Category Archives: EVENTS

In Spite of Inclement Weather Threat, TSU Outdoor Spring Commencement Goes on Without a Hitch

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A graduating senior at TSU’s Spring Commencement Ceremony Saturday holds a sign that expresses the sentiments of the more than 1,100 who received their degrees at the program. (Photo by Rick Delahaya, TSU Media Relations)


NASHVILLE, Tenn.
(TSU News Service) – After a brief delay Saturday, Tennessee State University dodged an inclement weather forecast to hold its spring commencement at a packed Hale Stadium.

More than 1,100 undergraduate and graduate students received their degrees in various disciplines under a clear, sunny day, with their names and faces in digital displays projected on two massive jumbotron screens during the outdoor ceremony on the main campus.

Prior to the commencement, students, family members and other invited guests who had arrived early for the planned ceremony in the stadium, took cover in nearby Gentry Center to wait out a rain shower. The crowd went back to the “Hole” after the brief downpour and the commencement went on without a hitch.

“We got exactly what our family came here for,” said Gina Benton, of Dayton, Ohio, responding to an apology from TSU President Glenda Glover about the brief inconvenience posed by the weather. “We came here with about 20 family members to watch my son graduate and that’s exactly what we got. With such a beautiful outcome, the weather was a minor issue.”

Benton’s son, Erik, received his degree in Business Administration with honors.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, the commencement speaker, apparently not fazed by the weather threat, told the graduates that 55 percent of available jobs in the state would need people with college degrees and the necessary skills to fill those positions.

“Tennessee State University has prepared you to compete for those those jobs and the challenges in life,” Haslam said. “Those challenges will help you handle potential disappointments that come with success.”

The Governor reminded the students to face life with humility and remember those who helped them achieve their higher education goals.

“You did not get to this day by yourself. Thank those who were there with you,” Haslam added.  “Learn to celebrate others. You have been called to play a role that will require your full potential. To fulfill that role will require you to continue to improve yourselves by being lifelong learners.”

Before the conferring of degrees, President Glover presented Gov. Haslam with a special plaque for “accepting our invitation and for inspiring not just these graduates but all of us.”

The President also recognized and presented special awards to this year’s group of Vintagers, former TSU graduates who celebrated their 50th year of graduation from TSU.

Dr. Glover announced an over $55,000 contribution from the group to their alma mater.

“We thank you for your generous contribution and for returning to celebrate with us,” the President said.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 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.

Held Together by Screws, Nuts and Bolts, “Ultimate Bionic Woman” to Graduate from Tennessee State University

Karen Munoz
Karen Munoz

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Fresh out of an abusive marriage with no money, mounting bills and three children to care for, Karen Denese Munoz had no where to go but down, at least so she thought.

With a last gasp for relief, the college dropout turned to her father, Leo Ronald Summers Sr., for advice on how to cope.

“Don’t complain when you don’t have; learn to improvise,” the retired Army lieutenant told his daughter.

While Munoz said her father’s response was not exactly the answer she was looking for, it gave her a different perspective on life and how to find strength in the face of difficulties and unfortunate circumstances.

No doubt that renewed sense of determination has worked well for Munoz, who will accomplish a journey she started more than 32 years ago.

In spite of multiple surgeries and operations to repair a crushed vertebrae, head injuries and a broken neck and back, that left her in constant pain and in a state of severe depressive disorder and anxiety, the Fort Hood, Texas, native will receive her college degree when Tennessee State University hold its spring commencement May 10.

“I live by trying to improvise as my father told me,” Munoz said about how she was able to maintain a near 3.0 GPA to graduate with a degree in Business Administration and a concentration in Human Resource Management, despite her disorder, which has left her unable to fully concentrate, think or remember “as others.”

“I had to study twice as hard as the average person to concentrate and retain,” said Munoz, who keeps sticky notes “everywhere” to help her remember.

