Category Archives: Research and Sponsored Programs

Tennessee Sate University Students Win Top Awards at National Honors Conference

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University students won two first-place awards at the 26th annual conference of the Association of African American Honors Programs held this month at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

Kalynn Parks won first place in research presentation for her study on the effects of hypertension. (Submitted photo)

More than 400 honors students, directors and faculty from 33 HBCUs across the nation participated in research presentations, academic competitions, career and graduate fairs, a quiz bowl, a model African Union, and talent competition Nov. 9-12.

TSU’s Kalynn Parks, of Atlanta, a senior biology major, won first place in research presentation for her project on “Sympathoexcitation and Increased Sodium Chloride Cotransporter Activity in Hypertensive Aged Sprague Dawley Rats.”

Leona Dunn, left, Jerry Tibbet and Alliyah Muhammed received a trophy for winning first place in the Model African Union competition. (Submitted photo)

In the Model African Union completion, the three-person TSU team, representing Kenya, walked away with first place. They included Jerry Tibbet, sophomore aeronautical and industrial technology major from Kenya; Leona Dunn, senior communications major from Omaha, Nebraska; and Aliyah Muhammed, freshman computer science major from Memphis.

“This conference provided an amazing opportunity not only to present my scientific research, but to be immersed in an environment with likeminded people who also looked like me,” said Parks, about her research on the effects of hypertension, which affects about one in three American adults.

Dr. Coreen Jackson, interim dean of the TSU Honors College, said she was amazed at Parks’ presentation.

“Kalynn was flawless in her poster presentation,” Jackson said. “I watched as the judges rigorously critiqued her methodology and findings. Ms. Parks confidently responded in a respectful manner to every question presented and argument raised by the judges. She held her own because of the depth of her knowledge and understanding of her work.”

Overall, Jackson said the 19 TSU students at the conference were outstanding in every aspects of their participation.

Tibbet, who served as the head delegate on the TSU Model African Union team, said he looks forward to one day participating in a “real United Nations General Assembly.

“It was very honorable and enlightening to represent TSU and to be a delegate to Kenya,” said Tibbet, who grew up in the East African nation. “Winning the award showed me that ideas could be turned into resolutions.”

The NAAAHP Annual Conference brings together Honors students, faculty, staff and professionals from HBCUs and PBCUs throughout the United States. TSU hosted the conference in 2016 with Jackson serving as national president.

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.

Renowned Journalist and CNN Political Analyst April Ryan to Give Fall Commencement Address at Tennessee State University

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – April Ryan, a renowned journalist, White House correspondent and nationally syndicated radio host, will deliver the commencement address when Tennessee State University holds its fall graduation ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 9.

The commencement will take place in the Howard C. Gentry Complex on the main campus, beginning at 9 a.m. Nearly 450 undergraduate and graduate students will receive degrees in various disciplines.

Ryan, described as “having a unique vantage point as the only black female reporter covering urban issues from the White House” since the Clinton administration, is also known for her “Fabric of America” news blog syndicated through close to 300 radio affiliates.

She is the Washington bureau chief and White House correspondent for the American Urban Radio Networks, and can be seen almost daily on CNN as a political analyst.

As a White House correspondent, Ryan has covered four presidential administrations. Following the election of President Donald Trump, Ryan gained notoriety after notable exchanges with him and his then-press secretary, Sean Spicer.

She has been featured in Vogue, Cosmopolitan and Elle magazines, The New York Times, The Washington Post – to name a few.  Ryan is the 2017 National Association of Black Journalist’s Journalist of the Year, and a Terker Fellow with the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs.

A Baltimore native, Ryan has served on the board of the prestigious White House Correspondents Association, and one of only three African Americans in the Association’s over 100-year history to serve on its board. She is also an esteemed member of the National Press Club.

Ryan is the author of the award-winning book, “The Presidency in Black and White,” and “At Mama’s Knee: Mothers and Race in Black and White,” where she looks at race relations through the lessons and wisdom that mothers have given their children.

