Category Archives: NEWS

More than 500 Middle, High School Students Attend 5th Annual STEM Expo at TSU

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) -More than 500 middle and high school students from across Middle Tennessee recently converged on Tennessee State’s campus for one of the largest science fairs in the state.

TSU and the Middle Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub organized the 5th Annual STEM Expo on April 6 in the Gentry Complex.

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Serdarion Bell, left, and Malik Brown, of Johnson Alternative Learning Center in Nashville, display their project on sustainable recycling at the 5th Annual STEM Expo. (Photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

Students from 35 schools displayed the results of 259 STEM projects spanning science, mathematics, engineering, and technology fields: cyber bullying, breast cancer prevention, weather technology and sustainable recycling, just to name a few.

Students competed for bronze, silver, and gold medals based on judges’ evaluations. STEM EXPO sponsors also selected from among all entries for special awards.

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the TSU College of Engineering, said the Expo was all about preparing the next generation of STEM professionals. He said “of tomorrow’s top 10 best jobs, 7 out of 10 are STEM related.”

“TSU and the College of Engineering are committed to promoting STEM education for Metro Nashville Schools,” Hargrove said. “Higher education and industry must become even more engaged in stimulating interests in STEM careers, and preparing students with the necessary background and skills to enter these occupations in the next decade and beyond.”

Serdarion Bell and Malik Brown of Johnson Alternative Learning Center in Nashville were among the expo participants. Bell, a 9th grader, and Brown, a 10th grader, presented a project titled, “Sustainable Recycling to Meet Community Needs.”

“We wanted to implement environmental conservation and sustainable recycling throughout our school and in our personal lives,” said Bell, on the reason for their project. “At the same time, we wanted to discover how we could help others in our community with little or no money.”

Dr. Lonnie Sharpe, dean of TSU’s College of Life and Physical Sciences, was one of the Expo’s advisers. He said the fair provided “a unique” opportunity for recruitment.

“Maybe we can recruit some of these students to TSU one day,” Sharpe said.

On the character of each project, displays were judged on basic hypothesis, significance of the subject, knowledge beyond what the project shows, presentation, and level of technology.

“There are some very interesting projects at this fair,” said Jonathan Reynolds, a TSU graduate student majoring in Computer Information and Systems Engineering, who was one of the judges. “This is really fun. These kids are well ahead in 21st century technology.”

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, 25 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.

NASA’s Nationwide Technology Infusion Tour Makes Two-Day Stop at Tennessee State University

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) –Tennessee State University hosted a two-day workshop to provide HBCUs and minority-serving institutions a platform to seek research funding from NASA.

NASA
John Barfield, Director of Engagement and Visibility in the Division of Research and Sponsored Programs at TSU, center, makes a point at the NASA Technology Infusion workshop. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

The NASA HBCU/MSI Technology Infusion Road Tour, on its third HBCU stop, is designed to strengthen research enterprise at historically black colleges and universities and minority serving institutions by providing opportunities for faculty and students to engage in significant research activities.

The tour is also designed to help NASA and large prime contractors meet and/or exceed the agency’s mandated HBCUs/MSI goals.

“We want HBCUs and minority-serving institutions to be actually involved with the next type of technology that will get us beyond earth or tomorrow,” said Dr. Joseph Grant, NASA’s deputy program executive for Small Business Innovation Research. “These technologies are going to be developed by minds of students like those here at TSU and all over the country.”

Grant said HBCUs have a unique way of looking at solving problems that are not always tapped into.

“So what we are trying to do is to bring all the voices to the table to help us solve some of the complex problems that we are going to have. I know what the expertise are, where they lie, how we look at things, and how we attack a problem,” he said.

TSU Associate Vice President for Administration, Dr. Curtis Johnson, in a welcome statement on behalf of President Glenda Glover, said the NASA tour brings “new knowledge and opportunities to TSU.”

