President Glenda Glover welcomes freshmen, urges them to stay focused and graduate

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover welcomed new freshmen on Thursday and urged them not to lose focus of their ultimate goal while at TSU – graduation.

“You’re going to enjoy yourself while you’re here, but don’t forget you’re in college,” Glover told the students gathered at the Howard C. Gentry Complex on the main campus. “You’re here to get an education. You are all called to greatness, so be the leaders that God has called you to be.”

Other administrators and student leaders also addressed the freshmen, who will be getting acclimated to the university over the next few days.

Student Government Association President Kayla McCrary told the students they may encounter some obstacles, but to be resilient.

“You may fail a class, or go through periods of distress,” she said. “But don’t give up. Nothing worthwhile is easy to get.”

Freshman Roderick Robinson of Atlanta said he was fired up after hearing from Glover and others.

“I can tell that everybody is ecstatic and ready to learn,” said Robinson, who is majoring in computer science. “I plan on studying hard, finding people in my major and working together to a common goal, and that’s to graduate.”

Dean of Students Frank Stevenson said he hopes other freshmen share Robinson’s enthusiasm, and heed Dr. Glover’s message, particularly in the case of completing their degree.

“The goal is to walk across the stage,” Stevenson said. “I put that in their mind from the day they get here.”

Simone Jones, a double major in mass communications and psychology from Columbia, South Carolina, said she’s excited to be at TSU, and plans to enjoy her experience, one day at a time.

“I’m looking forward to a good year,” Jones said.

For first-year student information, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/firstyear/

 

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, 24 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 makes transition from battlefield to classroom easier for veterans with new grant

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University will soon implement a new program that will allow veterans to count military training for credit hours when they enroll at the institution.   TSU plans to launch the new initiative this fall with a $69,200 grant from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

The program is part of the State of Tennessee’s Veteran Reconnect initiative.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to the men and women that have sacrificed so much for our nation’s freedom, and providing a seamless process for them to pursue their education, during and after their service, is just one of the many ways we can show our appreciation,” said Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover.

“TSU is a certified “Vets Campus” by THEC, and noted as a “Military Friendly” institution by G.I Jobs and several other notable ranking services for this area. We are proud to serve our veterans as they have proudly served us.”

TSU is among 14 Tennessee colleges and universities collectively receiving $889,277 from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission to support programs and services for student veterans at campuses across the state. Through the Veteran Reconnect Grant, THEC will also provide technical assistance to Veteran Reconnect campuses around prior learning assessments for veterans.

The Veteran Reconnect grants are focused on improving the assessment of prior learning for student veterans returning to college. Prior learning assessment (PLA) at colleges and universities examines a veteran’s prior military training and grants equivalent college credit for those skills attained during service. This results in a student veteran completing their postsecondary credential in an accelerated timeframe.

“Earning college credit for military training can be the difference between a student applying to a school, or moving on to the next opportunity,” said THEC Executive Director Mike Krause. “When a veteran is able to use credit for their military training towards their college degree, they are more likely to persist and finish their program of study.”

Institutions receiving the grants will develop and implement improved evaluation processes for translating military training into academic credit, while also ensuring that prospective and incoming student veterans have easy, clear access to the information. Veteran Reconnect aligns with legislation passed last year by the Tennessee General Assembly which directs THEC to develop an online web platform to assist veterans in translating their military experience to academic credit. As part of that effort, institutions receiving grants will map out opportunities already available to students through their campuses.

Veteran Reconnect is part of Governor Bill Haslam’s Drive to 55 initiative to increase educational attainment in the state to 55 percent by the year 2025.

TSU was designated a certified veterans campus in November 2014. The university provides programs and support services to ease veterans’ transition from military service to college life, as well as give them opportunities to learn skills necessary for the workforce.

Fore more information about veteran services call 615-963-7001, or visit http://www.tnstate.edu/records/veteran/.

