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TTU News


Art students don’t always think about what is going on beneath the landscapes they paint. Agriculture students don’t always think about what goes on above the soils they study.

Tennessee Tech University agriculture professor Janice Branson was tired of walking down a bare basement hallway to get to her soils lab, and art education professor Patricia Coleman was looking for a new project for her students.

With support from TTU agriculture director Billye Foster and Ellen Wolfe from the Research Office, the two got together and decided to give their students a new perspective, by painting a Tennessee agricultural mural in South Hall. To make their idea a reality, they proposed and were awarded a Quality Enhancement Program grant.

In five years, more than 70 projects like Branson’s and Coleman’s have been funded and supported by TTU’s Quality Enhancement Program, developed to improve and enhance critical thinking and problem-solving in students and allow faculty to employ creative teaching methods.

The Faculty Development Steering Committee will offer a retrospective of those five years through five-minute presentations by previous grant winners.

The two-hour event will be from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 19, in Clement Hall 212. Designed to allow professors and visitors to filter in and out throughout the day, guests are requested to RSVP online by Wednesday, April 18.

Over the years, projects as varied as service learning trips to Turkey, professional development for STEM teachers, a marketing campaign for tourism in Clay and Macon Counties, and a campus magazine project for journalism students have been funded.

The showcase is designed to allow faculty to refresh their ideas about teaching with inspirational talks with their peers over light refreshments.