“We thank NASA and all of these other agencies for bringing this road trip to TSU,” Johnson said. “We are counting on our faculty and staff to fully maximize the benefit of this opportunity.”

Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young is TSU’s chief research officer and vice president of Research and Institutional Advancement. She said the NASA tour is “very critical” because HBCUs and MSIs have not had the opportunity to significantly participate in their share of federal funding.

“So this is going to teach them strategies on how to be successful in getting that funding,” Crumpton-Young said. “Our expectation is that through this tour and many other efforts, we are going to help strengthen the research enterprise, not only at TSU, but throughout the country.”

Before TSU, the NASA HBCU/MSI Technology Infusion Road Tour stopped at Tuskegee University and North Carolina Central University. The next stop is Jackson State University. Seven agencies and participants from 14 HBCUs attended the workshop at TSU, according to Crumpton-Young.

Tabisa Taliwaku Kalisa, program manager of the Office of Small Business Programs at NASA, said the agency wants to find ways to engage with more minority-serving institutions in its “industrial base.” She said NASA is not reaching its 1 percent goal of doing business with HBCUs and MSIs.

“We are having a hard time meeting those goals because most of our prime contractors cannot find schools that are capable of doing the work,” Kalisa said. “I truly believe that the schools are there, but we have to figure out the synergy to get those schools more engaged, to be able to know about opportunities, and be able to participate.”

Gwen Johnson is director of Small Business at Parsons, a prime contractor. She was part of a group of participants who toured research facilities and classrooms at TSU as part of the NASA visit, and was “very impressed.”

“I look forward to sharing this information with Parsons’ technical experts and connecting them specifically with the TSU Center of Excellence in Information Systems Research in areas of cyber security, data analytics and advanced control and identification systems,” she said.

Among other agencies and contractors at the workshop were the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the National Institutes of Health, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, and the U.S. Department of Army.

“The event allowed faculty to expose their students to research at a higher level, to conferences, internships and maybe even a new career as many of the agencies and companies represented are looking to add new talent to the workforce,” said John Barfield, director of engagement and visibility in TSU’s Division of Research and Institutional Advancement.

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, 25 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 hosts NASA Technology Infusion Road Tour

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is hosting an event this week to help make students aware of programs offered by NASA and other federal agencies.

https---cdn.evbuc.com-images-28153637-50988178194-1-originalThe NASA HBCU/MSI Technology Infusion Road Tour is April 4-5 and is an opportunity for students and university officials to learn more about the space agency’s Mentor-Protégé Program (MPP) in particular, as well as other programs.

The event will also feature key information from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the National Institutes of Health, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the U.S. Department of Army and large prime contractors.

Throughout both days, there will be workshops, panel discussions and networking opportunities.

“The event allows faculty to expose their students to research at a higher level, to conferences, internships and maybe even a new career as many of the agencies and companies represented are looking to add new talent to the workforce,” said John Barfield, director of engagement and visibility in TSU’s Division of Research and Institutional Advancement.

For more information about the NASA HBCU/MSI Technology Infusion Road Tour, visithttps://sites.ed.gov/whhbcu/2016/02/05/the-2016-nasa-hbcumsi-technology-infusion-road-tour/.

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, 25 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 hosts top business leaders at Women in Leadership Symposium

By K. Dawn Rutledge

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Women across Middle Tennessee made their way to the campus of Tennessee State University for the 2nd Annual Nashville Women in Leadership Symposium on March 29.

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Mrs. Tina Reed, associate director of TSU’s Career Development Center, moderates the discussion. (By Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

The invitation-only event, sponsored by the National Diversity Council and hosted by TSU’s Department of Educational Leadership, drew close to 100 women who focused on the theme, “Be Fearless: Influence, Innovate, and Inspire.”

The half-day symposium brought together a diverse mix of successful women who discussed a number of relevant issues to give women the educational tools and support needed for personal and professional advancement.

