Tag Archives: college of agriculture

Internationally Known Vegan Trainer Tay Sweat Among Experts To Greet Public At Health And Wellness Fair at TSU

NASHVILLE, Tenn(TSU News Service) – Certified personal trainer and nutrition coach Tay Sweat knows what it means to fight for his life. At age 15, he weighed 311 pounds and found himself in a constant battle with diabetes and high blood pressure. Afraid he would meet an early death, Sweat decided as a teenager to take control of his health.

“I got rid of my diabetes and my high blood pressure, and from there I started helping others do the same,” said Sweat, who is now an internationally recognized health guru with clients in Australia, Canada and Japan.

Certified personal trainer and nutrition coach Tay Sweat (submitted photo)

Sweat is one of many health, nutrition and fitness experts who will take part in a unique community health and wellness fair this Friday at Tennessee State University from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Kean Hall.

The fair, which is a partnership between TSU, the DP Thomas Foundation for Obesity, Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s HIV Vaccine Program, and the Turnip Truck, will feature more than 40 vendors and give participants opportunities to receive massages, chiropractic care, dental screenings, HIV testing and more.

Sweat, who does 90 to 95 percent of his business online and the remaining with high profile clients like Tennessee Titans players and their wives, is excited about this opportunity to share what he has learned with the general public.

“I want people, when they see me, to see the difference eating a lot of plants can have. But not only that, I want to speak to the people and answer questions,” said Sweat, who lost more than 120 pounds before packing on an additional 25 pounds of muscle using a vegan diet.

Lalita Hodge, TSU coordinator of Public Relations and a member of the DP Thomas Board of Directors, said the purpose of the fair 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, but you will also see nontraditional healing methods there like coffee enema, the Turnip Truck with their organic produce, and we have healthy lunches that will include organic free-range turkey,” she said.

Hodge said organizers are placing special emphasis on getting senior citizens and college students to participate.

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.”

Dolly Patton-Thomas, executive director of the DP Thomas Foundation for Obesity, said she hopes the event will motivate people to live healthier lives. She said Sweat and Certified Holistic Wellness Coach Karina Hammer are just two of the many vendors she is elated to see continue their participation in the fair, which is in its third year.

“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 Agriscience Fair provides opportunities to learn, recruit

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Students from area high schools got a chance to showcase their agriculture projects at Tennessee State University’s inaugural Agriscience Fair on Thursday.

Ali Bledsoe, a ninth-grader from Clarkrange High School in Fentress County, receives a check for $500 for taking first place in the plant science category. Presenting the check are Dr. Samuel Nahashon, chair of the Department of Environmental Sciences, left; Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the College of Agriculture; and Dr. John Ricketts, TSU Ag professor and fair organizer. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Close to 100 students in grades 9-12 participated in the event sponsored by TSU’s College of Agriculture. The students, from 11 counties, made presentations in categories that included food and nutritional sciences, plant sciences, animal sciences, agricultural engineering and biotechnology. The presentations in each category were judged, with first place winners receiving $500, and $250 for second place.

While the fair was a chance for students to showcase their work, organizers said it was also an opportunity for students to see what TSU has to offer, and hopefully draw them to the university.

“There’s so much out there we do in terms of research, in terms of addressing national priorities,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of TSU’s College of Agriculture. “A lot of times the young people in the school systems don’t know that. So we’re trying to get them to our place … and see how we can blend their goals with what we have here.”

Dr. John Ricketts, a TSU Ag professor and organizer of the fair, said the students got a chance to interact with some of the College of Agriculture’s faculty and discuss topics related to their areas of interest.

“So, in addition to recruiting, it’s really helping them with their research interest in the areas they’re studying,” Ricketts said.

Tenth-grader Elise Russ showcases presentation on diabetes and eating healthier. Russ says she plans to attend TSU. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Elise Russ, a 10th-grader from Hillsboro High School in Nashville who was a presenter at the fair, said she plans to attend TSU and major in agriculture. She said she’s been inspired to work in that field after spending time gardening with her grandmother.

“I like agriculture,” said Russ, whose presentation was about diabetes and eating healthier. “I used to always be in the garden with my grandmother; I just loved doing that with her.”

One of the winner’s at the fair was Ali Bledsoe, a ninth-grader from Clarkrange High School in Fentress Country. She got first place in the plant science category for her presentation about “organic matter in the soil.”

Bledsoe said a large part of her interest in agriculture is due to her older brother, who was in Future Farmers of America, or FFA.

“He introduced me to this,” said Bledsoe, who is also in FFA. “He did a project sort of like this his freshman year.”

