Category Archives: EVENTS

21 Incoming Freshmen, Rising High School Seniors Get Exposure to Cutting-edge Research During Summer Program

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – From studies in understanding hypersensitive response of tobacco plants to comparing DNAs in chickens and Guinea fowls, 21 incoming college freshmen and rising high school seniors spent their summer receiving exposure to real-world scientific work and cutting-edge research.

Kayla
Kayla Sampson, an incoming freshman, presents her research on “Understanding hypersensitive response of tobacco plants to elf-type and GFD-labeled strains of Erwina tracheiphilia.” (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The students, from Tennessee, Mississippi, Florida, Indiana and Georgia, spent five weeks at Tennessee State University engaged in various laboratory and field experiments under the mentorship of university professors and scientists. Their finished works were presented as scientific papers and research results during a standing-room only audience of parents and guests in the Ferrell-Westbrook Complex on TSU’s main campus on July 2.

“These students are really the best we have recruited in the seven years of the Summer Apprenticeship Program,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, referring to the USDA-funded program intended to expose students to the many career opportunities in agriculture, bio- and environmental sciences.

Kayla Sampson, an incoming freshman from Jackson, Mississippi, who wants to major in biotechnology, said the summer programs gave her a better understanding of her career choice.

“Although I have always wanted to go into biotechnology, I came here not knowing much about it,” said Sampson, who will attend TSU this fall. “This Summer Apprenticeship Program has really opened my eyes and fueled my interest. The mentors and program coordinators were very helpful and encouraging.”

Carey
Kobe Leonard, left, Paige Madison and Arthur Carey present their combined research on “Sustainable seafood.” (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

From Ivori Scheley, an incoming freshman, whose dream is to engage in groundbreaking research, to Christopher Green, also an incoming freshman with an interest in biotechnology and environmental science, many of the future scientists say their month-long interaction with each other and college professors was an eye-opener for their future careers.

“Biotechnology is certainly where the money is, which makes it a very enticing career choice,” said Green. “I also see animal science as another potential career choice.”

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Christopher Green, an incoming freshman with interest in biotechnology and environmental science, presents on “Comparison of pectobacterium caratovora strains for virulence detection.” (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

According to William F. Hayslett Sr., coordinator of the Summer Apprenticeship Program, the objective of the program is to dispel the “myth” that agriculture is farming. “Our goal here is to make students aware of the academic programs in the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences and the many career opportunities available to its graduates.”

Reddy, who is dean of the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, encouraged the students to consider careers in STEM and agricultural sciences, as “lucrative” areas for employment.

“Here at TSU we offer a variety of opportunities in agribusiness, environmental sciences and many other areas that are in high demand,” he said.

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Terrell Boykin, with a focus on mite prevention, presents his research based on “Greenhouse practices.” (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

He thanked parents for encouraging their children to enter the program, adding that the program offers a “positive” avenue for youths to spend their summer in experiential learning. “It is also intended to give community college and recent high school graduates the opportunity to learn values essential for environmental stewardship at the local, state and national levels,” Reddy said.

Other students who participated in the program were: Malaika Greer, Jasmine Stringer, Kevonte Askew, Amarius Daniels, Demetria Hayes, Asia Hooper, Darrius Lawson, Devinn Pauley, Sydnie Davis and Arthur Carey. Also participating in the Summer Apprenticeship Program were: Kobe Leonard, Paige Madison, Terrell Boykin, CheKenna Fletcher, Isiah Cunningham, Whitney ‘Abbey’ Anderson, Shakarah Nelson and Darian Majors.

Each of the students who participated in the residential program received a $1,000 stipend.

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.

Tennessee State University Professor Wins Prestigious American Society of Agronomy Award

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A Tennessee State University professor, noted for his mobile biodiesel demonstration to farmers across the state, has won the prestigious American Society of Agronomy Early Career Professional Award for 2015. Dr. Jason de Koff, assistant professor in the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, was recognized for outstanding contribution to the field of agronomy in education and research.

