Category Archives: NEWS

Tennessee State University to Screen National Documentary on African-Americans and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights

375652_537889596246236_36807159_nNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) -The New Black, a documentary, which tells the story of how the African-American community is grappling with the gay rights issue in light of the recent same-sex marriage movement and the fight over civil rights, will be screened at Tennessee State University on Thursday, Oct. 16.

In collaboration with the Gay Straight Alliance, a TSU student group, and the Nashville Black Pride, the University has planned a number of weeklong activities to coincide with the screening as part of TSU’s first celebration of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) History Month in October.

According to Tiffany Cox, the director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, the screening and celebration are a result of TSU receiving part of a $4,000 grant from the Human Rights Campaign. TSU is one of four historically black colleges and universities that received the grant to use the award-winning documentary “as a tool to advance on-campus LGBT inclusion.”

“Because of our strong commitment to ensuring a campus climate of equality and inclusion, we saw the announcement requesting proposals for this grant and we applied for it,” said Cox “We were elated when we received notification in the summer that TSU had been selected.”

The New Black, directed by Yoruba Richen, explores how race, faith, justice and identity intersected in Maryland’s politically powerful African American community in 2012 as the state prepared to vote on marriage equality. It comes on the heels of recent reports showing that while many majority-white colleges and universities have embraced the call for LGBT inclusion, HBCUs have been notably slow to extend their historical mission of social justice to the success of their LGBT students.

rainbow fist-1“TSU is very pleased to screen this documentary, and to host discussions and activities that promote the equal treatment of all students on our campus,” Cox said, reminding the community about the University’s “strong policy” against harassment or discrimination of any kind.

Visibly pleased and upbeat that TSU is screening The New Black documentary and hosting programs to mark LGBT History Month is Iesha Milliner, president of TSU’s Gay Straight Alliance, who contributed in developing the proposal for the HRC grant.

“I am glad that for the first time TSU is showing such support for the Alliance in its 10 years on this campus,” said Milliner, a junior Art Education major from Nashville. “The campus screening of The New Black will bring the student body together and provide answers to many questions that are asked on a daily basis. My greatest hope is that this event will open the eyes of this community to the LGBTQ issues that exist on this campus.”

The New Black has screened in more than 85 cities around the country through ITVS’s Community Cinema public education and civic engagement initiative. The documentary has garnered numerous awards, including the Audience Award at Philadelphia QFest, AFI Docs and Frameline International LGBT Film Festival, where it also received an honorable mention as Outstanding Documentary Feature. At New York City’s Urbanworld Film Festival, it won the jury award for Best Documentary Feature.

Other HBCUs that received funding to screen the documentary are Alabama State University, Johnson C. Smith University and Spellman College.

The screening at TSU on October 16 is at 5:30 p.m., in the Floyd Payne Campus Center Forum. Other events marking LGBT History Month will begin October 13-17. They will include displays, nationally recognized motivational speakers, panel discussions, free HIV screenings and workshops. For registration and more information, go to: http://www.tnstate.edu/eeoaa/tsusafezone.aspx

 

 

 

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

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 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.

Long-Time Educators to be Honored at 2014 Scholarship Gala

Drs. McDonald and Jamye Williams, long time educators at Tennessee State University will be honored during 2014 Scholarship Gala, "An Evening of Honors."
Drs. McDonald and Jamye Williams, long time educators at Tennessee State University will be honored during 2014 Scholarship Gala, “An Evening of Honors.”

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A chance meeting at Wilberforce University in 1942 has led to a lifetime of memories and successes for Drs. McDonald and Jamye Williams, who spent nearly three decades at the university and who have also been married for more than 70 years.

The couple will share yet another memory during Tennessee State University’s Homecoming as the two are saluted as the 2014 Honorees for their outstanding contributions to the university. Both long-time educators as well as NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Claude Humphrey will be honored Friday, Sept. 26 during an “Evening of Honors.”

Both made TSU the final stop on their professional journey. Dr. McDonald Williams spent 30 years at the university serving as director of the Honors Program and as a professor of English before retiring in 1988. His wife, Jamye, retired just a year earlier ending her tenure as head of the Department of Communications, a position she held for 14 years.

The Williams’ have made advancing education and student success a priority in their careers. The many years spent at Tennessee State University afforded them an opportunity to see some of the university’s most talented students graduate and excel. Dr. Jamye Williams’ brings interesting perspective on how they positively shaped the lives of TSU students – particularly one of her most famous students, Oprah Winfrey.

“Her father wanted her to have a good education and a successful career,” Williams said. “He knew that having that [college] degree would continue to open doors for her.”