“Leadership is what we do and what we teach in our department,” said Dr. Trinetia Repress, chair for the TSU Department of Educational Leadership. “By allowing women to learn from one another, it not only empowers us, but demonstrates through these valuable discussions and interactions that there is a common thread when it comes to the leadership challenges women experience.”

The program’s panel participants included TSU Vice President of Research and Institutional Advancement, Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, who spoke on “The Power of No.” Mrs. Tina Reed, associate director of TSU’s Career Development Center, served as moderator.

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Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, TSU Vice President of Research and Institutional Advancement, talks with an attendee. (By Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

“When we say ‘no’, it should be about fulfilling our goals, values, core beliefs, and priorities,” Crumpton-Young said. “If anything goes against those things, then ‘no’ is the right answer.”

Joining Crumpton-Young on the panel were Lauren Lane Payne, senior vice president of philanthropy at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville; Ann Hatcher, vice president of Key Talent Acquisition and Development for HCA; Dr. Alkyna Finch, certified coach, author and speaker; and Vail R. Brown, senior vice president of Global Business Development and Marketing at STR. Each panelist gave perspective on topics ranging from generational mentoring and support, to authentic leadership, leveraging social media and career transition.

Ashlyn Outler, director of the Women in Leadership Symposiums for the National Diversity Council, said TSU has been a great host partner in their efforts to expand awareness in the area. This is the second year the Council has partnered with the university through Educational Leadership. In 2016, TSU’s Dr. Alisa Mosley, associate vice president for the Division of Academic Affairs, was a panelist, and Ms. Seanne Wilson, coordinator of the TSU Women’s Center, handled moderator duties.

The National Diversity Council is the first non-profit organization to bring together the private, public and non-profit sectors to discuss the many dimensions and benefits of a multicultural environment. It is currently made up of state and regional councils, the National Women’s Council, the Council for Corporate Responsibility, and the Healthcare Diversity Council.

“We have embarked on an aggressive initiative to expand our brand and this powerful leadership symposium is helping us to do that,” Outler said. “We have 25 established councils around the country and abroad, and we have been very excited about being at TSU for a second year working with Dr. Trinetia Respress to get women talking about leadership and diversity.”

The Center for American Progress, an independent nonpartisan policy institute, reports that women continue to lag substantially behind men when it comes to their representation in leadership positions. According to the CAP, while women make up 50.8 percent of the U.S. population and 47 percent of the U.S. labor force, they represent only 14.6 percent of executive officers, 8.1 percent of top earners, 4.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs and only 16.9 percent of Fortune 500 board seats.

“It is our hope that we can develop a long-term relationship with the National Diversity Council,” Repress said. “By working with this event, we hope to continue the important dialogue about the challenges women face in leadership.”

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, 25 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 Department working to raise $100K for theater program

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – TSU’s Department of Communications has embarked on a fundraising drive for its theater program, and is close to reaching its goal for this semester.

forgirlsDr. Tameka Winston, interim chair of the Communications Department, where the theater program is housed, said a goal of $6,000 was set for this semester, and so far $4,500 has been raised. The ultimate goal is $100,000.

“I’m very excited about this theater fundraiser,” she said. “However, after we reach our goal (this semester), we’re going right into the next fundraiser, because we still have a lot of work to do.”

Tennessee State’s theater presents a varied repertoire of theatrical productions featuring TSU students in all aspects of the performance. These productions provide students with basic fundamental skill sets and experiences in acting and theater production. The program, established in 1939 by Dr. Thomas E. Poag, is housed at the Cox/Lewis Theater in the TSU Performing Arts Center.

Winston said the theater program is special because it was in place before anything else in the department.

“The program laid the foundation for the department,” she said. “It was in existence before Mass Communications, or Communication Studies.”

The theater program, however, is struggling because of low enrollment. It currently has about 30 students enrolled. Department officials said funds raised will be used to attract students to the program.

“The low enrollment is in large part because we simply aren’t able to recruit the number of students needed for a vibrant, competitive program,” said Dr. Lawrence James, professor of theater and also theater coordinator.

