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MT Engage celebrates student participation with inaugural reception

MT Engage, MTSU’s most recent Quality Enhancement Plan, or QEP, is igniting interest in students across academic disciplines wanting to further their education beyond the classroom.

The program honored students who completed at least one 2016-17 MT Engage course with the first MT Engage Student Reception, held Thursday, April 20, in the Tom H. Jackson Building. Students received refreshments, complimentary professional photos for the early arrivers and tokens of appreciation, including water bottles and T-shirts.

Students taking MT Engage courses were treated to T-shirts, refreshments and complimentary professional headshots at the inaugural MT Engage Student Reception held Thursday, April 20, in the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

An MTSU student displays one of the T-shirts that MT Engage program participants received at the inaugural MT Engage Student Reception held Thursday, April 20, in the Tom H. Jackson Building. Student participants also received water bottles, refreshments and complimentary professional photos. (MTSU photos by Jimmy Hart)

The event also allowed the 80-plus students who attended to ask questions about what to expect if they continue with MT Engage, which has a motto of “engage academically, learn exponentially, showcase yourself.”

MT Engage logo-webUniversity Studies professor Scott McDaniel, assessment coordinator for MT Engage, noted that students who enroll in MT Engage-based classes receive hands-on experience that allows them to apply the knowledge they already have.

“My colleague who teaches statistics had her students go to ‘Scholars Week’ and report on some of the posters and statistics that were used there, and they had to reflect on it,” McDaniel said.

Program officials expect students in these courses to learn and/or develop skills in self-assessment and reflection and connect their new knowledge to their experience.

“Other things we want professors to try to instill in students (are) making connections between disciplines, from statistics to biology or from history to English and even history to statistics,” he said.

McDaniel shared one exciting aspect of MT Engage called the e-Portfolio, an electronic record created by students throughout their academic journey to serve as an important tool in marketing themselves toward a career or graduate degree.

University Studies professor Scott McDaniel, right, assessment coordinator for MT Engage, checks in a student at the inaugural MT Engage Student Reception held Thursday, April 20, in the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

University Studies professor Scott McDaniel, right, assessment coordinator for MT Engage, checks in a student at the inaugural MT Engage Student Reception held Thursday, April 20, in the Tom H. Jackson Building.

“It’s hard to assess someone’s knowledge from just one snapshot,” he said. “Now we enter the e-Portfolio.”

As McDaniel explained, the e-Portfolio digitally adds completed works through a student’s time at MTSU, allowing them to create presentations for different audiences or future employers.

“Say they want to apply for a job and send not only their resume but also their e-Portfolio — it’s like the next best thing to meeting me.”

Current and future students will be able to learn more about the benefits of the latest QEP and the future of MT Engage during MT Engage Week, which will be held in September, and during through CUSTOMS new student orientations.

The QEP is a requirement by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, or SACSCOC, the regional accreditation body for higher education institutions in the South.

Also joining McDaniel at the reception were MT Engage Director Mary Hoffschwelle, who also is an MTSU history professor, and assistant director Lexy Denton.

Hoffschwelle said the student reception will become an annual event.

For more information about MT Engage, visit http://mtsu.edu/mtengage, email mtengage@mtsu.edu or call 615-904-8281.

— Jayla Jackson (news@mtsu.edu)

Students enjoy refreshments at the inaugural MT Engage Student Reception held Thursday, April 20, in the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Students enjoy refreshments at the inaugural MT Engage Student Reception April 20 in the Tom H. Jackson Building.

MTSU Creative and Visual Services photographer Andy Heidt photographs an MT Engage student during the inaugural MT Engage Student Reception held Thursday, April 20, in the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

MTSU Creative and Visual Services photographer Andy Heidt photographs an MT Engage student during the inaugural MT Engage Student Reception April 20 in the Tom H. Jackson Building.

