The Record, May 3, 2010, V18.21


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Commencement '10--Spring grad's next challenge: Fulbright Research
by Elizabeth Warren

Kaitlen Howell, who will earn dual Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees from MTSU on May 8, has struggled through many hard times in her life but has risen above and out of them to achieve amazing things.

More than a year ago, the foreign-languages and biology double major was approached by the University Honors College to apply to the Fulbright U.S. Scholars Program on MTSU's behalf. The Honors College stood by her through the process, guiding and advising on the best way to apply.

Howell now is a Fulbright Scholar. The government-sponsored research program is commissioning a grant for a 10-month stay in Germany beginning in September 2011, where she'll participate in "hands-on clinical experiments and observations of both the heart and brain to test the effects of a common heart defect and to look for a relationship between the heart condition and a certain type of stroke.";

Her stay in Germany for the Fulbright will be spent studying and researching the relationship between patent foramen ovale and vasospasm—testing to see if certain chemicals released by a heart defect cause a vasospasm and where blood vessels spasm, leading to vasoconstriction and other neurological effects such as strokes.

All of her research will be conducted at the German hospital Paracelsus Klinik in Zwickau, Saxony, under the supervision of Dr. Jan Warnke.

"My role in this research includes a continuous investigation of scientific journals for new relevant publications, organizing and overseeing the project, interviewing patients and functioning as the primary data recorder,"; Howell said.

Howell has been interested in neuroscience since she began her undergraduate career. She said she's mesmerized by the way the nervous system correlates to every part of the human body.

Howell also is extremely interested in the German language. Though she happened on the language by chance during a summer-school semester, she said she came to love it and every other part of German culture.

Her fluency in the language has also prepared her for research in the country itself, because her linguistic ability will allow Howell to interact with colleagues and patients and to study at a German university.

During six months of her junior year, Howell participated in biological research that further cemented her love for science and the excitement of inquiry.

In summer 2008, she studied in Germany under Warnke and his neuroscience team at the Paracelsus Klinik, an internship that brought together everything she loves: medicine, research and German culture.

"Through these experiences, I have only begun to discover the intricacies of our nervous system,"; Howell said, "yet increasing my knowledge does not sate my thirst but only serves to whet my appetite for greater understanding.";

Outside of studying medicine and German, Howell also helps the community by volunteering with HIV-positive people, offering "nonmedical support and increasing community awareness."; She also works as a mentor at the Next Step program, which provides assistance to students who are moving from foster care into the collegiate world.

"These activities are important because I am committed to becoming a physician researcher who exemplifies not only skill but also compassion,"; Howell said.

The summa cum laude graduate's future plans include applying to medical school for a dual medical- and doctoral-degree program. She specifically wants to be a surgical physician researcher, so most of her time will be spent on patient care and researching surgical procedures.

"Operating on a patient can improve or even save his or her life, but recording the exact details of the procedure and determining what is most successful will help that one patient and affect the lives of many more to come,"; Howell said.

Howell credits many of the Honors College faculty for her successes, including Dean John Vile and Laura Clippard, a coordinator for the college.

She said that one MTSU professor, however, stands out as one of her most inspirational and helpful mentors. Dr. Gore Ervin, professor of biology, took time to answer her questions, made sure she knew how to correctly perform tasks and ensured that she would understand the material thoroughly.

"Dr. Ervin is probably, in my opinion, the best professor I have ever had,"; Howell said.

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U.S. Fulbright competition opens May 3

The Fulbright U.S. Student Competition for 2011-12 opens Monday, May 3, and MTSU's Undergraduate Fellowships Office is asking faculty and staff to encourage eligible students to learn more and apply.

The Fulbright's purpose is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries by exchanging people, knowledge and skills. A Fulbright grant gives a U.S. student the opportunity to live and study in a foreign country for one academic year.

Eligibility requirements include U.S. citizenship, receipt of a bachelor's degree by August 2011, a grade-point average of 3.3 or higher and language proficiency sufficient to communicate with the people of the host country.

Candidates without prior opportunities for extended study or residence abroad will receive preferential consideration. In some countries, preference is given to graduate students conducting research.

Each applicant is usually required to outline a course of study or a research project in his/her major field that may be completed in one country during one academic year abroad.

Students may learn more about the program by contacting the UFO at 615-898-5464 or by emailing UFO Coordinator Laura Clippard in the University Honors College at For more information, visit .

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Commencement '10—2,180 students to receive degrees in May 8 ceremonies
by Lisa L. Rollins

More than 2,100 degree candidates are expected to graduate during MTSU's 99th spring commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 8, according to a report from Sherian Huddleston, associate vice provost for enrollment services.

MTSU will again feature dual ceremonies and dual speakers beginning at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. in Murphy Center. Of the 2,180 set to graduate during the event, 1,804 are undergraduates and 376 are graduate students, including 278 master's candidates, 88 education-specialist recipients and 10 doctoral candidates.

Candidates from the College of Graduate Studies, the Jennings A. Jones College of Business and the College of Education will receive their degrees in the morning ceremony. That afternoon, degrees will be conferred on candidates in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, College of Liberal Arts, College of Media and Entertainment, and the College of Continuing Education and Distance Learning, said Dr. Diane Miller, interim executive vice president and provost and chairwoman of the commencement committee.

MTSU also will recognize four Distinguished Alumni during the 9 a.m. ceremony. They are:

• Lauren Gillespie Agee (B.S., '01), winner of the 2009-10 Young Alumni Achievement Award;
• David B. Mitchell (B.S., '73), winner of the Professional Achievement Award;
• Tom D. Vance (B.B.A., '76), winner of the Service to the Community Award; and
• George H. Frost (B.S., '56), winner of the Service to the University Award.

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett will serve as the guest speaker for the 9 a.m. commencement ceremony.

