Tag Archives: TSUNAA

TSU alumna Debbi Howard rejoins university as new director of alumni relations

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

Debbi Howard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209

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

TSU alumni have strong turnout for national convention in Atlanta

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University alums converged on Atlanta  for the 2018  National Alumni Association Convention.

TSU President Glenda Glover (right) with TSUNAA President Joni McReynolds (left) and Xernona Clayton, president and CEO of the Trumpet Awards Foundation, Inc., and recipient of the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the TSUNAA. (photo courtesy of Katrina Kerr)

TSU President Glenda Glover was among the nearly 200 alumni who attended the convention from June 13-16.

TSUNAA President Joni McReynolds said the convention was “one of the best I’ve attended.”

“I enjoyed just fellowshipping with all the alums that were there, and seeing a lot of the younger alums coming out,” said McReynolds, who was recently re-elected to another two-year term.

On Saturday, President Glover updated alumni on advancements the university has made in the areas of retention, recruitment, enrollment and marketing.

She also informed attendees about upcoming changes to the campus landscape, including the addition of a new Health Sciences Building, two new residence halls, the Field Research Organic Laboratory, the Gateway Arch Entrance, a new engineering building and the Alumni House and Welcome Center.

One of the highlights of this year’s convention was an honors gala that recognized several outstanding alumni.

Featured are (l to r) TSUNAA President Joni McReynolds; Mr. TSU Darian McGee; Miss TSU Kayla Sampson; TSU President Glenda Glover; Micah Blake-Smith, SGA Representative-at-large for alumni relations & annual giving; and Dean of Students Frank Stevenson. (photo courtesy of Katrina Kerr)

Two of those alumni – James Shaw, Jr. and Derrell Vaughn – were honored for their courage. Shaw received the “Hero Award” for disarming a shooter at a Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee, in April; and Vaughn received the “Bravery Award” for trying to save the life of a man during the mass shooting in Las Vegas in October.

Other alumni honored include:

  • Xernona Clayton, president and CEO of the Trumpet Awards Foundation, Inc. and creator and executive producer of the Foundation’s Trumpet Awards, “Lifetime Achievement Award”
  • Tracey Otey Blunt, president of RLJ Entertainment’s Urban Movie Channel, “Women of Influence Award”
  • Slim & Husky’s Pizza Beeria owners Clinton Gray III, Derrick Moore and Emmanuel Reed, “Vanguard Award”
  • Sterling Coleman, president/owner of SJAC/Lady Di Food Groups, LLC Zaxby’s, “Entrepreneurial Achievement Award”

Earlier this year, TSU recognized local alumni achievers during a special “Toast to TSU” event at First Tennessee Park in Nashville.

Calling them its “Points of Pride,” the university recognized TSU graduates or former students who are prominent and emerging leaders with universally recognized success in their fields, and who have made a positive impact on the TSU brand and community.

The next National Alumni Convention is scheduled for 2020 in Florida. The city has not been announced.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209

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.