Category Archives: College of Engineering

TSU, Verizon Technology Partnership Gives Area Middle School Students Hands-on STEM Training

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Through a partnership with Verizon, TSU has joined 15 other HBCUs across the country to teach minority middle school students skills like coding, 3D design and robotics.

The Verizon Innovative Learning Program is intended to engage students in grades 6-8 to interact with technology through on-campus summer-intensive courses, as well as year-round mentoring. The Department of Computer Science in the College of Engineering is coordinating the program at TSU.

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

This summer, more than 60 area middle school students participated in one of two sessions on campus. For two weeks the students and teachers built several mobile apps for Android, did hands-on labs, and visited the Adventure Science Center in Nashville.

Dr. Tamara Rogers, associate professor of computer science, is the coordinator of the Verizon program at TSU. She said the students also designed and created their own apps using tools like the MIT App Inventor, an innovative beginner’s introduction to programming and app creation.

“Parents and supporters were invited to the showcase where the students presented and demonstrated their apps,” Rogers said.

Students in the program will continue throughout the academic year. Once a month they will come to the TSU campus and work on their mobile apps, Rogers said.

Also this summer, the TSU College of Engineering is hosting the first STEM Academy for the 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee.

According to Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the college, about 50 African-American males in grades 5-8 from Nashville Metro Public Schools are participating in the four-week program, which ends July 21. They are learning computer programming, coding and robotics.

The objective of this partnership with the 100 Black Men, Hargrove said, is to “promote potential careers in Information Technology and other STEM occupations.”

Lori Adukeh, executive director of the 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee, who is coordinating the academy, said the program is intended to introduce the youth to different aspects of STEM.

“This is not just code or science related, it’s everything,” Adukeh said. “We are doing a lot of hands-on experiments where the boys are creating and building things with their hands. They are using a lot of thought-provoking and intuitive skills, from formulating an idea to actually building it with their hands.”

Adukeh said support from Dean Hargrove, TSU students and Metro teachers in the program has been very helpful.

“These students are learning so much in this inaugural STEM Academy thanks to Tennessee State University and dean Hargrove and all the resources they have put at our disposal, including TSU students who have been working with us as mentors,” she 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, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU ranked among Top 30 black colleges with highest starting salaries for graduates

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When it comes to earning power, Tennessee State University graduates do very well.

A recent ranking of the average starting salaries for graduates at the nation’s top 30 historically black colleges puts TSU at No. 6.

EDsmart, a nationally recognized publisher of college resources and rankings, published the 2017 ranking.

It shows recent TSU graduates are averaging $48,100 in starting salaries.

Officials at TSU call the ranking “a testament of how valuable an education from TSU is for our students.”

“When students see that they will graduate from this institution with a great projected salary, it makes the decision to attend TSU the obvious choice,” said Charles Jennings, Jr., director of the TSU Career Development Center.

The ranking puts TSU graduates in the top tier of earning potential for people receiving undergraduate degrees in 2017. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the average starting salaries for all recent graduates in entry-level positions is $49,785, an all-time high.

This upward movement is more good news for TSU officials, who are doing everything possible to ensure students are adequately prepared and given the necessary tools for success in the job market.

Recently, the university received a $2 million career development grant from the United Negro College Fund. The funding will give the university the tools to prepare and ultimately help TSU graduates immediately secure employment.

“We want to make sure that when they graduate, they’ll have jobs,” said Tina Reed, associate director of the career center.

A number of students who graduated from TSU in May had jobs waiting for them. Most of them credited TSU faculty and programs like the university’s career center with motivating them to be successful.

“Having a job after graduation is a blessing,” said 24-year-old Cametria Weatherspoon, who received her degree in electrical engineering. She has a job working in programming at Lockheed Martin’s Space Systems Company in Littleton, Colorado.

For more information on the TSU Career Development Center, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/careers/

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

TSU Freshman Receives $18,000 U.S. Air Force Three-Year Scholarship

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Jerry Kibet is one step closer to realizing his dream of becoming a pilot.

Kibet, a TSU freshman majoring in aeronautical and industrial technology, has received an $18,000 scholarship from the U.S. Air Force.

