Category Archives: FEATURED

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Recognizes TSU Student as One of Nashville’s Top 30 under 30 Recipients

Kelli Peterson
Kelli Peterson

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Since 2009, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has recognized influential members of the local community under the age of 30. In mid-November, the Middle Tennessee Chapter released a list of 30 individuals they believe have made significant impacts in the community through leadership and volunteer efforts.

Among that list is a doctoral student from Tennessee State University who has been selected as one of Nashville’s best professional and philanthropic community members for 2015.

Kelli Peterson, who is pursuing her Doctorate of Education degree in Teaching and Learning, Focus in Curriculum Planning, will be honored early next year as one of the most “prominent, influential and successful young professionals in the community.”

“I am truly blessed and honored to be named as one of Nashville’s Top 30 under 30 by such a wonderful organization,” said Peterson, who has served for the past two years as the assistant principal at East End Preparatory School. “I was surprised when I found out because I had worked extremely hard on a compelling essay to express my qualifications and passion for being a servant to Nashville through education. I knew the competition would be extremely competitive.”

2015 class of Nashville’s Top 30 Under 30
2015 class of Nashville’s Top 30 Under 30

According to Peterson, the recognition is important to her for two reasons. First, along with the other 29 professionals, Peterson will be given a chance to make an even bigger impact in the lives of others. As a member of Nashville’s Top 30 under 30, she will be campaigning to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Second, and most importantly, this is an opportunity to be a positive role model for her students.

“It is my goal to shed light on this disease to the African-American community, as well as children so that in tandem we may fight together,” said Peterson. “Although Cystic Fibrosis occurs less in African-Americans, it is important that we come together as Americans to help support this movement.”

According to Peterson, each recipient of the Top 30 Under 30 has to raise a minimum of $2,500 through ticket sales for the April 10 gala, donations and sponsorships. One way, she said, is to get her students involved.

“I plan to get my students involved as the leaders of the fundraising effort to show the power of children, and ask that the community show children ‘if they lead, we will follow,’ by donating as well,” she added.

Along raising funds for the organization, Peterson said that being named to the Top 30 Under 30 list was also important because it is an opportunity for her to show her students that anything is possible and nothing is out of reach. When she left Flint, Michigan, at age 17, she vowed that every accomplishment she made in life would not be for self-notoriety, but to show “all the little brown girls and boys sitting in a classroom they could move past the glass ceiling.”

“I walk the hallways at school everyday so that my ‘little brown children’ can see a brown woman as their assistant principal and thus, dream beyond it,” Peterson said. “I am in the second year of my doctoral degree, not for my personal gain, but so that my students can call someone that looks like them ‘doctor.”

Peterson, through her nomination to the Top 30 list, wants to show her students that someone that looks like them and that serves them on a daily basis, can be recognized not for the amount of money they are able to give, but the service they provide to the community. 

“I want to be able to prepare all my students for a brighter future,” added Peterson. “I want my students to know that anything is obtainable.”

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Middle Tennessee will hold its 7th annual “Nashville’s Top 30 Under 30” event April 10, 2015 at the Hutton Hotel in Nashville. Visit the Top 30 Under 30 website for more information or to donate.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation was founded in 1955 with the mission of supporting research and education over the genetic disease.  Cystic fibrosis attacks the lungs and digestive system and affects about 30,000 children and adults in the United States.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University Receives USDA Grant to Aid Veteran, New and Socially Disadvantaged Farmers

Funds focus on outreach and technical assistance to diversify American Agriculture

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University has received funding to help beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers, veteran farmers and ranchers build a more resilient agriculture system.

The University’s College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences received $188,055 recently from the U.S. Department of Agriculture as part of a $9.7 million grant to educate and provide technical assistance to agriculture businesses.

The grant, distributed through the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Grant Program, will help faculty and extension agents from the University encourage, educate and assist socially and financially disadvantaged farmers and producers to operate their farms more efficiently, and if able, purchase new farmland and become even more successful farmers and producers.

“We will specifically focus on socially disadvantaged farmers and land owners, and try to educate them on a variety of financial and technical help, and the opportunities available,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean and director of Research and administrator of Extension in the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences. “We want to make sure that they are on an even footing with large-farm owners when it comes to technical assistance and funding opportunities.”

