Tag Archives: featured

TSU Thanks Healthcare Workers On the Frontlines Fighting COVID-19, Highlights National Nurses Week

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University recently showed its appreciation for frontline workers in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by gifting more than 2,500 potted African Violet plants to healthcare workers at several hospitals, clinics and other facilities in the Nashville metro area.

Each healthcare worker received an African Violet plant with a note thanking them for their effort on the frontline. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

Representing TSU President Glenda Glover, the Dean of the College of Agriculture, Dr. Chandra Reddy, led a group of university officials and staff to deliver the plants to doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers at Ascension Saint Thomas West, Select Specialty Hospital, Nashville General Hospital, Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Clinic, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

The act of kindness was in recognition of National Nurses Week, May 6-12.

Each plant, decorated in a see-through shimmering plastic wrap, carried an inscription that said, “Thank you for being on the frontline for all of us.” They were donated through a partnership with Optimara, a horticulture company in Nashville.

“We just want to say thank you to nurses, doctors, medical technicians, and other hospital workers for risking their lives to save COVID-19 patients and the community,” Reddy said, as dozens of nurses, each observing required social distance, lined up at the main entrance at St. Thomas Went to receive a plant.

Dr. Chandra Reddy, Dean of the College of Agriculture, talks to the media about TSU’s immense gratitude to the frontline workers in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

“The African violet plant we are gifting is just a symbol of freshness and hope going forward in our fight against this pandemic.”

Samantha Straton, Chief Nursing Officer at Ascension Saint Thomas West, who received the TSU representatives, thanked the university and said the hospital staff was grateful for the gift.

“This is really meaningful for our frontline caregivers who have been working so hard through the COVID-19 pandemic, and it happens to be Nurses Week,” Straton said. “This is a great way to express appreciation for the hard work of all our nurses and frontline caregivers. We really value our relationship with TSU. We often have clinical students here at Ascension Saint Thomas West as well as  some of our other facilities. It is a great partnership and we really just want to say thank you.”

The Director of the BSN program at TSU,  Dr. Pinky Noble-Britton, was among those representing the university. Like Straton, Noble-Britton highlighted the “outstanding” partnership TSU has with medical facilities in Nashville.

Samantha Straton, left, Chief Nursing Officer at Ascension Saint Thomas West, joins Dr. Reddy, and Reinhold Holtkamp, Sr., President of Optimara, to present plants to the staff of the hospital. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

“As a nurse and an educator, it’s heartwarming to see the community support, especially for the men and women on the frontlines providing care during this pandemic,” said Noble-Britton, who is also associate professor of nursing.

“We have a great nursing program and want to also thank St. Thomas West and all of the other hospitals and clinics, as well as Optimara for being such focused community partners with us.”

Reinhold Holtkamp, Sr., president of Optimara, said his company and TSU have had a long relationship in many areas.

“We have collaborated together for many years with the College of Agriculture, and they have given us a lot of support,” Holtkamp said. “So, when we had the opportunity to work together on this sign of friendship for our frontline workers together, we immediately ceased that moment.”

TSU is currently accepting applications for the traditional BSN program. For information on the program, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/nursing/bachelor.aspx

For information on the TSU College of Agriculture, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/

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, 24 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.

Bright Lights of Hollywood on (the) Horizon For TSU Sophomore As Actor, Filmmaker

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When it came time for Robert Spicer to select a university after high school,  he had only one place in mind, The Land of Golden Sunshine. Former students had already flooded the young Chicagoan’s mind with words of how wonderful it is to be a Tiger.

Robert Spicer

“To get me ready, I spoke to several people who were alums of TSU; all spoke so highly of their experiences,” says Spicer, a sophomore mass communication major at TSU. “I would hear statements like, ‘There is no other university like TSU’ and ‘TSU will change your life.’”

True to what he heard, Spicer says his life has really changed in the less than two years he has been at TSU. He says the university offers a sense of “community and family,” with everyone trying to “lend a hand and help you.”

“This is a wonderful place. From the professors to the administrators and students, this place is family. I am very much at home here, and I have no regrets for coming here,” he says.

A film and television enthusiast, Spicer has received many opportunities at TSU to connect with top artists and individuals in the film industry. In October, filmmaker Deon Taylor – known for movies like “Black and Blue,” “The Intruder,” “Meet the Blacks,” and “Traffik” – came to TSU and taught a master class to students as part of the International Black Film Festival.

