Friday, March 25, 2016

[405] MTSU academic colleges ramp up Scholars Week events on campus

Annual showcase features undergrad, graduate research

MURFREESBORO — Four days of MTSU Scholars Day events will lead to the universitywide finale from 12:40 to 3 p.m. Friday, April 1, in the Student Union Ballroom.

The annual MTSU Scholars Week emphasizes the research, scholarly efforts, creativity and collaboration of undergraduate and graduate students and faculty within the university’s academic colleges.

The various colleges within the university have stepped up with their own activities to showcase academic achievement across campus.

Andrienne Friedli, MTSU’s vice provost for research, said all of the university’s academic colleges “have established high-quality, exciting annual events for the individual college Scholars Days to showcase research, scholarship and creative accomplishments according the traditions of their fields of study.”

Scholars Week activities are open to the public. For more information and complete schedule, visit A searchable campus parking map is available at

Visitors attending Scholars Day activities between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. March 28-31 or the April 1 finale should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation, 1403 E. Main St. Permits can be obtained in advance online at

Scholar’s Week at MTSU is always one of the most important events for students and faculty, said Provost Brad Bartel, because it demonstrates the “high-quality devotion” to student research and cooperation between students and faculty for such scholarship.

“Over the years, the quality and quantity of research displayed at Scholar’s Week has increased significantly. I am proud of all of the accomplishments by our students throughout all colleges,” he said.

College Scholars Days’ activities include talks, performances, posters, panel discussions, a business plan competition trade show, and invited speakers, Friedli said. 

Scholars Day highlights will include:

• College of Education guest speaker Inge Meyring Smith, who fled Nazi Germany with her parents, barely escaping the Holocaust, and became the founder of Head Start in Tennessee and Battle Ground Academy’s Lower School, and Harpeth Academy’s first headmistress. She will speak at 6 p.m. March 28 in College of Education Room 160.
• Scholars Week keynote speaker Bill Ivey, a folklorist, former National Endowment for the Arts chairman and first full-time director of the Country Music Foundation and Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. He’ll discuss “Creativity, Career and Public Education” at 7 p.m. March 28 in the Student Union Ballroom.
“Determined to Rise: Black Female Students in Higher Education,” a National Women’s History Month presentation and panel discussion. Event is scheduled for noon March 30 in Student Union Building Room 224.
• The College of Media and Entertainment’s Les Paul’s Big Sound Experience will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 30-31.

[404] MTSU Lifelong Learning Program puts war, sports, happiness in classroom in May

MURFREESBORO — Bringing the love of learning to life at any age is the goal of the MTSU College of Liberal Arts’ second Lifelong Learning Program.

The homework-free, exam-free classroom experience for older learners is slated for four Mondays — May 2, 9, 16 and 23 — in the Ingram Building, 2269 Middle Tennessee Blvd. in Murfreesboro. Free parking will be available in the Ingram lot.

Classes in “The Civil War” will take place from 9 to 10:30 a.m. “The History of American Sports” is slated for 10:45 a.m. to noon. “The Philosophy of Happiness” is scheduled for 12:15 to 1:45 p.m.

Professor Emeritus James T. Brooks Jr., who will be teaching one of the sports history sessions, will bring his love of auto racing to the classroom.

“For more than 100 years, motor racing has paralleled and reflected our nation’s love affair with automobiles and with the men and women who take these machines to their limits and beyond in side-by-side speed competition,” said Brooks, whose academic specialty is speech communication.

Brooks will share teaching duties in the sports history class with Fred Colvin, a professor emeritus of history, and Warren Tormey, an English professor who organized the Baseball in Literature and Culture Conference at MTSU from 2006 to 2015 with fellow English professor Ron Kates.

Phil Oliver, a professor of philosophy, will bring multiple perspectives to the “Philosophy of Happiness” course, a distillation of an MTSU course he has taught for several years. He draws from an education philosopher for his beliefs about keeping the brain engaged as we age.

“My favorite pithy statement on the value of lifelong learning is from John Dewey, who said in ‘My Pedagogic Creed,’ ‘I believe that education is a process of living and not a preparation for future living,’” said Oliver. “In other words, it’s forever. It’s never too late to learn. It’s always too soon to stop.”

Dr. Robert Hunt, a history professor, will teach the entire course on the “The Civil War.” Hunt, who has been at MTSU for 25 years, specializes in Civil War and Reconstruction, the antebellum American South, World War I, war memory and the history of war.

The fee for each course is $20. Checks should be made out to “MTSU Lifelong Learning.” To register by mail, send a check to Connie Huddleston, MTSU Box 97, Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37132.

For more information, contact Huddleston, coordinator for the College of Liberal Arts, at 615-494-7628 or

[403] ‘MTSU On the Record’ welcomes ‘country boys and redneck women’

MURFREESBORO — The next “MTSU On the Record” radio program will explore how gender in country music is about much more than just “honky tonk angels.”

