Click here for information and updates about the University’s response to COVID-19.
MTSU
READING

MTSU Health and Human Performance staff usher in h...

MTSU Health and Human Performance staff usher in holidays with door decor competition

Middle Tennessee State University’s Health and Human Performance department had 26 staff and faculty participate in their holiday door décor competition that wrapped up Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022. (MTSU graphic illustration by Stephanie Wagner)

Sonya Sanderson, chair of MTSU’s Department of Health and Human Performance, has always loved to decorate her office door for the holidays. 

“This year, my Halloween decorations must have really impressed because several people asked, ‘What are you going to do for Christmas?’”

Sonya Sanderson, chair of the Health and Human Performance department at Middle Tennessee State University, helped launch a department-wide holiday door décor competition, and she won third place for her Christmas tree-themed door on the Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, judging at the Murphy Center on campus. (Photo courtesy of Sonya Sanderson)
Sonya Sanderson, chair of the Department of Health and Human Performance at Middle Tennessee State University, helped launch a departmental holiday door decor competition, and she won third place for her Christmas tree-themed door on the Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, judging in Murphy Center on campus. (Photo courtesy of Sonya Sanderson)

Sanderson said she thought it would be fun for others to join in, and her coworker Paco Ramos, a lecturer in the department, said they should bring back a practice they had both participated in as graduate teaching assistants back in 2000 — a Christmas door decorating contest. 

Sanderson loved the idea and put it into action. 

Missy Mullins, our office coordinator, sent out a friendly competition email to all faculty, graduate teaching assistants and staff on Oct. 25, and invited them to decorate their doors and that I would give prizes to the top three doors,” Sanderson said. 

Department members had just over a month to put their creations together, and five judges, staff from other departments, picked winning doors on Dec. 1. 

“We awarded gift cards to popular restaurants and coffee shops for $15, $10 and $5 for the top three doorsand also awarded prizes to the most creative, best craftsmanship and best area participation; the Speech-Language Pathology Audiology Program staff all decorated their doors in a Santa’s reindeer theme. We also did honorable mentions for visual impact, most fun, thinking outside the box and graduate teaching assistant participation,” Sanderson said. 

Staff from Middle Tennessee State University’s Speech-Language Pathology Audiology program participated in the Health and Human Performance department’s holiday door décor competition by decorating their doors as Santa’s reindeer in time for the eve of the competition deadline on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, at the Alumni Memorial Gym on campus. (MTSU photo by Stephanie Wagner)
Staff from Middle Tennessee State University’s Speech-Language Pathology Audiology program participated in the Department of Health and Human Performance’s holiday door decor competition by decorating their doors as Santa’s reindeer in time for the eve of the competition deadline on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, at the Alumni Memorial Gym on campus. (MTSU photo by Stephanie Wagner)
Staff at Middle Tennessee State University’s Health and Human Performance department created a True Blue-style trophy awarded to the winner of the department’s holiday door décor competition that wrapped up on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022. (MTSU photo by Stephanie Wagner)
Staff at Middle Tennessee State University’s Department of Health and Human Performance created a True Blue-style trophy awarded to the winner of the department’s holiday door decor competition that wrapped up on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022. (MTSU photo by Stephanie Wagner)

Sanderson chose a Christmas tree theme for her door. 

Staff at Middle Tennessee State University’s Health and Human Performance department created a True Blue-style trophy awarded to the winner of the department’s holiday door décor competition that wrapped up on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022. (MTSU photo by Stephanie Wagner)
Missy Mullins, coordinator for the Department of Health and Human Performance at Middle Tennessee State University, tied for second place for her Santa’s workshop-themed door as part of the department’s holiday door decor competition and poses with her handiwork on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, in Murphy Center on campus. (MTSU photo by Stephanie Wagner)

“It took me coming in over the weekend, but I had a blast creating my door,” she said. “Just to share a little Christmas cheer made coming in on a Sunday for four hours well worth it.” 

Mullins modeled her door after the entrance to Santa’s North Pole workshop, complete with an elf-sized, True Blue door.

“Having True Blue included in the doors is not part of the contest, but it seems as if everyone did include it,” Mullins said.

In almost all the 26 participants’ entries, there is a lively combination of holiday and Blue Raider spirit: blue Christmas trees, ornaments, lights, sweaters, scarves and more. The top-place trophy also sports MTSU blue. 

“We have had such a good time with it that I expect this tradition to be revived for many years to come,” Mullins said. 

Ramos and his wife, Angela Ramos, an instructor at the department, went to three Goodwill stores to deck out the door of their shared office in Christmas sweaters. 

“Fun, pure entertainment and good camaraderie!” he said about the whole experience. 

Middle Tennessee State University Health and Human Performance faculty Paco Ramos, right, and his wife and coworker Angela Ramos, thrifted and sewed together their ugly Christmas sweater door décor as part of the department’s holiday door décor competition and posed with their creation on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, at the Murphy Center on campus. (MTSU photo by Stephanie Wagner)
Middle Tennessee State University Health and Human Performance faculty Paco Ramos, right, and his wife and coworker Angela Ramos, thrifted and sewed together their ugly Christmas sweater door display as part of the department’s holiday door decor competition and posed with their creation on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, in Murphy Center on campus. (MTSU photo by Stephanie Wagner)

“It’s impressive,” Angela Ramos said about particpants’ efforts. She sewed six sweaters together for their door. 

“I hope that the tradition continues and that for sure it will become more creative, competitive and fun for everybody!” Paco Ramos said. 

Julie George, executive aide, won first place for her Christmas Story-themed door, Mullins tied for second with Katy Stone, lecturer, and her snowman door and Sanderson’s took home third place. 

Sanderson said the department plans to do the competition again next holiday season after this year’s positive experience.

“The ‘oohs and ahhs’ that I hear as people walk past our doors have been the best part,” she said. “In turn, I know that we have ‘made someone’s day.’ We are just having so much fun!”

— Stephanie Wagner (Stephanie.Wagner@mtsu.edu


COMMENTS ARE OFF THIS POST

WE ARE TRUE BLUE