Category Archives: Research and Sponsored Programs

New AKA International President donates $50,000 earmarked for TSU and other HBCUs

By Kelli Sharpe

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Newly installed Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated International President Dr. Glenda Glover has sent a clear message that education will remain a priority for the service organization, especially supporting the nation’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Dr. Glover unveiled her vision that she believes will take the sorority’s efforts to greater heights, for greater impact during AKA’s international conference held recently in Houston, Texas. Her administration’s new initiative, HBCU for Life: A Call to Action and signature program College Admissions Process, also known as #CAP, will promote and market HBCUs, and encourage students to attend HBCUs. The college president donated $50,000 to the sorority‘s Educational Advancement Foundation to further emphasize her commitment. The funds are earmarked for Tennessee State and other HBCUs.

“I believe the best and most effective way to lead is by example,” said Glover. “My donation was two-fold. One, it emphasized how serious I am about the sustainability of HBCUs, not just as the president of Tennessee State, but also as an alumna. Two, I wanted to energize the membership about our new initiative. A call to action indicates something must happen immediately.”

“As the president of Tennessee State University, an HBCU, I witness first-hand the challenges our students and institutions face because the revenue streams once available have been systematically decreased or eliminated altogether, and they need our financial support more than ever to remain thriving and sustainable. HBCUs are a prominent part of this country’s DNA.”

Dr. Glover added that Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority being established on an HBCU campus as the nation’s first African American female Greek-lettered organization makes the new HBCU initiative even more special.

Glover began her tenure as International President under the theme of “Exemplifying Excellence Through Sustainable Service,” which will run from 2018-2022. Members will implement the following initiatives for the next four years:

Target 1: HBCU for Life: A Call to Action. We will continue our emphasis on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). We will promote and market HBCUs, encourage students to attend HBCUs, and provide financial support to HBCUs.

Target 2: Women’s Healthcare and Wellness. We will raise community awareness about critical health issues impacting the quality and longevity of the lives of African-American women. The primary focuses will be Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention, Heart Health, Nutrition and Wellness, and Care for the Caregivers.

Target 3: Building Your Economic Legacy. We will emphasize financial planning, asset accumulation, and wealth building including savings and investment, managing debt, and improving credit. We also will focus on supporting and encouraging African-American businesses through entrepreneurship and “The Black Dollar 365,” where we will be intentional in patronizing African-American businesses all year long.

Target 4: The Arts! We will expose students to arts enrichment and culture by focusing on the arts and celebrating the contributions of African-American artists. Program initiatives will showcase talent through the exploration of writers, entertainers and various other visual and performing artists and media.

Target 5: Global Impact. Through global partnerships, we will collaborate with organizations that provide assistance in international areas populated with people of color, including supporting organizations engaged in initiatives that assist refugees and their families integrate into American life.

Signature Program, #CAPSM, which is the abbreviation for the College Admissions Process, focuses on motivating and assisting students through the college entry process. It is a hands-on approach designed to facilitate college admission from researching various institutions and submitting applications through the completion of the enrollment process.

Nashville will be the host city for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s Leadership Conference under Glover. The conference averages  between 8,000 to 10,000 attendees.

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, 25 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 receives $20,000 in Scholarship funds in honor of Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover as 30th International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

By Kelli Sharpe

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University has begun to reap the benefits of its president’s dual role of leadership for the university and as international president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Dr. Glenda Glover was presented a $20,000 check for the Glenda Baskin Glover-Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated 30th International President Scholarship fund at TSU during her installation activities in Houston, Texas.

The scholarship was established to celebrate Glover taking the helm of AKA, the nation’s oldest African American female Greek-lettered service organization, and to highlight her role as TSU’s first female president.

“I am so grateful to the members of our great sisterhood that work at Tennessee State, along with the current and former members of our Alpha Psi Undergraduate chapter for creating this scholarship fund for deserving students here at the university,” said TSU President Glenda Glover.

