Category Archives: Uncategorized

TSU New Farmer Academy graduates prospective farmers from across the country

NASHVILLE, Tenn . (TSU News Service) – Individuals from across the nation looking to become farmers graduated from Tennessee State University’s New Farmer Academy on Sept. 16.

The seven-month program was started by the university’s College of Agriculture in 2014. Participants meet the third Monday in each month from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and cover topics that include agricultural leadership and regulations, financial planning, hydroponics and irrigation, organic production, hemp production, soil fertility and suitability, and drone usage.

Finis Stribling, TSU area extension specialist and Academy coordinator, speaks to participants. (Photo by Michael McLendon, TSU Media Relations)

The Academy, which also offers classes in West and East Tennessee, is the only one of its kind in Tennessee. Its first year, the program had nine participants. This year, 38 graduated from the Middle Tennessee class, which finished this week. TSU President Glenda Glover was among the speakers who addressed the graduates on their final day.

One of the participants, Brian MacDonald, flew in each month from Orange County, California. After visiting Tennessee several years ago, he decided it is a place where he would like to retire, and do some organic farming.

“I have this dream of owning a farm,” said MacDonald, who is a retired president and chief financial officer for an electronics company. 

On the farm, he said he would set up a program for disadvantaged youth that would allow them to grow their own produce and possibly sell it, “basically teach them how to run a business, and how to sustain themselves in life.”

“When I was a kid, I was raised by a single mom for the most part,” recalled MacDonald, who is looking for farmland in Tennessee. “But there was a small portion of my life where I had an opportunity to have a horse for nine months. And I learned how to take care of it, and it taught me responsibility. I feel like, if I can have a program for kids where they can take care of plants, and to teach them the responsibility of doing that, it may give them a leg up.”

Graduate Daniel Harpstead traveled from Philadelphia to attend the Academy, and said he also plans to retire in Tennessee where he owns a 33-acre farm in Culleoka. Harpstead said he doesn’t yet know what he’s going to grow on the farm, but that the class has given him some ideas, and guidance.

“I’ve had an opportunity to learn a lot, and I plan to put it to good use,” he said.

John Ferrell, TSU extension agent for Franklin County, Tennessee, talks to participants about irrigation. (Photo by Lucas Johnson, TSU Media Relations)

Shannon Summer also said the class was very beneficial. The retired Army veteran has a farm in Williamson County and is planning to grow hemp on it.

“What I’ve received out of it (the class) is a broad spectrum, an overview of agriculture in different arenas,” she said.

Hemp research and production was one of the main topics of this year’s class. Finis Stribling, the Academy’s coordinator and a TSU area extension specialist, said some of the graduates have already started producing hemp, and others are curious. 

“It’s a niche crop that can be utilized for small scale farmers,” said Stribling. “A lot of farmers are growing an acre, half-acre, or quarter-acre just to gain some experience.”

Ashley Richmond of Chicago was another long distance traveler to the class. A Nashville native, she and her family have a 10-acre farm in Cross Plains, Tennessee. They use one acre for hemp. 

Richmond said one of the main reasons she’s interested in hemp is because some of the senior members of her family currently use it for medicinal purposes. 

“Just seeing some aging family members around me who have issues with pain,” she said. “So I thought it was a good idea to get into the industry myself. It provides help for people who are in my life.”

Another class topic that drew strong interest is the growing use of drones in agriculture. More farmers are beginning to use them to locate livestock, detect nutrient deficiencies in croplands, and inspect water lines.

TSU Ag Professor Dr. Thomas Broyles talks to Academy participants about the use of drones. (Photo by Lucas Johnson, TSU Media Relations)

“They’ll fly along those pipelines with the drones to see if any pipes have burst, so they don’t have to walk the fields,” said John Lee, a natural resource specialist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and one of the Academy’s guest speakers.

Stribling said the next class is scheduled for March 2020 and he currently has a waiting list of 15 people.

For more information about the New Farmer Academy and TSU’s College of Agriculture, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Southern Heritage Classic a time for fun, opportunity for recruitment

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – While the Southern Heritage Classic is a time for festivities and reunions, it’s also an opportunity to recruit some of the city’s top high school students.

