Category Archives: NEWS

Tennessee State University Faculty, Staff Contribute more than $141,000 to Keep Students in School

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University faculty and staff are making sure students stay in school through their gifts.

On Saturday, Nov. 11, before a cheering crowd in Hale Stadium, the group presented President Glenda Glover with a check for $141,451 as part of their commitment to scholarship and student support.

The presentation was made during the halftime show of the game between TSU and Southeast Missouri.

Glover called the faculty and staff contribution “a very personal and strong commitment to our students’ needs.”

“We appreciate the faculty and staff for their commitment to help students remain in school,” Glover said. “It shows dedication from all elements of the university – from the faculty and staff to alumni, students, the community – because we are one big TSU family.”

Dr. Achintya Ray, chair of the Faculty Senate, said faculty and staff are “solidly behind our students” and their learning needs.

“I am very proud of the faculty and staff commitment to this great institution and what they are doing for our students, so that they can graduate and go on and make great careers for themselves and make us proud,” Ray said.

Linda Goodman, chair of the Staff Senate, agreed.

“We are committed to make all possible contributions that we can to help our students matriculate through to graduation,” Goodman said. “We care about our students and we thank them for choosing TSU, because if they weren’t here, we wouldn’t be here either.”

Participating in the check presentation along with Ray and Goodman were Eloise Abernathy Alexis, associate vice president of Institutional Advancement; Cassandra Griggs, director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving; and Rosalyn Word, co-chair of the Faculty Staff Annual Giving Campaign.

Alexis said the check from the faculty and staff was part of their 2016-17 commitment.

“Today is an exciting moment because not only do our faculty and staff give of their time, talent and treasure every day in support of out students, but also go into their own hard-earned dollars to give back to the TSU Foundation to support the various programs, scholarships, academic programs and others,” she said. “It says to outsiders that those who are closest to our TSU experience love it enough to sacrifice to give. And so why wouldn’t others?”

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, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU honors alumnus and Medal of Honor recipient at Veterans Day program

Dr. Mark Hardy, TSU’s vice president of academic affairs, addresses Veterans Day attendees. (Photo by Lucas Johnson, TSU Public Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee Congressman Jim Cooper joined community leaders and other lawmakers at a special Veterans Day program at Tennessee State University on Friday that posthumously honored an alumnus and Medal of Honor recipient.

Lt. William McBryar, a Buffalo Soldier, was awarded America’s highest military decoration for his actions on March 7, 1890, during the Cherry Creek Campaign in the Arizona Territory. According to his citation, McBryar was distinguished for “coolness, bravery and marksmanship” while his 10th Cavalry troop was in pursuit of hostile Apache warriors.

“Medal of Honor recipients … are some of the most outstanding people in all of our nation’s history,” Cooper said after the program. “I’m so proud that a TSU graduate received that medal.”

Dating back to the Civil War, there have been 3,498 Medal of Honor recipients. Of that number, 90 are black – and Lt. McBryar is one of them.

Wreath honoring veterans. (photo by John Cross, TSU Public Relations)

“We are acutely aware of the paucity of African Americans who have received such an honor,” said Dr. Mark Hardy, TSU’s vice president for academic affairs.  “We are very excited to be one of the institutions to have been a part of the educational experience our Medal of Honor recipient, Lt. William McBryar, received many years ago.”

Lt. Col. Sharon Presley, Air Force ROTC Det 790 commander stationed at TSU, echoed Hardy’s sentiment.

“From the perspective of a military officer, to know of someone who achieved the nation’s highest honor, is awe-inspiring,” Presley said. “He was a soldier’s soldier.”

Dr. Learotha Williams, an associate professor of history at TSU, gave a tribute to McBryar during the program. He lauded McBryar for overcoming racial barriers, and for his bravery.

“This is the kind of guy who was running toward gunfire, rather than seeking cover,” Williams said.

