Category Archives: NEWS

University to Hold Passport Fair Thursday, April 10

passport1NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – In an effort to make international travel easier for its students, Tennessee State University will hold a Passport Fair, Thursday, April 10. The event is open to the community and will take place from 9 a.m. until noon, and from 1 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. in the Research and Sponsored Programs building, room 163.

“Acquiring a passport has been one of the largest barriers to the study abroad program,” said Mark Brinkley, director of International Education. “We want to make sure that all our TSU students and community partners have the opportunity to travel outside of the country, and the Office of Diversity and International Affairs is here to help make that process more accessible.”

According to the Institute of International Education, more students are traveling abroad for international experiences, and reports that more than 283,000 U.S. students studied abroad for credit during the 2011/2012, an increase of more than 3 percent over the previous year. Most students choose to spend six-to-eight weeks outside the country, with most electing to study in the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain.

“Whether you’re studying in Switzerland, having spring break in Cancun, or backpacking in Europe, someone is going to ask to see your passport,” added Brinkley. “During the passport fair last year, more than 100 people applied for a passport and we were able to help with the process.”

Along with students, the Passport Fair will be open to the public. University officials have stated they already expect to help not only students from TSU, but also Vanderbilt, Belmont, Lipscomb, Middle Tennessee and Austin Peay State Universities, as well as the general public.

PASSPORT-FAIR“We know students are not the only ones who travel outside of the U.S.,” Brinkley commented. “We want to help all global travelers, whether they be students or our neighbors.”

To apply for a passport, travelers will need:

  • Completed Form DS-11 if you are applying for the first time, or under the age 16. Fill out Form DS-82 if you can submit a previous U.S. passport issued to you in the past 15 years, when you were age 16 or older.
  • Certified copy of your U.S. citizenship evidence. NOTE: photocopies, notarized copies and hospital birth certificates are NOT acceptable.
  • Valid photo ID. Examples include driver’s license, state-issued ID (student IDs alone are not acceptable)
  • A photocopy, front and back, of your valid photo ID
  • One color passport photo, size 2”x2” with a white or off-white background

Passport Fees: NOTE only checks and money orders will be accepted. NO CASH will be accepted.

  • Adult passport (first-time applicant) fee $135 per passport book; $55 per passport card; or $165 for both
  • Adult (renewal) fee $110 per passport book; $30 per passport card; or $140 for both
  • Checks and money orders need to be payable to the “U.S. Department of State”
  • Passport forms can be downloaded at http://www.travel.state.gov

For more information, contact Mark Brinkley at 615.963.7660 or email mbrinkley1@tnstate.edu.

 

 

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 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 Competes in HBCU Battle of the Brains April 12-16

Students to test knowledge of academic recall during Honda Campus All-Star Challenge

 

A team of students from Tennessee State University will compete against 47 other teams from across the country in the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge National Championship April 12-16 in Torrance, Calif. Members of the team include: (left to right) Brandon Bartee, Maurice Henderson II, Adriann Wilson, Joseph Patrick, Dr. John Miglietta, and Aurora Garvin. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)
A team of students from Tennessee State University will compete against 47 other teams from across the country in the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge National Championship April 12-16 in Torrance, Calif. Members of the team include: (left to right) Brandon Bartee, Maurice Henderson II, Adriann Wilson, Joseph Patrick, Dr. John Miglietta, and Aurora Garvin. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A team from Tennessee State University will join 47 other teams from Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country when they vie for the top spot in the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge National Championship Tournament. The final round of this unique academic tournament will take place April 12-16 in Torrance, Calif., on the campus of American Honda Motor Co. Inc.

The Honda Campus All‐Star Challenge is a “knowledge game of quick recall” that engages the best and brightest students at HBCUs in an annual academic quiz championship. Students compete in answering questions related to pop culture, sports, history, science, current events, and literature, as well as African-American history, and general knowledge categories.

Representing TSU this year are: Adriann N. Wilson, a junior Mechanical Engineering major from Albany, Ga.; Brandon Cantrel Bartee, junior Mechanical Engineering major from Manchester, Tenn.; Aurora Garvin, a sophomore Art major from Nashville, Tenn.; and Joseph Edward Patrick II, a junior Electrical Engineering major also from Nashville. Maurice Henderson II, a freshman Computer Science major from Jacksonville, Fla., will travel with the team as an Institutional Representative.

