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U of M Connection Will Enable Tennessee Students to Participate
For release: Oct. 27, 2006
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Students across Tennessee soon will have access to one of the fastest computer networks in the world, and the University of Memphis will be the primary connection. Internet2, a network consortium of more than 200 universities, has announced that Tennessee’s statewide education network will become the 37th Sponsored Education Group Participant (SEGP) to connect directly to Internet2’s nationwide high performance network. This will give Tennessee’s students access to cutting-edge, Internet-based educational opportunities not available today on the commercial Internet.

 Through this program, made possible through sponsorships by the U of M and the University of Tennessee, teachers and students across Tennessee will be able to collaborate with their peers all over the world in virtual classrooms and laboratories that are revolutionizing the way young students learn, regardless of their physical location.

 “The SEGP program offers students and faculty at all educational levels across Tennessee access to information resources across the state and around the world,” said U of M President Shirley Raines. “Through the advanced networks of Internet2, the Tennessee SEGP program overcomes the traditional barriers of time and distance, allowing students and faculty to collaborate and participate in innovative learning experiences wherever they may be. The University of Memphis is pleased to be a leader in this exciting initiative.” 

 The Tennessee SEGP, which will connect to Internet2’s network through the U of M, brings together Tennessee schools, libraries, community colleges, performing arts centers, and museums.  Students will not only have access to new instructional materials, but also can participate in ongoing national programs developed by members of the Internet2 K20 initiative. In particular, the network will be used promote inter-cultural exchanges through high quality video-conferencing with school districts in Korea, China, and Russia.

 “The Tennessee SEGP program is truly a watershed opportunity for Tennessee,” noted Dr. Doug Hurley, vice president for information technology and CIO at the U of M. “SEGP ‘flattens’ the teaching and research landscape across Tennessee by enabling  sharing and collaboration regardless of location or institutional type, in ways we have only dreamed of before.”

  The Tennessee K20 community will be able to tap into already-established programs under the Internet2 K20 initiative, such as master music classes taught by world-renowned musicians at the New World Symphony or the Manhattan School of Music, using DVD-quality videoconferencing, or events like Megaconference Jr, an annual project that uses videoconferencing technology to bring together thousands of students in elementary and secondary schools from around the world for an all-day learning conference. Tennessee students also can take part in famed oceanographer Bob Ballard’s immersion project to receive live interactive undersea exploration demonstrations from divers in remote locations around the world.

 “It is exciting to consider the educational possibilities for our Tennessee Board of Regents students and faculty through Internet2,” said Paula Myrick Short, TBR vice chancellor for academic affairs. “Real time exposure to people, places, and events around the globe exists though our participation in Internet2 and positions TBR on the cutting edge of learning in our colleges and universities.”

 Tom Danford, TBR chief information officer, added, “This SEGP opportunity will enable innovators in the universities, community colleges, and libraries of the Tennessee Board of Regents to participate in pioneering regional, national and international networking programs.”

The University of Memphis, founded in 1912, is a metropolitan research university.  With 200 buildings on four sites covering 1,160 acres, it has a student population of approximately 20,600, and a faculty and staff numbering about 2,500.

 A member of the Tennessee Board of Regents System of four-year universities and colleges, two-year community colleges, and technical centers, the U of M offers 15 bachelor’s degrees in more than 50 majors and 70 concentrations, master’s degrees in more than 45 subjects, and doctoral degrees in 21 disciplines, in addition to the juris doctor (law) and specialist in education degrees.

The University of Memphis is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor’s, first professional, master's, educational specialist’s, and doctoral degrees. Individual colleges, schools and departments are accredited by the appropriate agencies.

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