All posts by Emmanuel Freeman

TSU Honors Top Researchers at 39th Annual University Wide Research Symposium

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University recognized its top student and faculty researchers during a ceremony in the Ferrell Westbrook Complex on the main campus on Friday.

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Awards Luncheon speaker Mark N. Russ engages students during his presentation at the Ferrell-Westbrook Complex. (Submitted Photo)

It was the Awards Luncheon culminating the weeklong 39th Annual University-Wide Research Symposium organized by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

Awards were given for the top three winners in undergraduate and graduate oral and postal presentations.  Organizers received 155 student submissions in eight categories and 35 faculty submissions.

Mark N. Russ, executive assistant director of the National Security Directorate Naval Criminal Investigative Service, was the keynote speaker. He admonished the award winners to set high goals and stick with them if they want to be successful.

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Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, Dean of the College of Engineering, left, congratulates Kyra M. Bryant, a Ph.D. student in Computer Information Systems Engineering for winning first place award in Graduate Engineering II oral presentation. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“By involving yourselves in award events like this you are stepping in the right direction, but it is not enough,” Russ said. “You have to continue to stick with it, continue to have your failures, successes and ultimately you will move in a direction where you are the only person with the background and experience to take it to the next level.”

Using Olympic champion Wilma Rudolph as an example of perseverance, Russ said no one thought she had a chance “because of things she had going against her.”

“She had medical issues and other health issues, but they did not stop her. She didn’t have to have someone tell her to keep working hard, she just didn’t quit and became one of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen,” Russ said.

Kyra M. Bryant, a Ph.D. student in Computer Information Systems Engineering, won first place in Graduate Engineering II oral presentation for her research on “Improved Bottom Friction, Surface Rachness, and Wind Stress in a Coupled Wave and Storm Surge Model.”

She said her study is aimed at developing a more accurate module for forecasting hurricanes.

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Dr. Margaret Mmbaga, took top award for faculty research. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“Winning this award has been really very encouraging, pushing me to research even more on this topic,” Bryant said “We are trying to make the modeling more accurate and winning this award tells me that I am on the right path.”

In faculty research, Dr. Margaret Mmbaga won first place in the category of Faculty II for “Screening of Common Bean for Multiple Disease Resistance Under Natural Infection by Common Bacterial Blight and Charcoal Rot.”

Each year, an individual researcher is admitted into the “Million Dollar Club” during the awards ceremony. Individuals in this select group are recognized for receiving grant money of a million dollars or more in a single year.

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Dr. Marie Hammond, second from right, holds her award for becoming the newest Million Dollar Club member. She is congratulated by Phyllis Danner, Director of Research and Sponsored Programs, left, and research symposium co-chairs Dr. John Robinson, and Nannette Carter Martin. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

That recognition went to Dr. Marie Hammond, associate professor of psychology in the College of Education. In 2016, she received a $1.5 million National Science Foundation grant for basic research.

“I am honored, I am overwhelmed,” she said  “I am really grateful because I never would have gotten here without the support of people from across the university, who worked with me along the way.”

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 Aristocrat of Bands to perform at 54th Annual State of Metro Address

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Nashville Mayor Megan Barry will include a lively performance by Tennessee State University’s Aristocrat of Bands when she delivers the “54th Annual State of Metro Address”  on April 26 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

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The TSU Aristocrat of Bands was the first HBCU band to perform at a presidential inauguration. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Known for high quality musical performances, innovative arrangements and precision marching, the Aristocrat of Bands was the first historically black college or university band to appear on national television in 1955, the first HBCU band to perform at a presidential inauguration, and the first HBCU band named as an official band for an NFL team – the Tennessee Titans in 2002. In September 2016, the band was invited to Washington, D.C. to celebrate the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture on the lawn of the White House.

“We are extremely honored for this invitation to perform at the Mayor’s State of Metro Address,” said Dr. Reginald McDonald, TSU’s director of Bands. “We see this as another opportunity to showcase the talents in the Aristocrat of Bands as well as let other people see what’s good and outstanding about Tennessee State University.”

The mayor’s State of Metro Address will include important details about the mayor’s budget proposal, which will be presented to the Metro Council following the event, according to the mayor’s office.

