FAMU tackles brain drain with summer program for youths

June 26, 2011

brain-drain1.jpg(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) – Area middle school students are curing the summer “brain drain” this year with a heavy dose of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fun at the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp hosted by Florida A&M University (FAMU).  The hands-on program offers students an exciting way to beat the heat as they design space suits while experiencing life on a college campus.

Founded by veteran astronaut Dr. Bernard A. Harris, Jr., the program targets underserved youth.  It is a two-week, all-expenses-paid residential camp that encourages math and science.  The ExxonMobil Foundation provides funding and expertise of talented engineers to support the educational experience.

“Summer learning opportunities are crucial to continued academic success,” said Dr. Bernard A. Harris, Jr., veteran astronaut and camp founder. “In partnership with the ExxonMobil Foundation, we are able to offer students a tremendous opportunity to hone the math, science, communications and leadership skills needed to realize their full potential.  Our goal is to inspire them to reach beyond the classroom and pursue careers in critical technology fields.”

For the sixth consecutive year, the ExxonMobil Foundation has partnered with Harris and his nonprofit organization, The Harris Foundation, to provide residential camps to underrepresented and underserved middle school students at 25 universities across the country. This is the second year FAMU has had the honor of participating in the program.
The camp program aims to fill this critical need by offering a curriculum that features hands-on experiments, team competitions and field excursions to help students build essential skills. Campers receive quality instruction from local educators and hear from ExxonMobil engineers about the exciting and rewarding aspects of their profession.

Hampton University students win first place at NASA Pre-Service Teacher contest

June 17, 2009

nasa_photo.JPG Photo Caption: (From left to right) Dr. Kianga R. Thomas (NASA/PSTP Faculty Advisor), Shea Thompson, Ashlyn Williams, Brittany Yhap, Brittany Street, Eunice Collier, and Dr. Clair Berube (NASA/PSTP Faculty Advisor).

(Hampton, Va.) –  Students from Hampton University recently received first place at the NASA/Pre-Service Teacher Program STEM Lesson Plan Contest on April 23 at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.  These future teachers were required to develop, implement and submit a documented lesson plan incorporating the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).  

Eunice Collier, Brittany Street, Shea Thompson, Ashlyn Williams and Brittany Yhap designed a lesson plan based on the real-life situation of developing a small plane that could fit on a fleet ship.  The students taught their lesson to a group of elementary students ages 8-10 and documented the lesson for evaluation purposes.  The lesson contained national standards from all four STEM areas and demonstrated a high level of inquiry.

Dr. Kianga R. Thomas and Dr. Clair Berube, both assistant professors in the HU College of Education and Continuing Studies, advised the students.  

“I think this opportunity has thoroughly given the students a lot of insight in terms of lesson plan writing and providing inquiry learning in the classroom,” said Thomas. “This experience is going to place them head and shoulders above the rest.”

The HU team competed against teams from Norfolk State University, Elizabeth City State University, Kentucky State University, Jackson State University, Alabama A&M University, and Virginia Union University.

Southern University students part of winning team at engineering competition

June 17, 2009

southernuniversity.GIF(BATON ROUGE) – Four Southern University Electrical Engineering students were part of a three-school team of historically black colleges and universities that placed second in the second annual Lonestar Challenge Design Competition held recently at Texas A&M University.
Southern students Joshua DuBois, Chad Dugas, Ashton Jones and Steffon Wiley, along with students from Tennessee State University and Prairie View A&M University, competed as a team against Texas A&M and the University of Texas in a robotics challenge at College Station.
The challenge required the three teams to design and build a remote-operated and undetectable device that could be used to provide surveillance and reconnaissance information to the Air Force, who sponsored the event. The devices were then put to the test in a simulated hostage situation in an office setting.
The Southern-Prairie View-Tennessee State team finished behind Texas A&M and ahead of last year’s winner, the University of Texas.
“The three days of competition were very exciting and even though the students put in long hours to create a product to meet the design criteria, they became more knowledgeable about engineering design, and they learned a great deal about how to work with others to accomplish a goal,” said Dr. Fred Lacy, associate professor in Southern’s College of Engineering.   
The three HBCUs formed one team because neither school had enough senior capstone design majors for the competition.
The schools also faced other challenges preparing for the competition. The team only met once before the challenge. The HBCU students had to coordinate efforts with teammates in three different states and also had to meet the challenge in considerably less time than the other two schools - about three months compared to nine months by the other schools.
“Needless to say, our students have demonstrated that when they are challenged, they are hard working, innovative and capable of competing with the very best students from two of the top engineering programs in the country,” said Lacy.

