Tennessee Alumnus

Civil Rights and LBJ

Katherine Felthauser, a senior music education major at UT Martin, performs during one of two Roots of Rhythm performances at UT Martin's 15th annual Civil Rights Conference.

Featured photo: Katherine Felthauser, a senior music education major at UT Martin, performs during one of two Roots of Rhythm performances at UT Martin’s 15th annual Civil Rights Conference.

UT Martin celebrated its 15th annual Civil Rights Conference with a week of speakers, film viewings, literary discussions and musical performances highlighting the historical contributions of African-Americans over the past 50 years. Mark Updegrove, director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum in Austin, Texas, served as the keynote speaker. Speakers from the University of Missouri and the University of Texas joined UT Martin faculty, students and local leaders to discuss the evolution of voting rights, racial prejudice and social awareness. The conference each February is sponsored by four of the five UT Martin colleges, the vice chancellors for academic and student affairs, the Department of History and Philosophy, Honors Programs and the Academic Speaker Series.

New Master’s Degree

A new master of arts in strategic communication graduate degree program is scheduled to begin in the fall 2015 semester. The executive-style degree, subject to final approval by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, is intended to prepare professionals to plan, create and manage communication to achieve organizational goals. The degree program is appropriate for a variety of academic backgrounds, and the coursework is designed to allow working professionals the flexibility to accommodate busy schedules through online assignments, as well as develop networking relationships with faculty mentors and peers through on-campus weekends. “One of my frustrations as I considered graduate schools was that so few were practical and in tune with current media and market needs. (This program) achieves both in a way that our graduating seniors, alumni and other working professionals have already told us they find very attractive,” says Robert Nanney, professor and chair of the Department of Communications.

Discover the UT Martin Advantage

Top-notch faculty. Hands-on learning. The total collegiate experience. This is the UT Martin Advantage, a recruitment campaign launched in January to show prospective students the long-term benefits of attending a four-year university and participating in the total collegiate experience. The campaign complements Tennessee Promise legislation by offering a new scholarship, beginning in fall 2015.

The UT Martin Advantage Scholarship not only encourages students to retain their Tennessee Hope Lottery Scholarship eligibility but also rewards them for returning to UT Martin each year. For more information, visit www.utm.edu/advantage.

Another Future Leader

Stephen McBride (second from right) was elected to serve as the southern region vice president for the National FFA (Future Farmers of America) Organization. Pictured with McBride, from left, are Joey Mehlhorn, Parker Chair of Excellence in Agriculture; James Butler, professor of agricultural education; Todd Winters, dean of the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences; and UT Martin Chancellor Tom Rakes. McBride continues a long family tradition of FFA leadership. His father, Mark (Martin ’82), served as Tennessee Association state president in 1980-81, and his brother Matthew (Martin ’09) held the same position in 2006-07.