Category Archives: Research and Sponsored Programs

TSU Art Department Hopes to Inspire Youth with Mural Projects

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Department of Art is using the stroke of a brush to inspire local youth.

A mural project at Warner Arts Elementary Magnet School, themed “Imagine Your Future,” is the brainchild of Lakesha Moore, artist and assistant professor of art at TSU. She, along with some of her students, have visited the school twice a week (since May) to work on the mural, located on a wall in an open area where students converge when they enter the building.

Lakesha Moore, artist and assistant professor of art at TSU, is leading the mural project at Warner Arts Elementary Magnet School. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman)

The painting consists of a series of silhouettes of occupations that Moore says students can choose from in the future, along with other figures that not only support those decisions and careers, but also “give students the opportunity to discover their own pathways.”

“It (mural) is meant to show these students that they have options and their potential is limitless,” Moore said.  “Our hope is that students at Warner will not only imagine themselves as these figures, but beyond the ones that we have highlighted.”

School principal Denise Jacono said she’s looking forward to seeing the kids’ faces when they see the mural.

“They are going to take a look at that (mural) and they are going to say, ‘Wow!’”

The mural project is just one of several art education programs TSU’s art department is involved in around the city.

Artist and TSU assistant professor of art Brandon Donahue works with elementary and middle school students on their art project at the Madison Community Center. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

At the Madison Community Center in Madison, Tennessee, third grader and future artist Autumn Berry is spending her summer honing her skills with help from artist and assistant professor of art Brandon J. Donahue and five of his TSU students.

“The first thing I started with was my skin because you want to see if you get your skin right before you do your shirt,” Berry said, as she displayed her project, a painting of herself on a canvass. She wants to be an artist, but also a designer.

“I started on my shirt which I painted purple, because it is my favorite color, and I also want to be a designer so I put some lines on my shirt,” Berry, a student at East End Preparatory School, added.

Berry is one of 32 students in grades 1-7 working with Donohue. The TSU professor, who is teaching the students painting and drawing, is using a community service grant from the Metro Nashville Arts Commission to conduct the art education project at the center. Kappa Art Fraternity is also helping, Donohue said.

Hull Jackson, right, and his brother Jace Jackson, work on their joint project, a rendering of a ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja’ turtle, at Madison Community Center. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman)

Like Berry, each student is creating a silhouette of things that depict community and family. The finished products will be displayed in a new annex to the community center that is due to open in February, according to Donohue.

“These kids are very excited about their work,” he said. “We are teaching them how to paint, how to collage, and how to take their silhouettes and fill them in with things that mean families. We are working on symbols, what they mean, how to use them, and how to communicate visually.”

Donohue said he is glad to be a part of TSU’s community partnership and outreach.

Elizabeth Reed is a TSU art education major. She is helping with the projects at Warner Elementary and the Madison Community Center.

“I am really excited to work with these projects because they help me get more experience,” said Reed, a junior from Nashville. “The mural project will really help brighten up the school. Whenever the kids walk in their eyes are going to be drawn to all the bright colors. I think this will really help get them interested in art.”

Anita Gregory-Smith, the program coordinator at the Madison Community Center, is very thankful to TSU for the art project, which she also hopes will promote awareness and interest in art among the students.

“The program itself is bringing the kids and giving them a hands-on experience in creating their own thoughts and arts for their silhouettes,” Gregory-Smith said. “I think the kids did very well on those projects. They brought their own energy. It is amazing what they think about it right now.”

For more information about TSU‘s art department, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/art/

 

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 Graduate and Renowned Harvard Scientist S. Allen Counter Dies at 73

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Dr. S. Allen Counter, a Tennessee State University graduate and renowned Harvard scientist, has died at the age of 73.

Counter, a neurobiologist who joined the Harvard faculty in 1970, died July 12. He is best known for championing the achievements of African American explorer Matthew Henson. He traveled to Greenland, where he found descendants of Henson and fellow polar explorer Robert E. Peary.

Dr. S. Allen Counter receives a gift from TSU President Glenda Glover following his presentation as keynote speaker at the 2013 Annual University Wide Research Symposium. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Born Samuel Allen Counter Jr., in Americus, Georgia on July 8, 1944, Counter grew up near West Palm Beach, Florida.  His father was a business manager and his mother was a nurse.

Counter earned a bachelor’s degree in speech communication and theater from Tennessee State University in 1965. Five years later, he received a doctorate in neurobiology from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He later obtained another doctorate in medical science from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

In 2013, Counter returned to TSU as the keynote speaker at the Annual University Wide Research Symposium.