Southern partners with IBM for cloud computing technology

April 28, 2009

cloud.jpgBATON ROUGE – Two graduates of Southern University are helping the institution take its technology into the clouds. Dexter Henderson and Elmer Corbin, with technology giant IBM, officially launched the Cloud Computing initiative at Southern on Tuesday morning.
The so-called “Cloud,” they said, will establish the Baton Rouge campus as one of the leaders in education in Louisiana and among historically black colleges and universities across the nation. 

“This is a historic moment at Southern University,” said Henderson, vice president of Systems and Technology Development at IBM. “What we’re putting in place here is a leap over anything that we have instituted at any other HBCU.” 

Corbin and Henderson presented Southern with a $40,000 check Tuesday which they said will be used to train SU personnel on Cloud systems and to set the groundwork for the new technology on the campus.  

Cloud computing is a system in which jobs are assigned to an array of connections, software and service accessed over the Internet. The network of connections and servers is collectively known as “The Cloud.” Computing at the scale of the cloud allows users to access supercomputer-level power. Users are able to access the cloud with technology such as iPhones, Blackberrys or laptops, essentially reaching into the cloud for resources as they need them. 

Corbin, IBM’s director of systems development and university alliances, said the cloud will give Southern students the ability to link to information available at other colleges and universities in the U.S. and around the world. Eventually, other historically black colleges will be included in the cloud.

“There will be one giant cloud for HBCUs here and around the world,” Corbin said. 

Jackson State granted $1 million to study levee strengthening

April 26, 2009

(JACKSON, Miss.) – Jackson State University, in collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, has been awarded a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to study levee strengthening under full-scale overtopping conditions. The research project is the first of its kind.
“This is a major research project and it involves innovations in levee strengthening systems during full-scale, unstudied conditions for the first time,” said Farshad Amini, professor and chair of Jackson State’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and principal investigator on the project.
  The research project aims to determine the effectiveness of three innovative levee strengthening systems during full-scale overtopping conditions simulating waves or combined wave and storm surge. The simulations will evaluate the articulating concrete block system, the roller compacted concrete system and the use of anchored high-performance turf reinforcement mats.  The researchers expect the project will help establish disaster resilient communities throughout the country.

Jackson State University to host Math/Engineering Fair - April 17

April 12, 2009

math_400.jpg (JACKSON, Miss.) – Jackson State University will hold the 29th annual Mathematics/Engineering Fair April 17 in the university’s new School of Engineering building.
The fair will bring together some 200 juniors and seniors from seven area high schools who will compete individually and in teams in such events as mathematics bowls, exhibits and games, and a written exam and essay contest. The fair also will offer hands-on activities for teachers.  
One of the highlights of the day will be the bridge design and construction competition at 11 a.m., during which teams will present hand-made bridges built from balsa wood.
“The students are asked to construct a bridge under certain specifications,” said mathematics professor David Bramlett, who directs the fair. “The bridge that withstands the most weight wins.”
The theme of the fair is “Building a Better World through Mathematics.” Its objective is to introduce students to Jackson State and to expose them to career opportunities in the fields of mathematics and engineering.
“We hope to attract some of the students to our campus for the long term,” Bramlett said. 
            Participating schools include Collins High School, Crystal Springs High School, the Piney Woods School, St. Joseph Catholic High School, Jim Hill High School, Murrah High School, and Velma Jackson High School. 
            All activities will take place throughout JSU’s newly opened School of Engineering building, which is the first state-funded construction project to earn a LEED designation by the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council. The building was constructed with eco-friendly materials and includes such features as a storm water management system that recycles rainwater for landscaping uses.

