Tag Archives: Research and Sponsored Programs

40th Annual Research Symposium Set For April 2—6

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University students and researchers will showcase their cutting-edge research projects and inventions at the 40th Annual University-Wide Research Symposium April 2 – 6.

The symposium, which is largely composed of presentations from the science, engineering, business and humanities disciplines, will allow students to gain exposure and experience as either oral or poster presenters in an evaluative environment with external judges from the Mid-South region.

Dr. Michael Ivy, TSU associate professor of Neuroscience, and John Barfield, TSU director of engagement and visibility in the Division of Research and Institutional Advancement, serve as the co chairs of this year’s symposium which will feature abstracts from 174 students and 40 faculty members.

Barfield said the symposium is important because it prepares students for future research opportunities.

“When our students go to graduate school, they can go research-ready being able to prove that they already know how to do research and that they have worked in a research environment,” he said. “If they are graduate level students about to work on their doctorate then they will be able to show that they have mastered the rigor of being able to present research at an academic level.”

The theme for this year’s symposium is “Establishing a Culture of Research Excellence.”

Oral presentations will take place throughout the week in the Research and Sponsored Programs Building, Room 009, 163 and 209. Poster presentations will take place in the Jane Elliot Hall Auditorium on Thursday, April 5.

Dr. Patrice L. Jackson-Ayotunde, associate professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore School of Pharmacy, will provide the keynote address on Friday, April 6 at noon in the Ferrell-Westbrook Complex, Room 118.

Jackson-Ayotunde, who has mentored several graduate, professional and undergraduate students, does extensive research around the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy. Her laboratory works closely with the Epilepsy Therapy Screening Program (ETSP) at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Jackson was named Mentoring Institute for Neuroscience Diversity Scholar (MIND) for 2016-17 and the Emerging Scholar of 2015 by Diverse Issues in Higher Education.

Barfield said the symposium is open to the public. For more information about the 40th Annual University-Wide Research Symposium visit tnstate.edu/researchsymposium.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Grant Writing Specialists Visit TSU for Nashville’s First NSF Day

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – National Science Foundation (NSF) representatives visited the campus of Tennessee State University on Thursday to provide insight for researchers who hope to secure funding from the agency.

The daylong workshop, called NSF Day, included discipline-specific breakout sessions featuring NSF representatives, a panel with NSF-funded researchers from Tennessee and discussions about things to consider before writing a proposal as well as opportunities for fellowships.

Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, vice president of Research and Institutional Advancement, welcomed the group to TSU’s Avon Williams Campus with the shout, “Big Blue”, as she applauded them for attending the first NSF Day held in Nashville, Tennessee.

“We are here today to spend time on a topic that is near and dear to my heart,” Crumpton-Young said. “One of the things I love most about each day is the opportunity to think about research, discovery and the things that we have an opportunity as faculty, staff and students to work on that will address global challenges and make a difference in how we live our lives.”

The NSF is the federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance national health, prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense,” according to the foundation’s website. NSF supports fundamental research in science, engineering and education across all disciplines.

Fahmida Chowdhury (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Fahmida Chowdhury, program director in the NSF Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE), said researchers should make sure NSF is the right funding agency for them before they begin writing a proposal. She also stressed the importance of pinpointing what is unique and important about the proposed study.

“A lot of times scientists who have a great idea take it for granted that everyone knows it is a great project. It’s a great project for you, but why is it so great for everybody else in your field and not only for the advancement of your field, but also for society at large,” Chowdhury said. “You have to think about those things, and make those part of your motivation for writing the proposal.”

Chowdhury also highlighted the importance of having an effective assessment plan.

“How will you know that what you will do in the next five years has been successful,” she said. “Always make that part of your proposal.”

Muhammad Khan, who currently works as a molecular research analyst with Dr. Ahmad Naseer Aziz, TSU associate professor of Molecular Genetics, said attending NSF Day may help him secure funding to further his research, as well as provide opportunities for students.

