TSU faculty, staff, students excited about total solar eclipse

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s faculty, staff and students are excited about the opportunity to see the once-in-a-lifetime total solar eclipse on Aug. 21.

“This is a big thing,” said Willie Moore, a junior civil engineering major at TSU. “I want to make sure I am in the right place to see it.”

Astronomers say solar eclipses are not uncommon. There are typically two of them each year somewhere on the Earth, but most of the time the very narrow path of the total eclipse is a shadow over the ocean.

The one occurring on Aug. 21 is unique because it crosses the entire United States, and Nashville is the largest city within the entire eclipse’s path.

The last total solar eclipse visible in Nashville was July 29, 1478, according to NASA. After Aug. 21, the next one that can be seen in Nashville will be on Aug. 16, 2566.

“I am really excited about it,” said Peggy Earnest, chief of staff, Office of Student Affairs at TSU. “We are just privileged. We won’t see this again in the same spot in many more years.”

During a solar eclipse, the moon passes between the sun and Earth and blocks all or part of the sun for up to about three hours, from beginning to end, as viewed from a given location.

On Aug. 21, the partial eclipse (when the moon starts to inch over the sun) begins at 11:58 a.m. The start of the full totality (meaning the sun is completely covered by the moon) in Nashville will begin at 1:27 p.m. and ends approximately 1:29 p.m. The partial eclipse ends at 2:54 p.m.

Viewers are asked to practice safety during the eclipse and not look directly at the sun, except when it is completely blocked during the period of total eclipse, or totality.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 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.

Tennessee State University Largest Producer of Teachers in the Nation, New Ranking Shows

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Barris Johnson is not surprised that Tennessee State University is No. 1 among historically black colleges and universities in producing teachers.

“With the kind of rigorous curriculum students go through, TSU deserves to be at the top,” said Johnson, reacting to a new national ranking that lists the university as the highest producer of teachers among the nation’s Top 10 HBCUs.

Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in music education, and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from TSU. He teaches general music and band to 5th – 8th graders at East Nashville Magnet Middle School.

“In just my first year of teaching, I have done so well,” Johnson said. “The number one ranking … shows how hard the faculty and staff work.”

The ranking, by HBCU Lifestyle, a publication that focuses on black college living, noted that TSU’s undergraduate and graduate offerings and concentrations in biology, chemistry and elementary education made the school’s teacher preparation program more attractive. This is the second time in three years the publication has listed TSU as the top producer of teachers.

“Obviously we are very excited about this ranking,” said Dr. Mark Hardy, vice president for academic affairs. “This only shows that Tennessee State University is a leader in this area as is reflected in the quality of students we are graduating.”

Emmanuel Scott, of Atlanta, and a senior music education major, agrees. He said the program has been “everything” he was told when he first arrived at TSU.

“They told me that the program was good and I have not been disappointed,” Scott said. “So when I heard that we were No. 1, I already knew it.”

With a demographic shift that shows that more than 35 percent of students nationwide are black or Hispanic but less than 15 percent of teachers are black or Hispanic, experts say increasing the number of black teachers is critical. And TSU is helping to close that gap.

For the past two years, the university has been one of the top teacher preparation programs in the state, providing “exceptionally qualified” candidates for teaching positions, not only across the state and the southern region, but also the Metro Nashville Public Schools.

For instance, two years ago, as Metro wrapped up the year with the need to hire or name principals to new assignments for 2014-15, TSU-trained teachers and administrators answered the call. With the exception of three, all of the 10 principals hired or assigned received all or part of their training from TSU. At about the same time, 54 of the 636 new Metro teachers hired were TSU graduates, the second highest of all state or area universities. Only MTSU had more with 56. TSU had the number one spot the previous period.

Dr. Heraldo Richards, associate dean of the College of Education at TSU and director of teacher education, said the top ranking will draw even more attention to the great programs at TSU.

“As part of our intensive training program, we provide our students with not just a one-semester teaching experience as others do, but a year-long residency which enhances their competency when they come out,” Richards said. “As a result, many of the  ‘P-12 systems’ in the area and others from around the country, have been actively recruiting our candidates.”

