The Record, June 20, 2011, V19.24

Read the full-color PDF version here!

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Overseas teaching enlightens '11 grad

by Randy Weiler

May MTSU graduate Heather Baker enjoyed an "absolutely amazing and eye-opening" 2½-month teaching experience to finish her undergraduate degree in family and consumer science from the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences.

As a participant in the Consortium for Overseas Student Teaching program, Baker taught consumer studies and life orientation at Victoria Girls' High School in Grahamstown in South Africa's Eastern Cape province.

"Professionally, COST schools are different," Baker said. "They met my values in places where schools here didn't. I have a new idea of where I want to be. Personally, I don't think it's possible to go somewhere that different and not be changed."

Baker sent class "Reflections" to Dr. Sandra Poirier, an associate professor of family and consumer sciences in the Department of Human Sciences at MTSU, during her time in South Africa.

"At the end of my last placement in the U.S., I wondered if I had chosen the wrong profession," Baker wrote. "Teaching at the school I was at just wasn't what I thought it would be. It didn't feel real, tangible, true. I spent the majority of my time under stress, planning and researching and trying to fit the mold that was in place at the school. I just never felt completely at home there. Something was off, and I couldn't seem to figure out what it was."

"After spending 10 weeks at VG (Victoria Girls'), observing and engaging the atmosphere, I am rejuvenated," she continued. "My passion for teaching is rekindled. Perhaps it is the lack of available resources that unites the students and staff; perhaps it is an overall cultural attitude toward learning new things; perhaps it is the open-mindedness of the teachers; perhaps all three. Whatever the cause, my job here (South Africa) gave me what I had been lacking in the U.S.

"I really connected with the students in my classes, and, as a result, I knew how to go about teaching them what they needed to know, and I could sense when they understood or didn't understand or were extra-interested or not interested at all. I really connected with the staff as well; on a professional level, I could see eye-to-eye with many of them, and on a personal level, I feel like I will always have a few friends at VG in Grahamstown, South Africa.

"… If the mission of the COST program is to enhance understanding, to build character, to grow as an individual, a human being and a teacher, then, mission accomplished."

Poirier said she believes the experience has "changed (Baker's) life forever. She will never see the world again through the same lens. Her perspective of teaching and learning has changed, and she will want to seek other opportunities to help build on this wonderful experience that MTSU provided her this semester. "

The work provided a happy ending for Baker's final year of college, who is from Chapmansboro, Tenn. Her father, Donald "Donnie" Baker, died in an August 2010 auto accident. The daughter of Angela Baker of Chapmansboro, Heather Baker said she is unsure of her future plans.

SURROUNDED BY STUDENTS—Heather Baker, at center wearing glasses, and Victoria Girls' High School students in the African Women Society visit a museum in Grahamstown, South Africa. Baker graduated in May after her teaching experience. In the photo below, Baker rides in a boat heading for Seal Island near Cape Town, South Africa, during a brief vacation from her duties with the Consortium for Overseas Student Teaching program. Baker taught consumer studies and life orientation at Victoria Girls' High School in Grahamstown before earning her bachelor's degree from MTSU in May.

photos submitted

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Shew sows SALT in new adventure

by Gina K. Logue

Here's a geographical riddle for you: How do you get from Iowa to Iraq by way of Murfreesboro? Aaron Shew knows the way.

After graduating from MTSU in May with dual bachelor's degrees in global studies and international relations, the 23-year-old signed up with SALT International, where his job will be helping the Kurds of northern Iraq become more self-sufficient.

SALT, which stands for Sustainable Appropriate Local Technologies, is a relatively young nonprofit organization with vast experience in Southeast Asia and some projects in Afghanistan. The group's goal in Iraq is to teach the Kurds how to grow soybeans.

"A lot of my job will be networking with the universities there and local extension agents and agricultural companies here to develop training, seminars, curricula," says Shew, "but I'll also be working on our demonstration farms, helping our chief agronomist do research trials and find cultivars that fit."

The first order of business for Shew, however, is to put his agriculture minor to use in Grinnell, Iowa, a college town of about 9,500 people located 45 minutes east of Des Moines. He'll become familiar with the multifaceted soybean on a 3,200-acre farm owned by a SALT board member.

In addition to training with other members of the team and learning how to operate a soy mill, Shew will attend U.S. Agency for International Development conferences in Kansas City, Mo. In October, he will live with a Kurdish family in St. Louis to learn the Kurdish language and get a handle on how to work through potential cultural conflicts.

