Tag Archives: featured

TSU alum’s festival helps give youngsters a ‘healthy start’ to school

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – One Tennessee State University alum is making sure youngsters have the items they need for school, as well as get some advice about educational opportunities and living healthier.

(l to r) TSU Interim Publications Director Michael McLendon, TSU College of Ag Dean Dr. Chandra Reddy, TSU Ag academic coordinator William Hayslett, State Rep. Harold Love, Jr., and Dr. Latif Lighari, associate dean for extension in Ag at TSU attend last year’s festival.

Love’s Healthy Start Festival will kick off at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 28, at Hadley Park. This is the 6th year of the festival, which was started by State Rep. Harold Love, Jr., a TSU graduate.

Love has partnered with a number of organizations, including TSU, to provide hundreds of free backpacks and school supplies, along with educational information and free health tips that include health screenings. There will also be free food and live entertainment at the festival.

“Love’s Healthy Start Festival is more than a back to school event,” said Love. “It is designed to give the entire family an opportunity to start the school year off right.”

Faculty and staff from TSU will be on hand to provide information on subjects like engineering (STEM), family health, and food and nutrition.

Jason de Koff, an associate professor of agronomy and soil sciences in TSU’s College of Agriculture, said the festival is an opportunity to plant an early seed in the minds of young people about Tennessee State.

“It might make them consider TSU … just to see some of the neat things we’ve got going on,” said de Koff.

The festival will also feature literacy and financial education programs. For instance, for the second year, the festival has partnered with Book’em, a nonprofit organization, to provide 1,000 free books to youngsters in grades K-12.

Ten-year-old Kamaya Simpson attended last year’s festival and seemed to enjoy being able to get free books – particularly ones with a little excitement.

“I like my books,” said Simpson. “I like books with adventure.”

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, 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.

 

STEM Students Broaden Their Knowledge in International Research During China Visit

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Three Tennessee State University students this summer combined education with leisure for an exciting visit thousands of miles across the globe.

Shaniqua Jones, Christine Mba and Whitney Nicole Russell, all senior STEM majors, spent part of their summer in China participating in an international research experience on the “Development of Next Generation Biomaterials for Dental Bone Reconstruction/Regeneration.”

Shaniqua Jones, left, Christine Mba and Whitney Nicole Russell spent more than three weeks in China participating in an international research project. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Jones, Mba and Russell are part of the Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation program at TSU. They joined students from the University of Memphis in a research collaboration between UofM and faculty and students at Donghua University in Shanghai. An internal review team in the UofM College of Engineering selected the TSU students to participate. The visit lasted from June 4-29.

In addition to Shanghai, the group also visited Beijing, the Chinese capital, and toured entertainment, cultural and historic places like religious shrines and temples, the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City.

“It was a fun experience,” said Russell, a biology major from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. “I gained a lot of insight on things I didn’t know.”

Jones, a mechanical engineering major from Toledo, Ohio, who has been recognized as a “Dean Scholar Researcher” for advancement in engineering research, said the summer experience helped in her quest to understand global engineering and medical problems.

TSU students Shaniqua Jones, left, and Whitney Nicole Russell, right, sip Chinese tea with a fellow research participant from the University of Memphis. (Photo submitted)

Dr. Lonnie Sharpe, dean of the College of Life and Physical Sciences, said the China trip was part of the university’s effort to engage students in international experience, not only in research, but also to expose them to the world around them.

“We are excited about our students going, and we are glad that great things came out of the trip,” Sharpe said.

Dr. Dee Green is the director of the TLSAMP program at TSU. She said international research experiences, such as the China project, provide visiting undergraduate students the opportunity to “engage in high quality collaborative research” with mentorship from researchers at a host lab. The experience is also a motivation for participants to pursue graduate studies, Green said.

“The exposure also broadens our students’ cultural awareness, professional development and networking skills,” she said.

