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Pleas Award winner Turnage hailed as ‘perfect faculty member’ [+VIDEO]

The 21st recipient of MTSU’s highest honor for black faculty is being praised as a credit to her profession and a caring mentor to future members of her profession.

Dr. Barbara Turnage, a professor of social work, was presented with the John Pleas Faculty Award at a ceremony Tuesday, Feb. 21, in the Hazlewood Dining Room of MTSU’s James Union Building.

The award is presented annually during Black History Month to a black faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in teaching, research and service.

“The award is not about me,” Dr. John Pleas, the retired psychology professor for whom the honor is named, said to Turnage. “It’s about you. It’s about all these individuals who are named on the back of the program that have made contributions to the university.”

As a roomful of colleagues and admirers looked on, Turnage was hailed by her colleagues for her research, teaching and community service. Social work professor John Sanborn called her “fantastically collegial.”

A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Turnage has built a social work career that has included providing social services for those with impaired and/or aging parents, new mothers and families with physical and mental health needs.

She also has counseled methadone clients and individuals who were at risk of harming themselves or others. This practical experience has informed her teaching, mentoring and research.

“Her communication abilities are quite amazing, and her bubbly personality is nothing short of infectious,” said Justin Bucchio, an associate professor of social work.

In addition to her academic achievements, Turnage is vice chair of the Board of Directors for Journeys in Community Living, a program that supports adults with intellectual disabilities. She will assume the chair in fall 2017.

“Dr. Turnage exemplifies a passion for helping social work students become self-driven, knowledgeable practitioners,” said Laura R. James, a master’s degree candidate in social work from Murfreesboro. “She cares about our academic performance and supports field opportunities commensurate with our career interests.”

MTSU social work professor Barbara Turnage thanks her family, colleagues and supporters after receiving the 2017 John Pleas Faculty Award at a Feb. 21 ceremony in the James Union Building. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU social work professor Barbara Turnage thanks her family, colleagues and supporters after receiving the 2017 John Pleas Faculty Award at a Feb. 21 ceremony in the James Union Building. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

At MTSU, Turnage has served on MTSU’s Faculty Senate, the Forrest Hall Review Committee, the Africana Studies Program Development Committee and the International Education and Exchange Committee. She continues to serve on multiple faculty, search, admissions and qualifying exam committees.

In accepting the award, Turnage called her family and colleagues to the podium to share the moment with her.

“Everything we do is based on our foundation, based on people that support us,” said Turnage. “I just wanted you to know my support system. These are people that I know love me no matter what, no matter what I do or say. … I can’t thank them enough for loving me.”

“From the college perspective, you’re the perfect faculty member,” said Dr. Harold Whiteside, dean of the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences.

For more information about the John Pleas Faculty Award, go to www.mtsu.edu/aahm/john-pleas-award.php.

Previous winners of the Pleas Faculty Recognition Award since its inception are:

  • Dr. Bichaka Fayissa, economics professor, 1998.
  • Dr. Laura Jarmon, English professor, 1999.
  • Dr. Gloria Bonner, dean of the College of Education, 2000.
  • Dr. Sharon Shaw-McEwen, social work professor, 2001.
  • Dr. Alphonse Carter, engineering technology professor, 2002.
  • Dr. Bertha Clark, professor of communication disorders, 2003.
  • Dr. Anantha Babbili, 2004, dean of the College of Mass Communication.
  • Dr. Pat Patterson, professor of chemistry, 2005.
  • Dr. Rosemary Owens, dean of continuing studies and public service, 2006.
  • Dr. Connie Wade, chair of the Department of Elementary and Special Education, 2007.
  • Dr. Marva Lucas, chair of the Department of University Studies, 2008.
  • Dr. Adonijah Bakari, history professor, 2009.
  • Dr. Dwight Patterson, 2010, chemistry professor.
  • Dr. Raphael Bundage, 2011, music professor.
  • Dr. Cheryl Slaughter Ellis, professor of community and public health, 2012.
  • Dr. Newtona “Tina” Johnson, professor of English and director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, 2013.
  • Dr. Sekou Franklin, political science professor, 2014.
  • Dr. Michaele Chappell, professor of mathematics education and coordinator for the Masters of Science in Teaching program, 2015.
  • Dr. Linda Clark, professor of mathematics in the Department of University Studies, 2016.

— Gina Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

MTSU social work professor Barbara Turnage, left, receives the 2017 John Pleas Faculty Award from Professor Emeritus John Pleas at a Feb. 21 ceremony in the James Union Building. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU social work professor Barbara Turnage, left, receives the 2017 John Pleas Faculty Award from Professor Emeritus John Pleas at a Feb. 21 ceremony in the James Union Building.

