Tag Archives: featured

TSU Receives Top Recognition at 15th Annual ‘Kings’ Leadership Conference and Competition

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University had a big showing at this year’s HBCU Kings Leadership Conference and Competition in St. Louis, Missouri.

Mister TSU, Darian McGhee, middle, participates on a panel with kings from other HBCUs. (Submitted Photo)

Mister TSU, Darian McGhee, placed in the Top 10 in the rigorous competition that included representatives from 22 historically black colleges and universities.

The five-day 15th Annual Kings’ Leadership Conference and Competition also gave participants an opportunity to learn more about personal growth, leadership, and manhood.

The conference and competition started in 2000 as an annual event to support, honor, and strengthen the role of HBCU campus kings.  Throughout the event, the kings attend workshops moderated and taught by notable speakers on various expert topics. In the evening, contestants participate in preliminary competitions to earn their placement in the pageant.

For Mister TSU, he was judged on his oratory delivery, talent, ease of manner, and an on-stage question and answer. In the talent portion, Mister TSU received high recognition for his performance of an original monologue he wrote entitled, “First 48,” based on the life of a black police officer regulating crime in Memphis, Tennessee.

“I was very grateful to attend the Mister HBCU competition, especially since we haven’t been represented in recent years,” said McGhee, a senior electrical engineering major from Memphis. “I was honored to represent my institution on a national level. This experience allowed me to develop lasting relationships and personal development skills that have made me a better leader.”

Tasha Andrews, TSU director of student activities, who accompanied McGhee to the conference and competition, said, “Mister TSU came ready.”

“Darian worked very hard to prepare for this competition,” Andrews said. “We started practicing in November.  He pushed himself and definitely represented the greatness that we produce here at TSU.”

For more information on student activities at TSU go to http://tnstatenewsroom.com/wp-admin/post-new.php.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Wave of Tiger Blue Greets State Lawmakers During 6th TSU Day at the Capitol

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – From hemp research to using robotics to improve physical mobility of humans, Tennessee State University showcased some major scientific advances to state lawmakers on Tuesday.

Tennessee Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, right, congratulates President Glover following her presentation in the Senate Chamber. Rep. Harold Love, Jr., and Sen. Brenda Gilmore join the President and the Lieutenant Governor. (Photo by Ramona Whitworth-Wiggings)

It was the sixth “TSU Day at the Capitol,” where the lawmakers experienced a wave of Tiger Blue at the state Capitol. TSU administrators, faculty, students, staff and alumni showcased the university’s research and other innovative initiatives at the annual event.

Visitors also had a chance to meet with lawmakers who stopped by to see displays from some of the school’s various colleges.

TSU President Glenda Glover kicked off the day with a standing-room only ceremony in Senate Hearing Room II in the Cordell Hull Building.

“This is our day, this is TSU day,” Glover said. “It gives us a great opportunity to share with our lawmakers, our leaders, the success of TSU, and the needs of TSU, as we continue to nurture some of the best and the brightest minds of this generation, our TSU students.”

Among many displays at the TSU Day at the Capitol, researchers in the College of Health Sciences demonstrate the use of the Vest Airway Clearance System, a therapy designed to assist patients who have thick secretions, such as in cystic fibrosis. (Photo by Ramona Whitworth-Wiggings)

Before and after Glover’s presentation, several lawmakers took the podium to welcome TSU and to talk about the university’s impact and contribution to the state, the nation and the world.

Among them Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, Sens. Brenda Gilmore, Raumesh Akbari, Dolores Gresham, Reps. Harold Lover, Jr., and Bill Dunn.

“I welcome TSU, President Glover and all of you to the Senate,” McNally said. “We really honor our relationship with TSU, and look forward to what you do, and the great students that you produce for the State of Tennessee. It really makes a difference in our state.”

Also bringing greetings was Joni McReynolds, president of the TSU National Alumni Association.

Among new innovations on display at the TSU Day at the Capitol was a “humanoid robot” called ISAC, which is helping researchers in the College of Engineering to develop and test devices that help solve prosthetic problems.

