Tag Archives: featured

Business savvy TSU Alums serving up slices and scholarships with expansion of pizza franchise

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service)

Scores of hungry patrons waited patiently Tuesday for their chance to try a slice of Slim & Husky’s Pizza at the grand opening of its Antioch restaurant. The new location is a follow up to the successful north Nashville eatery established by three Tennessee State University alums.

Though much larger than the first venue, the new restaurant at 5270 Hickory Hollow Pkwy remained packed with patrons throughout the day.  The new Slim & Husky’s employs more than 100 people and features the art of six local artists.

“It’s been great man.  Since we opened the doors today at 10:30 a.m., we’ve had a line out the door, so it’s been a beautiful experience and opening for us,” said Derrick Moore, one of the three Tennessee State University alums who gained national acclaim in March 2017 when they opened the restaurant’s first location at 911 Buchanan St. in Nashville.

Patrons wait patiently for a taste of Slim & Husky’s Pizza during the venue’s June 19 grand opening commemorating the Juneteenth.

Moore, along with Emmanuel “E.J.” Reed and Clinton Gray III, took their vision of fusing pizza, hip hop and art, and created a thriving brand which will in the upcoming year expand to locations in Wedgewood Houston, Nashville International Airport (BNA), the upcoming National Museum of African American Music, and Atlanta.

According to Moore, the trio opted to expand the Slim & Husky’s brand to Antioch to provide more quality food offerings in the area.

“We know that Antioch is underserved when it comes to quality food.  We have a lot of food chains out here, but not a lot of people invest in Antioch in terms of locally–owned restaurants, and so we knew that we would do well out here,” he said.  “Plus, the demographic of Antioch is so diverse.  There are so many people here, so we knew that this would be a great location for them.”

Waiting outside for his chance to experience one of Slim & Husky’s

TSU alum Clyde Poag stands in line anticipating his first slice of Slim & Husky’s Pizza at the new  Antioch location.

many offerings was 1971 TSU Alum and East St. Louis, Illinois native Clyde Poag.  Poag, the stepson of former TSU faculty member and speech and theatre legend Thomas Edward Poag, said his son encouraged him to check out the restaurant.

“My son said go and try it, so I am taking him at his word,” he said. Poag will begin teaching at TSU this fall as an adjunct professor of social work.

As Slim & Husky’s continues to grow, its owners have increased their efforts to promote education by continuing to provide jobs for area youth, as well as scholarships.  Last month, the owners presented scholarships to five former and current employees who, according to the owners, “excelled through academics, athletics and community service.”

Owners of Slim & Husky’s Pizza pose with recipients of five scholarships they presented to local high school students in May including Doneisha Wells (center) who plans to attend TSU.

Moore said they presented additional scholarships to students at an area high school.  He said at least one of the students, Doneisha Wells of East Magnet High School, hopes to attend TSU.

“It’s just something we want to do, because to us, we just don’t want to be one of those companies that come into the community and don’t contribute,” he said.

Wells, who said she would like to have a career in childcare or healthcare,  is excited about the possibilities of attending the university.

“It’s more convenient for me in my situation,” she said. “It’s closer to home, and I love TSU.  I go to every TSU event.”

The Antioch location of Slim and Husky’s is open this week from 10:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.  through Saturday, and beginning next Monday from 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 12 p.m. to8 p.m. on Sunday. For more information about the venue, visit slimandhuskys.com.

 

 

New TSU Board of Trustees Completes First Year; University Marks 106th Anniversary With Cake

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University Board of Trustees wrapped up its first year on Thursday, and celebrated the university turning 106 this week.

At its third meeting on the main campus, Board members, along with President Glenda Glover, cut a cake to mark the founding of the university. TSU’s actual birthday was on June 19.

Cake marking the 106th birthday of Tennessee State University. (Photo by Michael McLendon, TSU Media Relations)

“One hundred and six years is a long time to be around,” said Glover, herself a 1974 graduate of TSU. ” We’re still growing, and we don’t plan to stop anytime soon,” Glover said.

Chairman, Bishop Dr. Joseph Walker III, lauded the achievements of the Board of Trustees and the university in the last year.

“It’s been a great first year,” Walker said. “I think the university is moving in the right direction. For me, it’s an honor to serve as chair, because I’m able to see firsthand the spirit of the school, and to see the resilience of these students. The students are really the customers. At the end of the day, it’s really about the students. It’s about the quality of experience you provide for them.”

