Category Archives: College of Engineering

TSU Toasts Its ‘Points of Pride’ During Ceremony in Downtown Nashville, Launches Website to Engage Alumni

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Calling them its ‘Points of Pride,’ Tennessee State University Thursday night recognized local alumni achievers during a ‘Toast To TSU’ at First Tennessee Park in downtown Nashville.

President Glover toasts fellow Points of Pride at the Toast of TSU. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations.)

Points of Pride are TSU graduates or former students who are prominent and emerging leaders with universally recognized success in their fields, and who have made a positive impact on the TSU brand and community.

The inaugural group of TSU Points of Pride, among them Shannon Sanders, Grammy Award Winning Producer, Songwriter and Music, Retired 4-star General LLoyd “Fig” Newton, and President Glenda Glover, include individuals with achievements in arts and entertainment, athletics, business, education, engineering and science, government healthcare, law and the military.

TSU Foundation Board Chairman Dwayne Tucker gives remarks at the Toast of TSU. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“This is certainly a remarkable event and a memorable way to recognize the outstanding contributions of our alumni to not just TSU, but also to the world and their communities,” said Glover. “I am glad to be a Point of Pride for our great university. I say thank you on behalf of all of us.”

Event organizers say this new category of recognition was created to honor and extend the university’s alumni legacy of achievement.

“Among these individuals are unsung alumni that you don’t hear about who are doing marvelous things in their fields, industries and in their communities,” said Cassandra Griggs, director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving.

Eight of the newly recognized TSU Points of Pride, who were present, were each presented with a poster-size photograph of themselves, and a toast from the audience.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to know that someone cares about the fact that you care enough to do your best everyday,” said Kevin Williams, former president and managing director of General Motors Canada, and member of the TSU Foundation Board. “A recognition like a point of pride from the university is something that will go with me for my lifetime, something that certainly gives me a lot of pleasure in knowing that my small efforts are making a difference.”

TSUNAA President Joni McReynolds with her Points of Pride poster at the reception. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Other Points of Pride toasted were Dwayne Tucker, human resource executive and chairman of the TSU Foundation Board; Dwight Beard, owner of Beard Property Management and president of the TSUNAA Nashville Chapter; Dr. Harold Love, Jr., member of the Tennessee House of Representative and pastor of Lee A.M.E Church; and Uchendi Nwani, entrepreneur, motivational speaker, lecturer and author.

Also toasted was Joni McReynolds, retired generalist with the Central Intelligence Agency and president of TSUNAA.

To view the full list of the 50 Points of Pride, go to https://www.tsupointsofpride.com/

At Thursday night’s Toast to TSU, organizers also launched the official Points of Pride website where alumni can “regularly engage,” nominate future Points of Pride, as well as donate to the university.

TSU alumni and friends toast the new Points of Pride. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

The website is an informative and interactive way to provide feedback on alumni experiences and interests, as well as to register for events and make contributions to support the next generation of the university’s students referred to as “rising stars.”

According to Griggs, the Toast to TSU is a partnership between the TSU Foundation, the National Alumni Association, and the Nashville Chapter to encourage the estimated 24,000 alumni in the Nashville metropolitan area to become informed, involved and invested. Thirteen of the inaugural Points of Pride are from Nashville.

This local effort is being spearheaded by the Nashville Chapter and President Beard.    Foundation Board Chairman Tucker is leading the national effort to education alumni and chapters of the importance of directing funds raised in the name of the University to the TSU Foundation.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

International Investment Executive and TSU Graduate to Speak at Honors Day Convocation March 20

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University honors students will hear from one of their own when the university recognizes its best and brightest at the annual Honors Day Convocation in Kean Hall on Tuesday, March 20.

Malick Badjie, a member of the TSU Honors College (Honors Program) and a 2003 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in political science, will be the keynote speaker.

About 2,800 students with grade point averages of 3.0 or higher will be recognized. Of that number, 301 are on the President’s List. These students have maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout their matriculation, according to Dr. Coreen Jackson, interim dean of the Honors College.

TSU President Glenda Glover, faculty, and administrators will be on hand to congratulate the honors students.

Badjie is the executive director and head of Africa for Robeco, an international asset management firm with headquarters in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He is the company’s team leader responsible for the investment, sales, strategic and commercial decision and wholesale business in the Africa region.

