Monday, April 29, 2013

[454] MTSU senior Bornhoft earns prestigious German fellowship

For release:  April 29, 2013

News and Media Relations contact: Randy Weiler, 615-898-5616 or
University Honors College contact: Laura Clippard, 615-898-5464 or

MURFREESBORO — Call it fate, destiny or good fortune. All of it has led an MTSU Honors College senior to receive a prestigious German fellowship. 

Brett Bornhoft of Lee’s Summit, Mo., earned the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst Research Internships in Science and Engineering fellowship to serve a 12-week internship at Universität des Saarlandes in Saarbrücken, Germany, this summer.

The fellowship known as DAAD RISE is a summer internship program for undergraduate students from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences and engineering. It offers unique opportunities for undergraduate students to work with research groups at universities and top research institutions across Germany for two to three months in the summer.

“I feel really blessed. This is really incredible,” said Bornhoft, who is an aerospace major with minors in mathematics, engineering technology and physics. “This could lead to opportunities to get accepted at higher-level graduate studies at schools like MIT.”

Fresh out of Lee’s Summit High School in 2009, Bornhoft moved to Nashville and considered studying music business at either MTSU or Belmont University, and to be part of a church plant with Lifehouse Church. Music was part of his fiber. He had sung in a choir since age 7, he was a percussionist and played in Lee’s Summit’s marching band. He was in a band offered a record deal and he played drums for a female solo artist.

Even with a scholarship, his Belmont tuition was going to be $30,000 a year. He established his Tennessee residency, enrolling at MTSU’s aerospace engineering technology program in fall 2010.

“I was not in (to college) yet,” Bornhoft said of the freshman year adjustment and struggle to find his niche.

Bornhoft loved mathematics and took a sophomore year, calculus-based physics class taught by Dr. Vic Montemayor.

“That class threw me a loop,” Bornhoft said. “It got me all pumped up. It was really hard, but it led to lots of stuff.”

“Stuff” included MTSU’s new Unmanned Aerial Systems program that began in the spring 2011.

“I worked with them from the start,” Bornhoft said. “That led me to research. It clicked. I got it — a clear understanding of it all. And it was interesting.”

In the fellowship, Bornhoft will be matched with German doctoral student David Kastelan, who will serve as his mentor. This will allow Bornhoft to participate in advanced research and to gain practical experience with control theory in multicopters.

As part of the fellowship, Bornhoft will travel to Munich, Germany, to complete a two-week language course before beginning the internship.

In addition to the research, Bornhoft said the internship will provide opportunities for presentation and publication.

The nearly $2,500 scholarship provides a stipend that covers living expenses, the language course, insurance and spending money. The Honors College awarded a $1,000 scholarship for his travel expenses.

“The DAAD RISE program is one of the most prestigious internships that an undergraduate science student can obtain,” Honors College Dean John Vile said. “MTSU students are increasingly securing major national and international honors, and it is heartening to see yet another Honors student join this elite group.”

Bornhoft’s wife, Kellie, a sculptor who attends Watkins School of Art and Design in Nashville, will travel to Germany with him and will participate in an art show in Magdeburg. They will collaborate on one of her projects.

At MTSU, Bornhoft has worked as a research assistant for the Center for Unmanned Systems Operational Advancement and Research, also known as CUSOAR@MT, from April 2011 through February 2012 and as a research engineer from January to June 2012 for MTSU’s Fifth Generation Aerial Target Drone program under the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Since June 2012, he has worked as a research engineer for MTSU’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems program. He has served as president of the MT Unmanned Aircraft System Club.

Bornhoft, scheduled to graduate from MTSU in 2014, plans to pursue a Ph.D. He said his dream is to attend MIT, a private research university in Cambridge, Mass.

Bornhoft said his MTSU academic experience also he was very influenced by aerospace professor Nate Callender and physics and astronomy professor Dr. Eric Klumpe, who wrote Bornhoft’s DAAD RISE letter of recommendation.

