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Walker Library exhibit showcases memories of Welty’s life, work

Dr. J. Lee Owen reminisced about his passion for searching for and collecting vintage books, especially first edition print copies by southern author Eudora Welty from his hometown of Jackson, Mississippi.

Michael Kreyling, professor emeritus of English at Vanderbilt University, squeezed decades of research and insight regarding Welty, who wrote about the American South, especially her native Mississippi, into a captivating 40-minute talk.

With images of the southern author in the background, Vanderbilt University Professor Emeritus Michael Kreyling shares stories about Eudora Welty. (MTSU photos by James Cessna)

With images of the southern author in the background, Vanderbilt University Professor Emeritus Michael Kreyling shares stories about Eudora Welty. (MTSU photos by James Cessna)

Owen, Kreyling and others spoke on the occasion of the opening of the “Eudora Welty: Her Life and Legacy” exhibit that will continue through Thursday, May 4, in Special Collections, Room 444, in and the James E. Walker Library.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. To find the library and nearby parking, visit http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap. To learn about visitor parking regulations, including free parking in the Rutherford lots, purchasing a one-day parking permit and more, visit http://www.mtsu.edu/parking/visitors.php.

Owen and his wife, Sophia, who live in Murfreesboro, knew Welty, who died in 2001. J. Lee Owen, a pediatrician in Jackson for 50 years, became charmed with her works.

“Miss Welty was a wonderful and gifted Mississippi lady,” Owen said. “… She got everything (award-wise) except one thing — a Nobel Prize — and she should’ve gotten that.”

He shared a story of attending a used book sale and finding a signed, first edition Welty book. The price marked was $2.

“I thought I’d found a pot of gold,” said Owen, knowing the true value of the book. He quickly grabbed some cookbooks for his wife, and in the final exchange needed one more item to finish the $13.75 transaction he paid with in cash. “I bought a $3,500 book for $2 and a (25-cent) doughnut.”

Vanderbilt University Professor Emeritus Michael Kreyling, left, discusses various photographs of author Eudora Welty with MTSU Honors College associate dean Philip Phillips and Walker Library Dean Bonnie Allen. (MTSU photo by James Cessna)

Vanderbilt University Professor Emeritus Michael Kreyling, left, discusses various photographs of author Eudora Welty with MTSU Honors College associate dean Philip Phillips and James E. Walker Library Dean Bonnie Allen during the opening of the exhibit.

After being introduced by Honors College associate dean Philip Phillips, Kreyling told the audience, “I wish I could’ve found that book.” Owen’s quick response: “Everything has a price.” It generated laughter from attendees.

Kreyling, who met Welty for the first time in 1973, retraced the author’s career through research-based stories and online images from the 1930s forward.

“She was just like a (regular) person more than a (famous) author,” he said.

Walker Library Dean Bonnie Allen said she is just thrilled the collection was made available for 30 days.

“I hope our students take advantage of this excellent opportunity,” she said. “It’s a valuable collection of a southern author and a great one at that.”

Phillips recognized the efforts of his research assistant, Megan Donelson, a doctoral English student from Wooster, Ohio, who was co-curator with him, and Susan Lyons, who befriended the Owens and learned about the Welty collection.

Laura Owen of Nashville and Margaret Showalter of Murfreesboro, two of the Owens’ four children, attended the opening event.

The exhibit is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts, Department of English, Honors College and Walker Library.

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

Dr. J. Lee Owen, right, who has a collection of southern author Eudora Welty’s works, shares stories with MTSU Honors College students Hannah Berthelson, left, and Benjamin Koulas. The Welty collection continues through May 4 in Special Collections in the James E. Walker Library.

Dr. J. Lee Owen, right, who has a collection of southern author Eudora Welty’s works, shares stories with MTSU Honors College students Hannah Berthelson, left, and Benjamin Koulas. The Welty collection continues through May 4 in Special Collections in the James E. Walker Library.

The “Eudora Welty: Her Life and Legacy” exhibit will continue through May 4 in the James E. Walker Library. Attending the opening event April 4 were Michael Kreyling, professor emeritus of English at Vanderbilt University; co-curator and MTSU doctoral English student Megan Donelson; collection owner Dr. J. Lee Owen; and Honors College associate dean Philip Phillips, an exhibit co-curator.

