Striking a Chord: TSU Student Carves Unique Guitar Out of Native Tennessee Wood

Brian Allen, a senior Commercial Music student at TSU, shows off the bass guitar he built as a senior project using the seven native woods of Tennessee. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
Brian Allen, a senior Commercial Music student at TSU, shows off the bass guitar he built as a senior project using the seven native woods of Tennessee. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Growing up, Brian Allen would spend countless hours with his father in their small shop tinkering with electronics or learning the basics of wood-working tools. He loved working with his hands, and the Commercial Music major was soon rebuilding and refinishing drum sets and guitars.

It wasn’t long after Allen began playing bass guitar at Tennessee State University that the 23-year old decided he could build one of his own. And it wouldn’t be just any bass guitar. It would be one that incorporated his love of working with native woods of Tennessee.

It all started in high school when Allen’s band director gave him a set of drums to refinish. He completely removed the wrap from the shells, and refinished and stained the wood underneath.

“I enjoy the process of taking things apart to see if I can put them back together while improving them,” said Allen. “I love bringing back to life what other people discard using basic tools.”

A musician for the better part of 10 years, Allen plays percussion and bass guitar, and, he added, dabbles in beginner guitar. He soon made a decision to put his skills to the test and try to refinish his first guitar. Walking into the local Goodwill store, he left with a low-end 12-string Kay vintage acoustic guitar he purchased for $140 to see what he could do by “playing around with it.”

“It was difficult, to say the least,” Allen joked. “It was really harder than I thought to disassemble and put back together. The body was in pretty bad shape and a little warped.”

Using basic tools, Allen changes out one of the electric capacitors in the bass guitar he built. The guitar build, which started out as a rough sketch on paper, took more than two-and-a-half months to create. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
Using basic tools, Allen changes out one of the electric capacitors in the bass guitar he built. The guitar build, which started out as a rough sketch on paper, took more than two-and-a-half months to create. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

After sanding to bare wood, Allen set about building a new bridge out of Honduran rosewood, something that he had never done before but a skill that would come in handy for future projects. Allen estimates he has nearly 100 hours in the refinish, but it taught him the basics of guitar building and he was ready to tackle his next project. After learning basic repairs and building a lot of confidence, Allen decided to build his own bass guitar.

“I figured I could build on my skills and create something that no one else has ever built,” he said.

After much research and on the advice of a close friend, Allen decided he would pay homage to his home state by building the guitar out of the seven native woods of Tennessee ( Red and White Oak, Poplar, Pine, Cherry, Black Walnut and Maple).

“My mom has a rocking chair that served as the inspiration for the body,” Allen said. “A friend suggested I use the same hard wood as the chair and build it in the shape of the state of Tennessee.”

The first design was drawn on a simple white board in his kitchen and quickly morphed into a more elaborate design. Using simple algebra, Allen and his friend, an engineering student also attending TSU, decided the length of the guitar should be 29 inches, proportional with the length of the state at 429 miles.

He cut the different woods into 1 3/8 inch strips, glued them together and cut to create the shape of the state. After multiple coats of a protective finish, he installed the neck he got from an old bass guitar. The build was finished after he installed the electronic components.

“This build really kept me on my toes,” he added. “It was both awesome and a little scary building the bass this being my first time attempting anything like this. The plans changed a few times, as we hit some snags along the way, but in the end I think it is a guitar that I can be very proud of.”

After two-and-a half months of work, the guitar, the only one built in the shape of the state of Tennessee to his knowledge, was ready to make its debut not only in the classroom, but also as his senior project. That is when people started to take notice of his creation, Allen said.

Dr. Mark Crawford, associate professor and coordinator of the commercial music program, helped grade the project, and remembers that put in the hands of a musician such as Allen, it was an exciting project because he had the tools to create something “awesome.” Like many artistic people, in addition to Allen’s musical abilities, Crawford said, he has other creative skills. In his case, it includes working with his hands.

