Category Archives: Athletics

C-SPAN Bus Visits TSU Campus, Engages Students in Civics, being an American

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Civic minded or not, Tennessee State University students recently got a crash course in politics, and a chance to express what it means to be an American.

The students, mainly communications and journalism majors, participated in a C-SPAN segment, “Voices from the Road,” aboard the C-SPAN Bus, which visited the TSU campus on Tuesday, Jan. 15, as part of its “Southern Swing Tour.”

C-SPAN Marketing Representative Jenae C. Green, right, talks to TSU students about civic engagement aboard the C-SPAN Bus. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“As an American, I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to be who it is that I want to be,” said Tyler Bullard, a journalism major from Springfield, Massachusetts, when asked what it means to be an American. “I understand in other countries and cultures, you have to go by the guideline, and if you do not, there is trouble that comes with that. I am grateful to be who it is I want to be.”

C-SPAN, a cable-satellite and public affairs network, has a mission to make government more transparent to Americans. In partnership with Comcast, the C-SPAN Bus Tour will also make stops in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.

In Nashville, the Bus will also participate in Martin Luther King Jr. Day events around the city on Monday, March 21, including the Youth Rally at Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church, and the Annual Convocation at the TSU Gentry Center.

A C-SPAN representative lectures TSU students on the network’s in-depth coverage of the American political process, and about internship, employment and networking opportunities at C-SPAN. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Through interactive kiosks and demonstrations aboard the award-winning state-of-the-art, 45-foot customized Bus, TSU students and visitors learned about C-SPAN’s in-depth coverage of the American political process and comprehensive online educational resources. Students also received information about networking, internship and employment opportunities with the network.

“We are so excited to be in Nashville as part of our ‘Southern Swing Tour,’ specifically at Tennessee State University,” said Jenae C. Green, marketing representative for C-SPAN, who is leading the tour. “The biggest thing we’ve learned is the high spirit among the students who are so passionate about their education. We come to show that we’re here for students and if you want to be civically engaged, know what’s going on in D.C., or around the country, you have C-SPAN here as an unbiased, unfiltered source that allows you to make your own informed decision.”

Wateasa Freeman, a sophomore journalism major from Columbus, Ohio, said she gained hands-on experience touring the bus and interacting with the C-SPAN representatives.

“Being here with people who actually do this daily for a living is just a whole new experience,” said Freeman. “It is great to know that there are people in this industry who care about us as college students. I feel being here really provided a lot of reassurance that I am in the right field.”

Before coming to TSU, the C-SPAN Bus also visited Antioch High School to engage students, teachers, community members, and elected officials.

For internship opportunities and information on C-SPAN, go to www.c-span.org and click on “Employment.”

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 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.

President Glover visits TSU football player Christion Abercrombie in Atlanta

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover recently traveled to Atlanta to visit football player Christion Abercrombie, who is making a miraculous recovery.

TSU President Glenda Glover and Christion Abercrombie. (Submitted photo)

Dr. Glover spent time with Abercrombie this past weekend. The linebacker suffered a severe head injury in a game against Vanderbilt University on Sept. 29. But since then, he has made an amazing recovery.

In October, Abercrombie was transferred from Vanderbilt University Medical Center to the Shepherd Center, a rehabilitation facility in Atlanta. He was released about three weeks ago, according to TSU athletic officials.

On Dec. 16, Abercrombie went home for a little while to watch NFL games with his family. A few days later, he attended a special day in his honor at his alma mater, Westlake High in Atlanta.

Abercrombie is now at home, which his mother and others say is a “miracle.”

“We’re very grateful to God for what he’s already done and for what He is going to continue to do,” said Staci Abercrombie, Christion’s mother.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help Christion and his family. To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/tennessee-state-univ-athletics-dept.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 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 Students to See Inner Workings of US Politics when C-SPAN Bus Visits Campus Jan. 15

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The TSU community, especially journalism and communications students and professors, will get a firsthand look at how one of the nation’s major news networks operates.

C-SPAN, a cable-satellite and public affairs network, whose mission is to make government more transparent to Americans, will visit the campus Tuesday, Jan 15, as part of the C-SPAN Bus “Southern Swing” Tour.

The Bus, which will make stops at other locations in Nashville, will also help celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day at events around the city on Monday, March 21. The MLK Day’s events include the Youth Rally at Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church, and the Annual Convocation at the TSU Gentry Center.

For the TSU campus visit on Tuesday, Jan. 15, the C-SPAN Bus will be located in front of the Performing Arts Center on the main campus. The event will run from 12 – 2 p.m.

