Category Archives: FACULTY

TSU Forensics Team Wins Third Place in State Competition

Members of the TSU Forensics team recently captured third place in the Tennessee Intercollegiate Forensics Association’s State Championship. Members include (Left to right, top to bottom) Delvakio Brown, Janet Jordan, Barbra Dudley, Tyler Kinloch, and Michael Thomas.
Members of the TSU Forensics team recently captured third place in the Tennessee Intercollegiate Forensics Association’s State Championship. Members include (Left to right, top to bottom) Delvakio Brown, Janet Jordan, Barbra Dudley, Tyler Kinloch, and Michael Thomas.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Forensics team at Tennessee State University made the short trip to Murfreesboro, Tenn., to claim the latest in the growing list of top-three finishes when they captured 3rd place recently in the Tennessee Intercollegiate Forensics Association’s State Championship.

Held March 31 on the Middle Tennessee State University campus, the five-member team was not only able to take third overall, but also eight individual awards at the state championship.

“We were only able to bring five members of our team to this tournament,” said Shaunté Caraballo, director of Forensics, “and all five members won awards. This shows tremendous growth for our team this year. Every member contributed to our third-place ranking.”

The team captured the following awards:

  • Michael Thomas, senior Accounting major, won 2rd place in Programmed Oral Interpretation as well as Top Novice in the same event. Thomas also won 3rd place in Persuasive Speaking.
  • Tyler Kinloch, junior Aeronautical & Industrial Technology major, won 4th place in Prose Interpretation and 4th place in Programmed Oral Interpretation.
  • Delvakio Brown, sophomore Mass Communications major, won 7th place in Prose Interpretation.
  • Janet Jordan, freshman Accounting major, won 4th place in Poetry.
  • Barbra Dudley, freshman, Economics major, won 7th place in Programmed Oral Interpretation.

Currently, some of the members of the TSU Forensics team are in Tempe, Ariz., at the American Forensics Association’s National Individual Events tournament. The event, taking place at Arizona State University, is an intercollegiate, individual event that has significantly more stringent qualification procedures and a smaller, but more exclusive field of competition.

Approximately 1,000 students and coaches will participate in the event. Competition areas include Impromptu speaking, Informative speaking, Prose interpretation, Dramatic Duo, Extemporaneous speaking, Persuasive speaking, Program oral interpretation, After Dinner speaking, Communication analysis, Drama interpretation, and Poetry interpretation.

Senior Michael Thomas will compete in the Persuasive Speaking category, along with sophomore Delvakio Brown, who will compete in the Impromptu Speaking category. Caraballo will also attend as the coach and director of the program.

 

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.

Dean Reddy Reappointed to National Advisory Board on Ag Research, Extension and Economics

Dr. Chandra Reddy
Dr. Chandra Reddy

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, has announced the reappointment of TSU’s Dr. Chandra Reddy to another term on the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education and Economics Advisory Board.

Reddy, dean of the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, has served on NAREEEAB since 2010 when he was first appointed by Secretary Vilsack. The new appointment ends Sept. 30, 2016.

NAREEEAB, a 25-member board, provides advice to the Secretary of Agriculture and land-grant colleges and universities on top priorities and policies for food and agricultural research, education, extension and economics.

According to a USDA announcement, the board also “seeks stakeholder input on important agricultural issues from a broad and diverse variety of persons and groups across the nation,” which helps the Secretary determine priorities that guide the nation’s agricultural research, outreach, education and economy.

 

 

 

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 Communications Department Chair Wins Four Tennessee Associated Press Awards

Likes 2010
Dr. Terry Likes

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – The 2014 awards presentation for the best journalism in broadcast and print was held Saturday, March 22, at the Sheraton Nashville Downtown.

Dr. Terry Likes, professor and chair of the Department of Communications, captured three first-place awards and one-second place.  His reports aired on the Tennessee Radio Network with a variety of topics ranging from the music, news and sports industries.

