MTSU Magazine Winter 2017 Vol. 21 No. 2

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Winter 2017 Vol. 21 No. 2

Professor Colby Jubenville’s formula for graduates’ success results in remarkable professional achievements by MTSU alumni like Anthony Dudley

GlowRage was held Oct. 12 during Homecoming Week, hosted by the Student Government Association. Participants were sprayed with glowing neon paint as they celebrated.

cover photo: J. Intintoli; Taken on location at Nissan Stadium in downtown Nashville interior photo: Eric Sutton


Table of Contents 4

2016–17 Distinguished Alumni


Not-So-Strange Brew Amidst a growing national trend toward bolder-flavored food and drink (with greater nutritional value), MTSU launches a Fermentation Science degree



A Proper Homecoming MTSU experts spearhead the effort to bring the remains of Mexican-American war soldiers with Volunteer State ties back to the U.S.


On Solid Ground MTSU’s real estate brokerage firm allows MTSU students to get real-world experience before they graduate

En Vogue For up-and-coming MTSU Apparel Design and Fashion Merchandising students, the timing of the growth of their industry in Nashville couldn’t be any better




True Blue Patrol MTSU’s longstanding relationship with the Civil Air Patrol evolves into a talent pipeline for the University

Riding a Wave University-operated WMOT, the most powerful radio signal in Tennessee, partners with industry to broadcast burgeoning Americana music

Departments 7

Editor’s Letter

Cover Story: The Success Coach


Five Minutes with the President

Professor Colby Jubenville’s formula for graduates’ success results in remarkable professional achievements by MTSU alumni like Anthony Dudley

18 MidPoints 41

Class Notes


The MTSU Alumni Association presents its 2016–17 Distinguished Alumni honorees


utstanding alumni bring MTSU prestige and distinction through their professional careers, loyal support, and service to the wider community. From 1960 to the present, the MTSU Alumni Association has recognized accomplished alumni in various categories. Here are the 2016–17 honorees.

DISTINGUISHED ALUMNUS Jeff Creek (’67, Chemistry and Mathematics) A globally recognized petroleum chemistry expert, Creek retired in January 2016 after 38 years with Chevron Energy Technology Co. as the company’s leader in phase behavior and thermodynamics of hydrocarbon systems. In 2013, he was named Chevron Fellow, the company’s highest honor. An internationally sought-after speaker, Creek serves as an adjunct professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomechanical Engineering at Rice University and as an affiliate professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Colorado School of Mines.

YOUNG ALUM Bobbie Jo Meredith (’05, Computer Engineering Technology) Meredith has become a key figure with Schneider Electric, not only in managing a global product portfolio between the U.S., India, Canada, and France, but also in recruiting girls and young women to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. An MTSU Women in STEM and Engineering Technology board member, Meredith volunteered at Expanding Your Horizons in Math and Science, Girl Day, DigiGirlz, and other campus events, enlisting Schneider Electric as a frequent sponsor.

To nominate someone for a Distinguished Alumni award, visit 4 MTSU Magazine

ACHIEVEMENT IN EDUCATION (MTSU FACULTY) Dan Pfeifer (’83, Music) Pfeifer recently completed his 25th year as an MTSU faculty member in the Department of Recording Industry. He was awarded the MTSU Outstanding Teacher Award in 1997 and served as Faculty Senate president in 2003. Before coming to MTSU, he worked in the music industry, serving as audio engineer and producer for superstars such as B.B. King, ZZ Top, Al Green, and Jerry Lee Lewis. An in-demand audio engineering expert, Pfeifer is sought after to train employees at companies including National Public Radio in Washington, D.C.

ACHIEVEMENT IN EDUCATION (NON-MTSU) Helen Campbell (’01, ’08, ’14, History, Secondary Education, K–12 Administration and Supervision, Curriculum and Instruction) By age 35, Campbell had already served four years as an assistant principal and two years as a principal. At Walter Hill Elementary, she created an innovative learning methodology with her “House” program, which employs a Harry Potter-type theme with a twist. Campbell has presented many times at conferences since the program’s inception. The Rutherford County Schools director credited the program with increasing school morale, inspiring teachers to more actively engage with students, and raising test scores.

SERVICE TO THE UNIVERSITY Cynthia Chappell (’71, ’76, English and Biology) Chappell founded the MTSU Alumni Chapter in Houston, the nation’s fourth most-populated city. She took it upon herself to write bylaws, establish a leadership team, develop goals and initiatives, and lead the University’s alumni efforts in the Texas region. Through Chappell’s leadership, the group is helping to recruit students to MTSU, relocate MTSU graduates to Houston by arranging professional opportunities, link alumni and new graduates for mentoring, and incubate a social media effort for those interested in meeting other MTSU alumni.

SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY Elizabeth “Libby” Green (’78, History) Green retired from a career in human resources at Pinnacle Bank. Her volunteer career is vast and includes many years of service to the Oaklands Association board of trustees. She also served as former interim director of Main Street Murfreesboro. A former adjunct History professor at MTSU and a member of MTSU’s prestigious Signal Society (which honors annual donors who have supported the University in 20 or more years), Green currently serves the University as a member of the MTSU Friends of Liberal Arts Board. True Blue!

Winter 2017 5

Over the last year, you helped make wonderful things happen at MTSU!

Middle Tennessee State University Winter 2017 / Vol. 21, No. 2 University Editor Drew Ruble

MTSU Friends and Alumni created


Art Director Kara Hooper

new scholarships 400

Over of our 2016 graduates gave to build the MTSU graduate student scholarship

Contributing Editors Darby Campbell, Carol Stuart Special gifts allowed MTSU students to present at conferences or experience education abroad

Thoughtful gifts to the Aspire to Teach Fund in Education helped future teachers complete their yearlong residency (student teaching.)

Gifts to the BRAA provided more than

$1.3 million

in support to Blue Raider Athletics, helping student-athletes succeed in the classroom and the community!

Thank you for being

Contributing Writers Lynn Adams, Skip Anderson, Allison Gorman, Vicky Travis Design Assistance Karin Albrecht, Darrell Callis Burks, Brian Evans, Lauren Finney, Micah Loyed, Sherry Wiser George University Photographers Andy Heidt, J. Intintoli, Eric Sutton Special thanks to Anita Carter, Bud Fischer, Ginger Freeman and the Alumni Relations staff, Sally Govan, Tara Hollins, Megan Jones, the staff of MTSU News and Media Relations, the staff of the MTSU Office of Development, Bea Perdue, Jack Ross, Cindy Speer, David Urban, Terry Whiteside University President Sidney A. McPhee Interim University Provost Mark Byrnes Vice President for University Advancement Joe Bales Vice President for Marketing and Communications Andrew Oppmann Address changes should be sent to Advancement Services, MTSU Box 109, Murfreesboro, TN 37132; Other correspondence should be sent to MTSU Magazine, Drew Ruble, 1301 E. Main St., Box 49, Murfreesboro, TN 37132. For exclusive online content, visit MTSU is a Tennessee Board of Regents Institution.

MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY To make an online gift, go to, 615-898-2502. Our students, faculty, administration, and staff will thank you!!

120,300 copies printed at Lithographics, Nashville, Tenn. Designed by MTSU Creative and Visual Services. 0916-3371 / Middle Tennessee State University does not discriminate against students, employees, or applicants for admission or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, age, status as a protected veteran, genetic information, or any other legally protected class with respect to all employment, programs, and activities sponsored by MTSU. The Assistant to the President for Institutional Equity and Compliance has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies and can be reached at Cope Administration Building 116, 1301 East Main Street, Murfreesboro, TN 37132;; or 615-898-2185. The MTSU policy on non-discrimination can be found at


Fitting the Bill

by Drew Ruble


his February, for the fourth consecutive year, MTSU will be among the few universities nationwide with a presence at the annual Grammys ceremony in Los Angeles that honors the best and brightest in global music.

HBO executive Kary Antholis speaks at MTSU’s afternoon commencement in Spring 2016.

The University’s presence is quite appropriate. MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry was included on Billboard’s latest list of “12 Music Business Schools Shaping the Industry’s Future,” in an Oct. 8 article. More than 20 MTSU alumni or former students and faculty have been nominated for Grammy Awards in the past eight years. A total of eight have won Grammys so far. As fate would have it, while co-hosting a pre-Grammys party last year honoring the late Glenn Frey at the historic Troubadour club in West Hollywood (with featured performances by Lee Ann Womack and Bonnie Raitt), MTSU President Sidney McPhee was seated next to Kary Antholis, president of HBO Miniseries and Cinemax Programming. The documentary filmmaker has overseen some of the channels’ groundbreaking socially conscious programming, and Antholis’ accolades include winning the Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject in 1995 and the Emmy for Outstanding Information Special (1994–95) for his film One Survivor Remembers about Holocaust survivor Gerda Weissmann Klein. McPhee and Antholis struck up a conversation, which led to a friendship, that culminated eventually in McPhee inviting Antholis to Murfreesboro to visit the MTSU campus and to see and experience for himself the University’s nationally recognized Electronic Media Communication department (yet another award-winning arm of MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment, which is led, incidentally, by fellow Emmy Award winner Billy Pittard). McPhee also asked Antholis to serve as a commencement speaker at the Spring 2016 MTSU graduation ceremonies. In his speech to MTSU graduates that day, Antholis explained how his Oscar-winning documentary had its impetus in the horrors suffered by his own mother’s family in Greece at the hands of the Nazis, and recalled documentary subject Klein’s beautiful, gracious words delivered in her very memorable acceptance speech that night. “You do earn success with hard work and self-reliance, but you also will be served by remaining mindful of the people who’ve helped you along the way,” Antholis told MTSU graduates. Antholis has since agreed to serve as a mentor to students and a resource to faculty in the College of Media and Entertainment, providing students with a pipeline to the industry and the promise of potential cutting-edge, real-world opportunities. That budding partnership, though, represents just one of the

Grammy winner Bonnie Raitt (center), MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, and College of Media and Entertainment Dean Ken Paulson attend a pre-Grammy event, along with Americana Music Festival executive director Jed Hilly and artists Rodney Crowell and Joe Henry.

latest in a series of workforce development-related partnerships hatched between MTSU and industry in recent years aimed at ensuring MTSU students get a leg up in the pursuit of their dreams in the working world—while they are still attending classes.

This edition of MTSU Magazine profiles a handful of such partnerships. They include the University’s role as a talent pipeline to Nashville’s burgeoning fashion scene; to the rapidly expanding microbrewery, distilling, and fermented food processing industries; and to middle Tennessee’s exploding commercial real estate market. In fact, MTSU administers a corporate partnerships program to facilitate services to the business community, enabling MTSU to better showcase its ability to support applied research and employee education and development. The goal is to forge partnerships that are mutually beneficial, leading to sustained funding in the form of donations, sponsorships, research grants, and student employment. Read more on page 43. This issue also profiles a slew of wildly successful graduates of the University—including this year’s Distinguished Alumni recipients. Last, the magazine details the creation of MTSU’s new Center for Student Coaching and Success, a donor-supported effort aimed at ensuring that MTSU graduates find not just employment upon graduation but meaningful employment that drives personal success and the local economy. It all adds up to the fact that MTSU, the largest provider of graduates for the middle Tennessee area, is an irreplaceable resource to all middle Tennesseans—not just from an academic and cultural aspect, but also from a workforce development perspective. At a time when industry is clamoring for better-prepared graduates and policymakers including Gov. Bill Haslam are calling for greater degree attainment to meet the needs of the future workforce, MTSU is clearly fitting the bill. MTSU

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A New Focus In October, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced the eight nominees to the newly created MTSU Board of Trustees, a result of his FOCUS Act passed by the General Assembly in 2016 to give the former Tennessee Board of Regents universities increased autonomy to support student success. What are your thoughts as this new board prepares to go to work? I am thrilled and very excited by the nominees put forward by Gov. Haslam for the Board of Trustees for Middle Tennessee State University. I am very familiar with our nominees and know well the broad range of experience and expertise they will be able to offer our University. We are honored that these outstanding citizens have allowed the governor to put their names forward for service to our University and the communities we serve. I believe this new proposal advanced by the governor, as well as the corresponding new level of independence for the former TBR universities, is truly bold and potentially transformational for MTSU. I look forward to learning and exploring the opportunities it could provide toward our mission of ensuring student success and providing more graduates for the state’s workforce.

Bring us up to speed on other aspects of MTSU’s work in preparing for the implementation of the FOCUS Act.

The MTSU board nominees

In October, MTSU and the five other former TBR institutions transmitted Substantive Change Review proposals to our accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The body requires such notification when there is a significant modification or

W. Andrew Adams

8 MTSU Magazine

J.B. Baker

A question-and-answer session about MTSU’s new governance structure with President Sidney A. McPhee

expansion in the nature and scope of an accredited institution. This February–March, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission will present and review appropriation, capital, and tuition recommendations to legislative committees. THEC will also work with the UT and TBR boards, as well as the six boards that are forming, to understand campus revenue needs and prepare binding tuition recommendations. In March, the state will offer professional development sessions for the members of the six new boards. And in April, the six new boards of trustees are expected to meet for the first time. With regard to our internal preparation for the new governance changes, our campus FOCUS Act Transition Team, divisional working groups, and subcommittees worked extremely hard to review all MTSU policies and TBR policies and guidelines to determine which ones were applicable after the transition to a local board of trustees. Revisions proposed by the MTSU Transition Team were posted on a new FOCUS Policy webpage. As with our current policy review process, policies reviewed by the FOCUS Act Transition Team were emailed to the campus for review. This began last summer. The normal 30-day comment period was expanded in order to provide faculty with adequate time for review upon their return to the campus. Finally, also last summer, several MTSU administrators joined me in a meeting with Russ Deaton, THEC’s acting executive director. I was pleased to review THEC’s priorities during this transition and its commitment to a smooth changeover. Thank you, Mr. President. MTSU

Pete Delay

Darrell Freeman Sr.

Joey A. Jacobs

Christine Karbowiak

Stephen B. Smith

Pamela J. Wright

Tony Johnston

W. Andrew Adams

Darrell Freeman Sr.

Stephen B. Smith

W. Andrew “Andy” Adams is the former chairman and CEO of National Healthcare Corp. and previous CEO of both National Health Investors Inc. and National Health Realty Inc. He serves on the board of directors of Lipscomb University, SunTrust Bank, and Boy Scouts of America. Adams holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Business Administration, both from MTSU.

