Category Archives: EVENTS

TSU among select HBCUs going to space with Boeing, items representing schools part of cargo

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s excellence is recognized globally, now its name is about to be out of this world – literally.

The legacy of TSU and 13 other historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) will be onboard Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner on Friday, July 30, as it embarks on its second mission to orbit for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

The launch is scheduled for 2:53 p.m. Eastern/1:53 p.m. Central. To view the launch, visit https://bit.ly/3kXM2zT.

Flags, small pennants and other items representing select HBCUs from throughout the U.S. will be part of the hundreds of pounds of cargo inside the unmanned spacecraft for Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2).

“Tennessee State University is proud to be among the 14 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) that Boeing is recognizing on the second space flight of its CST-100 Starliner with flags, pennants, and other items,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “We are proud of our partnership with Boeing, which has led to internships and other opportunities that have propelled many of our students to successful careers. This recognition shows Boeing’s commitment to equity and inclusion, and highlights, once again, the importance of HBCUs.” 

Said Boeing President and CEO David Calhoun, “closing representation gaps in our company and our industry is a priority for Boeing, and inspiring diverse students to pursue careers in aerospace is an important part of that effort. By representing HBCUs on our Starliner mission, we are demonstrating our commitment to working with these institutions to advance equity and inclusion and help ensure a bright future for their students.”

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering at TSU, said the university is fortunate to have Boeing’s continued investment.

“Boeing continues to invest in the students and the academic programs in the College of Engineering,” he said. “Their recent contribution will identify high achieving students to receive scholarships as recognized Boeing Scholars.  In addition, funding will help support the student’s professional development in preparing for the workforce.  This includes attending the national NSBE Conference, BEYA Conference, and ongoing campus activities.  Faculty will also use funds to help with course and curriculum development in topics relevant to the aircraft industry.”

Mister TSU Mark Davis said he’s glad to see HBCUs, in general, continue to be in the spotlight.

“It’s awesome,” said Davis, a senior mass communications major from Cincinnati, Ohio. “Including TSU in this speaks a lot about not only our institution, but highlights the national recognition HBCUs are continuing to receive.”

The higher education mementos will be part of the approximately 760 pounds of cargo flying inside the Starliner’s crew module when it launches to the International Space Station for OFT-2. The end-to-end test is a critical developmental milestone on the company’s path toward flying crew missions for NASA.

Besides Tennessee State University, the represented universities with which Boeing also has a recruiting relationship, are Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College and Spelman College, part of the Atlanta University Center Consortium; Alabama A&M University; Florida A&M University; Howard University in Washington, D.C.; Morgan State University in Maryland; North Carolina A&T; Prairie View A&M University in Texas; Southern University and A&M College in Louisiana; South Carolina State University; and Tuskegee University in Alabama.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

TSU offering ‘guaranteed’ $10,000 scholarships to transfer students from community colleges, four-year institutions

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Are you a college student thinking about transferring? Continue your journey at Tennessee State University with a $10,000 scholarship.  

Nia Ellison

The university is offering the scholarships to students from two-year and four-year institutions who transfer to TSU this fall semester. In addition to the scholarships, the university has streamlined its transfer process by expanding the enrollment services team, to ensure that the transfer process is seamless.

“The $10,000 guarantee scholarship is an expansion of the effort of our president, Dr. Glenda Glover, who is committed to ensuring that students from the community colleges of Tennessee get an opportunity to complete a four-year degree here at TSU,” says Terrence Izzard, Associate Vice President for Admissions and Recruitment. 

The offer is also extended to students from other institutions outside of Tennessee, says Izzard. 

Nia Ellison, Cedric Williams and James Edgecombe have accepted the scholarship offer and are among many students who have committed to transfer to TSU for the fall. They also like the school’s academic offerings, as well as its “family-like” campus atmosphere. 

Cedric Williams

“I like the way the school is set up,” says Ellison, a sophomore biochemistry major who is transferring from Lawson State Community College. “I am transferring to TSU because of its well-known biochemistry program, one of the few HBCUs that has that major. I had already decided to come to TSU before I heard about the $10,000. I was greatly surprised.” 

For Williams, who has visited TSU in the past, he is coming to the university because of its dental hygiene program. 

