Category Archives: FACULTY

Council on International Educational Exchange selects TSU to receive Generation Study Abroad Access Grant

unknown1NASHVILLE, Tenn(TSU News Service) – The Council on International Educational Exchange has awarded Tennessee State University a $20,000 grant to help first-generation and minority students study abroad.

The grant will support an innovative faculty-led study abroad program in Paris in 2017 led by TSU professors, Dr.  Rebecca Dixon and Dr. Jennifer L. Hayes. 

Students in this program will examine the historical contexts that have led African-American men and women to travel abroad to resist various levels of oppression in the United States. The program is designed to enhance students’ appreciation for global exchange and hopefully change their perspectives in ways that allow them to see themselves as a part of a global community.

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Dr. Jennifer L. Hayes

“Many of our students are first-generation students and are from underserved minority groups who have not traveled outside of the United States,” said Hayes, an assistant professor of English and Women’s Studies. “They are highly motivated and seek to improve their life chances through education. We believe this experience will provide our students with a unique opportunity to see the connections between their experiences at TSU and the global community.”

Dixon, a professor of English and Women’s Studies, agreed the program should be enlightening.

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Dr. Rebecca Dixon

“My hope is that the students’ sense of the literature, history, and culture that informed African-American expatriate artists will be enriched by this experience,” she said.

CIEE created the Generation Study Abroad Access Grant to recognize innovative programs that increase access to international educational opportunities for students in groups that are traditionally underrepresented in study abroad. The grant program is part of CIEE’s pledge to break through the barriers of cost, curriculum, and culture to double the number of students from all backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, and majors who study abroad by 2020.

“CIEE is excited to award the second annual Generation Study Abroad Access Grant to Tennessee State University,” said Maritheresa Frain, executive vice president of study abroad at CIEE. “TSU has an illustrious history of enriching the lives of underserved minority groups who are traditionally underrepresented in study abroad. We’re proud to work with Drs. Hayes and Dixon and the university to continue in this tradition by making it possible for more TSU students to gain the knowledge, intercultural skills, and global perspectives needed for success in today’s world.”

Founded in 1947, CIEE is the country’s oldest and largest nonprofit study abroad and intercultural exchange organization, serving more than 340 U.S. colleges and universities, 1,000 U.S. high schools, and 35,000 international exchange students each year.

For more information about CIEE’s Faculty-Led & Custom Programs, visit: https://www.ciee.org/faculty-led-study-abroad/.

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.

Prominent Civil Rights Attorney Benjamin Crump to Speak at TSU’s NAAAHP Gala

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Prominent civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump will be the keynote speaker at Tennessee State University’s 25th anniversary gala for the National Association of African American Honors Programs on Monday, Oct. 31.

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Attorney Benjamin Crump

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.

“Mr. Crump is a highly sought after speaker,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “Tennessee State University is pleased to have him at the gala,” which will be held at TSU’s Howard C. Gentry Complex.

Crump is the 73rd President of the National Bar Association, the largest organization of lawyers of color in the world, representing over 60,000 black lawyers, judges, and legal professionals. He has received numerous awards, including the SCLC Martin Luther King Servant Leader Award, and the NAACP Thurgood Marshall Award. Ebony Magazine has recognized him as one of the Top 100 trial lawyers.

“Attorney Crump believes in fighting to preserve the justice that minorities have achieved throughout the civil rights era,” according to Crump’s website.

Gala organizers believe Crump will be an inspiration to students, in particular, involved with NAAAHP, a consortium of 100 HBCUs and PBCUs Honors Programs and Colleges from around the country.

The theme of this year’s three-day conference that kicks off Oct. 29 is, “Celebrating 25 Sterling Years of Academic Distinction.”

More than 400 of the nation’s best and brightest students are expected to attend the conference, as well as representatives from about 70 colleges and universities, including HBCUs and Ivy League institutions like Harvard. A graduate and career fair with representatives from more than 40 top graduate schools and companies from across the country will also be held for participants.

Dr. Coreen Jackson, president of NAAAHP and interim dean of TSU’s Honors College, said the conference is designed to commemorate the vital role the organization has played in supporting honors education for more than 20 years.

“We invite the legal community, the academic community, and the Nashville community on a whole to join us for this auspicious occasion,” Jackson said.

