All posts by Emmanuel Freeman

TSU Honors Day Convocation Recognizes More than 2,800 Students for Academic Excellence; Speaker Tells Students to Never Give Up

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Kean Hall was filled with cheers and congratulatory statements Tuesday when the university recognized its best and brightest students at the annual Honors Day Convocation.

More than 2,800 students with grade point averages of 3.0 or higher were recognized for academic excellence. Among the honorees were 302 President’s List scholars. These are students who have maintained 4.0 GPAs throughout their matriculation.

President Glenda Glover, right, and Dr. Coreen Jackson, Interim Dean of the Honors College, present Abhilasha Vishwanath with the Dr. McDonald Williams Scholarship for Academic Excellence. Vishwanath, a senior Psychology major, is a President’s List scholar, who has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout her matriculation. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

TSU President Glenda Glover; interim Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Alisa Mosley; interim Dean of the Honors College, Dr. Coreen Jackson; other senior officials, deans, faculty and student leaders participated in the convocation.

Malick Badjie, a 2003 TSU graduate and executive director and head of Africa for Robeco, an international asset and investment management firm, was the keynote speaker. Badjie was a member of the Honors College at TSU.

In her welcome remarks, Glover congratulated the honors students for their achievements and thanked Badjie for agreeing to “come back to TSU to inspire our students”

“Today we honor ‘honors,’” Glover said. “We are proud of you and the Honors College for continuing this tradition of excellence. For 54 years, TSU has been committed to mentoring and motivating students to pursue academic excellence through the Honors College. We thank you and honor you.”

Thousands, including faculty, students, staff, administrators and familily members attended the 2018 Honors Day Convocation in Kean Hall. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Badjie told the honor students that in their pursuit of excellence they must learn to be humble, resilient, think global, never give up and ‘Think Work Serve,’ the TSU motto.

He said in life success is “attributed too quickly” because one has graduated college, attained a new job, or received a promotion.

“When anyone tells me, ‘You are successful,’ I cringe because success is a journey, it is a destination,” said Badjie, who has more than 15 years experience in the investment and institutional asset management industry, including senior positions with BlackRock, a Wall Street investment firm now the largest in the world. “Success is about improving yourself every single day. It’s about pushing yourself further and further, saying, ‘I am going to do everything within my ability to continue improving myself.’”

Amber Hawkins and Wateasa Freeman, two outstanding students, listened keenly as Badjie spoke about resilience and humility.

“His (Badjie) insights on leadership and not giving up are very inspiring to help students be the best they can,” said Hawkins, a senior President’s List scholar from Memphis majoring in political science.

For Freeman, a psychology major with a 3.8 GPA from Columbus, Ohio, Badjie was just the “right person for this occasion.”

“Today is very significant and means a lot to honor academic greatness, and he exemplifies that,” said Freeman. “His achievements show he is truly an example of the excellence on display today.”

Badjie, a native of Gambia, recounted difficulties he faced trying to fulfill a dream of obtaining a college degree, such as scholarship offers not materializing. But his luck would soon change in a chanced meeting with Dr. James Hefner during a forum at Mississippi Valley State University.

“At the program I sat next to this man I didn’t know and offered my seat to his wife, who came in later,” Badjie said. “Apparently, the man was impressed by the courtesy and my knowledge of the discussion at the forum. He struck a conversation with me in which I told him about my difficulties. He introduced himself as president of Tennessee State University and offered me a full scholarship to TSU.”

At TSU, Badjie majored in political science, was on the Dean’s List every semester, joined the Honors Program, tutored math and accounting majors, was a member of the Honda All-Stars debate team, and graduated with honors.

“So, every part of my life has always been about setbacks and how I reacted,” he said. “It’s always been about taking the opportunity. So, for me, TSU was the ultimate dream because I had nothing.

“Never give up. People will always doubt you. Dream big; dream beyond your possibilities. Imagine anything you can imagine right now. Never let anyone tell you, “You can’t.”

With a combined roster of 98 for fall and spring, the Honors College will graduate its largest class in school history this year, compared to 67 in 2017 and 42 in 2016.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 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.