“The generous donations from sorority members for the scholarship fund align with Alpha Kappa Alpha’s new initiative HBCU for Life: A Call to Action. I’ve charged chapters to donate $10 million to these institutions over the next four years. Of course this is personal for me as the president and alumna of an HBCU. HBCUs are an essential part of this country’s DNA. The new leadership of AKA is committed to the sustainability of all our HBCUs.”

Dr. Glover donated $50,000 to the AKA Educational Advancement Foundation for the sorority’s HBCU initiative during her installation ceremony. She made that same commitment of a $50,000 donation to TSU when she became president of the university in 2013.

Glover’s theme for the next four years, 2018-2022, with AKA is “Exemplifying Excellence Through Sustainable Service.” She will lead the prestigious 110-year old organization, of nearly 300,000 members and over 1,000 chapters located throughout the world, with a platform comprised of five program targets, a signature program and seven international community service impact days designed to advance AKA and underscore the organization’s commitment to service.

Target 1: HBCU for Life: A Call to Action. We will continue our emphasis on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). We will promote and market HBCUs, encourage students to attend HBCUs, and provide financial support to HBCUs.

Target 2: Women’s Healthcare and Wellness. We will raise community awareness about critical health issues impacting the quality and longevity of the lives of African-American women. The primary focuses will be Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention, Heart Health, Nutrition and Wellness, and Care for the Caregivers.

Target 3: Building Your Economic Legacy. We will emphasize financial planning, asset accumulation, and wealth building including savings and investment, managing debt, and improving credit. We also will focus on supporting and encouraging African-American businesses through entrepreneurship and “The Black Dollar 365,” where we will be intentional in patronizing African-American businesses all year long.

Target 4: The Arts! We will expose students to arts enrichment and culture by focusing on the arts and celebrating the contributions of African-American artists. Program initiatives will showcase talent through the exploration of writers, entertainers and various other visual and performing artists and media.

Target 5: Global Impact. Through global partnerships, we will collaborate with organizations that provide assistance in international areas populated with people of color, including supporting organizations engaged in initiatives that assist refugees and their families integrate into American life.

Signature Program, #CAPSM, which is the abbreviation for the College Admissions Process, focuses on motivating and assisting students through the college entry process. It is a hands-on approach designed to facilitate college admission from researching various institutions and submitting applications through the completion of the enrollment process.

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Glover’s higher educational development began as a student at TSU where she earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with honors. She earned her Master of Business Administration Degree in accounting at Clark Atlanta University and her Doctor of Philosophy in business and economics business from George Washington University. Glover earned her Juris Doctor Degree from Georgetown University Law Center. She is a certified public accountant, a licensed attorney, and one of a handful of African-American women to hold the Ph.D.-CPA-J.D. combination in the United States.

Professionally, Glover has amassed over 25 years of success in the academic and business arenas. Since assuming the leadership helm at TSU in 2013, the University has attained increases in academic program offerings, corporate and community partnerships, as well as alumni giving. While dean of the College of Business at Jackson State University from 1994 to 2012, Glover led the college through the accreditation process and spearheaded the implementation of the nation’s first Ph.D. program in business at a HBCU. From 1990 to 1994 Glover served as the chairperson of the Department of Accounting at the Howard University School of Business. She has also served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of an engineering firm, a tax manager at a major public utility company, and an accountant with a Big-Four CPA firm.

Glover was initiated into the Alpha Psi Chapter at TSU in 1971. A committed life member of AKA with over four decades of leadership and service, Glover has served in several capacities, including International Vice-President, International Treasurer, and Treasurer to the Educational Advancement Foundation. She also has served as president, vice-president, and treasurer of Beta Delta Omega Chapter in Jackson, Mississippi, and as president and vice-president of Alpha Psi Chapter as an undergraduate student.

 

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, 25 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.

Graduate School Premieres New Innovative Online Application Process

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University Graduate School kicked off it’s fall enrollment period July 16 with a new graduate online application system.

