Civil Rights Icon Rev. Jesse Jackson Holds ‘Conversation’ at TSU During Tennessee Tour

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Rev. Jesse Jackson, renowned civil rights and social justice crusader, discussed voter registration, education, poverty and the commemoration of Black History Month during a forum at Tennessee State University on Tuesday.

TSU President Glenda Glover organized the forum, dubbed ‘A conversation with Civil Rights Icon Rev. Jesse Jackson.’

President Glenda Glover and the Rev. Jesse Jackson answer questions from the audience during the gathering. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Jackson is making stops and holding discussions in Tennessee as part of efforts leading to the upcoming commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the 1968 assassination of Dr. Martin King Jr.

Jackson, 76, was at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis when King was shot on April 4.

Before coming to Nashville, Jackson made several stops in Memphis, including a “community town hall forum” at Mt. Pisgah CME Church, followed by “special greetings” at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church. He also toured the Collins Chapel Connectional Hospital, a historic center where African Americans could get treatment during the segregation era.

“It is always a treat to have an iconic figure like Rev. Jackson to come to our campus, especially during Black History Month,” Glover said, in welcoming Jackson. “We are just pleased and honored to have him on our campus.”

Asking students, faculty, staff, administrators and visitors in a packed Forum to chant his famous “keep hope alive” line, Jackson said he was concerned about the direction of the nation.

Rev. Jackson, a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, is greeted by members of the organization with President Glover, Miss TSU Kayla Smith, and Associate Vice President and Chief of Staff, Dr. Curtis Johnson. Jackson also received a portrait of himself, done by TSU student Brandon Van Leer. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“What are you doing today to extend Dr. King’s legacy, as we celebrate Black History Month,” he asked. “Making education more affordable, breaking the poverty level among our people, and providing them more opportunities seem farther away every day.”

He said too few have too much and too many do not have much.

“Dr. King was about lifting African Americans out of poverty, but I am sorry to say that today 44 percent of all African Americans make less than $15 an hour. Black institutions like TSU have been the bedrock of education for blacks,  but most survive on the whims of politics. That is not fair,” Jackson said.

To even the playing field, he said, the ballot box is the answer.

“You must register to vote,” he said, lamenting that four million blacks in the Deep South are not registered to vote. “Another 2.2 million who are registered did not vote in the last election.”

Jackson’s message on voter registration and Dr. King’s legacy seemed to resonate with Wesley Reed-Walton, of Chicago, an English major.

“It is just great to see someone who actually knew Dr. King,” Reed-Walton said. “I’m 22, so the only thing I know about Dr. King is what I’ve learned. So seeing someone that was this close to Dr. King is a humbling experience.”

Bryan Mack, of Washington, D.C., a junior architectural engineering and interior design major, agreed.

“I’m ecstatic,” Mack said. “I think this is good for us because we need to listen to someone who’s seen and been through it, to give us that motivation. Because right now, we’re really in a generation where we’re coasting. That flame needs to be lit underneath us. And I feel like this is the perfect time for that.”

“Every student should be registered to vote,” Jackson urged the students.

He said President Trump is calling for a military parade when 23,000 soldiers are on food stamps.

“That is disgraceful. You can change that by voting,” Jackson said.

Before leaving, Jackson, a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, was honored by members of the Greek organization. One member, Brandon Van Leer, a senior graphic design major from Nashville, presented Jackson with a portrait of himself.

Later, Dr. Glover hosted a reception at her residence for the civil rights leader.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU’s Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice to Serve as USA Assistant Coach at IAAF World Indoor Championships

Courtesy: TSU Athletics

INDIANAPOLIS (TSU News Service)  Tennessee State Director of Track and Field Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice will serve as an assistant coach for Team USA at the IAAF World Indoor Championships scheduled for March 1-4 in Birmingham, U.K.

“It means so much to me to be able to continue to help with the USA team this year,” Cheeseborough-Guice said. “I will be assisting with the sprints and hurdles. It is an honor.”

