Category Archives: FEATURED

State Lawmakers Converge on TSU Campus on ‘Tennessee General Assembly Day’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – State lawmakers got a chance to see Tennessee State University’s excellence up close on Wednesday.

Several legislators, from the Senate and House of Representatives, visited and toured the campus in what was termed, “Experience TSU: Tennessee General Assembly Day at Tennessee State University.”

This was a departure from the annual “TSU Day at the Capitol,” when university administrators, students, faculty, alumni and friends converge on Legislative Plaza to showcase TSU’s research and other innovative initiatives. The next TSU Day at the Capitol will be on Feb. 12.

TSU alums and state lawmakers, Rep. Harold Love, Jr.; and Senator-elect Brenda Gilmore, said it was important for their fellow lawmakers to visit the TSU campus. (Photo by Michael McLendon, TSU Media Relations)

Joining the lawmakers at TSU were the Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture, Jai Templeton; and representatives from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency, Natural Resource Conservation Service, and the Rural Development agency.

“We are very pleased to welcome you to Tennessee State University and our beautiful campus on behalf of our President, Dr. Glenda Glover,” said Dr. Curtis Johnson, chief of staff and associate vice president.

“Many of you may be familiar with our campus and for some of you, this may be your first time, but we are just glad that you included us in your busy schedules to make this day possible and to see for yourselves some of the great things taking place at this institution.”

At a luncheon in the President’s Dining Room prior to touring facilities on campus, the lawmakers received briefings and slide presentations from administrators on the university’s 2019 Legislative Priorities for funding consideration by the General Assembly.

Lawmakers and USDA officials watch a computer animation in the CAVE presented by Omari Paul, a 2nd-year Ph.D. student in Computer Information Systems Engineering. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

These included the creation of a STEM Institute, a Community Behavioral and Mental Health Center, the Cumberland Shores Research and Innovative Park, emergency funding for students, and safety and security.

“With the heightened demand for diversification in the STEM work force, an institute would provide research, professional development and training in recruiting and retaining minorities in STEM programs in Tennessee and nationally,” said Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, vice president for Research and Institutional Advancement.

With TSU one of only two HBCU’s offering a Ph.D. in psychology in the nation, Crumpton-Young told the lawmakers a community behavioral and mental health center would allow Ph.D. students in psychology to complete their clinical training on campus, instead of at Vanderbilt University, as they currently do.

A group of students from the TSU Career Development Center and the center director, Charles Jennings, make a presentation to the visiting legislators at the luncheon in the President’s Dining Room. (Photo by MIchael McLendon, TSU Media Relations)

Two TSU alums and state lawmakers, Rep. Harold Love, Jr.; and Senator-elect Brenda Gilmore, were among those present. They said the physical presence of their colleagues on campus allows them to see “where the money is going.”

“This is so vital because when Tennessee State is engaged and asking for money for campus improvements, security upgrades and for general operation, oftentimes legislators have never been to the campus,” Love said. “By having them on campus, we get to highlight all the wonderful things that are going on at TSU.”

Gilmore shared similar sentiment.

“TSU has so much to offer. They have some of the best and brightest students,” she said.  “I commend TSU for arranging this visit. This is a good start. TSU needs a greater presence, telling the story of what the university is and what the needs are.”

Following the luncheon, lawmakers toured various sites on campus, escorted by TSU’s Assistant Vice President for Public Relations and Communications, Kelli Sharpe, and Johnson.

Leon Roberts, coordinator of the TSU Dental Hygiene program, talks to visitors about the services offered by the Dental Hygiene Clinic. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Stops included a roundtable discussion with administrators and the Dean of the College of Agriculture, Dr. Chandra Reddy, as well as a tour of the Food and Biosciences and Technology Lab, a cutting-edge facility.

State Sen. Frank S. Nicely, 8th District, said he is impressed with work going on at TSU, especially in agriculture.

“I enjoy very much hearing about TSU as a land-grant university,” said Nicely, who is 1st vice-chair of the Senate Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. “I am excited about the work you are doing with small farmers and reaching out to more counties with your extension program.”

Next, the group stopped in the College of Engineering, where they observed various animations in the CAVE or Computer Assisted for Virtual Environments, a facility for multi-disciplinary research, as well as the Advanced Materials Lab.

The group’s final stop was at TSU’s state-of-the-art Dental Hygiene Clinic, which provides a wide range of reduced-cost dental services to nearly 600 patients in the Nashville community a year.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 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.

