Category Archives: NEWS

SiriusXm Radio Shares TSU Radio Programs Starting in November

Beginning in November, SiriusXM subscribers will be able to hear programing from Tennessee State University on the satellite provider’s Channel 142 as part of the HBCU Network, including the Black Docs. They are (L-R) Drs. Iris Johnson Arnold, Heather O’Hara-Rand, Tameka Winston, Crystal deGregory and Keisha Bean. (courtesy photo)
Beginning in November, SiriusXM subscribers will be able to hear programing from Tennessee State University on the satellite provider’s Channel 142 as part of the HBCU Network, including the Black Docs. They are (L-R) Drs. Iris Johnson Arnold, Heather O’Hara-Rand, Tameka Winston, Crystal deGregory and Keisha Bean. (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Subscribers to SiriusXM satellite radio will soon be able to listen to programming originating from Tennessee State University.

Beginning in November, Tennessee State Talk and Black Docs will be broadcast over the airwaves, online and through mobile devices on Channel 142 by the satellite radio provider.

Tennessee State Talk is an upbeat yet informative program that provides an in-depth look at University news, accomplishments and more, all while displaying the talents of the TSU community.

Black Docs features a panel of five African American trailblazing female doctors from different fields who will share their opinions on numerous subjects important to the community including HBCU history, mental health, healthy living, and much more. The program currently airs Thursdays at 10 a.m. on the University’s radio station, WTST.

Dr. Tameka Winston, assistant professor in the Department of Communications at TSU, as well as creator and executive producer of both shows, felt it was time for a show such as Black Docs.

“Each host and co-host brings her own unique experiences, which leads to informative yet fun and witty discussions,” explained Winston. “Whether you’re looking for information about education, relationships, health or current events, we’ve got a doctor for you. I think listeners are sure to connect with the five doctors right from the start.”

Along with Winston, co-hosts include Drs. Crystal deGregory, faculty member at TSU, and founder and executive editor of HBCUSTORY Inc., a nonprofit advocacy initiative preserving, presenting and promoting inspiring stories of the historically black colleges and universities; and Iris Johnson Arnold, associate professor with the Department of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology at TSU. Her areas of study include speech and language development and disorders with collateral areas in multicultural and psychosocial variables affecting communication.

Other co-hosts include Drs. Keisha Bean, a licensed psychologist for the state of Tennessee with a Health Service Provider designation, working as a psychologist for Deberry Special Needs Prison for incarcerated men, and sole proprietor of Bean Counseling and Consulting Services; and Heather O’Hara-Rand, a board certified physician in Occupational Medicine and board eligible in Preventive Medicine, and assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Meharry Medical College.

Winston rounds out the panel, who teaches a variety of undergraduate level courses at TSU including newswriting, social media practices, multimedia storytelling, public speaking and introduction to mass communications. She recently won the College of Liberal Arts faculty award, and researched and developed the department’s new print curriculum. Winston has also authored and published a public speaking textbook, Understanding the Speechmaking Process, which is used by all students at the University.

In addition to teaching and scholarly research, Winston is also the creator, executive producer and host for both programs, and serves as the Director of TSU News Network. Joe Richie, radio operation manager for the Department of Communications, serves as the advisor for both programs.

The programs will debut on the HBCU Radio Network, one of the two channels leased to Howard University from SiriusXM radio December 2011. The HBCU Network will provide music and talk programs from historically black colleges and universities, including Tennessee State University.

 

 

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

National Magazine Ranks TSU Among Top 6 Percent in 2013 College Ranking

 

Students take part in the University's Annual Fall Day of Service recently at McGruder Family Resource Center community garden. Tennessee State University has received a top 6 percent ranking of the country's universities from Washington Monthly Magazine based on social mobility, research and service. (photos by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
Students take part in the University’s Annual Fall Day of Service recently at McGruder Family Resource Center community garden. Tennessee State University has received a top 6 percent ranking of the country’s universities from Washington Monthly Magazine based on social mobility, research and service. (photos by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University, listed just few steps from Harvard and MIT, is one of the top universities in the nation, according to Washington Monthly, in its 2013 College Rankings. Of 284 institutions in the Best National Universities category, TSU was ranked in the top 6 percent at number 17 in the country. This is a big jump for the University, which came in at number 87 in last year’s ranking.