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 Sophomore with Dream to Become a Military Lawyer Receives $18,000 Scholarship from the U.S. Air Force

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Katelyn Thompson’s dream is to be a military lawyer or judge advocate general. The TSU sophomore is well on her way after receiving a $18,000 scholarship from the U.S. Air Force.

On Oct. 25, Thompson, a criminal justice major, signed a contract with the Air Force and was sworn in as a cadet. As part of her contract, she received the scholarship under the Air Force’s Type 2 scholarship program, which covers tuition, fees and books. She will train with the AFROTC Detachment 790 at Tennessee State University.

Cadet Katelyn Thompson’s family attended her swearing-in ceremony in AFROTC wing on the main TSU campus. From left are: Lt. Col. Sharon Presley; Morris Brown, Thompson’s grandfather; Clarese Brown, grandmother; sister Bria Ingram; and auntie Barbara Brown. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Lt. Col. Sharon Presley, the Detachment Commander, conducted the swearing-in ceremony in the AFROTC wing on the main campus. She said Thompson, who is the Honor Guard commander, has been with the program since her freshman year.

“Cadet Thompson has got an incredible track record of success since coming to us as a freshman,” Presley said. “As far as academics, physical fitness and leadership among the cadets, she has proven herself to be quite capable.”

Thompson said her passion for becoming a military lawyer goes as far back as her freshman year in high school. She said she enjoys arguing and debating.

“The reason I want to be a JAG is an aspiration I have had for law since I was in high school,” said Thompson, whose family has a rich military history. “Additionally, my family is definitely military. I have a stepfather that’s in the Army; I have a grandfather that was in the Air Force. It (military) runs in the family and I want to keep that tradition going.”

Morris Brown, Thompson’s grandfather, who was a member of the AFROTC as a student at TSU, attended the swearing-in ceremony with Thompson’s grandmother Clarese Brown, sister Bria Ingram, and auntie Barbara Brown.

“Katelyn is very special and the family is here to support her dream,” Morris Brown said. “I am extremely proud that she is getting this scholarship.”

Presley said Thompson will compete for an enrollment allocation for field training this coming summer.

“If she successfully completes that training, then she will go on two more years with ROTC and be commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the U.S. Air Force,” Presley said.

Thompson is thankful to TSU and the Air Force for her scholarship.

“It is always my dream to strive for excellence, and if it were not for TSU, I wouldn’t have this opportunity. I am very thankful,” she said.

Also attending the swearing-in ceremony was Joni McReynolds, president of the TSU National Alumni Association; and June Michaut, president of the TSU Veterans/Military Alumni Chapter.

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 Students’ Research Focus on Finding Cure for Heart Disease, Cancer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Two Tennessee State University students and their professors have embarked on research projects that could lead to prevention, and possibly a cure, for the nation’s deadliest diseases: cancer and heart disease.

Orica Kutten is a sophomore biology major. (Photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

Jaquantey Bowen, a senior biochemistry major, and Orica Kutten, a sophomore majoring in biology, presented their projects to fellow students and faculty on Friday during the inaugural Honors Ted Talk, a forum organized by the Honors College to give students and faculty an opportunity to present their work to the campus community.

Motivated by personal tragedies in his family, Bowen, of Fishers, Indiana, has made it his life mission to put an end to heart disease, which is responsible for nearly 610,000 deaths in America each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

His research project, “A Potential Avenue to Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease: An Analysis of the Effect of Genetically-Induced Hypercholesterolemia on Zebrafish,” has also been presented at Harvard and the Brigham Young Women’s Hospital, where it received rave review.

Near his 18th birthday while a freshman at TSU, Bowen’s 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, a graduate of the highly competitive Harvard BWH Stars Program for Summer Research. He maintains a 4.0 GPA and has done field research with “some of the best and notable experts in cardiology.”

“The science behind my research is basically to look at the fundamental mechanisms that lead to heart disease, especially the connection between high cholesterol and atherosclerosis,” said Bowen, who will receive a bachelor’s degree with concentration in cell and molecular biology and a minor in chemistry.

