Category Archives: SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES

Tennessee State University Alumna and Former Vice President Maria Thompson Named President of Coppin State University

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Dr. Maria Thompson, a Tennessee State University graduate, and former vice president for Research and Sponsored Programs, is the new president of Coppin State University, a part of the University System of Maryland.

mariathompson
Dr. Maria Thompson

USM Chairman James Shea announced Thompson’s appointment recently, describing her as a “top-level academic leader.”

“Dr. Thompson’s earlier experience in building a research enterprise at an urban historically black institution positions her well to advance Coppin as a vital institution in Baltimore and the state,” Shea said.

TSU President Glenda Glover said the TSU family is “extremely” proud to see one of its products excel to such a high profile position in the academic world.

“We congratulate Dr. Thompson on becoming president of Coppin State University, a sister HBCU institution,” President Glover said. “We are very proud of her outstanding achievements and demonstration of excellence. The faculty, students and staff of Coppin State are very fortunate to have one of our finest to lead that great institution.”

Thompson, whose appointment takes effect July 1, is the provost and vice president of Academic Affairs at the State University of New York at Oneonta. From August 2009-July 2011, she served as vice president for Research and Sponsored Programs at TSU. Prior to that, she served in many other research capacities at TSU.

At SUNY, Thompson was credited with oversight of accreditation reaffirmation, and academic development for more than 6,000 students. At Tennessee State, she helped to secure more than $45 million in sponsored research funding from external resources.

“I look forward to working with the faculty, staff, students and other stakeholders of Coppin State to continue the university’s commitment to preparing graduates who are analytical, socially responsible and lifelong learners,” Thompson said. “Urban higher education plays a vital role in shaping the future of local, national and global communities and I am excited about joining a campus with a rich legacy of community engagement.”

Thompson is a 1983 graduate of TSU with a Bachelor of Science degree. She holds an M.S. from The Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

 

 

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 45 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University Women’s Track Team Crowned OVC Champions, As TSU Wins Second Straight Conference Title in One Year

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – For years the Tennessee State University women’s track program has been known for its sprinters and relay teams. On Friday, the Tigerbelles lived up to their legacy by clinching the 2015 Ohio Valley Conference Championship, the first since 2008 and the eighth overall under legendary Coach Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice.

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Coach Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice

A former Olympian, who made history by snagging two gold medals at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984, Cheeseborough-Guice was also named “Women’s Coach of the Year.”

She could not hide her excitement as the Lady Tigers finished 128.5 points ahead of Eastern Illinois with 127 points, and defending champions South Missouri with 108.5 points.

“I am so excited right now,” said Cheeseborough-Guice. “These young ladies stepped up and got it done. We were down in numbers, but the numbers we had shored up against the larger squads. I am so proud to be a Tigerbelle.”

TSU President Glenda Glover was equally excited about the Tigerbelles’ championship.

President Glenda Glover
President Glenda Glover

“On behalf of the University, I congratulate the team and coaches for an outstanding performance on winning the OVC championship,” President Glover said. “We are so proud of you all for persevering and giving it your all to come out as champions. Your heart, talent, commitment and sportsmanship have brought us much pride. Again, congratulations!”

The track teams’ championship is the second TSU OVC title this year. On March 7, the TSU women’s basketball team was crowned OVC Champs following a 64-60 win over No. 1 seeded UT Martin. The victory clinched the Tigerbelles a place in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1995.

In Saturday’s meet, despite delays due to lightening and heavy rains, the Tigerbelles managed to claim seven events and 23 scoring finishes. Amber Hughes, Diera Taylor, Christian Pryor and Kayla Pryor teamed up for the 4×400 relay and crossed the line first in a time of 3:44.96.

Hughes led the way as she claimed four-top finishes and broke a 29-year old record. The sophomore broke the tape in 13.27 in the 100-meter hurdles to erase an OVC Championship mark, which had been around since 1986.

Hughes also claimed the top spot in the 200-meter dash (23.66) and the triple jump (12.90m/42-04.00). The Atlanta product was also a member of the 4×100 relay team that placed third.

“Somehow we were not expected to win this tournament,” Hughes said. “We just wanted to do well, but when it came down to it, the whole team mind shifted and we gave it our very best. That’s how we were able to win. It was a team effort.”

