All posts by Lucas Johnson

TSU Alum Tops Kickboxing Sport, Brings Fight to Alma Mater

By Michael McLendon

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – TSU Alum Omari Boyd will showcase his world-class kickboxing skills on Saturday, September 30, in Kean Hall at Tennessee State University, as he along with other members of the American K-1 National Team take on the Canadian K-1 National Team.

Boyd, who became the first American kickboxer in history to receive a medal at the World Games in Poland in 2017, says he got his start as a competitive kickboxer at TSU.

“I met Kevin Walker, and he was doing a beginners mixed martial arts class at the school in the wellness center,” Boyd said. “While taking the class he saw that I had potential. We knew some of the same people, and he offered me my first fight in 2009.”

Since that time, Boyd has progressed to a 70-4 record as a kickboxer, obtaining at least one title belt in every major organization in the United States.

“What’s unique about Omari is his discipline, and he has an indomitable will,” said Walker, who trains athletes to compete for Team USA. “When you combine that with his humility, that’s really hard to find anywhere else.”

Walker, who started his mixed martial arts fitness program at the Ralph H. Boston Wellness Center in 2009, took two other TSU students to the world championships in MMA in 2016. He said Boyd’s experience as a competitive athlete in karate and swimming, and his love for learning, made transitioning to competitive kickboxing a natural fit.

“He did very good his first time out, and from that point I just asked him what he wanted from it.   He just looked me in my eyes and said, ‘I want to be the best in the world?’ Once he said that, I said, ‘Okay. Let’s do it. Let’s do those things to make sure you are the best in the world.’”

Victorious in eight different countries, Boyd has managed to perform at an elite level as a kickboxing champion while maintaining a full-time job as a civil structural engineer with the Thomas and Betts Corporation in Memphis, Tennessee. He credits hard work and dedication as being keys to his success.

“Once I set my mind to something, I just want to be the best at it—hands down,” Boyd said. “Wherever it takes me, it takes me. Wherever being the best leads, I’m going.”

Boyd, who secured a B.S. in architectural engineering from TSU in 2008 and an M.S. in civil engineering from TSU in 2011, credits his family with motivating and inspiring him.

“My dad and my mom, they both put me in karate at a young age. They motivated me to excel in that, and the same thing with swimming,” he said. “I just have younger brothers and sisters. They kind of look up to me so I just tread lightly on things I do because I know there are a lot of eyes on me.”

His mother, Agnes Boyd, who currently serves as Instructor of Sports and Fitness in the TSU Department of Human Performance and Health Sciences, said she always taught her son to be positive.

“I always told my children you can be and do anything you say you want to do. Never say, ‘Shoulda’ woulda’ coulda.’ You just do it. If you fail, that doesn’t mean you failed. You tried it,” she said. “He told me, ‘Mama, I want an Olympic uniform.‘ That’s what my son said before he got on the team.”

Walker said the fight on September 30 extends and expands the historic legacy for international and Olympic sports at Tennessee State University. He hopes it will be a launching pad to open and extend the course offerings and recreational intramural offerings at TSU to get more diverse students and generate funds for the university, as well as increase TSU’s international exposure.

“This particular event marks an opportunity for Tennessee State to be an epicenter and an origin that will bring national and international attention to not only the university, but the city of Nashville as we grow in our exposure and our appeal on a global scale.,” he said.

For Boyd, the fight simply represents an opportunity to do what he loves before a hometown crowd.

“Man, ya’ll come through TSU September 30th and represent,” he said with enthusiasm. “It’s been a long time since I fought at home. “

To learn more about the event, visit wakousa.org.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

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

 

 

 

25 Top High School Seniors Awarded Full Scholarships to Attend Tennessee State University

By Emmanuel S. Freeman

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When Meaghen Jones found out she was getting a full scholarship to attend Tennessee State University, she summed up her feelings in one word: “overwhelming!”

Dr John Cade, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Services, talks to Academic High Achiever Scholarship recipients Kamryn Martin, left, Brittney Johnson and Leslie Curry. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“I was always sure I wanted to come to TSU, but tonight secured it,” said Jones, who was one of 25 high school seniors awarded Academic High Achiever Scholarships to TSU at a ceremony in Memphis on Wednesday. “I have worked so hard throughout just to make sure I get a full ride to college and this was just so overwhelming for me.”