“He has an innate ability to fix things or build things, all which require creative problem-solving skills,” said Crawford. “I was aware of this when Brian enrolled in his Senior Project course. He approached me with the novel idea of building a bass guitar in the shape of Tennessee, and I decided this would probably be the best kind of project for him. Once he finished the bass, he used it as he performed with the Commercial Music Ensemble. Through the groups’ travel, Allen’s guitar was seen in four different states, including audiences at the BB King Museum, Holiday World Theme Park, Nashville Sounds baseball games, Nashville Shores and other venues.”

Just as impressed was Dr. Bob Elliott, head of the Music Department, who thought the guitar was “an excellent example of a boutique build” and an indication of the type of work taking place in the Commercial Ensemble program.

“Brian has an excellent future ahead of him,” said Elliott. “Our program is designed to not only help the students learn how to play music but also how to find a niche in the music industry. Nashville is full of jobs that are not only in the music industry, but those that support it. Should Brian decide to pursue a career in instrument repair or the building of one-of-a kind instruments, his training at TSU and his musical background will serve him well.”

So what’s next for this budding guitar builder? Plans are already in the works for another bass guitar made out of Mexican Purple Heart wood with the neck fashioned from Madagascar rosewood. It will be, Allen said, one of the most exotic builds he has ever attempted.

But even more than building guitars, he is also looking forward to graduation this spring so he can start his career, either playing music or building guitars, or attending Luthier school for guitar building.

“My ultimate goal is to hopefully get on with a company such as Gibson, and learn guitar building from the ground up,” Allen said. “Then I’ll take what I’ve learned not only at TSU but whatever company I work at and turn that into possibly a custom-guitar building business or repair shop.”

 

 

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 Hosts Common Core Spring Training March 7

50022NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The College of Education at Tennessee State University will host the Common Core Spring Training for Higher Education faculty Friday, March 7 at the Avon Williams campus.

The training takes place from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. in the AWC auditorium, rooms 306, 307, 308 and 309.

Sponsored by the Ayers Institute for Teacher Learning and Innovation, the training will provide two levels of Common Core Training in one day. This is the fifth training session taking place this year at partnering universities across the state. Other institutions taking part in the training have included Lipscomb, East Tennessee State and Union Universities; and Cleveland State Community College.

Partnering again with the National Math and Science Initiative, this year’s training will dig deeper into Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and writing, as well as cover Common Core in all content areas.  Participants will have the opportunity to discuss newly released resources and updated implementation timelines.

The upcoming training sessions will be delivered in two tiers in the morning session.  First-year participants will work through the Common Core standards in Math and ELA and explore Literacy in all content areas.  Last year’s participants will have the opportunity to delve deeper into Common Core with Math and ELA Performance-Level Descriptors and implementation in content areas.  The joint afternoon session will focus on the most recent updates on PARCC, with topics such as technology, writing and accommodations.

For more information, contact Jennifer Sparks in the College of Education at 615.963.5109 or jsparks1@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 to Host Metropolitan Nashville Minority Caucus’ Ninth Anniversary Reception Feb. 27

Adam McFadden
Adam McFadden

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Metropolitan Nashville Minority Caucus will hold its ninth Anniversary Reception at Tennessee State University on Thursday, Feb. 27, beginning at 5 p.m.

Several Metro government officials, local business owners and community leaders are expected to attend the event in the Ferrell-Westbrook Building, also known as The Barn.

Speakers at the reception will include TSU President, Dr. Glenda Glover, who will make welcome remarks. Adam C. McFadden, councilmember of the Rochester, N.Y. City Council and President of the 2014 National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials, will be the keynote speaker.

Invited guests are asked to RSVP at Roseanne.hayes@nashville.gov. Parking will be available at the Gentry Center Complex. Shuttle service will be provided to ferry guests to and from the reception hall.

The Metropolitan Nashville Minority Caucus is headed by Councilmember Erica Gilmore, as president; and Councilmember Fabia Bedne, vice president.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Conference of Southern Graduate Schools Elects TSU Dean to Prestigious Executive Committee

Dr. Michael Orok
Dr. Michael Orok

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Dr. Michael Orok has been elected to the Executive Committee of the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools. The committee studies and reviews issues and problems facing graduate education particularly those in the South.

Orok, dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research at TSU, will serve for three years on the 12-member committee.