For the second year straight, Clairwin Dameus won the heptathlon as she amassed 5,396 points. The total was three points shy of her OVC record of 5,399 set in 2014.

Dameus continued her busy weekend as she finished second in the long jump with a leap of 6.16m (20-02.50) and placed sixth in the 400-meter hurdles (1:04.35). The junior was also a member of the third place 4×100 team.

Freshman Kayla Pryor and sophomore I’mani Davis recorded the final two individual championships for the Tigerbelles. Pryor claimed the title in the 400-meter hurdles in a time of 1:00.18, while Davis won the high jump as she cleared the bar in her second attempt at 1.73m (5-08.00).

Davis, also a member of the Lady Tigers basketball team, became the first athlete in TSU history to be a part of OVC championship teams in two separate sports. The Tulsa, Oklahoma native is a two-year starter with the Lady Tigers and just completed her first season with the Tigerbelles.

With three members qualifying, the next stop for the Tigerbelles is the regionals in the NCAA East Preliminary Round in Jacksonville, Florida May 28. Hughes will represent TSU in the 100-meter hurdle and the 200-meter dash. Dameus will participate in the long jump, and Davis the high jump.

 

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 45 undergraduate, 24 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.

Graduation Fulfills Dreams for Many as Nearly 1,000 Receive Degrees at TSU’s 2015 Spring Undergraduate Commencement

Glover Wharton
President Glenda Glover and Commencement Speaker, Mayor AC Wharton, march in the procession during the Spring 2015 Undergraduate Commencement in Hale Stadium

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Michaiah Hinds’ greatest gift for graduating college at Tennessee State University today was for his 82-year-old grandmother to see him go across the aisle to receive his degree.

“When I was in the fourth grade my grandmother told me she wouldn’t be around when I graduated from high school,” said Hinds. He did not only prove his grandmother wrong by graduating high school, the Milwaukee native received a bachelor’s degree with honors as a double major in Computer Science and Mass Communications. He has already been accepted to study theology at Wake Forest University in the fall.

Grandma
Michaiah Hinds proved his grandmother, 82-year-old Wilma Weddle wrong by graduating from college while she is still alive, something she said wouldn’t happen before he graduated high school. Sitting behind, left, is Michaiah’s father Mark, and another relative who came for his graduation.

“I feel joy and blessed to still be here and see him complete college,” said Wilma Weddle, a retired nurse, who led a team of more than 30 people from Milwaukee, including Hinds’ parents and other family members and friend sporting specially designed T-shirts and carrying a congratulatory banner to cheer on Hinds. “Michaiah has always been a good boy who believes in himself just as we taught him when he was growing up.”

For Hinds, the commencement message about “being yourself” was a refresher, as Memphis Mayor AC Wharton, a TSU alum and renowned lawyer told the graduates that the key to success is having confidence and believing in oneself.

“With the advent of modern technology such as social media, there is too much distraction that has taken away our capability to pay attention to each other, and appreciate our own abilities because of gadgets that have taken away our sense of personal touch,” Wharton said. “I am not against technology, but sometime we need to leave our machines and give our full attention to someone who means something to us.”

On his emphasis to “be,” Wharton called on the nearly 1,000 students receiving degrees in TSU’s first undergraduates-only commencement in Hale Stadium to learn to adapt to the changing times and circumstances around them.

“Some of you may have changed majors several times, or life may not have panned as you planned, but you must learn to adapt by being creative, assertive and determined and believing in yourself,” said Wharton, who is in his second term as mayor of Memphis, one the nation’s thriving and fastest growing cities. “Fight to be the best in you than trying to be someone else. Believe in a better world by believing in the possibilities of today. You can be the difference in all the problems that is going on across the nation.”

Lewis
Outgoing Student Government President Markeil Lewis receives thunderous applause as he is acknowledged by President Glover as an outstanding student and leader.

For Wharton, speaking at TSU’s spring commencement is a “homecoming.” TSU is where he got his start in higher education, earning a bachelor’s degree with honors in Political Science in 1962. He did not miss on the opportunity to congratulate Memphis native and TSU President Glenda Glover, referring to her as “the best president” Tennessee State University has ever had.

“You are doing a remarkable job here at our alma mater. Congratulations for being a great leader at this institution,” Wharton said.

Earlier, the president welcomed Mayor Wharton, and congratulated the graduates for their achievement.

