Category Archives: SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES

Former TSU Lineman Wins Super Bowl with Broncos

Courtesy: TitansOnline.com 

SANTA CLARA – This time last season, Robert “Snacks” Myers was preparing for the NFL Combine after wrapping up his playing days at Tennessee State University.

By the night of Feb. 7, Myers was clutching the Vince Lombardi Trophy as a member of the Denver Broncos, who had beaten the Carolina Panthers 24-10 in Super Bowl 50.

“The way this team prepared, and the way this team has handled its business, I imagined myself hoisting this at the end of the night,’’ Myers said in Denver’s locker room after the game. “But actually doing it, I don’t know how to put it in words.

“It has been crazy, but everything happens for a reason. I feel like it was predestined for me to be on this team as a Super Bowl champion.”

Myers, who played at TSU from 2010-2014, was signed by Denver off of Baltimore’s practice squad at the end of December, just in time for the team’s Super Bowl run.

Myers started all 12 games for TSU in 2014, and made the All-OVC Second Team in his junior and senior seasons. He was a fifth-round draft pick by the Baltimore Ravens in May, but was added to Denver’s roster for depth.

Myers was among the inactives for the Broncos on Sunday. He was on the sideline, but not in uniform.

He’ll get a Super Bowl ring, on top of the Super Bowl memorabilia he’d already received post-game. But the memories – and the experience – mean the most.

“This whole experience, it is so valuable,” Myers said. “I have seen what it takes and I have learned so much. It’s been great.”

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, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Showcases Research, Innovative Programs at Annual Day at the Capitol

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee lawmakers experienced a wave of Tiger Blue at the state Capitol on Wednesday.

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House Speaker Beth Harwell, left, talks with Dr. Nick Gawel, center, superintendent of the TSU Otis L. Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tenn., and Rep. Kevin Dunlap, D-Rock Island. Dr. Gawel discussed research taking place at the facility with the lawmakers during TSU Day at the Capitol. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations).

Tennessee State University administrators, faculty, students, alumni converged on Legislative Plaza and the Hill to showcase the university’s research and other innovative initiatives at the annual TSU Day at the Capitol.

Displays from the school’s various colleges and departments lined both sides of the hallway in the plaza. Robotics, magnolia trees, research presentations and goats were among the booths showcasing the university’s diverse academic offering.

In the Senate chamber, the site of the kick-off ceremony, TSU President Glenda Glover thanked attendees for their participation and lauded state legislators for the funding they have provided the university. She noted Gov. Bill Haslam’s recent allotment of funding in his budget for a nearly $40 million Health Sciences Building at the institution.

Glover said TSU has been “good stewards of our state funding,” and encouraged lawmakers to continue supporting the university. She said the Day on the Hill is an opportunity to discuss the school’s legislative priorities with lawmakers.

“It’s very important that legislators are aware of our needs,” the president said. “The past and the future appropriations allow TSU to continue its long-standing legacy of providing a quality education to our most important customer and client, our students.”

Senate Speaker Pro Tem Bo Watson, R-Hixson, was among several state lawmakers who spoke to those gathered in the Senate chamber. He thanked them for being engaged in the legislative process.

“Our system of government is not easy,” Watson said. “Democracy is not easy. It is the battlefield of ideas. And each of us has the right to have our voice heard, and you’re having your voice heard today. And I greatly appreciate you being engaged in that process.”

Rep. Harold Love Jr., a Nashville Democrat whose district includes TSU, said after the kick-off event that he hopes young people in attendance will become more interested in the legislative process, and even try to have a voice in policymaking.

“When we talk about active citizen engagement and forming policy, this is a prime example of what we would like to see from all of our students at colleges and universities across the state,” Love said. “This is what citizens are supposed to do, come down and be actively involved in policy formulation when laws are being passed or proposals considered.”

RaCia Poston, president of TSU’s Student Government Association, was among a number of students who participated in the special TSU day and one of 17 TSU students serving as interns during this session of the Tennessee General Assembly.

While she was motivated by what lawmakers had to say, she was particularly proud of TSU having the opportunity in general to showcase what’s happening at the university.

“A lot of times people only see what the media puts out about TSU,” said the 23-year-old Poston, who is a senior majoring in Social Work. “So for us to be here and show our smiling faces, and everything that we have to offer, from agriculture programs to engineering, I think it does a lot for TSU.”

Prior to the kick-off ceremony, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and House Speaker Beth Harwell greeted the TSU delegation to the Capitol and shared their pleasure of seeing such an enormous group. TSU held its first Day at the Capitol in 2014.