“This is good news for Tennessee State University,” said TSU President, Dr. Glenda Glover. “This shows that our students are performing and exceling, while the faculty and staff are doing everything possible to ensure an outstanding learning environment for our students. It is quite an honor for our institution to be recognized by such a prestigious publication.”

The Washington Monthly, an independent magazine, which for years has argued that conventional measures of college prestige are far less important than what colleges do for the country, bases its ranking on social mobility, research and service.

WM_2013_Best_Colleges_Natl“Instead of lauding colleges for closing their doors to all but an elite few, we give high marks to institutions that enroll low-income students, help them graduate, and don’t charge them an arm and a leg to attend. Universities that bring in research dollars are rewarded by our standards; as are those whose undergraduates go on to earn Ph.D.s. And we recognize institutions that are committed to public service, both in the way they teach and in encouraging students to enter service-focused careers,” the magazine said in its introduction to the rankings.

“Tennessee State University and the University of Texas at El Paso are both among our highest-ranked universities despite the fact that they usually rate much lower on other national lists of elite institutions. These universities enroll large numbers of low-income students and graduate more of them than the economic and academic profiles of their students would predict, while charging the kind of affordable tuition that is increasingly rare,” Washington Monthly wrote.

Last week, in a speech at the University of Buffalo, President Obama said colleges should be rated on value and performance, adding that his administration will begin evaluating colleges on measures such as the average tuition they charge, and the share of low-income students they enroll.

“Higher education should not be a luxury. It is an economic imperative that every family in America should be able to afford,” Obama said.

According to Washington Monthly, 80 percent of TSU students receive Pell Grants, a high indication of students in need of assistance. While research has always been a key component of learning at TSU, service is an imperative at the institution for college completion.

TSU offered 93 service-learning courses last year, while more than 2,000 students performed 20,000 community service hours at an estimated value of $400,000 through partnership with the community, according to the Center for Service Learning. Just recently, TSU was named for the fifth year in a row to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement.

On Aug. 24, more than 700 volunteers took part in this year’s Day of Service, under the theme,  “A New Century: Moving Forward in Service,” to give back to the community at 33 different work sites around Nashville. The workers completed more than 2,100 hours of volunteer hours at an estimated value of $46,494.

And, the Washington Monthly’s ranking does agree with other reports that TSU, listed at number 1 in Tennessee in the ranking, is the most affordable in terms of tuition cost when compared to all other four-year institutions in the state.

The College Database, a free, non-commercial website that provides future and post-secondary students and their families with “accurate and valuable” college and career-related information, recently gave TSU a top ranking among colleges and universities in Tennessee with tuition rates below $20,000. It reported that TSU offers the best return on financial investment when compared to other post-secondary institutions in the state.

In fact, the database reported that TSU graduates enter the workforce earning an average $42,000 per year, the best among the other Tennessee institutions.

In the Washington Monthly ranking, the only Tennessee institution listed in the top 20 with TSU was Vanderbilt, which came in at number 20. Other Tennessee universities making the Best National Universities list were the University of Memphis at number 37, Middle Tennessee State University number 105, University of Tennessee number 124, and Travecca Nazarene at number 224.

In 2011, out of 258 universities, TSU was ranked in the top 15 percent in the country at number 40, its best showing in many years.

