Category Archives: FACULTY

TSU Professor Named 2015 Nashville Athena Award Winner

Dr. Kimberlee Wyche-Etheridge
Dr. Kimberlee Wyche-Etheridge

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Each year during Women’s History Month in March, Nashville, honors women leaders who inspire others to achieve excellence in their own professional and personal lives with the Athena Award.

This year the award went to a professor from Tennessee State University who exemplifies, “leadership, superior performance, commitment to community, and unselfish assistance to women and women’s issues.”

Dr. Kimberlee Wyche-Etheridge, assistant director of Public Health Initiatives in the College of Health Sciences, received the award Thursday, March 26 during a ceremony held at the Parthenon in Centennial Park. She was selected from a talented and diverse group of 23 individuals

“It is a great honor to be named the 2015 Athena Award recipient and to have the work of my career recognized and celebrated,” said Wyche-Etheridge.

A licensed physician, specializing in family and community health, Wyche-Etheridge is responsible for improving the health and wellbeing of the Tennessee State University campus, as well as the larger Nashville community through integrating the College of Health Sciences into the community for opportunities for service and learning. She is also the founder of the public health consulting firm, WycheEffect LLC.

From its beginning, the Nashville Athena Award Program has been and continues to be a unique community-supported program, organized and sponsored through the collaborative efforts of local women’s organizations in partnership with local businesses and individual sponsors, unlike other cities which rely upon their local Chamber of Commerce. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Athena’s spirit lives on in those individuals who use their vision and persistence to excel while reaching out and opening the way for women across Nashville and Middle Tennessee, according to the organization’s website.

 

 

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 42 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 42 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.

SoBran CEO Amos L. Otis Featured Speaker to Close Out Research Symposium April 3

Cropped_Otis_Amos
Amos L. Otis

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Amos L. Otis, founder, president and CEO of SoBran Inc., will be the featured speaker for the Awards Luncheon and official Closing Ceremony of the University-Wide Research Symposium Friday, April 3. The event begins at noon and takes place in the Farrell-Westbrook Auditorium, located on the main campus.

Every year, the Research Symposium serves as a foundation to provide students with authentic experiences in presenting their research before advancing to regional, national and international research symposia, and prior to professional careers. Now in its 37th year, the weeklong symposium will officially close April 3 as students are presented with awards for their scholarly presentations.

The 2015 Research Mentorship Award will also be presented to an honored faculty member for serving as a mentor and/or advisor to the greatest number of winning student research entries, while a new member is inducted into the Million Dollar Research Club.

Amos Otis founded SoBran Inc., in 1987 after a distinguished 21-year career as an Air Force officer. He has led SoBran from a lean start-up in the basement of his Fairfax County, Virginia, home to a $63 million dollar company with three divisions. The divisions include BioScience, Engineering and Logistics, and SafeMail® and Security. SoBran consistently appears on the Inc. Magazine “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and the Black Enterprise “Top 100 Industrial Service List.”

Throughout its growth, Otis has guided SoBran based on the foundation of the Air Force values Integrity, Service and Excellence.

Otis has been recognized for his management and entrepreneurial skills as well as his civic leadership. He was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Cincinnati Branch in 2012. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Dayton Development Coalition, and a life member of the NAACP. He has also been profiled in Black Enterprise magazine as an innovator in workforce readiness.

One of his passions is educational opportunity for deserving youths. Otis has established a number of scholarships and endowments including the SoBran/Scoman Educational Scholarship Endowment at Tennessee State University at Nashville. In Montgomery, Alabama, he established the Brenda Faye Otis-Lee Educational Scholarship at the St. Jude Educational Institute.

Otis has consulted for the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences for Post-Doctoral Programs and The National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education. He is Treasurer of the Tennessee State University Education Foundation Board, and chairs its Finance Committee.

In addition, Otis chairs the Beta Nu Boule’ Education Foundation of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity and he is a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.

