Category Archives: FACULTY

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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.

EPA Program to Engage Tennessee State University Students in Community-Based Environmental Health

epa_logoNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) –The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has selected Tennessee State University for a program that will actively engage its students in initiatives that protect local residents from toxic air releases.

A release from the agency named TSU and five other institutions nationwide as “academic partners” for the 2014 Toxic Release Inventory University Challenge. The Challenge is designed to find innovative ways to increase public awareness of industrial release of toxic chemicals in communities around the country.

Dr. David A. Padgett, associate professor of Geography, is TSU’s primary researcher on the TRI project. He was among 11 individuals who submitted applications for the 2014 Challenge.

He said his project, “An Instruction Manual for Visualizing and Analyzing Community-Based Air Quality Sample,” will give students the opportunity to be actively involved in service-learning research aimed at protecting human health and the environment.

“The University will also gain national recognition as a partner with the EPA in the development of a new approach to community-based environmental analysis using geospatial technology tools,” Padgett added.

He said TSU would train student teams in the use of GIS, GPS and TRI mapping tools in air quality assessment, as well as develop bucket brigade air sampling modules for community stakeholders.

Other institutions selected for 2014 TRI Challenge are Drew University, Southern Louisiana University, State University of New York at Pittsburgh, University of California at Los Angeles, and the University of South Carolina.

The selected projects, which are expected to conclude at the end of the 2015 academic year, will kick off in the fall of 2014.

While there is no financial award for the Challenge, academic partners or participating universities receive support from TRI program staff and national recognition by being feature on the TRI University Challenge website.

“Additionally, the EPA will support our faculty and students in presenting the result of our research at a professional conference,” said Padgett. “This experience will hopefully lead to graduate school, grant funding and employment opportunities.”

 

 

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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TSU Remains Key Pipeline to Recruit Metro, Area Teachers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When Jimmy Arredondo moved to South Korea more than 10 years ago to teach English, the Tennessee State University graduate came away from the experience with a renewed drive and passion to become a certified teacher.

“I finally discovered what I was meant to do,” said Arredondo, who graduated in May with a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. “When I first received my bachelor’s degree in English and history, I had no desire at all to teach. But when I was in South Korea, I felt like this is what I was destined to do and it was something I actually enjoyed.”

Metro-Nashville SchoolsArredondo recently landed a position with Antioch Middle School teaching social studies, and is one of many that have landed jobs with the Metropolitan Nashville Public School System ready to teach thanks to the education and training he received at TSU.

Having no official teacher training, Arredondo decided to attend TSU because of the reputation the University for producing and placing teachers in their chosen career field.

“I had no prior classroom teaching and TSU gave me the skills I needed to be successful,” added Arredondo. “I now feel comfortable when I walk into the classroom on day one and start my teaching career knowing a I have a big toolbox of methods and classroom management skills to draw on.”

For the past two years, Tennessee State University 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.

“We have one of the top education programs in the country, and our students have the skills and abilities to teach anywhere across the country due to the teacher preparation they receive here at Tennessee State University,” said Dr. Kimberly King-Jupiter, dean of the College of Education. “The students that choose to remain in the Nashville area have better opportunities with Metropolitan Public School System because of the wonderful partnerships and programs that have been created over the years along with a steady pipeline into the school system.”

TSU has long been a popular spot to recruit top educators into the Nashville school system. During the 2013-2014 school year, of the 636 new hires, 54 were from TSU, second only to MTSU with 56. Vanderbilt University followed in the third spot with 44, along with Lipscomb and Trevecca Nazarene Universities, which tied for the fourth spot with 40 among area institutions pipelining students directly into Metro.

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.

“We have a great working relationship with Metro, with nearly nine percent of the total new hires with the Metro school system coming from TSU over the past two years,” said Dr. Heraldo Richards, associate dean of the College of Education. “We have a direct pipeline with our students who are highly recruited. In fact, some of our students have been offered positions prior to finishing the program.”

According to Richards, one of the most successful programs is the Ready2Teach training students receive in their senior year. A clinically rich undergraduate teacher residency preparation program, Ready2Teach emphasizes problem-based learning, co-teaching, and performance-based assessment.

