Tag Archives: Mass Communications

Award-Winning Filmmaker Returns to TSU To Premiere Latest Project “Wear The Crown”

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University Alum and Award-Winning Filmmaker Alan Nettles will return to campus Saturday, December 14, to premiere his latest film project, “Wear The Crown.”

In ”Wear The Crown,” Nettles, who secured his Bachelor of Science degree in communication studies with a concentration in TV and film production from TSU in 2019, takes viewers inside the trying world of a family rocked by the news that their mother, Winnie Price, has been diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer.

The Phoenix Troupe (Photo Submitted)

The evening will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Cox-Lewis Theater with a pre-show performance by a group of creative artists called the Phoenix Troupe.

Filled with touching music and engaging subplots, “Wear The Crown,” which took five days to shoot, showcases various locations in Nashville, including Tennessee State University, Arlington United Methodist Church and Diamond Sound Studios. The crew also shot on location in Cadiz, Kentucky.

“Our preproduction was also very intense. We had about six weeks of rehearsals with the cast,” Nettles said. “We had a lot of different marketing events that we participated in from September until now.  We did a huge crowd-funder campaign, and there were just so many different things that we were doing to really bring this film to life.”

Alan Nettles, founder and CEO of Moving4ward Productions (Photo Submitted)

Nettles, founder and CEO of Moving4ward Productions, the company responsible for the film, said “Wear The Crown” features numerous TSU alums, including Lynn Summers who portrays Winnie Price and Pamela Bennett, who portrays Mrs. Alexander.

Summers said the film takes a close look at the dynamics of family relationships.

“This film mirrors true society today.  These are the trials and tribulations we go through each and every day,” she said.  “Regardless of what happens, family is family.  We should still love one another, and we should still get together.”

TSU Alum Lynn Summers portrays Winnie Price in “Wear The Crown.” (Photo Submitted)

“Wear The Crown” was produced by an all-female team which includes: Cillea Houghton, producer; Janice Wheaton, executive producer; and Sabrina Moore, line producer.  This is the first time all three have produced a film.

Moore, a former nuclear engineer who recently graduated from TSU with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications, said the film encourages people to take ownership of their lives, particularly their health.

“This film spotlights not only the issue of cancer, but of gender identity, depression and just how to accept yourself wherever you are in life,” she said.  “Deal with your issues. Deal with your health. Deal with your mental stability.  You can deal with it.  Everybody is dealing with something in some shape, form or fashion, so take ownership of your body and your life.”

Nettles, whose debut film “3 Blind Boys on the Block” was named Best of Fest at the 2015 Chi-Town Multicultural Film Festival, said witnessing his aunt, Tracey Reid, battle cancer inspired him to make the film.  He said the cast and crew worked tirelessly to produce a high-quality project that should strike a chord with anyone who has grappled with depression, grief or sickness.

“I’ve had to sacrifice life in order to breathe life into this production,” he said.

Nettles credits many of his professors at TSU, as well as his parents, with giving him the guidance and support necessary to achieve his creative aspirations.

“The faculty in the Department of Communications truly does care about its students, and if you allow them to love you, they will love you. You just have to be open to receive them,” he said.

Houghton said she hopes the film gives a voice to the voiceless.

“It’s shining a spotlight on important issues that I think will kind of resonate with everybody, from cancer to mental health, which is such a prominent issue today,” she said.  “We just really hope they feel that their voice is in this story, that their story is in this film.”

“Wear the Crown” also features performances by the Phoenix Troupe, a group of African-American singers and creative artists, including 2014 Essence Festival “You’re My Star” contest winner Megan Broadnax; Jeffrey White of gospel duo Same Seed; Lynn Echo, who appeared on former BET show “Bobby Jones Gospel,” along with Kyiara Jackson, Aundra Keo Brown and April Sledge.  

The premiere event will also include a screening of the short film, “Loose Change,” written and directed by Moving4ward Productions  assistant director of Creative Development, William Jenkins.  After the screenings, there will be a Q&A with the cast and crew of “Wear the Crown” and “Loose Change.”

The event will also honor cancer survivors related to members of the cast with the presentation of a special gift.

For more information about “Wear The Crown,” visit https://bit.ly/2PtbH1Z .

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.

TSU Alums Publish Children’s Book To Honor Fellow Alum and Buffalo Soldier William McBryar

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University Alums Deontae Henderson and Brandon Van Leer recently collaborated to produce a children’s book honoring the life and legacy of fellow TSU Alum, Buffalo Soldier and Medal of Honor Recipient Lt. William McBryar.

The children’s book, Young William, provides a poetic depiction of McBryar’s journey from childhood to becoming a military hero.

McBryar, who served with the 25th Infantry in the Spanish-American war and fought at El Caney, Cuba, also saw action in the Philippine Insurrection before demobilizing in San Francisco.

