Tag Archives: featured

Aristocrat of Bands Brings High-Energy Show to Pro Foot Ball Hall of Fame Game Aug. 3

The Aristocrat of Bands perform last year during halftime of one of the home football games at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee. The Band has been invited to perform a halftime show during the nationally televised game Sunday, Aug. 3 during the NFL Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. The Band will be in Canton to celebrate the enshrinement of TSU's great Claude Humphrey into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
The Aristocrat of Bands perform last year during halftime of one of the home football games at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee. The Band has been invited to perform a halftime show during the nationally televised game Sunday, Aug. 3 during the NFL Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. The Band will be in Canton to celebrate the enshrinement of TSU’s great Claude Humphrey into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – They have marched and performed all across the country, from presidential inaugurations and marching competitions to nationally televised NFL halftime shows, as well as movie and concert venues.

Now the Aristocrat of Bands from Tennessee State University will head north later this summer to celebrate TSU’s great Claude Humphrey’s enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The band will perform in the nationally televised halftime show of the Hall of Fame game on Sunday, Aug. 3 in Canton, Ohio.

When Dr. Reginald McDonald found out that one of TSU’s own was going to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, he knew the band had to be part of the celebration.

“As soon as we heard that Claude Humphrey was one of the seven NFL legends to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, we knew we had to be there,” said McDonald, acting Director of Bands. “It is important for us to represent the University to celebrate the achievement of one of our family members.”

McDonald found out the band would be the featured halftime performance the day after Super Bowl XLVIII and immediately began thinking about what they could do to make the performance memorable. However since the band was heavily into the spring semester, plans would be put on hold until this summer when members of the band return to school.

Once they do return, it will be a quick and steep learning curve, McDonald explained since they have less than three weeks to gel together as a full band when the freshmen and the upperclassmen practice as one unit.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to show off to the nation the high energy showmanship of the Aristocrat of Bands,” added McDonald. “We have about two weeks to put together an eight-minute show but we will definitely be ready. I know the people in Canton will be impressed by what we bring.”

This is the Bands’ second NFL halftime performance in less than a year. Last September, the band was invited to perform during the nationally televised game between the San Francisco 49ers and the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome.

McDonald added it’s a lot of work preparing for halftime shows during the TSU football season along with the additional pressure of the NFL shows. But he knows it’s more than just a performance. It is also a venue to bring the TSU brand, he said, to those outside the state.

“This is an opportunity for us to recruit in a different area, perform in a different part of the country that we usually don’t get to, and show that TSU is the best marching and performing band in the country,” he said.

Since its inception in 1946, and subsequently becoming a show band under the administration of second TSU President Dr. Walter S. Davis, the Aristocrat of Bands has been featured at many international and national events, including half-time shows at several NFL games, Bowl games and Classics, and Presidential Inaugurations – the latest that of Bill Clinton in 1993.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. 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 Receives National Weather Service StormReady Designation During Packed Campus Ceremony

Storm Ready-7
Tom Johnstone, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service, left, presents the StormReady designation plaque to Dr. Curtis Johnson, Associate Vice President and Head of Emergency Management at TSU. Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is well prepared to protect its students, faculty and staff from severe weather, the National Weather Service announced Thursday, July 10, when it designated the University as a StormReady institution.

The NWS said TSU has met all the “rigorous criteria” for a StormReady designation by developing an all-hazard safety plan and communications infrastructure, as well as actively promoted all hazardous weather safety through public awareness activities and training.

“There is nothing more important than keeping our community of students, faculty and staff safe on our campus,” said Dr. Glenda Glover, President of Tennessee State University. “This designation shows that we are holding to our commitment to parents and other community stakeholders that TSU is doing everything possible to ensure a safe and secure environment for our students.”

Storm Ready
Tennessee State University officials receive the StormReady certification from officials of the National Weather Service and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. From left are Tom Johnstone, NWS; Thomas Graham, TSU assistant director of Emergency Management; Dr. Curtis Johnson, TSU; Brittney Coleman, NWS Meteorologist; Chris Johnson, TEMA Middle Tennessee Regional Director; and Brent Morse, Area Coordinator for TEMA. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

At a presentation ceremony on campus, Tom Johnstone, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service, congratulated the University for receiving the StormReady designation. He applauded the administration, the Emergency Management team and staff for their dedication and hard work in “putting all the right pieces together” to achieve the designation.