Munoz’s college journey began in 1983 at TSU as an Architectural Engineering major. Three years into her college work, things began to unravel for the young, promising student. Married at the time, with children and a physically and mentally abusive husband, who insisted she seeks full-time employment, she quit school to work with the Metro Public School Harris Hillman as a Para Professional.

Although Munoz eventually walked out of her marriage, having to care for her children alone, a series of unfortunate events soon began to unfold that would change the course of her life forever. Because of the seriousness of her neck and vertebrae injuries, she was reassigned to several different departments in Metro. Finally she received permanent placement at the Transportation Department.

One day while getting something from the supply closet at work with the door opened, Munoz said, a coworker (who was not aware of her presence) pushed the door, apparently trying to open it while she was behind, the knob on the other side hit her directly in the tail bone. The force sent her crashing, head first, into the door paneling ahead, crushing her vertebrae.

As if fate had an unfinished business with Munoz, while recovering from that injury, she was in a car accident that left her with a broken back and neck.

“I was in a concussion that lasted two years,” she said. “My vertebrae had to be fused from the top to the bottom through a process called spinal track titanium fusion. That’s the only thing that’s holding my head up. I do not have any peripheral view because I cannot move my head side to side. I can only look ahead.”

For Munoz, being able to cope through all her pain and suffering have not come without a good sense of humor.

“I am the ultimate bionic woman,” she said.  “If you move all of the titanium from my body I will never move again. My condition is irreversible.”

Saying that she is being held together by modern technology, Munoz is thankful to God, her family and the doctors at Vanderbilt Hospital for giving her a chance, although she laments the constant pain from screws, nuts and bolts in her body.”

“The pain never goes away; I have to take medication to sleep. This is something I live with,” she added.

But with all of what seem to be impairments, and getting out of yet another physically and mentally abusive relationship, in addition to losing her job with Metro, Munoz said she was constantly haunted by her desire to complete her college work.

“These disabilities from my injuries affected me so much at work that I asked for an IOD (Injured while on Duty and or Medical Disability) waiver, which Metro denied and fired me,” Munoz said, adding that the denial and subsequent dismissal gave her more inspiration.

With five children (including a step son and a nephew), no job, her house in foreclosure and no money, Munoz said she applied for and was granted financial aid loan at TSU.

“When they checked my record they told me I was a senior and I had only few credits to complete my college work,” she said.

Munoz immediately went to work, with the deeply imbedded thought of the advice her father had given her, and the urging of her mother to leave her second abusive husband and return to school. She registered with a full load of college work.

“I decided I would pursue my degree in the hopes of changing my circumstances. I studied twice as hard, using my sleeplessness to my advantage to take in as much as I could,” she said.

Even at that, Munoz, whose father is also a TSU graduate, said many times she wanted to quit, having been out of school for nearly 32 years, but a sign on the Business Information board at the Avon Williams campus that read, “You are never too old to achieve your goal,” inspired her to press on.

“It was at that moment that I went full steam ahead stopping at nothing to achieve this goal which I had dreamed of all these years,” she said.

And so she did.

Munoz, 48, who is now married to Lugo San Munoz, a Salvadoran native, said she plans to go to graduate school and open a preparatory college in El Salvador for underprivileged high school students who have graduated high school but have no where to go. The school will be named Summers International Integration College of Excellence, after her father and mother who have been her inspiration.

“The hope is to partner with El Salvador to send their students to TSU and after they graduate they will return to their country where they will teach others.

“This is my lifelong dream. This is what God has sent me forth to do, and I intend to improvise in anyway possible to accomplish that ….screws, nuts, bolts or not.”

 

READ more student success stories including:

Johnathan Fitzgerald
Annette Scruggs

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 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.

Cooperative Extension’s Farmer Academy Training to Benefit Returning Veterans, Ranchers and New Farmers

Unknown-2NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University Cooperative Extension program in the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences will host a “New Farmer Academy” to help inspire a new generation of farmers, ranchers and returning veterans to develop successful small farm enterprises in the state, beginning June 16.

