Tag Archives: honors college

Top Houston Student Chooses TSU to Pursue Career in Engineering and Robotics

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Freshman Houston-native Paul Johnson, Jr., initially considered studying mechanical engineering at a university closer to his hometown.

All that changed last fall after a chance meeting with Tennessee State University Honors College Interim Dean, Dr. Coreen Jackson.

Johnson, Jr., a freshman mechanical engineering major, said he had just completed a campus visit to Texas A&M University when his father, Paul Johnson, Sr., ran into Jackson and her husband, who happened to be in town for a wedding.

“I already had a slight knowledge of who she was, but after meeting her she told me about the campus, and it caught my attention,” Johnson, Jr., said.

With Jackson’s assistance, the Johnson family scheduled a campus visit, which gave Paul an opportunity to tour Tennessee State and meet with Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering.

Paul Johnson, Jr.

“What I found out about this campus is that there are a whole lot more engineering aspects that I did not anticipate when I was looking into the university,” he said. “I got to see more about the interactions between the faculty and the students themselves, in terms of doing research and improving technology.”

Jackson, who hosted Johnson’s family when they initially visited TSU, says the younger Johnson has a bright future.

“To me he will be the next Jesse Russell,” she said, referring to the famous TSU alum who created the first digital cellular base station and is known as the father of digital cellular technology. “It may not be wireless communications, but it will be some breakthrough in something.”

Johnson, Jr., recalls having a love for engineering as early as preschool.

“When I was in preschool at church, I was the student who was messing with the Lincoln Logs and the plexi toys to make giant cars, toys and robots, and I eventually even started a little league just to have fun with the other students who wanted to build stuff,” he said.

Throughout his four years at Cyprus Woods High School, Johnson, Jr., developed his engineering skills as a member of the Texas Technology Student Association. He also participated in NASA HUNCH, a program that he says allowed him to work directly with NASA officials to help make machine parts for the international space station.

As a member of the Honors College, the 19-year-old budding robotics guru has continued to pursue his engineering passion by joining organizations such as the National Society of Black Engineers (NESBE) and the Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (TLSAMP).

Paul Johnson

In September, Johnson, Jr., joined TSU President Glenda Glover in Washington, DC, along with three other students chosen to participate in the National HBCU Braintrust during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference. Top students from the nation’s historically black colleges and universities participated in the brainstrust.

Upon completion of his undergraduate studies, Johnson plans to pursue a doctorate and ultimately play a leadership role in the robots industry.

“In ten years I want to be part of or in charge of leading the whole robotics industry in terms of the consumer dynamic,” said Johnson, Jr. “There are still lingering fears that people have about dealing with robotics, but they fail to look into how robotics can help people on a grander scale.”

Jackson said she witnessed Johnson’s love for TSU when he provided live music for his classmates during freshman move-in.

“While the parents and freshman where coming in, he took that upright bass and he just serenaded the people,” she said. “He’s just an amazing young man.  He is one young man who is on his way to fulfilling his purpose, and he has found the institution that can take him there.”

For more information about opportunities in the TSU College of Engineering, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/engineering/.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Honors day convocation celebrates university’s best and brightest students

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University recognized its best and brightest students at the annual Honors Day Convocation on Tuesday.

State Sen. Raumesh Akbari, an attorney and rising political star representing the 29th District, was the keynote speaker at the event in Kean Hall.

State Sen. Ramesh Akbari. (Photo by Ramona Whitworth-Wiggins)

Before her speech, TSU President Glenda Glover greeted the audience of faculty, administrators, and family and friends, who turned out to celebrate the honors students.

“We are proud of the Honors College,” said Dr. Glover. “Honors students, we thank you for your excellence, we thank you for your steadfastness, and your dedication.”

About 2,340 students with grade point averages of 3.0 or higher were recognized. Of that number, 283 are on the President’s List. These students have maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout their matriculation, according to Dr. Coreen Jackson, interim dean of the Honors College.

During her speech, Akbari lauded the students, and made several points she hopes will help them continue to be successful.