“Tennessee State University is prepared for the StormReady designation,” Johnstone declared.  “It took tremendous work to fine-tune all that was necessary to earn the certification required for this designation, and this university and this community need to be congratulated for a great job.”

Dr. Curtis Johnson, associate vice president for Administration, who is in charge of Emergency Management, thanked the campus police, students and staff for their cooperation in doing what was necessary to earn the NWS certification.

“Being storm ready reaffirms Tennessee State University’s commitment to protection of life and property, and all of you have been helpful in allowing us to achieve that,” Johnson said. “We look forward to making TSU and the community better and safer.”

As a mark of designation and recognition, Johnson announced that the NWS StormReady signage would be placed at the two major entrances to the University.

NWS meteorologist Brittney Coleman, while acknowledging that natural disasters are inevitable, said preparing for them must always be taken seriously.

“Tennessee State University has really done a tremendous job in preparing itself and the community in the case of bad weather,” Coleman said. “We have been working with the campus team to make sure we had everything in place to be ready for this designation. All residence halls now have weather alert radios to keep them connected to the National Weather Service in case of emergency.”

Also participating in the ceremony were representatives from the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, who lauded the agency’s partnership with the University. They were Middle Tennessee Regional Director, Chris Johnson; and Area Coordinator, Brent Morse.

Speaking on behalf of the community, the Reverend Jimmy D. Greer Sr., pastor of Nashville’s Friendship Baptist Church, thanked the University for its community partnership.

“We applaud Dr. Glover for holding up to her commitment since arriving at this campus to ensure that the community is actively involved in any endeavor necessary for the promotion of this university,” Greer said. “We thank the university, the National Weather Service, TEMA and all the people that took part in making this achievement possible.”

Dr. Mark Hardy, vice president for Academic Affairs, representing Dr. Glover, who was traveling, said TSU’s effort in ensuring a safe weather environment for its faculty, staff and student, ties in with some major research efforts at the University.

Specifically, the vice president mentioned a more than $200,000 National Science Foundation-funded on-going research project in the College of Engineering to develop a simulation model that would help predict storm surge in a timely manner to better prepare inland and coastal dwellers for the storm.

“An assistant professor of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering (Muhammad Akbar) is using computational fluid dynamics and mathematical models to predict flooding caused by storm surges that bring ocean water onto land, causing major devastation, and erosion to cities and coastal wetlands,” said Hardy. He thanked NWS for the recognition, adding that the StormReady designation “speaks to the volume of work we are doing not to only provide a safe environment for our students, but to also give them the highest quality of education.”

The packed ceremony in the President’s Dining Room on the main campus brought together an array of state, local and community partner leaders and representatives, including the office of Congressman Jim Cooper, and the Executive Director of Nashville JUMP (Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership), Sharon Hurt.

TSU is one of only seven institutions in the State to receive the StormReady University designation.

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. 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 Goes Digital with Book Bundle Initiative

Effort aims to reduce high cost of traditional textbooks

 

Incoming freshman students demonstrate book bundle, a digital cost-saving textbook initiative at Tennessee State University, to TBR Chancellor John Morgan during the Board’s recent quarterly meeting at the University. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)
Incoming freshman students demonstrate book bundle, a digital cost-saving textbook initiative at Tennessee State University, to TBR Chancellor John Morgan during the Board’s recent quarterly meeting at the University. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University will be on the digital cutting edge this fall semester when it begins offering electronic books as part of a book-bundle initiative aimed at lowering the cost of traditional “paper” books.

The plan will allow freshman and sophomore students to buy “e-books” for general education classes, saving students up to $735 per semester.

According to University officials, a large number of students enrolled in classes do not purchase text books due to lack of funds, delay in receiving funds, or simply hold back on buying them for weeks.

“Many of our students would go weeks before they even purchase a text book, which in turn hurts them in the classroom,” said Dr. Glenda Glover, President of TSU. “This new program allows students to have books the first day of class and gives them the ability to be successful since they will have the required materials.”

She went on to say that as the leader of the University, it is her responsibility to find cost-cutting measures to save students money.

“TSU is really on the cutting edge with this new program,” added Glover. “Not only will it save money for many of our incoming freshmen and some first-generation students, but it will also help faculty bridge the digital divide and reach our students across digital platforms.”

