Category Archives: SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES

Tennessee State University Receives National Weather Service StormReady Designation During Packed Campus Ceremony

Storm Ready-7
Tom Johnstone, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service, left, presents the StormReady designation plaque to Dr. Curtis Johnson, Associate Vice President and Head of Emergency Management at TSU. Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is well prepared to protect its students, faculty and staff from severe weather, the National Weather Service announced Thursday, July 10, when it designated the University as a StormReady institution.

The NWS said TSU has met all the “rigorous criteria” for a StormReady designation by developing an all-hazard safety plan and communications infrastructure, as well as actively promoted all hazardous weather safety through public awareness activities and training.

“There is nothing more important than keeping our community of students, faculty and staff safe on our campus,” said Dr. Glenda Glover, President of Tennessee State University. “This designation shows that we are holding to our commitment to parents and other community stakeholders that TSU is doing everything possible to ensure a safe and secure environment for our students.”

Storm Ready
Tennessee State University officials receive the StormReady certification from officials of the National Weather Service and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. From left are Tom Johnstone, NWS; Thomas Graham, TSU assistant director of Emergency Management; Dr. Curtis Johnson, TSU; Brittney Coleman, NWS Meteorologist; Chris Johnson, TEMA Middle Tennessee Regional Director; and Brent Morse, Area Coordinator for TEMA. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

At a presentation ceremony on campus, Tom Johnstone, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service, congratulated the University for receiving the StormReady designation. He applauded the administration, the Emergency Management team and staff for their dedication and hard work in “putting all the right pieces together” to achieve the designation.

“Tennessee State University is prepared for the StormReady designation,” Johnstone declared.  “It took tremendous work to fine-tune all that was necessary to earn the certification required for this designation, and this university and this community need to be congratulated for a great job.”

Dr. Curtis Johnson, associate vice president for Administration, who is in charge of Emergency Management, thanked the campus police, students and staff for their cooperation in doing what was necessary to earn the NWS certification.

“Being storm ready reaffirms Tennessee State University’s commitment to protection of life and property, and all of you have been helpful in allowing us to achieve that,” Johnson said. “We look forward to making TSU and the community better and safer.”

As a mark of designation and recognition, Johnson announced that the NWS StormReady signage would be placed at the two major entrances to the University.

NWS meteorologist Brittney Coleman, while acknowledging that natural disasters are inevitable, said preparing for them must always be taken seriously.

“Tennessee State University has really done a tremendous job in preparing itself and the community in the case of bad weather,” Coleman said. “We have been working with the campus team to make sure we had everything in place to be ready for this designation. All residence halls now have weather alert radios to keep them connected to the National Weather Service in case of emergency.”

Also participating in the ceremony were representatives from the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, who lauded the agency’s partnership with the University. They were Middle Tennessee Regional Director, Chris Johnson; and Area Coordinator, Brent Morse.

Speaking on behalf of the community, the Reverend Jimmy D. Greer Sr., pastor of Nashville’s Friendship Baptist Church, thanked the University for its community partnership.

“We applaud Dr. Glover for holding up to her commitment since arriving at this campus to ensure that the community is actively involved in any endeavor necessary for the promotion of this university,” Greer said. “We thank the university, the National Weather Service, TEMA and all the people that took part in making this achievement possible.”

Dr. Mark Hardy, vice president for Academic Affairs, representing Dr. Glover, who was traveling, said TSU’s effort in ensuring a safe weather environment for its faculty, staff and student, ties in with some major research efforts at the University.

Specifically, the vice president mentioned a more than $200,000 National Science Foundation-funded on-going research project in the College of Engineering to develop a simulation model that would help predict storm surge in a timely manner to better prepare inland and coastal dwellers for the storm.

“An assistant professor of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering (Muhammad Akbar) is using computational fluid dynamics and mathematical models to predict flooding caused by storm surges that bring ocean water onto land, causing major devastation, and erosion to cities and coastal wetlands,” said Hardy. He thanked NWS for the recognition, adding that the StormReady designation “speaks to the volume of work we are doing not to only provide a safe environment for our students, but to also give them the highest quality of education.”

The packed ceremony in the President’s Dining Room on the main campus brought together an array of state, local and community partner leaders and representatives, including the office of Congressman Jim Cooper, and the Executive Director of Nashville JUMP (Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership), Sharon Hurt.

