HBCU Promise Presidents’ Forum
Last year, Dominion Energy committed $25 million to be shared by 11 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The six-year "HBCU Promise" will support endowments, capital projects, operating expenses, and educational programs in clean energy.
As a part of the initiative, Dominion Energy is launching a series of conversations with HBCU leaders about equity. This is the first of the virtual series that will focus on identifying and addressing inequities associated with the wealth and economic gap.
Dr. Jack Thomas – President, Central State University
Dr. Hakim J. Lucas – President, Virginia Union University
Mr. James E. Clark – President, South Carolina State University
Allison Seymour, Get Up DC Anchor, WUSA – moderator, Hampton University
Tom Farrell, Executive Chairman, Dominion Energy
Diane Leopold, Chief Operating Officer, Dominion Energy
Ed Baine, President, Dominion Energy Virginia
Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021
YouTube Livestream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EypeRt2h2S0
About Dominion Energy
More than 7 million customers in 16 states energize their homes and businesses with electricity or natural gas from Dominion Energy (NYSE: D), headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. The company is committed to sustainable, reliable, affordable, and safe energy and to achieving net-zero carbon dioxide and methane emissions from its power generation and gas infrastructure operations by 2050. Please visit DominionEnergy.com to learn more.
Central State University honors MLK’s legacy through global action
MLK 2021: Celebrate, Commemorate, Commence
Central State University celebrates the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday through a series of virtual programs and projects that engage CSU students, staff, faculty, community, alumni and friends around the world. Starting on January 14 and running through January 18, Central State will present a total of five events over five days, beginning with a kick-off of a weekly talk series (CSUtalks) with national luminaries, an educators engagement event, and the 30th anniversary fundraising viewing of the Class of 1990 commencement watch party. CSU student leaders will participate in a socially distanced community service and engagement project benefiting the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers Monument, and Central State University President Jack Thomas will provide a keynote address at a Social Justice Sunday.
As the keynote speaker at Central State University’s Commencement in 1958, Dr. King’s words still ring true today, “It’s a great time to be alive. You are graduating at the time of the dying of an old world and the birth of a new one.”
President Jack Thomas has established nine strategic priorities, and one of the underlying goals is to focus on engagement through University program delivery. This year’s programming is deliberate and intentionally focused on action and impact.
“What inspired our programming were the words of Dr. Bernice King, when she once stated, ‘There are many ways to give back and honor the spirit of my father not only on this King Holiday, but every day, and make this time of commemoration meaningful.’ Our greatest way to honor King’s legacy will be to focus on dedicated action,” said Dr. Zillah Fluker, vice president of the Division of Institutional Advancement.
A complete line-up of programs can be found on Central State’s website and social media channels: CentralState87 at Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Diverse students encouraged to apply for new scholarship program by Dominion Energy
The company will award $10 million in scholarships over six years.
Students can apply for scholarships until Jan. 25, 2021.
Dominion Energy has also committed $25 million to be shared by 11 HBCUs.
Dominion Energy is awarding $500,000 in scholarships in 2021 to assist African American and other underrepresented minority students who reside in the company’s service area. The scholarships will be the first made under the Dominion Energy Educational Equity Scholarship Program, a six-year, $10 million initiative to provide assistance with higher education expenses.
“As we witness our country's evolving conversation on racial equity and social justice, we want to do our part to help historically underserved students,” said Robert M. Blue, Dominion Energy’s president and chief executive officer. “We know that education can serve as a springboard for social and economic mobility.”
“We have partnered with historically black colleges and universities for nearly 40 years, offering volunteer and financial support,” said Thomas F. Farrell, II, Dominion Energy’s executive chairman. “This scholarship program is another way for us to support the students who will one day lead our nation.”
The scholarship application period is open until Jan. 25, 2021, at 3:00 p.m. Central Standard Time.
To be eligible, students must:
self-identify as Black or African American; Hispanic or Latino; American Indian or Alaska Native; Asian; or Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander with higher education expenses; and
be high school seniors or graduates, or current college undergraduates residing in Connecticut, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Idaho, Wyoming, or Utah, with plans to enroll full time at an accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school for the entire upcoming academic year.
In all, 60 scholarships totaling $500,000 will be awarded in 2021. Of those, 20 scholarships of $5,000 each will be made available for students enrolled in two-year schools, while 40 scholarships of $10,000 each will be awarded to students enrolled in four-year schools. Scholarship recipients will be able to renew scholarships as they progress in school, provided they meet certain criteria, such as GPA requirements and residence in an eligible state. The program is administered by Scholarship America, a nonprofit that specializes in the management of scholarship and tuition assistance programs. Scholarship America will support Dominion Energy in the selection of finalists.
Students can learn more and apply at DominionEnergy.com/EquityScholarships.
The company also has committed nearly $25 million to 11 historically black colleges and universities in Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The six-year "HBCU Promise" program will support endowments, capital projects, operating expenses, and educational programs in clean energy.
About Dominion Energy
More than 7 million customers in 16 states energize their homes and businesses with electricity or natural gas from Dominion Energy (NYSE: D), headquartered in Richmond, Va. The company is committed to sustainable, reliable, affordable, and safe energy and to achieving net-zero carbon dioxide and methane emissions from its power generation and gas infrastructure operations by 2050. Please visit DominionEnergy.com to learn more.
Central State University creating a pathway to graduate school with a partnership with Missouri State University
Students will have access to accelerated master's degree options in their junior and senior years.
A new partnership between Central State University and Missouri State University will enable more undergraduate students to pursue master's degrees.
The universities signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cement the path forward for this new partnership between the universities. Outstanding undergraduate students from Central State will have an opportunity to enroll in an accelerated master's degree at Missouri State.
Central State students will be able to start taking graduate course work in their program of choice during their junior or senior year. The accelerated master's program will be open to all students coming from 33 diverse areas of study.
The MOU is the latest in a series of agreements between Central State University and other institutions of higher learning that aims to build stronger relationships and promote the university's offerings.
Key points of the understanding between both universities:
Missouri State University has developed an Accelerated Masters option for a number of the master's degree programs it offers;
Accelerated Master's options provide a transition that enables outstanding undergraduate students to be admitted into graduate programs and to enroll for a limited amount of graduate course work in their junior or senior year;
The Accelerated Master's program allows students greater efficiency in their pursuit of educational goals that extend into graduate degrees; and
Undergraduate students at Central State University have the opportunity to participate in the Missouri State University Accelerated Master's programs, where there are no competing Master's programs offered at Central State University.
"It's an honor for Central State University to partner with MSU, a university that aligns with our values and mission, which is focused on empowering students and campus community members to become global citizens who influence society for the better," said Dr. Jack Thomas, Central State University President. "It certainly warms our hearts to partner with them as we develop the next generation of innovative leaders."
"With this partnership, CSU students can complete their bachelor's degree, while at the same time jump-start the process of earning a top-quality master's degree from MSU," said MSU President Clif Smart. "This will save them time and money and support their future academic and career success."
The targeted date for the first group of CSU students to enter MSU's accelerated options is fall 2021.
CSU Extension partners with Hocking College, Stark State College, and Edison State Community College
Presidents from Central State University, Hocking College, Edison State Community College, and Stark State College signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will further advance the mission of Central State University Extension to implement extension outreach and research-based programs in each college’s community.
