Category Archives: FEATURED

Service Organization Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority led by TSU President Glenda Glover Surpasses $1 Million in Historic One-Day Campaign to Help Nation’s HBCUs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover is impacting historically black colleges and universities across the country.

Dr. Glenda Glover

Glover is also the international president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, which has raised over $1 million during its HBCU Impact Day initiative to benefit historically black colleges and universities.

Glover announced Thursday that the organization exceeded the goal and will make a final tally of contributions by the end of the week.

“I am extremely proud of this historic moment Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority has accomplished by not only meeting but exceeding our goal and raising $1.1 million to assist HBCUs,” she said.

“As leaders in service, sorority members have demonstrated that HBCUs have significant value and deserve to be treated as an essential educational resource. I thank our membership, family members, friends and the community for their generous contributions.”

Donations were made online and by mail during the 24-hour campaign. Glover said the sorority’s goal is to raise $10 million over the next four years to benefit HBCUs.

In July, Glover was presented a $20,000 check for the Glenda Baskin-Glover Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated 30th International President Scholarship fund at TSU during her installation activities in Houston, Texas.

The scholarship was established to celebrate Glover taking the helm of AKA, the nation’s oldest African-American female Greek-lettered service organization, and to highlight her role as TSU’s first female president.

Glover donated $50,000 to the AKA Educational Advancement Foundation for the sorority’s HBCU initiative during her installation ceremony. She made that same commitment of a $50,000 donation to TSU when she became president of the university in 2013.

 

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 astronomers help discover what may be famed ‘Star Trek’ planet Vulcan

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University astronomers have helped discover a new planet that may show science fiction has come a little closer to reality.

Dr. Matthew Muterspaugh

TSU astronomers Matthew Muterspaugh and Gregory Henry are part of the Dharma Planet Survey, a collaborative project between the University of Florida and Tennessee State. The DPS has discovered what may be the famed planet Vulcan from the television series Star Trek. Vulcan was the home of one of the show’s star characters, Science Officer Spock.

Muterspaugh and Henry are joined in the study by UF astronomers Jian Ge and Bo Ma. They say the new planet is roughly twice the size of Earth and orbits its star with a 42-day period just inside the star’s optimal habitable zone.

The discovery was made using the Dharma Endowment Foundation Telescope (DEFT) and two of TSU’s robotic telescopes, located on two separate mountains in southern Arizona. The planet is the first “super-Earth” detected by the Dharma Survey, the astronomers said.

“The orange-tinted HD 26965 is somewhat cooler and less massive than our sun, but is approximately the same age as our sun and has a 10-year starspot cycle nearly identical to the sun’s 11-year sunspot cycle,” said Muterspaugh, who helped to commission the Dharma spectrograph on the TSU 2 meter automatic spectroscopic telescope. “Therefore, HD 26965 may be an ideal host star for an advanced civilization.”

“Star Trek fans may know the star HD 26965 by its alternative moniker 40 Eridani A,” said Henry, who used TSU’s automated observatory to collect precise brightness measurements of the star needed to confirm the presence of the planet. “Vulcan was connected to 40 Eridani A in the publications ‘Star Trek 2’ by James Blish and ‘Star Trek Maps’ by Jeff Maynard.”

Dr. Gregory Henry

In a letter published in the periodical “Sky and Telescope” in July 1991, Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, along with astronomers Sallie Baliunas, Robert Donahue, and George Nassiopoulos of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, confirmed the identification of 40 Eridani A as Vulcan’s sun. The 40 Eridani star system is composed of three stars. Vulcan orbits the primary star, and the two companion stars “would gleam brilliantly in the Vulcan sky,” wrote Roddenberry et al. in their 1991 letter.

“Vulcan is the home planet of Science Officer Mr. Spock,” said Henry. “Spock served on the starship Enterprise, whose mission was to seek out strange new worlds, a mission shared by Dharma Planet Survey.”

For more than 25 years, TSU astronomers have been developing and operating a fleet of robotic telescopes in the southern Arizona mountains. In 1999, one of the telescopes discovered the first transiting (eclipsing) exoplanet, providing the final evidence needed to prove the existence of other planetary systems.

In 2015, TSU astronomers were part of a team that discovered a planetary system much closer to Earth. The following year, Henry was among a team of astronomers who discovered an extrasolar planet scientists said has the most eccentric orbit ever seen.