Richards explained that Ready2Teach, an initiative unique to the Tennessee Board of Regents schools of which TSU is a part, puts more focus on future teachers learning in-depth content in the subject they plan to teach, applying problem-based learning, and completing a year-long residency with mentor teachers in a P-12 classroom.

“This gives our students the opportunity to stay in the same class the entire year and receive valuable training with the same students and mentor teacher,” added Richards. “It’s very different from past training. When students are placed in the residency program, they are ready and certified to teach after just four years. Our students feel that they are extremely prepared to walk into a classroom and teach immediately.”

Principals in the Metro school system agree, and have been so impressed with the quality of teachers that some have offered positions to students following completion of the program.

Michael Ross, principal at the Caldwell Enhanced Option School in east Nashville said he offered positions to two of the five students that went through the residency program during the 2012-2013 school year.

“The students from TSU that have come through the program at Caldwell have all had a full understanding on how to work with students of diverse backgrounds and learning abilities,” Ross said. “Each student, while going through the residency program, had great insight on how to work with students and meet them where they are in their education level. Both of the students I hired from TSU have done a fantastic job this year and I have been very proud of what they have accomplished. I attribute it all to the training they received at Tennessee State.”

 

 

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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TSU Professor Creates Simulation Model to Predict Storm Surge in the Event of Hurricanes

Dr. Muhammad Akbar, assistant professor of Mechanical and Manufacturing engineering, reviews satellite imagery from Hurricane Katrina from 2005. Akbar recently received a grant from the National Science Foundation to conduct research on a simulation model that would help predict storm surge from approaching hurricanes. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
Dr. Muhammad Akbar, assistant professor of Mechanical and Manufacturing engineering, reviews satellite imagery from Hurricane Katrina from 2005. Akbar recently received a grant from the National Science Foundation to conduct research on a simulation model that would help predict storm surge from approaching hurricanes. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – As coastal states watch the Gulf of Mexico with wary eyes for the beginning of hurricane season each year, scientists and researchers are working from different fronts to ease their anxieties.

A Tennessee State University researcher is working on a simulation model that would help predict storm surge in timely manner to better prepare coastal dwellers for the storm.

Dr. Muhammad Akbar
Dr. Muhammad Akbar

Dr. Muhammad Akbar, assistant professor of Mechanical and Manufacturing engineering, 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.

Aided by a $209,403 grant by the National Science Foundation, Akbar is developing a simulation model that uses an “implicit solver.” While there are other models out there, this implicit model can use a larger timestep, potentially minimizing the overall prediction time.

“We input meteorological data that we receive every few hours, typically six hours, during a hurricane, and predict the surge a few days before its landfall,” Akbar said. “The model input data include the storm’s location, wind speed, pressure, and size of the hurricane eye, surface vegetation and structures,among others.

“The human element of this research can’t be overstated,” Akbar added. “We want to be able to predict the storm surge in a quicker time frame. The objective of this research is to assist the emergency management and people affected by an approaching hurricane with more time to make critical decisions, and evacuate the coastal region, if needed.”

Dr. Akbar points to the devastating effects of the Bhola cyclone that struck his native Bangladesh in 1970 killing nearly 500,000 people, and the more recent Hurricane Katrina that hit the Gulf coast in 2005, as a primary motivation behind his research for the past four years.

“When Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast as a Category 3 storm, it brought sustained winds of 100-140 miles per hour,” he said, “and a predicted storm surge of 28 feet, causing about 2,000 deaths and more than $100 billion in damage.”

Funded by Department of Homeland Security, US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, and National Science Foundation, Akbar has a profound passion for storm surge research.

“I’m fortunate to get an opportunity to work with top experts in the field and grateful for the research projects,” he added. “These events and others like them have spurred a serious and sustained global effort to improve the ability to predict the coastal surge conditions.”

While it is a complex problem to solve because of the uncertainty of the hurricane track and strength, and other sources of error, Akbar is hopeful that the rapid and reliable storm surge prediction capability is not too far off.

“It is our hope that this research leads to advances in improving warning and evacuation systems, not only here but in the developing world,” Akbar said.

 

 

 

 

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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Tennessee State University Hosts Statewide Conference of Career Development Professionals

cropped-TCDA-logo-color.fw-Tiffany-Edit-250NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Nearly 80 professional career practitioners from across the state met at Tennessee State University recently for the first conference of the Tennessee Career Development Association.