 

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, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Receives Prestigious Award for number of players who have gone on to Super Bowls

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University received a prestigious award for the number of TSU football players who have gone on to play in Super Bowls.

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TSU President Glenda Glover attends 7th Annual John Wooten Leadership Awards ceremony in San Francisco on Feb. 4 to accept award for number of TSU football players who have gone to Super Bowls. Glover was presented the award by former TSU player and Pro Football Hall of Famer Richard Dent, MVP of Super Bowl XX with the Chicago Bears. (Submitted photo).

TSU President Glenda Glover accepted the award on Feb. 4 at the 7th Annual John Wooten Leadership Awards in San Francisco.

TSU’s football legacy dates back to the first Super Bowl and continued on Feb. 7 when the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10 in Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, California.

Former TSU offensive guard Robert Myers was on the Denver squad. The 6-foot-5, 326-pound rookie joined the Broncos’ active roster Dec. 30 and played in the AFC champions’ final regular-season game and each of their playoff wins.

“Tennessee State University has had a number of former players who have been in past Super Bowls dating back to the first one, and Myers’ continues this rich tradition,” Glover said. “Considering this is the 50th anniversary of the Super Bowl, it’s an extreme honor to have a former TSU athlete participating. It also speaks to our proud tradition as a University and as an HBCU.”

TSU players who have gone on to play in Super Bowls over the years include Pro Football Hall of Famer Richard Dent, MVP of Super Bowl XX with the Chicago Bears; and Ed “Too Tall” Jones, who appeared in three Super Bowls as a member of the Dallas Cowboys.

“This is the 50th anniversary of the Super Bowl, the golden anniversary,” said Everett Glenn, organizer of the Wooten Awards and a sport attorney who once represented Dent. “And on the golden anniversary, we thought it would make sense to recognize guys from black colleges who have contributed to Super Bowl history.”

In 1967, former TSU Tigers Willie Mitchell and Fletcher Smith appeared as teammates in Super Bowl I for the Kansas City Chiefs. More than 20 others have followed them over the years, including Claude Humphrey, a 2014 Hall of Fame inductee who played in Super Bowl XV with the Philadelphia Eagles. More recent Super Bowl participants are Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (2014); Anthony Levine (2011); and Lamar Divens (2010).

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Former TSU offensive guard Robert Myers (70) will be playing with the Denver Broncos when they face the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by TSU Sports Information).

Myers’ name was  added to the list.

“Playing in the Super Bowl is one of the highest achievements an NFL player can reach,” said TSU Athletics Director Teresa Phillips. “So to have so many former TSU Tigers that have been able to participate in this great game is a phenomenal accomplishment. Tennessee State has the most Super Bowl appearances among HBCUs. That says a lot about our program through the years and the type of players that we produce.”

TSU head football coach Roderick Reed said the school is fortunate to have such a rich tradition of football.

“It’s something that has been happening for a while, and we’re really excited to have TSU’s name associated with the Super Bowl,” he said.

Myers, who started in 35 games at TSU from 2010-2014, was selected in the fifth round of the 2015 draft by the Ravens. After suffering a concussion in preseason camp, he was cut. The Colts added Myers to their 53-man roster in September and then waived him a few days later. He returned to Baltimore’s practice squad, where he remained until the Broncos signed him.

“Once I got out to Denver and walked into the building and saw how they (the Broncos) worked and the mentality, I realized this was a team that could make it to the Super Bowl,” Myers told The Tennessean.

 

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, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU wins 2016 Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is being recognized nationally for innovation in international education.

It is one of five higher education institutions across the nation to win this year’s IIE Andrew Heiskell Award.

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TSU students from Saudi Arabia participate in an international festival of culture in Kean Hall. (Submitted photo)
The award showcases the most innovative and successful models for internationalizing the campus, study abroad, and international partnership programs in practice today. It emphasizes initiatives that remove institutional barriers and broaden the base of participation in international teaching and learning on campus.

For the first time, IIE presented a special award in the category of internationalizing Historically Black Colleges and Universities, with the inaugural award going to TSU for its Diversity and International Affairs initiative.

“We are extremely proud to receive this honor, as it speaks to the exceptional work and importance of the Office of Diversity and International Affairs at our institution,” said TSU President Glenda Glover.  “ODIA has done an outstanding job cultivating the international student experience into campus life at TSU. Just as important, the staff has strategically implemented international exchange programs with our academic units to ensure students are prepared to succeed in the global market.”

