TSU Alumna Returns as Fortune 500 Executive-on-Loan

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – Patricia Brewer Hairston has landed a “rare” opportunity to give back to her alma mater. The 1977 graduate of Tennessee State University, an executive at Corning Incorporated, a Fortune 500 company, will be working at TSU for one year as an “executive-on-loan” funded by Corning.

As the Corning executive-on-loan, Hairston will work closely with TSU leadership to advance the goals of the Supply Chain Management Program and other leadership initiatives at the institution. “This is an opportunity that I cherish,” Hairston said. “I always wanted to give back to Tennessee State University, and this is certainly a way to do so in a more meaningful way.”

Hairston, director of Global Transportation and Trade Compliance at Corning, currently chairs the TSU Supply Chain Management Program Governing Board, a leadership group of nine leading Fortune 500 companies that collaborate and work with the University to review curriculum, lead research, and develop students for future leadership in supply chain management. She has been a member of the board since 2006.

TSU President, Dr. Portia Holmes Shields, called Corning “a forward-thinking company” for assigning Hairston to TSU where she can have a direct impact on the development of future supply chain management professionals. “We are thrilled to see her return to us so capable and a more strengthened graduate with a level of technical and executive expertise that can only be helpful to Tennessee State University,” she said.

According to Hairston, Corning, the world leader in specialty glass and ceramics, has already hired two TSU students and hires interns from the supply chain program annually. “I appreciate the support of Corning for its foresight and the partnership with Tennessee State University, which is ensuring that TSU graduates are well trained and ready for the workforce.  We see the supply chain management program as a pipeline to recruit the best and brightest from this university, and I am glad to be a part of this effort.”

Hairston, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Architectural and Civil Engineering from TSU, said her assignment has been a “valuable” experience that has given her the opportunity to reconnect with her alma mater. She was particularly thankful to Dr. Festus Olorunniwo, chair of the Department of Business Administration at TSU, for his effort in getting her back to TSU.

“We first met at a supply chain conference,” Hairston said. “When he realized that I was a TSU graduate, he invited me to join the Supply Chain Board, which I did not give much thought to at the time, but he insisted and followed up with calls and I finally agreed to join. Since then, I have attended every board meeting except for two because of previously planned engagements. Overall, this has been a very rewarding experience.”

Dr. Olorunniwo described Hairston as “an experienced and dedicated professional with a strong commitment” to give back to TSU. “As chair, she has ably led the body in ensuring the growth of this program, and has helped in proving internship and job placement opportunities for our supply chain students,” he said.

Hairston, who will also work with the president of TSU in an advisory capacity, has received high commendation from the Vice President of University Relations and Development, Dr. William Nelsen, with whom she has been working closely. “TSU is very fortunate to have an executive of her caliber and qualification to be assigned to this institution,” he said. “We look forward to her leadership on important projects that would advance this university.”

At Corning, where she has been since 1999, the TSU-trained engineer has held several key positions, including director of International Procurement and Transportation, leading and facilitating the growth of Corning’s outsourced manufacturing capability in Asia. Before that she served as director of Global Strategic Sourcing, where she led a $3.1 billion company spending initiative, while instituting other cost-cutting measures. Prior to joining Corning, Hairston worked for Westinghouse as manager of international procurement, commodity centers manager, and as the IT procurement manager.

Hairston is in her third year as chair of the Tennessee State University Supply Chain Management Program Governing Board. The Mobile, Ala., native is married to Robert J. Hairston. They have five children.

Telecommunications Pioneer to Deliver TSU Commencement Address

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – Jesse Russell, Chairman and CEO of incWORKS, and recognized as the father of digital cellular technology, will speak at Tennessee State University’s 2012 commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 5. The annual celebration will take place at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Gentry Center.

Trained as an electrical engineer at Tennessee State University and Stanford University, and recognized globally as a thought-leader, technology expert and inventor in the field of wireless communication, Russell has played a major role in shaping the wireless communications industry direction through his visionary leadership and innovative perspectives for standards, technologies as well as innovative new wireless service concepts.

Russell is currently Chairman and CEO of incNETWORKS, a Broadband Wireless Communications Company focused on 4th Generation Wireless Communications Networks and Technologies. He has nearly three decades of professional experience in directing Research and Development of pioneering technologies, products and services related to the communications industry with Lucent Bell Labs, AT&T and currently incNETWORKS.

Russell received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from Tennessee State University in 1972 and his Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 1973. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the IEEE, and a Fellow of the International Engineering Consortium. In 1980, Eta Kappa Nu selected Russell as “The Most Outstanding Young Electrical Engineer of the Year” under the age of 32. He has more than 75 U. S. Patents to his credit in the Communication Engineering field.

