Category Archives: Uncategorized

TSU TO HOST COMMUNITY HEALTH AND WELLNESS FAIR

NASHVILLE, Tenn(TSU News Service) – Massages, chiropractic care, dental screenings and HIV testing are just a few of the free services that will be offered at a Community Health and Wellness Fair set for Friday, April 20, at Tennessee State University.

More than 40 vendors with some connection to health care and wellness are expected to participate in this year’s event, which is free to the public.

The fair, which is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. in the university’s Kean Hall on the main campus, is a partnership between TSU, the DP Thomas Foundation for Obesity, Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s HIV Vaccine Program, and the Turnip Truck, a natural foods grocer in Nashville.

One of the main participants is TSU’s Dental Hygiene Department, which will provide intra-oral screenings at the event.

Leon Roberts II, coordinator of clinics for the TSU Dental Hygiene Department, stressed the importance of people from the campus and surrounding communities stopping by their booth to get the screening.

“The mouth is the gateway to the body, so a lot of dental diseases don’t just affect the mouth,” he said. “Periodontal disease is connected to diabetes, heart disease, and for women who are pregnant, it is connected to low-birth weight babies. So it is very important to take care of your oral hygiene because your oral hygiene affects your whole health.”

Among its offerings, the fair will provide information on weight loss management and nutrition, as well as fitness demonstrations and health screenings.

Lalita Hodge, TSU coordinator of Public Relations and a member of the DP Thomas Board of Directors, said the purpose of the event is to keep the community informed about the resources that are available to them.

“You will see some of your traditional vendors there like the YMCA and Walgreens, but you will also see nontraditional healing methods there like coffee enema, the Turnip Truck with their organic produce, and we have healthy lunches which will include organic free-range turkey,” she said.

Dolly Patton-Thomas, executive director of the DP Thomas Foundation for Obesity, said she hopes the event will motivate people to live healthier lives.

“We need doctors. They support us with our health in many ways, and we need them to support us in the health decisions we make as well,” she said. “Still, I think we can help them by taking our health into our own hands on a day to day basis.

This year organizers hope to expand the fair, which is in its third year, by attracting more senior citizens, as well as college students.

Keith Richardson, community engagement coordinator for the Vanderbilt HIV Vaccine Program, stressed the important of students attending the health fair.

“Students are young and they need to know the importance of health and what it means to take care of themselves,” said Richardson, a 2008 alumnus of TSU. “Maybe they can catch health issues early before things get out of hand as they become adults and just have a good mindset about eating and exercising right, and just taking care of their bodies.”

Hodge said many of the vendors provide free samples, as well as contact information so participants can follow up with them for more products and services.

“I’m just excited about the health fair, and I hope that all will come out and that we will have people just to gain knowledge about what we have to offer and what is out there for them,” Patton-Thomas said. “When you are given the knowledge, you won’t be blindsided. You can run with it and you can choose what to do.”

For more information about the Community Health and Wellness Fair, call 615-474-1286, or email: dpthomasfoundation@gmail.com.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

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

TSU commemorates 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, celebrates his legacy

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University commemorated the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Wednesday, and will continue his legacy by participating in a “Joint Day of Service” this weekend.

TSU student Derrick Greene, Jr. presents wreath honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

On Wednesday, the university remembered King by ringing a bell 39 times, the age of the civil rights icon when he was gunned down in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968. An excerpt was played of King’s prophetic “I Have Been to the Mountaintop” speech, and a wreath was presented in his honor.

In that speech, which he gave in Memphis the day before he was killed, King said: “We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop … I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.”

TSU President Glenda Glover spoke to local news stations before Wednesday’s event and said she hopes the activities commemorating King will inspire young people to continue his fight for social justice, as well as heed his call to get an education and vote.

“I want the students to walk away with the knowledge that they must participate in political and economic struggles that are still going on,” said Glover, whose father worked for the sanitation department in Memphis where King was helping energize workers who were on strike.

“We want students to understand that those not registered to vote, must indeed do so.”

