Category Archives: FACULTY

2hubble planet

Using Hubble Space Telescope, Team Including TSU Astronomers Develop Most Detailed Exoplanet Weather Map

In this artist's illustration, the Jupiter-sized planet WASP-43b, orbits its parent star in one of the closest orbits ever measured for an exoplanet of its size -- with a year lasting just 19 hours. (illustration courtesy of NASA, EAS, Z. Levay)
In this artist’s illustration, the Jupiter-sized planet WASP-43b, orbits its parent star in one of the closest orbits ever measured for an exoplanet of its size — with a year lasting just 19 hours. (illustration courtesy of NASA, EAS, Z. Levay)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When it comes to understanding the stars and galaxies, scientists at Tennessee State University continue to play key roles in major discoveries and breakthroughs.

Just this week, TSU astronomers Gregory Henry and Michael Williamson were part of a team of astronomers that announced they had made the most detailed map ever of the temperature distribution of an exoplanet’s atmosphere, and traced the amount of water vapor it contains.

Both results were made from data collected using instruments on board the Hubble Space Telescope. The planet targeted for both of the investigations was the hot-Jupiter exoplanet referred to as WASP-43b.

TSU operates a unique array of robotic telescopes located in the Patagonia Mountains of southern Arizona that have gained international recognition for the research programs they have accomplished, including the discovery of planetary systems around other stars in 1999.

In their latest effort, Henry and Williamson, working on a study headed by Jacob Bean, of the University of Chicago, used one of the TSU automated telescopes to make a long series of nightly measurements of the planet’s host star’s brightness.

Gregory Henry
Dr. Gregory Henry

“The planet’s host star is some 70 percent smaller and cooler than our own sun, but, like the sun, exhibits the coming and going of cooler regions on its surface called starspots,” said Henry, who headed the team in the 1999 discovery of a new planetary system. “These starspots are analogous to the dark sunspots seen on the sun and that come and go with the 11-year sunspot cycle.”

He said the starspots cause continuous, subtle changes in the brightness of the star.  To enable the construction of an accurate temperature map of the planetary atmosphere, the calibration of the Hubble Space Telescope measurements of the planet’s atmosphere must include the effects of the star’s changing brightness.

“The WASP-43b result is indeed interesting, given that this planet is unique among the nearly 2,000 known exoplanets in that it has the shortest period of revolution around the star: only 19 hours.  This period defines the length of the planet’s year, compared to 365 days for our earth,” Henry said.

“Our observations are the first of their kind in terms of providing a two- dimensional map of the planet’s thermal structure,” added Kevin Stevenson, also of the University of Chicago. “These maps can be used to constrain circulation models that predict how heat is transported from an exoplanet’s hot day side to its cool night side.”

To make the map more detailed, the team also measured the water abundances and temperatures at different longitudes. To do this, Henry and his colleagues took advantage of the precision and stability of Hubble’s instruments to subtract more than 99.95 percent of the light from the parent star, allowing them to study the light coming from the planet itself — a technique called emission spectroscopy. By doing this at different points of the planet’s orbit around the parent star, they could map the atmosphere across its longitude.

“We have been able to observe three complete rotations — three years for this distant planet — during a span of just four days,” explained Bean. “This was essential in allowing us to create the first full temperature map for an exoplanet and to probe its atmosphere to find out which elements it held and where.”

Finding the proportions of the different elements in planetary atmospheres provides vital clues to understanding how planets formed.

 

 

 

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

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 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 Marks 102nd Birthday With Procession, Speeches and Cheers

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is 102 years old today.

President Glenda Glover, accompanied by keynote speaker, State Rep. Brenda Gilmore, led a procession of faculty, staff and students for a Founders’ Day celebration in Kean Hall, amid cheers from the audience and renditions from the University Marching Band.

“This is a great day for Tennessee State University,” said Dr. Glover, as she recounted events in the University’s history from its founding in 1912 to the role it plays today as a major center of education in the nation.

“From 1912 when the then Agricultural and Industrial Normal School for Negroes, built to provide educational opportunity for blacks, opened its doors to the first 247, TSU has maintained a tradition of excellence in education for a diverse population,” Dr. Glover said.

In her keynote address, Rep. Gilmore, a 1984 graduate of TSU, emphasized “Think, Work, Serve,” the University’s motto and its relevance in achieving success, but quickly pointed to pitfalls many face for misusing that success.