The “Eudora Welty: Her Life and Legacy” exhibit will continue through May 4 in the James E. Walker Library. Attending the opening event April 4 were Michael Kreyling, professor emeritus of English at Vanderbilt University; co-curator and MTSU doctoral English student Megan Donelson; collection owner Dr. J. Lee Owen; and Honors College associate dean Philip Phillips, an exhibit co-curator.


Eudora Welty collection visits Walker Library through May 4

From a friendship with physician J. Lee Owen and his wife, Sophia, MTSU’s Susan Lyons learned about the Owens’ collection of celebrated author Eudora Welty’s works. Now the Owens have brought the collection to campus for a free, public 30-day exhibit.

“Eudora Welty: Her Life and Legacy,” a special exhibition of rare materials from J. Lee Owen’s Welty collection, will be on display from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday through May 4 in Special Collections, Room 444, in the James E. Walker Library.

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To find the library and nearby parking, visit http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap. Off-campus visitors can obtain a special one-day permit www.mtsu.edu/parking/visitors.php.

Welty, a short story writer and novelist who lived her entire life (1909-2001) in Jackson, Mississippi, wrote about the American South. Her works included “The Optimist’s Daughter,” which was published in 1972 and earned a Pulitzer Prize in 1973.

After college, Welty worked in radio, wrote society columns for the Memphis Commercial Appeal and took photographs as a junior publicity agent for the Works Progress Administration. The photos were exhibited in New York but weren’t published, at her request.

Her first publication of many was a short story, “Death of a Traveling Salesman.”

An opening event held April 4 featured presentations by Owen and Michael Kreyling, professor emeritus of English at Vanderbilt University and an authority on Welty’s life and works.

“Eudora Welty is recognized as one of the great Southern authors and one of the most significant writers of the 20th century,” said University Honors College associate dean Philip Phillips.

He recently went to Jackson with co-curator Megan Donelson, a doctoral English student from Wooster, Ohio, and Lyons, the Honors College’s special events coordinator, to visit the archives, secure photographs and gain additional background for the MTSU exhibit.

“She is best known for her short stories and her novels, including ‘The Optimist’s Daughter,’ a semi-autobiographical work,” he added.

Phillips said the MTSU exhibit “aims to showcase the variety of other work, which also includes original photographs and provides an overview of her life and influences.”

“It’s a really impressive collection that expresses Welty not just as a great writer, but that she had deep, loyal friendships and a great sense of humor,” said Donelson, who has studied museum exhibit design as an MTSU graduate student.

Lyons has known the Owens for two years, meeting them through a monthly technology program Honors College students attend.

“Dr. Owen shared with me about his Eudora Welty collection and introduced me to her stories,” Lyons said. “I knew the collection was special, so I shared about it with Drs. Phillips and (John) Vile.” She eventually introduced Owen to Phillips and Vile, dean of the Honors College.

Lee Owen was a pediatrician in Jackson, Mississippi, for 50 years before he and his wife moved to Murfreesboro.

The exhibit is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts, Department of English, Honors College and Walker Library in partnership with Eudora Welty LLC and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

For information about Special Collections, contact Alan Boehm, Special Collections librarian, at 615-904-8501 or Alan.Boehm@mtsu.edu.

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

Sophia and Dr. J. Lee Owen are shown in their Murfreesboro home. A special exhibition of rare materials from the Eudora Welty collection of J. Lee Owen will be at MTSU from April 4 to May 4. (MTSU photo by

Sophia and Dr. J. Lee Owen are shown in their Murfreesboro home. A special exhibition of rare materials from Lee Owen’s Eudora Welty collection will be at MTSU from April 4 to May 4. (MTSU photo by Susan Lyons)

Alumnus discusses finding true African ‘gold’ on ‘MTSU On the Record’

An MTSU alumnus who went to Africa to treat illnesses and managed to find gold will be the guest on the next “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Adam Shulman will air from 6 to 6:30 a.m. Sunday, April 23, on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and www.wmot.org.

Adam Shulman

Adam Shulman

Shulman’s debut solo photography exhibition, “The Gold of Africa,” is on display through May 6 at Tinney Contemporary Art Gallery, 237 5th Ave. N. in Nashville.

The self-taught photographer took the pictures while working as a medical physicist in Senegal, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Ghana and Qatar. He spent over a year shooting and editing the photos, which consist of 19 images and five behind-the-scenes videos showing Shulman and the models in action.