Tennessee State University Choir part of uplifting performance with Carrie Underwood at CMA Awards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Members of the Tennessee State University Choir joined a Nashville ensemble in an uplifting performance with megastar Carrie Underwood at the 52nd Country Music Association Awards Wednesday night.

Submitted photo.

The choir members and Portara Ensemble sang with Underwood on her timely hit song, “Love Wins,” during the show at Bridgestone Arena.

“It is an absolute honor to sing with an artist the caliber of Carrie Underwood on national television and it was really meaningful for us to sing a song with a text that encourages unity, in this time of incredible division and strife,” said Dr. Susan Kelly, TSU’s choral director.

It was the TSU Choir’s second performance at the CMAs. The group performed on the awards show last year, and students said before last night’s performance that they were excited the university was getting another opportunity.

“I’m really excited,” said choir member Destiny Pennington, a freshman from Detroit. “It’s something that I’ve never done before and have always wanted to do.”

Junior DeMicheal Martin agreed.

“It’s exciting, and it’s also an opportunity to showcase our great university,” said Martin, of Memphis.

Kelly said the opportunity to sing at the CMAs again is a testimony to the hard work of the students and the success they’re having.

“The choir program has grown so much over the past three years and I am delighted that they are beginning to get opportunities and recognition in the Nashville community,” she said.

Dr. Robert Elliott, chair of TSU’s Department of Music, shared similar sentiment.

“The CMAs are a hallmark of excellence in Nashville; so is TSU,” he said. “Dr. Kelly and her students once more do all of us at TSU proud.”

The choir’s performance will be TSU’s second encounter with country music stardom this year. In August, the university’s famed Aristocrat of Bands performed with superstar Keith Urban at Bridgestone Arena during his tour stop in Nashville. The band was featured as a part of Urban’s closing hit song, “Wasted Time.”

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 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.

Tennessee State University Choir to grace the CMA Awards once again

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Members of the Tennessee State University Choir will once again be performing at the Country Music Association Awards Wednesday night.

The choir performed at the 51st CMA Awards last year, and students and faculty say they are looking forward to doing it again at the show scheduled for 7 p.m. at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

“I’m really excited,” said choir member Destiny Pennington, a freshman from Detroit. “It’s something that I’ve never done before and have always wanted to do.”

Junior DeMicheal Martin agreed.

“It’s exciting, and it’s also an opportunity to showcase our great university,” said Martin, of Memphis.

Last year, the choral students appeared as backup singers to some of the biggest names in country music, including Carrie Underwood, Darius Rucker, Keith Urban, Garth Brooks and Reba McEntire. The students were invited along with the Portara Ensemble, to kick off the awards show, which was broadcast live on national television from the Music City Center.

Dr. Susan Kelly, the choir’s director, said the opportunity to sing at the CMAs again is a testimony to the hard work of the students and the success they’re having.

“The choir program has grown so much over the past three years and I am delighted that they are beginning to get opportunities and recognition in the Nashville community,” Kelly said.

Dr. Robert Elliott, chair of TSU’s Department of Music, shared similar sentiment.

“The CMAs are a hallmark of excellence in Nashville; so is TSU,” he said. “Dr. Kelly and her students once more do all of us at TSU proud.”

The choir’s performance will be TSU’s second encounter with country music stardom this year. In August, the university’s famed Aristocrat of Bands performed with megastar Keith Urban at Bridgestone Arena during his tour stop in Nashville. The band was featured as a part of Urban’s closing hit song, “Wasted Time.”

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 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 honors its Veterans and Tuskegee Airmen alumni

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University recognized members of the U.S. Armed Forces, as well as two Tuskegee Airmen alumni, at a special Veterans Day program on Monday.

TSU President Glenda Glover speaks at Veterans Day program. (Photo by Michael McLendon, TSU Media Relations)

Mr. Wade Thomas graduated from then-Tennessee Agricultural & Industrial State College in 1949 and Lt. Joseph White graduated from the institution in 1954. Both men were members of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American military aviators in the United States Armed Forces during World War II.

Before the men were posthumously honored, TSU President Glenda Glover greeted those in attendance, and recognized all veterans.

“On this Veterans Day, we recognize the men and women of our Armed Forces for the courage and dedication it takes to maintain our freedom and democracy,” she said. “They are the true heroes, including those who are here with us today.”