Cheeseborough-Guice, the nine-time Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year, has been involved at the international level since winning gold at the Pan American Games as a 16-year old sprinter. Most recently, Cheeseborough-Guice served as an assistant coach for USA at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.

Also in her coaching career, the Jacksonville, Florida native was an assistant for Team USA at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and was the women’s Head Coach at the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin.

As an athlete, Cheeseborough-Guice won Olympic gold medals with the 4×100-meter relay and 4×400-meter relay teams in 1984 in Los Angeles. She also earned the silver in the 1984 Olympics in the 400-meter.

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

Opioid epidemic highlights Crime Stoppers meeting at Tennessee State University

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Nearly 30 representatives from law enforcement agencies across Middle Tennessee met at Tennessee State University on Feb. 8 for intelligence and information sharing on crime prevention and how to address the state’s opioid crisis.

It was the monthly meeting of Crime Stoppers of Middle Tennessee, which included law enforcement chiefs, officers, detectives and security officers from counties, cities, universities and other jurisdictions in the region. The national opioid epidemic and its impact on the region was a major topic at the gathering.

Trevor Henderson, left, and Nichelle Foster, both from the Metro Health Department, make a presentation on the opioid epidemic, at the Crime Stoppers’ meeting. (Photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

In a presentation, a team from the Metro Public Health Department reported on the level of abuse in the area. In 2016, the group reported, there were 1,631 overdose deaths in Tennessee. Of that number, 281 were in Davidson County. In overdose cases involving the ER, the group reported that the majority of people affected were between ages 18-44.

“This is very serious,” said Trevor Henderson, opioid coordinator in the Metro Health Department.  “We are doing everything possible to keep bringing those numbers down.”

Nichelle Foster, also from the Metro Health Department, made the presentation with Henderson. Foster is from the Division of Behavioral Health and Wellness. She helps individuals recognize the difference between use, abuse and addiction to determine if the individual has substance use or risky lifestyle issues that need to be addressed in a treatment or educational setting.

Recently, TSU joined the fight to address the state’s opioid epidemic. The university implemented a new overdose prevention program to stop deaths associated with misuse and addiction.

Last month, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced an aggressive and comprehensive plan to end the opioid epidemic in Tennessee by focusing on prevention, treatment and law enforcement. Called TN Together, the plan includes providing every Tennessee state trooper with naloxone (NARCAN) for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose.

Under the TSU initiative, certified university police officers will be able to administer NARCAN Nasal Spray, a prescription medicine used for the treatment of an opioid emergency, such as an overdose. The initiative is in conjunction with Nashville Prevention, a division of the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

“Our goal at the TSU Police Department is to minimize the likelihood that someone on our campus dies from an overdose of opiates,” said Aerin Washington, TSUPD’s crime prevention officer, who coordinated the Feb. 8 meeting. “We want to be on the cutting edge of this movement as we strive to serve the community in every aspect that we can.”

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

State lawmakers to experience wave of Tiger Blue at 2018 TSU Day at the Capitol

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee lawmakers will experience a wave of Tiger Blue at the state Legislature on Wednesday, Feb. 14.

TSU President Glenda Glover and administrators, faculty and students at 2017 TSU Day at the Capitol. Photo by John Cross (TSU Media Relations)

Tennessee State University administrators, faculty, students and alumni will be showcasing the university’s research and other innovative initiatives at the annual TSU Day at the Capitol.

TSU President Glenda Glover will kick-off the event with a ceremony at 9 a.m. in Senate Hearing Room II in the Cordell Hull Building. TSU visitors will have a chance to meet with lawmakers, who will see displays from some of the school’s various colleges and departments on the 8th floor of the building.

Robotics, red maple trees, and research presentations will be among the university’s diverse academic offerings.

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of TSU’s College of Engineering, said TSU Day at the Capitol is “always an exciting day for TSU.”