Bornhoft is the son of Mark and Linda Bornhoft of Lee’s Summit.


[453] MTSU Hall of Fame Inductees 'put Volunteer State journalism on world map'

FOR RELEASE: April 26, 2013
EDITORIAL CONTACT: Andrew Oppmann, 615-3389-8851 or

MURFREESBORORepresenting nearly three centuries of combined journalistic excellence, the first members of the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame proudly stood before family, friends and colleagues at MTSU today to encourage the next generation of media professionals.

“This is the first all-inclusive hall of fame in the state to showcase talented media professionals in all areas,” John Hood, MTSU director of governmental and community affairs, told the crowd assembled inside Murphy Center for the ceremony.

“These people all put Volunteer State journalism on the world map of credibility. We also appreciate that the hall of fame is at MTSU, because its College of Mass Communication is recognized globally for producing all kinds of media professionals.”

The hall’s inaugural inductees include:

·       Chris Clark, retired chief news anchor for WTVF-TV NewsChannel 5 in Nashville, who produced multiple global documentaries and played a strategic role in convincing the Tennessee Supreme Court to allow cameras in courtrooms. Clark, the longest tenured news anchor in Tennessee with his 41-year stint at WTVF, is currently an MTSU mass communication instructor.
·       Anne Holt, who is a 30-year veteran and three-time Emmy Award winner at WKRN-TV News 2 in Nashville. Among her numerous accolades, she is a recipient of the coveted George Foster Peabody Award for investigative reporting and the Distinguished Service Award from the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters.
·       The late Dan Miller, the longtime chief news anchor at Nashville’s WSMV-TV Channel 4, where he was once named the “Most Popular News Anchor in America” and was voted Nashville’s “Best News Anchor” multiple times. A winner of multiple Emmy Awards, Miller died in 2009.
·       John Seigenthaler, who is chairman emeritus of The Tennessean in Nashville, founding editorial director of USA Today and founder of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University as well as MTSU’s Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies.
·       Dean Stone, who is editor of The Daily Times in Maryville as well as a featured columnist. He served multiple terms as president of the Tennessee Associated Press Managing Editors, now known as the Tennessee Associated Press Media Editors.
·       William Bryant “Bill” Williams Jr., a third-generation community newspaper publisher, who is publisher emeritus of the Paris (Tenn.) Post-Intelligencer, a newspaper that has served the Henry County community since 1866.

Each of the inductees had words of thanks for their supporters as well as encouragement for the students gathered for their own annual awards ceremony for their scholarship and work products.

Holt reminded the young people of their “obligation” to ensure the accuracy of their news stories. Miller’s wife, Karen, recalled the “flurry of information to be sifted through” in the newsroom where her husband worked, often with their young daughter at his feet under his anchor desk, “working” alongside her dad.

Seigenthaler, who started in 1948 as a copyboy in the newsroom of the newspaper he’d later lead, noted the dedication of the media industry people around him, saying, “For most of my professional life, I’ve interacted with all the people up here in this inaugural class with me.”

Stone, who continues working at his newspaper at age 88 and has founded and contributed to numerous service organizations in Blount County, said that his journalism work was a part of his determination to be of service to the community. And Williams, who has 28 members of his extended family working in some form of media outlet or printing and still serves as the paper’s chief editorial writer, joked that he has a granddaughter in college radio to continue the family tradition.

The new Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame at MTSU, which was officially unveiled in October 2012 after four years of planning, will be housed at the John Bragg Mass Communication Building inside the Center for Innovation in Media.

The hall was the brainchild of Hooper Penuel, a retired lieutenant colonel and public information officer for the Tennessee National Guard, and newspaper columnist Dan Whittle.

“It was an idea born about four years ago of a backyard visit,” Hood explained to the crowd, “to include all aspects of modern journalism, not only print, radio and TV but electronic media and public relations in Tennessee.”