 

 

 

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 Mobile Biodiesel Education Lab on Display September 6-15 at Tennessee State Fair

Dr. Jason de Koff (center), assistant professor of agronomy and soil sciences at TSU, shares bioenergy research with visitors recently. The mobile demonstration lab will be on display at the Tennessee State Fair Sept 6-15. (courtesy photo)
Dr. Jason de Koff (center), assistant professor of agronomy and soil sciences at TSU, shares bioenergy research with visitors recently. The mobile demonstration lab will be on display at the Tennessee State Fair Sept 6-15. (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service)  – Tennessee State University’s College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences’ Mobile Biodiesel Education Demo will be on display at the Tennessee State Fair as part of the Green Collar Exhibit from Sept. 6 – 15.

Throughout the week, informational fact sheets about bioenergy and biodiesel production will be available as part of the demo and the mobile biodiesel production trailer will be open to attendees between noon and 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the exhibit.

Dr. Jason de Koff, TSU Extension Assistant Professor and Mr. Chris Robbins, TSU Extension Associate, Farm Operations will be available when the trailer is open to answer questions about biodiesel production.

“Being invited to participate in the Tennessee State Fair is a great opportunity to talk to all kinds of people about bioenergy and the bioenergy program we have in the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences,” said de Koff. “It’s also a way to showcase one of the many great things we have going on at TSU.”

The eye-catching mobile lab is the showpiece of the University’s pioneering alternative fuels program. Funded with $250,000 from the USDA Capacity Building Grant program, the mobile lab takes biodiesel fuel education right to working farmers, and has all the equipment necessary for producing the alternate fuel.

For more information, contact Dr. de Koff at (615) 963-4929 or jdekoff@tnstate.edu. The TSU bioenergy program and the Mobile Biodiesel Education Demo can be followed on Twitter at @TSUBioenergy or on Facebook at Biodiesel Production Tour.

The Tennessee State Fair takes place September 6-15 at the fairgrounds located at 500 Wedgewood Ave., in Nashville.

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

More than 900 Take Up Residence on Freshmen Move-In Day at TSU

Jacea Jones (Left) helps her long-time friend Caterria Newsom move into her room in Wilson Hall recently. Jones and Newsome were among the 900 new freshmen who moved onto campus Wednesday, August 21. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)
Jacea Jones (Left) helps her long-time friend Caterria Newsom move into her room in Wilson Hall recently. Jones and Newsome were among the 900 new freshmen who moved onto campus Wednesday, August 21. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Jacea Jones and Caterria Newsom have been friends since the eighth grade. They were determined to go to college and pledged to stick together, study hard and enter the same university.

They did!

Today, even though their parents could not make the trip, the two recent graduates of Memphis’ Booker T. Washington High School checked themselves in residence halls at Tennessee State University, where, for the next fours years they have again pledged to persevere and graduate on time.

“We have been good friends, like sisters, and we both believe in hard work, and plan to make our parents proud,” said Jones, who will major in communications. “We decided in our junior year (of high school) to come to TSU, and from everything we have heard and seen, we made a good choice.”

So are nearly 900 other first-time freshmen and new students who, along with Jones and Newsom, received keys to their rooms as part of “Freshmen Move-In Day.”

Hundreds of relatives, including parents, grandparents and other siblings were on hand to help their children and loved ones settle in their new homes.

The transition was made much easier, as more than 200 volunteers including student organizations, alumni, staff and friends helped to move luggage, boxes of personal belongings and other items, while others pointed out directions and manned water and refreshment stations for the new residents.

Leading in the move-in effort was TSU President, Dr. Glenda Glover, who made the rounds to all new student residence halls to greet, welcome and ensure adequate support was being provide to make the newcomers’ transition comfortable.

“This is really going well and I am very impressed,” the President said. “I appreciate the commitment and dedication of our staff, students and volunteers. Everybody is busy and making sure our new students settle in well. That’s really impressive.”

But while all the celebration and adult activities were going on, 7-year-old Jacaia Anderson, of Memphis, was not doing too well.

“I am sad to see my brother go,” said Jacaia, as she helped her father James, mother Mary and older brother Jarrius arrange things in the room belonging to Jamarian, her (Jacaia’s) oldest brother, a first-time freshman, who will study business at TSU.