TSU is one of only seven institutions in the State to receive the StormReady University designation.

 

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

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

Dr. Alex Sekwat, TSU Professor and Administrator, Returns as Interim Dean of Graduate Studies and Research

Dr. Alex Sekwat
Dr. Alex Sekwat

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Dr. Alex Sekwat, a longtime TSU professor and administrator, has been named interim dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research.

Sekwat, who joined Tennessee State University in 1994, returns to his former position as interim dean, an appointment he held from 2008-2012. During that time the graduate school saw tremendous growth including a 10 percent increase in enrollment.

A trained public administrator, Sekwat held many  administrative positions in non-governmental organizations prior to his pursuits in academia. In 1998-1999 he served as president of the Tennessee Chapter of the American Society of Public Administration, and from 2008-2011 he was the treasurer of the Tennessee Conference of Graduate Schools.

Sekwat has published widely in the areas of public administration, public budgeting and financial management, and health care management, as well as presented his research at regional, national and international conferences. His current research interests span the areas of public budgeting, democratic governance, globalization, and healthcare reform.

Sekwat holds a bachelor of science degree in Economics/Business Administration from the University of Khartoum, a master’s degree in Public Administration from Arkansas State University, and a Ph.D. in Public Administration from Florida Atlantic University. He is a member of Pi Alpha Alpha, the National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration.

Sekwat will serve as interim dean until the appointment of a dean following the conclusion of a national search.

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

High Performance Computing and Materials Science Workshop Prepares Students for Opportunities at National Labs

NEW OFFICIAL DOE SEAL COLORNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Fourteen students from five universities around the nation are participating in a two-week workshop at Tennessee State University as part of a consortium to build a sustainable STEM pipeline between the U.S. Department of Energy labs and HBCUs.

The undergraduate and graduate students, who are mainly science and engineering majors, are receiving lectures and hands-on exposure to high-performance computing, structural modeling, computational materials physics and chemistry, and classical molecular dynamics.

According to Dr. Lizhi Ouyang, associate professor of Physics and coordinator of the workshop at TSU, the consortium is part of a new Minority Serving Institution Partnership Program of the National Nuclear Security Administration designed to expose students to state-of-the-art facilities and research.

“The MSIPP is designed to enrich the STEM capabilities of HBCUs in a sustainable manner that is aligned with the broad interest of DOE sites with emphasis on a career pipeline,” said Ouyang.

He said the partnership is the result of an MSIPP award to Prairie View A&M University to lead a research effort in Investigating and Characterizing Catalytic Activity in Novel Materials and Processes Using Computational Techniques.

Along with Prairie View A&M, the consortium includes the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, as well as TSU, Southern University, Allen University and Morehouse College, whose students are attending the workshop.

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, welcomes participants from around the country to a two-week workshop at Tennessee State University as part of a consortium to build a sustainable STEM pipeline between the U.S. Department of Energy labs and HBCUs.  (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)
Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, welcomes participants from around the country to a two-week workshop at Tennessee State University as part of a consortium to build a sustainable STEM pipeline between the U.S. Department of Energy labs and HBCUs. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

In a welcome statement Monday, Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, spoke about the importance of research and education with a global emphasis. He said while the field of engineering offers many opportunities, the College also emphasizes that its graduates are well rounded and able to cope on the global scene.

“We want to graduate students who are well rounded and ready to work in any part of the world,” said Hargrove, citing many study and travel abroad opportunities afforded students in the College. “We want our graduates to be able to demonstrate their capability in any part of the world where they find the opportunity.”

Hargrove acquainted the visitors with program offerings in the College of Engineering, and encouraged them to take their workshop seriously, and the opportunity to learn from faculty members who are highly capable in their areas of discipline.

The workshop, which runs from July 7-18, is being held in the Research and Sponsored Programs Building.

