MURFREESBORO — MTSU’s College of Liberal Arts has added three new members — all university alumni — to its community advisory board.
The newest additions to the Friends of Liberal Arts Board are Dickson County attorney Meagan Frazier, Stones River National Battlefield operations chief Gib Backlund and Nashville attorney Michael Dagley.
The Friends of Liberal Arts Board cultivates and maintains relationships with community, state and national leaders; promotes the achievements of MTSU’s liberal arts faculty and students as well as overall public image; exposes students to various career options; serves as mentors to those students; and helps pursue external funding.
New board member Frazier, who lives in Burns, Tennessee, is a cum laude graduate of MTSU who majored in public relations and minored in political science and marketing. She is a graduate of the Nashville School of Law and joined the government relations firm of Smith Harris & Carr in 2003, becoming a partner in 2008.
Frazier serves the community in many ways, including her leadership positions in both the Tennessee chapter and the national ALS Association, which fight Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease; the Tennessee CASA Association, which advocates for abused and neglected children; and the Tennessee Lobbyists Association and Tennessee Bar Association, just to name a few.
New member Backlund has worked at Stones River National Battlefield since 1992, helping the popular park nearly double in size, renovate its visitor center, build an even more accessible new entrance and tour road, develop and install new exhibits and rehabilitate the area landscape.
A native of Minnesota, Backlund earned his Bachelor of Arts in English and Humanities at the University of Minnesota before joining the National Park Service as an aide at Cumberland Gap National Historic Park and working at Mammoth Cave, Glacier National Park and Cape Hatteras. He earned his master’s degree in history at MTSU, focusing on the Cold War and Mission 66, a 10-year program to improve the National Park Service that was completed in 1966, and is an adjunct professor of history at MTSU.
New board member Dagley, who is a partner in the Nashville law firm of Bass, Berry & Sims, graduated magna cum laude from MTSU in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts in history and earned his law degree from Vanderbilt University in 1981. During his time at MTSU, he was president of the university Honors Council as well as a member of the MTSU Debate Hall of Fame.
During his 33-year legal career, Dagley has specialized in high-stakes litigation involving many different industries. He’s most recently worked on behalf of hospital and health care systems with software failures and has defended numerous Nashville health care companies on contractual disputes as well as advising on health care fraud, False Claims Act matters and government investigations.
The College of Liberal Arts at MTSU comprises 10 departments with more than 300 faculty members and 2,800 students majoring in fields that encompass the arts, humanities and social sciences to earn bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. MTSU’s General Education Program also is chiefly located within the college, so almost every student who attends MTSU will have a liberal arts class.
In addition to the academic departments, MTSU’s College of Liberal Arts houses several nationally recognized organizations, including The Center for Historic Preservation, the Albert Gore Research Center, the University Writing Center, the Governor's School for the Arts, and the Forensic Institute for Research and Education.
For more information about the College of Liberal Arts at MTSU, please visit http://www.mtsu.edu/liberalarts.