While in the Air Force, Otis served as a Titan II ICBM combat crew commander; USAF Plant representative at Hughes Aircraft Corporation, a cost analyst for the Aeronautical Systems Division (General Officer’s staff), and comptroller for the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing (Kunsan, South Korea). He has also served as a professor of Air Science for the District of Columbia’s AFROTC Detachment at Howard University, and as program manager at the Air Force Office of Scientific Research’s Special Programs.

Otis holds a bachelor’s degree from Tennessee State University, an MBA from The California State University System, and a master’s of Military Art and Science from Air University.

For more information on the Research Symposium, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/research/or contact Nannette Carter Martin, co-chair at 615.963.5827, or Tamara Rogers, co-chair at 615.963.1520.

 

RELATED

37th Annual University-Wide Research Symposium set for March 30 – April 3

Noted Molecular Geneticist Georgia M. Dunston Featured Symposium Keynote Speaker March 30

 

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 42 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.

Noted Molecular Geneticist Georgia M. Dunston Featured Symposium Keynote Speaker March 30

Address officially Kicks off 37h Annual University-Wide Research Symposium

DunstonNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Dr. Georgia M. Dunston, the founding director of the National Human Genome Center (NHGC) at Howard University (HU), and Director of Molecular Genetics in the NHGC, will be the featured keynote speaker officially opening the University-Wide Research Symposium Monday, March 30.

The keynote address is free and open to the public, and will take place in the E.T. Goins Recital Hall, located in the Performing Arts Center on the main campus, beginning at 2 p.m.

Now in its 37th year, the symposium will take place at the University March 30-April 3. The Research Symposium serves as a foundation to provide students with authentic experiences in presenting their research before advancing to regional, national and international research symposia, and prior to professional careers.

Georgia M. Dunston, Ph.D., is professor and former chair of the Department of Microbiology, Howard University College of Medicine; the founding director of the National Human Genome Center (NHGC) at Howard University (HU), and director of Molecular Genetics in the NHGC.

Dunston received a Bachelor of Science degree degree in biology from Norfolk State University, a Master of Science degree in Biology from Tuskegee University, and Ph.D. in Human Genetics from the University of Michigan. She performed post-doctoral work in Tumor Immunology at the National Institutes of Health in the Laboratory of Immunodiagnosis, National Cancer Institute.

Dunston is an established investigator, nationally and internationally known for genetic research on human leukocyte antigen (HLA) polymorphisms in African Americans.  Her research on human genome variation in disease susceptibility has been the vanguard of current efforts at Howard University to build national and international research collaborations focusing on the genetics of diseases common in African Americans and other African Diaspora populations.

She served on the National Advisory Council for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; the Genetic Basis of Disease Review Committee for the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences Review Committee on Human Genome Diversity Project. Under Dunston’s leadership, the NHGC has been instrumental in bringing multicultural perspectives and resources to an understanding of knowledge gained from the Human Genome Project and research on human genome variation.

Dunston currently co-leads a newly formed biophysics research and development group at Howard University that is exploring functional aspects of common variation and population genetics from first principles of thermodynamics and statistical physics (i.e., “genodynamics”). Her passion is building community-academic partnerships that connect the African Diaspora to the global genome revolution in knowledge on health and human identity. Her research addresses the power of genome variation and population diversity in decoding the Genome Story: From human origins, migrations, adaptation, and transformation to liberation.

For more information on the Research Symposium, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/research/or contact Nannette Carter Martin, co-chair at 615.963.5827, or Tamara Rogers, co-chair at 615.963.1520.


RELATED

37th Annual University-Wide Research Symposium set for March 30 – April 3

Sobran CEO Amos L. Otis Featured Speaker to Close Out Research Symposium April 3

 

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 42 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 Data Sciences Workshop April 16-17 to Draw More than 100 Experts from the United States and China

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Billed as “the next big thing,” data science, a discipline or study that combines mathematics, statistics and computer science, is becoming the leading driver in innovation, competition and productivity.