 

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Hosts Biofuel Technology Workshops For Local Students, Educators

Dr. Jason de Koff, assistant professor of Bioenergy Crop Production, instructs middle school students while they practice a handheld biofuel conversion. The College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences hosted a series of Biofuel Technology workshops for tips, pointers and helpful information on teaching the emerging field of biofuels. (courtesy photo)
Dr. Jason de Koff, assistant professor of Bioenergy Crop Production, instructs middle school students while they practice a handheld biofuel conversion. The College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences hosted a series of Biofuel Technology workshops for tips, pointers and helpful information on teaching the emerging field of biofuels. (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences hosted a series of Biofuel Technology Workshops for middle and high school teachers and students June 30through July 3 on the campus of Tennessee State University. The project, led by Dr. Ahmad Naseer Aziz, associate professor of Molecular Genetics, was funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“The College is devoted to providing education to teachers and students in green technology through hands-on experiences and interaction with experts in the field,” said Dr. Jason de Koff, assistant professor of Bioenergy Crop Production, and one of several faculty members who led educational sessions as part of the workshops. “We plan to be active participants in training the next generation of scientists and advancing the state of Tennessee.”

Ten local educators attended the four-day teachers workshop for tips, pointers and helpful information on teaching the emerging field of biofuels, hands-on biofuel conversion, a tour of TSU’s agricultural labs, and informational sessions from the College’s biofuel specialists. All educators received a free “Production of Biodiesel Kit (Carolina ChemKits®)” to teach in their classrooms.

Twelve local middle school students attended the workshop June 30 while 13 local high school students attended the workshop on July 2. The youth workshops focused on teaching basic lab techniques used in biofuel conversion and growing biomaterials used in the process. Students participated in various hands-on activities and games such as hand-held biofuel conversion and biodiesel feedstock bingo.

At the conclusion of the workshop, participants filled out anonymous surveys that indicated that the information and activities presented by College faculty members would serve as inspiration for new activities and ways to teach biofuels and related technologies at the middle and high school levels.

“I learned a lot compared to what I knew before,” said one participant via survey. “I [am now] interested in a subject that [previously] appear[ed] boring.”

For more information, contact Dr. de Koff at (615) 963-4929 orjdekoff@tnstate.edu.

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

After 44 years, TSU Engineer and Administrator Michael Busby “Retiring with a Great Deal of Joy”

Micheal Busby, former educator, administrator and interim associate Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs, retired June 30 from TSU after nearly 44 years of service. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)
Micheal Busby, former educator, administrator and interim associate Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs, retired June 30 from TSU after nearly 44 years of service. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Even with the development of a widely recognized astronomy program that saw the construction of a robotic observatory center, and the detection of a planet orbiting another star – all under his watch – Michael Busby is not jumping at any credit for a mounting of scientific advances at Tennessee State University.

“I have been fortunate to work with some very talented and gifted people who made these things possible,” said Busby, who retired June 30 from TSU after nearly 44 years as an engineer, professor and administrator.

“It’s been a rewarding experience. I owe Tennessee State University so much to have been put in positions where I did not only use my talent but was given opportunities to work with some very incredible people and administrators to help us achieve so much,” Busby said.

Recounting his years at TSU, Busby, 69, was visibly emotional when he talked about the satisfaction he received when the University gave him his first “big career break” to join the faculty in 1972, not long after earning a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Tennessee.

“Although I had a job working for a company briefly after I left UT, I found the opportunity to work at TSU and interact with so many students and other faculty to be an excellent career start,” Busby added.

He talked about many achievements, but for him what stood out the most was the opportunity to head the newly established Center of Excellence, a multidisciplinary research laboratory founded in 1986 within the state-wide Centers of Excellence program to increase the research base of Tennessee, as well as serve as a research resource for faculty and students of TSU.

“The center allowed us to advance in so many areas, collaborate with many national and international scientific and government agencies and institutions, and to develop faculty and students who are considered among the best in the nation,” Busby said.

Busby and Tennessee State University astronomer Greg Henry join Vanderbilt astronomers Douglas Hall and Frank Fekel in March 1989 at the robotic telescope site in the mountains of southern Arizona.  TSU's automated astronomy research program began as a collaborative effort with Vanderbilt astronomers to study a mysterious new class of variable stars with the robotic telescope on the right.  TSU now owns and operates 8 robotic telescopes at the Arizona site. (courtesy photo)
Busby and Tennessee State University astronomer Greg Henry join Vanderbilt astronomers Douglas Hall and Frank Fekel in March 1989 at the robotic telescope site in the mountains of southern Arizona. TSU’s automated astronomy research program began as a collaborative effort with Vanderbilt astronomers to study a mysterious new class of variable stars with the robotic telescope on the right. TSU now owns and operates 8 robotic telescopes at the Arizona site. (courtesy photo)

Under Busby’s watch, the center established an Automated Astronomy Group of faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, researchers, and support staff with automated telescopes, advanced control systems and systems identification, and applied mathematics. The automated astronomy research program began as a collaborative effort with Vanderbilt astronomers to study a mysterious new class of variable stars.  TSU now owns and operates eight robotic telescopes at the Robotic Observatory Center in the Patagonia Mountains near Washington Camp, Arizona.

