Category Archives: GRANTS

Fund to Help Study Poor Performance of Women, Minorities in STEM Subjects

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University has received a $1.4 million federal grant to research why women and under-represented minority students continue to lag behind in science, technology, engineering and math.

A recent study shows that regardless of summer camps, revised curriculums and faculty mentoring, minority students, especially African Americans, see STEM subjects as “too hard and not worth the effort.”

Researchers at TSU will use the National Science Foundation grant to examine factors such as problem-solving, decision making, goal setting and managing, to understand what prevents one group of students from persisting, while others succeed.

The three-year study will include about 400 undergraduate STEM majors in agriculture, education, engineering, and life and physical sciences.

Marie Hammond
Dr. Marie Hammond

Dr. Marie Hammond, associate professor of psychology in the College of Education and principal investigator, will lead the study. Assisting her will be Dr. De’Etra Young, Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, and Dr. Artenzia Young-Seigler. Several graduate students are also participating in the study.

A vocational psychologist for more than 30 years, Hammond said community influence may play a role in why some minority students do not persist.

“African-American students come from communities with different values and different ways of looking at the world,” she said. “And we know from research and counseling that this changes the way people make decisions and the way they see what’s offered them in whatever setting they re in. My goal is to understand how these impact students’ choices about their majors and their persistence in STEM.”

The low participation of minority population in STEM is also reflected in the work force, especially among African-American men, and may be a result of the poor performance mentioned in Hammond’s grant.

An NSF study citing 2010 Census data shows that  African-American men made up 6.2 percent of the national population between 18 and 64 years old. But in the same year, black men represented just 3 percent of scientists and engineers working in those fields, according to the report.

Hargrove, who is dean of the TSU College of Engineering, said the challenge remains in getting under-represented groups exposed to careers and opportunities in STEM at the K-12 level.

“It requires an aggressive effort and initiative on behalf of industry and government to make a conscious investment to provide exposure, preparation, access, and retention to increase the number of graduates in engineering,” Hargrove said. “Universities and K-12 must work together to attract minority groups to STEM disciplines for the U.S. to maintain its industrial competitiveness.”

Tonya McKoy is a graduate research assistant on the TSU study who is pursuing a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology. She said the difficulty may not be that “people can’t learn, but it is the method of learning.”

“Maybe we need to look at the way we are teaching …the way we look at bringing the different multicultural aspects of things together,” McKoy said.

According to Hammond, the study will investigate the role of professional, social and cultural identities on career choices and commitment among under-represented minorities, as well as provide a better understanding of students’ decisions in making career choices as they matriculate at the college level.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 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.

Conservation Expert at TSU Small Farm Expo Says US Running Low on Farmable Land; Highlights Critical Role of Small Farmers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A federal conservationist has warned that the United States is running out of farmable agriculture land to grow enough food for its growing population.

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Leonard Jordan

Leonard Jordan, associate chief for Conservation at the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, said the acreage of agriculture land in the U.S. has decreased by 30-35 million acres in the last 30 years while the nation’s population continues to grow.

“This is alarming.” Jordan said. “Anytime there is a growth in the number of people who rely on food and fiber for their survival, and there is less acreage to produce it on, that should be a concern.”

Jordan, a 1977 graduate of Tennessee State University with a B.S. degree in plant and soil science, was the keynote speaker July 21 at the 12th annual Small Farm Expo at TSU’s Agricultural Research and Education Center or “The Farm.”

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From left, Dr. Latin Lighari, associate dean for Cooperative Extension; Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of CAHNS; and Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture, Jai Templeton, far right, present Mike and Karen Minnis with the Farmer of the Year Award. (Photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

The Expo also recognized the state’s top farmer with the Small Farmer of the Year Award. That honor went to the husband and wife team of Mike and Karen Minnis, crop farmers from Memphis, Tennessee. They were recognized for “Best Management Practices and Innovative Marketing.”

