All posts by Lucas Johnson

Small farmers help foster healthier living, stimulate economy, says TSU alum and top Ag official

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Small farmers not only foster healthier living through production of foods like greens and vegetables, but they also stimulate the economy, said a TSU alum and top agriculture official.

Small Farm Expo attendees. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Leonard Jordan is associate chief for conservation of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Jordan attended Tennessee State University’s Urban Agricultural Conference on July 18, and he spoke at its Small Farm Expo on July 19. Both events were sponsored by TSU’s College of Agriculture.

Jordan said small farmers are “very important to the economy.”

He said they may not be large producers, but if they’re able to make income from a small track of land, “that helps to stimulate the economy.”

This was the first year for the Urban Ag Conference, which focused on methods to grow horticultural crops, like fruits, because of growing interest in that area.

“Urban Ag is a fast growing field within agriculture as hydroponics, vertical, rooftop, and container gardening methods of growing horticultural crops are becoming popular in urban and suburban areas of the country,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of TSU’s Ag College.

In 2016, TSU partnered with Farm Credit of Mid-America to promote urban agriculture, and that partnership is ongoing.

Mark Wilson, Farm Credit senior vice president for Financial Services, said TSU’s role will be critical as the United States faces a land shortage with a goal to double its food production in the next 30 years.

Dr. Chandra Reddy (left), dean of TSU’s College of Agriculture, and USDA official Leonard Jordan discuss research at TSU during Urban Agricultural Conference. (photo by Lucas Johnson, TSU Media Relations)

“That is quite a task,” said Wilson. “It is going to take people like us and the research that’s going on at Tennessee State University to make that possible.”

Jordan said people are aware of the need for more food production.

“They recognize that the land base itself is shrinking, but the number of people is growing,” he said. “So every acre counts.”

As for the expo, this is the 14th year of the event. TSU officials say it’s a way for the university and its partners at the state and federal levels to recognize the role farmers and agriculture play in the state and the nation.

The expo features speakers and workshops on topics that include urban agriculture, hemp research, and use of drones in agriculture.

Julio Sosa and his wife traveled from Dickson, Tennessee, to attend the expo. The couple have 6 acres and are exploring how to best utilize it.

“We’re here to ask and figure out the best way to do a business,” said Sosa. “We’re trying to build something for the future.”

He said they are considering growing healthy produce, life vegetables and green, because “people want better health.”

“How long you live is about the quality you have while you are here,” said Sosa.

The highlight of the expo is the announcement of the “Small Farmer of the Year.” This year’s winner is Judith Reeder of Cream Valley Farms in Livingston, Tennessee. Reeder was also recognized for “Best Management Practices.”

To learn more about TSU’s College of Agriculture, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/

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 to highlight innovative research at Urban Ag Conference and Small Farm Expo

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University will highlight the latest research in agriculture this week at its Urban Agricultural Conference and Small Farm Expo.

Registration for the conference is Wednesday, July 18, at 9 a.m. in TSU’s Agricultural Industrial Technology Building, and registration for the expo is Thursday at 7:30 a.m. at the Pavilion Agricultural Research and Education Center (The Farm).

Both events are sponsored by the university’s College of Agriculture. This is the first year, however, for the Urban Ag Conference, and TSU officials anticipate a strong turnout because of the growing interest in methods to grow horticultural crops, like fruits and vegetables.

“Urban Ag is a fast growing field within agriculture as hydroponics, vertical, rooftop, and container gardening methods of growing horticultural crops are becoming popular in urban and suburban areas of the country,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of TSU’s Ag College.

In 2016, TSU partnered with Farm Credit of Mid-America to promote urban agriculture, and that partnership is ongoing.

Mark Wilson, Farm Credit senior vice president for Financial Services, has said TSU’s role will be critical as the United States faces a land shortage with a goal to double its food production in the next 30 years.

“That is quite a task,” said Wilson. “It is going to take people like us and the research that’s going on at Tennessee State University to make that possible.”

According to Reddy, only one percent of the general population is engaged in traditional agricultural production.

