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Music colloquium draws 2 top scholars to MTSU for free public lectures

The MTSU School of Music is sponsoring a Music Colloquium that will bring two top scholars to campus for free public presentations on Tuesday, March 28, and Thursday, April 20.

Dr. Joy H. Calico, the Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Musicology at Vanderbilt University, will speak at 1 p.m. March 28 in Room 207 of MTSU’s Saunders Fine Arts Building. Dr. Helena Simonett, senior research associate at Switzerland’s Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, will speak at 2:40 p.m. April 20 in Room 101 of the Saunders Building.

Dr. Joy Calico

Dr. Joy Calico

A searchable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap. Off-campus visitors attending the lectures should obtain a special one-day permit for each at www.mtsu.edu/parking/visit.php.

School of Music new logo webCalico will discuss her research on “Noise and Arnold Schoenberg’s 1913 Scandal Concert.” March 28. The Austrian-American composer, known for creating new musical composition methods involving atonality, conducted a concert in the Great Hall of Vienna’s Musikverein that was broken up by a melee and led to legal proceedings.

The professor said her research “analyzes the ways in which both the scandal and Schoenberg’s response to it sit at the nexus of fin-de-siecle anxieties about Central European concert life, the anti-noise movement and emerging copyright law.”

Calico is the author of two monographs, “Brecht at the Opera” and “Arnold Schoenberg’s A Survivor from Warsaw in Postwar Europe,” and she is writing a book about opera since Salome. She’s also the co-founder of the Music and Sound Studies Network of the German Studies Association and editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Musicological Society.

Dr. Helena Simonett

Dr. Helena Simonett

Simonett’s April 20 presentation, “Yoreme Cocoon Leg Rattles: An Eco-organological Study of a Unique ‘Sound Maker,’” stems from her research among the indigenous peoples of northwestern Mexico.

She received her doctorate in ethnomusicology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and has conducted extensive research on Mexican popular music and its transnational diffusion, as well as exploring the role of indigenous ceremonial music and dance in northwestern Mexico.

Simonett’s publications include “Banda: Mexican Musical Life Across Borders” and “En Sinaloa Nací: Historia de la Música de Banda,” and she edited “The Accordion in the Americas: Klezmer, Polka, Tango, Zydeco, and More!” and co-edited “A Latin American Music Reader: Views from the South.” She also produced the children’s book “Ca’anáriam — Hombre Que No Hizo Fuego” with Bernardo Esquer López in both Yoreme and Spanish with an English translation.

The MTSU Music Colloquium is a public series that presents scholarship on music and music-related issues concerning the world’s many music traditions. More details on both events are available at www.mtsu.edu/music/colloquium2017.php.

For information on MTSU School of Music events and musical performances, please visit www.mtsumusic.com or call 615-898-2493.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Laila Ali KOs MTSU with stories of losses, victories in and out of boxing ring

With a flurry of Hollywood-style lighting and audio of Muhammad Ali stating “I AM the greatest,” Laila Ali took the stage Wednesday night, March 22, as MTSU’s Black History Month and Women’s History Month keynote speaker.

Former super-middleweight boxer Laila Ali delivers the dual Black History Month and Women’s History Month keynote address at MTSU’s James Union Building March 22. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Former super-middleweight boxer Laila Ali delivers the dual Black History Month and Women’s History Month keynote address at MTSU’s James Union Building March 22. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

However, the story she told to an attentive James Union Building audience was not one of glitz and glamour but of hard lessons and harder work.

Ali, the youngest daughter of the late heavyweight boxing champion and humanitarian, spoke of the hardships created by her parents’ divorce when she was 8 years old, a stepfather she described as “mentally abusive” and hanging out with the wrong people.

She credited a three-month stint in a juvenile correctional program after a shoplifting arrest for turning her life around.

“That program really gave me the structure, the nurturing and the support that I needed and helped get me back on track,” said Ali.

Laila Ali competed as a professional boxer from 1999 to 2007, earning the female super-middleweight titles of four governing bodies of boxing and the light-heavyweight crown of the International Women’s Boxing Federation. She retired undefeated with 24 victories.

A former president of the Women’s Sports Foundation, Ali promotes equality for women in professional sports, fitness and wellness. She also is a regular panelist and contributor for “We Need to Talk,” a panel discussion program on the CBS Sports Network.

As a business entrepreneur, Ali recently debuted a signature line of hairstyling tools with Helen of Troy hair care products. Her charitable endeavors include support for Feeding America, Peace 4 Kids and the American Dental Association.