Students enjoy refreshments at the inaugural MT Engage Student Reception held Thursday, April 20, in the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Students enjoy refreshments at the inaugural MT Engage Student Reception held Thursday, April 20, in the Tom H. Jackson Building.

Students were eligible for door prizes at the inaugural MT Engage Student Reception held Thursday, April 20, in the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

This photo shows some of the door prizes students were eligible to receive at the inaugural MT Engage Student Reception in the Tom H. Jackson Building.

MTSU entertains public, fights hunger at April 24 ‘End of Semester Show’

MTSU’s entertainment community is coming together Monday, April 24, for an “End of Semester Show” aimed at showcasing campus talent and industry partnerships with an eye toward helping hungry fellow students, too!

End Semester Show 2017 poster webThe program, set for 7 p.m. April 24 in Tucker Theatre, features MTSU recording industry songwriters opening for The Acorn People, a Nashville-based rock band of MTSU alumni.

Admission is a can of nonperishable food, which will be donated to the university’s Student Food Pantry.

CME-logo-webOrganizers from the College of Media and Entertainment, who say this year’s show may be the largest ever, note that the event involves teamwork from students, faculty, organizations, departments and colleges across campus as well as nonprofits and industry donors and partners in the community. For example:

  • Students in a recording industry Sound Reinforcement class are working alongside a Theater Lighting class from the Department of Theatre and Dance to plan and provide sound, lighting and production for the show.
  • Master of Fine Arts students in recording industry will be creating multitrack recordings of the performances.
  • Animation students from the Department of Electronic Media Communication are creating content for a $1.5 million video wall, again donated by veteran EMC partner VER Nashville and most recently used for the MT Raiders Choice Awards, that will be assembled on stage and used during the show.
  • Student-run radio station WMTS and AMP Entertainment, MTSU’s student-run entertainment organization, are providing event promotion.

In addition to VER’s video wall equipment donation, Nashville-based entertainment lighting systems company 4Wall and audiovisual supplier LMG Nashville are also donating equipment for this year’s show.

For more information about the event, email Rachel Helms, coordinator for the College of Media and Entertainment, at rachel.helms@mtsu.edu.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

MTSU plans Veteran and Family Benefits Expo for community April 22

Veterans at MTSU and across the Middle Tennessee region are welcome to attend the Veteran and Family Benefits Expo, which will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 22, on campus, event organizers said.

The benefits expo featuring at least 20 vendors will be held outside the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center, 1848 Blue Raider Drive, on the east side of campus in Murfreesboro.

Veteran and Family Benefits Expo in the Campus Rec Center.

Veteran and Family Benefits Expo in the Campus Rec Center.

In the event of rain, activities will move inside one of the Campus Recreation Center gymnasiums. To find the rec center and nearby parking, visit http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

Sponsored by The Journey Home Project, MTSU Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veteran and Military Family Center and June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students, the expo is held to help veterans and their family members be aware of available assistance

“We welcome people from the community and campus, and want them to bring their families,” said Heather Conrad, counselor and rehabilitation counselor for VetSuccess on Campus.

Veteran service providers will include Greenhouse Ministries, Waffle House, Two Men and a Truck, Vietnam Veterans of America, Tennessee Department of Labor Mobile “Career Coach,” Tennessee Valley Health Services Women’s Health Center, Rolling Thunder Inc., Whelen Security, Wounded Warrior Project, Veterans Recovery Center/Mental Health Counsel and more.

Food is being provided by The Journey Home Project and will be served from 4 to 6 p.m.

Families are welcome to utilize the rec center’s indoor pool during the event.

The event will be hosted by the Blue Raider American Veteran Organization, or BRAVO, Tennessee Department of Labor, VetSuccess of Campus, Veterans Benefits Administration and Veterans Health Administration.

For more information, call 615-898-2974 or 615-898-2540.

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

MTSU salutes student veterans during seventh Stole Ceremony [+VIDEO]

With an eye toward next week’s NFL Draft or signing as a free agent for a potential pro career, former MTSU football standout and U.S. Marine Steven Rhodes remained focused on the present.