JerMilton Woods, president of TSU’s Student Government Association, agreed.

“When it comes to our students, when it comes to Nashville, when it comes to our world, we still have to fight to make sure everything’s on an equal playing field,” said Woods, a graduating senior from Memphis.

On Saturday, April 7, TSU will participate in a Joint Day of Service in remembrance of King.

The event with other area higher education institutions was originally scheduled for Jan. 13, but was postponed because of inclement weather.

However, organizers say it’s only fitting that an event keeping King’s legacy of service alive should take place amid commemoration of his death.

“What better way to commemorate him than by serving others,” said Shirley Nix-Davis, director of outreach for TSU’s Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement. “One of his quotes is, ‘everybody can be great, because anybody can serve.’”

In addition to performing service projects across Metro Nashville, TSU students will provide more than 10,000 meals for families in need. That project will take place in TSU’s Gentry Complex at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Last year, more than 300 TSU students participated in various MLK Day of Service projects around Nashville that included working with kids, assisting elderly residents, packing food and painting.

Linda Tynan, a resident at an independent living apartment complex in La Vergne, Tennessee, said she was grateful for the assistance students provided last year.

“I think it’s terrific to see these students lend a hand to people they don’t even know,” Tynan said. “I appreciated every minute of it.”

For more information about TSU’s Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/servicelearning/

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

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

40th Annual Research Symposium Set For April 2—6

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University students and researchers will showcase their cutting-edge research projects and inventions at the 40th Annual University-Wide Research Symposium April 2 – 6.

The symposium, which is largely composed of presentations from the science, engineering, business and humanities disciplines, will allow students to gain exposure and experience as either oral or poster presenters in an evaluative environment with external judges from the Mid-South region.

Dr. Michael Ivy, TSU associate professor of Neuroscience, and John Barfield, TSU director of engagement and visibility in the Division of Research and Institutional Advancement, serve as the co chairs of this year’s symposium which will feature abstracts from 174 students and 40 faculty members.

Barfield said the symposium is important because it prepares students for future research opportunities.

“When our students go to graduate school, they can go research-ready being able to prove that they already know how to do research and that they have worked in a research environment,” he said. “If they are graduate level students about to work on their doctorate then they will be able to show that they have mastered the rigor of being able to present research at an academic level.”

The theme for this year’s symposium is “Establishing a Culture of Research Excellence.”

Oral presentations will take place throughout the week in the Research and Sponsored Programs Building, Room 009, 163 and 209. Poster presentations will take place in the Jane Elliot Hall Auditorium on Thursday, April 5.

Dr. Patrice L. Jackson-Ayotunde, associate professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore School of Pharmacy, will provide the keynote address on Friday, April 6 at noon in the Ferrell-Westbrook Complex, Room 118.

Jackson-Ayotunde, who has mentored several graduate, professional and undergraduate students, does extensive research around the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy. Her laboratory works closely with the Epilepsy Therapy Screening Program (ETSP) at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Jackson was named Mentoring Institute for Neuroscience Diversity Scholar (MIND) for 2016-17 and the Emerging Scholar of 2015 by Diverse Issues in Higher Education.

Barfield said the symposium is open to the public. For more information about the 40th Annual University-Wide Research Symposium visit tnstate.edu/researchsymposium.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

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

TSU Honda Campus All-Star Team Advances To National Competition In Los Angeles

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Team will compete against 47 other Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the National Championship Tournament in Los Angeles, April 7-11.

The team recently participated in the National Qualifying Tournament at Spelman College in Atlanta where they defeated Bethune-Cookman and Savannah State Universities.

Devon Jefferson, a member of the TSU Honors College who serves as the team’s captain, said he hopes the team will bring the championship trophy back to TSU. He said being part of the TSU Honda Campus All-Star Team adds to the members’ academic experiences because of the knowledge they gain while studying and preparing for competition.

“I definitely believe that HCASC has made me better at certain things like taking certain classes and understanding them,” said Jefferson, a junior marketing major from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. “I might have heard something in passing at practice and then I hear the actual application in class, so it makes more sense to me when I do the work.”

