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Music-led enhanced campus tour awaits MTSU visitors [+VIDEO]

Prospective Middle Tennessee State University students and their families will enjoy an enhanced campus tour experience — featuring live acoustic music by current students — following upgrades unveiled this week for weekday campus visits.

The upgrades — live music, a walk through MTSU history, a “selfie spot,” a new video in cinemascope and surround sound featuring current students and “True Blue Bag Campaign” — are just part of the heightened tour experience that includes a recording by the Band of Blue performing the MTSU fight song.

Excluding holidays, MTSU conducts daily campus tours, at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. during the fall and spring semesters and once a day during the summer starting at the Student Services and Admissions Center, 1860 Blue Raider Drive.

For more on the guided campus tours, visit www.mtsu.edu/schedule-a-visit/daily-campus-visits.php.

University President Sidney A. McPhee said he knows prospective students feel welcome when they visit.

“In an effort to expand this sense of belonging, the admissions department launched the True Blue Bag Campaign,” said McPhee, noting that every visitor will receive a distinctive blue bag when she or he checks in for a tour. It will contain an MTSU Viewbook, Visitors Guide and information for parents.

“With these bags, our campus visitors will be very visible, not only in tour groups but also as they explore campus on their own,” he added.

As MTSU visitors await the start of the campus tour, musicians Kenny Arnold, left, and Cooper Gilliam entertain from the stage. Gilliam is a freshman from Martin, Tenn., while Arnold is a sophomore from Baltimore, Md. Both are commercial songwriting majors. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

As MTSU visitors await the start of the campus tour, musicians Kenny Arnold, left, and Cooper Gilliam entertain from the stage. Gilliam is a freshman from Martin, Tenn., while Arnold is a sophomore from Baltimore, Md. Both are commercial songwriting majors. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

In anticipation of more visitors, MTSU officials put plans in motion for the additional amenities on the first floor of the admissions tour area. The second floor houses the MT One Stop, which provides an array of services in financial aid, course registration, tuition and billing and transcripts.

“This revamped tour offers prospective students an opportunity to become immersed into the environment and culture of MTSU,” said Nathan Haynes, associate director of marketing and technical support for undergraduate recruitment.

“We have taken advantage of the architectural and technological assets of the student services facility and utilized them to their fullest extent to create an innovative and unique experience that also includes a chance to see our on-campus housing,” Haynes added.

Linda Olsen, director of undergraduate recruitment, said the campus tour is “one of the key steps in the decision-making process for prospective students.”

“We have dedicated many resources to assure our tour stands out as students explore their university options,” Olsen added.

True Blue Bags will be available to all visitors on weekday campus tours.

True Blue Bags will be available to all visitors on weekday campus tours.

Rob Janson, strategic communications manager in the Office of Marketing and Communications, suggested and developed the idea to add acoustic music, featuring students from the university’s popular Commercial Songwriting program within the internationally recognized Department of Recording Industry.

Five MTSU songwriting students have been hired to perform original songs, giving them exposure and experience, 45 minutes before each tour begins.

“The revamped MTSU tour experience is really designed to be just that: an experience,” Janson said. “We’ve essentially taken what was a fairly standard presentation and infused it with MTSU-centric programming that quickly immerses prospective students and their families in the True Blue culture.

“We believe the music is the first of its kind on a college campus,” added Janson, referring to the first-floor stage in the visitor’s lobby area.

Students can meet with their admissions counselors following the tour, Haynes said.

Donna Baker, archivist with the Albert Gore Research Center, developed the plan for the history walk through and contributed Gore Center memorabilia. Copies of MTSU Magazine and MTSU Visitors Guide are available for guests.

For questions about events and tours, email tours@mtsu.edu or call 615-898-5670.

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

Pieces of history from the Gore Research Center greet visitors as they walk through to enter the 75-seat tour room in the Student Services and Admissions Center. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Pieces of history from the Gore Research Center greet visitors as they walk through to enter the 75-seat tour room in the Student Services and Admissions Center. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Nearly 40 MTSU visitors watch a new 20-minute video featuring a number of university students sharing the campus story for prospective students and their families Feb. 24 in the Student Services and Admissions Center.