MTSU journalism professor Larry Burriss joined the pair in their efforts, becoming president of the hall’s board of directors with Whittle as vice president and Penuel as secretary/treasurer.

After the special Hall of Fame induction, the College of Mass Communication recognized another group of MTSU alumni and friends as members of its “Wall of Fame.”

The Wall of Fame began in 2000 as a way to both honor successful mass-communication graduates and inspire current students to continue working toward their goals. Each year, each of the college’s departments solicits nominees from faculty, chooses an honoree and submits his or her name to the dean. The inductees are added to the Wall of Fame roster at the college’s annual Awards Day for students.

The 2013 Mass Communication Wall of Fame inductees bring the total membership to 75. They are:

·       Dr. Harold Baldwin, an MTSU professor emeritus of photography and the latest “Friend of the College,” who built and curated the renowned photo gallery on campus that now bears his name and will reopen soon in a revamped site.
·       MTSU alumnus Garry Hood (B.S. ’77), a respected TV production executive who has served as head stage manager for more than 1,000 hours of the finest network television specials, including Olympic opening and closing ceremonies, presidential inaugurals, the Kennedy Center Honors, Super Bowl halftime shows as well as the Oscars, Emmys, Grammys, Tonys and other award shows, commercials, music videos and films.
·       Alumnus Keith Ryan Cartwright (B.S. ’01), an award-winning journalist since his college days at Sidelines, the student newspaper, enjoyed a successful freelance writing and television production career before becoming the senior writer for Professional Bull Riders Inc. He now manages online content for the organization’s website and helps produce televised bull-riding events that draw more than 100 million viewers each year.
·       Alumnus Gary Overton (B.S. ’84), chairman and CEO of Sony Music Nashville and the former longtime executive vice president of EMI Music Publishing’s Nashville division. Overton, who served as chair of the Country Music Association in 2012 and is a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, also was superstar Alan Jackson’s personal manager and served as head of A&R for BNA Entertainment and vice president of Warner/Chappell Music.
·       The late Dr. Thomas “Tom” Hutchison, a longtime member of MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry who made significant contributions to MTSU’s Music Business Program, including serving as coordinator of the Music Business Internship Program and the Executive Online Music Business Program. He also was instrumental in starting the MTSU/ASCAP Songwriting Degree and in bringing the NARAS-sponsored Grammy University Network to MTSU, which was one of the first colleges to adopt the program. Hutchison was on leave from MTSU to serve as professor of marketing and director of the School of Business and Management at Husson University in Bangor, Maine, as well as executive director of academic affairs for Husson’s College of Business, when he died unexpectedly in May 2012.

The College of Mass Communication capped today’s ceremony by honoring more than 100 students in the Department of Electronic Media Communication, School of Journalism, Department of Recording Industry and graduate studies program for their scholarship and professional accomplishments.

“This all has been an example to our students that professionalism and talent can be recognized and rewarded,” Mass Communication Dean Roy Moore said.

“This year we are fortunate to be presenting our students with more than $35,000 in scholarships and awards, all funded through private donations.”

For more information about the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame, visit For more information about MTSU’s College of Mass Communication, visit


MTSU is committed to developing a community devoted to learning, growth and service. We hold these values dear, and there’s a simple phrase that conveys them: “I am True Blue.” Learn more at For MTSU news anytime, visit

[452] MTSU team earns praise at Great Moonbuggy Race

News and Media Relations contact: Randy Weiler, 615-898-5616 or
MTSU Moonbuggy contact: Dr. Saeed Foroudastan, 615-417-2761 (cell) or
MURFREESBORO — The MTSU Engineering Technology Experimental Vehicles Program Moonbuggy team’s nine-month quest for success continues Friday and Saturday in Huntsville, Ala.

The nine-member team, led by captains Ryan Miller of Murfreesboro and Brian Julian of Spring Hill, Tenn., has two Moonbuggies competing in the 20th annual Great Moonbuggy Race on a course designed by officials at Marshall Space Flight Center.

