Category Archives: SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES

TSU College of Engineering Research Focus Prepares Graduates for Employment; Receives $1 Million DHS Grant for Data Sciences Study

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The College of Engineering is aggressively pursuing research in strategic areas that complement the engineering curriculums and prepare graduates for careers in emerging areas for employment and entrepreneurship.

One of those emerging areas is the field of Data Sciences and Analytics, a key focus of the college, which, according to Dean S. Keith Hargrove, meets the “huge” industry demand to manage “big data” and helps businesses optimize their operations to meet the needs of their customers.

“We have responded to this industry demand with the development of advanced courses, industry partners, and qualified faculty to create a curriculum for this discipline and concurrently conduct research for cyber-security, analytics, and data storage,” Hargrove said.

Graduate student Adrian Parker develops multi-physics simulation models for lithium ion batteries and uses special equipment for battery devices. (courtesy photo)
Graduate student Adrian Parker develops multi-physics simulation models for lithium ion batteries and uses special equipment for battery devices. (courtesy photos)

Adrian ParkerThis effort has yielded positive results, he noted. Recently, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security awarded the College of Engineering a $1 million grant to develop an integrated research and education program in data analytics. The award will be implemented in two phases over a period of six years.

Dr. Martene Stanberry, assistant professor of Mathematics, and Dr. Sachin Shetty, assistant professor of Electrical Engineering, will manage the program by combining their expertise and experience in cyber security and control systems research, as well as leveraging resources and facilities already available to them under the TIGER (TSU Interdisciplinary Graduate Engineering Research) Institute, directed by Dr. Hargrove.

Also, another team of researchers in the college has received funding to examine ways to improve the life of batteries. The team, including Drs. Lizhi Ouyang, Landon Onyebueke, Mohan Malkani and Hargrove, received $150,000 from the Naval Engineering Education Center of the U.S. Navy Sea System Command, and $80,000 from the Crane Naval Warfare Center in Indiana. The team will conduct multi-physics modeling of lithium ion batteries, and perform testing of electro-chemistries for performance and reliability. Also a part of the TIGER Institute, the project will involve undergraduate and graduate students.

Under the DHS program, the thrust of the study will involve the development of data analytic approaches for anomaly detection in critical infrastructure, that are based on the prior work of the faculty in scalable machine learning and optimal control systems, Hargrove said. He added that the education thrust would enhance the existing undergraduate Mathematical Sciences and Electrical and Computer Engineering programs through curriculum enhancement, student recruitment and retention, outreach, and collaborative relationships with DHS Centers of Excellence, industry, federal labs, and academia. Students will receive training in statistical analysis, machine-learning methods, and cloud computing and storage technologies used in manipulating, storing, and analyzing cyber data.

According to Hargrove, the need to capture, store, manage, and interpret massive amounts of data for decision making in today’s high-tech environment, is expected to grow exponentially within the next decade.

“The spending in ‘big-data’ is projected to increase from $27 billion from 2012 to $55 billion by 2016,” the dean said, adding, “It is therefore our responsibility to help train and educate a diverse workforce to enter these emerging career fields.”

 

 

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 42 undergraduate, 24 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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Tennessee State’s Community College Initiative Fulfills Dream for Many Seeking Four-Year Degree

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When Tiffani Clark decided to go back to college at age 28, she wanted to make sure that her tuition was affordable, she could attend classes close to home, as well as have the ability to easily transfer her community college credits to a university.

Clark did not have to look far.  Just a few miles from her Gallatin, Tennessee home, a 2+2 partnership educational program between Volunteer State Community College and Tennessee State University afforded her the opportunity she was seeking.

“I’m married with two small boys which made it difficult at times to get my college education,” said Clark. “Through the 2+2 and fast track programs, I was able to obtain my associate degree and continue my four-year degree with Tennessee State University. It’s challenging, but it’s a great program for me to be able to finish my bachelors degree in criminal justice.”

According to University officials, TSU is now creating more partnerships and programs with community colleges around the state to help students such as Clark, transfer seamlessly to the University to complete a four-year degree. Under the Community College Initiative, students have more options to move them along through their educational career.