Hargett became the 37th secretary of state in January 2009 after serving as chairman of the Tennessee Regulatory Authority. He also served 10 years in the Tennessee House of Representatives as the representative for the 97th District. During his service, his House Republican colleagues twice elected him leader.

As a lawmaker, Hargett's experience has included service on many legislative committees, and in the House, the Hendersonville, Tenn., resident was a driving force behind legislation for more electronic disclosure of campaign contributions as well as increasing the requirements of public officials' public statements of interest. He also sponsored and cosponsored numerous legislative items, including Senate Joint Resolution One, which permitted local governments to initiate property-tax relief for senior citizens.

At the 1 p.m. commencement ceremony, James C. "Jim"; Free, president and CEO of The Smith-Free Group, will be the featured speaker.

Before co-founding The Smith-Free Group, a business/governmental affairs firm, in 1995, Free served as vice chairman of Walker-Free Associates, a consulting firm he joined in 1981. At both firms, he has represented major American companies in areas such as energy, entertainment, communication, health care, banking and insurance.

A graduate of MTSU with a bachelor's degree in economics and a master's degree in public administration, Free went on to serve as assistant director of the Admissions Office and later as an assistant to MTSU's vice president. His long service to the university includes the establishment of a scholarship for students from Maury County and current service on MTSU's President's Council as well as active involvement with the MTSU Foundation.

Active in the Democratic Party, Free has served on the House and Senate Democratic Campaign Committees and the Democratic National Committee's Commission on Delegate Selection and Finance Council. He worked in the presidential campaigns of both Jimmy Carter and Al Gore and also served in the Carter White House as a special assistant to the president.

Miller and the graduation committee members emphasized that students who participate in commencement will be required to stay for the entire ceremony, each of which should last about two hours. Candidates planning celebration activities are advised to be aware of this commitment.

For more information about commencement or receiving a degree in absentia, please visit the Records Office website at . Questions about graduation may be directed to the Records Office at 615-898-2600.

Graduation at a glance

Who: 2,180 graduates* (1,804 undergraduates, 376 graduate students)
What: Spring 2010 commencement ceremonies
When: 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., Saturday, May 8
Where: Murphy Center, MTSU
•9 a.m.—The Hon. Tre Hargett, Tennessee secretary of state
•1 p.m.—James C. "Jim"; Free, MTSU alumnus and president/CEO, The Smith-Free Group
For more info: Go to and click "2010 Spring Commencement Details!";
*Approximate number as of April 21, 2010.

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Prince-ly pledge for Centennial Scholarships
by Tom Tozer

Little did Gale and Jonelle Prince know when they expressed an interest in giving back to MTSU that their names would be attached to the university's first Centennial Scholarship.

With a pledge of $100,000, the Gale and Jonelle Prince Centennial Scholar-ship Endowment foreshadows the university's 100th anniversary and ushers in a long succession of Centennial Scholars who will be able to fulfill their college education, graduate and become productive citizens.

"Joe Bales asked me if I had hacked into his computer when I first talked to him about doing something,"; said Gale Prince (B.S. '57). "He pulled out a piece of paper that he had just printed out setting up this Centennial Scholarship program. So I talked to my wife, and we decided to go that route.";

"We're absolutely delighted at the Princes' generosity,"; said Bales, MTSU vice president for development and university relations. "Gale is a Distinguished Alumnus winner, and both Gale and Jonelle have been very active on campus and in the community. It's a great opportunity for our alumni and friends who want to do something, and it's a wonderful opportunity for our students. What we envision over the next few years is to establish 100 of these endowed scholarships.";

Each $100,000 endowment will provide a competitive award, renewable for a maximum of five years, while the student pursues his or her degree and remains academically eligible. A unique feature of the award is that recipients may use the funds to pursue an international experience related to their degree programs.

"Being a five-year award, if you stagger them properly, 20 new students can start every year as Centennial Scholars,"; Bales added. "You'll have 20 students in a cohort—they will be recognized together and almost be a class within a class. The Princes love the university, and for them to do this is extremely exciting and is a testament to their belief in our students and their future.";

Gale Prince, a native of Shelbyville, Tenn., earned a degree from MTSU in industrial arts. He received his commission to second lieutenant in the U.S. Army and served for 21 years as his military duty took him to France, Korea and Vietnam. He retired in 1978 with the rank of lieutenant colonel. Jonelle Prince, originally from Russellville, Ky., worked for Rutherford County for 32 years and retired in 2000 as the county's chief deputy assessor of property. They are active members of First Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, the Lions Club and the Discovery Center, among others.

"We're so very proud to be associated with MTSU,"; Jonelle said. "We think the school is very progressive. I have a granddaughter going here now and had a grandson who went here. … With nine grandchildren, we feel like this is one way to help the youth—and, hopefully, our own will be interested in furthering their education.";

"I worked every day when I went to school,"; Gale joined in, "which was one reason my grades were not that good. We want to see students have the opportunity to be able to study more because they have the scholarship and won't have to go out and work every night.";

Students who are selected as Centennial Scholars will represent the upper 10 to 15 percent of their high-school graduating classes and will have achieved a minimum ACT score of 29 or 1,300 on the SAT. Criteria will include academic performance, leadership, athletic or extracurricular activities and recommendations from teachers, faculty and community leaders. An MTSU Centennial Scholar must maintain a 3.5 GPA to continue receiving the award.

"As soon as we have a fully funded endowment, we'll begin making awards,"; Bales said, "so we're looking at the fall of 2012. We're seeing a lot of people who really understand the importance of education and want to help the next generation of students. This award will truly make a difference.