The three-year scholarship, offered under the Air Force’s Type 2 scholarship program, will cover tuition, fees and books. Mostly candidates in the technical fields qualify for this scholarship. Recipients must complete AFROTC training during their freshman year to retain eligibility for their sophomore year.

Kibet, a native of Kenya, is the first TSU student in more than three years to receive the Air Force’s Type 2 scholarship.

Tennessee State University officials and members of AFROTC Detachment 790 participate in the swearing-in ceremony for U.S. Air Force Cadet Jerry Kibet, under the T-38 Talon aircraft on the main campus. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

At a ceremony Tuesday, Kibet signed a contract with the Air Force and was sworn-in as a cadet. He will train with the AFROTC Detachment 790 at Tennessee State University.

Detachment Commander, Lt. Col. Sharon Presley, conducted the swearing-in ceremony under the T-38 Talon aircraft on the main campus.

She described Kibet as an individual with “academic excellence, physical excellence, and excellence in leadership.”

“It is an honor and a privilege to see a brilliant young leader who is ready to serve his country receive this award,” Presley said. “This is quite an honor for our detachment, for TSU and for the United States of America.”

Kibet, whose academic concentration is in aviation flight, said his passion for flying started at a very early age during a flight to Dubai with his parents. On their return home, he said he realized that he lived in an area that was “on a flight path.”

“Every day planes would fly over,” Kibet said. “The more I saw them go by the more my passion grew about flying until I graduated high school and came to TSU, where I was introduced to Lt. Col. Presley.”

He said Presley talked to him about the Air Fore and immediately he knew his prayers had been answered.

“Hopefully, I will become the first pilot in my family and another pilot from TSU,” Kibet said.  “My greatest goal is to represent my detachment, be loyal to my country and defend my people at all cost. I am very grateful to the U.S. Air Force and Tennessee State University for this award and this opportunity.”

Dr. Curtis Johnson, TSU’s associate vice president for administration, who represented President Glenda Glover at the swearing-in, congratulated Kibet.

“This is great for TSU, great for Jerry and great for the Air Force,” Johnson said. “Jerry is a fine student.”

Members of AFROTC Detachment 790 at the ceremony were Maj. Michael Gordon, operations officer; SSgt. Keshawn Lipscomb, NCOIC administration management; and Sgt. Christopher Sankey, NCOIC personnel. Also at the ceremony was Air Force Retired Lt. Col. Michelangelo McCallister, TSU’s executive director of Auxiliary Accounts.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Honors Top Researchers at 39th Annual University Wide Research Symposium

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University recognized its top student and faculty researchers during a ceremony in the Ferrell Westbrook Complex on the main campus on Friday.

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Awards Luncheon speaker Mark N. Russ engages students during his presentation at the Ferrell-Westbrook Complex. (Submitted Photo)

It was the Awards Luncheon culminating the weeklong 39th Annual University-Wide Research Symposium organized by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

Awards were given for the top three winners in undergraduate and graduate oral and postal presentations.  Organizers received 155 student submissions in eight categories and 35 faculty submissions.

Mark N. Russ, executive assistant director of the National Security Directorate Naval Criminal Investigative Service, was the keynote speaker. He admonished the award winners to set high goals and stick with them if they want to be successful.

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Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, Dean of the College of Engineering, left, congratulates Kyra M. Bryant, a Ph.D. student in Computer Information Systems Engineering for winning first place award in Graduate Engineering II oral presentation. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“By involving yourselves in award events like this you are stepping in the right direction, but it is not enough,” Russ said. “You have to continue to stick with it, continue to have your failures, successes and ultimately you will move in a direction where you are the only person with the background and experience to take it to the next level.”

Using Olympic champion Wilma Rudolph as an example of perseverance, Russ said no one thought she had a chance “because of things she had going against her.”

“She had medical issues and other health issues, but they did not stop her. She didn’t have to have someone tell her to keep working hard, she just didn’t quit and became one of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen,” Russ said.

Kyra M. Bryant, a Ph.D. student in Computer Information Systems Engineering, won first place in Graduate Engineering II oral presentation for her research on “Improved Bottom Friction, Surface Rachness, and Wind Stress in a Coupled Wave and Storm Surge Model.”

