All posts by Michael McLendon

TSU Alum Garners National Acclaim With Comedy Series #WeirdMYAH

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – How does a Magna Cum Laude Animal Science/Pre-Veterinary Medicine graduate from one of the nation’s top historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) become an award-winning filmmaker?

That’s a good question for 27-year-old Myah Naomi Lipscomb, a 2013 alumna of Tennessee State University and creator of the comedy series #WeirdMYAH. Lipscomb, along with a host of TSU alums, are garnering national acclaim with their original comedy series, which is currently being featured in the Tennessee Episodic Showcase division of the Nashville Film Festival.

“I feel so blessed, and I am so happy,” said Lipscomb. “I would not have thought when I was working at the animal hospital and not loving it that in just a couple of years I could say that I am doing what I love.”

Members of the #WeirdMYAH cast and crew after winning Best TV Pilot for “#photobomb” at the National Black Film Festival (Houston, Texas) Left to Right: Brandon Lee W., Kelly Keri Greer, Myah Naomi Lipscomb, Jennifer Mkoma, and Lanial D. Madden

#WeirdMYAH, which recently took home the Best TV Pilot Award at the National Black Film Festival in Houston, for its full length episode #photobomb, screens Wednesday, May 16, at 6 p.m. at Regal Hollywood Stadium 27.

In the television comedy, Myah Bridges, portrayed by Lipscomb, is a student at historically black Lloyd University. She struggles to overcome the conflicts in her problematic life, created by the stress of college, lack of income, and her social awkwardness. Overtime, Myah learns to deal with her uniqueness by embracing her individuality, but her quest for normalcy has its obstacles.

Lipscomb and the pilot’s director and cowriter, Kelly Keri Greer, both graduates of TSU, earned MFA’s in Film and Creative Media from Lipscomb University in 2017. The two are just part of a long list of TSU alums involved with the project.

“I think when I first tried to pursue it years ago, it just wasn’t the right season for it,” Lipscomb said. “And I think me going to graduate school and really learning the craft and learning the field, I needed that. Me networking with other filmmakers and actors, I needed that. And all of us together is what has really branded this project into what it is now.”

Greer, a Memphis-native who graduated from TSU with a B.A. in Mass Communications, said the cast and crew of #WeirdMYAH are like a family.

“We are always together, and not only do we work together, we work well together,” she said. “We’re there for long periods of time together on set, but we can actually go and spend our own personal time with one another, so we are really a family, and I think that’s probably the most rewarding part of being a part of this project.”

Greer, like Lipscomb, said attending TSU played a major role in her success.

“We only had one film professor at TSU, Melissa Forte, and she really taught us everything from beginning to end,” Greer said. “We had editing classes with her. We had screenwriting classes with her, and she really taught us the basics of film including production and being your own producer, like being an independent filmmaker. With those tools you really can’t go wrong.”

Lipscomb’s rendezvous with TSU goes back much further. Her grandfather, Dr. Roland Norman, worked at TSU for nearly 40 years, ultimately serving as dean of the College of Agriculture and Home Economics. Her grandmother, Naomi Norman, worked as a nurse in the Queen Washington Student Health Center at TSU throughout her professional career.

Their children, including Myah’s mother, Chandra Norman Lipscomb, grew up on the TSU campus. Myah’s mother eventually attended TSU and became Miss TSU 1979-1980. She worked at the university in various capacities, including teaching in the Department of Communications, serving as a campus administrator, working in the College of Business, and eventually serving as the coordinator of International Student Services and Cultural Programming in the Office of International Affairs before her recent retirement.

As a student at TSU, Myah served as Miss Freshman 2009-2010. She also served on the student government association as representative-at-large and speaker of the house.

An accomplished actress, Norman Lipscomb said she sees a lot of herself in Myah.

“I look at Myah, and a lot of the things she is doing, she got from me. Myah grew up watching me doing my performances and what not, but we never knew she had a desire for the arts or for communications because she would always talk about being a veterinarian,” she said. “To be honest, she was afraid to let her dad and I know that that was the area she wanted because she thought we wanted her to be a veterinarian.”

As a mother, Norman Lipscomb said she sees the hard work her daughter puts into her craft and believes it is the key to her success.

