Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Tennesseans liking Bredesen, Legislature more, fundamentalists less

EDITORIAL CONTACTS: Dr. Ken Blake, 615-210-6187 (kblake@mtsu.edu)
Dr. Robert Wyatt, 615-477-8389 (rwyatt@mtsu.edu)

MURFREESBORO—The second wave of information from the Spring 2007 MTSU Poll, featuring Tennesseans’ views on Gov. Phil Bredesen and the Tennessee Legislature, various Protestant denominations and the death penalty, is now available at the poll’s Web site, www.mtsusurveygroup.org.
In just four of the poll’s hottest topics:
· respondents rate nondenominational Christians and mainline Protestants higher than evangelicals or fundamentalists, despite the state’s reputation as the “buckle of the Bible Belt”;
· approval of Tennessee’s governor and the state Legislature are trending upward;
· a majority of respondents support the death penalty, but a plurality also approves a temporary suspension of the practice to review procedures; and
· most think global warming is a serious problem and many think former Vice President Al Gore deserves the Nobel Prize for his work to promote awareness of and solutions for the problem.
Details and appendices are available at the Web site as well as in the text of the poll summary included below.
For Tennessee public opinion data from 1998 to present, visit www.mtsusurveygroup.org, home of the twice-annual MTSU Poll, a project of the MTSU Office of Communication Research. The OCR is a division of MTSU’s College of Mass Communication.
Summary of Findings, Spring 2007

Nondenominational, mainline score higher than Evangelicals, fundamentalists. More Tennesseans say they approve of nondenominational Christians (52%) and mainline Protestants (41%) than Evangelicals (32%) or fundamentalists (24%), despite the state’s reputation as the buckle of the Bible Belt. (Contact: Bob Wyatt.)

Approval of Bredesen, Legislature trending upward. Over two-thirds (67%) of Tennesseans approve of how Phil Bredesen is handling his job as governor, up substantially from the 57 percent approval rating he received in last fall’s poll conducted weeks before his election to a second term. Approval of the state Legislature is up as well, with 50 percent expressing approval in the current poll compared to 40 percent in last fall’s pre-election poll. (Contact: Ken Blake.)

Majority supports death penalty, plurality back temporary suspension. A majority (57%) of Tennesseans support death as the maximum penalty for murder, but about one-third (32%) opt for life imprisonment without parole. And 42 percent approve of Gov. Phil Bredesen’s suspension of executions pending a review of Tennessee’s lethal injection procedures. (Contact: Bob Wyatt.)

Most think global warming serious, many think Gore should add Nobel to Oscar. Nearly two-thirds (60%) of Tennesseans think global warming is making a serious impact on the climate now. And nearly half (48%) think former Vice President Al Gore deserves a Nobel Prize for his work against global warming. Gore has already won an Oscar. (Contact: Bob Wyatt.)

Health care No. 1 state problem, again up from fall; race a factor. More than one-fourth (27%) of Tennesseans named health care and health insurance as the state’s No. 1 problem in an open-ended question, up from 19 percent last fall. And 29 percent of whites named health No. 1, compared with 17 percent of blacks. For blacks, crime is No.1, with a 25 percent mention. (Contact: Ken Blake.)

Most support pre-trial screening of medical malpractice suits. Most Tennesseans (65%) say malpractice suits filed against health-care providers should be required to pass a review by medical experts before being heard by a jury. A plurality of 45 percent support a state-imposed limit on the amount of money patients can receive in punitive damages when suing health-care providers. (Contact: Ken Blake.)

State mood looking up again; things rosier for wealthier. Things are looking up again in the state, with our Tennessee barometer standing at a new high of 63 out of 100. The measure stood at 61 in our spring 2006 survey. (Contact: Bob Wyatt.)


EDITORIAL CONTACT: Lisa L. Rollins, 615-898-2919

CHP Director Says Graham Brings Much-Welcomed ‘Out of Classroom’ Approach

(MUFREESBORO)—Dr. Carroll Van West, director of the Center for Historic Preservation (CHP) at MTSU, recently announced the addition of Dr. Stacey Graham to the center’s staff.
A native of Murfreesboro, Graham earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and both her M.A. and Ph.D. in history from the University of California at Los Angeles. She will serve as a research professor for the MTSU-based center.
“Dr. Graham is a very significant addition to the Center for Historic Preservation," West observed. “She brings outstanding academic credentials, having conducted research in some of the best libraries in Europe as a Fulbright Scholar, and having completed her doctorate at UCLA.
“More importantly for us,” he added, “she has a passion for being a historian 'out of the classroom,' conducting field research and carrying out field projects with our students and bringing new insights gathered from her international research to the commonplaces, like rural cemeteries, of Tennessee's historic landscape."
Regarding her role within the CHP, Graham said, “I pursued this job at the Center for Historic Preservation because I deeply admire the work that they accomplish here. Not only are the individual projects interesting from a historical standpoint, but they are practical, applicable and valuable for all members of our community—not just academics or private scholars.”
Although Graham may boast research experience and familiarity with historic periods that span from Ancient Rome to the Civil War, she will begin her tenure with the CHP with a focused area of study, she said.
“The amount of projects the center handles is quite impressive, and right now I’m focusing on only a few of them, including some Civil War sites and antebellum cemeteries,” Graham explained. “My short-term goal is to continue researching projects like these in Tennessee, while my long-term goal is to place such local preservation efforts into a larger, international context.”
In addition to her research role with the CHP, Graham—who served as a national intern with the CHP in 2003 and as a teaching assistant for UCLA’s history department—said she also hopes to begin teaching courses in MTSU’s history department in 2008.


° ATTENTION, MEDIA—To secure a jpeg of Dr. Graham for editorial use, please send your request to Lisa L. Rollins in the Office of News and Public Affairs at lrollins@mtsu.edu.


EDITORIAL CONTACT: Gina E. Fann, 615-898-5385

March 7-10 and March 14-17 Events Mean Single-Lane Routes Near MTSU

(MURFREESBORO)—The TSSAA girls' and boys' Division I high school basketball tournaments have been scheduled for March 7-10 and March 14-17, respectively, in Murphy Center, and that means temporary traffic and parking changes for motorists around the MTSU campus.
The girls' tournament occurs during spring break for the university, which should help reduce congestion that week, but officials say motorists still will need to use caution and make room when necessary for all tournament guests.
As in the past, tournament team buses will be parked along the east side of Middle Tennessee Boulevard, creating a single lane of traffic heading north on MT Boulevard between East Main Street and Greenland Drive for the duration of both events.
During the tournaments, MTSU’s Greenland Drive parking lots will be reserved for TSSAA game ticket holders, who will pay $5 per vehicle to park in those lots.
The Faulkinberry Drive entrance into the university from MT Boulevard will be closed Wednesday through Saturday during both tournaments.
Students, faculty and staff with current MTSU parking decals—as well as visitors with appropriate permits—will be allowed to park in the Woodfin, Maintenance, Horseshoe, Corral, Jones Field and S-Curve parking lots during the tournaments. Visitors attending the tournament games will be routed to outer lots on campus, including the Tennessee Livestock Center and Rutherford Boulevard lots.
For more information, please call MTSU Parking and Transportation Services at 615-898-2850 or visit its Web site at www.mtsu.edu/~parking.



