Category Archives: Featured

TSU President Glenda Glover nominated for 2021 inclusive leader award

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – TSU President Glenda Glover is a nominee for the GlobalMindED 2021Inclusive Leader Awards. Glover is among leaders from across 15 industry sectors nominated for this year’s awards. Winners will be announced virtually on Nov. 3.

President Glenda Glover

The awards recognize the “most inclusive” leaders in key industries for their innovations and bold actions to promote access and equity for women, people of color, and underrepresented populations in their recruiting, development, and in their pipeline strategies from education to employment.

“I am delighted and honored to be nominated for this prestigious award, along with other distinguished leaders who are impacting our world in very positive ways,” Dr. Glover said. “GlobalMindED’s work to close the equity gap by creating a capable, diverse talent pipeline with programs for students from the least resourced background is highly commendable.”

According to its webpage, GlobalMindED serves low-income students, returning adults seeking badges/credentials, First Gen to college and inclusive leaders who teach them, work with them and hire them. The organization’s goal is to reach 25,000,000 First Gen college students, graduates, those who work with them and those who want to hire them algorithmically connected to role models, mentors, internships and jobs. 

Students and the general public are invited to attend the awards ceremony on Nov. 3, beginning at 5 p.m. Central/6 p.m. Eastern. To attend you must register at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_wcSRBKoARb-5d75rLrp8yw

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.

Gospel explosion featuring Grammy winner Tye Tribbett to kick off TSU’s 2021 Homecoming week

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is kicking off its 2021 Homecoming with a gospel explosion featuring Grammy and Stellar awards winning gospel legend Tye Tribbett. Known for such hit albums as “Greater Than” and “The Bloody Win,” the singer, songwriter and keyboardist will headline the show in the Gentry Center Sunday, Oct. 24, beginning at 6 p.m.

Other big-name stars and groups taking part in the concert include gospel notables Earnest Pugh, winner of Best Gospel Album at the 6th Annual Independent Music Awards; Stellar Award nominee Lisa Knowles Smith; the renowned TSU New Direction Gospel Choir; and the legendary Nate Bean & 4Given gospel group.

Themed “The Return,” this year’s homecoming is buzzing with excitement as the university returns to normal celebration, following the cancellation of homecoming last year and the scaling down of many other activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers say all safety protocols will be observed.

Jeia Moore is excited about The Return.

“I am pretty excited to have homecoming in person. It’s going to have many surprises and excitement,” says Jeia Moore, a senior information systems major from Memphis, Tennessee. “Lots of expectations are riding on this homecoming. The student body is really excited that we are keeping the tradition of the gospel explosion, which is bringing artists that have literally raised us from little kids in the church to who we are now.”

 Derrick Sanders, president of the Student Government Association, says, “This is going to be a homecoming to remember.” He’s glad the university is keeping safety in mind, and hopes homecoming participants will be responsible.

Derrick Sanders says Homecoming will be one to remember.

“We want everybody to stay safe; to wear a mask, protect one another,” says Sanders, a senior English major from Cincinnati.

Besides the big game against Murray State at Nissan Stadium on Oct. 30 and the parade that morning, another major highlight of TSU’s homecoming is the Annual Scholarship Gala, TSU’s signature fundraising event. It will take place on Oct. 29 at the Music City Center. This year, the gala welcomes Grammy award-winning artist Howard Hewett, and for masters of ceremony, award-winning radio personality Jasmine Sanders and comedian and actor Rodney Perry.

Other homecoming activities this year include the Robert N. Murrell Oratorical Contest on Oct. 24; the Coronation of Mr. TSU and Miss TSU on Oct. 27; the homecoming concert featuring rappers Chief Keef, Sada Baby, Dreezy, and Big Scarr on Oct. 28; the Breakfast of Champions, the Charles Campbell Fish Fry, and the National Pan-Hellenic Step Show on Oct. 29; and the legendary Homecoming Parade on Oct. 30.

The parade will be from 14th and Jefferson Street to 33rd and John Merritt Boulevard.

For more information about TSU’s 2021 Homecoming, visit https://bit.ly/3aBoV7M.

