Category Archives: FACULTY

Tennessee State helps celebrate the life, legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University partnered with the Interdenominational Ministers’ Fellowship and the Nashville community to help celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Participants in MLK Day march head to TSU’s Gentry Complex for Convocation. (photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

Hundreds of people assembled in front of Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church on Monday, January 16, to march to TSU’s Gentry Complex for its annual Convocation honoring King.

Before the march, a youth program and rally were held at the church. TSU President Glenda Glover pumped up the crowd by reminding them of the historical role Nashville played during the Civil Rights Movement, as well as the strong participation of youth in that movement.

She said that same fervor should burn within youth today, and she lauded those who came out to honor King.

“We are so thankful that the youth movement is here,” Glover said. “It was youth like you who touched the consciousness of America. That torch has now been passed on to you who are present today. Let’s keep the flame burning.”

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, who has set a goal to find jobs for 10,000 youth this summer, said part of continuing King’s legacy means not ceasing to act on the things he fought for, like jobs.

“Today is about that speech that he gave so many years ago when he talked about his dream,” Barry said. “But you know what, before that speech, that march was called the march on Washington for jobs and freedom. So today it is about jobs, because we know if they (youth) have paid meaningful internships, that’s going to lead to opportunity, that’s going to lead to hope. Government can’t solve all the problems, but together, we can absolutely have an impact.”

Whether at the youth program and rally, or the Convocation, the collective message of this year’s King Day seemed to be the empowerment of today’s youth at a time of heightened social injustice, said many of the participants. The killing of young, unarmed black men by police has particularly caused tension across the country.

“It really brings to light what’s going on with our young people right now, and what he (King) really wanted for us,” said Avery Davis, who participated in the march.

Eric Johnson is dean of Vanderbilt University’s business school. He attended Monday’s MLK events with a large group of students and faculty from Vanderbilt.

Johnson said the current division within our nation makes MLK day “more poignant, and all the more reason for people to be out marching.”

TSU senior Kourtney Daniels agreed the police shootings, as well as the results of the recent presidential election, have seemingly taken the country back decades. But she said she always looks forward to honoring King, because doing so provides a dose of needed hope.

“It’s just a great day to get together with the community, reflect, and plan for the future,” Daniels said.

The Convocation’s keynote speaker, activist and educator Brittany Packnett, said before her speech that there’s still a lot of work to be done in terms of equality, but that we should all be undaunted, like King was.

“My message is to leave with a spirit of hope, with a spirit of power, and with a spirit of resistance for the work that lies ahead,” said Packnett, a co-founder of Campaign Zero and a member of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing and the Ferguson Commission.

Other Convocation participants included Dr. Glover, Mayor Barry, U.S. Congressman Jim Cooper, State Rep. Harold Love, Jr. and Dr. Shawn Joseph, director of Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools.

During the Convocation, the Interdenominational Ministers’ Fellowship presented $1,000 each to TSU, Fisk University, Meharry Medical College and American Baptist College for student scholarships.

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 38 undergraduate, 25 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 President Glenda Glover discusses initiatives to improve retention, graduation rates at spring 2017 Faculty and Staff Institute

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – TSU President Glenda Glover says the university is implementing initiatives to improve retention and graduation rates, and the overall success of its students.

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Dr. Glenda Glover addresses Faculty and Staff Institute, as Dr. Achintya Ray, Faculty Senate chair, and Staff Senate Chair Linda Goodman look on. (photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations).

Glover addressed the Faculty and Staff Institute for the spring 2017 semester on Monday, Jan. 9.

Like any higher education institution, she said TSU has its challenges, but she’s optimistic about what lies ahead for the university because of initiatives that will help it maintain a “legacy of excellence.”

“This is an exciting time,” said Glover, “because the history of TSU is still being written.”