“Every time I went to the campus it felt more like it was family oriented. It just seems like everybody knows everybody,” says Williams, a sophomore, who is transferring from Lane College. “Besides, I couldn’t turn down $10,000, that is special.” 

Officials say the guaranteed scholarship is also meant to help ease the financial difficulties and hardships posed by the pandemic. 

“The admission criteria is not different,” says Izzard. “But coming from the pandemic, students have financial barriers from parents losing their jobs due to cutbacks. So, students are really in need of the financial support, and also student support, in transitioning back into school post-pandemic.” 

Edgecombe, who is transferring from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, says he heard “great things” about TSU from friends that encouraged him to come to the university. 

James Edgecombe

“High school friends of mine who went to TSU influenced me to go,” says Edgecombe. “I also heard such great things about TSU and so I wanted to experience it for myself. The $10,000 was also a major enticement. I did not get much money coming into my last school, so this is a big help.” 

Admission officials say students applying for the scholarship must be in good academic standing and meet the university’s minimum requirement of a 2.0 grade point average for admission. Registration for summer and fall began March 1 and ends August 20. The university plans to return to in-person classes in July. 

For more information on admission to TSU as a transfer student, please Contact a transfer admissions counselor or schedule an appointment to visit campus today. 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU streamlines process for welcoming returning students; program saves time, money

 NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – For Tennessee State University students planning to return for the fall semester, the university has announced new streamlining measures to make the admission process much simpler and easier. The new measures affect housing application, registration, and financial aid processes. Officials say the course of action will save students time, money, and make campus living more accessible.  

Jeia Moore

In Residence Life, for instance, between now and July 22, students with a balance of up to $5,000 are eligible to apply for housing. That’s up from the previous threshold of $400. Additionally, students can now apply for and receive housing assignment immediately, while returning students get the opportunity to select their rooms, using a new, self-serve (RMS Mercury) software that enables housing and residential staff to deliver customized content to students.  

Registration for summer and fall began March 1 and ends August 20. The university plans to return to in-person classes in July.  

Jeia Moore, an information systems major from Memphis, Tennessee; and Michael Forney, a mass communication major also from Memphis, are already enrolled. Moore is returning for her junior year, and Forney, his senior year. Both students say navigating through the system is “so much easier” than years back when they first came to TSU.  

Michael Forney

“This smoother process has really made the procedures so easy and helps students understand what we are registering for,” says Moore. “Being able to select your own room choice and roommate is an exciting privilege.”

“The new housing portal system is very efficient, with step-by-step instructions,” adds Forney. “This is really exciting.” 

For registration and records, the university says it has enhanced the myTSU portal to help students register for classes at a much faster and easier pace. It also provides step-by-step instructions on how to log-on, pay outstanding balances, and how to remove holds – prerequisites to getting fully registered. For upperclassmen and those in doubt about their academic standing, DegreeWorks – a web-based degree audit and academic tool – provides students and advisors with an overview of remaining courses and credit hours required for degree completion.  

“We encourage returning students and all other students to use the myTSU portal. Once they have met with their advisor, it is very efficient in helping them register themselves,” says Dr. Verontae L. Deams, TSU’s registrar. “DegreeWorks is updated regularly, and it lets students know where they stand academically.”   

In enrollment and student success, officials say innovation and strengthening relationships and communication are helping to get the message across to returning and prospective students about the quality learning environment at TSU.  

“There are many things we learned during the pandemic, many of which we will keep as we look forward to serving our students for the 2021-2022 academic year,” says Terrence Izzard, associate vice president for admissions and recruitment.

In financial aid, officials say most scholarship offers are geared toward returning students, but students must act fast.

“Applying for admission and completing all admission requirements timely allows a student to be considered,” says Amy Boles Wood, assistant vice president for Financial Aid and Scholarships.  

Overall, admissions and student affairs officials say with the coming return to in-person learning, everything possible is being done to make the transition easy and seamless for all students – using technology and lessons learned during the pandemic to make “learning and campus life far more exciting.”  

According to Frank Stevenson, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students, the university is establishing a “virtual one-stop space,” equipped to handle students’ concerns.   

For instance, says Stevenson, with the virtual space, if a student has questions about housing, financial aid, or records, they won’t have to go to all three offices physically to get answers.   