Dr. Jamye said Winfrey’s father encouraged her to call Oprah to convince her to finish what she started. So, in 1987, she made contact with Winfrey who, by this time, had established herself as a national talk show host.

“She sent me a check to pay for the three course hours and completed a documentary for her senior class project,” Dr. Jamye said. “That same year, she was the Commencement speaker, and I remember her holding up her degree and saying ‘see Daddy, I amount to something.’”

Since retiring, the Williams, who now reside in Atlanta, still make time to come back to TSU. They returned in 2012 for the university’s Centennial Celebration, in 2013 for the inauguration of President Glenda Glover, and in March 2014 for the Honors Program’s 50th anniversary celebration, in which Dr. McDonald Williams was honored for his years of dedication to the growth of the program.

In 1963, then-Tennessee State University President, Dr. Walter S. Davis, appointed a committee charged with studying Honors Programs and the feasibility of establishing one at the University. After completing its investigation, this committee recommended that Tennessee State University keep pace with many other universities throughout the country. As a result, an Honors program for freshman students was established in Fall 1964 followed by sophomore through senior level course work in 1968 marking the first year for students to be recognized for graduating with “University Honors.”

“This really is a time to celebrate the program and the most instrumental person behind it,” said Dr. Coreen Jackson, current director of the Honor Program. “Dr. Williams, while not the original founder, laid the cornerstone of academic excellence and the standard of which this program was built upon.”

The program, said Jackson, has gone through many changes throughout the years, which includes growing to more than 400 students enrolled in the program, 145 of which are first-time freshmen, and transitioning to a possible college in the near future. But the foundation built by Williams still holds true today, she said.

“He had a vision for where the program needed to go and subsequent directors including Jane Elliott and Sandra Holt have carried that vision forward,” said Jackson. “We really are in his debt.”

Because of his contributions to the success of the Honors Program, the Tennessee Board of Regents granted the university approval to name the Honors Program after Dr. Williams in 1988. The University Honors Center was named the McDonald Williams Honors Center.

Ironically, while the event was designed to honor Dr. McDonald’s work, the couple again showed selfless gratitude becoming the first major contributor donating $10,000 toward an Honors College initiative.

“I wish we could have given more,” Dr. McDonald said, adding that by establishing an Honors College it will raise the level of the program. “When the program first began, it was in a single room in the Agriculture building before it moved to the first floor of the old library (now the Student Success Center) in the back on the ground floor.”

The 46 years the Williams’ spent in Nashville, they played an active role in the life of the university and in the community. The myriad of professional and civic affiliations, honors and publications they have amassed are too numerous to mention. They were active in the NAACP with Dr. Jamye serving as Life Membership Committee Chairman for 20 years and Dr. McDonald serving the civil rights organization as vice president. Currently, they are members of Big Bethel AME Church in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and he is a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

In addition to their support of TSU, the Williams provide scholarship support to other universities, including Payne Theological Seminary, Wilberforce University and through the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

“I would recommend anyone who wants to go to college to consider Tennessee State University with no hesitation at all,” Dr. McDonald said. “So many students there have done well over the years.”

Call 615.963.5481 or visit www.tnstate.edu/scholarshipgala for more information on the 2014 Scholarship Gala. The gala takes place Friday, Sept. 26 at Music City Center and tickets are available now to purchase.

 

 

 

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

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 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.

Joint University Study Shows Unsafe Cooking Practices Put Consumers at Risk

Tennessee State and Kansas State Universities collaborate on poultry and egg preparation study

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – According to a recent study, many consumers are putting themselves at risk for a foodborne illness when preparing poultry and eggs. The study, conducted between Tennessee State University and Kansas State University, examined how and with what degree of accuracy consumers determined doneness when preparing these items.

While many of the foods in the study were cooked to a safe temperature, those cooked below recommended temperatures were cause for concern. Only a small number of participants used cooking thermometers to determine doneness in the poultry items, and most of those used them incorrectly.

Dr. Sandria Godwin
Dr. Sandria Godwin

“There is only one way to determine if your poultry and eggs are cooked to a safe temperature, and that is to use a thermometer,” said Dr. Sandria Godwin, TSU principal researcher on the study. “It is recommended that poultry be cooked to a temperature of 165 F and eggs and foods containing eggs to a temperature of 160 F, with the thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the egg or poultry.”

Godwin also cautioned against some of the widely embraced, less accurate methods of determining doneness, noting that the absence of pink areas in poultry is not necessarily an indication that it is safe to eat.

fried-chicken-gravy_23_test-with-thermometer“This is like driving your car and assuming you are going the right speed,” she said. “You may not be right and the only way to check is to look at the speedometer. Sometimes you are correct, but occasionally you are wrong and tickets, accidents, or worse can happen.”

