The Record, April 25, 2011, V19.20

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Byrnes is new dean of College of Liberal Arts

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Commencement '11: Senior 'just never looked back'

by Laura Beth Jackson

College graduation represents the end of a long journey for every student, but for Mimi Liu, it is the finish line of a marathon.

"I am a woman with a goal," Liu says. " I wrote down what I wanted to do. By the age of 40, I wanted to run a marathon or graduate college, whichever came first."

This spring, she will accomplish both. She plans to run the Country Music Marathon on April 30 and then, on May 7, receive her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from MTSU.

Liu also will be the first woman in her family to earn a college degree. Her mother, Pong, never learned to read or write but made it possible for her daughter to get an education.

When Liu was 11, Pong escaped Laos with her daughter and two older children. They had discovered that Liu's father, who had been missing for three years, had been killed in a Communist prison camp.

"That was when my mother had had enough," Liu recalls. "She said, 'Okay, we're going.' She wanted to make a better life for us."

With other refugees, Liu and her family crossed the Mekong River on a rowboat in the middle of the night. Upon arriving in Thailand, they surrendered to police, who took them to refugee camps.

After living in refugee camps for three years, the United Nations permitted Liu's family to move to California, where she enrolled in Huntington Beach High School in Orange County. Despite knowing little English, Liu excelled and graduated in four years.

At age 20, Liu moved to Tennessee and began working for Nissan North America in 1998. She entered their employee-tuition program in 2001 and enrolled at MTSU. She married and had two daughters, and for nine years, she juggled third-shift work, school and family.

"Everyone said, 'Mimi, I couldn't do it like you,'" she says, "but I just never looked back. My mother said, 'Always get your education.' And I wanted to do it for her."

In 2009, Liu left Nissan to complete her degree and pursue internship opportunities before graduation. This spring, she completed an internship with the Membership Department at the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce.

"I want to thank my [MTSU] adviser, Dr. Robert Blair, my neighbor and teacher Ms. Jean Wilson and Mrs. Kelli Beam at the Chamber of Commerce," Liu says. "I have grown up so much there."

As she nears completion of two of her greatest life goals, however, Liu thinks most of her mother, who passed away more than 10 years ago. On commencement day, Liu knows her No. 1 fan will be there.

"At my high-school graduation, my mom was screaming my name," Liu says. "I know she'll be there (on May 7) too."

Laura Beth Jackson, a 2005 alumna of MTSU, is the community-relations specialist for the Business Education Partnership Foundation at the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts degree in English at MTSU.

ON THE JOB—MTSU alumna-to-be Mimi Liu, center, stands with two of her colleagues at the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce. At left is Kelli Beam, director of membership, and at right is Nicole Samples, membership account executive.

photo submitted

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MTSU started as a 'normal school'

by Sydney Warneke

What is a "normal school"? As we move further into 2011, the entire University community will be celebrating MTSU's 100th birthday.

Despite the current "university" status of the school, however, MTSU was not always a four-year institution. It actually began as something known as a "normal school," more commonly known as a teaching school.

The idea of the normal school is believed to be derived from the French, who had the first school used to educate and train teachers in Paris. Most of those would go on to teach in the elementary or primary grades.

The late Dr. Homer Pittard, longtime education professor and Rutherford County historian, documented how Middle Tennessee Normal School was conceived and inaugurated in his book The First Fifty Years: Middle Tennessee State College 1911-1961.

"Strong men in the past, usually in solo roles, had made vigorous attempts to provide systematic training programs at state expense, but these generally were cries in the wilderness as consecutive legislatures turned deaf ears and calmly tightened the rawhide purse strings," Pittard wrote of pre-20th-century efforts to educate teachers.

MTSU's history goes back to the Congressional Land Grant of 1806, which set aside portions of the revenue from sales of uninhabited land to finance two universities in Tennessee. Unfortunately, due to the large number of people "squatting" on the land and refusing to leave, the legislature was eventually forced to abandon this plan.

In 1855, Robert Hatton, a legislator from Wilson County, introduced a bill in the Tennessee House of Representatives that called for the creation of a normal school in Lebanon.

