Category Archives: FEATURED

TSU Waives ACT, SAT Admission Scores for Fall 2020 due to COVID-19

By Kelli Sharpe

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is temporarily waiving the ACT and SAT scores as requirements for incoming freshmen for Fall 2020. The modified admission requirement is a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, students will still be required to have a GPA of 2.5 or higher, completed application, and official high school transcript submitted for admission, which should indicate strong academic achievement in core coursework. 

“TSU’s decision was made in light of the testing companies’ decision and the circumstances associated with the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Dr. Alisa Mosely, interim vice president for Academic Affairs. 

“The University continues to undertake temporary measures to address and manage the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This temporary admission adjustment applies for the Fall 2020 term only.” 

In March, the College Board and ACT, Inc., announced that they were suspending the availability of SAT and ACT testing due to logistical and safety issues associated with administering the tests during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ACT is an entrance exam most universities and colleges use to make admissions decisions. 

TSU is currently opened for fall registration, and is accepting applications for housing. (Photo by TSU Media Relations

Dr. Carjamin Scott, TSU’s director of admissions and recruitment, says the university is committed to removing all enrollment barriers that were caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and helping talented students achieve their dream of becoming college graduates.

“The waiver will ensure that qualified students who are interested in TSU will have an opportunity to be evaluated for admission this fall. Whether on campus or online, first–year students will receive a quality education, and we have staff readily available to assist them with completing their application for enrollment,” says Scott.  

University officials say this will only apply to the upcoming fall semester. TSU joins a number of schools across the country to waive the ACT, as well as the SAT scores in response to the pandemic. 

TSU will offer summer school classes online, and is currently opened for fall registration and accepting housing applications. Students interested in enrolling for the Fall 2020 should visit www.tnstate.edu/apply.

Department of Media Relations

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

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 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 Virtual Spring Preview Day Gives Prospective Students Innovative Look at University Offerings, Programs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When Jelani Nash of Fort Worth, Texas, received his certificate of admission to Tennessee State University, the usually quiet and shy Nash was emotional. The screen on his laptop revealed the certificate welcoming him to TSU.

TSU President Glenda Glover zooms in to welcome prospective students and parents to the university’s first virtual Spring Preview Day. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

“It just felt good and I was very excited,” said the high school graduating senior, as he and his family gathered in their living room in Fort Wort to participate in TSU’s first live virtual Spring Preview Day on April 9.

Like many prospective TSU students observing travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nash was among hundreds of other incoming first-year freshmen who had to make their college commitment or receive acceptance letters without having visited the TSU campus.

In all, organizers said more than 300 users, mainly students and parents, connected to the event with questions to admissions recruiters. Many TSU administrators, student leaders, faculty, staff and alumni joined the conversation.

“Welcome to Tennessee State University and our very first virtual Spring Preview Day,” said President Glenda Glover, as she kicked off the live broadcast zoomed from the TV studio in TSU’s Performing Arts Center.

“Good afternoon to our students and to our parents! We are using this virtual format of programming to announce this wonderful spring preview day because of where we are in America today. We have banded together to fight this coronavirus that has gripped our nation. So, the health and safety of you as students and parents on our campus is paramount. As you prepare to start your college careers, we have some exciting things planned for you this fall. We thank you and we are happy to greet you as you take your first step to becoming a TSU Tiger.”

Ashley Janae Edgar, left, an incoming freshman, receives her certificate of admission from Associate Vice President for Admission Terrance Izzarance, during a visit on campus. (Submitted photo)

The virtual spring preview, termed “Vision 2020: I see You at TSU,” gave potential students a new and innovative way to learn about the institution, said officials. They included a virtual tour of the campus, student interviews about campus life, meeting academic demands, and what it takes to apply and enroll at TSU.   Also, in response to the global pandemic and the closure of various testing sites, viewers learned that TSU is considering waiving the ACT for students applying for the Fall 2020 semester. Officials say the university wants to ensure that all interested and capable students have an opportunity to be evaluated for admission. However, applicants must still have a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA and an official transcript to be considered for admission.

Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Alisa Mosley, was among university officials who joined in to tell the audience about TSU’s many outstanding programs, its diverse faculty, as well as opportunities for students to engage in internships, study abroad and service learning programs.

A viewer watches the virtual Spring Preview Day on her cell phone. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

“So, there is really something for everyone here at TSU,” Mosley said. “When you go through those kinds of opportunities you come out stronger and your passion fortified and you are prepared to engage on the local, national and international levels.”

Terrence Izzard, associate vice president for Admissions and Recruitment, described the virtual preview as “a different platform, but the same brand of TSU excellence.”

“We are really trying to expand our reach to those who may not be able to come to us,” he said. “So, this virtual preview day is an exciting opportunity for us to reach thousands for the cause of TSU.”

Ashley Janae Edgar, of Atlanta, who has committed to coming to TSU in the fall, also watched preview day with her family. She said the exchange with the recruitment staff was “amazing.”

“It was extremely helpful and very informative,” said Edgar, who plans to major in criminal justice. She received her admission certificate during a visit on campus in November.

Dr. Carjamin Scott, Director of Admissions and Recruitment, helps to answer students and parents’ questions during the virtual preview day. (Photo by TSU Media relations)

 For Jelani Nash and his parents, they think TSU is the perfect fit for the incoming freshman.

“We are definitely comfortable with him going to Tennessee State University,” said Jelani’s father, Omar Nash, who added that his whole family enjoyed watching the virtual spring preview.

“Although we wanted him to stay close to home, we have a nice family connection in Nashville. Also, my wife enjoyed seeing the president of the university because she is a sorority sister, and my daughter said the campus was beautiful. This virtual preview is a definite plus for you guys.”

You can watch Virtual Spring Preview Day on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Jz98el-MZo

 For more information on admission to TSU, visit 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 Mourns the Loss of assistant football coach Tarvaris Jackson

Courtesy: TSU Athletics

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State assistant football coach Tarvaris Jackson passed away late Sunday night in Alabama. Jackson served as the quarterbacks coach for the 2019 season.

“My heart is so heavy with hurt hearing of the passing of Coach Jackson,” said TSU Director of Athletics Teresa Phillips. “We were blessed with him for a short time but he did make an impact with our young men in this one season at TSU. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his young family and all who knew and loved him. We lift up all who are mourning today. Each loss is piercing. Today I ask God’s comfort to spread through the TSU community, the nation and the world.”

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Jackson family in this time of bereavement,” said TSU Head Coach Rod Reed. “We are devastated. He was an awesome young man and he will be missed by our players, our staff and the TSU family.”

Jackson mentored TSU quarterback Cameron Rosendahl to one of the better seasons in Big Blue history. The senior signal caller set a program record for completions in a season (241) and became the fourth player at TSU to throw for over 3, 000 yards. Rosendahl’s 3,023 yards is the second highest total in a single season at Tennessee State.

Department of Media Relations

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

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University to Hold Virtual Spring Preview Day April 9

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The COVID-19 pandemic may have suspended in-person recruitment activities for Tennessee State University, but it hasn’t stopped recruiters from seeking out the best and brightest students to join the TSU family. The university is inviting them along with parents and relatives to experience Spring Preview Day 2020 live on Thursday, April 9 beginning at 5p.m., and it can all take place from the comfort of their homes.

“Vision 2020: I See You At TSU” will give these potential students a new and innovative way to learn about the institution, officials say.

Terrence Izzard, associate vice president for Admissions and Recruitment says the annual event will be bigger and better than previous ones because of the circumstances and the live element.   

“Vision 2020: I See You At TSU” is more than a theme and staff have worked extremely hard to plan the ultimate TSU experience for students,” says Izzard.

The admissions and recruitment team, student ambassadors, faculty and staff will be on hand for a virtual tour that will include live student interviews about campus life, meeting academic demands, and most importantly what it takes to apply and enroll to TSU.  

“Live streaming and virtual meetings are the new normal for institutions across the country as we navigate COVID-19,” adds Izzard. “However, there is only one Tennessee State that offers students a path to success that is uniquely ours based on exceptional academic offerings, cultural awareness and access to a thriving global market in Nashville.” 

