Category Archives: Featured

TSU’s Tiffany Steward Selected to State’s Higher Education Leadership Team

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tiffany Bellafant Steward, TSU’s assistant vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Success, is a member of the 2019-2020 cohort of the Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute.

Stewart was one of only 28 leaders from higher education, K-12 education, government, business and industry selected by the State Collaborative on Reforming Education, or SCORE, for the fourth cohort of CTLI.

“It is an honor to be selected as one of 28 leaders from across the state to participate in the Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute,” Steward said. “I look forward to contributing to postsecondary student success and making an impact on access to higher education across the state of Tennessee.”

Since 2016, the Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute has been strengthening leadership capacity to increase higher education completion rates, fostering partnerships to build actionable coalitions, and exploring innovative solutions to local and statewide collaboration and student success. 

To build on the foundation of the program, SCORE will partner with The Hunt Institute. The Hunt Institute, recognized as a national leader in the movement to transform public education, will assist in designing learning opportunities, facilitating sessions as an expert out-of-state voice and developing strategies to help participants translate their learning into action.

“The Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute is focused on educating and engaging Tennessee leaders about education opportunities and challenges in Tennessee post-secondary education,” SCORE President and CEO David Mansouri said. “SCORE is excited to build on the program’s foundation and explore with the new cohort how we can push for quality and equity in education so all Tennessee students are able to earn the post-secondary credentials and degrees needed for successful careers.”

According to a SCORE news release, over the course of a year, Steward and her fellow cohorts will explore higher education and economic issues at the local level, witness best practices and policies to tackle real challenges, and build professional relationships with a group of strong leaders advocating for change across Tennessee.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU hosts Small Farm Expo, National Women in Agriculture Association conference

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University highlighted the latest research in agriculture this week at its Small Farm Expo, and the National Women in Agriculture Association conference the institution hosted on its downtown campus.

The Expo, the 15th year of the event, was held Sept. 4 in the university’s Pavilion Agricultural Research and Education Center. The NWIAA conference was Sept. 5-6 on the Avon Williams Campus.

“Small Farmer of the Year” Daryl Leven, College of Ag Dean Dr. Chandra Reddy, and Jo Anne Waterman, extension agent for Shelby County. (Photo by Joan Kite, College of Agriculture)

TSU President Glenda Glover welcomed attendees to the Expo and stressed the importance of small farmers.

“This is special to TSU because we are a land grant institution, and we specialize in land grant activities,” said Glover. “Farming is major to us. We really appreciate small farmers.”

Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of TSU’s College of Agriculture, echoed that sentiment.

“Small farmers are a majority of the state farming community,” said Reddy. “They are very innovative. They’re not so much interested in producing high quantities of products. They want to get quality in the niche markets, and profitability.”

The Expo featured speakers at the local, state and federal levels, and provided workshops on topics such as urban agriculture, use of drones in agriculture, and hemp research.

Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher and State Sen. Frank Niceley were among the speakers. Hatcher said events like the Expo are beneficial to farmers in economically distressed counties.

“It’s tough right now for farmers,” said Hatcher, referring to the trade wars and flooding. “So this gives them hope for the innovation and technology that’s available to them. We have legislators, we have the governor’s office that’s onboard, we have universities like TSU, and others across the state, coming together to make things better.”

Sheldon Hightower, state conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Tennessee, said the Expo is an opportunity to “build partnerships” that last.

“What we’re trying to do is sustain agriculture for future generations,” said Hightower. “So it takes universities such as TSU to help us carry out that mission to sustain agriculture, to educate our youth about the importance of agriculture here in Tennessee.”

Reginald Holland of Clarksville, Tennessee, is a graduate student working on a degree in agriculture science at TSU. He attended the Expo and said it was “very beneficial.”

“This is a great function,” said Holland, who was among a number of students attending the event. “What we learn here, we can apply to the future workforce.”

One of the highlights of the Expo is the announcement of the “Small Farmer of the Year.” This year’s winner was Daryl Leven, owner of New Way Aquaponics Farms in Shelby County.