WMOT-new web logoThe dynamic images of black men and women decorated with gold on their bodies create a startling contrast as Shulman attempts to convey that the “gold” in Africa is not in a precious metal, but in the hearts and souls of its people.

“The gold substance applied to the models’ bodies was actually just … potting clay,” said Shulman, a Nashville native.

“I would mix it with water, get it into a wet sort of mud, put it on the models’ bodies and then I would use a hair dryer to dry it. As it dried, it sort of hardened and cracked and got the look that it has.”

A product of the University Honors College, Shulman graduated summa cum laude from MTSU with a bachelor’s degree in physics in 2007. He earned his master’s degree in medical physics from Vanderbilt University in 2009.

You can learn more about his work and see some of his “Gold of Africa” photos 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.

Alumnus/humanitarian exhibits ‘The Gold of Africa’ at Tinney Gallery

An MTSU alumnus who’s spent much of his life mining “The Gold of Africa” is putting some of it on display through May 6 at a Nashville gallery

Adam Shulman’s first solo photography exhibition, “The Gold of Africa,” will be on view at Tinney Contemporary Art Gallery, 237 5th Ave. N. in Nashville.

“Transcendence,” a photo by MTSU alumnus Adam Shulman featuring model Ernesto Araujo, is part of “The Gold of Africa,” a photo exhibition April 1 to May 6 at the Tinney Contemporary Art Gallery in Nashville.

“Transcendence,” a photo by MTSU alumnus Adam Shulman featuring model Ernesto Araujo, is part of “The Gold of Africa,” a photo exhibition April 1 to May 6 at the Tinney Contemporary Art Gallery in Nashville.

Shulman, a self-taught photographer, took the pictures while working as a medical physicist in Senegal, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Ghana and Qatar. “The Gold of Africa” is a result of two divergent careers melded into a creative process.

“The mass of an entire continent lies behind their eyes or under the contours of each muscle or shadow,” Shulman said of his models, who hail from Senegal, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Adam Shulman

Adam Shulman

Shulman spent more than a year shooting and editing the series, which consists of 19 images and five behind-the-scenes videos showing Shulman and the models in action.

He used a Mamiya RZ67 manual camera and 6-by-7-cm film, which he said he felt would result in larger, crisper images.

The dynamic images of black men and women using gold to adorn their bodies create a startling contrast as Shulman attempts to convey that the “gold” in Africa is not in a precious metal, but in the hearts and souls of its people.

Shulman, a Nashville native, has worked for more than seven years in medical philanthropy throughout Africa. He is the senior medical physicist at the National Center for Cancer Care and Research in Doha, Qatar, and a project director and trustee for Radiating Hope, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving radiation oncology around the world.

He also has advised leading cancer centers on African projects, including the Dana Farber Cancer Center and Massachusetts General Hospital, both in Boston, Massachusetts, and the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas.

A product of the University Honors College, Shulman graduated summa cum laude from MTSU with a bachelor’s degree in physics in 2007.

He was runner-up for the MTSU Provost’s Award, which is awarded annually to the student who best demonstrates outstanding academic achievement through involvement in scholarly activities. He earned his master’s degree in medical physics from Vanderbilt University in 2009.

Tinney Contemporary Art Gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, call 615-255-7816 or go to www.tinneycontemporary.com.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

This photo by MTSU alumnus Adam Shulman, “Serenity,” features model Milen Kifle and is part of “The Gold of Africa,” a photo exhibition April 1 to May 6 at the Tinney Contemporary Art Gallery in Nashville.

This photo by MTSU alumnus Adam Shulman, “Serenity,” features model Milen Kifle and is part of “The Gold of Africa,” a photo exhibition April 1 to May 6 at the Tinney Contemporary Art Gallery in Nashville.

TBI chief, area executives offer ‘True Blue’ leadership tips at event

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation director stressed leadership qualities — but not on-the-job stress in solving crimes — in a talk with MTSU students, faculty and staff at the Omicron Delta Kappa True Blue Leadership Day Friday, April 7.

MTSU alumnus Mark Gwyn discussed culture, the climate of the country following racially charged incidents in Missouri, Maryland and Louisiana, job prospects and how, in his opinion, TBI stands for “truth, bravery and integrity” as well as the name of the agency he has served for 13 years.

