TSU Forensic Team Captures Back-To-Back Wins

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Members of the Tennessee State University Forensics team traveled to the bayou state recently to compete in the 39th Annual Red River Swing Debate and Forensic tournament in Shreveport, La.

Competing in their first International Public Debate Association tournament, the team competed in the event Nov. 8-10 at Louisiana State University-Shreveport and joined nearly 30 other programs, colleges and universities from around the country.

“Our debate team is off to a great start,” said Director of Forensics, Shaunte Caraballo. “I look forward to increasing the size and success of our newly added debate team.”

The teams competed in two separate tournaments involving 11 speaking and interpretive events, and one tournament involving three different debate formats over the three-day tournament.

TSU’s Artrisa Fulton, a Criminal Justice major, was the team’s big winner. The senior from West Palm Beach, Fla., was the Octafinalist in the IPDA. She also captured third place in the Dramatic Interpretation category. Michael Thomas, a senior Accounting major from Memphis, Tenn., won 6th place in the Persuasive Speaking category.

Building on their successes, the team traveled to Jefferson City, Tenn., a week later for the Tennessee Porch Swing at Carson Newman University Nov. 15-17.

First year team member, Michael Thomas won 1st place and Top Novice in Persuasive Speaking at the second half of the swing. Assistant Directors of Forensics, Adam Key and Jeremy Coffman jumped up and hugged each other when the award was announced.

“It is extremely rare for a novice to win such a high award,” said Key.

Thomas also won Top Novice in Programmed Oral Interpretation, along with Fulton, who took 4th place in Dramatic Interpretation. They are both just one win away from qualifying for the national tournament held at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz.

The Forensics team will next head to Ohio State University for the Holiday Frolic in December.

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU vice president elected to APLU leadership committee

Dr. A. Dexter Samuels, associate vice president for student affairs at TSU, has been elected to serve on the executive committee for the Council on Student Affairs with APLU. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)
Dr. A. Dexter Samuels, associate vice president for student affairs at TSU, has been elected to serve on the executive committee for the Council on Student Affairs with the APLU. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s associate vice president for Student Affairs has been elected to a leadership position with the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, a non-profit organization with members across the country to advance learning.

Dr. A. Dexter Samuels will serve for three years on the Executive Committee for the Council on Student Affairs.

“This is a great honor, and will be an excellent opportunity to meeting and work with colleagues from across the country to discuss best practices in student affairs,” said Samuels. “The APLU is an excellent organization that deals with innovation and real student issues.”

The CSA deals with many issues that are critical to student success in college, such as admissions, student financial aid, health and wellness, and graduation rates. The council sponsors conference presentations and informal forums to discuss issues that affect students’ overall experience at college issues. The parent organization, APLU, has participants from all 50 states.

The APLU is a research, policy, and advocacy organization representing 219 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and related organizations. Founded in 1887, APLU is the nation’s oldest higher education association dedicated to advancing learning, discovery and engagement.

Samuels adds the new leadership position to others he currently holds. He also serves as the vice chairman of the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, and serves on the board for the Martha O’Bryan Center.

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Honors Students Attend Leadership Conference, Leave with Job offers

ThurgoodMarshallCollegeFund_logoNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Eight outstanding Tennessee State University students recently attended a conference aimed at providing a unique professional experience that included leadership training and recruitment opportunities.

The group from the University’s Honors Program attended the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Leadership Institute Nov. 8-12 in Washington, D.C. During the four-day conference, the students had a chance to meet with some of the nation’s top executives for leadership training and recruitment opportunities, but also career management, life skills and development.

Selected though a competitive process, the students attending included Angelina Berry, mathematics major; Shondalyn Smith, computer science major; Cecily Wiseman, architectural engineering major; Jer’Mykeal McCoy, communications major; Jaime Garcia, business administration major; Mia Black, business administration major; Stephanie Austin, psychology and health sciences double major; and Jessica Lozada, biology major.

According to Dr. D. Lee McGahey, associate director of the Honors Program, the students had the opportunity to meet with representatives from more than 60 companies and government agencies.

“This was incredible,” said McGahey of his inaugural attendance at the institute. “I have never seen anything like it in my life; so many high-powered, educated, wealthy minorities in one location with the sole purpose of pouring back into the next generation of future leaders. This is what family is about to me.”

Six of the students interviewed with top companies, while three received offers of employment.

