Cadence Count: Clemson University Graduate School

 

Here’s just a snapshot of what graduate students contribute to the Clemson Experience:

One in five active Creative Inquiry teams is led or co-led by a Clemson graduate student.The vast majority of our alumni are undergraduates, and for many of us, when we talk about the “Clemson Experience,” we’re thinking about those four (or more) years we experienced on campus working on our bachelor’s degrees.

What you may not know is that 20 percent of current Clemson students are graduate students, working on master’s or doctoral degrees in fields as diverse as Clemson graduate theses and dissertations have 500,000+ downloads around the world.human-centered computing, automotive engineering, and travel and tourism. While those students go to class and perform research, they also teach and run labs, work in departments across campus, and add to Clemson’s reputation in the world with their transformative research.

Clemson Degrees conferred

 

Clemson Center for Human Genetics opens in Greenwood

Self Regional Hall, a new 17,000-square-foot, state-of-the art facility that will house the Clemson University Center for Human Genetics, has opened on the campus of the Greenwood Genetic Center.

The facility will enable Clemson’s growing genetics program to collaborate closely with the long tradition of clinical and research excellence at the Greenwood Genetic Center, combining basic science and clinical care. The center will initially focus on discovering and developing early diagnostic tools and therapies for autism, cognitive developmental disorders, oncology and lysosomal disorders. The building will house eight laboratories and several classrooms, conference rooms and offices for graduate students and faculty.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in six children between the ages of 3 and 17, roughly 15 percent, suffers from some type of developmental disorder.

“Opening Self Regional Hall means that we will be able to do even more to help children with genetic disorders, and their families, and to educate graduate students who will go out into the world and make their own impact,” said President James P. Clements.

“As the parent of a child with special needs, the kind of research that you are doing here is especially meaningful and important to me and my family,” Clements said during the event. “As you all know, an early diagnosis can make a huge difference for a child and their family because the earlier you can figure out what a child needs, the earlier you can intervene and begin treatment.”

“Self Regional Hall is a state-of-the-art facility that provides the resources our scientists need to understand the genetic underpinnings of disorders,” said Mark Leising, interim dean of the College of Science at Clemson. “This facility, and its proximity to the Greenwood Genetic Center, elevates our ability to attract the brightest scientific talent to South Carolina and enhances our efforts to tackle genetic disorders.”

The facility’s name recognizes the ongoing support from Self Regional Healthcare, a health care system in Upstate South Carolina that has grown from the philanthropy of the late James P. Self, a textile magnate who founded Self Memorial Hospital in 1951.

“Self Regional Healthcare’s vision is to provide superior care, experience and value. This vision includes affording our patients with access to cutting-edge technology and the latest in health care innovation — and genomic medicine, without a doubt, is the future of health care,” said Jim Pfeiffer, president and CEO of Self Regional Healthcare. “The research and discoveries that will originate from this center will provide new options for those individuals facing intellectual and developmental disabilities, and will provide our organization with innovative capabilities and treatment options for our patients.”

“We are pleased to welcome Clemson University to Greenwood as the first academic partner on our Partnership Campus,” added Dr. Steve Skinner, director of the Greenwood Genetic Center. “This is the next great step in a collaboration that has been developing over the past 20-plus years. We look forward to our joint efforts with both Clemson and Self Regional Healthcare to advance the research and discoveries that will increase our understanding and treatment of human genetic disorders.”

Katsiyannis honored with Class of ’39

Antonis KatsiyannisThe 2016 Class of ’39 Award for Excellence was announced at the December faculty meeting, but the official presentation to Antonis Katsiyannis took place in February in front of the bell that bears the names of all those who share the honor.

Katsiyannis, who holds the title of alumni distinguished professor in special education, is known for his teaching, his research and his service, both in and beyond the University. Now he has the added designation of being an honorary member of the Class of 1939, which endowed the award to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the class. Recipients are chosen by their faculty peers to represent the highest achievement of service to the student body, University and community, state or nation.

“I am humbled with this distinct recognition,” said Katsiyannis. “I am thrilled to be at a university with world class faculty, bright students and dynamic leaders. The spirit of the Class of ’39 is well and alive in all Clemson does!”