The demand for professionals in this relatively new and rising discipline is high, as universities scramble to develop comprehensive data science degree programs to graduate data scientists.

Tennessee State University is looking to play a major role in bringing about greater awareness to a discipline that reports estimate will create 4 million data science-related positions in the United States by 2018.

On April 16, the University will host the first annual workshop on data sciences that is expected to bring together more than 100 data science researchers from over 20 universities and institutions in the United States and China.

The two-day workshop on the theme, “High Dimensional Data Analysis,” is expected to bring experts from national institutions such as Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Memphis, Tuskegee University, the University of Tennessee Knoxville, Vanderbilt University, and China’s Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology.

Speakers and participants are also expected from Middle Tennessee State University, Jacksonville University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

On July 11, 2013, TSU and MTSU signed a memorandum of understanding to “develop strategic areas of research in data sciences.” The MOU called for the creation of a joint institution for data sciences that would seek to participate in and enhance faculty and student research training programs.

With funding from NASA EPSCoR, Dr. Ali Sekmen, professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science, said the data sciences workshop is an offshoot of the MOU with MTSU.

“Tennessee State University wants to be a major player in data sciences,” Sekmen said. “We have all of the various disciplines being offered on our campus, and this is the reason why we are combining our efforts with all of the key areas including computer science, mathematics, engineering, and agriculture resources to promote this workshop.”

Sekmen said the workshop would include mini lectures on mathematical background for faculty and graduate students on the first day before going into the research and technical aspects of data sciences on the second day. Additionally, there will be concurrent sessions for undergraduate students at a less technical level.

“Because of the highly technical nature of data sciences, we want to make sure everyone, especially students are on the same page when we begin to discuss the specifics of the discipline,” Sekmen said.

The workshop, also sponsored by the National Science Foundation and TN-SCORE, is free but registration is required. For registration and questions, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/computer_science/datascience/committee.aspx .

 

 

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 42 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 Leader Launches “Walk with the President” to Promote Healthy Living on Campus

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NASHVILLE, Tenn.
(TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover is launching “Walk with the President,” starting Monday morning, March 2 in an effort to promote healthy habits and fitness on campus. The walk will take place each Monday around the track at Hale Stadium, beginning at 6 a.m.

She is calling on faculty, staff and students to join her in this initiative.

“This effort is geared toward us encouraging each other to live much healthier lives,” Dr. Glover said. “Earlier this year we started this effort in our campus cafeteria and dining services by offering more green and vegetable choices. ‘Walk with the President’ is just a continuation of that effort.”

The Director of the Wellness Center at TSU, Gerald Davis II, called “Walk with the President” a great idea that will give students, faculty and staff “another avenue” to engage in cardiovascular activities.

“This will help them to relieve stress and weight loss in maintaining good health,” he said.

Solving the issue of obesity and unhealthy dieting is a national challenge, and TSU, as an educational institution, has a major role is battling this epidemic, the president noted.

“The lack of regular forms of exercise is a major risk factor in developing illnesses and other forms of disease,” she said.

Studies support the President’s assertion. A recent National Institutes of Health study gives an overwhelming evidence that proves the notion that reductions in daily physical activity are primary causes of chronic diseases.

In Tennessee, the situation is even dire. The state now has the fourth highest adult obesity rate in the nation, according to The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America, published in 2013. Tennessee’s adult obesity rate is 33.7 percent, up from 25.6 percent in 2004 and from 11.1 percent in 1990.

“We know ‘Walk with the President’ will not solve all of our problems, but it is a beginning and I am asking all of our faculty, staff, students and anyone else who is interested to join us in this worthy cause for healthy living,” Dr. Glover 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 42 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.

USDA Selects Two Tennessee State University Students to Attend National Summit

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Two students from Tennessee State University have been selected to attend a national conference sponsored by the United States Agriculture Department aimed at introducing university students to future trends, scientific research and agricultural policy in today’s real-world environment.

