Category Archives: NEWS

CBS Executive to Offer Career Advice to Students During Workshop Oct. 29

Entertainment workshop to provide network opportunity for students with industry professionals

 

Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i
Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i, Vice President of Entertainment Diversity and Communications with CBS Television, will be the featured speaker Tuesday, Oct. 29 during Tennessee State University’s entertainment diversity career conference and symposium.

The symposium takes place from 1:30 until 5 p.m. in The Forum, located in the Floyd Payne Campus Center, and is open to students and the community.

Smith-Anoa’i will speak at 11:30 a.m. during the faculty reception and again at 1:30 p.m. during the student symposium. Smith-Anoa’i is charged with the development and execution of communications strategies for diversity initiatives and programs for CBS Television. Acting as a liaison, she works with national multi-ethnic media coalitions, creative executives and casting directors from the CBS Network & Studio to insure diverse talent is represented both in front of and behind the camera.

The appearance by the CBS executive is part of the larger symposium and conference that will bring entertainment industry leaders and professionals to the University in order to expose a diverse group of students to the industry while closing the gap between students and recruiters.

Companies scheduled to be in attendance include DreamWorks Animation SKG, Sony, CBS Corporate, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Clear Channel and others.

According to organizers, this is an exceptional opportunity for students to meet and network with industry professionals. For students who desire to work in one of the many areas of the entertainment industry or who want to explore the possibilities that the entertainment industry offers, this conference is a must attend.

Students from all majors and backgrounds are invited to participate.  Industry leaders are seeking students from business, mass communications, engineering, technology, music, history, architecture, computer science, and art as well as other academic majors and disciplines.  The conference is for both undergraduates and graduate students.

The conference is free and open to students, and registration is advised. For more information, contact the TSU Career Development Center at 615.963.7527.

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John A. 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, coeducational, 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 celebrates 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu

President takes oath of office, outlines goals (video)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University welcomed a new president Friday, Oct. 25 when Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover took the oath of office and officially became the eighth president of the University. Dignitaries and politicians from across the country and Middle Tennessee joined community members to welcome the University’s newest president. Spend a few minutes reliving the Inauguration of Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover and listen to her vision for the future. (Video courtesy of News Channel 5, Nashville)

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John A. 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, coeducational, 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 celebrates 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu

Hundreds Attend Presidential Procession to Kick Off Week of Inaugural Festivities

The inauguration of Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover officially kicked off today with the Office of Student Affairs sponsored presidential procession. The procession traveled from the President's House to the amphitheater. The official investiture ceremony takes place Friday, Oct. 25 a the Gentry Center beginning at 9 am. Pictured (from left to right: Dr. Bobby Jones; Charles Glover, husband to Dr. Glenda Glover; Dr. Charles Glover II, Dr. Glover's son; President Glover; SGA President, Devonte Johnson; SGA Vice President, Erica Smith; Miss TSU, Mia Black; and Mr. TSU, Michael Johnson. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
The inauguration of Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover officially kicked off today with the Office of Student Affairs sponsored presidential procession. The procession traveled from the President’s House to the amphitheater. The official investiture ceremony takes place Friday, Oct. 25 a the Gentry Center beginning at 9 am. Pictured (from left to right: Dr. Bobby Jones; Charles Glover, husband to Dr. Glenda Glover; Dr. Charles Glover II, Dr. Glover’s son; President Glover; SGA President, Devonte Johnson; SGA Vice President, Erica Smith; Miss TSU, Mia Black; and Mr. TSU, Michael Johnson. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Activities marking the investiture of the eighth president of Tennessee State University are in full swing on campus and in Nashville.

With a procession on Wednesday from the president’s residence along John A. Merritt Boulevard through campus to the Amphitheater, Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover, the University’s first female president, kicked off her inaugural ceremonies to the cheers of hundreds of onlooker, students, staff and faculty.

“I truly believe Dr. Glover will make a great president,” said Dijiana Davis, a senior Agribusiness major from Nashville, as she stood along the procession route beaming with apparent satisfaction for her new president. “As a TSU graduate she has roots here and she is very friendly and involved with the students, and those are good indications of what we can expect.”