Nearly 40 MTSU visitors watch a new 20-minute video featuring a number of university students sharing the campus story for prospective students and their families Feb. 24 in the Student Services and Admissions Center.

MTSU launches special Friday transfer tours to recruit students (VIDEO)

A new initiative by MTSU to recruit transfer students is drawing guests from Atlanta, Knoxville, Tullahoma, Greenbrier and more hometowns across Tennessee and neighboring states to campus.

Prospective students, most accompanied by parents or siblings, became the inaugural group to visit MTSU Feb. 13 in the first of three special Friday tours to recruit students wanting to transfer from community colleges and four-year universities.

Future transfer-specific tours will be held starting at 9:30 a.m. Friday, March 13, and Friday, April 10.

For more information, visit www.mtsu.edu/schedule-a-visit/index.php or call 615-898-5670.

MTSU launches special Friday transfer tours to recruit students (+VIDEO)

People visited MTSU from as far away as the Atlanta, Georgia, area and Knoxville, Tennessee. Tullahoma, the Five Points community in Lawrence County, Chapel Hill, Columbia, Greenbrier and Murfreesboro were among other Tennessee hometowns for the campus guests.

Prospective students, most accompanied by parents or siblings, became the initial group to visit MTSU Friday (Feb. 13) in the first of three special Friday tours to recruit students wanting to transfer from community colleges and four-year universities.

It marks the start of a bold initiative by MTSU to recruit transfer students.

“This is for transfer students to come in and meet other students their age and their year of study,” said Audrey Welch, transfer enrollment coordinator, who provided a 20-minute introduction utilizing PowerPoint and a video.

“We will do a campus tour with them,” Welch added. “We will do a credit evaluation. We’ll go over transfer scholarships, transfer credits, housing for transfer students, grouping them together. We will answer questions and do one-on-one interviews. We’ll talk about financial aid and about the (MT) One Stop center. We’ll do a little bit of everything.”

The MT One Stop, a one-stop shop to help meet an array of students’ enrollment management needs, is located on the second floor of the Student Services and Admissions Center, 1860 Blue Raider Drive. The transfer tours begin in Room 110 in the same building.

MTSU Blue Elite tour member David Parente leads the transfer student tour group leaving the Student Services and Admissions Center Friday (Feb. 13) during the special tour for transfers being recruited by MTSU. Parente, a senior marketing major in the Jennings A. Jones College of Business, transferred to MTSU from the Motlow State Community College campus in Smyrna, Tennessee. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

MTSU Blue Elite tour member David Parente leads the transfer student tour group leaving the Student Services and Admissions Center Friday (Feb. 13) during the special tour for transfers being recruited by MTSU. Parente, a senior marketing major in the Jennings A. Jones College of Business, transferred to MTSU from the Motlow State Community College campus in Smyrna, Tennessee. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

Miles White, 21, of Tullahoma, will be transferring credits he received while serving in the U.S. Army. He visited MTSU for the first time with his sister, Emily Lange, of Nashville.

Planning to study criminal justice in the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, White said he was impressed with both the Science Building and College of Mass Communications.

Destiny Caughorn of Knoxville, a student at Pellissippi State Community, plans to study in the School of Nursing. Her plan is to transfer in spring 2016.

“I liked everything (about MTSU),” said Caughorn, who visited with her sister, Kristen. “Everything’s available. I feel like there’s lots of opportunities.”

MTSU senior marketing major David Parente of Murfreesboro led the tour. He transferred from the Motlow State Community College campus in Smyrna, Tennessee.

Future transfer-specific tours will be held starting at 9:30 a.m. Friday, March 13, and Friday, April 10.

For more information, visit http://www.mtsu.edu/schedule-a-visit/index.php or call 615-898-5670.

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

Destiny Caughorn, second from left, of Knoxville, Tennessee, and her sister, Kristen, receive a packet of information from MTSU Blue Elite tour coordinator Chris Hardman and Emaly Cox Friday (Feb. 13) in the first floor lobby of the Student Services and Admissions Center. Destiny Caughorn, a student at Pellissippi State Community College, plans to study nursing and start at MTSU in spring 2016.