For more information about TSU’s astronomy research, visit coe.tsuniv.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 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.

 

 

Student Employment Fair Offers Opportunity for Work-Study, Part-Time Job Seekers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Koseyona Scott and Michelle Williams are only freshmen, but they are already looking for jobs to help with college costs and other needs.

“It is really something I am concerned about and I don’t want to burden my parents,” says Scott, a business major from Urbana, Illinois, who owes a balance on her first semester tuition.

TSU students Koseyona Scott and Michelle Williams, right, talk to Kroger associate resource managers Matthew Kirby and Marilyn T. Bell. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“I am looking for a part-time job, even though my parents don’t want me to work in my freshman year,” added Williams, a business major from Memphis, Tennessee.

Scott and Williams may just be in luck. The two friends, who met just recently, were among hundreds of fellow students who attended a student employment fair on Tuesday organized by the TSU Career Development Center.

Nearly 30 companies, businesses, organizations and campus offices set up tents, tables and displays in Elliott Hall to discuss part-time and work study opportunities with TSU students.

“Today’s fair is intended to help those students who have work-study funds but have not found a work-study position yet,” says Charles Jennings, director of the Career Development Center. “For those students who are not work-study eligible, we have off-campus employees that are here too to provide our students with part-time opportunities.”

Kroger, which has hired several TSU students and graduates in the past, was one of those looking for part-time employees.

“We have many opportunities across all of our departments,” says Matthew Kirby, a Kroger associate resources manager. “We have 21 stores in the Nashville, Brentwood areas that are looking for cashiers, customer service representatives, as well as stocking and pharmacy clerks. We also have management opportunities for those majoring in management.”

Mitzi Bruner, director of human resources of Tennessee Community Services Agency, says her agency is looking for students to fill five part-time positions.

“We are looking to hire part-time employees for a program starting here in Nashville, with the Department of Correction,” says Bruner.

Among other companies, organizations, offices and agencies represented at the fair were:  Bass Pro Shop, Boy Scouts of America, Burlington, LOFT, Sherwin Williams, At Home Healthcare, Total Wine, St. Luke’s Community House and VF Workwear. Representing TSU were: Police Department, Student Success Center, Research and Institutional Advancement, Student Conduct and Athletics.

For more information on career and employment opportunities, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/careers/

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 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 President Glenda Glover solidifies relationship with Regions Bank and other corporate partners during HBCU Braintrust meeting

By Kelli Sharpe

Nashville, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover is promoting HBCU partnerships with corporate America.

TSU President Glenda Glover

Last week, she attended the National HBCU Braintrust in Washington, D.C., meeting with companies to express the importance of diversity and how historically black colleges and universities can bridge the gap.

“As HBCU presidents, we continue to applaud the visionary leadership of Congresswoman Alma S. Adams, of North Carolina, and the members of the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus for creating a platform that allows me and my colleagues the opportunity to network with corporate leaders,” said Dr. Glover, who moderated a panel with chief diversity officers from top corporations, including Amazon, Pinterest, GM Financial and Dell.

“All are fully committed to strengthening relationships between HBCUs and their companies. This is an enormous victory for our students, who are some of the best and brightest in the country.”

TSU President Glenda Glover with top diversity and inclusion executives at the HBCU Braintrust Town Hall: “The Power of Black Women: Reshaping, Redefining & Diversifying America’s Workforce.” President Glover served as moderator for discussion on the important role HBCUs play in building the workforce. (Submitted photo)

Last year, the Caucus issued the HBCU Partnership Challenge, an effort to promote corporate engagement with HBCUs and the students they serve. Following the challenge, the Caucus conducted a survey to assess current HBCU engagement with corporations. The group then worked with industries to determine how to best recruit and retain diverse talent.

The goal was to identify 10 corporate partners within the first year. Amazon, AnitaB.Org, Dell, Inc., GM Financial, Nielsen, Pandora, Regions Bank, and Volvo Group North America are additional partners that have helped the Caucus exceed its goal.

“Regions Bank is the epitome of a good corporate partner and does an outstanding job of integrating TSU students into various levels of the company,” added Dr. Glover.

