Scholars Week College of Media and Entertainment

MTSU Presents Women of True Grit

MTSU will host an event called Women of True Grit on March 12, 1: 00 PM- 5:00 PM at Tucker Theatre. This event is free an open to the public, no registration or ticket required.

The Women of True Grit event is designed to celebrate and empower women of all ages. The event is free and open to the public. The event, which is part of MTSU’s National Women’s History Month celebration, was inspired by the book Edie Hand’s Women of True Grit, which profiles more than 60 women who navigated with grit to transform their lives and those of the people around them. This event features several of the women profiled in her project. “I am so excited that author Edie Hand agreed to partner with MTSU on this unforgettable afternoon featuring women from all walks of life who have overcome personal struggles to find success,” says event organizer Beverly Keel, who is dean of the College of Media and Entertainment. “From board rooms and laboratories to recording and dance studios, these women have thrived and become role models for others.  They will share their stories of battling racism, sexism, disabilities, cancer, loss, and other obstacles on their journey to fulfill their dreams. There will be something for everyone!”

The event, which will be held in Tucker Theater, begins at 1 p.m. with the keynote conversation with Edie Hand, the author of 35 books who has also been a television producer, host, and advertising agency owner, and Dr. Shelia Nash-Stevenson, a NASA engineer who was the first African American female in the state of Alabama to receive a Ph.D. in physics. She holds a patent for an optical fiber holder. She won NASA’s Modern Figure Award and was selected to attend the premiere of the movie Hidden Figures.

 The university’s 2024 National Women’s History Month Trailblazers will be honored at 2 p.m. The National Women's History Month theme is "During 2024, we recognize the example of women who are committed to embracing everyone and excluding no one in our common quest for freedom and opportunity. We invite you all to “B.E. True Blue!" 

The four Professional Trailblazers and one Student Trailblazer are excellent examples of the MTSU community and their mission to ensure that all women belong and are engaged with campus, Murfreesboro, and the surrounding areas.

At 2:40 p.m. Hand will moderate a panel called “Hallmark, Healing and Hope” that features:

Lana King, a veteran media executive who served as president and CEO of the Hallmark Channel and president of Fox Broadcasting Company’s Network Distribution;

Marion MacKenzie Pyle is the award-winning writer, director, producer, and president of Legacy Media Lab, a full-service media production company for television, stage, and film. She is also the author of Healed, Healthy, and Whole: How We Beat Breast Cancer;

Paula Mosher Wallace, the founder of Bloom In The Dark Inc., a non-profit that provides resources and a place for people to connect with others who are looking for hope and encouragement in their darkness. She is the author of Bloom in the Dark and co-host of Bloom Today, which can be heard on iTunes, Soundcloud, and iHeartRadio.

Keel will moderate a panel at 4:20 p.m. called “Finding Your Voice” that features:

Anastasia Brown is an award-winning entertainment industry veteran who has experience as a label executive, artist manager, music supervisor, and content creator. She discovered Keith Urban and later served as a judge on the TV show Nashville Star. She is the author of Make Me a Star: Industry Insiders Reveal How to Make It in Music;

Allie Gorrie is a disability inclusion consultant and theater artist who is on a mission to build a more inclusive world. Born with low vision, she frequently speaks about disability awareness and inclusion while teaching acting and dancing classes to other aspiring performers with disabilities. She organizes nationwide training to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace. She also co-produced and hosted Able: A Series, which can be found on Amazon;

Kelly Lang is a singer, songwriter, author, and producer whose songs have been recorded by George Jones, Lorrie Morgan, Jerry Lee Lewis, B.J. Thomas, and Ricky Skaggs. She is the author of I’m Not Going Anywhere, which offers life lessons as she shares her experience with breast cancer. She is a member of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame;

Gina Miller is an entertainment executive and social justice activist who is known for advocating for recording artists. She is senior vice president/general manager of MNRK (formerly Entertainment One), where she oversees day-to-day operations and creative output for Nashville, including MNRK subsidiaries Light Records and IndieBlu Music. She also leads the Nashville Network of the National Association of Black Female Executives in Media and Entertainment and has twice been included in Billboard’s Women in Music issue of the industry’s top female executives.

A copy of Edie Hand’s Women of True Grit will be provided to the first 300 attendees.

The event is sponsored by the College of Media and Entertainment, the Distinguished Lecture Fund, and The National Women’s History Month Committee. For more information, please contact Beverly Keel at or 615-898-5150. For more information on Women of True Grit, visit