CONTACT: Laura Holder, 615-898-2947 or via e-mail at lholder@mtsu.edu

Lebanon, Smyrna, Granville, Franklin & Murfreesboro Among Planned Stops

(MURFREESBORO, Tenn.)—“Free at Last! Emancipation and Reconstruction in Tennessee,” an exhibit created by the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area (TCWNHA), will travel throughout middle Tennessee this spring and summer.
The two-panel exhibit, which is on display now through March 30 at the
Roy Bailey African-American History Center in Lebanon, emphasizes the significance of emancipation as a result of the Civil War, said Antoinette van Zelm, historian for the TCWNHA.
“Freedom for former slaves was a key outcome of the Civil War, and it was the slaves themselves who made it happen,” van Zelm said. “They took advantage of the presence of the occupying Union army to break down the bonds of slavery.”
In addition to raising awareness about the agency of former slaves in bringing about their freedom, the “Free at Last!” exhibit provides an introduction to the joys and challenges shared by African Americans in Tennessee during the aftermath of slavery, van Zelm observed.
The exhibit—which made its debut Feb. 14 at the 26th Annual Conference on African-American History and Culture held at Tennessee State University—will travel throughout the state over the next few years.
Regarding the exhibit’s inspiration, van Zelm said, “The Reconstruction years were crucial to the development of African-American communities throughout Tennessee. Former slaves founded scores of schools and churches … (and the exhibit) highlights some of the emancipation communities that are wonderfully preserved in our state.”
Mary Harris, president of the Wilson County Black History Committee, said “Free at Last!” opened at the Roy Bailey African-American History Center in Lebanon on Feb. 15.
“We’re pleased to have the exhibit during Black History Month and into March,” Harris said. “It will enhance the presentations that we have at the museum … (and) I hope it will create more interest in preserving history.”
Following its stopover in Lebanon, the exhibit will be displayed April 2 through May 18 at the Sam Davis Home in Smyrna, Tenn.; at the Granville Museum in
Granville, Tenn., on May 23 through June 15; at the McLemore House Museum in Franklin, Tenn., on June 16 through Aug. 10; and at the Oaklands Historic House Museum in Murfreesboro on Aug. 13 through Sept. 21.
The Heritage Area has provided the exhibit to these museums free of charge, reported Laura Holder, manager of the TCNHA, which receives funding from the National Park Service and is administered by the Center for Historic Preservation at MTSU.
“Our goal is to tell the whole story of the Civil War and Reconstruction in Tennessee,” she said. “These venues are terrific places to tell the emancipation story.”
In addition to the aforementioned exhibit stops, “Free At Last!” also will be on display at the Legacy of Stones River Symposium in Murfreesboro on March 31 and for teachers attending the Civil War Preservation Trust Summer Teacher Institute in Chattanooga on July 22.
• For more information about the “Free at Last!” exhibit, please contact Holder with the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area at 615-898-2947 or via e-mail at lholder@mtsu.edu.


ATTENTION, MEDIA—Contact phone numbers for the venues that will feature the “Free At Last!” exhibit are listed below for your convenience.

Feb. 15-March 30: Roy Bailey African-American History Center, Lebanon, 615-449-2911.

April 2-May 18: Sam Davis Home, Smyrna, 615-459-2341.

May 23-June 15: Granville Museum, Granville, 931-268-4411.

June 16-Aug. 10: McLemore House Museum, Franklin, 615-794-2270.

Aug. 13-Sept. 21: Oaklands Historic House Museum, Murfreesboro, (615-893-0022)

Thursday, February 22, 2007


CONTACT: Tim Musselman, 615-898-2493

MTSU Women’s Chorale Will Deliver Free & Open Performance

(MURFREESBORO) – The MTSU Women’s Chorale will give a free performance at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 27 in the T. Earl Hinton Hall of the Wright Music Building on the MTSU campus.
“All of the compositions on this first spring semester concert were written or arranged by women, so we have music by women for women,” said Dr. Jamila McWhirter, conductor of the chorale and assistant professor at MTSU.
“The audience will enjoy a variety of octavos from folk songs to modern selections ending with a women's barbershop selection,” McWhirter added.
The program will include Beverly Patton’s Exaudi! Laudate!; Joan Varner’s When I am Silent, Red Dragonflies, with arrangement by Ruth Dwyer and Vicki Nurre; Gwyneth Walker’s Let Evening Come; Mary Lynn Lightfoot’s How Can I Keep From Singing? and Java Jive arranged by June Dale.
“There will be something for everyone as we celebrate women’s literature by women composers,” McWhirter said.
For more information on this and other events in the McLean School of Music, please visit www.mtsumusic.com or call 615-898-2493.



Release date: Feb. 21, 2007

Editorial contact: Randy Weiler, 615-898-2919
Regional Science Olympiad contact: Dr. Pat Patterson, 615-898-5085


(MURFREESBORO) — About 400 middle and high school students will be competing in the annual Regional Science Olympiad Saturday, Feb. 24, at a variety of campus sites, event Director Pat Patterson said recently.
Patterson added that 14 middle schools (Division B) and 13 high schools (Division C) would have teams entered.
Middle schools entering teams include: E.A. Cox of Columbia; Friendship Christian School Teams A, B and C, of Lebanon; Nashville’s Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet School, Montgomery Bell Academy Team A, St. Ann School, St. Bernard
Academy and St. Pius X School; Murfreesboro’s St. Rose of Lima and
Siegel; and Smyrna Middle, Stewarts Creek and Thurman Francis Arts Academy.
High school teams entered include: Cannon County of Woodbury; Franklin; Friendship Christian of Lebanon; Nashville’s Harpeth Hall, Hume-Fogg Academy,
Martin Luther King and MBA Teams A and B; Murfreesboro’s Oakland, Riverdale and Siegel Teams A and B; and Smyrna.
“We want all kids exposed to Science Olympiad,” she said. “We need to show it’s for all kids.”
Patterson, associate professor in chemistry, said she was excited to learn that Nashville’s Hume-Fogg and Martin Luther King would be sending high school teams.
“They are two Tennessee high schools in the top 50 in the country,” she said. “I’m excited that we will have that type of competition. Hume-Fogg not only signed up, but they signed up to win.”
WKRN Channel 2 meteorologists Jeff Ray and Justin Bruce, UT-Martin faculty members Cahit Erkal and Lily Linghong, Tennessee Valley Authority employees Bo Baxter and Pat Cox and Bruce Ross of Murfreesboro Water and Sewer Department will be non-MTSU coordinators of events.
“We have friends that support Science Olympiad,” Patterson said. “Some are teachers at middle or high schools that are not competing, but they are volunteering and hopefully will compete next year.”
Nearly 80 MTSU faculty and students will assist, she said. Some 40 MTSU faculty and 30 to 40 students either will coordinate the combined 46 events or help in other ways, said Patterson, who added that most will come from the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, but other colleges and departments will assist.
“The Regional Science Olympiad will be bigger than ever,” Patterson said. “The MTSU support is greater. We’re tapping into some new folks, plus we have some of our regular coordinators. Faculty from nine of the 10 departments in College of Basic and Applied Sciences are helping, and that’s wonderful. It’s one of the biggest colleges on campus.”
Patterson said four high-school teams and two middle schools will advance to the state competition Saturday, March 31, at the University of ‘Tennessee in Knoxville. The national Science Olympiad will be held May 18-19 in Wichita, Kan.
Sponsors in 2007 include State Farm Insurance Companies ($3,600 donation), ARAMARK, Krispy Kreme doughnuts and the College of Basic & Applied Sciences.


Media welcomed.

Please note: Excellent photo opportunities.


Release date: Feb. 21, 2007

Editorial contact: Randy Weiler, 615-898-2919
Center contacts: Dr. Ray Phillips and Dovie Kimmins, 615-904-8573


(MURFREESBORO) — The Tennessee Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Center will hold its first statewide Mathematics and Science Education Research Conference Feb. 22-23 at Tennessee Miller Coliseum in Murfreesboro, event organizers said recently.
About 70 math and science educators from Tennessee are expected to participate, said Drs. Ray Phillips and Dovie Kimmins, the respective director and assistant director of the math, science and technology education center.
According to Phillips and Kimmins, the conference’s purposes will raise participants’ awareness of the need to improve K-16 math and science education in the nation and particularly in Tennessee; to inform them of national initiatives to enhance math and science education and of funding sources; to facilitate and encourage more statewide collaboration in conducting research that could help improve K-16 math and science education in the state; and to provide a venue for state math and science educators to discuss current research projects.
Noted educators Robert Yager (University of Iowa), Mark Taylor (University of Tennessee-Knoxville), Leigh Abts (University of Maryland) and Cahit Erkal (UT-Martin) will be among the Thursday, Feb. 22, presenters.
Dr. Camilla Benbow, dean of the Peabody College of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University, will be the speaker during dinner, which will be held from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel.
The Friday, Feb. 23, presenters at Tennessee Miller Coliseum will include Drs. Jim Lewis (University of Nebraska); Michael Rutledge, Ginger Rowell and Judith Iriarte-Gross (MTSU); Laura Novick (Vanderbilt); Wayne Stevenson (Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education); and John Haddock (University of Memphis).
U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon, an MTSU alumnus who works to obtain federal funding for science and math programs in the Sixth Congressional district, will be the lunch speaker.
The Tennessee Space Grant Consortium and MTSU funded the conference.
Media welcomed. Note: Conference agenda attached.
Mathematics and Science Education Research Conference Agenda