TBI Director Mark Gwyn, left, spends one-on-one time with Ethan Fesler, a junior criminal justice major from Lebanon, Tenn., April 7 at the ODK True Blue Leadership Day in the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building. (MTSU photo by Marsha Powers)

TBI Director Mark Gwyn, left, talks with Ethan Fesler, a junior criminal justice major from Lebanon, Tenn., April 7 at the ODK True Blue Leadership Day in the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building. (MTSU photo by Marsha Powers)

The daylong annual event, held in the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building, brings noted practitioners from a variety of professions to share their leadership experiences with MTSU students and faculty.

In addition to Gwyn, other speakers included:

  • Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Jeff Bivins, who discussed “Civility and Humility in Public Service: Are They Dying Characteristics?”
  • Lindy Boots, human resources manager with Becton, Dickinson and Co., who spoke on the topic “What an HR Manager Wants You to Know About Interviewing.”
  • Dusty Doddridge, assistant director with the MTSU Career Development Center, who shared how to write a professional resume.
  • Chris Ediger, leadership consultant and senior associate with GiANT Worldwide, and founder of Go International, whose talk focused on “Why ‘Smarter’ Isn’t Always Better: The True Competitive Advantage That Will Set You Apart when Competing for a Job.”

The ODK True Blue Leadership Day highlights the core values of the “True Blue Pledge” by educating participants about multiple aspects of leadership. ODK is a national honor society that emphasizes both academics and leadership.

MTSU alumnus and TBI Director Mark Gwyn talks about culture and careers in law enforcement April 7 during his session on “Leadership and Law Enforcement” during ODK True Blue Leadership Day. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

TBI Director Mark Gwyn, an MTSU alumnus, discusses law enforcement culture and careers during his session on “Leadership and Law Enforcement” at the April 7 ODK True Blue Leadership Day. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

“Truth, bravery and integrity is a lot more important than saying ‘I’m a TBI agent,’” said Gwyn, who is in his third six-year appointment as director and also serves as president of the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies board of directors.

“My commitment to leadership is so important,” he added. “You must have ongoing leadership training in whatever position you hold.”

He later explained that leadership also involves an officer becoming “the best agent I can be in law enforcement.”

Senior Lindsay Ruhter of La Vergne, Tennessee, one of a number of criminal justice majors attending Gwyn’s session and a Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department employee for about a year, said she “really liked the fact he believed in servant leadership and that’s what he enforces.”

Junior criminal justice major Zach Espino of Big Sandy, Tennessee, said Gwyn’s talk provided “good advice — something to live by. I like what he said about culture. It is at an individual level, not the agency.”

Gwyn fielded questions from the audience about careers in the TBI and one regarding the recent nationwide Amber Alert involving a teenager from Columbia, Tennessee.

“When people come to the TBI, they stay,” he said, citing the agency’s 1.85 percent turnover rate. His recommendation: apply and first work in local law enforcement, get an entry-level TBI position or serve as a TBI intern.

Marion Gwyn, a specialist in MTSU’s Information Technology Division and sister-in-law of Mark Gwyn, was among the audience members.

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

Blackman Collegiate Academy explores MTSU science options

Blackman Collegiate Academy juniors sampled science at MTSU and the University Honors College during a March 24 visit to campus.

Geosciences, biology, physics and astronomy, Concrete Industry Management and the university’s Experimental Vehicles Program were areas the Blackman High School students discovered in the school’s second visit to MTSU this year.

MTSU biology chair Lynn Boyd addresses research and career opportunities in her field March 24 in the new Science Building during the Blackman Collegiate Academy Day at MTSU. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

MTSU biology chair Lynn Boyd addresses research and career opportunities in her field March 24 in the Science Building during the Blackman Collegiate Academy Day at MTSU. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

The MTSU-Blackman partnership is one of several arranged each semester during the academic year. It allows freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors opportunities to spend time on the college campus, meeting MTSU students, faculty and administrators and learning about many of the university’s 140-plus programs.

As part of the partnership, which is designed to give them a competitive edge as they prepare for college, juniors and seniors in the academy who meet eligibility standards can take up to six hours of university courses taught by MTSU instructors at Blackman at no cost. The credits will count on high school and college transcripts.

Diamond Bradley, 17, was one of nearly 10 students taking in a 45-minute session on concrete. They even made concrete coasters.

“This has been a good experience,” Bradley said at the conclusion of the session. “I had trouble with mine, but I enjoyed the process. There’s a lot to learn off simple concrete. There’s a lot to the process.”

Classmate Gabrielle Brown, 16, liked the fact “a lot of job opportunities” can be found in the concrete industry.