To register or to obtain more information about the conference, visit  www.naaahp.org. Tickets for the gala are $85 per person and $25 for students with ID. They can be purchased at www.naaahp.org or at the Eventbrite link https://www.eventbrite.com/e/naaahp-2016-25th-anniversary-gala-tickets-28406159588?aff=erelpanelorg.

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.

101-year-old former TSU cheerleader Burnece Brunson makes ABC World News Tonight’s ‘Person of the Week’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Burnece Walker Brunson’s popularity is almost as impressive as her age.

The 101-year-old Tennessee State University alumna, who was a member of the then-Tennessee A&I College cheerleading squad in 1934, was ABC World News Tonight’s “Person of the Week” on Oct. 21.

“She’s still cheering; proving to us all what it means to be forever young,” said David Muir, the anchor of ABC World News Tonight, and Person of the Week host.

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TSU President Glenda Glover introduces Ms. Burnece Walker Brunson at the Scholarship Gala during Homecoming. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Brunson was co-grand marshal at the 2016 TSU Homecoming earlier this month. During the festivities, a film crew shot footage for a PBS special on HBCUs, and Brunson was included.

When asked in a recent interview about her longevity, Brunson quipped: “I just keep on breathing.”

A native of Mount Pleasant, Tenn., Brunson moved to Chicago for a better education. There, she got her first taste of cheerleading while in high school.

“It fulfilled my desire to stay physically active since there were not many sporting activities for girls during those days,” she said.

After high school, Brunson decided to attend TSU (A&I College) in 1933. The following year she joined the cheerleading team.

In 1936, Brunson received her teaching certificate and eventually went back to Chicago and earned a bachelor’s degree from the Chicago Teacher’s College, and a master’s degree from the National College of Education in Evansville, Ill.

While in Chicago, Brunson was the first female hired there to serve as a lifeguard.

Brunson would later return to Tennessee and make Nashville her home; the place where she developed unforgettable collegiate memories.

Brunson shared some of those memories at this year’s TSU Homecoming, where she was honored at several events, including a scholarship that was established in her name.

“She’s a very educated, and devoted person,” said Kevin T. Davis, president of the TSUNAA Alumni Cheerleaders. “We just felt that we needed to honor her in that way.”

Brunson’s son, Boyce, said he’s sure many people looked forward to seeing his mother; and gleaning her wisdom.

“After you have aconversation with her, you realize she’s not just 101 years old, but she has 101 years of experience that is valuable even in today’s world.”

Brunson has tried to spread that wisdom in one of about a dozen books she’s written, including Food for Thought: Nourishment for the Soul, which gives tips on how to navigate life’s challenges.

When asked what advice she would give people today, especially youngsters, she smiled, then replied:

“Do the right thing, in every way.”

To see the ABC News Person of the Week segment, visit goo.gl/tkUYm7.

TSU to Host National Conference of Honors Programs; More than 400 Top Students to Attend

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University will host the 2016 National Association of African-American Honors Programs Conference Saturday, Oct. 29 at the Nashville Airport Marriott Hotel.

The three-day conference will include a gala on Monday, Oct. 31 in the Howard C. Gentry Complex on TSU’s main campus.

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TSU President Glenda Glover, left, receives an award from NAAAHP President Coreen Jackson following Dr. Glover’s keynote address at the organization’s 2015 conference at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Conference Center. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

More than 400 of the nation’s best and brightest students and representatives from 31 historically black colleges and universities will network, debate, participate in academic competitions, and present scholarly research. A graduate and career fair with representatives from more than 40 top graduate schools and companies from across the country will also be held for participants.

This is the second consecutive conference being held in Nashville. It marks the 25th anniversary of the NAAAHP, founded in 1990 to address the “specific needs” of honors education for African-American students. Last year’s conference was held in partnership with Fisk University.

“We are excited to once again bring the national conference to Nashville,” said Dr. Coreen Jackson, president of the NAAAHP, who is interim dean of the TSU Honors College. “We are indeed grateful to President Glenda Glover and Tennessee State University for hosting the 25th anniversary.”

Under the theme, “Celebrating 25 Sterling Years of Academic Distinction,” Jackson said Honors directors, deans and faculty at the conference will also engage in roundtable and panel discussions about best practices in Honors administration.

