USDA awards more than $2 million in grants to seven Tennessee State University Ag professors

By Joan Kite

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded more than $2 million in teaching, research and extension capacity building grants to seven Tennessee State University professors in the College of Agriculture.

The funds will be dedicated to developing research and extension activities designed to increase and strengthen food and agricultural sciences through integration of teaching, research and extension.

The seven professors, who competed in a competitive grant writing process, are Suping Zhou, Ankit Patras, Aliyar Fouladkhah, Jason de Koff, Aditya Khanal, Matthew Blair, and Hongwei Si.

“I am proud of our faculty who garnered seven awards worth more than $2 million from this highly competitive grants program,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the college. “This is pretty much the maximum amount any institution can be awarded in one year from this particular grants program.  These research projects not only advance scientific knowledge but also train undergraduate and graduate students and prepare them for the job market.”

Zhou, a research professor in the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (DAES), was awarded $499,999 to determine aluminum’s effects in the soil used to grow tomato plants and how growth can be improved. The project includes the creation of a Tomato Cyber Lab that will allow scientists to manage and share omics data in compliance with Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Re-usable (FAIR) principles and enable participants in different geographic locations to access instruments in real-time. This project is a collaborative effort between TSU and Delaware State University.

Patras, an assistant professor in DAES, was awarded $499,764 to further his research in food safety. Patras is specifically seeking to develop a continuous flow-through ultraviolet light-based system for the non-thermal pasteurization of liquid foods such as cranberry juice. The industrial implementation of this technology will help food companies comply with the FDA Food Safety and Modernization Act, which aims to strengthen the safety of our food system. Formal education programs for graduate and undergraduate students, as well as non-formal education programs for community stakeholders, will be developed.

Aliyar Fouladkhah, an assistant professor in DAES, is working on a collaborative effort to create a cadre of extension agents and faculty who will educate small and under-served farm communities in FSMA compliance ensuring their agricultural businesses can remain profitable. In addition, the $349,788 grant will help fund a FSMA needs assessment of producers and processors and create outreach materials for emerging entrepreneurs.

Jason de Koff, an Extension associate professor, was awarded $249,147 to help create a novel educational program that will train farmers, Extension agents, and students in drone technology and its applications in agriculture. An educational curriculum will be created to be shared with other agencies and institutions.

Aditya Khanal, an assistant professor in DAES, received $230,313 for his three-year project researching agritourism and its benefits to Tennessee. Khanal will examine and determine best business practices and the affects of demographic and socio-economic factors in this emerging industry. The project seeks to estimate the economic impacts of agritourism to the Tennessee economy.

Matthew Blair, a research associate professor in DAES, was awarded $100,000 to train with a USDA mentor at the Soil, Plant and Animal Nutrition Laboratory in Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Blair seeks to increase his knowledge in legume genetics research, an area in which he specializes.

Hongwei Si, an associate professor in the Department of Human Sciences, received $100,000 to help fund his participation in the ongoing NIFA/USDA project, “APOA2 Gene, Diet, Inflammation and Gut Health,” at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts. Si’s long-term research goal is to investigate the effects and mechanisms of healthy foods on the prevention of chronic diseases in cells, animals and humans.

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 leader, expert say university can play major role to land Amazon in Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover says the institution can play a major role in luring retail giant Amazon, which is looking to open a second headquarters — possibly in Nashville.

Tennessee’s capital city was recently named one of the remaining 20 locations vying for the economic jackpot.

President Glenda Glover

“TSU is Nashville’s only public university with outstanding technology and business and commerce degree programs,” says Glover.

“We produce a diverse group of very talented and workforce-ready students. In addition to TSU establishing a student employment pipeline of business and tech-savvy employees for Amazon, we have an array of accredited and professional development programs to help their current workers enhance their skills and career path within the company.”

Glover adds that TSU’s executive MBA and continuing education offerings are just a few of the tools the university can readily offer Amazon through the corporate employee education program.

Called HQ2, the new facility will cost at least $5 billion to construct and operate, and will create as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs. According to USA Today, the facility will also add $38 billion to the local economy, create 53,000 non-Amazon jobs and boost the personal income of non-Amazon employees by $17 billion.