Dr. John Miglietta, professor of political science, who has served as the team’s coach since 2004, said participating in this event on the national level is important because it showcases the academic talent at the nation’s HBCUs.

“This event is a great showcase of the academic talent at HBCUs. TSU is proud to be able to participate,” he said. “Our team will be interacting with players and coaches from other HBCUs around the country as well as the volunteers, college bowl representatives, and associates from American Honda.”

Miglietta said HCASC is a great program because it measures students’ knowledge on a variety of subjects such as history, literature, sports, pop culture, science, as well as black history, culture, and literature.”

Members of the TSU Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Team are: Breanna Williams, senior; Devon Jefferson, junior (captain); Dr. John Miglietta (coach); Alekzander Garcia, senior; Terrence George Young, junior; and Alexandria Ross, freshman (not pictured).

Members of the HCASC team who will be participating in the competition along with Jefferson are Breanna Williams, senior, music major from Marietta, Georgia; Alekzander Garcia, senior, chemistry major from Nyssa, Oregon; and Terrence George Young, junior computer science major from Knoxville, Tennessee.

Alexandria Ross, a freshmen, economics and Finance major from Memphis, Tennessee, will also be attending as the university’s institutional representative.

Some other members of the TSU HCASC Club are Aliyah Muhammad, of Nashville, a sophomore biology major; Donovan Varnell, sophomore political science major, from Nashville; and Micah Williams, sophomore, combined mass communications and military science major from Seoul, South Korea.

TSU has participated in 21 national championship tournaments earning a total of $170,500 in grant money since the inception of the program in 1989. Miglietta would like members of the Tennessee State Univeristy Community to encourage the team by liking the Honda Campus All Star Challenge facebook page and leave comments to encourage the team at https://bit.ly/2J6XtQd.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

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

TSU to participate in MLK Joint Day of Service on April 7

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) –As events take place commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, Tennessee State University will join in keeping his legacy alive.

On April 7, TSU will participate in a Joint Day of Service in remembrance of King, who was killed April 4, 1968.

The event with other area higher education institutions was originally scheduled for Jan. 13, but was postponed because of inclement weather.

However, organizers say it’s only fitting that an event keeping his legacy of service alive should take place amid commemoration of his death.

“What better way to commemorate him than by serving others,” said Shirley Nix-Davis, director of outreach for TSU’s Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement. “One of his quotes is, ‘everybody can be great, because anybody can serve.’”

In addition to performing service projects across Metro Nashville, TSU students will provide more than 10,000 meals for families in need. That project will take place in TSU’s Gentry Complex at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 7.

Participants in MLK Day of Service 2017. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Last year, more than 300 TSU students participated in various MLK Day of Service projects around Nashville that included working with kids, assisting elderly residents, packing food and painting.

Linda Tynan, a resident at an independent living apartment complex in La Vergne, Tennessee, said she was grateful for the assistance students provided last year.

“I think it’s terrific to see these students lend a hand to people they don’t even know,” Tynan said. “I appreciated every minute of it.”

For more information about TSU’s Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/servicelearning/

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

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

Financial Literacy Conference provides valuable advice

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development held its 4th Annual Financial Literacy Conference on March 23.

Dr. Bishop Joseph Walker, III (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

The one-day conference at the Avon Williams Campus brought together banking and economic development experts, tax planners, and the mayor’s Office of Economic Opportunity and Empowerment.

They discussed alternative financing, understanding credit, budgeting, student loan management, steps to buying a home, and causes of bankruptcy, among other topics.

Organizers said the conference will benefit people from all walks of life, including students, people looking for business ideas, retirees and those approaching retirement.

Dr. Ruthie Reynolds, director of CEED, said, “We are suffering because we don’t know how to use money,” adding that financial literacy must be priority “in our educational system.”

Dr. Bishop Joseph Walker, III, senior pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church, was the keynote speaker.

He cited several key areas to financial planning that include: Having the right mindset by focusing on things that appreciate in value; living within your means; understanding delayed gratification; and educating yourself about money.

