Category Archives: GRANTS

TSU Art Department Hopes to Inspire Youth with Mural Projects

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Department of Art is using the stroke of a brush to inspire local youth.

A mural project at Warner Arts Elementary Magnet School, themed “Imagine Your Future,” is the brainchild of Lakesha Moore, artist and assistant professor of art at TSU. She, along with some of her students, have visited the school twice a week (since May) to work on the mural, located on a wall in an open area where students converge when they enter the building.

Lakesha Moore, artist and assistant professor of art at TSU, is leading the mural project at Warner Arts Elementary Magnet School. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman)

The painting consists of a series of silhouettes of occupations that Moore says students can choose from in the future, along with other figures that not only support those decisions and careers, but also “give students the opportunity to discover their own pathways.”

“It (mural) is meant to show these students that they have options and their potential is limitless,” Moore said.  “Our hope is that students at Warner will not only imagine themselves as these figures, but beyond the ones that we have highlighted.”

School principal Denise Jacono said she’s looking forward to seeing the kids’ faces when they see the mural.

“They are going to take a look at that (mural) and they are going to say, ‘Wow!’”

The mural project is just one of several art education programs TSU’s art department is involved in around the city.

Artist and TSU assistant professor of art Brandon Donahue works with elementary and middle school students on their art project at the Madison Community Center. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

At the Madison Community Center in Madison, Tennessee, third grader and future artist Autumn Berry is spending her summer honing her skills with help from artist and assistant professor of art Brandon J. Donahue and five of his TSU students.

“The first thing I started with was my skin because you want to see if you get your skin right before you do your shirt,” Berry said, as she displayed her project, a painting of herself on a canvass. She wants to be an artist, but also a designer.

“I started on my shirt which I painted purple, because it is my favorite color, and I also want to be a designer so I put some lines on my shirt,” Berry, a student at East End Preparatory School, added.

Berry is one of 32 students in grades 1-7 working with Donohue. The TSU professor, who is teaching the students painting and drawing, is using a community service grant from the Metro Nashville Arts Commission to conduct the art education project at the center. Kappa Art Fraternity is also helping, Donohue said.

Hull Jackson, right, and his brother Jace Jackson, work on their joint project, a rendering of a ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja’ turtle, at Madison Community Center. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman)

Like Berry, each student is creating a silhouette of things that depict community and family. The finished products will be displayed in a new annex to the community center that is due to open in February, according to Donohue.

“These kids are very excited about their work,” he said. “We are teaching them how to paint, how to collage, and how to take their silhouettes and fill them in with things that mean families. We are working on symbols, what they mean, how to use them, and how to communicate visually.”

Donohue said he is glad to be a part of TSU’s community partnership and outreach.

Elizabeth Reed is a TSU art education major. She is helping with the projects at Warner Elementary and the Madison Community Center.

“I am really excited to work with these projects because they help me get more experience,” said Reed, a junior from Nashville. “The mural project will really help brighten up the school. Whenever the kids walk in their eyes are going to be drawn to all the bright colors. I think this will really help get them interested in art.”

Anita Gregory-Smith, the program coordinator at the Madison Community Center, is very thankful to TSU for the art project, which she also hopes will promote awareness and interest in art among the students.

“The program itself is bringing the kids and giving them a hands-on experience in creating their own thoughts and arts for their silhouettes,” Gregory-Smith said. “I think the kids did very well on those projects. They brought their own energy. It is amazing what they think about it right now.”

For more information about TSU‘s art department, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/art/

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

TSU, Verizon Technology Partnership Gives Area Middle School Students Hands-on STEM Training

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Through a partnership with Verizon, TSU has joined 15 other HBCUs across the country to teach minority middle school students skills like coding, 3D design and robotics.

The Verizon Innovative Learning Program is intended to engage students in grades 6-8 to interact with technology through on-campus summer-intensive courses, as well as year-round mentoring. The Department of Computer Science in the College of Engineering is coordinating the program at TSU.

Middle school students attending the Verizon Innovative Learning Summer Camp receive instructions from program facilitators in a computer science lab at TSU. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

This summer, more than 60 area middle school students participated in one of two sessions on campus. For two weeks the students and teachers built several mobile apps for Android, did hands-on labs, and visited the Adventure Science Center in Nashville.

