Thursday, February 26, 2015

[324] ‘MTSU On the Record’ makes words of ancient poet Catullus sing

MURFREESBORO — An MTSU professor whose musical compositions give voice to the words of a first-century B.C. poet will be the guest on the next edition of the “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Michael Linton will air from 5:30 to 6 p.m. Monday, March 2, and from 8 to 8:30 a.m. Sunday, March 8, on WMOT-FM (89.5 and

Linton, a professor of music theory, wrote the music for “Carmina Catulli,” a CD of songs using the poetry of Gaius Valerius Catullus, one of the most acclaimed poets of the ancient world. Portions of the album are integrated into the broadcast.

Catullus, a contemporary of Julius Caesar, explored the depths of human emotion, ranging from unbridled sexual passion to painful melancholy.

Jason Paul Peterson provided the piano accompaniment, and baritone Edwin Crossley-Mercer sang Catullus’ words in the original Latin language. MTSU recording industry professor Michael Fleming produced the CD.

“Some of the movements, which you really certainly can call atonal, are just the way I write,” said Linton. “And some are completely tonal and lyric … One of the things you have to do when you put together a dramatic work like this … is you have to have a variety of long things and short things, happy things and sad things, loud, slow, fast, soft. You need that variety.”
Writing for Opera News, the publication of the Metropolitan Opera Guild in New York, critic Joshua Rosenblum called Linton’s work “music of an eclectic but coherent and distinctive style, contemporary but otherworldly.”

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.

[323] Maya Angelou serves as inspiration for MTSU Women’s History Month

MURFREESBORO — A month of interactive and entertaining National Women’s History Month activities at MTSU will begin with an event honoring the late Dr. Maya Angelou.

The opening ceremony is slated for 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 3, in the atrium of the James E. Walker Library. The MTSU Gospel Choir and MTSU Jazz Ensemble will perform and students will deliver a spoken-word tribute.

Angelou, a poet, educator, dramatist and civil rights activist, died May 28, 2014. Her legacy includes authorship of 36 books, including “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and “Gather Together in My Name.”

Her honors include three Grammy Awards, the National Medal of the Arts, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Under the month-long theme of “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives,” Lisa Ling, executive producer and host of “This Is Life” on CNN, will deliver the keynote address at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 26, in the Student Union Ballroom. This event is free and open to the public.

Ling is a journalist whose experience includes co-hosting ABC’s “The View” and hosting “National Geographic Explorer” on the National Geographic Channel and “Our America with Lisa Ling” on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Another major highlight of the month is the 11th biennial Women’s and Gender Studies Conference, which is scheduled for March 26-28.

Titled “Global Discourses in Women’s and Gender Studies,” the gathering will feature top experts from around the world sharing their research into women’s and gender issues. For more information on registration and specific conference activities, go to

Other National Women’s History Month events include:

  • “Moving Eastward and Upward: Adjusting ‘Plans’ to Accommodate Cool Research and Leadership Opportunities,” Women in Chemistry Invited Lecture, Dr. Jennifer McKenzie, Vanderbilt University, incoming chair of the Nashville section of the American Chemical Society, 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 4, Room 145, College of Education Building;

  • “Notes to My College Self: Advice for Navigating Your Path to Success,” a panel discussion with MTSU and community women and audience engagement, 5 p.m. Thursday, March 19, Room 101, Ingram Building;

  • “The Vagina Monologues,” a theatrical event exploring topics related to women and feminism, presented by student organization I AM ME, 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, Keathley University Center theater, $3 with student ID, $5 general admission;

  • Dr. Dagmar Herzog, distinguished professor of history at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, lecturing on “Nazi Anti-Semitism and the Christian Churches,” 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 31, Hazlewood Dining Room, James Union Building.
Sponsors of National Women’s History Month events at MTSU include the James E. Walker Library, the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students, the Holocaust Studies Program, the American Association of University Women in Murfreesboro, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, the Distinguished Lecture Committee and the National Women’s History Month Committee.

For more information on these and other events, contact Barbara Scales, director of the June Anderson Center and chair of the National Women’s History Month Committee, at 615-898-2193 or

[322] Math educator to receive 2015 John Pleas Award at MTSU Feb. 26

MURFREESBORO — A math master is the latest professor to be honored with MTSU’s annual John Pleas Faculty Award.