Tennessee State University may have fallen to Jackson State University 49-44 in the 30th annual SHC this past weekend in Memphis, but the TSU Tigers scored major points with numerous aspiring college students.

Top high school students attend recruitment reception. (Photo by Erynne Davis, TSU Media Relations)

“TSU is a great school,” said Memphis senior Randy Perry, who stopped by the booth TSU had at the Classic College Fair the day before Sept. 14 game. “My mother and grandmother went there. The biology program that I would like to go into, I hear it’s immaculate.”

Senior Nicholas Townsend agreed.

“It’s just a good school, rich in culture,” said Townsend, who plans to major in criminal justice and eventually become a police officer.

Rachel Cox is a college counselor at The Soulsville Charter School in Memphis where Perry is a student. She lauded the Classic for making the college fair part of its annual activities.

“Our college office is all about options,” said Cox. “An event like this is important because it helps our students see what their options are.”

TSU President Glenda Glover and Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland at pre-game events. (Photo by Erynne Davis, TSU Media Relations)

The evening before the college fair, TSU had a special recruitment reception at the Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel for top high school seniors.

Kabrea Bell attended the reception and said she would like to enroll in a HBCU and major in criminal justice. She hoped to get information at the reception that will help her make a decision on where to go.

“I’m hoping to get a lot out of this,” said Bell before the event. “I want to one day be a lawyer.”

TSU admissions officials said the goal of the reception is to seek out the best students, nurture them, and graduate them prepared for the global market.

“We like to position them this time of the year so that they will be prepared for admissions, and more importantly, be prepared and positioned and lined up for scholarship opportunities,” said Dr. Gregory Clark, TSU’s director of high school relations and NCAA certification.

TSU alum April Terrell helped organize the recruitment reception. She said she wanted to convey to the high school students the special experience they will have if they choose to attend a historically black institution, particularly Tennessee State.

TSU Big Blue fans at Southern Heritage Classic game. (Photo by Erynne Davis, TSU Media Relations)

“They can receive a quality education from a HBCU, one that is affordable in the state of Tennessee, and is going to have them ready for the workforce,” said Terrell.

In 2016, TSU raised admission standards to attract the best and brightest students. 

At an alumni mixer the evening of Sept. 13, TSU President Glenda Glover touted the high quality of students attending the university, and how it’s seeing an increase in enrollment.

“Enrollment is up,” said Glover. “It was 7,780 last year, it’s probably going to be around 8,000 this year.”

Following a luncheon earlier that Friday, SHC founder Fred Jones Jr. was asked what advice he would give young people who are about to graduate and are considering college, or entering the workforce.

“You’ve got to have staying power,” said Jones, alluding to the longevity of the SHC despite obstacles he encountered. “You’re going to have some adversity. The Classic is successful. We’ve had a lot of adversity, but we’ve been able to work through it on a consistent basis.”

TSU Aristocrat of Bands participates in annual SHC parade. (Photo by Erynne Davis, TSU Media Relations)

Besides the college fair and big game on Saturday, another highlight of the SHC was the annual parade in the Orange Mound community of Memphis. Hundreds of people lined the route to see the floats and participants, including TSU’s world-renowned Aristocrat of Bands.

TSU National Alumni Association President Joni McReynolds has attended the Classic for a number of years, and she plans to continue doing so.

“The Southern Heritage Classic is like another Homecoming,” she said. “There are so many TSU alums here. I enjoy coming, and I think everybody else does.”

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Top high school seniors attend TSU Memphis Recruitment Reception

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Michael Payne says he’s heard “great things” about Tennessee State University, and the Memphis high school senior believes they were confirmed at a recruitment reception he attended Wednesday night.

“I know freshmen that are there, and they say the environment is really nice,” said Payne of TSU. “It’s a great all-around school.”

High school student Kabrea Bell and her mother, Tiffany Stevenson, attend recruitment reception. (Photo by Erynne Davis, TSU Media Relations)

The prospective mechanical engineer said he understands why the freshmen attending Tennessee State feel the way they do after hearing TSU admissions officials talk passionately about what the university has to offer and how to enroll.