The academy, which targets potential owners of small acreages who desire information on how to best utilize their land and other resources to produce crops and raise livestock, will meet on the third Monday of each month from June to October, with graduation set for November 17. Graduates will earn a certificate while gaining hands-on practical agricultural training and advice from mentors. Each participant will receive a notebook including workshop presentations and other helpful resources.

“Here at Tennessee State University, we are very pleased to provide this opportunity to anyone but specifically to new farmers and returning veterans who are interested in starting a small farm operation in Tennessee,” said Dr. Latif Lighari, associate dean for Extension.

Topics to be addressed during the six-month program include: Agricultural Leadership, Agricultural Regulations; Agri-Tourism; Enterprise Selection; Financial Planning; Fruit and Vegetable Production; Hydroponics and Irrigation; Organic Production; Farm Equipment Selection, Maintenance and Safety; Soil Fertility and Suitability; Small Flock Poultry Production; and Value-Added Agribusiness and Direct Marketing Techniques.

The cost to attend is $150 per person and includes all educational material and a lunch at each session. To register, contact Rhonda Ewing at (615) 963-1351 or rewing1@tnstate.edu. For more information about this program, contact Finis Stribling at (931) 375-5301 or fstribling@tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University and trailblazing golf coach celebrated in ‘From the Rough’ hitting theaters April 25

OFFICIAL MOVIE TRAILER |  FOCUS ON POTENTIAL CLIP |  PHOTOS

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University and former golf coach Dr. Catana Starks will take over the big screen when From the Rough opens nationwide on Friday, April 25.

The film highlights the powerful story of Coach Starks as the first female golf coach of a Division I men’s team while at Tennessee State University. Through grit and determination, she overcame incredible odds to guide a group of golfers to a championship season.

“This is an amazing story about an amazing woman, and the entire Tennessee State University family is so proud of her,” said University President Glenda Glover. “Equally important is the fact that the HBCU experience is being shared with a broader audience.”

Academy Award-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson will portray a fictionalized version of Coach Starks named Cassandra Turner. The character parlays a successful stint as coach of a women’s swim team at a historically black university into a shot at building the men’s golf team. With the availability of black players scarce, Turner scours Europe, Australia and Asia for hidden talent and constructs a uniquely multi-racial team.

According to Starks, the production of the film has been in the making for years.

“I was really pleased and I thought it was a great idea,” Starks said. “I am a shy person; I don’t even like taking pictures, but I think it’s good to have a female being honored in this way.”

When Tennessee State University joined the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference in 1986, then-Athletic Director Bill Thomas traded the University’s swimming program for a men’s golf team and called on the leadership of Starks to guide the program. Starks then made history becoming the only African-American female in the nation to coach a men’s golf team.

Starks has coached a diverse group of players throughout her career, including Canadian Sean Foley, who is currently Tigers Woods’ swing coach.

Foley believes Starks had a big impact on his life, as stated in an ESPN article.

“Coach Starks has a Ph.D.,” Foley said. “She’s well-educated… I used to sit in the front of the bus with Coach. We would ride for hours and hours. She always saw something in me. She always knew I was going to do special things in some form. She didn’t know what I was going to be.

“As I got little older, I looked back on Coach. She was so impressive. I should have spent more time trying to figure out how she did it all. To see what Coach accomplished, and became as a professor at the university, and all that stuff is really something.”

Starks, who retired in 2011 as head of TSU’s Department of Human Performance and Sports Sciences, guided the team to a Division I record win for the National Minority Championship. Under her guidance, the team also produced the first African-American men’s head coach for Michigan State University (Sam Puryear) and an All-American, who is a member of the European Tour (Robert Dinwiddie).

“Hopefully this will draw more African-American females into coaching on the collegiate level and coaching the opposite sex,” Starks said. “Men have been doing it for many years and I think there are a lot of great women out there who probably could do a much better job than I have done. I hope this film inspires other women to try their hand at coaching.”

