CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — While still more than a year away from declaring her college choice and future plans, Mary Catherine Crutchfield of Chattanooga already has what it takes to receive a coveted Buchanan Fellowship from the Middle Tennessee State University Honors College.
Crutchfield, 17, a Notre Dame High School junior, scored a 31 on her ACT, catching the attention of MTSU Honors College Dean John Vile, who said “she made quite an impression, possesses a variety of academic pursuits and we hope she will strongly consider MTSU.”
She was among more than 100 Chattanooga-area prospects attending the annual True Blue Tour student receptions in Chattanooga recently.
The tour includes 14 stops across Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia and Alabama. Led by President Sidney A. McPhee, Provost Mark Byrnes and college deans, the recruiting events help prospective high school and transfer students engage with MTSU staff to learn more about the Murfreesboro, Tennessee, university.
MTSU also hosts midday luncheons at most Tennessee stops, where McPhee and staff court counselors and community college staff, boosted this year by McPhee launching an initiative where he presents each school represented with a scholarship they can award to one or more of their students.
In Chattanooga Thursday, Nov. 2, McPhee told counselors and community college staff that MTSU “offers your students an opportunity that will change the trajectory of their lives.” MTSU awarded 44 schools a $2,500 scholarship ($110,000 total). He also shared about quality academic programs available to them.
McPhee introduced MTSU Student Government Association President Michai Mosby during the student reception.
“As our world goes crazy, we have to make sure we are doing our part to secure our future ahead because we are the future,” Mosby said. “MTSU is the university with proven results of success.”
Tony Strode, undergraduate recruitment director, shared about the Dec. 1 deadline to apply in order to obtain guaranteed scholarships if they meet the requirements, scholarship information and more.
Lots of interests
Crutchfield has a diversified list of potential programs on her plate — flying with the MTSU Aerospace Department (Wesley Davis, a friend at Notre Dame, has been accepted into the professional pilot program); music; and psychology.
“The fact they have a bunch of different, diverse programs is beneficial, so I could come to MTSU and switch programs (if I want to),” she said, adding that “I like being in the color guard and I plan to do ROTC. I’m very excited about it.”
Broadcasting alumna returns to her roots
After a year in public relations at Parkridge Hospital in Chattanooga, MTSU College of Media and Entertainment alumna Michelle Heron (Class of 2010) returned to her calling — broadcasting — when NBC affiliate WRBC lured her back earlier this year.
“I love it. It was easily one of the best decisions I’ve ever made (to return to Local 3),” Heron said, adding she “still keeps in touch with the people I worked with at MT 10 (MTSU’s student-run TV station) and my roommates.”
All in the family
It turns out MTSU alumna Natalia Williams, director of Student Engagement and Support at Cleveland State Community College, has quite the family history with MTSU.
Husband Errol Williams (’92) and his brother, Eric Williams (’89), graduated with degrees in physical education, with a concentration in health and wellness. Natalia and Errol Williams’ son, Errin, earned his degree in integrated studies (recording industry and sociology) and a minor in health. Pamela Bowers Williams (’89) earned her degree in human ecology, with an emphasis in textiles and merchandising.
Cleveland State transfer
Natalia Williams said the $2,500 scholarship Cleveland State received will go to Esteban Zalduondo, who will graduate Dec. 8, has been accepted into the College of Media and Entertainment’s video and film program and be a Blue Raider in August.
“This is a really great opportunity for me,” said Zalduondo, who considered a medical pathway until a second-semester senior year film class at Walker Valley High School caught his eye. “I visited twice. I felt comfortable being at MTSU, especially when they were showing us the video and film production rooms and equipment.”
Sister Tatiana Zalduondo, a Walker Valley junior, and brother Alejandro Zalduondo, a sophomore, also have expressed an interest in MTSU.
‘Entertaining’ in Atlanta
Led by McPhee and Dean Beverly Keel, the College of Media and Entertainment and its highly regarded programs, including the Departments of Recording Industry and Media Arts, provided an “entertaining evening” for Atlanta, Georgia-area prospects at The Westin Atlanta Perimeter North on Nov. 1.
Current music business student Nic Edgerson, known professionally as “Legendary Nedge,” performed for the students. The rapper, singer and songwriter grew up outside of Atlanta.
Keel led a panel discussion that included alumni Jonathan Stacey, a meteorologist with Fox 5 and 2013 Department of Media Arts graduate; Dwayna Haley, founder and CEO of Haley Communications Group, 2005 graduate of School of Journalism and Strategic Media; and Torrance “Street Symphony” Esmond, a multi-Grammy award-winning record producer and music executive and ’03 Recording Industry graduate.
The True Blue Tour heads to West Tennessee this week, visiting Memphis Wednesday, Nov. 8, and Jackson on Thursday, Nov. 9, for free events. MTSU’s Memphis visit will be at Esplande Memphis, 901 Cordova Station Ave.in Cordova. MTSU’s Jackson visit will be at the Jackson Country Club, 31 Country Club Lane.
Those wanting to attend should RSVP for any future stop at https://www.mtsu.edu/schedule-a-visit/special-events.php,though walkups to the event are also welcome.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)