Dawn Stigall, a sophomore fashion merchandising major from Memphis, Tennessee, said she found Ali’s talk “very eye-opening.”

“I didn’t know about her going to jail … just the rough patches she went through to get to where she is today,” said Stigall. “Being a major celebrity’s daughter, I thought that she would be so privileged.”

NWHM 2017 headerAli spoke of celebrities like Michael Jackson, Prince and Stevie Wonder’s constant presence around her father, but she said he still kept his door open for visits with all kinds of people.

Married to former NFL player Curtis Conway and the mother of two children, Ali said that although she also knows celebrities, her closest girlfriends are her hair-care buddies.

“I don’t ever want to become disconnected like some people do, you know, and just be living in a bubble,” said Ali.

“Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business” is the theme of this year’s Women’s History Month observance at MTSU. In conjunction with the theme, buttons are being distributed across campus bearing the likeness of Madam C.J. Walker, the hair products magnate who was hailed as the first self-made African-American millionaire in the country in the early 20th century.

You can learn more about 2017 Women’s History Month events at MTSU here.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)


Trailblazer Laila Ali to give knockout March 22 keynote at MTSU

Trailblazing athlete and entrepreneur Laila Ali will deliver the dual keynote address for MTSU’s Women’s History Month and Black History Month celebrations.

Laila Ali

Laila Ali

Ali, a former four-time boxing world champion, will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, in the Tennessee Room of MTSU’s James Union Building in the free public event.

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

Ali, a daughter of the late heavyweight icon and anti-war activist Muhammad Ali, competed from 1999 to 2007, earning the female super-middleweight titles of four governing bodies of boxing and the light-heavyweight crown of the International Women’s Boxing Federation. She retired undefeated with 24 victories.

A former president of the Women’s Sports Foundation, Ali promotes equality for women in professional sports, fitness and wellness. She also is a regular panelist and contributor for “We Need to Talk,” a panel discussion program on the CBS Sports Network.

NWHM 2017 headerAs a business entrepreneur, Ali recently debuted a signature line of hairstyling tools with Helen of Troy hair care products. Her charitable endeavors include support for Feeding America, Peace 4 Kids and the American Dental Association.

“Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business” is the theme of this year’s Women’s History Month observance. In conjunction with the theme, buttons are being distributed across campus bearing the likeness of Madam C.J. Walker, the hair products magnate who was hailed as the first self-made African-American millionaire in the country in the early 20th century.

You can learn more about 2017 Women’s History Month events at MTSU here.

MTSU NWHM 2017 button webMTSU’s Black History Month Committee decided to co-sponsor the university’s Women’s History Month keynote address after TV personality Terrence J. had to cancel his planned Feb. 23 Black History Month keynote talk.

Other co-sponsors of Ali’s appearance include the Distinguished Lecture Fund, the Women’s History Month Committee, the Office of Student Success, the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance, Student Programming and Raider Entertainment, the Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs, the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students, the Women’s Health Clinic at Student Health Services, the MTSU student chapter of the NAACP, the Student Government Association, the MTSU President’s Commission on the Status of Women, the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences and the Department of Health and Human Performance.

For more information, contact Barbara Scales, co-chair of the National Women’s History Month Committee, at 615-898-2193 or barbara.scales@mtsu.edu or the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at 615-898-5910.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Traditional string music’s Perlman, Taylor plan free March 27 concert at MTSU

MTSU will ring with the rhythms of traditional string music Monday, March 27, when old-time American music masters and scholars Ken Perlman and Bobby Taylor bring their talents to a free public concert.

Ken Perlman

Ken Perlman

Bobby Taylor

Bobby Taylor

Perlman, who plays the banjo, and Taylor, who plays the fiddle, will share music and stories about America’s Appalachian music traditions at the 8 p.m. event in MTSU’s State Farm Lecture Hall, Room S-102, in the Business and Aerospace Building.

MTSU’s Center for Popular Music is presenting the event. A campus map with parking notes is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

new-CPM-logo-webPerlman is a pioneer of the five-string banjo style known as “melodic clawhammer” and a master of fingerstyle guitar. He is considered one of the top clawhammer players in the world, known in particular for his adaptations of Celtic tunes to the style, and his guitar specialties include finger-picked renditions of traditional fiddle tunes.

Along with his music teaching, banjo-camp instruction, performances and recordings, Perlman is an active folklorist and author who collected tunes and oral histories for “The Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island,” a two-CD anthology called “The Prince Edward Island Style of Fiddling,” and an ethnography, “Couldn’t Have a Wedding Without the Fiddler: the Story of Traditional Fiddling on Prince Edward Island.”

