Friday, April 13, 2018

[385] MTSU students learn long-term financial skills at ‘Game of Life’ event

MTSU freshman Alivia Opheim wasted no time preparing for life after college during MT One Stop's recent financial assistance event.
In honor of Financial Literacy Month, the Student Services and Admissions Center presented the inaugural “Game of Life” on Wednesday, April 5, in the Student Union Ballroom. MTSU students were able to project the cost of living based on the careers of their choosing. 
Sponsored by MT One Stop, the event set up nine stations to give insight on factors including student loans, unexpected life events and many other financial components to think about before and after college. 
More than 100 students selected their career path and salary and then visited each table to determine money lost or gained depending of their cost of living.
Opheim, a social work major, was encouraged by her math professor to participate in the event to grasp a better understanding of what's to come after receiving her degree.
"It was fun … I was kind of stressed going into it thinking I was going to have to do it by myself, but everybody helped me through it," Opheim said.
The Rockford, Illinois, native didn't realize how important it is to budget for the rest of life, even while in college, until she went through the stations.
"I need to start saving money now so I don't go broke," she said.
Opheim noted that the experience was a real wake-up call, especially for someone who moved here from out of state.
"It's tough having to buy every little thing for myself like laundry detergent and shampoo," she said.
Each student who played received a “connection point,” free lunch and prizes, including a T-shirt or Connection Point button while supplies lasted. Connection Point is an MTSU student program that provides incentives and prizes as a reward for students who “connect” to the campus community through participation in student activities.
"It's a great opportunity for students to learn how to budget," said Kristen Russell, coordinator of outreach and support programs in MT One Stop. "Even though MT One Stop put the event on, we honestly couldn't have done it without the help of representatives from other departments." 
MTSU freshman Justin McCrary has lived in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, his entire life. But he doesn't plan on staying here after college, noting that the event filled him in on the financial challenges that await.
"My biggest fear would have to be moving into my own house, having to pay for my own bills and medical stuff, but this event helped me out big time," McCrary said.
Laurie Witherow, associate vice provost in the Student Services and Admissions Center, believed it was important for students to receive information on economic literacy during each hands-on activity.
"It's definitely a culminating activity to have them start thinking about what everything is going to cost after they leave this little bit of a bubble, which is higher education," Witherow said. 
The MT One Stop provides services in the areas of financial aid, course registration, tuition and billing and transcripts. It is located in the Student Services and Admissions Center.
For more information about MT One Stop, visit contact 615-898-2111. 

[384] MTSU animation students to again showcase their creativity in China this spring

