April 2020 Issue of the Alumnus
President Oldham gives update on COVID-19 and Tennessee Tech
In his latest video message on COVID-19 and Tennessee Tech, President Phil Oldham provides an update on the status of campus, explains the steps taken by Tech to keep students and employees safe, and thanks faculty and staff who continue to help students (and the entire Golden Eagle community) during this time.
Tennessee Tech alumnus changes business strategy to help fight COVID-19
A Tennessee Tech alumnus is finding a unique way to help medical offices fight COVID-19. Adam Pogue, who graduated from Tech in 2004 with a degree in Management Information Systems, started his own business, Froggy's Fog, in his hometown of Columbia, TN, the following year. Some of Froggy's most notable clients are Disney, Universal Studios, Sea World, Warner Brothers, Cirque du Soleil, Frozen on Broadway, and many more. Now, Pogue is using one of the main ingredients normally used in making fog to make hand sanitizer instead.
Tech names new vice president for research
“Dr. Taylor has over 20 years in progressive senior administrative roles at research institutions and an extensive background in research and economic development,” said Tech President Phil Oldham.
Currently, Taylor is the assistant vice chancellor for Research and Innovation, and the director of Sponsored Programs, at the University of Arkansas. Prior to her current role, Taylor served at multiple institutions as a director involved with grants and research, including Vanderbilt University and the University of Louisville. At Vanderbilt, she was the assistant director of the Office of Sponsored Programs.
Tech alumni on the front lines of COVID-19 test development
Two Tennessee Tech chemical engineering alumni are on the front line in the development of faster COVID-19 testing.
Amber Monroe, a 2018 chemical engineering graduate from Rockwood, and Mikenah Rogers, a 2019 chemical engineering graduate from Kingston, both work at Integrity Laboratories in Knoxville. The lab received emergency clearance from the Federal Drug Administration in March to develop COVID-19 tests, which enables the lab to get results in hours, not days.
Funds raised through "I Heart Tech Students" Campaign making a difference for students impacted by COVID-19
Tech faculty, staff, alumni, and friends provided $418,363 in support for the "I Heart Tech Students" Campaign and the areas that keep students enrolled during tough times. And it's hard to imagine a tougher month than March 2020. Tech barely had time to heal after the March 3 tornadoes before COVID-19 changed the way we live, work, and learn. While operations on campus have changed, our commitment to education has not. Thanks to donor support, students still have access to the resources they need the most right now.
Funds raised have allowed Tech's Counseling Center to continue their 24-hour crisis hotline and introduce a new online wellness program for mental health. After the March tornadoes and COVID-19, visits to Tech's Food Pantry increased. Volpe Library remains open to serve students and thanks to donors, the new auxiliary food pantry located in the library is fully stocked. Private support ensures the Accessible Education Center can continue to make Tech's academic and digital environment more accessible for students and their professors. Applications for the Eagle Assistance Grant (EAG) continue to increase. Several students lost everything in the tornadoes, and now students are losing their jobs due to COVID-19. The EAG is 100% donor-funded, and Tech is grateful to have an emergency grant that assists students at risk of withdrawing from school due to a lack of finances.
This is a challenging time, but the support of alumni and friends is making life a little easier for Tech students.
Tech to participate in #GivingTuesdayNow May 5
#GivingTuesdayNow is a new global day of giving and unity that will take place on May 5, 2020 -- in addition to the regularly scheduled Dec. 1, 2020 #GivingTuesday -- as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. Tennessee Tech will focus its #GivingTuesdayNow efforts on the Eagle Assistance Grant (EAG), an emergency need-based grant awarded to students who have exhausted all other financial aid options. Many Tech students have lost employment due to COVID-19, and applications for the EAG continue to increase. While we recognize that many alumni and friends may not be able to help financially right now, we hope you'll follow us on social media on May 5 and help spread the word. Together we give. Together we help. Together we heal. Together we stand.
Tennessee Tech Athletics launches Wings Up Weekly podcast
Tennessee Tech Athletics recently launched a new weekly podcast focused on keeping Golden Eagle fans connected to Tech sports. The first episode features Athletics Director Mark Wilson who discussed how COVID-19 has impacted Tech's coaches and student-athletes, and the second episode features Tech football head coach Dewayne Alexander who was recently named Tech's Coach of the Year!