“They can visit the one-stop through an appointment and individuals from each of those areas will be available in a virtual space to address the student’s concern,” he says. “Using Zoom or TEAMS, you can get on and schedule a meeting and someone will meet you in that virtual space. That’s exciting!”  

Stevenson also announced that the university will continue its partnership with myURGENCYMD, a national telemedicine firm, that provides 24-hour, seven-days-a-week virtual doctors’ visits at no cost to the university’s student population. The service connects students to doctors via phone, video, and email.  

“We offered telehealth as a trial during the pandemic,” says Stevenson. “We are very satisfied with the services our students were able to receive. So, we are currently preparing to offer that as a full menu during the fall and spring to our students.”

To learn more about TSU’s fall return operations, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/return/

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU reports more than $70 million in annual research funding, highest ever in school history

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Faculty at Tennessee State University attracted more than $70 million in sponsored research and external funding during the 2020-21 fiscal year, a new school record.

President Glenda Glover

This marks the third consecutive year the university has exceeded $50 million in annual sponsored research funding and beats the previous record of $54.5 million set in 2016. TSU ranks among the top historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) attracting the most research funding in the nation. 

“This continued record-breaking endeavor is a true testament to the hard work and tenacity of our faculty and staff, especially as we navigate the financially rough waters caused by COVID-19,” says TSU President Glenda Glover. “A crucial cornerstone of an institution’s success is measured through its research.”  

Dr. Frances Williams

In addition to the increased research awards, TSU officials say faculty and staff also submitted the highest number of proposals in the university’s history for a single year. Of the 221 proposals submitted to various funding agencies, a record 160 were awarded for funding. 


“This increase in research awards received shows the commitment of our faculty, staff, and students to their scholarly activities,” says Dr. Frances Williams, associate vice president for Research and Sponsored Programs.  “These efforts demonstrate the university’s research competitiveness, which is also evidenced by TSU’s Carnegie Classification as an R2: Doctoral University.” 

Of the funding received this year, a $14 million grant to the Center of Excellence for Learning Sciences to support the Tennessee Early Childhood Training Alliance (TECTA) from the US Department of Health and Human Services was the single largest award received. Next was a $6 million grant from the US Department of Agriculture National Institute for Food and Agriculture to lead a national effort in developing new tools to manage a wood-boring beetle that attacks trees. 

Dr. Kimberly Smith

“I am thrilled about TSU reaching this record accomplishment in research funding,” says Dr. Kimberly Smith, director of the Center of Excellence for Learning Sciences at TSU. She is using her funding to provide professional development support, such as training, tuition assistance, and mentoring to center-based and family childcare providers across the state of Tennessee.

“I am excited about the positive energy and momentum and look forward to TSU continuing to reach new milestones in research funding,” adds Smith. 

Dr. Karla Addesso

In the College of Agriculture, whose faculty account for more than half of all awards received, Dr. Karla Addesso is using her $6 million NIFA grant to lead a team of researchers and graduate students in a multi-state and multi-commodity project at TSU’s Otis L. Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee. They are studying the “management of a genus of related flatheaded borer beetles” that attack trees and other woody plants in nursery, landscape, fruit, and nut orchard systems. 

“These beetles are a key concern to nursery producers in Tennessee and other states, as well as in walnut in California, hazelnuts in Oregon, and blueberries in Florida,” says Addesso, associate professor of entomology. 

Axel Gonzalez

Axel Gonzalez, a graduate student with Addesso, says working on the project and the TSU research environment have allowed him to gain experience in different areas, such as learning to set experiments in field and lab conditions, as well as data collection and analysis.  He is also excited about the level of research funding the university is receiving.

“Under Dr. Addesso’s supervision, my skills as a researcher have improved exponentially,” he says. “Now I’m able to see science from a different perspective.”

Here are some of the other top awards received in 2020-21: 

  • Dr. Jerri Haynes, Dean of the College of Education, multiple awards totaling $1,325,000, from the Tennessee Department of Education.  
  • Dr. De’Etra Young (College of Agriculture), $1,005,263 for the “TSU 1890 Scholarship Program: Training and Mentoring the Next Generation of Leaders in Food and Agricultural Sciences” from the US Department of Agriculture. 
  • Dr. Lin Li (College of Engineering), $1,000,000 to provide scholarships to support Undergraduate Student Success and Broaden Participation in Engineering and Computer Science, from the National Science Foundation. 