"The provisions of the act were so revolutionary for the times that the representatives sat in shocked silence as Hatton presented his petition," Pittard noted. The reason: Hatton's bill not only allotted $50,000 for grounds and plants, it called for free tuition and textbooks for all students as well.

The efforts would be delayed again and again until 1909, when prospective locations finally were examined for three normal-school locations, one in each of Tennessee's three grand divisions. On Nov. 30, 1909, it was decided that Middle Tennessee Normal School would be located in Murfreesboro.

A number of architects bid for the contracts, and C. K. Colley and George W. Moore and Son of Nashville won out. Construction at the site began almost immediately, and Middle Tennessee Normal was the first of the three institutions to be completed.

On Nov. 10, 1910, Robert Lee Jones was chosen as the first president of Middle Tennessee State Normal School. The first faculty members were chosen, and the school opened on Sept. 11, 1911, as a two-year program with an enrollment of 125 students in four buildings on 100 acres.

"The impact of this first faculty on the minds of the students of those early years was indeed remarkable," Pittard wrote. "After 50 years, many of those who sat at the feet of these early teachers recall with a minimum of difficulty vivid personal descriptions, illustrative stories and the little eccentricities that humanize but seldom diminish the stature of an instructional staff."

Pittard's words are echoed in the statements of early students, archived in the Albert Gore Research Center's Middle Tennessee Oral History Project.

"I had a special regard for Middle Tennessee Normal; I loved it as my school, my alma mater. I thought it was a good place for young people to learn how to become teachers," said Lowell Bogle, a student from 1916 to 1918.

Katherine Holden (1935-1940) said, "We were the Demonstration School, so the student teachers could demonstrate on us. We learned French songs. We had a garden. It made an impression on me."

Mildred Dark, a student from 1928 to 1929, recalled her experience at the Normal School in the Murfree Society:

"[The Murfree Society] was a girls' sorority. They did not call it a sorority, but there was no one but girls in it. We had programs and reports on different subjects. We promoted our interests. I do not remember that we were politically minded, but we were conscious of women's position in society."

The Normal School became a four-year teachers' college in 1925, offering a Bachelor of Science degree. In 1935, it added the Bachelor of Arts degree, and in 1943, the Tennessee General Assembly designated it as Middle Tennessee State Teachers College.

While in certain aspects Middle Tennessee Normal School was similar to MTSU today, some aspects of student life were quite different. Today's common complaint is parking, but it never affected Normal School students.

"When we were in school, they only had a few faculty automobiles," said Madison Dill, a student from 1936 to 1940. "We never had any trouble with parking, because mostly we had bicycles, or people walked. The first automobile the students had that we can remember was the one that Coach (Charles M. "Bubber") Murphy got when he was in school."

"I had to drive a horse hitched to a buggy because we didn't have cars then," added Cornelia Davidson, a student from 1917 to 1920.

Almost every college student can relate to antics in the dormitories on campus, regardless of the century. Anne Lokey (1936-40) shared a story of just that nature:

"I was celebrating one of my birthdays. We had planned to cook sausage at midnight when the house mother would be asleep. We had cold drinks, and just as we were having a good time warming the sausages on a hot plate, a girl on the second floor had a severe pain. They had to call a doctor. She had appendicitis … (and) we got caught."

MTSU began as Middle Tennessee Normal School, a place to raise new crops of teachers. From one of three small state schools with 125 students on 100 acres to Tennessee's largest undergraduate institution with more than 26,400 students on 500-plus acres, MTSU still has the same goal 100 years later: to raise new crops of educated citizens.

Thanks to the Albert Gore Research Center for access to its Middle Tennessee Oral History Project, located in the Todd Building on campus and online at Thanks also to Dr. Pittard's book, published in 1961 by Courier Printing.

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In Brief: Rock for Writing Center

Join MTSU's University Writing Center on Wednesday, April 27, for the 2011 UWC Benefit Rock Show! The event is scheduled for 6 to 11 p.m. at Good Time Charlie's at 450 Butler Drive in Murfreesboro. A $5-per-person donation will benefit the Writing Center's outreach program. For more information, contact Emily James at or call 615-904-8237.

