Bus Tour Brings Business and Community Leaders To TSU

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Nearly 50 Nashville business and community leaders visited Tennessee State University last week as part of the National Organization for Workforce (NOW) Diversity’s annual Diversity Bus Tour.

“The tour is to bring human resource leaders and business leaders out into the diverse communities for recruitment and advancement and engagement of their workforce,” said Jacky Akbari, president and national board chair of NOW Diversity.

She said the Diversity Bus Tour helps managers and supervisors better understand environments with which they may not have previously been familiar.

Business administration students, members of the TSU public relations office and Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, greeted the tour participants on Nov. 8 with gift bags and brief testimonials when they arrived on the campus of Nashville ‘s only public university.

Dr. S. K. Hargrove, den of the College of Engineering with Business Administration majors Sydni Berkahlter of Cincinnati and Cordé Stewart of Nashville.

Hargrove, who serves on the board of NOW Diversity, said he believes the tour will help these professionals gain a better understanding of the impact historically black colleges and universities have on the community.

“I believe it is important that we display and share the great things that are happening at TSU to the Nashville community,” he said. “Too often many have a distorted view or perception of TSU, but our responsibility as employees is to promote the quality of education we provide and the outstanding students that matriculate at our institution. “

Akbari said for their employers to have a diverse engaged workforce population, they have to understand the culture of the students, where they come from, what they like to do and how they can contribute to the workplace.

“We know from Dean Hargrove that TSU does have some special programs that our employers are looking for,” she said. “The STEM programs that exist here at TSU are a unique opportunity for our employers to connect with students that are ready to make an early and significant contribution. We appreciate Dr. Hargrove’s leadership in connecting us with TSU, not only in his program, but across the campus.”

Kelli Sharpe, assistant vice president of University Public Relations and Communications,  greets Jacky Akbari, president and national board chair of NOW Diversity, as the Diversity Bus Tour arrives on the campus of Tennessee State University.

The Diversity Bus Tour also included stops at Meharry Medical College, Fisk University, the Sri Ganesha Temple, the Islamic Center of Nashville, Historic Woolworth on 5th and Plaza Mariachi.

The National Organization for Workforce Diversity is a private, public and non-profit collaborative created to provide insight and leadership training to advance workforce diversity initiatives.

 

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, 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.

 

For more information about International Education Week 2018, contact (615) 963-5640.

TSU Students Honor President Glenda Glover for Receiving HBCU President of the Year Award

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover is HBCU President of the Year, and TSU students are letting everyone know they are proud of her.

The students celebrated Dr. Glover’s accomplishment in a party-like atmosphere on Wednesday in the Floyd-Payne Campus Center with hundreds of faculty, staff and students watching. There was a cake decorated with an image of Dr. Glover, balloons, music, cheerleaders, and even Aristocrat the Tiger made a special appearance. The New Direction Choir, the University’s flagship gospel group, also joined in with a selection to honor the president.

Representatives from campus organizations, including Mr. and Miss TSU, and the student government association president, took turns congratulating the president for receiving the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Education Leadership Award.

Campus organization and student leaders take turn to congratulate President during a ceremony in the Floyd-Payne Campus Center. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The award was presented to Glover at the TMCF’s 31st Anniversary Awards Gala in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 29. It recognizes Dr. Glover’s commitment to historically black colleges and universities, and her bold leadership and achievements in higher education.

Glover described the students’ “surprise” party in her honor as one of the happiest moments of her life.

“I have been fortunate to receive many accolades and recognitions in my career and life, but this is perhaps one of the best coming from my students,” she said. “My students are always first on my mind. At the banquet when I received the award, the first thing I did was give recognition to the talented students here at TSU, and what it means to be the president of such hard-working students. From the student leaders to the New Direction Choir and to all the organizations, I want you to know I deeply appreciate this. This means so much to me. Thank you for all you do to make my day special.”

Kayla McCrary, the SGA president, said the students are honored to be a part of Dr. Glover’s legacy of excellence.

“We just want to show that we’re proud of her and that we are honored to be a part of the legacy that she’s leaving at TSU,” McCrary said.

Tasha Andrews is the director of Student Activities. She said the preparation, promotion and the honoring ceremony were all the students’ idea.

