Tag Archives: Emmanuel S. Freeman

Nashville native Kevin Scott says attending his hometown university was the best choice for college, finds success at TSU

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When it comes to education, Kevin Scott has no other choice but to succeed.

“My parents didn’t play. Growing up at home my grades always came first,” says Scott, a Nashville native who has a passion for building, tinkering and fixing things.

Scott’s passion is no accident. He was raised around people who were “always building or fixing things.” His father owns a mechanic and towing business that he inherited from Kevin’s grandfather.

Kevin Scott

“That’s where my interest in electronics started, being able to create and play with emerging technology,” says Scott, a senior electrical engineering major at Tennessee State University.

In May, Scott will graduate from TSU with a degree in electrical engineering and a concentration in computer engineering. He has potential job offers waiting for him with aerospace research and engineering giants like Lockheed Martin and AMRDEC or the Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center, upon graduation.

Scott says the “strong and highly accredited” engineering program at TSU made his decision to stay local very easy. At TSU, he maintained the same high academic zeal he had always had. He is completing his engineering program in four years, which ordinarily lasts five years.

“I have been blessed with great professors and mentors at TSU who have been very nurturing and show personal interest in my success,” says Scott, who will be graduating with a near 3.5 grade point average.

An Academic standout at Nashville’s John Overton High School, Scott credits strong TSU disciplines and early preparation for his success. At Overton, Scott was part of the STEM Academy, and a member of the Technology Student Association, which helped him to develop the fundamentals of engineering, robotics and programming.  He had earned 12 college credit hours by the time he graduated high school. He was awarded a Presidential Scholarship to attend TSU, from where both his parents – Kevin, Sr., and Joy Scott – had graduated.

“The scholarship was a sign that I should stay locally and take advantage of the opportunity I had been blessed with,” says Scott. “In fact I had always been involved with TSU and many of my family members had also attended TSU.”

A member of the Honors College, Scott is the Student Branch Chair of the Institute of Electrical/Electronic Engineers, member of the National Society of Black Engineers, and Eta Kappa Nu Zeta Kappa Chapter Electrical Engineering Honor Society. He is also a teaching assistant, and Lab Manager for STEM Scouts by Boy Scout of America.

“This journey through Tennessee State University has been a life-changing experience. From the connections I have made, the opportunities that I have been granted, and from the education I have received, coming into this final stretch of my undergraduate degree, I know that I am ready to THINK, WORK, SERVE, and LEAD,” says Scott.

Dr. Coreen Jackson, interim dean of the Honors College and one of those Scott credits for his success, says, “Kevin is one of those rare people whose achievement and ambition are way beyond his years.”

“Kevin has done an exceptional job in his academics at Tennessee State University,” says Jackson. “He has had excellent training in his engineering classes, received personal mentorship from his professors in the College of Engineering and the Honors College, and is well prepared to make his mark on the world.”

Over his college career, Scott also received recognitions and scholarship awards from the Music City Bowl Tradition of Service, the NFL Retired Players Inspiration, IBM Master The Mainframe Part 2 Completion, and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

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.

Tennessee State University Spring Preview Day 2018 to Attract Record Participation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A record number of participants are expected to attend Spring Preview Day 2018 at Tennessee State University on April 14, organizers say.

The Office of Enrollment Management and Student Success says more than 1,200 high school seniors and juniors from across the nation will attend the one-day event in the Floyd-Payne Campus Center. That’s up from the previous record 800 who attended last year’s Spring Preview Day.

Hundreds of high school seniors and juniors and their parents tour academic departments and other sites during Spring Preview Day 2017. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The visiting students and their parents and relatives – from about 15 states including, California, Texas, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin – will have the opportunity to see the campus during springtime, as well as acquaint them with the university’s offerings and admission processes.

Activities for the visitors, according to organizers, will also include meetings with academic departments, TSU student organizations, campus tours, entertainment by the world-renowned Aristocrat of Bands, and the Big Blue Tiger Spring Blue & White Football Game in Hale Stadium.

“Spring Preview Day is going to be an exciting day of information and inspiration here at TSU,” says Terrence Izzard, associate vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Success.