Employees gathered in Kean Hall also heard from Dr. Mark Hardy, vice president for academic affairs; Dr. Achintya Ray, chair of the Faculty Senate; and Staff Senate Chair Linda Goodman, all of whom told faculty and staff they play a roll in the success of TSU.

“Let’s commit ourselves to excellence,” Ray said.

Glover outlined steps TSU is taking to help students graduate – and on time. One key initiative uses eight so-called coaches to help students with their “personal and educational goals,” Glover said.

“They will help students understand their goals, and how to work through barriers,” she said.

At the same time, Glover said the university wants to stay competitive and reputable, which is why it’s implementing higher admission standards. Beginning the fall of 2017, all students must have a 2.5 grade point average and a 19 on the ACT for admission to TSU. The previous admission scores were 2.25 or a 19 on the ACT for in-state students, and a 2.5 or 19 ACT for out-of-state students.

“Quality begets quality,” Glover said.

The president also discussed capital improvement and infrastructure enhancements. They include construction of a new Health Sciences building, as well as plans for new residence halls, and stadium enhancements.

Glover also touted TSU’s nationally-recognized research, which undoubtedly contributed to $54 million in new awards for funding grants last year, at least $3 million more than the previous year.

Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, TSU’s chief research officer, said the millions of dollars the university receives is a result of “faculty members working hard to create innovative ideas.”

“I’m excited that we have new funds that will give us an opportunity to work on some outstanding research, to solve some of the national problems and needs,” Young 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 38 undergraduate, 25 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 part of cutting-edge research aimed at reducing cancer disparities

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – This holiday season, cancer survivor Navita Gunter has a lot to be thankful for, mainly her life.

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Navita Gunter

But she’s not content with her own personal survival. Understanding her own struggle when she was stricken with cervical cancer several years ago, and finding little compassion and help, Gunter has vowed not to let that happen to another woman.

“My struggle gave me purpose and compassion for others,” she said.

Gunter, founder of the Cervical Cancer Coalition of Tennessee, has joined TSU as head of the community advisory board for a four-component cancer research project at the university.

The U54 Partnership to Eliminate Cancer Health Disparities, refunded recently by the National Cancer Institute for another five years, is a coalition involving TSU, Meharry Medical College and Vanderbilt University. Its goal is to create a model for eliminating disparities in cancer through education, prevention and treatment.

The components of the project are community outreach and engagement, smoking cessation, breast cancer awareness, and cancer research education.

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Mariam Boules, a senior biology major, works in Dr. Margaret Whalen’s research lab. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“The intent of this award is to reduce health disparities,” said Dr. Margaret Whalen, professor of chemistry, who heads the cancer research education component. “The specific disparities we are looking at is the disparity between the vast majority of people and certain groups, like African American, in terms of cancer incidence.”

Whalen’s role, she said, is educating students to get them interested in doing cancer research to try to broaden the number of individuals who engage in cancer research.

“If we have more people from different backgrounds engaging in cancer research who are able to understand and deal better with the disparities, they will be more interested in trying to address the situation.”

Although there has been substantial progress in cancer treatment, screening, diagnosis, and prevention over the past several decades, addressing cancer health disparities—such as higher cancer death rates, less frequent use of proven screening tests, and higher rates of advanced cancer diagnoses—in certain populations is an area in which progress has not kept pace, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Documented cancer health disparities include substantially higher rates of prostate cancer incidence and death among African American men than men of other racial/ethnic groups; and higher rates of kidney cancer among American Indian and Alaska Natives than other racial/ethnic groups.

Mariam Boules is Dr. Whalen’s student and a senior biology major with minors in psychology and chemistry. She said exposure to the cancer research has been enlightening.

“The research is teaching me a lot of new things,” Boules said. “Having to do hands-on in the lab for about eight hours a day and enjoying the stuff you are doing and learning about; all those compounds and how they affect our system and our cells is just amazing.”