A cake decorate with an image of Dr. Glover was among items students presented the President for her accomplishment.

“As soon as the press release went out that Dr. Glover was named the HBCU President of the Year, the students – the SGA, the Royal Court – were all excited and wanted to do something about it,” Andrews said. “I said, if you are this excited about it, then let’s put together resources and energy to give you guys the opportunity to celebrate her. And they jumped right on it.  They pulled together their teams; they took care of the promotion on social media and everywhere. They are just super, super happy to take pride in our president.”

The Dean of Students, Frank Stevenson, called the evening “a tremendous opportunity to honor our president” for her achievement.

“We are so excited to celebrate her,” Stevenson said. “Out of all the more than 100 HBCU presidents, she was selected as President of the Year because of her leadership. It is just fitting that the student body elected to pause to honor and salute her leadership.”

The President of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Dr. Harry Williams, congratulates five of the TSU students who attended the TMCF Leadership Institute, and Tina Reed, Associate Director of the TSU Career Development Center. Pictured, from left, are Robert Turner, Giordan Rose, Hailee Roye, Reed, Dr. Williams, Tiara Hudson and Tarence Rice. (Submitted Photo)

At the gala in Washington, seven top TSU students who participated in the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s 18th Annual Leadership Institute, a four-day award-winning conference that culminates with the gala ceremony, joined President Glover. The students were among 400 scholars selected from across the nation to learn leadership skills, as well as help them make meaningful connections that will hopefully lead to successful internships, fellowships, and careers at Fortune 500 companies and government agencies.

One of the highlights of the conference was the recruitment fair, where major companies, government agencies, and graduate program representatives identify top talent and offer jobs, internships and continuing education opportunities.

The TSU students were: Robert Turner, Detroit; Giordan Rose, Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Hailee Roye, Pittsburgh; Tiara Hudson, Knoxville, Tennessee; Tarence Rice, Detroit; Ryan Smith, Atlanta; and Kristin Day, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Tina Reed, associate director of the Career Development Center, accompanied the students.

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, 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 Celebrates International Education Week

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Office of International Affairs at Tennessee State University kicked off International Education Week 2018 with a workshop on regional diversity and inclusive excellence, and an open house showcasing its new headquarters in Holland Hall.

The week, which began Nov. 2 and concluded on Nov. 8, featured many activities, including a study abroad fair, a panel showcasing cultural diversity, an African dance workshop, and a cultural celebration and family fun night.

Students received walk-in study abroad advisement.

“We’ll be talking to students about what they should be thinking about in pursuing a study abroad experience, not the study abroad experience specifically,” said Mark Brinkley, director of International Education in the Office of International Affairs. “Some students are beyond that. They have already done their research, and they know what experience they would like to participate in. We are talking to those students about how do you apply to that program.”

Mark Brinkley, director of International Education in the Office of International Affairs, speaks with  students about activities planned for International Education Week 2018.

Brinkley said OIA’s new office suite, which is located on the first floor of Holland Hall, provides the space they need to holistically provide international students the support they need.

“We can now better serve our international population whether they be international education, study abroad or

international students and scholars services or the new Intensive English Center,” he said.

The OIA Office has designated meditation areas where students can pray and continue to observe their culture, as well as a conference room where study abroad workshops can be held.

“Our function here is to help those incoming international students understand the historically black college and university culture, and to share their culture on a global level with the existing student base here that doesn’t get to do the study abroad.”

Daniel Bernal, an MBA student from Bogota, Columbia, said that as a transfer student, OIA helped him make a smooth transition to TSU.

“When I came here it felt more like home, and I have done well with the help of the international office,” he said. “They are very helpful compared to my previous university, so everything got taken care of.”

Bernal, a former member of the TSU Men’s Tennis Team, is the second player in the university’s history to earn All-OVC recognition, joining Lawrence Washington, who was also a Second Team All-OVC honoree in 2012. He said the academic environment at TSU has been nurturing and supportive.

“The classroom sizes are not as big compared to bigger universities, so you get more attention,” he said.

Shashamk Nautiyal, a graduate student in Sports Medicine from New Delhi, India, who was recruited to play tennis at TSU, said he also likes the academic environment at the university.