Dr. John Pleas, emeritus professor of psychology, gives remarks Tuesday, Feb. 21, before presenting the 2017 John Pleas Faculty Award to Dr. Barbara F. Turnage, professor in the Department of Social Work. The ceremony was held in the Hazlewood Dining Room of the James Union Building. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Dr. John Pleas, emeritus professor of psychology, speaks Tuesday, Feb. 21, before presenting the 2017 John Pleas Faculty Award to Dr. Barbara F. Turnage, professor in the Department of Social Work.


Social work professor to receive MTSU top minority faculty honor Feb. 21

Feb. 15, 2017

An MTSU professor whose dedication to others has been the hallmark of her career is the 2017 John Pleas Faculty Recognition Award honoree.

Dr. Barbara Turnage

Dr. Barbara Turnage

Social work professor Barbara Turnage will receive the award in a 4 p.m. ceremony Tuesday, Feb. 21, in the Hazlewood Dining Room of the James Union Building.

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

MTSU presents the John Pleas Faculty Award each year during Black History Month to a minority faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in teaching, research and service. The honor, established in 1997, is named for Dr. John Pleas, an MTSU professor emeritus of psychology.

Turnage, a native of Omaha, Nebraska, has built a social work career that has included providing social services for families with impaired and/or aging parents, new mothers and families with physical and mental health needs.

She also has counseled methadone clients and individuals who were at risk of harming themselves or others. This practical experience has informed her teaching, mentoring and research.

Dr John Pleas web

Dr. John Pleas

At MTSU, Turnage has served on MTSU’s Faculty Senate, the Forrest Hall Review Committee, the Africana Studies Program Development Committee and the International Education and Exchange Committee. She continues to serve on multiple faculty, search, admissions and qualifying exam committees.

Click on the poster to see a larger PDF version.

Click on the 2017 poster to see a larger PDF version.

In addition to her academic achievements, Turnage serves as vice chair of the board of directors for Murfreesboro’s Journeys in Community Living, a program formerly known as the Rutherford Adult Activity Center that supports adults with intellectual disabilities. She will assume the board’s chair in fall 2017.

Turnage, a first-generation high school graduate, earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She earned her doctorate in social work from Tulane University and earned a four-year regents’ fellowship there.

Pleas Award nominees must have completed at least five years of service at MTSU and have a record of outstanding service. Each nominee must have three letters to support his or her nomination.

For more information about the John Pleas Faculty Recognition Award at MTSU, contact Dr. Linda Clark, professor of mathematics in the Department of University Studies and the 2016 Pleas Award winner, at 615-904-8234 or linda.clark@mtsu.edu.

Along with Clark, previous winners of the Pleas Faculty Recognition Award since its inception are:

  • Dr. Bichaka Fayissa, economics professor, 1998.
  • Dr. Laura Jarmon, English professor, 1999.
  • Dr. Gloria Bonner, dean of the College of Education, 2000.
  • Dr. Sharon Shaw-McEwen, social work professor, 2001.
  • Dr. Alphonse Carter, engineering technology professor, 2002.
  • Dr. Bertha Clark, professor of communication disorders, 2003.
  • Dr. Anantha Babbili, 2004, dean of the College of Mass Communication.
  • Dr. Pat Patterson, professor of chemistry, 2005.
  • Dr. Rosemary Owens, dean of continuing studies and public service, 2006.
  • Dr. Connie Wade, chair of the Department of Elementary and Special Education, 2007.
  • Dr. Marva Lucas, chair of the Department of University Studies, 2008.
  • Dr. Adonijah Bakari, history professor, 2009.
  • Dr. Dwight Patterson, 2010, chemistry professor.
  • Dr. Raphael Bundage, 2011, music professor.
  • Dr. Cheryl Slaughter Ellis, professor of community and public health, 2012.
  • Dr. Newtona “Tina” Johnson, professor of English and director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, 2013.
  • Dr. Sekou Franklin, political science professor, 2014.
  • Dr. Michaele Chappell, professor of mathematics education and coordinator for the Masters of Science in Teaching program, 2015.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

$1M gift launches Center for Student Coaching and Success [+VIDEO]

A seven-figure financial gift from local real estate developer John Floyd promises to boost the professional prospects of students preparing to graduate from MTSU.

Floyd has pledged $1 million to help launch the Center for Student Coaching and Success, or CSCS, at MTSU, which was officially opened during a Tuesday, Feb. 21, ribbon cutting ceremony at its new home inside the Andrew Woodfin Miller Sr. Education Center on Bell Street.

Facilitated by Dr. Colby Jubenville, a health and human performance professor and CSCS director, Floyd’s gift focuses on helping soon-to-be graduates make a successful transition from college classes to gainful employment.