Participants included career counselors, workforce developers, school guidance counselors, and mental health professionals.

Primary on the conference’s agenda was the promotion of TCDA’s goals of encouraging career development assistance, promoting a sense of community, and providing a network of support to members through professional development and training opportunities.

“Participants at this conference are professionals who help people get job or seek improvement in their career areas,” said Windie Wilson, president of TCDA. “The goal here is to offer a conference where these professionals can get together to identify new tools that make them more effective in helping individuals in their areas. We are thankful to Tennessee State University for hosting our first conference.”

Under the theme, “Career is personal: A holistic view of career development,” conference participants discussed how to identify techniques in working with diverse populations, what clients expect from new employees, strategies for helping families navigate career-related concerns, and determining readiness for career decision-making, among others.

Networking, connection and diversity are key tools in trying to equip job seekers to navigate the tough job market, participants were told.

David M. Reile
David M. Reile

“Employers hire people they know and people they like,” said Dr. David M. Reile, managing director of Career Development Alliance, an Olney, Md.-based company that provides individually-tailored, needs-based career services to a variety of industries.

Reile, the keynote speaker, said a crucial factor in job search is networking and knowing more about the people and companies with potential employment opportunities.

“If employers know who you are; if you have done your homework, you have a better chance of getting a job,” he said. “Your expressed knowledge about a company during an interview can go a long way in improving your chances of landing a job with that company.”

Dr. Michael Bundy, president of the Tennessee Counseling Association, a presenter at the conference on “Using quantitative data to expand career counseling for K-12 students …,” said career counselors need constant retooling to work with longtime job seekers who may be disillusioned about the way forward.

“A job seeker may be so discouraged that they need to find services that talk about how to navigate their way through the new landscape of job searching,” said Bundy. “These people are not only discouraged about moving forward, but also about the way they view themselves.”

Other presenters at the one-day forum on the Avon Williams Campus discussed topics including: Multicultural perspectives in career counseling; Prescription for hiring talent and best practice in the first 90 days; Career counseling for couples and families; Using value assessment with clients; Freud, Jung, and career counseling; Navigating complex personal factors in career decision-making readiness; and Who gets hired and why.

Also discussed were: Counseling college students in the humanities; Using narrative approaches in a career exploration course for undergraduate students; and Effective practices for clients with intellectual disabilities.

Presenters came from the University of Tennessee, Carson-Newman University, Tennessee Tech University, Workforce Connection, Noranda Aluminum and HCA Physician Services.

Dr. Marie S. Hammond, TSU associate professor of Psychology and chair of TCDA’s Professional Development Committee, served as coordinator of the conference.

 

 

 

 

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.

Longtime Educator, Scientist Named Associate Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs at TSU

Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young
Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University has appointed a new Associate Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs. She is Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, a longtime educator, multiple-award winning scientist, and director of the Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence at the University of Central Florida.

Crumpton-Young, who will also serve as the University’s Chief Research Officer, will assist the Vice President for Academic Affairs in the development of the vision, direction, and guidance of the University’s research mission and policy formulation. Additionally, she will provide oversight for the research process, education and creative thinking, as well as promote the creation of an environment that encourages and supports leading-edge scholarly research.

An industrial engineer by training, Crumpton-Young has had a long experience as a professor, a research scientist, and a university administrator. Prior to her recent role at the University of Central Florida, where she served in several other capacities, she was the associate provost at Texas A&M University; program director in the Education and Human Resource Directorate of the National Science Foundation; and associate dean of Engineering at Mississippi State University.

A recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, she has been the principal investigator and co-PI on many public and private grants totaling several million dollars. A prolific writer, Crumpton-Young has published and co-published several articles on engineering leadership, innovation and STEM education.

Crumpton-Young, who will also be responsible for patents, copyrights, and technology transfers at TSU, holds a Ph.D., an M.S. and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Texas A&M University.

She begins her new assignment on June 1.

 

 

 

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.