Jordan said with these “alarming statistics,” the nation is depending more on small farmers to fill the gap of growing enough crops for its people.

“Their role is very critical,” he said about small farmers. “The figures tell us that the things that they do in their operations are more important today than they have ever been. You (small farmers) should feel good about what you do each and every day. We owe you more than you ever know,” he said.

TSU President Glenda Glover agreed with Jordan, calling small farmers the “back bone” of America.

“It is very exciting to see this many people here today to celebrate our small farmers,” she said. “Our small farmers are the backbone of America, and it is very important that we take this time to recognize them. I applaud you (the small farmers) for the work that you do and continue to do to not only feed us but to encourage and prepare future farmers. I thank Dean (Chandra) Reddy and the College of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and all sponsors for your support in making this expo successful.”

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Ashton Kirkpatrick, a seventh-grader from Northeast Middle School in Jackson, left; and Drayton Hawkins, an eleventh-grader from Haywood High School in Memphis, participate in a sustainable living exercise in the Urban Green mobile lab at the expo. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media relations)

More than 400 agricultural experts, farmers and officials from across Tennessee and the U.S. Department of Agriculture attended the one-day expo. Busloads of middle and high school students from as far as Jackson and Memphis, Tennessee participated in the event.

The expo featured livestock shows, tractor pulls and tours, traditional agricultural displays and demonstrations, and mobile educational units, including a planting and harvesting simulator, and the Urban Green Lab on sustainable living.

Also on hand was Jai Templeton, who made his first appearance as the new commissioner of agriculture for Tennessee.

Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, thanked the award winners, small farmers, federal and state agency representatives, sponsors, guests and visitors for their participation.

“This annual Expo, now in its 12th year, is a way for Tennessee State University and our partners on the federal and state levels to recognize the role farmers and agriculture play in the state and the nation,” Reddy said. “We are grateful to Dr. Latif Lighari for his leadership of the Cooperative Extension Program, and his team for ensuring another successful Expo.”

Other farmers receiving awards were: Charles Jordan for “Most Improved Beginning Small Farmer”; and husband and wife team of Jim and Deanna Malooley, for “Best Management Practices.”

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 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.

2016 TSU Small Farm Expo and Farmer of the Year Recognition Expected to Draw More than 400 on July 21

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

The Expo, hosted by the TSU College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences Cooperative Extension Program, opens on Thursday, July 21 at 8:45 a.m., at the Agricultural Research and Education Center on the main campus.

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

Featured research and activities will focus on organic urban and AA9_1140[1]vertical agriculture, portable livestock fencing, greenhouse gas emission, soybean genomic research, and enhancing plant protection against fungal diseases and environmental stresses. The U.S. Food Modernization Act and its implications for small farmers and restaurant owners will also be discussed, along with updates from the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program, and the USDA Farm Service Agency.

Activities will also include field plot tours, educational workshops, and exhibits of agricultural products, and farming tools and implements.

The Expo will culminate at 12:30 p.m., with the Small Farmer Recognition and Award ceremony that will include the President of TSU, Dr. Glenda Glover; Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Jai Templeton; the President of the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation, Dr. Tim Cross; and Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resources, among others.

More details on the Expo can be found at http://goo.gl/4t31wt.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 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, Farm Credit of Mid-America Form Partnership to Promote Urban Agriculture

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University and Farm Credit of Mid-America, an agricultural lending cooperative, are partnering to promote urban agriculture.

The two sides finalized discussions June 30 when officials of Farm Credit presented a check for $50,000 to TSU President Glenda Glover as seed money for the project.

“We are excited about this project,” Glover said. “We understand the importance of agriculture and with food security and population explosion, there is definitely the need for a strong cooperation like this between our agriculture college and a partner like Farm Credit.”

The TSU College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, under the leadership of Dean Chandra Reddy, who has been leading the negotiation with Farm Credit, will serve as the coordinating arm of the project.