“I am very appreciative of the privilege to serve on this prestigious committee of the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools,” Orok said upon his election. “I am committed to assisting the Conference to promote and support graduate education, and develop contemporary strategies and approaches for academic programing.”

The CSGS, an organization of more than 200 graduate schools in 15 southern states including the District of Columbia, Oklahoma and Texas, considers topics relating to graduate study and research, which are of mutual interest and concern to member institutions.

Orok, a longtime educator who periodically serves as an accreditation off-site visit reviewer for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, said he recognizes the challenges facing graduate education and the “complex modalities” of learning, particularly in today’s technologically driven environment.

“I am prepared to assist the Conference (CSGS) in moving forward at it takes on these complex issues,” he said.

 

 

 

 

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 Steps Up Security Measures, Introduces Campus-Wide Identification Policy

IDCardNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Effective March 1, all Tennessee State University students, faculty, staff and administrators will be required to wear and display their identification badges while on campus or attending campus events, the Office of Emergency Management has announced.

Failure to comply with the new policy may result in employee disciplinary action, student judicial action or removal from University property.

With a recent rash of break-ins and vandalisms attributed to people not associated with TSU, officials say the new policy is intended to readily distinguish University personnel and students from visitors and unwelcomed guests.

“Our primary concern is always to provide a safe and healthy environment for all of our students, employees and visitors,” said Dr. Curtis Johnson, associate vice president for Administration, who is in charge of Emergency Management. “Safety on our campus is priority number one, and with the new policy, we want to ensure that our students, faculty and staff are safe at all times.”

Since employees already have ID cards, which they carry in their wallets or pockets, the University has purchased clip-on ID badge holders to be distributed to everyone by the march 1 deadline, Johnson said.

Students will have custom TSU lanyards for their ID cards, he added.

Campus wide, faculty and staff have embraced the new ID requirement, saying that they have no problem with wearing their badges, as long as the policy is intended to improve security and safety.

“If it is for the safety of our students, faculty and staff, I am all for it,” said Dr. Veronica Oates, associate professor of Family and Consumer Sciences and president of the Faculty Senate.

Yvonne Sanders, president of the Staff Senate, has also given the new policy her full endorsement.

“This is one change I have no problem with,” Sanders said adding, “If this helps to provide security and safety for our students, faculty and staff, I will gladly wear my name badge.”

Along with this new safety policy, Johnson said, is the introduction of a new identification card system, which will give employees more than just access to campus.

“The goal is to add value to the card, where in the very near future, an employee will be able to use their ID card to access buildings on campus, just like students, use it as a meal card, checkout library materials, and make purchases like a debit card. It will contain encrypted contactless technology to ensure secure transactions,” Johnson said.

He said the new ID card, with software managed by Stanley Security, would include a color photo, name, ID number and campus classification. On the back of each ID card would be a large magnetically encoded stripe with the wearer’s ID number and additional pertinent data.

“However, we are replacing the key FOB (for students) with ID Cards containing a Proximity Chip, along with a magnetic strip on the rear of the card that provides greater capabilities, such as access control to residence halls, computer labs, athletic events, concerts, digital media labs, Post Office Services, and several other academic locations,” Johnson said.

The ultimate goal here, Johnson added, is to increase campus security, streamline safety practices and increase customer service.

“Implementing this new policy also provides a measure of accountability we would not otherwise have,” he said.

 

 

 

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.

First Lady Pays Tribute to Wilma Rudolph During TSU Visit, Reads to more than 25 Anxious Children

First Lady Crissy Haslam reads to more than 25 young girls from Girls On the Run Nashville during her visit to Tennessee State University Feb. 19. Haslam was at the University as part of her Read20 Family Book Club initiative. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
First Lady Crissy Haslam reads to more than 25 young girls from Girls On the Run Nashville during her visit to Tennessee State University Feb. 19. Haslam was at the University as part of her Read20 Family Book Club initiative. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – As part of Black History Month celebration, Tennessee first lady Crissy Haslam used her Read20 Family Book Club to pay tribute to legendary Olympic champion and Tennessee State University great Wilma Rudolph during a program Wednesday at the Edward S. Temple Track on campus.