Under the new program, students will pay a flat fee of $365 per semester that is included in their tuition and fees, and have access to the required digital textbooks for classes taken. The fee includes all textbooks in the general education core for students taking 12-16 semester hours. For students who want print copies of books, they will be available for an additional $15-30 charge.

Lauren Thomas, like many students today, uses her mobile tablet to not only stay connected, but also read everything from the newspapers and magazines to checking her email and scrolling through the Internet. It’s a device that the TSU Mass Communications major can’t live without.

“These mobile devices are always with us, so the idea of being able to read your class assignments directly from your tablet is a great idea,” said the SGA vice president. “I only wish we had this program when I was an underclassman.”

According to Dr. Alisa Mosley, associate vice president of Academic Affairs, the book-bundle program will be implemented in two phases this fall starting with freshmen and sophomores taking general education courses. Phase II will include juniors and seniors and focus on upper division and core courses required for their majors.

“The savings are incredible to our students,” explained Mosley. “The average cost of books alone ranges between $800 to $1,100 per semester. We are meeting the needs of our students and giving them the necessary tools to be successful. Studies have shown that students who have their books are more engaged and more successful when they have access to materials and do far better in their academic career.”

TSU is unique in the fact that the University is offering e-books for all general education classes, and it is the only university offering the book-bundle initiative in the Tennessee Board of Regents higher education system.

“When we started this project, we were told by numerous book publishers that this had never been done before,” added Mosley. “This was a massive undertaking to implement. We specifically decided to go with the digital books not only as an alternative to more costly traditional paper books, but also to meet students in the digital age.”

The program, according to Mosley, is already receiving attention from other institutions.

“Some of our sister institutions are already asking how they can implement the same program,” said Mosley. “We really are on the cutting-edge with this program. We want to remove any barriers that would impede students from being successful and this is just another way TSU is on the forefront of higher education.”

Statistics indicate electronic books, or e-books, are gaining popularity among college-aged students and educators, including those at TSU. While e-books currently account for only 6 percent of textbook sales at university bookstores, that number is growing, but primarily in certain disciplines.

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. 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.

After 44 years, TSU Engineer and Administrator Michael Busby “Retiring with a Great Deal of Joy”

Micheal Busby, former educator, administrator and interim associate Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs, retired June 30 from TSU after nearly 44 years of service. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)
Micheal Busby, former educator, administrator and interim associate Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs, retired June 30 from TSU after nearly 44 years of service. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Even with the development of a widely recognized astronomy program that saw the construction of a robotic observatory center, and the detection of a planet orbiting another star – all under his watch – Michael Busby is not jumping at any credit for a mounting of scientific advances at Tennessee State University.

“I have been fortunate to work with some very talented and gifted people who made these things possible,” said Busby, who retired June 30 from TSU after nearly 44 years as an engineer, professor and administrator.

“It’s been a rewarding experience. I owe Tennessee State University so much to have been put in positions where I did not only use my talent but was given opportunities to work with some very incredible people and administrators to help us achieve so much,” Busby said.

Recounting his years at TSU, Busby, 69, was visibly emotional when he talked about the satisfaction he received when the University gave him his first “big career break” to join the faculty in 1972, not long after earning a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Tennessee.

“Although I had a job working for a company briefly after I left UT, I found the opportunity to work at TSU and interact with so many students and other faculty to be an excellent career start,” Busby added.

He talked about many achievements, but for him what stood out the most was the opportunity to head the newly established Center of Excellence, a multidisciplinary research laboratory founded in 1986 within the state-wide Centers of Excellence program to increase the research base of Tennessee, as well as serve as a research resource for faculty and students of TSU.

“The center allowed us to advance in so many areas, collaborate with many national and international scientific and government agencies and institutions, and to develop faculty and students who are considered among the best in the nation,” Busby said.

Busby and Tennessee State University astronomer Greg Henry join Vanderbilt astronomers Douglas Hall and Frank Fekel in March 1989 at the robotic telescope site in the mountains of southern Arizona.  TSU's automated astronomy research program began as a collaborative effort with Vanderbilt astronomers to study a mysterious new class of variable stars with the robotic telescope on the right.  TSU now owns and operates 8 robotic telescopes at the Arizona site. (courtesy photo)
Busby and Tennessee State University astronomer Greg Henry join Vanderbilt astronomers Douglas Hall and Frank Fekel in March 1989 at the robotic telescope site in the mountains of southern Arizona. TSU’s automated astronomy research program began as a collaborative effort with Vanderbilt astronomers to study a mysterious new class of variable stars with the robotic telescope on the right. TSU now owns and operates 8 robotic telescopes at the Arizona site. (courtesy photo)

Under Busby’s watch, the center established an Automated Astronomy Group of faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, researchers, and support staff with automated telescopes, advanced control systems and systems identification, and applied mathematics. The automated astronomy research program began as a collaborative effort with Vanderbilt astronomers to study a mysterious new class of variable stars.  TSU now owns and operates eight robotic telescopes at the Robotic Observatory Center in the Patagonia Mountains near Washington Camp, Arizona.

