Tag Archives: College of Health Sciences

TSU Professor Named 2015 Nashville Athena Award Winner

Dr. Kimberlee Wyche-Etheridge
Dr. Kimberlee Wyche-Etheridge

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Each year during Women’s History Month in March, Nashville, honors women leaders who inspire others to achieve excellence in their own professional and personal lives with the Athena Award.

This year the award went to a professor from Tennessee State University who exemplifies, “leadership, superior performance, commitment to community, and unselfish assistance to women and women’s issues.”

Dr. Kimberlee Wyche-Etheridge, assistant director of Public Health Initiatives in the College of Health Sciences, received the award Thursday, March 26 during a ceremony held at the Parthenon in Centennial Park. She was selected from a talented and diverse group of 23 individuals

“It is a great honor to be named the 2015 Athena Award recipient and to have the work of my career recognized and celebrated,” said Wyche-Etheridge.

A licensed physician, specializing in family and community health, Wyche-Etheridge is responsible for improving the health and wellbeing of the Tennessee State University campus, as well as the larger Nashville community through integrating the College of Health Sciences into the community for opportunities for service and learning. She is also the founder of the public health consulting firm, WycheEffect LLC.

From its beginning, the Nashville Athena Award Program has been and continues to be a unique community-supported program, organized and sponsored through the collaborative efforts of local women’s organizations in partnership with local businesses and individual sponsors, unlike other cities which rely upon their local Chamber of Commerce. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Athena’s spirit lives on in those individuals who use their vision and persistence to excel while reaching out and opening the way for women across Nashville and Middle Tennessee, according to the organization’s website.

 

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. 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 Students Travel the World for Cultural Experiences, Academic Enhancements

Students from Tennessee State University had the opportunity to visit the ancient city of Ephesus during their study abroad trip to Turkey. The students spent three weeks in country and participated in a program that balanced academics, as well as social and cultural activities. (courtesy photo)
Students from Tennessee State University had the opportunity to visit the ancient city of Ephesus during their study abroad trip to Turkey. The students spent three weeks in country and participated in a program that balanced academics, as well as social and cultural activities. (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Eight students from Tennessee State University had the opportunity of a lifetime recently when they traveled nearly 6,000 miles and immersed themselves in a foreign culture to gain a unique perspective of the world around them.

For three weeks in May, students from the Colleges of Engineering and Health Sciences participated in a program that balanced academics, as well as social and cultural activities during a study abroad program in Turkey.

“We want this to be a part of a student’s TSU educational experience,” said Dr. Ali Sekmen, professor of Computer Science, who traveled with the students. “This was a very different type of academic program for our students with a lot of flexibility.”

While the classes took place on university campuses throughout the country, Sekmen said student assignments and programming practices were done in the hotels and coffee shops while they interacted with their Turkish counterparts.

“It truly was a global experience,” he added.

The students visited Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya and Izmir, and were hosted by Bilkent University (the top university in Turkey, ranking 98 in the world), Antalya International University, and Izmir University of Economics. Sekmen pointed out that the students were required to satisfy the requirements of a MayMester course, specifically Java Programming.

“Its important to remember that even though this was a cultural immersion, there is also the academic requirement,” added Sekmen. “We conducted 37.5 hours of teaching while the students took a midterm and final just as if they were back in the states.”

While students earned credits in programming, they also received the cultural experience that study abroad offers, said Sekmen. The group visited Ephesus, the House of the Virgin Mary, Topkapi Palace, Thermoses and other cultural sites.

“In each city, our students had Turkish student ‘buddies’ with whom they developed a close friendship,” he said. “The group visited university administrators, the vice governor of Antalya, and some Turkish families.

That was an important aspect of the trip for Maggie Fitts, a junior Health Science major. Studying abroad, she said, was an adventure and learning experience all in one that allowed her to gain new perspectives on academic subjects and real-world issues.

“This opportunity allowed me to study issues more in-depth from a cultural perspective,” Fitts said. “Outside the classroom, my personal education was enhanced through the daily interaction in Turkey’s culture with our host families. I can honestly say this was an experience that helped me grow personally and mentally.”

The TSU study abroad program, in conjunction with the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies, or TnCIS, offers a range of initiatives to broaden the University’s global impact and enhance educational opportunities for its students. Combined, more than 30 programs are offered to destinations across the globe.

