Category Archives: Alumni

With Engineering Clinic, TSU Students May Soon Design and Build Computer Games, Small Machines

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A new “engineering clinic” will allow students to design and build products related to their discipline. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Engineering and computer science students at Tennessee State University may soon be able to design and build products such     as hand-held computer   games, mobile robots, computer apps and small machines, thanks to a new funding from the National Science Foundation.

A $1.7 million, four-year grant intended to revamp the curriculum and increase the graduation rate of African-American males in engineering, will also include the creation of an “engineering clinic,” which will allow students to design and build products related to their discipline.

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Dr. S. Keith Hargrove

“We are developing an innovative way of learning that would enhance students’ persistence and better prepare them for the rigors of the engineering coursework,” said Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering and principal investigator of the NSF funding.

According to Hargrove there is a demand to produce a more diverse workforce by developing curriculums that reflect theoretical and practical knowledge and allow graduates to immediately make a contribution to industry. But incoming freshmen are less prepared for the rigors of the engineering curriculum in such areas as math. Only 5.5 percent of black eighth-graders completed calculus five years later, and a mere 1.1 percent of the nation’s black college freshmen enrolled in engineering programs in 2010, an analysis by the National Association of Black Engineers shows.

With the new funding, Tennessee State University, the largest producer of African American engineers in the state, is responding to this workforce demand, Hargrove said.

Dr. Sachin Shetty
Dr. Sachin Shetty

“We have developed a pre-engineering sequence of courses for freshmen that students must take before embarking on the traditional four-year curriculum,” he said. “These courses are infused with hands-on design projects to motivate and inform students about the discipline, and promote team dynamics and engineering fundamentals.”

Freshman Mechanical Engineering major Isaiah Pirtle, a beneficiary of the pre-engineering program, has seen great progress in his performance.

“I was fortunate to participate in the ‘Engineering Concepts Institute,’ a summer pre-college program,” Pirtle said. “That experience gave me an excellent academic background for the mathematics required in my major.”

According to Hargrove, with that preparation, Pirtle and his fellow classmates’ program for the next five years will focus on more design-related projects with the development of the engineering clinic.

Dr. Sachin Shetty, associate professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Co-PI of the NFS fund, will manage the project and the development of the clinic. The project will also support a retention study on the attrition of African-American students, with particular emphasis on black males. Faculty from the Department of Sociology Department and College of Education will coordinate the study.

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Alumnus Kevin W. Williams Elected to Nation’s Largest and Most Prominent Physicians’ Group

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Kevin W. Williams (’83) has been elected to a public member position with the American Medical Association, according to a recent announcement released by the 168-year-old organization.

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Kevin W. Williams

A former senior executive with General Motors, Williams joins the nation’s largest and most prominent physician organization on its 21-member board which sets standards and policy for the medical profession. He is only the fourth person to hold the public member position on the governing board, which added the first public member to its Board of Trustees in 2002. Williams will begin his four-year term at the conclusion of the AMA Annual Meeting in June 2016.

“Mr. Williams brings a wealth of knowledge and skills to the AMA board from his private sector career as a high-level leader with national and international business experience,” said Stephen R. Permut, M.D., AMA Board chair, in a release. “We look forward to his new perspectives that will help enrich our continuing efforts to address the leading health care issues facing our nation.”

Over the course of his 31-year career at GM, Williams accumulated extensive experience where he held numerous global roles. Most recently, he served as board chairman, president and managing director of General Motors (GM) of Canada Ltd. He also served as president and managing director of GM de Mexico, and GM North American vice president of quality.

Williams began his GM career in 1983 as a reliability analyst at Buick City in Flint, Michigan, and over the years he took on diverse key leadership roles as global executive director of Supplier Quality; global executive director of Supplier Quality, Development, and Supplier Diversity for Worldwide Purchasing; and executive director of Supplier Quality for GM Europe with responsibilities spanning 22 countries and 1,500 employees.