A key component of the agreement allows Central State Extension to house regional coordinators at each campus. Regional coordinators will work with each college president as well as key community stakeholders to design and implement programs based on community need as well as current research.
According to Dr. Subramania I. Sritharan, interim dean, College of Engineering, Science, Technology, and Agriculture, and interim director, Land-Grant Programs, Central State University became a 1890 Land-Grant Institution in 2014. The designation enables Central State to establish and develop Research and Extension programs which focus on sustainable agriculture practices, water resources management, youth development, community and economic development, and health and nutritional disparities.
“According to the most recent U.S. Census, more than 1.7 million Ohioans live in poverty – approximately 15.8% of the state,” stated Dr. Sritharan during his remarks. “The CSU 1890 Land-Grant Extension Program addresses the needs of socially disadvantaged, limited-resourced, and under-served Ohioans through four program areas which include Agriculture and Natural Resources, Community and Economic Development, Family and Consumer Sciences, and 4-H Youth Development and by utilizing Ohio’s existing infrastructure present at local community colleges within each region, we have the opportunity to compliment one-another in serving many of these underserved populations.”
Central State University President Dr. Jack Thomas gave a brief overview of Central State University’s history as a land-grant institution. “This is truly exciting because as we (Central State) are expanding our footprint across the state of Ohio, partnerships with colleges like Stark, Edison, and Hocking are significant and meaningful. Such partnerships allow us to meet the needs of so many more Ohioans, not only with programs and outreach, but with opportunities for continuing education; ultimately improving the lives of the citizens of this great state!”
Hocking College President Dr. Betty Young thanked Central State for selecting the Hocking College Perry Campus as a site for meeting the mission of a land-grant university and for reaching into our rural communities. “We are proud to be part of this strategic priority of Central State and to be your partner.” Dr. Young in her remarks further acknowledged the importance of agricultural and technical education and its importance to the economic growth our Ohio.
“Alongside our overall economic partnerships in Preble and Darke counties. This next level of collaboration with the Central State University Extension Office supports increased options for our Agri-business[NJ1] students in particular, but also forms a foundation for new pathways for all Edison State students in all of our service counties,” stated Edison State College president Dr. Doreen Larson. “Central State University President, Dr. Jack Thomas, has certainly hit the ground running and wasted no time in promoting strategic partnerships. The presence of Trustees Mehaffie and Fletcher at the signing event speaks volumes in terms of Edison State’s commitment to support of the Agricultural industry in Ohio.”
“Stark State College is delighted to partner with Central State University (CSU) to provide educational opportunities to students in the region, and we are pleased that CSU’s Northeast Ohio outreach office is located at our downtown Canton facility,” said Stark State President Para M. Jones, Ph.D. “We look forward to joining Central State in reaching out to urban, suburban, and rural residents and employers with programs on nutrition, health and wellness; agriculture; and other extension services related to Central State’s land-grant mission.”
Attending the virtual MOU signing ceremony, held on Thursday, December 10, 2020 at 1 p.m., were:
Dr. Jack Thomas, president of Central State University
Dr. Betty Young, president of Hocking College
Dr. Para Jones, president of Stark State College
Dr. Doreen Larson, president of Edison State Community College
Other notable attendees included:
Central State University
Dr. Subramania Sritharan, interim dean, College of Engineering, Science, Technology, and Agriculture, and interim director of Land-Grant Programs
Dr. Zillah Fluker, vice president of Division of Institutional Advancement
Dr. Siddartha Dasgupta, CSU Extension associate director
Leslie Horner, regional associate NE
Kelley Beers, regional associate SE
Seth Swallow, regional associate SW
Tim Brunicardi, executive director of Marketing
Jeff Daubenmire, chief of staff
Stark State College
Dr. Lada Gibson-Shreve, Provost and Chief Academic Officer
Edison State Community College
Chris Spradlin, Provost
Chad Beanblossom, Vice President of Regional Campuses
Bruce McKenzie, Director of Marketing and Communications
Marvella Fletcher, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees
Darryl Mehaffie, Trustee
Central State University awarded $2.2m to help low income, first generation, and students with disabilities succeed in college
Federal Student Support Services grant awarded every five years
August 20, 2020 – Central State University announced it will receive a $2.2M five year federal grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to help more students succeed in and graduate from college through its TRiO Student Support Services (SSS) department. Central State is only one of eight programs to receive this grant award.
The TRiO Student Support Services federal program began in 1968 and is one of the eight federal TRIO programs authorized by the Higher Education Act to help college students succeed in higher education.
For over 20 years, Central State University TRiO Student Support Services department has managed a comprehensive, researched-based program with measurable objectives that are aligned to the university’s mission and strategic goals.
It recognizes that students whose parents do not have a college degree have more difficulties navigating the complexity of decisions that college requires for success; it bolsters students from low income families who have not had the academic opportunities that their college peers have had and helps students with disabilities remove obstacles preventing them from thriving academically.
“Our office is laser-focused on providing academic guidance and coaching, graduate and professional school preparation, and a structured financial literacy curriculum,” said Mortenous A. Johnson, Director, TRiO Student Support Services. “We know these wrap-around services lead to student success, and it shows in the numbers.”
Just in the last academic year, Central State University’s metrics provided a clear picture of the positive impact the program has had on its participants. Eighty-nine percent of the students persisted and stayed in school, eighty-six percent were in good academic standing, and fifty-nine percent graduated with a bachelor’s degree.
“Our students are thought-provoking, academically curious, energized, grounded, and absolute gems,” said Johnson. “They make the program, and as a result, SSS’ collective dynamism produces a new-generation of thought-leaders, and civic-minded agents ready for change and transformation. Not to mention, more likely that students will graduate.”
Anyone needing more information on Central State University TRiO Support Services can reach Mortenous Johnson at email@example.com.
The Opening Plan for Central State University
By Jack Thomas, Ph.D., President Central State University
Opening Plan CSU Cares for YOU
As we navigate through the COVID-19 global pandemic, popular questions being asked to higher education leaders are; will school resume in person sessions this fall? Will classes be online or in person? The short answer for Central State University is “Yes,” we will have classes this fall, and we have decided to offer classes in-person as well as online. We established an Institutional Response Team (IRT) comprised of a cross functional internal team that is in constant contact with local and state health officials. In coming to our decision, it is important to be clear about what drove us to our decision, what our plans are, how we came to determine the plan and how we intend to execute and manage that plan. Lastly, and even more significantly, we must be prepared for the dynamic environment that we find ourselves in as it may require that we have a detailed contingency plan should there be a drastic change with the COVID-19 pandemic cases.
The global pandemic has been a constant dialogue since March of 2020, shortly after I was named the 9th President of Central State University. My predecessor convened the IRT and immediately, the team began assessing and planning for CSU.
Why we decided on this plan?
We believe that CSU’s preparedness provides a safe place for our students. We also realize the importance of providing a remote solution so that all students can join and continue their education journey.
Higher education is a proven game changer for individuals. When we look at who CSU serves and their individual backgrounds, many are first generation and from lower socio-economic backgrounds. The data and our experiences show that our students greatly benefit from getting a college education. Given where the economy is, it is important that we position CSU to enable these individuals to begin or continue their education journey.
