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Capitol Street Party, President's Report Get Top Honors

MTSU’s Nashville partnerships, including its work with Capitol Records and Metro Nashville schools, received top honors from the Tennessee College Public Relations Association, the university announced Friday.

MTSU received 19 honors from the Tennessee College Public Relations Association in its 2012-13 competition among marketing and communications operations at the state’s public and private higher-education institutions.

Professor Bob Gordon, shown standing fourth from right in the second row, and his student team from MTSU’s Department of Electronic Media Communication pause early Oct. 17 in their prep for the 2012 Capitol Street Party in Nashville featuring headliner Luke Bryan. The College of Mass Communication’s Mobile Production Truck was located at the corner of Second Avenue and Broadway. (MTSU file photo)Professor Bob Gordon, shown standing fourth from right in the second row, and his student team from MTSU’s Department of Electronic Media Communication pause early Oct. 17 in their prep for the 2012 Capitol Street Party in Nashville featuring headliner Luke Bryan. The College of Mass Communication’s Mobile Production Truck was located at the corner of Second Avenue and Broadway. (MTSU file photo)

It was the third consecutive year MTSU was at the top of the TCPRA honorees list. The University of Tennessee-Knoxville tied MTSU with 19, followed by Austin Peay State University with nine and Tennessee Tech University with eight.

Two of MTSU’s six Gold Awards were for its contributions to the 2012 Capitol Street Party in downtown Nashville (Best Special Event for less than seven days) and ongoing work with Metro Nashville schools (Best Special Event for more than seven days).

Students from MTSU’s College of Mass Communication held key production roles for the 2012 Capitol Street Party, which drew 14,000 on Nashville’s Lower Broadway on Oct. 17. More than 50 students modulated audio, staffed HD cameras and recorded the outdoor concerts by Capitol Records artists Luke Bryan, Jon Pardi and Kelleigh Bannen.

With Metro Nashville schools, MTSU was the lead sponsor of the Academies of Nashville Video Awards Show, the Nashville Career Fair and a partnership with The Tennessean to provide W.H. Oliver Middle School students with unique learning experiences and hands-on resources.

“Our efforts with the Capitol Street Party and Metro Nashville schools represent only a fraction of the good works done by MTSU throughout the region,” said Andrew Oppmann, associate vice president for marketing and communications. “We’re pleased those partnerships, along with the other work done to tell the university’s message, were recognized by our peers.”

The university received four other TCPRA Gold Awards:

  • President Sidney A. McPhee’s biennial report to the community, which detailed the university’s standing as the No. 1 producer of graduates in the Tennessee Board of Regents system, was honored for Best Report.
  • An episode of “Middle in a Minute,” the series of one-minute radio features that air on WMOT and the Blue Raiders Radio Network, was honored for Best Radio Public Service Announcement.
  • MTSU’s work to promote “Spring into Middle,” the annual April open-house weekend staged by the university’s Alumni Relations Office, was honored for Best Advertisement.
  • MTSU Magazine’s iPad edition and app, now available for free download on iTunes, was honored for Best Electronic College/Alumni Magazine.

MTSU’s Billy Pittard and Metro Nashville Public Schools administrator Dr. Chaney Mosley present the Best in Show check for $1,000 to the Academy of Health Science and Law at McGavock. The presentation was made in April at the second annual Academies of Nashville Video Awards Show. Left to right are Mosley; Elise Taylor, a student at McGavock; Barclay Randall, broadcasting teacher at McGavock; Robert Bagwell, student at McGavock; DeLaney Williams, a student at McGavock, and Pittard, chair of MTSU’s Department of Electronic Media Communication. (MTSU file photo)MTSU’s Billy Pittard and Metro Nashville Public Schools administrator Dr. Chaney Mosley present the Best in Show check for $1,000 to the Academy of Health Science and Law at McGavock. The presentation was made in April at the second annual Academies of Nashville Video Awards Show. Left to right are Mosley; Elise Taylor, a student at McGavock; Barclay Randall, broadcasting teacher at McGavock; Robert Bagwell, student at McGavock; DeLaney Williams, a student at McGavock, and Pittard, chair of MTSU’s Department of Electronic Media Communication. (MTSU file photo)

The university received seven Silver Awards from TCPRA:

  • Best Special Event (more than seven days) for MTSU’s True Blue Respect campaign;
  • Best Overall Promotion Campaign for the “I am True Blue” branding campaign;
  • Best Banners/Outdoor Media;
  • Best Photography for MTSU Magazine’s feature on the university’s Horse Science program;
  • Best Media Success Story for national outreach on professor Cliff Ricketts’ coast-to-coast trip with vehicles powered by hydrogen;
  • Best Radio Public Service Announcement for an episode of “Middle in a Minute;”
  • And Best Special Publication for the MTSU National Women’s History Month 2013 calendar.

