All posts by Emmanuel Freeman

TSU, Metro Schools Host Area’s Largest College Fair with an attendance of more than 8,000

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When it comes to choosing a college, high school senior Gabriel Faulcon’s mind is made up. He’s going to Tennessee State University.

College of Agriculture representatives, Prof. William Hayslett, left, and Dr. De’Etra Young, discuss TSU offerings and programs with high school senior Gabriel Faulcon and his mother Mercedes Maynor-Faulcon. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“TSU has always been a part of my life; I am from Nashville, I go to University School of Nashville,” said Faulcon, who has been a part of an independent study program at TSU for almost two years. “I am interested in becoming a veterinarian, and so as soon as I heard TSU offered animal science, it made me even more excited about coming here.”

Faulcon, whose father, Gary, also attended TSU, was one of more than 8,000 middle and high school students and their parents and relatives who attended the Metro Nashville Public Schools College Fair at TSU’s Gentry complex on Sept. 21.

Dr. Sito Narcisse, MNPS Chief of Schools, left, says that TSU is the biggest pipeline for teachers in the entire Metro school system. he talks to, from right, Dr. Curtis Johnson, Associate VP for Administration; Dr. Gregory Clark, TSU’s Director of High School Relations and NCAA Certification; Dr. Megan Cusson-Lark, MNPS Interim Executive Director of School Counseling; and Kathy Buggs, Director of Office and and Community Services for Congressman Jim Cooper. (Photo by Emmanuel S. Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

More than 170 colleges, universities and post-secondary institutions from across the nation took part in the fair. It offered students the opportunity to review information on admissions, financial aid, costs, college life and programs to help them decide their choice of college or university.

TSU is the first university or college to host the MNPS College Fair in its decades-long history, according to TSU officials.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Tennessee State University,” said Dr. Curtis Johnson, associate vice president for administration and chief of staff. “Having this at TSU gives us an opportunity to showcase the campus to people who would otherwise not come here. So, showing them what we have to offer, given that our various colleges and departments are participating, is exciting for us.”

MNPS Chief of Schools, Dr. Sito Narcisse, said the Metro schools are excited to partner with TSU to host the college fair. He said TSU has been a major partner and the biggest pipeline for teachers in the entire system.

“TSU has been a great partner, and we appreciate how the university has supported us like today with thousands of kids and their parents attending this fair,” Narcisse said. “We are one of the largest urban school systems, not only in the state of Tennessee, but in the country, with about 6,000 teachers out of our 11,000 employees. We’d like to sign TSU teachers early, even as they are in their courses, to ensure jobs for them as they come out.”

TSU officials say hosting the college fair is the result of a long relationship between the Office of Enrollment Management and Student Success, and the MNPS Guidance Counselors’ Office. For the last seven years, TSU has also hosted the mandatory annual high school guidance counselors’ training for MNPS.

“We are ecstatic to be the first university to host the Metro Nashville Public School College Fair,” said Dr. Gregory Clark, director of High School Relations and NCAA Certification. “The fair has taken place at different locations throughout the city. We are just excited to welcome so many institutions from throughout North America.”

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands Lends a Hand in Tampa Cleanup Efforts

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s famed Aristocrat of Bands is helping with cleanup efforts in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

TSU band members help in cleanup in Tampa following Hurricane Irma. (Submitted photo, TSU Media Relations)

The band is in Tampa, Florida, for the Tampa Classic on Saturday when TSU will take on Florida A&M University. The football game is scheduled to go on as planned.

“I am really elated to be able to help the people of Tampa in their time of need,” said Eyonchrisshea “Shea” Dumas, a majorette in the band and a senior healthcare administration and planning major. “The band has always emphasized community service and I am really looking forward to help.”

According to city officials, the band members will help in cleanup efforts in Cypress Point Park and Gadsden Park, which sustained widespread damage when the city was hit by 85 MPH winds when Irma landed.

“The band program is a well rounded program where we encourage our students to be Aristocrats both on and off the field,” said Dr. Reginald McDonald, TSU’s director of bands. “Promoting academic success, service projects in the community and overall great people, is the band’s norm.”

Meg Heimstead, artistic supervisor of creative arts in the Tampa Department of Park and Recreation, said the city is grateful for the band’s help.

“A huge thank you to the band for helping the City of Tampa clean up after the storm,” Heimstead said. “I can’t tell you how much we appreciate it.”

