Wednesday, November 25, 2015

[241] History for and by the masses on the next ‘MTSU On the Record’

MURFREESBORO — The validation of public history is the focus of the next “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Rebecca Conard, a professor of history and director of MTSU’s public history program, will air from 5:30-6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30, and from 8-8:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, on WMOT-FM (89.5 and

Conard is the author of “The Pragmatic Roots of Public History Education in the United States,” an article in the February 2015 academic journal “The Public Historian.”

She chronicles public history’s complicated, pragmatic evolution, including its interaction with museum studies, historic preservation and archival studies.

Conard also describes MTSU’s cutting-edge embrace of public history as a discipline, which began with the creation of a master’s degree in historic preservation in 1976.

“This year, we will undertake a search for a digital historian,” said Conard. “So that will be the next thing that we develop in the department, and that person will have a great role to play in the public history program as well.”

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, go to and click the “more” link under “Audio Clips.”

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

[240] Dec. 1 deadline looms for prospective students applying for guaranteed MTSU scholarships

MURFREESBORO — For high school seniors planning to begin college at Middle Tennessee State University in August 2016, guaranteed scholarships are available to prospective students who:

• Meet academic requirements.
• Complete the application.
• Pay the application fee by Tuesday, Dec. 1.

“Students don’t have to fill out any additional scholarship applications to be considered for any of our guaranteed scholarships, but what they must do is complete the admissions application to MTSU (including submission of the online application, application fee and sixth-semester high school transcripts) by Dec. 1,” said Laurie Witherow, associate vice provost for undergraduate recruitment in Student Affairs.

Guaranteed scholarships range from $2,000 to $5,000 a year for four years. They include:

• Chancellor — $5,000 per year. Requires a minimum 30 or higher ACT, 1320 or higher SAT and 3.5 grade-point average.
• Presidential — $4,000 per year. Requires a 28 ACT (1240 SAT) and 3.5 GPA.
• True Blue — $3,000 per year. Requires a 26 ACT (1170 SAT) and 3.5 GPA.
• Provost — $2,000 per year. Requires a 25 ACT (1130 SAT) and 3.5 GPA.

Recipients, who must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, must meet GPA, enrollment, service (where applicable) and satisfactory academic progress requirements to maintain eligibility.

More information can be found at

Failing to meet the Dec. 1 deadline may be a missed opportunity for a major scholarship. Applications received after Dec. 1 risk scholarship money not being available. Applications mailed to MTSU must be postmarked Dec. 1.

To learn more about the University Honors College and Buchanan Fellowship, the highest award given to an entering MTSU freshman, visit


University panel sets Dec. 1 for first of two sessions on building’s name

MURFREESBORO — Members of the task force considering whether to change the name of MTSU’s Forrest Hall set Dec. 1 for the first of two open forums on the topic.

Task force chairman Derek Frisby, who heads the 17-member panel of students, faculty, alumni and community members, said the forum will be from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, in the Parliamentary Room (201) on the second floor of the Student Union Building.

A searchable parking map is available at

Frisby, a Civil War historian and faculty member in the Global Studies and Cultural Geography department, said the task force will hold a second public forum in late January.

The university announced in June that it would engage the community on the name of the campus building that houses MTSU’s Army Reserve Officer Training Corps program and is named after Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee asked the panel to recommend by April whether the building should be renamed; retain the name but with added historical perspective; or recommend that no action or change is warranted. The Tennessee Board of Regents would have to approve any recommended name change and the university is also researching whether other state authorities would have to give approval as well.

Task force meetings are open to the public. For more information about the task force, visit

[238] Women’s real estate group awards 3 MTSU scholarships

MURFREESBORO — Three grateful MTSU students in the Jennings A. Jones College of Business recently received a financial boost to their educational aspirations from the Women in Commercial Real Estate Nashville chapter.

Scholarship recipient Marcela Arredondo, a senior from Franklin, Tennessee, received a $1,000 scholarship from the networking group, while junior Keysha Honey of Murfreesboro and senior Jessica Rae Vega of Franklin received $500 each. All are majoring in finance with concentrations in real estate.

“We want to build a strong relationship with MTSU,” said WCRE chapter President Rhonda Thomas, who visited campus in late October to award the scholarships at the Business and Aerospace Building.

Started in 1991 to promote networking among women in the industry, WCRE Nashville later created a scholarship fund for female real estate students in conjunction with the creation of the group’s Legacy Award in 2010.

“We want to mentor (students) and bring them up so that they can see the trails that we’ve blazed, learn from our mistakes and go even further in the field,” Thomas said.

Arredondo said the scholarship was “a blessing” because she’s already working full time at an area restaurant to pay for school. This keeps her on track to graduate in May 2016 and begin a career in the industry.

“This funding is just the added push, someone believing in me,” she said. “I have another reason to finish up. There’s no reason to stop.”

Added Honey: “It’s always nice to get help with paying for my education. It’s especially nice to meet women who are already in the field.”

Vega, also scheduled to graduate in May, thinks the WCRE scholarship helps her with networking by “knowing new people” and potential internship opportunities leading up to graduation.