Badjie has more than 15 years of experience in the investment and institutional asset management industry, and in working with institutional clients in Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

Prior to joining Robeco, Badjie held senior positions with the investment firm of BlackRock as head of institutional business. He was responsible for the strategic development and business management for BlackRock in sub-Sahara Africa that lead to growth in institutional business from $80 million to $14 billion in client asset in just five years.

Badjie holds an MBA in finance from The Warwick Business School at the University of Warwick.

For more information on the Honors Day Convocation, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/honors/.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU’s Air Force ROTC Program Gets Major Boost With New, Top-Notch Flight Simulator

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Cadets in the TSU Air Force ROTC Detachment 790 interested in becoming Air Force pilots will now be able to take advantage of a state-of-the-art new X-Plane 11 flight simulator.

TSU President Glenda Glover cut the ribbon Tuesday officially opening the room in a ceremony surrounded by AFROTC cadets.

President Glenda Glover, assisted by Maj. Michael Gordon, Detachment Operations Officer, cuts the ribbon to officially open the flight simulation room. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Walt Rau, a friend of the university, donated the simulator to the Department of Aerospace Studies through the TSU Foundation.

“This is a great day in the life of Tennessee State University,” Glover said. “I thank you all and especially Mr. Walt Rau for bringing this level of technology with a simulator of a top-notch standard so that the students here can learn to carry out their training for careers they have chosen. This offers them unlimited possibilities.”

Walt Rau, son of Walter Rau, a World War II B-24 bombardier who died on a combat mission in Italy, said the donation is a way of remembering his father.

“I have profound respect for my father,” Walt Rau said in a letter to the TSU Foundation.  “As for my sacrifice, I could ramble on about how losing my father has shaped my life, but doing this may be a better way for your students.”

President Glenda Glover takes the control at the flight simulation deck, with Cadets Katelyn Thompson, left, and Jerry Kibet, and Maj. Gordon watching. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

According to Lt. Col. Sharon Presley, AFROTC 790 Detachment commander, the simulator will help cadets prepare for the Test of Basic Aviation Skills (TBAS), a computerized psychomotor, special ability and multi-tasking test battery, as well as the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT).

The system includes upgrade flight controls, rudder pedals, graphics intensive computer, and top-of-the-line X-Plane 11 flight simulator software.

“The flight simulator is an important part of enhancing Detachment 790’s training program to meet Air Force goals,” said Maj. Michael Gordon, assistant professor of aerospace studies and Detachment Operations Officer. “This will introduce cadets to flight training and inspire them to pursue aviation careers in the Air Force.”

Cadet Jackson Sloan was one of the first to test fly the new simulator.

“I’ve wanted to be a pilot since junior high,” said Sloan, a senior aerospace pro-pilot major from Brentwood, Tennessee, who is slated to attend Air Force pilot training after his graduation in May. “This is really a major boost to our training.”

Presley thanked Walt Rau for his donation to refurbish the TSU Department of Aerospace Studies Flight Simulator room.

“Through his donation we were able to restore modern controls, a set of modern rotter pedals, brand new high intensity graphic computer and the most top-of-the-line flight software available,” Presley 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 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Spring Internship Fair helps students take steps to success

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Many Tennessee State University students took a major leap toward their future Feb. 15.

More than 50 companies and organizations set up booths in Kean Hall for TSU’s second annual Spring Internship Fair.

TSU President Glenda Glover greets a vendor at the Spring Internship Fair in Kean Hall. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

TSU President Glenda Glover and a host of university officials stopped by the various booths to view the displays and greet vendors.

Alonzo Furtick, a graduating senior majoring in business marketing and graphic design, was one of the first students to show up.

The Charlotte, North Carolina native saw the fair as an opportunity to get an early start on a search for potential internship or employment opportunity.

“The fact that TSU gives us this kind of opportunity to grow and expand and be exposed to different areas is phenomenal,” Furtick said. “I am a senior, I expect to graduate this semester. Ideally, I am looking for any business marketing internship or graphic design internship.”

Altria, a Fortune 500 company based in Richmond, Virginia, is one of the sponsors of the fair. The company has partnered with the TSU Colleges of Life and Physical Sciences, and Engineering, to groom science and engineering students. It has already hired a TSU engineering graduate who was recruited as an intern at last year’s fair.

A recruitment team from Altria participates in the Spring Internship Fair. From left are: Latoya Boone, Priscilla Maquire, Lynora Lee and Roosevelt Reynolds. Reynolds, a reliability engineer at Altria’s facility in Nashville, is a TSU graduate. He was recruited as an intern at last year’s fair and worked his way up to full employment. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“Tennessee State University is one of our target schools,” said Greg Shiflette, a recruiter and functional campus owner with Altria. “With Altria, we don’t go to all the schools in the country. We target our resources to specific universities, and so TSU is one of our target schools where we are dedicating our resources to come in and recruit.”

