Friday, December 11, 2009

Legendary Tigerbelles’ Coach to Receive Honorary Degree at Fall Commencement

A Tennessee State University committee has selected Coach Edward Stanley Temple as a recipient of the Doctor of Humane Letters. A legendary coach of the TSU Tigerbelles and distinguished educator, Temple will be awarded the honorary degree at the Fall Commencement exercise on Saturday, Dec. 19, 9 a.m., at the TSU Gentry Complex.
“This honor was well deserved due to his tremendous coaching accomplishments in athletics and life’s work in the field of education,” wrote selection committee chairperson Dr. Murle E. Kenerson in a letter to TSU President Melvin N. Johnson.
Temple earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in health and physical education with a minor in sociology from TSU. He also served as associate professor of sociology at the university.
During Temple’s 44 years as women’s track head coach at TSU, 40 members of his famed Tigerbelle teams competed in the Olympics, winning a total of 23 medals, including 13 Gold. Temple also led the Tigerbelles to 34 national titles and 30 medals in the Pan American Games. Eight Tigerbelles have been inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame.
Temple’s coaching accomplishments extend well beyond the practice track at TSU. He served as women’s track head coach for two consecutive U.S. Olympic Teams (1960 in Rome and 1964 in Tokyo), as well as an assistant head coach for the 1980 Games.
He served as the women’s track head coach in 1958 and 1959 in dual competitions between the USA and the USSR; the 1959 and 1975 Pan American Games; the 1970 European Tour of Germany, Russia and Romania; and the 1975 USA vs. China competition.
Temple also served as head coach of the USA Junior Team at the 1982 and 1986 Pan American Junior Games, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Women’s Track Team at the dual meet with Romania, and head coach of the first ever World Junior Championships held in Athens in 1986. 

$5,000 Grant Awarded to Tennessee State University Women’s Center by Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee

Tennessee State University Women’s Center has received a $5,000 grant to launch a career planning and life-skills training program for middle-school age girls to help decrease infant mortality and teen pregnancy.

As part of an annual grant-making process, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee has distributed more than $900,000 in grants to 198 nonprofit organizations in 30 Middle Tennessee counties

The Women’s Center at Tennessee State University received the grant in support of its mission to enhance the academic experience and personal development of all women by providing an inclusive and supportive environment.

“As needs in middle Tennessee grow the work of our nonprofit partners to provide vital services and innovative programs has never been more important,” said Ellen Lehman, president of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

“The Foundation is honored to connect generosity with need through our annual grant-making and congratulates nonprofits on their efforts to improve the quality of life for our community,” said Lehman.

For more information about the Women’s Center at Tennessee State University, contact Dr. Jewell G. Winn at 615-963-5685 or and Sandra Keith at 615-963-7438 or           

The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee oversees more than 700 charitable funds. In the past 18 years, The Community Foundation has distributed $440 million to its nonprofit partners. For more information, call 615-321-4939 or visit

Tennessee State University to Phase Honors Program Into Honors College Fall 2011

One of Tennessee State University’s nationally acclaimed academic programs has been designated by University faculty to transition into a college, as early as fall 2011.

A steering committee of faculty suggested the University Honors Program become an honors college, as one of the 2008-2028 Academic Master Plan’s cross-cutting focus areas. The Academic Master Plan is the University’s blueprint for future academic programming at TSU through 2028. It includes an academic vision statement and goals, as well as the academic areas that will receive priority attention and targeted resources.

“The thrust for establishing an honors college at TSU is focused on the recruitment, retention and development of outstanding undergraduate students. Having an honors college will help provide a nurturing, enriched academic experience in the culturally diverse environment at TSU that will foster active, innovative learning,” said Dr. Pamela Burch-Sims, chairwoman of the steering committee and director of the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Quality and Assessment.

Burch-Sims further explained the AMP committee also envisioned the honors college as a positive means of promoting faculty-student interaction with an innovative curriculum that challenges the brightest students while advancing excellence throughout the University. An advanced curriculum will offer individualized academic program planning for talented students in the honors college who demonstrate an extraordinary ability to pursue independent scholarship, think globally and be creative.

Dr. Sandra Holt, director of the University Honors Program, said the transition to an honors college will help poise the University to become the major academic institution in the state of Tennessee, citing its ability to use as a recruitment tool as well as enhance academic quality, research-based critical thinking and the overall quality of University programs.

“The decision to have an honors college represents a huge milestone for the entire University. We have one of the oldest and strongest honors program in the country. For the AMP steering committee to recognize that it is time for TSU to have an honors college is exciting and I’m glad to be a part of it,” Holt said.

The University has come to rely on its honors program to provide national visibility of its commitment to academic excellence, educational quality and intellectual integrity. The honors program has continually served to emphasize ongoing campus efforts such as recruiting, leadership, innovations and community outreach. Designation of an honors college would enhance the honors program’s contributions and facilitate multi-disciplined academic and non-academic opportunities for the entire University. 

College of Business Takes MBA Program to China

The Tennessee State University College of Business has negotiated an agreement in partnership with Tianjin Polytechnic University that will allow students to receive an MBA while completing coursework in China.

“We have taken a multi-faceted approach in making our MBA program available at Tianjin Polytechnic University. It is linked to our ongoing efforts to enhance the international dimension of our academic program, support the University’s mission and offer our students a global perspective,” said Dr. Tilden Curry, dean of the TSU College of Business.