The award will be formally presented at the ASA’s awards ceremony during the scientific society’s annual international meeting Nov. 15-18 in Minneapolis.

“I am very honored to win this award,” de Koff said. “Receiving this kind of acknowledgement means I am making important contributions in my field.”

FEATURED_Biodiesel mobile UnitDe Koff, now in his fifth year at TSU, has received more than $1.3 in grant funding as principal investigator and co-PI. His responsibilities in extension and research focus on using switchgrass and winter canola for bioenergy production. He is a research-focus group leader for 20 faculty members, and serves as assistant program leader in the Cooperative Extension Program at TSU. As a state extension specialist, he has developed a series of workshops, videos, factsheets and a mobile demonstration for on-farm biodiesel production.

“Dr. Jason de Koff is very deserving of this ASA award,” said Dr. Samuel N. Nahashon, interim chair of the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at TSU. “He is one of our outstanding faculty who is well-rounded in teaching, research and outreach. He has developed courses, secured funding and established an excellent program in bioenergy, an effort that is benefitting our students and stakeholders.”

The ASA Early Career Professional Award, which comes with a $2,000 honorarium, recognizes young professionals who have made outstanding contributions in agronomy within seven years of completing their final degree.

De Koff received his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 2008. He came to TSU in 2010 after post-doctoral work with the USDA Agricultural Research Service.

“I plan to continue my efforts in extension, research and teaching to enhance opportunities for both TSU students and Tennessee farmers,” de Koff said.

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.

Happy Birthday Tennessee State University!

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is 103 years old today. President Glenda Glover joins the University family of alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends in wishing this great institution a HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

Founded in 1912 as the Agricultural and Industrial Normal School for Negroes, Tennessee State University (TSU) today is a comprehensive, urban, coeducational, land-grant institution serving students from all across the globe. From 247 students who began their academic career on June 19, 1912, the University has more than 9,000 students on two locations—the 500-acre main campus and the downtown Avon Williams campus.

The University is recognized as a Carnegie Doctoral/Research institution and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 24 master’s degrees and seven doctoral degrees in the areas of biological sciences, computer information systems engineering, psychology, public administration, curriculum and instruction, administration and supervision, and physical therapy. The University also boasts an outstanding athletics and sports legacy with 40 Olympic medals.

TSU has produced outstanding graduates who are impacting the world in science, research, the arts, theater and many other areas. This legacy of achievement and excellence has remained a hallmark of the institution and will continue years to come.

Happy Birthday!

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.

Three-Day National Conference Discusses Role of Technology in Achieving Equitable Social Change

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Social equity is the promotion of fair, just and equitable distribution of public services, but how can technology and data be used to drive policy and effective programmatic solutions to enhance social equity? That was the question more than 150 experts, including academics, government employees and non-profit practitioners from across the nation, grappled with when they met at Tennessee State University for a three-day conference June 3-5.

logo“Leveraging Technology and Data to Promote Social Equity,” was the focus of the 14th Annual Social Equity Leadership Conference (SELC), which offered participants the opportunity to deliberate and analyze the changing world of technology and data and its impact on public policy in the area of equitable social change. Specifically, participants discussed new trends in the technological application of data collection, analysis, policy implementation, service delivery and community change. The goal was to increase research and its effective application for the use of technology and data to drive policy and programmatic solutions.

Mayor
Nashville Mayor Karl Dean makes remarks at the 14th Annual Social Equity Leadership Conference at Tennessee State University. (Submitted Photo)

The conference was hosted by the College of Public Service and Urban Affairs, in partnership with the TSU Center on Aging Research and Education Services. It brought together experts and participants from a diverse group of institutions, including the University of California at Los Angeles, Rutgers, University of Massachusetts-Boston, University of North Carolina, University of Louisville, Vanderbilt University, Lipscomb University and the University of Mississippi. Participants also came from federal and state agencies including the Federal Reserve, the Veterans Administration, the General Accounting Office, the Tennessee Department of Human Resources, and the Mayor’s office.

