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In the News: Impeachment, insurrection, inaugurati...

In the News: Impeachment, insurrection, inauguration, assassination, social media and more

News agencies benefitted recently from the insights of MTSU faculty and staff on a variety of subjects, including the second impeachment of Donald Trump, the riot at the U.S. Capitol, social media, the COVID-19 vaccine and presidential pardons, among other items.


Nicole King, MTSU Student Health Services (Screen grab from dnj.com)

Nicole King

Dr. Sean Foley, an associate professor of history

Dr. Sean Foley

Nicole King, an MTSU Health Services nurse, said she got the COVID-19 vaccine after surviving the virus earlier in the year in a Jan. 4 story in the Daily News Journal of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Her comments can be read here.

Dr. Sean Foley, a professor of history, said Iranians assume that Israel was responsible for the assassination of Iranian nuclear expert Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in a Jan. 7 article by Zenger News. His views can be accessed here.

Dr. Crystal deGregory, research fellow, Center for Historic Preservation

Dr. Crystal deGregory

Dr. Crystal DeGregory, research fellow at the Center for Historic Preservation, cautioned that the interest some black entrepreneurs have in purchasing Reebok could result in unreasonable expectations of the brand in a Jan. 8 article by Yahoo!Life. Her views can be read here.

DeGregory hailed the explanation of Kentucky State College and its importance to African Americans in the Netflix miniseries “The Queen’s Gambit” in a Jan. 19 column in The State Journal of Frankfort, Kentucky. Her analysis is available here.


Dr. John Vile, dean of the University Honors College and a Constitutional law scholar, offered tips on explaining Section Four of the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to elementary school-age children in a Jan. 8 article in Parents Magazine. His perspectives can be accessed here.

Dr. John Vile

Dr. John Vile

Vile said that some members of Congress continue to play to the base of support President Trump created even though Trump lost his bid for reelection in a Jan. 13 article in the Westside Gazette of Broward County, Florida. His comments can be read here.

Vile discussed the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on the Jan. 13 edition of “MorningLine” on NewsChannel5+. The video can be seen here.

Vile analyzed the second impeachment of President Trump in an historical context for a Jan. 14 report for Sinclair Broadcast Group stations. His remarks are available here.

Vile penned an editorial calling for a reconsideration of presidential pardon power in light of President Trump’s last-minute spate of pardons. The essay was published in the Jan. 19 edition of The Tennessean and can be read here.


Sarah Hendrix

Sarah Hendrix

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

Ken Paulson

Sarah Hendrix, strategic communications manager for the College of Graduate Studies, said MTSU has started a “Pets Are Invited” webpage where graduate students can show off their animal friends in a Jan. 10 report by WKRN-TV in Nashville. The video and transcript can be accessed here.

Ken Paulson, director of the Free Speech Center, explained why social media platforms can ban individuals without violating the First Amendment in a Jan. 11 report by WSMV-TV in Nashville. The video and transcript are available here.

Paulson criticized proposed legislation that would strip social media platforms of liability protections in an editorial posted Jan. 16 by The Wilson Times of Wilson, North Carolina. His views can be read here.

Kent Syler, assistant professor, political science

Kent Syler

Kent Syler, a professor of political science and international relations, explained what the second impeachment of President Trump could mean in a Jan. 13 report by WSMV-TV in Nashville. His comments can be accessed here.

Syler also provided a preview of President-elect Joe Biden’s inaugural speech in a Jan. 20 report by WSMV-TV in Nashville. The video and transcript can be seen here.


Tim Rathert, head coach, MTSU hockey club

Tim Rathert

Dr. Elizabeth Barnes

Tim Rathert, head coach of the MTSU hockey club team, applauded the proposed creation of a new ice rink in Sumner County in a Jan. 14 report by WSMV-TV in Nashville. His remarks are available here.

Dr. Elizabeth Barnes, an assistant professor of biology, discussed a recent study examining the compatibility of religion and science while teaching evolution on the Jan. 14 edition of “Issues of Faith” on NewsChannel5+. The video can be seen here.

Dr. Sekou Franklin

Dr. Sekou Franklin

Dr. Sekou Franklin, an associate professor of political science and international relations, was interviewed about impeachment, unity and the social justice movement for the Tennessee Voices podcast published Jan. 20 by The Tennessean. The video can be accessed here.

Franklin was quoted on the subject of civility and unity in an editorial by David Plazas in the Jan. 20 edition of The Tennessean. His statement 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 gina.logue@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)


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