International Investment Executive and TSU Graduate to Speak at Honors Day Convocation March 20

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University honors students will hear from one of their own when the university recognizes its best and brightest at the annual Honors Day Convocation in Kean Hall on Tuesday, March 20.

Malick Badjie, a member of the TSU Honors College (Honors Program) and a 2003 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in political science, will be the keynote speaker.

About 2,800 students with grade point averages of 3.0 or higher will be recognized. Of that number, 301 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.

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

Badjie is the executive director and head of Africa for Robeco, an international asset management firm with headquarters in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He is the company’s team leader responsible for the investment, sales, strategic and commercial decision and wholesale business in the Africa region.

Badjie has more than 15 years of experience in the investment and institutional asset management industry, and in working with institutional clients in Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

Prior to joining Robeco, Badjie held senior positions with the investment firm of BlackRock as head of institutional business. He was responsible for the strategic development and business management for BlackRock in sub-Sahara Africa that lead to growth in institutional business from $80 million to $14 billion in client asset in just five years.

Badjie holds an MBA in finance from The Warwick Business School at the University of Warwick.

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 8,000 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.

‘Experience TSU’ Recruitment Campaign Aims to Attract the Best and Brightest Students

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is continuing an innovative recruitment campaign that aims to meet students where they are.

“Experience TSU” was launched last year to attract the best and brightest students in four major markets – Atlanta, Birmingham, Memphis and Nashville.

TSU President Glenda Glover is leading the campaign to meet potential students face-to-face to ensure their commitment to attend TSU, recruitment officials say.

Targeted students – about 100 first-time freshmen in each market – have already applied and been accepted to attend TSU.

This year’s “Experience TSU” visits are scheduled for Atlanta on March 10, Memphis on March 17, and Birmingham on March 21.

“We are continuing this annual effort by visiting major cities in an effort to close the loop on students who have been admitted to the university,” says Dr. John Cade, vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Success. “This is an initiative that began last year and it proved to be very beneficial to us with respect to a better quality of students.”

In 2016, President Glover announced sweeping changes that raised admission standards to attract the best and brightest. Minimum requirements for incoming freshmen went up from a 2.25 GPA to 2.5, while the ACT score remained at 19.

Following the announcement, TSU launched several major efforts in its recruitment drives, including a near 40 percent discounted tuition rate for students in counties within 250 miles of Nashville; presidential scholarship receptions for students in their communities; and on-site recruitment fairs, among others.

“’Experience TSU’ is part of these efforts to get a commitment from admitted students that they will be enrolling at Tennessee State University this fall,” Cade says. “The average student has about five schools to which they have been admitted. We want to make sure TSU is their choice. We believe that the face-to-face encounter adds a personal touch. It removes any barrier, and students are able to put names to faces and to get a warm and welcoming feel about what they will experience when they get to Tennessee State University.”

Terrence Izzard is TSU’s associate vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Success. He is directly responsible for recruitment and admissions.

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

“We want to personally welcome them to the TSU family and let them know of all the wonderful opportunities to grow and learn while here at Tennessee State University,” Izzard says. “There are all kinds of ways to tell the story of TSU, such as through the media, newspaper and television. But we want students to experience TSU through us, and that’s why our team, along with our president, is taking the time to go and help our newly admitted students experience TSU.”

Shariah Edwards, a student from Power Center Academy High School, has been admitted to 149 colleges, along with $7.6 million in scholarship offers. She says TSU is among her top choices. (CBS News Photo).

In Memphis, the “Experience TSU” team has in its sight on Shariah Edwards, a graduate from Power Center Academy High School, a charter school, who made national headlines last year for being accepted to 149 colleges. Along with the acceptance, Edwards received more than $7.6 million in scholarship money. TSU was one of her top choices.

According to Cade, TSU has offered Edwards a full-ride scholarship to TSU. Additionally, President Glover has personally reached out to Edwards and her parents to encourage her to come to TSU, Cade 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 8,000 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 Freshman Beats Odds By Staying Focused Amid Life’s Challenges

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Naton Smith says he could have easily become a statistic. Instead, he was determined, and beat the odds.