In the early forties, Thomas enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and served with the Tuskegee Airmen during WWII. He later attended Tennessee A&I and graduated with a bachelor’s in business administration, with distinction. He went on to become one of the first minority accountants in the state of Tennessee, and later became a certified public accountant.

White joined the Tuskegee cadet program in 1943, becoming one of the famed “Red Tail” fighter pilots. During his service, he flew missions in North Africa, Italy, France and Germany. He later enrolled at Tennessee A&I. He graduated with a bachelor’s in physics, and went on to receive two master’s degrees in science education and administration, as well as a doctorate in physics. He later served as a physicist and teacher, establishing an electronics program at Pearl High School in Nashville.

Dr. Katie Kinnard White stands next to portrait of her late husband, Lt. Joseph White, and the artist, TSU graduate Brandon Van Leer. (Submitted photo)

White’s widow, Dr. Katie Kinnard White, attended Monday’s program with White’s nephew, Thomas Kinnard. She said after the event that her late husband would have been 97 this year.

“I am very pleased that he is being honored,” said Dr. White, who met her husband at Tennessee State, where she taught for 35 years. “I always appreciated the fact that he was a Tuskegee Airman. He was very proud of that fact.”

Three members of Wade’s family attended the program.

“This is a very exciting moment,” said son George Thomas, who attended with brothers, Axel and Karl, and sister, Korda. “He accomplished things that opened the door for a lot of blacks. It’s great to be able to celebrate him.”

Dr. Ivan Mosley, chair of the Department of Aeronautical and Industrial Technology in TSU’s College of Engineering, was the program’s keynote speaker. He said Tuskegee Airmen, like Thomas and White, were able to become successful because someone took a “keen interest” in their abilities.

“When we take a keen interest in someone, it makes a difference,” Mosley said.

Program keynote speaker Dr. Ivan Mosley, chair of TSU’s Department of Aeronautical and Industrial Technology. (Photo by Michael McLendon, TSU Media Relations)

TSU senior Elijah McNutt performed a dramatic reading during the program. He said he enjoyed honoring the two Tuskegee Airmen, and all veterans.

“It’s really a great opportunity to show appreciation, to let them know we haven’t forgotten them,” McNutt said.

In August, TSU, a certified “Vets Campus,” announced it is implementing a new program that will allow veterans to count military training for credit hours when they enroll at the institution. The program is part of the State of Tennessee’s Veteran Reconnect Initiative.

As part of its Veterans Day activities, TSU hosted a performance by the world-renowned USAF Band of Mid-America’s Shades of Blue Jazz Ensemble in Kean Hall Monday evening. The concert was free and open to the public.

Fore more information about veteran services call 615-963-7001, or visit http://www.tnstate.edu/records/veteran/.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 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.

Bus Tour Brings Business and Community Leaders To TSU

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Nearly 50 Nashville business and community leaders visited Tennessee State University last week as part of the National Organization for Workforce (NOW) Diversity’s annual Diversity Bus Tour.

“The tour is to bring human resource leaders and business leaders out into the diverse communities for recruitment and advancement and engagement of their workforce,” said Jacky Akbari, president and national board chair of NOW Diversity.

She said the Diversity Bus Tour helps managers and supervisors better understand environments with which they may not have previously been familiar.

Business administration students, members of the TSU public relations office and Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, greeted the tour participants on Nov. 8 with gift bags and brief testimonials when they arrived on the campus of Nashville ‘s only public university.

Dr. S. K. Hargrove, den of the College of Engineering with Business Administration majors Sydni Berkahlter of Cincinnati and Cordé Stewart of Nashville.

Hargrove, who serves on the board of NOW Diversity, said he believes the tour will help these professionals gain a better understanding of the impact historically black colleges and universities have on the community.

“I believe it is important that we display and share the great things that are happening at TSU to the Nashville community,” he said. “Too often many have a distorted view or perception of TSU, but our responsibility as employees is to promote the quality of education we provide and the outstanding students that matriculate at our institution. “

Akbari said for their employers to have a diverse engaged workforce population, they have to understand the culture of the students, where they come from, what they like to do and how they can contribute to the workplace.

“We know from Dean Hargrove that TSU does have some special programs that our employers are looking for,” she said. “The STEM programs that exist here at TSU are a unique opportunity for our employers to connect with students that are ready to make an early and significant contribution. We appreciate Dr. Hargrove’s leadership in connecting us with TSU, not only in his program, but across the campus.”