Dr. Sharon Peters, director of the Community College Initiative Program, said the new initiative “just makes sense and is truly one of those win-win situations for everyone involved.”

“More and more students are choosing to pursue community college, as opposed to a university, right out of high school or as a nontraditional student because community colleges tuition costs are 50 percent less than four-year institutions,” said Peters. “Once they get their associate degree they will enter TSU as a junior and spend two years here, providing them with an opportunity to get their four-year degree from TSU.”

IMGP3189_2According to a report from the National Center for Education Statistics, as of fall 2012, 40 percent of all college undergraduates were enrolled in community colleges. TSU, added Peters, is committed to partnering with the Tennessee community colleges to create programs and initiatives focused on increasing the number of students prepared for transfer to the University.

“These programs and initiatives raise student achievement levels, close achievement gaps and successfully prepare a diverse population of students for academic and professional success,” said Peters. “Transfer preparation programs provide services such as regular and sustained advising, mentoring and early identification to improve student outcomes.”

According to Peters, the University is reaching out to all 13 community colleges around the state to develop long-lasting partnerships and relationships. Currently there are agreements with Volunteer State, Nashville State, Columbia State and Motlow State Community Colleges, with hopes to sign agreements with five additional institutions within the next year.

Programs through the initiative include the dual admission program where students gain early admission to TSU while completing an associate degree. These students receive a limited use student ID card that allows them to attend cultural and sporting events.  They also meet with TSU advisors early in their community college career.

One of the most popular programs is the 2+2 program, where students complete all four years at their community college. The program follows a national trend where professors from universities including TSU, are increasingly traveling to teach on the community college campuses, offering bachelor’s programs as part of new partnerships with two-year schools.

After completing an associate’s degree, community college students can transfer to a four-year program and complete a university bachelor’s degree right where they are. Currently TSU has partnerships with Volunteer State that offers the 2+2 program in Elementary Education, Criminal Justice and Nursing, and Criminal Justice at Motlow State Community College. Additional 2+2 programs in the near future are planned in Business, Health Sciences and Urban Studies.

Through these programs, students have numerous options to complete their four-year education, and help students who aspire to attend TSU save money by paying lower tuition at a community college for up to two years before transitioning to the University.

“That is exactly why I decided to go the 2+2 route,” said James Murphy, a junior Criminal Justice major who attends Volunteer State Community College and will graduate in December with a Bachelor of Science degree from TSU.

Murphy decided to stay on the campus for his TSU degree because it would be more convenient and cost less.

“The program has allowed me to work a fulltime job and take a full class schedule,” Murphy said. “Without it, I don’t think I would have been able to afford to go to school and finish my degree. Plus the instructors were very knowledgeable, the class sizes are usually small, and teacher-student interaction is encouraged.”

These new relationships and initiatives, Peters added, are programs that specifically focus on the Community Colleges and their needs, but also the needs of the larger community. And with Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam’s “Drive to 55” education initiative, TSU is prime to help lead the way for not only higher education, but for workforce and economic development.

“Of course we want to see growth in the number of transfer students that choose TSU, and a growth in the number of partnerships. More importantly we want to see partnerships between community college faculty and university faculty whereby they engage in joint research and curriculum design,” Peters said. “These types of partnerships benefit the students, the community and the state in our effort to insure that the majority of our citizens have a college degree.”

 

 

 

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.

Earning Degree in Sociology Made Easy With Tennessee State University Online Classes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Whether you are a deployed-military personnel or spouse, a non-traditional student, or just overwhelmed with life’s activities to complete that sociology degree that has eluded you for years, TSU has just the answer for you.

Yes…online!

“Our program is now completely online,” said Dr. Oscar Miller, professor and chair of the Department of Sociology, Social Work and Urban Professions.

He said with all of the general education courses also offered online, busy students can now earn their bachelor’s degree in sociology without sitting in a classroom.

“All you need is access to a computer and the Internet; it is that simple,” Miller said.