“We are investigating anthropomorphic hand-like end-effectors, force-torque sensors for touching, vision, and infrared motion detection to address deficiencies in how human disabilities impact their quality of life,” said Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering.

Glover and university officials also touted TSU’s recent Carnegie designation as an R2 research institute, one of only 139 in the nation, and one of only 11 among all historically black colleges and universities.

“This new R2 designation for TSU helps to distinguish the fact that we are producing great scholarly research that benefits the citizens of Tennessee and addresses many of the great challenges that are facing our nation,” said Lesia Crumpton-Young, TSU vice president for research and institutional advancement. “I am so proud of the faculty, staff and students that have worked hard to achieve this new designation.”

Daiva Wilson is a junior agricultural science major from Indianapolis, who attended her first TSU Day at the Capitol. She said the experience was very enlightening and informative.

“It was really informative to hear about TSU as a land-grant institution, and how funding for the institution is handled by the legislators,” she said. “I also enjoyed the enthusiasm on everyone’s face about the reception at the state Capitol.”

Members of the TSU Student Government Association also spoke at the ceremony, and said they were excited to be at the Capitol.

“This is just an exciting time for TSU, seeing all of these lawmakers and visitors here to celebrate our institution,” said Kayla McCrary, president of the SGA.

Displays from the school’s various colleges and departments lined the walls in reception areas on the eighth and second floors of the Cordell Hull Building.

A number of TSU interns at the Capitol also joined their fellow students, staff and administrators in the celebration.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Top Alabama Student Says Coming to TSU Opens Her to Opportunities Like No Other Institution

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When Jahnari Edwards was considering a higher learning institution, Tennessee State University was not on her list, then five weeks in a summer program at TSU during her senior year of high school changed everything.

“That program got me hooked,” says Edwards, an agriculture science major from Phenix City, Alabama. “The atmosphere was so family like. My advisor and all the people in the program were so nice and encouraging. I knew right then TSU was the place for me.”

Jahnari Edwards

Last summer, Edwards was one of 21 graduating high school seniors from across the nation who participated in the very competitive five-week residential Summer Apprenticeship Program. From studies in understanding hypersensitive response of tobacco plants to comparing DNAs in chickens and Guinea fowls, participants in the program were exposed to real-world scientific work and cutting-edge research.

“The Summer Apprenticeship was so enriching; it exposed me to a whole new area of learning,” says Edwards, who gave up a tuition waiver to study broadcast journalism at Savannah State University. “I had the opportunity to go anywhere in Alabama for free, but I decided on TSU because of their agricultural program.”

Edwards, the youngest of three children, is the first in her family to attend a historically black institution. She came to TSU with a near 4.0 grade point average. An outstanding student at Smith Station High School, she graduated with high honors. She was the president of the senior class, and headed many other student organizations and initiatives.

At TSU, Edwards has not wavered in her pursuit of excellence. In her first semester, she earned a 3.8 GPA. She made the Dean’s List and is a member of the Honors College. She is also a member of Minorities in Agriculture Natural Resources and Related Sciences, Tiger Women in Agriculture, community service chair for Freshman Innovation Council, and is currently seeking a position in the Student Government Association.

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

Keisha Macklin Jeter is an outreach counselor in the College of Agriculture and an advisor to Edwards. She says that since participating in SAP, Edwards has “gone above and beyond” to demonstrate she values education and serving the community.

“Jahnari has excelled in the classroom while making community service an integral part of her higher education experience,” says Jeter. “Jahnari is an amazing student with a bright future ahead.”

Edwards, who wants to attend graduate school, says her future goal is to own a business part time and work for a major agriculture company. And she believes TSU will help her achieve that.

“I love TSU …the best HBCU in the land,” says Edwards. “I have gained a lot from being here and I have had a lot of opportunities that I feel I would not have gotten anywhere else.”

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

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Aristocrat of Bands rocks ‘Amazon Live’ event at the Ryman

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Members of Tennessee State University’s Aristocrat of Bands rocked the Ryman for the “Amazon Live” event on Feb. 7.