One bit of advice is to maintain a good reputation, she said, and be truthful. 

“Your reputation and integrity is paramount,” said Akbari, who was invited to speak at the Democratic National Convention in 2016. “You do not want to have the reputation of being someone who is not reliable, or who does not tell the truth.”

TSU President Glenda Glover and Sen. Akbari. (Photo by Ramona Whitworth-Wiggins)

She also encouraged students to not forget where they came from, to give back, and help others.

“As you continue to excel, it’s important that you send the elevator back down and bring folks along with you,” said Akbari. “While you might not realize it, you are clearing a pathway for the next generation. And so it’s important to keep them in mind as you move forward.”

Mr. TSU Darian McGhee was inspired by Akbari, who wrapped up her speech by telling the students that they are “ordinary people who can do extraordinary things.”

“I believe we will succeed in anything we do,” McGhee said.

For more information on the Honors College, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/honors/.

NOTE: Feature photo also by Ramona Whitworth-Wiggins

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.

31 High Achieving Students from Hillsboro High School Interact with TSU’s Best and Brightest During Honors Week

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University Honors College recently hosted 31 high achieving students from Nashville’s Hillsboro High School as part of TSU Honors Week celebration.

Dr. Frances Williams, Associate Dean of the College of Engineering, holds a discussion with visiting Hillsboro High School students. (Submitted Photo)

The Honors College and Hillsboro High are partners in a two-year exceptional student acceleration program called IBDP, or Academy of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, that nurtures students to excel in higher education.

Participants in IBDP are top juniors and seniors who take advanced placement and honors courses in the 9th and 10 grades to prepare them for IB-level classes in the 11th and 12th grades.

Dr. Coreen Jackson, interim dean of the Honors College, said the visit of the high school students allowed them to interact and exchange notes with TSU Honors students, as well as expose the visitors to the university’s programs and offerings.

“We are delighted to have these top students from Hillsboro High visit our campus and to interact with the best among our students,” said Jackson, who also serves on the advisory board of the Hillsboro High School IB program. “I think having many more partnerships like this with more high schools in the city would help to create a pipeline for increased enrollment into the myriad of majors at TSU.”

Visiting Hillsboro High School students take part in an exercise. (Submitted Photo)

Among activities for the day was “Real Talk,” a panel discussion about college life and advanced learning.

“Do you all have tutoring and personal help here?” a Hillsboro High student, who wants to major in biology, asked. Another was concerned about how honors students fit in and how they are viewed on campus. They were informed about the many tutoring and mentoring programs available to students, and the friendly learning environment on campus.

“I am from India, and even though it was a huge cultural shock, Tennessee State University has made me feel more than welcome,” said Abhilasha Vishwanath, a senior psychology major and Honors student with a 4.0 grade point average. “I play tennis for the university, work in the bookstore, I am part of several organizations, serve on the Honors Council, and I’ve never felt out of place.”

Following the panel discussion, the students were divided into groups according to their academic career interest and dialogued with faculty and staff from engineering, business, liberal arts, education, and life and physical sciences disciplines. Everett Jolly, TSU director of recruitment; Kristin Gray, director of the First-Year Experience; and Barbara Kannard, coordinator for Student Success Initiative, also met and spoke with the visitors.

Barbara Kannard, TSU Coordinator of Student Success Initiative, talks to Hillsboro High School students about opportunities at the university. (Submitted Photo)

Dr. Kenyae L. Reese, Academy principal at Hillsboro High, who accompanied the students, said the visit was very rewarding.

“The faculty and staff of the Hillsboro High School Academy of International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is delighted to partner with the TSU Honors College in creating exceptional experiences for advanced academic students,” Reese said. “The experiential learning trip to celebrate Honors College Week at TSU was both informative and inspiring in scope. The students reported being most excited to learn from the Honors College students and professors and other professionals who provided valuable advice.”

Earlier, TSU Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. John Robinson, joined Jackson to welcome the Hillsboro High School students.

“This is our time to change the narrative, assist our recruiters, and utilize our high achieving students to tell our story that TSU is truly the place to be,” Jackson said.

