Tag Archives: Engin Ayvaz

TSU works to remove language barrier as only HBCU, state institution with CEA-accredited program

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Mauricio Fabian had initially planned to complete the Intensive English Program (IEP) at Tennessee State University to learn English and then return to his native home in Veracruz, Mexico.

However, after successfully completing the program in under a year and excelling in learning English, Fabian made the decision to stay in Nashville and pursue his Master of Business Administration at TSU. He will be the first in his family to obtain a master’s degree. Just as impressive, he is the first in his family to journey to the United States in pursuit of an education.

IEP students at a seminar in the university’s Career Center learning career opportunities.

TSU’s IEP is the only Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA) accredited intensive English program in the state of Tennessee. It is also the first and only accredited program at an HBCU. The IEP is specifically designed to serve international students seeking admission to graduate and undergraduate programs.

“I learned how to write, read, and pronounce words,” Fabian said. “It’s good to have this program because I know many students who want to learn English. They want to learn, and this can support their future.”

After receiving his certificate of achievement in the program, Fabian promptly enrolled as a student. He expressed his gratitude to the university and acknowledged that the opportunities at TSU and in Nashville were too valuable to ignore. Currently, there are nearly 40 participants in the Intensive English Program. An environment that is bridging language barriers and fostering community integration.

The IEP became accredited in December 2020.

Mauricio Fabian receives a certificate of achievement after completing the Intensive English Program.

“Through this program they get better jobs, they get to communicate better and help them integrate into their new life,” stated Engin Ayvaz, the program’s director. “Not only are we serving TSU, but also the Nashville community.”

Jewell Winn, the Executive Director for the Office of International Affairs, highlighted how people from all over the world invest in TSU’s program to learn the language and then return to their home countries to teach it. Others, like Fabian, choose to remain and pursue their degrees at the university to seek better employment opportunities in the states.

“I have much pride when I am able to say that TSU is the only accredited program,” Winn said. “TSU has connected so many people through our IEP.”

The Office of International Affairs has been operating at TSU since 2012. When Ayvaz began his career at the university in 2017, he made it his mission to officially obtain accreditation for the IEP. Fabian, being one of the program’s first students during the post-COVID-19 period, has been an asset in assisting other students.

IEP students during an end-of-year party at TSU. (Photo submitted)

“He is an excellent student,” Ayvaz said. “He was so adamant and committed. He didn’t miss a class, and he didn’t miss an assignment. He progressed so well and helped others.”

To learn more about the only CEA accredited Intensive English Program in the state of Tennessee, visit the program’s website at here.

TSU holds vigil in remembrance of earthquake victims in Turkey, Syria

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University students held a vigil on campus to remember the massive loss of their loved ones in Turkey and Syria following the devastating earthquakes on Feb. 6.

As of Feb 18, more than 44,000 people have been killed and tens of thousands injured after magnitude 7.8 and 7.5 earthquakes struck Turkey and Syria.

More than 44,000 people have been killed and tens of thousands injured after magnitude 7.8 and 7.5 earthquakes struck Turkey and Syria. TSU students held a vigil on campus to remember the massive loss.

TSU students prayed with their fellow Turkish students and staff who are 6,000 miles away from home.

There are 15 Turkish students and approximately eight faculty members at Tennessee State University.

One of those students came to America from Turkey just six months ago. TSU freshman Berk Arapgirlioglu came to TSU with a music scholarship, and said he is distraught bythe great loss of victims from his country.

“People should be grateful for every second of their life … you can easily lose your loved ones in any situation,” Arapgirlioglu said. “Hopefully, all my family and relatives are okay,” he said as of Feb. 15. “But I know some friends who lost their houses.”

Berk Arapgirlioglu, left, and Tuna Kurucu. (Photo by Aaron Grayson)

Another Turkish immigrant at TSU, Tuna Kurucu, said he is devastated and prayed hope that his family and friends are safe.

“I feel devastated and sad,” Kurucu said. “It is the biggest disaster of this century and Turkey has declared a fourth level of emergency accepting any international help.”

Although Kurucu, who is a freshman at the university, said he is in shock about the earthquake’s impact, he is grateful for the support he has at TSU.

“I am actually happy at this moment because I feel supported by all of the TSU students, my friends and professors here,” Kurucu said during the campus vigil.

Engin Ayvaz, a Turkish native who is the Director of the Intensive English Center at TSU said the outpour of solidarity and affection across the world has touched the Turkish community.

Director of the Intensive English Center Engin Ayvaz during a local news interview at TSUs vigil held in honor of Turkey and Syria earthquake victims. (Photo by Aaron Grayson)

“For the past ten days its been a whirlwind of emotions for all of us,” Ayvaz said. “Thank you all for being here today, it means a lot. TSU is our home away home.”

The Executive Director for International Affairs, Dr. Jewell Winn said the local community is heartbroken.

“We will continue to keep our students, faculty and staff who have family in the region in our thoughts and prayers,” Winn said. “The international community has poured aid into the area, and we will support the endeavor through providing links to make donations.”

Weeks after the earthquake, crews are still pulling survivors from the rubble and the death toll continues to raise.

Visit the university’s official Linktree account to find links to donate for disaster relief for Turkey and Syria.