“In any department, they take care of you. They make sure they help you with whatever you need, either academic or personal or even professional. I think that is the most valuable thing,” he said. “They make sure they provide the best learning environment for you to make sure you succeed in your college career.’

Brinkley said International Week 2018 will conclude on the Avon Williams Campus with a cultural celebration and family night that will include a puppet show and international cuisines.

 

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, 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.

 

For more information about International Education Week 2018, contact (615) 963-5640.

Highly Sought-after Freshman Says Coming to Tennessee State University Changed His World

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Emmanuel Wallace had several colleges on his radar. But the top high school graduate from Memphis says a summer program he participated in at Tennessee State University changed his world, and he had no choice but to become a Big Blue Tiger.

“What brought me to TSU was my experience in a five-week Summer Apprenticeship Program that really opened my eyes to a lot of opportunities in agriculture,” says Wallace, a graduate of East High School, where he was a “distinguished honor roll” student and a student ambassador. With an expressed interest in studying civil engineering, Wallace received full scholarship offers from Vanderbilt University and the University of Memphis, just a few of the schools courting him.

Emmanuel Wallace

“First, I was considering majoring in civil engineering, because in high school I did a lot of engineering programs,” says Wallace, now a freshman at TSU. “But after talking with the leaders of the program, I concluded that agriculture would be a good fit for me.”

Over the summer, Wallace was one of 21 graduating high school seniors from across the nation who participated in the very competitive five-week Summer Apprenticeship Program. From studies in understanding hypersensitive response of tobacco plants to comparing DNAs in chickens and Guinea fowls, participants in the program were exposed to real-world scientific work and cutting-edge research. He developed a special interest in goat research after spending time with renowned TSU goat researcher, Dr. Richard Browning.

Wallace’s professors and mentors in the program say he showed remarkable ability and enthusiasm to learn.

“Right away we noticed how bright and energetic he was and really wanted to learn,” says Dr. DeEtra Young, assistant professor of agricultural and environmental sciences. “So through our mentorship, I think he fell in love with the new opportunities that agriculture provides.”

Wallace, a first-generation college student and the youngest of three children, came to TSU with a near 4.0 grade point average. He was the salutatorian of his graduating class, president of the National Honor Society, the senior class, and manager for the varsity boys’ soccer team at East High. He is currently majoring in agricultural sciences with a concentration in agribusiness. He hopes to go to graduate school and either work for the U.S. Department Agriculture or develop a business career in agribusiness.

Wallace was recruited as a High Achiever Academic Scholarship recipient. He is a Dean Scholar in the College of Agriculture, and a member of the Honors College. He also has memberships in the Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, and Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Science.

Recently, Wallace was one of 10 TSU students selected to participate in a three-day Agriculture Future of America four-track program in Kansas City, Missouri, designed to offer college men and women four different personal and professional development opportunities matched to their year in college.

According to Young, who accompanied the students, Wallace participated in Track I, which is the leadership track for freshmen.

“The program bridges the gap between academic, leadership and work experiences while helping students understand the impact of their decisions,” says Young.

At TSU, Wallace says his goal is to combine academic and leadership for student success.

“I plan on holding multiple leadership positions, inspire and motivate members of my class, and become a student ambassador for Tennessee State University,” he says.

For more information on opportunities in the TSU College of Agriculture, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/seminar_schedule.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 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, 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.

Legendary Music Producer and TSU Faculty Reflects on Memories with ‘Queen of Soul’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – On the morning of August 16, 2018, Sanchez Harley reached for his cell phone to send a comforting text message to his dear friend who was gravely ill with pancreatic cancer.

“I’m praying for you. I will always love and appreciate you,” he wrote.

Harley, a Tennessee State University Alum and legendary music producer, did not know that the 18-time Grammy Award-winning Icon Aretha Franklin would not live to respond to his message. She would die that same morning.

“The only way to describe her is she was a one and only, and there will never be another. She taught me a lot,” he said.

This fall, Harley has returned to TSU as an adjunct professor in the Department of Music to teach students some of the valuable lessons he learned from the “Queen of Soul” and other wisdom he has accumulated during his journey in the music business.