Kelli Sharpe, assistant vice president of University Public Relations and Communications,  greets Jacky Akbari, president and national board chair of NOW Diversity, as the Diversity Bus Tour arrives on the campus of Tennessee State University.

The Diversity Bus Tour also included stops at Meharry Medical College, Fisk University, the Sri Ganesha Temple, the Islamic Center of Nashville, Historic Woolworth on 5th and Plaza Mariachi.

The National Organization for Workforce Diversity is a private, public and non-profit collaborative created to provide insight and leadership training to advance workforce diversity initiatives.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 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.

 

For more information about International Education Week 2018, contact (615) 963-5640.

TSU Students Honor President Glenda Glover for Receiving HBCU President of the Year Award

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover is HBCU President of the Year, and TSU students are letting everyone know they are proud of her.

The students celebrated Dr. Glover’s accomplishment in a party-like atmosphere on Wednesday in the Floyd-Payne Campus Center with hundreds of faculty, staff and students watching. There was a cake decorated with an image of Dr. Glover, balloons, music, cheerleaders, and even Aristocrat the Tiger made a special appearance. The New Direction Choir, the University’s flagship gospel group, also joined in with a selection to honor the president.

Representatives from campus organizations, including Mr. and Miss TSU, and the student government association president, took turns congratulating the president for receiving the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Education Leadership Award.

Campus organization and student leaders take turn to congratulate President during a ceremony in the Floyd-Payne Campus Center. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The award was presented to Glover at the TMCF’s 31st Anniversary Awards Gala in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 29. It recognizes Dr. Glover’s commitment to historically black colleges and universities, and her bold leadership and achievements in higher education.

Glover described the students’ “surprise” party in her honor as one of the happiest moments of her life.

“I have been fortunate to receive many accolades and recognitions in my career and life, but this is perhaps one of the best coming from my students,” she said. “My students are always first on my mind. At the banquet when I received the award, the first thing I did was give recognition to the talented students here at TSU, and what it means to be the president of such hard-working students. From the student leaders to the New Direction Choir and to all the organizations, I want you to know I deeply appreciate this. This means so much to me. Thank you for all you do to make my day special.”

Kayla McCrary, the SGA president, said the students are honored to be a part of Dr. Glover’s legacy of excellence.

“We just want to show that we’re proud of her and that we are honored to be a part of the legacy that she’s leaving at TSU,” McCrary said.

Tasha Andrews is the director of Student Activities. She said the preparation, promotion and the honoring ceremony were all the students’ idea.

A cake decorate with an image of Dr. Glover was among items students presented the President for her accomplishment.

“As soon as the press release went out that Dr. Glover was named the HBCU President of the Year, the students – the SGA, the Royal Court – were all excited and wanted to do something about it,” Andrews said. “I said, if you are this excited about it, then let’s put together resources and energy to give you guys the opportunity to celebrate her. And they jumped right on it.  They pulled together their teams; they took care of the promotion on social media and everywhere. They are just super, super happy to take pride in our president.”

The Dean of Students, Frank Stevenson, called the evening “a tremendous opportunity to honor our president” for her achievement.

“We are so excited to celebrate her,” Stevenson said. “Out of all the more than 100 HBCU presidents, she was selected as President of the Year because of her leadership. It is just fitting that the student body elected to pause to honor and salute her leadership.”

The President of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Dr. Harry Williams, congratulates five of the TSU students who attended the TMCF Leadership Institute, and Tina Reed, Associate Director of the TSU Career Development Center. Pictured, from left, are Robert Turner, Giordan Rose, Hailee Roye, Reed, Dr. Williams, Tiara Hudson and Tarence Rice. (Submitted Photo)

At the gala in Washington, seven top TSU students who participated in the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s 18th Annual Leadership Institute, a four-day award-winning conference that culminates with the gala ceremony, joined President Glover. The students were among 400 scholars selected from across the nation to learn leadership skills, as well as help them make meaningful connections that will hopefully lead to successful internships, fellowships, and careers at Fortune 500 companies and government agencies.

One of the highlights of the conference was the recruitment fair, where major companies, government agencies, and graduate program representatives identify top talent and offer jobs, internships and continuing education opportunities.