Jones has a 4.2 grade point average and is ranked No. 4 out of 411 in her senior class at Whitehaven High School in Memphis. She and the other top seniors attended the Annual TSU Memphis Recruitment Reception at the Sheraton Memphis Downtown for graduating high school seniors and their parents and family members.

The reception is held each year by TSU’s Office of Admissions as part of activities leading up to the Southern Heritage Classic between TSU and Jackson State University in the Liberty Bowl. This year’s game is on Saturday.

Jones is coming to TSU as a pre-med. Her mother, Jackie Latiker, said the fact her daughter is getting a full ride is “absolutely phenomenal.“

“To see her stand before 24 other students that were selected, I am just too elated,” Latiker said. “This is what we’ve worked for all these years.”

TSU’s Vice-President for Enrollment Management and Student Services, Dr. John Cade, congratulated the scholarship recipients, and said the university’s goal is to seek out the best students, nurture them, and graduate them prepared for the global market.

“As you come to TSU, you are following in the footsteps of great people, among them our president, Dr. Glenda Glover, a Memphis native, and a very high achiever herself who believes in your potential for greatness,” Cade said. “So, having someone of that caliber to lead Tennessee State University is a prime example of what you can aspire to become and all of you can do that. We offer a number of programs at TSU that will assist you in your success.”

At the reception, more than 50 high school seniors and their parents attended to hear TSU admissions officials discuss the university’s offerings and programs.

Talia Chambers and William Edwards were also among the 25 selected for the Academic High Achiever Scholarship. To qualify for the scholarship, a student must have a 3.5 GPA or higher and 23 and above on the ACT.

Chambers, who wants to major in animal science, has a 4.0 GPA at Middle College High School. Edwards plans to study graphic design. He has a 3.5 GPA at Wooddale High School.

“I am very excited to attend Tennessee State,” Chambers said. “It is within my distance range and it has my area of study in pre-vet medicine. I came here tonight just to get some information and now here I have a full ride scholarship, this is great”

Said Edwards: “When they first called my name I was really nervous. All my siblings received full-ride scholarships to go to college. So I am just glad to be able to measure up to them with a full ride of my own. Thank you TSU.”

Several members of the Memphis chapter of the TSU National Alumni Association, friends of TSU, and the Tennessee State University Cheering Squad were on hand to cheer on the scholarship recipients.

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

 

Tigers Spoil Stadium Opening with Historic Victory Over Georgia State

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Dajour Nesbeth intercepted a pass with a minute remaining in the game to give Tennessee State a historic 17-10 victory over Georgia State in Atlanta on Thursday.

The victory made a bit of history in that it gave the Tigers the first collegiate football win in Georgia State Stadium (formerly Turner Field).

“It was a huge win,” said TSU head football coach Rod Reed. “I’m so proud of these guys. We’ve been working all camp for this one moment. Now we’ve got to stay in the moment, and just take them one game at a time, and just move on from here.”

It was also the first win as an FCS team over an FBS opponent. TSU defeated Louisville in 1981 and in 1984 as an NCAA DI-A Independent squad. The Tigers transitioned from an NCAA DI-A team to an NCAA DI-AA team in the early 80’s.

“We’re an FCS team, and we came out there and beat an FBS team,” said junior offensive tackle Christian Morris. “They were very talented, but we handled business.”

The defense stood tall the entire game, holding GSU to 81 yards in the first half. The Tigers kept the pressure on forcing four turnovers, recording three sacks and stopping GSU on two fourth down attempts.

Go Big Blue!

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

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

Top Army officer talks to students, faculty about civilian research opportunities in military

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A top Army officer visiting Tennessee State University talked to students and faculty on Thursday about civilian research opportunities in the military.

Maj. Gen. Cedric Wins speaks to group. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins oversees the U.S. Army’s Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM). With more than 14,000 employees, RDECOM performs nearly all of the Army’s basic and applied research and technology development.

Of RDECOM’s employees, 13,800 are civilians, of which 11,000 are scientists and engineers.

