NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University added another page to the institution’s historical achievements when its first Executive MBA class walked the stage at the 2018 fall commencement ceremony on Saturday, December 8.
The 22-member group received degrees in August, but wanted to mark the special moment by participating in the graduation exercise. The significance of their achievement was highlighted when TSU President Glenda Glover acknowledged the class and asked them to stand.
“It was extremely exciting and gratifying to see the first cohorts of the TSU executive MBA culminate this historic journey by participating in fall commencement,” said TSU President Glover. “TSU is Nashville’s only 4-year public institution and it just made sense that we have a business program tailored for the corporate community, the working professional. Our executive MBA has national and global appeal, as evident from some of the students that were from as far away as Colorado, and also internationally, representing Italy.”
The 12-month program, which started last fall, was delivered in a hybrid format consisting of both in-person and online course offerings. One local student was Dr. Anita Sykes-Smith. Dr. Sykes-Smith has a long and successful career as a dentist and medical school professor. However, she felt something was missing professionally, and looked to Tennessee State University to fill that gap.
Last August, she joined the 21 other cohorts of career professionals, industry executives, a college dean and independent consultants for the inaugural class of the newly launched TSU Executive MBA program. Like Sykes-Smith, they were also looking for that missing link with the desire to move their careers to a higher level of success — and TSU provided it.
“The opportunity to attend a 12-month MBA program that provided a world-class management education while continuing my career is priceless,” said Sykes-Smith, a general dentist and assistant professor at Meharry Medical College.
“I believe the program accomplished its goal of inspiring participants to be constantly learning, building new skills, and stretching to take on new challenges.”
Sykes-Smith added that the program helped enhance her skills and knowledge by providing insight into management strategies and analysis for problem solving, which she believed will be extremely beneficial to her career.
Business professors and seasoned professionals with industry and business background such as current and former company executives, taught the program. Among them was President Glover, a certified public accountant with a high level of experience in the corporate world.
Program participants also had the opportunity to spend 10 days studying outside the United States to broaden their understanding of global leadership.
David Pelton, a member of the graduating class, has been in the business world as an independent consultant in marketing and government relations for more than 20 years. But just like Sykes-Smith, he needed a brush-up in accounting and how to deal with personalities in the workplace. He said the TSU MBA program was just what he needed.
“This program helped me gain knowledge and develop better skills and understanding of things I thought I knew in serving my clients,” said Pelton. “I travel quite a lot in my business and the program design worked perfectly to do class work, as well as serve clients.”
Dr. Millicent Lownes-Jackson, dean of the College of Business, said the goal of the EMBA program was to offer an affordable, convenient, accredited, business curriculum for busy business professionals.
“Congratulations to our first graduating class of outstanding individuals for their achievement,” Lownes-Jackson said. “In one short year, EMBA program participants have acquired critical business knowledge, along with readily applicable global business and leadership strategies that will enable them to make an immediate and profound impact.”
Anis Mnif, director of graduate programs in the College of Business, agreed.
“The Executive MBA provided participants a strong foundation for a thriving career,” Mnif said “It combined cutting-edge research results and theory provided by our renowned faculty and real-life practical examples made available through the rich executive-level experiences of the program’s Executives in Residence.”
Other members of the inaugural EMBA graduating class included: Joyce A. Barbour, Janet E. Blakemore, Rosalyn D. carpenter, JoAnn A. Carter-Almore, Frederick W. Cawthon, Samuel K. Hargrove, Bradley C. Jackson, Debbie Jacobs, Latrisha Jemison, Marrecco D. Johnson, Tonya C. Kilpatrick and Matthew W. Muterspaugh.
Also graduating were: Stefania Placentini, Sharon W. Reynolds, Yvonne J. Sanders, Leah Sarnicola, Wilma K. Sharpe, Deborah K. Williams and Grant L. Winrow.
A second class for the TSU EMBA started in August and had 20 cohorts. For more information on the TSU Executive MBA program, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/mba/e_mba.aspx or call 615-963-7295.
NOTE: Featured photo by Ramona Whitworth-Wiggins
Department of Media Relations
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With more than 7,000 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, 24 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.