On March 26, TSU will celebrate its best and brightest students when the university holds its annual Honors Day Convocation in Kean Hall.

For more information on the TSU Honors College, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/honors/about/welcome_page.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.

TSU Faculty and Staff Celebrate Giving With ‘Sweet Talk’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University Department of Dental Hygiene received special recognition at the university’s “Sweet Talk” event, along with the Office of Events Management and the Department of Residence Life.

Each area achieved 100 percent participation in the university’s annual faculty and staff giving campaign, which raises money to benefit TSU students.

Sonya Smith, assistant director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, thanks ‘Sweet Talk’ attendees for giving as part of faculty and staff giving campaign.

“Some made direct deposits. Some made one-time gifts. But what matters most is the sacrifice,” said Sonya Smith, assistant director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving and chair of the campaign. “Whatever your sacrifice is, we just ask you to be a part of the faculty and staff campaign.”

The event, which took place Feb. 14 on the Avon Williams Campus, provided an opportunity for campus employees to enjoy delicious pastries and discuss the importance of supporting students beyond the classroom.

Smith expressed her gratitude to the campaign co-chairs and various contributors for exceeding their goal of $155,000 for the 2017-2018 fiscal year by raising $161,763.  She said the goal for the current fiscal year is to raise $175,000. The campaign has raised $136,000 of that amount.

Rosalyn Word, a faculty member in the Department of Dental Hygiene and a co-chair of the faculty and staff annual giving campaign, expressed excitement about the effects of increased giving in dental hygiene.

Department of Dental Hygiene Faculty and Staff Members

“One of the things that we have been able to do in the Department of Dental Hygiene is establish a dental hygiene academic scholarship. The first year we were able to award one $1,000 scholarship to a deserving student,” Word said. “This year we were able to award two $1,000 scholarships to our dental hygiene students. I am really excited about that initiative, and we hope to be able to carry this legacy on, and keep this scholarship going.”

Eloise Alexis, associate vice president for Institutional Advancement, said Sweet Talk provides an opportunity for her staff to say thank you to participants and ask attendees to rally others to support students.

“The amazing thing about faculty and staff in this initiative is that, not only do they give of themselves all day and everyday in the classroom and as staff by supporting our students in the campus environment, they also give back to Tennessee State University from their hard earned resources to Tennessee State,” Alexis said.

Office of Events Management and Conference Services Administration and Staff Members

Trudie Thomas, coordinator for the Honors College and a co-chair of the campaign, said Sweet Talk helps a lot of students who really need support to attend the university.

“I like to give because it helps the university, and it has an impact on some child’s life. When I was in school tuition was $65 a quarter,” said Thomas, who graduated from TSU in 1972. “I give because I see the need, especially with black students right now. Education is an investment.”

“Sweet Talk” Committee Members show off variety of tasty desserts prepared by TSU Alum Alexis Hughes-Williams, Owner of Something Sweet, LLC.

TSU Alumna Alexis Hughes-Williams, owner of Something Sweet, LLC, provided a variety of colorful desserts for the event. Hughes-Williams, who graduated in 2011 with a degree in business/marketing, said Sweet Talk provided the perfect opportunity for her “virtual pop-up shop” to collaborate with the university.

With the deadline for reaching this year’s goal being June 30, Smith encourages faculty and staff to continue giving. For more information about how to participate in the campaign, call (615) 963-2936.

 

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.

From 9,000 Miles Away in India, Abhilasha Vishwanath Finds Home at TSU, Says University Was Best Choice

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Going away to college and leaving home for the first time can raise students’ anxiety. And when home is thousands of miles away—sometimes on the other side of the world—the challenges of transitioning into a new culture and university life can be daunting.

Just ask Abhilasha “Abhi” Vishwanath, who at 18 years of age, left her home in Bangalore, southeastern India – about 9,000 miles away – to attend Tennessee State University.

