Category Archives: FACULTY

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.”

 

 

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 of Southern Graduate Schools Elects TSU Dean to Prestigious Executive Committee

Dr. Michael Orok
Dr. Michael Orok

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Dr. Michael Orok has been 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.

Orok, dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research at TSU, will serve for three years on the 12-member committee.

“I am very appreciative of the privilege to serve on this prestigious committee of the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools,” Orok said upon his election. “I am committed to assisting the Conference to promote and support graduate education, and develop contemporary strategies and approaches for academic programing.”

The CSGS, an organization of more than 200 graduate schools in 15 southern states including the District of Columbia, Oklahoma and Texas, considers topics relating to graduate study and research, which are of mutual interest and concern to member institutions.

Orok, a longtime educator who periodically serves as an accreditation off-site visit reviewer for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, said he recognizes the challenges facing graduate education and the “complex modalities” of learning, particularly in today’s technologically driven environment.

“I am prepared to assist the Conference (CSGS) in moving forward at it takes on these complex issues,” he 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.

TSU Communications Chair Wins National Broadcast Education Award

Likes 2010
Dr. Terry Likes is the recipient of 43 awards during his career including other honors from the National Broadcasting Society and the National Press Club.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The national awards among faculty competing in the Broadcast Education Association have been released and the Chair of the Department of Communications at Tennessee State University, Dr. Terry Likes, has won the “Best of Competition” award in the Faculty Audio Competition category.

Likes won for his report, “It Was 50 Years Ago…The Beatles:  Legacy,” which documents how it has been 50 years since the Beatles first arrived in the United States.

The report, aired on the Tennessee Radio Network in October, looks back at the music of the Beatles, the impact, their significance here in Music City, and their legacy.  The report may be found online at http://youtu.be/bjBVGSKBFeY.

“Creative activity aids what we do in the classroom,” said Likes.   “When students can see professors remain active in the industry and achieve at a high level, professors can, in turn, encourage students to seek excellence in their own student competitions.”

The BEA Festival of Media Arts is an international exhibition of award-winning faculty and student works.  This year’s winners will receive recognition and exhibition of their works during the BEA’s annual convention in Las Vegas in April.

This is the 10th BEA award for Likes.  He won the Award of Excellence in 2012 and 2013, the Best of Competition in 2005 and 2010, and the Best of Festival in 2003 and 2008, which followed his second place winning in 2007 for the same award. In 2005, Likes won his first Best of Competition award, as well as two BEA First Place awards in 1999. He has also won six regional Edward R.  Murrow awards and 17 KY/TN Associated Press awards.  He is the recipient of 43 awards during his career including other honors from the National Broadcasting Society and the National Press Club.

Since joining TSU in 2008, Likes has won 29 awards or honors while his students have won 36 awards from the TN Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists, Southeast Journalism Conference 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.

TSU’s Sandria Godwin Receives Outstanding Dietitian of the Year Award

Dr. Sandria Godwin receives the Outstanding Dietitian of the Year award from NAND president, Katherine Fowler. Godwin received the award Dec. 10 for promoting optimal health in the community. (courtesy photo)
Dr. Sandria Godwin (left) receives the Outstanding Dietitian of the Year award from NAND president, Katherine Fowler. Godwin received the award Dec. 10 for promoting optimal health in the community. (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Nashville Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has announced Tennessee State University’s Dr. Sandria Godwin as the recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Dietitian of the Year award.

According to the award, the Outstanding Dietitian of the Year award is meant to recognize a “promoter of optimal health and nutrition in the community [who] demonstrate[s] leadership in the association or in a place of employment.”

Family and Consumer Sciences student Nataliia Johnson nominated Godwin, the director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics in the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, for the award.

“Dr. Godwin is not only an excellent dietetics educator, but a great person,” Johnson said. “She genuinely cares about each student’s personal growth and success.”

For Godwin, whose many accolades include induction into TSU’s Agriculture and Home Economics Hall of Fame, and Million Dollar Club along with more than 70 publications, the award is a commemoration of many years of hard work. “I am very pleased to receive this award recognizing my many years of dedication to the dietetics profession,” she said. “It was especially meaningful since I was nominated by my student.”

The award was presented by to Dr. Godwin at the NAND Winter Meeting, held on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at the Vanderbilt 100 Oaks Conference Room, by current NAND president Katherine Fowler.

“[Dr. Godwin] teaches classes and conducts research averaging more than $1 million each year in internally and externally funded research … and has been a consultant dietitian for the Metropolitan Action Commission Head Start Program in Nashville for the past six years, and has conducted more than 30 research studies important to the field,” Fowler said. “If all that isn’t enough, she also finds time to volunteer with the American Red Cross and other organizations.”

The Nashville Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is an advocate for Nashville dietitians and the dietetic profession. They serve the public through the promotion of optimal nutrition, health and well-being.