Farms, which opened in 2017 in the Annesdale-Snowden section of Memphis, grows vegetables and fish within a closed system using only 10 percent of the water used in conventional agriculture. The farm raises tilapia and grows lettuce, basil, stevia, and other herbal plants. The farm also hosts educational workshops for middle and high schoolers interested in learning about growing fish and food using aquaponics.

At the NWIAA conference, the focus was on opportunities for women in agriculture. The conference also featured speakers and workshops. One of the more popular, as was the case at the Expo, was discussion of hemp production.

Products made from hemp. (Photo by Joan Kite)

Bobbette Fagel traveled from Ruffin, North Carolina, to attend the conference. She has a little over 52 acres and is considering growing hemp.

“Hemp is fast growing,” said Fagel. “You can use it for the production of a lot of materials that traditional wood is used for.”

Tennessee State is among the nation’s leaders in hemp research. The university’s College of Agriculture has hosted several hemp workshops, and has charged a team of scientists to develop hemp production practices for Tennessee. The research projects include developing hemp nutritional products for human consumption and studying the economic viability of hemp production. Currently, the university is growing and evaluating 10 varieties of hemp.

For more information about TSU’s College of Agriculture, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University Welcomes Class of 2023 At Freshman Convocation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University welcomed first-year students during the 2019 freshman convocation on Aug. 30.

Nearly 1,400 incoming freshman students were inducted during the ceremony in Kean Hall.

TSU President Glenda Glover welcomed the students to the university, calling TSU “the greatest institution for men, women, boys and girls on earth and in heaven.”

“Your class is one of the strongest ever.  You have such high ACT scores. You have such good GPAs,” she said.  “You hail from 41states and 21 different countries.  You’re from Bangladesh, Canada, China, Columbia, Ethiopia, France, Ghana, Great Britain, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Pakistan Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Uganda and Vietnam.”

Dr. John Cade, vice president for Enrollment and Student Success, presented the students for the induction.

Female students taking Freshman Pledge at 2019 Freshman Convocation.

“Madam President, it is my pleasure to present these young people who have satisfied all the requirements for admission to Tennessee State University as freshmen and students with advance standing,” Cade said.

With each student holding a lighted candle symbolizing “knowledge and truth,” they took the TSU Freshman Pledge..

Aaliyah Brown, an economics and finance major from Chattanooga, said the induction ceremony is an experience she will always remember.

Aaliyah Brown

“It was a good feeling to see all of my classmates, all the men and women, in our white,” she said. “When I was leaving the residence hall, there were a bunch of girls in white, and we all looked very beautiful and put together.  It was a great moment to cherish.”

Brown said she decided to come to TSU after visiting the campus for Preview Day.

“I fell in love with the College of Business.  That was what really sold me.  I said this is where I have to be if I want to be successful and have a good career.  I was just amazed,” she said.

Females dressed in white with pearls presented to them by the TSU Women’s Center, and males dressed in white shirts and blue pants, sporting TSU-supplied blue and red ties. They pledged to commit themselves “to serious intellectual and cultural efforts” and to deport themselves “with honor and dignity to become better prepared to live a full and useful life in society.”

Male students preparing for induction at 2019 Freshman Convocation.

In addition to student representatives, speakers at the convocation included Dr. Alisa Mosley, interim vice president for Academic Affairs, Joni McReynolds, president of the TSU National Alumni Association and Dr. Geoffrey Burks, associate professor of physics.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU’s College of Business prepares students for Nashville’s booming tourism industry

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Hospitality and Tourism program in the College of Business is helping students capitalize on the state’s multibillion-dollar tourism and hospitality industry.

Last year, Nashville took in $7 billion from tourists, according to the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation.

Zuhair Al-Bunni, a TSU junior majoring in business administration with an emphasis in hospitality. (TSU Media Relations)

TSU has been a leader among other local colleges in providing education in Tourism and Hospitality to meet the needs of the booming industry in Nashville.

“The partnerships we’ve cultivated with businesses and organizations across the city have been vital to our success as educators,” says TSU President Glenda Glover.

“From the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp., to the Music City Center, to a long list of hotels and entertainment attractions across Davidson County, these community partners have helped launch careers for area university students. In return, these organizations receive ambitious, energetic young minds who help meet a growing employment need as the Music City’s brand continues to draw millions from across the globe eager to experience our rich and friendly culture.”