The four-member team from the University began their journey for academic gold in the fall of 2013 through countless hours of study, drills and practice to prepare them for the regional qualifying tournaments. This year, TSU travelled to Alabama State University in Montgomery, Ala., for the qualifying tournament Feb. 15, and was selected to participate in the “HBCU Battle of the Brains.”

The team’s goal now, is to beat Morgan State University, the reigning national champions with two consecutive titles, while Morgan State will be seeking a three-peat. Tennessee State is a past National Champion, having earned the title in 2007.

According to the team’s coach, Dr. John Miglietta, professor of Political Science, the team is taking this competition very serious and practicing three to four times a week.

“We are focusing on topics such as African-American History, current events, and geography, as well as general knowledge,” said Miglietta. “We are also trying to arrange a scrimmage or two with Fisk University to keep us in that tournament mode.”

Miglietta also added that a win would give the team bragging rights as the nation’s top academic HBCU.

“The students and I are very excited to be participating again in the national tournament next month against some of the top minds on college campuses while we battle it out for this season’s championship,” he said. “Our team has been busy preparing for the competition and are looking forward to meeting and competing with the other teams from HBCUs around the country.”

During the four-day tournament, competitors will be split into eight divisions and will compete in a modified round-robin format. The top two teams from each division will advance to the “Sweet 16” and will compete in a single elimination playoff.  The final two teams that emerge from the playoffs will compete for the title of National Champions and the grand prize of $50,000. The grand prize, along with the other institutional grants, will support academic activities at the participating HBCUs.

Celebrating 25 years of HBCU excellence, Honda Campus All-Star Challenge is one of Honda’s largest and longest running philanthropic initiatives in the United States. Since 1989, the program has awarded more than $7 million in grants to participating HBCUs, impacting the lives of over 100,000 students across 22 states. The participating HBCUs share in grants from Honda of up to $328,000 each year.

“Honda Campus All-Star Challenge rewards the best and brightest for their academic achievements and prepares our student competitors for life beyond school by reinforcing their strong work ethic and introducing them to a thriving community of alumni,” said Steve Morikawa, assistant vice president, Corporate and Community Relations, American Honda Motor Co. Inc. “We look forward to hosting the 25th anniversary class in California and treating them to a fun, four days of healthy competition.”

For more information on the 2014 HCASC, including a full list of the 48 qualifying teams, visit http://www.hcasc.com. The finals of the 2014 Honda Campus All-Star Challenge will be Live Streamed on Monday, April 14 starting at noon Eastern Time on HCASC.com.

 

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 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 Department Chair Wins Four Tennessee Associated Press Awards

Likes 2010
Dr. Terry Likes

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – The 2014 awards presentation for the best journalism in broadcast and print was held Saturday, March 22, at the Sheraton Nashville Downtown.

Dr. Terry Likes, professor and chair of the Department of Communications, captured three first-place awards and one-second place.  His reports aired on the Tennessee Radio Network with a variety of topics ranging from the music, news and sports industries.

Likes’ honors included the following:

ikes’ report on the Beatles also won 1st place in the Best of Competition category, from the Broadcast Education Association Faculty Audio Competition.

“It is an honor to represent TSU in this regard and to continue to enhance my reporting skills for the benefit of our students,” said Likes. “Evidence of current professional success helps in the classroom when students can see professors remain active in the industry, achieve at a high level, while professors can encourage students to seek excellence in their own student competitions.”

This is the 14th Tennessee Associated Press award for Likes.  He has also won six regional Edward R.  Murrow awards, is the recipient of 50 awards during his career including honors from the Broadcast Education Association, Kentucky Associated Press, National Broadcasting Society, and the National Press Club.  Since joining TSU in 2008, Likes has won 34 awards while his students have won 50 awards from the TN Associated Press, Southeast Journalism Conference, Society of Professional Journalists and National Broadcasting Society.

 

 

 

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 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.

