Tag Archives: Emmanuel S. Freeman

Opioid epidemic highlights Crime Stoppers meeting at Tennessee State University

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Nearly 30 representatives from law enforcement agencies across Middle Tennessee met at Tennessee State University on Feb. 8 for intelligence and information sharing on crime prevention and how to address the state’s opioid crisis.

It was the monthly meeting of Crime Stoppers of Middle Tennessee, which included law enforcement chiefs, officers, detectives and security officers from counties, cities, universities and other jurisdictions in the region. The national opioid epidemic and its impact on the region was a major topic at the gathering.

Trevor Henderson, left, and Nichelle Foster, both from the Metro Health Department, make a presentation on the opioid epidemic, at the Crime Stoppers’ meeting. (Photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

In a presentation, a team from the Metro Public Health Department reported on the level of abuse in the area. In 2016, the group reported, there were 1,631 overdose deaths in Tennessee. Of that number, 281 were in Davidson County. In overdose cases involving the ER, the group reported that the majority of people affected were between ages 18-44.

“This is very serious,” said Trevor Henderson, opioid coordinator in the Metro Health Department.  “We are doing everything possible to keep bringing those numbers down.”

Nichelle Foster, also from the Metro Health Department, made the presentation with Henderson. Foster is from the Division of Behavioral Health and Wellness. She helps individuals recognize the difference between use, abuse and addiction to determine if the individual has substance use or risky lifestyle issues that need to be addressed in a treatment or educational setting.

Recently, TSU joined the fight to address the state’s opioid epidemic. The university implemented a new overdose prevention program to stop deaths associated with misuse and addiction.

Last month, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced an aggressive and comprehensive plan to end the opioid epidemic in Tennessee by focusing on prevention, treatment and law enforcement. Called TN Together, the plan includes providing every Tennessee state trooper with naloxone (NARCAN) for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose.

Under the TSU initiative, certified university police officers will be able to administer NARCAN Nasal Spray, a prescription medicine used for the treatment of an opioid emergency, such as an overdose. The initiative is in conjunction with Nashville Prevention, a division of the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

“Our goal at the TSU Police Department is to minimize the likelihood that someone on our campus dies from an overdose of opiates,” said Aerin Washington, TSUPD’s crime prevention officer, who coordinated the Feb. 8 meeting. “We want to be on the cutting edge of this movement as we strive to serve the community in every aspect that we can.”

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 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.

TSU Faculty, Students Present Research at 2nd Honors College Ted Talk

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – TSU Faculty and students from various disciplines presented research and topics on pressing issues at the second Ted Talk organized by the Honors College on Wednesday.

The event, which is part of activities marking Honors Week at TSU, gives students and faculty an opportunity to present their work to the campus community.

Nine presenters discussed topics ranging from cancer research, mobility and transit in Nashville, to fake news in the Trump era before fellow faculty and students in the Robert N. Murrell Forum on the main campus.

Katherine Miller

Katherine Miller, a senior biology major from Nashville, presented on “Developing a Methodology for Single Cell Proteomics Using Aluminum-Treated Switch Grass Roots,” a collaboration between TSU, Cornell University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The goal of the research is to develop a protocol for single-celled proteomics that can have applications in cancer and protein disorders.

“This research has the potential to change medicine as we know it,” Miller said.

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove

Discussing Nashville’s current transit situation, Dr. S. Keith Hargrove said the Music City has experienced tremendous growth, but without a solution to transit and mobility to align with the business and housing growth of the city.

“This presentation provides an overview of the proposed solution and action plan of the mayor’s office,” said Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering and member of the Nashville Transit Coalition. “It also discusses the technology integration as a solution to improve the mobility of the residence of Metropolitan Nashville.”

