Category Archives: FACULTY

National Program Reviewers Assess TSU’s Honors College

nchcNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Reviewers from the National Collegiate Honors Council are visiting Tennessee State University to assess its Honors Program as it transitions to an Honors College.

The Tennessee Board of Regents and the Tennessee Commission for Higher Education officially approved the 52-year-old program in January to be an Honors College.

Dr. Hallie Savage, executive director of NCHE, and Dr. Gregory Lanier, co-chair of NCHC’s Assessment and Evaluation Committee, were to be at the university from April 13-14 to follow up on a self-study summited to the council a month ago, as well as ensure that the program is consistent with the university’s mission and goals.

During their visit, the reviewers were to also meet with key stakeholders, including TSU President Glenda Glover; Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Mark Hardy, as well as deans, faculty and students.

“We are very honored and pleased to have NCHC honors education experts Dr. Savage and Dr. Lanier to conduct the program review for our newly approved Honors College,” said Dr. Coreen Jackson, director of the TSU Honors College. “To have the best consultants in America come to our campus to help us transition to a prestigious Honors College will help us attract high achievers from around the globe.”

Jackson is a board member of the NCHC, serving a three-year term.

In a statement, the reviewers congratulated TSU for investing in the council’s program review process.

“Your investment in program review maximizes the benefit of your Honors College to your institution,” Savage said. “We are happy to provide information regarding program review, as well as transition from honors programs to colleges. The National Collegiate Honors Council is always ready to help improve and strengthen Honors education in any way that it can.”

More than 400 “high-ability” students are enrolled in the TSU Honors College.

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, 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 event attracts nearly 300 youngsters, lets them learn while they play

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Nearly 300 youngsters swarmed Tennessee State University’s indoor practice facility to participate in activities celebrating the Week of the Young Child.

Morgan Finley
TSU student Morgan Finley talks to children about nutrition. (By John Cross, TSU Medial Relations)

Three to 5-year-olds from several local schools participated in the April 13 event hosted by TSU’s Department of Family and Consumer Sciences and the Center for Learning Sciences.

Each April, the National Association for the Education of Young Children designates a week to focus on children.

At TSU, students and faculty from the university’s departments were asked to develop activities for the children related to their respective areas of study. Organizers say they want kids to build their skills, while also having fun.

“This is the age that it begins,” said Dr. Margaret Machara, who is in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. “If you can get them excited about learning, and excited about concepts in a play environment, then they’re going to do better in school, and better throughout.”

Activities included building a solar car and understanding how it operates, and learning about different plants, such as the African violet. The kids also learned lessons about health care and safety, such as washing their hands, and when to call 911.

Ashlie York, a student in the Career Mobility Program in TSU’s School of Nursing, participated in the event.  She said even at their young age, kids should understand that “they have resources to protect themselves and their family.”

“If you see a stranger come into your house, or someone else’s house, call 911,” said York, who works in the emergency department at Skyline Medical Center in Nashville. “If your family member is on the ground, and they can’t breathe, call 911. We want them to understand what is an emergency, and that they’re able to do something to help.”

Parents who attended the event were given a booklet on activities they can do to help their child continue to learn.

Tara House brought her 5-year-old daughter to the event and said she plans to share what she learned with other parents.

“This program is very beneficial,” House said. “I think everybody is enjoying themselves, and learning at the same time.”

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, 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 Astronomer Part of Team that Discovers Planet with Eccentric Orbit

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Dr. Gregory Henry

 NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Dr. Gregory Henry is part of a team of astronomers who have discovered an extrasolar planet scientists say has the most eccentric orbit ever seen.

The new planet is referred to as HD 20782 b and is about 117 light-years from Earth. It appears “elliptical or oblong” as it orbits around its star, astronomers say, which is unlike other planets in the solar system that have nearly circular orbits.

“The planet moves in a nearly flattened ellipse, traveling slowly far from its star and then making a fast and furious slingshot around the star at its closest approach,” Henry said. “At the furthest point in its orbit, the planet is separated from its star by 2.5 times the distance between the sun and Earth.”

At its closest approach, scientists say the new plant ventures as close as 6 percent of the Earth-sun distance, which is much closer than Mercury orbits the sun.

In congratulating Henry and his colleagues, TSU’s director of the Center of Excellence in Information Systems Engineering Management referred to Henry as “the first piece of TSU’s astronomy team.”