To date, the TSU College of Business has worked to position the University’s role in a tough, competitive global economy through forging educational and service learning partnerships in Ukraine, Malawi and Tunisia, developing new international courses and establishing a minor program in international business.

Now, with the MBA degree, the College will deepen its focus on international student collaborations and exchanges, faculty development abroad and increased enrollment of foreign students.

“Management graduates trained in global business practices through an American approach to management education are in great demand in China. The program will assist us in our attempt to meet the needs of companies engaged in international commerce” Curry added.  

Tianjin is China's third largest city with a population of 13 million and is only 30 minutes away from Beijing by light rail. A very commercial and heavy industrialized area, it is also China's third largest seaport and many multinational corporations have  manufacturing plants here including Motorola, LG, Samsung, Toyota and GlaxoSmithKline among others.

Qiang Wu, member of the TSU College of Business board of advisors, believes that the program is an ideal opportunity for both universities and states to strengthen ties. "I am sure the joint MBA programs will attract many Chinese students as well as TSU students who are interested in learning international trade and commerce as well as American and Chinese culture and language. This program will certainly help the graduates to find a job requiring more international experience and acknowledge," he said. Wu is president of Tianjin Newtrans Import & Export Company.

Approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) earlier this year, the program will begin offering courses in Fall 2010. 

Monday, October 19, 2009

Tennessee State University Welcomes The United States Army Field Band Nov. 12

The internationally acclaimed United States Army Field Band of Washington, DC, will continue its long history of presenting free public performances when it appears at the Tennessee State University Kean Hall Gymnasium, November 12, 7 p.m.

The Field Band’s concert in Nashville is sponsored by the Tennessee State University Department of Music.                                                    

As the premier touring musical representative for the United States Army, the Field Band travels thousands of miles each year throughout the nation and abroad, keeping the will of the American people behind the members of the armed forces and supporting diplomatic efforts around the world. Since its formation in 1946, the Field Band has appeared in all 50 states and in more than 30 countries on four continents. 

Along with the Soldiers’ Chorus, which was founded in 1957, this 65-member Concert Band presents a powerful and diverse program of marches, overtures, popular music, patriotic selections, and instrumental and vocal solos. A music critic for the Boston Globe called a Field Band performance “a cause to stand up and cheer.”

Past performance highlights include World War II 50th anniversary commemorations in the United States and Europe, Presidential Inaugural Parades, the rededication of the Statue of Liberty, nationally televised broadcasts on Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, and the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Joint concerts with many of the nation’s leading orchestras, including the Boston Pops, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and Cincinnati Pops, have received rave reviews.

The Field Band’s members, selected by highly competitive audition, represent some of the finest musical talent in America. More than five decades as the military’s most traveled musicians have earned them the title, “The Musical Ambassadors of the Army.”

For additional information about the Field Band’s performance in Nashville, please contact the Tennessee State University Department of Music at 615.963.5341.         

Tennessee State University will celebrate 2009 Homecoming, November 1-7

“Recharging the Blue for a Brighter TSU” is this year’s theme. Thomas Gaiter, M.D., a 1979 graduate and chief medical officer at Howard University Hospital and associate dean for Clinical Affairs at Howard University College of Medicine, will serve as homecoming grand marshal. Homer Wheaton, a 1948 graduate and former vice president for the Division of University Relations and Development will be the homecoming honoree. For more information about 2009 Homecoming at TSU, visit


Washington Center Honors TSU

 The Washington Center Honors Tennessee State University 

Ambassador's Lecture

Ambassador's Lecture

Thursday, October 15, 2009

TSU Joins Mission to Fight Breast Cancer

Tennessee State University joined the mission to end breast cancer and shared stories of campus survivors for the Susan G. Komen On The Go mobile experience. The interactive information center featured self-exam instructions, awareness tools, games and food.

Macie Pope-Pryor, a 20-year breast cancer survivor, shared her testimony with participants at the Susan G. Komen On The Go mobile facility at Welton Plaza.

Gulmakai Telwar, Sara Jabeen and Khadijah Rahim were among the TSU students visiting the Susan G. Komen mobile facility.

TSU students Justin Lee and Kristen Brown visited the interactive information center.

TSU students Darnell Towns, Vanna Albright, Domonique Rivers, Danielle Towns and Larissa Bryant volunteered at the event.

President Melvin N. Johnson listens inside the interactive information center.

Dr. Kathleen McEnerney, TSU interim vice president for academic affairs; Dr. Melvin N. Johnson, TSU president; Kathy Parolini, exectuive director of greater Nashville Susan G. Komen for the Cure; Dr. Marcy D. Johnson, founder of TSU Women’s Center; and Dr. Jewell Winn, director of business operations for facilities management, visited the Susan G. Komen On The Go interactive information center. The mobile facility was on the TSU campus Thursday, October 1. TSU is an active participant in the mission to end breast cancer.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Beautiful Day on Campus

TSU Youtube Channel

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Important Notice

The Department of Media Relations will provide a free web conference, “Media Training for Campus Leaders,” September 29, 2009, 12 – 2 p.m.

This will be a collective workshop for all faculty and staff. Those interested in participating in the University Speakers Bureau and Media Guide should plan to attend.