“As a university, it is important to us that millennial scholars get to see firsthand what we offer here at TSU. We are concerned about their preparation to be global scholars and so we feel like bringing them to campus, opening the doors to our classrooms, to our student life, our academic programs will give them firsthand information about the experience.”

Spring Preview, a major recruitment effort by the university, started several years ago as a “junior preview day,” to give juniors a jumpstart on recruitment, but it has “slowly turned into a day for seniors as well to complete their admission requirement,” says Everett Jolly, TSU’s director of recruitment.

Spring preview is one of several campaigns aimed to recruit the best and brightest, say TSU officials. Last year, those campaigns led to the recruitment of 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 “Class of 2021” came in as one of the most academically qualified classes in the school’s history, with an average 3.07 GPA.

Spring Preview Day 2018 comes on the heels of “Experience TSU,” yet another innovative recruitment campaign that just ended in four major markets – Atlanta, Birmingham, Memphis and Nashville – that aims to meet students where they are.

TSU President Glenda Glover led the campaign to meet potential students face-to-face to ensure their commitment to attend TSU.

These recruitment efforts follow sweeping changes Glover announced in 2016 that raised admission standards, as the university moved to increase retention and graduation rates. Minimum requirements for incoming freshmen went up from a 2.25 GPA to 2.5, while the ACT score remained at 19.

Izzard says “Experience TSU” was a way of “personally congratulating these students for applying and being accepted” to TSU.

“We wanted to personally welcome them to the TSU family and let them know of all the wonderful opportunities to grow and learn while here at Tennessee State University,” says Izzard.

Spring Preview Day will kick off at 9 a.m. in Kean Hall. For more information, go to https://bit.ly/2GWLXJ0.

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.

New Nashville Mayor Visits Tennessee State University Campus, Promotes City’s Transit Plan

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover Monday welcomed new Nashville Mayor David Briley to the TSU campus.

President Glenda Glover welcomes Mayor David Briley to TSU. (Photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

The mayor stopped on campus to meet with “the TSU family” and to promote the city’s new transit initiative, a $5.4 billion proposal to build a light rail system and rapid bus transit for Nashville over the next 15 years. Symbolically, the mayor arrived aboard a Music City Circuit bus that serves key destinations in Nashville between the Riverfront Station and the TSU campus free of charge.

Briley took pictures and had lunch with TSU administrators, faculty, student leaders and staff in the main student dining area in the Campus Center.

“I just took the Circuit bus over here from downtown to Tennessee State University,” said Briley, adding that the service has seen a 50 percent increase in ridership since its inception about a year ago.

TSU President Glover, accompanied by SGA President JerMilton Woods, left; Dean of Students Frank Stevenson; and Associate Vice President and Chief of Staff, Dr. Curtis Johnson, receives Mayor David Briley upon arrival on the TSU campus. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“I am out today just to work a little bit on our transit initiative, which we vote for on May 1. This is the kind of service that will expand immediately upon the adoption of the transit initiative. And so I just wanted to come by and see President Glover here and to visit TSU just because the addition of this service has been very important to Tennessee State University.”

Glover said she was glad that TSU was invited to be a part of the plan to draw up the transit proposal.

“It is always a pleasure to have you on our campus to see some of the great things that are going on here,” Glover told Briley. “We recognize the importance of transit to Tennessee State University and the whole community because TSU is anchored right here in North Nashville.”

Mayor Briley orders lunch at the pasta counter in the student cafeteria. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Briley said  with the increased ridership, bus service on the TSU route will see an immediate increase to 20 hours a day from its current 16 hours.

“This is typical of the kind of increase you will see across the community – greater access, longer hours and more frequent service – immediately when the initiative is approved. We want to make sure it is accessible, it’s affordable, reliable, and a consistent service for everybody who needs it here in our community,” the mayor said.

JerMiiton Woods, president of the TSU Student Government Association, said many TSU students use public transportation.

“An expanded service will give many TSU students a chance to explore Nashville,” Woods said. “It is very important for students here to be connected to the city. I think that most of the students that come to TSU will get a chance to see Nashville and hopefully want to stay and see Nashville grow.”

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.

Mass Communications Career Showcase Attracts 13 Major Media, Marketing and Entertainment Companies

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – TSU’s Career Development Center Tuesday held a student career showcase for mass communications and music majors in the Performing Arts Center.

