The Record, March 28, 2011, V19.18

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Scholars Week is April 4-8

by Randy Weiler

MTSU's growing research initiatives will be touted during the annual Scholars Week, which will be held Monday, April 4, through Friday, April 8, across campus.

Oral and multimedia presentations, posters, performances, a kickoff luncheon, demonstrations and special speakers will lead to the Universitywide Exposition from 12:40 until 2:45 p.m. April 8 on the track level of Murphy Center.

Each of MTSU's colleges will have its own Scholars Day of events during the week. The Jennings A. Jones College of Business will celebrate on April 4, while the Colleges of Basic and Applied Sciences and Behavioral and Health Sciences will be the focus on April 5. The College of Liberal Arts Scholars Day is April 6, and the Colleges of Mass Communication and Education will share April 7 as Scholars Day.

"Scholars Week is a celebration of excellence at MTSU and is designed to highlight the core values of quality research by our students and faculty," said Dr. Brad Bartel, provost and executive chair of the 15-member Scholars Week Committee. "It is a signature event for our institution."

Author and blogger Meghan McCain, daughter of U.S. Sen. John McCain and his wife, Cindy, will speak during the College of Liberal Arts Day on Wednesday, April 6.

"A Conversation with Meghan McCain" will start at 7 p.m. in Room 241 of the Ned McWherter Learning Resources Center. A book signing will follow her talk.

Examples of the many planned Scholars Week activities include:

  • thematic project presentations from interior-design classes and theatre-scene design classes;
  • presentations from Concrete Industry Management Program students being mentored on industry and academic partnerships and from graduate student Lauren Ingram and human-sciences faculty mentor Dr. Sandra Poirier on undergraduates' work with students in an after-school program at Patterson Community Center in Murfreesboro;
  • a report on the "Effect of Using Coping Skills and Exercise on Changes in Stress and Energy Among Police Officers" from Chris Dickson, a graduate student in the Department of Health and Human Performance, psychology professor Dr. Thomas Brinthaupt and HHP professor Dr. Mark Anshel;
  • showcases of the Department of Engineering Technology's student experimental vehicles on April 5 outside the Keathley University Center and on April 8 at Murphy Center, led by ET grad student Bahir Alkadhimi and Dr. Saeed Foroudastan, mentor and CBAS associate dean; and
  • a project by economics and finance major Evan Totty and faculty mentor Dr. Mark Owens, "Salary Caps and Competitive Balance in Professional Sports," which looks at the issue in light of U.S. sports and addresses whether Major League Baseball should adopt a salary cap, too.

For a complete schedule of Scholars Week events, visit .

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MTSU lends a hand to Japanese neighbors

by Gina K. Logue

From the moment the ground began to shift beneath the Japanese people on March 11, the MTSU community began reaching across the Pacific in both directions.

The temblor set in motion a deadly tripartite catastrophe—the quake itself, the massive tsunami created by the quake and radiation emissions following fires and explosions at a nuclear facility in Fukushima. Rhonda Waller, director of MTSU Education Abroad and Student Exchange, said she went to her computer immediately upon hearing the news.

"I use Facebook, and it was remarkably effective in getting hold of students," Waller said.

"Even if I didn't have a one-to-one interaction with them, I could go to their (Facebook) walls. And most of them, by the time I was looking, had posted a message saying, 'Hey, this is going out to my friends and family. Don't worry about me. I'm OK.'"

Waller said nine MTSU students were in Japan at the time of the quake. Most have been studying at Kansai Gaidai University, Nagoya Gakuin University, Saitama University and Seinan Gakuin University, MTSU's institutional partners. Of those, Saitama is closest to the quake's epicenter.

MTSU, like education-abroad colleagues at other U.S. universities, began urging its students on March 17 to make immediate plans to return to the United States.

Students in MTSU's Department of Foreign Languages and Literature began collecting cash donations March 23 and 24 around the Keathley University Center and Walker Library for the American Red Cross disaster-relief efforts in Japan. The fundraising effort, called "GENKI for Japan," was scheduled to continue March 28 and 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the same locations. ("Genki" means "vigor and energy," according to Dr. Priya Anath, one of the professors organizing the efforts.)

