Tag Archives: TSU Volleyball

TSU to host nearly 40 educational, physical activity summer camps

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – If you’re a parent looking for activities to keep your child busy now that school is out, Tennessee State University might be just the solution. TSU is offering an array of summer camps, for all ages, to keep children engaged for the next three months. The camps include fun and educational enrichment activities to help retain what was learned during the school year. 

From Meharry’s summer Enhancing Virology Training (ENVIT) program, which aims to increase the number of underrepresented minority students ages 15-16 in virology-focused careers, to the Eddie George HBCU Football Camp designed for high school football players interested in skill development and college recruitment, there is a wide range of camps available this summer.

Anthony Fallacaro, assistant director of Events Management, Camps, and Programs, stated that this year’s activities for Middle Tennessee students are essential as this is many of the participants first experience on a college campus.

“These camps and programs provide a safe space for students to build their skills in desired interest areas, develop social skills with their peers, and gain first-hand experiences in higher education environments,” Fallacaro said. “TSU takes great pride in providing these experiences and opportunities to our community.”

The Joe W. Gilliam Football Camp is a non-contact football camp for boys and girls ages 12 – 18. The activities are focused on teaching the skills fundamental to football, personal safety, various positions of interest, and improving on existing skills. (Photo courtesy Tennessee State University.)

Among the many exciting camps returning this year is the Verizon Innovative Learning STEM Achievers Program, which aims to engage students in grades 6-8, to interact with technology through on-campus summer intensive courses and year-round mentoring. This program provides students with firsthand experiences and creates a more diverse pipeline for future careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.

The Grammy-award winning Aristocrat of Bands, fondly referred to as AOB, is hosting the Annual Edward L. Graves High School Summer Band Camp from June 11-17.

“This will be our 10th Camp,” said AOB’s Director, Dr. Reginald McDonald. “We are excited that this will be our largest High School Band Camp ever with 267 kids register from across the country.”

The Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) volleyball champ’s head coach, Donika Sutton, has a wide range of several training camps as well. From cubs to elite tigers camp, Sutton is hosting nine volleyball camps for girls ages six to 18.

The university is also a part of the Meharry-Vanderbilt-TSU Cancer Partnership High School Cancer Research Program, which focuses on the shared goal of eliminating cancer disparities through a proportional approach encompassing basic, translational, clinical, and population science for students ages 15-18.

Below is a list of this years summer camps. For more camp information email the Office of Events Management at [email protected] or visit https://www.tnstate.edu/events/camps.aspx

Name of Camp/ProgramStart DateEnd Date
Meharry Cancer Summer Undergraduate Research ProgramSunday, May 21, 2023Saturday, July 29, 2023
Meharry Summer ENVIT ProgramSunday, May 28, 2023Saturday, July 29, 2023
The Joe Gilliam Football CampTuesday, May 30, 2023Friday, June 2, 2023
Meharry-Vanderbilt-TSU Cancer Partnership High School Cancer Research ProgramTuesday, May 30, 2023Thursday, June 29, 2023
Upward Bound / Trio ProgramTuesday, May 30, 2023Friday, June 23, 2023
HBC Youth Summer Camp – College of EducationTuesday, May 30, 2023Saturday, August 5, 2023
Eddie George CampSaturday, June 3, 2023Saturday, June 3, 2023
Engineering Exploration Camp IISunday, June 4, 2023Friday, June 23, 2023
National Summer Transportation InstituteSunday, June 4, 2023Friday, June 30, 2023
Men’s Basketball Team CampWednesday, June 7, 2023Wednesday, June 7, 2023
Men’s Basketball Elite CampWednesday, June 7, 2023Wednesday, June 7, 2023
Eddie George CampFriday, June 9, 2023Friday, June 9, 2023
Men’s Basketball Elite CampSaturday, June 10, 2023Thursday, June 1, 2023
TSU Aristocrat of Bands Summer CampSunday, June 11, 2023   Saturday, June 17th, 2023  
Language Articulation and Fluency Summer camp Monday, June 12, 2023Thursday, July 20, 2023
Eddie George CampWednesday, June 14, 2023Wednesday, June 14, 2023
Men’s Basketball Team CampWednesday, June 14, 2023Sunday, June 4, 2023
Eddie George CampSaturday, June 17, 2023Saturday, June 17, 2023
Memphis Grizzlies Summer ProgramSaturday, June 17, 2023Saturday, June 17, 2023
SITES-M/MUREP 3.0 Summer AcademyMonday, June 26, 2023Friday, July 14, 2023
Agriculture Summer Apprenticeship ProgramSaturday, July 1, 2023Saturday, July 29, 2023
Volleyball: Cubs CampWednesday, July 5, 2023Thursday, July 6, 2023
Volleyball: Blocking/DefenseFriday, July 7, 2023Saturday, July 8, 2023
Volleyball: Serving/Serve ReceiveSunday, July 9, 2023Monday, July 10, 2023
Engineering Concepts InstituteMonday, July 10, 2023Friday, August 4, 2023
All Star Mathematics InstituteMonday, July 10, 2023Friday, July 21, 2023
Verizon Innovative Learning STEM Achievers Program Monday, July 10, 2023Friday, July 28, 2023
Volleyball: Setting/HittingTuesday, July 11, 2023Wednesday, July 12, 2023
Volleyball: Middle School Basic SkillsThursday, July 13, 2023Saturday, July 15, 2023
Volleyball: High School Basic SkillsMonday, July 17, 2023Wednesday, July 19, 2023
Volleyball: High School Team CampThursday, July 20, 2023Saturday, July 22, 2023
Volleyball: Elite TigersMonday, July 24, 2023Wednesday, July 26, 2023
Women’s Basketball Elite CampSaturday, August 12, 2023Saturday, August 12, 2023
Women’s Basketball Elite CampSunday, August 13, 2023Sunday, August 13, 2023

