Dr. Charlie Apigian is the Interim Director of the Data Science Institute at MTSU and is the former Chair of Computer Information Systems for Middle Tennessee State University, where he also teaches predictive analytics. In addition to his teaching and research. As Chair, he was responsible for the Computer Information Systems department at MTSU, which has close to 400 undergraduate and 100 graduate students majoring in Information Systems. The recent accomplishments within the CIS department include an emphasis on bridging the gap between industry and academics through mentoring, internships, and relevant initiatives that have also led to three concentrations at the graduate level; Information Security, IT Project Management, and the new Business Intelligence & Analytics program. These initiatives have landed partnerships with Tableau, Microstrategy and Lynda.com. He has published in several peer-reviewed journals and also won a handful of teaching awards, including Professor of the Year in the Jones College of Business (twice). Although awards and recognition are appreciated, Dr. Apigian is most proud of the students that have moved onto successful careers in different fields in information systems.
As a resident of Murfreesboro, Dr. Apigian and his family started to get involved within the community. They became involved in church events, youth sports, and other activities around town. From that link to Murfreesboro, it gave him the passion to give back to those that he loves; kids and the community.
Prior to moving to Tennessee, Dr. Apigian weighed 235 pounds and was not the healthiest of eaters. He decided to make a change for the better and was slowly able to shed some weight and began enjoying new activities; especially running. With running, he continued to lose weight and is now down to 160 pounds. He began running marathons and also competing in triathlons and has competed in over 40 races including an Ironman 70.3, a 60K trail run, a three-day running stage race (60 miles), the Strolling Jim 40 miler (three times), and the Land Between Lakes 50 Miler in 2015.
In 2009, this passion for physical activity was the motivation to bring similar events to Murfreesboro for kids and their families. With the help of other like-minded individuals this became a reality, and the inaugural Try Boro Kids Triathlon on August 22, 2009 was held at Murfreesboro’s Sports*Com recreation facility.
Since that first event in August of 2009, the Try Boro Kids Race Series has hosted a total of 24 events for kids (ages 5 to 14 year old) ranging from triathlons to 2.5K/5Ks, hosted 10 clinics, and developed and administered programs within the Murfreesboro City School system to get kids active and fit. Each event is professional managed and timed and every child walks away with a quality shirt and finisher medal. The Try Boro Kids Race Series is a 501c(3) and has partnered with Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation and Murfreesboro City Schools to get kids active in our community through unique endurance events and the development of a program to get kids active everyday, called the Try Boro 100% Challenge. Dr. Apigian has been a founder, president, and the race director for all of the events, programs, and clinics. Through these efforts, over 2500 kids have participated, with many these kids being a catalyst to make a change within their family and their own lives.
More recently, Dr. Apigian has become involved with other local organizations and charities. He has been on the board for the Murfreesboro Half Marathon since 2010 and and in 2012, he was the course director for the Inaugural Special Kids 5K/15K Race, which raised over $113,000 for Special Kids, Inc. with 2,300 runners. Since then, as race director of the Special Kids 15K/5K Race, it has averaged close to 3,000 runners per year and has raised over $150,000 annually.
Although running and work are vital parts of Dr. Apigian’s life, he will admit that life is always a work in progress. His love for technology and for being productive are vital to his habits in life and being involved with individuals to help bridge the gap between school and their careers is priority one. Of course, on any given his most important task maybe just a run with dog Lucy, or a mean game of basketball with his boys. Regardless of what lies ahead, passion defines the person and the drive to help others. With passion, everything comes easy in life.