Other presenters and their topics were:

Dr. Hugh M. Fentress

Dr. Hugh M. Fentress, assistant professor of biological sciences: “Activation of the JAK/STAT Signaling Pathway by the Human Serotonin 2C Receptor”

Farah Ismail

Farah Ismail, sophomore biology major from Cairo, Egypt: “Exposure of Human Immune Cells to Triclosan Alters the Secretion of IFNy”

Rachelle Brown

Rachelle Brown, sophomore psychology major, from Memphis, Tennessee: “Who is She? An Analysis of the Stereotype Surrounding the Black Woman”

Nijaia Bradley

Nijaia Bradley, sophomore, early childhood education major: “Infamous Deception in Black America: An Examination of Abortions, Medicine and Media Portrayal”

Abhilasha Viswanath

Abhilasha Viswanath, junior psychology major from India: “Peripheral Color Contrast Sensitivity Under Perceptual Load”

Leona Dunn

Leona Dunn, junior communications major from Omaha, Nebraska: “Fake News in the Trump Era”

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 Offerings, Culture of Diversity and Inclusion Attracting International Students

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Eman Abdulrahman Alharbi spent only three years at Tennessee State University, but she is leaving with a bit of proud history, as the first student from Saudi Arabia to earn a doctorate at TSU.

Eman Abdulrahman Alharbi received an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at last fall’s graduation. (Submitted Photo)

Her history-making feat, though, may be short-lived if the current influx of students from her country is any indication. She is part of a growing number of international students from Saudi Arabia that call TSU home. Records show more than 70 percent of the nearly 570 foreign students at TSU are from Saudi Arabia.

This is a good thing, university officials say.

“Ninety-nine percent of these Saudi students come here fully funded by their government as Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission scholars,” says Mark Brinkley, director of International Education in the Office of International Affairs.

Studies show the surge of Saudi students is not unique to TSU.

Nationally, Saudi Arabia ranks fourth with 4.9 percent of total 1.08 million international students in the U.S., only behind China, South Korea and India.

Students representing various nations, participate in a pageant organized by the Office of International Affairs. (Photo by OIA)

An annual report by the Institute of International Education and the State Department shows that the number of international students in the United States increased by 3.4 percent over the prior year. The rise marks the 11th consecutive year of expansion in the number of foreign students in the U.S. This is also a dramatic jump from the fewer than 600,000 who studied here just a decade ago, according to the report.

Experts attribute this rise to expanded higher education opportunities. At TSU, Brinkley says the university is offering what the students want and providing an environment that makes them want to stay, and that makes others want to come.

The biggest draw, he says, is the university’s highly accredited engineering program.

Saudi students offer a Taste of Saudi Arabia during a cultural festival at TSU (Photo by OIA)

“They select TSU because we have been able to offer the majors that they want to enter, particularly in the field of engineering,” says Brinkley. “Well over half of our engineering majors are SACM students.”

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the TSU College of Engineering, is not surprised by the influx of foreign students in his program. He says in addition to quality, the TSU program is designed around providing students an environment that appreciates differences in culture, race, origin and background.

““Our goal in the College of Engineering is to produce what we call the ‘global engineer,’ says Hargrove.  “This is a graduate who is prepared to demonstrate technical competency to work anywhere in the world. This objective has been supported by our study-abroad program and the invitation to international students to complete their engineering degree at TSU.”

South American students provide entertainment at a cultural festival on campus (Photo by OIA)

For Alharbi, who earned an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at last fall’s graduation, the TSU culture of diversity and inclusion was the welcoming factor.

“My advisor at MTSU (Middle Tennessee State University) where I received my master’s degree, recommended me to Tennessee State University, and I am glad I came,” says Alharbi. “The people made me feel at home. TSU has great professors, who never gave up on me even though there was a language barrier.”

Alharbi is not alone. Even though these international students come very determined to succeed, the language barrier can be a major stumbling block for many – not just Saudis. This is another area where TSU stands out – helping students navigate the language difficulty and succeed.

Officials of the Office of International Affairs: Mark Brinkley, Director of International Education, left; Dr. Jewell Winn, Executive Director of OIA; and Mark Gunter, Director of International Affairs (Photo by OIA)

Dr. Trinetia Respress is the interim assistant dean in the College of Education, who also mentored and advised Alharbi. She says professors must “actually be ready to go beyond and give extra support” to help these international students overcome the language barrier.

“As a person, I saw Eman to be a very tenacious and determined person who wasn’t going to allow anything to turn her around,” says Respress. “It is that she actually wanted it and she went after it. She is a very good student and very bright.”

Alharbi earned her doctorate in three years at TSU. Her interest is in higher education accreditation with a goal to help more Saudi universities gain international accreditation. And Her dissertation, “Preparing Saudi Universities for International Accreditation in the Area of Government and Leadership,” reflects that desire.

