Category Archives: Alumni

TSU’s upcoming ‘Tied to Success’ Initiative promotes self-esteem, dress etiquette for Male Freshmen

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University first-time male freshmen will pack Poag Auditorium Thursday, August 22,  for the fourth annual “Tied to Success,” a rite of passage for all incoming male students. A highlight of the program is when the young men are given ties. The program is from 6 – 7 p.m. on the main campus.

State Rep. Harold Love, Jr., shows two incoming freshmen how to tie the perfect knot, during last year’s Tied to Success. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

As a welcome into the “Big Blue Brotherhood,” the young men are given TSU blue ties with the name of the university. For some, it will be the first one they’ve owned. University officials, upperclassmen, and community leaders will be on hand to assist those who need help tying the perfect knot. However, before the tie tying and male bonding, officials and student mentors will talk to the freshmen about proper campus behavior and how to present themselves in general.

Dean of Students Frank Stevenson makes opening remarks at the 2018 “Tied to Success” ceremony in Poag Auditorium, as student leaders and upperclassmen demonstrate the look of a man dressed for business. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“As these students embark on their college careers and prepare for the professional world, we want to help them develop good character and avoid anything that could hinder their future success,” said Frank Stevenson, TSU’s dean of students and interim vice president for Student Affairs. ‘’Tied to Success’ is a step in that direction; we’re preparing them now.”

Coreyontez Martin is looking forward to the event. The freshman health science major from Louisville, Kentucky, knows how to tie a tie, but wants to be an encouragement to fellow freshmen who don’t know.

“Knowing how to tie a tie gives them an opportunity that can help them later in life or in their careers,” Martin said. “This gives us an opportunity to learn something that classroom really can’t teach you.”

Rickey Scott, an electrical engineering major from Detroit, loves seeing “folks” nicely dressed, but “I didn’t think it was cool for me.” He’s never worn a tie before.

“I am looking forward to learning,” Scott said. “I appreciate the orientation and hope other institutions will emulate TSU.”

State Rep. Harold Love, Jr., a TSU alum, and a regular participant in “Tied to Success” for the last three years, said Scott is the kind of individual the initiative targets. He said it reinforces that TSU is intentional about the incoming students’ success, academically, as well as socially.

“We talk about the African American male and the struggle they often have when they first arrive on a college campus,” Love said. “It is initiatives like this that allow them to make the transition easier. It instills in them that the TSU community as a whole is concerned about them, and more specifically, we want to give them the skill they need to be successful when they graduate.”

According to organizers, about 400 male students are expected to participate in this year’s Tied to Success, which is coordinated by the Men’s Initiative Office in the Division of Student Affairs. Overall, there are nearly 1,400 new freshmen at TSU for the fall semester.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

President Glover Honors Slain TSU Alumna and TDOC Administrator

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Debra K. Porter Johnson was a proud graduate of Tennessee State University, a proclamation from the university said about the woman killed by a prison escapee in her home on Aug. 7.

Debra K. Porter Johnson

TSU President Glenda Glover, accompanied by senior university administration officials, presented the proclamation to Johnson’s family, with a special donation during a fundraiser organized by WKRN Channel 2 at  Fifteenth Avenue Baptist Church, where Johnson was a member.

“We celebrate the life and the legacy of Debra Johnson,” Glover said. “She was just an ideal sweetheart of a person, very professional all the time, downright nice, and we are happy to honor her because she just loved TSU.”

Johnson was a great football lover who came to all of TSU home games and functions, Glover said. As a result, the president announced that at this year’s John Merritt Classic, Johnson’s usual seat at home games will be draped with the university flag in honor of the slain TSU alumna.

The proclamation, presented to Johnson’s son Mychal Austin,  described the former Tennessee Department of Correction administrator as a devoted mother and grandmother whose love for her family “was only seconded by the love she had for her God. Her passion for people was seen each day on and off her job. Her untimely passing leaves a void that even time may never fill but her legacy of love will live on,” the proclamation read.

