A Few Pride Points from Last Semester

Filed Under: President's Post

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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