Rhodes joined other student veterans, their families, other guests and MTSU administrators and staff during the seventh Graduating Veterans Stole Ceremony Wednesday (April 19) in the Tom H. Jackson Building’s Cantrell Hall.

The university recognized nearly 50 of 122 student veterans planning to graduate Friday, May 5, in College of Graduate Studies ceremonies, or Saturday, May 6, for undergraduate commencement during the event.

Since May 2015, MTSU has honored its graduating student veterans with a formal ceremony, presenting them with special red stoles.

“This is a blessing to me and my family,” Rhodes said of the occasion. “This is special to be able to show other veterans they can earn their degree.”

At MTSU, he was a 6-foot-3, 253-pound honorable mention All-Conference USA defensive end, voted the Armed Forces Merit Award winner by the Football Writers Association of America, and carried a 3.2 GPA student in the classroom. He majored in organizational communication in the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences.

The Journey Home Project’s David Corlew, left visits with Adrienne and Steven Rhodes and their sons, Kameron, 6, and Devon, 4, before the April 19 Graduating Veterans Stole Ceremony in Cantrell Hall of the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

The Journey Home Project’s David Corlew, left visits with Adrienne and Steven Rhodes and their sons, Kameron, 6, and Devon, 4, before the April 19 Graduating Veterans Stole Ceremony in Cantrell Hall of the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

Raising a family with a wife Adrienne and sons Kameron, 6, and Devon, 4, playing football, studying and the rest of life’s opportunities, Rhodes, a Nashville native, said it had been challenging.

“My wife has helped out and I have had a great support system with parents helping,” he said, relieved “my school work is finished and I can’t wait to graduate.”

Rhodes and MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, a big admirer of the athlete, exchanged a huge hug during the ceremony when all student veterans came forward to be recognized. He said he had “a great workout” for the Tennessee Titans and “is looking forward to the call, whether it’s the draft or free agency. I’ll be somewhere in a month.”

McPhee told the student veterans he looks forward “to greeting you and personally thank you in a few weeks at graduation.”

Many-Bears Grinder, commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Veterans Services, attended the ceremony, as did other VA personnel, retired Brig. Gen. David Ogg (Class of 1978) and David Corlew with The Journey Home Project and longtime manager for country music legend Charlie Daniels, an avid supporter of the MTSU Veterans and Military Family Center that now bears his and his wife’s name.

For more on the assistance offered by the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center, call 615-904-8347 or visit http://mtsu.edu/military/index.php.

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

David Moore, foreground, takes a photo of his stepson, MTSU student veteran Stephen White, right, and Sean Martin, transition manager for the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center April 19 in Cantrell Hall of the Tom H. Jackson Building during a Stole Ceremony recognizing veterans who are about to graduate from MTSU.

David Moore, foreground, takes a photo of his stepson, MTSU student veteran Stephen White, right, and Sean Martin, transition manager for the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center April 19 in Cantrell Hall of the Tom H. Jackson Building during a Stole Ceremony recognizing veterans who are about to graduate from MTSU.

MTSU student veteran Michael Brzezicki, second, from left, is shown with MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, left, interim Provost Mark Byrnes and Keith M. Huber, senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives, April 19 during the spring Stole Ceremony in the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU student veteran Michael Brzezicki, second, from left, is shown with MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, left, interim Provost Mark Byrnes and Keith M. Huber, senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives, April 19 during the spring Stole Ceremony in the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU students exhibit interior design ideas at Saturday showcase

Professional interior designers-in-training at MTSU are ready to display what they’ve learned about creating viable work and living spaces in a free showcase open to the public.

Design Student Showcase 2017 flier webThe 2017 Interior Design Student Showcase, presented by the MTSU student chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers, is slated for 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 22, in the McWherter Learning Resources Center.