Representatives from 13 media, marketing and entertainment companies set up booths, received resumes, conducted on-the-spot interviews and answered students’ questions about internships and employment opportunities.

Steve Burbank, local Comcast Spotlight sales manager, talks TSU graduating senior Alexis Thorton at the student career showcase. (Photo by Jamal Coleman, Career Development Center)

Alexis Thorton, a graduating senior, who came ready with a resume and application, said she was “really glad” to attend a fair on campus just for mass communications majors.

“Usually when we have a career fair on campus not many students come out from our department because it doesn’t feel like it is designed for us,” said Thorton, of Memphis. “This makes us feel like they care because as a graduating senior, this improves my chances for a job.”

Thorton, who interviewed with at least two companies, may just be one of the lucky ones among nearly 80 students at Tuesday’s career showcase to land a job as a result of the program.

Steve Burbank, local sales manager for Comcast Spotlight, came ready to hire a graduating senior.

TSU mass communications major Stefanie Avilla, right, talks to local TV Channel 4 representative Don Downs about employment opportunities. (Photo by Jamal Coleman, Career Development Center)

“We are looking for the right candidate to hire as an associate sales account executive,” Burbank said. “We are looking for someone to join our world-class media sales organization with a growth mindset who has an eye toward enhancing their sales acumen.”

He said the successful candidate will receive 12-months hands-on training, mentoring, learning assessment and product knowledge, as well as an eight-week corporate on-board training in Philadelphia, Denver and Atlanta.

Tina Reed, associate director of TSU’s Career Development Center, said unlike job fairs, the mass communications career showcase was designed to showcase students to potential employers.

“This was also intended to let them (students) know what type of opportunities they have in terms of entertainment, media and music,” said Reed. “We have some very good students here and some great companies. We just want to match them up and get them connected.”

Dr. Tameka Winston is the interim chair of the Department of Communications. She likes the idea of a career showcase dedicated specifically to mass communications, music and other liberal arts majors.

“Our students are among the best; they work very hard and they are always looking for internships and things of that nature,” Winston said. “We hope that this will be very beneficial to them especially going into the summer month.”

Among some of the other major companies and institutions at the career showcase were the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters, local TV Channels 2 and 4, and Sony Music.

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 Toasts Its ‘Points of Pride’ During Ceremony in Downtown Nashville, Launches Website to Engage Alumni

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Calling them its ‘Points of Pride,’ Tennessee State University Thursday night recognized local alumni achievers during a ‘Toast To TSU’ at First Tennessee Park in downtown Nashville.

President Glover toasts fellow Points of Pride at the Toast of TSU. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations.)

Points of Pride are TSU graduates or former students who are prominent and emerging leaders with universally recognized success in their fields, and who have made a positive impact on the TSU brand and community.

The inaugural group of TSU Points of Pride, among them Shannon Sanders, Grammy Award Winning Producer, Songwriter and Music, Retired 4-star General LLoyd “Fig” Newton, and President Glenda Glover, include individuals with achievements in arts and entertainment, athletics, business, education, engineering and science, government healthcare, law and the military.

TSU Foundation Board Chairman Dwayne Tucker gives remarks at the Toast of TSU. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“This is certainly a remarkable event and a memorable way to recognize the outstanding contributions of our alumni to not just TSU, but also to the world and their communities,” said Glover. “I am glad to be a Point of Pride for our great university. I say thank you on behalf of all of us.”

Event organizers say this new category of recognition was created to honor and extend the university’s alumni legacy of achievement.

“Among these individuals are unsung alumni that you don’t hear about who are doing marvelous things in their fields, industries and in their communities,” said Cassandra Griggs, director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving.

Eight of the newly recognized TSU Points of Pride, who were present, were each presented with a poster-size photograph of themselves, and a toast from the audience.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to know that someone cares about the fact that you care enough to do your best everyday,” said Kevin Williams, former president and managing director of General Motors Canada, and member of the TSU Foundation Board. “A recognition like a point of pride from the university is something that will go with me for my lifetime, something that certainly gives me a lot of pleasure in knowing that my small efforts are making a difference.”