Likes’ honors included the following:

ikes’ report on the Beatles also won 1st place in the Best of Competition category, from the Broadcast Education Association Faculty Audio Competition.

“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 Likes. “Evidence of current professional success helps in the classroom when students can see professors remain active in the industry, achieve at a high level, while professors can encourage students to seek excellence in their own student competitions.”

This is the 14th Tennessee Associated Press award for Likes.  He has also won six regional Edward R.  Murrow awards, is the recipient of 50 awards during his career including honors from the Broadcast Education Association, Kentucky Associated Press, National Broadcasting Society, and the National Press Club.  Since joining TSU in 2008, Likes has won 34 awards while his students have won 50 awards from the TN Associated Press, Southeast Journalism Conference, Society of Professional Journalists and National Broadcasting Society.

 

 

 

 

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.

Sylvester James Gates Jr. Featured Symposium Keynote Speaker March 31

Address officially Kicks off 36th Annual University-Wide Research Symposium

 

Dr. Sylvester James Gates Jr.
Dr. Sylvester James Gates Jr.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The John S. Toll Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland – College Park, Dr. Sylvester James Gates Jr., will be the featured keynote speaker officially opening the University-Wide Research Symposium Monday, March 31 beginning at 2 p.m. The keynote address is free and open to the public, and will take place in the E.T. Goins Recital Hall, located in the Performing Arts Center on the main campus.

Every year, the Research Symposium serves as a foundation to provide students with authentic experiences in presenting their research before advancing to regional, national and international research symposia; and prior to professional careers. Now in its 36th year, the symposium will take place at the University March 31-April 4.

Sylvester James Gates Jr. Ph.D. is an American theoretical physicist. He is currently a University System Regents Professor, the John S. Toll Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland – College Park, and the Center for String and Particle Theory Director. He serves on President Barack Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and the Maryland State Board of Education.

Gates received the B.S. degree in Physics (1973), the B.S. degree in Mathematics (1973), and Ph.D. in Physics (1977), all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His doctoral thesis was the first thesis at MIT to investigate supersymmetry.

He is nationally and internationally known for his research on supersymmetry, supergravity, and superstring theory.  In 1984, working with M.T. Grisaru, M. Rocek, W. Siegel, Gates co-authored Superspace, the first comprehensive book on the topic of supersymmetry. He is a former member of the board of trustees of the Society for Science and the Public.

NOVA PBS has featured Gates extensively on programs on physics, notably “The Elegant Universe” in 2003, and ‘‘The Fabric of the Cosmos’’ in 2011. In 2006, Gates completed a DVD series, titled Superstring Theory: The DNA of Reality for The Teaching Company composed of 24 half-hour lectures to make the complexities of unification theory comprehensible to non-physicists.

In 2012, Gates was named a University System of Maryland Regents Professor, only the sixth person to be so recognized since 1992.  He is past president of the National Society of Black Physicists, and is a NSBP Fellow, as well as a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Institute of Physics in the U.K.  He also is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.

He was recently elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences, the first African American so recognized in their 150-year history.  Professor Gates was awarded the Medal of Science presented by President Obama, the highest award given to scientists in the U.S., at a White House ceremony in 2013. In November of 2013, he was awarded the Mendel Medal by Villanova University for “having demonstrated, by his life and his standing before the world as a scientist, that there is no intrinsic conflict between science and religion.”

Dr. Gates currently continues his research in supersymmetry in systems of particles, fields, and strings.  This month, Gates will be honored as the Harvard University 2014 Scientist of the Year.

For more information on the Research Symposium, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/research/or contact Nannette Carter Martin, co-chair at 615.963.5827, or Tamara Rogers, co-chair at 615.963.1520.