Dr. Michaele Chappell, a professor of mathematics education and program coordinator for the Masters of Science in Teaching program, will receive the award at a ceremony to begin at 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26, in the Tom Jackson Building. This Black History Month event is free and open to the public.

“I am honored and appreciative to be selected,” Chappell said. “Considering I was unaware of the nomination, it came as a pleasant and delightful surprise.”

Chappell has authored or edited five manuscripts or books, authored more than two dozen academic articles and book chapters and given more than 65 presentations at conferences.

Her passion is promoting math literacy in historically disadvantaged communities. Chappell has administrated four summer institutes at MTSU that trained STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) educators who work with at-risk populations.

“The mathematics education field has been quite rewarding and has afforded me opportunities to work with stellar colleagues, staff and students,” said Chappell, who has taught at MTSU since 2001.

Chappell also has served in multiple positions with the Benjamin Banneker Association, enabling her to mentor STEM teachers working in African-American communities.

Among the grants Chappell has been awarded is the $2.3 million National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teaching Scholarship, for which she is co-principal investigator.

Chappell earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Georgia Southern University in 1981 and 1983, respectively, and her doctorate from Florida State University in 1991.

The John Pleas Faculty Award was established in 1997 to honor Dr. John Pleas, MTSU professor emeritus of psychology and recipient of an MTSU Outstanding Teaching Award in 1999. It is presented annually to a black faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in teaching, research and service.

Nominees should have completed at least five years of service at MTSU and have a record of outstanding service. Candidates must have three letters to support their nomination.

For more information, contact Jonell Hinsey, director of the Intercultural and Diversity Center and chair of the MTSU Black History Month Committee, at 615-898-5797 or

[321] MTSU research lecture examines ‘Orange is the New Black’ Feb. 26

MURFREESBORO — An MTSU professor will peek behind the prison bars of the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black” in an upcoming lecture.”

Dr. Clare Bratten, a professor in the Department of Electronic Media Communication, will present “Orange is the New Black: How We Talk about the Show” at 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26, in Room 100 of the James Union Building.

The comedy-drama Bratten will discuss follows the plight of Piper Chapman, a woman who loses her comfortable New York life when she is convicted in connection with a youthful indiscretion. Plots revolve around how she adjusts to a life of prison privation and an array of quirky fellow inmates and guards.

“Orange is the New Black” has been nominated for numerous awards and won a Peabody Award in 2013. It won the award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series at the 2015 Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony, and Uzo Aduba captured the 2015 SAG award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series.

“The talk explores whether the wildly popular series … is a soap opera-styled serial, a socially conscious critique of prison life or a continuation of a ‘Women In Prison’ genre that began in the early days of Hollywood,” Bratten said.

Bratten’s presentation, which is free and open to the public, is the latest in MTSU’s Women’s and Gender Studies Research Series.

For more information, contact the Women’s and Gender Studies office at 615-898-5910 or

[320] MTSU Theatre analyzes ‘Einstein’s Dreams’ in 5 performances this week

MURFREESBORO — MTSU Theatre’s performances of  “Einstein’s Dreams,” the stage adaptation of an international best-selling novel, will continue as scheduled this week in the university’s Studio Theatre in the Boutwell Dramatic Arts Auditorium.

Last week’s winter weather and the resulting university closures cancelled one performance, but the curtain will go up as planned Wednesday through Sunday, Feb. 25-March 1. 

General admission tickets are $10 each and $5 for K-12 students and senior citizens. MTSU students with valid IDs will be admitted free.

Feb. 25-28 performances begin at 7:30 p.m., and the March 1 matinee begins at 2 p.m. The Studio Theatre in Room 101 seats about 80.

“Einstein’s Dreams,” created by physicist, author and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Alan Lightman, explores a young Albert Einstein’s reveries about the conception of time while he developed his theory of relativity. Some of the “dreams” are based in fact, while others are fictional.

Memphis native Lightman’s 1992 novel has been used nationwide in university reading programs and was first adapted for the stage in 1996. The play has been presented on numerous stages since then, including at the New York Fringe Festival and in Beijing, China.

Tickets for the MTSU Arts presentations, sponsored by Ascend Federal Credit Union, are available online at and at the Tucker Theatre box office an hour before curtain times.

Tickets for “Einstein’s Dreams” also can be ordered by phone by calling 888-71-TICKETS (888-718-4253) 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Friday.