16 TSU Students Take in the Beautiful European Summer During a Study Abroad Program in Germany

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Some of the Tennessee State University students on a study-abroad program in Germany, take in the sites in Berlin on a bright summer day. (Courtesy Photo)


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (
TSU News Service) – It is summer, classes are over, ….or so you would think. For16 Tennessee State University students, classes just started, but this time, with a mixture of academics, culture and fun in a faraway land. Read the account of their amazing experience, courtesy of TSU Sports Information.

BERLIN – Classes started early Wednesday morning, May 14, for the 16 students attending Tennessee State’s study abroad program in Germany. Among the topics covered was the history of the Berlin Wall, which also happened to be the first destination on the morning’s itinerary.

“The purpose of the trip is to learn about German history and culture,” Associate Dean of Liberal Arts, Dr. Joel Dark, said. “But it is also intended to help the students think about their own identity in the world.”

The group of TSU scholars and representatives boarded a train headed toward Alexander Plaza at the nearby station, and then took the subway to reach what was left of the Wall.

Dr. Dark filled the crowd in with further insight on the construction and eventual destruction of the barrier, before taking the class toward the Capitol Building.

After seeing the Capitol and grabbing lunch, the contingent rode out beyond Berlin to one of its suburbs to see a concentration camp, Sachsenhausen, firsthand.

It seemed everything in Germany was new and different, and it all had a unique story to tell.

“All of the buildings and churches are really pretty,” TSU women’s golfer Natalie Spicer said. “You can see the history just by walking past. I am so excited to see more, take a lot of pictures and learn about the German way of living.”

Outside of the new sights, a handful of students had to rely on their senses of taste and feeling when they ate at the famous Dark Bar on Tuesday night. The restaurant was pitch black to where diners could not even see the food being served to them.

“At first I was skeptical and scared about eating without seeing, but I eventually got the hang of using your fingers to feel around for the utensils. Also, being able to talk to our group while dining helped calm me down,” Spicer said.

Classes will continue on Thursday and the delegation will visit Humboldt University and see the Brandenburg Gate.

Germany Update Day 1: From Nashville to Newark

NEWARK, N.J. – After leaving the Nashville airport at 4 a.m. for a 6 o’clock flight, the 29 Tennessee State representatives arrived in Newark to await their connecting flight to Berlin, Germany.

The small passenger plane, which barely had enough room to fit the traveling party, touched down at 9 a.m., but not before giving passengers glimpses of the Statue of Liberty and MetLife Stadium. The group then went to eat at the airport food court as they waited to board another plane for their final destination in eight hours.

In the meantime, students and administrators played games, slept and read to kill some time before the nine-hour flight.

This page will serve as an update for the athletic department’s study abroad trip to Europe. Be sure to check back for updates every couple of days including pictures of many historical landmarks.

 

 

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 Engineering Students Take Part in Annual Air Force Design Competition

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A team of engineering students from Tennessee State University representing the fields of mechanical design, electrical and computer engineering, and computer science joined 15 other universities and three service academies at Arnold Air Force Base recently for the annual Air Force Research Laboratory Collegiate and Service Academy Engineering Design Competition. This year’s challenge centered on a problem routinely faced by Air Force pararescuemen and other military units — lifting up of heavy armored vehicles to rescue fellow soldiers pinned or trapped inside, similar to the vehicle pictured. (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A team of engineering students from Tennessee State University joined 15 other universities and three service academies at Arnold Air Force Base recently to find a solution to a problem routinely encountered by members of the military…designing a portable one-man heavy lifting device capable of lifting 45,000 pounds.

The teams came together April 14-17 at Arnold Engineering Development Complex in middle Tennessee for the annual Air Force Research Laboratory Collegiate and Service Academy Engineering Design Competition. TSU fielded a 12-person team and joined forces with Prairie View A&M University. Students represented the fields of mechanical design, electrical and computer engineering, and computer science.

Now in its third year, the competition revolves around a single engineering challenge aimed at fostering innovative and creative solutions. This year’s challenge centered on a problem routinely faced by U.S. Air Force pararescuemen and other military units. The weight of armored vehicles and frequent encounters with improvised explosive devices or damage from combat operations occasionally require these up-armored vehicles be lifted to rescue fellow soldiers pinned or trapped inside. These heavy lift devices are also routinely used in rescue operations of collapsed structures or downed aircraft.