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. 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 helps to give youngsters, parents a “healthy start” back to school

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Kamaya Simpson will be prepared when she returns to school, thanks to Tennessee State University and Love’s Healthy Start Festival.

High school student Joel Snatcher with Dr. Latif Lighari from TSU’s College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Public Relations)

The university partnered with several organizations on Saturday to sponsor the 5th annual festival at Hadley Park.

Simpson, 9, was among about 300 people who turned out on a sunny, not-too-hot day to attend the event started by State Rep. Harold Love, Jr.

Hundreds of free backpacks and school supplies were given away at the festival. Simpson said she enjoyed being able to pick out her own backpack, because usually her mom does.

“My backpack was heavy with supplies for school,” Simpson said. “I like to go to school.”

Colette Mike attended the festival with her preschooler. She said the festival “is a good thing for the community.”

“It creates excitement for the kids about school, makes it fun,” she said. “And seeing everyone out here for them, adds encouragement.”

Rodney Pope, a grandfather of three, agreed.

“It’s very positive for the community,” Pope said. “It provides items that the kids need for school, which helps the parents.”

The festival, which had free food and live entertainment, also provided good health tips, as well as educational information.

For instance, parents were able to find out about initiatives like Tennessee Promise, which provides eligible graduating high school seniors two years of free tuition at a community or technical college in Tennessee.

“We want parents to know about the opportunity their children have to get a free education,” said Love, whose district includes TSU. “Love’s Healthy Start Festival is more than a back to school event. It is designed to give the entire family an opportunity to start the school year off right.”

Health screenings and dental exams were also available for youth and adults.

Leon Roberts is coordinator of clinics for TSU’s Department of Dental Hygiene. He said representatives from the department were on hand to discuss the benefits of good hygiene, as well as talk about the university’s Dental Hygiene Clinic.

The clinic provides service to nearly 600 patients a year, including students as well as the Nashville community.

“A lot of dental diseases can be easily prevented by brushing and flossing properly, and visiting the dentist at least twice a year,” Roberts said.

Other TSU participation included the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, and the Ralph H. Boston Wellness Center, which offers a range of sports, recreation and fitness activities for students, faculty, staff and alumni.

“We want the community to know the importance of health and wellness; taking care of yourself,” said Jerry Davis, Wellness Center director. “We also want to let people know what we do, as well as look to partner with outside agencies.”

The festival also featured literacy and financial education programs. For instance, the festival partnered with Book’em, a nonprofit organization, to provide 1,000 free books to youngsters in grades K-12.

For Simpson, getting the books was among the festival’s highlights.

“I like my books,” said the youngster. “I like books with adventure.”

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. 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 scholars engage in critical discussions at inaugural R.A.C.E. Mentoring Conference

By K. Dawn Rutledge

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University students, faculty and administrators represented the university in full force at the first R.A.C.E. Mentoring Conference hosted by Vanderbilt University, July 14-16.

The inaugural gathering welcomed more than 160 doctoral students, higher education faculty and P-12 educators from across the country for three days of workshops, panel discussions and networking opportunities. As a partner in the effort, TSU’s School of Graduate Studies and Professional Studies sponsored more than 30 graduate students, faculty members, and administrators to take part in the conference. Title III’s Graduate Student Services program also sponsored five female Ph.D. students in Engineering and Biological Science.

Dr. Lucian Yates, III, Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies, second from left; and Associate Dean, Dr. Alex Sekwat, participate in a discussion at the conference. (Photo by K. Dawn Rutledge, TSU Media Relations)

“I am pleased that the TSU’s School of Graduate and Professional Studies was able to co-sponsor the inaugural R.A.C.E. Mentoring Conference at Vanderbilt University,” said Dr. Lucian Yates, III, dean.  This event gathered students, faculty and administrators of color from around the country to discuss issues, problems and how to collaborate on navigating the academy and publishing. The preliminary results were overwhelmingly favorable and participants indicated that it was one of the best conferences they ever attended.”