“I personally see what no one else sees. I see Myah getting up to go to the gym at 5 a.m., coming back and working whether it is #WeirdMYAH, editing a project, getting ready to go film a music video, whatever,” she said. “She is working most of the time, and this is like a labor of love for her.“

Myah encourages other young people to pursue their passion.

Myah Naomi Lipscomb – Creator, Executive Producer, Actress, & Editor of #WeirdMYAH

“Whether it’s in film, whatever field you are passionate about, I think you need to follow your passion, and follow your heart, and you’ll get there,” Lipscomb said. “You just need to take that first step and not be afraid.”

Lipscomb said the next step for #WeirdMYAH is to pitch the show to networks and streaming platforms. She hopes to use her journey as a filmmaker to revitalize positive, entertaining content that highlights African Americans.

Other TSU alums involved in the project include the cinematographer, Joseph Patrick; cast and crew members Lanial Madden, Kala Ross, Chelsea Smith Brand Lee W., Asia Jones, Joe Major, Clarke Howard, Evony Thompson and Lauren Waller; and filmmaker Spencer Glover, who also graduated with an MFA from Lipscomb and has worked as a director on the miniseries.

The five episode web-based miniseries of #WeirdMYAH is available online at www.myahnaomi.com/weirdmyah. To purchase tickets for the May 16 screening of the full length episode, #photobomb, visit www.nashvillefilmfestival.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 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 Student Finds His Way “To The Top” As Author of Children’s Books

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – One brief conversation with Tennessee State University senior Deontae Henderson, and it becomes clear that he is an undeniable force of inspiration and positivity.

Each morning, the 21-year-old Minneapolis, Minnesota native begins his podcast, Just Deontae, by proclaiming to the world, “I can’t stop until I make it to the top.” For Henderson, making it “to the top” is not just a catch phrase; it’s a way of life, as well as the title of his first children’s book.

To The Top tells the story of a turtle named Koa who overcomes numerous obstacles during his quest to make it to the top of a mountain. On his journey, Koa encounters various animals that discourage him from reaching his destination. However, Koa exercises persistence and determination until he reaches his goal.

Like Koa, Henderson’s story is one of overcoming obstacles. In fact, his mother, Evette Henderson, said his writing started as a result of her finding constructive ways to discipline her son when he was in grade school.

“When Deontae was young, he had to do a lot of time-outs because he wouldn’t listen. In his time-outs, he would have to read or write. He did a lot of writing,” she said. “When he would get in trouble at school, I would also have him come home and write out his five-year plan, and I still have some of the papers he would write for me.”

Henderson’s book, which can be purchased through Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Kindle, Nook, iBook, Xulon Press, and Mall of America, became the number one selling book by a local author at a Minneapolis Barnes and Noble, surpassing the sales of My Country, ‘Tis of Thee: My Faith, My Family, Our Future, a book written by Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress and the first nonwhite that Minnesota has ever elected to Congress.

The founder and CEO of an inspirational brand called S.M.O.O.V.E., which stands for Steady Moving On Our Visions Everyday, Henderson uses his company to create bracelets, apparel, and books to encourage and motivate others to pursue the best version of themselves.

“What I’m starting to realize is that those people we look up to, Steve Jobs, Stan Lee, Jim Henson who made the muppets, Jay-Z, P Diddy, and Ryan Cooglar who just made The Black Panther, all these people are just being big kids. And when you watch the interviews they say, ‘I’m just doing what I wanted to do as a kid,’” he said. “They are having fun doing what they are doing and they don’t see it as a job.”

A consummate optimist, Henderson said a great deal of his success can be credited to the training he received from his mother.

“She really taught us to believe in ourselves,” he said. “She gave us so much confidence that whenever we went to do anything, we thought, ‘Yeah we can accomplish it. This is easy for us.’ And she still does that. No matter what, she always has my back.”

After a disappointing introduction to college life, Henderson set his sites on attending TSU and becoming a walk-on member of the TSU Flying Tigers Track Team. In order to make the team, he had to impress Olympic Gold Medalist and TSU Track Coach Chandra Cheeseborough.

“He found Coach Cheese, and he e-mailed her. At first she denied him, but he just kept contacting her, and she finally told him he could come and do a walk on,” Henderson’s mother said. “I just packed all our stuff, and we basically went on faith. We just threw all his stuff in my truck and I drove him to TSU, and that’s how he got there. He’s been there ever since.”