Darrell Freeman Sr. is the executive chairman of Zycron Inc., an information technology services and solutions firm based in Nashville. He served on the Tennessee Board of Regents, as well as a number of boards and committees in middle Tennessee. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from MTSU.

Stephen B. Smith is chair of the board of Haury and Smith Contractors Inc. He has served on the board of the Metropolitan Nashville Planning Commission and Regional Transit Authority and chaired the board of directors of Metropolitan Nashville Parks and Recreation. He graduated from MTSU and was awarded the Jennings A. Jones Champion of Free Enterprise Award in 2010.

J.B. Baker J.B. Baker is CEO and owner of Sprint Logistics. He attended Martin Junior College and earned his bachelor’s from MTSU. He is the former owner and chairman of the board for Volunteer Express and Associated Companies, having worked at the company for 30 years. He has served on a number of professional and civic boards, including Martin Methodist College, Goodwill Industries, Saint Thomas Hospital Health Services Fund, and the Nashville Symphony.

Pete Delay Pete Delay leads the Nashville office of Forterra Building Products and was most recently president and owner of Sherman-Dixie Concrete Industries Inc. He previously served on the board of trustees of the University of the South–Sewanee and as chairman of the Montgomery Bell Academy Annual Fund.

Joey A. Jacobs Joey A. Jacobs is the chairman and CEO of Acadia Healthcare. With prior postings in Hospital Corporation of America’s Tennessee Division and Psychiatric Solutions Inc., he was awarded MTSU’s Jennings A. Jones Champion of Free Enterprise Award in 2013. He serves on the board of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Jacobs received his bachelor’s degree from MTSU.

Christine Karbowiak Christine Karbowiak is executive vice president, chief administrative officer, and chief risk officer of Bridgestone Americas Inc. She is active in community organizations and has served on the boards of the Tennessee State Museum Foundation, Japan America Society of Tennessee, Tennessee Business Roundtable, and Franklin American Music City Bowl. She holds bachelor’s, master’s, and law degrees from the University of Illinois.

Pamela J. Wright Pamela J. Wright founded Wright Travel. She was an employee of the Tennessee Department of Corrections before opening her first travel agency. The agency has since grown to 28 offices spanning seven states. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from MTSU.

Faculty and student representatives In addition to the nominees by the governor, MTSU’s Faculty Senate chose Tony Johnston, a professor in the School of Agribusiness and Agriscience in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, as the first faculty representative of the Board of Trustees. The MTSU Board will determine a process for the selection of a non-voting student representative. MTSU

Winter 2017 9

by Skip Anderson

10 MTSU Magazine

photo: Darby Campbell

Like a fine wine, or the bacterial base for a tasty sourdough bread, good things often require time to come into the fullness of their being. The same is true for MTSU’s forward-thinking Fermentation Science degree program, launching in 2017. The program, led by director Tony Johnston, required approval from both the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and Tennessee Board of Regents. The degree concept was the product of a challenge by former Provost Brad Bartel and Robert “Bud” Fischer, dean of MTSU’s College of Basic and Applied Sciences, who pushed his faculty to develop innovative new programs not offered elsewhere in the region. Presented with the idea of a new Fermentation Science degree, Fischer realized that, for the most part, academia had yet to respond to game-changing trends redefining the multi-billion-dollar fermentation industry across the country—specifically the brewing industry highlighted by craft beers and small-batch brewing. “The original concept was we’d launch a brewing science program,” Johnston said. “Craft beers had become very popular. Ten years ago, it was just an outgrowth of the home hobbyist—probably the biggest name people can associate with this is Sam Adams, which started with a bunch of guys who wanted to make a better beer. They were one of the first craft breweries to go nationwide. Since that phenomenon, craft brewing has become extremely popular—it’s grown to the point that the big brewers are seeing their market share shrink due to the growth of craft brewing.”

only food preservation technique that does not require the input of energy to accomplish, making it a critical new tool at a time when there are concerns regarding increased global demands for energy sources and land use for food production. “The science behind brewing beer and fermenting foods is largely the same,” Johnston said. “We use microorganisms such as yeast, bacteria, and mold to create foods we like to consume—cheese, sour cream, buttermilk, yogurt, sauerkraut, summer sausage, pickles, kimchi, to name just a few. That’s fermentation.” Fermenting foods and beverages, according to Johnston, elevates the food’s nutritional impact. “The idea is that when we ferment milk, for instance, it has more vitamin content than before because the microorganisms have put more nutrients into the products,” Johnston said.

Tony Johnston, director of the new Fermentation Science degree program, is also MTSU’s faculty nominee to the University’s Board of Trustees.

According to the Beer Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying organization representing the beer industry, the combined economic impact of brewers, distributors, retailers, supply chain partners, and related industries in the U.S. was more than a quarter-trillion dollars in 2014—$252.6 billion— generated by around 3,300 brewers, importers, and 6,700 beer distribution facilities across the country. A Broader Scope Importantly, though, this new degree is not simply about brewing beer and distilling spirits. The full scope for the new degree has grown beyond just fermenting hops and barley— key ingredients in brewing beer—to any and all fermented foods and beverages. According to published reports, 53 percent of U.S. customers are seeking bolder flavors in their foods—and foods with nutritional and long-term health value—and that demand is being met by fermented foods. Food fermentation is also the photo: Darby Campbell

Not-So-Strange Brew, continued from page 11

these consumers want to buy because it’s good, it’s safe, and at a price I’m willing to pay.”

But the benefits of fermentation aren’t limited to what they can add to foods; it’s also what the process can remove from them. “These microorganisms can also convert sugars into acids that are much better for us than the sugars,” Johnston said. “For example, people often don’t realize how much sugar is actually in fluid milk—and we have enough sugar in our diets.” While the practice of fermenting foods is longstanding— credible evidence suggests fermenting dates back 8,000 years or so in China—the science behind the processes continues to evolve. It wasn’t until the late 19th century when scientists began to understand that tiny living creatures—including yeast, bacteria, and mold—were at the heart of cheese creation, as well as beer, wine, alcoholic spirits, and thousands of other fermented foods. And even today, scientists are finding new efficiencies by adjusting the balance of the microorganisms that drive fermentation processes. “Most consumers are concerned with three things: Does it smell good, does it taste good, and is it available for a price I’m willing to pay?” Johnston said. “What consumers don’t understand is there’s a whole world of science that goes into the product sitting on the shelves. These students are going to graduate and go to work in the industries to create products

A Tennessee Tradition And that includes alcoholic beverages, which can be problematic when teaching the science behind brewing beer to undergraduate students, most of whom will be too young to sample the products legally in Tennessee. However, Tennessee’s state legislature addressed the paradox by passing a much-publicized law in the spring of 2016 to allow juniors and seniors under the age of 21 and majoring in Fermentation Science to taste the fermented products containing alcohol they create as part of their coursework. “This was a very important issue for everybody because we don’t have really good instrumentation to tell us the flavor or aroma of a food,” Johnston said. “Humans have to taste it and smell it to know whether it meets our requirements. Even with the new law, [under-age] students still aren’t legally allowed to swallow the stuff. And, as silly as that sounds, as a professional taster you never swallow food anyway.” Another potential boon to the program is that out-of-state students could save tens of thousands of dollars in tuition. This degree program would be rare in the 15-state Southern Regional Education Board’s Academic Common Market. (The

photo: Darby Campbell

“We can give students hands-on, real-world opportunities, as well as prepare what will become a qualified labor force for us.” –Mark Jones, `90

12 MTSU Magazine

nearest universities offering similar coursework are Appalachian State in North Carolina, Eastern Kentucky in Kentucky, and Auburn in Alabama). “That means a student in a neighboring state could be eligible for in-state tuition because there is no school in his or her state that offers this program,” Johnston said. “Schools from Maryland to Florida and over to Texas are members of this Southern compact—this program has the potential to draw [students] from a huge part of the country.” Hands-On Degree Out-of-state students and in-state students alike in the program will be required to participate in internships. “I’d especially love to hear from MTSU alumni who have a company or connection who might be interested in hosting an interning student from our fermentation program,” Johnston said.

Jones’ business will be the permanent location of MTSU’s new fermentation and sensory labs, a sort of “psychological space” highlighted by blind testing, tasting, and smelling activities. Set to open at the same time as the proposed launch of the new MTSU Fermentation Science degree program, the modern, cutting-edge facility promises to greatly expand the real-world opportunities for Fermentation Science students to work and learn in a real-world setting. “It’s almost meant to be, the way things are laying out,” said Jones, who along with Basic and Applied Sciences Dean Fischer recently hosted a group of state lawmakers at the site. “Part of the new degree requires internships, and we can give students hands-on, real-world opportunities, as well as prepare what will become a qualified labor force for us.” Indeed, the Steel Barrel partnership serves as just one example of the many ways the new Fermentation Science program will closely align with Tennessee’s workforce development agenda. Graduates of the program will have the opportunity go to work in a variety of positions for major manufacturers operating in middle Tennessee, including General Mills (home of Yoplait, the largest manufacturer of yogurt in the nation), Kroger (Dairy Division), Brown-Forman (Jack Daniel’s), and Diageo (George Dickel), as well as an ever-increasing number of locally owned and operated fermented food producers. Dalton Lauderback

photo: Darby Campbell

One alum with big plans for MTSU’s new program is Mark Jones (’90), founder of Steel Barrel Brewing Co., a new 82-acre agribusiness enterprise slated to open on John Bragg Highway in Murfreesboro in 2017. (Think Arrington Vineyards, only serviced by a brewery instead of a winery and raising hops instead of grapes.)

Statewide, the latter includes at least 28 other distilleries, 52 breweries, 60 wineries, and 10 cheese-making operations. As home to such a large and diverse community of food processors, many of which have experienced the most growth over the past decade in their fermented foods divisions, the local and regional area will no doubt benefit economically from MTSU’s new role in producing graduates with specialized chemistry, biology, business, marketing, and entrepreneurial training ready to sustain and advance the industry. It won’t hurt the middle Tennessee area’s burgeoning farm-to-table food and drink scene, either. MTSU

“I’d especially love to hear from MTSU alumni who have a company or connection who might be interested in hosting an interning student from our fermentation program.” –Tony Johnston

Winter 2017 13


For up-and-coming MTSU Apparel Design and Fashion Merchandising students, the timing of the growth of their industry in Nashville couldn’t be any better

photo: Darby Campbell

by Vicky Travis


eople tend to think of New York and Los Angeles as fashion capitals, and for good reason. But it’s time to add Nashville to that short list. Over the past decade, Music City has become home to a vibrant, internationally recognized fashion scene full of independent boutiques, fresh designers, and, importantly, the infrastructure to support it. Winter 2017 15

photo: David Yetty

EN VOGUE, continued from page 15

Andre Wiggins

CityLab has ranked Nashville fourth in the U.S. in terms of the numbers of fashion designers, their earnings, and industry activity—trailing just New York, Los Angeles, and Columbus, Ohio (home to the corporate headquarters of several retail giants). As far back as 2012, CityLab stats revealed 282 fashion designers operating from Nashville, a number that has grown considerably and is sure to expand even more in the next few years. As explored in an April 2016 article in The Tennessean, national publications including Women’s Wear Daily have recently touted Nashville’s fashion industry. Forbes Travel Guide cited fashion as one of the top five reasons that Nashville “is on fire.” “Nashville has the potential to be a powerhouse,” said Andre Wiggins, a recent Fashion Merchandising graduate. “I want to be a part of that growth.”

Rick Cottle

Wiggins, who also models, has seen the growth firsthand during Nashville Fashion Week, held each April since 2011. Within a few years, the once-small event now intrigues fashion industry moguls nationwide, who fly in from New York and Los Angeles to see it. “Why go to New York and L.A., when I can stay here and be part of something from the beginning?” said Fashion Merchandising senior Stephaney Drake, who also participates in the student chapter of the Nashville Fashion Alliance (NFA) trade organization, which launched in 2015. “At a COAST show in October, I was registering students for NFA and meeting all kinds of people who flew in just to come to it and to see what’s here.”

Logan McCage, left, and Stephaney Drake

16 MTSU Magazine

“Nashville understands creative industry,” summed up Rick Cottle, assistant professor in Textiles, Merchandising, and Design at MTSU. “And just like Nashville has songwriting as a business, it knows that fashion has to have infrastructure to support it.”

GETTING IN STYLE While other public universities offer Fashion Merchandising, MTSU is the only public university in Tennessee also offering an Apparel Design program. This enables the University to offer both disciplines in their Textiles, Merchandising, and Design (TXMD) major, and MTSU professors see unlimited opportunities for TXMD students. “Because of the NFA, there are broad opportunities for MTSU alumi,” Cottle said. “MTSU students were easy to feed into big producers like Belk, Under Armour, and VF Imagewear. But now, NFA opens up a whole new pipeline to small design firms.” “MTSU is an underrated asset,” said Van Tucker, the alliance’s CEO. “People need to know about it.” MTSU had the good fortune of becoming an academic partner for Nashville Fashion Week in 2015 and 2016—an opportunity not lost on Apparel Design student Logan McCage. McCage worked back of house in the managed chaos of the event, learning some life lessons along with upping her design standards. “I learned about being patient, taking orders, and about using every experience,” she said. And after seeing the clothing of professional designers up close, she said she holds her clothing to that standard. McCage, like many Apparel Design students, is minoring in Entrepreneurship. “They loved our students,” said Cottle, who consistently heard high praise from designers about MTSU students’ work ethic and attitude. About 175 students are in the TXMD department. “MTSU has the potential to double this program,” added Cottle, who along with other faculty, such as Lauren Rudd, is an outspoken advocate for the department. “We have the faculty—all of us are doctorate-level and

experts in our fields. . . . And we have an industry out here. . . . Now to connect all the dots.” One of the NFA’s objectives is to encourage more high school students to think about pursuing careers in fashion, Tucker said. (Some area high schools, namely Ravenwood High School in Williamson County, boast fashion programs that churn out advanced fashion students.) It’s often Cottle’s job to convince the fathers of prospective fashion students during college visits.

for it by selling custom jewelry.” Local business leaders donated and were asked to model for the shoot. That go-getter attitude led to a job for Drake as a student liaison with the NFA. Wiggins also exhibited the drive needed to be successful in the field of fashion. After earning a Management and Marketing degree in Ohio and serving in the Army for three years, Wiggins found a home in MTSU’s fashion program. “Most men don’t think about how to dress correctly, especially in urban areas,” Wiggins said.


