Category Archives: NEWS

New TSU Top Cop Greg Robinson Emphasizes Good Relationship Between Students, Police

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s new top cop says a good relationship between students and police will benefit campus security.

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Police Chief Greg Robinson

Police Chief Greg Robinson had a “meet-and-greet” at two TSU residence halls on April 20, about a month after taking the job. Deputy Police Chief Anthony Carter and several other members of the TSUPD accompanied the alumnus during his visit to Boyd Hall, where Robinson lived as a TSU student, and Wilson Hall.

In his closed meetings with residents, Robinson emphasized personal relationships between students and campus security, increased visibility, and for students to know that “we are here for you.”

“We want to break down all barriers and build relationships where you are comfortable to interact with us and know that your safety is our biggest concern,” said Robinson, who has over 30 years of experience in law enforcement. “You see things that we don’t see. We want to hear from you.”

He said he wanted to speak directly to the residents to let them know his vision for the university, faculty, staff, and “most importantly the students.”

“I attended this institution; I lived in Boyd Hall,” said Robinson.  “I want to let them (students) understand that all we are concerned about is serving this institution and to make it the safest environment.”

Carlos Marvins, a graduating senior in Mass Communications, lives in Boyd Hall and attended the meeting. He said he was impressed with Robinson and believes the university is in the “right direction about security.”

“He seems like … he really cares about the students,” Marvins said. “He has a lot of ideas; he’s young, he’s energized and has a lot of experience. And the fact that he’s a former student makes it even better.”

Robinson plans to visit other residence halls on the campus.

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 38 undergraduate, 22 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.

 

Robinson plans to visit other residence halls on the campus.

TSU’s Dr. Jame’l Hodges Named Maxine Smith Fellow with the Tennessee Board of Regents

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Dr. Jame’l Hodges

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Dr. Jame’l Hodges, TSU’s assistant dean of Student Life and Engagement, has been named a Maxine Smith Fellow with the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Hodges is the fourth TSU administrator to receive the honor in the last few years.

As a Maxine Smith Fellow, the longtime students affairs administrator will have the opportunity to experience how decisions are made at the TBR senior administrative and governing board levels.

The fellowship was established in 2002 as a TBR central office Geier initiative to provide African-American TBR employees the opportunity to participate in a working and learning environment that enhances work experience and career development. The objective is to increase the academic and professional credentials of the fellows, as well as help to increase the number of qualified applicants from underrepresented groups for senior-level administrative positions at TBR institutions.

“I am honored to have been nominated by President (Glenda) Glover and look forward to representing TSU,” Hodges said. This is an amazing opportunity that will provide me with professional development to prepare me for future career goals as well as expose me to new strategies and approaches in quality assurance and student success at TSU.”

Dr. Maxine Smith, after whom the fellowship is named, was a pioneer in the civil rights movement in Tennessee. She was executive secretary of the Memphis Branch of the NAACP from 1962 to 1995. In 1971, she became the first African American to be elected to the Memphis Board of Education. In 2003, Smith and former President Bill Clinton received the prestigious Freedom Award by the National Civil Rights Museum.

Other former TSU Maxine Smith Fellows are Dr. Cheryl Green, assistant vice president for Student Affairs; Tiffany Cox, director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action; and Tiffany Bellafant Steward, director of New Student Orientation and First-Year 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 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 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.

Community Health Fair at TSU Focuses on Obesity, HIV and Poor Health Choices

Wellness Fair
More than 30 vendors with some connection to health care and wellness participated in the one-day Community Health and Wellness Fair. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A recent study shows Tennessee faces a serious health crisis that stems mostly from unhealthy choices.

For the last 20 years, the state has ranked among the worst in the nation when it comes to health outcomes, according to the report. Obesity, HIV, and poor health management, or the lack of it, are the biggest issues.

Those problems and others were addressed April 22 at Tennessee State University’s Community Health and Wellness Fair in Kean Hall on the main campus. TSU partnered with Vanderbilt University Medial Center and the DP Thomas Foundation for Obesity for the outreach event that was free and open to the public.

More than 30 vendors with some connection to health care and wellness participated in the one-day event.

“This is really an opportunity for TSU to serve out its mission statement in helping to serve the community,” said Kelli Sharpe, Assist Vice President for Public Relations and Communications at TSU. “It is also an opportunity for the community to know that we do have professional health education and services on campus, not just for students and faculty, but for the community as well.”

According to the latest data from the Tennessee Department of Health, nearly 7,000 adults accessed Davidson County emergency rooms in 2014 for relief of dental conditions.

