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This Week at APSU: Stories of Confronting Racism, Navigating the Pandemic, Finding Home

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – “If Austin Peay Could Talk” is a new, special series about listening. Paying tribute to James Baldwin’s novel, “If Beale Street Could Talk,” the essays in this series are meant to magnify the experiences of the University’s Black faculty and staff. 

Austin Peay State University Campus. (APSU)
Austin Peay State University Campus. (APSU)

Every Friday, a different University employee will share their own deeply personal story about racism – stories that have been overlooked for too long. 

Today, Austin Peay State University is talking, and we hope you will simply listen to these important words.

These are the links to stories our colleagues have told so far: 

Watch the two mini-musicals an APSU professor penned during the pandemic

Screen capture of "La Quarantena." (APSU)
Screen capture of “La Quarantena.” (APSU)

An Austin Peay State University musical theatre voice professor wrote two “mini-musicals” during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. And you can watch them on YouTube.

Dr. John Ray – who recently joined APSU as assistant professor in musical theatre voice after serving as visiting professor last year – said he wrote the mini-musicals “as the pandemic worsened and performance opportunities dwindled.”



“I had the idea to create a couple of virtual mini-musicals to offer actors a creative outlet,” Ray said. 

The musicals were “my way of trying to contribute artistically and put a much-needed positive spin on being socially distanced from one another,” he added. 

You can watch the children’s mini-musical “Thelonia Thorn and the Thunderous Thursday” at https://youtu.be/5iwUmj9m3LE

You can watch the grown-up mini-musical “La Quarantena” at https://youtu.be/cYWwZZVX68A

For more about the mini-musicals, click here.

GOMB member Heather Gauthier shares how APSU was the ‘best decision I’ve ever made’

Heather Gauthier. (APSU)
Heather Gauthier. (APSU)

With an associate degree in hand, she transferred to APSU. “Last fall was just like home. I returned to the last field I stepped off of during high school, and now it’s my home field. Austin Peay State University is the best decision I’ve ever made.”

Read Heather’s story here.



Wondering what fall will look like at Austin Peay State University?

We put together a story that includes a video, graphics and helpful links. Check it out here.

Other Austin Peay State University happenings this week:

  • The Seminar for Adult Students is at noon Tuesday, August 11th. Click here for more information.
  • The Student Organization Dance Association is having an interest meeting at 3:00pm Wednesday, August 12th. Click here for more information.
  • Fraternity and Sorority Affairs is having an information session at 6:00pm Wednesday, August 12th. Click here for more information.
  • Student Counseling Services is hosting Black Voices of APSU, a support group for Black students affected by racism, at 2:00pm Thursday, August 13th. Click here for more information.

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