In his academicwork, Counter, longtime director of the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations, branched into ethnographic studies of African descendants around the world and produced award-winning documentaries about isolated populations of former slaves in Ecuador and Suriname (the former Dutch Guiana).

“There is no purer group of Africans in the Western hemisphere than those communities living along the rivers of the Suriname interior,” Counter told New African magazine in 2009. “These people have changed very little in 300 years. In many ways they were more African than many Africans today!”

He was the author of “North Pole Legacy: Black, White and Eskimo,” a book about explorer Henson.

For more information on the life and work of Dr. Counter, go to http://wapo.st/2sUBT9n

 

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 Summer Camps Give Youngsters Fun, Educational and Real-world Experience

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Summer is here! And it’s that time of the year when Tennessee State University hosts camps to allow youngsters to have some fun, as well as educate them and provide some real-world experience.

New this year is the Verizon Innovative Learning Summer Camp, which runs from June 5 – 16. It is part of a partnership between the Verizon Foundation, the Department of Computer Science in TSU’s College of Engineering, and local middle schools. The goal is to engage minority males in grades 6 – 8 to interact with technology.

Middle school students attending the Verizon Innovative Learning Summer Camp receive instructions from program facilitators in a computer science lab at TSU. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Dr. Tamara Rogers, TSU associate professor of computer science and a coordinator of the Verizon camp, said participants will learn tools such as the MIT App Inventor, an innovative beginner’s introduction to programming and app creation.

“Students will design and build prototype of mobile apps, as well as do hands-on labs,” Rogers said. “Students in this program will also continue throughout the academic year. Once a month they will come to the TSU campus and continue building on their mobile app.”

For those into music and the arts, about 80 youngsters ages 4-17 will get a chance to participate in the Community Academy of Music and Arts, which kicks off on the main campus Monday, June 5. The one-week community-based initiative includes summer camps for music, piano, drama, and visual and literary arts. It is designed to expose participants to different artistic mediums, crafts and songs.

“Our program is learner and service centered to create awareness of TSU in the community,” said CAMA director Dylan Griffith. “My wish is that these camps provide diverse and quality instruction that promotes creativity and inquiry.”

Music instructor Kerry Frazier, Jr., acquaints participants with program activities during the first day of CAMA All-Star Music Camp at TSU. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

CAMA and the Verizon Innovation Learning Summer Camp are just two of several fun, entertaining and educational programs and camps at TSU this summer. Overall, nearly 1,500 students from elementary to college freshmen are expected on the university’s two campuses. Some are coming from as far away as Iowa, Maryland and Oklahoma.

In addition to early learning activities for kids 5 years and up — such as Little Tigers Football Camp, and Basketball Kids Camp — summer camp themes and subjects range from science, applied mathematics and engineering, to music, athletics, real-world scientific work, and cutting-edge research.

A returning favorite this year is the Summer Apprenticeship Program, or SAP, offered by the College of Agriculture. It is a science-based initiative for college freshmen and rising high school seniors that exposes them to cutting-edge research. It runs from June 12 – July 14. Thirty students from 10 states will participate in the program this year.

William F. Hayslett, Sr., is the coordinator of SAP. He said the program, intended as a recruitment tool, is meeting its goal of encouraging participants to return to TSU for their college careers. He reported a more than 60 percent success rate of the program now in its third year.

“Our goal here is to make students aware of the academic programs in the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences and the many career opportunities available to its graduates,” Hayslett said.

Other summer camps are CAMA Blues Kids Camp (7/3 – 7/7), Summer Math Academy (7/9 – 7/21), Edward L. Graves Summer Band Camp (6/24 – 7/1), STEM Summer Camp (6/19 – 7/21), and Upward Bound Program (6/4 – 7/7), among others.

For a complete list of summer camps and programs, and contacts, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/events/camps.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 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.

 

Tennessee State University Receives Best Value School Designation for 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is a Best Value School for 2017.

TSU was among 80 universities and colleges nationwide to receive the designation by University Research and Review, a technology platform that researches, reviews and suggests colleges, universities and career schools.

According to the UR&R website, institutions receiving the Best Value School designation are “good, reasonably priced colleges loved by students and alumni, and selected based on research by higher education experts.”

These institutions also offer students a unique balance of academics, student life and financial manageability, the site said.

The 2017 Best Value School designation is just one of many national recognitions TSU has received recently.

Earlier this year, the university was ranked No.7 in the nation as the Most Affordable Online College for RN and MSN Programs. This followed TSU’s MSN program’s No. 2 ranking among the 50 Best Graduate Nursing Schools in America for 2016.

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 Engineering Students Receive praise for design of Transport Vehicle for Military Special Operations Forces

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Students from TSU’s College of Engineering were praised recently for their design of a special transport vehicle for the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Forces.