It's unlikely Shew will encounter many difficulties in his latest adventure. The veteran world traveler lived for nine months in Thailand and four months in Morocco, not to mention spending time in India studying the Urdu language.

The agricultural influence comes from his father, who teaches agriculture at Riverdale High School. But the allure of international relations was stronger, he says, prompting Shew to change his initial plant-and-soil-science major into a minor.

His educational influence comes from Dr. Nate Phillips, MTSU assistant professor of agribusiness and agriscience, and Dr. Karen Petersen, assistant professor of political science. Petersen doesn't see the two disciplines as strange bedfellows.

"International agriculture, helping developing countries maximize their agricultural output, is a field with tremendous growth potential," Petersen says.

In March 2012, Shew will join the other team members in Iraq, where he will stay for 2½ to three years. The Iraqi Kurds already plant some wheat and barley with government subsidies, but they are dependent upon outsiders for almost all of the protein in their diet.

"Iraq, as a whole, imports about 250,000 metric tons of soy meal a year" for animal feed, Shew says. "Northern Iraq, the Kurdish region, imports about 88,000 metric tons of that. And they do so at well over world-market value."

Moreover, Shew points out, food security is a major issue, since a great deal of the soy meal enters Iraq through hostile neighbors Turkey, Syria and Iran—sort of an agricultural "axis of evil."

External support, however, is not an issue. SALT's assistants in this endeavor include the World Soy Foundation, the American Soybean Association, the Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture and the VANO Group, a Kurdish poultry partnership with a vested interest in securing cheap, healthy chicken feed.

Shew and his bride, Natalie Bernardini Shew, managed to squeeze in a weeklong honeymoon in North Carolina before embarking on the first great adventure of their married life. She's looking forward to it as much as he is: Natalie's degree is in international relations, and her area of interest is teaching English as a second language.

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MTSU is first telecomm 'test kitchen'

by Tom Tozer

MTSU has partnered with Avaya, a leader in business communications, to create a demonstration lab in the University's Telecommunications Building to serve as a "test kitchen" for the company's interactive-communication products.

The lab, which will be located in the second-floor conference room, will be open to students and faculty.

MTSU is the first university in the state to house the Avaya hands-on lab and will be joined by a few additional schools in the southeast as soon as those institutions confirm their participation. Avaya technicians started setting up the lab at MTSU earlier this year, and the equipment will be accessible by fall.

Avaya also will invite outside consumers to the facility for product demonstrations. MTSU has used products by Avaya—previously Lucent Technologies—since 1999 to serve the campus' voice-communication needs.

"We will be able to get a first look at some of the emerging new technologies that are out there in communications," said Bruce Petryshak, vice president for MTSU's Information Technology Division. "This will allow us to see brand-new technology, how it fits the needs of the University and how we might use it. They're bringing in and installing their newest equipment, and we're upgrading our existing infrastructure so that we can interface with it.

"MTSU will have the opportunity to experiment with the latest collaboration-enabled technologies, even before they are beta-released," Petryshak continued. "We will have the ability to experiment and perhaps write some code and see if we can do some customizing using our faculty and staff."

Deborah Plante, senior systems engineer for Avaya, said the company has "taken the position of being more open-standard, which means that other products are compatible and adaptable. This is what everyone is looking for. Our goal is to be able to show people what the products can do for their business.

"With the collaborative effort here at MTSU, we're installing our products and allowing MTSU to use the products on campus. We have applications that can be created easily, where students can come in, be creative and get hands-on experience."

Some of the cutting-edge technology in the lab will include touch-screen tablets with multimodal capabilities, including voice, video and instant-message conferencing.

The drag-and-drop feature will allow the user to hold a video conference with one or two associates and bring additional colleagues into the conversation by simply pulling them from the address book into the screen's "spotlight." Participants will be able to drag a document into screen-share, interact, read and make changes in real-time, do whiteboarding, browse a website and perform other tasks.

"Video conferencing is expensive right now," Plante said. "You have to have a dedicated network and a dedicated room. It takes a long time to set up. Our new video products are meant to be technology that's easy and quick to use. On the back end, it's high-tech, but on the front end, it's user-friendly."

Plante said the lab will be a secured space, and individuals on- and off-campus will be asked to schedule appointments to use the equipment.

