Alumni & Student Stories

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Steve PhanSteve T. Phan

History, Public History M.A., '17

"The graduate program at MTSU, especially working with Dr. Robert Hunt, was instrumental to my development as a historian, both in academia and public history. He challenged my research, writing, and very approach to the field of history—the way I read and interpreted primary resources, forged and supported arguments, and developed my prose. It’s tools and skills I use daily, and I’m incredibly grateful for the experience. It was challenging and unrelenting, both worth every minute."


Read Steve's Story!



Caroline AcreeCaroline Acree

Management, Organizational Leadership M.S., '22

"During the program and still to this day, I find myself consistently working to improve my behaviors based on my class learnings. I find myself opening my mind based on my different class teachings about negotiation, business ethics, motivation, leadership, organizational development, and strategic decision making."

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Jeffrey KeeverJeffrey Keever

Orchestral Conducting M.M., '21

"I would say that graduate students should learn and do as much as they can in their craft while they are studying for a graduate degree in a specific field. Although it is a lot of work and can take up so much of your time, the experiences and knowledge you are able to achieve while under top professionals in your craft is unlimited and is always easily at your disposal during your studies. Alongside that, I also would recommend making as many connections within your studies as possible, both in your degree area and outside of that area. These connections are invaluable and help you immeasurably in your career, regardless of what you decide to do in the future."

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Rosemary AkharumeRosemary Akharume

Information Systems, M.S. '23

"My advice to prospective graduate students would be to have an open mind. The world is filled with endless possibilities of what you can do, where you can go, and who you can be. So, set goals and have a plan, but don’t limit yourself to only what you already know."


Read Rosemary's Story



Jessie Buntin Vocal Video



Jessie Buntin

Management, Organizational Leadership, M.S. '22

"My supervisor, Dr. Dan Morrell recommended that I participate in the MTSU Business competition, and I'm glad he did. After three rounds, we won first place. This was really encouraging to our business, and many things that I learned throughout my Master of Science program I was able to implement within my business. Some of the highlights of the degree was learning about diversity in the workplace and building a strong organizational culture."

View Jessie's Story

Ronald Roberts MTSU Alumni

Ronald Roberts

Mass Communication, B.S. '84; Administration and Supervision, M.Ed. '91

What advice would you give to a prospective student thinking about graduate school? 

"Think about the benefits both personally and professionally.  Even though my master’s degree is in Education, a lot of the tools and skills I learned in classes have helped me throughout my career.  But you have to be serious about it.  Graduate school is not a place to experiment.  You need to be focused."


Read Ronald's Story



Ben Burnley MTSU Alumni

Ben Burnley

Media and Communication, M.S. 2020

Burnley, who holds a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and received his master’s degree in media and communication last month from MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment, has been accepted at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University.

His new awareness led him to enroll in MTSU’s Media and Communication Master’s Program, where his master’s degree research included his 2019 Scholars Week poster, “News Feeds and Salience: How Social Media Use Feeds News Awareness.”


Read Ben's Story

Claire Robinson

Claire Robinson 

Integrated Studies, B.S. with minors in Health and Biology, '19; Public Health, Community Health, M.P.H. '21

What takeaways did you get from MTSU and the program that have/ you hope will impact your career?

"I am pretty Type A and I find that I need a lot of structure, but we aren’t always afforded that luxury. Sometimes life happens, or even a global pandemic, and you have to roll with the punches as best as you can. I think that the MPH program did an amazing job helping to prepare me for unprecedented events, being able to think on my toes, and adapt to change accordingly."


Read Claire's Story

Jessica Prater MTSU Alum

Jessica Prater

Psychology, M.A., Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 2010

What advice would you give to a prospective student thinking about graduate school?

"The most important thing is to think about how graduate school will help advance your career. For me, I chose a program based on the outcomes I wanted for my career. There are many different paths, and clearly linking your studies with your goals will help lead to success. This means asking hard questions of yourself (what do I want to achieve?) and the programs you are considering (how does this program help get me there?). Also, NOW IS THE TIME to look at graduate school. An economic crisis is the perfect time to reskill and prepare for the next step."


Read Jessica's Story

Von Richcreek MTSU Alumni

Von Richcreek

Liberal Studies, B.S., 2018; Professional Studies, M.P.S., 2020

“I appreciated the flexibility that the online courses provided,” Richcreek said. “Quitting my job to go back to school was not an option, and I’m glad that MTSU offered this opportunity.

“The professors were very skilled and knowledgeable, and my adviser was a huge help in determining exactly what courses to take and when. She was also extremely helpful in handling all of the little things that arose over the course of my degree program.”