Williams has a demonstrated passion for giving back. He is a board member of the United Negro College Fund Foundation, a former trustee of Genesys Health System of Michigan, a former chairman of the Society of Automotive Engineers’ A World in Motion Advisory Committee, and continues to support his alma mater by serving on the TSU Foundation Board of Trustees.

A native of Lexington Park, Maryland, Williams earned a bachelor’s in Business Management from Tennessee State University in 1983 and a master’s in Business Administration from Central Michigan University in 1989. In 2002, Williams completed the GM Senior Executive Development Program.

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Aristocrat of Bands Selected for the 2016 Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University Aristocrat of Bands is preparing to perform once again in the Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase. The band was recently selected in a competitive online voting process in which the nation’s top band contenders from Historically Black Colleges and Universities vied for a spot in the annual showcase.

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TSU Aristocrat of Bands set for its seventh appearance at the Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

TSU was among only eight HBCU bands making the final cut and will gather at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Jan. 30, 2016 to entertain thousands of students, alumni and other fans with their musical talents and showmanship.

Along with Tennessee State, the other bands selected included Alabama A&M University, Alcorn State University, Bethune-Cookman University, Jackson State University, Lincoln University (PA), Prairie View A&M University, and South Carolina State University. Each band will receive a $20,000 grant from Honda to support their music education programs, and will receive paid travel and lodging accommodations to the Invitational Showcase.

“The Honda Battle of the Bands is an once-in-a-lifetime experience that helps HBCU student musicians showcase their talent and discover their greatness, both on- and off-the-field,” said Steve Morikawa, vice president of Corporate Community Relations, American Honda. “Honda is proud to have a longstanding relationship with America’s HBCUs, and is honored that many students consider this event a highlight of their collegiate experience.”

This will be the seventh appearance for the Aristocrat of Bands at the Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase, having performed in 2003, 2004, 2011, and 2012, 2013, and 2015.

“Our Aristocrat of Bands students work extremely hard academically and as musicians, and we are proud that we have been selected to participate in the Honda Battle of the Bands for yet another year,” said Dr. Reginald McDonald, director of University Bands. “We appreciate all of those who voted for us to be a part of this competition and look forward to presenting a show that lives up to the outstanding Aristocrat of Bands legacy of quality musicianship and energetic showmanship.”

Tickets to the Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase are available for purchase now on the HBOB website, http://www.hondabattleofthebands.com/, and start at just $10.

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Lomax Tapped as TSU’s 2015 Fall Commencement Speaker

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Dr. Michael L. Lomax

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – During Tennessee State University’s highest and most dignified academic ceremony, nearly 500 undergraduate and graduate students in various disciplines will take their final walk as they graduate Dec. 12, 9 a.m. in the Howard C. Gentry Complex on the main campus, during the 2015 Fall Commencement.

In what may be the end, and for others, a continuation of their academic journey, the graduates will be celebrated with pomp and circumstance, and extended words of wisdom from Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO of the United Negro College Fund, the featured Commencement speaker. Lomax has served in his current role with UNCF, the nation’s largest provider of scholarships and other educational support to African-American students, since 2004. Under his leadership, UNCF has raised $2.3 billion and helped more than 92,000 students earn college degrees and launch careers. Annually, UNCF’s work enables 60,000 students to go to college with UNCF scholarships and attend its 37 member historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Before coming to UNCF, Lomax was president of Dillard University in New Orleans and a literature professor at UNCF-member institutions, Morehouse and Spelman Colleges. He also served as chairman of the Fulton County Commission in Atlanta, the first African-American elected to that post.

“Dr. Lomax has done outstanding work advocating for students of color to receive funding support in pursuit of higher education,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “Over the years, his efforts and that of so many UNCF and TSU supporters, has benefitted many Tennessee State students who now call themselves graduates of the university. We expect that he will deliver an energetic and timely message to our graduates.”

