Tennessee State University Alumna and State Representative Brenda Gilmore to Speak at TSU’s Annual Founders’ Day Commemoration

State Rep. Brenda Gilmore
State Rep. Brenda Gilmore

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – State Rep. Brenda Gilmore, a graduate and staunch supporter of Tennessee State University, will return to her alma mater on Thursday, Oct. 2 as the keynote speaker at the University’s 2014 Founders’ Day celebration.

The ceremony will be held in Kean Hall on the main campus at 9 a.m.

Gilmore, a Democrat and four-term member of the Tennessee General Assembly, represents Tennessee’s 54th District in Davidson County. A native of Sumner County, she was first elected to the General Assembly in 2006.

The former Metro Councilwoman served in many other areas before becoming a state lawmaker. For 20 years she was the director of University Mail Services at Vanderbilt University. She also worked as a mortgage loan counselor for Fidelity Federal Savings & Loan Association, and director of the Postal Services Division of the State of Tennessee.

In the General Assembly, Gilmore chairs the Davidson County Delegation and is a member of the House Committees on Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Criminal Justice, and a member of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee. She is also a member of the Assembly’s Joint Fiscal Review Committee.

Previously, Gilmore served as the chair of the Environment Committee, secretary of the Conservation and Environment Committee, member of the Commerce and Insurance, and Utilities, and Conservation Committees. She also served as chair of the Parks Committee, and as a Member of the Small Business Committee.

A recipient of several awards, Gilmore is noted for taking strong stands for women and children causes. Recently, she served as chair of the Capital Campaign for the Northwest YMCA, and helped raise $5 million for an indoor swimming pool and center renovations.

She has held seats on many community boards including serving as chair of the Senior Citizens Inc. Board, trustee of the board for Skyline Medical Center, and a member of the Board of Trust for Belmont University.

Gilmore holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration from TSU, and a master’s degree in Human Resource Development from Vanderbilt University. She is married to Harry Gilmore. They have one daughter, Erica Gilmore, a Metro Councilwoman.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 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 takes Mobile Biodiesel Education Demonstration “on the road” to area high schools

Dr. de Koff, professor of Bioenergy Crop Production, and Project Director for the MBED demonstrates biodiesel production to students at Cheatham County High School on Sept. 19th.
Dr. de Koff, professor of Bioenergy Crop Production, and Project Director for the MBED demonstrates biodiesel production to students at Cheatham County High School on Sept. 19.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) —The College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences has taken its Mobile Biodiesel Education Demonstration (MBED) trailer on the road this fall, making stops at Cheatham County and Lebanon High Schools on Sept. 19 and Sept. 25, respectively. The MBED, which is a self-contained unit that allows for demonstration of the process that converts oils from feedstocks such as canola seed into usable biodiesel, will make another stop at Mt. Juliet High School on Friday, Oct. 3.

Dr. Jason de Koff, assistant professor of Bioenergy Crop Production, and Project Director for the MBED, noted the importance of the mobility of this project.

Research Assistant Richard Link discusses the biodiesel conversion process at Lebanon High School's "Ag Day" on Sept. 25th.
Research Assistant Richard Link discusses the biodiesel conversion process at Lebanon High School’s “Ag Day” on Sept. 25.

“By taking this demonstration on the road, we’ve been able to speak to hundreds of area high school students about the work that we’re doing at TSU in the area of biofuels,” de Koff said. “This demonstration in particular is an excellent example of the multiple facets and opportunities that exist with agriculture.”

In addition to exposing students to scientific processes that may not be typically associated with agriculture, the MBED also offers an opportunity to engage students in hands-on learning opportunities that can, according to Dr. de Koff, “bridge the gap between the textbook and the real world.”

The MBED is funded through a grant from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. For more information about this or other biofuels-related activities within the CAHNS, contact Dr. de Koff at 615.963.4929, jdekoff@tnstate.edu, or on Twitter @TSUBioenergy.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 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.

Rapper K Camp to Perform at Tennessee State University Student Homecoming Concert

kcampNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The rapper commonly known as K Camp will be the star performer at the Tennessee State University student Homecoming concert at the Gentry Center on Thursday, Sept. 25. He replaces singer August Alsina, who was reportedly injured after a fall while performing at the Irving Plaza in New York a week ago.