“Students make a commitment to higher education by investing their time, money and energy with the belief that we have the people and resources to help them become gainfully employed,” Jubenville said. “This center was built to do just that.”

Floyd, founder and owner of Ole South Properties, the state’s largest independent homebuilder, said his gift represents the organic relationship between the university as an economic driver for the region and the success his company has enjoyed as a provider of affordable housing throughout Middle Tennessee.

“It comes around,” he said. “I’m just reinvesting in the community. I’ve done extremely well in this community and MTSU in many ways represents a lot of my success.”

Floyd started his career in real estate in 1983 at the age of 23. His Murfreesboro company recently completed construction of its 10,000th home and averages building 650 to 825 homes annually.

His professional accolades include recognition as the Tennessee Home Builder of the Year by the Home Builders Association of Tennessee in 2007 and induction into the HBAT Hall of Fame in 2015. He was recognized by the Tennessee Housing and Development Agency as the “Builder of the Year” for 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. The Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce honored him as the Business Legend of the Year in 2015.

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee has said he wants to raise additional funds for the center to enable Jubenville to extend the size and scope of his student mentorship.

“Mr. Floyd’s investment into our university with this very generous gift will undoubtedly advance our ongoing reforms to help our students succeed in and beyond the classroom,” McPhee said. “The addition of this center will be truly transformational for our campus and build on our aspirations to be one of the most innovative universities in the nation.”

Through individual, peer, group and online coaching sessions, the center will help students make the leap from college to career by developing their knowledge, skills, desire, confidence, likeability and networks, allowing them, in Jubenville’s words, to “win in the marketplace of ideas.”

Jubenville’s approach reflects McPhee’s vision to help develop a new model for higher education. The center aligns perfectly with the MTSU Quest for Student Success — a plan McPhee launched in 2013 that emphasizes student retention and graduation in line with Gov. Bill Haslam’s Drive for 55 initiative. That initiative’s goal is to increase the number of Tennesseans with degrees or advanced certifications to 55 percent to meet the workforce demands of the coming decades.

Floyd said he strongly believes in work the CSCS will accomplish.

“With this new center, the vision is that students will become gainfully employed even before walking across the graduation stage,” he said.

MTSU professor Colby Jubenville, left, is shown with philanthropist and Midstate homebuilder John Floyd of Ole South Properties in this fall 2016 photo inside Ole South offices. Floyd pledged $1 million to help launch the new MTSU Center for Student Coaching and Success, which will be directed by Jubenville. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU professor Colby Jubenville, left, is shown with philanthropist and Midstate homebuilder John Floyd of Ole South Properties in this fall 2016 photo inside Ole South offices. Floyd pledged $1 million to help launch the new MTSU Center for Student Coaching and Success, which will be directed by Jubenville. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Jubenville said traditional higher education focuses too much on imparting information and not enough on building the critical thinking skills through which students find their voice, gain confidence and become self-directed.

A former college football coach turned professor, author, international speaker, blogger and consultant, Jubenville offers an innovative approach to teaching that has led to remarkable success stories. Graduates of his program now occupy front-office positions in top-tier franchises like the Houston Astros, Tennessee Titans, and Talladega Motor Speedway, as well as local organizations such as the Nashville Sports Council.

“My focus at MTSU over the last 15 years is about helping students find their voice. And voice is the intersection of talent, passion, conscience and need in the world,” Jubenville said. “There’s an old saying that ‘You can’t give away what you don’t have.’ These kids are starved for somebody to show them the way. And so I teach them.”

Dr. Colby Jubenville is the director of the new MTSU Center for Student Coaching and Success, an innovative program that focuses on helping students discover career success through peer, group and online coaching sessions. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Dr. Colby Jubenville is the director of the new MTSU Center for Student Coaching and Success, an innovative program that focuses on helping students discover career success through peer, group and online coaching sessions. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

The new center he leads as a result of Floyd’s gift will focus on five areas to help students understand how to systematically bridge the gap from graduation to gainful employment:

  • academic skills and critical thinking.
  • emotional intelligence.
  • personal branding.
  • persuasion.
  • career development.

The close relationship between Floyd and Jubenville played a crucial role in the development of the gift. Floyd said the professor helped him think differently to work through the 2008 recession that devastated many homebuilders.

“We all have challenges, and when you work through those challenges together, it forms a bond,” Floyd explained.

Joe Bales

Joe Bales

Dr. Terry Whiteside

Dr. Terry Whiteside

Floyd later attended some of Jubenville’s on-campus classes where he was able to witness the professor’s decidedly out-of-the-box approach to inspiring and developing his students. Once Floyd saw Jubenville had a formula that worked and a proven track record of student success, he said he “got on board.”