On Nov. 14, 1999, a team led by TSU astronomer Greg Henry, announced the discovery of a shadow of a planet crossing a distant star. The discovery made national and international news.

“…I want America to know about your enormous contributions to research. I want every American to know that last November, Tennessee State astronomers made the world’s first direct detection of a planet orbiting another star,” then President Bill Clinton announced at the annual National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education Leadership Award Banquet in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 16, 2000.

“That was a crowning moment for the Center of Excellence and the Automated Astronomy Group…all because we had outstanding scientists and people doing what they are good at,” Busby added.

For a mechanical engineer with no specific background in astronomy, bringing the program together with the right people in place, and to achieve such prominence, speak to Busby’s “outstanding leadership and managerial genius,” one colleague said.

“His vision and management style made all the difference,” said Henry, an original member of the Automated Astronomy Group who has been with the University since Busby brought him on nearly 25 years ago.

“His genius was having the vision of what this center would be. He hired the right people, gave them what they needed and allowed them to do their work,” Henry added. “And he takes no credit for it.”

In the 26 years since its establishment, the COE has brought in more than $40 million in external funding through grants, and total faculty publications in refereed and non-refereed journals is nearly 1,300. Student support for an average 41 undergraduate and 10 graduate students per year is about $500,000.

With all of these achievements, no doubt colleagues and administrators see Dr. Busby’s departure as a “huge” vacuum being created at the University.

“Dr. Busby has been an outstanding instructor and researcher at TSU for decades,” said Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering. “His loyalty and dedication to the university is unwaverable….and his iconic presence will be missed by his colleagues and students.”

In addition to teaching and heading the COE, Busby also served in many other capacities over the years. One of his last roles was serving as interim associate vice president for Research and Sponsored Programs, a position he held until his retirement and the subsequent hiring of a new associate vice president.

The new Associate Vice President, Dr. Lesia L. Crumpton-Young, who worked with Busby for several months before his retirement, described the longtime TSU professor and administrator as providing “outstanding leadership that significantly impacted the research notoriety” of the Center of Excellence in Information Systems.

“Mike Busby has worked tirelessly to grow the research enterprise at TSU and we are truly grateful for his leadership and long-term commitment to the University,” Crumpton-Young said.

As he leaves, Busby said he is very optimistic about the future of the center and the University.

“I am very pleased with the kind of people and administrators we have in place at the institution. We have people who truly care about TSU and who want to take TSU to places it’s never been before,” Busby said.

About retirement, Busby said he is going to stay busy spending more time with his wife of 51 years, and keeping up with an engineering consultancy he has long been involved with, except this time, he will control his own time.

“I am retiring with a great deal of joy,” the Goodlettsville, Tennessee native added.

 

 

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Teachers Gather at TSU to Take Teaching to the Next Level Through CASE

CASE 1
CASE Institute participants had the opportunity to experience hands-on training, such as soiling sampling. Nearly 50 teachers from around the country gathered at Tennessee State University to participate in two separate CASE Institutes, professional development workshops that provided teachers with training in specific agriculture courses aimed at fostering the best of what is known about student-centered, inquiry-based instruction. (Courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – With the summer almost half over, Tennessee State University and the Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE), have ensured that more than 20 high school teachers will start this school year confident that it will be their best to date.

Throughout the month of June, nearly 50 teachers gathered from across the country to participate in the CASE Institute—a professional development workshop that provides teachers with training in specific courses—held at the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences’ new Ag Ed STEM Building on the campus farm in Nashville.

TSU hosted two institutes this summer the introductory level Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Institute from June 1 through 11, and the higher level Advanced Plant Sciences Institute from June 15 through 25.

Once a teacher has successfully completed the 80 hours of intense professional development at the CASE Institutes, they are certified to teach the specific courses to their students in their home schools.

“This institute provides teachers with first-hand knowledge and experience with a curriculum that fosters the best of what is known about student-centered, inquiry-based instruction,” said Dr. John C. Ricketts, TSU’s Agricultural Education, Leadership and Extension program leader and associate professor. “This is an opportunity to make an effort to effectively integrate core academics and STEM into participants’ respective programs.”