“The university is thankful for this incredible opportunity for our students, especially those aspiring to be civic leaders, journalists and others, to see the principles on which this nation was built and how the constitution and laws govern everyday life,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “The C-SPAN mobile unit is a great way to bring the civics curriculum to life in an interactive manner.”

Through interactive kiosks and demonstrations aboard the award-winning state-of-the-art, 45-foot customized Bus, students and visitors will learn about C-SPAN’s in-depth coverage of the American political process and comprehensive online educational resources, including an extensive video library of close to 250,000 hours of searchable content for viewing, research and education purposes.

In addition, bus visitors will be invited to share their thoughts on what it means to be an American for C-SPAN’s “Voices from the Road” project.

Dr. Karen Russell, professor of journalism and coordinator of the mass communications program at TSU, said faculty will use this opportunity to engage with the students and incorporate that learning experience into the curriculum.

“This is a great opportunity for our students, not just our journalists and future media professionals, but for all students to get an in-depth look at a respectable, well-known news source,” Russell said. “We plan to take full advantage of the C-SPAN visit while we have them for the benefit of our students.”

Leone Dunn is a senior communications major from Omaha, Nebraska. She is also news editor of the TSU student newspaper “The Meter.” She believes that many of her fellow students do not have a good understanding of the current political climate and how it affects them.

“I believe that the C-SPAN Bus visit will be extremely beneficial because it will give students an opportunity to be engaged in an interactive way,” Dunn said. “This is certainly going to open doors for a lot of people to see what actually is going on and give them a better understanding of how politics affects there daily life.”

A C-SPAN release said in addition to Tennessee, the “Southern Swing” Tour, over eight weeks, will make stops in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Partnering with Comcast, the C-SPAN Bus will also visit Antioch High School while in Tennessee to engage students, teachers, community members and elected officials.

“We are excited for the opportunity to meet, engage and share our resources with residents along our ‘Southern Swing’ and hearing from people about what being an American means to them,” said Heath Neiderer, C-SPAN marketing manager. “Some of the cities on this tour haven’t seen our Bus in many years. We hope they enjoy their experience aboard our interactive mobile classroom and discover new ways of keeping well-informed.”

Below are the times and locations of the C-SPAN Bus stops in Nashville for the MLK Day:

Monday, January 21, 2019 

7:45 AM – 10 AM     MLK Day in Nashville – Youth Rally 

Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church                                                         2708 Jefferson St., Nashville, TN 37208

 11 AM – 12:30 PM   MLK Day in Nashville – Convocation      

 Gentry Center at Tennessee State University                                    3500John A. Merritt Blvd., Nashville, TN 37208

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 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 football player Christion Abercrombie continues to make ‘miraculous’ progress

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University football player Christion Abercrombie continues to be an inspiration.

Christion and his mother, Staci, at recent church service. (Submitted photo)

The linebacker suffered a severe head injury in a game against Vanderbilt University on Sept. 29. But since then, he has made a miraculous recovery, and is now at home.

In October, Abercrombie was transferred from Vanderbilt University Medical Center to the Shepherd Center, a rehabilitation facility in Atlanta. He was released about two weeks ago, according to TSU athletic officials.

On Dec. 16, Abercrombie went home for a little while to watch NFL games with his family. A few days later, he attended a special day in his honor at his alma mater, Westlake High in Atlanta, according to media reports.

At that event, Abercrombie’s mother, Staci, asked for continued prayer for her son, whom she called a “miracle.”

“We are very grateful for each and every one of you,” she said. “Because of God and your prayers, our son is here today. He is a miracle. This is a journey and it’s not over, but we’re very grateful to God for what he’s already done and for what He is going to continue to do.”

Now, Abercrombie is home for good. He recently attended a service at his church.

Said a recent Tweet featuring Abercrombie and members of his family: “Prayer changes things!”

A GoFundMe has been set up to help Christion and his family. To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/tennessee-state-univ-athletics-dept.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 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 Administrators Attend National Leadership Institute of HBCU Leaders

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Two Tennessee State University administrators were among a cohort of 24 mid- to senior-level administrators from historically black colleges and universities across the nation who attended a four-day leadership workshop in Austin, Texas.

Tiffany Bellafant Stewart, assistant vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Success, and Dr. Erin Lynch, research director for the Center of Excellence for Learning Sciences, participated in the Higher Education Leadership Foundation Institute at Huston-Tillotson University from December 13 – 16.

Called the “Theta cohort,” participants received an intimate, interactive, professional, and personal development experience that provided each fellow with a unique and valuable opportunity to assess personal vocation and leadership skill. The institute also allowed fellows to reaffirm a continuing commitment to HBCUs and identify and enhance the essential qualities for a successful tenure as a principled and effective leader and senior administrator.

