Category Archives: GRANTS

TSU Graduate School Celebrates 75 Years And Unveils New Marketing Initiatives

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University School of Graduate and Professional Studies recently had a special program commemorating its 75th anniversary.

Dr. Robbie Melton, dean of the Graduate School, said the program on May 1 at the Avon Williams Campus downtown provided an opportunity to recognize two former deans who made significant contributions to the school, as well as showcase the school’s “next evolution.”

The late Dr. Camelia Taylor, who served in many administrative positions at TSU including interim dean of the Graduate School, and Dr. Helen Barrett, who served as the school’s dean from 1998-2008, were honored during the event, which was a precursor to the graduate school commencement ceremony on May 3. 

The school also paid homage to Martha Williams Wheeler, the first graduate student at Tennessee Agricultural & Industrial State College to earn a master’s degree.

Melton said the graduate school is excited to recognize these women of impact, as well as celebrate 75 years of conferring degrees.  She said the school’s innovation will continue under its new theme, “Everyone can code, and everyone can create,” which is indicated by TSU C².

Dr. Robbie Melton

 “This theme reflects our new delivery systems hybrid online and on ground formats that incorporates technology, innovation, social media tools and our new global outreach to targeted communities nationally and internationally, and it permeates throughout our entire programs, courses and curriculum,” Melton said. “To reach the global market we must have the entire process online, including student services, courses, library services, mentoring, etc.  Everything must be online.”

According to Melton, many of the marketing ideas that will be shared at the program stem from a research project conducted by doctoral students in a marketing class taught by Dr. Eric Vogel, graduate director for the Higher Education Doctoral Students

“Instead of doing hypothetical, we did a problem-based action research project in which the class had the task of finding ways to increase graduate enrollment through marketing,” Melton said. “The class will present marketing research and strategies to enhance the graduate school and all graduate programs”

Minzi Thomas, a student in Vogel’s class who is pursuing her Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership, was one of five students who shared strategic ideas focused on areas such as research, digital marketing, recruitment and enrollment, international groups, and finance.

Thomas, a Memphis-native who teaches public speaking at Nashville State Community College and works as a reconnect navigator with the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, said the composition of Vogel’s marketing class is perfect for this project.

“It’s really a unique experience and a unique opportunity because a lot of students in the class actually work in the graduate school. What you have is students who work in the graduate school and students who are enrolled in the graduate school coming up with a marketing plan to increase enrollment and increase engagement on social media and other additional marketing strategies,” she said.

Minzi Thomas

Thomas, whose presentation focused on digital marketing, said the class is excited about launching the #TSUSONASHSVILLE social media campaign.

“The whole premise of that is that while Nashville is experiencing all of this growth from gentrification, Tennessee State is still very much a part of that rich cultural aspect of Nashville, and it doesn’t matter how big Nashville gets, that’s not going to change,” Thomas said.

During Melton’s tenure as dean she has incorporated numerous technological strategies to advance the graduate school.

“We have reorganized and brought in technology enhancements and tools to automate the graduate school in terms of admission using GradCAS, in terms of curriculum improvement using Curriculog, in terms of automating a searchable graduate catalogue using Actualog, becoming a paperless environment through the use of DocuSign, and conducting our graduation audit using DegreeWorks,” she said.

Thomas, whose research topic explores gentrification and its impact on North Nashville, said Melton’s leadership plays a great role in the graduate school’s current success.

“Dr. Melton continues to ignite a fire underneath us.  Every time you think you have done the best that you can do, she always says or does something that lets you know that you can do or be better.  It can be done,” she said. “She makes you feel like it is possible, and when you think it is possible, that’s when you continue to try to reach your greatest potential.”

For more information about the TSU School of Graduate and Professional Studies, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/graduate/ .

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 To Host 2019 Fulbright Pakistan Re-entry Seminar

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University became the first historically black university to host the Fulbright Pakistan Re-entry Seminar that was held April 25-28.