Aretha Franklin with Sanchez harley and Jerry Parries, former president of the Tehillah Music Group. (Photo submitted)

“I was working on a duet with her and Karen Clark-Sheard, and I was trying to get them tight on a particular line, and she said to me, ‘Sanchez, perfect is not perfect.’ And I thought about that and taking it to the next level. Taking it to the next level means that you discover what feel is,” he said. “The definition of feel is the amount of imperfection. It’s the imperfection in something that creates the feel, because if it’s perfect, it doesn’t feel good… You really arrive as a producer when you figure out what of and how much of the bad you need to include in something for it to be good.”

Although he entered TSU on a music scholarship as a bass clarinetist and performed with the instrument in the symphonic band, Harley also played saxophone in the TSU jazz band and in the Aristocrat of Bands. He said that during his career he has worked in several capacities, including arranger, producer and coordinator of live events.

Harley credits Tennessee State for playing a major role in preparing him to work with music greats like Shirley Caesar, George Clinton, Rufus, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, Kirk Franklin, The Temptations and Patti Austin.

“While at TSU I started arranging music for the marching band under Dr. Greer,” he said. “A lot of those experiences, just getting up and standing in front of the band over in the music building, prepared me to stand in front of musicians on Music Row.”

He said some of the most important traits a music producer must have are a great ear, objectivity and the ability to recognize a great song.

“I told my class in our last meeting, you can take a great song and a poor artist and a poor performance, and win most of the time. But you can take a great artist with a great performance and a poor song and almost never win. It’s all about the song,” he said.

Dr. Robert Elliot, head of the Department of Music, said Harley has visited the department as a guest speaker prior to this semester, but wanted to do more for his alma mater.

Sanchez Harley with Aretha Franklin and his late mother, Sarah Harley, at Franklin’s annual revival in Detroit in 2010. (Photo submitted)

“He wants to give back to his university, and his university definitely wants him here with us. The students have just plugged in to him in a big way,” Elliot said. “He’s got this history of having worked with performers and doing production in the studio. Too often the thing that is left out of all that instruction is how to get the best performance out of an artist. Well, he’s done that for decades, and he is bringing those skills in to teach our students how to do the same thing.”

Harley said the course he is teaching this fall, Introduction to Music Production, is a course Elliot gave him the freedom to design.

“I find that many young producers have a misconception about what production is. They don’t really understand all of the things that are involved administratively. It’s more than administrative; it’s technical. It’s psychological—being able to get the best performances from your people. It’s accounting. It’s organization. It’s tact. It’s so many things,” he said. “I designed an Introduction to Music Production course to give individuals who are inspiring to produce some background of all of those things.”

Elliot said the university is proud to have Harley as part of its faculty.

“We say that ‘Excellence Is Our Habit’, and this is just one more bit of proof of just how much that excellence has been the habit at TSU for over 100 years, and it is going forward.”

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, 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.

Top healthcare executive Credits TSU for Playing Major Role in His Success

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Since childhood, Tennessee State University alumnus Jonathan E. Watkins has carried a certain air of distinction that has set him apart from his peers. His high school health sciences teacher, Lovell Cartwright, recalls how his classmates confided in her how much they could depend on the promising young scholar.

“What was impressive to me about Jonathan was that the students brought him to me when we were preparing to take a trip,” said Cartwright, who for 19 years took African-American youth like Watkins and his peers on trips to visit historically black colleges and universities. “We needed another person to go on the trip, and I said to the students, ‘Whoever you bring on this trip, you have to pick someone who won’t get in trouble.’ All of them said, ‘If he get’s in trouble, we’ll all go home because we know he won’t do anything wrong.’ They had that much confidence in him.”

Watkins, who was named chief executive officer of Broward Health Imperial Point (BHIP) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida this past April, said it was Cartwright’s HBCU tour that introduced him to Tennessee State.

Jonathan Watkins. (Photo submitted)

“Healthcare administration and planning isn’t a field that every undergraduate program has. So when I started to look at where the programs were, leaving to go out of state was going to be a significant struggle and burden on my family,” he said. “Because of Mrs. Cartwright’s HBCU tour, we discovered that TSU did indeed have a program which fit in line with my desire to attend an HBCU. “

As CEO of BHIP, Watkins oversees a 200 acute care hospital and is responsible for leading the organization’s overall administration.   BHIP offers medical-surgical inpatient care, behavioral health services, as well as outpatient services.