Megan Erickson of Thompson's Station, Tenn., a sophomore in MTSU's Global Studies Program, was at Saitama when the quake occurred.

"Almost all the international students … at Saitama … have independently chosen to evacuate themselves from the area and move to the Kansai (western) region of Japan or fly out to their homelands," she said in an email.

Joe Plante, a junior international-relations major from La Vergne, was studying in Tokyo, where there was less damage.

"People are still going to work and still doing their daily things," he said. "There is a little apprehension about even the smallest of tremors now, though. Despite that, I don't feel at all unsafe being here."

Another junior international-relations major, Nathan Ives of Franklin, has been studying at Nagoya Gakuin.

"I, for one, am determined to weather the storm with the Japanese," he wrote in an email. "If they deem it safe for them to continue, I must, as well. In Japanese, there is a phrase, 'gamman suru.' It basically means 'to persist through hard times.'"

Eight Japanese students are enrolled at MTSU, where they are keeping tabs on the calamity while trying to concentrate on their classes.

Dr. Kiyoshi Kawahito, who has been the catalyst for solidifying MTSU's strong ties to Japan for the last 30 years, was at a conference in Tokyo when the shaking began.

"It was the biggest earthquake I had experienced in my life," said Kawahito, professor emeritus of economics and finance and adviser to the president and provost for Asian affairs. He returned to the United States on March 14.

"I walked more than one hour to get back to my hotel. All trains stopped running immediately, and inspection by respective railway systems started. By 9 p.m., some of the subway lines started running, partially."

Reporters on the scene continued to marvel at the relative absence of looting and the relative calm that people in Japan are exhibiting under such extreme stress.

"Japanese people are drilled frequently for earthquakes in schools and offices," Kawahito offered as explanation. "They stayed cool, patient and cheerful … People helped each other. For example, hotels offered any available space for staying overnight on a cold and windy night."

Dr. David A. Schmidt, who will become MTSU's vice provost for international affairs on April 1, was born and reared in Japan and is closely watching the nation's struggle.

"(Its) history is one of resilience and acceptance of natural calamities," said Schmidt, who now lives in Stockton, Calif. "I am certain they will maintain their poise and dignity as they mourn during the aftermath and rebuild during the next few months and years."

Erickson added, "As I passed by the president of Saitama University, we bowed to each other in greeting, and, after making sure I was all right, he said in English, 'We are tough!' I believe his words. Japan is a strong nation, even after an earthquake brings it down. Japan will rise up once more."

HELPING HAND—A member of one of the first Japanese Red Cross Society teams to enter a town devastated by the March 11 tsunami radios for JRCS medical assistance. MTSU students are collecting donations in a fundraiser called "GENKI for Japan" to aid the American Red Cross disaster-relief efforts.

Photo by Toshiharu Kato/Japanese Red Cross Society, via the American Red Cross

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Professional training

ONE CHANCE FOR FIRST IMPRESSIONS—MTSU School of Agriculture students participate in the third annual Ag Career Day on March 16, starting with a Farm Credit Services-sponsored Career Fair Workshop and Etiquette Dinner at B. McNeel's Restaurant in downtown Murfreesboro. Speakers from the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, MTSU Career Development Center and Jennings A. Jones College of Business covered topics from career-fair networking tips to the importance of job-interview dining etiquette.

Shown in the top photo at the restaurant are, clockwise from left, senior animal-science major Jenny Roth, Ashley Searles of event sponsor Farm Credit Services, freshman nursing major Kristen Earnest, senior agribusiness majors Laura Harrington and Andriana Jones and senior animal-science major Kate Willoughby.

Shown below are, clockwise from left, agribusiness major Chad Hardy, animal-science major Barron Russell, criminal-justice administration major Noah Fitzpatrick and agribusiness major Heath Evans, who are all seniors; junior geosciences major Josh Thigpen and senior agribusiness major Blake Warren.

photos submitted

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In Brief: Lecture Fund deadline

Submit applications to MTSU's Distinguished Lecture Fund to bring fall 2011 speakers to campus by Friday, April 15. The Distinguished Lecture Committee wants to promote appearances by nationally and internationally known speakers discussing regional, national and global issues in a variety of fields. Apply online at .