According to the Office of Student Activities, all other appearances, including performances by comedian Lil Duval, and rapper, songwriter and record producer Juicy J remain unchanged.

Camp, officially named Kristopher Camp, is best known for the singles “Money Baby” and “Cut Her Off.”

The Milwaukee-born, Atlanta-raised rapper started performing in high school as part of a group called HBC. The group split later, but K Camp took his music a little more seriously, and continued to perform and record on his own.

In 2009, Camp released the party anthem “All Night,” which gained some popularity in Atlanta. He continued to build his reputation through underground releases such as Fan4life, Show Money, and In Due Time, hosted by DJ Drama. “Money Baby” has peaked at #20 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart, #34 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and at #20 on the Rap Songs chart, while “Cut Her Off” featuring 2 Chainz, has peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at #60.

In April 2014, he released the EP In Due Time on Interscope Records.

The TSU concert starts 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, and $15 at the door for students with valid college ID.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 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.

Mother, daughter share legacy of Miss TSU crown

A mother and daughter from Tennessee State University share a common bond. Mother Patsy Whitmon Thomas (left) was Miss TSU 1981-82, while her daughter, Samantha Thomas is the current Miss Tennessee State University 2014-2015.
A mother and daughter from Tennessee State University share a common bond. Mother Patsy Whitmon Thomas (left) was Miss TSU 1981-82, while her daughter, Samantha Thomas is the current Miss Tennessee State University 2014-2015.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – There are many things that mothers and daughters share at some point in their lives. Mothers enjoy the experience of lending their favorite earrings to their daughters to wear during prom. Many can’t wait to pass down the family heirloom handed from given generation-to-generation as “something old” for the doting daughter-bride. And, when their daughters have children of their own, mothers adore nothing more than handing out motherly advice, sharing family recipes and caring for their grandchildren.

These are just some of the joys of a mother-daughter relationship every mother imagines. But one Tennessee State University mother has experienced a little extra special moment that will provide a lifetime of memories for both mother and daughter.

Last spring, Nashville native Samantha Thomas was elected the 2014-2015 Miss Tennessee State University. Why was this so special? Because Patsy Whitmon Thomas, Samantha’s mother, wore the crown 33 years earlier as the 1981-1982 Miss Tennessee State University. It marked the first time in the university’s history that a mother-daughter legacy has worn the coveted crown in one of the university’s top student leadership roles.

“Truthfully, I did not know whether she was going to win or lose,” Patsy said. “I was so torn up about it; I didn’t even make it to the pageant. I was driving when I heard the news and just started crying driving 30 miles per hour on a 70-mile-per hour highway. People were passing me by wondering if I was okay. I felt like this was Divine intervention because I never encouraged or cultivated any of my children to do anything that I or their father did as students. I just never put that kind of pressure on my children.”

Patsy, a three-time graduate of TSU, with bachelor and master degrees in Health and Physical Education, and a doctorate in Educational Administration and Supervision, said during her reign as Miss TSU her focus was on addressing accountability and excellence among the student body. She said her daughter has taken her own independent route and has really not asked for advice on how to handle herself as Miss TSU. Patsy said she has witnessed how her daughter is dealing with the leadership role and is very proud of her.

“She [Samantha] is handling it pretty well by herself,” Patsy said. “I simply tell her to listen, respect the opinions of others and to be flexible, which doesn’t mean you have to compromise your standards. It is important we all learn that we can have differences, but not be indifferent.”

Samantha’s path to the Miss TSU post began during her service as Miss Freshman in 2011-2012. She then began working on campus as part of the Student Government Association becoming the only female Representative At-Large elected during her sophomore and junior years. When she decided to run for the position of Miss TSU going into her senior year, she wanted to give her all and said she wanted to demonstrate that the role was “more than a position or title, but a lifestyle.”

“While this is the most memorable year of my college experience, I don’t want to get distracted with the hype of things. I must remember why I’m here – and that’s to get an education,” Samantha said. “My goal is simply to be a positive example. I’d like to be remembered for Sam who did everything for TSU that she could. I want to help TSU and get to know my peers. I want to be known as the person who really worked hard and loved all my fellow students as the individuals they are.”