Before leaving for China, Mba, a biology major from Memphis, Tennessee, with interest in a cure for cancer, said her research and lab experiences have helped her navigate and understand different laboratory settings and protocols with ease.

“I look forward to the opportunity to conduct research alongside experienced professors in China, while expanding my knowledge base and gaining an enhanced perspective of the culture,” she said.

Russell added that the visit gave them a better understanding of the people and culture of China.

“The professors and students we worked with were extraordinarily nice,” she said.  “They helped us engage in the culture and were just very welcoming.”

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.

Small farmers help foster healthier living, stimulate economy, says TSU alum and top Ag official

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Small farmers not only foster healthier living through production of foods like greens and vegetables, but they also stimulate the economy, said a TSU alum and top agriculture official.

Small Farm Expo attendees. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Leonard Jordan is associate chief for conservation of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Jordan attended Tennessee State University’s Urban Agricultural Conference on July 18, and he spoke at its Small Farm Expo on July 19. Both events were sponsored by TSU’s College of Agriculture.

Jordan said small farmers are “very important to the economy.”

He said they may not be large producers, but if they’re able to make income from a small track of land, “that helps to stimulate the economy.”

This was the first year for the Urban Ag Conference, which focused on methods to grow horticultural crops, like fruits, because of growing interest in that area.

“Urban Ag is a fast growing field within agriculture as hydroponics, vertical, rooftop, and container gardening methods of growing horticultural crops are becoming popular in urban and suburban areas of the country,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of TSU’s Ag College.

In 2016, TSU partnered with Farm Credit of Mid-America to promote urban agriculture, and that partnership is ongoing.

Mark Wilson, Farm Credit senior vice president for Financial Services, said TSU’s role will be critical as the United States faces a land shortage with a goal to double its food production in the next 30 years.

Dr. Chandra Reddy (left), dean of TSU’s College of Agriculture, and USDA official Leonard Jordan discuss research at TSU during Urban Agricultural Conference. (photo by Lucas Johnson, TSU Media Relations)

“That is quite a task,” said Wilson. “It is going to take people like us and the research that’s going on at Tennessee State University to make that possible.”

Jordan said people are aware of the need for more food production.

“They recognize that the land base itself is shrinking, but the number of people is growing,” he said. “So every acre counts.”

As for the expo, this is the 14th year of the event. TSU officials say it’s a way for the university and its partners at the state and federal levels to recognize the role farmers and agriculture play in the state and the nation.

The expo features speakers and workshops on topics that include urban agriculture, hemp research, and use of drones in agriculture.

Julio Sosa and his wife traveled from Dickson, Tennessee, to attend the expo. The couple have 6 acres and are exploring how to best utilize it.

“We’re here to ask and figure out the best way to do a business,” said Sosa. “We’re trying to build something for the future.”

He said they are considering growing healthy produce, life vegetables and green, because “people want better health.”

“How long you live is about the quality you have while you are here,” said Sosa.

The highlight of the expo is the announcement of the “Small Farmer of the Year.” This year’s winner is Judith Reeder of Cream Valley Farms in Livingston, Tennessee. Reeder was also recognized for “Best Management Practices.”

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 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.

Candlelight Vigils for TSU Alum Maleka Jackson Held Across The Nation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Friends and family of Tennessee State University alum Maleka Grimes Jackson gathered on TSU’s campus July 8 to remember the young mother who was recently killed in a boating accident in the Bahamas.

Jackson, a Chattanooga native who lived in Atlanta, graduated from TSU in 2000 with a degree in liberal arts and sciences. She and her husband, Tiran, were on vacation celebrating their 15-year wedding anniversary at the time of the accident.

A member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Jackson was known by her line sisters in the Alpha Psi Chapter as “the glue that held them together.”