With the uncertainty that comes with a military deployment – when families don’t know when or where their next assignment will be – or a nontraditional student who can’t find the time to finish their degree in a traditional setting, the online program offers just the right opportunity.

Shaconya Freeman, 38, of Springfield, Tennessee, agrees.

Shaconya Freeman, with her children and godson following her graduation with an associate’s degree from Volunteer State Community College, has been admitted into the TSU online sociology program this fall. (courtesy photo)
Shaconya Freeman, with her children and godson following her graduation with an associate’s degree from Volunteer State Community College, has been admitted into the TSU online sociology program this fall. (courtesy photo)

“This just works better for me,” said Freeman, a transfer student from Volunteer State Community College, where she earned her associate’s degree in sociology almost entirely online.

The mother of three, including an 11-year-old daughter, said between a demanding full-time job as an office manager in a doctor’s office, caring for her young child, a babysitter, homework and studying, there is very little time left to sit in a classroom.

“I tried taking some of my courses on the (Volunteer State) campus once and that was just too hectic for me,” Freeman said.

According to Miller, the demand for people with background in sociology is on the rise and projected to grow even higher. The overall goal of the TSU online program, he said, is to target military personnel and their spouses, as well as nontraditional students and “degree completers” like Freeman to provide them with the skills they need to be successful.

“Federal, state, and local government agencies, non-profit human and social services organizations and private sector companies are hiring sociology majors for their competencies in critical thinking, research and data analysis, group/team behavior, and cultural diversity,” Miller said.

Dr. Oscar Miller, Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology, Social Work and Urban Professions, right, congratulates Austin Wyatt after his (Wyatt) graduation with a B.S. degree in Sociology from TSU last May.  Wyatt, a nontraditional student and married father of two children, earned his degree entirely online. (courtesy photo)
Dr. Oscar Miller, Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology, Social Work and Urban Professions, right, congratulates Austin Wyatt after his (Wyatt) graduation with a B.S. degree in Sociology from TSU last May. Wyatt, a nontraditional student and married father of two children, earned his degree entirely online. (courtesy photo)

Austin Wyatt, a May 2014 TSU graduate with a B.S. in sociology, said his degree, earned entirely online, has opened doors to him that would not have been possible otherwise.

“It has enabled me to move away from the manual laborer status into an area where I can now pursue my interest and help me to provide for my family in a more meaningful way,” said Wyatt, a married father of two, who will begin a master’s degree program in anthropology at the University of Memphis this fall.

Calling his TSU degree a launching pad for a successful future career, the Starkville, Mississippi native, who now calls Memphis, Tennessee home, said he made some bad choices earlier in life that got him “off course” and nearly caused him to lose his family.

“With a child and wife, and working menial jobs, it hit me that I needed to do something to be a better provider for my family,” Wyatt said. “I was fortunate to find out that I could keep my busy schedule of working and help with the home and take classes right at home.”

Wyatt’s goal, he said, is to be an inspiration to others who think there is no way out because of mistakes of the past, or just having too much to do to find the time to earn a degree.

“It’s either I was going to lose my family or make some quick decisions. I decided to enroll in the TSU sociology program, and that’s the best decision I ever made. I am glad I did,” Wyatt added.

“And these are just the kind of people the program is designed to help,” Miller said, describing Wyatt as a “TSU success story.”

He said sociology is helping the skilled workforce demand of the nation by supplying leaders, managers, workers, and entrepreneurs who use their expertise and competencies to help organizations and communities improve.

“Sociology skills help our majors successfully adapt within our ever changing organizations and the dynamic labor market,” Miller added.

The Tennessee Board of Regents approved the online degree in sociology in 2011 and completed final preparations to offer the degree in the fall 2012. The program, one of many degrees offered online at TSU, currently has 15 students, Miller said.

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Highlights Degree Programs and Other Positive Initiatives as University Hosts Metro Guidance Counselors

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Dr. Michael Harris, Dean of the College of Public Service and Urban Affairs, speaks to guidance counselors from the Metro Nashville Public Schools about offerings and programs in his college. Dr. Harris and his fellow deans took turns to present to the counselors during their (counselors) one-day in-service training on the Tennessee State University campus. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)


NASHVILLE, Tenn.
(TSU News Service) – The cost of quality education at Tennessee State University is affordable, nearly 85 percent of students get employment immediately after graduation, and a high number of graduates are accepted in graduate schools.