“I applaud you for achieving this extraordinary milestone in your life,” President Glover said. “You have endured and in the process you have increased your resources for success. Do not forget to thank your parents, relatives, friends and those who were there to see you through this journey.”

Today’s ceremony was a culmination of TSU’s 2015 Dual Commencement Exercises. On Friday, the University held its first graduate commencement, at which more that 300 received advanced degrees, including master’s, education specialist degrees, Ph.Ds., and Ed.Ds.

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 45 undergraduate, 24 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.

NAACP Leader Tells TSU Graduates to be Change Agents as More Than 300 receive Advanced Degrees

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – More than 300 students received advanced degrees Friday during Tennessee State University’s first graduate commencement, but not before hearing a strong appeal from the leader of one of the nation’s top civil rights organizations calling on the graduates to be agents of change.

“By completing your education and achieving at this level you have prepared yourselves to be the hopes and dreams of tomorrow’s generation,” said Dr. Roslyn M. Brock, chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. “Society cannot now hand you anything that you cannot handle.”

Brock Glover
Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover presents a plaque to Dr. Roslyn M. Brock in appreciation of Dr. Brock’s “inspiring” address at the University’s first Graduate Commencement Friday.

Brock, the youngest person to lead the 106-year-old civil rights organization, said the current wave of issues facing the nation will only be solved with everyone involved and playing their part.

“Our nation and communities are faced with economic imbalance, issue of race, unemployment and hunger. It is incumbent on you to recognize and ensure that all Americans have access to quality education, jobs and a fair legal system,” Brock said. “Become proactive and not reactive in addressing the issues going on in the country.”

Saying that success is achieved “by us helping one another,” Brock akin her remark to an African parable of a migration of a herd of elephants trying to cross a river, where the bigger elephants line themselves in the form of a bridge to help the smaller elephants get cross.

“So too as you have succeeded, do not forget to get back in the water to help somebody make it to the other side. Never forget that life is about others,” Brock told the graduates, adding, “The future is in your hands; you are going somewhere, don’t stop now.”

Earlier, before address the graduates, the NAACP leader extolled the “remarkable leadership” of President Glenda Glover, describing her as an “extraordinary woman doing great things at Tennessee State University.

“This is a remarkable woman who is doing great things at this university and molding students who are exemplifying the Tennessee State University motto of “Think, Work, Serve,” she said.

Brock’s remarks highlighted the first part of a dual 2015 spring commencement ceremonies. On Saturday, Memphis, Tennessee, Mayor AC Wharton, will give the commencement address when nearly 1,000 undergraduate students receive their degrees during a ceremony in Hale Stadium.

Those graduating Friday received master’s degrees; education specialist degrees, and doctorate degrees including Ed.D., and Ph.D.

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 45 undergraduate, 24 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 Spring Commencement Ceremonies to Feature Two Prominent Speakers

NAACP Chairman Roslyn Brock and Memphis Mayor AC Wharton to Inspire Graduates

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The dual spring commencement exercises at Tennessee State University will feature two prominent national figures who will speak to the 1,312 undergraduate and graduate students receiving degrees in various disciplines.

Roslyn M. Brock
Roslyn M. Brock

Roslyn M. Brock, chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors, and the youngest person to lead the 106-year-old civil rights organization, will give the keynote address at the graduate commencement ceremony in the Gentry Complex at 5 p.m., Friday, May 8.

On Saturday, May 9, at 9 a.m., the Mayor of Memphis, Tennessee, TSU alumnus and renowned lawyer AC Wharton, will address undergraduate students during their commencement in Hale Stadium.

At the graduate commencement, Brock is expected to talk to the graduates about leadership, coping in the workplace, and a vision for the future. Named in Essence magazine’s list of the “40 Fierce and Fabulous Women Who are Changing the World,” Brock is a Diamond Life Member of the NAACP. She has served the organization in various leadership positions starting as a Youth Board Member representing the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

As vice chairman of the NAACP Board Health Committee in 1988, she championed the creation of a standing health committee to advocate for quality, accessible and affordable health care for vulnerable and economically challenged communities.

An expert grant writer, Brock has secured millions of dollars in philanthropic support for the NAACP. From 1999-2010, she chaired the NAACP’s National Convention Planning Committee, in which role she instituted fiscal policies that resulted in the Annual Convention becoming a profit center for the Association.

