The Record, Jan. 31, 2011, V19.14

Read the PDF version here!

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2011 Black History Month: Unity Luncheon details, complete MTSU schedule

Click the graphic above for the full 2011 schedule of events at MTSU!

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Historic visit strikes sweet note for MTSU music major

by Gina K. Logue

The week of Chinese President Hu Jintao's official state visit with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C., provided a moment of bliss—and a chance to be an unofficial ambassador, of sorts—for MTSU graduate student Yifei Zhong.

The Chinese Ministry of Education invited Yifei, 23, to attend a Jan. 19 reception for Hu on the South Lawn of the White House along with other students and professors from various locations.

The violin-performance major says she doesn't know why she was selected, but her reaction was sheer delight.

"Wow! That's a big thing!"; Yifei recalls thinking upon receiving the emailed invitation. "I've got to go, no matter what!";

Yifei says her professors have told her that they're impressed with her lack of stage fright, and that poise and presence came in handy, even though she did not perform at the reception.

"I was very, very excited at that moment,"; Yifei says. "I got the chance to shake hands with both of them.";

Obama impressed Yifei by saying "Ni hao,"; or "Hello"; in Chinese. Hu asked about Yifei's hometown, which she told him is Hangzhou.

Yifei attended Hangzhou Normal University, one of MTSU's educational partners, until her senior year. That's when she came to MTSU as an exchange student. She has studied here for two years and plans to graduate in May with a master's degree.

The trip was Yifei's first time traveling by herself and her first trip to Washington. She's not so certain where her next journey will take her; she says she's still trying to decide whether to work for a year or two or pursue a doctorate. Regardless of which career path she chooses, though, Yifei says she'll take fond memories of the day the leaders of her homeland and her adopted homeland met with her—and each other.

WITNESSING HISTORY—MTSU graduate student Yifei Zhong, shown at top, leaves the White House after a brief ceremony on the South Lawn to welcome Chinese President Hu Jintao Jan. 19 for an official state visit. U.S. President Barack Obama and Hu, above center, listen during the ceremony. The leaders are shown in the background of Yifei's photo of the event, above, which also welcomed Chinese students from other U.S. universities. Yifei, who transferred from MTSU's educational partner school Hangzhou Normal University two years ago, is working on her master's degree at MTSU.

photos courtesy of Yifei Zhong

COMMAND PERFORMANCE—MTSU graduate student Yifei Zhong plays her violin inside Hinton Music Hall after returning from Washington, D.C., where Chinese students from several U.S. universities met with U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao.

MTSU Photographic Services photo by Andy Heidt

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Studying 1st-generation families

by Gina K. Logue

Intrigued by a documentary in which a young woman was ostracized by her parents for two years for realizing her dream of attending college, Tara Perrin set out to learn how other first-generation college students handle the challenges of their educational lives.

Perrin is a 36-year-old MTSU sociology major and Tallahassee, Fla., native. She's writing her master's thesis on first-generation students' perceptions of changing family relationships as a result of higher education and how those changes affect their college careers.

"For some people, it's a really smooth transition, and for others, it's a very, very difficult transition to go to school and to stay in school, because your family can be quite antagonistic toward you,"; says Perrin, who adds that she had her parents' total support as a first-generation college student.

Surveys conducted in 1996 by the National Center for Education Statistics—and bolstered by data from follow-up surveys in 1998 and 2001—found that approximately 40 percent of all university freshmen are the first in their families to attend college.

In performing her qualitative research, Perrin is analyzing her interviews with students and comparing them to existing academic data. While she's found plenty of quantitative research with grade-point averages and retention and graduation rates, Perrin finds little research is available on the family dynamics of the first-generation student's experience.

"Without really hearing qualitative stories about their struggles and how they deal with things and how these instances do come out, I feel the literature's really lacking in that regard,"; Perrin says.

Even if academia has little to say on the subject, personal anecdotes abound. Some recurring themes include parents who say they are supportive but never ask their sons or daughters about their studies or, worse yet, rebuke or dismiss children who try to initiate a conversation about what they're learning in college.

In one of the few qualitative studies Perrin has found on the subject, a student was criticized by her parents for playing classical music in the home; the parents resented what they perceived as an attempt to try to make her family "better."; In another case, a parent was upset that a student used unfamiliar language during an argument unrelated to school.

"A lot of parents who have not been to college can't relate to what their children are doing,"; says Steve Saunders, interim director of the McNair Program, a federally funded endeavor that helps low-income, first-generation college students prepare for doctoral studies. "They have no point of reference.";

Saunders, himself a first-generation college student, says educational groundbreakers in families often have stressors that students from more educated families don't understand. Those may include paying for food, rent and utilities while trying to concentrate on their studies.

"I think what they (first-generation students) see are hurdles that other students don't see, because they don't exist for those other students, who come from families that have a fairly high level of education,"; Saunders says.

Perrin says she thinks universities can play a more supportive role by asking students on admissions forms if they are the first in their families to go to college, allowing them to be counted and their progress documented. The information gathered might even become a marketing tool to promote the university to potential clientele, she adds.

"People don't come here with the goal of failing,"; Perrin says. "They want to be successful. Sometimes you have to give some students a little more support in order for that to happen, and I feel like we need to know who those students are. Quantifying first-generation status would be a good step toward figuring that out.";

Perrin's thesis is due in March. She plans to earn her master's degree in sociology in May 2011.