Joining Thomas on campus to present the scholarships was Clarice McPherson, an MTSU alumna and recipient of this year’s WCRE Legacy Award. The honor is given to a WCRE member who “exemplifies the highest standards of professional, social and cultural leadership.”

McPherson, a WCRE member since 2000, has served in the commercial real estate field for a number of years and spearheaded the 24-year-old organization’s biggest group project — the renovation of a home to house the Magdalene House, a private rehabilitation center in Nashville for women.

“I was completely humbled by the award,” said McPherson. “This is an incredible group of women in the commercial real estate field. … When I started in the field many years ago, there weren’t very many women in commercial real estate. We’ve come a long way.”

For information about MTSU’s real estate program, visit

[237] MTSU Entrepreneurship Week offers seeds for growing innovative ideas

High school fair, panels, workshops among activities

MURFREESBORO — MTSU wrapped up its 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Week with a Friday luncheon following a week filled with workshops, panels, lectures and demonstrations aimed at sparking innovative thinking and creativity among the dozens of participants.

One of the new events this year was held midweek in the MTSU Student Union Ballroom where four area schools participated in an entrepreneurship fair for high school students.

Roughly 80 students from Rutherford County’s Central Magnet, Holloway and Siegel high schools and Cheatham County’s Sycamore High School put their minds to work to create business proposals and make pitches to be judged by three MTSU faculty members and three graduate assistants from the Jones College of Business.

Bill McDowell, holder of the Wright Travel Chair of Entrepreneurship in the Jones College and coordinator of the fair, was impressed by the students’ creativity at the fair, which was developed to get students thinking about entrepreneurship before entering college. He reached out to area schools in advance so that students had time to prepare.

“They did phenomenal presentations on the many new venture ideas that they had,” McDowell said. “The students had ideas ranging from arts ideas to sciences to engineering, you name it. It was a great success.”

Central Magnet High School sophomores Chelsey Zhu and Cynthia Yue presented their business idea for Forbidden Cakery, a Chinese dessert truck based on pastries that fused traditional Chinese and Chinese-American tastes — for example, taking traditional Chinese moon cakes and making them Oreo-flavored.

Zhu said she and Yue had been working on the project for a few months, developing the business plan and selecting the right recipes, of which they provided boxed samples at the fair. The hard work paid off, as their display was recognized as best trade show display at the fair.

“I think the entire experience was amazing,” Yue said. “We learned a lot about business and entrepreneurship, especially since we didn’t have a lot of background about this. We researched a lot, actually contacting bakeries to ask them how things worked and how sales were. … I think entrepreneurship is a skill that everyone should have.”

Central Magnet teacher and MTSU alumna Jackie Crawley-Harrison, who teaches accounting and personal finance, accompanied the two students and was beaming with pride as they packed up their display after lunch to head back to Central’s campus.

“These young ladies had a concept and they just ran with it,” said Crawley-Harrison. “They researched everything and came up with an amazing product.”

Crawley-Harrison believes the experience also provided broader benefits.

“I felt like this was a great opportunity for them to learn more about the business (programs) here at MTSU,” she said. “I thought this would be something to broaden their horizons. They’re already excellent students academically, so this was also a good social experience meeting other high school students here.”

McDowell noted that the students also had a chance to see expert presentations and demonstrations on how 3D Printing and unmanned aircraft systems are being used in emerging businesses.

Panel discussions open to the public during the week included looking at the importance of immigrant entrepreneurs in the state and how to commercialize intellectual property.

The week also featured workshops for MTSU students, faculty, staff and the public such as Thursday’s presentation by noted pitch coach Nathan Gold of the Kauffman Foundation about how to give great business presentations and “captivate any audience in 30 seconds.”

Dressed in a gray sport jacket, black mock turtleneck, slacks and sneakers, Gold started out promising the audience inside the State Farm Lecture Hall that he wouldn’t waste their time with a boring PowerPoint or “keynote” address. He then challenged the audience of current or future entrepreneurs of their need to differentiate themselves in a current climate where entrepreneurs are “everywhere.”

“There are thousands of you out there,” he said. “You need to stand out from the crowd, not in a gimmicky way, but in a positive way.”

Gold then spent the next hour explaining how to develop a personal pitch that is clear, memorable and shareable, emphasizing the importance of storytelling — “Our brains are wired for stories.” — and pointing to a variety of TED Talk examples on YouTube that demonstrate different ways to effectively tell a story.

Gold said entrepreneurs need to be able to quickly explain to people who they help, what they do, how they do it and eventually why they do it.

“You really only need one sentence,” Gold said regarding how to explain what you do for a living. “If you can’t get through what you’re doing in one sentence, then you’re wasting people’s time and you sound like everybody else.”

The week’s events were held in conjunction with the annual Global Entrepreneurship Week, an international celebration of innovators and job creators held each November. Sponsors included the Wright Travel Chair of Entrepreneurship, the Jones College of Business, and the Business and Economic Research Center.

To learn more about MTSU entrepreneurship program, visit