She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the George Washington University, the American Public Health Association; American College of Health Services Executives; Association of Healthcare Philanthropy; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., and The LINKS Inc. Brock holds a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Union University, a master’s degree in health services administration from George Washington University, an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and a Master of Divinity degree from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University.

She is currently the vice president for Advocacy and Government Relations for Bon Secours Health System, Inc., in Marriottsville, Maryland.

Mayor AC Wharton
Mayor AC Wharton

On Saturday, undergraduate students receiving their degrees will hear words of encouragement and how to cope in the changing word from a man who has achieved many “firsts” in his lifetime, and as mayor of one of America’s thriving and fastest growing cities. A lawyer for nearly 45 years, Wharton is in his second term as mayor of Memphis, having previously served for two terms as the first African-American elected mayor of Shelby County, Tennessee. He is known for initiating a number of programs that have reduced crime, improved city services, enhanced quality of life, and created new good-paying jobs for Memphians. Under Wharton’s leadership, Memphis is part of national conversations about cities, including the Obama White House, U.S. Conference of Mayors, Brookings Institution, CEOs for Cities, and the Mayor’s Institute of Civic Design.

Under Wharton’s leadership Memphis is reinvesting in safe and vibrant neighborhoods, creating jobs and prosperity of all, giving every child a fair start in life through early childhood development, and a high-performing government that fights crime and inefficiency.

For Wharton, speaking at TSU’s spring commencement is a “homecoming.” TSU is where he got his start in higher education, earning a bachelor’s degree with honors in Political Science in 1962. He later entered the University of Mississippi Law School, where he was one of the first African-American students to serve on the Moot Court Board and the first African-American to serve on the Judicial Council.  He graduated with honors in 1971, and three years later, he became the first African-American professor of law at University of Mississippi, a position that he held for 25 years.

At this year’s spring commencements, 925 graduating seniors will receive bachelor’s degrees, while 387 students will receive graduate degrees. Among those receiving advanced degrees are eight Ph.Ds., nine Ed.Ds., and 35 Doctors of Physical Therapy. Eleven others will receive education specialist degrees, and 32 will receive graduate certificates.

 

IF YOU GO:

Friday, May 8, 5 p.m.
Graduate Commencement
Gentry Complex

Saturday, May 9, 9 a.m.
Undergraduate Commencement
Hale Stadium

 

 

 

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 45 undergraduate, 24 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.

27 TSU Students Graduate from Newly Formed Nashville Collegiate Citizen Police Academy

Training Discusses Trust, Brutality, Racism and Need for Continued Dialogue

Mayor
Mayor Carl Dean addresses graduates of the first class of Nashville’s Collegiate Citizen Police Academy, held at Tennessee State University. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Graduation came a little early last night for 27 Tennessee State University students …but not from college. The students are part of Nashville’s first class of a newly formed Collegiate Citizen Police Academy organized by the Nashville Metro Police Department.

Mayor Carl Dean, Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson, TSU Police Chief Anthony Carter, and Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Michael Freeman, were on hand to congratulate the graduates, who underwent five weeks of learning the intricacies of police work. The training also gave the students the opportunity to discuss trust, issues of brutality and racism with officers.

Before the training, like many in the wake of mounting allegations and suspicions of police abuse targeted at African Americans, 21-year-old Tyler Ellis, held some very strong opinions. But he always wanted to get a behind-the-scene feel of actual police intervention and reaction beyond what is usually portrayed on television.

Ellis
Tyler Ellis receives his certificate from Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson, and TSU Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Michael Freeman. The junior Criminal Justice major said the training was an eye-opener for him when it came to actually understanding what police officers face each day. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“What we usually see is very disturbing,” said Ellis, a junior Criminal Justice major from Waterbury, Connecticut. “In many cases that’s the result, but I like to also understand what the police officer was faced with in the beginning. This training gave us new insights into what officers go through daily, and that what we usually see on television many times changes the perspectives on what actually happened.”

Calling the academy very timely, Mayor Dean thanked TSU President Glenda Glover, and Reverend Frank Stevenson, who came up with the idea of the Collegiate Citizen Police Academy, for allowing the program to take place with TSU students on the campus.