Joe Bales, MTSU’s vice president for advancement, said the university greatly appreciates both Floyd’s generosity and his foresight in supporting this unique project.

“As a successful businessman, he fully understands the importance of being well prepared to begin your career,” Bales said. “His support for this innovative program will assure that our students will be ready to hit the ground running when they enter the workforce.”

Harold Whiteside, Behavioral and Health Sciences dean, said Floyd’s gift “enables us to take students beyond traditional college education, to make them more impressive in job interviews, teach them how to market themselves, how to understand themselves and others, and to be more influential and persuasive.

“This takes student success beyond graduation,” he said.

Visit the Center for Student Coaching and Success website at www.mtsu.edu/cbhssuccess for more information.

— Drew Ruble (drew.ruble@mtsu.edu) and Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

MTSU officials help cut the ribbon at the Feb. 21 opening ceremony and luncheon for the new Center for Student Coaching and Success on the second floor of the Miller Education Center on Bell Street. From left are Dr. Harold Whiteside, dean of the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences; retired MTSU faculty member Jon MacBeth; MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee; donors Gina Floyd and John Floyd; and Dr. Colby Jubenville, director of the new center. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

MTSU officials help cut the ribbon at the Feb. 21 opening ceremony and luncheon for the new Center for Student Coaching and Success on the second floor of the Miller Education Center on Bell Street. From left are Dr. Harold Whiteside, dean of the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences; retired MTSU faculty member Jon MacBeth; MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee; donors Gina Floyd and John Floyd; and Dr. Colby Jubenville, director of the new center. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

Philanthropist and homebuilder John Floyd, left, smiles after receiving a plaque for his recent induction into the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences Hall of Fame and a replica of Kirksey Old Main at the Tuesday, Feb. 21, opening ceremony and luncheon for the new Center for Student Coaching and Success inside the Miller Education Center on Bell Street. Floyd pledged $1 million to help launch the new center. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Philanthropist and homebuilder John Floyd, left, smiles after receiving a plaque for his recent induction into the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences Hall of Fame and a replica of Kirksey Old Main at the Tuesday, Feb. 21, opening ceremony and luncheon for the new Center for Student Coaching and Success inside the Miller Education Center on Bell Street. Floyd pledged $1 million to help launch the new center. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU Magazine touts industry ties, student success efforts

The winter 2017 edition of MTSU Magazine profiles a handful of university partnerships with industry that are benefitting not just students but the community as a whole.

Included are profiles of the university’s role as a talent pipeline to Nashville’s burgeoning fashion scene; to the rapidly expanding microbrewery, distilling, and fermented food processing industries; and to Middle Tennessee’s exploding commercial real estate market, as examples.

The issue also profiles a slew of wildly successful graduates of the university — including the 2016-17 Distinguished Alumni recipients.

Click the image to view a flip-page version of the magazine.

Click the image to view a flip-page version of the magazine.

And, in the cover story, the magazine details the creation of MTSU’s new Center for Student Coaching and Success, a donor-supported effort aimed at ensuring MTSU graduates find not just employment upon graduation but meaningful employment that drives personal success and the local economy.

MTSU, the largest provider of graduates for the Middle Tennessee area, remains an irreplaceable resource in the Midstate— not just from an academic and cultural aspect, but also from a workforce development perspective, at a time when industry is clamoring for better-prepared graduates, and policymakers including Gov. Bill Haslam are calling for greater degree attainment to meet the needs of the future workforce.

Readers may also download MTSU Magazine free for their iPads and Android devices. The MTSU Magstand app, available in the iTunes store and now at Google Play, includes special multimedia content built into every issue that’s not available in the print editions. Printed copies of MTSU Magazine are distributed twice annually to more than 105,000 alumni readers. MTSU Magazine also is available online at www.mtsumagazine.com.

About the cover story

A former college football coach turned professor, author, international speaker, blogger and consultant, professor Colby Jubenville of MTSU’s Department of Health and Human Performance offers an innovative approach to teaching that has led to remarkable success stories.

Graduates of his program now occupy front-office positions in top-tier franchises like the Houston Astros, Tennessee Titans, and Talladega Motor Speedway, as well as local organizations such as the Nashville Sports Council.

“My focus at MTSU over the last 15 years is about helping students find their voice. And voice is the intersection of talent, passion, conscience and need in the world,” Jubenville said.

To that end, and with significant financial assistance from private donors, Jubenville and the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences recently launched the new Center for Student Coaching and Success – a place for Jubenville to do in an official capacity what he has been doing unofficially for 15 years.

A seven-figure financial gift from local real estate developer John Floyd served as the true launching point for the center, which will be housed in the new Andrew Woodfin Miller Sr. Education Center on Bell Street. Half of that pledge has already been delivered to the university.