According to Dr. Robbie Melton, interim dean of the Graduate School, TSU graduate students can now apply to multiple graduate degree programs by submitting a single application for enrollment. She said students can manage the entire process online, including submission of supporting documentation, transcripts and recommendation requests.

“The graduate school is strategically planning to incorporate advanced technology enhancements to increase enrollments, to improve teaching, learning, productivity, accessibility, to provide affordable learning solutions through the use of Open Education,” Melton said.

She said using the Centralized Application Service (CAS™) for Graduate Schools and Programs GradCAS™, provides TSU graduate students with a one-stop customized portal to track their admission process, obtain updated information, set up meetings with advisors and access student services and support services.

GradCAS, the leader in application management for higher education, will also provide a central portal for the graduate school to collect documentation as well as enhance the ability for graduate departments to track and monitor the status of their potential students.

“This is only Phase One of the strategic plan for technology enhancement of the graduate school,” Melton said. “Phase two, which will start this Fall, will incorporate the automation of the graduate catalog, degree audits, and student-faculty related forms as well as the planning of graduate online degree programs and services to offer more delivery options to our mobile graduate students and to become an education leader in today’s worldwide society.”

TSU’s graduate school currently offers seven doctoral degrees, 24 master’s degrees and eight certificates. To apply,visit go.tnstate.edu.

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, 25 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 President’s Scholarship Offer Opens Doors for Student Set on Making A Difference in the Medical Field

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When Folusho Elijah Micah was asked to introduce TSU President Glenda Glover at a church event, he made an impression that has undoubtedly changed his life.

“After the introduction, she thanked me and said, ‘That was really nice and very special. You are the kind of young man I’d like to see at TSU,’” recalls Micah. “Right there, standing in front of the church, she offered me a full ride to TSU. My mom started crying and I was crying, the whole church was screaming; it was really a special moment.”

Folusho Elijah Micah

Micah, a second-year biology major at Tennessee State University, says he’s interested in the field of medicine, particularly care for children. He says his love for children led him to start babysitting for family members in the neighborhood.

“I love medicine and have so much passion working with kids, I thought, ‘what can I do to take these areas that I love so much and put them together? Become a doctor,’” says Micah, a Nashville native and graduate of Hume-Fogg High School.

He is well on his way to fulfilling his dream. At TSU, Micah maintains a near 4.0 grade point average,  and has been on the Dean’s List every semester. Additionally, he just completed his first summer in the Meharry BS/MD program, a pre-med initiative that connects Meharry Medical College with TSU and other historically black colleges and universities.

With good behavior and good grades in high school, college was always on Micah’s mind, but he was concerned about the financial burden it would put on his parents.

“Every time I listened, the cost of going to college was going up and I knew that would put a big strain on my parents when the time came,” says Micah, the second of three children. “It just bothered me.”

Micah’s fortune would soon change, thanks to a chance meeting with President Glover. Micah is a youth leader and summer camp counselor at Corinthian Missionary Baptist Church, where the TSU president was scheduled to speak. The pastor, the Rev. Enoch Fuzz, picked Micah to introduce Glover.

The soon-to-graduate-high-school senior says he went home and researched “all I could find on the President,” and prepared his introduction.

He says he’s extremely grateful to Glover for the scholarship.

“She took that stress off me when she offered me that scholarship,” says Micah. “That’s something I will forever be grateful for.”

Micah’s coming to TSU fulfills a special goal for Glover’s vision to move the university to another level of excellence. In 2016, the President announced sweeping changes that raised admission standards to attract the best and brightest. Minimum requirement for incoming freshmen went up from a 2.25 GPA to 2.5, while the ACT score remained at 19. The goal is to strategically recruit a millennial generation of high achieving students to improve retention and graduation rates.

The semester following Glover’s announcement, school officials said Micah’s class of 2021 came in as one of the most academically qualified classes in the school’s history, with an average 3.07 GPA. It was also the largest incoming freshman class in school history – 1,500 first-year students – a 17 percent increase over the previous year’s freshman enrollment.