The National HBCU Braintrust, Sept. 12-14, included corporate giving, STEM innovation, and scholarships. The Bipartisan HBCU Caucus was founded by Congresswoman Alma S. Adams, Ph.D during the 114th Congress. The Caucus is comprised of 74 members from both chambers and both sides of the aisle.

 

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 Tennessee State University, Southern Heritage Classic game Cancellation Not a Loss

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Although the much-anticipated 29th Southern Heritage Classic football game was canceled due to inclement weather, TSU’s spirit remained high.

The university experienced gains in recruitment, fundraising and community relations – three of TSU’s main goals at the annual gathering.

Emily Greer, Chief Administrative Officer of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, welcomes President Glenda Glover during a guided tour of the world renowned hospital. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The game between TSU and Jackson State University scheduled for Sept. 8 was eventually called off because of inclement weather.

TSU, with a 17-11 SHC record, was looking to extend its current win streak, which stands at 6-0 over JSU. Last year, the TSU Tigers defeated the JSU Tigers 17-15 before more than 47,000 fans in the Liberty Bowl.

While there was obvious disappointment, it did not overshadow positive experiences that occurred during the weekend.

Leading up to the game, TSU officials, administrators and staff engaged in a number of activities around Memphis.  Among them, a life changing experience when TSU President Glenda Glover was taken on a guided tour of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the only facility in the world with a research center and a hospital in the same venue.

The TSU Aristocra of Bands participates in the 29th Southern Heritage Classic Parade in Memphis on Sept. 8. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Accompanied by former Memphis Mayor AC Wharton, and Richard Lee Snow, senior adviser for Multicultural Marketing & Business Development for St. Jude, Glover saw labs and research facilities. She also received the history on the vision of St. Jude’s founder Danny Thomas, the evolution of the hospital, as well as its partnership with African-American communities, institutions and organizations.

Hospital employees who are TSU graduates were among those who greeted Glover. Earlier, Emily Greer, chief administrative officer of the St. Jude Children’s Hospital and Research Center, received Glover.

“It was phenomenal to see all the research that’s being done to save lives,” Glover said. “I am also amazed to see the generosity of the hospital as it pertains to patients, when families’ only concern is the well-being of their child and not costs. That is truly amazing.”

TSU sophomore Rachelle Brown. (Submitted photo)

The rain also didn’t stop Tennessee State University sophomore Rachelle Brown from winning big at the Classic. Brown received the first of four $10,000 McDonald’s “True to the HBCU” scholarships, facilitated by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. While maintaining a 3.8 grade point average, the Memphis native was active in her community: sorting and packaging food at the Second Harvest Food Bank in Nashville, Tennessee; collecting supplies for homeless women and victims of natural disasters in the Virgin Islands; and serving as a reading volunteer with Smart Baby, an organization promoting childhood literacy to children.

“I chose to attend an HBCU, for the rich education, both inside and outside the classroom,” Brown said. “I wanted to go to a college that would encourage me to step outside of my comfort zone and provide me with an atmosphere designed to promote excellence.”

Memphis WANTV Local 24 reporter Jeané Franseen interviews President Glover Sept. 7 during a morning show outside the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

As for recruitment, officials said a number of top graduating high school seniors who attended TSU’s Memphis Recruitment Reception on Sept. 7 have signed on to attend the university next fall. They said nearly 80 percent of the students who attended the reception in the Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel have already met “scholarship requirements.”

“We have already received their scholarship applications, transcripts and ACT scores,” said Dr. Gregory Clark, director of high school relations and NCAA certification at TSU. To be considered for a scholarship, a candidate must have at least a 3.0 GPA and 21 or higher on the ACT.

More than 200 high school seniors from the West Tennessee area and their parents attended the standing-room-only program in one of the hotel’s reception areas.

Jovon Jones, associate director of recruitment at TSU, talks to students and parents about scholarship requirements and deadlines at recruitment reception. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

According to officials of the Office of Institutional Advancement, this year’s Alumni Mixer – a key fundraising event of the Classic week – was a big success. With President Glover and Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, vice president for Research and Institutional Advancement leading the charge, more than $20,000 was raised and nearly 20 new individuals joined the President’s Society. These are individuals who commit to contributing $1,000 or more a year.