But parents James and Mary Anderson are not worried. They know their firstborn will do well.

“He is a good kid, a no-problem child,” said James. “I am sure he will progress well,” added Mary.

Retired Air Force veteran John W. Jones, of Blytheville, Ark., is just as optimistic about his granddaughter, Essence Terry’s chances in college.

“She was an all-A’s student in high school, and a very good child,” said John W. Jones about his granddaughter, who will study nursing at TSU. “She will do very well. She has no choice but to do well if she must cope in this world.”

And coping is just what friends Jacea Jones and Caterria Newsome plan to do at TSU, although they already face a slight set back. Their plan to live in the same residence hall did not materialize. Newsom is in Wilson Hall, while Jones is in Rudolph.

“That’s not going to separate us,” said Newsome, who will major in nursing. “It’s just a matter time before I am either in her (Jones) room or she in my room.”

TSU will welcome returning and transfer students to campus on Friday, Aug. 23.

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 Alumna, NPR Producer Succumbs to Cancer

Teshima Walker
Teshima Walker

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Award-winning journalist and producer Teshima Walker died August 16 after a two-year struggle with colon cancer. Walker, a graduate of Tennessee State University, is best known as the producer of Michel Martin’s popular news roundup show, Tell Me More.

Walker, a longtime NPR staffer, climbed the ranks of the news organization. In 2000 she joined the outlet as a journalism fellow for the program All Things Considered, and later became a producer for The Tavis Smiley Show and News and Notes. She joined Tell Me More in 2007 as a senior supervising producer and became the show’s executive producer in 2011. A Chicago native, Walker first came to NPR by way of WBEZ, where she was a senior producer for morning newsmagazine Eight Forty-Eight.

Walker’s NPR colleagues knew her as a “Southside Chicago girl to the core,” with an infectious laugh, and as someone who put herself aside for everyone.

“Teshima was a terrific journalist who worked tirelessly to bring new and diverse voices to air,” said Ellen McDonnell, executive editor for NPR News Programming. “She was a phenomenal advocate for the show, the staff and the audience. Tell Me More – and everyone who was lucky enough to work with Teshima – thrived under her leadership.”

“Teshima made us all want to dig a little deeper, think harder, and be better,” shared Tell Me More host Michel Martin. “She was everything you could want in a manager and friend: kind and open-hearted when you needed her to be, and tough, but fair, when you needed her to be. We are all very grateful for the time we had with her, and thank her husband, parents and sister for sharing these precious last days with us.”

Walker graduated from Tennessee State University with a degree in Communications. She was a lifetime member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Walker received her Master of Public Administration degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Walker was 44. She is survived by her husband, writer Jimi Izrael, her parents, William and Vonceal Walker, and her sister, Eureva Walker.

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

Engineering Professors Attract Funding for Scholarships and Research

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – For the past four years, two professors from Tennessee State University have been relentless in writing grant proposals to initiate and generate funding to begin research projects.  Between the two, they have generated more than $7 million to support research, scholarships, and the engineering curriculum to enhance the academic profile of the College of Engineering.

Dean of the College, Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, points out that the amount of funding the College has secured is remarkable given the competition for grant dollars.

“This is rather impressive since the competition typically results in about a 10-15 percent success rate,” said Dr. Hargrove, who along with Dr. Sachin Shetty, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, have secured grants from the National Science Foundation, Boeing and the U.S. Navy among others. “Because of the competition, re-submissions are very common in this highly competitive field of science and engineering solicitations.”

According to Dr. Hargrove, the opportunity to attract external funds through research helps develop students with their involvement, enhance the quality of the academic program, and integrates new knowledge in the classroom and laboratory.

“Our goal is to provide the best academic experience for our students, and research continues to broaden a student's competence and knowledge with a depth of expertise in a discipline of engineering,” stated Hargrove. “This makes our students more marketable and qualified for the many career pathways they may take.”