Katsiyannis was recently recognized with the 2017 Outstanding Leadership Award by the Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders in recognition of his wide-ranging and exemplary service in the field of special education. He has published 180 articles in legal and policy issues and delinquency in professional journals, such as Behavioral Disorders, Exceptional ChildrenRemedial and Special EducationFordham Urban Law Review, and the Journal of Special Education. He serves as an associate editor for Remedial and Special Education and Intervention in School and Clinic and just completed a five-year term as co-editor of the Journal of Disability Policy Studies.

He has mentored numerous graduate and undergraduate students in publishing in professional journals and serves as a co-investigator of a federally funded grant — Project EXPERTISE. He also is president of the Council for Exceptional Children.
He has served as president of Clemson’s Faculty Senate and has been active in community-based activities for children with developmental disabilities such as TOPSoccer and Challenger League (baseball).

Thin Ice

Assistant Professor of Art Todd Anderson is a printmaker, skilled at transferring beauty and wonder from landscapes onto paper. His most recent project, The Last Glacier, involved hiking more than 500 miles through Glacier National Park over the last six years.

Women, diversity in STEM focus of $3.4 million grant

Like many universities, Clemson struggles with attracting and retaining women and underrepresented minorities as faculty. That problem is magnified in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. Across the campus, 35 percent of full-time faculty are women. In STEM departments, the percentage drops to 19. When racial diversity is factored in, the statistics are even grimmer. Only one of the 509 STEM faculty members is an African-American woman; two are Hispanic women.

In an effort to improve those numbers, Clemson has launched an initiative funded by a $3.4 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to create an inclusive academic culture so women and underrepresented minorities are encouraged to enter and remain in academia. While the national initiative is called ADVANCE: Increasing Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers, Clemson’s program is nicknamed Tigers ADVANCE, and it has a greater goal: to build a culture that encourages diversity, inclusiveness and acceptance.

“The impact these STEM fields have on our society is immeasurable,” said Robert Jones, Clemson’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and co-principal investigator of the grant. “We need diverse ideas and perspectives in the academy and in our workforce to tackle the greatest challenges we, and future generations, will face.”

The grant application process, spearheaded by civil engineering professor Sez Atamturktur, took more than two years and countless hours from more than 40 faculty, staff and students. The group identified five major challenges to women in STEM faculty positions at Clemson and established these corresponding goals:
• Transform the culture and improve the campus climate to reduce bias and implicit bias against women and minority faculty.
• Increase the representation of women in STEM fields.
• Ensure equitable workload distributions so appointments to committees, special projects and other non-academic activities are assigned equally across the faculty.
• Enhance faculty mentoring and leadership development to support all faculty and increase retention.
• Implement family-friendly policies to help improve recruitment and retention of world-class faculty.

With Tigers ADVANCE, Clemson will increase the number of women being considered for faculty positions and put measures in place to retain female members. “We will strive to match the representation of women in faculty positions to the number of candidates available for those positions in the national pool,” Atamturktur said.

Of the 14,499 faculty applicants to Clemson between 2010 and 2014, 23 percent were women, 10.7 percent were minority women and 0.7 percent were African-American women. Of all eligible doctoral degree graduates in the country, 53 percent were women, 15 percent were minority women and 7 percent were African-American women.

“Our search committees absolutely are doing a good job of identifying talented women and bringing them to campus,” Atamturktur said. “The problem is the number of women in our applicant pools is very, very low. We’re starting with fewer options.”

Likewise, although women receive tenure and promotions at rates equal to men, women leave Clemson at rates higher than men. Between 2011 and 2014, 56 percent of assistant professors (pre-tenure faculty) who left were women. Among STEM faculty, 28 percent of tenured or tenure-track faculty members who left were women, although women made up only 19 percent of the faculty.

While the NSF grant specifically supports women in STEM fields, Clemson will make its own investment to extend Tigers ADVANCE to non-STEM departments. “We believe this is the only way to achieve institution-wide impact and sustainable transformation,” Atamturktur said. “Five years from now our campus should be a lot more diverse with a more inclusive culture and more openness to new ideas.”

Trustees approve plans for new business building, tennis center

Renderings of the new Clemson Business SchoolAt their February meeting, the Clemson Board of Trustees approved final-phase plans and resolutions authorizing issuance of revenue bonds to construct a new academic building to house the College of Business and a new tennis center on campus. Final approval by the State Fiscal Accountability Authority was granted May 2.Proposed site of Clemson Business School

The business college will relocate from its current home in Sirrine Hall, which was built in 1938. The proposed new 170,000-square-foot business building, scheduled to open in early 2020, includes classrooms and learning laboratories, faculty and administrative offices, study and gathering spaces, and common areas for greater collaboration among students, faculty, staff and business partners.