This workshop will:
•  Explore the role of the media
•  Review higher education media topics and responses
•  Demonstrate how to prepare for interviews
•  Explain how to define not defend TSU’s image
•  Provide techniques for crafting sound bites
•  Show examples of press interviews that have gone wrong

This event is free and open to the campus community.

Location: Farrell-Westbrook Agriculture Research Extension Complex (Barn)

Atlanta Football Classic Weekend

The Tennessee State University football Tigers played in the Atlanta Football Classic September 26, where they were defeated 31-12 by FAMU.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.


Peggy Earnest is a true survivor. Sixteen years ago she took ownership over her battle with breast cancer and was determined to beat it.

The University’s Dean of Students and Chief Judicial Officer went for a yearly mammogram and a few weeks later returned for a second mammogram that detected cancer. She underwent a mastectomy of her right breast along with several chemotherapy treatments.

With no risk factors or family history of breast cancer, Earnest turned out to be a very rare case. She then decided to participate in a study with Vanderbilt University researchers to find out how she developed the illness.

Many that know Earnest are familiar with her bubbly, charming personality. She demonstrates a lively spirit that even the toils of breast cancer could not break. “I’ve always been very open about my journey with breast cancer. I tried to keep a positive attitude about it. I did not want a pity party and never let others feel sorry for me. I simply did not allow it to keep me from enjoying my life,” she proclaimed. Earnest believes it was God and the support system of her family and many friends that kept her afloat while recovering.

A champion for breast cancer awareness, Earnest currently serves on the board of the American Breast Cancer Society and participates in the Sister’s Program, both initiatives that target women of color. She also helped to develop and establish the Relay for Life Breast Cancer Walk held annually at TSU.

Earnest charges younger women to take the proper steps and go to the doctor regularly. “Know your body, look in the mirror and get to know yourself,” she said.

Tennessee State University joins the mission to end breast cancer and shares stories of campus survivors for the Susan G. Komen On The Go mobile experience. The interactive information center featuring self-exam instructions, awareness tools, games and food will visit TSU (Welton Plaza) on October 1, 2009, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact the Office of Marketing and Public Affairs at 963-5331.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Holt Receives Educator Award

Dr. Sandra Holt (center), director of TSU Honors Program, received the Ambassador Bobby Jones Education Award at a special birthday celebration taping of Ambassador Jones acclaimed cable television show in the Cox-Lewis Theater Sept. 19-20. President Melvin N. Johnson presented the award to Holt for her outstanding contributions to higher education. A "Birthday Celebration" will air in 120 countries around the world later this fall.

Career Awareness Fair 2009

WKRN Channel 2 Video Journalist Jeff Davidson taped portions of student interviews during the TSU Career Awareness Fair. Walter Ijegalu a TSU,senior industrial engineering major, interviewed with representatives from Farm Credit Services.

Spring Graduate Contributes $1,000 Gift to Honors Program

Before Daniel Hibbert headed home to Lansing, Mich., on May 22, he made out a check for $1,000 and handed it over to Dr. Sandra Holt, director of the University Honors Program, saying, “Let me take care of this before I leave Nashville.”

Hibbert, a spring 2009 graduate who received a B.S. in mechanical engineering, is preparing to launch his dream career in investment banking with the Goldman Sachs Group Inc., a full-service global investment and securities firm. He began his career as an operations analyst July 16. He credits the University Honors Program and Tennessee State University for exposing him to the world of business.

“The University Honors Program has invested so much in me in terms of my personal development and growth. I wanted to reciprocate that investment so that another young student will be able to have the same experience I did. I hope it will inspire other alumni to do the same thing, particularly graduates of the Honors Program,” Hibbert said.

During his first leadership course taught by Associate Director William Latham, Hibbert was able to join a team of other honors students in competing at the 2007 Opportunity Funding Corporation Venture Challenge, a national MBA business plan competition.

In addition to the business plan competition, Hibbert also got an opportunity to travel as an honors student to the Thurgood Marshall Leadership Conference in New York City, as well as take the Gallup Strength Finder and Littaur Personality tests. These opportunities, Hibbert said, helped him to realize his purpose in the field of business.

“Daniel is a phenomenal, mature young man. He has been a role model and mentor to many, many students on campus. He also possessed a very strong connection to the execution of his vision even while being a student. You just don’t see that level of drive very often,” Holt said.

“Dr. Holt and Mr. Latham taught us that to whom much is given, much is required. I feel like it’s my duty to give back to the Honors Program because they have given me so much. The Honors Program needs to be able to continue to touch lives without the threat of financial hardship,” Hibbert said.

Holt said that Hibbert’s gift will help support the leadership initiatives of the program and has made him an official member of the Affinity Group, a distinction given to alumni of the Honors Program who contribute gifts of $250 to $1,000 or more a year and agree to mentor program undergraduates whenever they visit the campus or via telephone/e-mail. “The Affinity Group was the dream of Mr. Latham and has been enormously successful in guiding honor students in the right direction,” Holt added.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Human Resources Department Adopts Paperless Future

Tennessee State University's Human Resources Department has become one of the first paperless units of all Tennessee Board of Regents institutions. Human resources officials have negotiated to enhance their use of PeopleAdmin to create a system unlike any the management software provider has created.

Michael Hamlet, associate director of human resources, said the department has worked with technicians at PeopleAdmin to launch a collection of online forms on the PeopleAdmin system for employee status changes that will not only streamline their processing efforts but also allow for increased transparency among participants. Essentially, all forms now processed on paper would now be completed online.

