Tuesday, February 23, 2016

[343] Registration open for free MTSU literacy education conference March 5

MURFREESBORO — Registration is open for the upcoming Fox Reading Conference at MTSU, a free half-day event to share the latest insights into literacy education.

The conference will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 5, in the Student Union Building Ballroom. Organizers said over 350 people have already registered, which is required and can be done at www.mtsu.edu/dyslexia.

The conference targets K-12 teachers, administrators, college faculty and pre-service education students. It is sponsored by the Tom and Elizabeth Fox Endowment for Reading and the Tennessee Center for the Study and Treatment of Dyslexia at MTSU.

The theme of the conference is “Importance of Word Study: Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction.” Featured speaker is reading expert Dr. Donald Bear, professor in literacy education at Iowa State University.

“Word study” is an explicit and active way to teach phonics, vocabulary and spelling, organizers said. Through examples of word study activities, conference attendees will see how word study impacts all learners across five developmental levels, pre-K through 12th grade.

Participants will also explore routines to implement and pace developmental word study in the classroom and in interventions; learn how to teach academic vocabulary deeply and generatively; and learn how spelling instruction is reconceptualized to better serve reading.

Bear teaches doctoral, master’s and pre-service teachers, and directs the Duffelmeyer Reading Clinic at Iowa State. He is an author and co-author of 16 books, including “Vocabulary Their Way” and “Words Their Way.” Bear has received several awards for teaching and service and is currently a board member of the International Literacy Association.

A searchable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap. For more information, contact Sharon Farmer at 615-898-5642 or Sharon.Farmer@mtsu.edu.

[342] MTSU expert lectures tonight on changing role of TV ‘authorship,’ creativity

MURFREESBORO An MTSU English professor who’s made a successful career of analyzing the cultural phenomena of television is now looking at society’s new focus on the men and women who put their creative stamp on TV as authors.

Dr. David Lavery, author of analyses of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “The X-Files,” “The Sopranos” and more, will speak tonight, Feb. 23, in MTSU’s James Union Building.

His 6:30 p.m. talk in the JUB Tennessee Room, “The Imagination Will Be Televised: The Regeneration of Authorship on the Small Screen,” is the latest in a new speaker series sponsored by the MTSU Department of English and the College of Liberal Arts.

Lavery’s free lecture is open to the public. A campus map with parking notes is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

In addition to teaching English courses at MTSU since 1993, Lavery also has served as director of graduate studies in English for the university since 2013. Before joining MTSU’s faculty, Lavery was an associate professor of communication and film studies at the University of Memphis and an assistant professor of English at Northern Kentucky University.

Lavery earned his doctoral degree from the University of Florida, completing a dissertation on imagination and the films of Federico Fellini. Winner of MTSU’s 2006 Distinguished Research Award, Lavery is the author of more than 150 published essays, chapters and reviews and the author/co-author/editor/co-editor of 22 books, including “Joss Whedon, A Creative Portrait: From Buffy the Vampire Slayer to The Avengers,” “TV Goes to Hell: An Unofficial Road Map of Supernatural” “The Essential Cult Television Reader” and “The Essential Sopranos Reader.”

He’s also the co-convener of international conferences on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and the work of Joss Whedon and on “The Sopranos,” co-founder of the Whedon Studies Association and founding co-editor of the journals “Slayage: The Online International Journal of Buffy Studies” and “Critical Studies in Television.” Lavery has lectured around the world on the subject of television and has been a guest/source for the BBC, National Public Radio, The New York Times and other international media outlets.

Lavery currently is collaborating with colleagues at MTSU and at the University of Salford, located in Manchester, England, on an international conference on the AMC network period drama “Mad Men” to be held in May at MTSU.

For more information about this MTSU English department lecture series, please contact Dr. Bené Cox in MTSU’s Department of English at 615-898-2921 or Connie Huddleston of the College of Liberal Arts at 615-494-7628.

[341] Money available for MTSU faculty to bring women’s experiences into classroom

MURFREESBORO — Money is available to help MTSU faculty infuse the experiences and perspectives of women into the college curricula.

Monday, March 14, is the deadline to apply for two $2,700 grants from the MTSU President’s Commission on the Status of Women.

Successful proposals should demonstrate a commitment to innovative teaching techniques as well as careful consideration of the intersection of women’s concerns with notions of race/ethnicity, class and sexual orientation.

Grants will support a course revision, creation of a new course, reconceptualization of a current minor, creation of a new minor or revision of a general education course for study abroad.

Courses that are developed or revised for undergraduates or can be implemented within two years will be given priority.