“TSU has helped to better the lives of so many and opened doors for countless others,” Gilmore said. “But many, including elected officials and others in key positions have failed because they end up hurting the very people they are supposed to help.”

Gilmore, a noted advocate for abused and special needs children, and a strong supporter of women’s cause, said many officials suffer what she called ethical lapses, either out of greed for power, wealth, disrespect for others or lack of integrity.

“As TSU graduates we are responsible to pass our good fortune to help those unfortunate ones in our community,” said Gilmore, who earned a B.S. degree in Business at TSU, before going on to earn a master’s degree in Human Resource Development at Vanderbilt University.

“Get involved in fruitful endeavors that improve your community; give back to the community that nurtured you; and reconnect yourselves to the TSU motto to make this world a better place,” added the four-term member of the Tennessee General Assembly from the 54th District in Davidson County.

Mr. and Miss TSU, accompanied by their Royal Court, and faculty members dressed in full regalia, added to the pomp in celebration of the founders and birthday of the University, which now boasts more than 9,000 students, up from 247, one hundred and two years ago.

 

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

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 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 Highlights Degree Programs and Other Positive Initiatives as University Hosts Metro Guidance Counselors

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Dr. Michael Harris, Dean of the College of Public Service and Urban Affairs, speaks to guidance counselors from the Metro Nashville Public Schools about offerings and programs in his college. Dr. Harris and his fellow deans took turns to present to the counselors during their (counselors) one-day in-service training on the Tennessee State University campus. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)


NASHVILLE, Tenn.
(TSU News Service) – The cost of quality education at Tennessee State University is affordable, nearly 85 percent of students get employment immediately after graduation, and a high number of graduates are accepted in graduate schools.

Those were some of the good news items TSU deans, admissions officials and staff shared with more than 90 Metro Nashville Public Schools guidance counselors during a meeting on campus Wednesday.

Since the counselors serve as a direct link between the schools and the University, the goal was to encourage them to steer their students and potential graduates toward post-secondary education at TSU, said Dr. John Cade, interim vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Support Services.

“We offer an affordable quality education that prepares our students with the necessary skills and competencies to be successful,” the deans said, as each gave brief descriptions and uniqueness of offerings and programs in their college.

Cade announced that starting this fall, TSU will offer incoming freshmen and sophomores block scheduling and the digital book bundle, initiatives, he said, that are intended to help with cost-cutting, retention and graduation.

He told the counselors that nearly 500 of potential incoming freshmen for the fall semester were from metro schools.

“We look forward to admitting all of them,” he said as he acquainted the counselors with University programs and processes from registration requirements, and tuition and fees to scholarship opportunities.

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Dwight Martin, right, of the College of Engineering at Tennessee State University, talks to visitors about offerings in his college during a meeting of high school guidance counselors on the TSU campus. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The architectural engineering program in the College of Engineering – one of only 20 in the nation – and a flight school program, one of only two in Tennessee, were among programs announced by the deans for their uniqueness.

Additionally, a global education offering that exposes students to the world around them through travel and study-abroad initiatives is just one of the many good reasons why “TSU is the go-to school,” the counselors were told.

With more than half of the counselors former TSU students and graduates in several disciplines, the message about the quality of the University’s education was easy to get across.

Dr. Barbara Mullins, school counselor for Freshman Academy at John Overton High School, who earned her doctorate from TSU, said the quality of a TSU education is comparable to the best anywhere.

“When I talk to students about TSU, I talk about the ‘TSU experience’ because I know about it first-hand,” Mullins said. “More than anything else, the personal care that comes with getting an education at TSU really stands out.”

Mullins also has a daughter who is a graduate of TSU.

In a brief remark, Dr. Nicole Cobb, MNPS director of Schools Counseling Services, lauded the long-standing relationship between TSU and the metro schools.

“We are really grateful for this partnership; we don’t take it for granted,” Cobb said, thanking Dr. Cade and Dr. Gregory Clark, director of Alumni Outreach and High School Relations for their support. “Dr. Clark and his admissions counselors, just as today, have always done a great job helping us during our training workshop here at TSU.”

“We have to support each other,” Gregory added about the relationship between TSU and MNPS. “We want them to send their students to us and we want them to continue hiring our graduates.”