A newly designed and built Moonbuggy finished Friday’s run with a time of 5 minutes, 30 seconds, said program adviser Dr. Saeed Foroudastan. Co-drivers were junior Devin Raines of Murfreesboro and senior Kevin Conner of Norman, Okla.

“Their time is excellent,” Foroudastan said. “The obstacles are much more difficult this year.”

“The judges and everybody have been impressed (with the new Moonbuggy),” Foroudastan added. “It’s the best-looking (Moonbuggy) and best design in the whole contest.” He added that it expects to receive a design award.

Foroudastan said the team plans on “making minor repairs” between now and the scheduled second run on Saturday, and believes they “can shave one-and-a-half minutes off (Friday’s) time.” NASA officials told teams severe weather could factor into the running of the event Saturday.

MTSU’s second entry did not finish its run. Drivers Sadie Swaney of Clarksville, Tenn., and Central Magnet School student Austin Tipton of Murfreesboro went past the 8-minute mark, exceeding the time limit allowed by judges.

Other MTSU team members include senior Joseph Honea of Tullahoma, Tenn., senior Mike Myers of Greeneville, Tenn., junior Steven Chaput of Manchester, Tenn., and junior Thomas Cox of Nashville.

Provost Brad Bartel and College of Basic and Applied Sciences Dean Bud Fischer inspected the new Moonbuggy and the program’s Baha competition entry on April 25 just before the group left for Huntsville.

“I am impressed,” Bartel said. “This is amazing. … You guys are a winner in my book no matter the outcome.”

“It’s everything that education is all about,” Fischer said. “It’s transformational science, where it’s taken from the lab to being used.”

MTSU’s Moonbuggy teams have placed as high as fourth overall and earned two safety awards since entering the competition in 2003.


       MTSU is committed to developing a community devoted to learning, growth and service. We hold these values dear, and there’s a simple phrase that conveys them:  “I am True Blue.” Learn more at

 For MTSU news any time, visit

[451] MTSU Prescription Drug Take-Back Day produces 29-plus pounds

Editor’s note: “Andreea” in the name Andreea Rose is correct spelling.

News and Media Relations contact: Randy Weiler, 615-898-5616 or
MTSU Health Promotion contact: Lisa Schrader, 615-494-8704 or

MTSU Prescription Drug Take-Back Day produces 29-plus pounds

MURFREESBORO — Approximately 29.2 pounds of prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications were collected from the campus community April 25 making the first MTSU Prescription Drug Take-Back Day very successful, event organizers said.

“Consider any amount that is kept away from misuse or improper disposal as a success,” MTSU Public Safety Sgt. Broede Stucky said just minutes before the event concluded in the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center. 

No needles, or sharps as health officials refer to them, were collected, pharmacist Tabby Ragland of Campus Pharmacy said. She added that “just a few EpiPens” were collected. EpiPens are a disposable, prefilled automatic injection device that administers epinephrine in the event of a severe allergic reaction, the company’s website said.

Representatives from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s Nashville office are expected to collect all items sometime between April 30 and May 4.

“We will take and store for DEA,” Stucky said, adding that all the collected drugs will be locked in Public Safety’s vault.

In addition to MTSU personnel, fourth-year students from Lipscomb University’s College of Pharmacy provided assistance. Volunteering their time were Andreea Rose of Murfreesboro, Stephanie Crews of Clarksville, Tenn., Jameson Bouldin of McMinnville, Tenn., and Kasey Grisham of Carthage, Tenn.

Ragland said that while not required by DEA, she and Lisa Schrader, director of MTSU Health Promotion, wanted to keep a record of prescription drugs. Five pages of information were gathered.

“We’ve taken in more things than expected,” Schrader said, adding that “it was busiest (Thursday) morning with the drive through.” From 7 to 9 a.m., people could drop off items outside in a collection box.

“We’ve already had questions about when we’re going to do it again,” Ragland said.