She said her study is aimed at developing a more accurate module for forecasting hurricanes.

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Dr. Margaret Mmbaga, took top award for faculty research. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“Winning this award has been really very encouraging, pushing me to research even more on this topic,” Bryant said “We are trying to make the modeling more accurate and winning this award tells me that I am on the right path.”

In faculty research, Dr. Margaret Mmbaga won first place in the category of Faculty II for “Screening of Common Bean for Multiple Disease Resistance Under Natural Infection by Common Bacterial Blight and Charcoal Rot.”

Each year, an individual researcher is admitted into the “Million Dollar Club” during the awards ceremony. Individuals in this select group are recognized for receiving grant money of a million dollars or more in a single year.

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Dr. Marie Hammond, second from right, holds her award for becoming the newest Million Dollar Club member. She is congratulated by Phyllis Danner, Director of Research and Sponsored Programs, left, and research symposium co-chairs Dr. John Robinson, and Nannette Carter Martin. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

That recognition went to Dr. Marie Hammond, associate professor of psychology in the College of Education. In 2016, she received a $1.5 million National Science Foundation grant for basic research.

“I am honored, I am overwhelmed,” she said  “I am really grateful because I never would have gotten here without the support of people from across the university, who worked with me along the way.”

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

More than 500 Middle, High School Students Attend 5th Annual STEM Expo at TSU

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) -More than 500 middle and high school students from across Middle Tennessee recently converged on Tennessee State’s campus for one of the largest science fairs in the state.

TSU and the Middle Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub organized the 5th Annual STEM Expo on April 6 in the Gentry Complex.

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Serdarion Bell, left, and Malik Brown, of Johnson Alternative Learning Center in Nashville, display their project on sustainable recycling at the 5th Annual STEM Expo. (Photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

Students from 35 schools displayed the results of 259 STEM projects spanning science, mathematics, engineering, and technology fields: cyber bullying, breast cancer prevention, weather technology and sustainable recycling, just to name a few.

Students competed for bronze, silver, and gold medals based on judges’ evaluations. STEM EXPO sponsors also selected from among all entries for special awards.

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the TSU College of Engineering, said the Expo was all about preparing the next generation of STEM professionals. He said “of tomorrow’s top 10 best jobs, 7 out of 10 are STEM related.”

“TSU and the College of Engineering are committed to promoting STEM education for Metro Nashville Schools,” Hargrove said. “Higher education and industry must become even more engaged in stimulating interests in STEM careers, and preparing students with the necessary background and skills to enter these occupations in the next decade and beyond.”

Serdarion Bell and Malik Brown of Johnson Alternative Learning Center in Nashville were among the expo participants. Bell, a 9th grader, and Brown, a 10th grader, presented a project titled, “Sustainable Recycling to Meet Community Needs.”

“We wanted to implement environmental conservation and sustainable recycling throughout our school and in our personal lives,” said Bell, on the reason for their project. “At the same time, we wanted to discover how we could help others in our community with little or no money.”

Dr. Lonnie Sharpe, dean of TSU’s College of Life and Physical Sciences, was one of the Expo’s advisers. He said the fair provided “a unique” opportunity for recruitment.

“Maybe we can recruit some of these students to TSU one day,” Sharpe said.

On the character of each project, displays were judged on basic hypothesis, significance of the subject, knowledge beyond what the project shows, presentation, and level of technology.

“There are some very interesting projects at this fair,” said Jonathan Reynolds, a TSU graduate student majoring in Computer Information and Systems Engineering, who was one of the judges. “This is really fun. These kids are well ahead in 21st century technology.”

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

More Than 500 Graduates Receive Degrees at Tennessee State University Fall Commencement

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – More than 500 received undergraduate and graduate degrees Dec. 10 when Tennessee State University held its fall commencement in the Howard C. Gentry Complex on the university’s main campus.

Prominent civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump gave the keynote address.

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A participant in the TSU fall 2016 graduation ceremony peruses the commencement program as she waits to receive her degree. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

He told the graduates that with their degrees they have the foundation to chart any course in their lives.