Cheeseborough said Henderson, who graduates Cum Laude next weekend from TSU with a bachelor of science in mass communications, has what it takes to be successful.

“I am proud of Deontae, and what he has accomplished as an author,” she said. “He has a spirit of determination, and that will take him a long way.”

Henderson, who recently released his second children’s book, Momma Bear, which is available on Amazon, said being an author brings him great joy.

“When I am able to write a story, put it out there, and receive a profit from my own ideas and what I love to do, that’s actually the best feeling ever,” he said.

To listen to Henderson’s daily inspirational podcast, visit https://apple.co/2r1ypTw or https://spoti.fi/2qZG4Bw .

 

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.

Internationally Known Vegan Trainer Tay Sweat Among Experts To Greet Public At Health And Wellness Fair at TSU

NASHVILLE, Tenn(TSU News Service) – Certified personal trainer and nutrition coach Tay Sweat knows what it means to fight for his life. At age 15, he weighed 311 pounds and found himself in a constant battle with diabetes and high blood pressure. Afraid he would meet an early death, Sweat decided as a teenager to take control of his health.

“I got rid of my diabetes and my high blood pressure, and from there I started helping others do the same,” said Sweat, who is now an internationally recognized health guru with clients in Australia, Canada and Japan.

Certified personal trainer and nutrition coach Tay Sweat (submitted photo)

Sweat is one of many health, nutrition and fitness experts who will take part in a unique community health and wellness fair this Friday at Tennessee State University from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Kean Hall.

The fair, which is a partnership between TSU, the DP Thomas Foundation for Obesity, Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s HIV Vaccine Program, and the Turnip Truck, will feature more than 40 vendors and give participants opportunities to receive massages, chiropractic care, dental screenings, HIV testing and more.

Sweat, who does 90 to 95 percent of his business online and the remaining with high profile clients like Tennessee Titans players and their wives, is excited about this opportunity to share what he has learned with the general public.

“I want people, when they see me, to see the difference eating a lot of plants can have. But not only that, I want to speak to the people and answer questions,” said Sweat, who lost more than 120 pounds before packing on an additional 25 pounds of muscle using a vegan diet.

Lalita Hodge, TSU coordinator of Public Relations and a member of the DP Thomas Board of Directors, said the purpose of the fair is to keep the community informed about the resources that are available to them.

“You will see some of your traditional vendors there like the YMCA, but you will also see nontraditional healing methods there like coffee enema, the Turnip Truck with their organic produce, and we have healthy lunches that will include organic free-range turkey,” she said.

Hodge said organizers are placing special emphasis on getting senior citizens and college students to participate.

Keith Richardson, community engagement coordinator for the Vanderbilt HIV Vaccine Program, stressed the important of students attending the health fair.

“Students are young and they need to know the importance of health and what it means to take care of themselves,” said Richardson, a 2008 alumnus of TSU. “Maybe they can catch health issues early before things get out of hand as they become adults and just have a good mindset about eating and exercising right, and just taking care of their bodies.”

Dolly Patton-Thomas, executive director of the DP Thomas Foundation for Obesity, said she hopes the event will motivate people to live healthier lives. She said Sweat and Certified Holistic Wellness Coach Karina Hammer are just two of the many vendors she is elated to see continue their participation in the fair, which is in its third year.

“I’m just excited about the health fair, and I hope that all will come out and that we will have people just to gain knowledge about what we have to offer and what is out there for them,” Patton-Thomas said. “When you are given the knowledge, you won’t be blindsided. You can run with it and you can choose what to do.”

For more information about the Community Health and Wellness Fair, call 615-474-1286, or email: dpthomasfoundation@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.

 

Former TSU Band Member Makes History, Shares Stage with Beyoncé at Coachella

The Coachella Valley Music Festival may have been thousands of miles away from Tennessee State University and Nashville, but that didn’t stop the influence of the Aristocrat of Bands and the cultural sounds of the HBCU band experience from taking center stage at the event on Saturday night.

When mega superstar Beyoncé took the stage, former Tennessee State University band member Michael Jones performed with her as she made history as the first African American woman to headline the musical event. Jones was a part of the band and drumline that provided music for Beyoncé, in what many are calling an iconic performance.