Members of the public are encouraged to attend the State of Metro Address, which begins at 10 a.m. For counting purposes only, attendees can RSVP at 54som.eventbrite.com. Seating will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. Anyone requesting accommodations due to disabilities should contact Jerry Hall, ADA Coordinator, at 615-862-8960 or Jerry.Hall@nashville.gov.

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 Economic Development Center to Hold 3rd Annual Financial Literacy Conference

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development will hold its 3rd Annual Financial Literacy Conference on Friday, April 21.

Fin LItFlyerfor instaThe one-day conference at the Avon Williams Campus is expected to bring together banking and economic development experts, tax planners, and the mayor’s Office of Economic Opportunity and Empowerment.

They will discuss alternative financing, understanding credit, budgeting, student loan management, steps to buying a home, and causes of bankruptcy, among other topics.

Organizers say the conference will benefit people from all walks of life, including students, people looking for business ideas, retirees and those approaching retirement.

“From saving for a college education, retirement planning, many people feel extreme financial anxiety and are looking for guidance and actionable plans,” said Dr. Ruthie Reynolds, executive director of CEED. “This conference will help to identify and explore some of those answers.”

The conference, which begins at 8 a.m. in the Atrium, is free and open to the public.

Sponsors include Capstar, Fifth Third Bank, Regions Bank, United Way, Suntrust, NAFI, Woodbine and the Small Business Development Center. They will set up tents and displays with giveaways.

For more information and how to register for the conference, go to https://2017financialliteracyconference.eventbrite.com or call 615-963-7130.

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.

‘Donor Appreciation’ Gives Scholarship Recipients Chance to Say ‘Thank You’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Leona Dunn is finally enjoying college life and stressing less about school fees. She is grateful.

“My first year in college I paid over $1,200 out of pocket from what I saved up over the summer to help me stay in college,” said Dunn, a junior communications major.

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TSU President Glenda Glover says scholarship donors help the university stay on the path of excellence. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

That experience was the beginning of some tough times for the Omaha, Nebraska, native who had just come out of foster care. She was barely able to keep up with the payment plan she had worked up, which made registering for the next semester even more difficult.

“My balance was still off,” Dunn said. “I had no one back home to help. And coming from foster care, the system doesn’t exactly just give children owned by the state full ride scholarships to anywhere even if they had an exceptional GPA and ACT score like I did.”

But thanks to some “nice people” and “great organizations,” Dunn is now worrying less about tuition and focusing more on her academics. She received financial assistance from the Links, and the Tennessee State University Women’s Center.

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Leona Dunn gave a Spoken Word rendition at the Scholarship Appreciation Program and Reception. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“With all of this help I had to come up with only $200 this year …a huge blessing. I am so grateful,” she said.

On Friday, April 7, Dunn, and fellow students who receive help through scholarship donations, had a chance to say, “Thank You.”

It was the 6th Annual Scholarship Appreciation Program and Reception, or “Donor Appreciation,” held in Kean Hall. The event, organized by the TSU Foundation, allows scholarship recipients to meet face-to-face with donors to thank them for their generosity.

TSU President Glenda Glover said scholarship donors help the university to stay on the path of excellence by ensuring that students receive quality education through their gifts.

“Because of you, our students are able to matriculate,” Glover said. “They get to come, they get to stay and they get to graduate because of your dollars. We are just so grateful.”

Donors Reception
Scholarship recipients enter Kean Hall with cheers and songs of appreciation for donors who have helped them stay in school. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

This year, nearly 280 people, including students, donors and special guests attended the program featuring songs, recognition of donors and a special toast. Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, vice president for Research and Institutional Advancement, provided remarks.

Eloise Abernathy Alexis, associate vice president of Institutional Advancement, said the program gave the students a “unique opportunity” to interact with the donors.

“We send out postcards, letters and notes to donors to show our appreciation for their gifts, but this is the moment when donors and students really get to come together face to face to give and receive appreciation,” Alexis said.

Dr. Darlene Harris-Vasser, assistant director of Donor Relations, coordinates the reception each year. She said it is exciting to see the joy on donors’ faces when they meet the students in person.

“They are just so elated to see all of those students speaking about their educational goals, future plans and how their (donors’) contributions are making it possible for them to achieve their goals,” Harris-Vasser said.

