Tag Archives: Arlene Nicholas-Phillips

TSU, World Bank Group enter knowledge and talent-sharing alliance to benefit students, faculty

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is partnering with the World Bank Group in a knowledge and talent-sharing alliance that will provide career and research opportunities for TSU students and faculty. The World Bank Group HBCU Alliance, which also includes five other historically black colleges and universities, says the goal is to advance “a more inclusive and sustainable social and economic development” between the bank and the six institutions.

President Glenda Glover welcomes Dr. Bah-Shen Turkel Welch, Liaison of the World Bank Group HBCU Alliance. (Photo by Aaron Grayson)

Under the alliance, TSU students and those from the other institutions will be opened to internship and career opportunities. Faculty will receive research opportunities, as well as stipends for those interested in incorporating the bank’s content into their courses and/or project-based research and community studies.

On Feb.7, a delegation of four experts from the World Bank Group visited TSU and met with officials, students, and faculty during a gathering in the Forum. The visitors made presentations about the work of the bank and discussed the critical role TSU and the other HBCUs can play in helping the World Bank solve some of the world’s global challenges, such as extreme poverty, hunger, and promoting shared prosperity.

Nathaelle Georges

“We are happy to welcome the World Bank Group to our campus,” said TSU President Glenda Glover, who was part of the initial meeting last year to discuss the formation of the alliance. On Sept. 23, President Glover and the presidents of Claflin, Clark Atlanta, Howard, Jackson State, and Xavier Universities met in Washington, D.C., and signed the agreement. 

 “We are so happy they chose TSU as part of the alliance that consists of six HBCUs. We are very happy about this opportunity that will give our students internships, scholarships, and career opportunities in all disciplines, and expose our faculty to world-class research that will provide critical answers and solutions to some of the world’s global challenges.”

Dr. Bah-Shen Turkel Welch, liaison of the World Bank Group HBCU Alliance, thanked President Glover for her role in making the WBG-HBCU Alliance a reality.

Rashad Dawson

“We wanted Madam President (Glover) at the table. Tennessee State University is really on the move under her leadership,” Welch said. “Our goal was to identify partners who understand the mission and focus of what we are doing, and we know TSU is ready.”

She said the focus of the alliance is internships and career and exposure to World Bank Group knowledge sharing between personnel and faculty in a “symbiotics “relationship. “This gives students and faculty an option for research while giving students the capacity to see other careers,” she said.

Nathaelle Georges, a biology major from Atlanta; and Rashad Dawson, a business administration major with a concentration in human resources, were among several students who attended the World Bank Group presentation. Before the briefing, neither one had heard much about the World Bank and its work.

Stevan Jackson, Senior External Affairs Officer of the World Bank Group, makes a presentation before student and faculty in the Forum. (Photo by Aaron Grayson)

“These experts being on our campus today opened my eyes into the World Bank and about career choices in a place I never thought of,” said Georges, a sophomore. “As someone who wants to go into the medical field, some of the things they talked about align well with my career goals.”

Dawson, a freshman from Milwaukee, added, “Absolutely, I am open to seeking career opportunities with the World Bank.  With my concentration in human resources, I think they would be a perfect fit for me.”

Dr. Mohamed Kanu, professor of public health and associate dean of the College of Health Sciences, teaches a course in global health. He said “there is a lot of interest” in what the World Bank is offering, especially with opportunities abroad.

“Students want to explore beyond the shores of the United States,” he said. “What I want to do is to have an opportunity to write or apply for a grant through the World Bank that will allow me to involve my students so that I can take them to places outside of the U.S. to see the prospects and possibilities that are out there.”

Earlier, Dr. Arlene Nicholas-Philips, campus representative for the World Bank Group HBCU Alliance, said the university attaches great importance to the visit of World Bank Group delegation, and the benefits students and faculty will gain through the alliance.

‘We prepare you (students) for the world and we help to open your minds and hearts to the level of impact you can make globally,” Nicholas-Philips said. “We hope that by the end of the presentation today, your minds will be opened to the many possibilities and opportunities this alliance offers.”

Other members of the World Bank Group delegation who spoke or presented at Tuesday’s program were: Stevan Jackson, senior external affairs officer; Sophie Rabuku, senior executive assistant; and Dr. Mary Oluseyi Zackius-Shittu, senior human resource business partner.For more information on the World Bank Group HBCU Alliance, contact Dr. Arlene Nicholas -Philips at (615) 963-7427.

TSU more than just an educational journey for first group of Caribbean Scholars

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University experienced historic growth this fall with the institution’s record-setting freshman class of 3,567 first-year students. Included in the group, and far away from home, were 29 Caribbean scholars. With this being the first time on American soil for many of them, the University has worked to make the transition as seamless as possible.