Growing up in a rough neighborhood in St. Louis, he was not expected to make it out and be successful. But he was determined – amid gang violence, drugs, killings, and where high school graduation was rare.

“I was determined not to let anything negative hold me back,” says Smith, a freshman health science major with concentration in physical therapy.

“I wanted to go to college, although I knew it wouldn’t be easy; but I kept pushing by making good grades and staying out of trouble. I needed to get out and find that place that would make me realize my dream.”

Naton Smith

Smith found a way out, and found his way to Tennessee State University.

“I wanted to attend TSU to be surrounded by ‘black excellence,’” says Smith, who graduated near the top of his senior class at North Technical High School. “I wanted to be around people who had something going for them, who could motivate me to achieve, and TSU has provided me that place.”

At TSU, Smith has a 3.81 grade point average. He is a member of the Honors College. In his first semester, Smith made the Dean’s List for outstanding students.

As part of the Class of 2021, Smith is among a millennial generation of high achieving students that the university continues to strategically recruit in its effort to improve retention and graduation rates.

In 2016, TSU President Glenda Glover announced sweeping changes that raised admission standards to attract the best and brightest. Minimum requirements for incoming freshmen went up from a 2.25 GPA to 2.5, while the ACT score remained at 19.

In Smith’s first semester – following President Glover’s announcement – school officials said his class of 2021 came in as one of the most academically qualified classes in the school’s history, with an average 3.07 GPA. It was also the largest incoming freshman class in school history (1,500 first-year students), a 17 percent increase over the previous year’s freshman enrollment.

In addition to academics, there is every indication that Smith has found his niche at TSU. He is a member of the Men’s Center, which focuses on character development, social engagement and mentorship for male students.  He also participates in intramural basketball when he is not promoting a new business venture – a clothing line on Instagram called Creative Minds Clothing.

“I like to try my hands in a variety of different business ventures. I’m constantly trying to network and meet new people,” says Smith, who plans to go to physical therapy school.

Smith is also thankful to many at TSU who are having a positive impact on his life, including Amanda Brown, his English professor.

“Professor Brown shows great interest in my well-being. She motivates me. She is a very positive individual who pushes me to stay focus,” says Smith.

Brown, an English instructor in the Department of Languages, Literature and Philosophy, describes Smith as “both engaged and engaging, curious, empathetic, charismatic and exceedingly bright.”

“As I have gotten to know him over the year, I have seen how he exhibits a quiet leadership style and grace under pressure that will, I believe, serve him well in life,” says Brown. “Teaching him has been a real joy.”

Smith says he will stay focus and continue to beat the odds, and be successful at TSU and beyond. The St. Louis native beams with pride and says to just sit back and watch, because he’s from the “Show-Me” state.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 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 Business Students, Faculty Offer Free Tax Service in Partnership with IRS

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – For more than 16 years, Sonya Nicole Martin used private accounting firms to prepare her IRS tax return for a fee.

But the last two years, Martin got a break and is now getting her returns done for free by certified IRS tax preparers, thanks to a program in the College of Business at Tennessee State University.

“This is a big help,” says Martin. “It is saving me a lot and I am able to give back to my family and spend that extra money that I am saving on other items.”

A few years ago, TSU partnered with the United Way of Metro Nashville to administer VITA, or Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, an IRS initiative to offer free tax preparation services for low to middle-income individuals making $66,000 or less per year. Accounting students and other business majors in the COB, who have been certified by the IRS, along with their professors, administer the program.

The free tax service is available every Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on the Avon Williams Campus. It will continue to the end of the IRS tax-filing deadline.

“The College of Business is very pleased to offer this free service to the community,” says Dr. Millicent Lownes-Jackson, dean of the college. “This is also an ideal service-learning initiative of the college where our accounting majors are able to get practical hands-on experience while helping others.”

According to officials, between 30-40 returns are prepared each Saturday, and this filing season it is projected that 400-500 returns will be prepared. That’s up from 300 last season. Sixteen undergraduate and four graduate students are helping this year as part of their class work.