Kevin McNulty, associate professor and coordinator of the animation program, will be leading the group of students, who were part of a larger team of animation students who created a short film about the environment that will be featured at the exhibition.
McNulty said his students chose the environment as their film topic out of three topic choices that included “the old/the child,” and “autism,” the topic of last year’s film.
While four students will travel with McNulty to China in May to present the finished animated short film, a total of nine student have been working on the film this semester — Ryan Barry, Colleen Green, Rachel Huttinger, Shaun Keefe, Carson Kirkpatrick, Ngoc Chi Nguyen, Grace Roberts, Derrick Roe and Yu Ju Shih.
Barry, Green, Keefe and Nguyen will join McNulty on the trip to an exhibition that “is much bigger than it was last year,” McNulty said.
This year’s event features 24 participating schools from 10 countries including Canada, China, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, U.K. and U.S. McNulty sees this as valuable experience for animation students and international exposure for the program and university.
McNulty credits Dr. Guanping Zheng, director of the Confucius Institute at MTSU, for helping MTSU become a co-organizerof the exhibition. 
“While in Guiyang, we will be going on multiple cultural excursions to learn about the local people and their culture,” McNulty said. “With the assistance of the attending professors, students will then be broken up into multi-language, multicultural teams to create short films about local folklore all within 48 hours.”
McNulty said the MTSU team plans to submit their work to film festivals around the world, particularly those with the environment as a main theme.
Last year’s film, entitled “Sensations” and focused on autism, will also be submitted to film festivals while the team will also explore how the film might help area autism organizations.
Building on last year’s experience
Last year, five MTSU animation students participated in the exhibition, joining students from three other countries in developing a film to help raise awareness and understanding of autism. 
A partnership with Qingdao University of Science and Technology and coordinated by Dean Jianhua Yang shaped the unusual collaborative arrangement named “The Beautiful World.” 
Not only did students in McNulty’s individual problems class create an animated short film illustrating how external stimuli affect persons on the autism spectrum, but they flew to China to finish the film, meet other students, and take part in a celebration ceremony. 
“We joined students from universities in South Korea, Germany, and China — five from each. Although a script was provided, each group followed their own interpretation,” McNulty explained.
The MTSU students — Angel Agee, Ryan Barry, Julia Daugherty, Mahkayla Grogan, and Clayton Smith — consulted with a mother of two children, one of whom is on the autism spectrum, to learn more about the condition that affects about 1 in 50 children. 
“We based our story on what we learned from this family,” said McNulty, explaining that external stimuli — such as light, noise, and touch — can be physically painful and debilitating to persons dealing with the neurodevelopmental disorder. “We personified the external forces as creatures that confront our character Esmond, who was named after the child in the family. We had Esmond do stimming to get rid of the creatures.” 
Stimming is short for self-stimulation, one of the ways persons with autism calm themselves, and includes hand flapping, rocking, spinning, and repetition of sounds. The film shows Esmond banishing an ice creature that blows snow, a snake-like creature, and a lizard creature with really bright eyes — all so that he could go down a hall to a bathroom, a graphic explanation of the challenges individuals on the autism spectrum face in what seems to others to be ordinary circumstances.
One of the highlights of the nearly two weeks McNulty and his students spent in China last year was a visit to an autism after-hours care facility. They also participated in several cultural excursions with memorable photo opportunities as well as attending a conference where McNulty made a presentation as did Zheng, director of MTSU’s Confucius Institute.
McNulty is pleased that the students could enjoy this unique multidimensional experience for a very modest cost. “The sponsor of the project paid for everything in China, but we had to get there,” McNulty explained. Combined support from the Confucius Institute, International Affairs, and the Undergraduate Research Center resulted in the students paying only about $200 each. 
Animation is one of five academic programs available in the Department of Media Arts, one of the three departments within the College of Media and Entertainment. For more information, visit

[383] Ex-Navy SEAL, others give students recipe for success at True Blue leadership conference

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. —All eyes were glued to MTSU alumnus Jason Kuhnsharing war stories as aNavy SEAL.
"As leaders, holding teammates accountable is a part of the job and one of the more difficult parts about the job," said Kuhn, who also played for a time on the Blue Raider baseball team. "Attack problems, not people."
Kuhn, now a leadership consultant for Stonewall Solutions,shared his "fundamentals of winning" at the fifth annual True Blue Leadership DayFriday, April 6, in the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Buildingfor students, faculty and staff.
Sponsored by the MTSU Circle ofOmicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society,and the University Honors College, the daylong event shared viewpoints of leadership from leaders in business, law, military and academia. 
Other speakers included:
— Colby B. Jubenville, special assistant to the dean, College of Behavioral and Health Sciences
— Lindy Boots, human resources manager, Becton, Dickinson and Co.
— Elliott Ozment, attorney, Ozment Law
— Steve Tybor, president and executive director, Eight Days of Hope (nonprofit organization)
The conference gave the MTSU community an opportunity to gain insight on how leadership mentalities differentiate from one another.
Kuhn attributes his time at MTSU with helping him gain some leadership skills.
"While I was a student here I learned how to lead by example on the baseball field and through work ethic … self-awareness helped me transition into the grown man I am today," he said.
During each address, MTSU ODK member Hannah Berthelsonappreciated listening to the different leadership styles and picking out which ones to apply to her own life.
"As I go into my career in the future I want to apply servant-leadership and many other leadership components from these leaders," said Berthelson, a speech/language pathology major.
She appreciated ODK organizing the event and noted that it improved her networking skills.
"Something I can now work on is being bolder and reaching out to other people," she said.
Susan Lyons, event coordinator for the Honors College, encourages students to find something they like to do to initiate the process of becoming incredible leaders.
"Start small, get involved in something and commit to it … when you do that you've bought into the university and will have a different experience from someone who isn't as involved in the university," she said.
The MTSU Circle of ODK inducted Kuhn as an alumni member of the organization at the end of his address and presented him with a certificate at the end of his discussion.
The ODK True Blue Leadership Day highlights the core values of the “True Blue Pledge” by educating participants about multiple aspects of leadership. For more information about the True Blue Leadership day and other Honors College events, visit

[383] Men tackle high-heeled challenge to raise sexual assault awareness at MTSU

MURFREESBORO — When a woman wearing high heels is being pursued by a potential assailant, this commonly worn female footwear could give him an edge that many men don’t understand. That’s the message behind “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes.”