Those were some of the good news items TSU deans, admissions officials and staff shared with more than 90 Metro Nashville Public Schools guidance counselors during a meeting on campus Wednesday.

Since the counselors serve as a direct link between the schools and the University, the goal was to encourage them to steer their students and potential graduates toward post-secondary education at TSU, said Dr. John Cade, interim vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Support Services.

“We offer an affordable quality education that prepares our students with the necessary skills and competencies to be successful,” the deans said, as each gave brief descriptions and uniqueness of offerings and programs in their college.

Cade announced that starting this fall, TSU will offer incoming freshmen and sophomores block scheduling and the digital book bundle, initiatives, he said, that are intended to help with cost-cutting, retention and graduation.

He told the counselors that nearly 500 of potential incoming freshmen for the fall semester were from metro schools.

“We look forward to admitting all of them,” he said as he acquainted the counselors with University programs and processes from registration requirements, and tuition and fees to scholarship opportunities.

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Dwight Martin, right, of the College of Engineering at Tennessee State University, talks to visitors about offerings in his college during a meeting of high school guidance counselors on the TSU campus. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The architectural engineering program in the College of Engineering – one of only 20 in the nation – and a flight school program, one of only two in Tennessee, were among programs announced by the deans for their uniqueness.

Additionally, a global education offering that exposes students to the world around them through travel and study-abroad initiatives is just one of the many good reasons why “TSU is the go-to school,” the counselors were told.

With more than half of the counselors former TSU students and graduates in several disciplines, the message about the quality of the University’s education was easy to get across.

Dr. Barbara Mullins, school counselor for Freshman Academy at John Overton High School, who earned her doctorate from TSU, said the quality of a TSU education is comparable to the best anywhere.

“When I talk to students about TSU, I talk about the ‘TSU experience’ because I know about it first-hand,” Mullins said. “More than anything else, the personal care that comes with getting an education at TSU really stands out.”

Mullins also has a daughter who is a graduate of TSU.

In a brief remark, Dr. Nicole Cobb, MNPS director of Schools Counseling Services, lauded the long-standing relationship between TSU and the metro schools.

“We are really grateful for this partnership; we don’t take it for granted,” Cobb said, thanking Dr. Cade and Dr. Gregory Clark, director of Alumni Outreach and High School Relations for their support. “Dr. Clark and his admissions counselors, just as today, have always done a great job helping us during our training workshop here at TSU.”

“We have to support each other,” Gregory added about the relationship between TSU and MNPS. “We want them to send their students to us and we want them to continue hiring our graduates.”

This trend has taken roots in many ways, as TSU remains a key pipeline to recruiting metro and area teachers.  Recent reports show that for the past two years, TSU has been one of the top teacher preparation programs in the state, providing exceptionally qualified candidates for teaching positions not only across the state and the southern region, but right here in the University’s backyard with MNPS.

In 2012, 52 of the 553 new hires were from TSU, placing the University in the number one spot, with MTSU coming in a close second with 50 hires. Lipscomb, Trevecca and Vanderbilt came in at third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

 

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, Rep. Harold Love Jr. to Host Community Back-to-School Fest August 2

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – With the start of school less than two weeks away, organizers of a back-to-school festival want to make sure students and parents are prepared for the first full week of classes.

The 2nd Annual Love’s Healthy Start Festival presented by Tyson Foods KNOW Hunger Nashville Campaign, a back-to-school community event sponsored by Tennessee State Representative Harold Love Jr., will feature information from several local organizations including Tennessee State University, and provide supplies, resources and tips for those headed back to school. The event takes place Saturday, Aug. 2, at Hadley Park from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Called a day of free family fun, organizers say Love’s Healthy Start Fest is “a hands-on way for the community to rally around educational success, physical health and safe communities” for Nashville’s children and youth. It will include a health fair, free backpacks and school supply giveaways, free food and drinks, and a variety of live music and vocal performances by local entertainers of all ages.

