All posts by Emmanuel Freeman

Civil Rights Leader Al Sharpton and Professor and Bestselling Author Dr. Michael Eric Dyson to Speak at TSU Dual Commencements

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Renowned activist and civil rights leader, the Reverend Al Sharpton, and Georgetown University professor and bestselling author, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, will be the commencement speakers at Tennessee State University’s dual spring graduation ceremonies.

Sharpton will speak on Friday, May 3, at the graduate commencement ceremony in the Howard C. Gentry Complex, beginning at 5 p.m.

On Saturday, May 4, Dyson will address undergraduate students in Hale Stadium. The ceremony will begin at 8 a.m.

Overall, more than 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students will receive degrees in various disciplines.

Sharpton, a community leader, politician, minister and civil-rights activist, serves as the host of Politics Nation on MSNBC. With more than 40 years of experience as an advocate, he is one of America’s most renowned civil rights leaders. He has held such notable positions as the youth director of New York’s Operation Breadbasket, director of ministers for the National Rainbow Push coalition, and founder of his own broad-based progressive civil rights organization, the National Action Network.

Known for taking up the fight on behalf of the underdog in his pursuit of justice and equality, Sharpton is no stranger to TSU. In 2014, he came to the university to take up the cause to have TSU’s 1957- 1959 Men’s Championship Basketball Team, the first-ever to win three national titles back-to back, inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

He joined university officials and staff, including President Glenda Glover, state officials, community leaders and stakeholders, as he presented his cause during a ceremony in Kean Hall.

As a result of Sharpton’s efforts and that of many others including TSU alumnus Dr. Richard “Dick” Barnett, a member of all three teams, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced on April 7 that the Tennessee State men’s basketball championship teams of 1957-59 will be one of 12 honorees in this year’s Class of 2019. The class will be celebrated at this year’s enshrinement festivities in Springfield, Massachusetts, September 5-7.

Dyson, the undergraduate commencement speaker, also known as a preacher and radio host, has authored or edited more than 20 books dealing with subjects such as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Marvin Gaye and Hurricane Katrina. He has received several awards for his literary work, including three NAACP Image Awards and the Southern Book Prize.

Dyson’s book, “Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster,” for which he received the American Book Award, analyzes the political and social events in the wake of the catastrophe against the backdrop of an overall “failure in race and class relations.”

 A longtime educator, Dyson taught at Chicago Theological Seminary, Brown University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Columbia University, DePaul University and the University of Pennsylvania.

For more information on commencement, visithttp://www.tnstate.edu/records/commencement/


Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, premier historically-black land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU’s graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus boasts a top-notch Executive MBA Program. 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 2019/2020 Academic Year

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University‘s Student Government Association has a new group of officers for the 2019/2020 academic year.

The new student leadership, including a Mr. TSU and a Miss TSU, was announced by the Student Election Commission on April 5, during a ceremony in the university’s Amphitheater.

Kayla Sampson, the 89th Miss TSU, right, places the heirloom sash on the 90th Miss TSU, Jada Crisp. (Submitted Photo)

Frank Stevenson, dean of students and associate vice president for Student Affairs, along with other Student Affairs staff, was on hand to congratulate the new officers when the election results were announced.

Katelyn Thompson, of Memphis, a rising senior with a double major in criminal justice and psychology, was elected the new SGA president, while Ryan Smith, a senior agricultural science major from Atlanta, is the new SGA executive vice president.

Memphis native Jada Crisp, a rising senior business supply chain management major, won the coveted crown to become the 90th Miss Tennessee State University. Damyr Moore, as the new Mr. TSU, will escort her. Moore is a senior mass communications major from Atlanta.

SEC Chair, Jessica Fuqua, and SEC Member, Kobe Forman, announce the winners of the 2019/2020 SGA elections. (Submitted Photo)

“These new officers are an amazing group of students,” said Tasha Andrews, director of Student Activities. “The outgoing leadership did a great job and they left a nice foundation for these students to continue to build upon. We are celebrating the 90th Miss TSU, so that’s exciting and a monumental year, so we want to do some amazing things to celebrate that.”

