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Art major puts his creativity on Predator 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.

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)

MTSU student’s effort to help neighbor escape fire makes local newscast

An MTSU student explained on a local newscast Monday night how she was able to help a neighbor and a pet escape a pre-dawn kitchen fire.

Katie Kelly

MTSU senior Katie Kelly told a NewsChannel5 reporter in a story airing on the 6 p.m. broadcast that she was awakened shortly after 5 a.m. April 11 by the noise of a fire alarm outside her Murfreesboro apartment.

Kelly, a newly appointed member of the MTSU Student Ambassadors, ran downstairs to a neighbor’s apartment, where she said she saw smoke “billowing out of every window” and heard a dog barking.

She was able to cut a window screen and get inside the apartment, where she awakened her neighbor and then helped the neighbor and the dog get outside to safety.

“It was overwhelming, but not so much so that it would stop me from doing it,” Kelly said.

You can watch the report here.

The Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue Department said in a news release that the fire, which appeared to be the result of unattended cooking, was safely extinguished by the apartment’s sprinkler system before crews arrived.

Kelly, who plans to graduate in 2015, is a native of the Memphis area and a member of numerous groups in MTSU’s School of Music, including the MTSU Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble. She also has contributed to several recording projects, including Jordan Fenton’s 2013 album “Coal Mines.”

Kelly has dual majors — instrumental music performance and music industry — and a recording industry minor. She also is a private trumpet instructor and freelance performer.

On their special day, MTSU seniors inspired by state military leader

Maj. Gen. Max Haston, left, visits with MTSU senior organizational communication major Courtney Rodman, right, of Jackson, Mo., near the Career Development Center booth during Senior Day activities held in the Student Union Ballroom Monday, April 14. Rodman, a career center peer adviser, shared about the career center's Document Drop, a resume review program for students and alumni. Also pictured is Brittany Nichols, a senior organizational communication major from Hillsboro, Tenn. (MTSU photos by MTSU News and Media Relations)

Maj. Gen. Max Haston, left, visits with MTSU senior organizational communication major Courtney Rodman, right, of Jackson, Mo., near the Career Development Center booth during Senior Day activities held in the Student Union Ballroom Monday, April 14. Rodman, a career center peer adviser, shared about the career center’s Document Drop, a resume review program for students and alumni. Also pictured is Brittany Nichols, a senior organizational communication major from Hillsboro, Tenn. (MTSU photos by MTSU News and Media Relations)

Glancing around the Student Union Ballroom on the MTSU campus, alumnus and U.S. Army Major Gen. Terry M. “Max” Haston quickly studied an audience of primarily seniors who will be graduating Saturday, May 10.

“I graduated from a great program,” he said of MTSU ROTC, which led him to a lifetime of service and leadership to his country. “There are a lot of other great programs here at the university, and what a beautiful place (the nearly 2-year-old Student Union). Just like Dr. (Sidney A.) McPhee, I’ve been all over the world. You can be proud to call yourself a Blue Raider.”

Haston, who makes frequent campus appearances, spoke briefly during Senior Day, an MTSU Office of Alumni Relations-sponsored event that was expected to draw 100 to 200 students to recognize them, but also provide graduate school opportunities, job-hunting preparation and show them how to remain connected as alumni.

Haston, the adjutant general of the Tennessee National Guard in Nashville, had a special reason for attending, not just the invitation by McPhee. Travis Haston, the son of Max and Anne Haston of Knoxville, Tenn., will be graduating with a degree in electronic media management.

“It makes me proud,” the elder Haston said of his son’s pending achievement. “I work in Nashville; we live in Knoxville. He could’ve easily gone to the University of Tennessee, which my wife is a graduate of. We gave him the option. This (MTSU) is where he selected. It really speaks to the quality and character of this university.”

MTSU College of Graduate Studies Dean Mike Allen, left, visits with senior electronic media management major Travis Haston, center, and his father, alumnus Terry M. "Max" Haston, a U.S. Army major general who serves as the adjutant general for the Tennessee National Guard.

MTSU College of Graduate Studies Dean Mike Allen, left, visits with senior electronic media management major Travis Haston, center, and his father, alumnus Terry M. “Max” Haston, a U.S. Army major general who serves as the adjutant general for the Tennessee National Guard.

Max Haston said his son, who was born three months prematurely, overcame physical and health issues and learning challenges.

Travis Haston, who started at MTSU in the fall of 2008 majoring in recording industry, switched to broadcasting and finally to electronic media management. He said he has landed a summer internship with Charlotte, N.C.-based Hendrick Motorsports, but the former Eagle Scout also was offered an internship with the Boy Scouts of America.