Once any of these forms are started through PeopleAdmin, all individuals in queue to receive or sign off on the documents would be notified via e-mail. Additionally, a history of all transactions would be attached to the documents, allowing all parties to track processing progress. Using electronic signatures, changes are sent back to the originator and the tracking system alerts everyone involved.

Hamlet explained that the rationale behind the system upgrade is to create an online filing system with accompanying database to keep track of documents being processed by their offices and various departments on campus.

With the department being required by state law to keep employee personnel files for a minimum of 75 years, having to store these documents has become both "cumbersome and difficult" to manage. Current personnel files are expected to be digitized for archiving as well, Hamlet said.

“We’ve had a great relationship with PeopleAdmin. They have been a great company to work with and have developed quite a reputation. Fortunately, TSU was one of the first campuses in the TBR system to sign up with them (in 2005),” Hamlet said.

TSU piloted the new system and forms with the University's Center for Excellence in Learning Sciences, which is housed in Research and Sponsored Programs.

Hamlet ensured that security and efficiency were top concerns the department considered when deciding to make the transition. PeopleAdmin backs up all documents and files. For an even greater degree of security, Hamlet said the department is working with IT officials so that once forms are processed, PDF versions of these documents are then uploaded to the employee’s personnel file on the Banner system.

“This is a more secure system. This is far more protection for employees’ data than we have ever been able to offer in the past,” Hamlet said.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

TSU Looks to Stay Connected Through Social Media

Tennessee State University Department of Media Relations is looking to stay connected to the community through various forms of social media, including Blogger, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and Youtube. As breaking campus news occurs social media will be used to release information quickly and concisely.

Due to the immense popularity and ease of social networking access, these communication outlets will be used to keep the community informed by posting written stories, photographs and videos about TSU news and events.

“Social media is a great way to keep the community informed about all the exciting things happening at TSU,” said Cheryl Bates-Lee, assistant vice president of marketing at TSU. “Anyone with access to the Internet will now be able to follow the exciting story of TSU as it unfolds.”

Tennessee State’s news blog, Twitter and Facebook will be updated daily with important information and announcements about upcoming campus events. Photography slideshows and videos will also be published with Youtube and Flickr to showcase events and stories.

“Checking our news blog often will ensure that you don’t miss out on the stories that impact your experience at TSU,” Bates-Lee added.

To follow the Tennessee State news blog go to and look under news for links to Blogger, Facebook and Twitter.

Communications Department Updates Program Curriculum To Compete With Changing Media Trends

Officials in the Tennessee State University Department of Communications have retooled the curriculum for its mass communications emphasis to include greater depth in convergence and media versatility.

The curriculum revisions include more courses and the introduction of two tracks—News and Production—that are to replace the current curriculum track offerings in Print Journalism and Radio/Television Broadcast. Also, the department is creating a convergence network and Web site to support its student media outlets.

Department head Terry Likes said reasons for changing the curriculum included the presence of changing trends in media, as well as a desire to better serve students by helping them become more marketable and better prepared to enter the media workforce.

“Changes in the media have produced convergence. One reporter now covers a story for print, online, radio and television. The proposed changes will better serve students wishing to work in journalism, production or related media fields. The revised curriculum emphasizes content and communication skills for our students, not merely technical proficiency,” Likes said.

Likes explained that one of the major problems with the current curriculum was that students weren’t getting hands-on experience until their junior year of the suggested four-year plan. The revised curriculum addresses that by requiring three courses—“Intro to Mass Communications,” “Technologies & Techniques of Media” and “Fundamentals of Media Writing”—be taken during the freshman year, according to the proposed four-year plan.

Additionally, Likes said the new curriculum changes would better nurture the University’s student media outlets—The Meter (campus newspaper), WTST (campus radio station) and Tiger News (campus television station). In courses, students will be required to write stories or produce audio, photo and video broadcasts for credit.

The content produced for the media outlets are to be featured on a student-created convergence Web site. Likes said he and other faculty met with student media leaders this semester for the creation of a Tiger News Network—taking a cue from the commercial practices of Tampa’s The News Center and the converged media operations of WTHR-TV NBC and the Indianapolis Star.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A WOMAN OF COURAGE: Dr. Judith Presley

Campus Breast Cancer Survivors at Tennessee State University

Tennessee State University joins the mission to end breast cancer and shares stories of campus survivors for the Susan G. Komen On The Go mobile experience. The interactive information center featuring self-exam instructions, awareness tools, games and food will visit TSU (Welton Plaza) on October 1, 2009, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

Celebrating with the TSU Vintagers this past August was an unforgettable occasion for Dr. Judith Presley. A professor in the College of Education’s Department of Teaching and Learning, Presley marked her 40-year class reunion after a bout with breast cancer.

Diagnosed in 2007, she did not know cancer ran in her family. Although she noticed changes in her body, Presley always had regular mammograms and never gave cancer much thought. “I had funny feelings about my health. After my surgery, I found out my father’s sisters had brain and lung cancer. Knowing that family history, I realized I had to pay closer attention to my body,” said Presley. It was the visit to a new doctor who ordered the mammogram that immediately detected her breast cancer. She underwent a mastectomy with no radiation treatments or chemotherapy.