Dr. Learotha Williams, associate professor of history at TSU, gives tribute to Lt. William McBryar. (photo by John Cross, TSU Public Relations)

McBryar went on to serve with the 25th Infantry in the Spanish-American war and fought at El Caney, Cuba. He also saw action in the Philippine Insurrection before demobilizing in San Francisco.

In 1906, after leaving the military, McBryar moved to Greensboro, North Carolina as a civilian and there he married Sallie Waugh, a nurse. Three years later, he worked as a watchman at Arlington National Cemetery and as a military instructor at what is now Saint Paul’s College.

In 1933, with a desire to complete his degree, McBryar attended Tennessee Agricultural & Industrial State University. He graduated the following year, at age 73, with an agriculture degree, finishing a college education that started at Saint Augustine’s University before he enlisted in the military.

McBryar went on to write for “The Bulletin,” a publication at Tennessee State, addressing issues related to social justice and developments in Germany

Dale Rich, a nationally recognized Medal of Honor researcher, began collecting information on McBryar more than 30 years ago after seeing his name on a list of Medal of Honor recipients at the National Archives and Records Administration. When he discovered McBryar graduated from Tennessee A&I, he made copies of the documents he gathered about McBryar and sent them to TSU where they are in special collections in the university’s library.

Medal of Honor researcher Dale Rich with portrait of Lt. William McBryar. (photo by John Cross, TSU Public Relations)

Rich attended Friday’s Veterans Day program at TSU, and said he’s glad to see McBryar being honored.

“We should never allow any of our heroes to be forgotten,” Rich said. “He was an outstanding person.”

Keshawn Lipscomb is NCOIC of administration management in TSU’s AFROTC program. He said the university is fortunate to have the materials Rich collected on McBryar.

“That’s what’s really allowed us to honor him (McBryar) here today,” Lipscomb said.

Tennessee Rep. Harold Love, Jr., said McBryar’s story should encourage non-traditional students considering completing a degree, or pursuing one..

“For him, education at 73 was not about getting a job, but it was about completing something he had started,” Love said. “And so, for students out there, we say, keep pushing, keep striving, let this story inspire you.”

McBryar died in 1941 at the age of 80. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. A Tennessee Historical marker honoring him will be unveiled at TSU early next year.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University to Host National Higher Education Emergency Management Conference

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University has been selected as the host institution for the 2018 Best Practices in Higher Education Emergency Management Conference May 22-24.

The sixth annual conference will bring together more than 200 emergency management practitioners, first responders, consultants and volunteers to share best practices and lessons learned.

TSU was awarded the Best Practice Trophy for its unique urban-agriculture and cutting-edge emergency preparedness initiatives. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

TSU, the first HBCU selected to host the conference, was recognized for its unique urban-agriculture and cutting-edge emergency preparedness initiatives that have earned the university many accolades including a Storm Ready designation.

As a result of the recognition, TSU was presented with the Best Practice Trophy at this year’s conference at Virginia Tech, and subsequently selected to host the 2018 conference.

“We are honored to be selected as the host of next year’s conference,” said Dr. Curtis Johnson, associate vice president for administration and chief of staff. “We have made major strides in preparing the university against natural disaster and acts of terrorism. To be recognized as a Best Practice institution shows that Tennessee State University is in the right direction in ensuring that we provide a safe and secure environment for our students, staff and faculty.”

Thomas Graham, director of TSU’s Office of Emergency Management, said TSU looks forward to the conference and to let participants from other institutions see some of the initiatives TSU has put in place to keep its campus safe.

Graham noted that TSU offers “several preparedness classes for faculty, staff and students, as well as alumni and the Jefferson Street community.”

For more information about Emergency Management, the conference, and to find out about preparedness classes, visit

http://www.tnstate.edu/emergency/emconf2018.aspx

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 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 choir members part of spirited performance at 51st CMA Awards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Members of Tennessee State University’s Choir  joined a Nashville ensemble in a spirited performance at the recent 51st Country Music Association Awards in Nashville.