On Nov. 14, 1999, a team led by TSU astronomer Greg Henry, announced the discovery of a shadow of a planet crossing a distant star. The discovery made national and international news.

“…I want America to know about your enormous contributions to research. I want every American to know that last November, Tennessee State astronomers made the world’s first direct detection of a planet orbiting another star,” then President Bill Clinton announced at the annual National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education Leadership Award Banquet in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 16, 2000.

“That was a crowning moment for the Center of Excellence and the Automated Astronomy Group…all because we had outstanding scientists and people doing what they are good at,” Busby added.

For a mechanical engineer with no specific background in astronomy, bringing the program together with the right people in place, and to achieve such prominence, speak to Busby’s “outstanding leadership and managerial genius,” one colleague said.

“His vision and management style made all the difference,” said Henry, an original member of the Automated Astronomy Group who has been with the University since Busby brought him on nearly 25 years ago.

“His genius was having the vision of what this center would be. He hired the right people, gave them what they needed and allowed them to do their work,” Henry added. “And he takes no credit for it.”

In the 26 years since its establishment, the COE has brought in more than $40 million in external funding through grants, and total faculty publications in refereed and non-refereed journals is nearly 1,300. Student support for an average 41 undergraduate and 10 graduate students per year is about $500,000.

With all of these achievements, no doubt colleagues and administrators see Dr. Busby’s departure as a “huge” vacuum being created at the University.

“Dr. Busby has been an outstanding instructor and researcher at TSU for decades,” said Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering. “His loyalty and dedication to the university is unwaverable….and his iconic presence will be missed by his colleagues and students.”

In addition to teaching and heading the COE, Busby also served in many other capacities over the years. One of his last roles was serving as interim associate vice president for Research and Sponsored Programs, a position he held until his retirement and the subsequent hiring of a new associate vice president.

The new Associate Vice President, Dr. Lesia L. Crumpton-Young, who worked with Busby for several months before his retirement, described the longtime TSU professor and administrator as providing “outstanding leadership that significantly impacted the research notoriety” of the Center of Excellence in Information Systems.

“Mike Busby has worked tirelessly to grow the research enterprise at TSU and we are truly grateful for his leadership and long-term commitment to the University,” Crumpton-Young said.

As he leaves, Busby said he is very optimistic about the future of the center and the University.

“I am very pleased with the kind of people and administrators we have in place at the institution. We have people who truly care about TSU and who want to take TSU to places it’s never been before,” Busby said.

About retirement, Busby said he is going to stay busy spending more time with his wife of 51 years, and keeping up with an engineering consultancy he has long been involved with, except this time, he will control his own time.

“I am retiring with a great deal of joy,” the Goodlettsville, Tennessee native added.

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. 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.

National, International Students March into TSU Summer Band Camp

Jesus Carmona, a trombone player from Sincelejo, Colombia, takes part in a band rehearsal during the Edward l. Graves Summer High School Summer Band Camp. Carmona is one of 90 students from around the country and South America taking part in the eight-day camp learning what it takes to be part of an elite university marching band. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
Jesus Carmona, a trombone player from Sincelejo, Colombia, takes part in a band rehearsal during the Edward L. Graves High School Summer Band Camp. Carmona is one of 90 students from around the country and South America taking part in the eight-day camp learning what it takes to be part of an elite university marching band. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote, “Music is the universal language of mankind.” Just ask Jose Carmona, a music student from Sincelejo, Colombia with limited English skills, who traveled nearly 2,000 miles to attend a summer camp for musicians at Tennessee State University.

Carmona is one of 90 students from around the country and South America taking part in the Edward L. Graves Summer High School Band camp through June 28. The camp, now in its third year, is known for fostering musicianship and marching expertise in high-school students from 9th to 12th grade.

