In the News: MTSU experts weigh in on music educat...

In the News: MTSU experts weigh in on music education, health care, politics, nutrition, airlines

Music education, health care reform, legislative districts, grocery shopping and dairy products are some of the topics explained by MTSU faculty and staff experts in the media recently.

Dr. Jennifer Vannatta-Hall

Dr. Jamila McWhirter

Dr. Christopher Dye

the winter-spring edition of the Tennessee Music Educators Association’s magazine, “Tennessee Musician,” featured School of Music professors Christopher Dye, Jamila McWhirter and Jennifer Vannatta-Hall’s organizational leadership positions in full-page commentaries  shortly before the organization’s spring conference in Nashville.

Dye, who serves as TMEA advocacy and government relations chair, coordinated the School of Music’s “Day on the Hill” arts education initiative with the state Legislature. McWhirter serves as chair for the state organization’s Society for Music Teacher Education/Research. Vanatta-Hall is the TMEA state collegiate chair for the National Association for Music Education, or NAfME, and coordinated the TMEA Professional Development Conference in April and the Tennessee representatives’ trip to Washington, D.C., June 27-July 1 for the NAfME National Assembly’s Collegiate Advocacy Summit and Hill Day. You can read their commentaries in issue No.3, Vol. 69, here.

Dr. John Vile

Kent Syler

Dr. John Vile, political scientist and dean of the University Honors College, fielded viewers’ calls about the Trump administration May 3 on “Open Line with Ben Hall” on NewsChannel5+. The video can be seen here.

Kent Syler, assistant professor of political science, assessed U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander’s role in the health care legislation debate for a June 22 article published in The Tennessean and the Knoxville News-Sentinel. Syler’s comments are available here. Syler also responded to the Associated Press analysis of Congressional gerrymandering for a June 25 article published in The Tennessean, available here.

Dr. Wendy Beckman

Dr. Lisa Sheehan-Smith

Dr. Lisa Sheehan-Smith, professor of human sciences, outlined ways to make a trip to the grocery store healthier in a May 1 article for; the story can be read here. Sheehan-Smith also promoted the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association’s observance of Osteoporosis Prevention and Awareness Month May 11 on “Nashville on Today” on WSMV-TV. That video can be seen here.

Dr. Wendy Beckman, chair of the Department of Aerospace, commented in a June 29 story at on filling airline jobs by recruiting college students on campus. The story is available here.

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