The challenge this year was to design a lifting device that was portable, lightweight, and could lift a structure, aircraft or armored vehicles at least 24 inches high that would effectively lift a 45,000-pound vehicle sufficient to retrieve trapped personnel.

“The current constraint is the inability to make kits available in small enough volume and weight factor,” said Dr. Fenghui Yao, professor of Computer Science and the team’s leader. “A successful rescue is a controlled operation that is immediately deployed to prevent crushing or further damage to equipment and personnel. Our mindset was to ‘lift an inch, shore an inch’ for stability of lifting the heavy load.”

Devon Parker, a senior Air Force mechanical engineer at AEDC, was the host and manager for the national competition on behalf of the Air Force Research Laboratory. In addition to managing the competition, he provided regular feedback to the design teams throughout the academic year during design reviews. While this was designed principally to ensure the teams fully understood the problem, it also allowed him to ensure the trial phase conducted at AEDC could safely accommodate all of the various design entries during demonstration.

“The challenge was a 40,000-pound bulldozer resting on an deep incline deep within the Tennessee Guard Volunteer Training Site,” said Parker. “The competition and the teams were supported by a number of experienced Air Force pararescuemen from around the country – who performed work under the load for the student teams, as instructed by the respective student team leader.”

The team from Tennessee State University developed and designed two solutions to the problem. According to Yao, the first solution was entered and competition along with the solution provided by the Prairie View students. Both were able to execute the required lifting task successfully.

Ultimately, the team from Auburn University delivered a design solution that met the objective while also achieving significant progress in many of the additional design constraints. Their solution consisted of a mixed air bag system, built of Kevlar and Vectran in their own laboratory.

Regardless of their performance on the field trial, there were portions of each entry that offered further opportunity for creative development. There were mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, and hybrid solutions developed and demonstrated, said Parker.

“Engineering designs and team creativity were all put to the test,” he said. “Regardless of individual results, every team came away with a more profound understanding of why it is essential that engineers leave their office desks and get their hands dirty when working on a problem.”

Even though the joint TSU/Prairie View A&M team did not win the competition, it provided valuable design experience for the students.

“It is this type of first-hand experience that enables engineers to fully comprehend the scope of any problem,” said Yao. “It allows them to work more effectively as part of any product development or problem solving team.”

Dr. Landon Onyebueke, professor of Mechanical Engineering; and Dr. Saleh Zein-Sabatto, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, assisted Yao and the Challenge team.

 

 

 

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.

Tennessee State University and trailblazing golf coach celebrated in ‘From the Rough’ hitting theaters April 25

OFFICIAL MOVIE TRAILER |  FOCUS ON POTENTIAL CLIP |  PHOTOS

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University and former golf coach Dr. Catana Starks will take over the big screen when From the Rough opens nationwide on Friday, April 25.

The film highlights the powerful story of Coach Starks as the first female golf coach of a Division I men’s team while at Tennessee State University. Through grit and determination, she overcame incredible odds to guide a group of golfers to a championship season.

“This is an amazing story about an amazing woman, and the entire Tennessee State University family is so proud of her,” said University President Glenda Glover. “Equally important is the fact that the HBCU experience is being shared with a broader audience.”

Academy Award-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson will portray a fictionalized version of Coach Starks named Cassandra Turner. The character parlays a successful stint as coach of a women’s swim team at a historically black university into a shot at building the men’s golf team. With the availability of black players scarce, Turner scours Europe, Australia and Asia for hidden talent and constructs a uniquely multi-racial team.

According to Starks, the production of the film has been in the making for years.

“I was really pleased and I thought it was a great idea,” Starks said. “I am a shy person; I don’t even like taking pictures, but I think it’s good to have a female being honored in this way.”

When Tennessee State University joined the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference in 1986, then-Athletic Director Bill Thomas traded the University’s swimming program for a men’s golf team and called on the leadership of Starks to guide the program. Starks then made history becoming the only African-American female in the nation to coach a men’s golf team.

Starks has coached a diverse group of players throughout her career, including Canadian Sean Foley, who is currently Tigers Woods’ swing coach.

Foley believes Starks had a big impact on his life, as stated in an ESPN article.