“This year’s theme is designed to commemorate the vital role NAAAHP has played in supporting Honors education within HBCUs and Predominantly Black Colleges and Universities for 25 years,” Jackson said.

To register or to obtain more information about the conference, visit  www.naaahp.org. Tickets for the gala are $85 per person and $25 for students with ID can be purchased at www.naaahp.org or at the Eventbrite link https://www.eventbrite.com/e/naaahp-2016-25th-anniversary-gala-tickets-28406159588?aff=erelpanelorg.

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, Google partner to help prepare computer science students for the workforce

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University and Google have partnered to help prepare students for a competitive workforce.

TSU is one of 10 historically black colleges and universities participating in the Google in Residence Program, which uses the technology giant’s engineers to teach introductory computer science classes, as well as help students further develop soft and technical skills.

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Dr. Ali Sekmen, chair of the Department of Computer Science

“The Department of Computer Science students are in high demand with strong technical and soft skills,” said Dr. Ali Sekmen, who chair’s the department. “The GIR program will further make our program and students stronger with understanding of state-of-the-art technical skills and intense interview processes of top software engineering companies.”

Google said in a statement that it’s pleased to be at TSU “as part of our commitment to encouraging greater diversity in the tech sector.”

“We’ve been impressed with Dr. Sekmen’s commitment to his students and look forward to our continued partnership with the TSU CS faculty through the Google in Residence Program,” the company said.

The Google team at TSU consists of a tech programs specialist and an instructor who teaches an introduction to computer science course, which Google helped develop. The Google instructor and a computer science faculty teach three sections of the course together.

While the introductory class is mainly for freshmen, both Google team members provide assistance to all students to help prepare them for opportunities in the tech field. TSU officials say they hope the prep will increase internship and employment opportunities for TSU computer science students not only with Google, but companies like IBM and Microsoft.

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove is dean of TSU’s College of Engineering, which includes the Computer Science Department. He lauded the Google-TSU partnership, saying it could help fill the nearly 1,300 IT-related job openings in the Nashville metropolitan area.

“The growth of the IT field here has been phenomenal,” Hargrove said. “We have an opportunity with our computer science program that offers to help fill that workforce need here in Middle Tennessee and contribute to the growth in the city.”

TSU computer science major Ryan Stubbs of Newark, New Jersey, said mock interviews he’s had with the Google instructor have been particularly helpful.

“I know what to prepare for,” said Stubbs, a senior. “The instructor is a great resource.”

Timothy Darrah of Hutchinson, Kansas, agreed. The senior computer science major believes the insight and real-world experience provided by the Google team at TSU is especially beneficial to freshmen.

“When I came in as a freshman, I didn’t know what the end of the road looked like,” he said. “Seeing what they (freshmen) can do, what they can become, it provides a lot of motivation for them to exceed and do better than what they normally would.”

Google is a multinational, publicly traded organization built around the company’s hugely popular search engine. Google’s other enterprises include Internet analytics, cloud computing, advertising technologies, and Web app, browser and operating system development.

To learn more about TSU’s Department of Computer Science, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/computer_science/.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Major Scholarship Donations, Big Football Victory Round out Successful 2016 Homecoming Celebration

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University rounded out its 2016 Homecoming with nearly $400,000 in donations for scholarships, and a resounding football victory before more than 20,000 fans at Nissan Stadium Oct. 15.

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Mr. TSU Jordan Gaither and Miss TSU Alicia Jones, and their Royal Court celebrate at the TSU Homecoming game against Eastern Kentucky at Nissan Stadium. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

At the university’s annual Scholarship Gala at Gaylord Opryland Resort the night before, the Tennessee Titans presented university officials with a check for $150,000 as a scholarship endowment.

TSU and the Titans have been partners since 1998, when the football team moved to Nashville. At the time, TSU offered its campus to the team as a training camp. The two have a lease agreement that allows TSU to play all or some of its home games at the Titans’ stadium.

“We sincerely appreciate this partnership with the wonderful Tennessee Titans,’’ said TSU President Glenda Glover. “It’s moments like this that make the banquet worthwhile. I want to thank Titans ownership and the foundation, as we continue to enhance this partnership that’s equally as beneficial to the Titans and TSU.”

