Category Archives: SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES

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 dedicates new innovative, interdisciplinary Health Sciences Building

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

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

Tennessee State University announces new student leaders for 2021-22 after second virtual election

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University‘s Student Government Association has a new group of officers for the 2021/2022 academic year, and for the second time in the institution’s history, the campaigning and elections were held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Mister TSU Mark T. Davis, Jr., and Miss TSU Mallory Moore

The new student leadership, including a Mister TSU and a Miss TSU, was announced by the Student Election Commission earlier this month during Tiger Fest, after weeks of campaigning.  

TSU President Glenda Glover, along with staff from the Office of Student Affairs, congratulated the new officers when the election results were announced. 

Derrick Sanders, Jr., SGA Executive President

Derrick Sanders, Jr., a senior English major from Cincinnati, was elected executive president, while Jevaria Jefferson, a senior biology major from Memphis, Tennessee, was elected executive vice president. 

Birmingham, Alabama, native Mallory Moore, a senior health science major, won the coveted crown as the new Miss TSU. Mark Davis, as the new Mister TSU, will escort her. Davis, of Cincinnati, is a junior mass communications major. 

Frank Stevenson, associate vice president of student affairs and dean of students, described the new officers as a “dynamic group” of student leaders.

Jevaria Jefferson, SGA Executive Vice President

“They were each very strategic in sharing their platforms during the campaign,” Stevenson said. “Student leadership at TSU is not accidental but very intentional, and this group proves that in practice.” 

Sanders, who becomes the 81st administration executive president of the SGA, said he wants to be the “voice for the unheard, the eyes for the overlooked, and the heart for the discouraged.” He said his vision for the university embodies a “marketable TSU; academic excellence and affordability; recruitment, retention and resolution; community outreach; and honoring and highlighting all Tigers.”

“I want TSU to be the premier HBCU through proper planning and progressively developing the institution’s growth in enrollment and visibility,” said Sanders, who previously served as freshman class president, university ambassador, and a Tiger tour guide. His Generation of Educated Men student organization was among the first volunteer groups to help with the cleanup after the March 3, 2020 tornado that hit the TSU campus.

“With this vision, aligned with the passion of the Tigers who stand with me, we can take Tennessee State University to higher heights,” Sanders added.

Mallory, the new Miss TSU, said she sought the crown to do MOORE – Making Opportunities Open to Retain Excellence – for TSU. 

“It is our turn to continue the legacy of scholarship, leadership and service,” Mallory said. “Becoming Miss TSU is like a dream. I am so excited to put in the work for my illustrious institution.” 

Dr. Tobias R. Morgan, assistant dean of Student Engagement and Leadership, congratulated the new student leaders and thanked the Student Election Commission under the chairmanship of Akiliyiah Sumlin, for the very efficient way the process was conducted. Sumlin is a senior agricultural sciences major from Langston, Oklahoma. 

“Sumlin has been a true leader within SGA and the SEC branch since her freshman year,” Morgan said. “We are beyond thankful for her service and dedication.” 

Following is the list of the new Miss TSU court and other members of the SAG: 

Mister. Senior – Shaun Anderson 

Miss Senior – Destiny Pennington 

Senior Class President – Jayden Perry 

Senior Class Vice President – Cedrick Waters 

Senior Class Secretary – Dominique Wallace 

Mister Junior – Treveon Hayes 

Miss Junior – Sa’Mariah Harding 

Junior Class President – Coreyontez Martin 

Junior Class Treasurer – Johndylon Jeffrey 

Mister Sophomore – Alexander Brooks 

Miss Sophomore – Anasia Strickland 

Sophomore Class President – Aliyah Holmes 

Representatives-At-Large 

Kenneth Rolle 

Tanya McNeal 

Maya McClary 

Kassidy Johnson 

Jai Lewis 

Skye Green

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 students participate in Model United Nations conference, say forum gave insights on future careers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Two Tennessee State University political science students with interests in law say a recent Model United Nations conference they attended gave them better insights for their future career goals. 

Kimora Reeves and Maya Weaver, both sophomores from Knoxville, Tennessee, participated in the Southern Regional Model UN conference March 26-28. They represented the nation of Jamaica. 

Kimora Reeves

Model UN is a simulation where students represent countries at the United Nations and attempt to solve global issues dealing with security, education, healthcare, and many other issues, said Dr. John Miglietta, a TSU professor of political science and student advisor. The conference builds research and public speaking skills, as well as negotiating skills. 

Reaves, who wants to become a civil rights attorney, attended the conference for the second time. She said she learned things that could be helpful in her future career goal. 

“I really appreciate these conferences because they help prepare me for engagements like the career I want to pursue,” said Reaves, who served on the commission on narcotic drugs, which dealt with issues on illegal narcotics, drug addiction and the impact on young people. 

“It is paramount to have confidence, great public speaking, and efficient writing in this field and the Model UN has given me the opportunity to put these skills to action.” 

Maya Weaver

For Weaver, who wants a career in international relations and law, she said preparing for this conference took a little more time because she wanted to make sure “I had educational and concrete ideas” that others could agree on. She served on the General Assembly Fourth Committee, which dealt with expanding access to relief programs for Palestine refugees in the Near East, and retraining peacekeepers to better adapt to their expanded mandates. 

“Both topics sparked strenuous, insightful, and difficult conversations and debates,” said Weaver. “The discussions were on what should be done and how it would be beneficial in the long run. So, Model UN is the best platform for me to begin learning and building the necessary skills to accomplish my career goals.”  

Reaves and Weaver credit their team advisor for getting them well prepared to participate at the highest level in the conference. 

“We appreciate Dr. Miglietta especially for taking his time to ensure that we, as delegates, were prepared and overall understood the process,” said Reaves.   

TSU has participated in the Model UN for nearly 20 years, but this was the first time it was held virtually because of the pandemic.

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.

 

National Urban League President Marc Morial and journalist wife michelle miller to deliver TSU commencement addresses

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University spring commencement ceremonies will return to the campus as live events with National Urban League President Marc Morial, and CBS national correspondent Michelle Miller delivering the keynote addresses. 

The former New Orleans mayor is the guest speaker for the undergraduate ceremony on Saturday, May 1 at 8 a.m. He follows his award-winning journalist wife Miller who will speak on Friday, April 30 at the graduate event beginning at 4 p.m. Both graduations are scheduled for Hale Stadium. 

Dominique Davis, SGA President and Future Educator and Public Service Practitioner

Graduates are looking forward to hearing the speakers. But they are also excited that they will get to see them in-person. The 2020 spring and fall commencement ceremonies were held virtually because of the pandemic. 

“I am very excited and appreciative for the in-person commencement that will take place on the first of May 2021,” says Dominique Davis, president of the Student Government Association, who will receive her BS degree in business administration, with a concentration in supply chain management.  

“Although, I too will be walking the stage, this isn’t just about me. This specific in-person commencement symbolizes all our graduating seniors who have worked relentlessly to stick to the course this past year in every aspect. This moment should be celebrated, and I am most grateful administrators have remained open minded in the entirety of graduation planning.”  

Folusho E. Micah, Future Medical Doctor

Folusho E. Micah, who will receive his bachelor’s degree in biology with a concentration in cellular and molecular biology, says he feels blessed to be among those participating in an in-person graduation.  

“To have spent the past four years working so hard toward this moment and it be virtual would have been a huge let down,” says Micah. “Being able to walk across the stage in my cap and gown makes all those sleepless nights feel worth it.” 

University officials estimate nearly 1000 graduate and undergraduate students will receive degrees in various disciplines.  

Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League, the nation’s largest historic civil rights and urban advocacy organization, is a leading voice on the national stage in the battle for jobs, education, housing, and voting rights equity. He is expected to inspire graduates on his stance on issues surrounding the direction of the nation amid the current political and social climate.  

Recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential Black Americans by Ebony Magazine, Morial served as a highly successful and popular mayor of New Orleans, as well as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. He is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, and the University of Pennsylvania.  

Miller, an Emmy award-winning journalist, joined “CBS This Morning: Saturday” in 2018. Her work regularly appears on the “CBS Evening News,” “CBS This Morning” and “CBS Sunday Morning.” She has also appeared as a correspondent on “48 Hours.”  

At CBS News since 2004, Miller has reported on many stories of national and international importance. She provided extensive coverage of protests surrounding police misconduct and indictments including: the deaths of George Floyd (and his funeral), Travyon Martin, Michael Brown and the trial of George Zimmerman.   

Miller’s many prestigious journalism awards include an Emmy for her series of reports on the National Guard’s Youth Challenge Academy, an Edward R Murrow Award for her coverage of a day care center stand-off in New Orleans, and the Alfred I. duPont – Columbia Award for her team coverage of the Newton, Connecticut, shooting. 

Officials say COVID-19 safety protocols will be strictly enforced on Friday and Saturday. Each graduate will be provided a total of six tickets for guests – 4 to Hale Stadium, and 2 to the Gentry Center, which will serve as the overflow destination. Individuals entering each location must present the appropriate ticket and successfully pass a temperature check.  On Saturday, each location will open at 6:30 a.m. Graduates and their guests are strongly encouraged to arrive early to go through the required protocols.

For updates on commencement, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/records/commencement/.

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 alum and longtime public policy practitioner receives top American Society for Public Administration award

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Dr. Cliff Lippard, a Tennessee State University alum and top graduate of the university’s public administration program, is the recipient of the 2021 Donald C. Stone Practitioner Award by the American Society for Public Administration, or ASPA.

Dr. Cliff Lippard

Presented by ASPA’s section on Intergovernmental Administration and Management, the award recognizes outstanding practitioners for their contributions to intergovernmental relations and management.

Lippard, executive director of the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, holds MPA and Ph.D. degrees from TSU. He was nominated for the award for his leadership of the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations and strong support for research and program evaluation of the federal system. The award will be presented at the ASPA national conference on April 12.

“I see this honor as another validation of the work that my team at TACIR and our commission members do to analyze and find solutions to the tricky public policy problems faced across jurisdictions and levels of government here in Tennessee,” Lippard said, crediting TSU for the preparation he received.

“The faculty and students of TSU and its public administration program have not only given me the skills necessary to be an engaged, effective public servant, they have also helped shape my belief that the academic community functions best when it is just that, a community. TSU is an integral part of my community,” he said.

Dr. Michael Harris, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, was previously the dean of the College of Public Service.

“Dr. Lippard represents the hard work, dedication, and innovation we expect of College of Public Service graduates at TSU,” Harris said. “Recognition by ASPA is a true reflection of the leadership of CPS graduates serving in the public sector and the amazing faculty. Congratulations to Dr. Lippard!”

Dr. Elizabeth Williams, interim dean of the College of Public Service, said, “This award demonstrates TSU graduates’ power to effectuate positive change in the world. The College of Public Service celebrates Cliff Lippard as a leader who thinks, works, and serves.”

A longtime public policy practitioner, Lippard serves as an adjunct professor in the MPA program, and as president of the TSU chapter of Pi Alpha Alpha, the national honor society of public affairs and administration.

TSU’s College of Public Service offers graduate degrees and certificate programs in public policy and administration, as well as degrees in social work, urban studies, and professional studies.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State UniversityFounded 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 alumna Debbi Howard rejoins university as new director of alumni relations

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University alumna Debbi Howard has returned to her alma mater as the new Director of Alumni Relations after nearly 30 years with the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

Debbi Howard

Howard, a native of Birmingham, Alabama, and lifetime member of the Tennessee State University National Alumni Association, and the President’s Society, earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from TSU in 1994. She also holds a master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

Before assuming her new role at TSU on March 1, Howard spent 26 years as a civil/structural engineer with TDOT. During that time, she maintained active relationships with TSU by participating in events to increase alumni awareness and engagement, as well as outreach campaigns to raise funds for deserving students.