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

Mr. Senior – Daryus Drayton – Psychology

Miss Senior – Kristian Taylor – Marketing

Senior Class Treasurer – Lawrence Evans – Criminal Justice

Junior Class President – Makayla Davis – Mass Communication

Mr. Junior – Naton Smith, Jr. – Health Sciences

Miss Junior – Maya Howard – Business Marketing

Sophomore Class Vice President – Emmanuel Wallace – Agricultural Sciences

Mr. Sophomore – Mark Davis – Mass Communications

Miss Sophomore – Mayora Berry – Mass 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 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Community Health and Wellness Fair at Tennessee State University Promotes Healthy Lifestyle

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – At least 40 vendors from across the city participated in the Community Health and Wellness Fair at Tennessee State University on April 5.

Chiropractic care, dental screenings and HIV testing were just a few of the free services offered at the fair, which was a partnership between TSU, the DP Thomas Foundation for Obesity, Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s HIV Vaccine Program, and the Turnip Truck, a natural foods grocer in Nashville.

A participant at the health fair receives dental screening. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Participants also received information on weight-loss management and nutrition, as well as fitness demonstrations and health screenings.

Dolly Patton-Thomas, executive director of the DP Thomas Foundation for Obesity, said the event was intended to motivate people to live healthier lives.

“The expectation was to bring the community together to let them understand the importance of health as well as the availability of nontraditional and traditional medicine,” Thomas said. “The partnership with TSU has been really great because they support us in getting the word out to the community, as well as supply the space. They do a lot for us and they put that message out there for a healthy lifestyle.”

TSU’s Dental Hygiene Department, which provided intra-oral screenings at the event, has been one of the main participants over the years.

Leon Roberts II, coordinator of clinics for the department, stressed the importance of taking care of oral hygiene because “it affects an individuals’ whole health.”

“The mouth is the gateway to the body, so a lot of dental diseases don’t just affect the mouth,” he said. “Periodontal disease is connected to diabetes, heart disease, and for women who are pregnant, it is connected to low-birth weight babies.”

Sharronda Broughton is program specialist for Outreach STD/HIV Communicable Disease with Metro Public Health Department. She has been attending the fair for several years and is impressed with how much the yearly event has grown.

“We participate in the health fair to offer STD and HIV screening and awareness for the students, staff and for the community,” Broughton said. “Each year we see more and more participants. It looks like more people are now aware of what this event offers.”

Lalita Hodge, TSU coordinator of public relations and a member of the DP Thomas board of directors, also spoke about the growth of the fair. She announced the addition of Bounce TV-Nashville, Gilead Pharmaceuticals and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., as new sponsors for the fair.

“It was important for people to come out to see what’s out there in health care with regards to traditional and nontraditional products and methods to keep us healthy, because our health is our wealth,” Hodge 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 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU to Host Inaugural HBCU Pride Intramural Sports Tournament Featuring Fisk, Meharry Medical College and American Bible College

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Nashville’s four historically black colleges and universities will come together on Wednesday, April 10, in the first-ever HBCU Pride Basketball Tournament.

Tennessee State University, Fisk University, Meharry Medical College and American Bible College will participate in the intramural sports event involving non-NCAA student athletes.

Gerald Davis

The tournament will begin at 7:45 p.m., on the TSU Ralph H. Boston Wellness Center Basketball Courts on the main campus.

Organizers say the event, intended to be a future fundraiser, is free and open to the public. It will feature the kings, queens and royal courts of the institutions, as well as vendors and entertainment. Court Yard Wednesday – usually held in the TSU Student Center, where student organizations set up tables and other displays – will move to the tournament site as part of the festivities.

The tournament is the brainchild of Gerald Davis, TSU alum and director of the Wellness Center. He said the idea to organize the tournament and bring the four institutions together has been in the works for a long time.