Roosevelt Reynolds, who graduated from TSU last December, is the reliability engineer at the Altria facility in Nashville. He joined the company as an intern and worked his way up to full-time employment.

“My TSU preparation as a mechanical engineer and capabilities in other areas of manufacturing gave me the tool to do the very work I am doing right now at Altria,” said Reynolds, who is from Birmingham, Alabama. “I am forever grateful to the College of Engineering, and especially Tennessee State University, for the exposure that has helped me to integrate myself in various processes in my work area.”

Reynolds is also part of Altria’s recruitment team.

Charles Jennings, director of TSU’s Career Development Center, said he is excited about the “overwhelming” growth of the fair in just its second year.

“When we had the Spring Internship Fair for the first time last year, we only had 28 employers who signed up,” Jennings said. “This year we have more than 50. We are very proud of the increase; we are very proud of the diversity of businesses and organizations that are here today.”

He credits the various colleges and departments for the success, especially the Office of Academic Affairs, which gave students excuse from class to come to the fair.

“This is really paying off for us,” Jennings said.

Some of the other companies, businesses and organizations at the fair were: Regions Bank, Skanska, Aramark, the Tennessee National Guard, Enterprise, and Nashville Public Television.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

State lawmakers experience wave of Tiger Blue at TSU Day at the Capitol

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – State lawmakers got a taste of Tennessee State University’s excellence at the annual TSU Day at the Capitol on Wednesday.

More than 150 TSU students, administrators, faculty, staff and others packed a Senate hearing room in the Cordell Hull Building to hear TSU President Glenda Glover kick-off the event. In another area of the building, lawmakers saw displays of the university’s diverse research and academic offerings, including robotics and giveaways like red maple trees grown on the university farm.

“TSU has a unique history in our state as the only public HBCU and land-grant institution with a history of excellence,” Glover said. “Our need for more increase in assistance is in line with other land-grant institutions. We hope to receive the same assistance as other institutions in the state.”

Members of the TSU Royal Court walk the halls of the Tennessee General Assembly distributing gift bags to legislators during TSU Day at the Capitol. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

She said past and future appropriations have allowed TSU to maintain its longstanding legacy of “providing education for our students.”

“But that is not enough,” Glover said. “We have an aging infrastructure that makes it difficult to implement new academic programs, and give students the quality resources and the environment they deserve.”

House Speaker Beth Howell, in welcoming the TSU visitors, said it is good for students and administrators to come and interact with lawmakers to get a better understanding of “what we do.”

“I want to welcome you all to TSU Day at the Hill,” Harwell said. “We always enjoy Tennessee State University here. You have true friends here in the General Assembly, and thank you for the remarkable job you do for the Nashville community, Middle Tennessee and for the young graduates that come out of your fine university.”

President Glover meets with TSU student interns serving at the Capitol. At 17, TSU has the second largest group of interns working with lawmakers at the Capitol. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

State Rep. Raumesh Akbari, chair of the Tennessee Black Caucus, added that TSU plays a special role in the advancement of Tennessee.

“I am so thankful to be here today,” she said. “It is always a pleasure to see TSU represented on Capitol Hill, not only through your presence here today, but also through many of your graduates who are part of this body and who advocate for you every day, as well as interns on staff here from your fine institution.”

Seventeen TSU interns are currently serving on Capitol Hill, the second largest of any group from institutions around the state.

Dr. Lonnie Sharpe, dean of the College of Life and Physical Sciences, said the STEM program is one area that needs improvement by increasing the pool of students but cannot be accomplished without the help of the Legislature.

“The resources that we need to support students on scholarships are very, very important for all the things we’re trying to do,” said Sharpe. “We want to work with middle schools and high schools to ensure that they’re ready for the STEM discipline once they get here.”

Jermilton Woods, a graduating senior, and president of the Student Government Association, said TSU Day at the Capitol is very significant.

“I think it gives us an opportunity to show the excellence that Tennessee State University is,” said Woods, of Memphis, Tennessee. “It’s an opportunity to get in front of legislators and let them see that there are some bright minds at TSU.”