  • Dr. John Ricketts (College of Agriculture), $1,000,000 for Rapid Rollout of eight National Standard-based Rigorous and Remote AFNR Courses for Underserved College-bound Students, from the US Department of Agriculture. 
  • Dr. Margaret Whalen (College of Life and Physical Sciences), $877,180 for the “MMC, VICC, & TSU Partnership in Eliminating Cancer Disparities,” from the US Department of Health and Human Services. 
  • Dr. Robbie Melton (Graduate School), $788,577 to provide Strategic Planning to Implement Open Educational Resources and Practices in HBCUs 2020-22, from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. 

For more information on sponsored programs at TSU, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/research-1/

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

30 TSU Students receive business, leadership training in PetSmart paid summer experience

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Thirty TSU students are participating in a seven-week virtual paid summer experience with PetSmart, the nation’s largest retailer of pet products and services. The TSU Career Development Center is coordinating the training, which started June 21 and ends Aug. 6. 

Tanya McNeal

Participants, who are mostly freshmen and sophomores, are receiving training in personal development, business, and leadership as part of PetSmart’s diversity and inclusion initiative. The initiative offers college students the opportunity to increase their knowledge in such areas as relationship building, effective presentation, emotional intelligence and being a team player. 

“This training is allowing me to take another look at myself as I prepare for the business world,” says Tanya McNeal, of Milwaukee, a junior agricultural science major with a business concentration. “They really try hard to make sure that you understand yourself and how you develop as an individual when it comes to emotional control.” 

Zoe Brown

Zoe Brown, a sophomore psychology major with a minor in entrepreneurship, says it is very encouraging for PetSmart to reach out to students to learn about its business practices.

“In entrepreneurship, you learn to run a business primarily by yourself and it can be difficult and challenging,” says Brown, of Austell, Georgia, “For PetSmart, which has been around for years in terms of professional development to reach out and provide us this opportunity is really helpful when I have my own business.” 

Denzel Wilcox, a sophomore business major from Nashville, adds: “This summer experience is giving me an advantage to learn the ropes on how to become a good intern. It exposes me to the corporate world as a business major.” 

Denzel Wilcox

Participants in the PetSmart Summer Experience Learning Series earn $15 an hour at three hours a week. The retail giant is underwriting the training with a $20,000 donation to the university. 

Lauren Givens, PetSmart’s Manager of Emerging Talent, says the training program is aimed to fill the gap for soft skills such as emotional intelligence, which are not taught in school, as well as to develop a pipeline of students ready to fill potential internship or full-time employment with her company. 

“At PetSmart, we look at developing and retaining the best talent from all backgrounds to really drive innovation and deliver superior result,” says Givens, adding that TSU’s offerings of concentrations in supply chain, business, marketing programs, and fashion merchandising were key in reaching out to the university. 

“So, one of the things that we develop this program for is to really create a career path. If individuals come to this summer experience, the hope is that when we start opening up our internship or full-time opportunities at PetSmart, we will have a pipeline of students ready to go that we can reach out to.” 

Antoinette Hargrove Duke, TSU’s director of the Career Development Center, says the goal of the center is to provide career readiness opportunities to “prepare our students to go in the workforce,” and PetSmart’s summer experience is helping to meet that goal. 

“The center is proud to partner with PetSmart to provide this first PetSmart Summer Experience for our students,” says Duke.  “We are excited about this seven-week business and leadership series that gives these 30 students the opportunity to increase their knowledge of the retail industry, as well as gain career readiness skills that employers seek.” 

Based in Phoenix, PetSmart has about 56,000 employees and operates approximately 1,650 stores in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. 

For more information on the TSU Career Development Center, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/careers/

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU remembers trailblazing educator and President Emeritus Dr. Frederick S. Humphries

By Lucas Johnson

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Dr. Frederick Stephen Humphries, President Emeritus of Tennessee State University and Florida A&M University, is being remembered as a stalwart of higher education and staunch advocate for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Former TSU President Frederick S. Humphries receives a special Presidential Recognition from President Glenda Glover at the 2017 Scholarship Gala. (TSU Media Relations)

The trailblazing educator, who was TSU’s fourth president, passed away on June 24 at the age of 85. Humphries remained close to TSU and continued his financial support of the institution. In 2017, President Glenda Glover presented him with a Special Presidential Recognition during TSU’s homecoming.