“We just want to say thank you for all that you do for Tennessee State University to help keep needy students in school,” Glover said. “Your continued financial, material and other support and gifts are making a big difference in our students’ lives. We are thankful beyond measure for your support.”

During the week, Glover, accompanied by several senior university officials, also visited Power Center Academy High School and Whitehaven High School where she spoke to students and administrators, and answered questions about the importance of a college education and the programs and offerings at TSU.

Earlier on Saturday, Glover, the TSU Aristocrat of Bands, student organizations, including Mr. TSU and Miss TSU and their court, lead the 29th Southern Heritage Classic Parade in Memphis, with thousands along the route cheering on parade participants.

Next year’s Southern Heritage Classic football game is scheduled for Sept. 14.

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.

More Than 200 Top High School Seniors, Parents Attend TSU Memphis Recruitment Reception

By Emmanuel Freeman

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Kaitlin Mottley is a high achieving high school senior pondering what college or university to attend. She recently attended a program that has her considering becoming a Big Blue Tiger.

Jovon Jones, associate director of recruitment at TSU, talks to students and parents about scholarship requirements and deadlines. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“They said the main things I wanted to hear, like chance for a full ride scholarship, strong academic programs, and their reputation for a great family atmosphere,” said Mottley, a senior at White Station High School, where she maintains a 4.467 grade point average. She also has a score of 29 on the ACT.

The program on Sept. 5 was the Annual TSU Memphis Recruitment Reception at the Sheraton Memphis Downtown for graduating high school seniors and their parents and family members.

TSU’s Office of Admissions holds the reception each year as part of activities leading up to the Southern Heritage Classic between TSU and Jackson State University in the Liberty Bowl.

Kaitlin and her mother, Megan Mottley, were among more than 200 high school seniors from the West Tennessee area and their parents who attended the standing-room-only program in one of the hotel’s reception rooms.

Admissions officials say the goal of the reception is to seek out the best students, nurture them, and graduate them prepared for the global market. It also comes on the heels of sweeping changes TSU President Glover announced in 2016 that raised admission standards to attract the best and brightest student.

“We are going after outstanding students and this reception is usually a major draw for parents and their children, as you can see from this packed room tonight,” said Dr. Gregory Clark, TSU’s director of high school relations and NCAA certification.

He said nearly 80 percent of the students who attended have already met “scholarship requirements.”

“We have already received their scholarship applications, transcripts and ACT scores,” Clark said. To be considered for a scholarship, a candidate must have at least a 3.0 GPA and 21 or higher on the ACT. The deadline to apply is Nov. 1.

Joshua Cannon, who is still considering a major either in electrical engineering or accounting, has met all the requirements and is waiting to get an offer. The Middle College High School senior has a 3.8 GPA and 23 ACT. He was at the reception with his parents.

Like Mottley, Cannon is also encouraged by TSU’s strong family tradition and academic offerings.

“I know going to TSU will be a fun experience and strong preparation for my future,” said Cannon, who has several relatives who attended TSU. “I have already met the criteria and getting a full scholarship will be a big help for me and my family.”

For more information on TSU’s admission requirement, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/admissions/

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

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 High Achieving Freshman Sets Sight on National Exposure, Engineering Entrepreneurship

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Kennedy Marie McCurry is aiming high. The incoming freshman wants to be known as one of the best softball players of all time, and to own an architectural engineering firm. She believes TSU is the best place to prepare her for success.

“My goal in life is to eventually play in the National Pro Fastpitch League for a couple years and then move on to owning my own architectural firm,” says McCurry, an architectural engineering major, who will play softball for TSU.

Kennedy Marie McCurry

A Gallatin, Tennessee, native, McCurry says she is no stranger to TSU. Her father, Dr. Charles McCurry, is a longtime professor of electrical engineering at the university.

“I have been around TSU almost all my life,” says the 18-year-old. “My dad was a really strong influence on me. He really pushed me toward TSU. Also, I really like the softball team, and I always knew I wanted to do something in architectural engineering. And I know that TSU has a very strong engineering program. So all signs pointed toward TSU.”

Kennedy comes to TSU with outstanding academic and athletic credentials. She enters the university with a near 3.7 grade point average, and 28 on the ACT.  At Beech High School, where she graduated last May, she was a star player on the softball team. She was twice named to the All-District Team, she made the district tournament team and earned MVP. She played on the Middle Tennessee All-State Team her sophomore year, and was named to the MaxPreps All-American Second Team her senior year.

