Women of character, courage to be celebrated at MTSU April 26

MTSU is putting the wraps on its National Women’s History Month celebration by acknowledging area residents who stand up for women’s rights.

The inaugural Women of Character, Courage and Commitment Gala is slated for 6 p.m. Saturday, April 26, in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building.

Women and men in the MTSU community, Murfreesboro and Rutherford County who have been advocates for women’s rights will be honored.

Award categories and nominees are as follows:

  • STEM Award, for outstanding service to women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math: MTSU’s Dr. Judith Iriarte-Gross and Dr. Pat Patterson.
  • Community Advocate, for outstanding advocacy of women in a local setting: Rosland Grigsby-Rhyne, retired MTSU professor Ayne Cantrell, Robbie Snapp, Judge Rachel L. Bell and Tammy Bryant.
  • Passionate Educator Award, for outstanding advocacy of women by an education professional: Gloria Scales Johnson, Christina Cobb and MTSU’s Dr. Meredith Anne Higgs.
  • Collegiate Trailblazer Award, for an MTSU student who has been an exceptional contributor to women’s issues and advocate for women on the MTSU campus: Verinique DiVionne Bailey and Brianee Knight.

Dr. Judith Iriarte-Gross

Dr. Pat Patterson

Dr. Ayne Cantrell

Dr. Meredith Higgs









Tickets may be purchased at the University Ticket Office at Gate 1A of Johnny “Red” Floyd Stadium until Saturday, April 19.

Admission is $20 for the public and $10 for students. This event is sponsored by the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students.

For more information, contact Valerie Avent, assistant director of the center, at 615-898-5725 or valerie.avent@mtsu.edu.

Gina K. Logue (Gina.Logue@mtsu.edu)

MTSU art major puts his creativity on NHL goalie’s mask

Although Scott Sulfridge’s favorite team failed to make the Stanley Cup playoffs, he has more reason than most fans to be excited.

The MTSU senior’s favorite sport gave his budding art career a boost when Nashville Predators fans picked his creation as the winner of this season’s “Design the Mask” contest.

MTSU student Scott Sulfridge, left, poses with Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne after the Preds’ victory over the Washington Capitals March 30 at Bridgestone Arena. Sulfridge designed the artwork for the mask Rinne wore in pre-game warmups. (Photos courtesy of Scott Sulfridge)

“The design was purely based on the new jerseys that Nashville acquired a couple of years ago,” said Sulfridge.

The mask mimics those jerseys’ vibrant gold color. Sulfridge emblazoned a guitar neck and strings across the top of the mask and piano keys around the bottom edge to symbolize Nashville’s music industry as well as the city skyline.

The guitar pick on the mask includes the three stars from the Tennessee state flag.

Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne wore the mask during the morning skate and warm-up practice prior to the Preds’ thrilling 4-3 March 30 overtime victory over the Washington Capitals on home ice at Bridgestone Arena.

Sulfridge attended the game with three guests and went to the Predators’ locker room after the game to meet Rinne and get autographs. He also attended a closed-door morning team skate practice.

The art major’s love of hockey began with his father, a Buffalo Sabres fan, who took the younger Sulfridge to see the Nashville Knights, a minor league team that played before the National Hockey League located a franchise in the Music City.

“My uncle deepened my appreciation of hockey, too, as the 97-98 season started,” said Sulfridge. “What’s funny about that is he’s not even American or Canadian. He’s from Australia!”

The jumbotron at Bridgestone Arena displays MTSU student Scott Sulfridge’s winning design submitted for the Nashville Predators’ “Design the Mask” contest.

Fans submitted designs for the mask through the Internet, an app or in person at AT&T stores in January. Predators officials chose the three finalists from more than 150 entries, and the finalists were put to a fan vote via the Web.

Sulfridge’s winning design was forwarded to NHL headquarters for approval and then to Dave Gunnarsson, a Swedish artist who has been painting goalie masks for more than 20 years.

Planning to graduate with a bachelor’s degree of fine arts this December, Sulfridge credits associate professor Michael Baggarly with helping to make him a better artist.

“He’s always pushed me to do my hardest work, even when I thought I had done my hardest work,” Sulfridge said.

In the meantime, Sulfridge and his partner, James Mangrum, are creating a different type of mask through their fledgling business, Uncanny Valley Productions.