Professor John R. Powers, who coordinates the VITA program at TSU, right, works with senior accounting major Kathy Grant. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

To participate in the program, volunteer students must take and pass Tax-1, Individual Income Tax, a required course and be certified by the IRS. Students get three hours of college credit as an accounting elective.

John R. Powers, a CPA and adjunct professor of accounting and business law, is the coordinator of the campus VITA program. He is responsible for the final quality of returns and files the completed returns electronically.

“Although this is a free service, we try to maximize the refund of any client, and that’s where I come in with my years of experience,” says Powers, majority owner of a Nashville accounting firm, who has been in the business for more than 30 years.

For the students, Power says, this is life experience whether they want to go into the tax field or not, it prepares them from a professional development standpoint.

Kathy Grant has met all requirements to participate in the VITA program and is helping for the first time this year. The senior accounting major says she is enjoying the “double” benefit the program offers.

“I am doing something to give back to the community, and I am also learning in the process,” says Grant, of Nashville, who wants to become a CPA “This is not just class, it is a business because I can use this education as I step out into the workforce.”

For Mariam Sadat, a senior, human resources major from Cairo, she is encouraged by the satisfaction people get from the services she and her fellow students provide.

“They are just too happy to know that they have avoided all the potential headaches with the free service,” says Sadat. “This is also a good practice for me to get this experience.”

Dr. Stephen Shanklin, CPA and interim chair of the Department of Accounting, who supervises the VITA program, says great emphasis is put on the quality of students selected for the program.

“Students with As and Bs are the ones we are looking for,” he says. “They can be from any discipline whatsoever in the college, but they have to have at least completed that course and have a desire to be tax preparers. And even at that they are not eligible until they interview with Prof. Powers.”

“In essence, we are preparing these students for the workplace,” adds Powers. “It is very important helping the community because we realize that the tax refund, no matter what amount, they are truly needed by the people who come here. So we prepare our students to do everything in accordance with the IRS code.”

For more information on the TSU VITA program and the free tax service, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/business/contact_us.aspx

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 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.

Three TSU Tigers Earn High OVC Indoor Track and Field Honors

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Three TSU students have received major recognitions from the Ohio Valley Conference for their achievement in indoor track and field.

In the men’s rank, standouts James Faison, of Decatur, Georgia; and R’Lazon Brumfield, of Jacksonville, Florida, were recognized for their excellence throughout the indoor season.

Faison earned Male Ohio Valley Conference Track Athlete of the Year; while Brumfield earned OVC Co-Field Athlete of the Year and OVC Freshman of the Year.

Angel Horton is the second Tigerbelle to win OVC Indoor Track and Field Freshman of the Year and the first since Amber Hughes took home the honor in 2014.

In women’s track and field, earning Ohio Valley Conference Indoor Track and Field Freshman of the Year honors was rookie Angel Horton, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, for her standout season.

The conference announced the awards on Thursday.

Faison, a senior, ranks top four in three individual events heading into the OVC Indoor Championship. His times of 21.41 in the 200-meter and 48.07 in the 400-meter are the best in the conference, while his 60-meter time of 6.88 is good for fourth. This is the third time a Flying Tiger won the award for the indoor season.

Brumfield posted the season’s best triple jump distance among OVC competitors of 15.31m (50’2.75”) at the Dec. 2 Vanderbilt Opener. He is also tied atop the OVC with a long jump mark of 7.22-meter (23’8.25”) from the Vanderbilt Opener.

Since the award split to Track Athlete of the Year and Field Athlete of the Year in 2005, Brumfield is the second TSU male student-athlete to win the honor for the field events during the indoor season. The first was Buford Williams in 2007.

TSU’s men’s track and field has now won a total of 12 OVC Athlete of the Year awards – eight indoor, four outdoor.

For Horton, she is the second Tigerbelle to win OVC Indoor Track and Field Freshman of the Year and the first since Amber Hughes took home the honor in 2014. Dominique Ward (2005) and Amber Hughes(2014) also won the award for the outdoor season.