FAMILY TIES—MTSU grad student Tara Perrin, second from right, poses with her father, Tony Johnston; her father's girlfriend, Betty Farrish; her husband, Richard Perrin; and their dog, Daisy Mae. Unlike some families in her master's thesis research, Perrin says hers has supported her educational goals. Tara's mother, the late Phyllis Johnston, passed away before Tara completed her bachelor's degree.

photo submitted

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Classes canceled? Check online, TV, radio, Rave alerts!

When inclement weather threatens the area, MTSU closing information will be available online at and on local radio and TV stations, and the university also will send out an alert via the Rave system.

Class cancellations will apply to all classes. MTSU offices will be open unless otherwise stated. Overnight decisions will be announced by 6 a.m. the next day.

Get winter-weather details anytime at !

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In Brief: Recognize achievement!

The Career Achievement Award Committee is seeking nominations for the 2010-11 MTSU Career Achievement Award by Monday, Feb. 7. Forms should be sent to The Career Achievement Award, Office of University Provost, Attention: Faye Johnson, Cope Administration Building 111.

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Lectures focus on Sandburg, 'Misquoting Jesus'

from Staff Reports

Scholars who study Carl Sandburg's musical interests and the history of early Christianity will bring their expertise to MTSU in February as part of the university's ongoing Distinguished Lecture Series.

On Tuesday, Feb. 8, Dr. Jhon C. Akers will interpret the works of poet Carl Sandburg on classical guitar in "Carl Sandburg and the Spanish Guitar,"; a free public lecture slated for 7:30 p.m. in the State Farm Lecture Hall, Room S102, of the Business and Aerospace Building.

Akers, an associate professor of modern languages at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., was the featured lecturer twice for the Sandburg Days Festival in Galesburg, Ill.

Sandburg, a poet, historian and winner of three Pulitzer Prizes, also collected folk songs and wrote children's literature and had a lifelong love for the Spanish guitar.

And on Friday, Feb. 18, the Department of Philosophy at MTSU is sponsoring a free public lecture, "Misquoting Jesus: Scribes Who Changed the Bible and Readers Who May Never Know,"; by Dr. Bart D. Ehrman.

The lecture is planned for 3:30 p.m. in the State Farm Lecture Hall in the BAS. Ehrman will sign copies of his books immediately following his lecture.

Ehrman, the author of more than 20 books, including three New York Times bestsellers ( Jesus Interrupted, God's Problem and Misquoting Jesus), is the James A. Gray Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a leading authority on the New Testament and the history of early Christianity. His work has been featured in Time, The New Yorker, The Washington Post and other print media, and he has appeared on NBC's "Dateline,"; "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,"; CNN and other media outlets.

The Ehrman lecture is part of the annual Applied Philosophy Lyceum in conjunction with MTSU's Distinguished Lecture Committee.

For more information on the Feb. 8 Sandburg lecture, contact Dr. William Yelverton at 615-898-2004 or 615-898-5623. For more information on the Feb. 18 Ehrman lecture, contact Connie Huddleston at 615-494-7628.

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Remember, faculty: Special-projects funding deadline is Feb. 11

MTSU faculty, take note: The deadline for proposals for 2011 Special Projects Grants is Friday, Feb. 11.

Each year the MTSU Foundation grants up to $20,000 to fund a special project pursued by a full-time faculty member. The grant is considered seed money for a project that will garner visibility and acclaim for the university.

The Special Projects Committee reviews all submissions and selects the winning project and may split the award, depending upon the projects submitted.

For details on special project grant funding applications, please visit the Development Office website

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Researchers prep for Feb. 9 'Posters at the Capitol' event

by Randy Weiler

Twelve MTSU students will provide seven presentations being showcased Wednesday, Feb. 9, during the sixth annual "Posters at the Capitol"; in Nashville.

Along with their mentors, the MTSU student presenters will be joined by research peers from the other Tennessee Board of Regents schools—Austin Peay, East Tennessee, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech and University of Memphis—and those from the University of Tennessee campuses at Knoxville, Chattanooga and Martin.

An expected 61 poster presentations are scheduled to begin around 10 a.m. in the Legislative Plaza hallway. MTSU's contingent will stay until about 3 p.m. The public is welcome to view the posters and talk to the young researchers.

"It should be a great day for the students,"; said Dr. Tom Cheatham, College of Basic and Applied Sciences dean. "Sen. (Bill) Ketron is helping us make arrangements this year. The only change for us is that UT-Martin is joining the UT contingent for the first time, and we have more posters than ever.";

The MTSU students include co-collaborators Ryan Nichols of Nashville and Catherine Chokuba of Franklin; Katrina A. Smith of Murfreesboro; Lindsey Bailey of La Vergne; Samuel Mitchell of Nashville; collaborators Jessica Taylor of Manchester, Nikhil Reddy of Murfreesboro and Daniel Gouger of Chattanooga; Daniel Messick of Shelbyville; and collaborators Matt Cooley of Camden, Jason Pomeroy of Lascassas and Kyle Wiseman of Murfreesboro.

Ian Hajizadeh of Nashville and George Carter of Kingsport are alternate co-presenters.

The students expect to discuss their research with their respective state legislators. After lunch, they will pose for photos with new Gov. Bill Haslam.