“This new home for our outstanding College of Business is a key component of the university’s ongoing efforts to provide the type of academic facilities necessary to keep Clemson among the very best public universities in the country,” said Preside James Clements. “We very much appreciate the support from our leaders in state government for this extremely important project and look forward to breaking ground on what will become one of the first business education facilities in the country.

The total project cost, estimated to be $87.5 million, will be funded through a combination of state capital appropriations, state institution bonds and private gift funds.

LMN Architects of Seattle is designing the building in collaboration with the Greenville office of South Carolina-based LS3P, the architect of record.

Scott May of LS3P, the project’s lead architect said careful consideration was given to respecting the character of other buildings on campus, particularly those iconic structures within eyeshot. LMN

“The planning team has created something timeless, by mixing old and new,” May said. “We didn’t want to replicate the likes of Tillman, Like or Godfrey, but rather take cues from them to maintain the campus’s structural harmony.”

The predominately brick and glass towers will feature an open design that includes an atrium. The towers will be connected above ground by an expansive outdoor stairway leading to a place and overlooking Bowman Field, and by an interior hallway on the building’s first floor. In addition to a multitude of technology-equipped classrooms, the building will house faculty and staff support offices, the college’s institutes and many shared learning spaces.

Sirrine Hall, the business school’s current home, will become swing space for people transitioning to new locations on campus due to renovation or new construction.

The proposed tennis center for the men’s and women’s varsity teams will retain existing tennis facilities, including outdoor competition courts and a 700-seat permanent stadium. The new 48,000-square-foot tennis center will include six indoor courts, two outdoor courts, a clubhouse, locker rooms, a training room, equipment rooms, a players’ lounge, laundry, coaches’ offices, a ticket office, public restrooms and related site work.

The total project cost, estimated to be $12.5 million, will be funded either by athletic facilities revenue bonds and/or athletic private gifts. It is scheduled to be completed in winter 2017-18.

Take Two: Twin sisters agree on all things Clemson

Mindy and Megan EarnestMindy and Megan Earnest are fraternal twins who could easily pass for identical. Both are engineering majors in the Calhoun Honors College and active in Tiger Band. It’s easy to see how people get them confused — just ask some of the people who have mistakenly had a conversation with one sister expecting her to be the other.

Hailing from Knoxville, Tennessee, Mindy and Megan both chose Clemson for similar reasons but avoided talking about it before making the big decision. “We announced our final choice at the same time so we didn’t influence each other, but we were also looking for the same things in a school, like a good college town and a nice campus feel. Clemson fit both of those,” said Megan.

Still, the twins went different ways when it came to declaring their major concentrations after freshman year. Mindy, more math minded, settled on electrical engineering, while Megan chose industrial engineering, which offers a more business-focused approach. After completing co-ops at different engineering companies, both sisters say they plan to pursue careers that center on research. And if possible, they’d like to wind up living close to each other. But like many soon-to-be college graduates, they both feel confident in going wherever a job may take them.

Mindy Earnest, Photo courtesy of Christopher Sloan, Imagine! Studios

In music, as in academics, the things the Earnest sisters share are also the things that distinguish them: Mindy plays the trumpet and Megan the piccolo. And while many people with siblings may find it hard to envision spending so much time with a sister or brother, the Earnests see their shared time as a helpful advantage. “There’s always someone to keep you accountable. Back when we were in the same engineering classes we always had someone there to do homework with and ask questions,” said Megan.

Megan Earnest, Photo courtesy of Christopher Sloan, Imagine! Studios

Mindy quickly echoed the sentiment. “There’s always someone there who thinks more like you. It makes it easier to explain concepts to each other,” she said, even when they’re working in different subjects.

Shared memories

Freshman year was a hallmark one for Mindy and Megan, and not just because it was the last time they took a class together. It was also the first time they took the field with Tiger Band.

In 2013, the Tigers opened their football season against Georgia, playing at home. ESPN’s “College GameDay” held its broadcast from Bowman Field early that morning, and by 8 p.m., the sun was setting in Death Valley. Hordes of Clemson fans packed into the stadium, and at the center of the field amid a sea of orange were Mindy and Megan, clad in their uniforms and ready to play “Tiger Rag.”