At UNCF’s helm, Lomax oversees the organization’s 400 scholarship programs, which awards 10,000 scholarships a year worth more than $100 million. He also launched the UNCF Institute for Capacity Building, which helps UNCF’s 37-member historically black colleges and universities become stronger, more effective and more self-sustaining. Under Lomax’s leadership, UNCF has fought for college readiness and education reform through partnerships with reform-focused leaders and organizations. He serves on the boards of Teach for America and the KIPP Foundation.

“This is our first opportunity to hear Dr. Lomax as Commencement speaker and we are looking forward to the inspiring and encouraging message he has for our students,” said Dr. John Cade, Interim Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Support Services.

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Dean Named Consultant to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

Dean Michael Harris, Director Mark Mark R. Gwyn TBI, Sep. 10, 2015
The Director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Mark R. Gwyn, right, presents Dr. Michael Harris with the TBI badge during a ceremony at the agency. (Submitted Photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Dr. Michael Harris, dean of the College of Public Service, has been named a consultant to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. This follows two years of collaboration between the college and TBI on a variety of professional development and education initiatives.

Harris will be a non-salary consultation of the agency. TBI Director Mark R. Gwyn called Harris’ appointment “an added value” to the agency.

“We have worked with Dean Harris for over two years and know that his expertise and experiences will be of great value to the work of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation,” Gwyn said.

TSU President Glenda Glover applauded the TBI for recognizing Harris’ talent in appointing him a consultant.

“His (Harris) integrity and resourcefulness are unmatched and he will be an asset to TBI,” Glover said. “The appointment reflects the strong commitment that TSU has to serve Middle Tennessee and the State of Tennessee.”

Harris holds a Ph.D. in public policy from Indiana University, an M.A. in public policy from Tel-Aviv University, and a B.A. in economics and business administration from Bar-Ilan University.  He is a graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Education Leadership, and the Higher Education Oxford Round Table.

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State Opens Satellite Police Office in Heart of Campus

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A Facilities Management staff affixes the TSU Police Satellite Station sign on the door, as a Channel 5 cameraman covers the opening of the new office. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University Police Department has increased its presence on campus recently opening a new satellite office right in the heart of the campus.

The new office will put the department in closer proximity to the university’s high-traffic area at the Floyd-Payne Campus Center near the courtyard area, and will serve to build stronger relationships with students in an effort to protect the campus community and visitors and to provide quicker response to criminal activity, and identify and remove those who are unauthorized visitors to the campus.

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Student Government Association President Racia Poston, left, talks to reporters during the opening of the new TSU Police Satellite Station in the campus center. (Photo by John Cross,TSU Media Relations)

“The administration is taking a multifaceted approach to further enhance safety measures that strategically address the issue of ensuring that there are no weapons or other illegal activity on our campus,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “We will strictly enforce the TSU ID policy, requiring students, faculty and staff to wear IDs at all times.”

The satellite location has been fully operational since Nov. 1 as part of new safety measures announced by Glover under her 10-Point Safety Enhancement Plan. The office is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and operates through staffed police officers and security guards in three eight-hour shifts, according to TSU Police Chief Anthony Carter.

“In just a short time, we have noticed a safer, more collegial environment since opening this location,” Carter said. “It is much better and it’s getting better every day.”

Carter continued, “This location has also done a lot to improve our engagement with students. Our officers laugh, joke and have conversations with them. It has been beneficial in building relationships with the student body and creating a more safe and friendly atmosphere.”

The increased visibility of TSU’s police force is amplified by a partnership with Metro Nashville Police, who have joined with TSUPD to provide increased patrols on campus. Other safety measures under the incorporation of a tip hotline, the offering of cash rewards for anonymous tips, a Student Safety Patrol, more frequent room inspections, and enhanced surveillance, among other efforts.

Students, employees, and visitors are encouraged to report all incidents, emergencies and crimes directly to TSUPD. For more information on the new TSU Police satellite office, contact (615) 963-5171.