The grant money, according to Dr. Arvazena Clardy, assistant professor of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, will be used to conduct workshops around the state, and educate farmers and producers on business development and expansion, small herd management, plant nutrition, and food safety and new farm technology among other topics.

The grant will also be used toward a future New Farmer Academy where new owners and potential owners of small acreages receive training on ways to best utilize their land for crops and livestock. The most recent five-month academy graduated nine candidates who learned about opportunities to expand into new areas of production, gain access to and knowledge about federal funds and programs, as well as develop new marketing strategies to make them more successful.

The goal, said Clardy, is to work with small and limited resource producers, farmers and landowners, and work individually with them on specific problems related to their farms and production.

“We are committed to improving the economic conditions of the socially disadvantaged farmers and landowners here in Tennessee,” said Clardy. “This grant will give us the opportunity to educate them about the accessibility of programs and new farm technology, as well as provide hands-on training, and one-on-one outreach and technical assistance.”

The grant was announced December 3 by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, who described the funding as part of “our ongoing commitment” to identify, recruit and train a vibrant next generation of farmers and ranchers who can carry American agriculture into the future. “It is also part of our pledge to assist military veterans find economic opportunity as they return to civilian life,” Vilsack added.

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University, Neighborhood Groups Sign Collaborative Agreement to Provide Help for Aging Population

President Glover makes remarks minutes before the signing of the MOU in Jane Elliott Hall. Joining the president are Michael Harris, dean of the College of Public Service and Urban Affairs, left; Jim Shulman, Executive Director of the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability; President Glover; State Representative Harold Love Jr.; and Van Pinnock, of the Footprint Collaborative. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)
President Glover makes remarks minutes before the signing of the MOU in Jane Elliott Hall. Joining the president are Michael Harris, dean of the College of Public Service and Urban Affairs, left; Jim Shulman, Executive Director of the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability; President Glover; State Representative Harold Love Jr.; and Van Pinnock, of the Footprint Collaborative. (photos by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – In a partnership that addresses the needs of the aging population, Tennessee State University and a group of neighborhood organizations have formed a collaborative initiative that combines teaching and learning, research and service aimed to enhance the lives of seniors.

Called the TSU Footprint Collaborative, the initiative’s goal is to help seniors and organizations connect to the University’s many resources by matching their needs with the institution’s expertise and service.

In an agreement signed Thursday between TSU and the neighborhood groups, the University, through its Center on Aging Research and Education Services in the College of Public Service and Urban Affairs, will develop lifelong learning programs that include classes on civic education and duties, oral history, technology and community gardening.

According to the agreement, these services and programs, which are a result of several months of studies of seniors’ care and needs in the neighborhoods, and meetings, will begin in January 2015.

Calling the agreement a “holistic approach in addressing the needs of the growing baby boomer population,” TSU President Glenda Glover, said meeting the needs of the aging population is a local, regional and national challenge that requires immediate attention.

The president’s concern and the need for TSU to play a leading role is backed by a recent NIH report, The 2030 Problem: Caring for Aging Baby Boomers, that calls on healthcare providers, institutions and universities to ensure accessible care for the nearly 61 million projected seniors by 2030.

“This agreement puts the University in the forefront – where it should be – to help eliminate issues facing our aging population,” Dr. Glover said, pointing to TSU’s more than 25-year experience, through CARES, in addressing “elder abuse.”

She commended the effort of the late State Rep. Harold Love Sr., whose vision on the issue of elder abuse was helpful in bringing the community and the University together to develop “a more comprehensive and strategic agenda” that not only addresses the various needs of the aging population, but also helps to find “practical solutions.”

President Glenda Glover and Van Pinnock, of the Footprint Collaborative, signed the Memorandum of Understanding at a ceremony in Jane Elliott Hall on the main campus Thursday, as University, state and local officials, as well as representatives of the various neighborhood groups watch.
President Glenda Glover and Van Pinnock, of the Footprint Collaborative, signed the Memorandum of Understanding at a ceremony in Jane Elliott Hall on the main campus Thursday, as University, state and local officials, as well as representatives of the various neighborhood groups watch.

“Tennessee State University’s efforts over the past year with our Footprint Collaborative members helped us to develop a framework for today’s announcement and memorandum of understanding,” the president said.