Unfortunately, while nearly all cars have working speedometers built-in, many of us may find ourselves cooking without the benefit of a thermometer nearby. In this scenario, Godwin recommends a ‘better safe than sorry’ approach.

“If you cannot use a thermometer it is recommended that the eggs are cooked until both the yolks and whites are firm,” she said. “I know this will not be welcomed by ‘sunny side up’ lovers, but it is the only way to ensure that your eggs are safe to eat.”

In addition to the potential issues with undercooked foods, researchers in the study also took note of another concerning trend: the failure by many participants to follow recommended hand-washing procedures which call for soap and water after handling any raw animal-based products. This was especially true during the preparation of eggs.

eggs“When you don’t wash your hands after handling raw poultry or eggs you are putting yourself and others at risk for a foodborne illness,” Godwin added. “Items participants touched after not washing their hands were salt and pepper shakers, dish cloths, and cooking or serving utensils, which is particularly alarming since most of these items are used after the final product has been cooked, which allows for the spread of bacteria.”

This study is just one of many studies related to poultry and eggs being performed by researchers at Tennessee State University and other partner institutions.

“The overall goal is to better understand storing, handling, and cooking habits of consumers” said Dr. Edgar Chambers IV, lead investigator at Kansas State University. “Once we have that insight, we will work on designing educational materials for all ages. It is our hope that future studies of this kind between institutions will show improved food safety practices thanks to our efforts.”

This research was funded in part through a grant from the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program (Grant No2012-68003-19606) from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

 

 

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

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 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.

Web

TSU, Honda Battle of the Bands Ready to “March On” to the Georgia Dome

Voting Open for Fans to Help Determine the Final Eight to Perform in Atlanta in January 2015

2014BattleOfTheBandsNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Aristocrat of Bands from Tennessee State University is hoping to make a triumphant return to Atlanta and the Honda Battle of the Bands as one of the eight most prestigious marching bands from America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities. They hope to be selected to take the Georgia Dome by storm with their incredible musical talent and electrifying showmanship.

In order to secure one of the top spots from the 38 bands attempting to do the same, the band needs everyone to vote them into the January 24, 2015 competition. Voters can visit the Honda Battle of the Bands website and vote up to six times per day for their favorite TSU band.

To date, the Aristocrat of Bands has appeared five times at the annual showcase in Atlanta beginning in 2003. They subsequently appeared in 2004, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

For 13 consecutive years, the Honda Battle of the Bands has provided the nation’s top HBCU marching bands a platform to share their unique blend of musicianship and choreography with millions of fans. This year’s theme, “March On,” serves as a reminder to students and fans that life on and off the field is a journey, and no matter the challenge, the dream or what may lie ahead, learning never stops as long as you commit to “March On.”

Now until Wednesday, Oct. 15, fans can go online and vote daily to help select the final eight bands that will perform at the 2015 Invitational Showcase. Voting ends on October 15, 2014, at midnight EDT.

“Honda is deeply committed to supporting the dreams of HBCU students by investing in their education and showcasing exceptional student musicians,” said Stephan Morikawa, Assistant Vice President, Corporate Community Relations, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “As we continue to prepare our participating band members to March On, both on the field and in life, we look forward to a thrilling and uplifting event in Atlanta.”

The 2015 Invitational Showcase will feature the first-ever Honda Battle of the Bands Power of Dreams Award. Each participating team will have the opportunity to nominate an outstanding member of their community who is working to help students achieve their dreams. Honda will then select a winner who will be recognized in Atlanta at the 2015 Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase.

For more information on the 2015 Honda Battle of the Bands, visit HondaBattleoftheBands.com.

Since its inception in 1946, and subsequently becoming a show band under the administration of second TSU President Dr. Walter S. Davis, the Aristocrat of Bands has been featured at many international and national events, including half-time shows at several NFL games, Bowl games and Classics, and Presidential Inaugurations.