In the past year, more than 100 students from TSU have traveled across the world, studying in, among other countries, Costa Rica, China, Colombia, India, Germany, Italy and France.

According to Mark Brinkley, director of Study Abroad & Exchange Programs, students gain real-life experience on the global stage through the study abroad program.

“This is very consistent with the University’s position on enhancing global educational opportunities for our students,” said Brinkley. “This is a transformational experience for most students. It gives them an opportunity to expand their critical-thinking skills, and to look at the world a little differently through the lens of someone else from another country.”

For more information on education abroad, contact the Office of Diversity and International Affairs at 615.963.7660.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. 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.

A promise fulfilled: Mother Follows Daughter’s Footsteps to College Degree

Janet-Holly_Blakemore
Janet Blakemore (left) made a promise to daughter, Holly (right) that she would finish her degree once Holly obtained her graduate degree from Tennessee State University. It is a promise Janet will fulfill when she graduates from the University Saturday, Dec. 14. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) –Janet Blakemore always wanted to get her college degree. But sometimes life throws you a curve and your personal aspirations are put on hold while you take care of the things that are most important.

Such as family.

Janet was a single mom to daughter Holly, who grew up in a home where education was important, especially since some of her relatives attended Tennessee State University, and she witnessed first hand all that the University had to offer.

“She would hear all the stories that my mom and her sister would tell about their experience,” said Janet. “She basically grew up on campus attending parades and football games, and she just knew it was the school for her.”

Janet, who works for the State of Tennessee Secretary of State’s office, would do anything to make sure her daughter had the opportunity to attend TSU. Divorced when her daughter was just a year old, she worked more than one job, taking on modeling assignments at locations around Tennessee.

“I wanted Holly to have the opportunities I never had,” she added. “I tried to instill in her a strong work ethic, that anything was possible if you put your mind to it. I told her I would work so she could get work.”

Because of the nature of their relationship, Janet and Holly became extremely close said Janet, so close in fact, even though they were mother and daughter, they were also like best friends.  “It was almost a oneness of spirit that was made of deep devotion, sacrifice and pain,” she beamed.

Holly eventually was accepted, and graduated from TSU in 2003 from the College of Health Sciences with a degree in Speech Language Pathology. She decided to pursue her graduate degree almost immediately.

Janet was extremely supportive of her daughter as Holly worked her way through graduate school. But she always had a nagging feeling that she wished she had completed her degree.

“I had gone to business school but it wasn’t the same,” she said. “Something was just missing.”

At one point Holly became frustrated and stressed while completing the last few classes on her master’s degree in Speech Pathology. Janet made a promise to her daughter that she never thought Holly would remember.

“I told her to finish what she started and if she did, I would go back to school and finish my degree,” Janet added, chuckling. “I never in a million years thought she would remember.”

But she did, and a promise is a promise.

“We have come from a long line of women who have been successful, and I was determined to make sure she had the same opportunity she provided for me,” said Holly. “On graduation day in 2006, I looked at her and told her, ‘your turn.’”

Janet enrolled in 2009 in the Urban Studies program in the College of Public Service and Urban Affairs, and found herself in an unfamiliar position…back in the classroom with “kids” half her age.

“I walked mom to class the first day,” said Holly. “It was a such a role reversal. She didn’t want to admit to it, but she was really nervous and I wanted to be there for her just as she had been for me. It was one of my proudest moments with my mom.”

The past four years have not always been easy, Janet said. She has dealt with personal set backs, finding the time to be a full-time student, and dealing with the demands of work. Everywhere she went she was loaded down with books so she could study, including her second job and the beauty shop.

“I’ll admit, at 55 years old it has been a tough journey,” Janet remarked. “I started out slow taking six hours and eventually built up to 12-18 hours, which was really tough. But I’ve loved every minute of it. Without the support of my daughter, the faculty at the University, and my supervisor at work, this would not have been possible.”

According to Janet, when she graduates on Saturday, Dec. 14, it will validate all her hard work, the negative criticism she received, and most importantly, that she keeps her word.

‘This has been such a blessing to me,” she said. “By obtaining this degree, it validates me in a family that believes in education. I will now be a part of the TSU family.”

But more importantly, Janet added, it validates her relationship with her daughter.

“It’s all about promises made and promise kept, she added. “There is nothing more important than that.”

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. 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.