Category Archives: FACULTY

TSU College of Engineering receives $70K grant from Lockheed Martin for student scholarships, other support

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s College of Engineering has been awarded a $70,000 grant from Lockheed Martin Corporation for student scholarships and other support.

Nagee Clowney

The funds will be used to support four students with scholarships of $3,000 each. The grant will also support the Pre-College programs in the College of Engineering, including the Engineering Concepts Institute (ECI) for incoming engineering students (residential four-week program), and the Pre-Experience Program to Stimulate Interests in Engineering (PEPSIE), a program for 9th-11th grade students for one-week.

“The Lockheed Martin Corporation continues to be a strong advocate for investing in a more diverse workforce in STEM,” said Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering. “This grant will allow the College of Engineering to conduct our successful pre-college program for incoming engineering students, and support undergraduate research experiences in areas of interests to Lockheed. As a strong member of AMIE (Advancing Minorities Interests in Engineering), the company is one of the leading organizations that support HBCU engineering programs and employment. We are indeed grateful for their continuous investment, and look forward to enhancing our partnership in other areas as well.”

Zhuri Winfree-Givens, a senior mechanical engineering major, and Nagee Clowney, a junior architectural engineering major, are two of the four TSU students who will each receive a $3,000 scholarship thanks to Lockheed Martin.

“I’m so grateful for this opportunity,” said Winfree-Givens of Waldorf, Maryland. “Not only will this allow me to complete my studies, but it will also allow me to make a change in the world. I look forward to bringing more research ideas and implementations to the College of Engineering.”

Zhuri Winfree-Givens

Clowney shared similar sentiment.

“I am blessed to have this scholarship; knowing that I have a solid foundation financially, as well as Tennessee State University being a welcoming family,” said Clowney of Moreno Valley, California. “My end goal is to give back to my community, especially those that have blessed me. This helps me further my education to continue to excel and reach my goals.”

Antoinette Hargrove Duke, director of the Career Development Center at TSU, said Lockheed Martin has also given funds to the center and she appreciates the company’s continued support to TSU.

In addition to helping students prepare for the job market, such as through interview coaching, internship search, and career assessments, Duke said the center uses different platforms to keep students and companies connected.

“We work with many companies and franchisees throughout the year to prepare our students through internships, co-ops, and employment opportunities,” said Duke. “We are committed to our students and will continue to prepare them for working in any corporation.”

For more information about the College of Engineering, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/engineering/.

To learn more about TSU’s 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 2021 career fair offers job, internship opportunities as more than 140 companies attend

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Services) – Hundreds of Tennessee State University students looking for internships, full-time employment or co-op opportunities recently had plenty of selections at the university’s first in-person career fair since the pandemic.  

TSU senior business majors Katana Darby, right, and Khasia Perry talk to Isabella Lowrey, Human Resource Representative with Cintas, a business services company. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

More than 140 companies and potential employers converged on the main campus for the 2021 Fall Career Fair on Sept. 17. Representatives from government agencies, aerospace, banking, engineering, healthcare, and the entertainment industries set up tents, tables, and displays in the Gentry Center Complex to network with students about career and employment opportunities. 

Organizers said nearly 700 students attended the all-day fair. 

Katana Darby, a senior business administration major; and Shaun Wimberly, a second-year agribusiness major, were among the first students at the fair. They were both looking for internships. But Darby, who graduates in May, was also looking for a full-time employment opportunity. She thought her chances were good. 

Companies representing the automotive, engineering, aerospace, banking and healthcare industries attend the career fair. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

“Employers have been really good, informative and responsive to my questions,” said the Chicago native, who talked with representatives from Cintas, a Cincinnati-based business services company. She is looking for a position in human resources or any related field.  

“I came to the career fair looking for open opportunities – internships, full-time and part-time positions – and things look very good,” Darby said. 

For Wimberly, of Louisville, Kentucky, who was also looking for opportunities in human relations, or any area that can utilize his agribusiness background, meeting employers in person was particularly appealing. 