"Our current economy really brings into focus the importance of a college degree. We are truly indebted to Gale and Jonelle for kicking off what I believe will be an incredible program that will open the doors of higher education to many young people and inspire them to achieve their potential.";

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Restructuring response is ready online
by Dr. Sidney A. McPhee

On April 1, Dr. Diane Miller, interim provost, submitted the "Proposal for Restructuring Colleges"; in response to a recommendation from my May 21, 2009, final report for "Positioning the University for the Future.";

In that 2009 report, the Provost's Office was charged with working with academic leaders and faculty to review the overall college structure at MTSU and offer a viable restructuring model for campus review and my approval.

Prior to the April 1 submission, three iterations of the proposed restructuring document were presented to the university community—the initial proposal in October, a second in November and a third in December. The last of the three submissions resulted in my extending the deadline for a final proposal just prior to the end of the 2010 spring semester. This extension was granted at the request of the Faculty Senate Liaison Committee to allow additional time for the academic leadership and faculty to provide added feedback and address critical concerns with the previously proposed models before any ultimate decisions were made.

Before offering my responses to the recommendations in the latest proposal, I would like to thank Dr. Miller and her staff for the hard work that they put into the development of the very comprehensive report submitted to me on April 1. In addition, I would like to thank our deans, department chairs, faculty and all others for their involvement in discussions related to restructuring our colleges and for providing their input about the proposed changes.

Please visit to view the full "Presidential Response to Interim Provost Recommendations on Restructuring of Colleges.";

This is a reprint of recent email communications from Dr. McPhee to the university community.

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For the Record: Computing through the years—the MTSU perspective
by Lucinda T. Lea

Change has been a constant for computing and computer services at Middle Tennessee State University, a response to the rapid changes in computing itself and in the role of computing in higher education. The office providing computer services at MTSU has changed its name over the past 50 years from the Computer Center to Computer Services to the Office of Information Technology and, most recently, to the Information Technology Division. Amid all the changes, what has remained constant is a dedication to service, a commitment to excellence and a home in the basement of the Cope Administration Building.

Automation first came to the service of the university in 1959-60 with IBM card tab equipment. In the mid-1960s, a machine that used FORTRAN and COBOL was purchased with the help of a $ 75,000 National Science Foundation grant, and the Computer Center and data-processing areas were established in the basement of Cope. In the early '70s, a time-sharing system was purchased for student and faculty use. Software to perform administrative and academic functions was mostly written in-house.

In the 1980s, the Tennessee Board of Regents, mandated by legislative action, established a common administrative software standard, Information Associates; this eventually was migrated to the SCT Plus software suite. Late in the decade, personal computers were placed on faculty and staff desktops, and computer labs began proliferating across campus.

The early '90s saw course registration via telephone in full operation. The Office of Information Technology was formed in 1993, and the tradition of providing quality service and support to students, faculty and staff gained new momentum and focus. A campuswide fiber-optic network was built, and electronic mail became a commodity. Master classrooms were designed and built, a digital telephone switch was installed, voice mail capability was provided, the Faculty Instructional Technology Center was established, and course management software was provided for faculty and students. The TBR established the student technology access fee, the Web was born and, by the end of the decade, course registration was online.

The new millennium arrived and, with the hard work of the computing staff, was a nonevent. Implementation of the campus wireless network began in 2001. In 2002, the Information Technology Division was formed, and Internet 2 connectivity was obtained to enable the MTSU research effort. Midway through the decade, a major conversion to the Banner Enterprise Resource Planning Suite occurred, and the Learning, Teaching and Innovative Technologies Center was established.

As students have become more technologically savvy, Web 2.0 technologies are in continuous demand, and the number of online and Web-enhanced courses continues to grow. Privacy and security awareness is of the utmost importance. Auxiliary software systems have proliferated to provide functionality to many areas of the university, emergency communication systems have been established, and virtualization techniques are being used to consolidate servers and systems.

As the second decade of the 21st century begins, MTSU has a student population of more than 25,000, and the MTSU leadership continues to recognize the increasingly critical role that information technology must play in providing an effective student-centered living and learning university. The complex, integrated multifaceted computing environment required today is a far cry from the two or three computers used to satisfy campus needs a half-century ago.

Lucinda Lea has been MTSU's vice president for information technology and chief information officer since 2002. She began her career with the university in 1973 as the faculty liaison for academic computer support and will retire at the end of this academic year. Lea and her fellow retirees are listed below, along with a list of university employees who have accepted the Voluntary Buyout Package effective June 30. If you're retiring or taking the buyout and would like to share your most positive experience at MTSU in a "For the Record"; column, please send it (in 400 words or less, plus a brief bio and a photo) to

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Recognizing decades of dedication to university: Latest list of 2009-10 retirees