To learn more about TSU’s College of Agriculture, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/.

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.

Inaugural AgFest kicks off week of college activities at TSU

By Joan Kite

Nashville, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – More than 100 students, staff, and faculty members attended the College of Agriculture’s inaugural AgFest at Tennessee State University on Monday.

TSU College of Ag Dean Dr. Chandra Reddy (right), and horse trainer Jerry Williams, Jr., wth his Tennessee Walking Horse. (photo by Joan Kite, TSU Media Relations)

The event took place on the university’s main campus in the circle in front of the College. Participants were treated to opportunities to feed goats, pet a Dexter bull, take selfies with a prancing Tennessee Walking Horse, examine scientific equipment, and mingle with friends.

“It’s a beautiful day,” said Lauren Stevens, an agriculture graduate student who attended with her fellow classmates.

Ag Professor John Ricketts, who organized the visit by horse trainer Jerry Williams, Jr., and his Tennessee Walking Horse, also arranged to have the Agricultural Education Mobile Laboratory parked on the Circle. The classroom on wheels provides mobile lessons about agricultural literacy.

Emily Hayes, a graduate student and assistant with the College’s nationally recognized goat research, said before AgFest that she was looking forward to it.

“The AgFest is a great opportunity for people to actually see all … these groups together, and see all of the work we’ve done as an entire ag department,” said Hayes.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded more than $2 million in teaching, research and extension capacity building grants to seven TSU Ag professors.

The funds will be dedicated to developing research and extension activities designed to increase and strengthen food and agricultural sciences through integration of teaching, research and extension.

AgFest marks the beginning of events all week at the College of Agriculture. On Tuesday, students participated in the Amazing Race, an agricultural scavenger hunt. On Thursday, high school students were to participate in the College’s first Agri-science Jackpot Fair, where a $500 first place and $250 second place prize will be awarded.

To learn more about TSU’s College of Agriculture, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/.

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.

 

Children’s day event a learning experience for youngsters and TSU students, organizers say

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Youngsters from several local schools and day cares will converge on Tennessee State University’s indoor practice facility on Wednesday, April 11, to participate in activities leading up to the Week of the Young Child.

Each April, the National Association for the Education of Young Children designates a week to focus on children. This year, April 16-20 is designated.

TSU’s Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, which is part of the College of Agriculture, and TSU’s Center for Learning Sciences is hosting the event during College of Agriculture Week.

Dr. Margaret Machara, associate professor of human sciences, is the coordinator of TSU’s Day of the Child event, which involves participation from a number of the university’s departments.

She said students and faculty in each department have been asked to develop activities for the children related to their respective areas of study. Organizers say the event provides a learning experience for both kids and college students, particularly those in a program like early childhood.

“We have college students that get to put into practice the things they are learning with actual children (3 to 5-year-olds) in the community,” says Machara. “So they’re learning on their level, and the children are getting an early grasp on material and getting a love for learning in higher education at the same time.”

Last year, more than 250 kids participated in TSU’s Day of the Child event.

Among them was 4-year-old Gavin, and his mother, Natasha Winfrey, who said the kids seemed to benefit from the activities.

“I think it’s good to get the kids started early, to see all the specialties that are available to them when they get older,” she said.

For more information about the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/degrees/family_consumer_purpose.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, 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.

College of Ag celebrates its students and studies at inaugural AgFest

By Joan Kite

Nashville, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s College of Agriculture will showcase its students and cutting-edge research at its inaugural AgFest on Monday, April 9.

Graduate students Kyle Williams and Uzoamaka Abana work in one of the new Ag labs. (photo by Joan Kite, TSU Media Relations)

The free event will kick off at 11 a.m. in the circle in front of the Agricultural Complex. Visitors will learn about some of the vital research being conducted in the College, as well as lucrative career opportunities available to agriculture majors. Live animals such as goats, cattle, guinea fowl, and a Tennessee Walking Horse will be on display.

The Agricultural Education Mobile Laboratory, a mobile classroom that provides agricultural literacy to audiences that are not familiar with the industry, will be parked at the circle.

“Anybody can come out,” says Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the College, which recently opened six new laboratories and remodeled several others. “We want them to see the cutting-edge research being conducted at the College.”

Emily Hayes, a graduate student and assistant with the College’s nationally recognized goat research, says she’s looking forward to AgFest.

“The AgFest is a great opportunity for people to actually see all … these groups together, and see all of the work we’ve done as an entire ag department,” says Hayes.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded more than $2 million in teaching, research and extension capacity building grants to seven TSU Ag professors.