Dr. Tamara Rogers, associate professor of computer science, is the coordinator of the Verizon program at TSU. She said the students also designed and created their own apps using tools like the MIT App Inventor, an innovative beginner’s introduction to programming and app creation.

“Parents and supporters were invited to the showcase where the students presented and demonstrated their apps,” Rogers said.

Students in the program will continue throughout the academic year. Once a month they will come to the TSU campus and work on their mobile apps, Rogers said.

Also this summer, the TSU College of Engineering is hosting the first STEM Academy for the 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee.

According to Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the college, about 50 African-American males in grades 5-8 from Nashville Metro Public Schools are participating in the four-week program, which ends July 21. They are learning computer programming, coding and robotics.

The objective of this partnership with the 100 Black Men, Hargrove said, is to “promote potential careers in Information Technology and other STEM occupations.”

Lori Adukeh, executive director of the 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee, who is coordinating the academy, said the program is intended to introduce the youth to different aspects of STEM.

“This is not just code or science related, it’s everything,” Adukeh said. “We are doing a lot of hands-on experiments where the boys are creating and building things with their hands. They are using a lot of thought-provoking and intuitive skills, from formulating an idea to actually building it with their hands.”

Adukeh said support from Dean Hargrove, TSU students and Metro teachers in the program has been very helpful.

“These students are learning so much in this inaugural STEM Academy thanks to Tennessee State University and dean Hargrove and all the resources they have put at our disposal, including TSU students who have been working with us as mentors,” she said.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Graduate and Renowned Harvard Scientist S. Allen Counter Dies at 73

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Dr. S. Allen Counter, a Tennessee State University graduate and renowned Harvard scientist, has died at the age of 73.

Counter, a neurobiologist who joined the Harvard faculty in 1970, died July 12. He is best known for championing the achievements of African American explorer Matthew Henson. He traveled to Greenland, where he found descendants of Henson and fellow polar explorer Robert E. Peary.

Dr. S. Allen Counter receives a gift from TSU President Glenda Glover following his presentation as keynote speaker at the 2013 Annual University Wide Research Symposium. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Born Samuel Allen Counter Jr., in Americus, Georgia on July 8, 1944, Counter grew up near West Palm Beach, Florida.  His father was a business manager and his mother was a nurse.

Counter earned a bachelor’s degree in speech communication and theater from Tennessee State University in 1965. Five years later, he received a doctorate in neurobiology from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He later obtained another doctorate in medical science from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

In 2013, Counter returned to TSU as the keynote speaker at the Annual University Wide Research Symposium.

In his academicwork, Counter, longtime director of the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations, branched into ethnographic studies of African descendants around the world and produced award-winning documentaries about isolated populations of former slaves in Ecuador and Suriname (the former Dutch Guiana).

“There is no purer group of Africans in the Western hemisphere than those communities living along the rivers of the Suriname interior,” Counter told New African magazine in 2009. “These people have changed very little in 300 years. In many ways they were more African than many Africans today!”

He was the author of “North Pole Legacy: Black, White and Eskimo,” a book about explorer Henson.

For more information on the life and work of Dr. Counter, go to http://wapo.st/2sUBT9n

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

TSU ranked among Top 30 black colleges with highest starting salaries for graduates

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When it comes to earning power, Tennessee State University graduates do very well.

A recent ranking of the average starting salaries for graduates at the nation’s top 30 historically black colleges puts TSU at No. 6.

EDsmart, a nationally recognized publisher of college resources and rankings, published the 2017 ranking.

It shows recent TSU graduates are averaging $48,100 in starting salaries.

Officials at TSU call the ranking “a testament of how valuable an education from TSU is for our students.”

“When students see that they will graduate from this institution with a great projected salary, it makes the decision to attend TSU the obvious choice,” said Charles Jennings, Jr., director of the TSU Career Development Center.

The ranking puts TSU graduates in the top tier of earning potential for people receiving undergraduate degrees in 2017. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the average starting salaries for all recent graduates in entry-level positions is $49,785, an all-time high.

This upward movement is more good news for TSU officials, who are doing everything possible to ensure students are adequately prepared and given the necessary tools for success in the job market.