Gary-Lee A. Lewis, head of TSU’s Dental Hygiene Department, said TSU’s clinic averages about 600 patients a year and he hopes that number will increase “with the linkages that we make with the community.”

“We’re well equipped to manage the needs of the community,” Lewis said.

The fair provided information on weight loss management, nutrition, and HIV, as well as fitness demonstrations and other health screenings, including hypertension, glucose, and cholesterol. The dental hygiene component included oral examinations, dental cleanings, and oral health education.

Students, faculty and staff of TSU’s Student Health Services, the Department of Dental Hygiene, and the School of Nursing played a major role in the fair.

Vic Sorrell, Community Engagement Coordinator of the Vanderbilt Medical Center HIV Vaccine Program, said the fair was very timely and needed.

“Because HIV incidence is on the rise in communities with limited access to quality healthcare, our program’s message and mission is certainly in alignment with the goals and values of this event and its organizers,” Sorrell said.

The DP Thomas Foundation is a longtime promoter of healthy living as a way to combat obesity and its negative effect on society. Experts from the foundation emphasized ways to help citizens achieve and maintain a balanced lifestyle.

“We are extremely excited about this opportunity to serve the Nashville community,” said Lalita Hodge, coordinator of the DP Thomas Foundation. “We at the DP Thomas Foundation truly believe that a healthy community is a wealthy community. Providing information and combining our community resources is the best way to achieve this goal.”

TSU students, from nursing, dental hygiene to professional education, were excited about participating in the fair and giving back to the community.

Starr Winbush, a freshman Nursing major, looked forward to the hands-on help she and her fellow students provided.

“Going into the nursing field, I think it is very important to be able to talk to people and communicate with them about their needs,” Winbush said. “Helping people, that’s the main part.”

Chelsea Nash, ajunior Biology major, added: “Many people do not have insurance, and for them this may be the only way they can get the care they need. So I am really proud to see my school reaching out to the community.”

Abraham Osareme Simmons, a senior Dental Hygiene major, said community service was part of the reason why he entered the program.

“I like to touch lives that are in need; that is very important to me,” said Simmons, who graduates in May. “That’s what inspired me to matriculate to the dental hygiene program. It is rewarding to see people feel good about themselves because of what you have done to make their lives better.”

Dr. Winda Wilbert, interim executive director of the TSU School of Nursing, said “community service is an expectation for our students.”

“That’s in fact one of the core requirements for our baccalaureate program,” Wilbert said. “So when we are out there with them, it’s not just a matter of field experience, they are fulfilling their requirements.”

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 38 undergraduate, 22 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 Communications Chair, Students Win AP Awards for Best Journalism

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The head of Tennessee State University’s Department of Communications and several of his students were recently recognized by The Associated Press for best journalism in broadcast and print.

The students received five radio and television news and sports awards at the 2015-2016 Tennessee Associated Press Awards presentation held April 9 at the First Amendment Center in Nashville.

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Dr. Terry Likes

Communications chair Dr. Terry Likes won seven awards in five different categories.

Likes said the awards were a result of hard work in the department, particularly in the case of the students.

“We have been working hard for several years to implement best practices in multimedia, open our Center for Media Arts and Production and hire innovative faculty,” Likes said. “We are thrilled for our students that their hard work is paying dividends with this recognition from professional journalists.”

TSU competed against more than 200 entries from Austin Peay, Belmont, East Tennessee State University, Lipscomb University, Middle Tennessee State University, Trevecca Nazarene, UT-Chattanooga, UT-Martin, UT-Knoxville and Vanderbilt University.

TSU students who won in their respective categories are:

2nd place – Best online sports coverage program: Cedric Beene, Micah Kennedy, Josh Walden, Paige Jefferson
2nd place – Best inline sports program: Kierra Ewah-Washington
3rd place – Best radio specialized topic reporting: Melody Scales
3rd place – Best radio investigative in-depth reporting: Ryan Parham, Tierra Kimball, Marvel Wade
3rd place – Best investigative in-depth reporting: J. Michaux

Likes won seven awards in five different categories.

Best Enterprise:
1st place – “Truth, tabloids and trust: Declining confidence in the news media”
Best light feature story:
2nd place – “TV catch phrases, popular culture to mainstream America”
Best serious news story:
1st place – “Pay for play: Unionization and paying college athletes”
2nd place – “Truth, tabloids and trust: Declining confidence in the news media:
Best sports feature:
1st place – “Pay for play: Unionization and paying college athletes”
Best use of sound:
1st place – “TV catch phrases, popular culture to mainstream America”
2nd place – “Pay for play: Unionization and paying college athletes”

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 38 undergraduate, 22 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.