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.

Student mentorship, retaining excellence focus of new Miss TSU Mallory Moore

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News) – As the 2021-2022 Miss Tennessee State University, Mallory Moore is using her unique position to implement a platform built around mentorship and providing opportunities for fellow students.  

Miss TSU Mallory Moore

To achieve her goal, she has initiated “Our Turn – Doing M.O.O.R.E,” or Making Opportunities Open to Retain Excellence, aimed at continuing TSU’s legacy of scholarship, leadership, and service; as well as “Shadowing a Tiger,” a mentoring program for freshmen and sophomores. 

“I want to do a mentorship initiative because I know for me coming in as a freshman, I didn’t have that and it made things a lot difficult for me,” says Moore. “I don’t want other students to face those difficulties. So, I want to create this program for the freshmen, and I am including the sophomores because the sophomore class didn’t get one because they were home due to the pandemic.” 

Moore is a senior health science major from Birmingham, Alabama. She won the coveted Miss TSU title in April after a fierce election process that also ushered in a new Mr. TSU (Mark T. Davis, Jr.), a new Royal Court, and other Student Government Association officers. 

As a former Miss Junior, Moore says she understands the challenges students coming to college for the first time face, such as coping in a new environment, developing new study habits, and making new friends. She wants to help them overcome potential pitfalls that could hinder their progress. 

“I am very determined, and I see that a lot of people see that I am very confident, and as a leader, I want to pass that on to them,” says Moore. “I want them to understand that college is fun, but to also remind them that there is a greater goal and an expected end, which is their eventual graduation.”  

Moore says although coming to TSU was to fulfill her mother’s dream of attending an historically black college or university (HBCU), she has no regrets about becoming a “Big Blue Tiger.” 

“The reason why I chose to come to TSU is because my mom wanted to go to TSU when she was my age, but my grandmother wouldn’t let her. She wanted her to go to a predominantly white institution. So, she begged me to go on a visit. I took my mom’s advice and came on a visit, and I immediately fell in love the moment I stepped on the campus. It has been the perfect home for me.” 

In addition to being Miss TSU, Moore is active in many campus organizations and programs. For two years, she served on the university’s cheerleading team, whose coach, Dwight Pope, she credits with helping to keep her on track.

“Coach Pope was very hard on , and I was upset with him at times, but looking back, he was teaching things I needed to know for this moment,” she says.

Moore is a member of the TSU choir, and the National Honor Society of Leadership and Success. She was initiated into Chi Psi chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity Incorporated, Alpha Psi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, and Order of Omega National Honor Society for Greek Leaders. 

The coronation of Mr. TSU and Miss TSU will be part of Homecoming week activities. It will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 27 in Kean Hall, starting at 7 p.m. 

For more information about TSU’s 2021 Homecoming, visit https://bit.ly/3aBoV7M.

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.

Mr. TSU Mark Davis wants to help male students develop into responsible men that impact society

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Mark T. Davis, Jr., the new Mr. Tennessee State University, says his goal is to help male students develop into men with good character traits that others can emulate. The goal, he says, is to change the stereotypical view people have of “our young males” because of the way many carry themselves. 

Mr. TSU Mark T. Davis, Jr.

‘We must try to change the way the world looks at our students, especially the black males, and TSU is doing a very good job in that area,” says Davis, a Cincinnati native. “I came here on an HBCU college bus tour, and immediately fell in love with the university.  ‘No durags, wife beaters, or sagging pants.’” 

A senior English major, Davis has developed a five-point plan called “BLUE IS KING,” where BLUE stands for Building Legacies Upon Existence. The plan focuses on sexual assault awareness, mental health, campus engagement, creating a definition of what a man is, and embracing your difference. He hopes this will leave a legacy that impacts future students. 