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

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 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.

tsu_1

Tennessee State University Dedicates Cutting-edge Research Facilities to Accommodate “Phenomenal” Growth in Agricultural Sciences

The College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences dedicated three new buildings September 17 on campus, including the centerpiece of the additions, the Agricultural Biotechnology Building. The added lab space and updated equipment in the  state-of-the-art $8 million Agricultural Biotechnology Building will provide more room for cutting-edge research, with implications for farmers and consumers in Tennessee and beyond. Helping with the ribbon cutting ceremony include (L-R) Julius Johnson, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture; John Morgan, Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor; TSU President Glenda Glover; USDA Mid South assistant area director Archie Tucker; Dean Chandra Reddy; and State Representatives Brenda Gilmore and Harold Love(photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
The College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences dedicated three new buildings on campus September 17, including the centerpiece of the additions, the Agricultural Biotechnology Building. The added lab space and updated equipment in the state-of-the-art $8 million Agricultural Biotechnology Building will provide more room for cutting-edge research, with implications for farmers and consumers in Tennessee and beyond. Helping with the ribbon cutting ceremony include (L-R) Julius Johnson, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture; John Morgan, Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor; TSU President Glenda Glover; USDA Mid South assistant area director Archie Tucker; Dean Chandra Reddy; and State Representatives Brenda Gilmore and Harold Love (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – With graduate enrollment in agricultural sciences at Tennessee State University more than tripled in five years and an influx of new Ph.D. faculty topping more than 25 in just three years, University officials are celebrating the addition of new facilities to accommodate this “phenomenal” growth.

Today, TSU President Glenda Glover, joined by Dean Chandra Reddy, Chancellor John Morgan, of the Tennessee Board of Regents, and other University officials, federal and state stakeholders and elected official, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for three new buildings on campus.

The buildings, with a combined price tag of more than $12 million, were funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through its National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

The centerpiece of the new facilities is the 25,000 square-foot Agricultural Biotechnology Building, the first new building constructed at the University in nearly eight years. It contains more than 12 state-of-the-art labs for cutting-edge research, including DNA synthesis and chromatography analysis. The building will also house and support primarily agricultural research, and provide working space for more than 20 new Ph.D.-level scientists, as well as administrative offices.

The other two facilities, called the Agricultural and STEM Education and Training Center, and the Agricultural Research Support Building, are located on the University farm.

“Tennessee State University is preparing students who are ready for the workforce,” said a very upbeat President Glover, as she thanked the USDA, the TBR, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and other stakeholders for their support in making the buildings a reality.

“This is such a wonderful opportunity. With these facilities, our students will benefit tremendously by engaging in cutting-edge research in food safety and security, and by expanding their knowledge in their quest for excellence,” the President added.

Dr. Hongwei Si, Assistant Professor of Food Chemistry, explains some of the research projects going on in the Food Biosciences and Technology Lab, as visitors, including Dean Chandra Reddy, and TBR Chancellor John Morgan, far right, listen. (photo by Rick Delahaya, TSU Media Relations)
Dr. Hongwei Si, Assistant Professor of Food Chemistry, explains some of the research projects going on in the Food Biosciences and Technology Lab, as visitors, including Dean Chandra Reddy, and TBR Chancellor John Morgan, far right, listen. (photo by Rick Delahaya, TSU Media Relations)

For Dean Reddy, he said research funding in the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences has tripled to couple with climbing enrollment on the undergraduate and graduate levels.

“This dedication and these buildings memorialize the ongoing transformation in the college over the last five years,” Reddy said. “We have multiplied every useful metrics during this time, be it student enrollment, research funding and outreach.”

He said the college has integrated academics with research and outreach and extension, established faculty focus groups to provide intellectual leadership to their programs, as well as created new opportunities for students to get involved in research and outreach.

The need for continued investment in agriculture and the food sciences is tremendous, he said, reminding the gathering about the expected growth in human population and the risk of climate change and its effect on food crops, and the impact of food on “our” overall health and wellbeing.

“To address these fundamental problems, our research is focusing on developing crops and products for health, for climate change, for energy, and ultimately alleviate the problems facing the world today and in the future,” added Reddy.

TBR Chancellor Morgan, who described the dedication as very significant, also thanked the USDA, President Glover, Dr. Reddy and other stakeholders for their support.

“This is very significant because it reflects the commitment of this University to excellence and to producing students who are capable and ready for the workforce anywhere in the country and the world.”

While the dedication of the new facilities was the focus of today’s ceremony, a presentation by a TSU student received tremendous cheers from the audience, and caught the attention of several speakers and stakeholders with job offers for the Agricultural Sciences major from Chicago.

Kourtney Daniels
Kourtney Daniels

Kourtney Daniels, a sophomore with a 4.0 GPA, serving as a TSU Student Ambassador, had only to give the welcome remarks, but her “very eloquent,” three-minute presentation drew praises even she did not expect.

“I was just being myself; I did not expect to have such an impact,” said Daniels.

Others also participating in today’s dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony were: Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Mark Hardy; State Representative Brenda Gilmore, a TSU alum, who has championed many causes on the state and national levels for her alma mater; and Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner, Julius Johnson.

