Category Archives: FACULTY

16 TSU Students Take in the Beautiful European Summer During a Study Abroad Program in Germany

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Some of the Tennessee State University students on a study-abroad program in Germany, take in the sites in Berlin on a bright summer day. (Courtesy Photo)


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (
TSU News Service) – It is summer, classes are over, ….or so you would think. For16 Tennessee State University students, classes just started, but this time, with a mixture of academics, culture and fun in a faraway land. Read the account of their amazing experience, courtesy of TSU Sports Information.

BERLIN – Classes started early Wednesday morning, May 14, for the 16 students attending Tennessee State’s study abroad program in Germany. Among the topics covered was the history of the Berlin Wall, which also happened to be the first destination on the morning’s itinerary.

“The purpose of the trip is to learn about German history and culture,” Associate Dean of Liberal Arts, Dr. Joel Dark, said. “But it is also intended to help the students think about their own identity in the world.”

The group of TSU scholars and representatives boarded a train headed toward Alexander Plaza at the nearby station, and then took the subway to reach what was left of the Wall.

Dr. Dark filled the crowd in with further insight on the construction and eventual destruction of the barrier, before taking the class toward the Capitol Building.

After seeing the Capitol and grabbing lunch, the contingent rode out beyond Berlin to one of its suburbs to see a concentration camp, Sachsenhausen, firsthand.

It seemed everything in Germany was new and different, and it all had a unique story to tell.

“All of the buildings and churches are really pretty,” TSU women’s golfer Natalie Spicer said. “You can see the history just by walking past. I am so excited to see more, take a lot of pictures and learn about the German way of living.”

Outside of the new sights, a handful of students had to rely on their senses of taste and feeling when they ate at the famous Dark Bar on Tuesday night. The restaurant was pitch black to where diners could not even see the food being served to them.

“At first I was skeptical and scared about eating without seeing, but I eventually got the hang of using your fingers to feel around for the utensils. Also, being able to talk to our group while dining helped calm me down,” Spicer said.

Classes will continue on Thursday and the delegation will visit Humboldt University and see the Brandenburg Gate.

Germany Update Day 1: From Nashville to Newark

NEWARK, N.J. – After leaving the Nashville airport at 4 a.m. for a 6 o’clock flight, the 29 Tennessee State representatives arrived in Newark to await their connecting flight to Berlin, Germany.

The small passenger plane, which barely had enough room to fit the traveling party, touched down at 9 a.m., but not before giving passengers glimpses of the Statue of Liberty and MetLife Stadium. The group then went to eat at the airport food court as they waited to board another plane for their final destination in eight hours.

In the meantime, students and administrators played games, slept and read to kill some time before the nine-hour flight.

This page will serve as an update for the athletic department’s study abroad trip to Europe. Be sure to check back for updates every couple of days including pictures of many historical landmarks.

 

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Engineering Students Take Part in Annual Air Force Design Competition

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A team of engineering students from Tennessee State University representing the fields of mechanical design, electrical and computer engineering, and computer science joined 15 other universities and three service academies at Arnold Air Force Base recently for the annual Air Force Research Laboratory Collegiate and Service Academy Engineering Design Competition. This year’s challenge centered on a problem routinely faced by Air Force pararescuemen and other military units — lifting up of heavy armored vehicles to rescue fellow soldiers pinned or trapped inside, similar to the vehicle pictured. (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A team of engineering students from Tennessee State University joined 15 other universities and three service academies at Arnold Air Force Base recently to find a solution to a problem routinely encountered by members of the military…designing a portable one-man heavy lifting device capable of lifting 45,000 pounds.

The teams came together April 14-17 at Arnold Engineering Development Complex in middle Tennessee for the annual Air Force Research Laboratory Collegiate and Service Academy Engineering Design Competition. TSU fielded a 12-person team and joined forces with Prairie View A&M University. Students represented the fields of mechanical design, electrical and computer engineering, and computer science.

Now in its third year, the competition revolves around a single engineering challenge aimed at fostering innovative and creative solutions. This year’s challenge centered on a problem routinely faced by U.S. Air Force pararescuemen and other military units. The weight of armored vehicles and frequent encounters with improvised explosive devices or damage from combat operations occasionally require these up-armored vehicles be lifted to rescue fellow soldiers pinned or trapped inside. These heavy lift devices are also routinely used in rescue operations of collapsed structures or downed aircraft.