Glover said the university has accomplished a lot under the new Board.

“We’ve accomplished quite a bit this first year,” Glover said.” This new structure has worked for TSU. We’re raising the academic bar.”

At Thursday’s meeting, Board members recognized the seating of Braxton Simpson, who replaced Sydnie Davis as the student representative on the Board. Simpson is a rising junior majoring in agricultural sciences, with a 4.0 GPA.

“I feel really great being a part of the Board,” Simpson said. “As a student, I feel like my role is to be able to represent the student voice and to try to get students’ concerns brought to the table. I think that’s very important.”

Before adjourning, Board members, President Glover, Cabinet and all in attendance gave retiring Vice President of Business and Finance Cynthia Brooks a standing ovation and congratulations for her years of service to the university. Brooks, whose last day is June 30, joined TSU in 1992 after working with the state for several years.

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 College of Ag hosts Small Farm Outreach and Assistance Workshop

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s College of Agriculture is holding its 4th Annual Small Farm Outreach and Assistance Workshop this week.

Workshop attendees hear from Amanda Robertson, regional coordinator for Kentucky and Tennessee at USDA-Farm Service Agency. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU News Service)

TSU officials say the goal of the workshop, June 20-21, is to provide the latest scientific information and hands-on training involving topics pertinent to small farmers and producers.

“We want to help them improve their production capability,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the College of Agriculture. “How do you market what you produce? What are the new rules and regulations that are out there?”

Other workshop topics include loan assistance, food safety, and how to grow healthier produce.

Sylvester Taylor and his wife, Linda, traveled from Whiteville in West Tennessee to attend the workshop. The couple have been farming for about five years and say they want to learn how to grow foods without the use of substances like herbicide.

“We want to produce vegetables and fruits in an organic way that’s healthier,” says Linda Taylor.

The Taylors are among a growing number of black and other minority farmers. Reddy says he knows of one couple that’s had so much success farming, that the husband is leaving his engineering job to farm full time.

Because of such interest, agriculture officials at both the state and federal levels say they want to make sure small farmers get all the information they need to be successful.

Dennis Beavers, Farm Service Agency state executive director for Tennessee, speaks to workshop attendees. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations

“Farmers need these workshops,” said Dennis Beavers, Farm Service Agency state executive director for Tennessee. “The Farm Service Agency stands ready to help Tennessee State in anyway possible, to see that all farmers are taken care of and that we have a solid relationship with everyone in agriculture in Tennessee.”

The topic of food safety is likely to be a highlight of the two-day workshop because of the recent foodborne outbreaks across the country. Last week, TSU’s College of Agriculture had a workshop that focused specifically on food safety and the latest preventive research.

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control announced a multistate outbreak of salmonella linked to pre-cut melons. Before that, there was a recall on Romaine lettuce contaminated with E. coli.

So far, the salmonella outbreak has caused about 60 illnesses, while the lettuce contamination has made nearly 200 people ill since the outbreak in March, including five deaths.

At this week’s workshop, Dr. James Theuri from the University of Illinois will be presenting on food safety. He suggests farmers put together a “farm safety plan” that emphasizes cleanliness when handling any type of food.

“Food safety begins on the farm,” says Theuri, who is an extension educator of local food systems and small farms. “That means personal health and hygiene.”

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.

‘Black Panther’ star gives MTV ‘Best Superhero’ Award to TSU alum and Waffle House hero James Shaw, Jr.

Courtesy: The New Zealand Herald

He starred in one of the biggest films to ever grace the silver screen.

James Shaw, Jr. presents check to families of Waffle House shooting victims. (TSU Media Relations)

And while Chadwick Boseman won the “Best Superhero” golden popcorn statue at the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards Monday night, he was quick to praise a true hero in the audience at the Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, California.

The 40-year-old Black Panther star thanked the fans for accolades before calling on “real life” Waffle House shooting hero James Shaw, Jr. to accept the award on stage, the Daily Mail reports.

“Thank you to the fans,” Boseman said. “You made this movie special, you made this moment special when Black Panther came out.”

The star-studded film amassed more than $1 billion in four weeks at the box office, and became the third highest grossing film in North America.

“Ryan Coogler and I wanted to make sure that we did a movie that everybody could embrace, so thank you so much for what you did,” he continued.

