Central State University is Selected to Participate in a State Effort to Push College Completion

WILBERFORCE, OH - Central State University will participate in a statewide effort to increase college completion rates for historically underserved student populations. As part of the University’s focus on completion and retention, it has also created an Undergraduate Student Success Center.

The Ohio Department of Higher Education was one of four entities in the country selected to receive a $2.1 million grant from Strong Start to Finish. The organization aims to significantly increase the number and proportion of low-income students, students of color and returning adults who succeed in college math and English and who enter a program of study in their first year of college.

ODHE Chancellor John Carey said, “Our overarching goals are to put all students on a path to a successful future and to ensure that our businesses have the skilled workers they need to succeed.”

“This grant will go a long way in pursuit of those goals while supporting students as they begin their postsecondary journey,” he said.

As part of the application process, ODHE reached out to the presidents of 13 of Ohio’s public universities and the state’s 23 community colleges to determine their interest in participating in the grant opportunity. In order to participate, colleges and universities had to agree to develop institutional goals, including specific goals to reduce equity gaps; assemble a campus leadership team; outline the campus’ initiatives related to Strong Start to Finish goals; and develop goals for increasing the percentage of students completing their gateway math and English courses and entering a program of study in their first year.

Central State University President Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond said, “we have already examined how we teach math and English and how to link resources to support that.” This effort, she said, is to “try to help freshmen students get through the gateway classes.”

Central State recently created an Undergraduate Student Success Center after expanding resources to focus more heavily on retention. The Center, formerly University College, focuses on holistic student development. The overarching goal of the USSC is to provide academic and social support services to aid the University in increasing its student success rates, said Dr. Gene Moore, Jr., executive director.

The Student Success Center added the Office of Retention and three Retention Specialists, who focus on academic persistence, bolstering retention rates and degree completion. The three units housed in the Undergraduate Student Success Center also changed names to remain aligned with the mission of this critical unit.

  • The Office of Academic Advising and Assistance is now the Office of Academic Coaching and Advising (OACA) and has added coaching as a key component.
  • The Learning Skills Center has become The Office of Academic Support and Instructional Services (OASIS).
  • The Office of First Year Experience has become the Office of Retention. The efforts support the University’s Compelling Priority #4, which is Higher Retention Rate.


Central State University and the City of Trotwood Partner to Provide Educational and Community Development Activities

President Cynthia Jackson-Hammond and Trotwood, Ohio Mayor Mary McDonald in Wilberforce, Ohio on January 12, 2018

WILBERFORCE, OH. – Central State University will open a satellite office in Trotwood, OH. as part of a partnership with the city to provide educational and community development activities.

The partnership, through the University’s Extension Service, will include creating a center focused on community-based educational programming.

"With the City of Trotwood being 2/3rds rural as well as the number of alumni who reside in our community, it was only a natural fit that we partner with Central State University to bring agricultural programming to the City," Trotwood Mayor Mary A. McDonald said.

Dr. Alton B. Johnson, Central State Dean and Director, College of Science and Engineering 1890 Land-Grant Programs, said, “As a land-grant institution, our Extension and Research activities bring vital and practical information to agricultural producers, small business owners, consumers, families, and young people.”

“Central State’s partnership with the city of Trotwood provides a real opportunity to impact the lives of local families through nutrition education, health and wellness activities and youth leadership development.”

On Jan. 12, Central State President Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond and Mayor Mary McDonald signed the official memorandum of understanding. The agreement gives Central State a presence in northwest Montgomery County. Central State Extension services will be located in the Trotwood Civic and Cultural Arts Center.

As an 1890 Land-Grant University, Central State’s model of teaching, research and extension focuses on student development, cutting-edge research and providing critical knowledge to farmers and urban and rural communities. The University currently has extension agents in seven Ohio counties, including Greene County. Extension services focus on five key areas:

  • Improving Agriculture, Plant Sciences and Economics
  • Creating Youth Pathways to Success
  • Developing Better Social and Economically Sustainable Communities
  • Empowering Families and Communities
  • Expanded Food Nutrition Education Program


Central State University’s Regional Economic Impact Totals More Than $143 Million

WILBERFORCE, OH. –Central State University’s economic impact, for fiscal year 2016, on Greene and Montgomery Counties totaled $143.7 million through operational spending, students spending and capital expenditures.

