Tag Archives: Charles Jennings

Thurgood Marshall College Fund President and CEO visits TSU, sees impact of agency first hand

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The head of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) visited Tennessee State University on Oct. 22 and got an opportunity to see firsthand the impact the organization is having with students participating in its program.

Dr. Harry Williams attended a welcome luncheon with TSU President Glenda Glover, administrators, faculty and students before taking a tour of the campus. Dr. William’s visit is a part of his tour of the historically black colleges and universities associated with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

During the luncheon, President Glover lauded Williams for his leadership, and expressed her gratitude to Thurgood Marshall College Fund for helping to keep students enrolled at TSU.

TSU President Glenda Glover welcomes Dr. Harry Williams, President and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, during a luncheon in his honor on campus. Dr. Glover was joined by senior administration officials and TMCF scholars in welcoming the Fund leader. (Photo by Lucas Johnson, TSU Media Relations)

“We get a chance to thank you, for all you’ve done for us to keep our students here at TSU,” said Dr. Glover.

“The Thurgood Marshall College Fund provides the resources needed to help students transition from the classroom to the corporate world with professional development, internships and scholarships. This is an added value when students enroll and earn a degree from TSU.”

Williams told the packed room that TSU is the 27th HBCU he has visited in the last nine months. TMCF represents 47 HBCUs and raised over $300 million for them. He said 97 percent of students who receive scholarships graduate, which is attractive to employers.

“What I have learned is that there is a need for the TMCF organization, and there is a big need in this country for what we do,” Williams said. “Corporations want our talent, and they want it bad, because we provide a great opportunity for people to grow and develop.”

The work of TMCF was highlighted in a TSU produced video of students benefitting from scholarships and internships. Each student proclaimed, “I’m still here” because of the financial assistance from Dr. Williams and the college fund. Visit https://vimeo.com/296361411/3c553d3fc9 to view the video.

TSU junior and scholar Tiara Hudson, a first-generation college student, is one of those grateful for the financial assistance that allowed her to remain at TSU after exhausting all other available aide.

“It’s just remarkable how impactful TMCF is, to not only TSU, but to colleges across the U.S.,” said Hudson, a business administration major from Knoxville, Tennessee. “Without TMCF, I probably would not be here.”

Charles Jennings, director of the TSU Career Development Center, believed the visit was paramount to the center’s continued success in helping students excel academically and as potential employees in the corporate world.

“TMCF not only provides scholarships that assists students with their financial needs while in college, but it also allows them the opportunity to interact with executives from Fortune 1000 corporations that may not necessarily come to HBCU campuses career fair,” said Jennings.

To learn more about TSU’s Career Development Center, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/careers/index.aspx.

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.

2018 Fall Career Fair Opens Doors to Internships, Employment for TSU Students; Record Number Attend

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University students looking for internships, full-time employment and co-op opportunities got a major break on Wednesday. More than 130 companies and potential employers converged on the main campus for the 2018 Fall Career Fair.

Representatives from government agencies, aerospace, engineering, healthcare and the entertainment industries set up tents, tables and displays in the Gentry Center Complex to network with students about career and potential employment opportunities.

Organizers said nearly 400 students attended the all-day fair.

Anthony Wadsworth, a senior electrical engineering major, right, talks to Boeing representatives about internship opportunity. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

India Brown, a junior sociology major with public health concentration, and Anthony Wadsworth, a senior electrical engineering major, were among the first students at the fair. They were both looking for internships.

“I am looking for something that’s in the health field, dealing with social work,” said Brown, a Memphis native, as she filled in an application form with Tennessee Family Solutions, Inc., a direct support group dedicated to people with special needs.

For Wadsworth, who was networking at the Boeing table, he was following up on a previous meeting with Boeing representatives in Washington, D.C, last summer. He is seeking his first internship.

Within minutes of arriving at the career fair, India Brown, seeking internship opportunity in the healthcare industry, was already filling out an application. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“I spoke with them at the Black Engineer of the Year Awards ceremony in Washington last summer. They directed me to the right place and I am just here to follow up,” said Wadsworth, who is from Nashville.

He may just be in luck. Boeing representatives said they were “quite” impressed with the quality and preparedness of the TSU students at the fair.

“We see a great potential here among these students,” said Edward H. Gerding, vice president and senior chief engineer for structure and mechanical systems at Boeing. “We are actually looking across the board. We are growing in all aspects of our business between engineering, supply chain and business. We are looking for engineers and people in varieties of specialties, and now is the perfect time for students that are searching for internships.”