“Receiving an award for playing a superhero is amazing but it’s even greater to acknowledge the heroes that we have in real life. So I just want to acknowledge someone that is here today, James Shaw Jr.”

The 29-year-old father became a national hero after he wrestled an AR-15 assault rifle from a gunman who burst into the Antioch, Tenn. Waffle House on April 22 and opened fire.

“You didn’t even know we were about to do this,” Chadwick laughed as the crowd erupted in applause for James. “If you don’t know James – he fought off a gunman in Antioch, Tennessee … a Waffle House. He saved lives.

“So this is gonna live at your house. Godbless you man.”

Immediately after the shooting, Shaw set up a GoFundMe page with an initial goal to raise $15,000 for the victims.

In mid May, the total hit more than $241,000 and Shaw presented a check to the families, and injured victims, at a private ceremony at Tennessee State University.

Shaw, the father of a four-year-old girl, initially hid in the toilet when half-naked shooter Travis Reinking burst into the restaurant.

Reinking shot through the door, grazing his forearm, when James decided it was time to fight back.

“I acted in a blink of a second. When he reloaded his clip, which felt like 30 minutes. I looked at him, and he wasn’t looking at me. He just had the barrel down. It was like, ‘Do it now. Go now.’ I just took off,” he told the New York Times.

“I hit him with the door and the gun was kind of jammed up. I grabbed it from him and I threw it over the counter top.”

Shaw then chased the killer out of the diner while the fleeing man hurled abuse at him for intervening. “I just wanted to live, and he was, like, astonished, that I wanted to live,” he recalled.

Reinking escaped on foot, shedding his only item of clothing, and fled into the woods. He was finally arrested almost 36 hours later after a manhunt involving 160 law enforcement officers, and charged with four counts of criminal homicide.

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 alumni have strong turnout for national convention in Atlanta

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University alums converged on Atlanta  for the 2018  National Alumni Association Convention.

TSU President Glenda Glover (right) with TSUNAA President Joni McReynolds (left) and Xernona Clayton, president and CEO of the Trumpet Awards Foundation, Inc., and recipient of the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the TSUNAA. (photo courtesy of Katrina Kerr)

TSU President Glenda Glover was among the nearly 200 alumni who attended the convention from June 13-16.

TSUNAA President Joni McReynolds said the convention was “one of the best I’ve attended.”

“I enjoyed just fellowshipping with all the alums that were there, and seeing a lot of the younger alums coming out,” said McReynolds, who was recently re-elected to another two-year term.

On Saturday, President Glover updated alumni on advancements the university has made in the areas of retention, recruitment, enrollment and marketing.

She also informed attendees about upcoming changes to the campus landscape, including the addition of a new Health Sciences Building, two new residence halls, the Field Research Organic Laboratory, the Gateway Arch Entrance, a new engineering building and the Alumni House and Welcome Center.

One of the highlights of this year’s convention was an honors gala that recognized several outstanding alumni.

Featured are (l to r) TSUNAA President Joni McReynolds; Mr. TSU Darian McGee; Miss TSU Kayla Sampson; TSU President Glenda Glover; Micah Blake-Smith, SGA Representative-at-large for alumni relations & annual giving; and Dean of Students Frank Stevenson. (photo courtesy of Katrina Kerr)

Two of those alumni – James Shaw, Jr. and Derrell Vaughn – were honored for their courage. Shaw received the “Hero Award” for disarming a shooter at a Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee, in April; and Vaughn received the “Bravery Award” for trying to save the life of a man during the mass shooting in Las Vegas in October.

Other alumni honored include:

  • Xernona Clayton, president and CEO of the Trumpet Awards Foundation, Inc. and creator and executive producer of the Foundation’s Trumpet Awards, “Lifetime Achievement Award”
  • Tracey Otey Blunt, president of RLJ Entertainment’s Urban Movie Channel, “Women of Influence Award”
  • Slim & Husky’s Pizza Beeria owners Clinton Gray III, Derrick Moore and Emmanuel Reed, “Vanguard Award”
  • Sterling Coleman, president/owner of SJAC/Lady Di Food Groups, LLC Zaxby’s, “Entrepreneurial Achievement Award”

Earlier this year, TSU recognized local alumni achievers during a special “Toast to TSU” event at First Tennessee Park in Nashville.

Calling them its “Points of Pride,” the university recognized 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 next National Alumni Convention is scheduled for 2020 in Florida. The city has not been announced.