Destiny Caughorn, second from left, of Knoxville, Tennessee, and her sister, Kristen, receive a packet of information from MTSU Blue Elite tour coordinator Chris Hardman and Emaly Cox Friday (Feb. 13) in the first floor lobby of the Student Services and Admissions Center. Destiny Caughorn, a student at Pellissippi State Community College, plans to study nursing and start at MTSU in spring 2016.

Student Food Pantry needs help restocking for fall semester

As MT One Stop coordinator Becca Seul explains how the MTSU Student Food Pantry is organized, it’s easy to notice the empty shelf space around the wall.

“The need has continued to grow, but the donations have slowed since we’ve moved to the new building,” said Seul, founder and coordinator of the pantry. “We’re trying to get people more aware of where we are so that we can get those donations back up.”

Becca Seul, founder and coordinator of the MTSU Student Food Pantry, points out some of the items that need to be restocked at the pantry, which is located in the MT One Stop on the second floor of the Student Services and Admissions Center. (MTSU photos by News and Media Relations)

Becca Seul, founder and coordinator of the MTSU Student Food Pantry, points out some of the items that need to be restocked at the pantry, which is located in the MT One Stop on the second floor of the Student Services and Admissions Center. (MTSU photos by News and Media Relations)

Open since fall semester of 2012, the Student Food Pantry moved from the McFarland Building earlier this year to its new home on the second floor of the Student Services and Admissions Center, also known as the MT One Stop.

With fall semester quickly approaching, and with it thousands of students including 3,000-plus freshmen, the pantry is seeking donations to restock its shelves after student need shrunk its inventory over the past few months.

Any currently enrolled student who shows a valid student ID can access the pantry for food. Those students with longer-term food needs are referred to community partners such as Greenhouse Ministries, Seul said.

The pantry has collected more than 12,000 pounds of food since opening and has served more than 700 students who’ve found themselves in need of a decent meal but without the resources to feed themselves.

Click on the MTSU Student Food Pantry logo above to help hungry students.

“A lot of people think that the most random thing will never get taken from our pantry, but we have a very diverse population of students,” Seul said. “So they take everything that comes in here.”

The pantry accepts nonperishable items that aren’t expired. Though it has much more room to store items since its move, it is running low on just about everything except canned vegetables, Seul said.

Among the most needed items are canned fruits and beans, pasta, peanut butter, crackers, fruit cups, rice, cereal, bottled water and Ramen noodles. See the full needs list at www.mtsu.edu/foodpantry.

Ramen noodles, peanut butter and popcorn are among the needed items at the MTSU Student Food Pantry. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Ramen noodles, peanut butter and popcorn are among the needed items at the MTSU Student Food Pantry.

People can drop off donations anytime the MT One Stop is open: Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. MT One Stop is located on the east side of campus at MTSU Boulevard and Blue Raider Drive, with visitor parking available off MTSU Boulevard.

Those wishing to help monetarily can also donate online at www.mtsu.edu/foodpantry. The pantry now has an MTSU Foundation account, which allows Seul to stock up on items available in bulk at less cost.

For more information about MTSU’s Student Food Pantry, contact Seul at 615-494-8910 or becca.seul@mtsu.edu, or visit the website at www.mtsu.edu/foodpantry.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

MTSU opens Student Services Building with MT One Stop (VIDEO)

MTSU embarked on another phase of its emphasis on student success with the Monday, March 10, opening of the $16 million Student Services and Admissions Center and MT One Stop.

After a number of years where an idea and planning turned into a finished construction project, nearly 100 MTSU employees from five offices and three buildings entered their new quarters and workspace.

What this means for current and prospective students and visitors is student-centeredness and a convenience of key offices being centrally located under one roof.

 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WD06812apVc?rel=0&w=853&h=480]

 

Located on Blue Raider Drive, the 58,000-square-foot facility with brick exterior opened for students and visitors. Added features include a large bridge extending to the Student Union and a small bridge connecting the east side of the new building to an adjacent parking deck for the MTSU Boulevard Garage.