Recently, the university received a $2 million career development grant from the United Negro College Fund. The funding will give the university the tools to prepare and ultimately help TSU graduates immediately secure employment.

“We want to make sure that when they graduate, they’ll have jobs,” said Tina Reed, associate director of the career center.

A number of students who graduated from TSU in May had jobs waiting for them. Most of them credited TSU faculty and programs like the university’s career center with motivating them to be successful.

“Having a job after graduation is a blessing,” said 24-year-old Cametria Weatherspoon, who received her degree in electrical engineering. She has a job working in programming at Lockheed Martin’s Space Systems Company in Littleton, Colorado.

For more information on the TSU Career Development Center, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/careers/

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

TSU Freshman Receives $18,000 U.S. Air Force Three-Year Scholarship

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Jerry Kibet is one step closer to realizing his dream of becoming a pilot.

Kibet, a TSU freshman majoring in aeronautical and industrial technology, has received an $18,000 scholarship from the U.S. Air Force.

The three-year scholarship, offered under the Air Force’s Type 2 scholarship program, will cover tuition, fees and books. Mostly candidates in the technical fields qualify for this scholarship. Recipients must complete AFROTC training during their freshman year to retain eligibility for their sophomore year.

Kibet, a native of Kenya, is the first TSU student in more than three years to receive the Air Force’s Type 2 scholarship.

Tennessee State University officials and members of AFROTC Detachment 790 participate in the swearing-in ceremony for U.S. Air Force Cadet Jerry Kibet, under the T-38 Talon aircraft on the main campus. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

At a ceremony Tuesday, Kibet signed a contract with the Air Force and was sworn-in as a cadet. He will train with the AFROTC Detachment 790 at Tennessee State University.

Detachment Commander, Lt. Col. Sharon Presley, conducted the swearing-in ceremony under the T-38 Talon aircraft on the main campus.

She described Kibet as an individual with “academic excellence, physical excellence, and excellence in leadership.”

“It is an honor and a privilege to see a brilliant young leader who is ready to serve his country receive this award,” Presley said. “This is quite an honor for our detachment, for TSU and for the United States of America.”

Kibet, whose academic concentration is in aviation flight, said his passion for flying started at a very early age during a flight to Dubai with his parents. On their return home, he said he realized that he lived in an area that was “on a flight path.”

“Every day planes would fly over,” Kibet said. “The more I saw them go by the more my passion grew about flying until I graduated high school and came to TSU, where I was introduced to Lt. Col. Presley.”

He said Presley talked to him about the Air Fore and immediately he knew his prayers had been answered.

“Hopefully, I will become the first pilot in my family and another pilot from TSU,” Kibet said.  “My greatest goal is to represent my detachment, be loyal to my country and defend my people at all cost. I am very grateful to the U.S. Air Force and Tennessee State University for this award and this opportunity.”

Dr. Curtis Johnson, TSU’s associate vice president for administration, who represented President Glenda Glover at the swearing-in, congratulated Kibet.

“This is great for TSU, great for Jerry and great for the Air Force,” Johnson said. “Jerry is a fine student.”

Members of AFROTC Detachment 790 at the ceremony were Maj. Michael Gordon, operations officer; SSgt. Keshawn Lipscomb, NCOIC administration management; and Sgt. Christopher Sankey, NCOIC personnel. Also at the ceremony was Air Force Retired Lt. Col. Michelangelo McCallister, TSU’s executive director of Auxiliary Accounts.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Summer Camps Give Youngsters Fun, Educational and Real-world Experience

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Summer is here! And it’s that time of the year when Tennessee State University hosts camps to allow youngsters to have some fun, as well as educate them and provide some real-world experience.

New this year is the Verizon Innovative Learning Summer Camp, which runs from June 5 – 16. It is part of a partnership between the Verizon Foundation, the Department of Computer Science in TSU’s College of Engineering, and local middle schools. The goal is to engage minority males in grades 6 – 8 to interact with technology.

Middle school students attending the Verizon Innovative Learning Summer Camp receive instructions from program facilitators in a computer science lab at TSU. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Dr. Tamara Rogers, TSU associate professor of computer science and a coordinator of the Verizon camp, said participants will learn tools such as the MIT App Inventor, an innovative beginner’s introduction to programming and app creation.