Patsy remembers fondly her time at TSU. Like her daughter, she was an active part of campus life serving as Miss Junior, as a member of the Student Government Association, being named to Who’s Who, and as an Honors student joining Gamma Beta Phi National Honors Society.

“I feel that other students who have parents who have graduated from TSU should also pursue leadership roles to impact change, and growth for our children – not just African-American children, but globally and to instill the value of family,” she said.

Despite her initial hesitation to attend TSU, because she thought it was too close to home, Samantha said she is glad she made the choice. She has served as a University Ambassador for three years, and is also an Honors student holding memberships in the Phi Eta Sigma, Golden Key, Phi Kappa Phi and National Society of Collegiate Scholars Honor Societies.

“I love TSU, and it [experience] has definitely taught me how to go out there and get it for myself,” Samantha said. “The faculty and staff are so inspirational. They help mold you, and it makes you so ambitious and hungry for success. You learn to exhibit confidence and to be humble in your interactions with others.”

Her stellar academic performance has afforded her the financial support needed to complete her education. For the fourth year, she has received the Academic Higher Achievement Scholarship.

“My scholarship has been the biggest blessing because that hardship is not on me or my family,” said Samantha, a Dental Hygiene major and member of the Undergraduate Student National Dental Association. “I want to go to dental school which is very expensive, so the scholarships I have received at TSU are a blessing for me. I don’t have to worry about how I’m going to pay for school.”

The spirit of giving is something the Thomas family has long practiced. Patsy said the family often takes mission trips, and continues to give back to TSU through a scholarship established in her late father’s name. Additionally, Samantha is imparting the importance of giving back to her fellow students as well as the significance of thanking donors.

“Every little bit helps,” she said. “If you can’t write a check for $500, then give $20.”

While both Patsy and Samantha share the glory of the crown, they also share a distinct TSU legacy in other respects. Patsy’s father, the late Sam Whitmon, a 1948 TSU graduate, was a respected educator, coach and former athletics director at the university. He was also instrumental in establishing the university’s baseball team and taught biology for many years. Additionally, the Thomases are part of the tradition of high-stepping majorettes boasting three generations with Patsy’s mother, Dorothy Mallory, a 1950 graduate, dancing for the Big Blue, as well as Patsy during her junior and senior years, and now Samantha as part of the “Sophisticated Ladies.”

“It’s really an honor to be in this position because so many people remember my mom and grandfather,” Samantha said. “It’s great when the alumni make the connection and they start sharing stories about them [my family]. It does my heart good to be associated with people who are remembered so fondly.”

Patsy and Samantha will celebrate in grand style with students, alumni and the community as part of TSU’s Homecoming Week activities during The Coronation for Mr. and Miss TSU. The event will take place Wednesday, Sept. 24, 7 p.m. in Kean Hall, located on the main campus. For more information, call (615) 963-5085.

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 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.

Noted Presenters to Highlight Fall Research Forum at Tennessee State University

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Speakers from the National Science Foundation and the Tennessee Department of Transportation will be the featured presenters at this year’s Fall Research Forum at Tennessee State University. The forum will be on Thursday, Sept. 25, beginning at 10 a.m., in the Research and Sponsored Programs Building.

Dr. A. Ja
Dr. A. James Hicks

Under the theme, “Research: Celebrating Excellence,” Dr. A. James Hicks, senior program leader at the NSF, will present as the keynote speaker, to be followed by Tanisha J. Hall, director of Long Range Planning at the TDOT.

TSU President, Dr. Glenda Glover, will bring greetings on behalf of faculty, staff and students during a luncheon in the Floyd-Payne Campus Center.

According to Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, chief research officer and associate vice president for Research and Sponsored Programs, the one-day forum will also feature faculty exhibitions and research on such topics as Cyber Defense for Attacks on Cloud and Mobile Systems; High Performance Computing Techniques; Safety Effectiveness Evaluation of Median Cable Barriers in Tennessee; and TDOT: Innovative Strategies for Public Involvement.

Tanisha J. Hall
Tanisha J. Hall

Deans and directors of the various colleges and research centers are expected to make brief presentations, Crumpton-Young said.