Floyd, founder and owner of Ole South Properties, the state’s largest independent homebuilder, said his gift represents the organic relationship between the university as an economic driver for the region and the success his company has enjoyed as a provider of affordable housing throughout Middle Tennessee.

Other articles in the new edition of the magazine profile: MTSU Wordmark

  • MTSU’s 2016–17 Distinguished Alumni recipients.
  • the university’s new Fermentation Science degree.
  • MTSU’s Apparel Design and Fashion Merchandising program.
  • the university-operated WMOT-FM’s new partnership with the Americana industry.
  • efforts by MTSU experts to spearhead the return of the remains of Mexican-American War soldiers’ with Volunteer State ties to the United States.
  • MTSU’s real estate brokerage firm, which allows MTSU students to get real-world experience before they graduate.
  • MTSU’s longstanding relationship with the Civil Air Patrol and its evolution into a talent pipeline for the university.

— Drew Ruble (drew.ruble@mtsu.edu)

MTSU on WGNS: Gang symposium, Confucius Day, ‘Bleed Blue’ drive

MTSU faculty and staff took to the radio recently to share information about an upcoming blood drive competition, gang symposium and celebration honoring one of the world’s great philosophers.

The details were shared during the Sept. 19 “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 included:

• Ray Wiley, associate director of MTSU Campus Recreation and longtime Red Cross volunteer, and Patti Wright, senior representative for the American Red Cross’ Tennessee Valley Region, discussed the “Bleed BLUE, Beat WKU Blood Drive” set Oct. 3-5.

The Blue Raider community will again be competing against supporters of our fellow Conference USA member Western Kentucky University. Last year, MTSU’s drive resulted in 517 pints of blood to WKU’s 436 during the three-day annual event. This year’s goal is collecting 700 more pints during the three-day drive in MTSU’s Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center.

From left, Ray Wiley, associate director of MTSU Campus Recreation and longtime Red Cross volunteer, and Patti Wright, senior representative for the American Red Cross’ Tennessee Valley Region, at WGNS Radio in downtown Murfreesboro. (MTSU photo)

From left, Ray Wiley, associate director of MTSU Campus Recreation and longtime Red Cross volunteer, and Patti Wright, senior representative for the American Red Cross’                                               xTennessee Valley Region, at WGNS Radio in downtown Murfreesboro. (MTSU photo)

• Dr. Michael Sherr, professor and new chair of the Department of Social Work, and Dr. Barbara Turnage, a social work professor, discussed the Symposium on Gang Violence set for Sept. 21.

MT Engage, a program focused on enhancing student engagement, is sponsoring the symposium on gang violence reduction hosted by the Department of Criminal Justice Administration and the Department of Social Work from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, in the Student Union’s Parliamentary Room. The symposium is free and open to the public.

Read more here.

From left, Dr. Barbara Turnage and Dr. Michael Sherr at WGNS Radio in downtown Murfreesboro. (MTSU photo)

From left, Dr. Barbara Turnage and Dr. Michael Sherr at WGNS Radio in downtown Murfreesboro. (MTSU photo)

• Dr. Mei Han, director of the Center for Chinese Music and Culture at MTSU and a master of the “zheng” Chinese instrument, discussed the Confucius Day Celebration set for Sept. 21 at MTSU’s Wright Music Building.

Dr. Mei Han, director of the Center for Chinese Music and Culture at MTSU, at WGNS in downtown Murfreesboro. (MTSU photo)

Dr. Mei Han, director of the Center for Chinese Music and Culture at MTSU, at WGNS in downtown Murfreesboro. (MTSU photo)

The Center for Chinese Music and Culture will host the celebration at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, in Hinton Hall. Center music instructors will perform on a variety of Chinese musical instruments and accompany traditional dance and poetry.

Meanwhile, the Center for Chinese Music and Culture continues to develop its programs since its March 2016 grand opening as the first and only center of its kind in North America. Located on the first floor of the multipurpose Miller Education Center at 503 Bell St., visitors to the 3,200-square-foot center will see a library, an archive, classrooms and a musical instrument gallery.

Read more here.

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.

MTSU on WGNS: #TRUE Blue Tour, partnerships, student success

MTSU faculty and staff took to the radio recently to share information about an MT Athletics upcoming promotional tour, new efforts to strengthen partnerships with business and industry, and a new center focused on helping students reach their fullest potential.

The details were shared during the July 18 “Action Line” program with host Bryan Barrett. 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 included:

• Danielle Mayeaux, assistant athletic director of marketing for MT Athletics, discussed the fourth annual #TRUE Blue Summer Tour starting July 28.