About 400 TSU students, along with individuals from other local colleges and universities, attended the event at the Ryman Auditorium Thursday night to learn more about Amazon and job opportunities it has to offer.

Some attendees used their iPhones to take photos or record the band, while others got out of their seats and moved to the beat of the band.

Larry Jenkins, assistant director of bands at TSU, said it’s always a joy to perform and see the audience’s response.

“It means a lot for the university, for the students,” said Jenkins. “To be called to do an event like this means a lot.”

Amazon announced in November that Nashville will be home to its Operations Center of Excellence, as well as the company’s headquarters for its logistics group. It’s expected to bring an estimated 5,000 jobs to the area.

Aristocrat of Bands performing at “Amazon Live” at the Ryman Auditorium. (Photo by Lucas Johnson, TSU Media Relations)

Frank Stevenson, TSU’s dean of students, lauded Amazon for creating a space to introduce their company and brand to college students, in particular.

“We’re really excited for them to have the opportunity to meet with some of the executives at Amazon, and to learn about the Amazon culture and brand,” Stevenson said before the event.

Braxton Simpson is the student representative on TSU’s Board of Trustees and the Amazon Prime student ambassador. She said she’s looking forward to the opportunities Amazon is offering.

“With Amazon coming to Nashville, bringing 5,000 jobs, that opens up a lot of opportunity for students, especially in this area,” said Simpson. “We want to prepare TSU students for that opportunity that’s coming our way.”

To learn more about the Aristocrat of Bands, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/aristocratofbands/

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU College of Business Continues Tradition of Global Excellence with AACSB Accreditation Extension

Courtesy: College of Business

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s College of Business has once again been acknowledged for its first class business school by receiving an extension on accreditation by AACSB-International, the premiere accrediting body for business schools around the globe.

“AACSB accreditation is the hallmark of excellence in business education and has been earned by less than five percent of the world’s business schools,” said Dr. Millicent Gray Lownes-Jackson, dean of the College of Business.

“To have this level of accreditation shows that the TSU College of Business has a creditable, reputable, and sustainable business school. The College of Business takes great pride in receiving this honor which involved a rigorous peer-reviewed evaluation to determine whether the College meets AACSB International standards of excellence for a quality business school.”

The College of Business has about 1,000 students and offers the Bachelor of Business Administration degree to undergraduates in accounting, business administration, business information systems, and economics and finance. At the graduate level, the College offers the Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a traditional evening, a one-year accelerated, and a one-year executive format.

“AACSB congratulates each institution on their achievement,” said Stephanie M. Bryant, executive vice president and chief accreditation officer of AACSB. “Every AACSB-accredited school has demonstrated a focus on excellence in all areas, including teaching, research, curricula development, and student learning. The intense peer-review process exemplifies their commitment to quality business education.”

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

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Students Engage in Lawmaking at State Capitol, Discuss and Debate Bills on House Floor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – For nearly two hours, the Tennessee General Assembly looked like a classroom with 28 individuals discussing major bills on the House floor, except this time, the people debating the bills were not lawmakers. They were students – Tennessee State University students.

They were part of “Leadership TSU,” a top training program. The students spent nearly four hours at the State Capitol on Friday, Feb. 1, touring and receiving lectures from lawmakers and government officials, including a representative for newly elected Gov. Bill Lee.

Just like lawmakers, the students engaged in an exercise of discussing, debating and voting on bills actually pending before the General Assembly.

State Rep. Harold Love, Jr., facilitates a discussion on a bill with Leadership TSU students on the House floor of the State Capitol. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“From today’s exercise, I learned a lot about how much thinking goes into considering a policy or a bill,” said Maria Rhodes, a sophomore political science major from Memphis, Tennessee. “Specifically, one has to think about who it will affect, who it will benefit – the positives, the negatives, the outcomes – and who the bill is geared toward.”

Leadership TSU, considered the highest level of leadership training at TSU, comprises 40 students – from freshmen to seniors – with demonstrated ability to lead. The program is sponsored by FedEx, which is exposing the cohorts to “some of the company’s best practices in leadership,” according to Frank Stevenson, dean of students and a coordinator of LTSU. The goal is to train and develop students with top leadership skills to help them be even more competitive in the workforce.