Thursday February 22
1:00-1:30 Registration Check-in (Miller Coliseum Club Room)
1:30 – 1:45 Welcome, Orientation
Dr. E. Ray Phillips, director, TMSTEC
Dr. Tom Cheatham, dean, MTSU College of Basic and Applied Sciences
1:45 – 2:30 Dr. Robert Yager, professor of science education, Univ. of Iowa
2:30 – 2:55 Dr. Mark Taylor, assistant professor of math education, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
2:55 – 3:05 Break
3:05 – 3:30 Drs. Ray Phillips, Mary Martin and Dovie Kimmins; TMSTEC
3:30 – 4:00 Dr. Leigh Abts, School of Education, University of Maryland4:00 – 4:30 Dr. Cahit Erkal, associate professor of Physics, UT-Martin
4:30 – 6:30 Break and travel to Doubletree Hotel
6:30 – 8:30 Dinner (Doubletree Hotel)
Welcome: Dr. Kaylene Gebert, provost and academic vice president, MTSU
Introduction of Speaker: Dr. Gloria Bonner, Dean of MTSU College of Education and Behavioral Sciences
Speaker: Dr. Camilla Benbow, Dean, Peabody College of Education and Human Development, Vanderbilt University

Friday February 23
7:00 – 8:00 Breakfast (Miller Coliseum Club Room)
8:00 – 8:45 Dr. Jim Lewis, professor of mathematics, University of Nebraska
8:45 – 9:10 Dr. Michael Rutledge, Professor of Biology, MTSU
9:10 – 9:35 Dr. Laura Novick, associate professor of cognition and cognitive neuroscience, Vanderbilt University
9:35 – 9:50 Break
9:50 – 10:05 TBA
10:05 – 10:30 Dr. Wayne Stevenson, director of science and engineering education, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education
10:30 – 10:55 Dr. Ginger Rowell, Department of Mathematical Sciences, MTSU
10:55 – 11:25 Dr. John Haddock, professor of mathematics, Univ. of Memphis
11:25 - 11:40 Break
11:40 – 12:40 Lunch (Speaker – U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon
12:40 – 1:35 Networking
1:35 – 2:00 Dr. Judith Iriarte-Gross, professor of chemistry, MTSU
2:00 – 2:15 Wrap

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Release date: Feb. 20, 2007

Editorial contact: Randy Weiler, 615-898-2919


(MURFREESBORO) — Blue Elite, a new student organization that will be part of the Office of Admissions, will have a general interest meeting starting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22, in the Business and Aerospace Building’s State Farm Lecture Hall, Steven Mizell, a first-year admissions counselor, said recently.
Mizell said students will hear about the organization and can apply to become Blue Elite members.
“Build your resume, be involved, be elite,” said Mizell, who added that students who become a part of the organization will give special tours and will be a part of fall recruiting trips the university makes to West and East Tennessee.
For more information, call Mizell at 615-494-7942.



Release date: Feb. 20, 2007

Editorial contact: Randy Weiler, 615-898-2919
Student Support Services contact: Crickett Pimentel, 615-898-5443

TRiO Open House Set for 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 22

(MURFREESBORO) — Crickett Pimentel wants to spread the word about one of the MTSU campus’s best-kept secrets: Student Support Services.
“We are a great resource,” says Pimentel, director of the office that serves as a “home away from home” for 175 first-generation, low income and disabled college students. “We have one-on-one relationships with our students. We know them over four or five years. We see success happen every day.”
Student Support Services will be joined by the McNair Scholars Post-Baccalaureate program and Educational Talent Search in a TRiO Open House Celebration as part of National TRiO Day. It will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22 in Midgett Building Rooms 101 and 103. University faculty, administrators and staff are welcome.
Since 1965, federally funded TRiO programs have helped first-generation college students, students from low-income families and disabled students finish high school, enter college and graduate. The name comes from the trio of original programs created in ’65: Talent Search, Upward Bound and Student Support Services.
The TRiO umbrella has expanded to seven programs, which also include Upward Bound Math Science, Veterans Upward Bound, Educational Opportunity Centers and McNair.
Life rarely becomes dull in Midgett 101 for the SSS staff: Pimentel, counselors Laura Clippard and Susan Johnson and secretary Sherry House. Each semester, SSS provides tutoring, academic workshops and cultural events in order for students to increase their college successes and experiences, Pimentel says.
“We have a computer lab, and a welcoming and supportive environment that our students like,” she says. “In addition to the students, we want to be a resource for faculty teaching our students. The reason we’re here is for retention and graduation. Our faculty has been very supportive. MTSU gives us a lot of support.”
Pimentel said the TRiO program is “100 percent federally funded.” SSS receives $235,689 every year, making it an almost $1 million grant every four years.
Two students in the program were 2006 USA Funds Scholarship recipients, giving MTSU a rare distinction because “many others were from schools like Stanford,” she said.
Pimentel added that Pell-eligible freshmen and sophomores have scholarship grant opportunities. For 2006-07, SSS awarded more than $20,000 in grant scholarships.
To learn more about SSS and TRiO, visit during the TRiO Day Open House, visit the Web site at www.mtsu.edu/~ mtsu.edu/~ssupport/ or call 615-898-5443.
Media welcomed.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


EDITORIAL CONTACT: Seth Johnson, 615-898-5985

Open Public Reception for Participating Artists Set for March 23, Curator Says

(MURFREESBORO)—“Sound in Print: The Art of the Contemporary Music Poster,” an exhibit featuring some 50 artists and more than 200 music-inspired artworks, will be on display March 12-30 in the Todd Gallery on the campus of MTSU.
Sponsored by the university’s Department of Art, exhibit curator Sasha Barr said, “I was excited to be able to curate this exhibit and personally invite artists whose work I respect.”
Barr, who also is an artist, said “Sound in Print” will include limited-edition, handmade posters from various music groups that showcase a variety of art and design styles incorporate silkscreen and letterpress techniques.
The technique of silkscreen poster printing has become synonymous with the Tennessee area, observed Seth Johnson, assistant professor. Additionally, he added, these posters have a niche appeal and have been featured in the book titled “Art of Modern Rock” as well as in “Print Magazine.”
A free and open reception for the artists featured in this show will be held at 6:30 p.m. March 23 in the Todd Gallery lobby. Barr and several of the artists will be available for questions and a few donated copies of the custom made posters will be available for sale at this time.
Regarding the upcoming show, Johnson said, “No one has ever put anything like this together. Because of MTSU’s strong music and recording industry (programs), and because Tennessee is well known for these posters, we hope to bring a good crowd to campus.”
Barr said Aesthetic Apparatus, The Heads of State, Yeehaw Industries and Jay Ryan of The Bird Machine will submit pieces for the exhibit, along with many others from around the U.S.
Also, a portion of the proceeds from the poster sales will go toward a scholarship for MTSU art majors, Barr said.
• Gallery Hours and Admission: Admission to exhibits in the Todd Gallery is always free. The gallery, located on the MTSU campus in Murfreesboro, is open 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, except when MTSU is closed for holidays or because of inclement weather. After-hours tours are available for groups upon request by calling the gallery directly at 615-898-5653.
For more information regarding the “Sound in Print” exhibit, please contact Johnson at 615-898-5985 or via e-mail at jsjohnso@mtsu.edu.



Features Tennesseans’ views on national, international, local issues


Dr. Ken Blake, 615-210-6187 (kblake@mtsu.edu)
Dr. Robert Wyatt, 615-477-8389 (rwyatt@mtsu.edu)

(MURFREESBORO)—The Spring 2007 MTSU Poll, featuring Tennesseans’ views on the state’s options on lottery scholarship surplus dollars as well as national issues including the 2008 slate of presidential hopefuls, the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and escalating tensions in Iran, the minimum-wage and tobacco issues including workplace smoking and higher cigarette taxes, is now available at the poll’s Web site, www.mtsusurveygroup.org.In just three of the poll’s hottest topics:

- respondents give Democratic presidential candidates better ratings than their GOP counterparts and fewer identify themselves as “Republican”;

- most of those polled favor boosting the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour; and

- support for a plan to ban workplace smoking is divided evenly—and chiefly along tobacco-use lines.

Details and appendices are available at the Web site. For Tennessee public opinion data from 1998 to the present, visit www.mtsusurveygroup.org, home of the twice-annual MTSU Poll, a project of the MTSU Office of Communication Research. The OCR is a division of MTSU’s College of Mass Communication.


CONTACT: Tim Musselman, 615-898-2493

Free and Open Performance Will Feature Three MTSU Student Soloists

(MUFREESBORO)—The MTSU Symphony, Chamber Orchestra and Philharmonia will present the third concert of its series at 8 p.m. Feb. 25 in a free and open performance in the T. Earl Hinton Music Hall of the Wright Music Building on the MTSU campus.
The concert will feature Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, Bizet's L'Arlésienne Suite No. 2 and Rossini's Gazza Ladra Overture performed by the MTSU Symphony.
Dr. Carol Nies, assistant professor of music and conductor for the groups, said the Chamber Orchestra will feature three undergraduate students in the McLean School of Music as soloists. Specifically, Jonathan Copeland will serve as the soloist for the final movement of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto, while Lindsay Kuhn and Katie Howard will be the soloists for Vivaldi's Concerto for Two Flutes in C Major.
For more information on this and other events in the McLean School of Music, please visit www.mtsumusic.com or call 615-898-2493.