Jones, a Florida native, along with musicians from other historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), including Tennessee State University, Florida A&M University, Alabama State University, Prairie View A&M University, Hampton University, North Carolina A&T State University, Norfolk State University, Bethune-Cookman University, University of Georgia and Kennesaw State University, backed the Grammy Award-winning performer during her nearly two hour performance, which included a reunion performance with Destiny ‘s Child band mates Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland.

TSU Alum Mike Jones plays sousaphone as a member of DRUMline Live, an international tour based on the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) marching band tradition. Jones along with other members of DRUMline Live performed with Beyoncé at Coachella 2018 on Saturday. (submitted photo)

“This is tremendous exposure for our university and the other HBCUs that had band members perform with Ms. Knowles,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “Our institutions have a rich history and legacy that many may not be familiar with, but a performance highlighting our cultural presence, with someone the stature of Beyoncé, creates an incredible buzz and interest. We are thankful for her knowledge of our contributions to the fabric of education and the scholarship program she has established specifically for HBCUs.”

The singer’s website issued the release to announce the four schools to receive the newly established Homecoming Scholars Award Program for the 2018-2019 academic year, through her BeyGOOD initiative. The universities include Xavier University, Wilberforce University, Tuskegee University and Bethune-Cookman College. One winner from each school will receive $25,000 for the 2018-2019 academic year for study in various fields. This is the second year for the scholars program created by Ms. Knowles.

Beyoncé’s historic show was the first time the 36-year-old had performed on stage in over a year.  According to a press release on her website, the set was “a celebration of the homecoming weekend experience, the highest display of college pride. The energy-filled production put the spotlight on art and culture, mixing the ancient and the modern, which resonated masterfully through the marching band, performance art, choir and dance.”

Reginald McDonald, TSU associate professor of Music Education and director of Bands, said he was thrilled to see the HBCU band experience shared at Coachella and around the world.

“As an HBCU band director, it is thrilling and exciting to witness our performance style influence pop culture,” he said.  “The admiration and excitement for HBCU bands extend far beyond a football game halftime.”

He cited the TSU Aristocrat of Bands performance at the White House, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Honda Battle of the Bands and their 2016 performance with Cedric The Entertainer as examples of performances that still garner positive feedback.

Founded in 1999, Coachella is one of the largest, and most profitable music festivals in the world.  It features a mix of popular and established artists with emerging artists from genres of music including pop, rock, indie, hip hop and electronic dance music.

Jones looks to continue his musical odyssey with the iconic superstar as a member of the sousaphones section. A second Coachella performance is scheduled for this weekend.

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 Honda Campus All-Star Team returns from national competition with awards and grant money for university

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Team recently won awards and grant money at the 29th annual HCASC National Tournament.

The team finished third in the Bullard Division at the competition, which took place April 7-11 in Torrance, California, and involved 47 other teams from historically black colleges and universities.

TSU finished the competition with a record of 3-2, defeating Benedict College, Southern University in New Orleans and Cheney University, and losing to Prairie View A&M and Paine College.

The team’s collective effort earned $3,000 in grant money for TSU. Devon Jefferson, a member of the TSU Honors College who serves as the team’s captain, earned an All-Star award as the top scorer in the Bullard Division, which earned another $1,000 for the university.

TSU HCASC Team Captain Devon Jefferson

Jefferson, a junior marketing major from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, said although TSU didn’t make the playoffs this year, they grew as a unit. He said even though the award was given to him for his individual performance, it really came as a result of the work of the team.

“Honda always puts on a good tournament,” he said. ‘Even though we didn’t make the playoffs, we played some good close games and continued to mesh as a team.”

According to Dr. John Miglietta, professor of political science, who has served as the team’s coach since 2004, Jefferson is just the second TSU student to receive an All-Star award for being a top scorer at the national competition. Miglietta said the team was proud to participate in the event.

“The Honda Campus All Star Challenge is a great unique experience,” he said. “It showcases the academic knowledge of students from HBCUs around the country in the spirit of friendly competition.”

Members of the HCASC team who participated in the competition along with Jefferson are Breanna Williams, senior, music major from Marietta, Georgia; Alekzander Garcia, senior, chemistry major from Nyssa, Oregon; and Terrence George Young, junior computer science major from Knoxville, Tennessee.

Alexandria Ross, a freshman, economics and finance major from Memphis, Tennessee, also attended the competition as the university’s institutional representative.