Berry interview and received an offer from Booz Allen Hamilton; Smith interviewed with Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation and Walmart Stores Inc., and received an offer from IBM; and Garcia interviewed with Altria and Walmart, and received a job offer from Walmart Stores Inc. Corporate Headquarters.

Wiseman interviewed with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and the Woodrow Wilson Institute; McCoy interviewed with Microsoft Corporation; and Black interviewed with Altria, Hershey and Microsoft Corporation.

When asked what her greatest take away was from this year’s institute, Smith said for her the focus was not about just going to every session just to be going through the motions.

“As a returning student scholar, this time was about putting everything into action with my interviews and getting that job that would launch my career, said the Birmingham native who will graduate later this month. “And guess what, it all paid off.  I got the job!”

TSU has a rich history of student and leadership development.  For more than 100 years, the University has forged alliances with many Fortune 500 companies in order to expose students to leadership models, real-world issues, and organizational environments where leadership embodied.

Continuing that legacy of excellence, the university has developed a relationship with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund over the past eight years and experienced tremendous success through the experience.  Founded by Dr. Ann Joyce Payne in 1987, TMCF is to the Nation’s 47 public Historically Black Colleges and Universities what the United Negro College Fund is to the Nation’s private HBCUs.

To help financially support our students to attend next year’s Leadership Institute 2014 or for more information about the Thurgood Marshall College Fund at TSU, please contact Dr. D. Lee McGahey, associate director of the University Honors Program, at 615-963-5803 or dmcgahey01@tnstate.edu.

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Mourns the Loss of John Barnhill

John Barnhill
John Barnhill

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU Sports Information) – Today, the Tennessee State family mourns the loss of John Barnhill, one of the greatest basketball players to compete at the University.

John Barnhill was the point guard on TSU’s NAIA 1957-59 National Championship Teams and he assisted legendary TSU alum Dick Barnett on many of his buckets. Barnhill was good around the basket too, tallying 1,253 points during his career as a Tiger.

Barnhill’s career point number ranks him 19th all-time, which is quite impressive considering the hundreds of Tigers that have played at TSU since the 62 years since he retired.

Barnhill’s ability around the bucket and the publicity of the titles made professional teams take note of him.

In 1959, the NBA’s St. Louis Hawks took a chance on Barnhill with their 11th round draft pick.

Barnhill played an average of 21 quality minutes per game for the Hawks, and tallied 8.5 points per game.

A few years later, in 1966, the Chicago Bulls were set to join the NBA. The Bulls liked what they saw from Barnhill and gained the rights to draft the guard from Barnhill’s old team.

Barnhill never played for the Bulls, as the Baltimore Bullets bought his rights from Chicago. Barnhill averaged eight points per contest with the Bullets, causing him to get drafted by the NBA’s newest team- the San Diego Rockets.

Barnhill averaged 13 points and four assists per game during his NBA career.

Following his playing career, Barnhill was an NBA assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, assisting Bill Sharman; he acted as the Lakers’ interim coach during the 1974-75 season, while Sharman’s wife was ill with cancer.

Barnhill eventually ended his career with the Indiana Pacers of the ABA in 1972, and was inducted into the Tennessee State Sports Hall of Fame in 1983.

He will be remembered as a student, player, leader, champion and a Tiger. Barnhill was 75.

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU’s PAC House Productions Goes Hollywood with “Voices of War”

Mark Schlicher (left), operates a camera jib during the filming of Voices of War, a documentary about life at Travellers Rest Plantation during the Civil War. PAC House Productions at Tennessee State University produced the 20-minute documentary that will debut Nov. 23 at the museum. (courtesy photo)
Mark Schlicher (left), operates a camera jib during the filming of Voices of War, a documentary about life at Travellers Rest Plantation during the Civil War. PAC House Productions at Tennessee State University produced the 20-minute documentary that will debut Nov. 23 at the museum. (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A short 10 miles from the steps of Tennessee State University stands a living museum that pays tribute to one of the bloodiest battles to take place during the Civil War.

Travellers Rest, a plantation and now a museum located at Harding Place and Interstate 65, saw some of the fiercest fighting during the two-day Battle of Nashville, where approximately 6,000 Confederate soldiers were killed, captured or considered missing in action. The battle decimated the southern forces in Nashville and was literally fought on the front lawn of the plantation.