“It’s very common that many of the Fortune 100 companies are visiting our campus doing recruiting,” said Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of TSU’s College of Engineering. “Our responsibility as faculty is also to expose students to other careers beyond the Fortune 100. That includes … the federal government, more specifically the branches of the military.”

Wins said recruitment of college students is beneficial to RDECOM down the line because of an “aging workforce where people are going to be able to transition out.”

“The large majority of my workforce is civilian, so there’s a lot of opportunity there for people who have decided that they want to serve, but they don’t want to serve in uniform for whatever reason,” Wins said.

RDECOM has several centers and laboratories that focus on research that includes armament, aviation and missiles, communications-electronics, and chemical threats.

A number of students at TSU have taken advantage of internships and other programs RDECOM offers, according to TSU research officials.

Akinwunmi Joaquim, a TSU graduate engineering student, said he’s considering one of the internships.

“I believe it will help me in what I’m doing,” said Joaquim, adding that RDECOM’s chemical research directly relates to his study of biosensors. “I’m going to tell my friends about RDECOM, and try to give them opportunities as well.”

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

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

Hundreds come to TSU for historic total solar eclipse

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Hundreds of people came to Tennessee State University on Monday to view the total solar eclipse, a historic event most will never forget.

Hale stadium attendees await monumental solar eclipse. (Photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

“This is monumental,” TSU President Glenda Glover told the crowd minutes before the sun was blacked out. “Years from now, you will recall this very moment here at TSU.”

The university had viewing events at Hale Stadium on TSU’s main campus, and at Avon Williams, the university’s downtown campus. However, the event at the stadium was undoubtedly the liveliest, with TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands entertaining attendees before the total eclipse. There was also a live DJ, as well as food.

“Tennessee State University values community partnerships,” said TSU Dean of Students Frank Stevenson. “Blue and White Solar Eclipse Day was designed to … have a safe, exciting place where we can view this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity together.”

Total black out of sun. (Photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

The last time a total solar eclipse could be seen from Nashville was July 29, 1478, according to NASA. After the one Monday, the next total solar eclipse visible from Nashville will be on Aug. 16, 2566.

Dr. Virginia Tickles, a NASA engineer, was one of the speakers at the stadium. She said before the event that the eclipse is a great educational tool.

“I remember being in school and learning about this,” she said. “It’s exciting to see what we learn in day-to-day classrooms happen right here in front of us.”

Dr. Geoffrey Burks, an astronomer and associate professor of physics at TSU, said he believes the solar eclipse will spark new interest in astronomy.

“It’s just so rare to be able to see something in your lifetime where the sun is covered up in the middle of the day,” he said. “They’ll remember this a long time.”

TSU President Glenda Glover (center), TSU Board of Trustees student member Sydnie Davis (left), and TSU Student Government Association President JerMilton Woods at Hale Stadium eclipse event. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

TSU sophomore Taylor Adams, a mechanical engineering major, said the eclipse is an experience she will not forget, and that it has definitely made her even more interested in astronomy.

“This is something that scientifically blows your mind,” Adams said. “You’re literally watching the moon fully cover the sun.”

During a solar eclipse, the moon passes between the sun and Earth and blocks all or part of the sun for up to about three hours, from beginning to end, as viewed from a given location.

In Nashville, the eclipse’s totality, the period when the sun is completely blacked out by the moon, lasted about two minutes. When totality occurred, the stadium erupted with cheers, and people who didn’t know each other were hugging and laughing.

While he enjoyed seeing the eclipse, TSU student Alex Hill said the effect it had on people who witnessed it was even more moving.

“I believe that this gives people a chance to take a step back and look at the bigger picture,” said Hill, a junior majoring in business administration. “No matter our race or ethnicity, we all live under the same sun and moon, and should treat each other as such.”

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

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

TSU ready for total solar eclipse, scientist believes historic event will spark new interest in astronomy, research

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A Tennessee State University scientist believes the total solar eclipse on Monday will spark new interest in astronomy and TSU’s nationally recognized research.

Dr. Geoffrey Burks is an astronomer and associate professor of physics at TSU. He said the Aug. 21 event is once-in-a-lifetime, but its impact will probably be long lasting, particularly in the minds of youngsters.