Shaun Wimberly, an agribusiness major, right, talks to a company representative for an internship opportunity. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

“I am excited to be able to meet people face-to-face at my very first career fair at TSU,” he said. “I was able to make connections with employers to discuss how I can best contribute to their organizations.” 

Wimberly and Darby may just be in luck.  

Danita J. Jones, a 1991 TSU graduate and recruiter and business management specialist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said she came to the career fair with a job announcement for “someone who is hardworking with good communication skills.” 

TSU alum Danita J. Jones, left, Business Management Specialist with the Army Corps of Engineers, says she came to the fair with a job announcement. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

“I am looking for students in business administration, business management, human resources – someone to manage our district training program,” said Jones, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from TSU and started with the Army Corps of Engineers as a student aid. 

Overall, employers said TSU students – in dark business suits and black shoes – came prepared, and were very impressive in appearance, approach, and presentation. 

Antoinette Hargrove Duke, left, Director of the TSU Career Development Center, says employers are impressed about the students’ level of preparation. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

Antoinette Hargrove Duke, director of TSU’s Career Development Center, said a lot goes into preparing students for the career fair, including resume writing, and prepping for interviews. 

“We are glad that it shows because employers are talking about the turnout and how ready our students are,” said Duke. “Additionally, we are very excited about the opportunity to return to campus after being virtual for over 15 months. The excitement among our campus and university partners is amazing.” 

Kisa Caruthers, senior electrical engineer for Global Facilities at Burns & McDonnell, was at the fair as a recruiter for the giant engineering and construction firm. The TSU graduate said her company was interested in recruiting, especially minority students. 

Kisa Caruthers, Senior Electrical Engineer for Global Facilities at Burns & McDonnell, returns to her alma mater as a recruiter for her company. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

“Our goal is to bring in students who can take all of those fundamentals from the classroom and actually have some application to it and expose our minority students to the real life of engineering,” Caruthers said. “We are talking about internships, co-op opportunities, as well as full employment. The students today are phenomenal. They came very prepared. I am very proud of them.” 

Among major sponsors of the career fair were Cigna, Berry Global, Inc., LG&E and KU Energy, Pathways Camelot Care Centers of Tennessee, and Smith & Nephew Supply Chain. 

For more information on the TSU Career Services Department, 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 expert says slow decline in Tennessee’s COVID cases not enough: ‘We need to do better’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A recent report shows that Tennessee is ranked 7th in the nation with the number of COVID-19 cases, which is a drop from number 1 and a 21 percent decrease compared to a week ago. According to the weekly State Profile Report for Tennessee released Sept. 14, the state also fell to 18th in COVID deaths, dropping from 11th the previous week. 

Dr. Wendelyn Inman

While this decline shows improvement, a Tennessee State University public health expert says, “We need to do better.” 

“Twenty-one percent is excellent. That means our cases have fallen, but we still have a high transmittable number,” says Dr. Wendelyn Inman, an infectious disease expert and professor and director of the public health program in the College of Health Sciences. “It still puts us in the top 10. That 21 percent is not enough to garner, ‘I don’t have anything to worry about.’ It says that we’ve done better, and we hope it continues.” 

Inman, previously the chief of epidemiology for the State of Tennessee, says she hopes the numbers keep declining.

“Instead of being 7th, we need to come out of the top 10,” she says. “That’s my hope. We are the volunteer state. We should be number 1 in the fewest cases.”

On what the state can do to continue the downward spiral, Inman cited efforts at Tennessee State University. She says although TSU falls in a zip code with 37 percent vaccination rate, the university is more active in encouraging solution, which is prevention.  

“TSU is encouraging our people to be healthier during this pandemic; that’s something we can be proud of. We are being positive with our population, encouraging them to get immunized. For the state, we are not doing enough. Twenty-one percent is great, but wouldn’t 70 percent be better?”  