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of TSU’s College of Engineering, talks about life-size robotic tiger designed and built by TSU students at 2017 TSU Day at the Capitol. Photo by Lucas Johnson (TSU Media Relations)

“It allows us to display Tennessee’s investment in higher education, and the great things that are happening here at TSU.”

Emoni White, a sophomore in TSU’s College of Agriculture, agreed.

“I came to Tennessee State University because I wanted to become a vet, but I also get to contribute to the research being done at the farm,” said White, who is majoring in animal science. “I did not realize how much our research had helped small producers not just within the United States, but worldwide.”

Rep. Harold Love, Jr., whose district includes TSU, said he hopes young people in attendance will become more interested in the legislative process, and even try to have a voice in policymaking.

“When we talk about active citizen engagement and forming policy, this is a prime example of what we would like to see from all of our students at colleges and universities across the state,” Love said. “This is what citizens are supposed to do, come down and be actively involved in policy formulation when laws are being passed or proposals considered.”

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

 

 

TSU Freshman lands multi-year internship with Fortune 500 Company

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Braxton Simpson says she came to Tennessee State University because she saw an opportunity to grow and to “push my limits.”

She has not been disappointed.

“After a full semester, I can proudly say that TSU has exceeded my expectations,” says the freshman agricultural sciences major.

Simpson comes to TSU as part of a millennial generation of high achieving students that the university continues to strategically recruit in its effort to improve retention and graduation rates.

In 2016, President Glenda Glover announced sweeping changes that raised admission standards to attract the best and brightest. Minimum requirement for incoming freshmen went up from a 2.25 GPA to 2.5, while the ACT score remained at 19.

Braxton Simpson

The semester following the announcement, school officials said Braxton’s class of 2021 came in as one of the most academically qualified classes in the school’s history, with an average 3.07 GPA. It was also the largest incoming freshman class in school history – 1,500 first-year students – a 17 percent increase over the previous year’s freshman enrollment.

The Atlanta native, who many say is far ahead of her time and definitely pushing her limits, is a member of the Honors College with a 4.0 GPA, and the current Miss Freshman.

At age 19, Simpson is an entrepreneur with two online companies and a high school mentoring program. She also just landed a three-year internship with a Fortune 500 company.

“When I see an opportunity I run after it,” says Simpson, who credits her parents (Michael and Ronnetta Simpson) with the zeal to be ‘assertive and productive.’ They taught me money-management skills and how to brand and market.”

As the oldest of three children, Simpson says her business savvy is helping her to set a good example for her younger siblings. Additionally, she says she majored in agricultural sciences with a concentration in agribusiness to “combine my passion for business and servant leadership.”

An academic standout at Marietta High School, where she graduated with a 4.1 GPA, Simpson is the owner of Girls Got Game, a female athletic apparel company; and Underground Apparel, a “black pride” apparel company. She also mentors high school children through her Black Girls United program that she started while a senior in high school.

This summer, immediately after school and over the next three years, Simpson will intern with Monsanto, one of the nation’s largest agricultural companies. She will be assigned to the company’s world headquarters in St. Louis, for training, and later go onto to Grinnell, Iowa, where she will be involved in seed production.

“I am excited and grateful for this opportunity,” says Simpson. “The TSU Ag department has invested a lot in me since I have been here, especially Dr. (DeEtra) Young. She took me in as a freshman and molded me by sending opportunities my way. She saw the Monsanto commercial for the internship and advised me to apply for it. I did and I was successful.”

Young, an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, is a professor and mentor to Simpson.

She describes Simpson as ‘one of the many excellent students’ at TSU who are determined to be the very best in their field.

“Braxton presents herself as confident, assertive and dedicated,” says Young. She is intelligent, very inquisitive and genuinely values learning.”

According to Young, Simpson has been selected to participate in the highly competitive Agriculture for Future America Leader Institutes, which provides participants with exposure and professional development training.