State Representative Harold Love Jr.; Archie Tucker, assistant director of the Mid South Area for the USDA’s Agricultural Research Services; Steve Gass, of the Tennessee Department of Education; Dr. Roger Sauve, superintendent of the Agricultural Research and Education Center at TSU; and Ron Brooks, associate vice president for Facilities Management, also took part in the dedication.

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

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 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.

TSU Scholarship Gala Offers Entertainment for All

Comedian Jonathan Slocumb Set to Host “An Evening of Honors”

  

Funny man Jonathan Slocumb will server as host for the 2014 Scholarship Gala. Themed “An Evening of Honors,” the Gala takes place Friday, Sept. 26, and will not only pay tribute to long-time educators Drs. Jamye and Mcdonald Williams and Pro Football Hall of Famer Claude Humphrey, but also raise scholarship dollars for students in need attending the University
Funny man Jonathan Slocumb will server as host for the 2014 Scholarship Gala. Themed “An Evening of Honors,” the Gala takes place Friday, Sept. 26, and will not only pay tribute to long-time educators Drs. Jamye and Mcdonald Williams and Pro Football Hall of Famer Claude Humphrey, but also raise scholarship dollars for students in need attending the University. (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is again pulling out all the entertainment stops for the 2014 Scholarship Gala including a university dance ensemble, jazz musicians, an award-winning saxophonist and award-wining R&B, jazz and blues band…all hosted by actor, writer and comedian, Jonathan Slocumb.

Themed “An Evening of Honors,” the Gala takes place Friday, Sept. 26, and will not only pay tribute to long-time educators Drs. Jamye and Mcdonald Williams and Pro Football Hall of Famer Claude Humphrey, but also raise scholarship dollars for students in need attending the University

“We are excited about the Gala as we reach out to our community members, industry partners, friends and alumni from across the state and region,” said Dr. Sharon Peters, Gala co-chairman. “This is an important event for the University and we look forward to a successful event which will raise funds for our students and to support the University.”

Host Slocumb, the ferociously funny, multi-talented nonconformist comedian who has been bringing fun back to the family for more than a decade now, has gone from “tearing up” clubs across the map to hosting award shows for prestigious organizations like the NAACP and the Urban League. For seven years in a row, he has been the main stage host for the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans. And he does it all without using any profanity.

“I’m very balanced and very diverse. For years, I was placed in a box and everything was related to gospel and religion,” Slocumb said. “But I’m able to perform for the mainstream and the religious audiences. However, the main thing is that I’m always clean.”

As an artist who appeals to broader audiences, Slocumb’s television appearances include: HBO’s Def Comedy Jam, The UNCF telethon, BET’s Bobby Jones Gospel, BET Tonight, Teen Summit, Vibe, The Montel Williams Show, OH DRAMA, Life Today, the NAACP Image Awards, and twice the host of the Stellar Awards.

Not only is he smart, handsome, well dressed and clever, Slocumb brings a level of class like no one else. And he does it all through his faith in God. “I just want to bring good quality entertainment to people,” he said, “because they need it now more than ever before.”

According to Grant Winrow, gala co-chair, the committee and University are thrilled to have Slocumb serve as the Master of Ceremonies for the special event.

“He is sure to have your sides hurting with his brand of ‘clean Christian” comedy,’ said Winrow. “You can expect him to joke and play with the audience to the point they might actually be embarrassed to leave their seat. From talking with him, he is excited to be coming to Nashville and taking part in the Gala.”

A reception kicks off the evening beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the Main Ballroom Ballroom of the Music City Center in Downtown Nashville. Jazmin Ghent, a graduate student from Huntsville, Alabama, studying music education, will perform jazz saxophone selections. Ghent, a recent Smooth Jazz Cruise “Opening Act” winner, will be accompanied on piano by James Dunn, a sophomore music student from Nashville.

Dinner entertainment begins at 7 p.m. with the Tennessee State University Dance Experience Ensemble. Choreographed by artistic director and founder Judy Gentry, the 14-member ensemble executes all major dance genres and has performed with the Nashville Symphony, Dr. Bobby Jones, and New Life singers in concert with Dr. Pearl Primus.

The TSU Jazz Collegians, a 21-member group who have played across the country and around the world, will perform dinner music. Under the direction of James Sexton, the ensemble dates back to the early years of the Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State Normal College. They have performed in Carnegie Hall, the All-American College Jazz Festival in Orlando, the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame Student Festival, and the Notre Dame Jazz Festival in South Bend Indiana. They recently performed as part of a university exchange program at the Mompox Jazz Festival in Colombia, South America.

