Middle Tennessee State University wrapped another year of helping thousands of scholars secure their hard-earned degrees with a series of groundbreakings for state-of-the-art facilities, including the unveiling of new heights ahead for its aerospace program as well as other noteworthy accomplishments.
The university recently wrapped up 2023 with fall commencement ceremonies at Murphy Center, celebrating the milestone for 1,761 graduates and marking another year of adding 5,000-plus new alumni to its rolls following spring, summer and fall graduations.
“As our alumni head out to launch their professional careers or prepare to pursue advanced degrees,” said MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, “our university continues to also look forward in preparation for the next crop of incoming students by breaking ground on new facilities, enhancing our degree programs and hiring top faculty and staff to further provide a quality educational experience on the Blue Raider campus.”
Here’s a recap of some of the top MTSU news stories during 2023 (Click the headlines for the full stories):
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee joined Middle Tennessee State University President Sidney A. McPhee, other state, local and university officials in late September at Shelbyville Municipal Airport to officially announce a new era for the university’s immensely popular Aerospace Department.
The event drew several hundred people as Lee and McPhee along with MTSU aerospace faculty and Bedford County officials detailed the program’s need for expansion and an eventual departure from its longtime home at Murfreesboro Airport to a new state-of-the-art training hub off U.S. 231 in Bedford County.
A combined $62.2 million in state ($57.2 million) and university ($5 million) funding has paved the way for the move to include being in temporary facilities by the end of spring semester 2024, approximately 10 to 20 aircraft relocating to Shelbyville next spring. Groundbreaking is set for summer or fall 2024, with eventual relocation to Shelbyville by summer or fall 2026.
“This is money well spent. … This is one of the leading aviation programs in the nation and we need to invest in it,” Lee told the crowd. “Southwest (Airlines) put its crew base in Nashville and that is a very big deal. … I’m proud of our state and it’s because of you. That’s why Tennessee is the envy of other states. … That’s why what’s happening in Bedford County is so important and why what MTSU is doing is so important.”
The spring saw another major announcement regarding critical ready-to-work degree programs when the university broke ground on the $74.8 million Applied Engineering Building to be erected on the east side of campus.
Scheduled to open in summer or fall of 2025, the nearly 90,000-square-foot facility will be the new home to the renowned Mechatronics Engineering program and other Engineering Technology concentrations, providing students with the space, equipment and education to prepare for ever-changing careers.
The building’s opening “will be the finishing touch to what we’ve named the Science Corridor of Innovation that began in 2014 with the opening of our $147 million Science Building, the single largest investment by the state of Tennessee for an academic facility,” McPhee noted.
McPhee said the opening of the new facility in 2025 “will be the finishing touch to what we’ve named the Science Corridor of Innovation that began in 2014 with the opening of our $147 million Science Building, the single largest investment by the state of Tennessee for an academic facility.”
MTSU Athletics made a major contribution to university news at the very beginning of the year with the January groundbreaking for the new $66 million Student-Athlete Performance Center to be connected to Floyd Stadium.
The three-story, 85,500-square-foot building connected to the north end of Floyd Stadium will serve as the new home of Blue Raider Football, as well as contain a variety of facilities vital for the continued support of all MTSU student-athletes, including new athletic training, weightlifting and nutrition areas.
When completed, the SAPC will feature three floors of amenities. The first floor will include a nutrition station, a strength and conditioning room and an athletic training room equipped with hydrotherapy pools. The first floor will also be the new home for the Blue Raider football team, as it will house the new football locker room and player’s lounge, in addition to the new equipment room.
The second floor will house the offices of the Blue Raider football coaching staff, meeting areas, position rooms and coaches meeting rooms. The third floor will also feature a large dining venue for student-athletes.
The SAPC project is made possible through the support of Blue Raider fans in the Build Blue campaign. It will also update the south endzone videoboard in Floyd Stadium, as well as the videoboards inside Murphy Center. A control room, giving MTSU the ability to produce their own live television broadcasts at the industry standard, will also be constructed within Murphy Center.
MTSU’s established relationship to provide real-world student training at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival struck an even higher note in 2023 as College of Media and Entertainment students, under the guidance of faculty, handled live television production duties for 25 festival performances that were featured on the popular streaming service Hulu.
The centerpiece of MTSU’s long-time partnership with the iconic four-day music event provided students a unique opportunity to capture images and sound from 35% of the concerts. The coveted assignment for students boosts resumes for job seekers in entertainment journalism, music business and audio and video production.
Students from MTSU’s School of Journalism and Strategic Media filed daily stories and photos for Sidelines, the university’s student news operation; Seigenthaler News Service; and MTSU Student Voice. Photography students captured visual stories.
“We are doing more with Bonnaroo this year than ever,” Media and Entertainment Dean Beverly Keel said. “The work they create will be the highlight of their collegiate portfolios and the memories they create will last a lifetime.”
The MTSU-Bonnaroo partnership began in 2014 with student journalists and expanded in 2015 to also include video and audio work with the college’s almost $2 million Mobile Production Lab, known affectionally as “The Truck.”
MTSU’s first cohort of Physician Assistant Studies students and their families gathered during the summer for the inaugural “white coat” ceremony that symbolizes the next step in their academic careers.
The class of 28 students traded in their gray scrubs for white coats as they shifted from the classroom to clinical rotations over the coming year in preparation for an in-demand profession — with a growth rate of 42% in the Midstate and with one-third of all PA positions in Tennessee located in the Metro Nashville area.
Students spend the first 15 months of the program learning in the classroom, which includes working with human cadavers under supervision. Program Director Marie Patterson has helped craft a medical program that is unique in the state: it has the lowest tuition, an innovative curriculum and a commitment to diversity and community service.
Physician assistants are licensed to diagnose and treat illness and disease, prescribe medication, and perform procedures. They work in collaboration with licensed physicians in a variety of settings including hospitals and clinics.
The university continued its commitment to its teacher training roots with a spring announcement of an innovative partnership with the State Collaborative on Reforming Education, or SCORE.
The collaboration will push to recruit prospective teachers from school districts within high-needs, rural areas of the state, train them at MTSU’s College of Education and return them to teach in their local communities.
Participating school districts would agree to fund any last-dollar scholarships — remaining costs after all other scholarships and grants — for their students’ education to earn initial teaching licensure. In exchange, those students will return to their local districts to teach for at least the same amount of time they spent earning their initial teaching licensure.
University President Sidney A. McPhee praised the partnership during remarks at a signing ceremony hosted at Homer Pittard Campus School, a K-5 teaching laboratory school located on the western edge of the campus.
“We celebrate the initiative designed to help solve the pressing issues that contribute to our statewide, indeed nationwide, teacher shortage,” McPhee said. “The agreement we will sign today represents an important investment in our schools, the next generation of teachers and in the lives of Tennessee’s children.”
New deans, head football coach
New, permanent leadership took the helms of the College of Education and the MTSU College of Business with the summer appointments of Neporcha Cone and Joyce Heames deans of those academic colleges, respectively.
And closing out the year was the major announcement of Derek Mason assuming leadership of the Blue Raider football program as head coach, replacing the highly respected Rick Stockstill after his almost two decades as the top signal caller.
