Top Alabama Student Says Coming to TSU Opens Her to Opportunities Like No Other Institution

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When Jahnari Edwards was considering a higher learning institution, Tennessee State University was not on her list, then five weeks in a summer program at TSU during her senior year of high school changed everything.

“That program got me hooked,” says Edwards, an agriculture science major from Phenix City, Alabama. “The atmosphere was so family like. My advisor and all the people in the program were so nice and encouraging. I knew right then TSU was the place for me.”

Jahnari Edwards

Last summer, Edwards was one of 21 graduating high school seniors from across the nation who participated in the very competitive five-week residential Summer Apprenticeship Program. From studies in understanding hypersensitive response of tobacco plants to comparing DNAs in chickens and Guinea fowls, participants in the program were exposed to real-world scientific work and cutting-edge research.

“The Summer Apprenticeship was so enriching; it exposed me to a whole new area of learning,” says Edwards, who gave up a tuition waiver to study broadcast journalism at Savannah State University. “I had the opportunity to go anywhere in Alabama for free, but I decided on TSU because of their agricultural program.”

Edwards, the youngest of three children, is the first in her family to attend a historically black institution. She came to TSU with a near 4.0 grade point average. An outstanding student at Smith Station High School, she graduated with high honors. She was the president of the senior class, and headed many other student organizations and initiatives.

At TSU, Edwards has not wavered in her pursuit of excellence. In her first semester, she earned a 3.8 GPA. She made the Dean’s List and is a member of the Honors College. She is also a member of Minorities in Agriculture Natural Resources and Related Sciences, Tiger Women in Agriculture, community service chair for Freshman Innovation Council, and is currently seeking a position in the Student Government Association.

Recently, Edwards was one of 10 TSU students selected to participate in a three-day Agriculture Future of America four-track program in Kansas City, Missouri, designed to offer college men and women different personal and professional development opportunities matched to their year in college.

Keisha Macklin Jeter is an outreach counselor in the College of Agriculture and an advisor to Edwards. She says that since participating in SAP, Edwards has “gone above and beyond” to demonstrate she values education and serving the community.

“Jahnari has excelled in the classroom while making community service an integral part of her higher education experience,” says Jeter. “Jahnari is an amazing student with a bright future ahead.”

Edwards, who wants to attend graduate school, says her future goal is to own a business part time and work for a major agriculture company. And she believes TSU will help her achieve that.

“I love TSU …the best HBCU in the land,” says Edwards. “I have gained a lot from being here and I have had a lot of opportunities that I feel I would not have gotten anywhere else.”

For more information on opportunities in the TSU College of Agriculture, go to

Department of Media Relations

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About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 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, 24 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