The Women’s Center, one of the donors that offered Dunn financial assistance, develops and sponsors programming that enhances the skills of women and assists in their development as scholars and professionals.

According to Seanne Wilson, director of the center, Dunn approached the center to inquire about assistance.

“As Leona is a huge supporter of the Women’s Center and its events, the center was happy to assist her with the request,” Wilson said.

In appreciation, Dunn wants to give back to help others.

“Hopefully I want to have my own endowed scholarship when I become an alumna to help others and give back for the help I received,” she said.

For information on how to support the TSU Foundation or make a scholarship donation, please go to http://www.tnstate.edu/foundation/.

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 Student Government Association Announces New Officers for 2017/2018 Academic Year

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University‘s Student Government Association has a new group of officers for the 2017/2018 academic year.

The new student leadership, including a Mr. TSU and a Miss TSU, was announced by the Student Election Commission Friday, April 7, during a ceremony in the university’s Amphitheater.

TSU Campus
President Glenda Glover and reigning Miss TSU Alicia Jones, right, congratulate incoming Miss TSU Kayla Smith. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

TSU President Glenda Glover, along with staff from the Office of Student Affairs, was on hand to congratulate the new officers when the election results were announced.

JerMilton Woods, of Memphis, a rising senior majoring in Performance and Sports Sciences, was elected the new SGA president, while Justus Watson, a senior Agricultural Science major from Atlanta, is the new SGA vice president.

Memphis native Kayla Smith, a rising senior Health Sciences major, is Miss. TSU. Alec Forrest, as the new Mr. TSU, will escort her. Forrest is a senior accounting major from Jackson, Tennessee.

“We are excited about the potential for these new student leaders and the impact they will be making on the student body,” said Alex Atkinson, assistant dean of Student Engagement and Life.

Following is the list of the new Miss TSU court and other members of the SGA. 

Mr. Senior – Andrew Crawford from Nashville – a rising senior Health Science major

Mrs. Senior – Daniellle Perry from Stone Mountain, Georgia – a rising senior, Child Development major

Senior Class President – Marquis Austin from Cincinnati, Ohio – a rising senior Business Administration major

Junior Class President – Prudencio Logan from Stone Mountain, Georgia – a rising junior Mass Communication major

Junior Class Secretary – Elyse Long from Harrison Township, Michigan – a rising sophomore Biology: Pre-Med major

Mr. Junior – Darien McGhee from Memphis, Tennessee – a rising Junior Mechanical Engineering major

Miss. Junior – Brandi BeCoats from Brentwood, Tennessee – a rising Junior Health Science major

Sophomore Class President – Makayla McCree from Detroit, Michigan – a rising sophomore Political Science major

Sophomore Class Vice President – Donald Thompson from Cincinnati, Ohio – a rising sophomore Finance and Economics major

Sophomore Class Treasurer – Ryan Smith from Atlanta, Georgia – a rising sophomore Economics and Finance major

Mr. Sophomore – Jonathon Hammock from Anderson, Indiana – a rising sophomore Finance major

Miss Sophomore – Sierra Holmes from Orlando, Florida – a rising sophomore Fashion Merchandising major

Representative At Large

  1. Shelby Davis from Waldorf, Maryland – a rising sophomore Biology: Pre-Med major
  1. Denisha Adewole from Nashville – a rising senior Biology major
  1. Sunnisha Stephenson from St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands – a rising Junior Criminal Justice major.
  1. Darren Evans from St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands – a rising Junior Civil Engineering major
    Department of Media RelationsTennessee State University
    3500 John Merritt Boulevard
    Nashville, Tennessee 37209
    615.963.5331About Tennessee State UniversityWith 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.

Nearly 800 Students, Parents Attend 2017 Spring Preview Day at Tennessee State University

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Spring Preview Day 2017 at Tennessee State University was a huge success.

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A TSU staffer talks to visiting parents and students about admission opportunities at the university. (Submitted photo)

The Office of Admissions and Recruitment organized the one-day event on Saturday, April 8, to give high school juniors and seniors from across the nation an opportunity to see the campus during springtime, as well as acquaint them with the university’s offerings and admission processes.

Nearly 800 students, parents and family members from 15 states — including Michigan, Texas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri and Indiana — attended Spring Preview Day.