The challenge this year was to design a lifting device that was portable, lightweight, and could lift a structure, aircraft or armored vehicles at least 24 inches high that would effectively lift a 45,000-pound vehicle sufficient to retrieve trapped personnel.

“The current constraint is the inability to make kits available in small enough volume and weight factor,” said Dr. Fenghui Yao, professor of Computer Science and the team’s leader. “A successful rescue is a controlled operation that is immediately deployed to prevent crushing or further damage to equipment and personnel. Our mindset was to ‘lift an inch, shore an inch’ for stability of lifting the heavy load.”

Devon Parker, a senior Air Force mechanical engineer at AEDC, was the host and manager for the national competition on behalf of the Air Force Research Laboratory. In addition to managing the competition, he provided regular feedback to the design teams throughout the academic year during design reviews. While this was designed principally to ensure the teams fully understood the problem, it also allowed him to ensure the trial phase conducted at AEDC could safely accommodate all of the various design entries during demonstration.

“The challenge was a 40,000-pound bulldozer resting on an deep incline deep within the Tennessee Guard Volunteer Training Site,” said Parker. “The competition and the teams were supported by a number of experienced Air Force pararescuemen from around the country – who performed work under the load for the student teams, as instructed by the respective student team leader.”

The team from Tennessee State University developed and designed two solutions to the problem. According to Yao, the first solution was entered and competition along with the solution provided by the Prairie View students. Both were able to execute the required lifting task successfully.

Ultimately, the team from Auburn University delivered a design solution that met the objective while also achieving significant progress in many of the additional design constraints. Their solution consisted of a mixed air bag system, built of Kevlar and Vectran in their own laboratory.

Regardless of their performance on the field trial, there were portions of each entry that offered further opportunity for creative development. There were mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, and hybrid solutions developed and demonstrated, said Parker.

“Engineering designs and team creativity were all put to the test,” he said. “Regardless of individual results, every team came away with a more profound understanding of why it is essential that engineers leave their office desks and get their hands dirty when working on a problem.”

Even though the joint TSU/Prairie View A&M team did not win the competition, it provided valuable design experience for the students.

“It is this type of first-hand experience that enables engineers to fully comprehend the scope of any problem,” said Yao. “It allows them to work more effectively as part of any product development or problem solving team.”

Dr. Landon Onyebueke, professor of Mechanical Engineering; and Dr. Saleh Zein-Sabatto, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, assisted Yao and the Challenge team.

 

 

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

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

OFFICIAL MOVIE TRAILER |  FOCUS ON POTENTIAL CLIP |  PHOTOS

Blog_From-The-Rough-FINAL-HI-REZ-ART

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Chair Wins Two Prestigious Edward R. Murrow Awards

Likes 2010NASHVILLE, Tenn.  (TSU News Service) – The Radio Television Digital News Association has announced that a communications professor at Tennessee State University has won two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for excellence in electronic journalism.

Dr. Terry Likes, Chair of the Department of Communications and Professor of Multimedia Journalism, won the awards in two separate categories, including Audio News Documentary—“In Our Memory, the Soundtrack to News:  How News Events Shape Music,” and Audio Sports Reporting, “We Will Rock You: The Branding of Sports Music.”

Both programs aired on the Tennessee Radio Network.

“It is an honor to represent TSU in this regard and to continue to enhance my reporting skills for the benefit of our students,” said Dr. Likes. “It helps in the classroom when students can see professors remain active in the industry, achieve at a high level.  This helps us encourage students to seek excellence in their own student competitions, as TSU students are doing with evidence of tremendous recent success including 17 Southeast Journalism Conference awards and 9 Tennessee Associated Press student awards this year alone.”

These awards mark the seventh and eighth regional Murrow Award received by Dr. Likes having won Murrows in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and two in 2012.   Likes is the recipient of 52 awards during his career including honors from the Broadcast Education association, the Tennessee Associated Press, Kentucky Associated Press, National Broadcasting Society and the National Press Club.

