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Tennessee State University Learning Support Program Receives International Certification

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A key Tennessee State University student help program has received national and international recognition.

The Learning Support Centers, which provide help to students in math, writing and reading, have received the College Reading and Learning Association certification.

More than 1,000 college tutor-training programs around the globe have received CRLA certification under its international tutor-training program.

The Learning Support Centers average about 700 appointments a month from students who need help. (Courtesy Photo)

The certification provides recognition for program credibility, as well as sets professional standards of skills and training for tutors and mentors. This also ensures accountability, TSU officials say. Both the center and tutors are evaluated annually to ensure continued CRLA high standards.

“It is important that we have professional standards and training for our tutors that are within the guidelines of best practices,” says Tiffany Bellafant Steward, assistant vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Success.

She says although the university positively reinforces the work of staff and peer tutors, the CRLA certification provides them additional opportunities to excel at what they do and “to provide exceptional service to our students.”

Olivia Watson, left, a peer tutor in the Math Center, reviews work with Parisa Bastian, a junior mechanical engineering major. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The TSU CRLA certification, which was granted in September, came after a review process of every aspect of the Learning Support Centers. The LSCs include a math center, a reading center, and a writing center.

Olivia Watson, a senior criminal justice major with a minor in sociology, from St. Louis, Missouri, has been a peer tutor in the Math Center for the last two years. She tutors college algebra and also helps with English.

Students receive help from staff tutors in the Writing Center. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“Being certified makes me feel a lot better because now I have something to show students if I have to tutor them,” says Watson. “This is something I can even take outside the university to help others because now I am certified. It kind of adds to my value.”

And that is exactly the goal for the CRLA recognition – to add value to what peer tutors do and to hold them accountable, says Thomas Hrycyk, coordinator of Tutoring Services in the TSU Student Success Center.

“A CRLA certification means there is a certain level of accountability to make sure what you are doing as peer tutors is providing the necessary help for the student you are tutoring,” says Hrycyk. “It means that there is an added level of expectation. If you want to come in and work with student A, that student can expect to have the same level of assistance as from anyone else she works with currently or in the future.”

The Writing Center is one of the three components that make up the Learning Support Centers. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Currently, the LSCs have 12 peer tutors and 14 staff tutors. Staff tutors, who are also certified, are either center staff or university professors, says Hrycyk. Although visitors seen at the center are generally freshmen, students up to graduate level are welcome.

“We turn nobody away if we feel we can help them out,” says Hrycyk.

Before students receive CRLA certification to be peer tutors, they undergo 10 hours of training that includes shadowing staff or senior peer tutors for a minimum of three hours. They also spend 25 hours of evaluated time tutoring students to become certified. To be accepted in the program, Hrycyk says, an applicant must have 30 or more credit hours with a 3.0 or higher grade point average, and have an A or B grade in the class or subject they want to tutor.

This level of preparation for peer tutoring is very assuring for Khasia Perry, a first-year economics and finance major, from St. Louis Missouri, who gets help in math.

“Knowing that the person helping me went through all this training makes me feel more comfortable and sure that I am getting the help that I need,” says Perry. “It is very important to me that I can trust this person and know what they are saying to me is based on knowing that they are also being monitored.”

According to Hrycyk, peer tutors are anonymously surveyed periodically throughout the year to get student evaluation of their work. He said the LSCs average about 700 appointments a month from students who need help.

For more information on the TSU Learning Support Centers, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/aeao/learning-support-centers.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.

Ag student receives Justin Smith Morrill Scholarship

By Joan Kite

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Alexius Dingle, an agriculture science major expecting to graduate in May, can rest a little easier after completing all those applications for grad school.

Her application fees are covered through her own efforts and a generous scholarship.

Awarded the prestigious Justin Smith Morrill Scholarship, she now has $2,500 to defray the cost of application fees.

“My ultimate goal is to get a Ph.D. in microbiology,” Dingle said. “I want to spend my career researching how we can use microorganisms to make our lives easier.”

The Justin Smith Morrill Scholarship is presented by the 1890 Land-Grant Universities Foundation to 19 graduating seniors — one at each of the 1890 member universities.

The scholarship was established to commemorate Justin Smith Morrill, a Vermont politician who advocated dedicating public lands to create higher education institutions that taught agriculture and other subjects to all. In 1862, President Abe Lincoln signed the Morrill Land Grant Act, a law that ultimately funded 105 institutions, and later on established colleges dedicated to educating African Americans.

Dingle is emblematic of that vital heritage.