Campus Pharmacy, Health Services and Public Safety partnered to hold the event.

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day scheduled for Saturday, April 27, was postponed until Saturday, May 4, because of the potential for serve weather, Schrader said.


Photo caption

       MTSU is committed to developing a community devoted to learning, growth and service. We hold these values dear, and there’s a simple phrase that conveys them:  “I am True Blue.” Learn more at

 For MTSU news any time, visit

Friday, April 26, 2013

[450] Furry friends to take part in ‘See Spot Run’ event at MTSU

FOR RELEASE: April 26, 2013
EDITORIAL CONTACT: Gina Logue, 615-898-5081,

MURFREESBORO — Some four-legged walkers will put their best paws forward for a worthy cause at MTSU.

The eighth annual See Spot Run 5K Run/Walk is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 18, at MTSU’s Peck Hall.

Canines and their human friends will walk or run to benefit Rutherford County Habitat for Humanity and the MTSU Habitat Blitz Build.

So far, MTSU students have built three homes with the money they’ve raised. They want to raise $40,000 to build a fourth.

Early registration is available until May 12 for $25. After May 12, the registration fee is $30. On-site registration on the day of the race will start at 7:30 p.m.

Participants may register at Each preregistered participant will receive a shirt. Awards will be presented to the top finishers in various age groups.

This event is sponsored by the MTSU Office of Leadership & Service and Sigma Pi fraternity.

For more information, contact Jackie Victory at 615-898-5812 or go to For parking information, go to


MTSU is committed to developing a community devoted to learning, growth, and service. We hold these values dear, and there’s a simple phrase that conveys them:  “I am True Blue.” Learn more at For MTSU news anytime, visit

[449] ‘Molly B. Golly’ visits ‘MTSU On the Record’

FOR RELEASE: April 26, 2013
EDITORIAL CONTACT: Gina Logue, 615-898-5081,

MURFREESBORO — A children’s book about a 9-year-old girl with a magical wheelchair is the topic on the next “MTSU On the Record” on WMOT-FM (89.5 and

Host Gina Logue’s interview with author Bethany A. Hoppe will air from 5:30 to 6 p.m. Monday, April 29, and from 8 to 8:30 a.m. Sunday, May 5.

Hoppe, a professor of public speaking and voice diction at MTSU, is the author of “Molly B. Golly’s Wonderful Dancing Debut.” MTSU student Andie C. Ayotte drew the illustrations for the book.

Through writing, public speaking, wheelchair/integrated dance and performance, Hoppe uses her creativity to further promote the rights of women and children with disabilities through arts and collaboration.

To listen to previous programs, go to the “Audio Clips” archives at

For more information about “MTSU On the Record,” contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.


MTSU is committed to developing a community devoted to learning, growth, and service. We hold these values dear, and there’s a simple phrase that conveys them:  “I am True Blue.” Learn more at For MTSU news anytime, visit

[448] Sign up before May 15 for this summer’s Youth Writers’ Camps at MTSU

FOR RELEASE: April 26, 2013
EDITORIAL CONTACT: Dr. Ellen Donovan, 615-898-5981 or

MURFREESBORO — Young people across the Midstate with a flair for writing — and a love for reading — are invited to MTSU’s annual Youth Writers’ Camps June 10-20 on the university’s Murfreesboro campus.

Students who’ve finished fourth through 11th grades can spend two weeks learning to “read like writers” and then use their pencils and keyboards to tell stories to others with the help of the Middle Tennessee Writing Project.

The camps — one for younger children and one for teenagers — will be held at MTSU Monday through Thursday, June 10-20, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. each day.

Registration costs are $200 for new campers and $175 for returning participants, and the deadline to register is Wednesday, May 15.

The Youth Writers’ Camps are led by local teachers with the Writing Project who encourage students to explore different writing styles and topics and work with their peers and teachers to become more confident in their own writing, organizers said.