• Bettye A. Adams, elementary and special education;
• Edward Applegate, journalism;
• Reather P. Arnold, Parking Services;
• Larry Wayne Beaty, Energy Services;
• Judith M. Bonicamp, chemistry;
• Janet C. Camp, Center for Dyslexia;
• Linda L. Chrysler, Facilities Services;
• Russell T. Church, speech and theatre;
• Mary Jean Clark, Phillips Bookstore;
• Darrell R. Collins, University Police;
• Fred P. Colvin, history;
• Joy D. Conley, Ticket Office;
• Patrick C. Conley, foreign languages;
• James M. Cook, physics and astronomy;
• J. Donald Craig, Walker Library;
• Donald E. Crowder, aerospace;
• Sarah Dean Daniel, Business Office;
• Carol Michler Detmer, human sciences;
• Richard C. Detmer, computer science;
• Houston M. Dobbins, Custodial Services;
• Brenda M. Dressler, Facilities Services;
• David L. Eason, journalism;
• John M. Egly, WMOT-89.5 FM Radio;
• Janet R. Estes, Division of Development and University Relations;
• Linda Gail Feagans, College of Basic and Applied Sciences;
• Sam W. Gaither, Construction and Renovation;
• Sarah Elizabeth Garner, Business Office;
• Ellen Barrier Garrison, history;
• William Larry Gentry, English;
• Rachel Goodwin, Post Office;
• Diane S. Gower, elementary and special education;
• Mary Ann T. Guiliano, June Anderson Women's Center;
• Judith A. Hankins, computer science;
• Betty S. Harper, accounting;
• Phil Harper, accounting;
• Emma Faye Hayes, Business Office;
• Rufus Willis Horton, Energy Services;
• James C. Howard, chemistry;
• Robert B. Jones III, history;
• Roger D. Kerr, athletics;
• Sally B. Kimbrell, Health Services;
• Kathleen B. Kulp, Business and Economic Research Center;
• Lucinda T. Lea, Information Technology Division;
• Anna M. Littlepage, psychology;
• Lorraine Moseley Lucken, College of Education and Behavioral Science;
• Jerry Lee Maier, computer information systems;
• Betty Marable, Housing Administration;
• Momolu W. Massaquoi, Walker Library;
• Joyce B. Maynard, aerospace;
• Linda G. McGrew, business communication and entrepreneurship;
• Joanne B. Minnick, Walker Library;
• H. Ronald Moser, management and marketing;
• Sandra E. Norton, College of Education;
• Paul J. O'Farrell, geosciences;
• John David Roberts, Tennessee Livestock Center Custodial Services;
• Brenda G. Robinson, Procurement Services;
• Robert L. Rucker, social work;
• Diane J. Sawyer, Center for Dyslexia;
• Carolyne A. Shaw, speech and theatre;
• Clarence G. Smith, Post Office;
• Anthony E. Snook, Printing Services;
• Rebecca Sue Snow, Forensic Institute for Research and Education;
• Gary E. Stafford, Custodial Services;
• Jo Anne Taeusch, Walker Library;
• Beverly J. Taylor, Walker Library;
• Shirley A. Travis, Disabled Student Services;
• Nancy A. Weatherly, Parking Services; and
• Bob J. Womack (1924-2010), educational leadership.

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Recognizing decades of dedication to university: Buyout participants departing

(List excludes those who also are retiring.)

• Joe H. Alexander, Building Services;
• Nancy B. Allsbrook, School of Music;
• Rose Marie Augustine, Tennessee Small Business Development Center;
• Haskell B. Barrett, Murphy Center Custodial Services;
• Donald L. Bogle, Building Services;
• Matthew A. Brown, Gore Research Center;
• Sharon R. Burger, Records Office;
• Donald A. Campbell, mathematical sciences;
• Mary J. Campbell, nursing;
• Amanda M. Castellote, College of Graduate Studies;
• Amie L. Chandler, Greenhouse Services;
• Marcus I. Chandler, Grounds Services;
• Jennifer R. Clemans-Stanley, Evening Extended School Program;
• Howard R. Cook, Building Services;
• Jane M. Davis, Walker Library;
• Linda Davis, College of Continuing Education and Distance Learning;
• Peggy J. Duszynski, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs;
• Larry E. Farmer, accounting;
• Deborah Guest, University Police;
• Gayle P. Hayes, Housing Facilities;
• Sherian S. Huddleston, Enrollment Services;
• Joseph W. Hugh, Procurement Services;
• Mary T. Hugh, Human Resource Services;
• David L. Hutton, Financial Aid;
• Betty L. James, Jones College of Business;
• Kari L. Janetvilay, Alumni Relations;
• Michael A. Johnson, Counseling Services;
• Helen S. Kasawne, Publications and Graphics;
• George E. Kerrick, English;
• Jeri M. Lamb, Sidelines;
• Paul D. Lee, physics and astronomy;
• Michelle L. Lloyd, Enrollment Services;
• Shirley A. Luscinksi, Student Athlete Enhancement Center;
• John C. Lynch, News & Media Relations;
• Tana McDonald, Learning Teaching and Innovative Technology Center;
• Wanda B. Mears, Post Office;
• Gary Moss, Library Copy Center;
• Sheron L. Neeley, Publications and Graphics;
• Frances R. Rich, President's Office;
• Casey T. Richardson, Parking Services;
• Deborah D. Roberts, Administrative Services;
• Kenneth R. Rushlow, elementary and special education;
• Judith M. Sanders, Admissions;
• Kimberly S. Sandman, Recreation Center;
• Vonda F. Scott, Recreation Center;
• Judith A. Shook, Publications and Graphics;
• Lura A. Sparks, Facilities Services Administration;
• Gina M. Stanley, Advancement Services;
• Horace N. Stogner, Academic Support Center;
• Tommy G. Summers, Energy Services;
• Robert D. Taylor, Energy Services;
• Susan G. Thornton, Student Life;
• Dellmar Walker, human sciences;
• Daniel L. Walters, Receiving and Moving Services;
• Paul F. Wells, Center for Popular Music;
• Forrestine W. Williams, Institutional Equity and Compliance;
• Patricia W. Williams, Counseling Services;
• James H. Wilson, Receiving and Moving Services;
• Tech Wubneh, International Programs and Services; and
• Gary P. Wulfsberg, chemistry.

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Preparing to 'serve humanity' with adventures abroad
by Gina K. Logue

After living in Thailand for nine months, in Morocco for four months and in India all last summer, you might think Aaron Shew would want to stay home for a while.

You would be wrong.

The MTSU junior from Murfreesboro will depart for Turkey around May 14 for study experiences that will enhance not only his education but his prestige and his portfolio.

Shew, a double major in plant and soil science and international relations, will join students from other institutions in a conflict-resolution course in Cyprus and Turkey at his own expense.

Through June 9, Shew will question government diplomats on best practices for negotiating solutions to thorny issues between countries.