She is a USDA/ 1890 National Scholar, a Tennessee State University Dean’s Scholar, and has been on the President’s List for the past three years.

Sustaining a 4.0 GPA, Dingle has also been able to serve as President of the Alpha Chi Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and Freshman/Sophomore Class Representative of the Tennessee State University Honors College. She is a member of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS), the Hip’Notyze Dance Troupe, and the African Student Association.

She has taken first place two years in a row in the TSU Research Symposium for Undergraduate Science.

During the past three summers, she has interned at the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in Riverdale, Maryland, where she assisted in implementing regulations for genetically engineered organisms, and at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, where she sought to quantify mixotrophic behavior in dinoflagellates (algaes) indigenous to the Chesapeake Bay.

Dingle anticipates hearing in late winter or early spring from one of the four graduate schools for which she has applied.

A doctorate is on her goals’ list.

Is teaching at a university in her future?

“I’ve thought about becoming a professor,” she said.

Note: In the featured photo, College of Agriculture Dean Chandra Reddy presents Alexius Dingle with the scholarship check (Photo by Joan Kite).

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 Helps Students Explore Ancestry

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – This holiday season, Erica Conn will get a gift from Tennessee State University she has longed to receive most of her life. Thanks to a new service being offered by the Office of International Affairs, Conn will trace her ancestry.

“I’m not sure where I am from, and my ancestry is not readily available to me because my ancestors were slaves,” she said.  “So my history for the most part is hidden.”

A senior office assistant in OIA, Conn is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public administration at the university. When she heard OIA would be collaborating with Helix, a personal genomics company, to provide ancestry DNA testing services for TSU students and members of the surrounding community, she convinced the office to let her volunteer as a tester so she could tell other people about the product.

Erica Conn

“I just think that it is super important for African Americans, but not just African Americans, anyone and everyone, to know where they are from, who their ancestors are, and what the commonalities are,” she said. “What are the norms from the particular culture? How can they draw from those things, and how can they be better because of those things?

Mark Brinkley, director of International Education in OIA, said helping students explore their ancestry is part of TSU’s initiative to help them become more comfortable with their culture.

“Seventy percent of our student population is African-American,” he said. “The proposition of study abroad is, as we say, ‘Why don’t you go and experience another culture?’ That becomes even more challenging when our students don’t know their own culture.”

To assist students with the process of exploring their ancestry, Brinkley said OIA has developed more programs focused on visiting the continent of Africa, as well as following the African diaspora.

“It’s a historic fact that 12.5 million people of African descent left Africa in the slave trade. Ten million arrived to the Americas. Only 400,000 came to what we call the United States,” he said. “That means that this African diaspora is really immense, and almost anywhere we go, Brazil in South America, the Caribbean, there is a heavy African influence from the ships stopping their before they got to the United States.”

Brinkley said some of the study abroad experiences currently being planned include Senegal, South Africa, Denmark, Mexico and Peru.

Conn, who is awaiting her test results, said she eventually hopes to visit her homeland.

“I will solve the mystery of where I am from and who my ancestors are, but as far as getting there, it’s going to be a bit costly, so I will start working,” she said. “I am going to Africa with my church in 2020, but we know that Africa is a large continent, and I’m not sure where I am from, so the place where we are going may not be remotely close to where I am from.  But I intend to go there, and try to find out as much information as I can.”

Mark Brinkley

Brinkley, whose test revealed that he is 80 percent West African, 16 percent European, 2 percent South African and 2 percent other. said the ancestry testing helps students answer two of the three fundamental questions they ask in their programs: Who am I? How do I know? How do I interact with others?

“It was very interesting this past summer when we were in South Africa. I opened up my welcome to them by saying, ‘I’m coming back home,’ because I know who I am, and I also know how I know that,” he said.

The Office of International Affairs is located on the first floor of Holland Hall. For more information about TSU’s Study Abroad and Exchange Programs as well as ancestory testing, contact Mark Anthony Brinkley at mbrinkley1@tnstate.edu or (615) 963-7660.

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, 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.

Tree lighting ceremony a festive event for TSU family, community

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Members of the Tennessee State University family, as well as the community, turned out last Tuesday night for the university’s festive tree lighting ceremony.

TSU President Glenda Glover with Miss TSU Kayla Sampson and Mr. TSU Darian McGhee. (Photo by Ramona Whitworth)

“This tree, this TSU tree, symbolizes light, life, and love,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “We light this tree, and pray for a happy and joyful holiday season.”

Before the tree lighting, TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands provided some holiday spirit, and hot chocolate was available to help attendees stay warm. The cold temperature, however, didn’t seem to keep those in attendance from having a good time.