“I have always wanted to play D-I softball. I am proud to bring my educational and athletic skills to TSU,” she says. “I chose to attend Tennessee State University because of its rich heritage, sports legacy and nationally ranked College of Engineering.”

Kennedy could not have chosen TSU at a better time. She is among a new recruit of high achievers the university targets to attract the best and brightest students, since TSU raised its admission standards about two years ago.

Saying, “TSU is no longer a school of last resort,” President Glenda Glover in 2016 announced sweeping changes that raised admission standards to attract better students. Minimum requirements for incoming freshmen went up from a 2.25 GPA to 2.5, while the ACT score remained at 19.

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

For Kennedy, she says TSU’s emphasis on producing well-rounded students was another attraction.

“TSU had already laid the foundation to help me get a quality education by engaging me in activities to prepare me for my college work even before classes started,” she says.

Last summer, Kennedy was among 11 high school graduating seniors who participated in the Engineering Concepts Institute in the College of Engineering at TSU. ECI is a four-week pre-college, residential program intended to prepare participants for academic success in the mathematical sciences or engineering disciplines.

“ECI also helped me to make new friends. I am excited and looking forward to the many more accomplishments I plan to have at TSU,” says Kennedy.

For more information on the engineering program at TSU, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/engineering/

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 Welcomes Class of 2022 at Freshman Convocation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University Friday welcomed first-year students during the 2018 freshman convocation.

More than 1,300 incoming freshman students were inducted during the ceremony in Kean Hall.

Incoming female freshmen were dressed in white for their induction. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“I am extremely proud to welcome you to Tennessee State University,” said President Glenda Glover. “It is my honor to stand before the Class of 2022 today, not only as your president, but as a fellow TSU Tiger. You have embarked on an incredible journey. I encourage you to do your best. Do not just strive to make an A, but strive to be an A.”

Porsha Hernandez, an economics and finance major from Nashville, said the induction ceremony made her feel at home.

“I have always been a very serious student and I plan to continue that here,” she said.

More than 1,300 first-year students were inducted during the 2018 Freshman Convocation. Male students wore white shirts and blue pants, sporting TSU-supplied blue ties. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

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

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

With each student holding a lighted candle symbolizing “knowledge and truth,” they took the TSU Freshman Pledge, administered by the interim Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Alisa Mosley.

Females were dressed in white and males in white shirts and blue pants, sporting TSU-supplied blue ties. They pledged to commit themselves “to serious intellectual and cultural efforts” and to deport themselves “with honor and dignity to become better prepared to live a full and useful life in society.”

Trinity Young, a math major from Indianapolis, said he took the pledge very seriously.

“I am committed to being a very good student in all areas for as long as I am here,” Young said.

In addition to student representatives, speakers at the convocation included Joni McReynolds, president of the TSU National Alumni Association.

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.

Johnson Sworn In As Public Defender, Becomes Sixth TSU Alum To Currently Serve as First African American In Position In Metro Nashville Government

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University alum Martesha L. Johnson has reason to celebrate. She is the first African-American Metropolitan Public Defender for Nashville-Davidson County.

Her swearing-in ceremony, which was held Aug. 28 in Poag Auditorium in the Walter S. Davis Humanities Building, represents the crowning achievement of years of service Johnson has provided since she set her sites on being a public defender when she served as an intern with the Nashville Public Defenders Office in 2007.

“It was during that summer internship that I sort of decided, that’s exactly what I want to do! I knew that I had an interest in criminal law. I knew that I had an interest in being a trial lawyer. I learned that I was passionate about those things while I was at Tennessee State,” she said. “So when I had the internship in 2007, it sort of changed the course of what I wanted to do as a lawyer, and I immediately knew then I wanted to be a public defender.”

Johnson with TSU President Glenda Glover.

After graduating Summa Cum Laude from TSU in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in English, Johnson immediately transitioned to law school at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where she graduated in August 2008.

Johnson began volunteering as a licensed attorney at the Nashville office in August 2008 and worked nights at Macy’s to support her career. Her determination paid off when her predecessor, Dawn Deaner, offered her a position in January 2009, and she hasn’t looked back.