In 2012, TSU had 79 International students, 36 students participating in study abroad, and one faculty member leading a study-abroad experience, according to the Office of Diversity and International Affairs. Campus leadership created the office to provide cultural collaborative initiatives that support TSU’s strategic goals in producing global leaders. The results have shown the new initiative to be a rapid and astonishing success. In three years, TSU’s international efforts grew to hosting 900 International students; helping 121 students take part in study abroad experiences; enabling 12 faculty members leading study abroad experiences with support from four staff members; entering into MOU’s with 26 universities abroad; and signing a commitment with IIE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative.

“It is a tremendous honor to receive this award,” said Dr. Jewell G. Winn, TSU’s executive director for International Programs and deputy chief diversity officer. “And the fact that we’re the first to be recognized in this new category, makes it even more special.”

IIE President and CEO Dr. Allan E. Goodman said all the programs being honored are worth emulating.

“We recommend these programs as models, and hope they will offer inspiration as well as guidance to professionals on other campuses who share the goal of preparing their students to live and work in today’s global environment,” Goodman said.

IIE will present the awards at a ceremony in California on March 11, 2016 as part of its annual Best Practices in Internationalization Conference for campus professionals, which will be held this year at the University of California, Davis.

 

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, 22 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.

Head of Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation lauds TSU feature in HBCU Calendar

President Glenda Glover
President Glenda Glover

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The head of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation says the inclusion of Tennessee State University in the 2016 Black History HBCU Calendar and Resources Guide helps highlight what’s “great about Nashville.”

Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover is one of 13 leaders and visionaries in education, medicine, law, sports, corporate management and entertainment featured in the 2016 publication.

The calendar, a national fundraising vehicle for Historically Black Colleges and Universities now in its 10th year, features individuals and trailblazers who have made “outstanding” contributions in their fields.

“TSU’s feature in the HBCU calendar is yet another recognition of everything great about Nashville,” said Butch Spyridon, president and CEO of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation. “TSU is a long-standing treasure and a huge part of our heritage. We couldn’t be more pleased or proud.”

Glover said she’s honored to be featured.

“It’s something I will always cherish,” she said.

Others featured in the calendar include tennis star Serena Williams; multiple award-winning actress Taraji P. Henson; and Dr. Ronald A. Johnson, president of Clark Atlanta University, among others.

As a fundraising instrument, the calendar has helped to contribute needed funds to schools across the country. It serves as a resource for students and parents.

The calendar, which is now available across the nation, can be purchased online and at Walgreens stores.

 

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, 22 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.

Longtime AP Reporter Joins TSU as Director of Media Relations

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Lucas Johnson

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Lucas Johnson, a longtime reporter with the Associated Press, has joined the communications team at Tennessee State University as director of Media Relations. He replaces Rick DelaHaya.

“I am very delighted to announce the addition of Lucas Johnson to our staff as the new director of Media Relations,” Kelli Sharpe, assistant vice president of University Public Relations and Communications, said. “For more than two decades as a reporter with the Associated Press Lucas has established himself as a capable and respected journalist. I am thrilled to have him join our media department.”

Prior to joining TSU, Johnson worked for 24 years with the AP covering local, state and national news. For the last 10 years he covered the Tennessee General Assembly as a beat reporter. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Johnson holds a B.A. in journalism from Middle Tennessee State University.

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, 22 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.

Four TSU Professors Receive USDA Capacity Building Grants for Research and Extension Services

USDANASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has divided its annual funding awards for capacity building in teaching, research and extension. With nearly $1.4 million, Tennessee State University is among the highest recipients of this year’s $18 million allotted for the 20 Land-Grant Colleges and Universities that submitted successful proposals.

The capacity building fund, attained through a competitive grant writing process, is an initiative intended to increase and strengthen food and agriculture sciences at the schools through integration of teaching, research and extension.

Four professors in the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences will share this year’s awards in research and extension services, according to Dr. Carter Catlin, associate dean for Research. They are John Hall, Agnes Kilonzo-Ntheng, William Sutton and Samuel Nahashon.

“These grants help us build our capacity in new frontiers of research and education,” Dr. Chandra Reddy, the dean of CAHNS said.  “We have immensely benefited from this program by adding teaching and research capacity in many new areas such as biofuels, remote sensing, urban forestry, biotechnology, to name a few.  Our faculty have been doing a superb job of competing and securing these funds at the highest rate possible.”

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Dr. John Hall

Hall, assistant professor in Extension Services, received $455,923 to design a state-of-the-art mobile education trailer to increase agricultural literacy in urban communities across the southeastern United States. Additionally, the funding will support the creation and implementation of a comprehensive plan to recruit students for all degree programs in CAHNS as well as develop leadership training program for youth, collegiate, and adult audiences.

