NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When she was in high school, Amiya Ingram motivated her peers to be successful. Come graduation time, she wanted to find a higher education institution that would do the same, and Tennessee State University won her heart.
“I felt the family-oriented environment as soon as I came to tour TSU,” says Ingram, now a sophomore. “I knew it was the place for me.”
A native of Huntsville, Alabama, Ingram fully embraces TSU’s tagline: “Excellence Is Our Habit.” The mechanical engineering major has a 3.3 grade point average, and she’s also a member of the Aristocrat of Bands’ Royal Elegance Flag Corp. Her freshman year at TSU, Ingram was selected to be a member of the Ron McNair Scholars Program, as well as the Blue Scholars Entrepreneurship program.
She says what she likes most about TSU is the care and concern she receives from administrators and faculty. Despite their busy schedules, they make time to listen to students, to mentor them.
“I have a good relationship with my dean,” says Ingram, who is a former president of the TSU chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. “You get to have one-on-one relationships with people that are usually hard to get to.”
Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, says there’s more to students’ “education than in the classroom and laboratory.”
“We hope to develop a more complete TSU graduate, one that possesses leadership skills, has a global consciousness and awareness, and technical competence,” says Hargrove. “Ms. Ingram demonstrates that educational journey as an engineering student, and we believe she reflects the mission of Tennessee State University … to Think-Work-Serve!”
Dr. Reginald McDonald, director of the famed Aristocrat of Bands, agrees with Hargrove, which is why he sends his students a motivational quote each morning.
“I want them to know that I am like them in that I had a lot of professors/teachers who took interest in me as a person,” says McDonald.
Ingram says she appreciates McDonald’s attentiveness.
“He treats us like we’re his kids,” she says. “He keeps my head up, keeps me going.”
Ingram says such attention by Hargrove, McDonald and others at TSU motivates her even more to do what she can to assist fellow students, like helping them find internships.
“I’ve had a few internships,” says Ingram, who will be traveling to New York City this summer to intern at Bank of America in global information systems technology.
“I like to help people find internships that match them, or research opportunities. I also try to act as an encourager for people.”
Ingram says she also enjoys community activities similar to the prom dress drive she initiated her senior year in high school.
“We basically got everyone to bring in their old prom dresses, and we gave them back to the community,” says Ingram, adding that such events also serve as a recruitment tool by “creating a personal relationship with individuals who are thinking about attending Tennessee State University.”
Ingram is among a new recruit of high achievers the university is targeting to attract the best and brightest students, since TSU raised its admission standards about two years ago. Minimum requirements for incoming freshmen went up from a 2.25 GPA to 2.5, while the ACT score remained at 19.
Ingram says she loves the changes TSU is making, such as recent groundbreakings that include construction of two new residence halls and a state-of-the-art Health Sciences Building.
She says she constantly boasts about the university because she wants prospective high school graduates to experience the “excellence” that she now does.
“Tennessee State University has been a stepping stone to success,” says Ingram. “I brought my hard-work mentality to the university and they provided the opportunity, and for that I say thank you.”
To learn more about TSU’s College of Engineering, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/engineering/.
To read more about the Aristocrat of Bands, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/aristocratofbands/.
Department of Media Relations
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About Tennessee State University
With more than 7,000 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.