The TSU students were: Robert Turner, Detroit; Giordan Rose, Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Hailee Roye, Pittsburgh; Tiara Hudson, Knoxville, Tennessee; Tarence Rice, Detroit; Ryan Smith, Atlanta; and Kristin Day, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Tina Reed, associate director of the Career Development Center, accompanied the 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 8,000 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 Celebrates International Education Week

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Office of International Affairs at Tennessee State University kicked off International Education Week 2018 with a workshop on regional diversity and inclusive excellence, and an open house showcasing its new headquarters in Holland Hall.

The week, which began Nov. 2 and concluded on Nov. 8, featured many activities, including a study abroad fair, a panel showcasing cultural diversity, an African dance workshop, and a cultural celebration and family fun night.

Students received walk-in study abroad advisement.

“We’ll be talking to students about what they should be thinking about in pursuing a study abroad experience, not the study abroad experience specifically,” said Mark Brinkley, director of International Education in the Office of International Affairs. “Some students are beyond that. They have already done their research, and they know what experience they would like to participate in. We are talking to those students about how do you apply to that program.”

Mark Brinkley, director of International Education in the Office of International Affairs, speaks with  students about activities planned for International Education Week 2018.

Brinkley said OIA’s new office suite, which is located on the first floor of Holland Hall, provides the space they need to holistically provide international students the support they need.

“We can now better serve our international population whether they be international education, study abroad or

international students and scholars services or the new Intensive English Center,” he said.

The OIA Office has designated meditation areas where students can pray and continue to observe their culture, as well as a conference room where study abroad workshops can be held.

“Our function here is to help those incoming international students understand the historically black college and university culture, and to share their culture on a global level with the existing student base here that doesn’t get to do the study abroad.”

Daniel Bernal, an MBA student from Bogota, Columbia, said that as a transfer student, OIA helped him make a smooth transition to TSU.

“When I came here it felt more like home, and I have done well with the help of the international office,” he said. “They are very helpful compared to my previous university, so everything got taken care of.”

Bernal, a former member of the TSU Men’s Tennis Team, is the second player in the university’s history to earn All-OVC recognition, joining Lawrence Washington, who was also a Second Team All-OVC honoree in 2012. He said the academic environment at TSU has been nurturing and supportive.

“The classroom sizes are not as big compared to bigger universities, so you get more attention,” he said.

Shashamk Nautiyal, a graduate student in Sports Medicine from New Delhi, India, who was recruited to play tennis at TSU, said he also likes the academic environment at the university.

“In any department, they take care of you. They make sure they help you with whatever you need, either academic or personal or even professional. I think that is the most valuable thing,” he said. “They make sure they provide the best learning environment for you to make sure you succeed in your college career.’

Brinkley said International Week 2018 will conclude on the Avon Williams Campus with a cultural celebration and family night that will include a puppet show and international cuisines.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 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.

 

For more information about International Education Week 2018, contact (615) 963-5640.

Highly Sought-after Freshman Says Coming to Tennessee State University Changed His World

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Emmanuel Wallace had several colleges on his radar. But the top high school graduate from Memphis says a summer program he participated in at Tennessee State University changed his world, and he had no choice but to become a Big Blue Tiger.

“What brought me to TSU was my experience in a five-week Summer Apprenticeship Program that really opened my eyes to a lot of opportunities in agriculture,” says Wallace, a graduate of East High School, where he was a “distinguished honor roll” student and a student ambassador. With an expressed interest in studying civil engineering, Wallace received full scholarship offers from Vanderbilt University and the University of Memphis, just a few of the schools courting him.

Emmanuel Wallace

“First, I was considering majoring in civil engineering, because in high school I did a lot of engineering programs,” says Wallace, now a freshman at TSU. “But after talking with the leaders of the program, I concluded that agriculture would be a good fit for me.”

Over the summer, Wallace was one of 21 graduating high school seniors from across the nation who participated in the very competitive five-week Summer Apprenticeship Program. From studies in understanding hypersensitive response of tobacco plants to comparing DNAs in chickens and Guinea fowls, participants in the program were exposed to real-world scientific work and cutting-edge research. He developed a special interest in goat research after spending time with renowned TSU goat researcher, Dr. Richard Browning.

Wallace’s professors and mentors in the program say he showed remarkable ability and enthusiasm to learn.

“Right away we noticed how bright and energetic he was and really wanted to learn,” says Dr. DeEtra Young, assistant professor of agricultural and environmental sciences. “So through our mentorship, I think he fell in love with the new opportunities that agriculture provides.”