He is also an internationally recognized Wireless Communications Consultant in the area of Advanced Broadband Wireless Technologies and emerging broadband wireless 3G and 4G product strategy, as well as a consultant in regulatory and spectrum strategy. In addition, Russell consults on wireless standards related issues such as RF health and safety matters as well as Cellular Communication Industry Standards.

The commencement addresses will be free and open to the public. The College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Science; the College of Education; and the College of Liberal Arts commencement ceremony begins at 9 a.m. The ceremony for the College of Business; College of Engineering; College of Health Sciences; and College of Public Service and Urban Affairs will be held at 2 p.m.

For more information call 615.963.5331 or visit www.tnstate.edu/records/commencement/.

College of Engineering Hosts STEM Leadership Conference

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – The College of Engineering at Tennessee State University will host a STEM Leadership Conference April 26-28. The conference will take place in the Research and Sponsored Programs Building and the Farrell-Westbrook Complex.

This year’s conference will feature guest speakers by industry and engineering leaders during the three-day conference. A series of seminars will be held Thursday, April 26 for College of Engineering students and include:

  • STEM Leadership Topic
    Research and Sponsored Programs Bldg Lobby
    8-8:25 a.m.
  • Who is a Global Engineer
    RSP Room 163
    8:30-9:20 a.m.
  • Entrepreneurship
    RSP Room 163
    9:25-10:15 a.m.
  • Automotive Technologies
    RSP Room 163
    10:20-11:10 a.m.
  • Lunch with Guest speaker Jeff Buchanan
    President’s Executive Dining Room
    11:20 a.m.-12:50 p.m.
  • Personal Branding
    RSP Room 163
    1-1:55p.m.
  • Cloud Computing
    RSP Room 163
    2-2:55 p.m.
  • Preparing for Professional Exams
    RSP Room 163
    3-3:55 p.m.

On Friday, April 27, the conference Awards and Recognition Banquet takes place at the Farrell-Westbrook Complex (The Barn) 6-8 p.m. Milton Woods, TSU alumnus and engineer consultant, will be the guest speaker.  The conference closes Saturday, April 28 with the Engineering Alumni Summit from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the Research Sponsored Programs building, room 209, and Student picnic beginning at noon on the Boswell Lawn.

For more information, contact Kevin Williams, Engineering Undergraduate Program coordinator at 615.963.5879 or kwilliams41@tnstate.edu.

TSU Student Dreams Taking Flight

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – Ivana Page, the only female at Tennessee State University majoring in aeronautical and industrial technology, has decided to go where few women have had the opportunity to go… in search of a career in the cockpit of a major airliner.

In September 2010 Page, who grew up in Belleville, Ill., a small suburban town outside of St. Louis, Mo., visited the University for the first time as part of an HBCU tour group sponsored by Senator James Clayborne from her hometown. “When I got here I knew that TSU was the school for me because it just felt right in my spirit, I knew that I had a purpose to fulfill here,” said Page. “Although I was offered many scholarships from other universities I choose TSU because as soon as I stepped on the campus and got a ray of that ‘golden sunshine’ I knew that this was the place for me.”

Now in her sophomore year, Page selected the program in preparation to live out goals she sets with the encouragement of her mother. “My mother told me that I could do anything I put my mind to and I thought, why not shoot for the stars,” said Page. “I wanted to go as high as I could go, and I decided that the only way to do that was to touch the sky with the tip of an airplanes nose”, she added.

Page has charted a career course that women have had difficulty navigating, primarily because so few opportunities are afforded them.  According to a 2011 news report from CNN, of the 53,000 members of the Air Line Pilots Association, which represents pilots at major and regional carriers in the United States and Canada, only about 5 percent are women. According to the International Society of Women Airline Pilots, only about 450 women worldwide are airline captains — pilots in command who supervise all the other crewmembers on a flight.

However, Page is optimistic about her future and the future enrollment of female students in the aeronautical programs at TSU. “If we continue to encourage and recruit females to try careers in this area I believe the numbers will increase”, said Page. “But it will not be done without a lot of hard work, inspiration, and reassurance from the college.”

Page’s long-term plans include graduate school, private and commercial pilot license with the ultimate goal of being a commercial pilot. But she also has plans to increase the number of women prepared for careers as pilots.  “I want to open a flight school to encourage young girls, especially young minority girls to fly,” she said. “I would like to teach them that becoming a pilot is as good of a career choice as becoming a nurse and that they should be encouraged to look into the aeronautical and industrial technology sector when choosing a career.”