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University Installs New Student Safety Patrol Officers

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SGA President Racia Poston, second from right, was among those sworn-in to protect their campus as part of the Student Safety Patrol. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – For JerMilton Woods, it is personal when it comes to campus safety and the well-being of his fellow students, especially when he thinks about outsiders coming on campus to cause problems.

“This is a great university that has been very good to me,” Woods said. “Anything I can do to protect its good image and keep my fellow students safe, I am willing to do it.”

The sophomore Human Performance and Sports Sciences major has joined about 25 other schoolmates as part of the Student Safety Patrol, a volunteer group of male and female students providing safe escort for other students across campus.

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JerMilton Woods

The patrol is drawn from fraternities, sororities, service organizations and other related campus groups. It is part of Tennessee State University’s 10-Poing Safety Enhancement Plan announced by President Glenda Glover on Oct. 30 to assure students, parents, alumni, and the public they are safe and secure on campus.

At a ceremony on the main campus Monday, Nov. 16, group members were sworn-in after completing training in observation, reporting and escorting techniques. The volunteers will work in two-hour shifts between 6 p.m. – midnight. Assignments will vary between “Fixed Post” and “Safe Escort Across Campus.” They will wear specially designed uniforms that distinguish them from the general student population, and carry equipment such as whistles, flashlights and radios.

“It is truly personal for me to be a ‘vocal point’ on campus safety,” Woods said after taking the oath to protect his fellow students. “Anytime that I can give back to my university that has given me so much, that is enough for me.”

“I have a vested interest to see this campus safe,” added Tariq Muhammad, a sophomore Agricultural Science major and a member of the SSP. “We want to take back our campus and one way of doing that is by taking the initiative of patrolling our campus ourselves.”

According to Frank Stevenson, coordinator of the Student Safety Patrol, the goal of the programs is to provide safe transport to students across campus and to create opportunities for “peer engagement” in student safety.

“This program will allow students to have true ownership into a safer TSU campus,” Stevenson said. “The intend is to provide safe escorts for our campus community so that no one has to travel alone in isolated areas of campus and/or after dark. The Student Safety Patrol will provide extra eyes and ears for a safer campus.”

Assistant Vice President for Communications and Public Relations Kelli Sharpe congratulated the students on behalf of President Glover, who was away on business.

“We see the Student Safety Patrol as extra eyes and ears on campus safety,” Sharp said. “We commend these students for taking on such an initiative to make sure their fellow students are safe on campus.”

The establishment of the SSP comes on the heels of the recent opening of a police satellite station in the campus center. Also, Metro Nashville Police are teaming up with TSU Police Department to provide more campus coverage. In addition, students, faculty and staff are mandated to visibly wear their university-issued ID badges.

In announcing the Safety Enhancement Plan, Glover said the primary objectives of the Student Safety Patrol are to provide TSU campus safety escorts and transports; observe and report suspicious and unusual activity to police; and provide an active presence. While membership is voluntary with no pay, applicants must be in good academic standing, exhibit good character, maintain good conduct, commit at least two hours per week, and must have genuine concern about safety on campus. In return members receive credit for community service, a certificate of recognition, and internship credits.

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU to Host Fifth Annual Tennessee Local Food Summit Dec. 4-6

LogoJPEGblueNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University will be the site for the Fifth Annual Tennessee Local Food Summit. The summit, to be held Dec. 4-6, will feature seminars and experts on a wide range of topics from backyard gardening, organic agriculture and rural economics to cooking, nutrition and climate change. More than 200 participants are expected to attend.

Sponsored by TSU and the Barefoot Farmer, LLC, the summit will also feature some of Nashville’s best chefs offering delicious, locally grown organic meals during a full-day of educational workshops, networking, and “the celebration of another great growing season,” organizers said.