Members of the Tennessee State University Choir served as backup singers at the Country Music Association Awards Wednesday night. (Submitted photo)

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

“It was an amazing experience with about 20,000 people in the audience cheering us on,” said Dre Pinson, a senior general music education major from Nashville, who is president of the TSU Choir. “Talk about adrenaline rushing out, talk about the pressure. They were very polite and very welcoming, especially when they realized that we were from TSU. They were very honored to have some local people behind them to support them.”

Thomas J.  Taylor III, another member of the choir, said he was glad to have the opportunity to once again showcase TSU’s excellence.

“Thanks to our director, Dr. (Susan Kelly) for putting us out there,” said Taylor, a junior music education major from Nashville. “I was excited that we were going to be in front of all those people on live TV.”

Dr. Kelly described the invitation from the CMA and the experience as “very humbling.”

“We got to not only sing with, but to interact with, some of the greatest Country Music artists alive today,” she said. “Our students are doing great things and I am proud to say that I teach at TSU!”

For more information on the Tennessee State University Choir, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/music/choir.aspx

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 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 Research May Prevent Unnecessary Hurricane Evacuations

A team of engineers, including Dr. Muhammad K. Akbar, Tennessee State University Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, is diligently working to more accurately predict which areas should be evacuated during threats of hurricanes.

Dr. Muhammad K. Akbar

Akbar said when people are asked to evacuate unnecessarily, they lose trust and become less likely to evacuate when future warnings are given. Accurate surge storm predictions save lives and properties through timely evacuations, he said.

The team is developing a new implicit solver-based storm surge model called CaMEL(Computation and Modeling Engineering Laboratory).  It is being evaluated against ADCIRC (ADvanced CIRCulation Model), an established storm surge model.  Akbar said that while the ADCIRC model is faster, CaMEL is more stable.

Storm surge, according to the National Weather Service, is the change in the water level that is due to the presence of the storm. Storm surges are caused primarily by the strong winds in a hurricane or tropical storm.

Akbar said they input meteorological data approximately every six hours to forecast the hurricane’s wind track and strength for the entire duration through its landfall and beyond. Their results help emergency management to communicate with first responders which areas should be evacuated.

“Our goal is to merge the good features of both models in one to improve our prediction capabilities,” he said.  Scientists are working on different fronts to understand the complex physics of hurricanes and evolution of storm surges.

“Understanding the underlying physics will help us to improve the prediction capabilities of hurricane storm surges,” Akbar said.  “An accurate storm surge model could save millions of dollars by preventing unnecessary evacuations.”

A native of Bangladesh, Akbar cites the devastation caused by the Bhola Cyclone that killed nearly 500,000 people in his homeland in 1970, as one of the major motivations for his research.

Aided by a $209,403 grant from the National Science Foundation, Akbar also receives funding from the Department of Homeland Security and the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center.

Part of his work includes advising graduate students like Kyra Bryant, who is currently pursing a doctorate in Computer Information Systems Engineering at TSU. Bryant received the Graduate Master’s Thesis Award in February at the Tennessee Conference of Graduate Schools for her research on storm surges.

“Receiving the award is a great honor for Ms. Bryant, and all of us at Tennessee State University,” Akbar said. “It is an encouragement and motivation for us to advance the research to the next level.”

According to NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, each year, the United States averages some 10,000 thunderstorms, 5,000 floods, 1,300 tornadoes and two Atlantic hurricanes, as well as widespread droughts and wildfires. Weather, water and climate events, cause an average of approximately 650 deaths and $15 billion in damage per year and are responsible for some 90 percent of all presidentially-declared disasters.

 

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, 25 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 plans special Veterans Day program on Nov. 10 to honor alumnus and Medal of Honor recipient

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University will honor its veterans on Nov. 10 and pay special tribute to a university alum and Medal of Honor recipient.