Dr. Millicent Lownes-Jackson, Dean of the College of Business at TSU, echoes President Glover’s sentiments that the university is in a unique position to provide students the very best education and workforce preparation in the industry. 

“We are fortunate to be located in a city that is on the move!” says Dr. Lownes-Jackson. 

“In 2018 alone, 15 new hotels and 131 new restaurants opened and Nashville was repeatedly named as one of the best travel destinations of the year. This represents a tremendous opportunity for our students to grow and lead within an industry that is thriving in Nashville.”

The College of Business dean adds that TSU’s Hospitality and Tourism program combines “rigorous academic training with real-world experience in the industry.”

Zuhair Al-Bunni is a junior majoring in business administration with an emphasis in hospitality. Through TSU’s Hospitality and Tourism program, he currently has an internship at a local hotel, and plans to one day be a general manager at one.

“The program at TSU is helping to give me real-world experience,” says Al-Bunni. “The market is expected to keep on booming. So when I graduate, I will have all I need to be successful in this industry.”

The university’s Hospitality Management program in particular gives students the opportunity to build their entrepreneurial, managerial, functional, operational, and analytical skill set to maximize their success.

Because of Nashville’s lucrative tourism industry, they are able to benefit from a dynamic local, national, and global competitive environment

“The College of Business has partnered with the leaders of Nashville hotels, restaurant groups, and others within the tourism industry to provide our students with a forward-thinking experience that will prepare them to lead within the industry,” says Dr. Chunxing Fan, chair of the Department of Business Administration.

There were 71,140 hospitality industry jobs in Nashville in 2018, and 15.8 million visitors traveled to the Greater Nashville area in fiscal year 2019, a 7 percent increase over FY18’s 14.8 million, according to NCVC.

“It is no secret that Nashville’s economic boom is intimately tied to its growing hospitality and tourism community,” says Marie Sueing, NCVC’s vice president of multi-cultural community relations. 

“A professional workforce is critical to the continued success of this industry, and great programs such as the one offered at Tennessee State University will help to prepare individuals for the many career opportunities available in the hospitality and tourism field. Of equal importance, is having a rich and diverse workforce to ensure that visitors from all over the world feel welcome in all of our communities. TSU will play a significant role in helping to fill the need for these leadership positions throughout Music City.”

To learn more about TSU’s College of Business Hospitality Management curriculum and its other programs, visit www.tnstate.edu/business/index.aspx.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU’s Inaugural ‘Big Blue Glimpse’ Attracts More than 50 Top Area High School Students

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – TSU’s first Big Blue Glimpse was a huge success with top students from Nashville’s Maplewood High School. Officials said about 50 seniors and juniors with grade point averages of 3.0 and above attended the daylong event on TSU’s main campus on Aug. 23.

Terrence Izzard

Organized by the Office of Enrollment Management and Student Success, Big Blue Glimpse is a mini preview day designed to give students, families, guidance counselors and community partners an opportunity to get “just a small glimpse” of all the many opportunities at the university.

“The visiting students really had an opportunity to spend time with admissions officials and learn about program offerings and scholarship opportunities,” said Terrence Izzard, associate vice president of Enrollment Management and Student Success. “They also had a wonderful time interacting with our  Student Government Association president, Mister and Miss TSU and their Royal Court.”

Mr. TSU Damyr Morre, left, welcomes a student from Maplewood High. (Courtesy Photo)

Big Blue Glimpse, a much smaller version of Spring Preview Day, which is held in April, is one of many recruitment initiatives intended to go after and encourage top students to consider TSU in their higher education pursuit. It is held twice a year – one in the fall and the other in the spring.

“Our unit exists to open the doors to scholars from around the world,” Izzard said. “We want to attract the best and the brightest scholars to TSU. So, the Big Blue Glimpse gives us that opportunity.”

Mr. TSU, Damyr Moore, a senior mass communication major Atlanta, talked to the visiting students about leadership and the opportunities at TSU.

“TSU is a place where you get a second chance,” More said. “You come here to find out who you are. Service and leadership will push you to new evolution.”