Since February not only serves as Black History Month, but also the backdrop for the 2014 Winter Olympics, Haslam said she selected “Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman,” for her book of the month to inspire children about Rudolph’s story about overcoming adversity.

The book, a dramatic and inspiring true story illustrated in bold watercolor and acrylic paintings, highlights the TSU alumna and Olympian, who overcame a distinct illness to win three gold medals.

“Wilma Rudolph made an incredible impact on society for African Americans, for women and for all people who have hurdles to clear,” Haslam said to members of the TSU track team, and more than 25 anxious and cheering members of Girls on the Run, a youth development program for girls in third through eighth grades.

“Her journey is particularly inspiring this month as we celebrate African-American history and enjoy the 2014 Winter Olympics,” she added

Joining Haslam at the program was former Olympic champion and head coach of the TSU track and field program, Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice, who thanked the first lady for selecting TSU for her book-of-the-month reading.

“We appreciate you coming on our campus to grace us with your presence, and for inspiring these students by highlighting the story of Wilma Rudolph, who was an inspiration to me as an athlete and so many others,” Cheeseborough-Guice said.

Also receiving special recognition at the program was Yolanda Kovan Rudolph, Wilma Rudolph’s eldest daughter, who is also a former TSU student.

Following the program, the students from Girls on the Run, under the direction of Coach Cheeseborough-Guice, performed drills with the TSU women’s track and field team.

“I am truly inspired by the first lady’s initiative,” said Charis Quarles, a sophomore Theater major from Nashville, who is manager of the TSU men and women’s track program. “It was really nice for her to be able to come and support these young children.”

As part of her effort to promote parent engagement in education, Haslam launched the Rdead20 Family Book Club nearly two years ago, giving Tennessee families a fun goal of reading together every day. Books of different reading levels and styles of writing are selected each month to help children foster love for reading and learning.

 

 

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.

University’s Honors Program Celebrates 50 Years of Excellence

Former CNN news anchor and award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien featured speaker March 26 during Honors Program Convocation

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – This academic year the Honors Program at Tennessee State University will celebrate 50 years of positive and life-long learning, scholarly inquiry, and a commitment to service.

Award-winning journalist Soledad O'Brien will be the featured speaker March 26 during the Honors program Convocation.
Award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien will be the featured speaker March 26 during the Honors program Convocation.

The yearlong celebration will commemorate the program’s journey throughout the years, and will be capped by a visit to campus on March 26 by award-winning broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien. The former CNN anchor will be the featured speaker at the Honors Anniversary Luncheon at 11 a.m. that will honor Dr. McDonald Williams, the first Director of the Honors Program. O’Brien will also be the featured keynote speaker during the Honors Day Convocation beginning at 1 p.m.

The Honors Convocation in Kean Hall is free and open to the public. The Honors Anniversary Luncheon is $50 per person and takes place in the Gentry Center.

O’Brien’s appearance is sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs as part of the Distinguished Lecture Speaker series.

At the convocation, notable Honors alumni will address the student body, Honors societies, Honors alumni and community members.

According to Dr. Coreen Jackson, director of the Honors Program, the primary goal of the program is to create and maintain a community of academically bright and talented students who serve as campus leaders and role models.

“The key objective is the academic enrichment of our students and working with them to achieve their goals,” she added. “We have the opportunity to teach students who are excited about learning and have the freedom to explore issues from multiple points of view. The program not only impacts the students but also the entire University.”

Other events planned for the celebration include an Honors Research Symposium to coincide with the University-wide Research Symposium March 31 through April 5. During the fall, the celebration will culminate with a special 50th Anniversary cake-cutting ceremony and an Honors Week observance.

Jackson added that the jubilee celebration kicks off with an “Honors 50 for 50” campaign to raise funds to help the program transition to an Honors College. The new college, she said, will encourage interdisciplinary programs, enhance undergraduate research in all disciplines, advising for prestigious fellowships and scholarships, develop a mentoring program to make our students more competitive, encourage lifelong learning, including a global perspective through study abroad.