The department hopes to raise $50,000 next year, and has a two-year strategic plan in place to eventually raise $100,000.

“We want to make sure that long after we’re gone, the theater will be fine,” Winston said.

Despite its small enrollment, department officials said the theater program still turns out great plays and performances, like the play “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf,” which started showing March 29 and continues through April 1 at 7 p.m. in the Cox/Lewis Theater.

TSU freshman Ashley Johnson of Cleveland, Ohio, is one of the play’s performers. She said she’s glad money is being raised for the theater program.

“There’s so much life in the theater program; so much potential,” said Johnson, adding that she’d like to see the program do musicals. “The funding would definitely help. We’d be able to do so much more.”

James is the director of TSU’s version of the play “For Colored Girls.” He said it’s similar to the original play that was written more than 40 years ago.

While he hopes that young women will be educated and empowered by the play’s message, he said it makes an “important statement in regard to issues related to all women.”

“The play deals with a number of subjects that are very relevant today: love relationships, abandonment, rape, abortion, sisterhood, among other issues,” James said.

Students with IDs can attend the play for free; it’s $10 for non-students.

To find out more about TSU’s theater program, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/Communications/.

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, 25 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, Cheekwood, Nashville Mayor Announce Partnership to Offer Students Paid Internships

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A partnership between Tennessee State University, Cheekwood and the mayor’s Opportunity Now program will provide paid internships and hands-on horticultural training to TSU students interested in careers in the environment.

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President Glenda Glover makes remarks following the announcement of the TSU partnership with Cheekwood and Opportunity NOW. (Photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, TSU President Glenda Glover, and Jane MacLeod, Cheekwood president and CEO, announced the partnership Wednesday at a news conference at the Cheekwood Estate and Garden.

The partnership is part of a Cheekwood Career Readiness Initiative, designed to “inspire a new generation of horticulturalists and outdoor educators,” according to MacLeod.

It offers horticulture/landscape training and job skills development. Interns also receive one-on-one mentoring with leading horticultural experts, access to nationally acclaimed plant collection, and paid compensation.

“It is just great to see Tennessee State University and Cheekwood, two great institutions in our city to form this partnership that can lead to long-term jobs or careers in horticulture,” said Barry, whose Opportunity Now initiative aims to provide young people ages 14-24 in Davidson County access to employment.“

President Glover said with new concepts and advances in the field of horticulture, Cheekwood provides the necessary training environment and job-skills opportunity for TSU students.

“As a premier land-grant institution with an outstanding college of agriculture, TSU takes this partnership very seriously” Glover said. “TSU ranks among the best schools for job placement and we tell our students that a degree earned from TSU will land you gainful employment. That is why this partnership is so important. It helps us to continue our commitment to excellence.”

In welcoming remarks, MacLeod said the partnership with TSU and the mayor’s Opportunity NOW program was part of a strategic effort to raise appreciation and awareness for horticulture particularly among students as a career.

“This effort is also part of Cheekwood’s commitment to reach further out in the Nashville community to support initiatives to better our city, and engage with an increasingly diverse audience,” MacLeod said. “We are extremely glad to work with TSU in furthering these initiatives. The first TSU students who interned with us were exceptional and show great interest in learning what was put before them.”

Tariq Muhammad, a junior plant and soil science major, is one of three TSU students from the College of Agriculture who interned at Cheekwood as part of the partnership. He said the experience was quite different from what is taught in the classroom.

“It was amazing just to work with people who really love to do what they do,” said Mohammad, who worked in the gardens. “That was really a motivation for me. People were always there to help you. I was able to learn so much – the esthetics, the upkeep of the gardens.”

Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the TSU College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Sciences, referred to Cheekwood as a ‘jewel in Nashville’ that is very beneficial to TSU.