“HBCU Pride as an idea is something I have been thinking about for about three years now,” says Davis. “It’s always been a goal and a wish of mine to have all four HBCUs right here in the Nashville area to do something together.”

He says representatives from the other institutions have embraced the idea and are excited about this inaugural event, with a plan to make it an annual event to raise funds for the four schools.

“I think something like this will have a positive spin to have all four schools together. So, the basketball game for me is just a backdrop of bringing all four schools together. More importantly, it is just the camaraderie that I have always wanted to see all four schools together,” says Davis.

Tammi Lavender, event co-organizer and director of student life at Meharry Medical College, says Meharry students like the idea of bringing the local HBCUs together and are excited to participate in the tournament.

“We have only intramural sports at Meharry, and so when I sent the email to our students they were very excited about coming down to participate,” says Lavender. “I definitely like the idea for the tournament and the plan to make it even better to support our HBCUs.”


HBCU Pride comes a few days before the start of Alumni Coming Home and Legends Weekend – April 12-14 – featuring a celebration of TSU football players who went to the pros, a 5K run/walk, and the Blue & White Football Game.

“The plan is to grow it and bring alumni back,” says Davis. “I wanted to strategically put this around our (alumni) coming home weekend. So, hopefully we will be able to get on the big schedule next year with other activities.”

Participating institutions will receive trophies for first, second and third places, with the winning team receiving an overall championship trophy that must be returned and competed for each year, “like the Stanley Cup,” says Davis.

For more information on the HBCU Pride Tournament, call Gerald Davis at 615-963-2260.


Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU initiative Engages Kindergarteners at Kipp Kirkpatrick Elementary in Day of Activities

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A group of Tennessee State University freshmen recently visited Kipp Kirkpatrick Elementary and posed this question to curious kindergarteners: “What is College?” 

On March 22, about 20 students from the Freshman Innovation Council visited the elementary school and engaged four kindergarten classes in activities around the question, as part of a TSU Student Activities outreach initiative.   

Students in four kindergarten classes at Kipp Kirkpatrick Elementary participated in the TSU “What is College?” initiative. (Submitted Photo)

Organizers said the goal was to be able to give the young kids an early feel about going to college.

“Putting on this program for the kindergarteners about college was an amazing experience for us, just as much as it was for them,” said Malik Meadows, a freshman early childhood education major from Atlanta, who is the chair of FIC. 

In a full day of events, the group taught the kids TSU chants, vocabulary words, and lessons on studying, making friends, and having good behavior.  Activities also included a puppet show of a lost Tiger who meets new friends, as he finds his way across the Tennessee State University Tigers’ campus.

Meadows said preparation for the visit and activities started in January with several meetings among FIC members in consultation with Kipp teachers and staff “to ensure excellence in our presentation.”

Tasha Andrews, TSU director of student activities, who organized the visit, said the interaction between FIC students and the kindergarteners was very educational and entertaining.

“Our students really shocked me with their presentation to the kindergarteners at Kipp Kirkpatrick,” Andrews said. “I was so impressed with how they used the school mascot and created their own coloring sheets, storyline, and games that incorporated so many things about the TSU culture, but on a level for the children to understand.”

According to Andrews, Dean of Students and Associate Vice President Frank Stevenson kicked off the “What is College” initiative for first-year students, with the creation of Freshman Innovation Council.  The group is comprised of students who formerly served as class or student government association presidents at their respective high schools, or are a part of the freshman class council here at TSU.

FIC is scheduled to take their kindergarten presentation to two more local elementary schools before the semester ends, Andrews said.

For more information on TSU Student Activities, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/activities

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Future music composer says TSU education is paving the way for a successful career

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Jakori Hollinger’s career goal is to own an orchestra company to compose music for film, television and artists. He believes he is well on his way at Tennessee State University.

“I am in the right place,” says the junior music education major from Montgomery, Alabama. “Tennessee State University has a great music program with well-rounded professors, and being in the heart of Nashville, a major center for music and entertainment, makes it so much better.”