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MTSU Centennial 1911-2011: It's the don't-miss event of the century!

It's an event 100 years in the making, a can't-miss, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—the MTSU Blue Tie Centennial Gala! The 100-year "Traditions of Excellence" event will be held Friday, Sept. 9.

A 6 p.m. reception will be followed by a 7:30 p.m. dinner and dancing at the Embassy Suites Murfreesboro Hotel and Conference Center.

"The Blue Tie Gala will be an exquisite event worthy of honoring such a monumental occasion as 100 years of excellence in education," said Michelle Stepp, associate director of alumni relations. "MTSU family and friends will come together in celebration while commemorating their place in MTSU's history and seeing the University into the next 100 years."

"We have been planning, sorting, listing, pulling people together," added Hanna Witherspoon, a fellow gala-committee member and an alumna of the MTSU Class of 1964.

"We are anticipating this will be a once-in-a-lifetime event that you can't afford to miss. It will be a really exciting time, an event to commemorate the contributions of alumni to this state, the nation and the world."

The celebration of "refined elegance with blue-and-white grandeur" will feature a dinner with "dual entrées, an extra-special dessert and other desserts, too," Stepp noted.

The MTSU School of Music will provide entertainment for the reception and dinner. Super T and the Tyler Smith Revue will provide dance music and surprises, and a wine reception and cash bar will be part of the festivities.

Bob Lamb (B.S. '69, M.S. '77), who serves as chair of the all-inclusive Centennial Committee, said organizers have been "working diligently" for the last 21 months to prepare for the historic occasion.

"An event of this magnitude and importance requires careful and thoughtful coordination to ensure that it will be a memorable occasion for our University family," Lamb said. "I dearly appreciate the commitment and efforts of all the committee members who give freely of their time to help ensure that this celebration will be worthy of 'Tennessee's Best' University."

The cost to attend is $125 per person, and 10 people will be seated per table. MTSU employees may reserve their spots through payroll deduction, and table sponsorships are available.

Reservations can be made by contacting the Office of Alumni Relations at 800-533-6878, going online to or by mailing a check payable to MTSU with a Blue Tie Gala form to MTSU Alumni Relations, Box 104, Murfreesboro, Tenn., 37132.

For more information, email Stepp at

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10 McNair Scholars make presentations on international trip

by Randy Weiler

Ten McNair Scholars experienced a rare and special opportunity during their recent spring break, when they visited three cities in India.

While being tourists and exploring archaeological and historical sites such as the Taj Mahal, the McNair students also "continued our Ambassador Program in presenting research internationally" at SRM University in Chennai, said Monique Richard, a McNair staff member.

The students—sociology major Felicia Brown, history major Lindsay Gates, history major Jonathan Gilliam, aerospace major Amber Gray, economics major Matt Hampton, biochemistry major Michael Harris, history major Petra Morkel, mathematics major Paige Stubbs, social-work major Laurence Tumpag and sociology major Kamryn Warren—presented their 2010 summer research to students in an SRMU aerospace class.

Richard said the research presentations included aerospace, Hispanic health, economics, social sciences, history and dance.

"We were building a rapport for continuing a relationship between MTSU and SRM," she added. "We have one student, Lindsay Gates, who is considering continuing her education at SRM and living in India as well."

Richard said the students found the trip "eye-opening in regard to culture, living conditions and population," adding that more than 8 million people live in metropolitan Chennai, the capital of the Tamil Nadu state on India's southeast coast. "It was a good overall experience. The Indians are very endearing, accommodating and friendly."

McNair Program Assistant Director Steve Saunders led the trip.

"We couldn't have done all this without significant support from the MTSU community," Saunders said. "I especially would like to thank the Division of Academic Affairs, the Office of International Education, Study Abroad, the Undergraduate Research Experience and Creative Activity Initiative and the Student Government Association for their financial help. Our director, Dr. Diane Miller, was instrumental in enlisting them as partners."

Miller guides the McNair program, which focuses on undergraduate research to encourage college students to earn doctoral degrees.