 

 

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’s Dr. Jewell Winn Elected President of Tennessee Higher Education Women’s Group

Dr. Jewell Winn
Dr. Jewell Winn

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Dr. Jewell Winn, special assistant to the Vice President for International Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer at Tennessee State University, has been elected president of Women in Higher Education in Tennessee.

Winn, also assistant professor of Educational Administration with more than 30 years experience in higher education, was elected recently to head the statewide, three-decade-old professional women’s organization.

WHET, founded in 1980, provides professional development, mentoring, networking and career enrichment for women, and serves as a resource of highly qualified and competent individuals who may be tapped for career opportunities at institutions. Its core membership is drawn from public and private institutions of higher learning from across the state.

Winn, who thanked her colleagues for the “distinct honor and privilege” to serve as their president for 2013-14, encouraged them to remain vigilant in their commitment to prosperity and empowerment.

“As the face of higher education continues to change, it is important that we as women executives remain diligent in preparing for the next opportunity, engage in stimulating and challenging conversations, seek out mentors, as well as serve as mentors,” she said. “But most importantly,” Winn added, “We must believe that we are capable of accomplishing anything we put our minds to.”

A graduate of Leadership Nashville, an independent executive leadership initiative, and a member of the American Council on Education’s Spectrum Executive Leadership Program, Winn’s goals include initiatives that highlight the successes of WHET members, establishing a past president’s council, as well as planning a WHET Day on the Hill.

“We are redesigning our website, surveying our members on topics of interest, planning an inaugural regional retreat, and developing webinars. Let us make this year one of prosperity and empowerment as we embrace the issue of higher education and the challenges we face as professional women,” she told her colleagues.

In a personal reflection on her many years as an administrator in higher education, the new WHET president said she is humbled by the challenges she faced because they made her stronger.

”Equally, I am thankful for the many accomplishments because I always had a mentor who was pushing me toward the next level and cheering me on. I can personally attest to the values I have found among this group of phenomenal women as we have praised, laughed, cried and soared together,” Winn 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.

TSU Expert Receives TDOT Grant to Engage Public in Transportation Decision-Making

New TDOT LOGO ShadowNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A Tennessee State University expert on transportation equity has received a grant worth more than $123,000 from the Tennessee Department of Transportation to conduct public involvement outreach efforts for the state.

Dr. Kimberly L. Triplett, assistant professor of Urban Studies, and a team of experts from the University of Memphis, will work with TDOT planning staff in each of the agency’s four regions to coordinate with community and neighborhood leaders, and design and plan citizen workshops, as well as recruit actively engaged participants willing to share their knowledge with others in the community.

According to Triplett, who is also an expert on urban planning and policy, the goal is to identify innovative techniques that make it easier for citizens to participate in transportation decision-making.

Dr. Kimberly L. Triplett
Dr. Kimberly L. Triplett

“Our aim is to develop methods of information sharing that most effectively communicate transportation in such a way that citizens understand the importance of their role in the process,” Triplett said. “We also aim to develop venues and communication strategies that are most likely to engage these citizens in a productive manner.”

The new one-year grant, which runs through November 2014, is the second for a community-engagement project the College of Public Service and Urban Affairs has received in less than three months. In September, the college received a $100,000 federal grant to incorporate fair housing education and research into the Urban Studies curriculum, as well as partner with state, local government and nonprofit organizations to promote fair housing.

“This (transportation) grant will enhance the development of new strategies that facilitate minority and low-income citizens participation in the process of transportation public policy making,” said Dr. Michael Harris, dean of CPSUA, about the new grant. “Dr. Triplett and the team from the Tennessee Department of Transportation will engage citizens while enhancing the learning experience for our students and utilizing our research capacities. We are delighted to make our expertise available to serve and engage.”

In addition to two professors from the University of Memphis, who are co-project investigators on the project, Triplett said one TSU student, an Urban Studies major, will be part of the research team.

“This project is going to put TSU in a unique light about how we engage the community and citizens in planning and arriving at decisions that directly affect them,” Triplett said.

“This grant continues to build on our College relevant mission and strategic focus. We strive to use learning and research to make a difference in our communities, government and non-for-profits,” Dean Harris 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.

TSU’s Student Affairs Division Receives Performance Award for Excellence

Commitment_Award_2013NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University, Division of Student Affairs has earned the Commitment Award in the annual Excellence in Tennessee recognition program administered by the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence (TNCPE). TNCPE is the only statewide quality program and is patterned on the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, the national standard for recognizing organizational excellence.

“A concerted effort has been undertaken over the last two years to streamline our processes and improve customer service,” said Dr. A. Dexter Samuels, associate vice president of Student Affairs. “This award affirms what I already know that the staff in the division of student affairs is committed to excellence and to making a positive difference in the lives of our students.”

