Derek W. Frisby is the faculty coordinator for the College of Liberal Arts and Office of International Affairs at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), while also teaching courses in the History Department and Global Studies Program. Previously, he served as an Associate Professor of History at MTSU teaching Tennessee, US, and military history. He is Middle Tennessee native, MTSU alum, and US Marine Corps Desert Shield/Desert Storm veteran whose research interests deal with military occupation and reconstruction strategies. Frisby received his doctoral degree from the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa and has authored numerous articles and essays on warfare and public memory, including MTSU's association with Nathan Bedford Forrest’s image as controversy again swirled over proposals to rename Forrest Hall, the university’s ROTC building, for the university’s book, MTSU: A Centennial Legacy. He is completing his first book dealing with West Tennesseans who remained loyal to the Union during the Civil War and their role in the region’s occupation and restoration.
Dr. Frisby was a 2003 military history fellow at the US Military Academy at West Point, was coordinating director of the Society for Military History’s 2009 annual conference in Murfreesboro, TN, and edited the West Tennessee Historical Society Papers (one of three academic state historical journals) for six years. He serves a historical consultant to the staffs of regional ROTC programs (including MTSU), Fort Campbell, and Fort Knox, frequently leading battlefield tours, conducting “staff rides,” and teaching military history courses. Dr. Frisby frequently leads students overseas to explore and study warfare, culture, and public memory. Recent destinations have included Guam, Peleliu, Iwo Jima, a "Band of Brothers" tour of western Europe for WWI and WWII battlefields, and Vietnam. Frisby is also actively involved in various campus initiatives as a member of the MTSU Veterans Memorial Committee that established a monument plaza to MTSU veterans and chairs the MTSU Veterans and Military Affairs Committee. He was a member of the MTSU Centennial Celebration Executive Committee in 2011-12 and is an officer in the Blue Raider Athletic Association. Dr. Frisby was also honored with the 2009 MTSU Outstanding Teaching Award and a 2009 Daily News Journal Ruthie Award for “Favorite MTSU professor.” He recently appeared on the NatGeo Channel’s Civil War series, “Civil Warriors: Episode 3: Hard War” detailing the perilous conditions in Union occupied Middle Tennessee.
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