Registration for the sexual assault awareness activity that literally puts men in women’s shoes is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, on the sundeck of the Campus Recreation Center. The actual walk will begin at 5:30 p.m. on the sundeck.

“Walk a Mile” is billed as “the international men’s march to stop rape, assault and gender violence,” according to Men are required to walk one mile in women’s high-heeled shoes as a fun and funny way to spark a conversation about men’s sexualized violence against women.

Free food, drinks and music will be available following the event. The first 200 participants also will receive free T-shirts.

This event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students. For more information, contact center director Barbara Scales at 615-898-5812 or

A printable campus parking map is available at
Off-campus visitors attending the daytime event should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation at

[382] MTSU psychology professor examines ‘self-talk’ at state conference April 21

MURFREESBORO — Talking to oneself might not necessarily be indicative of a problem, and researchers are delving into why people do it.

Tom Brinthaupt, an MTSU psychology professor who studies self-talk, will deliver the keynote address at the Middle Tennessee Psychological Association’s Spring 2018 meeting at 11:15 a.m. Saturday, April 21, in the College of Education Building.

Brinthaupt’s topic will be “Why Do People Differ in How Often They Talk to Themselves?” He will summarize historical and contemporary definitions of self-talk, as well as his own research program. Audience members will have the opportunity to talk to themselves during the presentation.

The Self-Talk Scale, a standardized measure of how often individuals talk to themselves, also will be a feature of Brinthaupt’s discussion. He maintains that two different hypotheses have emerged from use of the Self-Talk Scale.

The “social isolation” theory posits that individuals who spend more time alone or who have more socially isolating experiences will talk to themselves more. The “cognitive disruption” theory posits that individuals who experience disordered thinking will engage in more self-talk.

Both undergraduate and graduate students will present their own research to colleagues from other colleges and universities during the academic conference, which will run from 8:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.

The deadline for submission of papers and conference registration is Friday, April 13. The registration fee is $5 for students and community members and $15 for faculty and other professionals. To register, go to To submit a research paper, go to

For more information, contact psychology professor William Langston at 615-898-5489 or

[381] Gadgets, gizmos reign at Middle Tennessee STEM Expo at MTSU

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Thomas Jonesis quite the budding entrepreneur. At 17, the Stratford STEM Magnet High School junior already has a contract with Microsoft for a game he created called Blanco: The Color of Adventure.

At the sixth annual Middle Tennessee STEM Expo, held Wednesday (April 11) at MTSU’s Student Union Ballroom, Johnson showed off his “Conceptual Forensic Retrieval System,” an educational tool for children, he said.

Johnson was among more than 600 students from across the Midstate — including Clarksville, Brentwood, Franklin, Nashville and other cities — taking part in the expo that highlights science, technology, engineering, math, research and more. The expo showcases the fifth- through 12th-graders’ recent STEM projects.

Johnson’s latest gizmo “teaches basic concepts” in forensics at a crime scene, he said. “It’s a ‘Clue’ kind of thing,” referencing the popular crime-solving board game. On a monitor, he points out a sensor in the ceiling. Using a controller, he searches for blood. “It shows where it was found. It can collect DNA and tell you more about it.”

Were he to make a change to it, Johnson would adapt it for an older group.

Braden Coleand Declan Deering, both 11 and fifth-graders at Madison Creek Elementary School in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, devised a “Survivor Helmet” for people to use if they were to get lost in the woods.
The helmet featured a phone to use as GPS, binoculars, plastic shovel and portable charger. 

Stewarts Creek Middle School eighth-graders Abby IrwinOlivia MarlowKristiana Heinzand Keaton Pynespent six weeks collaborating on their “React-A-Button’ project.  

All four appeared to ace questions presented by Joshua Phillips, an MTSU computer science assistant professor and one of many judges volunteering their time for the event.

“We hope our product will cut down on reaction time and potentially save lives,” Marlow said of the project, which stemmed from the recent shootings at schools across the country.

Trying as best as he could, Kevin Salazar, 14, of Murfreesboro, a Whitworth-Buchanan Middle School eighth-grader, was pedaling a bicycle, hoping to generate electricity.

“It doesn’t have an inverter, so it cannot power the light bulb,” said Salazar, who was one of four team members.

