Today's Topics: Impressive Historic Works, Women’s History and The Power in Positive Aging

Feb 19, 2024 at 09:00 am by WGNS News

Dr. Kelly A. Kolar, Dr. Maigan Wipfli, Dr. Deborah Lee and Kevin Fehr


Segment One: Exploring MTSU's Public History Ph.D. Program In the first segment of today's show, host Scott Walker welcomed Dr. Kelly A. Kolar, an associate professor in the MTSU Department of History, to discuss the university's esteemed Public History Ph.D. program. MTSU has been at the forefront of offering this unique program, which focuses on melding scholarship and theory with practical experience in public history. Key highlights of the program include personalized mentoring from renowned faculty and professionals, opportunities for research and professional development with various campus and community partners, and flexible teaching or professional practice residencies. Dr. Kolar highlighted the success stories of students like Michael McCormick, who utilized his passion for genealogy to make significant contributions to the field, and Laura Headlee and Stasa Bakliza, who are engaged in impactful projects related to civil rights and archival work, respectively.

Segment Two: National Women’s History Month Celebration at MTSU Transitioning to the celebration of National Women’s History Month at MTSU, Scott Walker welcomed Dr. Maigan Wipfli, the director of the June Anderson Center for Women and Non-Traditional Students, to discuss the upcoming events. The month-long celebration includes a variety of activities such as the Women of True Grit conference, guest lectures, panel discussions, and a keynote address by Rebekah Taussig, a disability advocate and best-selling author. Dr. Wipfli emphasized the importance of recognizing the achievements and contributions of women throughout history and encouraged participation in the events, which aim to inspire and empower attendees.

Segment Three: Previewing the Second Positive Aging Conference In the final segment, Dr. Deborah Lee, NHC Chair of Excellence in Nursing, and Kevin Fehr, owner of Amada Senior Care, joined Scott Walker to announce the opening of registration for the second Positive Aging Conference at MTSU. Scheduled for April 5, the conference will delve into critical aspects of aging, offering insights into mental health, opioid use, nutrition, veteran benefits, longevity strategies, and technologies for staying connected. The conference, designed as an educational forum for older adults in the community, promises valuable learning experiences and opportunities to engage with experts and peers.

As the show concluded, Scott Walker encouraged listeners to visit the respective websites for more information and to register for these upcoming events at MTSU. See the links and details below. 


Key Details and Links Below:

SEGMENT ONE GUEST: Dr. Kelly A. Kolar, associate professor in the MTSU Department of History

TOPIC: The History Department’s highly respected Public History Ph.D. program and the impressive work by current students

A recent success story is that of Michael McCormick, a candidate in Middle Tennessee State University’s Public History Ph.D. program, who took a passion for researching his family origins to a career of multiple, major genealogy projects and most recently an internship that helped release over 100 years of vital records in Maryland.

McCormick worked with nonprofit Reclaim the Records — a group of advocates from the genealogy field and beyond working to identify important genealogical record sets that are not online or easily accessible to the public — to make an estimated 5 million records such as birth, marriage and death certificates free and accessible to the public, one of the organization’s largest acquisitions to date, according to its website. Read more about his work.

Other student research include Laura Headlee who is working to organize the Clark Memorial United Methodist Church in Nashville and create exhibits on the church’s role in civil rights in Nashville; Stasa Bakliza, who is working at the archives of Documenta-Centre for Dealing with the Past (specifically wars in Croatia during 1941-2000).

SEGMENT TWO GUEST: Dr. Maigan Wipfli, director of the June Anderson Center for Women and Non-Traditional Students

TOPIC: National Women’s History Month observance at MTSU

MTSU is again celebrating National Women’s History Month with a slate of events starting later this month and continuing throughout March and into early April.

The full calendar of events and pdf copy of the calendar are available on the June Anderson Center’s website at

SEGMENT THREE GUESTS: Dr. Deborah Lee, NHC Chair of Excellence in Nursing and director of the Positive Aging Consortium and Kevin Fehr, owner of Amada Senior Care and a community member of the MTSU Positive Aging Consortium and the conference planning team.

TOPIC: Registration is open for the second Positive Aging Conference in early April at MTSU

Registration is now open for the second MTSU Positive Aging Conference, scheduled for April 5 at the MTSU Miller Education Center in Murfreesboro. Registration fee is $35. Registration will conclude March 22. Registration and conference speaker details are available by going to and clicking on the registration link or the conference agenda link.