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Outreach and Community Learning Services

B.O.S.S. 2017 Sessions

Press “Details” below each session for a description of the session and presenter information.

Hidden Figures: The Secrets to Success in STEM

presented by Kertesha Riley  
Description: So you like science, technology, engineering, or math – but how does that help you choose a career? Not sure how you can be successful after high school? Then this workshop is for you! Come learn about the secrets to being successful, using examples from the 2016 film “Hidden Figures;” how to gain necessary experience; and – most importantly – the steps you can take NOW to get ahead!

Presenter Bio:

Kertesha Riley is the STEM Career Consultant in the Center for Career Development at the University of Tennessee. In her role, Kertesha counsels students on career options, job and internship search strategies, graduate school planning, and transitioning to life after UTK. Having spent a significant portion of her undergraduate career in a STEM field, Kertesha truly connects to the passions, interests, and even struggles that students in STEM majors sometimes encounter, and enjoys helping them navigate their career path!

STEAM & Cross-Disciplinary Curiosity: Collaborations Between the Arts, Sciences, & Humanities

presented by Ashley Maynor                        
Description: Think STEM is boring or lacks creativity? Think again! Ashley Maynor (Digital Humanities librarian) will showcase how students and faculty in the sciences are collaborating with those in the arts and humanities to create innovative, relevant, and exciting projects. From shedding light on how diseases spread to raising awareness of endangered species, come see how the possibilities for collaboration across disciplines are endless.

Presenter Bio:

Ashley Maynor is an award-winning filmmaker, librarian, and scholar who uses digital (and analog) technology to tell compelling stories. As Digital Humanities (DH) librarian for the University of Tennessee she helps scholars learn to use media and DH tools and how to effectively collaborate on non-traditional research projects.

Biodiversity Counts!

presented by Suzanne Lenhart                        
Description: What is biodiversity, and what’s math got to do with it? Come find out during this hands on session where you will get to be an ecologist, making sense of biodiversity data using a tool called Simpson’s Index. Which ecosystem has more diversity? The answer is in the data. Use probability to find out!

Presenter Bio:

Suzanne Lenhart is the Associate Director for Education and Outreach at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS). She is also a Professor in the Mathematics Department at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and a part-time member of the research staff at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Majoring in Engineering at the Tickle College of Engineering

presented by the College of Engineering Ambassadors: John Dooley & Parker Tooley                        
Description: There has been a recent national and international focus on increasing the number of students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) disciplines. A major in Engineering allows a student to enter some of the most cutting-edge professions. In this session, the College of Engineering Student Ambassadors will provide an overview of the discipline of Engineering, review the different majors available in the College of Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and discuss the path to take to enter an Engineering field. They will discuss their personal experiences with study abroad, internships, co-ops, and research assistantships. Finally, they will have a hands-on activity to demonstrate some of the ways Engineers work together to solve problems.

Presenter Bios:

John Dooley is a Senior in Chemical Engineering. He loves investigating different chemicals and observing the colors, flashes, and bangs that they produce when they react. In high school he knew he wanted to work with chemicals, so he was originally a chemistry major Freshman year. When he learned that chemical engineers apply chemistry principles and actually produce chemicals, it seemed like a natural choice. What he loves about the University of Tennessee and the College of Engineering is that it has every tool he can imagine. This ensures that his success is only limited by his own ambition. He has used heat exchangers, 3D printers, and countless other tools that have assisted him in coursework. He plays trumpet in the UT Jazz Big Band, is a Student Alumni Associates Member, and is in the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society. He has also spent two years competing on the UT Ballroom Dance Team and been on several intramural teams. He loves UT because anything you can imagine is offered and the only limiting factor is time to do it all! Parker Tooley is a Senior studying Computer Science here at UT. He loves video games, his two dachshunds, and meeting new people. He has had two internships and is glad he picked a big friendly school like UT. He says the most important part of his college experience has been learning how to succeed in Engineering. He loves learning more about computers and UT has provided a great environment to do so.

The Science of Nutrition

presented by Betsy Anderson Steeves                        
Description: Why should we think about what we eat? Because 5 of the 10 leading causes of death have direct ties to our diet. Helping people ‘choose what they chew’ is can improve health and save lives. From the cellular to the population level, nutrition professionals work in a variety of areas to understand a vast spectrum of nutrition and health-related issues. Career options in the field of nutrition play a key role in helping people eat well and live healthier lives, free of disease. This presentation will provide an overview of potential careers in nutrition along with healthy eating messages.

