Tag Archives: Emmanuel S. Freeman

TSU, Metro Schools Host Area’s Largest College Fair with an attendance of more than 8,000

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When it comes to choosing a college, Tennessee State University was the place to be on Sept. 21.

It was the annual Metro Nashville Public Schools College Fair held in the TSU Gentry Complex with over 8,000 middle and high school students and their parents and relatives in attendance.

Dr. Sito Narcisse, MNPS Chief of Schools, left, says that TSU is the biggest pipeline for teachers in the entire Metro school system. he talks to, from right, Dr. Curtis Johnson, Associate VP for Administration; Dr. Gregory Clark, TSU’s Director of High School Relations and NCAA Certification; Dr. Megan Cusson-Lark, MNPS Interim Executive Director of School Counseling; and Kathy Buggs, Director of Office and and Community Services for Congressman Jim Cooper. (Photo by Emmanuel S. Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

More than 170 colleges, universities and post-secondary institutions from across the nation took part in the fair. It offered students the opportunity to review information on admissions, financial aid, costs, college life and programs to help them decide their choice of college or university.

TSU is the first university or college to host the MNPS College Fair in its decades-long history, according to TSU officials.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Tennessee State University,” said Dr. Curtis Johnson, associate vice president for administration and chief of staff. “Having this at TSU gives us an opportunity to showcase the campus to people who would otherwise not come here. So, showing them what we have to offer, given that our various colleges and departments are participating, is exciting for us.”

MNPS Chief of Schools, Dr. Sito Narcisse, said the Metro schools are excited to partner with TSU to host the college fair. He said TSU has been a major partner and the biggest pipeline for teachers in the entire system.

“TSU has been a great partner, and we appreciate how the university has supported us like today with thousands of kids and their parents attending this fair,” Narcisse said. “We are one of the largest urban school systems, not only in the state of Tennessee, but in the country, with about 6,000 teachers out of our 11,000 employees. We’d like to sign TSU teachers early, even as they are in their courses, to ensure jobs for them as they come out.”

TSU officials say hosting the college fair is the result of a long relationship between the Office of Enrollment Management and Student Success, and the MNPS Guidance Counselors’ Office. For the last seven years, TSU has also hosted the mandatory annual high school guidance counselors’ training for MNPS.

“We are ecstatic to be the first university to host the Metro Nashville Public School College Fair,” said Dr. Gregory Clark, director of High School Relations and NCAA Certification. “The fair has taken place at different locations throughout the city. We are just excited to welcome so many institutions from throughout North America.”

CORRECTION

High school senior Gabriel Faulcon is considering TSU but has not decided to attend TSU, as previously reported.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

25 Top High School Seniors Awarded Full Scholarships to Attend Tennessee State University

By Emmanuel S. Freeman

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When Meaghen Jones found out she was getting a full scholarship to attend Tennessee State University, she summed up her feelings in one word: “overwhelming!”

Dr John Cade, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Services, talks to Academic High Achiever Scholarship recipients Kamryn Martin, left, Brittney Johnson and Leslie Curry. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“I was always sure I wanted to come to TSU, but tonight secured it,” said Jones, who was one of 25 high school seniors awarded Academic High Achiever Scholarships to TSU at a ceremony in Memphis on Wednesday. “I have worked so hard throughout just to make sure I get a full ride to college and this was just so overwhelming for me.”

Jones has a 4.2 grade point average and is ranked No. 4 out of 411 in her senior class at Whitehaven High School in Memphis. She and the other top seniors attended the Annual TSU Memphis Recruitment Reception at the Sheraton Memphis Downtown for graduating high school seniors and their parents and family members.

The reception is held each year by TSU’s Office of Admissions as part of activities leading up to the Southern Heritage Classic between TSU and Jackson State University in the Liberty Bowl. This year’s game is on Saturday.

Jones is coming to TSU as a pre-med. Her mother, Jackie Latiker, said the fact her daughter is getting a full ride is “absolutely phenomenal.“

“To see her stand before 24 other students that were selected, I am just too elated,” Latiker said. “This is what we’ve worked for all these years.”