“My plan is to work with Saudi universities in evaluating outcomes and assessing the weaknesses and strengths in helping them get international accreditation,” says Alharbi. “I want to work with accrediting agencies and to bridge the disconnect between universities in the United States and my country in the area of accreditation.”

According to Brinkley, Alharbi represents the kind of “international ambassadors” that TSU cultivates.

“In most instances, our surge is the result of word-of-mouth referrals about the culture here at TSU being supportive,” says Brinkley. “That’s what draws them here. They find our programs to be academically and culturally supportive by offering the majors they are looking for and an environment suited to their needs.”

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.

Japanese Delegation Holds Cultural, Economic and Political Discussion with Tennessee State University Students and Faculty

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A former Japanese ambassador to the United States says Tennessee State University students and faculty can benefit from cultural and academic experiences in Japan.

Ichiro Fujisaki, Former Ambassador of Japan to the United States (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Ichiro Fujisaki, who served as his country’s chief diplomatic officer to the U.S. from 2008-2012, is now the president of the America-Japan Society, Inc., a private entity for interactive activities between Japan and the U.S.

He spoke on TSU’s Avon Williams Campus Wednesday when he led a four-member panel on Japan’s culture, economy, politics and relationship with the U.S.

Called “Walk in U.S., Talk on Japan,” the panel is held in different cities across the United States each year. Audiences include students, faculty, grassroots organizations and community leaders in face-to-face discussion on understanding the culture and people of the world’s third-largest economic power.

The Consul-General of Japan in Nashville, Masami Kinefuchi, and more than 100 TSU students, faculty, administrators and community leaders attended the program, which concluded with a Q&A session and exchanges with the Japanese delegation.

Last year, 21 TSU students and faculty went to Japan for a 10-day visit funded by the Japanese government. (College of Business Photo)

“Japan today is very different from the Japan we see in prototypes and sketches in the media,” Fujisaki said. “Japan is really modernizing; it is a very open society. Japan is not just beautiful; it is so lively. And the good thing about it is that Japanese people are friendly to Americans, which makes it very appealing to students and visitors.”

According to organizers, “Walk in U.S., Talk on Japan” began in 2014. Since then, the delegation – usually comprising different individuals – has visited more than 63 cities.

The TSU visit was held in collaboration with the College of Business and the Office of International Affairs, and a result of a “special” relationship between TSU and the Japanese consulate since 2016, according to Anis Mnif, director of Graduate Programs in the COB.

That relationship, Mnif said, has resulted in many visits by TSU students and faculty, including one last year when 21 students went to Japan for a 10-day visit funded by the Japanese government.

Ronald McFarland, a graduate student in the MBA program, was one of those students. He said the experience was “unique” and very rewarding.

“A lot of what we know about Japan we only see on TV, but going there and seeing how clean the cities are, the friendliness of the people and their willingness to accept us in their culture was very eye-opening,” said McFarland, of Nashville. “The goal of the trip was to spread the word about the relationship between Nashville and TSU, in general, and Japan. As a TSU student just making the connections, meeting with business professionals, young professionals, opened my eyes to a whole new look on our global society.”

Dr. Millicent Lownes-Jackson, dean of the College of Business, said the Japanese delegation’s visit is “just another step along our long path that we have been on” in building a relationship with Japan.

“Our students have been studying abroad in Japan for a good number of years,” Lownes-Jackson said. “So this is just another step in building even stronger relationships. We think this will open the doors for more study abroad opportunities for our students, faculty, and for faculty from Japan to come and teach our students here in America.”

Also speaking at the program was Dr. John Robinson, professor of biological sciences and interim associate vice president for Academic Affairs, who brought greetings on behalf of President Glenda Glover.

Howard Gentry Jr., Criminal Court Clerk of Davidson County and TSU alum credited with helping to establish the relationship between TSU and the Japanese consulate, also attended the program.

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 President Glenda Glover Discusses State of the University at Spring 2018 Faculty and Staff Institute

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover says improving retention, graduation and the overall success of students remain top priorities of the university.

Glover kicked off the 2018 spring semester with an address to the Faculty and Staff Institute.