With the Aristocrat of Band playing some of their favorite marching tunes, Dr. Glover, accompanied by her family, yet-to-be-crowned Mr. and Miss TSU, the SGA leadership, Cabinet members, and students carrying congratulatory banners, walked the nearly one-mile distance to the Amphitheater where another large crowd was waiting.

Also joining Dr. Glover in the procession were friends of the president, including gospel great and TSU graduate, Dr. Bobby Jones (’59).

Beulah Oldham (’87, M.A.), who identified herself as a sorority sister of the president, said Dr. Glover is going be a great asset not only to TSU but the whole of Tennessee, as the first African-American female university president in the TBR.

“She is all about business and students,” Oldham said. “She has a vested interested in this institution and she will do whatever it takes to ensure that it grows to its full potential.”

TSU President, Dr. Glenda Glover (R), watches as students display well-wishes during a special ceremony following the presidential procession to the amphitheater. Also pictured with Dr. Glover are her son, Dr. Charles Glover II (L), and her husband, Charles Glover. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
TSU President, Dr. Glenda Glover (R), watches as students display well-wishes during a special ceremony following the presidential procession to the amphitheater. Also pictured with Dr. Glover are her son, Dr. Charles Glover II (L), and her husband, Charles Glover. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

Cassandra Griggs called the presidential procession “a great way” to start the week of activities. “It highlights the many great things planned for the week and many more to come,” said Griggs, director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving.

In a brief ceremony organized by the Office of Student Affairs at the Amphitheater, preschoolers from the TSU Early Learning Center, who also marched in the procession, touted their global knowledge by identifying different flags of the word through songs, and presented President Glover with a framed collage of flags.

Dr. Glover was also presented with well wishes, congratulatory statements and gifts from various student organizations.

The president thanked the organizers, students, faculty, staff and visitors for a “well planned” event and all the gifts and sentiments, and welcome them to the investiture on Friday and all other activities marking her inauguration.

“Thank you all for your gifts, thoughts and well wishes and I look forward to seeing you at the inauguration,” Dr. Glover said.

The procession highlights a weeklong series of engagements across the University that will embrace everyone at TSU, as well as leaders from higher education in the United States and around the world, the extended alumni family, and friends and neighbors in Nashville and beyond. It will culminate with an inaugural gala Friday night and the Homecoming football game at LP Field between TSU and Eastern Illinois on Saturday.

For information on names, times and location of Inaugural/Homecoming activities, please go to http://www.tnstate.edu/calendar/.

 

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John A. 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, coeducational, 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 celebrates 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu

University Choir Belts it Out in Singing Competition

The New Direction performs at the How Sweet the Sound Verizon Experience, a regional competition as part of nationwide search for the best gospel choir. The group from TSU was the first HBCU choir to ever take part in the competition, and only the third university choir selected in the competition’s six years. (courtesy photo)
The New Direction performs at the How Sweet the Sound Verizon Experience, a regional competition as part of nationwide search for the best gospel choir. The group from TSU was the first HBCU choir to ever take part in the competition, and only the third university choir selected in the competition’s six years. (courtesy photo)

 

New Direction Choir takes on community and church choirs in regional competition 

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The New Direction Choir from Tennessee State University took center stage Oct. 8 in Atlanta to compete against five other choirs to see who would walk away with bragging rights as the best gospel troupe in the region.

TSU’s choir took part in “How Sweet the Sound,” a nationwide search for the best gospel choir in the country. The New Direction Choir was the first HBCU choir to ever take part in the competition, and only the third university choir selected in the competition’s six years.

Competing against larger church and community choirs, New Direction captured the 1st Runner-Up award in the regional division.

“Hundreds of choirs applied for the competition, but only the very best were selected to take part,” said Deborah Chisom, director of Graduate Admission and the choir’s primary advisor. “The students were literally jumping for joy when they heard the good news. This was an opportunity to take our performance to another level.”

The choir submitted a video performance to the selection committee in early summer and found out in August that they were one of six choirs picked for the regionals in Atlanta. The choir had only a month to prepare, and, according to Chisom, the choir was given a list of approved songs that were cleared for the competition. They then had to select five songs from the list to sing, with the competition committee selecting the song they would eventually perform.