Assuming her new role in July, Cone said the university’s award-winning teacher preparation program drew her in because she believes it is well-positioned to produce great educational leaders. She came to MTSU from Kennesaw State University in Georgia, where she was the chair for the Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education.
Heames also started her new role at MTSU in July, taking over for now Dean Emeritus David Urban, who returned to a faculty position after a decade at the helm.
Formerly dean of the Campbell School of Business at Berry College, a small private liberal arts institution near Rome, Georgia, Heames views the Jones College as well positioned to build on its reputation as a regional leader in business education and a strong pipeline for workforce development in Middle Tennessee.
Meanwhile, Mason took the reins of Blue Raider football in early December following a national search. With a five-year contract in hand, Mason becomes the third coach in the I-A era and the 15th overall in the program’s history.
Mason, who spent the 2023 season working as an analyst for the SEC Network, has 29 years of collegiate coaching experience including seven years as a head coach. He most recently coached in 2022 at Oklahoma State as the defensive coordinator and helped the Cowboys to a spot in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl.
The university’s annual four-state, 14-city True Blue Tour to recruit prospective students drew extra buzz at stops this past year with launch of a new scholarship program for high school and community college guidance counselors.
McPhee launched MTSU’s High School and Community College Counselor Scholarship program, a drive that awards $2,500 in aid to each school sending a staffer to the counselor’s luncheon at most tour stops. The move helped increase overall counselor attendance to 543, which was 63% over last year’s 331.
“Of the counselors who attended, 99 represent high schools for which MTSU has no currently enrolled students,” McPhee told the Board of Trustees at its winter meeting. “We believe these relationships will grow our enrollment into new schools and communities.”
McPhee also noted that first-time freshmen and transfer student applications were up annually, and that the university attracted the highest percentage increase of first-time freshmen this fall (11.2%) among the state’s public four-year institutions.
Here is a recap of other top MTSU stories for 2023 in chronological order from MTSUNews.com:
Songwriters, engineers and singers who refined their talents at Middle Tennessee State University are waiting to hear who’ll be tucking the golden gramophones into their carry-ons to come home after the winners of the 65th annual Grammy Awards are announced Sunday night, Feb. 5.
Middle Tennessee State University said Tuesday it will postpone Thursday’s planned groundbreaking ceremony for its new Student-Athlete Performance Center in respect for alumnus and Trustee Joey Jacobs, who died Saturday, Jan. 14.
The ceremony will now be held at 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26, at the Kennon Hall of Fame. It will mark the beginning of construction of the $66 million project, to be built behind the north end zone of Floyd Stadium and will include other stadium improvements.
Jacobs, 69, was a founding member of MTSU’s Board of Trustees and chaired its Finance and Personnel Committee. The Warren County, Tennessee, native was a nationally recognized business leader with a career that spanned almost 50 years in the health care industry.
After almost a decade as a high school band director, MTSU alumnus John Hazlett has not only shared his expertise with his students; he’s advanced his education at MTSU to better serve them and received recognition for his efforts, most recently being named a CMA Foundation Music Teacher of Excellence for the third time.
The CMA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Country Music Association, created the Music Teachers of Excellence program to recognize the best and brightest music teachers from Nashville and beyond.
The 30 most recent CMA Foundation honorees also included three more True Blue alumni: Susan Waters from Brentwood, Tennessee, Evan Burton from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and Michael Holland from Smyrna, Tennessee.
MTSU history professor Aaron Treadwell channeled his extensive scholarship and considerable oratory skills to give a rousing tribute Monday evening to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — while challenging those attending the university’s traditional MLK celebration to insert themselves into uncomfortable spaces like the slain civil rights leader and his wife did to effect change.
MTSU’s Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs hosted its traditional MLK Celebration and Candlelight Vigil in the Student Union Ballroom Monday evening to honor the late Nobel Peace Prize recipient and his wife, Coretta Scott King, for their tireless efforts to make equality and justice for all a reality in a nation that continues to wrestle with racial inequality.
There was this special moment Sunday night when legendary rock star Peter Frampton gazed out at the capacity crowd at his concert at Middle Tennessee State University’s Tucker Theatre and paused to let the night sink in.
“Thank you for coming, and thank you for being such a great crowd,” Frampton, 72, told the audience, all standing and cheering as he wrapped with a powerful rendition of The Beatles’ classic, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” closing his 90-minute set. “We love you and we’re going to keep on fighting … never say never.”
Sunday’s concert was the Grammy-winning singer’s gift to his fans, after announcing his retirement from extensive touring after a diagnosis of inclusion body myositis, an inflammatory condition of the muscles that causes weakness. He quietly announced the show, only on his social media sites, and gave away the tickets for free.
Middle Tennessee State University Computer Science and Data Science students were not only creating games and dabbling with virtual reality and artificial intelligence at this year’s HackMT event, but also networking and establishing relationships with, hopefully, potential employers.
Joined by representatives from industry partners, MTSU students on 10 teams spent 36 nonstop hours creating apps and more during the annual HackMT and project expo in the MTSU Science Building Sunday, Jan. 29.
MTSU professor Helen Binkley along with master instructor Kristi Phillips were committed to transitioning their high-quality undergraduate degree program in Athletic Training to a master’s when new industry accreditation requirements loomed.
“Our options were either to teach out the undergraduate program until the last chance possible before discontinuing AT altogether or take the steps required to move our program to the master’s level,” Phillips said. “We did not want to lose a program that had produced such quality students over my two decades at MTSU.”
LOS ANGELES — Middle Tennessee State University returned to the Grammy Awards on Friday, Feb. 3, with a contingent from its College of Media and Entertainment traveling from its Murfreesboro, Tennessee, campus to Los Angeles for a long weekend of gathering with area alumni and attending backstage and pre-show events.
President Sidney A. McPhee joined students and faculty on the red carpet at Friday’s exclusive MusiCares event honoring Motown founder Berry Gordy and Grammy-winning musical giant Smokey Robinson. Students worked behind-the-scenes at the Los Angeles Convention Center at the event, the Grammy’s black-tie fundraiser for its charity that provides health and human services for music professionals.
Two pairs of the music industry’s best “ears,” trained at Middle Tennessee State University, will be hearing plenty of congratulations as they figure out the best locations for their newly acquired Grammy Awards for engineering two spectacular albums.
Both Brandon Bell and Tony Castle, graduates of MTSU’s internationally recognized Department of Recording Industry, have already won Grammys for their expertise in getting records to sound right.
At the 65th annual Grammy Awards Sunday night in Los Angeles, they added to their collections: Bell received the best Americana album award for engineering Brandi Carlile’s “In These Silent Days,” and Castle earned his latest Grammy for perfecting icon Willie Nelson’s new country album, “A Beautiful Time.”
Attorney and Memphis City Councilman JB Smiley urged the capacity crowd at this year’s Unity Luncheon at Middle Tennessee State University to embrace this year’s Black History Month theme of “resistance” to confront the inequalities that remain throughout our society.
“Resistance is the best tool and has always been the best tool to tear down systems of oppression and inequality,” Smiley said during his keynote remarks to the 250 attendees at the 27th annual luncheon inside the Student Union Ballroom. The event honored a new crop of “unsung heroes” from the Midstate community who have improved the quality of life of their neighbors and communities.
It was more than an ordinary week recently for Siegel Humanities Academy students at Siegel High School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee — it was their first Humanities Week.
