April ‘Out of the Blue’ showcases student research...

April ‘Out of the Blue’ showcases student research organization, outreach to high schoolers [+VIDEO]

Brooke Busbee, recent Middle Tennessee State University graduate in psychology and undergraduate research advocate, was featured on the April 2024 episode of MTSU’s “Out of the Blue” television show to discuss her work as part of the Student Organization for the Advancement of Research and its recent high school outreach event. (MTSU graphic illustration by Joseph Poe)

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Brooke Busbee, a recent psychology graduate, was one of three guests on this month’s “Out of the Blue” television magazine program, sharing her experience as part of the university’s Student Organization for the Advancement as Research, known as SOAR, and as an ambassador for the organization’s high school outreach program. 

“We help these students see what undergraduate research is like from the source itself,” Busbee said about the full-day READY to SOAR event that brought 83 local high schoolers to campus last month as part of the university’s larger, annual Scholars Week celebration of research and creative activity. 

Andrew Oppmann, vice president of marketing and communications
Andrew Oppmann

“Out of the Blue” host Andrew Oppmann, MTSU’s vice president for marketing and communications, highlighted that the Undergraduate Research Center and its fostering of undergraduate research opportunities is one of the university’s pride points. 

“My favorite part of the event is we group them up in small discussion groups with a current undergrad researcher based on their major,” continued Busbee, who served as SOAR’s vice president, about exposing participants to these opportunities. “The students really enjoyed and connected to these university students, being able to hear from the mouth of somebody around their age and who has just gone through an experience that they are about to go through – what it’s like, how it’s impacted them and what they’ve learned.”

You can view the segment below: 

The episode wrapped up with Busbee’s current career and education plans, her trip to the Capitol in Washington to advocate for student research and her advice for undergraduates wanting to get involved in research. 

“Research really is open to anybody –– whether you’re an art student and you’re making your own gallery pieces or you’re a music student and you’re writing your own music –– it’s something absolutely everybody can do,” she said. “Everybody says, ‘Just talk to your professor,’ and that seems like a very scary thing, but it’s really not. It’s (also) a wonderful way to meet people on campus and make those connections. That barrier of entry isn’t quite as high as students may believe.”

Find out more about the opportunities at the Undergraduate Research Center at and SOAR at

“Out of the Blue” is available anytime on the university’s YouTube channel, the True Blue TV channel, Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. It also airs on Murfreesboro cable Channel 9 daily at 6 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.; NewsChannel5+ at 3:30 p.m. Sundays; and streamed on the MTSU Jazz Network through at 7 a.m. on the first Sunday of each month; and on other cable outlets in Middle Tennessee, so check local listings. 

It is also available as a podcast on iTunes and Google Play and as individual interview segments on Spotify at

Watch previous episodes of “Out of the Blue” at 

— Stephanie Wagner (