Category Archives: FEATURED

Southern Heritage Classic a time for fun, opportunity for recruitment

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – While the Southern Heritage Classic is a time for festivities and reunions, it’s also an opportunity to recruit some of the city’s top high school students.

Tennessee State University may have fallen to Jackson State University 49-44 in the 30th annual SHC this past weekend in Memphis, but the TSU Tigers scored major points with numerous aspiring college students.

Top high school students attend recruitment reception. (Photo by Erynne Davis, TSU Media Relations)

“TSU is a great school,” said Memphis senior Randy Perry, who stopped by the booth TSU had at the Classic College Fair the day before Sept. 14 game. “My mother and grandmother went there. The biology program that I would like to go into, I hear it’s immaculate.”

Senior Nicholas Townsend agreed.

“It’s just a good school, rich in culture,” said Townsend, who plans to major in criminal justice and eventually become a police officer.

Rachel Cox is a college counselor at The Soulsville Charter School in Memphis where Perry is a student. She lauded the Classic for making the college fair part of its annual activities.

“Our college office is all about options,” said Cox. “An event like this is important because it helps our students see what their options are.”

TSU President Glenda Glover and Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland at pre-game events. (Photo by Erynne Davis, TSU Media Relations)

The evening before the college fair, TSU had a special recruitment reception at the Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel for top high school seniors.

Kabrea Bell attended the reception and said she would like to enroll in a HBCU and major in criminal justice. She hoped to get information at the reception that will help her make a decision on where to go.

“I’m hoping to get a lot out of this,” said Bell before the event. “I want to one day be a lawyer.”

TSU admissions officials said the goal of the reception is to seek out the best students, nurture them, and graduate them prepared for the global market.

“We like to position them this time of the year so that they will be prepared for admissions, and more importantly, be prepared and positioned and lined up for scholarship opportunities,” said Dr. Gregory Clark, TSU’s director of high school relations and NCAA certification.

TSU alum April Terrell helped organize the recruitment reception. She said she wanted to convey to the high school students the special experience they will have if they choose to attend a historically black institution, particularly Tennessee State.

TSU Big Blue fans at Southern Heritage Classic game. (Photo by Erynne Davis, TSU Media Relations)

“They can receive a quality education from a HBCU, one that is affordable in the state of Tennessee, and is going to have them ready for the workforce,” said Terrell.

In 2016, TSU raised admission standards to attract the best and brightest students. 

At an alumni mixer the evening of Sept. 13, TSU President Glenda Glover touted the high quality of students attending the university, and how it’s seeing an increase in enrollment.

“Enrollment is up,” said Glover. “It was 7,780 last year, it’s probably going to be around 8,000 this year.”

Following a luncheon earlier that Friday, SHC founder Fred Jones Jr. was asked what advice he would give young people who are about to graduate and are considering college, or entering the workforce.

“You’ve got to have staying power,” said Jones, alluding to the longevity of the SHC despite obstacles he encountered. “You’re going to have some adversity. The Classic is successful. We’ve had a lot of adversity, but we’ve been able to work through it on a consistent basis.”

TSU Aristocrat of Bands participates in annual SHC parade. (Photo by Erynne Davis, TSU Media Relations)

Besides the college fair and big game on Saturday, another highlight of the SHC was the annual parade in the Orange Mound community of Memphis. Hundreds of people lined the route to see the floats and participants, including TSU’s world-renowned Aristocrat of Bands.

TSU National Alumni Association President Joni McReynolds has attended the Classic for a number of years, and she plans to continue doing so.

“The Southern Heritage Classic is like another Homecoming,” she said. “There are so many TSU alums here. I enjoy coming, and I think everybody else does.”

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Top high school seniors attend TSU Memphis Recruitment Reception

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Michael Payne says he’s heard “great things” about Tennessee State University, and the Memphis high school senior believes they were confirmed at a recruitment reception he attended Wednesday night.

“I know freshmen that are there, and they say the environment is really nice,” said Payne of TSU. “It’s a great all-around school.”