The week was packed with fun activities that pushed students to think outside the box, create, communicate their ideas, and bond as a community. It was a week that, according to Siegel student Emma Ridgley, “was beneficial to the school as a whole, showing us that the Humanities Academy is not just about schoolwork and classes but experiencing new things, having fun and learning about different communities.”
The Siegel Humanities Academy started one year ago in partnership with Middle Tennessee State University’s College of Liberal Arts and has hosted 12 “Lunch and Learn” sessions to introduce students to MTSU alumni who share the diverse job opportunities available to people in the humanities.
For 10 MTSU undergraduate students and researchers, Wednesday, Feb. 15, marked not just another opportunity to present their STEM-based research projects, but to also show off their work to state officials and peers and rub elbows with Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee at the annual Posters at the Capitol event.
The MTSU cohort joined 41 other undergraduates from public universities across the state at the Cordell Hull Building to participate in the event, put on by MTSU’s Tennessee STEM Education Center, that also included personal meetings with state representatives, lunch and a short address from Lee.
Even President Sidney A. McPhee, on hand for a budget hearing, made sure to stop by and learn more about the variety of research projects in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math being conducted by Blue Raider students.
Sophia Wang and Chetan Yenigalla of Ravenwood High School made their airplanes fly. Sisters Claire and Gwen Moser, also from Ravenwood, created a catapult that launched a tennis ball within inches of their intended targets.
In 23 STEM-related events for middle and high school students, 200 teenagers collaborated as teammates to find solutions, answer test questions and create and build gadgets and gizmos to try to make them work during the 28th annual Regional Science Olympiad at Middle Tennessee State University Saturday, Feb. 18.
For MTSU Health and Human Performance professor Chandra Russell Story, her faith “is the cornerstone of who I am and everything that I do, and I’ll ever be.”
A licensed minister at First Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, Story also is a deeply accomplished scholar in the field of public health and was honored for her years of teaching, research and service as the 2023 recipient of the John Pleas Faculty Recognition Award, the highest honor for Black faculty on the MTSU campus.
Story received her award before a full house of family, friends, colleagues, fellow church members and other supporters from across the university community during a special ceremony Feb. 21 at the MT Center inside the Sam Ingram Building.
Describing the 30th annual Invention Convention at MTSU as “standing-room only” is a bit of an understatement when there are two levels of standing room: adult height and the young inventors’ roughly elbow-high-to-an-adult elevation.
The yearly hive of creativity is crowded enough when accommodating the 801 young inventors from the fourth, fifth and sixth grades across 41 Midstate schools and the poster-board-sized displays for their 401 gadgets, games, business innovations and fascinating contraptions at this year’s event.
“Justice is what love looks like in public.” “I ain’t got no brand, I got a cause.”
Just a few of the many rhetorical gems recently left by Dr. Cornel West to a rapt crowd of hundreds inside the MTSU’s James Union Building’s Tennessee Room as he dipped into his deep wells of Black wisdom to share his thoughts for the fourth “State of the African American Union” address.
The philosopher, activist and author has authored 20 books, perhaps most notably “Race Matters” and “Democracy Matters.” Middle Tennessee State University invited the Princeton University professor emeritus and former Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University to help close out its Black History Month celebration.
Award-winning author and educator Ilyasah Shabazz closed out MTSU’s full calendar of Black History Month events Monday, Feb. 27, with her wide-ranging keynote address, discussing her parents’ legacy, the power of unity and the importance of education as “the key to understanding.”
Shabazz, daughter of the late Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz as well as a producer and activist, shared the story of her father telling his favorite teacher at age 13 that he wanted to be a lawyer. His teacher told him that it wasn’t a realistic goal for an “n-word.”
“When young people are at a crossroads, they need educators who are willing to guide them,” Shabazz told an attentive audience in MTSU’s Student Union ballroom. “When we tell students what they can’t do, we create a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
Students and educators from across the Southeast are converging on Murfreesboro March 2-4 for three days of sharing research about their discipline and networking with future colleagues when MTSU’s School of Journalism and Strategic Media hosts an internationally recognized journalism organization for the first time.
The 48th annual AEJMC Southeast Colloquium, a gathering of the Columbia, South Carolina-based Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, will feature an opening keynote address Thursday, March 2, that’s also open to the public.
Kathy Roberts Forde, a journalism professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, will discuss “How Journalism and Jim Crow Shaped the South — and Why It Matters Now” at 5 p.m. March 2 in Room 160 of MTSU’s College of Education Building, located at 1820 MTSU Blvd.
For Mengliang “Mike” Zhang, MTSU assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and rising research star on campus, successful research is all about collaboration.
“Michael Jordan said, ‘Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships,’” Zhang said. “Similarly, research and education in science benefit immensely from collaborations and support.”
Since joining the MTSU faculty in 2017 and taking on projects as a lead researcher, Zhang said he has received that support and camaraderie from the university’s Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and his colleagues.
The sixth annual True Blue Give campaign by Middle Tennessee State University was a huge success, raising more than $670,000 from MTSU alumni and university supporters during the three-day drive.
More than 830 MTSU alumni, faculty and staff, and friends from all over the country came together to pledge $671,474 to support MTSU students, surpassing the campaign goal of $650,000, said Kristen Keene, director of annual giving/special projects for MTSU Development and Advancement Services.
Sam Zaza, assistant professor in the MTSU Department of Information Systems and Analytics in the Jennings A. Jones College of Business, recently received a prestigious Greater Nashville Technology Council Award as Diversity and Inclusion Advocate of the Year.
“I feel honored and humbled to be recognized by the Greater Nashville Technology Council for my Diversity and Inclusion efforts,” said Zaza. “It is an indication that the D&I initiatives have an impact on Nashville and Middle Tennessee. Yet, much more must be done to create an inclusive technology workplace and prepare a well-diverse technology workforce. Nashville industries are looking to attract diverse talent by signaling an inclusive workplace.”
Middle Tennessee State University recently honored four individuals for their efforts to uplift women as part of this year’s National Women’s History Month celebration, with a theme of “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.”
The 2023 Trailblazer Awards were presented during a kickoff ceremony at the Ingram Building’s MT Center on Middle Tennessee Boulevard. The awards recognize members of the MTSU community, both on and off campus, who work to serve women. Winners are nominated and voted on by MTSU faculty, students and staff.
MTSU’s Jennings and Rebecca Jones Chair of Excellence in Urban and Regional Planning Advisory Committee is launching a new Scholars Program to assist students in their academic and professional development.
The COE-URP Scholars Program is a nine-month research and engagement program for undergraduate students at Middle Tennessee State University designed to bring students, professors and community members together to address pressing urban and regional concerns through academic research.
In addition to gaining relevant experience and learning key skills, students will receive a stipend of $3,900, a completion certificate and the opportunity for a scholarly designation on their graduation diploma.
With about 80 Blackman High School students flanking them, MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, Blackman Principal Justin Smith and Rutherford County Schools Director Jimmy Sullivan signed a renewal of the memorandum of understanding between the university and local high school.
The signing occurred Friday, March 24, in the MTSU Student Union ballroom, as a universitywide Scholars Week event led by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs — with 10 Blackman seniors participating — was about to wrap up.