In her first season at the collegiate level, Horton currently ranks first in the OVC in the triple jump thanks to a distance of 12.34-meter (40’6”) at the Hoosier Hills on Feb. 9. The mark is tied for 78th best in the nation among NCAA Division I competitors.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 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 Air Force ROTC Program Gets Major Boost With New, Top-Notch Flight Simulator

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Cadets in the TSU Air Force ROTC Detachment 790 interested in becoming Air Force pilots will now be able to take advantage of a state-of-the-art new X-Plane 11 flight simulator.

TSU President Glenda Glover cut the ribbon Tuesday officially opening the room in a ceremony surrounded by AFROTC cadets.

President Glenda Glover, assisted by Maj. Michael Gordon, Detachment Operations Officer, cuts the ribbon to officially open the flight simulation room. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Walt Rau, a friend of the university, donated the simulator to the Department of Aerospace Studies through the TSU Foundation.

“This is a great day in the life of Tennessee State University,” Glover said. “I thank you all and especially Mr. Walt Rau for bringing this level of technology with a simulator of a top-notch standard so that the students here can learn to carry out their training for careers they have chosen. This offers them unlimited possibilities.”

Walt Rau, son of Walter Rau, a World War II B-24 bombardier who died on a combat mission in Italy, said the donation is a way of remembering his father.

“I have profound respect for my father,” Walt Rau said in a letter to the TSU Foundation.  “As for my sacrifice, I could ramble on about how losing my father has shaped my life, but doing this may be a better way for your students.”

President Glenda Glover takes the control at the flight simulation deck, with Cadets Katelyn Thompson, left, and Jerry Kibet, and Maj. Gordon watching. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

According to Lt. Col. Sharon Presley, AFROTC 790 Detachment commander, the simulator will help cadets prepare for the Test of Basic Aviation Skills (TBAS), a computerized psychomotor, special ability and multi-tasking test battery, as well as the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT).

The system includes upgrade flight controls, rudder pedals, graphics intensive computer, and top-of-the-line X-Plane 11 flight simulator software.

“The flight simulator is an important part of enhancing Detachment 790’s training program to meet Air Force goals,” said Maj. Michael Gordon, assistant professor of aerospace studies and Detachment Operations Officer. “This will introduce cadets to flight training and inspire them to pursue aviation careers in the Air Force.”

Cadet Jackson Sloan was one of the first to test fly the new simulator.

“I’ve wanted to be a pilot since junior high,” said Sloan, a senior aerospace pro-pilot major from Brentwood, Tennessee, who is slated to attend Air Force pilot training after his graduation in May. “This is really a major boost to our training.”

Presley thanked Walt Rau for his donation to refurbish the TSU Department of Aerospace Studies Flight Simulator room.

“Through his donation we were able to restore modern controls, a set of modern rotter pedals, brand new high intensity graphic computer and the most top-of-the-line flight software available,” Presley 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 8,000 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 Spring Internship Fair helps students take steps to success

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Many Tennessee State University students took a major leap toward their future Feb. 15.

More than 50 companies and organizations set up booths in Kean Hall for TSU’s second annual Spring Internship Fair.

TSU President Glenda Glover greets a vendor at the Spring Internship Fair in Kean Hall. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

TSU President Glenda Glover and a host of university officials stopped by the various booths to view the displays and greet vendors.

Alonzo Furtick, a graduating senior majoring in business marketing and graphic design, was one of the first students to show up.

The Charlotte, North Carolina native saw the fair as an opportunity to get an early start on a search for potential internship or employment opportunity.

“The fact that TSU gives us this kind of opportunity to grow and expand and be exposed to different areas is phenomenal,” Furtick said. “I am a senior, I expect to graduate this semester. Ideally, I am looking for any business marketing internship or graphic design internship.”

Altria, a Fortune 500 company based in Richmond, Virginia, is one of the sponsors of the fair. The company has partnered with the TSU Colleges of Life and Physical Sciences, and Engineering, to groom science and engineering students. It has already hired a TSU engineering graduate who was recruited as an intern at last year’s fair.