“Many of you graduating today already have solid foundation from your upbringing,” Crump said. “With your graduation today, Tennessee State University has added value to that foundation that will determine your path and success in life.”

Crump is the noted Florida lawyer who represented the families of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Terence Crutcher in police shooting cases that made headlines around the world. Crump was also an advocate in the Robbie Tolan police brutality U.S. Supreme Court case, as well as the Martin Lee Anderson boot camp death case.

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More than 500 graduates participated in TSU’s fall 2016 commencement in the Howard C. Gentry Complex on Dec. 10. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“You graduates are the very best that we have to offer. You are the hope of your grandfathers and grandmothers,” Crump said. “Like many before you, your are going to face situations you cannot control. But the only thing you can control is your attitude and your perspective at how you are going to address whatever situation you find yourselves in.”

On social justice, he referred to the graduates as “the fortunate ones” with the moral obligation to stem out injustices and abuse in their communities.

“You’re the ones who are going to have the good jobs, you have the education, you have the talent, and if you don’t speak up for our community, if you don’t stand up for our community, if you don’t fight for our community, then who will,” Crump said.

Jeremy Johnson, who received a bachelor’s degree in history and political science, was touched by Crump’s assertion about abuse and injustice.

“His speech is a wake-up call to action,” Johnson said. “There is so much injustice around us everyday but many of us do nothing and behave as if everything is fine.”

TSU President Glenda Glover described Crump’s speech as “thought-provoking and very inspiring.” She congratulated the graduates for their accomplishment.

“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.”

Ravyn L. Morgan, a criminal justice major, was recognized for graduating summa cum laude, with the highest grade point average. She was presented with the Student Academic Excellence Award for her accomplishment.

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.

Job Market Shows Promise for Tennessee State University 2016 Graduates

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A number of Tennessee State University students graduating on Dec. 10 have gotten early Christmas presents: jobs.

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Graduates prepare to receive their degrees during the Fall 2015 Commencement ceremony in the Gentry Complex. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

More than 600 undergraduate and graduate students will receive degrees in various disciplines when the university holds its fall commencement in the Howard C. Gentry Complex.

The recent Job Outlook 2016 Survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employees says employers expect to employ 11 percent more new graduates from the Class of 2016 than they did in 2015.

That’s good news for TSU students like Danielle Haik, a computer science major who is among those walking from the graduation stage into the workforce. Haik is taking an Information Technology Specialist position at Caterpillar Financial Services in Nashville.

Last month, the Wall Street Journal listed Tennessee State among its top 10 historically black colleges and universities. In ranking TSU 10th, the WSJ/THE College Rankings took into account the salaries graduates earn.

“I am very excited about becoming an employee of Caterpillar,” said Haik, who attributes her success to the training and mentoring she received at TSU. “I had some great faculty and mentors who gave me the right exposure and connected me with professional people and organizations that put me in the right direction.”

Justus Jarvis, a member of the fall 2016 graduating class, also has a job offer. He has accepted a position with Boeing.

“Tennessee State University preparation gives you the full package,” Jarvis said. “They prepare you to be able to stand out among your peers and in front of employers, and that may be my best asset going into the workforce.”

Like all TSU students, Haik and Jarvis have the capabilities that companies are looking for, particularly in the areas of leadership and teamwork.

According to NACE, employers are looking for candidates with evidence of leadership skills, strong work ethic, and who are team players.

“We instill our students with skills for success in the real world,” said Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering. “Our curriculum requirements make our students more marketable, as well as reinforces classroom learning to prepare them for industry, government, or entrepreneurship.”

Tina Reed, associated director of the TSU Career Development Center, said in addition to workshops and professional development conferences, TSU students receive one-on-one career advising to help them make career choices.

“The Career Development Center assists our students with developing and enhancing  21st Century job-readiness skills that are needed in the workforce,” Reed said. “From developing a top-notch resume to attending professional development conferences, our students are constantly encouraged to take advantage of career enrichment opportunities.”

Dr. Gloria Johnson, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, agrees.