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Thousands cheer the the Aristocrat of Bands as they entertain the crowd during the Homecoming parade Oct. 15. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

During the halftime show of the football game at Nissan Stadium, a number of alumni and supporters made financial donations to support students at their alma mater.

The Class of ’66, in celebrating their 50th year reunion, donated $121,401, the most in reunion giving. Audrey Strafford and Melissa Lewis made the presentation on behalf of their class.

Bud Reese, a longtime financial supporter, presented a check for $100,000 on behalf of his R. Reese and CMI Charitable Funds Scholarship in support of students from Memphis majoring in social work and those overcoming developmental disabilities.

Other contributions from the Scholarship Gala pushed the total to nearly $400,000.

TSU also recognized alums Alfred and Rosa Coleman for being inducted into the exclusive “1912 Club,” for surpassing half a million dollars in lifetime giving to the TSU Foundation. The Coleman’s are the first to be inducted into the club.

Also making a special appearance at the game to thunderous applause was 101-year-old alumna Bernece Walker Brunson, a member of the Alumni Cheerleading Squad. Brunson, a 1935 graduate and co-grand marshal of the Homecoming parade, was a member of the then-Tennessee A&I State College cheerleading team from 1934-1935.

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TSU quarterback Ronald Butler runs for a touchdown in the second quarter of the Homecoming game against Eastern Kentucky at Nissan Stadium. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman)

There was also a pause at the beginning of halftime to have a moment of silence for legendary track and field coach Ed Temple, who died Sept. 22 at age 89. Coach Temple’s life was highlighted with giant-sized images of him on the two massive jumbotron screens at the stadium.

Earlier that day, President Glover led thousands — including Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, U.S. Congressman Jim Cooper, other officials and TSU fans — along Jefferson Street in the annual parade that ended on the main campus.

Numerous floats, businesses, and visiting school bands led by the famed TSU Aristocrat of Bands and the Mr. TSU and Miss TSU Court, entertained parade goers along the route.

Jefferson Street businesswoman and TSU graduate Martha Lupai was elated by the turnout at this year’s Homecoming, whose theme was “celebrating a legacy of pride and progress.”

“It is just so heartwarming to see this king of outpouring for this university,” said Lupai, owner of S&E African Hair Braiding, which raises funds for scholarships. “This really is an indication of TSU’s overwhelming impact not only on the Nashville community, but the nation.”

At the football game, the TSU Tigers (5-1), defeated Ohio Valley Conference rival Eastern Kentucky 35-28. Next up for TSU is a road game at Southeastern Conference opponent Vanderbilt on Saturday, Oct. 22, in a game that will air on ESPNU.

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 announces initiatives to continue ‘legacy of excellence’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover outlined new initiatives she says will continue a “legacy of excellence” at the 104-year-old institution.

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TSU President Glenda Glover discusses Impact 20/20 initiative at news conference. (photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

Dr. Glover held a press conference on Oct. 14 during Homecoming week to discuss Impact 20/20, which includes new governance, academic excellence, and capital improvement and infrastructure enhancements.

“This is an exciting time for TSU as we celebrate a legacy of pride and progress,” said Glover, referring to this year’s Homecoming theme.

In the area of governance, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced two days earlier the eight appointees to the newly created TSU state governing board, which aims to give the university – and the other four-year state institutions – increased autonomy to support student success as the state continues an initiative to have 55 percent of Tennesseans with a degree or credential by 2025.

“We are pleased with the men and women the governor has selected, and look to the leadership of the full General Assembly to approve them,” Glover said.

She also announced TSU is raising its admission standards and enhancing student success initiatives to increase retention and graduation rates. Beginning the fall of 2017, all students must have a 2.5 GPA 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.

“We’re glad that we’re raising the bar here at Tennessee State University,” said Student Government Association President Aarian Forman. “We want to continue to be an institution of great quality. I think the new admission standards will help further this agenda to help us do that.”

The academic component also includes an Executive MBA Program offered through the College of Business next year, as well as establishment of TSU centers for Social Justice and Equality; Economic Policy Institute; Law Enforcement Education; a Center of Excellence for Ethics; and Emergency Management Institute.