For Kutten, her research project, “Microtubule Actin Crosslinking Factor 1 a Target in Glioblastomas,” or MACF1, aims to identify new and novel targets for the treatment of cancer and to improve therapies for a variety of different cancers.

A native of Cape Coast, Ghana, Kutten said growing up in Africa, much of the discussions were around malaria, a tropical infectious disease.

“But when I learned that cancer was the second cause of deaths, I knew it was an area I would like to study,” Kutten said. “During my time in the lab I have actually learned a lot of concepts that I didn’t actually know before, and which have been very helpful in my research.”

Dr. Coreen Jackson, interim dean of the Honors College, said the importance of Bowens’ and Kutten’s research topics and the participation in the forum are some of the reasons why Ted Talk was established.

“Ted Talk is a wonderful opportunity for all students from all areas to share their research, to share their inventions and creations with the TSU community,” Jackson said. “It is one thing to do all this wonderful research and it just sits on the desk or it is published in the book and no body hears about it. So anyone who has something to share is invited to Ted Talk.”

Mariel Liggin, a freshman biochemistry major, was one of the many students who attended the forum. She said she was impressed by the two presentations, which encouraged her to get more serious about developing her own projects.

“I am glad I came,” Liggin said. Coming here and listening to Jaquantey and Orica gave me an idea of what to do when I start my own research.”

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 Homecoming 2017 a ‘Tremendous Success’; Scholarship Gala Exceeds $1 Million Goal

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University will be able to help more students get a quality education after it exceeded its goal of raising $1 million at this year’s Scholarship Gala.

Former TSU President Frederick S. Humphries receives a Special Presidential Recognition from President Glenda Glover at the 2017 Scholarship Gala. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“We are pleased to announce that our goal of $1 million was met and exceeded in a big way,” said TSU President Glenda Glover following the Oct. 13 gala. “Alumni giving and sponsorships also increased. This means more financial support for our students.”

The gala, part of TSU’s weeklong Homecoming activities, is the biggest single event by the university to raise scholarship money. Contributions swelled from $600,000 last year to more than one million this year. Initially planned for 1,300 guests, the event was sold out with additional seats brought in.

“The scholarship gala is the most important event other than the football contest,” said Homecoming chairman Grant Winrow. “This is by far the biggest effort by the university to raise scholarship money and we are glad that not only did we raise the million, we exceeded our goal.”

President Glenda Glover joins thousands in the 2017 Homecoming parade along Jefferson Street to the main campus. (Photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

Earlier this year, Glover challenged the gala committee, a subset of the Homecoming committee, to exceed previous performances.

“With that mandate,” gala chairwoman Barbara Murrell said, “We knew we had a job to do. We knew this would be a community effort. We talked to and got the cooperation of the city of Nashville, the TSU Board of Trustees, corporations, Foundation board members, National Alumni Association, the president’s cabinet, faculty, staff and students. What we ended with was an exceptional gala with a stellar group of individuals and an evening to remember.”

According to Murrell, the more than 1,300 “friends of TSU” were greeted at various intervals in the Music City Center by student musicians who entertained the attendees as they proceeded through the venue to the night’s “stellar event” in the grand ballroom.

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry waves to the crowd as she participates in the TSU Homecoming parade along Jefferson Street. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Jasha Keller, of St. Louis, and Kayla Daniels, of Atlanta, are two scholarship recipients who helped to escort guests at the gala. They were impressed by the “elegance of the evening,” especially interacting with alumni who helped to raise funds to keep them (students) in school.

“I really loved the program, the atmosphere and that we were able to be a part of the event,” said Keller, a sophomore integrated marketing major. “Alumni were very engaging with us, letting us know, ‘this is all for you. We are invested in your education.’”

Mr. TSU Alec Forrest, and Miss TSU Kayla Smith greet TSU fans and supporters at the 2017 Homecoming game between the Tigers and the Governors of Austin Peay, at Nissan Stadium. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Daniels, a sophomore business administration major, added: “I really like the fact that they had two scholarship recipients speak on our behalf to let the alumni know that their scholarship dollars are going to students like us, and how grateful we are for their support.”