She admits the road to recovery was an emotional struggle. Feeling tired and stressed, the devoted employee, who at the time was responsible for assisting TSU students with teacher certification, took six weeks of sick leave. Yet, a love for her students soon brought her back into the classroom to teach special education courses.

Plainly put, Presley knows she is blessed. “I listened to my body and stayed connected with a good team of doctors.” She advises younger women to be proactive in asking for a mammogram in addition to an ultrasound if they have a family history of cancer. She also has advice for employees with co-workers dealing with cancer.

“Co-workers with this illness need all the support they can get. Even if you don’t know what to say, just do little things to show them that you care.”

For more information, contact the Office of Marketing and Public Affairs at 963-5331.





Tennessee State University kicked off its fall semester with an increase in enrollment, the largest freshman class in recent history and record numbers of African-American males enrolled as first-time students.

The overall enrollment numbers jumped to 6,827 undergraduate and 1,997 graduate students, for a combined enrollment of 8,824 students.  In addition, using a five-year enrollment analysis, records show TSU sporting the largest freshman class in recent history.  In 2005 TSU enrolled 1,205 freshmen; 2006 (1,169); 2007 (1,228); 2008 (1041); and 2009 (1,338).

Enrollment for first-year African-American males also increased, showing the largest record posted over the last five years.  This year, records indicate that 511 African-American male students enrolled as first-time students, up 115 students from last year’s count.  

According to TSU President Melvin N. Johnson, the school attributes its enrollment success to enhanced recruitment initiatives implemented by the enrollment management team, along with improved customer service and increased marketing. “We revamped the financial aid process, communicated to students earlier about financial aid deadlines and revamped the orientation program for new and returning students.  More and more students came to the University financially prepared, which resulted in less students being purged from the roster,” he said.

In spring 2008, the University also implemented Hobsons Enrollment Management Technology, a powerful software tool designed to communicate with prospects and applicants electronically. This software was used successfully by TSU, providing our Admissions Department with the necessary software to automate and execute all admissions communication plans, and track results and progress with real-time reporting features.


Monday, September 21, 2009

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Sylvia Russell: A Woman of Courage

The life of Tennessee State University Police Chief Sylvia Russell took a drastic turn in 2004. Then a young and robust law enforcement officer, Russell was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 46.

Russell, who often prided herself on her health, was very surprised to hear the news. As she processed this life-threatening information, she turned to her family and friends for much-needed support.

The treatment she undertook was intense, resulting in several chemotherapy treatments that lasted four hours a day, once every three weeks. In addition, she underwent surgery and radiation therapy amounting to 25 radiation treatments.

Now, cancer free, Russell is a five-year survivor. She credits God and family for bringing her through one of the toughest times of her life. Today, she stresses healthy living and encourages the next generation of young women to engage in yearly mammograms.

“Making the time to take care of yourself can simply save your life,” she said.

For more information, contact the Office of Marketing and Public Affairs at 963-5331.

Susan G. Komen On The Go Mobile Experience

Tennessee State University joins the mission to end breast cancer and shares stories of campus survivors for the Susan G. Komen On The Go mobile experience. The interactive information center featuring self-exam instructions, awareness tools, games and food will visit TSU (Welton Plaza) on October 1, 2009, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

National Science Foundation Grant Awarded to Develop New Theories for Aircrafts

Tennessee State University has been awarded a $149,238 grant from the National Science Foundation to research general theory in control systems design that may improve a wide range of control systems such as aircraft auto-piloting and nuclear reactor control.

Led by Lee-Hyun Keel, professor of electrical engineering and researcher in the Center of Excellence for Information Systems, the research goal is to impact control applications ranging from chemical processes, manufacturing systems, disk drives, missile and aircraft control, internet congestion control and biological control systems including genetic networks.

"We propose to develop new fundamental theory and effective design methodologies to address practically important issues which present theory cannot handle,” said Keel.

He explained that the proposed research is a very realistic engineering problem that remains open despite significant progress in computer-aided design. “In many engineering applications, system models are scarcely available and very few effective techniques exist for the design of simple controllers. The preliminary results noted in this research look promising,” he said.

Keel will lead efforts in overcoming several outstanding challenges of developing control design methodologies which use only measured data and attempt to regulate physical quantities such as position, velocity, temperature, pressure and flow-rate in control systems.

The research is a collaborative effort between Texas A & M University and Tennessee State University.

Tennessee State University Student Awarded John W. Work III Memorial Foundation Scholarship for Accomplishments in Music

Brandon Boyd, senior music education major from Ocala, Fla., has been actively involved in music since he was eight years old. Boyd’s commitment paid off when he was announced as the 2009-2010 recipient of the John W. Work III Scholarship. The scholarship, provided by the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, is awarded to African-American juniors, seniors or graduate students pursuing a degree in music at an accredited university.

“The Community Foundation has been able to help thousands of people attend schools they might have been unable to afford by connecting them with the generosity of others. This year, we look forward to helping hundreds more improve their futures and the futures of their families,” said Ellen Lehman, president of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

The John W. Work III Scholarship was established in honor of John W. Work, III, an inspiring teacher at Fisk University and an internationally known composer. Boyd was awarded $800 to use this academic year.

“I feel blessed and honored to have received the John W. Work III Scholarship this year,” said Boyd. “I give much honor to Dr. Roland Carter, the father that I gained the last few years, who has a desire to keep the music of African-American composers such as John W. Work, III, alive. As I look back and see from where I’ve come, I feel as if I can truly say that God is the only person that deserves the ultimate credit.”

In the future, Boyd plans to apply to Yale University, Westminster Choir College or Emory University in pursuit of a dual master’s degree in choral conducting and sacred music. His ultimate goals is to become a collegiate choral conductor that will continue to keep the music and legacy of many African American composers alive.

Dr. Darryl Nettles, associate professor in the Department of Music at TSU, spoke highly of Boyd and his accomplishments. “Brandon is without a doubt one of the finest students with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with. He has a great yearning to learn as much as possible. Piano, voice, conducting, accompanying, organ, you name it, he wants to learn it. He is the essence of what makes a proud professor; I know I am proud of him.”

Applicants from the University interested in applying for the scholarship in the future can find additional information at

Media Training for Campus Leaders

The Department of Media Relations will provide a free web conference, “Media Training for Campus Leaders,” September 29, 2009, 1 – 3 p.m.

This will be a collective workshop for all faculty and staff. Those interested in participating in the University Speakers Bureau and Media Guide should plan to attend.

This workshop will:
•  Explore the role of the media
•  Review higher education media topics and responses
•  Demonstrate how to prepare for interviews
•  Explain how to define not defend TSU’s image
•  Provide techniques for crafting sound bites
•  Show examples of press interviews that have gone wrong

This event is free and open to the campus community.

Location: Farrell-Westbrook Agriculture Research Extension Complex (Barn)

To reserve your spot at the web conference and sign up for the University Speakers Bureau and Media Guide, please e-mail Aerial Ellis at or call 963.5317.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Former Senator Bill Frist visited the Tennessee State University Honors Program

Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist visited the Tennessee State University Honors Program on September 17 and led a discussion on leadership. Frist spoke about his leadership experience in the areas of healthcare and government. He also talked about work with non-profit groups and his yearly volunteer medical service in Darfur and other parts of Africa.

Kikanwa Morgan, president of the  Honors Program, presented former Senator Frist with a lapel pin from the Honors Program.

Dr. Kathleen McEnerney, TSU academic provost; Dr. William Latham, associate director of the TSU Honors Program; Dr. Bill Frist, former senate majority leader; and Dr. Sandra Holt, director of  the TSU Honors program.

TSU Names Teacher of the Year

Dr. Joan Popkin and President Melvin N. Johnson.

Tennessee State University’s Teacher of the Year, Dr. Joan Popkin, was recently recognized at the 2009 Fall Faculty and Staff Institute on August 24. A licensed psychologist and assistant professor of psychology at TSU, Popkin was selected for work, research and dedication in the areas of autism, mental health in children and family counseling.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Opening Convocation followed by Memorial for Nathaniel Adefope

Dr. Melvin N. Johnson led members of the Tennessee State University campus community during a memorial service honoring Nathaniel Adefope.

The Tennessee State University Wind Ensemble provided music for opening convocation and the memorial service for Nathaniel Adefope.

Check back for more photographs in the near future

TSU Wins Southern Heritage Classic 14-7 Over Jackson

Members of the TSU marching band and majorettes made toys for the children of Le Bonheur Children’s Medical center.

The Tennessee State University Aristocrat of Bands and the TSU majorettes performed for the children of Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center in Memphis as part of the Southern Heritage Classic weekend.– Courtesy Cass Teague

Former Tennessee State University and Dallas Cowboy football star Ed “Too Tall” Jones hosted a golf tournament during the annual Southern Heritage Classic. Dr. Melvin N. Johnson attended.

Dr. Melvin N. Johnson congratulated Tennessee State University quarterback Calvin McNairl after TSU’s 14-7 victory over Jackson State University at the Southern Heritage Classic in Memphis. McNairl was name MVP of the classic after rushing for 101 yards. - Courtesy Joe Perry

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tennessee State University Ranked Best Among Tennessee Board of Regents Institutions

Tennessee State University placed 77th of 258 colleges and universities featured on Washington Monthly's 2009 National University College Rankings, moving up three spots from its rank on the list in 2007--the last time the ranking was conducted. TSU, which received a score of 42 of 100 points, was the highest-ranked public university in the state of Tennessee.

Washington Monthly, a Washington-based magazine that covers politics and government in America, rated the colleges and universities based on their contribution to the public good in three categories: social mobility, recruiting and graduating low-income students; research, producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs; and service, encouraging students to give something back to their country.

"America’s best colleges are those that work hardest to help economically disadvantaged students earn the credentials that the job market demand. They’re the colleges that emphasize the obligations students have to serve their communities and the nation at large," according to Washington Monthly's Web site.

TSU ranked particularly high in the list's social mobility category, which was calculated by comparing the percentage of students who receive Pell grants to the difference between the predicted rates of graduation--based on incoming SAT scores and Pell Grant percentages--versus the actual rates of graduation. This means the University has completed comparable job at providing quality, affordable education to its graduates and enabling them to elevate their social and economic footing in life.

"We are proud to be the highest ranked public university in Tennessee, and 18th on "social mobility," which is defined as recruiting and graduating low-income students. Not only is this ranking entirely consistent with our mission to serve, it is further evidence of our steady progress toward becoming a Carnegie-engaged university. In our attempts to transform the nation and impact the world--one student at a time, we have long recognized our inherent responsibility to provide a quality education to all students--regardless of their social or economic backgrounds," said Kathleen McEnerney, interim Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bobby Jones Birthday Celebration

Ambassador Bobby Jones, TSU graduate and international gospel legend, has scheduled to host a special birthday celebration taping of his acclaimed cable television show in the Cox-Lewis Theater Sept. 19-20.  A "Birthday Celebration" will air in 120 countries around the world. Scheduled guests include The Nashville Super Choir, Tye Tribbett, New Direction Choir and Angela Spivey.

Friday, September 11, 2009

From the Office of the President

Dear Tennessee State University Family:

Words cannot express the sadness I feel after the tragic loss of both friend and colleague,Nathaniel Adefope. I know how difficult this must be for you. My Tennessee State University family is in my thoughts and prayers as we all try to understand the demise of one so dear.

I encourage you to draw on your strength and the strength of your University family. As you know, we are sometimes shocked by the untimely demise of those we cherish, respect and love. Nathaniel was one of those individuals whom we loved, respected and cherished because he first loved us, his TSU family.

During his 27 years at TSU, three common threads were always evident, Nathaniel was passionate about his research, he absolutely enjoyed working with our students, and he loved being part of the TSU family of scholars. He contributed greatly to the growth and success of agricultural research conducted in the School of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences at TSU.

As I sit here trying to make sense of this heinous incident, trying to think of what a president says to his academic family after such a horrific act, I cannot help but to be saddened by the untimely death of this cheerful and gregarious individual. I sincerely feel most deeply for those students who no longer will share the expertise of this brilliant scholar. I am saddened for those colleagues who no longer will enjoy a brief conversation or hello with a beloved friend. This is truly a sad hour of bereavement. This loss is too severe to be expressed in words, but being human we have to accept a will that is bigger than all of us.

I know this may be difficult to ask, but I do so anyway. Please find the strength and courage to accept that ugliness has entered our world; however, remember Nathaniel was beautiful-in spirit and in deed. I know no comfort is quite enough to replace our loss, but if this burden of losing a member of our family becomes unbearable, please remember that we do have counselors on staff willing to assist you through this difficult time.

With my deepest sympathy to Nathaniel's family, friends and colleagues, let us light a candle tonight in remembrance.

With deepest sorrow,

Melvin N. Johnson


Airborne Surveillance Research Gets Smart at TSU

Ali Sekmen and Fenghui Yao, professors in the TSU Department of Computer Science, have received two grants from AirForce Research Laboratory to conduct research in smart airborne surveillance.

The first grant, "Multi-Sensor Vision Data Fusion for Smart Airborne Video Surveillance," will address the problem of detection and tracking of moving targets within a multi­source data fusion framework that can elegantly integrate vision data captured by airborne optical and infrared (IR) cameras.

The second grant, "Heterogeneous Vision Data Fusion for Independently Moving Cameras," addresses the problem of fusion of image sequences collected by independently moving heterogeneous cameras for continuous detection and tracking of moving targets.

Sekmen and Yao will investigate and evaluate existing image fusion algorithms, develop new real-time algorithms for Category-II image fusion, and apply these algorithms in moving target detection and tracking.

Sekmen expects the University's research activities to enhance Air Force capabilities that are essential for fighting with insurgency, determining strategies in battlefields, protection of vital infrastructure along with many other homeland security applications.

"This research investigates the current state-of-the-art technologies and improve existing technologies for fusion of images from independently moving vision sensors," he said. "We hope to help the Air Force accomplish its mission and meet its intended goals and objectives in the areas of sensor fusion, data and image processing, signal processing, computer vision, and pattern recognition," added Sekmen.

The total amount granted for the research is $167,000.

Parable Finds Place at TSU

Parable of the Sower, by Octavia Butler, explores the life of Lauren Olamina, a 15 year old African-American girl living near Los Angeles in a dystopian near-future.

The book is being provided to the incoming freshmen, faculty and staff free of charge courtesy of Title III grants.

The book will be required in Freshman Orientation courses, and its use will be encouraged across the disciplines as well.

By promoting literacy and introducing students to academic inquiry, our pilot Tiger READ (Read to Educate Across Disciplines) acclimates new students to university studies, culture, and expectations. Choosing a common book for all incoming freshmen students fosters a sense of community within the university. The use of a single book which can be discussed in multiple disciplines, from multiple perspectives, and in diverse class settings also creates an interdisciplinary atmosphere.

These novels take readers into the world of economic, environmental and social chaos that we seem to be creating, and then offer a few solutions.

Octavia Butler was a female American science fiction writer, one of very few African American women in the field. She won both Hugo and Nebula awards. In 1995, she became the first science fiction writer to receive MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Grant.

In 1994, her dystopian novel Parable of the Sower for a Nebula for best novel, an award she finally took home in 1999 for a sequel, Parable of the Talents.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Campus family mourns: Death ruled a homicide by Metro Police

NASHVILLE, TN.—September 8, 2009 — Nathaniel Adefope, a Tennessee State University employee since 1982, was found dead at the Frank A. Young Poultry Plant on the main campus Tuesday.

Adefope, 60, served as a poultry plant supervisor. He held a master’s of science degree in agriculture with a concentration in animal science from TSU.

The cause of death has been ruled a homicide. The case is being investigated by Metro Nashville Police Department.

President Melvin N. Johnson expresses his sorrow to the University community and the victim’s family. “We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our beloved employees,” said Johnson. “The University family grieves the loss of one of its own.”

The Office of Media Relations will update the University as more information becomes available.

TSU Impacting the World

TSU Transforming the Nation

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

2009 John Merritt Classic

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Shawn Williams Commissioned

Tennessee State University President Dr. Melvin N. Johnson, Lt Col United States Air Force retired, commissioned Shawn Williams in a separate ceremony following summer commencement.

Summer Commencement 2009

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Service Day 2009

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Student Convocation & Induction Ceremony

Here are a few photographs from New Student Convocation & Induction Ceremony. Check back soon for a complete slideshow.

Move In Day 2009

Here are a few pictures from move in day 2009. Check back soon for a complete slideshow.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

2009 Vintagers Celebration

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

TSU's School of Nursing Offers Innovative Programs to Combat the Nursing Shortage

According to the American Association of College of Nursing, the United States is in the midst of a nursing shortage expected to intensify as baby boomers age and the need for health care grows. While some college programs are seeing a decline in applications for nursing students, administrators in the School of Nursing at Tennessee State University believe the program will continue to see stable numbers.

"We are seeing a steady number of students continue to enroll in one or more of our programs," said Dr. Barbara Buchanan-Covington, director of the BSN nursing education program. ''The School of Nursing has a new dean, Dr. Kathy L. Martin, who comes to TSU with a wealth of knowledge, experience and the ability to continue to move us in the right direction. I am positive that the shortage will not affect us anytime soon, if at all."

Dr. Buchanan-Covington also believes the school's location and amount of health care providers needed in the region play major roles.

"We are located in the state capital and there are more than four or five major health care providers in the city," she added. "This gives us the opportunity to work directly with them and continue to place our students in externships and jobs upon graduation."

The school of Nursing recently added a certified nursing technician (CNT) to registered nurse (RN) concentration for the associate's degree program, focusing on the paraprofessional and others who have some skills, but no formal educational training.

Covington said the school has plans to renovate the skills lab in the near future and to provide more sophisticated and up-to-date equipment for students to utilize.

"We are the most diverse nursing program in the state and we plan to continue to offer our students a quality education in nursing."

TSU Working With Healthy Start Program to Recruit New Mothers

Tennessee State University is one of three colleges in Middle Tennessee partnering with the new Federal Healthy Start Program to make college education accessible to new mothers.

Recently, the Nashville/Davidson County Public Health Department was one of three areas across the country to be awarded The Federal Healthy Start grant totaling $750,000 a year for five years to focus on improving birth outcomes, and eliminating prenatal disparities in the north Nashville area where TSU is located.

Dr. Kimberlee Wyche-Etheridge, of the Metro Public Health Department and TSU Assistant Professor of Nursing Pinky Noble will work to help boost the number of nurses in Middle Tennessee by recruiting individuals to the University's program.

"Statistics show that one in fifty African American babies die before his or her first birthday," said Etheridge. "We feel that this can only really be decreased by addressing the ‘big picture' which includes increasing educational opportunities and giving families the skills needed to be self sustaining."

Through the Healthy Start program nurses and outreach workers from the Health Department support new parents by providing resources, and important information about child safety, child health, disease prevention, child development and parenting skills.

"This partnership will provide an even more positive working relationship with the Health Department and highlight the importance of education," said Britton. "TSU students are already working in community hospitals; however this will offer us the opportunity to introduce the notion of obtaining a degree, become mentors and give the much needed support to those who may not be able to get help from anywhere else."

"Maybe you thought because you had a child you could no longer go to college and that is not necessarily true. TSU and Healthy Start want to reignite that interest in education.”

Recruitment will begin in January 2010

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Quaker Manuel, TSU's Newest Brainchild -a Legacy in the Making

Quaker Manuel could have gone to most any college of his choice. Members of the Harvard University admissions team flew all the way to Nashville, Tenn., to try to convince him the prestigious school should have been his academic choice. Manuel, however, had plans to attend Tennessee State University, his mother's alma mater.

Recently Manuel and his mother Sandra Patillo, sat down with representatives from TSU to talk about the importance of education and carrying on a legacy.

"We had all types of schools calling us and everyone offering their input on where I should send my son," said Patillo. "Several people told me Vanderbilt University was a better choice and he would get a great education there. I would always respond, 'what's wrong with TSU, he can get a great education there as well.' That's where I went to school and that's where he will be going."

Manuel recently graduated from Pearl Cohn Comprehensive Business Magnet School as valedictorian and distinguished scholar with a 4.0 grade point average. Like many students, Manuel took the ACT college entrance exam his junior year making a score of 31 on his first attempt.

Manuel wanted to do his best so that he would be able to help his mother cover the financial costs of school. “I felt that it was my responsibility to take that burden off my mother. I plan to continue to make her proud of me."

Manuel is a recipient of a $50,000 TSU Building Bridges Scholarship as well as scholarships from Omega Psi Phi Fraternity’s Gamma Phi Chapter and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity's Nashville Alumni Chapter.

Manuel has decided that he wants to help others by learning how to develop computer programs. He plans to enroll in the University's computer science program in the fall of 2009.

"Just like other TSU greats, such as Jesse Russell, a pioneer in the development of cellular telephone technology, hopefully you will remember my name and my legacy."