“Students will design and build prototype of mobile apps, as well as do hands-on labs,” Rogers said. “Students in this program will also continue throughout the academic year. Once a month they will come to the TSU campus and continue building on their mobile app.”

For those into music and the arts, about 80 youngsters ages 4-17 will get a chance to participate in the Community Academy of Music and Arts, which kicks off on the main campus Monday, June 5. The one-week community-based initiative includes summer camps for music, piano, drama, and visual and literary arts. It is designed to expose participants to different artistic mediums, crafts and songs.

“Our program is learner and service centered to create awareness of TSU in the community,” said CAMA director Dylan Griffith. “My wish is that these camps provide diverse and quality instruction that promotes creativity and inquiry.”

Music instructor Kerry Frazier, Jr., acquaints participants with program activities during the first day of CAMA All-Star Music Camp at TSU. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

CAMA and the Verizon Innovation Learning Summer Camp are just two of several fun, entertaining and educational programs and camps at TSU this summer. Overall, nearly 1,500 students from elementary to college freshmen are expected on the university’s two campuses. Some are coming from as far away as Iowa, Maryland and Oklahoma.

In addition to early learning activities for kids 5 years and up — such as Little Tigers Football Camp, and Basketball Kids Camp — summer camp themes and subjects range from science, applied mathematics and engineering, to music, athletics, real-world scientific work, and cutting-edge research.

A returning favorite this year is the Summer Apprenticeship Program, or SAP, offered by the College of Agriculture. It is a science-based initiative for college freshmen and rising high school seniors that exposes them to cutting-edge research. It runs from June 12 – July 14. Thirty students from 10 states will participate in the program this year.

William F. Hayslett, Sr., is the coordinator of SAP. He said the program, intended as a recruitment tool, is meeting its goal of encouraging participants to return to TSU for their college careers. He reported a more than 60 percent success rate of the program now in its third year.

“Our goal here is to make students aware of the academic programs in the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences and the many career opportunities available to its graduates,” Hayslett said.

Other summer camps are CAMA Blues Kids Camp (7/3 – 7/7), Summer Math Academy (7/9 – 7/21), Edward L. Graves Summer Band Camp (6/24 – 7/1), STEM Summer Camp (6/19 – 7/21), and Upward Bound Program (6/4 – 7/7), among others.

For a complete list of summer camps and programs, and contacts, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/events/camps.aspx

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

TSU Receives $35,000 Grant to Provide Learning Support for Incoming Freshmen

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University has received a $35,000 grant to help incoming freshmen who may need to do a little brushing up on math, reading and writing.

The one-week residential Summer Completion Academy is made possible through the Tennessee Board of Regents’ Student Engagement, Retention, and Success Grant. About 160 students in the academy will have the opportunity to satisfy learning support requirements prior to their first semester of enrollment.

The program will run over two sessions between June 25-30, and July 16-21, 2017. Students participating in the program have already been accepted to TSU.

“Our focus for the grant is to work with students who are at risk,” said Tiffany Bellafant Steward, interim director of Academic Success Services and Learning Support Centers. “These are students who are not prepared for college-level work who would go into our learning support areas of math, reading and writing.”

She said participants will receive learning support such as additional lab sessions, extra days in class, as well as “engagement activities,” including pre- and post-tests to measure their achievement level.

“We are thrilled to be in a position to offer a program like this to students, which could take up to three classes off their fall schedule,” Steward said.

Sabrina Brown, associate director of Academic Success, is the Project Director for the Summer Completion Academy.  She can be reached at 615-963-2144.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Grandmother of four to get TSU degree after 55 years

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Darlene Mullins always told her children to finish what they started. On May 6, the 72-year-old grandmother of four will do just that when she receives her degree from Tennessee State University after 55 years.

Mullins will be among more than 800 graduates from various disciplines at the undergraduate spring commencement in the William Jasper Hale Stadium on TSU’s main campus.

“I am really looking forward to this,” said Mullins, who is graduating with honors. “I am very excited and just overjoyed to see this day.”

John Mullins
John and Darlene Mullins will celebrate their 54th wedding anniversary in August. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

For Mullins, the journey to earn a college degree began on TSU’s campus in 1962. But just as it started, it was cut short.