“Our goal at TSU is to promote best urban agricultural practices, particularly horticultural crops, for personal consumption and commercial purposes,” he said.

As for the expo, this is the 14th year of the event. TSU officials say it’s a way for the university and its partners at the state and federal levels to recognize the role farmers and agriculture play in the state and the nation.

The expo features speakers and workshops on topics that include urban agriculture, hemp research, and use of drones in agriculture.

The highlight of the expo is the announcement of the “Small Farmer of the Year.” Last year’s award went to Nicole Riddle of Maynardville, Tennessee. She leased 44 acres of her parents’ land and opened her own winery.

To learn more about TSU’s College of Agriculture, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/

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.

Summer camp teaches high school students how to fly, build drones

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – High school students recently participated in a summer program at Tennessee State University that taught them how to not only fly a drone, but build one.

Drone pilot and program instructor Wendy Jackson-Dowe, a TSU alum, gives some final direction to student McKenna Harris before flight. (photo by Lucas Johnson, TSU Media Relations)

The initiative is part of a one-week pre-college program at TSU that seeks to encourage high school students to consider STEM careers. Last year, students learned how to design and build an app.

“This year, we decided to do something very innovative,” said College of Engineering Dean Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, who’s been recognized nationally for his contributions as a STEM educator. “And so we have a curriculum whereby students learn to fly a drone, as well as build one.”

About 20 students were enrolled in the summer camp, which ran from July 9-13. A person can become a licensed drone pilot as young as 16.

“It’s estimated there’ll be between 10,000 to 20,000 job opportunities for certified drone pilots over the next several years,” added Hargrove, “and getting kids excited about this at this early age is an opportunity for them to consider.”

Drone built by students. (photo by Lucas Johnson, TSU Media Relations)

The summer drone program was developed by Wendy Jackson-Dowe, a TSU mechanical engineering graduate. She said in just the last five years, drones have become a $127 billion industry.

“Drones are going to be so important to the future,” said Jackson-Dowe. “So I thought it would be great to introduce young people to this burgeoning industry by way of a hands-on camp.”

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the top three verticals right now in a global environment are infrastructure, agriculture and logistics, all of which drones play a part.

Student participants and instructors in drone summer camp. (photo by Lucas Johnson, TSU Media Relations)

“All of those areas touch all of us every day,” said Jackson-Dowe.

McKenna Harris, a freshman at Sycamore High School in Pleasant View, Tennessee, said the camp has her considering a career in the drone industry.

“I was planning to be like a vet or zoologist, but drones are really cool,” said Harris. “They’re changing the world.”

Nashville television station Channel 5 (WTVF) aired a story about the drone program. To see the story, visit https://www.newschannel5.com/news/tsu-class-teaches-students-to-make-fly-drones

To learn more about TSU’s College of Engineering, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/engineering/

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.

USDA awards $450K to College of Agriculture for food safety research

By Joan Kite

 NASHVILLE, Tenn(TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University has been awarded $450,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for food safety research.

Dr. Agnes Kilonzo-Nthenge

The grant from the USDA’s Agricultural Food and Research Initiative will be used by TSU’s College of Agriculture to pursue an integrated approach to mitigate antimicrobial resistance in cattle and poultry, and help establish stewardship programs for small and medium-sized ranchers.

“We’re delighted that we’re able to get funding to continue our research and outreach projects on antimicrobial resistance of microorganisms in agricultural lands,” said Dr. Agnes Kilonzo-Nthenge, an associate research professor in the College’s Department of Human Sciences and the grant’s principal investigator. “Our goal is to educate small and medium-sized cattle and poultry producers to better understand antibiotic resistance factors on farms and maximize their profits in their production systems.”

The emergence of antimicrobial resistant pathogens in animal production systems has become a major challenge to public health. Every year, at least 23,000 people die in the United States due to infections caused by microorganisms that are resistant to antibiotics, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Consumers’ increasing demand for antibiotic-free meat is influencing meat producers and processors to find other ways to provide meat that is both free from disease and antibiotics. The Food and Drug Administration, responding to concerns about antibiotic-resistant bacteria, is working with drug and meat companies to find alternative ways to keep livestock healthy and meat safe for the consumer.