“Dr. Humphries was a stalwart of higher education, and more importantly a staunch advocate for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs),” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “He demanded that HBCUs have their rightful place as leading institutions and this was evident during his leadership of the historic merger of the University of Tennessee at Nashville and TSU.”

Humphries grew up in the small town of Apalachicola, Florida, where he attended the all-black Wallace M. Quinn High School and was one of only nine graduates in the class of 1953. There, undoubtedly, the seed was planted for the greatness he would achieve in education.

Humphries realized his abilities, and never looked back. Following high school, he enrolled at Florida A&M University and went on to earn the Bachelor of Science degree magna cum laude in chemistry in 1957. He was also a distinguished military science graduate, and reportedly the first black officer to be commissioned into the Army Security Agency (Army Intelligence Branch). After serving in the Army for two years, Humphries entered the University of Pittsburgh in 1959 as a teaching assistant in chemistry, became a graduate research fellow the next year, and earned his Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 1964, the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in that discipline from the University of Pittsburgh.

In 1974, Humphries was named president of Tennessee State University. While at TSU, his excellent administration skills resulted in recruitment of top faculty, better academic programs, increased enrollment and quality of students, and expanded scholarships and support activities.

During his time at TSU, Humphries, who was quite vocal during the landmark court case, insisted on the predominance of TSU over UTN. This ultimately led to the merger of TSU and UTN, with TSU becoming the surviving institution. Historians say the posture and eloquence of Humphries in court is largely held as being responsible for the court decision, along with the presentation of attorney Avon Williams, and the efforts of Tennesseans for Justice in Higher Education. Between 1980 and 1985, Humphries and his staff gave leadership to the merged TSU, and began serving an increasingly larger portion of the Nashville community.

Humphries went on to become president of Florida A&M University in 1985, where he excelled for six years, gaining increased recognition on the state, national, and international levels. Florida A&M later conferred upon him the President Emeritus title.

Humphries was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the American Association of Higher Education, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, and the American Association of Minority Research Universities, just to name a few.

His honors and awards include the Drum Major for Justice Award in Education by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; President’s Award for Excellence in Higher Education by 100 Black Men of America, Inc.; Leadership Grant by the Prudential Life Insurance Company of America Foundation; and many others. Among Humphries’ most memorable awards are the Distinguished Alumnus Award presented by the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh; the United Bicentennial Medal of Distinction by the University of Pittsburgh on its 200th anniversary; the Thurgood Marshall Educational Achievement Award by Johnson Publishing Company for the most outstanding contributions to education; and “Floridian of the Year” by the Orlando Sentinel, the first African American to be honored with this award

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU dedicates new innovative, interdisciplinary Health Sciences Building

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University reached a major milestone recently when it dedicated its new four-story 102,000 square-foot ultramodern Health Sciences Building, the first state-funded building on the campus in more than 25 years.

President Glenda Glover greets officials and guests minutes before cutting the ribbon to the new building. (Photo by Andre Bean)

With the latest technology, the $38.8 million facility features simulation labs with mannequins that react like people, as well as motion science labs that can serve as rehab clinics. Disciplines in physical/occupational therapy, health information management, nursing, and cardiorespiratory care are all housed in the new building.

“We are so excited. This is a new day in the history of TSU, and a major milestone for our university,” said President Glenda Glover, at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new building on June 17. Several state and local officials, as well as senior TSU administrators, faculty, staff and students attended the ceremony. Officials included some members of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, the Tennessee Board of Regents, The TSU Board of Trustees, and the Tennessee General Assembly.

Several state and local officials, as well as senior TSU administrators, faculty, staff and students attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony. (Photo by Andre Bean)

“This state-of-the-art facility will enhance student learning in health sciences as TSU continues to fill the gap for healthcare professionals,” Glover said. “It will help fill the demand by training students in innovation and engagement. We thank each of you for coming out today. We thank representative of THEC, the TBR, TSU Board of Trustees, and Rep. (Harold) Love, who fought hard to get us the funding for this building.”

Sara Henderson, a senior cardiorespiratory care major, said “everything in this building is hospital-grade.”