Dr. Jewell Winn, executive director for International Affairs and diversity officer for TSU, said the seminar was to help students from Pakistan, who have studied in the United States  for two to seven years, prepare for the culture shock they may experience when they return home. The seminar is funded through a grant from the Institute of International Education (IIE),

“When you’ve been away from home for an extended period of time in a totally different culture and out of your country, you’ve gone through a culture shock for the most part.  When you return, it’s called reverse culture shock. Now you have to go back home and reenter your culture,“ said Winn, who serves as chair of the International Committee as part of her role on the board of the National Association of Diversity Officers In Higher Education.

Dr. Jewell Winn

Winn said the conference is designed to give participants an opportunity to reflect on their experiences in the U.S. and set goals for their lives upon returning to Pakistan based upon the information they have learned while studying in the America.

Dr. Latif Lighari, associate administrator for Extension in the College of Agriculture and a native of Pakistan, took part in a re-entry seminar in the late 1970s after completing his studies at the University of Missouri Columbia.

Lighari, who will serve as the keynote speaker during the opening dinner on Thursday evening, said these type of re-entry seminars are vital for students returning to Pakistan.

“This re-entry seminar is extremely important.  This is over 100 Fulbright graduates from Pakistan who have completed their masters and doctorial degrees in this country in many different fields, from arts to science to engineering. They are 50 percent male and 50 percent female,” said Lighari, who serves as co principal investigator for the project. “Being from Pakistan myself, I know how much education is valued and needed there. Now  that these young people have finished their degrees here, we want to make some suggestions as to how they can work together in the future and work positively and constructively together to use their talents to transform Pakistan.”

The agenda for the four-day seminar included sessions on social entrepreneurship, goal-setting, skill-building and a virtual alumni panel for Ph.D. students that connected them with Fulbright alumni in Islamabad who discussed their backgrounds, professional careers and how they navigated their return to Pakistan.

Students took thematic site visits to the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, the Nashville Incubation Center and the Nashville International Airport as well as tour the Frist Art Museum, Historic Union Station and Hotel and SoBro, the area downtown south of Broadway which includes the Schermerhorn Symphony Center,  the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Bridgestone Arena, the Music City Center and a host of restaurants, hotels and live music venues.

Winn said the thematic visits gave the participants  “a deep look into how social enterprise works in Nashville, how entrepreneurship is viewed in Nashville, and how an organization can develop a strong diversity program.

Lighari said the seminar, which was hosted last year at the University of California, Berkley, is one of many re-entry seminars Fulbright sponsors for graduates returning to their home countries.  He said the mission of the seminar mirrors the work he does with the TSU Cooperative Extension Program.

“Cooperative Extension is an outreach arm of Tennessee State University. We engage people all the time in areas of agriculture, family and consumer sciences, youth development and community resource development.  The main idea of Extension is to help people get research-based information so they can live better lives,” he said. “Our mission for extension in this country is to build people so the people that we build can become better individuals who can build better families, communities and countries.”

For more information about the TSU Office and International Affiars and the TSU Cooperative Extension Program, visit www.tnstate.edu

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, premier historically-black land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU’s graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus boasts a top-notch Executive MBA Program. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

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Nation’s Army Research chief Visits TSU, says University’s Research Aligns Well with Military’s Needs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The U.S. Army’s top research officer says Tennessee State University is engaged in research that could be beneficial to the nation’s military.

Dr. Philip Perconti, director of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Research Laboratory, made the comment during a one-day visit to TSU on March 14, with members of his directorate to discuss areas of potential research collaboration that could help the military.

Dr. Philip Perconti, Director of the Army Research Laboratory, makes a presentation to TSU faculty, graduate students, and visiting researchers and experts from the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command. (Photo by Reginald Cannon)

“There is a vast array of research here, much of it in line with some of the priorities of the U.S. Department of Defense and the Army in particular,” he said. “I was particularly excited to see some work in infrared detector materials and modeling and things of that sort.”

Perconti and his team, including Dr. Jaret C. Riddick, director of Vehicle Technology Directorate of the Army Combat Capabilities Command, saw presentations on cutting-edge research, toured research facilities, and held discussions with top TSU research officials, faculty and their graduate students.

They also made presentations in areas of needs that could be aligned with the university’s capabilities.