This summer, in addition to her training with Monsanto, Simpson will receive AFA training in Chicago and Anaheim, California.

“My advisors have pushed me to be the best I can be. I cannot thank them enough for it!  Being in the Land of Golden Sunshine (TSU) has been a blessing, and I am extremely excited about what the future holds,” says Simpson.

Simpson will start her internship with Monsanto on May 14.

TSU First to Host NSF Day in Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Science, engineering and education researchers will have a unique opportunity to gain insight about how to secure research funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) at a workshop on February 22 at Tennessee State University.

The daylong workshop, dubbed NSF Day, will include discussions about how to submit fundable proposals, as well as discipline-specific breakout sessions featuring NSF representatives. This is the first time NSF Day is being hosted in Nashville.

“We are excited to bring an NSF Day to Tennessee State University,” said Holly Brown, NSF Lead for the TSU NSF Day. “Not only do these events provide a phenomenal opportunity for us to share vital information on our proposal and merit review processes, we are able to engage with some of the brightest minds in science and engineering.”

Robert Turner, senior mechanical engineering major

One student who has benefited from TSU’s partnership with NSF is Robert Turner, a senior mechanical engineering major from Nashville, Tennessee. Turner said working on an NSF funded research project has enhanced his experience at TSU in many ways.

“It has given me a perspective on what I would like to do for graduate school,” he said. “It is also exposing me to different technologies that I wouldn’t necessarily get exposed to throughout my undergraduate curriculum.”

After graduation, Turner plans to pursue a graduate degree in material science. He said working with Dr. Frances Williams, associate dean for Graduate Studies and Research in the College of Engineering, has helped him expand his breadth of knowledge and given him the opportunity to network within the field of engineering.

“Dean (Williams) has always been helpful to me by setting me up with the right opportunities and helping me whenever I needed it,” he said. “The other researcher assigned to the project, Dr. Yury Barnakov, has also been helpful, as well as the graduate student that I am working with.”

John Barfield, TSU director of engagement and visibility in the Division of Research and Institutional Advancement, said students are the primary beneficiaries when universities receive research funding.

“Research projects train students to use innovative and new techniques,” he said. “They aid them in becoming accepted to internships, and graduate and medical schools. Research becomes paid jobs and scholarships for students, both of which increase student retention and matriculation rates.”

The NSF is the federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance national health, prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense,” according to the foundation’s website. NSF supports fundamental research in science, engineering and education across all disciplines.

Dr. Marie Hammond, TSU professor of psychology and principal investigator for two NSF grants currently funded at the university, said her research is geared toward constructing a framework for a theory of African American STEM career development.

Dr. Marie Hammond, TSU associate professor of psychology in the College of Education

Hammond said that she, along with a team of other researches at TSU, are attempting to increase the ability of African Americans to commit to and manage their STEM careers to ensure that they have the greatest likelihood of persisting to graduation and into the next phase of their STEM careers.

“The reason this research is so important is because the STEM workforce is primarily made up of Caucasian males.,” Hammond said.  “Think about what we are missing with only 5% of African Americans spread out across all the STEM fields.  What are we missing that African American men and women would pick up on to help improve healthcare, safety and our living environments.”

Hammond has secured close to $2.5 million in funding from NSF during her career at TSU, which has allowed her to hire a total of almost 50 graduate assistants. Currently, she has nine graduate assistants who aid with research, as well as four undergraduate students who collect data.

Nicholas Kovach, research specialist in the TSU Division of Research and Institutional Advancement, said the university secured more than $2 million from NSF in the last fiscal year. He said NSF representatives will be on hand all day to answer questions and personally engage in discussions with attendees.

“This is a rare opportunity,” he said. “The National Science Foundation holds only a few of these workshops each year, at different institutions across the country, and they are coming here to our campus.”

NSF Day provides background on the foundation, its mission, and priorities. Program managers and staff give overviews on proposal writing, programs that fall within and across NSF’s seven scientific and engineering directorates, and NSF’s merit review process.