“She made sure that whenever we came together, whether at homecoming or at an event in Atlanta, that we stayed together,” said Sharese Jackson, a graduate of TSU who pledged AKA with Maleka as part of the “Y2KUTE” line in the fall of 1999. “We are in the process of planning our 20th anniversary, and she was one of the first people to say, ‘What are we going to do? It will be 20 years next year. We need to do this. We need to do that.’ She kept us connected.”

Though the two Jacksons were not blood sisters, Sharese, a professional singer and actress, shared reflections at the candlelight vigil as well as sang an original song called Hero in honor of her “line sister” Maleka.

“She was a really sweet person. She was a person who wanted to make sure you were always at your best,” Sharese said. “She worked in human resources, and she was the one that people could go to if they had a question about what to do as far as looking for jobs and how to stay relevant. She was always ready to give that information, and always willing to help.”

The Bahamas explosion, which took place on June 30, injured nine other passengers including Tiran, who suffered severe injuries that resulted in an amputation.

Lawanda Jones, who has known Maleka and Tiran since their days at TSU, said the last communication she had with Makela was through a text message conversation they shared on Jones’ birthday, four days before Jackson died.

Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority honored Makela Jackson with a candlelight vigil in Houston while attending the sorority’s international conference. (Photo submitted)

“She had sent me a text to tell me happy birthday. For me it was the most beautiful piece of closure when I realized she had passed just days later because in my text message to her I was thanking her for being such a close friend over the last 18 years,” said Jones, also a member of AKA and the “Y2KUTE” line. “I was just telling her I was blessed to have her as a friend, and how much I loved her, and she responded back similarly. She was just saying how proud of me she was, and she ended by saying, ‘We are forever friends,’” Jones said.

Jones, who recently attended the AKA’s international conference in Houston, helped to organize a vigil there which coincided with the event at TSU. She said other vigils honoring Maleka were held simultaneously in Memphis, Tennessee; Charlotte, North Carolina; Dallas and Atlanta.

“There’s going to be a long road ahead for Tiran and their son. Tiran

Sorority sisters gather at candlelight vigil in Atlanta to honor Makela Jackson (Photo courtesy of AJC)

is going to face physical and emotional challenges. They are both going to need someone to help them talk this through.,” Jones said.

She encourages people to contribute to the fundraising campaign established to help support Maleka’s family.

“Maleka saw the best in everyone. She was all about her son and her husband. I have no doubt she had big plans for her son to go to school and to further his education. So it’s like giving to someone who always gave back. “

To support the Love for Maleka Jackson and Family campaign, visit https://www.gofundme.com/supportjackson15.

 

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 AKA International President donates $50,000 earmarked for TSU and other HBCUs

By Kelli Sharpe

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Newly installed Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated International President Dr. Glenda Glover has sent a clear message that education will remain a priority for the service organization, especially supporting the nation’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Dr. Glover unveiled her vision that she believes will take the sorority’s efforts to greater heights, for greater impact during AKA’s international conference held recently in Houston, Texas. Her administration’s new initiative, HBCU for Life: A Call to Action and signature program College Admissions Process, also known as #CAP, will promote and market HBCUs, and encourage students to attend HBCUs. The college president donated $50,000 to the sorority‘s Educational Advancement Foundation to further emphasize her commitment. The funds are earmarked for Tennessee State and other HBCUs.

“I believe the best and most effective way to lead is by example,” said Glover. “My donation was two-fold. One, it emphasized how serious I am about the sustainability of HBCUs, not just as the president of Tennessee State, but also as an alumna. Two, I wanted to energize the membership about our new initiative. A call to action indicates something must happen immediately.”

“As the president of Tennessee State University, an HBCU, I witness first-hand the challenges our students and institutions face because the revenue streams once available have been systematically decreased or eliminated altogether, and they need our financial support more than ever to remain thriving and sustainable. HBCUs are a prominent part of this country’s DNA.”

Dr. Glover added that Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority being established on an HBCU campus as the nation’s first African American female Greek-lettered organization makes the new HBCU initiative even more special.

