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Kids sports camp offers a different twist to summer fun

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Kids can sign up for a sports camp unlike any other this summer.

Tennessee Tech University’s Campus Recreation and Fitness Center will be offering a unique experience for children ages 8 - 12 with a non-traditional, non-competitive sports camp.

The camp will offer nontraditional sports, including ultimate Frisbee, ping pong, 4 square, and dodgeball and the more traditional indoor soccer and racquetball, plus swimming at the end of each day.

“You’ll learn skills and sportsmanship, have fun, play a game you’ve never played before, swim each day and make new friends,” said Suzann Hensley, Fitness Center assistant director.

The camp offers two sessions: Camp 1 is June 28-July 1 (Signup deadline June 21) and Camp 2 is July 19-22 (Signup deadline July 12). The camp day runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Students can sign up for one sport per day, even taking the same sport twice.

Fitness Center members pay $95 per student. All others pay $125. There is a sibling discount of $25 per child. Fees must be paid in full at sign-up.

Pre-registration is required and can be completed in the Fitness Center main office, Room 118, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday. For more information about what to bring and more camp features, call 372-6212.


Communications & Marketing brings home the gold again

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TCPRA-award-2010Tennessee Tech's Office of Communications & Marketing again represented the university well, garnering a total of five awards — four of them gold — in this year's Tennessee College Public Relations Association awards competition. And one member of the TTU team was recognized for her personal contributions to the organization.

Included in this year's awards is the top award in the Overall Promotional Campaign category for the Dixie College Day campaign.

"Awards such as these show the level of quality and the outstanding creativity that the staff of the Office of Communications & Marketing produces for the university. It continues to show Tennessee Tech at its best," said J. Mark Hutchins, vice president of University Advancement. "The Dixie College Day award is especially dear to us as it reflects the importance of creating and executing a cohesive campaign to help tell a story in an effective and efficient manner."

Winning Tennessee Tech projects for the 2009-2010 competition

This is the second consecutive year the office took the gold in the Overall Promotional Campaign category. Last year, the office won with its "More Than Tech" admissions campaign. Overall, the office has won 13 TCPRA awards in the last three years.

Karen Lykins, director of News & Communications, received the Charles Holmes Award for exemplary service to TCPRA. A long-time member, Lykins currently serves as the organization's treasurer and has implemented several new services that enhance the organization's efficiency.

Judging for the competition was coordinated by Pellissippi State Community College with professionals in the marketing and public relations fields. Universities and colleges throughout Tennessee submitted 124 entries in 17 categories, representing communications media from printed newsletters to websites.

The office competed against institutions from across the state, including Vanderbilt University, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Middle Tennessee State University, Belmont University and Lipscomb University.

TCPRA is an alliance of communicators who represent the colleges and universities, public and private, two-year technical schools, technology centers and community colleges that together define higher education in Tennessee.

The Office of Communications & Marketing, part of University Advancement, coordinates and supports the university's communication and enhances TTU's recognition and image. The office is the hub for Creative Services, News & Communication, Photo Services, Marketing, and Web & Digital Media.


Theresa Ennis named May Ambassador of the Month

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thumb_ennisTheresa Ennis, director of University Assessment and assistant professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, has shown students what service learning is all about.

"Theresa has played a huge role in the Cookeville community, as well as the TTU community," wrote Michelle Huddleston, TTU's service learning coordinator. Huddleston nominated Ennis for Ambassador of the Month. "She motivates people to serve their communities. She has been part of numerous service projects done on campus.

"Theresa is always so helpful to anyone who asks anything of her and goes beyond what is asked."

Ambassador nomination forms are available from TTU’s Human Resource Services or by visiting www.tntech.edu/hr.


Spring 2010 Dean's List, Grads List Released

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The Spring 2010 Dean's List and Graduation List are now available online in a searchable database. Visit www.tntech.edu/news/deansgrads/.

Two chemical engineering researchers take on the challenge of concrete

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We walk on it, work in structures built with it, drive on it and for the most part take for granted our use of the most abundant synthetic material on earth—Portland cement concrete.

But researchers around the world remain baffled in many ways about the behavior of a material made from the most plentiful and simple raw materials. It’s hard to predict how long it will last, how badly it will crack and how much negative environmental impact it will make.

At Tennessee Tech University, colleagues and chemical engineering researchers Joe Biernacki and Don Visco are working to help unravel some of the mystery surrounding concrete. The American Ceramic Society, ACerS, recently featured their work in a publication dedicated to highlighting cement researchers who are working to bring new strength, flexibility, self-healing capacities and a smaller CO2 footprint to concrete.

Biernacki says modern concrete just doesn’t last long enough, and one way to reduce the environmental impact is to double, triple or even quadruple its life expectancy in the field.

“In an ideal world, we would produce cements that had no carbon footprint. The work we do we link to the environment,” Biernacki said. “If we can make concrete last twice as long, just a factor of two would be remarkable. It would certainly make concrete more environmentally friendly.”

The TTU duo developed a technique for encoding the structure of molecules that have a particular performance behavior. They run the data through a computer model to correlate performance and predict new molecular structures to enhance performance.

“We hope to design entirely new molecules with targeted performance enhancing characteristics,” Biernacki said. “This has the potential to enable the design of concrete mixtures with unique rheological [the flow under stress and strain] properties, for example.”

Biernacki also summarized the enigmatic challenges of concrete research in a recent article.

He says more than 2,000 years after the Romans built great and enduring structures using hydraulic cements, modern science is still baffled about the behavior of concrete because there is no unifying theory.

“It’s limestone, shale, stones and water. What’s so baffling? It’s simple, burn the limestone and shale to produce some calcium silicates and calcium aluminates, add a bit of gypsum, grind into a powder, put some stones in, mix with water and let it set. No big deal, right?

“Unfortunately, the resulting concoction turns out to be incredibly complex,” Biernacki explained.

To add to the challenge, the final and important steps to creating concrete take place in the field by necessity. Environmental conditions play a huge part in the final product.

Finally, concrete is not one material, but a spectrum of materials designed to match the application. Some must be strong, some porous, and some tough.

“Controlling the properties is the key,” said Biernacki. “Not just making a lot of it the same every day.

“Ultimately, we are working to alter the kinetics of hydration to unlock the elusive secrets of this important material.”






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