“It was very intense preparing for the competition,” added Chisom. “The other choirs we were competing against were larger and had more singing time together.”

None of that mattered when the choir took to the stage. Under the direction of TSU alumnus, Justin Butler, the 35-member choir belted out a creative rendition of the late Olanda Draper’s “My Soul Does Magnify The Lord.”  The choir was judged on the creativity of the arrangement, their uniform, diction, choreography and audience participation.

Out of the six choirs performing, TSU captured the second spot and a $5,000 award. They also won the right to compete in the finale in Los Angeles if the winning choir is unable to make it or drops out.

“It is competitions like this that put TSU and the New Direction Choir on the map,” said Chisom. “We had numerous alumni from the Atlanta area watch the performance and they told us they had no idea that the University had such a wonderful and talented choir.”

“How Sweet the Sound,” which is sponsored by Verizon, is now in its sixth year of traversing the country for its best gospel choirs. This year’s competition launched in New Orleans Sept. 27, with stops in Dallas, Baltimore, New York, Chicago, and Detroit. Following the Atlanta show, the contest culminates with the finals in Los Angeles Nov. 2 where winners from each city compete for a $25,000 grand prize and a chance to record with eOne Music.

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John A. 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, coeducational, 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 celebrates 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu

With Glitz, Glamour and Pomp, Mia Black is Ready to Put on “Miss TSU” Crown

Mia Black
Mia Black

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – After much jitters and now excitement, Mia Black is ready to put on her crown as the next Miss Tennessee State University.

“At first I was a little held back but after all the practices, it all seems real now and I am excited and ready,” the Atlanta beauty said when asked about preparations for her coronation on Wednesday, Oct. 23.

The “crowning moment,” part of a long tradition at TSU, is one of the highlights of a series of activities with glitz, glitters, pomp and circumstance that is expected to draw thousands of dignitaries, alumni, officials and community leaders and residents to Nashville and TSU this week.

Key among them is the inauguration of Dr. Glenda Glover, as the first female and eighth president of Tennessee State University. All of these activities coincide with the 2013 Homecoming celebration and parade along historic Jefferson Street.

“This makes it even more special with the inauguration of Dr. Glover,” said Black, who, along with Michigan native Michael Johnson, will be crowned “Miss” and “Mr.” Tennessee State University, respectively. “He (Johnson) is really a very good king. He makes sure I have everything I need.”

When asked about the readiness of members of her Royal Court, Black said they are all excited and ready, but was not ready to give out many details about their outfits, especially her dress.

“My Court is ready and excited, we have purchased our dresses, and all I can say to that is that the girls are wearing royal blue halter dresses from Glitz Bridal,” Black said. “My dress is also from Glitz Bridal, and it’s a diamond, off-white dress with petals and lace.”

The coronation or the crowning of a queen or king, especially at HBCUs, is rooted in traditions that affirm ethnic heritage, build self-esteem, and develop leaders.

“The coronation of Miss TSU is a historical event within the culture of the institution that provides leadership, etiquette and public speaking to not only Miss TSU but the ladies in her Royal Court,” said Dr. Jame’l Hodges, director of Student Activities. “Many of the former TSU queens, like Chandra Lipscomb (1980)and Barbara Murrell (1960), remain very active in providing grooming and etiquette tips to the ladies.”

As en example, Hodges said, Dale Williams, a former Miss TSU, has taken what she learned from her time at TSU in the 90s to create her own Kings and Queens leadership conference that is today educating college kings and queens from HBCUs around the world.

Black, whose theme is “Get Active, Bleed Blue & Grow TSU,” said her agenda is to get students to be more active in University activities, develop pride for their school, and getting people to know all that is positive about TSU.

“TSU has done so much for us and we need students to know that and to send out a message about the greatness of this university,” said Black. “We are all thankful to our parents and families, who are all eager and ready to attend our coronation.”

Members of the Miss TSU Royal Court are: Kierra Allen-Craig, Miss Senior – a Social Work major from Memphis; Amethyst Stephens, Miss Junior – a Physical Therapy major from Kankakee, Ill.; and India Ward, Miss Sophomore – a Psychology major from Munster, Ind.

The coronation begins promptly at 7 p.m., in Kean Hall to be followed by the ball.