Dr. A. Dexter Samuels
Dr. A. Dexter Samuels

The Tennessee State University Division of Student Affairs exists to serve the co-curricular needs and facilitate the total development of students.

Through an annual evaluation and assessment process, TNCPE recognizes high-performance organizations that exhibit continuous improvement and best practice processes. This year, TNCPE has named 26 organizations as 2013 Award winners. They represent outstanding achievement in health care, manufacturing, service, education, government and nonprofit.

“Groups trying to improve understand that being successful takes effort from each employee, and a shared commitment to quality and achievement,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. “Organizations like the Division of Student Affairs at Tennessee State University, play a critical role in making Tennessee a better place to live, work and raise a family.”

Organizations such as Tennessee State University apply to the TNCPE program at one of four levels. As the levels increase, so does the depth and complexity of the application, which is based on the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence. Since the program was founded in 1993, only 22 organizations have attained the Excellence designation. Mountain States Health Alliance will receive the Excellence Award this year, while six organizations will be honored with the Achievement Award. Eighteen organizations, including Tennessee State University, will receive a Commitment Award; and one will receive the Interest Recognition.

Commitment Awards are presented to organizations that are beginning to demonstrate commitment to, and implementation of, performance improvement principles. They have demonstrated progress by identifying and putting in place a measurement system to capture data and analyze results, and some key process improvements, which are directly attributable to a fact-based improvement process.

“This program helps organizations look at the big picture. But it’s not easy–if it were, every organization in the state would be participating,” said TNCPE President Katie Rawls. “Organizations like Tennessee State University are truly passionate about performance excellence and have chosen TNCPE and the Baldrige framework to help them become the best-run organization they can be.”

Tennessee State University, Division of Student Affairs will accept the award at the 21st annual Excellence in Tennessee Awards Banquet on Feb. 19, 2014.

A full list of winners can be found on the TNCPE website www.tncpe.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.

TSU Music Professor Contributes to New American Music Dictionary

Chip Henderson
Chip Henderson

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A music professor from Tennessee State University is one of the latest contributors to one of the largest reference works geared toward music and musicians.

Chip Henderson, an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Music, contributed to The Grove Dictionary of American Music, the principal research source for generations of musicians, and has been widely acclaimed as an indispensable resource.

The new edition, often called AmeriGrove, doubles the original four volumes first published in 1986, and will grow to eight volumes, with 5,592 pages. Of the more than 9,300 articles, more than 4,800 are new.  Henderson, who teaches commercial guitar and music appreciation, submitted five articles to the updated edition.

“It was an exciting project,” said Henderson. “It was a great experience to be a small part of such a large project. I was one of 1,500 writers asked to take part in this great undertaking.”

Henderson submitted articles on Elmer Snowden, Johnny Smith, Scott Hamilton, Larry Coryell and James Blood Ulmer, and will be part of the more than 4,800 new articles.

In an interview on the Oxford University Press website, the editor of the new edition, Charles Hiroshi Garrett, associate professor of musicology at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater and Dance, said that the shape of the updated AmeriGrove reflects a remarkable effort of teamwork and scholarly cooperation. Nearly seventy editors and advisors—specialists in American music representing top universities and research institutes from across the United States and around the world—devoted substantial time to the project.

“This new edition is a significant makeover. Each of these participants, each assigned to key subject areas, helped design the coverage, scope, and content of the dictionary,” said Garrett. “The editorial team also received and reviewed suggestions from Grove readers and many scholars of American music. Over the course of the project, the contents of the dictionary continued to expand as editors and contributors recognized potential areas of growth and commissioned new articles.”

Garrett added that the new version would take an expanded view of certain American musical forms – country music, for example. To illustrate the scope of the change, he noted that the first edition had about 90 entries about country music.

“In response to the sustained impact of and scholarly interest in country music,” Mr. Garrett said, “the updated dictionary features a newly commissioned, extensive article on country music as well as nearly 300 articles dedicated to individual country musicians, groups and subgenres.”

In addition to country, the dictionary will also expand to capture a wider spectrum of musical activity, and to discuss musical practices often lost in the margins, including Latino, Asian-American, Native American, and Hawaiian music and musicians.

The new dictionary is expected to be published Dec. 2 and will cost $1,195.

 

 

 

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 Civil and Architectural Engineering Students Capture Awards at Water Resources Conference

Students from the University's Civil and Architectural Engineering program recently attended the annual Tennessee American Water Resources Association conference at Montgomery Bell State Park, where they had the opportunity to present works of research to conference attendees. (Courtesy photo)
Students from the University’s Civil and Architectural Engineering program recently attended the annual Tennessee American Water Resources Association conference at Montgomery Bell State Park, where they had the opportunity to present works of research to conference attendees. (Courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – More than a dozen students associated with the environmental engineering program at Tennessee State University made a dramatic showing at the annual Tennessee American Water Resources Association conference including three first-place and grand-prize award winners.