R.A.C.E., an acronym for Research, Advocacy, Collaboration, and Empowerment, was created by Dr. Donna Y. Ford, a professor at Vanderbilt Peabody, and colleagues, Dr. Michelle Trotman Scott and Dr. Malik S. Henfield in 2013. The R.A.C.E. Mentoring Conference provides an outlet for scholars of color to exchange ideas and information, receive advice on publishing, and garner support as they seek to obtain advanced degrees and advance in higher education and P-12 settings.

“Many students are interested in publishing and this conference allowed them to build several relationships and contacts; many tell me they will be publishing really soon,” Yates said. “The currency in our profession are publications and this conference was designed to help students and faculty in the publishing process.”

Along with publishing opportunities, other important topics focused on the challenges that students and faculty face in career advancement as well as navigating and debunking stereotypes, among other critical discussions.

“Attendance at the inaugural R.A.C.E. Mentoring Conference is especially important because it allowed TSU student, administrators, and faculty of color the opportunity to meet other scholars of color from across the county and experience the importance of intellectual flexibility and maturity through academic writing, teaching, and service,” said Dr. Andrea L. Tyler, director of Graduate Student Services and Research Associate for Title III. “In short, the R.A.C.E. Mentoring conference provided a foundation from which to build from and aspire to.”

As a co-sponsor of the conference, TSU joined Vanderbilt in welcoming several institutions, including other HBCUs such as Illinois State University, Howard University, and Texas A&M University, to name a few.

Among other TSU faculty and administrators involved in the conference included Dr. Alex Sekwat, Dr. Stashia Emanuel, Dr. Charles Brown (Public Health), and Dr. Kisha Bryan (Teaching and Learning).

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. 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 helping to give youngsters a “healthy start” back to school

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is helping area youngsters get a “healthy start” back to school.

The university will partner with several organizations on Saturday, July 29, to sponsor the 5th annual Love’s Healthy Start Festival at Hadley Park from 9 a.m. to noon.

The event, which is open to the public, was started by State Rep. Harold Love, Jr., whose district includes TSU.

One thousand youngsters will receive free backpacks and school supplies at the festival, which will also focus on health and education, as well as provide free food and live entertainment, Love said.

“Love’s Healthy Start Festival is more than a back to school event,” he said. “It is designed to give the entire family an opportunity to start the school year off right.”

Health screenings and dental exams will be available for youth and adults.

Leon Roberts is coordinator of clinics for TSU’s Department of Dental Hygiene. He said representatives from the department will be at the festival to discuss the benefits of good hygiene, as well as talk about the university’s Dental Hygiene Clinic.

The clinic provides service to nearly 600 patients a year, including students as well as the Nashville community.

“A lot of dental diseases can be easily prevented by brushing and flossing properly, and visiting the dentist at least twice a year,” Roberts said. “We plan to give people a quick demonstration on how to brush and floss properly, but also let them know about the clinic.”

Other TSU participation will include the university’s Ralph H. Boston Wellness Center, which offers a range of sports, recreation and fitness activities for students, faculty, staff and alumni.

“We want the community to know the importance of health and wellness; taking care of yourself,” said Jerry Davis, Wellness Center director. “We also want to let people know what we do, as well as look to partner with outside agencies.”

Love said the festival will also feature literacy and financial education programs. For instance, he said the festival is partnering with Book’em, a nonprofit organization, to provide 1,000 free books to youngsters in grades K-12.

There will also be information about initiatives like Tennessee Promise, which provides eligible graduating high school seniors two years of free tuition at a community or technical college in Tennessee.

“We want parents to know about the opportunity their children have to get a free education,” Love said.

Other expected TSU festival participants include the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, and the Office of Enrollment Management.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. 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 Art Department Hopes to Inspire Youth with Mural Projects

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Department of Art is using the stroke of a brush to inspire local youth.