Tiffany Bellafant Stewart, left, and Dr. Erin Lynch were among 24 cohorts who attended the HELF institute in Austin, Texas. (Courtesy Photo)

“The Higher Education Leadership Foundation institute was a transformative experience, both personally and professionally,” said Stewart. “The knowledge and wisdom shared by current and past presidents of historically black colleges and universities was enlightening and motivational in moving the needle forward to support students in their pursuit of obtaining college degrees from HBCUs.”

For Lynch, she said to be surrounded by colleagues who also deeply believe in the role and value of HBCUs in higher education reminded her “there is still much work to be done for our students.”

“During the four-day program, we were challenged with learning new ways to approach our collective missions as HBCUs,” she said. “We were reminded that as a collective, we are more impactful on student learning than as individuals.”

Steward and Lynch said TSU students will directly benefit from relationships developed at the institute by augmenting partnerships for external funding opportunities through research engagement and scholarship funding.

“Those relationships and experience reinvigorated my passion for HBCUs and fortified my commitment to excellence for TSU students,” Stewart added.

For more information on Enrollment Management, and the Center of Excellence for Learning Sciences, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/emss/ and http://www.tnstate.edu/learningsciences/

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 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, Faith Community and City Officials to Begin New Year with 7th Annual Prayer Service

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University and the Nashville faith-based community will begin the New Year with a morning of prayer during the 7th Annual Presidential Prayer Service on Wednesday, Jan. 9, at the Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church.

The service will begin at 8 a.m. in the church located at 2708 Jefferson Street. It is open to all university students, faculty, staff, alumni, community members and the public.

Leaders from faith-based communities across metro Nashville and Davidson County will participate in the service. As in the past, local and state leaders, including the mayor of Nashville, are also expected to speak. The service is a show of support for TSU President Glenda Glover and the university as the spring semester begins.

Senior Pastor Aaron Marble and the Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist church are hosting the event for a seventh straight year. The church has special meaning for Dr. Glover, who attended there as a student at TSU.

Glover is completing her sixth year as the first female president of TSU.

Following the service, the public is invited to attend a reception in the Fellowship Hall.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 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.

 

Nearly 2,000 Children Benefit in Toy Distribution at Tennessee State University

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – As the holiday season takes hold, Tennessee State University is making sure children in the area have something to cheer about.

On Saturday, nearly 1,000 parents walked away with at least two toys each for their children during the U.S. Marine Corp Reserve Toys for Tots distribution on the TSU main campus. Organizers said nearly 2,000 children were served – on an average of two kids per parent.

Thousands of toys of different sizes and shapes, for boys and girls up to age 12, were collected and distributed. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Volunteers, including TSU students, staff, alumni, and representatives from area charitable organizations and churches, helped with the distribution in Kean Hall.

This was the result of a partnership between TSU and the Marine  Corp Reserve in its annual toy distribution program. Prior to Saturday, TSU served as the official drop-off center for donated toys.

Alexandra Wescott, a junior child development major from Akron, Ohio, and Dwight-Christopher Terry, a senior electrical engineering major from Memphis, Tennessee, were among volunteers helping parents to gather and secure toys for their children.

“This was just a humbling experience for me,” said Wescott, her first volunteer work outside her Akron hometown. “It feels great and very fulfilling to do something that brings so much joy to children and it is just nice to be involved with my school in such a wonderful exercise.”

Volunteers at the Toys for Tots distribution included TSU students, staff, alumni and representatives from charitable and church organizations. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

For Terry, volunteering in the community is not new. His Generation of Educated Men, a student community service group, which he heads as president, has been involved in food, clothing and other drives in the area. The group was also involved with bringing the TSU-Marine Corp partnership to fruition, along with Simply United, a non-profit that coordinates the pickup of donated toys from Toys for Tots.

“I am full of joy and feel a big relief that we are finally able to give out the toys to the community because it took so much energy to put it together, as far as donation, volunteers and so forth,” Terry said. “Although we are a student organization, the TSU administration, especially (associate dean) Dr. William Hytche, took us very seriously when the discussion started to bring the Toys for Tots program on campus.”

Associate Dean, Dr. William Hytche, coordinator of the Toys for Tots program for TSU, speaks to a News Channel 2 reporter. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

As part of the partnership with the Marine Corp – the first with a university in the Nashville, Davidson County area – TSU received unwrapped toys for children up to age 12 through December 14.