“This HBCU is preparing us for the real world,” says Davis, who formerly served as Mr. Junior. “What I want to accomplish as Mr. TSU is to really make sure that by the time I am done with my reign, people will remember how I made them feel as Mr. TSU,”  

As part of his plan, Davis has initiated several events he says help students stay engaged. They include: “Eye of the Tiger Scavenger Hunt,” an informative program with hints that tell something new about TSU; “Tailored Tuesdays,” which challenges males and females to dress up in business casual attire but emphasizes business professional; and “Today’s Quote,” that involves passing out motivational quotes in the courtyard on Wednesdays. 

“I really just am excited about my initiatives, in pushing forward what kings or professionals are supposed to look like, or what’s business casual,” says Davis. “I just want to make sure that when other people come on our campus and see a male, that that male is a good representation of TSU.”

Davis is part of Allure Modeling Troupe, Collegiate 100, and Pep Club.

The coronation of Mr. TSU and Miss TSU will be part of Homecoming week activities. It will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 27 in Kean Hall, starting at 7 p.m. 

For more information about TSU’s 2021 Homecoming, visit https://bit.ly/3aBoV7M.

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.

Grammy awarding-winning artist Howard Hewett, rapper Chief Keef to headline TSU 2021 Homecoming ‘The Return’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Legendary R&B crooner Howard Hewett and rapper Chief Keef will headline Tennessee State University’s 2021 Homecoming, the first in-person celebration in over a year.

TSU President Glenda Glover

The COVID-19 pandemic forced TSU to have a non-traditional virtual homecoming last year. But, appropriately themed “The Return,” this year’s celebration Oct.24-31 is pretty much back to normal.

“This is an exciting and special time at Tennessee State University. After a year without a homecoming because of the pandemic, we have returned!” says TSU President Glenda Glover. “This homecoming is extra special because of what we have all endured over the last two years. This is a time for us to come together, and celebrate, as one big family. So, it’s with extra enthusiasm that I salute this year’s honorees, grand marshals, and special presidential grand marshal. May this homecoming be spectacular!”  

This year’s honorees are: Herman Brady, educator and U.S. Army veteran; Dr. Dorothy Granberry, higher ed. administrator and columnist; Dr. James Haney, retired history professor; and Dr. Sandra Holt, educator and ordained elder.  

Tennessee Rep. Harold Love, Jr. is this year’s Special Presidential Grand Marshal. Other grand marshals are: Dr. Alvin Crawford, a world-renowned orthopaedic surgeon and U.S. Navy veteran; Celestine Lowe, educator; and Alvin Marley, CPA.

Grant Winrow, Homecoming chair

Homecoming organizers say while they are excited to once again gather in-person, safety remains a priority amid the pandemic.

“The excitement to reunite again this year has been overwhelming, and for good reason, after having to make the difficult decision to cancel our in-person homecoming last year,” says homecoming chairman Grant Winrow. “However, we have modified a few of our events as we are committed to adhering to all safety protocols. We will have temperature check stations, as well as disposable masks for those who may need them.”

Student Government Association President Derrick Sanders says he’s glad the university is keeping safety in mind, and hopes homecoming participants will be responsible.

“We want everybody to stay safe; to wear a mask, protect one another,” says Sanders, a senior English major from Cincinnati, Ohio. “This is going to be a homecoming to remember.”

Besides the big game against Murray State at Nissan Stadium on Oct. 30 and the parade that morning, another major highlight of TSU’s homecoming is the Annual Scholarship Gala, TSU’s signature fundraising event. It will take place on Oct. 29 at the Music City Center. This year, the gala welcomes Grammy award-winning artist Howard Hewett, and for masters of ceremony, award-winning radio personality Jasmine Sanders and comedian and actor Rodney Perry.

Howard Hewett

“The Gala provides the critical funds necessary to meet the significant need for student scholarships, as well as ensure students have access to relevant academic programs that prepares them for an innovative and global marketplace,” says gala chairwoman Iris Ramey, who is assisted by co-chairs Debbi Howard and Marie Sueing. “We are very fortunate to have a community of donors and friends who have given of their time, energy, and personal resources to invest in Tennessee State University.”