A mural project at Warner Arts Elementary Magnet School, themed “Imagine Your Future,” is the brainchild of Lakesha Moore, artist and assistant professor of art at TSU. She, along with some of her students, have visited the school twice a week (since May) to work on the mural, located on a wall in an open area where students converge when they enter the building.

Lakesha Moore, artist and assistant professor of art at TSU, is leading the mural project at Warner Arts Elementary Magnet School. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman)

The painting consists of a series of silhouettes of occupations that Moore says students can choose from in the future, along with other figures that not only support those decisions and careers, but also “give students the opportunity to discover their own pathways.”

“It (mural) is meant to show these students that they have options and their potential is limitless,” Moore said.  “Our hope is that students at Warner will not only imagine themselves as these figures, but beyond the ones that we have highlighted.”

School principal Denise Jacono said she’s looking forward to seeing the kids’ faces when they see the mural.

“They are going to take a look at that (mural) and they are going to say, ‘Wow!’”

The mural project is just one of several art education programs TSU’s art department is involved in around the city.

Artist and TSU assistant professor of art Brandon Donahue works with elementary and middle school students on their art project at the Madison Community Center. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

At the Madison Community Center in Madison, Tennessee, third grader and future artist Autumn Berry is spending her summer honing her skills with help from artist and assistant professor of art Brandon J. Donahue and five of his TSU students.

“The first thing I started with was my skin because you want to see if you get your skin right before you do your shirt,” Berry said, as she displayed her project, a painting of herself on a canvass. She wants to be an artist, but also a designer.

“I started on my shirt which I painted purple, because it is my favorite color, and I also want to be a designer so I put some lines on my shirt,” Berry, a student at East End Preparatory School, added.

Berry is one of 32 students in grades 1-7 working with Donohue. The TSU professor, who is teaching the students painting and drawing, is using a community service grant from the Metro Nashville Arts Commission to conduct the art education project at the center. Kappa Art Fraternity is also helping, Donohue said.

Hull Jackson, right, and his brother Jace Jackson, work on their joint project, a rendering of a ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja’ turtle, at Madison Community Center. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman)

Like Berry, each student is creating a silhouette of things that depict community and family. The finished products will be displayed in a new annex to the community center that is due to open in February, according to Donohue.

“These kids are very excited about their work,” he said. “We are teaching them how to paint, how to collage, and how to take their silhouettes and fill them in with things that mean families. We are working on symbols, what they mean, how to use them, and how to communicate visually.”

Donohue said he is glad to be a part of TSU’s community partnership and outreach.

Elizabeth Reed is a TSU art education major. She is helping with the projects at Warner Elementary and the Madison Community Center.

“I am really excited to work with these projects because they help me get more experience,” said Reed, a junior from Nashville. “The mural project will really help brighten up the school. Whenever the kids walk in their eyes are going to be drawn to all the bright colors. I think this will really help get them interested in art.”

Anita Gregory-Smith, the program coordinator at the Madison Community Center, is very thankful to TSU for the art project, which she also hopes will promote awareness and interest in art among the students.

“The program itself is bringing the kids and giving them a hands-on experience in creating their own thoughts and arts for their silhouettes,” Gregory-Smith said. “I think the kids did very well on those projects. They brought their own energy. It is amazing what they think about it right now.”

For more information about TSU‘s art department, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/art/

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. 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.

 

Small Farm Expo showcases TSU’s nationally recognized research

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – More than 300 agricultural experts, farmers and officials attended Tennessee State University’s Small Farm Expo on Thursday.

Small Farmer of the Year recipient Nicole Riddle. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

In its 13th year, TSU officials say the expo at the Pavilion Agricultural Research and Education Center (The Farm) is a way for the university and its partners on the state and federal levels to recognize the role farmers and agriculture play in the state and the nation.

“We at TSU focus our work to support the small farms and this expo recognizes the outstanding farmers with innovative ideas,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of TSU’s College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences. “Also, participants get to see the best field research of TSU scientists and personally meet federal and state Ag leadership.”

