Being named “Best House Delegation” from all of Tennessee’s colleges and universities and earning two individual honors capped an eventful Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature meeting for Middle Tennessee State University students attending the 54th General Assembly at the Tennessee Capitol in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature, or TISL, is a four-day forum in late fall for students to exchange ideas, express their opinions and learn how government works.
“For the third consecutive year, MTSU’s delegation was awarded with the Best Delegation among all Tennessee colleges and universities participating,” said Danny Kelley, assistant vice president for Student Affairs.
“TISL provides college students across Tennessee the opportunity to participate in mock legislative sessions,” Kelley added. “It is important to note that some of the legislation that is passed makes it to the floor of the actual Tennessee Legislature.”
December graduate Macy Franks, one of the 11 MTSU attendees, said “TISL was such a great learning experience for everyone who attended. I have made so many friends and connections with this experience. While there, you get to learn more about how the General Assembly works in the state of Tennessee.”
Franks, an exercise science major from Adamsville, Tennessee, was recognized as the Outstanding House of Representatives delegate.
Representative Elliot Certain of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, a social work major, received the Carlisle Award, which is given to the top 10 legislators.
Dane Norman served as deputy secretary of state and JP Van Der Hayden went as a senator. Other legislative representatives included Denzel Harris, Joshua Wheaton, Hannah Ferreira and Madison Warren. In lawyer capacities were Mona Ikbariah, Candace May and Misty Armstrong.
The MTSU delegation received expert mentoring from Beth Harwell, former Tennessee House speaker who now is a distinguished visiting professor in the MTSU Department of Political Science and International Relations.
Students had opportunities to serve as press corps members, the Supreme Court and lobbyists during the mid-November event.
“This practical experience allows them a forum to take what they have learned in relevant classes and/or student organizations and put that knowledge into action,” Kelley said.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)