Austin, the youngest of Debra Johnson’s three children – Stanley (Memory) Johnson, Dr. Shernaye Johnson – said it was heartwarming and ‘highly’ appreciative of TSU to honor their mother.

“We appreciate TSU for thinking about our mother,” Austin said. “She went to all the home games and all the events that she could. Bestowing this honor on her will be something that our family cherishes. We really appreciate TSU for all the university has done for the community, especially North Nashville, and Middle Tennessee and across this nation. We take great comfort in knowing that this great institution of higher learning cares about our mother.”

Glover thanked Channel 2 for hosting the fundraiser to benefit Debra Johnson’s family.

Debra Johnson was buried Aug. 15 at Greenwood Cemetery North following funeral services at Temple Church in Nashville.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University Hires New Assessment and Accreditation Director

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University has hired Dr. Charlise Anderson, a longtime assessment and institutional effectiveness expert, to serve as director of assessment and accreditation.

Anderson’s hiring comes in the wake of the recent sanction placed on the university by its accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. TSU was placed on a one-year probation by SACSCOC for failing to comply with one of 25 accrediting standards, which involves student outcome for educational programs.

Dr. Charlise Anderson

TSU has a “plan of action” to address this issue, TSU President Glenda Glover announced at the Fall Faculty and Staff Institute Monday, assuring the gathering that TSU remains a fully accredited institution.

““We are fixing this and fixing it now,” Glover said. “Dr. Charlise Anderson has been hired as a full-time director to guide this process internally. We are confident in her ability and 100 percent confident that TSU will do all that is required to prepare and submit the documentation that is necessary to remove us from probation.”

In her long career, Anderson has served as senior leadership team member for college reaffirmation and accreditation, a SACSCOC fifth-year interim report coordinator, evaluator of college strategic plan, as well as directed all activities of a quality enhancement plan, or QEP, a key component of SACS’s reaffirmation process.

Before coming to TSU, Anderson was the director of institutional research, effectiveness and assessment, as well as accreditation liaison at Jarvis Christian College. Previously, she was the director of institutional research and assessment at Lane College.

Dr. Alisa Mosley, TSU’s interim vice president for Academic Affairs, described Anderson as “a valued addition to work with our staff” on assessment accreditation.

“She will work with our colleges, departments, divisions, and the University Assessment and Improvement Council to ensure that our academic programs and nonacademic units remain committed to a culture of assessment,” Mosley said. “Dr. Anderson assesses the needed experience in assessment and collaborating with external entities to ensure compliance.”

On how she plans to move forward with helping the institution to put together the needed corrective measures in the wake of the SACSCOC sanction, Anderson said documentation is currently being collected to demonstrate the analysis and use of results to make program improvements and “we will respond to SACSCOC accordingly.”

“In addition, assessment activities have been designed for the 2019-2020 academic year for each academic program to evidence a cohesive common process across all programs at the institution,” she said.

Anderson holds a doctorate degree in higher and adult education from the University of Memphis; M.S. in instructional technology and education from St. Joseph’s University; and B.S. in general studies from Lane College.

In the implementation of TSU’s action plan, President Glover also announced that the university has retained a nationally known firm with expertise on accreditation matters, as well as a communication/reputation management firm.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Top TSU Student Pursues Dream in Medical Field, Credits ‘Family’ Atmosphere for Choosing University

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Alanis Onwu says all it took for her to decide to come to Tennessee State University was a visit to President Glenda Glover’s home.

Alanis Onwu

“I immediately fell in love with the family atmosphere I experienced and decided right then that this is where I want to be,” says Onwu, an agricultural sciences biotechnology major, who is in her junior year.

An academic standout and graduate of Nashville’s Lead Academy, Onwu came to TSU on a High Achiever Academic Scholarship with a full ride, but still had other options. On arriving on campus, and as a high achiever scholarship recipient, Onwu was invited to the Presidential Scholars’ Reception for highly recruited students, at the president’s residence.

“That reception changed everything,” says Onwu. “President Glover, the faculty, staff and other students there made us feel so much at home; it felt like a close-knit family, and where I wanted to be.”