Today, students from TSU’s PAC House Productions are bringing that history back to life with the documentary, Voices of War.

The Department of Communications student-led production company helped write, direct and produce the 20-minute documentary for the historic landmark’s new exhibit, The Battle of Nashville: History Unfolds at Travellers Rest, which debuts Nov. 22 at the museum.

According to Melissa Richie, director and editor of Voices of War and advisor to PAC House Productions, the project began a year and a half ago when she and Dr. Donald Page, professor of Communications, where asked to participate in creating media for the historic landmark’s new exhibit. After countless hours of collaboration with Travellers Rest on writing the script, pre-production began last spring with filming this fall. Now in its final phase, the documentary is ready for debut at the museum.

“Of all the colleges and universities in middle Tennessee, the Board of Directors commissioned the students from PAC House Productions at Tennessee State to produce this documentary,” said Richie, who also serves as assistant professor of Mass Communications at the University. “That really says a lot about the capabilities we have and the quality of work our students produce. This short documentary will rival anything you might see at the Smithsonian or any other Civil War museum.”

The documentary, filmed over five days at the Travellers Rest Plantation, cast more than 30 Civil war re-enactors, including men, women, children and horses sporting period-correct costumes, and depicts life on the plantation during the Battle of Nashville.

According to MC Potts, producer of the documentary, the hard part was the coordination of “all the moving parts.”

“It was very stressful and made for some extremely long days,” said Potts, a senior from Columbus, Ohio majoring in Theater and Communications. “The filming began the end of October, which is a very busy time of year at the plantation, and for the re-enactment community. All the students on the production team worked hard putting this together and we are very proud of the final product.”

Besides the production crew, others lending their talents to the documentary include Tennessee Governor, Bill Haslam, who provides the video epilogue, and Maj. Gen. Terry “Max” Haston, Adjutant General of the Tennessee National Guard, who portrays Andrew Johnson. Tennessee National Guard Assistant Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Robert Harris, portrays Isham Harris who was the Governor of Tennessee from 1857 until 1862, and Col. (ret.) Randy Harris, public affairs director for the Tennessee National Guard, who lends his voice for character narration for the documentary.


(As seen on Fox 17 morning News)

PAC House production members that worked on the documentary included Micah Wickre and Chris Garner, directors of photography; Jonathan Starks and Justin Dixon, assistants of photography; assistant directors Jasmine Scarber and Ariana Heslup; special effects editing by Tervell Smith; crew members Sean Jenkins and Thema Dial; set photographer and crew member JaQuita Stewart; and actors Carrington Edwards, Tyree Taylor and Porshia Edwards.

Travellers Rest is the oldest house open to the public in Nashville. Built in 1799, it was home to several generations of the Overton family. In December 1864 it served as the headquarters for the Confederate Army under Gen. John Bell Hood. Covering nearly 1,050 acres, some of the heaviest fighting took place on the second day of the Battle of Nashville at Peach Orchard Hill on the plantation grounds. Today the plantation is a living piece of American history depicting life before and after the Civil War.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Drum Line Participates in World’s Largest Percussionist Convention, Festival

The Tennessee State University Drum Line  performed recently Nov. 9 at the TSU football game in Hale Stadium, and is  among several other major university percussion groups that will present exhibition performances at this year’s Marching Percussion Festival in Indianapolis. (photo by John Cross, TSU media Relations)
The Tennessee State University Drum Line performed recently Nov. 9 at the TSU football game in Hale Stadium, and is among several other major university percussion groups that will present exhibition performances at this year’s Marching Percussion Festival in Indianapolis. (photo by John Cross, TSU media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University Drum Line is among several other major university percussion groups that will present exhibition performances at this year’s Marching Percussion Festival in Indianapolis, Nov. 13-16.

The festival is part of the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the largest percussion event in the world, featuring more than 120 concerts, clinics, master classes, labs, workshops, panels and presentations.

In addition to taking part in all of these events, TSU, only the third HBCU drum line to be invited to PASIC in it 38-year existence, will participate in the group’s first-ever drum line battle, featuring Ball State University, the University of Michigan, Indiana University, Lamar University, the University of Cincinnati, and the University of North Alabama.