“It’s just so rare to be able to see something in your lifetime where the sun is covered up in the middle of the day,” Burks said. “They’ll remember this a long time.”

TSU will have eclipse viewing events to recognize the historic day. They are planned from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hale Stadium on TSU’s main campus, and at Avon Williams, the university’s downtown campus. The event at the stadium will include comments from TSU President Glenda Glover, NASA engineer Dr. Virginia Tickles, TSU researchers, as well as performances by TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands. There will also be free food.

“It’s going to be a fun day,” said TSU Dean of Students Frank Stevenson. “We want it to be a day that you will remember where you were on this day. It will also be an opportunity to showcase a little bit of Tennessee State University.”

During a solar eclipse, the moon passes between the sun and Earth and blocks all or part of the sun for up to about three hours, from beginning to end, as viewed from a given location.

Typically, there are two solar eclipses each year somewhere on the Earth, but most of the time the very narrow path of the total eclipse is a shadow over the ocean.

The one occurring on Aug. 21 is unique because it crosses the entire United States, and Nashville is the largest city within the entire eclipse’s path.

The last time a total solar eclipse could be seen from Nashville was July 29, 1478, according to NASA. After Aug. 21, the next one visible from Nashville will be on Aug. 16, 2566.

“This is a big thing,” said Willie Moore, a junior civil engineering major at TSU. “I want to make sure I am in the right place to see it.”

Burks said the Aug. 21 eclipse might also draw more attention to astronomy research. At TSU, its research and astronomy professors have received national recognition. The university owns and operates eight robotic telescopes at the Robotic Observatory Center in the mountains of southern Arizona.

In 1999, a team led by TSU astronomer Greg Henry announced the discovery of a shadow of a planet crossing a distant star. The discovery made national and international news, and was lauded by then President Bill Clinton.

“I want America to know about your enormous contributions to research,” Clinton said the following year at a higher education leadership banquet in Washington, D.C. “I want every American to know … Tennessee State astronomers made the world’s first direct detection of a planet orbiting another star.”

Last year, Dr. Henry was part of a team of astronomers who discovered an extrasolar planet scientists say has the most eccentric orbit ever seen.

Highlights of the planned TSU eclipse events on Monday include:

  • Safe viewing presentation (Hale Stadium, 10:20 a.m.)
  • NASA speaker-Dr. Virginia Tickles (Hale Stadium, 12:05 p.m.)
  • The Solar Eclipse: What’s Happening Now? (Hale Stadium, 12:30 p.m.)
  • TSU Aristocrat of Bands performs (Hale Stadium, 12:45 p.m.)
  • Words from TSU President Glenda Glover (Hale Stadium, 1:10 p.m.)
  • Full solar eclipse; viewing also on plaza of Avon Williams Campus (1:27 p.m.)

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

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

TSU welcomes new Tigers to the Big Blue family on freshman Move-In Day

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Lamonjae Romey got several offers from colleges and universities, but after learning about Tennessee State University and visiting its campus, the Big Blue sealed the deal.

TSU President Glenda Glover greets new freshmen. (Photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

“When we came here the first time, I just fell in love with the campus,” said Romey, an Indianapolis native who plans to major in nursing. “Right then, I decided that this is where I want to be.”

Romey was among about 1,500 new freshmen that arrived at TSU on Wednesday for Freshman Move-In Day.

“It’s always a pleasing sight to see new students and their families join our university family as they come to us as freshmen,” said TSU President Glenda Glover.

President Glover greeted many of the new students personally as she stood at the entrance of several residence halls during the move-in.

“It’s very important for these students to have a good start to the best college experience possible. I want them to study hard and do their best. Our move-in event is the first step to that experience. It’s a family thing like the slogan on our volunteer T-shirts read (display),” Glover said.

New TSU freshman Lamonjae Romey (center) with her mother, Latochia Rice (left), and grandmother, Doris Rice. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Freshman Shelby Sellers said she’s looking forward to attending TSU. She and her family drove about nine hours from Wisconsin on Wednesday. Sellers, who plans to major in biology, said what really attracted her to TSU was the kindness she was shown by faculty and staff when she visited the university.

“They seem to want to help you in everything; give guidance,” she said. “I really like the culture.”