According to State Representative Harold Love Jr., who is organizing the event, more than 500 children and their parents attended the festival last year and hopes this year’s event is even bigger.

“We had tremendous success last year due to the collaboration from all the participants,” said Rep. Love. “We distributed 1,000 backpacks with school supplies and will due the same this year.”

Love went onto say how important the Festival is to both school-age children and the community.

“Our students and their families need to have a great start to their school year and I believe that providing free school supplies helps,” he added. “Our families also need to get their health screenings as often as they can so that they can maintain healthy lifestyles. And finally, students and their families need to be informed about educational services that are available from both the public and private sector.”

The festival is part of the larger Children’s Sabbath/Weekend of Hope four-day event with Casey Family Programs, Children’s Defense Fund, and the Urban League of Middle Tennessee. A Weekend of Hope is a weekend of activities carried out by houses of worship, interfaith partnerships, civic organizations, philanthropic entities or community organizations, and the weekend includes a community dialogue, a day of service, and a day of honor and recognition. The purpose of these events is to have these organizations be a catalyst for community dialogue and action around strengthening families and making communities a safer place for families and children to live and prosper.

During the Healthy Start Festival, representatives from the TSU departments of Nursing and Dental Hygiene, including students, will conduct health screenings to include height and weight measurement, blood pressure check, glucose testing, dental screening, patient education on brushing and flossing, toothpaste and toothbrush giveaways, and coupons for free cleaning for children in the TSU Dental Hygiene Clinic.

Along with health screenings, the Center for Prevention Research will offer information on tobacco cessation, as well as the College of Agriculture, Natural and Human Sciences providing workshops and discussions on nutrition and agriculture and more.

Along with TSU, other sponsors and key collaborators in the Love’s Healthy Start Fest are Mount Carmel Baptist Church, the Urban League of Middle Tennessee, Jack and Jill of America, 3rd with Goals, and Tyson Foods’ KNOW Hunger Nashville.

For more information call 615.741.3831.

 

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 Admissions Staff, Deans, Administrators to Engage MNPS Guidance Counselors During 1-Day Campus Gathering

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University admissions counselors, deans and administrators will have an opportunity Wednesday, July 23, to engage Metro Nashville Public Schools guidance counselors about offerings and programs at the University.

The MNPS high school counselors, about 90 of them, will meet on the TSU campus for their mandatory In-Service Training, which is held prior to the first day of school each year.

The training will be held from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the Ferrell-Westbrook Complex (The Barn) on the main campus.

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TSU officials: Dr. Gregory Clark, Director of Alumni Outreach and High School Relations, left; President Glenda Glover; and Dr. John Cade, Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Support Services, far right, meet with Dr. Nicole Cobb, MNPS Director of Schools Counseling Services, during the guidance counselors’ in-service training on the TSU campus last year. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

According to Dr. Gregory Clark, director of Alumni Outreach and High School Relations at TSU, the yearly meeting of the city’s guidance counselors provides the University an excellent opportunity to showcase its offerings and to help foster working relations between the guidance counselors and the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.

“We also see this gathering as a way to engage with the high school guidance counselors in a collaboration that exposes them to our offerings,” added Dr. John Cade, interim vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Support Services. “We find this to be very rewarding for Metro (Metro Nashville Public Schools) and Tennessee State University.”

During portions of the training, the various colleges at the University will display their academic programs, while deans will be given up to five minutes each to pitch their offerings.

For more information contact Dr. Clark at 615-963-5103 or gclark@tnstate.edu.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

2014 Small Farms Expo Highlights State’s Agricultural Diversity and Continuing Expansion of TSU’s Research and Cooperative Extension Program

 

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Dr. Chandra Reddy, Dean of the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, left, along with Franklin County Extension Agent John Ferrell, far right, presents the Tennessee Small Farmer of the Year Award to John Ingle and his wife Bobbie at the 2014 Small Farms Expo at Tennessee State University. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – From beekeeping in Franklin County to crop growing in Williamson County, and 4-H and adult agriculture in Bledsoe County, the 2014 Tennessee State University Small Farms Expo Thursday highlighted the diversity in the state’s vast agricultural industry.