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Hundreds of parents and students attending Spring Preview Day also toured the campus and met with academic departments. (Submitted photo)

TSU President Glenda Glover, accompanied by recruitment staff, welcomed the visitors in Kean Hall, where the various colleges and academic departments set up tents and tables displaying materials from their various departments.

According to organizers, visitors later toured the campus, met with academic departments, and received informational materials.

“We had high expectations for Spring Preview 2017 and we were not disappointed,” said Everett D. Jolley, director of recruitment. “It was a busy day for the admissions staff and representatives from the colleges. Several students who had turned in all their information were admitted on the spot.”

Jolley said Spring Preview was started several years ago as a “junior preview day,” to give juniors a jumpstart on recruitment, but it has “slowly turned into a day for seniors as well to complete their admission requirement.”

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.

Multimillionaire Entrepreneur Lectures TSU Students on Success, Establishes Endowed Scholarship

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Multimillionaire entrepreneur Dr. Bill Pickard has a message for TSU students: “Anybody, from anywhere, can accomplish anything.”

“But to do so, ‘you gotta put the work in,’” Pickard said, quoting a line from Grammy-Award winning singer Drake.

Pickard, chairman of Global Automotive Alliance and co-managing partner of MGM Grand Detroit Casino, was the guest lecturer at the Distinguished Lecture Series in the Forum on Monday, April 10.

Following his lecture, the LaGrange, Georgia, native, who is also CEO of Bearwood Management Company and co-owner of five Black-owned newspapers, established an endowed scholarship in the name of Kevin Williams, a TSU alumnus, Foundation Board member and retired president of General Motors of Canada.

He said the endowment was in appreciation of a long friendship, and credited Williams with helping to expand his (Pickard) GAA conglomerate of logistics and manufacturing companies with more than $1.5 billion in sales.

“When I met Kevin we were doing about $100 million, and when he left, we were doing about half a billion, that’s relationship,” Pickard told the packed auditorium with mostly students from the College of Business.

On his own life story, Pickard, who earned a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, said he started off at a community college after high school, because of poor grades. Many did not give him much chance for success, he said.

“I completed college, earned a master’s degree, became a social worker, and life was good,” said Pickard, who credits a “strong” faith in God for his success “I had an opportunity to earn my Ph.D. and I did.”

According to his bio, Pickard’s entrepreneurial career began with a McDonald’s franchisee in Detroit, becoming one of the top-10 Blacks in America to have a McDonald’s franchise.

“It is not where you start but where you go,” said Pickard, reminding the students of his “Seven Proven Principles of Entrepreneurship,” outlined in his book Millionaire Moves – vision, opportunity, finance, relationships, talent and skillset, failure, faith.

“To be successful you must have vision. Your vision must be greater than the window you are looking through. What that means is that you will never be what you cannot see,” Pickard said.

Williams, in whose name Pickard established the scholarship endowment, said he is glad many will benefit from Pickard’s gift.

“This recognition goes to a lot of people beyond myself,” he said, as he recognized his wife, Arlene, who “makes the machine go.”

Maya Moore, a junior finance major, was part of a panel of Business College students who listened to Pickard. She was very impressed by the speaker’s very simple and encouraging presentation.

“I encourage students to read his book, because just as he spoke, the book lays it down in layman terms for our generation to understand,” Moore said. “Like he said, if you put the work in, with a clear vision, you can accomplish anything.”

Earlier, Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, vice president for Research and Institutional Advancement, welcomed Pickard on behalf of President Glenda Glover, who was traveling on business.

“President Glover and the entire TSU family are glad and honored to welcome Dr. Pickard.” Crumpton-Young said. “Certainly, we are excited to hear him and learn from his great wealth of knowledge.”

The Dean of the College of Business, Dr. Millicent Lownes-Jackson, thanked Dr. Pickard for the scholarship endowment.

“This is a very, very special day for the College of Business and for me particularly, since Kevin was my former student,” Lownes-Jackson said. “The College of Business is just so thankful for this donation, and everyone who receives that scholarship will have the challenge to emulate the character and success of two phenomenal business icons – Kevin Williams and Dr. Bill Pickard.”

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.

