Middle Tennessee State University’s 1,737 newest graduates have a single step to follow in the recipe famed chef and entrepreneur Maneet Chauhan offered for their success Saturday, Dec. 16: “Stand apart.”
Speaking during the university’s fall 2017 commencement ceremonies, Chauhan, a featured judge on the hit Food Network show “Chopped,” told the graduates that each has the ingredients to create a career and a life that makes a difference.
“The one thing people ask me all the time is ‘What is the perfect recipe for success?’ And you know what my answer is? ‘I wish I knew,’” said Chauhan, chef and owner of Chauhan Ale and Masala House in Nashville and founder of the Tansuo and Mockingbird restaurants in Nashville’s Gulch neighborhood via the Morph Hospitality Group.
“Because if I knew the perfect recipe for success, I would be cooking up a storm, bottling those recipes, selling it and making boatloads of money, right? If life was only that simple. What there is a recipe for is vision, attitude and dedication. And that’s something all of you have. … You all are amazingly fortunate to receive an amazing education at MTSU.
“Today, you all walk into the world equipped with the best knowledge. Now, what you do with it is completely up to you. How you convert this education into success is what life is all about. How you stand apart is the trick,” the Franklin, Tennessee, resident continued. “May you all be shining stars in your field.”
Brent Carpenetti, 29, has worked hard to stand apart, serving his country as a U.S. Marine, earning a bachelor’s degree, working full-time in actuarial science at BlueCross BlueShield in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and, as an MTSU intern, owning a small tutoring business.
He earned his Master of Science in Professional Science in actuarial science Saturday, the first MTSU graduate to achieve Associate of the Society of Actuaries status before graduating from the program. Actuarial science uses mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk in insurance, finance and other industries.
“It signifies a key attribute I hold dear: Finish what you start,” Carpenetti said of his new accomplishment.
“The actuarial profession places little value on any particular degree. Rather, examinations within the credentialing bodies and job performance dictate standing. … I place a high value on follow-through. Moreover, I felt a sense of duty to represent my professors and their efforts well by contributing to the overall graduation and academic statistics of the MTSU actuarial program.”
Human performance isn’t only new MTSU doctoral graduate Eric Scudamore’s major; it’s his mantra. He jump-started his career in August by accepting an instructor’s position at Arkansas State University — the same institution that’s playing MTSU’s Blue Raiders in the Camellia Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama, Saturday night.
The Huntsville, Alabama, native, who’s been teaching, advising undergrads and conducting research at ASU while finishing his dissertation, returned to MTSU Saturday morning to receive his diploma. He’ll go back to Arkansas State as an assistant professor of exercise science with a Ph.D.
He said MTSU offered the perfect blend of research and teaching experience needed to reach his career goals, but that wasn’t the only reason he chose the Murfreesboro university.
“The day I submitted my application to MTSU, I noticed the kindness and helpfulness of the faculty, staff and administration,” said Scudamore.
“I visited MTSU shortly afterward to meet the faculty and tour the campus and saw that their knowledge and experience was only surpassed by their commitment to the students.”
Five MTSU student-athletes stood apart as well this graduation weekend, receiving their degrees on Friday, Dec. 15, in a brief special ceremony in a Montgomery hotel so they could play football Saturday evening in the Camellia Bowl.
MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee presented Jim Cardwell, Jamal Jones, Mike Minter Jr. and Charvarius Ward with undergraduate degrees in finance and liberal studies and Brent Stockstill with a leisure, sport and tourism master’s degree during the event.
Students from the College of Graduate Studies, College of Basic and Applied Sciences, the Jones College of Business and the College of Education received their degrees in the Saturday morning ceremony. The afternoon ceremony featured graduates in theCollege of Behavioral and Health Sciences, College of Liberal Arts, College of Media and Entertainment, and the University College.
The MTSU Registrar’s Office reported that of the 1,737 students graduating Saturday, 1,514 are undergraduates and 223 are graduate students, including 196 master’s candidates, 10 education-specialist recipients and 17 doctoral candidates. Three graduate students also received graduate certificates.
McPhee encouraged all the new graduates to “bask in the glory that surrounds this day” but reminded them that it’s also a starting point for their next adventures.
“You may feel that this long journey is over,” McPhee said. “We feel that it is just a comma, not a period, in your story. It is just the beginning of even greater things to come.”
Alumnus Darrell Freeman, founder of Zycron Inc. and vice chairman of the university’s Board of Trustees, also urged his new fellow alumni to “take the hope, the greatness and the civility that is inside you to make a positive impact on the world.”
MTSU graduation information — including links to maps and driving directions to Murphy Center, cap-and-gown information, official photographs and contacts for the Registrar’s Office — is available year-round at www.mtsunews.com/graduation-info.
— Gina E. Fann, Gina K. Logue and Randy Weiler (email@example.com)
Fall 2017 MTSU grads will hear recipe for success Dec. 16 from famed chef Chauhan
Famed chef, restauranteur and artisan brewery founder Maneet Chauhan will share her recipe for success with an estimated 1,737 MTSU students receiving their degrees in two fall 2017 commencement ceremonies set this Saturday, Dec. 16.
Chauhan, a featured judge on the hit Food Network show “Chopped,” is also a business partner with MTSU’s new Fermentation Science Program via her Life Is Brewing company, which is offering its Murfreesboro-based Hop Springs agritourism complex and Steel Barrel Brewery facility for fermentation and sensory labs.
A multi-award-winning graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Chauhan has worked in some of the finest hotels and restaurants in India and the United States. She is chef and owner of Chauhan Ale and Masala House in Nashville and formed Morph Hospitality Group in 2016, which opened the Tansuo and Mockingbird restaurants in Nashville’s Gulch neighborhood.
Chauhan, who lives in Franklin, Tennessee, with her family, mentors new Culinary Institute graduates and is involved with the educational arm of the National Restaurant Association’s ProStart program for high school students. She also is an active supporter of various charities and locally was the 2016 event chair for the March of Dimes Signature Chef Auction.
During Saturday’s commencement exercises, students from the College of Graduate Studies, College of Basic and Applied Sciences, the Jones College of Business and the College of Education will receive their degrees in the morning ceremony.
The MTSU Registrar’s Office reported this week that of the 1,737 students set to graduate Saturday, 1,514 are undergraduates and 223 are graduate students, including 196 master’s candidates, 10 education-specialist recipients and 17 doctoral candidates. Three graduate students also will be receiving graduate certificates.
An official program listing all the graduates is available here.
MTSU’s commencement ceremonies are always free and open to the public. Friends, families and supporters who can’t attend in person can watch each ceremony live online Dec. 16 via streaming video.
The video stream will be available only on Dec. 16 and will begin about 15 minutes before each ceremony starts; more details and the video link are available here.
MTSU’s Graduation Committee noted that all graduating students must stay for their entire commencement ceremony. Each ceremony may last up to three hours.
Guests attending each ceremony are being asked to arrive early to ease traffic congestion around Murphy Center and to help ensure comfortable seating for everyone inside Hale Arena. Motorists should avoid Middle Tennessee Boulevard because of ongoing construction.
Graduation information — including links to maps and driving directions to Murphy Center, cap-and-gown information, official photographs and contacts for the Registrar’s Office — is available anytime at www.mtsunews.com/graduation-info.
— Gina E. Fann (firstname.lastname@example.org)