Blackman Collegiate Academy juniors encounter vari...

Blackman Collegiate Academy juniors encounter variety in MTSU visit

Blackman High School juniors received a firsthand look at MTSU’s Textiles, Merchandising, and Interior Design Program, biology and chemistry departments and careers in agriculture, geosciences and more during the Blackman Collegiate Academy Day April 5 on campus.

The 60 students spent the entire day on campus in an adventure that ranged from learning about the admissions process to spending time in the James E. Walker Library.

Blackman academy juniors visit MTSU

MTSU biology department chair Lynn Boyd, center, observes as Blackman Collegiate Academy junior Kristina Hughes, left, uses the microscope before classmate Allie Paliaro takes a turn. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

The MTSU-Blackman partnership is one of several arranged each semester during the academic year. It gives Blackman students opportunities to visit campus, meet MTSU students, faculty and administrators and learn about many of the university’s 240-plus undergraduate and graduate programs.

“It was great to be able to see most of campus and go into science rooms and laboratories I maybe will be taking classes in,” said Mayte Saenphansiri, who added that MTSU is his first choice for a college after he graduates from Blackman.

Blackman Academy logoBreanna Bushman, who joined Saenphansiri and other classmates in the biology and chemistry class sessions, was particularly intrigued by biology chair Lynn Boyd’s “students doing research with worms.”

“It’s nice we got to see things we can potentially go in and it be our major,” Bushman said. Though she’s still undecided on her college choice, she said MTSU is “the one I would choose if I wasn’t going to go out of state because of class sizes and quality of education.”

Bushman also was impressed with the library. “I’ve been there before, but I realize how vast the information and research materials can be,” she said.

Noting Saenphansiri’s curiosity was chemistry professor Piotr Kasaynski, who showed the students polarizing filters and taught them about liquid crystals.

Twenty MTSU faculty members — including leisure, sport, and tourism studies; social work; educationnutrition and food science; and child development and family studies  — took time to share their expertise with the Blackman students.

— Randy Weiler (

TXMD class project shown to Blackman students

Dr. Rick Cottle, right, assistant professor in MTSU’s Textiles, Merchandising, and Interior Design Program, explains what MTSU student Autumn Trails, left, is doing as she works on a class project while Blackman Collegiate Academy students Rachel Thweatt, Suzy Ni and Danielle Paredes observe. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)