Freddie T. Holt and the After 5 Tux Band rounds out the evening when they provide after-dinner entertainment. The band includes three former members of TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands, with all members recording veterans in the Nashville and Middle Tennessee area. The band performs hits from country and Blues, to pop, rock, R&R and jazz.

“We are excited about the Gala, which is becoming one of Nashville’s must-attend event,” added Winrow. “Not only do we get the opportunity to showcase the talent of our students, but also honor great educators and one of TSU’s NFL Hall of Fame players. It will be a fun and exciting evening, all with the hopes of raising scholarship dollars for deserving students.”

For more information on the 2014 Scholarship Gala call 615.963.5481 or visit www.tnstate.edu/scholarshipgala. The gala takes place Friday, Sept. 26 at Music City Center with tickets available for purchase.

 

 

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

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 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.

TSU Students Celebrates Constitution Day

constitution-dayNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University students had the opportunity to learn about the document that created a new government 200 years ago when the University paused September 17 to commemorate the drafting of the U.S. Constitution.

Gathering in Kean Hall, more than 1,000 students listened to readings on the day set aside every year to commemorate the creation and signing of the supreme law of the land, and to honor and celebrate the privileges and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship for both native-born and naturalized citizens.

Lauren Thomas
Lauren Thomas

Lauren Thomas, vice president of the Student Government Association, gave a brief recap of the history of the significance of the day and events that led to the signing of the Constitution.

“You are probably asking yourself questions such as what is Constitution Day and why do we celebrate it,” she told those in attendance. “It’s because in the summer of 1787, delegates convened in Philadelphia to create “a more perfect union” and to craft the country’s constitution. They worked to develop a framework that would provide balance and freedom, taking into account federal and state interests, as well as individual human rights.”

She went on to explain about the push for a national celebration to mark the historic signing, such as “I am an American Day,” created by Congress in 1940, and the presidential proclamation in 1956 to make September 17-23 of each year as “Constitution Week.”

“I hope people take away an understanding that the Constitution is not just a piece of history, but it’s this living document which, despite its birth over 200 years ago, still plays an integral role in our everyday lives,” said the Mass Communications major. “As we move forward as a country we need to have a deeper and stronger understanding of that historic document.”

The event was also a time not only for students to reflect on the significance of the signing of the document, but one for the entire University to take a moment and reflect on the importance of knowing all of the different rights afforded to us by the U.S. Constitution, said Dr. John Cade, interim vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Support Services.

“Recognition of Constitution Day serves an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to celebrate and appreciate, why we celebrate this momentous day in the history of the United States of American,” Cade said.

This event was part of Constitution Day, which is celebrated annually on September 17—the day the United States Constitution was signed in 1787, officially establishing the government of the United States.

In late 2004, Senator Robert Byrd (D-W. Virginia) passed  legislation requiring that all schools, colleges and agencies receiving Federal funds offer annual educational programming involving the Constitution of the United States on Constitution Day, September 17, the anniversary of the day the framers signed the document.

Constitution Day is observed by spotlighting historic events, influential people and the document itself. The purpose of this event was to encourage the TSU community to continue learning and appreciating the living document.

 

 

 

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

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 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.

TSU Grad Student Seeks Top Spot at Historic Apollo Theater Amateur Night

Darius Salazar, a graduate music student at Tennessee State University, will perform at Amateur Night at the Apollo, September 17 and attempt to become the "Super Top Dog." (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)
Darius Salazar, a graduate music student at Tennessee State University, will perform at Amateur Night at the Apollo, September 17 and attempt to become the “Super Top Dog.” (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A graduate music student at Tennessee State University is going to see if he has what it takes to be “Top Dog” when he takes his musical talents to New York and the Apollo Theater.

Darius Salazar, a Chicago native pursuing his graduate work in Music Education, will perform at Amateur Night at the Apollo, Wednesday, Sept. 17 in hopes of making it through four rounds of competition all the way to the Super Top Dog competition in late November. If he makes it that far, he has a shot at the $10,000 cash prize.

“I was very surprised when I was asked to take part in the competition,” said Salazar. “No matter what happens, I think this opportunity can open new musical doors for me.”

A recruiter for the show approached Salazar when he was rehearsing this past summer with the 105 Voices of History All HBCU Jazz Band prior to their performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The recruiter was in the audience and introduced himself to Salazar, and invited him to the competition.

Salazar knows the Apollo is the place where many careers are started and can’t wait for his opportunity on stage. Just the invite, he said, is special.

“It really surprised me, and left me speechless,” added Salazar. “This is an opportunity of a lifetime not many people get.”

