News & Events

Day of ServiceDr. Illya Tietzel dumps some dirt.
Day of ServiceBKX and NIS members finish the day. Photos by Eddie Francis.

Science majors team up with athletes for day of service

April 7, 2011


Members of Beta Kappa Chi Scientific Honor Society and SUNO’s National Institute of Science chapter united with members of theSUNO women’s basketball team to lend a helping hand to doing community service at City Park. The science majors and student athletes visited field number eighteen at Harrison and Marconi Blvds. to help lay down new clay for the softball leagues. The service project took place on Saturday, April 2nd.


“There are going to be a lot of happy players (when they see this),” said Lori Colgan, the Assistant Commissioner of the NOLA Softball League and manager of one of the teams. Colgan said that after the league bought the clay, there was no one to help the leagues do the hard part. She was going to ask the players to do the dirty work, and they would have had to play the next day. Eight leagues use the fields at City Park, inlcuding a youth league.


The SUNO students arrived at 9 a.m., and worked consistently for the next couple of hours. Later in the morning, students from Tulane University arrived to lend their backs to the process to give City Park nearly fifty volunteers on the morning.


The students were joined by Dr. Murty KambhampatiProfessor of Biology, Dr. Illya TietzelAssistant Professor of Biology, Elston King, Athletic Director and Women’s Basketball Coach, and Roshaun Ambrose, Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach.


“This is great!” exclaimed a smiling Jim Morrisson, Volunteer Coordinator of City Park. “You guys really saved the day.”




Biology sophomore one of ten students in the U.S. to land paid summer internship

March 30, 2011


Aurellia Whitmore, a sophomore majoring in Biology will participate in a paid internship at Pennsylvania State University-Harrisburg. Whitmore is one of ten students from around the country who was selected for the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program ten-week program. She maintains a 3.5 GPA, and plans to ultimately pursue her Ph.D. in natural science.


The REU program “supports active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation.” The Penn State-Harrisburg program provides research training for 10 weeks for 10 students in the summers of 2011-2013.


Tietzel teams up with neighboring professor to draw funds from NSF

September 9, 2010




Congratulations to Dr. Illya Tietzel for his work in obtaining part of a $541,807 grant from the National Science Foundation. The funds will be used to train students for careers in biology, according to The Times-Picayune. Dr. Tietzel teamed up with Dr. Carla Penz, Professor of Biology at the University of New Orleans. Dr. Tietzel is an Assistant Professor of Biology here at Southern University at New Orleans.


University fondly looks back at Natural Sciences’ efforts at annual National Institute of Science and Beta Kappa Chi Conference

July 15, 2010


NIS-BKXDr. Joe Omojola shows off a plaque with Dr. Lisa Mims-Devezin and SUNO Natural Sciences students at the NIS-BKX Conference in March, 2010. CLICK HERE TO VIEW MORE PHOTOS.

Southern University at New Orleans co-hosted the 67th Joint Annual National Institute of Science (NIS) and Beta Kappa Chi (BKX) Conference at the Hilton, Riverside, New Orleans, March 24th through 28th. Dr. Ukpolo was present at the opening plenary session to bring greetings to conference participants on behalf of SUNO. Twenty seven LS-LAMP, E3MaS, and SENS Scholars participated in the conference.


Undergraduate research students were supported and encouraged by the research mentor and faculty team, which consisted of Drs. Murty S. Kambhampati, Joe Omojola, Carl P. Johnson, Illya Tietzel, and Heon Kim. Five students (Selam Workeneh, Dorcas Falodun, Raquel Johnson, Demetria Henry, and Brandi Adams) presented their research. Brandi Adams (mentored by Dr. Omojola), Dorcas Falodun (mentored by Dr. Kambhampati), and Raquel Johnson (mentored by Dr. Tietzel) won cash awards in the areas of Biology and Mathematics for their presentations. Throughout the conference, SUNO students and faculty were supported by Drs. Lisa Mims-Devezin and Mostafa Elaasar who also served as judges. Dr. Kim, an Assistant Professor of Mathematics , also served as the chair of the mathematics oral presentation session.


The SUNO team led the High School Student Poster Presentation component under the leadership of Drs. Kambhampati, Omojola, and Johnson. A total of twenty seven science posters in the areas of biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, environmental sciences, and earth sciences were presented by high school students. Awards were given to the top three posters and a teacher who mentored maximum number of science projects. Kevin Akor, a SUNO Biology graduate and a teacher at the Greater Gentilly High School won an American Express Gift Card for his mentoring efforts in science.


SUNO Biological Science Club chapter presidents and their executive members, Demetria Henry (Tri Beta Biological Honor Society), Katherine Boykin (National Institute of Science Honor Society), and Ashley Cagle (Beta Kappa Chi Scientific Honor Society), won praises from the organizations’ national leadership teams for their successful execution of conference activities.


Khambhampati and Maldonado earn national mentoring awards

October 7, 2008


Minority Access Award

Left to right: Dr. Murty S. Kambhampati, Dr. Joe Omojola, Ms. Carmen Maldonado and Ms. Andrea D. Mickie (President, Minority Access, Inc.)


Dr. Murty Kambhampati (KAM-bahm-PAH-tee) received the National Role Model Faculty Award along with SUNO student Carmen Maldonado (’09), who received the National Role Model Student Award from Minority Access, Inc.  The two received the award at the 9th Annual National Role Models Conference Banquet on September 28, 2008 in Arlington, Virginia.


Dr. Kambhampati received the award in recognition of his outstanding dedication and commitment to mentoring minority and women undergraduate students at SUNO and elsewhere.  Ms. Maldonado is the first undergraduate student from SUNO to receive the national award.


In late spring 2008, Dr. Joe Omojola (OHM-oh-JOH-lah), professor of math and physics from SUNO, nominated Dr. Kambhampati and Ms. Maldonado (upon the recommendations of her mentor) for the award.  Dr. Omojola was a recipient of the 2006 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from the National Science Foundation.