Henderson, the book’s author and a 2018 graduate of TSU, said McBryar’s story is a tale that should be shared with all children.

TSU Alum Deontae Henderson at his book signing at the Southern Methodist University Barnes and Noble in Dallas.

“William McBryar, if you look him up, is one of those guys you don’t believe existed. He was a real superhero. He fought through disease. He graduated in his 70s. He was in the war until his 60s. He got in the war at a young age. He fought in three wars. He survived them. He got a Purple Heart, and he saved his regiment,” Henderson said. “We have Iron Man, the Hulk and Batman and all these guys, but if you want a realistic superhero, he is the perfect example of that.”

In 1934 at the age of 73, McBryar graduated from TSU, then known as Tennessee Agriculture and Industrial State College, with an agriculture degree. He died in 1941 at the age of 80, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Last spring a number of lawmakers, military officials, and TSU officials gathered for a special ceremony for the unveiling of a historical marker honoring McBryar. The marker is located outside Kean Hall on the university’s main campus.

Van Leer, the book’s illustrator, said he felt honored to be part of such a meaningful project.

“We wanted this book to be one of those books that children remember from when they were in kindergarten and preschool, where they can enjoy a fun story and learn about their history at the same time,” he said.

TSU Alum Brandon Van Leer will display his art Thursday at the Main Street Gallery for Black Excellence: The Art Show.

Also a 2018 graduate of TSU, Van Leer’s work often reflects his love for culture as well as his alma mater. He has produced portraits of TSU luminaries, such as pioneering heart surgeon and civil rights activist Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr., and Tuskegee Airman Lt. Joseph White.

“I was honored in both approaches to be commissioned by my alma mater to have the opportunity to spread my talents in a way that will forever live on at TSU,” he said.

Henderson, who became a “#1 International Best Selling Author” with the success of his second book, The Hungriest Pirate,” said Young William will soon be available at the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum in Houston, Texas, where he spoke about the project in December. He said because of the historical nature of Lt. McBryar’s story, he wanted to make sure it rhymed and was fun for children to read.

“Your child is going to go to class anyway and learn about George Washington, Christopher Columbus and all these people who are a part of American History. Young William is just as important as them,” he said. “The only difference his name got pretty much covered up because he happened to be a black man during a time period when we weren’t celebrated.”

Van Leer, owner of the graphic design company, Rezilient Media, will share a collection of his work this Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Main Street Gallery. The event, Black Excellence: The Art Show, is free and open to the public. He said it will feature portraits of inspiring African-Americans, as well as the unveiling of new art.

Although Van Leer comes from a family of artists, he credits the TSU Art Department for playing a huge role in his success.

“My professors in the art department really helped me grow. They helped me think outside the box and draw bigger using different techniques,” he said. “They are like a family over there so I still go back and talk to them.”

Henderson’s newest book, Kid Smoove, features a 14-year-old superhero with the ability to teleport who is forced to balance life as an iconic hero with doing school work and being an everyday teenager.

Henderson echoed Van Leer’s sentiment that Tennessee State University provided a rich environment for his development.

“Anyone at TSU is fortunate because being at an HBCU is a different environment,” he said. “You see President Glenda Glover. You see NBA Player Robert Covington come through. You see yourself who is a writer who gets to write for the paper for the school. Just seeing all that, that was an inspiration for me.”

 

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.

 

Mass Communications Career Showcase Attracts 13 Major Media, Marketing and Entertainment Companies

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – TSU’s Career Development Center Tuesday held a student career showcase for mass communications and music majors in the Performing Arts Center.

Representatives from 13 media, marketing and entertainment companies set up booths, received resumes, conducted on-the-spot interviews and answered students’ questions about internships and employment opportunities.

Steve Burbank, local Comcast Spotlight sales manager, talks TSU graduating senior Alexis Thorton at the student career showcase. (Photo by Jamal Coleman, Career Development Center)

Alexis Thorton, a graduating senior, who came ready with a resume and application, said she was “really glad” to attend a fair on campus just for mass communications majors.

“Usually when we have a career fair on campus not many students come out from our department because it doesn’t feel like it is designed for us,” said Thorton, of Memphis. “This makes us feel like they care because as a graduating senior, this improves my chances for a job.”

Thorton, who interviewed with at least two companies, may just be one of the lucky ones among nearly 80 students at Tuesday’s career showcase to land a job as a result of the program.

Steve Burbank, local sales manager for Comcast Spotlight, came ready to hire a graduating senior.

TSU mass communications major Stefanie Avilla, right, talks to local TV Channel 4 representative Don Downs about employment opportunities. (Photo by Jamal Coleman, Career Development Center)

“We are looking for the right candidate to hire as an associate sales account executive,” Burbank said. “We are looking for someone to join our world-class media sales organization with a growth mindset who has an eye toward enhancing their sales acumen.”