“We are attempting to raise $500,000 to offset the cost of transitioning the program to a full-fledge Honors College,” added Jackson. “As a College, we will be able to highlight the importance of offering an enriched honors curriculum and to increase the University’s ability to recruit and retain high-ability students. We have a program that has a national reputation that has exceeded the basic characteristics of honors program and already meets the characteristics of an Honors College, as recommended by the National Collegiate Honors Council, the recognized leader in undergraduate honor education.”

In 1963, Dr. Walter S. Davis, then President of Tennessee State University, appointed a committee that was charged with studying honors programs and determining the feasibility of establishing one at the University. The committee recommended that TSU keep pace with other institutions throughout the country. As a result, an honors program for freshman students started in the fall of 1964. Sophomore through senior level course work was added yearly throughout 1968.

During the years since 1964, the Honors Program has continued to develop and grow, moving from a converted classroom in the Agricultural Building to the present Honors Center, located on the first floor of the Student Success Center. The center includes study areas, a computer room, conference room, classroom, multipurpose /lounge, and offices of director, associate director and the administrative assistant. Phi Kappa Phi, Golden Key and Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Societies are also housed in the Honors Center.

More important than the physical changes that have taken place, according to Jackson, are the increasingly large number of students entering the program and the achievements they are making.

“They come from many different states and countries and have a variety of majors,” she said. “Consistent with honors objectives, honors students continue to be admitted to prestigious graduate and professional schools.”

For more information on the anniversary activities or Honors Convocation featuring Soledad O’Brien, contact the Honors Program at 615.963.5731.

 

 

 

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 Fans Urged to Vote as Home Depot Kicks off Annual Retool Your School Campaign

437xNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – It’s time to vote again TSU fans, alumni, students, faculty and staff!

The annual Home Depot Retool Your School Campus Improvement Program and voting kicked off Monday, Feb. 17.  At stake is the much coveted nearly $250,000 award for campus improvement projects.

To get a share of the money, TSU must compete with other Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country. Each school submits a brief description of projects to be considered. Winners are determined through online voting, which runs through April 14.

Awards are given out in the following grant categories: Tier I, a single $50,000 grant; Tier II, 13 $10,000 grants; and a $25,000 Campus Pride Grant for each of the three schools that receive the most votes and social media activity.

According to Ron Brooks, associate vice president for Facilities Management, TSU has submitted three proposals for improvements around the campus. The first, a Tier I project, would create a Heritage Walk Mall similar to the Jefferson Street Gateway to Heritage Plaza that would memorialize TSU history and those associated with it. The second project, for a Tier II grant, would install an interactive information kiosk that displays TSU history, directions and general-event information.

Also on TSU’s list is a proposed project for the Campus Pride Grant to erect TSU banners along Jefferson/John Merritt Boulevard.

“It’s really important for everyone to get involved in voting and help TSU secure these funds,” said Brooks. “We are thankful for our leadership, hard work and commitment of all to move these projects forward. However, to make them a reality, we are going to have to rely on the votes from alumni, students, faculty, staff and supporters.”

According to The Home Depot, the goal of the Retool Your School program is to provide sustainable and lasting renovations to give new life to HBCUs campuses. Each year, the outpouring of support for the program from alumni, students, parents and the community grows. Since the program’s inception in 2010, more than three million votes have been cast as the HBCU community bands together for their favorite and most deserving HBCU school projects.

The Home Depot is thrilled to once again offer the Retool Your School Campus Improvement Grant available to HBCUs,” said Melissa Brown, manager of multicultural marketing at Home Depot. “It is such a rewarding program connecting with our communities and it takes school spirit to a whole new level.”

To cast your vote for Tennessee State University, visit The Home Depot link and click on Tennessee State University to vote. You can vote only once each day. Help spread the word for TSU by using the cobranded hashtag #tsuTHDRYS on Twitter and Instagram. Using these hashtags helps to increase our chances of winning the Campus Pride grant.

For more information, visit The Home Depot Retool Your School website.

