TLSAMP students showcase research at conference in...

TLSAMP students showcase research at conference in Murfreesboro

Nearly 250 undergraduate and graduate students from six Tennessee colleges and universities are participating in the ninth annual Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance in Minority Participation Research Conference.

The Feb. 3-4 event is being held at the Embassy Suites Murfreesboro Hotel and Conference Center. “Tomorrow’s Leaders Standing and Meeting the Promise in STEM” is this year’s theme.

Mim Thomas

Participating schools include the University of Memphis, LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Vanderbilt University, Tennessee State University, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and MTSU, the host university.

About 30 of MTSU’s 130 TLSAMP students will be attending the conference, said Mimi Thomas, the director of MTSU’s program.

“We have a very diverse group,” Thomas said, adding that December graduate Sean Marume made a special trip from New York to present his math research with mentor Dr. Russell Church because the conference, which usually is held in November, had a change in dates. Marume is expected to attend grad school at MTSU, she said.

Some students will be involved in an interactive poster judging tonight. Other students will make oral presentations on Saturday. Awards will be announced following lunch Saturday.

“This gives them the opportunity to present scientific research,” Thomas said. “It gives them exposure of presenting and networking. The ultimate goal is to get them to return for graduate study in STEM and, ideally, to get their Ph.Ds.”

Dr. Peter Cunningham, associate dean of MTSU’s College of Graduate Studies, will be among the grad-school administrators making recruiting pitches for students. For more information about TLSAMP at MTSU, visit

— Randy Weiler (