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Dr. Rebecca Selove

In the case of smoking cessation, TSU scientists are looking at tobacco use and the health disparities it presents, especially the incidence of lung cancer death rate among African-American men.

“Our role at TSU is the design of behavioral intervention,” said Dr. Rebecca Selove, a clinical psychologist and research associate professor, who heads the smoking cessation component of the project. “This entails telling people about the program, and giving them information in general about how important it is to get that support if they are tobacco users.”

Selove said the intervention would be designed along with the Cancer Outreach Corp, and would involve counseling people about cessation and motivating them to sign up and stick with the program.

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Dr. Oscar Miller

Dr. Oscar Miller, chair and professor of sociology, heads the outreach component. He coordinates and maintains the activities of the community advisory board, which is comprised of experts in government and community organizations, whose mission is to help reduce cancer disparities and also to disseminate cancer research findings and information.

“One of the things we do is look at the researchers, or the research that is ongoing, and try to find community partners who have some expertise in that,” Miller said. “We meet about four times a year to discuss upcoming research projects, new areas of research, and help the researchers at the three institutions on how to include the community findings in their research.”

Gunter is excited about the cancer research, and what the future holds.

“The TSU project has expanded the research effort in this area and helped me touch more people than what I was touching before,” she said.

TSU’s involvement in cancer research, in particular, is far-reaching. Recently, renowned cancer specialist and TSU alum, Dr. Edith P. Mitchell, was part of a panel that made recommendations to help speed the development of cancer cures.

The Blue Ribbon Panel of scientific leaders and cancer patient advocates was formed to provide direction for Vice President Joe Biden’s National Moonshot Initiative, which aims to make more therapies available to more patients, while also improving efforts to prevent cancer and detect it at an early stage.

“As members of the panel, we were able to take what we know from experience and working with cancer research to come up with these recommendations, which we are certain will help the vice president in his work,” Mitchell 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 38 undergraduate, 25 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.

Dr. Edith Mitchell, Noted Cancer Specialist, TSU Graduate Named to Biden’s Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Renowned cancer specialist and TSU alum, Dr. Edith P. Mitchell, is part of a panel that recently submitted 10 cutting-edge scientific recommendations to help speed the development of cancer cures.

Mitchell, clinical professor and director of the Sidney Kimmel Center to Eliminate Cancer Disparities at Thomas Jefferson University, served on the Blue Ribbon Panel of scientific leaders and cancer patient advocates named to provide direction for Vice President Joe Biden’s National Moonshot Initiative.

President Obama announced the $1 billion initiative as part of his State of the Union Address in January and named Biden to head it. The Moonshot aims to make more therapies available to more patients, while also improving efforts to prevent cancer and detect it at an early stage.

In September, Mitchell’s panel submitted their report, with recommendations aimed at the Moonshot goal of making 10 years of progress in five years.

“Serving on the Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel is one of the most exciting things that has occurred in my career,” said Mitchell, who is also outgoing president of the National Medical Association. “As members of the panel, we were able to take what we know from experience from cancer and working with cancer research to come up with these recommendations, which we are certain will help the vice president in his work.”

The panel recommended that the Moonshot consider the following:

  • Establish a network for direct patient involvement
  • Create a clinical trials network devoted exclusively to immunotherapy
  • Develop ways to overcome resistance to therapy
  • Build a national cancer data ecosystem
  • Intensify research on the major drivers of childhood cancers
  • Minimize cancer treatment’s debilitating side effects
  • Expand use of proven prevention and early detection strategies
  • Mine past patient data to predict future patient outcomes
  • Develop a 3D cancer atlas
  • Develop new cancer technologies

Mitchell, a retired Air Force brigadier general, is one of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s nominees for Tennessee State’s University Board of Trustees.

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 38 undergraduate, 25 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.

More Than 500 Graduates Receive Degrees at Tennessee State University Fall Commencement

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – More than 500 received undergraduate and graduate degrees Dec. 10 when Tennessee State University held its fall commencement in the Howard C. Gentry Complex on the university’s main campus.