“Dr. Henry led an effort to establish the world’s first fully robotic observatory in collaboration with Fairborn Observatory in Southern Arizona,” said Dr. Matthew Muterspaugh, who is also professor of Physics and Astronomy at TSU. “Several of these telescopes were used to monitor the new planet’s host star to characterize the star’s properties and eliminate potential sources of false discovery.”

The team of astronomers, led by Steven Kane of San Francisco State University, say extrasolar planets like HD 20782 b pose “a wealth of questions” for astronomers.

“When we see a planet like this in an eccentric orbit, it can be really hard to explain how it got that way,” Kane said. “It’s kind of like looking at a murder scene, examining blood spatter patterns on the walls. You know something bad has happened, but you need to figure out what caused it.”

This new planetary discovery is just one of many involving TSU in the past.

For more than 25 years, Tennessee State University astronomers have been developing and operating a fleet of robotic telescopes in the mountains of southern Arizona.

In 1999, one of TSU’s robotic telescopes discovered the first transiting (eclipsing) exoplanet, providing the final evidence needed to prove the existence of other planetary systems.

“Our robotic telescopes have played a part in the discovery of over 150 extrasolar planets and planetary systems,” said Henry.

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, 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 Dental Hygiene Program Reaches Out to the Community in a Big Way

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Dental Hygiene Clinic is helping to provide needed care in the Nashville community.

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Abraham Osareme Simmons, who graduates in May, said community service was a key reason why he entered the Dental Hygiene program. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

In conjunction with its associate degree program, the clinic, located in Clement Hall on the main TSU campus, provides a wide range of dental services to nearly 600 patients a year at reduced cost. This includes the campus as well as the greater Nashville community.

“Outreach to the community is a significant part of what we do,” said Gary-Lee A. Lewis, chair of the Department of Dental Hygiene. “Our primary objectives here are to serve the community and prepare our students for licensure examinations. The hands-on training is extremely important to the students who will be job-ready at graduation, while the public receives quality, affordable dental care.”

That quality care will be on display April 22 at the Community Health and Wellness Fair in Kean Hall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The outreach event is free and open to the public.

The TSU clinic services include comprehensive oral examinations, X-rays, dental cleanings, radiography, oral health education, nutritional counseling, oral cancer screening, and tobacco assessment and cessation.

Graduates of the highly accredited program receive an Associate of Applied Science degree, which prepares them for diverse options in the health care environment.

Abraham Osareme Simmons, a senior Dental Hygiene major, said community service was part of the reason why he entered the program.

“I like to touch lives that are in need; that is very important to me,” said Simmons, who graduates in May. “That’s what inspired me to matriculate to the dental hygiene program. It is rewarding to see people feel good about themselves because of what you have done to make their lives better.”

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Reilly Poirier, a senior Dental Hygiene major, works on a patient in the Dental Hygiene Clinic. The clinic provides a range of services to about 600 patients a year. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The outreach initiatives of the program are not limited to services offered in the clinic, according to Brenda J. Kibbel, assistant professor of Dental Hygiene. Under the supervision of faculty, students are stationed in various areas in the community where they provide care.

“We are doing a lot of community outreach right now,” Kibbel said. “We actually have got in with the Metro Housing Development Association and we have been going to different housing projects doing oral cancer screening, preliminary screenings and education. We just did Cheatham Place where we saw 35 patients with 16 volunteer students.”

Students and professors have also completed services at Baby U and Hope Smiles at St. Thomas Medical Mobile Mission in Rutherford County, she said.

Besides dental screenings, the health and wellness fair will also provide fitness demonstrations and other health screenings including hypertension, glucose, and cholesterol. An educational component will offer information on weight loss management, nutrition, and HIV.

PROOFHealthFairv4v2b“Because HIV incidence is on the rise in communities with limited access to quality healthcare, our program’s message and mission is certainly in alignment with the goals and values of this event and its organizers,” said Vic Sorrell, Community Engagement Coordinator for Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s HIV Vaccine Program.

Sorrell will be among numerous health professionals ready to provide helpful information to people attending the event, which is sponsored by TSU, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and the DP Thomas Foundation for Obesity.

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, 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 Chemistry Day gives middle, high school students a chance to showcase their talent, participate in research

More than 100 middle and high school students recently participated in research and demonstrations at Tennessee State University’s 13th annual Chemistry Day.

The event on April 7 provided a platform for students to showcase their talent and knowledge in the field of chemistry as it seeks to expose students to one of many STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines. TSU students, faculty and staff also participated in the event, which was held in the Alger V. Boswell Science Complex.

