Category Archives: RESEARCH

TSU Honors Top Researchers at 39th Annual University Wide Research Symposium

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University recognized its top student and faculty researchers during a ceremony in the Ferrell Westbrook Complex on the main campus on Friday.

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Awards Luncheon speaker Mark N. Russ engages students during his presentation at the Ferrell-Westbrook Complex. (Submitted Photo)

It was the Awards Luncheon culminating the weeklong 39th Annual University-Wide Research Symposium organized by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

Awards were given for the top three winners in undergraduate and graduate oral and postal presentations.  Organizers received 155 student submissions in eight categories and 35 faculty submissions.

Mark N. Russ, executive assistant director of the National Security Directorate Naval Criminal Investigative Service, was the keynote speaker. He admonished the award winners to set high goals and stick with them if they want to be successful.

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Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, Dean of the College of Engineering, left, congratulates Kyra M. Bryant, a Ph.D. student in Computer Information Systems Engineering for winning first place award in Graduate Engineering II oral presentation. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“By involving yourselves in award events like this you are stepping in the right direction, but it is not enough,” Russ said. “You have to continue to stick with it, continue to have your failures, successes and ultimately you will move in a direction where you are the only person with the background and experience to take it to the next level.”

Using Olympic champion Wilma Rudolph as an example of perseverance, Russ said no one thought she had a chance “because of things she had going against her.”

“She had medical issues and other health issues, but they did not stop her. She didn’t have to have someone tell her to keep working hard, she just didn’t quit and became one of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen,” Russ said.

Kyra M. Bryant, a Ph.D. student in Computer Information Systems Engineering, won first place in Graduate Engineering II oral presentation for her research on “Improved Bottom Friction, Surface Rachness, and Wind Stress in a Coupled Wave and Storm Surge Model.”

She said her study is aimed at developing a more accurate module for forecasting hurricanes.

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Dr. Margaret Mmbaga, took top award for faculty research. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“Winning this award has been really very encouraging, pushing me to research even more on this topic,” Bryant said “We are trying to make the modeling more accurate and winning this award tells me that I am on the right path.”

In faculty research, Dr. Margaret Mmbaga won first place in the category of Faculty II for “Screening of Common Bean for Multiple Disease Resistance Under Natural Infection by Common Bacterial Blight and Charcoal Rot.”

Each year, an individual researcher is admitted into the “Million Dollar Club” during the awards ceremony. Individuals in this select group are recognized for receiving grant money of a million dollars or more in a single year.

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Dr. Marie Hammond, second from right, holds her award for becoming the newest Million Dollar Club member. She is congratulated by Phyllis Danner, Director of Research and Sponsored Programs, left, and research symposium co-chairs Dr. John Robinson, and Nannette Carter Martin. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

That recognition went to Dr. Marie Hammond, associate professor of psychology in the College of Education. In 2016, she received a $1.5 million National Science Foundation grant for basic research.

“I am honored, I am overwhelmed,” she said  “I am really grateful because I never would have gotten here without the support of people from across the university, who worked with me along the way.”

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Community Health and Wellness Fair at TSU promotes healthy lifestyle

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – More than 30 vendors from across the city participated in the Community Health and Wellness Fair at Tennessee State University on April 21.

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TSU President Glenda Glover (center) with health fair participants from Meharry Medical College and TSU’s Dental Hygiene Department. (photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

The event, which was free to the public, was a partnership between TSU, the DP Thomas Foundation for Obesity, Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s HIV Vaccine Program, and the Turnip Truck, a natural foods grocer in Nashville.

All the vendors set up in Kean Hall on the university’s main campus had some connection to health care and wellness.

“It’s important that vendors from around the area come here and show what it means to participate in healthy lifestyles,” TSU President Glenda Glover said. “We want to go over some of the preventive measures; precautionary actions. Prevention is the heart of public health.”

Among its offerings, the fair provided information on weight loss management and nutrition, as well as fitness demonstrations and health screenings, including hypertension, glucose and cholesterol. There was also an opportunity for attendees to sign up for insurance.