“Unless small and medium-sized producers are provided with the latest knowledge from scientific research and education in judicious use of antibiotics, they will not be competitive in the meat industry,” said Dr. Kilonzo-Nthenge.

“A comprehensive understanding of best management practices and the correlation between antibiotic-resistant bacteria and the use of antimicrobials in agriculture is vital in developing strategies and interventions to minimize the spread of resistance. We can help the farmer choose production methods that will reduce risk of disease in their livestock while ensuring their profits.”

TSU officials say the research is timely, considering the foodborne outbreaks that have been occurring in certain parts of the country. Earlier this month, the CDC announced a multistate outbreak of salmonella linked to pre-cut melons. Before that, there was a recall on Romaine lettuce contaminated with E. coli.

TSU’s College of Ag held two workshops this month to address food safety and recently added several professors to do research in that area.

“TSU is taking the lead … to see what is really causing those outbreaks, and how we can prevent them,” said Dr. Ankit Patras, one of the new Ag professors and workshop organizer.

To learn more about TSU’s College of Ag, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/

 

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 recognized for “Best Student Organization” and “Alumnus of the Year” at HBCU Digest Awards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University received awards for “Best Student Organization” and “Alumnus of the Year” at the recent 2018 Historically Black Colleges and Universities’ Digest Awards.

Collegiate Citizens Police Academy

The winners were announced at a ceremony on June 22 in Washington, D.C.

TSU’s Collegiate Citizens Police Academy received the “Best Student Organization” honor, and James Shaw, Jr. got the top alumnus award.

The Academy, believed to be the first in the nation, is an opportunity for students to see “what real police work looks like,” says TSU Dean of Students Frank Stevenson, the brainchild of the academy.

The program exposes students to various aspects of police work, including domestic violence investigation, making split second decisions in a firearms training simulator, traffic stop training, and how the Metro Nashville Police Department uses special resources such as SWAT, horses and canine units.

In the case of the Alumnus Award, James Shaw, Jr. made national news in April when he disarmed a Waffle House shooter. Shaw conditions to be recognized for his actions. Last week, “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman gave his MTV “Best Superhero” Award to Shaw, who was attending the MTV Movie and TV Awards in Santa Monica, California.

“Receiving an award for playing a superhero is amazing, but it’s even greater to acknowledge the heroes that we have in real life,” Boseman said. “So I just want to acknowledge someone that is here today, James Shaw, Jr.”

James Shaw, Jr. and families of shooting victims at private ceremony at TSU. (TSU Media Relations)

Immediately after the shooting, Shaw started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the families of the Waffle House shooting victims. Last month, he presented a check for more than $240,000 to the families at a private ceremony at TSU, which has also set up a scholarship in Shaw’s name.

The HBCU Awards is the first and only national awards ceremony honoring individual and institutional achievement at historically black colleges and universities throughout the country. Winners are selected by a panel of previous winners, journalist, HBCU executives, students and alumni for the merit of accomplishment and for generating positive coverage for HBCU campus communities.

More than 700 nominations were received for this year’s nomination process, an event record.

Last year, TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands and the university’s College of Engineering received top honors in the HBCU Digest Awards.

The year before that, TSU got three honors: Alumna of the Year, Dr. Edith Mitchell; Female Coach of the Year, Track and Field Director Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice; and Female Student of the Year, RaCia Poston.

In 2015, TSU’s women’s basketball team got Female Team of the Year, and student activities received Best Student Organization.

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 College of Ag hosts Small Farm Outreach and Assistance Workshop

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s College of Agriculture is holding its 4th Annual Small Farm Outreach and Assistance Workshop this week.

Workshop attendees hear from Amanda Robertson, regional coordinator for Kentucky and Tennessee at USDA-Farm Service Agency. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU News Service)

TSU officials say the goal of the workshop, June 20-21, is to provide the latest scientific information and hands-on training involving topics pertinent to small farmers and producers.

“We want to help them improve their production capability,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the College of Agriculture. “How do you market what you produce? What are the new rules and regulations that are out there?”