Taylor is a fourth-generation West Virginia fiddler who learned from some of that region’s legendary masters. He’s won many awards for his fiddle playing and received his home state’s highest folk life honor, the Vandalia Award, from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History.

He coordinates contests at renowned events including the Appalachian String Band Music Festival and also serves as contest judge for multiple state and national championships, teaches fiddle workshops and presents historical showcases on fiddle styles with his band, “Kanawha Tradition.”

You can get a preview of the pair’s performance below.

The Center for Popular Music, one of the nation’s largest and richest repositories of research materials related to American vernacular music, is part of MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment. For more information on the Center for Popular Music and its projects and special events, visit www.mtsu.edu/popmusic.

This program is part of MTSU’s annual Scholars Week celebration of student research, scholarship and creative projects. For more information, visit www.mtsu.edu/scholarsweek.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

[WATCH] MTSU renews pact with Civil Air Patrol Tenn. Wing

Middle Tennessee State University recently renewed its partnership with the Tennessee Wing of Civil Air Patrol, a relationship launched three years ago to benefit aerospace education for state high school students. Interim Provost Mark Byrnes, the university’s chief academic officer, met Friday, March 17, with commanders of the U.S. Air Force’s volunteer civilian auxiliary, then signed a three-year extension of the pact that links CAP with MTSU’s Department of Aerospace in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences. Here’s a recap of the signing ceremony:

Read the full story http://www.mtsunews.com/civil-air-patrol-renewal-2017/.

Video by Jimmy Hart

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)

Make reservations by March 24 for MTSU scholarship ‘Equali-TEA’

The American Association of University Women is inviting the community to raise a cup of tea in tribute to equality at a special “Equali-TEA” Tuesday, April 11, at MTSU’s Andrew Woodfin Miller Sr. Education Center.

Click on the image to reserve a place before March 24 at the Equali-TEA event.

Click on the image to reserve a place before March 24 at the Equali-TEA event.

The AAUW’s Murfreesboro chapter is celebrating the economic contributions of women in the workforce at the “Equali-TEA,” set for 4:30 p.m. April 11. The Miller Education Center is located at 503 E. Bell St. in Murfreesboro.

Reservations are required and must be made by Friday, March 24, at this website.

Hats are optional at this high tea to raise money for scholarships for MTSU women students who are returning to college to complete degrees. Attendees can make donations to the scholarship fund at the free public event.

The keynote speaker will be Rebecca Price, president and chief executive officer of the Nashville-based nonprofit organization Chick History.

Rebecca Price

Rebecca Price

MTSU first lady Elizabeth McPhee will deliver the official welcome. The organization also will present former Murfreesboro Mayor Tommy Bragg with its Tempest Award for his work to promote women’s equality during his tenure.

The 2017-2018 recipients of the Ruth Houston Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship and the Butler-Fouts Memorial Graduate Scholarship also will receive their awards at the event.

“The Ruth Houston Memorial Scholarship has provided some financial relief for my family so I can work less,” said Bethany Jackson, a prior recipient.

“It is motivating to see how AAUW lifts others up in their community, and it inspires me to do something great after I graduate.”

Eligible applicants for the Houston scholarship are nontraditional female undergraduate students, age 24 and older, who demonstrate academic promise and financial need and who have successfully completed their freshman year at MTSU.

The Butler-Fouts scholarship is available to female graduate students from underrepresented ethnic or racial groups who demonstrate academic promise and financial needs.

AAUW Mboro logo webButler-Fouts applicants must currently be enrolled in or accepted into an MTSU graduate program. Preference will be given to applicants who are close to completing their degrees.

Co-sponsors include the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students and Timmons Properties Inc.

For more information, contact Dia Cirillo, president of AAUW-Murfreesboro, at 773-677-4238 or President@AAUW-Murfreesboro.org.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

MTSU renews pact with Tennessee Wing of Civil Air Patrol [+VIDEO]

Middle Tennessee State University renewed Friday its partnership with the Tennessee Wing of Civil Air Patrol, a relationship launched three years ago to benefit aerospace education for state high school students.

Interim Provost Mark Byrnes, the university’s chief academic officer, met with commanders of the U.S. Air Force’s volunteer civilian auxiliary, then signed a three-year extension of the pact that links CAP with MTSU’s Department of Aerospace in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences.