She has applied for scholarships, internships and fellowships with NASA and believes her career choice is the best.  “You learn so much about the world around you when pursuing this career, it’s engineering in every form and you get bits of every discipline mechanical, computer, electrical, and even metrology”, she said. “It’s the best of all the STEM disciplines and you get the knowledge that you can say you will be doing something upon graduating that will be larger-than-life”.

Currently, Page is working towards her pilot’s license at the Scott Air Force Base Aero club.

TSU Aeronautical Program Receives Donation from MNAA

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Department of Aeronautical and Industrial Technology was one of four education partners to receive a donation from the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority today to foster and promote aviation education within the community.

Along with Tennessee State University, Board Vice Chairwoman Juli Mosley also presented checks totaling $30,400 to McGovock High School, Middle Tennessee State University, and Volunteer State Community College.

“The Authority strives to provide the Nashville Airports Experience to our passengers and partners, which includes a long-time commitment to fostering local students’ interest in the aviation industry,” said Raul Regalado, MNAA president and CEO. “Over the past 16 years, the MNAA, along with generous community support, has contributed nearly $1 million in support of education initiatives. We are honored to play a role in encouraging our community’s students to expand their horizons through aerospace administration, EMT and the aviation and transportation industries.”

At TSU, the donations will be used for student scholarships, according to Dr. William Anneseley, professor and department head, and will make it possible for several aviation students to take another step closer to fulfilling their aviation dream.

“The aviation career field is viewed as expensive and difficult for minorities to gain entrance,” said Dr. Anneseley.  “Of the 71,000 commercial pilots in the United States, 674 are African American (less than 1 percent) and only 14 are African American women.  It is painfully obvious that more resources (scholarships, infrastructure, and outreach) are needed to attract and retain minority students into this exciting and expanding career field.”

“With that thought in mind, I would like to acknowledge and thank the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority for their generous gift to Tennessee State University’s MNAA Endowment fund.”

The donated funds presented to McGavock High School will be used for the Academy of Aviation and Transportation. MTSU will use the funds for the MNAA Endowment that provides scholarships to Aerospace Administration students, while Volunteer State Community College will use the funds for the MNAA Endowment that provides scholarships and training for Emergency Medical Technician students.

The donations represent one component of the MNAA’s ongoing efforts to foster and promote aviation education within the community. The proceeds benefiting this year’s schools were raised from participants at MNAA’s 16th Annual Aviation Classic Golf Tournament held in 2011.

TSU Partners with Metro Schools to create STEM hub

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – Metro Nashville Public Schools has been named a leader in the state- wide effort to prepare young people for STEM-related careers, one of the fastest growing business sectors in the world.

Demonstrating the new leadership role, Stratford STEM Magnet High School recently hosted Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman as they announced three new Tennessee schools focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) in Hamilton, Putnam and Sullivan counties.

The district was previously awarded $850,000 by the Tennessee Department of Education to develop and implement a Middle Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub. The Hub will support student learning through engaging and rigorous STEM instruction, engage adults in a professional learning community; and create a network of community partners who will help develop or accelerate innovative strategies for regional STEM initiatives.

One of the community partners includes Tennessee State University’s College of Engineering. The college is now focused on helping Stratford STEM Magnet High School develop a computer simulation and gaming laboratory.  With academic tracks in science and engineering, Stratford students can now pursue career pathways in national security, computer simulation and gaming, automotive operations and green technology.

“We believe it is important for higher education to be engaged in the promotion of STEM careers, and support K-12 as feeders to our academic programs,” said Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, Dean of the College of Engineering at TSU. “It is crucial to U.S. competitiveness and preparing a workforce for tomorrow.”

Under the leadership of Dr. Sharon Matthews, Academy Coach at TSU, a task force was developed to provide expertise on designing the laboratory of hardware and software, and assisting with the curriculum.

Dr. Hargrove, along with Dr. Sachin Shetty, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering, serves on the Task Force for the integration of the simulation game and the design of the new laboratory. The Task Force also includes Lipscomb University and industry representatives.

A TSU-Rowan University project will also provide training for Stratford teachers in gaming and simulation from a grant from the National Science Foundation.

In the fall of 2011, Metro Schools became the first district in Tennessee to offer a K-12 STEM continuum. Hattie Cotton STEM Magnet Elementary, Bailey STEM Magnet Middle, Isaac Litton Middle, and Stratford STEM Magnet High opened as result of a $12 million Magnet School Assistance Program Grant. These magnet programs, along with the Academies of Nashville, were key to the selection of Metro Schools to lead the development of The Middle Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub.