This year, RTDNA awarded 661 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards in 14 categories, including Overall Excellence, Breaking News, Investigative Reporting, and Website.  RTDNA received more than 4,000 entries during the 2014 awards season, surpassing 2013 by more than 500 entries and setting an all-time record for entries in what proved to be one of the most competitive Edward R. Murrow Awards seasons in RTDNA history.

Dr. Likes competed in Region 8 against other entries from Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Regional winners automatically become eligible for the national awards competition, which will be judged in June. The national Edward R.  Murrow Awards will be presented in October at the RTDNA Awards Dinner in New York.

The Radio Television Digital News Association has been honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971. Murrow’s pursuit of excellence in journalism embodies the spirit of the awards that carry his name. Murrow Award recipients demonstrate the spirit of excellence that Edward R. Murrow made a standard for the broadcast news profession.

A complete list of the 2014 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards winners can be found at rtdna.org.

 

 

 

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University to Host Earth Day Celebration Tuesday, April 22

earthday2011NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences (CAHNS) will partner with the Center for Service Learning and the Sustainability Department to host an Earth Day Celebration on Tuesday, April 22 beginning at 1 p.m. in the Agricultural Information and Technology Center (AITC).

A schedule of the planned events include:

  • 1 p.m.        Welcome and Earth Day History
        • Dr. De’Etra Young, Assistant Professor
  • 1:15          Go Green North Nashville and TSU Service Learning Day
        • Roni Christian, GGNN Program Manager
  • 1:30          TSU Sustainability Initiatives
        • Dr. Joseph Perry, Director of Sustainability
  • 1:45          Campus Tree Tagging (Arboretum and CAHNS Outdoor Classroom Initiative)
        • Richard Link, Research Assistant
  • 2:45          Earth Day Activities with TSU Early Learning Center
        • Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS)

Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970 by Senator Gaylord Nelson, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and celebrated in more than 192 countries each year.

The event is free to attend and students, faculty and staff are encouraged to participate. For questions, please contact Dr. De’Etra Young at 615.963.5123 or dyoung23@tnstate.edu.

 

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Those honored were:

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

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

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

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

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

Special awards were also presented to:

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

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

 

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU History Professor Receives Scholar Excellence Award For Work in African Studies

Dr. Adebayo Oyebade
Dr. Adebayo Oyebade

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Dr. Adebayo Oyebade, professor of History at Tennessee State University, was the recipient of the Senior Scholar Excellence Award for Research and Teaching during the annual Africa Conference held recently at the University of Texas, Austin. Presented April 5, the award recognizes deserving scholars who have made a mark in the field of African studies.

Oyebade received the award due to his “intellectual interests in the nexus of African security and international relations, including Africa’s placement in the United States’ foreign policy,” and for “advancing scholarship on African historiography and the African Diaspora” according to the award citation. He was also recognized as a superior educator in a broad range of Africa-oriented topics such as pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial Africa.

“It was an honor to be recognized by a group of my peers for my contribution to the academic study of Africa and its Diaspora,” said Oyebade.

This is the 10th year the award has been presented by the conference, which has been held annually for the past 14 years at the University of Texas, Austin. The conference is one of the largest academic gatherings of scholars of Africa and African Diaspora, and draws students and scholars from all over the world. This year, more than 150 scholars attended representing universities from Africa, Europe, Asia, Latin America and North America.

Oyebade joined the faculty at TSU in 2002 as an associate professor of History and was promoted to full professorship in 2007. His work has been recognized through several grants and fellowships including the Franklin D. Roosevelt Institute, a Ford Foundation fellowship, and funding from the Harry Truman Library Institute.

He received a similar accolade, “Research and Creativity Excellence Award,” in November 2013 from the University of North Carolina during a conference on African Historiography.

A noted author, Oyebade has written more than eighty scholarly articles, chapters and reviews. In addition, he has published eight books including his latest, The United States’ Foreign Policy in Africa in the 21st Century.

 

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Athletic Director Named to Tennessean’s Legendary Ladies Elite Eight

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – As Nashville prepared for the NCAA Women’s Final Four Basketball championship series last week, The Tennessean took a look back at eight women, all with ties to Middle Tennessee, who have helped put women’s basketball on the map in the United States.