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John A. 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, coeducational, 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 celebrates 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu

TSU Receives $2.5 Million Grant from National Science Foundation

Dr. Lonnie Sharpe
Dr. Lonnie Sharpe

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University recently received a $2.5 million grant to implement and lead the Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority participation in support of underrepresented students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The National Science Foundation grant will cover a period of five years, paying $493, 207 per year to significantly increase the number of baccalaureate degrees awarded to students majoring in STEM disciplines while meeting the future needs of government, industry and education.

“This grant will impact nearly 3,800 underrepresented students throughout Tennessee, and increase the production and quality of minorities pursuing STEM careers,” said Dr. Lonnie Sharpe, Massie Chair of Excellence and co-principal investigator of the grant. “I am pleased that our excellent STEM faculty and alliance partners are committed to work together to have an impact at both ends of the collegiate pipeline, from community college to graduate school, to engage a diverse pool of students in the STEM enterprise.”

LSAMP supports sustained and comprehensive approaches that facilitate the long-term goal of increasing the number of students who earn doctorates in STEM fields, particularly those from populations underrepresented in STEM fields. Phase I awards, which TSU first received in 2002, places emphasis on aggregate baccalaureate production. The University then received a Phase II award in 2008 to augment Phase I with emphasis on individual student retention and progression to baccalaureate degrees. The recent grant, which covers Phase III, augments Phase I and Phase II with attention to aggregate student progression to graduate school acceptance.

The program goals are accomplished through the formation of alliances of colleges and universities across the region, in which TSU acts as the lead campus. Other institutions in the alliance include LeMoyne-Owen College, Fisk University, Middle Tennessee State University, Nashville State Community College, Southwest Tennessee Community College, Tennessee Technological University, University of Memphis, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and Vanderbilt University.

“This grant provides tremendous opportunities for us to increase the number of minority undergraduates in STEM,” added Sharpe. “This will ultimately increase the number of students pursuing graduate studies in the STEM workforce that drives the security and economy of our nation.”

 

 

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John A. 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, coeducational, 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 celebrates 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu

NSF Funding Helps College of Engineering Support Local High School STEM Programs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The College of Engineering has received several grants from the National Science Foundation related to developing simulation and gaming modules to enhance learning in engineering education. These research projects engaged undergraduate and graduate students in developing simulations in machine design and graphics.

In support of STEM Education in Metro Nashville Public Schools, the College of Engineering is also assisting with the creation of the gaming and simulation laboratory at Stratford STEM Magnet High School, under a partnership with the National Safety and Security Technologies Academy at Stratford.

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, who has been affiliated with Stratford High for more than two years, serves as an advisor to the NSST academy, as it transforms the curriculum to STEM disciplines and careers.

“Our college is committed to supporting K-12 education and partnering with MNPS through the Pencil Foundation, and playing a key role in educating future engineering students from our local community,” Hargrove said.

The Foundation, which administers eight educational programs involving volunteers and mentors, links community resources with Metro Nashville Public Schools. It also provides academic enrichment opportunities, and prepares students for graduation.

As part of the COE/NSST partnership, a group of six students and two instructors from Stratford Magnet High School participated in a Virtual Reality Workshop on Oct. 10 at Tennessee State University. The workshop, conducted by Dr. Sachin Shetty, assistant professor of Electrical Engineering, introduced the students to software tools used in commercial Virtual Reality systems.

According to Dr. Shetty, participants gained practical experience creating simulations with Vizard, a 3D engine used to create Virtual Reality Applications.

This was a step up from the 2D gaming module the students had previously been exposed to, according to Roger Osborne, one of the Stratford instructors. “The experience of creating a 3D virtual world and learning techniques to animate 3D characters and objects was extremely valuable,” he said.  “The students were able to ‘learn by doing’ through a sequence of exercises geared toward exposing them to development of a 3D virtual reality game.”