It included a career fair featuring representatives from the American Chemical Society, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, and the Environmental Science Corporation, to name a few. In addition, a host of exhibitors were on-hand, along with the organization of a departmental tour for Hillsboro High School and J.T. Moore Middle School students in Nashville, who also participated in chemistry lab demonstrations and a Chemistry Challenge Quiz Bowl.

“This is the day we have an opportunity to expose ourselves to the community,” said Dr. Mohammed Karim, chair, TSU Department of Chemistry. “It allows people to see what we do in the department and to learn more about the research that takes place. In addition to the exposure it provides our current students, this is also an important recruitment tool in attracting high school students. This entire event is done without any expense to TSU.”

More than 50 TSU students served as volunteers, with the Chemistry Graduate Student Association and Chemistry Club heavily involved in helping to present the program.

“It was interesting to see chemistry done at a college level and to see a more physical side to chemistry,” said Colin Jones, an eighth-grade student from J.T. Moore Middle School. “We talk about it in school, but it was really cool to see it in action. The best part was the lab demonstrations. I learned that chemistry is in all things.”

As part of the day’s activities, the department also engages alumni in the event. This year, the department welcomed back Dr. Jeanita S. Pritchett, an analytical chemist in the Chemical Sciences Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and a 2005 graduate of TSU, who was the featured speaker. Her topic, “Breaking Down Barriers in the STEM Field,” focused on inspiring the next generation of scientists, particularly women and minority groups, to pursue one of the many possible careers in science.

“The College of Life & Physical Sciences takes great pride in this opportunity to promote science education for students and teachers, while encouraging minority participation in the STEM areas,” said Dr. Lonnie Sharpe, interim dean. “I encourage potential students to inquire about our academic programs for enrollment and to return to our institution to learn more about our historical significance and to experience the environment which fosters student success.”

 

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, 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 alumni giving exceeds half million dollars in honor of parents

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The children of two prominent Tennessee State University alumni have donated $250,000 in honor of their parents who attended TSU 80 years ago.

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TSU alumnus Damon Lee III, (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Damon Lee III, a 1967 graduate with a Business Administration degree, made the donation in the names of Damon and Rachel Lee at TSU’s 2016 Scholarship Appreciation Reception on April 7. His sister, Kimberly Lee-Lamb, also contributed to the gift, which will benefit TSU’s College of Business by providing scholarships to out-of-state juniors and seniors majoring in business.

The Damon and Rachel Lee Scholarship Endowment Fund was established in 1999 with a $200,000 donation to TSU. The family donated $50,000 to the university in 2005, and with this latest donation, their total contributions to the university exceed $500,000.

TSU officials say the family’s recent donation is among the top five given by a family in the university’s history.

“We are very grateful for the contributions the Lee family has made to Tennessee State University over the years,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “This latest donation not only shows their continued commitment to TSU, but their desire to better the lives of students by helping them get a quality education to compete in the global marketplace.”

Damon and Rachel Lee were college sweethearts. Damon was a founding member of TSU’s Beta Omicron Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, and graduated with honors in 1935 with a degree in History. Years later, after relocating to Los Angeles, he earned a Doctor of Chiropractic degree and license.

Rachel was a Business Education major and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. After graduating in 1936, she began a career as a business education teacher at Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta, Georgia. She continued her teaching career in Los Angeles at Los Angeles Unified School District.

Damon Lee III said both his parents were business advocates who believed in “people having a knowledge of business, regardless of your profession.”

“The whole world revolves around business,” said Lee, a retired Los Angeles-based corporate marketing executive.

Eloise Abernathy Alexis is associate vice president for institutional advancement at TSU. She said while the latest donation by the Lee family will benefit students, she believes it will also inspire other alumni to give to the university.

“Regardless of the amount, when an alum sees another alum give, they say … ‘I should do that too,’” said Alexis.

 

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, 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.

White House official urges TSU faculty, students to take advantage of federal funding to promote research

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The head of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities urged faculty at Tennessee State University to take advantage of federal funding to promote their research.

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State Rep. Harold Love, Jr.; TSU Chief Research Officer Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young; Valerie Williams, director of the Center of Excellence for Learning Sciences, attend the symposium. (Photo By John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Dr. Ivory A. Toldson spoke on April 6 during TSU’s 38th Annual University-Wide Research Symposium, which gives faculty, undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to present their research, as well as hear presentations on how to expand it.

