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Army honors MTSU’s McPhee, Huber with invitation to jump with Golden Knights

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — The Army’s Golden Knights precision parachute team will honor MTSU’s commitment to student veterans on Tuesday, April 25, by inviting President Sidney A. McPhee and retired Lt. Gen. Keith M. Huber to join them for a tandem parachute jump.

The recognition comes for MTSU’s substantial support efforts for student-veterans, the 2016 opening of the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center and its recent expansion into career placement.

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee

Keith M. Huber

Keith M. Huber

It will be the first parachute jump for McPhee and the first free-fall jump for Huber, the university’s senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives. The administrators, each paired with a Golden Knights team member, will descend over Outlaw Field in Clarksville.

A Special Forces veteran with 38 years as an infantryman and a Green Beret, Huber earned his jump wings in hundreds of tethered descents, but he’s never conducted military free-fall jumps nor been involved in sport parachuting.

Former President George H.W. Bush jumped with the Golden Knights three times, most recently when he celebrated his 90th birthday in 2014.

U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion spokesman Lee Elder said the precision parachute team, which is visiting the Nashville area for the first time since 2004, hopes to draw awareness to career opportunities in the Army.

“We are truly honored that President McPhee and General Huber are making such a major investment of their time to participate with the Golden Knights,” Elder said.

“It’s typical of the support that MTSU has given our recruiting efforts for the regular Army and Army Reserve over the years. They’ve always gone all-out to help us in a number of endeavors, and this is just the latest example.”

Army Golden Knights-LogoMcPhee said it was difficult to turn down an invitation offered by the Golden Knights, especially since Huber personally delivered it to him.

“The record speed in which we built and opened the Daniels Center shows that it’s hard to say no to General Huber,” McPhee said. “How could I refuse this?”

McPhee said while he appreciates the Army’s nod toward MTSU’s efforts to attract, retain and graduate veterans, the true honor goes to those who serve.

“We at MTSU want to do right by to those who gave so much to our nation,” he said.

Huber said the offer to jump with the Golden Knights “is one of respect and appreciation for our programs.”

“Many academic campuses seek the title of ‘Vet Friendly’ as a slogan to attract future students,” he said, “but MTSU demonstrates a veteran and military family loyalty in a consistent and comprehensive manner.”

Huber said he was “honored to participate” alongside McPhee, adding that “represents another challenge to conquer your apprehension at 13,000 feet and to simply do what is right to honor our veterans.”

For more information about the Daniels center, visit www.mtsu.edu/military.

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

‘MTSU On the Record’ studies science savvy for non-science teachers

Teaching teachers how to teach science is the subject of the next “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Dr. Katherine Mangione

Dr. Katherine Mangione

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Katherine Mangione, an assistant professor in MTSU’s Department of Elementary and Special Education, will air from 9:30 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, April 25, and from 6 to 6:30 a.m. Sunday, April 30, on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and www.wmot.org.

Mangione asserts that student teachers, now known as preservice teachers, need special instruction to familiarize themselves with the lingo of scientific disciplines, especially if they are not particularly science-savvy.

WMOT-new web logo“Vocabulary in science is exceptionally precise,” said Mangione, “so when the science teacher is explaining the concept of a wave, he may mean something different in a physics class, but then your earth science teacher … may be teaching things like P-waves and S-waves before and after earthquakes or ocean waves.”

Mangione, biology professor Cindi Smith-Walters and Alyson Smith Bass, an associate professor of elementary and special education, wrote about their research in the Electronic Journal of Science Education. You can read the article here.

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.

In the News: MTSU faculty, staff tackle civility, politics, academic advising

Politics, college advising and liberal arts dominate the latest spate of MTSU faculty expressions in national and international media.

Dr. Mary Evins, a history professor and director of the American Democracy Project, commented on the increase of incivility in political discourse for the Associated Press. The story is available here. At least 18 newspapers affiliated with the wire service published the story.

Dr. Mary A. Evins

Dr. Mary A. Evins

Dr. Andrei Korobkov

Dr. Andrei Korobkov

MTSU WordmarkDr. Andrei Korobkov, a professor of political science, opined on the similarities between the United States political scene and the Soviet Union’s political scene at the end of Perestroika for www.watchingamerica.com. His views are available here.