The Aristocrat of Bands has performed in more than 15 nationally-televised NFL half-time shows, three presidential inaugurations and has appeared and performed in a variety of television, movie and concert venues.  The band was the first collegiate band to perform the halftime show in the 51-year history of the Pro Football Hall of Fame game. Last year, it performed on the lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

For more information on the Aristocrat of Bands, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/aristocratofbands/

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

TSU welcomes largest freshman class in university’s history

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University welcomed a historic incoming freshman class to campus on Wednesday.

Incoming freshmen hold candles to symbolize ‘knowledge and truth’ as they take the TSU Freshman Pledge. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

More than 1,500 first-year students were inducted during the 2017 freshman convocation in Kean Hall. It was the largest freshman class in the university’s history, and a 17 percent increase over last year’s freshman enrollment, according to TSU officials.

“I am extremely proud to welcome you to Tennessee State University,” said President Glenda Glover. “It is my honor to stand before the Class of 2021 today, not only as your president, but as a fellow TSU Tiger. You have embarked on an incredible journey. I encourage you to do your best. Do not just strive to make an A, but strive to be an A.”

Incoming freshman T’ona Lott, of Memphis, said the induction ceremony was “a very humbling experience, that makes me already feel at home.”

More than 1,500 incoming freshmen were inducted during the fall 2017 Freshman Convocation in Kean Hall. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“I have always been a very serious student and I plan to continue that here,” said Lott, an industrial engineering major who is entering TSU with a 3.8 GPA. “TSU is a great school and I expect it will give me an education to adequately prepare me for a career anywhere I choose.”

Like Lott, TSU officials say the class of 2021 also comes in as one of the most academically qualified classes in the university’s history. Incoming freshmen average a 3.07 GPA and 18.1 score on the ACT.

“Madam President, it is my pleasure to present these young people who have satisfied all the requirements for admission to Tennessee State University as freshmen and students with advance standing,” said Dr. John Cade, vice president for Enrollment and Student Success.

With each student holding a lighted candle symbolizing “knowledge and truth,” they took the TSU Freshman Pledge, administered by the Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Mark Hardy.

Females were dressed in white and males in white shirt and blue pants, sporting a TSU-supplied blue tie. They pledged to commit themselves “to serious intellectual and cultural efforts” and to deport themselves “with honor and dignity to become better prepared to live a full and useful life in society.”

Thomyonne Shannon, a math major from Nashville, said he took the pledge very seriously.

“I am committed to being a very good student in all areas for as long as I am here,” Shannon said.

In addition to student representatives, speakers at the convocation included Dr. Achintya Ray, chair of the Faculty Senate; and the President of the TSU National Alumni Association, Joni McReynolds.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Southern Heritage Classic More than Football, Builds Careers and Promotes Relationships

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s victory in the 28th Southern Heritage Classic on Sept. 9 wasn’t the only thing sophomore Micah Williams had to celebrate.

The Army ROTC awarded the TSU communications major a $42,500 scholarship during a sideline ceremony at the end of the first quarter of the game.

President Glenda Glover, joined by Rapper and actor T.I., and Associate Vice President for Administration, Dr. Curtis Johnson, right, receives a check for $10,000 from Coors officials at the 28th Southern Heritage Classic in Memphis. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“I love the classic, but receiving this scholarship from the Army is just so exciting,” said Williams, an Army cadet who’s planning a career in the U.S. military. “I am honored to be able to serve my country and to be debt free when I leave college.”

Just like Williams, the classic also brought great excitement to TSU fans and supporters to cap a week of activities.

Army Master Sgt. Gabriel Cleveland, left, presents a check for $42,500 to Army Cadet and TSU communications major Micah Williams at the 28th Southern Heritage Classic in Memphis. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Before a crowd of more than 47,000 at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, TSU defeated Jackson State University 17-15 to extend its current winning streak to 6-0 over the JSU Tigers. The win improves TSU to 17-11 in the Southern Heritage Classic.

“This is just another sweet victory for our Tennessee State University Tigers and fans,” said TSU President Glenda Glover.

For TSU, the weeklong celebration was more than about football. It was also a time for administrators, staff, student and alumni to engage in academic and relationship building activities that impact student learning, recruitment and support.

For instance, the annual Memphis Recruitment Reception hosted by the Office of Admissions, took place Wednesday evening at the Sheraton Memphis Downtown hotel. More than 50 high school students and their parents attended the reception to receive information on offerings and programs at TSU.

By the end of the evening, 25 students with exceptional GPAs and ACT scores were awarded full scholarships to attend TSU. One of those students was Talia Chambers of Middle College High School.