Forty-five percent of our students come from Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton, Chicago and Detroit. When you review the COVID-19 cases in those locations in comparison to Wilberforce, OH, the risk is significantly less than in those major metropolitan areas. Our rural location works in our favor and positions CSU to be a safer location away from the more aggressive COVID-19 presence in their home cities. Our rigorous plan, frequent testing and cleaning processes will support a haven for all our on-campus students.
What is the CSU Plan?
In fall 2020, CSU will offer students the options of both residential and virtual learning.
For students who prefer a residential college experience, CSU is offering classes using a hybrid-cohort model that combines live, in-classroom learning and remote learning through synchronous video. To maintain social distancing and assure safety, in hybrid courses, students will alternate attending in-person and through video conference according to their assigned cohort. For students who prefer to study fully online, CSU is offering classes in two formats. Some online courses will use the University's online learning system to deliver all instruction asynchronously while others will meet remotely using live, synchronous video conferencing. With the option to study either in residence or fully online, CSU provides students with choices and the flexibility to begin or continue their education in a format that fits their needs.
Contingency Plan Should the Virus Get Worse
The hybrid model is designed to make an immediate and flawless shift should COVID-19 get out of hand and universities will have to go back solely online. The IRT will continue to meet to monitor developments related to COVID-19 response and will update reopening plans accordingly. Specifically, the IRT will:
Maintain membership and participation on statewide COVID-19 response teams
• Share information and resources with local governments, townships, city officials, and health departments
• Develop and provide COVID-19 specific training and workshops to faculty, staff, and students
• Communicate operational plan changes and emergency response procedures to the campus community
The Identification of Resources Will be Key
CSU has and will continue to launch a series of targeted strategic fundraising plans that will be specifically supporting technology infrastructure and immediate student support needs. Additionally, we have begun soliciting in-kind support for necessary supplies to reinforce a safe environment for the campus community. Our areas of focus for these efforts are:
• Technology infrastructure
• Immediate student support needs
• University academic support
• Health and safety supplies
The Cares Act Funding has been beneficial for CSU. CSU used Cares Act funding to refund spring room and board costs, to provide additional financial aid for students attending summer school, and to implement critical technology upgrades necessary to support on-line and hybrid learning models. It is imperative that such support continues so that we can continue our education process.
As we continue to navigate through these unchartered territories, CSU can not only focus on survival, but rather, we must focus on thriving and elevating the institution and fully embracing every growth and learning opportunity that these unique circumstances present us. That will require our leadership to be engaged in strategic and critical thinking, our students to be vigilant and stay focused on the pursuit of their education and determine the best way to engage, and our community and stakeholders to support CSU as much as possible as we all work to provide the world with the talent that CSU has been providing over the last 133 years.
TURNER Honors 130th Anniversary of HBCU 1890 Land-Grant Institution Central State
For Immediate Release
Friday, July 31, 2020
Contact: Morgan Rako 202-308-8930
Yesterday Congressman Mike Turner (OH-10) joined as an original cosponsor to a bipartisan resolution to observe August 30, 2020 as the 130th anniversary of historically black 1890 Land-Grant Institutions. Central State University is one of the 19 colleges created from the Second Morrill Act of 1890.
“Central State University is a hub for education, research, and innovation in our community, and I am proud to recognize its 130th anniversary,” said Turner. “I have successfully fought to increase CSU’s access to federal funding as an 1890 Land-Grant Institution. I will continue to advocate for historically black universities’ programs and students.”
“1890 Land-Grant Institutions have had a long history of researching the issues within society and developing education and extension programs to deliver best practices for a better world,” said Central State University President Jack Thomas. “Central State University faculty and staff appreciate having the opportunity to serve Ohioans as an 1890 Land-Grant Institution. We thank Congressman Turner and all the Representatives for the recognition of 1890 Land-Grant University work in our country.”
Central State University to Host Virtual 2020 Homecoming
Central State University will host a virtual homecoming celebration in the fall of 2020.
The decision to host a virtual homecoming was made after consulting local, state, and federal health officials, along with university administrators and alumni in light of the public health risk associated with the global Coronavirus pandemic.
It also follows the suspension of all fall sporting competitions, including football, by the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference earlier this month.
Virtual homecoming activities are currently being planned, and participants should expect a variety of engaging entertainment and fellowship opportunities for students, alumni, and the greater Central State community. Event details will be announced in the coming weeks.
The virtual homecoming will not be Central State’s first foray into online celebratory events. In May, the university took the prudent decision to host a virtual commencement instead of the traditional in-person graduation ceremony, to safeguard graduates, their families, and friends from COVID-19.
Although public health concerns forced the university to move the commencement online, the virtual ceremony ultimately reached a record 62,913 viewers and inspired 580 shares on Facebook.
University administrators hope the virtual homecoming will draw an even greater audience.
Central State president donates $50,000 from his salary to create new scholarship fund
Central State University’s new President, Dr. Jack Thomas, has donated $50,000 of his salary toward the creation of a new Presidential Scholarship Fund, he announced today.
In a video released by the University, Dr. Thomas stated that he was motivated to make the gift to show solidarity with University employees financially affected by COVID-19.
“Though it was difficult for the University to institute furloughs and wage reductions, these were prudent decisions to ensure that Central State remains on sound financial footing,” he said. “I would not ask others to endure sacrifices that I’m not willing to endure myself. So today I am donating $50,000 from my salary to create a Presidential Scholarship Fund for our students.”
Dr. Thomas said his commitment is just the beginning of the Presidential Scholarship fund and for Central State.
“I will immediately seek a $50,000 matching gift, and continue to leverage that cumulative $100,000 investment to bring other contributors to this fund so that Central State University’s greatest resource – our students – are given every advantage to get the quality Marauder education that only Central State University can provide,” he said.
The launch of the Presidential Scholarship Fund is yet another signature move at the outset of his 15-day presidency.
Nearly a month ago, he penned an Op-Ed supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and called on community leaders to work with him to make sure the nation is safe for everyone. A week before becoming president, he appointed a Blue-Ribbon Task Force of higher education experts to help guide his strategic thinking. And over the past weekend, he championed a social media fundraising effort that garnered $15,000 in funds raised for the University.
Dr. Thomas took office as the University’s ninth president on July 1. He has communicated his nine strategic goals, of which University fundraising is one.
Leadership Change in the Midst of a Pandemic
Jack Thomas, Ph.D., President, Central State University
“As I learned about Central State University, I felt that this was a very special institution and one where I could contribute the most to its future success”
When I delivered those remarks in my acceptance speech in February, I could not have imagined that in less than 40 days, the world would be in the midst of a dramatic global pandemic that would completely change the way we live.
In my previous presidential transition, I rose from provost to president within the same organization. I began that presidency by reviewing the university budget, developing a strategic plan, and meeting my board, alumni, and community stakeholders. As a member of the existing presidential cabinet, I was familiar with the institution, its general operations, faculty and staff, constituents, traditions, and legacy. My role and focus were to understand operations at the new level and build upon the prior president's leadership.
Typically, new presidents have the luxury of time; time to get to know their students, faculty, staff, and alumni, and the luxury of necessary resources to chart a new strategic direction. But in this climate, there is an extreme urgency to withstand historic fiscal challenges from an invisible adversary not bound by convention.
At my previous institution, I was also faced with unprecedented and sudden change. Specifically, a state budget impasse created uncommon challenges for public higher education. As a result, I had to operate the university for two years without state funding and was forced to make budget reductions that included services, layoffs, and furloughs that impacted the community, state, and the region. Still, we were able to keep the University’s doors open, meet payroll, keep most personnel, and continue to provide a quality and well-rounded education for our students.
From this experience, I learned in real time what it meant to remain focused on the big picture, move the organization forward, and at the same time make unpopular decisions. The decision to disrupt lives through layoffs, furloughs, and other actions were some of the toughest in my decades in higher education. These decisions were necessary for the sustainability of the institution. Little did I know, I would be moving from one crisis directly to another.
As I watched the COVID-19 pandemic evolve, I asked myself: “Was this really happening?” Four months away from my July 1 start date at Central State University, I found myself in daily discussions about online distance learning, campus safety, and everything in between. We were in the midst of a new crisis and had already begun daily monitoring of safety guidance from local, state, and national organizations and delivering succinct, coordinated, and timely communication to our constituents.
In February, I was named president. By mid-March, the pandemic hit. Instead of articulating my vision, I spent the next several months in deep discussions about tests, quarantines, public distancing, sanitation, and hygiene.
Meanwhile, the nation became engrossed in a debate about racial justice sparked by the recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Rayshard Brooks. Even tasked with taking the helm of a university during a global pandemic, I could not – in good conscience – remain silent on the spike in racial violence (often by police) and the historic grassroots movement that sprung up to protest that violence. Weeks before I took office, I issued a public statement that: “No man, woman or child should live in fear of police in our great nation.”
There is a long tradition of Historically Black Colleges and Universities leading the fight for equality and social justice, while creating safe spaces for its students to explore and express ideas. As Mahatma Gandhi said: “True education must correspond to the surrounding circumstances or it is not a healthy growth.”
The corresponding responsibility of transforming lives through education still stands. I remain steadfast and focused on the goals I shared as I accepted the presidency of Central State University in February. Innovation is in our DNA. Consequently, our goals will be to:
1. Continue to meet and enhance the 1890 Land Grant mission, which is to deliver research, teaching and extension services to the people of the State of Ohio
2. Increase enrollment (globally and in diversity)
3. Improve retention and graduation rates
4. Develop marketing and rebranding campaign
5. Launch a multimillion-dollar capital campaign
6. Develop an Honors College to recruit high-achieving students
7. Increase degree offerings, graduate studies, and flexibility in course delivery
8. Build a new learning and living environment
9. Update university strategic and master plans
Given the current circumstance, these goals and priorities are essentially requirements. As the world changes, our opportunity is greater. I believe that the team at CSU is prepared and ready to face the challenges, make the best decisions and drive results and success – even with a leadership change in the midst of a pandemic.
Dr. Jack Thomas Takes the Helm as the Ninth President of Central State University
July 1, 2020
Dr. Jack Thomas, an accomplished scholar and administrator, has taken office as the ninth president of Central State University (CSU) today.
His arrival was praised by Mark Hatcher, chairman of the Central State Board of Trustees, which named Dr. Thomas president Feb. 7, following a comprehensive nationwide executive search.
“We are looking forward to working with you and your vision and leadership at this fine institution,” Hatcher said.
A native of Lowndes County, Ala., Dr. Thomas holds a Ph.D. in English from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a master’s of English Education from Virginia State University, and a bachelor’s of English from Alabama A&M University.
Dr. Thomas served as the president of Western Illinois University (WIU) for nearly a decade and comes to Central State with a track record that underscores his ability to implement a comprehensive vision and strategy.
Prior to WIU, Dr. Thomas had a 20-year career where he emerged as a nationally and internationally recognized leader in higher education administration with extensive senior-level management experience from department chair, dean, provost to the presidency.
Dr. Thomas’ influence on the academic community extends to his service on several local and national boards, and he currently serves on the Marguerite Casey Foundation Board of Directors.
“Rest assured, I am committed to maintaining the high-quality education and the family environment for which Central State University is known,” he said in a video posted today on the university website and on social media.
Dr. Thomas also pledged to immediately host a series of dialogues with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community stakeholders.
“My goal in the sessions will be to meet many of you, gain valuable insight and share our initial plans,” he said.
When introduced as Central State’s new president in February, Dr. Thomas identified nine presidential priorities that will guide his tenure. They are to:
1. Continue to meet and enhance the 1890 Land Grant mission
2. Increase enrollment (globally and in diversity)
3. Improve retention and graduation rates
4. Develop marketing and rebranding campaign
5. Launch a multimillion-dollar capital campaign
6. Develop an Honors College to recruit high-achieving students
7. Increase degree offerings, graduate studies, and flexibility in course delivery
8. Build a new learning and living environment
9. Update university strategic and master plans
Dr. Thomas succeeds Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, who finished her tenure yesterday after leading the university for eight years.
Dr. Thomas looks forward to building on the great tradition and legacy of CSU.
“My wife Dr. Linda Thomas and I are eager to get to know all of the wonderful people in the CSU family as we begin this new journey,” he said.
President-Elect Announces Blue-Ribbon Task Force
June 24, 2020
Central State University President-Elect Dr. Thomas, along with Chairman of the Board of Trustees Mark Hatcher, has announced the creation of a Blue-Ribbon Task Force to help shape and guide informed the incoming administration.
The seven-member Task Force will gather and review pertinent information from multiple areas of Central State and make recommendations based on the members’ decades of higher education experience, the current climate, and the current position of the university.
Task Force recommendations will help define future objectives for the of the university and guide the new administration through the university's new strategic planning process, which will focus on effectiveness, efficiency, and accountability. CSU’s current six-year strategic plan expires June 30.
“We will have an inclusive comprehensive process including faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community stakeholders,” Dr. Thomas wrote in a letter to university stakeholders.
“It is paramount that we put our best foot forward by building on the legacy of where we have been, understand where we are, and determine a responsible strategy for where we want to go,” he added.
A final Task Force report will be shared with CSU stakeholders at a later date.
The Blue-Ribbon Task Force will be composed of:
Dr. Mortimer Neufville (Task Force Chair), president and CEO of the 1890 Universities Foundation
Dr. Alton Thompson, executive director of the Association of 1890 Research Directors
Dr. Alvin Goldfarb, former president and professor emeritus of Western Illinois University
Dr. Retia Walker, a former dean, vice president and vice chancellor at the University of Kentucky, Southern University and University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Dr. Gloria Bonner, former dean of Education and assistant to the president at Middle Tennessee State University
Dr. Robbie Melton, dean of Graduate Studies at Tennessee State University and former vice president of Technology in the Tennessee University System
Dr. Taqua Lewis, high school senior counselor in the Jefferson County Board of Education of Birmingham, Ala.
Central State University Celebrates Juneteenth
It is only fitting that the current recalibration of racial justice in America encompass Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.
June 19th is remembered as “Juneteenth” in recognition of the delay between the enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and its actual implementation in Texas two years later. It was on that day in 1865 that the Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War was over and that the enslaved Africans were free. That late notice was needed because Texans had largely dismissed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.