Toldson was appointed by President Barack Obama to devise national strategies to sustain and expand federal support to the nation’s 100 HBCUs.

Toldson said before his speech at the symposium that TSU is in the top 10 as far as generating revenue from the federal government for research activities, and he wants to encourage the university to continue “tapping into these resources and make sure that they have every opportunity to build a robust research infrastructure.”

“It’s an 1890 land-grant institution that has a good working relationship with the federal government,” Toldson said of TSU. “It has a historic mission and a current mission that is in line with President Obama’s priority of making sure that students graduate on time and have the type of experiences that help them to land good jobs after college.”

Dr. Earnestine Easter with the National Science Foundation also spoke at the weeklong symposium that began on April 4. She said one of TSU’s strengths is its strong connection to the community, noting the Nashville Business Incubation Center, which is run by TSU.

“You have a connection … where you’re able to kind of demonstrate your expertise in doing innovations and connecting to the business community,” said Easter, a program officer in the division of graduate education in the directorate for education and human resources at NSF. “I’m real excited about the positioning that Tennessee State has right now, and the opportunities for it to do even more.”

Joshua O’Hair, a graduate research assistant in TSU’s Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Department, said this is the second symposium he’s attended at TSU and that it’s been helpful in applying for grants.

“They definitely have some really good opportunities,” said O’Hair. “They let us know what we need to have for a really good competitive application.”

Last year, TSU set a record with $51 million in new research awards.

Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, TSU’s chief research officer, said the university is hoping to break another record this year, “and a big part of that is for faculty members to know what’s available so we can write those proposals and get funding.”

 

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, 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 Football Players Teach Youngsters Importance of Physical Fitness

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The TSU Tigers’ football team recently took time to help some tiger cubs understand the importance of staying fit.

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TSU Tigers Middle Linebacker Chris Collins runs 2-5-year-olds through a drill in the Indoor Practice Field to show the young tigers the importance of physical fitness. The children are from the TSU Early Learning Center. (Photo by TSU Sports Information)

The program on April 1 was part of activities planned by the university’s Early Learning Center to engage its 2 to 5-year-olds in fun activities with the football players, while giving them an early start in physical fitness.

“It was all fun and an effort to get these young kids an early start in physical activities,” said Coach Rod Reed.

Dr. Beatrice Harris, the center’s director, said she enjoyed watching the football players interact with the youngsters.

“We really just wanted the football team to show the Little Tigers of the Early Learning Center how to catch and throw a football, “ she said.

Chris Collins, a middle linebacker with the Tigers and a sophomore mass communications major, said the experience with the children brought back old memories.

“I remember when I was a little kid, older kids would come and play with us and actually take us through football drills at summer camp,” Collins said. “It was just a lot of fun, and something these kids will remember for a long time.”

Collins, who led the drills in the Indoor Practice Field, said the children did stretches, ran up and down the practice field, and jumped over dummies, “like we do in real practice.”

“This teaches the kids a little discipline like we do as athletes to get ready and get warmed up for the season,” Reed said. “Hopefully this will teach them the importance of staying fit.”

The Department of Family and Consumer Sciences in the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences runs the Early Learning Center, which conducts research in all phases of early education and child development.

Seventeen children are enrolled at the center, which runs from 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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, 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 leads national service project that continues legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is using funding it was awarded to help facilitate a national service initiative involving 10 other higher education institutions in the southeast region.

Following a competitive grant process, TSU received $447,000 in June from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the agency that leads the national Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.

“Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed in service, and this initiative falls in line with not just his belief, but TSU’s motto – Think. Work. Serve,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “We’re proud that TSU was selected as one of six institutions to help lead this national service project.”

TSU’s Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement was one of six organizations to receive federal and matching funds from CNCS to mobilize volunteers to honor King’s memory through service projects. TSU then provided the 10 regional HBCUs with mini-grants up to $4,400.

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TSU student Dazzjah Jones helps with beautification project at a local day care center. (By John Cross, TSU Media Service)

Some of the institutions used the grants for activities in January, while others are doing theirs through August. The activities include community beautification, disaster relief initiatives, and financial literacy and on-site education events.

Specifically at TSU, which performed its activities the first weekend in April, students and community volunteers packed disaster relief boxes, helped workers at Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, and partnered with the Nashville Area American Red Cross to help install smoke detectors in homes.

Carrie Grishaber was one of several workers with the American Red Cross who were with students when they visited homes to promote fire safety.

“This benefits the community because we get the students really involved in the neighborhoods,”Grishaber said. “People get to see the Red Cross and college students together, making a positive difference.”