“One of our key priorities in writing grants is to benefit the students,” Khan said.  “Grants help us provide them with stipends, the chemicals important to their research, and we also expose them to approaches which will help maximize their learning.”

Holly Brown, NSF Lead for the TSU NSF Day said the event gives the foundation an opportunity to reach out to the research community and individuals who are potential researchers.

“Today we have a crowd that is typically early career researchers. Some of them are assistant professors, a lot of them are from the TSU community themselves, and we also have people from other universities in the area,” Brown said.

“At the end of the event we want everyone here to know how to apply for a grant, and to feel comfortable talking to us as program officers and us as the experts,” she added.  “It really comes down to, ‘Contact your program officer if you have questions.’ And people really don’t do that if they don’t know who they are.”

US Senator Lamar Alexander said in a video message to attendees that the National Science Foundation has an annual budget of about $7 billion and makes about 12,000 new funding awards each year in fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences.

“Tennessee State should be proud to be selected as one of the four sites that will host an NSF Workshop Day this year,” he said.

Nicholas Kovach, research specialist in the TSU Division of Research and Institutional Advancement, said the university secured more than $2 million from NSF in the last fiscal year.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. 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 First to Host NSF Day in Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Science, engineering and education researchers will have a unique opportunity to gain insight about how to secure research funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) at a workshop on February 22 at Tennessee State University.

The daylong workshop, dubbed NSF Day, will include discussions about how to submit fundable proposals, as well as discipline-specific breakout sessions featuring NSF representatives. This is the first time NSF Day is being hosted in Nashville.

“We are excited to bring an NSF Day to Tennessee State University,” said Holly Brown, NSF Lead for the TSU NSF Day. “Not only do these events provide a phenomenal opportunity for us to share vital information on our proposal and merit review processes, we are able to engage with some of the brightest minds in science and engineering.”

Robert Turner, senior mechanical engineering major

One student who has benefited from TSU’s partnership with NSF is Robert Turner, a senior mechanical engineering major from Nashville, Tennessee. Turner said working on an NSF funded research project has enhanced his experience at TSU in many ways.

“It has given me a perspective on what I would like to do for graduate school,” he said. “It is also exposing me to different technologies that I wouldn’t necessarily get exposed to throughout my undergraduate curriculum.”

After graduation, Turner plans to pursue a graduate degree in material science. He said working with Dr. Frances Williams, associate dean for Graduate Studies and Research in the College of Engineering, has helped him expand his breadth of knowledge and given him the opportunity to network within the field of engineering.

“Dean (Williams) has always been helpful to me by setting me up with the right opportunities and helping me whenever I needed it,” he said. “The other researcher assigned to the project, Dr. Yury Barnakov, has also been helpful, as well as the graduate student that I am working with.”

John Barfield, TSU director of engagement and visibility in the Division of Research and Institutional Advancement, said students are the primary beneficiaries when universities receive research funding.

“Research projects train students to use innovative and new techniques,” he said. “They aid them in becoming accepted to internships, and graduate and medical schools. Research becomes paid jobs and scholarships for students, both of which increase student retention and matriculation rates.”

The NSF is the federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance national health, prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense,” according to the foundation’s website. NSF supports fundamental research in science, engineering and education across all disciplines.

Dr. Marie Hammond, TSU professor of psychology and principal investigator for two NSF grants currently funded at the university, said her research is geared toward constructing a framework for a theory of African American STEM career development.

Dr. Marie Hammond, TSU associate professor of psychology in the College of Education

Hammond said that she, along with a team of other researches at TSU, are attempting to increase the ability of African Americans to commit to and manage their STEM careers to ensure that they have the greatest likelihood of persisting to graduation and into the next phase of their STEM careers.

“The reason this research is so important is because the STEM workforce is primarily made up of Caucasian males.,” Hammond said.  “Think about what we are missing with only 5% of African Americans spread out across all the STEM fields.  What are we missing that African American men and women would pick up on to help improve healthcare, safety and our living environments.”