Other homecoming activities this year include the Robert N. Murrell Oratorical Contest on Oct. 24; the Coronation of Mr. TSU and Miss TSU on Oct. 27; the homecoming concert featuring rappers Chief Keef, Sada Baby, Dreezy, and Big Scarr on Oct. 28; the Breakfast of Champions, the Charles Campbell Fish Fry, and the National Pan-Hellenic Step Show on Oct. 29; and the legendary Homecoming Parade on Oct. 30.

The parade will be from 14th and Jefferson Street to 33rd and John Merritt Boulevard.

For more information about TSU’s 2021 Homecoming, visit https://bit.ly/3aBoV7M.

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.

Funding renewed for TSU, Meharry, Vanderbilt-Ingram partnership on cancer disparities

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Meharry Medical College/Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center/Tennessee State University Partnership (MVTCP) has received renewed funding for the next five years to continue long-standing collaborations to eliminate cancer health disparities. The news comes during the annual campaign to raise awareness about the impact of breast cancer.  

Dr. Margaret Whalen, professor of Chemistry at TSU

The National Cancer Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health, awarded the grant through the U54 Comprehensive Partnerships to Advance Cancer Health Equity (CPACHE) program. The MVTCP is the longest-standing partnership in the United States through this program, entering into its 22nd consecutive year of funding in September of 2021. The partnership was formed in 1999 between Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) and Meharry Medical College, and a year later, successfully competed for one of only two funded CPACHE grants. Tennessee State University (TSU) joined the partnership in 2011.

The MVTCP’s goals include strengthening the infrastructure and capabilities of Meharry and TSU to engage in cancer research and expanding cancer health disparities research at VICC. Six principal investigators lead the MVTCP from the three partner institutions: Samuel Evans Adunyah, PhD, and Duane Smoot, MD, of Meharry, Tuya Pal, MD, and Ann Richmond, PhD, of VICC; and Margaret Whalen, PhD, and Venkataswarup Tiriveedhi, MD, PhD, of TSU.

“This partnership is also crucial in providing opportunities for our undergraduate and graduate students to participate in cancer research and in increasing the ability of our faculty to garner support for their cancer research projects,” said Whalen, professor of Chemistry at TSU.

“At Meharry, this new award will support one full project in prostate cancer, one pilot project on cancer immunology and several cores, including the PRACTICE CORE, which includes Oncology Clinical Trials to enhance recruitment of minorities to cancer clinical trials, Translational Pathology Core and Research Education Core.  Moreover, it will provide support for at least three PhD trainees and 15 first year medical students in Meharry,” said Adunyah, chair and professor of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology at Meharry.

VICC will continue to engage with Meharry and TSU researchers and students by sharing its state-of-the-art resources, focusing on probing the reasons for cancer health disparities and investigating interventions to address these inequities.

“While we are proud of what our partnership has accomplished over the past 20 years, we still have much to do. We will continue to build capacity for cancer disparities research while engaging the community that we are so honored to serve,” said Pal, associate director for Cancer Health Disparities at VICC, Ingram Professor of Cancer Research and professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt.

“This grant will further ongoing opportunities to continue to grow funding for cancer research at Meharry Medical College and Tennessee State University and to further cancer disparities research with the VICC. The impact and outcomes of the MVTCP cancer research education activities result in the building of a more diverse population of cancer researchers,” said Ann Richmond, PhD, Ingram Professor of Cancer Biology and director of the Graduate Program in Cancer Biology at Vanderbilt.

TSU offers experience and expertise in reaching minority populations in a culturally appropriate manner. It can extend the impact of the MVTCP’s shared goals and serve as a pipeline for future cancer researchers. The university enrolls over 8,000 students each year and offers both graduate and undergraduate health science degrees.

“Through the MVTCP, TSU will continue to engage in critically important community outreach efforts regarding cancer. The partnership has been and will continue to be vital to the development of cancer research and outreach capacity at TSU,” said Whalen.

While the grant will support overarching research goals, it will also fund three special projects to address cancers that disproportionately affect African Americans either by incidence or mortality.