“We are extremely excited to have Dr. Perconti and members of his research directorate on our campus,” said Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, vice president for Research and Institutional Advancement. “It is even more exciting to have them recognize that  – by seeing our presentations, listening to our faculty, being in our laboratories – that we are doing cutting-edge research that fits within their needs and that’s going to help to provide outstanding, innovative new solutions.”

Branndon Jones, a graduate student in mechanical engineering, attended the discussion with his professor, Dr. Amir Shirkhoadaie, who was one of the TSU presenters.

Jones said the discussions and responses of the visitors were very encouraging for “a young researcher like me.”

“A meeting like this justifies the work you are doing, because for the most part, you show up in the lab and you stay there all day to find outcome,” said Jones, whose research is in remote sensing and virtual environment for object detection.  “But you come to a gathering like this and see that the research you are doing actually has real-world problems and examples that you are working toward.”

Riddick said there is an opportunity for Army science and technology to interface with the “very critical areas of research here at TSU.”

“Talent management is one of the priorities of the Secretary of the Army as we go into this transformation into Army futures command,” he said. “So if we can look for innovative partners, in terms of developing talents and developing work force, this will be key for the Army in reaching some of the future objectives we have for war fighters of the future.”

As a result of the visit, a TSU faculty, Dr. Kevin Santiago, research assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, was offered a full faculty fellowship to work with the Army Research Laboratory. He was also invited to bring a graduate student with him.

“TSU has provided me with many opportunities in my short time here, and my goal is to pass those opportunities down to the students,” Santiago said. 

Crumpton-Young paid special tribute to Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins, head of the U.S. Army’s Research, Development and Engineering Command, whose visit to TSU in 2017, she said, paved the way for the March 14 visit.

“I am thankful to the entire team for organizing the visit, but I am also thankful to Maj. Gen. Wins who visited our campus several years ago and really talked about how we should engage more individuals with diversity of thoughts,” Crumpton-Young 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 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. 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 partners with company for potentially groundbreaking hemp research

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is partnering with an emerging cannabis company for what officials say could be groundbreaking hemp research.

Dr. Ying Wu, associate professor of Food and Animal Science in TSU’s College of Agriculture, says she’s excited to begin her research with Eufloria Medical of Tennessee, Inc., a subsidiary of  Acacia Diversified Holdings, that will be manufacturing material for the university study.

Dr. Ying Wu

“We have started working on investigation of phytochemical profiles in hemp seeds, oils and extracts, and their related health benefits,” says Wu. “We are aiming to develop some health promoting product using the cutting-edge technologies, and provide reliable data of nutrients and phytochemicals in different hemp varieties.”

The research partnership aims to create a safe and chemical-free vehicle to obtain the health benefits of the whole-hemp plant into virtually anything from food and beverages to topical creams. The TSU research could produce innovative ways to obtain whole plant extract. 

“We wanted to work on something meaningful, we are doing this because we want people to feel better and contribute significantly to making the cannabis industry more sustainable,” says Kim Edwards. VP & COO of Acacia Diversified Holdings. 

Tennessee State University is among the nation’s leaders in hemp research. TSU’s College of Agriculture 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 in Tennessee. Currently, the university is growing and evaluating 10 varieties of hemp.

“TSU wants to be at the forefront of this new interest that’s cropping up across the country,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the College of Agriculture. “If it’s ever approved for large scale use, we have some knowledge about it and can work with the farmers.”

TSU has hosted several hemp workshops/meetings, including one in January with the Tennessee Hemp Industries Association, an advocate for the production of industrial hemp. More than 200 people attended the meeting.

For more information about the 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

With more than 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

New Link Allows TSU Family To Track Progress of Health Sciences Building Construction

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – TSU officials are excited about a new link that will give the university’s alumni and constituents an opportunity to monitor the construction process of its new Health Sciences Building.

“Many of our alums don’t get to the campus throughout the year because they live all over the country. I thought giving them an opportunity to see this facility evolve would be a benefit to them, so they can watch the evolution of the campus,” said Dr. Curtis Johnson, Chief of Staff. 

Johnson said HOAR Construction, the company responsible for building the facility, installed the camera, which will monitor the 18 to 24 month construction project.

“It updates itself every 15 minutes, but you can also do a six-day review.  It can go back six days and play forward for you to see the progress,” he said.

