The Record, Aug. 23, 2010, V19.04

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University will offer Kurdish classes in fall

by Gina K. Logue

In the shadow of the largest Kurdish community in the nation, MTSU this fall will become one of a handful of American universities offering Kurdish-language courses.

"We think we can do it here when other places can't … because we have the support of the Kurdish community,"; says Dr. Kari Neely, assistant professor of foreign languages and a member of the group that helped devise the classes.

Estimates of the number of Kurds living in Nashville range from 11,000 to 14,000 people. Kovan Murat, a senior political-science major and co-founder of the Kurdish Students Association at MTSU, says the community arrived in three waves—in the 1960s, in 1992 after the poison-gas attacks staged by Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq and from 1995 to 1998 with the help of nongovernmental organizations.

Murat says the language is endangered because Saddam's operatives forced Kurds to learn how to read and write Arabic. He says those who dared to teach Kurdish put their lives and the lives of everyone in their village at risk.

"Even right now, when I go home, I'm not allowed to speak another language besides Kurdish,"; Murat says. "That's my father's goal, preserving Kurdish, because he was a rebel fighter against Saddam Hussein.";

"In a diaspora situation, which is what this is, by the third generation, there's language assimilation if they're not very diligent about language preservation,"; Neely adds.

Neely formed a working group with Dr. Allen Hibbard, English professor and director of MTSU's Middle East Center; Dr. William Canak, sociology professor and adviser to the KSA; and Dr. Clare Bratten, an electronic media communication professor who has produced documentaries on the Kurdish people.

After getting approval from university committees, the group applied for and obtained a diversity grant from the Tennessee Board of Regents. The grant will support the class instructor. To respond quickly to student interest before the Kurdish classes could be offered, the group devised a spring 2010 special-topics course, "Introduction to Kurdish History and Culture"; as a part of the Middle East Studies minor.

"We launched our Middle East Studies minor four years ago with new courses in Arabic and Hebrew,"; Hibbard says. "These Kurdish language courses will greatly enrich our offerings. These exciting and unexpected developments would likely not have happened without the presence of the Middle East Center on campus. There is a lot of potential here.";

The instructor will be Deniz Ekici of the Center for Kurdish Studies at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom. Ekici, a native of Turkey who is working on his doctorate, earned his bachelor's degree from Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts in Istanbul and his master's degree from City University of New York.

Ekici's professional experience is in educational and learning technologies. He has developed and taught beginning, intermediate and advanced Kurmanji-Kurdish courses and collaborated with educators at the University of Arizona to develop the first interactive Kurdish DVD. His Kurmanji-Kurdish Reader, a multilevel reference tool with an extensive grammar section, was published by Dunwoody Press in 2007.

"Considering the fact that Kurdish language and culture have been oppressed for so many decades and remains understudied, these classes are crucial,"; Ekici notes via an email from Exeter. "They will make a great contribution to Kurdish studies, and I hope they set an example for other academic institutions across the country.";

Ekici will teach Kurmanji, which is the most prevalent Kurdish dialect and the one spoken by most Kurds in the Nashville community. Kurmanji employs the Latin alphabet instead of the Arabic alphabet, which Neely says should make it more accessible to non-Kurds who want to take the class.

"There are a lot of service-sector jobs that come in contact with the Kurdish community in Nashville on a fairly regular basis,"; says Neely, "so people who are going into education, social work, law enforcement, medicine—any of these areas could benefit by having some kind of Kurdish background.";

In addition, Neely says, the Middle East Center is working with the Department of Military Science because of a need for Kurdish- and Arabic-language specialists and sensitivity training for their troops.

"These classes will add to students' cross-cultural understanding as far as the non-Kurdish students are concerned, because only through learning the language can one be exposed to a certain ethnic group's network of cultural values that are otherwise inaccessible,"; Ekici notes.

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Week of Welcome 2010

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Fulbright news sends scholar packing

by Randy Weiler

MTSU alumnus Eric Little's plans for 2010 centered on developing skills in his relatively new sales job in Nashville and continuing his quest to earn a master's in Spanish pedagogy.

His plans encountered a U-turn, however, when the U.S. Department of State informed the Murfreesboro native that he would be the recipient of a Fulbright U.S. Student grant.

He will leave in late September for Faro, Portugal, where he will teach American culture—including music from the 1950s to the present—and English language to freshmen at the University of the Algarve.

"I'm very humbled,"; Little said. "I'm actually pleasantly surprised. When I told my friends and family, they weren't very surprised. They were very happy for me. They said, 'We knew you'd get it.' They have a lot of confidence in me. My friends, family and the university have been very supportive and have gone great lengths to help.";

Little, who graduated from MTSU in 2008 with a degree in Spanish and with minors in history and Latin American studies, becomes the second MTSU honoree in 2010. May graduate Kaitlen Howell received the Fulbright and will pursue medical research in Germany.

It's the first time MTSU has had two Fulbright student recipients in the same year. MTSU assistant history professor Dr. Sean Foley also was awarded a Fulbright grant; he'll begin 10 months of research in Malaysia in September.

Honors College Dean John Vile noted that with MTSU's increased attention to study-abroad programs, it is "unlikely to be the last"; time the university has two Fulbrights in the same year. He said that Honors College adviser Laura Clippard has applied thorough and organized efforts in the Undergraduate Fellowships Office, where Little and Howell initiated their Fulbright quests.