President Glover agreed, adding that that Starks’ story is one of perseverance, hard work, faith and excellence. She also acknowledges that this is just one of many remarkable stories to emerge from TSU.

“This is a great opportunity for TSU to publicly acknowledge another chapter of our institution’s storied and proud past,” she said. “Today, we soar to new heights as our students, faculty and alumni continue to accomplish great things in academics and athletics.”

TSU will make it a From the Rough weekend providing transportation for students to see the movie in local theaters. The school has also encouraged alumni across the country to support the film.

“Dr. Starks’ contributions to Tennessee State University as an alumna, faculty member and coach are nothing short of incredible,” said Cassandra Griggs, director of TSU’s Office of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving. “These extraordinary stories play out every day among our university community, and we are so thankful of all that Dr. Starks has given to this university. I know our alumni nationwide join us in our excitement and look forward to supporting this film highlighting yet another dynamic TSU success.”

The movie From the Rough opens nationwide in theaters April 25. See the attached list of current markets, and check local listings for show times in your area.

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 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 Top Graduating Senior Selected to Introduce Gov. Haslam as Commencement Keynote Speaker

Annette Scruggs
Annette Scruggs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When Annette Scruggs arrived in Nashville nine years ago from Georgetown, Guyana, it was a “no-brainer” when she decided to continue her education. Tennessee State University was the only university she applied to because she knew it was where she wanted to be.

“When I married my husband, I witnessed first-hand the influence the university had on his family,” said Scruggs. “He came from a long line of alumni from his mother, grandmother and great aunts. Because of that, I knew TSU was where I needed to be.”

When she first started her goal was to complete her degree, not be the best of the best, but simply do her best.

Four years later, Scruggs is the best, graduating with the highest grade point average of all the undergraduates at Spring Commencement. Because of her 3.942 GPA, a number she can readily quote, she will have the opportunity to introduce the keynote speaker, Governor Bill Haslam.

“My first thought was, ‘WOW!’ when they told me,” said the Interdisciplinary Studies major. “It is going to be quite the honor.”

Scruggs Family-5
Annette Scruggs, second from left, is surrounded by her family, (left to right) Osafa Hippolyte, Ashley Hippolyte and Meshaeh Hippolyte. All three of her children are students at Tennessee State University. (photos by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

To begin her educational journey, Scruggs started from scratch, she said, buying a GED certificate study guide, and took the SAT practice test, scored well and took the ACT test. “It was an easy process to apply for admittance, and once I was accepted, I just pursued my degree and never looked back,” she added.

So impressed was Scruggs with TSU from the start that her children followed her to the University, including her 23-year old daughter, Ashley, who is working toward her MBA; her 20-year old son Osafa, who is a junior Human Performance and Sports Sciences major; and 17-year-old freshman son, Meshaeh, who is also a Human Performance and Sports Sciences major.

“We are all proud TSU students,” said Scruggs, who will graduate with Summa Cum Laude honors. “I think people get the wrong impression of the University but it is a great institution where the faculty always put students first.”

Initially, Scruggs was not going to “take the walk” at graduation, she said, but thought better of it, admitting not only is she doing it for herself, but her children as well.

“I brought my children to this country with me to provide a better opportunity for them,” she said. “I believe they will have all the opportunities in the world starting with a degree from Tennessee State.”

Scruggs will introduce Gov. Haslam during Tennessee State University’s spring commencement exercise on Saturday, May 10 at 9 a.m. in Hale Stadium. She then has plans to apply to law school at the Nashville School of Law.

 

READ more student success stories including:

Johnathan Fitzgerald
Karen Munoz

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 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.

College of Engineering Holds Annual STEM Leadership Conference April 24-26

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The College of Engineering at Tennessee State University will host the 5th Annual STEM Leadership Conference April 24-26, and is designed to provide a leadership development experience for STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) majors at the University.