Sylvester James Gates Jr. Featured Symposium Keynote Speaker March 31

Address officially Kicks off 36th Annual University-Wide Research Symposium

 

Dr. Sylvester James Gates Jr.
Dr. Sylvester James Gates Jr.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The John S. Toll Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland – College Park, Dr. Sylvester James Gates Jr., will be the featured keynote speaker officially opening the University-Wide Research Symposium Monday, March 31 beginning at 2 p.m. The keynote address is free and open to the public, and will take place in the E.T. Goins Recital Hall, located in the Performing Arts Center on the main campus.

Every year, the Research Symposium serves as a foundation to provide students with authentic experiences in presenting their research before advancing to regional, national and international research symposia; and prior to professional careers. Now in its 36th year, the symposium will take place at the University March 31-April 4.

Sylvester James Gates Jr. Ph.D. is an American theoretical physicist. He is currently a University System Regents Professor, the John S. Toll Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland – College Park, and the Center for String and Particle Theory Director. He serves on President Barack Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and the Maryland State Board of Education.

Gates received the B.S. degree in Physics (1973), the B.S. degree in Mathematics (1973), and Ph.D. in Physics (1977), all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His doctoral thesis was the first thesis at MIT to investigate supersymmetry.

He is nationally and internationally known for his research on supersymmetry, supergravity, and superstring theory.  In 1984, working with M.T. Grisaru, M. Rocek, W. Siegel, Gates co-authored Superspace, the first comprehensive book on the topic of supersymmetry. He is a former member of the board of trustees of the Society for Science and the Public.

NOVA PBS has featured Gates extensively on programs on physics, notably “The Elegant Universe” in 2003, and ‘‘The Fabric of the Cosmos’’ in 2011. In 2006, Gates completed a DVD series, titled Superstring Theory: The DNA of Reality for The Teaching Company composed of 24 half-hour lectures to make the complexities of unification theory comprehensible to non-physicists.

In 2012, Gates was named a University System of Maryland Regents Professor, only the sixth person to be so recognized since 1992.  He is past president of the National Society of Black Physicists, and is a NSBP Fellow, as well as a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Institute of Physics in the U.K.  He also is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.

He was recently elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences, the first African American so recognized in their 150-year history.  Professor Gates was awarded the Medal of Science presented by President Obama, the highest award given to scientists in the U.S., at a White House ceremony in 2013. In November of 2013, he was awarded the Mendel Medal by Villanova University for “having demonstrated, by his life and his standing before the world as a scientist, that there is no intrinsic conflict between science and religion.”

Dr. Gates currently continues his research in supersymmetry in systems of particles, fields, and strings.  This month, Gates will be honored as the Harvard University 2014 Scientist of the Year.

For more information on the Research Symposium, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/research/or contact Nannette Carter Martin, co-chair at 615.963.5827, or Tamara Rogers, co-chair at 615.963.1520.

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 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 Award-Winning Newswoman Challenges TSU’s Best and Brightest to Seek Excellence In Spite of Hurdles

Former CNN anchor and now Al Jazeera America special correspondent Soledad O'Brien, addresses the student body and faculty March 26 during the University Honors Convocation in Kean Hall. Earlier in the day, O'Brien was the featured speaker at the Honors Program 50th Anniversary Luncheon honoring Dr. McDonald Williams, the first Director of the Honors Program. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
Former CNN anchor and now Al Jazeera America special correspondent Soledad O’Brien, addresses the student body and faculty March 26 during the University Honors Convocation in Kean Hall. Earlier in the day, O’Brien was the featured speaker at the Honors Program 50th Anniversary Luncheon honoring Dr. McDonald Williams, the first Director of the Honors Program. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Saying that the pursuit of excellence requires the desire to forge ahead in the face of obstacles, a prominent American journalist has told students at Tennessee State University that success comes with “finding out what you are best suited for” and going after it.

“Decide what success would look like for you and pursue it, but always with the thought to say, ‘what can this do for me,’” multiple award winning documentarian, news anchor and producer Soledad O’Brien, said Wednesday at a convocation in Kean Hall marking the 50th anniversary celebration of the TSU Honors Program.

Drawing from her own experience as a reporter earlier in her career, O’Brian, known for such documentaries as Black in America and Latino in America, said becoming a journalist after a Harvard education was not the route her parents expected her to go after paying so much to educate her.

“My first job was at a TV station, where not only was the pay small, but I was assigned to proofing copies and removing staples,” she said. “Eventually I got assignments doing sound, and in the process, I would include myself in the story, something that helped get me extra pay once the story was aired.”