High school student Kabrea Bell and her mother, Tiffany Stevenson, attend recruitment reception. (Photo by Erynne Davis, TSU Media Relations)

The prospective mechanical engineer said he understands why the freshmen attending Tennessee State feel the way they do after hearing TSU admissions officials talk passionately about what the university has to offer and how to enroll.

The program was the annual TSU Memphis Recruitment Reception at the Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel 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 at the Liberty Bowl.

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.

“We like to position them this time of the year so that they will be prepared for admissions, and more importantly, be prepared and positioned and lined up for scholarship opportunities,” said Dr. Gregory Clark, TSU’s director of high school relations and NCAA certification.

TSU alum April Terrell helped coordinate the recruitment reception. She said she wanted to convey to the high school students the special experience they will have if they choose to attend a historically black institution, particularly Tennessee State.

“They can receive a quality education from a HBCU, one that is affordable in the state of Tennessee, and is going to have them ready for the workforce,” said Terrell.

Kabrea Bell would like to attend a HBCU and major in criminal justice. She attended the reception to hopefully get information that will help her make a decision on where to go.

“I’m hoping to get a lot out of this,” said Bell before the event. “I want to one day be a lawyer.”

TSU admissions official, Dr. Gregory Clark, talks to attendees. (Photo by Erynne Davis, TSU Media Relations)

Bell’s mother, Tiffany Stevenson, commended TSU for having the reception, which she said is an important way to inform high schoolers about the admission process, and college life in general.

“They learn what’s needed to attend a college, but they also get an idea of what’s to come, what to expect in college,” said Stevenson.

In 2016, TSU raised admission standards to attract the best and brightest students. 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

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Top TSU students join President Glenda Glover at National HBCU Braintrust

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s best and brightest students joined the institution’s president at the National HBCU Braintrust last week in Washington, DC.

President Glenda Glover

TSU President Glenda Glover spoke at the Braintrust Sept. 11-13, as well as participated on a panel comprised of other university presidents who discussed how their institutions are “preparing the next generation of black innovators.”

The Braintrust was part of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference, Sept. 11-14.

Top students from the nation’s historically black colleges and universities participated in the Braintrust, including four from TSU.

Micheal Grady

They were: Micheal Grady, a senior business management major from Memphis; Derelle Roshelle of Chattanooga, a junior majoring in supply chain management; Trinity Young, a sophomore math major from Indianapolis, Indiana; and Paul Johnson, a freshman mechanical engineering major from Houston.

Trinity Young

“We selected four amazing students, all who are very interested in entrepreneurial opportunities,” said Frank Stevenson, associate vice president and dean of students at TSU. “This is a great opportunity for them to network, as well as represent TSU.”

Before leaving for the conference, Paul Johnson said he was looking forward to meeting different professionals and hearing their experiences.

Paul Johnson

“I will be able to get their insight; what it takes to make it out there,” Johnson said. “How we can get into business ourselves.”

When it comes to innovation, TSU is making sure that its students – its community – are prepared to compete in an ever-changing global workforce.

In July, Tennessee State launched a national initiative that seeks to bring coding experiences to HBCUs and underserved communities.  

TSU hosted the inaugural HBCU C2 Presidential Academy through its newly established National Center for Smart Technology Innovations. HBCU C2 seeks to bring coding and creativity opportunities to students across HBCU campuses and to a broad group of students across Nashville.

Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted about the initiative: “Anything is possible when people come together with a shared vision. Thank you to @TSUedu for your leadership and enthusiasm in bringing coding to your community and HBCUs nationwide!”

To learn more about TSU’s HBCU C2 Presidential Academy, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/hbcuc2/.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State UniversityFounded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU, Metro Schools Partnership Brings More Than 5,000 on Campus for Area’s Largest College Expo

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When it comes to choosing a college, Tennessee State University was the place to be on Sept. 9.