“We hope through this program and many others we have collaborated on, people will know that in Nashville, we have a strong relationship with our institutions,” Dean said. “Nashville is not perfect but it is through programs like this that we can have an honest dialogue about how we move on. This program has made the TSU neighborhood and Nashville a better place.”

Police Chief Anderson described the training as “the kind of dialogue” that has helped Nashville keep away from the kinds of disturbances with police and citizens across the nation.

“We are accountable for one another,” he said. “We are not perfect. This kind of program is so valuable for our community and country.”

As a follow-up to their training, the graduates have been assigned to the various police precincts across the city, where they must complete ride-along duties over the next two months, according to Metro Police Sgt. Mitch Kornberg, who coordinated the training along with Sgt. Raymond Jones.

“These graduates are not police officers and are not given any police duty,” Kornberg said. “The ride-along is an opportunity to work with officers on shifts to give them a better understanding of what officers do. This helps them to see things differently and understand that things are not always what they appear.”

Stevenson
Reverend Frank Stevenson, a local pastor and the director of Strategic Populations in the Office of Student Affairs at TSU, talks to the media about what prompted him to come up with the idea of the Collegiate Citizen Police Academy. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The idea for the Collegiate Citizen Police Academy is the brainchild of Reverend Stevenson, pastor of St. Luke Primitive Baptist Church and director of Strategic Populations in the Office of Student Affairs.

“I wanted to establish a forum that would bring young black men together with police in the wake of the protests and outrage that stemmed from allegations of racially motivated police brutality in Ferguson, Missouri, New York City and beyond,” Stevenson said.

He joined forces with the Reverend Enoch Fuzz, pastor of Corinthian Missionary Baptist Church to bring the idea to Police Chief Anderson, who right away embraced it and in a few weeks, the academy was underway.

Along with Ellis other graduates included: Nawaf Aldosari, Tevin Cannon, Mark Clear, Jamarius Cooper, Anthony Daniels, Oluwatolin Emonowa, Zach Eskew, Byron Fisher, Haggaikiah Futch, Ryan Gammon and Kadarrious Greene. Also graduating were Jamaul Greenlee, Malik Hayes, Rico Hunt, James Jefferson, David Jenkins, Davis Washington, Jalen Moore, Christopher Penilton, Justin Roberson, James Scott, Vantorius Stewart, Dominique Thomas, Lebron Worthington, Derion Munn and Quiadell Cousin.

Also making remarks at the ceremony were Dr. Freeman, Chief Carter and the Reverend Fuzz.

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 45 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee Titans Safety Chris Hope Says Education, Not Football, is the Pathway to Success

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – It sometimes takes one bright student who has been through the “trenches” to get the message across to another smart student about the pathway to a successful future.

Chris Hope
Chris Hope

That’s what happened at Tennessee State University today when the University’s Honors students got a message they will not soon forget. The “unlikely messenger” – Tennessee Titans Safety Chris Hope. Although the Super Bowl winner and former Pittsburgh Steeler has amassed wealth, fortune and recognition as an NFL player, he was not at TSU to talk about football.

“Education is what I am here to talk about,” said 12-year NFL veteran and Pro Bowler with the Titans, who was asked to make a statement at the Honors Day Convocation. “I have always loved playing football, but I never forgot about the importance of a quality education as something to fall back on. The average span of an NFL career is three years. I always knew I was just one hit away from permanent injury. I have been fortunate to play for 12 years, but what if my playing had been cut short and I did not have the education to cope?”

That question left Jaquantey Bowens, of Indianapolis, to rethink his approach in preparing for the future. Although the freshman Cell Biology major with a perfect 4.0 grade point average said he is not much on athletics, Hope’s lecture on education and success hit a nerve.

“I study hard and meet all of my course objectives, but listening to him (Hope) makes me want to work even harder,” said Bowens who wants to be a cardiologist because heart disease is prevalent in his family.

When it comes to educational preparedness as something to fall back on, Hope knows what he is talking about. Considered a proven leader and instrumental in the development of young players in the Titans defense, the Rock Hill, South Carolina native was a top honor student at Florida State University, where he graduated in three and half years with a 4.0 GPA.

“Even though I loved football and was a top player in college, I took my education very seriously and I am glad to see you all doing that. Football has made me millions, given me fame, but when I can stand before great people and speak without feeling intimidated, that’s because of my education,” Hope said.