Johnson receiving special gift from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority at Swearing-In Ceremony.

After the ceremony, Johnson became one of six TSU alums who currently serve as the first African Americans to hold their positions in Metro Nashville Government. The other five alums include: Criminal Court Clerk Howard Gentry, County Clerk Brenda Wynn, Property Assessor Vivian Wilhoite, Register of Deeds Karen Y. Johnson and Juvenile Court Clerk Lonell Matthews.

State Rep. Harold Moses Love Jr. (58th District-D), who is a TSU alum and also pastor of St. Paul’s AME Church, said TSU has a legacy of producing public servants.

The Temple Baptist Church Praise Choir perform “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

“Tennessee State University has always produced leaders that have blazed trails for others to follow. The significance of these six alums serving in Metro Nashville Government at this time points to the preparation that TSU provided for them, the confidence that they each had to seek election and the trust that the voters placed in them,” he said. “They embody our Univeristy Charge of ‘Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve.’”

Erica Gilmore, assistant dean of Student Contacts and Council Member at Large for the City of Nashville, shared similar sentiments.

TSU Aristocrat of Bands

“It’s truly unbelievable to have so many firsts to represent a consolidated government in so many different areas,” she said. “It’s significant because African-Americans make up 28 percent of Nashville. That means that these persons who have won have a very broad appeal, which is very important in the political arena. It means that TSU has a strong commitment to the community. When we say ‘Think. Work. Serve.’, I think the graduates are really doing that.”

Public officials from throughout Middle Tennessee attended the ceremony, including Nashville Mayor David Briley, Davidson County Property Assessor Vivian Wilhoite, who served as the mistress of ceremony. Musical selections were provided by the Aristocrat of Bands and the Temple Baptist Church Praise Choir, which shared a rousing rendition of James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

 

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.

Acclaimed Author and Motivational Speaker Eric Thomas Lectures TSU Students About Leadership

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Nationally recognized motivational speaker, Dr. Eric Thomas, returned to Tennessee State University August 31 with a message to the student body on  leadership.

“You can’t truly be a leader until you can lead yourself,” Thomas said.  “A lot of people want to be a leader meaning that you want a leadership position.  That doesn’t make you a leader.  A title doesn’t make you a leader.”

Thomas, who was the speaker at the TSU undergraduate commencement in May, returned to the university by “popular student demand,” according to student affairs officials.

TSU President Glenda Glover presents Dr. Eric Thomas with a TSU Tiger basketball jersey. (Photo by Torian Priestly, TSU Media Relations)

“We are really excited for his visit here,” TSU Dean of Students Frank Stevenson said. “By popular demand, the students responded to bring this distinguished lecturer and motivational speaker to the campus. He has a very unique story about persistence and the importance of getting a degree.”

Thomas spoke to the students during a lecture in Poag Auditorium on the main campus.

Called the “Hip Hop Preacher” for his creative style and high-energy messages, Thomas said getting a degree is not about impressing people.

“It’s about having ownership of yourself.  So each degree, each video, each thing that I do is about having more ownership of Eric Thomas,” the author said.

Dr. Eric Thomas, right, walks across campus minutes before his lecture in Poag Auditorium. Accompanying Thomas is the TSU Dean of Students Frank Stevenson. (Photo by Torian Priestly, TSU Media Relations)

Kennedy McCurry, a freshman architectural engineering major from Gallatin, Tennessee, was in the audience when Thomas spoke. She said the speaker’s emphasis on being able to lead oneself before trying to lead others stood out for her.

“I was really inspired,” McCurry said. “He helped me to realize that I need to start being more of myself and stop trying to fit in.”

Donovan Stewart, a sophomore nursing major from Birmingham, Alabama, has followed Thomas’ teaching and is inspired by the author’s message on perseverance. He likens life to a balloon, looking at Thomas’ example.

“When a balloon has no oxygen it deflates,” says Stewart. “I use that as my personal motivation in life because when you have things to get done and you don’t get them done, you don’t meet your goals. Dr. Thomas makes you get up and move; that’s what I like about him. I couldn’t wait to see him.”

In May, Thomas reminded TSU graduates that each of them is born with greatness, but to achieve it requires work.

For more information on future guest lectures, see http://www.tnstate.edu/campus_life/contact.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.