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For the Record: President updates campus safety message

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Midgetts pledge 1st Honors Centennial gift

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New Saudi student group sets JUB cultural-awareness event

MTSU's new Saudi Students Association will serve as host for a special campus event, "Building Bridges," on Friday, April 8, to encourage cultural awareness.

The free public gathering, set from 12:30 to 4 p.m. in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building, features a keynote address from Patrick Ryan, president of the Tennessee World Affairs Council and past president of the Cookeville Breakfast Rotary Club, on Saudi Arabia's history and the Saudi-U.S. relationship.

Also included on the agenda are a photography gallery; discussions on Saudi women, the nation's tourism, economy and foreign investments; entertainment and traditional dancing; and an exhibit and demonstration of the art of henna painting.

"The purpose of this club is to organize, promote and support activities that allow an exchange of cultural, social and sports activities between all its members, the campus and city communities," said Abdullah Alkobraish, an MTSU graduate student currently working toward his master's degree in business administration and a native of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, who is co-founder and president of the new organization.

"The Saudi Students Association wants to help orient the new Saudi students at Middle Tennessee State University and at the English Language School to American culture. In addition, we will serve the Murfreesboro community. We also would like to open our doors for communication and dialogue in order to have a better understanding of each other. We hope our friends here in town will help us to build the bridges and find solid ground for a peaceful world."

The group is encouraging MTSU faculty and staff members to attend the event and to bring their students to learn more about Saudi Arabia, Alkobraish said.

For more information about the event, contact Alkobraish at

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'Dr. G' plans forensic-science lecture in Murphy Center

Dr. Jan Garavaglia, focus of The Discovery Health Channel's award-winning "Dr. G: Medical Examiner" show and a renowned forensic pathologist, will visit MTSU on Tuesday, April 12, as the featured speaker of the William M. Bass Legends in Forensic Science Lectureship.

Sponsored by the Forensic Institute for Research and Education, the lecture series brings respected lecturers in forensic science to MTSU each fall and spring, said Dr. Hugh Berryman, FIRE director.

Garavaglia, more commonly known as "Dr. G" thanks to her show's popularity, will deliver her free public lecture, "Forensic Pathology: Fact and Fiction," at 7 p.m. in Murphy Center.

She is the chief medical examiner for the District Nine (Orange-Osceola) Medical Examiner's Office in Florida. A graduate of the St. Louis University School of Medicine, Garavaglia is a member of the National Association of Medical Examiners and the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Before joining the Florida office, she was a medical examiner at the Bexar County Forensic Science Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Among her prominent criminal investigations are the "Morning Glory Funeral Home" case in Jacksonville, Fla., where bodies were improperly handled and buried at a mortuary, and the Caylee Anthony child-homicide case. She's also the author of How Not to Die, which educates readers to prevent avoidable death.

In addition to FIRE, Garavaglia's campus visit is sponsored by the MTSU Distinguished Lectures Committee; the College of Liberal Arts; the College of Basic and Applied Sciences; MTSU's sociology and anthropology, biology and criminal-justice departments; and Phillips Bookstore.

For more information, contact the FIRE offices at 615-494-7713

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Adding up to success

A GREAT TEAM PLAYER—Tammie Dye, center, an information research technician in the Payroll Services Department of MTSU's Human Resource Services, displays her plaque as the most recent Quarterly Secretarial/Clerical Award winner. Celebrating with Dye are, from left, Joyce Reed and Betty Smithson, members of the Employee Recognition Committee; Payroll Services Supervisor Lisa Jones; and Michelle Blackwell, Employee Recognition Committee chair. The ERC salutes staffers who make outstanding contributions and demonstrate excellence in their roles. Winners of the Employee of the Year Awards also receive cash awards from the MTSU Foundation. To learn more about nominating a co-worker for great job performance, go to the HR website.

MTSU Photographic Services photo by J. Intintoli

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Pitcher turned kid-lit author is conference's big hitter

by Gina K. Logue

Former major-league pitcher Jim Rooker, a member of the 1979 World Series Champion Pittsburgh Pirates, will be the luncheon speaker for the 16th Baseball in Literature and Culture Conference on Friday, April 1, in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building.

