BlueNotes | Spring 2016

Program Spotlight

Dental Hygiene Reaches Out to Community

Tennessee State University’s Dental Hygiene Clinic is helping to provide needed care in the Nashville community.

Dental Hygiene

In conjunction with its associate degree program, the clinic, located in Clement Hall on the main TSU campus, provides a wide range of dental services to nearly 600 patients a year at reduced cost. This includes the campus as well as the greater Nashville community.

The TSU clinic services include comprehensive oral examinations, X-rays, dental cleanings, radiography, oral health education, nutritional counseling, oral cancer screening, and tobacco assessment and cessation.

Graduates of the highly accredited program receive an Associate of Applied Science degree, which prepares them for diverse options in the health care environment.

The outreach initiatives of the program are not limited to services offered in the clinic, according to Brenda J. Kibbel, assistant professor of Dental Hygiene. Under the supervision of faculty, students are stationed in various areas in the community where they provide care.

Students and professors have also completed services at Baby U and Hope Smiles at St. Thomas Medical Mobile Mission in Rutherford County, she said.

Besides dental screenings, the health and wellness fair will also provide fitness demonstrations and other health screenings including hypertension, glucose, and cholesterol. An educational component will offer information on weight loss management, nutrition, and HIV.

National Service Project Continues MLK Legacy

Tennessee State University is using funding it was awarded to help facilitate a national service initiative involving 10 other higher education institutions in the southeast region. Following a competitive grant process, TSU received $447,000 in June from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the agency that leads the national Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.

TSU’s Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement was one of six organizations to receive federal and matching funds from CNCS to mobilize volunteers to honor King’s memory through service projects. TSU then provided the 10 regional HBCUs with mini-grants up to $4,400.

Some of the institutions used the grants for activities in January, while others are doing theirs through August. The activities include community beautification, disaster relief initiatives, and financial literacy and on-site education events.

Specifically at TSU, which performed its activities the first weekend in April, students and community volunteers packed disaster relief boxes, helped workers at Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, and partnered with the Nashville Area American Red Cross to help install smoke detectors in homes.

Established in 1993, CNCS engages more than five million Americans in service through different programs each year. The funding is intended to get more Americans to observe the MLK federal holiday as a day of service in communities, and encourage them to make a long-term commitment to community service.

The colleges and universities that received mini-grants from TSU are Albany State University, American Baptist College, Benedict College, Clinton College, Dillard University, Huston-Tillotson University, Jackson State University, Morehouse College, Southern University and A&M College, and Talladega College.

University Highlights


Tennessee State University has joined a national organization that focuses on best practices for adult students. Higher education institutions that are part of the Coalition of Adult Learning Focused Institutions (ALFI) strive to advance programs and services for adult students, evaluate their adult degree programs and share “best practices.”

Transition Advisory Committee Formed to Address FOCUS Act Implementation

Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover recently announced the formation of a Transition Advisory Committee to assist the university with implementing the new FOCUS Act. The committee will provide thoughtful leadership, and assist in determining how the institution will advance from the current Tennessee Board of Regents structure to the new state university board governing structure. The major role of this external committee will be advisory in nature with the ultimate goal of developing the strategy for implementation of the FOCUS bill.

Chemistry Day Proves Successful

More than 100 middle and high school students recently participated in research and demonstrations at Tennessee State University’s 13th annual Chemistry Day. The April 7 event provides a platform for students to showcase their talent and knowledge in the field of chemistry as it seeks to expose students to one of many STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines. TSU students, faculty and staff also participated in the event, which was held in the Alger V. Boswell Science Complex. Chemistry Day featured a career fair with a host of exhibitors, along with the organization of a departmental tour for Hillsboro High School and J.T. Moore Middle School students in Nashville, who also participated in chemistry lab demonstrations and a Chemistry Challenge Quiz Bowl.

Health Fair Brings Community Together for Healthier Living

Tennessee State University partnered with the Vanderbilt University’s HIV Vaccine Program and the DP Thomas Foundation for Obesity to host a Community Health and Wellness Fair on April 22 in Kean Hall. The outreach event, which was free and open to the public, attracted more than 30 vendors with some connection to health care and wellness, along with nearly 100 students, faculty, staff and community guests. The fair provided information on weight loss management, nutrition, HIV, and offered wellness and fitness demonstrations. A number of health screenings were provided, including hypertension, glucose, and cholesterol. The dental hygiene component included oral examinations, dental cleanings, and oral health education.

Honors College Receives TBR Approval

The Tennessee Board of Regents and the Tennessee Commission for Higher Education officially approved Tennessee State University’s 52-year-old Honors program in January to be an Honors College. Representatives from the National Collegiate Honors Council’s Assessment and Evaluation Committee were at the university April 13-14 to follow up on a self-study summited to the council a month ago, as well as to ensure the program is consistent with the university’s mission and goals. In a statement, the reviewers congratulated TSU for investing in the council’s program review process. More than 400 “high-ability” students are enrolled in the TSU Honors College.

