All posts by Lucas Johnson

TSU Faculty and Staff Fired Up and Ready to Embrace New Academic Year, Challenged to Strive for Greatness

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover welcomed faculty and staff back to the university on Monday, and challenged them to strive for “greatness.”

“This is an exciting time because the history of TSU is still being written,” Glover said at the Faculty-Staff Institute. “We’ve been called to greatness. We are building our TSU legacy.”

She said the university has some challenges, but that they can be overcome by working together.

“It takes all of us to make TSU work,” Glover said. “We are team TSU.”

Part of the president’s discussion was about enrollment, which she said has been affected by the state’s program that offers high school graduates free tuition at a two-year institution in Tennessee, and higher admission standards TSU implemented in 2016 to attract better and brighter students.

She noted the higher standards are paying off because the university is attracting more quality students, including two highly sought after high school seniors from Memphis.

Jayla Woods, a graduate of Whitehaven High School, received nearly $9 million in scholarship offers. A fellow student, Meaghen Jones, got more than $10 million in offers. Both will be at TSU when classes start this month.

“We’ve moved to quality over quantity,” Glover said.

She also pointed out the university is continuing to excel in research, as well as campus growth. In the next few months, ground is expected to be broken on a new Health Sciences Building and two new residence halls.

As for research funding, TSU ended the past year with $52 million, which was $8 million more than the previous year and placed Tennessee State No. 2 among historically black colleges and universities in new research funding.

Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, TSU’s vice president of research and institutional advancement, said she’s excited about the future of TSU.

“I’m looking forward to this year,” she said. “The plan is to keep the momentum, and actually accelerate this year with larger initiatives, that once again still provide greater impact to the research we’re doing.”

Tequila Johnson, chair of the Staff Senate, said she was pleased to hear the positive outcomes and outlooks shared by President Glover, as well as others who presented during the retreat.

“I think it was a great opportunity to be able to fellowship with staff and faculty members,” Johnson said. “It was also a good opportunity to be able to hear some of the ideas that staff have in relationship to customer service and how we can work together to improve satisfaction.”

Assistant College of Business professor Isaac Addae said the Faculty-Staff Institute was “very effective in setting the tone for the upcoming semester.”

“Dr. Glover’s holistic approach to student-centered customer service, and reiterating to faculty that it takes all of us, is a step in the right direction,” he said. “As an alumnus and business faculty member, I was proud to see the upward trend of enrollment in our academic unit. I am inspired to do my part to embrace the Team TSU mindset and provide excellence in teaching, research and service to the institution.”

Dr. De’Etra Young, assistant professor of Urban Forestry in the College of Agriculture, said the information shared during the retreat provided inspiration for the year ahead.

“I thought it was great.  I thought it set the tone to build teamwork and collaboration and putting students first,” she said.  “I really liked the president’s message of ‘Team TSU,’ and using that throughout the year to build the TSU family and putting that at the forefront.”

Kiana Hughes, who earned a master’s degree from TSU in 2017 and now works as Title III program coordinator and completion coach, echoed similar sentiments.

“Being a recent graduate I really enjoyed seeing the actual numbers and the growth of the university. Also, being a recent graduate of a graduate program I am really excited to see the way the graduate school is progressing,” Hughes said.

Hughes, who received her undergraduate degree from TSU in Exercise Science HPSS (Human Performance Science), said she looks forward to a great year at the university.

“One thing I want to see and I am really excited about is faculty and staff coming together to make TSU a better environment over all. I am really excited about that, “Hughes said.

Following the annual faculty and staff institute employees gathered for lunch on the campus lawn where they continued to fellowship and share excitement about the new academic year.

 

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, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU alums provide feast for football players through family food business

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The owners of a family food business returned to their alma mater to provide a feast for the Tennessee State University football team after their practice on Aug. 9.

(l-r) Cardale Winfrey, Burnice Winfrey, TSU Coach Rod Reed, and Victor Winfrey.

Burnice, Victor and Cardale Winfrey, all TSU graduates, play a part in the operation of Winfrey Foods, along with their sister, Karla, and another brother, Carlton. The family members served the players and coaches in a buffet-style line in the indoor practice facility.

“It was great to be back on campus and give back to the university and athletic department that has given me so much,” said Victor Winfrey, who played football at TSU from ’85-’89.

Before the dinner, Victor was presented a helmet similar to the one he wore when he played.

Victor Winfrey

“I remember when I played how excited and grateful I was for any food or snacks we had after an evening or night practice when the cafeteria was closed. So, it really made me feel good to be able to provide a good meal to the young men, who were so well-mannered and very appreciative.”