TSU admissions staff and student government leaders participated in Big Blue Glimpse. From left are: Portia Johnson, a Ph.D. student; Jada Crisp, Miss TSU; Damyr Moore, Mr. TSU; Ryan Smith, SGA executive vice president; and Alan Lancaster, assistant director of recruitment. (Courtesy photo)

On April 13, more than 1,000 high school students and their parents from across the nation descended upon TSU for Spring Preview Day 2019. The day started with check in and a student organization fair in the Gentry Center Complex where student leaders, campus administrators, faculty and staff welcomed the students and their parents to campus.

Like participants in spring preview, Izzard said Maplewood students who attended the Big Blue Glimpse left with an academic overview of the university and received special gifts from the admissions and recruitment department.

“They also made personal contact with our top-tier leaders here at TSU,” Izzard added.

For more information on admission to Tennessee State University, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/admissions/.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Partners With Apple, Inc. to Offer Alums Free App Design and Development Course

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Technology giant Apple, Inc. has partnered with Tennessee State University to give minorities and underserved communities greater access to the field. TSU has been charged with strengthening the collaboration by offering the company’s coding curriculum to new audiences.

That expansion includes providing TSU alums the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of app design and app development for free. Computer Applications for Educational Leaders is being offered through the TSU School of Graduate and Professional Studies, and is accepting applications now.

The course supports the university’s mission to provide life-long learning opportunities to the TSU alumni.

“This course is the first of its kind to address an individual’s working and learning style where they can take the course on-ground, online, hybrid or at the Apple Store,” said Dr. Robbie K. Melton, Tennessee State University’s dean of Graduate and Professional Studies and program director for the coding initiative.

Dr. Melton also says the curriculum is structured to provide onsite instruction for groups of 10 or more wherever they are located.

That scheduling flexibility is what attracted Dr. Jeffery Norfleet, associate dean of Academic Services at Trevecca Nazarene University.

Dr. Jeffery Norfleet (Photo Submitted)

“I like to learn virtually because it just works with my time and my schedule,” said Norfleet, who received his undergraduate degree from TSU in Humanities in 2008 and his master’s in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in educational technology in 2010.

“There are apps out their for everyone. Apps out there that will help you with your personal life, your professional life, and your spiritual journey,” he said. “We may not be coding experts as far as the ‘IT’ side is concerned, but from your basic line of work and employment, you can utilize this skill set to benefit the community in which you live.”

Norfleet, a Clarksville-native who served as saxophone section leader with the Aristocrat of Bands while at TSU, said he believes efforts like this one will strengthen the university’s relationship with its alumni.

Jeffery Norfleet marching with the Aristocrat of Band as an undergraduate student at Tennessee State University. (Photo Submitted)

“I think this will begin to open up doors where students can see that they may have walked away with one major or one type of master’s, but the resources that the school wants to pour back into them will give them the opportunity to continue to develop their professional skill set as well as their personal skill set,” he said.

“It also encourages them to give back to the university, because these opportunities don’t come free at most places. “

Sheron B. Doss, who secured a bachelors degree in Social Welfare from TSU in 1976, is proving you’re never too old to learn, and said courses like this one are important for seniors.

“At our age, we assume we are too old to learn, but why shouldn’t we learn now,” said Doss, who was recently accepted into the doctoral program for Administration Management in Pre-K and Higher Education at TSU.

Sheron B. Doss (Photo Submitted)

“We are living longer, and we have got to be there rather than depend on our children and grandchildren. It makes communicating and living so much easier.”

Melton said the HBCU C2 initiative puts TSU on the forefront of embracing STEM, and she credits the university’s partnership with Apple with being key to its success. She said TSU employees as well as Tennessee high school students are also eligible to take the free course.

“Apple provides an approach to introduce coding and creativity in a nonthreatening manner,” she said. “You have children coding. You have seniors coding, and the fact that we have over 200 people from high school to senior citizen centers wanting to code and create is phenomenal.”

The push comes on the heels of the university’s July launch of HBCU C2 “Everyone Can Code and Everyone Can Create”, a national initiative supported by Apple, Inc., which seeks to bring coding experiences to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and underserved communities.