The program was the annual TSU Memphis Recruitment Reception at the Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel for graduating high school seniors and their parents and family members.

TSU’s Office of Admissions holds the reception each year as part of activities leading up to the Southern Heritage Classic between TSU and Jackson State University at the Liberty Bowl.

Admissions officials say the goal of the reception is to seek out the best students, nurture them, and graduate them prepared for the global market.

“We like to position them this time of the year so that they will be prepared for admissions, and more importantly, be prepared and positioned and lined up for scholarship opportunities,” said Dr. Gregory Clark, TSU’s director of high school relations and NCAA certification.

TSU alum April Terrell helped coordinate the recruitment reception. She said she wanted to convey to the high school students the special experience they will have if they choose to attend a historically black institution, particularly Tennessee State.

“They can receive a quality education from a HBCU, one that is affordable in the state of Tennessee, and is going to have them ready for the workforce,” said Terrell.

Kabrea Bell would like to attend a HBCU and major in criminal justice. She attended the reception to hopefully get information that will help her make a decision on where to go.

“I’m hoping to get a lot out of this,” said Bell before the event. “I want to one day be a lawyer.”

TSU admissions official, Dr. Gregory Clark, talks to attendees. (Photo by Erynne Davis, TSU Media Relations)

Bell’s mother, Tiffany Stevenson, commended TSU for having the reception, which she said is an important way to inform high schoolers about the admission process, and college life in general.

“They learn what’s needed to attend a college, but they also get an idea of what’s to come, what to expect in college,” said Stevenson.

In 2016, TSU raised admission standards to attract the best and brightest students. For more information on TSU’s admission requirement, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/admissions/.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Top TSU students join President Glenda Glover at National HBCU Braintrust

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s best and brightest students joined the institution’s president at the National HBCU Braintrust last week in Washington, DC.

President Glenda Glover

TSU President Glenda Glover spoke at the Braintrust Sept. 11-13, as well as participated on a panel comprised of other university presidents who discussed how their institutions are “preparing the next generation of black innovators.”

The Braintrust was part of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference, Sept. 11-14.

Top students from the nation’s historically black colleges and universities participated in the Braintrust, including four from TSU.

Micheal Grady

They were: Micheal Grady, a senior business management major from Memphis; Derelle Roshelle of Chattanooga, a junior majoring in supply chain management; Trinity Young, a sophomore math major from Indianapolis, Indiana; and Paul Johnson, a freshman mechanical engineering major from Houston.

Trinity Young

“We selected four amazing students, all who are very interested in entrepreneurial opportunities,” said Frank Stevenson, associate vice president and dean of students at TSU. “This is a great opportunity for them to network, as well as represent TSU.”

Before leaving for the conference, Paul Johnson said he was looking forward to meeting different professionals and hearing their experiences.

Paul Johnson

“I will be able to get their insight; what it takes to make it out there,” Johnson said. “How we can get into business ourselves.”

When it comes to innovation, TSU is making sure that its students – its community – are prepared to compete in an ever-changing global workforce.

In July, Tennessee State launched a national initiative that seeks to bring coding experiences to HBCUs and underserved communities.  

TSU hosted the inaugural HBCU C2 Presidential Academy through its newly established National Center for Smart Technology Innovations. HBCU C2 seeks to bring coding and creativity opportunities to students across HBCU campuses and to a broad group of students across Nashville.

Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted about the initiative: “Anything is possible when people come together with a shared vision. Thank you to @TSUedu for your leadership and enthusiasm in bringing coding to your community and HBCUs nationwide!”

To learn more about TSU’s HBCU C2 Presidential Academy, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/hbcuc2/.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State UniversityFounded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee A&I Championship Teams Inducted into Hall Of Fame

Courtesy: TSU Athletics

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The 1957-59 Tennessee A&I NAIA National Championship teams were recently inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The teams, featuring legendary players such as Richard Barnett and John Barnhill, were one of 12 honorees in this year’s Class of 2019. The class was celebrated at the enshrinement festivities in Springfield, Massachusetts, Sept. 5-7. 

Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover, Athletics Director Teresa Phillips, and men’s basketball coach Brian “Penny” Collins were among those who attended the event.

The 1957-59 teams were the first in basketball history to win back-to-back-to-back championships in any college division. Coached by the late Hall of Fame coach John McLendon, the teams went 31-4, 31-3 and 32-1 in his final three years at the helm of the Tigers, garnering the school’s first national championship. The 32-win season remains the most-winningest season for Tennessee State basketball.

Richard Barnett, the fourth pick in the 1959 draft and a member of the back-to-back-to-back championship teams, represented Tennessee State at the induction. 

“It was a wonderful experience for them to finally acknowledge the great team Tennessee State was and the contribution that we made being a part of a team that was able to acheive such great things during the crisis of the height of segregation” said Barnett. “Now, the young people at Tennessee State can remember the history of what was accomplished.” 

Coach Collins said witnessing the historic moment was “inspiring.”

“Not many know the greats that came out of TSU, such as Anthony Mason, Carlos Rogers, as well as members of the teams that were honored tonight – Dick Barnett and John Barnhill,” said Collins. “This induction hopefully encourages our current student-athletes to strive for greatness and acheive more.”

Members of the three NAIA championship teams:

Richard Barnett, 1955-59

John Barnhill, 1956-59

Hillary Brown, 1959-61

Joseph Buckhalter, 1956

Charles “Henry” Carlton, 1955-56

Robert Clark, 1959-61

Albert Cook, 1956

Melvin Davis, 1959-61

Lavert France, 1959-60

Ronald Hamilton, 1954-56

Ronald Heflin, 1958-61

Porter “Mert” Merriweather, 1959-62

Remus Nesbit, 1952-56

Rueben Perry, 1955-58

Gregory Pharr, 1959

James Satterwhite, 1956-59

Nurlin Tarrant, 1955-59

Ben Warley, 1958-60

Elliott “Peco” Warley, 1959-61

Eugene Werts, 1958-61

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU hosts Small Farm Expo, National Women in Agriculture Association conference

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University highlighted the latest research in agriculture this week at its Small Farm Expo, and the National Women in Agriculture Association conference the institution hosted on its downtown campus.

The Expo, the 15th year of the event, was held Sept. 4 in the university’s Pavilion Agricultural Research and Education Center. The NWIAA conference was Sept. 5-6 on the Avon Williams Campus.

“Small Farmer of the Year” Daryl Leven, College of Ag Dean Dr. Chandra Reddy, and Jo Anne Waterman, extension agent for Shelby County. (Photo by Joan Kite, College of Agriculture)

TSU President Glenda Glover welcomed attendees to the Expo and stressed the importance of small farmers.

“This is special to TSU because we are a land grant institution, and we specialize in land grant activities,” said Glover. “Farming is major to us. We really appreciate small farmers.”

Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of TSU’s College of Agriculture, echoed that sentiment.

“Small farmers are a majority of the state farming community,” said Reddy. “They are very innovative. They’re not so much interested in producing high quantities of products. They want to get quality in the niche markets, and profitability.”

The Expo featured speakers at the local, state and federal levels, and provided workshops on topics such as urban agriculture, use of drones in agriculture, and hemp research.

Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher and State Sen. Frank Niceley were among the speakers. Hatcher said events like the Expo are beneficial to farmers in economically distressed counties.

“It’s tough right now for farmers,” said Hatcher, referring to the trade wars and flooding. “So this gives them hope for the innovation and technology that’s available to them. We have legislators, we have the governor’s office that’s onboard, we have universities like TSU, and others across the state, coming together to make things better.”

Sheldon Hightower, state conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Tennessee, said the Expo is an opportunity to “build partnerships” that last.

“What we’re trying to do is sustain agriculture for future generations,” said Hightower. “So it takes universities such as TSU to help us carry out that mission to sustain agriculture, to educate our youth about the importance of agriculture here in Tennessee.”

Reginald Holland of Clarksville, Tennessee, is a graduate student working on a degree in agriculture science at TSU. He attended the Expo and said it was “very beneficial.”