“Too often people put emphasis on depreciating assets because they make us look good, but add no value in terms of our future,” said Walker, who is also chairman of TSU’s Board of Trustees. “The kind of car you drive, the clothes you wear, the jewelry you wear – those things have depreciating value. They lose value the moment you buy them.”

Sponsors of the conference include Fifth Third Bank (which brought its eBus), Capstar, Regions Bank, United Way, Suntrust, NAFI, Pinnacle, Renasant Bank, Financial Empowerment Center, and the Nashville mayor’s office.

For more information about the Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/ceed/.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

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

TSU unveils historical marker honoring TSU alumnus and Medal of Honor recipient

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University on Tuesday unveiled a historical marker honoring alumnus and Medal of Honor recipient, Lt. William McBryar.

TSU President Glenda Glover (center), state Sen. Thelma Harper (left) and state Rep. Harold Love, Jr. hold Tennessee proclamation honoring Lt. William McBryar. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

A number of lawmakers, military officials, and TSU officials attended a ceremony for the unveiling of the marker, which is located outside Kean Hall on the university’s main campus.

Among those attending the event were state Sen. Thelma Harper; state Rep. Harold Love, Jr.; former TSU President Dr. Melvin Johnson; former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean; and Mr. Phil Ponder, a representative from the Office of U.S. Congressman Jim Cooper.

In her welcome, TSU President Glenda Glover called McBryar “a role model for all of us.”

“We’re pleased that we can recognize him as our own, and honor him in this manner,” Glover said following the event. “This unveiling is historical. There are so few African Americans who have made this type of achievement.”

Lt. Col. Paul Coakley, a U.S. Army veteran and president of the Nashville Chapter of the National Association of Buffalo Soldiers, was the keynote speaker. He said he, and other soldiers, are where they are today because of soldiers like McBryar.

Lt. Col Paul Coakley, Nashville Chapter President National Association of Buffalo Soldiers, gives keynote address. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“They sacrificed … so that we can do what we do today,” Coakley said.

McBryar, a Buffalo Soldier, was posthumously honored at a special Veterans Day program at TSU last year. He was awarded America’s highest military decoration for his actions on March 7, 1890, during the Cherry Creek Campaign in the Arizona Territory. According to his citation, McBryar was distinguished for “coolness, bravery and marksmanship” while his 10th Cavalry troop was in pursuit of hostile Apache warriors.

Dating back to the Civil War, there have been 3,498 Medal of Honor recipients. Of that number, 90 are black – and Lt. McBryar is one of them.

“Medal of Honor recipients … are some of the most outstanding people in all of our nation’s history,” Tennessee Congressman Jim Cooper said at the Veterans Day program. “I’m so proud that a TSU graduate received that medal.”

McBryar went on to serve with the 25th Infantry in the Spanish-American war and fought at El Caney, Cuba. He also saw action in the Philippine Insurrection before demobilizing in San Francisco.

In 1906, after leaving the military, McBryar moved to Greensboro, North Carolina as a civilian and there he married Sallie Waugh, a nurse. Three years later, he worked as a watchman at Arlington National Cemetery and as a military instructor at what is now Saint Paul’s College.

Portrait of Lt. William McBryar

In 1933, with a desire to complete his degree, McBryar attended Tennessee State Agricultural & Industrial College. He graduated the following year, at age 73, with an agriculture degree, finishing a college education that started at Saint Augustine’s University before he enlisted in the military.

McBryar went on to write for “The Bulletin,” a publication at Tennessee State, addressing issues related to social justice and developments in Germany.

In the May 1935 issue of the publication, McBryar writes in part:

“What is the nature of that human weakness which seeks justice for itself and denies it to others? What is it within us which causes us to shudder at cruelty in the brute creation and to accept it with complacency among human beings? Why is justice glorified for one race as the supreme good and denied to another? It is a mental conception of the human which cannot be explained.”