Also speaking at the program were State Representatives Harold Love Jr., and Brenda Gilmore, and Senator Thelma Harper, all graduates and staunched supporters of TSU.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Faculty, Students Present Research at 2nd Honors College Ted Talk

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – TSU Faculty and students from various disciplines presented research and topics on pressing issues at the second Ted Talk organized by the Honors College on Wednesday.

The event, which is part of activities marking Honors Week at TSU, gives students and faculty an opportunity to present their work to the campus community.

Nine presenters discussed topics ranging from cancer research, mobility and transit in Nashville, to fake news in the Trump era before fellow faculty and students in the Robert N. Murrell Forum on the main campus.

Katherine Miller

Katherine Miller, a senior biology major from Nashville, presented on “Developing a Methodology for Single Cell Proteomics Using Aluminum-Treated Switch Grass Roots,” a collaboration between TSU, Cornell University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The goal of the research is to develop a protocol for single-celled proteomics that can have applications in cancer and protein disorders.

“This research has the potential to change medicine as we know it,” Miller said.

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove

Discussing Nashville’s current transit situation, Dr. S. Keith Hargrove said the Music City has experienced tremendous growth, but without a solution to transit and mobility to align with the business and housing growth of the city.

“This presentation provides an overview of the proposed solution and action plan of the mayor’s office,” said Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering and member of the Nashville Transit Coalition. “It also discusses the technology integration as a solution to improve the mobility of the residence of Metropolitan Nashville.”

Other presenters and their topics were:

Dr. Hugh M. Fentress

Dr. Hugh M. Fentress, assistant professor of biological sciences: “Activation of the JAK/STAT Signaling Pathway by the Human Serotonin 2C Receptor”

Farah Ismail

Farah Ismail, sophomore biology major from Cairo, Egypt: “Exposure of Human Immune Cells to Triclosan Alters the Secretion of IFNy”

Rachelle Brown

Rachelle Brown, sophomore psychology major, from Memphis, Tennessee: “Who is She? An Analysis of the Stereotype Surrounding the Black Woman”

Nijaia Bradley

Nijaia Bradley, sophomore, early childhood education major: “Infamous Deception in Black America: An Examination of Abortions, Medicine and Media Portrayal”

Abhilasha Viswanath

Abhilasha Viswanath, junior psychology major from India: “Peripheral Color Contrast Sensitivity Under Perceptual Load”

Leona Dunn

Leona Dunn, junior communications major from Omaha, Nebraska: “Fake News in the Trump Era”

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Offerings, Culture of Diversity and Inclusion Attracting International Students

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Eman Abdulrahman Alharbi spent only three years at Tennessee State University, but she is leaving with a bit of proud history, as the first student from Saudi Arabia to earn a doctorate at TSU.

Eman Abdulrahman Alharbi received an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at last fall’s graduation. (Submitted Photo)

Her history-making feat, though, may be short-lived if the current influx of students from her country is any indication. She is part of a growing number of international students from Saudi Arabia that call TSU home. Records show more than 70 percent of the nearly 570 foreign students at TSU are from Saudi Arabia.

This is a good thing, university officials say.

“Ninety-nine percent of these Saudi students come here fully funded by their government as Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission scholars,” says Mark Brinkley, director of International Education in the Office of International Affairs.

Studies show the surge of Saudi students is not unique to TSU.

Nationally, Saudi Arabia ranks fourth with 4.9 percent of total 1.08 million international students in the U.S., only behind China, South Korea and India.

Students representing various nations, participate in a pageant organized by the Office of International Affairs. (Photo by OIA)

An annual report by the Institute of International Education and the State Department shows that the number of international students in the United States increased by 3.4 percent over the prior year. The rise marks the 11th consecutive year of expansion in the number of foreign students in the U.S. This is also a dramatic jump from the fewer than 600,000 who studied here just a decade ago, according to the report.

Experts attribute this rise to expanded higher education opportunities. At TSU, Brinkley says the university is offering what the students want and providing an environment that makes them want to stay, and that makes others want to come.

The biggest draw, he says, is the university’s highly accredited engineering program.

Saudi students offer a Taste of Saudi Arabia during a cultural festival at TSU (Photo by OIA)

“They select TSU because we have been able to offer the majors that they want to enter, particularly in the field of engineering,” says Brinkley. “Well over half of our engineering majors are SACM students.”

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the TSU College of Engineering, is not surprised by the influx of foreign students in his program. He says in addition to quality, the TSU program is designed around providing students an environment that appreciates differences in culture, race, origin and background.