TSU expert Dr. Achintya Ray agrees that a potential relationship between the university and Amazon would offer a unique opportunity.

“Rarely does history present such an outstanding opportunity to bring together a fast-growing city, a corporate giant, and a strong public university in a close partnership with each other,” says Dr. Achintya Ray, professor of economics.

“In many ways, a partnership between Nashville, Amazon, and Tennessee State University can help define the ushering of a transformative century of economic development while further cementing America’s leadership role in the global economy.”

Last year, Amazon, based in Seattle, Washington, received bids from 238 cities and regions from across 54 states, provinces, districts and territories across North America. The company said it would make a decision in 2018.

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 takes on state opioid epidemic, will use nasal spray to prevent deaths

 NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University has joined the fight to address the state’s opioid epidemic. The university recently implemented a new overdose prevention program to stop deaths associated with misuse and addiction.

Dr. Wendelyn Inman

Under the initiative, certified TSU police officers will be able to administer NARCAN Nasal Spray, a prescription medicine used for the treatment of an opioid emergency, such as an overdose. The initiative is in conjunction with Nashville Prevention, a division of the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

“Our goal at the TSU Police Department is to minimize the likelihood that someone on our campus dies from an overdose of opiates,” said Aerin Washington, TSUPD’s crime prevention officer. “We want to be on the cutting edge of this movement as we strive to serve the community in every aspect that we can.”

Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illicit drug heroin, as well as the licit prescription pain relievers oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl and others.

Of the 20.5 million Americans 12 or older that had a substance use disorder in 2015, two million had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers and 591,000 had a disorder involving heroin, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

TSU health experts say the university’s overdose prevention program falls in line with other preventive measures being used nationally to address the opioid crisis.

“This is one of the safe and effective methods of overdose prevention that is saving lives and supporting addiction recovery,” said Dr. Wendelyn Inman, associate professor of public health, healthcare administration and health services at TSU.

Dr. Charles Brown

“As first responders on TSU’s campus, trained officers can be the difference between a fatal outcome and a survivor.”

Earlier this week, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced an aggressive and comprehensive plan to end the opioid epidemic in Tennessee by focusing on three major components: prevention, treatment and law enforcement. Called TN Together, the plan includes providing every Tennessee state trooper with naloxone (NARCAN) for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose.

Dr. Charles Brown, also an assistant professor in public health at TSU, said the opioid epidemic is impacting people from all walks of life.

“It’s a drug that’s just not impacting the poor, but it’s also impacting the middle class and the healthy class as well,” he said. “It’s very important to understand the abuse from that standpoint. It can happen to anyone.”

In Tennessee, roughly 300,000 people are misusing drugs and about 82,000 of them are addicted, according to the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.  The opioid problem claimed 1,186 lives in Tennessee through overdoses in 2016, which amounts to 17.8 people per 100,000, the state Department of Health says.

For more information about TN Together, including help for those suffering from addiction and other available resources, visit https://www.tn.gov/opioids.

 

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 Aristocrat of Bands to Compete at 2018 Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Cheers and congratulations to the Tennessee State University Aristocrat of Bands!

The award-winning, nationally and internationally recognized marching band is on its way to yet another Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase.

The band was one of eight selected from among the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities after a fierce online voting process.

An overall winner will be selected Saturday, Jan. 27, when the final eight bands take the field in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

TSU President Glenda Glover, accompanied by administrators, faculty, students, alumni, and friends of TSU, will be in attendance to cheer on the Aristocrat of Bands.

They will compete against the Marching Maroon & White Band of Alabama A&M University, the Mighty Marching Hornets of Alabama State University, the Marching Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman UniversityHampton University’s The Marching Force, and the Purple Marching Machine of Miles College. The others are the Blue & Gold Marching Machine of North Carolina A&T State University, and the Marching Storm of Prairie View A&M University.

