Category Archives: NEWS

Board of Regents to Meet at Tennessee State University for 2014 Summer Quarterly Meeting June 19-20

tbrNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University will on Thursday, June 19 welcome members of the Tennessee Board of Regents, who will be converging on the campus for their 2014 Summer Quarterly Meeting.

The University is serving as this year’s host of the two-day meeting that brings together the Regents from all parts of the state.

In a welcome letter, TSU President Glenda Glover outlined an elaborate agenda that includes a brief tour of facilities before the Regents begin their meeting in the Performing Arts Center on the main campus.

The agenda also includes dinner and reception at the Avon Williams Campus Plaza.

“The administration, faculty, staff and students of Tennessee State University welcome you as we host the Tennessee Board of Regents Quarterly meeting,” Dr. Glover said. “We look forward to having you on our campus and hope you will find your visit to be both productive and enjoyable.”

 

 

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 Travel the World for Cultural Experiences, Academic Enhancements

Students from Tennessee State University had the opportunity to visit the ancient city of Ephesus during their study abroad trip to Turkey. The students spent three weeks in country and participated in a program that balanced academics, as well as social and cultural activities. (courtesy photo)
Students from Tennessee State University had the opportunity to visit the ancient city of Ephesus during their study abroad trip to Turkey. The students spent three weeks in country and participated in a program that balanced academics, as well as social and cultural activities. (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Eight students from Tennessee State University had the opportunity of a lifetime recently when they traveled nearly 6,000 miles and immersed themselves in a foreign culture to gain a unique perspective of the world around them.

For three weeks in May, students from the Colleges of Engineering and Health Sciences participated in a program that balanced academics, as well as social and cultural activities during a study abroad program in Turkey.

“We want this to be a part of a student’s TSU educational experience,” said Dr. Ali Sekmen, professor of Computer Science, who traveled with the students. “This was a very different type of academic program for our students with a lot of flexibility.”

While the classes took place on university campuses throughout the country, Sekmen said student assignments and programming practices were done in the hotels and coffee shops while they interacted with their Turkish counterparts.

“It truly was a global experience,” he added.

The students visited Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya and Izmir, and were hosted by Bilkent University (the top university in Turkey, ranking 98 in the world), Antalya International University, and Izmir University of Economics. Sekmen pointed out that the students were required to satisfy the requirements of a MayMester course, specifically Java Programming.

“Its important to remember that even though this was a cultural immersion, there is also the academic requirement,” added Sekmen. “We conducted 37.5 hours of teaching while the students took a midterm and final just as if they were back in the states.”

While students earned credits in programming, they also received the cultural experience that study abroad offers, said Sekmen. The group visited Ephesus, the House of the Virgin Mary, Topkapi Palace, Thermoses and other cultural sites.

“In each city, our students had Turkish student ‘buddies’ with whom they developed a close friendship,” he said. “The group visited university administrators, the vice governor of Antalya, and some Turkish families.

That was an important aspect of the trip for Maggie Fitts, a junior Health Science major. Studying abroad, she said, was an adventure and learning experience all in one that allowed her to gain new perspectives on academic subjects and real-world issues.

“This opportunity allowed me to study issues more in-depth from a cultural perspective,” Fitts said. “Outside the classroom, my personal education was enhanced through the daily interaction in Turkey’s culture with our host families. I can honestly say this was an experience that helped me grow personally and mentally.”

The TSU study abroad program, in conjunction with the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies, or TnCIS, offers a range of initiatives to broaden the University’s global impact and enhance educational opportunities for its students. Combined, more than 30 programs are offered to destinations across the globe.

In the past year, more than 100 students from TSU have traveled across the world, studying in, among other countries, Costa Rica, China, Colombia, India, Germany, Italy and France.

According to Mark Brinkley, director of Study Abroad & Exchange Programs, students gain real-life experience on the global stage through the study abroad program.

“This is very consistent with the University’s position on enhancing global educational opportunities for our students,” said Brinkley. “This is a transformational experience for most students. It gives them an opportunity to expand their critical-thinking skills, and to look at the world a little differently through the lens of someone else from another country.”

For more information on education abroad, contact the Office of Diversity and International Affairs at 615.963.7660.

 

 

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.

Embracing Healthy Change: TSU Extension Agent’s Weight-Loss Story Goes National

Heather Gum
Heather Gum

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) –  After years of yo-yo dieting, Heather Gum learned to control portions and fill up on fruits, vegetables and lean protein. The UT/TSU Extension agent lost more than 170 pounds after becoming morbidly obese and tipping the scales at 367 pounds. On Feb. 14, 2011 at the age of 40, she made the decision of a lifetime. After eating a couple of Taco Bell 5-layer burritos for a quick lunch, she decided to make the life-changing decision to improve the health of her body.

That was in February 2011 and through dieting and healthy choices, went from a size 30 to 12/14. She has appeared on the television program, The Doctors, to share her story to help encourage others in their weight -loss efforts.

Gum was recently featured in TOPS News, the official magazine for Take Off Pounds Sensibly.

READ the article.

 

 

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.

Tennessee State University Hosts Statewide Conference of Career Development Professionals

cropped-TCDA-logo-color.fw-Tiffany-Edit-250NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Nearly 80 professional career practitioners from across the state met at Tennessee State University recently for the first conference of the Tennessee Career Development Association.

Participants included career counselors, workforce developers, school guidance counselors, and mental health professionals.

Primary on the conference’s agenda was the promotion of TCDA’s goals of encouraging career development assistance, promoting a sense of community, and providing a network of support to members through professional development and training opportunities.

“Participants at this conference are professionals who help people get job or seek improvement in their career areas,” said Windie Wilson, president of TCDA. “The goal here is to offer a conference where these professionals can get together to identify new tools that make them more effective in helping individuals in their areas. We are thankful to Tennessee State University for hosting our first conference.”

Under the theme, “Career is personal: A holistic view of career development,” conference participants discussed how to identify techniques in working with diverse populations, what clients expect from new employees, strategies for helping families navigate career-related concerns, and determining readiness for career decision-making, among others.

Networking, connection and diversity are key tools in trying to equip job seekers to navigate the tough job market, participants were told.

David M. Reile
David M. Reile

“Employers hire people they know and people they like,” said Dr. David M. Reile, managing director of Career Development Alliance, an Olney, Md.-based company that provides individually-tailored, needs-based career services to a variety of industries.

Reile, the keynote speaker, said a crucial factor in job search is networking and knowing more about the people and companies with potential employment opportunities.

“If employers know who you are; if you have done your homework, you have a better chance of getting a job,” he said. “Your expressed knowledge about a company during an interview can go a long way in improving your chances of landing a job with that company.”

Dr. Michael Bundy, president of the Tennessee Counseling Association, a presenter at the conference on “Using quantitative data to expand career counseling for K-12 students …,” said career counselors need constant retooling to work with longtime job seekers who may be disillusioned about the way forward.

“A job seeker may be so discouraged that they need to find services that talk about how to navigate their way through the new landscape of job searching,” said Bundy. “These people are not only discouraged about moving forward, but also about the way they view themselves.”

Other presenters at the one-day forum on the Avon Williams Campus discussed topics including: Multicultural perspectives in career counseling; Prescription for hiring talent and best practice in the first 90 days; Career counseling for couples and families; Using value assessment with clients; Freud, Jung, and career counseling; Navigating complex personal factors in career decision-making readiness; and Who gets hired and why.

Also discussed were: Counseling college students in the humanities; Using narrative approaches in a career exploration course for undergraduate students; and Effective practices for clients with intellectual disabilities.

Presenters came from the University of Tennessee, Carson-Newman University, Tennessee Tech University, Workforce Connection, Noranda Aluminum and HCA Physician Services.

Dr. Marie S. Hammond, TSU associate professor of Psychology and chair of TCDA’s Professional Development Committee, served as coordinator of the conference.

 

 

 

 

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 Welcomes Colombian Students for Weeklong Musical Activities, Jefferson Street Jazz Festival

DSC05929
The Colombian music students hold one of many daily rehearsals in preparation for their United States visit. Since Colombia is known for its Latin music influences and jazz festivals, one of the major highlights of the group’s visit will be attending the Jefferson Street Jazz Festival on June 21.  (Courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service)- Eighteen music students from Colombia will visit Tennessee State University June 20 as part of an exchange program with the South American nation.

In partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, the Colombian capital, and the Office of the Governor in Cartagena, Bolivar Province, the exchange agreement is part of an effort to promote the University and its academic programs.

Joining the students will be the Governor, Juan Carlos Gossain Rognini; Special Assistant to the Governor Amin Diaz; and El Guamo Mayor Javier Eduardo Angula Romero.

The students and delegation will get a taste of the Music City experience during a weeklong itinerary that also includes museum tours and meetings with government officials, among other activities. Since Colombia is known for its Latin music influences and jazz festivals, one of the major highlights of the group’s visit will be attending the Jefferson Street Jazz Festival on June 21.

“Our partnership with Colombia is important because it provides an excellent opportunity for their students as well as TSU students to better understand each group’s culture, share academic interests and engage in dialogue to expand the scope of higher education,” said Dr. Jewell Winn, TSU’s chief diversity officer and executive director for international programs.

In addition, the students will participate in the Edward L. Graves Band Camp June 21-29 to learn the various techniques of marching band performance. In exchange, a select group of TSU marching band students will visit Cartagena to kick off Bolivar’s annual band competition in August and be the first United States marching band to perform in the Flower Festival.

 

 

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 Moves to Archive 500 Linear Feet of Civil Rights Icon Avon Williams’ Papers

Administrators from Tennessee State University accept a check from Tre Hargett (second from left) Tennessee Secretary of State to help with archiving materials in the special collections at the Brown-Daniel Library. The SNAP grant is seed money to help preserve the papers of civil rights leader Avon Williams. Accepting the grant are (L-R) Fletcher Moon, associate professor and head Reference Librarian; Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, associate Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs; Dr. Alisha Mosley, associate Vice President for Academic Affairs; and Dr. Murle Kenerson, interim Dean of Libraries. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
Administrators from Tennessee State University accept a check from Tre Hargett (second from left) Tennessee Secretary of State to help with archiving materials in the special collections at the Brown-Daniel Library. The SNAP grant is seed money to help preserve the papers of civil rights leader Avon Williams. Accepting the grant are (L-R) Fletcher Moon, associate professor and head Reference Librarian; Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, associate Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs; Dr. Alisha Mosley, associate Vice President for Academic Affairs; and Dr. Murle Kenerson, interim Dean of Libraries. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s effort to archive the work of renowned lawyer and civil rights icon, Avon N. Williams Jr., received direct support from the state today.

Accompanied by his staff, Tennessee’s Secretary of State Tre Hargett, stopped by the Brown-Daniel Library on the TSU main campus and presented what he called “seed money” for the preservation effort.

The money, a $2,500 check, was presented to Dr. Murle E. Kenerson, associate professor and interim dean of Libraries and Media Centers, during a ceremony in the Special Collections section. Associate Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs, Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young; and Dr. Alisa Mosley, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, were present for the presentation.

“What we are doing today recognizes what Sen. Avon Williams meant to this state and Tennessee State University,” said Hargett. “We want to preserve his work for not only students but people from all over who can read about his work and contribution to our nation and this world.”

Kenerson thanked the Secretary of State for the check, calling it a big help in “our effort” to identifying funding sources to carry out the work involved.

“We particularly appreciate you taking time off your busy schedule to honor us with not only this money but your presence,” Kenerson said.

He disclosed that the library was in possession of more than 500 linear feet of the late civil rights leader’s papers and collections.

“This library is archiving his papers to make sure his work remains in living form for not only our students but for generations to come,” he added.

Known for his role in the nonviolent movement, fighting against discrimination in the military, in public housing, and for school desegregation, Williams has a special tie to TSU. He represented the plaintiffs in the Grier v. Blanton case, which resulted in the merger of historically black TSU with the University of Tennessee in Nashville.

The downtown TSU campus bears his name as a mark of respect and appreciation.

In a long vocational trajectory spanning several decades, the late Tennessee state senator built up a resume that included a foreign diploma, banker, writer, and chief legal officer of the U.S. Army, a presidential appointment with oversight responsibility of all legal policy and direction of nearly 2,400 military and civilian lawyers.

Dr. Kenerson disclosed that in addition to the state funding delivered by the Secretary of State, which was the result of a grant application, the library was waiting for the outcome of another grant application to the Council on Library Information Resources.

“We have received notice that our application for $250,000 has moved up to the final stage for review,” he added.

 

 

 

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 Music Student’s Career Sets Sail on Smooth Jazz Cruise

Graduate student Jazmin Ghent wins “Opening Act Competition” and opens for Sirius/XM Hall of Fame concert    

 

Jazmin Ghent
Jazmin Ghent (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The musical ship for one Tennessee State University student has set sail and is on course to take her to destinations unknown where she will have the opportunity to be a positive role model for young musicians and help define jazz music for years to come.

Jazmin Ghent, a graduate student studying music education at the University, was recently the winner of the Smooth Jazz Cruise 2014 “Opening Act Competition,” beating out 22 other contestants for the right to perform on the final night of the cruise in front of a packed house, and to interact with some of her musical idols, including jazz icons Brian Culbertson, Boney James and David Sanborn.

“The experience was life changing,” said the Huntsville, Ala., native. “I was able to interact and speak with many artists who I grew up listening to and admire.  I had a lesson with Kirk Whalum, and personally interacted with Peter White, Keiko Matsui, Marcus Miller, Candy Dulfer and Mindi Abair to name a few. It is something I will never forget.”

Born in Heidleberg, Germany and raised in Huntsville, Ghent grew up around music and began taking piano lessons at the age of 5. She became the Sunday school pianist at only 8 years old and often practiced with the adult musicians and church choir members. After being introduced to the saxophone in middle school, she progressed to becoming the church pianist and saxophonist. “Once I was in high school, I discovered my passion for performing and teaching,” she said. “I also began playing professionally in the Huntsville area.”

After high school and a long list of awards including the NAACP’s ACT-SO award, she received a full scholarship to Florida State University where she majored in instrumental music education and jazz studies. After graduation, Ghent’s parents gave her the cruise on the high seas as a gift that would send her competing against other musicians vying for the top spot in an “American Idol” type competition.

“My parents had been on this cruise before and told me about the competition,” Ghent said. “I’ve always loved jazz from a very young age and thought this was a great opportunity.”

Once onboard the “Greatest Party at Sea,” Ghent had to initially compete against 22 other contestants who played everything from saxophone, piano, drums, and trumpet, as well as vocalists. She concedes that it was a bit nerve-racking the first round since the audience was voting on the 12 that would move forward, but even worse during the second round.

“Not only was the audience voting in the second round, but also jazz greats Brian Culbertson, Boney James and Marcus Miller,” she added. “My stress level was extremely high during that round because now I was playing for the very icons I had grown up listening to. The nice thing was that everyone was very supportive and encouraging.”

Ghent won the competition and the right to play the final night for the Sirius/XM Jazz Hall of Fame concert in front of more than 1,900 fans. Nervous, she spoke with Culbertson who told her to have fun and enjoy herself.

“After his encouraging words, I felt more comfortable playing and the nervousness turned into pure excitement,” she said.

After being introduced by both Culbertson and James, she belted our her rendition of “Summertime” composed by George Gershwin for the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess. Receiving a standing ovation, James commented that he predicts Ghent has a big future in the music business. He should know since he has four gold albums, four GRAMMY nominations, two NAACP Image Award nominations, and a Soul Train Music Award to his name, and sales totaling more than three million records.

“Wasn’t that awesome,” James told the audience. “That was very soulful. It is heartwarming to see a young person like that to get up here and play with such passion.”

Culbertson agreed with James, uttering a resounding, “Wow!”

“Jazz is not going away,” he commented. “Seeing people play like that…she is keeping it alive and that is a beautiful thing.”

Dr. Robert Elliott, head of the Music Department, agrees with both, and said that TSU has a history of producing jazz greats.

“Jazz, America’s art form, has been an important part of TSU since President Walter Davis recruited students to form the TSU Collegians,” said Elliott. “That group produced great jazz musicians such as Jimmy Blanton, who became Duke Ellington’s bass player, Hank Crawford, the music director for Ray Charles, and many others who went on to influence America’s music. Jazmin continues the record of excellence in performance that has come to be expected of TSU music students and we couldn’t be more proud of her.”

Now that the competition is over, Ghent plans to focus on completing her master’s degree at TSU, as well as continue to compose, record and perform new material.

“I would like to perform and teach on a collegiate level,” added Ghent. “I am very passionate about the future of music and the future of Jazz. I want to make sure I am a positive role model for young musicians.”

 

 

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 Ranking Lists TSU as Affordable College for Outdoor Enthusiasts

PrintNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – For the second time in less than a week, Tennessee State University is garnering national attention and accolades as one of the top college values in the country.

According to the website, GreatValueColleges.net, TSU has been named as one of the 50 top “Great Affordable Colleges for Outdoor Enthusiasts.” The ranking features schools across the country and chosen by the website’s editors for the most affordable colleges that are ideal for students who have a passion for outdoor living.

The sources used in compiling the list include a number of articles about both the top schools for outdoor enthusiasts and the best cities for people who love nature and have active lifestyles, including Forbes Magazine’s Best Cities for the Outdoors.

Initially, a long list of hundreds of schools was compiled based on colleges located in or around top-rated cities, and schools that have stellar academic and recreation programs for outdoor sports and adventures, which could include anything from a major in Outdoor Recreation to a tournament-winning rock climbing team.

The list, according to editors, was then pared down by selecting only those that had below-average tuition rates, based on the average tuition for public schools (both in-state and out-of-state) and private schools. At the end, only 50 schools remained including TSU.

According to the website, the editors consider Nashville a great place for outdoor enthusiasts to relocate, with moderate temperatures and clean air. “The city is located on the banks of the Cumberland River and is amidst a background of rolling hills,” wrote the editors in the online report. “Tennessee State has a large Wellness and Recreation Center where students can take classes from kickboxing to dance, and a large number of athletic teams and intramural clubs for outdoor lovers to consider.”

The article goes on to mention that for the academic-minded students, the extensive agriculture and environmental sciences program offers a chance to get out in the sun and study their concentrations at either the Ashland City Agricultural Research and Extension Center or Otis L. Floyd Nursery Research Center.

Tennessee State was one of 14 colleges selected from the south region, joining two other institutions in the state, including Belmont University and the University of Memphis for the honor.

This accolade comes on the heels of Educate to Career’s national ranking of TSU as one of the top four-year schools in the nation that offers the best return on investment, ranking the University number 76 in its ETC College Rankings index.

 

 

 

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 Alum Wins Golf Championship at Nevada ParaLong Drive Nationals

Chris Osborne, Tennessee State University graduate and former Tiger track standout, recently won first place and the championship in the Above the Knee division of the Paralong Drive Nationals in Mesquite, Nev., hitting a history making 332 yard long drive. Osborne lost his left leg in a 2004 hit-and-run motorcycle accident. (courtesy photos)
Chris Osborne, Tennessee State University graduate and former Tiger track standout, recently won first place and the championship in the Above the Knee division of the Paralong Drive Nationals in Mesquite, Nev., hitting a history making 332 yard long drive. Osborne lost his left leg in a 2004 hit-and-run motorcycle accident. (courtesy photos)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Chris Osborne is not letting anything hold him back…especially not a missing limb.

The Tennessee State University graduate and former Tiger track standout, who lost his left leg in a 2004 hit-and-run motorcycle accident, is a golf national champion.

At the recent ParaLong Drive Nationals in Mesquite, Nev., the Morristown, Tenn., native hit a history-making 332-yard to take first place and the championship in the Above the Knee Division.

“This really came as a big surprise,” said Osborne, adding that his goal was to beat his personal career best of 326 yards. “When the announcer said I had hit 332 yards I was just elated.”

Friend and fellow competitor Dean Jarvis was equally elated and proud.

“Chris put on an amazing performance,” said Jarvis, founder of the Amputee Long Drive Championship. “I appreciate his performance more than anyone else because the Above the Knee Division had not achieved at its highest level until he blasted a 332-yard rocket.“

Warm Up
Chris Osborne tees-off during the long drive competition during the ParaLong Drive Nationals in Mesquite, Nev. Osborne had 2 minutes, 45 seconds to hit six golf balls during each of the three qualifying rounds. He won the Above the Knee Division with a history-making long drive of 332 yards.

Osborne, who describes himself as a “self-taught golfer,” said his victory at the ParaLong Drive was his first win in six tournaments since 2010.

“My game is improving and I am very pleased with how I hit my long ball,” said Osborne.