The lunch is slated to begin at 12:15 p.m. Rooker's address is scheduled for 12:45 p.m. and will be followed by a book signing.

Rooker, who also pitched for the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals in a career that spanned 12 years from 1968 to 1980, was a member of the Pirates' broadcast team from 1981 to 1993. He also worked as a baseball analyst for ESPN for four years.

Always outspoken, Rooker was compelled to put his money where his mouth was following a game between the Pirates and the Phillies in Philadelphia on June 8, 1989. After Pittsburgh jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first inning, Rooker said, on-air, "If we lose this game, I'll walk home."

Propelled by homers from Von Hayes and Steve Jeltz and Darren Daulton's two-run single, the Phillies came back for a 15-11 victory. True to his word, Rooker conducted a 300-mile walk from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh at season's end, raising more than $100,000 for charity.
Beginning in 2008, Rooker turned his talents to writing children's books. His three published volumes are Matt the Bat, Kitt the Mitt and Paul the Baseball.

"Baseball has been my passion since the time I started playing the game as a child, and it remains that way today, sixty-some years later," Booker writes on his website, . "I hope that the words contained in these books will encourage youngsters everywhere to love the game as I did."

The breakfast speaker for the conference will be Dr. Steven Andrews, associate professor of English at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa. Andrews, who is scheduled to speak at 8:30 a.m., is a distinguished scholar of American studies, and his interest in baseball fiction is a focus within his greater specialization in modern American literature. The topic of Andrews' talk will be "Suicide Squeeze: Immigration and the Art of Stealing Home."

The Baseball in Literature and Culture Conference was held at Indiana State University from 1995 to 2006, and MTSU has hosted the gathering since 2006. In its five years on the Murfreesboro campus, the conference has attracted speakers such as Bill "Spaceman" Lee, Denny McLain, Orestes Destrade, Jim "Mudcat" Grant and Ferguson Jenkins.

Embracing scholarly efforts in all fields except statistical analysis, the conference attracts academics who want to express perspectives on baseball's significant cultural impact in numerous areas, including history, journalism, creative writing, popular media, drama, economics and, of course, literature.

Some of the session topics include "Press-Box Populations and Paradigm Shifts: Practicing Media Relations in a Culture of Media Change," "Black Baseball and the Respectability Project," "Smokey Joe Wood: The Legend That Wouldn't Die" and "Baseball, Ballet and Botox: An Inquiry into the Ethics of Doping."

Members of the MTSU community who are slated to present papers include Drs. Warren Tormey, assistant professor of English; Crosby Hunt, professor of speech and theatre; and Phil Oliver, professor of philosophy; Professor Steven Walker, instructor of English; Dr. Ron Bombardi, chair of the Department of Philosophy; and doctoral student Michael Pagel of Johnson City.

Rooker's address and the conference sessions are free and open to the public. Cost of the luncheon is $10 for MTSU students, faculty, staff, alumni and visitors, but advance reservations are requested.

For information on registration and fees, contact Tormey, the conference coordinator, at 615-904-8585 or, or visit the conference website at .

GETTING PLENTY OF HITS—Former major-league pitcher Jim Rooker of the Pittsburgh Pirates displays the fruit of his second career: children's book author. He'll speak at MTSU's Baseball in Literature and Culture Conference April 1.

photo submitted

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Foster-care struggles are lecture topic

Montreat College professor Dr. Paul Owen will discuss his book, The Long Winter: One Man's Journey Through the Darkness of Foster Care, on Monday, April 4, as part of MTSU's Distinguished Lecture Series.

Owen's free public lecture is scheduled from 3 to 4 p.m. April 4 in Rooms 109/111 of the Cason-Kennedy Nursing Building. A reception is planned in the CKNB lobby after the presentation, and copies of Owen's book will be available.

Owen is a professor of Greek and Bible studies at Montreat, which is located just outside Asheville, N.C. His book details his journey as an orphan through seven foster homes across three states and encourages resilience to overcome difficult challenges.

The lecture is sponsored by MTSU's Division of Student Affairs and the MTSU Distinguished Lecture Fund, the Adams Chair of Excellence in Health Care Services, the Center for Health and Human Services, the MTSU Department of Social Work and the Tennessee Center for Child Welfare.