“People always buy clothes. There are always job opportunities in apparel,” Cottle said. Students learn early on that those opportunities come from networking, something Cottle and other professors emphasize early on. Now, NFA gives students a structured place to network with professional offerings just for students. And MTSU students can connect with design students at private colleges such as O’More College of Design, Nossi College of Art, and Belmont University.

ON THE RUNWAY In summer 2015, Drake worked with other students to create a photo shoot for their portfolios. They invited Marcia Masulla, founder of Nashville Fashion Week, and NFA’s Tucker to a catered, professional event. “I want to be an innovator,” Drake said. “Nobody told us to do this photo shoot, but we got 11 models, had it catered, and paid

“My dream is to have an influence on men’s fashion.” His work ethic and attitude had an influence on Cottle and Rudd. Making the most of every week, Wiggins attended school and maintained emails to contacts (seeking meetings or offering to help with events) in between his modeling gigs in Nashville, Atlanta, and Miami. Students and former students like Wiggins, who is now interning with a company in Nashville and who continues to model, “are why we get up to come to work,” Cottle beamed. “What keeps me awake at night is kids like him—hungry and talented—who don’t know we’re here.”

photo: David Yetty

“Ninety-nine percent of parents, especially dads, ask, ‘How is my kid going to make a living?’ ” he said. He points to a statistic that apparel ranks second to food in world consumer goods.

“I just need a toe in the door,” Wiggins said. “It doesn’t matter where I start. I will show my work ethic. I want to do this for the rest of my life.” MTSU Andre Wiggins

Winter 2017 17


A look at recent awards, events, and accomplishments at MTSU

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee, Elizabeth McPhee, Hazel Daniels, Charlie Daniels, and Lt. Gen. Keith Huber, Ret.

Charlie Daniels poses with a military service member at the ceremony

Veterans Center honors Hall of Famer With the unveiling of a plaque and a revised logo for MTSU’s Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center named for them, MTSU formally recognized Country Music Hall of Fame member Daniels and his wife of 52 years, Hazel Daniels, as well as The Journey Home Project that Daniels co-founded to assist veterans, during an Aug. 23 celebration at the Miller Education Center on Bell Street. The Daniels family and The Journey Home Project gave separate $50,000 and $70,000 gifts to the Veterans and Military Family Center in 2015 and 2016, a one-stop shop for MTSU’s approximately 1,000 student veterans and family members. Daniels said the center “is where veterans can obtain so much support—health care, teleconferencing facilities, job placement, academics, government bureaucracy, and a therapeutic place to sit and talk with others.” Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, also in attendance at the ceremony, said “the work of the Veterans and Military Family Center changes many lives for the better, opening up new opportunities to veterans so they have every chance to reach their potential and continue serving their communities and their country in new ways.” In a related development, Mike Krause, the new Tennessee Higher Education Commission executive director and a U.S. Army veteran, announced the awarding of a nearly $185,500 grant to the center. “MTSU has led the way in Tennessee regarding serving student veterans,” Krause said.

Charlie and Hazel Daniels

Still True Blue RCA Records Nashville artist Chris Young, a former MTSU student, created and announced in November an annual scholarship for Recording Industry students at the University. “MTSU helped to give me a foundation for the music business, and I want this scholarship to help other students who are looking to take a similar path,” said Young, a native of Murfreesboro. Young previously donated some of his touring audio equipment and accessories for departmental use. The singer/songwriter has amassed eight No. 1 singles in his career.

It was awesome, Baby! Premier college basketball analyst Dick Vitale served as the guest speaker at the MTSU men’s basketball annual Tip-Off Luncheon, presented by Auto Art, on Oct. 27 at Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro. Vitale began his journey as an ESPN analyst during the 1979–80 college basketball season just as the network was launchDick Vitale ing. Prior to joining ESPN, Vitale served as head coach at the University of Detroit for four seasons before being offered the head coaching job for the NBA’s Detroit Pistons. During his tenure at the University of Detroit, Vitale went head-to-head with Middle Tennessee and legendary Blue Raider head coach Jimmy Earle in the 1977 NCAA Tournament Mideast Regional, downing the Raiders in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, by a score of 93-76. In 2008, Vitale was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, marking his 17th different Hall of Fame induction. 18 MTSU Magazine

photo: Brent Beerends

Chris Young

photo: David McClister

photos: Andy Heidt

compiled by Gina E. Fann, Jimmy Hart, Gina K. Logue, Paula Morton, Drew Ruble, and Randy Weiler

Professors Sharon Berk and Mary Farone with graduate student Brock Arivett

Game Changer MTSU and Tennessee Technological University student and faculty researchers discovered two new species of bacteria in a cooling tower and hot tub in Putnam County. The discovery may provide clues to new pathways of disease and treatment, according to the lead scientists, whose nearly 20-year research endeavor has been published in Genome Announcements (January 2016) and the International Journal of Systematic Microbiology (February 2016). Thanks to nearly $1 million in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant funding, MTSU and Tennessee Tech researchers and students used a variety of microscopic and genomic techniques to describe these organisms, which have been named Candidatus Berkiella aquae and Candidatus Berkiella cookevillensis. MTSU professor Mary Farone named them in honor of the city of Cookeville, where the cooling tower and hot tub were located, and for Sharon Berk, a Tennessee Tech researcher for 27 years who is now an MTSU senior scientist writing grant proposals for the Office of Research. Through the years, more than a dozen MTSU grad and undergraduate students assisted with the research in on-campus laboratories and locations where bacteria samples were collected.

An I/O Pioneer Michael Brian Hein, a professor of Psychology at MTSU since 1990 and the director of MTSU’s nationally prominent Center for Organizational and Human Resource Effectiveness (COHRE), was this year’s recipient of the MTSU Foundation’s Career Achievement Award. The honor is considered the pinnacle of recognition for stellar MTSU professors. Hein joined the MTSU family aiming to improve the University’s master’s degree program in Industrial/Organizational Michael Brian Hein Psychology. He has raised it from its local roots to a model national program with a focus on strong recruitment, a cohort class structure, and improved student internship opportunities. He also developed one of the few stand-alone undergraduate Industrial/ Organizational Psychology majors in the country, creating a stronger foundation for the I/O graduate program. In addition to his University and community service, Hein also works as a consultant for industries on job preparation, employee training, leadership development, and other factors critical to success.

New Leadership Following a nationwide search, David L. Butler, 46, was named vice provost for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies at MTSU. Butler comes from the University of Southern Mississippi, where he has served as chairman in the Department of Political Science and director of the doctoral program in International Development. He has been awarded nearly $2.8 million in funding for 14 different projects since 2002. Richard “Rick” Sluder, the administrator leading MTSU’s Quest for Student Success, now also will serve as dean of the University College and will oversee work with students undecided on majors, as well as adult degree completion, online learning, and academic outreach to high school students. Under Sluder’s leadership as vice provost of student success at MTSU, the University has seen record increases in its retention rates and other key student success measures.

Good Psychology Five MTSU graduate students in their second year of the MTSU Industrial/Organizational Psychology program won the Krannert School of Management Human Resources Case Competition in November at Purdue University. MTSU’s team defeated finalists from Brigham Young University, the University of Minnesota, Penn State University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Purdue. The team of Kin Chan, Katelyn Class, Jacqueline Masso, Hung Nguyen, and Megan Wertheimer presented to a panel of human resources experts from Amazon, Dell, and General Electric. Winter 2017 19

David L. Butler

Rick Sluder

photo: J. Intintoli

photo: J. Intintoli

One-Man Gang

photo: Sergio Plecas

For the third time in his career, an MTSU professor has won one of his profession’s highest honors. Carter F. Smith, a lecturer in the Department of Criminal Justice, received the Frederick Milton Thrasher Award from the Journal of Gang Research on Aug. 8 at the International Gang Specialist Training Conference in Chicago. The Thrasher Award was established in 1992 to honor and recognize superior scholarship, leadership, accomplishments, and service Carter F. Smith contributions in dealing with public safety issues like that posed by gangs. Smith, who had earned the honor twice before, is retired from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigations Command, where he established the Army’s first gang and extremist investigations team. He also provided and directed the security of several U.S. Army bases, supervised multinational fraud and theft investigations, and conducted various criminal and cybercrime investigations in Germany, South Korea, Panama, and the U.S. Smith’s areas of expertise include street gangs, military-trained gang members, gangs in the military, gangs in colleges and universities, organized crime, international and domestic terrorism, and employment in the criminal justice professions.

School of Rock MTSU merged its signature concrete management program with its construction counterpart to form the MTSU School of Concrete and Construction Management. School Director Heather Brown formally announced the merger and name change to industry representatives Dec. 8 at Ascend Amphitheater’s VIP Club in Nashville. MTSU has offered both the nationally recognized Concrete Industry Management degree program—the first of its kind in the country—and the highly successful residential/development and commercial construction program for more than 20 years. There are 310 students combined in the two majors. As of August 2016, department data showed 8.4 jobs per each graduating MTSU concrete major, and average starting salaries during 2012–16 included nearly $43,000 in Tennessee and nearly $51,000 out of state.

Aloha, Raiders! True Blue Diversity Ciara Taylor wants to assist doctors and nurses by working in a laboratory providing diagnostic test results in her future career. An MTSU senior and single mother of two children, Taylor, 23, of Chattanooga, was one of three recipients of $10,000 scholarships by the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation on Aug. 1, allowing her to further her education. The diversity scholarship program was launched to help address the growing need for a qualified and more inclusive workforce to deliver health care in Tennessee. Taylor, a 2010 Hixson High School graduate, pursues Pre-Medical Technology studies in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences at MTSU. Through its health foundation and community trust, BlueCross has invested $105,000 in Diversity Scholarships since 2013.

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In 2016, the Blue Raiders football squad played in its sixth bowl game in the Rick Stockstill era and third in the last four years. Stockstill’s Blue Raiders represented Conference USA in the 15th annual Hawai‘i Bowl, the only college football bowl game played on Christmas Eve. The game against the hometown Hawai‘i Rainbow Warriors aired nationally on ESPN. The Blue Raiders (8-5) went 5–3 in C-USA play and upset Southeastern Conference foe Missouri on the road in non-league action.


Flying High Again

Photo: J. IntIntoli

Students in MTSU’s Aerospace Maintenance Management program will also be taking their training to new heights thanks to Southwest Airlines’ recent generous donation of a turbofan airplane engine. The 4,300-pound CFM56 engine, which was used on flying aircraft, “rules the skies today with regard to commercial transportation,” said Bill Allen, associate professor and coordinator of the Maintenance Management concentration. The donation, with an estimated market value of $100,000, was arranged by alumnus Chad Rhyne, who works for Southwest. Such engines can cost millions of dollars brand new. “It’s a great asset for our program,” MTSU senior Jeremy Lacy said. “This is real-world experience right here. We can put this on our resume. I’m excited.”

Never Grow Up The MTSU Arts production of Peter Pan took place Nov. 3–6, 2016, in MTSU’s Tucker Theatre. The professional-caliber production was the latest from Theatre professor and Director Kristi Shamburger, who combined forces once again with musical director Raphael Bundage, a Vocal Performance professor in MTSU’s School of Music. Senior Daniel Meeks (pictured) of Chattanooga portrayed Captain James Hook. Sophomore Parker Chase of Memphis played Peter Pan. In all, MTSU’s Peter Pan featured a 34-member cast, an orchestra, and a crew that brought the total involved to nearly 60 people. Peter Pan continued the Department of Theatre and Dance’s large-scale musical production schedule, coming on the heels of West Side Story in spring 2016, La Cage Aux Folles in spring 2015, The Drowsy Chaperone in spring 2014, and the record-setting four-night run of Les Misérables in fall 2013.

Safety First

A Captain’s Chair MTSU students are the beneficiaries of a new $700,000 Department of Aerospace Flight Simulator Building dedicated in May 2016 at the Murfreesboro Municipal Airport. The 3,600-gross-square-foot facility houses four flight simulators at MTSU’s Flight Operations Center just off Memorial Boulevard. Other features include a classroom and six briefing rooms. The design of the building lends itself to future expansion in three directions, and the profile of the building’s roof is inspired by the profile of an aircraft wing. The simulators are used by all Professional Pilot students, from early training through their transition to turbine-powered aircraft.

MTSU was ranked among the Top 50 safest large universities in the nation, according to the website The data used to develop the campus safety ranking came from the U.S. Department of Education, as well as from the universities’ and colleges’ websites, U.S. News & World Report, and The National Center for Education Statistics. The website states that it used each respective school’s general crime report and the number of documented hate crimes, incidences of violence against women, arrests made, fires, and discipline-enforced activities for each in the last three years. Schools were given a safety grade based on those reports, with MTSU’s grade ranking it 40th on the list. “From providing RAD self-defense training to auto assistance, student-led patrol, and victim assistance, the safety crew at MTSU works closely with all components of campus life to instill and ensure a safe and healthful space,” the website states. “Their core values—honesty and integrity, respect for diversity, engagement in the community, and commitment to nonviolence—have led to MTSU’s recognition as one of the safest large schools in the country.” Among its numerous safety initiatives, MTSU has a full-time police force of 44 officers that includes a bicycle patrol and community policing, numerous surveillance cameras positioned throughout campus, and a critical notification system to alert the campus community during emergencies. Winter 2017 21

Photo:s J. IntIntoli

Participants in the Applied Leadership certificate program

A+ Science Project With the recent completion of $167 million in new and renovated science facilities, the College of Basic and Applied Sciences celebrated the opening of MTSU’s new Science Corridor of Innovation this winter. The University now boasts some of the finest combined science facilities in the South with the 2014 opening of MTSU’s new $147 million Science Building and the fall 2016 completion of $20 million in renovations to MTSU’s pre-existing science facilities—Davis Science Building and Wiser-Patten Science Hall. A true campus-within-a-campus, this complex is already helping MTSU prepare more teachers for math and science in K–12 schools, creating additional science graduates to fill high-technology jobs, and enhancing the economy of the region and state. The physical improvements will also make MTSU more competitive for research projects, science scholarship, and entrepreneurial efforts. State funds from the original Science Building project were allocated for the renovation project, which will directly or indirectly benefit all 11 CBAS departments in addition to some departments from other campus academic units.