Through video clips, participants will also see some of TSU’s pride points such as the world-renowned Aristocrat of Bands, the award-winning gospel choir, and our beautiful campus through a virtual tour.

For information on Spring Preview Day and how to participate, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/admissions/preview.aspx

Department of Media Relations

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

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 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 Names Mikki Allen New Athletics Director 

By Kelli Sharpe

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Dr. Mikki Allen has been named the next director of athletics at Tennessee State University. TSU President Glenda Glover made the announcement on Thursday during a virtual press conference that included top administrators, head coaches and alumni, along with members of the press.

Dr. Mikki Allen

Allen comes to TSU after 11 years in sports administration, including his most recent position as the assistant director of athletics for Player Relations and Development at the University of Tennessee. Under his leadership, Allen set a new standard in the Southeastern Conference by creating a comprehensive development and transitional assistance program for Tennessee football student-athletes. The program was designed to guide football student-athletes from enrollment through their transition to post-football professional careers.

“With the retirement of AD Teresa Phillips after a stellar career here at TSU, it was essential that we find a leader that could build upon our recent successes, as well as our storied legacy of winning,” Glover said. “I believe we have found that in Dr. Allen. He’s a successful leader who puts student-athletes first, builds strong relationships both internally and externally from his success as a fundraiser, and just as important, Allen is committed to the development of coaches and staff to achieve at a very high level. We are extremely excited about the future of TSU Athletics.”

Allen, a four-year letterman and member of the UT 1999 National Championship Team, has strong ties to TSU, where he earned his master’s degree. His wife received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the university as well.

“I’m honored that President Glover has entrusted me to be the new Director of Athletics for Tennessee State University. To have the opportunity to be reconnected to our TSU family means everything to my wife, Jekia, and me,” Allen said. 

 “Tennessee State University is very special to my family’s legacy. This is about returning to an institution that I not only have a great passion for, but one that has been both impactful and transformative throughout my life. I have an incredible amount of respect and admiration for the work that Teresa Phillips accomplished during her 16-year tenure.  As the new Director of Athletics, I look forward to carrying the torch forward and elevating the sports programs at TSU to the top of the OVC pyramid.”

After a brief stint in the NFL due to injury, Allen joined the Tennessee Athletics staff in 2009 and excelled during multiple record-breaking fundraising years.  Serving as the Director of Athletics Development, Allen played an invaluable role for Tennessee Athletics in helping to secure more than $20 million in capital campaign gifts during his tenure as an athletics fundraiser.

The new AD will lead TSU Athletics that consist of 15 programs, and will officially begin in his new position May 1.  UT Director of Athletics Phillip Fulmer called Allen a born leader and winner.

“Tennessee State is getting a man of great integrity and a born leader,” Fulmer said. “Mikki has made impactful contributions across several departments here at Tennessee over the years and has earned the respect from administrators and staff all throughout campus. The vast experience he’s gained has him well prepared to lead a department of his own. A former national championship student-athlete, he knows firsthand what a winning culture looks like. I know he’ll work tirelessly to build relationships and develop robust support systems to deliver a first-class student-athlete experience.”

Allen replaces Teresa Phillips, who is stepping down after 16 years with the university. Student-athletes excelled in the classroom under her leadership and posted some of the school’s highest graduation rates.  

Allen’s wife, Jekia, is a ’99 TSU graduate and currently is an elementary school Assistant Principal.  The couple has two children, Mikenzie Rae (12) and Jansen Michael Allen (8). 

Allen, 42, is a native of Middle Tennessee (Murfreesboro, TN), received his Bachelor of Arts and Science degree at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in 2001, Master of Arts and Science degree in Sports Administration from Tennessee State University in 2007 and a Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Trevecca Nazarene University in 2016.

Department of Media Relations

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

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 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 President Glover, administrators stress ‘meeting needs’ of students amid the COVID-19 pandemic in virtual meeting

 NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover assured students that TSU is dedicated to accommodating them while they finish the semester remotely as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Dr. Glover and other TSU administrators held a live meeting via Zoom with over 200 student leaders on April 2.