“I came here tonight just to get some information and now here I have a full-ride scholarship, this is great,” said Chambers, who has a 4.0 GPA, and plans to major in animal science. “I am very excited to attend Tennessee State.”

A daylong college-recruitment fair in the Pipkin Building on Friday followed the reception. Hundreds of students received information on offerings and programs at TSU and other participating institutions.

Alumni engagement, usually a major feature of the Southern Heritage Classic week, saw a packed room of former students and supporters attend the Memphis Alumni Mixer in the Case Management Building.

At the gathering, Glover called for a moment of silence in honor of those affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. She also gave an update on developments at TSU, including a new governing board, and the university’s new strategic plan and its emphasis on new admission standards.

“We are focusing on recruiting students who are academically talented,” Glover said. “We have raised our admissions standards. We want to bring in students with the support and ability to graduate. We are no longer the school of last resort. Those days are over.”

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Receives Tennessee Education Innovation Grant to Strengthen State Teacher Supply Pipeline

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Just months after Tennessee State University was  ranked the highest producer of teachers among HBCUs in the nation, the university’s teacher preparation program has received yet another boost.

It has been awarded a grant to ensure a strong and vibrant new teacher pipeline for the future.

Out of 18 applicants, TSU was one of only four institutions in the state, designated as Education Preparation Programs, to receive the 2017 Tennessee Innovation in Preparation award, or TIP.

TIP grants, awarded by the Tennessee Department of Education, are designed to support an increase in the development of a diverse educator workforce, an increase in the production of educators in high-demand licensure areas, and promote collaboration to improve educator preparation in literacy.

Dr. Clara Young

TSU and the other three winning institutions will equally share $200,000 to design and implement individual projects to meet the TIP requirements.

“We are really excited for this grant, and to be one of only four selected in the state, is an honor,” said Dr. Clara Young, chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning, who, along with two other professors in the College of Education, wrote the winning proposal for TSU.

Dr. Nicole Arrighi, associate professor; and Dr. Kisha Bryan, assistant professor, both in the Department of Teaching and Learning, along with Young, will spearhead the TSU project called English Language Acquisition through Technology and Teacher Education or ELATTE.

Dr. Nicole Arrighi

According to Young, ELATTE is a four-month “comprehensive professional development” summer institute for 15 pre-service teachers and 20 recent secondary education graduates from TSU.

“The goal is to produce 6-12 content area teachers who have a strong foundation of English as a second language, theory, knowledge of technology tool for second language acquisition and professional practice with a diverse population of English learners,” Young said.

TSU has remained a major supplier of well-trained teachers not only for the Davidson County and Metro Nashville Public Schools, but school districts across the nation.

In July, TSU was ranked as the No. 1 producer of teachers among historically black colleges and universities in the nation.  HBCU Lifestyle, which published the ranking, noted that TSU’s undergraduate and graduate offerings and concentrations in biology, chemistry and elementary education made the school’s teacher preparation program more attractive.

Dr. Kisha Bryan

The ranking did not surprise Baris Johnson, a TSU graduate who teaches general music and band to 5th-8th graders at East Nashville Manget Middle School. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music education, and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from TSU.

“With the kind of rigorous curriculum students go through, TSU deserves to be at the top,” said Johnson. “In just my first year of teaching, I have done so well. The number one ranking … shows how hard the faculty and staff work.”

Arrighi said the grant offers an opportunity for English language practitioners to leverage technology in a manner that supports today’s digital learners.

“We know that students are more tech-savvy than ever before,” she said. “Therefore, we want to strategically enhance their EL (English language) instructional competencies through digital tools.”

Bryan said the project will contribute to partnerships with MNPS.

“Our shared goal has always been to prepare highly qualified teachers to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student population,” Bryan said. “We hope that this intensive summer program might be a model for other Educator Preparation Programs in Tennessee.”

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

B.B. King Protégé recalls Time Touring with the Late Blues Music Legend

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Just mention the name B.B. King and you will get the biggest smile out of Michael Doster.

Michael Doster

“Man I had some of the best times of my life hanging out with the legend,” said Doster, a bass player, who for more than 17 years, toured with the late Blues legend all over the world.

“We went to Europe, Asia, South America and many parts of the world playing gigs and concerts. As band members, we were a family, and that’s how he (King) referred to us because sometime we would tour together for a whole year,” Doster said.

For the last nine years, Doster has been an assistant in the Brown-Daniel Library at Tennessee State University, his alma mater, where as a student in the early 1980s, he met fellow music student Walter King, B.B. King’s nephew. The younger King introduced Doster to his uncle.