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

“The evening is going to be fabulous!” said Deborah Belcher, chair of MTSU’s Department of Human Sciences.

“We have some wonderful student work, a great vendor, door prizes and the jazzy tunes of local band Les, Chuck and I.”

Student projects on display will include creative and innovative use of textiles, light fixtures, furniture, space planning, construction drawings and computer-aided drawings.

The students will show off their ideas in LRC Rooms 108, 109 and 112 as well as the center’s corridor, lobbies and resource library.

For more information about the 2017 Interior Design Student Showcase, contact Belcher at 615-898-2302 or deborah.belcher@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

An array of textiles and other materials invites visitors to examine the stylistic possibilities at a previous MTSU Student Chapter ASID/IIDA Interior Design Showcase. (Photo courtesy of MTSU Department of Human Sciences)

MTSU biologists share medicinal plant research at Adventure Science Center

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — As part of the Adventure Science Center’s “Wicked Plants” exhibition, underway through May 29, MTSU students and faculty in the Tennessee Center for Botanical Medicine Research presented a series of events featuring medicinal plants.

Assistant professor Iris Gao and two of the MTSU center’s graduate students, Shannon Smith and Matthew Fuller,  have participated in the exhibition twice this year.

MTSU biology assistant professor Iris Gao, left, and graduate students Shannon Smith and Matthew Fuller prepare to meet the public during one of their two visits to Adventure Science Center. They discussed botanical medicinal research and conducted interactive sessions. (Photos submitted)

MTSU biology assistant professor Iris Gao, left, and graduate students Shannon Smith and Matthew Fuller prepare to meet the public during one of their two visits to Adventure Science Center. They discussed botanical medicinal research and conducted interactive sessions. (Photos submitted)

Tennessee Center for Botanical Medicine Research officials viewed the visits as opportunities to interact with people, especially children, and serve the community, Gao said.

“Through the exhibition, we hope to raise awareness for scientific research, particularly on herbal medicine research, and also to make science education more interesting and meaningful,” Gao said.

“It’s exciting to share the knowledge derived from our research with the community. All these make us feel fulfilled about what we are doing.”

In the first visit, the MTSU trio hosted three interactive stations, highlighting their research in front of more than 500 visitors.

The stations included:

  • Tea tasting, where visitors could sample ginseng and chrysanthemum tea.
  • A bookmark station, where visitors could create their own bookmarks with the leaf vein of medicinal plants.
  • A plant terrarium station, where visitors could make their own terrariums with eight common medicinal plants.
A Nashville-area family makes leaf bookmarks in a craft developed by MTSU Tennessee Center for Botanical Medicine Research personnel during an Adventure Science Center exhibit.

A Nashville-area family makes leaf bookmarks in a craft developed by MTSU Tennessee Center for Botanical Medicine Research personnel during an Adventure Science Center exhibit.

Gao, Smith and Fuller delivered a live science presentation to the public in the Cosmic Rays Theater on their second visit.

During the lecture, the three biologists talked about the history of medicinal gardens, medicinal plant compounds and ongoing medicinal plant research topics.

“It was a way of interacting with the public to introduce them to valuable concepts and help them question things,” Smith explained.

“This was a wonderful opportunity to help generate interest in the science and research that we do at MTSU and the botanical medicine research center,” Fuller added. “Seeing and helping to inspire the next generation of scientists was a reward in and of itself.”

Tiffany Ellis Farmer, director of education and community engagement at Adventure Science Center, told Gao that the facility’s educational partnership with MTSU “will truly make our exhibition a much richer experience.”

“People are interested to know how medicinal plants can be helpful for their life and health, and we feel excited and privileged to spread the knowledge in the community,” Gao said.

For more information about the botanical medicine research center, call 615-494-8681 or visit www.mtsu.edu/tcbmr.

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

MTSU graduate student Shannon Smith, representing the Tennessee Center for Botanical Medicine Research at the university, talks about genomics to visitors attending the Nashville Adventure Science Center’s “Wicked Plants” exhibition earlier this year.