And MTSU received six TCPRA Bronze Awards:

  • Best Feature Story for MTSU Magazine’s article on the university’s Horse Sciences program;
  • Best Social Media Success Story for the short film, “Santa Goes to College;”
  • Best Radio/TV Show or Newscast for WMOT’s “On the Record;”
  • Best Video Advertisement;
  • Best Print Advertisement;
  • And Best Media Success Story for national outreach on the groundbreaking of MTSU’s $147 million Science Building.

— Andrew Oppmann (andrew.oppmann@mtsu.edu)

A Few Pride Points from Last Semester

During the 2011 Fall semester, MTSU professors and students continued to work hard, produce results, and shine as examples of our University’s impact on the region. Here are some highlights:

  • Chemistry professor Dr. Judith Iriarte-Gross was invited to attend the Dec. 9 “White House Champions of Change” event, which saluted efforts to recruit and retain girls and women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Iriarte-Gross was invited in recognition of her role as director of the Girls Raised in Tennessee Science (GRITS) Collaborative—a statewide organization. She also serves as director of the MTSU WISTEM (Women in STEM) Center. Twelve leaders from across the U.S. were honored at the event, which is part of a weekly series recognizing “champions,” defined by the White House as “ordinary Americans doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.”
  • On Nov. 12 in Sevierville, Gail Zlotky (’93, ’94) received the Tennessee Aviation Person of the Year Award for her tireless effort to bring a world-class, $3.4 million air traffic control laboratory to MTSU. Zlotky conceived the ATC lab idea, followed through with the plan, and cleared budget hurdles to see the lab open last March. Bob Minter, founder of the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame and cofounder of the Tennessee Aviation Association, nominated Zlotky.
  • MTSU students were a major part of the “show behind the show” as the University partnered with Capitol Records at the “Capitol Street Party” on Nashville’s Music Row in September. Forty-five students from the College of Mass Communication handled TV production at the event, which drew a crowd estimated at 10,000 people on Demonbreun Street near the Music Row roundabout. The street show featured alumnus Eric Paslay (’05) headlining with Alan Jackson and Eric Church. MTSU students in the Department of Electronic Media Communication handled the HD cameras, boom mikes, street interviews, and other duties.
  • Newsweek’s 2011 College Rankings placed MTSU fifth nationally among U.S. schools that are “health-minded and inclined to healthier pursuits.” With MTSU in the top five were Harvard, Louisiana State, Mississippi State, and Princeton. Newsweek considered five factors: sexual health, drug scene, physical activity, campus food, and student health care.
  • MTSU’s Centennial year began with a record enrollment of 26,442 for the 2011 Fall semester. The average ACT for the freshman class (21.88) was above the national average (21.1) as well as Tennessee’s average (19.5). MTSU is again the number one choice for both undergraduates and transfer students in the state.
  • MTSU was well-represented in the Miss Tennessee USA 2012 pageant. The winner, Jessica Hibler, and the second runner-up, LeShan Mathews, have MTSU ties. Hibler, a 22-year-old senior mass communication major, will compete in the Miss USA 2012 pageant in Las Vegas later this year. Mathews earned her graduate degree in physical education in May 2011. She is a former Miss Middle Tennessee Blue Raider and Miss Black Tennessee.
  • Bonnie J. Allen, dean of libraries and professor of library science at the University of Montana (UM) since 2006, was named the new dean of MTSU’s James E. Walker Library. She succeeds Don Craig, who retired after 38 years of service. Allen’s professional accomplishments include membership in the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities’ Accreditation Team for Library Standards and in the Online Computer Library Center Global Council and as a commissioner of the Montana State Library.
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