The gala also highlighted the contributions of a “stellar group” of honorees and grand marshals whose lives and legacies exemplify the best of TSU, most notably former TSU President Frederick S. Humphries, who was awarded a special Presidential Recognition by Glover.

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry served as Honorary Chair of the Scholarship Gala.

Other honorees were: Dr. Sterlin Adams, retired, professor and special assistant to Dr. Humphries; Dr. Evelyn P. Fancher, retired, director of libraries; Dr. Raymond Richardson, retired professor and chair of physics, mathematics and computer science; and William “Bill” Thomas, former head football coach and athletic director.

The grand marshals were: Georgette “Gigi” Peek Dixon, senior vice president and director of national partnerships, government and community relations at Wells Fargo; Alfred Gordon, vice president of operations for Frito-Lay North America; State Senator Thelma Harper, 19th District, Tennessee General Assembly; and Roosevelt “Bud” Reese, CEO of CMI Foundation.

Special Presidential Honoree Dr. Frederick S. Humphries, along with grand marshals and honorees wave to the crowd during the Homecoming parade. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“These are very accomplished individuals with proven track records of successes in their respective career fields,” Winrow said. “I think their selfless commitment of service and helping others is the commonality they all share.”

Prior to the Homecoming parade and football game the next day, the Scholarship Gala capped a week of activities that started with the Robert N. Murrell Oratorical Contest, followed by a gospel explosion featuring gospel singers Deitrick Haddon, Earnest Pugh and the New Direction Gospel Choir.

On Wednesday, hundreds of people — including parents, relatives, friends and fellow students — packed a jubilant Kean Hall to witness the crowning of Mr. TSU Alec Forrest, and Miss TSU Kayla Smith, and their Royal Court.

On Saturday, thousands lined Jefferson Street for the highly anticipated Homecoming parade. President Glover, joined by Mayor Barry, headed the parade that ended on the main campus. They were accompanied by other government officials, numerous floats, businesses, and visiting school bands led by the famed TSU Aristocrat of Bands and the Mr. TSU and Miss TSU Royal Court.

The week climaxed Saturday evening at Nissan Stadium when thousands of fans witnessed the TSU Tigers rally from behind, but eventually fall 21-17 to the Austin Peay Governors.

Glover described the 2017 Homecoming celebration as a “tremendous success.”

“It could not have happened without the entire Tennessee State University family working together, students, faculty, staff and alumni,” Glover said. “I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

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.

Tennessee State University’s Brown-Daniel Library Celebrates 45 Years as a Federal Government Depository

Davita Vance-Cooks, Director of the U.S. Government Publishing Office

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Brown-Daniel Library is celebrating 45 years as a federal government depository library. The celebration coincides with TSU’s 2017 Homecoming, which kicked off on Sunday.

On Wednesday, TSU President Glenda Glover joined a host of federal, state and local officials, as well as former and current staff of the library, for a ceremony that included proclamations from Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslem, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, and the Tennessee General Assembly.

Special guest and keynote speaker was Davita E. Vance-Cooks, director of the U.S. Government Publishing office.

Several state and local officials, and former and current staff of the Brown-Daniel Library join President Glenda Glover, and Government Publishing Office Director Davita Vance-Cooks at the commemoration of the 45th anniversary of the library as a federal government depository. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Glover said Director Vance-Cooks’ visit and participation was significant to TSU as a historically black university.

“As the first African American and first female to head the Government Publishing Office, we are honored and particularly proud of your accomplishments, and to have you here as we commemorate this milestone is very special,” Glover said. “The Government Publishing Office is very important because it is the keeper of our history. We express our gratitude to the government for 45 years of allowing our institution to be the keeper of such information.”

Vance-Cooks said the 150 federal depository libraries across the nation provide “a very long and continuing tradition of service to their communities” by making federal government information publicly and freely accessible.

Dr. Evelyn P. Fancher was the third head of the Brown-Daniel Library.