Saunders added that he wanted to thank Dr. Shelley Thomas, associate professor of foreign languages and literatures, who "helped make the connection to SRM University in the first place."

The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, named in honor of the late Challenger space-shuttle astronaut, assists first-generation and racially underrepresented undergraduate students to prepare for and succeed in graduate school. For more information about the McNair program, visit the office in Room 103 of the Midgett Building, email Richard at or contact Saunders at 615-904-8462 or

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION—MTSU McNair Scholars stop for a group photo during a visit to the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. Seated on the front row are, from left, Matt Hampton, Paige Stubbs, McNair staffer Monique Richard, Amber Gray and Michael Harris; standing are, from left, Petra Markel, Jonathan Gilliam, McNair Assistant Director Steve Saunders, Kamryn Warren, Felicia Brown, Laurence Tumpag and Lindsay Gates.

photo submitted

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Alumnus, now at CNN, says internships are jobs key

by Sydney Warneke

Jeffery Reid, executive producer for CNN's documentary unit and an MTSU alumnus, planned to be on campus Friday, April 22, for the College of Media and Entertainment's annual awards ceremony.

Added to the college's Wall of Fame in 2010, Reid says he was both honored and humbled by the recognition.

"To be recognized by my alma mater is just very rewarding for me," he says. "I don't consider myself to have been one of the best students while I was there, but I managed to learn on the job and was able to get to the position I'm in now.

"I really do owe it all to MTSU, and I am so honored that they have recognized my achievements."

Beginning as a criminal-justice major when he first arrived from Whitwell, Tenn., Reid eventually found his place in the field of broadcast journalism.

He always had an interest in radio, he says, and as he began to take classes in that field, he became more involved in the campus public-radio station, WMOT-89.5 FM. Though his major would finally focus on television, Reid says he knew immediately that he was hooked and wanted to pursue the world of broadcast.

While he says he's unable to point out the most influential aspect of his MTSU career, Reid has nothing but praise for the institution and its program.

"I can't say any one person influenced me, but I was very impressed with the equipment, as well as the professionalism of the professors. They seemed to be very knowledgeable," he says.

In fact, compared to a local TV station in Chattanooga, Tenn., where he worked for his first internship, Reid says, MTSU had better equipment.

"I was very impressed with the overall journalism program and still am," he says of his alma mater. "It's only gotten better since I was there."

Thirty years after he studied and worked on campus, Reid now is behind many successful projects featured on CNN, including "Black in America," a two-part series that documents African-American progress since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.

He's also been connected with other respected projects, such as the network's 2004 presidential-campaign coverage and a recent documentary on the 20 years after the Rodney King beating during the Los Angeles riots of 1992.

While Reid did not do an internship during his study at MTSU, he says it's definitely an advantage for students to get more practical, on-the-job experience.

"Getting the diploma is very important and is the pay-off, of course. But the internship is really invaluable," he says. "When I came out of school, there weren't a lot of internships, but today you really need them. Do two if you can."

Though he is now a successful alumnus, he says his initial lack of experience made it difficult to find work. Applying to more than 100 different places, Reid says he received just one response: a paid intern position in Chattanooga.

If he'd done an internship in college, Reid says, he believes he wouldn't have had to do one as his first job. Luckily, it was a paid, 40 hours-per-week position that eventually led to a full-time job.

Reid regularly offers some advice to students looking to make a mark on the world.

"School isn't all work and no play," he advises, "but it should be a lot of work and making contacts in the field along the way."

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Commencement '11: 2,420+ grads ready for 100th spring commencement

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Dual program offers teaching licensure plus master's degree

by Tom Tozer

A new program in MTSU's College of Education is giving individuals with a bachelor's degree the opportunity to teach mathematics in fourth through eighth grades and earn a master's degree at the same time.

University officials are recruiting a cohort of 20 individuals who will move together through five semesters of study and earn a master's degree in curriculum and instruction. The program is slated to begin in fall 2011.