Presale admission tickets are available on the TSU Research and Sponsored Programs website:  http://www.tnstate.edu/research/. Admission includes parking on the main campus with a shuttle service downtown, breakfast, lunch, and light snacks throughout the day.

For additional information about the NSF Day program, visit www.nsf.gov/nsfdays

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Faculty, Students Present Research at 2nd Honors College Ted Talk

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – TSU Faculty and students from various disciplines presented research and topics on pressing issues at the second Ted Talk organized by the Honors College on Wednesday.

The event, which is part of activities marking Honors Week at TSU, gives students and faculty an opportunity to present their work to the campus community.

Nine presenters discussed topics ranging from cancer research, mobility and transit in Nashville, to fake news in the Trump era before fellow faculty and students in the Robert N. Murrell Forum on the main campus.

Katherine Miller

Katherine Miller, a senior biology major from Nashville, presented on “Developing a Methodology for Single Cell Proteomics Using Aluminum-Treated Switch Grass Roots,” a collaboration between TSU, Cornell University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The goal of the research is to develop a protocol for single-celled proteomics that can have applications in cancer and protein disorders.

“This research has the potential to change medicine as we know it,” Miller said.

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove

Discussing Nashville’s current transit situation, Dr. S. Keith Hargrove said the Music City has experienced tremendous growth, but without a solution to transit and mobility to align with the business and housing growth of the city.

“This presentation provides an overview of the proposed solution and action plan of the mayor’s office,” said Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering and member of the Nashville Transit Coalition. “It also discusses the technology integration as a solution to improve the mobility of the residence of Metropolitan Nashville.”

Other presenters and their topics were:

Dr. Hugh M. Fentress

Dr. Hugh M. Fentress, assistant professor of biological sciences: “Activation of the JAK/STAT Signaling Pathway by the Human Serotonin 2C Receptor”

Farah Ismail

Farah Ismail, sophomore biology major from Cairo, Egypt: “Exposure of Human Immune Cells to Triclosan Alters the Secretion of IFNy”

Rachelle Brown

Rachelle Brown, sophomore psychology major, from Memphis, Tennessee: “Who is She? An Analysis of the Stereotype Surrounding the Black Woman”

Nijaia Bradley

Nijaia Bradley, sophomore, early childhood education major: “Infamous Deception in Black America: An Examination of Abortions, Medicine and Media Portrayal”

Abhilasha Viswanath

Abhilasha Viswanath, junior psychology major from India: “Peripheral Color Contrast Sensitivity Under Perceptual Load”

Leona Dunn

Leona Dunn, junior communications major from Omaha, Nebraska: “Fake News in the Trump Era”

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Cheeseborough-Guice, McMillan, White selected members of Inaugural National High School Track and Field Hall of Fame Class

Courtesy: TSU Athletics 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) Tigerbelle legends Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice, Kathy McMillan and Willye B. White are among the 30 members of the inaugural class of the National High School Track and Field Hall of Fame.

The 2018 class will be inducted during a gala awards dinner on March 8 at the New York Athletic Club. The dinner will take place on the eve of the New Balance Nationals Indoor Championships at the Armory in New York City. Some of the other inductees include legends Jesse Owens, Steve Prefontaine and Jim Ryun, among others.

Cheeseborough, who currently serves as TSU’s director of Track and Field, starred at Ribault High School in Jacksonville, Florida in the mid-1970s. She went on to star for the Tigerbelles and won three medals, including two golds, for the United States at the 1984 Olympics.

McMillan competed for Hoke County High School in North Carolina in the 1970s. She earned the silver in the long jump at the 1976 Olympics.

White, who died in 2007, attended Broad Street High School in Mississippi in the mid-1950s and earned Olympic silver medals in 1956 (long jump) and 1964 (4x100m relay).

