Thursday, May 05, 2016

[471] Ninth Alumni Summer College offers ‘Food for Thought’ to attendees

MURFREESBORO — For former MTSU students and university friends planning to attend the ninth Alumni Summer College in June, the best advice is to come hungry and hurry before the class fills up.

Field trips for this year’s event, which will be held June 22-24, include:

• The Grove at Williamson Place, owned and operated by alumni John L. (Class of 1974) and Melissa (’75) Batey and Brandon (’02) and Katherine (’01) Batey Whitt with Batey Farms in the Blackman community west of Murfreesboro.

• Cracker Barrel headquarters in Lebanon, Tennessee. Class members will see behind-the-scenes at one of America’s favorite restaurants.

• Goodness Gracious at the Mill in Readyville, Tennessee. Owner Karen Ford and alumna daughter Danielle Worrell (’04) will discuss their catering and restaurant business.

• Short Mountain Distillery in Cannon County, where owner Billy Kaufman will introduce attendees to moonshiners from yesteryear.

Alumni Summer College has become an annual tradition for bringing alums and university friends back to campus for fun and “edutainment,” as Rhonda King, Alumni Relations assistant director, calls it.

Tuition is $250 per person. Included are the classes, field trips, tour admissions, meals and traveling by coach buses. To learn more, visit or call the Office of Alumni Relations at 615-898-2922.

The deadline to register is May 20, but space is very limited and King urges “students” not to wait too late.

This year, the theme is “Food for Thought” — a tasty sampler of production, preparation and consumption of what we eat.

“Alumni Summer College is a highlight of the attendees’ summer,” King said. “It feels like a summer camp atmosphere. My favorite thing is getting to be a part of the relationships built among class members.”

“Alumni Summer College is so much more than going to class,” King added. “You get to share a camaraderie with fellow Blue Raiders. It provides an insider’s view of things not only going on at the university, but with fields and industry surrounding the theme.”

Dr. Doug Winborn, chair of the MTSU Health and Human Performance department, will help kick off the class schedule with “The 12 Primary Ingredients of Health.” King said Winborn will share how “feeding your mind, body and spirit are essential to produce a happy and healthy outlook.”

MTSU alumna Tammy Algood of Smyrna, Tennessee, one of the top nutritionists in Tennessee and cookbook and magazine author, will deliver “Grandmother’s Sunday Dinner … Millennial Style (and minus the lard for cooking fried chicken)” in another class. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s spokeswoman for its Pick Tennessee Products campaign earned her master’s degree in education from MTSU in 1994.

A third class features professor Tony Johnston from the School of Agribusiness and Agriscience bringing “Sizzling Issues in Food Production.” His segment will feature how to stay safe and healthy when eating prepared foods such as ice cream and in restaurants.

One other field trip will be to the Lane Agri-Park for the Rutherford County Farmers Market to see, shop and meet vendors from more than 20 Middle Tennessee counties.

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