Dr. Andrienne Friedli, Undergraduate Research Center director and professor of chemistry, and Emily Born, coordinator of the Faculty Research and Creative Activity Grant and URC coordinator, are spearheading the MTSU students' participation at Posters on the Hill.

Assisting Cheatham with set-up preparations are academic advisers Jennifer Danylo, Travis Tipton and Andrew Symonds and executive secretary Sheila Bleam.

A listing of MTSU student presenters, their faculty mentors and abstract titles includes:

  • Nichols and Chokuba with faculty mentor Dr. Daniel Erenso, abstract title "Studying Elasticity by Zapping, Trapping and Stretching Red Blood Cells Extracted from Normal Mice with Sickle Cell Disorder";;
  • Smith with Dr. Ngee S. Chong, "Characterization of Aminobiphenyl Isomers and Their Interactions with Calf Thymus DNA and Nucleotide Bases";;
  • Bailey with Dr. Scott Handy, "One Pot Halogenations and Cross-Couplings in Ionic Liquids";;
  • Mitchell with Friedli, "Porous Silica Films as a Reliable Medium for Sensing Protein-Antibody Binding Events";;
  • Taylor and Reddy with Dr. Norma Dunlap, "Synthesis of Cyclopropyl Daniel Gouger, Peptidomimetics with Potential Anti-HIV and Alzheimer's Activity";;<</li>
  • Messick with Dr. Nate Phillips, "The Effects of Daminozide on Flower Production and Sex Ratios in Hydroponic Greenhouse Cucumbers";; and
  • Cooley and Pomeroy with Dr. Mark Abolins, "Movement of Groundwater Along Fold Hinges in Central Rutherford County, Tennessee.";

The alternate poster presenters are mentored by Erenso on "Efficacy of Gene Therapy in Sickle Cell Mouse Model as Measured by the Red Blood Cells' Elastic Response.";

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Campus, community unite for Feb. 3 luncheon

Campus and community will come together on Thursday, Feb. 3, to launch MTSU's Black History Month at the annual Unity Luncheon, honoring citizens for their service to others.

The event kicks off at 11 a.m. with a keynote address from Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings, the Kellner Family Professor of Urban Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also is an award-winning researcher who focuses on the work of teachers who are successful with African-American students.

Sponsored by the MTSU Intercultural and Diversity Affairs Center and the Black History Month Committee, the luncheon will be held in the Tennessee Room inside MTSU's James Union Building.

The 2011 honorees include:

  • Marshall County Director of Schools Roy D. Dukes;
  • entrepreneur Ernestine "Tene"; Johnson of Murfreesboro;
  • community organizer Wordna McKnight of Murfreesboro;
  • community leader Carolyn Peebles of Smyrna; and
  • Pastor and NAACP Branch President Goldy L. Wade of Murfreesboro.

Dukes, who earned his master's degree in administration and supervision from MTSU, has been a teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal and supervisor. He is past president of the Housing Authority and Rotary Club in Lewisburg and also is a member of Phi Beta Sigma and the recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow Rotary Club International Award, as well as the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Service Award. Dukes received the 2004 NAACP George Turner Award of Excellence and in 2005 was inducted as a school administrator into the TSSAA Hall of Fame.

Johnson, who was the first African-American woman to own a business in downtown Murfreesboro and also one of the first African-American females on the design team when clothing manufacturer White Stag moved to town, is a past member of the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce. She has served on the board of the Rutherford County Guidance Center and was one of the first instructors at the Tennessee Rehabilitation Center. She also taught Rutherford County adult classes and is active in Southeast Baptist Church as a member of the Women's Bible Study and as a Bible teacher for several local churches.

McKnight and her close friends have organized a community meal for many years on a designated Saturday between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Due to health issues, she has held the meal only once in the past three years and may not be able to continue the tradition. Murfreesboro City Councilman Ron Washington has worked with McKnight during the past 10 years to help sponsor the community event and says she recruited many volunteers to help with the food and fellowship.

Peebles is known as a tireless worker in her Living Truth Christian Center in Smyrna. She is a member of the Smyrna Rotary Club and has been active in that town for the last 20 years. She has run for a position on the Smyrna Town Council twice, including a second campaign in fall 2010.

Wade, an ordained associate minister in the Walnut Grove Missionary Baptist Church, received the Jerry Anderson Hero Award in 2009 for his service as president of the Murfreesboro Branch of the NAACP. He has been featured in The Daily News Journal as a "Person You Should Know"; and is a Man of Valor in the Antioch Baptist Church and a past member of the Room in the Inn committee. He also serves as president of an amateur golf organization. Wade currently is working with Dr. Linda Gilbert, director of Murfreesboro City Schools, to organize pastors and associate pastors to help meet the needs of area children through tutoring and serving as role models.

The public is invited to join the luncheon and celebration. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students and can be obtained by contacting Brenda Wunder at 615-898-2591 or

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Art department makes national call for exhibit

The Department of Art at MTSU has issued a national call for artists to submit 8-by-10-inch works on paper by Friday, March 11, for inclusion in "80 Square,"; a new scholarship-benefit exhibition and sale.

Drawings, paintings, photographs, prints and mixed media will be accepted. All work submitted will be included in the "80 Square"; exhibit and sale on Saturday, March 19, and proceeds from all sales will benefit the MTSU Department of Art Scholarship program.