“Being invited to present an exhibition performance for the Persuasive Arts Society International Convention is indeed an honor,” said Dr. Sean Daniels, assistant Band Director and Percussion Area Leader. “Participating on a global stage brings positive attention to our students as well as the institution”

According to Daniels, with more than 6,000 participating in PASIC each year, percussion artists present and perform in areas including drum set, marching, keyboard, symphonic, timpani, music technology and new music, among others.

In one-on-one competition, TSU will go against the University of Cincinnati in the Drum Line Battle, while in the College Snares, senior Music major Steven Phillips (Solo Snare Drum), will represent TSU against representatives from Southern Arkansas University, University of Texas at Austin, Missouri Western State University and Troy University.

In College Key Board, Malcolm Jackson, junior Music Education major (Solo Marimba), will be the face of the Aristocrat of Bands Drum Line against those from the University of South Carolina, Mississippi State University, Texas A&M University-Commerce, Lamar University and UT Martin.

Derrick Greene, junior Music Education major (Solo Timpani), will perform in exhibition in the College Timpani.

“I am excited about this event and the amount of knowledge our students will gain from attending this year’s PASIC convention. I am confident that our students will cherish this experience for many years to come,” Daniels added.

PASIC, a music service organization based in Indianapolis, promotes percussion education, research performance and appreciation throughout the world. The organization is considered the central source for information and networking for percussionists and drummers of all ages.

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Professor Receives TV Faculty Program Executives Fellowship

Melissa Richie
Melissa Richie

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Assistant professor of Mass Communications, Melissa Richie, has been chosen as a National Association of Television Program Executives Faculty Fellowship recipient for the January 2014 NATPE Marketplace and Conference.

The conference, which takes place Jan. 25-29 in Miami, provides selected college and university media faculty with complete access to sessions and activities of the annual NATPE Market and Conference, and exposes the educational community to current television issues and practices, and fosters improved communication and cooperation between educators and the industry.

“I am honored to be able to attend this conference and meet one-on-one with television executives and members of the industry,” said Richie. “This is something that energizes you, and keeps you up-to-date on what is going on in the industry. I look forward to being able to bring back a tremendous amount of useful information that I can share with our faculty and staff on any emerging trends.”

Richie has been teaching video production courses at the University since 2008. She came to Tennessee State University from the Walt Disney World Company in Orlando, Fla., where she spent nearly 10 years producing internal communication videos throughout the Disney Company as well as working with the development and production of the weekly news program, Studio News, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. She also worked as a freelance video editor for a variety of video projects, commercials, animation, and a children’s music education project for Warner Brothers Publications.

She has been a postproduction video editor for 12 years. She was the editor for a documentary project called Stephen Burrows World, which screened in New York City at the Fashion Institute of Technology theatre. Her experience also includes directing and editing her own short films for the festival circuit.

Celebrating more than 50 years of service to the ever-evolving global television industry, NATPE continues to redefine itself and the services it provides to meet the needs of its members and the industry. NATPE conducts an annual conference that attracts executives from around the world for sessions featuring leaders from all facets of the global telecommunications industry, along with hundreds of exhibiting companies.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

National Organization Appoints TSU Honors Program Director to Top Office

Dr. Coreen Jackson
Dr. Coreen Jackson

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Director of the Tennessee State University Honors Program has another job title to add to her already building resume. Dr. Coreen Jackson can now add Vice President and President of the National Association of African American Honors Programs.

Jackson assumed the new roles of the NAAAHP when she was appointed as vice president for 2013-2014 and president-elect for 2014-2015 during the annual conference held Oct. 31 through Nov. 2 at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Fla.

“I am extremely proud and grateful for the vision the group of Honors Directors from 20 Historically Black and Predominantly Black Colleges and Universities had more than 22 years ago, as they met at Morehouse College in Atlanta, to discuss plans for a national organization of honors programs designed to address the needs of honors education for African Americans,” Jackson told the audience of more than 200 honors scholars, honors directors, faculty and staff.

Jackson echoed the recent remarks made by Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover’s during the president’s inauguration address in which she acknowledged the TSU Honors Program for giving her roots and wings. Jackson explained that honors colleges and programs are laying the strong roots of excellence, while the NAAAHP can aid scholars in the honors program by helping them expand their wings.

“These early visionaries saw the awesome potential and possibilities of what we could accomplish through giving our Honors scholars ‘roots and wings.’  Roots to lay a sound academic foundation of excellence in research, scholarship, leadership and service, and wings to soar beyond our imagination to impact communities, the nation and the global marketplace,” Jackson said.