TSU’s Vice-President for Enrollment Management and Student Services, Dr. John Cade, congratulated the scholarship recipients, and said the university’s goal is to seek out the best students, nurture them, and graduate them prepared for the global market.

“As you come to TSU, you are following in the footsteps of great people, among them our president, Dr. Glenda Glover, a Memphis native, and a very high achiever herself who believes in your potential for greatness,” Cade said. “So, having someone of that caliber to lead Tennessee State University is a prime example of what you can aspire to become and all of you can do that. We offer a number of programs at TSU that will assist you in your success.”

At the reception, more than 50 high school seniors and their parents attended to hear TSU admissions officials discuss the university’s offerings and programs.

Talia Chambers and William Edwards were also among the 25 selected for the Academic High Achiever Scholarship. To qualify for the scholarship, a student must have a 3.5 GPA or higher and 23 and above on the ACT.

Chambers, who wants to major in animal science, has a 4.0 GPA at Middle College High School. Edwards plans to study graphic design. He has a 3.5 GPA at Wooddale High School.

“I am very excited to attend Tennessee State,” Chambers said. “It is within my distance range and it has my area of study in pre-vet medicine. I came here tonight just to get some information and now here I have a full ride scholarship, this is great”

Said Edwards: “When they first called my name I was really nervous. All my siblings received full-ride scholarships to go to college. So I am just glad to be able to measure up to them with a full ride of my own. Thank you TSU.”

Several members of the Memphis chapter of the TSU National Alumni Association, friends of TSU, and the Tennessee State University Cheering Squad were on hand to cheer on the scholarship recipients.

For more information on admission to Tennessee State University, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/admissions/contact.aspx

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

Tennessee State University Largest Producer of Teachers in the Nation, New Ranking Shows

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Barris Johnson is not surprised that Tennessee State University is No. 1 among historically black colleges and universities in producing teachers.

“With the kind of rigorous curriculum students go through, TSU deserves to be at the top,” said Johnson, reacting to a new national ranking that lists the university as the highest producer of teachers among the nation’s Top 10 HBCUs.

Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in music education, and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from TSU. He teaches general music and band to 5th – 8th graders at East Nashville Magnet Middle School.

“In just my first year of teaching, I have done so well,” Johnson said. “The number one ranking … shows how hard the faculty and staff work.”

The ranking, by HBCU Lifestyle, a publication that focuses on black college living, noted that TSU’s undergraduate and graduate offerings and concentrations in biology, chemistry and elementary education made the school’s teacher preparation program more attractive. This is the second time in three years the publication has listed TSU as the top producer of teachers.

“Obviously we are very excited about this ranking,” said Dr. Mark Hardy, vice president for academic affairs. “This only shows that Tennessee State University is a leader in this area as is reflected in the quality of students we are graduating.”

Emmanuel Scott, of Atlanta, a senior music education major, agrees. He said the program has been “everything” he was told when he first arrived at TSU.

“They told me that the program was good and I have not been disappointed,” Scott said. “So when I heard that we were No. 1, I already knew it.”

With a demographic shift that shows that more than 35 percent of students nationwide are black or Hispanic but less than 15 percent of teachers are black or Hispanic, experts say increasing the number of black teachers is critical. And TSU is helping to close that gap.

For the past two years, the university has been one of the top teacher preparation programs in the state, providing “exceptionally qualified” candidates for teaching positions, not only across the state and the southern region, but also the Metro Nashville Public Schools.

For instance, two years ago, as Metro wrapped up the year with the need to hire or name principals to new assignments for 2014-15, TSU-trained teachers and administrators answered the call. With the exception of three, all of the 10 principals hired or assigned received all or part of their training from TSU. At about the same time, 54 of the 636 new Metro teachers hired were TSU graduates, the second highest of all state or area universities. Only MTSU had more with 56. TSU had the number one spot the previous period.

Dr. Heraldo Richards, associate dean of the College of Education at TSU and director of teacher education, said the top ranking will draw even more attention to the great programs at TSU.

“As part of our intensive training program, we provide our students with not just a one-semester teaching experience as others do, but a year-long residency which enhances their competency when they come out,” Richards said. “As a result, many of the  ‘P-12 systems’ in the area and others from around the country, have been actively recruiting our candidates.”

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Grandmother finishes what she started, gets TSU degree after 55 years

By Emmanuel S. Freeman

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Darlene Mullins would always tell her children to finish what they started. On May 6, the 72-year-old grandmother did just that when she received her degree from Tennessee State University after 55 years.

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Darlene Mullins at undergraduate commencement ceremony. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Mullins was among more than 800 graduates from various disciplines at the undergraduate spring commencement in the William Jasper Hale Stadium on Tennessee State’s main campus.

“I am very excited and just overjoyed to see this day,” said Mullins, who graduated with honors.

For Mullins, the journey to earn a college degree began on TSU’s campus in 1962. But just as it started, it was cut short.

“Love got in the way,” said Mullins, who celebrates 54 years of marriage in August.

She met John Mullins, a senior from East St. Louis, Illinois, who she described as dashing and handsome, “everything to behold.”

Darlene, a former Miss New Jersey and Miss Glamour runner up, had an immediate crush.

“I thought he was the finest thing walking on the campus,” Darlene told Alumni Life, a campus magazine, in 2014.

She said a courtship developed and the two were married a short time later. John stayed on and completed his college work, graduating in 1964. Darlene took on the role of caring for their home and raising a family.

But in putting her education aside, Darlene also gave up on a dream of becoming an Olympic track star as a member of the famed Tigerbelles.

“I came to TSU because I ran track. I wanted to go to the 1964 Olympics,” Darlene said. “Wilma Rudolph was my idol and I was on my way. I get to TSU and meet the great coach (Ed) Temple, but we bumped heads, because I had to make a choice between his track team or Mr. John Mullins.”

More than a half century and two children and several grandchildren later, John and Darlene have remained very supportive of each other, while living in six states over the course of their marriage.

As the children grew older and family care got less, Darlene embarked on a long and successful career in retail and cosmetology.

All the while, John worked for a number of corporate and government agencies before starting his own business, Lions Group Inc., a successful marketing and advertising company in Dallas, Texas. He said his TSU education with a degree in business gave him a good foundation to be an entrepreneur.

“I always knew I wanted to own my own business,” John said.

But as the two moved around with success at every turn, Darlene never forgot her academic aspiration.

“Something kept nagging at me,” she said. “I always told my children to make sure they finish what they started and I kind of felt it was time to live up to my own advice.”

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John and Darlene Mullins will celebrate their 54th wedding anniversary in August. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

She decided it was time to go back to school to get her degree. “John did not hesitate for one bit; he said ‘let’s go,’” Darlene said.

“I love this woman so much and always told her whenever you are ready we will go because this is something I knew she always wanted and I will do nothing to hold her back,” John said.

In July 2013, the couple moved back to Nashville to allow Darlene to finish what she started. She returned to TSU and pursued a degree in interdisciplinary studies, sometimes taking as many as 20 credit hours a semester, and earning top grades.

“My goal was to come back and finish at Tennessee State.  I didn’t know at the time how long it was going to take, I just knew I had to do it,” she said.

With the 25 credits she had accumulated before dropping out in 1963, Darlene is completing her college work in four years. A member of three honor societies, she is graduating summa cum laude.

“My graduation from college, for me, confirms that I completed what I started more than 50 years ago,” Darlene said. “I am happy.”

The Mullins’ children are Dr. John E. Mullins Jr. of Baskin Ridge, New Jersey, and Darchele Mullins Erskine of Chicago. They are the proud grandparents of Amber Mullins, Sierra Mullins, John E. Mullins III, and Brandon Forney.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

‘Donor Appreciation’ Gives Scholarship Recipients Chance to Say ‘Thank You’

By Emmanuel S. Freeman

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Leona Dunn is finally enjoying college life and stressing less about school fees. She is grateful.

“My first year in college I paid over $1,200 out of pocket from what I saved up over the summer to help me stay in college,” said Dunn, a junior communications major.

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TSU President Glenda Glover says scholarship donors help the university stay on the path of excellence. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

That experience was the beginning of some tough times for the Omaha, Nebraska, native who had just come out of foster care. She was barely able to keep up with the payment plan she had worked up, which made registering for the next semester even more difficult.