Tennessee State University to Participate in 2017 Honda All-Star Challenge National Championship

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University has qualified for yet another Honda Campus All-Star Challenge National Championship.

Five students will represent TSU in the championship tournament in Torrance, California from April 8-12.

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The TSU Honda All-Star Challenge team members are from left, Terrance George Young, Mikala Jackson, Dr. John Miglietta, coach; Devon Jefferson, captain; and Alekzander Garcia. Ramon Gutierrez, the institutional representative, is not in the photo. (Submitted photo)

The Honda Campus All-Star Challenge is sponsored by American Honda Motor Company in cooperation with the College Bowl Company. The competition brings together 48 historically black colleges and universities to compete in the national championship. It tests students’ knowledge on current events, science, history, literature, art, sports, pop culture, and African-American history.

Honda awards grants to participating institutions with the national champion winning a $75,000 grant.

TSU, a 2007 Honda Campus All-Star Challenge champion, with more than $167,000 in total grant money, has participated in the challenge since 1990.

To qualify for this year’s tournament, the TSU team posted a 3-1 record in the National Qualifying Tournament held at Spelman College earlier this year, with wins over Clark Atlanta, Jackson State, and Tuskegee universities.

“The team played a hard-fought game but lost to host Spelman,” said Dr. John Miglietta, professor of political science and team coach at TSU. “The team is honored to have qualified for the championship tournament and is practicing hard to do well in Torrance.”

He said team members are chosen from various disciplines across campus.

They include Terrance George Young, sophomore, computer science; Mikala Jackson, sophomore, chemistry/biology; Alekzander Garcia, junior, chemistry; and team captain Devon Jefferson, a sophomore marketing major. Ramon Gutierrez, a sophomore accounting major, is the institutional representative.

For more information on the 2017 HCASC, including a full list of the 48 qualifying teams, visit http://www.hcasc.com/nct17/great48.asp.

The last eight games of the tournament are scheduled to be live-streamed. Below are three options to view the live-streamed games:

Direct to a TV or Monitor:

Connect an Internet enabled laptop directly to a TV or Monitor.

Use a web browser to go to http://www.hcasc.com

Using a Projector:

Connect an internet-enabled laptop to a projector and project the laptop image onto the screen.

Use a web browser to go to http://www.hcasc.com

Embedding the live-streamed feed onto a campus web page:

Have the Webmaster or other IT professional email mary@hcasc.com for the embed code. The code will be available on Friday April 7th. This is a great way to share HCASC in real time. If your team makes the Final 8 this is a must do!

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.

More than 500 Middle, High School Students Attend 5th Annual STEM Expo at TSU

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) -More than 500 middle and high school students from across Middle Tennessee recently converged on Tennessee State’s campus for one of the largest science fairs in the state.

TSU and the Middle Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub organized the 5th Annual STEM Expo on April 6 in the Gentry Complex.

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Serdarion Bell, left, and Malik Brown, of Johnson Alternative Learning Center in Nashville, display their project on sustainable recycling at the 5th Annual STEM Expo. (Photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

Students from 35 schools displayed the results of 259 STEM projects spanning science, mathematics, engineering, and technology fields: cyber bullying, breast cancer prevention, weather technology and sustainable recycling, just to name a few.

Students competed for bronze, silver, and gold medals based on judges’ evaluations. STEM EXPO sponsors also selected from among all entries for special awards.

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the TSU College of Engineering, said the Expo was all about preparing the next generation of STEM professionals. He said “of tomorrow’s top 10 best jobs, 7 out of 10 are STEM related.”

“TSU and the College of Engineering are committed to promoting STEM education for Metro Nashville Schools,” Hargrove said. “Higher education and industry must become even more engaged in stimulating interests in STEM careers, and preparing students with the necessary background and skills to enter these occupations in the next decade and beyond.”

Serdarion Bell and Malik Brown of Johnson Alternative Learning Center in Nashville were among the expo participants. Bell, a 9th grader, and Brown, a 10th grader, presented a project titled, “Sustainable Recycling to Meet Community Needs.”

“We wanted to implement environmental conservation and sustainable recycling throughout our school and in our personal lives,” said Bell, on the reason for their project. “At the same time, we wanted to discover how we could help others in our community with little or no money.”