William Ligon and his niece, Jada Smith, drove from Gallatin, Tennessee to attend the health fair. Smith, who is currently attending a community college, plans to enroll in Tennessee State’s nursing program next year.

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William Ligon and his niece, Jada Smith (left), drove from Gallatin, Tennessee, to attend health fair. (photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

“I’ve always liked to be able to help out people in need,” Smith said. “I like to care for people.”

Both Ligon and Smith said they enjoyed the health fair.

“This is great,” Ligon said. “We need more of this.”

Along with the Nashville vendors, several Tennessee State programs and departments participated. They included the TSU Nursing School, the Agriculture Department, the TSU Center for Aging, the TSU Wellness Center, and TSU’s Dental Hygiene Department, which has a full service campus clinic that averages about 600 patients a year, many of whom are from the surrounding community.

Dr. Gary-Lee A. Lewis, head of TSU’s Dental Hygiene Department, said he hopes the fair will help increase that number “with the linkages that we make with the community.”

“It’s a mutually beneficial experience for both our students and value for the community,” Lewis said. “It showcases all aspects of health to the community.”

Vic Sorrell is the community engagement coordinator for the Vanderbilt HIV vaccine program, which provided HIV testing and HIV prevention education and information at the fair.

“This is an ideal way for our community to collaborate on reaching the goal of zero new HIV transmissions by the year 2020, according to the National HIV/AIDS Strategy,” Sorrell said.

Ivan Davis Sr., director of Student Health Services at TSU, said the university plans to host many more health fairs.

“We’re just trying to give people access,” Davis said. “Some people don’t know where to begin to get health access.”

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TSU students graduating with jobs say university has prepared them to succeed

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When Maya Davis and Cametria Weatherspoon receive their degrees and head to Lockheed Martin to begin their careers, they’re aiming for success because of preparation received at Tennessee State University.

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TSU’s Career Development Center gives students tools they need for success. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Davis and Weatherspoon will be among more than 800 graduates from various disciplines on May 6 at the undergraduate commencement in the William Jasper Hale Stadium on TSU’s main campus.

The duo continues the university’s legacy of students who have received job offers and are ready to move right into the workforce.

Weatherspoon, 24, who majored in electrical engineering, will take an electrical engineering associate position. She will work in programming at Lockheed Martin’s Space Systems Company in Littleton, Colorado.

Lockheed Martin recently received a $100 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to support efforts related to the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile, or JASSM.

“Having a job after I graduate is a blessing,” said Weatherspoon, a Memphis, Tennessee native. “I’m very excited.”

Davis, a 23-year-old computer science major from Nashville, will head to Lockheed Martin’s Orlando, Florida, location where she will work on a logistics system for one of the company’s fighter jets.

Davis said she is nervous about relocating, but shares Weatherspoon’s sentiment about already having a job: “It’s exciting.”

Both students, and others, credit faculty at TSU and programs like the university’s Career Development Center with motivating them and providing the tools they needed to not only get their jobs, but be successful.

“The professors at TSU were reliable and very helpful,” said 22-year–old Mathew Smith of Nashville. The agricultural education major is currently a high school student teacher, and plans to teach full time after he graduates in May.

“It’s been quite rewarding,” Smith said of student teaching. “And honestly, the most influential and experience learning I’ve had throughout TSU.”

Meghan Lambert, a nursing major from Bolivar, Tennessee, has a job lined up with Methodist University Hospital, which has also agreed to pay for her post-graduate degree.

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The TSU Women’s Center’s Link to Success program connects students with professionals in the workforce. (photo by Lucas Johnson, TSU Media Relations)

She said Link to Success, a program in TSU’s Women’s Center that connects students with professionals in their field, said the networking was beneficial.

“It put me in contact with employers,” Lambert said. “I feel like my hard work at Tennessee State University really paid off.”

Jamal Coleman is coordinator of marketing, technology and communications at the Career Development Center, which helps students with their resumes, and provides tips on interviewing techniques, among other things.