“Campers really enjoy the opportunity to have fun with their writing," said Dr. Ellen Donovan, director of the Middle Tennessee Writing Project and a professor of English at MTSU.

"Budding poets, novelists, comic book makers and songwriters get a chance to work on projects, try new ideas and strategies and learn the same techniques used by professional writers.”

This year’s campers will enjoy an “Authors’ Celebration" and a special visit with Candie Moonshower, author of the award-winning novel “The Legend of Zoey." Each student also will receive a camp T-shirt, a writer’s notebook, a daily morning snack and a writing anthology.

Campers and parents can get more information and find a downloadable application form at

The Middle Tennessee Writing Project serves the greater Middle Tennessee region as one of more than 200 networked sites that form the National Writing Project, a professional development effort for teachers of kindergarten through college-aged students.

The MTWP focuses on improving writing instruction, helping teachers use writing as an effective teaching strategy in other areas, and developing teacher leadership to reform and improve education.


MTSU is committed to developing a community devoted to learning, growth and service. We hold these values dear, and there’s a simple phrase that conveys them: “I am True Blue.” Learn more at For MTSU news anytime, visit

[447] MTSU honors 4 of its finest as 'Employees of the Year'

FOR RELEASE: April 25, 2013
EDITORIAL CONTACT: Gina E. Fann, 615-898-5385 or

MURFREESBORO — Four of MTSU's finest celebrate their recognition as the "Employees of the Year" after a special ceremony and reception in the university's James Union Building on Wednesday, April 24. Displaying their awards are, from left, Classified Employee of the Year Barbara Money, Secretarial/Clerical Employee of the Year Peggy Slater, Administrative Employee of the Year Jamie Brewer and Technical/Service Employee of the Year Forrest Higginbotham.

The winners, who received engraved crystal awards and monetary gifts for their work excellence and commitment to making MTSU and its students successful, were chosen from nominations made by their fellow university employees during the 2012-13 academic year. Money is the office supervisor for the Office of Housing and Residential Life, and Slater is the executive aide for the College of Liberal Arts. Brewer is a project manager in MTSU's Campus Planning office, and Higginbotham is lead electrician for MTSU Building Services.

For more information about MTSU's Employee Recognition Programs, visit (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)


MTSU is committed to developing a community devoted to learning, growth and service. We hold these values dear, and there’s a simple phrase that conveys them:  “I am True Blue.” Learn more at For MTSU news anytime, visit

[446] MTSU selects former USA Today Editor Ken Paulson as Mass Communication Dean

For release:  April 23, 2013
News and Media Relations contact: Andrew Oppmann, 615-494-7800 or

National First Amendment scholar and lawyer will assume leadership of college on July 1

MURFREESBORO — Ken Paulson, a lawyer who combined his passions for journalism, free expression and popular music to become a national advocate for the First Amendment, will be the next dean of the College of Mass Communication at Middle Tennessee State University, officials announced Tuesday.

Paulson, president and chief executive officer of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University in Nashville and at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., will assume leadership of the college on July 1. He replaces Roy Moore, dean of the college since 2008, who will remain with the college as a professor.

Paulson served as editor-in-chief of USA Today from 2004 to 2009.  He was on the team of journalists who founded USA Today in 1982 before moving on to manage newsrooms in Westchester County, N.Y., Green Bay, Wis., Bridgewater, N.J. and at Florida Today in Brevard County, Fla. He is now a columnist on USA Today’s board of contributors, writing about First Amendment issues and the news media.

A member of The Recording Academy and a former music journalist, Paulson is active in the Nashville music community, serving as vice chair of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame; a member of the Music City Music Council, convened by Mayor Karl Dean; and a Leadership Music board and executive committee member.

Paulson also was the host of the Emmy-honored television program “Speaking Freely,” seen in more than 60 PBS markets nationwide over five seasons, and the author of "Freedom Sings," a multimedia stage show celebrating the First Amendment that continues to tour the nation's campuses. 