In June, TSU, in collaboration with the Nashville Metro Public Health Department, started offering vaccines to residents 12 years old and up. The university’s student health center also stays open for COVID testing. 

Frank Stevenson, associate vice president of Student Affairs and dean of students, says TSU has remained very active in executing a plan to mitigate issues around COVID. He says that more than 50 percent of students living on campus have been vaccinated, and more than 3,000 of all students have been tested. The university tests an average of more than 100 students a day. 

“We are doing very well in our effort to keep the campus safe,” says Stevenson. “I think we kind of created a wall or barrier that is making it tough for the virus to spread on campus as aggressively as we’ve seen it spread in other places.” 

 Vaccines are administered Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., in Kean Hall on the main campus. Daily testing is also set up in Kean Hall.  

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 joins Secretary of State, other universities, in hosting voter registration tailgates

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is doing its part to get people registered to vote during National Voter Registration Month. The university, along with Tennessee’s eight other Division I Public Universities, is working with the Secretary of State’s office to hold a voter registration drive during the tailgate before a home football game at each school. 

Secretary of State Tre Hargett participates in a student-led voter education and registration rally at TSU last September. (TSU Media Relations)

TSU’s was Sept. 18 before the Tigers’ game against Kentucky State. There was strong turnout for the tailgate, and TSU went on to rout Kentucky State 41-7.

“Like most Tennesseans, we love college football and the excitement of game day,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett, who participated in a student-led voter education and registration rally at TSU last September.

“These Voter Registration Tailgates are the perfect opportunity for us to show students and fans how easy it is to register to vote in Tennessee so that they can get in the game and make their voice heard on Election Day.”

The Voter Registration Tailgates kicked off on Sept. 11 at Tennessee Tech University, East Tennessee State University and the University of Tennessee at Martin.

Voter Registration Tailgates will continue at the University of Memphis on Saturday, Sept. 25; and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Middle Tennessee State University and Austin Peay State University on Saturday, Oct. 2.

At each tailgate, students and football fans will be guided through the registration process in minutes using the Secretary of State’s fast, easy and secure online voter registration system, GoVoteTN.gov. They will also be able to get their questions about Tennessee’s easy voting process answered by local election officials.

The Secretary of State’s office is working with students, university leadership and staff, athletic departments, student government associations, campus civic engagement organizations and local county election commissions to host the Voter Registration Tailgates.

The Voter Registration Tailgates are part of the Secretary of State’s ongoing efforts to help all eligible Tennesseans register to vote and are one of the many initiatives the office is carrying out in celebration of National Voter Registration Month.

For more information about registering to vote in Tennessee, go to GoVoteTN.gov or call the Division of Elections toll-free at 1-877-850-4959.

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 former student and Freedom Rider Ernest “Rip” Patton as a fighter for justice

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Ernest “Rip” Patton, a former TSU student and member of the 1960s Nashville Freedom Riders, is being remembered as a stalwart of the civil rights movement who dedicated his life to fighting for equality and justice for people of color.  

President Glenda Glover says Patton was courageous and determined in his fight for justice.

TSU President Glenda Glover said Patton, who passed Aug. 23 at age 81, was unyielding and showed remarkable courage in risking imprisonment, injury and even death to ensure that blacks were treated fairly. 

“From his days as a student at Tennessee State University and throughout his life, Dr. Ernest “Rip” Patton was steadfast in his fight for equality and justice for African Americans,” President Glover said. “We remember him for his courage and determination to bring hope to past, present and future generations in our country and the world. The TSU family is deeply saddened about his passing but will remember him with great pride as an alumnus that made a tremendous sacrifice to make difference.  We send our heartfelt condolences to the Patton family on their loss.” 

Patton participated in the downtown Nashville civil rights sit-ins in 1960, a movement that eventually led to the desegregation of the city’s lunch counters and other public spaces. At 21 and a student at the then Tennessee A&I, Patton was among the first wave of Freedom Riders to arrive in Jackson, Mississippi, on a Greyhound bus to force the desegregation of interstate transportation facilities. The group was arrested upon arrival. 