Alexis Allen (left), a junior concentrating in Agribusiness, and Alison Leathers (right), a graduate student concentrating in Agricultural Education, Leadership & Extension, share a moment with Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, upon the USDA announcement sending the pair to Virginia. Allen and Leathers  are among only thirty students selected from across the country to attend the USDA’s 2015 Agricultural Outlook Forum.
Alexis Allen (left), a junior concentrating in Agribusiness, and Alison Leathers (right), a graduate student concentrating in Agricultural Education, Leadership & Extension, share a moment with Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, upon the USDA announcement sending the pair to Virginia. Allen and Leathers are among only thirty students selected from across the country to attend the USDA’s 2015 Agricultural Outlook Forum.

Alexis Allen, a junior concentrating in Agribusiness, and Alison Leathers, a graduate student concentrating in Agricultural Education, Leadership & Extension, are among only 30 students selected from across the country to attend the USDA’s 2015 Agricultural Outlook Forum February 19-20 in Arlington, Virginia.

The Forum, titled “Smart Agriculture in the 21st Century,” is not only designed to introduce students to contemporary agribusiness, future trends, scientific research, and agricultural, as well as give them the chance to lay the groundwork for a future in agriculture, hear speakers from diverse backgrounds, and help them expand their opportunities in their chosen fields.

“This is an excellent opportunity for two of our best and brightest students,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences. “This forum will allow them to network with some of the USDA’s top officials, leaders in the agricultural industry and their peers from across the country. It will also help set them up for successful futures in agriculture.”

The USDA selected 20 university junior and senior students from across the country to attend the conference based on an essay on “Agriculture as a Career,” and 10 graduate students based on their essay, “The Greatest Challenge Facing Agriculture over the next Five Years.” The students were selected from 1862 and 1890 Land-Grant Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and Non-Land-Grant Agricultural and Renewable Resources Universities.

Allen, from Detroit, came to TSU in the fall of 2014 after completing an associate’s degree at Wayne County Community College. She is excited about the opportunity to attend the conference and would eventually like to work as a food inspector, either through the USDA or the private sector.

“I think I am most looking forward to the diversity and depths of topics that will be presented,” said Allen. “I hope to gain more in-depth understanding to supplement the things I’m learning in class at TSU.”

Leathers, from Preston, Minnesota, received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and is looking forward to the forum and the opportunities it will create toward helping her achieve her career goal of becoming an Extension agent and a third-generation farmer.

“It will be an excellent learning experience and opportunity to network and meet students and important agricultural leaders,” she said. “I am excited to represent TSU and advocate for our land-grant university system.”

 

RELATED STORIES

TSU’s Roy Bullock inducted into George Washington Carver Public Service Hall of Fame

 

 

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 42 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 Names Dr. Michael Freeman as New VP for Student Affairs

Dr. Michael Freeman
Dr. Michael Freeman

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University has brought a familiar face back in naming Dr. Michael Freeman as the new associate vice president of Student Affairs.

From March 2013 up to his recent appointment, Freeman served as the assistant vice president and dean of Students at the University of South Florida. However, Freeman is no stranger to TSU, having spent nearly seven years at the University, also serving in the same role as vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management from 2006 until 2011, and assistant professor of Higher Education.

“I’m excited to be back at a place I know,” said Freeman. “It’s rare that you get a second, ‘first’ look at an institution and come back to work for a place that holds a special place in your heart.”

Freeman said he has a large task ahead of him as he will be a part of the TSU president’s senior cabinet, and will oversee the following departments: Residence Life, Career Services, Student Activities, Judicial Affairs, the Men and Women’s Centers, Campus and Wellness Centers, Health Services, Counseling, and Recreation and Intramurals.

But it is a task, he said, he is ready to tackle and will focus on three areas to help students prepare for their future.

