Spring honors lectures feature ‘Innovation and Des...

Spring honors lectures feature ‘Innovation and Design’

The latest in alternative fuels research from MTSU’s Dr. Cliff Ricketts and a distant family member’s take on Edgar Allan Poe are just two of the presenters participating in the university’s spring 2013 Honors Lecture Series.

spring13 honors lecture poster“Innovation and Design” is the theme of the spring series, which serves as both a University Honors College class and a free public event. The lecture series runs from 3 to 3:55 p.m. every Monday through April 29 — with the exception of March 11, the week of spring break — in Room 106 of the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building.

Dr. Philip Phillips, interim Honors College associate dean and an MTSU professor of English, once again has organized a special lecture series for the semester.

“The series will feature multi-sector perspectives on the role of ‘Innovation and Design’ in the process of identifying and solving ‘real-world- problems,” Phillips said.

“As creative initiative intersects with past, present, and future technologies in diverse cultural venues, critical or ‘design’ thinking will be investigated as the pivotal component of success.”

Along the way, distinguished presenters will include:

  • Harry Lee Poe, holder of the Charles Colson Chair of Faith and Culture at Union University in Jackson, Tenn., author of numerous books and an indirect descendant of the family of Edgar Allan Poe, who will present “Edgar Allan Poe and the Universe” on Feb. 11;
  • Dr. H. Lee Martin, son of the late Paul W. Martin Sr. and leader of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville College of Engineering Entrepreneurship Program, who will discuss “The Impact of Innovation on Society — A Historical Perspective” on Feb. 25; and
  • Ricketts, who will talk about “Running Engines Off Sun and Water: Science or Science Fiction” on March 4. The School of Agribusiness and Agriscience professor’s presentation is set four days he begins a three-car, coast-to-coast trip using only energy from the sun and hydrogen from water.

Ricketts said he plans to discuss “the university’s partnership with TVA in order to make the solar production effective and efficient” as well as MTSU’s demonstration system now in place “to show how every commuter in the country could drive daily off sun and hydrogen from water.” He also will discuss the planned March trip.

Phillips and Dr. Janis Brickey, an associate professor in human sciences, will co-moderate the lecture series.

Class members will be guided through fellowships, scholarships and grants process in the April 22 class. Honors thesis presentations will be made in the April 29 session.

For more information, visit or call 615-898-2152.

— Randy Weiler (