It was the annual Metro Nashville Public Schools College and Career Expo held in the TSU Gentry Complex with over 5,000 middle and high school students and their parents and relatives in attendance.

Dr. Coreen Jackson, Dean of the TSU Honors College, talks to 12-graders Nasri Hassan, right, and Jhoanne Altidort, of McGavock High School about programs, scholarship and admission opportunities at TSU. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Jhoanne Altidort, Mert Sekmen and Nasri Hassan, all high school graduating seniors who attended the expo, are looking for somewhere for their college careers. While they have not settled on any institution, they all see Tennessee State University as a good choice.

“TSU is definitely a good possibility,” said Sekmen, a top student at MLK High School, with a 4.6 grade point average. The Nashville native, who wants to study medicine with a possible career in medical policy, is no stranger to TSU. His father is a longtime professor and department chair.

“It’s a great school with lots of opportunities that are not available elsewhere,” said Sekmen. “I have basically walked this campus all my life and it’s always been nice.”

Altidort, a senior at McGavock High School, who is interested in nursing, agrees.

“TSU definitely is a school I am looking at,” said Altidort, a native of Haiti. “They have some good opportunities. I asked a lot of questions and they answered my questions.”

The expo is another opportunity to strengthen the partnership between TSU and MNPS. From left are: Joe Gordon, coordinator of school counseling for North MNPS; Dr. Gregory Clark, TSU’s director of High School Relations; Dr. Megan Cusson-Lark, MNPS’ executive director of school counseling; and LaSeanda Sanders, coordinator of school counseling at South MNPS. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The expo, held at TSU for the last three years, included more than 170 colleges, universities and post-secondary institutions from across the nation, as well as the U.S. Army. It offered students the opportunity to review information on admissions, financial aid, costs, college life and programs to help them decide their choice of college or university.

Officials say the expo is another opportunity to further strengthen the partnership between TSU and MNPS. TSU is the first university or college to host the MNPS College Fair in its decades-long history. One of the largest urban school systems in the state, MNPS has about 6,000 teachers, many of them TSU graduates.

Abibi Crawford, a 10th-grader from Kipp Collegiate, whose father works at TSU and wants to get an early start on her college search, talks to a vendor at the expo. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

Dr. Gregory Clark, TSU’s director of High School Relations, helped to coordinate the expo, along with Dr. Megan Cusson-Lark, MNPS’ executive director of school counseling.  Clark described the expo as ”one of the best on-campus recruitment activities.”

“As a result of this fair, we have seen students that we normally don’t see,” he said. “This also offers the opportunities to students and parents who have never visited our campus to be able to see the opportunities that are here.”

Like Hassan (Nasri), a senior at McGavock High School, she has heard a lot of positive things about TSU but never visited the campus until she came to the expo. She wants to study business in college.

“TSU is definitely a place I may consider for college,” Hassan said. “I inquired about the offering in business and I like what I heard.”

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

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State UniversityFounded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee A&I Championship Teams Inducted into Hall Of Fame

Courtesy: TSU Athletics

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The 1957-59 Tennessee A&I NAIA National Championship teams were recently inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The teams, featuring legendary players such as Richard Barnett and John Barnhill, were one of 12 honorees in this year’s Class of 2019. The class was celebrated at the enshrinement festivities in Springfield, Massachusetts, Sept. 5-7. 

Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover, Athletics Director Teresa Phillips, and men’s basketball coach Brian “Penny” Collins were among those who attended the event.

The 1957-59 teams were the first in basketball history to win back-to-back-to-back championships in any college division. Coached by the late Hall of Fame coach John McLendon, the teams went 31-4, 31-3 and 32-1 in his final three years at the helm of the Tigers, garnering the school’s first national championship. The 32-win season remains the most-winningest season for Tennessee State basketball.

Richard Barnett, the fourth pick in the 1959 draft and a member of the back-to-back-to-back championship teams, represented Tennessee State at the induction. 