A scholar of American and German LGBTQ+ history will give a public talk during the upcoming LGBT Plus College Conference hosted at MTSU that explores the connections between the original pride symbol and the Holocaust.
Jake Newsome, who holds a Ph.D. in history, will give the conference’s keynote address based on his book of the same title, “Pink Triangle Legacies: Coming Out in the Shadow of the Holocaust,” from 1 to 2:15 p.m. Thursday, April 13, in the second-floor ballroom of the MTSU Student Union.
His visit, co-sponsored by the conference and the MTSU Holocaust Studies Program, is free and open to the public.
With a very personal reason for volunteering along with dozens of others, Lily Bradney kept making bike-powered smoothies for people participating in the annual Middle Tennessee State University Relay for Life.
Bradney, 19, a junior public health major from Cleveland, Tennessee, and fellow students prepared the smoothies Friday, March 24, on the basketball courts in the Health, Wellness and Recreation Center. Smoothie buyers pedaled a stationary bike to turn the ice and fruit into an enjoyable beverage.
Students, faculty and others gathered to wrap up the student-led 2023 MTSU Relay for Life — a very successful relay event as the $12,942.76 raised exceeded the $10,000 goal.
As a research assistant professor in MTSU’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Tiffany Saul serves students in a multifaceted role, working as an instructor, a researcher and a mentor.
“I was a first-generation college student, which shaped my undergraduate experience here at MTSU,” said Saul, who earned her degree in anthropology in 2010. “I know firsthand what it’s like to be overwhelmed by all the opportunities and resources campus offers. Now, I can advise students on those opportunities and even help provide them…. International experiences especially are really important for students to help expand their worldview.”
Saul, together with program co-director Adam Fracchia, secured funds and partnerships to offer the annual field-training study abroad Forensic Aviation Archaeology course for 12 students each summer. This year’s course will take students overseas to France to sites associated with missing U.S. military personnel from World War II.
LAKELAND, Fla. — Middle Tennessee State University accepted the first of eight new Diamond Aircraft DA40 XLT single-engine planes at a ceremony Wednesday, March 29, at Sun ’n Fun Aerospace Expo, one of the nation’s largest annual aviation gatherings.
Greg Van Patten, dean of MTSU’s College of Basic and Applied Sciences, and Chaminda Prelis, chair of the university’s Department of Aerospace, inspected the aircraft as part of Diamond’s display at Sun ’n Fun. Student pilots will fly the aircraft back to Tennessee at the end of the show.
A proposed Middle Tennessee State University aerospace campus at the Shelbyville Municipal Airport in Bedford County would generate tens of millions of dollars in revenue and hundreds of jobs for that community over the next three years, according to a recently released economic impact study by the university’s Business and Economic Research Center.
With more than $60 million in state funds for the project already approved, MTSU is proposing to relocate its Department of Aerospace to the Shelbyville airport to provide a state-of-the-art training experience for students in its exploding pilot training program, which is outgrowing its allocated footprint at Murfreesboro Airport.
The report evaluated the financial benefits that the project would bring to Shelbyville and Bedford County.
Random and unexpected, 7-year-old Zoe Beard turned around in the spacious Tennessee Livestock Center main arena at Middle Tennessee State University and gave a total stranger a hug.
MTSU student Olivia Key was the recipient of the kind gesture by the Christiana Elementary School first grader, who was overjoyed by all the fun, excitement, sights and sounds of experiencing farm life under one roof.
Key and her MTSU School of Agriculture agritourism classmates were on the receiving end of lots of smiles, questions and more from nearly 900 elementary school children attending the annual Agriculture Education Spring Fling Tuesday, April 11.
The new field of quantum information science has been growing across the U.S. and around the globe, and now it has been developed for students and scholars to study at Middle Tennessee State University.
The College of Basic and Applied Sciences and Department of Physics and Astronomy launched a new website (www.mtsu.edu/quantum) this week to introduce the MTSU Quantum Science Initiative taking shape at the university, promoting faculty efforts in research, education and workforce development in the field of quantum sciences.
Nourishing the artistic development of students in Tennessee’s only full Bachelor of Science degree in dance at a public university is paying off beautifully for Midstate audiences with the MTSU Dance Theatre’s 2023 Spring Dance Concert.
Themes of this spring’s dances include family memories, playful expressions of music, obsessions with danger, and the desire to conform but remain an individual. A featured performance, “Noble Sorrow,” boasts a collaboration with Chicago-based guest artist Kia Smith, this semester’s artist-in-residence for MTSU dance students.
The MTSU community came together last fall to host the “The Judds: Love is Alive – The Final Concert” featuring Wynonna Judd, and now the Blue Raider community can watch the finished product of their hard work and collaboration with the release of the concert TV special at 7 p.m. Central on Saturday, April 29, on CMT.
The Nov. 3 live made-for-TV concert event at MTSU’s historic Murphy Center involved faculty, alumni and over 50 student workers from the College of Media and Entertainment, as well as a group of 45 choral students from the College of Liberal Arts who accompanied Wynonna for the concert finale.
Media and entertainment students worked on everything from production and preparation to media coverage and performance for the live red-carpet broadcast, concert and CMT TV special.
Middle Tennessee State University honored five officers of the Metro Nashville Police Department on Friday, May 5, for their “precision, duty and selflessness” in response to the recent deadly Covenant School shootings.
Detective Ryan Cagle, detective Michael Collazo, officer Rex Engelbert, Sgt. Jeffrey Mathes and detective Zachary Plese were named honorary professors of public safety during the second of the university’s four spring commencement ceremonies.
Middle Tennessee State University media graduate Nic Dugger is pleasantly blunt, a skill necessary in his deadline-paced TV production career and in building a nationally recognized business since he was 12 years old.
You must tell people to hurry up, to get out of the way, to do the opposite of what they just did, and be sure they’ll still appreciate and respect you when all the clamor is over.
Sounds like good advice for anyone in any career.
Middle Tennessee State University and the State Collaborative on Reforming Education, or SCORE, have joined forces for an innovative program to recruit prospective teachers from school districts within high-needs, rural areas of the state, train them at MTSU’s College of Education and return them to teach in their local communities.
MTSU and SCORE officials signed an agreement Monday, May 8, to help launch the Tennessee Teach Back Initiative, with SCORE initially committing to over $90,000 the first year, with subsequent awards upon successful outcomes over a three-year period. This funding will support the new recruitment and engagement specialist who will manage recruitment and retention with the initiative and assist with establishing partnerships with school districts across the state.
With virtually a new team of riders, the nationally renowned Middle Tennessee State University stock horse team had impressive showings — including reserve national champion — when they recently wrapped up their season.
Trying to defend their national championship from 2022, six Blue Raider riders placed second overall (designated reserve national champion) and earned a number of top individual honors at the annual American Stock Horse Association competition in Sweetwater, Texas.
Almost 30 young girls from the Midstate got an up-close taste of computer coding recently when a dedicated group of Middle Tennessee State University students, faculty and staff offered their technical expertise at a hands-on, daylong camp on campus.
The Django Girls Murfreesboro’s “Code Like a Girl” coding camp was a partnership between MTSU’s student chapter of the Association of Information Systems and the Department of Information System and Analytics within the Jennings A. Jones College of Business.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Middle Tennessee State University will partner this summer and fall with WKRN News 2, Nashville’s ABC television affiliate, to showcase the success of students and graduates from its MTSU Online programs and College of Education.
MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, along with WKRN Vice President and General Manager Tracey Rogers, an alumna of the university, appeared Wednesday on the station’s Local on 2 program to announce the collaboration.
Middle Tennessee State University-trained professionals didn’t have to “wait in the truck” at the 58th annual Academy of Country Music Awards ceremony — they were carrying trophies out to trucks, cars, planes and buses after Commercial Songwriting Program grad Michael Hardy’s big night with duet partner Lainey Wilson.
When May 11 was over, nine MTSU music industry leaders were celebrating wins and nominations in writing, producing and engineering categories at this year’s ACMs.
MTSU rising senior aerospace technology and mathematics major Mervyn Thomas-Crawford said the idea for his Air-Aid Technology business stemmed from his days playing high school baseball, when he would suffer skin abrasions on his hip called raspberries when he slid into bases.
The Baltimore, Maryland, native describes Air-Aid as a 3D structural support system that provides a controlled environment around the wound to allow for a natural healing process. He said the technology is based on the concept that abrasions heal more naturally amid constant air circulation, but the need for clothing or use of traditional bandages often prevents that and hinders the healing process.
Dressed in a black suit and shirt, Thomas-Crawford explained his business plan for the product before a panel of judges inside the Student Union Parliamentary Room as the spring semester wrapped up. He was joined by several other student and alumni finalists who presented their own entrepreneurial ideas as part of the 2023 Business Plan Competition Finals in a bid to claim the top prize among the record $32,000-plus in prize money awarded this year.
For the first time in school history, the Middle Tennessee State University equestrian team took home the Western National Championship trophy at the 2023 Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association National Championship.
Held earlier in May at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, five Blue Raider riders qualified as a western team and four riders qualified individually through placing top four at semifinals earlier in the spring.
MTSU senior Jessica Rogers said she found her way to the Blue Raider Debate Team as a sophomore through then-Student Government Association President Winton Cooper.
“And I kind of fell in love with it,” added the psychology and communication studies major from Olivia, North Carolina. “I didn’t even really start catching my wind until my second year on the debate team, this year.”
Now vice president for individual events for the team, Rogers was part of a dedicated core of debaters who completed another successful year, landing a host of individual and team awards at 10 tournaments around the country, including this spring at the International Public Debate Association National Tournament in Boise, Idaho.
Seventeen young males from Oakland Middle School recently completed the first Emerging Leaders Academy — a mentorship program launched this spring between MTSU’s Center for Fairness, Justice and Equity, Oakland Middle School and First Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Michelle Stevens, the MTSU center’s director, said the nine-week academy “was a success” and hopes to continue with new cohorts of students throughout each year.
MTSU recently sent 16 undergraduates to participate in the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research and one student, Janna Abou-Rahma, was part of the team that won a highly competitive challenge putting her in the top 1% of hundreds of applicants.
More commonly known as NCUR, the annual conference took place this April at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
Two Middle Tennessee State University faculty members have been named recipients of top awards from Rutherford Cable, a professional leadership organization for women in Rutherford County.
Dr. Chandra Story, a professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance, received the 2023 ATHENA International Leadership Award, and Samantha Weir, an instructor in that department’s Human Development and Family Sciences Program, received the 2023 ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award.
Mary Evins, research professor in the University Honors College and Department of History at Middle Tennessee State University, is recipient of the Barbara Burch Award for Faculty Leadership in Civic Engagement from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.
According to its website, AASCU is “the collective voice of 350 state colleges and universities united by a shared commitment to expand student access, success, and opportunity.”
The National Council on Teacher Quality recently recognized MTSU’s Department of Elementary and Special Education with an A+ distinction for using the most effective, research-based methods of reading instruction.
“We left no doubt that we are doing the highest quality reading instruction,” said Eric Oslund, chair of the department. “We’ve redesigned our literacy courses to align them with the top research practices and policy so that we offer the most effective and research-based instruction in teaching students how to read.”
For the second consecutive year, the Middle Tennessee State University solar boat team finished fourth overall in the 29th annual Solar Splash, the world championship of collegiate solar boating.
MTSU finished behind champion Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, 2022 winner Cedarville (Ohio) University and third-place University of Southern Indiana. The MTSU team earned the Outstanding Solar System Design Award and third-place honors for the prerace video produced by Lily Hardin, the team co-captain.
Destruction and rehabilitation were themes of the recent three-day Borderless Arts Tennessee “Re-Pair” workshop led by two Middle Tennessee State University faculty members.
Department of Communication Studies master instructor Lori Kissinger and Textiles, Merchandising and Design Program professor Lauren Emery Rudd worked with local students to create handcrafted designs interpreting the effects of Nashville’s 2010 flood and the 2020 Christmas Day bombing.
MTSU’s Diversity Dissertation Fellowship program will welcome three new fellows from across the country to campus this fall to support them in completing the final year of their doctoral degrees and to bring their expertise to the classroom and larger campus community.
Nia Allen, pursuing her degree in hospitality and retail management, will work out of the Department of Human Sciences; Sandra Jacobo, pursuing her degree in literature, will work out of the Department of English; and Toni Owens, pursuing her degree in human and community development, will work out of the Department of Social Work.
Middle Tennessee State University is not only helping students excel professionally but tenured faculty as well.
Leadership on Deck Institute, a faculty development opportunity that began at MTSU in 2021, recently celebrated the graduation of its second class. The third session, with a cohort of 11 participants, will kick off in August. The first class hosted 15 participants.
Amanda Albakry enjoys science-related things “so you can learn how to help people,” and she plans to become a pediatrician. As fellow teenager Shyann Lyons gets older, she intends to pursue biology and “wants to inspire people” through poetry and other ways.
They were two of nearly 75 high school students attending this summer’s MTSU College of Basic and Applied Sciences STEM Camp, held recently in the Science Building and numerous other facilities at Middle Tennessee State University.
Three female flying aces representing Middle Tennessee State University’s Department of Aerospace just returned from a successful 2,400-mile cross-country trip that pilot Farilyn Hurt described as “empowering, exciting, moving and stressful.”
“By the end, I felt I could literally do anything,” May MTSU graduate Hurt, 23, of Milledgeville, Georgia, said of the all-women Air Race Classic 2023. The four-day flying event started June 20 in Grand Fork, North Dakota, and ended in Homestead, Florida, on June 23.
The Center for Accelerated Language Acquisition, the language program offered through the Middle Tennessee State University Honors College, has reached its 20th year of helping participants achieve new language skills through fun and interactive classes offered throughout the year.
The program began in 2003 with the help of an MTSU special projects grant. Since then, various sources of MTSU financial and administrative support, especially from the deans and staff at the University Honors College, have been vital to CALA’s growth and development.
After 10 years of service leading MTSU’s Jennings A. Jones College of Business, Dean David Urban is stepping down and returning to a faculty position in August. Enterprise magazine sat down with Dean Urban to reflect on his tenure.
The world is at their fingertips thanks to their phones, tablets and computers, so it made sense for 20 young members of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Rutherford County to gain hands-on experience in podcasting and digital media literacy during a recent Middle Tennessee State University camp.