Dr. Lonnie Sharpe, dean of TSU’s College of Life and Physical Sciences, was one of the Expo’s advisers. He said the fair provided “a unique” opportunity for recruitment.

“Maybe we can recruit some of these students to TSU one day,” Sharpe said.

On the character of each project, displays were judged on basic hypothesis, significance of the subject, knowledge beyond what the project shows, presentation, and level of technology.

“There are some very interesting projects at this fair,” said Jonathan Reynolds, a TSU graduate student majoring in Computer Information and Systems Engineering, who was one of the judges. “This is really fun. These kids are well ahead in 21st century technology.”

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.

NASA’s Nationwide Technology Infusion Tour Makes Two-Day Stop at Tennessee State University

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) –Tennessee State University hosted a two-day workshop to provide HBCUs and minority-serving institutions a platform to seek research funding from NASA.

NASA
John Barfield, Director of Engagement and Visibility in the Division of Research and Sponsored Programs at TSU, center, makes a point at the NASA Technology Infusion workshop. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

The NASA HBCU/MSI Technology Infusion Road Tour, on its third HBCU stop, is designed to strengthen research enterprise at historically black colleges and universities and minority serving institutions by providing opportunities for faculty and students to engage in significant research activities.

The tour is also designed to help NASA and large prime contractors meet and/or exceed the agency’s mandated HBCUs/MSI goals.

“We want HBCUs and minority-serving institutions to be actually involved with the next type of technology that will get us beyond earth or tomorrow,” said Dr. Joseph Grant, NASA’s deputy program executive for Small Business Innovation Research. “These technologies are going to be developed by minds of students like those here at TSU and all over the country.”

Grant said HBCUs have a unique way of looking at solving problems that are not always tapped into.

“So what we are trying to do is to bring all the voices to the table to help us solve some of the complex problems that we are going to have. I know what the expertise are, where they lie, how we look at things, and how we attack a problem,” he said.

TSU Associate Vice President for Administration, Dr. Curtis Johnson, in a welcome statement on behalf of President Glenda Glover, said the NASA tour brings “new knowledge and opportunities to TSU.”

“We thank NASA and all of these other agencies for bringing this road trip to TSU,” Johnson said. “We are counting on our faculty and staff to fully maximize the benefit of this opportunity.”

Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young is TSU’s chief research officer and vice president of Research and Institutional Advancement. She said the NASA tour is “very critical” because HBCUs and MSIs have not had the opportunity to significantly participate in their share of federal funding.

“So this is going to teach them strategies on how to be successful in getting that funding,” Crumpton-Young said. “Our expectation is that through this tour and many other efforts, we are going to help strengthen the research enterprise, not only at TSU, but throughout the country.”

Before TSU, the NASA HBCU/MSI Technology Infusion Road Tour stopped at Tuskegee University and North Carolina Central University. The next stop is Jackson State University. Seven agencies and participants from 14 HBCUs attended the workshop at TSU, according to Crumpton-Young.

Tabisa Taliwaku Kalisa, program manager of the Office of Small Business Programs at NASA, said the agency wants to find ways to engage with more minority-serving institutions in its “industrial base.” She said NASA is not reaching its 1 percent goal of doing business with HBCUs and MSIs.

“We are having a hard time meeting those goals because most of our prime contractors cannot find schools that are capable of doing the work,” Kalisa said. “I truly believe that the schools are there, but we have to figure out the synergy to get those schools more engaged, to be able to know about opportunities, and be able to participate.”

Gwen Johnson is director of Small Business at Parsons, a prime contractor. She was part of a group of participants who toured research facilities and classrooms at TSU as part of the NASA visit, and was “very impressed.”

“I look forward to sharing this information with Parsons’ technical experts and connecting them specifically with the TSU Center of Excellence in Information Systems Research in areas of cyber security, data analytics and advanced control and identification systems,” she said.

Among other agencies and contractors at the workshop were the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the National Institutes of Health, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, and the U.S. Department of Army.

“The event allowed faculty to expose their students to research at a higher level, to conferences, internships and maybe even a new career as many of the agencies and companies represented are looking to add new talent to the workforce,” said John Barfield, director of engagement and visibility in TSU’s Division of Research and Institutional Advancement.

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.