Other workshop topics include loan assistance, food safety, and how to grow healthier produce.

Sylvester Taylor and his wife, Linda, traveled from Whiteville in West Tennessee to attend the workshop. The couple have been farming for about five years and say they want to learn how to grow foods without the use of substances like herbicide.

“We want to produce vegetables and fruits in an organic way that’s healthier,” says Linda Taylor.

The Taylors are among a growing number of black and other minority farmers. Reddy says he knows of one couple that’s had so much success farming, that the husband is leaving his engineering job to farm full time.

Because of such interest, agriculture officials at both the state and federal levels say they want to make sure small farmers get all the information they need to be successful.

Dennis Beavers, Farm Service Agency state executive director for Tennessee, speaks to workshop attendees. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations

“Farmers need these workshops,” said Dennis Beavers, Farm Service Agency state executive director for Tennessee. “The Farm Service Agency stands ready to help Tennessee State in anyway possible, to see that all farmers are taken care of and that we have a solid relationship with everyone in agriculture in Tennessee.”

The topic of food safety is likely to be a highlight of the two-day workshop because of the recent foodborne outbreaks across the country. Last week, TSU’s College of Agriculture had a workshop that focused specifically on food safety and the latest preventive research.

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control announced a multistate outbreak of salmonella linked to pre-cut melons. Before that, there was a recall on Romaine lettuce contaminated with E. coli.

So far, the salmonella outbreak has caused about 60 illnesses, while the lettuce contamination has made nearly 200 people ill since the outbreak in March, including five deaths.

At this week’s workshop, Dr. James Theuri from the University of Illinois will be presenting on food safety. He suggests farmers put together a “farm safety plan” that emphasizes cleanliness when handling any type of food.

“Food safety begins on the farm,” says Theuri, who is an extension educator of local food systems and small farms. “That means personal health and hygiene.”

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.

‘Black Panther’ star gives MTV ‘Best Superhero’ Award to TSU alum and Waffle House hero James Shaw, Jr.

Courtesy: The New Zealand Herald

He starred in one of the biggest films to ever grace the silver screen.

James Shaw, Jr. presents check to families of Waffle House shooting victims. (TSU Media Relations)

And while Chadwick Boseman won the “Best Superhero” golden popcorn statue at the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards Monday night, he was quick to praise a true hero in the audience at the Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, California.

The 40-year-old Black Panther star thanked the fans for accolades before calling on “real life” Waffle House shooting hero James Shaw, Jr. to accept the award on stage, the Daily Mail reports.

“Thank you to the fans,” Boseman said. “You made this movie special, you made this moment special when Black Panther came out.”

The star-studded film amassed more than $1 billion in four weeks at the box office, and became the third highest grossing film in North America.

“Ryan Coogler and I wanted to make sure that we did a movie that everybody could embrace, so thank you so much for what you did,” he continued.

“Receiving an award for playing a superhero is amazing but it’s even greater to acknowledge the heroes that we have in real life. So I just want to acknowledge someone that is here today, James Shaw Jr.”

The 29-year-old father became a national hero after he wrestled an AR-15 assault rifle from a gunman who burst into the Antioch, Tenn. Waffle House on April 22 and opened fire.

“You didn’t even know we were about to do this,” Chadwick laughed as the crowd erupted in applause for James. “If you don’t know James – he fought off a gunman in Antioch, Tennessee … a Waffle House. He saved lives.

“So this is gonna live at your house. Godbless you man.”

Immediately after the shooting, Shaw set up a GoFundMe page with an initial goal to raise $15,000 for the victims.

In mid May, the total hit more than $241,000 and Shaw presented a check to the families, and injured victims, at a private ceremony at Tennessee State University.

Shaw, the father of a four-year-old girl, initially hid in the toilet when half-naked shooter Travis Reinking burst into the restaurant.

Reinking shot through the door, grazing his forearm, when James decided it was time to fight back.

“I acted in a blink of a second. When he reloaded his clip, which felt like 30 minutes. I looked at him, and he wasn’t looking at me. He just had the barrel down. It was like, ‘Do it now. Go now.’ I just took off,” he told the New York Times.