Participation in the Expo also showcased the University’s wide outreach initiatives through its Cooperative Extension Program, now covering more than 50 counties across Tennessee.

“This yearly Expo and TSU’s extension effort really give farmers an opportunity to educate the public about what we are doing out there,” said John Ingle, a Franklin County cattle breeder, who was this year’s Small Farmer of the Year Award winner. “Consumers only see the beef but it takes a lot more effort to get it to their dining room tables.”

As seasoned farmers, producers and University researchers, faculty and staff engaged the nearly 400 visitors with various displays and exhibitions, school children – from elementary to high school – considered potential future farmers of America, also got the opportunity to learn about agriculture.

Cierra Williams, a 10th grade student from Blackman High School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and a 4-H volunteer in Rutherford County, participates with other students in teambuilding and leadership exercises at the 2014 Small Farms Expo at Tennessee State University on Thursday, July 17. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)
Cierra Williams, left, a 10th grade student from Blackman High School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and a 4-H volunteer in Rutherford County, participates with other students in teambuilding and leadership exercises at the 2014 Small Farms Expo at Tennessee State University on Thursday, July 17. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Accompanied by chaperons and TSU staff, the children, who came in several busloads from the surrounding counties, took part in tours and educational workshops and hands-on activities including teamwork and leadership exercises, and demonstrations in alternative fuel production and technology.

“Coming here today was really eye-opening for me,” said future medical doctor Cierra Williams, a 10th grader from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, who wants to major in biology when she enters college.

Although Williams volunteers with the 4-H program in Rutherford County, through intermediate cooking and camp activities, she has never been on a farm before, and did not know TSU had a farm and a vast agricultural program.

“I am really excited to see this part of the university and to learn about these farm animals and plants,” she said. “Even though we might not think about it now, the team-building and leadership exercises today could be very helpful in the future in job interviews and other career efforts.”

The Expo, held at the Agricultural Research and Education Center on the main campus, also featured research and discussions on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in corn croplands, enhancing sustainable production of bioenergy crops, pigeon pea production for limited resources farmers of Tennessee, and enhancing plant protection against fungal diseases and environmental stresses.

Workshops included organic vegetable production techniques, pesticide handling and safety, food preservation, new equipment technologies for small producers, and soil and plant tissue sampling, among others.

The highlight of the Expo was recognition of the state’s top four farmers for various awards. An overall winner was selected for the Small Farmer of the Year Award. That honor went to Ingle, of Cowan, Tennessee, who promotes a 100-percent green technology in cattle breeding and beef production. He was first recognized for “Best Management Practices.”

The other three award winners were Chris Hampton, a beef cattle farmer in Celina, Tenn., “Innovative Marketing,” for better recordkeeping that helps to meet customers’ need; Leigh Funderburk, of Franklin, Tennessee, “Innovative Marketing”; and Billy McCraw, of Clarksville, Tennessee, who received the award for “Alternative Enterprise.”

In presenting the awards, Dr. Chandra Reddy, Dean of the College of Agriculture, assisted by University officials, and Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson, congratulated the honorees, and the institution and agency representatives for the support and cooperation in making the Expo a success.

“This could not have been possible without your partnership and cooperation,” Reddy told the packed luncheon on the TSU farm. He spoke about the “remarkable” growth in the college, especially its Extension program making special reference to head Expo organizer, Dr. Latif Lighari, Associate Dean for Extension, for “yet another” successful Expo.

Latif, who has headed the Expo since its inception 10 years ago, recognized his fellow organizers, the various farm managers and research leaders, small farmers, schools and students for their participation.

“Your input and participation made this event very successful,” Lighari said. “We thank you and especially the small farmers who are the lifeline of what we do.”

Other speakers included TSU Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Alisa Mosley; State Sen. Thelma Harper, State Rep. Harold Love Jr., Agriculture Commissioner Johnson; and Dr. Tim Cross, Dean of Extension at the University of Tennessee.