According to Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, the objective of the conference is to provide an opportunity for students to learn about key non-academic skills necessary for career success, advocated by working professionals that include alumni and strong industry supporters of the college.

“Through the conference, we hope to excite our current students about their career prospects, to seek global experiences, to learn about emerging technologies, and to prepare for the transition from academic to industry while networking with industry representatives,” said Hargrove. “With a strong demand for STEM graduates across the county, we believe that beyond academics requires further development of critical skills necessary for career advancement and achievement of our students.”

Conference agenda includes:

Thursday, April 24
(all sessions to be held in room 163 in the Research and Sponsored Program Building)

Session 1
9 – 9:45 am
“The Importance of STEM and Its Broad Applications”
Dr. Sujata Guha, Department of Chemistry, TSU

Session 2
10 – 10:45 am
“Leading the Community…Leading for Life”
Capt. Nathan Skopak, U.S. Marine Corps, Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Session 3
11 – 11:45 am
“Globalization”
Kennedy Germain, Procter and Gamble, Cincinnati, Ohio

Opening Luncheon
Noon- 1:30 pm
Keynote Speaker:  Lt. Col. Kenric Smith – Army ROTC, Nashville, Tenn.
President’s Executive Dining Room – Floyd Payne Campus Center

Session 4
2 – 2:45 pm
“Study Abroad Opportunities for STEM Students”
Mark Brinkley  – TSU Office of Diversity and International Affairs

Session 5
3 – 3:45 pm
“Preparing for a Behavioral-Based Interview”
Tiffany Johnson, TSU Career Development Center
(Presented by Society of Women in Engineering (SWE) student organization)

Awards & Recognitions Banquet
6 – 8 pm
Keynote Speaker:  Laron Walker, President, Sciberus Inc., Decatur, Ga.
Friday, April 25 

Faculty Forum with the Dean
9 – 11:30 am
Rm 243, Boswell Bldg.

Student Forum with the Dean
2 – 3:30 pm
Rm 243, Boswell Bldg.

 

Saturday, April 26

TSUEAA Summit
9 am – 1 pm
Rm 163, RSP Bldg.
(Research and Sponsored Programs Bldg.)

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 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.

Commercial Real Estate Conference Kicks off at TSU Avon Williams Campus Thursday, April 17

Brian Bailey
Brian Bailey

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Brian Bailey, senior financial policy analyst at the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank, will be the keynote speaker at a one-day conference on “Commercial Real Estate Opportunities and Obstacles.”  The conference will take place Thursday, April 17 on the Avon Williams Campus at Tennessee State University.

Hosted by the Department of Economics and Finance in the College of Business, the conference will also include two panels of experts. One panel will comprise industry experts who are actively involved in various types of commercial real estate, such as office, warehouse, multi-family housing, and residential construction.

Another panel comprising bankers from Middle Tennessee will discuss lending to the commercial real estate industry.

According to conference organizers, Bailey, a lead reviewer in the “annual stress tests” conducted on the nation’s largest financial institutions, will focus his presentation on commercial real estate trends in the Southeast market.

Some of the real estate and banking institutions participating in the conference are CBRE Multi-family Group, Chas. Hawkins Co., Inc., Boyle Investments, Regent Homes, the Bank of Nashville, Regions Bank, Capstar Bank, US Bank and Pinnacle Financial Partners.

The conference will start promptly at 8 a.m. with registration in the Atrium. Cost to attend the conference is $50 per person, or $275 for a table to seat six persons.

For ticket or other information contact Dr. Jerry W. Crigger at (615) 717-7393 or jcrigger@tnstate.edu.

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 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, MADD Host Power Conference Wednesday, April 16

Area Colleges and Universities Collaborate to Tackle Underage Drinking Problem

 

MADD-Power-Conference-Flier-1NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – In May of 1996, the car Phaedra Marriott-Olsen was driving was hit nearly head on when a driver crossed the centerline into oncoming traffic. The driver had a .08 blood alcohol content level but was never charged with a DUI since the legal limit at the time was .10 in Missouri.