In a meeting in Glover’s office, Mark Wilson, Farm Credit senior vice president for Financial Services, said TSU’s role would be critical as the United States faces a land shortage with a goal to double its food production in the next 30 years.

“That is quite a task,” Wilson said. “It is going to take people like us and the research that’s going on at Tennessee State University to make that possible.”

As a type of comprehensive education and community partnership, urban agriculture connects individuals and communities with resources to navigate the food system for their needs. It entails growing fruits, vegetables and, in some instances, raising animals in metro areas with limited spaces.

Under the partnership, the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resources will promote new ways of growing fruits in tight and limited spaces, using hydroponic (soilless), vertical gardening, and organic agriculture techniques.

According to Reddy, only 1 percent of the general population is engaged in traditional agricultural production. He said the goal is to promote these new ideas where individuals can grow food like fruits and vegetables in their homes without using much land.

“Our faculty are working but we are not yet able to take these ideas where every body is aware of them,” Reddy said. “With this funding from Farm Credit, we will sponsor events that draw community and statewide attention, like an ‘Urban Agriculture Day’ on the TSU campus. We will invite individuals to compete for these ideas. We may have some cash awards from this money to give them.”

Reddy said the next phase of the plan is to put together a committee that will develop criteria for the project.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 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.

Statistics Show Promising Future for Psychology Majors

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University psychology students should not have too hard a time finding employment after graduation, statistics show.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of psychologists is expected to grow by 22 percent between 2010 and 2020.

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Andre K. Davis II, a senior psychology major, reviews his research project in the Neuroanatomy Lab in the Department of Psychology at TSU. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“Psychology majors develop critical thinking skills, data analysis skills, and a very broad range of skills that a number of professions look for,” said Dr. Kiesa Kelly, professor and chair of the TSU Department of Psychology.

A recent report by the National Center for Education Statistics shows psychology is the fourth most pursued bachelor’s degree among college students.

The report said only business, health professions, and social sciences and history out rank psychology as areas with the most influx of students on the undergraduate level.

At Tennessee State University, for instance, about 300 students are majoring in psychology, the fourth single highest area of concentration for majors at the university. Nearly 50 students graduate from the program each year.

Experts say increased interest in the mental health of children and federal education legislation has influenced students’ interest in psychology.

Particularly at TSU, Kelly said “quality” is a major reason for the mass attraction.

“We have redesigned our program so that it makes our students more competitive both for graduate school and the job market,” she said. “We have excellent faculty with strong research credentials who could be faculty at major research institutions, but because of their commitment to mentoring students, they have chosen to come here.”

Andre K. Davis II is a senior psychology major in TSU’s program.

“I love the program here,” said Davis, a Memphis native. “I give the psyche program a 10 out of 10. When I came here I really didn’t know what I was going to do. But the professors here really truly do everything to help their students. Any opportunity they see, they try to get it for you.”

Kelly said the department seeks out opportunities to ensure students have all the necessary help to make them competitive for graduate work or the job market.

“We really have been working on trying to increase our admission of students into doctoral programs by increasing research opportunities for them,” she said.

Last year, for instance, Kelly said the department received a five-year, $850,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to create the TSU Nerve Program, which helps psychology majors and majors from other disciplines get into doctoral programs in neuroscience.

“Neuroscience is an area within our undergraduate program that we have been building,” Kelly said. “This is one of the directions of psychology as a major and we have been moving in that direction to remain on the cutting edge. As I speak, four of our students are at Princeton for the summer getting their paid neuroscience research experience.”

BestColleges.com has curated a scholarship and financial aid resource for students pursuing a degree in psychology. To get more information, visit: http://www.bestcolleges.com/financial-aid/psychology-scholarships/.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 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.

Internships help prepare TSU students for success in the workforce

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University students are taking advantage of internships they hope will give them real-world experience to be successful in the global workforce.