“I wanted to take this opportunity to just stop and make sure that we are meeting your needs,” Glover said. “We are going to do everything humanly possible to accommodate you to ensure that you succeed in spite of this very daunting challenge. It is tough for everyone across the world as we face the daily uncertainties and dangers that this virus presents. We’re going to do whatever we can to ensure that you remain whole.”

Students submitted their questions via the chat component. Topics included student refunds or credits, graduation, summer classes, and campus preparations for returning students in the fall. TSU registration opens tomorrow, and students may apply for housing now. 

Student Government Association President Katelyn Thompson of Memphis, Tennessee, said she was pleased with what she heard from Dr. Glover and other top staff.

“I’m proud of the university and student body coming together,” said Thompson, a graduating senior double majoring in criminal justice and psychology. “At the end of the day, excellence is our habit. We can’t get anywhere unless we come together.”

Charlie Green Jr., a senior from Jackson, Tennessee, agreed.

TSU President Glenda Glover addresses students in virtual meeting.

“This is a lesson for all of us,” said Green, a double major in architectural engineering and urban studies. “But Dr. Glover showed students that she’s about the business of making sure that we are taken care of and that our needs are being met.”

On March 16, TSU was the first public university in Tennessee to transition to all online classes as a precaution to contracting COVID-19. The university also canceled all campus events where large crowds are expected, and suspended all international travel through the end of April to minimize exposure to the disease. On March 23, the university ceased normal operations, allowing most employees to work remotely.

 Miss Junior Maya Howard, a business administration major, said she’s comfortable that when she returns to the university from Cincinnati, Ohio, that the campus will be thoroughly sanitized.

“I noticed as I was moving out that they were on top of making sure that everything was clean,” said Howard.

The university has continued a complete wipe down to protect the campus from COVID-19 and other diseases. TSU is using professional cleaning companies with disinfectants and sanitizing equipment to wipe down its main campus and downtown location. 

SGA President Katelyn Thompson talks to students in virtual meeting.

President Glover told students the virtual meeting will be the first of several she will hold to keep students updated on campus operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Since transitioning to all online instruction and telework for faculty and staff, the university has hosted several virtual student events, such as this. Last week, TSU made history by establishing a chapter of the National Music Honor Society, Pi Kappa Lambda, and inducting its first members. 

For more on campus operations affected by the coronavirus, and student information, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/covid19

Department of Media Relations

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

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 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 Continues Campus Wipe Down Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

NASAHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – With nearly all students away and classes online, Tennessee State University is continuing a complete wipe down to protect the campus from the COVID-19 and other diseases.

In the TSU campus wipe down, workers are using equipment and products that are extremely effective in killing the coronavirus. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

The university is using professional cleaning companies with disinfectants and sanitizing equipment to wipe down its main campus and downtown location. Cleaning crews are using protective equipment including gloves, body suits, and products that are “extremely effective” in killing the virus, company representatives say.

Interim Associate Vice President for Facilities Management Albert Hill says the goal is to keep the campuses clean and less susceptible to the spread of infectious illnesses, such as the coronavirus.

“We just want to make sure that when our students and employees return, they feel comfortable going into the classrooms, residence halls, and work places,” says Hill. “We also want to assure parents that their children are safe.”

On March 16, TSU was the first public university in Tennessee to transition to all online classes as a precaution to contracting and spreading coronavirus (COVID-19). The university also canceled all campus events where large crowds are expected, and suspended all international travel through the end of April to minimize exposure to the disease. On Monday, March 23, the university ceased normal operations, allowing most employees to work remotely.

Lecture halls are also receiving thorough cleaning in the campus-wide wipe down at TSU. (Phopto by TSU Media Relations)

 “These decisions were made in the best interest of the university, as both the federal government and State of Tennessee have declared a state of emergency,” says TSU President Glenda Glover.

 “In following directives from the Governor and Mayor, we have adjusted the traditional manner in which we serve our students and operate the university and will continue to take every precaution necessary to minimize the spread of the virus.   Most importantly, we are ensuring that students continue to learn and excel academically by providing all the resources needed to successfully engage and complete online courses.” 

  TSU has one confirmed case of a student testing positive for COVID-19. The individual, who did not live on campus, has been at home in self-isolation for a number of days while receiving the necessary care to treat their condition.

Dr. Joseph Perry, TSU’s director of sustainability, says the cleaning crews are doing an “excellent job” of making sure chemicals they are using are safe for humans and the environment.

“We are going to do this until we get to the point where we feel it is safe for people to come back into the buildings,” says Perry. “Essential staff and faculty who occasionally come on campus are safe because they are allowed to go in only certain areas.”

The U.S. Department of Education recently launched a COVID-19 (Coronavirus) information and resources web page for schools and school personnel.

For more information on campus operations and student information, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/covid19.

NOTE: Kelli Sharpe contributed to this story.

Department of Media Relations

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

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 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 makes history with virtual installation of National Music Honor Society

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University made history on March 25 when it virtually established a chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda, the National Music Honor Society, and inducted its first student members.

The initial inductees into the Society of Pi Kappa Lambda are: seniors Julien Dooley, Jakori Hollinger, Natasha Machlin, Darien Phillips, Devin Pride and Andrew Walker; junior Jabril Muhammad; and graduates Michelene McKinney and Jordan Thomas.

Hollinger said the experience is one he will never forget.

“It was an honor to be a part of such a historic moment on our campus, amid troubled times,” said Holinger, a music education major from Montgomery, Alabama. “With the addition of the Lambda Delta Chapter, TSU and our Music Department will continue to remain at the forefront of excellence.”

Jakori Hollinger

The installation had to be done virtually because of the new requirements put in place as a precaution to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Hitting the unmute button when each of their names were called, the new members became a part of the coveted organization that recognizes students for high scholastic achievements as music majors. 

TSU President Glenda Glover, Dr. Alisa Mosley, interim vice president for academic affairs, and Dr. Robert Elliott, head of TSU’s Music Department, were among the participants in the ceremony that took place live via Zoom.

Pi Kappa Lambda Regent, Dr. Mark Wait, installed the TSU Lambda Delta Chapter and assisted in the induction into membership of the first group of candidates.

The faculty members whose names appear on the charter are: Robert Bryant, Mark Crawford, Kaylina Crawley, Robert L. Elliott, Susan M. Kelley and Ljerka Rasmussen.

Founded in 1918, Pi Kappa Lambda is an honor society dedicated by its founders to the fostering of scholarly inquiry and artistic accomplishment in the field of music. Of the approximately 70 honor societies recognized by the Association of College Honor Societies, PKL is one of the oldest, and it is the only music group so recognized.

TSU’s Department of Music supports a full range of vocal and instrumental performance opportunities, including the orchestra, string ensemble, Tennessee State University Choir, Meistersingers, symphonic and concert band, two jazz ensembles, percussion ensemble, pep band, the world-renowned Aristocrat of Bands marching band, and a host of small vocal and mixed ensembles.

To learn more, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/music/

Department of Media Relations

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

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 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 on the frontline in COVID-19 prevention with production of protective masks for healthcare professionals and hand sanitizer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is helping in the global fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The University is stepping to the forefront and using its educational platform to make protective face gear for doctors, nurses and other medical personnel.

Headband designed by TSU 3D printing machines. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations).

TSU is also sharing information on how families can make their own hand sanitizer while producing the germ fighting solution for campus police.

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission has asked TSU to use its 3D printing machines to help design a portion of the mask, which has three components: plastic shield, headband and elastic band. The College of Engineering is leading the campus effort to produce the protective gear, which also includes the College of Agriculture and Library Services.

Reporters from all four Nashville TV stations, as well as WPLN (NPR), came out on March 24 to see demonstrations by TSU professors and grad students.

“We are currently fabricating several of the headbands to donate to THEC,” says Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of Engineering. “We have faculty, staff and students involved in making this product from four different sites at TSU. We hope to collectively support the state’s effort to mitigate and limit the spread of COVID-19.”