The University, a vibrant business enterprise, directly supported 655 jobs and indirectly supported another 341 full-and part-time jobs in the two-county regions, according to Central State’s Economic and Fiscal Impacts report.

The report, prepared by the University of Cincinnati Economics Center, is part of an Economic Impact Study commissioned by the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education (SOCHE), to gauge the economic impact of colleges and Universities in the region. SOCHE’s Economic Impact Study shows that the total impact of all 22 member institutions was $7.3 billion in fiscal year 2016. For every dollar spent, approximately 72 cents in additional economic activity occurred.

Ninety percent of the $60.5 million Central State spent on operations was “new” money brought into the region. Because of Central State’s increased activity in the area, $87.9 million was generated in Greene and Montgomery counties.

“As a driver of the economy, the impact this University has is undeniable,” said Curtis Pettis, Vice President for Administration and Finance & CFO. “Our focus is to continue to seek innovative ways to build business partnerships and to drive economic vitality that benefits the University and local communities.”

Central State is a collaborative partner with the City of Xenia, the YMCA, Clark State Community College, the Xenia Adult Recreation and Services Center and Kettering Health Network to support the Recreation, Education, Activity, Community and Health (REACH) Center in Xenia. The Center will serve Xenia and Greene County residents' health, workforce, recreation, education and wellness needs.

Xenia City Manager Brent Merriman said, “this study confirms what we have believed and recognized for years about the vital importance of Central State University and its impact upon our region, and upon the City of Xenia. Not only is CSU’s importance measured in educational attainment for thousands of students who have graduated over the years, but also in hard dollars that directly impact businesses and organizations throughout the City of Xenia.  The SOCHE report further exemplifies why partnering with Central State University not only makes good sense educationally, but makes good economic sense as well for the future sustainability of many businesses in and around Xenia.”

With the main campus in Wilberforce and CSU-Dayton in Montgomery County, Central State’s regional presence offers a variety of educational and workforce opportunities. As a regionally accredited 1890 Land-Grant Institution, Central State University is increasing its presence throughout the state of Ohio with increased emphasis on research and extension services.


Central State University Student Studies in Cyprus to Test a Proactive Solution for Harmful Algal Blooms

Central State University Junior Daniel Lee.

WILBERFORCE, OH. -  CSU Junior Daniel Lee has travelled half way around the world to research and test an idea that could prevent Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs), which are threatening the world’s potable water supply.

Lee is testing remote sensing techniques in the Eastern Mediterranean Levantine basin by using Alunite stones to extract excess phosphorous from contaminated water to help prevent the growth of algal blooms. This semester he is studying abroad at the University of Nicosia.

In Ohio, algal blooms, which present as blueish green algae, are often the result of excess phosphorus and nitrogen in water. Lee said he came up with the idea because a primary cause of the blooms in lakes is nutrient runoff after farmers apply fertilizers on their crops. Lee has been working with test farms, selected by the University of Nicosia, to place Alunite stones along the edges of planting fields to help filter soluble phosphorous.

“I will be conducting this research,” said Lee, who is an environmental engineering and water resources management major. “This is a global epidemic,” he said. “Public organizations around the world are collaborating and partnering with Universities to share data and ideas.”

Central State’s International Center for Water Resources Management has been involved in research in Ohio to create a forecasting model to predict the arrival and toxicity of HABs on Lake Erie. The University was invited by the Ohio Board of Regents to work with three other colleges to examine Lake Erie’s harmful algal blooms (HAB) and lake water quality.