TSU student Tyler Lewis was one of the more than 400 individuals who signed up to participate in TSU’s MLK Day of Service. She was in one of the groups that visited homes near the college to teach people how to be prepared for home fires and to install smoke alarms where needed.

“I know this will help the community,” said Lewis, an 18-year-old psychology major. “Lives are lost every year due to not knowing, or not understanding, ways to protect yourself when it comes to fire.”

At Second Harvest Food Bank, volunteer services manager Stacie Denton said she’s grateful for TSU’s volunteer service.

“Volunteers are critical to our day-to-day operations and provide invaluable support in the fight against hunger in Middle Tennessee,” Denton said.

TSU junior Christina Young said the activities give her and other students a chance “to give back.”

“I think it’s very important to give back and be aware of other surroundings,” said the 21-year-old Young, who is majoring in mass communications. “This makes you not just think about yourself, but think about others.”

Established in 1993, CNCS engages more than five million Americans in service through different programs each year. The funding is intended to get more Americans to observe the MLK federal holiday as a day of service in communities, and encourage them to make a long-term commitment to community service.

“We want people to realize that Dr. King’s holiday is not just a day off,” said Shirley Nix-Davis, director of a youth empowerment program at TSU and one of the MLK Day of Service project directors. “But it’s an opportunity to serve, and continue serving throughout the year.”

The colleges and universities that received mini-grants from TSU are Albany State University, American Baptist College, Benedict College, Clinton College, Dillard University, Huston-Tillotson University, Jackson State University, Morehouse College, Southern University and A&M College, and Talladega College.

 

New Tennessean Editor, Pulitzer Prize Winner Talks Journalism to TSU Students

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A Pulitzer Prize-winning editor recently visited Tennessee State University journalism students and encouraged them to be a “voice for people who cannot speak for themselves.”

Michael Anastasi, vice president and executive editor of The Tennessean, spoke to the students and the staff of The Meter, TSU’s student newspaper, at a gathering in the Learning Resource Center Auditorium on March 28.

A journalist for nearly 30 years, Anastasi came to The Tennessean from the Los Angeles News Group, one of the nation’s largest news organizations, where he was the senior vice president and executive editor for nearly four years.

Under his leadership, The Daily Breeze, one of the papers owned by the Los Angeles News Group, won the Pulitzer in 2015 for local reporting for an investigation into the Centinela Valley (Calif.) Union High School District, which exposed the superintendent’s excessive salary and annual perks.

“As journalists, we must always be at the forefront in the performance of our duty,” said Anastasi, who started at The Tennessean in November. “Lots of people don’t like us because of our fight against the ills of society. As journalists, we can effect change in how we do our work and in many cases becoming the voice for people who cannot speak for themselves.”

Anastasi urged students to keep up with new technology, saying digital media is fast becoming the way of the future in reporting the news.

“Digital journalism is how you stay ahead,” he said. “Fundamentals like currency will never change, but how we report the news is changing fast.”

Shayla Simmons is a freshman Journalism major and a writer for The Meter. Next year she will become the newspaper’s digital editor.

“The speaker was right on point,” Simmons said. “I expect us to take full advantage of the digital age and engage students across multiple platforms.”

Delvakio Brown, a senior communications major, said Anastasi was inspiring.

“Listening to him share his stories of accomplishments was worth my time and effort,” Brown said. “He shared with us his story of how he accomplished more than writing but how he changed lives through it.”

Dr. Karen Dunlap, former president of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies and an adjunct professor of journalism at TSU, said it was important to have someone like Anastasi speak to the students.

“This is so important for students to see what’s happening in the media today, to hear from a senior executive and even just hear about investigative reporting,” Dunlap said. “I am glad the students were here to hear him.”

Meter adviser Sandra Long Weaver agreed.

“I wanted the students to hear what it takes to do that and to know the kinds of people he hires,” Weaver said. “And I think they benefitted from what he talked about today.”

Anastasi said his visit was also about building a relationship with TSU, and seeing how The Tennessean can best work with the university and the administration.

“It is extremely important for The Tennessean, and me personally, to have a meaningful relationship with all of our local universities,” he said. “I think we have a vital role to play in having that relationship with administration to understand what their mission is, and what their strategic priorities are to see where we can work together as partners.”

TSU Assistant Vice President  for Student Affairs, Dr. Cheryl Green, welcomed Anastasi on behalf of President Glenda Glover.

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, 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.