“Pet Zoomer,” “The Quick Feet Baseball Cleat” and “Energy Drinks vs. Orange Juice” were just a sampling of other project titles.

Ginger Rowell, interim director with MTSU’s Tennessee STEM Education Centerwho oversaw the running of the event, called the projects amazing.

“There were some really impressive engineering projects,” said Lei Miao, an engineering technology assistant professor. “This is a great event to promote to students and parents in STEM.”

Before the students returned to their schools, awards and medals were presented in Tucker Theatre.

Housed at MTSU, the Middle Tennessee STEM Innovation Hubencourages students to engage in projects involving a process of inquiry in response to a complex question, problem or challenge. These rigorous projects help students learn key academic content and practice skills necessary for success in communication, collaboration and critical thinking.

For more information, call 615-904-8573.

MTSUhas more than 240 combined undergraduate and graduate programs.

[380] Show your shirts to raise sexual assault awareness at MTSU April 9-12

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. —Messages of hope, healing and awareness will be on display as MTSU presents The Clothesline Project Monday, April 9, through Thursday, April 12, in observance of National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. 

The annual visual display, set from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Union’s first-floor atrium, consists of T-shirts emblazoned with the words of a survivor or someone who cares about her. It is free and open to the public.

A nongovernmental organization formed in Hyannis, Massachusetts, in 1990, The Clothesline Project’s mission is to:

  • bear witness to survivors and victims;
  • help with the healing process for people who have lost a loved one to or who are survivors of violence;
  • educate, document and raise society’s awareness of the extent of the problem of violence against women; and
  • provide a nationwide network of support, encouragement and information for other communities starting their own Clothesline Projects.

According to a 2011 report by the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, an estimated 19.3 percent of women and about 1.7 percent of men have been raped during their lifetimes. An estimated 43.9 percent of women and 23.4 percent of men have experienced other forms of sexual violence. 

The Clothesline Project is sponsored by the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students, the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, Ladies for a Change, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and Collegiate 100 Interns.

For more information, contact JAC Director Barbara Scales at 615-898-5812 or

[379] Show your colors: Donate blood Monday at MTSU to save community lives, support favorite military branch

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — There's still time to squeeze into one of a few remaining appointments this Monday, April 9,to help save lives and show your support for your favorite U.S. military branch by donating blood at MTSU's "Battle of the Branches"blood drive. 

The friendly competition is set from noon to 6 p.m. in Cantrell Hall inside the Tom Jackson Building, located at 628 Alma Mater Drive on the west side of campus. 

A campus parking map is available at, and some reserved parking spots have been set aside for donors in the Midgett Lot near the Jackson Building.

Donors can use the Red Cross’s new technology by typing “MTSUVeterans” into the “Find a Blood Drive” box at http://redcrossblood.orgto make an appointment for Monday or using the new “American Red Cross Blood” app, available at Walk-in donors also will be welcome.

Donors also can save more time on donation day by completing the new “Rapid Pass” online health questionnaire at giving blood. They’ll need to show an emailed or printed copy of the same-day confirmation at the check-in desk.

MTSU's Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Centerand the MTSU Red Cross Cluborganized this drive with the American Red Cross’s Tennessee Valley Regionto encourage more blood donations and thank our active-duty and retired military members for their service to the country. A person needs blood in America every two to three seconds, and each unit of donated blood can help three different patients.

MTSU donors can show their support for the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard when they arrive to give blood, and the branch with the largest number of donors will have bragging rights until the next veterans’ blood drive.

The MTSU community came out in force in February for a pre-Valentine’s Day blood drive, collecting 131 pints of blood in only six hours to share with the neighboring 
Tennessee Valley Region. A pre-Veterans Day drive last November at MTSU saw similar outstanding results.

MTSU’s Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center is the largest and most comprehensive facility for student veterans on any college campus in Tennessee. The 2,600-square-foot center, located in Room 124 of the Keathley University Center, provides a one-stop shop for a variety of academic needs for MTSU’s nearly 1,000 student veterans and their families.

For more information about the Daniels Veterans Center, visit follow @MTVetCenteron Twitter.

[378] MTSU’s Keyboard Artist Series concludes season Sunday with Latin American flair

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. Some seats are still available for the Sunday, April 8, final public concert in this season’s “Keyboard Artist Series”from MTSU’sSchool of Music, featuring internationally renowned pianist David Viscoli.

Viscoli’s performance will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday in Hinton Music Hall inside MTSU’s Wright Music Building. A campus map is available at, and admission is $10 for the general public and $5 for seniors. Children under age 18 will be admitted free, as will MTSU students with a current ID. 

The popularMTSU Arts concert series, sponsored in part by the Steinway Piano Gallery of Nashville and the MTSU Distinguished Lecture Fund, is ending its third season of featuring MTSU faculty and distinguished guest artists from around the world. 

Viscoli, a piano professor and Distinguished Faculty Scholar at Minnesota State University, Mankato, is a native of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and earned his musical master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Southern California. He’s performed across the United States, Canada, Europe, Central America and Asia in both orchestral and festival settings and has won numerous national and international competitions.

Sunday’s concert, "A Journey Through Latin American Piano Music," will include works by Cuban composers Ernesto Lecuona and Ignacio Cervantes, Mexican composers Manuel Ponce and Carlos Chávez, Brazilian composers Ernesto Nazareth and Heitor Villa-Lobos, and Argentine composers Astor Piazzolla and Alberto Ginastera.

"While the recital is a bit off the beaten path, there are a number of pieces programmed that are tried and true warhorses of the piano repertoire,” says Adam Clark, an associate professor of piano in the School of Music.

“The Ginastera ‘First Piano Sonata,’ for example, is full of rhythmic energy and unrelenting virtuosity and has been a favorite of pianists and audiences for many years. The music of Villa-Lobos and Piazzolla are also sure to strike a tone of familiarity with listeners. … Works by Lecuona, Cervantes, Chávez and Nazareth might be new to some but incredible to experience for the first time, nevertheless."

For more information, visit For details on more MTSU School of Music concerts, call 615-898-2493 or visit and click on the "Concert Calendar" link. 

[377] African-American women, religion examined in April 10 lecture at MTSU

MURFREESBORO — MTSU’s Africana Studies and Religious Studies programs are joining forces to celebrate their first-year anniversaries.

“Female Captive to Negro Wench: Slavery in Religious and Gendered Perspective” is the title of a lecture and lunch event scheduled for 1 to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, in the Parliamentary Room of the Student Union.

A printable campus parking map is available at
Off-campus visitors attending the event should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation at

Alexis Wells-Oghoghomeh, an assistant professor of Religious Studies, American Religious History and African-American Religious History at Vanderbilt University, will deliver the presentation.

Wells-Oghoghomeh is an historian of African-American religion with a primary interest in the sacred cultures of the Southern United States. Her research explores religious exchanges and productions within the African Atlantic, colonial and antebellum Southern cultures, the religiosity of race in the U.S. and women’s religious histories.

Recently, she was awarded prestigious fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and the Young Scholars in American Religion Program.

This event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, the Africana Studies Program and the Religious Studies Association. For more information, contact Rebekka King, assistant professor of religious studies, at 615-494-8987 or

[376] ‘MTSU On the Record’ previews Holocaust and Genocide Studies Conference

MURFREESBORO — The next ‘MTSU On the Record’ radio program will delve into the worst atrocities of the human race, past and present.

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Elyce Helford, director of MTSU’s Jewish and Holocaust Studies Program, will air from 9:30 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, and from 6 to 6:30 a.m. Sunday, April 15, on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and

Helford will discuss the 13thInternational Holocaust and Genocide Studies Conference, which will take place April 19-21 in MTSU’s James Union Building. The biennial gathering attracts scholars from all over the world to present their research into horrors ranging from the Nazis of the 1940s to modern large-scale terrorists. 

A highlight of the conference will be a panel featuring two child survivors of the Holocaust — Gerhard L. Weinberg, a professor emeritus and authority on Nazi Germany, and Esther Rosenfeld Starobin, who now is a volunteer for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. 

“These events usually draw parents and children, students, teachers and the general public that just wants to know more about these events,” Helford said. “Particularly as these survivors age and die this is an opportunity to see them, hear their stories and ask some questions.”

For more information on the conference, including details on featured speakers and panels, go to

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

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

[375] MTSU professor honored with prestigious national business education award

MURFREESBORO — An MTSU business education professor has received one of the highest national honors her discipline can bestow.

Textbook publisher McGraw-Hill Education presented the John Robert Gregg Award to Virginia Hemby at the National Business Education Association’s annual convention in Baltimore March 30. 