McBryar died in 1941 at the age of 80. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

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

 

Historical marker ceremony set for March 20 to honor TSU alumnus and Medal of Honor recipient

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A historical marker will be unveiled at Tennessee State University on March 20 to honor alumnus and Medal of Honor recipient, Lt. William McBryar.

The event will take place at 1 p.m. in front of Kean Hall on the main campus. A number of lawmakers, military officials, and TSU officials are expected to attend the ceremony.

TSU President Glenda Glover will give the welcome, and Lt. Col. Paul Coakley, a U.S. Army veteran and president of the Nashville Chapter of the National Association of Buffalo Soldiers, is the keynote speaker.

McBryar, a Buffalo Soldier, was posthumously honored at a special Veterans Day program at TSU last year. He was awarded America’s highest military decoration for his actions on March 7, 1890, during the Cherry Creek Campaign in the Arizona Territory. According to his citation, McBryar was distinguished for “coolness, bravery and marksmanship” while his 10th Cavalry troop was in pursuit of hostile Apache warriors.

Dating back to the Civil War, there have been 3,498 Medal of Honor recipients. Of that number, 90 are black – and Lt. McBryar is one of them.

“Medal of Honor recipients … are some of the most outstanding people in all of our nation’s history,” Tennessee Congressman Jim Cooper said at the Veterans Day program. “I’m so proud that a TSU graduate received that medal.”

McBryar went on to serve with the 25th Infantry in the Spanish-American war and fought at El Caney, Cuba. He also saw action in the Philippine Insurrection before demobilizing in San Francisco.

In 1906, after leaving the military, McBryar moved to Greensboro, North Carolina as a civilian and there he married Sallie Waugh, a nurse. Three years later, he worked as a watchman at Arlington National Cemetery and as a military instructor at what is now Saint Paul’s College.

In 1933, with a desire to complete his degree, McBryar attended Tennessee Agricultural & Industrial State University. He graduated the following year, at age 73, with an agriculture degree, finishing a college education that started at Saint Augustine’s University before he enlisted in the military.

McBryar went on to write for “The Bulletin,” a publication at Tennessee State, addressing issues related to social justice and developments in Germany.

McBryar died in 1941 at the age of 80. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

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

TSU to host Pi Kappa Delta National Forensics Tournament

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University will host the Pi Kappa Delta National Forensics Tournament March 14-17.

TSU’s award-winning Forensics team. (submitted photo)

Nearly 90 schools, with roughly 1,500 competitors, are expected to participate. It will be the first time in nearly two decades that a historically black college or university has hosted the tournament.

“For us to be hosting the national tournament is such a big deal,” says Sean Allen, TSU’s director of Forensics. “It’s the oldest, it’s the largest, it’s the most prestigious.”

TSU’s forensics team, which is having a record-breaking year, is looking forward to participating in the tournament, says Allen, who was an award-winning member of the Forensics team at Wiley College, which was the subject of the 2007 movie, “The Great Debaters”.

Last month, TSU’s team competed at the Tennessee Intercollegiate Forensics Association state tournament.  It had been six years since the team won the state tournament, but it brought the championship back home. The team walked away with a total of 51 awards.

TSU freshman and Forensic member Jazmyn Bolden won several awards at the competition. The Houston, Texas native, who has been in Forensics since her freshman year in high school, says she’s excited about this month’s tournament, and proud that TSU is hosting it.

“It’s exciting because it’s being held at an HBCU,” says Bolden. “And it’s a big tournament.”

To learn more about TSU’s Forensics team, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/Communications/forensics.aspx

Find out more about Pi Kappa Delta at https://www.speechanddebate.org/pkd/

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

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

TSU Alum Makes Moves In Hip Hop

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Dwane “Key Wane” Weir II still smiles when he recalls his mother buying him a keyboard for Christmas when he was 13 years old. Over a decade later, the Grammy-nominated producer and Tennessee State University alumnus who has worked with everyone from Beyoncé and Jazmine Sullivan to Drake and Meek Mill, still credits his mother for being his biggest inspiration.

