Friday, July 13, 2018

[497] MTSU on WGNS: New children’s health programs, big mechatronics donation, Governor’s School

MTSU faculty and staff appeared on WGNS Radio recently to share information about new programs to boost children’s health across the state, a record donation to the university’s mechatronics program and this year’s Governor’s School for the Arts on campus.

The details were shared during the June 18 “Action Line” program with guest host Bryan Barrett. The live program was broadcast on FM 100.5, 101.9 and AM 1450 from the WGNS studio in downtown Murfreesboro. If you missed it, you can listen to a podcast of the show here.

Guests and their topics were as follows:

Cynthia Chafin, associate director for community programs in the MTSU Center for Health and Human Services, discussed the center’s new Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACE, curriculum and the SPARK 2 Read program.

In partnership with the departments of Social Work and Health and Human Performance and the College of Education, the center will develop an ACE curriculum in which MTSU students learn how adverse experiences affect children’s brain architecture, behavioral issues, long-term health effects and community issues.

Also, the center, with $100,000 in funding from the Tennessee Department of Health, will develop, oversee and provide technical assistance for an initiative to integrate healthy eating, active living and a tobacco-free lifestyle into an after-school literacy program for minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged youth called SPARK 2 Read.

Dr. Walter Boles, chair of the Department of Engineering Technology at MTSU, discussed the record $278 million software donation from Siemens for the university’s mechatronics program.

Germany-based Siemens, a key partner in the mechatronics program, has given the software to teach state-of-the-art computer-aided design. The Siemens Product Lifestyle Management Software grant will give MTSU access to the same technology that companies use to develop and manufacture robotic systems in a wide range of industries, including automotive, aerospace, machinery and high-tech electronics.

Terry Jolley, assistant director of the Governor’s School for the Arts, discussed this year’s multi-week program at MTSU. The Tennessee Governor's School for the Arts is a four-week residency summer program for high school students gifted in music, visual art, theatre, dance, and filmmaking.

Since 1985 over 7,000 of Tennessee’s gifted and talented students have been afforded the opportunity to attend the School for the Arts. Each January more than 1,400 compete for the 230 available scholarships for the summer camp.

Students, faculty and staff who are interested in guesting on WGNS to promote their MTSU-related activities should contact Jimmy Hart, director of news and media relations, at 615-898-5131 or via email at

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