Lt. William McBryar, a Buffalo Soldier, was awarded America’s highest military decoration for his actions on March 7, 1890, during the Cherry Creek Campaign in the Arizona Territory. According to his citation, McBryar was distinguished for “coolness, bravery and marksmanship” while his 10th Cavalry troop was in pursuit of hostile Apache warriors.

McBryar died in 1941 at the age of 80, but he will be honored posthumously at TSU’s Veterans Day program. McBryar was 73 when he got his bachelor’s degree in agriculture from then-Tennessee Agricultural & Industrial State University.

Dating back to the Civil War, there have been 3,498 Medal of Honor recipients. Of that number, 90 are black – and Lt. McBryar is one of them.

“We are acutely aware of the paucity of African Americans who have received such an honor,” said Dr. Mark Hardy, Tennessee State University’s vice president for academic affairs.  “We are very excited to be one of the institutions to have been a part of the educational experience our Medal of Honor recipient, Lt. William McBryar, received many years ago.”

Lt Col Sharon Presley, Air Force ROTC Det 790 commander stationed at TSU, echoed Hardy’s sentiment.

Display honoring Lt. William McBryar in TSU library (Submitted photo)

“From the perspective of a military officer, to know of someone who achieved the nation’s highest honor, is awe-inspiring,” Presley said. “He was a soldier’s soldier.”

McBryar went on to serve with the 25th Infantry in the Spanish-American war and fought at El Caney, Cuba. He also saw action in the Philippine Insurrection before demobilizing in San Francisco.

In 1906, after leaving the military, McBryar moved to Greensboro, North Carolina as a civilian and there he married Sallie Waugh, a nurse. Three years later, he worked as a watchman at Arlington National Cemetery and as a military instructor at what is now Saint Paul’s College.

In 1933, with a desire to complete his degree, McBryar attended Tennessee A & I. He graduated the following year, finishing a college education that started at Saint Augustine’s University before he enlisted in the military.

McBryar went on to write for Tennessee State’s publication, “The Bulletin,” addressing issues related to social justice and developments in Germany.

McBryar is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. A Tennessee Historical marker honoring him will be unveiled at TSU early next year.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 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.

Former NFL Star and Nashville Public School Director Among Speakers to Visit TSU for College Prep Workshop

by Michael McLendon

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University alumnus and retired NFL athlete Randy Fuller and Metro Nashville Public Schools Superintendent Shawn Joseph will speak to hundreds of area high school students at a free college prep workshop at TSU scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 18.

TSU alum and retired NFL athlete Randy Fuller

Sponsored by Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Gamma Phi Chapter in association with TSU, REALSPORTS Leadership Academy and Belmont University, the workshop will kick-off at 8:30 a.m. in the Robert N. Murrell Forum.

The deadline for registration to attend the college prep workshop at Tennessee State University is Nov. 6. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/2hssd1Z .

“We are trying to open up to the community the process for going to college, particularly for African American students,” said Roderick Owens, the workshop’s main organizer. “We found out that a lot of times they are not prepared. The workshop is intended to get them ready and also introduce them to some opportunities for scholarships.”

He said 9th and 10th graders will attend a session on the importance of college, the college path curriculum, good study habits and time management. Eleventh and 12th graders will explore the college path curriculum, improving GPAs, ACT PREP, ACT test scores, and the Gamma Phi Scholarship.

Gamma Phi offers four $2,000 scholarships to male and female students who are freshmen entering college for the first time.

Fuller, who spent six years in the NFL, played in 1996 Super Bowl with the Pittsburg Steelers and the 1999 Super Bowl with the Atlanta Falcons. He is remembered by many for breaking up a “Hail Mary” pass during the closing seconds of the AFC championship game in 1996 that secured the Steelers trip to the Super Bowl.

During an interview published in February by Sports & Entertainment Nashville, Fuller credited TSU’s staff and coaches for his successful transition into the NFL.

“I was attracted to Tennessee State University because of its rich tradition in producing quality people on and off the field. Tennessee State was not only concerned about you for four years, but for the next forty years,” he said. “They made it a point that each student would have the necessary skills to contribute to society in a meaningful way.”

