MTSU and WGNS explore a number of topics to include the Aerospace Department and a move to Shelbyville, Women's History and Media’s False Images of Racial Protests Exhibition

Feb 21, 2022 at 07:50 am by WGNS

WGNS Host Scott Walker talks to MTSU on Monday, Feb. 21, 2022:

SEGMENT ONE – First 10 to 15 MIN

GUEST: Ana Cannon, University Honors College student

TOPIC: Cannon’s thesis ongoing exhibition titled “Arts-Based Critique of the Media’s False Images of Racial Protests Exhibition”

MTSU student Ana Cannon, a graphic design major and marketing minor in the University’s Honors College, is completing her thesis that includes an art exhibition Feb. 19-22 in the art gallery space, Todd Hall 210, on the MTSU campus.

Cannon’s thesis advisor is Dr. Roberta Chevrette, assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies.

Cannon’s exhibition explores media coverage of the police brutality committed against Rodney King and the ensuing protests that occurred in Los Angeles in 1991 as important for U.S. public memory, and critiques the influence of mainstream media on how we perceive racial justice protests.

Artist Statement: “We live in a very visual culture, surrounded by images everywhere we turn. These images, especially in news and advertising, influence our ideals, thoughts, and actions.

“With my exhibition, I want to challenge my audiences' notions of race representation and what makes them think the way they do about race and racial protests.

“By framing the 1992 Los Angeles uprisings in two different perspectives, I'd like to open the conversation up to how coverage influences the way we perceive events, as did recently with George Floyd's death in 2020. I ask audiences to consider how dominant powers influence race representation.”

A campus parking map is available at Off-campus visitors can obtain a one-day permit online at the Parking Services webpage or park free in the university’s Rutherford Boulevard Lot and ride the Raider Xpress shuttle to the Todd Building.


SEGMENT TWO – Starting at about 25-min. into Podcast

GUEST: Maigan Wipfli, director of the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students as well as chair and coordinator of National Women’s History Month

TOPIC: Upcoming Women’s History Month events and other Center activities

The 2022 theme for MTSU’s Women’s History Month is “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.” This is not just a tribute to the ceaseless work of caregivers during this ongoing pandemic, but also a recognition of the thousands of ways women have provided both healing and hope throughout history.

Traditionally, MTSU’s activities include a keynote speaker as well as a special recognition for a special group of “trailblazers” from the campus community as well as panel discussions, special commemorative buttons and other activities throughout the month.

The June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students provides student support services conducive to learning and personal development for all students on female-centered topics. We also serve adult students who generally work full time, are married, have children, and other adult responsibilities beyond their college experiences. 

The center provides information and referrals about all aspects of academic and social life in person or by phone in the office, via email, or through the convenient web pages that students can access 24 hours a day. 

The center sponsors a nontraditional student honor society and offers many varied programs that function as a support system for all students. The center conducts learning opportunities to enhance self-esteem, intellectual growth, leadership development, to discuss gender issues, and to appreciate diversity, so that students may experience academic success, retention, and graduation. 

The center also develops collaborations and partnerships within the University and with public and private sectors to serve the needs of students. 


SEGMENT THREE – At about 40-min. into Podcast

GUEST: Dr. Chaminda Prelis, chair of the MTSU Aerospace Department

TOPIC: His role as chair and MTSU’s proposal to relocate its aerospace campus from Murfreesboro Airport to Shelbyville Airport for expansion opportunities

MTSU hired experienced aviation professor Chaminda S. Prelis as the new chair of its nationally recognized and rapidly growing Department of Aerospace last summer.

Prelis came to MTSU from the University of Dubuque in Dubuque, Iowa, where he was previously director of aviation programs after also having served as the program’s head of academics as well as an assistant and associate professor during his 12 years there.

Prelis earned his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in aviation from the University of North Dakota and also holds a commercial pilot certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration. He has a doctorate in business administration from Northcentral University in San Diego, California.

Professionally, Prelis worked in various management roles for Northwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines before joining the faculty at the University of Dubuque.

Prelis comes to a signature MTSU program that boasts 20 full-time faculty members, 100-plus flight instructors and more than 1,000 majors, placing it among the largest of the nation’s collegiate aviation programs.

And now the university looks to relocate its Aerospace campus at Murfreesboro Airport to the Shelbyville Airport, a move that would allow for future expansion and address recent concerns from the City of Murfreesboro.

The University appreciates Gov. Bill Lee’s inclusion of $57.2 million for a new Aerospace Campus at Shelbyville Airport in his budget recommendation on Jan. 31 and will work with our area legislators for its approval.

The combination of record enrollment and strong industry demand makes it imperative for MTSU’s Aerospace program to be based at a location that can accommodate our growth as we position for the future. For example, MTSU will take possession this year of 10 new training aircraft, which will bring our fleet to 45 total.

Prelis says it is imperative we have a facilities partner that will work with our faculty to prepare students both now and in the future. Finding an aviation partner that can accommodate our future needs, and willing to work with MTSU to adapt to changing industry demands, is critical for our program’s success.