The internships include positions with the U.S. Department of Defense, health care, education and engineering, to name a few.

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TSU’s Career Development Center is among a number of job readiness initiatives that help to prepare students for the workforce. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“I strongly recommend that all students complete at least one internship while matriculating through school,” said Tina Reed, director of TSU’s Career Development Center. “By completing an internship, students gain hands on experience while learning about their chosen industry.”

Reed added that students who participate in an internship, or some type of other experiential learning, are “more likely to receive gainful employment upon graduation.”

She said that based on a small sampling, 50 percent of TSU students who complete internships while in school receive employment offers before graduating, or immediately after graduation.

Isaiah Grigsby, a junior majoring in computer science, hopes that will be the case with him following an internship this summer in cybersecurity at Hospital Corporation of America, or HCA.

“It’s going to benefit me going forward because it gives me experience in the field I’m trying to go into,” Grigsby said of the internship. “The things that we do in school are just the theories, but actually going to a company and applying those theories, that’s what I look forward to.”

Business administration major Delveedra Davis, who is entering her senior year, said she hopes to stay with the U.S. Department of Defense when she finishes her internship with the department.

However, if she doesn’t, she acknowledges that the experience gained will be “invaluable.”

“You’re able to build professional skills, and make connections, that you’re not able to do in the classroom,” said Davis, who will mainly be working in the DOD’s human resources department.

Computer science major Alan Bond said it’s unlikely that he’ll be hired permanently after working at Fox Network Engineering and Operations in Los Angeles. But the 21-year-old senior said he plans to make the most of his internship in broadcast engineering.

“It would be nice to work here full-time, but for the most part, I’m just hoping to learn as much as possible,” Bond said. “As far as broadcast engineering goes, working in a major top five market … looks good on the resume.”

TSU takes pride in its programs that help students not only find internships, but seek to give them the best shot at success once they graduate.

The university recently received a $150,000 job placement grant from the United Negro College Fund Career to Pathway Initiative. TSU was one of 30 colleges awarded the funds intended to help students gain the knowledge, preparation, insight and skills needed to secure meaningful employment following graduation.

Tyler Kinloch, who graduated from TSU on May 7 with a degree in Aeronautical and Industrial Technology, said the Career Development Center and the university’s other job readiness initiatives are an asset.

“Being able to connect with the Career Development Center and taking advantage of all the services they provide – resume building, printing business cards, mock interviews, critiques – has helped to prepare me for the real world,” Kinloch said.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 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.

Grant from United Negro College Fund to enhance TSU’s student career development initiatives

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is using a $150,000 grant from the United Negro College Fund to improve job placement outcome for graduates.

The university was one of 30 historically black colleges and universities that recently received the grant made possible through funding by the Lilly Endowment, Inc, which has committed $50 million for UNCF to launch the UNCF Career Pathways Initiative.

TSU will use the money to enhance its student career development initiatives.

“As the nation focuses on its capacity to address the current and projected needs for a more educated, better trained and diverse workforce, TSU is poised to confirm our position as a significant source of premier employee and entrepreneurial talent,” TSU President Glenda Glover said. “This funding will allow us to focus on a campus-wide career planning and development initiative that will ensure that even more of our students are exposed to various career and employment options.”

Kierston Moorer and Tyler Kinloch, both of whom graduated from TSU on May 7, said the university’s Career Development Center has done a good job preparing them for the workforce.

“I’ve been involved with this center since my freshman year,” said Moorer, a computer science major who is taking a job at IBM as a software engineer-technical support in Raleigh, North Carolina. “The center set up a mock interview for me, guided me with my resume and everything else. They are very proactive and very encouraging.”

Kinloch, who interned with Alcoa, Inc., last year, has been hired by the company as an industrial engineer. He said the Career Development Center “enhanced my ability to prepare for my career.”