Jakori Hollinger

Hollinger, a highly recruited and multi-talented student from Jefferson Davis High School, came to TSU with a near 3.7 grade point average. In high school, the first-degree black belt was trumpet section leader and drum major in the marching band.

”Being a part of the band played a heavy role in my decision to come to Tennessee State University,” says Hollinger, adding that his interest in music developed by accident.

“When I was in the 9th grade, I had a choice of going to the marching band or joining some type of club in school. For some reason, the name marching band had a ring to it that appealed to me. I tried it out and it stuck with me. I liked the people; I really liked the atmosphere. After that, my love for music just grew.”

At TSU, Hollinger is a member of the world-renowned Aristocrat of Bands, a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society (with a 3.6 GPA), a member of the student branch of the Tennessee Educators Association, and a member of Eta Xi Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America.

Dr. Reginald McDonald, TSU’s director of bands, describes Hollinger as very mild-mannered and a hard worker who never complains.

“I just have been extremely pleased with him,” says McDonald. “He’s another example of how the Aristocrats don’t take lightly their responsibility as major ambassadors for our university, and also living the true-life student musician. That’s Jakori.”

With a concentration in instrumental music, Hollinger says he plans to go to graduate school to study composition and some day teach music on the secondary or collegiate level. Like most of his professors, who are TSU graduates, he would like to come back to his college alma mater to give back.

“All of them have been in the industry. They have actually done great things and are very successful,” says Hollinger, about his professors. “For most of them to come back and are teaching us the dos and don’ts on how to be successful in the business is amazing.”

Hollinger adds that TSU has been good to him. Many things stand out during his college career, but being a part of the Aristocrat of Bands as a freshman, when they performed for former President Barack and Michelle Obama at the White House, is one “I will never forget.”

“Hopefully, I plan to finish my career by being … an arranger/composer, as a way to give back to my alma mater,” says Hollinger.

For more information on the TSU Aristocrat of Bands, visit 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 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

State Sen. Raumesh Akbari to Speak at TSU Honors Day Convocation March 26; University to Recognize Best and Brightest

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University will recognize its best and brightest students at the annual Honors Day Convocation in Kean Hall on Tuesday, March 26.

State Sen. Raumesh Akbari, of the 29th District, will be the keynote speaker.

About 2,340 students with grade point averages of 3.0 or higher will be recognized. Of that number, 283 are on the President’s List. These students have maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout their matriculation, according to Dr. Coreen Jackson, interim dean of the Honors College.

Some of the students, administrators and staff of the Honors College celebrate during the recent Honors Week observance on campus. (Submitted Photo)

TSU President Glenda Glover, faculty, and administrators will be on hand to congratulate the honors students.

Akbari, formerly a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives for the 91st district, is a member of the Senate Commerce and Labor, Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Ethics Committees. She also serves as 2nd Vice-Chair of the Senate Education Committee.

A graduate of Washington University and the Saint Louis University School of Law, Akbari is chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus; treasurer of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL), a state director within Women in Government, and financial secretary of the National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women. 

She has received several honors and awards from the Council of State Governments and its affiliated Southern Leadership Conference, Leadership Memphis, Leadership Tennessee, the National Council of State Legislatures, and the State Legislative Leaders Foundation.

In 2016, the Democratic National Committee invited Akbari to speak at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

 For more information on the Honors Day Convocation, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/honors/.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Spring Preview Day expected to Attract Hundreds on April 13

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Hundreds of students and parents are expected to attend Spring Preview Day 2019 at Tennessee State University on April 13, organizers say. 

The Office of Enrollment Management and Student Success says high school seniors and juniors from across the nation will attend the one-day event in the Floyd-Payne Campus Center. Last year, more than 800 attended Spring Preview Day.

TSU staff, right, talk to visiting students and parents about the university’s offerings and programs during Spring Preview 2018. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The visiting students and their parents and relatives – from about 15 states including, California, Texas, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin – will have the opportunity to see the campus during springtime, as well as acquaint them with the university’s offerings and admission processes.