Although she graduated from Middle Tennessee State University, Karla Winfrey took some history classes at TSU. She also enjoyed visiting TSU again, and meeting the players, who she described as “amazing gentlemen.”

“Over and over they expressed their gratitude and said they thoroughly enjoyed the special meal we prepared,” she said. “Coach (Rod) Reed is doing an outstanding job training America’s future leaders.”

Coach Reed and his staff were also grateful.

“Thank you Winfrey Foods for providing dinner for the TSU Big Blue Tigers,” Reed said. “Your food was outstanding, and service and fellowship was even better.”

Members of New Season Church provide water and free pizza.

Winfrey Foods was started about two years ago. Its signature item is Royal Relish Chow Chow, which contains mother Judy Winfrey’s secret ingredients, and is available in all Publix supermarkets throughout Tennessee. The relish is also popular among chefs who prepare food in the Tennessee Titans’ luxury suites.

A week after Winfrey Foods’ benevolence, a number of community partners set up tents and tables with free refreshments, food, giveaways and entertainment for new TSU students moving into their residence halls, as well as volunteers and visitors.

Among the groups were 15th Avenue Baptist Church, New Season Church, and Restoration Corner Ministry, which set up water stations and feeding tables in several residence halls.

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, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

AFROTC Detachment 790 to have open house/orientation on Aug. 7 and 9

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Air Force ROTC Detachment 790 is having an open house and student orientation this month to showcase its program that was founded by two of the original famed Tuskegee Airmen.

Tennessee State University officials and members of AFROTC Detachment 790 participate in a swearing-in ceremony under the T-38 Talon aircraft on the main campus. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

The event will be August 7 and 9 at 12 p.m. in Kean Hall (Room 106).

In 1951, the United States Air Force established a Senior Reserve Officer Training Corps Detachment at the university under the instruction of two of the first Tuskegee Airmen, Col. Howard Baugh and Lt. Col. Hannibal Cox.

Years later, the Detachment moved its operations from the Hale Field House to the north end of the Floyd-Payne Campus Center. A predominant feature in front of the entrance to the AFROTC unit is the USAF T-38 Talon static display, flown by Gen. Lloyd W. “Fig” Newton, the highest ranking officer to graduate from the Detachment. The four-star general was also the first African-American selected to fly in the world-famous U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.

“There’s a long history of Detachment 790 commissioning black officers, specifically black pilots,” says Capt. Tim Amos, assistant professor of aerospace studies, and the Detachment’s recruiting and education officer.

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

Earlier this year, the Detachment received a new state-of-the-art flight simulator. AFROTC officials say the simulator, which has the latest flight software, 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 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.”

Lt. Monica Cooper, a Gold Bar Recruiter who recently joined the Detachment, says her main objective is to reach out to high school students, particularly minorities.

“My goal is … to get awareness out there to high school students that Air Force ROTC is an opportunity to pursue officership, and also to pursue the ideal career opportunities,” says Cooper.

To learn more about Detachment 790, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/afrotc/join.aspx.

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, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU alum’s festival helps give youngsters a ‘healthy start’ to school

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – One Tennessee State University alum is making sure youngsters have the items they need for school, as well as get some advice about educational opportunities and living healthier.

(l to r) TSU Interim Publications Director Michael McLendon, TSU College of Ag Dean Dr. Chandra Reddy, TSU Ag academic coordinator William Hayslett, State Rep. Harold Love, Jr., and Dr. Latif Lighari, associate dean for extension in Ag at TSU attend last year’s festival.

Love’s Healthy Start Festival will kick off at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 28, at Hadley Park. This is the 6th year of the festival, which was started by State Rep. Harold Love, Jr., a TSU graduate.

Love has partnered with a number of organizations, including TSU, to provide hundreds of free backpacks and school supplies, along with educational information and free health tips that include health screenings. There will also be free food and live entertainment at the festival.

“Love’s Healthy Start Festival is more than a back to school event,” said Love. “It is designed to give the entire family an opportunity to start the school year off right.”

Faculty and staff from TSU will be on hand to provide information on subjects like engineering (STEM), family health, and food and nutrition.

Jason de Koff, an associate professor of agronomy and soil sciences in TSU’s College of Agriculture, said the festival is an opportunity to plant an early seed in the minds of young people about Tennessee State.

“It might make them consider TSU … just to see some of the neat things we’ve got going on,” said de Koff.

The festival will also feature literacy and financial education programs. For instance, for the second year, the festival has partnered with Book’em, a nonprofit organization, to provide 1,000 free books to youngsters in grades K-12.

Ten-year-old Kamaya Simpson attended last year’s festival and seemed to enjoy being able to get free books – particularly ones with a little excitement.

“I like my books,” said Simpson. “I like books with adventure.”

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, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

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.