“Come to Voice,” a program in MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment that teaches communications skills such as audio, video, internet usage and media literacy to students in seventh through ninth grades, marked its second year on campus June 20-23.
Before switching careers to join academia, MTSU Professor Gaia Rancati worked professionally for several years in the premium-luxury retail sector for international fashion companies such as Max Mara, Value Retail, and Louis Vuitton.
Rancati took her love of fashion and marketing (and robots!) and carved out a space for herself as a worldwide expert in the field of neuromarketing.
Teaching, training, testing and research all come together at the Tennessee Center for the Study and Treatment of Dyslexia at Middle Tennessee State University.
For Karen Kehoe, who came on board earlier in the year as director of Dyslexia Services at the center, it’s the ideal place for her to be.
Civil Air Patrol cadets from across the country converged upon the Middle Tennessee State Universitycampus to participate in a national-level science and engineering academy hosted by the College of Basic and Applied Sciences.
The 31 youths are part of the U.S. Air Force volunteer civilian auxiliary’s National Cadet Engineering Technology Academy, also known as E-Tech, which MTSU has hosted since 2017.
Eight MTSU undergraduates took their research projects across the pond to the annual World Congress on Undergraduate Research, also known as WorldCUR, at the University of Warwick in Coventry, England, earlier this spring.
Students Janna Abou-Rahma, Marzea Akter, Hunter Brady, Brooke Busbee, Leslie Gonzalez, Yaseen Ginnab, Jesse Scobee and Ross Sibley traveled with Dr. Jamie Burriss, undergraduate research coordinator for the university’s Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, to share their science and student-outreach work with over 650 other conference participants from more than 35 different countries.
The dance costumes and sheet music are stored away, and the lanyards and T-shirts are proudly displayed at home by the 300 budding artists who traveled from across Tennessee to the 39th annual Governor’s School for the Arts at Middle Tennessee State University.
Immersed nearly 24/7 with working musicians, set designers, sculptors, film editors, choreographers and painters to draw, dance, shoot photos, parse Shakespeare and play instruments for almost a month, the high school juniors and seniors also squeezed in a feel for college life, too.
“Collaborative Contemporary Art Exhibit — Here We Are Now,” curated by Dr. Barbara and Leroy Hodges of Murfreesboro, promises to be a “transformative experience,” said Jimmy Mumford, chair of the Department of Art and Design.
Middle Tennessee State University students manned cameras, ran video packages, produced audio for both a broadcast and public address system, built a stage and more for a special NTT IndyCar Big Machine Music City Grand Prix event on Lower Broadway in downtown Nashville, Tennessee.
Along with True Blue Production Services and as part of a production team, nearly 20 Middle Tennessee State University Media Arts Productions students, recent graduates and Media Arts engineering staff spent 12 hours dodging rain Thursday, Aug. 3, preparing, filming and taking down equipment used to capture a news conference atop Nashville Underground.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center at Middle Tennessee State University received $350,000 in donations during the 2023 Big Machine Music City Grand Prix from two entities known for their support of those who have served our nation in uniform.
Southern Company, through its Alabama Power, Georgia Power and Southern Company Gas foundations, collectively donated $250,000 to the Daniels Center, while the Harbaugh Foundation announced a $100,000 gift.
Rural Tennesseans will have a better chance at recovering from opioid addiction through a $2.92 million federal grant awarded to MTSU’s Center for Health and Human Services, in partnership with Cedar Recovery treatment clinic.
The three-year grant comes from the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and is part of the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program, or RCORP, an HRSA initiative aimed at reducing the morbidity and mortality of substance use disorder, including opioid use disorder.
Middle Tennessee State University is again recognizing outstanding alumni who represent excellence and distinction through their professional careers, loyal support of their alma mater and service to the broader community.
Since 1960, the MTSU Alumni Association has recognized accomplished alumni with the association’s highest honor: the Distinguished Alumni Award.
Through faculty effort, MTSU’s Department of Chemistry recently procured almost $900,000 in grants to secure multiple pieces of state-of-the-art instrumentation for students and faculty.
“Training on modern instrumentation gives MTSU chemistry undergraduate and graduate students an employment advantage,” said Andrienne Friedli, project participant and former department chair. “The new instruments are important for the department because these state-of-the-art tools allow us to obtain research results that are respected by the chemical community and can be published in high quality journals. In an academic research setting, publications demonstrate productivity.”
Middle Tennessee State University faculty and staff were welcomed to the new academic year Thursday, Aug. 24, with promising news about fall enrollment, another prestigious national ranking and launch of a new special recognition for several select employees who’ve gone above and beyond in their service to students and campus community.
Now in his 23rd year leading the Blue Raider campus, President Sidney A. McPhee shared his annual State of the University address to several hundred faculty and staff gathered inside Tucker Theatre as part of traditional Fall Faculty Meeting to kickstart the 2023-24 academic year that officially begins Monday, Aug. 28.
With almost four decades of teaching experience to reflect upon, Middle Tennessee State University management professor Jill Austin accepted the university’s highest faculty honor on Thursday, Aug. 24, at the annual Fall Faculty Meeting held in Tucker Theatre.
MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee and alumnus Ronald Roberts, president of the MTSU Foundation, presented Austin with the 2023 Career Achievement Award in front of hundreds of her peers. In addition, 11 other professors were recognized with special awards and stipends for their contributions and accomplishments in teaching, research and service.
Adopted son of a veteran and parents who were educators, Olympian and cancer survivor Scott Hamilton brought an inspirational message to 300 people attending the Veteran Impact Celebration, raising funds for Middle Tennessee State University’s Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center.
“We wouldn’t be standing here without veterans,” said Hamilton, a Nashville, Tennessee, resident, speaking before the sixth annual event held in the MTSU Student Union Ballroom. “It’s a calling, which you’ll never talk anyone into it and never talk anyone out of it.”
Eight Middle Tennessee State University students — a record number — qualified for and attended the prestigious National Flute Association, or NFA, Convention in Phoenix, Arizona, earlier this month.
“I was overjoyed and incredibly proud,” said Deanna Little, the students’ flute studies professor in the MTSU School of Music. “This is truly a wonderful and special group of students. They work together, help one another, motivate each other, have fun together and they continue to make each other stronger. In return, they give me energy and make my job pure joy!”
Paul Chilsen, associate professor in the Department of Media Arts at Middle Tennessee State University, brought home a “Best International Short Film” at the recent International First Peoples Festival in Montreal for a cinematic retelling of a legend originating in the Brazilian rainforest.
“Nhakpoti,” which translates as “Star Girl” in English, is a short narrative film depicting the story of how agriculture was brought to the Indigenous Kayapó people, who live along the Xingu River in northwest Brazil amid more than 27 million acres of rainforest.
As MTSU’s Fall 2023 semester kicks off, a diversity of members of the Blue Raider community again produced a special video recitation of the True Blue Pledge to spotlight the university’s values.
In what has become a cherished Blue Raider tradition, a True Blue group of Middle Tennessee State University students, faculty, staff and alumni took to the camera to reaffirm those values for another academic year.
Middle Tennessee State University officials and Southwest Airlines representatives marked the official takeoff of the university’s status as part of the Southwest Destination 225° Pilot Pathways program with a signing ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 6, on campus.
