MTSU group plans free May 4 concert with Baroque tunes

“Ensemble 1720,” an MTSU School of Music faculty period-instrument group, will perform Baroque chamber music in a special free community concert set for Sunday, May 4, at 7 p.m. at Murfreesboro’s St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

St. Paul’s is located at 315 E. Main St., just three blocks south of the Public Square and less than two miles from the MTSU campus.

MTSU’s School of Music group Ensemble 1720 will use this harpsichord, a 1990 reconstruction by Willard Martin of Bethlehem, Penn., of an instrument depicted in Marin Mersenne’s 1637 treatise “Harmonie Universelle,” a landmark series of books on the physics and practice of music, in a May 4 concert at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in downtown Murfreesboro. (Photo submitted)

The Ensemble 1720 musicians play string and wind instruments in use during the Baroque era, the 17th- and early 18th-century period when Bach, Handel, Vivaldi and their colleagues created their masterpieces.

The group made its debut in January 2011; you can listen to a sample of its music here.

“The orchestral instruments that we know today were altered significantly in the 19th century,” said Dr. George Riordan, retired director of the MTSU School of Music and the oboist for Ensemble 1720.

“We’ll be recreating the style that the composers would have expected, so that the music may be heard in all its original color and passion.”

The concert will include a variety of music by Baroque masters, including Georg Phillipp Telemann’s “Quartet in G Major,” “Trio Sonata in G Major” by Pietro Locatelli, “Golden Sonata in F Major” by Henry Purcell, “Trio Sonata in F Major” by Arcangelo Corelli and “Trio Sonata for Oboe, Violin and Continuo” by George Frideric Handel.

Other performers in Ensemble 1720 include MTSU School of Music faculty members Andrea Dawson on violin, Christine Kim on cello and Lillian Pearson on harpsichord and violinist/violist Karen Clarke, Florida State University professor emerita. Each of the Ensemble 1720’s five members actively performs around the country on both modern and period instruments.

For more MTSU School of Music concert information, call 615-898-2493 or visit www.mtsumusic.com and click on the “Concert Calendar” link.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Learn a new language muy rápido at Summer Language Institute

Learn a foreign language in no time this summer by signing up for accelerated classes through MTSU’s Center for Accelerated Language Acquisition.

Click the image to see class offerings and to register for 2014 Summer Language Institute.

Click the image to see class offerings and to register for the 2014 Summer Language Institute.

Classes for the 12th annual Summer Language Institute include Spanish 1 and 2, Arabic 1 and 2, German 1 and 2 and Latin 1, as well as teacher training classes. Most classes are scheduled for June and July, with some Spanish classes also offered in August.

The center, also known as CALA, is the official language training operation of the University Honors College at Middle Tennessee State University.

CALA has spent years researching how the brain learns language best with the experts in the field of psychology and brain research, according to Dr. Shelley Thomas, an associate professor of foreign language and founder of the institute.

Research shows that the best way to learn a language is the same way you learned your native language — with lots of hands-on methods that are fun and enjoyable.

The center has spent over 10 years perfecting these methods through feedback from its students. These classes have been offered to students from all walks of life — from age 8 to 80 — and CALA customers rave about the fun and ease with which they learn a foreign language.

Learn more about CALA, view video clips of classes, see the summer schedule, costs and registration at www.acceleratedacquisition.com.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

In this undated file photo, youngsters learning English in Coimbatore, India, get their first taste of Total Physical Response language education from MTSU's Dr. Shelley Thomas, right. (Photo courtesy of the Center for Accelerated Language Acquisition)

In this undated file photo, youngsters learning English in Coimbatore, India, get their first taste of Total Physical Response language education from MTSU’s Dr. Shelley Thomas, right. (Photo courtesy of the Center for Accelerated Language Acquisition)

MTSU offers Prescription Drug Take-Back Day April 24

MTSU Campus Pharmacy Director Tabby Ragland (partially hidden) reaches to receive a package of prescription drugs from MTSU James E. Walker Library administrative assistant employee Gwen Williams during the MTSU Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in October 2013. The third drug take-back day will be from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, April 24. (MTSU News and Media Relations file photo)

MTSU Campus Pharmacy Director Tabby Ragland, partially obsucred at left, reaches for a package of unwanted prescription drugs from Gwen Williams, James E. Walker Library administrative assistant, during the MTSU Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in October 2013. The third drug take-back day will be from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, April 24. (MTSU News and Media Relations file photo)

Got drugs? Got drugs you need to dispose of properly?

The third MTSU Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will be held from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, April 24, on campus.

The drug take-back event will be held at the drive-up location next to the Campus Pharmacy drive-thru on the south side of the Student Health, Wellness and Campus Recreation Center on Blue Raider Drive. A printable campus map can be found at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap13-14.

Representatives will be accepting unused, expired or unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medicines for proper disposal.