Watkins, who secured his undergraduate degree at TSU in healthcare administration and a master’s degree in public administration, said attending TSU prepared him for the vigorous road ahead.

“TSU played a vital part in preparing me. Between the internship that is required, the connections that the program allowed me to make and the guest lectures, I would say I got a realistic perspective and view of healthcare administration from my professors during my time at TSU,” he said. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

He credits professors like the late Dr. Richard Enoch, former chair of the Department of Health Administration, and Dr. Rosemary Theriot, professor and chair of the Department of Public Health, Health Administration and Health Sciences, with providing him the guidance he needed to continue on his path to success.

Theriot recalled Watkins as the ideal student. “He seemed to be very serious and he took his academic work quite seriously,” she said. “He always submitted whatever assignments that were do on time, and he didn’t ask for any extra consideration.”

In spite of his leadership responsibilities and hectic schedule, Watkins makes time to give back to his alma mater by mentoring students and serving on the department of Public Health, Health Administration and Health Sciences Advisory Board at TSU. He encourages students to take a serious look at healthcare as a profession.

“There isn’t a degree that a student can graduate from college with that I don’t think the healthcare industry has an opportunity or role that he or she could fulfill,” he said. “Everything ranging from marketing and communications to engineering, to medicine. It ‘s not limited — even students who decide to major in law. We have a huge legal team, a compliance team, that we trust and value.”

Theriot said TSU has one of the oldest programs in healthcare administration in the Southeast at the undergraduate level. She said it has been accredited by the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA) since 1976.

“We have several students who have been quite successful as far as employers hiring our students,” said Theriot. “We have been approached by a number of healthcare agencies about partnering with them to place our students as interns and within their respective agencies. We have those same kinds of agreements with a number of health facilities throughout Tennessee and outside of Tennessee.”

Prior to becoming CEO at BHIP, Watkins served as chief operating officer of the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals in Oakland, California. He also served as vice president of clinical operations and COO of Medical North Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. He was named the 2013 National Association of Health Services Executive Young Healthcare Executive of the Year, and is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Cartwright, who Watkins said is “one of the best teachers the Memphis City School System ever employed,” shared her favorite memory of Watkins as a high school student. “I had very strict rules and one day he walked into my classroom wearing sunglasses. I said, ‘Why do you have on sunglasses in my classroom?’ He replied, ‘Ms. Cartwright, my future is so bright I’ve got to wear these glasses.’”

 

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, 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’s Glover Receives Thurgood Marshall College Fund Education Leadership Award, HBCU President of the Year

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover has received the prestigious Thurgood Marshall College Fund Education Leadership Award as the HBCU President of the Year.

The award was presented to Glover at the TMCF’s 31st Anniversary Awards Gala in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 29.

It recognizes Dr. Glover’s commitment to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and  her bold leadership and achievements in higher education.

“I’m extremely humbled and thankful to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund for selecting me as the 2018 Education Leadership Award recipient,” Glover said.

“This award is an honor that represents the bright and talented students enrolled at TSU, our leaders of tomorrow, as well as the dedicated faculty and staff committed to nurturing and inspiring them.”

Glover was among three distinguished individuals who were honored at this year’s TMCF awards gala.

Emmanuel Wallace, a freshman, agricultural sciences major from Memphis, Tennessee, is a recipient of the TMCF scholarship. He is grateful for the support and for the recognition being bestowed on Dr. Glover.

“It makes me feel important that our president is receiving this outstanding award from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund,” Wallace said, upon hearing that Glover had been selected for the award. “It shows that we are a school that is all about education and excellence.”

Sophomore Jailen Leavell, who was recently named a White House Initiative 2018 HBCU Competitiveness Scholar for academics and leadership, echoed the same sentiments. He touted Dr. Glover’s continued hard work to make sure students are successful.

“After hearing the announcement from the leader of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund that President Glover won the highest award from the organization, it filled me with pride to know that she is my university president,” Leavell said.

“Beyond pride, it inspired me to continue putting my best foot forward in academics and extracurricular activities, to be the greatest student just like she was while attending our university.”