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 part of consortium created with $1.2 million UNCF grant

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) — Tennessee State University is among three historically black institutions that have signed a memorandum of understanding to create a consortium that will focus on faculty development.

The consortium on Transformative Teaching Practices for 21st Century Career Pathways is made up of TSU, Morgan State University and Norfolk State University. It is possible through a $1.2 million grant from the United Negro College Fund.

Known as the C3 Cluster, the three state institutions serve approximately 20,000 students and are uniquely positioned to collaborate on work that will have a direct impact on over 1,000 faculty members among the three campuses.

“One goal of the C3 Cluster initiative is to serve as a model for collaboration among universities committed to student success,” says Dr. Glenda Glover, president of TSU. “Historically, Tennessee State University faculty and staff have always assisted students in developing career pathways to success.  The collaboration with Morgan State and Norfolk State is the perfect synergy, given the missions of the partners and the tradition of excellence that we all value. We are happy to serve as an equitable partner in the C3 Cluster initiative and sincerely appreciate our UNCF funder in granting the funds to continue our efforts to help students succeed through innovative pedagogy.”

The UNCF Career Pathways Initiative, funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. through a $50 million grant, will enable selected historically black colleges and universities and predominately white institutions to address social and economic issues of minority graduation, unemployment and underemployment. Over the next four years, the consortium will engage in structured activities that foster community, identifies and validates new innovations, amplifies and scales best practices, and disseminates learnings.

The C3 institutions have similar academic profiles of their students, are geographically located in urban areas, and have strong alumni bases. It is projected that the outcome of the consortium will be a model for other schools of how to grow and learn in public.

While primarily focused on faculty, the C3 Cluster will extend their collaborative efforts to include additional members of their university communities. Key to its work will be creating opportunities for alumni and employer partners to provide valuable input on preparing undergraduate students for post-graduate success.

“With African Americans disproportionately unemployed or underemployed, it is imperative that colleges and universities unite in support of better employment outcomes for all graduates, not just the privileged,” says Dr. Brian Bridges, UNCF vice president for research and member engagement. “This grant will further help faculty provide the preparation necessary to help African American college students and graduates acquire the skills and mindset necessary for 21st century work.”

This collaborative effort will be highlighted during the 3rd Annual CPI Convening and Data Institute, themed “Purposeful Disruption.” The convening will be held July 23-25 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. During this year’s convening CPI Partner institutions will have an opportunity to share promising practices and ideas on how they have been able to purposefully leverage disruptions within the higher education space to improve student outcomes.

For more information, please contact the C3 Cluster at c3cluster@gmail.com.

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.

College of Ag workshop addresses foodborne diseases, preventive research

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – As the nation deals with yet another foodborne outbreak, Tennessee State University recently hosted a workshop to discuss food safety and the latest preventive research.

Dr. Chandra Reddy

Food safety experts at the state and national level attended the College of Agriculture’s two-day conference, “Securing Our Food Supply: Innovative technologies to improve food safety,” June 12-13.

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control announced a multistate outbreak of salmonella linked to pre-cut melons. Before that, there was a recall on Romaine lettuce contaminated with E. coli.

So far, the salmonella outbreak has caused about 60 illnesses, while the lettuce contamination has made nearly 200 people ill since the outbreak in March, including five deaths.

Dr. Sandria Godwin

“The CDC estimates that each year 48 million people get sick from a foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of TSU’s College of Agriculture.

“One effort to address preventing foodborne disease is the Food Safety Modernization Act, which aims to increase preventive measures across the entire food chain based on robust science and risk assessment.”

TSU is among the leaders in food safety. The university recently added several food safety professors, and has received millions of dollars from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to address the issue.

Dr. Ankit Patras

Two of TSU’s Ag professors whose research has been nationally recognized are Dr. Sandria Godwin and Dr. Ankit Patras, both of whom helped organize this week’s workshop.

Godwin, a family and consumer science professor at TSU, recently received a $2.4 million USDA grant to study poultry and food safety. Patras has also received funding from the USDA, and will be presenting cutting-edge research using pasteurization/sterilization at an international conference in Chicago next month.

“TSU is taking the lead … to see what is really causing those outbreaks, and how we can prevent them,” said Patras.

Dr. Max Teplitski

Dr. Max Teplitski, a national program leader in Food Safety and Microbiology at the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), said TSU’s research and other preventive technology being explored globally will hopefully put consumers’ minds at ease.