Blackman High School junior Gabriele Brown makes a concrete coaster during a session led by Concrete Industry Management's Nicole Green as part of the March 24 Blackman Collegiate Academy Day at MTSU.

Blackman High School junior Gabriele Brown makes a concrete coaster during a session led by Concrete Industry Management’s Nicole Green as part of the March 24 Blackman Collegiate Academy Day at MTSU.

Zach Rachidi, 16, was with a group in Wiser-Patten Science Hall witnessing “cool” things happening in physics, led by Department of Physics and Astronomy chair Ron Henderson.

“Actually it was pretty cool and entertaining (demonstrations by Henderson), but it is not something I want to do,” said Rachidi, who expressed a strong interest in being a pilot and following an aerospace path.

Rachidi said he “learned a lot about the Honors College — the GPA requirements and the (Honors) opportunities at MTSU.”

Henderson, concrete’s Heather Brown and Nicole Green, biology chair Lynn Boyd, geosciences chair Warner Cribb and engineering technology chair Walter Boles discussed careers in their respective fields. In addition to Wiser-Patten, sessions were the new Science Building, Davis Science Building, Voorhies Engineering Technology Building

Dean John Vile and event coordinator Susan Lyons provided a complete rundown of Honors College options and requirements as they toured the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building.

Concluding their visit, Blackman students heard about “a typical day in the life of a college student” from MTSU Student Ambassadors in the Student Union Building.

After arriving on campus earlier in the day at the Student Services and Admissions Center/MT One Stop, Blackman students received True Blue Bags and heard about the admissions process from Linda Olsen, director of undergraduate recruitment, and recruiter Joey Clark.

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

MTSU Department of Physics and Astronomy chair Ron Henderson explains how various heat and water processes will create steam and eventually cause the sides of aluminum can to cave in March 24 to Blackman Collegiate Academy students visiting MTSU.

MTSU Department of Physics and Astronomy chair Ron Henderson explains and then shows Blackman Collegiate Academy students how various heat and water processes create steam and eventually cause the sides of aluminum can to cave in March 24 at MTSU.

 

Noted immigration attorney to give March 15 guest lecture at MTSU

Noted Nashville immigration law specialist Elliott Ozment will speak on the “History of Xenophobia in America” at MTSU.

Ozment’s talk will start at 2:20 p.m. Wednesday, March 15, in the Simmons Amphitheatre (Room 106) of the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building. The talk is open to the public.

Elliott Ozment

Elliott Ozment

All visitors are requested to use parking meters or obtain a permit from the Parking and Transportation Services office at 1403 E. Main St. or purchase and print a visitor pass at https://mtsu.t2hosted.com.

Ozment’s visit is presented by the MTSU Department of Political Science and University Honors College, which often invites guest speakers to share expertise — often about timely topics.

Xenophobia, Ozment’s topic, relates to the fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners.

An alumnus of MTSU for his undergraduate degree in political science and Vanderbilt University for his law degree, Ozment has focused his practice in immigration law since 1998.

Ozment has provided initial consultations to more than 1,000 individuals and families and represented hundreds of clients in Immigration and Naturalization Services cases in Tennessee and around the country.

He has earned a number of awards and is a former member of the Tennessee House of Representatives.

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

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ICYMI: Still time to register for accelerated Spanish course

MTSU is again offering a breakthrough learning experience during spring break with its accelerated language program that will get participants excited and confident about speaking Spanish.

Registration is open for the five-day program, which will run from 6 to 9 p.m. March 6-10 at the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building.

The course is offered by the Center for Accelerated Language Acquisition at MTSU. CALA Spanish instructor Brian Roberts said that the course structure is based on brain research to give learners a special interactive experience that results in accelerated knowledge of the language.

Click the image to see class offerings and to register for the 2016 Summer Language Institute.

Click the image to see class offerings and to register for the upcoming five-day accelerated Spanish class.

“The course aims to develop conversational abilities in a fun, low-stress classroom, and you will use movement, songs, games and stories to acquire the language naturally,” Roberts said.

“CALA courses develop participants’ abilities in some of the most commonly used communicative tools. At the end of the course, participants are able to recognize the rhythm of the language and are capable of producing enough language to compose basic communicative needs in Spanish.”

One student who took the course last semester shared this feedback with course organizers: “What I liked most was the laughter and high energy through storytelling. Everyone seemed to build off each other, and we were all excited about learning, which got me excited.”

