Many pride points in academics

MTSU programs, professors, and students continue to produce results and shine as examples of our University’s impact on the region. Below are a few recent highlights.


2012-13 Fall Faculty meeting and MTSU Foundation Awards.

Student Achievement

Jordon Dotson, an upcoming junior double-majoring in chemistry and , an upcoming junior double-majoring in chemistry and mathematics, received one of approximately 275 Goldwater Fellowships for the study of science. This is the second year that MTSU has produced one or more Goldwater Fellows.

A record three students were awarded Fulbright Fellowships: Daniel Gouger (Biochemistry) received a grant to do research in Spain; Anna Yacavone (Global Studies) will be teaching in Laos; and Adam Emerson (Psychology and International Relations) will teach in Russia. This is the third successive year that two or more MTSU students have received such awards.

For the second time in six years, MTSU’s Land Development/Residential Building Construction Management Team in Engineering Technology won the National Association of Homebuilders Student Chapters Residential Construction Management Competition.

Jeff Braun (Recording Industry) won Gold (first place) in the International Audio Engineering Society student recording competition at the AES convention in New York.

The Wind Ensemble and conductor Reed Thomas released a commercial recording on Naxos, the world’s largest classical record label, bringing international recognition to our student musicians.

Matthew Hibdon (History) and Jennifer Johnson (Psychology) received two of twenty national Foundation Awards from Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society.

Taylor Bray, Jeff Braun, and Grant Hartford (all Recording Industry) won the first-place Grand Prize in the Fantastic Scholastic recording competition sponsored by Shure Microphones.

May graduate Erica Doyle (Electronic Media Communication) won second place in the magazine category at the 33rd College Television Awards presented by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in California. Erica produced and directed Koure TV, for student TV station MT10.

A record 40 students defended honors theses in the spring of 2012.

Collage, a Journal of Creative Expression, was one of seven literary magazines in the nation to receive the prestigious Gold Crown Award from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.

Sidelines staff members Todd Barnes, Becca Andrews, Will Trusler, Courtney Polívková, and Amanda Haggard won awards in the Southeast Journalism Conference Convention’s Best of the South Competition.

Recent graduate Amy Parks (Recording Industry) was awarded a prestigious internship by the Emmy Awards Foundation to work on postproduction for the Emmys and to help with electronic media communication. May graduate Troy Berry was awarded first place for Best College TV Sportscast, Program, or Story by the Tennessee Associated Press Broadcasters for his MTSU golfer package.

MTSU’s mock trial team placed third in one of two equal divisions at the National Championship Tournament in Minneapolis. Over 600 teams competed throughout the year for only 24 championship berths.

Faculty Achievement

Katie Foss (School of Journalism) received the prestigious Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication 2012 James Carey Media Research Award.

Virginia (Ginny) Dansby (Educational Leadership) received the 2012 Humanistic Impact Award from the Association for Humanistic Counseling.

Anthony Farone (Biology) received over $1 million in grant funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for his TRIAD project: “Reforming Graduate Education by Integrating Teaching, Research, and Industry Applications to Deepen Scientific Understanding.” Christopher Rob Herlihy (Biology) received $338,000 in NSF funding for research in integrating gene- and individual-level selection to understand the evolution of self-fertilization in flowering plants.

Robin Lee (Educational Leadership) won the 2011 President’s Award for Outstanding Service from the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) and was voted ACES president-elect. The association is the national professional organization for counselor educators. These are great honors for Dr. Lee, and they also bring national attention to the MTSU professional counseling program.

Three School of Music faculty members received international recognition for research in American music when the second edition of the Grove Dictionary of American Music, published by Oxford University Press, solicited a combined sixteen articles from them, including two major articles on gospel music by Stephen Shearon, an article on hip-hop by Felicia Miyakawa and nine entries by Cedric Dent on black gospel music.

Dovie Kimmins (Mathematical Sciences) and Jeremy Winters (Elementary and Special Education) received two Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics professional development grants from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

The total of $400,000 came from Race to the Top funds for Project EMPOWER and U C STEM. These projects targeted teachers in grades 2–6 and math and science teachers in grades 4–8 in selected Tennessee counties.

The Pa’s Fiddle Project, created by Dale Cockrell (director, Center for Popular Music), is about the music in the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder and has produced a songbook and several recordings. It was also the basis for a PBS special concert, Pa’s Fiddle: The Music of America, which was broadcast nationally. Mass Communication students produced a documentary on the project called The Making of Pa’s Fiddle.

The School of Music sent delegations to Italy, Costa Rica and Panama, and China this year. The MTSU Schola Cantorum, led by conductor Raphael Bundage, performed at the Vatican and in Florence and Venice. The MTSU Wind Ensemble and conductor Reed Thomas presented concerts and seminars in

Costa Rica and Panama. A seven-piece jazz combo led by director of jazz studies Jamey Simmons and a dance contingent headed by Kim Nofsinger presented concerts and seminars in Chinese cities, including Hangzhou and Beijing. Music professor Carol Nies conducted a series of concerts and operas at the international Rome Festival in the Italian capital.

Program Achievement

MTSU was named a sponsoring institution for Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), which has a $400 million budget for performing research, outreach, and training in cooperation with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and other sponsoring institutions. Top-tier sponsoring institutions include Duke, Georgia Tech, Johns Hopkins, Penn State, Purdue, Vanderbilt, and the University of Texas, among others.

MTSU received TBR and THEC approval for important new degree programs: an Ed.D. in Assessment, Learning, and School Improvement to begin in fall 2013, and a new concentration in Geosciences within the M.S.P.S. degree, which allows specializations in geographic information systems (GIS) and environmental geosystems.

MTSU’s Professional Counseling Program received the 2011 Outstanding Master’s Counselor Education Award from the Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision.

MTSU received the distinction of being the only institution of higher education in Tennessee to receive the Adult Learner Friendly Institution designation.