Tennessee Tech Today radio show offers in-depth look at successes of students, faculty, and staff
If you have not yet discovered Tennessee Tech's radio show, now is a great time to do so! Hosted by director of communications and marketing Buddy Pearson, Tennessee Tech Today is a weekly radio program that highlights the successes of bold, fearless, and confident students, faculty, and staff. The Apr. 10 show featured Tech alumnus and winner of season 17 of The Voice Jake Hoot and his song "Tennessee Strong," which is dedicated to the victims of the Mar. 3 tornadoes. The Apr. 17 show included interviews with Tech alumnus and astronaut Barry Wilmore, assistant director of Tech's counseling center Christina Mick, and assistant director of Tech's Cybersecurity, Education, Research and Outreach Center (CEROC) Eric Brown.
Crawford Alumni Center launches new virtual book club
What's better than reading a great book? Why, discussing it with your fellow alumni of course! That's why the Crawford Alumni Center is pleased to announce a new virtual book club, open to anyone with a connection to Tech. The first book we'll read and discuss is Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover. To join, click the link below to request access to the private Facebook group. If you have any questions or suggestions for books to read in future months, please email us at email@example.com. Be sure to join the group today to get to know your fellow book club members, and we'll discuss Part 1 of Educated on May 15!
Community of Tech alumni advances space exploration at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
At NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, AL, there is a team of scientists, engineers, computer programmers, and business professionals who solve complex technical problems, advance technologies, and develop science instruments and complex space systems. And within that team are approximately 80 Tennessee Tech alumni who are advancing the mission of space exploration. Three Tech alumni and MSFC electrical engineers--Leigh Anne McMahon, John West, and DeLisa Wilkerson--say they are grateful for the education they received that prepared them for such challenging yet rewarding careers.
"Tech Took Us There" features alumni who credit their Tennessee Tech education for helping them achieve success in their careers. Do you believe your Tech education helped prepare you for a successful career? If so, we'd love to hear about it! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tech waives graduate school entrance exam for summer and fall 2020 entry terms
Tennessee Tech is waiving the graduate school entrance exam for summer and fall 2020 entry terms. If you are interested in a graduate degree, this is an opportunity to save money and avoid stress. Apply now!
Crawford Alumni Center offers trivia, games, activities for all ages
Have you joined us for one of the Tech Trivia Live events we've been hosting on our Facebook page? We hope to do additional trivia events in the future so be sure to follow us on Facebook to get the latest information. If you haven't been able to join us for a Tech Trivia Live event but enjoy Tech trivia, here's a question for you:
The first issue of The Oracle, the Tennessee Tech student newspaper, was published on April 25, 1924, four years after its predecessor. Prior to The Oracle, Tech's newspaper was the Tech Dynamo. Many alumni may not know that Tech had another newspaper, published sometime in between The Oracle and the Tech Dynamo, but only for one issue. The very first issue of The Oracle in 1924 actually had a headline about this newspaper, announcing it had retired after just one issue in favor of The Oracle. To date, a copy of this elusive one-issue-only newspaper cannot be found, and the actual date it was published is unknown. Name that newspaper.
If you know the answer, email us at email@example.com. We'll randomly select one of the correct answers to win some Tech swag!
We've also created some Tech-themed coloring sheets and a word search for alumni and their children and grandchildren. We'd love to see your completed word search or coloring sheet! Email us pics at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What professor changed your world?
What professor changed your world? Email us at email@example.com, and you might see your favorite professor story in a future edition of The Alumnus!
Tennessee Tech University Archives and Special Collections is pleased to introduce Assistant Archivist Hannah O'Daniel McCallon. Hannah joined Archives and Special Collections in February, and her work will primarily focus on assisting researchers with locating what they need in archives, transferring university records to the archives, and collecting materials that document the history of the Upper Cumberland region. Learn more about Hannah via the link below.
University Archivist Megan Atkinson is responsible for collecting, preserving, and making accessible materials of historical significance to the University and the Upper Cumberland. Follow Archives and Special Collections on Facebook, or email Megan's office with questions, and watch for more "Archives with Atkinson" in future editions of The Alumnus.