She said the single objective of TSU is educating, graduating and “enhancing the lives of the students we touch.”

“Our one overriding objective is to meet the needs of all our students,” the president said.

Participants gather for the 2018 Spring Faculty and Staff Institute in Poag Auditorium. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

At the gathering in Poag Auditorium, Glover introduced Dr. Alisa L. Mosley as the interim vice president for Academic Affairs, replacing Dr. Mark Hardy who retired last semester. Faculty and staff also heard from Dr. Achintya Ray, chair of the Faculty Senate; and Staff Senate Chair Linda Goodman.

Glover reported that the university remains in full compliance with the governance standards of the Southern Association of Colleges and Universities, the accrediting agency, following a review. As a result of the FOCUS Act, which established a new governing board for the university, the SACS Commission on Colleges made a peer review team visit to ensure TSU was still in compliance with the commission’s governance standards.

“I am glad to report that the peer review team found TSU to be in compliance with all standards pertaining to the governance change,” Glover said.

A rendering of the 120,000-square-foot Tennessee State University Health Science Building. The building is in its design phase. (Courtesy photo)

On program accreditation, Glover reported that aeronautical industrial tech, occupational therapy, education, music and social work programs have all received re-accreditation as a result of 2016/2017 site visits by the respective accrediting agencies.

Glover also announced several new programs. They include an Executive Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership, Ph.D. in Public Health, and B.S. in Nonprofit Management and Leadership, which are awaiting approval from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. Master of Science in Engineering and Hospitality Management programs are also under consideration, she said.

Glover said the university was also reviewing low-producing programs, as well as enhancing focus on the undergraduate-nursing program.

“We want to make sure all programs are up to standard and relevant with the right amount of students. There is no need keeping programs that have low participation,” she said.

The president also discussed capital improvement and infrastructure enhancements. A new 120,000-square-foot  Health Sciences building is in the design phase, while two new residence halls are in the designer selection phase, she said.

“We lose students because of living conditions, so we want to make sure we have the facilities that will keep them here. Our campus is safe, overall campus crime is down and we are doing everything possible to make Tennessee State University the safest campus,” Glover said.

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.

Miss Tennessee State University Kayla Smith Participates in Ebony’s HBCU Campus Queens Competition

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Ebony magazine has begun its annual HBCU Campus Queens voting competition, and Miss TSU Kayla Smith wants to be among the Top 10 featured in Ebony’s April/May edition.

She wants your vote.

Smith is competing against more than 50 other hopefuls trying to make the Top 10 list. For Smith, becoming an Ebony Top 10 HBCU Campus Queen would fulfill a dream she has had since becoming Miss TSU.

“I believe in ‘black excellence,’“ she said. “That’s something I demonstrated when I  ‘broke the norm’ at predominantly white Germantown High School and became the first female African-American senior class president. At TSU I have maintained that, and certainly hope to demonstrate that as an Ebony Campus Queen.”

A native of Memphis, Smith is a senior health science major with a concentration in therapeutic studies and a minor in psychology. Her career goal is to become a successful occupational therapist with the goal of owning a rehabilitation center.

Since coming to TSU, Smith has been determined to fulfill the university’s motto of “THINK. WORK. SERVE,” by taking on roles that promote academic excellence and hard work. She is a former Miss Women of Infinite Potential, and the outgoing Miss Junior.

She is also a member of the Honors College, Golden Key International Honor Society, Pep Club, Pre-Alumni Council, HIP’Notyze Dance Troupe, and Princess Generation of Educated Men. In between classes, she welcomes college-bound students during campus tours to encourage the next generation to follow her lead.

Dr. Tracey Ford, TSU’s vice president for Student Affairs, said Smith is “definitely a perfect campus queen” because of the special qualities she has.

“Kayla Smith is an amazing young lady who has demonstrated leadership, scholarship and also a strong member of our community,” Ford said. “She relishes her role in being a role model to our students. Our institution is definitely better for having Kayla as our Miss TSU. Not only is she a beautiful person on the outside, she is an amazing spirit on the inside.”

Voting for the Campus Queen is in progress and ends on Jan. 15. The public can vote twice a day. To vote for Smith, visit http://bit.ly/2zZDaiQ.