“Consumers seek not only the lowest cost calories, they’re also concerned with the health outcomes, and food safety,” said Teplitski, who spoke to workshop attendees remotely. “These trends are driving the need for research and education programs to be undertaken and developed.”

To learn more about TSU’s College of Agriculture and its food safety research, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/

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 Aristocrat of Bands prepares for big performance and recruiting in Texas

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Houston, Texas will serve as the backdrop for a special performance by Tennessee State University’s Aristocrat of Bands in July.

TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands

Affectionately known as the AOB, the band will be front and center during the upcoming national conference for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Members are preparing for a big show, which is extremely important as the natives believe, “everything is bigger in Texas.”

“The Aristocrat of Bands is honored to be invited and have the opportunity to perform for a prestigious audience such as Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated,” said TSU Band Director Dr. Reginald McDonald.  “This performance will also give us exposure in the Houston area. The Aristocrat of Bands Staff started vigorously recruiting the Houston market about three years ago to date,” added McDonald.

Dr. Glenda Glover, TSU’s first female and eighth president, will become the 30th international president of Alpha Kappa Alpha. The service organization is the oldest African American sorority in the country with nearly 300,000 members worldwide, in 1,000 chapters. Glover believes her leadership role with the organization will assist in recruiting talented students to TSU and enhance the university’s presence on a national stage.

“I’m truly humbled by the membership  for electing me to this position, and just as proud to have my institution, and alma mater be  part of the this special moment,” said President Glover. “Our world renowned band is one of the university’s greatest ambassadors. Band members will have center stage in front of nearly 20,000 sorority members and special guests to showcase their talents. The performance will be a proud moment for me and for the institution.”

The band is a part of several performers scheduled for the 68th national conference for the sorority.  Glover noted she was pleased that friends and sponsors made the trip possible. This means the university will not incur costs or be responsible for paying transportation, food or lodging, another major incentive for the band. McDonald said he reminds band members they represent themselves, but most importantly TSU whenever they travel.

“While we are no strangers to being on a national stage, anytime the Aristocrat of Bands has an opportunity to perform anywhere, I always remind my students that the TSU on our chest is bigger than we are.  We represent the dreams and hopes of past, present and future alumni, as well as all of our stakeholders.”

In 2014, the AOB became the first collegiate band ever to be presented at halftime of the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame game. The band and university made national headlines again in 2017 by accepting a special invitation from President Barack Obama to perform on the White House Lawn. Both President Glover and McDonald believe the presentation in Houston will continue to open more doors for the band and TSU.

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 2018 Summer Camps Emphasize STEM, Music, Arts; More than 1,500 Participating in Nearly 40 Programs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Summer is here, and that means the start of camps and programs that allow youngsters to have some fun, engage in educational enrichment activities, as well as gain real-world experience.

This year, nearly 1,500 students from kindergarten through college freshmen, coming from as far as Maryland and California, will participate in more than 40 summer camps and programs on the two TSU campuses.

Among them is 13-year-old Adia Diane Gonzales, one of more than 400 students in grades K-8 participating in the Minority University Research and Education Program, a two-week NASA-funded camp that teaches children to design, build, and program robots. The project includes learning simple mechanics, sensor functionality, programming basics, and automation.

“This is just fascinating,“ says the H.G. Hill Middle Prep School 8th-grader, as she and her teammates use remote-controlled devices to command robots they built in just the first two days of the camp.

Christopher Clegg, a TSU graduate student in Computer Information Systems Engineering, is a robotics instructor in the MUREP camp. He works with 7th graders Faheem Mohamed, left, Kemontez Johnson and Dhruv Reddy. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Gonzales, who up to attending MUREP had not quite settled on what she wants to become, says she is hooked.

“I wanted to be a surgeon, an animator or an artist. I have never built a robot before. But now being able to actually have some experience in building robotics and coding has me interested,” she says.

And that’s the goal of the MUREP program, says Dr. Trinetia Respress, principal investigator of the project.

“The purpose of the MUREP program is to stimulate the minds of young children who would not otherwise consider a career in STEM,” says Respress, who is also interim assistant dean for assessment and accreditation in the College of Education.

“Our belief is that if we expose them early to STEM concepts, they will consider attending TSU and majoring in a STEM discipline,” she says.