The Hub will foster collaboration and conversation between public schools, STEM businesses, and higher education to identify the needs of each partner and find innovative ways to fulfill those needs. The ideas and opportunities will be shared throughout middle Tennessee and strategically connected to the Tennessee STEM Innovation network, a statewide collaboration aimed at increasing STEM education and opportunities for our youth.

The Hub has an extensive list of partners who will be key to helping the Hub reach its goals. The existing partners are well respected throughout middle Tennessee and the global STEM community.

Along with Tennessee State University, they include:

  • Vanderbilt University, Center for Science Outreach
  • Lipscomb University
  • Fisk University
  • Nashville State Community College
  • Volunteer State Community College
  • Tennessee Tech University
  • Austin Peay State University
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • Robertson County Schools
  • Cheatham County Schools
  • Alignment Nashville
  • PENCIL Foundation
  • Hospital Corporation of America
  • Deloitte Services LP
  • Ford Motor Company Fund
  • Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publisher
  • Adventure Science Center
  • ACE Mentor Program of America, Inc.
  • Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory
  • Tennessee Engineering Foundation
  • Nashville Branch, American Society of Civil Engineers
  • (NB-ASCE)
  • Tennessee Business Roundtable
  • Geospatial Learning Model

“The aim of the STEM Innovation Hub is to create a forum for public schools, higher education, and the business community to share needs, ideas and best practices,” said Dr. Vicki Metzgar. “STEM-related jobs are among the fastest growing in the country, and we are not training nearly enough students to fill these positions. We need to take advantage of the wonderful STEM resources throughout our region and help our young people graduate with the skills and certifications that the ever-expanding STEM industry needs.”

College of Engineering Collaborates with Stratford STEM Magnet High School to Develop Laboratory

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) –The College of Engineering and Technology at Tennessee State University continues to build awareness around STEM programs in Metro Public Schools. The college is now focused on helping Stratford STEM Magnet High School develop a computer simulation and gaming laboratory.  With academic tracks in science and engineering, Stratford students can now pursue career pathways in national security, computer simulation and gaming, automotive operations and green technology.

“Virtual Reality Systems is one of 14 engineering challenges promoted by the National Academy of Engineering to improve our quality of life,” said Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering and Technology at TSU.  “Simulation and gaming systems can be used for training, education and cognitive development that excites students about STEM occupations and provide a learning experience that prepares them for future employment opportunities.”

Under the leadership of Dr. Sharon Matthews, Academy Coach at TSU, a task force was developed to provide expertise on designing the laboratory of hardware and software, and assisting with the curriculum. Dr. Sachin Shetty, Assistant Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering, is the principal investigator of a National Science Foundation (NSF) project to develop a virtual reality game to encourage more high school students into careers in engineering.  In this NSF funded project, the team designed and implemented a virtual reality game system that infuses cyberinfrastructure (CI) learning experiences into the technology based high schools to promote metacognition for science and engineering design in context.

The CI features metacognitive strategies, context-oriented approaches as well as their seamless integration in the game system are elaborated in detail through two game modules, Power Ville and Stability. Both games involve students in the process of decision-making that contributes to different aspects of city infrastructures (energy and transportation). The project is in collaboration with College of Engineering at Rowan University and Educational Information and Resource Center (EIRC).

Dr. Hargrove serves on the Task Force for the integration of the simulation game at Stratford, and the design of the new laboratory.  The Task Force also includes Lipscomb University and industry representatives.  The TSU-Rowan University project will also provide training for Stratford teachers in gaming and simulation.

Tennessee State University Conducting Research with Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – Look! In the air, is it a bird or a plane? If you are near the campus of Tennessee State University chances are what you see is a TSU Unmanned Aerial Vehicle from the college of engineering.

Since 2006 Tennessee State University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science has been involved in research to detect moving targets from aerial vehicles.

Specifically, students are conducting research in the area of Automatic Target Recognition (ATR) project funded by the U. S. Air Force Research Laboratory under the Minority Leadership Program (MLP).

The primary objective of the research is to develop real-time algorithms for detecting moving targets, identifying targets and tracking in cluttered environments. TSU’s research is led by Dr. Fenghui Yao, professor in the department of computer science, and Dr. Mohan Malkani, associate dean in the college of engineering.

“Both undergraduate and graduate students in engineering have an opportunity to take part in the research project,” said Dr. Yao. “Our intent is to expose as many students as possible to the research. The students can learn how to develop these technologies and apply them to corresponding fields.”