“It was so loud. You’re used to practicing at band camp when it’s quiet and just us, and then we got to the pregame, and I couldn’t hear anything but the crowd screaming,” said Mindy. “It was surreal. I remember thinking, ‘This is not high school band. This is going to be a fun four years.’”

That game set the tone for the rest of their playing careers. “It’s a really cool feeling,” said Megan. “Every pregame is fun. That one just doesn’t get old.”

Music has always played a large role in the Earnests’ lives. But both sisters agree the best part about Tiger Band isn’t musical, but rather social. “There are so many people in band that I don’t even see Mindy during practice,” said Megan. “It actually works out well because you get to expand your friend groups. She found hers, I found mine, and then we combined them,” Mindy said.

Lean on me

From the big decisions to the smaller ones, the sisters (who are also roomates) seem to be constantly in sync, even unintentionally choosing the same outfit from time to time. According to Mindy, “Whoever comes out first gets dibs.” Agreeing on everything from their favorite spot on campus (the amphitheater) to their favorite Clemson restaurant (Yolk Asian Kitchen), Mindy and Megan are proof that being able to manage heavy engineering course loads, maintain high GPAs in the Honors College and participate in a demanding extracurricular activity is more possible with a good support system in place.

Just be careful — if you run into one sister and mistake her for the other, she probably won’t correct you. “I’ll be walking on campus and hear Megan’s name and think to myself, ‘I should probably just answer,’” says Mindy.

Megan agrees. “Sometimes one of Mindy’s professors will think I’m her, and I’ll just listen. Then when I get home I’m like, ‘Hey Mindy, here’s what they said. You might want to talk to them.’” Now that’s love.

— Courtney Meola ’17

Clemson architecture team develops a new way to build

A team of Clemson architecture students assemble Indigo Pine East, the first structure built using the sim[PLY] construction method. Off-the-shelf plywood is cut by CNC routers into interlocking tab-and-slot pieces that fit together to form a solid, tight frame. With the sim[PLY] method, digital cut files can be emailed to a CNC fabricator, then shipped flat-packed to the construction site, ready to be assembled by hand by unskilled laborers.

Clemson University’s School of Architecture is developing an innovative new construction method that is gaining worldwide attention for its potential market impact in rapid, low-tech sustainable housing.

Using the sim[PLY] Framing System, “With a click of the button, someone could order a custom-cut, flat-packed home online and construct it by hand with the help of their friends and neighbors in a matter of days,” said Kate Schwennsen, professor and director of the School of Architecture.

One of the sim[PLY] Framing System’s innovative advantages is its revolutionary interlocking tab-and-slot connection system (patent pending). Assembly is intuitive and easy; so buildings come together much like a 3D puzzle, using no nails, just steel zip ties and some screws. This means buildings can be disassembled just as easily, without causing structural damage.

“sim[PLY] is faster, safer, easier and more energy-efficient than traditional construction with power tools,” Schwennsen said.

sim[PLY] offers a rapid, low-tech construction solution with a profound reduction in a building’s total carbon footprint. Here’s how:

  • sim[PLY] uses locally sourced plywood and computer numeric control (CNC) fabrication.
  • Construction plans are digital and can be emailed anywhere there is a CNC controller.
  • Components can be pre-cut using off-the-shelf materials, pre-measured and flat-packed, requiring less transport space and smaller vehicles versus other forms of prefabricated structures.
  • Cut pieces lock into place on site with no power-operated tools or heavy equipment required.

sim[PLY]’s evolving impact:

  • A national Department of Defense (DOD) building contractor has looked at sim[PLY] for Rapidly Deployable Housing applications, such as for use in temporary military housing. sim[PLY] is being considered as a potentially cost-saving opportunity to build better structures faster, safer and using less energy on the jobsite.
  • sim[PLY]­ ’s built-in ease of construction makes it an ideal framing model for various types of do-it-yourself housing. Think: tiny homes. To explore this popular housing trend, Clemson’s architectural students have designed an energy efficient sim[PLY] tiny home prototype that could be structurally framed in just one day’s time.
  • Timber is one of South Carolina’s most important cash crops, with an economic impact of $20 billion, according to the Forestry Association of South Carolina. sim[PLY]’s use of plywood would create both a positive economic and environmental impact here at home. Beyond causing a greater demand for timber, wide acceptance of the sim[PLY] process would mean a more diverse and robust use of forest resources; plywood manufacturing, unlike that of lumber, makes use of older, more mature trees.
  • Architectural communities in Italy, Austria and Germany – countries considered to be worldwide leaders in wood construction and sustainable building – have expressed interest in sim[PLY]. Overseas and in the U.S., sim[PLY]’s sustainable performance benefits are compelling.