“Our main goal is to help them get a foot in the door,” Coleman said. “It’s a great satisfaction when I hear about students getting these opportunities.”

Along with Lockheed Martin and Methodist, other companies where TSU students are going, and are currently working include Bank of America, Boeing, BMW, Raytheon and Rolls-Royce.

Dr. Bethany King Wilkes is director of student services in TSU’s College of Engineering. She said each semester students in the department “consistently receive lucrative job offers from top companies across the nation.”

“I frequently get calls from companies wanting to recruit our students because they know we have a pool of highly skilled individuals qualified for technical jobs that are hard to fill,” Wilkes sad.

TSU’s undergraduate commencement will begin at 8 a.m. Nationally-syndicated radio personality Tom Joyner will be the keynote speaker.

Graduate commencement service will be on May 5 at 5 p.m. in the Howard C. Gentry Complex. Congressman Jim Cooper will deliver the address.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

 

TSU children’s day event attracts more than 250 kids

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – More than 250 kids converged on Tennessee State University’s indoor practice facility to participate in activities leading up to the Week of the Young Child.

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Four-year-old Gavin Winfrey listens to TSU nursing student Megan Tomlin talk about cleanliness. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Three to 5-year-olds from several local schools and day cares participated in the April 12 event hosted by TSU’s Department of Family and Consumer Sciences and the Center for Learning Sciences.

Each April, the National Association for the Education of Young Children designates a week to focus on children. This year April 24-28 is designated.

Dr. Margaret Machara, who is in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, was the coordinator of TSU’s event, which involved participation from 16 of the university’s departments.

She said students and faculty in each department were asked to develop activities for the children related to their respective areas of study. Organizers said the event provided a learning experience for both kids and college students, particularly those in a program like early childhood.

“The little kids are learning, but the big kids are learning too,” Machara said.

Stacey Nieman, program manager of the Tennessee Early Childhood Training Alliance at TSU, agreed.

“The older students at TSU, what we’re getting them to see is being part of the community, and reaching out to the schools, preschools that are in our neighborhood,” Nieman said. “And the children, we just want them to get a feel of the university. It’s great if we can make an impression at an early age.”

She said research shows that most of the brain’s development happens when children are under the age of 8.

“So, those children in the ages of 3 to 5, it’s a primary time to have optimal brain development, and that’s done through experiences,” like the event here at TSU, she said.

Activities included a tractor simulator that allowed kids to virtually experience harvesting and baling hay, and exercising with some of the physical therapy students.

The kids also learned about safety and health care, such as making sure they always wash their hands.

“We’re teaching kids how to cover their cough, and how to wash their hands,” said nursing student Megan Tomlin, who will be graduating in May from TSU’s BSN program. “It really helps in preventing illness.”

Parents at the event were given a booklet on activities they can do to help their children continue to learn.

Natasha Winfrey attended with her four-year-old son, Gavin. She believes the activities made a positive impression on the kids.

“I think it’s good to get the kids started early, to see all the specialties that are available to them when they get older,” she said.

As he was leaving, Gavin was a little more succinct about his visit.

“I had fun!”

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU hosts NASA Technology Infusion Road Tour

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

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

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

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

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

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

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

 

 

TSU hosts top business leaders at Women in Leadership Symposium

By K. Dawn Rutledge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

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

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

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

Obie McKenzie-2
Honors Convocation speaker Obie McKenzie, TSU President Glenda Glover, and TSU Presidential Scholar Jaquantey Bowen

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

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

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

He also encouraged them to be bold.

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

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

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

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

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

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

During Bowen’s freshman year at TSU, just around his 18th birthday, his maternal grandfather died from heart disease, the same disease that claimed his paternal grandfather’s life and several others in his family.

“From that day forward, I vowed to put an end to heart disease,” said Bowen, who will receive a bachelor’s degree in biology with concentration in cell and molecular biology and a minor in chemistry. “I solidified my career choice to become a cardiovascular surgeon. I have strived for excellence and maintained nothing less than an ‘A’ in every course I have taken.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.