The new Health Sciences Building is the first state-funded building on campus in more than 25 years. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

“This new building is very innovative, I am really enjoying it,” said Henderson, of Memphis, Tennessee, who is among the first students already taking classes in the new facility. “In here we have the right resources to sharpen our skills and be prepared to go into the hospitals upon graduation. We have areas here where we can actually carry out functions like those in hospitals.”

The Bed Laboratory in the School of Nursing is one of the many cutting-edge learning tools for students in the new building. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

Dr. Curtis Johnson, TSU’s chief of staff and associate vice president for administration, oversaw the new building project from design to construction. He said to ensure that the project had the best possible outcome to meet students’ learning needs, there was a lot of collaboration and discussion with stakeholders.

Roslyn Pope, a nursing faculty, simulates a basic assessment of a patient in critical care. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

“We allowed faculty input and went to other facilities around the state and saw what they had,” Johnson said. “We consulted with experts and this is what we came up with that best prepares our students to lead.  This is one of the most high-tech facilities that we have on campus, and this dedication is an opportunity for the university to showcase just one of the many things they are doing in the production of graduates who are going to contribute to health and wellness.”

 With the first historically black institution to have a student-run PT/OT therapy clinic, TSU’s health sciences program also includes disciplines in speech pathology and audiology, as well as a dental hygiene clinic that offers low-cost to no-cost services to the community and staff. The Speech Pathology and Audiology, and Dental Hygiene programs are housed in different buildings on campus.

The Tiger Clinic is tied to the orthopedic class for rotating students in physical therapy. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

Tennessee State Rep. Harold Love, Jr., a staunch TSU supporter, who earned bachelor’s and doctorate degrees from the institution, was among those who fought tirelessly in the General Assembly for money to fund the new building before it was approved in state budget under former Gov. Bill Haslam. Love said alumni and former students returning to the campus will be proud to see the new edifice.

“Having walked on this campus many times as a student and former student to see this new building on TSU’s campus is very exciting,” he said. “We are talking about preparing students to be able to go out and transform our society and make it a better place, but also to be able to prepare students with the skills and technical know-how to be able to compete in the global market place.”

The Health Information Management Lab is one of many facilities with cutting-edge technology available to students in the new building. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

Dr. Ronald Barredo, dean of the College of Health Sciences, described the new building as a “vehicle” to do collaborative practices, community service, and interdisciplinary teaching.

“These are all parts of our vision that I think will be best realized when we have a facility such as this that helps provide the environment for the university’s ‘think, work, serve’ mission to be accomplished,” Barredo said. “As healthcare providers, service is integral and we owe it to the community to provide them the very best.”

Dr. Malia R. Jackson, an assistant professor, teaches occupational therapy. She said the innovation and real-world setup in the new building are very helpful for students.

“I think this is an amazing environment, especially for our students with regards to the different technologies that are in the classrooms,” Jackson said. “The way the classrooms are set up, it is very similar to what they will experience in the real world as they transition from the classroom to field work.”

Also speaking at the ribbon-cutting ceremony was Dr. Deborah A. Cole, TSU alum and the newly elected chair of the TSU Board of Trustees; and Dr. Michael Harris, interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

TSU officials say the new Health Sciences Building is just one of many ongoing and upcoming construction projects that are aimed to enhance students’ living and learning. A 700-bed residence hall estimated at $75.2 million, now under construction, is expected to be completed in early 2022.

FEATURED PHOTO
From left: Dr. Ronald Barredo, Dean of the College of Health Sciences; Douglas Allen, Vice President of Business and Finance; Van Pinnock, Member, TSU Board of Trustees; President Glover; Dr. Deborah A. Cole, Member, TSU Board of Trustees; and Dr. Michael Harris, Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs (Photo by Andre Bean)

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU offering residents 12 years and up a chance to receive COVID-19 vaccination

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University, in collaboration with the Metro Public Health Department, is offering residents 12 years old and up an opportunity to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

The shots will be offered at TSU’s Avon Williams Campus near downtown from 9 a.m. to 12 noon CDT on June 15, with a second dose to be given on July 6. To register, visit www.signupgenious.com/go/TSU.

Dr. Wendolyn Inman is an infectious disease expert and professor and director of public health programs in the College of Health Sciences at TSU. She encourages people to take advantage of the opportunity to get a vaccination, particularly African Americans.