This will be the eighth appearance for the Aristocrat of Bands at the Honda Battle of the Bands, having performed in 2003, 2004, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

“Our students are extremely excited to be a part of this, and a tremendous opportunity for all eight HBCU bands,” said Dr. Reginald McDonald, director of Bands. “We are very proud of our students who are also matriculating in great academic standing, with more than 40 percent of band members making the Dean’s List and 80 percent matriculating toward the pursuit of their degree. We are thankful to Honda, the only corporation in America that has made this type of investment in the art form of HBCU bands.”

Tickets to the Honda Battle of the Bands are available for purchase now on the official website. The participating eight HBCUs will receive a $20,000 grant each from Honda to support their music education programs, plus travel to and accommodations in Atlanta for the Invitational Showcase.

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.

Japanese Delegation Holds Cultural, Economic and Political Discussion with Tennessee State University Students and Faculty

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A former Japanese ambassador to the United States says Tennessee State University students and faculty can benefit from cultural and academic experiences in Japan.

Ichiro Fujisaki, Former Ambassador of Japan to the United States (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Ichiro Fujisaki, who served as his country’s chief diplomatic officer to the U.S. from 2008-2012, is now the president of the America-Japan Society, Inc., a private entity for interactive activities between Japan and the U.S.

He spoke on TSU’s Avon Williams Campus Wednesday when he led a four-member panel on Japan’s culture, economy, politics and relationship with the U.S.

Called “Walk in U.S., Talk on Japan,” the panel is held in different cities across the United States each year. Audiences include students, faculty, grassroots organizations and community leaders in face-to-face discussion on understanding the culture and people of the world’s third-largest economic power.

The Consul-General of Japan in Nashville, Masami Kinefuchi, and more than 100 TSU students, faculty, administrators and community leaders attended the program, which concluded with a Q&A session and exchanges with the Japanese delegation.

Last year, 21 TSU students and faculty went to Japan for a 10-day visit funded by the Japanese government. (College of Business Photo)

“Japan today is very different from the Japan we see in prototypes and sketches in the media,” Fujisaki said. “Japan is really modernizing; it is a very open society. Japan is not just beautiful; it is so lively. And the good thing about it is that Japanese people are friendly to Americans, which makes it very appealing to students and visitors.”

According to organizers, “Walk in U.S., Talk on Japan” began in 2014. Since then, the delegation – usually comprising different individuals – has visited more than 63 cities.

The TSU visit was held in collaboration with the College of Business and the Office of International Affairs, and a result of a “special” relationship between TSU and the Japanese consulate since 2016, according to Anis Mnif, director of Graduate Programs in the COB.

That relationship, Mnif said, has resulted in many visits by TSU students and faculty, including one last year when 21 students went to Japan for a 10-day visit funded by the Japanese government.

Ronald McFarland, a graduate student in the MBA program, was one of those students. He said the experience was “unique” and very rewarding.

“A lot of what we know about Japan we only see on TV, but going there and seeing how clean the cities are, the friendliness of the people and their willingness to accept us in their culture was very eye-opening,” said McFarland, of Nashville. “The goal of the trip was to spread the word about the relationship between Nashville and TSU, in general, and Japan. As a TSU student just making the connections, meeting with business professionals, young professionals, opened my eyes to a whole new look on our global society.”

Dr. Millicent Lownes-Jackson, dean of the College of Business, said the Japanese delegation’s visit is “just another step along our long path that we have been on” in building a relationship with Japan.

“Our students have been studying abroad in Japan for a good number of years,” Lownes-Jackson said. “So this is just another step in building even stronger relationships. We think this will open the doors for more study abroad opportunities for our students, faculty, and for faculty from Japan to come and teach our students here in America.”

Also speaking at the program was Dr. John Robinson, professor of biological sciences and interim associate vice president for Academic Affairs, who brought greetings on behalf of President Glenda Glover.

Howard Gentry Jr., Criminal Court Clerk of Davidson County and TSU alum credited with helping to establish the relationship between TSU and the Japanese consulate, also attended the program.

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.

Japanese Delegation to Hold Cultural, Economic and Political Awareness Discussion at TSU

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A four-member Japanese delegation will visit Tennessee State University on Wednesday, Jan. 24 for a panel discussion on Japan’s culture, economy, politics and relationship with the United States.

