The Record, Aug. 9, 2010, V19.03

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Commencement '10: Summer grad marks history by degrees

by Tom Tozer

He'll walk across the stage at summer commencement to receive his diploma with a degree in history—not because he actually majored in that field but because he's lived nearly 82 years of it.

William Boyd, a native of Marietta, Ga., and a longtime resident of Tullahoma, Tenn., will graduate from MTSU on Saturday, Aug. 14, with a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies. He will hang that on his wall alongside the associate's degree that he earned in 1978 from Motlow State Community College.

"I am very, very happy,"; Boyd said. "My granddaughters asked me, 'Granddaddy, why don't you go back to school? You don't lack that much.' That's what got me started.";

With some prodding from his family, including his wife, Effie Watkins Boyd, who earned her bachelor's in business administration from MTSU in 1987, Boyd enrolled in MTSU in January 2009, about 30 hours shy of earning his bachelor's degree. He took most of his courses online from their winter home in Florida.

"I had to work on it harder than when I was younger,"; Boyd noted. "I don't have the memory capacity. I'm still thankful that I have the memory that I do have. It took a lot of reading and research. But I don't wear glasses; I can see.

"Online is a good way to learn if you have time to go to the library and other places. You have to do a lot of research because you can't raise your hand. But you can email your instructor—and my instructors have been very good.";

The Boyds met in Georgia, when William literally bumped into Effie at a recreation center and nearly knocked her down. "I think she was coming out and I was going in,"; he recalled. "It started from there. She's the luckiest woman in the world.";

Boyd was discharged from military service in 1953 after serving in California aboard a U.S. destroyer for two years and as an electronics technical worker in the Naval Reserve. He also served for a time in the Army National Guard.

After retiring early in 1984 from Arnold Engineering Development Center in Tullahoma, Boyd worked for the U.S. Postal Service in Monteagle, Tenn. Today, he's a substitute teacher in the Tullahoma City School District. (Asked if he enjoys the work, he replied, "Sometimes,"; without missing a beat.) He also professes to be a "very good"; billiards player.

"Never give up"; is his advice to today's college students. "Stick with it. Even if you get an F, stick with it, because you'll get something out of it. … But you need support from your family. That's very important.";

After graduation, Boyd said he plans to earn his master's and doctoral degrees. He said his first task, however, will be to teach Sumer Patterson, his MTSU academic adviser, how to swim. He promised her that if he graduated, he would pay her back with swimming lessons.

"When Mr. Boyd came to see me for advising the second time, he said he didn't think he was going to make it to his goal,"; Patterson said. "I struck a deal with him. If he graduates, I will let him teach me how to swim. We shook hands on it.";

"Everybody here has been so good to me,"; the veteran student said, fighting back tears. "They went out of their way. I think a lot of these people here.";

READY FOR THE NEXT CHALLENGE—MTSU student William "Bill" Boyd and his wife, Effie, pause during an interview. Bill Boyd will graduate Aug. 14 with his bachelor's degree in liberal arts at age 81—45 years after he first enrolled at MTSU.

MTSU Photographic Services photo by J. Intintoli

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Commencement '10: Almost 900 students set to graduate Saturday, Aug. 14

A projected 892 degree candidates will graduate during the 99th annual summer commencement ceremony, MTSU officials announced.

The single-ceremony graduation will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 14, in Murphy Center with Deborah Belcher, professor in the Department of Human Sciences and the current MTSU representative of the Tennessee Board of Regents' Faculty Subcouncil, delivering the commencement address.

Ann S. Reaves, assistant director for graduation in MTSU's Records Office, said 657 of this summer's degree candidates will be undergraduates, and 235 students are slated to earn their degrees from the College of Graduate Studies. That total includes 213 master's degrees, 17 education-specialist degrees and five doctoral degrees.

A member of MTSU's faculty since 1991, Belcher teaches in the university's interior design program and is the 2010-11 interim chairwoman for MTSU's human sciences department, as well as serving as the 2009-10 president of the MTSU Faculty Senate.

A registered interior designer in the State of Tennessee, Belcher taught in the environmental design program at Syracuse University before joining MTSU. She also is a design consultant who specializes in the re-use of existing structures, day care facility design, elderly care facility design and health care facility design.

A native of Murfreesboro, Belcher holds professional membership in the Interior Design Educators Council and is a member of both the American Society of Interior Designers and the Institute of Classical Architecture. She received the ASID 1995 Education Award from the Tennessee Chapter and a Tennessee Chapter Presidential Citation in 2003, 2008 and 2009, and earlier this year, she received a national IDEC Service Award and served as the 2008-10 IDEC South Region's chairwoman.

Graduation information—including how to watch the ceremony via streaming video the day of commencement, maps and driving directions to Murphy Center, cap-and-gown information and how to order a DVD of the summer ceremony—is available online at .

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STEP MT undergrad research ending on strong note

by Randy Weiler

Junior engineering-technology majors Brooks Russell and Chuncey Vinson want to see all people, particularly those with low incomes, living in a safe, lead-free environment.