 

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, Trevecca Nazarene Recognized by Metro Nashville as City’s First Recipients of Tree Campus USA Award

Students from Tennessee State University plant a red maple tree Sunday, October 6, 2013, on campus as part of a celebration recognizing the University as a leader in conservation and sustainability. TSU received the Tree Campus USA designation from the Arbor Day Foundation, and just recently received the Tree Campus USA Award. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
Students from Tennessee State University plant a red maple tree Sunday, October 6, 2013, on campus as part of a celebration recognizing the University as a leader in conservation and sustainability. TSU received the Tree Campus USA designation from the Arbor Day Foundation, and just recently received the Tree Campus USA Award. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

Nashville, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – On Thursday, March 20, Tennessee State University and Trevecca Nazarene University were recognized as the city’s first recipients of the Tree Campus USA award during Nashville’s Annual Arbor Day Celebration.

Each university was honored for having earned this designation by showcasing their dedication to the campus environment and efforts to create green forests within the city.

Tennessee State University College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences’ Dr. Latif Lighari, associate dean for Extension, and Dr. De’Etra Young, assistant professor and Extension Specialist in Urban Forestry, were on hand to accept the recognition.

“This [recognition] is a great honor for TSU and the College,” Lighari said. “It speaks for our environmental sensitivity and concern for campus beautification. This would not have been possible without the hard work of Dr. Young.”

In October 2013, the University received the Tree Campus USA designation from the Arbor Day Foundation, a national program created in 2008 to honor colleges and universities for effective forest management and engaging staff and students in conservation goals. At that time, TSU joined 194 institutions across the country taking part in the national program.

TSU achieved the designation by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include creating a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures toward trees, an Arbor Day observance, and student service-learning projects.

Nashville celebrates Arbor Day annually to promote the proper planting and preservation of trees for environmental enhancement. During this year’s Arbor Day ceremony, local Nashvillians were honored for their service and commitment to the city, trees were planted in honor and memory of five local citizens, and local fifth grade students from Harding Academy and Two Rivers Middle School were awarded for their “My Favorite Tree” student essays. Additionally, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean was presented the Alice Ann Barge Award for Urban Forestry Excellence for his commitment to making Nashville one of the South’s greenest cities.

 

 

 

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.

Conference Looks to Reposition HBCUs During Diversity and Inclusion Summit March 23-25

DiversitySummitNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Presidents from three major Historically Black College and Universities will join Tennessee State University president, Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover, for the Presidents’ Panel during the Diversity and Inclusion Summit on HBCUs March 23-25.

Speaking on Repositioning HBCUs for the Future, university presidents Dr. Carlton E. Brown from Clark Atlanta; Dr. William Bynum Jr., from Mississippi Valley State; Dr. Kevin D. Rome, from Lincoln University of Missouri; and Dr. Glover will lead a panel discussion on the relevancy of HBCUs in today’s rapid pace of change in higher education. The discussion takes place on Monday, March 24 beginning at 8:45 a.m. at the Avon Williams campus downtown.

The Summit, sponsored by the Office of Diversity and International Affairs, will provide diversity professionals, key institutional partners and students the opportunity to hear from national leaders who have made significant inroads in the area of diversity and inclusion in the HBCU college and university environment, according to Dr. Jewell Winn, Chief Diversity Officer at the University.

“Attendees will have the opportunity to share ideas and advance what diversity looks like across HBCUs around the nation,” said Winn. “We will share information on not only diversity, but also inclusion and campus retention. As HBCUs move forward we need to address the relevancy of the institutions and figure out how to hold on to the history, but also on how to diversify institutions to better meet the needs of all students.”

The three-day conference takes place at the Avon Williams campus auditorium and officially kicks off Monday, March 24 beginning at 8:30 a.m. with welcoming remarks followed by the President’s Panel.

Breakout sessions and presentations will include the following topics:

  • Recruitment and retention
  • Classroom Strategies for promoting diversity and inclusion
  • Campus programming for various populations
  • Effective leadership models and approaches for diversity at HBCUs
  • Social justice service-learning approaches
  • Building internal and external partnerships to support diversity and inclusion
  • Diversity and inclusion in policy development
  • Utilizing and leveraging research and data for diversity and inclusion
  • A student’s perspective of Diversity at HBCUs

According to Winn, the student perspective on diversity and inclusion at HBCUs will be a “major component” of this years’ summit. Students from Vanderbilt, Fisk and Tennessee State Universities will prepare responses to the presentation and deliver them on the final day of the event.