The Hall of Fame selection committee included noted track and field historians and statisticians Mark Bloom, Bob Jarvis, Dave Johnson, Mike Kennedy, Joe Lanzalotto, Marjorie Larney, Walt Murphy, Jack Pfeifer, Jack Shepard, Jim Spier and Tracy Sundlun. The Hall will honor three categories of inductees:

  • Athletes: Competitors who have demonstrated exemplary athletic performance while in high school.
  • Coaches: Leaders who have created excellence at the program level, achieving extraordinary results year after year.
  • Contributors: Innovators and game changers. These may include administrators or media members who have elevated high school-age track and field through innovative work and tireless dedication.

For more information on the High School Track and Field Hall of Fame or to view the complete list of inductees and their biographies, visit nationalhighschooltrackandfieldhof.org

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Honda Campus All-Star Team Hopes To Compete for National Title

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Team participated in the National Qualifying Tournament at Spelman College in Atlanta on Saturday, Feb. 3.

TSU defeated Bethune-Cookman and Savannah State Universities, but lost two close games to Morehouse College and Florida A&M University.

After an impressive performance, the team’s goal now is to become one of 48 squads from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) around the nation to advance to the National Championship Tournament in Torrance, California, scheduled for April 7-11.

Dr. John Miglietta, professor of political science, who has served as the team’s coach since 2004, said participating in this event on the national level is important because it showcases the academic talent at the nation’s HBCUs.

“The Honda Campus All-Star Challenge is a great program because it measures students’ knowledge on a variety of subjects such as history, literature, sports, pop culture, science, as well as black history, culture, and literature, etc.,” he said. “It is also important for individual students because of personal and professional networking opportunities with Honda as well students, faculty and staff from other HBCUs.”

Miglietta said the team will find out the week of Feb. 12 if they advance to the national competition. Until then, he said, they will continue to practice three times a week.

Devon Jefferson, a member of the TSU Honors College who serves

Members of the TSU Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Team

as the team’s captain, said understanding the strengths of each team member plays a big role in their collective success.

“I think we have a pretty good team this year,” he said. “It’s not like the strength that each individual on the team has is the only thing they know about. Each individual on this team has widespread interests which relate to the basic knowledge we need when it comes to the competition.”

Jefferson, a junior marketing major from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, said being part of the TSU Honda Campus All-Star Team adds to the members’ academic experiences because of the knowledge they gain while studying and preparing for competition.

“I definitely believe that HCASC has made me better at certain things like taking certain classes and understanding them,” he said. “I might have heard something in passing at practice and then I hear the actual application in class, so it makes more sense to me when I do the work.”

Other Members of the HCASC team who participated in the National Qualifying Tournament are Alexandria Ross, freshmen, economics and Finance major from Memphis, Tennessee; Breanna Williams, senior, music major from Marietta,Georgia; and Terrence George Young, junior computer science major from Knoxville, Tennessee.

Also on the TSU team are Aliyah Muhammad, of Nashville, a sophomore biology major; Donovan Varnell, sophomore political science major, from Nashville; and Micah Williams, sophomore, combined mass communications and military science major from Seoul, South Korea.

“We’ve got a great coach, and we’ve got a great team,” Jefferson added. “Hopefully, we did well enough at the National Qualifying Tournament to make nationals. And if we make nationals, hopefully we can bring the trophy back to TSU.”

TSU has participated in 21 national championship tournaments earning a total of $170,500 in grant money since the inception of the program in 1989. For more info about HCASC, visit www.hcasc.com.

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Offerings, Culture of Diversity and Inclusion Attracting International Students

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Eman Abdulrahman Alharbi spent only three years at Tennessee State University, but she is leaving with a bit of proud history, as the first student from Saudi Arabia to earn a doctorate at TSU.

Eman Abdulrahman Alharbi received an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at last fall’s graduation. (Submitted Photo)

Her history-making feat, though, may be short-lived if the current influx of students from her country is any indication. She is part of a growing number of international students from Saudi Arabia that call TSU home. Records show more than 70 percent of the nearly 570 foreign students at TSU are from Saudi Arabia.