Under the guidance of ET Chair Dr. Walter Boles, Russell's and Vinson's STEP MT Summer 2010 research team studied "Data Mining and Analysis of Lead Elimination Grant Work Funded by HUD (Housing and Urban Development).";

"It's opening homeowners' eyes,"; said Vinson, whose ET concentration is mechanical engineering.

"It's about healthy homes and remediation,"; added Russell, a computer-engineering major. "It's the knowledge of how healthy homes could help … through lead elimination that leads to discovering many more hazards like mold, dust and respiratory-related problems.";

The Russell-Vinson team was one of 11 participating in the STEP MT poster presentations July 23 in the James Union Building's Hazlewood Dining Room.

STEPping Up Undergraduate Research at MTSU—orSTEP MT—is winding down at MTSU. The $1.7 million National Science Foundation grant, administered by the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, provided both academic-year and summer research opportunities.

In six years' time, more than 211 students mentored by 67 faculty members completed 246 academic-year projects, receiving a total of $307,500. On average, 20 projects per semester were completed. Minorities or females represented 47 percent of the academic-year participants.

STEP MT summer teams funded 27 different teams, including 54 students, 12 minority undergraduates from partner universities, 25 high-school teachers and 26 Rutherford County high-school teachers, 25 internships with 14 companies, and students and faculty have received $590,000. Minorities and females represented 52 percent of the participants.

"This NSF grant project has been a great success for both the College of Basic and Applied Sciences and MTSU and, most of all, for the STEM students who were involved in research,"; Dean Tom Cheatham said, adding that 95 percent of participants graduated, 41 students made presentations at national, regional and state conferences and at least five published with their mentors.

In addition to Russell and Vinson, STEP MT 2010 summer research teams and their topics include:
  • Jordan Fey and Lauren Rigsby (faculty member Dr. William Robertson, physics and astronomy), "Acoustic Metamaterials for Audio Frequency Sound Engineering";;
  • Anna M. Smith (Dr. William Robertson), "Exploring the Information Content of Speech Using Sine Wave Synthesis";;
  • LaTeasha Hughes, Samuel Mitchell and Andrew Yousef (Dr. Andrienne Friedli, chemistry), "Porous SiO2 and TiO2 Films as Chemical and Biosensors";;
  • Erica Cathey and Michael Ferrell (Dr. Nathanael Smith, physics and astronomy), "Electrophoretic Deposition for Advanced Solar Cells";;
  • Matthew Cooley, Jason Pomeroy and Kyle Wiseman (Dr. Mark Abolins, geosciences), "Discovering Folds in the Gently Dipping Carbonates of Central Tennessee";;
  • George Carter, Ian Hajizadeh and Keaten Holley (Dr. Daniel Erenso, physics and astronomy), "An Experimental Biophysical Study in the Efficacy of Stem Cell-Targeted Gene Therapy for Sickle Cell Disease in Mice Red Blood Cells";;
  • Raymond Dennis and DeAndre Reese (Dr. Ahad Nasab, engineering technology), "Effect of C, CO and CO2 on Enrichment of Martian Soil Simulant";; and
  • Brandon Cathey and Evan Wise (Drs. Robertson, Friedli and Stephen Wright, biology), "Refractive Index Sensitivity of the MTSU Biosensor.";
Independent research not performed as part of STEP MT included:
  • Cari Jennings (Wright, Friedli and Robertson), "Preparation and Detection of Bacillus Endospores"; (part of the Department of Homeland Security/Southeast Region Research Initiative; and
  • David Hiller (Erenso), "Self-Organizing Colloidal Photonic Band Gap Structures.";

REAL SCIENCE—Cari Jennings, shown in the photo at top, displays her research on bacillus endospores during STEP MT poster presentations July 23 in the James Union Building's Hazlewood Dining Room. At left, DeAndre Reese explains his research on the effect of carbon and carbon compounds on simulated Martian soil to a group of high-school students from the Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Summer Bridge Program. Nine other teams participated in the STEP MT summer research program.

photos submitted

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In Brief: Fall Faculty Meeting Aug. 27

It's that time again! MTSU's annual Fall Faculty Meeting is set for Friday, Aug. 27, at 10 a.m. in the newly renovated Tucker Theatre in the Boutwell Dramatic Arts Auditorium. All faculty and staff are encouraged to attend to learn more about the new academic year, which begins Aug. 28. Lunch follows the meeting in the James Union Building. For more information, call 615-898-5941.

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For the Record: Take the Next Step to ease students' college transition

by Becca Seul

As a part of the MTSU community, many of you may regularly hear about programs aimed at helping disadvantaged and underserved students. However, there is a group of potential students often overlooked.

That's why the Academic Support Center has created the Next Step Program. It was designed almost two years ago to help ease the transition to college for students coming out of the foster-care system to MTSU.

As academic advisers, we knew there were many unique challenges that these students often face, from obtaining financial aid to needing year-round housing and everything in between. We trained staff members across campus in numerous offices to help with their transition. Collectively, liaisons in Admissions, Financial Aid, Housing, Academic Advising, and Student Support Services work together to help this population of students not only get to MTSU but to succeed here, too.

Since its inception, Next Step has evolved into something bigger. The program now includes participants from many different backgrounds and scenarios, including former foster-care youth, homeless and at-risk-of-homelessness youth, along with students entering college as independent minors.