Salazar will have three minutes to grab the attention of the notoriously raucous audience at the Harlem Theater. He recently found out he is the first electric bass guitarist to take to the stage, and will perform a selection from Stevie Wonder, another musician whose career was launched at the theater.

With so much at stake, Salazar isn’t taking any chances. He is practicing long hours every day, trying to implement his own style on Stevie Wonder’s Billboard Hot 100 hit, As.

“It’s a great song to perform as an instrumental,” said Salazar. “The odds are pretty tough but I’m going to give it my best.”

Someone who knows about his “best” musical talent is Dr. Robert Elliott, chair of the Music Department, who not only is a bass player like Salazar, but also gave him private lessons for four years during his undergraduate studies at the University.

“Darius is a very talented and gifted musician,” said Elliott. “We are very pleased about his selection and excited about him moving on to the next phase of his musical career.”

No matter what the outcome, Salazar is just happy to showcase his musical talents and represent Tennessee State University.

“This will definitely make my career better and I am honored to be on such a historic show,” he added. “I am just pleased to show what I have.”

Amateur Night at the Apollo celebrated its 75th Anniversary in 2009, serving as the model for Star Search and American Idol. When Amateur Night at the Apollo debuted in 1934, it quickly became the leading showcase for many young, talented, new performers such as a 15-year-old Ella Fitzgerald, who went on to become one of the first Amateur Night winners.

Today, competitions are held nearly every Wednesday evening throughout the year, culminating with the “Super Top Dog” competition. The show marries world-class talent with a distinctive, vaudeville-like atmosphere, and has depended on audience participation since the very beginning. The popularity contest has proven an effective measure of star potential, becoming a launch pad for some of the nation’s greatest entertainers.

Many legends have played there over the years — Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, to name but a few — and launched the careers of James Brown, the Jackson 5, Sisqo, D’Angelo, and Lauryn Hill.

 

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

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 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 and Southwest Tennessee Community Agree on Seamless Student Transfer

President Glenda Glover, left, and President Nathan Essex, of Southwest Tennessee Community College, sign the Student Transfer Partnership Agreement. Witnessing the ceremony are, standing from left, Dr. John Cade, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Support Services; Karen F. Nippert, Southwest VP for Institutional Advancement; Dr. Sharon Peters, Director of Community College Initiative; Dr. Mark Hardy, Vice President for Academic Affairs; Southwest student Reginald Deon Woods; Barbara Roseborough, Southwest Provost and Executive Vice President; and Dr. Alisa Mosley, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. (photo byJohn Cross, TSU Media Relations)
President Glenda Glover, left, and President Nathan Essex, of Southwest Tennessee Community College, sign the Student Transfer Partnership Agreement. Witnessing the ceremony are, standing from left, Dr. John Cade, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Support Services; Karen F. Nippert, Southwest VP for Institutional Advancement; Dr. Sharon Peters, Director of Community College Initiative; Dr. Mark Hardy, Vice President for Academic Affairs; Southwest student Reginald Deon Woods; Barbara Roseborough, Southwest Provost and Executive Vice President; and Dr. Alisa Mosley, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. (photo byJohn Cross, TSU Media Relations)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – With officials from the two institutions watching, Tennessee State University and Southwest Tennessee Community College Thursday signed an agreement that will allow students who complete two years at Southwest to transfer to TSU to complete their baccalaureate degree.

TSU President Glenda Glover and Southwest President Nathan Essex signed the Transfer Partnership Agreement during a ceremony on the Southwest campus in Memphis.

“This agreement is about two institutions taking steps to empower our students to be successful,” said Dr. Glover in an opening statement. “The agreement further strengthens our partnership, and gives Southwest students additional choices for aligning associate degrees with bachelor’s degrees through Tennessee State University.”

Referring to the agreement as “important and significant,” Southwest President Essex agreed with Dr. Glover’s assessment that it provides opportunities for students to be successful.

“We are here to ensure that our students are successful, and this partnership with Tennessee State University strengthens that effort,” Dr. Essex said, commending President Glover for her leadership. “She has done a phenomenal job in just two years, and her vision speaks well to the quality of her leadership.”

The agreement between the two institutions calls for the awarding of 10 two-year full TSU scholarships with preference to STEM majors, beginning fall 2015, The partnership also includes a dual-admission component that builds on the Tennessee Transfer Pathway, which is designed to help community college students plan for transferring to a Tennessee public university to complete their baccalaureate degree.

Two second-year Southwest pre-engineering students who attended the signing ceremony, see the agreement as timely and offers “much needed outlet” to complete their undergraduate degrees.