“They (Cheekwood) are so focused on horticulture which is one of our main focuses at Tennessee State University,” Reddy said. “We are so excited to enter this agreement with them. We are also thankful to President Glover, who has been on the forefront with Cheekwood and the mayor in getting this partnership together, which will not only benefit our students but also our faculty.”

Other TSU students who participated in the six-week internship at Cheekwook are: Jill Mullican, senior, Plant Sciences; and Whitney “Abby” Anderson, sophomore, Agricultural Education.

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, 25 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.

Honors Convocation Speaker Obie McKenzie Challenges Honors Students to make wise decisions, ‘dare to dream’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University Honors Convocation speaker Obie McKenzie challenged TSU students to make wise decisions, and “dare to dream.”

McKenzie, named by Black Enterprise magazine as one the 75 Most Powerful Blacks on Wall Street, is managing director of BlackRock, Inc., the largest publicly traded investment management firm in the United States.

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Honors Convocation speaker Obie McKenzie, TSU President Glenda Glover, and TSU Presidential Scholar Jaquantey Bowen

McKenzie joined TSU faculty and staff, as well as students’ family and friends, in honoring the university’s best and brightest in Kean Hall gym on Tuesday.

McKenzie, a 1967 TSU graduate, reflected on his younger days, noting that he enjoyed college life, but also took his course work seriously, which helped him gain success in the workplace. He also said he took control of his thoughts, and advised students to do the same, because that’s where their “destiny begins and where their dreams are actualized.”

“Be careful of words that come out of your mouth and take control of your thoughts because (they are) your most important possession,” said McKenzie, a former TSU Student Government Association president, who is currently on TSU’s board of trustees.

He also encouraged them to be bold.

“Please dare to dream,” McKenzie said. “Your dreams begin today.”

More than 3,330 students on the Dean’s List, or students with 3.0 GPAs or higher, were honored at the convocation. Of that number, 287 made the President’s List. These are students with perfect 4.0 GPAs.

Presidential Scholar Jaquantey Bowen, who graduates in December, was among those honored.

Bowen wants to put an end to heart disease, which has killed many of his relatives and is responsible for nearly 610,000 deaths in America each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

He plans to become a cardiovascular surgeon, and he’s well on his way.

With a perfect 4.0, Bowen has set his sights on Harvard University. He has been accepted into the highly competitive Harvard BWH Stars Program for Summer Research, an intensive, eight-week program in research methods and practice for underrepresented minority college and first-year medical students.

During Bowen’s freshman year at TSU, just around his 18th birthday, his 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, who will receive a bachelor’s degree in biology with concentration in cell and molecular biology and a minor in chemistry. “I solidified my career choice to become a cardiovascular surgeon. I have strived for excellence and maintained nothing less than an ‘A’ in every course I have taken.”

Also honored were members of the University-Wide Honor Societies, Student Leadership Awards recipients, the Top Graduating Seniors, and recipients of private scholarship awards, such as the Dr. McDonald Williams Scholarship, named after the founder of the Honors Program.

“Today we are honoring honors students and recognizing you for your academic achievement,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “Honors classes are difficult and require a lot of research and time. For 53 years, TSU has been committed to mentoring and motivating students to pursue academic excellence through the Honors Program. We thank you for excellence.”

McKenzie told the students that current geopolitics and technological changes demand that they remain focused to be successful.

“If your mind is messed up with a whole bunch of thoughts that are not going to contribute to where it is that you are trying to go, your destiny is being messed up by what you are thinking,” McKenzie said. “Remember, your word becomes your action; your action becomes your habits; your habits become your character; and your character becomes your destiny.”

Dr. Coreen Jackson, interim dean of the Honors College, thanked McKenzie for inspiring the students, and lauded them for their achievements.

“These students are an example of what hard work is all about,” she said. “We are excited to give them this well-deserved honor.”

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, 25 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.

 

Nationally syndicated radio host Tom Joyner to Deliver Spring Commencement Address at Tennessee State University

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Nationally syndicated radio personality Tom Joyner will deliver Tennessee State University’s undergraduate commencement address on May 6.