“That has been the hardest part of this camp,” said Carmona through a translator. “Aside from the marching and getting up early for practice, not understanding the language has been hard. But through the music and instruction, it has all come together.”

Jose Carmona
Jose Carmona

Carmona, who is here as a part of an exchange program with 16 other members of his university band, joins students from across the U.S. who have descended on the campus for eight days to learn what it takes to be part of an elite university marching band.

According to Dr. Reginald McDonald, acting Director of Bands, students from as far as Chicago, Atlanta, Kansas City, Kansas, and Memphis, Tennessee, have come to the University to learn the rigors of performing as a member of TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands and what it takes to be successful in today’s collegiate band programs.

“This is a great opportunity for high school students to be exposed to a university setting and our music program,” he said. “When they return to their high school, they will have the tools to be a productive member of their high-school marching band.”

Also, McDonald said, many students come to the camp as a stepping-stone once they graduate from high school to become a member of the Aristocrat of Bands.

Marcus Cooper, an alto saxophone player from Oxon Hill, Maryland, said his ultimate goal is to march and play in the University’s world-renown marching band.

“This is my second time attending this camp,” said the soon-to-be high school senior. “I love everything we are learning, from the marching style and breathing, to keeping up your tone and different music styles. It has made my decision easier to eventually attend TSU and be a member of the band.”

Laurie Ordonez
Laurie Ordonez

Laurie Ordonez, a junior from Kansas City, agreed, saying that the camp will prepare her not only for college, but also a larger role in her school band when she returns to her school in the fall. Along with playing the piccolo, she is also taking part in drum major training.

“I was told by our band director at my high school that this is some of the best musical and marching experience I could get, and it would prepare me for the next phase of my musical aspirations,” she said. “In the few short days I’ve been here I’ve been able to focus on playing with more confidence, memorize music quicker, and most importantly, play loud the TSU way and not sound sloppy.”

After eight days of early-morning workouts and grueling practices, the students will have the opportunity to show off what they have learned at the end of camp. They are scheduled to perform Friday, June 27, at the Edward L. Graves Retirement Gala, honoring his 34-year career as director of the Aristocrat of Bands.

The gala takes place at 7 p.m. in Kean Hall on the main campus. In addition to paying tribute to Professor Graves, the gala will launch the Edward L. Graves Scholarship Endowment that will provide scholarships to students participating in the TSU Band.

Family members will also have the opportunity to listen to the high school musicians during “The Showcase” concert Saturday, June 28 at the Gentry Center. The concert is free and open to the public.

“I’m proud of what these young students have been able to accomplish in just few days,” added McDonald. “They sound great, they’re talented, and have an excellent music foundation that will translate into their current programs and future endeavors.”

For more information about the Gala or Showcase, contact Michelle Allen, Band Office Manager, at 615.963.5350.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. 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 Academic Boot Camp Eases Worried Parents’ Concern about Children Going Away for College

CUTLINE GOES HERE
Camp counselor TSU Senior Allen McReynolds (Standing) speaks with Boot Camp students (L-R)Tyler Banks, Morgan Ervin, Cayla Jackson and Tyrone Suggs. Academic Boot Camp and Excel-O-Rate, are combined four-week residential initiatives for incoming freshmen already admitted to TSU, to earn academic credit. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Stacey Compton is worried.

Like many parents sending their children away for school for the first time, the Aurora, Illinois mother is concerned about how her 18-year-old daughter Sariah Compton will cope when she leaves for college in just a few months.

“She is fresh out of high school and leaving home for the first time ….that’s very unsettling,” said Stacey.

Her worries are slowly subsiding, thanks to two summer enrichment programs at Tennessee State University designed to ensure new students’ successful transition and matriculation through college.

“I am glad she is doing something this summer that is not only keeping her busy but giving her a head start, and helping her to adjust to college life even before school starts,” Stacey added.

And that’s exactly what the TSU programs are intended to achieve, said Dr. Sedric Griffin, director of Admissions and Recruitment.

The programs, Academic Boot Camp and Excel-O-Rate, are combined four-week residential initiatives for incoming freshmen already admitted to TSU, to earn academic credit. They include a rigorous academic and college preparedness program, introduction to college life, public speaking, workshops and technology. Physical and mental development exercises, such as self-discipline, respect for others, good study habits and how to succeed in life, are also key components of the program.