As for capital improvement and infrastructure enhancement, Glover announced construction of a new Health Sciences building, as well as plans for new residence halls, an on-campus stadium, and a project that will encompass more than 80 acres along the Cumberland River.

“With a mixed use concept, Cumberland City will be an educational, technology, health, commercial, and residential engine that will allow TSU to be a major participant in the economic boom that is Nashville,” Glover said.

In 2012, TSU contributed $610 million to the Nashville economy, statistics show.

“We’re very proud of the economic value that Tennessee State University brings to the city and to the state,” said state Rep. Brenda Gilmore, whose district includes TSU.

Joni McReynolds, president of TSU’s National Alumni Association, agreed.

“We are so proud of the things TSU is doing, and we’re going to be here to sponsor you, and help raise money,” she said.

Glover also emphasized during the press conference that TSU is continuing to strengthen campus security.

“New Police Chief Greg Robinson has been dedicated to bringing additional enhancement to our Police Department,” she said. “Public safety is paramount, and we will treat it as such.”

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.

 

Haslam announces governing board for Tennessee State University

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has announced the eight appointees to the newly created Tennessee State University state governing board, giving the university increased autonomy to support student success as the state continues its Drive to 55 initiative.

Tennessee State University’s governing board is one of six to be appointed by the governor, a result of the governor’s FOCUS Act passed by the General Assembly earlier this year.

“Student success at Tennessee State University is paramount,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “To that end, we commend Governor Bill Haslam on the slate of appointees for the newly created TSU state governing board, and look forward to working with them. These are exciting times for the University and we are immensely pleased with these board members. The work of this administration will always be to continue a standard of excellence for the University.”

The appointees to the TSU board are:

 

  • Deborah Cole, president and CEO of Citizens Savings Bank & Trust Co.;
  • Stephen Corbeil, president of TriStar Division of Hospital Corporation of America;
  • Bill Freeman, chairman of real estate development firm Freeman Webb, Inc.;
  • Richard Allen Lewis, owner of Lewis & Wright Funeral Home;
  • Pam Martin, president of Cushion Employer Services and member of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission;
  • Obie McKenzie, managing director of BlackRock, Inc.;
  • Edith Peterson Mitchell, president of the National Medical Association and clinical professor of Medicine and Medical Oncology for the Kimmel Cancer Center; and
  • Bishop Joseph Walker III, pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Nashville and International Presiding Bishop of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship.

 

“There is incredible momentum around Tennessee’s college enrollment rate, which increased to a historic high of 62.5 percent in 2015. With Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect we’ve been successful in increasing access to higher education, but as we change the conversation and culture of expectations in our state we have to ensure our colleges and universities are supported in their efforts to create student success,” Haslam said.

“These six local governing boards will provide more focused support to the institutions as we continue the Drive to 55, our push to have 55 percent of Tennesseans with a degree or credential by 2025,” Haslam added.

Haslam also appoints members to local governing boards for Austin Peay State University, East Tennessee State University, Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee Technological University and the University of Memphis.

Subject to confirmation by the General Assembly, the board appointments are effective January 16, 2017. If confirmed, board members will undergo orientation and professional development delivered by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. The TSU board will assume responsibility upon the first called meeting by Haslam.

The six state universities will have increased autonomy with the authority to appoint the campus president, manage the university budget and set tuition, and oversee other operational tasks.

To learn more about the appointees and the FOCUS Act, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/president/focus/news.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.

More than 100 Top High School Seniors Participate in First TSU ‘Scholars’ Party’ for Homecoming

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – More than 100 top area high school seniors participated in TSU’s first “Scholars’ Party,” as part of the university’s Homecoming festivities.

The pilot is a recruitment initiative organized by the Division of Student Affairs in collaboration with the Office of Admissions.

Principals and guidance counselors from nine local high schools selected the 120 students with 3.0 GPAs or higher.

“We want to tell these very bright students that we really want them to consider TSU,” said Frank Stevenson, TSU’s dean of Students. ”We feel there is no better time to expose future students to the exciting learning environment here than at Homecoming. We want them to have a taste of the TSU culture and climate.”

The students attended a special reception on Oct. 13 in the Faculty Dining Area on the main campus, Stevenson said. Following the reception, they received free tickets to the Homecoming concert in the Gentry Complex. The guests also met the artists backstage, Stevenson said, as well as received custom T-shirts.