The SELC, established by the National Academy of Public Administration, aims to advance knowledge and understanding of applied and theoretical research in social equity in governance.

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Participants listen to a presenter during a break-out session at the 14th Annual Social Equity Leadership Conference. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“We are proud and honored that we were selected to host this national conference,” said Dr. Michael Harris, dean of the College of Public Affairs and Urban Studies. “It reflects national recognition among our peers of the academic quality and relevance of CPSUA. The conference allowed the college and TSU the opportunity to facilitate and participate with national experts in timely and relevant discussions as they relate to public policy, specifically social equity and leadership.”

Keynote speakers were Nashville Mayor Karl Dean; Chair of the NAPA Standing Committee on Social Equity, Dr. Blue Woodridge; and the Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Human Resources Rebecca Hunter.

Sponsors included Nelson & Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership, The Frist Foundation, the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration, the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, Safe Haven Family Shelter, and the American Society for Public Administration.

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.

Hollywood Movie Star Wows Tennessee State University Students on Faith, Success During Packed Ceremony

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – To a standing-room only crowd in Kean Hall on Tuesday, a top Hollywood actress wowed Tennessee State University students with a message of faith, hard work, belief in oneself and not allowing fear to keep them away from achieving their dreams.

Taraji P. Henson, an Academy Award nominee and multiple award-winning actress and stage performer, told students to be focused, find their passion and have faith in God to help them develop their given talent to the fullest.

“God didn’t give me more than he gave you,” said Henson, who credits her “strong belief” in God, and her parents for her success. “I never gave up even though other told me I wouldn’t make it. I saw the bigger picture and I went after it. Find your bigger picture and believe in yourself, that’s what successful people believe in.”

TSUCrowd
Hundreds of students, faculty, staff, alumni, administrators and friends of Tennessee State University packed Kean Hall Tuesday to hear Hollywood movie star Taraji P. Henson give a passionate and emotional lecture about the path to success. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Earlier,  the actress received a rousing welcome and shouts of “I love you,” as TSU President Glenda Glover presented her to the audience.

Henson, star of Lee Daniel’s major hit musical drama Empire as Cookie Lyon, and recipient of the 2015 NAACP Image Award as Entertainer of the Year, spoke about her early start as an engineering major at North Carolina A&T University, where she failed pre-calculus.

Tennessee State University students greeted Academy Award nominated actress Taraji P. Henson with an enthusiastic welcome during her recent visit to the campus
Tennessee State University students greeted Academy Award nominated actress Taraji P. Henson with an enthusiastic welcome during her recent visit to the campus

“I knew from the start that that (engineering) was not my passion, but at my parents’ and my best friend’s urging, I went in an area I knew I was not cut out for,” Henson said. “Somewhere inside me I knew theater was where I belonged.”

Henson transferred to Howard University where she studied theater. At the same time, Henson was working two jobs—one as a secretary at the Pentagon and another as a cruise-ship entertainer. At Howard, she honed her singing, dancing and acting skills, proudly earning herself a “Triple Threat Scholarship.”

“I followed my dream and went after the big picture, and that’s the beauty of an HBCU; they let you be what you want to be,” added Henson, as she reminded students about what she called the “added benefit” of attending an HBCU.

“At age 26 when I decided to go to Hollywood, they said I was too old. People will say all sorts of things about what you can or cannot do, but you have to be determined to go after your dream. Don’t let fear hold you back. if I had let fear hold me back you probably wouldn’t see me here before you.”

Henson, the single mother of a son, has lit up the big screen in numerous films, including The Curious Case of Benjamin Button in 2008 in which she earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She starred in From the Rough (2014) portraying former TSU golf coach, Dr. Catana Starks, the first woman coach to win a NCAA Championship. Henson is a 2011 Emmy nominee for Best Actress in a movie or miniseries for Lifetime’s Taken From Me, and also starred as Detective Joss Carter in the highly rated J. J. Abrams CBS crime drama, Person of Interest.