“This is a great function,” said Holland, who was among a number of students attending the event. “What we learn here, we can apply to the future workforce.”

One of the highlights of the Expo is the announcement of the “Small Farmer of the Year.” This year’s winner was Daryl Leven, owner of New Way Aquaponics Farms in Shelby County.

Farms, which opened in 2017 in the Annesdale-Snowden section of Memphis, grows vegetables and fish within a closed system using only 10 percent of the water used in conventional agriculture. The farm raises tilapia and grows lettuce, basil, stevia, and other herbal plants. The farm also hosts educational workshops for middle and high schoolers interested in learning about growing fish and food using aquaponics.

At the NWIAA conference, the focus was on opportunities for women in agriculture. The conference also featured speakers and workshops. One of the more popular, as was the case at the Expo, was discussion of hemp production.

Products made from hemp. (Photo by Joan Kite)

Bobbette Fagel traveled from Ruffin, North Carolina, to attend the conference. She has a little over 52 acres and is considering growing hemp.

“Hemp is fast growing,” said Fagel. “You can use it for the production of a lot of materials that traditional wood is used for.”

Tennessee State is among the nation’s leaders in hemp research. The university’s College of Agriculture has hosted several hemp workshops, and has charged a team of scientists to develop hemp production practices for Tennessee. The research projects include developing hemp nutritional products for human consumption and studying the economic viability of hemp production. Currently, the university is growing and evaluating 10 varieties of hemp.

For more information about TSU’s College of Agriculture, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University Welcomes Class of 2023 At Freshman Convocation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University welcomed first-year students during the 2019 freshman convocation on Aug. 30.

Nearly 1,400 incoming freshman students were inducted during the ceremony in Kean Hall.

TSU President Glenda Glover welcomed the students to the university, calling TSU “the greatest institution for men, women, boys and girls on earth and in heaven.”

“Your class is one of the strongest ever.  You have such high ACT scores. You have such good GPAs,” she said.  “You hail from 41states and 21 different countries.  You’re from Bangladesh, Canada, China, Columbia, Ethiopia, France, Ghana, Great Britain, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Pakistan Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Uganda and Vietnam.”

Dr. John Cade, vice president for Enrollment and Student Success, presented the students for the induction.

Female students taking Freshman Pledge at 2019 Freshman Convocation.

“Madam President, it is my pleasure to present these young people who have satisfied all the requirements for admission to Tennessee State University as freshmen and students with advance standing,” Cade said.

With each student holding a lighted candle symbolizing “knowledge and truth,” they took the TSU Freshman Pledge..

Aaliyah Brown, an economics and finance major from Chattanooga, said the induction ceremony is an experience she will always remember.

Aaliyah Brown

“It was a good feeling to see all of my classmates, all the men and women, in our white,” she said. “When I was leaving the residence hall, there were a bunch of girls in white, and we all looked very beautiful and put together.  It was a great moment to cherish.”

Brown said she decided to come to TSU after visiting the campus for Preview Day.

“I fell in love with the College of Business.  That was what really sold me.  I said this is where I have to be if I want to be successful and have a good career.  I was just amazed,” she said.

Females dressed in white with pearls presented to them by the TSU Women’s Center, and males dressed in white shirts and blue pants, sporting TSU-supplied blue and red ties. They pledged to commit themselves “to serious intellectual and cultural efforts” and to deport themselves “with honor and dignity to become better prepared to live a full and useful life in society.”

Male students preparing for induction at 2019 Freshman Convocation.

In addition to student representatives, speakers at the convocation included Dr. Alisa Mosley, interim vice president for Academic Affairs, Joni McReynolds, president of the TSU National Alumni Association and Dr. Geoffrey Burks, associate professor of physics.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Women’s Center Welcomes New Students To TSU With Pearls

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University Women’s Center recently presented over 500 pearl sets to female freshman and transfer students to welcome them to the TSU Family.

Seanne Wilson, the center’s coordinator, said the initiative, which was started five years ago in conjunction with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., gives her an ideal opportunity to connect with new students.