In high school, Spicer was an academic standout at Chicago’s Mount Carmel High School, where he performed in many theater productions. He believes his fast-learning ability and commitment to be the best will help him succeed at TSU. And, he’s already on his way.

With a near 3.7 grade point average, Spicer has remained on the Dean’s List since arriving at TSU. He is a member of the Honors College, and the National Society of Leadership and Success, the nation’s largest leadership honor society.

Professors and advisors say Spicer demonstrates outstanding leadership, and takes on every task he is given with a great work ethic and a desire to learn.

“Robert is an amazing young man that I have had the pleasure of knowing since he arrived on campus,” says Karen Russell, assistant professor in the College of Liberal Arts and advisor to Spicer.

“In just his short time here, he has proven to be not only a leader in the classroom but a leader among his peers.  There are many great things in store for this young man,” adds Russell.

As he completes his sophomore year, Spicer says he plans to delve more into his major, with the hope of securing internships with major production companies. His goal is to make it big in acting and film production. The first in his family to attend a historically black university, Spicer says the experience gives him an edge in his future career.

“Although many from my family have obtained college degrees, I would be the first to attend and complete an education at an HBCU,” says Spicer. “I am truly grateful for my time and experiences at TSU.  It has and will continue to shape who I am as a person.”

For more information on the Mass Communications program at TSU, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/Communications/mass_communication.aspx

Department of Media Relations

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

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 seven 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 to Hold Virtual Spring Preview Day April 9

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The COVID-19 pandemic may have suspended in-person recruitment activities for Tennessee State University, but it hasn’t stopped recruiters from seeking out the best and brightest students to join the TSU family. The university is inviting them along with parents and relatives to experience Spring Preview Day 2020 live on Thursday, April 9 beginning at 5p.m., and it can all take place from the comfort of their homes.

“Vision 2020: I See You At TSU” will give these potential students a new and innovative way to learn about the institution, officials say.

Terrence Izzard, associate vice president for Admissions and Recruitment says the annual event will be bigger and better than previous ones because of the circumstances and the live element.   

“Vision 2020: I See You At TSU” is more than a theme and staff have worked extremely hard to plan the ultimate TSU experience for students,” says Izzard.

The admissions and recruitment team, student ambassadors, faculty and staff will be on hand for a virtual tour that will include live student interviews about campus life, meeting academic demands, and most importantly what it takes to apply and enroll to TSU.  

“Live streaming and virtual meetings are the new normal for institutions across the country as we navigate COVID-19,” adds Izzard. “However, there is only one Tennessee State that offers students a path to success that is uniquely ours based on exceptional academic offerings, cultural awareness and access to a thriving global market in Nashville.” 

Through video clips, participants will also see some of TSU’s pride points such as the world-renowned Aristocrat of Bands, the award-winning gospel choir, and our beautiful campus through a virtual tour.

For information on Spring Preview Day and how to participate, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/admissions/preview.aspx

Department of Media Relations

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

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 seven 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 Is all Roses; World-Renowned Aristocrat of Bands to Participate In 2021 Tournament of Roses

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University Aristocrat of Bands is going to the Tournament of Roses. The band recently received an official invitation to participate in the 2021 Rose Bowl Parade on Jan. 1 in Pasadena, California.

The crowd applauds after the announcement that the TSU Aristocrat of Bands will participate in the 2021 Tournament of Roses in Pasedina, California. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

The AOB will be one of only four university bands selected nationwide to participate in the parade, with a domestic television audience of more than 38 million.

“Only the best of the best are invited  and the Aristocrat of Bands is one of them,” said Dr. Robert B. Miller, president and chairman of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, who came to TSU to personally present the band with the official tournament flag and invitation.

“It is a major accomplishment for the band, and for your university. This is a big deal,” he said. “In 132 years of the tournament, 107th  Rose Bowl this year, your band is going to be there. You are going to do entertainment like no other band in our parade does. Our parade has got 22 bands, 45 floats, the best floral and entertainment groups in the nation and TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands is going to be there.”

The Aristocrat of Bands entertains the crowd at the Gentry Center as the band celebrates words of their official invitation to the Rose Bowl Parade next year. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

At the flag presentation in the Gentry Center, amid thunderous cheers from university officials, relatives, former band members, and Mr. and Miss TSU and their royal court, Miller congratulated TSU, the AOB and band director, Dr. Reginald McDonald, for their hard work in submitting a successful application.