In more than two years at TSU, Onwu, a Nashville native, who wants to be a medical doctor, says she made the right decision.

“I have been exposed to so many opportunities. There are so many programs, so many clubs to get involved in. There is something for everyone,” she says.

Maintaining a near 4.0 GPA, Onwu has made the Dean’s List every semester since coming to TSU. She is a member of the Honors College, the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation program, and an active participant in the Students Opportunities for Advancement in Research Skills, or SOARS, where she is engaged in research on ways to reduce risk factors and mortality rate of breast cancer in African American women. Onwu is also the president of the African Student Association on campus.

As part of her interest in medicine, and to help accelerate her career journey, Onwu over the summer shadowed doctors in the Meharry Pediatrics Clinic. That experience, she says, has increased interest in becoming a doctor for children.

“First, I wanted to do internal medicine, but now that I have been shadowing doctors and pediatricians, I am really interested in pediatrics. I didn’t think I’d like it at first, but being around them (pediatric doctors) I have really grown to love the practice.”

Onwu’s enthusiasm for learning and her eagerness to be the best have been noticed by her professors – one in particular, who classified Onwu as one of the best students he has had in more than 20 years of teaching.

“She is right at the top of the class,” says Dr. Michael Ivy, professor of biological sciences, who taught Onwu anatomy and physiology. “Compared to other students, she was always prepared, never late. She was dependable. Her assignments were excellent. In addition to her class time, I never had to worry if she was going to miss something. Compared to all of the students I have taught in more than two decades, she ranks in the top 5 percent.”

Outside classwork and other extracurricular activities, Onwu also engages in community affairs and humanitarian work. In December, she launched “The Enugu Education Empowerment Movement,” that collected supplies for more than 50 school children in the Udi Village of Enugu State, Nigeria.

“I wanted to start this movement because in this specific location in Nigeria, many families cannot afford to buy their children school supplies,” says Onwu. “I wanted to make sure more children had the essential tools to be successful while getting an education.”

She is thankful for all TSU has made possible for her to pursue her dream, and encourages others thinking about TSU that “the decision should be easy.”

“I feel anyone thinking about TSU should come, see what it is, try to get involved, take what they like, and they definitely will find something interesting here,” says Onwu.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU President Glover welcomes employees back with message of continued teamwork, student success and accreditation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – “Our decisions must be about the welfare of the students. We are here for the students. We are here on behalf of the students,” President Glenda Glover said as she officially kicked off the fall semester for the university on Aug. 12.

TSU President Glenda Glover, left, welcomes Dr. Belle Wheelan, President of SACSCOC during the Fall Faculty Staff Institute. (Photo by Erynne Davis, TSU Media Relations)

Glover’s opening message continued with service to students during the faculty and staff gathering, held to commence the start of each academic school year.  

“We have an awesome responsibility to challenge minds, to change lives, and to ensure the future. Everything we do must be done with that in mind,” she said.

Her remarks followed the welcome by Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Alisa Mosley; Dr. Geoffrey Burke, chair of the Faculty Senate; and Staff Senate Chair Tequila Johnson, all of whom told faculty and staff they play a role in the success of TSU.

The customary State of the University Address also touched upon the past year of successes and challenges. Hundreds of employees attended the annual event to get an update on those year-long initiatives.  A main topic included the university’s recent sanction by its accrediting body.

“Tennessee State University remains a fully accredited institution,” Glover told faculty and staff. 

TSU was placed on a one-year probation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS COC), for failing to comply with one of 25 accrediting standards, which involves student outcome for educational programs.

A special highlight of the Faculty Staff Institute was the appearance of the President of SACSCOC, Dr. Belle Wheelan, who explained the role of the commission and further assured the gathering that TSU is not in danger of losing its accreditation.

“It is a pleasure for me to be here today,” Wheelan said. “My challenge is to help you understand the accreditation process and to believe within your heart, as I do in my heart, that TSU is going to be alright. I assure you, she (President Glover) has pulled every resource together, both human and fiscal, and you all are going to fix this. I assure you, this time next year, you will be fine.”