MTSU boasts the fifth-largest mass-communication college in the nation and is the only one that features departments of recording industry, journalism and electronic media communication. It also is home to the Center for Popular Music, which maintains a large research library and archive and interprets various aspects of American vernacular music.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee said Paulson’s unique blend of national media leadership, scholarship in the First Amendment and music background will strengthen the college and move it to the next level.

“We were impressed by the breadth of Ken’s experience,” McPhee said. “He has led a national news organization, traveled the country with a rock ‘n’ roll band to tout the First Amendment and hosted a national television program. His career has touched all of our college’s disciplines.”

Paulson said he was honored to be selected as dean and that the college “has an impressive faculty, a clear commitment to innovation and an unrivaled curriculum in media education.

“The College of Mass Communication is a singular institution, bringing the creative forces behind journalism, broadcast and digital communications and the music industry under a single roof. That allows for unprecedented collaboration and synergy, and a multi-faceted media education.”

University Provost Brad Bartel, MTSU’s chief academic officer, said Paulson would help the college forge stronger ties with media organizations and industry foundations. The provost said the university would also benefit from his close rapport with the Nashville music scene.

“Ken Paulson certainly will raise the bar for the college in relevance to content providers and research to help those industries discover and develop solutions and innovation for the 21st century,” Bartel said.

Paulson also referenced the “technological and cultural changes” buffeting the music and news industries, which have prompted some to “reduce resources, rather than expand horizons.”

“There’s an opportunity for innovative communication colleges to craft new and bold approaches, fueling these professions with fresh perspectives and insights – and graduates with the skills to maximize both,” he said.

Paulson led the First Amendment Center, an arm of the Freedom Forum, from 1997 to 2004. After his stint at USA Today, he served as president of the Newseum, the interactive museum of news and journalism opened by the Freedom Forum in Washington, D.C., from 2009 to 2010.

He is also founder of 1 for All, an unprecedented national campaign on behalf of the First Amendment, launched on July 1, 2010, with support from more than 1,100 news, arts and religious organizations.

Paulson returned to the First Amendment Center in 2010. As dean of the MTSU college, he will continue to write, speak and consult with the center on free expression issues.

For 12 years, Paulson was a regular guest lecturer at the American Press Institute, teaming with First Amendment Center founder John Seigenthaler to speak to more than 5,000 journalists about First Amendment issues. He was honored with the API Lifetime Service Award. In 2010 and 2011, he served as chair of the PBS Editorial Standards Review Committee.

He is past president of the American Society of News Editors, the nation’s largest organization of news media leaders.

In 2007, Paulson was named fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists, “the highest honor SPJ bestows upon a journalist for extraordinary contributions to the profession.” In 2008, he received the Robert S. Abbott Memorial Award for Meritorious Service in Mass Communications from the Southern Regional Press Institute.

Paulson is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law and the University of Missouri School of Journalism. He also has served as an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt’s Law School. In 2008, he received an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from American University.

He has also been elected to the Illini Publishing Hall of Fame at the University of Illinois and, in October 2012, he received the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism.

About MTSU

Founded in 1911 as one of three state normal schools for teacher training, MTSU is now the oldest and largest public university in Middle Tennessee. With an enrollment of more than 25,000 students, MTSU is the largest undergraduate university in Tennessee and the No. 1 producer of bachelor’s degree graduates in the Tennessee Board of Regents system.

MTSU remains committed to providing individualized service in an exciting and nurturing atmosphere where student success is the top priority. With a wide variety of nationally recognized academic degree programs at the baccalaureate, master's and doctoral levels, MTSU takes pride in educating the best and the brightest students from Tennessee and around the world.