As soon as the other two or three universities in the region are on board as Avaya testing labs, Plante said, they and MTSU can use the communications equipment to interact with each other.

The MTSU campus community will be notified when the demonstration lab is completely set up and ready for use. In the meantime, please watch the video at , which provides an overview of the Avaya products and capabilities.

CHECKING THE SIGNAL—Avaya Systems Engineer Ted Combs demonstrates a touch-screen tablet for voice, video and instant-message conferencing, just one of the cutting-edge communications devices being tested at MTSU. A new lab will open for University use this fall in the second-floor conference room of the Telecommunications Building.

MTSU Photographic Services photo by J. Intintoli

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In Brief: RAD classes resume

A free six-week series of Rape Aggression Defense classes will be offered every Thursday beginning June 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the MTSU Police Training Center at 1601 E. Main St. The RAD class is open to all female MTSU students, faculty and staff and the general public. Enrollment is limited; for more information or to enroll, call MTSU RAD instructor Sgt. David Smith at 615-494-7858.

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For the Record: Last print edition of 'Record' isn't end of MTSU news

by Gina E. Fann

After 19 years of hard work from the University community, our printer, mailing services, couriers and the News and Media Relations staff, this marks the final print edition of MTSU's official publication, The Record.

The first edition, on Jan. 15, 1993, replaced a University newsletter, "In the Public Eye," and featured a front-page photo of Ron Malone, then assistant director of admissions, helping a senior register for spring classes.

Some things don't change, except for the titles. Right, Ron?

It was a four-page weekly then, and Dot Harrison, MTSU PR director, wrote in a "For the Record" note that "with the addition of a digital scanner, we're pleased to add photos!"

Now the printed Record is filled with photos, in color, and on the Internet for a worldwide audience. It's updated as news breaks, and it continues to focus on the people, places and events that make MTSU outstanding.

Economic reality has made it clear, however, that the state funds that print and deliver this publication can be better used in getting more news to more people, more often, than eight pages, twice a month, have ever been able to do.

That doesn't mean we don't value print readers. I'm still one! (I don't have an e-reader; I love ink and paper.) But we do have to move forward, to change and save money, too.

I joked the other day that "the third time's the charm," since this makes the third newspaper that's folded under me since I graduated from MTSU's then-Department of Mass Communication and started working for the Nashville Banner. I'd previously interned for The Morning Press, the daily incarnation of The Murfreesboro Press, which also closed after a strong run.

My training at MTSU began by handing typewritten copy to a typesetter, but it changed at an almost blinding rate to using a computer for desktop publishing and researching stories. My tools have changed from darkroom chemicals to Photoshop, from creaky old acoustic couplers to smart phones and RSS feeds. My proofreading now includes HTML.

In the process, I've developed skills I never anticipated. That's what MTSU trained me to do, and that's what students in the College of Mass Communication are learning today: Be flexible as newspeople, and always learn from and embrace change.

Join us as MTSU takes another leap, changing and expanding the University's news offerings with video, audio, slide shows and text at . We hope it's already your multimedia home for MTSU news, and we look forward to continuing to give our audience more great University stories. That's another thing that won't change.

The late great Dot Harrison will always be right on the money, too.

"The MTSU campus is, we believe, an extraordinary place with extraordinarily competent and dedicated people at every level," she wrote in that first Record. "We're on the brink of greatness."

Gina E. Fann has edited The Record since January 2005 and manages content for Peruse the Record archives anytime at

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Flying high

KEEPING BUSY—MTSU's Department of Aerospace is flying high this summer! On May 18, Juli H. Mosley, at left in the photo above, vice chair of the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority Board of Commissioners, presented a check for $14,250 to Department Chair Wayne Dornan to enhance MNAA's endowed scholarship administered through the MTSU Foundation. And during June, Midstate K-12 teachers have been attending the annual three-week MTSU Aerospace Education Workshop. Participants in the photo below include Kayla Rymer of Altamont, who made an impressive rocket, Sandra Boyd of Siegel Middle School and Brigid Whitaker of Blackman Elementary, seated on the front row, and Amy Flatt of West End Middle School and Jim Wilson of DuPont Elementary on the back row. Workshop field trips included a visit to the Huntsville Space and Rocket Center and June 20-22 to the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola, Fla. To further prepare students for aerospace-industry careers, MTSU's aerospace department recently acquired an air traffic control tower flight simulator, the only facility of its kind in the nation in a university setting.

photos submitted

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Mass-comm major earns summer internship at CNN

by Tom Tozer

MTSU senior Haley Ellis is another example of the University's commitment to the value of hands-on, real-world learning.