· The BRAVE Strategy (Breast Cancer Risk Assessment, achieving Equity) project will conduct a clinical trial focused on developing and testing strategies to reduce racial disparities in breast cancer mortality. According to the latest statistics, African American women have a 31 percent breast cancer mortality rate – the highest of any U.S. racial or ethnic group. Lucy Spalluto, MD, of VICC, Maureen Sanderson, PhD, of Meharry, and Rebecca Selove, PhD, MPH, of TSU, lead the initiative.

· The “Role of Fetuin-A in Prostate Cancer Progression and Prevention” project will address the significant need to identify biomarkers that can differentiate between prostate cancers that stop responding to hormone therapy and prostate cancers that are more indolent and don’t require aggressive treatment. Josiah Ochieng, PhD, of Meharry, Zhenbang Chen, PhD, of Meharry and Robert Matusik, PhD, of VICC lead the initiative.

· The “Developing Immune Checkpoint Controlled-release Biomaterials for Cancer” project will test whether immunotherapy response can be improved in ovarian cancer patients by optimizing controlled and sustained local release of checkpoint ligands. Anil Shanker, PhD, of Meharry, Todd Giorgio, PhD, of VICC, and Richard Mu, PhD, of TSU, lead the initiative.

The MVTCP has achieved numerous goals throughout its history. During the five years of its prior funding cycle, the partnership increased its research productivity, invested in collaborative infrastructure, advanced cancer research education, recruited new investigators and engaged with community partners to better inform research.

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 makes taking student portrait easy with first self-serve, innovative professional photo booth

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Do you need a professional-quality headshot for graduate school or a job application but don’t know where to go? Look no more, the Tennessee State University Career Development Center has you covered!

Brionika Johnson, a graduating senior, edits a headshot in the Iris Booth for her senior portfolio. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

On Oct. 6, the center held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Iris Booth, an innovative, self-serve professional photo booth that allows students, faculty, and staff to take headshots. TSU is the first historically black higher education institution to use the Iris Booth, and one of only six universities in the nation with this high-tech equipment. It is used by corporations and hospitals in North America, Europe, and Asia. 

“This is amazing, and it is groundbreaking as our students now have the opportunity to experience professional photography brought by the Career Development Center,” said Frank Stevenson, associate vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students. “We are excited about what this will mean for our students moving forward. It gives them a head start going into the marketplace. It prepares them and allows them to have their best foot forward as they prepare for potential employment opportunities.” 

Antoinette Hargrove Duke, Director of the Career Development Center, welcomes officials, students and staff to the opening of the Iris Booth. From right, are: Frank Stevenson, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs; Prof. Rita Fleming, Faculty Senate representative; and Miss TSU Mallory Moore. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

Brionika Johnson, a senior business administration major, was one of the first students to sit for her headshot in the booth, following the ribbon cutting. She was impressed by the clarity of her photo and how easy it was to use the system. 

“One thing that students complain a lot about is that they can’t get professional headshots when going to interviews, or going to companies,” said Johnson, who is from Atlanta. “This is another good example of the Career Development Center helping students prepare for the workforce.” 

Officials say the Iris Booth demonstrates the university’s commitment to engage and support students as they begin or continue their career journeys. The easy-to-use unit – located in the CDC – uses high quality lighting and allows users to approve or retake photos. It also allows users to crop photos, touch up blemishes, whiten teeth, or apply filters, and instantly delivers digital photos via email. 

Frank Stevenson, who is also Dean of Students, enters his profile information for a professional headshot. He calls the Iris Booth innovation ‘groundbreaking.’ (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

“With the Iris Booth, we no longer have to find somebody for you to get a professional picture. We no longer have to hire anyone,” Antoinette Hargrove Duke, director of the Career Development Center, told students, as she thanked the leadership of the Student Affairs office for supporting the idea for the booth. 

“Our students deserve this cutting-edge technology,” Duke added. “They no longer have an excuse for looking their very best when going to look for internships or going for job interviews.” 

Duke also thanked her staff and the student leadership for their support, as well as the staff of the TSU Facilities Department for transforming the previous office space to install the photo booth. 

The Iris Booth is open to faculty, staff and students. Many attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony in the Career Development Center. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

Derrick Sanders, president of the Student Government Association, expressed appreciation to the CDC for its support, and urged his fellow students to take advantage of not only the new booth, but the center. 