The nine-day workshops have brought together teachers from all across the nation including Washington, New Jersey, Tennessee, Maryland, Missouri, West Virginia, Iowa, Ohio and Kentucky. TSU is the only Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU) serving as an Affiliate Institution for CASE.

“The CASE Institute is an excellent program for agricultural educators that has been found to lead to great student achievement in agricultural education for diverse audiences,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean and director of Research/Administrator of Extension for the College. “We are excited to be able to offer this rigorous program, and honored to have been the institution of choice for those who attended.”

Group Shot[1]
TSU played host to more than 50 teachers from across the country during the month of June for the CASE Institute workshops designed to provide teachers professional training in specific agriculture courses. TSU President, Dr. Glenda Glover (center) visited the second class that participated in the higher level Advanced Plant Sciences Institute from June 15 through 25. (courtesy photo)
Word about the program and its potential to positively impact educators and their students appears to be spreading. On the last full day of instruction, the TSU CASE Institute played host to the Tennessee Department of Education in the morning followed by a visit from TSU’s President, Dr. Glenda Glover. Additionally, due to its effectiveness, the Metro Nashville Public School system now requires its new hires in agricultural education to complete the program. Four MNPS agricultural educators have completed the program in the last two years.

For more information about CASE visit www.case4learning.org.

 

 

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU’s Farmer Academy Inspires New Generation of Farmers

Academy Coincides with USDA’s Support for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

 

Krysta Harden, deputy secretary of Agriculture, addresses members of The College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, and other stakeholders during her one-day visit to the University January 21. The USDA recently announced new policy changes meant to improve the financial security of new and beginning farmers and ranchers. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)
Krysta Harden, deputy secretary of Agriculture, addresses members of The College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, and other stakeholders during her one-day visit to the University January 21. The USDA recently announced new policy changes meant to improve the financial security of new and beginning farmers and ranchers. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service)  – The College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences (CAHNS) Cooperative Extension Program at Tennessee State University began hosting a “New Farmer Academy” June 16 to help inspire a new generation of farmers, ranchers and returning veterans to develop successful small farm enterprises in Tennessee.

The program, which is directed toward owners and potential owners of small acreages who desire information on how to best utilize their land and other resources to produce crops and raise livestock, meets on the third Monday of each month from June to October, with graduation set for November 17.

According to Dr. Latif Lighari, associate dean for Extension, in addition to helping familiarize beginning farmers with the new USDA policies and website, the New Farmer Academy will provide six months of intensive, hands-on training on the practical aspects of running a farm.

“We also have arranged for a mentorship program with existing successful farmers who can provide valuable tips from their own experience,” said Lighari.

The academy coincides with a recent announcement from the U.S. Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden speaking about new policy changes meant to “improve the financial security of new and beginning farmers and ranchers,” according to a USDA news release.

In addition to the policy changes, Deputy Secretary Harden, who visited TSU in January, unveiled a new website—www.usda.gov/newfarmers—to provide a convenient resource to help those farmers and ranchers take advantage of these programs.

“New and beginning farmers are the future of American agriculture,” said Deputy Secretary Harden. “The average age of an American farmer is 58 and rising, so we must help new farmers get started if America is going to continue feeding the world and maintain a strong agriculture economy. The new policies announced today will help give beginning farmers the financial security they need to succeed. Our new online tool will provide one-stop shopping for beginning farmers to learn more about accessing USDA services that can help their operations thrive.”

In May, the USDA announced a $6 million award to universities and cooperative state extension services to develop online decision tools and other materials and train experts to educate producers about several key farm bill programs. TSU received $30,000 under this program to educate farmers on how to use the new risk reduction policies and to develop web-based decision tools.

The cost to attend the academy is $150 per person and includes all educational material and a lunch at each session. To register, contact Rhonda Ewing at 615.963.1351 or rewing1@tnstate.edu.  For more information about this program, contact Finis Stribling at 931.375.5301 or fstribling@tnstate.edu.