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Corporate Partners The first group of enrollees began coursework in MTSU’s new program in leadership developed in concert with leading tire and rubber company Bridgestone Americas. Coordinated through MTSU’s University College, the new Applied Leadership certificate program offers adult learners already on the job a chance to earn additional job certifications—and even a bachelor’s degree—through online courses and short, intensive on-campus instruction. MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee said the program “perfectly illustrates the kind of close collaborations this University embraces to fill the educational needs of a dynamic workforce environment in the 21st century.” A student enrolling in the program can earn individual certificates in the following four areas: leadership theory, communication and problem solving, leading teams, and leading people and managing change. Students who obtain all four certificates—10 credit hours each for a total of 40 credit hours—and complete other general education and elective requirements can earn a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies with an Applied Leadership concentration. The cross-disciplinary Applied Leadership concentration features instructors from a range of academic areas, including retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Keith Huber, MTSU’s senior advisor for veterans and leadership initiatives.

Photo: Andy Heidt


photo: J. Intintoli

by Skip Anderson

University-operated WMOT, the most powerful radio signal in Tennessee, partners with industry to broadcast burgeoning Americana music


hen MTSU’s radio station WMOT-FM first fired up its signal in April 1969, the student-centered station broadcast pop/rock music at a time when Marvin Gaye was singing about unsettling news he had heard “through the grapevine,” the Beatles were telling Jo Jo to “get back,” and the Rolling Stones were extolling the virtues of America’s “honky-tonk women.” WMOT (89.5 on the dial) eventually switched its format to jazz music, a 100,000watt behemoth broadcasting masterworks by Miles, Ella, Duke, and Satchmo from the Tennessee/Alabama border to Bowling Green, Kentucky, and from Waverly to Monterey. Then in 2011, MTSU’s radio station again recast its emphasis to become the region’s premier classical radio station, adding timely news updates to increase its appeal to off-campus listeners.

5 . 9 8 NESSEE


What may be WMOT’s most calculated changeover in the station’s 47-year history, though, came in September 2016, when in a ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame’s Ford Theater in downtown Nashville, MTSU announced a partnership with Music City Roots and a retooling of the station to broadcast the burgeoning, singer/ songwriter-friendly Americana format. The transition makes WMOT the region’s only station devoted to the unique amalgam of bluegrass, folk, gospel, soul, country, and blues music defined in the music industry as Americana. “Imagine, in our neck of the woods, a radio station with real people playing music they actually care about, even love,” legendary performing songwriter and producer Rodney Crowell told MTSU Magazine. “WMOT is bringing middle Tennessee real music when we need it most,” added the artist, who received the Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting in 2006. “Miracles happen.”

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A Win-Win

Good Partners WMOT’s migration to roots music isn’t the only strong connection between the College of Media and Entertainment and the burgeoning Americana music genre. An ongoing, ambitious professional partnership between the college and the Americana Music Association, based in nearby Franklin, offers continual opportunities for MTSU music and media students to gain valuable out-of-class experience. The annual Americana Music Festival and Conference marks just one of those unique educational partnership opportunities. Under the partnership, prominent artists participate in special lectures at the University, while students get to attend, gain work experience, and obtain networking opportunities at the conference held each year in Nashville. Students and faculty from MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment contributed in a number of ways to the success of the most recent annual Americana Music Festival and Conference in Nashville in 2016. As just one example, students from the MTSU Seigenthaler News Service contributed five advance features that appeared both in the digital version of Nashville’s daily, The Tennessean, as well as the MTSU student news outlet Sidelines. Two of the articles also were picked up in the print version of The Tennessean.

The station’s program director, Jessie Scott, is a longstanding luminary in the music industry. Scott has worked as an influential DJ for decades and founded the highly regarded Music Fog video series. Scott also has served on the board of directors for the Americana Music Association since its inception in 1999. The reformatted station features live local DJs and unique, locally programmed playlists, attributes which Scott said provide listeners with an experience that goes beyond simply exposing the audience to music they might otherwise have trouble finding on the radio, while “mirroring the cadence of the week” in middle Tennessee. According to Scott, the mission of the station extends beyond entertainment and academia. “Radio still has an enormous impact on the population,” Scott said. “And much of what’s out there has become stale and redundant. WMOT is a living and breathing art form.” Americana recording artist Bonnie Bishop applauded the format shift. “WMOT is about to become one of the leading tastemakers in Americana radio,” Bishop said. “Hundreds of thousands of people in Tennessee, Alabama, and Kentucky are about to be exposed to a genre of music they may not even know exists, which could mean an increased demand for this format in other markets around the country. This is the exact kind of exposure that Americana artists desperately need. It’s very exciting!” The timing for the format change appears ideal, too. As a genre, Americana music is on the rise. To wit, the industry bible Billboard magazine recently added an Americana section to its weekly chart listings. Sometimes called “roots music” or “no-depression music,” Americana champions songwriters and performers in the tradition of the original country music that evolved throughout the 20th century, as well as blues, bluegrass, and alt-country. Breakout artists such as Margo Price, Parker Millsap, and Jason Isbell have a home under the Americana umbrella. Well-established recording artists whose music can be hard to find on traditional country radio stations—Lyle Lovett, Emmylou Harris, and John Hiatt, for instance—also have a home in Americana. Scott says WMOT seeks out music from talented “radio orphans” such as these. Ken Paulson, dean of MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment, which operates the station, said WMOT offers an opportunity for middle Tennesseans to tap into the works of internationally known artists based in Music City. “Among Nashville artists charting with Americana albums in recent months have been Sturgill Simpson, the Mavericks, Elizabeth Cook, Darrell Scott, Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell, and many more,” Paulson said. “Nashville is Americana’s hometown.” Paulson emphasized that WMOT continues to be a resource for MTSU students interested in learning marketable skills, including engineering, programming, audio editing, and narration. Val Hoeppner, executive director of MTSU’s Center for Innovation in Media, said the unique partnership with Music City Roots now enables MTSU to “continue to mentor and train students

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at MTSU for careers in journalism, the recording industry, radio, television, and beyond.” At press time, four students had already been hired to production posts with the station.

Jessie Scott and Keith Bilbrey at the WMOTFM/Roots Radio 89.5 Launch Celebration at the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Listening In To help ensure WMOT is well-rooted in the on-the-rise Americana music genre, MTSU partnered with Music City Roots, the weekly radio, television, and internet broadcast that offers a Nashvillecentric take on Americana music. Through this partnership, WMOT is the flagship station for Music City Roots and broadcasts the two-hour program that, according to its website, is produced in the tradition of a “historic legacy of live musical radio production in Nashville.” WMOT also broadcasts the Emmy award-winning PBS program and radio show Bluegrass Underground. “It is great to have a station like this in middle Tennessee for so many artists that would otherwise never receive airplay,” said Kelsey Waldon, listed alongside the Cadillac Three and the Black Lillies in Rolling Stone’s influential “10 Artists You Need to Know” feature in 2014. “Hearing John Prine and Guy Clark on FM radio again is a beautiful thing. I think this is of valuable quality for Nashville.” Music City Roots executive producer John Walker, who also oversees the development of new programs, hosts WMOT’s morning drive-time program. Grand Ole Opry mainstay Keith Bilbrey brings his expertise in country music to the midday broadcast, and veteran broadcaster Whit “Witness” Hubner works early afternoons. Importantly, Scott said, all shows are able to accommodate drop-in guests, including Music City artists as well as MTSU’s extensive roster of expert faculty such as Greg Reish, director of the Center for Popular Music at MTSU, widely recognized as one of the world’s deepest archives of recordings. Reish hosts a

For programming information, go to or Listeners can also enjoy the living and breathing art form via webstream at and the Roots Radio iPhone/ Android app. weekly show called Lost Sounds, diving into the CPM archives and extrapolating upon its historic context.

Remembering the Past WMOT has quickly climbed the ranks of most listened-to radio stations among the 43 operating in Nashville since the format change was made. Additionally, in the first month following the format change, WMOT and the College of Media and Entertainment raised more money to support the station’s operations than had been raised in the entirety of the previous year. And, while WMOT has officially changed its focus, program director Scott said jazz lovers need not worry.

“Not only did we not take jazz off the air, we’re broadcasting it 24/7 on our HD2 radio channel as well via FM signals 104.9 in Brentwood and 92.3 in Murfreesboro,” she said. WMOT will also remain the flagship for Blue Raider Athletics and will continue to air MTSU On the Record, a 30-minute public affairs interview program highlighting the University community, as well as regular local and national news updates. Make no mistake, though: With its seamless segue from a classical rendition of Aaron Copland’s “Hoedown” to its Americana interpretation completed, a new player has definitely emerged in the Nashville radio market. MTSU

Winter 2017 25

Professor Colby Jubenville’s formula for graduates’ success results in remarkable professional achievements by MTSU alumni like Anthony Dudley by Allison Gorman



Dudley is living proof that Dr. Jubenville’s model for coaching students to achieve their professional dreams and enter the workforce prepared for success is working. Dudley is currently senior director of development for the Nashville Sports Council and Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, the postseason college football bowl game that serves as that prominent organization’s premier annual event.


“Dr. Jubenville is probably the most unique and passionate person I have ever met,” Dudley said. “He exposes his students to things that you are not taught anywhere else.”


Dudley said he learned three important lessons while at MTSU that allow him to have success today: core values, perseverance, and a personal skill set—all of which he credits to Health and Human Performance professor Colby Jubenville.


MTSU Leisure and Sport Management graduate Anthony Dudley (’12) freely admits he did the bare minimum to pass classes and earn his undergraduate degree in English from Florida State University. Two years after graduation, at a standstill in his professional career, he decided to enroll in the master’s program at MTSU to pursue his true passion—sports.

Similar student stories abound regarding Jubenville’s teaching methods at MTSU.




Jubenville, who pioneered the sport management program within MTSU’s College of Behavioral and Health Sciences (CBHS), recalls catching Nowlin off guard with some tough questions: “Who are you waiting on permission from to be successful? Why are you sitting here wasting your time and wasting my time? Why did you go to college in the first place?”


Patrick Nowlin (’10) remembers being “a kid with long hair and a bad attitude” when he first met Jubenville. For his part, Jubenville remembers Nowlin as a student with good potential but lacking direction, certainly not on track for a career in the competitive field of sport management. Both of them say a 2009 meeting was a game-changer.

Photo by J. Intintoli

Alum Anthony Dudley, left, and Colby Jubenville, right, on location at Nissan Stadium, home of the Nashville Sports Council’s preeminent event, the Music City Bowl. Dudley, the Council’s development director, serves on the advisory board of MTSU’s Center for Student Coaching and Success, which is led by Jubenville.

Winter 2017 27

, continued from page 27 Over the next year and a half, Jubenville prodded, pushed, and ultimately empowered Nowlin to succeed. “He saw who I could be and not what I was,” Nowlin said. “He would highlight your strengths and make you feel 10 feet tall when you got praise from him, but he also provided corrective criticism to help you get better. He truly cared about you as a person and wanted nothing but the best from all his students.”

Alongside widely read commentators like Monica Crowley and Cal Thomas, MTSU professor Colby Jubenville regularly contributes his views on topics ranging from understanding millennials to selfreliance in both column and blog formats for national publication The Washington Times. Visit staff/colby-b-jubenville/ to read more. Jubenville has been getting the best from his students since he began building up the Leisure and Sport Management master’s program in 2001. Graduates from the Sport Industry concentration now occupy front-office positions in top-tier franchises like the Houston Astros, Tennessee Titans, and Talladega Motor Speedway, just to name a few. Nowlin, now regional manager for IMG Learfield Ticket Solutions, which handles athletic ticket sales for colleges across the country, compared Jubenville’s methods to a fine scotch. “It’s hard to handle at first, and you may not like it,” he said, “but the older you get, the more you realize how good it is.”

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As Jubenville describes it, the transformative process sounds more like career boot camp. “I know it works because I’ve replicated it year after year,” he said. “I’ve taken kids with no confidence and no focus and no intention and stripped them down and built them back up, and now they’re rock stars in the sport industry.” All those success stories caught the attention of CBHS Dean Terry Whiteside, who now offers Jubenville’s one-on-one mentoring throughout his college. In 2015, Whiteside named Jubenville as special assistant to the dean for student success and strategic partnerships. The college’s recently launched Center for Student Coaching and Success (CSCS), located in the new Miller Education Building on Bell Street, now represents an official space for Jubenville to do what he’s been doing unofficially for the last 15 years. As Jubenville sees it, the new center represents MTSU upholding its end of a sacred bargain, one in which students bet their money, time, and resources that colleges have what it takes to “get them in the game.” However, Jubenville argues, colleges usually don’t make good on that bet. Instead, he said, traditional higher education focuses too much on imparting information and not enough on building the critical skill set through which students gain confidence and become self-directed. “There’s an old saying, ‘You can’t give away what you don’t have,’” Jubenville said. “These kids are starved for somebody to show them the way. And so I teach them.” At the heart of that instruction is helping students systematically bridge what Jubenville calls a “challenging gap” between approaching graduation, finishing college, and securing gainful employment. “My whole focus at MTSU over the last 15 years is about helping students find their

voice, and voice is the intersection of talent, passion, conscience, and need in the world,” he said. Jubenville begins by helping students understand the difference between employment (“trading time for money”) and gainful employment (“gaining psychological satisfaction from the work you do”). He then helps them achieve gainful employment by identifying where they want to go and taking actionable steps to get there. In the process, he teaches them how to separate themselves from their competition by enhancing their knowledge, skills, desire, confidence, likeability, and network, as well as their “unique perspective” on the world. (See the sidebar titled “The Center of it All” for more specifics on Jubenville’s teaching approach in the center.) One of the first questions he asks students is “Where are you from?” because he believes the answer reveals a foundation for that unique perspective. Jubenville (as he’s quick to point out) is from coastal Alabama, where residents celebrate “the jubilee,” a periodic phenomenon that causes crab, shrimp, and other seafoodto-be to swarm the beaches of Mobile Bay. “I’m from Mobile . . . on the bay, people can literally walk down to the shore and pick up the abundance from the Gulf of Mexico,” he said. “It’s important for somebody to understand that, because that’s what I believe about life, that’s what I believe about opportunity.”

With his liquid accent, contagious fervor, and colorful language, Jubenville might have made a good preacher at a tent revival. Instead, he initially applied his skills set to another great Southern tradition: coaching football. He played the game first, as a defensive lineman at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. Then, as a young faculty member at Belhaven University in Jackson,

he helped build an NAIA football program from the ground up. “No phones, no computers, no players, no uniforms—just a dream,” he said. “We ended up ranked in our first season.”