This trend has taken roots in many ways, as TSU remains a key pipeline to recruiting metro and area teachers.  Recent reports show that for the past two years, TSU has been one of the top teacher preparation programs in the state, providing exceptionally qualified candidates for teaching positions not only across the state and the southern region, but right here in the University’s backyard with MNPS.

In 2012, 52 of the 553 new hires were from TSU, placing the University in the number one spot, with MTSU coming in a close second with 50 hires. Lipscomb, Trevecca and Vanderbilt came in at third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

 

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

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 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 Admissions Staff, Deans, Administrators to Engage MNPS Guidance Counselors During 1-Day Campus Gathering

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University admissions counselors, deans and administrators will have an opportunity Wednesday, July 23, to engage Metro Nashville Public Schools guidance counselors about offerings and programs at the University.

The MNPS high school counselors, about 90 of them, will meet on the TSU campus for their mandatory In-Service Training, which is held prior to the first day of school each year.

The training will be held from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the Ferrell-Westbrook Complex (The Barn) on the main campus.

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TSU officials: Dr. Gregory Clark, Director of Alumni Outreach and High School Relations, left; President Glenda Glover; and Dr. John Cade, Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Support Services, far right, meet with Dr. Nicole Cobb, MNPS Director of Schools Counseling Services, during the guidance counselors’ in-service training on the TSU campus last year. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

According to Dr. Gregory Clark, director of Alumni Outreach and High School Relations at TSU, the yearly meeting of the city’s guidance counselors provides the University an excellent opportunity to showcase its offerings and to help foster working relations between the guidance counselors and the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.

“We also see this gathering as a way to engage with the high school guidance counselors in a collaboration that exposes them to our offerings,” added Dr. John Cade, interim vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Support Services. “We find this to be very rewarding for Metro (Metro Nashville Public Schools) and Tennessee State University.”

During portions of the training, the various colleges at the University will display their academic programs, while deans will be given up to five minutes each to pitch their offerings.

For more information contact Dr. Clark at 615-963-5103 or gclark@tnstate.edu.

 

 

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

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 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.

2014 TSU Small Farms Expo and Farmer of the Year Recognition Expected to Draw More than 400 on July 17

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NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – About 400 agricultural experts, farmers and officials from across Tennessee are expected to attend this year’s Small Farms Expo and Small Farmer of the Year Recognition program at Tennessee State University.

The Expo, hosted by the TSU College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences Cooperative Extension Program, opens on Thursday, July 17, at the Agricultural Research and Education Center on the main campus.

Sponsors include the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, University of Tennessee Extension, the Tennessee Farm Bureau, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Farm Services Bureau, among others.

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Hydroponic farming, the process of producing crop without the benefit of water, was one of the major highlights of the 2013 Small Farms Expo. Here graduate students explain the process to visitors during the exhibition. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Featured research and discussions will focus on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in corn croplands, enhancing sustainable production of bioenergy crops, pigeon pea production for limited resources farmers of Tennessee, and enhancing plant protection against fungal diseases and environmental stresses. Workshops will include organic vegetable production techniques, pesticide handling and safety, honey production and extraction techniques, new equipment technologies for small producers, and soil and plant tissue sampling, among others.

How to fund your operation, the do’s and don’ts of organizing and managing a community garden, as well as how small farmers can move their operation into the Internet age will also be discussed.

According to organizers, the Expo will be highlighted by the Small Farmer Recognition and Award ceremony that will include the President of TSU, Dr. Glenda Glover; Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Julius Johnson; the President of the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation, Dr. Tim Cross; and Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resources.

More details on the Expo can be found at http://www.tnstate.edu/extension/smallfarmexpo.aspx

 

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

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 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.

StormReady Certification Group Photo

Tennessee State University Receives National Weather Service StormReady Designation During Packed Campus Ceremony

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Tom Johnstone, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service, left, presents the StormReady designation plaque to Dr. Curtis Johnson, Associate Vice President and Head of Emergency Management at TSU. Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is well prepared to protect its students, faculty and staff from severe weather, the National Weather Service announced Thursday, July 10, when it designated the University as a StormReady institution.

The NWS said TSU has met all the “rigorous criteria” for a StormReady designation by developing an all-hazard safety plan and communications infrastructure, as well as actively promoted all hazardous weather safety through public awareness activities and training.