Vile said Little's ability to speak Portuguese and his love for teaching greatly enhanced his chances.

"Part of the Fulbright interview process involved conversations with a professor who knew Portuguese,"; Vile said. "Although the rest of us on the committee didn't know what was being said, it was quite obvious Eric had great command of the language.

"Eric is committed to teaching and will be a great representative not only of MTSU but of the United States in Portugal.";

As for what life will be like when he arrives in Portugal, Little said he knows he will be living off-campus in a university teachers' residence. The Fulbright award funds his travel to and from Portugal, his stay there and upkeep. "Anything they require (me to do) they will pay for,"; he explained.

Little said his teaching will be a 50/50 split between the American culture and the English language.

"I've been a graduate student here,"; he said. "I'll be using the strategies I've learned in the M.A.T. (Master of Arts in Teaching) program and be teaching English through the culture.";

He said he's "going to have some units that include rock 'n' roll, 'The Day the Music Died' (1960s and the search for American identity), the 'Roaring '90s' ... and the post-9/11 world.";

When not teaching, Little said he wants to "travel throughout Spain and Portugal as best I can, basically documenting things I find … through photos, to collect teaching materials for the future."; He said he also will be doing a "scholarly video blog.";

His greatest challenge, he said, will be "coming up with enough money to do my traveling. I'm going to do research on the side in Barcelona.";

A 4.0 GPA student as an undergraduate, Little said he credits Dr. Soraya Nogueira in the Department of Foreign Languages and Junior ROTC instructors Lt. Col. Doug Chaffin and Master Sgt. Jim Thurston, both now retired, as the teachers and mentors who influenced him and supported him 110 percent.

For information about fellowship opportunities, contact Clippard at 615-898-5464 or

BIG NEWS—Eric Little makes plans after learning that he'll go to Portugal this fall to teach as a Fulbright Scholar.

MTSU Photographic Services photo by J. Intintoli

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Horse science gets go-ahead for MS program

by Randy Weiler

In spring 2011, graduate students will have an opportunity for the first time to pursue a master's degree in horse science at MTSU.

In the works for about four years, the program received final approval from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission in June.

Students wanting to join the program next spring need to apply by Friday, Oct. 15, said Dr. Pat Kayser, clinical specialist-equine in the horse-science program. He said marketing efforts and discussions with industry, academia and alumni will generate initial student interest for the spring that should bloom later.

"We've had quite a bit of interest already,"; Kayser said. "Since it was first announced we would have the program, we have had inquiries from across the country about the potential master's program. Obviously, we've had a lot of local interest, too.

"This will be one of the first Master of Science in horse-science programs in the country. Usually there's a master's of agriculture at other universities. A nonthesis option is pretty unique. However, the traditional thesis option also provides students the opportunity to pursue a doctorate.";

Kayser said the efforts of retiring Sixth District Congressman Bart Gordon, State Sen. Jim Tracy, Dr. Sidney A. McPhee and College of Basic and Applied Sciences Dean Tom Cheatham paved the way to the master's in horse science gaining approval.

"Dean Cheatham was very instrumental in this getting on the Tennessee Board of Regents docket, for getting this approved and giving me guidance,"; Kayser said.

"This is a natural first master's in the School of Agriculture for us because of our nationally recognized horse-science program,"; Cheatham said. "There is not another similar program in Tennessee.";

Kayser said he will be joined as graduate-level faculty by Drs. John Haffner, equine veterinary medicine; Dave Whitaker, horse-science director and judging team coach; Rhonda Hoffman, equine nutrition, advising and MTSU Horsemen's Association; and Anne Brzezicki, horsemanship director and equestrian team coach. Brzezicki will be involved in an experiential-learning lab capacity, he said.

For more information, contact Kayser at 615-898-2832 or

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In Brief: Making Labor Day plans?

Remember that MTSU offices will be closed and no classes will be held on Monday, Sept. 6, in observance of the Labor Day holiday. The Keathley University Center will be open from 4 to 11 p.m. on Labor Day, however. Classes will resume and offices will return to their regular work schedule on Tuesday, Sept. 7.

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Student-athletes earn SBC praise for academic efforts

from MT Athletic Communications

Middle Tennessee placed a combined 137 student-athletes on the latest Sun Belt Conference academic lists, receiving honors for their scholastic work in the 2009-10 academic year.

Sixty-four Blue Raiders earned a spot on the Commissioner's List for having at least a 3.5 GPA, while 73 MT athletes garnered recognition on the Academic Honor Roll with a GPA between 3.0 and 3.49.

"We are very excited about the academic success our student-athletes achieve on an annual basis. It starts with their commitment to excellence in all areas,"; Director of Athletics Chris Massaro said. "Our coaches also do an outstanding job recruiting student-athletes who not only succeed on the field or court but also in the classroom.";

Soccer set the pace for Middle Tennessee student-athletes on the Commissioner's List with 12 honorees, just ahead of nine from both baseball and football. Women's track and field/cross country had eight members of its squad represented.

Football led the Blue Raider Academic Honor Roll recipients with 21, followed by 12 from baseball and six each from soccer and softball.

"It is great for the system as a whole,"; said Todd Wyant, director of the Student-Athlete Enhancement Center. "When you look at the entire program, with the success we have had by winning the Bubas Cup, we are definitely proving we can do it athletically, but it is also nice to see we can do it academically. It shows we have a complete program.