“That’s what great coaches do for you,” Jubenville said. “First, they make you have conversations that you don’t want to have. Second, they make you do things you don’t think you can do.”

Because the job required too much time away from his children, Jubenville retired from coaching football. But he never stopped coaching people, and football still informs his unique perspective.

“And third,” Jubenville said, “they open doors you don’t know how to open.”

“The idea of using adversity to accelerate your growth, the idea of how to handle sudden change— those were born out of my coaching background,” he said.

Gallagher talked about the blog a lot, Jubenville recalls.

According to Jubenville, students— like football players—respond best to individualized coaching. Some, like his former student Jon Salge, simply require steady cheering from the sidelines. Salge was already a scout for the Titans when he realized he needed the professional advantage of an advanced degree. He said Jubenville talked him through all the logistical concerns—“I won’t have as much time with my wife, I’ll be tired, it costs money, it’s a pain in the rear end to drive to Murfreesboro”—that had kept him from enrolling in MTSU’s sport management graduate program. Over the next two years, Jubenville urged Salge forward with constant support and reminders of how valuable that master’s degree would be. After 10 seasons with the Titans, Salge still benefits from Jubenville’s coaching. “There are conversations he and I had that I still look back on today if I need a little extra push to get through a difficult challenge or task,” Salge said. While he credits Jubenville with making him see his dream through to fruition, Jubenville said Salge just needed a nudge to get his dream off the ground.

Jubenville did all three for Michael Gallagher, who had aspirations of being a great sports writer—and a great idea for a blog.

“Finally I said, ‘I’m tired of hearing about this idea for a blog. Start writing a blog.’ And so he wrote it, and some of the stuff he wrote was really good,” Jubenville said. One day Gallagher showed up in Jubenville’s office visibly frustrated; he needed to secure an internship but had no idea how to do it. Jubenville called his friend David Boclair, a senior sports writer for the Nashville Post, and invited him to lunch. He took Gallagher along. At the end of lunch, Jubenville asked Boclair to give Gallagher a shot. That shot eventually became a paying gig, with encouraging feedback from Boclair to Gallagher— I t amazes me how much better you get every time you write. . . . I think if I start to give you 10 items a week to write, you could be a Pulitzer Prize winner by Christmas. —who sent this e-mail to Jubenville: T hank you again for everything you have done for me. I can say without a doubt that I am in the right career, meeting the right people, and doing what I love. Those results were worth the lunch tab, Jubenville said. “Hey, if it costs me 80 bucks for a kid to get in the game, I’ll spend the 80 bucks. I’ll get him in the game,” Jubenville said.

When students step into the new Center for Student Coaching and Success located in the new Miller Education Building, they’ll know it means business, said Colby Jubenville, the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences’ special assistant to the dean for student success and strategic partnerships. The space reflects the corporate America where grads hope to land. Through individual, peer, and group coaching sessions, Jubenville said the center will help students make the leap from college to career by developing their knowledge, skills, desire, confidence, likeability, and networks, allowing them, in Jubenville’s words, to “win in the marketplace of ideas.” They do so by focusing on five areas, which Jubenville labels “The Five to Arrive”: • Academic skills and critical thinking: Students will learn Jubenville’s Self-Directed, Self-Selected coaching model to learn to effectively solve problems and make decisions, just as they will be expected to do on the job. • Emotional intelligence: Studies have shown that the ability to identify and manage your own and others’ emotions is the strongest predictor of workplace performance, Jubenville said. • Personal branding: Using materials from Me: How to Sell Who You Are, What You Do, and Why You Matter to the World, a book Jubenville co-wrote with MTSU business professor Dr. Don Roy, students will create a personal brand for a competitive edge. • Persuasion: Students will be exposed to concepts and theories that will help them influence others. • Career development: Partnering with the MTSU Career Development Center, students can complete personality/career assessments, develop their resumes, train for interviews, and take advantage of new technologies like CareerShift and Career Clustering. Visit the center’s website at for more information.

John Floyd started his career in real estate in 1986 at the age of 23. His Murfreesboro company, Ole South Properties, recently completed construction of its 10,000th home and averages building a whopping 650 to 825 homes annually. In 2008, Floyd was honored as the Nashville Business Journal’s Entrepreneur of the Year. Other professional accolades include being named Tennessee Home Builder of the Year by the Home Builders Association of Tennessee and being recognized by the Tennessee Housing and Development Agency as the Builder of the Year for 2012, ’13, and ’14. Floyd has consistently parlayed his success in business into an opportunity to give back to the community he lives in. With the creation of the John Floyd Charitable Foundation, well in excess of $1 million in financial, material, and labor support has already been given to various organizations throughout middle Tennessee. For example, in partnership with the Rutherford County Home Builders Association, Floyd recently led an effort to renew the building trades vocational program at Oakland High School, a project designed to replenish the skilled labor workforce in middle Tennessee. Ole South is also actively involved in the Academy of Architecture and Construction at Nashville’s Cane Ridge High School, among numerous other civic organizations.

Floyd said his gift to create the Center for Student Coaching and Success at MTSU represents the organic relationship between the University as an economic driver for the region and the success his company has enjoyed as a provider of affordable housing throughout middle Tennessee. “It comes around,” Floyd said. “I’m just reinvesting in the community. I’ve done extremely well in this community, and MTSU in many ways represents a lot of my success.” The close relationship between Floyd and Jubenville also played a crucial role in the development of the gift. According to Floyd, Jubenville helped him “think differently” about the 2008 recession that devastated many home builders. “We all have challenges, and when you work through those challenges together, it forms a bond,” Floyd explained. Floyd later attended some of Jubenville’s on-campus classes where he was able to witness the professor’s decidedly outof-the-box approach to inspiring and developing his students through an emphasis on specific knowledge that will help them get into a career. Once Floyd saw Jubenville had a formula that worked and a proven track record of student success, he said he “got on board.” “John is in it for the greater good,” Jubenville said. “He likes to see people make an investment in themselves that will pay dividends for the rest of their lives.”

, continued from page 29 Getting kids in the game has been critical to the sport management program since day one. Networking is how careers are launched and furthered, Jubenville said, and it should start in college, facilitated by faculty. “If you want to build a great program, you must first build great opportunities, because great opportunities will bring in the great students,” he said. And so Jubenville spent his first two years at MTSU building sport industry relationships in middle Tennessee and beyond. By year three, those relationships were bearing fruit for his students. Along the way, Jubenville has practiced what he preaches and strengthened his own professional network. He has become a sought-after international speaker and consultant and racked up high-profile honors like the Nashville Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 award and the 30 MTSU Magazine

Nashville Emerging Leaders Impact Award from the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, an award honoring an individual dedicated to community leadership and professional development. “I’m very fortunate to be part of a community like middle Tennessee,” Jubenville said. “I tell people all the time you can sell used chewing gum in Murfreesboro and make money, and along the way I’ve met some key people that are drivers of the economy.”

Jubenville counseled one of those drivers, John Floyd, owner of Ole South Properties—which recently constructed its 10,000th home— through the economic downturn of 2008. In return, eight years later, Floyd recently pledged $1 million to help launch the aforementioned Center for

—John Floyd

Student Coaching and Success at MTSU. Half of that pledge has already been delivered to the University.

others, and to be more influential and persuasive,” he said. “This takes student success beyond graduation.”

Floyd said he strongly believes in the work the center will accomplish.

Additional major gifts are in the works that will bolster the new center’s size and scope. MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee has expressed his desire to raise additional funds for the center that would enable Jubenville to expand the size and scope of his student mentorship program campus-wide.

“The vision is that students will become gainfully employed even before walking across the graduation stage,” he said. “This is about getting laser-focused and intentional about the career path these students want to create for themselves and starting down that path while they are still in school—not the day they graduate.” Dean Whiteside said Floyd’s gift enables his college to give more than lip service to MTSU’s University-wide mantra of ensuring student success. “This enables us to take students beyond a traditional college education, to make them more impressive in job interviews, teach them how to market themselves, how to understand themselves and

Jubenville’s approach well reflects McPhee’s vision to seize the opportunity to innovate, transform, and lead the way in creating a new model for higher education. The center’s creation, in fact, aligns perfectly with a major initiative McPhee launched in 2013—the MTSU Quest for Student Success— a plan emphasizing student retention

and graduation over sheer enrollment and which aims to make MTSU students successful even beyond their years at the University. The goals of the Quest, and of the new center, in turn align perfectly with the new state funding formula for colleges, as well as Gov. Bill Haslam’s Drive for 55 initiative aimed at increasing the number of Tennesseans with degrees and certifications to 55 percent. Doing so, the governor has said, is crucial to meeting the workforce demands of the coming decades. Right now, the center is benefitting from Jubenville’s network. But done right, the center will create its own beneficial network of gainfully employed graduates, Jubenville said. “If they want to come back and speak, if they want to write a check, if they want to hire our students,” he said, “that’s what success looks like to me.” MTSU Winter 2017 31

MTSU experts spearhead the effort to bring the remains of MexicanAmerican war soldiers with Volunteer State ties back to the U.S. by Andrew Oppmann


ith dignified precision befitting the honors due to fallen American soldiers, as many as 13 skeletal remains unearthed from what was a Mexican battlefield 170 years ago were welcomed home to the U.S. at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Sept. 28. The solemn movement of the two flag-draped transfer cases, believed to contain members of the Tennessee militia who died in the Battle for Monterrey in 1846, was the culmination of more than five years of diplomatic negotiation, sparked by the urging of an MTSU anthropology professor. That professor, Hugh Berryman, director of MTSU’s Forensic Institute for Research and Education, stood on the flight line at the home to the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System to witness the transfer of the remains from the Army C-12 aircraft and to pay his respects. For Berryman, his work has just begun. He is now leading a team of MTSU professors, including Shannon Hodge, a bioarchaeologist with a specialty in paleopathology, and Derek Frisby, a military historian in the Global Studies Department, along with experts from other academic institutions, who have volunteered to assist the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System in the historical, bio-archaeological, and forensic analysis of the remains. “The skeleton is excellent at recording its own history,” Berryman said. There’s a remote possibility, he added, that they may even be able to identify the remains. From U.S. Army press releases to coverage by news outlets around the country, the story made national headlines. Berryman’s involvement with the repatriation of the remains dates back to 2013 and began through his work as a consultant to the military’s forensic efforts. Intrigued by the potential tie to Tennessee, Berryman mounted a concerted effort to have the remains brought to the U.S.

32 MTSU Magazine

The project earned a $55,000 grant from the Tennessee Wars Commission and picked up support from members of the state’s congressional delegation. Joining Berryman in Dover was U.S. Rep. Diane Black, R-Gallatin, as well as MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, Interim Provost Mark Byrnes, College of Liberal Arts Interim Dean Karen Petersen, and retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Keith Huber, the University’s senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives. Also, presiding over the movement was U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Robert Moore, a native of Murfreesboro and Riverdale High School graduate, who received his master’s degree from MTSU’s Jones College of Business in 1990. “After five years of ongoing negotiations with the Mexican government, we have finally returned our fallen Volunteer State heroes back to American soil,” said Black, whose congressional office joined the push in 2011. In 2013, U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-South Pittsburg, asked the Department of Defense to secure the remains and for Tennesseans to be buried in the Gallatin City Cemetery, the site of a Mexican-American War memorial. Black and U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, also signed the letter. U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Nashville, and U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, Hugh Berryman speaks to media at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. Behind him are U.S. Rep. Diane Black and MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee.

Members of the U.S. military conduct the “solemn movement” of a flag-draped transfer case containing skeletal remains unearthed from what was a Mexican battlefield. Far left is retired Lt. Gen. Keith M. Huber, MTSU’s senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives.

R-Tennessee, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joined the effort as well. McPhee thanked the entire congressional delegation and praised Berryman and the other MTSU professors affiliated with the project.

U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Robert Moore, who received his master’s degree from MTSU’s Jones College of Business in 1990, also presided over the movement.

“The work by Professor Berryman and his colleagues reflects the very best of our University’s commitment to innovation, dedication, and public service,” he said. The Mexican-American War cemented Tennessee’s reputation as the “Volunteer State.” American soldiers, both regulars and volunteers, engaged in urban combat for the first time at Monterrey, and the lesson proved costly, particularly for many Tennesseans. Due to the logistical difficulties in transporting the dead, many of those killed were likely buried near the Tannery Fort site. Over the next 150 years, Monterrey expanded rapidly around and over the battlefield. In 1996, construction of an apartment/ parking complex revealed human remains believed to be those of Americans killed during the Battle of Monterrey. Historical evidence strongly indicates that these burials are likely those of Tennesseans or Mississippians who fell taking Tannery Fort. MTSU

Winter 2017 33

On Solid Ground by Skip Anderson


n one important way, Blue Raider Realty isn’t like most brokerage firms. Sure, it’s a privately held, for-profit business that provides the complete gamut of commercial and residential real estate services in middle Tennessee. But Blue Raider Realty distinguishes itself from other real estate companies in that it’s also an organization specifically created to give MTSU undergraduate and graduate students hands-on experience in the for-profit world of real estate transactions. Evidence of this mission is found in the very first steps toward establishing this innovative—and independent—resource, according to Philip Seagraves, assistant professor of Real Estate and a real estate investor, developer, and broker. Seagraves birthed the concept several years ago and turned the student realty company into reality after joining MTSU’s faculty in the Jennings A. Jones College of Business. “Instead of having students who are interested in real estate try to figure out what to do after graduating, we help them to be up and running,” he said. “The idea is to have them obtain their license and already be established and working in the real estate industry by the time they graduate. This way, the new graduates can go wherever they want to go without wondering whether they have what it takes to do the work or to get their license. And for potential employers, these graduates will already be a proven quantity—they’re not this huge risk with question marks hanging over their heads.” MTSU students in the program are eligible to earn commissions, just as if they were in the real workforce— because, as a hallmark of this inventive program, they are in the real workforce under the guidance of experienced mentors such as managing broker Kathy Jones (see sidebar, Getting

34 MTSU Magazine

Involved, on page 36). Students also learn about other important areas of the real estate profession, too, such as property appraisals, financing, marketing, and administration. The funds that come into the brokerage firm give students opportunities to help make decisions about how to invest in the business, fund scholarships, and further educate the team.