In my view, the most beneficial part of the Next Step program is that we have a group of mentors involved every step of the way. These mentors are current MTSU students from similar backgrounds who have now become successful students and graduates. These volunteers return to help our program semester after semester, offering peer support and encouragement to our newest students. These mentors know the challenges associated with their independent status and have "been there and done that,"; so they're eager to work with Next Step's newest students to help make achieving college success a little easier on them.

Our program, nonetheless, faces a big challenge: We need the help of the MTSU community. Many of the youths we interact with from foster care, homelessness and independent status aren't—and weren't—aware that attending college was a viable option for them, not to mention that most or all of it could be paid for via outside means. Through our partnerships with the Department of Children's Services and the Tennessee Youth Advisory Council, however, we have been able to identify numerous youths in need of our program and its services, with many more still coming in weekly.

We fear there are still those being missed. My plea to you, the MTSU community, is this: If you know students coming to MTSU—or even currently enrolled students—who may benefit from this program, please let me know or pass along my contact information.

The Next Step mentors and I are excited about the possibilities this program holds and the far-reaching effects we could have on these students, but we can't help if we don't know who needs our help. It is our mission to reach every student who can benefit from our program and services.

Needless to say, the transition to college can be challenging for all students. With many other life hurdles and obstacles to overcome, this particular student population could use some extra support. That's what we're here for and why we work so hard to make this Next Step a success.

If you have any questions about the program or know of students or potential students who could use our assistance, please feel free to send them my way. To learn more about the program, please visit .

Becca Seul, M.S., is a Certified Family Life Educator, program coordinator for MTSU's Next Step Program and an adviser with the Academic Support Center. She may be reached via email at or by calling 615-898-2339.

If you'd like to contribute a staff column "For the Record"; please email Your contribution should be 500 to 600 words long, and we'll need a current photograph to accompany it. Thanks!

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RIM majors' creativity equals cash from audio manufacturer

by Gina E. Fann

Three MTSU recording-industry students are getting some financial support for their creative visions as the latest recipients of the prestigious API Visionary Scholarship.

Taylor Bray, a junior from Columbia, S.C., and senior Jay Yaskin of Las Vegas received $2,000 each, while Nashvillian Ben Poff, who's working toward his Master of Fine Arts degree in recording arts and technology, received $1,000 from Jessup, Md.-based Automated Processes Inc.

API is a leading analog audio-products manufacturer whose 48-channel API Vision stereo/surround sound console was installed in Studio A in the Bragg Communication Building in 2009. The studio is designed to accommodate the needs of audio recording for traditional music production, as well as video and film, and includes a studio, control room, isolation booth, mastering/observation lab and machine room. Some API equipment is in RIM's Studio B, and students also are able to check out an API module for mobile use.

The Visionary Scholarship, open only to students at universities using API equipment, is "designed to foster creativity and excellence for the pro audio industry's next generation of sound engineers,"; the company said.

"My whole goal is to be making money at this before I get out of school, so this is one more opportunity to get my name out there,"; Yaskin, who lives in Franklin, Tenn., and is preparing to graduate in 2011, said with a laugh.

"I had just finished an analog project with my roommates the previous semester that included horns, electric violins, two vocalists and an analog synthesizer to make bizarre sounds. The scholarship application said to show how to bridge the gap between analog and digital, so we grabbed it and overnighted it.";

The other three scholarships went to students at the University of Michigan, State University of New York at Purchase and New York University's Clive Davis School of Recording at the Tisch School of the Arts. Each of the six winners submitted an essay and optional recorded material for review by API.

"The people at API said they could tell that our faculty were proactive in encouraging our students to apply,"; said Professor Dan Pfeifer, who teaches courses in audio engineering and technology, studio production and studio administration and coordinates the undergraduate and graduate audio internships for the RIM department.

"This was the first time we were eligible to apply. It's really very unusual for a manufacturer to do something like this. The altruism on their part is awesome.";

Gordon Smart, managing director of API, told the student winners in a congratulatory email that
"while all of the entries reflected a high degree of talent, creativity and professionalism, your work (both essay and production materials) was recognized as superior and noteworthy.";

Pfeifer, who recently returned from a seminar in Maine where he trained users on an API console, said he and fellow RIM Professor Bill Crabtree have freelanced for API and written user manuals for the company, too.

"The university wants us to have partnerships, and this is the kind of thing that provides both a literal payoff for students, with scholarships, and a payoff with access to world-class equipment,"; he said. "It's pretty amazing for our students to get recognition from the industry like this.";

Yaskin and his peers won't be waiting long for more industry acclaim. He's been working with a songwriting team this summer, mixing and mastering tracks on demos, and recently learned that Disney bought one of the songs. The song that won him an API Visionary Scholarship, "City at Night,"; will be available on iTunes soon, performed by "A Silent Circus.";

"I didn't even know about MTSU before,"; he said. "I was visiting some friends in Nashville and saw how hard-core the RIM program was, and that was it.";

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Convocation speaker to help create community

Creating a community from a group of strangers is the focus of author Warren St. John's Outcasts United, and it's also the goal of MTSU's annual University Convocation, where St. John is scheduled to speak on Sunday, Aug. 29.