For more information, contact 615-898-2905.

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Grad student earns award for thesis work

by Tom Tozer

Fengqing "Zoe" Zhang, an MTSU graduate student who is now pursuing her doctorate at Northwestern University, recently received the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools 2011 Master's Thesis Award for work done for her Master of Science degree in mathematics at MTSU.

The CSGS grants only three Master's Thesis Awards each year. The award recognizes clarity of style and presentation, scholarship, research methodology, contributions to the field and innovative use of technology in the content presentation.

"Ms. Zhang's thesis demonstrates that she has excellent skills in both mathematics and statistics," Dr. Michael Allen, dean of MTSU's College of Graduate Studies, said in his nomination letter. "She has made an important contribution to the body of knowledge."

Zhang's thesis, "Multivariate Analysis Methods for IMS (Imaging Mass Spectroscopy) Data Biomarker Selection and Classification," received accolades by reviewers, who called it "cutting-edge" because linking spectroscopy technology and the applied- statistical method is relatively new work.

"This makes her thesis even more impressive," Dr. Peter Cunningham, associate dean of the College of Graduate Studies, said of Zhang's new honor. "It is the type of thing you would expect from an advanced doctoral student. Northwestern recognized that and offered her a fellowship to go there to work on her Ph.D."

In his endorsement letter to the CSGS awards committee, Dr. Don Hong, professor of mathematical sciences at MTSU, noted that from more than a dozen graduate students he's supervised in the last five years, "Zoe is the best student I ever had."

Hong added that when Zhang was an undergraduate student at Beihang University, which is listed as one of China's 15 best colleges and universities, she was ranked third among 92 graduates in her department.

"I am very impressed by her passion for mathematics and statistics as well as her self-motivated learning, study skills and hard-working attitude," Hong noted. "I believe she will do excellent work in both courses and research projects at Northwestern University. She has great potential."

EFFORT PAYS OFF—Fengqing "Zoe" Zhang, left, and Dr. Peter Cunningham, associate dean of the College of Graduate Studies at MTSU, display Zhang's Master's Thesis Award from the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools.

photo courtesy of Dr. Don Hong

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Team prepares for All-East livestock judging

by Randy Weiler

Following its success at livestock-judging competitions earlier this semester, MTSU's Livestock Judging Team will seek more honors at the All-East Contest April 7-9 at Penn State University in State College, Pa.

"You hope you improve in every contest," Coach Jessica Carter said.

"Having competed in Texas and Mississippi already helps us to prepare for the competition in Pennsylvania," added team member Julie Ozburn, a junior majoring in agribusiness at MTSU. "There will be some new (contest) additions, like measuring their fat and how much muscle they have. It helps us to identify a more market-acceptable animal.

"It also helps us to build our skills in public speaking—to speak confidently—and grow in our careers."

In February, Carter's team—composed of sophomores Holly Baggett, Lindsey Hodge, Sarah Norman and Samantha Southard, senior Monica Wilmore and Ozburn—captured a first-place award in the horse division of the Southwestern Exposition National Livestock Judging Contest in Fort Worth, Texas.

They also finished fifth overall in the Dixie National Beef Judging Contest in Jackson, Miss.

"We were surprised we brought home the horse trophy," Carter said. "We were up against some of the top teams in the United States. We often compete against big land-grant schools. One of those schools, Texas Tech, frequently has been national champion the last couple of years."

Carter said the national livestock judging contest will be held in November.

All of the team members are students majoring in the School of Agriculture and also are members of the MTSU Block and Bridle Club.

PICKING WINNERS—MTSU's Livestock Judging Team poses with their recent awards. From left are sophomore agribusiness major Lindsey Hodge, senior animal-science major Monica Wilmore, sophomore animal-science major Sarah Norman, junior agribusiness major Julie Ozburn, sophomore animal-science major Samantha Southard, and team coach Dr. Jessica Carter. Not pictured is sophomore agribusiness major Holly Baggett. The team competes in Pennsylvania next month.