According to Freeman, he wants to get the staff back to minimum levels to be able to deliver services and support to students, and focus on integrated planning and programing while creating deeper, more meaningful programs for students. He also plans on partnering with departments around campus to help students meet their goals.

“Ultimately, everything we do needs to be geared toward student success and their growth and development,” Freeman added.

But one of the biggest challenges Freeman sees is getting to know TSU in a “new” way.

“I want to make sure I see the University as it is today, and not how it was when I left a few years ago,” he said. “I want to know it in this moment and still be productive. TSU has its own spirit, pride and history, and I’m happy to be a part of this movement.”

Prior to his arrival to TSU in 2006, Freeman served as the vice president and Dean at Saint Mary’s College of Maryland from 1999-2006, as well as dean of Student Affairs from 1995-1999, director of Residence Life from 1987-1989 and associate director for Minority Recruitment and Services from 1984-1987 at the same institution. He also served as senior academic advisor and faculty member at John Hopkins University.

Freeman has a Bachelor of Science in General Studies in Psychology and Sociology, and a Master of Arts in Counselor Education from the University of Iowa, and Ph.D. in Counseling and Personnel Services from the University of Maryland.

 

RELATED STORIES
Dr. Alex Sekwat Returns as Interim Dean of Graduate Studies and Research 

Longtime educator, scientist named associate vice president for Research and Sponsored Programs at TSU

 

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 42 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.

Honda Turns Spotlight on TSU “Dream Maker”

Audrey Stradford
Audrey Stradford

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – For more years than some can remember, Audrey Stradford has been helping students realize their dreams of a college education. Known as “Miss Audrey” to many who have graced the halls of Tennessee State University, it is not uncommon to see her open her checkbook to help pay for a student’s textbook and tuition or buy them a hot meal.

It is because of this and many other acts of kindness and encouragement over the past three decades that Honda will recognize Stradford with the Power of Dreams Award during the Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase later this month in Atlanta.

“I was shocked and actually thought someone was pulling my leg,” said Stradford, who works as a financial aid assistant at the University. “I’ve always been one to work behind the scenes. I’ve been a giver my whole life and it is hard for me to be on the receiving end.”

An iconic figure at TSU for more than 30 years, Stradford will be the first to receive the Power of Dreams Award, meant to honor an individual who has helped HBCU culture thrive—by helping students achieve their dreams through positive support, guidance and leadership within the institution or community.

Michelle Allen, who wrote the nomination for the award, said Stradford is very deserving of the award and has made an impact on the lives of many a student over the years.

“’Miss Audrey’ has been very instrumental in the lives of students here on campus,” said Allen, TSU band office manager. “She helps them stay on track and stay focused on graduation. She has been a mother figure to many and does not do it for a reward, but out of the goodness of her heart.”

interview
“Miss Audrey,” as she is affectionally known as around campus, was recently interviewed for a spot that will air during the award presentation at the Honda Battle of the Bands Jan. 24 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. (photos by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

Stradford graduated from the University in 1966 with a degree in Sociology. She met her future husband at TSU and eventually moved to Detroit a few years later. But she always made sure to return for the annual Homecoming activities, missing only two over the years. However, it was her love for the school and the students that would keep her coming back a few times each year to volunteer in what ever capacity she could.

She has helped with everything from new student move in, homecoming activities, and encouraging students to remain in school and study hard, to eventually returning to Nashville 12 years ago and landing a job in the financial aid office.

Her main focus has been students over the decades and has reached out a helping hand to many who just needed a voice, a kind word of encouragement, or a motivational “kick in the pants” when they needed it.

According to Stradford, it is the joy of seeing “her” students graduate after sometimes struggling, that makes it all worth it for her.

“I have cried at many a graduation,” she said. “Sometimes I am the first one to receive a hug, even before their parents. The proudest moment for me is watching the students I’ve had an influence on walk across that stage and receive their diploma. And that gives me the greatest satisfaction and makes it all worth it.”