Proposals that encourage greater student understanding of violence against women are especially encouraged.

The most recent grant winner, associate professor of media studies Katie Foss, created an upper-level seminar course titled “Crime & Gender in Media.” The fall 2016 semester course will focus on the impact and media coverage of the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act, consider disparities in crime reporting and explore how phones and personal technology are and have been used for crimes against women and other groups.

Foss will have her students analyze news, movies, television, music, video games and other media. In addition, a group project will require students to choose an existing negative fictional portrayal related to crime and gender and rewrite the story in a way that challenges conventional stereotypes.

Grant recipients must present their completed projects to both the President’s Commission on the Status of Women and in one other forum.

The commission’s Academic Affairs Subcommittee must receive copies of the finished syllabi, course proposals, minor proposals or revised minors no later than the fall meeting of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women.

Faculty who have not received a Curriculum Integration Grant in the past four years are eligible. Complete requirements and a downloadable application form are available at http://www.mtsu.edu/pcsw/grants.php.

For more information, contact Dr. Leah Tolbert Lyons at 615-898-5778 or leah.lyons@mtsu.edu.

[340] Alumna photographer is focus of new exhibit at MTSU’s Baldwin Gallery

MURFREESBORO — Nashville artist Tamara Reynolds’ effort to “reclaim her Southern-ness” is the focus of a new exhibit, “A Common Ground,” open through April 7 at MTSU’s renowned Baldwin Photographic Gallery.

The collection of photographs is a part of Reynolds’ “Southern Route” series, which has been featured in media outlets including The New York Times’ photojournalism blog, Lens, and PBS News Hour. 

MTSU’s Baldwin Gallery is located on the second floor of the Bragg Media and Entertainment Building. A searchable, printable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

Off-campus guests visiting the Baldwin Gallery should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation at http://www.mtsu.edu/parking/visit.php.

"The country has stereotyped the South as hillbilly, religious fanatic and racist, and there is evidence in support of those claims," said Reynolds, a graduate of MTSU with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, "but there is also a restrained dignity and generous affection that many Southerners intrinsically possess. The South is a distinctive place, rich in culture, strong through adversity."

The Baldwin Gallery is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and closed on weekends and state and university holidays.

Reynolds has worked in commercial photography for the past 25 years. She is presently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Hartford’s international low-residency MFA program in photography. To learn more about Reynolds and her work, visit her website at http://tamarareynoldsphotography.com.

Special Baldwin Gallery tours at MTSU can be arranged by contacting gallery curator Tom Jimison, a professor in MTSU’s Department of Electronic Media Communication in the College of Media and Entertainment, at 615-898-2085 or tom.jimison@mtsu.edu.

For more information about MTSU’s Baldwin Photographic Gallery, visit http://baldwinphotogallery.com or http://www.facebook.com/BaldwinPhotoGallery.

This exhibit is part of a yearlong series of special programs celebrating the launch of the renamed College of Media and Entertainment at MTSU. For more information about the college and its programs, visit http://www.mtsu.edu/media.

[339] Math professor with proven ‘student success’ is MTSU John Pleas Award winner

MURFREESBORO — This year’s winner of MTSU’s top honor for minority faculty is a professor with a proven track record of success with ethnic and transfer students.

Linda M. Clark, associate professor of mathematics in the Department of University Studies, will receive the 2016 John Pleas Faculty Award at 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, in MTSU’s Tom H. Jackson Building. A printable parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

“I can honestly say that I am surprised and honored to have been selected to win the award,” said Clark. “I have a difficult time seeing myself in the same light as some of the previous award recipients. That said, it is really nice to know that your efforts to make a difference in the lives of others have not gone unnoticed.”

An 18-year veteran of the faculty, Clark is a former Faculty Senate representative for her department and a co-organizer of two ACT mathematics preparation workshops funded by a public service grant.

Among her research accomplishments is a paper on the academic success of transfer students entering MTSU. Clark presented the paper at the fourth International Conference on Research in Access and Developmental Education in 2008 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Clark is noted for using innovative multimedia tools to motivate students to do their best work, both on-campus and in distance learning.

“While I do not believe that I can motivate all students to value mathematics, I do believe that I can create an environment that motivates students to look at math in a more positive light,” Clark said.

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

Nominees must have completed at least five years of service at MTSU and have a record of outstanding service. Each nominee must have three letters to support his or her nomination.

This Black History Month event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Daniel Green, director of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs and chair of the MTSU Black History Month Committee, at 615-898-5812 or daniel.green@mtsu.edu.