“Coach Starks has a Ph.D.,” Foley said. “She’s well-educated… I used to sit in the front of the bus with Coach. We would ride for hours and hours. She always saw something in me. She always knew I was going to do special things in some form. She didn’t know what I was going to be.

“As I got little older, I looked back on Coach. She was so impressive. I should have spent more time trying to figure out how she did it all. To see what Coach accomplished, and became as a professor at the university, and all that stuff is really something.”

Starks, who retired in 2011 as head of TSU’s Department of Human Performance and Sports Sciences, guided the team to a Division I record win for the National Minority Championship. Under her guidance, the team also produced the first African-American men’s head coach for Michigan State University (Sam Puryear) and an All-American, who is a member of the European Tour (Robert Dinwiddie).

“Hopefully this will draw more African-American females into coaching on the collegiate level and coaching the opposite sex,” Starks said. “Men have been doing it for many years and I think there are a lot of great women out there who probably could do a much better job than I have done. I hope this film inspires other women to try their hand at coaching.”

President Glover agreed, adding that that Starks’ story is one of perseverance, hard work, faith and excellence. She also acknowledges that this is just one of many remarkable stories to emerge from TSU.

“This is a great opportunity for TSU to publicly acknowledge another chapter of our institution’s storied and proud past,” she said. “Today, we soar to new heights as our students, faculty and alumni continue to accomplish great things in academics and athletics.”

TSU will make it a From the Rough weekend providing transportation for students to see the movie in local theaters. The school has also encouraged alumni across the country to support the film.

“Dr. Starks’ contributions to Tennessee State University as an alumna, faculty member and coach are nothing short of incredible,” said Cassandra Griggs, director of TSU’s Office of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving. “These extraordinary stories play out every day among our university community, and we are so thankful of all that Dr. Starks has given to this university. I know our alumni nationwide join us in our excitement and look forward to supporting this film highlighting yet another dynamic TSU success.”

The movie From the Rough opens nationwide in theaters April 25. See the attached list of current markets, and check local listings for show times in your area.

 

 

 

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.

Likes 2010

TSU Chair Wins Two Prestigious Edward R. Murrow Awards

Likes 2010NASHVILLE, Tenn.  (TSU News Service) – The Radio Television Digital News Association has announced that a communications professor at Tennessee State University has won two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for excellence in electronic journalism.

Dr. Terry Likes, Chair of the Department of Communications and Professor of Multimedia Journalism, won the awards in two separate categories, including Audio News Documentary—“In Our Memory, the Soundtrack to News:  How News Events Shape Music,” and Audio Sports Reporting, “We Will Rock You: The Branding of Sports Music.”

Both programs aired on the Tennessee Radio Network.

“It is an honor to represent TSU in this regard and to continue to enhance my reporting skills for the benefit of our students,” said Dr. Likes. “It helps in the classroom when students can see professors remain active in the industry, achieve at a high level.  This helps us encourage students to seek excellence in their own student competitions, as TSU students are doing with evidence of tremendous recent success including 17 Southeast Journalism Conference awards and 9 Tennessee Associated Press student awards this year alone.”

These awards mark the seventh and eighth regional Murrow Award received by Dr. Likes having won Murrows in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and two in 2012.   Likes is the recipient of 52 awards during his career including honors from the Broadcast Education association, the Tennessee Associated Press, Kentucky Associated Press, National Broadcasting Society and the National Press Club.

This year, RTDNA awarded 661 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards in 14 categories, including Overall Excellence, Breaking News, Investigative Reporting, and Website.  RTDNA received more than 4,000 entries during the 2014 awards season, surpassing 2013 by more than 500 entries and setting an all-time record for entries in what proved to be one of the most competitive Edward R. Murrow Awards seasons in RTDNA history.

Dr. Likes competed in Region 8 against other entries from Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Regional winners automatically become eligible for the national awards competition, which will be judged in June. The national Edward R.  Murrow Awards will be presented in October at the RTDNA Awards Dinner in New York.

The Radio Television Digital News Association has been honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971. Murrow’s pursuit of excellence in journalism embodies the spirit of the awards that carry his name. Murrow Award recipients demonstrate the spirit of excellence that Edward R. Murrow made a standard for the broadcast news profession.

A complete list of the 2014 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards winners can be found at rtdna.org.

 

 

 

 

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.