Abhilasha “Abhi” Vishwanath

“I was scared and excited at the same time,” says Vishwanath, a senior psychology major. “Going so far away to a new country and knowing that I was going to be on my own, was a little scary but I was excited about the adventure.”

Vishwanath was not disappointed when she arrived at TSU, she says. She immediately felt welcomed, as many faculty, staff and fellow students jumped in to make her comfortable.

“The atmosphere was so appealing it was immediately like a family,” she says. “Tennessee State has been a home away from home. It was difficult at first, but the people at TSU, and especially from the international department, the psychology department, friends I made as soon as I got here were very welcoming.”

Vishwanath also had a lot going for her that helped make her transition faster and smoother. She came to TSU on a tennis scholarship to play for the Tigers. She started playing tennis from age 8, and gained national notoriety in junior and women’s tennis in her country. She played on the national level and in few international tournaments. Vishwanath was once ranked in the Top 40s in India.

“That helped me to build a recruitment video to apply to U.S. colleges,” Vishwanath says. “I sent the video to coaches in the U.S. and one to TSU. The TSU tennis coach was interested in me. He got back with me. We talked about scholarships and what I was going to play here. I found that there was also a psychology program. So, it worked out well. So I signed.”

Abhilasha Vishwanath started playing tennis at the age of 8. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

Since coming to TSU, Vishwanath has become an all-around standout in academics and athletics. A star player for the Tigers, Vishwanath is also one of TSU’s most outstanding students. She has a 4.0 grade point average, has been on the President’s List of high achieving students every semester she has been at TSU, she is a member of the Honors College, and has a research project that has gained national attention.

At the last Honors Convocation, Vishwanath received the McDonald Williams Senior Scholarship Award, given to a rising senior with the highest academic average.

“Abhi is just an outstanding young lady, in her academics and in her personal relationship with all other students,” says Dr. Coreen Jackson, interim dean of the Honors College. “She has truly served TSU in a magnificent way. She has represented the Honors College at conferences, where she has presented her research, and is always willing to tutor and to be of assistance to other students.”

Currently, Vishwanath is an intern in the Infant Learning Lab of the psychology department at Vanderbilt University, where her talent was noticed a year ago during a visit with Jackson and some members of the Honors College.

“She was immediately recruited and asked to come back, and a year later, she is at Vanderbilt participating in a major research project,” says Jackson.

While giving credit to her professors and the Honors College for the care and mentoring, Vishwanath has not forgotten what brought her to TSU.

“Tennis has helped a lot,” she says. “I don’t think I would have been able to afford college in the U.S. if not for the scholarship I was awarded. Tennis also keeps me focused. I think tennis is an intellectual sport. It keeps me on my toes. It keeps me thinking and occupied, so I don’t have to manage time. I think it is a good skill to hold. My coaches and team mates have been phenomenal.”

Monroe Walker III is the head coach of the TSU tennis team who recruited Vishwanath. He described her as “probably the hardest worker on the tennis court.”

“She always keeps a level head, never is down on herself, and competes harder than anybody that I have had at TSU,” says Walker. “You never have to worry about her giving up or quitting because she gives her all every time she is on the court.”

Vishwanath, who graduates TSU in May 2019, plans to earn a Ph.D. in psychology.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

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

TSU Honda Campus All-Star Team returns from national competition with awards and grant money for university

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Team recently won awards and grant money at the 29th annual HCASC National Tournament.

The team finished third in the Bullard Division at the competition, which took place April 7-11 in Torrance, California, and involved 47 other teams from historically black colleges and universities.

TSU finished the competition with a record of 3-2, defeating Benedict College, Southern University in New Orleans and Cheney University, and losing to Prairie View A&M and Paine College.

The team’s collective effort earned $3,000 in grant money for TSU. Devon Jefferson, a member of the TSU Honors College who serves as the team’s captain, earned an All-Star award as the top scorer in the Bullard Division, which earned another $1,000 for the university.

TSU HCASC Team Captain Devon Jefferson

Jefferson, a junior marketing major from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, said although TSU didn’t make the playoffs this year, they grew as a unit. He said even though the award was given to him for his individual performance, it really came as a result of the work of the team.