From there, Shew will head back to Lucknow, India, where he studied in the summer of 2009 under a Critical Language Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State for extensive instruction in the Urdu language. His summer studies will be funded with another CLS. The 2010-11 academic year is covered under a fully endowed fellowship from the American Institute of Indian Studies.

Lucknow is a city of about 3 million people in Uttar Pradesh, which Shew explains is one of the most impoverished and illiterate regions of India.

"They were the first people of India to rise up against British colonialism in 1857, and you get this real air in the city that they're very proud of that,"; he notes.

During his stay in Lucknow last summer, he noticed that parts of the city were very traditional and other parts were very progressive.

"You can walk down the street and see veiled women, and you can walk down the street and see (women wearing) sleeveless shirts,"; Shew says.

The student says he would prefer to live with an Indian family during the summer and transfer to an off-campus apartment for the academic year. Last summer, Shew lived in an apartment with two other American students, one of Indian descent and the other of Pakistani descent.

"We had a lot of good discussions because we're all from very different backgrounds,"; he says. "It's funny because the Indian was a Shiite Muslim, the Pakistani was a Sunni Muslim, and I come from a Southern Baptist background.";

Shew says his summer 2009 classes were the equivalent of one year of university study. By the time he finishes the next academic year, he will have completed the equivalent of four years' worth of instruction in Urdu, which he describes as sort of a combination of Arabic and Hindi.

"It's about 20 hours in class every week and another 15 to 25 hours of homework a week,"; he says, "so it's a full-time job.";

Headquartered at the University of Chicago, AIIS "is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge about India and the promotion of intellectual engagement with India in American colleges and universities,"; according to AIIS allocates approximately 35 AIIS fellowships each year with funding from various agencies.

Shew says he will stay in contact with his family and friends via email and Skype during the long separation. He notes, however, that he's inclined to live overseas continually after graduate school, whether he ultimately chooses a career in development, intelligence or diplomacy.

"My overall goal, I would say, is to serve humanity, whether I'm advising policy or I'm doing agricultural development or something of the sort,"; Shew says. "I'd like to become a utilitarian in the sense that I'd like to achieve the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people.";

For more information about study-abroad opportunities for MTSU students, visit .

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Youth Writers' Camp seeks participants
by Drew Dunlop

In the push to increase math and science skills when texting and IM shortcuts are becoming more common, one group seeks to get back to the important middle "R";—writing—of the storied "Three R's.";

The Youth Writers' Camp, sponsored each summer by MTSU's Department of Elementary and Special Education, is in its fifth year and has improved writing skills for students in the fourth grade all the way up to high-school seniors as part of the Middle Tennessee Writing Project. It also reaches a broad span of needs by serving students who want help getting good writing skills as well as students with a passion for writing.

At the 2010 Youth Writers' Camp, set for June 7 through 17 at MTSU, author Barry Lane will be at the camp for the first week to share his work and help the students with their writing. A professional songwriter also will join the students as they seek to broaden their writing horizons and receive encouragement to explore various genres.

In addition to exploring their talents, students will work with expert writing teachers on mini-lessons on various writing strategies in such areas as drafts, editing and revisions. Students then are encouraged to try their newly learned strategies throughout their time in camp.

Organizers say that workshop participants also benefit by experiencing life on a university campus and getting a sense of college life. For many students, this can be the experience that shows them that attending college is a real possibility for them.

The Wilson County Youth Writers' Camp is scheduled for May 31-June 10 in Lebanon, and a separate camp for Rutherford County students is set June 7-17 at Rock Springs Middle School in Smyrna.

The camps are conducted Mondays through Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily at their respective sites. Cost per camper is $200, which includes a camp T-shirt, a writer's notebook and resource book, a daily morning snack and a writing anthology of the campers' work.

For more information, contact Dr. Bobbie Solley at or Angela Pope at

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See the Sounds, help marketing scholarships

Ticket vouchers for the 2010 Nashville Sounds season are available through Thursday, May 6, from students enrolled in the Sports Marketing course in MTSU's Department of Management and Marketing.

The Sounds are offering undated $2-off ticket vouchers that can be exchanged at the Greer Stadium ticket office for a reserved seat at any 2010 game. Vouchers are $12 each, and the team is donating $3 from each voucher sold to the department's Sports Marketing Scholarship.

To purchase ticket vouchers or for more information, contact Dr. Don Roy at 615-904-8564 or

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Employees of the Year

EXEMPLARY WORK—MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, center, joins winners of the 2009-10 Employee of the Year Awards during the April 21 celebration in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building. Displaying their awards are, from left, Technical/Service Employee of the Year Jeff Henderson, Energy Services; Secretarial/Clerical Employee of the Year Betty Smithson, Student Affairs, Enrollment and Academic Services; Administrative Employee of the Year Nancy Martin, Research and Sponsored Programs; Ben Jones, chair of the MTSU Employee Recognition Committee; and All-Classified Employee of the Year Deborah Cantrell, Ground Services. The winners, who received engraved crystal awards and monetary gifts for their commitment to MTSU's success, were chosen from nominations made during the 2009-10 academic year. The committee regularly salutes staffers who make outstanding contributions and demonstrate excellence in their roles. To nominate an administrative, secretarial/clerical, classified or technical/service co-worker for the award program, go to the HR website.

MTSU Photographic Services photo by J. Intintoli

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Student email moves to Microsoft, adds more space
by Randy Weiler

Change will be in the air—or at least in cyberspace—for student email accounts.

Shortly after spring commencement, MTSU students will receive new Microsoft Live@edu email accounts at no cost to the university, said Tom Wallace, associate vice president in the Information Technology Division.

A student email address that had been before May 8 will now be by the evening of May 10, Wallace said. When the switch is made, students will receive emails with instructions on accessing their new mailboxes.

"The advantage to this is that Microsoft is able to offer more space to students,"; said Wallace, who added that students must activate their accounts and register new passwords.