Miller, who was accompanied by his wife, Barbara,  also pinned TSU officials present with the official lapel pin of the Tournament of Roses, including Dr. Alisa Mosley, interim vice president for Academic Affairs, who represented TSU President Glenda Glover. Dr. McDonald was also honored in recognition of his leadership.

In acknowledgment, the AOB, known worldwide for their melodious musical renditions and marching prowess, performed such favorites as “I am so glad I go to TSU,” and “Best Band.”

Dr. Reginald McDonald, TSU’s Director of Bands, says participating in the Rose Bowl is a longtime dream. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)


“This is huge and I am just excited beyond measure,” said band member Julien Dooley, after hearing his first trip ever to California will be to perform in the Rose Bowl Parade. “The Tournament of Roses is very huge, and I am excited because I actually have never been to the west coast, and the thought of my first trip being to perform before such a huge audience has got me very emotional.”

Dooley, an Atlanta native and a drum major with the AOB, is a senior commercial music major.

 Fellow student Cailyn Sparks, a member of the AOB Sophisticated Ladies Dance Line, is equally excited. Her parents will be there to see their daughter perform.

“This is an opportunity of a life time and I am glad my mom and dad and maybe some other family members will be there,” said Sparks, a junior elementary education major from Phenix City, Alabama, who will also be going to California for the first time. “I am extremely excited about going to the Rose Bowl and excited to be there with my family.”

McDonald, TSU’s director of Bands, who could not hide his excitement about the announcement from the Tournament of Roses president and the reaction of the crowd in the Gentry Complex, called the invitation and the selection to the Rose Bowl Parade a “longtime dream.”

“If you know anything about parades in this country, the Tournament of Roses Parade and the Macy’s Parade are numbers one and two,” he said. “To have either one of those parades on your performance as a portfolio, says a lot about your band program.”

Four college bands are selected each year to participate in the Tournament of Roses –two that apply and two with football teams that play in the Rose Bowl.

“This year it will be Tennessee State University and Georgia State University. That is huge,” McDonald said. “It says a lot about our university, it says a lot about the things we are trying to teach on a year-to-year basis. We selected to apply to the Tournament of Roses because to be recognized as the best, you have to participate in those things that are challenging and hard and are also part of being the best. “

For more information on the TSU Aristocrat of bands, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/aristocratofbands/

Department of Media Relations

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

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 seven 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 Named Fellows of National Transportation Research Board Minority Student Program

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Five TSU students are now members  of the prestigious Minority Student Fellows Program of the National Transportation Research Board, or TRB.

Kahlil Andrews, a graduate student in civil engineering, presents his research at the TRB annual conference in Washington, D.C. (Submitted Photo)

The students, from the Colleges of Engineering, and Public Service, were recently accepted into the program at the TRB’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C. This followed the acceptance of technical papers the students presented from research conducted late last year.

“Representing my university in the Transportation Research Board Minority Fellows Program was one of the most wonderful and involving experiences I’ve ever had,” said KeAnna Dakwa, a sophomore civil engineering major from Huntsville, Alabama. Dakwa’s research was on “Analyzing Traffic Circles as They Pertain to Crash Severity.”

Tyler Thompson, a senior urban studies major from Naperville, Illinois, who presented on  “After the Referendum: Fixing Traffic in Nashville, TN,” said he was honored to be accepted as a fellow of the TRB program because of the opportunities it affords him.

Dr. Kimberly L. Triplett

“I enjoyed my experience at the TRB annual meeting,” Thompson said. “I was able to network with people who are in the same field of study as myself, while sharing my research with people from all over the country.”

Other TSU students who were accepted into the TRB  Minority Fellows Program were: Cam’Ron McKinney, sophomore civil engineering major from Cleveland; Dominique Wallace, senior civil engineering major; and Kahlil Andrews, who is pursuing his master’s degree in civil engineering.


Dr. Kimberly L. Triplett, associate professor of urban studies in the College of Public Service; and Dr. Deo Chimba, associate professor of civil engineering in the College of Engineering, accompanied the students as advisors.


