activities should contact Jimmy Hart, director of news and media relations, at 615-898-5131 or via email at jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu.

TBI campus crime report shows drops in most categories at MTSU

The latest campus crime statistics from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation show drops in most major categories at Middle Tennessee State University.

The annual TBI report released recently showed the number of sexual offenses reported dropped from seven in 2015 to two in 2016. Weapon law violations remained the same, with four reported in both years.

Here’s a summary of decreases in certain crime categories for 2016 with the percent decrease from 2015 in parentheses:MTSU Police logo web

  • Theft/larceny-total — 120 (down 18 percent).
  • Assaults — 39 (down 20 percent).
  • DUI — 16 (down 50 percent).
  • Burglary — 10 (down 47 percent)
  • Trespass — 9 (down 77 percent).

“Our University Police officers continue to be committed to public service and community interaction. I believe those are two keys to a healthier, safer campus,” MTSU Police Chief Buddy Peaster said.

“While we can’t control every factor that affects crime rates, I know that the quality of work that our officers bring to the table have a lot to do with lowering the number of crimes reported to us.”

Chief Buddy Peaster

Chief Buddy Peaster

MTSU continues to use a combination of enforcement activities and changes in student behavior as well as preventive actions to reduce crime, such as installation of more security cameras, improved campus lighting, increased foot patrols and community policing, as well as public awareness campaigns through Student Health Services and MTSU Housing and Residential Life.

Campus police officials again cautioned against reading too much into a single year of statistics. The office looks at trends over time to gauge whether prevention and enforcement efforts are effective in keeping students, faculty and staff safer.TBI logo-web

Housing security measures include around-the-clock front desk coverage in dormitories, card-swipe access systems and locked entry doors.

The MTSU Health Services and Health Promotion office educates students on risk reduction techniques for substance use and violence prevention. The office also offers wellness programs and other courses around topics such as alcohol, drugs and sexual responsibility, which provide health information to students as well as information on the campus resources available to them.

The MTSU Department of Public Safety currently employs 44 full-time police officers, five full-time dispatchers and about 20 part-time student workers. It operates around the clock to protect the 500-plus-acre university campus.

The full 2016 report, including breakdowns by institution, is available here.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

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