Fuller currently works for Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center which offers an environment for women ages 12 and older who struggles with eating disorders, substance abuse, mood disorders, trauma and co-occurring disorders.

Metro Nashville Public Schools Superintendent Shawn Joseph

Barbara Murrell is the founder of REALSPORT Leadership Academy, a pre-college summer program that gives student athletes a head start for college through workshops and activities designed to promote personal, cultural and social development. She said the workshop is one way of helping students become successful in college.

“We don’t want to just get these young people in college. We want them to be successful when they get there,” Murrell said. “We do time management and study skill preparation. We help them with the ACT. We do life-skill development. We help them to build their self-confidence and more,” she added.

Dr. Shawn Joseph serves 86,000 students in urban, rural, and suburban communities. Since taking over as director in July 2016, his administration has provided more targeted literacy instruction, developed new K-12 literacy curricula aligned to the Tennessee standards, expanded ACT support in high schools, and funded all high school advanced coursework and career and technical education fees for all students.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 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.

 

Former State Auditor Adrian Davis is the New Director of Internal Audit at Tennessee State University

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A longtime accounting expert who is no stranger to Tennessee State University has returned to the university as the new director of internal audit.

Adrian R. Davis

Adrian R. Davis, a certified public accountant, served for 11 years as a legislative auditor with the Tennessee Division of State Audit. During that time she performed seven external audits at TSU.

Also a certified government financial manager, Davis holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Alabama A&M University, and a master’s degree, also in accounting from Tennessee Technological University. She will report directly to TSU President Glenda Glover.

TSU’s Vice President for Business and Finance Cynthia Brooks described Davis as someone with “a wealth of audit experience” that will have an immediate positive impact in her new role at the university.

“Most employees in the Division of Business and Finance have worked with Ms. Davis for several years in her former role with State Audit, so we are familiar with her professionalism, integrity, commitment and collegiality,” Brooks said.  “I feel she will consistently meet the high standards the president and Board of Trustees require.”

Davis, who started her new role on Oct. 16, said she has always held “a special affinity” for the university.

“I am honored to be in this position,” Davis said. “Over the past 11 years I have come to know many of the staff here. I am excited to now be a part of the university.”

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, 25 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 Sophomore with Dream to Become a Military Lawyer Receives $18,000 Scholarship from the U.S. Air Force

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Katelyn Thompson’s dream is to be a military lawyer or judge advocate general. The TSU sophomore is well on her way after receiving a $18,000 scholarship from the U.S. Air Force.

On Oct. 25, Thompson, a criminal justice major, signed a contract with the Air Force and was sworn in as a cadet. As part of her contract, she received the scholarship under the Air Force’s Type 2 scholarship program, which covers tuition, fees and books. She will train with the AFROTC Detachment 790 at Tennessee State University.

Cadet Katelyn Thompson’s family attended her swearing-in ceremony in AFROTC wing on the main TSU campus. From left are: Lt. Col. Sharon Presley; Morris Brown, Thompson’s grandfather; Clarese Brown, grandmother; sister Bria Ingram; and auntie Barbara Brown. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Lt. Col. Sharon Presley, the Detachment Commander, conducted the swearing-in ceremony in the AFROTC wing on the main campus. She said Thompson, who is the Honor Guard commander, has been with the program since her freshman year.

“Cadet Thompson has got an incredible track record of success since coming to us as a freshman,” Presley said. “As far as academics, physical fitness and leadership among the cadets, she has proven herself to be quite capable.”

Thompson said her passion for becoming a military lawyer goes as far back as her freshman year in high school. She said she enjoys arguing and debating.

“The reason I want to be a JAG is an aspiration I have had for law since I was in high school,” said Thompson, whose family has a rich military history. “Additionally, my family is definitely military. I have a stepfather that’s in the Army; I have a grandfather that was in the Air Force. It (military) runs in the family and I want to keep that tradition going.”