The Gregg Award is given annually to an individual who has been recognized widely by colleagues and education professionals as having made outstanding contributions to the advancement of business education, which Hemby called “the original platform from which every other business major sprang.”

Hemby, the author of four books, 10 book chapters and more than 30 articles in peer-reviewed academic journals, has been a specialist in business education for more than 25 years. 

Her areas of expertise are in business and workplace education; talent development; and meeting, event, exhibition and convention management. Her current research topics include bullying in higher education and age discrimination relating to graduation dates and veterans’ service in online employment applications.

“I believe in business education as a discipline, not a career and technical education area only, but a discipline that prepares students for college and for life,” Hemby said. “We need to be promoting these classes more to parents and guardians.”

The NBEA hailed Hemby for her creation and oversight of Raiders’ Closet, a nonprofit organization with the purpose of providing free professional attire for MTSU students seeking post-graduation employment. The closet also provides appropriate attire to students in local high school business groups to ensure a professional appearance in competitive events.

Hemby has served as national president of the Association for Research in Business Education, co-chair of the international conference of the Association for Business Communication and member of the Policies Commission for Business and Economic Education for two terms. She also is a member of the advisory council of the state of Tennessee’s Division of College, Career and Technical Education, Hospitality and Tourism.

Hemby earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi. In addition, she is certified as an online instructor and a hospitality educator.  

The John Robert Gregg Award is named for the inventor of the system of shorthand writing that has been taught in schools and used by secretaries, court reporters, journalists and other professionals since its creation in 1888. It is “the most prestigious award in business education for over sixty years,” according to McGraw-Hill. 

[374] MTSU ‘Trade Show’ improves budding entrepreneurs' business plans

MTSU entrepreneurship majors bossed up during the 2018 Business Plan Competition’s Trade Show.
The public exhibition event, which was held Wednesday, March 28, in the Student Union Atrium, gave the public a chance to learn about all the creative business plans students showcased as they seek to be among the top finishers to snag startup cash in the overall competition.
Sponsored by The Pam Wright Chair in Entrepreneurshipin MTSU's Jones College of Business, the event gave students a chance to obtain feedback from Jones College faculty-judges on how to improve their business pitches when presenting it to potential investors.
Finalists will compete for the top three cash prizes during the final presentation event that will be held Wednesday, April 25, in the Student Union Ballroom. The first place winner will receive $5,000, the runner-up will receive $3,000 and third place will receive $1,000. 
For his business plan, MTSU sophomore Brady Gouthrodecided to literally shed light on the importance of maintaining a cleaner environment with his light-up portable trashcans accompanied by performers with LED hula-hoops.
He believes during festivals and other social events trash usually accumulates within the crowd rather than on the outskirts.
"Why not bring the garbage cans to them?"  Gouthro thought. "People will start seeing the performers and the trashcans, then will think, ‘oh, this is convenient.’" 
The Keller, Texas, native says being able to pitch to judges allowed him to think about some economic factors he missed. 
"It went pretty well … they asked me about pricing and difficulty of getting into overcrowded places, so even that gave me progress through (refining) the idea of my plan," he said. "I was able to receive new ideas I haven't thought of and put all the pieces together."
Entrepreneurship major Cailen Roth, a native from Boothwyn, Pennsylvania, created a plan that inspired him to raise the bar at gymnasiums by … putting actual bars with alcohol in them to promote more socializing. 
"I believe one of the main problems a lot of people face when they go to the gym is that they go inside and they feel insecure when they see people who have made more progress than them," said Roth, an MTSU senior. "By adding a bar to a gym it's going to give people an excuse to go get to know someone." 
The top five teams who advanced after completing the elevator pitch round received coaching sessions immediately after the Trade Show to prepare for the final round. 
“The students are looking for notoriety for their business,” said organizer Stacy Aaron with the Wright Chair. “They are also receiving feedback/creative ideas from faculty, students and the business community for refining their ideas into a business or taking their existing business to the next level.”  
The top five teams are listed below:
1.Drunken Parrot — MTSU finance major Hilary Huyler’s idea is a bar bicycle company that will be located in Nassau, New Providence. It will provide customers age 18 and up a sightseeing tour of historic sites while consuming an alcoholic beverage.
2.Drones iVue— MTSU aerospace alumnusJacob Andrewsconcept is a currently operational imagery company with a mission to capture the world in video, photo, mapping, and 3D modeling imagery using camera and drone technology.
3.Salomon’s Greenhouse  MTSU biology major Brock Averitt’s project is an urban farm startup focused on safe and sustainable production of low-calorie nutrient-dense foods. It focuses on commercial production of high quality vegetables and partners with local ranchers to provide grass-fed beef and lamb.
4.Vendy — MTSU entrepreneurship major Evan Hemontolor’s idea involves a new way to serve high quality gourmet meals without a five-star building. It is a franchise of gourmet vending machines that can serve multiple options (pizza, cupcakes, ice cream, salads, etc.) at a fast rate.
5.University Ready — MTSU economics alumnus Matthew Bullingtonis pitching an online guide to help students navigate how to prepare for college and life after high school through custom weekly classes.
The students are judged on their elevator pitch (40 percent), the trade show faculty judges evaluation (40 percent) and community votes for the trade show (20 percent). 
The Business Plan Competition was started through The Pam Wright Chair in Entrepreneurship to foster the entrepreneurial spirit within the region. It is designed to help students and alumni in launching new business ventures, including for-profit businesses, not-for-profit businesses, corporate entrepreneurship, and social enterprise. 
To learn more about the chair, visit To learn more about the Jones College of Business, visit