Hammond has secured close to $2.5 million in funding from NSF during her career at TSU, which has allowed her to hire a total of almost 50 graduate assistants. Currently, she has nine graduate assistants who aid with research, as well as four undergraduate students who collect data.

Nicholas Kovach, research specialist in the TSU Division of Research and Institutional Advancement, said the university secured more than $2 million from NSF in the last fiscal year. He said NSF representatives will be on hand all day to answer questions and personally engage in discussions with attendees.

“This is a rare opportunity,” he said. “The National Science Foundation holds only a few of these workshops each year, at different institutions across the country, and they are coming here to our campus.”

NSF Day provides background on the foundation, its mission, and priorities. Program managers and staff give overviews on proposal writing, programs that fall within and across NSF’s seven scientific and engineering directorates, and NSF’s merit review process.

Presale admission tickets are available on the TSU Research and Sponsored Programs website:  http://www.tnstate.edu/research/. Admission includes parking on the main campus with a shuttle service downtown, breakfast, lunch, and light snacks throughout the day.

For additional information about the NSF Day program, visit www.nsf.gov/nsfdays

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. 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 Medical Researcher Leads Fight Against Brain Tumors

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – People suffering from brain tumors could receive better medical care as a result of research currently being done by one of Tennessee State University’s leading medical scientists.

Dr. Quincy Quick, TSU associate professor of Biology, said by investigating the protein Microtubule Actin Crosslinking Factor 1 (MACF1), he hopes to help doctors target brain tumors using a precision method approach and thereby provide more effective therapy.

Dr. Quincy Quick, TSU associate professor of Biology (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“All cancers are different,” he said.  “Even though you and I may have a brain tumor, we would have different types of brain tumors because our genetics are different.  Therefore, the genetics of our tumors would be different.”

According to Quick, if two patients had brain tumors and one patient’s tumor expressed the MCAF1 protein and the other didn’t, doctors would be able to use his research to better determine which type of therapy would best treat each tumor.

“Cancers have a lot of different components.  You treat a tumor with radiation or chemotherapy.  The reality is that some of those cells in the tumor would be killed, and some of them wouldn’t be,” he said.  “The idea is how do you then identify one target that would kill all of the cells within the tumor population.  MCAF1 would be thrust into that category as a potential target that could be inhibited and kill all the cells in the tumor and not just the subpopulation of those cells.”

According to brain tumor experts at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), there are more than 130 different types of brain tumors, and about 80,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with a primary brain tumor each year.

Currently, four students assist Quick with different aspects of the research project which began in August and is funded for four years by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) in NIH.

Orica Kutten is a sophomore biology major. (Photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

Orica Kutten, a sophomore biology major from Ghana, said working in the lab with Quick has given her direction for her career path.

“Initially, I just wanted to go to medical school,” she said. “But now I am thinking of possibly going to research school and furthering my studies in cancer research.”

Kutten, a member of the TSU Honors College, said the lab work has introduced her to techniques she will need to know whether she attends medical school or graduate school.

“I love working in the lab with Dr. Quick,” she said. “He has been a great mentor, and I am very grateful for all the things I have been able to learn in his lab.”

Quick explained that the process for introducing new methods of treatment for brain tumors is slow in the United States, but patients diagnosed with these tumors can receive better medical care by asking their doctors more informed questions.

He advises those suffering from brain tumors to ask their doctor if they are using a precision method approach.  Specifically, he said, patients should ask, “Are you evaluating the genetics of my specific tumor for me as an individual so that I can receive the best individualized therapy for me as opposed to taking the generic approach you would take with anybody that is characterized with this kind of tumor?”

Quick said the technology is available to make certain distinctions between the types of brain tumors, but often doctors don’t use it, and patients don’t know to ask the doctors to evaluate the genetics of their tumors so they can receive the best therapy.

“That’s a huge part of the problem,” he said.  “You need to be informed about the technology you are asking about so when the doctor gives you a response, you can make an appropriate decision like, ‘Do I need to go get a second opinion?’”