“It was a wonderful experience for them to finally acknowledge the great team Tennessee State was and the contribution that we made being a part of a team that was able to acheive such great things during the crisis of the height of segregation” said Barnett. “Now, the young people at Tennessee State can remember the history of what was accomplished.” 

Coach Collins said witnessing the historic moment was “inspiring.”

“Not many know the greats that came out of TSU, such as Anthony Mason, Carlos Rogers, as well as members of the teams that were honored tonight – Dick Barnett and John Barnhill,” said Collins. “This induction hopefully encourages our current student-athletes to strive for greatness and acheive more.”

Members of the three NAIA championship teams:

Richard Barnett, 1955-59

John Barnhill, 1956-59

Hillary Brown, 1959-61

Joseph Buckhalter, 1956

Charles “Henry” Carlton, 1955-56

Robert Clark, 1959-61

Albert Cook, 1956

Melvin Davis, 1959-61

Lavert France, 1959-60

Ronald Hamilton, 1954-56

Ronald Heflin, 1958-61

Porter “Mert” Merriweather, 1959-62

Remus Nesbit, 1952-56

Rueben Perry, 1955-58

Gregory Pharr, 1959

James Satterwhite, 1956-59

Nurlin Tarrant, 1955-59

Ben Warley, 1958-60

Elliott “Peco” Warley, 1959-61

Eugene Werts, 1958-61

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University’s World-Renowned Marching Band to Perform at the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons’ Home Opener

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University Aristocrat of Bands will be front and center Sept. 15 when the Atlanta Falcons take to the field in their season home opener against the Philadelphia Eagles.

The marching band has been invited to perform at half-time of the Falcons-Eagles game in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, the second AOB NFL invitation this season. The band will also perform during the half-time show of the Tennessee Titans-San Francisco 49ers game at Nissan Stadium on Oct. 6.

Just a day after performing at the Southern Heritage Classic, the Aristocrat of Bands will be in Atlanta to perform in the half-time show of the Falcons’ home opener against the Philadelphia Eagles in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Photo by Lalita Hodge, TSU Media Relations)

For Atlanta native Julien Dooley, a drum major with the AOB, performing in his hometown, especially in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, is special. He knows his family will be thrilled, but he plans on surprising them.

“I have not told anyone yet, but this is just so exciting,” said Dooley, a senior commercial music major and a graduate of Atlanta’s Southwest DeKalb High School, who also plays trombone for the AOB.

“I am a huge fan of the Atlanta Falcons. It is very exciting that the AOB gets the opportunity to perform for the Falcons, which means I get to go back home, something I rarely get to do because of our busy band schedule.”

Dr. Reginald McDonald, TSU’s director of bands, said he received the Falcons’ invitation last week, with a choice to perform at any one of their next three home games. The band performs at the Southern Heritage Classic in Memphis between TSU and Jackson State University on Saturday, the day before the Falcons game in Atlanta.

“Our preference was the Sunday after the Southern Heritage Classic. Needless to say, that’s going to be an extremely busy weekend for us again,” he said, noting the band’s back-to-back performances at the John Merritt Classic on Aug. 31 in Nashville, and the Battle of the Bands competition in Houston the following day.

“One thing we learned last week that even after the John Merritt Classic our kids did a great job. We got on the bus and drove 14 hours to Houston. The show in Houston was even better than the one we did Saturday night. So, we know that our kids are performers and they will rise to the occasion.”

McDonald, who previously performed for the Falcons as a high school band leader at Southwest DeKalb  (1999 playoffs – Falcons vs. 49ers) said going to Atlanta is also personal and special.

“That was a huge moment in my career as a young man, and to have that opportunity 20 years later as a college band director, is even more significant,” said McDonald. “This is a market where we get a lot of our band kids from. Majority are from Memphis and West Tennessee, the next largest group – 30 percent – of our kids come from the Atlanta area , and those connections that I have with band directors from Atlanta and the school system are tremendous.”

Sophomore Tiara Thomas, a political science major from Olive Branch, Mississippi, plays the French Horn in the AOB. She said the invitation to Atlanta gives band members the chance to play in another NFL arena away from home.