“I just want to say to all the students to make sure you come here, not only to get your headshot, but take advantage of the resources in this office,” said Sanders. “The headshot is definitely a key piece to the industrial field and life after TSU. But I also encourage all of you to be engaged in this office.” 

Also participating in the ribbon-cutting ceremony were Prof. Rita Fleming, who represented Dr. Kimberly Triplett, chair of the Faculty Senate; Mister TSU Mark T. Davis, Jr.; Miss TSU Mallory Moore; and Tanya McNeal, student ambassador. 

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 administrator, professor named to state post-secondary education reform group

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) -The State Collaborative on Reforming Education has selected two Tennessee State University officials to be part of its Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute for 2021-22.

Dr. Verontae Deams

Dr. Verontae Deams, university registrar; and Dr. Alexis Gatson Heaston, assistant professor in the College of Health Sciences, will join 30 other higher education, K-12, government, business, and nonprofit organization leaders selected by SCORE as the next cohort of the institute.

In partnership with The Hunt Institute, a leader in the movement to transform public education, SCORE will provide learning opportunities for participants in CTLI, whose goal is to eliminate barriers to post-secondary education and completion in Tennessee.

“I am honored to be selected as a participant in the 2021-2022 Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute,” Deams said. “This opportunity will allow collaboration with other thought leaders to ensure academic success in higher education throughout the state of Tennessee.”

Dr. Alexis Gatson Heaston

Heaston, who teaches public health, health administration and health sciences, said she is “humbled and excited” to be a part of the CTLI cohort.

“I look forward to working alongside a group of outstanding professionals whose aim is to ensure Tennessee attracts, recruits, and retains students on a post-secondary level,” she said.

According to the latest figures from the Lumina Foundation, Tennessee’s college attainment rate is just shy of 47 percent. Since 2019, SCORE has partnered with The Hunt Institute to provide national perspective for CTLI participants and help lead them in translating what they learn into action in their communities.

“Community college enrollment rates in Tennessee dropped significantly in the fall of 2020, most notably for Black and Hispanic students,” SCORE President and CEO David Mansouri said. “Given the compounding effect the pandemic is having on college enrollment, persistence, and completion, it is more urgent than ever that we partner with the leaders in this cohort to ensure that every Tennessee student has the opportunity and support needed to attend and complete postsecondary education.”

Dr. Javaid Saddiqi, president and CEO of The Hunt Institute, added, “Over the past three years, we’ve been impressed with the way in which CTLI has brought together a diverse group of thought leaders from across Tennessee. Among past cohort members, we’ve seen an immense increase in leadership capacity and knowledge regarding higher education issues.”

Since 2016, CTLI has created a space where leaders from across Tennessee collectively focus on eliminating barriers to postsecondary education and completion. Over the coming year, Deams, Heaston and their colleagues in the CTLI will work to identify the barriers and equity gaps that exist in the state’s post-secondary system and advocate within their own communities to drive systemic change.

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 opens newly expanded and relocated on-campus food pantry to support students facing food insecurity

Nashville, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University and Kroger celebrated the grand opening of the newly expanded and relocated Tiger Food Pantry on Oct. 7 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony outside Wilson Hall where the pantry is located.

Ribbon-cutting ceremony for newly expanded Tiger Food Pantry. (TSU Media Relations)

The pantry, which is on the lower level of the dormitory, is the result of a partnership between Kroger and TSU to help continue to address food insecurity on campus. The College and University Food Bank Alliance estimates that 30 percent of college students in the United States are food insecure. The pantry will offer TSU students in need access to shelf stable food items, frozen meals, and fresh product at no cost. The pantry will be open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 11am – 3pm, and will be staffed in part by student volunteers.

“We are extremely grateful to have this partnership with Kroger that will allow us to do even more to meet the needs of our students,” said Frank Stevenson, associate vice president of Student Affairs and dean of students at TSU. “The last thing they need to worry about is what they’re going to eat. Partnerships like this between the business community and TSU show the concern companies like Kroger have for the well-being of our students. Together, we can make a difference.”

As the presenting partner of the Tiger Pantry, Kroger contributed $25,000 in cash, as well as equipment to TSU to help establish the new pantry inside Wilson Hall.

“Through our Zero Hunger | Zero Waste plan, we are committed to ending hunger in the communities we call home and eliminating waste in our company,” said Melissa Eads, corporate affairs manager for the Kroger Nashville division. “It is through partnerships like this one with TSU and the Tiger Pantry that we can address food insecurity while helping students succeed.”

While some of the Fresh Food for the pantry will come from Kroger, most of the food for the Tiger Pantry will come through Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. As a Second Harvest Partner Agency, TSU will have access to food through the food bank to select the items best suited for the students’ needs.

Student Government Association President Derrick Sanders said the pantry removes a concern a student should not have.

“It cost a lot to go to college,” said Sanders, a senior English major from Cincinnati, Ohio. “Some students are paying off loans, balances, and dealing with other things. The last thing they need to worry about is food.”

Nancy Keil, president and CEO of Second Harvest, agreed.

“Students facing hunger don’t always have access to the foods they need to reach their full potential even as they enter college,” said Keil. “We are proud to partner with TSU and Kroger to provide greater access to food directly on campus so students can focus on achieving their goals instead of wondering where their next meal will come from.”

The Tiger Pantry will officially open to students on Oct. 8.

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 President Glenda Glover testifies at congressional hearing, asks lawmakers to continue supporting HBCUs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover testified on Oct. 6 at a virtual congressional hearing about the importance of historically black colleges and universities and urged lawmakers to continue supporting them.

TSU President Glenda Glover

The hearing before the House Committee on Education and Labor examined the essential contributions that HBCUs have made, the history that sets these institutions apart, and the enduring challenges and financial needs that they and their students face.  

“HBCUs have stood the test of time and managed to succeed in spite of the difficulties,” said President Glover. “Now, we need your assistance – your financial assistance. We seek funding.”

She thanked lawmakers for legislation that provided financial support amid the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly to HBCUs, but she said more is needed.

“The emergency funding was significant because it assisted students as they faced this sudden crisis,” Glover said. “Today we ask you to continue that financial support of HBCUs, not just on the emergency basis as the CARES Act and other emergency funding has done in the past. We ask you to assist HBCUs as they seek to grow, develop, become more competitive and sustainable for years to come.”

She outlined three specific areas that HBCUs need funding: infrastructure and deferred maintenance; technology; new academic programs; and research.

Particularly in the case of infrastructure and maintenance, Glover said some HBCU presidents have deferred maintenance as much as $100 million or $200 million. At TSU, she said it’s around $300 million.

The hearing comes as TSU continues to work to get more than $500 million owed the institution because of years of unpaid land-grant matches by the state, dating back to the 1950s. A Tennessee joint legislative committee has said the university could receive between $150 million and $544 million. 

“When matching funds were required, many times the states did not provide the proper match,” Glover said in prepared remarks. “This type of short changing with matching funds has continued for generations.”

Despite their continued challenges and limited resources, Glover and others who testified noted the success HBCUs have had. For example, they account for just 3% of colleges in the United States, but produce: 22% of bachelor’s degrees earned by African Americans; 25% of African Americans with STEM degrees; 50% of African American public school teachers; 60% of African American health professionals; 50% of African American lawyers; 50% of African American doctors; and 83% of African American judges. Additionally, 24% of Ph.Ds earned each year by African Americans are conferred by 24 of the more than 100 HBCUs.

Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson, chair of the Education and Labor Committee’s Higher Education and Workforce Investment (HEWI) Subcommittee, led the hearing. She noted that several members of the Congressional Black Caucus are graduates of HBCUs, “including myself, a proud graduate of Fisk University, which was founded in 1866.”

“These historic institutions have nurtured and prepared generations of African Americans for success in a broad range of fields,” said Congresswoman Wilson.

For more information about HBCUs, visit https://bit.ly/3uOJZkH.

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.