“This initiative gives us a chance to reach the students and to find out what their needs are—if they have anxiety or depression, if they are in the wrong career field or if they need a little guidance,” she said. “It is all about empowerment, mentorship, and life coaching, which is what I do everyday.”

The young ladies wore the pearls during the New Student Convocation on Aug. 30. This year members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. joined the AKA’s to present pearls to the students.  

Wilson said The Women’s Center tries to help by giving scholarships, work-study and various opportunities to young ladies who attend TSU. She said presenting the young ladies with pearls is a significant gesture for several reasons.

Kori Robinson, an architectural engineering major from St. Louis, proudly displays the pearl set she received from the TSU Women’s Center.

“Every girl should have pearls.  It just really sets another tone. It raises the bar,” she said. “It just helps them to understand that they need to look a certain way on campus.  You’re not just going to throw pearls on with anything.” 

Kariya Jennings, a freshman human performances and sports sciences major from Hyattsville, Maryland, said wearing the pearls at the convocation will give her class a chance to showcase their love for TSU.   She said attending an HBCU ranked high on her list of priorities when choosing a university to attend.

“I’m an aspiring physical therapist. My cousin is an alum here. My cheerleading coach in high school also went here.  I was just looking up schools over my high school career, and Tennesee State popped up.  It’s an HBCU. It met all of my qualifications. So now I am here,” she said.

Kori Robinson, an architectural engineering major from St. Louis, who also participated in the convocation, said she came to TSU because of close family ties.

“I looked up reviews, and it’s just a loving school,” she said. “Most of my family came here like my cousins and my aunt.  It’s a school that most of my family members went to and graduated from.”

Mayora Celeste Berry, Miss Sophomore, who received her pearls last year and participated in last year’s New Student Convocation, said she still has her pearls.

 “I’ve always been a pearl girl.  I love pearls. Receiving another pair is great, and they are something that girls should always have,” she said.  “There are many other accessories, but you are going to need these for professional looks and many other things.”

Over 1,200 new students participated in the New Student Orientation held in Kean Hall.

For more information about how to support the TSU Women’s Center, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/womenscenter/

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU’s College of Business prepares students for Nashville’s booming tourism industry

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Hospitality and Tourism program in the College of Business is helping students capitalize on the state’s multibillion-dollar tourism and hospitality industry.

Last year, Nashville took in $7 billion from tourists, according to the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation.

Zuhair Al-Bunni, a TSU junior majoring in business administration with an emphasis in hospitality. (TSU Media Relations)

TSU has been a leader among other local colleges in providing education in Tourism and Hospitality to meet the needs of the booming industry in Nashville.

“The partnerships we’ve cultivated with businesses and organizations across the city have been vital to our success as educators,” says TSU President Glenda Glover.

“From the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp., to the Music City Center, to a long list of hotels and entertainment attractions across Davidson County, these community partners have helped launch careers for area university students. In return, these organizations receive ambitious, energetic young minds who help meet a growing employment need as the Music City’s brand continues to draw millions from across the globe eager to experience our rich and friendly culture.”

Dr. Millicent Lownes-Jackson, Dean of the College of Business at TSU, echoes President Glover’s sentiments that the university is in a unique position to provide students the very best education and workforce preparation in the industry. 

“We are fortunate to be located in a city that is on the move!” says Dr. Lownes-Jackson. 

“In 2018 alone, 15 new hotels and 131 new restaurants opened and Nashville was repeatedly named as one of the best travel destinations of the year. This represents a tremendous opportunity for our students to grow and lead within an industry that is thriving in Nashville.”

The College of Business dean adds that TSU’s Hospitality and Tourism program combines “rigorous academic training with real-world experience in the industry.”

Zuhair Al-Bunni is a junior majoring in business administration with an emphasis in hospitality. Through TSU’s Hospitality and Tourism program, he currently has an internship at a local hotel, and plans to one day be a general manager at one.

“The program at TSU is helping to give me real-world experience,” says Al-Bunni. “The market is expected to keep on booming. So when I graduate, I will have all I need to be successful in this industry.”