“Love got in the way,” said Mullins, who celebrates 54 years of marriage in August.

She met fellow student John Mullins, a senior from East St. Louis, Illinois, who she described as dashing, handsome and “everything to behold.”

Darlene, a former Miss New Jersey and Miss Glamour runner up, had an immediate crush.

“I thought he was the finest thing walking on the campus,” Darlene told Alumni Life, a campus magazine, in 2014.

She said a courtship developed and the two were married a short time later. John stayed on and completed his college work, graduating in 1964. Darlene took on the role of caring for their home and raising a family.

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Darlene Tucker “Miss New Jersey” (’63 TSU Yearbook Photo)

But in putting her education aside, Darlene also gave up on a dream of becoming an Olympic track star as a member of the famed Tigerbelles.

“I came to TSU because I ran track. I wanted to go to the 1964 Olympics,” Darlene said. “Wilma Rudolph was my idol and I was on my way. I get to TSU and meet the great coach (Ed) Temple, but we bumped heads, because I had to make a choice between his track team or Mr. John Mullins.”

More than a half-century and two children and several grandchildren later, John and Darlene have remained very supportive of each other, while living in six states over the course of their marriage.

As the children grew older and family care got less, Darlene embarked on a long and successful career in retail and cosmetology.

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John E. Mullins “Mr. Esquire” (’63 TSU Yearbook Photo)

All the while, John worked for a number of corporate and government agencies before starting his own business, Lions Group, Inc., a successful marketing and advertising agency in Dallas, Texas. He said his TSU education with a degree in business gave him a good foundation to be an entrepreneur.

“I always knew I wanted to own my own business,” John said.

But as the two moved around with success at every turn, Darlene never forgot her academic aspiration.

“Something kept nagging at me,” she said. “I always told my children to make sure they finish what they started and I kind of felt it was time to live up to my own advice.”

She decided it was time to go back to school to get her degree. “John did not hesitate for one bit; he said ‘let’s go,’” Darlene said.

“I love this woman so much and always told her whenever you are ready we will go because this is something I knew she always wanted and I will do nothing to hold her back,” John said.

In July 2013, the couple moved back to Nashville to allow Darlene to return to TSU and pursue a degree in interdisciplinary studies. At times, she took as many as 20 credit hours a semester, and maintained top grades.

“My goal was to come back and finish at Tennessee State.  I didn’t know at the time how long it was going to take, I just knew I had to do it,” she said.

With the 25 credits she had accumulated before dropping out in 1963, Darlene is completing her college work in four years. A member of three honor societies, she is graduating summa cum laude.

“My graduation from college, for me, confirms that I completed what I started more than 50 years ago,” Darlene said. “I am happy.”

The Mullins’ children are Dr. John E. Mullins Jr. of Baskin Ridge, New Jersey, and Darchele Mullins Erskine of Chicago. They are the proud grandparents of Amber Mullins, Sierra Mullins, John E. Mullins III, and Brandon Forney.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Honors Top Researchers at 39th Annual University Wide Research Symposium

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University recognized its top student and faculty researchers during a ceremony in the Ferrell Westbrook Complex on the main campus on Friday.

Acknowledging PHDstudent (1)
Awards Luncheon speaker Mark N. Russ engages students during his presentation at the Ferrell-Westbrook Complex. (Submitted Photo)

It was the Awards Luncheon culminating the weeklong 39th Annual University-Wide Research Symposium organized by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

Awards were given for the top three winners in undergraduate and graduate oral and postal presentations.  Organizers received 155 student submissions in eight categories and 35 faculty submissions.

Mark N. Russ, executive assistant director of the National Security Directorate Naval Criminal Investigative Service, was the keynote speaker. He admonished the award winners to set high goals and stick with them if they want to be successful.

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Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, Dean of the College of Engineering, left, congratulates Kyra M. Bryant, a Ph.D. student in Computer Information Systems Engineering for winning first place award in Graduate Engineering II oral presentation. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“By involving yourselves in award events like this you are stepping in the right direction, but it is not enough,” Russ said. “You have to continue to stick with it, continue to have your failures, successes and ultimately you will move in a direction where you are the only person with the background and experience to take it to the next level.”