A program unit of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, the TRB annual conference promotes innovation and progress in transportation through research. The Minority Student Fellows Program, established in 2010, actively explores research, ideas, and solutions from diverse perspectives with the goal of increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in the transportation field.

The new members of the Minority Student Fellows Program and one of their professors attend a reception in Washington, D.C. Pictured from left are: KeAnna Dakwa, Kahlil Andrews, Dr. Deo Chimba, Cam’Ron McKinney, Tyler Thompson and Domnique Wallace. (Submitted Photo)

According to Chimba and Triplett, the TSU students and new TRB fellows applied classroom theory to transportation problems in their research, got critical exposure to the range of transportation issues, and gained the ability to improve research writing skills.

“This program has boosted and exposed TSU underrepresented civil engineering minorities to the transportation field and TRB activities,” Chimba said.

Triplett added that participating in the TRB program has motivated non-civil engineering students to find their place in the transportation industry as urban planners.

“Participation in this program will continue to encourage student growth at TSU in urban planning within the transportation field and in TRB activities,” said Triplett, adding that previous TSU students have received employment in the transportation field through their participation in the TRB program.

This year’s TSU students received sponsorships from the Tennessee Department of Transportation, TRB and the Federal Highway Administration.

For more information on the TSU Colleges of Engineering, and Public Service, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/engineering/index1.aspx and http://www.tnstate.edu/cpsua/

Department of Media Relations

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

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 seven 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.

Tennessean Names Conference Room in Honor of Late Reporter and TSU Professor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessean newspaper has named a conference room in honor of the late award-winning business reporter and TSU adjunct professor Getahn Ward, who died in 2016. He was 45.

The Meter staffers visit the Getahn Ward Conference Room in The Tennessean new office building. Pictured are, from left, staff writer Brianna Sparrow, Editor-in-Chief KaBria Kirkham, and staff writer Nyah Peebles. (Courtesy photo)

The Getahn Ward Conference Room, in the newspaper’s new office building, includes a table with four chairs, a cabinet displaying awards Ward won while he worked there, as well as a white board for writing ideas. The multimedia room in the TSU Department of Communications is also named in honor of the fallen professor.

An active member of the Nashville chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, where he chaired the scholarship committee, Ward was an adjunct in the Communications Department at TSU, teaching an introductory course in journalism for many years.

Former students and staffers of The Meter, the TSU student newspaper, which Ward headed as editor-in-chief while a student at TSU, visited the Getahn Ward Conference Room recently. The experience, one said, “was very moving.”

Three visiting Meter staffers sit in on the morning editorial staff meeting at The Tennessean. (Courtesy Photo)

“Although I did not know him personally, but as soon as I saw his picture I felt an immediate connection …seeing his accomplishments and the remarkable person he was,” said KaBria Kirkham, editor-in-chief of The Meter, who came to TSU the year after Ward’s death.

She said as an aspiring journalist, she was inspired by Ward’s dedication to excellence and how he went about his work.

“I was just amazed to see something so important dedicated to him in recognition of his work and contribution to his community and individuals he came across,” Kirkham added.

During visit to the Getahn Ward Conference Room, The Meter staffers had an opportunity to interact with their counterparts at The Tennessean. (Courtesy Photo)

Meter staff writers Brianna Sparrow and Nyah Peebles accompanied Kirkham during the visit to The Tennessean. The group also toured the newspaper’s elaborate facility at its new 1801 West End Avenue location, and sat in on the paper’s morning editorial meeting, where the plan for the day’s coverage is discussed.

Following Ward’s death, TSU, The Tennessean, the Gannett Foundation and NABJ partnered to create a scholarship in Ward’s name to benefit aspiring journalists. The new scholarship is the first endowed scholarship in the history of the TSU Department of Communications.

“At a time when our majors are working multiple jobs to offset the cost of a college education, this (scholarship) will go a long way in helping some of our best and brightest students,” Dr. Tameka Winston, chair of the TSU Department of Communications, said during the launching of the scholarship.  “This scholarship represents a man who devoted much of his life to the field of journalism and to the education and success of students at Tennessee State University.”

Ward, who previously worked at the Nashville Banner before it closed in 1997, had a passion for teaching students and advocating for black journalists. He earned two degrees at TSU, where he was a proud alum.