This is the first year that TSU has successfully recruited a large number of Caribbean students. (Photo by Aaron Grayson)

TSU’s annual International Education Week, observed November 7 -11, has made the Caribbean students feel even more at ease in their “home-away-from home.” The week-long event helped to promote cultural awareness and featured several activities highlighting the native land of the University’s international students. This included Dance Hall Night and lunch-n-learn story circles events for the entire campus.  

“We are all from difference places, but it’s still a family because we are relating to being abroad in school,” Tonique Poitier of the Bahamas, said.

Poitier, who is a freshman studying chemistry, said the week gave her and fellow Caribbean students a chance to interact and gain awareness about other cultures as well.

She said most of them met at a welcome reception and dinner for Caribbean students hosted by TSU and the Nashville community. The September event, which featured foods from several of their home islands, was the first of several to help them adjust to college life.

“The welcome dinner made me feel at home,” said Jada Henry, who is an incoming freshman from Jamaica studying Supply Chain Management. “They had Jamaican food and gave good advice.”

Henry hopes to land a career as a Logistics Supervisor with the military. “I take great pride in my place here at Tennessee State University and in the direction my experience has provided for me thus far,” he said.

“The dinner was a very nice gesture,” said Renard Frederick, who is an incoming freshman from Trinidad & Tobago studying Human Performance and Sports Sciences. “It brought all of the Caribbean students together and now we are friends as a result.”

More than 300 Caribbean students applied for the International Tuition Assistance Grant from TSU with the final selection made up of 20 on campus and nine studying online. (Photo by Aaron Grayson)

Frederick wants to become a Sports Physiotherapist working with sports teams, ideally his dream team, Barcelona SC.

According to Dr. Arlene Nicholas-Phillips, executive assistant to President Glover and liaison on Global Initiatives, this is the first time that TSU has successfully recruited a large number of Caribbean students. She attributed this success to the International Tuition Assistance Grant (ITAG) the students received.

“Coming from the Caribbean, I understand the importance of education,” Nicholas-Phillips said. “Parents from the Caribbean understand that no sacrifice is too much to further their students’ education, and they’ve expressed how much of a blessing TSU has been with the ITAG because it’s an opportunity they [otherwise] wouldn’t have.”

Over 300 Caribbean students applied for the ITAG from TSU with the final selection made up of 20 on campus (two from Jamaica, five from Trinidad & Tobago, and 13 from the Bahamas) and nine studying online. The grant requires incoming students to have a minimum 3.25 grade point average and maintain 15 credit hours per semester to complete their degree within four years.

“The average G.P.A. for the incoming scholars is 3.6,” added Nicholas-Phillips. “These are high-performing students, and we know they are dedicated to their education because they know the sacrifice their parents are making.”

D’Neka Cunningham is one of a few transfer students who received the ITAG this semester and said the opportunity means everything to her and her family.

“I’m the oldest of three and first-gen, so I have to set the standard and be the example,” said Cunningham, who plans to return home to the Bahamas with a degree in Architectural Engineering and help improve their residential structures. She recalled how their homes flooded and two of her friends died during Hurricane Dorian in 2019. “We have great structures, but we can improve our homes.”

TSU’s annual International Education Week, observed in November, made the Caribbean students feel even more at ease in their “home-away-from home.” (Photo by Aaron Grayson)

Dr. Coreen Jackson, dean of TSU’s Honors College, said the University’s recruitment efforts outside of the U.S. speaks to the administration’s commitment to being a global institution. 

“This is a dream come true for TSU to extend such an awesome opportunity to students in the Caribbean who probably would not have gotten an opportunity for a higher education since there are limited universities for the number of students coming out of high school,” said Jackson, who is also from Jamaica. “It says a lot about our leader who is unselfish, caring, and global-minded.”

Dr. Jackson and her husband, the Rev. Dr. Chris Jackson, hosted the reception and dinner event at their Pleasant Green Baptist church.  Rev. Jackson said opening the church doors to welcome the students was a good thing to do. “I have travelled internationally and know what it means to be at an unfamiliar place and be shown care and love,” he said.

Both Nicholas-Phillips and [Coreen] Jackson expressed gratitude for those who volunteered their time and resources to make the welcome dinner a success, sharing that members of the local Caribbean community came together to cook traditional Caribbean foods such as rice and peas, jerk chicken, and roti, and even donated money. Local eatery Jamaicaway Restaurant and Catering also contributed food. The night was capped off with a special presentation by President Glenda Glover and Michael Thomas, President of Atlanta’s Caribbean American Cultural Arts Foundation.

