Tag Archives: Dr. DeEtra Young

Highly Sought-after Freshman Says Coming to Tennessee State University Changed His World

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Emmanuel Wallace had several colleges on his radar. But the top high school graduate from Memphis says a summer program he participated in at Tennessee State University changed his world, and he had no choice but to become a Big Blue Tiger.

“What brought me to TSU was my experience in a five-week Summer Apprenticeship Program that really opened my eyes to a lot of opportunities in agriculture,” says Wallace, a graduate of East High School, where he was a “distinguished honor roll” student and a student ambassador. With an expressed interest in studying civil engineering, Wallace received full scholarship offers from Vanderbilt University and the University of Memphis, just a few of the schools courting him.

Emmanuel Wallace

“First, I was considering majoring in civil engineering, because in high school I did a lot of engineering programs,” says Wallace, now a freshman at TSU. “But after talking with the leaders of the program, I concluded that agriculture would be a good fit for me.”

Over the summer, Wallace was one of 21 graduating high school seniors from across the nation who participated in the very competitive five-week Summer Apprenticeship Program. From studies in understanding hypersensitive response of tobacco plants to comparing DNAs in chickens and Guinea fowls, participants in the program were exposed to real-world scientific work and cutting-edge research. He developed a special interest in goat research after spending time with renowned TSU goat researcher, Dr. Richard Browning.

Wallace’s professors and mentors in the program say he showed remarkable ability and enthusiasm to learn.

“Right away we noticed how bright and energetic he was and really wanted to learn,” says Dr. DeEtra Young, assistant professor of agricultural and environmental sciences. “So through our mentorship, I think he fell in love with the new opportunities that agriculture provides.”

Wallace, a first-generation college student and the youngest of three children, came to TSU with a near 4.0 grade point average. He was the salutatorian of his graduating class, president of the National Honor Society, the senior class, and manager for the varsity boys’ soccer team at East High. He is currently majoring in agricultural sciences with a concentration in agribusiness. He hopes to go to graduate school and either work for the U.S. Department Agriculture or develop a business career in agribusiness.

Wallace was recruited as a High Achiever Academic Scholarship recipient. He is a Dean Scholar in the College of Agriculture, and a member of the Honors College. He also has memberships in the Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, and Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Science.

Recently, Wallace was one of 10 TSU students selected to participate in a three-day Agriculture Future of America four-track program in Kansas City, Missouri, designed to offer college men and women four different personal and professional development opportunities matched to their year in college.

According to Young, who accompanied the students, Wallace participated in Track I, which is the leadership track for freshmen.

“The program bridges the gap between academic, leadership and work experiences while helping students understand the impact of their decisions,” says Young.

At TSU, Wallace says his goal is to combine academic and leadership for student success.

“I plan on holding multiple leadership positions, inspire and motivate members of my class, and become a student ambassador for Tennessee State University,” he says.

For more information on opportunities in the TSU College of Agriculture, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/seminar_schedule.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.

TSU Freshman lands multi-year internship with Fortune 500 Company

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Braxton Simpson says she came to Tennessee State University because she saw an opportunity to grow and to “push my limits.”

She has not been disappointed.

“After a full semester, I can proudly say that TSU has exceeded my expectations,” says the freshman agricultural sciences major.

Simpson comes to TSU as part of a millennial generation of high achieving students that the university continues to strategically recruit in its effort to improve retention and graduation rates.

In 2016, President Glenda Glover announced sweeping changes that raised admission standards to attract the best and brightest. Minimum requirement for incoming freshmen went up from a 2.25 GPA to 2.5, while the ACT score remained at 19.

Braxton Simpson

The semester following the announcement, school officials said Braxton’s class of 2021 came in as one of the most academically qualified classes in the school’s history, with an average 3.07 GPA. It was also the largest incoming freshman class in school history – 1,500 first-year students – a 17 percent increase over the previous year’s freshman enrollment.

The Atlanta native, who many say is far ahead of her time and definitely pushing her limits, is a member of the Honors College with a 4.0 GPA, and the current Miss Freshman.

At age 19, Simpson is an entrepreneur with two online companies and a high school mentoring program. She also just landed a three-year internship with a Fortune 500 company.

“When I see an opportunity I run after it,” says Simpson, who credits her parents (Michael and Ronnetta Simpson) with the zeal to be ‘assertive and productive.’ They taught me money-management skills and how to brand and market.”

As the oldest of three children, Simpson says her business savvy is helping her to set a good example for her younger siblings. Additionally, she says she majored in agricultural sciences with a concentration in agribusiness to “combine my passion for business and servant leadership.”

An academic standout at Marietta High School, where she graduated with a 4.1 GPA, Simpson is the owner of Girls Got Game, a female athletic apparel company; and Underground Apparel, a “black pride” apparel company. She also mentors high school children through her Black Girls United program that she started while a senior in high school.

This summer, immediately after school and over the next three years, Simpson will intern with Monsanto, one of the nation’s largest agricultural companies. She will be assigned to the company’s world headquarters in St. Louis, for training, and later go onto to Grinnell, Iowa, where she will be involved in seed production.

“I am excited and grateful for this opportunity,” says Simpson. “The TSU Ag department has invested a lot in me since I have been here, especially Dr. (DeEtra) Young. She took me in as a freshman and molded me by sending opportunities my way. She saw the Monsanto commercial for the internship and advised me to apply for it. I did and I was successful.”

Young, an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, is a professor and mentor to Simpson.

She describes Simpson as ‘one of the many excellent students’ at TSU who are determined to be the very best in their field.

“Braxton presents herself as confident, assertive and dedicated,” says Young. She is intelligent, very inquisitive and genuinely values learning.”

According to Young, Simpson has been selected to participate in the highly competitive Agriculture for Future America Leader Institutes, which provides participants with exposure and professional development training.

This summer, in addition to her training with Monsanto, Simpson will receive AFA training in Chicago and Anaheim, California.

“My advisors have pushed me to be the best I can be. I cannot thank them enough for it!  Being in the Land of Golden Sunshine (TSU) has been a blessing, and I am extremely excited about what the future holds,” says Simpson.

Simpson will start her internship with Monsanto on May 14.