Freshman Megan Davis of Knoxville, Tennessee, agreed.

“I could tell that the professors really care about students’ success,” said Davis, who plans to major in occupational therapy. “And I like the overall community.”

During the move-in Wednesday, a number of parents praised the helpfulness and organization of TSU’s staffers. Megan’s mother, Denise Davis, said she believes her daughter will be in good hands.

“My daughter just kept saying, ‘Mom, I really want to go to Tennessee State,’” Denise Davis said. “We came up for a couple of visits, and TSU sealed the deal.”

New TSU freshmen and their families enjoy some tasty barbecue. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Dr. Tracey Ford, vice president of student affairs at TSU, said the university wants students and their parents to know that good customer service is a priority.

“We’re very excited … to welcome new Tigers into our family,” Ford said.

In addition to the university’s great faculty and staff, a number of TSU freshmen said they want to be part of the unique experience only a historically black college or university can offer.

“I chose TSU because of my heritage and the history I can learn here,” said Memphis native Tavion McCullough, who will be majoring in business administration.

Activities were planned throughout Move-in Day for the new freshmen, including orientation and a barbecue for them and their families. Before they start class on Aug. 21, students will have an opportunity to participate in an open house to learn about their colleges and academic departments.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

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

 

Total solar eclipse provides opportunity for TSU to showcase its excellence to the community

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is using the once-in-a-lifetime total solar eclipse to showcase its excellence to the community.

The university will have a “Blue and White Total Solar Eclipse Viewing Day Party” on Aug. 21 to recognize the historic day. Organizers expect as many as 10,000 to attend.

“It’s going to be a fun day,” said TSU Dean of Students Frank Stevenson. “We want it to be a day that you will remember where you were on this day. It will also be an opportunity to showcase a little bit of Tennessee State University.”

Events are planned from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hale Stadium on TSU’s main campus, and at Avon Williams, the university’s downtown campus. Both are free and open to the public.

The event at the stadium will include comments from TSU President Glenda Glover, TSU researchers, NASA engineer Dr. Virginia Tickles, as well as performances by TSU’s nationally acclaimed Aristocrat of Bands. There will also be free food.

Aug. 21 is also the first day of classes at TSU. Student Government Association President JerMilton Woods said the eclipse events are a chance to show incoming freshman what TSU has to offer.

“It’s a moment for us to kind of gather, love on each other as a family, and just watch something stellar happen,” Woods said.

The last time a total solar eclipse could be seen from Nashville was July 29, 1478, according to NASA. After Aug. 21, the next one visible from Nashville will be on Aug. 16, 2566.

“It’s going to be exciting,” said TSU junior Willie Moore of the Aug. 21 eclipse. “This is a big thing. I want to make sure I am in the right place to see it.”

Because of the large number of people expected to attend the TSU events on Aug. 21, TSU police plan to beef up security with additional patrols.

Highlights of the planned TSU eclipse events include:

  • Safe viewing presentation (Hale Stadium, 10:20 a.m.)
  • NASA speaker-Dr. Virginia Tickles (Hale Stadium, 12:05 p.m.)
  • The Solar Eclipse: What’s Happening Now? (Hale Stadium, 12:30 p.m.)
  • TSU Aristocrat of Bands performs (Hale Stadium, 12:45 p.m.)
  • Words from TSU President Glenda Glover (Hale Stadium, 1:10 p.m.)
  • Full solar eclipse; viewing also on plaza of Avon Williams Campus (1:27 p.m.)

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

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

 

TSU President Glover outlines plans to increase student success and university growth at annual meeting of faculty and staff

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – “Let us work to make TSU the University of choice” was the charge Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover posed to faculty and staff during the university’s fall institute on Monday.

Hundreds of employees attended the annual event to get an update on year-long initiatives and plans for the upcoming academic year. Most importantly, they were reminded of the vital role they have in serving students and the university.

“We’re here for the purpose of educating our students,” President Glover said. “There must be a continued commitment to make a contribution each day, to make TSU better. Each year when I stand before you, I have great news on the progress we’re making, but there is more work to be done.”

Glover discussed the university’s new strategic plan that includes four goals: increase four-year graduation rates; ensure campus health and safety; improve customer service; and sustain/diversify revenue streams.