"This is ideal for anyone who wants to change career directions or who loves working with children and would like to become a licensed teacher," said Dr. Dovie Kimmins, a professor of mathematical sciences at MTSU. "What a fine opportunity for a housewife or youth counselor—someone who enjoys working with that age group but doesn't possess the credentials to be in the classroom. This is a path to gaining licensure and a graduate degree."

"Individuals who have a love for children and an inclination toward mathematics should consider this degree," added Dr. Jeremy Winters, an assistant professor in MTSU's Department of Elementary and Special Education.

"Several people in the current K-6 program have had previous experience working with children, such as coaching or working in after-school programs, and have decided that a teaching career is for them. I believe the new (grades) 4-8 program will interest individuals of a similar disposition."

Winters is referring to the current Initial Licensure Program Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in grades K-6, which is already successful.

"The mathematics courses have been designed with consideration of what someone needs to know and how they need to know it to effectively teach middle-school mathematics," Kimmins noted.

Classes will be offered in the evenings, on weekends and online to accommodate working adults. A candidate must have a bachelor's degree in any field and a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. Some graduate assistantships may be available.

Partial financial support for the program is from a Teachers Now Phase II grant through the U.S. Department of Education.

Interested individuals need to apply for graduate school and should contact Winters at 615-494-7729.

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2 more seniors intern at Southwest

by Randy Weiler

MTSU aerospace-maintenance management seniors Ryan Hall and Nick Weaver were almost as excited as their faculty mentor, Joe Hawkins, when they learned they'd be interns at Southwest Airlines this summer at Love Field in Dallas.

Hall, 23, who expects to graduate Saturday, May 7, hopes the internship will be a kick-start to his postgraduation days of employment in the industry.

For Weaver, 21, who hopes to graduate in December, this summer's work will be another way to show his grandfather, Gabe Weaver, a former airport employee, that switching his major from professional pilot to maintenance management was a good decision.

Hall and Weaver were two of more than 13,000 college and university students worldwide who applied for 72 Southwest internships this year.

They follow MTSU aerospace alumni Lauren Lipe, a professional pilot major, and Antonious "Tony" Basalyous, a flight-dispatch major, who received Southwest internships last summer.

"We're certainly excited for Ryan and Nick," said Hawkins, who also is an award-winning career aircraft-maintenance man and MTSU alumnus. "They were the first to be selected from our concentration, and they've certainly worked the long hours it takes to complete our program."

Both students also credit aerospace faculty members Bill Allen, Steve Gossett, Mark Blank and Jerry Hill with helping them prepare for their interviews.

Weaver, a Murfreesboro native, said he discovered during the interview process that Southwest "wanted you to be yourself." Weaver interviewed first, then offered interview pointers to Hall.

"Someone told me they don't hire individuals; they hire a 'family member,'" added Hall, who is from Chattanooga. "They have a fun-loving attitude, but they want you to be serious when you need to be."

Hawkins said most aerospace-maintenance classes are six hours long, twice the length of normal academic courses at MTSU. Students must complete a minimum of 1,890 hours of training to obtain the required Federal Aviation Administration Airframe and Powerplant Certificate.

"There's also an FAA 100-percent-attendance rule," Hawkins said. "Students can't miss a class for any reason, and we have to provide the FAA with documentation that our students earned all their hours."

PREPARING FOR INTERNSHIPS—Ryan Hall, left, and Nick Weaver, right, learn more about the hydraulics in a helicopter from associate professor Joe Hawkins. The pair will be working as maintenance interns for Southwest Airlines this summer.

MTSU Photographic Services photo by J. Intintoli

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MTSU Police add toll-free numbers for text messages

The MTSU Police Department has activated two new toll-free phone numbers that will accept text and picture messages: 855-898-2424 and 855-MTSU911 (855-687-8911).

In an emergency, a person may call 615-898-2424 or 911 from any campus phone. The new toll-free numbers add a text-messaging and multimedia component that expands the service and increases ways to call for help or report an incident, officials said.

"We encourage everyone to use the new numbers for text or picture messages," said Lt. Jim Fanguy.

"If you want to call MTSU police, use the standard 615-898-2424 number or call 911 from a campus landline phone. Remember, if you call 911 from your cell phone, you'll reach the (Murfreesboro) city police, not the MTSU police."