Friday, February 16, 2007


EDITORIAL CONTACT: Gina Logue, 615-898-5081

You Can Call Him ‘Jack’ or You Can Call Him ‘Justin’—Just Call Him a Novelist

(MURFREESBORO) – Dr. Jack Justin Turner, professor emeritus of political science, will discuss his novel, The Sheriffs’ Murder Cases (Chestnut Hill, 2006), at 2:30 p.m., Thursday, Mar. 1, in Room 103 of the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building. This event is free and open to the public.
Turner, who specialized in international relations at MTSU, will read selected portions of his book (Chestnut Hill, 2006), the first volume of what Turner calls the “Cumberland Mountain Trilogy.” Volumes II and III are slated to be released in July 2007 and January 2008, respectively.
A native of Maytown, Ky., Turner, drew from his roots to tell the story of Jake Herald, High Sheriff or Chief Deputy of Chinoe County from 1920-1945. Herald earns a bachelor’s degree from Valparaiso University and pursues a medical degree at the University of Louisville, only to leave with a year remaining to fight in World War I.
When Herald returns home, he finds the area infiltrated by coal companies and the overall environment much rougher than he remembers. He thrusts himself into law enforcement to find out who killed one of his friends. It’s the first of several murders Herald will try to solve.
“I think of Jake Herald as a kind of a mixture, and it’s a strange mixture, of Hamlet, maybe, and Dirty Harry,” Turner says, referring to William Shakespeare’s tragic prince and Clint Eastwood’s vigilante movie detective. “He likes to think about things and work them out, but once he gets started, he’s capable of taking extreme action, if necessary.”
Known as “Justin” as an author and “Jack” to his friends, Turner says he made a concerted effort to avoid stereotypes of mountain people as ignorant and uneducated. For example, the novel is free of any sort of dialect.
“I talked to so many people in getting material for this book I got to where I could speak the way they could again,” Turner says. “I just wrote the way they actually talked.”
Turner says another overly simplistic image promoted by some authors is the concept of the evil coal company executives who try to cheat the poor, dumb mountaineers out of their land.
“Around where I grew up, that didn’t happen very often because the mountaineers were as shrewd as they were,”Turner says. “People still owned their mineral rights and still sold them off when they felt like it.”
Also, there are numerous footnotes in the back of the book to introduce the uninitiated to the meanings of terms such as “Blind Tiger” and “ambeer.”
“A lot of people will read the footnotes first, and they seem to enjoy that a great deal,” Turner says.
Turner earned his bachelor’s degree from Berea College in 1959 and his Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky in 1969. He was a full-time faculty member at MTSU from 1965 to 2000.
Turner’s campus appearance is sponsored by the Dr. Virginia Peck Trust and the Departments of English and Political Science. The trust is named for the first woman to receive a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University and a former member of the MTSU Department of English. Her bequest to the university upon her death has been used to provide cash prizes for writing awards, fund an annual workshop on composition theory and practice, and facilitate visits by scholars, creative writers and other artists.
A book signing will follow Turner’s talk. For more information, contact Connie Huddleston, events coordinator for the College of Liberal Arts, at 615-494-7628, or chudd@mtsu.edu. To learn more about The Sheriffs’ Murder Cases, go to http://www.chestnuthillpublishing.com.


ATTENTION, MEDIA: For a black-and-white jpeg photo of Dr. Jack Justin Turner, contact Gina Logue in the Office of News and Public Affairs at 615-898-5081 or gklogue@mtsu.edu.

258 UPDATE Tennessee Titan Kevin Mawae will be speaker for Invention Convention

CONTACT: Tracey Ring, 615-898-5500

Students Demonstrate Inventions at March 1 Event; Titan’s Mawae Guest Speaker

(MURFREESBORO)—A mother’s legacy will once again lead area children to summon their creative and practical capabilities at this year’s Invention Convention, an annual event that will be held 9 a.m.-11:30 p.m. March 1 in the Tennessee Room of MTSU’s James Union Building.

Kevin Mawae, center for the Tennessee Titans, will be the special guest at this year’s event. The 6' 4", 290-pound athlete, who can boast 13 years in professional football and six trips to the Pro Bowl, will be the motivational speaker for this year's Invention Convention.
Now in its 15th year under the direction of event founder Dr. Tracey Ring, professor of elementary and special education at MTSU, the invention-filled event is free and open to the public.
Regarding the convention, “My mother did this when she taught fifth grade at a private school,” Ring said. “After she retired, I decided to do it on a bigger scale.”
Today, the Invention Convention draws nearly 300 young participants from schools across middle Tennessee, said Ring, who opens the conference to area students in fourth, fifth and sixth grades from public and private schools, as well as those in local home schools.
Thanks to time, Ring said, word of her child-focused program has spread beyond middle Tennessee.
“A couple of years ago, we got a call from somebody at the Jay Leno show,” Ring revealed. “Every year, we videotape what goes on, and they were interested in that.”
Invention Convention competitors compete against others in their grade level, and are divided into categories of Games and Something to Make Life Easier, and division winners are given awards for first through third place. In addition to those trophies, judges give credence to students with special significance, Ring said.
“We give a Judge’s Favorite award to a kid with a really unusual project who didn’t get a trophy in his or her category,” she explained. “We also give an award for the best presentation.”
Ring said that aside from developing a presentation, participants must create working models of their inventions. The pressure to develop functioning models pushes children to stretch their creativity, she noted, and makes their feat more impressive.
“You find that most kids make games, usually ones that help them learn what they’re studying in school,” Ring said. “Also, in recent years I’ve seen a shift to more technological inventions.”
Ring observed that the convention’s two consistent themes, Games and Something to Make Life Easier, grant the children more creative flexibility and

afford them the chance to explore other motif options.
Aside from the children’s featured inventions, Ring said, “Each year, I pick an everyday object of interest, and feature it. We make a poster about it, so people can learn about its background. This year, we’re focusing on a tape measure.”
Ring’s office currently houses past featured objects, such as sunglasses and Frisbees, both of which are emblazoned with the Invention Convention logo.
This year, in addition to prizes for children, Ring said she will give a special award to teachers who support the program.
“Some of these teachers are with us every year and provide great support. Without them, we wouldn’t draw nearly the entries we do.”
Because this is the program’s 15th year, Ring said she also plans to honor students who have participated all three years of eligibility.
“The goal is to get these kids interested and get them involved around MTSU,” she said.
For more information regarding Invention Convention, please contact Ring at 615-898-550 or via e-mail at tring@mtsu.edu.


