Thursday, October 04, 2012

[95] From equine to canine, Sept. 22 STEM event at MTSU will draw 448 girls

For release:  Sept. 19, 2012

News and Media Relations contact: Randy Weiler, 615-898-5616 or
EYH at MTSU contact: Dr. Judith Iriarte-Gross, 615-904-8253 or

MURFREESBORO — High school girls can sample the field of equine science or enter a traveling planetarium at the 16th annual Expanding Your Horizons in Math and Science Conference Saturday, Sept. 22, at MTSU.

Both middle school and high school girls who preregistered will be attending the event. Girls from Georgia, Chattanooga and Memphis will join peers from Rutherford and surrounding counties in what will be the largest EYH ever with 448 registered attendees, said Dr. Judith Iriarte-Gross, the event and MTSU WISTEM Center director.

During the conference, girls in grades 5 through 8 can learn about the science of Sharpie pens; dig and sift an archaeological field; see “Pearl” the puppy be a part of a veterinarian and biology professor’s workshop; discover what worm races are about; and take in the Starpower planetarium.

 STEM-centered Expanding Your Horizons happens from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. all across campus. It will include early-morning remarks from Rich Rhoda, executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission; Dr. Bud Fischer, first-year dean of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences; and others.

 Expanding Your Horizons, or EYH, is a hands-on science and math conference to help girls investigate careers in these fields; to talk with women in these careers; to attend math and science workshops for girls; and meet other girls interested in science and math.

The girls also will hear a keynote message from Jennifer Hill, a former Tennessee Titans and Nashville Predators cheerleader, who has worked at Nissan North America the past six years and recently was promoted to manager of process control engineering.

Hill’s talk, titled “Learning to Live Out Loud,” can be summed up to “understanding the sky is the limit and living out of the box,” she said.

“The marvel surrounding diversity and exposure to this generation is inconceivable,” Hill said. “Normality has progressed from being one-dimensional or cooker-cutter to multidimensional … delving into endless possibilities in regard to one’s career, extramural or altruistic goals. I will discuss tips and building blocks supporting this phenomenon.”

In her role with Nissan, Hill said the process control team is responsible for plant data management and data acquisition. She added that they also are a function of the cross-functional task force team that works to resolve chronic items in production.

 A first-time appearance by the Rutherford County Sheriff Department’s horse patrol unit is expected to be a highlight. They will be outside the James Union Building, where the girls will gather and hear opening remarks in the Tennessee Room.

In addition to MTSU, workshop leaders will be coming from Oak Ridge, Vanderbilt and Tennessee State University.

 EYH’s industry partners include Schneider Electric of La Vergne; Nissan; Texas Instruments; Microsoft; the Tennessee Technology Center at Murfreesboro; Sanford-Newell Rubbermaid; and the Arnold Air Force Base STEM Center, which is bringing the planetarium.

The planetarium is a 16-foot diameter by 10-foot high portable dome equipped to project educational movies about astronomy and the night sky. The dome can accommodate up to 35 students.

While the girls’ conference is going on an adult Girls Raised in Tennessee Science Collaborative Project forum will be taking place. It is open to parents, guidance counselors and those who support STEM education. For more information, visit

This year’s conference is full. To learn more about the 2013 EYH conference, visit



A printable campus map is available at






Media welcomed.


Photo caption


Mounted patrol.jpg caption


Sgt. Jon Levi, riding “C.C.,” and Det. Troy Hooker, atop “Rebel,” are part of the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department Mounted Patrol that will be appearing Sept. 22 for the Expanding Your Horizons at MTSU event. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)




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For MTSU news and information any time, visit


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