Held Nov. 4-6 at Montgomery Bell State Park, 14 students represented the University’s engineering program at this year’s gathering. Overall, more than 300 participants attended the conference including scientists and engineers from private consulting firms, state and federal agencies, and academia.

The TSU representatives included area high school students conducting research in the laboratory under the guidance and mentorship of the University’s engineering faculty members, and undergraduate and graduate environmental engineering majors.

Students from the TSU program competed in the poster presentation section of the conference against students from area high schools, including Hume-Fogg Magnet, Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet, and Stratford Magnet high schools, as well as Vanderbilt, Tennessee Tech University and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

“The competition was fierce and every student did an excellent job describing their research to attendees,” said Dr. Thomas Byl, assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering, and advisor to the group.

According to Byl, the TSU group presented a diverse array of research projects that included the development of a model to describe chemical transport in karst aquifers; storm runoff chemistry; biodegradation of quaternary ammonia compounds and linear alkyl sulfonates, sorption isotherms, and karst hydrology near the Cumberland River; electricity generation by wetland bacteria; and groundwater microbial response to antibiotics.

“My congratulations go out to the students and Dr. Byl for all of their excellent works,” said Dr. Gouranga Banik, chair of the Civil and Architectural Engineering deaprtment. “It is indeed a great honor for the department to get so many awards for the students from a reputed conference like AWRA.”

High school senior Petra Byl  from Hume Fogg Academic Magnet High School, speaks to a conference attendee about her research project.
High school senior Petra Byl from Hume Fogg Academic Magnet High School, speaks to a conference attendee about her research project.

Title of poster presentation, student researcher, and school affiliation included:

Biodegradation of Quaternary Ammonia Compounds by Biofilm and Free-Living Bacteria. Zheer Ahmed, Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet High School

Antibiotic Resistance and Substrate Utilization by Bacteria Affiliated with Cave Streams at Different Levels of Mammoth Cave. Petra Byl, Hume Fogg Academic Magnet High School (1st place high school, and, Grand Prize Award)

Reduction of Selected Chemical from Storm Runoff by Filters and Biodegradation. JeTara Brown, TSU  (1st place undergraduate research)

Solute Transport in Karst, a Dual Continuum Model. Justin Harris, TSU

Re-Designing the RV Waste-Transfer Station at MACA to Avoid Spills. Sean McMillan, TSU

Regression Analysis to Determine Correlations between Environment and Storm Runoff Water Quality. David Solomon, TSU

Fate and Transport of Chemicals at Mammoth Cave, Ky. Ashley West, TSU

Aquifer Tests to Characterize the Hydraulic Connection between the Cumberland River and Groundwater in Nashville, Tenn. Aras Barzanji, TSU

The Development and Use of Sorption Isotherms to Optimize Storm-Filter Design. Hung-wai Ho, TSU

Enhancing the Design of Microbial Batteries in Wetlands. Lina Khoury, TSU (1st place graduate research)

Evaluation of Green Remediation Strategies at the Velsicol Landfill, Hardeman County, Tennessee. Loreal Spear, TSU

The Tennessee Section of the American Water Resources Association strives to promote the advancement of water resources research, planning, and education by providing an annual forum to exchange multidisciplinary ideas about water issues throughout Tennessee and the surrounding region. The Tennessee Section has provided this annual forum since 1988.

 

 

 

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 vice president elected to APLU leadership committee

Dr. A. Dexter Samuels, associate vice president for student affairs at TSU, has been elected to serve on the executive committee for the Council on Student Affairs with APLU. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)
Dr. A. Dexter Samuels, associate vice president for student affairs at TSU, has been elected to serve on the executive committee for the Council on Student Affairs with the APLU. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s associate vice president for Student Affairs has been elected to a leadership position with the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, a non-profit organization with members across the country to advance learning.

Dr. A. Dexter Samuels will serve for three years on the Executive Committee for the Council on Student Affairs.

“This is a great honor, and will be an excellent opportunity to meeting and work with colleagues from across the country to discuss best practices in student affairs,” said Samuels. “The APLU is an excellent organization that deals with innovation and real student issues.”

The CSA deals with many issues that are critical to student success in college, such as admissions, student financial aid, health and wellness, and graduation rates. The council sponsors conference presentations and informal forums to discuss issues that affect students’ overall experience at college issues. The parent organization, APLU, has participants from all 50 states.

The APLU is a research, policy, and advocacy organization representing 219 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and related organizations. Founded in 1887, APLU is the nation’s oldest higher education association dedicated to advancing learning, discovery and engagement.

Samuels adds the new leadership position to others he currently holds. He also serves as the vice chairman of the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, and serves on the board for the Martha O’Bryan Center.

 

 

 

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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.