One of those legendary figures is none other than Tennessee State University’s Athletic Director, Teresa Phillips. She joins other iconic figures such as Lin Dun, Marynell Meadors, Carolyn Peck, Alline Banks Sprouse, Pat Summitt, Nera White and Betty Wiseman.

Phillips became head of the TSU athletics department in April of 2002. She has the distinction of being the first woman ever to coach an NCAA Division I men’s basketball team en route to being named one of the “101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports” by Sports Illustrated in 2003.

The Tennessean also named her as the Second Most Influential Woman in Sports in Tennessee.  In addition, Phillips was named USA Today’s National Coach of the Year in 1990 and was a three-time OVC Coach of the Year selection.

Mike Organ, sports writer for The Tennessean, had a chance to speak with one of the most influential leaders and pioneers in college sports in Middle Tennessee.

 

 

Legendary Ladies: Middle Tennessee’s Elite Eight

 

Mike Organ
Courtesy of The Tennessean

While some bemoan the time it took for women’s basketball to catch up to men in terms of equality, Teresa Phillips has no complaints.

Phillips played a big role in the evolution of the women’s game in the Midstate not only as a player and coach, but also as an administrator.

And considering how far it had to go in order to reach the men’s level she’s been quite pleased.

“I think it was rather quick, actually,” Phillips said. “You couldn’t just shoot ahead at warp speed because individuals weren’t prepared for that and there wasn’t the infrastructure to handle that. But once some of the major schools decided to buy into women’s basketball they did it at the reasonable, quick pace at which it needed to be done.”

Phillips fondly and vividly recalls those early years playing at Vanderbilt because they weren’t that long ago. She was a member of the Commodores first three teams (1977-80). In fact, Phillips played on a club team at Vanderbilt her freshman year (1976-77) before the school recognized basketball as a varsity sport.

She remembers the days when teams made do on shoestring budgets, traveled in borrowed vans to play away games, and had only a handful of fans show up.

“It’s so fun now to think back on it and those were some great days,” she said. “Riding in the van doesn’t sound very exciting, but to see how far you’ve come from doing that or having to drive your individual cars to knowing that today they fly anywhere they want. They do pretty much anything they want. Their locker room and everything else for the most part is equitable to the men and that is satisfying.”

Tennessee State University Athletic Director Teresa Phillips talks with Jeremy Jackson during the men's team practice on Feb. 12, 2003. (Photo: Ricky Rogers, The Tennessean)
Tennessee State University Athletic Director Teresa Phillips talks with Jeremy Jackson during the men’s team practice on Feb. 12, 2003.
(Photo: Ricky Rogers, The Tennessean)

Phillips made national news when she became the first woman to coach in a men’s Division I college game in 2003.

Phillips didn’t take her seat on the men’s bench at TSU to make history. She simply felt she was left with no other option.

She had fired Tigers coach Nolan Richardson III earlier in the season and then suspended interim coach Hosea Lewis.

She had 19 years coaching experience at the time, had coached the TSU women three years earlier, and felt that her only option was to coach the team herself in its next game against Austin Peay. The eyes of the nation watched as the Tigers lost their 17th consecutive game falling to the Governors 71-56.

While Phillips was praised for taking such a bold move, it was a step she regrets having had to make.

“That would probably still go down as my lowest time in my career at Tennessee State,” Phillips said. “That was a decision that I didn’t think very much of; I didn’t think a big deal would be made of it and all of a sudden it was a big deal. It was not intended to make history.”

Sports Illustrated made sure Phillips made history by naming her one of its “101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports” that year.

The Tennessean named her the “Second Most Influential Woman in Sports” in the state.

Phillips may be 0-1 in her career coaching men’s basketball, but she was very successful coaching women.

After serving as an assistant at Vanderbilt (1981-1984) she became the coach at Fisk where she was named the WIAC Coach of the Year in 1987 and 1988. Her career record at Fisk was 68-34, which helped her to move on to TSU in 1989.

By 1990 she was named National Coach of the Year by USA TODAY.