Dr. Jerri Haynes, Dean of the College of Education, presents Dr. Ernest “Rip” Patton with an award in recognition of his contribution to the fight for equality and justice as a Freedom Rider. (Submitted photo)

After the group’s release from prison, Patton and 13 other students were expelled from A&I for participating in the Freedom Ride, and never got to finish their degrees.  

Nearly 47 years later, in 2008, TSU granted the students honorary doctorate degrees. The Tennessee Board of Regents initially refused to grant the honorary degrees, but then TSU President Melvin Johnson insisted that the former students’ “extraordinary achievements” were worthy of recognition.

“These degrees serve to remind this generation of a time when young people were willing to risk their reputations, careers, freedom and lives for a higher cause,” Johnson said. 

According to the Freedom Rides Museum in Montgomery, Alabama, Patton later went on to be a jazz musician, while also remaining a vocal advocate and educator in the civil rights movement. He returned to his alma mater on occasions to talk to students about his experience as a Freedom Rider. 

Dr. Ernest “Rip” Patton occasionally returned to his alma mater to talk to students about his experience as a Freedom Rider. Here he speaks to students in the College of Education during a Black History Month celebration. (Submitted photo)

At a Black History Month celebration on February 17, 2020, the College of Education honored Patton with an award for the contributions he made to the cause for equality and justice as a Freedom Rider. 

Linda Fair, coordinator of field placement and clinical experience in the TSU Department of Teacher Education and Student Service, knew Patton for more than 45 years when they sang together in the choir at Gordon Memorial United Methodist Church. Fair was also instrumental in bringing Patton to speak to students in the College of Education. 

“Rip was passionate about speaking to young people and trying to inspire them as far as the diversity that is needed in this country and all over the world,” said Fair, whose husband, John Fair – former CEO of the Urban League – was in the movement with Patton. “His (Patton) goal was to remind young people about the history of African Americans in the United States and what they went through.” 

Dr. Ernest “Rip” Patton is survived by son, Michael (Bernadette) Patton; grandchildren, Alyxa Mae and Dante’ Andrew Patton; niece, Michelle (James) Holt; nephew, Charles (Debra) Patton; and other relatives and friends.

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.

Annual event welcoming new TSU Tigers comes as the university records highest enrollment in five years

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Amid record enrollment, Tennessee State University recently welcomed new students for the 2021-22 academic year during a ceremony in the Gentry Complex. Previously called freshman convocation, this year’s induction ceremony featured first-time freshmen, returning sophomores, who did not have a convocation last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as transfer students. 

With females dressed in white with pearls, and males dressed in white shirts and TSU blue ties, the new students pledged to commit themselves “to serious intellectual and cultural efforts.” (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

TSU has more than 1,500 first-time freshmen, the largest class in five years. The convocation on Aug. 27 was live streamed for the hundreds of students and family members who could not attend because of university, state, and federal regulations in place due to the pandemic.

“I am extremely proud to welcome you to Tennessee State University,” President Glenda Glover said, as she greeted the students, minutes before they took their pledge. “It is my honor to stand before you today, not only as your president, but as a fellow TSU Tiger. You have embarked on an incredible journey. I encourage you to do your best. The journey will not always be easy, but never give up.” 

Members of the inaugural class of the Dr. Levi Watkins Jr. Institute were among the freshmen inducted. (Photo by Andre Bean)

Terrence Izzard, associate vice president for Admissions and Recruitment, presented the students for the induction. 

“Madam President, it is my pleasure to present these young people who have satisfied all of the requirements for admission to Tennessee State University as freshmen and students with advance standing,” Izzard said. 

With each student’s hand raised and symbolically holding a lighted candle representing “knowledge and truth,” they took the TSU Freshman Pledge. 

