NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – From hemp research to using robotics to improve physical mobility of humans, Tennessee State University showcased some major scientific advances to state lawmakers on Tuesday.
It was the sixth “TSU Day at the Capitol,” where the lawmakers experienced a wave of Tiger Blue at the state Capitol. TSU administrators, faculty, students, staff and alumni showcased the university’s research and other innovative initiatives at the annual event.
Visitors also had a chance to meet with lawmakers who stopped by to see displays from some of the school’s various colleges.
TSU President Glenda Glover kicked off the day with a standing-room only ceremony in Senate Hearing Room II in the Cordell Hull Building.
“This is our day, this is TSU day,” Glover said. “It gives us a great opportunity to share with our lawmakers, our leaders, the success of TSU, and the needs of TSU, as we continue to nurture some of the best and the brightest minds of this generation, our TSU students.”
Before and after Glover’s presentation, several lawmakers took the podium to welcome TSU and to talk about the university’s impact and contribution to the state, the nation and the world.
Among them Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, Sens. Brenda Gilmore, Raumesh Akbari, Dolores Gresham, Reps. Harold Lover, Jr., and Bill Dunn.
“I welcome TSU, President Glover and all of you to the Senate,” McNally said. “We really honor our relationship with TSU, and look forward to what you do, and the great students that you produce for the State of Tennessee. It really makes a difference in our state.”
Also bringing greetings was Joni McReynolds, president of the TSU National Alumni Association.
Among new innovations on display at the TSU Day at the Capitol was a “humanoid robot” called ISAC, which is helping researchers in the College of Engineering to develop and test devices that help solve prosthetic problems.
“We are investigating anthropomorphic hand-like end-effectors, force-torque sensors for touching, vision, and infrared motion detection to address deficiencies in how human disabilities impact their quality of life,” said Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering.
Glover and university officials also touted TSU’s recent Carnegie designation as an R2 research institute, one of only 139 in the nation, and one of only 11 among all historically black colleges and universities.
“This new R2 designation for TSU helps to distinguish the fact that we are producing great scholarly research that benefits the citizens of Tennessee and addresses many of the great challenges that are facing our nation,” said Lesia Crumpton-Young, TSU vice president for research and institutional advancement. “I am so proud of the faculty, staff and students that have worked hard to achieve this new designation.”
Daiva Wilson is a junior agricultural science major from Indianapolis, who attended her first TSU Day at the Capitol. She said the experience was very enlightening and informative.
“It was really informative to hear about TSU as a land-grant institution, and how funding for the institution is handled by the legislators,” she said. “I also enjoyed the enthusiasm on everyone’s face about the reception at the state Capitol.”
Members of the TSU Student Government Association also spoke at the ceremony, and said they were excited to be at the Capitol.
“This is just an exciting time for TSU, seeing all of these lawmakers and visitors here to celebrate our institution,” said Kayla McCrary, president of the SGA.
Displays from the school’s various colleges and departments lined the walls in reception areas on the eighth and second floors of the Cordell Hull Building.
A number of TSU interns at the Capitol also joined their fellow students, staff and administrators in the celebration.
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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.