“This tradition of publicly and freely accessible government information supports, in my opinion, the TSU vision of preparing leaders for global societies,” Vance-Cooks said. “Forty-five years of partnering with the Government Printing Office in the federal depository of library program is certainly a milestone worthy of commemoration. On behalf of the GPO, I extend heartfelt congratulations on this achievement.”

Dr. Evelyn P. Fancher, the third head of the TSU library, during whose tenure the library underwent a number of changes including relocation and name change, provided reflections. She also hired Dr. Murle Kenerson, the current head of the library, whom she described as a “dashing young man from Chicago.” The partnership with the federal government started during the tenure of Loise H. Daniel, whom Fancher succeeded.

“I enjoyed my work here as director of the library, but the most challenging and interesting part was moving the old 100-year-old library from the old (Harold Love, Sr.) building to its current location,” said Fancher, who will be an honoree at this year’s Homecoming.

In a statement, U.S. Congressman Jim Cooper congratulated TSU and the Brown-Daniel Library for “a very rewarding milestone.”

Also making statements at the ceremony were: State Reps. Harold Love, Jr., and Brenda Gilmore; Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett; and Dr. Kenerson, interim dean of Libraries and Media Centers at TSU.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 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 welcomes largest freshman class in university’s history

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University welcomed a historic incoming freshman class to campus on Wednesday.

Incoming freshmen hold candles to symbolize ‘knowledge and truth’ as they take the TSU Freshman Pledge. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

More than 1,500 first-year students were inducted during the 2017 freshman convocation in Kean Hall. It was the largest freshman class in the university’s history, and a 17 percent increase over last year’s freshman enrollment, according to TSU officials.

“I am extremely proud to welcome you to Tennessee State University,” said President Glenda Glover. “It is my honor to stand before the Class of 2021 today, not only as your president, but as a fellow TSU Tiger. You have embarked on an incredible journey. I encourage you to do your best. Do not just strive to make an A, but strive to be an A.”

Incoming freshman T’ona Lott, of Memphis, said the induction ceremony was “a very humbling experience, that makes me already feel at home.”

More than 1,500 incoming freshmen were inducted during the fall 2017 Freshman Convocation in Kean Hall. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“I have always been a very serious student and I plan to continue that here,” said Lott, an industrial engineering major who is entering TSU with a 3.8 GPA. “TSU is a great school and I expect it will give me an education to adequately prepare me for a career anywhere I choose.”

Like Lott, TSU officials say the class of 2021 also comes in as one of the most academically qualified classes in the university’s history. Incoming freshmen average a 3.07 GPA and 18.1 score on the ACT.

“Madam President, it is my pleasure to present these young people who have satisfied all the requirements for admission to Tennessee State University as freshmen and students with advance standing,” said Dr. John Cade, vice president for Enrollment and Student Success.

With each student holding a lighted candle symbolizing “knowledge and truth,” they took the TSU Freshman Pledge, administered by the Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Mark Hardy.

Females were dressed in white and males in white shirt and blue pants, sporting a TSU-supplied blue tie. They pledged to commit themselves “to serious intellectual and cultural efforts” and to deport themselves “with honor and dignity to become better prepared to live a full and useful life in society.”

Thomyonne Shannon, a math major from Nashville, said he took the pledge very seriously.

“I am committed to being a very good student in all areas for as long as I am here,” Shannon said.

In addition to student representatives, speakers at the convocation included Dr. Achintya Ray, chair of the Faculty Senate; and the President of the TSU National Alumni Association, Joni McReynolds.

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 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.

Southern Heritage Classic More than Football, Builds Careers and Promotes Relationships

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s victory in the 28th Southern Heritage Classic on Sept. 9 wasn’t the only thing sophomore Micah Williams had to celebrate.

The Army ROTC awarded the TSU communications major a $42,500 scholarship during a sideline ceremony at the end of the first quarter of the game.

President Glenda Glover, joined by Rapper and actor T.I., and Associate Vice President for Administration, Dr. Curtis Johnson, right, receives a check for $10,000 from Coors officials at the 28th Southern Heritage Classic in Memphis. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“I love the classic, but receiving this scholarship from the Army is just so exciting,” said Williams, an Army cadet who’s planning a career in the U.S. military. “I am honored to be able to serve my country and to be debt free when I leave college.”