Neighborhood groups joining TSU in the Footprint Collaborative are College Hill, Hadley Park and Tomorrow’s Hope, all within close proximity of the University.

Van Pinnock, who signed the agreement on behalf the Collaborative, along with Dr. Glover, called the event an “exciting day for the community,” noting TSU’s history as an “HBCU in the forefront of initiatives” that enhance the lives of seniors in the community.

“I am just excited to be a part of this endeavor,” Pinnock said. “We are thankful to Dr. Glover and Tennessee State University for this initiative.”

State Rep. Harold Love Jr., himself an advocate for senior care, who was among many federal, state and local officials to witness the signing, also stressed the growing need for better and improved care for the aging population, as advocated by his late father.

“More of our seniors need assistance more than ever before, and I am glad Tennessee State University is leading the way in this endeavor,” Love added.

Also making comment at the ceremony was Jim Shulman, executive director of the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability, who pointed to the state’s dismal rankings in the arrears of smoking cessation, physical inactivity, food insecurity, and many other ailments that affect the national population, especially seniors.

“We need to improve in these areas to ensure a better quality of life for our aging population,” Shulman said. “Anything we can do for our seniors that improves their living standard is important.”

Dr. Michael Harris, dean of the College of Public Service and Urban Affairs, acknowledged the work and individuals in making the Collaborative a reality.

“Dr. Glover should be commended for her vision that made this all possible,” Harris said. “It was a team effort involving CARES, the Department of Sociology and Social Work, and many others in our college including students. Our goal is to find ways to connect academic knowledge with community needs through programs that improve the quality of life for the aging population in Tennessee.”

Students, faculty, staff joined many seniors from the community for the signing in Elliott Hall.

Other officials present were: Devin Stone, assistant director of communications in the Department of Human Services; Norma Powell, deputy executive director on aging programs in the Area Agency on Aging and Disability; and Dr. Consuelo Wilkins, executive director of MeHarry-Vanderbilt Alliance.

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University Engineering Students Participate in “Hack Nashville”

Myron Sallie, a junior Architectural Engineering mojor, conducts a soldering experiment during Hack Nashville, an event that brought computer programmers and coders together to collaborate on innovative products during the course of a weekend.
Myron Sallie, a junior Architectural Engineering major, conducts a soldering experiment during Hack Nashville, an event that brought computer programmers and coders together to collaborate on innovative products during the course of a weekend. (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Students from Tennessee State University recently had the opportunity to hunker down with other like-minded “techies” and programmers from throughout the city to build products, share coding skills and participate in real-world programing exercises.

Billed as Hack Nashville, the event drew more than 300 participants who took part in the gathering November 7-9 where computer programmers and coders came together to collaborate on innovative products during the course of a weekend.

“So much innovation is coming out of these events,” said Dr. Sachin Shetty, assistant professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and one of the team leaders. “This was a great opportunity for our students to apply concepts they learn in the classroom to real-world applications. It was a tremendous boost to show the students exactly what they are capable of accomplishing.”

Hackathons have been around since the late 1990s and have sometimes been called a hackday or codefest where “hackers” meet other hackers, team up according to skill and interest, then collaborate and show off their final product. This is the sixth event hosted in Nashville since 2012 where organizers provide developers and designers a place to come together in a completely organic, unrestricted environment to create.

Shetty and co-team leader, Dr. Tamara Rogers, associate professor of Computer Science, helped prepare the engineering and computer science students compete in the cognitive exercise to develop solutions to real-world problems.

“We worked with other universities in the area to garner more student participation and interest in the event that has traditionally not been opened to students,” added Shetty. “Our students then came up with some unique concepts to demonstrate.”

A 10-member team of TSU students developed two projects at the event.  One project dealt with addressing the problem of controlling any software on a computer without using a keyboard or mouse, called a gesture-free recognition system.

The solution involved using the hands to interact with software on the computer. The team developed a system that used an armband to act as a sensor to control any program.

For example, the armband could enable hands-free audio mixing by altering pitch and volume of musical tones in any type of computer software by simply waving the hands.

Another team developed a low-cost mobile robot that teaches design principles, simple machines, and energy transfer to students in 5th and 6th grades.