Tonight, she will share her message of encouragement as the guest speaker, when Tennessee State University recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of women in our community at the Women of Legend and Merit Awards.

 

PHOTO Album Kean Hall

PHOTO album WOLM

 

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.

TSU College of Business strengthens industry partnerships by linking students with professionals

Tennessee State University’s College of Business is bridging curriculum with practical training for students by engaging business and industry professionals into the life of the college.

Through six advisory boards focused on specific aspects of their diverse degree programs, the college is preparing the next generation of business leaders for the workforce by making those connections while they are learning.

Frank
Retired Army Maj. Gen. Frank L. Miller, a retired senior Dell executive and former chair of the Supply Chain Management Governing Board, is credited with the vision behind the establishment of the College of Business’ Leadership Case Challenge Competition.

Among those alignments include Accounting, Alumni, Business Information Systems, Economics and Finance, and Supply Chain Management advisory and governing boards. The College of Business Advisory Board, designated for the entire college, has been active for more than 30 years and influential in bringing corporate support to the college. The Board has most recently sponsored a faculty retreat, offered scholarships, supported faculty research, and assisted the College in planning and orchestrating the Frank L. Miller, Jr. MBA Case Competition designed to provide MBA candidates with a forum to build and exercise their leadership skills.

Each board has specific goals but generally all work toward helping students find success while in the classroom and when they complete college.

“The jobs driving today’s economy require not only content knowledge in a given field, but those who can work well with others, communicate effectively and help companies solve some of the challenges they face,” said TSU President, Dr. Glenda Glover. “The expertise our advisory board members bring to the table are invaluable as our students learn to leverage and strengthen their skills for success in a competitive job market.”

Additionally, the boards, which are made up of professionals representing a cross-section of business and industry, focus on introducing students to potential employers, offer  mentoring support, raise funds for scholarships, provide internship opportunities, sponsor students to attend conferences, and professional and leadership development sessions, and foster a sense of giving back.

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Dr. Millicent Lownes-Jackson

“The College of Business has been deliberate in exposing students to real-world interactions as part of their academic experience. With the rapid advances that technology and other industry standards create in the global business environment, it is increasingly important that today’s business leaders are versatile and equipped in handling a number of trending issues,” said Dr. Millicent Lownes-Jackson, dean of the College of Business. “The mentoring, training, internships, scholarships, and career opportunities that our advisory boards provide not only help students with their academic preparation, but prepare them to be critical thinkers and problem solvers once they enter the workforce.”

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.

Tennessee State Football’s APR Score Adjusted, Now Eligible for Postseason

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Tennessee State University Sports Information)– The Tennessee State University Athletic Department received news Thursday that due to a recalculation of the football program’s multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR), the team is not subject to a postseason ban or Level I penalty for the upcoming season.

“We appreciate the NCAA’s recalculations and are extremely happy for our players, coaches, and the entire University family,” said Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover. “The football program is an integral part of campus life as we educate well rounded young men and women at TSU.”

“Although many perceive the APR as purely academic, it is actually more complex than that with retention being an equal part of the calculation,” director of Athletics Teresa Phillips said. “The athletics department, university and football staff will continue to work together in meeting and exceeding the standards established by the NCAA.”

On May 27, the NCAA published its annual report in which the Tennessee State University football program’s rate was deemed to be below the benchmark set by the NCAA. Today’s news confirms TSU is in compliance with the NCAA’s academic standards.

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.

TSU Ranks in “Top 25” HBCUs; Listed among 100 Most Affordable Universities in the Nation

2015-Rankings-of-Best-Historically-Black-Colleges-Universities-300x244-1NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is one of the top Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the nation, according to College Choice, an independent online publication that helps students and their parents find the right college. In its 2015 ranking of the Best Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the publication listed TSU number 16 of the top 25 in the nation.