The younger Haston also will take his graduate record exam, or GRE, Friday, May 2, and will consider grad school — something McPhee emphasized several times when he spoke to the seniors.

“I’m proud of you,” McPhee said to the seniors. “… We have a great graduate program. I’d love for you to consider our graduate program.”

The College of Graduate Studies and Career Development Center were among the offices with personnel staffing tables for the MTSU seniors to visit.

Approximately 2,300 degree candidates — more than 1,900 undergraduates and nearly 400 graduate students — will be awarded diplomas in May.

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

Alumnus and U.S. Army Major Gen. Terry M. "Max" Haston, left, and MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee share a laugh during the annual Senior Day on campus Monday, April 14, in the Student Union Ballroom.

Alumnus and U.S. Army Major Gen. Terry M. “Max” Haston, left, and MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee share a laugh during the annual Senior Day on campus Monday, April 14, in the Student Union Ballroom.

‘To be, or not to be’ wasteful? Art students’ display offers answer

The artwork gracing the first-floor atrium of MTSU’s James E. Walker Library at the end of the spring semester will have a Shakespearean theme.

Handheld skulls, evoking a classic scene from William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” are part of the art project created by MTSU assistant professor Erin Anfinson’s drawing class, “Thou Doth Print Too Much,” for the James E. Walker Library. Posing with the art are, from left, Seth Tipps, a junior from Tullahoma, Tenn.; Shelby Rehberger, a fifth-year senior from McMinnville, Tenn., and the originator of the project concept; and Anfinson. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Beginning April 18, two handheld skulls evoking a scene from Act V, Scene I of William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” will greet library patrons.

The skulls will be flanked by speech bubbles containing the admonition, “Thou doth print too much,” as a reminder to patrons to be conservative in their printing practices.

“Last fall, there were over four-and-a-half million sheets of paper printed in the library,” said Erin Anfinson, an assistant professor of art whose drawing class created the artwork.

“I think it’s quite shocking for the students to hear the number and then to actually go through a bin of paper. We probably didn’t even use an entire bin of paper on this.”

Student Shelby Rehberger, a fifth-year senior from McMinnville, Tenn., is the originator of the idea. Every student in the class contributed to its construction.

“Art should be conscious of its surroundings,” Rehberger said. “That’s why it’s good that this is in the library world because the library is a collection of papers.”

The exhibit also will include blank speech bubbles in which library patrons may use markers to write their comments on the exhibit.

In addition, Anfinson’s students will place posters full of print-saving tips in library printing cubicles.

The display, which is free and open to the public, will remain in place through May 2 and will be visible during regular library hours. A searchable campus map with parking details is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap13-14.

For more information, contact Anfinson at 615-904-8412 or erin.anfinson@mtsu.edu, or Kristen Keene at 615-898-5376 or kristen.keene@mtsu.edu.

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

MTSU graduate students speak on research at April 17 panel event

MTSU graduate students will share their views on the dual role of feminist and researcher at the final Women’s and Gender Studies Program research event of the spring semester.

“Feminist Standpoint and Reflexive Thinking: Graduate Student Research in Progress” is scheduled for 3 p.m. Thursday, April 17, in the SunTrust Room, Room N127, of MTSU’s Business and Aerospace Building.

The panel discussion, which is free and open to the public, is made up of recent students in the Women’s and Gender Studies graduate certificate program.

The program enables scholars to acquire advanced training and expertise in feminist theory, feminist methodology and fundamental issues in the field. Those enrolled must complete nine credit hours of core requirements and nine credit hours of electives.

Dr. Vicky MacLean, a professor of sociology and faculty adviser to the program, will moderate the panel. The participants and their topics are:

  • Shelley Maddox, a December 2013 MTSU graduate, will speak on “Feminist Parenting: A Mother’s Auto-Ethnographic.”
  • JaDee Carathers, who plans to graduate in May 2014, will speak on “Situating the Self in Reflective Practice: A Methodological Meditation on Feminist Standpoint Epistemology in Qualitative Interviewing on Maternal Sexuality and the Breastfeeding Problematic.”
  • Shaonta Allen, an August 2013 MTSU graduate, will speak on “My Sister’s Keeper: Reflections on Black Sisterhood, Feminist Consciousness and Sorority Life.”
  • Felicia Brown, who plans to graduate in May 2014, will speak on “Multicultural Identities among Minority Women Living in the U.S.: Toward a Transformative Knowledge.”