MTSU faculty and staff appeared on the July 18 WGNS Radio "Action Line" program. Pictured are, top from left, Danielle Mayeaux, assistant athletic director of marketing for MT Athletics, and Paula Mansfield, director of strategic partnerships in the MTSU Office of University Advancement; bottom, special assistant to the dean for Student Success and Strategic Partnerships in the MTSU College of Behavioral and Health Sciences. (MTSU photo illustration)

MTSU faculty and staff appeared on the July 18 WGNS Radio “Action Line” program. Pictured are, top from left, Danielle Mayeaux, assistant athletic director of marketing for MT Athletics, and Paula Mansfield, director of strategic partnerships in the MTSU Office of University Advancement; bottom, special assistant to the dean for student success and strategic partnerships in the MTSU College of Behavioral and Health Sciences. (MTSU photo illustration)

The goal of the #TRUE Blue summer tour is to connect with the community in order to get fans excited about the 2016 season. Each stop will allow fans the opportunity to get autographs from and to mingle with Blue Raider coaches and players and members of the spirit squads. Fans will also be able to pick up season ticket information, posters, schedule cards and various MT Athletics promotional items.

For the complete list, go here.

• Paula Mansfield, new director of strategic partnerships in the MTSU Office of University Advancement, discussed her new role at MTSU and plans going forward.

After three decades of experience and “relationship building” in the financial services industry, Mansfield was hired earlier this year to provide a single point of contact between MTSU and corporate partners as well as other external and internal constituencies to build stronger relationships that lead to ongoing collaborations that impact inside and outside the classroom.

For more about the Office of University Advancement, go here.

• Dr. Colby Jubenville, special assistant to the dean for student success and strategic partnerships in the MTSU College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, discussed his role at MTSU as well as his background and expertise in coaching people to “go their own way” to monetize their knowledge and skills.

In 2016, Jubenville secured $1 million in private monies and launched The Center for Student Success and Coaching, a high-profile student success initiative focused on coaching students, enhancing problem solving capabilities, professional preparation, personal branding and emotional intelligence. He serves as the director of the center, which will be housed in the Miller Education Center on Bell Street.

Learn more about his work here.

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.

Nutrition students offer free evaluations, community coaching

Nutrition and Food Science majors at MTSU will receive an opportunity to earn hands-on experience and also help the community in the next few weeks.

MTSU is offering free nutrition evaluations and coaching sessions starting this week and lasting throughout the month of April. Multiple one-hour appointments are available at 4:45 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Thursday March 31, April 7, April 14 and April 21.

The sessions will be held on campus at the Cason Kennedy Nursing Building and will be open to all students, faculty, friends and family members. Interested clients can sign up for remaining available slots here.

Ginny Bogle

Ginny Bogle

Students will assist clients in finding nutrition needs and will go over things such as understanding food labels, portion controls and nutrition knowledge imperative to maintaining or losing weight.

Instructor Ginny Bogle, who organized the event, is excited to give senior dietician students a chance to put their knowledge to the test.

“This will be our third or fourth time doing this and we always normally have a good turnout,” she said. “This course usually serves as our capstone class. Students will use things they learned as sophomores to lessons they learned as recently as two weeks ago.”

Bogle will serve as the dietician for the event and will oversee and assist students in finding potential clients’ nutrition needs. She said she hopes that each of the students participating will have at least one client each session.

“We have 26 students, in all, participating this year, and we would love each to have at least one client per session with a chance to maybe have a second.”

Bogle said the course, NFS 4305: Nutrition Coaching and Counseling, has always been one of her students’ favorite classes, and senior Amanda Molinar echoed those sentiments.

“I’m really excited. I think this is a really unique opportunity that this program offers the Nutrition students,” Molinar said. “A lot of other schools don’t get this opportunity, so it kind of gives us an edge over those other programs.”

The Nutrition and Food Science program is offered through the Department of Human Sciences in the College of Behavior and Health Sciences. For more information about the program, visit www.mtsu.edu/programs/nutrition.

For more information about the upcoming free nutrition evaluations and coaching, contact Bogle at Ginny.Bogle@mtsu.edu.

— Steven Michael Johnson (news@mtsu.edu)

MTSU Nutrition and Food Science majors are offering free nutrition evaluations and coaching sessions throughout April. (MTSU file photo)

MTSU Nutrition and Food Science majors are offering free nutrition evaluations and coaching sessions throughout April. (MTSU file photo)

Registration extended to Jan. 19 for MTSU Literacy Research Conference

Organizers for Middle Tennessee State University’s upcoming Literacy Research Conference have extended the registration deadline to Tuesday, Jan. 19.

The Saturday, Jan. 30, event is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in MTSU’s College of Education Building. Researchers and others interested in literacy education are invited to attend.

Registration cost is $10. Participants can register and learn more at www.mtsu.edu/literacy/conference.php.