She spent the next five and a half weeks on life support after the crash that left her paralyzed. But as she picked up the pieces of her life, she was determined to turn a tragedy into a positive message. From her hospital bed she worked to put an end to drunk driving by allowing students to visit her hospital room to see first-hand the effects of drinking and driving.

Marriott-Olsen, now a program specialist for Mothers Against Drunk Driving Tennessee, will bring her message of hope and inspiration to Tennessee State University as colleges and universities across Middle Tennessee join forces with MADD to tackle underage drinking.

The Power Conference will take place at the University Wednesday, April 16 from 10:15 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. in the Cox-Lewis Theater in the Performing Arts Center. Marriott-Olsen and Kathy Kilgore-Beeler, the mother of a 19-year old drunk-driving victim, will share their powerful stories of turning tragedy into destiny and the power of influence.

During the conference, participants will learn how to leverage the Power of You(th) to make a difference, and how to be a part of a campaign to stop underage drinking during the upcoming prom and graduation season. Power of You(th) materials and messaging will be available to help encourage students to take a stand with peers against underage drinking.

The conference is also an opportunity to get the word out about the upcoming PowerTalk 21® day on April 21. The day has been set aside to encourage parents everywhere to talk to their kids about alcohol, using a free online workbook available through MADD.

Students and administrators from all area colleges and universities are invited to attend. For more information on the Power Conference, contact Michelle Rozell, coordinator of volunteer resources with MADD Tennessee, at 615.360.8055 or michelle.rozell@madd.org

 

 

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. With the help of those who want a safer future, MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end this danger on America’s roads. PowerTalk 21® is the national day for parents to talk with their kids about alcohol, using the proven strategies of Power of Parents® to reduce the risk of underage drinking. And as one of the largest victim services organizations in the U.S., MADD also supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every 8.6 minutes through local MADD victim advocates.

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 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.

CAHNS Closes Out Ag Week with Recognition of Top Teacher, Young Researcher, Students of the Year

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Dr. Chandra Reddy, Dean of the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, left, and Dr. Patricia Crook, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, right, present Dr. Sujata Guha with her award as Outstanding Teacher, during a ceremony in the Ferrell-Westbrook Auditorium. Photo by John Cross (TSU Media Relations) See more photos on Flickr http://ow.ly/vHtsp

 

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – From teacher of the year to the top young researcher and most outstanding student, the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences Friday recognized its top performers of 2014.

The ceremony culminated the celebration of CAHN Week, including activities dedicated to each major science program in the College, a Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences Day; and the launching of a Professional Science Master’s in Applied Geospatial Sciences.

Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of CAHNS, assisted by Dr. Patricia Crook, associate vice president for Academic Affairs, presented certificates and cash awards to the honorees during a ceremony in the Ferrell-Westbrook Research Complex Auditorium on the main campus.

Staff, faculty and students of CAHNS, as well as other senior TSU administration officials and representatives of the various colleges, as well as stakeholders from other institutions and agencies attended the ceremony.

Those honored were:

Dr. Sujata Guha, Outstanding Teacher– Described as a “committed and engaging teacher,” Dr. Guha, associate professor of Chemistry, reaches out to students of varied educational backgrounds to effectively communicate important concepts. She has worked with academically challenged students and students with learning disabilities to build their self-confidence and organizational skills. As Graduate Program Coordinator, Dr. Guha developed and implemented student learning outcomes, mentored and counseled students, and helped them with making career choices. An 11-year member of the TSU faculty, Dr. Guha has published a textbook, Fundamentals of General Chemistry: Part I.

Dr. Karla Addesso, Outstanding Young Researcher – In 2012 Dr. Addesso joined the TSU Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences as an assistant professor. In less than two years, Dr. Addesso has authored or coauthored several research articles in two referee journals and Extension publications. She holds a Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Florida, and a B.S. in Biology from the College of New Jersey.