Wallace, a first-generation college student and the youngest of three children, came to TSU with a near 4.0 grade point average. He was the salutatorian of his graduating class, president of the National Honor Society, the senior class, and manager for the varsity boys’ soccer team at East High. He is currently majoring in agricultural sciences with a concentration in agribusiness. He hopes to go to graduate school and either work for the U.S. Department Agriculture or develop a business career in agribusiness.

Wallace was recruited as a High Achiever Academic Scholarship recipient. He is a Dean Scholar in the College of Agriculture, and a member of the Honors College. He also has memberships in the Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, and Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Science.

Recently, Wallace was one of 10 TSU students selected to participate in a three-day Agriculture Future of America four-track program in Kansas City, Missouri, designed to offer college men and women four different personal and professional development opportunities matched to their year in college.

According to Young, who accompanied the students, Wallace participated in Track I, which is the leadership track for freshmen.

“The program bridges the gap between academic, leadership and work experiences while helping students understand the impact of their decisions,” says Young.

At TSU, Wallace says his goal is to combine academic and leadership for student success.

“I plan on holding multiple leadership positions, inspire and motivate members of my class, and become a student ambassador for Tennessee State University,” he says.

For more information on opportunities in the TSU College of Agriculture, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/seminar_schedule.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 8,000 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.

Legendary Music Producer and TSU Faculty Reflects on Memories with ‘Queen of Soul’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – On the morning of August 16, 2018, Sanchez Harley reached for his cell phone to send a comforting text message to his dear friend who was gravely ill with pancreatic cancer.

“I’m praying for you. I will always love and appreciate you,” he wrote.

Harley, a Tennessee State University Alum and legendary music producer, did not know that the 18-time Grammy Award-winning Icon Aretha Franklin would not live to respond to his message. She would die that same morning.

“The only way to describe her is she was a one and only, and there will never be another. She taught me a lot,” he said.

This fall, Harley has returned to TSU as an adjunct professor in the Department of Music to teach students some of the valuable lessons he learned from the “Queen of Soul” and other wisdom he has accumulated during his journey in the music business.

Aretha Franklin with Sanchez harley and Jerry Parries, former president of the Tehillah Music Group. (Photo submitted)

“I was working on a duet with her and Karen Clark-Sheard, and I was trying to get them tight on a particular line, and she said to me, ‘Sanchez, perfect is not perfect.’ And I thought about that and taking it to the next level. Taking it to the next level means that you discover what feel is,” he said. “The definition of feel is the amount of imperfection. It’s the imperfection in something that creates the feel, because if it’s perfect, it doesn’t feel good… You really arrive as a producer when you figure out what of and how much of the bad you need to include in something for it to be good.”

Although he entered TSU on a music scholarship as a bass clarinetist and performed with the instrument in the symphonic band, Harley also played saxophone in the TSU jazz band and in the Aristocrat of Bands. He said that during his career he has worked in several capacities, including arranger, producer and coordinator of live events.

Harley credits Tennessee State for playing a major role in preparing him to work with music greats like Shirley Caesar, George Clinton, Rufus, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, Kirk Franklin, The Temptations and Patti Austin.

“While at TSU I started arranging music for the marching band under Dr. Greer,” he said. “A lot of those experiences, just getting up and standing in front of the band over in the music building, prepared me to stand in front of musicians on Music Row.”

He said some of the most important traits a music producer must have are a great ear, objectivity and the ability to recognize a great song.

“I told my class in our last meeting, you can take a great song and a poor artist and a poor performance, and win most of the time. But you can take a great artist with a great performance and a poor song and almost never win. It’s all about the song,” he said.

Dr. Robert Elliot, head of the Department of Music, said Harley has visited the department as a guest speaker prior to this semester, but wanted to do more for his alma mater.

Sanchez Harley with Aretha Franklin and his late mother, Sarah Harley, at Franklin’s annual revival in Detroit in 2010. (Photo submitted)

“He wants to give back to his university, and his university definitely wants him here with us. The students have just plugged in to him in a big way,” Elliot said. “He’s got this history of having worked with performers and doing production in the studio. Too often the thing that is left out of all that instruction is how to get the best performance out of an artist. Well, he’s done that for decades, and he is bringing those skills in to teach our students how to do the same thing.”

Harley said the course he is teaching this fall, Introduction to Music Production, is a course Elliot gave him the freedom to design.

