Telecommunications Pioneer to Deliver TSU Commencement Address

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – Jesse Russell, Chairman and CEO of incWORKS, and recognized as the father of digital cellular technology, will speak at Tennessee State University’s 2012 commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 5. The annual celebration will take place at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Gentry Center.

Trained as an electrical engineer at Tennessee State University and Stanford University, and recognized globally as a thought-leader, technology expert and inventor in the field of wireless communication, Russell has played a major role in shaping the wireless communications industry direction through his visionary leadership and innovative perspectives for standards, technologies as well as innovative new wireless service concepts.

Russell is currently Chairman and CEO of incNETWORKS, a Broadband Wireless Communications Company focused on 4th Generation Wireless Communications Networks and Technologies. He has nearly three decades of professional experience in directing Research and Development of pioneering technologies, products and services related to the communications industry with Lucent Bell Labs, AT&T and currently incNETWORKS.

Russell received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from Tennessee State University in 1972 and his Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 1973. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the IEEE, and a Fellow of the International Engineering Consortium. In 1980, Eta Kappa Nu selected Russell as “The Most Outstanding Young Electrical Engineer of the Year” under the age of 32. He has more than 75 U. S. Patents to his credit in the Communication Engineering field.

He is also an internationally recognized Wireless Communications Consultant in the area of Advanced Broadband Wireless Technologies and emerging broadband wireless 3G and 4G product strategy, as well as a consultant in regulatory and spectrum strategy. In addition, Russell consults on wireless standards related issues such as RF health and safety matters as well as Cellular Communication Industry Standards.

The commencement addresses will be free and open to the public. The College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Science; the College of Education; and the College of Liberal Arts commencement ceremony begins at 9 a.m. The ceremony for the College of Business; College of Engineering; College of Health Sciences; and College of Public Service and Urban Affairs will be held at 2 p.m.

For more information call 615.963.5331 or visit

College of Engineering Hosts STEM Leadership Conference

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – The College of Engineering at Tennessee State University will host a STEM Leadership Conference April 26-28. The conference will take place in the Research and Sponsored Programs Building and the Farrell-Westbrook Complex.

This year’s conference will feature guest speakers by industry and engineering leaders during the three-day conference. A series of seminars will be held Thursday, April 26 for College of Engineering students and include:

  • STEM Leadership Topic
    Research and Sponsored Programs Bldg Lobby
    8-8:25 a.m.
  • Who is a Global Engineer
    RSP Room 163
    8:30-9:20 a.m.
  • Entrepreneurship
    RSP Room 163
    9:25-10:15 a.m.
  • Automotive Technologies
    RSP Room 163
    10:20-11:10 a.m.
  • Lunch with Guest speaker Jeff Buchanan
    President’s Executive Dining Room
    11:20 a.m.-12:50 p.m.
  • Personal Branding
    RSP Room 163
  • Cloud Computing
    RSP Room 163
    2-2:55 p.m.
  • Preparing for Professional Exams
    RSP Room 163
    3-3:55 p.m.

On Friday, April 27, the conference Awards and Recognition Banquet takes place at the Farrell-Westbrook Complex (The Barn) 6-8 p.m. Milton Woods, TSU alumnus and engineer consultant, will be the guest speaker.  The conference closes Saturday, April 28 with the Engineering Alumni Summit from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the Research Sponsored Programs building, room 209, and Student picnic beginning at noon on the Boswell Lawn.

For more information, contact Kevin Williams, Engineering Undergraduate Program coordinator at 615.963.5879 or

TSU Student Dreams Taking Flight

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – Ivana Page, the only female at Tennessee State University majoring in aeronautical and industrial technology, has decided to go where few women have had the opportunity to go… in search of a career in the cockpit of a major airliner.

In September 2010 Page, who grew up in Belleville, Ill., a small suburban town outside of St. Louis, Mo., visited the University for the first time as part of an HBCU tour group sponsored by Senator James Clayborne from her hometown. “When I got here I knew that TSU was the school for me because it just felt right in my spirit, I knew that I had a purpose to fulfill here,” said Page. “Although I was offered many scholarships from other universities I choose TSU because as soon as I stepped on the campus and got a ray of that ‘golden sunshine’ I knew that this was the place for me.”

Now in her sophomore year, Page selected the program in preparation to live out goals she sets with the encouragement of her mother. “My mother told me that I could do anything I put my mind to and I thought, why not shoot for the stars,” said Page. “I wanted to go as high as I could go, and I decided that the only way to do that was to touch the sky with the tip of an airplanes nose”, she added.

Page has charted a career course that women have had difficulty navigating, primarily because so few opportunities are afforded them.  According to a 2011 news report from CNN, of the 53,000 members of the Air Line Pilots Association, which represents pilots at major and regional carriers in the United States and Canada, only about 5 percent are women. According to the International Society of Women Airline Pilots, only about 450 women worldwide are airline captains — pilots in command who supervise all the other crewmembers on a flight.

However, Page is optimistic about her future and the future enrollment of female students in the aeronautical programs at TSU. “If we continue to encourage and recruit females to try careers in this area I believe the numbers will increase”, said Page. “But it will not be done without a lot of hard work, inspiration, and reassurance from the college.”

Page’s long-term plans include graduate school, private and commercial pilot license with the ultimate goal of being a commercial pilot. But she also has plans to increase the number of women prepared for careers as pilots.  “I want to open a flight school to encourage young girls, especially young minority girls to fly,” she said. “I would like to teach them that becoming a pilot is as good of a career choice as becoming a nurse and that they should be encouraged to look into the aeronautical and industrial technology sector when choosing a career.”

She has applied for scholarships, internships and fellowships with NASA and believes her career choice is the best.  “You learn so much about the world around you when pursuing this career, it’s engineering in every form and you get bits of every discipline mechanical, computer, electrical, and even metrology”, she said. “It’s the best of all the STEM disciplines and you get the knowledge that you can say you will be doing something upon graduating that will be larger-than-life”.

Currently, Page is working towards her pilot’s license at the Scott Air Force Base Aero club.