MTSU is committed to developing a community devoted to learning, growth, and service. We hold these values dear, and there’s a simple phrase that conveys them:  “I am True Blue.” Learn more at For MTSU news anytime, visit

[445] MTSU to purchase former Middle Tennessee Medical Center site

News and Media Relations contact: Andrew Oppmann, 615-494-7800 or
Second MTSU contact: Jimmy Hart, 615-898-5131 or
MTMC contact: Amanda Maynord Anderson, 615-284-1628 or

MURFREESBORO — MTSU announced Friday (April 19) that it will purchase the former Middle Tennessee Medical Center site near downtown Murfreesboro.

The university will pay $11.1 million for the 17.4-acre site, which includes:

  • The 115,000-square-foot Bell Street Building;
  • A 143,000-square-foot parking garage with 407 parking spaces;
  • Surface parking with 188 spaces;
  • A large green-space area that was the site of the old main hospital building (surrounded by East Bell Street; North Highland Avenue; East Lytle Street; and North University Street.)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee and Gordon Ferguson, president and CEO of Middle Tennessee Medical Center, marked the pending change of ownership in a ceremony at the Bell Street Building, attended by administrators from both institutions and community leaders.

“For nearly 85 years, our two campuses anchored the east side of Murfreesboro and served for much of that time as two of largest employers in our community,” McPhee said. “But we shared much more than proximity and size – our two organizations also share many common values.

Today’s ceremony marks the next step in that relationship and underscores the importance we place on serving the needs of our students and the community.”

MTMC has been looking for a buyer for its old hospital site since its move into a $267 million state-of-the-art medical campus in October 2010. Its 70-acre site on Medical Center Parkway is more than four times larger than its old location, which was where the hospital was established in 1927.

“We continued a legacy of innovation and advancement at our Bell Street location, serving the community with outstanding medical care,” Ferguson said. “With the sale of this land, we pass along that legacy to our partner MTSU as they now grow and create new opportunities for our community.”

McPhee said the university will use the Bell Street Building for academic purposes. However, he said final decisions on which units and operations will occupy the space have yet to be determined.
“Once we acquire the property, we will determine the best and most appropriate use for the facility,” McPhee said. “It will be used for academic purposes and, while we are considering several options, we have yet to make a final decision on what would be best at that location.”

University spokesman Andrew Oppmann said the Bell Street Building will require some renovations to change its usage from medical to academic.

“We will need to determine what work needs to be done and how long that work will take – all of which will factor into our decisions on how the facility will be used,” he said.

Oppmann said the university currently has no plans for the old hospital lot and that area will remain open green space for the foreseeable future.

McPhee said the university will be “good stewards of this facility and good neighbors to our community and use it to better serve our students and the people of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County.”

“We are extremely proud to have worked with Gordon and his staff, Lee (Moss, chairman of the MTMC Board of Directors) and the hospital board and the entire Saint Thomas Health Services family to make this a reality,” McPhee said.

About MTSU

Founded in 1911 as one of three state normal schools for teacher training, MTSU is now the oldest and largest public university in Middle Tennessee. With an enrollment of more than 25,000 students, MTSU is the largest undergraduate university in Tennessee.

MTSU remains committed to providing individualized service in an exciting and nurturing atmosphere where student success is the top priority. With a wide variety of nationally recognized academic degree programs at the baccalaureate, master's and doctoral levels, MTSU takes pride in educating the best and the brightest students from Tennessee and around the world.

About Middle Tennessee Medical Center
Middle Tennessee Medical Center (MTMC) is a member of Saint Thomas Health, Middle Tennessee’s faith-based, not-for-profit health care system with more than 6,500 associates. Saint Thomas Health is focused on transforming the health care experience and helping people live healthier lives, with special attention to the poor and vulnerable. The regional health system includes — Baptist Hospital, Saint Thomas Hospital and The Hospital for Spinal Surgery in Nashville, Middle Tennessee Medical Center in Murfreesboro and Hickman Community Hospital in Centerville — and a comprehensive network of affiliated joint ventures, medical practices, clinics and rehabilitation facilities. Saint Thomas Health is a member of Ascension Health, a Catholic organization that is the largest not-for-profit health system in the United States For more information, visit or

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