Leonid Bershidsky quoted Korobkov in an article titled “President Trump’s Boris Yeltsin Moment” published Feb. 15, 2017, by www.bloomberg.com. That article can been seen here.

Korobkov also penned an opinion piece for www.russia-direct.org titled “Trump’s First Days in Office Aggravate Political Crisis in the U.S.” that was published Feb. 2, 2017. It can be accessed here.

Matthew Hibdon

Matthew Hibdon

Lucy Langworthy, academic adviser

Lucy Langworthy

Russia Direct published another Korobkov essay titled “Why Trump Backtracks On His Russia Policy” March 14, 2017. That essay can be accessed here.

Matthew Hibdon, an adviser for the College of Liberal Arts, penned a blog entry for Educause Review titled “The Tools of Academic Advisors and Superheroes.” The entry was published Feb. 8, 2017, and can be viewed here.

Dr. Lucy Langworthy, manager of the College of Liberal Arts’ advising office, wrote an article titled “The Liberal Arts: Always a Story to Tell” for Educause Review’s blog. It was published Feb. 22, 2017, and is available here.

Reporters seeking expertise from MTSU personnel, as well as members of the campus community with expertise for media, may contact Gina Logue in the Office of News and Media Relations at 615-898-5081 or via email at gina.logue@mtsu.edu.

MTSU adviser Hibdon earns regional award for service excellence to students

MTSU academic advisers play a big role in students’ success while enrolled at the college, routinely checking emails and answering phone calls, even after hours, to make sure students succeed.

College of Liberal Arts adviser Matthew Hibdon is the latest to be recognized nationally for his efforts with an award from the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA). Hibdon will receive the 2017 Region III Excellence in Advising-New Advisor Award later this month.

Matthew Hibdon

Matthew Hibdon

Hibdon, who has worked at MTSU over a course of nine years and has also earned two degrees from the university, said the award was “a validation of our approach to advising within the College of Liberal Arts.”

NACADA-new logo“I enjoy helping my assigned students, but I cannot do it alone,” he said. “I help students navigate the logistical parts of their degree programs, while faculty advisers serve as the curricular and career experts for students. Great teamwork between us has made all the difference.”

Hibdon’s award follows last year’s honor for fellow College of Liberal Arts adviser Brad Baumgardner, who advises music majors. He received the 2016 Region III Outstanding New Adviser Award. Baumgardner has worked at MTSU for a little over two years, a time during which the university has increased the number of advisers as part of its Quest for Student Success initiative to improve graduation and retention.

“I was honored to receive the award, mostly because I feel that it reflects the commitment to student success that I see daily in my department, college and across the university,” he said. “I applied for the award in hopes of drawing attention to the changes we’ve been making in the advising model here at MTSU and the results we’ve been able to achieve.”

College of Liberal Arts adviser Brad Baumgardner, who advises music majors, holds the 2016 Region III Outstanding New Adviser Award he received last year from the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA). (Submitted photo)

College of Liberal Arts adviser Brad Baumgardner, who advises music majors, holds the 2016 Region III Outstanding New Adviser Award he received last year from the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA). (Submitted photo)

NACADA is a professional association for individuals in the work of academic advising. The organization has annual conferences that have large impact on adviser professional development. NACADA is composed of 10 regions throughout the United States and Canada. Region III covers Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.

College of Liberal Arts logo webSeveral MTSU advisers have been given NACADA awards over the years. Members who meet certain criteria have to be nominated and apply for the award. Applications also include letters of support from supervisors, colleagues and students. Winners receive their awards at NACADA conferences.

“To receive a NACADA award means two things to me,” said Lucy Langworthy, who manages the liberal arts advisers. “First of all, it means that the adviser is committed to making himself/herself a better adviser by taking advantage of this very resourceful professional organization. Second of all, getting a NACADA award reflects well on Middle Tennessee State University and recognizes the work that our young leaders are doing on our campus to help students be successful.”

The Region III conference where Hibdon will receive his award will be held in Raleigh, North Carolina, on April 19-21. The 2017 state NACADA conference will be held at MTSU on May 8.