The university’s Hospitality Management program in particular gives students the opportunity to build their entrepreneurial, managerial, functional, operational, and analytical skill set to maximize their success.

Because of Nashville’s lucrative tourism industry, they are able to benefit from a dynamic local, national, and global competitive environment

“The College of Business has partnered with the leaders of Nashville hotels, restaurant groups, and others within the tourism industry to provide our students with a forward-thinking experience that will prepare them to lead within the industry,” says Dr. Chunxing Fan, chair of the Department of Business Administration.

There were 71,140 hospitality industry jobs in Nashville in 2018, and 15.8 million visitors traveled to the Greater Nashville area in fiscal year 2019, a 7 percent increase over FY18’s 14.8 million, according to NCVC.

“It is no secret that Nashville’s economic boom is intimately tied to its growing hospitality and tourism community,” says Marie Sueing, NCVC’s vice president of multi-cultural community relations. 

“A professional workforce is critical to the continued success of this industry, and great programs such as the one offered at Tennessee State University will help to prepare individuals for the many career opportunities available in the hospitality and tourism field. Of equal importance, is having a rich and diverse workforce to ensure that visitors from all over the world feel welcome in all of our communities. TSU will play a significant role in helping to fill the need for these leadership positions throughout Music City.”

To learn more about TSU’s College of Business Hospitality Management curriculum and its other programs, visit www.tnstate.edu/business/index.aspx.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Bittersweet moment for TSU as university prepares to kick off football season with John Merritt Classic

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A trip down memory lane, a celebration of perseverance, new beginnings and remembering a fallen tiger, all will take place when Tennessee State University football has its season opener this Saturday at Nissan Stadium. The TSU Tigers will take on Mississippi Valley State University for the John Merritt Classic.

As the much-anticipated duel against the Delta Devils kicks-off at 6 pm CST, the smile of a prominent member of Big Blue Nation will be absent from the arena.

Debra K. Johnson

Former Tennessee Department of Correction Administrator Debra K. Johnson, who was killed by a prison escapee earlier this month, will be recognized throughout the game. Johnson’s usual seat at home games will be draped with the university flag in honor of the slain TSU alumna.

TSU President Glenda Glover, who presented Johnson’s family with a proclamation along with a special donation during a recent fundraiser organized by WKRN Channel 2, said Johnson was a great football lover who came to TSU home games and functions.

“We celebrate the life and the legacy of Debra Johnson,” Glover said. “She was just an ideal sweetheart of a person, very professional all the time, downright nice, and we are happy to honor her because she just loved TSU.”

At the conclusion of the first quarter, President Glover will present former TSU Football Player Christion Abercrombie with the HBCU Male Athlete of the Year Award, one of HBCU DIGEST’s top awards. Abercrombie continues to recover from a severe brain injury he suffered on Sept. 29, 2018, during a game against Vanderbilt. The Atlanta native will also be recognized during this year’s homecoming as the Special Presidential Grand Marshal.

Christion Abercrombie

TSU assistant athletics director for Media Relations Zekeya Harrison said the award is well deserved because of how Abercrombie has persevered through an extraordinary situation.

“Just to see his progress now from where he was after his injury last year at the Vanderbilt game is phenomenal. He has inspired not only Tennessee State University, but the entire world,” she said. “The strength of Christion’s entire family is something that I know encourages and inspires many people, and his journey is an inspiration to us all.”

At halftime, the university will unveil its new signage at Nissan Stadium. Glover, 2019–2020 SGA President Katelyn Thompson, Athletics Director Teresa Phillips and TSU National Alumni Association President Joni McReynolds will unveil signs simultaneously on the mid-level at the four corners of the stadium.

Members of Tennessee State’s 1999 Ohio Valley Conference Championship football team.

Also during halftime, members of Tennessee State’s 1999 Ohio Valley Conference Championship football team will be honored. This season marks the 20th anniversary of TSU’s second OVC title. Posting an 11-1 overall record including an undefeated 7-0 mark in OVC games, the 1999 team was guided by back-to-back OVC Coach of the Year L.C. Cole.

For ticket information, (615) 963-5841, or order tickets online at http://www.tsutigers.com.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.