“I hit him with the door and the gun was kind of jammed up. I grabbed it from him and I threw it over the counter top.”

Shaw then chased the killer out of the diner while the fleeing man hurled abuse at him for intervening. “I just wanted to live, and he was, like, astonished, that I wanted to live,” he recalled.

Reinking escaped on foot, shedding his only item of clothing, and fled into the woods. He was finally arrested almost 36 hours later after a manhunt involving 160 law enforcement officers, and charged with four counts of criminal homicide.

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 alumni have strong turnout for national convention in Atlanta

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University alums converged on Atlanta  for the 2018  National Alumni Association Convention.

TSU President Glenda Glover (right) with TSUNAA President Joni McReynolds (left) and Xernona Clayton, president and CEO of the Trumpet Awards Foundation, Inc., and recipient of the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the TSUNAA. (photo courtesy of Katrina Kerr)

TSU President Glenda Glover was among the nearly 200 alumni who attended the convention from June 13-16.

TSUNAA President Joni McReynolds said the convention was “one of the best I’ve attended.”

“I enjoyed just fellowshipping with all the alums that were there, and seeing a lot of the younger alums coming out,” said McReynolds, who was recently re-elected to another two-year term.

On Saturday, President Glover updated alumni on advancements the university has made in the areas of retention, recruitment, enrollment and marketing.

She also informed attendees about upcoming changes to the campus landscape, including the addition of a new Health Sciences Building, two new residence halls, the Field Research Organic Laboratory, the Gateway Arch Entrance, a new engineering building and the Alumni House and Welcome Center.

One of the highlights of this year’s convention was an honors gala that recognized several outstanding alumni.

Featured are (l to r) TSUNAA President Joni McReynolds; Mr. TSU Darian McGee; Miss TSU Kayla Sampson; TSU President Glenda Glover; Micah Blake-Smith, SGA Representative-at-large for alumni relations & annual giving; and Dean of Students Frank Stevenson. (photo courtesy of Katrina Kerr)

Two of those alumni – James Shaw, Jr. and Derrell Vaughn – were honored for their courage. Shaw received the “Hero Award” for disarming a shooter at a Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee, in April; and Vaughn received the “Bravery Award” for trying to save the life of a man during the mass shooting in Las Vegas in October.

Other alumni honored include:

  • Xernona Clayton, president and CEO of the Trumpet Awards Foundation, Inc. and creator and executive producer of the Foundation’s Trumpet Awards, “Lifetime Achievement Award”
  • Tracey Otey Blunt, president of RLJ Entertainment’s Urban Movie Channel, “Women of Influence Award”
  • Slim & Husky’s Pizza Beeria owners Clinton Gray III, Derrick Moore and Emmanuel Reed, “Vanguard Award”
  • Sterling Coleman, president/owner of SJAC/Lady Di Food Groups, LLC Zaxby’s, “Entrepreneurial Achievement Award”

Earlier this year, TSU recognized local alumni achievers during a special “Toast to TSU” event at First Tennessee Park in Nashville.

Calling them its “Points of Pride,” the university recognized TSU graduates or former students who are prominent and emerging leaders with universally recognized success in their fields, and who have made a positive impact on the TSU brand and community.

The next National Alumni Convention is scheduled for 2020 in Florida. The city has not been announced.

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 part of consortium created with $1.2 million UNCF grant

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) — Tennessee State University is among three historically black institutions that have signed a memorandum of understanding to create a consortium that will focus on faculty development.

The consortium on Transformative Teaching Practices for 21st Century Career Pathways is made up of TSU, Morgan State University and Norfolk State University. It is possible through a $1.2 million grant from the United Negro College Fund.

Known as the C3 Cluster, the three state institutions serve approximately 20,000 students and are uniquely positioned to collaborate on work that will have a direct impact on over 1,000 faculty members among the three campuses.