Some other members of the TSU HCASC Club are Aliyah Muhammad, of Nashville, sophomore biology major; Donovan Varnell, sophomore political science major, from Nashville; and Micah Williams, sophomore, combined mass communications and military science major from Seoul, South Korea.

TSU has participated in 22 national championship tournaments earning a total of $174,500 in grant money since the inception of the program in 1989.

 

 

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 45 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. 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.

Delta Sigma Theta CEO Advises Women of Legend and Merit Attendees to Use the Power of Their Voice

Nashville, Tenn. (TSU News Service) –  Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated National President and CEO Beverly Smith encouraged Tennessee State University students at this year’s Women of Legend and Merit Award Dinner to use the power of their voice.

Smith was the keynote speaker for the event on April 10 in TSU’s Kean Hall, which also featured nationally renowned jazz trumpeter Rod McGaha.

The assistant commissioner and Georgia State director for Adult Education and GED Testing through the Technical College System of Georgia, Smith encouraged attendees to come together and celebrate the power of their diversity.

“There is no better time than now for us as black women to understand that coming together and strategically supporting each other is what puts the power in our message,” she said. “We cannot let our superficial differences between us stand in the way of our ability to focus on our common needs and our common concerns.”

First held in 2007, the WOLM awards is designed to bring awareness and raise funds to support the TSU Women’s Center, which offers student-focused programming to empower individuals and student organizations, as well as help students make the right choices.

At the awards dinner, TSU freshman Natalie Cooper was awarded a $1,000 scholarship to pursue her degree in business administration with a concentration in supply chain management. The scholarship dollars are available mainly through funds raised at the WOLM awards through ticket sales and sponsorships.

TSU President Glenda Glover makes special presentation to state Sen. Thelma Harper at Women of Legend and Merit Awards Dinner.

A special presentation was made to state Sen. Thelma Harper, the first black woman to serve in the Tennessee State Legislature. Harper, who announced on April 4 that she will not seek re-election, worked as an elected official for over 35 years, serving 27 of those years as senator for District 19.

Women’s Center director Seanne Wilson said the purpose of the awards dinner is to “empower and uplift the female students at TSU.” She said Smith’s visit gave the young ladies at TSU an opportunity to witness a “woman of excellence who is the head of a large body of women of excellence.”

This year’s honorees were Vivian Wilhoite, Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County property accessor; Dr. Tameka Winston, TSU interim chair of the Department of Communications; Many Bears Grinder, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs; Tina Tuggle, Tennessee Titans director of community relations; and retired educator and activist Gwendolyn Vincent.

Wilson said the yearly event gives young women at TSU an opportunity to meet women from varying organizations in diverse positions, and hear their stories and their struggles.  She said the event’s main objective is to help the Women’s Center which serves as a “safe zone” for women at TSU who experience issues such as fear, anxiety and depression, as well as domestic violence, homelessness and the lack of food.

 

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 HOST COMMUNITY HEALTH AND WELLNESS FAIR

NASHVILLE, Tenn(TSU News Service) – Massages, chiropractic care, dental screenings and HIV testing are just a few of the free services that will be offered at a Community Health and Wellness Fair set for Friday, April 20, at Tennessee State University.

More than 40 vendors with some connection to health care and wellness are expected to participate in this year’s event, which is free to the public.

The fair, which is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. in the university’s Kean Hall on the main campus, is a partnership between TSU, the DP Thomas Foundation for Obesity, Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s HIV Vaccine Program, and the Turnip Truck, a natural foods grocer in Nashville.

One of the main participants is TSU’s Dental Hygiene Department, which will provide intra-oral screenings at the event.

Leon Roberts II, coordinator of clinics for the TSU Dental Hygiene Department, stressed the importance of people from the campus and surrounding communities stopping by their booth to get the screening.

“The mouth is the gateway to the body, so a lot of dental diseases don’t just affect the mouth,” he said. “Periodontal disease is connected to diabetes, heart disease, and for women who are pregnant, it is connected to low-birth weight babies. So it is very important to take care of your oral hygiene because your oral hygiene affects your whole health.”

Among its offerings, the fair will provide information on weight loss management and nutrition, as well as fitness demonstrations and health screenings.