The author's 2 p.m. address at Murphy Center will help mark the beginning of the 2010-11 academic year at MTSU, when Convocation welcomes new students into the MTSU learning community. Faculty march in their regalia to dramatic compositions performed by the MTSU Band of Blue, and the traditions and rituals of the university are explained to the newest members of the MTSU family.

St. John's national bestseller, the 2010 Summer Reading Selection for the university, chronicles the impromptu social experiment created when a small town in Georgia became a center for refugee resettlement and one woman attempted to change lives through soccer.

St. John, a native of Birmingham, Ala., has written for the New York Observer, The New Yorker, Wired and Slate in addition to his work as a reporter for The New York Times. His first book, Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer: A Journey into the Heart of Fan Mania, was named one of Sports Illustrated's best books of the year and ranked No. 1 on The Chronicle of Higher Education's list of the best books ever written about collegiate athletics.

MTSU's Summer Reading Program, created in 2002, aims to provide a unifying experience for entering freshmen, give them a chance to read and interact with acclaimed authors and affirm the importance of reading for a successful and fulfilling life.

Incoming freshmen are expected to read the book before fall classes start Aug. 28, and all University 1010 classes will discuss the selection. Faculty members also are being encouraged to incorporate the book into their fall lesson plans.

Outcasts United may be purchased on campus and at local bookstores. It's available in hardback and paperback, and online sellers also may have used copies.

For more information about the book and its author, please visit .

The University Convocation is free and open to the public. First-year students are expected to attend; their families and members of the MTSU and Murfreesboro communities are welcome to attend.

Call 615-898-2454 for more information, or visit .

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Pigskin Pre-Game kicks off 2010 season Aug. 28

from Staff Reports

The MTSU Rutherford County Alumni annual Pigskin Pre-Game will be held Saturday, Aug. 28, to kick off the football season.

The event, which will run from 6:30 until 10:30 p.m., will be held at Marymont Mansion in Marymont Springs at 1124 Rucker Lane in Murfreesboro, the same location as last year's event.

"We are very fortunate to have such great support for this event,"; said Paul Wydra, Alumni Relations assistant director. "Thanks to our donors and people who support Pigskin Pre-Game, we are able to reward Rutherford County students who choose MTSU with some financial relief.

"Great food, live entertainment and a great location—we hope even more people can join us this year.";

Tickets for the event are $35 each and include food from Carrabba's Italian Grill, live entertainment, a variety of drinks, door prizes and more. Participants must pre-pay and RSVP by Wednesday, Aug. 25.

Parking will be available on-site. The location is rain or shine.

All proceeds benefit the Rutherford County Alumni Scholarship Fund. For more information or to reserve tickets, call 800-533-6878 or visit .

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GRITS forum set for Aug. 12 in JUB

from Staff Reports

MTSU students, faculty and staff are invited to attend the GRITS Collaborative Project 2010 Forum on Wednesday, Aug. 12, from noon until 3 p.m. in the James Union Building's Tennessee Room.

Lee Rennick, executive director of business education partnership with the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, will provide the keynote address, "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants.";

Guest speaker Donna M. Inch, appointed chairwoman and CEO of Ford Land in January, will discuss the importance of attracting and retaining women in the engineering and science pipeline. That morning, Inch will speak at the Southern Automotive Women's Forum in Nashville.

Inch, who joined Ford in 1978 as an industrial-relations analyst, has global responsibility for real estate, construction and facility services for Ford Motor Company.

Other presentations by GRITS Collaborative members will include:
  • "Networking for All"; by Dr. Kaylene Gebert, a professor in the Department of Speech and Theatre and the former MTSU executive vice president and provost;
  • "Hands-on STEM for Your Classroom or EYH (Expanding Your Horizons)"; by Mary Thomas, senior general contractor for Schneider Electric and member of the GRITS Collaborative Project Champions Board;
  • "GRITS Program Directory and Mini-Grants"; by Mary Moore, principal technologist for Eastman Chemical Co. in Kingsport and a member of the GRITS Collaborative Project Leadership Team; and
  • "Getting WISE about WISTEM"; by Dr. Kathy Mathis, a professor of engineering technology at MTSU.

The cost to attend is $10. Students may attend free.

The GRITS Collaborative Project, which stands for Girls Raised in Tennessee Science, brings together organizations and individuals who are committed to informing and motivating girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to
encourage collaboration and improve interprogram communication.

For more information, contact Dr. Judith Iriarte-Gross, MTSU chemistry professor and director of the WISTEM Center, at 615-904-8253 or

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Computer Science Camps draw teens to campus

by Randy Weiler

With temperatures in the upper 90s the week of July 12-16, nearly 50 Rutherford and Bedford county high-school students had a way-too-cool method to beat the heat—attending the first Computer Science Camps at MTSU.

From robotics to animation to multimedia, the teenagers blossomed under the guidance of faculty members Brenda Parker and Drs. Cen Li and Zhijijang Dong and their student assistants.

"I'm so proud of the way they've worked, and I think it's because they just enjoy it,"; Parker said of her Alice 3-D programming group. Li and Dong said they felt the same way about their robotics and multimedia groups.