Dr. Ronald Barredo, interim dean of the College of Health Sciences, said viewing the development of the new facility is a positive sign of the college’s growth.

“I am excited to witness the steady progress that is being made in constructing the new Health Sciences Building. 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,” he said.

Hannah Brown, president of the Student Occupational Therapy Association, said although she will have graduated when the new building opens, she will return as alum to see the impact it will have on educating future health professionals at TSU.

“The new building is a great addition to the campus. The added space will help promote interprofessionalism among the programs housed in the building and will provide a larger space for clinical simulations and laboratory experiences that are essential in professional practice,” said Brown, who is pursuing a Master in Occupational Therapy degree.

TSU National Alumni Association President Joni McReynolds said she thinks providing a link for alums to monitor the construction is a wonderful idea.

 “I would encourage all alumni to look at the link and see how progress is being made, and I will do my best to send it around to my executive board, and to all alums we have the ability to contact,” she said.

TSU Nashville Alumni Chapter President Dwight Beard echoed McReynolds’ comments.

“I think it’s a great initiative.  I am excited about it. It’s going to bring in new students, and it’s going to create new opportunities,” he said.

Braxton Simpson, a sophomore agricultural sciences major who serves as the student trustee on the TSU Board of Trustees, said having the ability to monitor the progress of the construction will have a tremendous impact because of the large numbers of health science students at TSU.

“I think it’s very important that students and faculty… have the opportunity to track the progress of something that is going to be so instrumental to the students at Tennessee State University,” she said.

Construction progress of the new health sciences building at Tennessee State University can be viewed at the following link: https://app.truelook.com/?u=hj1548695954

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU President Glenda Glover Surprises Visiting High School Seniors with Full Scholarships at ‘Tigerdaze’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Twenty high school students on a site visit Friday to experience the Tennessee State University campus culture, did not leave empty handed. To their surprise, they all received full scholarship offers to come to TSU.

TSU President Glenda Glover personally offered the scholarships to the future STEM majors during a ceremony in the Forum on the main campus.

TSU President Glenda Glover, second from right, interacts with visiting high school students at Tigerdaze. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“I was completely stunned; this was a complete surprise,” said Amesa Tidwell, from Whites Creek High School, who wants to major in biology. “I had no idea I was going to be offered a scholarship when I came here this morning. Thank you TSU!”

The visitors were on campus for Tigerdaze, an annual event organized by the campus Greek Letter organizations and the office of Student Activities to welcome metro Nashville high school seniors and give them an opportunity to experience the TSU culture and spark their interest in considering TSU. The Office of Enrollment Management and Student Success also helped to facilitate Tigerdaze, by acquainting the students with university offerings and admissions requirements.

More than 200 visitors and their high school counselors packed the Forum to hear President Glover and university officials.

“Welcome to your future! Welcome to TSU,” Glover said to cheers from the audience. “I greet you with an important announcement. If you are thinking engineering, think TSU; if you are thinking biology to become a doctor, think TSU. If you are thinking cybersecurity and intelligence, think TSU; if you are thinking biotechnology, think TSU.

Tigerdaze participants attend a writing class on campus as part of their day’s activities. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“I am here this morning to offer a scholarship to any student that plans to major in a STEM (science, technology, engineering math) course and that has a good GPA. It is time to become a TSU Tiger. It starts here today.”

Norbrea Cosby, also of Whites Creek High School, who wants to major in pre-nursing, was another surprised scholarship winner. She said she already had TSU on her mind, “but I did not know it would be this easy.”

“I am going to do everything to make sure I don’t miss this opportunity,” she said. “This scholarship will help to ease the burden on my parents and the headache of a student loan.”

Mon-Cheri Robinson, TSU Assistant Director of Student Activities, far right – front, takes Tigerdaze visitors on a tour in the Floyd-Payne Campus Center. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Tigerdaze activities included a step show, a writing class, on-site admission, game-room entertainment and lunch. Parting gifts included an application fee waiver for four lucky students. Kiaonna Lawless, from Antioch High School, won a book scholarship for four years if she decides to attend TSU.

