Monday, October 09, 2017

[117] MTSU True Blue Tour impacts Williamson County students

FRANKLIN, Tenn. — Sporting an MTSU T-shirt saying “Everyone Looks Better in True Blue,” Christan Lee of Franklin, Tennessee, attended her third consecutive True Blue Tour event, virtually confirming her status as sold-out for Middle Tennessee State University.

Logan Sizemore of Nolensville, Tennessee, attended the prospective student recruiting reception Tuesday (Oct. 3) wanting to learn about MTSU’s engineering technology program, particularly mechatronics. And, he and his father, Les, were among the first to arrive and happened to walk in with university President Sidney A. McPhee.

Those were just two of many individual stories surrounding the event held at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs. It was the first of 12 True Blue Tour events to be held in seven Tennessee and five out-of-state cities. MTSU goes on the road across the South to recruit undergraduate, transfer and graduate students.

Lee, 16, a junior at Centennial High School, has visited the Murfreesboro campus, attending previous Expanding Your Horizons in Math and Science conferences. They feature STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and inform girls and young women about career opportunities in those areas.

Lee’s mother, Genia Lee, also wore a True Blue Tour T-shirt she won at a prior event. She “has seen the progress of the campus and it blows my mind, and how the university invests in students.”

“They are always adding something new on campus and make you feel that ‘it’s all about you,’” Genia Lee said. “They make it better. It’s how you can get there and accomplish your goals.” She said College of Education Dean Lana Seivers “has been so supportive in relation to dual enrollment. Any questions you have, they are very prompt in answering.”

In addition to one-on-one time with McPhee, Logan Sizemore and his father talked with College of Basic and Applied Sciences Dean Bud Fischer and adviser Susanna Wassom.

“It’s really interesting, very informative and made me think about what I want to plan for my future,” said Sizemore, 16, a Nolensville High junior who moved to Tennessee from Florida about a year ago. “I definitely want to keep an open mind. MTSU is a good option.”

He’s fascinated with mechatronics, a design process that includes a combination of mechanical, electrical, control and computer engineering.

McPhee made it an even sweeter option by awarding him a scholarship — as he did for Caitlyn O’Brian, 19, a Columbia State Community College sophomore planning to study occupational therapy, and a number of other prospective students.

MTSU parent Jennifer Behling of Brentwood, Tennessee, the mother of current MTSU physics student and Honors College Buchanan Scholar Max Behling, informed the crowd her son “told me recently he’s never been so happy in his life.”

“Hearing it from a parent, you cannot put a value on it,” McPhee said.

The president took a few minutes to address any concerns about campus safety.

“Very few issues happen on campus,” he said, mentioning $1.2 million in “safety measures and equipment” MTSU has invested in to be more secure.

Earlier in the day, MTSU entertained high school counselors and community college staff with a luncheon. McPhee offered about $4,500 in scholarships the counselors and community college staff can award to their students.

Next up for the MTSU recruiting team is a Thursday, Oct. 5, visit to Nashville. Both the luncheon and 6 p.m. student reception will be held at the Millennium Maxwell House, 2025 Rosa L. Parks Blvd.

To register for other tour events, visit 

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