Katherine Warren, 14, a rising-ninth grader at Central Magnet School and a multimedia camp participant, is the daughter of professional photographer David Warren.

"I've seen him do this kind of stuff all my life,"; she said. "I didn't know what I was going to be doing. ... We had to write codes. We had to learn them, and we got to see how people make them work.";

Reid Brown, 15, a sophomore at The Webb School in Bell Buckle and a Murfreesboro resident, also participated in multimedia camp.

"All we did was pictures. We only had a week,"; he said. "I had been wanting to do something like this for a long time. It was a fun experience, a real challenge. I learned a lot.";

"The purpose of (multimedia) camp is not to teach them coding but to show them how wonderful pictures can be created by simple but powerful programs, which we hope can trigger their interests in computer science,"; Dong said. "The students also learned some basic image-processing skills such as mirroring pictures, flipping pictures, changing the color of a picture, copy pictures and chroma keying.";

Li's robotics camp was an all-boy group.

"Robotics is what I'm here for. ... I've been able to dive right into it, and I've been able to learn from the other people,"; said Pedro Reyes, 17, a senior at Riverdale High School.

Parker said Carnegie Mellon University's free Alice animation software programs made it a fun but challenging week.

"It's a great camp. I never knew how to do any of this,"; Shaun Cassidy, 14, a ninth-grader at Siegel High School, said of the animation camp.

"I had never written a program; now I know at least seven,"; said Kyran Jones, 15, a Blackman High School sophomore. "This has been wonderful. I've always been interested in computer programming, but I didn't know how. This has shown me how.";

Alicia Meadors, a Siegel High junior, created an intricate maze in her Alice program. "This has been an amazing experience,"; she said.

"I have a friend who knows how to do programming. I've always wanted to learn.";

The camps were part of a $600,000 three-year Partnership for Innovation grant from the National Science Foundation that Li, Dong and College of Basic and Applied Sciences Dean Tom Cheatham secured to attract more students into computing fields. The camps use real-world programming project teams of students and faculty in the summer to aid retention.

A CLOSER LOOK—Jeremich Llewellyn, left, a La Vergne High School sophomore, and Pedro Reyes, a senior at Riverdale High in Murfreesboro, watch their autonomous robot during MTSU's Partners for Innovation in Information Technology's computer-science camp for high-schoolers.

MTSU Photographic Services photo by J. Intintoli

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NSF TRIAD program bringing research to classrooms

by Randy Weiler

With the $2.7 million National Science Foundation TRIAD GK-12 program, the focus is on research, specifically on bringing research to the classroom to encourage more young students in science, technology, engineering and math.

"Our goal as graduate students is to implement research into the classroom,"; said Alison Carey, 24, an Aug. 14 degree candidate who will spend the next academic year as a Graduate STEM Fellow with Nichol Vaden's honors ecology class at Oakland High School.

"Primarily, my role will be mentoring student research projects and to bring more resources to the classroom,"; Carey said, adding that it would include "all kinds of research—physical research to my knowledge working in research.";

Carey's main area of biological study is as a herpetologist, particularly fence lizards; she also has studied behavioral physiology. She said her undergraduate research mentor has been Dr. Matt Klukowski, an associate professor of biology.

Carey and four other MTSU grad students and five from Tennessee State University will spend a minimum of 10 hours a week in high-school classrooms with Rutherford County and Metro Nashville Public Schools students.

"Some of the time we'll be in observation,"; Carey said. "Some will be leading lectures and labs.";

"It's important for students to know what's out there in the science field,"; Vaden said, adding that their industry partner will be Bio Quant of Nashville.

Russian-born Sergiy "Surge"; Ustynov, 25, the lone TRIAD returnee from 2009-10, will team with Dr. Jamie Hearnes' advanced-placement biology and honors biology classes at Blackman High.

"I really want to focus on research mentoring through lessons to students,"; Ustynov said. "In the lab, research mentoring being effective is the goal.";

Murfreesboro-based BioVentures will be their industry partner.

Jerrod Shipman, 24, who will work with Blackman faculty member Tory Woodyard in a standard biology class and another for special- education students, said he "specifically will work on improving my ability to communicate science to a nonscientific audience so it's not condescending or way over their heads.";

"He communicates very well,"; Woodyard said of Shipman, who specializes in herpetology, like Carey, as well as hibernation ecology of water snakes. "He has passion for what he does.";

Their industry partner will be Path Group of Nashville.

The 10 grad students spent two weeks in a workshop setting primarily at MTSU. Dr. Kim Sadler, an associate professor of biology and part of the Center for Environmental Education staff, and master science teacher Jennifer Dye, the science-department chair at John Paul II High School in Hendersonville, led the workshops.

"From the previous year of the TRIAD program, our STEM graduate students have inspired a transformation in their high-school learning environment, stimulating an interest and enthusiasm for science among students and their teachers,"; said Dr. Tony Farone, MTSU biology professor and the project's lead investigator.