Naia Hooker, a transfer student, said the induction was a “totally new” experience. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

Naia Hooker, a transfer junior business major from Oakland, California, said she chose TSU to be closer to family members, but the induction ceremony gave her an experience she will never forget. 

“To me, this induction means a new opportunity to be more serious and hone my craft as an outstanding student,” said Hooker, who is transferring from the College of Alameda. “This is totally new to me, but it was a good feeling to see all of my fellow students pledging to do our very best.” 

Freshman Hercy Miller, a business major from Los Angeles, said hearing all the speeches from President Glover, faculty, and student leaders made him even more excited about coming to TSU. 

Hercy Miller, left, and Victoria McCrae led the freshmen and sophomores, respectively, as they took the pledge. (Photo by Andre Bean)

“What I heard from them has given me more encouragement to be the very best,” said Miller, who will also be playing basketball at TSU. “I am a very committed person. I see TSU as a place where I can build myself as a leader and a committed student.”  

For the ceremony, females dressed in white with pearls presented to them by the TSU Women’s Center, and males dressed in white shirts and blue pants, sporting TSU-supplied blue ties. They pledged to commit themselves “to serious intellectual and cultural efforts” and to deport themselves “with honor and dignity to become better prepared to live a full and useful life in society.” 

Among students inducted were members of the inaugural class of the Dr. Levi Watkins Jr. Institute; and Tiger PALs, a peer mentoring group, representing the sophomore class. 

Tiger PALs, a peer mentoring group. represented the sophomore class. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

In addition to student representatives, speakers at the convocation included Dr. Kimberly Triplett, chair of the Faculty Senate; Debbi Howard, director of Alumni Relations; Tasha Andrews, executive director of New Student Programs; Derrick Sanders, president of the Student Government Association; Mister TSU Mark T. Davis, Jr.; and Miss TSU Mallory Moore. 

Featured 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, other HBCUs featured on the #11 FedEx Toyota, part of ‘Shaping Black Futures’ initiative

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When the #11 FedEx Toyota raced around Daytona International Speedway at the Coke Zero Sugar 400 on Saturday, Aug. 28, Tennessee State University and three other historically black colleges and universities were represented.

TSU among HBCU logos featured on #11 FedEx Toyota. (TSU Media Relations)

FedEx and NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin unveiled the car’s special paint scheme on Aug. 25. It has several unique features including an illustration of HBCU college graduates, “Shaping Black Futures” on the quarter panel, and four HBCU school logos – Jackson State University, Tennessee State University, Mississippi Valley State University, and LeMoyne- Owen College – on the rear bumper.

Hamlin made a strong showing at the Coke Zero Sugar 400. He is among the 16-driver field for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, which means HBCUs will also be in the spotlight.

In particular, the Shaping Black Futures initiative delivered by FedEx is a collective of experiential concepts that support the Black community, specifically highlighting education and career readiness.

Dating back to the early 2000s, FedEx has supported HBCUs to help cultivate the next generation of leaders. Building off its long-standing relationship, FedEx announced a new $5 million HBCU initiative in February 2021. With the donations adding fuel to the cause, the new initiative helps position FedEx as a company that is intentional about driving real benefits and opportunities for students.

When the announcement was made in February, TSU officials said they were pleased to receive the funds, which would be used to help students complete their degrees and prepare them for the workforce.

“We are so appreciative to FedEx leadership for this innovative program to address some of the long-standing issues faced by HBCU students,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “It is no secret that many of the challenges faced by students at TSU relate to limited funds. This partnership is a great example of public and private entities collaborating to enhance the higher education experience for African-American students.”

TSU senior Ammria Carter said she appreciates the FedEx commitment to HBCUs.

“FedEx prioritizing HBCUs during the current climate of our economy means so much to so many people,” said Carter, a political science major from Cleveland, Ohio. “I hope that this act of generosity will spark other companies to consider donating and partnering with HBCUs, especially our beloved Tennessee State University.”