IMG_2926
President Glenda Glover, right, assisted by Dr. Coreen Jackson, director of the Honors Program, presents the Dr. McDonald Williams Scholarship to Lauren Wiggins, a Health Sciences major with a 3.7 GPA from Atlanta.

TSU President Glenda Glover thanked Hope for his words of encouragement and congratulated the honorees for their academic excellence.

“Thank you for speaking to these exceptional students,” President Glover said. “As an honor student yourself when you were at Florida State, these students can relate to you.” She congratulated the more than 2,400 students with GPAs of 3.0 and above for their “outstanding achievement.”

“As honor students you are defined by your aptitude, and your achievement demonstrates pride in TSU,” she added.

At the start of the convocation, President Glover led a moment of silence for former TSU Honors student and SGA President, Dr. Levi Watkins Jr., who died Friday of a massive heart attack and stroke at age 70.

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 42 undergraduate, 24 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.

Memorial Service Planned for Noted Medical Pioneer and TSU Alumnus, Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A memorial service for Dr. Levi Watkins, noted medical pioneer and TSU alum, will be held in Baltimore on Tuesday, April 21. Dr. Watkins died Friday after a massive heart attack and stroke. He was 70.

The service will be held at 1 p.m., at Union Baptist, 1219 Druid Hill Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland 21217. The phone number to the church is (410) 523-6880. Arrangements are being entrusted to the Redd Funeral Home, 1721 N. Monroe Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21217. (Tel: 410-523-1600).

A behind-the-scenes political figure and civil rights activist who broke many racial barriers, Dr. Watkins was the first black chief resident of cardiac surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was known as much for fighting the injustice faced by African-Americans as for his groundbreaking medical work, such as the creation and implantation of the Automatic Implantable Defibrillator (AID). The device detects irregular heart rhythms and shocks the heart back to life.

“Dr. Levi Watkins changed the world with his passion for medicine,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “The University family extends sincerest condolences to the Watkins family during this difficult time. Dr. Watkins not only impacted the field of medicine, but he also inspired African-Americans to become doctors as he broke down the color barrier at two of the nation’s leading medical institutions. TSU will always remember his service to others, professional achievements, and dedication to his alma mater. He leaves a tremendous legacy that will surely inspire our students and others that follow in his footsteps.”

According to the Baltimore Sun, Dr. Watkins was outspoken yet humble. He never took his success for granted and worked tirelessly to help create the next generation of African-American doctors and activists.

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 8.56.58 AM
Levi Watkins Class Photo 1965-1966 (Courtesy Photo)

Dr. Watkins was born in Kansas, the third of six children, but grew up in Alabama, where he got his first taste of the civil rights movement. He met Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the age of 8 when he and his family attended Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, where Dr. King was the pastor.

He attended Tennessee State University as an undergraduate, studying biology. He then made history at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, where he became the first African-American to study and graduate from the school with a medical degree. It was an experience he described over the years as isolating and lonely, but would be the first of many milestones.

After graduating from Vanderbilt, Dr. Watkins started a general surgery residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1971, where he became the first black chief resident of cardiac surgery. He left Baltimore for two years to conduct cardiac research at Harvard Medical School before returning to Johns Hopkins.

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 42 undergraduate, 24 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.

Hundreds Run at TSU to Raise Funds for Education, Celebrate 125th Anniversary of 1890 Land-Grant System

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Nearly 600 participants, including alumni, faculty, students and fans took part in the Second Annual “Big Blue Tiger 5K Run/Walk” at Tennessee State University today to culminate a weeklong celebration of Ag Week, alumni fundraising activities, and the 125th anniversary of the 1890 Land-Grant system.

LandGrant
Representative Brenda Gilmore (fifth from left, front) congratulates 1890 Land-Grant anniversary events organizers minutes before blowing the whistle for the start of the Big Blue Tiger 5K Run/Walk. (Photo by John Cross, Media Relations)

State Representative Brenda Gilmore kicked off the day’s events with a statement at the Gentry Pavilion on the main campus, applauding race participants for their courage and determination to promote healthy living.

“Tennessee is in the top ten when it comes to obesity and ranks high with other ailments in the nation,” Gilmore said. “Your showing here today demonstrates your determination to help eliminate these diseases that affect so many of our people. I am here to encourage you for taking this step to healthy living.”