"The student-athletes need to be commended for their efforts in the classroom. The support we get from the coaches and the faculty, along with the expectations of Mr. Massaro, (means that) we have an all-around strong program, which means in the classroom along with on the field or court.";

Overall, the Sun Belt set a conference record with 1,710 student-athletes from all 13 institutions on the two lists, raising the bar for the fourth consecutive year. The record 1,710 student-athletes tops the previous mark, set in 2008-09, by 10.

The Commissioner's List is available at , while the MTSU student-athletes on the SBC Honor Roll can be found at .

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Employees staff Call Center to field last-minute questions

by Randy Weiler

About 25,700-plus students will be taking MTSU classes this fall, Enrollment Services officials anticipate. Even at the 11th hour, thousands of them have thousands of questions.

That's why about 20 volunteers have sprung into action.

From 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday for almost six weeks, three separate shifts of eight to 10 people have been leaving their regular jobs to head across campus to the basement of the Parking Services building and staff the phone lines.

"We get all kinds of calls,"; said Kathy Kano, an information research technician in the Division of Student Affairs, which is the mastermind of the Financial Aid Call Center.

Those calls are bringing lots of questions. There were 812 questions on July 27, another 993 on July 28 and 1,070 on Aug. 2, like "Where's my (financial) aid?"; "What's the status of my aid?"; "Is it all here?"; "Do I need anything else?"; "How do I get my refund?"; "How do I set up direct deposit?"; "Does financial aid cover housing?"; "Where's my Hope (lottery) Scholarship?";

"It gets crazy,"; said Suzanne Beller, an assistant director in the Office of Financial Aid. "Generally, it's one phone call after the other. It's frustrating, especially when students don't read their email. A lot of questions they ask us, we've already mailed them the answer.";

Kano, for example, discovered that a caller had been unsuccessful in getting a document faxed to the Office of Financial Aid. She had an answer to what has become a minor problem: Fax the documents to her office in Keathley University Center. By the next day, she'd placed the documents into the hands of financial-aid personnel like Beller or Assistant Director Leann Eaton or other staff and administrators.

"It's a group of people from all over campus coming together to get peoples' questions answered,"; said Dr. Deb Sells, vice president for Student Affairs and vice provost for Enrollment Services.

"The side benefit,"; Sells added, "is that it allows financial-aid counselors, who do an enormous amount of work, to get aid verified. Before the call center, their work was continually off-track. This frees them up to get work done to process (financial) aid to the students' accounts.";

Friday, Aug. 27, marks the final day the 2010 call center operators will be available. Classes begin Aug. 28.

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Faculty helping provide 'Adventures in Learning'

by Gina K. Logue

"Adventures in Learning,"; the annual four-week mini-school for adults age 50 and older, will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays beginning Sept. 13 at First United Methodist Church at 265 W. Thompson Lane in Murfreesboro.

The purpose of the event, which is planned by an interfaith coalition, is to provide a program by and for older adults to share knowledge, talents and skills for lifelong learning and personal growth.

Dates are Sept. 20, Sept. 27 and Oct. 4. Each Monday features classes from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. and 10:45-11:45 a.m. Some of the topics slated for this year's "Adventures in Learning"; include "Our Aging Minds,"; "Vital Singing: Why Hymns are Important"; and "Technological Know-How.";

As usual, retired and active MTSU faculty will play prominent roles in the event. A series under the title "A Sense of Time and Place"; will feature lectures on Morocco by Dr. Ron Messier, professor emeritus of history; on ancient Egypt by Dr. Dawn McCormack, assistant professor of history; on Mexico by Dr. Christoph Rosenmuller, associate professor of history; and on Radnor Lake by Dr. Doug Heffington, director of global studies.

In addition, Dr. William Windham, professor emeritus of history, will lead discussions on "Reform Movements in Antebellum America,"; and Dr. Charles Dean, professor emeritus of English, will conduct classes on "Poetry Then and Now—Now and Then"; with analyses of the works of Emily Dickinson, Mary Oliver, Wendell Berry and Robert Frost.

In a class on books, retired MTSU English instructor Lynette Ingram will examine Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann, and Dr. Larry Mapp, former MTSU English professor, will dissect The Thousand Autumns of Jacob DeZoot: A Novel by David Mitchell.

A highlight of this year's "Adventures in Learning"; will be "Mount and Mountain,"; a dialogue between Dr. Rami Shapiro, adjunct professor of religious studies and an ordained rabbi, and Dr. Michael A. Smith, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Murfreesboro. This class will be based on the online conversations Shapiro and Smith conducted for nearly two years about the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount.

The interfaith coalition sponsoring "Adventures in Learning"; includes representatives from Allen Chapel AME Church; Central Christian Church; East Main Church of Christ; First Baptist Church, East Main Street; First Baptist Church, East Castle Street; First Presbyterian Church; First United Methodist Church; Northminster Presbyterian Church; St. Mark's United Methodist Church; St. Paul's Episcopal Church; and St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church.

Registration is $8 before Thursday, Sept. 2 and $10 after Sept. 2. The cost for lunches, catered by Carolyn's Creations, is $10 per day or $36 for all four lunches.