“In the College of Liberal Arts, we continue to encourage our students to seek relevant internships and practical experience,” she said. “I am personally encouraging more students to seek more help from the Career Development Center for resume development and possible placement.”

Prominent civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump is expected to inspire students even more when he gives the keynote address at TSU’s Dec. 10 commencement.

Crump is the noted Florida lawyer who represented the families of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Terence Crutcher in police shooting cases that made headlines around the world. Crump was also an advocate in the Robbie Tolan police brutality U.S. Supreme Court case, as well as the Martin Lee Anderson boot camp death case.

In October, Crump was the keynote speaker at the 25th anniversary gala for the National Association of African American Honors Programs held 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 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University Students Build Wheelchairs for Disabled Canines

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Pugsly the Pug has a new wheelchair.

Born with a spinal deformity that makes it difficult to stay on its feet, the 15-year-old Dutch mastiff has a new lease on life, thanks to a team of occupational and physical therapy students at Tennessee State University.

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The Dog Wheelchair Competition winning team members and their professors are, from left standing, Jake Armstrong, Blaine Martin, Dr. Rita Troxtel and Dr. Karen Coker. Squatting with Pugsly are, left, Reagan Worth and Erica LaFollette. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The students, along with some of their peers from the Art Department, designed a special wheelchair that allows Pugsly to take long strides without wobbling or falling.

Dr. Rita Troxtel, assistant professor of occupational therapy and Pugsly’s owner, organized a wheelchair competition that challenged the students to develop wheelchairs for disabled dogs that are low cost, lightweight and easy to maneuver.

The competition was held Nov. 29 in the university’s Floyd-Payne Student Center. About 80 students and their advisers participated.

They came up with 17 different concepts and designs that were tested on Pugsly before a panel of judges. The winning wheelchair went to Pugsly. Troxtel said the other wheelchairs in the competition will be donated to organizations that specialize in adopting or providing sanctuary for animals with disabilities.

A team of two occupational therapy and two physical therapy students came up with the winning design made of PVC pipes, with two big back wheels and two smaller front wheels for turning; a push handle, and stretch fabric with four round openings for the feet.

“Pugsly is grateful for his new wheels,” Troxtel said.

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Another team of competitors fit Bugsly in their invention, a two-wheeler. (photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

Dr. Karen Coker, assistant professor of physical therapy and one of the judges, said the winning design “offered ease of getting in with just one person.”

“The fabric is flexible and soft; it won’t poke anywhere, and the wheelchair has a push handle so that the owner won’t have to bend over,” Coker said. “It is the perfect mix.”

Blain Martin, a graduate physical therapy major, was on the winning team. He said the goal was to develop a wheelchair that was easy to use.

“We all collaborated and we had a group message going in,” Martin said. “We met up several times to make sure we were on the same page with our project. It was great teamwork.”

Other winning team members were Reagan Worth, occupational therapy; Jake Armstrong, physical therapy; and Erica LaFollette, occupational therapy.

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The other wheelchairs in the competition will be donated to organizations that specialize in adopting or providing sanctuary for animals with disabilities. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Second-year graduate occupational major Amber Alexander’s team did not win, but she was impressed with the exercise.

“Participating in this competition gave use some real-world exposure to our various disciplines,” she said.

Mike Carter, a Ph.D. physical therapy student, said he enjoyed the teamwork.

“Collaboration was great in our group,” Carter said. “In fact, one of the guys in the group was skilled in making things. He actually has a shop where he builds all kinds of stuff. So this was right up his alley.”

Dr. Hamid Hamidzadeh, head of TSU’s Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Department, lauded organizers for having the competition.

“It’s a good opportunity for them to get hands on experience,” said Hamidzadeh, who was also a judge. “The students will really get the opportunity to go beyond the limit of the classroom.“

Troxtel said the skills the students learned from creating the dog wheelchairs will transfer to developing technology for humans.

“The TSU OT department is considering purchasing a 3D printer to build prosthetic limbs,” she said. “I also plan to hold a competition again next year, but it will focus on building assistive technology for human use.”

For more information on TSU’s various therapy programs in the College of Health Sciences, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/health_sciences/.

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.