MTSU Photographic Services photo by J. Intintoli

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Blue Raider Battalion golf event set April 14 in Franklin

by Randy Weiler

MTSU's ROTC cadets and Department of Military Science will serve as host for the Blue Raider Battalion Golf Fundraiser on Thursday, April 14, at the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn.

The event, a scramble tournament with four-member teams, will start at 8 a.m.

"We are hoping to have more than 150 golfers participate in the tournament," said MTSU Cadet Justin McQueen. "This is an opportunity for avid golfers to play at a top-100 course in the country at a very low price."

The entry fee for individual golfers is $110 each. Entire foursomes can play for $440. All proceeds will benefit student scholarships for the Blue Raider Battalion.

"The MTSU Blue Raider Battalion is building solid citizens and leaders for the future of the USA," said Leah Hulan, a Blue Raider Battalion alumna and a former Miss Tennessee who owns Grumpy's Bail Bonds, a main event sponsor with the National Guard.

"This program develops the best and brightest Americans who contribute to the glorious tradition of men and women in uniform, providing security for this great land," she said. "We are committed to supporting these young cadets and are giving our all for them. We need you to join us."

Golfers will receive gift bags and an opportunity to participate in an auction to be held throughout the tournament. Breakfast, lunch and an awards' reception will be provided.

Businesses and organizations that sponsor the tournament will receive advertisement as well as many other benefits, depending on sponsorship level, McQueen said.

For more information, call 615-898-2470 or visit the website at .

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New director takes Dyslexia Center helm

by Tom Tozer

Dr. Regina Boulware-Gooden is the new director of the Tennessee Center for the Study and Treatment of Dyslexia at MTSU.

She replaces Dr. Diane J. Sawyer, who retired in May 2010 after 20 years of service to MTSU.

Before coming to MTSU, Boulware-Gooden served for eight years as director of research at Neuhaus Education Center in Houston, Texas, where she established a Master's Reading Specialist program and master's programs with partnership with both Stephen F. Austin State University and Southern Methodist University.

During a three-year hiatus from Neuhaus, she was director of the reading program at the University of St. Thomas, a liberal-arts school in Houston.

"I met Diane Sawyer at some national meetings, and she asked me if I was interested in changing universities," Boulware-Gooden said. "Diane is known throughout the country, and the center is well-known and respected."

The new director added that she had never been to Tennessee and decided to chart new territory by taking the helm at the MTSU center.

Boulware-Gooden explained that one of the center's primary jobs is assessing students who may have dyslexia. She said research indicates that 20 to 25 percent of the students sitting in classrooms across the nation are dyslexic.

"A lot of kids are struggling," she said. "They don't know why, and their parents don't know why. And a lot of teachers aren't trained in identifying dyslexia."

Dyslexia is a neurological disorder that affects the decoding of written text, Boulware-Gooden pointed out. It doesn't involve comprehension; students with dyslexia can understand the spoken word but are unable to fully understand information from the printed page.

"They know they are not performing up to their peers, so they start getting frustrated," she said. "It hurts their self-esteem. Teachers are becoming more aware of it and are identifying it earlier."

The center staff helps train MTSU's school-psychology students to identify dyslexia and trains graduate assistants to assist with the testing in schools.

"We want to streamline the testing procedures and report-writing so that we can get students through the center faster," Boulware-Gooden said. "We certainly are identifying [symptoms of dyslexia] more now."

Boulware-Gooden says she also wants to sponsor more workshops for teachers and parents, noting that parents need to ask questions, learn strategies and find the role they can play in helping their children.

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Health Fair planned for KUC on April 7

The MTSU School of Nursing will host its annual MTSU Health Fair on all three floors of the Keathley University Center, on Thursday, April 7.

The 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. event will feature health-related giveaways and free health screenings from a variety of vendors, said Christina N. Moore, president of the MTSU Student Nurses Association. The screenings will include tests for hearing, speech and vision, blood pressure, body-mass index, blood glucose, bone marrow and HIV, he added.

The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive that day in KUC 322.

Other resource providers include the Vanderbilt Student Community Health Coalition, American Heart Association, Nashville CARES, Eating Disorders Coalition of Tennessee, The Women's Center and the Murfreesboro Police Department.

