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Sat, Dec 20, 2014

INSIDE MTSU: Blessed to help generate media attention

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When I share with people that I work at Middle Tennessee State University, they often want to know what I class I teach.

My response is that I do not teach. My job is with the Office of News and Media Relations, and our team helps promote the university. Although we occasionally face challenges with not-so-good news, there is an abundance of good, positive news that makes our beacon shine even brighter.

I oversee coverage of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, University Honors College, the Division of Student Affairs, other areas on campus and duties assigned by our director, Jimmy Hart.

Every day is different.

Each day presents demands and deadlines. By day’s end, I generally feel a sense of accomplishment for what we have helped push to news media, which funnel it to the public, and online to www.mtsunews.com.

We try our best to meet all on-campus requests.

On Wednesday, a television reporter sought a math professor to discuss the odds of winning the Powerball lottery. As hard as all parties tried to make it happen, it did not. For every instance like this, there are many others that do, and the story airs on one of the news channels or appears in the next day’s newspaper or online.

When MTSU announced Thursday it would be leaving the Sun Belt Conference to join Conference USA, staff members broke away from their regular routines and assisted Athletic Communications Director Mark Owens and his staff with the news conference in the new Student Union Building. It was a successful team effort by a number of departments and personnel.

For my colleagues and myself, we are all about the promotion of our great students, faculty and staff.

There are an untold number of stories here. Through a variety of vehicles, including press releases, “On the Record” radio shows, “Out of the Blue” TV programs, YouTube videos and more, we try and share as many stories — and news in general — as possible.

We truly have some amazing students and faculty. Many of the students will be making an imprint and impact in the world long after we are gone.

Senior Eric Limbird and junior Jordan Dodson quickly come to mind.

Limbird is a national award-winning plant and soil science student. Dodson, a junior chemistry major, earned a prestigious two-year national scholarship.

This year, I was driven and motivated by the exploits of professors Cliff Ricketts and Charles Perry. Ricketts drove coast to coast on 2.15 gallons of gas. Perry oversaw a student and staff team that took a plug-in hybrid retrofit kit and improve gas mileage from 50 to 100 percent. Both stories went viral and generated massive media coverage.

As 2012 concludes, I have been blessed beyond measure to see my work and efforts of promoting MTSU worldwide.

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Education, Inside MTSU, Journalism, MTSU, Voices
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