Monday, September 29, 2014

[098] Chattanooga senior sold on MTSU long before True Blue Tour event

CHATTANOOGA — High school senior Deasia Reynolds of Chattanooga, Tennessee, never had visited the Middle Tennessee State University campus in Murfreesboro until 2013.

But the Tyner Academy student knew as a 10-year-old fifth-grader in 2007 that she wanted to go to MTSU.

“I’d love to go to school at MT,” Reynolds said with excitement. “It’s my favorite school in the whole world. I hope to get accepted.”

Along with nearly 200 Chattanooga-area students and more than 200 additional guests, Reynolds attended the annual MTSU True Blue Tour, held Sept. 17 at the Chattanooga Convention Center. Chattanooga was the first leg in the statewide tour, which includes visits to Johnson City, Knoxville, Nashville, Memphis and Jackson.

Reynolds said she makes all A’s, carries a 3.7 GPA and ranks 10th in her class, said she plans to pursue nursing and hopes it will be with the MTSU School of Nursing, one of the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences departments.

Current MTSU junior Agnes Porter of Chattanooga spoke to her peers during the reception.

Porter, who graduated several years ahead of Reynolds at East Hamilton, said she “loves the diversity of the campus, not just in race but age also has an impact on the diversity that the campus offers.”

“It is interesting to listen to how life experiences shape our views and how that is expressed through our use of class discussions, especially in the political science department,” said Porter, who was joined at the event by her entire immediate family.

At MTSU, Porter majors in public administration in the College of Liberal Arts and multi-media journalism in the College of Mass Communication. The Hope Lottery Scholarship recipient works in the Career Development Center and served as a peer mentor for the Scholars Academy Summer Institute for incoming freshmen this year. Carrying a 3.88 GPA, she anticipates graduating in December 2016, and has lofty career ambitions.

“I would like to either become a news correspondent for CNN from the White House or the Capitol while also hosting my own political segment for the network, be an image consultant for political figures, or become a congresswoman,” she said.

The “great staff at MTSU are fully dedicated to their students’ success,” Porter said, adding how being a student “has opened so many doors for me in terms of receiving hands-on experience to help me determine the career path that is best for me.”

The Chattanooga resident said being accepted into the Scholars Academy Summer Institute of 2013 “was confirmation that MTSU was the right school for me” and being a Scholars Academy Summer Institute peer mentor “gave me an opportunity to play a valuable role in the lives of many students who were leaving home for the first time to start a new chapter in their books called life.”

Students from all across the region, including Etowah and Athens, Tennessee, and a large contingent from Soddy Daisy attended the reception. About 40 high school counselors and community college representatives attended a luncheon earlier in the day.

MTSU takes the True Blue Tour to Johnson City Monday, Sept. 22, and Knoxville Tuesday, Sept. 23.

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