From a pool of 190 applicants, the electronic media journalism major was one of three students selected for a summer internship at CNN Productions in Atlanta.

"She beat out candidates at some of the top schools in the country," said CNN Executive Producer Jeffery Reid, himself a graduate of MTSU's College of Media and Entertainment.

"I am very excited about my internship with Mr. Jeffery Reid at CNN," Ellis said. "I was attending the College of Mass Communication scholarship ceremony (in April 2010) where Mr. Reid was being inducted into the MTSU Mass Comm Wall of Fame. After the banquet, I introduced myself to Mr. Reid just to be friendly, and he told me he read through my resume and he thought it looked impressive.

"The end of school came, and I did have an internship lined up with a Nashville station, which I was very pleased about. I went home before my internship started, and I received a call from CNN. They interviewed me on the phone. The next day, Mr. Reid called and told me I was accepted as an intern in the Special Investigations and Documentary Unit.

"I'm so excited for this opportunity. I know it will be an amazing experience that I will grow and learn from," Ellis continued. "My parents are so proud and beyond thrilled for me. When I was interviewing for the position, my mom didn't know who I was talking to, and I wrote on my notebook, 'CNN.' She saw that, and her jaw dropped.

"I want to learn anything and everything I can," she added.

Ellis earned an associate's degree in communication at Danville Area Community College, Danville, Ill., where she was a Presidential Scholar. She is currently on the dean's list and a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society at MTSU and plans to graduate this fall.

Ellis' parents, Jill and Walter Ellis, live in Buchanan, Va.

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Stop the presses! Online catalog is rolling out

by Randy Weiler

After 100 years of an undergraduate catalog students could hold, flip through and search for courses and other helpful information, the dawn of a new century for MTSU means change for the historic catalog.

Just in time for CUSTOMS, the University has rolled out the Online Undergraduate Catalog, which can be found at .

The 2011-12 version has a Centennial flavor with a home-page introduction that includes an image of the Class of 1925. It was created by MTSU Creative Marketing Solutions; images throughout the new online catalog have been provided by the Gore Center.

The introduction reads: "As we celebrate our Centennial, MTSU introduces an online catalog with searchable features. These include advanced search options to quickly find programs, majors and courses; intuitive navigation; and a personal portfolio—"My MT Catalog"—to store favorite programs and courses."

The online version, which now is prepared by the Office of the University Provost, is the vision and collaboration of Mitzi Brandon and Sherian Huddleston with input from a transition team.

"It looks totally different," said Brandon. "For many years, it was prepared by Publication and Graphics" (now Creative and Visual Services).

Huddleston, who came out of retirement to assist with the product, said they "created an MTSU online catalog unique to MTSU out of a software template. It has a personality of its own.

"We've looked at ETSU (East Tennessee State University), Tennessee Tech and UT-Knoxville, in addition to several out-of-state institutions, and they are all different," she added.

The new online catalog, which will be published each spring, replaces the bound paper catalog, which had grown to 408 pages by the 2009-11 volume. This catalog and four others dating to the 2001-03 volume remain available in PDF format.

The 2010-12 Graduate Catalog also is available in printed and PDF format. It will be brought online as the 2011-12 Graduate Catalog in August.

Brandon and Huddleston both said they like a printed catalog, but both noted that they can see the advantages of an online catalog for prospective and current students as well as advisers and faculty.

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20 students make their move with FirstSTEP

by Randy Weiler

Twenty MTSU rising sophomores participated in this year's FirstSTEP Immersion program.

Mainly working as teams and assisted by faculty and graduate and undergraduate students in five major concentrations, these FirstSTEP Immersion students received an intensive four-week focus in research during May and June.

"This is wonderful," said Adanna Omatu, a native of Nigeria now living in Nashville. "I am getting experience in my field (biology). You also get to go out into the real world and gain hands-on experience."

In addition to biology, which was supervised by Dr. Bruce Cahoon, other majors and supervisors included geosciences with Dr. Mark Abolins, engineering technology with Dr. Saeed Foroudastan, physics with Dr. Bill Robertson and chemistry with Dr. Sing Chong.

