By Lucas Johnson
NASHVILLE, TN (TSU News Service) — Tennessee State University is using a $50,000 grant from Regions Bank to purchase additional digital devices to ensure students have the tools they need to complete their coursework as a result of COVID-19.
In March, TSU students had to transition to remote learning because of the coronavirus. The University purchased laptops and tablets for those students who needed them. TSU is planning to resume classes on campus in the fall, but has an alternate plan that includes students continuing to learn remotely if there’s a surge in COVID-19 cases.
“TSU is grateful to Regions Bank for their continued support of the institution and our students,” says President Glenda Glover. “We committed to students that the University would ensure quality of student learning and their academic success during our transition to online instruction because of COVID-19. This gift from Regions helps us keep that promise by using the funds to provide much needed devices for students as we prepare for the fall.”
Tim Warren, head of information technology at TSU, says the Regions grant provides much needed relief to students facing hardships as a result of the virus.
“TSU has a large amount of technology on campus for students, but some of them don’t have internet access or computers at home,” says Warren. “These laptops and hotspots allow the students to stay connected and complete assignments like they were on campus.”
TSU freshman Nakailah Shields-Robinson says the laptop she received has been very useful. She says she wasn’t sure what she was going to do when her computer crashed.
“I have an iPad, but that’s not really good either,” says Shields-Robinson, a criminal justice major from St. Louis, Missouri. “So, when the laptop came, it’s been helping me write my papers.
TSU junior Joyvon Dickerson, a human performance and sports science major from Chicago, says she’s grateful for the laptop the university gave her.
“It’s kind of hard trying to write a five-page paper on your phone,” says Dickerson. “It’s nice to be at a school that cares about its students in this way.”
Latrisha Jemison, a senior vice president at Regions Bank, says the company is committed to helping students succeed.
“Regions Bank is a longtime community partner with Tennessee State University, and, together, we are determined to build on the progress that TSU students have made toward earning their degrees and reaching their goals,” says Jemison, a Regional Community Development and Partnership manager. “The pandemic is creating a tremendous challenge, and there’s no denying this is a very difficult time. But by working together, we can help education move forward, and TSU will continue to connect students with opportunities to build a better tomorrow.”
Jamie Isabel with advancement and university relations at TSU says the grant from Regions is an example of the bank’s commitment to the University, and the “value of corporate partners to students and the University.”
For more on TSU operations affected by the coronavirus, and student information, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/covid19.