TSU was noted for fostering “a rich educational atmosphere by ensuring collaborative learning, meaningful student-faculty interaction, and opportunities for community engagement.” According to the publication, TSU also graduates the highest number of African-American bachelor’s degree holders in agriculture, agriculture operations, and agriculture-related sciences.

“The College Choice ranking for our programs and offerings reflect the success Tennessee State University has achieved in providing students with the experiences and education they need to make a difference in our world,” President Glenda Glover said. “We are especially gratified that leaders in higher education across the country gave us top marks for our academic programs and the learning environment we provide to students.”

The College Choice ranking, which considers factors such as academic reputation, financial aid offerings, overall cost, and success of graduates in the post-college job market, is just one of many national recognitions TSU has received this year. The University has also been recognized as the top provider of online programs in Tennessee.

Best-Value-Schools-Affordable-Universities1-300x248-1
Additionally, Best Value Schools, which focuses on gauging college
affordability, ranked TSU number 34 of the 100 most affordable universities in the nation. “From Aeronautical and Industry Technology to Urban Planning, from Architectural Engineering to Speech Communication, TSU simply offers too many course options for you to ever be bored,” the publication noted.

“While the United States grapples with the problem of providing college students a quality education at an affordable price, we are able to offer students attending Tennessee State University a wide variety of academic programs that employers demand,” said Dr. Mark Hardy, vice president for Academic Affairs. “We are doing this while keeping the expense of those programs at an economical level.”

Last year, The College Database, a free, non-commercial website that provides future and post-secondary students and their families with “accurate and valuable” college and career-related information, also said that TSU graduates enter the workforce earning an average $42,000 per year. The report gave TSU a top ranking among colleges and universities in Tennessee with tuition rates below $20,000, adding that the University offers the best return on financial investment when compared to other post-secondary institutions in the state.

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In another listing this year, Affordable College Online, which focuses
on distance learning nationwide, ranked TSU number one in Tennessee among colleges and universities with online programs. It highlighted the University’s 18 fully online programs for undergraduate and graduate studies focused on professional studies with concentrations in leadership, nursing, teaching and more. While naming TSU as the university with the lowest tuition among its peer institutions in the state, the publication also pointed to a number of professional licensure programs offered by the institution.

“Tennessee State University prides itself on offering affordable and quality on-ground and online degree programs,” said Dr. Evelyn E. Nettles, associate vice president for Academic Affairs, whose office handles distance and online education. “Students are guaranteed exposure to a highly qualified faculty, a wide-range of student and academic support services, and reliable technology infrastructure, at a reasonable overall cost.”

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.

Tennessee State University Headed to the Smithsonian

University sports memorabilia to form part of new museum of African-American history 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Olympic Gold Medalist Wilma Rudolph, legendary track and field Coach Ed Temple, the famed Tigerbelles, and the first-ever African-American basketball team to win a national college basketball championship – and three consecutive titles – all make up the rich sports history of Tennessee State University. The impressive accomplishments of the TSU athletics program will be part of exhibits in the Smithsonian Institution’s new National Museum of African-American History and Culture opening in 2016 on the National Mall in Washington. D.C.

Temple
Coach Ed. Temple, left, explains photo collection of his legendary coaching career to Dr. Damion Thomas, curator for the sports exhibits of the new National Museum of African-American History and Culture. Grant Winrow, TSU coordinator for the museum project, and Dr. Murle E. Kenerson, interim dean of Libraries and Media Centers, provide guidance during the display.

Dr. Damion Thomas, curator for the museum’s sports exhibits, visited TSU today to get a first-hand look at sports memorabilia on display in several buildings on the main campus. Accompanied by University officials, including Grant Winrow, TSU coordinator for the Smithsonian project, the curator toured the Brown-Daniel Memorial Library, the Wilma Rudolph Hall, the Gentry Complex that houses many of the University’s sports mementos and souvenirs, as well as the Olympic statute.