Called “Walk in U.S., Talk on Japan,” the panel is held in different cities across the United States each year. Audiences include students, faculty, grassroots organizations and community leaders in a face-to-face discussion on understanding the culture and people of the world’s third-largest economic power.

At TSU, former Japanese Ambassador to the United States, Ichiro Fujisaki, will lead the one-hour panel on the Avon Williams Campus.

The discussion will run from 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. It will include a Q&A session, free breakfast and opportunity for networking.

According to organizers, “Walk in U.S., Talk on Japan” began in 2014. Since then, the delegation – usually comprising different individuals – has visited more than 63 cities.

The TSU visit is being held in collaboration with the College of Business and the Office of International Affairs, and a result of a “special” relationship between TSU and the Japanese consulate since 2016, according to Anis Mnif, director of Graduate Programs in the COB.

He said as a result of the relationship, 24 TSU students went to Japan last year for a 10-day visit funded by the Japanese government.

“We believe this relationship and panel discussion are important for our students to gain new knowledge about Japan,” Mnif said. “It could lead to more visits, study abroad and internship opportunities with Japanese companies in the U.S.”

For more information or to RSVP, go to: Walk in U.S., Talk on Japan, or contact Tiffanie Harris at 615-963.7088, or the Information and Cultural Section at the Consulate-General of Japan in Nashville at 615.340.4300.

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 joins in celebration of life, legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University joined the Interdenominational Ministers’ Fellowship and the Nashville community in celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK march participants. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Hundreds of people assembled in front of Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church on Monday, Jan. 15, to march to TSU’s Gentry Complex for its annual Convocation honoring King.

Before the march, TSU President Glenda Glover thanked the youth, in particular, for coming out on a chilly day.

“I want to particularly give a shout out to the youth,” said Glover, “because you could have been doing something else today.”

She then went on to emphasize the importance of the occasion.

TSU President Glenda Glover. (photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

“I lived in Memphis and I was there when the assassination (of Dr. King) took place,” Glover said. “We need to make sure we keep this dream alive each and every year, each and every day.”

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry also lauded the youth for their attendance, and reminded them of the jobs and internships that are available to them in the community.

“I want all the youth who are in this gathering today to hear that we’ve got over 10,000 opportunities on our portal, and I need you guys to go there to find something that you want to do,” Barry said.

“We all know that the way to get people moving toward their future, is they’ve got to graduate from high school, and they’ve got to get that first job. And we’re committed to making sure that our youth can do just that.”

Miss TSU Kayla Smith said the march and Convocation are “great opportunities for the community to come together and keep the dream going that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had.”

“This is a great event, and it touches my heart to be able to participate in it,” she said.

Taylor Williams, a freshman who is majoring in aeronautical industrial technology at TSU, echoed Smith’s sentiment. Williams added that even though there has been positive change since King’s death, there’s still much work to be done in the case of equality.

“History can repeat itself, so it’s very important for me to be a part of this,” said Williams, of Memphis.

Davidson County Juvenile Court Judge Sheila D.J. Calloway. (photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

Davidson County Juvenile Court Judge Sheila D.J. Calloway, the Convocation’s keynote speaker, continued the message of “investing in our youth.”

“When I think about the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. … it starts with our youth,” Calloway said before the Convocation. “And so I’ll be focusing today on how we can, as a community, support our youth through all of the difficulties that they’re having.”

During her speech, Calloway said early engagement in the lives of youth can deter them from trouble.

“Don’t wait till they are in my courtroom before trying to help them,” she said. “By then, it is way too late. Help them before they get to that point.”

Other Convocation participants included Dr. Glover, Mayor Barry, U.S. Congressman Jim Cooper, State Rep. Harold Love, Jr. and Dr. Shawn Joseph, director of Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools.

During the Convocation, the Interdenominational Ministers’ Fellowship renewed $1,000 scholarships for students at TSU, Fisk University, Meharry Medical College and American Baptist College.

 

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 Alum Emerges as Smooth Jazz Phenom

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Deborah Ghent says when she and her husband Carl went on their first date, they hit it off so well that they discussed naming their first child Jazmin to honor their mutual love for jazz music.

