In the News/COVID-19: MTSU faculty, staff take on ...

In the News/COVID-19: MTSU faculty, staff take on politics, journalism, mental health, college recruitment, more

While performing their regular jobs, MTSU faculty and staff continue to share their expertise with news media outlets during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent topics include the coronavirus’ potential impact on electoral politics, the Chinese community, local journalism, mental health and college recruiting.

Beverly Keel, chair, Department of Recording Industry

Beverly Keel

Dr. Guanping Zheng, interim vice provost, international affairs

Dr. Guanping Zheng

Beverly Keel, chair of the Department of Recording Industry, explained what made the late musician John Prine so special in a documentary from PRX that aired over public radio stations nationwide on various dates after Prine passed away April 7. The two-hour version of that documentary can be heard here. Keel’s comments begin at 35:20.

Keel also mourned the passing of McGavock High School teacher Kent Cathcart in an April 15 story by Main Street Nashville. Her reflections are available here.

• Dr. Guanping Zheng, interim vice provost for International Affairs, answered questions about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Chinese community in the United States and in diaspora for an April 8 article in the Rutherford Source. His views can be read here.

David Wilkerson, lecturer, Department of Theatre and Dance

David Wilkerson

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee

David Wilkerson, a lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Dance, explained his YouTube series “Corona Combat: Rapier Edition,” which shows a way for people to remain active during the COVID-19 pandemic, for an April 9 article in the Nashville Scene. His remarks are available here.

• Dr. Sidney A. McPhee, MTSU president, was interviewed for the April 10 edition of “Tennessee Voices,” a podcast available through the USA Today Network Tennessee. The video can be seen here.

MTSU Police Chief Buddy Peaster

Chief Buddy Peaster

Dr. John Vile

Dr. John Vile

Buddy Peaster, MTSU police chief, participated in a “Safer at Home” video with other Rutherford County law enforcement officers that was posted April 10 by the Rutherford Source. The video can be accessed here.

• Dr. John Vile, dean of the University Honors College and political scientist, was interviewed about the COVID-19 pandemic’s possible effect on the November election on an April 10 edition of “Inside Politics” that was posted April 13 on the NewsChannel5+ website. The video is available here.

Kent Syler, assistant professor, political science

Kent Syler

Dr. Mark Anshel

Kent Syler, a professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations, analyzed the impact of political differences between states on the nation’s response to the coronavirus in an April 15 report in the Knoxville News Sentinel and other Gannett newspapers. His views can be accessed here.

• Dr. Mark Anshel, professor emeritus of health and human performance, explained the biological effect of sex on sleep for an April 15 article at His comments are available here.

Ken Paulson, director of the Free Speech Center at MTSU

Ken Paulson

Shannon Josey, lecturer, Health and Human Performance

Shannon Josey

Ken Paulson, director of the Free Speech Center, wrote about the importance of local journalism during the COVID-19 pandemic in an April 16 editorial at His opinions can be read here.

Shannon Josey, a lecturer in the Department of Health and Human Performance, was interviewed by WSMV-TV in Nashville for an April 16 report about sustaining mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. The video is available here.

Danielle Fowler, recruitment coordinator, University College

Danielle Fowler

Hunter Patterson, marketing/social media coordinator, University College

Hunter Patterson

Danielle Fowler, coordinator of recruiting and corporate outreach for the University College, and Hunter Patterson, coordinator of marketing and social media for the University College, explained “Finish Now Friday,” a virtual program for prospective students, for an April 17 report on WSMV-TV in Nashville. The video can be viewed here.

Reporters seeking expertise from MTSU personnel, as well as members of the campus community with expertise for media, may contact Gina Logue in the Office of News and Media Relations at 615-898-5081 or via email at