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has 69 designated cancer centers located in 35 states and the District of Columbia. To find a NCI-Designated Cancer Center near you, visit http://bit.ly/2jWBrVu.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. 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.

COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING RECOGNIZED AT SWEET TALK FOR 100 PERCENT PARTICIPATION IN FACULTY, STAFF GIVING CAMPAIGN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University College of Engineering received special recognition at the university’s annual Sweet Talk event for having 100 percent participation in the university’s annual faculty and staff giving campaign, which raises money to benefit TSU students.

Held on Nov. 30 in the Floyd-Payne Campus Center, Sweet Talk provided an opportunity for campus employees to enjoy delicious pastries and discuss the importance of supporting students beyond the classroom.

“I challenged my almost fifty faculty and staff members in the College of Engineering and encouraged them to give individually,” said Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the college. “They have demonstrated that by investing in TSU and showing their support for what they believe and I believe is one of the best places to work in the city of Nashville.”

Sonya Smith, assistant director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving and chair of the campaign, expressed her gratitude to the campaign co-chairs and various contributors for raising $141,451 during the 2016-2017 fiscal year.  She said the goal for the current fiscal year is to raise $155,000.

“We are excited about the upcoming year,” she said. “Our participation rate has increased from 99 faculty and staff to 329. I encourage faculty and staff to continue to support this important fundraising effort.”

According to Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, vice president of Research and Institutional Advancement, this “unified effort will remove financial hurdles” that students are otherwise unable to overcome.

“Before I start to shed tears over the joy that I am experiencing from all the wonderful gifts that we are receiving and our ability to give and help others, I just want to say thank you,” she said. “We always talk about team work makes the dream work. To see the numbers, to see the participation rate, to me it is a clear example of how teamwork is truly making the dream work at TSU.”

Dr. Joseph Perry, Director of Sustainability in Facilities Management, has been with Tennessee State University for 40 years. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Dr. Joe Perry, the director of Sustainability in Facilities Management, who has established an endowment at TSU, said he gives back because he is grateful for the opportunities the university has given him.  Perry, who started his journey 40 years ago in the security department, now has four degrees from TSU.

“I will always support this great university,” he said.  “Even when I am gone, my endowment will continue to support the needs of students.  I realize giving back will help the future leaders of tomorrow.”

Rosalyn Word, co-chair of the Faculty Staff Annual Giving Campaign, expressed her enthusiasm for the effort.  A member of the President’s Club, people who contribute $1,000 or more, Word said she came to TSU full-time because someone else made a financial contribution so that “I could be and do what it is I needed to do.”

“I know that for me to accomplish the things I have been able to accomplish there were people like us who made a financial contribution to make sure I could pursue an education, and become the person I was destined to be,” she said.

Word, assistant professor of dental hygiene at TSU, said her department has established a scholarship for students majoring in dental hygiene and hopes to award scholarships to two students next year.

Dr. Achintya Ray, chair of the Faculty Senate, along with Linda Goodman, chair of the Staff Senate, presented the $141,451 check to President Glenda Glover on Nov. 11 at Hale Stadium during the TSU-Southeast Missouri game.  He said the financial gifts of faculty and staff represent a “deep conviction that they can make fundamental change” in the lives of the young men and women TSU employees serve.

“I was deeply honored to go out with Ms. Goodman during the halftime of the game and present Dr. Glover with that wonderful check,” Ray said. “But I think what we presented was not the amount that was written on the check, but a confidence in the faculty and staff in the future of this great institution.”

Eloise Abernathy Alexis, associate vice president of Institutional Advancement, encouraged faculty and staff to give primarily through payroll deduction.  For more information about how to give, call (615) 963-2936.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. 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 Honors Top Researchers at 39th Annual University Wide Research Symposium

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University recognized its top student and faculty researchers during a ceremony in the Ferrell Westbrook Complex on the main campus on Friday.

Acknowledging PHDstudent (1)
Awards Luncheon speaker Mark N. Russ engages students during his presentation at the Ferrell-Westbrook Complex. (Submitted Photo)

It was the Awards Luncheon culminating the weeklong 39th Annual University-Wide Research Symposium organized by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

Awards were given for the top three winners in undergraduate and graduate oral and postal presentations.  Organizers received 155 student submissions in eight categories and 35 faculty submissions.