“We need to be mindful of the student’s perspective as HBCUs move into the future,” added Winn. “The students need to be a part of the inclusion conversation to see what they think HBCUs need to be in the future and how they transition to an all-inclusive environment.”

For more information on the summit, contact the Office of Diversity and International Affairs at TSU at 615.963.5640 or email dish.summit@gmail.com.

 

 

 

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.

‘Songwriters in the Round’ Showcases TSU Musicians’ Original Works March 25

SongwritersintheRoundNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – In the spirit of the Nashville songwriting community, students from Tennessee State University will take part in the 6th Annual Songwriters in the Round, Tuesday, March 25. Free and open to the public, the event takes place in the Performing Arts Center Recital Hall beginning at 7 p.m.

Hosted by the Department of Music’s Commercial Music program, the concert will showcase the writing talents of student-singer songwriters at the University. Songwriters will share their inspiration behind the creative process of writing songs.

According to Dr. Mark Crawford, associate professor and coordinator of the commercial music program, many performers do not write their own material and rely solely on professional songwriters. This program is formatted to allow songwriters to step out into the spotlight and be seen and heard by the public.

“The concert brings TSU music students along with faculty who will perform and accompany themselves the songs they have composed,” said Dr. Mark Crawford, associate professor and coordinator of the commercial music program. “Concert attendees will experience pure music, no hype, while each student performs their original songs and play their own instruments.”

This year’s event will feature Nathan Clay, a freshman Commercial Music major from Nashville in his first showcase; and Charity Ward, a senior Interdisciplinary Studies major and Music minor from Detroit, who began singing as a little girl. She picked up the guitar at age13 and soon began writing songs.  She has performed with Robert Glasper, Angie Stone, Eric Roberson, and PJ Morton.

Also taking part in the showcase is Daniel Mireee, a Liberal Arts Music major from Detroit and who now calls Nashville home. He currently owns and operates several independent record labels and studios. He has written and published more than 50 songs and produced more than 15 albums for artists all around the globe. He has also written several musical plays for Christian audiences.

The event also showcases the talents of Cierra Fleming, a Commercial Music technology major and Mass Communication minor from Denver, who is in her first showcase. She is a current member of Grammy U, a unique and fast-growing community of college students who are pursuing a career in the recording industry. Her goals include owning her own music publishing company, and becoming a successful songwriter, producer and engineer. 

Rounding out the showcase is Aliah Aiken, a trained flautist, vocalist and songwriter from Decatur, Ga. The Commercial Music major has been writing songs since the age of 11. In addition to songwriting, Aiken has been principal chair of the TSU Wind Ensemble for three consecutive years. She was also the 2012 winner of the BET College Tour Sing Off, and will be a featured Concerto Soloist at the 2014 HBCU National Band Directors Consortium in Atlanta. This is her first songwriter showcase.

The Commercial Music program at TSU is first and foremost a music degree, in which students study various careers and business practices of the music industry. Upon completion of the program, students receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Music with a Concentration in Commercial Music.

Because it is a music degree, commercial music students study piano, music theory, music history, as well as enroll in private applied lessons, seminar, present a recital, and participate in one of the Commercial Music ensembles. The ensembles perform at local schools and various civic events throughout the Nashville area, and have even performed on the Bobby Jones gospel music television show.

For more information on the Songwriters in the Round concert, contact Dr. Mark Crawford, coordinator of the commercial music program, at 615.963.5210 or macrawford@tsntate.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.

National Professional Organization Names TSU Dean as Vice President

Dr. Michael Orok
Dr. Michael Orok

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – For the second time in as many months, Dr. Michael Orok, dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research at Tennessee State University, has been elected to serve in a high-ranking capacity for a national professional organization.

