Category Archives: GRANTS

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 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.

Nashville Recording Academy Helps TSU Students Pursue Music Education

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Two music majors at Tennessee State University have received scholarship awards from The Recording Academy, helping them get one step closer to finishing their degrees.

Brian Allen
Brian Allen

Seniors Brian Allen and Mike Williams, both from Nashville, received scholarships from the Nashville Chapter of The Recording Academy in the amount of $850 each. They are two of eight students in the Nashville area who received the cash awards. Others receiving the awards included two each from Middle Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Belmont universities.

Mike Williams
Mike Williams

“The competition is always rigorous for these awards,” said Laura Travis Crawford, chapter assistant. “Brian and Mike were two of our top finalists and we were proud to be able to provide them with a financial award to help them with their education.”

Every year, Dr. Mark Crawford, coordinator of the Commercial Music program at the University, nominates students, who he believes, demonstrate a genuine benefit by receiving a scholarship, and have also been able to share their musical talents and goals.

“I only nominate juniors or seniors who may have a financial need, but who also have proven themselves to be above average musicians, academically successful, and otherwise responsible students,” said Crawford.  “For the last several years, The Academy has very graciously included our students for scholarship consideration. Our students are competing with other music students for the same money. This brings the total to 10 students who have been helped financially by the academy.”

The Recording Academy, known variously as The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences or NARAS, is an organization of musicians, producers, recording engineers and other recording professionals dedicated to improving the quality of life and cultural condition for music and its makers. The Academy has 12 chapters, including the one in Nashville, and focuses on all levels and aspects of music education.

 

 

 

 

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 Research Team receives $2 million Air Force grant to study strategic initiatives

Capt. Jason Simmons and Staff Sgt. Clinton Tips update anti-virus software for Air Force units to assist in the prevention of cyberspace hackers  at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. Tennessee State University was recently awarded a grant from the Air Force Research Laboratory to help the study adopting cloud-computing model for soldiers equipped with smartphones and how its effects on cybersecurity.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo)
Capt. Jason Simmons and Staff Sgt. Clinton Tips update anti-virus software for Air Force units to assist in the prevention of cyberspace hackers at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. Tennessee State University was recently awarded a grant from the Air Force Research Laboratory to study the adoption of a cloud-computing model for soldiers equipped with smartphones and their effects on cybersecurity. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo)

AFRLNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A team of researchers at Tennessee State University has received a multimillion dollar grant to study the development, discovery and integration of warfighting technologies to support air, space and cyberspace forces with the Department of Defense.

The U. S. Air Force Research Laboratory awarded the College of Engineering a multiyear grant worth nearly $2 million to study power sources for air and space vehicles, and to study how to intelligently adapt communications and networks to provide friendly forces unfettered and reliable communications during joint forces operations. During the five-year term of the grant, five graduate and 10 undergraduate students will work side-by-side faculty members in their research efforts.

“The College of Engineering continues to compete in this highly competitive field of advanced research that supports the mission of the Air Force Research Laboratory,” said Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College. “For more than a decade, we have conducted research in advanced sensors for military surveillance, aircraft electronics (avionics), and product reliability.”

The $1.93 million funding from the Air Force Research Laboratory, which comes from the, Materials and Sensors Directorates, will be used to fund five separate projects.

The one Materials project will focus on lithium Ion batteries used to power aerospace platforms, such as the F-35 Lightning II jet fighter, satellites and remotely piloted vehicles, with researchers developing analytical models for behavior, performance, reliability and cost of the batteries. The research team includes Drs. Hargrove, Landon Onyebueke and Lizhi Ouyang.

Three Sensors projects will include research in communication in congested electromagnetic environments; layered sensing exploitation and fusion in contested environments; and cross layers decision-making and fusion models for automated sensor exploitation in layered sensing. A fourth project will cover cyber security and will look at how to adopt a cloud-computing model needed for soldiers equipped with smartphones to enhance mission outcomes.

Researchers include Drs. Liang Hong, Wei Chen, Amir Shirkhodaie, Saleh Zein-Sabatto, Fenghui Yao, Sachin Shetty, and Tamara Rogers.

According to Hargrove, the funding supports faculty and students in research activities, and partners the College of Engineering with Clarkson Aerospace, a minority-owned business, and United Technologies Corporation.

“We are targeting our research activities relevant to key strategic initiatives advocated by the National Academy of Engineering, and we want to collaborate with local industry to advance these technologies that will benefit the consumer and military within the next decade,” Hargrove added.

The College of Engineering has been awarded multiple grants from the Department of Defense throughout the year, including a $334,000 grant from the U.S. Army Research Office to research automated surveillance systems.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

USDA Awards TSU More Than $1.5 Million for Agricultural Research

USDANASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service)  – The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently selected six research projects for funding through the annual 1890 Capacity-Building program. A total of $1,534,150 will be awarded to investigative teams in Tennessee State University’s College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences. Funds will support two- and three-year research projects that advance the body of knowledge in agricultural science, education and extension services.

The USDA depends on results produced through these projects to help solve problems that impact farm efficiency and profitability, human nutrition and food safety while sustaining viable agricultural production and jobs in rural communities.