TSUNAA President Joni McReynolds with her Points of Pride poster at the reception. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Other Points of Pride toasted were Dwayne Tucker, human resource executive and chairman of the TSU Foundation Board; Dwight Beard, owner of Beard Property Management and president of the TSUNAA Nashville Chapter; Dr. Harold Love, Jr., member of the Tennessee House of Representative and pastor of Lee A.M.E Church; and Uchendi Nwani, entrepreneur, motivational speaker, lecturer and author.

Also toasted was Joni McReynolds, retired generalist with the Central Intelligence Agency and president of TSUNAA.

To view the full list of the 50 Points of Pride, go to https://www.tsupointsofpride.com/

At Thursday night’s Toast to TSU, organizers also launched the official Points of Pride website where alumni can “regularly engage,” nominate future Points of Pride, as well as donate to the university.

TSU alumni and friends toast the new Points of Pride. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

The website is an informative and interactive way to provide feedback on alumni experiences and interests, as well as to register for events and make contributions to support the next generation of the university’s students referred to as “rising stars.”

According to Griggs, the Toast to TSU is a partnership between the TSU Foundation, the National Alumni Association, and the Nashville Chapter to encourage the estimated 24,000 alumni in the Nashville metropolitan area to become informed, involved and invested. Thirteen of the inaugural Points of Pride are from Nashville.

This local effort is being spearheaded by the Nashville Chapter and President Beard.    Foundation Board Chairman Tucker is leading the national effort to education alumni and chapters of the importance of directing funds raised in the name of the University to the TSU Foundation.

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 Honors Day Convocation Recognizes More than 2,800 Students for Academic Excellence; Speaker Tells Students to Never Give Up

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Kean Hall was filled with cheers and congratulatory statements Tuesday when the university recognized its best and brightest students at the annual Honors Day Convocation.

More than 2,800 students with grade point averages of 3.0 or higher were recognized for academic excellence. Among the honorees were 302 President’s List scholars. These are students who have maintained 4.0 GPAs throughout their matriculation.

President Glenda Glover, right, and Dr. Coreen Jackson, Interim Dean of the Honors College, present Abhilasha Vishwanath with the Dr. McDonald Williams Scholarship for Academic Excellence. Vishwanath, a senior Psychology major, is a President’s List scholar, who has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout her matriculation. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

TSU President Glenda Glover; interim Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Alisa Mosley; interim Dean of the Honors College, Dr. Coreen Jackson; other senior officials, deans, faculty and student leaders participated in the convocation.

Malick Badjie, a 2003 TSU graduate and executive director and head of Africa for Robeco, an international asset and investment management firm, was the keynote speaker. Badjie was a member of the Honors College at TSU.

In her welcome remarks, Glover congratulated the honors students for their achievements and thanked Badjie for agreeing to “come back to TSU to inspire our students”

“Today we honor ‘honors,’” Glover said. “We are proud of you and the Honors College for continuing this tradition of excellence. For 54 years, TSU has been committed to mentoring and motivating students to pursue academic excellence through the Honors College. We thank you and honor you.”

Thousands, including faculty, students, staff, administrators and familily members attended the 2018 Honors Day Convocation in Kean Hall. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Badjie told the honor students that in their pursuit of excellence they must learn to be humble, resilient, think global, never give up and ‘Think Work Serve,’ the TSU motto.

He said in life success is “attributed too quickly” because one has graduated college, attained a new job, or received a promotion.

“When anyone tells me, ‘You are successful,’ I cringe because success is a journey, it is a destination,” said Badjie, who has more than 15 years experience in the investment and institutional asset management industry, including senior positions with BlackRock, a Wall Street investment firm now the largest in the world. “Success is about improving yourself every single day. It’s about pushing yourself further and further, saying, ‘I am going to do everything within my ability to continue improving myself.’”

Amber Hawkins and Wateasa Freeman, two outstanding students, listened keenly as Badjie spoke about resilience and humility.

“His (Badjie) insights on leadership and not giving up are very inspiring to help students be the best they can,” said Hawkins, a senior President’s List scholar from Memphis majoring in political science.

For Freeman, a psychology major with a 3.8 GPA from Columbus, Ohio, Badjie was just the “right person for this occasion.”