“I am really excited because normally (since she came to TSU) we only perform for our home NFL team – the Titans,” said Thomas, a member of the TSU Honors College, with a 3.9 grade point average. “So, to be invited to a whole other state to showcase our talent, that’s really big.”

The Aristocrat of Bands made global headlines last week when Lizzo, a rising star topping the charts with her hit “Truth Hurts,” gave a shout out to the band. During the halftime of TSU’s game against Mississippi Valley State at the John Merritt Classic, the AOB included Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” in its medley. They also delivered a repeat performance the following day at the National Battle of the Bands in Houston, Lizzo’s hometown.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands Gets Shout Out from Pop Star Lizzo for ‘Truth Hurts’ Medley

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University world famous marching band has done it again.

Lizzo, a rising star topping the charts with her hit “Truth Hurts,” gave a shout out to Tennessee State University’s Aristocrat of Bands.

The Tennessee State University Aristocrat of Bands have performed at major events and places, including the White House for former President Barack Obama and and First Lay Michelle Obama. (Photo by John Cross)

During halftime of TSU’s game against Mississippi Valley State on Aug. 31, the Aristocrat of Bands included Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” in its medley. They also delivered a repeat performance Sunday at the National Battle of the Bands in Houston, Lizzo’s hometown.

TSU sophomore Paula Rodriquez, also a Houston native, was elated to hear Lizzo call out her school.

“It feels great because I have a sister who went to Grambling and always bragging about Grambling having the best band, but I tell you AOB is doing great getting recognition from all over and now by Lizzo, it is just great,” said Rodriquez, a computer science major. “I am from Houston and Lizzo is also from Houston. It is great to be recognized so far away from home.”

Zack Glover, a junior mechanical engineering major from Atlanta, expressed the same sentiment about his school.

“Lizzo cosigning the Tennessee State University Aristocrat of Bands is a positive direction for the band,” Glover said. “It shows their hard work will be recognized by other hardworking artists, and through her, other stars who did not know about this great band will certainly know now.”

In a note to university administrators, Dr. Reginald McDonald, director of bands, could not hide his excitement.

“Since our performance in Houston this past weekend, we have received a lot of positive social media buzz from the artist Lizzo for our rendition of her song ‘Truth Hurts,’” McDonald said. “I estimate that over 4.7 million people have seen her tribute to the Tennessee State University Aristocrat of Bands.”

A former marching band member and flutist herself, Lizzo tweeted overnight, giving props to TSU, specifically how they incorporated “Truth Hurts” in their medley performance at the National Battle of the Bands in Houston.

“Truth Hurts” has reached to the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.

Lizzo is coming to Nashville on Sept. 30 for a stop on her “I Love You Too” tour at Ryman Auditorium.

The AOB is not new to national or international recognition. They have performed at the White House, at NFL games, and appeared at events and performed with many other big stars.

During the recent NFL Draft in Nashville, the AOB thrilled fans with a performance on ESPN’s “First Take.” Percussionists from the band performed in the Rose Bowl Parade. The AOB performed with country music legend Keith Urban, and performed at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Catch the award-winning AOB performing this Saturday at the TSU vs MTSU game in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and on Sept. 14 at the Southern Heritage Classic  in Memphis, Tennessee. 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU’s Tiffany Steward Selected to State’s Higher Education Leadership Team

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tiffany Bellafant Steward, TSU’s assistant vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Success, is a member of the 2019-2020 cohort of the Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute.

Stewart was one of only 28 leaders from higher education, K-12 education, government, business and industry selected by the State Collaborative on Reforming Education, or SCORE, for the fourth cohort of CTLI.

“It is an honor to be selected as one of 28 leaders from across the state to participate in the Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute,” Steward said. “I look forward to contributing to postsecondary student success and making an impact on access to higher education across the state of Tennessee.”