A total of 19 investigators will participate in funded research projects that range from developing strategies to reduce the harmful impact of beetles on Tennessee’s ornamental tree nursery industry to developing a tool to help consumers calculate and manage calories during food purchases. Funded projects include both laboratory- and community-based research.

Principal investigators selected for funding include:  Dr. Karla Addesso, Dr. Ahmad Aziz, Dr. Fur-Chi Chen, Dr. Janice Emerson, Dr. Dafeng Hui, and Dr. George Smith. Projects will include opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to actively engage in proposed activities and interact with TSU research faculty.

USDA’s Capacity-Building program is a competitive opportunity for 1890 institutions. Funded research helps enhance and strengthen the quality of agricultural teaching, research and extension programs at the nation’s 18 historically black colleges and universities that offer degree programs in agricultural science, education, and family and consumer science.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John A. 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, coeducational, 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 celebrates 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu

TSU Receives $1.2 Million NSF Grant to Inspire Students to Teach Math, Science in Schools

NSF_logoNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Math and Science teachers are desperately needed in schools in Nashville and across the state to help prepare the country’s youth for a labor market dominated by jobs in science and technology.

Tennessee State University will now be doing its part to inspire students to teach in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, when it was recently announced that the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences was awarded $1.2 million to support and prepare STEM majors to become K-12 teachers.

Dr. Elaine Martin, associate professor of Biology, College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences. Martin and her team of professors and instructors won a $1.2 million National Science Foundation grant to encourage students to teach science and math to elementary, middle and high school students in high-need districts. (courtesy photo)
Dr. Elaine Martin, associate professor of Biology, College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences. Martin and her team of professors and instructors won a $1.2 million National Science Foundation grant to encourage students to teach science and math to elementary, middle and high school students in high-need districts. (courtesy photo)

Funded through the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, the grant will support “Project Tiger Teach,” a new program designed to help train students majoring in biology, chemistry or mathematics receive their teacher certification, who will in turn, land jobs teaching in high-need school districts.

The program, according to Dr. Elaine Martin, associate professor of Biology and director of the project, will be a collaborative partnership between the University and the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools System. The goals of the partnership are to increase the number of highly-qualified certified, high school STEM teachers in high-need schools in the Nashville area, increase teacher diversity with emphasis on recruiting African-American male STEM teachers, and provide four years of mentoring and professional development opportunities to graduates.

“This is a great opportunity for TSU to recruit and support students with strong science and math backgrounds into higher education,” added Martin. “Over the next four years, the Noyce grant will allow us to recruit individuals into the program with strong STEM backgrounds who might otherwise not have considered a career in K-12 teaching.”

Another outcome of the project will be to place teachers from underrepresented groups such as African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans into the same type classroom category and increase the student-to-teacher ratio of both groups.

“A recent survey of students enrolled in biology and mathematics courses at TSU revealed that 30 percent are interested in considering teaching math or science in K-12 schools,” said Martin, “while 40 percent would consider obtaining teacher licensure in math or science if they could obtain it within their four-year college program.

“Additionally, an overwhelming 66 percent of participants surveyed would consider obtaining a teaching license and teach at least five years in K-12 schools if full tuition and a summer internship were provided. Through this program, we anticipate an increase in high school and post-secondary graduation rates that will address Tennessee’s and the nation’s shortage of STEM professionals.”

When the program kicks off, scholarship money will support a total of 40 undergraduate students over the next four years to go through Project Tiger Teach. Each year, three students majoring in biology, two in chemistry and five in mathematics will be assisted by the program.

Students wishing to apply for the program must have completed 60 credit hours with a minimum GPA of 3.0.  The Noyce grant provides scholarships in the amount of $12,000 per year for a period of two years for the future classroom leaders to complete their degrees with teacher certification.  They must agree to teach two years for each year of scholarship support in a “high needs” school district in Tennessee and the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools.

Participants will also take part in summer institutes that include tutoring high school students in the Regents Math Academy and Tennessee State University’s Math and Science Center. By the end of their sophomore year, Noyce Scholars are admitted to the teacher certification program in biology, chemistry or mathematics.

Before their senior year, students must then complete four educational courses and all required content courses in preparation for the MNPS high school-based Residency I and Residency II.

“The extended residency will produce highly-qualified teachers who have mastered content knowledge, and understand the learning process and application of assessment results to improve instruction,” added Martin.

Along with Martin, the grant was awarded to co-directors Dr. Jeanetta Jackson, Department of Mathematics; Dr. Heraldo Richards, College of Education; and Dr. Artenzia Young-Seigler, Department of Biological Sciences.

“This project will be a boost to the College’s STEM education and teacher preparation efforts, particularly for minority populations,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, Dean of the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences. “This is a prestigious grant our faculty received that will give us the opportunity to work together with Metro School system in preparing and in serving their STEM teacher needs. It is a win-win project for TSU and the community.”

The Noyce scholarship is named for Robert Noyce, co-founder of Intel Corp and the scientist awarded the 1961 patent for the integrated semiconductor. The scholarship was funded through the NSF Authorization Act of 2002 in response to a critical need for teachers in science and math.

 

 

Department of Media Relations  

 

Tennessee State University
3500 John A. 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, coeducational, 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 celebrates 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu