Category Archives: FEATURED

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 President Emeritus Dr. Frederick S. Humphries remembered as a man who inspired others to be ‘extraordinary’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Many turned out for a memorial service in honor of Dr. Frederick Stephen Humphries, a stalwart of higher education and President Emeritus of Tennessee State University and Florida A&M University, who inspired the “ordinary to become extraordinary.”

Dr. Frederick S. Humphries

Dr. Humphries, who was TSU’s fourth president, passed away on June 24 at the age of 85. The memorial service on July 18 was held at TSU’s Avon Williams Campus near downtown.

A number of those who attended recalled his leadership and staunch support of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). But they also talked about his role in helping to win the landmark court case that merged Tennessee State University and the University of Tennessee at Nashville, with TSU becoming the surviving institution. The campus where the memorial was held was once a part of UTN.

Historians have said 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.

TSU President Dr. Glenda Glover and FAMU President Dr. Larry Robinson (Photo by Andre Bean)

Georgette Dixon attended Sunday’s memorial. Dixon, who became TSU’s first female student government association president (’82-’83) during Humphries’ 11 years (1974-1975) at TSU, was among the grand marshals when Humphries received a Special Presidential Award at TSU’s 2017 Homecoming.

“Dr. Humphries reached the goal of preserving the legacy of Tennessee state university and other HBCUs across the nation that have faced similar challenges of potential merger and hostile takeover when he led the fight and won the landmark court decision resulting in the merger of the University of Tennessee Nashville with Tennessee State University, and we maintained our TSU legacy,” said Dixon, who is currently an executive vice president and head of external engagement for diverse segments representation and inclusion at Wells Fargo.

Dr. Frederick Humphries and TSU alum Georgette Dixon at the 2017 Homecoming celebration at TSU. (TSU Media Relations)

While at TSU, Humphries’ excellent administration skills resulted in recruitment of top faculty, better academic programs, increased enrollment and quality of students, and expanded scholarships and support activities.  

In 1985, Humphries became president of Florida A&M University, 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.  

Regardless of where he was, Dixon said Humphries made a difference.

“Every living soul that Dr. Humphries has touched over his lifetime is better today for having been in his midst and benefitted from his legacy,” she said. “Dr. Humphries paved the way for all of us, his family, his friends, and all whom he influenced and inspired, to rise above the ordinary, to become extraordinary, in life and in the pursuit of excellence.”

Bryan Williams, who was also an SGA president (’77-’78) during Humphries’ tenure, agreed. The New York attorney could not attend the memorial service, but he sent a letter to be read, as did others.

“He was absolutely inspirational,” said Williams. “I think he inspired a lot of folks to know just how much they could stand up, and be aggressive, in a way that got things done. I know he inspired me, as a young man looking to the kinds of people that you can be later on in life. He was one of my heroes.”

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 the 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 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 to share $1.2M from Baxter to support students pursuing health and sciences at HBCUs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University will receive part of $1.2 million from Baxter International Inc., a leading global medical products company, to support Black students pursuing health and science degrees and ultimately help expand the pipeline of Black healthcare professionals.

Baxter recently announced the introduction of three scholarship and grant programs. Over a three-year period, the funds will be distributed to TSU and two other historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs): Meharry Medical College and Morehouse School of Medicine.

Last year, TSU and Meharry Medical College announced a new partnership focused on establishing a pipeline of African-American doctors and dentists who will provide essential care to underserved communities. The initiative is named after one of TSU’s most distinguished graduates, Dr. Levi Watkins Jr., an internationally renowned cardiac surgeon who holds an honorary degree from Meharry. 

The accelerated pipeline program prepares qualified TSU students for early acceptance to Meharry, where students will spend three years in pre-medical courses of study at TSU before being admitted to and enrolling at Meharry to study medicine or dentistry. The Pathway Program participants will complete their undergraduate and medical school studies in seven years, instead of the customary eight years.

“The Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Institute is grateful to Baxter for its support and participation in this journey to increase the number of African American physicians and dentists, to assist young outstanding students in pursuing their dreams, and to invest in the communities we serve,” said Ms. Barbara Murrell, chair of the Institute. “This is an exciting time!”

The new scholarships are part of Baxter’s Activating Change Today initiative to advance inclusion and racial justice.

“The lack of diversity in healthcare is a longstanding and multifaceted problem, one that we are focused on helping to address,” said Verónica Arroyave, senior director of Global Community Relations at Baxter. “Creating opportunities that support and empower Black students to pursue medical and scientific careers is one way we can help drive positive change, and we are proud to partner with respected organizations like Meharry, Morehouse, and Tennessee State to expand this effort.”

To learn more about the Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Institute at TSU, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/watkins/.

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, US Space Force discuss partnership that would benefit students in STEM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University officials recently met with United States Space Force officers to discuss a possible partnership that would benefit TSU students.

The meeting with Gen. John Raymond, chief of space operations, and Brig. Gen. Shawn Campbell, assistant deputy chief of space operations, took place late last month at TSU. Dr. Michael Harris, interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at TSU, welcomed the men on behalf of TSU President Glenda Glover.

The US Space Force is in the exploratory stages of starting an office of university partnerships. This includes designing a program that has military and civilian placements, as well as potential placements with NASA and commercial space corporations. They are specifically looking in the areas of ROTC interest in space, cyber security, STEM, intelligence capacity, analytical abilities, and overall minority talent.

Harris expressed TSU’s interest to be among the founding universities in the partnership and its value to both sides.

“TSU is a natural potential partner in the areas of workforce development, student pathways, internships, and research/grants,” said Harris.

Lt. Col. Nick Callaway, commander of the university’s AFROTC Detachment 790, said students would benefit the most from such a partnership.

“A partnership between TSU and the U.S. Space Force has great potential to bring opportunities to TSU students,” said Callaway. “Opportunities such as internships and various research projects are possible outcomes. With the Space Force’s emphasis on diversity and STEM education, a partnership could result in unique and very rewarding experiences for TSU students.”

TSU AFROTC Cadet Christopher Renaud was recently awarded a scholarship from Space Force. The junior aerospace major agreed a partnership with Space Force would be beneficial.

“Having a Space Force presence will allow more extracurricular opportunities in unique fields we don’t always experience,” said Renaud.

To learn more about US Space Force, visit https://www.spaceforce.mil/.

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.