Patricia Milton, who drove from Hendersonville, Tennessee, with her 9-year-old granddaughter, said she looked forward to the event, which also had a visit from Santa Claus.

(Photo by Ramona Whitworth)

“I think it’s a wonderful thing to do in the neighborhood,” Milton said.

TSU freshman Andrea Davis agreed.

“It’s a way to make the university more engaged with the community,” said Davis, who will travel home to Washington, D.C. next week. “It also makes me look forward to Christmas.”

TSU will continue to spread holiday cheer when it hosts the Toys for Tots event on Dec. 15. The event will be held in Kean Hall on the main campus from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Note: Feature photo taken by Charles Cook (TSU Media Relations).

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.

Metro School Director Shawn Joseph to Give Fall Commencement Keynote Address

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Dr. Shawn Joseph, director of Metro Nashville Public Schools, will give the commencement address when Tennessee State University holds its fall graduation ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 8.

More than 600 students will receive undergraduate and graduate degrees in various disciplines, according to university officials. The commencement will be in the Howard C. Gentry Complex at 9 a.m.

Dr. Shawn Joseph

Among those receiving degrees will be the 23 members of the inaugural class of the TSU Executive MBA program.

Joseph, a Long Island, New York, native and longtime educator and authorhas served as a teacher, principal, district administrator, deputy superintendent and superintendent. His work has garnered national recognition, and other districts have sought his expertise during transitional periods.

He has won numerous awards and recognitions for his work and service, including Ambassador Andrew Young Certificate of Distinguished Services, American Educational Research Association’s Outstanding Dissertation Award, and the Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals Middle Level Principal of the Year Award.

Joseph, who came to his current job in 2016, has researched and published articles in top peer-review journals on topics like strategic planning and principal development. In 2012, he published the book, “The Principal’s Guide to the First 100 Days of the School Year: Creating Instructional Momentum.”

Before joining MNPS, Joseph was the deputy superintendent for teaching and learning in the Prince George’s County (Maryland) Public Schools. He also served as superintendent of schools for the Seaford School District in Delaware, and principal of Roberto Clemente Middle School in Montgomery County, Maryland, among others.

A lifelong learner, Joseph holds a bachelor’s degree in English Education from Lincoln University, a master’s degree in reading education from Johns Hopkins University, and a Doctorate of Education from George Washington University. He and his wife, Ocheze Joseph, also a public school educator, have two school-aged children.

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, 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 prepared to provide strong candidates for new Amazon operations center

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover says the university is poised to provide strong candidates for Amazon’s new executive operations center.

Dr. Glenda Glover

Amazon announced Tuesday 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.

“Excellence is Our Habit is TSU’s motto for a reason,” says Glover. “The university is prepared to provide a diverse group of very talented and workforce-ready students. In addition to TSU establishing a student employment pipeline of business and tech-savvy employees for Amazon, we have an array of accredited and professional development programs to help their current workers enhance their skills and career path within the company.”

Dr. Achintya Ray, an economics professor at TSU, agrees.

“As the only public university in Nashville, Tennessee State University stands uniquely poised to support these corporate giants, their employees, family members of the employees, and the businesses that support them with highly-skilled human capital, workforce training opportunities, research partnerships and more,” says Ray.

TSU’s executive MBA and continuing education offerings are just a few of the tools the university can readily offer Amazon through the corporate employee education program, adds Glover.

According to Amazon, Nashville will serve as the company’s Retail Operations division. The one million square foot office space will house the tech and management functions of the division, including customer fulfillment, customer service, transportation, and supply chain, amongst others.

Currently, Amazon employs about 2,500 people in the Nashville region across five fulfillment and sortation centers.

 

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, 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 Ag researchers work to make sure turkeys safe to eat

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – As people across the country prepare for Thanksgiving, researchers at Tennessee State University are making sure the turkeys consumers eat are safe.

Dr. Sam Nahashon

The researchers in the university’s College of Agriculture are using probiotics (cultivated beneficial microorganisms) to fight pathogens, including salmonella, which is involved in a current outbreak in turkeys.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the outbreak started in November 2017. As of Nov. 5, this year, 164 people have been infected. The agency reminds people to properly cook and handle turkeys this holiday season.

Dr. Sam Nahashon is professor of poultry science at TSU, and chair of the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. He said the current Ag research would reduce or exclude pathogens in the intestinal tract of turkeys or chickens by feeding them the cultivated beneficial microorganisms through feed and/or water.