Thursday, February 15, 2007


EDITORIAL CONTACT: Dr. Mary Nichols, 615-898-5677 or mnichols@mtsu.edu

Free Evening of Dulcimer Music Set Feb. 23 at MTSU; 2 Workshops Follow Feb. 24

(MURFREESBORO)—The MTSU Distinguished Lecture Series and the Department of Electronic Media Communication are sponsoring an evening of dulcimer music with Nashville’s own “Sarah Elisabeth and The Initials” and the Missouri-based Gallier Brothers Friday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m. in the State Farm Room of the Business and Aerospace Building.
“A Dulcimer Diversion,” which will be opened by the Stones River String Band, an MTSU student ensemble, is free and open to the public.
And on Saturday, Feb. 24, Sarah Elisabeth and Gary Gallier will offer two free mountain-dulcimer workshops at MTSU. These workshops, also sponsored by the MTSU Distinguished Lecture Series, are open to the public.
Dulcimer wunderkind Sarah Elisabeth, age 15, is celebrating a decade of playing the historic instrument in 2007. After years of studying with virtuoso David Schnaufer, she currently studies with Janita Baker of California and is a scholarship student of Karen Krieger at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University. She recently co-wrote and recorded “Soul Central Railroad” as the title track for The Chigger Hill Boys’ latest CD. The song was submitted for consideration in the Dove Award nomination process. Sarah will be performing with guitarist TJ Larkin and bassist GR Davis.
Les and Gary Gallier, nationally recognized as pioneers and innovators on the mountain dulcimer, are redefining not only how the instrument is played but also are expanding it's musical realm. Each won the title of National Dulcimer Champion at the Walnut Valley Festival by introducing two very unique playing styles. Gary flatpicks melodies on all the strings, much like a guitarist, while Les, playing in a different tuning, slips on fingerpicks to produce surprisingly intricate passages.
The Stones River String Band includes students who are enrolled in a course on traditional music of the rural South taught through the university's McLean School of Music. Members of the band include Rebekah Weiler and Ben Bateson on banjo, Brian Vollmer on fiddle and banjo, Jessica Watson and Matt Petree on mandolin, Emily Cavender and Chandlin Ringgold on bass and Josh Philpott on fiddle and guitar. The students bring different levels of involvement with old-time music to the class, and many have other musical interests as well. Instructors for the class are Paul Wells of MTSU’s Center for Popular Music/McLean School of Music and Amy Macy, a professor in the university’s Department of Recording Industry.
At the free Feb. 24 events, Sarah Elisabeth will teach a hymn workshop designed for beginners, focusing on “I'll Fly Away,” “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” The workshop will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. in Room 155 of the Bragg Mass Communication Building.
Gary Gallier will teach a two-octave, flat-picked version of “Whisky Before Breakfast," all taking place mostly in the first seven frets. Described as “intricate but pretty easy” and with dAD tuning, the workshop is designed for intermediate players but advanced beginners also will enjoy it. It is set from 12:30-1:45 p.m. in Bragg 155.
The workshops will each be limited to 20 participants. Reservations can be made by e-mailing Dr. Mary Nichols at mnichols@mtsu.edu. For more information about the performance or workshops, call 615-898-5677.

NOTE: For a color jpeg of Sarah Elizabeth and the Initials and/or a color headshot of Gary Gallier, contact the Office of News and Public Affairs via e-mail at gfann@mtsu.edu or by calling 615-898-5385. Thanks!


CONTACT: Tim Musselman, 615-898-2493

Inaugural Event Will Feature Free & Open Afternoon Chorale Concert

(MURFREESBORO)—The first-ever MTSU Women’s Choir Invitational featuring select high school choirs and the MTSU Women’s Chorale will be held beginning with 8:30 a.m. registration Feb. 24 in Wright Music Building (WMB) lobby on the MTSU campus and ending with a final concert performance at 4:30 p.m. in the T. Earl Hinton Music Hall of the WMB.
"The MTSU Women's Choir Invitational has been designed to recognize some of the state's top female high school choirs,” said Dr. Jamila McWhirter, assistant professor of choral music education at MTSU. “This is a wonderful opportunity for these young women to sing together in a supportive environment.”
McWhirter said the invitations for the event are an honor extended to those high school women’s ensembles whose members received a superior or excellent rating at last year’s ACDA State Choral Festival.
The clinician and guest director for the event will be Sandra Cordes, a past president of the Missouri Choral Directors Association. Cordes presently serves as a clinician and adjudicator for various festivals and honor choirs in the Midwest and throughout the United States.
Concerning the final concert, the MTSU Women’s Chorale will perform, while the Mt. Juliet Women’s Choir, Wilson Central Varsity Women’s Choir, Oak Ridge Select Women’s Chorale, Madison Women’s Chorale and the Siegel Women’s Select will perform individual choral selections.
With MTSU music student Tracey Phillips as accompanist and under Cordes’ choral direction, the choirs will perform Johann Helmich Roman’s Jubilate Deo, Eugene Butler’s On the Beach at Night Alone, Zoltán Kodály’s Dancing Song and Mary Lynn Lightfoot’s How Can I Keep From Singing.
“It is my hope that this Invitational will aid in the promotion of women’s choral music in the state of Tennessee and create a thoroughly enjoyable aesthetic experience for the participants,” McWhirter said.
The Feb. 24 event was made possible through funding from the MTSU Public Service Committee and the American Music Company in Liberty, Mo.
The 4:30 p.m. performance is free and open to the public.
For more information on this and other events in the McLean School of Music, please visit www.mtsumusic.com or call 615-898-2493.



CONTACT: Tim Musselman, 615-898-2493

(MURFREESBORO)—Grammy-award winning recording artists and performers Take 6 will present a free master class at 12:45 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, in the Hinton Music Hall of the Wright Music Building on the MTSU campus.
Open to the public, the master class will be punctuated with mini-performances and the group will sing one song at the beginning and one at the end of the class, report event organizers.
The MTSU Meistersingers and the MTSU Commercial Music Ensemble, as well as members of the audience, will participate in the class.
Take 6 features Alvin Chea (bass), Cedric Dent (baritone), Joey Kibble (second tenor), Mark Kibble (first tenor), Claude V. McKnight III (first tenor) and David Thomas (second tenor).
"One of the things that makes (our master classes) unique is that we generally put together a melody on the spot and then we proceed to do an arrangement in the Take 6 style and perform it right there," said group member Dent, who also is a professor of music at MTSU.
"(In doing this),” he added, “we demonstrate how we work and even learn the piece."
Dent said that many times during master classes the Take 6 performers take volunteers from the audience and create groups on the spot and teach them the piece.
Concerning the group, Take 6 has released 10 recordings for Warner Bros. Records, one of which has reached platinum sales (a million units sold) while three others have garnered gold.
With 10 Grammy Awards to its credit, Take 6 also holds the distinct honor of being the most Grammy-nominated vocal group in history.
Additionally, a Jazz Times reader's poll selected Take 6 as one of the genre’s Best Vocal Groups, along with Manhattan Transfer, Four Freshmen and New York Voices.
For more information on the master class, please contact Tim Musselman in the McLean School of Music at (615) 898-2493.



Release date: Feb. 14, 2007 Editorial contact: Randy Weiler, 615-898-2919
Event contact: Bonnie McCarty, 615-904-8414

(MURFREESBORO) — MTSU and 34 other sites statewide will be providing information and assistance to Tennessee families applying for financial aid for higher education.
It’s the annual College Goal Sunday, which will start at 2 p.m., Feb. 18, weather permitting, in MTSU’s Business and Aerospace Building’s State Farm Lecture Hall.
MTSU financial aid representatives will help families of college-bound students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, the federally required form for students seeking financial aid, including grants, scholarships and loans throughout the nation.
Students and families in low-income and minority communities who need help applying for financial aid to attend college should try to attend.
“We will have a presentation on financial aid and FAFSA at 2 p.m. in the State Farm Lecture Hall, and it may be repeated as needed,” said Bonnie McCarty, assistant director of scholarships in the financial aid office.
“We will have individual counseling in the SunTrust Room for students and their parents who have specific questions that are odd situations outside the norm (not living with parents or parents who have had change of income within the past year,” McCarty added.
Students from Rutherford, Cannon, Warren, Williamson, DeKalb, Coffee, Moore, Marshall and other counties are welcome to attend. High-school juniors also are invited.
MTSU will not be trying to recruit the students, McCarty said.
“We’re supposed to be a service to the students rather than a recruiting tool for any one school,” she said. “The purpose of College Goal Sunday is to help students understand federal and state aid and to get assistance with filing their FAFSA.”
Filing the FAFSA online requires a PIN number, she said.
The students and their families can utilize a computer lab to file their FAFSA online if they bring their tax returns and W-2 forms, McCarty said.
Attendees should check local news outlets to see if College Goal Sunday is canceled because of inclement weather.
For more information, contact, McCarty by calling 615-904-8414.
Media welcomed.


CONTACT: Tim Musselman, 615-898-2493

Guest Trio Known as Doubled Air Will Deliver Free & Open Performance

(MURFREESBORO)–Guest artists Linda Pereksta (flute), Michael Rowlett (clarinet) and Brian Osborne (piano) will perform under the Doubled Air moniker at 8 p.m. Feb. 21 in a free and open recital in the T. Earl Hinton Hall of the Wright Music Building on the MTSU campus.
“The program will present an exciting variety of musical styles and combinations for flute, clarinet and piano,” said Todd Waldecker, MTSU associate professor of clarinet.
The program includes such works as Georg Philipp Telemann’s Canonic Sonata No.1 in G Major, Jacques-Martin Hotteterre’s Ecos, Leonard Bernstein’s Sonata for Clarinet, Steve Reich’s Clapping Music and Charles Ives’s At the River.
Pereksta and Rowlett have performed together for more than 10 years, most recently under the Doubled Air name. They are members of the Flute/Clarinet Duos Consortium, an organization that commissions new compositions for this combination of instruments.
They have performed together in concerts throughout the Midwest and Southeast, and have been invited to perform this summer at the National Flute Association’s convention in Albuquerque, as well as the International Clarinet Association’s ClarinetFest in Vancouver, B.C.
Pereksta is a member of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and teaches flute at Tulane University. Rowlett teaches clarinet at the University of Mississippi, where he also performs with the Faculty Woodwind Quintet. Pianist Brian Osborne joined the music faculty at Ole Miss in 2006 as vocal coach/accompanist, where he appears throughout the year in various recitals, as well as theater and opera productions. He has served as music director and coach with the Knoxville Opera Studio and has performed with the Knoxville Symphony.
“We are thrilled to have these guest performers on the MTSU campus,” Waldecker remarked. “On Thursday, Feb. 22, the artists will (also) be presenting master classes for MTSU music students as well."
For more information on this and other events in the McLean School of Music, please visit www.mtsumusic.com or call 615-898-2493.