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People Around Campus: MTSU student anchors national sports program

by Gina K. Logue

Each time Sarah Fryar takes to the airwaves, she reaffirms the value of hands-on experience by students preparing for challenging, fast-paced careers.

The senior from McMinnville is the anchor for "Athlon Sports Weekly Update," which is recorded at MTSU. The short recap of the week's top sports stories was launched in October in conjunction with the debut of Athlon Sports inserts, which are now featured in nearly 500 newspapers across the country.

Nashville-based Athlon is best known for its seasonal preview magazines of professional and major college sports. The company's game plan for "Weekly Update" is to offer the video to the newspapers that carry Athlon Sports, enabling local publications to have a stronger multimedia presence on their websites.

"One minute, I had no idea what my next thing was going to be, and the next minute, I had an internship and a very promising future with the company," Fryar says of her unique part-time job.

Journalism is in Fryar's DNA. Her father, Ron Fryar, is the publisher of The Murfreesboro Post and owner/publisher of Woodbury's local newspaper, the Cannon Courier. But the younger Fryar says her nose for news always led her toward sports journalism, a field that is still trying to play catch-up in its acceptance of women.

An admirer of ESPN's Erin Andrews, Fryar says she also respects that network's Rachel Nichols, along with Pam Oliver of Fox and Tracy Wolfson of CBS. She is equally critical, however, of stations and networks that hire female sports reporters more for their "hotness quotient" than their knowledge and professionalism.

"I am prepared each and every day to meet some guy that … tells me I'm 'just a girl' and I don't know what I'm doing," Fryar says. "And I say, 'Fine! Watch me!'"

Jerry Lyles, Athlon's senior vice president of newspaper relations, says the company's goal is to hire Fryar full-time when she graduates.

"She's very conscientious, " Lyles says. " She does not need a lot of guidance. She's competent, creative and a good writer. It's amazing, because you don't expect to get the complete package from a 21-year-old still in college."

Fryar writes her own scripts, and she also has experience behind the scenes. She says that gives her a necessary insight that results in great respect for producer Kurt Mullen, a senior majoring in electronic media communication, and the other MTSU students who gather at 9:30 p.m. each Monday to record another program.

"My parents always told me, 'When you get your license, you're going to learn to drive a stick shift before you drive an automatic,'" Fryar says. "I have that exact same opinion about broadcasting. You need to know how to do everything behind the scenes before you go in front of the camera so you know how everything works."

Lyles says the partnership between Athlon and MTSU allows his company to avoid costly production expenses while providing future broadcasters with a preview of their profession.

"I was surprised with the quality of the product the students put out, and the level of quality has increased," says Lyles. "We would like to continue to work with MTSU to help them get some good career experience that will help them down the road. Hopefully, some of them will be with us when they graduate."

MAKING NEWS—"Athlon Sports Weekly Update" anchor Sarah Fryar, a senior majoring in electronic media communication, works on a show in MTSU's TV studio.

photo courtesy of Athlon Sports

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The Big Event

(Click the graphic above for more information!)

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Faculty/Staff Update


Dr. Hugh Berryman (sociology and anthropology, Forensic Institute for Research and Education) recently learned that he will receive the 2012 T. Dale Stewart Award for lifetime achievement in physical anthropology from the American Academy for Forensic Sciences. The T. Dale Stewart Award, given annually to a single recipient, is the highest honor bestowed upon a forensic anthropologist in the United States. The formal award presentation will be made at the AAFS annual meeting next February in Atlanta.


Dr. Marisa Richmond (history) and Professor Gracie Porter (elementary and special education) were elected as at-large directors on the 2011 board of Davidson County Democratic Women.


Dr. Arunesh Nadgir (music) was a featured performer in a live video webcast, "A Global Piano and Literary Salon: Beyond Bollywood," on WNYC's "The Greene Space" on Feb. 24.


Dr. Sonja Hedgepeth (foreign languages and literature), co-editor of Sexual Violence Against Jewish Women During the Holocaust (University Press of New England/Brandeis University Press), has been on a book tour that included stops in New York City at the Anne Frank Center, The Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum and the CUNY Graduate Center. She was a panelist at the Sackler Center on March 20 for "Sexual Violence During the Holocaust and Other Genocides," a discussion moderated by Gloria Steinem, and she participated in a March 21 seminar at the CUNY Graduate Center that featured co-editor Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel, acclaimed Israeli novelist Nava Semel and Dr. Eva Fogelman, a psychologist and author of one of the book chapters.