Glover began her tenure as International President under the theme of “Exemplifying Excellence Through Sustainable Service,” which will run from 2018-2022. Members will implement the following initiatives for the next four years:

Target 1: HBCU for Life: A Call to Action. We will continue our emphasis on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). We will promote and market HBCUs, encourage students to attend HBCUs, and provide financial support to HBCUs.

Target 2: Women’s Healthcare and Wellness. We will raise community awareness about critical health issues impacting the quality and longevity of the lives of African-American women. The primary focuses will be Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention, Heart Health, Nutrition and Wellness, and Care for the Caregivers.

Target 3: Building Your Economic Legacy. We will emphasize financial planning, asset accumulation, and wealth building including savings and investment, managing debt, and improving credit. We also will focus on supporting and encouraging African-American businesses through entrepreneurship and “The Black Dollar 365,” where we will be intentional in patronizing African-American businesses all year long.

Target 4: The Arts! We will expose students to arts enrichment and culture by focusing on the arts and celebrating the contributions of African-American artists. Program initiatives will showcase talent through the exploration of writers, entertainers and various other visual and performing artists and media.

Target 5: Global Impact. Through global partnerships, we will collaborate with organizations that provide assistance in international areas populated with people of color, including supporting organizations engaged in initiatives that assist refugees and their families integrate into American life.

Signature Program, #CAPSM, which is the abbreviation for the College Admissions Process, focuses on motivating and assisting students through the college entry process. It is a hands-on approach designed to facilitate college admission from researching various institutions and submitting applications through the completion of the enrollment process.

Nashville will be the host city for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s Leadership Conference under Glover. The conference averages  between 8,000 to 10,000 attendees.

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 receives $20,000 in Scholarship funds in honor of Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover as 30th International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

By Kelli Sharpe

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University has begun to reap the benefits of its president’s dual role of leadership for the university and as international president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Dr. Glenda Glover was presented a $20,000 check for the Glenda Baskin Glover-Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated 30th International President Scholarship fund at TSU during her installation activities in Houston, Texas.

The scholarship was established to celebrate Glover taking the helm of AKA, the nation’s oldest African American female Greek-lettered service organization, and to highlight her role as TSU’s first female president.

“I am so grateful to the members of our great sisterhood that work at Tennessee State, along with the current and former members of our Alpha Psi Undergraduate chapter for creating this scholarship fund for deserving students here at the university,” said TSU President Glenda Glover.

“The generous donations from sorority members for the scholarship fund align with Alpha Kappa Alpha’s new initiative HBCU for Life: A Call to Action. I’ve charged chapters to donate $10 million to these institutions over the next four years. Of course this is personal for me as the president and alumna of an HBCU. HBCUs are an essential part of this country’s DNA. The new leadership of AKA is committed to the sustainability of all our HBCUs.”

Dr. Glover donated $50,000 to the AKA Educational Advancement Foundation for the sorority’s HBCU initiative during her installation ceremony. She made that same commitment of a $50,000 donation to TSU when she became president of the university in 2013.

Glover’s theme for the next four years, 2018-2022, with AKA is “Exemplifying Excellence Through Sustainable Service.” She will lead the prestigious 110-year old organization, of nearly 300,000 members and over 1,000 chapters located throughout the world, with a platform comprised of five program targets, a signature program and seven international community service impact days designed to advance AKA and underscore the organization’s commitment to service.

Target 1: HBCU for Life: A Call to Action. We will continue our emphasis on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). We will promote and market HBCUs, encourage students to attend HBCUs, and provide financial support to HBCUs.

Target 2: Women’s Healthcare and Wellness. We will raise community awareness about critical health issues impacting the quality and longevity of the lives of African-American women. The primary focuses will be Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention, Heart Health, Nutrition and Wellness, and Care for the Caregivers.