“There is nothing more important than keeping our community of students, faculty and staff safe on our campus,” said Dr. Glenda Glover, President of Tennessee State University. “This designation shows that we are holding to our commitment to parents and other community stakeholders that TSU is doing everything possible to ensure a safe and secure environment for our students.”

Storm Ready
Tennessee State University officials receive the StormReady certification from officials of the National Weather Service and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. From left are Tom Johnstone, NWS; Thomas Graham, TSU assistant director of Emergency Management; Dr. Curtis Johnson, TSU; Brittney Coleman, NWS Meteorologist; Chris Johnson, TEMA Middle Tennessee Regional Director; and Brent Morse, Area Coordinator for TEMA. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

At a presentation ceremony on campus, Tom Johnstone, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service, congratulated the University for receiving the StormReady designation. He applauded the administration, the Emergency Management team and staff for their dedication and hard work in “putting all the right pieces together” to achieve the designation.

“Tennessee State University is prepared for the StormReady designation,” Johnstone declared.  “It took tremendous work to fine-tune all that was necessary to earn the certification required for this designation, and this university and this community need to be congratulated for a great job.”

Dr. Curtis Johnson, associate vice president for Administration, who is in charge of Emergency Management, thanked the campus police, students and staff for their cooperation in doing what was necessary to earn the NWS certification.

“Being storm ready reaffirms Tennessee State University’s commitment to protection of life and property, and all of you have been helpful in allowing us to achieve that,” Johnson said. “We look forward to making TSU and the community better and safer.”

As a mark of designation and recognition, Johnson announced that the NWS StormReady signage would be placed at the two major entrances to the University.

NWS meteorologist Brittney Coleman, while acknowledging that natural disasters are inevitable, said preparing for them must always be taken seriously.

“Tennessee State University has really done a tremendous job in preparing itself and the community in the case of bad weather,” Coleman said. “We have been working with the campus team to make sure we had everything in place to be ready for this designation. All residence halls now have weather alert radios to keep them connected to the National Weather Service in case of emergency.”

Also participating in the ceremony were representatives from the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, who lauded the agency’s partnership with the University. They were Middle Tennessee Regional Director, Chris Johnson; and Area Coordinator, Brent Morse.

Speaking on behalf of the community, the Reverend Jimmy D. Greer Sr., pastor of Nashville’s Friendship Baptist Church, thanked the University for its community partnership.

“We applaud Dr. Glover for holding up to her commitment since arriving at this campus to ensure that the community is actively involved in any endeavor necessary for the promotion of this university,” Greer said. “We thank the university, the National Weather Service, TEMA and all the people that took part in making this achievement possible.”

Dr. Mark Hardy, vice president for Academic Affairs, representing Dr. Glover, who was traveling, said TSU’s effort in ensuring a safe weather environment for its faculty, staff and student, ties in with some major research efforts at the University.

Specifically, the vice president mentioned a more than $200,000 National Science Foundation-funded on-going research project in the College of Engineering to develop a simulation model that would help predict storm surge in a timely manner to better prepare inland and coastal dwellers for the storm.

“An assistant professor of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering (Muhammad Akbar) is using computational fluid dynamics and mathematical models to predict flooding caused by storm surges that bring ocean water onto land, causing major devastation, and erosion to cities and coastal wetlands,” said Hardy. He thanked NWS for the recognition, adding that the StormReady designation “speaks to the volume of work we are doing not to only provide a safe environment for our students, but to also give them the highest quality of education.”

The packed ceremony in the President’s Dining Room on the main campus brought together an array of state, local and community partner leaders and representatives, including the office of Congressman Jim Cooper, and the Executive Director of Nashville JUMP (Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership), Sharon Hurt.

TSU is one of only seven institutions in the State to receive the StormReady University designation.

 

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

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 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.

 

Dr. Alex Sekwat, TSU Professor and Administrator, Returns as Interim Dean of Graduate Studies and Research

Dr. Alex Sekwat
Dr. Alex Sekwat

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Dr. Alex Sekwat, a longtime TSU professor and administrator, has been named interim dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research.

Sekwat, who joined Tennessee State University in 1994, returns to his former position as interim dean, an appointment he held from 2008-2012. During that time the graduate school saw tremendous growth including a 10 percent increase in enrollment.