Among the many grants secured by Dr. Shetty, he has attracted external funding to support his research in cyber security and advanced visualization. He has collaborated with a multi-disciplinary faculty team within and outside of the University to receive more than $3.5 million from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Air Force, Department of Homeland Security, Boeing, and Amazon. He is currently working on multiple NSF funded research and educational projects along with Dr. Tamara Rogers, associate professor of computer science, worth $500,000 in cloud auditing.

With the popularity and growth of smartphones in the last decade for on-the-go financial, business and social transactions, Shetty has also sought out funding for identifying, understanding and mitigating new security risks to these “open softphones” critical to ensuring their continued viability and success in the mobile communications marketplace.

The Air Force has provided more than $700,000 in grants and contracts to support Shetty’s collaborative research with Dr. Mohan Malkani, associate dean and professor, along with Pennsylvania State University in the area of cloud and smartphone security. The Department of Homeland Security has also provided two grants worth $800,000 to support his research with Dr. Deo Chimba, assistant professor of civil and architectural engineering, in cloud security and incidence management.

His partnership with Dr. Hargrove and Rowan University to develop visualization software for engineering education has resulted in multiple National Science Foundation grants of more than $750,000.

Shetty has received several awards for his efforts, including recognition from the Annual TSU Research Symposium, a Department of Homeland Security Leadership Award, and Teacher of the Year from the College of Engineering.  He also serves as the Director of the Cyber-Defense and Security Visualization Laboratory in the Department of Electrical Engineering.

Dr. Hargrove, who not only serves as dean of the College but also as a professor of mechanical engineering, focuses his research on advanced manufacturing techniques, virtual and augmented reality, and energy storage devices.

He recently initiated research in advanced battery technologies, combining the multidisciplinary talents of professors in chemistry, physics and engineering.  Drs. L. Ouyang, Landon Onyebueke, Mohan Malkani, Richard Mu of Fisk University, and Hargrove recently traveled to a naval research facility to develop a partnership in batteries, and are currently developing a state-of-the art laboratory for battery testing and evaluation.  These efforts are part of the newly formed TIGER (TSU Interdisciplinary Graduate Engineering Research) Institute, a self-sustaining research unit obtained from a  $1.2 million award from the National Science Foundation.

The TIGER Institute will conduct applied research in cyber-defense, bioinformatics, advanced visualization, nano-materials, and energy systems. The U.S. Navy and Air Force, Boeing and the National Science Foundation sponsor current funding of the institute.

Dean Hargrove recently collaborated with Fisk University to receive a $1 million award to support the professional development of teachers.  Fisk University will offer several workshops to enhance the quality of teaching for Metro Nashville Public Schools. For his efforts and engagement with K-12 schools, Hargrove received the 2013 TSU Community Service Staff/Administrator Award.

The most recent award from the collaboration of Drs. Hargrove and Shetty is a $600,000 award for scholarships, and $400,000 for research in energy systems (batteries), both funded by the National Science Foundation.

“We believe our role as a College and academic unit is to contribute to the affordability challenge of our students by attracting external funds through research or scholarships,” said Hargrove. “Our goal is to enrich the student’s experience and provide the opportunity for learning.”

TSU Engineering Students Help “Bridge” Real-World Problem for U.S. Military

NASHVILLE (TSU NEWS SERVICE) – Tennessee State University engineering and computer science students are taking on some major challenges that could be helpful to the nation’s military forces.

Recently, they put their engineering calculations and theories to test to solve a real-world problem facing the U.S. Air Force.

The students, all six from the College of Engineering, joined other students from across the United States to participate in the annual University Design Challenge sponsored by the US Air Force Research Lab at Elgin Air Force Base in Florida.

In this year’s competition, students were challenged to build a portable bridge that could be used by a soldier or airman in a variety of situations.

