In the News: Venezuela, Grammy Awards, marijuana, ...

In the News: Venezuela, Grammy Awards, marijuana, milk and more provide fodder for experts

MTSU experts provided facts and perspectives on John Prine, drinking milk, Venezuela, marijuana, the State of the Union address and more in recent articles and telecasts.

Dr. Stephen Morris, a professor of political science and international affairs, was among 70 scholars who signed an open letter opposing ongoing intervention by the United States in Venezuela. The letter was published Jan. 24 by The Wire and other news outlets and is available here.

Dr. Stephen Morris, political science

Dr. Stephen Morris

Dr. Andrei Korobkov, professor, Department of Political Science and International Relations

Dr. Andrei Korobkov

Dr. Andrei Korobkov, a professor of political science and international affairs, commented on the political crisis in Venezuela for Information Agency News Front. Video of his Jan. 26 interview can be seen here. A transcript is available in English in a Feb. 7 post at, which can be read here.

Dr. Elliott Altman, a professor of biology and director of the Tennessee Center for Botanical Medical Research, explained the difference between hemp and marijuana for a Jan. 29 story by WKRN-TV in Nashville. The video and transcript are available here.

Altman also explained how test standards for the cannabinoid THC differ for a Feb. 12 story by WTVF-TV in Nashville. The video and transcript are here.

Dr. Elliot Altman

Dr. Elliot Altman

Kent Syler, assistant professor, political science

Kent Syler

Kent Syler, a professor of political science and international affairs, analyzed President Trump’s State of the Union address Feb. 5 for WSMV-TV in Nashville. The video is available here.

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee, president of MTSU, expressed support for the university’s Confucius Institute in a story in the Feb. 5 edition of The Daily Memphian. His views can be read here.

Tom Neff, an assistant professor of media arts, talked about the documentary “Mr. Temple and the Tigerbelles,” which Neff and his students created, for a Feb. 5 posting at His comments are available here.

Dr. Bill Robertson, a professor of physics and astronomy, received thanks from author Walter Wick in his new book “A Ray of Light: A Book of Science and Wonder.” The gratitude was part of a Feb. 7 review at, which can be read here.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee

Tom Neff, professor, Department of Media Arts

Tom Neff

Ken Paulson, dean of the College of Media and Entertainment, paid tribute to musician/composer John Prine at a salute by the Americana Music Association. His comments were reported in Billboard Magazine Feb. 10 and are available here.

Kate Snow of NBC News interviewed MTSU students and alumni about their recording industry aspirations in advance of the 2019 Grammy Awards ceremony in a package that aired Feb. 10 on the NBC Nightly News. NBC affiliate WSMV-TV in Nashville aired a story about MTSU students’ sixth consecutive working trip to the Grammys and the alumni nominees.

Dr. Sandra Poirier, a professor of nutrition and food science, emphasized the importance of drinking milk as an anti-aging food in a Feb. 11 post by Reader’s Digest. The story is available here.

Dr. Sandra Lynn Poirier, Human Sciences faculty

Dr. Sandra Poirier

Ken Paulson, dean, College of Media and Entertainment

Ken Paulson

Dr. Bill Robertson, physics and astronomy

Dr. Bill Robertson

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