            The Mathematics/Engineering fair is sponsored by JSU’s Departments of Mathematics, Civil Engineering and Computer Engineering in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology. The event will run from 7:45 a.m.-4 p.m. For a complete schedule of events, visit http://www.jsums.edu/announcements/4.7.09mathfairsched.pdf.

            For more information, contact David Bramlett at (601) 979-3751 or david.c.bramlett@jsums.edu.


Tennessee State University Research Symposium builds bridges to inquiry - March 30-April 3

March 18, 2009

Nashville, TN – The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at Tennessee State University is preparing for the 31st Annual University-Wide Research Symposium, March 30 through April 3, 2009.
This year’s symposium is slated to be an extraordinary five-day interdisciplinary celebration showcasing the range of faculty/staff-mentored student research that is being conducted across all academic disciplines at the University.  
The symposium highlights the range of student research through oral and poster research presentations, visual arts presentations, performing arts presentations (music, dance and theater) and demonstrations.  Workshops and tutorials will be available to participating students to help them develop competitive displays, exhibits and multi-media presentations. Students with winning presentations are eligible for awards up to $250.
With the theme, “Research: Celebrating Excellence” the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs has updated the symposium’s structure to enhance campus and community participation.  Recognizing that most research is not defined by one discipline of academic study, one of the symposium goals is to build bridges between multiple academic disciplines by creating a culture of inquiry and sharing areas of research interest.
The symposium invites students from all disciplines to submit research projects and creative work.
For more information, contact the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at 615-963-7631 or visit www.tsurs2009.org

Depression often ignored in African-American community: Meharry Medical College psychiatry research shows

November 22, 2008

bailey2.jpgNashville, TN) – Depression is a condition that is largely ignored in the African American community, according to findings from studies conducted by Meharry Medical College’s new Psychiatry Chair, Dr. Rahn Bailey.   Dr. Bailey, a nationally recognized expert in forensic psychiatry and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, will present his findings during an open house at Meharry Medical College.

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Environmentalist visiting Elizabeth City State University suggests green economy for the Albemarle

November 7, 2008

 Majora Carter, an environmentalist who specializes in environmental justice and environmental racism, greeted guests at Elizabeth City State University to explore the development of a green economy for the Albemarle. Carter told her audience a green economy, entrepreneurship and a clean environment are factors community leaders must consider for a successful future. The audience consisted of guests from nearby towns, counties and economic development commissions.
Citizens shouldn’t rush to toss used items in the trash when they could be recycled for another purpose Carter advised.
Training men and women recently released from jail for green collar jobs is a crucial strategy she promotes to reduce the number of convicts returning to jail and to reduce the money the tax payers spend on correction facilities.
She has advised numerous cities, universities, communities and businesses of the virtues of green collar jobs and environmental sound planning measures.

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$2.2 Million Department of Defense funding awarded to Lincoln University researchers

November 7, 2008

 Lincoln University has been awarded approximately $2.2 million in Department of Defense (DoD) research grants/contracts over the past three months. A formal announcement of these awards, along with an overview of the scope of the work involved, will take place during a media briefing on Tuesday, November 11, at 8:30 a.m., in Lincoln University’s Memorial Hall.  Lincoln University President Dr. Carolyn R. Mahoney will extend greetings.  Dr. James Rooney, DoD Collaborations Coordinator, will briefly discuss the awards made to Lincoln University.  The principal investigators receiving the awards will also be available to discuss their work. The briefing is expected to last no longer than 45 minutes. This media briefing will occur immediately following the annual ROTC Veterans Day Breakfast scheduled for 7 a.m. in Scruggs University Center.   The Veterans Day Breakfast will feature Congressman Ike Skelton as the guest speaker. 

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