At TSU, Micah says the “family” atmosphere has been very encouraging and has helped him to adjust to his new environment.

“At first it was tough adjusting because all of my friends had gone to other schools. I kind of felt alone,” says Micah. “I really started to get happy here when I started to get closer with my professors and my peers. I think that’s something really nice about TSU that I would not have gotten somewhere else. Once I found my footing, I was extremely happy.”

Micah, who has not yet decided where he will go to medical school, says he was also concerned about the declining number of African- Americans in the medical field.

Studies show that despite efforts by medical schools to increase diversity among applicants, the number of black men have remained stagnant for nearly 40 years. In 1978, 1,410 black men applied to U.S. medical schools. In 2014, that number was 1,337, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Micah aims to change that static for black men.

“We have to get our number up,” he says. “I think the biggest thing is that we need more resources and more influencers in place for our young men to look and have something they can strive for. I think by pursuing a career in medicine – even though I am just one person – this will help for the better. Once I have made it into and out of medical school, I can then reach back into my community and pull some kids out.”

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, 25 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.

Minnesota Native Says Quality Faculty and Beautiful Campus Attracted Her to TSU Graduate School

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University wasn’t on Jeff and Julie Palm’s radar when they initially made the 12-hour trek from Millville, Minnesota to Nashville, Tennessee. Their daughter Katie was looking to pursue her doctorate degree in physical therapy at one of the state’s premiere universities. However, after an unpleasant touring experience, the Palms found the perfect graduate school atmosphere for their daughter at TSU.

“When we did a tour down here a year and a half ago, it was Spring Break, and there were no students on campus. We talked to the office staff worker, and she took us to three different professors who were doing their work, and they were all like, ‘Oh, come on in and sit down,’ ” said Julie Palm, who works as a licensed practical nurse in Minnesota. “All three professors were just so nice and explained everything to us, and I think that is part of the reason we fell in love with TSU.”

Katie Palm

Katie Palm, who earned her bachelor of science degree in Health Sciences from the University of Minnesota Rochester, started her journey at TSU this summer. She said she loves the campus and is excited about being a TSU Tiger.

“I love the values that TSU has. At Rochester, there was an open door policy where students could approach a professor and ask them any question at any time, and the physical therapy program at TSU also has that open door policy,” she said. “That’s one of the things I’ve become accustomed to, and I’m glad they have that here.”

Dr. Alex Sekwat, associate dean of the Graduate School, said getting accepted into TSU’s DPT program in Physical Therapy is no small feat.

“The physical therapy program is a very competitive program. Gaining entrance to it is a little difficult because the demand is high,” said Sekwat. “Typically, in a given admissions cycle, the program attracts close to 300 applicants, and out of that only 36 are offered admissions. So it is very selective.”

Sekwat said the Ph.D. in Physical Therapy is just one of many advanced degrees offered by the Tennessee State University Graduate School.

“We provide diverse programming, ranging from health sciences, business, government, education, engineering, agriculture and liberal arts,” he said. “We have programs for any student who is looking for what is mainstream. Not to mention that we offer 24 master’s degree programs, seven doctoral degree programs, and up to eight graduate certificate programs.”

According to Sekwat, TSU offers a mixed-range of full-time programs for traditional students and non-traditional students who come part-time like working adults as well as students who can only attend classes online. He said new technology being implemented by the graduate school will provide upcoming students with a smoother application process.

“We are in the process of bringing on board a totally online application system, whereby there will be no paperwork involved,” Sekwat said. “With that we are hoping that beginning next semester, new students will have a completely different experience because everything will be at their fingertips. They won’t have to send us any paper. Everything will be processed online. Classes will be uploaded online, letters of recommendation online, statement of purpose online, test scores and so on. That is one of the most exciting things I see coming.”

Palm, who plans to stay in Tennessee after she earns her Ph.D., said she intends to use her expertise to eventually work with children. Her father, Jeff, who works as a machinist, said he is proud of Katie’s accomplishments, and they are excited about her attending the university.

