Category Archives: FEATURED

TSU Honors College Produces Students Who Impact the World; Annual Convocation Set for March 28

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Jaquantey Bowen and Ayana Wild want to change the world.

They are among more than 3,000 students with grade point averages of 3.0 or higher who will be recognized when Tennessee State University honors its best and brightest students during the annual Honors Day Convocation on March 28.

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Jaquantey Bowen

Bowen, a Presidential Scholar who graduates in December, wants to put an end to heart disease, which has killed many of his relatives and is responsible for nearly 610,000 deaths in America each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Bowen plans to become a cardiovascular surgeon, and he’s well on his way.

With a perfect 4.0 GPA, Bowen has set his sights on Harvard University. He has been accepted into the highly competitive Harvard BWH Stars Program for Summer Research, an intensive, eight-week program in research methods and practice for underrepresented minority college and first-year medical students.

During Bowen’s freshman year at TSU, just around his 18th birthday, his maternal grandfather died from heart disease, the same disease that claimed his paternal grandfather’s life and several others in his family.

“From that day forward, I vowed to put an end to heart disease,” said Bowen, who will receive a bachelor’s degree in biology with concentration in cell and molecular biology and a minor in chemistry. “I solidified my career choice to become a cardiovascular surgeon. I have strived for excellence and maintained nothing less than an ‘A’ in every course I have taken.”

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Ayana Wild

Wild, who has been on the Dean’s List since entering TSU, wants to be a university professor, like her parents.

“I am inspired by my father and mother and many great professors I met at TSU,” said Wild, who graduates in May with a double major in computer science and math. “Through teaching, I want to be able to change the future of the computer science industry, as well as inspire students to make career choices that impact the world.”

Wild has a 3.9 GPA. She has been accepted into the graduate program at Vanderbilt University, with a research assistantship. Her older brother is pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Vanderbilt, where her father also teaches. Her mother is a professor of chemistry at TSU.

As high achievers, Bowen and Wild are following in the footsteps of a select group of TSU honors graduates who have gone on to impact the world in remarkable ways in education, medicine, technology, and many other areas.

Among them, Dr. Glenda Glover, TSU’s current president, who earned a degree in math, and one of only two female educators in the United States with a Ph.D., JD and CPA combination. Some others are the late Dr. Levi Watkins, a 1966 graduate of the program, who revolutionized the medical world with the creation and implantation of the Automatic Implantable Defibrillator; and Jesse Russell, a 1972 graduate recognized as the father of digital cellular technology.

Another is Obie McKenzie, a 1967 graduate who will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Honors Convocation.

McKenzie is managing director at BlackRock, Inc., the largest publicly traded investment management firm in the United States, and a member of Tennessee State’s board of trustees.

“We are excited about Mr. McKenzie coming to bless us as our guest speaker,” said Dr. Coreen Jackson, interim dean of TSU Honors College. “He has walked this road. He has blazed the trail for us. This allows other students to see him as a mentor, and as a role model.”

TSU officials say the 3,331 students to be honored at this year’s convocation is a 42 percent increase in the number of students who made the Dean’s List the previous year. Of that number, 287 made the President’s List. These are students with perfect 4.0 GPAs.

“We are ecstatic about the great number of students who have achieved the Dean’s List during this period,” Jackson said. “It shows that Tennessee State University students are getting serious about their school work, and are working diligently to achieve excellence in the classroom. We just want to honor them and let them know that TSU is behind them, supporting them.”

Fore more information on the 2017 Honors Day Convocation, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/honors/.

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.

Actress Vivica A. Fox empowers Women of Legend and Merit Awards attendees, encourages students to make right choices

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Actress Vivica A. Fox has a message for Tennessee State University students: make the right choices.

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TSU President Glenda Glover, scholarship recipient Kayla Daniels, and Dr. Samantha Morgan-Curtis, associate professor of English and Women’s Studies at TSU. (By John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Fox was the keynote speaker at the Women of Legend and Merit Awards on March 21, which also featured a performance by entertainer Angela Winbush.

With an extensive body of work that includes television, stage and film credits, Fox talked about her career, at times drawing laughter from attendees, and striking a more serious note when discussing her mother and her faith.

But Fox, who is also a producer and accomplished businesswoman, probably had the strongest message when she focused directly on TSU’s students, who participated in some capacity throughout the program.

“You all are our future,” Fox said. “The choices you make today will shape your tomorrow.”

First held in 2007, the WOLM awards is designed to bring awareness and raise funds to support the TSU Women’s Center, which offers student-focused programming to empower individuals and student organizations, as well as help students make the right choices.