A trained public administrator, Sekwat held many  administrative positions in non-governmental organizations prior to his pursuits in academia. In 1998-1999 he served as president of the Tennessee Chapter of the American Society of Public Administration, and from 2008-2011 he was the treasurer of the Tennessee Conference of Graduate Schools.

Sekwat has published widely in the areas of public administration, public budgeting and financial management, and health care management, as well as presented his research at regional, national and international conferences. His current research interests span the areas of public budgeting, democratic governance, globalization, and healthcare reform.

Sekwat holds a bachelor of science degree in Economics/Business Administration from the University of Khartoum, a master’s degree in Public Administration from Arkansas State University, and a Ph.D. in Public Administration from Florida Atlantic University. He is a member of Pi Alpha Alpha, the National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration.

Sekwat will serve as interim dean until the appointment of a dean following the conclusion of a national search.

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 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.

High Performance Computing and Materials Science Workshop Prepares Students for Opportunities at National Labs

NEW OFFICIAL DOE SEAL COLORNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Fourteen students from five universities around the nation are participating in a two-week workshop at Tennessee State University as part of a consortium to build a sustainable STEM pipeline between the U.S. Department of Energy labs and HBCUs.

The undergraduate and graduate students, who are mainly science and engineering majors, are receiving lectures and hands-on exposure to high-performance computing, structural modeling, computational materials physics and chemistry, and classical molecular dynamics.

According to Dr. Lizhi Ouyang, associate professor of Physics and coordinator of the workshop at TSU, the consortium is part of a new Minority Serving Institution Partnership Program of the National Nuclear Security Administration designed to expose students to state-of-the-art facilities and research.

“The MSIPP is designed to enrich the STEM capabilities of HBCUs in a sustainable manner that is aligned with the broad interest of DOE sites with emphasis on a career pipeline,” said Ouyang.

He said the partnership is the result of an MSIPP award to Prairie View A&M University to lead a research effort in Investigating and Characterizing Catalytic Activity in Novel Materials and Processes Using Computational Techniques.

Along with Prairie View A&M, the consortium includes the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, as well as TSU, Southern University, Allen University and Morehouse College, whose students are attending the workshop.

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, welcomes participants from around the country to a two-week workshop at Tennessee State University as part of a consortium to build a sustainable STEM pipeline between the U.S. Department of Energy labs and HBCUs.  (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)
Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, welcomes participants from around the country to a two-week workshop at Tennessee State University as part of a consortium to build a sustainable STEM pipeline between the U.S. Department of Energy labs and HBCUs. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

In a welcome statement Monday, Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, spoke about the importance of research and education with a global emphasis. He said while the field of engineering offers many opportunities, the College also emphasizes that its graduates are well rounded and able to cope on the global scene.

“We want to graduate students who are well rounded and ready to work in any part of the world,” said Hargrove, citing many study and travel abroad opportunities afforded students in the College. “We want our graduates to be able to demonstrate their capability in any part of the world where they find the opportunity.”

Hargrove acquainted the visitors with program offerings in the College of Engineering, and encouraged them to take their workshop seriously, and the opportunity to learn from faculty members who are highly capable in their areas of discipline.

The workshop, which runs from July 7-18, is being held in the Research and Sponsored Programs Building.

 

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 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.

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After 44 years, TSU Engineer and Administrator Michael Busby “Retiring with a Great Deal of Joy”

Micheal Busby, former educator, administrator and interim associate Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs, retired June 30 from TSU after nearly 44 years of service. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)
Micheal Busby, former educator, administrator and interim associate Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs, retired June 30 from TSU after nearly 44 years of service. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Even with the development of a widely recognized astronomy program that saw the construction of a robotic observatory center, and the detection of a planet orbiting another star – all under his watch – Michael Busby is not jumping at any credit for a mounting of scientific advances at Tennessee State University.

“I have been fortunate to work with some very talented and gifted people who made these things possible,” said Busby, who retired June 30 from TSU after nearly 44 years as an engineer, professor and administrator.

“It’s been a rewarding experience. I owe Tennessee State University so much to have been put in positions where I did not only use my talent but was given opportunities to work with some very incredible people and administrators to help us achieve so much,” Busby said.