The keynote speaker, Dr. Hicks, who is program director of the Louise Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation, holds a B.S. degree in biology from Tougaloo College, and a Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Illinois-Urbana. He received postdoctoral training, at the Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Missouri.

Prior to becoming the LSAMP program director, Hicks served as chairperson and professor of Biology from 1977 to 1988, and later Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1988 to 1997 at North Carolina A&T. As a scientist his research focus has been in the area of plant systematics. His work has been reported at various scientific seminars and in peer review journals.

Hicks has received numerous honors and awards for his achievements in science and for his efforts in promoting the advancements of underrepresented groups in science, engineering and mathematics. Most notably, in 1988 he received the White House Initiatives Faculty Award for Excellence in Science and Technology with a letter from President Ronald Regan.

Hall, whose division at the TDOT is charged with identifying transportation needs through research and analysis of travel and safety data, has more than 18 years experience in urban planning.

A member of the Tennessee American Planning Association, and the American Institute of Certified Planners, Hall holds dual degrees in Business Administration, and Transportation and Logistics. She also holds a graduate degree in Urban and Regional Planning.

For more information on the Fall Research Forum contact Nannette Carter Martin at (615) 963-5827, (615) 963-7631 or mailto:nmartin@tnstate.edu

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 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.

Back to School with the HistoryMakers features TSU Alumnus Dr. Bobby Jones Sept. 26

BobbyJones-1
Dr. Bobby Jones

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Gospel great, television host, and Tennessee State University alumnus, Dr. Bobby Jones, will be the featured speaker at the 5th Annual Back to School with the HistoryMakers program Friday, Sept 26 at the T.E. Poag Auditorium beginning at 9 a.m.

The HistoryMakers is a national program that recognizes individual “Makers” in a noted field, such as the arts, business, law, politics, style, science and sports. Jones was recently inducted into the program as a “MusicMaker,” a category that consists of individuals who compose, perform, and promote music ranging from country to classical and doo wop, and includes lyricists, music executives, pianists, orchestra conductors, and gospel, among others.

As part of the HistoryMakers commitment to education, the Back To School With The HistoryMakers program puts black leaders in direct contact with young people across the nation. It encourages commitment to student achievement, as well as brings African American leaders into schools to motivate students, and raise awareness of the achievements of accomplished African Americans in their communities.

Usually the Back to School programs are held at elementary or middle schools, however, Dr. Jones selected his alma mater for this year’s program to bring attention to the education program at the University.

“Dr. Jones continues to be a role model and trail blazer in the music industry,” said TSU President, Glenda Glover. “We are proud of all his accomplishments and delighted he chose the University to document this important milestone in his life.”

Jones graduated from TSU at age 19 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. He went on to receive his M.Ed. degree from Tennessee State, and his Ed.D. degree from Vanderbilt University. Jones also holds a Th.D. degree from Payne’s Theological Seminary.

Early in his career, Jones went on to teach elementary students in the St. Louis Public Schools from 1959 to 1965, and Nashville Metropolitan Schools from 1966 to 1968. He then became a textbook consultant for McGraw Hill Publishers and worked as an instructor at Tennessee State University from 1974 to 1986.

As a teacher, Jones helped develop the idea for a Black Expo in Nashville. During that effort, he introduced the pilot for what became “Bobby Jones Gospel” to WSM-TV in Nashville. The television station picked up the show and it ran in Nashville from 1976 to 1980. Jones also created, produced and hosted “Bobby Jones’ World,” a magazine-style show that ran from 1978 to 1984.

In 1980, Black Entertainment Television premiered “Bobby Jones Gospel,” the longest continuously running original series on cable television, where Jones served as host and executive producer. In 1980, he also received the Gabriel Award and an International Film Festival Award for writing and performing Make a Joyful Noise, a Black gospel opera which aired on PBS.

In 1984, he won a Grammy Award for the Best Soul Gospel Performance by a duo or group with Barbara Mandrell for “I’m so glad I’m standing here today.” Jones has also received a Dove Award, three Stellar Awards, three Trumpet Awards, and a Presidential Commendation from president George W. Bush.

Dr. Jones went on to produce the show, “Video Gospel,” which premiered on BET in 1986. He also produced and hosted a number of other gospel shows. Jones, who is an instructor at Nova Southeastern University, owns a production studio in Nashville.

