Monday, December 15, 2014

[243] MTSU ROTC commissions three cadets as military officers

2nd Lts. Chenequa Godette of La Vergne, Tennessee, and Manychanh Kittirath of Antioch, Tennessee, will be serving in the U.S. Army Reserve, while 2nd Lt. Teana Harle of Murfreesboro will serve in the Tennessee Army National Guard. All are scheduled to graduate Saturday at MTSU’s fall commencement ceremonies.

• Godette is graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in entrepreneurship. Her parents are Walter Godette of Havelock, North Carolina, and Felicia Hansford of Madison, Mississippi.

• Harle is graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology. Her parents are John and Geri Cintrol, and her husband is 2nd Lt. Scott Harle of Murfreesboro.

• Kittirath is graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Integrated Studies. Her parents are Xay and Vone Kittirath of Antioch, Tennessee.

All three cadets of the Blue Raider Battalion have met and/or surpassed their ROTC requirements to become second lieutenants. They were sworn in by U.S. Army Lt. Col. Joel Miller, MTSU professor of military science, who applauded the cadets “not only for completing the rigorous requirements of earning a college degree, but who have also answered the call to serve our nation as officers in the military.”

Friday’s guest speaker, U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class John Cintron, had a personal connection to the ceremony, as he is the proud father of Teana Harle, who presented him with a special gift from the battalion following his remarks.

Cintron, who has served multiple combat tours overseas and for a time was a Rutherford County sheriff’s deputy, told the cadets that he hoped they didn’t have to see combat during their military careers, but urged them to be prepared as leaders nonetheless.

“Because whether it be in war or peace, your actions will be what others will remember most about you,” said Cintron, now an instructor for the officer candidate school company of the 3rd Battalion, 117th Regiment, Tennessee Army National Guard.

“You will be expected to take action, to make decisions, to solve a situation,” he said. “You’re now one of the key players in the military family.”

The Department of Military Science is in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences. For more information, visit

[242] ‘MTSU On the Record’ focuses on money for educational trips

MURFREESBORO — A new means of financing study-abroad classes in tight financial times is the topic of the next “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Mark Byrnes, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, will air from 5:30 to 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 15, and from 8 to 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 21, on WMOT-FM (89.5 and

Beginning in the 2015 calendar year, the College of Liberal Arts will offer five scholarships of up to $500 each for experiential learning activities to liberal arts majors.

Applicants must have completed 30 credit hours prior to the semester in which the award will be made. At least 15 credit hours must have been earned at MTSU. A grade-point average of 2.5 or higher is required.

The stipends are applicable to either faculty-led study-abroad programs or credit-bearing unpaid internships. The deadline for meeting the criteria and filing the paperwork is Feb. 6, 2015. More information is available from the College of Liberal Arts at 615-898-2534 or

 “Clearly, we believe in the importance of classroom instruction, homework, lectures, discussions and everything we do here on campus,” said Byrnes. “But an extremely important complement to that is real-life experience. I think it’s really vital to a complete college education.”

To listen to previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, go to

For more information, contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.

[241a] Website ranks MTSU among best for online computer science degrees recently listed MTSU University College’s online degree offerings among the “Best Online Computer Science Degrees” for 2015.

Computer Science Online, a resource for online learning in computer science and related fields, says it analyzed data from hundreds of colleges offering computer science degrees online. The company developed a scoring system to see which schools ranked highest across a dozen central computer science and tech-related disciplines.

The company says the included programs offer a wide variety of degree specializations as well as the flexible learning options of an online program. To create the list, the company looked at metrics such as tuition costs, student-teacher ratios, graduation rates, accreditation and more.

MTSU offers a bachelor's degree in Information Technology that can be earned fully online. The information technology degree is part of the university’s Professional Studies program, designed for distance and nontraditional students through University College.

“MTSU is aware that most adults who pursue an online degree are looking for the skills necessary to move up in their current job, or are seeking the skills to make a career change,” said Dr. Mike Boyle, dean of MTSU’s University College. “The challenge is making the degree flexible enough to fit into their busy life. The Professional Studies Degree was designed to fit the needs of working adults.”