Specifically, the students were asked to design a device that would allow military Special Operations personnel to cross over up to 20-foot-wide gaps with maximum weight of 350 pounds, typically the weight of a Special Ops member with all his gear. Additionally, the device should be convenient to transport, and should be versatile for use to scale buildings.

In a combined team effort, the TSU students and six others from Prairie View A&M University, joined forces to represent the Minority Leadership Program sponsored by Houston-based Clarkson Aerospace Corporation.

The TSU-PVAM group designed and entered two solutions in the competition. The first was able to complete the competition at the 16-foot range, and the second could be used to cross over an 18-foot-wide gap.

A Shalimar, Fla., local newspaper quoted TSU Electrical and Computer Engineering major Alvin Hughes as saying that while meeting the required parameter was quite a feat, the practical applications were another matter.

“The first semester was basically concepts,” said Hughes as he and other students quickly discovered that as opposed to the classroom, calculations on a computer do not always work in the real world.

Overall, the two solutions presented by the TSU/PVAM team received positive nods from the judges.

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, Dean of the College of Engineering, gave the TSU students high commendation for their participation in the Design Challenge, pointing to the “strong partnership” between the AFRL and his college.

“The College of Engineering has maintained a strong partnership with the Air Force Research Lab for more than two decades,” he said.  “This relationship extends beyond research in sensor networking and surveillance, but also applied projects for student learning.”

He called design competitions “an excellent method” for students to put engineering concepts to practice, while enjoying the camaraderie they obtain by working with other students and other institutions.

Other TSU students whop took part in the Design Competition were: Jasmine Knox and Kamisha White, Mechanical Engineering; Grantland Gray, Electrical and Computer Engineering; and January Wisniewski and James Calhoun, Computer Science.

Some of the other 16 institutions that participated in the Design Challenge were Ohio State University, Utah State University and Brigham Young University.

$334,000 Research Grant Seeks Technology on Identifying Hidden Enemy Intent in Military Warfare

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – A major problem U.S. military counter-insurgency operations face is the ability to easily identify hostile enemy group intent and hidden dangers in obstructed environments.

Such group activities are generally embedded in clutters in urban locations, involving well-trained individuals who blend in with the general population to carry out their mission. The results usually are surprise attacks and high civilian casualties.

A Tennessee State University mechanical engineering professor thinks he has the answer.  As a result of a proposal to the U.S. Army Research Office, he has won a $334,000 defense grant to investigate the possibility of developing an advanced technology that improves the capability of automated surveillance systems.

Dr. Amir Shirkhodaie, professor in the College of Engineering and director of the Center of Excellence for Battlefield Sensor Fusion, said his research will develop a new capability for behavioral pattern learning of partially obscure group activities that take place in confined, obstructed spaces.

“The ultimate goal of this project is to develop a robust information-theoretic framework with supportive techniques that can detect obscure group activities in areas such as inside a vehicle, boat, airplanes or corner alleys of urban areas,” said Dr. Shirkhodaie.

He said this could greatly reduce the false alarm rates in surveillance operations that frequently occur as a result of miscalculation of enemy intent, and help shift the “balance of power” in peacekeeping operations.

“If we can deliver this kind of technology to the battlefield, this is a game-changer,” said Maj. Jay Deason, an aviator with the Tennessee Army National Guard, who has served two tours in Iraq, flying Black Hawk Helicopters.

He said while this technology would have limited application for air reconnaissance operations, it would be greatly useful to ground forces and civil affairs specialists, who identify critical requirements needed by local citizens in combat or crisis situations.

Civilians would also greatly benefit from this technology in homeland security, crowd control, and anti-drug and anti-crime operations, Dr. Shirkhodaie said.

Maj. Deason, who has also served one tour along the southwest U.S. border flying UH-72 helicopters, said this technology will greatly help the civilian population and in border patrol operations.

“This is very exciting. This technology has the capability to save lives,” Deason added.