Recounting his years at TSU, Busby, 69, was visibly emotional when he talked about the satisfaction he received when the University gave him his first “big career break” to join the faculty in 1972, not long after earning a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Tennessee.

“Although I had a job working for a company briefly after I left UT, I found the opportunity to work at TSU and interact with so many students and other faculty to be an excellent career start,” Busby added.

He talked about many achievements, but for him what stood out the most was the opportunity to head the newly established Center of Excellence, a multidisciplinary research laboratory founded in 1986 within the state-wide Centers of Excellence program to increase the research base of Tennessee, as well as serve as a research resource for faculty and students of TSU.

“The center allowed us to advance in so many areas, collaborate with many national and international scientific and government agencies and institutions, and to develop faculty and students who are considered among the best in the nation,” Busby said.

Busby and Tennessee State University astronomer Greg Henry join Vanderbilt astronomers Douglas Hall and Frank Fekel in March 1989 at the robotic telescope site in the mountains of southern Arizona.  TSU's automated astronomy research program began as a collaborative effort with Vanderbilt astronomers to study a mysterious new class of variable stars with the robotic telescope on the right.  TSU now owns and operates 8 robotic telescopes at the Arizona site. (courtesy photo)
Busby and Tennessee State University astronomer Greg Henry join Vanderbilt astronomers Douglas Hall and Frank Fekel in March 1989 at the robotic telescope site in the mountains of southern Arizona. TSU’s automated astronomy research program began as a collaborative effort with Vanderbilt astronomers to study a mysterious new class of variable stars with the robotic telescope on the right. TSU now owns and operates 8 robotic telescopes at the Arizona site. (courtesy photo)

Under Busby’s watch, the center established an Automated Astronomy Group of faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, researchers, and support staff with automated telescopes, advanced control systems and systems identification, and applied mathematics. The automated astronomy research program began as a collaborative effort with Vanderbilt astronomers to study a mysterious new class of variable stars.  TSU now owns and operates eight robotic telescopes at the Robotic Observatory Center in the Patagonia Mountains near Washington Camp, Arizona.

On Nov. 14, 1999, a team led by TSU astronomer Greg Henry, announced the discovery of a shadow of a planet crossing a distant star. The discovery made national and international news.

“…I want America to know about your enormous contributions to research. I want every American to know that last November, Tennessee State astronomers made the world’s first direct detection of a planet orbiting another star,” then President Bill Clinton announced at the annual National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education Leadership Award Banquet in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 16, 2000.

“That was a crowning moment for the Center of Excellence and the Automated Astronomy Group…all because we had outstanding scientists and people doing what they are good at,” Busby added.

For a mechanical engineer with no specific background in astronomy, bringing the program together with the right people in place, and to achieve such prominence, speak to Busby’s “outstanding leadership and managerial genius,” one colleague said.

“His vision and management style made all the difference,” said Henry, an original member of the Automated Astronomy Group who has been with the University since Busby brought him on nearly 25 years ago.

“His genius was having the vision of what this center would be. He hired the right people, gave them what they needed and allowed them to do their work,” Henry added. “And he takes no credit for it.”

In the 26 years since its establishment, the COE has brought in more than $40 million in external funding through grants, and total faculty publications in refereed and non-refereed journals is nearly 1,300. Student support for an average 41 undergraduate and 10 graduate students per year is about $500,000.

With all of these achievements, no doubt colleagues and administrators see Dr. Busby’s departure as a “huge” vacuum being created at the University.

“Dr. Busby has been an outstanding instructor and researcher at TSU for decades,” said Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering. “His loyalty and dedication to the university is unwaverable….and his iconic presence will be missed by his colleagues and students.”

In addition to teaching and heading the COE, Busby also served in many other capacities over the years. One of his last roles was serving as interim associate vice president for Research and Sponsored Programs, a position he held until his retirement and the subsequent hiring of a new associate vice president.

The new Associate Vice President, Dr. Lesia L. Crumpton-Young, who worked with Busby for several months before his retirement, described the longtime TSU professor and administrator as providing “outstanding leadership that significantly impacted the research notoriety” of the Center of Excellence in Information Systems.

“Mike Busby has worked tirelessly to grow the research enterprise at TSU and we are truly grateful for his leadership and long-term commitment to the University,” Crumpton-Young said.

As he leaves, Busby said he is very optimistic about the future of the center and the University.