“Tigerdaze was the brainchild of our Greek students to welcome high school seniors from the area to the campus to really show them the flavor of TSU,” said Frank Stevenson, dean of Students. “This gives them an opportunity to see our culture and climate and to also spark their interest in being future Tigers.”

Dr. Patrick Phoebus, a TSU alum and content recovery coordinator at The Cohn Learning Center, who accompanied 35 students, credited President Glover for her “connection and outreach to students.”

“TSU does a lot for the community,” said Phoebus, who earned his master’s degree in curriculum and instruction at TSU. “There is a lot of history here; there is lot of important things happening on campus and I thinks it is a great opportunity for the students coming here to learn about these opportunities and be a part of the college experience.”

Terrence Izzard, TSU associate vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Success, explained that like all other incoming students, those receiving the scholarship offers at Tigerdaze will be screened to be sure they meet TSU’s regular admission requirement before being admitted. He said Glover’s scholarship offer was in the right direction.

“I am excited that the president continues to push the university forward by recognizing talented students from the metro Nashville area, and providing support for those students to have access to quality education here at TSU,” Izzard said.

For information on student activities at TSU go to http://www.tnstate.edu/activities/

For more information on enrollment and admissions at TSU go to http://www.tnstate.edu/emss/

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. 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 Top Recognition at 15th Annual ‘Kings’ Leadership Conference and Competition

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University had a big showing at this year’s HBCU Kings Leadership Conference and Competition in St. Louis, Missouri.

Mister TSU, Darian McGhee, middle, participates on a panel with kings from other HBCUs. (Submitted Photo)

Mister TSU, Darian McGhee, placed in the Top 10 in the rigorous competition that included representatives from 22 historically black colleges and universities.

The five-day 15th Annual Kings’ Leadership Conference and Competition also gave participants an opportunity to learn more about personal growth, leadership, and manhood.

The conference and competition started in 2000 as an annual event to support, honor, and strengthen the role of HBCU campus kings.  Throughout the event, the kings attend workshops moderated and taught by notable speakers on various expert topics. In the evening, contestants participate in preliminary competitions to earn their placement in the pageant.

For Mister TSU, he was judged on his oratory delivery, talent, ease of manner, and an on-stage question and answer. In the talent portion, Mister TSU received high recognition for his performance of an original monologue he wrote entitled, “First 48,” based on the life of a black police officer regulating crime in Memphis, Tennessee.

“I was very grateful to attend the Mister HBCU competition, especially since we haven’t been represented in recent years,” said McGhee, a senior electrical engineering major from Memphis. “I was honored to represent my institution on a national level. This experience allowed me to develop lasting relationships and personal development skills that have made me a better leader.”

Tasha Andrews, TSU director of student activities, who accompanied McGhee to the conference and competition, said, “Mister TSU came ready.”

“Darian worked very hard to prepare for this competition,” Andrews said. “We started practicing in November.  He pushed himself and definitely represented the greatness that we produce here at TSU.”

For more information on student activities at TSU go to http://tnstatenewsroom.com/wp-admin/post-new.php.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. 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.

Wave of Tiger Blue Greets State Lawmakers During 6th TSU Day at the Capitol

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – From hemp research to using robotics to improve physical mobility of humans, Tennessee State University showcased some major scientific advances to state lawmakers on Tuesday.

Tennessee Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, right, congratulates President Glover following her presentation in the Senate Chamber. Rep. Harold Love, Jr., and Sen. Brenda Gilmore join the President and the Lieutenant Governor. (Photo by Ramona Whitworth-Wiggings)

It was the sixth “TSU Day at the Capitol,” where the lawmakers experienced a wave of Tiger Blue at the state Capitol. TSU administrators, faculty, students, staff and alumni showcased the university’s research and other innovative initiatives at the annual event.

Visitors also had a chance to meet with lawmakers who stopped by to see displays from some of the school’s various colleges.

TSU President Glenda Glover kicked off the day with a standing-room only ceremony in Senate Hearing Room II in the Cordell Hull Building.

“This is our day, this is TSU day,” Glover said. “It gives us a great opportunity to share with our lawmakers, our leaders, the success of TSU, and the needs of TSU, as we continue to nurture some of the best and the brightest minds of this generation, our TSU students.”