Read Von's Story


Leslie Trail

Leslie Trail

Assessment, Learning, and Student Success (ALSI), Ed.D. current student

"My favorite part of attending MTSU has been working with the faculty in the ALSI program. The professors in this program believe in student growth and achievement and push participants to also believe in student growth and achievement. I see my own philosophies of education shifting because of the texts and discussions that they facilitate."

"My best advice for anyone thinking about graduate school - for whatever reason you seek that higher degree - is to take the leap forward and begin the program of your choice.  There is nothing to lose in seeking this graduate degree and everything to gain both personally and professionally."

Read Leslie's Story


Nosakhare Igie MTSU StudentNosakhare Igie

Chemistry, B.S, 2015; Chemistry, M.S., 2021


"So many reasons! I am just going to list them out:

Low cost of graduate tuition 

Suitable advisor for my thesis research 

World class research facilities and faculty. (Trust me! You have everything you need for your research/study with an amazing support from the faculty member)

Availability of graduate assistantship 

Low cost of living in Murfreesboro. (A lovely town with amazing people)"

Read Nosakhare's Story

Megan Vazquez MTSU Student and StaffMegan Vazquez

Spanish, B.A., 2012; Liberal Arts, M.A., 2021
Staff in University College

Advice to prospective students?

"Graduate school has been a great opportunity to further my education and make new friends. At first, I was intimidated by the thought of graduate school, but I am so happy I decided to enroll! If you are on the fence about enrolling, do not think, just do it! You will not regret it! This is a wonderful program! Everyone is super supportive of you and your goals. The instructors genuinely care about your learning. Dr. Janet McCormick, the director, is amazing! If you are looking for a program to help you advance in your career or simply looking to gain knowledge for personal growth, the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts program is a wonderful option! Take the first step – apply!"

Read Megan's Story


Calandra Sain MTSU Student

Calandra Sain

Accounting, B.B.A., 2018;  Master of Accountancy, M.Acc., 2022


"I decided to choose MTSU for my graduate studies because I know the teachers care and the program is rigorous. I know once I complete my M.Acc. at MTSU I will be ready to face whatever challenges I may face in my career. Having only my undergraduate degree from MTSU, I have already received my first promotion on the job a year after graduation."

Read Calandra's Story


Andre Madatian MTSU StudentAndre Madatian

Film Scoring, B.M., 2014; Music Composition, M.M., 2022

How did you choose your program in Music?

"I have been a performing guitarist longer than a composer, however, composition has always been an area of study that I wanted to explore further beyond my undergraduate studies. My mentor and composition professor at MTSU, Dr. Paul Osterfield, has created an environment in which he recognizes my compositional style and is helping me fine tune it as opposed to suggesting a different aesthetic. This is quite freeing as a creative since there is no pressure to abandon what I feel is my own unique approach to composition."

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Jeanette Stevens MTSU StudentJeanette Stevens

International Relations, B.S., 2018, Global Studies and Human Geography, Global Studies, B.S., 2018,
Currently Enrolled in Management, M.S.

What advice would you give to a prospective student thinking about graduate school?

"I think it’s easy to get daunted by the idea of graduate school, but I would remind students that going to college also felt insurmountable at first, too. There is no clock ticking, so take your time and do what you can manage. It’s never too late!"

Read Jeanette's Story


Kyle Hughes MTSU StudentKyle Hughes

Sound Recording and Audio Production, B.M., 2017; Graduate Performance Certificate in Jazz Percussion, 2019;
Music Business, M.B.A., 2022

Advice to prospective students?

  1. Take advantage of all the resources that are available to you. There are multiple events and services offered throughout the year that can be insightful and beneficial.
  2. Take ownership of your own education and learning. Pushing yourself to reach your goals and maximize what your program can do for you reduces the chances that you leave college feeling like it was not worth it.
  3. Network as much as you can.
  4. Specifically for prospective students, reach out to program chairs, professors, and points of contact. If you can, meet in-person or over ZOOM. These meetings will give you better insight into programs than just researching online will. Ask what the employment rate is and what kind of jobs the graduates from your program are working, once they finish their degree.
  5. Take time to relax and have fun. For undergraduate students especially, watch out for burn out.

Read Kyle's Story

Shruthi Perna MTSU Student


Shruthi Perna

Bachelor of Pharmacy, 2011; Chemistry, M.S., 2016; Currently Enrolled in Molecular Sciences, Ph.D.


"MTSU can provide students with quality education and has faculty members with diverse and cutting edge research. MTSU has a wonderful campus with a great scope in exploring extracurricular activities."

Read Shruthi's Story


Nathan WallachNathan Wallach

Video Production, B.S. 2009; Leisure, Sport, and Tourism Management, M.S. 2010

"My grandfather once told me that you can lose everything in life, finances and house and all that, but they can't take your education from you, so get yourself educated, go through the process, and it is a lot more than just a piece of paper."

View Nathan's Story



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