“African Americans have the lowest vaccination rate, therefore they have the greatest chance of getting COVID-19,” says Inman.

She adds that COVID-19 infections are highest in the age group 18 to 34, and that those individuals risk infecting others over age 65.

“So, if you are African American, not immunized, and between the ages of 18-34 years, you are more likely to transmit the disease to an African American over the age of 65 years,” says Inman.  “Would you want to be the transmission for a loved one who dies? Get immunized!”

Junior Mark Davis, a mass communications major and Mister TSU, says he doesn’t want to put anyone’s life at risk which is why he has gotten vaccinated. He is urging his peers who haven’t gotten the COVID-19 vaccine to do so.

“I have a two-year-old nephew and a grandmother,” says Davis, who is from Cincinnati, Ohio. “If I go around my grandmother, who is a breast cancer survivor, she may not survive COVID. You never know what other peoples’ health issues are.”

TSU will be fully operational in the fall, with continued safety measures.  Officials say the decision to resume in-person classes is in line with the reduction in COVID-19 restrictions by the City of Nashville, recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state health experts.    

“We are excited about returning to a robust in-person collegiate experience,” said Frank Stevenson, associate vice president of student affairs and dean of students. “But we know that students should be vaccinated for that to be fully appreciated. That’s why we’re creating easy access for all of our students to get vaccinated.”   

To learn more about the university’s fall return plan, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/return/

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU co-hosts virtual conference on food insecurity, build alliances to address rising hunger

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is co-hosting a virtual conference that will address food insecurity in communities across the country.

The first annual 1890s Multi-state Conference is May 18-20. TSU is hosting the conference with the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) and Alabama A&M University (AAMU). Each university will host one day of the conference: TSU on May 18, UAPB on May 19, and AAMU on May 20.  

The conference will feature community-focused conversations on addressing the adverse impact of food insecurities, as well as provide opportunities to network, engage and chat with community partners, non-profit organizations, and cooperative extension team members.  

“It is our hope that this conference will join all 1890 institutions together to extend our reach and resources to build strong local food systems and decrease food insecurity in the communities we serve across our nation,” said M. Shea Austin Cantu, community nutrition education program director at TSU.

She said the conference will also include the launching of a “Community of Practice on Food Accessibility and Security,” where attendees can join and collectively work to build strong local food systems and “turn the tide on rising hunger across our nation and the world.”

This event will also feature a virtual silent auction. If you would like to bid on auction items, visit:  https://www.facebook.com/1890SNAPEd. All proceeds from the silent auction will go to the Mid-South Food Bank.  

The conference is free, but in the spirit of increasing food accessibility, donations are being accepted for the Mid-South Food Bank at https://midsouthfoodbank.harnessapp.com/wv2/campaign/4059.  

Also, don’t miss an opportunity to earn continuing education units, or CEUs. To sign-up for CEUs, contact M. Shea Austin Cantu at maustin7@tnstate.edu. There is a $20 fee for CEU registration. The CEUs are for 16 hours of education or 1.6 CEUs.  

To register or to see a full program agenda, visit www.multi-state-conference.com. To receive updates, follow the conference Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/1890SNAPEd. For more information, contact Ebony Lott, Tennessee State University Cooperative Extension Western Region Area Specialist at elott1@tnstate.edu.  

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU remembers trailblazing alumna Thelma Harper as a strong, ‘unwavering’ advocate and supporter

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Those who remember the late former state Sen. Thelma Harper know she’d be smiling from ear to ear right now just hearing about Tennessee State University. Her love for her alma mater was unwavering. Whether in the Senate where she fought fiercely for equitable funding for TSU, or in the community where she was a powerful voice, or at events on campus, Harper was an advocate like no other.  

TSU President Glenda Glover shares an interesting moment she had with Sen. Thelma Harper, as she pays tribute to the late former lawmaker during the Celebration of Life service at TSU. (Photo by Ashley Benkarski)

 “Senator Thelma Harper was a fierce advocate for Tennessee State University, and a true friend. She never forgot her roots and remained committed to the values instilled in her by her parents as a public servant,” said TSU President Glenda Glover.

“At TSU, we celebrate her life and will be forever thankful for all she did for her alma mater. If there is one individual that truly embodied the university‘s motto of think, work, serve, it was Senator Harper. On behalf of the entire TSU Family, we thank you for your service.” 

