MTSU Honors 75 Retiring Employees for Years of Service to Students and the Campus Community


Middle Tennessee State University is saluting 75 retiring employees as the 2021-22 academic year begins to wind down, honoring their 1,959 combined years of service devoted to students and the campus community.

The employees gathered April 6 for a special retirement reception in the Student Union Ballroom, where University Provost Mark Byrnes praised their careers at every level of service.

The longest-tenured employees honored this year are James “Jim” Rust of the Department of Psychology in the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences and Joyce Vaughn of the Office of Housing and Residential Life. Both marked their 48th years with the university.

Rust, a Readyville, Tennessee, resident, focused on training school psychologists during his years with MTSU and served as coordinator for the department’s graduate programs in school psychology. He was named professor emeritus in 2021.

Vaughn, a Murfreesboro resident and an MTSU business alumna, has most recently served as coordinator of business operations and conference housing for the housing office.

MTSU Professor Emeritus James “Jim” Rust, left, who recently retired from the Department of Psychology, smiles with retired colleague Steve Lewis of the Department of Marketing after the university’s annual Retired Employee Reception April 6 in the Student Union Ballroom. Rust was honored for his 48 years of service to the university, and Lewis was recognized for his 44 years of service. Another retired honoree, Joyce Vaughn of the Office of Housing and Residential Life, isn’t pictured; she also marked 48 years of service to MTSU. The 75 retiring employees honored at the ceremony for the 2021-22 academic year have a combined 1,959 years of service. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Fellow employee Steve Lewis of the Department of Marketing in the Jones College of Business also was recognized for his 44th year of service to MTSU.

Lewis, a Dickson, Tennessee, resident, served as chair of the former Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship during his tenure at MTSU. He, too, focused on training MTSU students for service as teachers, coordinating the marketing department’s Master of Business Education degree program for prospective business teachers ranging from middle school to college and at the corporate level.

Their fellow new retirees and their departments include:

  • Cindy Adams, University College.
  • Mike Alleyne, Department of Recording Industry.
  • Chris Anderson, Post Office.
  • Martha Balachandran, Department of Marketing.
  • Rich Barnet, Department of Recording Industry.
  • John Bodle, School of Journalism and Strategic Media.
  • Daniel Boyer, MTSU Farm Laboratory.
  • Debra Boyce Higginbotham, Campus Planning.
  • Marie Brown, Creative Marketing Solutions Printing.
  • Norm Buck, Energy Services Department.
  • Ralph Butler, Department of Computer Science.
  • Denise Cathey, School of Journalism and Strategic Media.
  • Chong Chen, Department of Engineering Technology.
  • Jeff Cogdill, Building Services Department.
  • Mary Lou Cornett, Department of Aerospace.
  • Bruce Currie, Events and Transportation.
  • Ellen Donovan, Department of English.
  • Kevin Donovan, Department of English.
  • John DuBois, Department of Biology.
  • Virginia Ellis, Office of Student Life.
  • Kathy Field, James E. Walker Library.
  • Lawanna Fisher, Department of University Studies.
  • Sharon Fitzgerald, School of Journalism and Strategic Media.
  • Deborah Flanigan, Department of English.
  • Ella Forsythe, Custodial Services Department.
  • Mark Fults, Office of Parking and Transportation Services.
  • Nancy Sloan Goldberg, Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures.
  • Jette Halladay, Department of Theatre and Dance.
  • Thom Heine, Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures.
  • Michelle Higdon, Department of Computer Science.
  • Jana Hinz, University College.
  • Michael Hinz, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies.
  • Nancy James, Child Care Lab.
  • Cheryl Jennings, Custodial Services Department.
  • Dala Jernigan, Counseling and Testing Services.
  • Martha Jordan, Office of Alumni Relations.
  • Robert Kalwinsky, Department of Media Arts.
  • Jwa Kim, Department of Psychology.
  • Marva Lucas, Department of University Studies.
  • Jane Marcellus, School of Journalism and Strategic Media.
  • Neal McClain, James E. Walker Library.
  • Nancy Miller, College of Basic and Applied Sciences.
  • Keith Morris, Office of Parking and Transportation Services.
  • Tim Musselman, School of Music.
  • Maureen Nokes, Student Health Services.
  • David Otts, Department of University Studies.
  • Vicki Paré, Business Office.
  • Angie Parsons, Office of International Affairs.
  • Earl Pearson, Department of Chemistry.
  • Bruce Petryshak, Department of Information Technology.
  • Mandy Pinkston, Department of Human Sciences.
  • Brenda Puckett, School of Nursing.
  • Joyce Reed, Facilities Services Department.
  • Jean Reese, James E. Walker Library.
  • Bill Riggs, Office of Financial Aid.
  • Lisa Rogers, Department of Information Technology.
  • John Sanborn, Department of Social Work.
  • Henry Short, Engineering Services Department.
  • Zachariah Sinkala, Department of Mathematical Sciences.
  • Mary Stanford, Tennessee Small Business Development Center.
  • Tom Tang, Department of Management.
  • Kim Taylor, Human Resource Services.
  • Venton Thomas, Post Office.
  • Lisa Throneberry, Office of Financial Aid.
  • Armando Tobar, Office of Housing and Residential Life.
  • Danny Troup, MTSU Farm Laboratory.
  • Josie Wade, Office of Financial Aid.
  • Dennis Walsh, Department of Mathematical Sciences.
  • Linda Wilson, School of Nursing.
  • Vincent Windrow, Office of Student Success.
  • Sherry Young, Office of Development and Advancement Services.
  • Gail Zlotky, Department of Aerospace.

The university’s academic year concludes at the end of each summer session. MTSU’s spring 2022 commencement ceremonies are set for Saturday, May 7, and the summer 2022 session, which begins on Monday, May 16, will conclude with summer commencement on Saturday, Aug. 5.

MTSU’s 2022-23 academic year will begin with fall 2022 classes on Monday, Aug. 22.

MTSU, which employs more than 2,500 faculty and staff members campuswide, honors its employees regularly with opportunities that include the MTSU Employee Recognition Program awards for administrators, classified and technical/service personnel and the MTSU Foundation Awards and Faculty Recognition presentations each fall.

For more information about MTSU’s employee recognition programs, visit the university’s Human Resource Services program site at

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