Other TSU faculty and staff attending the dinner included members of the International Recruiting Committee; Global Online AVP Dr. Seay; Chief Data Officer, Dr. Clarke from Trinidad; Health Sciences Professor Dr. Johnson from Jamaica; and members of the OIA team.

Dr. Coreen Jackson said she has plans to start a program where local Caribbean families can “adopt an international student” and provide them additional support from the community while they are away from home. This includes preparing them for the Nashville winter season.

“Many of our international students have not experienced a winter, so I would like to do a drive for winter coats, sweaters, socks, blanket, etc.,” she said. “It would also be nice to have local stores donate new items and/or allow the [international] students to shop at a discounted rate.”

“I am grateful for the opportunity to get a quality education amongst people who look like me,” said Cunningham. “That’s what I’ve been used to my whole life and getting to continue to do that in a place where I feel comfortable is amazing.”

While there’s no place like home, the Caribbean scholars at TSU have a new place to call home for the next four years.

Caribbean scholars soon to be Big Blue Tigers through grant initiative

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Graduating high school students from the Caribbean will soon experience the excellence of Tennessee State University. Over 200 applicants from the Bahamas, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, and other Caribbean nations have applied to become Big Blue Tigers with the help of an International Tuition Assistance Grant (ITAG).

Dr. Arlene Nicholas-Phillips
Dr. Arlene Nicholas-Phillips

Currently, TSU’s student body is made up of individuals from roughly 34 countries. However, a minimal amount come from the Caribbean. To qualify for this ITAG, high school graduates must have a minimum 3.25 grade point average.

“As liaison on Global Initiatives at TSU, part of my responsibility is to build global partnerships and to recruit global scholars,” says Dr. Arlene Nicholas-Phillips, who represents the Office of the President for the ITAG initiative. “This is an opportunity to open our doors to Caribbean students who bring the tenacity to learn and the academic acumen to boost everything that TSU represents.”

Jaden Daniel, of Trinidad and Tobago, is one of the Caribbean scholars coming to TSU in the fall. 

“I’m extremely excited and grateful to join the TSU family,” said Daniel, who is hoping to also make the men’s basketball team. “This opportunity offers a chance to get a higher education, while also allowing me to learn a new culture. These experiences will help me grow in important aspects of my life, such as being a professional and a holistic individual.”

Gregory Daniel, Jaden’s father, says he’s also looking forward to his son attending TSU, and the opportunities he will have.

Jaden Daniel and his father, Gregory Daniel
Jaden Daniel (left) and his father, Gregory Daniel

“Jaden has made his first steps in becoming a true global citizen with opportunities to develop his God-given talents; opportunities to learn in an environment that develops all aspects of his being,” his father says. “And most of all, the opportunity to showcase the quality of the Caribbean student, with a view of opening the doors of TSU to other students of the Caribbean who may be considering this same route to educational excellence.”

Parent Donna Frederick agrees. Her son, Renard Frederick, also from Trinidad and Tobago, will be joining Jaden in the fall.

“The tuition grant offered by Tennessee State University provides an opportunity for students from Trinidad and Tobago, and other Caribbean countries, to explore learning, achieve growth and development, and realize their academic pursuits in another country,” she says. “For this, I am truly thankful.”

Nicholas-Phillips says students also have the option of online learning if they wish to stay in their country. Also, the program is open to nontraditional Caribbean students, and there are talks of a dual enrollment program for high school students.

TSU Officials talk to prospective Caribbean students via Zoom

“We plan to extend this strategic search and continue to expand the internationalization of our campus,” says Nicholas-Phillips. “With the support of Dr. Johnnie Smith (Dual Enrollment), Dr. Robbie Melton (Graduate School), Dr. Jewell Winn (Office of International Affairs) and Mr. Terrence Izzard (Enrollment Management), I am confident that we will meet and surpass the directives given by (TSU) President (Glenda) Glover on international recruiting.”

Dr. Winn points out that International student enrollment has decreased over the last two years due to myriad factors, such as the pandemic and challenging immigration practices.

“Thus, to launch an initiative focused on recruiting a diverse population of international students is timely and certainly aligns with our goal of helping all students become better global citizens,” says Winn, executive director for International Programs and chief diversity officer at TSU.  

Besides the ITAG initiative, the University currently has dual enrollment partnerships for underserved students in several African countrieswhere students are taking online courses in coding and creating concepts taught by TSU professors. The program is part of a STEM literacy partnership with the African Methodist Episcopal Church that gives students digital resources to develop their technology skills. All participating students receive an iPad, supplied by Apple, Inc.

For more information about the ITAG initiative, visit https://aca.admissions.tnstate.edu/

To learn more about TSU’s partnership with Africa, visit https://tsu-smartinnovationtech.netlify.app/

Department of Media Relations

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About Tennessee State University

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