In 2018, weeks before her retirement from the state Senate, alumna Thelma Harper, third from right, participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for two new residence halls on the main TSU campus. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

Harper, a Democrat and the first black woman elected to the state Senate in 1989, died April 22. She was 80. A native of Brentwood, Tennessee, Harper graduated from TSU in 1978, earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting. She went on to break many glass ceilings and earned many “firsts” in history as a politician and a national figure. In all, she never forgot her TSU.

“Her commitment to Tennessee State University is measured by what we see on the campus,” said fellow TSU alum and state Rep. Dr. Harold Love, Jr. “Fighting for students to have access to great academic programs, promoting TSU equal funding – for me, that was one of the joys when I first got elected to be able to work alongside her to have TSU not forgotten about in the state budget.” 

Danielle Knight, TSU graduate and Sen. Harper’s last intern up to her retirement in 2018, says the late lawmaker inspired her so much that she has set her sight on becoming an elected official. (Photo by Ashley Benkarski)

In one final visit to her alma mater, and in appreciation of the late state senator’s lifelong commitment to TSU, the University served as the backdrop for Harper’s “Celebration of Life” service in the Gentry Complex Center on May 6. President Glover, along with administrators, staff, students, faculty, alumni and the community filed by to pay their final respect. 

Barbara Murrell, a TSU alumna and former administrator, remembers Harper as a TSU student and her rise as a state and national figure. 

“Senator Harper was a servant leader who was always available to focus on the needs of her alma mater, Tennessee State University and the community she served,” said Murrell, retired TSU vice president for student affairs. “She was respected, admired and appreciated by all who observed her willingness to accept the motto of her alma mater, think, work, serve and make it her own.”  

Sen. Harper, in one of her signature stylish hats, along with other lawmakers, joins TSU President Glover, administrators, staff and students during TSU Day at Capitol in 2018. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

Danielle Knight and Marissa Faith King were Harper’s mentees when they interned at the Capitol as TSU students. They recalled the late lawmaker’s personal involvement in their development.  

“Sen. Harper helped me a lot as an intern working with her in the General Assembly,” said Knight, a 2018 TSU graduate in political science, who was Harper’s last intern up to the senator’s retirement the same year. “As a student, she impacted my life and inspired me so much working with her that I decided to become a legislator, to help people in my community as she always did.” Currently a lobbyist aid with the state and a financial services representative with a credit union, Knight’s career goal is to become an elected official.  

For King, who interned with two other lawmakers but interacted with Harper and her staff on many bills, she said the late senator taught her to be firm in a world dominated by men and competing political interests.

“She taught us as black female interns it is okay to stand your ground,” said King, a 2017 criminal justice graduate and an executive legislative assistant in the state House of Representatives. “She told me, ‘It is always necessary to have a seat at the table and make sure you’re being heard and being respected.’”  

Harper was always a major presence at the annual TSU Day at the Capitol, when a wave of TSU blue – students, administrators, faculty, staff – converged on the Capitol with displays of academic offerings and cutting-edge research. She made sure to personally invite her fellow lawmakers to see the “pride of her alma mater.”  

Frank Stevenson, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students, said Harper’s “consistent voice for opportunities for TSU was unmatched in the state Legislature.”  

“She never missed being a part of the Homecoming events, including being at the parade every year,” Stevenson said. “She never missed celebrating our graduation services. She was just amazing to this university and our campus community.”  

Additionally, while Harper was fighting for TSU in the Tennessee General Assembly, she was also hands-on at the university, mentoring students, especially young women about their personal choices and career goals. She served on the advisory board of the Women’s Center from the inception of the center in 2007 until her passing. She was among the first recipients of the Women of Merit and Legend Award given by the center each year to upstanding women in the community. At the 2018 WOLM awards ceremony, President Glover presented Harper with a special award for her “trailblazing years as a public servant.”  

“She was very helpful and diligent in supporting women’s and student scholarship,” said center director Seanne Wilson. “She was one of the first to provide seed money and scholarship dollars to start the center. She mentored some of the young ladies on professional development, and really just gave them access to her.”  

Harper was buried Thursday at Greenwood Cemetery following the service at TSU. 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.