Mark N. Russ, executive assistant director of the National Security Directorate Naval Criminal Investigative Service, was the keynote speaker. He admonished the award winners to set high goals and stick with them if they want to be successful.

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Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, Dean of the College of Engineering, left, congratulates Kyra M. Bryant, a Ph.D. student in Computer Information Systems Engineering for winning first place award in Graduate Engineering II oral presentation. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“By involving yourselves in award events like this you are stepping in the right direction, but it is not enough,” Russ said. “You have to continue to stick with it, continue to have your failures, successes and ultimately you will move in a direction where you are the only person with the background and experience to take it to the next level.”

Using Olympic champion Wilma Rudolph as an example of perseverance, Russ said no one thought she had a chance “because of things she had going against her.”

“She had medical issues and other health issues, but they did not stop her. She didn’t have to have someone tell her to keep working hard, she just didn’t quit and became one of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen,” Russ said.

Kyra M. Bryant, a Ph.D. student in Computer Information Systems Engineering, won first place in Graduate Engineering II oral presentation for her research on “Improved Bottom Friction, Surface Rachness, and Wind Stress in a Coupled Wave and Storm Surge Model.”

She said her study is aimed at developing a more accurate module for forecasting hurricanes.

research-3
Dr. Margaret Mmbaga, took top award for faculty research. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“Winning this award has been really very encouraging, pushing me to research even more on this topic,” Bryant said “We are trying to make the modeling more accurate and winning this award tells me that I am on the right path.”

In faculty research, Dr. Margaret Mmbaga won first place in the category of Faculty II for “Screening of Common Bean for Multiple Disease Resistance Under Natural Infection by Common Bacterial Blight and Charcoal Rot.”

Each year, an individual researcher is admitted into the “Million Dollar Club” during the awards ceremony. Individuals in this select group are recognized for receiving grant money of a million dollars or more in a single year.

research
Dr. Marie Hammond, second from right, holds her award for becoming the newest Million Dollar Club member. She is congratulated by Phyllis Danner, Director of Research and Sponsored Programs, left, and research symposium co-chairs Dr. John Robinson, and Nannette Carter Martin. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

That recognition went to Dr. Marie Hammond, associate professor of psychology in the College of Education. In 2016, she received a $1.5 million National Science Foundation grant for basic research.

“I am honored, I am overwhelmed,” she said  “I am really grateful because I never would have gotten here without the support of people from across the university, who worked with me along the way.”

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 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.

Tennessee State University Alumna and Former Vice President Maria Thompson Named President of Coppin State University

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Dr. Maria Thompson, a Tennessee State University graduate, and former vice president for Research and Sponsored Programs, is the new president of Coppin State University, a part of the University System of Maryland.

mariathompson
Dr. Maria Thompson

USM Chairman James Shea announced Thompson’s appointment recently, describing her as a “top-level academic leader.”

“Dr. Thompson’s earlier experience in building a research enterprise at an urban historically black institution positions her well to advance Coppin as a vital institution in Baltimore and the state,” Shea said.

TSU President Glenda Glover said the TSU family is “extremely” proud to see one of its products excel to such a high profile position in the academic world.

“We congratulate Dr. Thompson on becoming president of Coppin State University, a sister HBCU institution,” President Glover said. “We are very proud of her outstanding achievements and demonstration of excellence. The faculty, students and staff of Coppin State are very fortunate to have one of our finest to lead that great institution.”

Thompson, whose appointment takes effect July 1, is the provost and vice president of Academic Affairs at the State University of New York at Oneonta. From August 2009-July 2011, she served as vice president for Research and Sponsored Programs at TSU. Prior to that, she served in many other research capacities at TSU.

At SUNY, Thompson was credited with oversight of accreditation reaffirmation, and academic development for more than 6,000 students. At Tennessee State, she helped to secure more than $45 million in sponsored research funding from external resources.