“Today is very significant and means a lot to honor academic greatness, and he exemplifies that,” said Freeman. “His achievements show he is truly an example of the excellence on display today.”

Badjie, a native of Gambia, recounted difficulties he faced trying to fulfill a dream of obtaining a college degree, such as scholarship offers not materializing. But his luck would soon change in a chanced meeting with Dr. James Hefner during a forum at Mississippi Valley State University.

“At the program I sat next to this man I didn’t know and offered my seat to his wife, who came in later,” Badjie said. “Apparently, the man was impressed by the courtesy and my knowledge of the discussion at the forum. He struck a conversation with me in which I told him about my difficulties. He introduced himself as president of Tennessee State University and offered me a full scholarship to TSU.”

At TSU, Badjie majored in political science, was on the Dean’s List every semester, joined the Honors Program, tutored math and accounting majors, was a member of the Honda All-Stars debate team, and graduated with honors.

“So, every part of my life has always been about setbacks and how I reacted,” he said. “It’s always been about taking the opportunity. So, for me, TSU was the ultimate dream because I had nothing.

“Never give up. People will always doubt you. Dream big; dream beyond your possibilities. Imagine anything you can imagine right now. Never let anyone tell you, “You can’t.”

With a combined roster of 98 for fall and spring, the Honors College will graduate its largest class in school history this year, compared to 67 in 2017 and 42 in 2016.

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.

‘Experience TSU’ Recruitment Campaign Aims to Attract the Best and Brightest Students

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is continuing an innovative recruitment campaign that aims to meet students where they are.

“Experience TSU” was launched last year to attract the best and brightest students in four major markets – Atlanta, Birmingham, Memphis and Nashville.

TSU President Glenda Glover is leading the campaign to meet potential students face-to-face to ensure their commitment to attend TSU, recruitment officials say.

Targeted students – about 100 first-time freshmen in each market – have already applied and been accepted to attend TSU.

This year’s “Experience TSU” visits are scheduled for Atlanta on March 10, Memphis on March 17, and Birmingham on March 21.

“We are continuing this annual effort by visiting major cities in an effort to close the loop on students who have been admitted to the university,” says Dr. John Cade, vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Success. “This is an initiative that began last year and it proved to be very beneficial to us with respect to a better quality of students.”

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

Following the announcement, TSU launched several major efforts in its recruitment drives, including a near 40 percent discounted tuition rate for students in counties within 250 miles of Nashville; presidential scholarship receptions for students in their communities; and on-site recruitment fairs, among others.

“’Experience TSU’ is part of these efforts to get a commitment from admitted students that they will be enrolling at Tennessee State University this fall,” Cade says. “The average student has about five schools to which they have been admitted. We want to make sure TSU is their choice. We believe that the face-to-face encounter adds a personal touch. It removes any barrier, and students are able to put names to faces and to get a warm and welcoming feel about what they will experience when they get to Tennessee State University.”

Terrence Izzard is TSU’s associate vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Success. He is directly responsible for recruitment and admissions.

He says “Experience TSU” is a way of “personally congratulating these students for applying and being accepted” to TSU.

“We want to personally welcome them to the TSU family and let them know of all the wonderful opportunities to grow and learn while here at Tennessee State University,” Izzard says. “There are all kinds of ways to tell the story of TSU, such as through the media, newspaper and television. But we want students to experience TSU through us, and that’s why our team, along with our president, is taking the time to go and help our newly admitted students experience TSU.”

Shariah Edwards, a student from Power Center Academy High School, has been admitted to 149 colleges, along with $7.6 million in scholarship offers. She says TSU is among her top choices. (CBS News Photo).

In Memphis, the “Experience TSU” team has in its sight on Shariah Edwards, a graduate from Power Center Academy High School, a charter school, who made national headlines last year for being accepted to 149 colleges. Along with the acceptance, Edwards received more than $7.6 million in scholarship money. TSU was one of her top choices.

According to Cade, TSU has offered Edwards a full-ride scholarship to TSU. Additionally, President Glover has personally reached out to Edwards and her parents to encourage her to come to TSU, Cade 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.

 

TSU Freshman Beats Odds By Staying Focused Amid Life’s Challenges

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Naton Smith says he could have easily become a statistic. Instead, he was determined, and beat the odds.