Other TSU partners, Expo organizers, and agencies and sponsors present were the Tennessee Farm Bureau, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Farm Service Agency, and the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency.

 

 

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.

StormReady Certification Group Photo

Tennessee State University Receives National Weather Service StormReady Designation During Packed Campus Ceremony

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Tom Johnstone, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service, left, presents the StormReady designation plaque to Dr. Curtis Johnson, Associate Vice President and Head of Emergency Management at TSU. Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is well prepared to protect its students, faculty and staff from severe weather, the National Weather Service announced Thursday, July 10, when it designated the University as a StormReady institution.

The NWS said TSU has met all the “rigorous criteria” for a StormReady designation by developing an all-hazard safety plan and communications infrastructure, as well as actively promoted all hazardous weather safety through public awareness activities and training.

“There is nothing more important than keeping our community of students, faculty and staff safe on our campus,” said Dr. Glenda Glover, President of Tennessee State University. “This designation shows that we are holding to our commitment to parents and other community stakeholders that TSU is doing everything possible to ensure a safe and secure environment for our students.”

Storm Ready
Tennessee State University officials receive the StormReady certification from officials of the National Weather Service and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. From left are Tom Johnstone, NWS; Thomas Graham, TSU assistant director of Emergency Management; Dr. Curtis Johnson, TSU; Brittney Coleman, NWS Meteorologist; Chris Johnson, TEMA Middle Tennessee Regional Director; and Brent Morse, Area Coordinator for TEMA. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

At a presentation ceremony on campus, Tom Johnstone, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service, congratulated the University for receiving the StormReady designation. He applauded the administration, the Emergency Management team and staff for their dedication and hard work in “putting all the right pieces together” to achieve the designation.

“Tennessee State University is prepared for the StormReady designation,” Johnstone declared.  “It took tremendous work to fine-tune all that was necessary to earn the certification required for this designation, and this university and this community need to be congratulated for a great job.”

Dr. Curtis Johnson, associate vice president for Administration, who is in charge of Emergency Management, thanked the campus police, students and staff for their cooperation in doing what was necessary to earn the NWS certification.

“Being storm ready reaffirms Tennessee State University’s commitment to protection of life and property, and all of you have been helpful in allowing us to achieve that,” Johnson said. “We look forward to making TSU and the community better and safer.”

As a mark of designation and recognition, Johnson announced that the NWS StormReady signage would be placed at the two major entrances to the University.

NWS meteorologist Brittney Coleman, while acknowledging that natural disasters are inevitable, said preparing for them must always be taken seriously.

“Tennessee State University has really done a tremendous job in preparing itself and the community in the case of bad weather,” Coleman said. “We have been working with the campus team to make sure we had everything in place to be ready for this designation. All residence halls now have weather alert radios to keep them connected to the National Weather Service in case of emergency.”

Also participating in the ceremony were representatives from the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, who lauded the agency’s partnership with the University. They were Middle Tennessee Regional Director, Chris Johnson; and Area Coordinator, Brent Morse.

Speaking on behalf of the community, the Reverend Jimmy D. Greer Sr., pastor of Nashville’s Friendship Baptist Church, thanked the University for its community partnership.

“We applaud Dr. Glover for holding up to her commitment since arriving at this campus to ensure that the community is actively involved in any endeavor necessary for the promotion of this university,” Greer said. “We thank the university, the National Weather Service, TEMA and all the people that took part in making this achievement possible.”

Dr. Mark Hardy, vice president for Academic Affairs, representing Dr. Glover, who was traveling, said TSU’s effort in ensuring a safe weather environment for its faculty, staff and student, ties in with some major research efforts at the University.

Specifically, the vice president mentioned a more than $200,000 National Science Foundation-funded on-going research project in the College of Engineering to develop a simulation model that would help predict storm surge in a timely manner to better prepare inland and coastal dwellers for the storm.

“An assistant professor of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering (Muhammad Akbar) 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,” said Hardy. He thanked NWS for the recognition, adding that the StormReady designation “speaks to the volume of work we are doing not to only provide a safe environment for our students, but to also give them the highest quality of education.”