“I look forward to working with the faculty, staff, students and other stakeholders of Coppin State to continue the university’s commitment to preparing graduates who are analytical, socially responsible and lifelong learners,” Thompson said. “Urban higher education plays a vital role in shaping the future of local, national and global communities and I am excited about joining a campus with a rich legacy of community engagement.”

Thompson is a 1983 graduate of TSU with a Bachelor of Science degree. She holds an M.S. from The Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

 

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 45 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.

SoBran CEO Amos L. Otis Featured Speaker to Close Out Research Symposium April 3

Cropped_Otis_Amos
Amos L. Otis

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Amos L. Otis, founder, president and CEO of SoBran Inc., will be the featured speaker for the Awards Luncheon and official Closing Ceremony of the University-Wide Research Symposium Friday, April 3. The event begins at noon and takes place in the Farrell-Westbrook Auditorium, located on the main campus.

Every year, the Research Symposium serves as a foundation to provide students with authentic experiences in presenting their research before advancing to regional, national and international research symposia, and prior to professional careers. Now in its 37th year, the weeklong symposium will officially close April 3 as students are presented with awards for their scholarly presentations.

The 2015 Research Mentorship Award will also be presented to an honored faculty member for serving as a mentor and/or advisor to the greatest number of winning student research entries, while a new member is inducted into the Million Dollar Research Club.

Amos Otis founded SoBran Inc., in 1987 after a distinguished 21-year career as an Air Force officer. He has led SoBran from a lean start-up in the basement of his Fairfax County, Virginia, home to a $63 million dollar company with three divisions. The divisions include BioScience, Engineering and Logistics, and SafeMail® and Security. SoBran consistently appears on the Inc. Magazine “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and the Black Enterprise “Top 100 Industrial Service List.”

Throughout its growth, Otis has guided SoBran based on the foundation of the Air Force values Integrity, Service and Excellence.

Otis has been recognized for his management and entrepreneurial skills as well as his civic leadership. He was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Cincinnati Branch in 2012. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Dayton Development Coalition, and a life member of the NAACP. He has also been profiled in Black Enterprise magazine as an innovator in workforce readiness.

One of his passions is educational opportunity for deserving youths. Otis has established a number of scholarships and endowments including the SoBran/Scoman Educational Scholarship Endowment at Tennessee State University at Nashville. In Montgomery, Alabama, he established the Brenda Faye Otis-Lee Educational Scholarship at the St. Jude Educational Institute.

Otis has consulted for the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences for Post-Doctoral Programs and The National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education. He is Treasurer of the Tennessee State University Education Foundation Board, and chairs its Finance Committee.

In addition, Otis chairs the Beta Nu Boule’ Education Foundation of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity and he is a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.

While in the Air Force, Otis served as a Titan II ICBM combat crew commander; USAF Plant representative at Hughes Aircraft Corporation, a cost analyst for the Aeronautical Systems Division (General Officer’s staff), and comptroller for the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing (Kunsan, South Korea). He has also served as a professor of Air Science for the District of Columbia’s AFROTC Detachment at Howard University, and as program manager at the Air Force Office of Scientific Research’s Special Programs.

Otis holds a bachelor’s degree from Tennessee State University, an MBA from The California State University System, and a master’s of Military Art and Science from Air University.

For more information on the Research Symposium, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/research/or contact Nannette Carter Martin, co-chair at 615.963.5827, or Tamara Rogers, co-chair at 615.963.1520.

 

RELATED

37th Annual University-Wide Research Symposium set for March 30 – April 3

Noted Molecular Geneticist Georgia M. Dunston Featured Symposium Keynote Speaker March 30

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 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.

Noted Molecular Geneticist Georgia M. Dunston Featured Symposium Keynote Speaker March 30

Address officially Kicks off 37h Annual University-Wide Research Symposium

DunstonNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Dr. Georgia M. Dunston, the founding director of the National Human Genome Center (NHGC) at Howard University (HU), and Director of Molecular Genetics in the NHGC, will be the featured keynote speaker officially opening the University-Wide Research Symposium Monday, March 30.