Participants may mail a check to AIL Treasurer, 1267 N. Rutherford Blvd., Murfreesboro, Tenn., 37130. Each participant should indicate which days you plan to attend and which days you plan to eat lunch.

For more information, contact Mary Belle Ginanni at 615-895-6072.

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McPhee touts MTSU, pitches partnerships with business

by Tom Tozer

Producing more and better-trained college graduates to move into the workforce and spur economic development is one of Tennessee's greatest challenges, and meeting it means finding new ways to create business partnerships with education.

In the wake of passage of the Complete College Tennessee Act of 2010, the Tennessee Business Roundtable met July 29 with higher-education officials to discuss "The Changing Face of Higher Education: The Role of Business."; Members heard from Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor Charles Manning, MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee and Dr. Jan Simek, interim president at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

Manning reminded roundtable members that in the last 10 years, enrollment in the TBR system has grown from 181,000 to 210,000 students.

"We have received zero new operating money from the state,"; Manning said. "We're operating on a 2000-2001 operating budget. … We need partners in the community.";

"While we are supportive of this landmark legislation, it should not be perceived as a silver bullet, solving all our problems,"; McPhee said. "We will make programs more accountable.";

The Complete College Tennessee Act of 2010 is designed to address demands to base higher-education funding more on successful outcomes and graduation rates than enrollment.

McPhee reminded members that MTSU already puts more college graduates into Tennessee's workforce than any other institution in the state.

"More than 55 percent of our alumni live within a hour of Nashville,"; he said. "The combined direct and indirect economic impact on the area's economy from the university is estimated to be in excess of $1 billion annually.";

He added that more than 70 percent of MTSU graduates live in Tennessee.

Reduced state funding has made it difficult for schools to meet the anticipated enrollment growth, McPhee said, and many schools, including MTSU, are limping along with antiquated facilities and equipment. The panel agreed that business needs to step up and provide financial support when appropriate, including offering more scholarships and internships.

"There must be better coordination and communication between business and educational leaders to assure that we are relevant in our programming and that our academic systems are in line with the needs of the business community,"; McPhee noted.

The Tennessee Business Roundtable and the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce partnered with the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and the Lumina Foundation in sponsoring the event.

BUSINESS TEAM—MTSU President Sidney McPhee, center, answers a question during a Tennessee Business Roundtable event as Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor Dr. Charles Manning, left, and UT-Knoxville Interim President Dr. Jan Simek listen.

MTSU Photographic Services photo by Andy Heidt

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MTSU's Solar Boat makes a splash during world championships

by Dr. Saeed Foroudastan

Earlier this summer, MTSU's Department of Engineering Technology solar boat team produced another award-winning showing in the 17th annual American Society of Mechanical Engineers Solar Splash competition—the world championship of intercollegiate solar boating—on Lake Fayetteville in Arkansas.

Impressed by their abilities both to successfully compete in every event and to confidently navigate Solar Splash challenges, judges awarded the MTSU team the 2010 Participation Award for the second straight year. It highlights not only the academic abilities of the students but also their technical capabilities and skills.

The judges, recognizing the consistent exhibition of teamwork, cooperation and courtesy throughout the competition, also awarded MTSU the 2010 Sportsmanship Award. This award acknowledges the collaborative efforts of the students under the stress of competition and unforeseen event obstacles.

Additionally, MTSU secured a spot in the coveted top-10 list of the Solar Splash competition by placing eighth overall, bringing international recognition not only to the students for their admirable accomplishments but also to MTSU and its engineering-technology program.

On Day 1 of the five-day regatta, entries were evaluated on criteria such as technical reports, visual displays, engineering and workmanship. Subsequent days allow for evaluation of in-water performance through a compilation of dynamic events including maneuverability, solar endurance, sprints and slaloms.

The MTSU team sailed confidently into its fifth year of the solar-boat competition. Streamlining past designs that required multiple modifications for each competition activity, the team presented a "one-size-fits-all"; model for this event.

Making use of the award-winning hull design from the previous year's competition allowed the team to focus on improving stability, steering and drive-train challenges identified during earlier contests. Ergonomic improvements also were implemented that increased skipper comfort, and improvements to the on-board data acquisition system allowed the team to monitor energy usage effectively.

MTSU has a strong record of success at the Solar Splash competition: 11th overall, the Perseverance Award and Rookie Team with highest total score in 2006; Outstanding Drive Train Design Award and third place in the Technical Report in 2007; and the Teamwork Award and the Outstanding Hull Design Award in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

This year's event participants included team captain Stan Whitehouse, co-captain Lazaro Perez, Bryan Bodkin, Raymond Dennis, James Rancaster, Sherry Harner and Paul Martin III.

The event team appreciates the contributions of all MTSU Solar Boat members and their dedication to the success of this project. The team also is indebted to Rick Taylor of the Department of Engineering Technology's machine shop for his continued support. His exceptional assistance and mentorship among the students with machining and design has been invaluable.

Special thanks go to Martin and Harner, and to Jackie Victory in the Office of Leadership and Service for the support from the Student Government Association office. Finally, the team offers a special word of thanks to Drs. Walter Boles, ET chair; Dr. Charles Perry, Russell Chair of Manufacturing Excellence; the ET department faculty; and Dean Tom Cheatham of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences for their encouragement and support.