At the awards dinner, TSU freshman Kayla Daniels was given a $1,000 scholarship to pursue her degree in business. The scholarship dollars are available mainly because of money raised at the WOLM awards through ticket sales and sponsorships.

Women’s Center coordinator Seanne Wilson said the awards dinner is also an opportunity for the TSU family and the Nashville community to be introduced to “dynamic, successful, and positive women who impact their community,” as well as society.

This year’s honorees were Dr. Stephanie Walker, Vanderbilt University/First lady Mt. Zion Baptist; Cheryl White Mason, Vanderbilt Law School; Teresa Phillips, TSU athletic director; Yvette Boyd, R.H. Boyd Publishing; and Vicki Yates, WTVF Nashville news anchor.

In particular, Wilson said the event seeks to expose the university’s “female student population to positive role models, networking opportunities and resources to assist in their academic, personal and professional growth as women.”

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Entertainer Angela Winbush. (By John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

But its main objective is to help the Women’s Center, which assists students with issues that range from financial needs to domestic abuse, Wilson said. It also has programs like “Wisdom Speaks,” in which alumni return to the campus to engage students in empowering discussions, as well as a clothing boutique.

“Some of our students are first generation college students and have a very limited wardrobe,” Wilson said. “Some young ladies, if they’re interviewing or doing internships, will come to the center looking for something to wear.”

The center is also sort of a home-away-from-home where students, not just females, can visit and do homework, or just hang out and debate the latest topics with friends, Wilson said.

Senior Kourtney Daniels said the center is a “vital resource to all students on campus.”

“It’s not just for the female population,” said Daniels, an agriculture science major with a concentration in food science and technology.

“Guys come in all the time, and we’ll have debates about everything from politics, to family issues we might have.”

For more information about the Women’s Center, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/womenscenter/.

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.

 

Scholars’ Reception Aims to Attract the Best and Brightest to TSU

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – President Glenda Glover is making sure qualified students have full access to opportunities at Tennessee State University.

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TSU President Glenda Glover

She has initiated a “Presidential Scholars’ Reception” program to meet with high school graduating seniors in their communities and offer them scholarships to attend TSU.

The university’s Office of Admissions and Recruitment works closely with high school counselors to identify high-achieving students to receive the scholarships based on grade point average and ACT/SAT test scores.

“We look forward to continuing to be a leader in providing access to higher education in the state of Tennessee,” Glover said. “We continue to work together with area high school counselors and those in surrounding states to make sure we can assist students through scholarships to realize their dreams of higher education.”

On March 13, Glover offered scholarships to several students during a reception at the President’s Residence on campus for students and their parents.  Two more scholars’ receptions are scheduled this month in Sandy Springs, Georgia, on March 22, and another in Hoover, Alabama, on March 28.

The scholarship tour is just one of several initiatives aimed at attracting the best, qualified students, as the institution raises its admission standards. Last May, Tennessee State implemented the “250-Mile Radius Rate,” a program that offers discounted tuition rates of nearly 40 percent for students in counties in nearby states within 250 miles of Nashville.

Dr. John Cade, TSU’s vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Services, said the plan helps boost the university’s effort to recruit out-of-state students, a breadbasket for Tennessee State.

“Based on our national alumni base and legacy, out-of-state students have traditionally been attracted to Tennessee State University, but the cost of tuition has been a major barrier for many,” Cade said.

Speaking recently to a panel of educators and community leaders in Nashville, Glover said the university is focused on student success, and is no longer a “school of last resort.”

She said, as an HBCU, Tennessee State has always opened its doors to all students, even those rejected by other institutions. But she said the university has shifted its focus “exclusively” to student success.

In October, Glover announced a hike in admission standards, while enhancing student success initiatives to increase retention and graduation rates.

Beginning this fall, all students must have a 2.5 GPA and a 19 on the ACT for admission to TSU. The previous admission scores were 2.25 or a 19 on the ACT for in-state students, and a 2.5 or 19 ACT for out-of-state students.

“Excellence remains our top priority, but we can’t be the school of last resort,” Glover 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.

 

Tennessee State to host HBCU College Fair during national conference

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Leaders from higher education institutions across the country will converge on the campus of Tennessee State University next week.

imagesThe National Association of College Deans, Registrars and Admissions Officers is holding its annual conference in Nashville March 20-24. Tennessee State will host the conference on its main campus March 22-23.

The conference attendees will have an opportunity to represent their institutions at a HBCU College Fair that will be held in TSU’s Farrell-Westbrook Complex on March 22.