Dr. Jeffrey Walck (biology), along with his Japanese colleagues, recently published a paper in The American Journal of Botany on "Seed dormancy in Trillium camschatcense (Melanthiaceae) and the possible roles of light and temperature requirements for seed germination in forests."

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Campus Calendar: March 28-April 10, 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 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
March 29-30: MTSU Softball vs. Florida Atlantic
(4 p.m. and 1 p.m.)
March 31: Men's Tennis vs. DePaul, 2 p.m.
April 1-3: MTSU Baseball vs. South Alabama (6, 4 and 1 p.m.)
April 2-3: Men's Tennis Sun Belt Shootout; MTSU Softball vs. South Alabama (1 p.m. and noon)
April 3: Women's Tennis vs. University of Alabama-Birmingham, 1 p.m.
April 5: MTSU Softball vs. Lipscomb, 5 p.m.
April 6: MTSU Baseball vs. Austin Peay, 6 p.m.
For information, visit .

Monday, March 28
TIAA-CREF Employee Financial Counseling Sessions

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

Spring Honors Lecture Series: Dr. John R. Vile, "The Fourth Amendment: The Search for Reasonableness"
3 p.m., Room 106, Honors Amphitheatre
For information, visit the Honors College website or contact: 615-898-2152.

March 29-April 7
Bachelor of Fine Arts Candidates' Exhibition: Studio 2

8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Todd Gallery (opening reception 6:30-8:30 p.m. Monday, March 28)
For information, visit or contact: 615-898-5653.

March 30-April 2 and April 6-9
MTSU Theatre: "Rent"

7:30 nightly, Tucker Theatre
Admission: $10 adults; $5 MTSU faculty, staff and K-12 students; MTSU students admitted free with valid ID
For information, visit the Tucker Theatre website or contact: 615-494-8810.

Wednesday, March 30
Guest and Faculty Recital: Meredith Blecha, cello, and Arunesh Nadgir, piano

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

Thursday, March 31
MTSU Jazz Combos

7:30 p.m., Hinton Music Hall
For information, visit .

Friday, April 1
First Friday Star Party: Special Guest Charlie Warren, "Astronomy Down Under"

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

Smith Studio April Fools' Concert
8 p.m., Hinton Music Hall
For information, visit .

Saturday, April 2
Clavierfest Final Concert
7 p.m., Hinton Music Hall
For information, visit .

April 4-5
American Association of University Women Book Sale

11 a.m.-2 p.m., first floor, Keathley University Center
For information, contact:

April 4-8
Scholars' Week

For information, visit .

Monday, April 4
Spring Honors Lecture Series: Dr. Phil Mathis, "From Empirical Science to Poetry and Prose"

3 p.m., HONR 106
For information, visit the Honors College website.

Stones River Chamber Players Present "Happy Anniversary, MTSU!"
7:30 p.m., Hinton Music Hall
For information, visit .

Wednesday, April 6
Off-Campus Housing Fair

11 a.m.-2 p.m., KUC Knoll (rain site: KUC second floor)
For information, contact: 615-898-5989.

Scholars Week/SpringOUT Keynote Speaker: Meghan McCain
7-8 p.m., Room 221, McWherter Learning Resources Center
For information, visit or contact: 615-898-5489.

Thursday, April 7
Women's and Gender Studies Research Series: Dr. Nancy Rupprecht, "When Civil War is Waged by Women"

3-4 p.m., Room 100, James Union Building
For information, contact:

Guest Piano Recital: Henning Vauth
6 p.m., Hinton Music Hall

Composers Recital of Electroacoustic and Acoustic Music: Stephen Gorbos and Spencer Lambright
8 p.m., Hinton Music Hall
For information, visit .

Sunday, April 10
String Studio Extravaganza

3 and 5 p.m., Hinton Music Hall

Brass Chamber Ensembles
7 p.m., Hinton Music Hall
For information, visit .

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