In addition to Carey, Ustynov and Shipman, the 2010-11 GK-12 graduate fellows, their partner teachers and assigned high schools are:
  • Abraham Abraha of TSU with Dr. Kawonia Mull at Antioch;
  • Carl Darris of TSU with Dina Starks at Hillwood;
  • Vanessa Hobbs of MTSU with Jessica Potts at Siegel;
  • Diana Kiser of TSU with Nae'shara Neal at McGavock;
  • Syrita Murray of TSU with Amy Pawlak of Hillwood;
  • Tiffany Saul of MTSU with Christina Nichols at Siegel; and
  • James Tyus of TSU with Adam Taylor of Overton.

READY TO HELP—MTSU graduate students once again will go into Rutherford County high schools in the 2010-11 academic year, providing research and teaching assistance for veteran classroom teachers. In the top photo, Oakland High teacher Nichol Vaden, left, shows first-year grad student Alison Carey useful chart information as Vaden holds a classroom pet, a Creamsicle Corn Snake named Specca. In the center photo, Blackman High School biology teacher Dr. Jamie Hearnes, left, and Surge Ustynov, a second-year National Science Foundation TRIAD GK-12 grad student, review a science lab equipment booklet. And in the photo at right, Jerrod Shipman prepares a microscope while Blackman faculty member Tory Woodyard, right, checks other lab equipment. The program also pairs five Tennessee State University grad students with Metro Nashville Public Schools high-school mentors.

photos submitted

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MTeach begins with "risk-free"; opportunity

from Staff Reports

Administrative leaders with MTeach are working to get the first-year program off the ground with the first courses offered free.

"It's a proven, successful program that's being replicated,"; Sally Millsap, a master teacher who joined the MTSU staff this summer, said of MTeach, the five-year, $1.925 million grant program that will be used to help train math and science teachers.

A minimum of three and possibly additional sections of the STEP 1 MSE 1010 Introduction to Teaching course will be offered, Program Coordinator Leigh Gostowski said.

The one-credit-hour course will be offered from 12:40 until 2 p.m. on Wednesdays, from 9:40 until 11 a.m. Thursdays and from 11:30 a.m. until 12:50 p.m. Fridays, they said. More students are being sought for these and possible additional sections.

"We're making every effort to accommodate any and all students,"; Gostowski said. "If it means opening another section, we will."; By July 20, nearly 40 students had been enrolled, she said, and Millsap added that enrollment won't be closed.

At least for the first year, math or science majors who enroll in and fulfill the obligations of the Step 1 and Step 2 one-hour courses will receive tuition reimbursement, Gostowski said.

"The students get to go out to elementary-school classrooms (in Murfreesboro City and Rutherford County Schools) and do hands-on math and science activities,"; she said, adding that in Step 2, the students will go to city and county middle schools.

"The best thing about it is they can try out teaching risk-free,"; Millsap added, "and at the completion of the course, they'll receive a tuition rebate for one credit hour.";

Millsap, a former Blackman High School chemistry teacher, said the "goals are to recruit, train and retain quality math and science teachers.";

"We continue to need math and science teachers in the United States,"; Gostowski said, "and we're not meeting that need. We desperately need quality math and science teachers. This is an important effort.";

Dr. Amy Phelps, chemistry professor, is serving as co-director of the program.

For more information, visit or call Gostowski at 615-898-5786 or Millsap at 615-494-8844.

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Financial Aid welcomes new director

University officials conducted a national search for a new financial-aid director, but the eventual choice lived and worked less than an hour's drive from Murfreesboro.

Veteran financial-aid administrator Stephen White joined MTSU July 12 as the new director. White, who lives in Lebanon and spent the past 17 years directing financial aid at Nashville State Community College, replaces David Hutton, who retired June 30.

"Stephen White brings more than 20 years of experience in financial aid, many of those within the Tennessee Board of Regents system,"; said Dr. Deb Sells, vice president for student affairs and vice provost for enrollment and academic services.

"That means he'll bring the best of both worlds to MTSU: We'll have the advantage of his experience and familiarity with board and state policies and procedures, but we'll also have a fresh set of eyes looking at our MTSU operation, helping us to see ways to improve and grow,"; Sells added.

White is both a contemporary and admirer of Hutton, an MTSU alumnus who spent 17 years in MTSU's Office of Financial Aid, including nearly 13 as director.

"David left the office in superb shape,"; said White. "I certainly knew the community college system and the TBR system, and I knew David well.

"To serve as financial-aid director will be a challenge to my own personal growth. On the (exit-interview) form where the question was, 'Why are you leaving?', I didn't say 'better job opportunity.' I wrote 'different job opportunity.' I was quite happy at Nashville State. I had no motivation to leave. It was forced growth. I was in a comfort zone; I needed to force myself out of the comfort zone.

"Knowing the reputation of MTSU and the closeness to home, there were a lot of logical reasons to come. There was the prior reputation of David Hutton and his high standards. Folks in this office are top-notch. We strive to provide excellent service to students, and students aren't lost in the volume. Every student has a face. Every office provides good customer service.";

White previously served as director of financial aid at Jefferson Community College in Louisville, Ky. He is a graduate of Campbellsville University and earned a master's degree in divinity from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

He and his wife, Margie, have three children—Joshua White, Stephanie Smith and Dylan White—and two grandchildren, Hayden, 6, and Samantha Smith, 1.