Flyer with 3 logos[2]“Tennessee State University is pleased to host this important summit,” said the Dean of the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, Dr. Chandra Reddy. “It comes at a time when Nashville and Tennessee are moving toward healthy eating habits, protecting the environment and developing the local economy. This conference also provides an opportunity for our faculty and students to share their research and innovation in this field.”

Organizers say the annual summit is intended to make Middle Tennessee viable again as “the farmland that once fed Nashville.”

Speakers will include nationally and internationally recognized food and farm experts and consultants from Tennessee, New York, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri and Australia, as well as TSU faculty members like Dr. An Peischel, Dr. Sandria Godwin, Dr. Lan Li, Dr. Dilip Nandwani and Dr. Arvazena Clardy.

For more information and to register for the summit, visit http://tnlocalfood.com

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

TSU Veterans Day Ceremony Features Highly Decorated Ex-Service Men and Women at the University

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U.S. Air Force Retired Col. Albert Hill Jr., gives the keynote address at the TSU Veterans Day Ceremony in the Amphitheater on the main campus. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When Albert Hill Jr. joined the Air Force as a recruit right after high school, his goal was to serve a few years, qualify for the GI Bill, leave the military, go to college and find a job.

“I did just that,” said Hill, a retired Air Force Colonel. “I really just wanted money to go to school so after four years I left the Air Force and went to college.”

But Hill’s departure from military life was short-lived. He was missing something …life in the military. “I missed the people, the excitement and the discipline,” he said.

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At a ceremony on the Avon Williams campus March 31, Tom Morrison (right), the Tennessee Higher Education Commission Assistant Executive Director for Veterans Education, presented the title and certificate of designation to President Glenda Glover, officially declaring TSU a certified “Vets Campus.” (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Hill reenlisted in the Air Force, and for 32 years, until his retirement in 2008, he served on various posts in Japan, Germany, Panama and the United States, including the Air Force ROTC Detachment at Tennessee State University, where he was commander. Hill received many decorations and awards including the Defense Meritorious Service Award, the Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters, and the Air Force Commendation Medal.

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U.S. Air Force Retired Lt. Col. Michelangelo McCallister Sr.

On Wednesday, Nov. 11, Hill, TSU’s director of Business Operations in the Department of Facilities Management, was the keynote speaker at the university’s annual Veterans Day ceremony in the Amphitheater on the main campus. Many other ex-service men and women working at TSU  attended the ceremony including highly decorated Air Force retired Lt. Col. Michelangelo McCallister Sr., contract administrator in the Office of the University Counsel; and retired U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Harold Hal Murra, safety inspector in the Department of Facilities Management. Cadet India Williams, a freshman Industrial Engineering major,  and member of the TSU ROTC program, also participated in the ceremony.

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U.S, Coast Guard Retired Petty Officer Harold Hal Murra

Honoring veterans with this specially planned ceremony is just one of many efforts geared toward recognizing the sacrifice of prior service people. As a Certified Vets Campus, TSU provides support services for veterans to ease their transition from military service to college life.

“We have a number of students, faculty and staff at Tennessee State University who have served honorably in the U.S. Armed Forces,” said Dr. Mark Hardy, vice president for Academic Affairs. “Because of their sacrifice and dedicated service to our country, we have a tradition at TSU of honoring them on Veterans Day.  We celebrate them and thank them for all they have done for their country.”

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AFROTC Cadet India Williams

Williams added that as  AFROTC cadets, their mission is to promote quality leaders who, like veterans, put “service before self.”

“Veterans are our leaders in guiding the pathway for success in the future,” she said. “They deserve all honor and recognition. Veterans Day not only means a great significance to the veterans, but to cadets like myself who one day hope to be recognized for all the hard work and dedication to serving our country.”

Recently, seven prior servicemen and servicewomen received certificates as information technology specialists after graduating from a training program offered through the TSU Continuing Education and Workforce Development Unit. TSU also has a Student Veterans Association to help fellow veterans reintegrate into campus life and succeed academically.