The couple had no idea they would have twins, but their decision to name their daughter Jazmin seems almost prophetic considering the recent success and recognition she has garnered as a smooth jazz artist.

Jazmin Ghent, who was recently voted Best New Artist of 2017 by the Smooth Jazz Network, outshined Gerald Albright’s daughter Selina Albright, Billboard-charting jazz guitarist Adam Hawley and a host of other smooth jazz notables for the coveted title.

Ghent earned a master’s degree in music from Tennessee State University in 2014. She said music has always been a part of her life.

“If I didn’t have music, I know I wouldn’t be where I am today,” she said. “Music distracted me from getting off track and being something I’m not.  It really allowed me to express myself and find my way in life.”

TSU Alum Jazmin Ghent was recently voted Best New Artist of 2017 by the Smooth Jazz Network.

Nicknamed “Jazzy Jaz” by her grandfather Fletcher Gaines, who also played saxophone, Ghent grew up listening to jazz standards from his music collection, as well as the music of Gerald Albright, Kirk Whalum and Brian Culbertson.

Currently an elementary school music teacher on weekdays and a traveling smooth jazz phenom on weekends, Jazmin credits TSU for playing a major role in her success.

She said Dr. Robert Elliot, head of the Department of Music at TSU, her residence life coworkers Gregory Williams and Brent Dukhie, and various members of the TSU family, provided direction and support during her time at the university.

“I found out about the program at TSU through the Bobby Jones Show,” she said.  “I performed on his ‘Show Your Talent Show,’ and went to do an interview with Dr. Elliot. He didn’t have to give me a chance and an opportunity, but I am beyond thankful that he did.”

Elliot, who served as chair of Ghent’s thesis committee, said that as a musician, Jazmin brings the “total package.”

“She is very much a modern saxophonist, but she is well-grounded in the music of those greats who came before her, and she has built upon that legacy,” he said.  “Jazmin is a very knowledgeable musician and a very creative person.  She has good character, a pleasing personality, and the great ability as an educator to teach people about what it is she does.”

Elliot said for her master’s degree project, Ghent developed a summer camp in music for children to teach them jazz. She held the camp and then documented the curriculum and the delivery of the curriculum.

A great deal of Jazmin’s love for education comes from her mother Deborah, who worked as a special education teacher for 38 years.  Deborah Ghent, who currently serves as her daughter’s manager, said Jazmin and her twin sister, Jenai, started taking piano lessons at the age of six and playing saxophone in middle school.

According to her mother, Jazmin honed a lot of her leadership skills and musicianship in church.

“She was always a little different because she would read the music, but she would always like to add things to the music,” her mother said.  “At the age of 8 she started playing in church, and she and her twin sister alternated weeks and they became the church Sunday school pianists.  When she was older and the church pianist was out, she would take over.  When the pianist was there, Jazmin would find a little spot over in the corner and she would play the saxophone along with whatever hymns or whatever songs were being played in church.”

Jazmin’s dedication and commitment to music paid off in high school when she was named drum major of her 200-member high school band in Huntsville, Alabama. She held the position for three years until she graduated and attended Florida State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in music education with a minor in jazz studies.

As she continues to find success as a professional musician, Jazmin also relishes in the opportunity to continue working as a music educator.

“Education is such a big part of my life and what I do,” she said.  “I think it’s always going to be there in some capacity. If the opportunity does present itself, I will definitely be a full-time professional musician, but I will always like to keep some aspect of education.  My goal is to get my doctorate and teach on the collegiate level, so I’m going to try to juggle them both for as long as I can.”

Currently, Jazmin is working on her third project, “The Story of Jaz,” which she said highlights her various musical influences and life experiences.

“I’m one of those people who likes to go outside the box and try different things,” she said.

Jazz lovers from around the world can experience Jazmin’s unique musical gift at her scheduled performances which include bookings at the Perfect Note in Hoover, Alabama, and the Mallorca Smooth Jazz Festival in Mallorca, Spain.

For more information about booking Jazmin or to purchase her previous projects, “Boss” and “Chocolate Sunshine,” visit www.jazminghent.net.