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.

Getahn Ward Memorial Scholarship created for journalism students at Tennessee State University

The Tennessean

The Tennessean, Tennessee State University and other organizations have partnered to create a new scholarship in the name of the late Getahn Ward that will benefit aspiring journalists at TSU.

The Getahn Ward Memorial Scholarship, announced Dec. 19, will be awarded to a journalism student each year who meets qualifications established by the school’s Department of Communications. Other partners include the National Association of Black Journalists and the Gannett Foundation.

Ward, a business reporter at the Tennessean since 1998, who was known for his real estate scoops, deep sources and bulldog approach, died on Dec. 9 after a brief illness. Ward, an active community leader, was also a longtime adjunct professor at TSU and a proud alum of the university. He was 45.

►More: Getahn Ward, longtime Tennessean reporter and community leader, dies at 45

Ward, who previously worked at the Nashville Banner before it closed in 1997, had a passion for teaching students and advocating for black journalists.

The new scholarship is the first endowed scholarship in the history of TSU’s Department of Communications.

“At a time when our majors are working multiple jobs to offset the cost of a college education, this will go a long way in helping some of our best and brightest students,” said Tameka Winston, who chairs the TSU Department of Communications.  “This scholarship represents a man who devoted much of his life to the field of journalism and to the education and success of students at Tennessee State University.”

The goal of organizers is to raise $25,000, which would be the minimum required to establish an annual scholarship in perpetuity.

The financial value of the scholarship will be determined by how much money is raised. If the goal of $25,000 is reached, the scholarship would be $1,000 per student annually. It would increase if more money is raised.

Winston said the department is also finalizing plans to honor Ward in a way that will give him “permanent recognition” within the department and university.

“He was one of the kindest individuals that I’ve ever met and the news of his passing is heartbreaking,” Winston said. “Getahn was a stellar professor and the department will never be able to replace him.”

►More: Getahn Ward: In honor of one of Nashville’s finest

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 employee Delores Williams serves the university, while also helping those in need through her charity

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Delores Williams is all about helping people. It keeps her very busy, but she doesn’t mind.

With a fulltime job at Tennessee State University as the office manager in the College of Liberal Arts, Williams also runs Star Ministries, Inc., a non-profit organization in south Nashville that caters to the hungry and needy in the community. She receives no pay for her services at Star Ministries.

Delores Williams

“I love people,” said Williams, when asked how she is able to balance the demands of students, faculty and staff and still reach out to the hundreds who come to Star Ministries. “My passion comes from wanting to help in any way I can to make another person’s life better, and that keeps me going.”

Making other people’s lives better has been a major part of Williams’ life work for nearly a quarter-century, but she doesn’t do it alone, she points out.

“I have been blessed with some wonderful people and organizations that are willing to work day or night to help us touch the many lives we try to reach,” Williams said.

Williams gets help from volunteers, including TSU staff, students and others from the community, especially Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church, where Star Ministries first started more than 20 years ago as a food bank for Second Harvest.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture food program also assists, in addition to a twice-a-year food drive with help from community partners like Fellowship Bible Church, Vine Glenn Missionary Baptist Church, Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, and Delta Sigma Theta sorority.

Delores Williams, staff and volunteers at Star Ministries bag donated Christmas presents for students at Dudley Head Start Center. From left are: Wanda Richardson, TSU; Eddie Sanders, assistant executive director of Star Ministries; Virgenia Brown, TSU; Delores Williams; and Deacon Fred Cawthon, Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

As Christmas approaches, Williams, like in years past, also takes on the role of Santa, making sure needy children in the community enjoy the spirit of the season. For instance, on Dec. 14, she and her volunteers distributed toys to the nearly 200 children at Dudley Head Start Center in Nashville. The toys were collected through donations from volunteers and the community.

LaQuisha Soles, the center’s director, said Williams brings “hope” to the children because many “do not even know what Christmas is because their parents cannot afford gifts.”

“So this is a great benefit for the children because they are receiving something,” Soles said. “We are so thankful. This is a great and wonderful opportunity for these children.”

For Williams, making sure the hungry is fed remains a major mission.

