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MTSU on WGNS: COVID-19 response and prep, Gore Cen...

MTSU on WGNS: COVID-19 response and prep, Gore Center, student diaries, pandemic crime

MTSU faculty and staff representatives appeared on two separate WGNS Radio “Action Line” programs recently, first on Aug. 14 with host Nick Cohn to share information about how the university has adapted its operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

MTSU was again featured on the Aug. 17 program with host Scott Walker to discuss the Gore Center’s research collections, a recent collaboration to allow students to share their feelings navigating the pandemic and a research paper looking at how to properly assess crime during the pandemic.

The live programs were broadcast on FM 100.5, 101.9 and AM 1450 from the WGNS studio in downtown Murfreesboro. If you missed it, you can listen to podcasts of the Aug. 14 show here and the Aug. 17 show here.

MTSU staff appeared on the Aug. 14 WGNS Radio “Action Line” program to discuss the university’s plans to reopen campus for fall amid the ongoing pandemic. Pictured, from left, are University Provost Mark Byrnes; Debra Sells, vice president for Student Affairs; and Dr. Eric Clark, medical director for Student Health Services. (MTSU photo illustration)

Guests for the Aug. 14 program about MTSU’s reopening plans included:

• University Provost Mark Byrnes, chair of MTSU COVID-19 Task Force, discussed the overall reopening plan, specifically related to academics and classroom preparations. The University has established five different categories of classes — from all in-person to a mix of in-person and online to all online.

• Dr. Eric Clark, medical director of MTSU Student Health Services, discussed university health precautions and protocols, such as masking mandates, social distancing, telemedicine, testing capacity, treatment and isolation capability as well as contact tracing and the upcoming flu season.

• Dr. Debra Sells, vice president for Student Affairs and vice provost for Enrollment and Academic Services, discussed preparations for a limited number of students returning to residence halls, how on-campus events will be handled, visitation restrictions, food services and other plans surrounding student life.


MTSU faculty and staff appeared on the Aug. 17 WGNS Radio “Action Line” program to discuss the latest happenings in their areas of expertise. Pictured, from left, are Cynthia Chafin, associate director of the MTSU Center for Health and Human Services; Dr. Louis Kyriakoudes, director of the Albert Gore Research Center and professor of history; and Dr. Ben Stickle, associate professor of criminal justice administration. (MTSU photo illustration)

Guests and their topics for the Aug. 17 program included:

• Dr. Louis Kyriakoudes, director of the Albert Gore Research Center and professor of history, discussed the center’s archives that document Tennessee’s political and social history. The center recently acquired the video archive of WKRN-TV Channel 2 in Nashville and will be digitizing and cataloguing for online access in the future. The Gore Center also just acquired an unprocessed collection donated by Cecil Elrod, whose grandfather founded WGNS. The collection contains some historical material documenting the early history of the station.

Cynthia Chafin, associate director of the MTSU Center for Health and Human Services, discussed a national pilot website called “Campus Diaries: Behind Every Smile.” CHHS, in partnership with UNTOLD Originals, has created the national pilot site for the dairies, a web portal for students to submit “diary entries” anonymously to help them feel less isolated and to enable them to share the ways they face their challenges.

• Dr. Ben Stickle, associate professor of criminal justice administration, discussed a co-authored research paper titled “Crime Rates in a Pandemic: the Largest Criminological Experiment in History.” In a research paper published in the American Journal of Criminal Justice, Stickle posits that the novel coronavirus tragedy presents a unique opportunity for a “randomized control trial.” Co-authored by professor Marcus Felson of Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, the paper was published in June 2020 by the American Journal of Criminal Justice.

Students, faculty and staff who are interested in guesting on WGNS to promote their MTSU-related activities should contact Jimmy Hart, director of news and media relations, at 615-898-5131 or via email at jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu.


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