Morris Brown, Thompson’s grandfather, who was a member of the AFROTC as a student at TSU, attended the swearing-in ceremony with Thompson’s grandmother Clarese Brown, sister Bria Ingram, and auntie Barbara Brown.

“Katelyn is very special and the family is here to support her dream,” Morris Brown said. “I am extremely proud that she is getting this scholarship.”

Presley said Thompson will compete for an enrollment allocation for field training this coming summer.

“If she successfully completes that training, then she will go on two more years with ROTC and be commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the U.S. Air Force,” Presley said.

Thompson is thankful to TSU and the Air Force for her scholarship.

“It is always my dream to strive for excellence, and if it were not for TSU, I wouldn’t have this opportunity. I am very thankful,” she said.

Also attending the swearing-in ceremony was Joni McReynolds, president of the TSU National Alumni Association; and June Michaut, president of the TSU Veterans/Military Alumni Chapter.

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, 25 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 Students’ Research Focus on Finding Cure for Heart Disease, Cancer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Two Tennessee State University students and their professors have embarked on research projects that could lead to prevention, and possibly a cure, for the nation’s deadliest diseases: cancer and heart disease.

Orica Kutten is a sophomore biology major. (Photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

Jaquantey Bowen, a senior biochemistry major, and Orica Kutten, a sophomore majoring in biology, presented their projects to fellow students and faculty on Friday during the inaugural Honors Ted Talk, a forum organized by the Honors College to give students and faculty an opportunity to present their work to the campus community.

Motivated by personal tragedies in his family, Bowen, of Fishers, Indiana, has made it his life mission to put an end to heart disease, which is responsible for nearly 610,000 deaths in America each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

His research project, “A Potential Avenue to Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease: An Analysis of the Effect of Genetically-Induced Hypercholesterolemia on Zebrafish,” has also been presented at Harvard and the Brigham Young Women’s Hospital, where it received rave review.

Near his 18th birthday while a freshman at TSU, Bowen’s maternal grandfather died from heart disease, the same disease that claimed his paternal grandfather’s life and several others in his family.

“From that day forward, I vowed to put an end to heart disease,” said Bowen, a graduate of the highly competitive Harvard BWH Stars Program for Summer Research. He maintains a 4.0 GPA and has done field research with “some of the best and notable experts in cardiology.”

“The science behind my research is basically to look at the fundamental mechanisms that lead to heart disease, especially the connection between high cholesterol and atherosclerosis,” said Bowen, who will receive a bachelor’s degree with concentration in cell and molecular biology and a minor in chemistry.

For Kutten, her research project, “Microtubule Actin Crosslinking Factor 1 a Target in Glioblastomas,” or MACF1, aims to identify new and novel targets for the treatment of cancer and to improve therapies for a variety of different cancers.

A native of Cape Coast, Ghana, Kutten said growing up in Africa, much of the discussions were around malaria, a tropical infectious disease.

“But when I learned that cancer was the second cause of deaths, I knew it was an area I would like to study,” Kutten said. “During my time in the lab I have actually learned a lot of concepts that I didn’t actually know before, and which have been very helpful in my research.”

Dr. Coreen Jackson, interim dean of the Honors College, said the importance of Bowens’ and Kutten’s research topics and the participation in the forum are some of the reasons why Ted Talk was established.

“Ted Talk is a wonderful opportunity for all students from all areas to share their research, to share their inventions and creations with the TSU community,” Jackson said. “It is one thing to do all this wonderful research and it just sits on the desk or it is published in the book and no body hears about it. So anyone who has something to share is invited to Ted Talk.”

Mariel Liggin, a freshman biochemistry major, was one of the many students who attended the forum. She said she was impressed by the two presentations, which encouraged her to get more serious about developing her own projects.

“I am glad I came,” Liggin said. Coming here and listening to Jaquantey and Orica gave me an idea of what to do when I start my own research.”

Department of Media Relations

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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, 25 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.