On clear days professor Yao, along with electrical engineering professor Saleh Zein-Sabatto, can be seen with students conducting test flights around campus by flying a small research helicopter. The XR-20 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), the helicopter equipped with a moving sensor platform containing a camera with tilt, zoom and pan capabilities is used to generate the aerial video data for the development and evaluation of the real-time target detection and tracking algorithms.

The technology, when fully developed, will have several objectives including moving-object detection.  In addition, the UAV must avoid detecting non-stationary background objectives such as moving leaves, rain, snow, and shadows caused by moving objects.

According to Dr. Yao, perfection of these objectives will give the UAV technology a wide range of applications and not just the stereotypical wartime spy use usually associated with surveillance technology.

“This technology has wide application areas besides battlefield application,” Yao said. “The UAV can be used as border control,

College of Engineering receives AF grant for Cyber-Security

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) –The need to protect and secure cyberspace for U.S. military and consumer use will continue to be a major challenge in the future.  In response to this need, the College of Engineering at Tennessee State University is aggressively pursuing research opportunities to support and provide solutions to industry and government.

Cloud Computing Security research at Tennessee State University will get a significant boost thanks to a $616, 278 grant from Air Force Office of Scientific Research. The goal of the project is to enable development of novel security methods to ensure protection of vast amounts of information in cloud computing platforms.  The research activities will include development of new approaches for intrusion detection, active response and recovery from attacks on the cloud.

The project will be a joint effort between TSU and Pennsylvania State University. The team, led by Dr. Mohan Malkani, associate dean of the College of Engineering, includes Dr. Sachin Shetty, assistant professor of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, and Dr. Peng Liu, professor of Information Sciences and Technology at PSU.

“The Air Force is extensively adopting the cloud computing infrastructure to improve information technology efficiency, reduce costs and provide a standard platform for delivering government services,” said Malkani. “The development of a secure cloud computing infrastructure is capable of supporting defense and intelligence networks.”

According to Shetty, cloud-computing services are gaining universal acceptance. “Computer users probably already utilize a ‘cloud’ in some form or another while browsing the web, checking e-mail, or backing up files,” he said. “Security of these cloud-based services is unproven and we are currently unaware of the level of protection of our data in the cloud.”

The grant will also fund a large cloud computing datacenter to conduct the research activities. The datacenter will contain 50 compute nodes, each with quad-core Intel Xeon X5550 processors running at 2.66 GHz, providing a total of a 200 cores. The datacenter will also serve as an experimental test bed for undergraduate and graduate students to enhance the quality of their senior design projects, theses and dissertations.

“This research thrust area is one of four areas that support the future TIGER (TSU Interdisciplinary Graduate Engineering Research) Institute, to open this semester in the Research & Sponsored Programs building,” said S. Keith Hargrove, Dean of the College of Engineering.

The mission of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research is to manage the discovery and initial development of the leading edge of research while identifying potential new concepts and opportunities that will serve the Air Force in the future. To accomplish this role, AFOSR focuses the basic research community (government, academia and industry), including numerous Nobel Laureates, on the vital task of supporting Air Force warfighter requirements. Basic research provides the essential foundation for technology development and systems acquisition.

TSU’s Avian Hughes Named BEYA STEM Award Winner

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Avian Hughes has been selected as a Black Engineer of the Year Award’s STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) student-athlete award winner last week.

Hughes, a member of the TSU track & field program, holds a 3.10 GPA with a major in Electrical Engineering. He has been a three-year letter winner for the Flying Tigers track & field team and a member of the Air Force ROTC program.

“Avian is a great example of what being a college student is all about,” noted TSU Assistant Athletic Director for Academic Services, Dr. Johnnie Smith.  “For a young man to balance academics, athletics and Air Force ROTC, and excel in all three, he is truly the epitome of excellence.  I am so proud of Avian and I salute him on this national achievement.”

A native of San Antonio, Texas, Hughes claimed All-Conference accolades during his freshman campaign in the long jump. Hughes primarily focuses in the long jump and triple jump.

His best triple jump mark this season came with a distance of 13.57-meters at the UNC Dick Taylor Invitational. Hughes also leapt 7.04m in the long jump at the Dick Taylor Invitational.

“First of all congratulations to Avian for being an outstanding student-athlete,” said TSU Track & Field Director Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice. “He is really dedicated on what he does on the track and it shows in the classroom as well.”

Hughes will join fellow TSU student Samba Fall, who has also been selected to receive a BEYA Award and both will be recognized at the Student Leadership Awards Dinner during the 26th annual BEYA STEM Global Competitiveness Conference in Philadelphia, on Friday, Feb. 17.