Target 3: Building Your Economic Legacy. We will emphasize financial planning, asset accumulation, and wealth building including savings and investment, managing debt, and improving credit. We also will focus on supporting and encouraging African-American businesses through entrepreneurship and “The Black Dollar 365,” where we will be intentional in patronizing African-American businesses all year long.

Target 4: The Arts! We will expose students to arts enrichment and culture by focusing on the arts and celebrating the contributions of African-American artists. Program initiatives will showcase talent through the exploration of writers, entertainers and various other visual and performing artists and media.

Target 5: Global Impact. Through global partnerships, we will collaborate with organizations that provide assistance in international areas populated with people of color, including supporting organizations engaged in initiatives that assist refugees and their families integrate into American life.

Signature Program, #CAPSM, which is the abbreviation for the College Admissions Process, focuses on motivating and assisting students through the college entry process. It is a hands-on approach designed to facilitate college admission from researching various institutions and submitting applications through the completion of the enrollment process.

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Glover’s higher educational development began as a student at TSU where she earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with honors. She earned her Master of Business Administration Degree in accounting at Clark Atlanta University and her Doctor of Philosophy in business and economics business from George Washington University. Glover earned her Juris Doctor Degree from Georgetown University Law Center. She is a certified public accountant, a licensed attorney, and one of a handful of African-American women to hold the Ph.D.-CPA-J.D. combination in the United States.

Professionally, Glover has amassed over 25 years of success in the academic and business arenas. Since assuming the leadership helm at TSU in 2013, the University has attained increases in academic program offerings, corporate and community partnerships, as well as alumni giving. While dean of the College of Business at Jackson State University from 1994 to 2012, Glover led the college through the accreditation process and spearheaded the implementation of the nation’s first Ph.D. program in business at a HBCU. From 1990 to 1994 Glover served as the chairperson of the Department of Accounting at the Howard University School of Business. She has also served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of an engineering firm, a tax manager at a major public utility company, and an accountant with a Big-Four CPA firm.

Glover was initiated into the Alpha Psi Chapter at TSU in 1971. A committed life member of AKA with over four decades of leadership and service, Glover has served in several capacities, including International Vice-President, International Treasurer, and Treasurer to the Educational Advancement Foundation. She also has served as president, vice-president, and treasurer of Beta Delta Omega Chapter in Jackson, Mississippi, and as president and vice-president of Alpha Psi Chapter as an undergraduate student.

 

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.

Graduate School Premieres New Innovative Online Application Process

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University Graduate School kicked off it’s fall enrollment period July 16 with a new graduate online application system.

According to Dr. Robbie Melton, interim dean of the Graduate School, TSU graduate students can now apply to multiple graduate degree programs by submitting a single application for enrollment. She said students can manage the entire process online, including submission of supporting documentation, transcripts and recommendation requests.

“The graduate school is strategically planning to incorporate advanced technology enhancements to increase enrollments, to improve teaching, learning, productivity, accessibility, to provide affordable learning solutions through the use of Open Education,” Melton said.

She said using the Centralized Application Service (CAS™) for Graduate Schools and Programs GradCAS™, provides TSU graduate students with a one-stop customized portal to track their admission process, obtain updated information, set up meetings with advisors and access student services and support services.

GradCAS, the leader in application management for higher education, will also provide a central portal for the graduate school to collect documentation as well as enhance the ability for graduate departments to track and monitor the status of their potential students.

“This is only Phase One of the strategic plan for technology enhancement of the graduate school,” Melton said. “Phase two, which will start this Fall, will incorporate the automation of the graduate catalog, degree audits, and student-faculty related forms as well as the planning of graduate online degree programs and services to offer more delivery options to our mobile graduate students and to become an education leader in today’s worldwide society.”

TSU’s graduate school currently offers seven doctoral degrees, 24 master’s degrees and eight certificates. To apply,visit go.tnstate.edu.