This year’s conference theme is “HBCUs Do Matter: Assessing Recruitment, Admissions, Financial Aid and Academic Data for Student Success.”

Dr. Curtis Johnson, TSU’s chief of staff and associate vice president for administration, said he believes the college fair will be very beneficial.

“High school students and their parents will have an opportunity to visit with institutions they might rarely have direct access to,” said Johnson, a longtime member of NACDRAO.

Dr. Gregory Clark, TSU’s director of alumni outreach and high school relations, is also a longtime member of the association, as well as a former NACDRAO president.

Founded in 1925, one of the main reasons for establishing the organization was to provide a forum for deans and registrars of black colleges to discuss mutual problems with a view toward improving the quality of education in member colleges, and to set standards for accreditation.

For more information about NACDRAO, visit http://www.nacdrao.org.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tennessee State’s Women’s Center is a ‘vital resource’ to students

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Actress Vivica A. Fox says she’s looking forward to speaking at this year’s Women of Legend and Merit Awards, and highlighting Tennessee State’s Women’s Center.

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Women’s Center coordinator Seanne Wilson talks with students. (By John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

The WOLM awards dinner is scheduled for March 21 at 7 p.m. in the TSU Gentry Complex.

“It’s an evening where the women get to honor and uplift one another, and support one another,” Fox told Nashville radio station WQQK in a recent interview. “I’m looking forward to just celebrating and having a wonderful evening.”

First held in 2007, the WOLM awards is designed to bring awareness and raise funds to support the center, which offers student-focused programming to empower individuals and student organizations.

Center coordinator Seanne Wilson said the awards dinner provides an opportunity for the TSU family and the Nashville community to be introduced to “dynamic, successful, and positive women who impact their community,” as well as society.

Fox, also a producer and accomplished businesswoman, will be the keynote speaker. Entertainer Angela Winbush, whose hit songs include “Your Smile” and “Angel,” will perform.

Unknown-3This year’s honorees are Dr. Stephanie Walker, Vanderbilt University/First lady Mt. Zion Baptist; Cheryl White Mason, Vanderbilt Law School; Teresa Phillips, TSU athletic director; Yvette Boyd, R.H. Boyd Publishing; and Vicki Yates, WTVF Nashville news anchor.

In particular, Wilson said the event seeks to expose the university’s “female student population to positive role models, networking opportunities and resources to assist in their academic, personal and professional growth as women.”

TSU’s center assists students with issues that range from financial needs to domestic abuse, Wilson said. It also has programs like “Wisdom Speaks,” in which alumni return to the campus to engage students in empowering discussions, as well as a clothing boutique.

“Some of our students are first generation college students and have a very limited wardrobe,” Wilson said. “Some young ladies, if they’re interviewing or doing internships, will come to the center looking for something to wear.”

The center is also sort of a home-away-from-home where students can visit and do homework, or just hang out and debate the latest topics with friends.

Senior Kourtney Daniels said the center is a “vital resource to all students on campus.”

“It’s not just for the female population,” said Daniels, an agriculture science major with a concentration in food science and technology. “Guys come in all the time, and we’ll have debates about everything from politics, to family issues we might have.”

This year, Wilson said a deserving TSU student will be presented a $1,000 scholarship at the awards dinner. She said scholarship dollars are available mainly because of money raised at the WOLM awards through ticket sales and sponsorships.

To purchase tickets for the March 21 awards dinner or learn more about the Women’s Center, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/womenscenter/legend.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.

 

 

 

 

Play ‘For Colored Girls,’ Women of Legend and Merit Awards highlight Women’s History Month at TSU

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University has events planned this month that fittingly celebrate women and their impact on society.

The Women of Legend and Merit Awards, featuring actress/producer Vivica A. Fox as speaker and entertainer Angela Winbush, is scheduled for March 21, and the play “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf” is set for March 29-April 1.

wolm17_medFirst held in 2007, the WOLM awards is designed to bring awareness and raise funds in support of Tennessee State’s Women’s Center, which offers student-focused programming to empower individuals and student organizations.

The event also salutes women leaders in business and the community.

This year’s honorees are Dr. Stephanie Walker, Vanderbilt University/First lady Mt. Zion Baptist; Cheryl White Mason, Vanderbilt Law School; Teresa Phillips, TSU athletic director; Yvette Boyd, R.H. Boyd Publishing; and Vicki Yates; WTVF Nashville news anchor.

“The event seeks to expose the university’s female student population to positive role models, networking opportunities and resources to assist in their academic, personal and professional growth as women,” said Women’s Center coordinator Seanne Wilson.

forgirlsDr. Lawrence James, director of TSU’s version of the play “For Colored Girls,” said it’s similar to the original play that was written more than 40 years ago.