Like Boeing, representatives from the CIA, FedEx, NASA, Regions Bank and several other corporations and employers said TSU students – dressed in dark business suits and black shoes – were very impressive in appearance, approach and presentation.

Corey L. Harrell, left, a 2001 TSU graduate now working for NASA, returns to his alma mater as a recruiter for NASA. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“We do a lot of work in terms of preparation,” said Charles Jennings, director of the TSU Career Development Center, which organized the fair. “Last week and up to yesterday, we spent time getting them ready for interviews. I see that it shows, because a lot of the employers are talking about the great turnout and how ready our students are.”

Jennings also attributed the success of the fair and the preparedness of students to the mentorship provided by alumni of the career center, many of whom returned not only as recruiters for their various companies, but also to help their younger protégés prepare for the real world.

“It is just nice to see them giving back to their institution,” Jennings said.

Nearly 30 TSU graduates who got their career start with companies through the Career Development Center, attended the fair as recruiters for their companies and to mentor their younger proteges. (Photo by Jamal Coleman, TSU Career Development Center)

In all, nearly 30 TSU graduates, who got their career start with companies through the Career Development Center, were seen sporting shirts with Alumni on a TSU blue patch affixed to the chest. One of them was Corey L. Harrell, NASA SMA engines branch chief at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

He said coming back to TSU as a “proud alum” means a lot to him. “Anytime I can get a chance to come back I always do it,” said Harrell, who has returned several times to mentor and participate in the career fair. “

For more information on future career fairs or the TSU Career Development Center, to http://www.tnstate.edu/careers/

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.

White House Initiative Names TSU Student 2018 HBCU Competitiveness Scholar for Academics, Leadership

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A top Tennessee State University student with dreams to change his Kentucky neighborhood has been named a 2018 HBCU Competitiveness Scholar by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Jailen Leavell, a sophomore mass communications major with a concentration in broadcast journalism, will serve as an ambassador of the White House Initiative by providing outreach and communication with his fellow students about the value of education and the Initiative as a networking resource.

Jonathan M. Holifield, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs, right, congratulates Jailen Leavell in Washington, D.C. (Submitted Photo)

Selected for his accomplishments in academics, leadership and civic engagement, Leavell was among 63 undergraduate, graduate and professional students chosen from 54 HBCUs. They were recognized for successfully preparing to “compete for top opportunities that improve long-term outcomes.” Each student was nominated and endorsed by their institution’s president.

Leavell, the third TSU student selected by the White House Initiative in the last five years, is a member of the TSU Honors College with a near 3.6 grade point average. He is also president of the sophomore class.

“We are very excited to learn of Jailen Leavell’s selection as a White House 2018 HBCU Competitiveness Scholar,” said Dr. Alisa Mosley, interim vice president for Academic Affairs. “Mr. Leavell is a very engaged student who exemplifies academic excellence. He is engaging in national dialogue about promoting peace as a fellow with the Youth Violence Prevention Research Center, and as a proactive member of our Student Government Association.”

According to a release from the White House Initiative, Leavell and his fellow Competitive Scholars will serve for one year, during which they will learn and share “proven and promising practices that support individual and HBCU competitiveness, with the goal of strengthening prospects for career and life success.”

Leavell grew up in West Louisville, Kentucky, with high crime, violence and poverty. He wants to change that. He calls the White House honor “a representation of me, my community and my environment.”

“Growing up in West Louisville, the narrative is, ‘You will not make it outside of Louisville,’ and going after this award is all part of my effort to change that,” said Leavell, who grew up about eight blocks from the boyhood home of the late boxing champion Mohammad Ali.

“If Mohammad Ali can grow up eight blocks from me and become the greatest of all time and …change the world, I can do that eight blocks down the road. I love Louisville. I just have a lot of pride in my city and ultimately I just want to change it, with black people doing positive things, black businesses flourishing, stopping violence and just changing the narrative.”

Leavell thanked TSU President Glenda Glover for recommending him, and Charles Jennings, director of the TSU Career Development Center, for helping him through the “rigorous process.”

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.

Student Employment Fair Offers Opportunity for Work-Study, Part-Time Job Seekers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Koseyona Scott and Michelle Williams are only freshmen, but they are already looking for jobs to help with college costs and other needs.

“It is really something I am concerned about and I don’t want to burden my parents,” says Scott, a business major from Urbana, Illinois, who owes a balance on her first semester tuition.