““Our goal in the College of Engineering is to produce what we call the ‘global engineer,’ says Hargrove.  “This is a graduate who is prepared to demonstrate technical competency to work anywhere in the world. This objective has been supported by our study-abroad program and the invitation to international students to complete their engineering degree at TSU.”

South American students provide entertainment at a cultural festival on campus (Photo by OIA)

For Alharbi, who earned an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at last fall’s graduation, the TSU culture of diversity and inclusion was the welcoming factor.

“My advisor at MTSU (Middle Tennessee State University) where I received my master’s degree, recommended me to Tennessee State University, and I am glad I came,” says Alharbi. “The people made me feel at home. TSU has great professors, who never gave up on me even though there was a language barrier.”

Alharbi is not alone. Even though these international students come very determined to succeed, the language barrier can be a major stumbling block for many – not just Saudis. This is another area where TSU stands out – helping students navigate the language difficulty and succeed.

Officials of the Office of International Affairs: Mark Brinkley, Director of International Education, left; Dr. Jewell Winn, Executive Director of OIA; and Mark Gunter, Director of International Affairs (Photo by OIA)

Dr. Trinetia Respress is the interim assistant dean in the College of Education, who also mentored and advised Alharbi. She says professors must “actually be ready to go beyond and give extra support” to help these international students overcome the language barrier.

“As a person, I saw Eman to be a very tenacious and determined person who wasn’t going to allow anything to turn her around,” says Respress. “It is that she actually wanted it and she went after it. She is a very good student and very bright.”

Alharbi earned her doctorate in three years at TSU. Her interest is in higher education accreditation with a goal to help more Saudi universities gain international accreditation. And Her dissertation, “Preparing Saudi Universities for International Accreditation in the Area of Government and Leadership,” reflects that desire.

“My plan is to work with Saudi universities in evaluating outcomes and assessing the weaknesses and strengths in helping them get international accreditation,” says Alharbi. “I want to work with accrediting agencies and to bridge the disconnect between universities in the United States and my country in the area of accreditation.”

According to Brinkley, Alharbi represents the kind of “international ambassadors” that TSU cultivates.

“In most instances, our surge is the result of word-of-mouth referrals about the culture here at TSU being supportive,” says Brinkley. “That’s what draws them here. They find our programs to be academically and culturally supportive by offering the majors they are looking for and an environment suited to their needs.”

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University Commencement Speaker April Ryan Tells Graduates to Believe in Themselves

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Renowned journalist and White House correspondent April Ryan left Tennessee State University graduates with one key message Saturday: “Believe in yourselves and ‘stand’ in the face of adversities.”

President Glenda Glover, right, presents a special award to Commencement Speaker April Ryan. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Ryan, also a nationally syndicated radio host, delivered the commencement address at TSU’s fall graduation ceremony in the Howard C. Gentry Complex on the main campus. Nearly 500 undergraduate and graduate students received degrees in various disciplines.

TSU President Glenda Glover gave the welcome and thanked Ryan for accepting the invitation to speak at the graduation. She congratulated the graduates and thanked parents, relatives and friends for their support.

“I applaud you for having reached this extraordinary milestone in your academic career,” Glover said. “It does not matter how long it took you; you are sitting here this morning because you are graduating. You have endured.”

About 500 graduates received degrees in various disciplines at TSU’s 2017 Fall Commencement (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

In her  address, Ryan told the graduates that receiving their degrees does not guarantee that it will “catapult” them into middle-income status.

“But it lays the foundation,” she said. “There are going to be hurdles; life isn’t a crystal stair. You will be met with issues you have never seen before, but it starts with believing in yourselves.”

As a White House correspondent, Ryan has covered four presidential administrations. But it was her exchanges with President Donald Trump and his then-press secretary Sean Spicer following the last presidential election that thrust Ryan into the limelight. She makes frequent appearances on CNN as an analyst.

President Glover presented Jaquatey Bowens and William Sanders with the Student Academic Excellence Award for achieving the highest grade point average in their various disciplines. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

On race and the current political climate, Ryan pointed to TSU’s “unique role” as an HBCU and its involvement in the civil rights struggle of the ‘50s and ‘60s, when students from the university staged sit-ins in Nashville and across Tennessee. She also made reference to President Trump’s controversial visit to the opening of the civil rights museum in Mississippi, which is being boycotted by many prominent black leaders.