This is where the woman who would become an anchor for NBC and CNN, two of the nation’s leading news organization, found her niche, she said.

“I love being part of the story that would help enhance someone’s life, and knowing that I have influenced something spectacular,” she said.

Telling the students that nothing good comes easy, O’Brien talked about the struggles of her own parents as mixed couple in America when interracial marriage was illegal in many parts of the nation including Baltimore where they lived.

“My father, a white Australian, and my mother, a black woman from Cuba, faced discrimination on all fronts, with my mother at times trying to hide her Hispanic identity because she wanted to blend in. To get married they had to go to the District of Columbia but came back to Baltimore and kept their marriage a secret,” she said. “When my mother had her sixth child in 1967 that’s when the Supreme Court legalized interracial marriage. That means that we were all illegal children until 1967.”

Driving home her story of perseverance in the face of opposition, O’Brien told the students that had her parents given up, lots of dreams, including hers, would probably have been lost.

“They did not give up; they understood the importance of moving ahead because they believed in what they wanted, and that’s leadership,” she added.

O’Brien, now a special correspondent for Al Jazeera’s America Tonight, has won multiple Emmy and Tony awards for her reporting on issues in America. She was part of the CNN team that won an Emmy for the 2012 Election Coverage, and another Emmy for her special report Kids on Race.

She urged the students to emulate examples from people who did not give up but showed true leadership to accomplish what they set out for.

“Martin Luther King Jr. was a regular person who stayed when others ran. He decided that he would use his voice to lead …that’s leadership. What are you going to do to leverage what your parents have invested in you,” she added.

O’Brien, who earlier joined TSU President Glenda Glover, alumni, special guests, faculty and students at an Honors Luncheon in the Gentry Center, congratulated the University for celebrating 50 years of recognizing the achievement of the best and brightest of the institution.

“We thank you for coming to join us for this very special celebration in the institution and for inspiring our students and all of us today,” Dr. Glover told O’Brien. “We wish you all the best as you continue your journey of excellence.”

Dr. Coreen Jackson, director of the University Honors Program, who also thanked O’Brien for accepting their invitation to speak at the 50th anniversary celebration, followed the President.

In addition to recognizing the year’s top honor students, the University paid tribute to the former Director of the University Honors Program, Dr. McDonald Williams and his wife, Dr. Jayme Coleman Williams, former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

The tribute included the presentation of the Dr. McDonald Williams Scholarship to Laurena Thomas, a junior Mass Communication major from Memphis with a 3.65 GPA.

 

 

 

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 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 Students Capture Nine Tennessee Associated Press Awards

AP_RGBNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A trio of students from Tennessee State University’s Department of Communications were the recipients of the top Tennessee Associated Press awards recently, capturing nine awards in the student competition, up from six the previous years.

The Tennessee AP Broadcasters and Tennessee APME Best of College awards were announced on Saturday, March 22, and recognized Tennessee student journalists for outstanding performance in college journalism.

Students receiving awards included:

  • 1st place, Best Radio Reporter, Chantell Copeland, senior Mass Communication major from Atlanta
  • 1st place, Best Radio Newscast, Chantell Copeland
  • 1st place, Best News Story, Brandi Giles, senior Mass Communication major from Nashville, Tenn.
  • 2nd place, Best Use of Sound, Brandi Giles
  • 2nd place, Best Radio Reporter, Miya Jefferson, 2013 graduate, Mass Communication major, Lansing, Mich.
  • 2nd place, Best Newscast, Brandi Giles
  • 3rd place, Best Feature Story, Chantell Copeland
  • 3rd place, Best Radio Reporter, Brandi Giles
  • 3rd place, Best Use of Sound, Miya Jefferson

According to Dr. Terry Likes, Chair of the Department of Communications, students excelled in reports aired on the campus radio station, WTST.

“Our new Center for Media Arts and Production houses WTST and our other media outlets in a converged media environment.  The dedicated faculty teach committed students who are learning across media platforms to best prepare themselves for real-world opportunities.”

This is the third year the Associated Press has conducted a competition for college students in the state of Tennessee. The students from TSU competed in more than 12 different categories in the college contest against entrants from MTSU, Vanderbilt University, Lipscomb, UT-Chattanooga, UT-Martin, UT-Knoxville, Austin Peay State University, and Southern Adventist.