With MTSU Aerospace students in attendance, officials, including university President Sidney A. McPhee,signed the ceremonial documents in the State Farm Lecture Hall in the MTSU Business and Aerospace Building. The event was followed by an informational session for interested students presented by Southwest pilots representing the Destination 225° program.
Middle Tennessee State University’s Board of Trustees approved Tuesday, Sept. 12, the merger of two academic departments in the College of Liberal Arts into a single entity.
Trustees endorsed a recommendation by the Academic Affairs, Student Life, and Athletics Committee to combine the Department of Global Studies and Human Geography with the Department of Political Science and International Relations.
The new department, which will be known as the Department of Political and Global Affairs, will streamline the reporting structure within the college and create efficiencies, said Provost Mark Byrnes, the university’s chief academic officer.
“You are our only hope … you are our future,” former Democratic U.S. Congressman Jim Cooper told hundreds of students who filled Tucker Theatre for the 20th Constitution Week commemoration at Middle Tennessee State University.
Cooper was joined on stage by former Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker for a panel discussion Monday, Sept. 18, on “Common Sense Civics: Can We Work Together Again to Solve America’s Problems?” It was the featured event for the American Democracy Project’s annual observation of the signing of the U.S. Constitution.
A Middle Tennessee State University graduate program that ultimately has impacted thousands of students across the nation turns 50 this year.
To celebrate its founding — and its founder — the MTSU School Psychology Program hosted an open house earlier this month to honor Professor Emeritus James “Jim” O. Rust, who spent 48 years at the helm before retiring in 2021.
Great weather, parade food, tailgating atmosphere — not to mention Middle Tennessee Electric’s grilled cheese sandwiches — and more were all a part of festivities surrounding the Middle Tennessee State University’s 2023 Homecoming events of the Friday-Saturday, Sept. 22-23.
It would have perhaps been perfect had not the Blue Raiders fallen 31-23 to the Colorado State Rams during an exciting contest Saturday night inside Floyd Stadium despite a late opportunity to potentially tie and send the game into overtime.
More than 1,000 Middle Tennessee State University students and alumni fine-tuned their resumes, elevator pitches and dressed to impress as they descended upon the university’s Campus Recreation Center this week where dozens of prospective employers awaited to recruit them during the 2023 Fall Career Fair.
The university’s largest and only campuswide career fair of the year held Thursday, Sept. 28, attracted almost 180 employers and organizations — ranging from Coca-Cola to Nissan and from the Nashville Zoo to local law enforcement agencies, health care and financial services companies and everything in between — seeking to fill a variety of internships and full-time positions.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Dripping with sweat as he exited the stage for a quick wardrobe change, Middle Tennessee State University alumnus and hip-hop artist Tyrone “Tyke T” Stroble found himself being ushered back on stage by friend and MTSU College of Media and Entertainment Dean Beverly Keelduring his recent concert at the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis.
Keel had told him in advance that “something’s going to happen” at the concert, but the Jones College of Business graduate wasn’t expecting such an honor from his alma mater — with photos from the moment showing a smiling Stroble in awe of the framed honorary professorship certificate freshly clutched in his hands after Keel presented it before the roaring crowd.
Nearly 2,500 people could have a second chance at life thanks to this year’s friendly “blood battle” between Middle Tennessee State University and longtime rival, Western Kentucky University.
A total of 905 units were collected during the annual 100 Miles of Hope Red Cross Blood Drive, held the three days prior to the Sept. 27 football game between the MTSU Blue Raiders and WKU Hilltoppers. For the first time in seven years, WKU won the competition and took home the coveted challenge trophy by a razor-thin margin. And MTSU surpassed its goal of at least 400 units.
Middle Tennessee State University’s Information Technology Division earned a top award at a higher education conference for its effort to upgrade campus classrooms and has been spotlighted by other vendors for their implementation of technology improvements.
James Copeland, MTSU’s director of classroom technology, and his team recently received the Classroom Installation Gold Award from the Higher Ed AV Conference for their classroom upgrade project.
Copeland and his team also recently completed their third case study testimonial by audiovisual equipment vendor Epiphan on MTSU’s innovations in classroom technology upgrades, with publication of the study pending. Extron and Sennheiser are two other vendors who have interviewed Copeland and his team for their work in campus classrooms.
Middle Tennessee State University’s Albert Gore Research Center has been awarded a $213,000 federal grant to fund the Brown v. Board of Education Oral History Project.
Funded by the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Park in Topeka, Kansas, the 30-month research project will allow Gore Center staff to conduct extensive oral history interviews documenting the impact of the 1954 Supreme Court decision to end school segregation.
“The project is geared toward preserving the stories of people engaged in education in all facets and life in general in the communities that comprised the five cases that were combined to create the Brown case,” Gore Center director Louis Kyriakoudes said.
Since earning an R2 designation as a “doctoral university: high research activity” in spring 2022, Middle Tennessee State University has continued to boost research — most recently with Department of Biology assistant professors Liz Barnes and Donny Walker each landing $1 million National Science Foundation grants.
The funds are awarded through the NSF’s Faculty Early Career Development Program, also known as CAREER grants, and comes as the university continues to ramp up research initiatives in support of its R2 designation from the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
For the ninth year, the College of Media and Entertainment’s Department of Recording Industry at Middle Tennessee State University has landed a spot on Billboard’s international list of top music business schools.
The article, “Billboard’s 2023 Top Music Business Schools,” said MTSU offers a place “where students regularly gain hands-on experience” for professional development through live-event production, broadcast and streaming, and immersive audio for music, film and gaming.
Keynote speaker Jessica Stollings-Holder led attendees at Middle Tennessee State University’s recent Leadership Summit through an engaging presentation about collaboration and teamwork that boiled down to one key factor: “We all need each other.”
Hosted by the Jennings A. Jones College of Business, this year’s event drew 325 attendees to Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro for the luncheon presentation by Stollings-Holder, a national speaker, trainer, author and coach from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, who helps teams recognize how their diverse perspectives fuel success.
Grant Gardner, Department of Biology professor and researcher, along with Middle Tennessee State University faculty Liz Barnes, Sarah Bleiler-Baxter, Jennifer Kaplan and Greg Rushton, recently landed a $1.25 million National Science Foundation grant to develop four post-doctoral candidates into STEM-education researchers.
“We’re excited,” Gardner said. “Most active research universities have a strong population of post-doctoral scholars, and with this grant, we’re looking to both grow that population at MTSU … and study, systematically, how to train them to become successful STEM-education researchers.”
Middle Tennessee State University interior design students recently took home top honors at the Formica Form, a national furniture design competition that held regional awards at the Inspire Nashville trade show.
As part of the experiential learning, or EXL, capstone course for juniors taught by assistant professor Carrie Pavel, students designed a piece of furniture that utilizes Formica as a material in the project based on the theme of maximalism.
Kelsie Davy of Rockvale, Tennessee, placed first for a wall-mounted desk piece called “Vernici.” Leen Hasan of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, took home second place for “Koko Sofa,” while Caroline Ayotte of Franklin, Tennessee, won third with “The Wave” desk.
Middle Tennessee State University’s Margaret H. Ordoubadian University Writing Center recently celebrated its 45th anniversary with center changemakers both past and present in attendance to honor not only the center’s decades of service supporting students and other writers across campus but also the relationships it has sparked along the way.