Prominent civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump gave the keynote address.

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A participant in the TSU fall 2016 graduation ceremony peruses the commencement program as she waits to receive her degree. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

He told the graduates that with their degrees they have the foundation to chart any course in their lives.

“Many of you graduating today already have solid foundation from your upbringing,” Crump said. “With your graduation today, Tennessee State University has added value to that foundation that will determine your path and success in life.”

Crump is the noted Florida lawyer who represented the families of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Terence Crutcher in police shooting cases that made headlines around the world. Crump was also an advocate in the Robbie Tolan police brutality U.S. Supreme Court case, as well as the Martin Lee Anderson boot camp death case.

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More than 500 graduates participated in TSU’s fall 2016 commencement in the Howard C. Gentry Complex on Dec. 10. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“You graduates are the very best that we have to offer. You are the hope of your grandfathers and grandmothers,” Crump said. “Like many before you, your are going to face situations you cannot control. But the only thing you can control is your attitude and your perspective at how you are going to address whatever situation you find yourselves in.”

On social justice, he referred to the graduates as “the fortunate ones” with the moral obligation to stem out injustices and abuse in their communities.

“You’re the ones who are going to have the good jobs, you have the education, you have the talent, and if you don’t speak up for our community, if you don’t stand up for our community, if you don’t fight for our community, then who will,” Crump said.

Jeremy Johnson, who received a bachelor’s degree in history and political science, was touched by Crump’s assertion about abuse and injustice.

“His speech is a wake-up call to action,” Johnson said. “There is so much injustice around us everyday but many of us do nothing and behave as if everything is fine.”

TSU President Glenda Glover described Crump’s speech as “thought-provoking and very inspiring.” She congratulated the graduates for their accomplishment.

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

Ravyn L. Morgan, a criminal justice major, was recognized for graduating summa cum laude, with the highest grade point average. She was presented with the Student Academic Excellence Award for her accomplishment.

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 38 undergraduate, 25 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 Master of Science in Nursing Program Ranked No. 2 in the Nation; Highly Qualified Faculty, Flexible Schedule, Low Tuition Cited

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The graduate nursing program at Tennessee State University is among the best in the nation.

top-masters-in-healthcare-administration-best-schools-2016-264x300In a recent survey, the TSU Master of Science in Nursing degree was ranked No. 2 among the 50 Best Graduate Nursing Schools in America.

Top Master’s in Healthcare Administration, which conducted the ranking of 2016 Best Schools, said flexible scheduling, highly qualified faculty, and extremely reasonable tuition were factors that helped TSU to achieve the high ranking.

All of the TSU MSN programs – Family Nursing Practice, Holistic Nursing, and Nursing Education – are offered day and evening on campus, as well as online. Students may also choose to attend part-time or full-time, with an option to attend summer sessions to accelerate their pace.

“We are extremely excited about this high ranking,” said Dr. Maria Revell, director of the TSU MSN program. “It has taken a lot of hard work on the part of faculty, staff and students to get this program to where it is. We are extremely delighted about this national recognition.”

Currently, 314 students are registered in the TSU MSN program, making it one of the largest concentrations and student success programs on campus, Revell said.

The program has a 98 percent job placement rate for those who complete the program, she said.

“We have done course revision, we work closely with students, we have an open door policy, we have faculty who are available, accessible and who work online, and on the phone with students,” Revell said.

Kai-L Cobb will graduate from the program during TSU’s fall commencement on Dec. 10. A registered nurse for five years, she earned her bachelor’s and associate’s degrees in nursing at TSU, following in her mother’s footsteps. She said strong academic offerings and faculty/student relationships are major factors.

“One thing that really makes us successful in this program is our access to faculty,” Cobb said.  “The office visits, after-hour communication and access to my teachers through emails and phone calls, really help me, especially with my work schedule.”