Lalita Hodge, TSU coordinator of Public Relations and a member of the DP Thomas Board of Directors, said the purpose of the event is to keep the community informed about the resources that are available to them.

“You will see some of your traditional vendors there like the YMCA and Walgreens, but you will also see nontraditional healing methods there like coffee enema, the Turnip Truck with their organic produce, and we have healthy lunches which will include organic free-range turkey,” she said.

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

“We need doctors. They support us with our health in many ways, and we need them to support us in the health decisions we make as well,” she said. “Still, I think we can help them by taking our health into our own hands on a day to day basis.

This year organizers hope to expand the fair, which is in its third year, by attracting more senior citizens, as well as college students.

Keith Richardson, community engagement coordinator for the Vanderbilt HIV Vaccine Program, stressed the important of students attending the health fair.

“Students are young and they need to know the importance of health and what it means to take care of themselves,” said Richardson, a 2008 alumnus of TSU. “Maybe they can catch health issues early before things get out of hand as they become adults and just have a good mindset about eating and exercising right, and just taking care of their bodies.”

Hodge said many of the vendors provide free samples, as well as contact information so participants can follow up with them for more products and services.

“I’m just excited about the health fair, and I hope that all will come out and that we will have people just to gain knowledge about what we have to offer and what is out there for them,” Patton-Thomas said. “When you are given the knowledge, you won’t be blindsided. You can run with it and you can choose what to do.”

For more information about the Community Health and Wellness Fair, call 615-474-1286, or email: dpthomasfoundation@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.

40th Annual Research Symposium Set For April 2—6

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University students and researchers will showcase their cutting-edge research projects and inventions at the 40th Annual University-Wide Research Symposium April 2 – 6.

The symposium, which is largely composed of presentations from the science, engineering, business and humanities disciplines, will allow students to gain exposure and experience as either oral or poster presenters in an evaluative environment with external judges from the Mid-South region.

Dr. Michael Ivy, TSU associate professor of Neuroscience, and John Barfield, TSU director of engagement and visibility in the Division of Research and Institutional Advancement, serve as the co chairs of this year’s symposium which will feature abstracts from 174 students and 40 faculty members.

Barfield said the symposium is important because it prepares students for future research opportunities.

“When our students go to graduate school, they can go research-ready being able to prove that they already know how to do research and that they have worked in a research environment,” he said. “If they are graduate level students about to work on their doctorate then they will be able to show that they have mastered the rigor of being able to present research at an academic level.”

The theme for this year’s symposium is “Establishing a Culture of Research Excellence.”

Oral presentations will take place throughout the week in the Research and Sponsored Programs Building, Room 009, 163 and 209. Poster presentations will take place in the Jane Elliot Hall Auditorium on Thursday, April 5.

Dr. Patrice L. Jackson-Ayotunde, associate professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore School of Pharmacy, will provide the keynote address on Friday, April 6 at noon in the Ferrell-Westbrook Complex, Room 118.

Jackson-Ayotunde, who has mentored several graduate, professional and undergraduate students, does extensive research around the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy. Her laboratory works closely with the Epilepsy Therapy Screening Program (ETSP) at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Jackson was named Mentoring Institute for Neuroscience Diversity Scholar (MIND) for 2016-17 and the Emerging Scholar of 2015 by Diverse Issues in Higher Education.

Barfield said the symposium is open to the public. For more information about the 40th Annual University-Wide Research Symposium visit tnstate.edu/researchsymposium.

 

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 Honda Campus All-Star Team Advances To National Competition In Los Angeles

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Team will compete against 47 other Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the National Championship Tournament in Los Angeles, April 7-11.

The team recently participated in the National Qualifying Tournament at Spelman College in Atlanta where they defeated Bethune-Cookman and Savannah State Universities.

Devon Jefferson, a member of the TSU Honors College who serves as the team’s captain, said he hopes the team will bring the championship trophy back to TSU. He said being part of the TSU Honda Campus All-Star Team adds to the members’ academic experiences because of the knowledge they gain while studying and preparing for competition.

“I definitely believe that HCASC has made me better at certain things like taking certain classes and understanding them,” said Jefferson, a junior marketing major from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. “I might have heard something in passing at practice and then I hear the actual application in class, so it makes more sense to me when I do the work.”