As a member of HistoryMakers, Dr. Jones joins the likes of poet Maya Angelou, actor Roscoe Lee Brown, baseball great Ernie Banks, and acclaimed vocalists Nancy Wilson, Mary Wilson, and Bebe Winans, among others.

The Back to School program began in 2010 with 200 HistoryMakers in 107 schools in 50 cities in 25 states. In 2011 the program more than doubled – bringing 458 HistoryMakers into 286 schools in 112 cities in 35 states. Participating HistoryMakers represent a diverse range of professional backgrounds; from artists, musicians, and business leaders to politicians, religious leaders, and scientists.

The HistoryMakers is committed to preserving and making widely accessible the untold personal stories of both well-known and unsung African Americans. The goal is to preserve the oral history of 5,000 African American history makers, and to establish an online database that will educate and show the breadth and depth of the accomplishments of individual African Americans across a variety of disciplines.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 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.

Tennessee State University to Screen National Documentary on African-Americans and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights

375652_537889596246236_36807159_nNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) -The New Black, a documentary, which tells the story of how the African-American community is grappling with the gay rights issue in light of the recent same-sex marriage movement and the fight over civil rights, will be screened at Tennessee State University on Thursday, Oct. 16.

In collaboration with the Gay Straight Alliance, a TSU student group, and the Nashville Black Pride, the University has planned a number of weeklong activities to coincide with the screening as part of TSU’s first celebration of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) History Month in October.

According to Tiffany Cox, the director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, the screening and celebration are a result of TSU receiving part of a $4,000 grant from the Human Rights Campaign. TSU is one of four historically black colleges and universities that received the grant to use the award-winning documentary “as a tool to advance on-campus LGBT inclusion.”

“Because of our strong commitment to ensuring a campus climate of equality and inclusion, we saw the announcement requesting proposals for this grant and we applied for it,” said Cox “We were elated when we received notification in the summer that TSU had been selected.”

The New Black, directed by Yoruba Richen, explores how race, faith, justice and identity intersected in Maryland’s politically powerful African American community in 2012 as the state prepared to vote on marriage equality. It comes on the heels of recent reports showing that while many majority-white colleges and universities have embraced the call for LGBT inclusion, HBCUs have been notably slow to extend their historical mission of social justice to the success of their LGBT students.

rainbow fist-1“TSU is very pleased to screen this documentary, and to host discussions and activities that promote the equal treatment of all students on our campus,” Cox said, reminding the community about the University’s “strong policy” against harassment or discrimination of any kind.

Visibly pleased and upbeat that TSU is screening The New Black documentary and hosting programs to mark LGBT History Month is Iesha Milliner, president of TSU’s Gay Straight Alliance, who contributed in developing the proposal for the HRC grant.

“I am glad that for the first time TSU is showing such support for the Alliance in its 10 years on this campus,” said Milliner, a junior Art Education major from Nashville. “The campus screening of The New Black will bring the student body together and provide answers to many questions that are asked on a daily basis. My greatest hope is that this event will open the eyes of this community to the LGBTQ issues that exist on this campus.”

The New Black has screened in more than 85 cities around the country through ITVS’s Community Cinema public education and civic engagement initiative. The documentary has garnered numerous awards, including the Audience Award at Philadelphia QFest, AFI Docs and Frameline International LGBT Film Festival, where it also received an honorable mention as Outstanding Documentary Feature. At New York City’s Urbanworld Film Festival, it won the jury award for Best Documentary Feature.

Other HBCUs that received funding to screen the documentary are Alabama State University, Johnson C. Smith University and Spellman College.

The screening at TSU on October 16 is at 5:30 p.m., in the Floyd Payne Campus Center Forum. Other events marking LGBT History Month will begin October 13-17. They will include displays, nationally recognized motivational speakers, panel discussions, free HIV screenings and workshops. For registration and more information, go to: http://www.tnstate.edu/eeoaa/tsusafezone.aspx

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 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.