The TMCF has had a long relationship with Tennessee State University and President Glover, through scholarships and programs geared toward student success.

On Oct. 22, the head of TMCF, Dr. Harry Williams, visited TSU to meet with Glover, senior administration officials, and to see firsthand the impact the organization is having with students participating in its program.

Williams noted that TSU was the 27th HBCU he has visited in the last nine months. TMCF represents 47 HBCUs and raised over $300 million for them. He said 97 percent of students who receive scholarships graduate, which is attractive to employers.

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, 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.

 

For more information about TMCF, visit: www.tmcf.org.

TSU Inaugural Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Lecture Features Accomplished Microbiologist George Hill

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University recently held its inaugural Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr., Homecoming Lecture on its main campus in the Robert N. Murrell Forum.

Dr. George C. Hill, who formerly served as head of the Levi Watkins, Jr., M.D. Professor in Medical Education Chair at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, provided the talk on Oct. 18, encouraging students to persevere in spite of skeptics.

The lecture series, a component of the Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr., Institute, was established to honor Watkins, a 1966 alumnus of TSU and the first African-American to be accepted into and graduate from the Vanderbilt School of Medicine. It features prominent speakers who address areas in health care and STEM to prepare students for the medical field. The late Watkins is known worldwide for being the first surgeon to successfully implant an automatic heart defibrillator in a human patient.

“You too can be exactly like Dr. Watkins. If he were here today he

Dr. George C. Hill

would show you that it is just an example of what Tennessee State University produces,” said Hill, an accomplished molecular biochemist. “Less than 10 years after Dr. Watkins graduated from Vanderbilt, in February 1980, he assisted in putting the defibrillator in a patient.”

Hill, distinguished professor emeritus and past vice chancellor at Vanderbilt University, shared old photographs of Watkins as well as insights about the life of a man who transformed the educational landscape for African-American students pursuing careers in the medical field.

TSU President Glenda Glover greeted the crowd and explained the purpose of the Dr. Levi Watkins Jr., Institute.

“We established this institute to assist students who aspire to attend medical school. We established this institute for students to join the pre-med society. We established this institute to provide leaders from around the world,” she said. “We established this institute to provide scholarships for students for their education here at TSU. “

TSU President Glenda Glover gives greetings at the inaugural Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr., Lecture.

Glover thanked the Watkin’s family for donating $500,000 to fund the institute.

“We thank Dr. Annie Marie Garraway for your contribution to carry out the vision of the genius himself, Dr. Levi Watkins Jr.,“ she said.

Dr. Garraway is Watkin’s sister. She and her husband, Ira Deep, along with Watkin’s cousin, Beverly Sheftall, attended the lecture.

Dr. Lonnie Sharpe, director of the Dr. Levi Watkins Jr., Institute, said the university was honored to have Hill as the event’s featured lecturer.

“Dr. Hill is well renown in his field,” Sharpe said. “The students got to see someone of color who has done very well in terms of looking at diseases and trying to find cures for them. He has done a great job in terms of trying to get students to go into the medical field.”

The event also featured the induction of 19 students into the Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Society, an organization comprised of students who aspire to attend medical school.

Students recently inducted into the Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Society with members of the Watkin’s family and organizers of the Dr. Levi Watkins Jr., Institute.

“We are trying to enhance the education of our students by getting more of them to go into medical fields,” said Sharpe, who serves as interim dean of the College of Life and Physical Sciences. “Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr., did a great job in terms of being an example for our students, so we are looking forward to many more of our students attending graduate school and following in his footsteps.”

TSU alum Brandon Van Leer showcases his portrait of Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. which was unveiled during the program.

Barbara Murrell, a 1960 alumna of TSU, was the director of Student Activities in 1965 when Watkins served as president of the student government association president.

“Levi started his preparation for his journey here at Tenneseee State Univeristy in the ‘Land of Golden Sunshine by the Cumberland fertile shore,’” she said.“To us he was Levi. To the world he became a a renowned cardiac surgeon, a game-changer, an unrelenting advocate for the disenfranchised, a drum major for justice and a history maker.”

In addition to the lecture series, the institute also consists of a pre-med society and an endowed scholarship.