To contribute to the Getahn Ward Endowed Scholarship Fund, visit https://bit.ly/35kPUjK

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 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven 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 initiative Engages Kindergarteners at Kipp Kirkpatrick Elementary in Day of Activities

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A group of Tennessee State University freshmen recently visited Kipp Kirkpatrick Elementary and posed this question to curious kindergarteners: “What is College?” 

On March 22, about 20 students from the Freshman Innovation Council visited the elementary school and engaged four kindergarten classes in activities around the question, as part of a TSU Student Activities outreach initiative.   

Students in four kindergarten classes at Kipp Kirkpatrick Elementary participated in the TSU “What is College?” initiative. (Submitted Photo)

Organizers said the goal was to be able to give the young kids an early feel about going to college.

“Putting on this program for the kindergarteners about college was an amazing experience for us, just as much as it was for them,” said Malik Meadows, a freshman early childhood education major from Atlanta, who is the chair of FIC. 

In a full day of events, the group taught the kids TSU chants, vocabulary words, and lessons on studying, making friends, and having good behavior.  Activities also included a puppet show of a lost Tiger who meets new friends, as he finds his way across the Tennessee State University Tigers’ campus.

Meadows said preparation for the visit and activities started in January with several meetings among FIC members in consultation with Kipp teachers and staff “to ensure excellence in our presentation.”

Tasha Andrews, TSU director of student activities, who organized the visit, said the interaction between FIC students and the kindergarteners was very educational and entertaining.

“Our students really shocked me with their presentation to the kindergarteners at Kipp Kirkpatrick,” Andrews said. “I was so impressed with how they used the school mascot and created their own coloring sheets, storyline, and games that incorporated so many things about the TSU culture, but on a level for the children to understand.”

According to Andrews, Dean of Students and Associate Vice President Frank Stevenson kicked off the “What is College” initiative for first-year students, with the creation of Freshman Innovation Council.  The group is comprised of students who formerly served as class or student government association presidents at their respective high schools, or are a part of the freshman class council here at TSU.

FIC is scheduled to take their kindergarten presentation to two more local elementary schools before the semester ends, Andrews said.

For more information on TSU Student Activities, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/activities

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 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, 24 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.

TSU Alums Publish Children’s Book To Honor Fellow Alum and Buffalo Soldier William McBryar

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University Alums Deontae Henderson and Brandon Van Leer recently collaborated to produce a children’s book honoring the life and legacy of fellow TSU Alum, Buffalo Soldier and Medal of Honor Recipient Lt. William McBryar.

The children’s book, Young William, provides a poetic depiction of McBryar’s journey from childhood to becoming a military hero.

McBryar, who served with the 25th Infantry in the Spanish-American war and fought at El Caney, Cuba, also saw action in the Philippine Insurrection before demobilizing in San Francisco.

Henderson, the book’s author and a 2018 graduate of TSU, said McBryar’s story is a tale that should be shared with all children.

TSU Alum Deontae Henderson at his book signing at the Southern Methodist University Barnes and Noble in Dallas.

“William McBryar, if you look him up, is one of those guys you don’t believe existed. He was a real superhero. He fought through disease. He graduated in his 70s. He was in the war until his 60s. He got in the war at a young age. He fought in three wars. He survived them. He got a Purple Heart, and he saved his regiment,” Henderson said. “We have Iron Man, the Hulk and Batman and all these guys, but if you want a realistic superhero, he is the perfect example of that.”

In 1934 at the age of 73, McBryar graduated from TSU, then known as Tennessee Agriculture and Industrial State College, with an agriculture degree. He died in 1941 at the age of 80, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Last spring a number of lawmakers, military officials, and TSU officials gathered for a special ceremony for the unveiling of a historical marker honoring McBryar. The marker is located outside Kean Hall on the university’s main campus.

Van Leer, the book’s illustrator, said he felt honored to be part of such a meaningful project.

“We wanted this book to be one of those books that children remember from when they were in kindergarten and preschool, where they can enjoy a fun story and learn about their history at the same time,” he said.

TSU Alum Brandon Van Leer will display his art Thursday at the Main Street Gallery for Black Excellence: The Art Show.

Also a 2018 graduate of TSU, Van Leer’s work often reflects his love for culture as well as his alma mater. He has produced portraits of TSU luminaries, such as pioneering heart surgeon and civil rights activist Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr., and Tuskegee Airman Lt. Joseph White.