The main objective of Dr. Shirkhodaie’s proposal, “Detection of Partially Observable Group Activities (POGA) in Confined Obstructed Spaces,” is to develop context-based taxonomy and ontology schema for coherent analysis and inferences of POGA.

The investigation will take place in three phases, including the development of a robust Adaptive Image Processing technique for detecting and tracking of behavior pattern of POGA; a Computational Intelligence technique based on a hybrid neuro-fuzzy system architecture; and a Multi-Layer Hidden Markov Model technique for probabilistic spatiotemporal state transition modeling that leads to context-aware discovery on anomalous group activity.

In student learning, Dr. Shirkhodaie said the project would greatly enhance research opportunities for TSU students in this area, as well as offer scholarly training opportunities for underrepresented minority students in the STEM disciplines.

The Dean of the College of Engineering, Dr. S. Keith Hargrove who also announced three new research projects with Boeing for more than $500,000, congratulated Dr. Shirkhodaie on his award, adding that the grants represent the dedication and commitment of faculty to research and attracting students to the College of Engineering.

“The opportunity for academia and industry to collaborate to solve industry problems makes the company more competitive, and enhances the quality of our engineering programs for students and faculty,” said Dr. Hargrove.

The three Boeing projects include using artificial intelligence for the development of aircraft propulsion controls; the development of resilient control mechanisms to mitigate cyber attack in engineering embedded systems; and the development of mathematical models for energy harvesting and storage.

The faculty members involved in these projects are Drs. Sachin Shetty, Mohammed Saleh Zein-Sabatto, both professors of Eleectrical Engineering; and Dr. Landon Onyebueke, professor of Mechanical Engineering.

TSU Students Make Connection Between Educational Disciplines and Community Service

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – Loréal Spear did not choose Environmental Engineering as a major at Tennessee State University by accident.

“I just love preserving the natural esthetics of the environment,” said the graduate student from Nashville.

Building on the “Think, Work, Serve” mantra, Spear said her interest also allows her to serve as a way of giving back to the community and helping to improve the environment in and around her hometown.

“I have actively participated in TSU’s Service Day and Hands On Nashville service events throughout my undergraduate and graduate career,” she said.

So, it came as no surprise on Saturday, March 23, when Spear joined nearly 200 TSU students, faculty and staff in a day of service as they worked to restore the natural habitats of the community.

The event was part of the Go Green North Nashville program and Hands On Nashville, where volunteers spread out into the surrounding community areas and took part in “Diggin’ It,” a day devoted to planting and rejuvenation.

Dr. Linda Guthrie, acting director of the Center for Service Learning, said the annual spring volunteer day is important not only for TSU, but also to the community that surrounds the University.

“Our community is close-kit and caring,” said Guthrie in an earlier statement. “We try to teach our students to look unselfishly beyond themselves, and to reach out to others and the world. The North Nashville area has supported the University from the beginning. We want to build lasting connections with our neighbors, and aid in the restoration of the natural habitats that surround our community.”

Projects included the TSU Riparian Reforestation, where volunteers replanted native trees along the flood-damaged banks of the Stones River; and Building TSU Rain Gardens, where volunteers dug and planted rain gardens to slow rainwater runoff into the soil.

Spear and fellow graduate student Jamal Henderson, a Civil Engineering major from Bridgeport, W.Va., joined others in TSU Energy Savings Tree Plantings, where volunteers strategically planted tress around the North Nashville community to provide shade and help cut energy costs.
“Giving my background in Architectural and Civil Engineering, these tree planting projects are very relatable as far as helping to improve the beauty and esthetics of the land,” said Henderson. “They improve energy usage and the environment.”

Another project was TSU Tree Potting, where volunteers planted tree seedlings into pots to be stored until the next fall planting season.

Service learning and community service is nothing new to the students, faculty and staff at the University. According to the Center for Service Learning, TSU offered 93 service-learning courses last year, while more than 2,000 students performed 20,000 community service hours at an estimated value of $400,000.

Just recently, TSU was named for the fifth year in a row to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement.