TSU’s admitted students urged to take the ‘next step’ and enroll

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Allison Bowen and Aysha Mack are coming to Tennessee State University this fall. The two academic standouts from Brewbaker Tech in Montgomery, Alabama, have been best friends and school mates from kindergarten through high school. They decided to stay together and go to the same college after high school but didn’t know where – until they visited TSU. 

Shaquille Dillon, Executive Director of Enrollment Services, congratulates committed students Allison Bowen and Aysha Mack, and their moms. L-r are: Dawneese Bowen, Allison’s mom; Dr. Monica Mack, Aysha’s mom; Dillon; Allison and Aysha. (photo by Aaron Grayson)

The two best friends and their moms, along with 400 other students and their parents, recently attended Admitted Student Day at TSU, where students who had applied, been admitted but had not committed, got a chance to learn about programs and offerings, as well as hear information about the value in attending the institution. 

“I am committed, and I am sure Aysha is, too,” said Bowen, whose older sister, a former Tigerbelle, graduated from TSU two years ago. “I like the things they talked about, like student activities, building character and great family atmosphere. That helped me to decide this is where I want to be.” Bowen will major in interior design.

Admitted students and their parents interact with Terrence Izzard, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Success. (Photo by Aaron Grayson)

Mack, who agreed with her friend about committing to TSU, said it is an opportunity to further solidify their bond.

“They said a lot of things that really caught my eye and made me want to come to TSU,” said Mack, who will major in nursing. “I am prepared to be here with my friend. I think that the bond that we have will help us to continue to motivate each other in college and through life to be successful.”

Bowen and Mack are not alone. They are among many who declared their intention to become Tigers in the Land of Golden Sunshine. TSU officials were on hand to welcome them and to remind others about the opportunities a TSU education offers, such as a great learning environment, career readiness, developing leadership skills, building lifelong relationships, and many others.

Hailey Terrell, of Flowood, Mississippi, is committed. She will major in Criminal Justice.

“Congratulations on being admitted to Tennessee State University. You are just a few steps away from becoming TSU students,” said Terrance Izzard, associate vice president of Enrollment Management and Student Success. “As an enrollment officer, I want you to know that the value of what you get from coming to TSU is huge; it’s beyond a piece of paper. It is a life-transforming experience that will get you career opportunities and upward mobility for you and your families, as well as allow you to discover who you really are.”

With Tasha Carson, assistant vice president of First Year Students, moderating different panels, presenters and program coordinators spoke about their own experiences as students and administrators, as well as answered questions on issues from how to present letters of intent to commit, to financial aid. Greeks and other student organizations also spoke about student life on campus and how it has shaped them.

Tasha Carson, Assistant VP of First-Year Students, welcomes students and their parents to Admitted Student Day in Poag Auditorium. (Photo by Aaron Grayson)

Elliott London, a graduating senior from Sumner Academy of Arts and Science in Kansas City, Kansas, who applied to more than 70 HBCUs, was impressed. He is coming to TSU.

“TSU has my major, a highly rated biology program, and I want to minor in music, and they have that too, plus all that I heard today, I am committed,” London said.

Caleah Childress, of Carnahan High School in St. Louis, who wants to major in nursing, came with her mom, grandmother and cousin, a TSU graduate. She is also committed. With a long history of TSU graduates in her family, Caleah’s mom, Tiffany Childress, said her daughter’s decision to come to TSU “was almost certain.”

Caleah Childress, left, a committed student, joins a long line of family members who have attended TSU. In the photo are her mom, Tiffany Childress, sitting; and cousin Erica McClain, 2008 TSU graduate; and their grandmother, Anita Wilder. (Photo by Davin Latikker)

“I love it that she is coming to TSU,” Tiffany Childress said. “She had nine acceptance letters. So, I told her I think she would benefit the most by coming to TSU. Her great aunt graduated from here and she tried to recruit everybody under her in the family to go to TSU. Her cousins graduated from here and they are all very successful people.”

Aliyah Holmes, vice president of Student Government Association, encouraged the admitted students to take seriously all the information they received.

Elliott London, of Kansas City, Kansas, is committed. He will major in biology.

“If they take it serious they will be successful here at Tennessee State University,” Holmes said. “Know that whenever you get here, this will be your home, this will be your life, this will be the school that will take care of you and nurture you to be the best you want to be in the future.”

Shaquille Dillon, executive director of enrollment services, is the coordinator of the Admitted Student Day program. He said four of the events are held each year with the “goal of getting you from admitted students to committed students.”

“We are very intentional about Admitted Student Day so that parents know what’s their next step to get their students from admit to commit,” Dillon said.

In addition to student organizations and representatives, panelists included Frank Stevenson, associate vice president of Student Affairs and Dean of Students; Dr. Johnny Smith, assistant vice president of Academic Affairs; Dr. Coreen Jackson, dean of the Honors College; and Lalita Hodges, coordinator of the Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Institute.

For more information on admission, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/admissions/