“Being able to connect with the Career Development Center and taking advantage of all the services they provide – resume building, printing business cards, mock interviews, critiques – has helped to prepare me for the real world,” said Kinloch, who graduated with a degree in Aeronautical and Industrial Technology.

Eloise Abernathy Alexis, associate vice president for Institutional Advancement at TSU, said the funding is intended to integrate and institutionalize existing and new career development programs, partnerships and principles under four key priority areas, including curriculum, coaching, concepts and connection.

For instance, she said one program the funding will benefit is Backpacks to Briefcases: A Social Media Platform Integrating Career Curriculum, Coaching, Concepts and Connections.

“Our students represent a diverse population of individuals seeking to acquire the academic credentials, training and experience required to embark upon pertinent career opportunities, innovative startups and civic service,” she said. “We must ensure that current TSU students have practical and relevant career preparation as a continuum of TSU’s track record of success after graduation.”

Bertina Reed-Hewett, director of the Career Development Center, agreed.

“We don’t want students to graduate with a mediocre job, we want them to have gainful employment,” she said.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 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 Program Reviewers Assess TSU’s Honors College

nchcNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Reviewers from the National Collegiate Honors Council are visiting Tennessee State University to assess its Honors Program as it transitions to an Honors College.

The Tennessee Board of Regents and the Tennessee Commission for Higher Education officially approved the 52-year-old program in January to be an Honors College.

Dr. Hallie Savage, executive director of NCHE, and Dr. Gregory Lanier, co-chair of NCHC’s Assessment and Evaluation Committee, were to be at the university from April 13-14 to follow up on a self-study summited to the council a month ago, as well as ensure that the program is consistent with the university’s mission and goals.

During their visit, the reviewers were to also meet with key stakeholders, including TSU President Glenda Glover; Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Mark Hardy, as well as deans, faculty and students.

“We are very honored and pleased to have NCHC honors education experts Dr. Savage and Dr. Lanier to conduct the program review for our newly approved Honors College,” said Dr. Coreen Jackson, director of the TSU Honors College. “To have the best consultants in America come to our campus to help us transition to a prestigious Honors College will help us attract high achievers from around the globe.”

Jackson is a board member of the NCHC, serving a three-year term.

In a statement, the reviewers congratulated TSU for investing in the council’s program review process.

“Your investment in program review maximizes the benefit of your Honors College to your institution,” Savage said. “We are happy to provide information regarding program review, as well as transition from honors programs to colleges. The National Collegiate Honors Council is always ready to help improve and strengthen Honors education in any way that it can.”

More than 400 “high-ability” students are enrolled in the TSU Honors College.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 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 Astronomer Part of Team that Discovers Planet with Eccentric Orbit

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Dr. Gregory Henry

 NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Dr. Gregory Henry is part of a team of astronomers who have discovered an extrasolar planet scientists say has the most eccentric orbit ever seen.

The new planet is referred to as HD 20782 b and is about 117 light-years from Earth. It appears “elliptical or oblong” as it orbits around its star, astronomers say, which is unlike other planets in the solar system that have nearly circular orbits.

“The planet moves in a nearly flattened ellipse, traveling slowly far from its star and then making a fast and furious slingshot around the star at its closest approach,” Henry said. “At the furthest point in its orbit, the planet is separated from its star by 2.5 times the distance between the sun and Earth.”

At its closest approach, scientists say the new plant ventures as close as 6 percent of the Earth-sun distance, which is much closer than Mercury orbits the sun.

In congratulating Henry and his colleagues, TSU’s director of the Center of Excellence in Information Systems Engineering Management referred to Henry as “the first piece of TSU’s astronomy team.”

“Dr. Henry led an effort to establish the world’s first fully robotic observatory in collaboration with Fairborn Observatory in Southern Arizona,” said Dr. Matthew Muterspaugh, who is also professor of Physics and Astronomy at TSU. “Several of these telescopes were used to monitor the new planet’s host star to characterize the star’s properties and eliminate potential sources of false discovery.”

