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TSU professor breaks stereotypes on the Tennessee gridiron

FOX 17 News

For 17 years, Artenzia Young-Seigler has tried to get students to love biology as much as she does.

The Tennessee State professor wants her students to appreciate the influence science has on all of life.

Because she's seen the power of science, for 13 years as an official, she's been using it to break the mold.

"The love you have for something, you always try to find a way to stay involved," said Young-Seigler. "I've always been the type of person who doesn't want to look back and say I wish I would have done something like that."

That attitude led Young-Seigler to defy stereotypes. She played football with the Nashville Dream and Tennessee Heat before coaching her kids and eventually officiating.

"And when I was going to my son's and daughter's football games and see the officials out on the field, I would say 'Come on. What are you doing?' One official actually said to one of the coaches, tell the parent if they want to officiate, to sign up," laughed Young-Seigler.

And so her football journey continued. Young-Seigler is now the first female African-American head referee in the state of Tennessee.

"My goal at this point is to make sure that I do what's necessary, so that other people coming behind me have opportunities that I may not have had if I hadn't done this," said Young-Seigler. "I want to make sure this sport is inclusive."

Science breaks bonds and forms new ones. And like science, Young-Seigler sees no limits in what she can do.

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