A recruitment team from Altria participates in the Spring Internship Fair. From left are: Latoya Boone, Priscilla Maquire, Lynora Lee and Roosevelt Reynolds. Reynolds, a reliability engineer at Altria’s facility in Nashville, is a TSU graduate. He was recruited as an intern at last year’s fair and worked his way up to full employment. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“Tennessee State University is one of our target schools,” said Greg Shiflette, a recruiter and functional campus owner with Altria. “With Altria, we don’t go to all the schools in the country. We target our resources to specific universities, and so TSU is one of our target schools where we are dedicating our resources to come in and recruit.”

Roosevelt Reynolds, who graduated from TSU last December, is the reliability engineer at the Altria facility in Nashville. He joined the company as an intern and worked his way up to full-time employment.

“My TSU preparation as a mechanical engineer and capabilities in other areas of manufacturing gave me the tool to do the very work I am doing right now at Altria,” said Reynolds, who is from Birmingham, Alabama. “I am forever grateful to the College of Engineering, and especially Tennessee State University, for the exposure that has helped me to integrate myself in various processes in my work area.”

Reynolds is also part of Altria’s recruitment team.

Charles Jennings, director of TSU’s Career Development Center, said he is excited about the “overwhelming” growth of the fair in just its second year.

“When we had the Spring Internship Fair for the first time last year, we only had 28 employers who signed up,” Jennings said. “This year we have more than 50. We are very proud of the increase; we are very proud of the diversity of businesses and organizations that are here today.”

He credits the various colleges and departments for the success, especially the Office of Academic Affairs, which gave students excuse from class to come to the fair.

“This is really paying off for us,” Jennings said.

Some of the other companies, businesses and organizations at the fair were: Regions Bank, Skanska, Aramark, the Tennessee National Guard, Enterprise, and Nashville Public Television.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 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.

State lawmakers experience wave of Tiger Blue at TSU Day at the Capitol

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – State lawmakers got a taste of Tennessee State University’s excellence at the annual TSU Day at the Capitol on Wednesday.

More than 150 TSU students, administrators, faculty, staff and others packed a Senate hearing room in the Cordell Hull Building to hear TSU President Glenda Glover kick-off the event. In another area of the building, lawmakers saw displays of the university’s diverse research and academic offerings, including robotics and giveaways like red maple trees grown on the university farm.

“TSU has a unique history in our state as the only public HBCU and land-grant institution with a history of excellence,” Glover said. “Our need for more increase in assistance is in line with other land-grant institutions. We hope to receive the same assistance as other institutions in the state.”

Members of the TSU Royal Court walk the halls of the Tennessee General Assembly distributing gift bags to legislators during TSU Day at the Capitol. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

She said past and future appropriations have allowed TSU to maintain its longstanding legacy of “providing education for our students.”

“But that is not enough,” Glover said. “We have an aging infrastructure that makes it difficult to implement new academic programs, and give students the quality resources and the environment they deserve.”

House Speaker Beth Howell, in welcoming the TSU visitors, said it is good for students and administrators to come and interact with lawmakers to get a better understanding of “what we do.”

“I want to welcome you all to TSU Day at the Hill,” Harwell said. “We always enjoy Tennessee State University here. You have true friends here in the General Assembly, and thank you for the remarkable job you do for the Nashville community, Middle Tennessee and for the young graduates that come out of your fine university.”

President Glover meets with TSU student interns serving at the Capitol. At 17, TSU has the second largest group of interns working with lawmakers at the Capitol. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

State Rep. Raumesh Akbari, chair of the Tennessee Black Caucus, added that TSU plays a special role in the advancement of Tennessee.

“I am so thankful to be here today,” she said. “It is always a pleasure to see TSU represented on Capitol Hill, not only through your presence here today, but also through many of your graduates who are part of this body and who advocate for you every day, as well as interns on staff here from your fine institution.”

Seventeen TSU interns are currently serving on Capitol Hill, the second largest of any group from institutions around the state.

Dr. Lonnie Sharpe, dean of the College of Life and Physical Sciences, said the STEM program is one area that needs improvement by increasing the pool of students but cannot be accomplished without the help of the Legislature.