Glover discussed a “plan of action” to address the issue. Corrective steps taken so far under the plan include the following:  university has retained a nationally known firm with expertise on accreditation matters; hired a full-time director of assessment and accreditation to guide the process internally; as well as a communication/reputation management firm.

Glover introduced Charlise Anderson, a longtime assessment and institutional effectiveness expert, as the new director in charge of accreditation matters.

“We are 100 percent confident that TSU will do all that is required to prepare and submit the documentation that is necessary to remove us from probation,” Glover said. “We are fixing this and fixing it now.”

Glover also announced progress and challenges in other areas including, recruitment, retention, graduation, campus safety, customer service, but said ensuring student success remains “the key reason we are all here.”

On a major achievement, Glover informed the university of TSU’s recent partnership with tech giant Apple, and the hosting of the inaugural HBCU C2 Presidential Academy last month.

“TSU is now a National Center for Smart Technology Innovations that will bring coding and creativity opportunities across HBCU campuses,” Glover said. “TSU will be the hub for all 104 HBCUs to come here and code and create.

Dr. Robbie Melton, interim dean of Graduate and Professional Studies, and the initiative’s main facilitator, was recognized for spearheading the effort that made the partnership possible. Dr. Melton then presented the TSU-trained code and creative team members.

The University is offering the coding course for free to employees. The institute culminated with lunch on the lawn.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Dr. McDonald Williams, first director of the University Honors Program, remembered

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Dr. McDonald Williams, the first director of the University Honors Program, may be gone. But Tennessee State University officials and students say his legacy continues.  

Williams, who was 101 when he passed on Aug. 11, was director of the then-Honors Program at TSU for 23 years before retiring in 1988. He also spent 30 years at the university serving as a professor of English.

Dr. McDonald Williams

“The TSU family is saddened at the passing of Dr. McDonald Williams, and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Dr. Jamye Williams and the rest of the family,” said Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover. “Many of our outstanding alumni attribute their success to the Williams’, and especially Dr. Williams as the director of the University Honors Program for 23 years. His contributions to TSU will never be forgotten, and his legacy will always resonate throughout our institution.”

Barbara Murrell, retired vice president of Student Affairs at TSU, agreed.

“He was one of the most respected, admired and appreciated members of the Tennessee State University family and the Nashville community,” she said. “His legacy as an academician continues to inspire generations through the TSU Honors College.”

In 1963, Dr. Walter S. Davis, who was president of Tennessee State at the time, appointed a committee that was charged with studying Honors programs and determining the feasibility of establishing one at the university.

After completing its investigation, the committee recommended that TSU keep pace with many other universities throughout the country. As a result, an Honors program for freshman students was started in the fall of 1964. Sophomore through senior level course work was added yearly throughout 1968, which was the first year a student graduated with “University Honors;” a distinction now reserved for those students who successfully complete the requirements of the University Honors College, which was officially given its collegiate designation in 2016.

Dr. Coreen Jackson, interim dean of the Honors College, said Williams “laid the cornerstone of academic excellence and the standard for which this program was built upon.”

“He had a vision for where the program needed to go and subsequent directors have carried that vision forward,” Jackson said.

TSU President Glenda Glover (center) with Dr. McDonald Williams, and his wife, Dr. Jamye Coleman Williams. (Submitted photo)

At an Honors Convocation in March of this year, about 2,340 TSU students with grade point averages of 3.0 or higher were recognized. Of that number, 283 were on the President’s List. Those students maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout their matriculation.

Orica Kutten is currently in the Honors College and is the recipient of a scholarship named after Williams. She said she’s grateful for the scholarship, and all that Williams did to help make the College what it is today.

“He should be celebrated for all the good he has done,” said Kutten, a senior biology major who lives in Nashville.

Honors student Jerry Kibet of Kenya said Williams laid a foundation that allows “students to realize their potential.”