This new initiative continues FedEx support of HBCUs, which includes endowed scholarships at Jackson State University, Tennessee State University and LeMoyne-Owen College; a customized career readiness program established at Mississippi Valley State University; and leadership summits in support of the Southern Heritage Classic for students at both Tennessee State University and Jackson State University, according to FedEx officials.

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’s national coding hub welcomes 12 new HBCUs to be community centers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service)Tennessee State University’s national coding hub is welcoming 12 new HBCUs to be community centers as part of Apple’s Community Education Initiative.

The schools will become community centers for Coding and Creativity as part of Apple’s Community Education Initiative and Tennessee State University’s HBCU C2. The teaching and learning initiative is designed to empower Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to expand technology and creativity experiences within their institutions and broader communities. 

“In expanding the partnership to include the twelve new HBCUs we are on track in reaching our goal to empower all 106 HBCUs with the digital competencies and technology skill sets to meet the job demands for our global digital workforce careers,” said Dr. Robbie Melton, associate vice president of the TSU SMART Innovation Global Center.

The new schools are: Alabama State University, Clark Atlanta University, Edward Waters College, Elizabeth City State University, Florida A&M University, Harris-Stowe State University, Lane College, LeMoyne-Owen College, Lincoln University, MO, Simmons College of Kentucky, Virginia State University, and Texas Southern.

They join nearly three dozen universities across the country serving as HBCU C2 community coding centers or regional hubs. Since 2019, participating HBCUs have offered new learning opportunities to thousands of degree-seeking students and community learners and expanded their impact through partnerships with local K-12 schools, community organizations, local governments, and more. 

As part of its Community Education Initiative, Apple is supporting the institutions with equipment and ongoing professional development to become the pre-eminent HBCU C2 community center to bring coding and creativity to their communities.

Faculty and educators will learn about coding and app development, and work with Apple to identify opportunities to incorporate its comprehensive Everyone Can Code and Everyone Can Create curricula, which utilizes the easy-to-learn Swift programming language. Support from Apple also includes mobile iPad and Mac labs, opportunities for student jobs and scholarships, and funding for staff. 

To learn more about TSU’s HBCU Cinitiative, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/hbcuc2/.

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.

Mother, three children enter college at TSU, promise to motivate each other

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When Tajuana Dixon-Nations graduated high school 27 years ago, she put pursuing higher education on hold to raise a family. Little did she know that one day she and her children would enter college at the same time and at the same institution: Tennessee State University.

TSU President Glenda Glover; and Terrence Izzard, Associate VP for Admissions and Recruitment, greet Tajuana Dixon-Nations and her children. From left are: Izzard, Gregory Nations, Jr., Gelon Nations, President Glover, Chantrise Dixon, and Tajuana. (TSU Media Relations)

On Aug. 18, the mother of four started classes at TSU as a freshman, along with her 18-year-old son Gelon Nations, also a freshman, who is majoring in psychology. Gregory Nations, Jr., Tajuana’s middle son and a sophomore, is transferring to TSU to join mom, little brother, and big sister, Chantrise Dixon. Chantrise is re-enrolling after dropping out of TSU a few years ago to care for a family of her own.

The family said it is all about trying to motivate each other, and because of a long history with TSU.

“I am hoping to change the dynamics for my family, to ensure a good future for all of us,” said Tajuana Dixon-Nations, of LaVergne, Tennessee, who is majoring in business. “This was a decision we made when my youngest son talked about taking a year off after high school. I said, ‘That’s not going to happen; Gelon needs to be in school.’ So, all of us decided to rally around him.”

A TSU admissions counselor, left, talks to Tajuana Dixon-Nations and her children about enrollment at the university. (TSU Media Relations)

Gregory, who is transferring from Middle Tennessee State University where he is majoring in business, and big sister Chantrise, said they also want to keep an eye on their younger brother.

“Right then I decided it was a perfect time to go after my dream of going to college to better myself, and at the same time stay close to my children as an encouragement, especially to my youngest,” said Tajuana, an enrollment specialist with Metro Nashville Public Schools. “I always wanted to attend TSU. It’s a dream come true for me. Many family members came to this university.”

