In the News: Cross burning, Electoral College, Ame...

In the News: Cross burning, Electoral College, American politics, student loans and more

News agencies recently called on MTSU faculty and staff experts for comments on numerous issues, including car insurance, the Bill of Rights, criminal justice, job interviews and student loan forgiveness, among other topics.

Dr. Horace Johns, accounting professor

Dr. Horace Johns

Lynda Williams, professor, Department of Criminal Justice Administration; former deputy assistant director of the Office of Human Resources of the U.S. Secret Service, and an MTSU alumna

Lynda Williams

• Dr. Horace Johns, a professor of accounting, wrote a commentary about the important character traits to project while interviewing for a job. The opinion piece was published Dec. 9 by and can be read here.

Lynda Williams, a professor of criminal justice administration, predicted a “hybrid” criminal justice system would emerge after the COVID-19 pandemic in a Dec. 10 story in The Crime Report. Her comments are available here.

Dr. John Vile

Dr. John Vile

Dr. Ben Jansen, assistant professor of finance, Department of Economics and Finance, Jones College of Business

Dr. Benjamin Jansen

• Dr. John Vile, dean of the University Honors College and a political scientist, was interviewed for the Tennessee Voices podcast about the present and future of American politics. The video, which was posted Dec. 10, can be accessed here.

• Dr. Benjamin A. Jansen, an assistant professor of finance, answered questions about COVID-19’s impact on car insurance prices and celebrity endorsements for car insurance for a Dec. 10 story by WalletHub. His responses can be read here.

Kent Syler, assistant professor, political science

Kent Syler

Sarah E. Calise, archivist, Political and Regional Collections, Albert Gore Research Center at MTSU

Sarah Calise

Kent Syler, a professor of political science and international relations, commented on the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to hear a lawsuit filed by Texas to postpone the vote of Electoral College members from four other states in a Dec. 11 report by WSMV-TV in Nashville. His remarks are available here.

Sarah Calise, an archivist with the Albert Gore Research Center, discussed her pursuit of information about a 1970 cross burning on the MTSU campus in a Dec. 12 story in the Daily News Journal of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Her remarks are available here.

Ken Paulson, director, Free Speech Center at MTSU, College of Media and Entertainment

Ken Paulson

Dr. Jessica Gaby, assistant professor, psychology

Dr. Jessica Gaby

Ken Paulson, director of the Free Speech Center, said the Bill of Rights emerged from an environment full of vitriolic and biased media in a Dec. 15 editorial in the Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne, Indiana. His quotes can be read here.

• Dr. Jessica Gaby, an assistant professor of psychology, explained how intensely the olfactory system is tied in with emotion and memory in a Dec. 15 article in Wine Magazine. Her perspectives can be accessed here.

Dr. Daniel Smith, director of the Political Economy Research Institute; associate professor in Economics and Finance

Dr. Daniel Smith

Dr. Murat Arik, assistant professor of management, Jones College of Business, and director of the MTSU Business and Economic Research Center

Dr. Murat Arik

• Dr. Daniel Smith, an associate professor of economics and director of the Political Economy Research Institute, wrote an editorial advocating against student loan forgiveness that was published Dec. 17 in The Ohio Star of Columbus, Ohio. His views are available here.

• Dr. Murat Arik, director of the Business and Economic Research Center, said Tennessee’s real estate market is moving upward despite the pandemic in a Dec. 18 story by WTVF-TV in Nashville. His comments can be accessed here.

Dr. Benjamin Stickle, associate professor, Department of Criminal Justice Administration

Dr. Ben Stickle

• Dr. Ben Stickle, an associate professor of criminal justice administration, said porch piracy will be difficult to control until more police departments begin collecting data on the crime in a Dec. 20 article in the Toledo (Ohio) Blade. His remarks can be read 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 615-631-8322 or via email at