Meaghan White, who will also receive her MSN degree during the fall commencement, said it is a good feeling to say, “ I graduated” from the second best graduate nursing program in the nation.

“That is a wonderful feeling to be able to say that; it’s an awesome feeling,” White added.

The high ranking of the MSN program comes on the heels of another recent major achievement for TSU.

The Wall Street Journal listed the university among its top 10 historically black colleges and universities.

The WSJ/THE College Rankings, which put TSU at No. 10, was released Nov. 21 and used categories such as academic resources and graduate outcomes to determine rankings.

For more information on the TSU MSN program and all other programs in the College of Health Sciences, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/health_sciences/.

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 38 undergraduate, 25 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 Hosts 90th Birthday Bash for Former Administrator Homer R. Wheaton

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University had a birthday bash for one of its noted sons: Homer R. Wheaton.

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TSU President Glenda Glover was among former colleagues, students, friends and family of Homer Wheaton, who packed Jane Elliott Hall Auditorium to honor the former TSU administrator. (Submitted photo by Grant Winrow)

Under the theme, “Everybody Loves Mr. Wheaton,” the university hosted a formal reception in a packed Jane Elliott Hall Auditorium on Dec. 9 with family, former colleagues, students and friends to honor the man many refer to as “an instrument of change.” Wheaton turns 90 on Dec. 19, which TSU has declared Homer Wheaton Day.

“The fact people feel this much about me to hold such a wonderful reception in my honor is just a great feeling; I am just grateful,” said Wheaton, surrounded by his wife, Vesta; son, Kevin; and daughter Rise Wheaton Pope, and their families.

“This institution has made such a tremendous contribution to the life that I ended up having. I never would assume that I would have had the life that I had, to be able to meet and help a lot of people to achieve success. This is something I feel good about. I have a very strong commitment to helping people.”

Over a span of nearly 50 years, Wheaton served TSU as director of Field Services and Extension, special assistant to former TSU President Walter Davis, director of Financial Aid, and vice president of University Relations and Development.

As part of the Dec. 9 celebration, the university launched the “$90 For Ninety Scholarship Fundraiser” in support of Wheaton’s continued philanthropic endeavors at the institution.

TSU President Glenda Glover, a TSU alum, touted Wheaton’s generosity, which she said made it possible for her to stay in school when her parents could not afford her semester tuition. She referred to Wheaton as a “servant leader and legend at TSU, who is caring, trustworthy and giving.”

“Wheaton’s name rings success among students,” Glover said. “His name is synonymous with student success. So, today is indeed a special moment in the history of our institution, as we pay tribute to a man who epitomizes love for TSU. He has touched the lives of so many.”

As director of financial aid, Wheaton did not only help thousands of students secure funding to attend TSU, he personally helped students to thrive and succeed, said Grant Winrow, special assistant to President Glover and director of special projects.

Winrow said Wheaton’s “tough love” helped him stay on track as a student at TSU.

“Mr. Homer Wheaton is the definition of a legend in higher education,” said Winrow, who spearheaded the effort to honor Wheaton. “He is legendary in the sense of how many people he’s impacted.”

Gospel legend Dr. Bobby Jones, a TSU alum and former professor, was among those who paid tribute to Wheaton.

“I have known Homer Wheaton for years because we worked at the same institution,” Jones said. “I had to come to show my support today.”

While Wheaton will always be known for supporting and encouraging students to stay in school, many credit him for his sense of persuasion that led to the recruitment of legendary football coach John Merritt, and subsequently placed TSU on the world map for its winning ways.

It is reported that when Merritt would not accept President Davis’ offer of the coaching position, Davis gave Wheaton the assignment of influencing the coach to accept. With Homer’s intervention, Merritt did not only accept the offer, but along came Joe Gilliam, Sr., and Alvin Coleman, Sr., as part of Merritt’s staff. Gilliam and Coleman would become legends themselves.