Just like Williams, the classic also brought great excitement to TSU fans and supporters to cap a week of activities.

Army Master Sgt. Gabriel Cleveland, left, presents a check for $42,500 to Army Cadet and TSU communications major Micah Williams at the 28th Southern Heritage Classic in Memphis. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Before a crowd of more than 47,000 at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, TSU defeated Jackson State University 17-15 to extend its current winning streak to 6-0 over the JSU Tigers. The win improves TSU to 17-11 in the Southern Heritage Classic.

“This is just another sweet victory for our Tennessee State University Tigers and fans,” said TSU President Glenda Glover.

For TSU, the weeklong celebration was more than about football. It was also a time for administrators, staff, student and alumni to engage in academic and relationship building activities that impact student learning, recruitment and support.

For instance, the annual Memphis Recruitment Reception hosted by the Office of Admissions, took place Wednesday evening at the Sheraton Memphis Downtown hotel. More than 50 high school students and their parents attended the reception to receive information on offerings and programs at TSU.

By the end of the evening, 25 students with exceptional GPAs and ACT scores were awarded full scholarships to attend TSU. One of those students was Talia Chambers of Middle College High School.

“I came here tonight just to get some information and now here I have a full-ride scholarship, this is great,” said Chambers, who has a 4.0 GPA, and plans to major in animal science. “I am very excited to attend Tennessee State.”

A daylong college-recruitment fair in the Pipkin Building on Friday followed the reception. Hundreds of students received information on offerings and programs at TSU and other participating institutions.

Alumni engagement, usually a major feature of the Southern Heritage Classic week, saw a packed room of former students and supporters attend the Memphis Alumni Mixer in the Case Management Building.

At the gathering, Glover called for a moment of silence in honor of those affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. She also gave an update on developments at TSU, including a new governing board, and the university’s new strategic plan and its emphasis on new admission standards.

“We are focusing on recruiting students who are academically talented,” Glover said. “We have raised our admissions standards. We want to bring in students with the support and ability to graduate. We are no longer the school of last resort. Those days are over.”

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 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 Tennessee Education Innovation Grant to Strengthen State Teacher Supply Pipeline

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Just months after Tennessee State University was  ranked the highest producer of teachers among HBCUs in the nation, the university’s teacher preparation program has received yet another boost.

It has been awarded a grant to ensure a strong and vibrant new teacher pipeline for the future.

Out of 18 applicants, TSU was one of only four institutions in the state, designated as Education Preparation Programs, to receive the 2017 Tennessee Innovation in Preparation award, or TIP.

TIP grants, awarded by the Tennessee Department of Education, are designed to support an increase in the development of a diverse educator workforce, an increase in the production of educators in high-demand licensure areas, and promote collaboration to improve educator preparation in literacy.

Dr. Clara Young

TSU and the other three winning institutions will equally share $200,000 to design and implement individual projects to meet the TIP requirements.

“We are really excited for this grant, and to be one of only four selected in the state, is an honor,” said Dr. Clara Young, chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning, who, along with two other professors in the College of Education, wrote the winning proposal for TSU.

Dr. Nicole Arrighi, associate professor; and Dr. Kisha Bryan, assistant professor, both in the Department of Teaching and Learning, along with Young, will spearhead the TSU project called English Language Acquisition through Technology and Teacher Education or ELATTE.

Dr. Nicole Arrighi

According to Young, ELATTE is a four-month “comprehensive professional development” summer institute for 15 pre-service teachers and 20 recent secondary education graduates from TSU.

“The goal is to produce 6-12 content area teachers who have a strong foundation of English as a second language, theory, knowledge of technology tool for second language acquisition and professional practice with a diverse population of English learners,” Young said.

TSU has remained a major supplier of well-trained teachers not only for the Davidson County and Metro Nashville Public Schools, but school districts across the nation.