“His legacy has impacted me to be a better person,” said Kibet, who is majoring in aeronautical and industrial technology. “When other students see me, and the way I carry myself, they want to be a part of this, the Honors College.”

Williams and his wife, Dr. Jamye Coleman Williams, who spent 14 years as the head of TSU’s Department of Communication, were honored at the Scholarship Gala during Homecoming in 2014.

In tandem, the Williams’ co-edited the 1970 publication, The Negro Speaks: The Rhetoric of Contemporary Black Leaders. They have also been co-recipients of numerous accolades and awards, including the 2002 Joe Kraft Humanitarian Award by the Community Foundation.

Funeral services for Dr. Williams will be in Atlanta and Nashville.

A public viewing and visitation with the family will be on Thursday, Aug. 15, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Murray Brothers Funeral Home, 1199 Utoy Springs Rd., SW, in Atlanta. The funeral will be held on Friday, Aug. 16, at 11 a.m. at Big Bethel AME Church, 220 Auburn Ave., NE, in Atlanta.

In Nashville, a public viewing will be held on Sunday, Aug. 18, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Lewis & Wright Funeral Directors, 2500 Clarksville Pike. The interment will be on Monday, Aug. 19, at 11 a.m. at Historic Greenwood Cemetery, 1428 Elm Hill Pike.

To learn more about the University Honors College, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/honors/about/.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU, Tennessee Black Caucus Host State Lawmakers from Across the Nation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University recently hosted a reception for the National Black Caucus of State Legislators on its Avon Williams Campus downtown. Members of the NBCSL were in Nashville for a legislative summit of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

One of the highlights of the reception on Aug. 6 was a pre-birthday celebration for Tennessee State Rep. Barbara Cooper, a TSU alum who marks her 90th birthday on Aug. 11. Cooper, who represents District 86 in Memphis, received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Tennessee State University.

“It gives me great pleasure to welcome all of you to our beloved university,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “But a special privilege to say, ‘Happy birthday’ to Rep. Cooper, and to thank her for her able leadership in the Tennessee General Assembly.”

TSU President Glenda Glover (middle in blue) greets state lawmakers from Florida at the reception for members of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. (Photo by Erynne Davis, TSU Media Relations)

In her remarks, Dr. Glover informed the gathering, which included a number of black Tennessee lawmakers, about TSU’s recent partnership with tech giant Apple, and the hosting of the inaugural HBCU C2 Presidential Academy last month. She called on Dr. Robbie Melton, TSU’s interim dean of Graduate and Professional Studies, and the initiative’s main facilitator, to elaborate.

“TSU is now a National Center for Smart Technology Innovations that will bring coding and creativity opportunities across HBCU campuses,” Melton said. “TSU will be the hub for all 104 HBCUs to come here and code and create. And on behalf of our partnership with Apple, you are able to take this course this fall for free – no cost.”

Before Glover’s presentation, remarks were made by TSU alums Rep. Harold Love, Jr., and Sen. Brenda Gilmore, both of Nashville; as well as Rep. G.A. Hardaway, Sr., of Memphis, who is chairman of the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators. The lawmakers thanked President Glover and the TSU family for the reception and the contribution of TSU to the community and nation.

“I certainly want to express our appreciation on behalf of the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators to Dr. Glover for opening up everything to us and for always being that resource that we need, whether we’re talking about facilities, research, or helping to shape public policy,” Hardaway said. “It is critical that we have that type of avenue to secure the data that we need – that is unfiltered. And nobody does it like TSU.”

In an interview, South Carolina State Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, president of the NBCSL, thanked her fellow Tennessee lawmakers for organizing the reception. She congratulated President Glover on her leadership, and extolled TSU for preparing students to become productive citizens.

“I am always impressed with sisters who handle business and who know what they are doing,” Cobb-Hunter said, of Glover. “My brief encounter with her suggests that Tennessee State has the right person at the helm, that she is certainly a visionary, and I am hopeful that the people here in this community and in the state recognize what a treasure they have in Dr. Glover.”