Single Gift of $26,000 Highlights Weekend of TSU Alumni Activities

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A single gift of nearly $26,000 capped a weekend of activities by Tennessee State University alumni to raise funds for scholarship to support students at their alma mater.

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TSU President Glenda Glover, along with Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement Eloise Abernathy Alexis, and TSU National Alumni Association President Tony Wells, receives a check for $25,735 from member of Beta Omicron Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The Beta Omicron Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity presented the check Saturday to TSU President Glenda Glover during the halftime show of the TSU Tigers Football Team Blue and White scrimmage at Hale Stadium.

“This is amazing,” Glover said, referring to the presentation and the level of excitement in the stadium. “To see all of our alums come back for our Blue and White game and then present us a check just shows what TSU alums can do when they put their minds together and dedicate themselves to helping their university. I am just pleased to see this number of people including old friends and schoolmates just having a good time.”

Thousands, including former and current students, friends and supporters, gathered at the stadium called “The Hole” for the scrimmage, as part of the weekend of activities. The TSU nationally recognize marching band, the Aristocrat of Bands, was on hand to lead the jubilation.

This was the third year of the event called Legends Coming Home Weekend.

Tony Wells, president of the TSU National Alumni Association, said the weekend is time for alumni to come back and engage with students.

“Homecoming is when alumni come back and interact with each other,” Wells said. “But this is an effort to come back in the spring and make sure we are engaging with our students and help them with their networking. We don’t want to wait until they are ready to graduate. We want to be there to help them understand the process before they leave.”

Earlier, more than 300 participated in the Big Blue Tiger 5K Run/Walk to kick off the day on the main campus. Organizers say nearly 700 paid to register for the race although many did not plan to run.

At Hale Stadium, Crowd favorite, 101-year-old Burnece Walker Brunson, a member of the Alumni Cheerleader Association, did not disappoint. The centenarian, a member of the 1934-1935 cheering squad, showed up with her pom pom.

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 38 undergraduate, 22 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 forms impressive team to assist with implementation of FOCUS Act

Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover has formed a Transition Advisory Committee to assist the University with implementing the new FOCUS Act.

It is a group from diverse backgrounds to take on the task outlined in the legislation, which is currently awaiting Governor Bill Haslam’s signature. The committee will provide thoughtful leadership, and assist in determining how the institution will advance from the current Tennessee Board of Regents structure to the new state university board governing structure. The major role of this external committee will be advisory in nature with the ultimate goal of developing the strategy for implementation of the FOCUS bill.

“The University has formed this Transition Advisory Committee to assist the leadership, and my office from a strategic execution standpoint as we advance to this new governance structure,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “The men and women serving on the TSU Transition Advisory Committee represent a cross section of professionals with extensive backgrounds in higher education, board governance, and executive management.”

The members of the TSU Transition Advisory Committee are: Traci Otey Blount- Executive Vice President, Corporate Marketing & Corporate Affairs, Robert L. Johnson Entertainment and former Communications Director, 2008 Hilary R.Clinton Presidential Campaign; Attorney Charles Robert Bone- Chief Executive Officer, Bone McAllester Norton, PLLC,; Lauren J. Brisky- Retired, Vice-Chancellor for Administration and Chief Financial Officer, Vanderbilt University; Beverly Carmichael- Senior Vice President, Chief People Officer, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc.; Colleen Conway-Welch, Dean Emerita and Professor Emerita, Vanderbilt School of Nursing; George L Davis Jr.- Co-Owner/Chief Technology Officer of Ultimate Progress Incorporated; Dr. Kelley Castlin-Gacutan- Superintendent, Birmingham Public Schools; Dr. Fred Humphries- Retired President, Florida A&M University and former President Tennessee State University; Jamie Isabel- Owner, Dalmatian Creative Agency, Inc.; Richard Lewis- Owner, Lewis & Wright Funeral Home; Dr. Edith Peterson Mitchell-President, National Medical Association; Wendell Moore- Senior Public Policy Advisor, Baker Donelson Law Firm, PLLC and former Deputy Governor State of Tennessee; Dr. Shirley Raines- former President, University of Memphis; Dr.Maria Thompson- President, Coppin State University, Baltimore, MD; Bishop Joseph W. Walker, III- Presiding Bishop, Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International & Sr. Pastor Mt. Zion Baptist Church; and Brenda Wynn- Davidson County Clerk.

The new legislation creates state university boards for the six public universities now under the Tennessee Board of Regents system, including TSU. The committee is a part of the University’s overall Transition to FOCUS Initiative. An internal working group is also a part of this initiative.

