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MTSU Alumni Summer College participants explore al...

MTSU Alumni Summer College participants explore all fermentation science has to offer

Alumni Summer College recently returned to MTSU in-person for the first time since 2019 after Covid forced the cancelation of the popular event the past two years.

Nearly 70 participants came from across the region, state and Southeast, to learn what’s happening on the Middle Tennessee State University campus, renew and make new friendships and literally get a taste of a five-year-old Fermentation Science program in late June.

The aim of Alumni Summer College is to educate alumni, family and community members about MTSU in a fun, relaxed and interactive environment.

MTSU alumna Milbrey Campbell views the contents inside the jar being passed around during a fermentation science presentation about yogurt in a Davis Science Building classroom at this year’s Alumni Summer College. Attendees learned about the fermentation process for meats, cheeses, dairy and alcoholic  beverages. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)
MTSU alumna Milbrey Campbell views the contents inside the jar being passed around during a fermentation science presentation about yogurt in a Davis Science Building classroom at this year’s Alumni Summer College. Attendees learned about the fermentation process for meats, cheeses, dairy and alcoholic beverages. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Bob Cimino (Class of 1967) of Wylie, Texas, near Dallas, and his wife, Susan, returned this year after enjoying the summer college experience three years ago.

“We enjoyed summer college for sure. It’s an exceptional program,” said Cimino, who earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and industrial studies. 

The Ciminos knew “very little about fermentation science other than alcohol,” he said. “We learned about meats, cheeses and, of course, yogurt. We’ll continue to attend Alumni Summer College.”

Cimino retired about 15 years ago. He worked 23 years for Eastman Kodak and 10 years with Electro Scientific Industries.

MTSU first-year graduate student Elizabeth Zuy, center, provides a brief demonstration of the fermentation of meats for Alumni Summer College attendees Bob, left, and Susan Cimino of Wylie, Texas. Bob Cimino (Class of 1967) earned a bachelor’s degree, with a double major in math and industrial studies. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)
MTSU first-year graduate student Elizabeth Zuy, center, provides a brief demonstration of the fermentation of meats for Alumni Summer College attendees Bob, left, and Susan Cimino of Wylie, Texas. Bob Cimino (Class of 1967) earned a bachelor’s degree, with a double major in math and industrial studies. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

At MTSU, he recalls taking classes taught by the late Edwin Voorhies, the department chair, working in the planning office and starting school in 1962 when it was Middle Tennessee State College and graduating two years after it became a university in 1965.

Different faculty led the late June summer college sessions in Davis Science Building classrooms and the fermentation science laboratory. 

Class attendees took field trips to Common John Brewing Company in Manchester, Tennessee, where alumna Shelby Haggard works, and to Short Mountain Cultures in Woodbury, Tennessee.

In a fermentation science session about yogurt, MTSU alumnus Don Witherspoon (Class of 1964), center, poses a question to School of Agriculture assistant professor Keely O’Brien, one of the fermentation faculty members. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)
In a fermentation science session about yogurt, MTSU alumnus Don Witherspoon (Class of 1964), center, poses a question to School of Agriculture assistant professor Keely O’Brien, one of the fermentation faculty members. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

“After three years of not being together and not really having large groups on campus, we were so excited to have 65 people registered to come to Alumni Summer College,” said Ginger Freeman, director of the MTSU Alumni Relations Office.

Ginger Freeman, director, MTSU Office of Alumni Relations
Ginger Freeman

“It’s just an opportunity for everybody to get back together, show off the campus and show off a new program,” Freeman added. “It’s been great to see old faces, new faces and get to have fun together.” 

To inquire about the 2023 Alumni Summer College, call 615-898-2922.

MTSU has more than 300 combined undergraduate and graduate programs. The School of Agriculture is one of 11 College of Basic and Applied Sciences departments. Fermentation is one of the newest agriculture programs.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

MTSU Alumni Summer College attendee Don Midgett listens to a fermentation science demonstration about yogurt. Nearly 70 alumni and guests participated in the recent two-day event that included talks by MTSU faculty in the Davis Science Building and field trips to Manchester and Woodbury, Tenn. Midgett is married to alumna Carolyn Midgett (Class of 1964). His father, Elwin W. “Wink” Midgett, arrived at MTSU in 1939 to start the business program at Middle Tennessee State Teachers College. The Midgett Building, which is connected to Kirksey Old Main, is named for E.W. Midgett. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)
MTSU Alumni Summer College attendee Don Midgett listens to a fermentation science demonstration about yogurt. Nearly 70 alumni and guests participated in the recent two-day event that included talks by MTSU faculty in the Davis Science Building and field trips to Manchester and Woodbury, Tenn. Midgett is married to alumna Carolyn Midgett (Class of 1964). His father, Elwin W. “Wink” Midgett, arrived at MTSU in 1939 to start the business program at Middle Tennessee State Teachers College. The Midgett Building, which is connected to Kirksey Old Main, is named for E.W. Midgett. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)


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