Stevenson said Friday’s exercise on the House floor was intended to “stretch the students’ thinking outside the box” in preparing them to be able to analyze policies.

Four students make their case for a bill during discussion on the House floor, as Dean Frank Stevenson, and a House aid, back row, look on. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“We gave them four current legislative bills around higher education and funding models, to debate and discuss,” he said. “They were charged with digging into those and creating a policy position on each one of those bills and coming out with what they think would be the best funding model for higher education.”

State Sen. Brenda Gilmore, Rep. Harold Love, Jr., two TSU alums, and Joseph Williams, director of external affairs in the Governor’s office, were among officials who welcomed the students to the Capitol.

“One of the benefits of having Leadership TSU down here today is that it continues TSU’s tradition of training leaders for the current and next generation,” said Love, who facilitated one of the group’s discussions. “To have these students here engaging in the process of making policy like we do everyday at the General Assembly does nothing more than brighten my heart because I see the next generation of leaders being trained right here.”

Charlie Green, Jr., an architectural engineering and urban studies major from Jackson, Tennessee, said the discussion helped him sharpen his skills in public speaking and debating.

“It also helped me to be able to think about things from different perspectives, and that is something all students should be exposed to,” Green said. “Things affect people on different levels, such as from being a student to going into professional life.”

TSU Assistant Dean of Students, Erica Gilmore, who is also at-large council member; and Ashton Cleveland, assistant dean of student life and engagement, accompanied the students and helped to facilitate the discussions.

Students interested in being selected for the 2020 class of Leadership TSU should contact the Office of the Dean of Students at (615) 963-2154 or fsteven1@tnstate.edu.mailloc.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Professor Yvonne Young “Y.Y.” Clark, “TSU Lady Engineer,” remembered

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is mourning the passing of Professor Yvonne Young “Y.Y.” Clark, the first female faculty member in the College of Engineering.

Dr. Yvonne Young “Y.Y.” Clark

Clark died Sunday, Jan. 27, at the age of 89. A mechanical engineer, she broke many barriers and shattered stereotypes to become one of the most-admired educators in the field.

“Mrs. Clark’s influence and nurturing as a mechanical engineering student is one of the reasons I decided to pursue an academic career, for which I am forever grateful,” said Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering and a former student of Clark’s.

In 1956, Clark became the first female engineer hired as an instructor at the then-Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State University, earning the title of “TSU Lady Engineer.” She rose through the ranks, becoming an associate professor, and twice heading the Department of Mechanical Engineering for a total of 11 years.

At TSU, Clark did not only distinguish herself as an outstanding teacher in a male-dominated workplace, she became a champion for students by ensuring that they received the appropriate help they needed to better understand the material. She frowned on professors who were quick to tell students they were wrong without explaining the error and how to correct it.

“I enjoyed helping students,” said Clark in a 2016 interview when she was a Homecoming honoree. “Most teachers don’t understand, in my opinion, what to do for a student to learn. You can’t ‘brow beat’ them, but you can help them by making sure they understand the subject you are trying to teach.”

Clark retired from TSU in 2011 after 55 years of service. But she left a legacy that continues on through the many students she influenced.

“Y.Y. Clark was a trailblazer, amazing professor and mentor that inspired us to pursue our dreams and be the best engineers we can be,” said Darnell Cowan, one of Clark’s students who currently works at NASA.

Marquan Martin, director of the Identification and Access Control Center in TSU’s Office of Emergency Management, said that as a freshman at TSU “one of my greatest joys was taking graphics design under the tutelage of Professor Y.Y. Clark.”

“She challenged you, encouraged you, and she genuinely cared about every single student,” he said. “She was an amazing professor and mentor, a true gem to the Tennessee State University community. She will be remembered by all the lives she touched.”

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

Note: Emmanuel Freeman in the Office of Media Relations contributed to this article.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU, FedEx Partner to Conduct Top Leadership Training Program

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is partnering with FedEx to reinstitute a program that trains and develops students with top leadership skills to help them be even more competitive in the workforce.

