Jessica Robinson is a Cardio Respiratory Care Sciences major at Tennessee State University that is competing against 5 other beautiful ladies from 5 different HBCU’s in the South in the #HelloToHealthy natural hair college model contest by Creme of Nature. Today is the last day to vote! Vote Jessica Robinson! Grand Prize is an all expense paid trip to New York City, A Photo Shoot, $250 Book Scholarship, a Makeover, and a Feature in a Hair Magazine! Comment, Like, Share, Repost, Tweet, But more importantly VOTE!
Name: Béne Viera
Class: December 2006
Occupation: Journalist and Writer
Hometown: Nashville, TN
Current city of Residence: Brooklyn, NY
1) Why did you choose TSU?
I always knew I was attending an HBCU for undergrad. I didn’t even apply to any PWIs. My top choices were Southern, FAMU and TSU. When the acceptance letters came in for all three it boiled down to money. TSU offered me an academic scholarship and my mom is also an alum. It really was a no-brainer to stay in Nashville, live on campus, continue my mother’s legacy and graduate undergraduate debt free!
2) How did TSU prepare you for your current profession?
I was an English major, and I would honestly put my education next to any Ivy-leaguers in the same field. The top-notch professors I had not only taught well, but they gave tough love. They would gather you with the quickness if you weren’t on top of you game. But how TSU prepared me for my current profession has more to do with the confidence they instilled in me as a Black woman. It was often said by professors, “You have to be twice as good to get half of what they got.” It was imbedded in our heads that we would be competing with not only whites, but Asians, Indians, etc., and we would literally have to prove ourselves. Knowing that heightens your ambition. It does something to your work ethic. It prepares you in every way for what you will have to deal with in the real world, especially fields dominated by white males.
3) What’s the best advice you received from a parent, grandparent, family member, mentor or friend?
A few years into my career I didn’t think I was as far as I should be based on my age. I was comparing my journey to the journalists and writers I looked up to. “By 27 so and so had already written their first book!” A Black woman who is a NYT Bestselling writer many times over, got on the phone with me and told me to stop doing that. She dropped many gems, but the one I always go back to is her saying, “Put your head down and do the work; nobody can deny the work. Everything will come when it’s supposed to if you’re doing the work.” I’ll never forget it. Filmmaker Ava DuVernay has said something similar. Stop looking for mentors or advice on how to get there, and just work. We waste so much time with that when we could be mastering our crafts.
4) Why do you love TSU?
Tttttttttttt- Ssssssssss-Uuuuuuuu! My blue and white pride runs deep. I love TSU because I learned confidence. Because I was encouraged to critically think outside of what the books tell you. Because Blackness was celebrated. Because my professors looked like me. Because brilliant women were the norm. Because it was a family. Because most of my classmates not only looked at me, but were also intelligent. I could be myself. The traditions of TSU, the experiences, the lifelong bond with fellow alumni, is invaluable. Because of TSU I am who I am — a writer, thinker and activist.
Please follow @BeneViera on twitter and please check out her website beneviera.com.
Ms. Viera wrote the Shining Star Cover for Essence Magazine.
For the past year, a team of Tennessee State University students and I have been investigating the air quality in and around the Cayce Place community as participants in an Environmental Protection Agency research project.
Low-income and minority communities such as Cayce Place are often the hardest hit by the effects of air pollution and climate change.
The EPA’s new Clean Power Plan will, for the first time ever, limit power plant releases of carbon dioxide, particulate matter and related pollutants such as ozone.
Forty percent of the U.S. population living near power plants are people of color — so the plan will greatly benefit these communities. It will reduce incidences of asthma and other pollution-related illnesses, as well as create thousands of new jobs and save families money on utility and medical bills.
Yet, despite findings from several independent organizations showing how the Clean Power Plan will benefit low-income and minority communities, the National Black Chamber of Commerce released a report earlier this year misrepresenting its impacts. The report, funded by special interest groups seeking to preserve the bottom line for fossil fuel companies, alleges — wrongly — that the plan will harm African- American and Hispanic families.
By spreading misinformation, the National Black Chamber of Commerce is risking the health of thousands of children of color in Tennessee and across the country.
TSU Sponsored Research just released its 2015 Annual Fiscal Report. They received 51 million dollars in grants. Please click on the link below to read the full report.
Firmly anchored in the present, Tennessee State University President – and Memphis product – Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover takes a look back to her January 2013 start and peeks forward in a sit-down exclusive with the TSD.
Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover took over as president of TSU in January 2013 with a five-point plan: (1) academic progress and customer service, (2) fund raising and partnerships, (3) diversity and inclusion, (4) shared governance and (5) business outreach.
“It’s an honor to have grown up in Memphis and then to attend TSU and then to come back as president. It’s such an awesome blessing and I don’t take that lightly. I don’t for any reason think that that is a given,” said Glover during an interview at The Peabody Hotel as the Southern Heritage Classic Weekend of activities unfolded.
“I know there are expectations. You asked if there was something the alumni expected. They demand accountability and rightly so. … I am enjoying it, embracing it,” she said, tipping her hat to a quality team of administrators.
Together, and with the support of alumni, the team has managed to increase enrollment, even as enrollment at the other five Tennessee Board of Regents universities stayed the same or declined. And it has done so against the challenge presented by the Tennessee Promise initiative, which offers two years of tuition-free community or technical college to Tennessee high school graduates beginning with the Class of 2015.
Tennessee State University is number 3 in average starting salary for graduates.
This list, provided by SmartAsset, shows the average starting salary for each of the top 10 universities in Tennessee.
1. Vanderbilt University — $52,100
2. Tennessee Technological University — $48,500
3. Tennessee State University — $48,100
4. Christian Brothers University — $44,500
5. University of Phoenix-Chattanooga — $44,000
6. University of Tennessee — $43,900
7. Union University — $42,900
8. Rhodes College — $42,800
9. University of Memphis — $42,100
10. East Tennessee State university — $41,100
State average — $40,835
Source: 2013 National Center for Educational Statistics, 2014 Payscale, 2013 CollegeInSight
“Meet the Fergusons,” an exhibition of works by Nashville artist Samuel L. Dunson Jr., will be at Vanderbilt Divinity School Sept. 17 through Nov. 12.
“These paintings present a unique visual commentary on the problems that have arisen in communities affected by anger and distrust,” according to Dunson, who teaches studio art at Tennessee State University.