“We’re hoping to branch out into a little more diverse and complex forms of mask making, but right now we do vacuum-form styrene plastic masks,” Sulfridge said. “And we specialize in vintage and retro-style monsters like vampires, mummies, things like that.”

Sulfridge’s favorite mask, however, is one he did not make from scratch. It’s the one that bears his design and Rinne’s autograph. It’s a mask he’ll keep for the rest of his life.

Gina K. Logue (Gina.Logue@mtsu.edu)

This photo shows a close-up of the 33rmask designed by MTSU student Scott Sulfridge and worn by Nashville Predators’ goalie Pekka Rinne.

This photo shows a close-up of the mask designed by MTSU student Scott Sulfridge and worn by Nashville Predators’ goalie Pekka Rinne.

MTSU professor to share expertise on Russia at Washington think tank

An MTSU expert on Russia will take part in a renowned research institute’s exploration of educational issues in the country.

Dr. Andrei Korobkov, a professor of political science, will be a panelist for “Innovation, Brain Drain and the Politics of Russian Higher Education Reform” Wednesday, April 23, at the prestigious Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Andrei Korobkov

The topic arises from concerns about the domestic and international challenges facing Russian universities.

“Russian higher education has done more to integrate western norms and standards than virtually any other national institution,” information on the event’s webpage at www.wilsoncenter.org notes.

“Yet Russia’s universities and research institutes continue to face economic and political headwinds that raise questions about their ability to compete in a global marketplace.”

Korobkov is a former short-term research scholar with the institute. He worked on a project titled “Migration Aspects of the Post-Soviet Transition” from Oct. 1 to Nov. 1, 2007.

The project focused on how residents of the former Soviet Union moved among the former republics after the USSR’s collapse in 1991, one of Korobkov’s research specialties.

Korobkov is a faculty adviser for MTSU’s Russian studies minor. He teaches courses in the former Soviet Union, international law, eastern European politics, world politics and American foreign policy.

He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Moscow State University and his doctorate in economics from the Institute of Economics of the World Socialist System, USSR Academy of Sciences. Korobkov‘s doctorate in political science is from the University of Alabama.

For more information about the conference, visit www.wilsoncenter.org .

Gina K. Logue (Gina.Logue@mtsu.edu)

Graduating MTSU seniors invited to Alumni Networking Night

MT alumni logo webMTSU seniors approaching graduation in about three weeks will join young alumni and university graduates of all ages for the next Alumni Relations Networking Night.

Career Development Center Assistant Director Dusty Doddridge will serve as guest speaker for the networking night, which will be held starting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 17, in the Kennon Sports Hall of Fame on campus.

Parking will be available in the Greenland Drive lot. A printable campus map can be found at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap13-14.

The event is free. Reservations are requested by either calling 615-898-2922 or email alumni@mtsu.edu. Everyone is welcome even if they do not RSVP, said Paul Wydra, an alumni relations assistant director.

Dusty Doddridge

Dusty Doddridge

Wydra said Doddridge will be speaking about developing the professional resume and interview skills, along with other topics related to finding a job in today’s work environment.

“Dusty will talk about resume writing, but a little bit of networking will be going on as well,” Wydra said. “It goes along with the Alumni Networking Night series and ties in with Senior Day, which was held Monday (April 14). We thought a lot of seniors would get a lot of it.”

Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages will be served.

Commencement ceremonies will be held Saturday, May 10, in Murphy Center. About 2,300 degree candidates will be earning their diplomas. This includes more than 1,900 undergraduate students and nearly 400 graduate students.

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

State recognizes MTSU for supporting EMT continuing ed course

Middle Tennessee State University has been recognized by the state of Tennessee’s Emergency Medical Services Board for its efforts to help train emergency medical personnel on new statewide licensure standards.

Randy White, instructor coordinator of the EMS program at MTSU, worked with MTSU’s University College to create online instructional videos to help emergency medical technicians currently classified as EMT-IV to make the transition to Advanced Emergency Medical Technician, or AEMT, status.

In this screenshot from a demonstration video, Randy White, instructor coordinator of the Emergency Medical Services program at MTSU, shows the proper technique for emergency medical technicians to use the Pharyngeal Tracheal Lumen (PTL) Airway device.

In this screenshot from a demonstration video, Randy White, instructor coordinator of the Emergency Medical Services program at MTSU, shows the proper technique for emergency medical technicians to use the Pharyngeal Tracheal Lumen (PTL) Airway device.