Long-Time Educators to be Honored at 2014 Scholarship Gala

Drs. McDonald and Jamye Williams, long time educators at Tennessee State University will be honored during 2014 Scholarship Gala, "An Evening of Honors."
Drs. McDonald and Jamye Williams, long time educators at Tennessee State University will be honored during 2014 Scholarship Gala, “An Evening of Honors.”

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A chance meeting at Wilberforce University in 1942 has led to a lifetime of memories and successes for Drs. McDonald and Jamye Williams, who spent nearly three decades at the university and who have also been married for more than 70 years.

The couple will share yet another memory during Tennessee State University’s Homecoming as the two are saluted as the 2014 Honorees for their outstanding contributions to the university. Both long-time educators as well as NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Claude Humphrey will be honored Friday, Sept. 26 during an “Evening of Honors.”

Both made TSU the final stop on their professional journey. Dr. McDonald Williams spent 30 years at the university serving as director of the Honors Program and as a professor of English before retiring in 1988. His wife, Jamye, retired just a year earlier ending her tenure as head of the Department of Communications, a position she held for 14 years.

The Williams’ have made advancing education and student success a priority in their careers. The many years spent at Tennessee State University afforded them an opportunity to see some of the university’s most talented students graduate and excel. Dr. Jamye Williams’ brings interesting perspective on how they positively shaped the lives of TSU students – particularly one of her most famous students, Oprah Winfrey.

“Her father wanted her to have a good education and a successful career,” Williams said. “He knew that having that [college] degree would continue to open doors for her.”

Dr. Jamye said Winfrey’s father encouraged her to call Oprah to convince her to finish what she started. So, in 1987, she made contact with Winfrey who, by this time, had established herself as a national talk show host.

“She sent me a check to pay for the three course hours and completed a documentary for her senior class project,” Dr. Jamye said. “That same year, she was the Commencement speaker, and I remember her holding up her degree and saying ‘see Daddy, I amount to something.’”

Since retiring, the Williams, who now reside in Atlanta, still make time to come back to TSU. They returned in 2012 for the university’s Centennial Celebration, in 2013 for the inauguration of President Glenda Glover, and in March 2014 for the Honors Program’s 50th anniversary celebration, in which Dr. McDonald Williams was honored for his years of dedication to the growth of the program.

In 1963, then-Tennessee State University President, Dr. Walter S. Davis, appointed a committee charged with studying Honors Programs and the feasibility of establishing one at the University. After completing its investigation, this committee recommended that Tennessee State University keep pace with many other universities throughout the country. As a result, an Honors program for freshman students was established in Fall 1964 followed by sophomore through senior level course work in 1968 marking the first year for students to be recognized for graduating with “University Honors.”

“This really is a time to celebrate the program and the most instrumental person behind it,” said Dr. Coreen Jackson, current director of the Honor Program. “Dr. Williams, while not the original founder, laid the cornerstone of academic excellence and the standard of which this program was built upon.”

The program, said Jackson, has gone through many changes throughout the years, which includes growing to more than 400 students enrolled in the program, 145 of which are first-time freshmen, and transitioning to a possible college in the near future. But the foundation built by Williams still holds true today, she said.

“He had a vision for where the program needed to go and subsequent directors including Jane Elliott and Sandra Holt have carried that vision forward,” said Jackson. “We really are in his debt.”

Because of his contributions to the success of the Honors Program, the Tennessee Board of Regents granted the university approval to name the Honors Program after Dr. Williams in 1988. The University Honors Center was named the McDonald Williams Honors Center.

Ironically, while the event was designed to honor Dr. McDonald’s work, the couple again showed selfless gratitude becoming the first major contributor donating $10,000 toward an Honors College initiative.

“I wish we could have given more,” Dr. McDonald said, adding that by establishing an Honors College it will raise the level of the program. “When the program first began, it was in a single room in the Agriculture building before it moved to the first floor of the old library (now the Student Success Center) in the back on the ground floor.”

The 46 years the Williams’ spent in Nashville, they played an active role in the life of the university and in the community. The myriad of professional and civic affiliations, honors and publications they have amassed are too numerous to mention. They were active in the NAACP with Dr. Jamye serving as Life Membership Committee Chairman for 20 years and Dr. McDonald serving the civil rights organization as vice president. Currently, they are members of Big Bethel AME Church in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and he is a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

In addition to their support of TSU, the Williams provide scholarship support to other universities, including Payne Theological Seminary, Wilberforce University and through the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

“I would recommend anyone who wants to go to college to consider Tennessee State University with no hesitation at all,” Dr. McDonald said. “So many students there have done well over the years.”