Among many displays at the TSU Day at the Capitol, researchers in the College of Health Sciences demonstrate the use of the Vest Airway Clearance System, a therapy designed to assist patients who have thick secretions, such as in cystic fibrosis. (Photo by Ramona Whitworth-Wiggings)

Before and after Glover’s presentation, several lawmakers took the podium to welcome TSU and to talk about the university’s impact and contribution to the state, the nation and the world.

Among them Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, Sens. Brenda Gilmore, Raumesh Akbari, Dolores Gresham, Reps. Harold Lover, Jr., and Bill Dunn.

“I welcome TSU, President Glover and all of you to the Senate,” McNally said. “We really honor our relationship with TSU, and look forward to what you do, and the great students that you produce for the State of Tennessee. It really makes a difference in our state.”

Also bringing greetings was Joni McReynolds, president of the TSU National Alumni Association.

Among new innovations on display at the TSU Day at the Capitol was a “humanoid robot” called ISAC, which is helping researchers in the College of Engineering to develop and test devices that help solve prosthetic problems.

“We are investigating anthropomorphic hand-like end-effectors, force-torque sensors for touching, vision, and infrared motion detection to address deficiencies in how human disabilities impact their quality of life,” said Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering.

Glover and university officials also touted TSU’s recent Carnegie designation as an R2 research institute, one of only 139 in the nation, and one of only 11 among all historically black colleges and universities.

“This new R2 designation for TSU helps to distinguish the fact that we are producing great scholarly research that benefits the citizens of Tennessee and addresses many of the great challenges that are facing our nation,” said Lesia Crumpton-Young, TSU vice president for research and institutional advancement. “I am so proud of the faculty, staff and students that have worked hard to achieve this new designation.”

Daiva Wilson is a junior agricultural science major from Indianapolis, who attended her first TSU Day at the Capitol. She said the experience was very enlightening and informative.

“It was really informative to hear about TSU as a land-grant institution, and how funding for the institution is handled by the legislators,” she said. “I also enjoyed the enthusiasm on everyone’s face about the reception at the state Capitol.”

Members of the TSU Student Government Association also spoke at the ceremony, and said they were excited to be at the Capitol.

“This is just an exciting time for TSU, seeing all of these lawmakers and visitors here to celebrate our institution,” said Kayla McCrary, president of the SGA.

Displays from the school’s various colleges and departments lined the walls in reception areas on the eighth and second floors of the Cordell Hull Building.

A number of TSU interns at the Capitol also joined their fellow students, staff and administrators in the celebration.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. 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, FedEx Partner to Conduct Top Leadership Training Program

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is partnering with FedEx to reinstitute a program that trains and develops students with top leadership skills to help them be even more competitive in the workforce.

Called “Leadership TSU,” 40 students – from freshmen to seniors – with demonstrated ability to lead, have been selected as the first cohorts of the program, which kicked off Jan. 20.

LTSU, considered the highest level of leadership training at the university, with 27 learning outcomes that have been modeled around the nation, closed out about seven years ago, according to Frank Stevenson, TSU’s dean of students.

“We are bringing it back under the same idea of developing top leaders at the university.  We secured the funding and created the opportunity,” he said. “We pitched the idea to FedEx about creating an opportunity for students to learn some of their best practices, they immediately were on board.”

He said in addition to material and other support, FedEx will expose the cohorts to “some of the company’s leadership practices that fit in with what they do.” TSU faculty and national leadership training experts are also participating in the training.

Dr. Joseph Walker III, Chairmain of the TSU Board of Trustees, right, meets with Dean of Students Frank Stevenson during the LTSU cohorts’ visit to Dr. Walker’s residence. (Submitted Photo)

A component of the training program, Stevenson said, is to connect cohorts to successful individuals and groups “to share with our students and cohorts the habits of successful people.”

For instance, on Jan. 19, TSU Board of Trustees Chairman, Dr. Joseph Walker III, and his wife, Dr. Stephanie Walker, hosted the inaugural class of LTSU at their home. Dr. Joseph Walker, pastor of Nashville’s Mt. Zion Baptist Church, is presiding bishop of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International, as well as chairman of the TSU Board of Trustees. His wife, Dr. Stephanie Walker, is a top pediatrician. They are authors of several books and publications.