 

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 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, Trevecca Nazarene Recognized by Metro Nashville as City’s First Recipients of Tree Campus USA Award

Students from Tennessee State University plant a red maple tree Sunday, October 6, 2013, on campus as part of a celebration recognizing the University as a leader in conservation and sustainability. TSU received the Tree Campus USA designation from the Arbor Day Foundation, and just recently received the Tree Campus USA Award. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
Students from Tennessee State University plant a red maple tree Sunday, October 6, 2013, on campus as part of a celebration recognizing the University as a leader in conservation and sustainability. TSU received the Tree Campus USA designation from the Arbor Day Foundation, and just recently received the Tree Campus USA Award. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

Nashville, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – On Thursday, March 20, Tennessee State University and Trevecca Nazarene University were recognized as the city’s first recipients of the Tree Campus USA award during Nashville’s Annual Arbor Day Celebration.

Each university was honored for having earned this designation by showcasing their dedication to the campus environment and efforts to create green forests within the city.

Tennessee State University College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences’ Dr. Latif Lighari, associate dean for Extension, and Dr. De’Etra Young, assistant professor and Extension Specialist in Urban Forestry, were on hand to accept the recognition.

“This [recognition] is a great honor for TSU and the College,” Lighari said. “It speaks for our environmental sensitivity and concern for campus beautification. This would not have been possible without the hard work of Dr. Young.”

In October 2013, the University received the Tree Campus USA designation from the Arbor Day Foundation, a national program created in 2008 to honor colleges and universities for effective forest management and engaging staff and students in conservation goals. At that time, TSU joined 194 institutions across the country taking part in the national program.

TSU achieved the designation by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include creating a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures toward trees, an Arbor Day observance, and student service-learning projects.

Nashville celebrates Arbor Day annually to promote the proper planting and preservation of trees for environmental enhancement. During this year’s Arbor Day ceremony, local Nashvillians were honored for their service and commitment to the city, trees were planted in honor and memory of five local citizens, and local fifth grade students from Harding Academy and Two Rivers Middle School were awarded for their “My Favorite Tree” student essays. Additionally, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean was presented the Alice Ann Barge Award for Urban Forestry Excellence for his commitment to making Nashville one of the South’s greenest cities.

 

 

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 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.

Presidents’ Panel: Historically Black Colleges and Universities Are Still Very Relevant

TSU Diversity and Inclusion Summit Brings Together Three HBCU Presidents

 

Dr. Kevin D. Rome, of Lincoln University, left; Dr. William B. Bynum, of Mississippi Valley State University; and Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover say non-minority institutions should take a lesson from HBCUs on how they are coping in the face of limited resources. The university presidents joined forces to discuss the question of relevancy of HBCUs and whether they can embrace the culture of diversity and continue to play a key role in the nation’s higher education landscape. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)
Dr. Kevin D. Rome, of Lincoln University, left; Dr. William B. Bynum, of Mississippi Valley State University; and Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover say non-minority institutions should take a lesson from HBCUs on how they are coping in the face of limited resources. The university presidents joined forces to discuss the question of relevancy of HBCUs and whether they can embrace the culture of diversity and continue to play a key role in the nation’s higher education landscape. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – In spite of fewer resources compared to the nation’s other majority institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities graduate impressive number of majors in education and in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Responding to critics who question the relevancy of HBCUs and whether they can embrace the culture of diversity they have demanded of others, a panel of HBCU presidents meeting at Tennessee State University Monday said HBCUs continue to play a key role in the nation’s higher education landscape and have become more diverse in student population, faculty and staff.

“Those raising questions about the relevancy of HBCUs have no case to back their claim,” said President Glenda Baskin Glover, of TSU, in an opening statement, adding that the question should be about how HBCUs have survived with limited resources and yet produce outstanding graduates.

“How can HBCU’s become a model for other institutions by operating with limited resources and yet we have survived with a high level of performance by putting out more than 5 percent of all graduates in the nation annually? That should be the question,” Dr. Glover asserted.

Attending a three-day “Diversity and Inclusion Summit on HBCU’s,” Dr. Glover, Dr. William B. Bynum, of Mississippi Valley State University; and Dr. Kevin D. Rome, of Lincoln University Missouri, answered questions about HBCU mission, good governance, customer service, and a culture of openness that embraces all without regard to race, sexual preference or heritage.