A discussion period will follow the panelists’ presentations.

A searchable campus map with parking details is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap13-14.

For more information, contact Marie Harrell with the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at 615-898-5910 or womenstu@mtsu.edu.

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

MTSU partners with Nashville public schools for video awards show

NASHVILLE — The best video projects that students from Metro Nashville Public Schools have to offer were celebrated Thursday, April 10, at the third annual Academies of Nashville Video Awards Show.

Academies of Nash Video Awards logo copyStudents from Metro Schools and Middle Tennessee State University directed, produced and performed in this awards show, a district-wide video competition created to tell the stories of the Academies of Nashville offerings in Metro Nashville’s 12 zoned high schools.

The unique partnership between Metro Schools and MTSU began three years ago when the university agreed to be the title sponsor for the show.

“We are pleased to partner with Metro Schools because we see the great things happening in their schools and the caliber of students they are sending to college,” said Dr. Sidney A. McPhee, president of MTSU.

Students from the Department of Electronic Media Communication at MTSU produced the show. The entire student-run production used MTSU’s $1.2 million state-of–the-art production truck. The awards show was held at Trevecca-Nazarene University.

— Doug Williams (doug.williams@mtsu.edu)

MTSU Electronic Media Communication Chair Billy Pittard, right, presents the Best of Show Award to students and faculty from Hillsboro High School Academy of International Business and Communication at the Metro Nashville Public School's Video Awards Show held Thursday, April 10, at Trevecca-Nazarene University in Nashville. (MTSU photo)

MTSU Electronic Media Communication Chair Billy Pittard, right, presents the Best of Show Award to students and faculty from Hillsboro High School Academy of International Business and Communication at the Metro Nashville Public School’s Video Awards Show held Thursday, April 10, at Trevecca-Nazarene University in Nashville. (MTSU photo)

MTSU moon buggy team earns Neil Armstrong Best Design Award

MTSU moon buggy team members and others are shown following the presentation of the Neil Armstrong Design Award recently at the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge (Submitted photo)

MTSU moon buggy team members and others are shown following the presentation of the Neil Armstrong Design Award recently at the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge (Submitted photo)

The 14-member MTSU moon buggy team wanted to capture first place in the recent NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge, previously known as the Great Moonbuggy Race, held recently in Huntsville, Ala.

NASA roverlogo72 1What they brought home — the Neil Armstrong Best Design Award bestowed by judges on the MTSU Team 2 entry nicknamed “The Beast” — may have made a more profound impact on the team at the event.

The April 11-12 event challenges high school, college and university students to design, construct, test and race lightweight, human-powered rovers capable of performing in the demanding environments to be explored by future voyagers.

University President Sidney A. McPhee sent his congratulations to the entire team, saying, “I am proud of this remarkable accomplishment.”

Team captain Ryan Miller, a senior electro-mechanical engineering major from Chattanooga, Tenn., led the design effort, which began in the summer of 2013.

The plaque for the 2014 Neil Armstrong Best Design Award in the university division was presented to the MTSU moon buggy team at the conclusion of the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge recently in Huntsville, Ala. (Submitted photo)

The plaque for the 2014 Neil Armstrong Best Design Award in the university division was presented to the MTSU moon buggy team at the conclusion of the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge recently in Huntsville, Ala. (Submitted photo)

“I’m very pleased we got the best design award,” Miller said. “Only one team (in the university division) receives the design award. That made me very happy.”

The award, which was presented during the awards’ ceremony, is “for outstanding achievement in the design of a human powered exploration rover and contributions toward the next steps in human exploration of the solar system.”

It is named in honor of the late Armstrong, an American astronaut and first person to walk on the moon in 1969 during the Apollo 11 space voyage.

Professor Saeed Foroudastan, who oversees the MTSU Experimental Vehicles Program and serves as a mentor, said it was a well-deserved honor for such a dedicated, hard-working team.

After a third-place showing in the 2013 race, two MTSU teams placed fifth and 12th overall this year.

MTSU Team 2 finished with an overall best time of 5 minutes, 6 seconds in the two-day rover challenge competition. The University of Puerto Rico Humacao Team 2 finished first in 4:09.

MTSU Team 1, with the modified 2013 entry nicknamed “The Model T,” fashioned a time of 10:25, which included penalties.

“I’m proud of the team,” Miller said. “We had a lot more team spirit and camaraderie.”

Forty-six teams competed in the college and university division.

The competition is designed to teach students to solve practical design and engineering problems and demonstrates NASA’s continuing commitment to inspire new generations of scientists, engineers, technicians and astronauts.