“My balance was still off,” Dunn said. “I had no one back home to help. And coming from foster care, the system doesn’t exactly just give children owned by the state full ride scholarships to anywhere even if they had an exceptional GPA and ACT score like I did.”

But thanks to some “nice people” and “great organizations,” Dunn is now worrying less about tuition and focusing more on her academics. She received financial assistance from the Links, and the Tennessee State University Women’s Center.

Donors Reception-4
Leona Dunn gave a Spoken Word rendition at the Scholarship Appreciation Program and Reception. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“With all of this help I had to come up with only $200 this year …a huge blessing. I am so grateful,” she said.

On Friday, April 7, Dunn, and fellow students who receive help through scholarship donations, had a chance to say, “Thank You.”

It was the 6th Annual Scholarship Appreciation Program and Reception, or “Donor Appreciation,” held in Kean Hall. The event, organized by the TSU Foundation, allows scholarship recipients to meet face-to-face with donors to thank them for their generosity.

TSU President Glenda Glover said scholarship donors help the university to stay on the path of excellence by ensuring that students receive quality education through their gifts.

“Because of you, our students are able to matriculate,” Glover said. “They get to come, they get to stay and they get to graduate because of your dollars. We are just so grateful.”

Donors Reception
Scholarship recipients enter Kean Hall with cheers and songs of appreciation for donors who have helped them stay in school. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

This year, nearly 280 people, including students, donors and special guests attended the program featuring songs, recognition of donors and a special toast. Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, vice president for Research and Institutional Advancement, provided remarks.

Eloise Abernathy Alexis, associate vice president of Institutional Advancement, said the program gave the students a “unique opportunity” to interact with the donors.

“We send out postcards, letters and notes to donors to show our appreciation for their gifts, but this is the moment when donors and students really get to come together face to face to give and receive appreciation,” Alexis said.

Dr. Darlene Harris-Vasser, assistant director of Donor Relations, coordinates the reception each year. She said it is exciting to see the joy on donors’ faces when they meet the students in person.

“They are just so elated to see all of those students speaking about their educational goals, future plans and how their (donors’) contributions are making it possible for them to achieve their goals,” Harris-Vasser said.

The Women’s Center, one of the donors that offered Dunn financial assistance, develops and sponsors programming that enhances the skills of women and assists in their development as scholars and professionals.

According to Seanne Wilson, director of the center, Dunn approached the center to inquire about assistance.

“As Leona is a huge supporter of the Women’s Center and its events, the center was happy to assist her with the request,” Wilson said.

In appreciation, Dunn wants to give back to help others.

“Hopefully I want to have my own endowed scholarship when I become an alumna to help others and give back for the help I received,” she said.

For information on how to support the TSU Foundation or make a scholarship donation, please go to http://www.tnstate.edu/foundation/.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University Students Build Wheelchairs for Disabled Canines

By Emmanuel S. Freeman

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Pugsly the Pug has a new wheelchair.

Born with a spinal deformity that makes it difficult to stay on its feet, the 15-year-old Dutch mastiff has a new lease on life, thanks to a team of occupational and physical therapy students at Tennessee State University.

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The Dog Wheelchair Competition winning team members and their professors are, from left standing, Jake Armstrong, Blaine Martin, Dr. Rita Troxtel and Dr. Karen Coker. Squatting with Pugsly are, left, Reagan Worth and Erica LaFollette. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The students, along with some of their peers from the Art Department, designed a special wheelchair that allows Pugsly to take long strides without wobbling or falling.

Dr. Rita Troxtel, assistant professor of occupational therapy and Pugsly’s owner, organized a wheelchair competition that challenged the students to develop wheelchairs for disabled dogs that are low cost, lightweight and easy to maneuver.

The competition was held Nov. 29 in the university’s Floyd-Payne Student Center. About 80 students and their advisers participated.

They came up with 17 different concepts and designs that were tested on Pugsly before a panel of judges. The winning wheelchair went to Pugsly. Troxtel said the other wheelchairs in the competition will be donated to organizations that specialize in adopting or providing sanctuary for animals with disabilities.

A team of two occupational therapy and two physical therapy students came up with the winning design made of PVC pipes, with two big back wheels and two smaller front wheels for turning; a push handle, and stretch fabric with four round openings for the feet.

“Pugsly is grateful for his new wheels,” Troxtel said.

wheelchair-2
Another team of competitors fit Bugsly in their invention, a two-wheeler. (photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

Dr. Karen Coker, assistant professor of physical therapy and one of the judges, said the winning design “offered ease of getting in with just one person.”

“The fabric is flexible and soft; it won’t poke anywhere, and the wheelchair has a push handle so that the owner won’t have to bend over,” Coker said. “It is the perfect mix.”

Blain Martin, a graduate physical therapy major, was on the winning team. He said the goal was to develop a wheelchair that was easy to use.

“We all collaborated and we had a group message going in,” Martin said. “We met up several times to make sure we were on the same page with our project. It was great teamwork.”

Other winning team members were Reagan Worth, occupational therapy; Jake Armstrong, physical therapy; and Erica LaFollette, occupational therapy.

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The other wheelchairs in the competition will be donated to organizations that specialize in adopting or providing sanctuary for animals with disabilities. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Second-year graduate occupational major Amber Alexander’s team did not win, but she was impressed with the exercise.

“Participating in this competition gave use some real-world exposure to our various disciplines,” she said.

Mike Carter, a Ph.D. physical therapy student, said he enjoyed the teamwork.

“Collaboration was great in our group,” Carter said. “In fact, one of the guys in the group was skilled in making things. He actually has a shop where he builds all kinds of stuff. So this was right up his alley.”

Dr. Hamid Hamidzadeh, head of TSU’s Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Department, lauded organizers for having the competition.

“It’s a good opportunity for them to get hands on experience,” said Hamidzadeh, who was also a judge. “The students will really get the opportunity to go beyond the limit of the classroom.“

Troxtel said the skills the students learned from creating the dog wheelchairs will transfer to developing technology for humans.

“The TSU OT department is considering purchasing a 3D printer to build prosthetic limbs,” she said. “I also plan to hold a competition again next year, but it will focus on building assistive technology for human use.”

For more information on TSU’s various therapy programs in the College of Health Sciences, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/health_sciences/.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Move-In Day at TSU Brings Fun, Excitement but Mixed Feelings for Parents, Families

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Faculty, staff and student volunteers help cart new students and their belongings during Freshman Move-In Day at TSU (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – If the traffic snarls and congestion in all directions to the TSU campus Aug. 19 didn’t get your attention, the circuslike atmosphere with hundreds of parents, students and volunteers hurling in suitcases, refrigerators, widescreen TVs and other items of convenience was surely a sight to behold.

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Volunteers wearing blue T-shirts marked “VOL-UN-TEER” or “JUST MOVIN’ IN,” swarm cars to unload new students’ belongings as they and their families arrive on campus. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Music could be heard from the dorm buildings as volunteers including staff, alumni and students, slicked with sweat and wearing blue T-shirts marked “VOL-UN-TEER” or “JUST MOVIN’ IN,” with golf carts in tow, swarmed cars and started unloading belongings, and anything else a college freshman might need for a first year away from home.

For many, freshman Move-In Day is an exciting and nerve-racking time when children leaving the nest arrive on campus for the first time, while parents help their children settle in their residence halls.

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First-time freshman and Psychology major Caylun Chatmon, left, from Memphis, gets help from his family as he arrives to check in his room in Watson Hall. His dad, Montreal Holmes, mother Michele Holmes, older brother Curtis Chatmon, and 6-year-old little brother Jamarison Holmes made the trip to make sure the new freshman was situated. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Michele Holmes was one of those enjoying the day as she and her husband, Montreal, helped her middle son, Caylun Chatmon, settle in his room in Watson Hall.

“Although I have been through this before, it is sad to see him go,” said Michele whose eldest son, Curtis Chatmon, a sophomore at Lane College, was also lending a hand along with 6-year-old little brother Jamarison Holmes. “He (Caylun) was our baby for a little while, but I am OK; he is prepared and I want him to be successful.”