The funds will be dedicated to developing research and extension activities designed to increase and strengthen food and agricultural sciences through integration of teaching, research and extension.

To learn more about TSU’s College of Agriculture, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/.

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 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.

College of Agriculture opens six new labs

By Joan Kite

Nashville, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover and Joni McReynolds, president of the TSU National Alumni Association, joined Ag Dean Chandra Reddy at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday to open six new Ag laboratories.

TSU President Glenda Glover (center), Ag Dean Chandra Reddy (right), and Joni McReynolds, president of the TSU National Alumni Association, participate in ribbon-cutting ceremony. (submitted photo

The ceremony, which was held on National Ag Day, included the re-opening of five newly remodeled labs, bringing the total number of state-of-the art laboratories at the College to 35.

“In these labs, graduate and undergraduate students along with post-doctoral fellows, visiting scholars, and our principal scientists conduct research in national challenge areas such as food security and safety, environmental sustainability, human health and nutrition, and renewable energy,” said Reddy. “The knowledge generated from these labs is shared with the stakeholders and the public to improve agricultural productivity, human health, and community development.”

Open now for active research are the new labs for Plant Nutrition, Wildlife Ecology, Water Resources, Urban Forestry, Entomology, Organic Agriculture and Modeling and Data Analysis. USDA Capacity Building Grants helped fund the creation of the new labs, which were carved from Dr. Reddy’s former office space in the Farrell-Westbrook building.

Before the official tour of the labs, students Kristen Stigger, Taylor Ribeiro, and Durga Khandekar, dressed in crisp, white lab coats, presented Glover with freshly cut flowers. The flowers were grown in the greenhouses at TSU College of Agriculture’s Research and Education Center.

During the tour, the president and McReynolds talked with many of the students who are actively engaged in research projects. The students’ studies range from determining Tennessee’s salamander population through DNA sampling of local streams to research and discovering the best practices for using integrated pest management and biological control to prevent plant and crop destruction.

“I can move forward with my environmental DNA research much more quickly with access to state-of-the-art machines,” said Nicole Witzel, a research assistant in the Wildlife Ecology Lab. “The new lab is allowing us to conduct quality research efficiently, and I couldn’t be happier about it.”

To learn more about the College of Agriculture, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/.

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.

College of Agriculture celebrates National Ag Day with inaugural AgFest

By Joan Kite

Nashville, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s College of Agriculture will celebrate National Ag Day with its inaugural AgFest on March 20.

TSU President Glenda Glover will be present at 2 p.m. to cut the ribbon for the opening of the College’s brand new labs in the university’s Agriculture Complex on the main campus. College Dean Dr. Chandra Reddy will host a tour of those labs and existing ones. Anyone interested will have an opportunity to peer into all 27 labs.

“We want everyone to see our state-of-the-art research facilities,” says Reddy. “We want them to see the cutting-edge research being conducted at the College.”

Food, fun and festivities will be set up on the Circle in front of the complex. This year, National Ag Day’s theme is “Food for Life.” To recognize the diversity of the faculty and staff, College employees are bringing snacks and finger foods that represent their countries of origin for “A Taste of Ag.”

Dexter cattle, goats, and guinea foul from the College’s Agricultural Research and Education Center will star in the livestock show.

Urban Green Lab’s Mobile Sustainability Laboratory, a mobile classroom that offers people free interactive lessons about sustainable living and green careers, will be parked at the Circle.

Emily Hayes, a graduate student and assistant with the College’s nationally recognized goat research, says she’s looking forward to AgFest.

“The AgFest is a great opportunity for people to actually see all … these groups together, and see all of the work we’ve done as an entire ag department,” says Hayes.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded more than $2 million in teaching, research and extension capacity building grants to seven TSU Ag professors.

The funds will be dedicated to developing research and extension activities designed to increase and strengthen food and agricultural sciences through integration of teaching, research and extension.

Emoni White, a sophomore in TSU’s College of Agriculture who is majoring in animal science, says she’s proud of the work she’s doing in the College, and continues to be amazed at how far-reaching TSU’s research is.

To learn more about TSU’s College of Agriculture, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/.

 

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’s College of Agriculture begins Hemp Research Initiative with workshop

By Joan Kite

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The College of Agriculture at Tennessee State University is launching a major hemp research initiative in collaboration with Tennessee’s Department of Agriculture.

To help educate local farmers and the public, TSU’s College of Agriculture is presenting the Industrial Hemp Producers Workshop, a one-day session featuring experts in the industry from 10 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Friday, March 2, at the Farrell-Westbrook building on TSU’s main campus.

Interest is high in this topic as all available workshop slots are already taken attracting more than 100 people, some of whom are flying in from California and Delaware.