MTSU graduate student Shannon Smith, representing the Tennessee Center for Botanical Medicine Research at the university, talks about genomics to visitors attending the Nashville Adventure Science Center’s “Wicked Plants” exhibition earlier this year.

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 ag students show youngsters the origins of their food [+VIDEO]

G’Anni Milton, Tinsley Pittenger and Allison Swenson and nearly 900 other Rutherford County schools students had no idea how much MTSU senior Austin Brennstuhl wants them to know where their food comes from — and he doesn’t mean the grocery store.

The children from 10 schools across the county learned about farm life Tuesday, April 11, during the fourth annual MTSU Agricultural Education “Spring Fling” in the Tennessee Livestock Center.

Between 1,000 and 1,200 people participated in the MTSU agritourism class-led field trip to show the youngsters all kinds of farm animals and products, including vegetables and chocolate milk from the university’s dairy.

Brennstuhl, 23, from Eagleville, served as student coordinator for the event, which is operated by the agritourism class led by instructor Alanna Vaught. He said he wishes the ag spring fling could expand. The one-day event currently must limit attendance to a first-come, first-served basis.

“My heart has always been here,” said Brennstuhl, who was an agritourism class member in 2016.

MTSU student Rachel Elrod tells the school children about the natural honey that comes from bees. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

MTSU student Rachel Elrod tells the young visitors about the natural honey that comes from bees. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

“It’s what I’ve always loved — to teach kids about a lost time. … I would love to see this grow bigger and longer, add days, even having special-needs children come and get the same experience.”

The children — from Eagleville, Walter Hill, Kittrell, Buchanan, La Vergne Lake, Thurman Francis, Campus, Middle Tennessee Christian and McFadden schools — saw two corn mazes, a cornhole game, a barrel-racing horse and about 10 other animal friends, farm equipment and a beekeeping demonstration during their visit.

Milton, 4, a Kittrell Elementary kindergarten student whose mother, Monique Alsup, served a a chaperone, said she enjoyed the playground and “picked all kinds of fruit and vegetables and eggs, too.”
Pittenger, 8, a second-grader at Eagleville, said she had “a lot of fun … milking the cow, the corn maze and seeing all the animals, especially the horse.”

Swenson, 7, a second-grader at Walter Hill Elementary, liked “petting the animals, and the maze, picking the fruit and vegetables, and learning about bees.”

Nearly halfway through the event, Vaught said it appeared that everything was running smoothly. One of her checklist items was participant safety, so a student who is a registered nurse and several other students with CPR training were available during the event to help as needed.

“You want students to enjoy the experience and not be bored,” she said.

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

MTSU School of Agribusiness and Agriscience student Detorie Walker uses a small ear of corn to inform the children about this popular vegetable.

MTSU School of Agribusiness and Agriscience student Detorie Walker uses a small ear of corn in a discussion with the children about the vegetable.

MTSU Ag Education Spring Fling Director Alanna Vaught informs school children about things that live and grown on a farm.

MTSU Ag Education Spring Fling Director Alanna Vaught tells children what lives and grows on a farm.

‘MTSU On the Record’ dines out with peer-to-peer nutrition mentoring

Students who mentor other students about how to make healthier eating decisions were the focus of a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Grace Farone

Grace Farone

Host Gina Logue’s interview with senior dietetics major Grace Farone first aired April 11 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and www.wmot.org. You can listen to their conversation below.

WMOT-new web logoFarone is one of a handful of students conducting activities to give other students accurate food information under the direction of Dr. Lisa Sheehan-Smith, a professor of nutrition and food science and a registered dietician, through a partnership with Campus Recreation.

The daughter of biology professors Anthony and Mary Farone said she became interested in nutrition after losing the index finger on her right hand to cancer when she was 14 years old.

“Being in a hospital around other health care professionals, I realized how important nutrition was to help prevent other diseases,” said Farone. “I just wanted to help and share with others what I learned.”