The NCSL summit was from Aug. 5-6.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU President Glenda Glover and Linebacker Christion Abercrombie receive top HBCU Digest Awards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University received two of the top awards from HBCU DIGEST this year. President Glenda Glover was named  HBCU Female President of the Year, while Christion Abercrombie was selected Male Athlete of the Year. 

President Glenda Glover receives the Female President of the Year Award at the annual HBCU Digest Awards in Baltimore. (Submitted photo)

Glover received the coveted award Aug. 2  at the ninth annual HBCU Digest Awards in Baltimore. She also accepted the award on behalf of the TSU standout who continues to recover from an on-the-field injury. 

Glover, the eighth and first female president of TSU, was presented with the awards during the ceremony in the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture.

“I am extremely honored that HBCU Digest named me HBCU Female President of the Year, and Christian Abercrombie of Tennessee State University Male Athlete of the Year,” Glover said. “I expressed to the audience that it is working through challenges that defines leaders. This is not my recognition alone. I’m truly grateful and appreciate the support of the entire TSU family. Thank you all for your support.”

Glover, who reached out to Abercrombie’s family with the news of him being named Male Athlete of the Year, said, “Christion Abercrombie is a walking miracle.”

“It’s only fitting that he should be named the HBCU Digest Awards’ Male Athlete of the Year,” Glover said. “His perseverance, as well as his incredible spirit, is an inspiration to anyone going through adversity. He is proof that you can make it, if you just have faith, and believe.”

Abercrombie suffered a severe brain injury Sept. 29, 2018, during a game against Vanderbilt. 

His mother, Stacie Abercrombie, thanked President Glover for reaching out to her with the news.

“It is amazing; it just shows that God is still in control,” Staci said. “Christion is very thankful that he is being acknowledged in such a way.”

Head TSU football coach Roderick Reed said he was not surprised that Abercrombie received the award.

“Even before the incident,” Reed said, referring to Abercrombie’s injury, “he was always an outstanding character with outstanding leadership.”

“I think any award he gets is richly deserved,” Reed added.

In winning the two top awards, TSU was a finalist in 11 categories of this year’s HBCU Digest Awards. 

TSU has won several HBCU Digest awards in the past three years, including Best Marching Band, for the Aristocrat of Bands; Best Student Organization, the TSU Collegiate Citizens Police Academy; Best Alumnus, James Shaw Jr.; Best STEM Program, the College of Engineering; Alumna of the Year, Dr. Edith P. Mitchell; Female Coach of the Year, Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice; Female Team of the Year, Women’s Basketball Team; and Best Student Organization, Student Activities.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

‘Love’s Healthy Start Festival’ gets Students ready for Back-to-School

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – More than 400 area students received free back-to-school supplies, advice on educational opportunities and health screenings, thanks to an effort by a Tennessee State University alum who is making sure youngsters are prepared for the new school year.

TSU President Glenda Glover, right, joins State Rep. Harold Love, Jr., left, and Nashville Mayor David Briley to distribute back-to-school supplies to youngsters at the annual Love’s Healthy Start Festival. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

The seventh annual Love’s Healthy Start Festival, started by State Rep. Harold Love, Jr., took place July 27 in Hadley Park with community partners, parents and vendors, who set up booths and displays with books. The event also included free food, refreshments and live entertainment.

Over the years, 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.

TSU President Glenda Glover joined Love, Nashville Mayor David Briley and volunteers to pass out supplies to students, parents and relatives.

“We thank Rep. Love for putting this festival together each year to make sure these students have what they need to be successful academically and in life, ”Dr. Glover said. “We appreciate him (Love) and all the other leaders for the support they continue to give this community and TSU.”

President Glover helps staff and volunteers at the TSU stand to give out food safety and health tips to students and parents at Love’s Healthy Start Festival in Hadley Park. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

Love said the festival is more than a back-to-school event.