No sharps — needles, scalpels, syringes and other sharp objects — will be accepted this time. Event organizers request that when possible, visitors try to keep medicines in their original packaging, mark out any personal information, but leave the name of the medication visible on the label.

“In each of its two previous take-back events, the MTSU community has turned in approximately 30 pounds of medicines for disposal,” said Lisa Schrader, director of MTSU Health Promotion. “We have been incredibly pleased with these amounts, considering how new these events still are and how much confusion still exists regarding proper disposal processes.”

Schrader said she and other event organizers “consistently get thank-you notes and calls from campus community members who appreciate having such a convenient way to dispose of their unwanted medicines.”

MTSU Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is a collaboration between Public Safety, Campus Pharmacy, Health Services and Health Promotion. Students from the Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy will be among the collection representatives for the third time.

Drug take-back initiatives address a vital public safety and public health issue. Prescription drugs that languish in home medicine cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse.

Nationally, 1,700 tons of medicines have been disposed of through drug take-back events since 2010.

Public health officials say the rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high. About 6.8 million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs — a figure almost twice that of the number of those using cocaine, heroine and other illegal drugs combined.

For more information, call 615-494-8704 or 615-494-8900, or visit the U.S. Drug Enforcement Association website at www.justice.gov/dea/index.shtml.

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

Drug Take Back Flier

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 On the Record’ takes you around the world in 36 credit hours (+VIDEO)

MTSU’s unique international affairs master’s degree was the subject of a recent edition of the “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Dr. Moses Tesi

Dr. Moses Tesi

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Moses Tesi, a professor of political science, aired earlier this month on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org). You can listen to their conversation here.

The Master of Arts in International Affairs degree offers concentrations in two areas: international security and peace studies and international development and globalization. It was approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents in 2011.

Candidates must complete at least 36 semester hours of graduate-level designated courses. The degree program provides students with the tools to evaluate national or international policies, an understanding of foreign cultures and the foundations for a professional international career and/or doctoral level study.

“For example, a student who works in international development could really do a practicum … at the World Bank, United Nations, the United States Agency for International Development, or, for that matter, nongovernmental organizations such as CARE, International Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders and so forth,” Tesi said. 

To listen to previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, go to the “Audio Clips” archives here and here.

For more information about “MTSU On the Record,” contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.

A video clip of the interview may be seen here.



MTSU symposium will help community combat ‘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.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@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)

1st student success town hall meeting draws large crowd (+VIDEO)

It was standing room only Tuesday afternoon inside the Student Union Parliamentary Room as MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee conducted the first of three town hall meetings this week to share more information about the university’s Quest for Student Success initiative.

The goal of the initiative is simple: Institute needed reforms across the university to help students achieve more academic success, ultimately leading to more students earning their degrees and launching successful careers.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee hosted a town hall meeting Tuesday, April 15, inside the Student Union Parliamentary Room about the Quest for Student Success initiative. Two more town hall meetings will be held this week and a fourth meeting will be scheduled in the near future. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee hosted a town hall meeting Tuesday, April 15, inside the Student Union Parliamentary Room about the Quest for Student Success initiative. Two more town hall meetings will be held this week and a fourth meeting will be scheduled in the near future. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

What will a successful initiative look like? McPhee said the goal is for MTSU to “move the needle,” raising its graduation rate from roughly 52 percent currently to 62 percent by 2020. The president emphasized that a year and a half was spent crafting the student success initiative, with input from faculty, staff and students throughout the process.

“This is not President McPhee’s initiative. This is everybody’s business,” he told the audience during the 90-minute presentation, which included copies of the initiative given to those who wanted one and a Q&A segment. “This is our initiative. We’re all in this boat together.”

The next two town hall meetings also will be held in the Parliamentary Room, from 9 to 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 16, and from 2 to 3 p.m. Thursday, April 17. McPhee also announced Tuesday that a fourth town hall will be scheduled for a later date to accommodate those unable to attend any of this week’s sessions because of religious observances.

Launched in the fall, the Quest for Student Success reforms are aimed at helping MTSU students stay on track academically all the way through graduation. The effort is in line with Gov. Bill Haslam’s “Drive to 55” goal to extend the reach of higher education and includes a top-to-bottom review of university operations.

Among the changes being prompted by the initiative:

  • Stepping up recruitment of students who have greater potential to succeed at a four-year comprehensive university.
  • Enhancing the academic experience of enrolled students to better ensure their success, including greater tutoring, enhanced advising and an emphasis on more “high-tech and high-touch” approaches.
  • Using more innovative, data-informed best practices to facilitate success.

McPhee pointed to the pressure being placed upon higher education institutions across the country — at local, state and federal levels — to improve student outcomes while also addressing the rising level of student loan debt. While acknowledging that major reforms will take time, McPhee stressed that MTSU must have “a sense of urgency” about making changes.