As Americans of good conscience take to the streets to protest police brutality and call for racial equity, Central State University recognizes that real change may come slowly, but – like Juneteenth – it does come.
Statements from the Board of Trustees and President-Elect Dr. Jack Thomas
June 10, 2020
Click for statements.
Room and Board Credit Announcement
June 4, 2020
All room and board credits for graduated seniors have been issued.
All other student applications (rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors) for room and board credits will be processed by June 30. If you did not submit an application by May 1st, your credit will be applied on your account. Room and board credits will be processed each week beginning June 8. Students should check their MyCSU account periodically before contacting the university. Additionally, students should make sure that their profile and banking information is correct in TMS/Nelnet if anticipating a direct deposit for the room and board credit.
All questions can be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Central State University Accepting Scholarship Applications for State of Ohio Students Majoring in Agriculture and Related Fields
April 28, 2020
Media Contact: Lena Fields-Arnold
WILBERFORCE, OH – Thanks to the USDA-NIFA, Central State University, Ohio’s only 1890 Land-Grant Institution, recently received $2.2 million in scholarships for Ohio students who choose to major in agriculture and related fields at Central State University. Funds for the scholarship came from the $14 million awarded to the nineteen 1890 Land-Grant Universities in the United States as a result of the 2018 Farm Bill.
Scholarships support recruitment and retention, student engagement and mentoring, and training undergraduate students at Central State. "Central State University is most appreciative to Rep. David Scott of Georgia for authoring this legislation back in 2018. He and members of Ohio Congressional leadership have supported the efforts of the 1890 Land Grant institutions and we think that this legislation will be a positive enhancer for our students," said Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, President, Central State University.
Applications for scholarships are now being accepted. The four-year scholarship awards eligible students up to $60,000 which includes tuition, books, and room and board. High school seniors and college transfer students (including community college graduates) who are Ohio residents are eligible to submit an application for the award. The scholarship award is for the following majors:
- Sustainable Agriculture (SAG)
- Agricultural Education (AgEd)
- Exercise Science (EXS) with a Nutrition minor
- Agricultural Extension Education (AgExEd)
- Agricultural Business (AgB)
- Water Resources Management (WRM)
- Environmental Engineering (ENV)
High school applicants must have a cumulative GPA of no less than 2.8 and transfer students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. The deadline to apply is June 30, 2020.
To learn more or to apply, email email@example.com, or call 937-376-6061.
Central State University To Conduct Historic 2020 Virtual Commencement
April 27, 2020
Media Contact: Robert Vickers 937-999-9300
WILBERFORCE, OHIO – Central State University will stream a virtual commencement ceremony for its spring 2020 graduates Saturday, May 16.
President Cynthia Jackson-Hammond will preside over the ceremony, which will be streamed on the university’s Facebook page. The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. EDT and award about 266 diplomas.
Central State opted to conduct the virtual commencement to comply with statewide restrictions on large gatherings in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, there will be no physical gathering of students or guests for the event.
Graduates will receive their degrees by mail. And a recording of the virtual ceremony will be available on the CSU commencement webpage following the Facebook event.
"The Central State University 2020 Virtual Commencement provides an opportunity for every deserving graduate, to mark this occasion and personal milestone," said CSU Provost Pedro Martinez. "Even during this difficult and uncertain time, we believe that virtually recognizing this accomplishment is a great way to honor our graduates."
The prerecorded ceremony will include university officials in traditional commencement regalia at Central State's Paul Robeson Auditorium, musical performances, special guests, and the commencement address. All virtual commencement recordings took place in full accordance with statewide social distancing requirements to ensure the health and safety of all participants.
Members of CSU's Class of 2020, their friends, families, and Centralians everywhere are invited to gather online and make this the largest CSU commencement ever, as university leadership recognizes graduates and confers their degrees.
Additional commencement details will be announced in the coming weeks.
Central State University Students To Receive $1.8 Million Federal Emergency Cash Grant
April 26, 2020
Media Contact: Robert Vickers 937-376-6216
WILBERFORCE, OHIO – An expected $1.8 million of emergency federal stimulus money will be divided among Central State University’s students, the university announced today
Depending on the criteria for disbursement, a student enrolled during the Spring 2020 semester will be eligible to receive up to $1,000 as part of the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act included a nationwide $14 billion Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund to help students during the Coronavirus pandemic.
"This pandemic has disrupted all of our lives especially, students and their families," said Central State President Cynthia Jackson-Hammond. "We hope that the disbursement will relieve some of that disruption."
When the relief funds are received by the University, allocated amounts will be issued through direct deposits into students’ accounts. University officials anticipate that the funds will be released by the federal government by May 1.
These relief funds are intended to provide emergency financial assistance to students for the unexpected costs they incurred related to the disruption of campus operations.
Central State’s allocation from this fund was developed based on the funding formula prescribed in the CARES Act.
Central State Extension Stocks Aquaponics Demo Tanks With 200 Tilapia Fingerlings
For Immediate Release: April 22, 2020
Media Contact: Robert Vickers 937-999-9300
WILBERFORCE – In just six to nine months, 200 tilapia fingerlings that recently arrived at the Central State University Extension (CSUE) demonstration green house will grow into more than 200 pounds of fresh, locally produced protein utilizing an aquaponics system.
"Aquaponics is a closed loop system that combines conventional aquaculture (the raising of aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a mutually symbiotic environment," said CSUE Program Leader for Agricultural and Natural Resources Dr. Cindy Folck.
"The aquaponics system utilizes the waste of one element for the benefit of another other," Folck added. "In this case, the waste produced by the fish benefits the growing plants. Aquaponics helps to grow plants faster and more efficiently than more traditional methods, with the added bonus of breeding fish for consumption."
Three tanks, housed within the 30-by-90-foot green house, will be used for the demonstration project, said CSUE Vegetable and Small Fruit Technician Marc Amante. The tilapia will be raised within a 1,000-gallon tank with lettuce, basil and other small greens grown in two 700-gallon tanks.
A Dutch Bucket aquaponics system will produce tomatoes, peppers and other small vegetables, according to Amante. The Dutch Bucket aquaponics system utilizes buckets connected to your fish tank via a central line. The water is pumped through this, into each bucket, and then allowed to drain back into the fish tank to be cycled through again.
"Central State has two aquaponics systems, one for research and one for community engagement and workshops," said Dr. Krishna Kumar Nedunuri, CSUE researcher for aquaponics, professor of Environmental Engineering, and director of the International Center for Water Resources Management.
The Dutch Bucket aquaponics project is made possible through funding from a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA/) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Capacity Building Grant. The project is a collaboration between CSU research and CSU extension, as well as OSU extension at Piketon.
For more information about the aquaponics program, contact Dr. Folck at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Nedunuri at email@example.com.
Dr. Jack Thomas Named Central State University’s 9th President
For Immediate Release: February 7, 2020
Media Contact: Robert Vickers 937-376-6216
Dr. Jack Thomas, an internationally-recognized scholar and higher education administrator, was named Central State University’s 9th president today.
Dr. Thomas said he was drawn to Central State because of its history and potential.