“I am very pleased with the kind of people and administrators we have in place at the institution. We have people who truly care about TSU and who want to take TSU to places it’s never been before,” Busby said.

About retirement, Busby said he is going to stay busy spending more time with his wife of 51 years, and keeping up with an engineering consultancy he has long been involved with, except this time, he will control his own time.

“I am retiring with a great deal of joy,” the Goodlettsville, Tennessee native added.

 

 

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 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.

TRAY_Band Camp-4

National, International Students March into TSU Summer Band Camp

Jesus Carmona, a trombone player from Sincelejo, Colombia, takes part in a band rehearsal during the Edward l. Graves Summer High School Summer Band Camp. Carmona is one of 90 students from around the country and South America taking part in the eight-day camp learning what it takes to be part of an elite university marching band. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
Jesus Carmona, a trombone player from Sincelejo, Colombia, takes part in a band rehearsal during the Edward L. Graves High School Summer Band Camp. Carmona is one of 90 students from around the country and South America taking part in the eight-day camp learning what it takes to be part of an elite university marching band. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote, “Music is the universal language of mankind.” Just ask Jose Carmona, a music student from Sincelejo, Colombia with limited English skills, who traveled nearly 2,000 miles to attend a summer camp for musicians at Tennessee State University.

Carmona is one of 90 students from around the country and South America taking part in the Edward L. Graves Summer High School Band camp through June 28. The camp, now in its third year, is known for fostering musicianship and marching expertise in high-school students from 9th to 12th grade.

“That has been the hardest part of this camp,” said Carmona through a translator. “Aside from the marching and getting up early for practice, not understanding the language has been hard. But through the music and instruction, it has all come together.”

Jose Carmona
Jose Carmona

Carmona, who is here as a part of an exchange program with 16 other members of his university band, joins students from across the U.S. who have descended on the campus for eight days to learn what it takes to be part of an elite university marching band.

According to Dr. Reginald McDonald, acting Director of Bands, students from as far as Chicago, Atlanta, Kansas City, Kansas, and Memphis, Tennessee, have come to the University to learn the rigors of performing as a member of TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands and what it takes to be successful in today’s collegiate band programs.

“This is a great opportunity for high school students to be exposed to a university setting and our music program,” he said. “When they return to their high school, they will have the tools to be a productive member of their high-school marching band.”

Also, McDonald said, many students come to the camp as a stepping-stone once they graduate from high school to become a member of the Aristocrat of Bands.

Marcus Cooper, an alto saxophone player from Oxon Hill, Maryland, said his ultimate goal is to march and play in the University’s world-renown marching band.

“This is my second time attending this camp,” said the soon-to-be high school senior. “I love everything we are learning, from the marching style and breathing, to keeping up your tone and different music styles. It has made my decision easier to eventually attend TSU and be a member of the band.”

Laurie Ordonez
Laurie Ordonez

Laurie Ordonez, a junior from Kansas City, agreed, saying that the camp will prepare her not only for college, but also a larger role in her school band when she returns to her school in the fall. Along with playing the piccolo, she is also taking part in drum major training.

“I was told by our band director at my high school that this is some of the best musical and marching experience I could get, and it would prepare me for the next phase of my musical aspirations,” she said. “In the few short days I’ve been here I’ve been able to focus on playing with more confidence, memorize music quicker, and most importantly, play loud the TSU way and not sound sloppy.”

After eight days of early-morning workouts and grueling practices, the students will have the opportunity to show off what they have learned at the end of camp. They are scheduled to perform Friday, June 27, at the Edward L. Graves Retirement Gala, honoring his 34-year career as director of the Aristocrat of Bands.

The gala takes place at 7 p.m. in Kean Hall on the main campus. In addition to paying tribute to Professor Graves, the gala will launch the Edward L. Graves Scholarship Endowment that will provide scholarships to students participating in the TSU Band.

Family members will also have the opportunity to listen to the high school musicians during “The Showcase” concert Saturday, June 28 at the Gentry Center. The concert is free and open to the public.

“I’m proud of what these young students have been able to accomplish in just few days,” added McDonald. “They sound great, they’re talented, and have an excellent music foundation that will translate into their current programs and future endeavors.”

For more information about the Gala or Showcase, contact Michelle Allen, Band Office Manager, at 615.963.5350.

 

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 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.