CONTACT: Randal Mackin, 615-904-8155

Tennessee-based Author Will Lecture for Classes, Conduct Open Book Signing

(MURFREESBORO)—Fiction writer William Gay will deliver a free public reading beginning at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 1, in the James Union Building’s Hazelwood Dining Hall on the MTSU campus.
A native of Hohenwald, Tenn., Gay is the author of three novels—“The Long Home,” “Provinces of Night” and “Twilight,” the latter of which was released in October 2006—and one collection of short stories titled “I Hate to See
That Evening Sun Go Down.”
Regarding Gay’s literary contributions, Randal Mackin, assistant professor of English at MTSU, said, “His stories have been widely anthologized, including several selections chosen for New Stories from the South, and he has published in the Georgia Review and Missouri Review, among other notable literary magazines.”
A past winner of the William Peden Award and the James Michener Memorial Prize, as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, Gay will be available for a book signing immediately following his 4:30 p.m. reading, Mackin said.
The author’s upcoming MTSU visit, which will also include a guest lecture by Gay in some of MTSU’s English classes, is co-sponsored by the Department of English and the Virginia Peck Foundation Trust.
For more information regarding the March 1 visit by Gay, please contact Mackin at 615-904-8155, or via e-mail at rtmackin@mtsu.edu.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007


EDITORIAL CONTACT: Gina Logue, 615-898-5081

Use a Brick to Express Your Personal Appreciation for Those Who Gave Their All

(MURFREESBORO) – Each and every brick to be laid in the MTSU Veterans Memorial will represent the support of an entire community for the enlightenment and inspiration of future generations.
The bricks may be reserved by all those who wish to honor a veteran or active-duty service member or merely acknowledge their support for the construction of a permanent on-campus memorial to MTSU faculty, students, staff and administrators who perished while serving their country. The bricks will be integrated into the overall memorial design.
All proceeds will help to pay for the memorial, which will be an outdoor classroom that includes a wall with the names of the military personnel. So far, the committee has gathered the names of 55 service members for the wall.
The death of First Lieutenant Ken Ballard, an MTSU student who was killed in Iraq in 2004, prompted Dr. Andrei Korobkov, associate professor of political science and Ballard’s instructor in three classes, to initiate the memorial concept. Korobkov feels strongly that Ballard and other veterans deserve more acknowledgement and appreciation than a nondescript wall plaque that most of the general public would never see.
The MTSU Foundation’s Special Projects Board has granted start-up money in the amount of $5,000 to the committee, which seeks donations to a special fund established to help pay for design and construction.
“We need much more money to create a project honoring our veterans,” Korobkov says. “Thus, I would like to encourage those who support our project to show their support both through donations of any size and offers of participation.”
To purchase a brick with a memorial message, send a tax-deductible check of $150 payable to MTSU Foundation—Veterans Memorial, P.O. Box 109, Murfreesboro, TN 37132. Credit cards also are accepted. Address any questions about brick purchases or donations to Robyn Kilpatrick at 615-898-5223 or rkilpatr@mtsu.edu.
For more information, visit the MTSU Veterans Memorial Web site at http://www.mtsu.edu/veterans. A form for filling out an engraved brick message can be accessed by clicking on the link in the lower right-hand corner.



EDITORIAL CONTACTS: Dr. Thomas W. Cooper, 615-904-8281
Gina E. Fann, 615-898-5385

National Media Ethics Summit Features Public Film Screening, Lecture, Q&A

(MURFREESBORO)—Americans concerned with secrecy, privacy, media bias and deception can learn more about ethics and have their views heard at a series of free public events scheduled at Middle Tennessee State University during the upcoming U.S. Media Ethics Summit.
The summit, a four-day roundtable gathering of invited national media and academic professionals aiming to mend journalism’s increasingly flawed reputation, will feature a film screening on government secrecy Feb. 28, a lecture on “Technology and the Future of Media Ethics” March 1 and a March 2 open forum on the gathering’s recommendations for change.
On Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 7:30 p.m., filmmaker and Harvard University professor Robb Moss will screen his latest work, “Secrecy,” a collaboration with Peter Galison exploring the world of government secrecy, in Room 221 of MTSU’s Learning Resource Center. The screening will be followed by a public question-and-answer period from 9 until 9:30 p.m.
On Thursday, March 1, at 7:30 p.m., Adam Clayton Powell III, a veteran newsman and University of Southern California professor, will lecture on new technologies and their impact on important ethical issues including privacy. The lecture also will be held in LRC Room 221.
On Friday, March 2, the public is invited to ask questions and comment on the summit attendees’ plan to improve media ethics education, policy and practice on a national scale. That event is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. in the State Farm Room (Room 102) of the university’s Business and Aerospace Building. Organizers then plan to take the summit’s recommendations to U.S. government, media industry and education leaders to see them implemented.
Sponsored by the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, MTSU, the Scripps Howard Foundation and other donors, the Summit II marks the 20th anniversary of the first Media Ethics Summit Conference co-sponsored by the Times Mirror Foundation and Emerson College in 1987.
More details, including accessible parking for the events, may be found at www.mtsu.edu/~masscomm/ethics/ethics_index.html.

NOTE: Media needing technical accommodations to cover the March 2 open session should contact the Office of News and Public Affairs via e-mail at gfann@mtsu.edu or by calling 615-898-5385 ASAP to ensure accessibility. For color headshots of the principal speakers and organizers, please use the same contact information. Thanks!


CONTACT: Office of News and Public Affairs, 615-898-2919

Rollins Secures Prize for Media Efforts in Multi-State Competition

(MURFREESBORO)—Lisa L. Rollins, a member of MTSU’s Office of News and Public Affairs (NPA) staff, garnered an award in the recent CASE District III Advancement Awards, which are sponsored annually by the international office of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
Rollins, director of special media projects, was one of five entrants chosen to receive an “Award of Special Merit” in the Media Relations Projects category for her entry titled “The Alvin York Project 2006.”
Rollins’ entry competed against entries from throughout District III of CASE, whose membership is composed of Alabama, Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi and Tennessee. With more than 540 institutional members and nearly 4,500 professional members, District III is the second largest among the eight CASE districts, including its European offices.
The awards were presented during the annual conference awards ceremony Feb. 6 at Nashville’s Renaissance Hotel. Winning entries will be placed in the CASE III archives at CASE International in Washington, D.C.
Today CASE's membership includes more than 3,300 colleges, universities and independent elementary and secondary schools in 54 countries around the world, making CASE one of the largest nonprofit education associations in terms of institutional membership. The CASE membership currently comprises more than 47,000 advancement professionals, including more than 22,300 professional members.
For more information regarding CASE, please access its Web site at www.case.org.



CONTACT: Tim Musselman, 615-898-2493

(MURFREESBORO) – MTSU’s Symphonic Band and Chamber Winds will perform a free and open concert at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23 in the T. Earl Hinton Hall of the Wright Music Building on the MTSU campus.
The Chamber Winds will be performing Karl Husa’s Divertimento conducted by Craig Cornish, MTSU associate director of bands. They will also perform Gordon Jacobs’ Divertimento in E Flat for Wind Octet conducted by MTSU graduate student Kayne Gilliland.
The Symphonic Band’s repertoire will include Clifton Williams’ Fanfare and Allegro, Steven Reineke’s Goddess of Fire and Franz Von Suppé’s Light Cavalry Overture under the direction of Cornish, as well as William Schuman’s George Washington Bridge conducted by Gilliland.
“The Symphonic Band program consists mostly of classics for band or orchestra created by well-known and recognized composers,” Cornish said. “Fanfare and Allegro and George Washington Bridge are both considered cornerstones of the modern Symphonic Band repertoire; also, the Light Cavalry Overture is an extremely popular selection transcribed from the original orchestral composition.”
Cornish said there will be one new piece in the concert, Goddess of Fire, which was written in 2006 by the composer Steven Reineke.
“A protégé of Erich Kunzel, Reineke is the current director of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and already has numerous compositions published for symphony orchestra and symphonic band,” Cornish remarked.
For more information on this and other events in the McLean School of Music, please visit www.mtsumusic.com or call 615-898-2493.