"As I learned about Central State University, I felt that this was a very special institution and one where I could contribute the most to its future success," he said. "This has been a long yet rewarding process, and I thank you for selecting me as your next President."
His appointment was praised by Central State Board of Trustees Chairman Mark Hatcher, Esq.
"Dr. Thomas was selected after the completion of a rigorous national search that included members of our faculty, students, alumni, donors and community and corporate leaders," Hatcher said. "Dr. Thomas was selected based on his proven ability to lead and grow institutions of higher learning with a focus on improving academics, student-oriented career preparation and institutional fundraising."
Dr. Thomas, who will succeed Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond in July, comes from Western Illinois University (WIU), a public university where he served as president for nearly a decade. At WIU, he successfully managed a budget of nearly $224 million during a period of unprecedented fiscal challenges.
Additionally he increased diversity, created new academic programs, managed fiscal and cash flow issues brought on by the state’s financial crisis, invested in STEM programs, increased funding for scholarships, and established a presidential institute to foster and improve corporate, community and K-12 relations.
Under Dr. Thomas' leadership, WIU was recognized as a "Best in the Midwest College" by the Princeton Review and as a top tier Midwest Universities Master's institution by U.S. News and World Report.
During Friday's news conference, Dr. Thomas called on CSU to deliver on its promise.
"As a university, we must be winners in all that we do," said Dr. Thomas, who holds degrees from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Virginia State and Alabama A&M universities. "We must win in the region. We must win in the state. We must win nationally and internationally. We must think big, dream big and achieve our goals as a university."
Dr. Jackson-Hammond praised Dr. Thomas ability to build on CSU's momentum.
"Central State University continues to progress and is among the region’s best institutions of higher education," she said statement. "The University offers more than academic quality assurances. It supports families and communities that want to achieve an enhanced quality of life. Dr. Thomas will ensure that Central State University’s trajectory is focused and ambitious. We welcome Dr. Thomas and his family and will support his vision 100 percent!"
A native of Lowndes County, Alabama, Dr. Thomas career began as an English instructor from 1984-1990 at Johnson C. Smith and South Carolina State universities.
From 1990 until 2004, Dr. Thomas served in several roles at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, including interim president, executive vice president and associate vice president for Academic and Student Affairs. During his time in Maryland, he enhanced fundraising, implemented new academic programs and drove increased enrollment.
From 2004 until 2008, he served as senior vice provost for Academic Affairs and interim dean at Middle Tennessee State University. There, Dr. Thomas improved diversity, assisted with the design of new academic programs, coordinated the implementation of a new key assessment instrument, enhanced academic reviews and mentoring.
A published researcher with a focus on black males in literature, Dr. Thomas is scheduled to begin his CSU tenure July 1.
* Go to www.centralstate.edu after 11 a.m. 2/7/20 for a high-resolution image of Dr. Thomas.
Central State University Named HBCU Institutional Leader By Fulbright Program
For Immediate Release: December 19, 2019
WILBERFORCE – Central State University is proud to be named a 2018-2019 Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leader. Beginning this year, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) is recognizing the noteworthy level of engagement that selected Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have achieved with the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government's flagship international educational exchange program. Central State has been named one of the 19 HBCUs to receive this distinction.
Through this inaugural “Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leader” designation, ECA recognizes 19 HBCUs that have demonstrated noteworthy support for Fulbright exchange participants during the 2018-2019 academic year and have promoted Fulbright Program opportunities on campus. ECA has established this designation to acknowledge the strong partnerships between the Fulbright Program and HBCUs, and to encourage the entire network of HBCUs to increase their Fulbright engagement.
Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce conveyed her congratulations by stating, “We are pleased to recognize our Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leaders for the work they have done in engaging with the Fulbright Program. We look forward to continued collaboration in promoting mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. We hope that this recognition inspires HBCUs as well as other institutions to take advantage of all the Fulbright Program has to offer – internationalizing campuses while supporting scholars and students who benefit professionally and personally from a Fulbright experience.”
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program of the United States government and was created to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.
CSU is currently home to three Fulbright Scholars from Russia, Taiwan and Tunisia.
The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has given more than 390,000 passionate and accomplished students, scholars, teachers, artists, and professionals of all backgrounds and fields the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to important international problems.
The global network of Fulbrighters fosters mutual understanding between the United States and partner nations, advances knowledge across communities, and improves lives around the globe.
Fulbright is active in more than 160 countries worldwide and partners with participating governments, host institutions, corporations, and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States. Many of these organizations also provide direct and indirect support. ECA sponsors the Fulbright program, and several non-profit, cooperative partners implement and support the program on the Bureau’s behalf. For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit https://eca.state.gov/fulbright.
Central State University College of Education Receives Accreditation
For Immediate Release: November 25, 2019
WILBERFORCE – The Central State University College of Education has received accreditation of its licensure programs from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
With this acknowledgement, Central State joins 280 other universities that have met CAEP’s rigorous, nationally recognized teacher preparation standards.
CAEP President Christopher A. Koch praised Central State for meeting the agency’s "high standards so that their students receive an education that prepares them to succeed in a diverse range of classrooms after they graduate."
To received CAEP accreditation, CSU underwent a peer review process that proved university graduates are competent and caring educators, and that its education faculty and staff have the capacity to create a culture that maintains and enhances the quality of its professional programs.
"With CAEP accreditation comes national recognition for all Central State University teacher licensure programs," said Dr. Zaki J. Sharif, dean of the CSU College of Education. "This provides our graduates the opportunity to seek public school employment anywhere in the United States."
CAEP's affirmation now means all four CSU colleges have received accreditation for programs in their respective disciplines.
Central State University Announces Collaboration with AFL-CIO and Eastern Gateway Community College
For Immediate Release: November 14, 2019
WILBERFORCE – Members of the nation’s largest federation of labor unions will be able to earn online bachelor’s degrees from Central State University (CSU) through a new and historic agreement affirmed today.
The agreement was announced today by CSU President Cynthia Jackson-Hammond and Mitch Stevens, President of Union Privilege, a nonprofit organization founded by the AFL-CIO to provide top-quality consumer benefit programs exclusively to union members and their families.
The agreement expands the exclusive educational opportunities available to the 12.5 million members of the AFL-CIO’s affiliated unions. Union members and their families currently can pursue free online associate degrees through a collaboration with Eastern Gateway Community College. The expansion of the program allows union members to affordably continue their studies and earn bachelor’s degrees from CSU.
"This transformational partnership will make Central State’s excellence more easily recognized from coast-to-coast while supplying the quality of specialized CSU programs to members of America’s largest labor federation," said Jackson-Hammond.
Stevens added: "We are excited to partner with an institution as storied as CSU to provide working families across America with an affordable and convenient solution to completing a bachelor’s degree program."
Central State Provost Pedro Martinez praised the partnership for its ability to reach non-traditional students and improve the livelihoods of union members.
"This is an excellent strategy to expand our educated workforce and address the workforce gap for the state of Ohio and our entire nation," Martinez said. "College graduates with a bachelor's degree typically earn 66 percent more than those with only a high school diploma and are also far less likely to face unemployment."
Added Tonjia Coverdale, vice president for Information Technology and CIO: "This is such a pivotal moment for us where education meets innovation and through the power of technology, Central State will propel forward into our future, boundless, without limits, and being able to serve students without the confines of time and space."