“Leadership TSU is a game changer,” Bishop Walker said. “Dr. Stephanie and I were honored to host this group of extraordinary students. Their stories are powerful and their drive for success is contagious. The future looks bright and this program will be a major contributor.”

LTSU is a one-year program. To be nominated, students must maintain a minimum 2.5 grade point average. Stevenson said the current cohorts have a combined average GPA of 3.2, and were nominated by their deans, vice presidents, and the president.

“We wanted them (nominators) to identify those students who had already exhibited incredible leadership skills, and who really celebrate the best of TSU culture in terms of how they carry themselves. We asked them to also nominate those students, who in their mind, would best benefit from this training or this opportunity,” Stevenson said.

Donovan Stewart, the current Mr. Sophomore, is a member of the reinstituted LTSU. He said he is serious-minded and happy to be a part of such a diverse group of fellow students.

“It is a great feeling to be selected,” said Donovan, a nursing major from Birmingham, Alabama. “It is a great feeling to be acknowledged, not only for academics, but also leadership. And it is a good thing to get people from different backgrounds.”

As part of their initial activities, the group will visit the Tennessee State Capitol on Feb. 1 to hear about law and policy making from top elected officials, Stevenson said. In March, they will “make a social justice learning trip” to Washington, D.C.

TSU Assistant Dean of Students, Erica Gilmore, who is also at-large council member; and Tasha Andrews, director of student activities, coordinate LTSU along with Stevenson. Andrews spoke about the caliber of students in the program and why they were selected.

“As student affairs practitioners, we really understand that being a student leader goes beyond academic excellence. It is more about being well rounded and well cultivated,” she said. “We have students with 2.7 or 2.8. Some of them may have a low GPA, but they excel in other ways. It was important that we had a very diverse group. All of those students bring leadership traits that we admire and that are unique to each of them.”

Students interested in being selected for the 2020 class of Leadership TSU should contact the Office of the Dean of Students at (615) 963-2154 or fsteven1@tnstate.edu.mailloc.

TSU Administrators Attend National Leadership Institute of HBCU Leaders

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Two Tennessee State University administrators were among a cohort of 24 mid- to senior-level administrators from historically black colleges and universities across the nation who attended a four-day leadership workshop in Austin, Texas.

Tiffany Bellafant Stewart, assistant vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Success, and Dr. Erin Lynch, research director for the Center of Excellence for Learning Sciences, participated in the Higher Education Leadership Foundation Institute at Huston-Tillotson University from December 13 – 16.

Called the “Theta cohort,” participants received an intimate, interactive, professional, and personal development experience that provided each fellow with a unique and valuable opportunity to assess personal vocation and leadership skill. The institute also allowed fellows to reaffirm a continuing commitment to HBCUs and identify and enhance the essential qualities for a successful tenure as a principled and effective leader and senior administrator.

Tiffany Bellafant Stewart, left, and Dr. Erin Lynch were among 24 cohorts who attended the HELF institute in Austin, Texas. (Courtesy Photo)

“The Higher Education Leadership Foundation institute was a transformative experience, both personally and professionally,” said Stewart. “The knowledge and wisdom shared by current and past presidents of historically black colleges and universities was enlightening and motivational in moving the needle forward to support students in their pursuit of obtaining college degrees from HBCUs.”

For Lynch, she said to be surrounded by colleagues who also deeply believe in the role and value of HBCUs in higher education reminded her “there is still much work to be done for our students.”

“During the four-day program, we were challenged with learning new ways to approach our collective missions as HBCUs,” she said. “We were reminded that as a collective, we are more impactful on student learning than as individuals.”

Steward and Lynch said TSU students will directly benefit from relationships developed at the institute by augmenting partnerships for external funding opportunities through research engagement and scholarship funding.

“Those relationships and experience reinvigorated my passion for HBCUs and fortified my commitment to excellence for TSU students,” Stewart added.

For more information on Enrollment Management, and the Center of Excellence for Learning Sciences, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/emss/ and http://www.tnstate.edu/learningsciences/

Department of Media Relations

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About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. 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.