Osborne expressed interest in deploying the Vizard software in the Stratford gaming labs, as well as adopting it to the school’s criminal justice program to help students create an investigative scene in a 3D virtual world.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John A. 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, coeducational, 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 celebrates 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu

Drum Major Devyn Miles Marches in the Footprints of Trailblazers for Change

Devyn Miles performs with the Aristocrat of Bands recently at LP Field during the John Merritt Classic. Miles is the third female drum major in the marching band’s nearly 70-year history, and the first in almost 20 years. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)
Devyn Miles performs with the Aristocrat of Bands recently at LP Field during the John Merritt Classic. Miles is the third female drum major in the marching band’s nearly 70-year history, and the first in almost 20 years. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Atlanta Native Only the Third Female in History to Lead TSU Marching Band

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Don’t be fooled by Devyn Miles’ lanky, 110-pound frame with a baby smile that will charm even the toughest heart.

At 5 feet 10 inches tall, she does not settle for the conventional. In fact, she challenges the status quo.

And that, along with hard work, has earned her front-row presence with the Aristocrat of Bands, as the only female drum major on the Tennessee State University 221-member marching show band.

Miles’ presence breaks a long all-male dominance of the now four-member squad, considered the heartbeat of the band. She becomes only the third female drum major in the marching band’s nearly 70-year history, and the first in almost 20 years.

“I had been watching and wondering how come there is no girl up there,” said Miles, a junior Computer Science major with concentration in Bioinformatics, and a French horn player in the marching band and the Wind Ensemble.

After being with the band for three years, Miles was just not pleased with the continued absence of a female on the leading team, referred to as the “Fantastic 4,” although she knew becoming a drum major would require a lot of work.

Along with being a drum major for the AOB, Miles also plays French horn in the marching band and the Wind Ensemble. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)
Along with being a drum major for the AOB, Miles also plays French horn in the marching band and the Wind Ensemble. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“Just then the call came out for applicants to try out for two drum major spots, and immediately I said to myself, ‘This is your chance Devyn,’” the Atlanta native said. “But there were some key requirements. Before even applying you had to have proven leadership skills, a minimum 2.7 GPA, and playing ability.”

For Miles, those seemed to be the easy part. She was averaging almost a 3.0, had been playing instruments since middle school, and she knew she could lead.  She applied and made the final cut as the only female along with four males to compete for the two spots.

Miles was ready for what laid ahead – the auditions and conditioning. In fact, according to Acting Band Director, Dr. Reginald McDonald, Miles was a formidable competitor in the tryout. She asked for no favors, and wanted no special treatment because she was a female.

“Actually what helped Devyn during the try-out process was that she did not look different from the men,” McDonald said. “She went out of her way to make sure that she was able to keep up with the men and that no one in our audience was able to distinguish the one female from the three males until they took off their hats.”

In the long history of the marching band, Miles’ team of applicants was the first group to go through a tryout to become drum majors. Prior to spring 2013, McDonald said drum majors were selected by the band director.

“First I was scared and felt some intimidation about the amount of work involved in the tryout, including a lot of practice,” Miles said. But she was used to hard work. Playing the French horn, arguably the most difficult brass instrument to master, one must practice a lot. And, that she did in the tryout, to master every move, step, detail, and definitely, throwing and catching the mace.

“You can’t let your mace fall; it’s sacred,” Miles said, adding, “I set my mind to it with a lot of practice until I found a comfortable way to do it.”

Miles was selected along with another male.  Today, she is a key part of the “Fantastic 4” – standing tall, moving in unison with the others and gracefully tossing and catching her mace – as she and the other three drum majors whistle and signal commands to their fellow marchers.

“Devyn is a very capable part of our team and I am glad to have her as a member of the Fantastic 4,” said Semaj Wansley, head drum major and a senior Music major from Moss Point, Miss. “I admire her work ethic. She overcomes those difficult obstacles placed before her, and I am sure that’s going to take her far in life.”

While Miles is thankful to her fellow band members and directors for their support, she can only imagine the difficulty her earlier compatriots faced more than 30 years ago (when the band allowed its first female) to make it possible for her to even dream of becoming a drum major.

“A lot of people supported me and there was no resentment toward me, and I thank them for that because if it was not for that support I probably wouldn’t be here,” Miles said. “I feel very fortunate and blessed because I heard it was not so smooth for the other females who were here before me. Their struggle and perseverance helped to pave the way for me.”