The packed ceremony in the President’s Dining Room on the main campus brought together an array of state, local and community partner leaders and representatives, including the office of Congressman Jim Cooper, and the Executive Director of Nashville JUMP (Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership), Sharon Hurt.

TSU is one of only seven institutions in the State to receive the StormReady University designation.

 

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.

 

Dr. Alex Sekwat, TSU Professor and Administrator, Returns as Interim Dean of Graduate Studies and Research

Dr. Alex Sekwat
Dr. Alex Sekwat

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Dr. Alex Sekwat, a longtime TSU professor and administrator, has been named interim dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research.

Sekwat, who joined Tennessee State University in 1994, returns to his former position as interim dean, an appointment he held from 2008-2012. During that time the graduate school saw tremendous growth including a 10 percent increase in enrollment.

A trained public administrator, Sekwat held many  administrative positions in non-governmental organizations prior to his pursuits in academia. In 1998-1999 he served as president of the Tennessee Chapter of the American Society of Public Administration, and from 2008-2011 he was the treasurer of the Tennessee Conference of Graduate Schools.

Sekwat has published widely in the areas of public administration, public budgeting and financial management, and health care management, as well as presented his research at regional, national and international conferences. His current research interests span the areas of public budgeting, democratic governance, globalization, and healthcare reform.

Sekwat holds a bachelor of science degree in Economics/Business Administration from the University of Khartoum, a master’s degree in Public Administration from Arkansas State University, and a Ph.D. in Public Administration from Florida Atlantic University. He is a member of Pi Alpha Alpha, the National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration.

Sekwat will serve as interim dean until the appointment of a dean following the conclusion of a national search.

 

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.

High Performance Computing and Materials Science Workshop Prepares Students for Opportunities at National Labs

NEW OFFICIAL DOE SEAL COLORNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Fourteen students from five universities around the nation are participating in a two-week workshop at Tennessee State University as part of a consortium to build a sustainable STEM pipeline between the U.S. Department of Energy labs and HBCUs.

The undergraduate and graduate students, who are mainly science and engineering majors, are receiving lectures and hands-on exposure to high-performance computing, structural modeling, computational materials physics and chemistry, and classical molecular dynamics.

According to Dr. Lizhi Ouyang, associate professor of Physics and coordinator of the workshop at TSU, the consortium is part of a new Minority Serving Institution Partnership Program of the National Nuclear Security Administration designed to expose students to state-of-the-art facilities and research.

“The MSIPP is designed to enrich the STEM capabilities of HBCUs in a sustainable manner that is aligned with the broad interest of DOE sites with emphasis on a career pipeline,” said Ouyang.

He said the partnership is the result of an MSIPP award to Prairie View A&M University to lead a research effort in Investigating and Characterizing Catalytic Activity in Novel Materials and Processes Using Computational Techniques.

Along with Prairie View A&M, the consortium includes the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, as well as TSU, Southern University, Allen University and Morehouse College, whose students are attending the workshop.

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, welcomes participants from around the country to a two-week workshop at Tennessee State University as part of a consortium to build a sustainable STEM pipeline between the U.S. Department of Energy labs and HBCUs.  (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)
Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, welcomes participants from around the country to a two-week workshop at Tennessee State University as part of a consortium to build a sustainable STEM pipeline between the U.S. Department of Energy labs and HBCUs. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

In a welcome statement Monday, Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, spoke about the importance of research and education with a global emphasis. He said while the field of engineering offers many opportunities, the College also emphasizes that its graduates are well rounded and able to cope on the global scene.

“We want to graduate students who are well rounded and ready to work in any part of the world,” said Hargrove, citing many study and travel abroad opportunities afforded students in the College. “We want our graduates to be able to demonstrate their capability in any part of the world where they find the opportunity.”

Hargrove acquainted the visitors with program offerings in the College of Engineering, and encouraged them to take their workshop seriously, and the opportunity to learn from faculty members who are highly capable in their areas of discipline.

The workshop, which runs from July 7-18, is being held in the Research and Sponsored Programs Building.

 

 

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.