Tinney Contemporary will host the one-night exhibition on March 19 from 6 to 9 p.m. at its gallery at 237 Fifth Ave. N. in Nashville. An artist preview is planned from 5 to 6 p.m. at the gallery.

Artists can download full submission details at or contact Sisavanh Houghton at for more information.

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Join MT alumni, friends to watch the Predators

Celebrate MTSU Alumni and Friends Night with the Nashville Predators on Saturday, Feb. 19, at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville!

The Preds will face the Phoenix Coyotes beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 per person, which includes the game ticket and cost of a special pregame reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the D-G Room of the arena's lower concourse. The gathering will include food, and nonalcoholic drinks and a cash bar will be available.

All reservations and prepayments must be made by Friday, Feb. 4. To reserve your seat, please call the Office of Alumni Relations at 800-533-6878 or email

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New ed courses will 'move Tennessee forward'

by Tom Tozer

With the help of a $501 million "Race to the Top"; grant from the U.S. Department of Education, disbursed over the next four years, Tennessee schools will be responsible for attaining higher standards in student performance and outcomes.

When the Tullahoma City Schools received $608,000 of those funds, officials decided to use part of the money for professional development and helping teachers earn advanced degrees, all aimed at helping students in the classroom.

School officials contacted Dr. Lana Seivers, dean of the College of Education at MTSU, to propose developing coursework allowing Tullahoma teachers to take up to four graduate classes to meet newer state standards and implement best teaching practices. The classes also would count toward license renewal and, ultimately, an advanced degree.

"The Tullahoma City School district recognizes that the quality of teachers and school leaders impacts student academic performance,"; Seivers said. "The College of Education at MTSU is pleased to partner with them to enhance the skills of their professional educators.";

The dean added that MTSU received approval from the state to engage in the Race to the Top initiative.

"We look forward to establishing similar collaborations,"; Seivers said.

Approximately 100 teachers in the Tullahoma system do not have a master's or education specialist's degree, according to partnership coordinator Dr. Joel Hausler, who is a professor in MTSU's Womack Family Educational Leadership Department.

"About 50 of them said they wanted to participate in professional development,"; Hausler said. "It's a great thing for us to have that many folks come back to MTSU. Many of them are already MTSU graduates.";

The courses that have been and are being developed by MTSU will benefit all 276 licensed employees in the Tullahoma school system, Hausler noted. Some will take classes to renew their licensure. Those earning a graduate degree also will see an increase in their paychecks.

"We'll convert these programs into a cohort program where they will work on a master's degree once they get through these classes,"; he said. "Getting their graduate degree—that's the objective.";

Tullahoma High School will continue to offer classes in the evenings and on weekends to make it as convenient as possible for teachers, Hausler pointed out.

"This is an on-the-ground program,"; he emphasized. "Our faculty and adjunct faculty go there. Once we get the cohort programs going, we may meet at Motlow (State Community College).";

Tullahoma officials said in a statement that the grant's four-year lifespan requires them to "make sure that the dollars invested in the grant serve our children, our professionals and our community well. … Our expectation is to expand our professional capacity and to meet our needs today and in our future.";

Hausler said he sees this new partnership as a prime example of how a school system can support its teachers, especially new ones, and how a university can reach out to help.

"What we're teaching them, they can learn over a weekend and put into practice in the next few weeks on the job,"; he said. "That's exciting. It's just-in-time learning. The kids are the beneficiaries of all of it. The whole purpose is to move Tennessee forward.";

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Career Development Center to host 2 events this spring

from Staff Reports

Editor's Note:
The date for the MTSU Spring Career Fair is incorrect in print editions of the Jan. 31 Record. The correct date, Feb. 8, is included in the story below and via the Career Center website link.

The MTSU Career Development Center will play host to two career events during the spring semester, aiming at connecting students with employers hiring for internships, summer job and full-time entry-level opportunities.

The MTSU Spring Career Fair on Tuesday, Feb. 8, will feature corporate, educational and government employers seeking internship and full-time entry-level candidates. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Williamson County Ag Expo Center.

The fair is sponsored by a consortium of area universities and is held each spring for prospective graduates from each participating university. Employers from business and government provide employment information and accept resumes from candidates.

A side component of this fair is teacher recruitment. Representatives from school districts from counties across the region recruit new teachers. Some are offering on-site interviews.

A free ticket is required for the event and can be obtained by visiting the Career Development Center in Room 328 of the Keathley University Center.

On Wednesday, Feb. 23, the Internships and Summer Jobs Fair will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Murphy Center. Employers from various industries will be recruiting for both seasonal employment and professional internship opportunities.

"Seventy-three percent of students work 11 or more hours a week, according to the 2010 MTSU Graduating Senior Survey,"; said Bill Fletcher, director of the Career Development Center. "The Internships and Summer Jobs Fair is an excellent way for employers to tap into an eager workforce interested in part-time jobs and internships.";

For additional information, please contact the Career Development Center at 615-898-2500 or visit .

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Groundhog Day Luncheon set

from MT Athletic Communications

The 38th Annual Groundhog Day Luncheon to benefit Blue Raider baseball has been set for Wednesday, Feb. 2, at 11:30 a.m.

The luncheon is hosted by the Blue Raider baseball team and the Blue Raider Athletic Association as an opening pitch to the 2011 season. The event will feature its traditional menu of ham hocks, white beans, tomato salad, green onions, corn bread, chocolate cake and ice cream.