Goats in TSU research program. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The expo featured speakers and agricultural research tours with TSU faculty. Topics ranged from organic agriculture to cattle and goat research, all of which have been recognized nationally.

However, the highlight of the expo was the announcement of the Small Farmer of the Year, which went to Nicole Riddle of Maynardville, Tennessee. Riddle leased 44 acres of her parents’ land and opened her own winery in 2015.

“The Winery at Seven Springs Farm is the most successful new start rural winery in the state of Tennessee,” wrote Area Specialist Charles Morris. “In an unprecedented showing, her wines received five Concordance Gold Medals, including Best of Muscadine, and three Silver Medals at the 2015 Wines of the South Competition.”

Dr. Suresh Sureshwaran, director of the division of community education with the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, said TSU’s agricultural research over the years is impressive, particularly its goat research.

Earlier this year, TSU received a $496,328 federal grant to expand its research on goat meat production.

Dexter bull. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“Goats are becoming an important new commodity for small farmers,” Sureshwaran said. “But many in the United States don’t know how to produce, or how to sell goat. I think more research is needed, and what Tennessee State is doing is extremely good.”

TSU also has a Dexter cattle-breeding program, the only one of its kind currently in U.S. higher education. The Dexter cattle are being used to assess the potential of small-breed cattle for small-scale beef production.

“We’re hoping people will see that there are alternatives to traditional livestock production,” said Dr. Richard Browning, who heads the Dexter and goat research. “The concept of having a small non-traditional breed like that is something they say might work on their farm. The same with the goats.”

Goat meat served at expo. (Photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

Regardless of the type of research, TSU junior Kayla Sampson, an agriculture science major, said the expo is beneficial because students who attend are able to learn from invited experts and officials.

“It helps broaden our knowledge during the summer,” Sampson said. “So when the school year starts, we’re a step ahead.”

For more information about TSU’s College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/index.aspx.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. 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.

Dr. Warrick L. Carter, TSU Graduate and Former President of Columbia College Chicago, dies at 75

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Dr. Warrick L. Carter, a Tennessee State University graduate and former president of Columbia College Chicago, has died at age 75.

He died July 15 at his residence in Sanford, Florida, after a brief illness, according to a release from his family.

Carter was born on May 6, 1942 in Charlottesville, Virginia. In 1964, he received a bachelor of science degree in music education from Tennessee State University. He pursued advanced studies in percussion at the Blair Academy of Music in Nashville. Carter later went on to earn a master’s degree in music and a Ph.D. in music education from Michigan State University.

A music educator, composer and performer, Carter’s career spans six decades, including 13 years as president of Columbia College, an independent, non-profit liberal arts college specializing in arts and media disciplines. Prior to that, he served as assistant professor and director of bands at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore; professor of music and chairman of fine arts at Governors State University; and dean of faculty and provost/vice president of academic affairs at Berklee School of Music.

An avid musician, Carter’s projects included works with the Wisconsin Music Educators, the Michigan Council for the Arts, the Philadelphia Public Schools, the Los Angeles Board of Education, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Minister of Culture, Paris, France. Carter also worked at Walt Disney Entertainment in Orlando, Florida, for four years as a director of entertainment arts.

Carter was married to Laurel Carter. The couple had one daughter.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. 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, Verizon Technology Partnership Gives Area Middle School Students Hands-on STEM Training

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Through a partnership with Verizon, TSU has joined 15 other HBCUs across the country to teach minority middle school students skills like coding, 3D design and robotics.

The Verizon Innovative Learning Program is intended to engage students in grades 6-8 to interact with technology through on-campus summer-intensive courses, as well as year-round mentoring. The Department of Computer Science in the College of Engineering is coordinating the program at TSU.

Middle school students attending the Verizon Innovative Learning Summer Camp receive instructions from program facilitators in a computer science lab at TSU. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

This summer, more than 60 area middle school students participated in one of two sessions on campus. For two weeks the students and teachers built several mobile apps for Android, did hands-on labs, and visited the Adventure Science Center in Nashville.