"I've been surprised at how well they have done," said Dr. Chris Stephens, the program's director and an associate professor in mathematical sciences. "They learned as much in two weeks as you would in a freshman course. They've taken ownership, gotten engaged and worked well together. They've worked hard on these projects."

Last year, MTSU received $1.1 million from the National Science Foundation to implement a program to improve success rates in the science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, disciplines.

Dr. Tom Cheatham, dean for the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, served as coordinator of the FirstSTEP program. Stephens oversaw this spring's initial program.

READY FOR RESEARCH—MTSU sophomores dive into their FirstSTEP Immersion research projects on campus. In the photo above, sophomore Gabriel Welker monitors results of his research project in the laser lab in Wiser-Patten Science Hall. In the photo below, FirstSTEP participant Kayla Ray, left, and MTSU graduate student Katrina Smith observe Taylor Paige add ingredients to make gold nanoparticles in the Davis Science Building chemistry lab. Mainly working as teams and assisted by faculty, graduate and undergraduate students in five major concentrations, the 20 FirstSTEP Immersion students for summer 2011 received an intensive four-week focus in research during May and June.

MTSU Photographic Services photos by Andy Heidt

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MTSU Summer Blood Drives

( Click graphic to make an appointment!)

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Alumnus needs assistance after injury abroad

by Gina K. Logue

Friends and family of a critically injured MTSU alumnus are trying to raise money to bring him back to the United States for medical treatment.

Wes Putman, who graduated in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in history, was in his second placement as an elementary-school teacher of English in Seoul, South Korea, when he was struck by a taxicab while crossing a highway March 12.

According to his aunt, Melissa Brazier, Putman, 26, sustained brain-stem damage, an acute epidural hematoma and a subdural hemorrhage. Following two surgeries, he has been deemed stable enough to be transported.

While the taxi company's insurance firm has agreed to pay part of the costs of Putman's care, his family remains burdened by the expenses of flying back and forth to be with the Lawrenceburg, Tenn., native.

"God has been very good to us throughout this ordeal, and for that we are thankful," Brazier says. "Wes has friends all over the world who are supporting him on a Wes Putman Facebook account. It is amazing. He is a very special man."

Putman's brother, 23-year-old Casey Putman, intended to take summer classes at MTSU, but he put those plans on hold following the accident. Casey Putman is a junior majoring in electronic media communication.

Brazier says Wes Putman has shown recent signs of progress. She says he is now considered to be awake, although that is a relative term under the circumstances.

Putman has responded with "thumbs-up" answers to his mother's questions. Brazier says his left eye has been open during periods of alertness since April, and his right eye is opening slightly.

"He seems very aware of visitors and his mom's presence," Brazier says. "He has tried to manipulate his iPod when they hand it to him. We are waiting on his swallowing reflex to return so they can remove the trachea tube before we know if he is able to actually talk."

The family is still trying to select an American rehabilitation facility. The extent of transportation expenses depends on whether doctors will be able to remove the trachea tube before he travels.

"This will mean the difference between a $50,000 to $60,000 commercial flight for Wes, a doctor and a nurse, and a $134,000 air-ambulance flight," Brazier says.

For more information or to obtain entry forms for the fundraising events, contact Melissa Brazier at 931-279-0230 or Dylan Brazier at 931-279-0231.

BETTER DAYS—MTSU alumnus Wes Putnam, shown at lower left, poses for a photo alongside a fishmonger's stall in a marketplace in Seoul, South Korea, where he has been teaching English to elementary-school children. Putnam was struck and critically injured by a taxi this spring, and his family is trying to bring him home for treatment.

photo submitted

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From every angle

CAMP PRiSM RETURNS—Mitchell-Neilson Elementary fifth-, sixth- and seventh-grade students now have a new appreciation of math and science after their Camp PRiSM group visited MTSU June 7. In the photo above, Diamond Minter, Sohaeb Ahmad, Tyler Erdman, Steven Hazelwood, Corey Harris and Angel Nunez watch as Rick Taylor, third from left, makes a small sign on a laser machine in the engineering technology machine shop. Taylor is an ET lab director. In the photo below, students watch and document with cameras as Taylor demonstrates how to rotate a magnet through a fill coil to generate electricity. Shown facing the camera are, from left, Lizzie Yount, Matthew Arrington and Hannah Crawford. Before having lunch in Keathley University Center, the youngsters learned about manufacturing and performed group projects with Drs. Kathy Mathis and Carol Boraiko and the principles of electricity and magnetism from Dr. Saleh Sbenaty. Camp PRiSM—Practices in Science and Math—is a science, math and technology collaboration between MTSU and the Murfreesboro City Schools system.

photos by News and Media Relations

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UMath is teaching teachers

by Randy Weiler

Co-directors Drs. Dovie Kimmins and Mary B. Martin once again are helping to ensure that UMath concepts add up for elementary-school teachers across Tennessee.