 

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, 24 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.

 

From Across the Nation, New Students Descend on TSU Campus for freshman move-in day

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Release) – As early as age 6, Jeia Moore was fascinated with Tennessee State University and believed she’d one day be a Big Blue Tiger. Today, she’s part of the TSU family.

Moore was among the first group of more than 1,300 first-time freshmen who received keys to their dorm rooms in Wilson Hall during freshman move-in day at TSU on Tuesday. Jeia’s parents, James and Camilla Moore, made the trip from Memphis to help her get settled.

President Glenda Glover, left, joins volunteers to unload students’ luggage during freshman move-in day at TSU. (Photo By Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“TSU was my first choice for college,” said Jeia, who has no previous ties to TSU, except a recent college tour. She will major in marketing. “No one persuaded me to come to this university except my conscience. I love the culture and tradition that I believe will help me to grow and develop into the woman I want to be.”

This year, freshman move-in day took place over the course of two days. Officials say the change was intended to shorten wait time and make processing easier for students, parents and volunteers. The first move-in on Tuesday was limited to all-female Wilson Hall, the largest residence hall on campus. The rest of the move ins took place on Wednesday. During both days’ activities, more than 200 volunteers, including student organizations, alumni, staff and friends helped to move luggage, boxes of personal belongings and other items, while others pointed out directions and manned water and refreshment stations for the new residents.

TSU President Dr. Glenda Glover, who personally unloaded some of the students’ luggage, greeted and welcomed the new Tigers.

Parents James Moore, left, and Camilla Moore, right, spend a moment with their daighter, Jeia, after dropping her off during freshman move-in day at TSU. Jeia will major in marketing. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“This is really going well and I am very impressed,” the President said about the move. “I appreciate the commitment and dedication of our staff, students and volunteers. Everybody is busy and making sure our new students settle in well. That’s really impressive.”

Savannah Williams, who drove in with her parents from Chicago, was also impressed with the atmosphere, but found the sudden realization of leaving home for the first time a little overwhelming.

“Leaving home for the first time is like really hitting me now,” said Williams, who will major in occupational therapy. “I guess it is time to mature. You got to learn to live on your own. It feels good to finally move in because I have been waiting. I am excited.”

Ronald Fenderson, left, who arrived Wednesday, expects to be a walk-on for the TSU Tigers’ Football Team. He was accompanied by his sister, Jakayla Fenderson; mother, Janelle Wilson; and father, Willie Wilson. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Just like Williams, the feeling of sadness and excitement was the same among parents who came to drop their children off. Jeia’s parents said their hearts were heavy, but are excited that TSU is the right school to give her the academic and social nurturing she needs.

“She is leaving home and it is so sad that she is leaving, but I know that my daughter has what it takes to pursue her dreams and to live out those things which she has cherished for a long time,” said Camilla Moore.

“I am sad but I am very excited that my daughter got this opportunity. TSU is a great institution that will give her an opportunity to nurture and grow here not only academically, but also socially,” added James Moore.

Ronald Fenderson, a dental hygiene major from Plymouth, Michigan, was among those who checked in on Wednesday. He will live in Watson Hall. Accompanying him were his older sister Jakayla Fenderson, and their parents, Willie and Janelle Wilson. A standout, all-around player on the football team at Canton High School, Ronald Fenderson expects to be a walk-on for the TSU Tigers.

“I have been in contact with the coaches, and I have been training all year for this and I am ready to go,” said Ronald, who learned about TSU during an HBCU tour. “TSU was the last place we came to and it just stuck with me.”

Members of the TSU Tigers’ Football Team help to move in new students in Wilson Hall. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The Wednesday arrival was just timely for Ronald. Among volunteers helping with move-in were representatives of the TSU athletic program, including members of the football, basketball, volleyball and track teams.

Head football Coach Rod Reed said as students who have been here,  athletes can also help to make the transition process easier for new students.