“This relationship has been described as a win-win for Civil Air Patrol and MTSU, and I most certainly concur with that assessment,” Byrnes said. “It allows our Aerospace Department to engage CAP’s cadets and provide these youths with opportunities to connect with our faculty and facilities.”

Col. Barry Melton, commander of CAP’s Southeast Region, and Col. Arlinda Bailey, commander of the 1,000-member Tennessee Wing, signed the pact along with Byrnes. Friday’s ceremony marked the opening of the Tennessee Wing’s annual conference, which MTSU will host on campus this weekend.

Melton, an MTSU graduate who oversees CAP wings in five states, including Tennessee, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, said he was pleased the partnership with his alma mater continues to grow.

“The relationship we’ve forged with MTSU has become a model for other wings throughout the nation hoping to connect with major universities in their states,” Melton said. “It reinforces the value and opportunities we provide our cadets and it underscores our commitment to aerospace education.”

The university will host Tennessee Wing’s weeklong cadet encampment for the second consecutive year this summer, which attracts about 100 youth between the ages of 12 to 21 and provides leadership training, orientation in MTSU’s Aerospace Department and other campus activities.

From left, MTSU Interim Provost Mark Byrnes joins Col. Barry Melton, commander of the Civil Air Patrol’s Southeast Region, and Col. Arlinda Bailey, commander of CAP’s 1,000-member Tennessee Wing, in signing a three-year extension of the pact that links CAP with MTSU’s Department of Aerospace in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences. The signing ceremony was held Friday, March 17, in the MTSU Student Union Building. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

From left, MTSU Interim Provost Mark Byrnes joins Col. Barry Melton, commander of the Civil Air Patrol’s Southeast Region, and Col. Arlinda Bailey, commander of CAP’s 1,000-member Tennessee Wing, in signing a three-year extension of the pact that links CAP with MTSU’s Department of Aerospace in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences. The signing ceremony was held Friday, March 17, in the MTSU Student Union Building. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Also, new this year, MTSU’s Aerospace and Engineering Technology departments will host the 2017 CAP National Engineering Technology Academy, which will draw cadets from across the nation to the campus.

“MTSU has been a terrific partner and supporter of Tennessee Wing,” Bailey said. “They have helped elevate the volunteer service that we provide to our state and nation.”

Aerospace Department Chair Wendy Beckman singled out four CAP cadets, who were present at Friday’s ceremony, as reinforcement to the value of the partnership.aerospace logo web

Two of them, Jack Higdon of Bruceton, Tennessee, and Jonah Torp-Pedersen of Spring Hill, Tennessee, have enrolled at MTSU this fall to study aerospace. The other two, freshman and Buchanan scholar Joshua Brinegar of Columbia, Tennessee, and junior and Army ROTC cadet Joshua Williams of Smyrna, are already enrolled.

“We’re proud to affiliate with an organization that allows us to reach students of this caliber, and we’re happy when they decide to attend our university,” Beckman said.

MTSU Aerospace, one of the nation’s largest collegiate aviation programs, has 14 full-time faculty members, 35 flight instructors and an enrollment of about 750 students.

Civil Air Patrol, founded just days before the start of World War II in 1941, has more than 60,000 volunteer members. The organization was chartered by Congress to support the Air Force and is best known for its aerial search and rescue missions, cadet program and commitment to aerospace education.

MTSU’s close ties with CAP stretch back to July 1948, the year CAP’s Middle Tennessee State College Squadron was organized (MTSU’s Aerospace Department was six years old at the time). Based at the old College Airport, the squadron was comprised of pilots trained on campus and was recognized for its search-and-rescue work. It operated on campus until 1953.

— Andrew Oppmann (andrew.oppmann@mtsu.edu)

MTSU and the Tennessee Wing of Civil Air Patrol signed Friday a three-year extension of the pact that links CAP with MTSU’s Department of Aerospace in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences. Attending the signing ceremony held Friday, March 17, in the MTSU Student Union Building are, from left: Keith M. Huber, senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives; Col. Barry Melton, commander of the Civil Air Patrol’s Southeast Region; MTSU Interim Provost Mark Byrnes; Col. Arlinda Bailey, commander of CAP’s 1,000-member Tennessee Wing; MTSU Aerospace Department Chair Wendy Beckman; Saeed Foroudastan, associate dean of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences; and MTSU Engineering Technology Chair Walter Boles. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU and the Tennessee Wing of Civil Air Patrol signed Friday a three-year extension of the pact that links CAP with MTSU’s Department of Aerospace in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences. Attending the signing ceremony held Friday, March 17, in the MTSU Student Union Building are, from left: Keith M. Huber, senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives; Col. Barry Melton, commander of the Civil Air Patrol’s Southeast Region; MTSU Interim Provost Mark Byrnes; Col. Arlinda Bailey, commander of CAP’s 1,000-member Tennessee Wing; MTSU Aerospace Department Chair Wendy Beckman; Saeed Foroudastan, associate dean of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences; and MTSU Engineering Technology Chair Walter Boles. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