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Safe Drinking Water: TSU Student and Faculty Research Help to Keep Nation Water Supply Free of Pollutants

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JeTara Brown crawls through Mammoth Cave toward a water sampling sight. (Submitted Photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University student and faculty-led research findings are helping to keep the nation’s drinking water safe. According to reports from the recent National Cave and Karst Management Symposium in Cave City, Kentucky, two TSU graduate students and their professors presented findings on ways to improve water quality in the karst landscapes, a unique and fragile set of ecosystems that are dependent on clean stormwater recharge. Two-thirds of Tennessee has karst or karst-like landscape, including all of middle Tennessee. Their findings at Mammoth Cave have application to Nashville and the surrounding area.

Graduate students JeTara Brown and Hung Wai Ho, along with their professors in the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, partnered with federal agencies to investigate management practices that improve storm runoff from parking lots and spills in the Mammoth Cave National Park in south central Kentucky. The cave and karst systems serve as a habitat for unique ecosystems and sources of drinking water for much of the population.

According to Hung Wai, their research focused on the assessment and treatment of different pollutants in stormwater runoff in an urbanized area.

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Hung Wai Ho conducts a tracer study with Rhodamine dye in Mammoth Cave. (Submitted Photo)

“Water is a vital part of the environment but anthropogenic activities have been causing impairment to the water quality, especially in the karst regions of Tennessee and Kentucky,” Hung Wai said. “Additionally, the National Park offers a dynamic and interactive environment for us to apply our academic knowledge in a real-world situation.”

 

The research was part of an agreement among TSU, the National Park Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Western Kentucky University Mammoth Cave International Center for Science and Learning, to aid in understanding the transport of contaminants into the karst system.

“Over half of the U.S. population relies on groundwater as a source for water supply,” said Brown, a first-year graduate student. “Unfortunately, when it rains, contaminants can be transported into the groundwater through sinkholes and fractures that are unfiltered.  The more we understand how karst systems work, the better we can find ways to protect them.”

Dr. Tom Byl is a research scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey. For the last 20 years he has partnered with TSU conducting environmental research and teaching occasional classes.  Brown and Hung Wai are among the more than 150 students he has mentored.

“My students have conducted studies on a wide variety of topics, ranging from groundwater remediation to wetlands and cave systems,” Byl said. “Students bring new insight and energy to research projects.  Involving TSU students in field studies and lab research helps them understand that they can have meaningful careers in earth and environmental sciences.”

On the quality of the research, Dr. Rick Toomey, director of the Mammoth Cave International Center for Science and Learning, said it is “incredibly” important to the science of caves.

“We have been incredibly impressed with the students Dr. Byl brings from TSU,” Toomey said. “They have been involved in helping to provide us with critical information on park management and finding interesting patterns in pure science such as water chemistry change. Their work has been very valuable and we hope it is also providing educational opportunities for the students.”

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Dr. De’Etra Young crawls through Mammoth Cave toward a water sampling site. (Submitted Photo)
Byl said as a result of the students’ “outstanding” work, Brown and Hung Wai, along with their faculty advisors, have been invited to present their research findings at the Karst Water Institute in Puerto Rico in January 2016. The students were each awarded $200 toward travel expense to the conference by the prestigious Karst Water Institute.

“JeTara and Hung Wai are great examples of our talented students at Tennessee State University,” said Dr. DéEtra Young, a faculty advisor. “As coordinator of the College of Agriculture Dean’s Scholars Program, I’m working diligently to increase research opportunities for our students. It is our goal to actively foster the academic and personal development of our students in preparation for the workforce or the many graduate opportunities available.”

“There are very few minority scientists in this very important field of cave and karst management. TSU’s Ag and Engineering colleges are trying to train and fill this gap,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences.  “Our faculty, Drs. De’Etra Young and Tom Byl, do an outstanding job in training students and the invitation they received to present at this important national meeting is a good indicator of that.”

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About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.