Called Impact 20/20, the plan also details the expansion of the campus’ physical footprint with the addition of two new academic buildings, Health Sciences and Engineering, along with two newly constructed residence halls to alleviate the growing need for housing.

Demetra Scruggs, a clinical supervisor in TSU’s Dental Hygiene Department, said she was motivated by the plans the president outlined.

“TSU is a great school,” Scruggs said. “And the initiatives Dr. Glover talked about today will make it even better.”

The president also said the university aims to increase student enrollment at least 5 percent by 2020.

To make that happen, she said the university is looking at ways to raise more money for student scholarships and research, which is among its challenges.

Despite its challenges, Glover said TSU has done an excellent job preparing students for the workforce, an accomplishment she hopes to build upon even more with new funding.

Recently, the university received a $2 million career development grant from the United Negro College Fund to provide TSU with the tools to prepare and ultimately help students secure employment immediately following graduation.

Other accolades included a recent ranking that showed TSU graduates average $48,100 in starting salaries.

EDsmart, a nationally recognized publisher of college resources and rankings, ranked TSU No. 6 out of the nation’s top 30 historically black colleges for highest starting salaries for graduates.

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

Employees also heard from Dr. Mark Hardy, vice president for academic affairs; Dr. Achintya Ray, chair of the Faculty Senate; and Staff Senate Chair Linda Goodman, all of whom told faculty and staff they play a vital role in the success of TSU.

The faculty staff institute is held in August and January prior to the beginning of each academic semester.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

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

Total solar eclipse could spur interest in astronomy, TSU scientist says

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The total solar eclipse on Aug. 21 could spur new interest in astronomy, said a Tennessee State University scientist.

Dr. Geoffrey Burks is an astronomer and associate professor of physics at TSU. He said the Aug. 21 event is once-in-a-lifetime, but its impact will probably be long lasting, particularly in the minds of youngsters.

“It’s just so rare to be able to see something in your lifetime where the sun is covered up in the middle of the day,” Burks said. “They’ll remember this a long time.”

TSU is having a “Blue and White Solar Eclipse Day Party” to recognize the historic day. Events are planned from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hale Stadium on TSU’s main campus, and at Avon Williams, the university’s downtown campus. The event at the stadium will include comments from TSU President Glenda Glover, NASA engineer Dr. Virginia Tickles, TSU researchers, as well as performances by TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands. There will also be free food.

Dr. Trinetia Respress, chair of TSU’s Department of Educational Leadership and one of the organizers of the events, said she believes Aug. 21 is a day students in particular will never forget.

“I think it’s something they will enjoy, whether you’re in science, or not in science,” she said.

During a solar eclipse, the moon passes between the sun and Earth and blocks all or part of the sun for up to about three hours, from beginning to end, as viewed from a given location.

Typically, there are two solar eclipses each year somewhere on the Earth, but most of the time the very narrow path of the total eclipse is a shadow over the ocean.

The one occurring on Aug. 21 is unique because it crosses the entire United States, and Nashville is the largest city within the entire eclipse’s path.

The last time a total solar eclipse could be seen from Nashville was July 29, 1478, according to NASA. After Aug. 21, the next one visible from Nashville will be on Aug. 16, 2566.

“This is a big thing,” said Willie Moore, a junior civil engineering major at TSU. “I want to make sure I am in the right place to see it.”

Burks said the Aug. 21 eclipse might also draw more attention to astronomy research. At TSU, its research and astronomy professors have received national recognition. The university owns and operates eight robotic telescopes at the Robotic Observatory Center in the mountains of southern Arizona.

In 1999, a team led by TSU astronomer Greg Henry announced the discovery of a shadow of a planet crossing a distant star. The discovery made national and international news, and was lauded by then President Bill Clinton.

“I want America to know about your enormous contributions to research,” Clinton said the following year at a higher education leadership banquet in Washington, D.C. “I want every American to know … Tennessee State astronomers made the world’s first direct detection of a planet orbiting another star.”

Last year, Dr. Henry was part of a team of astronomers who discovered an extrasolar planet scientists say has the most eccentric orbit ever seen.

 

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