Dr. John Miglietta, professor of political science, who has served as the team’s coach since 2004, said participating in this event on the national level is important because it showcases the academic talent at the nation’s HBCUs.

“This event is a great showcase of the academic talent at HBCUs. TSU is proud to be able to participate,” he said. “Our team will be interacting with players and coaches from other HBCUs around the country as well as the volunteers, college bowl representatives, and associates from American Honda.”

Miglietta said HCASC is a great program because it measures students’ knowledge on a variety of subjects such as history, literature, sports, pop culture, science, as well as black history, culture, and literature.”

Members of the TSU Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Team are: Breanna Williams, senior; Devon Jefferson, junior (captain); Dr. John Miglietta (coach); Alekzander Garcia, senior; Terrence George Young, junior; and Alexandria Ross, freshman (not pictured).

Members of the HCASC team who will be participating in the competition along with Jefferson are Breanna Williams, senior, music major from Marietta, Georgia; Alekzander Garcia, senior, chemistry major from Nyssa, Oregon; and Terrence George Young, junior computer science major from Knoxville, Tennessee.

Alexandria Ross, a freshmen, economics and Finance major from Memphis, Tennessee, will also be attending as the university’s institutional representative.

Some other members of the TSU HCASC Club are Aliyah Muhammad, of Nashville, a sophomore biology major; Donovan Varnell, sophomore political science major, from Nashville; and Micah Williams, sophomore, combined mass communications and military science major from Seoul, South Korea.

TSU has participated in 21 national championship tournaments earning a total of $170,500 in grant money since the inception of the program in 1989. Miglietta would like members of the Tennessee State Univeristy Community to encourage the team by liking the Honda Campus All Star Challenge facebook page and leave comments to encourage the team at https://bit.ly/2J6XtQd.

 

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.

Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. National President to Speak at Women of Legend And Merit Event To Raise Scholarship and Program Dollars for Students

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Beverly Smith, national president and chief executive officer of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, will serve as the keynote speaker for this year’s Women of Legend and Merit Award Dinner at Tennessee State University on April 10 in Kean Hall.

Smith, who also serves as the assistant commissioner and Georgia State director for Adult Education and GED Testing through the Technical College System of Georgia, said she is excited about addressing the young ladies at TSU because of the many issues facing women today.

Beverly E. Smith

“We are at a time today when the power of women really matters,” she said. “The power of our voice is clearly something of significance these days whether or not we are comfortable enough with ourselves to use or understand it.”

TSU President Glenda Glover echoed the same sentiments.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Beverly Smith to our campus for our Women of Legend and Merit Awards Dinner, and look forward to hearing her inspiring and powerful words,” she said. “Women of Legend and Merit is in its 11th year and couldn’t have come at a more pivotal time in our nation’s history. Women should feel empowered and celebrated. Our dinner allows us to do this and raise scholarship and program dollars for students, all while partnering with the community.”

Seanne Wilson, chairperson of the event, which raises money for student scholarships, said Smith’s visit will give the young ladies at TSU an opportunity to witness a “woman of excellence” who is the head of a large body of women of excellence.

“This is an opportunity for them to meet women from varying organizations and diverse positions in life, and to hear their stories and their struggles and how they made it,” said Wilson, who serves as coordinator of the TSU Women’s Center.

According to Wilson, the Women’s Center is a “safe zone” for women at TSU who experience issues such as fear, anxiety and depression, as well as domestic violence, homelessness and the lack of food.

Wilson said the purpose of this event is to empower and uplift the female students at TSU.

Smith said the influence of her father, a civil rights activist, as well as powerful women in her family and early mentors such as legends Dorothy Heights and Althea Gibson helped propel her to success.

“You can’t be what you can’t see, and I think that certainly holds true especially for us in our communities. A lot of times it is very difficult to be what you can’t see,” she said. “If we celebrate who we are and who we have been, it gives us an opportunity for greater heights.”

This year’s honorees are Vivian Wilhoite, Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County property accessor; Dr. Tameka Winston, TSU interim chair of Department of Communications; Many Bears Grinder, commission of the Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs; and Tina Tuggle, Tennessee Titans director of community relations.

Awards will also be presented to retired educator Gwendolyn Vincent, and TSU freshman Natalie Cooper.

To purchase tickets for the April 10 awards dinner or learn more about the Women’s Center, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/legendandmerit/.

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.