Stradford will receive formal recognition at the 13th Annual Honda Battle of the Bands Jan. 24 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. She will be there to cheer on TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands as they compete against seven other marching bands from HBCUs around the country. This year’s theme is “March On,” to remind to students and fans that life on and off the field is a journey, and no matter the challenge, the dream or what may lie ahead, learning never stops as long as you commit to “March On.”

 

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 42 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 Switching to Four-Day Class Schedule in Spring Semester 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) -Tennessee State University is moving to a four-day class schedule when school resumes for the spring 2015 semester, the University administration has announced.

Classes will be held Monday –Thursday but administrative offices and staff will still have a five-day workweek.

Officials said the change is intended to allow more time for student advising, faculty office hours, as well as free up more time for faculty and students to engage in research and grant writing.

They emphasized that the switch is to a four-day class schedule and not a four-day workweek, adding that employees are expected to be at work on Fridays.

Calling the switch a “pilot,” the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Mark Hardy, said all previous “contact hours” for courses would be maintained.

“This is an experiment for the spring semester,” he said. “If we find that it has no adverse impact on student performance and progression, we will continue it.”

He said Friday should not be misconstrued as a day-off for students.

“Once they see the benefit of having extra time to meet with faculty without interfering with class, being able to focus more time on research, and have more interactions with Student Affairs, they will embrace the idea,” the Vice President noted.

The switch, however, means longer class hours on Mondays and Wednesdays, with some classes starting earlier in the morning and some others ending much later in the evening. For instance, 50-minute classes will be extended to one hour and 20 minutes each.

The change does not affect evening and weekend classes, and it does not mean professors will be working less either. Fridays will only help them to focus more time on advising students and projects, said Hardy.

Although TSU is not the first institution in the nation to make the switch, it is the first university in the Tennessee Board of Regents system to condense classes to four days. Institutions that have adopted the change include Southern University in Baton Rouge, and Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville, Mississippi.

At TSU, students already think the switch is a great idea.

Student Government Association President Markeil Lewis has no doubt about widespread student support once they return and have been adequately informed about the switch.

“I love the new initiative of a four-day class schedule for students,” said Lewis, a senior from Stone Mountain, Georgia. “I personally found it hard through my matriculation to find the passion to actually attend class on Fridays, let alone be aware and attentive to actually learn. I do understand that we will have to be in classes slightly longer but this is something that students will accept once they understand the benefits.”

Tyrell Jones, a junior Math major from Brooklyn, New York, also “loves” the idea of the four-day class schedule, especially the benefit of an extended class hour.

“Now that means it gives teachers more time to teach and students enough time to take in the material for better understanding,” said Jones, a work-study student, who also serves as a tutor. “In many instances teachers are in a haste to cover all of their materials in 55 minutes, which does not allow enough time for questions and interaction with students. The extra time should be very helpful.”

Dr. Kimberly King-Jupiter, dean of the College of Education, said the four-day class schedule structures students’ academic experience because it offers fewer course meetings but more course time to engage students in meaningful discussion about course content.

“I am excited about the four-day class schedule,” King-Jupiter said. “Friday (or the fifth day of the week) gives faculty the opportunity to engage in discussions about or to conduct the research that enhances the quality of the instruction that they deliver in the classroom. It also helps them to engage in the type of assessment activities that are a hallmark of the University.”

Tennessee State University has continually remained on the cutting-edge of ideas and innovations that enhance student learning and success in unique ways. Last semester, the University established a digital book bundle initiative, the first in the TBR system that allows freshman students to buy “e-books” for general education classes, at savings of up to $735 per semester. The program is aimed at lowering the costs of traditional paper textbooks while ensuring freshmen have the required books the first day of class.

“We have a president who is innovative and always looking for new ways to help our students succeed,” said Hardy. “The four-day class schedule and our book bundle effort, which started last semester, are just some of the ways that demonstrate this administration’s commitment to providing an academic environment that promotes student success.”

 

 

Department of Media Relations

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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 42 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.