For Tia Geter, from Omaha, Nebraska, who is transitioning to the area, and plans to major in Criminal Justice, the rigorous programs are just what she needs. They help her acclimate, while giving her a more diverse academic and multicultural environment after graduating from “an almost” less diverse high school.

“This is a good way to spend my time instead of staying in bed till about midday and wake up with nothing constructive to do,” said Getter, an honor student, who learned about the program during a college visit. She has a friend at TSU and her father’s job is relocating to the area.

“When I am not in school, I am never up before 11:30 in the morning, but in Boot Camp we are up at 5:30 and ready to start our day,” added Geter, who called her summer camp experience a personal initiative.” I want to succeed in life and I think this is a good start.”

According to program officials, 161 students, recruited from all over the nation, are participating in this year’s Academic Boot Camp and Excel-O-Rate Programs, a 13 percent jump from the previous year.

“By the end of the program, the students will have completed all of TSU’s enrollment processes including financial aid, housing and registration,” said Dr. John Cade, interim vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Support Services. “Many of them are either on full academic scholarships or academic out of state tuition waivers, and as part of the program, they will be monitored through their matriculation to ensure they are receiving the necessary help to make them successful.”

Cade said that the Academic Boot Camp and Excel-O-Rate Programs are part of a three-prong retention and graduation effort, which includes the Take 15 credit per semester initiative and minisemesters which are intended to accelerate student matriculation.

“This combined effort is part of TSU’s retention initiatives in meeting our Complete College Tennessee Act (CCTA) objectives,” Cade added.

With all of these in mind, Stacey Compton can be sure her daughter Sariah made the right choice in selecting TSU.

“I like this program; I am getting help in areas that I need to be strong in to be successful in my college work,” added Sariah, who plans to major in Nursing. She is entering TSU with a 3.5 GPA.

Everett D. Jolly, associate director of Recruitment, and Derek Wilson, admission counselor, are overseeing the summer programs.

 

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. 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 Professor Creates Simulation Model to Predict Storm Surge in the Event of Hurricanes

Dr. Muhammad Akbar, assistant professor of Mechanical and Manufacturing engineering, reviews satellite imagery from Hurricane Katrina from 2005. Akbar recently received a grant from the National Science Foundation to conduct research on a simulation model that would help predict storm surge from approaching hurricanes. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
Dr. Muhammad Akbar, assistant professor of Mechanical and Manufacturing engineering, reviews satellite imagery from Hurricane Katrina from 2005. Akbar recently received a grant from the National Science Foundation to conduct research on a simulation model that would help predict storm surge from approaching hurricanes. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – As coastal states watch the Gulf of Mexico with wary eyes for the beginning of hurricane season each year, scientists and researchers are working from different fronts to ease their anxieties.

A Tennessee State University researcher is working on a simulation model that would help predict storm surge in timely manner to better prepare coastal dwellers for the storm.

Dr. Muhammad Akbar
Dr. Muhammad Akbar

Dr. Muhammad Akbar, assistant professor of Mechanical and Manufacturing engineering, is using computational fluid dynamics and mathematical models to predict flooding caused by storm surges that bring ocean water onto land, causing major devastation, and erosion to cities and coastal wetlands.

Aided by a $209,403 grant by the National Science Foundation, Akbar is developing a simulation model that uses an “implicit solver.” While there are other models out there, this implicit model can use a larger timestep, potentially minimizing the overall prediction time.

“We input meteorological data that we receive every few hours, typically six hours, during a hurricane, and predict the surge a few days before its landfall,” Akbar said. “The model input data include the storm’s location, wind speed, pressure, and size of the hurricane eye, surface vegetation and structures,among others.

“The human element of this research can’t be overstated,” Akbar added. “We want to be able to predict the storm surge in a quicker time frame. The objective of this research is to assist the emergency management and people affected by an approaching hurricane with more time to make critical decisions, and evacuate the coastal region, if needed.”

Dr. Akbar points to the devastating effects of the Bhola cyclone that struck his native Bangladesh in 1970 killing nearly 500,000 people, and the more recent Hurricane Katrina that hit the Gulf coast in 2005, as a primary motivation behind his research for the past four years.

“When Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast as a Category 3 storm, it brought sustained winds of 100-140 miles per hour,” he said, “and a predicted storm surge of 28 feet, causing about 2,000 deaths and more than $100 billion in damage.”