Boots on the Ground Blue Raider Realty started as an offshoot of MTSU’s Blue Raider Real Estate Club. The process of evolving into an actual realty company began in 2015, when club members renovated and marketed a group of commercial properties in downtown Murfreesboro that Seagraves, in partnership with Burton Street Development, acquired and handed over to students. Seagraves and partners purchased the old Neal’s Electric and Lighting Center, as well as two other buildings on West Burton and North Front streets, at auction for $420,000. Students were paid to renovate the properties, perform market analysis, and market and list the properties for sale. The properties provided a much-needed, off-campus location to fully launch Blue Raider Realty in April 2016. Around that time, Seagraves also enlisted then-M.B.A. student Jackie McKee to be the listing agent for the West Burton Street property. McKee had procured her affiliate broker license prior to earning her master’s from Jones College in December 2015, making her eligible to participate in the property purchase. “There were not many of us in the club who were licensed brokers,” she said. “I had not graduated with my M.B.A. at that point, but I had my affiliate broker license. I was, in the end, the official representative for the property.” McKee had enrolled at MTSU as a nontraditional graduate student, having previously worked in the fields of chemistry and microbiology after earning a B.S. in Biology from Old Dominion University. While at MTSU, McKee concentrated on management and marketing. She is now working as a Realtor and affiliate broker with Coldwell Banker Snow & Wall in Murfreesboro. The experience and camaraderie Blue Raider Realty provided McKee inspired her to “pay it forward.” After the sale of the property closed, McKee decided to make a donation to Blue Raider Realty—a scholarship of sorts. “She donated part of her commission back to the program,” Seagraves said. “That has helped fund the licensing training for students who came after her.” McKee remains available to students at Blue Raider Realty. “I am still talking to some of the students in the program,” she said. “I think of myself as a good general resource for them.”

photo: J. Intintoli

MTSU’s real estate brokerage firm allows MTSU students to get real-world experience before they graduate

Blue Raider Realty managing broker Kathy Jones (center, holding sign) with MTSU real estate students (l to r) Nija Threat, Mark Dunn, Cayman Seagraves, Daniel Vincent, and Jennifer Mayberry, along with professor Philip Seagraves (far right) outside the Parks Group offices in Murfreesboro.

Winter 2017 35

As it is with McKee, Seagraves sees the relationships with his students continuing after graduation, helping the program grow and further establish Blue Raider Realty in the community. Seagraves hopes to inspire similar engagement not only from past graduates like McKee, but also from working professionals across the region wishing to help prepare those entering the real estate field. To help more students get their starts, Blue Raider Realty has committed to dedicate a portion of every commission earned to help provide scholarships for other students seeking their real estate licenses. “The hope is that we’ll have more and more individuals from the alumni community and the local business community to serve as advisors or maybe be on the board of the directors,” Seagraves said. “I’d like to get investments from people to help us with marketing Blue Raider Realty or make an investment to build an online or training program to help students prepare for their licensure exams. We have the brainpower to do that, but we’d need an investment as far as technology to do that.”

Closing the Deal If student results are a barometer for giving, potential donors can rest assured they are making a sound investment in the Blue Raider Realty initiative. In 2015, the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts and two other partners sponsored the inaugural Real Confidence University Portfolio Challenge, in which teams from 15 universities nationwide vied to create the best-performing portfolio from a mixture of real estate investments.

Getting Involved

Mark Dunn and Jennifer Mayberr

photo: J. Intintoli

On Solid Ground, cont. from page 34

y at the Parks Group office in Mur


Under the terms of the challenge, each team chose how it would allocate $1 billion to four quadrants of commercial real estate investment: public equity, private equity, public debt, and private debt. The best-performing portfolio over a four-quarter period was declared the grand prize winner on July 30, 2016. The winning university received $50,000 for use within its real estate or business program or for scholarships. MTSU finished third, ahead of Harvard, among many others. The second annual event launched last summer and is in progress. MTSU is among 32 universities entered this year. In the end, Seagraves has a simple mission for Blue Raider Realty. “We intend to be a first-rate brokerage firm,” he said. “We want to supply our competitors with a staff of great people in the near future. We do that by helping them to be great while they’re here, too. The students have such enthusiasm for the profession, and they can learn from our knowledge, academic theory, and, yes, even the bruises we sustained in the profession.” By enabling MTSU students to get their real estate licenses and real-world experience long before they graduate, Seagraves and the Jones College of Business are clearly making sure students are pre-approved for success. MTSU

Kathy Jones, a long-

time member of the Bob Parks Realty team, recently stepped up to lead Blue Raider Realty as the managing broker. “I’m proud to be a part of giving back to the students of my alma mater, and helping them get their start in this great industry,” Jones said. With Jones coming on board, Blue Raider Realty LLC is now housed in the Parks Group offices in Murfreesboro but will remain its own separate, independent firm, serving as an incubator for new brokers.

36 MTSU Magazine

Philip Seagraves, the assistant professor who birthed the Blue Raider Realty concept, said he couldn’t thank Bob Parks and his team enough for opening their doors to MTSU’s new brokerage. “Other brokerages kindly offered to help, but only the Parks Group was willing to have one of their top people help lead Blue Raider Realty and let the students continue to operate it as a separate, independent company,” he said. Local realtors David and Ann Hoke with Ann Hoke & Associates Keller Williams Realty in

Murfreesboro also committed to fund a Real Estate scholarship of $1,000 a year for a $25,000 total endowment. Those interested in learning more about real estate, securing possible summer internships in the industry, supporting the program, or getting involved in the brokerage or the real estate club should email Philip Seagraves at

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Almost 100 Civil Air Patrol cadets spent a week on the MTSU campus for their annual training encampment by Andrew Oppmann


ourteen full-time faculty members, 35 flight instructors, and more than 750 majors place MTSU’s Aerospace program among the largest of the nation’s collegiate aviation programs. Civil Air Patrol (CAP), a 61,000-member volunteer civilian organization founded in 1941 and chartered by Congress to support the Air Force and best known for inland search-and-rescue missions, has aerospace education as one of its primary missions. Seizing on their shared mission, MTSU and CAP formally partnered in 2014 to benefit each other in aerospace education for state high school students. For CAP, its cadet program for youths ages 12 to 21 gained opportunities to connect with MTSU’s Department of Aerospace faculty and facilities. For MTSU, connecting young cadets early on to the Aerospace program serves to boost the University’s ability to attract top-flight CAP cadets interested in exploring careers in aerospace (or other fields) to MTSU. Wendy Beckman, chair of MTSU’s Aerospace Department, describes the relationship as a true “win-win.” “Since these students are already interested in aviation, they are very enthusiastic and well-informed participants in the activities we conduct with them,” she said. “The chance to show these cadets our facilities, faculty, and staff is also a terrific way to make a good impression, which will hopefully result in a decision to attend MTSU when it’s time to select a university.” Two such talented cadets are freshman Josh Brinegar and senior Joshua Williams. Their stories well elucidate the clear positives that both MTSU and CAP enjoy as a result of this strong connection.

38 MTSU Magazine

Cadet Lt. Col. Josh Brinegar of Hohenwald, the second-ranking youth officer, started attending MTSU during the Fall 2016 semester as one of the new class of Buchanan Scholars, the University’s highest academic scholarship. Brinegar is a veteran of the CAP Tennessee Wing Drill Team and has received several honors. Among them, Brinegar was awarded the General Ira C. Eaker Award in 2015, an achievement only 2 percent of all cadets receive. He also was given the prestigious Veterans of Foreign Wars Cadet Officer Award for 2014–15. Brinegar has elected to major in another one of MTSU’s nationally recognized academic programs, Concrete Industry Management (CIM). “As a kid, I loved creating things with all the Legos we had,” Brinegar told MTSU. “I still do! As I have learned about the CIM program and what it offers, I believe I can take the creative fire I have and put it to use, along with the knowledge I’ll gain at MTSU.”

Brinegar is just beginning his MTSU-CAP experience. Cadet 1st Lt. Joshua Williams of Smyrna, by contrast, is already a senior Honors College student at MTSU, majoring in Criminal Justice Administration. An Army ROTC member, who recently concluded his final encampment for CAP, Williams is closing that chapter of his life. “I’m looking forward to training my replacement, making sure the cadets have the right command, and the biggest goal is for

Photo of CAP at the Middle Tennessee State College airport from the 1952 Midlander Cadet Lt. Col. Josh Brinegar

Cadet 1st Lt. Joshua Williams

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Keith Huber, Ret.

them to achieve excellence and bring that to their squadrons, schools, and homes,” Williams said. Williams actually started taking classes on campus at the age of 16. Now, he plans to graduate as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army. Following his time in the military, his goal is to work for the FBI or CIA. “As an Honors student, Army cadet, and Air Force officer, I work to exceed the passing grade,” Williams told MTSU.

Almost 100 Tennessee Wing Civil Air Patrol cadets, including Brinegar and Williams, spent a week this past summer on the MTSU campus for the U.S. Air Force auxiliary’s weeklong annual training encampment. The cadets lived in campus residence halls, attended special presentations by the University on aerospace and leadership, and learned military drill and customs during the encampment. It was the first time CAP’s Tennessee Wing has held its annual training for cadets on a university campus. Department of Aerospace faculty trained cadets on MTSU’s 360-degree air traffic control simulator, as well as equipment at the aerospace campus at Murfreesboro Municipal Airport. Another opportunity came in the form of a lesson in leadership and service from retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Keith Huber,

—Wendy Beckman

MTSU’s senior advisor for veterans and leadership initiatives. The event on campus was so successful that CAP has agreed to hold another weeklong annual training encampment on the campus of MTSU this summer.

The encampment isn’t the only recent example of the high level of collaboration taking place these days between MTSU and CAP. Another included Murfreesboro native Dr. Rhea Seddon and (Capt. USN, Ret.) Robert “Hoot” Gibson sharing their out-of-this-world experiences as astronauts with 1,000 people attending the 75th anniversary celebration of the Civil Air Patrol Aug. 12 at the 2016 CAP national conference in Nashville. MTSU’s Department of Aerospace served as a sponsoring partner of the event. Such activity has really only renewed MTSU’s close ties with CAP that stretch back to July 1948, the year CAP’s Middle Tennessee State College Squadron was organized (MTSU’s Aerospace Department was six years old at the time). Based at the old College Airport, the squadron was comprised of pilots trained on campus and was recognized for its search-and-rescue work. It operated on campus until 1953. MTSU Early CAP[Editor’s Photo Note: Andrew Oppmann, MTSU vice president of marketing and communications, also serves as a lieutenant colonel in the Civil Air Patrol.]

Winter 2017 39

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1970s Larry C. Hayes (’70,’71), Savannah, Georgia, retired after 30 years as a Veterans Administration clinical psychologist primarily treating returning war veterans with PTSD. Hayes previously retired as a lieutenant colonel with 30 years active and reserve duty as a clinical psychologist with the Navy and Army, including a stint serving the Special Forces Delta group at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina.

Robert Adams Robert Adams (’73), retired as CEO of National HealthCare Corp., the nation’s oldest publicly traded senior health care company, effective Dec. 31. Adams remains as non-executive chairman of the board following his retirement. The CEO since 2004, Adams has spent four decades at NHC, a period of remarkable growth for the company. NHC affiliates today operate more than 70 long-term health care centers for themselves and third parties, with more than 9,000 beds total.

Susan Woods Thurman (’76), Columbia, chief photographer for the Columbia Daily Herald, was honored by the Tennessee Press Association with first prize for news photo in the annual state contest. Art Swary (’79), Carrollwood, Florida, recently retired after 37 years of teaching and coaching wherein he won numerous championships and awards coaching football and golf, as well as sponsoring student government organizations.

1980s Deborah Boyd Deborah Boyd (’75, ’81, ’97), was named dean of the Lipscomb University College of Education, succeeding Candice McQueen, who was appointed Tennessee commissioner of education. As interim dean, Boyd led the college to an increase in enrollment. During this time, the college was also ranked No. 1 in the nation by the National Council of Teacher Quality.

Ralph Jones (’82,’88), Murfreesboro, history teacher at The Webb School for 28 years, was recognized by The Webb School Parents’ Association with the 2016 WSPA Faculty Enrichment Award presented annually to an outstanding member of the teaching faculty. Dr. Brian Grisham (‘84), Nashville, was recently elected as president of the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards

and Training, an international association of state and national Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission and academy directors. Dr. Angela Radford Lewis (’84,’96), Johnson City, was named an ACE Fellow by the American Council on Education. She serves as East Tennessee State University’s associate vice provost for undergraduate programs, curricula, and service. Mark Gwyn (’85), Old Hickory, was reappointed by Gov. Bill Haslam as director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Prior to his initial appointment as TBI director in 2004, he led the agency’s Forensic Services Division. Edward Vann Jr. (’87,’03), Culleoka, was appointed senior pastor of McMinnville United Methodist Church. Vann currently serves on the Tennessee Conference Worship Committee. Col. William E. “Bamm” Wynns Jr. (’87), Lebanon, recently retired from the Tennessee Army National Guard after a distinguished 33-year military career.

1990s Larry Brown (’90,’95,’09), Mount Pleasant, was named the first athletic director for Maury County. For the past 15 years, he has been principal at Mount Pleasant Elementary School. Laurie Ralston (’90), Tullahoma, was appointed pastor for Normandy United Methodist Church. Ralston is also a member of the board of

To submit class notes and pictures, go to, or email Winter 2017 41

Stephen Crass Stephen Crass (’75), longtime editor and publisher of the Cleveland Daily Banner, retired in January 2017. Crass began serving as publisher of the Banner in 2000. In all, he spent 40 years in the newspaper business. During his career, Crass also served as vice chairman of the Cleveland-Bradley Chamber of Commerce board of directors and as chairman of the board of the United Way of Bradley County, among numerous other civic activities.

continued from page 41

1980s, cont. directors for the Tullahoma Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Debbie Byrd (’91), Knoxville, was named the new dean of the Gatton College of Pharmacy at East Tennessee State University. James “Brian” Byrd (’91,’96), Milton, is the new chief financial officer for Roscoe Brown Inc. Jerry Tomlinson Jr. (’91), Nashville, was promoted to fire district chief by the Nashville Fire Department. He joined the department in 1995 as a firefighter. Trever Bernarding (’92), Hixson, joined SIGNiX as vice president of technology, leading software development and operations at the provider of cloud-based Independent E-Signature solutions. Onita Smith Porter (’92), Lewisburg, is a chief audit officer for Columbia-based First Farmers and Merchants Bank. She recently served as the director of the CPA Examination Review Board for the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. Dana Barrett (’93), Murfreesboro, was hired by the United

42 MTSU Magazine

Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties as director of development. She previously served as marketing coordinator and real estate agent for Parks Realty. Kimberly Nowell (’94), Franklin, was named senior vice president of human resources for Ingram Barge Company. Andrew Jakes (’95,’03), Murfreesboro, was hired by Wilson Bank and Trust as senior vice president. Jason Surratt (’97), Smyrna, joined Franklin Synergy Bank as vice president and community banker with the bank’s Rutherford County banking team. He joins Franklin Synergy from Honor Bank in Traverse City, Michigan, where he served as commercial relations manager. Linda Olsen (’98), Murfreesboro, joined MTSU as the director of undergraduate recruitment. Formerly, she was director of admissions and advising for Eastern Florida State College. Daphne Davis (’99), Nashville, was named general counsel for the Tennessee State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police. She will continue her private practice concentrating in police defense.