For three weeks, they and other instructors are investing time planting UMath seeds in middle Tennessee. June 6-10 saw them at MTSU in the Tom H. Jackson Building's Cantrell Hall; the group then worked in Chattanooga June 13-17 and was heading to Clarksville for the June 20-24 session.

Sixty-two math teachers in third through fifth grades are gaining new techniques they can carry back to their classrooms, Kimmins said.

Dr. Jeremy Winters of MTSU and Austin Peay State University math professors Mary Lou Witherspoon, Andy Wilson and Jackie Vogel are being joined by master teachers Kathryn Dillard and James and Tammy Parsons of Metro Nashville Public Schools to bring their expertise to the venues.

All of the participants will gather July 14-15 at Fall Creek Falls State Park for an additional workshop. They also will meet once in September and once in November, Kimmins said.

UMath is a math-science partnership grant from the Tennessee Department of Education.

ANOTHER WAY TO LEARN—UMath instructor James Parsons, who teaches at Meigs Magnate School in Nashville, uses an iPad to emphasize a point during a lesson in the Tom Jackson Building on the MTSU campus. Sixty-two Tennessee elementary-school teachers are participating in UMath, a three-week math-teaching workshop.

photo by News and Media Relations

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'R&R' stands for rock 'n' roll at annual Girls' Camp

by Gina K. Logue

The Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp returns to MTSU July 25-29 with a lineup of independent rock artists to instruct and inspire budding young musicians.

The campers will show off their skills in a Camper Showcase slated for 7 p.m. Saturday, July 30, at Siegel High School, located at 3300 Siegel Road in Murfreesboro.

The summer day camp for girls ages 10 to 17 in the University's Wright Music Hall strives to create a safe, positive culture of collaboration and self-esteem where campers can express themselves, become empowered and rock out.

Campers will attend workshops and receive instruction in guitar, vocals, keyboards, bass, electronic music, songwriting, drums, recording, screen-printing, music herstory, photography, zine-making and do-it-yourself arts and crafts.

Musicians who are slated to share their knowledge with the girls include The Ettes, Natalie Prass, Yumi and the System, Youth Speaks Nashville and Pennyhawk, along with a solo performance by drummer Leslie Hall.

All tickets to the July 30 Camper Showcase are $10 general admission. Children under 8 years old will be admitted free. Doors will open at 6 p.m.

Items to be raffled at the showcase to raise money for SGRRC include vintage guitars from the Gretsch Foundation, an overnight stay and dinner for two at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville, a Daisy Rock electric guitar, VIP passes to the Next Big Nashville Music Festival and exclusive merchandise from indie record labels Third Man Records and Infinity Cat.

To register for the camp or for more information, go to .

The Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp is a program of Youth Empowerment through Arts and Humanities, a Murfreesboro-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that uses involvement and hands-on approaches to inspire young people to grow as individuals, artists and community leaders.

For more information about YEAH!, go to , call 615-849-8140 or send an email to

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McNair Scholars embark on unique summer research

by Randy Weiler

Along with their MTSU faculty mentors, 20 McNair Scholars Program participants recently embarked on their summer research.

Their research will cover 18 different areas of concentration from athletic training to religion to vocal performance.

At the annual "Blast Off" reception on June 7 to introduce many of the students and their mentors, program director Dr. Diane Miller, Assistant Director Steve Saunders and featured speaker Dr. John Omachonu said they were quite impressed by the students' research topics.

Saunders, who was interim director while Miller served in other administrative roles on campus, said "Wow!" to a number of the topics.

Omachonu, who will become vice provost for academic affairs July 1, said he was "blown away" by the McNair students' topics.

"I thought I was listening to doctoral students preparing their thesis," said the former associate dean of mass communication.

While sharing some of his own history as an international student at U.S. universities, Omachonu told the McNair Scholars, "You have opportunities many of us did not have," and urged them to prepare for graduate school.