In July, TSU was ranked as the No. 1 producer of teachers among historically black colleges and universities in the nation.  HBCU Lifestyle, which published the ranking, noted that TSU’s undergraduate and graduate offerings and concentrations in biology, chemistry and elementary education made the school’s teacher preparation program more attractive.

Dr. Kisha Bryan

The ranking did not surprise Baris Johnson, a TSU graduate who teaches general music and band to 5th-8th graders at East Nashville Manget Middle School. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music education, and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from TSU.

“With the kind of rigorous curriculum students go through, TSU deserves to be at the top,” said Johnson. “In just my first year of teaching, I have done so well. The number one ranking … shows how hard the faculty and staff work.”

Arrighi said the grant offers an opportunity for English language practitioners to leverage technology in a manner that supports today’s digital learners.

“We know that students are more tech-savvy than ever before,” she said. “Therefore, we want to strategically enhance their EL (English language) instructional competencies through digital tools.”

Bryan said the project will contribute to partnerships with MNPS.

“Our shared goal has always been to prepare highly qualified teachers to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student population,” Bryan said. “We hope that this intensive summer program might be a model for other Educator Preparation Programs in Tennessee.”

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 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 scholars engage in critical discussions at inaugural R.A.C.E. Mentoring Conference

By K. Dawn Rutledge

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University students, faculty and administrators represented the university in full force at the first R.A.C.E. Mentoring Conference hosted by Vanderbilt University, July 14-16.

The inaugural gathering welcomed more than 160 doctoral students, higher education faculty and P-12 educators from across the country for three days of workshops, panel discussions and networking opportunities. As a partner in the effort, TSU’s School of Graduate Studies and Professional Studies sponsored more than 30 graduate students, faculty members, and administrators to take part in the conference. Title III’s Graduate Student Services program also sponsored five female Ph.D. students in Engineering and Biological Science.

Dr. Lucian Yates, III, Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies, second from left; and Associate Dean, Dr. Alex Sekwat, participate in a discussion at the conference. (Photo by K. Dawn Rutledge, TSU Media Relations)

“I am pleased that the TSU’s School of Graduate and Professional Studies was able to co-sponsor the inaugural R.A.C.E. Mentoring Conference at Vanderbilt University,” said Dr. Lucian Yates, III, dean.  This event gathered students, faculty and administrators of color from around the country to discuss issues, problems and how to collaborate on navigating the academy and publishing. The preliminary results were overwhelmingly favorable and participants indicated that it was one of the best conferences they ever attended.”

R.A.C.E., an acronym for Research, Advocacy, Collaboration, and Empowerment, was created by Dr. Donna Y. Ford, a professor at Vanderbilt Peabody, and colleagues, Dr. Michelle Trotman Scott and Dr. Malik S. Henfield in 2013. The R.A.C.E. Mentoring Conference provides an outlet for scholars of color to exchange ideas and information, receive advice on publishing, and garner support as they seek to obtain advanced degrees and advance in higher education and P-12 settings.

“Many students are interested in publishing and this conference allowed them to build several relationships and contacts; many tell me they will be publishing really soon,” Yates said. “The currency in our profession are publications and this conference was designed to help students and faculty in the publishing process.”

Along with publishing opportunities, other important topics focused on the challenges that students and faculty face in career advancement as well as navigating and debunking stereotypes, among other critical discussions.

“Attendance at the inaugural R.A.C.E. Mentoring Conference is especially important because it allowed TSU student, administrators, and faculty of color the opportunity to meet other scholars of color from across the county and experience the importance of intellectual flexibility and maturity through academic writing, teaching, and service,” said Dr. Andrea L. Tyler, director of Graduate Student Services and Research Associate for Title III. “In short, the R.A.C.E. Mentoring conference provided a foundation from which to build from and aspire to.”

As a co-sponsor of the conference, TSU joined Vanderbilt in welcoming several institutions, including other HBCUs such as Illinois State University, Howard University, and Texas A&M University, to name a few.

Among other TSU faculty and administrators involved in the conference included Dr. Alex Sekwat, Dr. Stashia Emanuel, Dr. Charles Brown (Public Health), and Dr. Kisha Bryan (Teaching and Learning).

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.