Felicia Carter Johnson was one of those females. As the first woman band member to become a drum major at TSU, Johnson, a Birmingham, Ala., native, had a bumpy start.

“I was teaching a dance routine when Prof. (Edward) Graves asked me if I was interested in becoming a drum major,” said Johnson, a 1983 graduate (Biology), then a sophomore with a dual role of playing the tenor saxophone in the marching band and the baritone saxophone in the Jazz Band.

She agreed but little did she know the amount of resentment she would receive from her fellow band members.

“I was resented mainly by the men and some even quit because I was asked to join, and that really hurt me,” Johnson said. “But I realized that I was a musician first, and I didn’t think it (drum major) was handed to me. I felt I earned it because I was just as qualified and good as any of them. There were many others who supported me and some of those who quit started coming back when they saw how well the band was doing. Some apologized to me later.”

Johnson’s perseverance, talent and leadership showed that women were just as capable as men, and paved the way for other women such as Quanda Watkins (’92 – Sociology, trombone) of Atlanta, who would later become only the second female TSU drum major, and now Miles. These women, together, prove that anything is possible. You just have to have the courage to steer ahead.

“I am glad I didn’t just think about wanting to be a drum major. I saw the opportunity and I went for it,” said Miles, whose dream is to become a music producer or arranger.

For now, Miles is making sure her mace never falls, and staying in step with the “Fantastic 4.”

Don’t forget to come out on Saturday, Oct. 26, when the “Fantastic 4” and the Aristocrat of Bands lead the TSU Homecoming parade down historic Jefferson Street.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John A. 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, coeducational, 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 celebrates 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu

Homecoming Parade Returns to Historic Jefferson Street

Members of the TSU cheerleading squad march in the 2012 Homecoming parade. This year, the parade returns to Jefferson Street and will begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
Members of the TSU cheerleading squad march in the 2012 Homecoming parade. This year, the parade returns to Jefferson Street and will begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

Parade takes to the streets at 8 a.m.

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University Homecoming Parade will return to its roots this year, beginning on Jefferson Street, and proceeding through the community that has supported the University for the past 50 years.

That makes Yusef Harris very happy.

The owner of the Alkebu-Lan Images bookstore, who last year saw a decline in profits due to the route change, was excited when he heard the news that the parade was making a comeback to the historic Jefferson Street community.

“Homecoming is a special community event for all the small business owners along the parade corridor,” said Harris. “Last year we missed out on some of the economic benefits when the route changed. There is a lot of excitement in the business community on the parade’s return. It’s a mutually beneficial event for the school and the community.”

Click for parade route (graphic by Joshua Holly, TSU Creative Services)
Click for parade route 

The 2013 Homecoming parade, themed Tennessee State University: New Century, New Direction for Excellence, takes place Saturday, Oct. 26, beginning at 8 a.m. from the corner of 14th Avenue and Jefferson Street. At least 10 bands are expected to march the two-mile route through the streets of the community and into the University. TSU President, Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover, will serve as Grand Marshall.

The only change in this year’s parade is the time, beginning an hour earlier than before.

“Homecoming at Tennessee State University is unlike any other,” said Cassandra Griggs, director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving. “The Homecoming game at LP Field starts an hour earlier at 4 o’clock so we needed to adjust the schedule to allow all our alumni and community guests ample time to make it to the game.”

Last year, the route was moved from Jefferson Street to around the exterior of the campus for the Centennial celebration, to accommodate large floats and a larger influx in crowd size. Crowds in 2011 were estimated at 50,000, with the 2012 parade bringing in more than double that amount.

According to TSU Police, officials this year are bracing for at least 40-50,000 parade-goers, with half of that number between 28th Avenue and Jefferson Street to the parade’s end at 33rd Avenue and Albion Street.

“We’ll have extra security from the Metro Nashville Police Department to augment our forces during the parade,” said Assistant Police Chief, Anthony Carter. “We just want to make sure everyone has a safe and fun time.”

Harris, whose business is located on the corner of 28th Avenue and Jefferson Street, said he is ready for the return not only because of the economic impact, but also because of the sense of pride the parade brings to the community.

“This annual event fills all of us, not only the business community but the community at large, with pride,” he said. “It is a piece of our tradition and history, and we are glad to see it back where it belongs.”