 

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 alumna Oprah Winfrey draws questions about possible run for president after moving Golden Globes speech

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – TSU alumna and media mogul Oprah Winfrey was the talk of the 2018 Golden Globes after her acceptance speech Sunday for the coveted Cecil B. DeMille Award.

TSU alumna Oprah Winfrey. (photo from shutterstock.com)

While receiving the lifetime achievement designation was groundbreaking for Winfrey as the first African American female, it was her remarks that had a lasting impact.

Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover had these comments on Winfrey’s trailblazing achievement.

“On the behalf of the Tennessee State University family, we congratulate Ms. Winfrey, a fellow alumna of our university, on receiving this prestigious award from the film and television industry,” said TSU President Glover.

“Ms. Winfrey is the epitome of grace, brilliance and strength, and delivered passionate remarks for a monumental occasion. She continues to inspire people of all ages by speaking to the very conscious of our nation. There is no question that her words resonated with Americans and those around the world.”

The star-filled audience seemed to hang on Winfrey’s every word as she addressed racism, sexism and the need for solidarity that should transcend Hollywood into mainstream America. Many in attendance and viewers alike immediately took to social media saying that she should make a run for the presidency in 2020.

All believed that Winfrey’s hopeful message – “A new day is on the horizon” – was her campaign-rallying cry.

Winfrey has not commented on the presidential speculation after her speech, but when her best friend Gayle King brought up the idea recently on “CBS This Morning,” Winfrey shot it down: “There will be no running for office of any kind for me.”

Winfrey received a degree in Mass Communication from TSU and has provided scholarships for students at her alma mater.

Currently, Winfrey serves as the CEO of the cable channel OWN, a network she created, a “special correspondent” for the CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes” and an investor in companies like Weight Watchers.

Winfrey will appear in Ava DuVernay’s movie “A Wrinkle in Time” scheduled to be released in March.

 

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 President Glenda Glover Discusses State of the University at Spring 2018 Faculty and Staff Institute

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover says improving retention, graduation and the overall success of students remain top priorities of the university.

Glover kicked off the 2018 spring semester with an address to the Faculty and Staff Institute.

She said the single objective of TSU is educating, graduating and “enhancing the lives of the students we touch.”

“Our one overriding objective is to meet the needs of all our students,” the president said.

Participants gather for the 2018 Spring Faculty and Staff Institute in Poag Auditorium. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

At the gathering in Poag Auditorium, Glover introduced Dr. Alisa L. Mosley as the interim vice president for Academic Affairs, replacing Dr. Mark Hardy who retired last semester. Faculty and staff also heard from Dr. Achintya Ray, chair of the Faculty Senate; and Staff Senate Chair Linda Goodman.

Glover reported that the university remains in full compliance with the governance standards of the Southern Association of Colleges and Universities, the accrediting agency, following a review. As a result of the FOCUS Act, which established a new governing board for the university, the SACS Commission on Colleges made a peer review team visit to ensure TSU was still in compliance with the commission’s governance standards.

“I am glad to report that the peer review team found TSU to be in compliance with all standards pertaining to the governance change,” Glover said.

A rendering of the 120,000-square-foot Tennessee State University Health Science Building. The building is in its design phase. (Courtesy photo)

On program accreditation, Glover reported that aeronautical industrial tech, occupational therapy, education, music and social work programs have all received re-accreditation as a result of 2016/2017 site visits by the respective accrediting agencies.

Glover also announced several new programs. They include an Executive Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership, Ph.D. in Public Health, and B.S. in Nonprofit Management and Leadership, which are awaiting approval from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. Master of Science in Engineering and Hospitality Management programs are also under consideration, she said.

Glover said the university was also reviewing low-producing programs, as well as enhancing focus on the undergraduate-nursing program.

“We want to make sure all programs are up to standard and relevant with the right amount of students. There is no need keeping programs that have low participation,” she said.

The president also discussed capital improvement and infrastructure enhancements. A new 120,000-square-foot  Health Sciences building is in the design phase, while two new residence halls are in the designer selection phase, she said.

“We lose students because of living conditions, so we want to make sure we have the facilities that will keep them here. Our campus is safe, overall campus crime is down and we are doing everything possible to make Tennessee State University the safest campus,” Glover 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 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.