“My mom taught me how to go out and really ‘get it-get it.’ I didn’t want to ask my mom for much,” he said. “If I were to ask her for something, she would be like, ‘You’d better figure out a way to get it.’ I think that’s dope because I didn’t grow up lazy.”

Weir, who spent most of his time at TSU as a music major with an emphasis in commercial music, changed his major to Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) during his final year so he could graduate early and focus on his music career.

Dwane “Key Wane” Weir

“On campus, I really didn’t get out a lot because I was making beats. I got signed when I was a sophomore or a junior, so I was always in and out of school,” he said.  “I did my work, but I was barely there.  I was only there for midterms and finals and whatever type of important assignments that were due. Outside of that, I was in the dorm making records, five to 10 beats a day.  I would go to the café just to get some food, take the tray back to the room, get back to it, send my e-mails and prepare my flights.”

Mark Crawford, TSU associate professor of Music and coordinator of the Commercial Music Program, said what impressed him most about Weir was his dedication and his musicality.

“He was really into it. He was about the music.  He breathes music.  He exudes music, and he’s just a very creative young man,” said Crawford.  “He has been fortunate enough to find an avenue where he could find reward for that. So he was a good student, but I think he was a better producer.”

As Weir’s advisor, Crawford said he noticed that while the producer was diligent, because of his competing demands, he was often the last one to make it to class.

Dr. Mark Crawford

“Sometimes he was late.  Well, when I talked to him about this, about his attendance and everything, he began to tell me about all the activities he was involved with outside of the class.    You know making his tracks and making his beats, trying to return phone calls, trying to make deadlines and all this kind of thing, and that’s when I first became aware of what he was into,” Crawford said.

“Big Sean was one artist he had an early connection with, and he would tell me about that connection. His senior year he began to get some really good placements.  He had a placement, I believe, with a Beyonce’ project,” Crawford recalled.  “I want to say his first year out or his second year out, the project he was involved with was nominated for a Grammy.  And then subsequently, he’s been nominated two more times.”

According to Weir, taking his mother to the Grammy Awards has been the highlight of his career.

“I’ve been nominated year after year which is a blessing, “ Weir said. “I remember I brought my mom when ‘Let It Burn’ got nominated, which is the Jazmine Sullivan joint I did, and I was like,  ‘Mom, you want to come with me to the Grammys?  She was like, ‘Yeah!’  I think that was like the coolest thing because I remember when she and I both had nothing, and she bought me that keyboard, and that changed everything.”

Beyonce’s “Partition”, Drake’s “All Me”, Meek Mill’s “Amen” and Jazmine Sullivan’s “Let It Burn” are just a few of the chart-topping songs with grooves produced by Dwane “Key Wane” Weir.

In spite of his success. the Detroit native remains humble.

“I remember what it was like before everything came.  I don’t want to go back to work,” he said, referring to a time when he worked at a car wash.  “I would be at work and would miss out on things because I would still have like five cars to wax.”

Two years ago he paid a surprise visit to the music department to show his appreciation to TSU, according to Dr. Robert Elliot, head of the Department of Music.

“Dwane, Dr. Crawford and I were all in my office, just the three of us, and Dwane said, ‘I’d like to thank you all.’ And we said, ‘Well, we appreciate that.  We are glad you are doing well.’  He said, ‘No.  You don’t understand.  I really want to thank you.’ And he handed me the check for $10,000. He said, ‘Now, help somebody else.’

Weir said the only thing that has really changed in his life since his days as a student is that he has developed a closer relationship with God.  Weir said he prays before he creates music, and he keeps a positive mindset.

“Everything still feels new to me.  I still make beats in my mama’s basement so really nothing has ever changed,” he said. “I go back home to my mom every now and then, and it just feels the same. It’s a blessing. I don’t want to get comfortable.  I don’t want to feel like I’ve made it because I haven’t.   I definitely still have a lot of work to do.”

For Weir that could mean earning another degree from his alma mater. Weir said he plans to eventually get a masters degree at TSU, and teach a course in the music department.

 

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About Tennessee State University

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