Lee is the first CSU student to travel to Cyprus as part of a partnership between the University of Nicosia’s (UNIC) Environmental Engineering Department and CSU’s International Center for Water Resources Management (ICWRM). Dr. Krishna Kumar Nedunuri, Chairperson of the Department of Water Resources Management and Director of the ICWRM, said this study abroad program is the first step in future collaboration with the University of Nicosia in the areas of student and faculty exchanges in training, development, and research. Dr. Fahmi Abboushi, Director of CSU’s Center for Global Education, initiated the partnership by introducing UNIC to programs at ICWRM.

Lee spent the spring and summer participating in various research opportunities. Last spring, he traveled to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for a training program on how to synthesize biofuels and other alternative fuels from food waste. Over the summer, he, along with CSU student Jasmine Walker, worked with The Ohio State University’s Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) where he worked in the STRIVE Labs, which stands for Stream River and Ecology Labs. There he also investigated the release of nutrients entering the water supply and causing algal blooms. He completed a six-week internship with the Northeastern Ohio Regional Sewer District and conducted tests to assess the effectiveness of microorganisms in wastewater treatment.

“Being at Central State has been a great experience. There definitely has been a lot of opportunities,” said Lee, of Los Angeles, Calif. “CSU has more opportunities per capita than most institutions because it is small. You are able to cultivate relationships with the dean. The director of the program is my academic advisor.

“At Central State, you understand that you are a part of something greater,” Lee said. “I realize long-term I want to apply chemical engineering to solve environmental issues.”

World-Renowned Central State University Chorus To Record a Live CD

Central State University Chorus performs.

WILBERFORCE, OH. – The vocal artistry and majesty of a Central State University Chorus performance will now be available to be shared via recording as the Chorus prepares for a live-recording.

The world-acclaimed Chorus, which has performed around the world, will bring that sense of excitement and awe to new audiences so that more people in the United States can be exposed to what international audiences have witnessed, said Chorus Director Jeremy Winston. “We want to capture this great musical experience that the choir presents in concert travelling around the world and performing in world-class concert halls,” Winston said.

The live recorded concert will occur at 6 pm on Sunday, Dec. 3. The concert will take place at Central State’s Paul Robeson Cultural & Performing Arts Center.  Winston said, “we decided to have it in The Paul Robeson Cultural & Performing Arts Complex because this iconic structure is a representation of the rich musical tradition of Central State University.”

Admission is $2 for students with an ID and $5 for the general public. Winston said the audience can expect to experience the full range of the Chorus’ repertoire - classical, jazz, gospel, spirituals and music from the movies.

Backed by a full orchestra, the Chorus will perform its most requested song, “Total Praise,” and songs from well-known movies such as Porgy and Bess, Dreamgirls, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Ray, Winston said.

In addition, the Chorus will sing some holiday classics. But when asked what is the Chorus’ favorites songs, Winston said “Psalm 57,” which is a classical song; the hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness”; and the spiritual, “Even Me.”

The Chorus, which is 45 members strong, consists of students representing freshmen through seniors. “We’ve got a lot of new singers and this is a new ensemble but they sound magnificent,” Winston said.

The CSU Chorus has performed at The White House for their annual holiday celebration at the invitation of First Lady Michelle Obama and for Ohio Governor John Kasich’s inauguration. In addition, the Chorus has also performed in over a dozen major international cities including Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia, Spain; Prague, Czech Republic; Durbach, Germany; and Straussburg, France.

This is not the first time the Chorus has recorded. In 1993, the Chorus performed with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, resulting in the Telarc International CD, A Gospel Celebration, Amen. The disk was nominated for a Grammy Award and also featured Jennifer Holliday, Maureen McGovern, and Lou Rawls. The Chorus was featured on Blue Monday and Porgy and Bess for Telarc and The Cincinnati Pops.

Refraze Recording Studio in Kettering will record the Dec. 3 performance. The resulting CD should be ready in February. Winston said proceeds raised from the $10 cost will benefit scholarship, attire and travel for the choir. Concert tickets can be purchased online at: http://centralstate.universitytickets.com/user_pages/event.asp?id=411&cid=49