Dr. Doug Fuchs

Dr. Doug Fuchs

Hosted by MTSU’s Literacy Studies Ph.D. Program, the conference provides a venue for students and established scholars to present research related to literacy. Organizers are encouraging researchers and practitioners from various disciplines such as education, psychology, linguistics and neuroscience to attend and participate.

“We encourage presentations of original literacy research, as well as research in progress,” said Dr. Amy Elleman, an assistant professor in the university’s literacy program. “We are especially interested in literacy research that helps bridge the research to practice gap in education.”

Dr. Amy Elleman

Dr. Amy Elleman

Keynote speaker for the conference will be Dr. Doug Fuchs, professor and Nicholas Hobbs Chair in Special Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University.

Fuchs, a principal investigator on 35 federally funded literacy grants, has published more than 200 peer-reviewed studies and has been named one of the most highly cited researchers in the social sciences.

The conference will showcase more than 30 spoken and poster presentations on current literacy research topics, including vocabulary acquisition, writing strategy instruction for ESL learners, fluency instruction and assessment, and others.

Those interested in pursuing a doctoral degree in literacy can learn more about MTSU’s program at www.mtsu.edu/literacy.

The interdisciplinary program draws on faculty from the College of Education, the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences and the College of Liberal Arts. It offers flexible courses and field experiences as well as teaching and research opportunities.

Graduate students and practitioners who attend the conference will have the opportunity to meet faculty members and students in MTSU’s doctoral program.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

MTSU club seeks teams for 3-on-3 tourney fundraiser at Rec Center

MTSU’s Leisure, Sport and Tourism Club is seeking teams of men and women for some friendly competition that will benefit good causes.

The registration deadline is Wednesday, Nov. 4, for the inaugural “True Blue Hoop Classic” three-on-three basketball tournament, which will be held Nov. 11-12 at the MTSU Campus Recreation Center, more popularly known as “the Rec.”

Click the image to register your team.

Click the image to register your team.

The tournament will include a men’s and women’s division, with each team allowed a maximum of four players. Pool play will be Wednesday, Nov. 11, from 6-9:30 p.m. and the championships will be Thursday, Nov. 12, from 6-8:30 p.m.

Registration costs $40 per team and can be completed online at www.active.com and searching for “True Blue Hoop Classic.” Door prizes will be given.

All proceeds will benefit the Leisure, Sport and Tourism Club and Murfreesboro’s Possibility Place, a local nonprofit that provides a comprehensive work, academic, social and community-based learning program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Learn more at http://www.possibilityplacetn.org.

Leisure, Sport, Tourism logoFor more information about the tournament, please contact tbhoopclassic@gmail.com or 615-339-3822.

The Leisure, Sport, and Tourism Studies major at MTSU offers specializations in recreation administration, outdoor recreation, sport studies, event planning and tourism studies. It is part of the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences. For more information, visit http://www.mtsu.edu/programs/lsts/.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

MTSU alumna donates $100K for new student success program

Wright Travel Service founder Pam Wright, an MTSU alumna, jump-started the college careers of 11 MTSU students Oct. 7 with a $100,000 donation to the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences.

Pam Wright

Pam Wright

The money will fund the Wright Travel Leadership Scholarship Program, an endeavor designed to motivate students through strategic coaching, formal mentoring opportunities and pathways to scholarship money upon completion of specific criteria.

“In addition, during the academic year, they will participate in personal development sessions that will include leadership, networking and honing interpersonal skills,” said Brelinda Johnson, who manages the college’s 16 advisers.

Wright, who graduated from MTSU with a degree in psychology before making a life-altering decision to form her own travel agency, encouraged the scholars to follow their professional passion.

“Find the thing that makes you want to go to your career every day, not to go just to a job that you don’t particularly enjoy going to,” Wright said.

Members of the inaugural class needed a minimum 2.5 GPA, a Middle Tennessee residence and faculty and/or adviser recommendations. During the program’s first year, each student was required to complete a minimum of 60 hours of course work and subsequent years’ minimum of 40 hours’ course work.