This is a good thing, university officials say.

“Ninety-nine percent of these Saudi students come here fully funded by their government as Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission scholars,” says Mark Brinkley, director of International Education in the Office of International Affairs.

Studies show the surge of Saudi students is not unique to TSU.

Nationally, Saudi Arabia ranks fourth with 4.9 percent of total 1.08 million international students in the U.S., only behind China, South Korea and India.

Students representing various nations, participate in a pageant organized by the Office of International Affairs. (Photo by OIA)

An annual report by the Institute of International Education and the State Department shows that the number of international students in the United States increased by 3.4 percent over the prior year. The rise marks the 11th consecutive year of expansion in the number of foreign students in the U.S. This is also a dramatic jump from the fewer than 600,000 who studied here just a decade ago, according to the report.

Experts attribute this rise to expanded higher education opportunities. At TSU, Brinkley says the university is offering what the students want and providing an environment that makes them want to stay, and that makes others want to come.

The biggest draw, he says, is the university’s highly accredited engineering program.

Saudi students offer a Taste of Saudi Arabia during a cultural festival at TSU (Photo by OIA)

“They select TSU because we have been able to offer the majors that they want to enter, particularly in the field of engineering,” says Brinkley. “Well over half of our engineering majors are SACM students.”

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the TSU College of Engineering, is not surprised by the influx of foreign students in his program. He says in addition to quality, the TSU program is designed around providing students an environment that appreciates differences in culture, race, origin and background.

““Our goal in the College of Engineering is to produce what we call the ‘global engineer,’ says Hargrove.  “This is a graduate who is prepared to demonstrate technical competency to work anywhere in the world. This objective has been supported by our study-abroad program and the invitation to international students to complete their engineering degree at TSU.”

South American students provide entertainment at a cultural festival on campus (Photo by OIA)

For Alharbi, who earned an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at last fall’s graduation, the TSU culture of diversity and inclusion was the welcoming factor.

“My advisor at MTSU (Middle Tennessee State University) where I received my master’s degree, recommended me to Tennessee State University, and I am glad I came,” says Alharbi. “The people made me feel at home. TSU has great professors, who never gave up on me even though there was a language barrier.”

Alharbi is not alone. Even though these international students come very determined to succeed, the language barrier can be a major stumbling block for many – not just Saudis. This is another area where TSU stands out – helping students navigate the language difficulty and succeed.

Officials of the Office of International Affairs: Mark Brinkley, Director of International Education, left; Dr. Jewell Winn, Executive Director of OIA; and Mark Gunter, Director of International Affairs (Photo by OIA)

Dr. Trinetia Respress is the interim assistant dean in the College of Education, who also mentored and advised Alharbi. She says professors must “actually be ready to go beyond and give extra support” to help these international students overcome the language barrier.

“As a person, I saw Eman to be a very tenacious and determined person who wasn’t going to allow anything to turn her around,” says Respress. “It is that she actually wanted it and she went after it. She is a very good student and very bright.”

Alharbi earned her doctorate in three years at TSU. Her interest is in higher education accreditation with a goal to help more Saudi universities gain international accreditation. And Her dissertation, “Preparing Saudi Universities for International Accreditation in the Area of Government and Leadership,” reflects that desire.

“My plan is to work with Saudi universities in evaluating outcomes and assessing the weaknesses and strengths in helping them get international accreditation,” says Alharbi. “I want to work with accrediting agencies and to bridge the disconnect between universities in the United States and my country in the area of accreditation.”

According to Brinkley, Alharbi represents the kind of “international ambassadors” that TSU cultivates.

“In most instances, our surge is the result of word-of-mouth referrals about the culture here at TSU being supportive,” says Brinkley. “That’s what draws them here. They find our programs to be academically and culturally supportive by offering the majors they are looking for and an environment suited to their needs.”

Department of Media Relations

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About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.