The keynote address is free and open to the public, and will take place in the E.T. Goins Recital Hall, located in the Performing Arts Center on the main campus, beginning at 2 p.m.

Now in its 37th year, the symposium will take place at the University March 30-April 3. The Research Symposium serves as a foundation to provide students with authentic experiences in presenting their research before advancing to regional, national and international research symposia, and prior to professional careers.

Georgia M. Dunston, Ph.D., is professor and former chair of the Department of Microbiology, Howard University College of Medicine; the founding director of the National Human Genome Center (NHGC) at Howard University (HU), and director of Molecular Genetics in the NHGC.

Dunston received a Bachelor of Science degree degree in biology from Norfolk State University, a Master of Science degree in Biology from Tuskegee University, and Ph.D. in Human Genetics from the University of Michigan. She performed post-doctoral work in Tumor Immunology at the National Institutes of Health in the Laboratory of Immunodiagnosis, National Cancer Institute.

Dunston is an established investigator, nationally and internationally known for genetic research on human leukocyte antigen (HLA) polymorphisms in African Americans.  Her research on human genome variation in disease susceptibility has been the vanguard of current efforts at Howard University to build national and international research collaborations focusing on the genetics of diseases common in African Americans and other African Diaspora populations.

She served on the National Advisory Council for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; the Genetic Basis of Disease Review Committee for the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences Review Committee on Human Genome Diversity Project. Under Dunston’s leadership, the NHGC has been instrumental in bringing multicultural perspectives and resources to an understanding of knowledge gained from the Human Genome Project and research on human genome variation.

Dunston currently co-leads a newly formed biophysics research and development group at Howard University that is exploring functional aspects of common variation and population genetics from first principles of thermodynamics and statistical physics (i.e., “genodynamics”). Her passion is building community-academic partnerships that connect the African Diaspora to the global genome revolution in knowledge on health and human identity. Her research addresses the power of genome variation and population diversity in decoding the Genome Story: From human origins, migrations, adaptation, and transformation to liberation.

For more information on the Research Symposium, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/research/or contact Nannette Carter Martin, co-chair at 615.963.5827, or Tamara Rogers, co-chair at 615.963.1520.


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Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 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.

After 44 years, TSU Engineer and Administrator Michael Busby “Retiring with a Great Deal of Joy”

Micheal Busby, former educator, administrator and interim associate Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs, retired June 30 from TSU after nearly 44 years of service. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)
Micheal Busby, former educator, administrator and interim associate Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs, retired June 30 from TSU after nearly 44 years of service. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Even with the development of a widely recognized astronomy program that saw the construction of a robotic observatory center, and the detection of a planet orbiting another star – all under his watch – Michael Busby is not jumping at any credit for a mounting of scientific advances at Tennessee State University.

“I have been fortunate to work with some very talented and gifted people who made these things possible,” said Busby, who retired June 30 from TSU after nearly 44 years as an engineer, professor and administrator.

“It’s been a rewarding experience. I owe Tennessee State University so much to have been put in positions where I did not only use my talent but was given opportunities to work with some very incredible people and administrators to help us achieve so much,” Busby said.

Recounting his years at TSU, Busby, 69, was visibly emotional when he talked about the satisfaction he received when the University gave him his first “big career break” to join the faculty in 1972, not long after earning a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Tennessee.

“Although I had a job working for a company briefly after I left UT, I found the opportunity to work at TSU and interact with so many students and other faculty to be an excellent career start,” Busby added.

He talked about many achievements, but for him what stood out the most was the opportunity to head the newly established Center of Excellence, a multidisciplinary research laboratory founded in 1986 within the state-wide Centers of Excellence program to increase the research base of Tennessee, as well as serve as a research resource for faculty and students of TSU.

“The center allowed us to advance in so many areas, collaborate with many national and international scientific and government agencies and institutions, and to develop faculty and students who are considered among the best in the nation,” Busby said.