Travis Lytle (’99), Chattanooga, was promoted to senior vice president and relationship manager by SmartBank. Beverly Miller (’99), Pulaski, was promoted to director of instruction by the Maury County Public Schools and is responsible for curriculum review and implementation.

2000s Gilbert Backlund Jr. (’00), Murfreesboro, retired from Stones River National Battlefield as chief of operations after nearly 40 years with the National Park Service. Martha Akins (’00), Castalian Springs, was hired as deputy director for facilities for Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. She previously held the position of historic sites program director for the Tennessee Historical Commission. Bryan “Keith” Palmer (’00), Murfreesboro, accepted a position as a development officer for the Tennessee Tech University School of Nursing and College of Agriculture and Human Ecology. Charles Hoover Jr. (’02), White House, was promoted to fire assistant chief by the Nashville Fire Department. He joined the department in 1991 as a firefighter.

James “Chip” Hoover (’02), Murfreesboro, was promoted to senior vice president by J. Smith Lanier and Co., one of the largest privately owned insurance brokers in the United States. Mary Maples (’02), Gatlinburg, was named the new director of the Smoky Mountain Tourism and Development Council. Casey Rainey (’02), Murfreesboro, was named the August 2016 Volunteer of the Month by the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties. He currently serves as the vice president of investments for Rainey Asset Management of Raymond James. He also is the finance chair of the board of directors for the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties and was the 2015 chair for the Murfreesboro Young Professionals. Travis Watson (’02), Cleveland, is head baseball coach for Tennessee Wesleyan College. Kimberly Stines Ballard (’03,’11), Flintville, was elected the first female president of the Franklin County Farm Bureau, the voice for Franklin County agriculturalists. Andrew Brooks (’03), Franklin, was promoted to senior associate at Diversified Trust, a wealth management firm with more than $5 billion in client assets. Phillip Holt (’03), Hendersonville, is the new principal for Station Camp Elementary. He had been a leadership coach with the Tennessee Department of Education and was selected as a participant in the Principals’ Leadership Academy of Nashville through Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College.

Paula Mansfield


Former First Tennessee Bank executive Paula Mansfield (’82) said she remembers the first time she stepped foot on the Blue Raider campus as an undergraduate and marvels at the transformation she’s witnessed in the years since. And with more than three decades of “relationship building” in the financial services industry, Mansfield wants to help continue the transformation at her alma mater through her new role as the director of strategic partnerships in the Office of University Advancement, which she assumed in 2016. Mansfield said she was attracted to the position “by the potential to create a roadmap where industry and the University could intersect for mutual gain” by tapping into the unique resources that both offer. Her new role will allow Mansfield to assist companies in such areas as student recruitment, joint research projects, student-designed projects including capstone work, technology commercialization, faculty consulting, professional workforce development, use of lab space and campus facilities, and intellectual exchange for problem-solving. Mansfield’s ties to and knowledge about MTSU run deep, since she has served as president of the National Alumni Association, among other roles.

Gerald Brown (’04), LaVergne, was named chief executive officer for Nashville-Based nonprofit Dismas Inc., providing temporary homes and support services for citizens returning to mainstream society from prisons and jails. He is also president-elect for the Middle Tennessee Chapter of

the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Justin Burriss (’04,’08), Murfreesboro, joined Franklin Synergy Bank as assistant vice president and commercial banker. Taffey Hall (’05), Niota, was named the new director of the

Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives. Jesse Newsom (’05), Franklin, was hired as the new director of tourism for the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce in Alabama. He previously served at the Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Stephanie Russell (’05), Olathe, Kansas, joined Sage Communications as account lead on the senior leadership team overseeing marketing and communications plans for clients, which include John Deere and Nova Source.

Roy Vaughn BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee appointed Roy Vaughn (’82) as senior vice president and chief communications officer, overseeing all communication functions at BlueCross including public affairs and media relations, internal communications, brand strategy, market research and advertising, marketing communications, and provider communications. Additionally, he is now responsible for the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation and community relations. The Chattanooga-based company serves more than 3.4 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Vaughn joined BlueCross in 2007 as director of communications and was quickly promoted to the role of vice president for that function. Prior to BlueCross, Vaughn was a partner in the Nashville public relations firm of Katcher Vaughn and Bailey Public Relations. Vaughn, past chairman of the board of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce and its foundation, is a member of the board of trustees for MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment. Winter 2017 43

2000s, cont. Paige Stiefel (’05), Nolensville, was recently awarded International Professional Underwriter of the Year by the International Association of Insurance Professionals. Whitney Crear Altman (’07), Hendersonville, joined Barge, Waggoner, Sumner, and Cannon Inc. as human resources generalist.

John Ampomah, Janet Amponsah, and Andrew Owusu Former Middle Tennessee standout John Ampomah, above, (’16), along with current Blue Raider runner Janet Amponsah, participated in the Olympic games in Brazil in the summer of 2016. Ampomah, a javelin sensation, and Amponsah, a sprinter, represented the African nation of Ghana. Ampomah served as team captain. The Ghanaian national team was coached by Middle Tennessee assistant track coach Andrew Owusu (’04), who is a former Olympian from Ghana as well. Legendary Middle Tennessee head track coach Dean Hayes, who began recruiting Ghanaian athletes to attend MTSU in the mid-1970s, also served in a coaching role with the Ghanaian Olympic track team. Ampomah and Amponsah are the first Blue Raiders to compete in the Olympics since the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, when Samuel Adade, Tanko Braimah, and Chrisitan Nsiah competed for Ghana. MTSU

Lody Limbird Lody Limbird (’08), was named the first Latino assistant district attorney to serve in Davidson County Criminal Court. District Attorney Glenn Funk made the historic appointment in April 2016. Limbird has been assigned to Division VI Criminal Court, where she handles prosecution of domestic violence cases. “In order to understand the needs of the people we serve, it is important for public servants to also reflect the diversity of the community,” Limbird said. Prior to joining the DA’s office, Limbird worked as a legal secretary for the Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence. MTSU

44 MTSU Magazine

Stephanie Compton (’07), Penrose, North Carolina, was hired as the Western North Carolina program director at Muddy Sneakers, an environmental education organization that partners with schools to take fifth-graders to public lands to learn science and foster a connection with nature. Shavon Davis-Louis (’07), Murfreesboro, was named principal of Cason Lane Academy. Dawn Golson-Saunders (’07), Lebanon, was named Teacher of the Year at West Wilson Middle School, where she has been teaching eighth grade for eight years. Dana Stewart (’07), Murfreesboro, was promoted to assistant director of Brilliant Solutions, a marketing company. Sheila P. Umayam (’07,’08), Clarksville, received her doctorate from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and currently works as a pediatric nurse practitioner. Alysha Clark (’09), Mount Juliet, is a WNBA player for the Seattle Storm. During her “off-season,” she plays in Israel for the club Maccabi Ashdod and has been part of back-to-back Israeli League championships.


The Young and True Blue!


he MTSU Young Alumni Group (YAG) exists to create programs, social events, and community service opportunities for alumni ages 35 and younger. Several programs and events (including charity opportunities) are planned and hosted by the YAG in middle Tennessee throughout the year. The YAG recently enjoyed time together at Arrington Vineyards. For a list of events, visit or Like the YAG Facebook page at YAG president Rachel Lee sees the YAG as vital to creating a culture of sustained involvement with the University. “I would love to see further involvement in the Nashville community as we have a wide base of alumni there, as well as events for groups in other cities across the state and reaching into various states,” she said. (L to R) Rachel Lee (’08), Benton Beasley (’15), and Hannah Beasley (’15)

Mike Denning What could make MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee happier than a thrilling, late-game victory in Miami making the Blue Raider football team bowl-eligible? How about finding out on the team charter flight home that the pilot, Captain Mike Denning (’96), was a proud graduate of the MTSU’s nationally prominent Aerospace program. Denning, a Miami Air International pilot, flew his alma mater’s football squad from Miami to Smyrna following its 42-35 win over Florida International University on Oct. 30. “Great way to end a terrific night,” McPhee tweeted. Jaclyn Pritchett (’09), Murfreesboro, was honored with the Nashville Emerging Leader Award by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and YP Nashville. She is the senior manager of leadership development at Bridgestone Americas, where she leads development and succession planning for Bridgestone retail operations. Pritchett also serves on the boards of the Middle Tennessee Society for Human Resource Management and New Frontiers.

2010s Jason Casteel (’10), Spring Hill, joined the Construction Administration Department of Nashville-based Architectural firm ESA (Earl Swanson Associates). Charles Wright Pittman (’10), Atlanta, was hired as the DOOR Atlanta City Director. Chad Slaven (’12), Harrogate, graduated from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center with the Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) and

is now completing a pediatric residency in Memphis. While enrolled, he received the Leadership Award, Pediatric Award, and Oral Biology Award and was selected into the Dean’s Society. Sharon Edwards (’13), Shelbyville, is working as children’s service coordinator in the Fayetteville-Lincoln County Public Library. She also writes for the Huffington Post. Victoria England (’13), Smyrna, joined TruStar Marketing as marketing coordinator.

Rachel Sparkman (’13), Nashville, joined The Lebanon Democrat as news editor. Julie Baker (’15), Antioch, accepted the position of tour coordinator for the office of Undergraduate Admissions for MTSU. Ryan Baker (’15), Gallatin, was named interim director of the Sumner County Museum. Charles “Wesley” Alexander (’16), Woodbury, accepted the position of information services analyst at Caterpillar Financial Services Corp.

Winter 2017 45

Harding Stokes Walsh

Joelle Elise Word

Paysen Aubrey Foster

Henry Jackson Reed

Sadie Leanne Boyce

Lincoln Clay Williams

Christian Emmanuel Sanders

Henry Jackson Reed born July 7, 2016 to Justin Durham Reed (’07,’13) and Matthew Reed (’07,’08) of Murfreesboro.

BABY RAIDERS Rhys Monroe Bollinger born November 5, 2015 to Darrel (DJ) and Amber Bollinger (’04,’14), of Murfreesboro.

Christian Emmanuel Sanders born April 15, 2016 to Ryan (’03) and Sutonia “Tonia” Sanders (’03) of Reston, Virginia.

Harding Stokes Walsh born May 19, 2016 to Brian (’09) and Kaitlyn Lorick Walsh (’15) of Murfreesboro. Lincoln Clay Williams born July 8, 2016 to Rebecca and Brian Williams (’02,’16) of Thompson’s Station.

Joelle Elise Word born April 15, 2015 to Joie E. and J. Eric Word (’03) of Old Hickory.

Sadie Leanne Boyce born March 8, 2015 to Caleb (’15) and Cheyenne Ralston Boyce (’14) of Rockvale. Paysen Aubrey Foster, born June 29, 2016 to AJ and Jennifer Denice Foster (‘06) of Smyrna. James Anderson Murphy born May 13, 2016 to Mark (‘09, ‘11) and Trisha Thompson Murphy (‘12, ‘13) of Murfreesboro. Rhys Monroe Bollinger

46 MTSU Magazine

James Anderson Murphy

Kelsey Brouwer Kelsey Brouwer (’15), a former all-conference goalie for MTSU, signed a contract in 2016 to play professional soccer in Cypress for Apollon Limassol FC in the Cypriot First Division. Brouwer was Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year and a first team All-CUSA selection in 2015, when she led the conference in saves per game (5.65), was second in save percentage (.876), and tied for second in shutouts (10). She is MTSU’s career leader in wins (33), shutouts (27), and minutes played (6,308). Brouwer also received conference academic honors all four years at MTSU. MTSU

Jordan Hall Former student ambassador Jordan Hall (’14) joined the WBBJ-TV news team in Jackson in February 2014 after graduating from MTSU the previous May. He assumed the role of weekend anchor within his first year with the station. A little more than a year later, Hall was named morning anchor for Good Morning West Tennessee, the station’s Monday –Friday morning newscast. Hall said he loves being up when the sun rises and getting to be a part of west Tennessee’s morning routine. “I always hope someone who’s having a bad day can tune in and find some joy out of their morning,” he said. As for as his MTSU roots, Hall unabashedly crows about his alma mater. “Every class and extracurricular activity prepared me for what I am doing now, whether I realized it or not at the time,” he said. “I will forever be a proud alum and love supporting my Blue Raiders!”