They were among students from nine other institutions who competed in the annual University Design Challenge last month at Arnold Air Force Base in Tullahoma, Tennessee.

Nine students and their advisers from the TSU College of Engineering participate in the 2017 Annual University Design Challenge at Arnold Air Force Base in Tullahoma, Tennessee. (Submitted photo)

The three-day competition, organized by the Air Force Research Laboratory, brings together different student teams from around the country to compete for top honors in a task assigned by the AFRL.

Teams were given two semesters to develop, design and build a prototype of their project for the competition that ended April 13.

The physical and mental stress of carrying heavy loads causes significant performance degradation and injury during training and while conducting military operations, according to AFRL officials.

During these missions, operators typically carry more than 100 pounds of gear, and require resupply of mission gear and equipment.

This year, the teams were to design a resupply device that operates manually, or autonomously programmed or controlled, to haul items on rough and unimproved surfaces. The device must be able to carry a minimum 350 pounds of gear, traveling two miles at a speed of 3-25 miles per hour without refueling. It must also be able to traverse narrow paths, climb steps, and navigate over rocks and log gaps.

The TSU student team designed, built and demonstrated an autonomous vehicle that met the required specifications.

“We were really happy with our performance,” said TSU team-member Charles McFadden, a mechanical engineering major, who graduated May 6. “Our team put in a lot of work. It turned out probably better than we thought we could do in that short period of time and the resources given to us.”

He said judges were very happy with the TSU design, calling their team “the best they have had from TSU.”

Dr. Landon Onyebueke, professor of mechanical engineering at Tennessee State, was one of the faculty advisers on the TSU team. He said the students’ performance was above average.

“The project actually was very good for the students,” Onyebueke said. “The design performed very well. They put a lot into it. It was a very good practice for the students.”

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of TSU’s College of Engineering, said the college has maintained a strong partnership with AFRL for more than 20 years that offers internships and helps TSU students conduct major research.

“We remain committed to this partnership and appreciate the support from AFRL, Clarkson Aerospace, and other partners in preparing our engineers for the workforce,” Hargrove said.

Other members of the TSU team were: Antony Currie, electrical engineering; Kevin Scott, electrical engineering; Larry Perdue, electrical engineering; Donald Toohey, mechanical engineering; Michael Winters, mechanical engineering; William Sanders, computer science; Ryan Brisentine, computer science; and Danielle Haik, computer science.

Dr. Fenghui Yao, professor of computer science, was the other TSU student adviser.

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 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.

Acknowledging PHDstudent (1)
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.

research-3
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.

research
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.

‘Donor Appreciation’ Gives Scholarship Recipients Chance to Say ‘Thank You’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Leona Dunn is finally enjoying college life and stressing less about school fees. She is grateful.

“My first year in college I paid over $1,200 out of pocket from what I saved up over the summer to help me stay in college,” said Dunn, a junior communications major.

Donors Reception-2
TSU President Glenda Glover says scholarship donors help the university stay on the path of excellence. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

That experience was the beginning of some tough times for the Omaha, Nebraska, native who had just come out of foster care. She was barely able to keep up with the payment plan she had worked up, which made registering for the next semester even more difficult.

“My balance was still off,” Dunn said. “I had no one back home to help. And coming from foster care, the system doesn’t exactly just give children owned by the state full ride scholarships to anywhere even if they had an exceptional GPA and ACT score like I did.”

But thanks to some “nice people” and “great organizations,” Dunn is now worrying less about tuition and focusing more on her academics. She received financial assistance from the Links, and the Tennessee State University Women’s Center.

Donors Reception-4
Leona Dunn gave a Spoken Word rendition at the Scholarship Appreciation Program and Reception. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“With all of this help I had to come up with only $200 this year …a huge blessing. I am so grateful,” she said.

On Friday, April 7, Dunn, and fellow students who receive help through scholarship donations, had a chance to say, “Thank You.”

It was the 6th Annual Scholarship Appreciation Program and Reception, or “Donor Appreciation,” held in Kean Hall. The event, organized by the TSU Foundation, allows scholarship recipients to meet face-to-face with donors to thank them for their generosity.

TSU President Glenda Glover said scholarship donors help the university to stay on the path of excellence by ensuring that students receive quality education through their gifts.

“Because of you, our students are able to matriculate,” Glover said. “They get to come, they get to stay and they get to graduate because of your dollars. We are just so grateful.”

Donors Reception
Scholarship recipients enter Kean Hall with cheers and songs of appreciation for donors who have helped them stay in school. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

This year, nearly 280 people, including students, donors and special guests attended the program featuring songs, recognition of donors and a special toast. Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, vice president for Research and Institutional Advancement, provided remarks.