— Faith Few (news@mtsu.edu)

MTSU artists welcome season at Spring Dance Concert April 20-22

MTSU’s dance students, faculty and guest artists are celebrating a fresh new season at the annual Spring Dance Concert, which is set Thursday through Saturday, April 20-22, in the university’s Tucker Theatre.

MTSU Dance Theatre company members Quinn Cunningham, left, and Saul Rodriguez prepare for the April 20-22 Spring Dance Concert in the university’s Tucker Theatre. (Photo courtesy of Martin O’Connor)

MTSU Dance Theatre company members Quinn Cunningham, left, and Saul Rodriguez prepare for the April 20-22 Spring Dance Concert in the university’s Tucker Theatre. (Photo courtesy of Martin O’Connor)

Performances begin at 7 each evening. General-admission tickets for the Spring Dance Concert are $10 for adults and $5 for K-12 students and MTSU staff. MTSU students will be admitted free with a valid student ID.

This year’s Spring Dance Concert will once again highlight original choreographic works from MTSU dance faculty and selected students and from guest artist Banning Bouldin, an internationally recognized choreographer and artistic director of the Nashville-based New Dialect company, who visited the MTSU Dance Program in March.

The event also will feature pieces that display the scope of MTSU’s dance training and the talents of the university’s dance faculty in contemporary ballet, jazz and modern dance.

MTSU dance faculty member Meg Brooker has restaged three original Isadora Duncan choreographies, presented as “Suite from Orfeo ed Eurydice,” for the spring dance concert.

Marsha Barsky, artistic director of MTSU Dance Theatre, will present an excerpt of “Leaving Home,” a piece she choreographed that also features music by MTSU jazz faculty members Jamey Simmons and Don Aliquo.

Spring Dance Concert 2017 card webThe program also will include works by dance faculty Jennifer McNamara, Windship Boyd and Chell Parkins and by MTSU senior Amber Jordan.

“The MTSU Dance Theatre aims to enrich our campus and local community’s appreciation of concert dance by providing high-quality performances,” Barsky said. “The Spring Dance Concert reflects the dynamic range and diversity of our program.”

Tickets can be purchased online at www.mtsuarts.com or at the door. The Tucker Theatre Box Office will open one hour before each performance for ticket purchases.

A searchable campus map with parking details is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

For more information about the 2017 Spring Dance Concert, visit the MTSU Dance Theatre website at www.mtsu.edu/dance or call 615-494-8810.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

MTSU receives 13 awards for its marketing and communications efforts

Thirteen of Middle Tennessee State University’s marketing and communications efforts were recently honored by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, or CASE.

The university’s social media strategy and practices received a Grand Award, the top-tier honor given by CASE’s District III in its 2016 competition, which reviewed work by public and private higher education institutions in the southeastern United States

Andrew Oppmann

Andrew Oppmann

MTSU also received a Grand Award for a billboard prepared for the James E. Walker Library as part of the ongoing “Take a Closer Look” marketing campaign.

“We take great pride in telling the stories of the university’s many good works and we are pleased MTSU was the institution most recognized in Tennessee by CASE,” said Andrew Oppmann, vice president for marketing and communications.

MTSU received six Awards of Excellence for:

  • Media relations efforts on MTSU’s work in China.
  • Media relations efforts on an MTSU aerospace student’s cross-country flight retracing an aviation pioneer’s path.
  • A digital publication for the College of Media and Entertainment.
  • A digital version of the MTSU Admissions Viewbook.
  • A campus-scene book prepared as part of the “Take a Closer Look” campaign.
  • A campus tour video prepared for the Office of Admissions.

And the university received five Special Merit Awards for:CASE III logo-new

  • Design of a poster promoting MT Engage, a program that encourages students to create an e-portfolio of their collegiate work.
  • Design of a poster promoting Freedom Sings, a project of the Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center and the MTSU College of Media and Entertainment to promote awareness of the First Amendment.
  • Digital advertising promoting MTSU Senior Day.
  • A book on MTSU’s Science Building.
  • And a multipage publication for MTSU’s Scholarship Guide.

‘MTSU On the Record’ examines PR pros’ relationships with their companies

The generation gap and the salary gap in public relations were the topics on a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Dr. Cary Greenwood

Dr. Cary Greenwood

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Cary Greenwood, an assistant professor of journalism, first aired April 4 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and www.wmot.org. You can listen to their conversation below.