“It is always good for our kids to get out and help out in the community,” Reed said. “This is a community effort for our athletes to be able to meet new people and help them  break the ice, and maybe develop lasting friendships.”

Incoming freshman Kiana Jones, center, of Huntsville, Alabama, with her mother Tiffany, and her friend, Shawn Burrell. (Photo by Lucas Johnson, TSu Media Relations

Many community partners, including churches, banking institutions, food vendors, the Army, and WTST, The Blaze, TSU’s student-run radio station,  set up tents and tables with free refreshments, food, giveaways and entertainment for the new students, volunteers and visitors. Among them were 15th Avenue Baptist Church, New Season Church, and Restoration Corner Ministry, which set up water stations and feeding tables in several residence halls.

“We came out to be part of the hospitality,” New Season Pastor Dwayne Lewis said Wednesday. “We were at Wilson Hall yesterday, and today we’re at Watson.”

Like the first day, officials said Wednesday’s move-in was just as smooth.

“The staff of Housing and Residence Life came up with this pilot for a two-day move-in and it has worked perfectly,” said Dr. Tracey Ford, vice president for Student Activities. “Mr. Brent Dukhie, the interim director, is a real strategist. He has been around housing for a long time. He understands and develops processes so things move along more smoothly. He was able to take a look at this process and be able to streamline it in such a way that we haven’t seen before.”

Incoming freshman Kiana Jones moved in Wednesday and said she’s looking forward to her college experience at TSU because her high school in Huntsville, Alabama, was predominantly white.

“I came to TSU because I like to experience different cultures from all over the country,” Jones said. “I really wanted to see what an HBCU would feel like. I’m excited to be here.”

 

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, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Faculty and Staff Fired Up and Ready to Embrace New Academic Year, Challenged to Strive for Greatness

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover welcomed faculty and staff back to the university on Monday, and challenged them to strive for “greatness.”

“This is an exciting time because the history of TSU is still being written,” Glover said at the Faculty-Staff Institute. “We’ve been called to greatness. We are building our TSU legacy.”

She said the university has some challenges, but that they can be overcome by working together.

“It takes all of us to make TSU work,” Glover said. “We are team TSU.”

Part of the president’s discussion was about enrollment, which she said has been affected by the state’s program that offers high school graduates free tuition at a two-year institution in Tennessee, and higher admission standards TSU implemented in 2016 to attract better and brighter students.

She noted the higher standards are paying off because the university is attracting more quality students, including two highly sought after high school seniors from Memphis.

Jayla Woods, a graduate of Whitehaven High School, received nearly $9 million in scholarship offers. A fellow student, Meaghen Jones, got more than $10 million in offers. Both will be at TSU when classes start this month.

“We’ve moved to quality over quantity,” Glover said.

She also pointed out the university is continuing to excel in research, as well as campus growth. In the next few months, ground is expected to be broken on a new Health Sciences Building and two new residence halls.

As for research funding, TSU ended the past year with $52 million, which was $8 million more than the previous year and placed Tennessee State No. 2 among historically black colleges and universities in new research funding.

Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, TSU’s vice president of research and institutional advancement, said she’s excited about the future of TSU.

“I’m looking forward to this year,” she said. “The plan is to keep the momentum, and actually accelerate this year with larger initiatives, that once again still provide greater impact to the research we’re doing.”

Tequila Johnson, chair of the Staff Senate, said she was pleased to hear the positive outcomes and outlooks shared by President Glover, as well as others who presented during the retreat.

“I think it was a great opportunity to be able to fellowship with staff and faculty members,” Johnson said. “It was also a good opportunity to be able to hear some of the ideas that staff have in relationship to customer service and how we can work together to improve satisfaction.”

Assistant College of Business professor Isaac Addae said the Faculty-Staff Institute was “very effective in setting the tone for the upcoming semester.”