Due to scheduling conflicts with Murphy Center, this year's Groundhog Luncheon will take place at the James Union Building on the MTSU campus.

Space restrictions will limit the luncheon attendees to the first 500 people who make reservations, organizers said.

All tickets for this year's event are $20, or attendees can reserve a table for 10 at $250. Make reservations by calling the Middle Tennessee ticket office at 615-898-2103 or 888-937-6878 or the BRAA office at 615-898-2210.

Baseball 2011 season tickets are now on sale through the ticket office at Floyd Stadium. Ticket prices are $60 for a season family bleacher pass and $45 for a season single bleacher pass.

For questions about chairback seating at Reese Smith Field, contact the BRAA at 615-898-2210.

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Blue Raider Leadership Summit schedules February conference

The Blue Raider Leadership Summit, an educational opportunity for students to learn the principles and techniques of effective leadership and to network with other students, will offer a special overnight conference Feb. 4-5.

During "The Leadership Addiction: A Prescription for Effective Leadership,"; students can expect an etiquette dinner, "how not to dress"; fashion show and numerous educational sessions with emerging leadership topics. An estimated 100 student leaders are expected to attend the event, which is the only student-led conference on campus.

BRLS is for students who are new to leadership positions or aspiring leaders. BRLS is sponsored by the Office of Leadership and Service and planned by B.O.L.T., or Better Our Leaders for Tomorrow.

The early-bird deadline is past, but attendees still can sign up through Tuesday, Feb. 1, at a cost of $30 per person. That registration fee includes transportation, lodging and all meals and conference materials.

For more information about the BRLS, visit . A BRLS application is under the Leadership Conferences page.

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People Around the World: Fulbright professor building partnerships in Asia

by Gina K. Logue

Dr. Sean Foley is putting his third Fulbright Fellowship to use in a relatively unexplored but highly relevant area of scholarship as he continues to investigate religious connections between the Arab Gulf States and Southeast Asia.

Foley, an assistant professor of history at MTSU, is working and studying mostly in Malaysia, under the auspices of the International Islamic University Malaysia, with a stipend from the Fulbright Program, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

His experiences in other countries in the region, however, are yielding future benefits for academia in general and for MTSU specifically.

On Foley's visit to India last month, the historian built ties with both Muslim and non-Muslim universities on the subcontinent, including Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

"My trip will lay the foundation for future classes on Indian history, Islam generally and Islam in South Asia, including India and Pakistan,"; Foley writes via email. "This trip will also cement ties between MTSU and its history department with universities in India to facilitate the work of department scholars who are interested in work on India.";

Building partnerships with institutions of higher learning around the globe and facilitating international exchange and study-abroad opportunities for both faculty and students are high-priority goals at MTSU.

"Sean's travel and research presentations in India will highlight the name 'Middle Tennessee State University' throughout the region,"; says Dr. Amy Sayward, chair of the MTSU Department of History. "We hope that Sean's contacts today will lead to a more international graduate-student body in our department and on our campus in the years to come.";

Foley delivered a lecture on the Arab Gulf States at the Indian-Arab Cultural Center at Jamia Milia University in New Delhi on Dec. 20 and on Dec. 21 at the Indian National Seminar, which was held at the Centre for West Asian Studies at Aligarh University in Aligarh, India.

"The seminar is India's premier annual national conference on Middle East studies and included the top scholars in the field,"; Foley writes. "It was covered in India's English- and Hindu-language newspapers … While at the conference, I also chaired a panel on conflict and peace resolution in South Asia. I also built close ties to Indian faculty and graduate students.";

As of fall 2010, 400 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 60 countries were enrolled at MTSU, according to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Planning and Research Fact Book.

"As we continue to build our Ph.D. program in public history, we believe this will draw an international student body, as every country and region is interested in preserving and presenting its history to a public audience,"; says Sayward. "We're already seeing our Ph.D. students thinking about their own research more broadly as we've had students from Iran and Libya join the program this year.";

Foley's itinerary includes trips to Singapore and Thailand. He will return to New Delhi in April to deliver another lecture at Jawaharlal Nehru University.

INTERNATIONAL TIES—Dr. Sean Foley, MTSU history professor and three-time Fulbright Fellowship winner, addresses the Indian National Seminar on Dec. 21 at the Centre for West Asian Studies at Aligarh University in the photo above and poses at the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, at left.

photos courtesy of Dr. Sean Foley

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Faculty/Staff Update


Dr. Judith Iriarte-Gross (chemistry) has received a special one-year appointment to the Association for Women in Science board of directors. Iriarte-Gross will serve as secretary of the national board after Dr. Susan M. Fitzpatrick moved from secretary into a new role as president-elect.


Dr. Don Hong (mathematical sciences) received the State Farm Excellence Award in December for his outstanding support of MTSU's actuarial science program.

Fengqing "Zoe"; Zhang's master's thesis, supervised by Dr. Don Hong (mathematical sciences) has won the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools' 2011 award for Innovative Application of Technology in a Master's Thesis. The award will be presented at a special ceremony during the 40th Annual CSGS Meeting Feb. 24-27 at the Westin Huntsville (Ala.). Zhang earned her Master of Science from MTSU in May 2010 and is currently working toward a doctorate in the Department of Statistics at Northwestern University.


Kim Bland (Health Services) is now certified by the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology to perform colposcopy exams, enabling Health Services to offer the service to students who receive an abnormal pap exam.

Lisa Schrader (Health Services) is one of the first health educators to earn the designation of Master Certified Health Education Specialist, effective April 1. The designation is awarded to those with advanced knowledge and skills and a high level of practical field experience in health education.


Dr. Dennis Walsh (mathematical sciences) completed a professional-development program, "Teaching Introductory Statistics Following GAISE and the Common Core,"; on Jan. 5 from the Mathematical Association of America/Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics in New Orleans on Jan. 5.


Professor Marc J. Barr (electronic media communication) is exhibiting some of his computer-designed tea sets and covered cups through Feb. 20 in "Magic Dirt,"; a national juried ceramics exhibition at the Baron and Ellin Gordon Art Gallery at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va.


Dr. William Ford (Weatherford Chair of Finance) was interviewed by Lawrence Kudlow Jan. 11 on "The Kudlow Report"; on CNBC.

Professor Doug Tatum (Wright Chair of Entrepreneurship) was interviewed by Jim Blasingame of The Small Business Advocate on Jan. 3. Tatum also was quoted in "Would You Pay $170,000 for a Consultant?"; in the Jan. 12 edition of The New York Times.


Dr. Anna M. Burford (business education, marketing education and office management), 83, passed away on Jan. 5. Dr. Burford was employed by MTSU from August 1981 until her retirement in July 2000. She was a professor in the Department of Business Education, Marketing Education and Office Management. Dr. Burford was a native of Glasgow, Ky., and the daughter of the late Ollis and Pearlie Quinn Burford. She also was preceded in death by a brother, Hardin T. Burford. She is survived by her brother, Alwin B. Burford, and his wife, Joyce, of Bowling Green, Ky.; her sister, Seva Lee Burford of Murfreesboro; nephews Danny Burford and Kevin Burford and nieces Kim Clayton and Krista Staples. Dr. Burford was a member of North Boulevard Church of Christ. She also taught at Morehead State University and Western Kentucky before joining the MTSU family.

Dr. Price Edwin Harrison Jr. (health, physical education and recreation), 77, passed away Jan. 4. He was preceded in death by his parents, Price Edwin Harrison Sr. and Ella McKnight Harrison. Dr. Harrison is survived by his brother, James T. Harrison (Peggy); two sons, Price Edwin Harrison III (Stacy Davis Harrison) and Mark Michael Harrison, and a daughter, Hart Harrison, all of Nashville. Dr. Harrison grew up in Murfreesboro and as a young man spent summers in Alaska working on the railroad. He graduated from MTSU, continued his advanced studies at Rice University and attended Boston University, where he earned a doctorate in health and physical education. Dr. Harrison then spent 20 years as a professor in MTSU's Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (now Health and Human Performance). He raised purebred Angus cattle and founded Angus News, a trade newspaper that he published for 40 years. He was a devoted member of Buckner's Chapel United Methodist in Smithville, Tenn. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to The MTSU Foundation in his honor.

Dr. Sarah McCanless Howell (history), 80, passed away on Jan. 3. Dr. Howell was employed by MTSU from September 1970 as a professor of history until her retirement in July 1996. Preceded in death by her parents, Sarah Hardcastle McCanless and George Folsom McCanless, Dr. Howell is survived by her brother, George F. McCanless Jr. (Christel), and her son, Philip Roberts Howell. Dr. Howell, who was born in Morristown, Tenn., attended Ward-Belmont Preparatory School and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Vanderbilt University, where she was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority. She received a Fulbright scholarship for study in Strasbourg. After several years of teaching and a period of residence in Atlanta, she returned to Vanderbilt, where she earned a doctorate in history. Dr. Howell taught for 26 years at MTSU, specializing in American culture and intellectual history. She was an active member of St. David's Episcopal Church and the Centennial Club, and in retirement, she studied family history and contributed several articles to the Tennessee Historical Quarterly. Donations in her memory may be made to St. David's Episcopal Church or Second Harvest Food Bank.

Ms. Ruby Alice Knox-Brown (Facilities Services), 78, passed away on Jan. 4. Ms. Knox-Brown was employed by MTSU from July 1969 until her retirement in September 1999. She was a custodian in Facilities Services. Ms. Knox-Brown was preceded in death by her parents, Willie Frank and Zollie Martin Knox; her brother, George Martin, and two sisters, Dellie Irene Knox Word and Carlene Knox Smith. Ms. Knox-Brown was a member of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church and later united with Faith Chapel Original Church of God, serving as a devoted member of the Mothers Board. She was educated in the Wilson County School System and was a hard and dedicated worker, retiring from MTSU after 30 years of service. She also worked for 30-plus years for George and Nelda Pope. Ms. Knox-Brown leaves a devoted family to cherish her memories, including daughters Joan Ann Davis and Wilma Jean Henderson, both of Murfreesboro, and grandchildren Cheryl (Toney) Bigsby of Murfreesboro, Dr. Howard (Josefine) Henderson II of Conroe, Texas, Kimberly (Chris) Hopkins, Quincy Richardson, Jeaneka Davis and LuQuinta Richardson, all of Murfreesboro. She also leaves 12 great-grandchildren—Farrunti Newman, Jr., Demetrous Kirkendoll, Daicori Sunders, Diamonique Bufors, Acoei Richardson, Toney Bigsby Jr., Tammarion Bigsby, Sanaa Henderson, Keymani Richardson, Ka'Leah Richardson, Carrington Hopkins and Daiton Davis—and two great-great-grandchildren, Farrunti Newman III and De'Shawn Herrin. Ms. Knox-Brown also is survived by two loving sisters, Guther Lee Knox White and Hannah Frances Knox McHenry, and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