“This committee is not the long-term state university board that will be appointed by the Governor, rather it is transitionary in nature designed specifically for planning purposes,” Glover explained. “The duration of the committee will be for approximately one year.”

The other four-year institutions under TBR that will have its own independent boards under the FOCUS Act are Austin Peay State University, East Tennessee State University, Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee Technological University, and the University of Memphis.

Please visit the TSU website at www.tnstate.edu/president/focus for detailed information on the TSU Transition Advisory Committee, along with the original FOCUS Act legislation and related news items and updates.

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 38 undergraduate, 22 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.

National Program Reviewers Assess TSU’s Honors College

nchcNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Reviewers from the National Collegiate Honors Council are visiting Tennessee State University to assess its Honors Program as it transitions to an Honors College.

The Tennessee Board of Regents and the Tennessee Commission for Higher Education officially approved the 52-year-old program in January to be an Honors College.

Dr. Hallie Savage, executive director of NCHE, and Dr. Gregory Lanier, co-chair of NCHC’s Assessment and Evaluation Committee, were to be at the university from April 13-14 to follow up on a self-study summited to the council a month ago, as well as ensure that the program is consistent with the university’s mission and goals.

During their visit, the reviewers were to also meet with key stakeholders, including TSU President Glenda Glover; Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Mark Hardy, as well as deans, faculty and students.

“We are very honored and pleased to have NCHC honors education experts Dr. Savage and Dr. Lanier to conduct the program review for our newly approved Honors College,” said Dr. Coreen Jackson, director of the TSU Honors College. “To have the best consultants in America come to our campus to help us transition to a prestigious Honors College will help us attract high achievers from around the globe.”

Jackson is a board member of the NCHC, serving a three-year term.

In a statement, the reviewers congratulated TSU for investing in the council’s program review process.

“Your investment in program review maximizes the benefit of your Honors College to your institution,” Savage said. “We are happy to provide information regarding program review, as well as transition from honors programs to colleges. The National Collegiate Honors Council is always ready to help improve and strengthen Honors education in any way that it can.”

More than 400 “high-ability” students are enrolled in the TSU Honors College.

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 38 undergraduate, 22 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 event attracts nearly 300 youngsters, lets them learn while they play

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Nearly 300 youngsters swarmed Tennessee State University’s indoor practice facility to participate in activities celebrating the Week of the Young Child.

Morgan Finley
TSU student Morgan Finley talks to children about nutrition. (By John Cross, TSU Medial Relations)

Three to 5-year-olds from several local schools participated in the April 13 event hosted by TSU’s Department of Family and Consumer Sciences and the Center for Learning Sciences.

Each April, the National Association for the Education of Young Children designates a week to focus on children.

At TSU, students and faculty from the university’s departments were asked to develop activities for the children related to their respective areas of study. Organizers say they want kids to build their skills, while also having fun.

“This is the age that it begins,” said Dr. Margaret Machara, who is in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. “If you can get them excited about learning, and excited about concepts in a play environment, then they’re going to do better in school, and better throughout.”

Activities included building a solar car and understanding how it operates, and learning about different plants, such as the African violet. The kids also learned lessons about health care and safety, such as washing their hands, and when to call 911.

Ashlie York, a student in the Career Mobility Program in TSU’s School of Nursing, participated in the event.  She said even at their young age, kids should understand that “they have resources to protect themselves and their family.”

“If you see a stranger come into your house, or someone else’s house, call 911,” said York, who works in the emergency department at Skyline Medical Center in Nashville. “If your family member is on the ground, and they can’t breathe, call 911. We want them to understand what is an emergency, and that they’re able to do something to help.”

Parents who attended the event were given a booklet on activities they can do to help their child continue to learn.

Tara House brought her 5-year-old daughter to the event and said she plans to share what she learned with other parents.

“This program is very beneficial,” House said. “I think everybody is enjoying themselves, and learning at the same time.”

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 38 undergraduate, 22 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 Astronomer Part of Team that Discovers Planet with Eccentric Orbit

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Dr. Gregory Henry

 NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Dr. Gregory Henry is part of a team of astronomers who have discovered an extrasolar planet scientists say has the most eccentric orbit ever seen.

The new planet is referred to as HD 20782 b and is about 117 light-years from Earth. It appears “elliptical or oblong” as it orbits around its star, astronomers say, which is unlike other planets in the solar system that have nearly circular orbits.

“The planet moves in a nearly flattened ellipse, traveling slowly far from its star and then making a fast and furious slingshot around the star at its closest approach,” Henry said. “At the furthest point in its orbit, the planet is separated from its star by 2.5 times the distance between the sun and Earth.”