[374] National magazine selects MTSU alumna as dietitian who ‘makes a difference’

MURFREESBORO — “Today’s Dietitian” magazine lists an MTSU alumna in its annual article on “10 Dietitians Who Are Making a Difference.”

Monique Richard, who graduated summa cum laude in 2010 with a degree in dietetics and a minor in psychology, was profiled in the March 2018 edition of the magazine. Richard, a Johnson City, Tennessee, native, is a nutritionist who has applied her expertise in various parts of the world.

MTSU supported my passion and fueled my desire to learn and grow, helping shape me as an up-and-coming professional,” Richard said. “I am truly honored and unequivocally share this with my colleagues and those I have had the privilege to know and learn from throughout this journey.” 
“This is a fabulous honor, one that doesn’t surprise me because Monique was a leader amongst her peers while at MTSU and one of our top students,” said Lisa Sheehan-Smith, a nutrition and food science professor and a registered dietitian who mentored Richard.

Richard was the first dietitian to join doctors and nurses in missions to Haiti with the Aziz Foundation to teach nutrition. In Egypt, she taught nutrition to elementary school children. 

She has presented research in China, and in Israel she participated in the American Overseas Dietetic Association’s Regional Conference on the Mediterranean Diet.

“She is a very bright young lady who is very knowledgeable in integrative and functional nutrition,” said sports dietitian Tiffany Harrison, an MTSU lecturer in nutrition and food sciences program.

Ironically, Richard was inspired to become a dietitian because she has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. As proof that diabetics can control their illness and live productive lives, she is an integrative dietitian nutritionist with State of Franklin Healthcare Associates in Johnson City. In addition, she owns her own private practice, Nutrition-in-Sight, and works as a yoga instructor.

This the ninth consecutive year that “Today’s Dietitian” has chosen 10 standout professionals nominated by its readers to commemorate National Registered Dietitian Month and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day, which was March 14. The article is accessible online at

For more information about MTSU’s Nutrition and Food Sciences program, contact Deborah Belcher, chair of the Department of Human Science, at 615-898-2302 or

[373] Students can boost community involvement at April 3 nonprofit summit, volunteer fair

The event is free to students and open to all majors and interest areas.

The Volunteer/Internship Fair held from 2:30 to 4:30 the Union Ballroom will provide opportunities for MTSU students and staff to connect with over 34 nonprofit organizations about volunteer and/or internship opportunities.

This year's summit features the following session topics:
      9:40 a.m. — Students and alumni who followed their passions to better the world through the creation of their own nonprofit and social innovative entities; 
      11:05 a.m. — Nonprofit leaders who share the important role advocacy plans in having real impact on complex social issues; and 
      1 p.m. — Open to public. Learn from the local Murfreesboro Loves community action group on how to collaborate and shape the narrative told about your work (or your town) rather than having that narrative dictated by others. This last panel will share lessons learned from the successful collaboration and proactively shaping the narrative in response to white supremacists organizing a well-publicized march in Murfreesboro in fall 2017.

Organizers said the session times mirror class times so students can come and go as their schedules allow. 

For more information and list of nonprofits coming to the Volunteer Fair, and to register for free for the event, go to Students can also register on site tomorrow.