Orok was named vice president of the Conference of Minority Public Administrators (COMPA) during the organization’s national meeting March 13 in Washington, D.C. One of Americas’ leading national organizations, the Conference of Minority Public Administrators is made up of nearly 250 members from Colleges and Universities, elected and public officials representing all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. and some Caribbean countries.

“I am humbled by the trust placed on me by my professional colleagues nationwide and pledge to work with other leaders within the organization to foster COMPA’S established goals,” said Orok in accepting the elected office.

Established in 1977 as a section of the American Society for Public Administration, COMPA’s goal is to provide a forum for leadership and professional development of minority students, public servants, administrators and government officials. Its mission is to advance the science, processes, technology, art and image of public administrators by providing leadership in the elimination of discriminatory practices against all minorities.

In February, Orok was elected to the Executive Committee of the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools. The committee studies and reviews issues and problems facing graduate education particularly those in the South.

 

 

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.

36th Annual University-Wide Research Symposium set for March 31-April 4

Noted theoretical physicist Dr. Sylvester Gates Jr. to deliver keynote address

 

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – Every year, Tennessee State University students present their best works of exploration, research and invention to fellow students, faculty and the community at the Annual University-Wide Research Symposium. Now in its 36th year, the symposium will take place at the University March 31 – April 4.

Since 1979, TSU has held an annual research symposium – a University forum to recognize and commemorate excellence in student and faculty research, largely science, engineering, business and humanities disciplines, and a platform for students conducting hypothesis-driven research to gain exposure as either oral or poster presenters in an evaluative setting.

The symposium serves as a foundation to provide students with authentic experiences in presenting their research before advancing to regional, national and international research symposia; and before beginning early years as professionals in life-long careers and disciplines.

The Symposium is comprised of a week of interdisciplinary presentations by students and faculty members with students seeking competitive awards for their deliberative innovation that showcases the research process from laboratory to solution.

Continually themed “Research: Celebrating Excellence,” the Symposium will be divided into oral presentations and poster presentations. This year, 147 graduate and undergraduate oral and poster presentations are expected to take place, along with 21 faculty oral and poster presentations.

Oral presentations will take place throughout the week in the Research and Sponsored Programs Building, Room 161,163 and 209. Poster presentations will take place in the Jane Elliot Hall Auditorium, Tuesday, April 1 through Thursday, April 3. Judging for poster presentations is scheduled to take place Thursday, April 3 from 9 until 11 a.m. for graduate posters, and 1until 3 p.m. for undergraduate posters.

Noted theoretical physicist and John S. Toll Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland – College Park Dr. Sylvester Gates Jr. will be the featured keynote speaker officially opening the Symposium. The event takes place Monday, March 31 beginning at 2 p.m. in the E.T. Goins Recital Hall, located in the Performing Arts Center on the main campus. The keynote address is free and open to the public.

Other events taking place during the week include:

Monday, March 31 

*Division of Nursing Research Day
7:30 am – 1:00 pm
James E. Farrell – Fred E. Westbrook Building, room 118
Poster Sessions and Awards Ceremony
Luncheon Speaker, Grace S. Smith, LMSW, Program Manager, Meharry Consortium Geriatric Education Center

*Orals – Graduate Engineering I
9 – 11:30 am
Research and Sponsored Programs Building, Room 163

*Orals – Graduate Sciences I
9 am – 12:30 pm
Research and Sponsored Programs Building, Room 209

*Orals – Graduate Education and Health Sciences
9 – 10 am
Research and Sponsored Programs Building, Room 161

*Orals – Preliminary Research: Graduate Engineering
10:30 – 11:15 am
Research and Sponsored Programs Building, Room 161

*Opening Ceremony and Plenary Session
2 pm
E.T. Goins Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center
Symposium Keynote Address: Sylvester James Gates, Ph.D.