“It is designed to give the entire family an opportunity to start the school year off right,” he said. “This is not only an effort to give our students a head-start for the school year with back packs and supplies, but also to let them know that they are worthy and mean so much to us. This has been a great partnership with TSU. I can’t thank Dr. Glover enough for what she has done by showing the kids the next path for them when they leave high school.”

Shamika Simpson, along with her husband, Darryl, and their two children – Jaden, 12, and Deborah, 9 – were among the hundreds who attended the festival.

The seventh annual Love’s Healthy Start Festival attracted more than 400 participants. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

“I love this (the festival). I think it is great when people come together to do something for the community,” Shamika Simpson said. “Some people can’t afford to do some of these things, like health screenings, because there are some kids here who need physicals before they can go back to school. This is the community coming together to help the community; that’s perfect.”

In addition to TSU, a number of other area colleges and universities set up displays at the festival, including Meharry Meharry Medical College and Vanderbilt University. Representatives from TSU’s  College of Agriculture gave tips on healthy eating and food safety, and provided crops harvested from the university’s farm.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

New Tennessee State University Smart Technology Center Introduces Area Youth to Coding, Creativity

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University has launched the first community “Everyone Can Code and Create” initiative for youth on its Avon William Campus.

Thirty students from Camp Zion, a summer program at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, participate in “Everyone Can Code and Create” at TSU. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

The initiative, which debuted July 23, is part of the newly established National Center for Smart Technology Innovations, created through the HBCU C2 Presidential Academy to bring coding and creativity opportunities to students across HBCU campuses, as well as Nashville students.

The exercise was for youth between ages 6 and 14. More than 30 students participating in Camp Zion, a summer program at Mt Zion Baptist Church, attended the workshop.

They experienced hands-on coding and creativity using iPads, robotic Sphero balls, and more.

Dr. Nicole Arrighi, professor of teaching and instruction at TSU, instructs middle school students in coding and creativity. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

Eighth-graders Harmony Kennedy and Devin King were among those who attended. They said the exercises opened their eyes to technology they never knew existed.

“Coding is really cool,” said Kennedy, from Grassland Middle School in Franklin, Tennessee, who wants to either be a psychologist, a singer or an actress. “I like how you program and interact with technology to be able to one day change the future for good.”

For King, who wants to be a football player, he thinks coding will be very helpful in how he manages his career as an athlete.

“It (coding) is something I have been dreaming about,” the Joelton Middle School student said. “This is technology that certainly will help me on my journey in the sports world.”

Summer camp students from Mt. Zion Baptist Church team together to code and create at TSU. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

On July 19, TSU launched the HBCU C2 Presidential Academy, which is supported by tech giant Apple. Leaders of 14 historically black colleges and universities – including Tennessee State – from across the country went away from the Academy with knowledge and skills in coding and app development from Apple’s comprehensive coding curriculum. As part of the initiative, TSU is also working with Metro Nashville Public Schools, Motlow State Community College and the Metropolitan Nashville Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. to expand coding opportunities to other students in the community.

According to Dr. Robbie Melton, TSU’s interim dean of Graduate and Professional Studies, and the initiative’s main facilitator, the youth camp is part of “an academy that starts from pre-school to the work world.”

“So, today we have Mt. Zion, next week we are going over to Hadley Park with their summer camp, and then start with Metro Public Schools, where we will have coding classes in the afternoons and on the weekends,” Melton said. “So, TSU is positioned to create and code everywhere you are with whatever group or population.”

She said the Camp Zion participants went through a series of creative activities using garage band and iPads to learn how to code robots, spheros, drones and other items.

“This will help them with their reading, writing and all of their school subjects across the board,” Melton said.

Dr. Nicole Arrighi, professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning, was among those who facilitated the youth initiative. Using the Garage Band, an application for the iPad, she helped the students in one session develop drum beats and “rap names” for themselves.

“The exercise gave them (the students) the opportunity to see how they can use their creativity to use an informal coding,” Arrighi said. “In this particular setting, the coding is in the layout of actual beats to actually make their own ring tone.”

For more information on TSU HBCU C2 go to http://www.tnstate.edu/hbcuc2/

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.