Tag Archives: Tennessee State University

Tennessee State University Students Rally, March to Vote in Historic Presidential Election

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University students rocked the vote on a historic Election Day.

Students gathered Nov. 8 for a “walk to the poll” rally on the university’s main campus before heading to nearby Hadley Park polling station to vote in a presidential race that saw the first woman nominated for president by a major political party. Democrat Hillary Clinton, however, ended up losing to Republican Donald Trump.

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Love You Like a Sister, a women’s group, was one of several campus organizations that took part in the “Walk to the Poll” rally. (Photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

“The purpose of today’s rally is to really get students acclimated to the political arena, and get them engaged,” Aarian Forman, president of the Student Government Association, said earlier that day. “We want to make sure that students understand the importance of doing their civic duty of voting; not just in the General Election, but midterm elections as well, for senatorial, mayoral, for governor, every level of election. We want them to know that their vote is their voice, and where there is no vote there is no hope.”

State Rep. Harold Love Jr., a TSU alum, who joined the student rally, said he was happy to see the level of activism on a college campus.

“College students need to have an understanding of the importance of their vote,” Love said. “These are our leaders for the next generation. And this race is too important for anybody to sit on the sidelines.”

Dr. Samantha Morgan-Curtis, an associate professor of English and Women’s Studies at TSU, said whatever the outcome of the election it is history-making.

“We are going to tell our children that we were there,” Morgan-Curtis said. “Moreover, it will be exciting to have our first woman president. These students are doing what they are expected to do. They are the hopes of their forefathers and foremothers and if they don’t vote then they are not paying forward what they owe.”

Angelica Jacox, a member of the Student Election Commission, said it is exciting to participate in her first presidential election.

“I think it’s really exciting for me and a lot of students who will be voting in their first presidential election,” said Jacox, a senior political science major who helped to organize the rally. “For us to participate in this history-making election really means a lot because we haven’t always had the right to vote.”

Ernest “Rip” Patton, a TSU alum and Freedom Rider who was a champion for voting rights during the Civil Rights Movement, said he is glad to see “young people” participate in the process.

“I’m proud of the fact that they voted, and hopefully students from other schools around Nashville took note and followed in their footsteps. It puts TSU out front, and I’m very proud of that,” Patton said.

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 38 undergraduate, 25 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.

Community Health Fair at TSU Focuses on Obesity, HIV and Poor Health Choices

Wellness Fair
More than 30 vendors with some connection to health care and wellness participated in the one-day Community Health and Wellness Fair. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A recent study shows Tennessee faces a serious health crisis that stems mostly from unhealthy choices.

For the last 20 years, the state has ranked among the worst in the nation when it comes to health outcomes, according to the report. Obesity, HIV, and poor health management, or the lack of it, are the biggest issues.

Those problems and others were addressed April 22 at Tennessee State University’s Community Health and Wellness Fair in Kean Hall on the main campus. TSU partnered with Vanderbilt University Medial Center and the DP Thomas Foundation for Obesity for the outreach event that was free and open to the public.

More than 30 vendors with some connection to health care and wellness participated in the one-day event.

“This is really an opportunity for TSU to serve out its mission statement in helping to serve the community,” said Kelli Sharpe, Assist Vice President for Public Relations and Communications at TSU. “It is also an opportunity for the community to know that we do have professional health education and services on campus, not just for students and faculty, but for the community as well.”

According to the latest data from the Tennessee Department of Health, nearly 7,000 adults accessed Davidson County emergency rooms in 2014 for relief of dental conditions.

Gary-Lee A. Lewis, head of TSU’s Dental Hygiene Department, said TSU’s clinic averages about 600 patients a year and he hopes that number will increase “with the linkages that we make with the community.”

“We’re well equipped to manage the needs of the community,” Lewis said.