Some of the treasured items that the curator saw included gold medals, championship trophies and track cleats, as well as photographs and portraits of TSU trailblazers like NFL quarterback Joe Gilliam, golf coach Catana Starks, and legendary coaches John Merritt and John McClendon.

Highlighting Thomas’ visit and tour was a meeting with Coach Temple, the man who took 40 athletes from TSU (Tennessee Agricultural & Industrial State University until 1968) to the Olympic Games and helped them win 23 medals — more than 157 countries in the world have ever won.

Temple, who shifted the focus from him to his Tigerbelles during a discussion, said he was pleased to know that the Smithsonian Institution was including an area in its new museum dedicated to the achievements of African-Americans in sports.

“I am glad that what they are doing will finally give these young ladies their due recognition,” Temple said. “They work hard to earn all that they achieved.”

The curator also met with Starks, the first African-American woman to coach a men’s NCAA Division I golf team when she took the job at TSU. Her trailblazing efforts was made into a motion picture titled “From The Rough” starring Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson. In the Gentry Complex, Thomas also briefly met with current OVC “Women’s Coach of the Year,” Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice, a former Olympian, who made history by snagging two gold medals at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984.

Before ending his tour, Thomas gave a brief presentation on the new museum, a 400,000-square-foot building of bronze metal and glass structure. It will feature a collection of artifacts of slavery and freedom, mementos of military service, symbols of the civil rights movement, the Harlem Renaissance, as well as a comprehensive collection of fine art including paintings, sculptures, works on paper, installations, photography, and digital media by and about African-Americans.

According to Thomas, the sports exhibit section of the museum will include a room, called “The Game Changer,” dedicated to individuals like Wilma Rudolph, whose contribution went beyond the track or playing field to changing the course of history.

The museum has built a collection of 40,000 artifacts, and a staff of 160 is developing the 11 major exhibits that visitors will find at the opening next year. Smithsonian officials estimate annual visits to the African-American Museum of History and Culture will average between four to five million people in its first few years.

 

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.

Tennessee State University Alumnus Receives Prestigious Chancellor’s Award for Philanthropy

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University alumnus Amos Otis continues to add accolades to his impressive resume. The 1965 TSU graduate and multi-million dollar entrepreneur was recently awarded the Tennessee Board of Regents’ Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Philanthropy for his contributions to the University.

Otis received the prestigious award from TBR Chancellor John Morgan recently during his 50th graduation anniversary celebration with former classmates at TSU. The award recognizes “people and organizations that have clearly demonstrated generosity of time and resources to TBR institutions, encouraged others, promoted higher education, and provided examples of ethical leadership, civic responsibility and Integrity.”

Chancellor Morgan recognized Otis for “never excluding Tennessee State University” from his success.

“It is my honor to present TSU alumnus, Mr. Amos Otis, with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Philanthropy for his outstanding contribution and visionary leadership to Tennessee State University,” Chancellor Morgan said.

Otis has had a very successful and distinguished career as a public servant, entrepreneur, and as an officer in the United States Air Force. He is often recognized for his business development and management skills, as well as his civic leadership, and as a member of various advisory boards. Through his success, he has touched lives in many places, including his alma mater, Tennessee State University. He established the SoBran/SComan Educational Scholarship Endowment to help keep students in school with an annual donation of more than $110,000.

In addition to Tennessee State, Mr. Otis’ philanthropy also includes the Brenda Faye Otis-Lee Educational Scholarship at the St. Jude Educational Institute in Montgomery, Alabama. He also supports numerous national causes ranging from the American Heart Association to the U.S. Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.

Otis is president and CEO of SoBran Inc., a $61 million, leading technical and professional services company that provides expertise on biomedical research, engineering and logistics programs for government and commercial clients around the world. An advocate for higher education, Mr. Otis’ storied career has had him serving as a consultant to the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences for Post-Doctoral Programs, and as Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.