The state EMS Board, which oversees EMS standards across the state, presented MTSU and White with a proclamation recognizing the effort to help Tennessee’s EMTs comply with national standards.

Achieving “advanced” EMT status requires a technician to complete an eight-hour course divided into four hours of online work and four hours of practical lab and evaluation. The latter is where White’s videos, practice scenarios and compliance checklist come into play.

David Foster, marketing director of MTSU’s University College, filmed White demonstrating the proper skills in giving patients naloxone, a narcotic reversal drug, as well as nitrous oxide.

White also is shown in a video using the proper techniques for pediatric intraosseous infusion, an injection method used when traditional IV techniques are not possible.

“EMTs take the test and get a certificate for the online skills,” White said, “then they present it to an instructor coordinator for the state, who will review and then assess their practical lab skills.

“That’s the good part about the video. (EMTs) can go in and view what the skill looks like. Then they can practice the correct technique on their own. We made the videos so that they will know what to do and how to do it.”AEMT patch

White, who helped craft the transition curriculum for the state, said the eight-hour course is not mandatory, but those who don’t complete it cannot use the skills in the field and would receive a lower classification of EMT.

“The use of videos in continuing education training is extremely cost-effective in dollars and time while it allows the user to view it multiple times as they perfect their skills,” Foster said. “Randy is an excellent instructor, and this medium allows him to extend his reach far beyond the local area.”

The videos can been seen at www.youtube.com/mtsuanytime.

To sign up for the AEMT transition course, visit http://health.state.tn.us/ems/ and click on the “AEMT Transition” link at the top. For more information on the course, call 615-741-2213.

The EMS Board is part of the Tennessee Department of Health’s EMS Division, which oversees a statewide EMS system comprising thousands of paramedics and EMTs, who work for 210 ambulance services that operate 1,300 ambulances across Tennessee. More than a million patients are transported each year, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.

For more information about MTSU’s EMT training offerings, visit http://www.mtsu.edu/universitycollege/training/emt.php.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

U.S. diplomatic official to discuss Iraq, Afghanistan April 22

A top U.S. diplomatic official will offer his perspective on one of the world’s most volatile regions in an address at MTSU.

Jason Lewis-Berry will talk about “Conflict Prevention and Response after Iraq and Afghanistan” at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 22, in the Tom Jackson Building. A searchable campus map with parking details is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap13-14.

Lewis-Berry’s address, which is free and open to the public, marks the Senior Practitioner Inaugural Lecture in International Affairs.

Jason Lewis-Berry

A component of MTSU’s master’s degree program in international affairs, this initial offering in what will become a yearly lecture series is intended to provide greater insight into the complex issues facing the world and how key players deal with them.

The master’s degree program, which is offered by the MTSU Department of Political Science, will recruit future lecturers from international organizations, business corporations and governmental agencies.

Lewis-Berry has been director of overseas operations in the Department of State’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations since March 2008. He was an adviser to nonviolent civilian Syrian opposition groups in Turkey in 2013 and partnered with U.S. special operations forces to coordinate strategy against militant movements in central Africa from 2011 to 2012.

He served as chief of staff for the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team in 2010, managing the daily operations of a binational group working in support of the Afghan government.

Lewis-Berry also has led multinational civil-military planning and assessments in the field in Mexico, Bangladesh and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The U.S. State Department can deploy him to unstable environments worldwide on 48 hours’ notice.

A team member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Truman National Security Fellow, Lewis-Berry holds a master’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Oregon.

A free public reception will follow the address.

For more information, contact Dr. Moses Tesi at 615-898-5731 or moses.tesi@mtsu.edu or the MTSU Department of Political Science at 615-898-2708.

To learn more about MTSU’s international relations master’s degree, listen to an interview with Tesi on “MTSU On the Record” from 8 to 8:30 a.m. Sunday, April 20, on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org).

Gina K. Logue (Gina.Logue@mtsu.edu)

MTSU President McPhee holds town hall meeting (VIDEO)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee has set three town hall meetings on campus this month to provide students, faculty and staff an opportunity to discuss the ongoing Quest for Student Success initiative.

You can view a brief video of the first town hall meeting, held April 15  in the MTSU Student Union Parliamentary Room, below.



The other town hall meetings will be held in the Parliamentary Room of the MTSU Student Union from  9 to 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 16, and from 2 to 3 p.m. Thursday, April 17.