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 to highlight innovative research at Urban Ag Conference and Small Farm Expo

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University will highlight the latest research in agriculture this week at its Urban Agricultural Conference and Small Farm Expo.

Registration for the conference is Wednesday, July 18, at 9 a.m. in TSU’s Agricultural Industrial Technology Building, and registration for the expo is Thursday at 7:30 a.m. at the Pavilion Agricultural Research and Education Center (The Farm).

Both events are sponsored by the university’s College of Agriculture. This is the first year, however, for the Urban Ag Conference, and TSU officials anticipate a strong turnout because of the growing interest in methods to grow horticultural crops, like fruits and vegetables.

“Urban Ag is a fast growing field within agriculture as hydroponics, vertical, rooftop, and container gardening methods of growing horticultural crops are becoming popular in urban and suburban areas of the country,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of TSU’s Ag College.

In 2016, TSU partnered with Farm Credit of Mid-America to promote urban agriculture, and that partnership is ongoing.

Mark Wilson, Farm Credit senior vice president for Financial Services, has said TSU’s role will be critical as the United States faces a land shortage with a goal to double its food production in the next 30 years.

“That is quite a task,” said Wilson. “It is going to take people like us and the research that’s going on at Tennessee State University to make that possible.”

According to Reddy, only one percent of the general population is engaged in traditional agricultural production.

“Our goal at TSU is to promote best urban agricultural practices, particularly horticultural crops, for personal consumption and commercial purposes,” he said.

As for the expo, this is the 14th year of the event. TSU officials say it’s a way for the university and its partners at the state and federal levels to recognize the role farmers and agriculture play in the state and the nation.

The expo features speakers and workshops on topics that include urban agriculture, hemp research, and use of drones in agriculture.

The highlight of the expo is the announcement of the “Small Farmer of the Year.” Last year’s award went to Nicole Riddle of Maynardville, Tennessee. She leased 44 acres of her parents’ land and opened her own winery.

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 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.

Summer camp teaches high school students how to fly, build drones

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – High school students recently participated in a summer program at Tennessee State University that taught them how to not only fly a drone, but build one.

Drone pilot and program instructor Wendy Jackson-Dowe, a TSU alum, gives some final direction to student McKenna Harris before flight. (photo by Lucas Johnson, TSU Media Relations)

The initiative is part of a one-week pre-college program at TSU that seeks to encourage high school students to consider STEM careers. Last year, students learned how to design and build an app.

“This year, we decided to do something very innovative,” said College of Engineering Dean Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, who’s been recognized nationally for his contributions as a STEM educator. “And so we have a curriculum whereby students learn to fly a drone, as well as build one.”

About 20 students were enrolled in the summer camp, which ran from July 9-13. A person can become a licensed drone pilot as young as 16.

“It’s estimated there’ll be between 10,000 to 20,000 job opportunities for certified drone pilots over the next several years,” added Hargrove, “and getting kids excited about this at this early age is an opportunity for them to consider.”

Drone built by students. (photo by Lucas Johnson, TSU Media Relations)

The summer drone program was developed by Wendy Jackson-Dowe, a TSU mechanical engineering graduate. She said in just the last five years, drones have become a $127 billion industry.

“Drones are going to be so important to the future,” said Jackson-Dowe. “So I thought it would be great to introduce young people to this burgeoning industry by way of a hands-on camp.”

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the top three verticals right now in a global environment are infrastructure, agriculture and logistics, all of which drones play a part.

Student participants and instructors in drone summer camp. (photo by Lucas Johnson, TSU Media Relations)

“All of those areas touch all of us every day,” said Jackson-Dowe.

McKenna Harris, a freshman at Sycamore High School in Pleasant View, Tennessee, said the camp has her considering a career in the drone industry.

“I was planning to be like a vet or zoologist, but drones are really cool,” said Harris. “They’re changing the world.”