A parade shuttle service will be available for TSU employee staff and volunteers departing from the Gentry Center at 6 a.m., and for the TSU Royal Court departing from the airplane in front of Kean Hall at 6:30 a.m.

The staging area for parade participants will take place between 12th and 16th Avenue from Meharry Boulevard to Jackson Street. The Metro Nashville Police Department will close Jefferson Street to the University beginning at 7:30 a.m.

For more information, contact 615.963.5331.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John A. 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, coeducational, 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 celebrates 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu

Harvard Training Increases TSU Students’ Knowledge on Civic, Political Engagement

Dr. Michael Harris, dean of the College of Public Service and Urban Studies, middle, and students Erica Richardson-Carter, left, and Beonca James, represented TSU at the just-ended conference of the National Campaign Consortium for Political and Civic Engagement at Harvard University.
Dr. Michael Harris, dean of the College of Public Service and Urban Studies, middle, and students Erica Richardson-Carter, left, and Beonca James, represented TSU at the just-ended conference of the National Campaign Consortium for Political and Civic Engagement at Harvard University.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Shutting down the government, raising the debt ceiling and the rising cost of education are some of the major issues currently facing the United States. The politics and ramifications of these drain resources and impact decision making on the national and local levels.

But understanding these issues and the ability to clearly articulate their impact and ensuing debates or maneuverings in Congress, states assemblies or around the dinner table require a keen and engaged mind that is derived from education, information and participation.

At Tennessee State University, the College of Public Service and Urban Affairs is developing and implementing programs in these three areas to increase students’ awareness and engagement.

“Our goal is to work to facilitate and develop civic-minded and politically engaged students as part of their learning experience,” said Dr. Michael Harris, dean of CPSUA, who recently accompanied two students to Harvard University, where they participated in a two-day (Oct. 4-5) conference of the National Campaign Consortium for Political and Civic Engagement, sponsored by the Kennedy School of Government, and the Institute of Politics.

TSU was one of 24 universities from around the nation selected to take part in the annual workshop that included such institutions as Harvard, University of Oklahoma, Tufts University, Louisiana State University, University of Texas, University of Virginia and the University of Chicago.

Dr. Harris said the conference demonstrated the “valuable strategic mission” of CPSUA to educate leaders who serve and create sustainable and engaged communities. He added: “The Harvard experience and the ongoing work with 23 other universities will allow our students and faculty to enhance CPSUA’s contributions to engagement and citizenship activity at TSU and in Middle Tennessee.”

Beonca James, a senior Urban Studies and Sociology major from Lancaster, S.C., who accompanied Dr. Harris, said the discussion on how to implement social change through community service, advocacy and politics offered a great learning experience.

“TSU students and faculty can be a huge influence for change on campus and in the surrounding communities,” James said, adding, “if only we could get people more involved in the issues and give them the skills to implement the change they seek.”

The person pushing the NCC agenda as its campus coordinator for TSU is Dr. Cara B. Robinson, assistant professor of Urban Studies. She said the purpose of the consortium is to promote voting and civic engagement on college campuses.

“Each member of the NCC is charged with creating unique approaches to the promotion of voting and civic engagement across their respective institutions,” Robinson said. “As we initiate our campaign, we want to emphasize the role of CPSUA in the promotion of civic and political engagement on the TSU campus and greater community, as well as our plans for the next year.”

Under the theme “Change Agent: Tools for Effective Advocacy,” the conference discussed engagement in electoral politics, helping students pursue a career in public service, and a foundation in civic education.

“I am very excited about our campus campaign,” said Erica Richardson-Carter, a junior Urban Studies major from Nashville, Tenn., who also attended the Harvard conference. “I think the first thing we need to do to get our students engaged in making them aware of government affairs.”

She said this could be accomplished through the establishment of what she called a “Did you know campaign,” utilizing social media, text or the Banner service. “Our (campus) team will be meeting soon to brainstorm ideas,” Richardson-Carter added.

For more information on the TSU campus campaign, contact Dr. Robinson at (615) 963-7243 or crobin22@tnstate.edu.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John A. 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, coeducational, 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 celebrates 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu