Category Archives: RESEARCH

TSU prepared to provide strong candidates for new Amazon operations center

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover says the university is poised to provide strong candidates for Amazon’s new executive operations center.

Dr. Glenda Glover

Amazon announced Tuesday that Nashville will be home to its Operations Center of Excellence, as well as the company’s headquarters for its logistics group. It’s expected to bring an estimated 5,000 jobs to the area.

“Excellence is Our Habit is TSU’s motto for a reason,” says Glover. “The university is prepared to provide a diverse group of very talented and workforce-ready students. In addition to TSU establishing a student employment pipeline of business and tech-savvy employees for Amazon, we have an array of accredited and professional development programs to help their current workers enhance their skills and career path within the company.”

Dr. Achintya Ray, an economics professor at TSU, agrees.

“As the only public university in Nashville, Tennessee State University stands uniquely poised to support these corporate giants, their employees, family members of the employees, and the businesses that support them with highly-skilled human capital, workforce training opportunities, research partnerships and more,” says Ray.

TSU’s executive MBA and continuing education offerings are just a few of the tools the university can readily offer Amazon through the corporate employee education program, adds Glover.

According to Amazon, Nashville will serve as the company’s Retail Operations division. The one million square foot office space will house the tech and management functions of the division, including customer fulfillment, customer service, transportation, and supply chain, amongst others.

Currently, Amazon employs about 2,500 people in the Nashville region across five fulfillment and sortation centers.

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. 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 Ag researchers work to make sure turkeys safe to eat

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – As people across the country prepare for Thanksgiving, researchers at Tennessee State University are making sure the turkeys consumers eat are safe.

Dr. Sam Nahashon

The researchers in the university’s College of Agriculture are using probiotics (cultivated beneficial microorganisms) to fight pathogens, including salmonella, which is involved in a current outbreak in turkeys.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the outbreak started in November 2017. As of Nov. 5, this year, 164 people have been infected. The agency reminds people to properly cook and handle turkeys this holiday season.

Dr. Sam Nahashon is professor of poultry science at TSU, and chair of the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. He said the current Ag research would reduce or exclude pathogens in the intestinal tract of turkeys or chickens by feeding them the cultivated beneficial microorganisms through feed and/or water.

Dr. Fur-Chi Chen

“It just takes a few harmful microorganisms in our body to cause a disease,” said Nahashon. “Our goal is to reduce salmonella and campylobacter in poultry.”

Added research professor Dr. Fur-Chi Chen: “The whole idea is using the beneficial bacteria to feed into the poultry, and during the production, they can prevent the salmonella.”

The CDC recommends handling raw turkey carefully, including washing hands before and after preparing or eating turkey. Cooking raw turkey thoroughly (to an internal temperature of 165°F, measured by placing a thermometer in the thickest part of the bird) will help prevent food poisoning.

TSU Ag professor Elyse Shearer said frozen turkeys should also be fully defrosted, preferably in the refrigerator over several days, and they should not be washed to prevent the spread of bacteria.

Dr. Elyse Shearer

“Also, make sure that no utensils or supplies that came in contact with the raw turkey touch other food items to prevent cross-contamination of harmful pathogens,” said Dr. Shearer, who works in the College of Ag’s Department of Family and Consumer Sciences.

TSU’s College of Agriculture has received millions of dollars from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to research poultry and promote food safety.

To learn more about the College of Agriculture’s food safety research, visit

http://www.fightbac.org/food-safety-education/dont-wing-it/.

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU honors its Veterans and Tuskegee Airmen alumni

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University recognized members of the U.S. Armed Forces, as well as two Tuskegee Airmen alumni, at a special Veterans Day program on Monday.

TSU President Glenda Glover speaks at Veterans Day program. (Photo by Michael McLendon, TSU Media Relations)

Mr. Wade Thomas graduated from then-Tennessee Agricultural & Industrial State College in 1949 and Lt. Joseph White graduated from the institution in 1954. Both men were members of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American military aviators in the United States Armed Forces during World War II.

Before the men were posthumously honored, TSU President Glenda Glover greeted those in attendance, and recognized all veterans.

“On this Veterans Day, we recognize the men and women of our Armed Forces for the courage and dedication it takes to maintain our freedom and democracy,” she said. “They are the true heroes, including those who are here with us today.”

In the early forties, Thomas enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and served with the Tuskegee Airmen during WWII. He later attended Tennessee A&I and graduated with a bachelor’s in business administration, with distinction. He went on to become one of the first minority accountants in the state of Tennessee, and later became a certified public accountant.

White joined the Tuskegee cadet program in 1943, becoming one of the famed “Red Tail” fighter pilots. During his service, he flew missions in North Africa, Italy, France and Germany. He later enrolled at Tennessee A&I. He graduated with a bachelor’s in physics, and went on to receive two master’s degrees in science education and administration, as well as a doctorate in physics. He later served as a physicist and teacher, establishing an electronics program at Pearl High School in Nashville.

Dr. Katie Kinnard White stands next to portrait of her late husband, Lt. Joseph White, and the artist, TSU graduate Brandon Van Leer. (Submitted photo)

White’s widow, Dr. Katie Kinnard White, attended Monday’s program with White’s nephew, Thomas Kinnard. She said after the event that her late husband would have been 97 this year.

“I am very pleased that he is being honored,” said Dr. White, who met her husband at Tennessee State, where she taught for 35 years. “I always appreciated the fact that he was a Tuskegee Airman. He was very proud of that fact.”

Three members of Wade’s family attended the program.

“This is a very exciting moment,” said son George Thomas, who attended with brothers, Axel and Karl, and sister, Korda. “He accomplished things that opened the door for a lot of blacks. It’s great to be able to celebrate him.”

Dr. Ivan Mosley, chair of the Department of Aeronautical and Industrial Technology in TSU’s College of Engineering, was the program’s keynote speaker. He said Tuskegee Airmen, like Thomas and White, were able to become successful because someone took a “keen interest” in their abilities.

“When we take a keen interest in someone, it makes a difference,” Mosley said.

Program keynote speaker Dr. Ivan Mosley, chair of TSU’s Department of Aeronautical and Industrial Technology. (Photo by Michael McLendon, TSU Media Relations)

TSU senior Elijah McNutt performed a dramatic reading during the program. He said he enjoyed honoring the two Tuskegee Airmen, and all veterans.

“It’s really a great opportunity to show appreciation, to let them know we haven’t forgotten them,” McNutt said.

In August, TSU, a certified “Vets Campus,” announced it is implementing a new program that will allow veterans to count military training for credit hours when they enroll at the institution. The program is part of the State of Tennessee’s Veteran Reconnect Initiative.

As part of its Veterans Day activities, TSU hosted a performance by the world-renowned USAF Band of Mid-America’s Shades of Blue Jazz Ensemble in Kean Hall Monday evening. The concert was free and open to the public.

Fore more information about veteran services call 615-963-7001, or visit http://www.tnstate.edu/records/veteran/.

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. 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.

Bus Tour Brings Business and Community Leaders To TSU

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Nearly 50 Nashville business and community leaders visited Tennessee State University last week as part of the National Organization for Workforce (NOW) Diversity’s annual Diversity Bus Tour.

“The tour is to bring human resource leaders and business leaders out into the diverse communities for recruitment and advancement and engagement of their workforce,” said Jacky Akbari, president and national board chair of NOW Diversity.

She said the Diversity Bus Tour helps managers and supervisors better understand environments with which they may not have previously been familiar.

Business administration students, members of the TSU public relations office and Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, greeted the tour participants on Nov. 8 with gift bags and brief testimonials when they arrived on the campus of Nashville ‘s only public university.

Dr. S. K. Hargrove, den of the College of Engineering with Business Administration majors Sydni Berkahlter of Cincinnati and Cordé Stewart of Nashville.

Hargrove, who serves on the board of NOW Diversity, said he believes the tour will help these professionals gain a better understanding of the impact historically black colleges and universities have on the community.

“I believe it is important that we display and share the great things that are happening at TSU to the Nashville community,” he said. “Too often many have a distorted view or perception of TSU, but our responsibility as employees is to promote the quality of education we provide and the outstanding students that matriculate at our institution. “

Akbari said for their employers to have a diverse engaged workforce population, they have to understand the culture of the students, where they come from, what they like to do and how they can contribute to the workplace.

“We know from Dean Hargrove that TSU does have some special programs that our employers are looking for,” she said. “The STEM programs that exist here at TSU are a unique opportunity for our employers to connect with students that are ready to make an early and significant contribution. We appreciate Dr. Hargrove’s leadership in connecting us with TSU, not only in his program, but across the campus.”

Kelli Sharpe, assistant vice president of University Public Relations and Communications,  greets Jacky Akbari, president and national board chair of NOW Diversity, as the Diversity Bus Tour arrives on the campus of Tennessee State University.

The Diversity Bus Tour also included stops at Meharry Medical College, Fisk University, the Sri Ganesha Temple, the Islamic Center of Nashville, Historic Woolworth on 5th and Plaza Mariachi.

The National Organization for Workforce Diversity is a private, public and non-profit collaborative created to provide insight and leadership training to advance workforce diversity initiatives.

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. 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.

 

For more information about International Education Week 2018, contact (615) 963-5640.

Highly Sought-after Freshman Says Coming to Tennessee State University Changed His World

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Emmanuel Wallace had several colleges on his radar. But the top high school graduate from Memphis says a summer program he participated in at Tennessee State University changed his world, and he had no choice but to become a Big Blue Tiger.

“What brought me to TSU was my experience in a five-week Summer Apprenticeship Program that really opened my eyes to a lot of opportunities in agriculture,” says Wallace, a graduate of East High School, where he was a “distinguished honor roll” student and a student ambassador. With an expressed interest in studying civil engineering, Wallace received full scholarship offers from Vanderbilt University and the University of Memphis, just a few of the schools courting him.

Emmanuel Wallace

“First, I was considering majoring in civil engineering, because in high school I did a lot of engineering programs,” says Wallace, now a freshman at TSU. “But after talking with the leaders of the program, I concluded that agriculture would be a good fit for me.”

Over the summer, Wallace was one of 21 graduating high school seniors from across the nation who participated in the very competitive five-week Summer Apprenticeship Program. From studies in understanding hypersensitive response of tobacco plants to comparing DNAs in chickens and Guinea fowls, participants in the program were exposed to real-world scientific work and cutting-edge research. He developed a special interest in goat research after spending time with renowned TSU goat researcher, Dr. Richard Browning.

Wallace’s professors and mentors in the program say he showed remarkable ability and enthusiasm to learn.

“Right away we noticed how bright and energetic he was and really wanted to learn,” says Dr. DeEtra Young, assistant professor of agricultural and environmental sciences. “So through our mentorship, I think he fell in love with the new opportunities that agriculture provides.”

Wallace, a first-generation college student and the youngest of three children, came to TSU with a near 4.0 grade point average. He was the salutatorian of his graduating class, president of the National Honor Society, the senior class, and manager for the varsity boys’ soccer team at East High. He is currently majoring in agricultural sciences with a concentration in agribusiness. He hopes to go to graduate school and either work for the U.S. Department Agriculture or develop a business career in agribusiness.

Wallace was recruited as a High Achiever Academic Scholarship recipient. He is a Dean Scholar in the College of Agriculture, and a member of the Honors College. He also has memberships in the Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, and Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Science.

Recently, Wallace was one of 10 TSU students selected to participate in a three-day Agriculture Future of America four-track program in Kansas City, Missouri, designed to offer college men and women four different personal and professional development opportunities matched to their year in college.

According to Young, who accompanied the students, Wallace participated in Track I, which is the leadership track for freshmen.

“The program bridges the gap between academic, leadership and work experiences while helping students understand the impact of their decisions,” says Young.

At TSU, Wallace says his goal is to combine academic and leadership for student success.

“I plan on holding multiple leadership positions, inspire and motivate members of my class, and become a student ambassador for Tennessee State University,” he says.

For more information on opportunities in the TSU College of Agriculture, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/seminar_schedule.aspx.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. 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.

Top healthcare executive Credits TSU for Playing Major Role in His Success

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Since childhood, Tennessee State University alumnus Jonathan E. Watkins has carried a certain air of distinction that has set him apart from his peers. His high school health sciences teacher, Lovell Cartwright, recalls how his classmates confided in her how much they could depend on the promising young scholar.

“What was impressive to me about Jonathan was that the students brought him to me when we were preparing to take a trip,” said Cartwright, who for 19 years took African-American youth like Watkins and his peers on trips to visit historically black colleges and universities. “We needed another person to go on the trip, and I said to the students, ‘Whoever you bring on this trip, you have to pick someone who won’t get in trouble.’ All of them said, ‘If he get’s in trouble, we’ll all go home because we know he won’t do anything wrong.’ They had that much confidence in him.”

Watkins, who was named chief executive officer of Broward Health Imperial Point (BHIP) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida this past April, said it was Cartwright’s HBCU tour that introduced him to Tennessee State.

Jonathan Watkins. (Photo submitted)

“Healthcare administration and planning isn’t a field that every undergraduate program has. So when I started to look at where the programs were, leaving to go out of state was going to be a significant struggle and burden on my family,” he said. “Because of Mrs. Cartwright’s HBCU tour, we discovered that TSU did indeed have a program which fit in line with my desire to attend an HBCU. “

As CEO of BHIP, Watkins oversees a 200 acute care hospital and is responsible for leading the organization’s overall administration.   BHIP offers medical-surgical inpatient care, behavioral health services, as well as outpatient services.

Watkins, who secured his undergraduate degree at TSU in healthcare administration and a master’s degree in public administration, said attending TSU prepared him for the vigorous road ahead.

“TSU played a vital part in preparing me. Between the internship that is required, the connections that the program allowed me to make and the guest lectures, I would say I got a realistic perspective and view of healthcare administration from my professors during my time at TSU,” he said. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

He credits professors like the late Dr. Richard Enoch, former chair of the Department of Health Administration, and Dr. Rosemary Theriot, professor and chair of the Department of Public Health, Health Administration and Health Sciences, with providing him the guidance he needed to continue on his path to success.

Theriot recalled Watkins as the ideal student. “He seemed to be very serious and he took his academic work quite seriously,” she said. “He always submitted whatever assignments that were do on time, and he didn’t ask for any extra consideration.”

In spite of his leadership responsibilities and hectic schedule, Watkins makes time to give back to his alma mater by mentoring students and serving on the department of Public Health, Health Administration and Health Sciences Advisory Board at TSU. He encourages students to take a serious look at healthcare as a profession.

“There isn’t a degree that a student can graduate from college with that I don’t think the healthcare industry has an opportunity or role that he or she could fulfill,” he said. “Everything ranging from marketing and communications to engineering, to medicine. It ‘s not limited — even students who decide to major in law. We have a huge legal team, a compliance team, that we trust and value.”

Theriot said TSU has one of the oldest programs in healthcare administration in the Southeast at the undergraduate level. She said it has been accredited by the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA) since 1976.

“We have several students who have been quite successful as far as employers hiring our students,” said Theriot. “We have been approached by a number of healthcare agencies about partnering with them to place our students as interns and within their respective agencies. We have those same kinds of agreements with a number of health facilities throughout Tennessee and outside of Tennessee.”

Prior to becoming CEO at BHIP, Watkins served as chief operating officer of the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals in Oakland, California. He also served as vice president of clinical operations and COO of Medical North Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. He was named the 2013 National Association of Health Services Executive Young Healthcare Executive of the Year, and is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Cartwright, who Watkins said is “one of the best teachers the Memphis City School System ever employed,” shared her favorite memory of Watkins as a high school student. “I had very strict rules and one day he walked into my classroom wearing sunglasses. I said, ‘Why do you have on sunglasses in my classroom?’ He replied, ‘Ms. Cartwright, my future is so bright I’ve got to wear these glasses.’”

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. 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’s Glover Receives Thurgood Marshall College Fund Education Leadership Award, HBCU President of the Year

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover has received the prestigious Thurgood Marshall College Fund Education Leadership Award as the HBCU President of the Year.

The award was presented to Glover at the TMCF’s 31st Anniversary Awards Gala in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 29.

It recognizes Dr. Glover’s commitment to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and  her bold leadership and achievements in higher education.

“I’m extremely humbled and thankful to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund for selecting me as the 2018 Education Leadership Award recipient,” Glover said.

“This award is an honor that represents the bright and talented students enrolled at TSU, our leaders of tomorrow, as well as the dedicated faculty and staff committed to nurturing and inspiring them.”

Glover was among three distinguished individuals who were honored at this year’s TMCF awards gala.

Emmanuel Wallace, a freshman, agricultural sciences major from Memphis, Tennessee, is a recipient of the TMCF scholarship. He is grateful for the support and for the recognition being bestowed on Dr. Glover.

“It makes me feel important that our president is receiving this outstanding award from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund,” Wallace said, upon hearing that Glover had been selected for the award. “It shows that we are a school that is all about education and excellence.”

Sophomore Jailen Leavell, who was recently named a White House Initiative 2018 HBCU Competitiveness Scholar for academics and leadership, echoed the same sentiments. He touted Dr. Glover’s continued hard work to make sure students are successful.

“After hearing the announcement from the leader of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund that President Glover won the highest award from the organization, it filled me with pride to know that she is my university president,” Leavell said.

“Beyond pride, it inspired me to continue putting my best foot forward in academics and extracurricular activities, to be the greatest student just like she was while attending our university.”

The TMCF has had a long relationship with Tennessee State University and President Glover, through scholarships and programs geared toward student success.

On Oct. 22, the head of TMCF, Dr. Harry Williams, visited TSU to meet with Glover, senior administration officials, and to see firsthand the impact the organization is having with students participating in its program.

Williams noted that TSU was the 27th HBCU he has visited in the last nine months. TMCF represents 47 HBCUs and raised over $300 million for them. He said 97 percent of students who receive scholarships graduate, which is attractive to employers.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. 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.

 

For more information about TMCF, visit: www.tmcf.org.

TSU Inaugural Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Lecture Features Accomplished Microbiologist George Hill

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University recently held its inaugural Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr., Homecoming Lecture on its main campus in the Robert N. Murrell Forum.

Dr. George C. Hill, who formerly served as head of the Levi Watkins, Jr., M.D. Professor in Medical Education Chair at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, provided the talk on Oct. 18, encouraging students to persevere in spite of skeptics.

The lecture series, a component of the Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr., Institute, was established to honor Watkins, a 1966 alumnus of TSU and the first African-American to be accepted into and graduate from the Vanderbilt School of Medicine. It features prominent speakers who address areas in health care and STEM to prepare students for the medical field. The late Watkins is known worldwide for being the first surgeon to successfully implant an automatic heart defibrillator in a human patient.

“You too can be exactly like Dr. Watkins. If he were here today he

Dr. George C. Hill

would show you that it is just an example of what Tennessee State University produces,” said Hill, an accomplished molecular biochemist. “Less than 10 years after Dr. Watkins graduated from Vanderbilt, in February 1980, he assisted in putting the defibrillator in a patient.”

Hill, distinguished professor emeritus and past vice chancellor at Vanderbilt University, shared old photographs of Watkins as well as insights about the life of a man who transformed the educational landscape for African-American students pursuing careers in the medical field.

TSU President Glenda Glover greeted the crowd and explained the purpose of the Dr. Levi Watkins Jr., Institute.

“We established this institute to assist students who aspire to attend medical school. We established this institute for students to join the pre-med society. We established this institute to provide leaders from around the world,” she said. “We established this institute to provide scholarships for students for their education here at TSU. “

TSU President Glenda Glover gives greetings at the inaugural Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr., Lecture.

Glover thanked the Watkin’s family for donating $500,000 to fund the institute.

“We thank Dr. Annie Marie Garraway for your contribution to carry out the vision of the genius himself, Dr. Levi Watkins Jr.,“ she said.

Dr. Garraway is Watkin’s sister. She and her husband, Ira Deep, along with Watkin’s cousin, Beverly Sheftall, attended the lecture.

Dr. Lonnie Sharpe, director of the Dr. Levi Watkins Jr., Institute, said the university was honored to have Hill as the event’s featured lecturer.

“Dr. Hill is well renown in his field,” Sharpe said. “The students got to see someone of color who has done very well in terms of looking at diseases and trying to find cures for them. He has done a great job in terms of trying to get students to go into the medical field.”

The event also featured the induction of 19 students into the Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Society, an organization comprised of students who aspire to attend medical school.

Students recently inducted into the Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Society with members of the Watkin’s family and organizers of the Dr. Levi Watkins Jr., Institute.

“We are trying to enhance the education of our students by getting more of them to go into medical fields,” said Sharpe, who serves as interim dean of the College of Life and Physical Sciences. “Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr., did a great job in terms of being an example for our students, so we are looking forward to many more of our students attending graduate school and following in his footsteps.”

TSU alum Brandon Van Leer showcases his portrait of Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. which was unveiled during the program.

Barbara Murrell, a 1960 alumna of TSU, was the director of Student Activities in 1965 when Watkins served as president of the student government association president.

“Levi started his preparation for his journey here at Tenneseee State Univeristy in the ‘Land of Golden Sunshine by the Cumberland fertile shore,’” she said.“To us he was Levi. To the world he became a a renowned cardiac surgeon, a game-changer, an unrelenting advocate for the disenfranchised, a drum major for justice and a history maker.”

In addition to the lecture series, the institute also consists of a pre-med society and an endowed scholarship.

Students inducted into the Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Society include Malcolm Finlay, president, a senior, biology/psychology major; Hitesh Vaishnav, vice-president, a senior, chemistry major; Christian Bond,secretary,  a junior, biology/pre-health major; and Anthony Moreland, treasurer, a senior, biology major.

Other students inducted into the society include Farah Ismail, a junior, chemistry major; Danielle Borlay, a senior, biology major; Joshua Borlay, a freshman, biology major; Autumn Brunson, a sophomore, biology major; Tyona Caldwell, a senior, chemistry major; Ashli Earl, a sophomore, biology major; Sahra Gabure, a sophomore, chemistry major; Jayvonna Gambrell, a sophomore, biology major, Cameron Holifield, a senior, chemistry major; Sara Jamal, a senior, chemistry major; Kimberley Laporte, a sophomore, biology major; Rodney McCracken, a freshman, biology major; Larry McNary II, a sophomore, biology major; Aliyah Muhammad, a junior, biology/pre-med major; and Habiba Mwechiwa, a sophomore, biology major.

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. 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.

Thurgood Marshall College Fund President and CEO visits TSU, sees impact of agency first hand

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The head of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) visited Tennessee State University on Oct. 22 and got an opportunity to see firsthand the impact the organization is having with students participating in its program.

Dr. Harry Williams attended a welcome luncheon with TSU President Glenda Glover, administrators, faculty and students before taking a tour of the campus. Dr. William’s visit is a part of his tour of the historically black colleges and universities associated with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

During the luncheon, President Glover lauded Williams for his leadership, and expressed her gratitude to Thurgood Marshall College Fund for helping to keep students enrolled at TSU.

TSU President Glenda Glover welcomes Dr. Harry Williams, President and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, during a luncheon in his honor on campus. Dr. Glover was joined by senior administration officials and TMCF scholars in welcoming the Fund leader. (Photo by Lucas Johnson, TSU Media Relations)

“We get a chance to thank you, for all you’ve done for us to keep our students here at TSU,” said Dr. Glover.

“The Thurgood Marshall College Fund provides the resources needed to help students transition from the classroom to the corporate world with professional development, internships and scholarships. This is an added value when students enroll and earn a degree from TSU.”

Williams told the packed room that TSU is the 27th HBCU he has visited in the last nine months. TMCF represents 47 HBCUs and raised over $300 million for them. He said 97 percent of students who receive scholarships graduate, which is attractive to employers.

“What I have learned is that there is a need for the TMCF organization, and there is a big need in this country for what we do,” Williams said. “Corporations want our talent, and they want it bad, because we provide a great opportunity for people to grow and develop.”

The work of TMCF was highlighted in a TSU produced video of students benefitting from scholarships and internships. Each student proclaimed, “I’m still here” because of the financial assistance from Dr. Williams and the college fund. Visit https://vimeo.com/296361411/3c553d3fc9 to view the video.

TSU junior and scholar Tiara Hudson, a first-generation college student, is one of those grateful for the financial assistance that allowed her to remain at TSU after exhausting all other available aide.

“It’s just remarkable how impactful TMCF is, to not only TSU, but to colleges across the U.S.,” said Hudson, a business administration major from Knoxville, Tennessee. “Without TMCF, I probably would not be here.”

Charles Jennings, director of the TSU Career Development Center, believed the visit was paramount to the center’s continued success in helping students excel academically and as potential employees in the corporate world.

“TMCF not only provides scholarships that assists students with their financial needs while in college, but it also allows them the opportunity to interact with executives from Fortune 1000 corporations that may not necessarily come to HBCU campuses career fair,” said Jennings.

To learn more about TSU’s Career Development Center, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/careers/index.aspx.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. 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 celebrates history-making Homecoming with new constructions, record fundraising and parade attendance

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – This year’s Homecoming at Tennessee State University involved a bit of history-making, in addition to the excitement.

The Tigers’ trouncing of the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles (41-14) in the football game at Nissan Stadium on Saturday was just the icing on the cake. Add that to the much-anticipated parade along Jefferson Street that brought out thousands, and groundbreaking ceremonies for four new buildings, as well as a scholarship gala the night before that raised a record amount to keep students in school.