TSU students Koseyona Scott and Michelle Williams, right, talk to Kroger associate resource managers Matthew Kirby and Marilyn T. Bell. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“I am looking for a part-time job, even though my parents don’t want me to work in my freshman year,” added Williams, a business major from Memphis, Tennessee.

Scott and Williams may just be in luck. The two friends, who met just recently, were among hundreds of fellow students who attended a student employment fair on Sept. 18 organized by the TSU Career Development Center.

Nearly 30 companies, businesses, organizations and campus offices set up tents, tables and displays in Elliott Hall to discuss part-time and work study opportunities with TSU students.

“Today’s fair is intended to help those students who have work-study funds but have not found a work-study position yet,” says Charles Jennings, director of the Career Development Center. “For those students who are not work-study eligible, we have off-campus employees that are here too to provide our students with part-time opportunities.”

Kroger, which has hired several TSU students and graduates in the past, was one of those looking for part-time employees.

“We have many opportunities across all of our departments,” says Matthew Kirby, a Kroger associate resources manager. “We have 21 stores in the Nashville, Brentwood areas that are looking for cashiers, customer service representatives, as well as stocking and pharmacy clerks. We also have management opportunities for those majoring in management.”

Mitzi Bruner, director of human resources of Tennessee Community Services Agency, says her agency is looking for students to fill five part-time positions.

“We are looking to hire part-time employees for a program starting here in Nashville, with the Department of Correction,” says Bruner.

Among other companies, organizations, offices and agencies represented at the fair were:  Bass Pro Shop, Boy Scouts of America, Burlington, LOFT, Sherwin Williams, At Home Healthcare, Total Wine, St. Luke’s Community House and VF Workwear. Representing TSU were: Police Department, Student Success Center, Research and Institutional Advancement, Student Conduct and Athletics.

For more information on career and employment opportunities, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/careers/

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.

Job Outlook Shows Great Promise for Tennessee State University Graduates

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – College graduates will soon hit the market with big dreams and high expectations, and Tennessee State University is helping to make them a reality.

Focused academic preparation, combined with job readiness training and career coaching are paying huge dividends for upcoming TSU graduates.

On May 4 and 5, the university will graduate more than 1,000 students at its dual spring commencements. Officials say a “substantial number” have already received job or internship offers.

Representatives from Kroger Regional Office talk to a TSU student, right, during a recent career fair on the TSU main campus. (Phto by TSU Career Development Center)

Among them is Emmanuel Gyang of Nashville. Upon his graduation on May 5, he will be heading to Bank of America in Dallas as a systems engineer in the company’s data center.

So will Justus Watson, who graduates with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural sciences with a biotechnology concentration. The Atlanta native will join Union Pacific in the marketing and sales department in Omaha, Nebraska.

And Kevin Scott, also of Nashville, who will receive a degree in electrical engineering. Scott has potential job offers waiting for him with Lockheed Martin and AMRDEC, or the Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center.

Recent data comparison shows that TSU is on an upward trajectory when it comes to job placement for new graduates.

Within three months of receiving their degrees, nearly 52 percent of students who graduated in December had received “some form of employment opportunities,” according to the TSU Career Development Center. That’s just 6 percent shy of the national average of graduates who had jobs within six months of graduation, according to College Track, an online database that guides parents and students in college selection.

What is driving these high numbers for TSU?

“It starts with leadership,” says Dr. Tracey Ford, TSU’s vice-president for Student Affairs. “Our president, Dr. Glenda Glover, has elevated the expectation of job placement for our graduates and has charged Student Affairs to be aggressive and innovative in our approach to recruiting employers and securing internships and permanent placement for our talented students.”

More than 130 vendors, including major employers and graduate school representatives, attended the Fall Career and Job Fair on campus last October. (Photo by TSU Career Development Center)

Ford also attributes TSU’s success to the “outstanding job performance” of former students who are employed with companies around the nation and the world.

“Our students who have become great employees at these world-renowned companies are making such an impact that it causes the employers to want to continue to recruit at Tennessee State University,” says Ford.

Last year, TSU received a $2 million career development grant from the United Negro College Fund. The money gave Career Development Center staff the tools to prepare and ultimately help TSU students secure employment immediately upon graduation.

Bethany Beaty, talent acquisition specialist at Enterprise Holdings, Inc., who has hired several TSU graduates over the years, says, “TSU students are very realistic and very ambitious.”

“They always have a drive, and always willing to start at the bottom and work their way up,” says Beaty.