He said the successful candidate will receive 12-months hands-on training, mentoring, learning assessment and product knowledge, as well as an eight-week corporate on-board training in Philadelphia, Denver and Atlanta.

Tina Reed, associate director of TSU’s Career Development Center, said unlike job fairs, the mass communications career showcase was designed to showcase students to potential employers.

“This was also intended to let them (students) know what type of opportunities they have in terms of entertainment, media and music,” said Reed. “We have some very good students here and some great companies. We just want to match them up and get them connected.”

Dr. Tameka Winston is the interim chair of the Department of Communications. She likes the idea of a career showcase dedicated specifically to mass communications, music and other liberal arts majors.

“Our students are among the best; they work very hard and they are always looking for internships and things of that nature,” Winston said. “We hope that this will be very beneficial to them especially going into the summer month.”

Among some of the other major companies and institutions at the career showcase were the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters, local TV Channels 2 and 4, and Sony Music.

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 students win Southeast Journalism Conference awards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Seven mass communications students from Tennessee State University earned eight separate awards recently in the Southeast Journalism Conference competitions.

The awards for the best journalism in broadcast, print and online were presented during the 29th annual SEJC convention held Friday, Feb., 27 at Georgia State University in Atlanta.

In the “Best of the South” competition, Tennessee State University awards included the individual categories of:

‪‪*Best Radio News Feature Reporter – first place, Brandi Giles, Nashville,  graduated Dec. 2014

‪*Best Radio Hard News Reporter – third place, senior Chantell Copeland, Atlanta

‪*Best Radio Journalist – fourth place, Brandi Giles

‪*College Journalist of the Year – fourth place, Chantell Copeland

*Best Public Service Journalism – fourth place, seniors Anastasia Williams, Milwaukee, and Dominique Thomas

‪‪*Best News-Editorial Artist/Illustrator – seventh place, senior Courtney Mickens, Memphis, Tennessee

*Best Multimedia Journalist – eighth place, junior Delvakio Brown, Bolivar, Tennessee

‪*Best TV Hard News Reporter – ninth place, senior Carlos Mavins Jr., Houston

According to Dr. Terry Likes, Head of the Department of Communications, this is a testament to the commitment to excellence of students, faculty and the administration.

“Having students win is part of the external validation which shows our faculty are training our students to achieve at a high level,” said Likes.

The Southeast Journalism Conference is a vibrant learning community of journalists honing their craft through professional development and the Best of the South Collegiate Journalism Competition. An organization comprised of nearly 50 member colleges and universities in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee, SEJC was created to encourage greater interest in student journalism and to form closer ties among journalism schools in the Southeast United States.

The Best of the South competition recognizes individual student journalists and university publications. The competition consists of 23 individual and 8 university categories.

 

 

 

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.

TSU Students Capture Nine Tennessee Associated Press Awards

AP_RGBNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A trio of students from Tennessee State University’s Department of Communications were the recipients of the top Tennessee Associated Press awards recently, capturing nine awards in the student competition, up from six the previous years.

The Tennessee AP Broadcasters and Tennessee APME Best of College awards were announced on Saturday, March 22, and recognized Tennessee student journalists for outstanding performance in college journalism.

Students receiving awards included:

  • 1st place, Best Radio Reporter, Chantell Copeland, senior Mass Communication major from Atlanta
  • 1st place, Best Radio Newscast, Chantell Copeland
  • 1st place, Best News Story, Brandi Giles, senior Mass Communication major from Nashville, Tenn.
  • 2nd place, Best Use of Sound, Brandi Giles
  • 2nd place, Best Radio Reporter, Miya Jefferson, 2013 graduate, Mass Communication major, Lansing, Mich.
  • 2nd place, Best Newscast, Brandi Giles
  • 3rd place, Best Feature Story, Chantell Copeland
  • 3rd place, Best Radio Reporter, Brandi Giles
  • 3rd place, Best Use of Sound, Miya Jefferson

According to Dr. Terry Likes, Chair of the Department of Communications, students excelled in reports aired on the campus radio station, WTST.

“Our new Center for Media Arts and Production houses WTST and our other media outlets in a converged media environment.  The dedicated faculty teach committed students who are learning across media platforms to best prepare themselves for real-world opportunities.”

This is the third year the Associated Press has conducted a competition for college students in the state of Tennessee. The students from TSU competed in more than 12 different categories in the college contest against entrants from MTSU, Vanderbilt University, Lipscomb, UT-Chattanooga, UT-Martin, UT-Knoxville, Austin Peay State University, and Southern Adventist.

 

 

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.