“Influencing John Merritt to accept the position of head football coach at the university is one of my favorites stories,” Wheaton said in a 2006 interview for TSU Alumni Life magazine. “During the next 20 years that Merritt was our football coach, we did not have a single losing season. He won many national championships and established records with respect to the number of players drafted by the NFL.”

To contribute to the Homer R. Wheaton Scholarship Fund, visit: http://www.tnstate.edu/alumni/wheaton.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 38 undergraduate, 25 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 awarded $2 million grant from UNCF for student job placement improvements

By K. Dawn Rutledge

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University has been awarded a $2 million grant as part of the United Negro College Fund® Career Pathways Initiative.

careerpathwayslogo800hero2The pilot program, made possible through $35.3 million in funding by the Lilly Endowment Inc., will enable selected historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and predominately black institutions (PBIs) to address social and economic issues of minority graduation, unemployment and underemployment.

TSU will use the money to enhance its student career development initiatives.

“The UNCF Career Pathways Initiative Grant will give TSU the capacity to better leverage strategic partnerships between our faculty, staff, employers, entrepreneurs and alumni to impact student career exploration, readiness and access,” said Eloise Abernathy Alexis, TSU’s associate vice president for Institutional Advancement.

UNCF launched CPI in December 2016 through a rigorous and competitive multi-phased grant process that targeted 87 eligible public and private HBCUs and PBIs. In the first phase, UNCF made planning grants to 30 institutions. In the final phase, UNCF chose 24 colleges and universities for implementation grants. Of those schools, 15 will receive awards ranging from $1 million to $1.5 million. Nine of the institutions have been selected for three cluster grants, and will receive up to $6 million to collaborate to achieve shared outcomes.

“These colleges and universities show promise in significantly addressing the urgent challenges facing African-American college students and graduates,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, UNCF president and CEO.

Tennessee State is among the cluster recipients working in partnership with Morgan State University and Norfolk State University on a joint effort incorporating learning activities, internship exchanges, and linking students through employer clusters, among other initiatives.

“As we implement a framework to increase career outcomes and opportunities for TSU students, we will add to the national body of knowledge on career pathways, within the context of public, historically black colleges and universities, as part of our cluster engagement with Morgan State University and Norfolk State University,” Alexis 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 38 undergraduate, 25 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.

Job Market Shows Promise for Tennessee State University 2016 Graduates

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A number of Tennessee State University students graduating on Dec. 10 have gotten early Christmas presents: jobs.

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Graduates prepare to receive their degrees during the Fall 2015 Commencement ceremony in the Gentry Complex. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

More than 600 undergraduate and graduate students will receive degrees in various disciplines when the university holds its fall commencement in the Howard C. Gentry Complex.

The recent Job Outlook 2016 Survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employees says employers expect to employ 11 percent more new graduates from the Class of 2016 than they did in 2015.

That’s good news for TSU students like Danielle Haik, a computer science major who is among those walking from the graduation stage into the workforce. Haik is taking an Information Technology Specialist position at Caterpillar Financial Services in Nashville.

Last month, the Wall Street Journal listed Tennessee State among its top 10 historically black colleges and universities. In ranking TSU 10th, the WSJ/THE College Rankings took into account the salaries graduates earn.

“I am very excited about becoming an employee of Caterpillar,” said Haik, who attributes her success to the training and mentoring she received at TSU. “I had some great faculty and mentors who gave me the right exposure and connected me with professional people and organizations that put me in the right direction.”

Justus Jarvis, a member of the fall 2016 graduating class, also has a job offer. He has accepted a position with Boeing.

“Tennessee State University preparation gives you the full package,” Jarvis said. “They prepare you to be able to stand out among your peers and in front of employers, and that may be my best asset going into the workforce.”

Like all TSU students, Haik and Jarvis have the capabilities that companies are looking for, particularly in the areas of leadership and teamwork.