Collectively, the success of Gyang, Watson and Scott and the many other upcoming graduates is a clear reflection of TSU’s “aggressive and innovative” approach to job skills readiness and placement, says Charles Jennings, director of the Career Development Center.

According to Jennings, relationships with employers have been a major factor for TSU’s success. For instance, a career fair in October – one of the largest in recent years – brought more than 130 companies on campus, “all looking to hire our students.” Among major companies at the fair were Apple, Microsoft, Ford Motor Company and Health Career Connections.

“I will have to say we are doing some outstanding work here at TSU in terms of our outreach with employers, not only within the Nashville area, but nationwide,” says Jennings.

Gyang, who interned with Bank of America last year, says he’s “anxiously” waiting for his July start date with the corporate giant.

“I feel blessed to be graduating with a job with a company like Bank of America,” he says. “I owe it to TSU for the preparation I received in the classroom and from the Career Development Center. They definitely honed me to be the person I am today. They taught me how to carry myself in a more professional manner.”

Watson and Scott share Gyang’s sentiments.

“I am pretty excited about this opportunity,” says Watson, the outgoing vice-president of the Student Government Association, who said an interaction at an Agriculture Future of America leadership conference helped him to land the job with Union Pacific.

“A lot of how TSU prepared me made that moment possible. Motivations from my advisors in the College of Agriculture, along with outstanding mentors, and participating in different organizations on campus were helpful. Without TSU, I know for sure I would not have been ready for this opportunity.”

For more information on the TSU Career Development Center, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/careers/

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 Spring Internship Fair helps students take steps to success

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Many Tennessee State University students took a major leap toward their future Feb. 15.

More than 50 companies and organizations set up booths in Kean Hall for TSU’s second annual Spring Internship Fair.

TSU President Glenda Glover greets a vendor at the Spring Internship Fair in Kean Hall. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

TSU President Glenda Glover and a host of university officials stopped by the various booths to view the displays and greet vendors.

Alonzo Furtick, a graduating senior majoring in business marketing and graphic design, was one of the first students to show up.

The Charlotte, North Carolina native saw the fair as an opportunity to get an early start on a search for potential internship or employment opportunity.

“The fact that TSU gives us this kind of opportunity to grow and expand and be exposed to different areas is phenomenal,” Furtick said. “I am a senior, I expect to graduate this semester. Ideally, I am looking for any business marketing internship or graphic design internship.”

Altria, a Fortune 500 company based in Richmond, Virginia, is one of the sponsors of the fair. The company has partnered with the TSU Colleges of Life and Physical Sciences, and Engineering, to groom science and engineering students. It has already hired a TSU engineering graduate who was recruited as an intern at last year’s fair.

A recruitment team from Altria participates in the Spring Internship Fair. From left are: Latoya Boone, Priscilla Maquire, Lynora Lee and Roosevelt Reynolds. Reynolds, a reliability engineer at Altria’s facility in Nashville, is a TSU graduate. He was recruited as an intern at last year’s fair and worked his way up to full employment. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“Tennessee State University is one of our target schools,” said Greg Shiflette, a recruiter and functional campus owner with Altria. “With Altria, we don’t go to all the schools in the country. We target our resources to specific universities, and so TSU is one of our target schools where we are dedicating our resources to come in and recruit.”

Roosevelt Reynolds, who graduated from TSU last December, is the reliability engineer at the Altria facility in Nashville. He joined the company as an intern and worked his way up to full-time employment.

“My TSU preparation as a mechanical engineer and capabilities in other areas of manufacturing gave me the tool to do the very work I am doing right now at Altria,” said Reynolds, who is from Birmingham, Alabama. “I am forever grateful to the College of Engineering, and especially Tennessee State University, for the exposure that has helped me to integrate myself in various processes in my work area.”

Reynolds is also part of Altria’s recruitment team.

Charles Jennings, director of TSU’s Career Development Center, said he is excited about the “overwhelming” growth of the fair in just its second year.

“When we had the Spring Internship Fair for the first time last year, we only had 28 employers who signed up,” Jennings said. “This year we have more than 50. We are very proud of the increase; we are very proud of the diversity of businesses and organizations that are here today.”

He credits the various colleges and departments for the success, especially the Office of Academic Affairs, which gave students excuse from class to come to the fair.

“This is really paying off for us,” Jennings said.

Some of the other companies, businesses and organizations at the fair were: Regions Bank, Skanska, Aramark, the Tennessee National Guard, Enterprise, and Nashville Public Television.

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.