“Apple is encouraging us to offer more academies because of the result from the academy this summer in which five of the apps that were designed are now being tested on campuses,” said Melton.

“We got a call from the Department of Labor because they received word from other constituents about the excitement, not just in Tennessee, but throughout all HBCUs regarding our transformation attitude regarding STEM careers,” she added.

Doss, who found out about the class during registration, said she took Melton’s Microcomputer Technology in Primary and Elementary Schools course in 2017. She encourages all alums to take advantage of the free learning opportunity.

“I don’t care who you are. I don’t care what level or what age, just start,” she said. “Just look at it, and I guarantee you that something in the course during the duration of the class will make you happy, will make you glad, and if you are like me, it will excite you.”

TSU hosted the inaugural HBCU C2 Presidential Academy July 14-19 through its newly established National Center for Smart Technology Innovations. Leaders of 14 historically black colleges and universities – including Tennessee State – from across the country came away from the Academy with knowledge and skills in coding and app development from Apple’s comprehensive coding curriculum, which utilizes its popular Swift programming language.

For more information about enrolling in EDAD 6100: Computer Applications for Educational Leaders course, contact Deborah Chisom at dchisom@tnstate.edu or call (615) 963-7390.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University Names Dr. Jerri Haynes Dean of the College of Education

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University has named Dr. Jerri A. Haynes the new dean of the College of Education. Haynes comes to TSU from Fort Hays State University, where she was associate professor and assistant dean of the College of Education.

Dr. Jerri A. Haynes

“Through a faculty-driven process, the search committee recommended Dr. Jerri Haynes,” said Dr. Alisa Mosley, interim vice president for Academic Affairs.

“The faculty supported Dr. Haynes for her administrative capabilities, her insight on the needs of P-20 education, and her desire to impact academic programs. She understands how to build collaborations with our external stakeholders and help our students succeed.”

 A prolific writer credited with a number of peer-reviewed professional articles, Haynes has a wealth of experience in higher education and K-12 administration. At Fort Hays State University, she also served as director of assessment and accreditation. Previously, she was ESOL coordinator and department chair at Bethune-Cookman University.

“I am excited about being at Tennessee State University,” Haynes said. “This is an opportunity for me to make a difference in the College of Education and pretty much leave my legacy as to how we can move forward in the 21st century.”

With a student-centered philosophy, Haynes said under her leadership the College of Education’s primary focus will be recruitment, retention, graduation and employment, and building stronger partnerships with stakeholders like K-12 school systems,  community colleges, local agencies and organizations.

“First, we must make students our priority, be more supportive of students,” Haynes said. “It is more than just about getting students to the university and say, ‘You are here and it’s now up to you to complete the process.’ We must realize that they have aspirations and that it is our responsibility to help them resolve those aspirations. This means that faculty must rethink the way they teach. They definitely have to rethink how they approach students in the 21st century. We have to build relationships with the students.”

Haynes holds a doctorate degree in child and youth studies, and an Ed.S. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, both from Nova Southern University; and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in elementary education from Florida A&M University.

A year ago, HBCU Lifestyle, a publication dedicated to “black college living,” ranked TSU No. 1 among the “Top 10 HBCUs that Produce Teachers” in the nation. The publication, which provides HBCU students and their families with “valuable advice” about college admissions, campus life and financial aid resources, said TSU’s undergraduate and graduate offerings and concentrations in biology, chemistry and elementary education made the school’s teacher preparation program more attractive.

For more information on the College of Education, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/coe/degrees.aspx/#undergraduate

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU’s ‘Tied to Success’ Initiative promotes self-esteem, dress etiquette for Male Freshmen

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Jon-Robert Jones never gave much thought to wearing a tie. But after tying his first one, the Tennessee State University mass communications major has a new mindset. 

“It is just fascinating how something so simple can change your whole image,” said Jones, who was among nearly 400 first-time male freshmen who participated Thursday night in “Tied to Success,” a rite of passage for all incoming male students at TSU. A highlight of the program is when the young men are given ties.