“This has been quite a rewarding experience for our students, staff and all who volunteered in this great effort,” associate dean Hytche said. “The Tennessee State University family is so excited to partner with the Marine Corp and Simply United, through its local representative, Ms. Benetta M. Sears and her volunteers. We are just so thankful.”

Sgt. C. J. Bowling, Marine Corp training chief, is the coordinator for Toys for Tots. He said other institutions in the area have helped in the past with the toy drive, but TSU is the first university the Marine Corp has partnered with in its distribution effort.

“I like the opportunities that TSU offers,” Bowling said. “TSU was selected because it has the facilities to handle our traffic flow both for toy donation and access to people to be served. Moreover, people at TSU have been so gracious. From the associate dean, to the people in your facilities management and the Air Force unit, they have done everything we have wanted and requested.”

For more information on Toys for Tots at TSU, call Dr. William Hytche at 615-963-5069.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 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.

Use Education to Inspire Change and Impact Lives, TSU Commence Speaker Tells More Than 700 Graduates

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – “As TSU degree holders, you have been equipped with a high-quality education and the power to make a substantive change in the lives of people in your community and the world,” Dr. Shawn Joseph, a longtime educator, told the fall graduating class at Tennessee State University on Dec. 8.

Joseph, director of Metro Nashville Public Schools, reminded the graduates of the role TSU students played to bring about social justice and change in Nashville and across the nation during the civil rights movement.

President Glover accompanies commencement speaker, Dr. Shawn Joseph, during the procession in Gentry Complex. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“It was only 58 years ago that brave students, who walked the same halls you have walked on this sacred land, strived to create a more just and equitable America.” Joseph said. “Those students, equipped with the same degree that you are earning today, understood that their lives had a purpose.”

At the commencement ceremony in the Gentry Complex, more than 700 received degrees in various disciplines. They included members of the inaugural class of the TSU Executive MBA program.

In her welcome remarks, TSU President Glenda Glover thanked Joseph for agreeing to be the fall commencement speaker, and congratulated the graduates for their accomplishments.

“You have endured and prepared yourselves to reach this goal which may have seemed unattainable, but you stuck with it,” Glover said. “You must always remember that you did not accomplish this goal all by yourselves. There were parents, relatives, friends and mentors who helped you along the way. Remember to thank them.”

More than 700 graduates received degrees in various disciplines. (Photo by Lalita Hodge, TSU Media Relations)

In his speech, Joseph told the graduates that to be leaders for social justice, they must never be afraid to advocate for what is right, learn to persevere and be resilient, and remember that leaders serve people and purpose.

“Certainly, earning a degree is about educating yourself, and it is also about recognizing that you have a responsibility to help things go right for others,” Joseph said. “ Remember excellence comes from within, not from what you have. TSU has prepared you to find strength through your faith, your family, your friends and you can push forward. It’s not what people call you it’s what you answer to.”

Kelley Williams, a Nashville native, who received a bachelor’s degree in social work with high honors, said she was inspired by Joseph’s speech.

Undergraduate honorees celebrate by moving their tassels from right to  left  indicating their graduation from college. (Photo by Ramona Whitworth-Wiggins)

“I listened to every word keenly and especially what he said about the quality of a TSU degree,” said Williams, who plans on returning to TSU to pursue her master’s degree. “I love TSU and I am glad I came.”

Anthony Moreland, from Knoxville, Tennessee, who received his bachelor’s degree in biology, also with high honors, agreed with Williams on earning a TSU degree.

“Graduating today is a great accomplishment,” said Moreland, whose twin sister graduated from TSU a semester ahead of him. “Graduating for me is a big deal, not only because I had to catch up with my sister, but because I had a lot of family members who came here and did very well.”

Moreland plans on going to medical school, with Meharry Medical College his top choice.

NOTE: Featured photo by Ramona Whitworth-Wiggins

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 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 Joins Toys For Tots Campaign In Partnership With U.S. Marine Corp

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is partnering with the United States Marines Corp Reserve in its Toys for Tots program this year.

The university will serve as the official drop-off and distribution center for donated toys. Officials say TSU was selected because of adequate facilities, and its accessibility to the community.

As part of the partnership – the first with a university in the Nashville, Davidson County area – TSU will receive unwrapped toys on its main campus for children up to age 12 now through December 14.

The Floyd-Payne Campus Center, Facilities Management Operations Building, and Parking Services Office in Hankal Hall will serve as the drop-off locations from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. each day.

Distribution will take place on Saturday, Dec. 15, in Kean Hall, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

More than 1,000 area children are expected to benefit from this year’s collection.

Simply United Together, a nonprofit that coordinates the pickup of donated toys from Toys for Tots, will also work with TSU and the Marine Corp to redistribute the donated items within the area.