Faculty and Staff News

Likes Wins Seven AP Awards

Terry Likes

The head of Tennessee State University’s Department of Communications was recently recognized by The Associated Press for best journalism in broadcast and print at the 2015-2016 Tennessee Associated Press Awards held April 9 at the First Amendment Center in Nashville. Communications chair Dr. Terry Likes won seven awards in five different categories.

Henry Part of Team that Discovers Planet with Eccentric Orbit

Gregory Henry

Dr. Gregory Henry is part of a team of astronomers who have discovered an extrasolar planet that scientists say has the most eccentric orbit ever seen. The new planet is referred to as HD 20782 b and is about 117 light-years from Earth. It appears “elliptical or oblong” as it orbits around its star, astronomers say, which is unlike other planets in the solar system that have nearly circular orbits. At its closest approach, scientists say the new plant ventures as close as 6 percent of the Earth-sun distance, which is much closer than Mercury orbits the sun.

Engineering Welcomes New Associate Dean

Frances Williams

Dr. Frances Williams is the new associate dean for Graduate Studies and Research in the College of Engineering and professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. In her new role, Williams will manage the graduate programs, provide oversight and coordinate research grants and contracts, as well as identify and initiate new research opportunities and collaborative partnerships for the college. Before coming to TSU, Williams was a faculty member and director of the Center for Materials Research at Norfolk State University.

Robinson is New "Sheriff" in Town

Gregory Robinson

Gregory Robinson (’93) has returned to his alma mater to take the top safety and security position. With more than 30 years of experience in law enforcement, Robinson will serve as the university’s chief of police. Prior to joining TSU, he was at Vanderbilt University where he was in charge of the entire police operation on the main campus that included nearly 100 police and security officers.

Hodges Selected as Maxine Smith Fellow

Jame'l Hodges

Dr. Jame’l Hodges, assistant dean of Student Life and Engagement, has been named a Maxine Smith Fellow with the Tennessee Board of Regents. Hodges is the fourth TSU administrator to receive the honor in the last few years. As a Maxine Smith Fellow, Hodges will have the opportunity to experience how decisions are made at the TBR senior administrative and governing board levels.

Longtime Reporter Joins TSU Media Relations Team

Lucas Johnson, II

Lucas Johnson II, a long-time reporter with the Associated Press, has joined the communications team at Tennessee State University as director of Media Relations. Prior to joining TSU, Johnson worked 24 years with the AP covering local, state and national news. For the last 10 years he covered the Tennessee General Assembly as a beat reporter.

New Hires, Promotions, & Transfers

New Hires

  • Frances Williams
  • Kristopher Logan Cole
  • Tiffanie M. Harris
  • Cordalero R. Stuckey
  • Angela Kelly Stone
  • Christina Blair Carroll
  • Dwight Edward Gordon
  • Tracy Annette Farmer
  • Rebecca Rose Miller
  • Sara Kathryn Sparks
  • Ahmad W. Ashari
  • Noor M. Latif
  • Lydia M. Springer
  • Charles Edward Mosley, Jr.
  • Kevin Wayne Jacobs
  • Paula T. Roberts
  • Harriet Coraetta Callier
  • Gregory Robinson
  • Riki J. Shye
  • Cameshia L. Beard
  • Montina Nelson
  • Eddie Charles Paramore, Jr.
  • Thomas A. Tate
  • Donisia Latorius Ward
  • Marilynn Ann Andrews
  • Jocelyn Fernandez
  • Precious K. Bailey
  • Uylondia C. Gordon
  • Jovon Dannielle Jones
  • Sidney Rionte Powell
  • Pierre Washingont
  • Jarvis Bernard Sheffield


  • Ashley L. Boleyjack
  • William J. Fain
  • Erica L. Lewis
  • Stacey A. Nieman
  • Julius Proctor
  • Kimberly Smith


  • Lacey Lane Al Atraqchie
  • Audie B. Black
  • Marguerite Mai Black
  • Keyatta N. Butler
  • Sammy L. Davis
  • Hosam Hagib Gawargi
  • Linda I. Goodman
  • Kathy Gretton
  • Linda F. Hambrick
  • Antonio Lomont Harris
  • Darrell Heard
  • Danny Hobdy
  • Tiera M. Pigg
  • William Larry Starnes
  • Joyce Anita Stringer
  • Romona Sweatt
  • Joy S. Williams

Mark Your Calendar!

  • April 26, 2016, 11:30 a.m. – Employee Recognition Luncheon at Jane Elliott Hall
  • April 27, 2016 – Administrative Professionals’ Day
  • May 6, 2016, 5 p.m. – Graduate Commencement Ceremony at Howard C. Gentry Complex
  • May 7, 2016, 9 a.m. – Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony at William Jasper Hale Stadium
  • June 30, 2016 – Annual Non-Faculty Employee Performance Evaluations due