Since 2016, the Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute has been strengthening leadership capacity to increase higher education completion rates, fostering partnerships to build actionable coalitions, and exploring innovative solutions to local and statewide collaboration and student success. 

To build on the foundation of the program, SCORE will partner with The Hunt Institute. The Hunt Institute, recognized as a national leader in the movement to transform public education, will assist in designing learning opportunities, facilitating sessions as an expert out-of-state voice and developing strategies to help participants translate their learning into action.

“The Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute is focused on educating and engaging Tennessee leaders about education opportunities and challenges in Tennessee post-secondary education,” SCORE President and CEO David Mansouri said. “SCORE is excited to build on the program’s foundation and explore with the new cohort how we can push for quality and equity in education so all Tennessee students are able to earn the post-secondary credentials and degrees needed for successful careers.”

According to a SCORE news release, over the course of a year, Steward and her fellow cohorts will explore higher education and economic issues at the local level, witness best practices and policies to tackle real challenges, and build professional relationships with a group of strong leaders advocating for change across Tennessee.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU hosts Small Farm Expo, National Women in Agriculture Association conference

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University highlighted the latest research in agriculture this week at its Small Farm Expo, and the National Women in Agriculture Association conference the institution hosted on its downtown campus.

The Expo, the 15th year of the event, was held Sept. 4 in the university’s Pavilion Agricultural Research and Education Center. The NWIAA conference was Sept. 5-6 on the Avon Williams Campus.

“Small Farmer of the Year” Daryl Leven, College of Ag Dean Dr. Chandra Reddy, and Jo Anne Waterman, extension agent for Shelby County. (Photo by Joan Kite, College of Agriculture)

TSU President Glenda Glover welcomed attendees to the Expo and stressed the importance of small farmers.

“This is special to TSU because we are a land grant institution, and we specialize in land grant activities,” said Glover. “Farming is major to us. We really appreciate small farmers.”

Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of TSU’s College of Agriculture, echoed that sentiment.

“Small farmers are a majority of the state farming community,” said Reddy. “They are very innovative. They’re not so much interested in producing high quantities of products. They want to get quality in the niche markets, and profitability.”

The Expo featured speakers at the local, state and federal levels, and provided workshops on topics such as urban agriculture, use of drones in agriculture, and hemp research.

Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher and State Sen. Frank Niceley were among the speakers. Hatcher said events like the Expo are beneficial to farmers in economically distressed counties.

“It’s tough right now for farmers,” said Hatcher, referring to the trade wars and flooding. “So this gives them hope for the innovation and technology that’s available to them. We have legislators, we have the governor’s office that’s onboard, we have universities like TSU, and others across the state, coming together to make things better.”

Sheldon Hightower, state conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Tennessee, said the Expo is an opportunity to “build partnerships” that last.

“What we’re trying to do is sustain agriculture for future generations,” said Hightower. “So it takes universities such as TSU to help us carry out that mission to sustain agriculture, to educate our youth about the importance of agriculture here in Tennessee.”

Reginald Holland of Clarksville, Tennessee, is a graduate student working on a degree in agriculture science at TSU. He attended the Expo and said it was “very beneficial.”

“This is a great function,” said Holland, who was among a number of students attending the event. “What we learn here, we can apply to the future workforce.”

One of the highlights of the Expo is the announcement of the “Small Farmer of the Year.” This year’s winner was Daryl Leven, owner of New Way Aquaponics Farms in Shelby County.

Farms, which opened in 2017 in the Annesdale-Snowden section of Memphis, grows vegetables and fish within a closed system using only 10 percent of the water used in conventional agriculture. The farm raises tilapia and grows lettuce, basil, stevia, and other herbal plants. The farm also hosts educational workshops for middle and high schoolers interested in learning about growing fish and food using aquaponics.

At the NWIAA conference, the focus was on opportunities for women in agriculture. The conference also featured speakers and workshops. One of the more popular, as was the case at the Expo, was discussion of hemp production.

