Tag Archives: Derrick Sanders

TSU makes taking student portrait easy with first self-serve, innovative professional photo booth

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Do you need a professional-quality headshot for graduate school or a job application but don’t know where to go? Look no more, the Tennessee State University Career Development Center has you covered!

Brionika Johnson, a graduating senior, edits a headshot in the Iris Booth for her senior portfolio. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

On Oct. 6, the center held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Iris Booth, an innovative, self-serve professional photo booth that allows students, faculty, and staff to take headshots. TSU is the first historically black higher education institution to use the Iris Booth, and one of only six universities in the nation with this high-tech equipment. It is used by corporations and hospitals in North America, Europe, and Asia. 

“This is amazing, and it is groundbreaking as our students now have the opportunity to experience professional photography brought by the Career Development Center,” said Frank Stevenson, associate vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students. “We are excited about what this will mean for our students moving forward. It gives them a head start going into the marketplace. It prepares them and allows them to have their best foot forward as they prepare for potential employment opportunities.” 

Antoinette Hargrove Duke, Director of the Career Development Center, welcomes officials, students and staff to the opening of the Iris Booth. From right, are: Frank Stevenson, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs; Prof. Rita Fleming, Faculty Senate representative; and Miss TSU Mallory Moore. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

Brionika Johnson, a senior business administration major, was one of the first students to sit for her headshot in the booth, following the ribbon cutting. She was impressed by the clarity of her photo and how easy it was to use the system. 

“One thing that students complain a lot about is that they can’t get professional headshots when going to interviews, or going to companies,” said Johnson, who is from Atlanta. “This is another good example of the Career Development Center helping students prepare for the workforce.” 

Officials say the Iris Booth demonstrates the university’s commitment to engage and support students as they begin or continue their career journeys. The easy-to-use unit – located in the CDC – uses high quality lighting and allows users to approve or retake photos. It also allows users to crop photos, touch up blemishes, whiten teeth, or apply filters, and instantly delivers digital photos via email. 

Frank Stevenson, who is also Dean of Students, enters his profile information for a professional headshot. He calls the Iris Booth innovation ‘groundbreaking.’ (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

“With the Iris Booth, we no longer have to find somebody for you to get a professional picture. We no longer have to hire anyone,” Antoinette Hargrove Duke, director of the Career Development Center, told students, as she thanked the leadership of the Student Affairs office for supporting the idea for the booth. 

“Our students deserve this cutting-edge technology,” Duke added. “They no longer have an excuse for looking their very best when going to look for internships or going for job interviews.” 

Duke also thanked her staff and the student leadership for their support, as well as the staff of the TSU Facilities Department for transforming the previous office space to install the photo booth. 

The Iris Booth is open to faculty, staff and students. Many attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony in the Career Development Center. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

Derrick Sanders, president of the Student Government Association, expressed appreciation to the CDC for its support, and urged his fellow students to take advantage of not only the new booth, but the center. 

“I just want to say to all the students to make sure you come here, not only to get your headshot, but take advantage of the resources in this office,” said Sanders. “The headshot is definitely a key piece to the industrial field and life after TSU. But I also encourage all of you to be engaged in this office.” 

Also participating in the ribbon-cutting ceremony were Prof. Rita Fleming, who represented Dr. Kimberly Triplett, chair of the Faculty Senate; Mister TSU Mark T. Davis, Jr.; Miss TSU Mallory Moore; and Tanya McNeal, student ambassador. 

For more information on the TSU Career Development Center, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/careers/.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209

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.

Tennessee State University Attracts the Best; 9 Top Cincinnati High School Graduating Seniors Commit to TSU

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University continues to attract the best and brightest from across the nation.

Nine graduating seniors, each with a 4.0 grade point average from Mt. Healthy High School in Cincinnati, have committed to attend TSU this fall.

TSU President Glenda Glover and university officials welcomed three of the students, who along with their school principal, Thomas Hill, visited the campus Thursday.

Derrick Sanders, left, Gelanie Jones and Jierre Franklin will attend TSU in the fall. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The other six students will visit TSU after their school’s graduation ceremony on May 26, Hill said. They are all being admitted with full scholarships.

Glover described the students’ visit as “a great day” for Tennessee State University.

“These high achievers made a great choice by selecting to come to Tennessee State University,” she said. “They are part of the elite scholars we continue to attract who value the world-class programs and quality education offered here in a caring community of faculty, staff and administrators who are committed to excellence.”

The three students — Jierre Franklin, Gelanie Jones and Derrick Sanders — said a special bond they share led them to attend the same college. They grew up in the same neighborhood, attended the same elementary and middle schools, and are about to graduate from the same high school.

“We have been friends for 10 years,” said Sanders, who plans to major in business, as well as join the gospel choir. “This school has a great legacy with graduates like Oprah Winfrey, Duke Ellington. I saw the choir perform with Jennifer Hudson, one of my favorite singers, and that really impressed me.”

Another attraction for the students is that they all wanted to attend an HBCU, according to Hill.

“I am a first-year principal in a school with a predominantly African-American student population,” said Hill, who is Caucasian. “We have kids who can compete with anybody in the country, and their desire to attend an HBCU was a preference of theirs. I look at them as my children. All of the students coming here are honor students and I am extremely proud of them.”

For Franklin, a percussionist in her school band, who plans to major in biology and join the TSU marching band, her interest in an HBCU started as a freshman when she accompanied a relative on a college tour.

“That tour was an HBCU college tour and I remember the environment was exactly somewhere I wanted to be,” Franklin said. “Here at TSU it feels like family, and I like the band here.”

Jones, who also plans to major in biology and play on the tennis team, is not a stranger to TSU. His older sister is a junior here, and he said that will help keep him focused.

“I think my sister being here is going to help me to stay on track,” said Jones, the second of three children. “I have been here plenty of times. I have attended Homecoming. I love everything about this school. It’s like a family.”

Audrey Strafford is TSU’s assistant director of Institutional Support (One-Stop Shop), and formerly a longtime financial aid staff, who received the students from Cincinnati. She thinks the students’ “unique” relationship gives them a big advantage to succeed.

“When I find students like these, it makes my heart beat faster because this is what TSU is made of  … this is our legacy,” Strafford said. “I am just so proud they have a principal who would extend himself to make sure these students get a quality education.”

Terrance Izzard, TSU’s associate vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Success, said TSU is “a perfect place for them to grow and to soar.”

“The fact that TSU is a place for family, it makes it wholesome that these young people, who have been knowing each other from grade school and now they are matriculating through college together, are joining our family here at TSU. It is going to be a great experience for all of them.”

Franklin, Jones and Sanders come to TSU as part of a millennial generation of high achieving students that the university continues to strategically recruit in its effort to improve retention and graduation rates. This comes on the heels of sweeping changes TSU President Glover announced in 2016 that raised admission standards to attract the best and brightest.

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.