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Open House Features Outstanding Students

By Oscar H. Criner


Scott Minnix, Chair, COSET Board of Directors

The College of Science, Engineering and Technology (COSET) held its annual Open House: Alumni and Partnership Luncheon on Thursday, October 20, 2016, celebrating the achievements of students, alumni and partners over the past year. Many friends, alumni, partners and students filled the Science Building Atrium with excitement. Dr. Oscar H. Criner opened the festivities with a call to lunch at eleven thirty and, because of the number of visitors, began the program a little late after all had been served.

The theme of this year’s open house was “STEM: the Pathway to Success” and Dr. Criner addressed the technological development that pointed that way. He commented on the developing “connected world” as illustrated by the Internet of Things and the developments of the “4th Industrial revolution,” which portends a great future for COSET and its students and alumni.

Dr. Criner presented the COSET “King and Queen,” Mr. George Reed, an industrial technology major and Miss Deja Payne, a biology major. We welcomed our school visitors from KIPP Liberation, Inspire Academy, and Jack Yates High School.


TSU Interim Provost Dr. Bobby Wilson delivering the Opening Remarks.

Dean Lei Yu provided the “State of the College” address, where he emphasized the continued progress toward a full complement of engineering programs. Our featured students provided excellent presentations of their student, research and work experiences. Each described an inspiring college tenure of which the faculty are unabashedly proud.

Mr. Keilon Robinson, a graduating senior pursuing aBachelor of Science degree in Chemistry at Texas Southern University, is a Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Scholar. In addition, he is a Joint Admission Medical Program Scholar, a Tom Joyner Foundation “Hercules Scholar”, and a two-time NASA Texas Space Grant STEM Columbia Crew Memorial Scholar.

Mr. Samuel Kanu is a senior with a double major in Electrical & Computer Engineering and in Mathematics. His current GPA is 3.95. He has been recognized at TSU’s Honors Day Convocations from 2014 through 2016 and has received various scholarships from the University. Samuel is a member of TSU’s National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), serves as President of TSU’s NSBE chapter, and is on the regional board of NSBE serving as the Region 5 International Chair.

Ms. Leandra Stewart is a first year graduate student in Biology. During this past summer, she was given the opportunity to participate in the COSET Summer Undergraduate Research Program. Leandra conducted preliminary research on the effects of alpha-solanine on protein synthesis in stably transfected BEAS-2B cells expressing pmR-ZsGreen1 (GFP). She decided to enroll in the Masters program at TSU to continue working on the research project she started. Her future plans include research with a health related focus and giving back to underprivileged communities.

Mr. Tyrie Goodman Tyrie is in the Master’s degree program in Transportation Planning and Management with a focus in Logistic Management. He is a graduate research assistant, and a COSET Ambassador representing the Transportation Studies Department. Mr. Goodman has also served as a Vice President for the Institute of Transportation Engineers student organization. He is completing his research on “Development of Systemic Large Truck Safety Analysis for TxDOT” working under the direction of Dr. Yi Qi.


COSET Dean Dr. Lei Yu (center right), Associate Dean Dr. Oscar Criner and Biology Department Chair Dr. Warren Williams presenting a Distinguished Alumni Award to Dr. Edwin Cooper.

Mr. Anthony Powell, a graduating senior in Computer Science, is a research assistant and the software development team lead for the Center for Research on Complex Networks Education Outreach Software Development section. He is also, a Sergeant in the Texas Army National Guard, where he serves as a Military Police Investigator and Inter-service Nonlethal Weapons Instructor. At COSET he leads a team of undergraduate student software developers in developing games and educational apps for middle school students in the COSET STEM Enchantment Program and the development of an attendance tracking system for faculty members that has been adopted by professors in the College of Science, Engineering, and Technology.


Dr. Oscar Criner (from Left), Dean Lei Yu, Renae Richard, Diversity Manager of JE Dunn Construction, Marvin Carolina, Vice President of JE Dunn Construction, and Dr. J. Jonathan Lewis.

The Board of Advisors was introduced by its dynamic Chair, Mr. Scott Minnix, who described the activities of the board in promoting the College throughout the business community and other constituencies. He described the planning retreat that the Board had recently to establish its Strategic Plan.

Stirring remarks were provided by Ms. LaKeisha Melton, President of the COSET Chapter of the TSU Alumni Association.

The high point of the program was the recognition of honorees. The 2016 “Partner of the Year” was the JE Dunn Construction Company. JE Dunn has been active in providing internships, employment, and professional development activities to students for over ten years. Mr. Marvin Carolina, Vice President of Diversity of JE Dunn provided a stimulating acceptance address.

The Distinguished Alumni Awards were given to:

  • Derrick Farrow, Department of Aviation Science and Technology
  • Edwin L. Cooper, Department of Biology
  • Kiara A. Taylor-Edinbyrd, Department of Chemistry
  • Ulysses S. Dotson, Department of Computer Science
  • Fernando Valdez, Department of Engineering
  • Felicia Conley Vinson, Department of Environmental and Interdisciplinary Sciences
  • Anthony Tolbert, Department of Industrial Technology
  • Beverly Brown, Department of Mathematics
  • Cassandra Oduola, Department of Physics
  • Mahmoud Salehi, Department of Transportation Studies