In addition to Miller, team members include co-captain Dustin Taylor of Murfreesboro and formerly from Baton Rouge, La.; Team 2 drivers Devin Raines of Murfreesboro and Josh Calvin of Nashville; Team 1 drivers Jasmine Johnson of Humboldt, Tenn., and Zack Hill of Hendersonville, Tenn.; senior Thomas Cox of Nashville; juniors Beau Hallavant of Bell Buckle, Tenn., Steven Chaput of Manchester, Tenn., Les McGuffey of Nashville and Thomas McKinney of Franklin, Tenn.; freshman Alec Urban of Murfreesboro and formerly from Richmond, Va.; and graduate students Jeremy Posey of Adairville, Ky., and Dianna Prince of Estill Springs, Tenn.

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

MTSU junior Josh Calvin and graduate student Dianna Prince take the moon buggy nicknamed "The Beast" on a ride through campus before the team left the recent NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge in Huntsville, Ala. (MTSU photos by News and Media Relations)

MTSU junior Josh Calvin and graduate student Dianna Prince take the moon buggy nicknamed “The Beast” on a ride through campus before the team left the recent NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge in Huntsville, Ala. (MTSU photos by News and Media Relations)

 

MTSU senior Zack Hill, left, of Hendersonville, Tenn., and sophomore Jasmine Johnson of Humboldt, Tenn., perform a timed practice to quickly unfold the moon buggy, reach their seat with both feet in the pedals and lock their seatbelts. Viewing the attempt are freshman Alec Urban, far right, and College of Basic and Applied Sciences Associate Dean Saeed Foroudastan, who serves as director of the Experimental Vehicles Program.

MTSU senior Zack Hill, left, of Hendersonville, Tenn., and sophomore Jasmine Johnson of Humboldt, Tenn., perform a timed practice to quickly unfold the moon buggy, reach their seat with both feet in the pedals and lock their seatbelts. Viewing the attempt are freshman Alec Urban, far right, and College of Basic and Applied Sciences Associate Dean Saeed Foroudastan, who serves as director of the Experimental Vehicles Program.

Enactus student group gives back to women’s resource center

Suitcases, garbage bags and assorted carrying cases for clothing and personal items form a line just inside the entrance to the Way of Hope Women’s Resource Center off South Rutherford Boulevard and Dill Lane.

It’s a mandatory daily ritual for the homeless single mothers and children served by the center as they prepare to relocate to one of 16 local churches that will serve as their host for the night. This daily undertaking involving an average of 30 to 40 women and children takes a lot of time, energy and resources, and the Christian-based nonprofit could use some help.

Kimberly Bean, director of the Way of Hope Women's Resource Center in Murfreesboro, uses the new phone system provided by the MTSU student group Enactus, which purchased the phone with a grant secured from Coca-Cola. The student group started working with the resource center last semester to develop a marketing plan. (Photo by MTSU News and Media Relations)

Kimberly Bean, director of the Way of Hope Women’s Resource Center in Murfreesboro, uses the new phone system provided by the MTSU student group Enactus, which purchased the phone with a grant secured from Coca-Cola. (Photos by MTSU News and Media Relations)

Since last semester, a group of MTSU business students has been working with the Way of Hope to develop a marketing plan to spread its message more effectively and generate needed financial support for a program that relies on the community’s generosity.

With funds from a $1,500 Coca-Cola grant, the student group Enactus has supplied the center with a computer, software, printer, phone system and retooling of its website. The student group, which was previously known as Students in Free Enterprise, or SIFE, focuses on putting entrepreneurship into action through community service.

MTSU students Eric Wedgworth and Brittany Page have been deeply involved in the project, which began in the fall. Page, a junior business management major from Parsons, Tenn., and Wedgworth, a senior marketing major also from Parsons, Tenn., have been volunteering at the Way of Hope since the nonprofit’s inception two years ago. The Enactus project deepened their involvement.

“Right now, we’re just giving them the tools that they need,” Page said of Enactus’s assistance to Way of Hope. “We’re hoping to get more computers, since this is a resource center, to help the ladies and the children with technology.”

MTSU marketing instructor Laura Buckner serves as an adviser to the student group, which has a motto of “A head for business, a heart for the world.” The Way of Hope project is an excellent opportunity for students to exemplify that motto, she said.