Frank Stevenson, Dean of Students and Interim Vice President of Student Affairs, presents student leaders and mentors (dressed for business) to incoming male freshmen at the Tied to Success ceremony in Poag Auditorium. (Photo by Michael McLendon, TSU Media Relations)

“I love seeing folks nicely dressed, but I didn’t think it was cool for me,” said Jones of Decatur,  Georgia. “I am liking it.”

As a welcome into the “Big Blue Brotherhood,” the young men were given TSU blue ties with the name of the university. For some, like Jones, it was the first one they’ve owned. University officials, upperclassmen, and community leaders were on hand to assist those who needed help tying the perfect knot.

Before the tie tying and male bonding, officials and student mentors talked to the freshmen about proper campus behavior and how to present themselves in general.

TSU administrators, including Dr. Curtis Johnson, Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President for Administration, front right, demonstrate the art of tying the perfect knot to incoming freshmen. (Photo by Michael McLendon, TSU Media Relations)

“As these students embark on their college careers and prepare for the professional world, we want to help them develop good character and avoid anything that could hinder their future success,” said Frank Stevenson, TSU’s dean of students and interim vice president for Student Affairs. ‘’Tied to Success’ is a step in that direction; we’re preparing them now.”

Damyr Moore, a student mentor and the new Mr. TSU, was among those helping the incoming freshmen with their ties.

“I feel like this is very important for these young men,” said Moore, a senior mass communications major from Atlanta. “This event not only shows them another next step in manhood, that it is important to be able to tie a tie, but it is nice to know there are brothers here who are willing to help you learn these things so you can be a better person.”

Jon-Robert Jones, right, for the first time ever, is wearing a well-knotted tie he perfected with the help of Brent Dukhie, interim Executive Director for Housing and Residence Life. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

Moore’s sentiments rang through to Coreyontez Martin, a freshman health sciences major from Louisville, Kentucky. He knows how to tie a tie, but wants to be an encouragement to fellow freshmen who don’t know.

“Knowing how to tie a tie gives them an opportunity that can help them later in life or in their careers,” Martin said. “For me and my fellow freshmen, this gives us an opportunity to learn something that the classroom really can’t teach you. I appreciate the orientation and hope other institutions will emulate TSU.”

At last night’s ceremony, several senior administration officials, faculty, alumni, staff, and community leaders joined in to admonish the newcomers about academics, image and deportment. Among them were Dr. Curtis Johnson, chief of staff and associate vice president for administration; Terrance Izzard, associate vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Success; Dr. John Robinson, interim associate vice president for Academic Affairs; and Grant Winrow, special assistant to the president.

“I think the night and this opportunity were good not just for the students but for the university community to show these young men that they are our concern and that we care about them,” Johnson said. “This is an opportunity to engage them and to encourage them to utilize the resources we have here on the campus.”

State Rep. Harold Love, Jr., a TSU alum, and a regular participant in “Tied to Success” for the last three years, said the initiative reinforces that TSU is intentional about the incoming students’ success, academically, as well as socially.

“We talk about the African American male and the struggle they often have when they first arrive on a college campus,” Love said. “It is initiatives like this that allow them to make the transition easier. It instills in them that the TSU community as a whole is concerned about them, and more specifically, we want to give them the skill they need to be successful when they graduate.”

According to organizers, about 400 male students participated in this year’s Tied to Success, which is coordinated by the Men’s Initiative Office in the Division of Student Affairs. Overall, there are nearly 1,400 new freshmen at TSU for the fall semester.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU to become first HBCU to open student-run physical therapy/occupational therapy clinic

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University will soon become the first historically black institution to have a student-run physical therapy/occupational therapy clinic.

The clinic, which is part of the College of Health Sciences, opens Aug. 30 and will be located in the basement of Clement Hall on the main campus. It will mainly handle cases like knee injuries, shoulder pain, and lower back pain. The more serious cases will be referred out to local clinics.

Doctoral student Janae Swift next to rendering of new Health Sciences Building. (TSU Media Relations)

With the original goal of servicing the community, TSU students, faculty and staff will be the initial patients. The clinic will serve as a referral source for physical and occupational therapy clinics in the area.

Dr. Rick Clark, Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy at TSU, will oversee the program, which joins 37 other student-run physical therapy clinics nationwide. Clark said the fact that the clinic is student-run is what he likes most about it.