“We want to be in this emerging area of Tennessee agriculture,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the College of Agriculture. “Our goal is to assist the producers in growing industrial hemp efficiently.“

The College of Agriculture has charged a team of scientists to develop hemp production practices for Tennessee. The research projects also include developing hemp nutritional products for human consumption and studying the economic viability of hemp production in Tennessee.

The workshop on March 2 features hemp industry experts who will discuss licensing requirements, market prospects, business model plans, best practices and other information needed to get into the hemp production business in Tennessee. The workshops will begin at 11 a.m. and conclude at 4 p.m.

Hemp, which is a form of Cannabis Sativa (marijuana), but is genetically different, is an ancient crop dating as far back as 12,000 years ago. It flourished in America during the 1800s. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were proponents for the industry. Hemp was used to produce cordage and ropes for the shipping industry, canvas, sacks, and paper. Today, hemp is used for all kinds of products from clothing to food.

Hemp fell out of favor in 1937 when the government passed the Marijuana Tax Act regulating the sale of all cannabis varieties. In 1970, the United States passed the Controlled Substances Act declaring all forms of Cannabis Sativa, including hemp, as a Schedule 1 drug, making hemp possession illegal. Hemp does not have the intoxicating THC levels found in marijuana.

Today, hemp products are imported from 30 countries to the United States. Estimates indicate that retail sales of hemp-based products in the U.S. total $300 million annually.

 

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.

Grant Writing Specialists Visit TSU for Nashville’s First NSF Day

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – National Science Foundation (NSF) representatives visited the campus of Tennessee State University on Thursday to provide insight for researchers who hope to secure funding from the agency.

The daylong workshop, called NSF Day, included discipline-specific breakout sessions featuring NSF representatives, a panel with NSF-funded researchers from Tennessee and discussions about things to consider before writing a proposal as well as opportunities for fellowships.

Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, vice president of Research and Institutional Advancement, welcomed the group to TSU’s Avon Williams Campus with the shout, “Big Blue”, as she applauded them for attending the first NSF Day held in Nashville, Tennessee.

“We are here today to spend time on a topic that is near and dear to my heart,” Crumpton-Young said. “One of the things I love most about each day is the opportunity to think about research, discovery and the things that we have an opportunity as faculty, staff and students to work on that will address global challenges and make a difference in how we live our lives.”

The NSF is the federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance national health, prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense,” according to the foundation’s website. NSF supports fundamental research in science, engineering and education across all disciplines.

Fahmida Chowdhury (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Fahmida Chowdhury, program director in the NSF Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE), said researchers should make sure NSF is the right funding agency for them before they begin writing a proposal. She also stressed the importance of pinpointing what is unique and important about the proposed study.

“A lot of times scientists who have a great idea take it for granted that everyone knows it is a great project. It’s a great project for you, but why is it so great for everybody else in your field and not only for the advancement of your field, but also for society at large,” Chowdhury said. “You have to think about those things, and make those part of your motivation for writing the proposal.”

Chowdhury also highlighted the importance of having an effective assessment plan.

“How will you know that what you will do in the next five years has been successful,” she said. “Always make that part of your proposal.”

Muhammad Khan, who currently works as a molecular research analyst with Dr. Ahmad Naseer Aziz, TSU associate professor of Molecular Genetics, said attending NSF Day may help him secure funding to further his research, as well as provide opportunities for students.

“One of our key priorities in writing grants is to benefit the students,” Khan said.  “Grants help us provide them with stipends, the chemicals important to their research, and we also expose them to approaches which will help maximize their learning.”

Holly Brown, NSF Lead for the TSU NSF Day said the event gives the foundation an opportunity to reach out to the research community and individuals who are potential researchers.

“Today we have a crowd that is typically early career researchers. Some of them are assistant professors, a lot of them are from the TSU community themselves, and we also have people from other universities in the area,” Brown said.

“At the end of the event we want everyone here to know how to apply for a grant, and to feel comfortable talking to us as program officers and us as the experts,” she added.  “It really comes down to, ‘Contact your program officer if you have questions.’ And people really don’t do that if they don’t know who they are.”

US Senator Lamar Alexander said in a video message to attendees that the National Science Foundation has an annual budget of about $7 billion and makes about 12,000 new funding awards each year in fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences.

“Tennessee State should be proud to be selected as one of the four sites that will host an NSF Workshop Day this year,” he said.

Nicholas Kovach, research specialist in the TSU Division of Research and Institutional Advancement, said the university secured more than $2 million from NSF in the last fiscal 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, 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.