Tuesday, April 1

*Orals – Graduate Sciences II
9 am – 12:30 pm
Research and Sponsored Programs Building, Room 163

*Orals – Graduate Engineering II
9 – 11:30 am
Research and Sponsored Programs Building, Room 209

*Orals – Graduate Sciences III
1 – 4:30 pm
Research and Sponsored Programs Building, Room 163

*Orals – Undergraduate Engineering
1– 2:15 pm
Research and Sponsored Programs Building, Room 209

*Psychology Research Day
2:30 – 5:30 pm
James E. Farrell – Fred E. Westbrook Building, room 118
Oral and Poster Sessions and Awards Ceremony
5:30 pm, Guest Speaker, Neil Woodward, Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine


Wednesday, April 2

*Orals – Undergraduate Sciences
9– 11:30 am
Research and Sponsored Programs Building, Room 163

*Orals – Preliminary Research: Graduate Education and Health Sciences
9 – 10 am
Research and Sponsored Programs Building, Room 209

*Orals – Undergraduate Social Sciences
11 – 11:30 am
Research and Sponsored Programs Building, Room 209

 

Thursday, April 3

*Poster Presentations – Faculty, Graduate, and Undergraduate
All posters will be displayed in the Jane Elliott Hall Auditorium, April 1-3

*Poster Judging – Graduate
9 – 11 am

*Engineering Research Day
11:30 am – 1 pm
James E. Farrell – Fred E. Westbrook Building, room 118
Luncheon Speaker, William H. Robinson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, Associate Professor of Computer Engineering, Director of Undergraduate Studies for Computer Engineering, Vanderbilt University

*Poster Judging – Undergraduate
1 – 3 pm

 

Friday, April 4

*Orals – Faculty
9 – 11:15 am
Research and Sponsored Programs Building, Room 163

*Awards Luncheon and Closing Ceremony
Noon – 2 pm
James E. Farrell-Fred E. Westbrook Building, room 118
Luncheon speaker: Mark A. Hardy, Ph.D., TSU Vice President for Academic Affairs.

 

Posters will be displayed in the Jane Elliott Hall Auditorium, April 1-3.

For more information on the Research Symposium, visit www.tnstate.edu/research or contact Nannette Carter Martin, co-chair at 615.963.5827, or Tamara Rogers, co-chair at 615.963.1520.

 

 

 

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.

Striking a Chord: TSU Student Carves Unique Guitar Out of Native Tennessee Wood

Brian Allen, a senior Commercial Music student at TSU, shows off the bass guitar he built as a senior project using the seven native woods of Tennessee. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
Brian Allen, a senior Commercial Music student at TSU, shows off the bass guitar he built as a senior project using the seven native woods of Tennessee. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Growing up, Brian Allen would spend countless hours with his father in their small shop tinkering with electronics or learning the basics of wood-working tools. He loved working with his hands, and the Commercial Music major was soon rebuilding and refinishing drum sets and guitars.

It wasn’t long after Allen began playing bass guitar at Tennessee State University that the 23-year old decided he could build one of his own. And it wouldn’t be just any bass guitar. It would be one that incorporated his love of working with native woods of Tennessee.

It all started in high school when Allen’s band director gave him a set of drums to refinish. He completely removed the wrap from the shells, and refinished and stained the wood underneath.

“I enjoy the process of taking things apart to see if I can put them back together while improving them,” said Allen. “I love bringing back to life what other people discard using basic tools.”

A musician for the better part of 10 years, Allen plays percussion and bass guitar, and, he added, dabbles in beginner guitar. He soon made a decision to put his skills to the test and try to refinish his first guitar. Walking into the local Goodwill store, he left with a low-end 12-string Kay vintage acoustic guitar he purchased for $140 to see what he could do by “playing around with it.”

“It was difficult, to say the least,” Allen joked. “It was really harder than I thought to disassemble and put back together. The body was in pretty bad shape and a little warped.”