Fanguy said that with the increasing requirements of the Clery Act, federal mandates require university police departments to be more accessible and to make sure students know how to contact them. Adding the new text-message capability increases that accessibility, he said.

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Criminal Justice plans seminar for law enforcement

Professor Dennis Powell and the MTSU Department of Criminal Justice are preparing for the department's third Law Enforcement Training Seminar.

It will be held Monday through Thursday, May 23-26, at MTSU.

Open to law-enforcement members only, the seminar will feature a wide range of topics, including:

  • "Campus Police Issues," "Dealing with the Mentally Ill," "Stress Management" and "Gangs of the 21st Century" on the first day;
  • "Ethics of Gratuities," "Internet Crimes Against Children" and "Juvenile Law" on day two;
  • "Media Relations," "Domestic Violence" and "Child Sex Abuse" on the third day of the event; and
  • "Legal Updates," "Crime Scenes" and "Use of Force" on the final day.

Some of the area's most prominent law-enforcement and judicial officials will be leading the seminars.

For more information, contact Powell at 615-898-2630 or at

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'Buchanan Fellows' team takes top Quiz Bowl honors

The "Buchanan Fellows" won the 2011 Scotty Tucker Memorial Quiz Bowl during an eight-team campus competition in the Learning Resources Center TV Studio on March 29.

The Quiz Bowl, now in its 22nd year, was co-sponsored by the Omega Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma professional insurance fraternity and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

Teams were asked trivia questions from almost every discipline on campus. The event was taped for later replay on MTTV (Channel 10).

The 2011 Quiz Bowl runner-up was the Society of International Affairs team, followed by the Omicron Delta Kappa team. The top three teams won $175, $100 and $50, respectively.

Buchanan Fellows team members included Troy Berry, Adam Emerson, Ashlin Harris and Cody Malone. The SIA team, known as "Giant Squid," included Michael Allen, David Hiller, Chris Kandt and Michael Pollard. ODK team members were Matthew Hidbon, Christen Vann and Lee Whitwell.

Dr. Ken Hollman, holder of the Martin Chair of Insurance in the Jones College of Business, is adviser for Gamma Iota Sigma, and Rachel Casillas is the chapter president. Valerie Avent is president of Phi Kappa Phi. This year's Quiz Bowl emcee was Glenda Pipkin, an alumna of Gamma Iota Sigma.

REWARDING CHALLENGE—Members of the "Buchanan Fellows" 2011 Quiz Bowl team accept their winners' checks from University Honors College adviser Laura Clippard, right. From left are team members Cody Malone, Troy Berry, Ashlin Harris and Adam Emerson.

photo submitted

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Scholar will study at Penland School

from Staff Reports

Kelsey Wells, one of 20 sophomore Buchanan Scholars at MTSU, has received a work-study scholarship for two weeks this summer at the Penland School of Crafts outside Asheville, N.C., University Honors College Dean John Vile said.

Wells' class will introduce her to printmaking.

"Penland is a national center for craft education," Vile said. "Kelsey will be taking a class called 'Plate and Type Together.' It will explore how to combine letterpress printing and copper plate etching and will include work on prints, broadsides and books."

The class will be taught by Bill Hall, a master printer at Pace Prints in New York City, and Amy Pirkle, an instructor at the University of Alabama and the proprietor of Perkolater Press, Vile added.

Wells was valedictorian of her class at Siegel High School in Murfreesboro. She attended the 2007 session of the Governor's School for the Arts, which is held each summer at MTSU.

Wells' interests include storytelling, writing and speaking German, and she is an award-winning fiddle player. She has been serving as a work-study student at MTSU and is majoring in graphic design in the College of Media and Entertainment and has minors in German and mathematical sciences.

Wells is the daughter of Mike and Kory Wells of Murfreesboro.

The Buchanan Fellowship is the highest scholarship award given to entering MTSU freshmen. The program is named in honor of Dr. James M. Buchanan, MTSU's Nobel Prize-winning alumnus.

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Goldwater Scholars

(Click the headline above to see the photo.)