“This is an integrated project that seeks to meet teaching and extension needs,” Hall said.

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Dr. Agnes Kilonzo-Ntheng

In research, Kilonzo-Ntheng will use her $350,000 award in a collaborative effort with the University of Maryland Eastern Shore to implement Good Agricultural Practices certification programs for small and medium-sized produce farms, and determine risk practices and profiles for generic E. coli, Salmonella and Enterobacteriaceae in produce farms. She will also conduct risk communication workshops for small and medium-sized scale growers, and increase students’ participation in food safety outreach.

“Produce growers have come under increasing pressure to ensure that their products are safe, wholesome, and meet the proposed rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act, said Kilonzo-Ntheng, associate professor of Family and Consumer Sciences. “While the goal for GAPs certification is clear, limited-resource growers often do not pursue the certification due to the costs. However, to succeed in the 21st century economy, these growers must be GAPs certified and empowered to meet food safety requirements.”

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Dr. William Sutton

For Sutton, assistant professor of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, his $400,000 research award will study how landscape alteration in the form of forest management impacts wildlife conservation.

Nahashon
Dr. Samuel Nahashon

Nahashon, professor and chair of the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, received $100,000 to research new and emerging areas of biotechnology such as transcriptome analysis and computational bioinformatics. He will collaborate with an expert in computational bioinformatics at the University of Georgia to determine the mechanisms and modes of action of probiotics in conferring beneficial effects to poultry.

“This project is also an effort to continue strengthening the biotechnology research and teaching program in the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at TSU,” Nahashon said.

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, 22 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.

School Teaches Farmers to Brew Own Biodiesel

Courtesy: Domestic Fuel

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Dr. de Koff, professor of Bioenergy Crop Production, and Project Director for the MBED demonstrates biodiesel production to students at Cheatham County High School on Sept. 19, 2014.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Farmers are known to be a pretty independent breed, and a school is teaching them to be energy independent by brewing their own biodiesel. This story from RFD-TV says Tennessee State University’s Agricultural Research and Education Center has a unique outreach program that teaches farmers about making their own on-farm biodiesel.

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Dr. Jason de Koff

“This is something where they can grow it, and they can make it themselves and they can use it on the farm,” says Jason de Koff, an assistant professor in agronomy and soil science at Tennessee State University. The school’s mobile demonstration trailer – think of it as a workshop on wheels – is making waves across the volunteer state.

“We were awarded a grant by the USDA back in 2012,” de Koff explains. “The grant was to create a demonstration that we could use to talk to farmers about producing their own biodiesel on the farm.”

TSU created this mobile biodiesel demonstration trailer at the university’s Agricultural Research and Education Center…where they even grow their own canola.

“The reason why we wanted to do this,” says de Koff, “is because we’ve estimated that anywhere between 1 percent and 3 percent of the farm acreage can be devoted to growing some of the oilseed crops for biodiesel production. The farmer can produce enough biodiesel from that to power their diesel equipment for the entire year.

“The canola seeds are stored here inside this bin and then they funnel their way down through this tunnel on the equipment. You can see that the seeds are then pressed for their oil, dripping down into this container. Down here on the end is everything that’s left over, something that can break off and be used in your animal feed. Once we’ve got the oil from the seed press, we can take it and put it in this biodiesel processor. This is where the actual conversion and actual production of biodiesel take place.”

The article points out that the cost to produce biodiesel on the farm is just $2.90 per gallon, a savings from buying at the pump. And farmers can apply for a Rural Energy for America grant program to help pay for 25 percent of the brewing equipment costs.

College Graduates Must Impact Society Beyond Personal Success, TSU Commencement Speaker Says

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President Glenda Glover and Dr. Lomax, the Fall 2015 Commencement speaker, lead the graduation procession in the Gentry Complex. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – College graduates are expected to be leaders with capabilities that impact society beyond their families and personal careers, the keynote at Tennessee State University’s fall commencement told more than 500 undergraduate and graduate students who received degrees in various disciplines Saturday.

Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO of the United Negro College Fund, said by working so hard and achieving a university degree in spite of difficult and insurmountable odds, position graduates to be leaders who are “doers, makers and shapers of events and outcomes.”

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The Fall 2015 Commencement celebration begins in the Gentry Complex. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“America and the world need active and engaged citizens who are not just satisfied with their personal success,” Lomax said. “As leaders you must see that some part of your life, some portion of your personal power, and your leadership are invested in work beyond yourself, your family and close friends.”

While challenging the graduates, Lomax, leader of the nation’s largest provider of scholarships and other educational support to African-American students, also called for strengthening of the educational system if those leaving institutions of higher learning are to have any chance to succeed.