The sim[PLY] rafter assembly for a CropStop community kitchen.
Image Credit: Clemson University School of Architecture

An example of a sim[PLY] structure in use is the CropStop community kitchen on Lois Avenue in Greenville. The building makes it possible for crop owners to better process their harvests to meet local demand for fresh farm-to-table foods. A new universal CropStop prototype was designed in the fall and could impact global agrarian economies where there is interest in this concept for sustaining local growers and evolving farm communities.

sim[PLY] was first developed by Clemson architectural faculty and students as part of their entry in the 2015 Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition. While their end result was a solar-powered, energy-efficient home, it was just the beginning for the innovative framing system that is proving it has a marketable life of its own.

Architecture student Paul Mosher examines sim[PLY] pieces cut by a Computer Numeric Control device. Sim[PLY]’s interlocking connection technology is patent-pending.

“sim[PLY] is an ongoing, evolving project,” Schwennsen said. “New teams of students are being challenged to optimize the design and create newer, smarter versions to meet the needs of a variety of commercial, government and end-user market applications.”

The School of Architecture and its faculty continue to be leaders in integrating critical and creative research into its nationally ranked accredited graduate program.

The sim[PLY] team includes faculty inventors Dan Harding, Dustin Albright, Dave Pastre, Ulrike Heine, Vincent Blouin and Ufuk Ursoy; and contributing student inventors Anthony Wohlers, Michael Stoner, Eric Balogh, Tyler Silvers, Clair Dias, Alison Martin, Jon Pennington, Jeff Hammer, Will Hinkley, Justin Hamrick, Alexandra Latham, Neely Leslie, Daniel Taylor, David Herrero, Rebecca Mercer, Russell Buchanan, Amelia Brackmann, Paul Mosher, Allyson Beck and Alex Libengood.

Two engineering professors named endowed chairs

Mitch and Carla Norville, Hai Yao, President Clements, Amy Landis, Carolyn and Thomas Hash

Professors Amy Landis and Hai Yao were honored as endowed chairs this past fall in a ceremony where they received endowed chair medallions.

Landis, a nationally respected researcher who came to Clemson in 2015 from Arizona State University, is the Thomas F. Hash SmartState Endowed Chair in Sustainable Development. She coordinates the SmartState Center of Economic Excellence in Sustainable Development, whose researchers are developing technology to collect massive amounts of data that can be deployed to measure everything from water quality in rivers to traffic flow on highways. They hope the data will give policymakers the information they need to manage development sustainably as a growing population and climate change make the task more difficult.

Landis’ hiring was made possible through a $2 million gift from Thomas F. Hash ’69 and matching contribution from the SmartState program, which provides dollar-for-dollar state funding through the S.C. Education Lottery. Hash graduated from Clemson with a degree in mechanical engineering and served as president of Bechtel Systems and Infrastructure before retiring.

Yao, who oversees the Clemson-MUSC Bioengineering Program, is the new Ernest R. Norville Endowed Chair in Biomedical Engineering, based at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. An expert in disorders of the jaw’s temporomandibular joint, commonly known as TMJ, Yao and his team create computer models that predict dynamic changes within the jaw, helping answer critical questions about its pathophysiology for developing new diagnosis and treatment strategies. He also heads up the South Carolina Translational Research Improving Musculoskeletal Health, or SC-TRIMH, which brings together Clemson and MUSC researchers with Greenville Health System clinicians to create models for virtual clinical trials.

The Ernest R. Norville Chair is the result of a $1.5 million gift from Mitch and Carla Norville. Mitch Norville received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1980, and the endowed chair is named after his father. Mitch Norville retired as chief operating officer of Boston Properties and is the owner of Atlantic South Development Inc.

Coming Home to Clemson

The weather was clear the week of Homecoming 2016 as students spent the week constructing floats for the theme of “Coming Home to Clemson.” While floats were going up, another group of students, faculty and volunteers were on the other end of Bowman Field, building Clemson’s 23rd Habitat for Humanity house built since 1997 and providing a local family with affordable housing.