Discounts are available for MTSU students, alumni, faculty and staff. To register or for more information, including course fees, visit www.mtsu.edu/cala or contact Roberts at brian.roberts@mtsu.edu.

— Faith Few, student writer (news@mtsu.edu)

Opportunities, ‘sense of community’ draw students to Honors open house

One student flew from Colorado, most of the high school students came from Tennessee, and the rest came from surrounding states in the South and Midwest.

With sunny, mid-70 degree weather prevailing outdoors for Presidents’ Day when most were out of school for the holiday, more than 700 people attended the MTSU Honors College open house Monday, Feb. 20.

Honors College Dean John Vile, right, greets prospective MTSU student Cameron Almonrode, who has questions about the program. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

Honors College Dean John Vile, right, greets prospective MTSU student Cameron Almonrode, who has questions about the program. (MTSU photos by Andy Heidt)

MTSU’s University Honors College fosters the academic excellence and nurturing environment of a small, select, private liberal arts college within the setting of a major university. It also provides expert faculty, unique curricular and extracurricular experiences and “Collage,” an award-winning arts and literary magazine.

Attending a mock trial demonstration by MTSU students for the roomful of visitors and their parents, Cate Farone “loved the courtroom atmosphere. If I come here, I’m definitely going to be on the mock trial team.”

Farone, 18, of Murfreesboro, is a Father Ryan High School senior. This marked her “first official college visit,” though her parents, researchers and faculty members Tony and Mary Farone, each have worked more than 20 years on campus.

Cate Farone is one of the newest recipients of a Buchanan scholarship from the Honors College, the top award an MTSU undergraduate student can receive.

“Coming today, I definitely want to come here,” added Farone, who had an opportunity to talk with Student Government Association vice president Connor McDonald, a senior majoring in political science, the field she wants to pursue. “He was very interesting and helpful. I want to be a lawyer, and he told me about the law school process.”

Visiting MTSU with her mother, Zeinab Ali, Antioch High School senior Sunaya Ali of Nashville said she “didn’t know what the Honors College had to offer and details regarding the thesis. The 18-year-old is still deciding on a major; an older brother, Ayuub Ali, is a junior majoring in business in the Jennings A. Jones College of Business.

Making his first visit to campus, Juan Escobar, 17, another Antioch High senior from Nashville, has received a Provost Scholarship, but said he’s “looking at a couple of options with other schools.”

Honors College logo“I met a friend (Natenael Belete) who used to go to my high school,” added Escobar. “He told me some good things about the university. The Honors College has smaller classrooms, giving you a sense of community.”

Farone said she liked the university’s diversity, adding that she’s glad to see “different backgrounds and parts of the country and the world coming together at MTSU.”

Honors College Dean John Vile was more than pleased with the turnout.

“The Student Union ballroom was filled,” he said. “It’s been a great day.”

The university Admissions Office joined the Honors College in hosting the event. All of the university’s colleges, MTSU Housing and Residential Life and the MTSU Parent and Family Association shared information with the visitors.

The visit included tours of the James E. Walker Library; the Department of Aerospace’s air traffic control simulator; and the Department of Recording Industry, Center for Innovation in Media, Department of Electronic Media Communication Mobile Production Lab and more in the College of Media and Entertainment. The prospective students also observed “mad science” physics experiments and mock trial demonstration and had the option to hear the afternoon spring Honors Lecture Series talk by Keel Hunt of The Strategy Group, who brought “Political Speech: How Candidates Win and Leaders Lead” to the classroom.

More than 200 people attended a separate Celebration of Scholars event Feb. 19 at the home of MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee and his wife, Liz.

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

MTSU physics and astronomy professor Eric Klumpe demonstrates a straight line wave to Honors College Presidents' Day Open House visitors during the the fun with physics "mad science" demonstration in the Student Union Parliamentary Room Feb. 20.

MTSU physics and astronomy professor Eric Klumpe demonstrates a straight line wave to Honors College Presidents’ Day Open House visitors during a “Fun with Physics: Mad Science” demonstration in the Student Union Parliamentary Room Feb. 20.

Click on the poster to see the full schedule of 2017 open house events.

Click on the poster to see the full schedule of 2017 open house events.

Honors lectures on ‘rhetoric in contemporary culture’ open to the public

The general public is once again welcome to join an MTSU Honors College class for the spring 2017 Honors Lecture Series each week for topics on “Rhetoric in Contemporary Culture.”