Students inducted into the Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Society include Malcolm Finlay, president, a senior, biology/psychology major; Hitesh Vaishnav, vice-president, a senior, chemistry major; Christian Bond,secretary,  a junior, biology/pre-health major; and Anthony Moreland, treasurer, a senior, biology major.

Other students inducted into the society include Farah Ismail, a junior, chemistry major; Danielle Borlay, a senior, biology major; Joshua Borlay, a freshman, biology major; Autumn Brunson, a sophomore, biology major; Tyona Caldwell, a senior, chemistry major; Ashli Earl, a sophomore, biology major; Sahra Gabure, a sophomore, chemistry major; Jayvonna Gambrell, a sophomore, biology major, Cameron Holifield, a senior, chemistry major; Sara Jamal, a senior, chemistry major; Kimberley Laporte, a sophomore, biology major; Rodney McCracken, a freshman, biology major; Larry McNary II, a sophomore, biology major; Aliyah Muhammad, a junior, biology/pre-med major; and Habiba Mwechiwa, a sophomore, biology major.

 

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, 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.

Thurgood Marshall College Fund President and CEO visits TSU, sees impact of agency first hand

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The head of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) visited Tennessee State University on Oct. 22 and got an opportunity to see firsthand the impact the organization is having with students participating in its program.

Dr. Harry Williams attended a welcome luncheon with TSU President Glenda Glover, administrators, faculty and students before taking a tour of the campus. Dr. William’s visit is a part of his tour of the historically black colleges and universities associated with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

During the luncheon, President Glover lauded Williams for his leadership, and expressed her gratitude to Thurgood Marshall College Fund for helping to keep students enrolled at TSU.

TSU President Glenda Glover welcomes Dr. Harry Williams, President and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, during a luncheon in his honor on campus. Dr. Glover was joined by senior administration officials and TMCF scholars in welcoming the Fund leader. (Photo by Lucas Johnson, TSU Media Relations)

“We get a chance to thank you, for all you’ve done for us to keep our students here at TSU,” said Dr. Glover.

“The Thurgood Marshall College Fund provides the resources needed to help students transition from the classroom to the corporate world with professional development, internships and scholarships. This is an added value when students enroll and earn a degree from TSU.”

Williams told the packed room that TSU is the 27th HBCU he has visited in the last nine months. TMCF represents 47 HBCUs and raised over $300 million for them. He said 97 percent of students who receive scholarships graduate, which is attractive to employers.

“What I have learned is that there is a need for the TMCF organization, and there is a big need in this country for what we do,” Williams said. “Corporations want our talent, and they want it bad, because we provide a great opportunity for people to grow and develop.”

The work of TMCF was highlighted in a TSU produced video of students benefitting from scholarships and internships. Each student proclaimed, “I’m still here” because of the financial assistance from Dr. Williams and the college fund. Visit https://vimeo.com/296361411/3c553d3fc9 to view the video.

TSU junior and scholar Tiara Hudson, a first-generation college student, is one of those grateful for the financial assistance that allowed her to remain at TSU after exhausting all other available aide.

“It’s just remarkable how impactful TMCF is, to not only TSU, but to colleges across the U.S.,” said Hudson, a business administration major from Knoxville, Tennessee. “Without TMCF, I probably would not be here.”

Charles Jennings, director of the TSU Career Development Center, believed the visit was paramount to the center’s continued success in helping students excel academically and as potential employees in the corporate world.

“TMCF not only provides scholarships that assists students with their financial needs while in college, but it also allows them the opportunity to interact with executives from Fortune 1000 corporations that may not necessarily come to HBCU campuses career fair,” said Jennings.

To learn more about TSU’s Career Development Center, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/careers/index.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 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, 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 celebrates history-making Homecoming with new constructions, record fundraising and parade attendance

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – This year’s Homecoming at Tennessee State University involved a bit of history-making, in addition to the excitement.

The Tigers’ trouncing of the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles (41-14) in the football game at Nissan Stadium on Saturday was just the icing on the cake. Add that to the much-anticipated parade along Jefferson Street that brought out thousands, and groundbreaking ceremonies for four new buildings, as well as a scholarship gala the night before that raised a record amount to keep students in school.

President Glenda Glover waves to the crowd along the 2018 Homecoming parade route. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The Scholarship Gala is the university’s single largest fundraising event. Organizers said when all the tabulation is completed, they expect this year’s proceeds to top last year’s $1.3 million intake.