“The global, technology-driven knowledge economy demands that educational institutions be more effective and efficient in producing measurable student outcomes and graduates who can transition smoothly from the classroom to the workplace,” he said. “Those (graduates) who either don’t have the advanced skills or cannot attain them will be punished with low-wage jobs at the bottom of the employment ladder.”

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Many TSU staff were among those receiving advance degrees at the Fall 2015 Commencement. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Among those receiving degrees were the first graduating class of the university’s 12-month Accelerated MBA Program in the College of Business. The program started in January 2015 with 14 cohorts. Also receiving degrees was a mother/daughter team, who earned bachelor’s degrees in Interdisciplinary Studies, and Psychology, respectively.

Chelsea Marlin, who earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, was recognized for achieving the highest GPA among her fellow undergraduates.

Lomax, under whose leadership the UNCF has fought for college readiness and education reform, said, “The increasing emphasis on test is to confirm that students are learning, building the knowledge and skills they will need to advance and compete and demonstrate that their diploma is more than a piece of paper.”

He extolled the leadership of TSU under President Glenda Glover, calling her an “exemplary leader.”

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More than 500 undergraduate and graduate students received degrees in various disciplines at the Fall 2015 Commencement. (Photo by John Cross)

“The challenge of building and maintaining a 21st century university is great,” he said. “This calls for leaders who can envision the future, set bold and challenging goals and guide the institution through disagreements and controversies toward attaining its goals. This is the work that TSU’s dynamic, determined, focused and keenly intelligent president, Dr. Glover, is called to do.”

Earlier, President Glover thanked Lomax for agreeing to be the fall commencement speaker. She presented the UNCF leader with a plaque as a token of appreciation from the university. She congratulated the graduates for their accomplishments.

“You have endured and prepared yourselves to reach this goal which may have seemed unattainable, but you stuck with it,” Dr. Glover said. “You must always remember that you did not accomplish this goal all by yourselves. There were parents, relatives, friends and mentors who helped you along the way. Remember to thank them.”

Friday night, Glover hosted a reception in honor of Lomax at the President’s Residence. Nashville Mayor Megan Barry; TSU graduate and Vice Chair of the UNCF Board, Kevin W. Williams, were among guests, including university administrators, alumni and friends who attended the reception.

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, 22 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.

Mother and Daughter to March in Fall Commencement Dec. 12

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Michelle Vaughn will watch her daughter Equilla Coffee earn her degree in psychology on Saturday morning. A few minutes later, they will switch roles. Coffee will move to the stands and watch her mother receive her degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.

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Michelle Vaughn

The mother-daughter team will join nearly 500 other undergraduate and graduate students receiving degrees in various disciplines when TSU holds its fall Commencement in the Gentry Complex at 9 a.m.

For Vaughn, completing college is the fulfillment of a dream started 27 years ago, and taking the final walk with her daughter makes achieving that dream even more special.

“It is just a good feeling to know that my years of hard work have finally come to fruition,” Vaughn said. “The joy of me walking along side my daughter on the same platform is just overwhelming.”

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Equilla Coffee

“I could not have wished for a better graduation gift than to see my mom, not in the stands, but marching with me,” Coffee said. “She sacrificed a lot for us including putting her education aside to care for me and my siblings.”

“Putting her education aside” was just what Vaughn did, but for more reasons than to care for family. In 1988, Vaughn enrolled at TSU but before the year ended, she dropped out for no apparent reason.

“I had the opportunity to get my education earlier but I was playing and did not take advantage of it,” said Vaughn, whose mother, Georgiana Priddy, has been an employee at TSU for 46 years. “I had the chance to benefit from the university’s fee-waiver plan and get a free education since my mother works there (TSU) but I had other plans.

“I just didn’t feel like it, then I took on a full-time job and life was good.”

Somewhere inside her, however, the thought of getting an education “kept haunting me.”

In 2005, Vaughn re-enrolled, taking the minimum nine-hour course load. But this time, faced with family obligations – a husband, three children and a job – she quit school again. Not long after, in 2008, Vaughn gave education another try. This time she was determined not to turn back, said the 45-year-old.

“I felt I owed it to my children, my family and myself to persevere and complete this journey,” said Vaughn, a 16-year employee at TSU working as a senior library assistant. “It was tough, but studying and working alongside my daughter – although we were in different classes – was really a major motivation. I am glad I did it.”

Vaughn is graduating from the College of Liberal Arts with a Bachelor of Arts degree, and Coffee is receiving a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Education.

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 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.