EDITORIAL CONTACT: Gina Logue, 615-898-5081

Adult Learners Conference to Show Older Students How to Maximize Finances

(MURFREESBORO) – “From Student Poverty to Financial Security: Planning to Get from Here to There” is the theme of the 14th annual Adult Learning in Tennessee Conference Feb. 22-23 on the MTSU campus.
This year’s gathering, which is geared each year to college students age 25 and older, will focus on giving “both adult students and the educational professionals who work with them some new insights about preparing for financial security after graduation,” according to conference literature.
The luncheon and keynote speaker Thursday, Feb. 22 will be Dallas Nichols Ruddell, a 1996 alumna who had attended MTSU in 1983 and dropped out in order to get married. Upon returning to MTSU, Ruddell, then a single mom, lived on food stamps and decorated her family housing apartment with carpet she obtained at a local mall. After graduating with a degree in psychology, Ruddell moved to the San Francisco area, where she recruits and trains insurance agents and financial advisers.
Following Ruddell’s address, participants may take advantage of three informative workshops: “Define Your Dreams” with Dallas Ruddell’s husband, Nicholas Ruddell, an award-winning sales and marketing executive and business development specialist; “Improving Financial Outcomes for Adult Learners through Group Advocacy” with Carol Giardina, associate director of admissions at Augusta State University; and “Learning How to Handle Debt” with Dr. Jeannie Harrington, associate professor of accounting at MTSU.
Workshops slated for Friday, Feb. 23, are “Bridging the Funding Gaps in Higher Education: Oh, Where, Oh, Where Did My Money Go?” with Meredith Anne Higgs, assistant professor of developmental mathematics at MTSU, and “How to Read and Repair Your Credit Report” with Dallas Ruddell. At the Friday brunch, scheduled for 10:30, Rudell and the participants will review the lessons of the conference.
“Student activity fee funds have made it possible for 20 students to attend and have the registration fee waived,” Dr. Carol Ann Baily, director of the Adult Services Center, says.
Registration will begin at 11:30 a.m. Thursday in the Tom H. Jackson Building, formerly Alumni Hall. For more information about the conference, contact the Adult Services Center at 615-898-5989 or go to http://www.mtsu.edu/~owls/conf.htm.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


EDITORIAL CONTACT: Gina Logue, 615-898-5081

American Democracy Project to Examine Issues of Migration and Civil Liberties

(MURFREESBORO) – Dr. Vladimir Mukomel, lead researcher at the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, will speak at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 26, in the State Farm Lecture Hall of the Business Aerospace Building.
Mukomel will discuss the ethnic aspects of migration in Russia and President Vladimir Putin’s policies in the area of civil liberties. The presentation, titled “The Transformation of Russia and the Puzzle of Putin’s Policies,” is free and open to the public.
Mukomel is a well-known Russian sociologist and political scientist. He is the director of the Independent Center for Ethnopolitical and Regional Research and lead researcher at the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. His major fields of interest and research include migration, ethnic and demographic policies, as well as the issues of democratization and creation of civic society in Russia.
The holder of doctorates in sociology and economics, Mukomel has published more than 120 academic works, including 13 books. He regularly comments on Russian politics for the Russian and international media.
This lecture will mark the first on-campus event for the American Democracy Project (ADP) since it acquired an international dimension this semester. The coordinators are Dr. Jim Williams, professor of history, who will handle domestic activities, and Dr. Andrei Korobkov, associate professor of political science, who will deal with international activities.
“The major idea is to encourage students’ civic engagement because we don’t want them to study life only in textbooks, but to prepare through experiential learning, through contact with real people,” Korobkov says. “We’ll be dealing with issues of human rights violations … and not only … somewhere else, but also in the U.S. and specifically here in … Tennessee.”
The ADP Web site describes the program as “an initiative of 219 AASCU (American Association of State Colleges and Universities) campuses that seeks to create an intellectual and experiential understanding of civic engagement for undergraduates enrolled at institutions that are members of AASCU.”
Co-sponsoring Mukomel’s appearance are two student organizations, GLOBAL (Get Lost Outside Boundaries and Limitations) and AID (Americans for an Informed Democracy).
Americans for Informed Democracy is “a non-partisan organization that brings the world home to the next generation of leaders through educational seminars, leadership summits, town hall meetings, opinion pieces, and global videoconferences,” states its Web site.
GLOBAL is “an international organization. We try to bring students together to raise awareness about global issues and general knowledge of different countries and cultures,” Candi Nunley, GLOBAL president, says.
For more information, contact Korobkov at 615-898-2945 or korobkov@mtsu.edu; Nunley at global@mtsu.edu; or AID President Angie Feeney at amf3g@mtsu.edu.


ATTENTION, MEDIA: For a color jpeg photo of Vladimir Mukomel, contact Gina Logue in the Office of News and Public Affairs at 615-898-5081 or gklogue@mtsu.edu.


EDITORIAL CONTACT: Gina Logue, 615-898-5081

Educators to Help Devastated New Orleans School

(MURFREESBORO) – Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) today entered into an agreement to assist Southern University of New Orleans (SUNO) as the Louisiana school struggles to recover from Hurricane Katrina one-and-a-half years after the storm pounded the Gulf Coast.
MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee and SUNO Chancellor Dr. Victor Ukpolo signed the memorandum of understanding, which will enable the institutions to strive for collaborations in online instruction, faculty development programs, joint research, cultural and artistic programs, and cross-registration in selected academic disciplines.
Ukpolo said SUNO’s pre-Katrina enrollment has dwindled from 3,647 to 2,345, and its pre-Katrina faculty has shrunk from 160 to 91.
“This program here will allow them to get some semblance of normalcy,” Ukpolo said.
Faculty and students are functioning in trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“On my campus, we have people living and working in trailers 24/7,” Ukpolo said. “Just imagine the psychological impact that would have on any human being.”
According to SUNO literature, the university cafeteria is a total loss. The library’s electronic and physical card catalogs, along with many books and periodicals, were ruined. The maintenance building sustained $1.3 million in damage.
McPhee, who has toured the SUNO campus, said, “This is not a one-time deal. We’re not throwing a few dollars at the university, at SUNO, and moving on with our business.”
Ukpolo estimated that it will take $60 million to restore SUNO to its former status. However, since academic exchanges will not rebuild buildings, MTSU is engaged in talks with Vanderbilt University officials about a joint fundraising concert to be staged in late August or early September, McPhee said.



CONTACT: Casie Higginbotham, 615-904-8274

Organizers of Annual Event Strive to Educate College Students, Prevent STDs

(MURFREESBORO)—For the fifth consecutive year, MTSU’s Department of Health and Human Performance (HHP) will sponsor the Tunnel of Love, an event designed to increase public awareness about the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, among the college population.
This year, the Tunnel of Love and its related activities will take place
9 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, in the James Union Building’s Tennessee Room on the campus of MTSU.
According to the recent findings released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 19 million new reported cases of sexually transmitted infections each year—and half of them are among those ages 16-24.
“Tennessee has seen improvements,” observed Higginbotham, who notes that “Shelby County is now No. 16 for reported cases of primary and secondary syphilis and in 2003 was ranked No. 8.”
Organizers report that the upcoming Tunnel of Love will give students the power to make thoughtful, well-informed decisions concerning their sexual health, thanks to an exhibit featuring literature about the most current statistics of both bacterial and viral STDs, complete with pictures of STDs.
Classes are welcomed to attend the self-guided event. Also, vendors will be on hand to distribute safe-sex packets.
For more information on this year’s Tunnel of Love, please contact Casie Higginbotham, HHP instructor, at 615-904-8274 or via e-mail at chigginb@mtsu.edu.