The summit brought together participants from institutions and organizations across the country including the Association of Public Land Grant Universities, Clark Atlanta University, Indiana University, Alcorn State University, Xavier University, Prairie  View A&M University, Alabama A&M University, Vanderbilt University, Fisk University, and Florida A&M University.

Dr. Ben Reese, longtime educator and president of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, served as moderator of the Presidents’ Panel, a key component of the summit organized by the TSU Office of Diversity and International Affairs.

On the issue of limited resources with high return, Bynum and Rome agreed with Glover that instead of questioning HBCU’s relevancy, critics should be asking how non-minority institutions could learn from HBCUs.

“Not only are our institutions diverse, HBCUs are relevant to those students who are there,” said Dr. Rome, at whose Lincoln University blacks are now in the minority at 40 percent, a shift seen in the last six years. “HBCUs give opportunities to those who would not have had those same opportunities at other institutions. Their graduates are making great difference as doctors, engineers and educators.”

“Are we still true to the HBCU mission,” Reese asked.

“We should be true to our mission, focus on what we are about, and continue to do what we do well,” said Dr. Bynum, warning that HBCUs should not try to take on the mantle of being everything to everyone. “This is not a one-size fits all business. Role models and mentorships are the backbone of what we are about.”

On the broader issues of diversity and inclusion, especially dealing with lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender, the presidents said their institutions have exercised complete openness on “individual” free expression, and have instituted policies that put no barriers to individual practices.

“It is an asset that we can do things that embrace everyone,” Dr. Rome said. “If we are in the business of teaching, then we must be ready to embrace and allow people to speak out and not be faced with questioning who they are.”

Presidents Bynum and Glover agreed that universities should be a place where people can be who they are.

Drawing from his background as a sociologist, Bynum said he was dismissive of the long-held belief by “religious conservatives” that being gay is a lifestyle choice.

“For those in the black community who say being gay is a choice, science has proven them wrong,” said the MVSU president. “And the comparison of gay rights to civil rights has great merit because it all comes down to a mater of individual right.”

Dr. Glover, the longtime educator and trained lawyer, sees the issue as a matter of constitutional right.

“I am a strong supporter of the Constitution that tells one to be what they want,” Dr. Glover said. “We can’t close the doors on some and say we are diverse. Allowing people to be what they are is what diversity is.”

Among other issues, the presidents said resources, especially funding, was one of the main problems facing HBCUs. For instance, in Tennessee, it is not how many students you recruit but how many you graduate that determine funding level, Dr. Glover told her colleagues.

“So why we try to go the traditional recruitment route, we have to recruit in a certain way to carry out the mandate of the state, and remember to recruit students who can help us get funding,” Glover said.

On the question of how HBCUs can be a model for other institutions, the TSU president repeated her assertion that non-minority institutions should learn how HBCUs have remained successful in the face of limited resources.

The summit, which started Sunday, ends Tuesday.

Break-out sessions discussed topics including “The New HBCU: Does Diversity and Inclusion Impact the Relevance of HBCUs?”; “Beyond the Choir: Developing a Culture of Inclusion and Excellence”; “Repositioning HBCUs for the Future”; “Student Leadership Apprentices: Whose Mentor are You”; “Renovating Academy: Challenges Associated with a Diverse  Faculty”; and “Exploring the Chemical  Dynamics of an HBCU to the Global marketplace: A Possible Plausible STEM Transition.”

At a reception Monday night for summit participants in the Holiday Inn Express Downtown Nashville, Dr. Dennis Rahiim, CEO of the Center for Black Student Achievement, wowed the gathering with words of inspiration.

He was followed by Freedom Rider and Civil Rights Activist Dr. Ernest “Rip” Patton, who spoke about his role in organizing the first lunch counter sit-ins in Nashville in the early 1960s.

Later, President Glover, along with summit Chair, Dr. Jewell Winn, presented awards and gifts to sponsors and supporters including AT&T, NADOHE, HCA, AGB, APLU and the Tennessee Board of Regents.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 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.