Greenwood’s research, which was published in Communication Research Reports in 2016, compares the differences between the way public relations professionals making $100,000 or more annually in Fortune 1000 companies view their relationships with their firms and the way millennials in public relations feel.

WMOT-new web logoThe report surveys degrees of trust, control mutuality, commitment and satisfaction among both groups. It asks whether they agree or disagree with statements such as “This organization believes my opinions are legitimate” and “This organization can be relied upon to keep its promises.”

Greenwood refers to the more highly paid PR professionals’ corporate compensation as “golden handcuffs,” a way of describing bonuses or privileges added to keep highly skilled personnel from obtaining employment elsewhere.

“That term has been used both in business and in public relations to mean the benefits that accrue to someone at the higher echelons of primarily business,” said Greenwood. “In other words, the salaries, the other compensation, perks they might achieve, the power.”

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’s Wills receives ‘key to the city’ from Hopkinsville mayor

As Dr. Cornelia Wills, a director in the Office of Student Success, continues her work promoting the keys to improving academic success for students, she’ll do so with an additional “key” that recognizes her involvement beyond the campus community.

MTSU educator and local author Dr. Cornelia Wills is shown here on the MTSU campus with the “Key to the City” presented to her by Hopkinsville, Ky., Mayor Carter M. Hendricks following Wills’ keynote address at the Modernettes Civic Club Inc.’s 23rd annual African-American Heritage Breakfast on Feb. 25 in Hopkinsville. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

MTSU educator and local author Dr. Cornelia Wills is shown here on the MTSU campus with the “Key to the City” presented to her by Hopkinsville, Ky., Mayor Carter M. Hendricks after Wills’ keynote address at the Modernettes Civic Club Inc.’s 23rd annual African-American Heritage Breakfast on Feb. 25 in Hopkinsville. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Wills was keynote speaker for the Modernettes Civic Club Inc.’s 23rd annual African-American Heritage Breakfast last month at the James E. Bruce Convention Center in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.

Following her Feb. 25 address, a surprised Wills was presented a symbolic “Key to the City” by Hopkinsville Mayor Carter M. Hendricks.

Mama Said cover-web“I was both honored and humbled to receive this award of such high esteem from the mayor,” Wills said. “It is a day that I shall always remember. I was totally surprised and am truly thankful!”

An educational administrator, author and philanthropist, Wills is the author of the book “Mama Said: A Word to the Wise is Sufficient.”

The book teaches life lessons, particularly for young people, and contains timeless wisdom Wills learned from her mother while growing up as a child in rural Alabama.

She donates a portion of proceeds from the book’s sales to an MTSU emergency fund to help students stay in school.

Established in 1965, the Modernettes recently celebrated its 50 year anniversary. The organization was formed with a group of young women — some just out of college and some teachers.

In 1995, the organization began its annual African-American Heritage Breakfast, held each year to coincide with Black History Month. Proceeds from the annual fundraiser are used to fund scholarships for local students.

For more information about the MTSU Office of Student Success, visit www.mtsu.edu/studentsuccess or call 615-494-8650.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

 

Learn how students are tackling 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, first aired March 28 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and www.wmot.org. You can listen to their conversation below.

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 the Record’ examines Scholars Week dedication to learning

A recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program previews Scholars Week, the university’s annual tribute to academic rigor and critical thinking skills.

Nick Carr

Nick Carr

Dr. Susan Myers-Shirk

Dr. Susan Myers-Shirk

Scholars Week web bannerHost Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Susan Myers-Shirk, interim chair of the Department of History and member of the Scholars Week Committee, first aired March 20 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and www.wmot.org. You can listen to their conversation below.

Scheduled for March 27-31, Scholars Week enables both undergraduate and graduate students to display their research at various locations around campus with one day set aside for each university college.

Nick Carr, author of “The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains,” will deliver the Scholars Week keynote address at 7 p.m. Monday, March 27, in the Student Union Ballroom, followed by a book-signing opportunity. The event is free and open to the public.

“He looks at the way the technologies of reading and writing have changed over time, and then he links that to ideas about neuroplasticity,” Myers-Shirk said of Carr. “He describes the way in which our thinking and reading changed as our tools changed.”

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.

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