All posts by Emmanuel Freeman

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.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

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

TSU, Verizon Technology Partnership Gives Area Middle School Students Hands-on STEM Training

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

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

TSU Graduate and Renowned Harvard Scientist S. Allen Counter Dies at 73

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Dr. S. Allen Counter, a Tennessee State University graduate and renowned Harvard scientist, has died at the age of 73.

Counter, a neurobiologist who joined the Harvard faculty in 1970, died July 12. He is best known for championing the achievements of African American explorer Matthew Henson. He traveled to Greenland, where he found descendants of Henson and fellow polar explorer Robert E. Peary.

Dr. S. Allen Counter receives a gift from TSU President Glenda Glover following his presentation as keynote speaker at the 2013 Annual University Wide Research Symposium. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Born Samuel Allen Counter Jr., in Americus, Georgia on July 8, 1944, Counter grew up near West Palm Beach, Florida.  His father was a business manager and his mother was a nurse.

Counter earned a bachelor’s degree in speech communication and theater from Tennessee State University in 1965. Five years later, he received a doctorate in neurobiology from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He later obtained another doctorate in medical science from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

In 2013, Counter returned to TSU as the keynote speaker at the Annual University Wide Research Symposium.

In his academicwork, Counter, longtime director of the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations, branched into ethnographic studies of African descendants around the world and produced award-winning documentaries about isolated populations of former slaves in Ecuador and Suriname (the former Dutch Guiana).

“There is no purer group of Africans in the Western hemisphere than those communities living along the rivers of the Suriname interior,” Counter told New African magazine in 2009. “These people have changed very little in 300 years. In many ways they were more African than many Africans today!”

He was the author of “North Pole Legacy: Black, White and Eskimo,” a book about explorer Henson.

For more information on the life and work of Dr. Counter, go to http://wapo.st/2sUBT9n

 

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 ranked among Top 30 black colleges with highest starting salaries for graduates

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When it comes to earning power, Tennessee State University graduates do very well.

A recent ranking of the average starting salaries for graduates at the nation’s top 30 historically black colleges puts TSU at No. 6.

EDsmart, a nationally recognized publisher of college resources and rankings, published the 2017 ranking.

It shows recent TSU graduates are averaging $48,100 in starting salaries.

Officials at TSU call the ranking “a testament of how valuable an education from TSU is for our students.”

“When students see that they will graduate from this institution with a great projected salary, it makes the decision to attend TSU the obvious choice,” said Charles Jennings, Jr., director of the TSU Career Development Center.

The ranking puts TSU graduates in the top tier of earning potential for people receiving undergraduate degrees in 2017. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the average starting salaries for all recent graduates in entry-level positions is $49,785, an all-time high.

This upward movement is more good news for TSU officials, who are doing everything possible to ensure students are adequately prepared and given the necessary tools for success in the job market.

Recently, the university received a $2 million career development grant from the United Negro College Fund. The funding will give the university the tools to prepare and ultimately help TSU graduates immediately secure employment.

“We want to make sure that when they graduate, they’ll have jobs,” said Tina Reed, associate director of the career center.

A number of students who graduated from TSU in May had jobs waiting for them. Most of them credited TSU faculty and programs like the university’s career center with motivating them to be successful.

“Having a job after graduation is a blessing,” said 24-year-old Cametria Weatherspoon, who received her degree in electrical engineering. She has a job working in programming at Lockheed Martin’s Space Systems Company in Littleton, Colorado.

For more information on the TSU Career Development Center, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/careers/

 

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.

 

Grad student receives seed grant for dissertation research

By Britt Mabry Young

Joanne Rong Wang, a doctoral student in the Department of Educational Leadership at Tennessee State University, has been awarded a $7,000 seed grant from Vanderbilt University’s Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion to use toward her dissertation research.

Joanne Rong Wang

Wang’s dissertation, entitled Chief Diversity Officers’ Perceptions of the Degree to which a NACUBO Economic Model is Effective in Producing Outcomes Leading to Institutionally Sustainable Diversity Programs, seeks to study the intersection of finance and diversity in higher education.

“There are rapidly changing demographics in education,” Wang said. “By 2065, there will not be a minority race. Higher education has to respond quickly to be market smart.”

Wang was inspired to study this intersectionality by the rising costs of higher education, increasing budget cuts, and the financial challenges universities face. She believes diversity programs are necessary for the future of higher education because they are essentially marketing strategies. With the high investment costs of education, students want to attend colleges and universities that they feel will represent them. However, diversity programs face issues with long-term sustainability due to leadership changes and financial problems.

“Lots of educational models and leadership have been used to examine outcomes [in diversity programs], but I’m examining them from a business perspective,” Wang said.

When the call for grants was announced, Wang decided to submit her dissertation, which is still in the proposal stage at TSU. More than 60 prospective grants were reviewed and 29 were funded. Wang plans to use the grant to help further her research by funding travel to conferences and hiring statisticians and editors for her dissertation.

Wang is especially excited about an upcoming conference that the grant is funding. She plans to attend the National Association of College and University Business Officers Annual Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she will meet Dr. Jacalyn Askin, the project manager for NACUBO’s Higher Education Economic Models Project. NACBUO is an organization that represents financial officers, whose mission is “to advance the economic viability, business practices and support for higher education institutions in fulfillment of their missions.” After reading a paper Askin had authored, Wang contacted her to discuss her research findings, and the two have been in constant communication ever since. Askin, who sits on Wang’s dissertation committee, will meet in person for the first-time.

Currently, Wang works for Vanderbilt University’s School of Engineering, where she plans, organizes, and executes special projects for the school. She earned an Education Specialist degree in Administration and Supervision with a concentration in Higher Education and a Master of Science in Mass Communications from Middle Tennessee State University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from her home country of China. Wang decided to pursue her doctorate at TSU because she wanted to focus on higher education. TSU is the only middle Tennessee institution that offers a doctorate with an emphasis on higher education. She was also awarded an assistantship working for the dean of the Graduate School, which she thought was a good opportunity.

“Experimenting with different universities has made me expand my view. Each one is very different. TSU is one of few HBCUs in this area, and now I work at Vanderbilt, a PWI. No matter public or private, they’re all different, and all of their diversity plans are different,” Wang said.

EDITOR’S NOTE

Britt Mabry Young is 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.

 

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