In Memoriam 1950s Joe Arnold (’52), Winchester, March 27, 2016 1930s Ruth Scott Tucker (’39,’60), Auburn, Alabama, Feb. 17, 2016


Dennis Hale (’49), Columbus, Georgia, March 15, 2016 Louise Beasley Hall (’48,’71), Fairview, April 21, 2016 Billie Odom Smith (’49,’67), Murfreesboro, May 23, 2016 Irene Stone Stevenson (’44), Marietta, Georgia, May 18, 2016 Annelle Stepp Story-Barley (’49), Huntsville, Alabama, Jan. 24, 2016 Justine Doster Stutts (’43), Saint Joseph, June 25, 2016

Paul Beasley (’52), Evansville, Indiana, June 19, 2016 Lola Reed Glenn Bowersox (’53,’58), Franklin, April 24, 2016 William Brazel (’57), Goodlettsville, May 9, 2016 James Clouse (’57), Poolesville, Maryland, June 21, 2016 Dr. Kermit Cothron (’58,’72), Red Boiling Springs, July 16, 2015 Austin Davis (’56), Seymour, Aug. 13, 2016 William Fandrich (’52), Murray, Kentucky, May 14, 2016 Jesse “James” Faulkner (’57,’63), Murfreesboro, June 4, 2016

Rep. George W. Fraley Jr. (’55), Winchester, Aug. 24, 2016 Dale Jackson Hardison (’57,’83), Mount Pleasant, May 4, 2016 Leonard Johnson Jr. (’59), Nashville, April 28, 2016 Glendel Bryson Knight (’58), Murfreesboro, April 27, 2016 James Lowe (’52), Parkersburg, Illinois, May 31, 2016 Dr. Martin McCullough (’54,’59), Murfreesboro, Sept. 8, 2016 Violet Vaughn Ognio (’52,’63), Murfreesboro, May 16, 2016 George Ralston (’58), Rockvale, June 1, 2016 Fred Rogers (’56,’57) Readyville, May 16, 2016

Kent Stockton (’59), Franklin, Aug. 1, 2016 Joe Tenpenny Jr. (’55), Knoxville, May 29, 2016 Ramona Thaxton (’56), Seneca, South Carolina, May 7, 2016 Lois Turner (’51), Summerville, South Carolina, Sept. 3, 2016 Anna Wood Vance (’54), Arrington, July 13, 2016 James Wright Sr. (’58,’62), Franklin, May 7, 2016 Viola Wright (’55), Nashville, May 4, 2016 Wayne Yearwood (’52), Vincent, Ohio, May 6, 2016


Betty Beasley Adcock (’63), Shelbyville, April 18, 2016

Winter 2017 47

In Memoriam

Olivia Murray Woods

Olivia Murray Woods (’65, ’74), MTSU’s first African-American undergraduate student, died Oct. 2 in La Vergne. She was 96 years old. A native of Murfreesboro, she attended both Bradley Elementary School and Holloway High School, where her love of education survived both segregation and the Great Depression. She attended Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State College (now Tennessee State University) prior to marrying educator Collier Woods Sr., starting a family, and teaching part-time. According to her family, she enrolled at Middle Tennessee State Teachers’ College (now MTSU) in Fall 1962 as a transfer student after her husband told her that his salary alone would not be enough to put their three children through college. She graduated in May 1965 with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Humanities. She obtained her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction in 1974. Woods taught second- and third-graders full time in Murfreesboro City Schools, retiring in 1986 after 21 years as a teacher.


Russell Ayers (’66,’69,’76), Ooltewah, July 5, 2016

Charles McGinnis (’63), Athens, March 7, 2016

Carolyn Baldwin (’68), Marietta, Georgia, Aug. 6, 2016

Billy Mooningham (’68), Old Hickory, June 12, 2016

Rosalind Ross Akin (’73), Nashville, July 19, 2016

David Blair (’64,’69), Brentwood, Sept. 17, 2016

Jimmy Ousley (’67), Paducah, Kentucky, Sept. 8, 2016

Ernestene Eddins Bane (’77), Lebanon, Sept. 20, 2016

Ellen Hunter Parker (’67), Hendersonville, July 21, 2016

William Barnes (’71), College Grove, March 30, 2016

Jaucile Long Reid (’62), Alexander City, Alabama, July 21, 2016

John Beck (’75), Murfreesboro, April 9, 2016

Anita Jo Murphy Brashears (’69), Ashland City, Aug. 1, 2016 Gwendolyn Turner Brooks (’68), Jefferson, Georgia, Sept. 13, 2016 William “Billy” Bryson (’66), Murfreesboro, April 24, 2016 Milton “Buck” Campbell Jr. (’66), Tullahoma, Oct. 17. 2015

Judy Silvers Roberts (’66,’71), Hendersonville, May 20, 2016 Judy Steagall Roch (’64,’79), Hendersonville, Aug. 11, 2016

Patricia Blaylock (’76), Smyrna, Sept. 4, 2016 Tommy Branum (’70), Tullahoma, May 20, 2016 James Browning (’70), Columbia, Aug. 25, 2016

Randal Francis (’76), Nashville, April 24, 2016 Paul “Tommy” Halmontaller (’73), Manchester, April 27, 2016 William “Tom” Hankins Jr. (’72), Franklin, March 27, 2016 Richard Harris (’74), Macon, Georgia, Aug. 30, 2016 Mitchell Harter (’72), Seminole, Florida, May 18, 2016 Charlotte Hediger (’72), Effingham, Illinois, July 22, 2016 Royce Hughes (’72), Pulaski, May 23, 2016

Nell Rogers Scannella (’64,’68), Mt. Pleasant, Aug. 14, 2016

Lois Jenkins Carr (’75), Murfreesboro, Sept. 27, 2016

Maj. Longstreet Hull, USMC Ret., (’79,’85), Manchester, July 3, 2016

Allen Sligh (’66), Chattanooga, July 11, 2016

Roger Carson (’72), Savannah, Georgia, March 1, 2016

Raymond Hunt (’73), Goodletsville, Aug. 21, 2016.

Glenda Johns Davidson (’69), Nashville, April 21, 2016

Darby Marable Smart (’66,’69), Chattanooga, Aug. 11, 2016

Donald Chambers (’75,’79), Foley, Alabama, May 3, 2016

Robert Jobe (’75), Lebanon, April 3, 2016

Jimmy Dendy (’68), Hayden, Alabama, Sept. 10, 2016

Evelyn Beard Terry (’68,’71), Lawrenceburg, May 22, 2016

Thomas Cox (’72), Spearfish, South Dakota, March 24, 2016

George McCashin (’72), Chattanooga, July 14, 2016

Gen. James Gardner (’65,’67), Hanahan, South Carolina, July 23, 2016

Nancy Trobaugh Stanford (’62,’79), Murfreesboro, Sept. 22, 2016

Ralph Craighead (’70), Atlanta, June 17, 2016

Joe McCrady (’72), Longmont, Colorado, June 9, 2016

Dr. Philip Howard (’69), Brentwood, May 30, 2016

Buford Youngblood (’60), Conyers, Georgia, September 3, 2016

Judith Young Dunlap (’71), Antioch, June 21, 2016

Neta Hancock Smith (’73), Calhoun, Georgia, Dec. 8, 2014.

William Edens (’72), New Market, Alabama, June 11, 2016

David Matthews (’75), Murfreesboro, Aug. 17, 2016

Cheryl Flanigan (’76,’79,’95), Murfreesboro, April 13, 2016

Clinton Merrill (’74), Murfreesboro, Sept. 13, 2016

Tony Wayne Chumley (’69), Lebanon, Aug. 5, 2016 Betty Alford Coleman (’68,’69), Murfreesboro, Aug. 14, 2016

Jack Jenkins (’65), Nashville, June 15, 2016

48 MTSU Magazine

CLASS NOTES Ronny Moon (’72), Tullahoma, July 14, 2016

Mickey Lynn Gray Barnes (’82), Livingston, Jan.1, 2016

Thomas Tenpenny Jr. (’88), Murfreesboro, May 7, 2016

John Moore (’74), Bay City, Texas, April 24, 2016

Rodney Bryant (’86), Lewisburg, May 25, 2016

Deborah Victory (’85), La Vergne, May 30, 2016

Michael Moore (’78), Nashville, July 6, 2016

Lt. Col. Walter Coble (’80), Columbia, April 24, 2016

Jonathan Wilson Sr., (’86), Nashville, June 6, 2016

Nan Piercy (’72), Murfreesboro, Sept. 14, 2016

Chris Ertel (’84), Lexington, Kentucky, April 30, 2016


Kenneth Riley Sr. (’71), Highland Park, Michigan, July 18, 2016

George Giner (’84), Lebanon, April 11, 2016

Mary Schneider (’73), Georgetown, Texas, July 16, 2016 John Shelley (’71), Whitwell, July 26, 2016 Dean Smith (’70), Nashville, Sept.13, 2016 James Tucker Jr. (’73), Midland, Texas, April 26, 2016 Bonnie Vannatta (’77), Shelbyville, June 13, 2016 Robert Vandervort Jr. (’77), Knoxville, June 28, 2016 Phyllis Veazey (’78), Hopkinsville, Kentucky, July 6, 2016 Bob Wilson (’78), South Pittsburg, Dec. 14, 2015 Mary Boss Winbrow (’73), Knoxville, July 3, 2016

1980s Darren Allen (’87,’89), Champaign, Illinois, July 10, 2016

Perry Hendrix (’88), Smyrna, May 5, 2016

John E. Allen Jr. (’93), Columbia, Oct. 16, 2015 Carol Davis Bowie (’90), Greenbrier, Sept. 18, 2016

Maria Huddleston (87), Livingston, Aug. 20, 2016

Darian Daily (’92), Independence, Kentucky, Aug. 27, 2016

Michael Graves (’83), Humboldt, May 9, 2016

Shirley Louden Arter (’99), Murfreesboro, June 8, 2016

Josephine D. Hunt (’85), Tullahoma, May 10, 2015

Sally Chandler Bastian (’91), Trinity, Florida, July 21, 2016

Deborah King (’86), Lebanon, Feb. 15, 2016

Kimberly Craig Bohannan (’96), Wilmington, Delaware, Aug. 6, 2016

Esther Matthews (’81), Crossville, Aug. 18, 2016 Dr. Robert Peterson (’89), Signal Mountain, May 24, 2016 James A. Ridley Jr. (’89), Nashville, April 8, 2016 Dr. James Seber (’88), Sunbright, May 11, 2016 William Semmes (’84), Knoxville, Aug. 4, 2016 Michael Sharp (’87), Athens, Georgia, April 23, 2016

Judy Crosslin (’91), Bell Buckle, May 28, 2016

Teala Alees Thibodiaux Widner (’93), Nashville, April 9, 2016


William Birkholz (’02), Loudon, May 26, 2016 Courtney Blooding (’03), Murfreesboro, May 24, 2016 Keith Hamilton (’03), Mount Juliet, May 28, 2016 John Hundt (’06), Franklin, July 20, 2016 Gregory Kucharski (’00,’02,’03), Unionville, August 9, 2016 Teresa Tidwell Moore (’02), Gallatin, Sept. 1, 2016 Brandolyn Perry (’02), Saulsbury, May 3, 2016 Levar Wilkerson (’04), Morrison, March 5, 2016


Christy Donegan (’99), Franklin, April 17, 2016

Sarah Budai (’11), Oak Ridge, July 23, 2016

Jeffrey Gish (’95), Franklin, July 18, 2016

Elizabeth Chitwood (’15), Estill Springs, Aug. 28, 2016

Jacob Funderburk (’95,’97), Murfreesboro, Aug. 26, 2016

Tara Hill Hall (’13), Ardmore, Dec. 8, 2016

Jackie Haskins (’90), Springfield, Aug. 13, 2016

Lindsey Schoenberger (’13), Lewisburg, Aug. 1, 2016

Charles Helbling (94,’03), Brentwood, Aug. 25, 2016

Taylor Stone (’14), Chattanooga, Sept. 7, 2016

Doug Young Douglas Brock Young (‘71), 68, a life-long resident of Murfreesboro, died on December 18, 2016. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Susan Hanson Young. The former Central High School senior class vice president was a charter member of the Delta Lambda chapter of the Kappa Alpha fraternity while a student at MTSU. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the U.S. Army and served for two years in military intelligence. He was an owner and store manager of City Tile and Floor Covering. Since 2002, he was an elected Murfreesboro City Council member and was elected as the Murfreesboro Vice Mayor in 2014. Young served his alma mater as a member of the MTSU Alumni Association, the MTSU Foundation, and as chair of the MTSU College of Liberal Arts Advisory Board. “Doug Young was a friend, a tireless advocate for our University and a force for good in our community,” stated MTSU president Sidney A. McPhee. MTSU

Winter 2017 49

SUPPORT THE SUCCESS OF AN MTSU STUDENT More than 90% of our 22,500 students receive some financial aid—thanks in part to trueBLUE alumni and friends! Make a real difference through a scholarship created now or a gift from your IRA, appreciated stock, a bequest in your will, or a beneficiary designation in your retirement plan. Gifts also support applied research, learning outside the classroom, excellent faculty, and strong academic advising. And, most gifts are tax-deductible. Call

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MTSUNEWS.COM TRUE BLUE NEWS ANY TIME Stay up to date all year round

Amy Sayward

Sekou Franklin

East by Middle

Expanding Horizons

Defending Rights

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee’s summer 2016 tour of China partner universities included visits to Hunan Normal University, Hangzhou Normal University, Zhejiang University of Science and Technology, and Guangxi University. The president additionally made a presentation at an international scientific conference in Yulin about MTSU’s research into ancient Chinese herbs for modern medicinal uses.

Murfreesboro native and retired hall of fame astronaut Dr. Rhea Seddon served as keynote speaker at the 20th annual Expanding Your Horizons in Math and Science Conference at MTSU in October. More than 300 girls were in attendance at EYH, which enables girls and young women from across middle Tennessee to investigate potential careers in STEM fields. Chemistry professor Judith Iriarte-Gross began EYH at MTSU for girls in 1997 (Seddon was the first keynote).

Two MTSU educators were appointed to the Tennessee Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Amy Sayward, professor of History, and Sekou Franklin, associate professor of Political Science and International Relations, were announced as members in August 2016. State advisory committees to the commission are responsible for state and local civil rights issues in their areas, including justice, voting, discrimination, housing, and education.

Dean Ken Paulson

Dean David Urban

Spotlight on the ’Boro

Freedom Sings

Getting Down to Business

Citing its “small-town charm,” impressive growth, and a university in MTSU that is beloved by its alumni and supporters, Murfreesboro was named by Southern Living magazine as one of the “South’s Best College Towns.” The magazine defined “small town” as a city of 350,000 people or fewer and places in which “the college is a driving force in the character of the town.” Knoxville was the only other Tennessee town on the list.

The 17th annual performance of Freedom Sings, a musical celebration of the First Amendment showcasing songs that were censored or banned, took place at The Bluebird Café on Oct. 20. The event, co-sponsored by MTSU, was broadcast live on MTSU’s independent radio station, WMOT/Roots Radio. College of Media and Entertainment Dean Ken Paulson, founder of Freedom Sings, and president of the First Amendment Center in Nashville, spearheaded the event.

The Jones College of Business maintained its business and accounting accreditations by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. AACSB International is the longest-serving global accrediting body for business schools that offer undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degrees in business and accounting. Less than 5 percent of the world’s business programs have earned AACSB Accreditation.

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