Monday, February 05, 2007


EDITORIAL CONTACT: Gina Logue, 615-898-5081

Dance Party to Launch Registration for Summertime Music and Fun

(MURFREESBORO) – The Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp will host an all-girl dance party from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, at SportsCom, 2310 Memorial Blvd. in Murfreesboro, to kick off registration for this year’s camp.
The festivities will be open to girls ages 10-17. DJs Bawston Sean and Nicole Tekulve will provide the music. Admission is $10 at the door. T-shirts and DVDs of last year’s camp showcase concert also will be available at the dance party.
“The event is not only an extension of our mission to provide a positive atmosphere for girls,” Kelley Anderson, camp co-founder, says. “It’s a chance for the former campers to reunite and bond again.
“We hope to branch out with similar events in the future aimed at fostering a fun, positive experience where girls can connect with and support one another to create a positive girl culture.”
Non-alcoholic refreshments will be provided, and screened volunteers will be on hand to supervise activities.
Prior to and during the dance party, Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp organizers will register girls and volunteers for the fifth annual day camp in Murfreesboro, which is scheduled for July 16-21 on the MTSU campus. A special discount tuition rate of $225 will be available through Feb. 28. From Mar. 1 to May 1, tuition will cost $250.
This year’s camp will feature instruction in voice, keyboards, drums, guitar, electronic music, and vocals. Workshops in other aspects of the music industry, such as band photography and songwriting, will be presented, as well as panel discussions with industry insiders.
The camp is branching out this year to provide girls in and near the music hub of Memphis the same opportunity their Middle Tennessee contemporaries have enjoyed for the last four years. The first annual Memphis Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp is slated for June 18-23 at Gibson Guitar Factory, 145 Lt. George Lee Ave., near the historic Beale Street district.
“The rich musical heritage of Memphis makes it a perfect fit for a week of Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp,” Anderson says.
The Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp is a program of Youth Empowerment through Arts & Humanities (YEAH), a nonprofit arts organization. For more information, visit http://www.artsempoweryouth.org. To learn more about the camp, visit http://www.sgrrc.org or contact sgrrc05@gmail.com.


ATTENTION, MEDIA: For jpegs of girls in action at last year’s Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp, contact Gina Logue in the Office of News and Public Affairs at 615-898-5081 or gklogue@mtsu.edu.



Release date: Feb. 5, 2007

Editorial contact: Randy Weiler, 615-898-2919
Honors Lecture Series contact: Dr. Scott Carnicom, 615-898-2152

(MURFREESBORO) — In the dual role as head of MTSU’s Divisions of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services, Dr. Bob Glenn has much expertise.
One of Glenn’s hobbies has been as a reader and student of Sherlock Holmes’ mysteries and collector of memorabilia of the fictional British crime scene investigator.
MTSU students and others in attendance will glean from Glenn’s knowledge today when he discusses “Sherlock Holmes: the First CSI” from 3 until 3:55 p.m. during the Honors Lecture Series. It will be held in the University Honors College Amphitheater (Room 106).
At MTSU, Glenn serves as vice president of student affairs and vice provost for enrollment services.



EDITORIAL CONTACT: Gina Logue, 615-898-5081

Internationally Renowned “Music from Japan” Comes to MTSU

(MURFREESBORO) – The Japan-U.S. Program of MTSU will present the Junko Tahara Biwa Ensemble at this year’s Music from Japan concert at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 26, in Hinton Hall in the Wright Music Building.
To enhance understanding and appreciation of Japanese music and culture, the musicians will discuss their art and demonstrate their instruments for a group of Honors College students at 11 a.m. on the day of the concert in Room 106 of the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building. Because lunch will be served afterwards, availability is limited. To register in advance, students should contact Georgia Dennis at 615-898-5645 or gdennis@mtsu.edu.
Dr. Scott Carnicom, associate dean of the Honors College, says administrators were “delighted” to seize the chance to participate in this kind of cultural enlightenment.
“The Honors College does try to cultivate a small but diverse population of students seeking scholarly opportunities,” Carnicom says.
Tahara has performed extensively in Japan and at major venues around the world, including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in the United States. Her instrument, the biwa, is a fretted lute frequently used in the performance of traditional Japanese music. She will be accompanied by Kohei Nishikawa on nohkan and shinobue (types of flutes), and Akikuni Takahashi and Tsuyoshi Abe on narimono (percussion).
A highlight of the concert will be passages from The Tale of Heike, a medieval literary work. It tells the story of a struggle between rival Japanese clans in the 12th century and combines biwa music with narration.
In addition, a newly commissioned work by internationally acclaimed composer Masataka Matsuo will be performed. Matsuo, who teaches at Senzoku Gakuen College of Music and the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, has been commissioned by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Theater of Japan, and Pro Musica Nipponica, among other patrons of the arts.
Music from Japan (MFJ) bills itself as “the leading presenter of Japanese contemporary and traditional music in the United States and the world.” The group has presented nearly 400 works, including 51 world premieres and 39 commissions, over the course of 30 years. “MFJ is a very prestigious non-profit organization chaired by the former Japanese ambassador to the United Nations, who is currently a judge at the International Court of
Justice,” Dr. Kiyoshi Kawahito, director of the Japan-U.S. Program. “It has received
numerous awards, including a top Imperial Award, and brought a variety of the best music to North America … for 30 years. Usually, it visits only four or five cities,
including New York and Washington, D.C.”
The Murfreesboro concert is made possible with generous financial support from Toshiba and Bridgestone/Firestone and technical support from the McLean School of Music.
The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. To obtain tickets, faculty and students may stop by the Japan-U.S. Program Office in Room N340 of the Business Aerospace Building. To get tickets by mail, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Japan-U.S. Program, Box 167, MTSU, Murfreesboro, TN 37132. For more information, call 615-898-2229 or write to japan@mtsu.edu.


ATTENTION, MEDIA: To obtain a color jpeg photo of Junko Tahara, please contact Gina Logue in the Office of News and Public Affairs at 615-898-5081 or gklogue@mtsu.edu.

Friday, February 02, 2007

250 Media Advisory: MTSU & Southern University of New Orleans

Feb. 2, 2007
(For more information, please call 615-898-2919.)


WHAT: MTSU is entering into an agreement to help resurrect a university

WHY: The Southern University of New Orleans quite literally disappeared due to Katrina’s ferocity. Nearly everything was destroyed. Right now, the main campus consists of six acres of FEMA trailers for classrooms and living quarters.

“They have to essentially rebuild their entire university,” said Dr. Sidney A. McPhee, MTSU president.

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING: President McPhee and SUNO Chancellor Dr. Victor Ukpolo will meet on the MTSU campus Tuesday, Feb. 6, at 10 a.m. in the President’s Conference Room (1st floor, Cope Building) to sign a Memorandum of Understanding that will bring together the two universities in a “true partnership that will help them get back on their feet,” said McPhee. Media welcomed.

The agreement will include an exploration of student-exchange programs in certain disciplines, the sharing of academic expertise, and discussion forums on diversity, technology, e-learning, university security, and more.

Accompanying Chancellor Ukpolo will be Gloria B. Moultrie, vice chancellor for community outreach/university advancement, and Harold Clark, executive associate to the chancellor.

ITINERARY: The SUNO guests will arrive Monday and stay through Wednesday visiting with academic deans, administrators and other officials to discuss mutual interests and ways that MTSU might assist the historically African American institution.

UNITY LUNCHEON: In celebration of African American History Month, the SUNO visitors will be guests of President McPhee at the Unity Luncheon, Feb 6, at 11:00 a.m. in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building. Media welcomed.

CONCERT: That evening at 6:00 p.m., McPhee and his guests will attend the “The History of Black Gospel Music” concert in the Wright Music Building. The event will include a piano lecture recital with Cedric Dent, MTSU professor and member of the Grammy Award Winning Group, Take 6. Media welcomed.

248 MTSU unveils MIMIC research technology Friday


Release date: Feb. 1, 2007

Editorial contact: Randy Weiler, 615-898-2919
MIMIC contact: Dr. Andrienne Friedli, 615-898-2071

MIMIC is an acronym for MTSU Interdisciplinary Microanalysis and Imaging Center. MIMIC is the realization of longtime biology professor emeritus Marion Wells’ dream, and the efforts of many others. See MTSU’s newest technology during a grand opening Friday (Feb. 2) from 2 until 3:30 p.m. in the Forrest Hall Annex behind Keathley University Center.

At your disposal will be:

• Dr. Marion Wells, professor from 1960-2002 who returned to continue to help MTSU open this facility;
• Dr. Andrienne Friedli, MIMIC administrative director and associate chemistry professor;
• Joyce Miller, MIMIC technical manager;
• MTSU students.
All can explain the equipment, technology and remote capabilities.

The nearly $1 million funding for equipment came from the MTSU Office of Research. The renovation of the space has been funded by the offices of the President (Dr. Sidney A. McPhee) and Provost (Dr. Kaylene Gebert), MTSU Foundation Special Projects Committee that awarded its entire 2005-06 budget to the project, matching funds from a National Science Foundation-funded instrument, Dean Tom Cheatham of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences and the departments of biology, chemistry, physics, Engineering Technology and Industrial Studies, geosciences and College of Liberal Arts.