Boyle said he was not surprised to learn that this program was so highly rated and is pleased that an external organization “recognizes that we have successfully combined high quality instruction into a flexible learning environment. Our goal is to make it possible for adults meet their career goals, while fulfilling their life obligations.”

MTSU’s Professional Studies program prepares students for management level positions, with foundation courses in statistics, international context, communications, and supervision. In the Information Technology concentration, courses center on software analysis, database management, data communications, and operating systems.

“Computer science is one of the fastest growing education programs available,” said Doug Jones, founder of Computer Science Online. “The diversity of related career fields is expansive and the opportunities are endless.”

Information technology, cybersecurity, computer engineering and other related career fields and education specializations are all relatively new as technologies have advanced from what they were 20 years ago, the company says.

“Students wishing to enter one of the fastest-growing career fields have more options than ever,” Jones said. “These schools offer students the flexibility of online learning options from high-quality, accredited institutions.”

For more information about MTSU’s program, visit

[241] MTSU food venues wind down operations as winter break approaches

MURFREESBORO — MTSU food venues are winding down operations as the fall 2014 semester ends and winter break approaches.

Thursday, Dec. 11, is the last day of final examinations on campus, and fall 2014 commencement is Saturday, Dec. 13.

University offices will be open regular hours through Tuesday, Dec. 23, and MTSU will be closed for winter break from Wednesday, Dec. 24, through New Year's Day, Jan. 1.

During this quiet time on campus, MTSU food venue hours will include:
·       Friday, Dec. 12: McCallie Dining Hall, 7 a.m.-6 p.m.; Walker Library Starbucks, 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; KUC Brewed Awakenings, 7-10 a.m., and KUC Chick-Fil-A, 7 a.m.-3 p.m.; Student Union Dunkin Donuts, 7-11 a.m.; Student Union Panda Express, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., and Student Union Popeye’s, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
·       Saturday, Dec. 13: Student Union Dunkin Donuts, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
·       Sunday, Dec. 14: All campus food venues closed.
·       Monday-Friday, Dec. 15-19: KUC coffee and doughnuts while they last, 8-10 a.m., and KUC Subway, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Student Union Dunkin Donuts, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
·       Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 20-21: All campus food venues closed.
·       Monday-Tuesday, Dec. 22-23: KUC coffee and doughnuts while they last, 8-10 a.m.; Student Union Dunkin Donuts, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
·       Wednesday-Thursday, Dec. 24-Jan. 1: All campus food venues closed.

The MTSU Student Union will be open 6 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Dec. 12; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 13; 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Dec. 15-19; and 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Dec. 22-23.

MTSU offices and facilities will reopen at 8 a.m. Friday, Jan. 2. Students will return to campus for spring 2014 classes on Tuesday, Jan. 20.

[240] MTSU Survey: Midstate consumers’ cheery outlook rising during holiday season

Three-county poll shows shoppers even more upbeat about economy

The overall Middle Tennessee Consumer Outlook Index rose to 329 this month, up from 226 in September, according to the latest economic survey by Middle Tennessee State University.

The current poll of 235 randomly selected adult residents of Davidson, Rutherford and Williamson counties was conducted Dec. 1 and 3. The index score is computed by adding the percentage of favorable responses to each survey question and subtracting the percentage of negative responses.

Almost half (46 percent) of local consumers expect to spend more than $500 on Christmas and holiday gifts this year, while almost one in four (23 percent) expects to spend more than $1,000, up from 19 percent last year.

Timothy Graeff, director of the Office of Consumer Research in the MTSU Jones College of Business, which conducted the survey, said the numbers reflect the fact that consumers “feel increasingly more optimistic” about the future of the national economy, local economy, job market and their own personal financial situation. 

The survey’s current and future indices also continued to rise, with the “current situation index” jumping from 48 in September to 77 this month while the “future expectations index” rose from 80 to 130 over the same period. 

“When consumers begin to feel better about the current state of the economy and they also feel increasingly more optimistic about the future of the economy, such positive feelings can find their way into budgeting and spending decisions,” Graeff said. “ This is especially important as we enter the ever important Christmas and holiday shopping season. … This positive view toward spending could signal healthy sales at the cash register.”