Jalen Miller, an incoming TSU freshman from Atlanta, in the ECI camp, uses his iPhone to control a robotic arm. Miller will major in Aeronautical and Industrial Technology. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

In the College of Engineering, 11 high school seniors are getting a head start on college work. They are participating in the Engineering Concepts Institute, a four-week pre-college, residential program intended to prepare participants for academic success in the mathematical sciences or engineering disciplines.

Participants in the ECI program are incoming freshmen who have been accepted to attend TSU in the fall.

Returning for the second year is the Verizon Innovative Learning Summer Camp, which runs from June 4-15. Intended for students ages 10-14, the Verizon camp allows minority males in grades 6-8 to interact with technology.

Rashad Bailey, coordinator and lead counselor in the ECI camp, left, carries on an illustration to students in his program. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Another returning favorite this year is the Summer Apprenticeship Program, or SAP, offered by the College of Agriculture. It is a science-based initiative for college freshmen and rising high school seniors that exposes them to cutting-edge research. It runs from June 11 – July 13. Thirty students from 10 states will participate in the program this year.

For those into music and the arts, the Community Academy of Music and Arts , or CAMA, is hosting various camps in music, piano, drama, and visual and literary arts. The camps are designed to expose participants to different artistic mediums, crafts and songs.

In addition to early learning activities for kids 5 years and up — such as Little Tigers Football Camp, and Basketball Kids Camp — summer camp themes and subjects range from science, applied mathematics and engineering, to music, athletics, real-world scientific work, and cutting-edge research.

Aspiring young writers also have a chance to hone their skills in  the Little Authors Camp, which runs June 11-15.

Other summer camps are the Biotechnology Summer Camp (June 10-15), CAMA Blues Kids Camp (7/2 – 7/6), Joe Gilliam Football Camp (6/5 – 6/11), Edward L. Graves Summer Band Camp (6/23 – 6/30), STEM Summer Camp (6/24 – 6/29), and Upward Bound Program (6/3 – 7/6), among others.

For a complete list of summer camps and programs, and contacts, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/events/camps.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 preparing students to teach growing “English Learners” population

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is making sure its students are prepared to teach individuals who are learning to speak English.

Dr. Kisha Bryan

Nashville is home to the largest share of “English Learners” (ELs) in the state, about 15 percent of its 86,000 students, according to the most recent data.

A National Public Radio report recently found that ELs are often concentrated in low-performing schools with untrained or poorly trained teachers. In 2016, Tennessee was among 32 states that reported not having enough teachers for EL students.

To address the issue, TSU has revised its curriculum so that teachers are better prepared to teach ELs.

“There are many ELs in the system right now,” said Dr. Heraldo Richards, associate dean of the College of Education at TSU, and director of teacher education. “So we need to make sure that our teachers are prepared to address the needs of these individuals who are populating our school system.”

Dr. Kisha Bryan, an assistant professor in TSU’s Department of Teaching and Learning, has led the effort to better prepare teachers.

Dr. Clara Young

“Our shared goal has always been to prepare highly qualified teachers to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student population,” said Bryan.

Dr. Clara Young, chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning, said she talked to one Nashville principal who said about 80 percent of the students at her school are ELs.

Young said changes to the curriculum include infusing “foundational issues” to more closely consider when working with an EL student. For instance, checking to see if someone in the family speaks English, she said.

“You need to see their background, how this will help you figure out how you can help those students,” said Young.

TSU has remained a major supplier of well-trained teachers not only for the Davidson County and Metro Nashville Public Schools, but school districts across the nation.

Dr. Heraldo Richards

Last year, TSU was one of four institutions in the state to receive a Tennessee Innovation in Preparation award, or TIP.

TIP grants, awarded by the Tennessee Department of Education, are designed to support an increase in the development of a diverse educator workforce, an increase in the production of educators in high-demand licensure areas, and promote collaboration to improve educator preparation in literacy.

TSU and the other three winning institutions, all designated Education Preparation Programs, equally split $200,000 to design and implement individual projects to meet TIP requirements. About 70 percent of funding from the grant is being used to provide tuition waivers to teachers interested in teaching ELs.

A few months before it was awarded the TIP grant, TSU was ranked as the No. 1 producer of teachers among historically black colleges and universities in the nation. HBCU Lifestyle, which published the ranking, noted that TSU’s undergraduate and graduate offerings and concentrations in biology, chemistry and elementary education made the school’s teacher preparation program more attractive.

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

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.