Dr. Fur-Chi Chen

“It just takes a few harmful microorganisms in our body to cause a disease,” said Nahashon. “Our goal is to reduce salmonella and campylobacter in poultry.”

Added research professor Dr. Fur-Chi Chen: “The whole idea is using the beneficial bacteria to feed into the poultry, and during the production, they can prevent the salmonella.”

The CDC recommends handling raw turkey carefully, including washing hands before and after preparing or eating turkey. Cooking raw turkey thoroughly (to an internal temperature of 165°F, measured by placing a thermometer in the thickest part of the bird) will help prevent food poisoning.

TSU Ag professor Elyse Shearer said frozen turkeys should also be fully defrosted, preferably in the refrigerator over several days, and they should not be washed to prevent the spread of bacteria.

Dr. Elyse Shearer

“Also, make sure that no utensils or supplies that came in contact with the raw turkey touch other food items to prevent cross-contamination of harmful pathogens,” said Dr. Shearer, who works in the College of Ag’s Department of Family and Consumer Sciences.

TSU’s College of Agriculture has received millions of dollars from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to research poultry and promote food safety.

To learn more about the College of Agriculture’s food safety research, visit

http://www.fightbac.org/food-safety-education/dont-wing-it/.

 

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, 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.

State Lawmakers Converge on TSU Campus on ‘Tennessee General Assembly Day’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – State lawmakers got a chance to see Tennessee State University’s excellence up close earlier this month.

Several legislators – from the Senate and House of Representatives – visited and toured the campus on Nov. 14 in what was termed, “Experience TSU: Tennessee General Assembly Day at Tennessee State University.”

This was a departure from the annual “TSU Day at the Capitol,” when university administrators, students, faculty, alumni and friends converge on Legislative Plaza to showcase TSU’s research and other innovative initiatives. The next TSU Day at the Capitol will be on Feb. 12.

TSU alums and state lawmakers, Rep. Harold Love, Jr.; and Senator-elect Brenda Gilmore, said it was important for their fellow lawmakers to visit the TSU campus. (Photo by Michael McLendon, TSU Media Relations)

Joining the lawmakers at TSU were the Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture, Jai Templeton, and representatives from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency, Natural Resource Conservation Service, and Rural Development.

“We are very pleased to welcome you to Tennessee State University and our beautiful campus on behalf of our President, Dr. Glenda Glover,” said Dr. Curtis Johnson, chief of staff and associate vice president.

“Many of you may be familiar with our campus and for some of you, this may be your first time, but we are just glad that you included us in your busy schedules to make this day possible and to see for yourselves some of the great things taking place at this institution.”

At a luncheon in the President’s Dining Room prior to touring facilities on campus, the lawmakers received briefings and slide presentations from administrators on the university’s 2019 Legislative Priorities for funding consideration by the General Assembly.

Lawmakers and USDA officials watch a computer animation in the CAVE presented by Omari Paul, a 2nd-year Ph.D. student in Computer Information Systems Engineering. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The priorities include the creation of a STEM Institute, a Community Behavioral and Mental Health Center, the Cumberland Shores Research and Innovative Park, emergency funding for students, and safety and security.

“With the heightened demand for diversification in the STEM work force, an institute would provide research, professional development and training in recruiting and retaining minorities in STEM programs in Tennessee and nationally,” said Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, vice president for Research and Institutional Advancement.

With TSU one of only two HBCU’s offering a Ph.D. in psychology in the nation, Crumpton-Young told the lawmakers a community behavioral and mental health center would allow Ph.D. students in psychology to complete their clinical training on campus, instead of at Vanderbilt University, as they currently do.

A group of students from the TSU Career Development Center and the center director, Charles Jennings, right, make a presentation to the visiting legislators at the luncheon in the President’s Dining Room. (Photo by MIchael McLendon, TSU Media Relations)

Two TSU alums and state lawmakers, Rep. Harold Love, Jr., and Senator-elect Brenda Gilmore, were among those present. They said the presence of their colleagues on campus allows them to see “where the money is going.”

“This is so vital because when Tennessee State is engaged and asking for money for campus improvements, security upgrades and for general operation, oftentimes legislators have never been to the campus,” Love said. “By having them on campus, we get to highlight all the wonderful things that are going on at TSU.”

Gilmore shared similar sentiment.

“TSU has so much to offer. They have some of the best and brightest students,” she said.  “I commend TSU for arranging this visit. This is a good start. TSU needs a greater presence, telling the story of what the university is and what the needs are.”

Following the luncheon, lawmakers toured various sites on campus, escorted by TSU’s Assistant Vice President for Public Relations and Communications, Kelli Sharpe, and Johnson.