No doubt, TSU President Glenda Glover called this year’s Homecoming one of the most exciting in school history.

“We are on record pace here,” Glover said to a packed room of cheering fans at the President’s Homecoming Reception at Nissan Stadium, just before the football game.

“We broke ground for four new buildings this week, including two new residence halls that will

The world-renowned TSU Aristocrat of Bands participates in the Homecoming parade. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

help us to recruit more quality students. We are just very excited.”

The new structures include two new residence halls, a Health Sciences Building and an Alumni Welcome Center. The new dorms will be the first to be built at the university in 23 years, and the Health Sciences Building will be the first state-funded building to be constructed on the campus in 15 years.

Glover also touted the record number of participants in the 2018 Homecoming parade.

“We had 140 entrants in this year’s parade, that’s the largest ever. It is really good to see the Nashville community come out in such numbers to support TSU,” she said.

Mr. TSU and Miss TSU and their Court wave to the cheering crowd from atop their Homecoming float in the 2018 parade along Jefferson Street. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

At the reception, Glover recognized and congratulated several individuals, including Special Presidential Honoree James Shaw, Jr., the “Waffle House Hero”; the parade grand marshals, and the Homecoming honorees. She also recognized and thanked TSU alums Amos and Brenda Otis for their “generous contribution” of $1million toward the construction of the new Alumni Welcome Center.

She paid special tribute to the family of injured TSU football player Christion Abercrombie for their courage. The family, including Abercrombie’s aunt, Shawn Neason, and uncle Kevin Richardson – sporting the player’s No. 6 jersey – later joined President Glover for the coin toss at the start of the game. Also present at the reception was Abercrombie’s other uncle, Obie Mitchell, and Chris Wyckoff, a family friend.

TSU President Glenda Glover, along with senior administration and Foundation Board members, receive a check for $1 million from TSU alums Amos and Brenda Otis toward the construction of an Alumni Welcome Center on campus. Picture from left are: President Glover, Amos Otis, Brenda Otis, Dwaye Tucker, Foundation Board chair; Dr. Lesia Crunpton-Young, VP for Research and Institutional Advancement; Joni McReynolds, President of the TSU National Alumni Association; Cassandra Griggs, Alumni Affairs director; and Dr. Curtis Johnson, Chief of Staff. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Like Glover said, excitement about homecoming was widespread and rekindled a lot of memories.  Nathan Andrews was all smiles as he stood in front of what is now Humphries Hall and pointed to the parking lot on the other side – soon to be the home of the Alumni Welcome Center.

“That was a baseball field, where we passed the time in the evening,” said Andrews, of Nashville, who came to TSU in 1959. “And where I am standing was a little beer joint. We couldn’t go to many places so some of us would sneak around here.”

Injured TSU football player Christion Abercrombie’s family member accompany President Glover for the coin toss at the start of the Homecoming game at Nissan Stadium. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Andrews said although he is not active as he should be, he watches the parade every year if his health allows, and sits at his favorite spot – “across from the baseball field.”

Colette Combs, of Miami, Florida, a 1976 TSU graduate, looks forward to always coming back to where she called her beginning.

“Homecoming is filled with exciting moments of rekindling and renewing old friendships,” said Combs, who this year celebrated her 45th anniversary as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. “This is a time when we celebrate and reminisce on precious memories formulated here at Tennessee State University.”

A group of TSU alums, attending the Homecoming parade, celebrated their 45th anniversary as members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Several members of the class are not in the picture. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

From Oct. 14-20, Homecoming events included the Robert N. Murrell Oratorical Contest, a gospel concert, the Mr. TSU and Miss TSU coronation, the Homecoming Concert, the Alumni Whiteout Party, the Charles Campbell Fish Fry, the President’s Legacy Society Luncheon, and the Breakfast of Champions, among others.

Also this year, the university launched the Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Symposium in honor of the late TSU alum and pioneering heart surgeon. The Watkins family, who attended the inaugural symposium, received rousing applause from the audience and President Glover for contributing $500,000 to establish the Levi Watkins, Jr. Endowed Scholarship at TSU.

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, 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.