More than 800 students will receive degrees in various disciplines at the spring ceremony in the William Jasper Hale Stadium on the main campus. The ceremony begins at 8 a.m.

Congressman Jim Cooper will deliver the graduate commencement address on May 5 at 5 p.m. in the Howard C. Gentry Complex, also on the main campus.

Joyner, host of the nationally syndicated radio program, The Tom Joyner Morning Show, is a graduate of Tuskegee University. An entrepreneur and philanthropist, Joyner is a champion of historically black colleges and universities. His foundation, the Tom Joyner Foundation, supports HBCUs with scholarships, endowments, and capacity building enhancements.

Since its creation in 1997, the foundation has raised more than $65 million to help students stay in school. Last year, the foundation selected TSU to be a “school of the month.” Under the designation, the foundation awarded scholarships to students throughout the month and featured TSU’s accomplishments on Joyner’s weekly morning program.

Also last year, the foundation entered into a partnership with TSU to help students interested in science, technology, engineering and math. Under the partnership, Memphis, Tennessee, students graduating from five Tennessee community colleges will receive full scholarships to attend TSU.

The Tom Joyner Foundation will provide 75 percent of the scholarship funds, and the rest will come from the NSF funded Tiger Teach Initiative and TSU’s Office of Community College Initiatives.

On a personal note, Joyner is not a stranger to TSU. His mother was raised at then Tennessee A&I State College by his great aunt, Jane Elliott Hall, after whom the Jane Elliott Building is named.

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, 25 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 Honors College Produces Students Who Impact the World; Annual Convocation Set for March 28

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Jaquantey Bowen and Ayana Wild want to change the world.

They are among more than 3,000 students with grade point averages of 3.0 or higher who will be recognized when Tennessee State University honors its best and brightest students during the annual Honors Day Convocation on March 28.

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Jaquantey Bowen

Bowen, a Presidential Scholar who graduates in December, wants to put an end to heart disease, which has killed many of his relatives and is responsible for nearly 610,000 deaths in America each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Bowen plans to become a cardiovascular surgeon, and he’s well on his way.

With a perfect 4.0 GPA, Bowen has set his sights on Harvard University. He has been accepted into the highly competitive Harvard BWH Stars Program for Summer Research, an intensive, eight-week program in research methods and practice for underrepresented minority college and first-year medical students.

During Bowen’s freshman year at TSU, just around his 18th birthday, his 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, who will receive a bachelor’s degree in biology with concentration in cell and molecular biology and a minor in chemistry. “I solidified my career choice to become a cardiovascular surgeon. I have strived for excellence and maintained nothing less than an ‘A’ in every course I have taken.”

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Ayana Wild

Wild, who has been on the Dean’s List since entering TSU, wants to be a university professor, like her parents.

“I am inspired by my father and mother and many great professors I met at TSU,” said Wild, who graduates in May with a double major in computer science and math. “Through teaching, I want to be able to change the future of the computer science industry, as well as inspire students to make career choices that impact the world.”

Wild has a 3.9 GPA. She has been accepted into the graduate program at Vanderbilt University, with a research assistantship. Her older brother is pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Vanderbilt, where her father also teaches. Her mother is a professor of chemistry at TSU.

As high achievers, Bowen and Wild are following in the footsteps of a select group of TSU honors graduates who have gone on to impact the world in remarkable ways in education, medicine, technology, and many other areas.

Among them, Dr. Glenda Glover, TSU’s current president, who earned a degree in math, and one of only two female educators in the United States with a Ph.D., JD and CPA combination. Some others are the late Dr. Levi Watkins, a 1966 graduate of the program, who revolutionized the medical world with the creation and implantation of the Automatic Implantable Defibrillator; and Jesse Russell, a 1972 graduate recognized as the father of digital cellular technology.