ITD made this switch, which has been in the works for about a year, in partnership with MTSU's Student Government Association. The SGA has "overwhelmingly supported this project from the beginning,"; Wallace said.

"The current email allows for students to have 20 megabytes of space,"; said Brandon McNary, SGA president. "The new email system through Microsoft will allow students to have 10 gigabytes of email space, which is comparable to a Google (Gmail) account.

"It will also allow for 25 gigabytes of file sharing with teachers or other students.";

Wallace said the student email account list, which also includes alumni who have registered to keep their student accounts after graduation, has grown to 77,000.

"The constraint for ITD: Expanding email server space cost us a lot,"; he said. "Microsoft, as big as they are, is able to offer it at no charge. This is a service to the university.";

Wallace said other hosting services were considered as the new email provider, but MTSU officials believed "Microsoft was a better fit when comparing services.";

McNary said email was "an issue that students have come to the SGA about for years. Our current email accounts are constantly over quota, and teachers have a hard time sending out the notes or PowerPoints from class due to our minimal amount of space.";

Unlike other email accounts, the Microsoft Live@edu accounts contain no advertising, Wallace said. He added that mail sent to the old addresses will be forwarded automatically to students' new email addresses.

Alana Turner, ITD communication technology analyst, server, classrooms and desktop services specialist, served as project manager for the switch.

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Most welcome guests

'SO PLEASED TO MEET YOU!'—State Sen. Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro, right, chats with The Hon. Chen Xiao Ping, far left, vice mayor of the city of Hangzhou, China, and Hangzhou Normal University Chairman Cui Pei Fei, second from right, through interpreter Guan Nanyi on April 21 before the Grand Opening Banquet for the Confucius Institute of MTSU in the Tom Jackson Building. Guests from Hangzhou were part of a delegation from the People's Republic of China who spent a day at MTSU to celebrate the CIMTSU grand opening, tour the campus and enjoy "An Oriental Monsoon,"; an evening performance of music and dance. The Confucius Institute at MTSU is made possible with a five-year, $500,000 grant from the nonprofit organization of the same name. In partnership with Hangzhou Normal University, the CIMTSU will help to develop Chinese language classes, student and faculty exchanges, cultural exchanges and outreach programs to area schools in kindergarten through 12th grades. The institute also plans to train educators to teach Chinese as a foreign language and conduct research about contemporary China, among other mutual interests.

MTSU Photographic Services photo by Andy Heidt

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ODK honor society moving forward with membership
by Elizabeth Warren

The Omicron Delta Kappa Honors Society has been approved to form a chapter at MTSU for students who have excelled in academics and leadership on campus.

Dr. John Vile, dean of the MTSU Honors College, said that about 10 years ago, President Sidney A. McPhee indicated that he wanted to bring a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, America's oldest collegiate honor society, to campus.

Because of PBK's requirement that 10 percent of membership had to be faculty, and since MTSU had less than half of that required total, the university began looking at different alternatives.

"We began to look for comparable organizations that recognized students across disciplines,"; Vile said.

Vile said that the university agreed that ODK, combined with the already established Honors Society of Phi Kappa Phi, was comparable to the prestige of PBK.

According to Vile, the university began proceedings to form a chapter a little over a year ago. First, organizers assembled the precursor to ODK, the MTSU Leadership Circle, which evolved from the Honors Student Association. The fledgling group then participated in a multitude of public-service activities.

Representatives from ODK then toured the MTSU campus. The act that carried the greatest weight, Vile said, was the final one—preparing a lengthy charter petition to send to the national headquarters at Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky.

The organization's chartering ceremony was held Friday, April 30, at 6 p.m. in the Tom Jackson Building on campus.

Vile said that a student must either be a junior or senior in status, and they must have a minimum 3.25 grade point average. Students must also pay $70 national dues and $10 local dues.

The society looks at individuals who have proven themselves in five distinct areas: academics, athletics, campus or community/social/religious/ government services, journalism/publications/ speech/mass media, and the creative and performing arts. ODK awards points for student activities and accomplishments in any of these areas.

"We are looking for academic leaders,"; Vile said, "We think it is appropriate that students who are gifted and who get scholarships and other support from the state and the university be willing to give back to both.";

Vile said that the university searches for students who meet the requirements, but any students who feel they are qualified for ODK also can let them know of their interest.

The first officers, who were in the Leaders Circle, will now charter the new chapter. Nathaniel F. Green, a senior political-science major, is ODK president; Merranda Holmes, a senior majoring in biology, is vice president; Shannon Murphy, another senior majoring in biology, is secretary; and Amanda Alexander, a senior economics and political-science major, is treasurer.

Murphy said that the organization honors and recognizes students' achievements during their time at MTSU. "I think ODK is a very unique organization, because besides not only having to have a strong academic record, leadership in extracurricular activities is an essential part to becoming a member,"; she added.

Holmes added that another important ODK benefit—one that helped convince her to join—was the ability to network and connect with other leaders on campus who are motivated and want to excel. She's had positive experiences with other students who, even though they may not share the same major or field of interest, have helped her work toward her goal of becoming a physician.

Holmes also said that students who become members will have the opportunity to be nominated for multiple scholarships, have resume-building and study-abroad opportunities and even get member discounts for graduate-school preparation courses.

Students also will be able to work closely with faculty members who participate in ODK either by joining or becoming an adviser to the organization.

Vile, who became a member of ODK when he was an undergraduate student at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, said he is a faculty adviser, along with Honors College staff members Laura Clippard, Georgia Dennis and Marsha Powers. Steven Chappell, MTSU's Sidelines adviser, has also been a great help, Vile said, as have "many other faculty members [who] were inducted at their home institutions.";

For more information about ODK, contact Clippard at or at 615-898-5464.