 

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Extension Summer Intern Program Aims to Inspire Future Educators, Farmers

TSUGroup
The College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences has selected nine student interns for the summer Cooperative Extension Program to help them learn about careers in agriculture while working with agents in the field. Those selected include: (back row, left to right) Dr. Tyrone Miller, assistant professor of Leadership and Organizational Development,  Latetricia Wilson, Kyle Ward, Ciera Scott, George Davis, and Dr. Latif Lighari, associate dean for Extension. (seated left to right) DiJuana Davis, Raynette Johnson, Passion Echols, and Stephon Brisco. (courtesy photo)

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences Cooperative Extension Program has announced the selection of nine student interns for summer 2014.

The summer extension internship program is designed to help students learn about the Cooperative Extension Program and other careers in agriculture while working with extension agents and other professionals in county offices throughout Tennessee.

“This internship is an excellent opportunity for participants to build their resumes and help improve the lives of Tennesseans over the course of ten weeks, doing everything full-time extension agents do,” said Dr. Latif Lighari, associate dean for Extension. “They’ll get the chance to teach educational programs, visit farms and homes, conduct research, attend 4-H camp, assist with county fairs, help with field days, network with local decision makers and prepare public-facing communication material, all while building the essential leadership, problem-solving, and organization skills that are necessary to succeed in extension or any other career.”

The nine interns selected are:

  • Latetricia Wilson, a senior Child Development major from Memphis, Tennessee, who will intern in Shelby and Fayette Counties;
  • Raynette Johnson, a junior Agricultural Education, Leadership & Extension major from Mumford, Tennessee, who will intern in Haywood County;
  • Ciera Scott, a 2014 Family & Consumer Sciences graduate from Columbus, Ohio, who will intern in Robertson County;
  • Passion Echols, a graduate student in Agricultural Education, Leadership & Extension from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, who will intern in Bedford County;
  • George Davis, a junior Agricultural Sciences major from Memphis, who will intern with the Tennessee Deptartment of Agriculture in Davidson County;
  • Kyle Ward, a junior Agriculture Education & Extension major from Halls, Tennessee, who will intern in Williamson County;
  • DiJuana Davis, a 2014 Agricultural Sciences/Agribusiness graduate from Nashville, who will intern in Davidson County;
  • G. Stephon Brisco Jr., a junior Agricultural Sciences/Agribusiness major from Nashville via Lansing, Michigan, who will intern in Rutherford County; and
  • Ariel Harrell, a 2013 Agricultural Sciences graduate from Covington, Tennessee, who will intern with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture in Davidson County.

“Even though this is our first year offering this program we had a great pool of students to select from,” said Dr. Tyrone Miller, assistant professor of Leadership and Organizational Development and coordinator of the summer internship program. “The selected interns are exceptional, well-rounded students with strong interests in careers in cooperative extension and the agriculture industry. I am very confident that they will represent and showcase the excellent students we have at Tennessee State University and gain valuable job skills in the process.”

At the end of the ten week program, each intern will develop and present a PowerPoint presentation on their internship experience alongside the summer extension interns from the University of Tennessee.

For more information, contact Dr. Tyrone Miller at (615) 963-1843 or tmiller11@tnstate.edu.

 

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

EPA Program to Engage Tennessee State University Students in Community-Based Environmental Health

epa_logoNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) –The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has selected Tennessee State University for a program that will actively engage its students in initiatives that protect local residents from toxic air releases.

A release from the agency named TSU and five other institutions nationwide as “academic partners” for the 2014 Toxic Release Inventory University Challenge. The Challenge is designed to find innovative ways to increase public awareness of industrial release of toxic chemicals in communities around the country.

Dr. David A. Padgett, associate professor of Geography, is TSU’s primary researcher on the TRI project. He was among 11 individuals who submitted applications for the 2014 Challenge.

He said his project, “An Instruction Manual for Visualizing and Analyzing Community-Based Air Quality Sample,” will give students the opportunity to be actively involved in service-learning research aimed at protecting human health and the environment.

“The University will also gain national recognition as a partner with the EPA in the development of a new approach to community-based environmental analysis using geospatial technology tools,” Padgett added.

He said TSU would train student teams in the use of GIS, GPS and TRI mapping tools in air quality assessment, as well as develop bucket brigade air sampling modules for community stakeholders.

Other institutions selected for 2014 TRI Challenge are Drew University, Southern Louisiana University, State University of New York at Pittsburgh, University of California at Los Angeles, and the University of South Carolina.

The selected projects, which are expected to conclude at the end of the 2015 academic year, will kick off in the fall of 2014.