“Honda always puts on a good tournament,” he said. ‘Even though we didn’t make the playoffs, we played some good close games and continued to mesh as a team.”

According to Dr. John Miglietta, professor of political science, who has served as the team’s coach since 2004, Jefferson is just the second TSU student to receive an All-Star award for being a top scorer at the national competition. Miglietta said the team was proud to participate in the event.

“The Honda Campus All Star Challenge is a great unique experience,” he said. “It showcases the academic knowledge of students from HBCUs around the country in the spirit of friendly competition.”

Members of the HCASC team who participated in the competition along with Jefferson are Breanna Williams, senior, music major from Marietta, Georgia; Alekzander Garcia, senior, chemistry major from Nyssa, Oregon; and Terrence George Young, junior computer science major from Knoxville, Tennessee.

Alexandria Ross, a freshman, economics and finance major from Memphis, Tennessee, also attended the competition as the university’s institutional representative.

Some other members of the TSU HCASC Club are Aliyah Muhammad, of Nashville, sophomore biology major; Donovan Varnell, sophomore political science major, from Nashville; and Micah Williams, sophomore, combined mass communications and military science major from Seoul, South Korea.

TSU has participated in 22 national championship tournaments earning a total of $174,500 in grant money since the inception of the program in 1989.

 

 

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 45 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.

TSU Freshman Beats Odds By Staying Focused Amid Life’s Challenges

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Naton Smith says he could have easily become a statistic. Instead, he was determined, and beat the odds.

Growing up in a rough neighborhood in St. Louis, he was not expected to make it out and be successful. But he was determined – amid gang violence, drugs, killings, and where high school graduation was rare.

“I was determined not to let anything negative hold me back,” says Smith, a freshman health science major with concentration in physical therapy.

“I wanted to go to college, although I knew it wouldn’t be easy; but I kept pushing by making good grades and staying out of trouble. I needed to get out and find that place that would make me realize my dream.”

Naton Smith

Smith found a way out, and found his way to Tennessee State University.

“I wanted to attend TSU to be surrounded by ‘black excellence,’” says Smith, who graduated near the top of his senior class at North Technical High School. “I wanted to be around people who had something going for them, who could motivate me to achieve, and TSU has provided me that place.”

At TSU, Smith has a 3.81 grade point average. He is a member of the Honors College. In his first semester, Smith made the Dean’s List for outstanding students.

As part of the Class of 2021, Smith is among a millennial generation of high achieving students that the university continues to strategically recruit in its effort to improve retention and graduation rates.

In 2016, TSU President Glenda Glover announced sweeping changes that raised admission standards to attract the best and brightest. Minimum requirements for incoming freshmen went up from a 2.25 GPA to 2.5, while the ACT score remained at 19.

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

In addition to academics, there is every indication that Smith has found his niche at TSU. He is a member of the Men’s Center, which focuses on character development, social engagement and mentorship for male students.  He also participates in intramural basketball when he is not promoting a new business venture – a clothing line on Instagram called Creative Minds Clothing.

“I like to try my hands in a variety of different business ventures. I’m constantly trying to network and meet new people,” says Smith, who plans to go to physical therapy school.

Smith is also thankful to many at TSU who are having a positive impact on his life, including Amanda Brown, his English professor.

“Professor Brown shows great interest in my well-being. She motivates me. She is a very positive individual who pushes me to stay focus,” says Smith.

Brown, an English instructor in the Department of Languages, Literature and Philosophy, describes Smith as “both engaged and engaging, curious, empathetic, charismatic and exceedingly bright.”

“As I have gotten to know him over the year, I have seen how he exhibits a quiet leadership style and grace under pressure that will, I believe, serve him well in life,” says Brown. “Teaching him has been a real joy.”

Smith says he will stay focus and continue to beat the odds, and be successful at TSU and beyond. The St. Louis native beams with pride and says to just sit back and watch, because he’s from the “Show-Me” state.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

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

TSU Freshman lands multi-year internship with Fortune 500 Company

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Braxton Simpson says she came to Tennessee State University because she saw an opportunity to grow and to “push my limits.”