Called “Leadership TSU,” 40 students – from freshmen to seniors – with demonstrated ability to lead, have been selected as the first cohorts of the program, which kicked off Jan. 20.

LTSU, considered the highest level of leadership training at the university, with 27 learning outcomes that have been modeled around the nation, closed out about seven years ago, according to Frank Stevenson, TSU’s dean of students.

“We are bringing it back under the same idea of developing top leaders at the university.  We secured the funding and created the opportunity,” he said. “We pitched the idea to FedEx about creating an opportunity for students to learn some of their best practices, they immediately were on board.”

He said in addition to material and other support, FedEx will expose the cohorts to “some of the company’s leadership practices that fit in with what they do.” TSU faculty and national leadership training experts are also participating in the training.

Dr. Joseph Walker III, Chairmain of the TSU Board of Trustees, right, meets with Dean of Students Frank Stevenson during the LTSU cohorts’ visit to Dr. Walker’s residence. (Submitted Photo)

A component of the training program, Stevenson said, is to connect cohorts to successful individuals and groups “to share with our students and cohorts the habits of successful people.”

For instance, on Jan. 19, TSU Board of Trustees Chairman, Dr. Joseph Walker III, and his wife, Dr. Stephanie Walker, hosted the inaugural class of LTSU at their home. Dr. Joseph Walker, pastor of Nashville’s Mt. Zion Baptist Church, is presiding bishop of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International, as well as chairman of the TSU Board of Trustees. His wife, Dr. Stephanie Walker, is a top pediatrician. They are authors of several books and publications.

“Leadership TSU is a game changer,” Bishop Walker said. “Dr. Stephanie and I were honored to host this group of extraordinary students. Their stories are powerful and their drive for success is contagious. The future looks bright and this program will be a major contributor.”

LTSU is a one-year program. To be nominated, students must maintain a minimum 2.5 grade point average. Stevenson said the current cohorts have a combined average GPA of 3.2, and were nominated by their deans, vice presidents, and the president.

“We wanted them (nominators) to identify those students who had already exhibited incredible leadership skills, and who really celebrate the best of TSU culture in terms of how they carry themselves. We asked them to also nominate those students, who in their mind, would best benefit from this training or this opportunity,” Stevenson said.

Donovan Stewart, the current Mr. Sophomore, is a member of the reinstituted LTSU. He said he is serious-minded and happy to be a part of such a diverse group of fellow students.

“It is a great feeling to be selected,” said Donovan, a nursing major from Birmingham, Alabama. “It is a great feeling to be acknowledged, not only for academics, but also leadership. And it is a good thing to get people from different backgrounds.”

As part of their initial activities, the group will visit the Tennessee State Capitol on Feb. 1 to hear about law and policy making from top elected officials, Stevenson said. In March, they will “make a social justice learning trip” to Washington, D.C.

TSU Assistant Dean of Students, Erica Gilmore, who is also at-large council member; and Tasha Andrews, director of student activities, coordinate LTSU along with Stevenson. Andrews spoke about the caliber of students in the program and why they were selected.

“As student affairs practitioners, we really understand that being a student leader goes beyond academic excellence. It is more about being well rounded and well cultivated,” she said. “We have students with 2.7 or 2.8. Some of them may have a low GPA, but they excel in other ways. It was important that we had a very diverse group. All of those students bring leadership traits that we admire and that are unique to each of them.”

Students interested in being selected for the 2020 class of Leadership TSU should contact the Office of the Dean of Students at (615) 963-2154 or fsteven1@tnstate.edu.mailloc.

Southern states may lag behind on marijuana laws, but Tennessee State University is leading the way in hemp research

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is among the nation’s leaders in hemp research, and the recently passed U.S. Farm Bill is making sure it remains at the forefront.

Hemp workshop at TSU in March. (Photo by Joan Kite, College of Agriculture)

The bill Congress approved in December legalizes the growth and manufacturing of industrial hemp, cannabis plants with little of the chemical that can cause a high. The legalization clears the way for existing programs at land-grant institutions like TSU to expand research and development programs for medicinal and textile production.