While he hopes that young women will be educated and empowered by the play’s message, he said it makes an “important statement in regard to issues related to all women.”

“The play deals with a number of subjects that are very relevant today: love relationships, abandonment, rape, abortion, sisterhood, among other issues,” said James, who is professor of theater and also theater coordinator.

Dr. Tracey Ford, vice president of student affairs at TSU, said she hopes there will be strong turnout for both events.

“This month we can pay homage to many of the unsung ‘sheroes,’” Ford said. “Events such as ‘For Colored Girls’ and the Women of Legend and Merit are celebratory and educational for the masses.”

The play will be in TSU’s Performing Arts Center Cox/Lewis Theater. Students with ID get in free; $10 for non-students.

For information about tickets and other questions about WOLM, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/womenscenter/legend.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 honored at Arbor Day Celebration by mayor’s office; legendary coach Ed Temple remembered

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University was honored at the city’s annual Arbor Day Celebration for its dedication to help improve the environment.

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TSU legendary coach Ed Temple was remembered at the annual Nashville Arbor Day Celebration, that also honored Tennessee State for its dedication to help improve the environment. In this photo is Coach Temple’s daughter, Edwina, with TSU students studying urban forestry. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Mayor Megan Barry recognized TSU and two other universities on Thursday, March 9, for being part of the Tree Campus USA program, which recognizes college and university campuses that effectively manage their campus trees, and strive to engage their student population utilizing service learning opportunities centered on campus, and community, forestry efforts.

“It shows that TSU is dedicated to helping to improve the environment in Nashville, but also beautifying the campus and recognizing the importance of trees,” Dr. De’Etra Young, assistant professor of Urban Forestry at TSU, said after the event at Centennial Park.

Colleges and universities across the United States can be recognized as a Tree Campus USA institution by meeting five standards developed to promote healthy trees and student involvement.

TSU student Jerome Pittman, who attended the event, said he’s proud Tennessee State was recognized.

“It’s giving us a voice; a chance to impact the community in a positive way,” said Pittman, who’s majoring in agricultural business.

Also Thursday, there was a memorial tree dedication at the park that included legendary track and field coach Edward S. Temple, who died Sept. 22, 2016, at the age of 89. A tulip poplar was planted in his honor.

Coach Temple’s daughter, Edwina, provided remarks and highlighted some of her father’s accomplishments, to which, at one point, she received a standing ovation.

“He’s most proud of having 40 of his Tigerbelles chosen to be on the United States Olympic team,” she said. “And of those 40 women, all 40 graduated with one or more degrees.”

In memorializing Temple and the others – Jane Eskind, John Jay Hooker, Betty Nixon, and Matthew Walker Jr. – Mayor Barry said planting trees to remember them was fitting because “trees are the longest living organisms on the planet.”

“They were a shining example of what is possible, and what we can do as a city,” Barry said of the five. “And the trees … are a fitting tribute to their legacies of leadership.”

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.

 

 

Tennessee State University Students Win Top Honors at research conference

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University students recently won top honors in research presentations at the Research Association of Minority Professors 36th annual Conference in Atlanta.

RAMP is an educational and scientific research organization that provides opportunities for minority professors to engage in culturally relevant research projects.

Undergraduate and graduate students from member institutions are also invited to the association’s annual conference to present research projects.

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TSU student and faculty representatives at the RAMP 36th Annual Conference were, from left, T’Shana Carter, Germysha Little, Allen Ezigbo, Dr. Clara Young-White, Dr. Lucian Yates, III, Shabnam Brady, Sarah Iriogbe-Efionayi, Dr. Keisha Bryan, and Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young. (Submitted Photo)

This year, six TSU students were among 18 students selected from across the nation to make presentations at the RAMP conference last month at Clark Atlanta University. Three students placed, with one winning second place in the undergraduate category. TSU took the prizes for second and third places among graduate presenters.

Several TSU professors and administrators, including the university’s chief research officer, Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, accompanied the TSU students. The professors also presented at the conference.

For student research, Germysha Little, a senior biology major, earned second place for “An Investigation of the Experiences of Underrepresented STEM Graduate Students.”

In the graduate category, Shabnam Brady, a doctoral student in the Department of Psychology, won second place for her presentation on “The Assessment of Underrepresented Minority Student Experiences in STEM Graduate Program.”

A presentation on “Examining Early Childhood Education Teachers’ Understanding of Self-Regulation Skills” won third place for Sarah Iriogbe-Efionayi, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

“Our students were outstanding,” said Dr. Clara Young-White, chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning, and immediate past-president of RAMP. “It was very important for our students to participate in these presentations because it gives them the opportunity to connect with other students and professors.”