She thanked the race organizers, including the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, the Office of Alumni Relations, and the TSU National Alumni Association for their collaboration to mark the anniversary of “an event as important as the land-grant system.”

“The 1890 Land-Grant has been a major source of help and resources for Tennessee State University and many of our HBCUs. It is more than fitting for us to join in the celebration of such major milestone as 125 years of a mission that continues to support so many,” Gilmore said.

Following Gilmore’s presentation, runners and walkers took to the starting line for the 3.2-mile trek that took them around campus by way of 33rd Street, Alameda, Walter Davis, up to the Olympic Statue, and to the finish line in Hale Stadium.

winners
TSU Athletics Director, Teresa Phillips, left, congratulates Big Blue Tiger 5K winners Adrienne Hicks, first female finisher, and David Johnson, overall winner. (Photo by John Cross, Media Relations)

Finishing in 21 minutes and 11 seconds, David Johnson, a TSU sophomore and Health Science major, came in first as the overall winner. TSU alum Adrienne Hicks (’02,’06), who finished in 26 minutes 44 seconds, was the first female to cross the finish line. “Please mention that I am an AKA,” Hicks said, as she celebrated with friends.

CHECK
The College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences presents a check for $2,500 to the Alumni Foundation for student support. From left are Cassandra Griggs, director of Alumni Relations; Tony Wells, president of the National Alumni Association; Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of CAHNS; Dr. Latif Lighari, associate dean for Extension; and race organizers Charla Lowery and Darnell Crawley. (Photo by John Cross, Media Relations)

As part of the celebration at the finish line, Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of CAHN, presented a check for $2,500 to the Tennessee State University Foundation on behalf of his college. Later, at the “Blue and White Game” in Hale Stadium, the National Alumni Chapter of Beta Omicron also present a check for $37,000 to the Foundation toward the group’s established endowment.

Beta Omicron
National Alumni Association President Tony Wells, and Cassandra Griggs, director of Alumni Relations, receive a check for $37,000 from members of the National Alumni Chapter of Beta Omicron to the Tennessee State University Foundation.

“With tuition going up each year, every cent counts,” said Tony Wells, president of the TSU National Alumni Association, as he thanked donors, supporters and race organizers for their contributions. “These funds and your efforts will help keep needy students in school.”

The day’s events will culminate with the “Legends Game,” also in Hale Stadium, organizers 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 42 undergraduate, 24 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 Mourns the Death of Medical Pioneer, Alumnus Levi Watkins, Jr.

Levi Watkins
Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr.


NASHVILLE, Tenn.
 (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is deeply saddened over the death of Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr., a 1966 graduate of the University.   He was 70. The TSU alumnus revolutionized the medial world with the creation and implantation of the Automatic Implantable Defibrillator (AID). The device detects irregular heart rhythms and shocks the heart back to life.

“Dr. Levi Watkins changed the world with his passion for medicine,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “The University family extends sincerest condolences to the Watkins family during this difficult time. Dr. Watkins not only impacted the field of medicine, but he also inspired African-Americans to become doctors as he broke down the color barrier at two of the nation’s leading medical institutions. TSU will always remember his service to others, professional achievements, and dedication to his alma mater. He leaves a tremendous legacy that will surely inspire our students and others that follow in his footsteps.”

Dr. Watkins enrolled at Tennessee State in 1962, majoring in biology and graduating with honors.   He was also elected student body president at the TSU. In 1966, following graduation, he became the first African-American to be admitted to and to graduate from Vanderbilt’s School of Medicine. Dr. Watkins went onto become the first black chief resident in cardiac surgery at the Johns Hopkins Hospital after medical school. Watkins fought for equal opportunities in education throughout his career, increasing minority enrollment at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine by 400 percent in four years.

In February 1980, Dr. Watkins performed the world’s first human implantation of the automatic implantable defibrillator and would go on to develop several different techniques for the implantation of the device. Watkins also helped to develop the cardiac arrhythmia service at Johns Hopkins where various new open-heart techniques are now being performed to treat patients at risk of sudden cardiac death.

In 2013, Dr. Watkins retired from John Hopkins after four decades. He received the Thurgood Marshall College Fund award for excellence in medicine in 2010.

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 42 undergraduate, 24 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.