Busby and Tennessee State University astronomer Greg Henry join Vanderbilt astronomers Douglas Hall and Frank Fekel in March 1989 at the robotic telescope site in the mountains of southern Arizona.  TSU's automated astronomy research program began as a collaborative effort with Vanderbilt astronomers to study a mysterious new class of variable stars with the robotic telescope on the right.  TSU now owns and operates 8 robotic telescopes at the Arizona site. (courtesy photo)
Busby and Tennessee State University astronomer Greg Henry join Vanderbilt astronomers Douglas Hall and Frank Fekel in March 1989 at the robotic telescope site in the mountains of southern Arizona. TSU’s automated astronomy research program began as a collaborative effort with Vanderbilt astronomers to study a mysterious new class of variable stars with the robotic telescope on the right. TSU now owns and operates 8 robotic telescopes at the Arizona site. (courtesy photo)

Under Busby’s watch, the center established an Automated Astronomy Group of faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, researchers, and support staff with automated telescopes, advanced control systems and systems identification, and applied mathematics. The automated astronomy research program began as a collaborative effort with Vanderbilt astronomers to study a mysterious new class of variable stars.  TSU now owns and operates eight robotic telescopes at the Robotic Observatory Center in the Patagonia Mountains near Washington Camp, Arizona.

On Nov. 14, 1999, a team led by TSU astronomer Greg Henry, announced the discovery of a shadow of a planet crossing a distant star. The discovery made national and international news.

“…I want America to know about your enormous contributions to research. I want every American to know that last November, Tennessee State astronomers made the world’s first direct detection of a planet orbiting another star,” then President Bill Clinton announced at the annual National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education Leadership Award Banquet in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 16, 2000.

“That was a crowning moment for the Center of Excellence and the Automated Astronomy Group…all because we had outstanding scientists and people doing what they are good at,” Busby added.

For a mechanical engineer with no specific background in astronomy, bringing the program together with the right people in place, and to achieve such prominence, speak to Busby’s “outstanding leadership and managerial genius,” one colleague said.

“His vision and management style made all the difference,” said Henry, an original member of the Automated Astronomy Group who has been with the University since Busby brought him on nearly 25 years ago.

“His genius was having the vision of what this center would be. He hired the right people, gave them what they needed and allowed them to do their work,” Henry added. “And he takes no credit for it.”

In the 26 years since its establishment, the COE has brought in more than $40 million in external funding through grants, and total faculty publications in refereed and non-refereed journals is nearly 1,300. Student support for an average 41 undergraduate and 10 graduate students per year is about $500,000.

With all of these achievements, no doubt colleagues and administrators see Dr. Busby’s departure as a “huge” vacuum being created at the University.

“Dr. Busby has been an outstanding instructor and researcher at TSU for decades,” said Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering. “His loyalty and dedication to the university is unwaverable….and his iconic presence will be missed by his colleagues and students.”

In addition to teaching and heading the COE, Busby also served in many other capacities over the years. One of his last roles was serving as interim associate vice president for Research and Sponsored Programs, a position he held until his retirement and the subsequent hiring of a new associate vice president.

The new Associate Vice President, Dr. Lesia L. Crumpton-Young, who worked with Busby for several months before his retirement, described the longtime TSU professor and administrator as providing “outstanding leadership that significantly impacted the research notoriety” of the Center of Excellence in Information Systems.

“Mike Busby has worked tirelessly to grow the research enterprise at TSU and we are truly grateful for his leadership and long-term commitment to the University,” Crumpton-Young said.

As he leaves, Busby said he is very optimistic about the future of the center and the University.

“I am very pleased with the kind of people and administrators we have in place at the institution. We have people who truly care about TSU and who want to take TSU to places it’s never been before,” Busby said.

About retirement, Busby said he is going to stay busy spending more time with his wife of 51 years, and keeping up with an engineering consultancy he has long been involved with, except this time, he will control his own time.

“I am retiring with a great deal of joy,” the Goodlettsville, Tennessee native added.

 

 

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

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