Funded by Department of Homeland Security, US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, and National Science Foundation, Akbar has a profound passion for storm surge research.

“I’m fortunate to get an opportunity to work with top experts in the field and grateful for the research projects,” he added. “These events and others like them have spurred a serious and sustained global effort to improve the ability to predict the coastal surge conditions.”

While it is a complex problem to solve because of the uncertainty of the hurricane track and strength, and other sources of error, Akbar is hopeful that the rapid and reliable storm surge prediction capability is not too far off.

“It is our hope that this research leads to advances in improving warning and evacuation systems, not only here but in the developing world,” Akbar said.

 

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. 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 Travel the World for Cultural Experiences, Academic Enhancements

Students from Tennessee State University had the opportunity to visit the ancient city of Ephesus during their study abroad trip to Turkey. The students spent three weeks in country and participated in a program that balanced academics, as well as social and cultural activities. (courtesy photo)
Students from Tennessee State University had the opportunity to visit the ancient city of Ephesus during their study abroad trip to Turkey. The students spent three weeks in country and participated in a program that balanced academics, as well as social and cultural activities. (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Eight students from Tennessee State University had the opportunity of a lifetime recently when they traveled nearly 6,000 miles and immersed themselves in a foreign culture to gain a unique perspective of the world around them.

For three weeks in May, students from the Colleges of Engineering and Health Sciences participated in a program that balanced academics, as well as social and cultural activities during a study abroad program in Turkey.

“We want this to be a part of a student’s TSU educational experience,” said Dr. Ali Sekmen, professor of Computer Science, who traveled with the students. “This was a very different type of academic program for our students with a lot of flexibility.”

While the classes took place on university campuses throughout the country, Sekmen said student assignments and programming practices were done in the hotels and coffee shops while they interacted with their Turkish counterparts.

“It truly was a global experience,” he added.

The students visited Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya and Izmir, and were hosted by Bilkent University (the top university in Turkey, ranking 98 in the world), Antalya International University, and Izmir University of Economics. Sekmen pointed out that the students were required to satisfy the requirements of a MayMester course, specifically Java Programming.

“Its important to remember that even though this was a cultural immersion, there is also the academic requirement,” added Sekmen. “We conducted 37.5 hours of teaching while the students took a midterm and final just as if they were back in the states.”

While students earned credits in programming, they also received the cultural experience that study abroad offers, said Sekmen. The group visited Ephesus, the House of the Virgin Mary, Topkapi Palace, Thermoses and other cultural sites.

“In each city, our students had Turkish student ‘buddies’ with whom they developed a close friendship,” he said. “The group visited university administrators, the vice governor of Antalya, and some Turkish families.

That was an important aspect of the trip for Maggie Fitts, a junior Health Science major. Studying abroad, she said, was an adventure and learning experience all in one that allowed her to gain new perspectives on academic subjects and real-world issues.

“This opportunity allowed me to study issues more in-depth from a cultural perspective,” Fitts said. “Outside the classroom, my personal education was enhanced through the daily interaction in Turkey’s culture with our host families. I can honestly say this was an experience that helped me grow personally and mentally.”

The TSU study abroad program, in conjunction with the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies, or TnCIS, offers a range of initiatives to broaden the University’s global impact and enhance educational opportunities for its students. Combined, more than 30 programs are offered to destinations across the globe.

In the past year, more than 100 students from TSU have traveled across the world, studying in, among other countries, Costa Rica, China, Colombia, India, Germany, Italy and France.

According to Mark Brinkley, director of Study Abroad & Exchange Programs, students gain real-life experience on the global stage through the study abroad program.

“This is very consistent with the University’s position on enhancing global educational opportunities for our students,” said Brinkley. “This is a transformational experience for most students. It gives them an opportunity to expand their critical-thinking skills, and to look at the world a little differently through the lens of someone else from another country.”

For more information on education abroad, contact the Office of Diversity and International Affairs at 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 nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. 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 Welcomes Colombian Students for Weeklong Musical Activities, Jefferson Street Jazz Festival

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The Colombian music students hold one of many daily rehearsals in preparation for their United States visit. Since Colombia is known for its Latin music influences and jazz festivals, one of the major highlights of the group’s visit will be attending the Jefferson Street Jazz Festival on June 21.  (Courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service)- Eighteen music students from Colombia will visit Tennessee State University June 20 as part of an exchange program with the South American nation.

In partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, the Colombian capital, and the Office of the Governor in Cartagena, Bolivar Province, the exchange agreement is part of an effort to promote the University and its academic programs.

Joining the students will be the Governor, Juan Carlos Gossain Rognini; Special Assistant to the Governor Amin Diaz; and El Guamo Mayor Javier Eduardo Angula Romero.

The students and delegation will get a taste of the Music City experience during a weeklong itinerary that also includes museum tours and meetings with government officials, among other activities. Since Colombia is known for its Latin music influences and jazz festivals, one of the major highlights of the group’s visit will be attending the Jefferson Street Jazz Festival on June 21.

“Our partnership with Colombia is important because it provides an excellent opportunity for their students as well as TSU students to better understand each group’s culture, share academic interests and engage in dialogue to expand the scope of higher education,” said Dr. Jewell Winn, TSU’s chief diversity officer and executive director for international programs.

In addition, the students will participate in the Edward L. Graves Band Camp June 21-29 to learn the various techniques of marching band performance. In exchange, a select group of TSU marching band students will visit Cartagena to kick off Bolivar’s annual band competition in August and be the first United States marching band to perform in the Flower Festival.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. 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 Moves to Archive 500 Linear Feet of Civil Rights Icon Avon Williams’ Papers

Administrators from Tennessee State University accept a check from Tre Hargett (second from left) Tennessee Secretary of State to help with archiving materials in the special collections at the Brown-Daniel Library. The SNAP grant is seed money to help preserve the papers of civil rights leader Avon Williams. Accepting the grant are (L-R) Fletcher Moon, associate professor and head Reference Librarian; Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, associate Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs; Dr. Alisha Mosley, associate Vice President for Academic Affairs; and Dr. Murle Kenerson, interim Dean of Libraries. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
Administrators from Tennessee State University accept a check from Tre Hargett (second from left) Tennessee Secretary of State to help with archiving materials in the special collections at the Brown-Daniel Library. The SNAP grant is seed money to help preserve the papers of civil rights leader Avon Williams. Accepting the grant are (L-R) Fletcher Moon, associate professor and head Reference Librarian; Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, associate Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs; Dr. Alisha Mosley, associate Vice President for Academic Affairs; and Dr. Murle Kenerson, interim Dean of Libraries. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s effort to archive the work of renowned lawyer and civil rights icon, Avon N. Williams Jr., received direct support from the state today.

Accompanied by his staff, Tennessee’s Secretary of State Tre Hargett, stopped by the Brown-Daniel Library on the TSU main campus and presented what he called “seed money” for the preservation effort.

The money, a $2,500 check, was presented to Dr. Murle E. Kenerson, associate professor and interim dean of Libraries and Media Centers, during a ceremony in the Special Collections section. Associate Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs, Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young; and Dr. Alisa Mosley, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, were present for the presentation.

“What we are doing today recognizes what Sen. Avon Williams meant to this state and Tennessee State University,” said Hargett. “We want to preserve his work for not only students but people from all over who can read about his work and contribution to our nation and this world.”

Kenerson thanked the Secretary of State for the check, calling it a big help in “our effort” to identifying funding sources to carry out the work involved.

“We particularly appreciate you taking time off your busy schedule to honor us with not only this money but your presence,” Kenerson said.

He disclosed that the library was in possession of more than 500 linear feet of the late civil rights leader’s papers and collections.

“This library is archiving his papers to make sure his work remains in living form for not only our students but for generations to come,” he added.

Known for his role in the nonviolent movement, fighting against discrimination in the military, in public housing, and for school desegregation, Williams has a special tie to TSU. He represented the plaintiffs in the Grier v. Blanton case, which resulted in the merger of historically black TSU with the University of Tennessee in Nashville.

The downtown TSU campus bears his name as a mark of respect and appreciation.

In a long vocational trajectory spanning several decades, the late Tennessee state senator built up a resume that included a foreign diploma, banker, writer, and chief legal officer of the U.S. Army, a presidential appointment with oversight responsibility of all legal policy and direction of nearly 2,400 military and civilian lawyers.

Dr. Kenerson disclosed that in addition to the state funding delivered by the Secretary of State, which was the result of a grant application, the library was waiting for the outcome of another grant application to the Council on Library Information Resources.

“We have received notice that our application for $250,000 has moved up to the final stage for review,” he added.

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. 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.