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Summer enrollment shows 8.31% increase

MTSU's summer enrollment surpassed 9,300 students, said Dr. Deb Sells, vice president for Student Affairs and vice provost for enrollment and academic services

The total of 9,318 is an 8.31 percent increase from summer 2009, when the university's official head count was 8,603.

MTSU officials have made final edits to the data, which have been submitted to the Tennessee Board of Regents.

The 2010 summer total for May through August enrollment marks an increase of 715 students from last summer.

Sells said she attributes the increase of students to the availability of the federal Pell Grant during the summer terms and more students taking courses online.

MTSU Enrollment Services and other administration officials anticipate another record enrollment this fall. In 2009, 25,188 students were registered for classes. This total was submitted to the TBR.

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Projects Off-Campus: CHP helps historic home

by Lisa L. Rollins

A frame house built in 1896 by a former slave in southern middle Tennessee was the focus of a recent "hands-on history"; workday by staff and students from the Center for Historic Preservation at MTSU.

The 10-person crew spent June 4 at the Matt Gardner Homestead Museum, located in Elkton in Giles County, and moved the house a step closer to its original appearance, CHP Assistant Director Caneta Hankins said.

"Removing wallpaper and modern paneling to expose the original paneling, removing aluminum windows and general cleaning were among the jobs completed,"; said Hankins, who arranged the workday on behalf of the center with help from Mike Gavin, preservation specialist with the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area.

The Matt Gardner Homestead comprises the frame house, a well house, two later barns and a recently reconstructed outhouse. The property's rehabilitation is an ongoing effort by the family, their friends and the Elkton Historical Society, which provided lunch for the workers.

"The Gardner house and farm are significant for African-American architecture, agriculture and commerce,"; Hankins said. "When restored, the house will be interpreted as a museum of African-American history for the county.";

The center's staff has worked with Carla Jones, president of the historical society, and the Gardner family since 1995, when the CHP prepared the successful nomination that listed the house on the National Register of Historic Places.

Since that time, Hankins added, staff members have provided professional services and matching partnership funds for a website and brochure, as well as building assessments and guidelines for restoration, through the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area, which is administered by the CHP.

"The long-standing working relationship between the Matt Gardner Homestead, the Center for Historic Preservation and the Heritage Area allows both staff and students to learn about the lifestyle of rural black Americans during that transition period in the first decades after emancipation,"; she said.

"The Gardner family has been very determined in their efforts to restore this farm and to tell the story of their family and of other African-Americans who have contributed to every aspect of Giles County history.";

The home's original owner, the Rev. Gardner and his wife, Henrietta, were leaders in the black community of Giles County following their emancipation. Gardner operated a store and made loans to other blacks so they could purchase their own land. He also financed the first two-room school for blacks in 1920, then led the effort to secure Rosenwald funds to build a four-room school in 1930.

CHP staff attended the Gardner-Coleman family reunion June 19 in Franklin, Tenn., to update the gathering of more than 150 family members from across the country on the restoration and ongoing needs of the property.

The event also featured the book signing of the recent Arcadia publication, African-Americans of Giles County, authored by Jones.

BACK IN SHAPE—Ready to lend a hand to aid the historic Matt Gardner home in the photo at top are, front row from left, Antoinette van Zelm, Kira Duke and Sara Rieger; second row, Katie Randall, Katie Merzbacher and Kristen Deathridge; and standing, from left, Ann Hendrix and Jennifer Butt. Crew chief Mike Gavin is in the second-story window. In the photo at right, MTSU crew members work to remove layers of wallpaper and newsprint in the upstairs bedrooms of the Giles County home to reveal original paneling.

photos submitted

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Faculty/Staff Update


Dr. Warren Anderson (agribusiness and agriscience) attended the Tennessee State University field day at the Nursery Services Experiment Station July 15 in McMinnville.


Dr. Preston MacDougall (chemistry) gave an invited lecture, "Probing Electron Correlation in Momentum-space,"; June 21 at an international conference in Paris, France, celebrating Twenty Years of Electron Localization Function.


Dr. Cindi Smith-Walters (Center for Environmental Education) recently served as a reviewer for Cengage Learning, working with a textbook consisting of a manuscript, "web quest unit"; and other ancillaries. The text is intended for courses in science methods and science content for undergraduate and graduate students who will be teaching science in kindergarten through eighth grades.


Mr. F. Richard "Dick"; Hawk (Counseling Services), 78, passed away July 16. The son of the late Russ and Rosella Tate Hawk of South Pittsburgh, Tenn., Mr. Hawk was employed by MTSU from August 1972 until his retirement in December 1997 as a counselor in Counseling Services. Mr. Hawk is survived by his wife, Caroline Hoover Hawk; sons, David Russell Hawk and John Richard Hawk; and grandchildren, Margaret Elizabeth Hawk, Austin David Hawk and Morgan Lee Hawk, all of Murfreesboro. Mr. Hawk was a veteran of the Korean Conflict, serving near the 38th parallel in the Medical Service Corp. of the 8th Army, attached to the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky. Mr. Hawk was a graduate of MTSU and the Nashville School of Law and served as claims superintendent at State Farm Insurance before joining MTSU as a student counselor and business-law teacher. He also was associated with the late Bill Wright and others in the practice of law. Memorials may be made to the charity of your choice or to the Building Fund at First Cumberland Presbyterian Church.