Products made from hemp. (Photo by Joan Kite)

Bobbette Fagel traveled from Ruffin, North Carolina, to attend the conference. She has a little over 52 acres and is considering growing hemp.

“Hemp is fast growing,” said Fagel. “You can use it for the production of a lot of materials that traditional wood is used for.”

Tennessee State is among the nation’s leaders in hemp research. The university’s College of Agriculture has hosted several hemp workshops, and has charged a team of scientists to develop hemp production practices for Tennessee. The research projects include developing hemp nutritional products for human consumption and studying the economic viability of hemp production. Currently, the university is growing and evaluating 10 varieties of hemp.

For more information about TSU’s College of Agriculture, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU’s College of Business prepares students for Nashville’s booming tourism industry

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Hospitality and Tourism program in the College of Business is helping students capitalize on the state’s multibillion-dollar tourism and hospitality industry.

Last year, Nashville took in $7 billion from tourists, according to the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation.

Zuhair Al-Bunni, a TSU junior majoring in business administration with an emphasis in hospitality. (TSU Media Relations)

TSU has been a leader among other local colleges in providing education in Tourism and Hospitality to meet the needs of the booming industry in Nashville.

“The partnerships we’ve cultivated with businesses and organizations across the city have been vital to our success as educators,” says TSU President Glenda Glover.

“From the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp., to the Music City Center, to a long list of hotels and entertainment attractions across Davidson County, these community partners have helped launch careers for area university students. In return, these organizations receive ambitious, energetic young minds who help meet a growing employment need as the Music City’s brand continues to draw millions from across the globe eager to experience our rich and friendly culture.”

Dr. Millicent Lownes-Jackson, Dean of the College of Business at TSU, echoes President Glover’s sentiments that the university is in a unique position to provide students the very best education and workforce preparation in the industry. 

“We are fortunate to be located in a city that is on the move!” says Dr. Lownes-Jackson. 

“In 2018 alone, 15 new hotels and 131 new restaurants opened and Nashville was repeatedly named as one of the best travel destinations of the year. This represents a tremendous opportunity for our students to grow and lead within an industry that is thriving in Nashville.”

The College of Business dean adds that TSU’s Hospitality and Tourism program combines “rigorous academic training with real-world experience in the industry.”

Zuhair Al-Bunni is a junior majoring in business administration with an emphasis in hospitality. Through TSU’s Hospitality and Tourism program, he currently has an internship at a local hotel, and plans to one day be a general manager at one.

“The program at TSU is helping to give me real-world experience,” says Al-Bunni. “The market is expected to keep on booming. So when I graduate, I will have all I need to be successful in this industry.”

The university’s Hospitality Management program in particular gives students the opportunity to build their entrepreneurial, managerial, functional, operational, and analytical skill set to maximize their success.

Because of Nashville’s lucrative tourism industry, they are able to benefit from a dynamic local, national, and global competitive environment

“The College of Business has partnered with the leaders of Nashville hotels, restaurant groups, and others within the tourism industry to provide our students with a forward-thinking experience that will prepare them to lead within the industry,” says Dr. Chunxing Fan, chair of the Department of Business Administration.

There were 71,140 hospitality industry jobs in Nashville in 2018, and 15.8 million visitors traveled to the Greater Nashville area in fiscal year 2019, a 7 percent increase over FY18’s 14.8 million, according to NCVC.

“It is no secret that Nashville’s economic boom is intimately tied to its growing hospitality and tourism community,” says Marie Sueing, NCVC’s vice president of multi-cultural community relations. 

“A professional workforce is critical to the continued success of this industry, and great programs such as the one offered at Tennessee State University will help to prepare individuals for the many career opportunities available in the hospitality and tourism field. Of equal importance, is having a rich and diverse workforce to ensure that visitors from all over the world feel welcome in all of our communities. TSU will play a significant role in helping to fill the need for these leadership positions throughout Music City.”

To learn more about TSU’s College of Business Hospitality Management curriculum and its other programs, visit www.tnstate.edu/business/index.aspx.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.