“I am excited for this opportunity for TSU, and I look forward to seeing how this will help produce the next generation of agricultural leaders in our state,” said Tennessee Congressman Jim Cooper.

Historically, industrial hemp has been regarded primarily as an agricultural crop valued for fiber and grain. Hemp fiber is used to make textiles, building materials, animal bedding, mulch, paper, industrial products, and biofuels. Hemp grain, or seed, is used in food and feed products, and oil from the seed is used to make personal care products and industrial products, including paints, solvents, and lubricants.

TSU’s College of Agriculture has charged a team of scientists to develop hemp production practices for Tennessee. The research projects include developing hemp nutritional products for human consumption and studying the economic viability of hemp production in Tennessee. Currently, the university is growing and evaluating 10 varieties of hemp.

Products made from hemp. (Photo by Joan Kite, College of Agriculture)

“TSU wants to be at the forefront of this new interest that’s cropping up across the country,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the College of Agriculture. “If it’s ever approved for large scale use, we have some knowledge about it and can work with the farmers.”

TSU has hosted several hemp workshops/meetings, including one on Jan. 11 with the Tennessee Hemp Industries Association, an advocate for the production of industrial hemp. More than 200 people attended the meeting.

Joe Kirkpatrick, president of the TNHIA, said Tennessee currently has the largest state HIA chapter in the nation and he credited “TSU for helping us facilitate those meetings and outreach to the public.”

“It’s also great to have the world-class laboratories and scientists there, the researchers, to help … move the hemp industry forward,” Kirkpatrick said.

Dr. Fitzroy Bullock heads up the hemp research at TSU. He said people have come from as far as Colorado to attend the university’s hemp workshops.

“We have been very successful,” Bullock said. “We have established something that folks need.”

Tonya Lewis, a Nashville resident interested in growing hemp, said the meeting she attended at TSU was beneficial.

“It helped me understand where the state is in regards to research on hemp, and how to go about getting everything from a license to actually grow hemp, to looking at the benefits of it statewide, as far as economically,” Lewis said.

Farmer Michael Walls talks to local television reporter at TSU hemp workshop in September. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Anand Kumar is a research assistant in TSU’s College of Ag. He said the College has extension programs that allow researchers to visit individuals who are growing hemp and assist them as needed.

“We designed our program so we can be responsive to the demands of farmers in Tennessee,” Kumar said. “We try to reach all counties throughout the state.”

Michael Walls is one farmer who has benefited from TSU hemp researchers. His family has a 140-acre farm in Hardeman County that is using an acre to grow hemp.

“There’s a lot of potential for what hemp can do,” said Walls, adding that his family plans to broaden their hemp growth. “I’m just trying to get more information to see what other possibilities there are.”

In addition to hemp legalization, the Farm Bill also provides TSU and the other 18 historically-black land-grant institutions the following funding over the next five years:

  • $95 million for student scholarships and grants
  • $50 million to support three HBCU Centers of Excellence in agricultural workforce development, nutrition and food security, economic development and emerging technologies
  • $15 million for HBCU cooperative extension and research

To learn more about TSU’s College of Agriculture, 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 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Mother of injured TSU football player Christion Abercrombie says he plans to return to school

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – TSU student-athlete Christion Abercrombie continues to amaze following a severe head injury in a football game. He may be back in the classroom soon.

His mother, Staci, recently stated at a press conference in Abercrombie’s hometown of Atlanta that he intends to return to Tennessee State University to complete his degree in sports management. She did not say exactly when.

The linebacker was injured in a game against Vanderbilt University on Sept. 29. But since then, he has made an incredible recovery.

In October, Abercrombie was transferred from Vanderbilt University Medical Center to the Shepherd Center, a rehabilitation facility in Atlanta. He was released from there last month, and continues to make progress. He spent some time with TSU President Glenda Glover when she visited Atlanta earlier this month.

Abercrombie’s mother has said her son’s improvement to where he is now is a “miracle.”

“We’re very grateful to God for what He’s already done and for what He is going to continue to do,” she 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 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.