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People Around Campus: Grad student's work helps kids fight obesity

by Randy Weiler

MTSU graduate student and grandparent Debbie Goddard wants to help others, especially children, with obesity.

Her desire led her to request permission from Murfreesboro City Schools to become involved with the 12-week pilot program for children in the city system last year. The program, known as "BAM! Body and Mind," had been developed by Murfreesboro City Schools and the Rutherford County Health Department.

Goddard's research from the program, contained in the 70-page thesis that passed review in March, is helping her to graduate on May 7 with a master's degree in human sciences with an emphasis in nutrition.

The BAM program, because Andrea Cain and the Murfreesboro City Schools applied for a grant, will be helping students in all 12 city schools.

The Tennessee Obesity Task Force recently announced that 50 percent of Tennessee's children and 69 percent of adults are overweight. That news supported Goddard's research, gained from working with 30 students from two city schools beginning in August 2010, with the help of seven MTSU exercise-science and nutrition and food-science majors.

"It was a timely, intervention-style program where the children could learn about good nutrition and choices," Goddard explained. "What is so gratifying in all this is the kids bond with them (MTSU students). MTSU students were role models. They get fond of them in a short amount of time."

Efforts by Cain, an MTSU alumna with a nursing degree, led to a $10,000 grant from the General Mills Foundation. The county health department's Meri-Leigh Smith, another alumna with a health and human performance degree, wrote the BAM curriculum.

The 12-week program last fall began with Week 1's "Get Fit Kids" and ended with Week 12's "Family Night," an awards ceremony at the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring.

In between were weeks where the children learned about the "MyPyramid" food guide, "Portion Distortion," sugar content in food and drinks, healthy restaurant eating, exercise, how media influences food choices and how to relieve stress.

Goddard is familiar with those topics not just because of her research but because she also lives with Type 1 diabetes.

"Debbie was a big asset to the BAM program, and she's a member of the Tennessee Obesity Task Force," said Dr. Janet Colson, a MTSU human-sciences professor and Goddard's mentor. "People from the state Department of Health have looked at the BAM program because it's a wonderful program. It has given dietitians a lot of work and a lot of opportunities."

"This was fabulous research that is of human interest," added Professor Deborah Belcher, interim chair of the Department of Human Sciences.

Much of the data indicated that when children eat more meals at home, they are less likely to be obese. Goddard said the data also revealed, however, that when Hispanic males eat meals at home, they are more prone to obesity.

Colson said a major accomplishment occurred when "two children went from being extremely obese to obese. That's a big weight loss at a time when kids are growing, so the program's working."

The success of the BAM program at the two schools led to $250,000 in grant funding to expand the program to all city schools this year. Funding for the fall 2010 BAM program was provided by Dr. Don Morgan with the MTSU Center for Physical Activity in Health and Youth, Colson said.

This semester, Goddard has been a graduate assistant, grading assignments for the online Nutrition for the Young Child course, assisting Colson with two classes and teaching an online nutrition course for Nashville State Community College.

RIGHT FOUNDATION—Graduate student Debbie Goddard displays some of the posters she used for the "Body and Mind" curriculum for her obesity-research project.

MTSU Photographic Services photo by Andy Heidt

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Faculty/Staff Update


MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee and First Lady Liz McPhee; John Hood (Development and University Relations); Dr. Roy Moore (College of Media and Entertainment); Dale and Lucinda Cockrell (Center for Popular Music); Dr. Steve Shearon (music) and his wife, Debora; and Randy Weiler (News and Media Relations) and his wife, Patsy, attended the 2011 Governor's Arts Awards, hosted by Gov. Bill Haslam and First Lady Crissy Haslam April 12 in Nashville at Conservation Hall. Eight honorees were recognized in the areas of folklife heritage, arts leadership and distinguished artist awards.


Doug Williams (Marketing and Communications) was honored April 13 as the 2011 Project SHARE Volunteer of the Year for his work as a mentor to a young man at Monroe Harding, a Nashville facility serving at-risk children and youth and their families. Project SHARE is a school-based mentoring program that works to prevent students from dropping out of high school.