Eloise Abernathy Alexis, associate vice president of Institutional Advancement, said the program gave the students a “unique opportunity” to interact with the donors.

“We send out postcards, letters and notes to donors to show our appreciation for their gifts, but this is the moment when donors and students really get to come together face to face to give and receive appreciation,” Alexis said.

Dr. Darlene Harris-Vasser, assistant director of Donor Relations, coordinates the reception each year. She said it is exciting to see the joy on donors’ faces when they meet the students in person.

“They are just so elated to see all of those students speaking about their educational goals, future plans and how their (donors’) contributions are making it possible for them to achieve their goals,” Harris-Vasser said.

The Women’s Center, one of the donors that offered Dunn financial assistance, develops and sponsors programming that enhances the skills of women and assists in their development as scholars and professionals.

According to Seanne Wilson, director of the center, Dunn approached the center to inquire about assistance.

“As Leona is a huge supporter of the Women’s Center and its events, the center was happy to assist her with the request,” Wilson said.

In appreciation, Dunn wants to give back to help others.

“Hopefully I want to have my own endowed scholarship when I become an alumna to help others and give back for the help I received,” she said.

For information on how to support the TSU Foundation or make a scholarship donation, please go to http://www.tnstate.edu/foundation/.

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.

Multimillionaire Entrepreneur Lectures TSU Students on Success, Establishes Endowed Scholarship

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Multimillionaire entrepreneur Dr. Bill Pickard has a message for TSU students: “Anybody, from anywhere, can accomplish anything.”

“But to do so, ‘you gotta put the work in,’” Pickard said, quoting a line from Grammy-Award winning singer Drake.

Pickard, chairman of Global Automotive Alliance and co-managing partner of MGM Grand Detroit Casino, was the guest lecturer at the Distinguished Lecture Series in the Forum on Monday, April 10.

Following his lecture, the LaGrange, Georgia, native, who is also CEO of Bearwood Management Company and co-owner of five Black-owned newspapers, established an endowed scholarship in the name of Kevin Williams, a TSU alumnus, Foundation Board member and retired president of General Motors of Canada.

He said the endowment was in appreciation of a long friendship, and credited Williams with helping to expand his (Pickard) GAA conglomerate of logistics and manufacturing companies with more than $1.5 billion in sales.

“When I met Kevin we were doing about $100 million, and when he left, we were doing about half a billion, that’s relationship,” Pickard told the packed auditorium with mostly students from the College of Business.

On his own life story, Pickard, who earned a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, said he started off at a community college after high school, because of poor grades. Many did not give him much chance for success, he said.

“I completed college, earned a master’s degree, became a social worker, and life was good,” said Pickard, who credits a “strong” faith in God for his success “I had an opportunity to earn my Ph.D. and I did.”

According to his bio, Pickard’s entrepreneurial career began with a McDonald’s franchisee in Detroit, becoming one of the top-10 Blacks in America to have a McDonald’s franchise.

“It is not where you start but where you go,” said Pickard, reminding the students of his “Seven Proven Principles of Entrepreneurship,” outlined in his book Millionaire Moves – vision, opportunity, finance, relationships, talent and skillset, failure, faith.

“To be successful you must have vision. Your vision must be greater than the window you are looking through. What that means is that you will never be what you cannot see,” Pickard said.

Williams, in whose name Pickard established the scholarship endowment, said he is glad many will benefit from Pickard’s gift.

“This recognition goes to a lot of people beyond myself,” he said, as he recognized his wife, Arlene, who “makes the machine go.”

Maya Moore, a junior finance major, was part of a panel of Business College students who listened to Pickard. She was very impressed by the speaker’s very simple and encouraging presentation.

“I encourage students to read his book, because just as he spoke, the book lays it down in layman terms for our generation to understand,” Moore said. “Like he said, if you put the work in, with a clear vision, you can accomplish anything.”

Earlier, Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, vice president for Research and Institutional Advancement, welcomed Pickard on behalf of President Glenda Glover, who was traveling on business.

“President Glover and the entire TSU family are glad and honored to welcome Dr. Pickard.” Crumpton-Young said. “Certainly, we are excited to hear him and learn from his great wealth of knowledge.”

The Dean of the College of Business, Dr. Millicent Lownes-Jackson, thanked Dr. Pickard for the scholarship endowment.

“This is a very, very special day for the College of Business and for me particularly, since Kevin was my former student,” Lownes-Jackson said. “The College of Business is just so thankful for this donation, and everyone who receives that scholarship will have the challenge to emulate the character and success of two phenomenal business icons – Kevin Williams and Dr. Bill Pickard.”

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.

NASA
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.