Farone, who is right-handed, has been cancer-free since the amputation. She is on track to graduate this May with a bachelor’s degree.

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 Stormwater spring volunteer events improve environment

The MTSU community has been busy throughout the spring semester helping clean up the city of Murfreesboro, protecting the local water supply and improving the environment in a series of volunteer efforts from MTSU students, faculty and staff.

MTSU’s Stormwater Program has implemented multiple cleanup events this spring to increase environmental awareness. Some of these events consisted of garbage clean up, enhancement of riparian zones to improve waterways and even a tree giveaway.

MTSU students admire their cleanup work along Garrison Creek in East Murfreesboro during the Alternative Spring Break event coordinated by the MTSU Stormwater Program. (Courtesy of the MTSU Stormwater Program)

MTSU students admire their cleanup work along Garrison Creek in East Murfreesboro during the Alternative Spring Break event coordinated by the MTSU Stormwater Program. (Photo courtesy of MTSU Stormwater Program)

One of the more recent events was the April 1 “Parks Day” at Old Fort Park where volunteers gathered to cut and spray invasive plant species and to remove trash from the area.

“Nearly 170 volunteers and partners helped with Parks Day,” said Cynthia Allen, stormwater environmental coordinator.

“Together we cut and treated 9,375 invasive exotic plants and removed more than 70 bags of trash and recyclables from Fortress Rosecrans, Old Fort Park and the Murfreesboro Greenway.”

Cleanup efforts took place over the month of March in a series of events called March Madness. Over spring break, 10 volunteers got together and picked up 365 pounds of trash. The trash cleanup began at Kroger on Lascassas Pike and ran along Garrison Creek and Lascassas Pike beside the road.

On March 9, the city of Murfreesboro’s Stormwater Department and MTSU’s Stormwater Program worked together on the Jordan Farm Project to enhance the riparian zones to improve waterways. The riparian zone is the interface between the land and a river or stream.

There were 21 volunteers from Dr. Kim Sadler’s EXL class for experiential learning and from instructors Becca Seul and Cassie Higginbotham’s health class. Both classes partner with MTSU’s Stormwater program each year.

Together the groups planted 125 bare root seedlings to help develop a riparian area to create a canopy and shade for the creek in the future.MT Stormwater logo-new

March 18 began the Free Tree Giveaway, when 35 citizens helped distribute 622 bare root seedlings for planting. The annual event, which also is a partnership with the city of Murfreesboro, was publicized via 176 invitations and educational letters to property owners and shared with three different schools as a conduit to parents.

“The goal of this event is to hand out free bare root seedlings to the public, especially homeowners that live beside or near a stream to help encourage stream bank plantings for a healthy riparian area, stream canopy, reduced erosion and protection against flooding,” Allen said .

For more information on MTSU’s Stormwater Program and to find out about opportunities to volunteer, visit www.mtsu.edu/stormwater, or contact Cynthia Allen at Cynthia.Allen@mtsu.edu.

— Faith Few (news@mtsu.edu)

MTSU Stormwater Program staff chat with area residents participating in the mid-March tree giveaway in partnership with the city of Murfreesboro. (Photo courtesy of Ron Crabtree)

MTSU Stormwater Program staff chat with area residents participating in the mid-March tree giveaway in partnership with the city of Murfreesboro. (Photo courtesy of Ron Crabtree)

Robert Haley, left, coordinator of the city of Murfreesboro Stormwater Program, instructs MTSU student volunteers at the March 9 tree planting event at Jordan Farm in partnership with the MTSU Stormwater Program. (Courtesy of the MTSU Stormwater Program)

Robert Haley, left, coordinator of the city of Murfreesboro Stormwater Program, instructs MTSU student volunteers at the March 9 tree planting event at Jordan Farm in partnership with the MTSU Stormwater Program. (Photo courtesy of MTSU Stormwater Program)

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