Using Olympic champion Wilma Rudolph as an example of perseverance, Russ said no one thought she had a chance “because of things she had going against her.”

“She had medical issues and other health issues, but they did not stop her. She didn’t have to have someone tell her to keep working hard, she just didn’t quit and became one of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen,” Russ said.

Kyra M. Bryant, a Ph.D. student in Computer Information Systems Engineering, won first place in Graduate Engineering II oral presentation for her research on “Improved Bottom Friction, Surface Rachness, and Wind Stress in a Coupled Wave and Storm Surge Model.”

She said her study is aimed at developing a more accurate module for forecasting hurricanes.

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Dr. Margaret Mmbaga, took top award for faculty research. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“Winning this award has been really very encouraging, pushing me to research even more on this topic,” Bryant said “We are trying to make the modeling more accurate and winning this award tells me that I am on the right path.”

In faculty research, Dr. Margaret Mmbaga won first place in the category of Faculty II for “Screening of Common Bean for Multiple Disease Resistance Under Natural Infection by Common Bacterial Blight and Charcoal Rot.”

Each year, an individual researcher is admitted into the “Million Dollar Club” during the awards ceremony. Individuals in this select group are recognized for receiving grant money of a million dollars or more in a single year.

research
Dr. Marie Hammond, second from right, holds her award for becoming the newest Million Dollar Club member. She is congratulated by Phyllis Danner, Director of Research and Sponsored Programs, left, and research symposium co-chairs Dr. John Robinson, and Nannette Carter Martin. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

That recognition went to Dr. Marie Hammond, associate professor of psychology in the College of Education. In 2016, she received a $1.5 million National Science Foundation grant for basic research.

“I am honored, I am overwhelmed,” she said  “I am really grateful because I never would have gotten here without the support of people from across the university, who worked with me along the way.”

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

More than 500 Middle, High School Students Attend 5th Annual STEM Expo at TSU

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) -More than 500 middle and high school students from across Middle Tennessee recently converged on Tennessee State’s campus for one of the largest science fairs in the state.

TSU and the Middle Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub organized the 5th Annual STEM Expo on April 6 in the Gentry Complex.

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Serdarion Bell, left, and Malik Brown, of Johnson Alternative Learning Center in Nashville, display their project on sustainable recycling at the 5th Annual STEM Expo. (Photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

Students from 35 schools displayed the results of 259 STEM projects spanning science, mathematics, engineering, and technology fields: cyber bullying, breast cancer prevention, weather technology and sustainable recycling, just to name a few.

Students competed for bronze, silver, and gold medals based on judges’ evaluations. STEM EXPO sponsors also selected from among all entries for special awards.

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the TSU College of Engineering, said the Expo was all about preparing the next generation of STEM professionals. He said “of tomorrow’s top 10 best jobs, 7 out of 10 are STEM related.”

“TSU and the College of Engineering are committed to promoting STEM education for Metro Nashville Schools,” Hargrove said. “Higher education and industry must become even more engaged in stimulating interests in STEM careers, and preparing students with the necessary background and skills to enter these occupations in the next decade and beyond.”

Serdarion Bell and Malik Brown of Johnson Alternative Learning Center in Nashville were among the expo participants. Bell, a 9th grader, and Brown, a 10th grader, presented a project titled, “Sustainable Recycling to Meet Community Needs.”

“We wanted to implement environmental conservation and sustainable recycling throughout our school and in our personal lives,” said Bell, on the reason for their project. “At the same time, we wanted to discover how we could help others in our community with little or no money.”

Dr. Lonnie Sharpe, dean of TSU’s College of Life and Physical Sciences, was one of the Expo’s advisers. He said the fair provided “a unique” opportunity for recruitment.

“Maybe we can recruit some of these students to TSU one day,” Sharpe said.

On the character of each project, displays were judged on basic hypothesis, significance of the subject, knowledge beyond what the project shows, presentation, and level of technology.

“There are some very interesting projects at this fair,” said Jonathan Reynolds, a TSU graduate student majoring in Computer Information and Systems Engineering, who was one of the judges. “This is really fun. These kids are well ahead in 21st century technology.”

Department of Media Relations

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About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.