Young-White said TSU will host the conference next year.

“We are bringing the conference here because we want more TSU students to participate in the competition,” she said.

Students interested in presenting at the RAMP conference must submit a 2,000-word abstract of their work that addresses issues and concern for minority populations. A committee that selects the presenters reviews the abstracts.

Iriogbe-Efionayi said her interactions at the conference were beneficial.

“It (the conference) was a treat for me,” she said. “I was able to meet and interact with students and professors with the same background and interest in preschool education.”

Other TSU student presenters were Lydia Davis, a political science major; T’Shana Carter, chemistry; and Allen Ezigbo, elementary education.

Other faculty members and administrators who attended the conference included Dr. Lucian Yates, dean of Graduate School and Research; and Dr. Kisha Bryan, assistant professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning.

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 President Glenda Glover among leaders on hand for signing of HBCU executive order by President Trump

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover was among a group of HBCU presidents and leaders who witnessed President Donald Trump sign an executive order he said makes “HBCUs an absolute priority in the White House.”

During brief remarks in the Oval Office on Tuesday, President Trump added, “Historically, black colleges and universities are incredibly important institutions. That’s why today I’m thrilled to be signing an executive order to recognize the importance of historically black colleges and universities.”

While similar to other HBCU executive orders of former presidents, this order officially moves the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities from the U.S. Department of Education to the White House.

“Our goal as a group was to share our collective concerns with President Trump and his executive leadership directly responsible for educational funding and policies that impact our institutions,” said TSU President Glover. “We hope the executive order represents a real commitment to historically black colleges and universities which makes HBCUs a significant line item in the President’s budget. What HBCUs need is funding, and this is precisely why we made the trip to Washington.”

The signing comes one day after Vice President Mike Pence and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos hosted representatives from dozens of HBCUs at a “listening session” in the executive office building next door to the White House. The session was hosted by the White House Domestic Policy Council. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund coordinated the initiative on behalf of the HBCUs.

In the session, HBCU leaders discussed ways they can improve education and enhance the infrastructure of their schools. Representatives from Thurgood Marshall College Fund, United Negro College Fund and National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education also participated.

To view the executive order, visit http://bit.ly/2lVYSzP.

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 Students, Professor Attend Harvard Conference on Politics and Civic Engagement

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Two TSU students and a professor from the College of Public Service participated in a recent national conference at Harvard University.

The National Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement took place earlier this month at the Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics.

It focused on identifying the causes of the divisiveness following the 2016 presidential election, as well as strategies to bridge the gaps between all Americans.

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Mikala Hodges, a TSU Political Science major, participates in an open discussion at the conference. (Photo by Harvard University Institute of Politics)

Jalen Jennings, a junior urban studies major, and Mikala Hodges, also a junior majoring in political science, were among 70 students from 28 colleges and universities from across the United States who attended the conference.

The mission was to create a nationally coordinated program, Reconnect America.

Dr. Cara Robinson, interim chair of TSU’s Department of Social Work and Urban Affairs, accompanied the students. She said the students’ experience at the conference gave them the skills necessary to move civic activity on campus through academics and community service programs.

“Jennings and Hodges bring a personal passion, steady leadership, and commitment to assisting students and other stakeholders in moving public discourse and action forward and into a prominent place at TSU,” Robinson said. “The opportunity to work with students on civic and political engagement initiatives is a core purpose of the urban studies program and the College of Public Service.”

At the conference, students heard from prominent speakers such as Doris Kearns Godwin, veteran presidential historian, and David Gergen, veteran political analyst and advisor to three former U.S. presidents.

They noted the importance of having unifying leaders as a key to bridging the political divide, adding that young people have a vital role to play in closing the gap.

Jennings said he enjoyed meeting students from across the country and hearing their thoughts.

“We all have different views, [but] you come together and you find that in some ways we have the same ideas in some areas,” he said.

Jennings, who took part in a breakout group that focused on social media, added, “We are trying to come up with different ideas to make sure news gets published to social media sites that is more credible.”

Since 2003, the alliance has held annual conferences to identify collaborative projects, foster engagement in electoral politics, assist students in pursuing careers in public service and provide a foundation in civic education.

“The College of Public Service is very proud of this partnership, especially as we are the only HBCU,” said Dr. Michael Harris, dean of the college.  “It allows our students the opportunity to work with students from across the United States on enhancing citizenship, leadership and civic engagement, a core value that we instill in our students.”

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.