The fair provided information on weight loss management, nutrition, and HIV, as well as fitness demonstrations and other health screenings, including hypertension, glucose, and cholesterol. The dental hygiene component included oral examinations, dental cleanings, and oral health education.

Students, faculty and staff of TSU’s Student Health Services, the Department of Dental Hygiene, and the School of Nursing played a major role in the fair.

Vic Sorrell, Community Engagement Coordinator of the Vanderbilt Medical Center HIV Vaccine Program, said the fair was very timely and needed.

“Because HIV incidence is on the rise in communities with limited access to quality healthcare, our program’s message and mission is certainly in alignment with the goals and values of this event and its organizers,” Sorrell said.

The DP Thomas Foundation is a longtime promoter of healthy living as a way to combat obesity and its negative effect on society. Experts from the foundation emphasized ways to help citizens achieve and maintain a balanced lifestyle.

“We are extremely excited about this opportunity to serve the Nashville community,” said Lalita Hodge, coordinator of the DP Thomas Foundation. “We at the DP Thomas Foundation truly believe that a healthy community is a wealthy community. Providing information and combining our community resources is the best way to achieve this goal.”

TSU students, from nursing, dental hygiene to professional education, were excited about participating in the fair and giving back to the community.

Starr Winbush, a freshman Nursing major, looked forward to the hands-on help she and her fellow students provided.

“Going into the nursing field, I think it is very important to be able to talk to people and communicate with them about their needs,” Winbush said. “Helping people, that’s the main part.”

Chelsea Nash, ajunior Biology major, added: “Many people do not have insurance, and for them this may be the only way they can get the care they need. So I am really proud to see my school reaching out to the community.”

Abraham Osareme Simmons, a senior Dental Hygiene major, said community service was part of the reason why he entered the program.

“I like to touch lives that are in need; that is very important to me,” said Simmons, who graduates in May. “That’s what inspired me to matriculate to the dental hygiene program. It is rewarding to see people feel good about themselves because of what you have done to make their lives better.”

Dr. Winda Wilbert, interim executive director of the TSU School of Nursing, said “community service is an expectation for our students.”

“That’s in fact one of the core requirements for our baccalaureate program,” Wilbert said. “So when we are out there with them, it’s not just a matter of field experience, they are fulfilling their requirements.”

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 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 Mourns Death of Former President James A. Hefner

“We have lost a visionary and one of the best leaders to serve this great institution.” – President Glenda Glover

NASHVILLE, Tenn.– The Tennessee State University family is saddened to announce the death of Dr. James A. Hefner, the sixth president of the University. He died early Thursday morning surrounded by family in his Brentwood home following a long illness. Dr. Hefner was 76. Hefner served TSU as president from 1991-2005.

In a statement on the passing of Dr. Hefner, Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover said:

“The Tennessee State University family sends its deepest condolences to the Hefner family. Dr. Hefner devoted his entire adult life to serving others and expanding educational opportunities to all. As educators, we have lost a visionary and one of the best leaders to ever serve this great institution. He loved inspiring students and challenging them.”

The university’s progress during Dr. Hefner’s tenure was unprecedented. While President of Tennessee State University, Dr. Hefner transformed TSU into a top-tier research university. He was deeply committed to TSU’s land-grant mission. He pursued programs and efforts that aligned the resources of the university with the needs of students. His legacy will serve the university, the nation and the world.

Under his leadership, Tennessee State University saw marked physical, infrastructural and academic improvement, including the implementation of a $112 million capital improvement plan. The improvement was part of the Geier agreement that attempted to end race-based disparity in higher education funding in Tennessee. Several new buildings were constructed, including the Floyd-Payne Student Campus Center, the Ned McWherter Administration Building and the Performing Arts Center.

He was viewed as the students’ president and enrollment reached an all-time high of 9,100 students, an achievement that has only been recently achieved during the 2014-2015 academic school year. The TSU endowment also experienced remarkable growth from $500,000 to more than $25 million (through fund-raising and settling a Federal Consent Decree). He positioned Tennessee State University as a premier institution of higher learning.  TSU was listed in U.S. News & Worlds Report’s “Guide to America’s Best Colleges” for 11 consecutive years (1994-2005).