Each month, she and her volunteers provide about 300 food boxes to the hungry at the food pantry in south Nashville.  A pre-Thanksgiving dinner provides a “home-cooked meal” for more than 500 in the community on the third Saturday in November of each year. They also conduct an Angel Tree for kids at Kips Academy, take the homeless shopping as part of a partnership with Target, and serve barbecue to residents at the Nashville Rescue Mission.

“These people need us. There is nothing like a good, home-cooked meal and to know someone cares,” Williams said. “If not us then who? I am so thankful for the generosity of our volunteers and community partners who make sure we are able to do what we do.”

Wanda Richardson, payroll supervisor in the accounting and payroll department at TSU and a member of Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church, has been a volunteer at Star Ministries for nearly seven months. She said Williams’ passion to help others is “unbelievable.”

“Delores gets so excited when she talks about her program,” Richardson said. “The excitement she brings is spiritual and infectious. For example, when Delores called and told me about the toy program, all I did was ask, ‘how can I help?’ ‘We need toys for the kids,’ she said. I went back to TSU and asked some of the people in my area to help and instantly we collected more than 90 toys. She is really an inspiration.”

Williams’ boss at TSU, Dr. Gloria Johnson, described the great-grandmother of four as a very dependable and dedicated worker and compassionate person, who will go out of her way to help students, just like she does in the community.

“Students are always flocking to her because of how understanding and helpful she is to them,” said Johnson, who is dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “It does not surprise me that she reaches out to help in the community because that’s just the kind of person she is. She demonstrates that here at work every day. I always look forward to contributing to her annual toy drive because I know she cares.”

Fred Cawthon, a deacon at Morning Star, has been a volunteer with Williams since she started the outreach ministry. He said Williams is a “great advocate” for helping others.

“Ms. Delores reaches out to everybody in need of anything – burned out, child abuse, spousal abuse, you name it she’s there,” Cawthon said.  “She gives without expecting anything in return and that’s why I like her spirit.”

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 expert says U.S. Travel Ban May Not Affect International Students with Legal Status, but still causes anxiety

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – International students with legal status in the United States should not be worried about the new travel ban, says a public policy expert at Tennessee State University.

Dr. Michael Harris, dean of the College of Public Service and a longtime expert on Middle Eastern politics, said there is “no language in the law that will affect these students.” However, the ban could impact those wanting to enter the U.S. other than to study.

Dr. Michael Harris

“No, students should not be concerned at all,” Harris said. “I don’t believe it (the ban) has any impact on students that are admitted to universities in the United States with an I-20.”

The Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant Student Status, also known as the I-20, allows student to stay in the country for the duration of their program. The I-20 is processed in the country of origin and makes it legal for individuals to come to the United States and learn, Harris added.

On December 4, the Supreme Court allowed the ban to go into effect, although legal challenges against it remain. This means that the government can fully enforce its new restrictions on travel from eight nations, six of them predominantly Muslim. For now, most citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea will be barred from entering the United States, along with some groups from Venezuela.

Tennessee State University has about 560 international students from 35 countries. (Courtesy photo)

While the ban does not impact current international students studying here, it still causes them great concern. This includes Nahal Jafari, a freshman psychology major at Tennessee State University.

The Iranian native said she cancelled all options to attend college in her country and chose to come to the U.S. for her studies, but thinks the ban may cause her problems in the immediate future.

“I am really worried because this impacts my student visa,” said Jafari, who was planning on going home during the summer break for vacation but thinks it may not be a good idea. “If I decide to change schools or go home to see my family, will I be able to?”

TSU has about 560 international students from 35 countries, with a good number from Iran, Iraq and Somalia, which are on the travel ban.

In most cases, citizens of these designated countries will be unable to immigrate to the United States permanently, and many will be barred from working, studying or vacationing here. For instance, Iran will still be able to send its citizens on student exchanges, though such visitors will be subject to enhanced screening.

Mark Brinkley is the director of international education in the Office of International Affairs (OIA) at TSU. Brinkley recommends all international students submit their current I-20 for review prior to departing the U.S.

He said if the I-20 is current, “students may re-enter the country without challenges from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.”

International students in middle Tennessee should go to their designated school official (DSO) to ensure they have all proper documentation and fully understand the new travel ban.

For more information on international studies at TSU go to http://www.tnstate.edu/diversity/.

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.