According to NACE, employers are looking for candidates with evidence of leadership skills, strong work ethic, and who are team players.

“We instill our students with skills for success in the real world,” said Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering. “Our curriculum requirements make our students more marketable, as well as reinforces classroom learning to prepare them for industry, government, or entrepreneurship.”

Tina Reed, associated director of the TSU Career Development Center, said in addition to workshops and professional development conferences, TSU students receive one-on-one career advising to help them make career choices.

“The Career Development Center assists our students with developing and enhancing  21st Century job-readiness skills that are needed in the workforce,” Reed said. “From developing a top-notch resume to attending professional development conferences, our students are constantly encouraged to take advantage of career enrichment opportunities.”

Dr. Gloria Johnson, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, agrees.

“In the College of Liberal Arts, we continue to encourage our students to seek relevant internships and practical experience,” she said. “I am personally encouraging more students to seek more help from the Career Development Center for resume development and possible placement.”

Prominent civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump is expected to inspire students even more when he gives the keynote address at TSU’s Dec. 10 commencement.

Crump is the noted Florida lawyer who represented the families of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Terence Crutcher in police shooting cases that made headlines around the world. Crump was also an advocate in the Robbie Tolan police brutality U.S. Supreme Court case, as well as the Martin Lee Anderson boot camp death case.

In October, Crump was the keynote speaker at the 25th anniversary gala for the National Association of African American Honors Programs held 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 38 undergraduate, 25 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.

More than 20 TSU students graduate from Collegiate Citizens Police Academy

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Twenty-two Tennessee State University students recently graduated from what’s believed to be the nation’s first Collegiate Citizens Police Academy.

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Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson speaks to students at academy graduation. (photo by Lucas Johnson, TSU Media Relations)

A ceremony was held Nov. 29 at TSU for students who participated in the second session of the program that exposed them to various aspects of police work, including domestic violence investigation, making split second decisions in a firearms training simulator, traffic stop training, and how the Metro Nashville Police Department uses special resources such as SWAT, horses and canine units.

“They get a chance to see what real police work looks like,” said TSU Dean of Students Frank Stevenson, the brainchild of the academy. “And they’re getting it from one of the top police departments in the country.”

Stevenson said the idea came to him amid the cases of police brutality that have permeated the nation. He joined forces with the Rev. Enoch Fuzz, pastor of Corinthian Missionary Baptist Church in Nashville, to bring the idea to Nashville Police Chief Steven Anderson, who immediately embraced it. In a few weeks, the academy was underway.

Anderson said citizens groups across the nation have formed partnerships with police departments to address issues in their communities. But he said the partnership with TSU is the first of its kind between a major U.S. city police department and a cohort of college students.

“The Collegiate Citizen Police Academy is a unique and valuable outreach program that Nashville appears to have pioneered,” Anderson said. “I am grateful that these students devoted six nights during their fall semester to meet with members of our police department and learn more about us.”

Sophomore Javonte Jefferson said he wanted to be a police officer before participating in the program, but wants to even more after completing it.

“It’s just a real good opportunity to get to know the people who patrol here; to see firsthand how it really is,” said Jefferson, a criminal justice major. “This is what I want to do.”

Mikeria Rebb, a sophomore who is also majoring in criminal justice, said she is now considering police work after completing the academy.

“This inspired me,” she said.

Nashville Police Sgt. Mitch Kornberg, one of the academy’s instructors, said he enjoyed working with the students.

“I want them to understand we are here for them,” he said. “They are a part of our community. They’re important to us, and they shouldn’t feel otherwise.”

Stevenson said the academy’s graduates are eligible to apply for the university’s new Tiger Patrol Program, which allows students to work with TSU police in various areas to help strengthen campus safety.

For more information about TSU’s Collegiate Citizens Police Academy, visit: https://www.nashville.gov/Police-Department/Get-Involved/Collegiate-Police-Academy.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 38 undergraduate, 25 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.