“I am excited about the opportunity to work with Debbi Howard,” says Jamie Isabel, TSU’s associate vice president of Institutional Advancement, Corporate Relations and Foundations. “She brings a fresh new set of eyes, and her exposure and experience will be a great benefit to Tennessee State University alumni. I am quite sure she will do great at solidifying and strengthening TSU’s alumni base.”

With a long lineage of more than 20 family members who have attended TSU, Howard says she is glad to be back to serve.

“I’m extremely excited and honored for the opportunity to be able to come back to my prestigious alma mater, Tennessee State University, to serve as your new director of alumni relations,” says Howard. “My goal is to not only recommence all of the wonderful traditions and alumni engagement events that are currently in place, but to galvanize our alumni base by creating partnerships, community engagement opportunities and incorporating exciting, innovative ideas and events that alums would enjoy and be proud of.”

In her other roles with the TSUNAA, Howard is co-chair and committee member of TSU’s Alumni Greek Society, and executive board member and event planner for the TSU Alumni Deltas (Absolutely AX) Greek Affinity Chapter.

Howard replaces Cassandra Griggs, who served in the position for eight years, and left TSU recently after serving the university in different positions for 25 years.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State UniversityFounded 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.

National Council on Teacher Quality names TSU’s teacher preparation programs among the best in the nation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service)Tennessee State University’s undergraduate and graduate elementary teacher preparation programs have been named among the top in the country for contributing to greater teacher diversity by the National Council on Teacher Quality.

Dr. Jerri Haynes

TSU’s programs are among only 21 percent of the 1,256 NCTQ evaluated across the country and among only seven programs in Tennessee to be recognized in a new NCTQ report for enrolling a cohort of future teachers that is both more racially diverse than the current teacher workforce in their state and reflects the racial diversity of their local community.

Tennessee State University’s undergraduate elementary teacher preparation program was also named among the top in the country by NCTQ for Early Reading Instruction

Dr. Jerri Haynes, dean of the College of Education, said the college is excited to receive this prestigious NCTQ recognition.

“The College of Education continues to pave the path where ‘Excellence is our Habit’ in preparing our teacher candidates in both undergraduate and graduate programs to become effective teachers and leaders in rural, urban, and metropolitan school settings,” Haynes said.

Dionna Robinson

In its report, NCTQ, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit research and policy organization, said TSU’s programs showed clear evidence of dedicated course time, as well as measures where aspiring teachers must demonstrate their knowledge of the five key components of the science of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. This, the report added, puts TSU among the fewer than one-third of programs in Tennessee and nationally to earn an “A” on this NCTQ standard.

Dionna Robinson and Quinton Bolden are students in the teacher preparation program in the TSU College of Education. They are not surprised that NCTQ named their programs among the top in the nation.

Quinton Bolden

“We have amazing professors and advisors who go the extra mile to see us succeed,” said Robinson, a junior elementary education major from Huntsville, Alabama. “From the start, my advisor opened my eyes to making the right decision about my career goal, and I have not regretted it.”

For Bolden, who will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, the NCTQ recognition underscores the dedication and care “my professors show to make sure I am not only successful in the classroom but how I approach my career in the future.”

“It is very uplifting for me to know you have people who care so much for your successful development. They provide me with all the tools I need to be successful,” said Bolden, a native of Earl, Arkansas. “

With a long record of an outstanding teacher preparation in the country, TSU’s recognition by the NCTQ is only the latest accolade for the College of Education.    About two years ago, the university was recognized as the highest producer of teachers among historically black universities and colleges in the nation. A year ago, TSU received $600,000 from the Tennessee Department of Education to train educators to become assistant principals in Middle Tennessee school districts.

To learn more about the College of Education, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/coe/.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State UniversityFounded 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.