Growing up in a rough neighborhood in St. Louis, he was not expected to make it out and be successful. But he was determined – amid gang violence, drugs, killings, and where high school graduation was rare.

“I was determined not to let anything negative hold me back,” says Smith, a freshman health science major with concentration in physical therapy.

“I wanted to go to college, although I knew it wouldn’t be easy; but I kept pushing by making good grades and staying out of trouble. I needed to get out and find that place that would make me realize my dream.”

Naton Smith

Smith found a way out, and found his way to Tennessee State University.

“I wanted to attend TSU to be surrounded by ‘black excellence,’” says Smith, who graduated near the top of his senior class at North Technical High School. “I wanted to be around people who had something going for them, who could motivate me to achieve, and TSU has provided me that place.”

At TSU, Smith has a 3.81 grade point average. He is a member of the Honors College. In his first semester, Smith made the Dean’s List for outstanding students.

As part of the Class of 2021, Smith is among 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, TSU President Glenda Glover announced sweeping changes that raised admission standards to attract the best and brightest. Minimum requirements for incoming freshmen went up from a 2.25 GPA to 2.5, while the ACT score remained at 19.

In Smith’s first semester – following President Glover’s announcement – school officials said his 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.

In addition to academics, there is every indication that Smith has found his niche at TSU. He is a member of the Men’s Center, which focuses on character development, social engagement and mentorship for male students.  He also participates in intramural basketball when he is not promoting a new business venture – a clothing line on Instagram called Creative Minds Clothing.

“I like to try my hands in a variety of different business ventures. I’m constantly trying to network and meet new people,” says Smith, who plans to go to physical therapy school.

Smith is also thankful to many at TSU who are having a positive impact on his life, including Amanda Brown, his English professor.

“Professor Brown shows great interest in my well-being. She motivates me. She is a very positive individual who pushes me to stay focus,” says Smith.

Brown, an English instructor in the Department of Languages, Literature and Philosophy, describes Smith as “both engaged and engaging, curious, empathetic, charismatic and exceedingly bright.”

“As I have gotten to know him over the year, I have seen how he exhibits a quiet leadership style and grace under pressure that will, I believe, serve him well in life,” says Brown. “Teaching him has been a real joy.”

Smith says he will stay focus and continue to beat the odds, and be successful at TSU and beyond. The St. Louis native beams with pride and says to just sit back and watch, because he’s from the “Show-Me” state.

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.

Tennessee State University Business Students, Faculty Offer Free Tax Service in Partnership with IRS

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – For more than 16 years, Sonya Nicole Martin used private accounting firms to prepare her IRS tax return for a fee.

But the last two years, Martin got a break and is now getting her returns done for free by certified IRS tax preparers, thanks to a program in the College of Business at Tennessee State University.

“This is a big help,” says Martin. “It is saving me a lot and I am able to give back to my family and spend that extra money that I am saving on other items.”

A few years ago, TSU partnered with the United Way of Metro Nashville to administer VITA, or Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, an IRS initiative to offer free tax preparation services for low to middle-income individuals making $66,000 or less per year. Accounting students and other business majors in the COB, who have been certified by the IRS, along with their professors, administer the program.

The free tax service is available every Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on the Avon Williams Campus. It will continue to the end of the IRS tax-filing deadline.

“The College of Business is very pleased to offer this free service to the community,” says Dr. Millicent Lownes-Jackson, dean of the college. “This is also an ideal service-learning initiative of the college where our accounting majors are able to get practical hands-on experience while helping others.”

According to officials, between 30-40 returns are prepared each Saturday, and this filing season it is projected that 400-500 returns will be prepared. That’s up from 300 last season. Sixteen undergraduate and four graduate students are helping this year as part of their class work.

Professor John R. Powers, who coordinates the VITA program at TSU, right, works with senior accounting major Kathy Grant. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

To participate in the program, volunteer students must take and pass Tax-1, Individual Income Tax, a required course and be certified by the IRS. Students get three hours of college credit as an accounting elective.

John R. Powers, a CPA and adjunct professor of accounting and business law, is the coordinator of the campus VITA program. He is responsible for the final quality of returns and files the completed returns electronically.