The Rev. Dr. W. Beryl West (psychology), 79, passed away Jan. 5. Dr. West was employed by MTSU from September 1969 until his retirement in July 2006 and was a Post-Retiree until April 2009. Dr. West was preceded in death by his parents, Lloyd Beryl and Lota Bernice Smith West of Borger, Texas, and a sister, Myrna Belle Jones of Carlsbad, N.M. He is survived by his wife, Linda Marlin Lynch West; his brother, Bob (Helen) West of McKinney, Texas; his sons, Greg (Jan) West of Midland, Texas, and Mark West of Murfreesboro, and stepson, Eric (Michele) Lynch of Murfreesboro; and his grandchildren, Andy, Kate, and Maddie West of Texas, Abby West of California and Chris Parker Lynch of Missouri. Dr. West graduated from Borger High School in 1949 and was licensed to preach by the First Baptist Church of Borger that fall. He graduated from West Texas A&M University in 1953 with a Bachelor of Science degree in history and obtained his master's degrees in theology and divinity from Southwest Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. He pastored several churches in the Dallas/Fort Worth area before serving as pastor of Highland Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, from 1958 to 1968 and earning his Master of Education and Doctor of Education degrees in psychology from North Texas State University. From 1969 to 2001, he served as the interim pastor for various churches in Middle Tennessee and in 2001 became the full-time pastor for Mt. Carmel Baptist Church. He retired in spring 2010 after serving as a pastor for 61 years. In 1969, Dr. West joined the MTSU family as a professor in the psychology department. During his tenure at MTSU, Dr. West was named RBJ Campbell Distinguished Professor in 1986 and received the Outstanding Public Service Award in 1980 and 1984. He founded the Black Student Union and Psi Chi/Psychology Club at MTSU (serving as the initial faculty sponsor for each), helped to establish the MTSU Multicultural Affairs Committee and, with others, wrote the initial grant that resulted in the creation of the MTSU Women's Center. Dr. West also founded the Tennessee Association of Specialists in Group Work and the Tennessee High School Teachers of Psychology Association and was the voice of the "Band of Blue"; from 1970 to 1996. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that memorials be made to the W. Beryl West Psychology Scholarship Fund of the MTSU Foundation.

Personnel Changes

Mitzi Brandon (Provost's Office) is the new curriculum specialist in the Provost's Office after serving MTSU with distinction for many years in various capacities, most recently in the Office of Creative and Visual Services (formerly Publications and Graphics). Her new post will include catalog production, computer operations, project management, curriculum management and other areas.

Shannon Hardebeck (mass communication) is the new executive aide in the dean's office in the College of Media and Entertainment. She is a native of middle Tennessee and studied music business at Belmont University and psychology at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. She's been part of the MTSU family since 2008 and will officially begin her new job on Feb. 5.


Dr. Don Hong (mathematical sciences) presented colloquium talks in December at Ningbo University, Hunan Normal University and North China University of Technology.

Drs. Alanna L. Neely and Cliff Ricketts (agribusiness and agriscience) presented "Dual Credit: Enhancing Image, Improving Post-Secondary Transition and Coaching Students to Enter College Efficiently and Effectively,"; "The Relationship Between Leadership Styles, Personality Types, Communication Style, Learning Style and Career Choices"; and "Taking Agricultural Mechanics to Its Highest Level by Incorporating Inquiry-Based Instruction to Teach Alternative Fuel Research"; at the National Association of Agricultural Educators/Association for Career and Technical Education Convention held Nov. 30-Dec. 4 in Las Vegas. On Sept. 21 at the Ninth Annual Tennessee Educational LEADership Conference in Nashville, Neely and Dr. Warren Gill (ABAS) presented "Incorporating College Success Techniques into a Dual-Credit Course Curriculum: Coaching Students on How to Enter College Efficiently and Effectively from the First Day.";

Dr. Dennis Walsh (mathematical sciences) presented a talk, "Tic-Tac-Toe with Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe,"; at the Mathematics of Games and Puzzles session of the annual Joint Mathematics Meetings in New Orleans on Jan. 6.


Dr. Don Hong (mathematical sciences) recently published two papers: "Triangulation-based method for constructing molecular surfaces"; with Wenjun Huang and Huanwen Liu (University of Guangxi Nationalities, China) for the 2010 Second International Conference on Multimedia and Computational Intelligence in Wuhan, China (Sept. 29-30, 2010, pp. 423-426) and "Mathematical Tools and Statistical Techniques for Proteomic Data Mining"; with Shiyin Qin (Beihang University) and Fengqing Zhang (Northwestern University) in the International Journal of Mathematics and Computer Science, 5 (2010), No. 2, 123-140.

Gina Logue (Office of News and Media Relations) wrote "The Quest to Heal Others,"; a profile of U.S. Military Academy cadet Alexandra Rosenberg, for the Winter 2010 awards edition of Phi Kappa Phi Forum.

Professor Shelley C. Moore (nursing) and Nancy J. Wells (Vanderbilt University) published "Staff Nurses Lead the Way for Improvement to Shared Governance Structure"; in the Journal of Nursing Administration, November 2010, Vol. 40, Iss. 11; pg. 477.