Through the intervention of TSU President Glenda Glover, Tajuana and her children have secured the necessary assistance to help finance their education. They will all receive financial aid. Gregory and Chantrise will benefit from special incentives offered to transfer and returning students.

“It is exciting when an entire family wants to attend Tennessee State University,” said President Glover, who met the mother and her children as they interacted with admissions and financial aid counselors in Kean Hall. “We are glad that financial aid was available to make it possible to get their balances paid so they all can come and finish their degree. We are excited about this.”

Terrence Izzard, associate vice president for Admissions and Recruitment, said educational advancement is a “family affair.” He congratulated Tajuana and her children for the team effort to better themselves.

“Educational advancement is one of the most dynamic ways for upward mobility,” Izzard said. “To have this family join us this fall is really an honor and a momentous opportunity for them to be uplifted through education.”

For Gelon, the new freshman, the thought of coming to school with his mom never crossed his mind. “That’s crazy,” Gelon said, when he found out. “I didn’t even know she was coming. It was surprising, but I was excited, because we might be able to help each other. I am glad my sister and brother are also here.”

Chantrise, who is returning as a business major, said she is glad to see her brothers in school, and it gives her “a special feeling” to see their mother taking the time to pursue her education.

“Being the oldest, I wanted my little brothers to make more out of themselves; I had to get them down here,” said Chantrise, who has two kids of her own. “Our mother has been there for us. She put her life on hold for us and I am just so happy not to just see her in school, but right by our side. I also need to set an example for my own children.”

Gregory added that he has great expectations for the family, especially with “mom working along with us.”

“I am glad that she encouraged me to transfer to be here on the same campus with her,” Gregory said. “Now, she has the chance to go back and take care of what she missed out on. For my little brother, I didn’t want him to sit out. So, I said I will transfer to be with him.”

Tajuana’s eldest son, Ta Juan Dixon, serves in the Tennessee National Guard. She said she will do most of her classes online, to keep up with her job, as well as stay near her husband, Gregory Nations, Sr.

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 course on history of HBCUS and their global impact

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is offering a course on the history of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and their impact around the world.  

Dr. Learotha Williams, TSU history professor who will teach HBCU course.

The course starts this fall and is available to undergraduates and graduates. It provides a chronological and thematic study of the history of HBCUs in the United States from 1837 to the present, paying close attention to the ways they have influenced the social, economic, political, and intellectual life of African Americans in the U.S. and the impact their graduates have had on Modern America and the world.

“Along with President Glenda Glover, the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs is excited to have initiated the effort to bring this course to fruition,” said Dr. Michael Harris, interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. 

“This course offers students deep insight into the success of HBCUs and their impact on American society. HBCUs are the pillar of educational excellence, key institutional anchors for neighborhoods and communities, and foundational to the academic experience of African Americans.”

There are more than 100 HBCUs in the United States. They have pretty much always maintained a degree of popularity. But more attention was undoubtedly given to them when former U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, a graduate of Howard University, began her run for vice president of the United States. And the spotlight on HBCUs has remained now that Harris has become the second most powerful person in the world.

“Needless to say, that we are excited about this course on the history of HBCU’s,” said Dr. Samantha Morgan-Curtis, dean of the College of Liberal Arts at TSU. “It is important to recognize and promote the rich history and impact of HBCUs.”

In the course, students explore the historic role that HBCUs have played in the development of the communities where they are located and the intimate relationship they cultivated with the residents of those spaces over time.

“I am excited about taking a scholarly look at these institutions,” said Dr. Learotha Williams, a history professor at TSU who is teaching the course. “I hope to provide a better understanding of the role of HBCUs in American society. Not only that, but the national and international impact they’ve had, particularly the individuals and social movements they’ve produced.”

To learn more about HIST 4325, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/history/.

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.