Tag Archives: Dr. Frances Williams

TSU College of Engineering receives $1M award for scholarships to recruit graduate students

NASHVILLE, Tenn.  (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s College of Engineering is ramping up its recruitment efforts for graduate students and has scholarship dollars to seal the deal. The increase in scholarship offers is courtesy of a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to support graduate students.

The award, “Scholarships To Attract and Retain Students (STARS) in Graduate Engineering and Computer Science Programs,” will provide 30 scholarships to students who are pursuing master’s degrees in engineering or computer science over five years.  

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, said the scholarship program will support the College’s effort to

recruit and grow the graduate programs in engineering and computer science. 

He said the funds should be available by May 1 and that scholarships will likely start being awarded this summer to students in and outside of Tennessee. Applications will be reviewed by the College of Engineering. Hargrove said applicants will be evaluated on their grade point average (at least 3.4), research interest, and their discipline.

“We are strategically focused to increase our enrollment through the graduate program and increase our research activities in advanced materials, cybersecurity, and data sciences and analytics,” said Hargrove.  “We recently reformed our graduate degree programs in engineering, and this funding will allow us to recruit talented students to pursue a master’s in engineering or computer science.”

As part of the college’s strategic plan, the goal is to increase graduate enrollment by at least 25 percent in areas of research. 

In addition to financial support, the program will include cohort-building activities, graduate student support services, seminars, summer internships, and mentorship. 

Dr. Frances Williams, the project’s Principal Investigator (PI) and associate dean, said the “measures are crucial in providing for recruitment, retention, and graduation of graduate students.“

“This is imperative as the United States is faced with a human resource challenge in its need to produce more domestic scientific and engineering talent with advanced competencies,” she said.

In addition to Williams and Hargrove, the project team includes, Dr. Catherine Armwood-Gordon, TSU assistant professor of Civil and Architectural Engineering; and Dr. Ebony O. McGee of Vanderbilt University. 

“I would like to personally thank the strong support of Vice President Lesia Crumpton-Young, Director Phyllis Danner, and the entire (TSU) office team of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs,” said Hargrove.

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

Department of Media Relations

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

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.

31 High Achieving Students from Hillsboro High School Interact with TSU’s Best and Brightest During Honors Week

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University Honors College recently hosted 31 high achieving students from Nashville’s Hillsboro High School as part of TSU Honors Week celebration.

Dr. Frances Williams, Associate Dean of the College of Engineering, holds a discussion with visiting Hillsboro High School students. (Submitted Photo)

The Honors College and Hillsboro High are partners in a two-year exceptional student acceleration program called IBDP, or Academy of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, that nurtures students to excel in higher education.

Participants in IBDP are top juniors and seniors who take advanced placement and honors courses in the 9th and 10 grades to prepare them for IB-level classes in the 11th and 12th grades.

Dr. Coreen Jackson, interim dean of the Honors College, said the visit of the high school students allowed them to interact and exchange notes with TSU Honors students, as well as expose the visitors to the university’s programs and offerings.

“We are delighted to have these top students from Hillsboro High visit our campus and to interact with the best among our students,” said Jackson, who also serves on the advisory board of the Hillsboro High School IB program. “I think having many more partnerships like this with more high schools in the city would help to create a pipeline for increased enrollment into the myriad of majors at TSU.”

Visiting Hillsboro High School students take part in an exercise. (Submitted Photo)

Among activities for the day was “Real Talk,” a panel discussion about college life and advanced learning.

“Do you all have tutoring and personal help here?” a Hillsboro High student, who wants to major in biology, asked. Another was concerned about how honors students fit in and how they are viewed on campus. They were informed about the many tutoring and mentoring programs available to students, and the friendly learning environment on campus.

“I am from India, and even though it was a huge cultural shock, Tennessee State University has made me feel more than welcome,” said Abhilasha Vishwanath, a senior psychology major and Honors student with a 4.0 grade point average. “I play tennis for the university, work in the bookstore, I am part of several organizations, serve on the Honors Council, and I’ve never felt out of place.”

Following the panel discussion, the students were divided into groups according to their academic career interest and dialogued with faculty and staff from engineering, business, liberal arts, education, and life and physical sciences disciplines. Everett Jolly, TSU director of recruitment; Kristin Gray, director of the First-Year Experience; and Barbara Kannard, coordinator for Student Success Initiative, also met and spoke with the visitors.

Barbara Kannard, TSU Coordinator of Student Success Initiative, talks to Hillsboro High School students about opportunities at the university. (Submitted Photo)

Dr. Kenyae L. Reese, Academy principal at Hillsboro High, who accompanied the students, said the visit was very rewarding.

“The faculty and staff of the Hillsboro High School Academy of International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is delighted to partner with the TSU Honors College in creating exceptional experiences for advanced academic students,” Reese said. “The experiential learning trip to celebrate Honors College Week at TSU was both informative and inspiring in scope. The students reported being most excited to learn from the Honors College students and professors and other professionals who provided valuable advice.”

Earlier, TSU Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. John Robinson, joined Jackson to welcome the Hillsboro High School students.

“This is our time to change the narrative, assist our recruiters, and utilize our high achieving students to tell our story that TSU is truly the place to be,” Jackson said.

On March 26, TSU will celebrate its best and brightest students when the university holds its annual Honors Day Convocation in Kean Hall.

For more information on the TSU Honors College, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/honors/about/welcome_page.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 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.