“Dr. Glover’s holistic approach to student-centered customer service, and reiterating to faculty that it takes all of us, is a step in the right direction,” he said. “As an alumnus and business faculty member, I was proud to see the upward trend of enrollment in our academic unit. I am inspired to do my part to embrace the Team TSU mindset and provide excellence in teaching, research and service to the institution.”

Dr. De’Etra Young, assistant professor of Urban Forestry in the College of Agriculture, said the information shared during the retreat provided inspiration for the year ahead.

“I thought it was great.  I thought it set the tone to build teamwork and collaboration and putting students first,” she said.  “I really liked the president’s message of ‘Team TSU,’ and using that throughout the year to build the TSU family and putting that at the forefront.”

Kiana Hughes, who earned a master’s degree from TSU in 2017 and now works as Title III program coordinator and completion coach, echoed similar sentiments.

“Being a recent graduate I really enjoyed seeing the actual numbers and the growth of the university. Also, being a recent graduate of a graduate program I am really excited to see the way the graduate school is progressing,” Hughes said.

Hughes, who received her undergraduate degree from TSU in Exercise Science HPSS (Human Performance Science), said she looks forward to a great year at the university.

“One thing I want to see and I am really excited about is faculty and staff coming together to make TSU a better environment over all. I am really excited about that, “Hughes said.

Following the annual faculty and staff institute employees gathered for lunch on the campus lawn where they continued to fellowship and share excitement about the new academic year.

 

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, 24 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 alums provide feast for football players through family food business

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The owners of a family food business returned to their alma mater to provide a feast for the Tennessee State University football team after their practice on Aug. 9.

(l-r) Cardale Winfrey, Burnice Winfrey, TSU Coach Rod Reed, and Victor Winfrey.

Burnice, Victor and Cardale Winfrey, all TSU graduates, play a part in the operation of Winfrey Foods, along with their sister, Karla, and another brother, Carlton. The family members served the players and coaches in a buffet-style line in the indoor practice facility.

“It was great to be back on campus and give back to the university and athletic department that has given me so much,” said Victor Winfrey, who played football at TSU from ’85-’89.

Before the dinner, Victor was presented a helmet similar to the one he wore when he played.

“I remember when I played how excited and grateful I was for any food or snacks we had after an evening or night practice when the cafeteria was closed. So, it really made me feel good to be able to provide a good meal to the young men, who were so well-mannered and very appreciative.”

Victor Winfrey

Although she graduated from Middle Tennessee State University, Karla Winfrey took some history classes at TSU. She also enjoyed visiting TSU again, and meeting the players, who she described as “amazing gentlemen.”

“Over and over they expressed their gratitude and said they thoroughly enjoyed the special meal we prepared,” she said. “Coach (Rod) Reed is doing an outstanding job training America’s future leaders.”

Coach Reed and his staff were also grateful.

“Thank you Winfrey Foods for providing dinner for the TSU Big Blue Tigers,” Reed said. “Your food was outstanding, and service and fellowship was even better.”

Winfrey Foods was started about two years ago. Its signature item is Royal Relish Chow Chow, which contains mother Judy Winfrey’s secret ingredients, and is available in all Publix supermarkets throughout Tennessee. The relish is also popular among chefs who prepare food in the Tennessee Titans’ luxury suites.

For more information about Winfrey Foods, visit https://www.winfreyfoods.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, 24 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 Reegus Flenory Featured In New TBN Series ‘Smoketown’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – It’s been over 20 years since Reegus Flenory did a double take after seeing an audition notice for the National Showcase Awards while strolling through the Communications Department at Tennessee State University.

“I read the brochure, and it was basically like a contest. It had acting, music and a lot of different things, and the winners would go on and compete in regionals and ultimately compete in California, so I competed,” said Flenory, a Nashville native who secured his bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication and Theatre at TSU. “I was 18 years old at the time, and I competed in the male category against all the adults, and I won best male actor for Tennessee.”