COVID-19 continues to change how we live, work, and learn, and unfortunately, many Tech alumni have been furloughed or laid off. In this month's Career Corner, Center for Career Development Russ Coughenour shares some encouraging advice about job opportunities, the "new normal," and how best to position yourself to find new employment.
Please note that the HireTennessee events previously scheduled for this spring have been rescheduled for October. HireMemphis will be held on October 8, 2020, at The Great Hall & Conference Center in Germantown, TN, and HireTennessee will be held on October 15, 2020, at Gaylord Springs Golf Links in Nashville, TN. If you plan to attend a career fair, be sure to check out Russ's Career Corner blog post on Hiring Events for tips on how to prepare.
Do you have a question about resume writing, interviewing, or career planning? Email Russ, and you might just see your question answered in a future edition of "Career Corner"!
Peyton Abernathy, '17 civil engineering, works for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and was recently deployed to Detroit to build temporary hospitals in support of the Corps' COVID-19 mission. They completed 1,000 pods, nurses' stations, oxygen lines, intake area, decontamination area for nurses, and a hygiene area for patients all in less than 10 days.
Pictured left: Peyton Abernathy in one of Detroit's temporary hospitals
Janet Clayton, '84 biology, will be retiring from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources on June 30 after more than 33 years of service, most recently having headed the Freshwater Mussel Program for the Wildlife Diversity Unit.
Dover Engineering (founded by Phil Dover, '85 civil engineering) is celebrating its 8th anniversary this month. DE is a full service international civil engineering firm headquartered in Jupiter, FL, and specializes in water, wastewater, and municipal infrastructure. DE recently completed a desalinization expansion study in Cabo San Lucas.
Chad Jennings, '95 chemical engineering, was named plant manager for Chevron Phillips Chemical Company in Pasadena, TX, in Sept. 2019 and since then, has brought global perspective to the company. Business and Industry Connection Magazine recently did a story on Chad which is available here.
Daniel Tribble, '15 civil engineering, has been promoted to Manager of Field Services at J. R. Wauford & Co. Consulting Engineers.
Jason Gillespie, '00 M.A. curriculum and instruction, was recently named head men's basketball coach for King University. Read the full story here.
Not one, but two Tech alumni have been named principals for Hamilton County schools. Callie Stewart, '01 Ed.S. instructional leadership, has been named principal of Apison Elementary and Rashaad Williams, '11 Ed.S. instructional leadership, has been named principal of Dalewood Middle. Read the full story here.
Zachary Bailey, '12 B.S. marketing and '14 M.A. exercise science, physical education, wellness, has been named the boys basketball coach at Maui Preparatory Academy. Read the full story here.
Alex Davis, '17 B.S. civil engineering and '19 M.S. civil engineering, has been promoted to a new position with the US Corp of Engineers. He now works with the Hydraulic Engineering Center (a center of expertise with the US Corp of Engineers) and will be moving to California soon to continue in this position.
Attorney Sarah Martin, '05 human ecology, has joined The Higgins Firm where she will work primarily with clients impacted by nursing home abuse and neglect. Read the full story here.
Joe Whitson, '75 B.S. civil engineering and '78 M.S. civil engineering, has joined the Carollo team to lead the new Nashville, TN office. A well-known water leader throughout the region, Joe will provide strategic advice for continued growth and expansion in the Southeast.
Email us your promotions, awards, and other achievements, and we'll share in the next edition of The Alumnus!
Upcoming Tennessee Tech University bookstore sales
Mother's Day Sale April 27-30: 25% off all women's apparel
The University Bookstore also offers some high-end Tennessee Tech items including Cutter & Buck shirts, jewelry & watches, glassware, and home decor items. These items are exclusively sold online, and most are produced on demand so they take about 2-4 weeks for production and shipping. But these are great options if you are looking for something unique for yourself or a nice gift for someone else.
NOTE: The University Bookstore is currently closed to visitors but is still open for online purchases.
The Crawford Alumni Center hopes all students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends stay safe and healthy. Please continue to live Wings Up--just keep a six-foot wingspan between you and your fellow Golden Eagles!