Activities for the visitors, according to organizers, will also include meetings with academic departments, TSU student organizations, campus tours, entertainment by the world-renowned Aristocrat of Bands, and the Big Blue Tiger Spring Blue & White Football Game in Hale Stadium.

“Spring Preview Day will be an opportunity for students to come, meet and greet professors and administrators at TSU to get a feel for what it means to be a student here,” says Terrence Izzard, associate vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Success. “Most of all, we want to inspire them to continue their academic pursuits and make TSU their choice.”

Spring Preview Day 2019 comes on the heels of “Experience TSU,” another innovative recruitment campaign that will soon kick off in three major markets – Memphis, March 27; Chattanooga, March 30; and Birmingham, April 6. The aim is to meet students where they are.

TSU President Glenda Glover is leading the campaign to meet prospective students face-to-face to ensure their commitment to attend TSU.

These recruitment efforts follow sweeping changes Glover announced in 2016 that raised admission standards, as the university moved to increase retention and graduation rates. Minimum requirements for incoming freshmen went up from a 2.25 GPA to 2.5, while the ACT score remained at 19. 

Izzard said “Experience TSU” is a way of “personally congratulating these students for applying and being accepted” to TSU.

“We look forward to personally welcoming these students and their parents to our campus to let them know of all the wonderful opportunities to grow and learn while here at Tennessee State University,” says Izzard. 

Spring Preview Day will kick off at 10 a.m. in Kean Hall. For more information, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/emss/


Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Nation’s Army Research chief Visits TSU, says University’s Research Aligns Well with Military’s Needs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The U.S. Army’s top research officer says Tennessee State University is engaged in research that could be beneficial to the nation’s military.

Dr. Philip Perconti, director of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Research Laboratory, made the comment during a one-day visit to TSU on March 14, with members of his directorate to discuss areas of potential research collaboration that could help the military.

Dr. Philip Perconti, Director of the Army Research Laboratory, makes a presentation to TSU faculty, graduate students, and visiting researchers and experts from the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command. (Photo by Reginald Cannon)

“There is a vast array of research here, much of it in line with some of the priorities of the U.S. Department of Defense and the Army in particular,” he said. “I was particularly excited to see some work in infrared detector materials and modeling and things of that sort.”

Perconti and his team, including Dr. Jaret C. Riddick, director of Vehicle Technology Directorate of the Army Combat Capabilities Command, saw presentations on cutting-edge research, toured research facilities, and held discussions with top TSU research officials, faculty and their graduate students.

They also made presentations in areas of needs that could be aligned with the university’s capabilities.

“We are extremely excited to have Dr. Perconti and members of his research directorate on our campus,” said Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, vice president for Research and Institutional Advancement. “It is even more exciting to have them recognize that  – by seeing our presentations, listening to our faculty, being in our laboratories – that we are doing cutting-edge research that fits within their needs and that’s going to help to provide outstanding, innovative new solutions.”

Branndon Jones, a graduate student in mechanical engineering, attended the discussion with his professor, Dr. Amir Shirkhoadaie, who was one of the TSU presenters.

Jones said the discussions and responses of the visitors were very encouraging for “a young researcher like me.”

“A meeting like this justifies the work you are doing, because for the most part, you show up in the lab and you stay there all day to find outcome,” said Jones, whose research is in remote sensing and virtual environment for object detection.  “But you come to a gathering like this and see that the research you are doing actually has real-world problems and examples that you are working toward.”

Riddick said there is an opportunity for Army science and technology to interface with the “very critical areas of research here at TSU.”

“Talent management is one of the priorities of the Secretary of the Army as we go into this transformation into Army futures command,” he said. “So if we can look for innovative partners, in terms of developing talents and developing work force, this will be key for the Army in reaching some of the future objectives we have for war fighters of the future.”