Leon Roberts, coordinator of the TSU Dental Hygiene program, talks to visitors about the services offered by the Dental Hygiene Clinic. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Stops included a round-table discussion with administrators and the Dean of the College of Agriculture, Dr. Chandra Reddy, as well as a tour of the Food and Biosciences and Technology Lab, a cutting-edge facility.

State Sen. Frank S. Nicely, 8th District, said he is impressed with work going on at TSU, especially in agriculture.

“I enjoy very much hearing about TSU as a land-grant university,” said Nicely, who is 1st vice-chair of the Senate Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. “I am excited about the work you are doing with small farmers and reaching out to more counties with your extension program.”

Next, the group stopped in the College of Engineering, where they observed various animations in the CAVE or Computer Assisted for Virtual Environments, a facility for multi-disciplinary research, as well as the Advanced Materials Lab.

The group’s final stop was at TSU’s state-of-the-art Dental Hygiene Clinic, which provides a wide range of reduced-cost dental services to nearly 600 patients in the Nashville community a year.

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, 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.

Tennessee State University Choir part of uplifting performance with Carrie Underwood at CMA Awards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Members of the Tennessee State University Choir joined a Nashville ensemble in an uplifting performance with megastar Carrie Underwood at the 52nd Country Music Association Awards Wednesday night.

Submitted photo.

The choir members and Portara Ensemble sang with Underwood on her timely hit song, “Love Wins,” during the show at Bridgestone Arena.

“It is an absolute honor to sing with an artist the caliber of Carrie Underwood on national television and it was really meaningful for us to sing a song with a text that encourages unity, in this time of incredible division and strife,” said Dr. Susan Kelly, TSU’s choral director.

It was the TSU Choir’s second performance at the CMAs. The group performed on the awards show last year, and students said before last night’s performance that they were excited the university was getting another opportunity.

“I’m really excited,” said choir member Destiny Pennington, a freshman from Detroit. “It’s something that I’ve never done before and have always wanted to do.”

Junior DeMicheal Martin agreed.

“It’s exciting, and it’s also an opportunity to showcase our great university,” said Martin, of Memphis.

Kelly said the opportunity to sing at the CMAs again is a testimony to the hard work of the students and the success they’re having.

“The choir program has grown so much over the past three years and I am delighted that they are beginning to get opportunities and recognition in the Nashville community,” she said.

Dr. Robert Elliott, chair of TSU’s Department of Music, shared similar sentiment.

“The CMAs are a hallmark of excellence in Nashville; so is TSU,” he said. “Dr. Kelly and her students once more do all of us at TSU proud.”

The choir’s performance will be TSU’s second encounter with country music stardom this year. In August, the university’s famed Aristocrat of Bands performed with superstar Keith Urban at Bridgestone Arena during his tour stop in Nashville. The band was featured as a part of Urban’s closing hit song, “Wasted Time.”

 

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, 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.

Tennessee State University Choir to grace the CMA Awards once again

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Members of the Tennessee State University Choir will once again be performing at the Country Music Association Awards Wednesday night.

The choir performed at the 51st CMA Awards last year, and students and faculty say they are looking forward to doing it again at the show scheduled for 7 p.m. at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

“I’m really excited,” said choir member Destiny Pennington, a freshman from Detroit. “It’s something that I’ve never done before and have always wanted to do.”

Junior DeMicheal Martin agreed.

“It’s exciting, and it’s also an opportunity to showcase our great university,” said Martin, of Memphis.

Last year, the choral students appeared as backup singers to some of the biggest names in country music, including Carrie Underwood, Darius Rucker, Keith Urban, Garth Brooks and Reba McEntire. The students were invited along with the Portara Ensemble, to kick off the awards show, which was broadcast live on national television from the Music City Center.

Dr. Susan Kelly, the choir’s director, said the opportunity to sing at the CMAs again is a testimony to the hard work of the students and the success they’re having.

“The choir program has grown so much over the past three years and I am delighted that they are beginning to get opportunities and recognition in the Nashville community,” Kelly said.

Dr. Robert Elliott, chair of TSU’s Department of Music, shared similar sentiment.

“The CMAs are a hallmark of excellence in Nashville; so is TSU,” he said. “Dr. Kelly and her students once more do all of us at TSU proud.”

The choir’s performance will be TSU’s second encounter with country music stardom this year. In August, the university’s famed Aristocrat of Bands performed with megastar Keith Urban at Bridgestone Arena during his tour stop in Nashville. The band was featured as a part of Urban’s closing hit song, “Wasted Time.”

 

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, 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.