Director, Tennessee STEM Education Center (TSEC)
office: Room 102 Fairview Building
mail: MTSU Box 82 | Murfreesboro, TN 37132
The Director of Mathematics and Science Education leads the STEM Education initiatives of the college and coordinates grant funded projects related to STEM Education P-20. The Director manages and leads the Tennessee Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education Center (TMSTEC) a STEM Education Center with a statewide mission. The Director also coordinates STEM education projects across the college and between the College of Basic and Applied Sciences and the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, as well as facilitating partnerships with other universities, and state and federal agencies. Additionally, the Director administers the Tennessee NASA Educator Resource Center.
Dr. Cheatham obtained his Bachelor of Science degree at Campbellsville University and his Master's degree and Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky. Dr. Cheatham taught mathematics and computer science at Samford University in Birmingham Alabama from 1971-1980. In 1980, he accepted a position in the Computer Science Department at Western Kentucky University where he taught nearly every course in the BS and MS programs. He was a NASA Summer Research Fellow at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena in 1989 and 1990. He left WKU in 1990 to become Chair of the Computer Science Department at MTSU. In 1987, Dr. Cheatham was selected as Western Kentucky University's Outstanding Teacher, an honor which he still cherishes. Teaching is still very much a part of his life and an endeavor to which he commits much energy and time. He was honored by MTSU in 1999 when he was selected to receive the MTSU "2000 Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Technology." Dr. Cheatham also enjoys cooperative research with colleagues and students.
Dr. Cheatham has a wife Carole and two grown children Christopher and Emily. Carole is a dietitian at the Alvin C. York VA Medical Center. Christopher is a Medical Doctor and Emily is a college student at MTSU majoring in fashion design. Besides work, Dr. Cheatham enjoys boating, a game of racquetball with his students and friends, and watching University of Kentucky basketball.