“I was honored in both approaches to be commissioned by my alma mater to have the opportunity to spread my talents in a way that will forever live on at TSU,” he said.

Henderson, who became a “#1 International Best Selling Author” with the success of his second book, The Hungriest Pirate,” said Young William will soon be available at the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum in Houston, Texas, where he spoke about the project in December. He said because of the historical nature of Lt. McBryar’s story, he wanted to make sure it rhymed and was fun for children to read.

“Your child is going to go to class anyway and learn about George Washington, Christopher Columbus and all these people who are a part of American History. Young William is just as important as them,” he said. “The only difference his name got pretty much covered up because he happened to be a black man during a time period when we weren’t celebrated.”

Van Leer, owner of the graphic design company, Rezilient Media, will share a collection of his work this Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Main Street Gallery. The event, Black Excellence: The Art Show, is free and open to the public. He said it will feature portraits of inspiring African-Americans, as well as the unveiling of new art.

Although Van Leer comes from a family of artists, he credits the TSU Art Department for playing a huge role in his success.

“My professors in the art department really helped me grow. They helped me think outside the box and draw bigger using different techniques,” he said. “They are like a family over there so I still go back and talk to them.”

Henderson’s newest book, Kid Smoove, features a 14-year-old superhero with the ability to teleport who is forced to balance life as an iconic hero with doing school work and being an everyday teenager.

Henderson echoed Van Leer’s sentiment that Tennessee State University provided a rich environment for his development.

“Anyone at TSU is fortunate because being at an HBCU is a different environment,” he said. “You see President Glenda Glover. You see NBA Player Robert Covington come through. You see yourself who is a writer who gets to write for the paper for the school. Just seeing all that, that was an inspiration for me.”

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 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, 24 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.

 

TSU Faculty and Staff Celebrate Giving With ‘Sweet Talk’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University Department of Dental Hygiene received special recognition at the university’s “Sweet Talk” event, along with the Office of Events Management and the Department of Residence Life.

Each area achieved 100 percent participation in the university’s annual faculty and staff giving campaign, which raises money to benefit TSU students.

Sonya Smith, assistant director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, thanks ‘Sweet Talk’ attendees for giving as part of faculty and staff giving campaign.

“Some made direct deposits. Some made one-time gifts. But what matters most is the sacrifice,” said Sonya Smith, assistant director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving and chair of the campaign. “Whatever your sacrifice is, we just ask you to be a part of the faculty and staff campaign.”

The event, which took place Feb. 14 on the Avon Williams Campus, provided an opportunity for campus employees to enjoy delicious pastries and discuss the importance of supporting students beyond the classroom.

Smith expressed her gratitude to the campaign co-chairs and various contributors for exceeding their goal of $155,000 for the 2017-2018 fiscal year by raising $161,763.  She said the goal for the current fiscal year is to raise $175,000. The campaign has raised $136,000 of that amount.

Rosalyn Word, a faculty member in the Department of Dental Hygiene and a co-chair of the faculty and staff annual giving campaign, expressed excitement about the effects of increased giving in dental hygiene.

Department of Dental Hygiene Faculty and Staff Members

“One of the things that we have been able to do in the Department of Dental Hygiene is establish a dental hygiene academic scholarship. The first year we were able to award one $1,000 scholarship to a deserving student,” Word said. “This year we were able to award two $1,000 scholarships to our dental hygiene students. I am really excited about that initiative, and we hope to be able to carry this legacy on, and keep this scholarship going.”

Eloise Alexis, associate vice president for Institutional Advancement, said Sweet Talk provides an opportunity for her staff to say thank you to participants and ask attendees to rally others to support students.

“The amazing thing about faculty and staff in this initiative is that, not only do they give of themselves all day and everyday in the classroom and as staff by supporting our students in the campus environment, they also give back to Tennessee State University from their hard earned resources to Tennessee State,” Alexis said.

Office of Events Management and Conference Services Administration and Staff Members

Trudie Thomas, coordinator for the Honors College and a co-chair of the campaign, said Sweet Talk helps a lot of students who really need support to attend the university.

“I like to give because it helps the university, and it has an impact on some child’s life. When I was in school tuition was $65 a quarter,” said Thomas, who graduated from TSU in 1972. “I give because I see the need, especially with black students right now. Education is an investment.”