TSU student-athlete to graduate with 4.0 GPA, along with two degrees and an OVC championship

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – For three years, Gina Rivera-Ortiz’s parents would drive two hours to get her to volleyball practice, in her native territory of Puerto Rico. Dedication that has paid off in the long run with Rivera-Ortiz’s becoming a decorated libero, a back-row defensive specialist, for Tennessee State University volleyball team. Add to her accomplishment an Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) championship and OVC tournament MVP in 2022 for the TSU Tigers.

Last season, Rivera-Ortiz became the all-time career leader in TSU history in digs.

Not only has Rivera-Ortiz, a TSU graduate student, put blood, sweat and tears on the court, she has put her all into her education as well.

“Since pre-kindergarten I’ve never passed a class with anything less than an A,” she said. “My parents raised me to want to be the best. I use my parents as motivation. I know they sacrificed for me to be who I am today.”

Rivera-Ortiz will be graduating this week with a master’s of arts and education in sports administration with a 4.0 GPA. She also had a 4.0 while attending TSU as an undergraduate.

For Rivera-Ortiz, volleyball is like a game of chess on a court, where every move counts. She told the university her main key factors on strategizing how to succeed in being a student athlete.

“Time management, discipline, and passion,” Rivera-Ortiz said. “Everything I do, I do it with passion. Be humble but use that drive of thinking you’re the best and working to be the best.”

Rivera-Ortiz, left, with Coach Sutton, right during a home conference match in Kean Hall at TSU.

TSU head volleyball coach Donika Sutton couldn’t agree more about Rivera-Ortiz’s work ethic as an athlete and person.

“Gina has realistically surpassed expectations,” Sutton said. “We are talking about someone who all five years has had a 4.0 GPA.”

Coach Sutton said she recruited Rivera-Ortiz from Lajas, Puerto Rico, and offered her a scholarship in 2018. Since that time, Sutton has watched her continuously grow every year.

“She helped me lead this team. The ability, the work ethic and her leadership were a huge part as to why this team was successful this year.”

Rivera-Ortiz after the TSU volleyball team won the OVC Tournament championship in 2022.

The TSU volleyball team won the OVC Tournament last November for the first time in 15 years. Out of the 132 games, Rivera-Ortiz never missed one. The international student said she is most grateful for TSU’s welcoming environment, that helped her succeed while being 1,700 miles away from home.  

“This was a place that made me feel the most wanted. That’s one of the things that kept me here.”

Rivera-Ortiz has already accepted a job offer at local non-profit organization Backfield in Motion, as a senior youth coordinator. The job aligns with her dream career related to community engagement for the NBA.

While Rivera-Ortiz was a part of the Puerto Rico women’s national under-23 volleyball team last year, she looks forward to one day competing for a spot on the Olympic volleyball team after obtaining a doctorates degree in psychology.

Check out the Puerto Rico native’s stats and recent accolades as the all-time OVC leader in career digs and in TSU history.