Dr. Harold “Terry” Whiteside, dean of the MTSU College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, center, accepts a $100,000 check from Pam Wright, center right, founder of Wright Travel, to start the Wright Travel Leadership Scholarship Program. Scholars, from left, are, Mary Grace Farone, Tia Pride (partially obscured), Brittany Harris, Kamaria Cross, Faith Metcalf (partially obscured), Cambre Godwin and Smatha Denby. At far right are MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, front, and Dr. Scott Colclough, associate dean of the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Dr. Harold “Terry” Whiteside, dean of the MTSU College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, center, accepts a $100,000 check from Pam Wright, center right, founder of Wright Travel, to start the Wright Travel Leadership Scholarship Program. Scholars, from left, are, Mary Grace Farone, Tia Pride (partially obscured), Brittany Harris, Kamaria Cross, Faith Metcalf (partially obscured), Cambre Godwin and Smatha Denby. At far right are MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, front, and Dr. Scott Colclough, associate dean of the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Beginning in spring 2016 and each subsequent spring semester, participating CBHS scholars must meet the following requirements to be eligible to apply for Wright Travel scholarships in still-to-be-finalized amounts:

  • a minimum GPA of 2.5.
  • completion of personal development workshops.
  • a personal strategic plan developed and on file with the college’s student success officer.
  • a recommendation from a faculty member or professional mentor.
  • active involvement in a community or campus service project.

“I’m going to do everything in the world in my power to save you if you fall out of this boat, but, if you do, you’d better become an active participant in your own rescue,” said Dr. Colby Jubenville, the college’s student success officer and a professor of health and human performance.

“This makes me so excited for my future, actually,” said Smatha Denby, a criminal justice major from Tullahoma, Tennessee.

“I look forward to helping people and giving back, and I’m really grateful for the opportunity to advance in leadership.”

In addition to Denby, the 2015-16 Wright Travel Scholars, their majors and Tennessee hometowns, are:

  • Mary Grace Farone, nutrition and food science dietetics, Murfreesboro.
  • Tia Pride, psychology, Antioch.
  • Cambre Godwin, leisure, sports and tourism, Hampshire.
  • Brittany Harris, social work, Murfreesboro.
  • Faith Metcalf, child development and family studies, Memphis.
  • Kamaria Cross, social work, Memphis.
  • Sheena Collins, pre-nursing, Memphis.
  • Erica Brown, community and public health, Memphis.
  • Ashley Feltner, pre-nursing, Manchester.
  • Alexia Moore, textile and merchandising design, Cordova.

For more information, contact Bea Perdue, development director, at 615-898-2417 or bea.perdue@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Advocacy website ranks MTSU nursing program among best in region

Middle Tennessee State University’s School of Nursing is listed among the top nursing programs in the region, according to recently released rankings by a nursing advocacy website.

NurseJournal.org, a social community website that targets nurses and health care professionals, listed MTSU at No. 15 among almost 1,200 schools of nursing in the eastern United States evaluated by the website in its “America’s Best Nursing Schools” rankings. MTSU was ranked highest among Tennessee nursing programs and the only state program ranked in the Top 30.

In this spring 2014 photo, from left, MTSU graduate student Todd Vickrey works in a nursing lab with nursing students LaQwell Cheart, Jonathan Holland, Lauren Sliger, and Hanna Lovelady. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

In this spring 2014 photo, from left, MTSU graduate student Todd Vickrey works in a nursing lab with nursing students LaQwell Cheart, Jonathan Holland, Lauren Sliger, and Hanna Lovelady. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

Earning a nursing degree could be a pathway to a promising career, as employment for registered nurses alone is projected to grow by more than 20 percent by 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with average salaries of $60,000 and higher.

“MTSU always knew it had a high quality and nationally competitive School of Nursing,” MTSU Provost Brad Bartel said. “These rankings affirm the quality and value of the program. It is a major achievement.”

The next highest ranked Tennessee program was the University of Tennessee-Martin’s, which was ranked 31st, followed by Austin Peay State University at 32 and the University of Memphis at 35. Other large four-year Tennessee universities in the ranking included UT-Chattanooga (76), Vanderbilt (389), University of Tennessee-Knoxville (401) and Tennessee Tech (465). To see the full list of rankings, go here.

Click the logo to see the complete rankings list.

Click the logo to see the complete rankings list.

In evaluating the nursing programs, the website assigned scores in five categories: quality, affordability, convenience, satisfaction and value. Those scores were totaled to get an overall score that formed the basis for the rankings.

MTSU receiving its highest category score for affordability. To determine a category score, the website awarded points in various subcategories. For example, for affordability, the website not only considered the overall cost for a student to enroll in the program, but also factors such as financial aid percentages, student loan debt and cost of living.

The MTSU School of Nursing undergraduate program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing. The graduate program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

The School of Nursing offers a traditional four-year nursing program; an R.N. to B.S.N. program for currently licensed RNs with a diploma or associate’s degree in nursing; and a master’s degree through a consortium program with three tracks: nursing education, nursing administration, and family practice nursing.

For the 2014 calendar year, the MTSU School of Nursing reported a retention rate of 97 percent and a graduation rate of 91 percent. A survey of 2014 graduates showed a 94.5 percent job placement.

For more information about MTSU’s School of Nursing programs, go to http://www.mtsu.edu/nursing/.

For more information about Nurse Journal, visit www.nursejournal.org.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

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