From left, MTSU Interim Provost Mark Byrnes shakes hands with Col. Barry Melton, commander of the Civil Air Patrol’s Southeast Region, and Col. Arlinda Bailey, commander of CAP’s 1,000-member Tennessee Wing, after signing a three-year extension of the pact that links CAP with MTSU’s Department of Aerospace in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences. The signing ceremony was held Friday, March 17, in the MTSU Student Union Building. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

From left, MTSU Interim Provost Mark Byrnes shakes hands with Col. Barry Melton, commander of the Civil Air Patrol’s Southeast Region, and Col. Arlinda Bailey, commander of CAP’s 1,000-member Tennessee Wing, after signing a three-year extension of the pact that links CAP with MTSU’s Department of Aerospace in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU historians help bring ‘Tullahoma Campaign’ to life in special symposium

Two members of the MTSU community will lend their expertise to a daylong examination of one of the Civil War’s most heralded strategic maneuvers.

The Tullahoma Campaign Civil War Symposium is slated for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 25, in the Bell Buckle Banquet Hall, located at 29 Railroad Square in Bell Buckle, Tennessee.

Shirley Farris Jones

Shirley Farris Jones

Dr. Vince Armstrong

Dr. Vince Armstrong

Among the speakers will be Dr. Vince Armstrong, an adjunct history professor at MTSU, and Shirley Farris Jones, a Civil War historian and retired MTSU employee.

The “Tullahoma Campaign” was a Union endeavor between June 24 and July 3, 1863, that resulted in the removal of the Confederate Army from Middle Tennessee. Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans maneuvered his Union troops around the Rebel forces of Gen. Braxton Bragg to cut them off from supply reinforcements.

You can learn more about the strategy of the Civil War's "Tullahoma Campaign" at the MTSU Public History Program's special "Backroads Heritage" website. Click on the campaign map above to visit.

You can learn more about the strategy of the Civil War’s “Tullahoma Campaign” at the MTSU Public History Program’s special “Backroads Heritage” website. Click on the campaign map above to visit.

Rebel units made their stand at Shelbyville and Bell Buckle, while the Union forces camped at Hoover’s Gap between Manchester and Murfreesboro. Bragg and his soldiers retreated first to Tullahoma, then to Decherd and Cowan and finally to Chattanooga.

Armstrong helped develop maps for a book about the Tullahoma Campaign published by Tennessee’s Backroads Heritage. He has written several articles about the Tullahoma Campaign.

Jones has been active with the Rutherford County Historical Society, the Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities, Friends of Stones River National Battlefield and the Martha Ready Morgan Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. She is the author of six books.

Other speakers include Nashville-Davidson County Historian Carole Bucy and historian and author Thomas Cartwright. Historian and documentarian David Currey will serve as moderator.

Topics to be discussed include “The Tullahoma Campaign and its Significance,” “Migration of Troops from Stones River to Chickamauga,” “Martha Ready Morgan: From Wife to Widow in 630 Days” and “Women and Spies in the Civil War.”

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development and Tennessee’s Backroads Heritage, a nonprofit organization, are sponsoring the symposium. The registration fee is $95, which includes breakfast, lunch, an afternoon snack and a registration packet.

For more information, call 615-613-5627 or send an email to tnbackroads@bellsouth.net.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

‘Creating Global Change’ is focus of Gender Studies Conference March 23-25

Compelling conversations, artistic expressions and explorations of important issues are on the agenda of MTSU’s 12th biennial Women’s and Gender Studies Interdisciplinary Conference.

WGS conf 2017 header

Click on the graphic to see a PDF of the complete conference agenda.

With the theme of “Creating Global Change,” the March 23-25 conference on the second floor of the MTSU Student Union will attract scholars in women’s, gender and sexuality studies from around the world.

Academic experts hailing from Germany, Jordan, Canada, China, Bangladesh, Nigeria, India and United Arab Emirates are slated to present their research.