Caylun Chatmon, from Memphis, Tennessee, plans to major in Psychology, and joined more than 1,300 other first-time freshmen, who received keys to their rooms as part of Freshmen Move-In Day.

“I will miss home but I am ready; I know that to be successful, I just need to keep my head straight and stay focused,” said Caylun, who was later seen taking in the sights on the other side of campus. “It’s very diverse here; I see a lot of different kinds of people and there’s a bunch of different activities to help you.”

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More than 1,300 first-time freshmen, accompanied by parents and other relatives, checked into their residence halls on Move-In Day at TSU. (Photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

For the next few days before classes begin on Monday, the new students will participate in activities such as an open house where they will learn about their colleges and academic departments; “Playfair,” where they get to meet their classmates; attend a motivational lecture; and a pep rally to show their school spirit as freshmen.

During move-in, students, staff, faculty and alumni were not the only ones who made the day fun. Representatives from several area businesses and organization were on site with tents giving out free food, drinks and paraphernalia. WTST, The Blaze, TSU’s student-run radio station, was also in the mix providing music and entertainment.

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU President Glenda Glover Announces Creation of Two New Colleges in State of the University Address

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover gave an upbeat assessment of the state of the university Monday announcing the addition of two new colleges for the coming academic year, but said much work needs to be done in the areas of retention and graduation.

At 60 percent, the 2013-2014 first-time freshman retention rate showed a 1 percent increase over the previous academic year. The 2015 graduation rates are still pending, but she said a 1 percent increase in graduation in 2014 is not where the university wants to be.

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Faculty and staff listen as President Glenda Glover gives her State of the University address in Kean Hall Monday. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“We have to do better than that,” Glover said as she announced several new initiatives to improve retention and college completion. “We must do everything possible to help students do better and make them want to stay and graduate. This is fundamental to why we are here not to mention that graduation and retention are key to our funding.”

President Glover announced the addition of the College of Life and Physical Sciences, acting upon recommendations from faculty and students with the approval of the Tennessee Board of Regents. The new college brings all of the STEM degree courses under one umbrella. The new college will include biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics, the only non-degree program.

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Dr. Lonnie Sharpe is the dean of the newly created College of Life and Physical Sciences at Tennessee State University. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Dr. Lonnie Sharpe, a long-time TSU professor and Massie Chair of Excellence, has been named interim dean of the College of Life and Physical Sciences. Sharpe is also the executive director of the Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, which recently won a $987,000 National Science Foundation award to increase the number of minority students who earn Ph.D., in STEM education.

Glover also announced the elevation of the TSU Honors Program to a college level program. Like all the other academic units, the Honors College will exist as an equal collegiate unit within the university structure, with a dean reporting to the vice president for academic affairs.

In another move, the president announced the change in the name of the College of Public Service and Urban Affairs to the College of Public Service, while Early Childhood Education is moved from the College of Agriculture to the College of Education.

“The recommendations for these changes have been reviewed by us and found to be appropriate and sound academic steps, and with the approval of the Tennessee Board of Regents, we are implementing them,” Glover said.

On other institutional achievements, the president touted recent national accolades TSU has received, such as the no. 1 ranking among the Top 10 HBCUs that Produce Teachers; no. 1 among Most Affordable Colleges Online in Tennessee; and no. 34 of the 100 Most Affordable Universities. She also spoke about the university’s expanded marketing campaign through billboards, social and print media promoting its programs, offerings, community college and distance learning initiatives.

Glover announced upgrades in dining with the adding of Starbucks on the main campus and POD and coffee shop on the Avon Williams campus, which received a rousing chant of approval. A 2-percent across-the-board salary increase retroactive to July was also announced.

With nearly 1,400 new freshmen expected, Glover called on faculty and staff to “join hands” in making sure the new students receive all the support necessary to make their fall freshman move-in Tuesday successful.

“Let all of us show up and give our new freshmen and their parents a rousing TSU welcome during the freshman move-in tomorrow,” Glover said.

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University Headed to the Smithsonian

University sports memorabilia to form part of new museum of African-American history 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Olympic Gold Medalist Wilma Rudolph, legendary track and field Coach Ed Temple, the famed Tigerbelles, and the first-ever African-American basketball team to win a national college basketball championship – and three consecutive titles – all make up the rich sports history of Tennessee State University.

The impressive accomplishments of the TSU athletics program will be part of exhibits in the Smithsonian Institution’s new National Museum of African-American History and Culture opening in 2016 on the National Mall in Washington. D.C.

Temple
Coach Ed. Temple, left, explains photo collection of his legendary coaching career to Dr. Damion Thomas, curator for the sports exhibits of the new National Museum of African-American History and Culture. Grant Winrow, TSU coordinator for the museum project, and Dr. Murle E. Kenerson, interim dean of Libraries and Media Centers, provide guidance during the display.

Dr. Damion Thomas, curator for the museum’s sports exhibits, visited TSU today to get a first-hand look at sports memorabilia on display in several buildings on the main campus.

Accompanied by University officials, including Grant Winrow, TSU coordinator for the Smithsonian project, the curator toured the Brown-Daniel Memorial Library, the Wilma Rudolph Hall, the Gentry Complex that houses many of the University’s sports mementos and souvenirs, as well as the Olympic statute.

Some of the treasured items that the curator saw included gold medals, championship trophies and track cleats, as well as photographs and portraits of TSU trailblazers like NFL quarterback Joe Gilliam, golf coach Catana Starks, and legendary coaches John Merritt and John McClendon.

Highlighting Thomas’ visit and tour was a meeting with Coach Temple, the man who took 40 athletes from TSU (Tennessee Agricultural & Industrial State University until 1968) to the Olympic Games and helped them win 23 medals — more than 157 countries in the world have ever won.

Temple, who shifted the focus from him to his Tigerbelles during a discussion, said he was pleased to know that the Smithsonian Institution was including an area in its new museum dedicated to the achievements of African-Americans in sports.

“I am glad that what they are doing will finally give these young ladies their due recognition,” Temple said. “They work hard to earn all that they achieved.”

The curator also met with Starks, the first African-American woman to coach a men’s NCAA Division I golf team when she took the job at TSU. Her trailblazing efforts was made into a motion picture titled “From The Rough” starring Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson. In the Gentry Complex, Thomas also briefly met with current OVC “Women’s Coach of the Year,” Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice, a former Olympian, who made history by snagging two gold medals at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984.

Before ending his tour, Thomas gave a brief presentation on the new museum, a 400,000-square-foot building of bronze metal and glass structure. It will feature a collection of artifacts of slavery and freedom, mementos of military service, symbols of the civil rights movement, the Harlem Renaissance, as well as a comprehensive collection of fine art including paintings, sculptures, works on paper, installations, photography, and digital media by and about African-Americans.

According to Thomas, the sports exhibit section of the museum will include a room, called “The Game Changer,” dedicated to individuals like Wilma Rudolph, whose contribution went beyond the track or playing field to changing the course of history.

The museum has built a collection of 40,000 artifacts, and a staff of 160 is developing the 11 major exhibits that visitors will find at the opening next year. Smithsonian officials estimate annual visits to the African-American Museum of History and Culture will average between four to five million people in its first few years.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 45 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Held Together by Screws, Nuts and Bolts, “Ultimate Bionic Woman” to Graduate from Tennessee State University

Karen Munoz
Karen Munoz

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Fresh out of an abusive marriage with no money, mounting bills and three children to care for, Karen Denese Munoz had no where to go but down, at least so she thought.

With a last gasp for relief, the college dropout turned to her father, Leo Ronald Summers Sr., for advice on how to cope.

“Don’t complain when you don’t have; learn to improvise,” the retired Army lieutenant told his daughter.

While Munoz said her father’s response was not exactly the answer she was looking for, it gave her a different perspective on life and how to find strength in the face of difficulties and unfortunate circumstances.

No doubt that renewed sense of determination has worked well for Munoz, who will accomplish a journey she started more than 32 years ago.

In spite of multiple surgeries and operations to repair a crushed vertebrae, head injuries and a broken neck and back, that left her in constant pain and in a state of severe depressive disorder and anxiety, the Fort Hood, Texas, native will receive her college degree when Tennessee State University hold its spring commencement May 10.

