Table of Contents (Summer 2014)

Click on the image to view an electronic version of MTSU Magazine.

MTSU Magazine

Middle Tennessee State University

Summer 2014 / vol. 18, no. 1

Feature Stories

Cover Story:
The Power of Preservation

Carroll Van West guides one of MTSU’s most respected Centers of Excellence toward a self-sufficient futureFEATURES

Gifts that Keep on Giving

Generous alums demonstrate the power of True Blue

Top 10 Myths about Today’s MTSU

And why you should send your child or grandchild to your alma mater

Forward March

Rickey Smith works to build tomorrow’s Army

Degrees of Recognition

Honorary degrees go to two extraordinary individuals with MTSU ties


Five Minutes with the President

The Quest for Student Success

Ask an Expert

Back in the Groove
by Drew Ruble


Par for the Course
by Bill Lewis


Working Behind Bars
by Katie Porterfield

Class Notes

Path to Progress

Letter from the Editor

Path to Progress

by Drew Ruble

Sr. Editor University Publications

The recent opening of MTSU’s $16 million Student Services and Admissions Center is the latest example of the University’s emphasis on student success and its focus on keeping students enrolled and on track toward graduation.

The 58,000-square-foot facility is connected by a walking bridge to the Student Union Building and houses all functions related to admissions, records and enrollment, financial aid, scheduling, and the Bursar’s Office. Having one location for all these services is a new experience for students, who previously had to go to several different offices spread around campus to handle some of their most pressing concerns. The MT One Stop, a comprehensive student assistance center, meets and exceeds all enrollment management needs.

The combination of a new building and the revamping of the University’s service model for enrollment management has significantly decreased frustration and allowed students to sharpen their focus on academic achievement.

Gone are the days when students had to seek help from a variety of far-flung departments and offices and then figure out for themselves how to move forward. Now, MTSU staff members are often able to translate routine enrollment questions and concerns into opportunities to actively engage students in broader issues related to academic success and graduation. It’s a whole new way of looking at a very common set of problems that may have previously led to missed opportunities to help students who are unsure, confused, looking for help, or facing big decisions.

Debra Sells, vice president for Student Affairs and vice provost for Enrollment and Academic Services, says the overall program is designed to make being enrolled at MTSU easier, more convenient, and barrier-free. “Every interaction we have with the student around issues related to financial aid or enrollment can be an opportunity to retain the student and support his or her broader academic success,” Sells says. “From the student’s point of view, the functions of these offices need to coordinate seamlessly to prevent barriers to ongoing registration, enrollment, and payment.”

The design of the building and the concept behind MT One Stop are aligned with the Complete College Tennessee Act, which requires state appropriations to be based on retention and graduation rates, not enrollment. This bold new approach to providing personal, comprehensive, and coordinated enrollment services to students is in step with Gov. Bill Haslam’s “Drive to 55” initiative, aimed at raising the percentage of Tennesseans with college degrees or certifications to 55 percent by 2025.

MTSU is determined to offer students every opportunity to succeed and to make those opportunities easy to find in one central location: MT One Stop.

True Blue!


University Editor

Drew Ruble

Art Director

Kara Hooper

Contributing Editors

Sara Brookfield, Darby Campbell, Carol Stuart

Contributing Writers

Lynn Adams, Gina E. Fann, Jimmy Hart, Gina K. Logue, Vicky Travis, Randy Weiler

Design Assistance

Karin Albrecht, Kathy Bowlin, Darrell Callis Burks, Brian Evans, Amanda Hooten, David Lowry, Micah Loyed, Sherry Wiser George

University Photographers

J. Intintoli, Andy Heidt

Special thanks to

Ginger Freeman and the Alumni Relations staff, Sharon Fitzgerald, Tara Hollins, Colby Jubenville, MT Athletics staff, the staff of the MTSU Office of Development, Bea Perdue, Jack Ross, Cindy Speer, Terry Whiteside

University President

Sidney A. McPhee

Interim University Provost

Mark Byrnes

Vice President for University Advancement

Joe Bales

Vice President for Marketing and Communications

Andrew Oppmann