Recent Accomplishments and Milestones

Not a day goes by that I do not hear about or encounter something great, something valuable, or noteworthy about our great University and its faculty and students. Here are some recent examples.

MTSU among tops in Fulbright students

MTSU has achieved a first-time national recognition for scholarly work. The Chronicle of Higher Education listed MTSU as one of the “Top Producers of U.S. Fulbright Students by Type of Institution, 2012–13.” MTSU is among 17 schools listed in the Master’s Institutions category and is the only college or university from Tennessee in any of the three categories. The highly competitive Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government.

Constitution Day includes naturalization ceremony

At a special naturalization ceremony in Murphy Center last September, MTSU celebrated the 225th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution with 288 new citizens and a global audience that tuned in via the internet. The celebration was special because the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Tennessee, allowed a rare naturalization ceremony to be held outside Nashville. The event also saw three MTSU students—senior Mike Patel  of Knoxville, sophomore Levon Mkrtchyan  of Nashville, and freshman Tammy Li  of Smithville—take the oath to become naturalized U.S. citizens.

Hybrid project gets national TV buzz

Dr. Charles Perry and his student-driven project team have gained national and international acclaim. Perry and his students were featured on the national Fox News Channel on Nov. 17 regarding the team’s gas-saving, plug-in hybrid, wheel-hub motor, retrofit project. The technology has been shown to cut fuel use by 50 to 100 percent in a 1994 Honda station wagon. Professor Perry is the holder of the Russell Chair of Manufacturing Excellence in the Department of Engineering Technology.

MTSU EXL Program commended for impact

MTSU is positioning itself as a model in service learning with its Experiential Learning Scholars Program, or EXL. The program was commended recently by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools for its impact and effectiveness after five years of existence. The EXL program started in spring 2006 as a pilot project in conjunction with MTSU’s Quality Enhancement Plan. In 2011-12, the program’s work contributed $1,582,624 in value to the community.

Pittard Campus School recognized among the best in Tennessee

In August 2012, students, parents, faculty, and staff at Homer Pittard Campus School enjoyed a cyber-celebration along with other top-performing schools across the state. The K–5 public school, which is jointly operated by MTSU and Rutherford County Schools as a laboratory school, was deemed a “Reward School” under the state’s new accountability system. That means it is among the 10 percent of schools statewide with the highest achievement or overall growth on standardized tests scores. Campus School’s designation was based on achievement, with its students scoring in the top 5 percent statewide.

Fischer named dean of Basic and Applied Sciences

Dr. Robert U. “Bud” Fischer became the fifth dean of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences June 1, following a national search. He replaced  Dr. Tom Cheatham, who stepped down to become director of the Tennessee Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education Center (TNSTEC) on campus. Fischer, 52, previously served as chair of the biology department at the University of Alabama–Birmingham and associate chair in biology at Eastern Illinois University. His expertise is in aquatic and fisheries biology. Fischer’s wife, Anita, has been a pharmacy technician for CVS for 17 years.They have a grown daughter, Sarah Trigg, and granddaughter, Kelsey Trigg, 4, in Illinois. Called “Bud” since birth and possessor of a hearty laugh, Fischer officially began his MTSU tenure Aug. 1.

MTSU to house Journalism Hall of Fame

In October, a group of past and present media executives and practitioners announced the creation of the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame, which will be housed in the new Center for Innovation in Media in the John Bragg Mass Communication Building. The effort is led by a nonprofit, independent foundation, which plans to recognize career excellence in “all facets of media, including  newspapering, television, radio, electronic, and public relations.” Roy Moore, dean of the College of Mass Communication, said the first class of inductees to the new hall will be announced in April 2013 as part of the college’s annual academic awards ceremonies.

Mass Comm students cover APME Conference

MTSU students provided exclusive stories, photos, audio, and video for the Associated Press Media Editors national conference in Nashville Sept. 19–21. Student journalists from the College of Mass Communication generated all news content for the APME blog and produced daily video reports and a special 24-page tabloid summing up the conference. Senior Becca Andrews  of Bells, Tenn., editor-in-chief of MTSU’s independent student newspaper, Sidelines , coordinated all news coverage for APME. Senior Michelle Potts  of Franklin, Tenn., news director of the student-run TV station, MT10-HD, led video coverage. All content flowed through MTSU’s new Center for Innovation in Media, which houses operations for all student media outlets as well as WMOT 89.5FM, the University’s 100,000-watt public radio station.

A Concrete Advantage

Four Concrete Industry Management programs—at Arizona State University, MTSU, Texas State University–San Marcos, and New Jersey Institute of Technology—were named “Excellent Universities” by the American Concrete Institute (ACI) for student and faculty efforts to support the industry. Universities were selected based on the number of ACI members in student chapters; student and faculty participation in ACI competitions, committees, conventions, and meetings; and participation in other industry-related activities. Universities were also judged on community outreach efforts by students and faculty involving neighborhood revitalization, construction projects, and donated services.