Nashville television station Channel 5 (WTVF) aired a story about the drone program. To see the story, visit https://www.newschannel5.com/news/tsu-class-teaches-students-to-make-fly-drones

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

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU President’s Scholarship Offer Opens Doors for Student Set on Making A Difference in the Medical Field

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When Folusho Elijah Micah was asked to introduce TSU President Glenda Glover at a church event, he made an impression that has undoubtedly changed his life.

“After the introduction, she thanked me and said, ‘That was really nice and very special. You are the kind of young man I’d like to see at TSU,’” recalls Micah. “Right there, standing in front of the church, she offered me a full ride to TSU. My mom started crying and I was crying, the whole church was screaming; it was really a special moment.”

Folusho Elijah Micah

Micah, a second-year biology major at Tennessee State University, says he’s interested in the field of medicine, particularly care for children. He says his love for children led him to start babysitting for family members in the neighborhood.

“I love medicine and have so much passion working with kids, I thought, ‘what can I do to take these areas that I love so much and put them together? Become a doctor,’” says Micah, a Nashville native and graduate of Hume-Fogg High School.

He is well on his way to fulfilling his dream. At TSU, Micah maintains a near 4.0 grade point average,  and has been on the Dean’s List every semester. Additionally, he just completed his first summer in the Meharry BS/MD program, a pre-med initiative that connects Meharry Medical College with TSU and other historically black colleges and universities.

With good behavior and good grades in high school, college was always on Micah’s mind, but he was concerned about the financial burden it would put on his parents.

“Every time I listened, the cost of going to college was going up and I knew that would put a big strain on my parents when the time came,” says Micah, the second of three children. “It just bothered me.”

Micah’s fortune would soon change, thanks to a chance meeting with President Glover. Micah is a youth leader and summer camp counselor at Corinthian Missionary Baptist Church, where the TSU president was scheduled to speak. The pastor, the Rev. Enoch Fuzz, picked Micah to introduce Glover.

The soon-to-graduate-high-school senior says he went home and researched “all I could find on the President,” and prepared his introduction.

He says he’s extremely grateful to Glover for the scholarship.

“She took that stress off me when she offered me that scholarship,” says Micah. “That’s something I will forever be grateful for.”

Micah’s coming to TSU fulfills a special goal for Glover’s vision to move the university to another level of excellence. In 2016, the President announced sweeping changes that raised admission standards to attract the best and brightest. Minimum requirement for incoming freshmen went up from a 2.25 GPA to 2.5, while the ACT score remained at 19. The goal is to strategically recruit a millennial generation of high achieving students to improve retention and graduation rates.

The semester following Glover’s announcement, school officials said Micah’s class of 2021 came in as one of the most academically qualified classes in the school’s history, with an average 3.07 GPA. It was also the largest incoming freshman class in school history – 1,500 first-year students – a 17 percent increase over the previous year’s freshman enrollment.

At TSU, Micah says the “family” atmosphere has been very encouraging and has helped him to adjust to his new environment.

“At first it was tough adjusting because all of my friends had gone to other schools. I kind of felt alone,” says Micah. “I really started to get happy here when I started to get closer with my professors and my peers. I think that’s something really nice about TSU that I would not have gotten somewhere else. Once I found my footing, I was extremely happy.”

Micah, who has not yet decided where he will go to medical school, says he was also concerned about the declining number of African- Americans in the medical field.

Studies show that despite efforts by medical schools to increase diversity among applicants, the number of black men have remained stagnant for nearly 40 years. In 1978, 1,410 black men applied to U.S. medical schools. In 2014, that number was 1,337, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Micah aims to change that statistic for black men.

“We have to get our number up,” he says. “I think the biggest thing is that we need more resources and more influencers in place for our young men to look and have something they can strive for. I think by pursuing a career in medicine – even though I am just one person – this will help for the better. Once I have made it into and out of medical school, I can then reach back into my community and pull some kids out.”

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.