Dr. Warren Anderson (agribusiness and agriscience) made an oral presentation July 20 on MTSU rain gardens in the Conservation Outreach and Educational Section while attending the July 19-21 Soil and Water Conservation Society's 65th International Conference-Ecosystem Services event in St. Louis, Mo.

Dr. Jason Johnson (mathematical sciences) presented research at the Tennessee Mathematics for Elementary Education Conference at Austin Peay State University in May and on July 28 at the fourth International Conference on Ethnomathematics in Towson, Md.

Jenny Tenpenny Crouch (Campus Recreation), adviser to the MTSU chapter of Golden Key International Honour Society, and student vice president Ashley Manson co-presented a session on "Filling the Void: What to Do When Your Leadership Disappears"; at the organization's International Summit in Scottsdale, Ariz., July 15-17. Crouch also serves on the Council of Representatives for Golden Key's Region 2, which comprises Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.


The 15th edition of Essential Supreme Court Decisions by Dr. John Vile (Honors College), which is being published by Rowman & Littlefield in paperback and hardback, has been released. Also, publisher ABC-CLIO has released volumes 1 and 2 (A-M and N-W) of the third edition of the Encyclopedia of Constitutional Amendments, Proposed Amendments and Amending Issues, 1789-2010, which Vile also wrote.

Dr. Tammy Melton (chemistry) has completed new editions of two laboratory manuals used in first-year chemistry: Chemistry 1011 Laboratory Manual, fifth edition, with Larry Scheich (St. Norbert College, WI); and Chemistry 1031 Laboratory Manual, third edition, T. Melton and L. Scheich, both published by Cengage Learning. Experiments in these manuals are custom-published in laboratory manuals used across the United States.


Dr. Debra R. Wilson (nursing) has been a visiting international scholar, working with the University of Botswana on a mixed-methodology research investigation on stress in nurses and their perception of nursing. She also is working on research with the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa on both the stress of caregivers for those caring for HIV patients and the efficacy of hypnosis vs. acupuncture for labor and delivery patients. Wilson was a visiting professor at the University of Botswana and did lectures on self-care for nurses in May. Wilson also is working with the Council of Nursing and Midwifery in Botswana to gather data on the image of nursing in Botswana and on an intervention project to improve the image of nursing. She also is working with the nurse's association of Botswana, which is equivalent to the Tennessee Nurses Association, to establish a mentor program between the two associations.


Dr. Jason Johnson (mathematical sciences) was invited to participate in the Strengthening Instruction in Tennessee Elementary Schools—Focus on Mathematics (SITES-M) seminar June 23-24 in Nashville. The partnership with Educational Testing Services and Tennessee State University aims to increase elementary in-service teachers' math ability and improve student learning of math.


Dr. Diana Cheng (mathematical sciences) submitted conference proceedings for the International Conference on Education, Economy and Society in Paris, France. Her submission is related to research on middle-school students' understanding of steepness.


Drs. Dwight Patterson, Pat Patterson and Amy Phelps (chemistry) conducted workshop sessions for CSI: MTSU, a four-day program for high-school students sponsored by the Forensic Institute for Research and Education.

Get noticed in The Record!

Submit your Faculty/ Staff Update items and other news tips to by 3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 11, for the Aug. 23 back-to-class edition of The Record or 3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 25, for the Sept. 6 edition of The Record.

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Campus Calendar, Aug. 9-22, 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 .

Fridays all summer
Student Farmers Market
sponsored by the MTSU Plant and Soil Science Club
1-3 p.m. Fridays (except holidays), Horticulture Center
For information, contact: 615-494-8985.

Aug. 12-13
Final Exams for June/July, July and Full-Term Classes
For details, visit .

Aug. 12-15
American Quarter Horse Association Regional Championships
Miller Coliseum
For information, visit .

Thursday, Aug. 12
Retired Faculty/Staff Coffee
9:30 a.m., Foundation House
For information, contact: 615-898-2922.

Aug. 12
GRITS (Girls Raised In Tennessee Science) Collaborative Project Forum
noon-3 p.m., Tennessee Room, James Union Building
Admission: $10; students free
Register at ; for information, contact: 615-904-8253.

Friday, Aug. 13
Military Science Summer 2010 Commissioning Ceremony
10 a.m., Keathley University Center Theater
For information, contact: 615-898-2470.

Saturday, Aug. 14
Summer 2010 Commencement
10 a.m., Murphy Center
For information, visit or contact: 615-898-2919.

Wednesday, Aug. 18
"Do the Drill"; Building Runners' Meeting and Luncheon
11 a.m., James Union Building
For information, contact: 615-898-2919.

Aug. 19-22
Old South Dressage Show
8 a.m. daily, Miller Coliseum
No admission charge
For information, visit .

Friday, Aug. 20
Midstate/All State Choral Clinic
Wright Music and Saunders Fine Arts Buildings
For information, contact: 615-898-2493.

Get noticed in The Record!

Submit your Campus Calendar items and other news tips to by 3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 11, for the Aug. 23 back-to-class edition of The Record or 3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 25, for the Sept. 6 edition of The Record.

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