Dr. Saeed Foroudastan is associate dean of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences and a professor of engineering technology. He also is faculty adviser for the MTSU Experimental Vehicle Project Competitions, which include the Solar Bike, Solar Boat, Mini Baja, Formula SAE and the Great Moon Buggy Race.

MAKING A SPLASH—MTSU's Solar Boat Team members laugh as a small enthusiast walks by during presentation of their award at the 2010 World Championship of Intercollegiate Solar Boating. From left are alumnus Bryan Bodkin, adviser Dr. Saeed Foroudastan, captain Stan Whitehouse, co-captain Lazaro Perez, Raymond Dennis, supporter Paul Martin III, James Rancaster and event organizer Dr. Jeff Morehouse.

photo submitted

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MTSU once again on Princeton Review 'best of' list

MTSU once again is receiving accolades from the education-services company The Princeton Review, joining 133 institutions recommended in the "Best in the Southeast"; section of its website feature, "2011 Best Colleges Region by Region.";

Collectively, the 623 colleges named "regional best"; constitute about 25 percent of the nation's 2,500 four-year colleges.

The Princeton Review asked students to rate their schools based on accessibility of the professors, the quality of food and campus life in general. The company's staff also based their evaluation on the quality of academic programs and observations during visits to campus over the years.

"We are proud to once again be listed among the 'Best in the Southeast' by The Princeton Review,"; said MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, noting that the company also gave the university the honor in 2008.

"We are committed to continuing Middle Tennessee State University's long-standing tradition of offering our students outstanding academic programs in the kind of nurturing environment which addresses their individual needs. Our continued success is due to the hard work of our outstanding faculty and staff.";

"We're pleased to recommend Middle Tennessee State University to users of our site as one of the best schools to earn their undergrad degree,"; said Robert Franek, senior vice president/publishing for The Princeton Review. "We chose it and the other terrific institutions we name as 'regional best' colleges mainly for their excellent academic programs.";

The Princeton Review is a for-profit educational preparation company that offers test preparation for standardized achievement tests and advice on college admissions.

Forbes magazine ranked MTSU as the No. 1 public institution in Tennessee, as well as one of the Top 50 higher-education "Best Buys"; in the nation and one of the top 100 U.S. public universities, in its 2009 "America's Best Colleges"; listing.

To read MTSU's complete entry in the Princeton Review rankings, register free at , then click the "Find a College"; tab at the top of the page and type "Middle Tennessee State University"; in the school search box.

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Development Office's fall Phonathon begins Sept. 12

from Staff Reports

Each academic semester, the MTSU Office of Development and current students call alumni from each academic college on campus.

A primary purpose of this phone call is to provide alumni with current news from the university and its respective colleges as well as update their contact information, said Meredith Kerr, associate director of annual giving.

Students also ask for a contribution to the MTSU Foundation Annual Fund in support of the university's annual fundraising efforts. Calls generally will be made Sunday through Thursday evenings.

The fall Phonathon will begin Tuesday, Sept. 12. For two days, students will call those interested in contributing to the James E. Walker Library and University Honors College.

The remaining schedule is:

  • Sept. 14-27—Jennings A. Jones College of Business;
  • Sept. 28-Oct.12—College of Liberal Arts;
  • Oct. 21-31—College of Mass Communication;
  • Nov. 1-15—College of Basic and Applied Sciences; and
  • Nov. 16-Dec. 2—College of Education and Behavioral Sciences.

The mission of the MTSU Phonathon is to build the university's alumni participation through yearly gifts from alumni, parents and students by informing them about the current needs on campus, Kerr said.

"The Phonathon is our 'home visit from students' to our alumni,"; she said. "It is an important component of our efforts to increase private support for the institution and enhance our academic departments and programs.";

Contributions made to the MTSU Annual Fund through the Phonathon can be designated to any specific need or area of interest, Kerr said. These can include but are not limited to student scholarships, innovative academic endeavors, new computer/laboratory equipment, special library and departmental acquisitions, facilities improvement or special academic initiatives and projects.

Gifts to the MTSU Annual Fund are vital in helping MTSU remain Tennessee's Best comprehensive university and among the best in the nation, Kerr said, adding that every gift, no matter what size, enhances MTSU academic departments and programs.

For more information, call 615-898-2502 or email

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Ride in style to 3 away games: BRAA

from MT Athletic Communications

With high expectations for a great 2010 football season for Middle Tennessee, the Blue Raider Athletic Association is sponsoring executive coach trips to three road games to help Blue Raider fans support their team at a bargain price.

Signature Transportation Services will provide private executive coaches, each featuring 33 reclining leather seats and a flat-screen TV, to the Saturday games at Memphis (Sept. 18), Georgia Tech (Oct. 16) and Western Kentucky (Nov. 20).

The executive coaches will leave the Greenland Drive parking lot in time to arrive at each stadium approximately one hour to 90 minutes before kickoff. The vehicles will leave 45 minutes after the game to return to Murfreesboro.

Kickoff time of the Georgia Tech game has not yet been announced, and fans who plan to drive down themselves should be aware that parking for GT games is difficult.

Alan Farley, associate athletic director for fundraising, noted the advantages of taking the executive coaches to the road games.