"Perseverance is very critical," he told the students. "Stay strong, and stay in faith, if you are a believer."

Omachonu also congratulated the mentors for their hard work, noting with a smile that they are "often not paid well for it."

Miller, too, offered "deep appreciation for all faculty members who are involved with students' research."

Miller acknowledged the efforts of Cindy Howell, McNair Program secretary, and introduced graduate assistant Johnathan Gilliam, who will help this summer.

The program is named for Ronald E. McNair, a NASA astronaut who died in the Challenger shuttle in 1986.

The scholars, their majors and mentors include:
  • Enitan Aladejana, economics and accounting major, mentored by Dr. Mamit Deme;
  • Matt Bennett, psychology and sociology, Dr. Brian Hinote;
  • Kaylei Branch, psychology major, mentored by Dr. Paul Foster;
  • Mathew Elder, management and dance, Professor Kim Nofsinger;
  • Matt Foriest, history major, mentored by Dr. Mary Evins;
  • Lindsay Gates, history, mentored by Dr. Mark Doyle;
  • Matt Hampton, economics major, mentored by Dr. Ellis Eff;
  • Jenae Matikke, social work, Dr. Margaret Fontanesi-Seime;
  • John Meese, Spanish and economics, Dr. Stuart Fowler;
  • Petra Morkel, history, mentored by Dr. Kristine McCusker;
  • Eric Pegues, political science, mentored by Dr. Sekou Franklin;
  • Brandy Potter, anthropology and German, Dr. Richard Pace;
  • Carole Presley, vocal performance, Professor Dina Cancryn;
  • Erica Simmons, vocal performance, mentored by Cancryn;
  • Paige Stubbs, mathematics major, Dr. Michaele Chappell;
  • Jamie Sutton, philosophy and religion, mentored by Dr. Jack Purcell;
  • Laurence Tumpag, social-work major, mentored by Dr. Jackie Eller;
  • Ana Valenzuela, history, Dr. Robert Hunt;
  • Melody Vaughn, studio art, mentored by Dr. Erin Anfinson; and
  • Danielle Whitlow, athletic training, Dr. Thomas Brinthaupt.

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Events Around Campus: Governor's pen opens lottery funds for summer school

(Click the headline above to read the story.)

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Faculty/Staff Update


Sgt. Ron Duncan (music) of the Indiana National Guard's 38th Infantry Division Band performed "Taps" for the Indianapolis 500 Memorial Service at Fountain Square in downtown Indianapolis, Ind., on May 27 and at the opening ceremonies of the 100th running of the Indy 500 on May 29. Duncan is a 2000 graduate of MTSU and was a graduate teaching assistant with the "Band of Blue" from 1997 to 1999. He is now band director for the Milton-Union (Ind.) Exempted Village Schools.


Dr. Robert Ewing Corlew (history, academic affairs), 89, passed away on June 14. A native of Charlotte, Tenn., Dr. Corlew lived in Murfreesboro for the last 62 years and was on the faculty of MTSU from 1949 until 1990. He was a graduate of Austin Peay State University, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Alabama and a veteran of the U.S. Army Air Corps, serving overseas during World War II. Dr. Corlew began his MTSU career as an instructor in history and became the first chairman of the Department of History Department, then took the post of dean of the College of Liberal Arts and ended his tenure as vice president for academic affairs. He also taught history at Bethel College in 1948 and served on its Board of Trustees. His scholarship includes authoring A History of Dickson County and Tennessee: The Volunteer State, An Illustrated History and co-authoring Tennessee: A Short History, which was published for more than 40 years. Dr. Corlew served as chairman of the Tennessee Historical Commission for many years, was a director of Commerce Union Bank, served as chairman of the Rutherford County Bicentennial Commission and chaired the committee to form the Rutherford County Center for the Arts. As an elder in the Presbyterian Church USA for more than 50 years, he served his church on a number of committees and as an adult Sunday school leader. Raising Hereford cattle on his farm in the Blackman community was a source of great enjoyment to him. The widower of Mary Saille Scott Corlew, Dr. Corlew is survived by his children, Robert E. Corlew III, Daniel Scott Corlew and Mary Catherine Sevier; his grandchildren, Melissa Ann Corlew, Christopher James Corlew, Robert E. Corlew IV, David Andrew Corlew, John Scott Corlew and Mary Saille Scott Sevier; his sister, Elizabeth Corlew Daniel; three nephews and two nieces. He was predeceased by his sister, Sara Corlew Story Matlock. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Resurge International, the Lions Clubs International Foundation, the Tennessee Historical Society and First Presbyterian Church of Murfreesboro.