“Although this is a free service, we try to maximize the refund of any client, and that’s where I come in with my years of experience,” says Powers, majority owner of a Nashville accounting firm, who has been in the business for more than 30 years.

For the students, Power says, this is life experience whether they want to go into the tax field or not, it prepares them from a professional development standpoint.

Kathy Grant has met all requirements to participate in the VITA program and is helping for the first time this year. The senior accounting major says she is enjoying the “double” benefit the program offers.

“I am doing something to give back to the community, and I am also learning in the process,” says Grant, of Nashville, who wants to become a CPA “This is not just class, it is a business because I can use this education as I step out into the workforce.”

For Mariam Sadat, a senior, human resources major from Cairo, she is encouraged by the satisfaction people get from the services she and her fellow students provide.

“They are just too happy to know that they have avoided all the potential headaches with the free service,” says Sadat. “This is also a good practice for me to get this experience.”

Dr. Stephen Shanklin, CPA and interim chair of the Department of Accounting, who supervises the VITA program, says great emphasis is put on the quality of students selected for the program.

“Students with As and Bs are the ones we are looking for,” he says. “They can be from any discipline whatsoever in the college, but they have to have at least completed that course and have a desire to be tax preparers. And even at that they are not eligible until they interview with Prof. Powers.”

“In essence, we are preparing these students for the workplace,” adds Powers. “It is very important helping the community because we realize that the tax refund, no matter what amount, they are truly needed by the people who come here. So we prepare our students to do everything in accordance with the IRS code.”

For more information on the TSU VITA program and the free tax service, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/business/contact_us.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.

TSU’s Air Force ROTC Program Gets Major Boost With New, Top-Notch Flight Simulator

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Cadets in the TSU Air Force ROTC Detachment 790 interested in becoming Air Force pilots will now be able to take advantage of a state-of-the-art new X-Plane 11 flight simulator.

TSU President Glenda Glover cut the ribbon Tuesday officially opening the room in a ceremony surrounded by AFROTC cadets.

President Glenda Glover, assisted by Maj. Michael Gordon, Detachment Operations Officer, cuts the ribbon to officially open the flight simulation room. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Walt Rau, a friend of the university, donated the simulator to the Department of Aerospace Studies through the TSU Foundation.

“This is a great day in the life of Tennessee State University,” Glover said. “I thank you all and especially Mr. Walt Rau for bringing this level of technology with a simulator of a top-notch standard so that the students here can learn to carry out their training for careers they have chosen. This offers them unlimited possibilities.”

Walt Rau, son of Walter Rau, a World War II B-24 bombardier who died on a combat mission in Italy, said the donation is a way of remembering his father.

“I have profound respect for my father,” Walt Rau said in a letter to the TSU Foundation.  “As for my sacrifice, I could ramble on about how losing my father has shaped my life, but doing this may be a better way for your students.”

President Glenda Glover takes the control at the flight simulation deck, with Cadets Katelyn Thompson, left, and Jerry Kibet, and Maj. Gordon watching. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

According to Lt. Col. Sharon Presley, AFROTC 790 Detachment commander, the simulator will help cadets prepare for the Test of Basic Aviation Skills (TBAS), a computerized psychomotor, special ability and multi-tasking test battery, as well as the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT).

The system includes upgrade flight controls, rudder pedals, graphics intensive computer, and top-of-the-line X-Plane 11 flight simulator software.

“The flight simulator is an important part of enhancing Detachment 790’s training program to meet Air Force goals,” said Maj. Michael Gordon, assistant professor of aerospace studies and Detachment Operations Officer. “This will introduce cadets to flight training and inspire them to pursue aviation careers in the Air Force.”

Cadet Jackson Sloan was one of the first to test fly the new simulator.

“I’ve wanted to be a pilot since junior high,” said Sloan, a senior aerospace pro-pilot major from Brentwood, Tennessee, who is slated to attend Air Force pilot training after his graduation in May. “This is really a major boost to our training.”

Presley thanked Walt Rau for his donation to refurbish the TSU Department of Aerospace Studies Flight Simulator room.

“Through his donation we were able to restore modern controls, a set of modern rotter pedals, brand new high intensity graphic computer and the most top-of-the-line flight software available,” Presley 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.