Ikenna Okekeogbu, Outstanding (Doctoral) Graduate Student – A Ph.D. student in the Department of Biological Science, Okekeogbu’s research is focused on the identification and analysis of aluminum-regulated protein and genes in tomato plant. He is a member of the American Society of Plant Biologists, Crop Society of America, and the American Society of Agronomy. He is interested in utilization of molecular research to address the issue of global food security.

Also recognized were: Justine Stefanski, Outstanding Extension Agent; Tamla Thompson, Outstanding Administrative Support; Sarabjti Bhatti, Outstanding Technical Support; Zinia Jaman, Outstanding (Master’s) Graduate Student; Derek Jerome Platt, Outstanding Undergraduate Student – College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences; Kourtney Daniels, Outstanding Undergraduate Student – Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; and Johnathan A. Fitzgerald, Outstanding Undergraduate Student – Department of Biological Sciences

For their cash awards, Drs. Guha and Addesso, and Stefanski received $1,000 each; Bhatti, Thompson, Okekeogbu and Jaman $500 each; Platt, Daniels and Fitzgerald $350 each.

Special awards were also presented to:

Hubert Hamer, Outstanding Alumnus – Hubert, a 1980 graduate of TSU with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Science, is the director of the USDA Division of National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Dr. Herb Byrd III, Outstanding Partner – Dr. is the director of Extension Evaluation and Staff Development of the University of Tennessee and human resource officer for the Institute of Agriculture.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 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.

Ag Majors Receive Cash Prizes for Winning Top Spots at First TSU Farm Bureau Collegiate Meet

From left (front row) Agricultural Science majors Rachel Gregory, Rickey Jackson, Leah Symonnette won top prizes at the first Farm Bureau Collegiate Discussion Meet organized by TSU. Standing, from left, are Dan Strasser, of the Tennessee Farm Bureau; Dr. John Hall, coordinator of the TSU event; and Randy Abrams, also of the Farm Bureau. (courtesy photo)
From left (front row) Agricultural Science majors Rachel Gregory, Rickey Jackson, Leah Symonnette won top prizes at the first Farm Bureau Collegiate Discussion Meet organized by TSU. Standing, from left, are Dan Strasser, of the Tennessee Farm Bureau; Dr. John Hall, coordinator of the TSU event; and Randy Abrams, also of the Farm Bureau. (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Three undergraduate students from the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences at Tennessee State University took home cash prizes for their “exceptional” performance at the inaugural TSU Farm Bureau Collegiate Discussion Meet held on campus April 3.

Freshman Leah Symonette, of Mt. Juliet, took first prize and received $700; junior Rachel Gregory, of Gallatin, placed second and received $400; and Rickey Jackson, a senior from Rossville, placed third and received $200. The three Tennessee natives are all Agricultural Science majors.

Symonette and Gregory, as first and second place winners, will go on to compete in the state contest to be held at the Tennessee Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference in Columbia, Tenn., in July.

According to Dr. John Hall, assistant professor of Agricultural Education and Leadership and coordinator of the event at TSU, Collegiate Discussion Meets are designed to simulate committee meetings with “active and thoughtful participation” from contestants.

The discussion at the inaugural TSU collegiate meet centered on: “U.S. agriculture is one of the major industries for the American economy; what can farmers do to stimulate more economic growth?”

The Tennessee Farm Bureau organized the TSU contest, while the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation sponsored the cash prizes for top participants. Dan Strasser, director of Special Programs for the Tennessee Farm Bureau; and Randy Abrams, of the 2nd Ave. Farm Bureau Agency in Nashville, were on hand to represent the Bureau.

For more information about Tenn. Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers program, contact Strasser at (931) 388-7872 ext. 2214 or dstrasser@tfbf.com. For information about TSU’s Collegiate Discussion Meet, contact Dr. Hall at (615) 963-5139 or jhall33@tnstate.edu.

 

 

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 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.