Phillips went on to be named the OVC Coach of the Year three times including the 1993-94 season when the Lady Tigers claimed the league’s regular season and conference titles and sent them to the NCAA Tournament for the first time.

She guided TSU back to the NCAA Tournament the following year when the Lady Tigers posted a 22-7 overall record.

Phillips was named interim athletics director while she was still coaching. She stepped down as coach after the 2000 season to take over the athletics director position on a full-time basis.

Her career coaching record at TSU was 212-189, which is not bad considering she graduated from Vanderbilt with an economics degree and went to work as an insurance broker.

She never, however, lost her love for basketball.

“I just couldn’t get it out of my crawl, enjoying sports,” Phillips said. “I wasn’t making much money coaching in those early years and my father thought I was absolutely crazy. But with mother, the one thing that she really urged all of her children to do was to follow your heart. Follow what it is that you love and desire to do. I guess she was too crazy to realize I had all those bills to pay.”

 

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

New Approach to Spatial Thinking: TSU Launches Online Master’s Concentration in Applied GIS Education

Dr. Solomon Haile (left), assistant professor of Forestry and Applied GIS and coordinator of the PSM, briefs University members and board members on the new GIS program, as Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the CAHNS, looks on. The new online terminal degree program will start next fall, and provides broad-based expertise and cutting-edge skills, combining the scientific and technical knowledge of an advance degree in GIS with business knowledge and experience. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
Dr. Solomon Haile (left), assistant professor of Forestry and Applied GIS and coordinator of the PSM, briefs University members and board members on the new GIS program, as Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the CAHNS, looks on. The new online terminal degree program will start next fall, and provides broad-based expertise and cutting-edge skills, combining the scientific and technical knowledge of an advance degree in GIS with business knowledge and experience. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A new online degree concentration intended for professionals and students, who wish to advance their careers but do not plan to seek additional education at the doctoral level, will kick off at Tennessee State University next fall.

The Professional Science Master’s with a concentration in Applied Geospatial Information Sciences, which provides broad-based expertise and cutting-edge skills, combines the scientific and technical knowledge of an advance degree in GIS with business knowledge and experience, according to planners.

Designed for working professionals and full-time students, the program, which also allows participants to maintain a career while earning their degree, was necessitated by the need demonstrated by students in the current graduate certificate program, and the growing demand for well-trained professionals in the rapidly expanding GIS and Remote Sensing field.

The PSM is being coordinated between the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences; the College of Business; and the College of Public Service and Urban Affairs. Already hired professors in the three colleges will teach courses in the program.

At a ceremony Monday to launch the PSM degree program in the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, officials cited a U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training and Administration report that shows that an additional 150,000 positions requiring geospatial-based skills will be created by the year 2020.

“This program is a marriage between science, business and technology, which makes it a highly sought-after area for opportunities in many disciplines and areas of industry,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of CAHNS. “People completing this program are highly skilled in modern technology and are equipped to analyze data, answer questions and solve problems in a cutting-edge scientific environment.”

According to Dr. Solomon Haile, assistant professor of Forestry and Applied GIS and coordinator of the PSM, the program is beneficial to many professional areas including natural resources managers, environmental engineers, architects, city planners, public health officials, and urban and regional planners.

“A transition in the availability and acceptance of the use of geospatial technology has created an accelerated demand for experts in this field in both the public and private sectors,” Haile said.

He added that the program, which is further strengthened by an advisory board of actively engaged employers from industry, business, government and non-profits, will “contribute to the University’s mission by producing graduates with advanced training in the cutting-edge interfaces of science and management.” Board members, he said, provide advice to the faculty on curriculum, assist with internships and placement, as well as help to identify projects.

“PSM offers students training in science and the opportunity to develop workplace skills highly valued by employers,” Haile said.

The PSM, a “non-thesis” program, offers courses entirely online, and an internship with real-world experience. It requires the completion of 36 semester credit hours, and at least 300 internship hours under the supervision of an applied GIS practitioner, Haile said. Participants in the program must maintain no less than a 2.75 GPA. Like any graduate program, applicants must have a first degree at the baccalaureate level and a grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.00-point scale is required for admission. Applications must be processed through the College of Graduate Studies and Research.

 

 

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.