She has not been disappointed.

“After a full semester, I can proudly say that TSU has exceeded my expectations,” says the freshman agricultural sciences major.

Simpson comes to TSU as part of a millennial generation of high achieving students that the university continues to strategically recruit in its effort to improve retention and graduation rates.

In 2016, President Glenda Glover announced sweeping changes that raised admission standards to attract the best and brightest. Minimum requirement for incoming freshmen went up from a 2.25 GPA to 2.5, while the ACT score remained at 19.

Braxton Simpson

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

The Atlanta native, who many say is far ahead of her time and definitely pushing her limits, is a member of the Honors College with a 4.0 GPA, and the current Miss Freshman.

At age 19, Simpson is an entrepreneur with two online companies and a high school mentoring program. She also just landed a three-year internship with a Fortune 500 company.

“When I see an opportunity I run after it,” says Simpson, who credits her parents (Michael and Ronnetta Simpson) with the zeal to be ‘assertive and productive.’ They taught me money-management skills and how to brand and market.”

As the oldest of three children, Simpson says her business savvy is helping her to set a good example for her younger siblings. Additionally, she says she majored in agricultural sciences with a concentration in agribusiness to “combine my passion for business and servant leadership.”

An academic standout at Marietta High School, where she graduated with a 4.1 GPA, Simpson is the owner of Girls Got Game, a female athletic apparel company; and Underground Apparel, a “black pride” apparel company. She also mentors high school children through her Black Girls United program that she started while a senior in high school.

This summer, immediately after school and over the next three years, Simpson will intern with Monsanto, one of the nation’s largest agricultural companies. She will be assigned to the company’s world headquarters in St. Louis, for training, and later go onto to Grinnell, Iowa, where she will be involved in seed production.

“I am excited and grateful for this opportunity,” says Simpson. “The TSU Ag department has invested a lot in me since I have been here, especially Dr. (DeEtra) Young. She took me in as a freshman and molded me by sending opportunities my way. She saw the Monsanto commercial for the internship and advised me to apply for it. I did and I was successful.”

Young, an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, is a professor and mentor to Simpson.

She describes Simpson as ‘one of the many excellent students’ at TSU who are determined to be the very best in their field.

“Braxton presents herself as confident, assertive and dedicated,” says Young. She is intelligent, very inquisitive and genuinely values learning.”

According to Young, Simpson has been selected to participate in the highly competitive Agriculture for Future America Leader Institutes, which provides participants with exposure and professional development training.

This summer, in addition to her training with Monsanto, Simpson will receive AFA training in Chicago and Anaheim, California.

“My advisors have pushed me to be the best I can be. I cannot thank them enough for it!  Being in the Land of Golden Sunshine (TSU) has been a blessing, and I am extremely excited about what the future holds,” says Simpson.

Simpson will start her internship with Monsanto on May 14.

TSU Faculty, Students Present Research at 2nd Honors College Ted Talk

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – TSU Faculty and students from various disciplines presented research and topics on pressing issues at the second Ted Talk organized by the Honors College on Wednesday.

The event, which is part of activities marking Honors Week at TSU, gives students and faculty an opportunity to present their work to the campus community.

Nine presenters discussed topics ranging from cancer research, mobility and transit in Nashville, to fake news in the Trump era before fellow faculty and students in the Robert N. Murrell Forum on the main campus.

Katherine Miller

Katherine Miller, a senior biology major from Nashville, presented on “Developing a Methodology for Single Cell Proteomics Using Aluminum-Treated Switch Grass Roots,” a collaboration between TSU, Cornell University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The goal of the research is to develop a protocol for single-celled proteomics that can have applications in cancer and protein disorders.

“This research has the potential to change medicine as we know it,” Miller said.

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove

Discussing Nashville’s current transit situation, Dr. S. Keith Hargrove said the Music City has experienced tremendous growth, but without a solution to transit and mobility to align with the business and housing growth of the city.