A question-and-answer session with Dr. Gaylord Brewer (English) on his new book of poems, Give Over, Graymalkin, was the March 23 headline feature at, the daily online publication of Tennessee Humanities.

Dr. Lynn Parsons (nursing) was included in an article, "Salary Survey Shows Experienced Nurses Gaining Ground," published April 1 at, an online community with professional- and personal-development information for nurses.

Personnel Changes

Jeff Farrar (Office of University Counsel) has joined MTSU as assistant university counsel. He formerly worked for the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County as a senior litigation attorney.


An essay by Dr. Sanjay Asthana (journalism), "Tradition, Power, Dialogue: A Hermeneutic Exploration of Youth Media Imaginaries in Palestine/Israel," has been accepted for publication in the European Journal of Child and Youth Research.

Dr. Joon Soo Lim's (journalism) manuscript "Social Media Activism in Response to the Influence of Negative Political Parody Videos on YouTube" has been accepted for publication in Communication Research.

An article by Dr. Jane Marcellus (journalism), "Southern Myths and the Nineteenth Amendment: The Participation of Nashville Newspaper Publishers in the Final State's Ratification," received second place in the inaugural Ronald T. and Gayla D. Farrar Media and Civil Rights History Award contest.

Dr. Martha Norkunas (history and director, African-American Oral History Project) has published an article, "Teaching to Listen: Listening Exercises and Self-Reflexive Journals," in the upcoming winter/ spring 2011 edition of The Oral History Review.


Dr. Yuan-ling Chao (history) will participate in a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar for College and University Teachers, "An Introduction to Daoist Literature and History," July 18-Aug. 5 at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

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Campus Calendar: April 25-May 8, 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
April 26: MTSU Softball vs. Southeast Missouri, 1 p.m.
April 27: MTSU Baseball vs. Belmont, 6 p.m.
May 6-8: MTSU Baseball vs. Florida International (6, 4 p.m. and noon)
For information, visit .

Monday, April 25
MTSU Flute Choir
6 p.m., Hinton Music Hall

Piano Studio Recital: Lynn Rice-See
8 p.m., Hinton Music Hall
For information, visit or contact: 615-898-2493.

April 26-May 5
Bachelor of Fine Arts Candidates' Exhibition: Graphic Design 2

8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Todd Gallery (opening reception 6:30-8:30 p.m. Monday, April 25)
For information, visit or contact: 615-898-5653.

Tuesday, April 26
MTSU Symphonic Band/Brass Ensemble/Chamber Winds

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

Wednesday, April 27
Last Day of Classes

Rutherford County Alumni Scholarship-Fundraiser Lunch
11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Bonefish Grill, Murfreesboro
Cost: $12 per person
For information, visit .

Department of Engineering Technology Open House

3-5 p.m., Cantrell Hall, Tom H. Jackson Building
For information, email

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

Thursday, April 28
Study Day

No classes; offices open.

Accounting Alumni Appreciation Day
7:30 a.m.-4:50 p.m., State Farm Lecture Hall (Room BAS S102), Business and Aerospace Building
For information, visit or contact: 615-898-5306.

Employees of the Year Reception
9-10:30 a.m., Tennessee Room, James Union Building
For information, contact: 615-898-5344.

Piano Studio Recital: Arun Nadgir
10:30 a.m., Hinton Music Hall

String Studio Recital: Andrea Dawson
7 p.m., Hinton Music Hall
For information, visit .

April 29-May 5
Final Exams

Friday, April 29
First Friday Star Party: Special Guest Charlie Warren, "Astronomy Down Under"

6:30 p.m., Room 102, Wiser-Patten Science Building
(Please note earlier date.)
For information, contact: 615-898-5946 or 898-2483.

Saturday, April 30
Spring Preview Day

9 a.m., campuswide
For information, visit or contact: 615-898-2111.

Monday, May 2
New Faculty Senators' Reception and Faculty Senate Meeting

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

Saturday, May 7
Spring 2011 Commencement Ceremonies

9 a.m. and 1 p.m., Murphy Center
For information, visit or contact: 615-898-2600.

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