“This is all in response to a campus-wide call by President (Glenda) Glover to increase our efforts in recruitment. We recognize that there are some good students here locally and we want to make sure they know about TSU. We want to make sure they understand that this is a great place to get a great education,” Stevenson said.

For additional information on the Scholars’ Party, contact the Division of Student Affairs at (615) 963-2154 or fsteven1@tnstate.edu.

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.

To learn more about TSU’s 2016 Homecoming events, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/homecoming.

TSU alumnus, Sekou Charles, serves up the most important meal of the day at Wild Eggs

By K. Dawn Rutledge

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Some people may debate whether skipping breakfast is good or bad, but who can resist the flavor of fluffy buttermilk pancakes, cheesy omelets and skillet potatoes washed down with fresh squeezed orange juice? At least not those frequenting Nashville’s newest breakfast, brunch and lunch spot – Wild Eggs.

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Sekou Charles, general manager of Wild Eggs. (submitted photo)

Last April, Tennessee State University alumnus Sekou Charles ventured into the new opportunity helping to introduce the first Wild Eggs in the Nashville area. As general manager and partner of the restaurant, located in downtown Nashville on 333 Union Street, Charles has worked hard to help the city re-discover why breakfast shouldn’t be missed.

“This is an upscale dining experience for those who want a fresh, contemporary approach to traditional breakfast, brunch and lunch,” said Charles, adding that the restaurant strives to deliver optimum service and food to all guests.

With Charles at the helm as general manager, the Wild Eggs chain amassed quite a bit of traction in the Nashville area. Open seven days a week, the restaurant now averages $30,000 a week in sales, and its prime location attracts many city residents, as well as visitors who walk the downtown area and are discovering the restaurant for the first time. The success of Charles’ Wild Eggs location has prompted the company to look at opening additional shops in Middle Tennessee, including a Bellevue location slated for 2017.

“The growth opportunities are endless here,” Charles said. “Nashville has grown so much and it is certainly the place to be now. I see it as the next Atlanta, but maybe even better.”

Charles, a Chicago native, made his way to the Music City to attend Tennessee State University not knowing anything about the school, but only wanting an opportunity to move outside the state of Illinois for a fresh start away from his inner-city environment. He applied and was accepted to TSU in 1992 and admits it was a different culture from his experience.

“Why is everybody smiling?” he recalled asking himself during his first few months on campus. “I’m from Chicago and everyone has to be on guard because you might get jacked.”

Charles eventually learned to brush the chip off his shoulder, quickly making friends and becoming more social.

“I discovered that some people are actually genuine and sincere. It made my wall come down and it allowed me to open up.”

In 1997, the marketing management major took his first job out of college as manager of Luby’s Cafeteria, a casual dining restaurant chain, to support his twin children. Little did he know this job would put him on the path to a successful 18-year career in the restaurant industry.

“At the time, this was not what I came to school for because my dream was to be working at a marketing firm,” he said. “But they [Luby’s] were the only place that gave me a shot and I fell in love with it. Now, I realize sitting behind a desk eight hours a day just wasn’t me. I still use the knowledge I learned from my marketing degree at TSU and I put those skills to use daily. It has been rewarding to be involved with people and being part of a team.”

Charles continues his ties with his alma mater volunteering and mentoring current students. He also appreciates the fact that many of his fellow alumni have been highly supportive of the Wild Eggs restaurant.

Ranetta Smith, who has been friends with Charles nearly 20 years, met him as a student at TSU. Smith, owner of Ranetta Renea’s Boutique in Smyrna, Tennessee, said she frequents the restaurant often and enjoys the atmosphere and the food.

“When I first visited the restaurant I tried the chicken and waffles and it was amazing,” she said, adding that the yellow submarine is also among her menu favorites. “I eat there at least four times a month. The menu items are very reasonable and the food is really good. Everybody who goes once always wants to go back. There’s something for everyone. It’s worth it!”

Charles is among hundreds of alums who will be attending TSU’s 2016 Homecoming that began Oct. 9 and ends Oct. 15 with the game against Ohio Valley Conference rival Eastern Kentucky University. To learn more about this year’s Homecoming events, visit www.tnstate.edu/homecoming.

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 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.