“This presentation provides an overview of the proposed solution and action plan of the mayor’s office,” said Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering and member of the Nashville Transit Coalition. “It also discusses the technology integration as a solution to improve the mobility of the residence of Metropolitan Nashville.”

Other presenters and their topics were:

Dr. Hugh M. Fentress

Dr. Hugh M. Fentress, assistant professor of biological sciences: “Activation of the JAK/STAT Signaling Pathway by the Human Serotonin 2C Receptor”

Farah Ismail

Farah Ismail, sophomore biology major from Cairo, Egypt: “Exposure of Human Immune Cells to Triclosan Alters the Secretion of IFNy”

Rachelle Brown

Rachelle Brown, sophomore psychology major, from Memphis, Tennessee: “Who is She? An Analysis of the Stereotype Surrounding the Black Woman”

Nijaia Bradley

Nijaia Bradley, sophomore, early childhood education major: “Infamous Deception in Black America: An Examination of Abortions, Medicine and Media Portrayal”

Abhilasha Viswanath

Abhilasha Viswanath, junior psychology major from India: “Peripheral Color Contrast Sensitivity Under Perceptual Load”

Leona Dunn

Leona Dunn, junior communications major from Omaha, Nebraska: “Fake News in the Trump Era”

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

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

TSU Honda Campus All-Star Team Hopes To Compete for National Title

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Team participated in the National Qualifying Tournament at Spelman College in Atlanta on Saturday, Feb. 3.

TSU defeated Bethune-Cookman and Savannah State Universities, but lost two close games to Morehouse College and Florida A&M University.

After an impressive performance, the team’s goal now is to become one of 48 squads from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) around the nation to advance to the National Championship Tournament in Torrance, California, scheduled for April 7-11.

Dr. John Miglietta, professor of political science, who has served as the team’s coach since 2004, said participating in this event on the national level is important because it showcases the academic talent at the nation’s HBCUs.

“The Honda Campus All-Star Challenge is a great program because it measures students’ knowledge on a variety of subjects such as history, literature, sports, pop culture, science, as well as black history, culture, and literature, etc.,” he said. “It is also important for individual students because of personal and professional networking opportunities with Honda as well students, faculty and staff from other HBCUs.”

Miglietta said the team will find out the week of Feb. 12 if they advance to the national competition. Until then, he said, they will continue to practice three times a week.

Devon Jefferson, a member of the TSU Honors College who serves

Members of the TSU Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Team

as the team’s captain, said understanding the strengths of each team member plays a big role in their collective success.

“I think we have a pretty good team this year,” he said. “It’s not like the strength that each individual on the team has is the only thing they know about. Each individual on this team has widespread interests which relate to the basic knowledge we need when it comes to the competition.”

Jefferson, a junior marketing major from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, said being part of the TSU Honda Campus All-Star Team adds to the members’ academic experiences because of the knowledge they gain while studying and preparing for competition.

“I definitely believe that HCASC has made me better at certain things like taking certain classes and understanding them,” he said. “I might have heard something in passing at practice and then I hear the actual application in class, so it makes more sense to me when I do the work.”

Other Members of the HCASC team who participated in the National Qualifying Tournament are Alexandria Ross, freshmen, economics and Finance major from Memphis, Tennessee; Breanna Williams, senior, music major from Marietta,Georgia; and Terrence George Young, junior computer science major from Knoxville, Tennessee.

Also on the TSU team are Aliyah Muhammad, of Nashville, a sophomore biology major; Donovan Varnell, sophomore political science major, from Nashville; and Micah Williams, sophomore, combined mass communications and military science major from Seoul, South Korea.

“We’ve got a great coach, and we’ve got a great team,” Jefferson added. “Hopefully, we did well enough at the National Qualifying Tournament to make nationals. And if we make nationals, hopefully we can bring the trophy back to TSU.”

TSU has participated in 21 national championship tournaments earning a total of $170,500 in grant money since the inception of the program in 1989. For more info about HCASC, visit www.hcasc.com.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

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