“The resources that we need to support students on scholarships are very, very important for all the things we’re trying to do,” said Sharpe. “We want to work with middle schools and high schools to ensure that they’re ready for the STEM discipline once they get here.”

Jermilton Woods, a graduating senior, and president of the Student Government Association, said TSU Day at the Capitol is very significant.

“I think it gives us an opportunity to show the excellence that Tennessee State University is,” said Woods, of Memphis, Tennessee. “It’s an opportunity to get in front of legislators and let them see that there are some bright minds at TSU.”

Also speaking at the program were State Representatives Harold Love Jr., and Brenda Gilmore, and Senator Thelma Harper, all graduates and staunched supporters of TSU.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 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.

Civil Rights Icon Rev. Jesse Jackson Holds ‘Conversation’ at TSU During Tennessee Tour

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Rev. Jesse Jackson, renowned civil rights and social justice crusader, discussed voter registration, education, poverty and the commemoration of Black History Month during a forum at Tennessee State University on Tuesday.

TSU President Glenda Glover organized the forum, dubbed ‘A conversation with Civil Rights Icon Rev. Jesse Jackson.’

President Glenda Glover and the Rev. Jesse Jackson answer questions from the audience during the gathering. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Jackson is making stops and holding discussions in Tennessee as part of efforts leading to the upcoming commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the 1968 assassination of Dr. Martin King Jr.

Jackson, 76, was at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis when King was shot on April 4.

Before coming to Nashville, Jackson made several stops in Memphis, including a “community town hall forum” at Mt. Pisgah CME Church, followed by “special greetings” at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church. He also toured the Collins Chapel Connectional Hospital, a historic center where African Americans could get treatment during the segregation era.

“It is always a treat to have an iconic figure like Rev. Jackson to come to our campus, especially during Black History Month,” Glover said, in welcoming Jackson. “We are just pleased and honored to have him on our campus.”

Asking students, faculty, staff, administrators and visitors in a packed Forum to chant his famous “keep hope alive” line, Jackson said he was concerned about the direction of the nation.

Rev. Jackson, a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, is greeted by members of the organization with President Glover, Miss TSU Kayla Smith, and Associate Vice President and Chief of Staff, Dr. Curtis Johnson. Jackson also received a portrait of himself, done by TSU student Brandon Van Leer. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“What are you doing today to extend Dr. King’s legacy, as we celebrate Black History Month,” he asked. “Making education more affordable, breaking the poverty level among our people, and providing them more opportunities seem farther away every day.”

He said too few have too much and too many do not have much.

“Dr. King was about lifting African Americans out of poverty, but I am sorry to say that today 44 percent of all African Americans make less than $15 an hour. Black institutions like TSU have been the bedrock of education for blacks,  but most survive on the whims of politics. That is not fair,” Jackson said.

To even the playing field, he said, the ballot box is the answer.

“You must register to vote,” he said, lamenting that four million blacks in the Deep South are not registered to vote. “Another 2.2 million who are registered did not vote in the last election.”

Jackson’s message on voter registration and Dr. King’s legacy seemed to resonate with Wesley Reed-Walton, of Chicago, an English major.

“It is just great to see someone who actually knew Dr. King,” Reed-Walton said. “I’m 22, so the only thing I know about Dr. King is what I’ve learned. So seeing someone that was this close to Dr. King is a humbling experience.”

Bryan Mack, of Washington, D.C., a junior architectural engineering and interior design major, agreed.

“I’m ecstatic,” Mack said. “I think this is good for us because we need to listen to someone who’s seen and been through it, to give us that motivation. Because right now, we’re really in a generation where we’re coasting. That flame needs to be lit underneath us. And I feel like this is the perfect time for that.”

“Every student should be registered to vote,” Jackson urged the students.

He said President Trump is calling for a military parade when 23,000 soldiers are on food stamps.

“That is disgraceful. You can change that by voting,” Jackson said.

Before leaving, Jackson, a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, was honored by members of the Greek organization. One member, Brandon Van Leer, a senior graphic design major from Nashville, presented Jackson with a portrait of himself.

Later, Dr. Glover hosted a reception at her residence for the civil rights leader.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 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.