Central State University Announces Discussion Dates with the Presidential Search Firm and University Stakeholders
Wilberforce, Oh - The Central State University Board of Trustees is announcing dates and times for discussions with the presidential search consulting firm and University stakeholders. Consultants from the firm of Academic Search, Inc. will be on campus to conduct the sessions as follows:
Session 1 – for CSU students
October 9, 2019
Louis Stokes Center for Aging (Ransier Room)
1400 Brush Row Road
Session 2 – for CSU Faculty and Staff
Louis Stokes Center for Aging (Ransier Room)
1400 Brush Row Road
Session 3 – CSU Alumni and Community Stakeholders October 10, 2019
Louis Stokes Center for Aging (Ransier Room)
1400 Brush Row Road
Additional information on the search process can be found on the Central State University web site www.centralstate.edu at and the web site of Academic Search, Inc. at www.academicsearch.org, or by emailing questions to CentralStatePresident@academicsearch.org.
Central State University Announces Discussion Dates with the Presidential Search Firm and University Stakeholders
Wilberforce, Oh - The Central State University Board of Trustees is announcing dates and times for discussions with the presidential search consulting firm and University stakeholders. Consultants from the firm of Academic Search, Inc. will be on campus to conduct the sessions as follows:
- Session 1 – for CSU students
October 9, 2019
Louis Stokes Center for Aging (Ransier Room)
1400 Brush Row Road
- Session 2 – for CSU Faculty and Staff
October 10, 2019
Louis Stokes Center for Aging (Ransier Room)
1400 Brush Row Road
- Session 3 – CSU Alumni and Community Stakeholders
October 10, 2019
Louis Stokes Center for Aging (Ransier Room)
1400 Brush Row Road
Additional information on the search process can be found on the Central State University web site http://www.centralstate.edu at and the web site of Academic Search, Inc. at www.academicsearch.org, or by emailing questions to CentralStatePresident@academicsearch.org
Central State University Hemp Field Day
WILBERFORCE, OH – Central State University Extension’s hemp research specialist Dr. Craig Schluttenhofer will share information on hemp’s possibilities as an agricultural crop at Hemp Field Day and discuss research trials being conducted by Central State.
Hemp Field Day will take place September 11, 2019 from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. at the Central State Research Farm located on State Route 42, across from the Central State University campus, in Wilberforce, Ohio.
In August, Central State University – Ohio’s only 1890 Land-Grant Institution – became the first university in the state to plant seeds for hemp research. The research of this alternative crop at CSU will focus on best management practices for production and processing, improving plant performance, and developing new uses.
Hemp, grown for fiber, grain, and cannabidiol (CBD), can be used in more than 25,000 products. Central State’s cultivation will include four varieties of hemp at the research farm to engage and educate students and Ohio growers. Unlike cannabis, hemp has a THC level lower than 0.3 percent and is not intoxicating.
The Hemp Field Day event is in line with the Central State University Extension mission to assist Ohio farmers, and exploring alternative crops such as hemp will help to diversify state agriculture and optimize Ohio farm operations. Dr. Schluttenhofer, research assistant and professor of Natural Products at Central State University, will discuss hemp’s production, processing, genetics, breeding, and biochemistry.
Hemp Field Day is free and open to the public. Anyone interested in growing hemp is invited to attend. To learn more about Hemp Field Day call Dr. Cindy Folck, CSU’s program leader of ANR Extension, at 937-376-6101.
Central State University Extension’s mission is to become a premier community-based outreach and educational program leader that provides a holistic Extension approach to improve the overall conditions facing families in rural and urban communities and addressing agricultural issues in rural and urban locations.
Central State University 1890 Land-Grant Programs and Activities offers its programs to people of diverse backgrounds, and does not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status marital or family status, military status, national origin, political beliefs, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Institution. Central State University 1890 Land-Grant Programs and Activities are committed to the full inclusion of all program participants. If reasonable accommodations are needed to participate in programs and/or activities, please contact us at 937-376-6153.
Important Information to Communicate Regarding the Leadership at Central State University
Central State University Community,
We have important information to communicate regarding the leadership at Central State University.
After eight years of inspired, intentional and transformational leadership focused on the tenets of Service, Protocol and Civility, Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond announced yesterday that the 2019-20 academic year will be her last year as president of Central State University. This transition was planned in connection with Dr. Jackson-Hammond’s contract extension that was entered into in 2018. Consequently, the Board of Trustees has launched the search for the next president of this fine institution.
President Jackson-Hammond’s tenure has undoubtedly marked a period of growth and prosperity for our University and we are all eternally grateful for the course on which we have been set because of her leadership and vision. Dr. Jackson-Hammond started her tenure as president with a goal of making Central State a beacon of academic excellence and a citadel for growth opportunities for our students to thrive in a campus environment where they are immersed in scholarship, increased research opportunities and the arts in preparation for future success. To that end, the Central State University Board of Trustees declares to our beloved “Madam President,” mission accomplished! Over the remainder of this academic year we will have designated opportunities for the campus, greater community and the State of Ohio to celebrate the accomplishments of our 8th President of Central State University.
As we continue to evolve from a teaching institution to a teaching and research institution in connection with our status as an 1890 Land Grant Institution, the Board of Trustees embarks on this pivotal moment in the institution’s proud and distinguished history with the goal of hiring a president for Central State University who will move us forward on our mission to academically prepare students with diverse backgrounds and educational needs for leadership and service in an increasingly complex and rapidly changing world.
The Board of Trustees is appointing a Presidential Search Advisory Committee to work with our search consultants, Academic Search, Inc. and the Board in conducting this national search. The 12-member Presidential Search Advisory Committee will be broadly representative and includes representation from the student body, faculty, administration, alumni, members of the community as well as members of the Board of Trustees. The Presidential Search Advisory Committee will be chaired by Trustee Vice Chair Rev. Larry Macon, Jr. Information on the membership of Presidential Advisory Committee will be finalized next week. The Board anticipates the selection of the final candidate in the first quarter of 2020 so as to allow transitional planning prior to the next academic year at Central State.
We specifically want to make all the campus community, alumni, and external constituencies aware that on September 16 and 17, 2019 the Presidential Search Advisory Committee, in conjunction with Academic Search, Inc., will conduct a number of “Listening Sessions” on campus. Faculty, staff, students, community representatives and alumni will be invited to participate in scheduled conversation. This will be an opportunity to express your views as to the skills, experience, character and focus that our new leader should possess. This is not your only opportunity to provide input into the process as a dedicated email address, CentralStatePresident@academicsearch.org has been established for your use. For more information regarding this process, please visit the “Presidential Search” page on our website www.centralstate.edu/presidentialsearch.
As we embark on this very important journey, we look forward to engaging you in a meaningful way to ensure Central State continues to prosper as we select a new leader for our institution.
FOR GOD, FOR CENTRAL, FOR STATE
Mark Hatcher, Esq, Chair
Central State University
Board of Trustees
Central State University is pleased to announce that Dr. Fred Aikens will serve as interim dean of the College of Business, effective immediately.
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
Central State University is pleased to announce that Dr. Fred Aikens will serve as interim dean of the College of Business, effective immediately.