While there is no financial award for the Challenge, academic partners or participating universities receive support from TRI program staff and national recognition by being feature on the TRI University Challenge website.

“Additionally, the EPA will support our faculty and students in presenting the result of our research at a professional conference,” said Padgett. “This experience will hopefully lead to graduate school, grant funding and employment opportunities.”

 

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Remains Key Pipeline to Recruit Metro, Area Teachers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When Jimmy Arredondo moved to South Korea more than 10 years ago to teach English, the Tennessee State University graduate came away from the experience with a renewed drive and passion to become a certified teacher.

“I finally discovered what I was meant to do,” said Arredondo, who graduated in May with a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. “When I first received my bachelor’s degree in English and history, I had no desire at all to teach. But when I was in South Korea, I felt like this is what I was destined to do and it was something I actually enjoyed.”

Metro-Nashville SchoolsArredondo recently landed a position with Antioch Middle School teaching social studies, and is one of many that have landed jobs with the Metropolitan Nashville Public School System ready to teach thanks to the education and training he received at TSU.

Having no official teacher training, Arredondo decided to attend TSU because of the reputation the University for producing and placing teachers in their chosen career field.

“I had no prior classroom teaching and TSU gave me the skills I needed to be successful,” added Arredondo. “I now feel comfortable when I walk into the classroom on day one and start my teaching career knowing a I have a big toolbox of methods and classroom management skills to draw on.”

For the past two years, Tennessee State University has been one of the top teacher preparation programs in the state, providing exceptionally qualified candidates for teaching positions not only across the state and the southern region, but right here in the University’s backyard with MNPS.

“We have one of the top education programs in the country, and our students have the skills and abilities to teach anywhere across the country due to the teacher preparation they receive here at Tennessee State University,” said Dr. Kimberly King-Jupiter, dean of the College of Education. “The students that choose to remain in the Nashville area have better opportunities with Metropolitan Public School System because of the wonderful partnerships and programs that have been created over the years along with a steady pipeline into the school system.”

TSU has long been a popular spot to recruit top educators into the Nashville school system. During the 2013-2014 school year, of the 636 new hires, 54 were from TSU, second only to MTSU with 56. Vanderbilt University followed in the third spot with 44, along with Lipscomb and Trevecca Nazarene Universities, which tied for the fourth spot with 40 among area institutions pipelining students directly into Metro.

In 2012, 52 of the 553 new hires were from TSU, placing the University in the number one spot, with MTSU coming in a close second with 50 hires. Lipscomb, Trevecca and Vanderbilt came in at third, fourth and fifth respectively.

“We have a great working relationship with Metro, with nearly nine percent of the total new hires with the Metro school system coming from TSU over the past two years,” said Dr. Heraldo Richards, associate dean of the College of Education. “We have a direct pipeline with our students who are highly recruited. In fact, some of our students have been offered positions prior to finishing the program.”

According to Richards, one of the most successful programs is the Ready2Teach training students receive in their senior year. A clinically rich undergraduate teacher residency preparation program, Ready2Teach emphasizes problem-based learning, co-teaching, and performance-based assessment.

Richards explained that Ready2Teach, an initiative unique to the Tennessee Board of Regents schools of which TSU is a part, puts more focus on future teachers learning in-depth content in the subject they plan to teach, applying problem-based learning, and completing a year-long residency with mentor teachers in a P-12 classroom.

“This gives our students the opportunity to stay in the same class the entire year and receive valuable training with the same students and mentor teacher,” added Richards. “It’s very different from past training. When students are placed in the residency program, they are ready and certified to teach after just four years. Our students feel that they are extremely prepared to walk into a classroom and teach immediately.”

Principals in the Metro school system agree, and have been so impressed with the quality of teachers that some have offered positions to students following completion of the program.

Michael Ross, principal at the Caldwell Enhanced Option School in east Nashville said he offered positions to two of the five students that went through the residency program during the 2012-2013 school year.

“The students from TSU that have come through the program at Caldwell have all had a full understanding on how to work with students of diverse backgrounds and learning abilities,” Ross said. “Each student, while going through the residency program, had great insight on how to work with students and meet them where they are in their education level. Both of the students I hired from TSU have done a fantastic job this year and I have been very proud of what they have accomplished. I attribute it all to the training they received at Tennessee State.”

 

 

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

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.