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University serves as host for Tennessee Area Japanese Speech Contest

MTSU served as the host university for the first time for the recent Tennessee Area Japanese Speech Contest.

The April 3 competition, which was the third annual event, was supported by the Japan Consulate office in Nashville and the Japan America Society of Tennessee.

Thirty-nine students represented eight universities in Tennessee and Kentucky, and more than 175 attended. Also in attendance were Japanese-language students and educators, friends and families of the participants as well as members of the Japanese community from middle Tennessee.

Seven MTSU students made speeches in levels 1 and 2 of the three-level event and won two prizes. Hillary Morris from the JAPN 2010 class won the second prize in level 1, and fellow JAPN 2010 student Latashia Cooper won the Consul-General Special Prize.

Dr. Priya Anath, one of three instructors of Japanese language at MTSU, said the university has been invited to host the 2011 contest as well. Other instructors are Yumiko Hirao and Chiaki Shima.

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Competitions begin

READY TO RIDE—MTSU's Equestrian Team once again will participate in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Nationals, which are set May 6-9 at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. Among the strong contingent of riders will be sophomore Korry Bailey, above, of Cookeville and junior Megan Hephner, at right, of Georgetown, Ky. Both placed in the 2009 nationals held at Tennessee Miller Coliseum.

photos submitted

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People Around Campus: 1st taste of politics leaves student hungry to serve
by Elizabeth Warren

Thomas Connor Moss took a hands-on approach to his education by seeking a seat on the Murfreesboro City Council.

"I saw some of the other people running and thought that they were everyday citizens, so why not give it a shot?"; the junior political-science major said.

Moss said he decided to run because he wanted to see a change in the Murfreesboro government, and he believed the only way for that to happen was for him to get up and take action.

After seeing an article last October in a local newspaper about candidates running for the city council, he decided that he could take on the challenge. They were ordinary people just like him, he said, so he saw no logical reason not to run.

He was able to jump on the city-council ballot by meeting two requirements: Each candidate must be 18 years old and must get 25 signatures from registered voters to turn in a qualifying petition.

The city's election was held April 20, and Moss garnered around 2.6 percent of the city's total 6,660-voter turnout, or 450 votes. He came in last in a field of eight but is proud of the accomplishment.

Though less experienced than his fellow candidates, Moss was not intimidated. He embraces it, he said, because everyone has to begin somewhere.

"Naivete works in my favor sometimes,"; Moss said.

Moss' campaign was about responsible growth and accessible government, just as his signs said. He offered a progressive approach, which he called a turnaround from the "good ole boy system"; that's still in play in some areas.

"To most people who live here, the ideas that I have are extraordinarily radical, like halting expansion in order to use the resources we already have, community gardens, neighborhood meetings and the idea of redistricting,"; Moss said. "Those are very progressive things.";

The first-time candidate said he still wants to see the city stop expanding out into the countryside. He wants Murfreesboro citizens to begin using lots and buildings they already have instead of going out and eating up land in the outer parts of the surrounding area.

If the expansion doesn't stop, Moss explained, he fears that the city won't be able to provide basic services like water and electricity "efficiently and effectively to areas that are outside our current boundaries."; Eventually, he said, the money won't be there to supply these necessities.

"This is a city of 110,000 people, so at some point you've just got to say, 'These are our boundaries,'"; Moss said.

Moss said he is very adamant about the idea of community. He wants to bring citizens together through ideas like community gardens and meetings. Gardens, for example, tend to make residents feel more connected and offer them an opportunity to get outdoors. He also hopes that the gardens would make people more accountable and aware of their surroundings to help cut down the crime rate.

Moss' community gardens could be created from donated lots in area neighborhoods. Residents would be allowed to have plots, small patches or full-blown gardens if they wish, he said.

More neighborhood meetings also will allow residents to discuss area issues and get to know their fellow citizens on a deeper, friendlier level, he said.

The MTSU community is also a part of Moss' plan. He wants try to get more students to stay in the city year-round, instead of just when school is in session, creating a more regular economic flow within Murfreesboro.

He also wants to add stores and businesses that can accommodate students. Instead of putting in another new bar or law office, Moss said he'd like to see entrepreneurs bring in businesses that can catch the attention of students, especially in areas like the Public Square.

"We have to find some compromise with the university, because if not for MTSU, Murfreesboro wouldn't be half of what it is right now, which is something people don't really understand sometimes,"; Moss said.

During his campaign, Moss said he saw good and bad situations, and wide spectrums of people, from the elderly to brand-new voters, contacted him to give support. Other voters didn't seem to like his Democrat party affiliation.

"People were kind of skeptical of my running,"; Moss said, "but I've [gotten] phone calls every day where people are [saying], 'You can come put a sign in my yard and you've got a vote.'";

The deadline to register to vote in the Aug. 5 Tennessee primary elections and Rutherford County general election is Tuesday, July 6. Tennessee's general election is Tuesday, Nov. 2. For more information about registering to vote in Rutherford County, please visit .

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Faculty/Staff Update


Dr. Wandi Ding (mathematical sciences) and one of her STEPMT students, Brandon Cathey, were invited to the Fourth Undergraduate Mathematics Conference in Knoxville April 9-10, where Cathey made a presentation, "Discrete Time Optimal Control Applied to Pest Control Problems.";

Dr. Ron Henderson (physics and astronomy) and senior Hilary Ball attended the Midwest Noyce Regional Conference April 7-8 in Indianapolis. Ball is one of the first recipients of the National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Scholar-ship grant, awarded in 2009, which provides $10,000 a year for students who'll teach both physics and math.


Dr. Steven Livingston (political science) has been accepted as a 2010-11 academic fellow with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies in Washington, D.C. He will participate in a unique educational program May 29-June 9 in Israel that focuses on the threat of terrorism to democracy.