“I applaud these civil rights leaders for their decision to boycott because it is their right,” Ryan said. “But I also think that the president should go. We need for this president to go and see why the students were sitting in the ’60s. We need this president to understand why Colin Kaepernick took a knee. We need for the president to see the pain from the ‘50s and ‘60s and that slavery was not just a different way of immigrating into the United States with a basket of fruit and seeing Lady Liberty.”

Tennessee State Rep. Harold Love, Jr., who previously earned a bachelor’s degree from TSU, was in attendance Saturday to receive his doctorate in public policy and administration. He described Ryan as the person with the “right tool” to transform the graduates’ thinking.

“As I sit here and think about getting another degree from TSU, I am excited, but also I am concerned about the direction our country is going in with the leadership that we have,” Love said. “I am hoping that our speaker will inspire students to leave from here with their degrees and help transform the world and bring us back to a place of peace, compassion, and responsibility.”

Later, President Glover presented Jaquantey Bowen, a biology major; and Williams Sanders, computer science major, with the Student Academic Excellence Award for achieving the highest grade point average in their various disciplines.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING RECOGNIZED AT SWEET TALK FOR 100 PERCENT PARTICIPATION IN FACULTY, STAFF GIVING CAMPAIGN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University College of Engineering received special recognition at the university’s annual Sweet Talk event for having 100 percent participation in the university’s annual faculty and staff giving campaign, which raises money to benefit TSU students.

Held on Nov. 30 in the Floyd-Payne Campus Center, Sweet Talk provided an opportunity for campus employees to enjoy delicious pastries and discuss the importance of supporting students beyond the classroom.

“I challenged my almost fifty faculty and staff members in the College of Engineering and encouraged them to give individually,” said Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the college. “They have demonstrated that by investing in TSU and showing their support for what they believe and I believe is one of the best places to work in the city of Nashville.”

Sonya Smith, assistant director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving and chair of the campaign, expressed her gratitude to the campaign co-chairs and various contributors for raising $141,451 during the 2016-2017 fiscal year.  She said the goal for the current fiscal year is to raise $155,000.

“We are excited about the upcoming year,” she said. “Our participation rate has increased from 99 faculty and staff to 329. I encourage faculty and staff to continue to support this important fundraising effort.”

According to Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, vice president of Research and Institutional Advancement, this “unified effort will remove financial hurdles” that students are otherwise unable to overcome.

“Before I start to shed tears over the joy that I am experiencing from all the wonderful gifts that we are receiving and our ability to give and help others, I just want to say thank you,” she said. “We always talk about team work makes the dream work. To see the numbers, to see the participation rate, to me it is a clear example of how teamwork is truly making the dream work at TSU.”

Dr. Joseph Perry, Director of Sustainability in Facilities Management, has been with Tennessee State University for 40 years. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Dr. Joe Perry, the director of Sustainability in Facilities Management, who has established an endowment at TSU, said he gives back because he is grateful for the opportunities the university has given him.  Perry, who started his journey 40 years ago in the security department, now has four degrees from TSU.

“I will always support this great university,” he said.  “Even when I am gone, my endowment will continue to support the needs of students.  I realize giving back will help the future leaders of tomorrow.”

Rosalyn Word, co-chair of the Faculty Staff Annual Giving Campaign, expressed her enthusiasm for the effort.  A member of the President’s Club, people who contribute $1,000 or more, Word said she came to TSU full-time because someone else made a financial contribution so that “I could be and do what it is I needed to do.”

“I know that for me to accomplish the things I have been able to accomplish there were people like us who made a financial contribution to make sure I could pursue an education, and become the person I was destined to be,” she said.

Word, assistant professor of dental hygiene at TSU, said her department has established a scholarship for students majoring in dental hygiene and hopes to award scholarships to two students next year.

Dr. Achintya Ray, chair of the Faculty Senate, along with Linda Goodman, chair of the Staff Senate, presented the $141,451 check to President Glenda Glover on Nov. 11 at Hale Stadium during the TSU-Southeast Missouri game.  He said the financial gifts of faculty and staff represent a “deep conviction that they can make fundamental change” in the lives of the young men and women TSU employees serve.

“I was deeply honored to go out with Ms. Goodman during the halftime of the game and present Dr. Glover with that wonderful check,” Ray said. “But I think what we presented was not the amount that was written on the check, but a confidence in the faculty and staff in the future of this great institution.”

Eloise Abernathy Alexis, associate vice president of Institutional Advancement, encouraged faculty and staff to give primarily through payroll deduction.  For more information about how to give, call (615) 963-2936.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

Tennessee Sate University Students Win Top Awards at National Honors Conference

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.