Professor Douglas Crenshaw (English), 78, passed away on May 27. He was employed with MTSU from September 1966 until his retirement in July 1993. The son of Archie Woodard Crenshaw and Grace Crenshaw of Dyer, Tenn., Professor Crenshaw was preceded in death by his wife, Dortha Crenshaw. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army and taught at MTSU for 27 years, specializing in Old English, Chaucer and literature. He is survived by a son, Benjamin Crenshaw, and his wife, Lisa Crenshaw, of Bowling Green, Ky.; a brother, Archie Crenshaw, and his wife, Geneele Crenshaw, of Athens, Ga.; and two very special granddaughters, Caitlyn Crenshaw and Rachael Crenshaw.

Professor Wera Dross Howard (foreign languages), 85, passed away on May 28. She was employed by MTSU from September 1969 until her retirement in April 1986. Following her retirement, she traveled the world with her husband and volunteered with organizations such as Hospice and Meals on Wheels. Professor Howard was preceded in death by her husband of 42 years, Phil Howard. She is survived by her son, Frank Howard of Annapolis, Md.; her daughter, Barbara Arnold, and Barbara's husband, Bill; and four terrific grandchildren, Francesca, Olivia, Julia and William. Memorials may be made to charitable organizations of the giver's preference or to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, 383 Main Ave., Fifth Floor, Norwalk, Conn., 06851, or the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Personnel Changes

Dr. Maria Revell (nursing) has been appointed associate director for the traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at MTSU. An MTSU faculty member since 2000, Revell previously taught at the University of Alabama at Huntsville and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Before teaching, Revell was a critical-care nurse.


Dr. Edd Applegate (journalism, retired) has written Journalism in the United States: Concepts and Issues, recently published by The Scarecrow Press, a subsidiary of The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc. Applegate also revised his chapter, "The Development of Advertising, 1700-1900," which was recently published in the eighth edition of The Media in America: A History, edited by William David Sloan.

We still need your updates!

This is the final print edition of The Record, but Faculty/ Staff Update will remain active online at ! Submit your news items to, and they'll appear on a regularly updated, searchable page hotlinked from the MTSU News home page. Thank you, MTSU community, for your great contributions, and congratulations on your accomplishments!

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Campus Calendar June 20-Aug. 13, 2011

TV Schedule: "MTSU Out of the Blue"
Cable Channel 9: Monday-Sunday, 7:30 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 .

Fridays all summer
Farmers Market Fridays

sponsored by the MTSU Plant and Soil Science Club
1-3 p.m., Horticulture Center
For information, visit

June 21-22, July 6-7, July 14-15, July 19-20, July 22-23 and 27-28
CUSTOMS Orientation
For details, visit .

Wednesday, June 29
Governor's School for the Arts Opera Finale

4 p.m., T. Earl Hinton Hall

Governor's School for the Arts Theatre Finale
7 p.m., Tucker Theatre
For information, visit or contact: 615-898-2223.

Thursday, June 30
Governor's School for the Arts Visual Art/Film Finale

5-9 p.m. display, Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Nashville
For information, visit or contact: 615-898-2223.

Governor's School for the Arts Dance/Music Finale
7 p.m., Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Nashville
Admission: Adults $25 and $35, children $12.50 and $17.50
To buy tickets, visit .

Monday, July 4
Independence Day Holiday

No classes; all offices closed.

Saturday, July 9
Alumni, Family and Friends Day at Nashville Shores

Gates open 10 a.m.; lunch at noon
Nashville Shores, 4001 Bell Road, Hermitage
Cost: $25 per person; please pre-pay and RSVP by Tuesday, July 5
For information, email or contact: 615-898-2922.

July 10-14
Create2011: Creativity in Education Academy

College of Education Building
For information, watch .

Wednesday, July 13
Tornado Siren Test Date

11:15 a.m., campuswide
For information, contact: 615-898-2424.

We'll still need your Campus Calendar items!

This is the final print edition of The Record, but the Campus Calendar will remain active online at ! Submit your items anytime to, and they'll appear on a regularly updated, searchable page hotlinked from the MTSU News home page. We thank the MTSU community for its great contributions over the years; see you on the Web at !

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