Reginald Deon Woods, a Computer Engineering major, and Christian Pavas, an Engineering Technology major, who plan to attend TSU at the completion of their associate degrees, said the University has the programs and offerings they need for their baccalaureate degrees.

“The opportunity to seamlessly transfer our credits and the scholarship opportunity the agreement offers are just great,” said Pavas. “I look forward to continuing my program at Tennessee State.”

Following the ceremony, President Glover spoke about the effort that went into bringing the agreement into fruition, giving special recognition to her senior administration including officials of the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Enrollment Management, and the Dean of the College of Engineering.

“I want to thank all of you for your work in helping us to bring this agreement into reality,” Dr. Glover said. “I want to particularly thank Dr. Sharon Peters (Director of Community College Initiative), and Dr. (S. Keith) Hargrove, the dean of the College of Engineering for working so diligently with Southwest Community College to bring about this agreement.”

The agreement is part of TSU’s on-going effort to reach out to all 13 community colleges around the state to develop long-lasting partnerships and relationships. Currently, there are agreements with Volunteer State, Nashville State, Columbia State, Motlow State Community Colleges, and soon Southwest Tennessee Community College. There are hopes to sign agreements with four additional institutions within the next year.

Among other TSU officials at the signing ceremony were Dr. Mark Hardy, vice president for Academic Affairs; Dr. John Cade, interim vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Support Services; Dr. Alisa Mosley, associate vice president for Academic Affairs; and Kelli Sharp, assistant vice president for Public Relations and Communications.

 

 

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

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 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 President Glover Extends Scholarship Offers to More than 100 Top High School Seniors

TSU President Glenda Glover interacts with several of the more than one students who attended her annual scholarship reception in the Downtown Memphis Sheraton Wednesday Evening. (Photo my John Cross, TSU Media Relations)
TSU President Glenda Glover interacts with several of the more than 100 students who attended her annual scholarship reception in the Downtown Memphis Sheraton Wednesday Evening. (Photo my John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – If Darrick Tucker’s enthusiasm over TSU President Glenda Glover’s announcement of scholarship offers is any indication, more than 100 top high school seniors from west Tennessee and northern Mississippi could be headed to TSU next fall.

Tucker, an all-A’s senior from East High School in Memphis, who wants to become a bio-medical engineer, was among more than 200 students and their parents who packed a hall in the Downtown Memphis Sheraton Wednesday evening to hear Dr. Glover at her annual Presidential Scholarship Reception.

“Tennessee State University is a caring institution for students who want to succeed, and we do everything possible to help them make the transition,” said Dr. Glover, assuring parents that TSU has plans to ensure on-time and early graduation.

For instance, the President named Take 15, a TSU initiative that ensures students graduate in four years by taking at least 15 credit hours or more per semester, and 3+1, another program that ensures student graduation in three years and beginning graduate school in their fourth year of enrollment.

“We nurture your children for success, but to achieve that they must be ready to work hard and be willing to invest the time and energy to graduate on time,” Dr. Glover, a Memphis native and TSU alum, who spoke about her personal gratification of returning home to recruit students, cautioned parents.

“This area means so much to me. This is where I had my beginning. I went to school here. The possibilities in earning an education are just so many. It is just wonderful to attend TSU and come back home as president.”

Unlike last year when the President awarded $3 million in scholarships to 50 students from 15 high schools in west Tennessee and northern Mississippi, no specific amount was announced this time. However, admissions officials said that all of the more than 100 students in attendance could get a full ride if their complete application packages are received by September 24.

“All of these students have been pre-screened by our admission counselors, with the required GPAs or ACT scores,” said Dr. John Cade, interim vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Support Services. “They only need to act fast to meet the September 24 deadline.”

Darrick Tucker is ready.

“There is a more than 85 percent chance that I will come to TSU,” said Tucker, expressing sentiments and enthusiasm shown by many of his fellow seniors at the reception. “TSU’s programs seem to fit what I am looking for.”

Tucker’s parents, mother Marion and father Kirk are just as equally excited about their son’s prospect of selecting TSU for his college career.

“All we have been receiving are letters from schools interested in our son, but this is the first time we are actually meeting a person talk to us about his future,” Kirk Tucker said about what he called the “face-to-face” approach of the President and the admissions officials.

“He has worked so hard to get to this point, and we are very sure that he is ready to work even harder in college,” added Marion Tucker, about her son.

The Presidential Scholarship Reception, one of many activities leading up to the Southern Heritage Classic in Memphis, offered incentives for parents and students to attend the football game between TSU and Jackson State University on Saturday. All in attendance received at least one free ticket to the game.

 

 

 

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

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 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.