“The Tennessee State University family is so excited to partner with the Marine Corp to support the Toys for Tots initiative that brings joy to so many children during the holiday season,” said Dr. William Hytche, associate dean for students and the TSU coordinator for Toys for Tots.

He said the partnership is an opportunity for recruitment and community engagement.

“TSU is a place that cares for the community and this is one way to let the community know that TSU is here for them. We see this as the beginning of a relationship that we hope to continue for a long time,” Hytche said.

Sgt. C. J. Bowling, Marine Corp training chief, is the coordinator for Toys for Tots. He said other institutions in the area have helped in the past with the toy drive, but TSU is the first university the Marine Corp is partnering with in its distribution effort.

“I like the opportunities that TSU offers,” Bowling said. “TSU was selected because it has the facilities to handle our traffic flow both for toy donation and access to people to be served. Moreover, people at TSU have been so gracious. From the associate dean, to the people in your facilities management and the Air Force unit, they have done everything we have wanted and requested.”

For more details on drop-off and distribution of  toys at TSU, call Dr. William Hytche at 615-963-5069.

Tennessee State University Learning Support Program Receives International Certification

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A key Tennessee State University student help program has received national and international recognition.

The Learning Support Centers, which provide help to students in math, writing and reading, have received the College Reading and Learning Association certification.

More than 1,000 college tutor-training programs around the globe have received CRLA certification under its international tutor-training program.

The Learning Support Centers average about 700 appointments a month from students who need help. (Courtesy Photo)

The certification provides recognition for program credibility, as well as sets professional standards of skills and training for tutors and mentors. This also ensures accountability, TSU officials say. Both the center and tutors are evaluated annually to ensure continued CRLA high standards.

“It is important that we have professional standards and training for our tutors that are within the guidelines of best practices,” says Tiffany Bellafant Steward, assistant vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Success.

She says although the university positively reinforces the work of staff and peer tutors, the CRLA certification provides them additional opportunities to excel at what they do and “to provide exceptional service to our students.”

Olivia Watson, left, a peer tutor in the Math Center, reviews work with Parisa Bastian, a junior mechanical engineering major. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The TSU CRLA certification, which was granted in September, came after a review process of every aspect of the Learning Support Centers. The LSCs include a math center, a reading center, and a writing center.

Olivia Watson, a senior criminal justice major with a minor in sociology, from St. Louis, Missouri, has been a peer tutor in the Math Center for the last two years. She tutors college algebra and also helps with English.

Students receive help from staff tutors in the Writing Center. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“Being certified makes me feel a lot better because now I have something to show students if I have to tutor them,” says Watson. “This is something I can even take outside the university to help others because now I am certified. It kind of adds to my value.”

And that is exactly the goal for the CRLA recognition – to add value to what peer tutors do and to hold them accountable, says Thomas Hrycyk, coordinator of Tutoring Services in the TSU Student Success Center.

“A CRLA certification means there is a certain level of accountability to make sure what you are doing as peer tutors is providing the necessary help for the student you are tutoring,” says Hrycyk. “It means that there is an added level of expectation. If you want to come in and work with student A, that student can expect to have the same level of assistance as from anyone else she works with currently or in the future.”

The Writing Center is one of the three components that make up the Learning Support Centers. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Currently, the LSCs have 12 peer tutors and 14 staff tutors. Staff tutors, who are also certified, are either center staff or university professors, says Hrycyk. Although visitors seen at the center are generally freshmen, students up to graduate level are welcome.

“We turn nobody away if we feel we can help them out,” says Hrycyk.

Before students receive CRLA certification to be peer tutors, they undergo 10 hours of training that includes shadowing staff or senior peer tutors for a minimum of three hours. They also spend 25 hours of evaluated time tutoring students to become certified. To be accepted in the program, Hrycyk says, an applicant must have 30 or more credit hours with a 3.0 or higher grade point average, and have an A or B grade in the class or subject they want to tutor.

This level of preparation for peer tutoring is very assuring for Khasia Perry, a first-year economics and finance major, from St. Louis Missouri, who gets help in math.

“Knowing that the person helping me went through all this training makes me feel more comfortable and sure that I am getting the help that I need,” says Perry. “It is very important to me that I can trust this person and know what they are saying to me is based on knowing that they are also being monitored.”

According to Hrycyk, peer tutors are anonymously surveyed periodically throughout the year to get student evaluation of their work. He said the LSCs average about 700 appointments a month from students who need help.

For more information on the TSU Learning Support Centers, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/aeao/learning-support-centers.aspx

Department of Media Relations

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About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 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.