Dr. Tamara Rogers, associate professor of computer science, is the coordinator of the Verizon program at TSU. She said the students also designed and created their own apps using tools like the MIT App Inventor, an innovative beginner’s introduction to programming and app creation.

“Parents and supporters were invited to the showcase where the students presented and demonstrated their apps,” Rogers said.

Students in the program will continue throughout the academic year. Once a month they will come to the TSU campus and work on their mobile apps, Rogers said.

Also this summer, the TSU College of Engineering is hosting the first STEM Academy for the 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee.

According to Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the college, about 50 African-American males in grades 5-8 from Nashville Metro Public Schools are participating in the four-week program, which ends July 21. They are learning computer programming, coding and robotics.

The objective of this partnership with the 100 Black Men, Hargrove said, is to “promote potential careers in Information Technology and other STEM occupations.”

Lori Adukeh, executive director of the 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee, who is coordinating the academy, said the program is intended to introduce the youth to different aspects of STEM.

“This is not just code or science related, it’s everything,” Adukeh said. “We are doing a lot of hands-on experiments where the boys are creating and building things with their hands. They are using a lot of thought-provoking and intuitive skills, from formulating an idea to actually building it with their hands.”

Adukeh said support from Dean Hargrove, TSU students and Metro teachers in the program has been very helpful.

“These students are learning so much in this inaugural STEM Academy thanks to Tennessee State University and dean Hargrove and all the resources they have put at our disposal, including TSU students who have been working with us as mentors,” she said.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. 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 Aristocrat of Bands, College of Engineering get top honors at HBCU Digest Awards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Aristocrat of Bands and the university’s College of Engineering received top honors at the recent 2017 HBCU Digest Awards.

(l to r) WDC alumni chapter member Leonard Stephens; Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering; Dr. Reginald McDonald, TSU’s director of University Bands; WDC alumni chapter president Andrea Warren; WDC alumni chapter members Jocelyn Smith and Nahshon Bigham. (Submitted photo)

TSU was a finalist in 10 categories of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities’ Digest Awards. Its Aristocrat of Bands got Best Marching Band, and the College of Engineering won for Best Science, Technology, Engineer and Mathematics (STEM) program.

The winners were announced July 14 at the seventh annual HBCU Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. Finalists were selected from more than 175 nominations from HBCUs across the country.

“This is a proud moment in my career,” Dr. Reginald McDonald, TSU’s director of University Bands, said of receiving the award. “Not only to be recognized as the best HBCU marching band, but to be recognized along with our awesome College of Engineering.”

Former President Barack Obama greets members of TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands at the White House last year. (Submitted photo).

Last year, TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands played on the lawn of the White House. The band was invited to Washington, D.C. to celebrate the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. It was the first HBCU band to perform for the Obama administration at the White House.

McDonald said there’s an academic connection between the band program and the College of Engineering in that engineering majors make up the largest group among the 264 members of the 2016-2017 Aristocrat of Bands.

Andrea Warren, president of the Washington, D.C., TSU alumni chapter, said the university’s band has helped the chapter spark interest in TSU with local D.C./Maryland/Virginia high school students following its performance at the White House and at Eastern Senior High School last year.

“As a product of TSU’s College of Engineering, and a lover and supporter of the Aristocrat of Bands, I could not be more thrilled with TSU receiving the Best Marching Band and Best STEM Program awards,” Warren said.

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, said the HBCU award his college received recognizes the hard work of its faculty, staff and students.

“The demand for engineers, technologists, and computer scientists still exceeds the supply, and our dedicated faculty and staff are committed to providing a quality education with their engagement in classroom and laboratory learning,” he said.

Also this month, Hargrove received the INSIGHT into Diversity magazine’s 2017 Inspiring Leaders in STEM Award, which pays tribute to those who inspire a new generation of young people to consider careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Last year, TSU received HBCU awards for: Alumna of the Year, Dr. Edith Mitchell; Female Coach of the Year, Track and Field Coach Director Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice; and Female Student of the Year, RaCia Poston.

 

Department of Media Relations

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About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. 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.