Presenter Bio:

Betsy Anderson Steeves, PhD, RD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Anderson Steeves is a Registered Dietitian with training in nutrition science and public health nutrition, and an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the premiere professional organization for nutrition professionals. Co-presenters will include graduate-level nutrition students Marissa McElrone, Ruth Zegel, and Alexandra Alford.

Paper Helicopter Design Optimization by Experimentation

presented by Xiaojuan Zhu                        
Description: The objective of the presentation is to show how to use the design of experiment (DOE) to identify a design of a paper helicopter having maximum flight time. Different types of design were performed by changing a paper helicopter wing length, base length, and materials to achieve the objective. The response variable for this experiment was the time it takes for the paper helicopter to drop from one point to the lower point (i.e., secs /3 feet). A mixed-effect model was applied to the data set to identify an optimal design.

Presenter Bio:

Xiaojuan Zhu is a statistician at Office of Information Technology Research Computing Group. She holds a doctoral degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Working as a statistical consultant, she assists UT students, faculty, and staff members with data analysis in R, SAS, and SPSS ranging from a research project to dissertation or thesis. She is also the UT site license administrator of MATLAB, LabVIEW, and Origin.

Graphical Problem Solving: Connecting the Dots

presented by Danielle Burton, Brittany Stephenson, Elise Weir, & Maggie Wieczorek  
Description: During this session, students will become familiar with basic terms and concepts of graph theory, including graph coloring. They will learn how to apply graph coloring techniques to solve real-world problems. In particular, they will work together to create a schedule for a Mario Kart tournament and arrange acts in a talent show.

Presenter Bios:

Danielle Burton is a Graduate Teaching Associate in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Tennessee. Danielle is working on her PhD in mathematics, with an emphasis in mathematical biology. She teaches Calculus I, where she enjoys applying best practices in teaching to foster deep conceptual understanding. Brittany Stephenson is a Graduate Teaching Associate in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Tennessee. Brittany is finishing up her graduate work and will soon receive her PhD in mathematical biology. She enjoys developing new materials to make difficult concepts more accessible to students and spending time with her two dogs. Elise Weir is a Graduate Teaching Associate in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Tennessee. Elise will be finishing up her Ph.D. program soon, and her research involves using computational algebra to understand problems in geometry. She also enjoys incorporating technology in her classes and playing board games. Maggie Wieczorek is a Graduate Teaching Associate in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Tennessee. Maggie is in her third year of graduate studies in mathematics, working toward earning a PhD. She loves teaching math courses at the University and connecting with others through mathematics and baked goods.

Forest Pathology and Conservation Research

presented by Denita Hadziabdic & Sarah Boggess                        
Description: Our research focuses on population genetics of fungal plant pathogens, population biology, forest health/pathology, and conservation efforts of native plants. We will highlight some of the projects we are investigating and the effect they have on environment and economy. Increase in both native and introduced pathogens as a result of climate change have provided numerous opportunities in basic and applied research. Our program’s main goal is to utilize novel genetic and genomic tools to integrate molecular data into pragmatic management decisions and provide solutions for preservation of biodiversity, conservation of native species and overall tree improvement strategies.

Presenter Bios:

Dr. Denita Hadziabdic Guerry is a Research Assistant Professor at Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. Her research focuses on population genetics of fungal plant pathogens, population biology, forest health and forest pathology, diversity and conservation efforts of native plants. Her primary research centers on understanding host pathogen-insect interactions with a focus on Thousand Cankers Disease (TCD) complex. She is interested in determining the key factors and mechanisms involved in host-pathogen insect symbioses to understand the evolutionary dynamics and disease ecology in black walnut trees. Sarah Boggess, the University of Tennessee B.S. graduate in Plant Science and a M.S. in Entomology and Plant Pathology, is currently employed as a Research Coordinator at the University of Tennessee’s Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. She provides statistical analyses support, isolates and cultures fungal pathogens from diseased plant materials, isolates extracellular fungal enzymes, determines disease progression, isolates DNA and RNA from plants and insects for subsequent primer development and population studies, and analyzes the results of sequencing performed by different platforms. She also oversees undergraduate student research assistants, and assists with graduate students’ and visiting scholars’ research projects. Dr. Romina Gazis-Seregina is a postdoctoral fellow in Hadziabdic lab. Her principal interest focuses on the ecology, evolution, systematics and biodiversity of fungi. Her research uses a synergy of modern molecular and traditional morphological methods to develop and test evolutionary hypotheses. She seeks to study the evolutionary history of fungal organisms to understand the mechanisms behind the different kind of symbiosis, from parasitism to mutualism. In her current position, she is studying the interactions among the host, the insect vector, and the causal fungal agent of Thousand Cankers Disease complex.

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