A key area of focus during Tuesday’s town hall was the renewed emphasis on advising, and the need to hire additional advising staff to reduce the student-to-adviser ratio. While the nationally recommended ratio is 300-to-1, some MTSU professional advisers are responsible for up to 1,000 students.

MTSU physics professor Chuck Higgins asks President Sidney A. McPhee a question during the Quest for Student Success town hall meeting held Tuesday, April 15, in the Student Union parliamentary room.

MTSU physics professor Chuck Higgins asks President Sidney A. McPhee a question during the Quest for Student Success town hall meeting held Tuesday, April 15, in the Student Union parliamentary room.

McPhee asked Provost Brad Bartel to elaborate on the plan to boost advising, with Bartel telling the audience that the process has begun to eventually hire more than 40 additional professional advisers to be spread across the university’s colleges based on need.

The goal is to have the advisers in place by mid-fall, said Bartel, who added that MTSU’s large percentage of first-generation college students — 70 to 80 percent — makes strong advising critical in keeping those students on track to complete their degrees efficiently.

When McPhee opened the floor for questions following his presentation, Chuck Higgins, an associate professor in the astronomy and physics department, suggested that the various committees that have been formed to address facets of the student success initiative share information with each other.

“Please, please let us share the recommendations that each of these committees have,” Higgins said. “Can we share our best practices?”

McPhee thanked him for the suggestion and asked Dean Mike Boyle, interim vice provost for student success, to set up an online location to house the recommendations.

Economics and finance professor Bichaka Fayissa brought up the large number of MTSU students who work full time jobs while pursuing their degrees. Fayissa said the university must stress to students in the advising process of the need to prioritize their educational goals and balance that with work obligations.

“It takes two,” Fayissa said of the shared responsibility between faculty and student. “It’s a question of priority. Students have to participate fully in order to be successful.”

McPhee wrapped up the session with 10 key points to guide the campus in following through with the Quest for Student Success. The 10th point was simply, “in order to have something else, we must do something else.” The status quo is no longer optional, he said.

“We’re not lowering the bar,” he said. “We’re actually raising it for our students.”

For more information about the Quest for Student Success, visit www.mtsu.edu/studentsuccess.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

MTSU students offer kids, elders some Good Friday ‘egg-citement’

Some MTSU students will try to make Good Friday an even better Friday for some local youngsters and their elders.

Stephanie Bush

The 26 students of Stephanie Bush’s Aging Health and Development Class will host an Easter egg hunt at 1:30 p.m. Friday, April 18, at Stones River Manor, a senior living community at 205 Haynes Drive in Murfreesboro.

Bush, an instructor in the Department of Human Sciences, said about 200 people attended last year’s event, and seeing the youngsters have so much fun delighted the manor’s residents.

“We’ll be hiding plastic eggs filled with candy on the grounds,” Bush said. “There will be games, refreshments, an inflatable bounce house and a visit from the Easter Bunny.”

A separate area will be set aside for babies and toddlers to hunt eggs with their parents, and activities will be planned for the residents.

The class is an experiential learning opportunity that helps students understand aging, families in later life and program planning and implementation for seniors.

For more information, contact Bush at 615-898-5604 or stephanie.bush@mtsu.edu.

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

April ‘Out of the Blue’ features MTSU One Stop tour, more (+VIDEO)

The April 2014 edition of “Out of the Blue,” MTSU’s video magazine, features an in-depth tour of MTSU’s new Student Services Building with an “MT One Stop” focused on student needs.

Check out this month’s program, produced by Mike Browning of the Office of News and Media Relations, to:

  • take a tour of MTSU’s new $16 million Student Services Building and Admissions Center, a convenient centralized location for visitors, prospective students and enrolled students to process enrollment, admissions and financial aid.  
  • learn more about the Lady Raider basketball team’s sixth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance after winning the Conference USA championship, including game highlights and comments from Player of the Year Ebony Rowe and 1,000-plus game-winning coach Rick Insell.
  • gather information from MTSU’s annual Scholars Week, which showcases research from a variety of disciplines, including a first-place winner in the field of photographic technology.
  • discover an MTSU aerospace professor’s role in the opening of a national historic site in Tuskegee, Ala., for the Tuskegee Airmen.
  • watch and listen as an acclaimed MTSU alumnus performs the same classical guitar selection he performed in his Carnegie Hall debut.
  • hear what award-winning broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien told a gathering at the MTSU Student Union Ballroom.



You can watch “Out of the Blue” online anytime at www.youtube.com/user/MTSUOutOfTheBlue or watch on Murfreesboro cable Channel 9 daily at 7 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. and on NewsChannel5+ every Sunday at a new time — 3 p.m.

“Out of the Blue” also is available on other cable outlets in Middle Tennessee, so check local listings to watch and enjoy the show.

Visit and bookmark the “Out of the Blue” online archives, too, at www.youtube.com/user/MTSUOutOfTheBlue.