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TSU News Service announced this fall that nearly 700 students received degrees at Tennessee State University’s commencement ceremony on Nov. 20. The live ceremony was held in the Gentry Center Complex, where U.S. Congresswoman Nikema Williams (D-Ga.) addressed the graduates. The ceremony was also live streamed.

The College of Engineering at Tennessee State University was named “Best STEM Program” by HBCU Digest in 2017. More recently, the college was awarded a $70,000 grant from Lockheed Martin Corporation for student scholarships and other support. The funds will be used to support four students with scholarships of $3,000 each.

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According to TSU News Service, the grant will also support pre-college programs, including the Engineering Concepts Institute for incoming engineering students (a residential four-week program), and the Pre-Experience Program to Stimulate Interests in Engineering, a program for 9th-11th grade students for one week.

“The Lockheed Martin Corporation continues to be a strong advocate for investing in a more diverse workforce in STEM,” said Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering in a statement. “This grant will allow the College of Engineering to conduct our successful pre-college program for incoming engineering students, and support undergraduate research experiences in areas of interest to Lockheed. As a strong member of AMIE (Advancing Minorities Interests in Engineering), the company is one of the leading organizations that support HBCU engineering programs and employment. We are indeed grateful for their continuous investment, and look forward to enhancing our partnership in other areas as well.”

Zhuri Winfree-Givens, a senior mechanical engineering major, and Nagee Clowney, a junior architectural engineering major, are two of the four TSU students who will each receive a $3,000 scholarship thanks to Lockheed Martin.

“I’m so grateful for this opportunity,” said Winfree-Givens of Waldorf, Maryland. “Not only will this allow me to complete my studies, but it will also allow me to make a change in the world. I look forward to bringing more research ideas and implementations to the College of Engineering.” Clowney shared similar sentiment.

“I am blessed to have this scholarship; knowing that I have a solid foundation financially, as well as Tennessee State University being a welcoming family,” said Clowney of Moreno Valley, California. “My end goal is to give back to my community, especially those that have blessed me. This helps me further my education to continue to excel and reach my goals.”

Antoinette Hargrove Duke, director of the Career Development Center at TSU, said Lockheed Martin has also given funds to the center and she appreciates the company’s continued support to TSU.

In addition to helping students prepare for the job market, such as through interview coaching, internship search, and career assessments, Duke said the center uses different platforms to keep students and companies connected.

“We work with many companies and franchisees throughout the year to prepare our students through internships, co-ops, and employment opportunities,” said Duke. “We are committed to our students and will continue to prepare them for working in any corporation.”

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