“I live by trying to improvise as my father told me,” Munoz said about how she was able to maintain a near 3.0 GPA to graduate with a degree in Business Administration and a concentration in Human Resource Management, despite her disorder, which has left her unable to fully concentrate, think or remember “as others.”

“I had to study twice as hard as the average person to concentrate and retain,” said Munoz, who keeps sticky notes “everywhere” to help her remember.

Munoz’s college journey began in 1983 at TSU as an Architectural Engineering major. Three years into her college work, things began to unravel for the young, promising student. Married at the time, with children and a physically and mentally abusive husband, who insisted she seeks full-time employment, she quit school to work with the Metro Public School Harris Hillman as a Para Professional.

Although Munoz eventually walked out of her marriage, having to care for her children alone, a series of unfortunate events soon began to unfold that would change the course of her life forever. Because of the seriousness of her neck and vertebrae injuries, she was reassigned to several different departments in Metro. Finally she received permanent placement at the Transportation Department.

One day while getting something from the supply closet at work with the door opened, Munoz said, a coworker (who was not aware of her presence) pushed the door, apparently trying to open it while she was behind, the knob on the other side hit her directly in the tail bone. The force sent her crashing, head first, into the door paneling ahead, crushing her vertebrae.

As if fate had an unfinished business with Munoz, while recovering from that injury, she was in a car accident that left her with a broken back and neck.

“I was in a concussion that lasted two years,” she said. “My vertebrae had to be fused from the top to the bottom through a process called spinal track titanium fusion. That’s the only thing that’s holding my head up. I do not have any peripheral view because I cannot move my head side to side. I can only look ahead.”

For Munoz, being able to cope through all her pain and suffering have not come without a good sense of humor.

“I am the ultimate bionic woman,” she said.  “If you move all of the titanium from my body I will never move again. My condition is irreversible.”

Saying that she is being held together by modern technology, Munoz is thankful to God, her family and the doctors at Vanderbilt Hospital for giving her a chance, although she laments the constant pain from screws, nuts and bolts in her body.”

“The pain never goes away; I have to take medication to sleep. This is something I live with,” she added.

But with all of what seem to be impairments, and getting out of yet another physically and mentally abusive relationship, in addition to losing her job with Metro, Munoz said she was constantly haunted by her desire to complete her college work.

“These disabilities from my injuries affected me so much at work that I asked for an IOD (Injured while on Duty and or Medical Disability) waiver, which Metro denied and fired me,” Munoz said, adding that the denial and subsequent dismissal gave her more inspiration.

With five children (including a step son and a nephew), no job, her house in foreclosure and no money, Munoz said she applied for and was granted financial aid loan at TSU.

“When they checked my record they told me I was a senior and I had only few credits to complete my college work,” she said.

Munoz immediately went to work, with the deeply imbedded thought of the advice her father had given her, and the urging of her mother to leave her second abusive husband and return to school. She registered with a full load of college work.

“I decided I would pursue my degree in the hopes of changing my circumstances. I studied twice as hard, using my sleeplessness to my advantage to take in as much as I could,” she said.

Even at that, Munoz, whose father is also a TSU graduate, said many times she wanted to quit, having been out of school for nearly 32 years, but a sign on the Business Information board at the Avon Williams campus that read, “You are never too old to achieve your goal,” inspired her to press on.

“It was at that moment that I went full steam ahead stopping at nothing to achieve this goal which I had dreamed of all these years,” she said.

And so she did.

Munoz, 48, who is now married to Lugo San Munoz, a Salvadoran native, said she plans to go to graduate school and open a preparatory college in El Salvador for underprivileged high school students who have graduated high school but have no where to go. The school will be named Summers International Integration College of Excellence, after her father and mother who have been her inspiration.

“The hope is to partner with El Salvador to send their students to TSU and after they graduate they will return to their country where they will teach others.

“This is my lifelong dream. This is what God has sent me forth to do, and I intend to improvise in anyway possible to accomplish that ….screws, nuts, bolts or not.”

 

READ more student success stories including:

Johnathan Fitzgerald
Annette Scruggs

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.