In the News: MTSU faculty talk to media about dive...

In the News: MTSU faculty talk to media about diversity, finances, politics, more

MTSU faculty and staff recently provided the media with their perspectives on various issues, from diversity and inclusion projects to financial issues and country music controversies.

Dr. Adonijah Bakari, associate professor of history, director of Africana Studies Program
Dr. Adonijah Bakari
Dr. Sekou Franklin
Dr. Sekou Franklin

• Dr. Adonijah Bakari, associate professor of history, talked about the history of racism and how it impacted Black men, boys and families at the Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys summit July 24 in Washington, D.C. He then talked about solutions such as rites of passage programs, manhood/fatherhood programs, and discussed the importance of developing Black educators. Watch Bakari speak about these issues.

• At the same summit, Dr. Sekou Franklin, political science professor, gave a historical overview of federal policy initiatives that address systemic inequalities that impacted Black men and boys. Watch his comments here.

Franklin also discussed the role of race in electoral politics on Aug. 16 during the podcast, “Politics Censored,” hosted by Bill Gallagher. Listen to his comments.

Dr. Sean Salter, associate professor, Economics and Finance
Dr. Sean Salter
Dr. Lauren Rudd, associate professor, Department of Human Sciences, College of Behavioral and Health Sciences
Dr. Lauren Rudd

• Dr. Sean P. Salter, assistant dean for assessment and associate professor of finance in MTSU’s Jones College of Business, talked with WalletHub July 31 about balance transfers. Read more. Salter also participates in a weekly Bankrate poll. You can follow weekly updates here.

• Textiles, Merchandising and Design professor Dr. Lauren Rudd was tapped for her creativity and work with Borderless Arts Tennessee and “Power of Resilience” online Aug. 10 at

Dr. Janet Colson, professor of nutrition and food science and registered dietician, Department of Human Sciences
Dr. Janet Colson
Edwin Kaup, Chief, University Police.
Edwin Kaup

• Dr. Janet Colson, nutrition expert and human sciences professor, talked about the science behind functional foods in this Aug. 10 article published in The Conversation.

• MTSU Police Chief Edwin Kaup talked with WKRN-TV News 2 in Nashville about the importance of grant funding for the department during this news article that aired Aug. 22.

Taylor Means
Taylor Means
Kent Syler, assistant professor, political science
Kent Syler

Taylor Means, research assistant for the MTSU Center for Historic Preservation, shared research on a formerly enslaved pastor in a talk at the African American Heritage Society of Williamson County Porch Talk. Read more here in this Williamson Herald article.

• Political science professor Kent Syler shared thoughts on the Tennessee General Assembly’s recent rejection of gun safety laws — despite Gov. Bill Lee’s urging — in this Washington Post article published Aug. 24 and in this Governing article published Aug. 31.

On Sept. 12, Syler talked with the Nashville Banner about Nashville mayoral candidate fundraising. Read his comments.

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

• Dr. Ben Stickle, criminal justice professor, talked with Global News Canada about safety concerns regarding rising copper wire thefts in this Aug. 27 article as well as this CBC Radio interview from Nova Scotia (in French).

Stickle was also featured on ABC’s “Good Morning America” about how to keep your deliveries safe from porch pirates. Check out his comments from Aug. 30.

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

• Ken Paulson, director of the Free Speech Center at MTSU and a First Amendment lawyer, questions the Rutherford County Library Board’s decision to ban books from its coffers in this Aug. 30 article in The Daily News Journal.

Paulson was interviewed by Time Magazine for an article examining the Tennessee special session on gun violence. Read the article, published Aug. 30.

On Sept. 6, Paulson explained what First Amendment rights and limitations are in an interview WTVF-TV NewsChannel 5 in Nashville. Watch the segment.

Robert Fowler, assistant professor, aerospace
Robert Fowler
Beverly Keel, dean, College of Media and Entertainment
Beverly Keel
Dr. Michael Roach, associate professor, Department of Economics and Finance
Dr. Michael Roach

•  Robert Fowler Jr., aerospace assistant professor, talked with the Denver Post about the Denver International Airport’s new $40 million Center of Equity and Excellence in Aviation as part of push for diversity and inclusion in the industry. Read his comments from the Sept. 4 article.

• Beverly Keel, dean of the College of Media and Entertainment, weighed in on the negative ripple effect that Jason Aldean’s “Try That in a Small Town”[JH1]  controversy created in this Sept. 3 Washington Post article.

• Dr. Michael Roach, economics and finance professor, explained how the Tennessee Titans’ value topped $4 billion in Forbes ranking in this Sept. 6 article in The Tennessean.

Become a faculty expert in the media

If you are interested in interviewing with media as a faculty expert, email Nancy DeGennaro ( There are numerous opportunities to share your expertise with media for articles, podcasts and video/television.