"First of all, there is the convenience of not having to drive, of traveling with a large group, not having to stay in a hotel and not having to pay to park and walk a long way to the game, but instead being dropped off and picked up right at the stadium,"; Farley said. "You can also bring your own food and beverages for the trip. You can't find a better deal anywhere.";

Prices for the three trips vary. The cost of the Memphis trip is $50 per person; Georgia Tech is $60 per person, and Western is $35 per person. Game tickets are not included in the price, but the BRAA is coordinating a block of seats in the MTSU section at each game for coach riders.

Fans may call the BRAA office at 615-898-2210 to sign up for the trip.

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Clark joins Insell team

Kim Clark, a veteran collegiate assistant women's basketball coach, has been named as the newest addition to the Middle Tennessee coaching staff by Rick Insell.

"To be able to get someone with Kim's ability is what we needed,"; Insell said. "She has a great personality and brings a lot of experience at the Division I game to the staff. She has been in this game for eight years and knows the ins and outs of recruiting. We just feel very fortunate to have her join us.";

Clark spent the last six seasons as an assistant for her father, Rick Reeves, at Gardner-Webb in Boiling Springs, N.C. She was the team's recruiting coordinator and helped bring in a nationally ranked class in 2007-08. The program registered 28 wins this past season en route to its first Big South regular-season crown and a WNIT berth.

"I am very excited about the opportunity to come on board at Middle Tennessee,"; Clark said. "To see the program take off the last couple of years, I want to help it reach a higher level.";

The Lynchburg, Va., native completed her master's degree in sports administration at Southern Miss in 2002.

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Borendame selected to lead men's tennis

Middle Tennessee Director of Athletics Chris Massaro has named Jimmy Borendame as the next Blue Raider head men's tennis coach.

"We are excited that Jimmy Borendame will be our new men's tennis coach,"; Massaro said. "I first met Jimmy three years ago, when we hired David McNamara, and I have followed his career with interest. ...

"Jimmy is a highly organized, winning tennis coach that will build upon the tremendous reputation of our program. I know the tennis community and all Blue Raider fans will welcome him … and will be very pleased with the results.";

Borendame comes to Murfreesboro after serving a one-year stint as the head men's tennis coach at Drake in Des Moines, Iowa.

"I could not be more elated about taking over as the new leader of the Blue Raider men's tennis program,"; he said. "There is a lot of history at Middle Tennessee, and I only want to add to it.";

A native of Wheaton, Ill., Borendame is a USPTA certified instructor and coached the 2006 and 2007 Mid-Atlantic National Junior teams.

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Schaub promoted to women's tennis coach

Melissa Schaub, Blue Raider assistant women's tennis coach, has been promoted to the head coaching position, Director of Athletics Chris Massaro said.

"Melissa was a great assistant coach for Alison (Ojeda),"; Massaro said. "I am confident she will be able to build upon the progress that was built. Melissa has a great rapport with her players, cares about their well-being and is a tremendous teacher. The feeling is mutual, as the players let me know that they wanted Melissa to be their coach.

"She knows the strengths and weaknesses of our team and has a great plan to elevate our program.";

Schaub, a Lexington, Ohio, native, recently completed her fourth season with the Blue Raiders as the team's assistant coach. She helped MT earn its best record when it finished 11-10, collecting double-digit wins for the first time since 2004.

"I am so honored to have been given this opportunity,"; Schaub said. "Middle Tennessee is such an exciting place right now, and I could not be happier to be part of this university.";

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Dean adds corporate-governance training

from Staff Reports

Dr. Jim Burton, dean of the Jennings A. Jones College of Business, has attained the status of "Certified Director"; from the John E. Anderson School of Management at the University of California at Los Angeles.

The designation represents a higher level of endorsement that entitles him to sit on corporate boards of directors and participate in the corporate governance of major companies throughout the nation.

"There are a number of schools of business in the country that offer training programs for directors,"; Burton said, "but this is the only one that I'm aware of that has any sort of certification process at the end of it.";

The 30 participants included board directors, business owners, higher-education officials and others who have a vested interest in learning more about corporate governance, liability issues, performance-based pay and how pending federal legislation will change the way business does business.

"There were discussions that heightened your awareness and made you think about them in new ways,"; Burton noted. "It re-energized your thinking on several things.";

Burton said the certification becomes a point of recognition and distinction and may generate additional requests to serve as a director in companies around the country. He has served on the board of Piedmont Gas for several years.

"It was an arduous three days, jam-packed with reading, speakers and workshops. … Several people out there knew of MTSU through athletics or a particular academic program or they knew someone who was here.";

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Pettey filling post as interim chair of computer science

from Staff Reports

Dr. Chrisila C. Pettey, professor of computer science at MTSU, has been named interim chair for the department, College of Basic and Applied Sciences Dean Tom Cheatham announced.

Pettey, who has been at MTSU since 1991, will fill the void left by the retirement of Dr. Richard Detmer earlier this year.

"It's an honor to be named to this position,"; Pettey said, "a bit overwhelming, but an honor nonetheless.";

She said a major focus will be on the department's accreditation self-study, which is due later this year.

"I hope we will be able to put more opportunities for real-world experiences for our undergraduate students into our curriculum,"; she said. "Another goal is to implement ways to grow both the graduate and undergraduate programs.";

Pettey earned her bachelor's degree from Lipscomb University in 1978, her master's from MTSU in 1981 and her doctorate from Vanderbilt in 1990. Her areas of interest include parallel processing and genetic algorithms.