“I am very proud of her just like my wife,” he said. “Katie excels in everything she does. She’s great with everything, and we are very supportive of her.”

For more information about the Tennessee State University Graduate School, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/graduate/.

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, 25 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 Executive MBA students have earth shaking experience in Japan

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Participants in Tennessee State University’s Executive MBA program experienced much more than they expected during their recent visit to Japan as part of an 11-day global immersion program.

The 10-member group, which returned to the U.S. June 22, were among those who felt the earthquake that registered 6.1 on the Richter scale.

“It was indeed the most frightening experience of my life,” said Grant Winrow, a member of the group and special assistant to the President of TSU.  “What only lasted 10-15 seconds, felt like 10-15 minutes.”

TSU Executive MBA global immersion participants gather for a photo during their visit to CMIC Holdings Company in Japan. Seated, from left, are: Stefania Placentini, Leah Sarnicola, Janet Blakemore, Joyce Barbour, Anita Sykes-Smith and Tonya Kilpatrick. Standing, from left, are: Marrecco Johnson, Grant Winrow, Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, Philip Trella (Executive In Residence), Frederick Cawthon, CMIC Holdings’ Senior Management Executive Officer Phiilippe Auvaro, Dr. Melvin Johnson (Faculty), and Anis Mnif (EMBA Program Director). (Submitted photo)

The quake hit the Japanese city of Osaka at about 8:15 a.m., on June 18, the ninth day of the immersion program, but was felt 27 miles away in Kyoto where group members were having breakfast.

“We were at the hotel … and all of a sudden, the ground started shaking,” said Anis Mnif, group adviser and director of Graduate Studies in the TSU College of Business. “Since our hotel was located above a train station, we thought it was a train. To our surprise, it was not. The hotel crew came to us and said, ‘Hey, follow us but don’t panic.’”

Fortunately, no one in the group was injured, and they still made the most of their visit.

The global immersion program is part of the 12-course inaugural EMBA program intended to give participants real-world, real-life experience of international culture and business operation.

TSU Executive MBA students, program dcirector and faculty member visit a shrine during their 11-day global immersion visit to Japan. (Submitted Photo)

A business faculty member, an industry executive board member to the College of Business, and the EMBA program director led the visit. As part of their experience, participants were immersed in the Japanese culture through food cuisine, visiting historical temples and shrines. They also visited five leading corporations and held discussions on topics such as R&D and emerging trends in the automotive industry; core business and global development strategies and prospects for growth; and communications, public relations and marketing in Japan. Companies visited included Coca Cola, Mitsubishi, the Ritz Carlton, SAMCO and CMIC Holdings.

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering and a student in the EMBA program, said the global immersion was very enriching.

“We learned about global business operations, consumer behavior, mergers and acquisitions, and marketing strategies,” Hargrove said. “These definitely add to the outstanding credentials and knowledge obtained in the innovative and experienced-based EMBA program.”

In addition to Kyoto, the group also visited Tokyo, and Kamakura, Nashville’s Japanese sister city.

According to Mnif, the global emersion experience is an optional component of the EMBA program. As part of the Global Residency course offered during the summer, program participants have the opportunity to spend 10 days studying outside the United States to broaden their understanding of leadership in a global economy and to experience firsthand the business practices and cultures of a foreign country. For those students who cannot travel, they have the option of taking the Global Challenges Class at TSU, Mnif said.

Dr. Melvin Johnson, professor of economics and the only EMBA faculty on the trip, said Japan was selected because of its unique and deep history and culture, and as “a global leader in innovation and business development strategies.”

“Japan’s natural barriers of unique heritage, language and business culture and customs create a challenging and positive learning experience for students that sharpen their abilities to operate successfully worldwide,” said Johnson, who is also a former president of TSU.

Philip Trella, an Executive In Residence, also accompanied the group.