“I think it’s a testament to MTSU’s commitment to supporting students and ensuring student success,” said Erica Cirillo-McCarthy, the center’s current director, about the milestone. “It’s also a testament to the work of previous administrators and tutors who were committed to providing this resource for all MTSU writers.”
Leaders and representatives from Middle Tennessee State University and Barrett Firearms Manufacturing Inc. met Monday, Nov. 6, to formalize their partnership that provides tuition assistance to eligible Barrett employees.
MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee and Joel Miller, vice president for sales and marketing for Barrett, revealed details Monday during a signing ceremony at the Barrett facility in Christiana, Tennessee.
Although there are numerous Veterans Day events across the country honoring those who serve, Middle Tennessee State University put the attention on female military veterans at the Women Warriors program held Monday, Nov. 6, on campus.
Sponsored by the MTSU President’s Commission on the Status of Women and the Murfreesboro Chapter of the American Association of University Women, this year’s annual event spotlighted five women nominated for the honor.
Chapter 246 of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society at Middle Tennessee State University received the Platinum Circle of Excellence award for 2023-24. This is the chapter’s fifth platinum-level distinction since the Circle of Excellence commendation was introduced in 2018.
The Circle of Excellence Chapter Awards program recognizes chapters for work in promoting excellence on the local campus and engaging the community of scholars each year. The awards utilize data submitted by the chapter to the national office regarding yearly activities and initiation efforts. Chapters achieving the platinum status have earned a score of 100.
With lots of family looking on, retired Judge Ben Hall McFarlin received the annual Joe Nunley Award Saturday, Nov. 11, for his military service and establishing the first Veterans Treatment Court in Tennessee as part of the 41st annual Salute to Veterans and Armed Forces football game activities at Middle Tennessee State University.
“I’m truly humbled by this honor,” said McFarlin, who is from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and an MTSU alumnus. “I accept it on behalf of all who’ve served and the acknowledgement of the ROTC training (he commissioned as a U.S. Army second lieutenant in May 1970). “This is the highlight of my life. … Duty, honor and country (taken from U.S. Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s farewell speech to U.S. Military Academy cadets in 1962) is what prepared me in life.”
For the first time in state history, 10 public universities in Tennessee, including Middle Tennessee State University, are coming together to launch a campaign aimed to increase public awareness of the value of a four-year university degree from a public state institution.
The “Four the Future” campaign is a multiyear, coordinated effort that will engage community and business leaders, prospective students, and Tennesseans in all 95 counties around the value of higher education from a public university.
Middle Tennessee State University will host a spring conference on information technology that organizers hope will serve as a springboard for a university-led initiative to further develop a culture of research across the university, particularly among undergraduate students.
For the first time, MTSU’s Department of Information Systems and Analytics in the Jones College of Business is hosting and sponsoring the 2024 ACM SIGMIS Computers and People Research Conference set for May 29-June 1, 2024, at MTSU.
Middle Tennessee State University employees have again risen to the challenge to up their True Blue generosity with another record pledge amount for the 2023-24 Employee Charitable Giving Campaign.
This year’s monthlong campaign ended with $158,278.74 in pledges from 755 participants to support area nonprofit organizations — easily surpassing the goal of $147,500.
A group of Middle Tennessee State University faculty, under the leadership of chemistry professor Andrienne Friedli, recently launched a last-dollar scholarship program to fund and support undergraduate and graduate biochemistry and chemistry students in need.
“The project aims to increase student persistence in STEM fields by linking scholarships with proven effective supporting activities, including faculty and peer mentoring, research experiences, professional development courses, graduate school and employment preparation, and participation in discipline-specific conferences,” Friedli said.
Secretary of State Tre Hargett recently presented Middle Tennessee State University with an award for its third straight win in the four-year public school category for the annual Tennessee College Voter Registration Competition.
“The continued commitment of MTSU students to register their fellow students to vote is evident by their work to earn the top spot in the competition for a third time,” said Hargett. “The first step to making your voice heard on Election Day is registering to vote. I hope the newly registered Blue Raiders put their voter registrations to use by becoming lifelong voters.”
Jim Free, Middle Tennessee State University alumnus with degrees in political science and public administration, recently received the J. William Denny Award from the Country Music Association.
The award recognizes and appreciates a lifetime of dedication, distinguished service and meritorious contributions to the CMA Board of Directors, stated a CMA press release. Free accepted the honor during CMA’s Board of Directors meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 29, in Nashville.
A research grant as well as a sizable collection of memorabilia from the family of the late Uncle Dave Macon will provide research opportunities at the Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University to learn more about a man regarded as the first superstar of the Grand Ole Opry.
“Our fellowship has provided funding to support historical research into the life, legacy and music of Uncle Dave Macon,” said Mike Doubler, executive director of the Macon-Doubler Fellowship, a family-driven nonprofit that promotes the preservation of Uncle Dave Macon history.
Sixty-seven members of Middle Tennessee State University’s Band of Blue stood instruments poised and bodies packed into the College of Media and Entertainment’s Studio No. 1 for a project two decades in the making — an updated recording of MTSU’s fight song.
Cue a collaboration with John Merchant, chair of MTSU’s top-tier Department of Recording Industry, Craig Cornish, music professor and band director, Michael Fleming, recording industry professor, and more.
Two Middle Tennessee State University Concrete Industry Management program alumni are playing prominent roles in the Tennessee Builders Alliance team constructing the NFL Tennessee Titans’ new $2.1 billion Nissan Stadium.
Already in the prime of their careers, Reggie Polk, CEO and co-founder of Brentwood, Tennessee-based Polk & Associates Construction Inc., and Paul Lawson, vice president and general manager of Nashville, Tennessee-based Turner Construction, saw their work elevated to a higher level with the Metropolitan Sports Authority’s approval and Titans’ subsequent August announcement.
Nuclear engagement is a big threat — at least it is this semester for students enrolled in the Humanitarian Aid and Crisis course taught each fall by Middle Tennessee State University that requires students to grapple with the complex decision-making surrounding the issue through interactive, “escape room”-type scenarios.
Led by political science professor Amy Atchison, the course helps students examine the politics of humanitarianism and explore efforts of nongovernmental and international organizations to address challenges in this area.
An enterprising group of Middle Tennessee State University students recently captured the top spot in an international software innovation challenge pitting them against other students from universities across the nation.
The group of five students from the Jennings A. Jones College of Business tied with a group of students from Florida International University in a virtual contest organized by the Association of Information Systems Student Chapters, a networking and professionals development program for undergraduate students studying information systems.
Middle Tennessee State University fall graduate Ori Bergman of Nashville proudly walked across the Murphy Center stage Saturday, Dec. 16, with a degree in biology and anthropology, including graduating magna cum laude and with the scholar distinction in undergraduate research.
“The commencement ceremony is a celebration for my family more than myself,” said Bergman, who is a first-generation student on her mother’s side. “Her family is very excited. I dropped out of high school as well, so I think they’re proud that I never gave up.”
Bergman was among the 1,761 graduates in the final Class of 2023 celebrated at separate morning and afternoon ceremonies inside Hale Arena where keynote speaker Ralph Schulz, president and CEO of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, addressed both groups of the newest Blue Raider alumni.