Call 615.963.5481 or visit www.tnstate.edu/scholarshipgala for more information on the 2014 Scholarship Gala. The gala takes place Friday, Sept. 26 at Music City Center and tickets are available now to purchase.

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 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.

Joint University Study Shows Unsafe Cooking Practices Put Consumers at Risk

Tennessee State and Kansas State Universities collaborate on poultry and egg preparation study

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – According to a recent study, many consumers are putting themselves at risk for a foodborne illness when preparing poultry and eggs. The study, conducted between Tennessee State University and Kansas State University, examined how and with what degree of accuracy consumers determined doneness when preparing these items.

While many of the foods in the study were cooked to a safe temperature, those cooked below recommended temperatures were cause for concern. Only a small number of participants used cooking thermometers to determine doneness in the poultry items, and most of those used them incorrectly.

Dr. Sandria Godwin
Dr. Sandria Godwin

“There is only one way to determine if your poultry and eggs are cooked to a safe temperature, and that is to use a thermometer,” said Dr. Sandria Godwin, TSU principal researcher on the study. “It is recommended that poultry be cooked to a temperature of 165 F and eggs and foods containing eggs to a temperature of 160 F, with the thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the egg or poultry.”

Godwin also cautioned against some of the widely embraced, less accurate methods of determining doneness, noting that the absence of pink areas in poultry is not necessarily an indication that it is safe to eat.

fried-chicken-gravy_23_test-with-thermometer“This is like driving your car and assuming you are going the right speed,” she said. “You may not be right and the only way to check is to look at the speedometer. Sometimes you are correct, but occasionally you are wrong and tickets, accidents, or worse can happen.”

Unfortunately, while nearly all cars have working speedometers built-in, many of us may find ourselves cooking without the benefit of a thermometer nearby. In this scenario, Godwin recommends a ‘better safe than sorry’ approach.

“If you cannot use a thermometer it is recommended that the eggs are cooked until both the yolks and whites are firm,” she said. “I know this will not be welcomed by ‘sunny side up’ lovers, but it is the only way to ensure that your eggs are safe to eat.”

In addition to the potential issues with undercooked foods, researchers in the study also took note of another concerning trend: the failure by many participants to follow recommended hand-washing procedures which call for soap and water after handling any raw animal-based products. This was especially true during the preparation of eggs.

eggs“When you don’t wash your hands after handling raw poultry or eggs you are putting yourself and others at risk for a foodborne illness,” Godwin added. “Items participants touched after not washing their hands were salt and pepper shakers, dish cloths, and cooking or serving utensils, which is particularly alarming since most of these items are used after the final product has been cooked, which allows for the spread of bacteria.”

This study is just one of many studies related to poultry and eggs being performed by researchers at Tennessee State University and other partner institutions.

“The overall goal is to better understand storing, handling, and cooking habits of consumers” said Dr. Edgar Chambers IV, lead investigator at Kansas State University. “Once we have that insight, we will work on designing educational materials for all ages. It is our hope that future studies of this kind between institutions will show improved food safety practices thanks to our efforts.”

This research was funded in part through a grant from the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program (Grant No2012-68003-19606) from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 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 Scholarship Gala Offers Entertainment for All

Comedian Jonathan Slocumb Set to Host “An Evening of Honors”

  

Funny man Jonathan Slocumb will server as host for the 2014 Scholarship Gala. Themed “An Evening of Honors,” the Gala takes place Friday, Sept. 26, and will not only pay tribute to long-time educators Drs. Jamye and Mcdonald Williams and Pro Football Hall of Famer Claude Humphrey, but also raise scholarship dollars for students in need attending the University
Funny man Jonathan Slocumb will server as host for the 2014 Scholarship Gala. Themed “An Evening of Honors,” the Gala takes place Friday, Sept. 26, and will not only pay tribute to long-time educators Drs. Jamye and Mcdonald Williams and Pro Football Hall of Famer Claude Humphrey, but also raise scholarship dollars for students in need attending the University. (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is again pulling out all the entertainment stops for the 2014 Scholarship Gala including a university dance ensemble, jazz musicians, an award-winning saxophonist and award-wining R&B, jazz and blues band…all hosted by actor, writer and comedian, Jonathan Slocumb.