Dr. Jeffrey Walck (biology) recently published a paper, "Understanding the germination of bulbils from an ecological perspective: a case study on Chinese yam (Dioscorea polystachya),"; in the international journal Annals of Botany.

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Campus Calendar: Jan. 31-Feb. 13, 2011

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

TV Schedule: "MTSU Out of the Blue";
Cable Channel 9: Monday-Sunday, 7 a.m., 5 p.m.
NewsChannel 5+ (Comcast 250): 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
Feb. 2: Women's Basketball vs. Louisiana-Monroe, 7 p.m.
Feb. 3: Mardi Gras Night—Men's Basketball vs. Louisiana-Monroe, 7 p.m.
Feb. 5: Track and Cross Country Middle Tennessee Invitational; "Coaches vs. Cancer"; South Alabama Basketball Doubleheader—Men, 3 p.m.; Women, 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 6: Women's Tennis vs. UT-Martin, 1 p.m. (Nashboro Village)
Feb. 12: Track and Cross Country MT Valentine Invitational, 11 a.m.; " Learning Circle Honor Roll Day"; FIU Basketball Doubleheader—Men, 4:30 p.m.; Women, 7 p.m.
Feb. 13: MTSU Softball vs. Murray State, 1 p.m.
For information, visit .

Through Feb. 10
"12"; X 12";: A National Juried Exhibition of Small Scale Works of Art";

8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Todd Gallery
For information, contact: 615-898-5653.

Monday, Jan. 31
Spring Honors Lecture Series: Dr. Brad Bartel, "The Mother-Goddess Figurine Problem of the European Paleolithic";
3 p.m., Room 106, Honors Amphitheatre
For information, visit or contact: 615-898-2152.

Stones River Chamber Players, "Happy Anniversary 2011!";
7:30 p.m., Hinton Music Hall
For information, visit or contact: 615-898-2493.

Tuesday, Feb. 1
Black History Month: Campus Sing

Noon, Keathley University Center Theater
For information, contact: 615-898-2831.

Black History Month: Dr. Carter G. Woodson Display
11 a.m.-1 p.m., KUC second floor
For information, contact: 615-898-2831.

Black History Month: Keith Craig Musical Medley
5-6 p.m., Wright Music Hall
For information, contact: 615-898-2831.

Wednesday, Feb. 2
38th Annual Groundhog Day Luncheon for MTSU Baseball

11:30 a.m., Tennessee Room, James Union Building
Tickets: $20 per person
For information, contact: 615-898-2103.

Thursday, Feb. 3
Black History Month: Annual Unity Luncheon

Keynote speaker: Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings
11 a.m., Tennessee Room, JUB
Admission: $20 adults, $10 students
For information, contact: 615-898-2591.

Thursday, Feb. 3
Black History Month: Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings, "Campus and Community Collaboration";

6 p.m., Tennessee Room, JUB
For information, contact: 615-898-2831.

Friday, Feb. 4
First Friday Star Party: Guest Speaker Santos Lopez, "Debunking Apocalypse 2012";

6:30 p.m. lecture, Room 102, Wiser-Patten Science Building; followed by telescope viewing at the MTSU Observatory
For information, contact: 615-898-5946 or 898-2483.

MTSU Wind Ensemble
8 p.m., Hinton Music Hall
For information, visit .

Sunday, Feb. 6
Faculty Voice Recital: Amanda King

7 p.m., Hinton Music Hall
For information, visit .

Monday, Feb. 7
TIAA-CREF Employee Financial Counseling Sessions

To schedule an appointment, contact: 800-732-8353.

Association of Secretarial and Clerical Employees Blood Drive
10 a.m.-4 p.m., KUC 322
To make an appointment, visit .

Spring Honors Lecture Series: Dr. Saeed Foroudastan, "Experimental Vehicles: Innovation and Creativity in Engineering";
3 p.m., HONR 106
For information, visit .

Guest Recital: "Visions of America: Music of Paul Osterfield"; featuring Michael Jorgensen, violin, and Caleb Harris, piano
8 p.m., Hinton Music Hall
For information, visit .

Tuesday, Feb. 8
Black History Month: "QUESDay,"; Omega Psi Phis in the Military Display

11 a.m.-1 p.m., KUC second floor
For information, contact: 615-898-2831.

Tornado Siren Test Date
(no action needed)
12:20 p.m., campuswide
For information, contact: 615-898-2424.

Black History Month Step Off
7 p.m., Tom Jackson Building
For information, email

Distinguished Lecture: Dr. Jhon C. Akers, "Carl Sandburg and the Spanish Guitar";
7:30 p.m., State Farm Lecture Hall (Room S102), Business and Aerospace Building
For information, contact: 615-898-2004 or 898-5623.

Thursday, Feb. 10
Retired Faculty/Staff Coffee

9:30 a.m., Foundation House
For information, contact: 615-898-2922.

Friday, Feb. 11
Deadline for 2011 Special Project Grant Applications

For details on special project grant funding applications, please visit the Development Office website

Saturday, Feb. 12
Faculty Quartet: Joseph Walker, piano; Jessica Dunnavant, flute; Amanda King, soprano; Tanya Lawson, clarinet
8 p.m., Hinton Music Hall
For information, visit .

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