The team of astronomers, led by Steven Kane of San Francisco State University, says extrasolar plants like HD 20782 b pose “a wealth of questions” for astronomers.

“When we see a planet like this in an eccentric orbit, it can be really hard to explain how it got that way,” Kane said. “It’s kind of like looking at a murder scene, examining blood spatter patterns on the walls. You know something bad has happened, but you need to figure out what caused it.”

This new planetary discovery is just one of many involving TSU in the past.

For more than 25 years, Tennessee State University astronomers have been developing and operating a fleet of robotic telescopes in the mountains of southern Arizona.

In 1999, one of TSU’s robotic telescopes discovered the first transiting (eclipsing) exoplanet, providing the final evidence needed to prove the existence of other planetary systems.

“Our robotic telescopes have played a part in the discovery of over 150 extrasolar planets and planetary systems,” said Henry.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 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 Dental Hygiene Program Reaches Out to the Community in a Big Way

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Dental Hygiene Clinic is helping to provide needed care in the Nashville community.

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Abraham Osareme Simmons, who graduates in May, said community service was a key reason why he entered the Dental Hygiene program. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

In conjunction with its associate degree program, the clinic, located in Clement Hall on the main TSU campus, provides a wide range of dental services to nearly 600 patients a year at reduced cost. This includes the campus as well as the greater Nashville community.

“Outreach to the community is a significant part of what we do,” said Gary-Lee A. Lewis, chair of the Department of Dental Hygiene. “Our primary objectives here are to serve the community and prepare our students for licensure examinations. The hands-on training is extremely important to the students who will be job-ready at graduation, while the public receives quality, affordable dental care.”

That quality care will be on display April 22 at the Community Health and Wellness Fair in Kean Hall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The outreach event is free and open to the public.

The TSU clinic services include comprehensive oral examinations, X-rays, dental cleanings, radiography, oral health education, nutritional counseling, oral cancer screening, and tobacco assessment and cessation.

Graduates of the highly accredited program receive an Associate of Applied Science degree, which prepares them for diverse options in the health care environment.

Abraham Osareme Simmons, a senior Dental Hygiene major, said community service was part of the reason why he entered the program.

“I like to touch lives that are in need; that is very important to me,” said Simmons, who graduates in May. “That’s what inspired me to matriculate to the dental hygiene program. It is rewarding to see people feel good about themselves because of what you have done to make their lives better.”

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Reilly Poirier, a senior Dental Hygiene major, works on a patient in the Dental Hygiene Clinic. The clinic provides a range of services to about 600 patients a year. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The outreach initiatives of the program are not limited to services offered in the clinic, according to Brenda J. Kibbel, assistant professor of Dental Hygiene. Under the supervision of faculty, students are stationed in various areas in the community where they provide care.

“We are doing a lot of community outreach right now,” Kibbel said. “We actually have got in with the Metro Housing Development Association and we have been going to different housing projects doing oral cancer screening, preliminary screenings and education. We just did Cheatham Place where we saw 35 patients with 16 volunteer students.”

Students and professors have also completed services at Baby U and Hope Smiles at St. Thomas Medical Mobile Mission in Rutherford County, she said.

Besides dental screenings, the health and wellness fair will also provide fitness demonstrations and other health screenings including hypertension, glucose, and cholesterol. An educational component will offer information on weight loss management, nutrition, and HIV.

PROOFHealthFairv4v2b“Because HIV incidence is on the rise in communities with limited access to quality healthcare, our program’s message and mission is certainly in alignment with the goals and values of this event and its organizers,” said Vic Sorrell, Community Engagement Coordinator for Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s HIV Vaccine Program.

Sorrell will be among numerous health professionals ready to provide helpful information to people attending the event, which is sponsored by TSU, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and the DP Thomas Foundation for Obesity.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 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.