Audiences across the globe can see Flenory weekly as Dawson

Reegus Flenory

Chapman on Trinity Broadcast Network’s new, cutting edge dramatic television series “Smoketown.” Flenory said acting has always been in his DNA.

“I used to sit and watch television shows like “Knight Rider.” This was probably the early 80s, and I could say the lines before the actors said them. I understood what would come next in a script. It was the kind of thing that is kind of weird,” he said.

Those natural instincts, along with years of hard work, have translated into opportunities for Flenory to work with movie stars like Michael Ealey in the film “Unconditional” and Bill Cobbs in “Much Adieu About Middle School.”

In “Smoketown,” which premiered in early July, Flenory’s character, Dawson Chapman, runs a soup kitchen along with his daughter and wife. A mysterious and shocking murder takes place at the beginning of the series, which places the Chapman family at the center of a police investigation that sends the usually quiet community into a racial tailspin.

Much like his character in “Smoketown,” Flenory said faith has played a central role in his life and career. Reegus’ mother, Judy Flenory, a TSU alum who worked 15 years as a school counselor at Bordeaux Enhanced Option Middle School, said Reegus’ love for God and family has always been a big part of his life.

TSU Alums Reegus Flenory and Tamiko Robinson-Steele on the set of “Smoketown” with actress , Zoe Swope, who plays their daughter in the TBN television series.

“He is a very spiritual person, and I have always observed that he knew to always observe a higher power first before he does things, and that has kept him very stable because this is a very competitive field,” she said. “If you look over his career as a whole, most people probably won’t know the number of things he has done, and he has been very modest about it in my opinion. He has been involved with some well known actors and different venues, and to maintain that type of attitude in this type of business he is pursuing is a rarity.”

Reegus said he did numerous plays and free projects on and off campus during his time at TSU. “I wanted to stretch myself. I wanted to be the kind of actor who could do any kind of role.”

He said working with people like Herman Brady, a former TSU professor of Communications; and actor, director and voice-over artist Barry Scott helped him hone his craft.

“I learned a lot because we had to do everything ourselves. We had to go get props from Walmart and places like that. We had to actually get wood and nail the things together,” Reegus said. “We had to find our shows. We had to actually figure out which shows we wanted to do, and then get a budget for those shows—things that the kids really don’t have to do at a lot of the schools now.”

Reegus’ hard work paid off when he landed his first lead role in a BET (Black Entertainment Television) movie called “Winner Takes All” in 1998.

Henry Flenory, Reegus’ father, attributes a lot of his son’s success to his focus and passion.

“Usually when he does things that are out of town, I do the driving part while he studies the play or whatever he is intending on participating in,” said Henry, a retired principal who secured a master’s degree from TSU in 1978 in administration and supervision. “He has a lot of passion about what he does. He interacts with those persons in front of the camera and behind the camera and has a willingness to ask questions and to take in a lot of information.”

Evelyn Foster, office manager for Talent Trek-Nashville, one of the city’s premiere talent agencies, said Reegus has always been professional. After working with him over 20 years, Foster said she sees him like part of her family.

“Reegus is not only a great actor, but a great guy,” she said. “I think that is why he has come as far as he has.”

Reegus said working on set during the filming of “Smoketown” simply “felt right.”

“The energy on set was so positive with the crew, the cast and everyone involved,” Reegus said. “You felt the genuine spirit that the project was done in with the writer and director Shane Sooter and his wife Cassie.”

TSU alum Tamiko Robinson Steele, who portrays Amelia Chapman, Dawson’s wife in the series, said she is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the project.

“I went in very nervous of the unexpected, but was pleasantly surprised to find a team that supported and cheered for each other,” she said.

Other Nashville actors featured in “Smoketown” include Clark Harris and Mykie Fisher.

To watch Smoketown online, visit https://www.tbn.org/programs/smoketown .

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, 24 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.