From L to R, Brad Blomgren, founder and executive director of the Way of Hope; MTSU student Eric Wedgworth; Kimberly Bean, director of the Women's Resource Center and program director; and MTSU student Brittany Page. The MTSU business majors are members of the student group Enactus, which used grant funds to supply the resource center with a phone system, computer, printer, software and other supplies. (Photo by MTSU News and Media Relations)

From L to R, Brad Blomgren, founder and executive director of the Way of Hope; MTSU student Eric Wedgworth; Kimberly Bean, director of the Women’s Resource Center and program director; and MTSU student Brittany Page. The MTSU business majors are members of the student group Enactus, which used grant funds to supply the resource center with a phone system, computer, printer, software and other supplies.

“Students who are engage in Enactus have an opportunity to utilize the skills that they learn in the Jones College of Business to make the world a better place,” Buckner said. “In this case, the students actually wrote the grant themselves, decided the budget of how to spend the money and will be tracking the success of the nonprofit in the future.”

Way of Hope founder and Executive Director Brad Blomgren is very grateful for the assistance, which he says is helping his organization fulfill its mission of providing a safe place and meals during the day for struggling women with children who oftentimes have nowhere else to turn.mtsu enactus combo logo

Through its partnership with area churches, Way of Hope has provided over 17,000 individual nights of shelter and 50,000-plus meals since November 2011. Among other services, the resource center provides a full-time caseworker to help the women with things such as job preparation, housing searches and applications for social services.

“It’s a safe house for women who are homeless,” Blomgren said. “When they search for resources, sometimes they get hit on, solicited and propositioned. A lot of times people think that because they’re homeless, they’ll sell themselves. … The resource center gives them a place to go so that they don’t have to subject themselves to that.

“It’s so hard for single moms to make it,” he said.

The Way of Hope will hold a special Women’s Day event April 11-12 to educate the public about the challenges facing homeless women and children locally.

The free two-day Women’s Day event includes a full slate of activities, with Friday, April 11, featuring a health fair with CPR, first-aid training and self-defense training at New Vision Church; on Saturday, April 12, the community is invited to the court square to participate in a 5K run, a kid’s fun run, craft fair fundraiser, parade and concert.

For more information about the event, visit http://www.wayofhope.net/womens-day-of-hope.html.

Donna Neeley sorts through clothing at the Way of Hope's Women's Resource Center on Dill Lane in Murfreesboro. Neeley is among the many single mother clients who have been served by the center. (Photo by MTSU News and Media Relations)

Donna Neeley sorts through clothing at the Way of Hope’s Women’s Resource Center on Dill Lane in Murfreesboro. Neeley is among the many single mother clients who have been served by the center.

Click the image to learn more about the Way of Hope organization.

Click the image to learn more about the Way of Hope organization.

Wedgworth said the MTSU Enactus group was among 25 similar groups that received the Coke grants to develop projects that empowered women to succeed. Wedgworth said the group will continue working with the women’s center to provide as many opportunities and avenues as possible to help the many women served there.

“We’re working with another organization that could possibly get us (refurbished) laptops,” he said.

The center offers laundry facilities, computers, a playground and a children’s room. It also provides temporary stays for the homeless women who may be suffering from an illness or recovering from a medical procedure and need somewhere to go. Since the center opened in late 2012, it has provided temporary shelter to five women with newborns who had nowhere else to go after being discharged from the hospital, Blomgren said.

“This gives those women a place to recover,” he said.

For more information about the Way of Hope, contact Blomgren at 615-653-8027 or via email at brad@rutherfordwayofhope.com, or visit www.wayofhope.net. Blomgren said the resource center would be glad to partner with more local churches.

For more information or questions about how to get involved with MTSU Enactus, contact instructor Laura Buckner at laura.buckner@mtsu.edu or instructor Jean Wilson at jean.wilson@mtsu.edu, or learn more on Facebook at Enactus MTSU.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

Panhellenic Council ‘hops to it’ in planning April 13 Easter egg hunt

Greek organizations at MTSU are helping kids get a jump on the Easter Bunny.

The Panhellenic Council Easter Egg Hunt will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 13, on the lawn of the MTSU President’s House at 2212 Middle Tennessee Blvd. in Murfreesboro.

Plastic eggs filled with both chocolate and hard candies will be nestled in hiding places on the property. Various other prizes such as stickers and small toys will be up for grabs.

Phi Kappa Tau, Kappa Delta, Zeta Tau Alpha, Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Chi Omega and the Panhellenic Executive Council each provided from four to six members per organization to work on the event.

The egg roll, which is free and open to the public, is a family-friendly event appropriate for children ages 12 and under.

For more information, contact the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life in the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership at 615-898-5812.

–Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)