Distinguished Lecture Series Welcomes Soledad O’Brien March 26

Al Jazeera America special correspondent featured speaker during Honors Program Convocation

 

 

Award-winning journalist Soledad O'Brien will be the featured speaker March 26 during the Honors program Convocation.
Award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien will be the featured speaker March 26 during the Honors program Convocation.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Award winning journalist, documentarian, news anchor and producer Soledad O’Brien will the featured keynote speaker Wednesday, March 26 during the Honors Convocation celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Honors Program at Tennessee State University.

The convocation is part of the Distinguished Lecture Series sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs and will take place in Kean Hall located in the Floyd Payne Campus Center beginning at 1 p.m. The convocation is free and open to the public.

O’Brien will also be the featured speaker at the Honors Program anniversary luncheon honoring Dr. McDonald Williams, the first Director of the Honors Program. The luncheon is $50 per person and begins at 11 a.m. in the Gentry Complex.

Soledad O’Brien joined Al Jazeera America in 2013 as part of a deal with her new production company, Starfish Media Group. She will contribute short-form segments as Special Correspondent to Al Jazeera America’s primetime current affairs magazine program “America Tonight,” and Starfish will produce hour-long documentary specials.

O’Brien most recently served as an anchor and special correspondent for CNN. She joined CNN in 2003 and was the co-anchor of CNN’s flagship morning program, “American Morning,” and then the anchor of “Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien.”

O’Brien distinguished herself at CNN by reporting from the scene of such stories as the London terrorism attacks in 2005, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Japan earthquake and tsunami in 2011. In December 2004, O’Brien was among a handful of CNN anchors sent to Thailand to cover the disaster and aftermath of the tsunami. O’Brien also produced and hosted the widely acclaimed “In America” documentary series, including “Black in America” and “Latino in America.”

Soledad went to CNN from NBC News where she had anchored the network’s Weekend Today starting in July 1999. Prior to that, she had anchored MSNBC’s award-winning technology program The Site and the MSNBC weekend morning show. O’Brien had originally joined NBC News in 1991 and was based in New York as a field producer for Nightly News and Today.

In 2011, O’Brien won her first Emmy Award for “Crisis in Haiti” (on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360) in the category of Outstanding Live Coverage of a Current News Story – Long Form. She was also a member of the teams that earned CNN a George Foster Peabody award for coverage of the British Petroleum oil spill and of Katrina, and an Alfred I. du Pont Award for its reporting on the Southeast Asia tsunami.

In 2010, the National Association of Black Journalists named O’Brien its Journalist of the Year, and the Edward R. Murrow Awards recognized her with the RTDNA/UNITY award for Latino in America. She received the 2009 Medallion of Excellence for Leadership and Community Service Award from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.

In 2008, O’Brien was the first recipient of The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Goodermote Humanitarian Award for her efforts while reporting on the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina and the Southeast Asia tsunami.

O’Brien was awarded the NAACP President’s Award in 2007 in recognition of her humanitarian efforts and journalistic excellence.

For more information on the anniversary luncheon or Honors Convocation, contact the Honors Program at 615.963.5731.

 

 

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 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.

More than 100 Pre-College Students to Tour TSU College of Engineering March 28

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – On Friday, March 28, the College of Engineering at Tennessee State will host on-campus tours and lunch for more than 100 pre-college students attending the National Society of Black Engineers’ (NSBE) 2014 National Conference.  The conference is being held this week at the Gaylord Opryland Convention Center in Nashville.

The students, who are select members of NSBE’s Pre-College Initiative outreach program, will be exposed to possible career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

According to Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, tour facilitators will emphasize some of the successes of the college since its inception in 1950, such as providing accredited world-class technical education to thousands of students, such as Dr. Jesse Russell, acknowledged as one of the fathers of today’s digital communications and cell phone technology.

Those facilitating the tour will include Dean Hargrove (615-320-5401), skhargrove@tnstate.edu); and the University’s student NSBE chapter, led by its president, Jonathan Clark (256-604-3056), jonathanclark1992@gmail.com).  The TSU Engineering Alumni Association (www.tsueaa.org) is supporting this event by providing transportation to TSU for the students, and also with an alumni panel presentation to the tour participants during lunch on Friday.

Inquiries about this event can be directed to TSUEAA President George L. Davis (818-645-3187); george@ultimateprogress.com).

 

 

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 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.