“This opportunity was important to our students because it showed them what they are learning in the classroom has real-world applications and can be used to benefit and impact society,” said Shetty. “It also boosted their confidence knowing they have the skills, knowledge and ability to use this experience and take it to the next level and become marketable in any industry.”

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, agrees, noting the hackathon itself offered a taste of real-world experience to students who are just used to specific assignments from instructors.

“It is important we continue to challenge our students in the classroom and laboratory to enhance their critical-thinking skills, and, at the same time, promote team-based learning while they are students,” Hargrove said. “This will make them more competitive when they graduate and enter the workforce.”

 

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

10th Research Forum for the Arts draws largest crowd, most participants

This year's winners for the Research Forum for the Arts included (l-r) Kendra Thompson, Barris Johnson, and Tyla Daniels. (courtesy photo)
This year’s winners for the Research Forum for the Arts included (l-r) Kendra Thompson, Barris Johnson, and Tyla Daniels. (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Students from the departments of Art, Communications and Music at Tennessee State University had the opportunity to present individual works research and scholarly inquiry to fellow students and faculty Nov. 18 during the 10th Research Forum for the Arts.

“So much of what students produce in their classes in these departments is creative in nature such as a play, performance or exhibit,” said Dr. Terry Likes, Chair of the department of Communications. “This forum is a way to showcase the research conducted in these disciplines.  Our turnout was the biggest and best to date.”

Seven undergraduate and two graduate students gave oral presentations in the Recital Hall at the Performing Arts Center before moving to the rotunda for judging of nearly 30 poster presentations.

Several faculty members from each department served as judges, including Adam Key from communications, Kerry Frazier from the department of music, and Samuel Dunson from the art department.

The winners received prize money for the competition, and included $100 to the best graduate student oral presenter, $100 to the best undergraduate student oral presenter and $50 to the best poster presentation.

This year’s winners were:

  • Best Graduate Student Presenter: Barris Johnson, Music, “The Music of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition”
  • Best Undergraduate Student Presenter: Kendra Thompson, senior, Communication Studies, “What’s Your Style: Communication Styles of Adults without Siblings”
  • Best Poster Presenter: Tyla Daniels, senior, Mass Communication, “#HBCU?”

The Research Forum is sponsored annually by the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research.  For more information, contact Nannette Martin, Office of Sponsored Programs and Research at nmartin@tnstate.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 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University Helps Students Travel the World with Passport Fair

Monique Miller (left), a sophomore Nursing major at Tennessee State University, discusses the passport application process with Linda Coffield, passport specialist. The University held a special passport fair  to help make international travel easier for students, faculty and staff. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
Monique Miller (left), a sophomore Nursing major at Tennessee State University, discusses the passport application process with Linda Coffield, passport specialist. The University held a special passport fair to help make international travel easier for students, faculty and staff. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The next time Monique Miller travels she hopes to hear the words, “may I see your passport please?”

The sophomore Nursing major at Tennessee State University was able to move one step closer to her goal Tuesday when she attended the University’s 3rd annual Passport Fair, where she submitted her application for the all-important travel document that will help her see the world.

Miller wants to travel to France, New Amsterdam and Berlin this summer to study developmental psychology and knew today’s passport fair would help move her along her way.

“Ever since I started here, I wanted to study abroad,” said the Indiana native. “The (passport) fair was convenient and they even waived some fees so it was the perfect time to get the process started.”

Now in its third year, the Passport Fair is a joint effort by the Student Government Association and the Office of Diversity and International Affairs, to help make international travel easier for students, faculty and staff. According to Mark Brinkley, director of International Education, acquiring a passport has been one of the biggest barriers to the study-abroad program and a reason the two organizations joined forces.

“We started this program three years ago when then SGA president, David Rowles, saw a need to help our students participate in study abroad programs,” said Brinkley. “We were able to work with the U.S. Department of State to bring the one-stop passport fair here to students so they really have no reason not to apply for one.”

Government officials traveled from South Carolina to the University this week specifically for the Passport Fair, and not only will help students here, but will also travel to Vanderbilt and Belmont universities as part of a joint venture.

“This is a first for any Tennessee Board of Regents institution and we’ve been able to help not only our students here at Tennessee State, but also some of our partner institutions,” added Brinkley. “We know our students are not the only ones who travel outside of the U.S. We want to help all global travelers, whether they be our students or our neighbors.”

Since the Passport Fair began in 2012, nearly 120 students have applied and received passports. Brinkley said he expects to help an additional 20-30 through this year’s fair.

“This truly is an opportunity for students to receive a cross-cultural experience through the study-abroad programs,” added Brinkley. “But the first step is getting the passport.”

 

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University Installs Cutting-Edge Technology in Pursuit of Teaching and Research

Researchers at Tennessee State University are using state-of-the art technology, such as this new 3-D printer, to develop educational course content and research projects. TSU acquired the printer as part of a three-year Capacity Building Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate the impacts of urbanization on rural communities and agriculture operations in Williamson County, Tennessee. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
Researchers at Tennessee State University are using state-of-the art technology, such as this new 3-D printer, to develop educational course content and research projects. TSU acquired the printer as part of a three-year Capacity Building Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate the impacts of urbanization on rural communities and agriculture operations in Williamson County, Tennessee. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – It sounds like something out of a science fiction movie. Researchers are using the latest technology to create artificial organs, prosthetics, jewelry and even automobiles…all with the help of a three-dimensional printer.

Now researchers at Tennessee State University are looking for ways to use this state-of-the-art technology to print everything from high-resolution models to detailed prototypes.

Dr. George Smith, assistant professor of Landscape Architecture and Extension Specialist in the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, is currently developing new research projects and educational course content to take advantage of the MakerBot Replicator 2 three-dimensional printer. The equipment was purchased with funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as part of a three-year Capacity Building Grant to investigate the impacts of urbanization on rural communities and agriculture operations in Williamson County, Tennessee.

Smith, who holds degrees in Regional Planning and Environmental Design & Rural Development, has high hopes for the potential of 3-D printers and other new technologies embraced by the college.

“3-D printers and other emerging technologies are evolving as powerful research and educational tools,” Smith said. “They have numerous benefits to both students and researchers across many disciplines, including engineering, agriculture, math, biology, geology, health science, and the arts.”

The 3-D printer, which uses a renewable, nontoxic bioplastic made from corn, includes sophisticated printing software that works in tandem with design tools to allow users to produce high-resolution prototypes and models up to 410 cubic inches. According to Smith, this technology will empower TSU students, and foster improved learning and engagement.

“3-D printing allows students to visually comprehend a concept or theory by creating a physical, three-dimensional translation,” Smith said. “Most importantly, this allows us to physically interact with these concepts, manipulating working parts and making accurate adjustments so we can continuously improve on the original.”

Not only is the goal to develop educational content based on 3-D printing applications, said Smith, but the technology will also be used to deliver workshops beginning January 2015 for stakeholders in Williamson County. The workshops will train participants on the impacts of urbanization, including increased flooding and degradation of soils, and water quality in the county.

“A few of the participants will have training in mapping, design, construction and terraforming for remediation purposes,” added Smith. “However, the 3D printers will facilitate this educational process regardless of past training in these areas.”

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

 

 

 

Tennessee State University Alumna and Longtime Media Expert Named Executive Vice President at RLJ Entertainment

Traci Otey Blunt
Traci Otey Blunt

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Traci Otey Blunt, a 1990 cum laude graduate of Tennessee State University, has been named executive vice president of marketing and corporate affairs at RLJ Entertainment Inc., a premier independent owner, developer, licensee, and distributor of entertainment content and programming.

In her new role, Blunt will oversee the company’s marketing, public relations and investor relations, as well as the promotion of the newly launched RLJE Urban Movie Channel, a digital channel that will feature urban-themed movies showcasing drama, documentaries, comedies, horror and stage plays.

For the last six years, Traci served as senior vice president of corporate communications and public affairs at The RLJ Companies, the holding company of RLJ Entertainment. Prior to joining RLJ Companies, the veteran media, political, and public affairs specialist served as a deputy communications director to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the 2008 presidential campaign.

In announcing Blunt’s appointment, the founder of RLJ Companies and Chairman of RLJ Entertainment, Robert L. Johnson, said she has proven to be an invaluable executive in promoting and executing the business goals and objectives of The RLJ Companies.