“I find that many young producers have a misconception about what production is. They don’t really understand all of the things that are involved administratively. It’s more than administrative; it’s technical. It’s psychological—being able to get the best performances from your people. It’s accounting. It’s organization. It’s tact. It’s so many things,” he said. “I designed an Introduction to Music Production course to give individuals who are inspiring to produce some background of all of those things.”

Elliot said the university is proud to have Harley as part of its faculty.

“We say that ‘Excellence Is Our Habit’, and this is just one more bit of proof of just how much that excellence has been the habit at TSU for over 100 years, and it is going forward.”

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 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.

Top healthcare executive Credits TSU for Playing Major Role in His Success

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Since childhood, Tennessee State University alumnus Jonathan E. Watkins has carried a certain air of distinction that has set him apart from his peers. His high school health sciences teacher, Lovell Cartwright, recalls how his classmates confided in her how much they could depend on the promising young scholar.

“What was impressive to me about Jonathan was that the students brought him to me when we were preparing to take a trip,” said Cartwright, who for 19 years took African-American youth like Watkins and his peers on trips to visit historically black colleges and universities. “We needed another person to go on the trip, and I said to the students, ‘Whoever you bring on this trip, you have to pick someone who won’t get in trouble.’ All of them said, ‘If he get’s in trouble, we’ll all go home because we know he won’t do anything wrong.’ They had that much confidence in him.”

Watkins, who was named chief executive officer of Broward Health Imperial Point (BHIP) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida this past April, said it was Cartwright’s HBCU tour that introduced him to Tennessee State.

Jonathan Watkins. (Photo submitted)

“Healthcare administration and planning isn’t a field that every undergraduate program has. So when I started to look at where the programs were, leaving to go out of state was going to be a significant struggle and burden on my family,” he said. “Because of Mrs. Cartwright’s HBCU tour, we discovered that TSU did indeed have a program which fit in line with my desire to attend an HBCU. “

As CEO of BHIP, Watkins oversees a 200 acute care hospital and is responsible for leading the organization’s overall administration.   BHIP offers medical-surgical inpatient care, behavioral health services, as well as outpatient services.

Watkins, who secured his undergraduate degree at TSU in healthcare administration and a master’s degree in public administration, said attending TSU prepared him for the vigorous road ahead.

“TSU played a vital part in preparing me. Between the internship that is required, the connections that the program allowed me to make and the guest lectures, I would say I got a realistic perspective and view of healthcare administration from my professors during my time at TSU,” he said. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

He credits professors like the late Dr. Richard Enoch, former chair of the Department of Health Administration, and Dr. Rosemary Theriot, professor and chair of the Department of Public Health, Health Administration and Health Sciences, with providing him the guidance he needed to continue on his path to success.

Theriot recalled Watkins as the ideal student. “He seemed to be very serious and he took his academic work quite seriously,” she said. “He always submitted whatever assignments that were do on time, and he didn’t ask for any extra consideration.”

In spite of his leadership responsibilities and hectic schedule, Watkins makes time to give back to his alma mater by mentoring students and serving on the department of Public Health, Health Administration and Health Sciences Advisory Board at TSU. He encourages students to take a serious look at healthcare as a profession.

“There isn’t a degree that a student can graduate from college with that I don’t think the healthcare industry has an opportunity or role that he or she could fulfill,” he said. “Everything ranging from marketing and communications to engineering, to medicine. It ‘s not limited — even students who decide to major in law. We have a huge legal team, a compliance team, that we trust and value.”

Theriot said TSU has one of the oldest programs in healthcare administration in the Southeast at the undergraduate level. She said it has been accredited by the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA) since 1976.

“We have several students who have been quite successful as far as employers hiring our students,” said Theriot. “We have been approached by a number of healthcare agencies about partnering with them to place our students as interns and within their respective agencies. We have those same kinds of agreements with a number of health facilities throughout Tennessee and outside of Tennessee.”

Prior to becoming CEO at BHIP, Watkins served as chief operating officer of the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals in Oakland, California. He also served as vice president of clinical operations and COO of Medical North Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. He was named the 2013 National Association of Health Services Executive Young Healthcare Executive of the Year, and is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Cartwright, who Watkins said is “one of the best teachers the Memphis City School System ever employed,” shared her favorite memory of Watkins as a high school student. “I had very strict rules and one day he walked into my classroom wearing sunglasses. I said, ‘Why do you have on sunglasses in my classroom?’ He replied, ‘Ms. Cartwright, my future is so bright I’ve got to wear these glasses.’”

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 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.