Dr. Hefner occupied the Thomas and Patricia Frist Chair of excellence in entrepreneurship, a $2.3 million endowed chair at Tennessee State University.  He also established two other endowed chairs of excellence at Tennessee State. An advocate and proponent of African American intellectual achievement throughout his career, Dr. Hefner established two of the nation’s top honor societies, Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Kappa Phi, at Tennessee State University and Clark Atlanta University.

After retiring as president of Tennessee State University in 2005, Dr. Hefner was a non-resident fellow at Harvard University in the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research; Visiting Distinguished Professor of Economics and Presidential Leadership at Texas Southern University; and most recently as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Clark Atlanta University, where he worked diligently as he fought cancer up until the very end.

When recently asked how he wanted to be remembered, Dr. Hefner said: “As an educator who cared about black higher education and the welfare of students.”

He earned his undergraduate degree from North Carolina A&T University, his master’s degree in economics from Atlanta University, and his doctorate in economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

“My father lived a life of service to historically black colleges and universities and the students who attend them,” said Dr. David Hefner, the youngest son of Dr. Hefner and a 1993 graduate of Morehouse College. “He was an intellectual disciple of W.E.B. DuBois – a Fisk University graduate – in that he believed in the liberation that academic excellence promised to those who lived a life of service to the African American community, to truth and to humanity. So his legacy is a living one because there is still much work to do. And my father serves as an example of what service to HBCUs looks like, and we celebrate his life and legacy.”

TSU will be the site of a memorial service on Wednesday, September 2, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in Poag Auditorium of the Davis Humanities Building. A reception will follow immediately afterwards in the Ferrell-Westbrook Building (the Barn). The funeral service will take place on Thursday, September 3, at 1 p.m. at Christ Church Cathedral, 900 Broadway, downtown Nashville.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting memorial gifts be made to the Dr. James A. Hefner Scholarship Foundation in his honor to the Tennessee State University or Morehouse College Development Offices. You may reach the TSU Foundation at 615-963-5481, for Morehouse 404-215-2660.

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 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.

More than 400 Top Students to Converge on City for National Conference of Honors Programs

logoNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – More than 400 of the nation’s best and brightest students will converge on Nashville Oct. 31-Nov. 3, as Tennessee State University, in partnership with Fisk University, hosts the 24th Annual Conference of the National Association of African American Honors Programs. The four-day event, bringing together representatives from nearly 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities, will be held at Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center.

The NAAAHP Conference brings together Honors students, faculty, staff and professionals. Founded in 1990, the organization addresses the “specific” needs of honors education for African-American students. Dr. Coreen Jackson, director of the TSU Honors Program, was elected to head the organization as president last October.

Coreen_Jackson
Dr. Coreen Jackson

“We are extremely excited to be working with TSU and Fisk to bring this conference to Nashville,” Jackson said. “We expect this conference to be one of NAAAHP’s biggest and best because of the various elements we are bringing together. We invite businesses, corporations and graduate schools to participate in the various fairs showcasing some of the best and brightest students in the nation.”

Under the theme, “The Audacity of Vision: Dare to Dream,” Jackson said the conference will feature a debate, quiz bowl, model U.N., and scholarly research presentations. Honors directors, deans and faculty will engage in research presentations, and roundtable and panel discussions about best practices in Honors administration, she said.

“This year’s theme is designed to ignite a fire within each scholar to see beyond what they can see, believe in their potential, and attempt the impossible,” Jackson added. She thanked TSU President Glenda Glover and the President of Fisk University, Dr. H. James Williams, for their support in hosting the conference.

For more information on conference registration, agenda and sponsorship opportunities, visit naaahp.org.

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.