Upon being hired, Doster said King asked him, “Son, do you want a job? I will guarantee you two weeks, and if you leave me, give me two week’s notice.”

“It was a handshake,” Doster said, “and it lasted 17 years.”

Michael Doster, far left corner, standing, appears with B.B. King during a performance at Club Ebony in Indianola, Mississippi. (Courtesy photo)

For his time with King, Doster, whose stage name was “Mighty Mike,” has been invited as an honored guest at the 3rd Annual B.B. King Day Symposium at Mississippi Valley State University on Sept. 7, and to participate on a panel about the “Chitlin Circuit Years.”

A special reception in Doster’s honor will follow the symposium at the historic Club Ebony in Indianola, Mississippi’s last Chitlin’ Circuit club, and a famous King hangout back in the day.

In a letter inviting Doster, Dr. Alphonso Sanders, of the B.B. King Recording Studio, wrote: “Your appearance and intellectual contribution is paramount to achieving music history and continuing the legacy of B.B. King.”

Doster’s current boss, Dr. Murle Kenerson, dean of Libraries and associate professor, said TSU is “extremely fortunate” to have the musician on staff because of his years of experience as a band member with the “world’s greatest performer.”

“In his 17 years with B.B. King, Michael traveled the world,” Kenerson said. “His worldly experience adds a unique aspect to his work in the library, especially when interacting with students who are potential music majors, and information seekers in general who are interested in the life and times of B.B. King.”

Prior to King, Doster toured with various musical acts, including three years with gospel legend, Dr. Bobby Jones, but it is his time with King from 1985 – 2002 that gives him the fondest memories. He recorded with King on some of his biggest hits, including the Grammy winning albums “Live at San Quentin,” “Blues on the Bayou,” and “A Christmas Celebration of Hope.”

Doster also performed with King on television shows such as “B.B. King and Friends,” “The Cosby Show,” “Jazz Central,” and in PBS’ 1999 “In Performance at the White House” for President Bill Clinton. He appeared with King in the films “Next of Kin,” and “Heart and Soul.”

“B. B. King was a kind and compassionate man. He was demanding to work for, but very fair,” said Doster, who returned every summer to play in the ‘Mississippi Homecoming’ that King hosted in honor of late civil rights leader Medgar Evers, at Club Ebony.

King died May 2015 at age 89.

“I am just extremely honored to be invited to such a historic event as the King Day Symposium,” Doster said. “The fact that I am able to be on a panel to discuss my experiences with him and my work at an HBCU, just mean so much to me.”

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU’s Cassandra Griggs Named to National Taskforce on HBCUs

Cassandra Griggs

By Britt Mabry Young

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (TSU News Service) – Cassandra Griggs, Tennessee State University’s director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, has been named to the HBCU Taskforce for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

An international organization of institutions of higher education, CASE offers networking, collaboration opportunities and resources for university leadership.

As a member of the eight-member HBCU Taskforce, Griggs, who has been involved with CASE for nearly 20 years, will help the organization build a pipeline of students who see institutional advancement as a viable and lucrative career option, as well as help expand the number of historically black colleges and universities exposed to CASE.

“I am honored to have been selected by my peers in the advancement industry to serve as the HBCU representative and newly elected board member for CASE District III,” Griggs said. “As a member, I will have access to additional resources and information, as well as innovative programing to help accomplish our goal.”

According to CASE’s HBCU Initiatives, the Taskforce is dedicated to “helping HBCUs face their unique challenges,” while giving them a platform within CASE for discussing issues and best practices.  The  taskforce is composed of individuals from HBCUs across the southwest United States, who also work in partnership with the United Negro College Fund, the HBCU Philanthropy Symposium, and the White House Initiatives for HBCUs.

A longtime member of the institutional advancement team at TSU, Griggs said she is passionate about helping HBCUs succeed and hopes her appointment will help her make a difference.

“As a graduate and employee of an HBCU, I’ve both benefited from and been a part of the nurturing experiences unique only to HBCUs. This role will afford me the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues across the district to build the advancement profession, while focusing on the unique needs of HBCUs,” Griggs said.

EDITOR’S NOTE

Britt Mabry Young served as an intern in the Office of University Publications. She is a master’s level student in the College of Education at TSU working on an independent study project with a focus on communications.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU scholars engage in critical discussions at inaugural R.A.C.E. Mentoring Conference

By K. Dawn Rutledge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Art Department Hopes to Inspire Youth with Mural Projects

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.