Other EMBA students on the global immersion visit were: Joyce Barbour, Janet Blakemore, Frederick Cawthon, Marrecco Johnson, Tonya Kilpatrick, Stefania Placentini, Leah Sarnicola and Anita Sykes-Smith.

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, 25 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 Board of Trustees Completes First Year; University Marks 106th Anniversary

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University Board of Trustees recently wrapped up its first year, and celebrated the university turning 106.

At its third meeting June 21 on the main campus, Board members, along with President Glenda Glover, cut a cake to mark the founding of the university. TSU’s actual birthday was on June 19.

Cake marking the 106th birthday of Tennessee State University. (Photo by Michael McLendon, TSU Media Relations)

“One hundred and six years is a long time to be around,” said Glover, herself a 1974 graduate of TSU. ” We’re still growing, and we don’t plan to stop anytime soon,” Glover said.

Chairman, Bishop Dr. Joseph Walker III, lauded the achievements of the Board of Trustees and the university in the last year.

“It’s been a great first year,” Walker said. “I think the university is moving in the right direction. For me, it’s an honor to serve as chair, because I’m able to see firsthand the spirit of the school, and to see the resilience of these students. The students are really the customers. At the end of the day, it’s really about the students. It’s about the quality of experience you provide for them.”

Glover said the university has accomplished a lot under the new Board.

“We’ve accomplished quite a bit this first year,” Glover said.” This new structure has worked for TSU. We’re raising the academic bar.”

At Thursday’s meeting, Board members recognized the seating of Braxton Simpson, who replaced Sydnie Davis as the student representative on the Board. Simpson is a rising junior majoring in agricultural sciences, with a 4.0 GPA.

“I feel really great being a part of the Board,” Simpson said. “As a student, I feel like my role is to be able to represent the student voice and to try to get students’ concerns brought to the table. I think that’s very important.”

Before adjourning, Board members, President Glover, cabinet and all in attendance gave retiring Vice President of Business and Finance Cynthia Brooks a standing ovation and congratulations for her years of service to the university. Brooks, whose last day is June 30, joined TSU in 1992 after working with the state for several years.

To learn more about the TSU Board of Trustees, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/board/trustees.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, 25 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 2018 Summer Camps Emphasize STEM, Music, Arts; More than 1,500 Participating in Nearly 40 Programs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Summer is here, and that means the start of camps and programs that allow youngsters to have some fun, engage in educational enrichment activities, as well as gain real-world experience.

This year, nearly 1,500 students from kindergarten through college freshmen, coming from as far as Maryland and California, will participate in more than 40 summer camps and programs on the two TSU campuses.

Among them is 13-year-old Adia Diane Gonzales, one of more than 400 students in grades K-8 participating in the Minority University Research and Education Program, a two-week NASA-funded camp that teaches children to design, build, and program robots. The project includes learning simple mechanics, sensor functionality, programming basics, and automation.

“This is just fascinating,“ says the H.G. Hill Middle Prep School 8th-grader, as she and her teammates use remote-controlled devices to command robots they built in just the first two days of the camp.

Christopher Clegg, a TSU graduate student in Computer Information Systems Engineering, is a robotics instructor in the MUREP camp. He works with 7th graders Faheem Mohamed, left, Kemontez Johnson and Dhruv Reddy. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Gonzales, who up to attending MUREP had not quite settled on what she wants to become, says she is hooked.

“I wanted to be a surgeon, an animator or an artist. I have never built a robot before. But now being able to actually have some experience in building robotics and coding has me interested,” she says.

And that’s the goal of the MUREP program, says Dr. Trinetia Respress, principal investigator of the project.

“The purpose of the MUREP program is to stimulate the minds of young children who would not otherwise consider a career in STEM,” says Respress, who is also interim assistant dean for assessment and accreditation in the College of Education.

“Our belief is that if we expose them early to STEM concepts, they will consider attending TSU and majoring in a STEM discipline,” she says.