As a result of the visit, a TSU faculty, Dr. Kevin Santiago, research assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, was offered a full faculty fellowship to work with the Army Research Laboratory. He was also invited to bring a graduate student with him.

“TSU has provided me with many opportunities in my short time here, and my goal is to pass those opportunities down to the students,” Santiago said. 

Crumpton-Young paid special tribute to Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins, head of the U.S. Army’s Research, Development and Engineering Command, whose visit to TSU in 2017, she said, paved the way for the March 14 visit.

“I am thankful to the entire team for organizing the visit, but I am also thankful to Maj. Gen. Wins who visited our campus several years ago and really talked about how we should engage more individuals with diversity of thoughts,” Crumpton-Young 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 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

31 High Achieving Students from Hillsboro High School Interact with TSU’s Best and Brightest During Honors Week

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University Honors College recently hosted 31 high achieving students from Nashville’s Hillsboro High School as part of TSU Honors Week celebration.

Dr. Frances Williams, Associate Dean of the College of Engineering, holds a discussion with visiting Hillsboro High School students. (Submitted Photo)

The Honors College and Hillsboro High are partners in a two-year exceptional student acceleration program called IBDP, or Academy of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, that nurtures students to excel in higher education.

Participants in IBDP are top juniors and seniors who take advanced placement and honors courses in the 9th and 10 grades to prepare them for IB-level classes in the 11th and 12th grades.

Dr. Coreen Jackson, interim dean of the Honors College, said the visit of the high school students allowed them to interact and exchange notes with TSU Honors students, as well as expose the visitors to the university’s programs and offerings.

“We are delighted to have these top students from Hillsboro High visit our campus and to interact with the best among our students,” said Jackson, who also serves on the advisory board of the Hillsboro High School IB program. “I think having many more partnerships like this with more high schools in the city would help to create a pipeline for increased enrollment into the myriad of majors at TSU.”

Visiting Hillsboro High School students take part in an exercise. (Submitted Photo)

Among activities for the day was “Real Talk,” a panel discussion about college life and advanced learning.

“Do you all have tutoring and personal help here?” a Hillsboro High student, who wants to major in biology, asked. Another was concerned about how honors students fit in and how they are viewed on campus. They were informed about the many tutoring and mentoring programs available to students, and the friendly learning environment on campus.

“I am from India, and even though it was a huge cultural shock, Tennessee State University has made me feel more than welcome,” said Abhilasha Vishwanath, a senior psychology major and Honors student with a 4.0 grade point average. “I play tennis for the university, work in the bookstore, I am part of several organizations, serve on the Honors Council, and I’ve never felt out of place.”

Following the panel discussion, the students were divided into groups according to their academic career interest and dialogued with faculty and staff from engineering, business, liberal arts, education, and life and physical sciences disciplines. Everett Jolly, TSU director of recruitment; Kristin Gray, director of the First-Year Experience; and Barbara Kannard, coordinator for Student Success Initiative, also met and spoke with the visitors.

Barbara Kannard, TSU Coordinator of Student Success Initiative, talks to Hillsboro High School students about opportunities at the university. (Submitted Photo)

Dr. Kenyae L. Reese, Academy principal at Hillsboro High, who accompanied the students, said the visit was very rewarding.

“The faculty and staff of the Hillsboro High School Academy of International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is delighted to partner with the TSU Honors College in creating exceptional experiences for advanced academic students,” Reese said. “The experiential learning trip to celebrate Honors College Week at TSU was both informative and inspiring in scope. The students reported being most excited to learn from the Honors College students and professors and other professionals who provided valuable advice.”

Earlier, TSU Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. John Robinson, joined Jackson to welcome the Hillsboro High School students.

“This is our time to change the narrative, assist our recruiters, and utilize our high achieving students to tell our story that TSU is truly the place to be,” Jackson said.

On March 26, TSU will celebrate its best and brightest students when the university holds its annual Honors Day Convocation in Kean Hall.

For more information on the TSU Honors College, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/honors/about/welcome_page.aspx

Department of Media Relations

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About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.