President Glenda Glover waves to the crowd along the 2018 Homecoming parade route. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The Scholarship Gala is the university’s single largest fundraising event. Organizers said when all the tabulation is completed, they expect this year’s proceeds to top last year’s $1.3 million intake.

No doubt, TSU President Glenda Glover called this year’s Homecoming one of the most exciting in school history.

“We are on record pace here,” Glover said to a packed room of cheering fans at the President’s Homecoming Reception at Nissan Stadium, just before the football game.

“We broke ground for four new buildings this week, including two new residence halls that will

The world-renowned TSU Aristocrat of Bands participates in the Homecoming parade. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

help us to recruit more quality students. We are just very excited.”

The new structures include two new residence halls, a Health Sciences Building and an Alumni Welcome Center. The new dorms will be the first to be built at the university in 23 years, and the Health Sciences Building will be the first state-funded building to be constructed on the campus in 15 years.

Glover also touted the record number of participants in the 2018 Homecoming parade.

“We had 140 entrants in this year’s parade, that’s the largest ever. It is really good to see the Nashville community come out in such numbers to support TSU,” she said.

Mr. TSU and Miss TSU and their Court wave to the cheering crowd from atop their Homecoming float in the 2018 parade along Jefferson Street. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

At the reception, Glover recognized and congratulated several individuals, including Special Presidential Honoree James Shaw, Jr., the “Waffle House Hero”; the parade grand marshals, and the Homecoming honorees. She also recognized and thanked TSU alums Amos and Brenda Otis for their “generous contribution” of $1million toward the construction of the new Alumni Welcome Center.

She paid special tribute to the family of injured TSU football player Christion Abercrombie for their courage. The family, including Abercrombie’s aunt, Shawn Neason, and uncle Kevin Richardson – sporting the player’s No. 6 jersey – later joined President Glover for the coin toss at the start of the game. Also present at the reception was Abercrombie’s other uncle, Obie Mitchell, and Chris Wyckoff, a family friend.

TSU President Glenda Glover, along with senior administration and Foundation Board members, receive a check for $1 million from TSU alums Amos and Brenda Otis toward the construction of an Alumni Welcome Center on campus. Picture from left are: President Glover, Amos Otis, Brenda Otis, Dwaye Tucker, Foundation Board chair; Dr. Lesia Crunpton-Young, VP for Research and Institutional Advancement; Joni McReynolds, President of the TSU National Alumni Association; Cassandra Griggs, Alumni Affairs director; and Dr. Curtis Johnson, Chief of Staff. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Like Glover said, excitement about homecoming was widespread and rekindled a lot of memories.  Nathan Andrews was all smiles as he stood in front of what is now Humphries Hall and pointed to the parking lot on the other side – soon to be the home of the Alumni Welcome Center.

“That was a baseball field, where we passed the time in the evening,” said Andrews, of Nashville, who came to TSU in 1959. “And where I am standing was a little beer joint. We couldn’t go to many places so some of us would sneak around here.”

Injured TSU football player Christion Abercrombie’s family member accompany President Glover for the coin toss at the start of the Homecoming game at Nissan Stadium. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Andrews said although he is not active as he should be, he watches the parade every year if his health allows, and sits at his favorite spot – “across from the baseball field.”

Colette Combs, of Miami, Florida, a 1976 TSU graduate, looks forward to always coming back to where she called her beginning.

“Homecoming is filled with exciting moments of rekindling and renewing old friendships,” said Combs, who this year celebrated her 45th anniversary as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. “This is a time when we celebrate and reminisce on precious memories formulated here at Tennessee State University.”

A group of TSU alums, attending the Homecoming parade, celebrated their 45th anniversary as members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Several members of the class are not in the picture. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

From Oct. 14-20, Homecoming events included the Robert N. Murrell Oratorical Contest, a gospel concert, the Mr. TSU and Miss TSU coronation, the Homecoming Concert, the Alumni Whiteout Party, the Charles Campbell Fish Fry, the President’s Legacy Society Luncheon, and the Breakfast of Champions, among others.

Also this year, the university launched the Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Symposium in honor of the late TSU alum and pioneering heart surgeon. The Watkins family, who attended the inaugural symposium, received rousing applause from the audience and President Glover for contributing $500,000 to establish the Levi Watkins, Jr. Endowed Scholarship at TSU.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. 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.