You can learn more about the new facility at http://mtsunews.com/student-services-building-opens-march-10.

MTSU opens Student Services & Admissions Center, MT One Stop (+VIDEO)

MTSU embarked on another phase of its emphasis on student success with the Monday, March 10, opening of the $16 million Student Services and Admissions Center and MT One Stop.

After a number of years where an idea and planning turned into a finished construction project, nearly 100 MTSU employees from five offices and three buildings entered their new quarters and workspace.

What this means for current and prospective students and visitors is student-centeredness and a convenience of key offices being centrally located under one roof.

Located on Blue Raider Drive, the 58,000-square-foot facility with brick exterior opened for students and visitors. Added features include a large bridge extending to the Student Union and a small bridge connecting the east side of the new building to an adjacent parking deck for the MTSU Boulevard Garage.

Last fall, university President Sidney A. McPhee and academic leaders unveiled a Quest for Student Success initiative. The opening of the new building will be a key component in the process.

A spacious first-floor lobby area will help prospective MTSU students and visitors find tours, admissions and records in the Student Services and Admissions Center and MT One Stop. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

A spacious first-floor lobby area will help prospective MTSU students and visitors find tours, admissions and records in the Student Services and Admissions Center and MT One Stop. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

Laurie Witherow, associate vice provost for admissions and enrollment services, said administrators and staff are excited about the opening of the building, which features the first floor being for prospective students and families and the second floor — a one-stop shop called MT One Stop — that will help meet a full array of students’ enrollment management needs.

“The lobby area on the first floor is grand,” Witherow said. “It’s where they will begin their exploration of campus.”

Dr. Laurie Witherow

Dr. Laurie Witherow

A video wall “will highlight all of the exciting sights folks will see when they tour campus,” Witherow said. “Our new tour room will give us a great place to prepare groups for what they are about to see of the campus. Look up from the lobby and you see what we’re all about: ‘True Blue!’”

The Student Services and Admissions Center and MT One Stop are immediately adjacent to the visitor’s parking lot, a first for MTSU.

“Though it seems like a small thing, it will be a great improvement in the experience for our guests,” Witherow said.

Witherow said the design of the building and concept behind the MT One Stop has been totally about student centeredness “in order to make the administrative process of being enrolled at MTSU easier, more convenient and barrier-free.”

MT One Stop logo-horizCurrent MTSU students should go directly to the MT One Stop front desk to get their questions answered, said Crickett Pimentel, MT One Stop director.

“It will be a new experience for students to come to one place instead of going to several different offices,” Pimentel said.

Witherow said student concerns regarding financial aid, scholarships, records and scheduling, bills, transcripts, holds and much more will be handled at the MT One Stop.

The second-floor MT One Stop front desk area will greet current MTSU students needing assistance with enrollment management needs.

The second-floor MT One Stop front desk area will greet current MTSU students needing assistance with enrollment management needs.

“Students will be served efficiently and holistically without having to visit multiple offices,” she said. “The redesign of service delivery creates efficiencies not only for the students, but also for the individual offices as they can devote their full attention to the behind-the-scenes processes while the direct service to students is handled at the MT One Stop.”

Each student will have an enrollment counselor assigned upon admission to the university, Witherow added, “and if their concern is too complicated or requires a more confidential environment than our front desk affords, they can meet privately in their enrollment counselor’s office about any concern.”

Beginning Monday, March 17, when MTSU students return from spring break, the MT One Stop will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday.

Witherow said the university anticipates the need to extend hours further at the beginning of each term and include some Saturday hours.

Tuck-Hinton Architects designed the facility, which was built by Messer Construction.

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

The new $16 million Student Services and Admission Center and MT One Stop opened Monday, March 10, on the MTSU campus across from the Student Union. The approximately 58,000-square-foot facility will bring admissions, financial aid, scheduling, course registration, enrollment and business office functions together under one roof. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

The new $16 million Student Services and Admission Center and MT One Stop opened Monday, March 10, on the MTSU campus across from the Student Union. The approximately 58,000-square-foot facility will bring admissions, financial aid, scheduling, course registration, enrollment and business office functions together under one roof. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

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