Using basic tools, Allen changes out one of the electric capacitors in the bass guitar he built. The guitar build, which started out as a rough sketch on paper, took more than two-and-a-half months to create. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
Using basic tools, Allen changes out one of the electric capacitors in the bass guitar he built. The guitar build, which started out as a rough sketch on paper, took more than two-and-a-half months to create. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

After sanding to bare wood, Allen set about building a new bridge out of Honduran rosewood, something that he had never done before but a skill that would come in handy for future projects. Allen estimates he has nearly 100 hours in the refinish, but it taught him the basics of guitar building and he was ready to tackle his next project. After learning basic repairs and building a lot of confidence, Allen decided to build his own bass guitar.

“I figured I could build on my skills and create something that no one else has ever built,” he said.

After much research and on the advice of a close friend, Allen decided he would pay homage to his home state by building the guitar out of the seven native woods of Tennessee ( Red and White Oak, Poplar, Pine, Cherry, Black Walnut and Maple).

“My mom has a rocking chair that served as the inspiration for the body,” Allen said. “A friend suggested I use the same hard wood as the chair and build it in the shape of the state of Tennessee.”

The first design was drawn on a simple white board in his kitchen and quickly morphed into a more elaborate design. Using simple algebra, Allen and his friend, an engineering student also attending TSU, decided the length of the guitar should be 29 inches, proportional with the length of the state at 429 miles.

He cut the different woods into 1 3/8 inch strips, glued them together and cut to create the shape of the state. After multiple coats of a protective finish, he installed the neck he got from an old bass guitar. The build was finished after he installed the electronic components.

“This build really kept me on my toes,” he added. “It was both awesome and a little scary building the bass this being my first time attempting anything like this. The plans changed a few times, as we hit some snags along the way, but in the end I think it is a guitar that I can be very proud of.”

After two-and-a half months of work, the guitar, the only one built in the shape of the state of Tennessee to his knowledge, was ready to make its debut not only in the classroom, but also as his senior project. That is when people started to take notice of his creation, Allen said.

Dr. Mark Crawford, associate professor and coordinator of the commercial music program, helped grade the project, and remembers that put in the hands of a musician such as Allen, it was an exciting project because he had the tools to create something “awesome.” Like many artistic people, in addition to Allen’s musical abilities, Crawford said, he has other creative skills. In his case, it includes working with his hands.

“He has an innate ability to fix things or build things, all which require creative problem-solving skills,” said Crawford. “I was aware of this when Brian enrolled in his Senior Project course. He approached me with the novel idea of building a bass guitar in the shape of Tennessee, and I decided this would probably be the best kind of project for him. Once he finished the bass, he used it as he performed with the Commercial Music Ensemble. Through the groups’ travel, Allen’s guitar was seen in four different states, including audiences at the BB King Museum, Holiday World Theme Park, Nashville Sounds baseball games, Nashville Shores and other venues.”

Just as impressed was Dr. Bob Elliott, head of the Music Department, who thought the guitar was “an excellent example of a boutique build” and an indication of the type of work taking place in the Commercial Ensemble program.

“Brian has an excellent future ahead of him,” said Elliott. “Our program is designed to not only help the students learn how to play music but also how to find a niche in the music industry. Nashville is full of jobs that are not only in the music industry, but those that support it. Should Brian decide to pursue a career in instrument repair or the building of one-of-a kind instruments, his training at TSU and his musical background will serve him well.”

So what’s next for this budding guitar builder? Plans are already in the works for another bass guitar made out of Mexican Purple Heart wood with the neck fashioned from Madagascar rosewood. It will be, Allen said, one of the most exotic builds he has ever attempted.

But even more than building guitars, he is also looking forward to graduation this spring so he can start his career, either playing music or building guitars, or attending Luthier school for guitar building.

“My ultimate goal is to hopefully get on with a company such as Gibson, and learn guitar building from the ground up,” Allen said. “Then I’ll take what I’ve learned not only at TSU but whatever company I work at and turn that into possibly a custom-guitar building business or repair shop.”

 

 

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Tennessee State University
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Nashville, Tennessee 37209
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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.