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Kris McCusker, a professor of history, will air from 5:30 to 6 p.m. Monday, March 28, and from 8 to 8:30 a.m. Sunday, April 3, on WMOT-FM (89.5 and

McCusker is co-editor with Diane Pecknold of the University of Louisville of “Country Boys and Redneck Women,” a collection of analytical essays on gender identity in country music from a variety of academic perspectives.

The topics addressed in the book include gender in songwriting; the credibility of Taylor Swift; the impact of Kitty Wells, Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton; gender in country music in Brazil and Australia; and the women inmates of the Texas State Prison who performed on the radio from 1938 to 1944.

“(Country music) may seem never to change, but that’s the point,” said McCusker. “Country music sells itself as being unchanging so it can do a lot of changing when nobody really notices it.”

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

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

[402] Arts, music icon Ivey provides MTSU Scholars Week keynote March 28

MURFREESBORO — A folklorist with wide acclaim in arts, music and public policy will discuss “Creativity, Career and Public Education” when he speaks on the MTSU campus early next week.

Bill Ivey, one of America’s foremost arts administrators and public policy leaders, will deliver the keynote address for the 10th annual Scholars Week.

Ivey will speak at 7 p.m. Monday, March 28, in the Student Union Ballroom. The event is open to the public. To find parking and the Student Union, a searchable campus parking map is available at

Scholars Week emphasizes the research, scholarly efforts and collaboration of undergraduate and graduate students and faculty. To learn more and for a complete schedule, visit

“Bill Ivey is one of the nation's leading thinkers on culture and creativity, and his insights into the arts and public policy are consistently thought-provoking and impactful,” said College of Media and Entertainment Dean Ken Paulson, who also serves as president of the First Amendment Center.

Ivey’s abstract for his MTSU talk reveals that “in an era when business, technology, economics and education are increasingly intertwined, he seeks to explore and define a balanced understanding of artistic expression, creativity, scholarship and their impacts on American democracy and quality of life.”

Ivey is a visiting research associate in the Indiana University Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology.

Highlights of Ivey’s career include:

• Founding director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University from 2002 until retiring in 2012.
• Team leader in the 2007 Barack Obama presidential transition.
• Appointed by President Bill Clinton and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, he was the seventh National Endowment for the Arts chairman from 1998-2001.
• First full-time director of the Country Music Foundation and the related Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum from 1971-98.
• Served two terms as chair of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

An author and consultant, Ivey holds degrees in history, folklore and ethnomusicology. The Calumet, Michigan, native and University of Michigan and University of Indiana (master’s degree) graduate founded the Washington-based Arts Industries Policy Forum.

Ivey is a trustee of the Center for American Progress, a Washington-based “think-tank,” and is the author of numerous articles and two books about art, public policy and politics: “Arts, Inc.: How Greed and Neglect Have Destroyed Our Cultural Rights” and “Handmaking America: A Back-to-Basics Pathway to a Revitalized American Democracy.”

Ivey has written and lectured extensively about the importance of cultural policy and the value of cultural engagement in the pursuit of a high quality of life. He coined the phrase "Expressive Life" to define the part of the human experience shaped by cultural heritage and creative practice.

The Distinguished Lecture Fund, Department of Recording Industry and College of Media and Entertainment are sponsoring his appearance.

[401] Judy Smith, woman behind ‘Scandal’ character, speaks at MTSU March 28

MURFREESBORO — The woman who inspired the character of Olivia Pope on the ABC television series “Scandal” is coming to MTSU.

Crisis management expert Judy Smith will deliver the keynote address for the university’s celebration of National Women’s History Month at 6:45 p.m. Monday, March 28, in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building. A printable campus parking map is available at

“Scandal,” which stars Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, is about a top-notch expert in damage control for famous people who have image problems. “Scandal” creator Shonda Rimes developed the character based on Smith, whose former clients include former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, NFL quarterback Michael Vick, actor Wesley Snipes and U.S. Sen. Larry Craig.

In addition, Smith has counseled corporations such as Union Pacific, Wal-Mart, Waste Management Corporation, United Healthcare and American International Group Inc. on public relations issues.

Smith’s resume includes service as associate counsel and deputy director of public information in the office of independent counsel Lawrence Walsh during the Iran-Contra scandal. She later served as an assistant U.S. attorney and was special counsel to the U.S. attorney in the District of Columbia.

In 1991, Smith was appointed special assistant and deputy press secretary to President George H.W. Bush. She later became senior vice president of corporate communications at NBC, where she served as the network’s chief spokesperson for both domestic and international programming and for business ventures.

Billing herself as “The Fixer,” Smith now owns and runs her own crisis management firm, Smith and Company, with offices in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.

Sponsors for her MTSU appearance are the Distinguished Lecture Fund, the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance, Intercultural and Diversity Affairs, the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students, the MTSU National Women’s History Month Committee and the Department of Recording Industry.

There will be a question-and-answer session following Smith’s address. For more information, contact Barbara Scales, director of the June Anderson Center, at 615-898-2193 or