College of Media and Entertainment faculty induct three MTSU alumni into Wall of Fame

Photo and Story by Alexis Marshall / Contributing Writer

Faculty from the College of Media and Entertainment inducted three distinguished alumni into the Wall of Fame on Friday at the 17th Annual Wall of Fame Awards Ceremony.

Award recipients Traci Thomas, Christin Baker and F. Reid Shippen were honored by the School of Journalism, Electronic Media Communication and Recording Industry respectively for their professional contributions.

Traci Thomas received a Public Relations degree from Middle Tennessee State University over 20 years ago. Since then she has worked with many popular recording artists including Drive-By Truckers, Steve Earle and Old Crow Medicine Show. She currently manages Jason Ibell, St. Paul and the Broken Bones and John Moreland.

“It was while I was at MTSU that I decided if I had to work for the rest of my life, PR sounded like fun,” Thomas said as she accepted her award.

Her other accomplishments include being a founding member of the Americana Music Association and being an honoree of the 10th Annual Louise Scruggs Memorial Forum at the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Christin Baker graduated from MTSU in 1997 and is now a renowned filmmaker. Her first film, “Mr. Karaoke in Albania,” documented a volunteer who traveled to refugee camps in Albania setting up karaoke shows. It won the Shorts DocuFest audience award in 2000. More recently, she won the award for Best Director at the 2016 London Raindance Film Festival.

“I’m just so grateful and so thankful for the education I got here at MTSU,” Baker said.

She said that MTSU helps prepare students for the ever-changing world by staying up to date with its equipment and teaching practices.

Baker will be traveling to the Cannes Film Festival later this year to participate on a panel of judges.

Reid Shippen is a multi-talented professional in the recording industry who has succeeded not only in mixing, production and engineering but also in real estate, investing and publishing. He has helped produce for acts such as Eric Church, Colony House and Cage the Elephant, just to name a few.

Shippen was unable to accept his award in person because he was needed in his studio in Nashville.

“Unfortunately, Reid is so successful that he was summoned to a mixing session today and couldn’t get away,” said Beverly Keel, chair of the recording industry department.

Keel said she was delighted that students would be able to look up to the accomplishments of Shippen and the other honorees on the Wall of Fame.

The Wall of Fame can be found on the first floor of the John Bragg Media and Entertainment Building in an electronic display near the Center for Popular Music.

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