TSU grad students Oluwatosin Fagbuyi (left) and Rotimi Joaquim discuss printing technology with WPLN reporter. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The masks will be used to protect Tennessee medical professionals, like nurses and doctors, who are on the front lines caring for individuals with the virus. In Italy, the country with the second highest number of COVID-19 cases, more than 20 doctors have reportedly died and thousands of other health workers have been infected since the outbreak.

Oluwatosin Fagbuyi is one of the graduate students helping to make the headbands using the 3D technology. He says he could not pass up the chance “to help save lives.”

“It’s nice to feel like I can help,” says Fagbuyi, who is majoring in mechanical and manufacturing engineering. “It’s an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.”  

In addition to helping with the mask, the College of Agriculture is also making hand sanitizer and sharing instructions on how individuals can make their own. The college is also producing the alcohol-based solution to make available for campus police.

Dr. Sudipta Rakshit in the College of Agriculture talks to reporters about making hand sanitizer. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“There is such a shortage because of the virus,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the College of Agriculture. “The idea is to help people make their own sanitizer in case they can’t get it commercially.”   

The process includes mixing ingredients such as isopropyl alcohol and hydrogen peroxide. But Ag officials say the main goal is to keep the percentage of alcohol greater than 60 percent. 

For information about TSU operations amid the COVID-19 pandemic, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/covid19.

Department of Media Relations

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

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 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 Students Express Mixed Feelings About Leaving Campus in Wake of Coronavirus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Like many Tennessee State University students, Trenton Jones says he understands why TSU is asking them to go home, but many have mixed feelings about leaving their campus environment.  Students must vacate the campus by Saturday, March 21.

“The coronavirus is a big deal right now and this move is to help us stay healthy,” said Jones, a freshman agricultural science major, as he and his parents emptied out his dorm room in Watson Hall on Wednesday to head back home to Northport, Alabama.

Tyrani Randolph, left, a freshman dental hygiene major from Memphis, helps classmate Trenton Jones, second from right, move out of Watson Hall. Jones’ parents, Malcolm and Rhonda Skinner, travelled from Northport, Alabama, to pick up their son. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

“Students need to stay functional and campus offers that,” added Jones. “Being on our own, and to do class online, you are missing that interaction with teachers and fellow students. Face-to-face is the best interaction for learning.” 

 Parents Ronda Skinner and her husband Malcolm, who travelled from Northport, Alabama, to pick up their son, Trenton, said the trip was inconvenient, “but worth it.”

“Due to the circumstances of the coronavirus, an epidemic that has hit our nation severely, it is understandable that the school would have to make this decision,” Rhonda Skinner said. “The fact that schools around the country had to make this decision, I do believe that it is in the best interest of the students, and comforting for parents.”

TSU President Glenda Glover said the decision was in the best interest of the university, as both the federal government and State of Tennessee have declared a state of emergency.

On March 16, TSU went online with all classes as a precaution to contracting and spreading coronavirus (COVID-19).

“While we have adjusted the traditional manner in which we serve our students, we are ensuring that they continue to learn and excel academically,” stated President Glover. “We are taking every precaution necessary to minimize the spread of the virus.” 

The university will soon serve as a mobile testing site. As further precaution, the university has canceled all campus events where large crowds are expected, as well as suspended all international travel through the end of April to minimize exposure to the disease. Also, beginning Monday, March 23, the university will cease normal operations, allowing most employees to work remotely.

Tyrani Randolph, a freshman dental hygiene major from Memphis, Tennessee, who moved out of Wilson Hall, agreed with her fellow classmate.

“I believe everything is for a reason, and I believe this is a safety precaution,” she said.

 Frank Stevenson, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students, said the university understands the “anxiety that this change causes for students.”

“It is an interruption into their ‘normal’ way of doing things as students,” he said. “We are trying to mitigate the situation and help them work through those feelings.”

Stevenson said the university is following the Centers for Disease Control and Infections guidelines, and best practices recommendations, in accordance with instructions from the governor’s office.

On Monday, the University will begin a campus wide wipe down of academic buildings and residence halls.

 For more information on campus operations and student information, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/covid19/

Department of Media Relations

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

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 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.