Jackson, a native of Jamaica, is a veteran professor of 19 years, holding several national offices including chair of the Multi-Cultural Research Division of the Broadcast Education Association.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Assistant Athletic Director Selected for NAACP Image Awards Committee

NAACP_Image_AwardNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU Sports Information) – After being a nominee for an NAACP award in 2012, Tennessee State University’s Assistant Athletic Director for Academic Services, will once again be involved in the awards program, only this time as a member of this year’s nominating committee.

Dr. Johnnie Smith
Dr. Johnnie Smith

Dr. Johnnie Smith, who works closely with TSU’s student-athletes and their academic development, will be a part of the NAACP’s awards to honor great achievements in many areas.

“I am humbly appreciative of this prestigious honor and grateful to the NAACP Image Award Executive Board for inviting me to participate and share my expertise,” said Smith of her selection.

Nominating committee and sub-committees are comprised of individuals within the entertainment industry such as studio and network executives, actors, artists, managers, agents, publicists, journalist, literary agents and others, as well as NAACP board members, executives and staff.

Smith will participate as a member of the nominating committee in the Instructional Literary category. As a member of the committee, Smith’s will read a number of book selections to determine the finalists in the category.

In 2012, Smith was honored by NAACP as a nominee for the Instructional Literary category for her book “Succeed Indeed featuring Academic Boot Camp.” With her achievements in academics, Smith believes her success will allow current student-athletes to achieve even more at Tennessee State and beyond.

“By being a part of this committee, it will allow me to inspire student-athletes to excel in the classroom and on the field so that they may reach an outstanding level in their respective careers,” said Dr. Smith.

The NAACP Image Awards is the nation’s premier multi-cultural awards show. The event celebrates the outstanding achievements and performances of people of color in the arts, as well as those individuals or groups who promote social justice through their creative endeavors.

 

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Roots and Wings: Three words capture the inherent power of education

(Editor’s note: the following is an op-ed written by Dr. Michael Benson, President, Eastern Kentucky University, on the occasion of the Inauguration of Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover Oct. 25. The article is reposted from the Huffington Post: College)

 

Dr. Michael T. Benson is the President of Eastern Kentucky University.
Dr. Michael T. Benson is the President of Eastern Kentucky University.

In my twenty years of working in public higher education, I have attended countless graduation and presidential inauguration ceremonies. With these events have come scores of speeches, presentations, and tributes — some of which have been incredibly inspiring and memorable. None I have ever heard, however, was as good or moving as the one recently delivered at Tennessee State University by its new president.

Tennessee State is a historically black institution with a proud tradition and rich history and its eighth president, Glenda Baskin Glover, is a remarkable woman with sterling credentials. She is only one of two African American women in the country to have this list of credentials: CPA, Ph.D., and J.D. But in addition to these stellar bona fides, she is a visionary leader who will undoubtedly do great things at her alma mater, Tennessee State. She is, by the way, the first female alumna to be president of TSU.

President Glover began her remarks talking about “roots and wings.” Acknowledging her parents and her family’s commitment to giving her an appreciation for the past and a love of her own ancestry (her roots), she also attributed to them an ability to instill in her a belief that she could accomplish anything through hard work and determination (her wings). It was this combination of roots and wings which has allowed her to achieve what she has. In turn, she has endeavored to instill in her students throughout her own career in higher education and appreciation for the past while living in the present with a belief that anything is possible.

I came away incredibly impressed with Dr. Glover and this simple, yet profound, philosophy. Far too often we are consumed in higher education with numbers and cuts to our budgets and other issues and crises that we may lose sight of why we even exist. Our principal and fundamental responsibility is to our students. Full stop.

Without students, none of us would have employment or would enjoy the privilege of working each and every day on campuses surrounded by committed staff and accomplished faculty while doing something we love to do. And to quote President Glover, “Roots and wings are the greatest gift a university can give its students.”

Dr. Glover’s soaring speech last Friday reminded me of what an incredibly powerful tool education is in the lives of each and every individual. It is, truly, the great equalizer. It has — more than any other thing in today’s world — the ability to transform lives, impact generations, and provide solutions to the seemingly intractable problems we face today.

Roots and wings — these three words capture the inherent power of education to positively impact the lives of each of us.

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.