At its closest approach, scientists say the new plant ventures as close as 6 percent of the Earth-sun distance, which is much closer than Mercury orbits the sun.

In congratulating Henry and his colleagues, TSU’s director of the Center of Excellence in Information Systems Engineering Management referred to Henry as “the first piece of TSU’s astronomy team.”

“Dr. Henry led an effort to establish the world’s first fully robotic observatory in collaboration with Fairborn Observatory in Southern Arizona,” said Dr. Matthew Muterspaugh, who is also professor of Physics and Astronomy at TSU. “Several of these telescopes were used to monitor the new planet’s host star to characterize the star’s properties and eliminate potential sources of false discovery.”

The team of astronomers, led by Steven Kane of San Francisco State University, says extrasolar plants like HD 20782 b pose “a wealth of questions” for astronomers.

“When we see a planet like this in an eccentric orbit, it can be really hard to explain how it got that way,” Kane said. “It’s kind of like looking at a murder scene, examining blood spatter patterns on the walls. You know something bad has happened, but you need to figure out what caused it.”

This new planetary discovery is just one of many involving TSU in the past.

For more than 25 years, Tennessee State University astronomers have been developing and operating a fleet of robotic telescopes in the mountains of southern Arizona.

In 1999, one of TSU’s robotic telescopes discovered the first transiting (eclipsing) exoplanet, providing the final evidence needed to prove the existence of other planetary systems.

“Our robotic telescopes have played a part in the discovery of over 150 extrasolar planets and planetary systems,” said Henry.

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 38 undergraduate, 22 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 Dental Hygiene Program Reaches Out to the Community in a Big Way

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Dental Hygiene Clinic is helping to provide needed care in the Nashville community.

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Abraham Osareme Simmons, who graduates in May, said community service was a key reason why he entered the Dental Hygiene program. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

In conjunction with its associate degree program, the clinic, located in Clement Hall on the main TSU campus, provides a wide range of dental services to nearly 600 patients a year at reduced cost. This includes the campus as well as the greater Nashville community.

“Outreach to the community is a significant part of what we do,” said Gary-Lee A. Lewis, chair of the Department of Dental Hygiene. “Our primary objectives here are to serve the community and prepare our students for licensure examinations. The hands-on training is extremely important to the students who will be job-ready at graduation, while the public receives quality, affordable dental care.”

That quality care will be on display April 22 at the Community Health and Wellness Fair in Kean Hall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The outreach event is free and open to the public.

The TSU clinic services include comprehensive oral examinations, X-rays, dental cleanings, radiography, oral health education, nutritional counseling, oral cancer screening, and tobacco assessment and cessation.

Graduates of the highly accredited program receive an Associate of Applied Science degree, which prepares them for diverse options in the health care environment.

Abraham Osareme Simmons, a senior Dental Hygiene major, said community service was part of the reason why he entered the program.

“I like to touch lives that are in need; that is very important to me,” said Simmons, who graduates in May. “That’s what inspired me to matriculate to the dental hygiene program. It is rewarding to see people feel good about themselves because of what you have done to make their lives better.”

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Reilly Poirier, a senior Dental Hygiene major, works on a patient in the Dental Hygiene Clinic. The clinic provides a range of services to about 600 patients a year. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The outreach initiatives of the program are not limited to services offered in the clinic, according to Brenda J. Kibbel, assistant professor of Dental Hygiene. Under the supervision of faculty, students are stationed in various areas in the community where they provide care.

“We are doing a lot of community outreach right now,” Kibbel said. “We actually have got in with the Metro Housing Development Association and we have been going to different housing projects doing oral cancer screening, preliminary screenings and education. We just did Cheatham Place where we saw 35 patients with 16 volunteer students.”

Students and professors have also completed services at Baby U and Hope Smiles at St. Thomas Medical Mobile Mission in Rutherford County, she said.

Besides dental screenings, the health and wellness fair will also provide fitness demonstrations and other health screenings including hypertension, glucose, and cholesterol. An educational component will offer information on weight loss management, nutrition, and HIV.

PROOFHealthFairv4v2b“Because HIV incidence is on the rise in communities with limited access to quality healthcare, our program’s message and mission is certainly in alignment with the goals and values of this event and its organizers,” said Vic Sorrell, Community Engagement Coordinator for Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s HIV Vaccine Program.

Sorrell will be among numerous health professionals ready to provide helpful information to people attending the event, which is sponsored by TSU, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and the DP Thomas Foundation for Obesity.

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 38 undergraduate, 22 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.