“It’s a teaching opportunity for them,” said Clark, who was in the military for 25 years and ran multiple clinics. “I want them to not only be great therapists, but if they want to go out and start their own clinic, they now have a better understanding of what is involved in doing that.”

Clark added that the clinic’s “primary emphasis is on outpatient orthopedic and sports injuries with the ability to treat neurological conditions on a case-by-case basis.”

Janae Swift of Memphis is in her second year of TSU’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program. She is a POTUS (Preparing our Tomorrows Uniquely in STEM) and heads the12-member board of students who will operate the clinic. Swift said she plans to operate her own facility one day.

“This is an amazing experience,” she said. “I love the opportunity to serve, to give back, especially to the faculty and students, and the TSU community as a whole.”

Dr. Ronald Barredo, Dean of the College of Health Sciences, said he’s looking forward to the impact of the new clinic.

Dr. Rick Clark works with physical therapy equipment. (TSU Media Relations)

“I think it will help tremendously with regard to the local community, our campus community,” Barredo said. “The clinic would not have been possible without the support of TSU’s POTUS Fellows program, which aims to provide POTUS Fellows with opportunities that will empower them to excel in their academic programs. The plans are, once this gets into full gear, we want to extend this outward to the community; to provide care for the underserved, uninsured and underinsured.”

Clark gave a special thanks to Dr. Andrea Tyler, Director of Graduate STEM Research.

“Without her support through grant funding, the program would not be possible,” he said.

TSU is currently constructing a new state-of-the-art Health Sciences Building that’s expected to be complete next year, and the physical therapy/occupational therapy clinic will be part of it.  

“This project will not only bring together a number of excellent programs under one roof – Nursing, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Cardiorespiratory Care, and Health Information Management – but will also be a hub for collaborative practice, community service, and clinical research,” Barredo said.

The new clinic will join the Department of Dental Hygiene and the Department of Speech Pathology & Audiology as a community outreach health care clinic. The dental clinic currently provides service to nearly 600 patients a year, including faculty and students, as well as the Nashville community.

For more information about TSU’s College of Health Sciences, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/health_sciences/.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

President Glover Honors Slain TSU Alumna and TDOC Administrator

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Debra K. Porter Johnson was a proud graduate of Tennessee State University, a proclamation from the university said about the woman killed by a prison escapee in her home on Aug. 7.

Debra K. Porter Johnson

TSU President Glenda Glover, accompanied by senior university administration officials, presented the proclamation to Johnson’s family, with a special donation during a fundraiser organized by WKRN Channel 2 at  Fifteenth Avenue Baptist Church, where Johnson was a member.

“We celebrate the life and the legacy of Debra Johnson,” Glover said. “She was just an ideal sweetheart of a person, very professional all the time, downright nice, and we are happy to honor her because she just loved TSU.”

Johnson was a great football lover who came to all of TSU home games and functions, Glover said. As a result, the president announced that at this year’s John Merritt Classic, Johnson’s usual seat at home games will be draped with the university flag in honor of the slain TSU alumna.

The proclamation, presented to Johnson’s son Mychal Austin,  described the former Tennessee Department of Correction administrator as a devoted mother and grandmother whose love for her family “was only seconded by the love she had for her God. Her passion for people was seen each day on and off her job. Her untimely passing leaves a void that even time may never fill but her legacy of love will live on,” the proclamation read.

Austin, the youngest of Debra Johnson’s three children – Stanley (Memory) Johnson, Dr. Shernaye Johnson – said it was heartwarming and ‘highly’ appreciative of TSU to honor their mother.

“We appreciate TSU for thinking about our mother,” Austin said. “She went to all the home games and all the events that she could. Bestowing this honor on her will be something that our family cherishes. We really appreciate TSU for all the university has done for the community, especially North Nashville, and Middle Tennessee and across this nation. We take great comfort in knowing that this great institution of higher learning cares about our mother.”

Glover thanked Channel 2 for hosting the fundraiser to benefit Debra Johnson’s family.

Debra Johnson was buried Aug. 15 at Greenwood Cemetery North following funeral services at Temple Church in Nashville.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.