A resident of Birmingham, Ala., Osborne is a 1995 graduate of TSU, and former president of the Birmingham chapter of the TSU National Alumni Association. As a track star at TSU, Osborne ran the Open 400 indoor/outdoor, the 400 huddles indoor and 55 high hurdle indoor. He also was an honor student and a scholarship athlete, who was awarded the Scholastic Achievement Award for GPA.

His tie to TSU goes deeper than his personal academic and athletics achievements at the institution. His parents, Willie Osborne (’54) and Claire Osborne (’53), are graduates of TSU.

The former news broadcaster, and now PR Director for the Alabama Red Cross, said he hopes to use his talents to help promote amputee golf and “the amazing players who have overcome great obstacles to enjoy the game.”

“Chris is not just a player. He is also an outstanding person and an ambassador for the game of golf and Long Drive,” said Jarvis, about his longtime friend.

At the recent screening in Birmingham of ‘From the Rough,’ a movie inspired by the life of Dr. Catana Starks, who became the first African-American woman to coach an all-men’s golf team at the collegiate level, Osborne said he was inspired by the effort of the TSU coach.

“About a month later I was fortunate to meet Coach Starks in person for the first time, and we had a wonderful conversation,” Osborne said. “I am so inspired by her story, and meeting her was quite a humbling experience for me.”

 

 

 

 

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 to Host KNOW Hunger SNAP Challenge May 29

Tyson Foods and Elanco Partner with Urban League of Middle Tennessee, TSU Cooperative Extension and Community Food Advocates to Educate Leaders on the Misconceptions of SNAP Benefits

 

KNOW-Hunger-SiteNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Area lawmakers will gain first-hand knowledge on what it’s like to try to feed a family for a week on limited resources when they take part in the SNAP Challenge Thursday, May 29 on the Tennessee State University campus.

Hosted by the TSU Cooperative Extension program, the KNOW Hunger Challenge will take place at the ‪Farrell Westbrook Complex (the Barn) from 1 until 5 p.m.

The Challenge, presented by Tyson Foods and Elanco, is an interactive event designed to increase awareness and fight food insecurity by offering education and nutritional opportunities through Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and firsthand experience with the challenge families face in a budgeted shopping experience. The Urban League of Middle Tennessee is also part of the two-year partnership initiative.

According to Tyson officials, the event is significant because millions of low-income families struggle to provide their families with nutritious meals despite benefits from SNAP, with one in five Tennesseans enrolled in the program.

“Many people can’t fathom feeding a family on $100 per week,” said Jeff Wood, Tyson Foods’ director of Community Relations. “We do this programming to help people understand what SNAP really is, and what it’s not. The experience is very eye opening for most people. Having gone through the challenge myself, I can tell you it’s life changing.”

The SNAP Challenge features teams of legislatures and other elected officials that will be given $100 each to shop for a week’s worth of food for a family of four.  Tennessee State University SNAP-ED educators, as well as hunger advocates from across Tennessee will help teams make their purchases.

The teams are charged with shopping at a local store, then return to the University where their purchases are presented to a panel of judges. The food will be judged on effective use of funds, nutritional value and culinary creativity.

Following the event, the food purchased will be donated to The Nashville Food Project.

“This nation-wide challenge has taken place across the country and serves as a reminder just how difficult it can be to buy food for a family of four when faced with limited resources,” said Rita Fleming, assistant professor of Health Education. “We will have three of our Cooperative Extension SNAP-Ed agents providing assistance on how to make healthy choices on limited funds.”

According to Fleming, the TSU Cooperative Extension program mission is to help educate and provide information to limited resource urban and rural individuals, families, small farmers, and other groups.

“We use a variety of program delivery strategies,” she added, “offering practical and useful research-based programs, resources, and publications in agriculture and natural resources, family & consumer sciences, 4-H youth development, and community resource and economic development.”

This SNAP Challenge is part of KNOW Hunger Nashville, a two-year initiative by Tyson Foods, Urban League of Middle Tennessee and area food advocates to raise awareness of food insecurity and nutrition education. The organizations will also host local health fairs, thought leadership exercises and educational opportunities. The group hosted a health fair with the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Wellness Project last November and plans to launch a website with Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee later this summer that’s designed to help families stretch their food resources further.

Elanco and Tyson Foods created the half-day SNAP Challenge in the spring of 2012. Since that time, 18 groups comprised of more than 450 people have participated.

For more information, contact Fleming at 615.963.2135.

 

 

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.