Tag Archives: Financial Aid

Honda Turns Spotlight on TSU “Dream Maker”

Audrey Stradford
Audrey Stradford

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – For more years than some can remember, Audrey Stradford has been helping students realize their dreams of a college education. Known as “Miss Audrey” to many who have graced the halls of Tennessee State University, it is not uncommon to see her open her checkbook to help pay for a student’s textbook and tuition or buy them a hot meal.

It is because of this and many other acts of kindness and encouragement over the past three decades that Honda will recognize Stradford with the Power of Dreams Award during the Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase later this month in Atlanta.

“I was shocked and actually thought someone was pulling my leg,” said Stradford, who works as a financial aid assistant at the University. “I’ve always been one to work behind the scenes. I’ve been a giver my whole life and it is hard for me to be on the receiving end.”

An iconic figure at TSU for more than 30 years, Stradford will be the first to receive the Power of Dreams Award, meant to honor an individual who has helped HBCU culture thrive—by helping students achieve their dreams through positive support, guidance and leadership within the institution or community.

Michelle Allen, who wrote the nomination for the award, said Stradford is very deserving of the award and has made an impact on the lives of many a student over the years.

“’Miss Audrey’ has been very instrumental in the lives of students here on campus,” said Allen, TSU band office manager. “She helps them stay on track and stay focused on graduation. She has been a mother figure to many and does not do it for a reward, but out of the goodness of her heart.”

interview
“Miss Audrey,” as she is affectionally known as around campus, was recently interviewed for a spot that will air during the award presentation at the Honda Battle of the Bands Jan. 24 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. (photos by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

Stradford graduated from the University in 1966 with a degree in Sociology. She met her future husband at TSU and eventually moved to Detroit a few years later. But she always made sure to return for the annual Homecoming activities, missing only two over the years. However, it was her love for the school and the students that would keep her coming back a few times each year to volunteer in what ever capacity she could.

She has helped with everything from new student move in, homecoming activities, and encouraging students to remain in school and study hard, to eventually returning to Nashville 12 years ago and landing a job in the financial aid office.

Her main focus has been students over the decades and has reached out a helping hand to many who just needed a voice, a kind word of encouragement, or a motivational “kick in the pants” when they needed it.

According to Stradford, it is the joy of seeing “her” students graduate after sometimes struggling, that makes it all worth it for her.

“I have cried at many a graduation,” she said. “Sometimes I am the first one to receive a hug, even before their parents. The proudest moment for me is watching the students I’ve had an influence on walk across that stage and receive their diploma. And that gives me the greatest satisfaction and makes it all worth it.”

Stradford will receive formal recognition at the 13th Annual Honda Battle of the Bands Jan. 24 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. She will be there to cheer on TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands as they compete against seven other marching bands from HBCUs around the country. This year’s theme is “March On,” to remind to students and fans that life on and off the field is a journey, and no matter the challenge, the dream or what may lie ahead, learning never stops as long as you commit to “March On.”

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 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.

iRegister Campaign Eliminates Long Lines, Offers Incentives For Early Registration

Dr. Mark Hardy
Dr. Mark Hardy

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The usual long lines in financial aid and admissions during registration could be a thing of the past if students and parents follow a new plan by the Office of Academic Affairs.

iRegister Campaign, an early registration initiative, is aimed to ensure that enough classes and faculty are available as needed, students get the needed assistance to pay their fees or schedule payment on time, as well as ensure that parents and students are adequately assisted in getting their financial aid requests processed in a timely manner.

A kickoff rally, with music, free food, prizes and special incentives for those completing registration early, is set for the start of the spring registration on Monday, Nov. 11 in the Student Center.

“This campaign is designed to get the majority of our students to take advantage of the regular registration period prior to the start of class each semester,” said Dr. Mark Hardy, vice president for Academic Affairs. “Students typically wait until just before the start of class each semester to register.”

He said students create this lateness sometimes because they do not have the funds to complete their registration, while others wait to take advantage of spaces later created by registered students who have been purged or dropped from classes because of non-payment of fees.

“This gives them the advantage of getting their choice of course time and instructor they want,” the Vice President said, adding that the iRegister Campaign is designed to mitigate this practice.

Rully Dean, a junior Cardio-Respiratory Therapy major from St. Louis, likes the new plan.

“I think it is a good idea,” said Dean, a member of the Student Board of Governors, who said she has always registered early. “I have never been in a long line during registration except for once and briefly for a verification issue, but many students wait until the day before class starts to register. That creates problems.”

According to Dr. Hardy, the long lines for the spring registration will be eliminated if a “significant number” of students register and confirm their registration before leaving for the holiday break.

“This way we will know the exact number of sections that will be required and thereby know the number of regular and adjunct faculty needed. This will significantly improve our ability to appropriately budget for our course offerings,” Hardy explained.

He said department chairs will monitor classes during the registration period, and in the event a class is filled, another section of that class will be added.

“Once students have selected classes after being properly advised in the department, they will be encouraged to pay their fees and confirm registration,” Hardy added.

As an incentive, Hardy said the first 200 students who confirm registration will receive a $10 iTunes gift card and a lapel sticker visible to other students indicating that the wearer has iRegistered.

“Hopefully students will begin to do this naturally resulting in more and more students completing the registration process in a timely manner,” Dr. Hardy said.

“This will really be very helpful, because the long lines are just not necessary sometime,” Dean added.

The iRegister Campaign will run through the regular spring registration period from Nov. 11 to Jan. 15, 2014. For more information, call (615) 963-5301 or go to http://www.tnstate.edu/academic_affairs/.

 

 

 

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.