Dr. Paul Craig (aerospace) has received a multi-million-dollar NASA grant to extend the department's pioneering research with scenario-based flight training for pilots into all areas of aviation.


Dr. Deb Sells (Student Affairs) spoke to WKRN-Channel 2 for a story that aired April 13 about the increase in both summer and fall enrollment at MTSU.


Chris Massaro (athletics) brought a "team-building"; message to 12 State Farm Insurance management personnel visiting MTSU on April 14.


Dr. T. Coy Porter (foreign languages), 87, passed away April 12. Dr. Porter, who was employed by MTSU from September 1964 until his retirement in December 1985, was the son of the late Rue Porter and Nancy Thomason and was preceded in death by his brothers, Doy Porter and Vonne Porter, and his sister, Noline Ricketts, and nephew, Rue Allen Ricketts. He will be lovingly missed by his wife of 65 years, Fanajo Douthitt Porter; his three daughters, Becky Porter, Vicki Shaub and Penny Riddle; and his son-in-law, Mark Riddle. His grandchildren are Christy (Danley) McDonel, Brian Shaub, Anna (Brian) Cathey, Angela (David) Dedman, Boone Riddle and Mellie Riddle, and his great-grandchildren are Olivia and Aidan Cathey, Clayton Mitchell and Porter Dedman. He also is survived by his nieces, Doylene Boise, Nancy Thompson, Dr. Jan Porter and Laurie Porter; his nephew, Jay Ricketts; and extended family Meagan Mitchell and Dana DeMoulin. Dr. Porter began preaching at age 15 and served at several congregations in Nashville and Texas and at the Dilton Church of Christ in Murfreesboro for 20 years. Always mission-minded, the "Diltonians"; sent Dr. Porter to preach in several countries over three continents. Dr. Porter was a professor of foreign languages for 10 years at Vanderbilt and 20 years at MTSU, where for many years he served as department chair.

Dr. Bob Womack (educational leadership), 86, passed away April 17. He was employed by MTSU since July 1957 and was a professor in the newly renamed Womack Family Department of Educational Leadership. Dr. Womack was a native of Bedford County and had lived in Rutherford County for the past 53 years. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Dr. Womack was preceded in death by his parents, David Andrew Womack and Georgia Price Womack; his wife, Elizabeth Clements Womack; and his brothers, Price, Paul and Ben Womack, and sisters, Helen Womack and Sara Womack. He is survived by his sons, Andy (Cherry) Womack and Ricky Womack; daughters, Lara (Steve) Daniel and Lynn Womack; grandsons, David (Cheryl) Womack, Jackson Short and Samuel Short; granddaughters, Dana Womack, Marguerite (Rob) Sims, Sara Womack and Meaghan Daniel; and great-grandchildren, Molly Womack, Mason Womack, Riley Sims and Emery Sims. Dr. Womack was inducted into both the Tennessee Teachers' Hall of Fame and the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration Hall of Fame and was the author of T he Echo of Hoofbeats, Call Forth the Mighty Men, A History of Tennessee and many other books. Memorial donations may be made to the MTSU Foundation for the Womack Family Endowment.


Lance Ikard (Continuing Education and Distance Learning) presented "Launching Lives and Transforming Students through Prior Learning Assessment"; at the Association of Continuing Higher Education South Region Conference April 11-13 in Melbourne, Fla.

Dr. Suk Jai Seo (computer science) presented a paper, "Open Neighborhood Locating-Dominating in Trees,"; at the 41st Southeastern International Conference on Combinatorics, Graph Theory and Computing March 8-12 at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.

Dr. Jeffrey Walck (biology) recently presented a seminar for the Institute of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at National Taiwan University in Taipei.

Dr. Dennis Walsh (mathematical sciences) gave a talk, "Discovering Identities Using Simple Urn Models,"; at the 89th annual meeting of the Southeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America at Elon (N.C.) University March 26-27.


An article by Dr. Jane Marcellus (journalism), "Southern Myths and the Nineteenth Amendment: The Participation of Nashville's Newspaper Publishers in the Final State's Ratification Debate,"; has been accepted for publication in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly.

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Campus Calendar May 3-16, 2010

Please note: Event dates, times and locations may change after press time. Please verify specifics when making plans.

TV Schedule "Middle Tennessee Record";
Cable Channel 9: Monday-Sunday, 7 a.m., 5 p.m.
NewsChannel 5+: Sundays, 1:30 p.m.
Visit for other cable-outlet airtimes or for a complete show archive.

Radio Schedule
"MTSU On the Record";

8 a.m. Sundays, WMOT 89.5-FM
Podcasts available anytime at .

Through May 6
Final Exams

Monday, May 3
New Senators' Reception/ Faculty Senate Meeting

3:45 and 4:30 p.m., Room 100, James Union Building
For information, visit the Faculty Senate website or contact: 615-898-2582.

May 7-9
MT Baseball vs. Southern Illinois

6 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday
Reese Smith Jr. Field
For information, visit .

Friday, May 7
First Friday Star Party: Professor Jeff Gritton, "Galactic Superstructures";

6:30-8:30 p.m., Wiser-Patten Science Hall 102
For information, contact: 615-494-7282.

Saturday, May 8
Spring 2010 Commencement

9 a.m. and 1 p.m., Murphy Center
For information, visit .

MT Softball vs. Western Kentucky
1 p.m., Blue Raider Field
For information, visit .

Tuesday, May 11
Murfreesboro Youth Orchestra

7 p.m., Hinton Music Hall
For information, visit or contact: 615-898-2493.

Wednesday, May 12
Tornado Siren Test Date

(no action needed)
11:15 a.m., campuswide
For information, contact: 615-898-2424.

May 14-16
MT Baseball vs. New Orleans

6 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday
Reese Smith Jr. Field
For information, visit .

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