You can learn more about the first town hall meeting at http://mtsunews.com/first-student-success-town-hall-2014. For more information about the Quest for Student Success, visit www.mtsu.edu/studentsuccess.


‘Great Gatsby’ style dominates at MTSU Fashion Runway Show (VIDEO)

The MTSU Department of Human Sciences presented its annual Fashion Runway Show April 11 in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building.

The inspiration for the couture on display came from the metals, architecture and cars of the Great Depression, when the glamour of fashion was in stark contrast to the condition of the country.

Transportation in the “Great Gatsby” era was the prominent theme, a timely choice coming on the heels of the motion picture remake of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” winning the 2014 Academy Award for Best Costume Design.

You can watch video from this year’s fashion show below.



The students are working under the direction of Dr. Rick Cottle, an assistant professor in the Department of Human Sciences. For more information, contact Cottle at 615-494-8752 or rick.cottle@mtsu.edu.

MTSU symposium will tackle community ‘cyberthreats’

MTSU’s 2014 Middle Tennessee Cyber Summit, set May 5-6 on campus, is aiming to help public and private-sector operations that want to protect their operations from online attack.

The theme of the summit, sponsored by MTSU’s Forensic Institute for Research and Education, is “Security Essentials.”

Click on the poster above for more information, including registration details.

It’s open to the public at no charge, organizers say, and should be of particular interest to government agencies at all levels, as well as the utility, education, health care, transportation and financial services industries and other businesses.

The summit will address criminal, intelligence, disruptive and information cyberthreats and show how a company or agency can work to protect its assets and reputation from external or internal electronic breaches of its security, confidentiality and data.

Speakers at the two-day event will include representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Microsoft Corp., digital forensics company Stroz Friedberg and RSA, the security division of data management giant EMC Corporation.

Attendees who want to earn Continuing Education Unit or Continuing Professional Education credits for the summit may do so by paying a $10 processing fee.

To register for the summit or get more information, including an agenda, please visit FIRE’s training event page, or contact FIRE at 615-898-2221 or fire@mtsu.edu.

Along with FIRE, the 2014 Middle Tennessee Cyber Summit is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs.

Blue Raider trio named as Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars finalists

Three Middle Tennessee student-athletes have received national recognition as 2014 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars finalists by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine.

Ebony Rowe

Jordan Parker

Nayara Moraes

Nayara Moraes, tennis; Jordan Parker, football; and Ebony Rowe, basketball, were the Blue Raiders’ three honorees among a field of 32 total finalists chosen from more than 600 candidates nationwide.

The Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar award recognizes undergraduate student-athletes of color who exhibit academic excellence as well as community service.

To be included, students must compete in an intercollegiate sport, maintain a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.2 and be active in service to their campuses and/or in their communities.

All three of MTSU’s student-athletes earned a spot on the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar teams of their respective sports.

Moraes, a junior, holds 65 career wins, which ranks ninth in program history. She has amassed a team-best 22 overall victories this season and is 12-5 in singles action.

As a business administration major, Moraes, a native of Santos, Brazil, boasts a 3.352 GPA.

Parker, a sophomore,, played in 11 games this past season as a running back and led the Blue Raiders with 745 rushing yards. He scored six touchdowns and added 14 receptions to lead all backs.

The Lawrenceville, Ga., native has a 3.745 GPA as an undeclared major.

Rowe, a senior, is a previous Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar honoree and recently was named as a Capital One Academic All-America Second Team member, Conference USA All-Academic, All-Conference and All-Tournament selection.

A native of Lexington, Ky., Rowe was voted the league’s Player of the Year and the C-USA Tournament Most Valuable Player. Rowe is a physics major with a 3.74 GPA.

MT Lightning logoDiverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine, based in Fairfax, Va., focuses on critical news, information and commentary on the full range of issues concerning diversity in American higher education. It was launched in 1984 as Black Issues in Higher Education, then was renamed and expanded its coverage in 2005 to address the needs of African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, people with disabilities, senior citizens, LGBT and other underrepresented groups in higher education.

The magazine established the Sports Scholars Awards in 1992 to honor undergraduate students of color who exemplify the standards set by tennis great Ashe, a scholar and athlete who sought to expand opportunities for young people.

You can learn more about the magazine at its companion website, http://diverseeducation.com.

— MTSU Athletics (GoBlueRaiders.com)