Cheatham said a national search would be conducted to find a permanent chair.

The computer science department has 12 full-time faculty, two full-time staff and two adjunct faculty members.

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Insuring their legacies

CAREER RECOGNITION—The newest members of the Robert E. Musto Insurance Hall of Fame at MTSU pose with plaques recognizing them as professionals who have made outstanding contributions to Tennessee's insurance industry during the recent induction ceremony at the DoubleTree Hotel in Murfreesboro. They are, from left, Tom McDonald of Franklin, Tenn., a longtime Tennessee Farmers Insurance Company executive; Joseph M. "Joe"; Rackley of Pulaski, founder of insurance software company Rackley Systems Inc.; and Dan Brooks of Rutledge, a longtime State Farm Insurance executive. In 1997, Robert L. Musto, son of Robert E. Musto, presented a $10,000 gift to MTSU's Martin Chair of Insurance in honor of his father, which provided the foundation for the hall of fame. To date, there are 44 members of the Musto Insurance Hall of Fame, which is under the guidance of the Tommy T. Martin Chair of Insurance in MTSU's Jennings A. Jones College of Business.

photo courtesy of Ken Robinson Photography

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MTSU, meet Murfreesboro Aug. 31-Sept. 1

MTSU is continuing a tradition started in 2001 by inviting area businesses and organizations to welcome students back to campus during the festive Week of Welcome—the first days of the fall semester—at Meet Murfreesboro days Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 31-Sept. 1.

Participants can visit with students and display products by reserving space in tents placed in the courtyard outside the Keathley University Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Display space costs $250 and includes a table and chairs, lunch for two people each day and access to electricity for both days. Merchants also will receive two visitor-parking passes per day.

"We encourage businesses to bring free samples, specialty giveaways and coupons to give students,"; said Gina Poff, director of the Office of New Students and Family Programs. "The students really enjoy the event, and in past years, we have had vendors tell us they gave away as many as 5,000 items per day.";

Poff added that if merchants want to participate but cannot attend Meet Murfreesboro days, the university will provide them with free welcome-back posters for display at their businesses.

Local agencies and campus groups may also participate in the Volunteer Fair on campus on
Tuesday, Sept. 7, and share volunteer opportunities with MTSU students. There is no cost for volunteer agencies to participate in the event.

MTSU expects to enroll 25,700-plus students this fall, and economic-impact studies have shown that students spend more than $6 million locally during the school year. Recent estimates place MTSU's total economic impact at more than $1 billion.

Deadline for participant registration is Monday, Aug. 30, and space is limited. For more information, contact Rob Patterson, NSFP coordinator, at 615-898-2454 or visit

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Faculty/Staff Update


Jenny Tenpenny Crouch (Campus Recreation) has been appointed to serve on the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education committee to establish standards for student media. She is representing College Media Advisers, a national organization to help student media professionals improve operations. Crouch served as CMA president in 2001-03 and on the group's board for about eight years; she was director of student publications at MTSU for about 15 years.


Jennifer Frizzell (nursing) passed the certification for the pediatric nursing specialty through the American Nurses Credentialing Center and is now a certified pediatric nurse.


Dr. Mark Anshel
(health and human performance) chaired "Controversies in Clinical Trials,"; a pre-conference satellite symposium of the International Society of Behavioral Medicine held Aug. 2-3 in Washington, D.C.

Dr. David Carleton (political science) attended the annual meeting of the American Democracy Project, "Agents and Architects of Democracy,"; June 17-19 in Providence, R.I., and the Tennessee Campus Compact workshop, "Navigating the Maze: Securing External Funding for Civic Engagement Programs,"; April 22 at Lipscomb University to prepare for the launch of the Department of Political Science's new minor in political and civic engagement.


Dr. Karen Petersen
(political science) attended the 2010 SACS Commission on Colleges Institute on Quality Enhancement and Accreditation in Tampa July 25-28, an event focusing on successful assessment practices and quality enhancement initiatives to improve student learning.


Dr. David Penn (Business and Economic Research Center) participated in a panel discussion on "Nashville's Economic Forecast"; Aug. 12 at the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville. The discussion, co-sponsored by the Nashville Business Journal and Colliers International, was part of NBJ's "Shaping a Greater Nashville"; series.


Ms. Alma Travis Baldwin (accounting) passed away Aug. 5. She was the daughter of the late Walter C. and Mary Leola Travis and was also preceded in death by two brothers, Fred and Donny Travis, and two sisters, Mary Louise Travis and Sarah Horner. She is survived by four sons, Mike, John and Jeff Baldwin of Murfreesboro and Tony Baldwin of Houston, Texas; three grandchildren, Catherine Baldwin and Justin Baldwin of Murfreesboro and Travis Baldwin of Houston, Texas; and one great-granddaughter, Alexis Baldwin of Murfreesboro. She also is survived by two brothers, Charles and Tom Travis of Murfreesboro, and two sisters, Ina Ruth Brannon and Frieda Hayes of Hermitage, Tenn. Ms. Baldwin, a native of Rutherford County, lived 24 years in Chicago and returned to Tennessee in 1972. She worked as a teacher, accountant and secretary and was employed at MTSU from May 1977 until her retirement in August 1987 as a secretary in the Department of Accounting.