Jalen Miller, an incoming TSU freshman from Atlanta, in the ECI camp, uses his iPhone to control a robotic arm. Miller will major in Aeronautical and Industrial Technology. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

In the College of Engineering, 11 high school seniors are getting a head start on college work. They are participating in the Engineering Concepts Institute, a four-week pre-college, residential program intended to prepare participants for academic success in the mathematical sciences or engineering disciplines.

Participants in the ECI program are incoming freshmen who have been accepted to attend TSU in the fall.

Returning for the second year is the Verizon Innovative Learning Summer Camp, which runs from June 4-15. Intended for students ages 10-14, the Verizon camp allows minority males in grades 6-8 to interact with technology.

Rashad Bailey, coordinator and lead counselor in the ECI camp, left, carries on an illustration to students in his program. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Another 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 11 – July 13. Thirty students from 10 states will participate in the program this year.

For those into music and the arts, the Community Academy of Music and Arts , or CAMA, is hosting various camps in music, piano, drama, and visual and literary arts. The camps are designed to expose participants to different artistic mediums, crafts and songs.

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.

Aspiring young writers also have a chance to hone their skills in  the Little Authors Camp, which runs June 11-15.

Other summer camps are the Pre-Engineering Program to Stimulate Interest in Engineering (P.E.P.S.I.E.) (7/9 -7/13), Biotechnology Summer Camp (June 10-15), CAMA Blues Kids Camp (7/2 – 7/6), Joe Gilliam Football Camp (6/5 – 6/11), Edward L. Graves Summer Band Camp (6/23 – 6/30), STEM Summer Camp (6/24 – 6/29), and Upward Bound Program (6/3 – 7/6), 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 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, 25 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.

From 9,000 Miles Away in India, Abhilasha Vishwanath Finds Home at TSU, Says University Was Best Choice

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Going away to college and leaving home for the first time can raise students’ anxiety. And when home is thousands of miles away—sometimes on the other side of the world—the challenges of transitioning into a new culture and university life can be daunting.

Just ask Abhilasha “Abhi” Vishwanath, who at 18 years of age, left her home in Bangalore, southeastern India – about 9,000 miles away – to attend Tennessee State University.

Abhilasha “Abhi” Vishwanath

“I was scared and excited at the same time,” says Vishwanath, a senior psychology major. “Going so far away to a new country and knowing that I was going to be on my own, was a little scary but I was excited about the adventure.”

Vishwanath was not disappointed when she arrived at TSU, she says. She immediately felt welcomed, as many faculty, staff and fellow students jumped in to make her comfortable.

“The atmosphere was so appealing it was immediately like a family,” she says. “Tennessee State has been a home away from home. It was difficult at first, but the people at TSU, and especially from the international department, the psychology department, friends I made as soon as I got here were very welcoming.”

Vishwanath also had a lot going for her that helped make her transition faster and smoother. She came to TSU on a tennis scholarship to play for the Tigers. She started playing tennis from age 8, and gained national notoriety in junior and women’s tennis in her country. She played on the national level and in few international tournaments. Vishwanath was once ranked in the Top 40s in India.

“That helped me to build a recruitment video to apply to U.S. colleges,” Vishwanath says. “I sent the video to coaches in the U.S. and one to TSU. The TSU tennis coach was interested in me. He got back with me. We talked about scholarships and what I was going to play here. I found that there was also a psychology program. So, it worked out well. So I signed.”

Abhilasha Vishwanath started playing tennis at the age of 8. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

Since coming to TSU, Vishwanath has become an all-around standout in academics and athletics. A star player for the Tigers, Vishwanath is also one of TSU’s most outstanding students. She has a 4.0 grade point average, has been on the President’s List of high achieving students every semester she has been at TSU, she is a member of the Honors College, and has a research project that has gained national attention.

At the last Honors Convocation, Vishwanath received the McDonald Williams Senior Scholarship Award, given to a rising senior with the highest academic average.