“I believe appointing her (Blunt) to RLJE as Corporate EVP to perform these functions, as well as focus heavily on the marketing and promotion of UMC is an ideal fit,” said Johnson, who is also founder of Black Entertainment Television. “I am confident that with Traci joining the RLJE management team, her expertise will be beneficial to the company as a whole and help our strategic launch of UMC.”

Blunt, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from TSU, serves on several boards, including Malaria No More, ColorComm, and the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials Foundation. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.

“This job is every job I’ve ever had all rolled into one,” Blunt once said upon her appointment as senior vice president at The RLJ Companies. “I always say that I’m never going to leave.”

RLJ is the holding company for 13 diverse business entities ranging from automotive, private equity, financial services, to sports and entertainment.

 

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University Professor Selected for Accreditation Council Appeals Committee

Dr. Carole de Casal
Dr. Carole de Casal

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Council for the Accreditation for Educator Preparation (CAEP) has selected a professor from Tennessee State University to serve on one of the most prestigious slots for its accreditation committee.

Dr. Carole de Casal, professor of Educational Leadership and former chair of the Department of Educational Leadership, has been selected as a member of the Executive Appeals Committee. She was one of only 10 in the nation chosen to perform in this role for the new organization. The committee will be responsible for reconsideration and decision when a university does not pass their accreditation and chooses to appeal.

CAEP takes the place of the long-standing National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and advances educator preparation through evidence-based accreditation that assures quality, and supports continuous improvement to strengthen P-12 student learning.

de Casal has more than 25 years of experience with accreditation, and more than 20 years working as both a team leader and team member for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the southern states. She has also worked as a State Board of Examiner for the NCATE, and more than 10 years working as a state program approver for sponsored programs administrations.

She has also served a Research I Carnegie University as the director of Accreditation for three campuses and eight colleges, serving in this capacity when Hurricane Katrina destroyed one of the campuses under state and national review for its first accreditation in 10 years. Both campuses subsequently passed their accreditations. In fact, the review was videotaped and distributed as the model for a way in which an NCATE and state review should be conducted.

Additionally, de Casal has led four other institution departments and colleges through accreditations, three of which were recognized as national models for the way in which accreditation reviews should be conducted.

The appointment comes on the heels of another selection for de Casal. She was recently selected to become a member of International Women’s Leadership Association. Few women professionals are invited for membership, and those who qualify have to make significant national and international contributions to their chosen career arena, the national and international community, and the national and international family unit.

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Richard Dent going into Black College Football HOF

Richard Dent - HS
Former Tennessee State All-American defensive end Richard Dent will be inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame in 2015. He was among seven players going into the Hall from a list of 25 finalists. (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Former Tennessee State All-American defensive end Richard Dent will be inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame in 2015.

Dent is among seven players going into the Hall from a list of 25 finalists. The announcement was made Wednesday.

Dent was a three-time All-American who recorded 39 sacks during his TSU career (1979-82) along with 158 tackles.

TSU retired Dent’s jersey No. 95 in 2013 after he became the first former Tigers player inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011.

Dent was an eighth-round pick of the Chicago Bears in the 1983 NFL draft. In 1986 he was named most valuable player of Super Bowl XX.

In his 15 NFL seasons, which also included stints with the 49ers, Colts and Eagles, Dent recorded 137.5 sacks.

Joining Dent in the Black College Football Hall of Fame 2015 class is Roger Brown (Maryland Eastern Shore), L.C. Greenwood (Arkansas at Pine Bluff), Ernie “Big Cat” Ladd (Grambling State), Ken Riley (Florida A&M), Donnie Shell (South Carolina State) and Coach W.C. Gorden (Jackson State). The seven were selected by a 13-member committee of journalists, commentators, historians and former NFL executives.

Richard DentInductees will be honored at the Sixth annual Black College Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta on Feb. 28, 2015.

The Hall was established in 2009 to honor the best players and coaches from historically black colleges and universities. The additional seven inductees now brings the number  to 58. Among those already enshrined are Grambling’s Buck Buchanan, Mississippi Valley State’s David “Deacon” Jones, Bethune-Cookman’s Larry Little, Alcorn State’s Steve McNair, Jackson State’s Walter Payton, Mississippi Valley State’s Jerry Rice, Alabama A&M wide receiver John Stallworth, Texas Southern defensive end Michael Strahan and Grambling coach Eddie Robinson.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.