“One goal of the C3 Cluster initiative is to serve as a model for collaboration among universities committed to student success,” says Dr. Glenda Glover, president of TSU. “Historically, Tennessee State University faculty and staff have always assisted students in developing career pathways to success.  The collaboration with Morgan State and Norfolk State is the perfect synergy, given the missions of the partners and the tradition of excellence that we all value. We are happy to serve as an equitable partner in the C3 Cluster initiative and sincerely appreciate our UNCF funder in granting the funds to continue our efforts to help students succeed through innovative pedagogy.”

The UNCF Career Pathways Initiative, funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. through a $50 million grant, will enable selected historically black colleges and universities and predominately white institutions to address social and economic issues of minority graduation, unemployment and underemployment. Over the next four years, the consortium will engage in structured activities that foster community, identifies and validates new innovations, amplifies and scales best practices, and disseminates learnings.

The C3 institutions have similar academic profiles of their students, are geographically located in urban areas, and have strong alumni bases. It is projected that the outcome of the consortium will be a model for other schools of how to grow and learn in public.

While primarily focused on faculty, the C3 Cluster will extend their collaborative efforts to include additional members of their university communities. Key to its work will be creating opportunities for alumni and employer partners to provide valuable input on preparing undergraduate students for post-graduate success.

“With African Americans disproportionately unemployed or underemployed, it is imperative that colleges and universities unite in support of better employment outcomes for all graduates, not just the privileged,” says Dr. Brian Bridges, UNCF vice president for research and member engagement. “This grant will further help faculty provide the preparation necessary to help African American college students and graduates acquire the skills and mindset necessary for 21st century work.”

This collaborative effort will be highlighted during the 3rd Annual CPI Convening and Data Institute, themed “Purposeful Disruption.” The convening will be held July 23-25 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. During this year’s convening CPI Partner institutions will have an opportunity to share promising practices and ideas on how they have been able to purposefully leverage disruptions within the higher education space to improve student outcomes.

For more information, please contact the C3 Cluster at c3cluster@gmail.com.

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.

College of Ag workshop addresses foodborne diseases, preventive research

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – As the nation deals with yet another foodborne outbreak, Tennessee State University recently hosted a workshop to discuss food safety and the latest preventive research.

Dr. Chandra Reddy

Food safety experts at the state and national level attended the College of Agriculture’s two-day conference, “Securing Our Food Supply: Innovative technologies to improve food safety,” June 12-13.

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control announced a multistate outbreak of salmonella linked to pre-cut melons. Before that, there was a recall on Romaine lettuce contaminated with E. coli.

So far, the salmonella outbreak has caused about 60 illnesses, while the lettuce contamination has made nearly 200 people ill since the outbreak in March, including five deaths.

Dr. Sandria Godwin

“The CDC estimates that each year 48 million people get sick from a foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of TSU’s College of Agriculture.

“One effort to address preventing foodborne disease is the Food Safety Modernization Act, which aims to increase preventive measures across the entire food chain based on robust science and risk assessment.”

TSU is among the leaders in food safety. The university recently added several food safety professors, and has received millions of dollars from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to address the issue.

Dr. Ankit Patras

Two of TSU’s Ag professors whose research has been nationally recognized are Dr. Sandria Godwin and Dr. Ankit Patras, both of whom helped organize this week’s workshop.

Godwin, a family and consumer science professor at TSU, recently received a $2.4 million USDA grant to study poultry and food safety. Patras has also received funding from the USDA, and will be presenting cutting-edge research using pasteurization/sterilization at an international conference in Chicago next month.

“TSU is taking the lead … to see what is really causing those outbreaks, and how we can prevent them,” said Patras.

Dr. Max Teplitski

Dr. Max Teplitski, a national program leader in Food Safety and Microbiology at the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), said TSU’s research and other preventive technology being explored globally will hopefully put consumers’ minds at ease.

“Consumers seek not only the lowest cost calories, they’re also concerned with the health outcomes, and food safety,” said Teplitski, who spoke to workshop attendees remotely. “These trends are driving the need for research and education programs to be undertaken and developed.”

To learn more about TSU’s College of Agriculture and its food safety research, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/

Department of Media Relations

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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.