“Abhi is just an outstanding young lady, in her academics and in her personal relationship with all other students,” says Dr. Coreen Jackson, interim dean of the Honors College. “She has truly served TSU in a magnificent way. She has represented the Honors College at conferences, where she has presented her research, and is always willing to tutor and to be of assistance to other students.”

Currently, Vishwanath is an intern in the Infant Learning Lab of the psychology department at Vanderbilt University, where her talent was noticed a year ago during a visit with Jackson and some members of the Honors College.

“She was immediately recruited and asked to come back, and a year later, she is at Vanderbilt participating in a major research project,” says Jackson.

While giving credit to her professors and the Honors College for the care and mentoring, Vishwanath has not forgotten what brought her to TSU.

“Tennis has helped a lot,” she says. “I don’t think I would have been able to afford college in the U.S. if not for the scholarship I was awarded. Tennis also keeps me focused. I think tennis is an intellectual sport. It keeps me on my toes. It keeps me thinking and occupied, so I don’t have to manage time. I think it is a good skill to hold. My coaches and team mates have been phenomenal.”

Monroe Walker III is the head coach of the TSU tennis team who recruited Vishwanath. He described her as “probably the hardest worker on the tennis court.”

“She always keeps a level head, never is down on herself, and competes harder than anybody that I have had at TSU,” says Walker. “You never have to worry about her giving up or quitting because she gives her all every time she is on the court.”

Vishwanath, who graduates TSU in May 2019, plans to earn a Ph.D. in psychology.

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, 25 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.

STEM students going to China for international research

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Three Tennessee State University students will spend part of their summer participating in an international research experience in China.

Shaniqua Jones, Christine Mba and Whitney Nicole Russell, all senior STEM majors and honor students, are part of the Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation program at TSU.

They will join students from the University of Memphis in a research collaboration between UofM and faculty and students at Donghua University in Shanghai. An internal review team in the UofM College of Engineering selected the TSU students to participate. The group’s research project in China will focus on the “Development of Next Generation Biomaterials for Dental Bone Reconstruction/Regeneration.”

The program runs from June 4-29.

“This is all part of our effort to get more of our students engaged in international experiences, not only in research, but also to give them greater exposure to the world around them,” said Dr. Lonnie Sharpe, interim dean of the College of Life and Physical Sciences. “We are excited about our students going, and we look forward to great things coming out of this trip.”

Shaniqua Jones

Dr. Dee Green, director of TLSAMP, said international research experiences, such as the China project, provide visiting undergraduate students the opportunity to “engage in high quality collaborative research” with mentorship from researchers at a host lab. The experience is also a motivation for participants to pursue graduate studies, Green said.

“The exposure also broadens our students’ cultural awareness, professional development and networking skills,” she said.

Jones, a mechanical engineering major from Toledo, Ohio, whose research focus is in the development of functional prosthetics, said the summer experience will help in her quest to understand global engineering and medical problems.

Christine Mba

“One of my personal missions is the advancement of minority women in engineering and a sense of globalization to debunk cultural stereotypes,” said Jones, who has been recognized as a “Dean Scholar Researcher,” for advancement in engineering research.

Mba, biology major from Memphis with interest in a cure for cancer, said her research and lab experiences have helped her navigate and understand different laboratory settings and protocols with ease.

“I look forward to the opportunity to conduct research alongside experienced professors in China, while expanding my knowledge base and gaining an enhanced perspective of the culture,” Mba said.

Whitney Russell

For Russell, also a biology major, from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, with interest in formulation chemistry, her goal is to earn a Ph.D. and work in a lab with a cosmetic chemist to develop hair products. She minors in chemistry, and is the co-founder of Naturally Me, an “empowering program that teaches girls how to make their own natural hair products.”

“This opportunity will afford me the ability to advance my skills in the lab, while also enhancing my cultural experiences,” Russell said.

For more information on the TLSAMP at TSU, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/tlsamp/opp_info.aspx. The National Science Foundation funds the program.

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, 25 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.