Dr. Herbert C. Jones (accounting) passed away July 30. Dr. Jones is survived by his wife, Jo Ann Jones; his children, Daniel B. Jones and Wendell A. Jones of Murfreesboro, Joseph C. Jones of Hoover, Ala., and Jessica Jones Stallman of Murfreesboro; and six grandchildren. He was employed by MTSU from September 1967 until his retirement in May 2005 as a professor of accounting.

Personnel Changes

Brelinda Johnson (Academic Support Center) is the new academic adviser for the new College of Behavioral and Health Sciences. She is currently advising students majoring in criminal justice administration, health and human performance, human sciences and psychology and will be transitioning into advising social-work majors over the course of the fall 2010 semester.

Brandon Nolen (athletics) has joined the Middle Tennessee baseball staff as the volunteer assistant. His duties will include working with catchers, hitting instruction and on-campus recruiting.


Chemistry faculty members made the following presentations at the 21st Biennial Conference on Chemical Education at the University of North Texas in Denton Aug. 1-5:

  • Drs. Gary Wulfsberg and William Ilsley presented "Promoting Chemistry Knowledge and Ability to Read the Textbook using Clickers in General Chemistry I: Research Results";;
  • Misganaw Gebru (a student in the Math and Science Education Doctoral Program) and Drs. Amy Phelps, Michael Sanger, Gary White, Ilsley and Wulfsberg presented "Longer-Term General Chemistry I Learning Effectiveness as Promoted by Clickers and by Lecture Only: Research Results";;
  • Gebru, Ilsley, Phelps, Sanger and White presented "Role of Online Homework on Student Achievement in General Chemistry";; and
  • Sanger presented "Using Electrostatic Potential Maps from Spartan to Teach about Bond Types, Molecular Polarity and Solution Miscibility.";

Dr. Saeed Foroudastan (Basic and Applied Sciences) presented a paper, "The Value of Exchange: The Benefits of Inter-Cultural Engineering Study—A Design Team Perspective,"; at the 2010 Annual American Society of Engineering Education Conference in Louisville, Ky., in June.


Drs. Lisa Sheehan-Smith (human sciences) and Tom Brinthaupt (psychology) published "Using Service-Learning to Teach Health Coaching"; in the Summer 2010 Academic Exchange Quarterly.

Dr. Mary Lou Veal (health and human performance) has published a new book, Analysis of Teaching and Learning in Physical Education (Jones & Bartlett, 2011).

Get noticed in The Record!

Submit your Faculty/ Staff Update items and other news tips to by 3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 25, for the Sept. 6 edition of The Record or 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 8, for the Sept. 20 edition of The Record.

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Campus Calendar Aug. 23-Sept. 5, 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 .

Sports @ Home
Friday, Aug. 27: Soccer vs. Wright State, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 29: Soccer vs. Tennessee Tech, 4 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 2: Football vs. Minnesota, 6:30 p.m. (True Blue Day)
Sept. 3-5: Volleyball Blue Raider Bash
Sept. 3 vs. Duke, 7 p.m.;
Sept. 4 vs. Southern Miss, 11 a.m.;
Sept. 4 vs. Auburn, 7 p.m.;
Sept. 5 vs. Miami (Fla.), 11 a.m.
For information, visit .

Aug. 24-25
New Faculty Orientation
Business and Aerospace Building
For information, contact: 615-898-5941.

Aug. 27-29
Gypsy & Drum Horse Classic

Miller Coliseum; free admission
For information, visit .

Friday, Aug. 27
Fall Faculty Meeting

10 a.m., Tucker Theatre; lunch follows in James Union Building
For information, contact: 615-898-5941.

Saturday, Aug. 28
Fall 2010 Classes Begin

Pigskin Pre-Game
6:30 p.m., Marymont Springs
Admission: $35 per person
For information, visit .

Sunday, Aug. 29
University Convocation

Speaker: Warren St. John, author of Outcasts United
2 p.m., Murphy Center; President's Picnic follows in Walnut Grove
For information, visit or contact: 615-898-2454.

Aug. 31-Sept. 1
Meet Murfreesboro

10 a.m.-2 p.m., Keathley University Center Courtyard
For information, contact: 615-898-2454.

Thursday, Sept. 2
MTSU Department Fair

11 a.m.-1 p.m., KUC Courtyard
For information, contact: 615-898-2454.

True Blue College Colors Day (Minnesota pre-game event)
2:30 p.m., Walnut Grove
For information, text:615-631-9571 or 615-427-1423.

Sept. 3-11
Cowboy Mounted Shooting Eastern U.S. Championships

Miller Coliseum; free admission
For information, visit .

Friday, Sept. 3
First Friday Star Party

6:30 p.m. lecture, Room 102, Wiser-Patten Science Building; followed by telescope viewing at the MTSU Observatory (weather permitting)
For information, contact: 615-898-2130.

Faculty Recital: Angela Deboer, horn; Arunesh Nadgir, piano; Laura Ann Ross, oboe
8 p.m., Hinton Music Hall
For information, visit .

Sept. 4-5
Volunteer Ranch Horse Cattle Futurity

Tennessee Livestock Center
For information, contact: 931-668-9334.

Saturday, Sept. 4
Music City Rabbit Show

Tennessee Livestock Center
For information, contact: 615-312-2328.

Free Movie Saturdays
6-8 p.m., KUC Theater
For information, visit or contact: 615-898-2551.

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