“Sweet Talk” Committee Members show off variety of tasty desserts prepared by TSU Alum Alexis Hughes-Williams, Owner of Something Sweet, LLC.

TSU Alumna Alexis Hughes-Williams, owner of Something Sweet, LLC, provided a variety of colorful desserts for the event. Hughes-Williams, who graduated in 2011 with a degree in business/marketing, said Sweet Talk provided the perfect opportunity for her “virtual pop-up shop” to collaborate with the university.

With the deadline for reaching this year’s goal being June 30, Smith encourages faculty and staff to continue giving. For more information about how to participate in the campaign, call (615) 963-2936.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 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, 24 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.

TSU President Glenda Glover Surprises Visiting High School Seniors with Full Scholarships at ‘Tigerdaze’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Twenty high school students on a site visit Friday to experience the Tennessee State University campus culture, did not leave empty handed. To their surprise, they all received full scholarship offers to come to TSU.

TSU President Glenda Glover personally offered the scholarships to the future STEM majors during a ceremony in the Forum on the main campus.

TSU President Glenda Glover, second from right, interacts with visiting high school students at Tigerdaze. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“I was completely stunned; this was a complete surprise,” said Amesa Tidwell, from Whites Creek High School, who wants to major in biology. “I had no idea I was going to be offered a scholarship when I came here this morning. Thank you TSU!”

The visitors were on campus for Tigerdaze, an annual event organized by the campus Greek Letter organizations and the office of Student Activities to welcome metro Nashville high school seniors and give them an opportunity to experience the TSU culture and spark their interest in considering TSU. The Office of Enrollment Management and Student Success also helped to facilitate Tigerdaze, by acquainting the students with university offerings and admissions requirements.

More than 200 visitors and their high school counselors packed the Forum to hear President Glover and university officials.

“Welcome to your future! Welcome to TSU,” Glover said to cheers from the audience. “I greet you with an important announcement. If you are thinking engineering, think TSU; if you are thinking biology to become a doctor, think TSU. If you are thinking cybersecurity and intelligence, think TSU; if you are thinking biotechnology, think TSU.

Tigerdaze participants attend a writing class on campus as part of their day’s activities. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“I am here this morning to offer a scholarship to any student that plans to major in a STEM (science, technology, engineering math) course and that has a good GPA. It is time to become a TSU Tiger. It starts here today.”

Norbrea Cosby, also of Whites Creek High School, who wants to major in pre-nursing, was another surprised scholarship winner. She said she already had TSU on her mind, “but I did not know it would be this easy.”

“I am going to do everything to make sure I don’t miss this opportunity,” she said. “This scholarship will help to ease the burden on my parents and the headache of a student loan.”

Mon-Cheri Robinson, TSU Assistant Director of Student Activities, far right – front, takes Tigerdaze visitors on a tour in the Floyd-Payne Campus Center. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Tigerdaze activities included a step show, a writing class, on-site admission, game-room entertainment and lunch. Parting gifts included an application fee waiver for four lucky students. Kiaonna Lawless, from Antioch High School, won a book scholarship for four years if she decides to attend TSU.

“Tigerdaze was the brainchild of our Greek students to welcome high school seniors from the area to the campus to really show them the flavor of TSU,” said Frank Stevenson, dean of Students. “This gives them an opportunity to see our culture and climate and to also spark their interest in being future Tigers.”

Dr. Patrick Phoebus, a TSU alum and content recovery coordinator at The Cohn Learning Center, who accompanied 35 students, credited President Glover for her “connection and outreach to students.”

“TSU does a lot for the community,” said Phoebus, who earned his master’s degree in curriculum and instruction at TSU. “There is a lot of history here; there is lot of important things happening on campus and I thinks it is a great opportunity for the students coming here to learn about these opportunities and be a part of the college experience.”

Terrence Izzard, TSU associate vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Success, explained that like all other incoming students, those receiving the scholarship offers at Tigerdaze will be screened to be sure they meet TSU’s regular admission requirement before being admitted. He said Glover’s scholarship offer was in the right direction.

“I am excited that the president continues to push the university forward by recognizing talented students from the metro Nashville area, and providing support for those students to have access to quality education here at TSU,” Izzard said.

For information on student activities at TSU go to http://www.tnstate.edu/activities/

For more information on enrollment and admissions at TSU go to http://www.tnstate.edu/emss/

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 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, 24 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.