 

 

 

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 Competes in Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Qualifying Tournament

Students from TSU took part in one of the regional qualifying tournaments for the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Feb. 15 at Alabama State University. Pictured are: front row (L-R)  Brandon Bartee, Maurice Henderson, Diarra Fall. Back row (L-R) January Wisniewski, Rebecca Webber, Aurora Garvin, Amadou Fall, Joseph Patrick (courtesy photo)
Students from TSU took part in one of the regional qualifying tournaments for the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Feb. 15 at Alabama State University. Pictured are: front row (L-R) Brandon Bartee, Maurice Henderson, Diarra Fall. Back row (L-R) January Wisniewski, Rebecca Webber, Aurora Garvin, Amadou Fall, Joseph Patrick (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The road to claim the title of America’s best in the 2014 Honda All-Star Challenge started this weekend for students from Tennessee State University when they traveled to Montgomery, Ala., for the qualifying tournament Feb. 15 at Alabama State University. Forty-eight teams from the qualifying tournaments will then advance to the National Championship Tournament in Los Angeles in April. The teams will be announced on Feb. 20.

The team, according to Dr. John P. Miglietta, professor of Political Science and coach of the TSU team, did well in the tournament, winning two out of four games.

“The students did very well, with several of them playing in their first tournament,” said Miglietta. “TSU was very competitive and the team received valuable experience. This will serve them well if we participate in the national tournament, and certainly for next year.”

Participation in the National Qualifying tournament is an essential part of the qualification process for the National Championship tournament, which will be held April 12-16. Dubbed “the Olympics of the Mind,” the Honda Campus All‐Star Challenge is a “knowledge game of quick recall” that engages the best and brightest students at HBCUs in an annual academic quiz championship. Students compete in answering questions related to pop culture, sports, history, science, current events, and literature, as well as African-American history, and general knowledge categories.

The Challenge, sponsored by Honda, is now in its 25th year. During that time Honda has awarded more than $7 million in grants to participating HBCUs, and nearly 100,000 students in 22 states have taken part.

Representing TSU this year are: Adriann N. Wilson, a junior Mechanical Engineering major from Albany, Ga.; Brandon Cantrel Bartee, junior Mechanical Engineering major from Manchester, Tenn.; Aurora Garvin, a sophomore Art major from Nashville, Tenn.; and Joseph Edward Patrick II, a junior Electrical Engineering major also from Nashville.

Other club members attending the qualifying tournament included Amadou Fall, a junior Chemistry major, from Nashville; Maurice Henderson, freshmen Computer Science major, from Jacksonville, Fla.; Rebecca Webber, a senior Nursing major, from Nashville; and January Wisniewski, a graduate student in Computer Science, also from Nashville.

 

 

 

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 to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award from Nashville Legal Community

Robert Smith, assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice, will receive the will receive the Z. Alexander Looby Lifetime Achievement Award from the Napier-Looby Bar Foundation Feb. 20, during the association's annual banquet. (courtesy photo)
Robert Smith, assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice, will receive the Z. Alexander Looby Lifetime Achievement Award from the Napier-Looby Bar Foundation Feb. 20, during the association’s annual banquet. (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Robert Smith, an assistant professor of Criminal Justice at Tennessee State University, will receive the Z. Alexander Looby Lifetime Achievement Award from the Napier-Looby Bar Foundation.

Smith will be honored during the organization’s 10th Annual Barristers’ Banquet and Award program on Thursday, Feb. 20 at the Music City Center in Nashville. The award is named after Z. Alexander Looby, who was a leading Civil Rights lawyer in Nashville along with his law partner, Avon Williams.

Smith, who teaches constitutional and criminal law at the University, will be one of four attorneys to be recognized during the annual awards banquet. During his time at the University, Smith has not only been a strong force in the classroom, but has also coached the TSU Mock Trial team since its inception in the John Marshall School of Law undergraduate competition. Additionally he conducts the CAMA: CSI/Mock Trial for high school students at TSU during the summer.

A nonprofit organization of attorneys in the Nashville legal community, the Napier-Looby Bar Association is dedicated to the advancement and development of black attorneys as well as attorneys interested in issues affecting the black community. Its membership consists of attorneys, in the private and public sectors, as well as judges, law professors, law students, paralegals and other interested individuals.

For more information about the banquet, contact the association at 615.238.6303 or info@napierlooby.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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