Honors Lecture Series poster

Click on the poster to see a larger PDF version.

The series continues at 3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20, when MTSU alumnus Keel Hunt, a public affairs consultant, author and former journalist, will discuss “Political Speech: How Candidates Win and Leaders Lead.”

Honors College logoThe spring lecture series takes place from 3 to 3:55 p.m. every Monday with the exception of March 6, when MTSU students and faculty will begin spring break.

The lecture series ends April 10.

MTSU’s Honors Lecture Series, which is always free and open to the public, has been a staple in the fall and spring semesters for two decades. It features focused topics and presenters from multiple disciplines on and off campus and is a required course for upper-division Honors College students.

Lectures are held in the Simmons Amphitheatre, Room 106, in the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building. A searchable campus map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap. Off-campus visitors attending the lectures can obtain a special one-day parking permit at www.mtsu.edu/parking/visit.php.

Dr. Kaylene Gebert

Dr. Kaylene Gebert

Politics, social issues, climate change are among the upcoming lectures. To view the full schedule, visit http://mtsu.edu/honors/lecture-series/2017-spring.php.

“Rhetoric in Contemporary Culture” explores arguments that people use for various contemporary — and often controversial — topics, said Dr. Kaylene Gebert, an Honors College faculty member and a former university provost.

“While rhetoric is an ancient art, rhetoric or persuasion is clearly evident in our daily world, including a newer form: social media,” said Gebert, who collaborated with Associate Honors Dean Philip Phillips to develop the theme and to schedule presenters.

“The series provides a diverse, yet powerful, set of exemplars, pictures, arguments and studies that pervade our culture and attempt to persuade us,” Gebert said. “The goal of the series is to promote informed reflection and constructive dialogue on rhetoric and the pervasive role it plays in how we perceive the world around us.”

For more information about the Honors Lecture Series or MTSU’s University Honors College, call 615-898-2152.

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

Feb. 20 Honors open house targets high-ability prospective students

Most public and private secondary schools are closed for the Presidents’ Day Holiday. MTSU happens to be open.

That’s why the University Honors College and the Office of Admissions host public, private and homeschool students for the annual Presidents’ Day Open House.

John Vile, standing right, the Honors College dean, visits with incoming Buchanan Fellows and their families during the Honors College Presidents' Day Open House in this February 2016 file photo. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

John Vile, standing right, the Honors College dean, visits with incoming Buchanan Fellows and their families during the Honors College Presidents’ Day Open House in this February 2016 file photo. (MTSU file photos by Andy Heidt)

More than 500 prospective students and their parents will be attending the open house from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20, all across the MTSU campus.

For more information about the open house, including the full schedule, visit http://www.mtsu.edu/honors/open-house.php. To register, visit http://www.mtsu.edu/schedule-a-visit/special-events.php. Parking is available in the Rutherford Lot (http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap), where visitors will be shuttled to campus.

The Honors College offers personalized teaching, smaller classes and a competitive edge in a more interactive learning environment for high-ability scholars. Take advantage of this opportunity to meet people who can answer questions and show you the campus and academic departments, including honors students, financial aid and scholarship staff and academic advisers.

“This has been one of our most popular events during the past few years,” said Honors College Dean John Vile.

Vile said the open house comes early enough for “high school sophomores and juniors to get an idea of MTSU before they begin applying for colleges and universities and late enough for seniors who are trying to decide which of the colleges or universities that have accepted them are the best fit.”

Honors College logoFor Vile, who is a political scientist and presidential historian, the open house provides the opportunity “to give my famous Presidents’ Day Quiz,” he added.

Optional events for attendees include a demonstration by the MTSU Mock Trial team, a “mad science” demonstration by physics and astronomy professor Eric Klumpe and tours of campus housing, recording industry, the Center for Innovation in Media, the Mobile Production Lab, Walker Library and aerospace’s air traffic control lab.

Attendees also are welcome to take in the 3 p.m. Honors Lecture Series led by Nashville’s Keel Hunt with The Strategy Group.

For more information, call 615-898-2152.

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

Dr. Eric Klumpe performs a physics demonstration for an audience attending the Honors College Presidents’ Day Open House in this February 2016 file photo.

Dr. Eric Klumpe performs a physics demonstration for an audience attending the Honors College Presidents’ Day Open House in this February 2016 file photo.

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