Another is Obie McKenzie, a 1967 graduate who will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Honors Convocation.

McKenzie is managing director at BlackRock, Inc., the largest publicly traded investment management firm in the United States, and a member of Tennessee State’s board of trustees.

“We are excited about Mr. McKenzie coming to bless us as our guest speaker,” said Dr. Coreen Jackson, interim dean of TSU Honors College. “He has walked this road. He has blazed the trail for us. This allows other students to see him as a mentor, and as a role model.”

TSU officials say the 3,331 students to be honored at this year’s convocation is a 42 percent increase in the number of students who made the Dean’s List the previous year. Of that number, 287 made the President’s List. These are students with perfect 4.0 GPAs.

“We are ecstatic about the great number of students who have achieved the Dean’s List during this period,” Jackson said. “It shows that Tennessee State University students are getting serious about their school work, and are working diligently to achieve excellence in the classroom. We just want to honor them and let them know that TSU is behind them, supporting them.”

Fore more information on the 2017 Honors Day Convocation, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/honors/.

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, 25 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.

Actress Vivica A. Fox empowers Women of Legend and Merit Awards attendees, encourages students to make right choices

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Actress Vivica A. Fox has a message for Tennessee State University students: make the right choices.

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TSU President Glenda Glover, scholarship recipient Kayla Daniels, and Dr. Samantha Morgan-Curtis, associate professor of English and Women’s Studies at TSU. (By John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Fox was the keynote speaker at the Women of Legend and Merit Awards on March 21, which also featured a performance by entertainer Angela Winbush.

With an extensive body of work that includes television, stage and film credits, Fox talked about her career, at times drawing laughter from attendees, and striking a more serious note when discussing her mother and her faith.

But Fox, who is also a producer and accomplished businesswoman, probably had the strongest message when she focused directly on TSU’s students, who participated in some capacity throughout the program.

“You all are our future,” Fox said. “The choices you make today will shape your tomorrow.”

First held in 2007, the WOLM awards is designed to bring awareness and raise funds to support the TSU Women’s Center, which offers student-focused programming to empower individuals and student organizations, as well as help students make the right choices.

At the awards dinner, TSU freshman Kayla Daniels was given a $1,000 scholarship to pursue her degree in business. The scholarship dollars are available mainly because of money raised at the WOLM awards through ticket sales and sponsorships.

Women’s Center coordinator Seanne Wilson said the awards dinner is also an opportunity for the TSU family and the Nashville community to be introduced to “dynamic, successful, and positive women who impact their community,” as well as society.

This year’s honorees were Dr. Stephanie Walker, Vanderbilt University/First lady Mt. Zion Baptist; Cheryl White Mason, Vanderbilt Law School; Teresa Phillips, TSU athletic director; Yvette Boyd, R.H. Boyd Publishing; and Vicki Yates, WTVF Nashville news anchor.

In particular, Wilson said the event seeks to expose the university’s “female student population to positive role models, networking opportunities and resources to assist in their academic, personal and professional growth as women.”

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Entertainer Angela Winbush. (By John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

But its main objective is to help the Women’s Center, which assists students with issues that range from financial needs to domestic abuse, Wilson said. It also has programs like “Wisdom Speaks,” in which alumni return to the campus to engage students in empowering discussions, as well as a clothing boutique.

“Some of our students are first generation college students and have a very limited wardrobe,” Wilson said. “Some young ladies, if they’re interviewing or doing internships, will come to the center looking for something to wear.”

The center is also sort of a home-away-from-home where students, not just females, can visit and do homework, or just hang out and debate the latest topics with friends, Wilson said.

Senior Kourtney Daniels said the center is a “vital resource to all students on campus.”

“It’s not just for the female population,” said Daniels, an agriculture science major with a concentration in food science and technology.

“Guys come in all the time, and we’ll have debates about everything from politics, to family issues we might have.”

For more information about the Women’s Center, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/womenscenter/.

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, 25 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.