Themed “An Evening of Honors,” the Gala takes place Friday, Sept. 26, and will not only pay tribute to long-time educators Drs. Jamye and Mcdonald Williams and Pro Football Hall of Famer Claude Humphrey, but also raise scholarship dollars for students in need attending the University

“We are excited about the Gala as we reach out to our community members, industry partners, friends and alumni from across the state and region,” said Dr. Sharon Peters, Gala co-chairman. “This is an important event for the University and we look forward to a successful event which will raise funds for our students and to support the University.”

Host Slocumb, the ferociously funny, multi-talented nonconformist comedian who has been bringing fun back to the family for more than a decade now, has gone from “tearing up” clubs across the map to hosting award shows for prestigious organizations like the NAACP and the Urban League. For seven years in a row, he has been the main stage host for the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans. And he does it all without using any profanity.

“I’m very balanced and very diverse. For years, I was placed in a box and everything was related to gospel and religion,” Slocumb said. “But I’m able to perform for the mainstream and the religious audiences. However, the main thing is that I’m always clean.”

As an artist who appeals to broader audiences, Slocumb’s television appearances include: HBO’s Def Comedy Jam, The UNCF telethon, BET’s Bobby Jones Gospel, BET Tonight, Teen Summit, Vibe, The Montel Williams Show, OH DRAMA, Life Today, the NAACP Image Awards, and twice the host of the Stellar Awards.

Not only is he smart, handsome, well dressed and clever, Slocumb brings a level of class like no one else. And he does it all through his faith in God. “I just want to bring good quality entertainment to people,” he said, “because they need it now more than ever before.”

According to Grant Winrow, gala co-chair, the committee and University are thrilled to have Slocumb serve as the Master of Ceremonies for the special event.

“He is sure to have your sides hurting with his brand of ‘clean Christian” comedy,’ said Winrow. “You can expect him to joke and play with the audience to the point they might actually be embarrassed to leave their seat. From talking with him, he is excited to be coming to Nashville and taking part in the Gala.”

A reception kicks off the evening beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the Main Ballroom Ballroom of the Music City Center in Downtown Nashville. Jazmin Ghent, a graduate student from Huntsville, Alabama, studying music education, will perform jazz saxophone selections. Ghent, a recent Smooth Jazz Cruise “Opening Act” winner, will be accompanied on piano by James Dunn, a sophomore music student from Nashville.

Dinner entertainment begins at 7 p.m. with the Tennessee State University Dance Experience Ensemble. Choreographed by artistic director and founder Judy Gentry, the 14-member ensemble executes all major dance genres and has performed with the Nashville Symphony, Dr. Bobby Jones, and New Life singers in concert with Dr. Pearl Primus.

The TSU Jazz Collegians, a 21-member group who have played across the country and around the world, will perform dinner music. Under the direction of James Sexton, the ensemble dates back to the early years of the Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State Normal College. They have performed in Carnegie Hall, the All-American College Jazz Festival in Orlando, the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame Student Festival, and the Notre Dame Jazz Festival in South Bend Indiana. They recently performed as part of a university exchange program at the Mompox Jazz Festival in Colombia, South America.

Freddie T. Holt and the After 5 Tux Band rounds out the evening when they provide after-dinner entertainment. The band includes three former members of TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands, with all members recording veterans in the Nashville and Middle Tennessee area. The band performs hits from country and Blues, to pop, rock, R&R and jazz.

“We are excited about the Gala, which is becoming one of Nashville’s must-attend event,” added Winrow. “Not only do we get the opportunity to showcase the talent of our students, but also honor great educators and one of TSU’s NFL Hall of Fame players. It will be a fun and exciting evening, all with the hopes of raising scholarship dollars for deserving students.”

For more information on the 2014 Scholarship Gala call 615.963.5481 or visit www.tnstate.edu/scholarshipgala. The gala takes place Friday, Sept. 26 at Music City Center with tickets available for purchase.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 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.