“The conference theme and emphasis on social movements is appropriate in these political times when many women believe that it is our season to lead and to have our voices heard as we redirect the political agenda of our country, and, indeed, of the world,” said Dr. Vicky MacLean, director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at MTSU.

A printable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap. Off-campus visitors attending the daytime events should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation at www.mtsu.edu/parking/visit.php.

Included on the conference agenda are the keynote address, a spoken-word art performance, an empowerment workshop and the screening of a documentary on sexual shaming.

Urvashi Vaid

Urvashi Vaid

Attorney and LGBT+ activist Urvashi Vaid will deliver the keynote address, “Irresistible Revolution: Understanding the LGBT Movement Today,” from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 23, in Ballroom A, B and C.

Wagatwe Wanjuki

Wagatwe Wanjuki

Andrea Gibson

Andrea Gibson

Vaid will sign copies of her book “Irresistible Revolution: Confronting Race, Class and the Assumptions of LGBT Politics” for an hour after her talk.

Spoken word artist Andrea Gibson will deliver a performance on Thursday at 3 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. in Ballroom A, B and C. Gibson’s poetry and her most recent book, “Pansy,” balance themes of love, gender, politics, sexuality, illness, family and forgiveness with an exploration of what it means to heal.

Feminist blogger and anti-violence advocate Wagatwe Wanjuki will facilitate a workshop, “Beyond Hashtags: Using New Media to Combat Campus Rape Culture,” from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, March 24, in Ballroom C.

Wanjuki is a founding co-organizer of the “Know Your IX ED ACT NOW” campaign, which works to hold schools accountable for protecting students’ right to a violence-free education.

The documentary film “UnSlut” will be screened from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday in Ballroom C. The motion picture examines sexual bullying and the usage of the word “slut” as an insult, as well as the resulting ramifications. A discussion will follow the screening.

The conference is free to MTSU faculty, staff, and students. All of the featured conference events are free and open to the public.

For more information about the 2017 conference, visit www.mtsu.edu/womenstu/conference or call the Women’s and Gender Studies Program office at 615-898-5910.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

MTSU students getting the message about April 3-14 priority registration

Last fall, MTSU students received a friendly reminder from McCallie Dining and Raider Zone cashiers and servers that it was time to register for spring semester classes.

Those same smiling faces may be at it again as it’s almost time for students to register for summer 2017 and fall 2018 classes.

MT Dining cashier June Campbell, left, checks with a trio of MTSU students, asking if they have taken care of their priority registration, which runs Nov. 15-18.

MT Dining’s June Campbell, left, and other cashiers, food service personnel and academic advisers will pitch summer and fall class priority registration, which runs April 3-14, to MTSU students. (MTSU file photo by Randy Weiler)

Priority registration will be April 3-14. Students can access the current MTSU Registration Guide here.

“Dining staff were so helpful last year; they were professional, collegial and their assistance is much appreciated,” said Dr. Rick Sluder, vice provost for student success and dean of the University College.

“We have received several comments from colleagues from across the country about the work going on at MTSU to involve all areas of campus to change the culture about the importance of early registration for the next semester,” Sluder added. “They especially appreciated our engagement of dining staff in this endeavor.”

Sluder said other methods of providing friendly reminders about registration include university residence halls staff, advisers and digital signage in advising centers and the James E. Walker Library.

Tyler Henson, assistant director in the Scheduling Center in the Student Services and Admissions Center, said priority registration for summer and fall is crucial for currently enrolled students because they can register ahead of thousands of new incoming first-year and transfer students.

“Those who wait risk losing their seats as early as the Monday after priority registration, when the new students can register for summer courses,” Henson said, “so it’s in their best interest to register at their assigned time and not wait until August, or even May, to sign up for fall classes.”

Dr. Richard Sluder

Dr. Richard Sluder

Advisers have been working since the fall 2016 semester began to help students prioritize having a plan, mapping their degree progress and staying on track, Sluder said.

“Part of this educational process is to encourage students to get their courses set by taking advantage of priority registration,” he added. “MTSU’s complete focus on the student, keeping them on track and facilitating their success, is what has made a difference and brought the university national prominence.”

Sluder said MTSU makes a special effort to inform students about summer classes  because they can enroll in summer 2017 classes when they enroll for fall 2018.

Organizers will provide a variety of giveaways, including fans, flying discs, T-shirts and cups, all containing summer school messaging.

“Students who attend summer school have higher rates of degree completion and finish their degrees quicker than students who do not attend summer,” Sluder said.

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

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