He succeeds Dean Fidelis Ikem, who served in that capacity from 2013 to 2019. Dr. Aikens, a 1988 Central State alumnus, has been a member of the CSU faculty since 2009, and has served as department chair from 2012 to 2018. As chair, Dr. Aikens led the steering committee for accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, receiving accreditation on the first attempt.
Dr. Aikens also developed online courses, served as vice chair of the University Senate, and chair of the Academic Policies Committee. He worked on the Academic Standards Committee and the Institutional Review Board for more than six years. In 2014, Dr. Aikens served as a fellow in the Academic Leadership Program with the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education. In 2018, Dr. Aikens began working as an administrative fellow under the supervision of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Additionally, he is currently a fellow in the American Academic Leadership Institute.
Prior to returning to his alma mater, Dr. Aikens worked with PepsiCo in its restaurant division during the acquisition of Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut restaurants.
He holds a Master of Arts Degree in Management from Antioch University, and a Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership from the University of Phoenix School of Advanced Studies.
Dr. Aikens has been married for 28 years to his wife Theresa, and has two children. He is an active member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Prince Hall Mason, Dayton Unit of the NAACP, and Life Member of the CSU National Alumni Association.
Central State University is delighted and extremely appreciative that Dr. Aikens has agreed to lead the college while a search for a new dean is conducted.
Central State University makes history with $7.1 million in contributions and groundbreaking hemp research
WILBERFORCE, Ohio – Central State University has received more than $7 million in contributions from philanthropist Frank Murphy, University Housing Solutions, SodexoMAGIC.
The historic infusion will support several initiatives announced today by Central State President, Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond that are transforming Ohio’s only 1890 Land-Grant Institution.
Murphy’s $2 million portion of the windfall, the largest donation in Central State’s 132-year history, is earmarked for an endowment, while University Housing Solutions’ $3.2 million of in-kind services will support construction of a 5,000 square foot Wellness Center.
The center is part of the new 103,985 square foot apartment-style student housing complex currently under construction. A new campus innovative living-learning community, the complex will accommodate about 250 students in a traditional and semi-suite style environment, and is expected to open in fall 2019.
Jackson-Hammond said the Murphy gift will also support development of the university’s historic, 14,337 square feet power plant built in 1926 into a student success center.
“These abundantly generous contributions from Frank Murphy and University Housing Solutions will significantly boost our abiding mission of providing a quality student life experience,” said Jackson-Hammond. “Together, with our growing relationship with SodexoMAGIC and our trailblazing hemp research, today’s announcements will provide a constructive and lasting impact on our campus, our community and the state of Ohio.”
The $1.9 million gift from SodexoMAGIC will also help transform the scenic campus. The gift will support a $1.9 million update to university athletic facilities, replacing the university’s grass field with a turf field for football and soccer, and upgrading the track to championship caliber.
Additionally, new collaborations with SodexoMAGIC, partners with CSU since 2007, will provide an innovative new dining option for students, and offer internships and educational opportunities for SodexoMAGIC employees. This collaboration will also target the Central State University College of Business to develop and encourage new experiential learning opportunities for its students.
And SodexoMAGIC will open a Sub Connection sandwich shop in the Speedway service plaza at the intersection of Brush Row Road and US-42.
Jackson-Hammond also announced that CSU has become the only Ohio public university to plant seeds for hemp research. The groundbreaking research, which launched earlier in the month, is expected to assist Ohio farmers in their exploration of alternative crops to diversify and optimize their farm operations.
It is with warm wishes that we congratulate the following individuals on their retirement from Central State University during the 2018-2019 academic year:
Division of Institutional Advancement
Division of Student Affairs & Enrollment Management
Division of Academic Affairs
Dr. Helen Senu-Oke
College of Education
Dr. Kwawisi Tekpetey
College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences 20 years
Dr. Lennard Moses
College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences 35 years
Dr. Omokere Odje
College of Engineering, Science, Technology & Agriculture 38 years
Division of Administration and Finance
We appreciate their dedicated service to the University throughout their tenure! And, we extend our best wishes as they embark upon the next chapter in their lives!
Tornado Assistance Continued from Homepage
Much of the devastated areas are blocked off from public traffic. These sites are still high risk areas and only professional cleanup crews are permitted in these areas. Please do not venture into these areas without permission so that the professionals can effectively complete their work without distractions.
We are working with the American Red Cross of Dayton and will provide assistance as requested. Individual financial donations to approved city or state agencies are always welcomed. The recovery from the tornado will be long and laborious. Central State University will continue to offer prayers for the affected families and support their efforts for a quick and safe recovery.
Route 42 Construction
In a measure to enhance the safety of the pedestrian traffic on US-42 between Central State and Wilberforce University, the State of Ohio will install sidewalks on both sides of the highway
Construction is scheduled to start on May 6 and end by May 31. Attached to this announcement are maps showing alternate routes to CSU that will divert you around the construction.
Please note that the campus gate located between Lionel H. Newsom Administration Building and the National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center will be open from 8 a.m.-6 p.m., M-F during the construction on US-42.
If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact the Central State Police Department at 937-376-6368.
Off of US-35:
Turn right onto Old US-35
Turn left onto Nash
Turn Left onto Wilberforce Switch Rd
Enter into main entrance of CSU campus or turn right and proceed to Campus Dr.
US-42 from Xenia:
Turn left onto Stevenson Rd
Turn right onto Brush Row Rd
Turn left onto Campus Dr. through the campus gate
Central State University announces 2019 Commencement speaker The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, Pastor, and Social Justice Advocate
WILBERFORCE, Ohio – The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, a pastor, social justice advocate, author, former president of the North Carolina Chapter of the NAACP, and a 2018 MacArthur Fellow, will deliver the Central State University 2019 Commencement address. Approximately 200 diplomas will be awarded during the ceremony, which begins at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 4, at the Dayton Convention Center.
Central State University is pleased to announce Barber as the Central State University 2019 Commencement featured speaker. Barber is a distinguished author and social justice advocate who has built a national grassroots movement that crosses race, gender, age, and class lines to address poverty, inequality, and systemic racism. He is a phenomenal orator whose work and ideas inspire and motivate the nation to the greater good.
As pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina (since 1993), and president of the North Carolina conference of the NAACP (2005–2017), Barber approaches social justice through the lens of the ethical and moral treatment of people as laid out in the Christian Bible, the Reconstruction and civil rights movements of the South, and the United States Constitution.
When his work to expand voting rights, healthcare, living wages, immigrant rights, public education, and LGBTQ rights was thwarted by opposing groups and lawmakers in North Carolina, Barber began a series of “Moral Monday” rallies outside of the statehouse in Raleigh to protest laws that suppressed voter turnout, cut funding for public education, healthcare, and further disenfranchised poor white, black, First Nations, and LGBTQ communities. The Moral Mondays rallies and associated nonviolent acts of civil disobedience grew to involve tens of thousands of participants across North Carolina and spread to states across the South. The movement waged successful legal challenges to voter suppression and racial gerrymandering, winning twice at the Supreme Court.
William Barber received a B.A. (1985), from North Carolina Central University, an M.Div. (1989), from Duke University, and a D.Min. (2003), from Drew University. He has also received seven Honorary Doctorates. He is also a distinguished visiting professor at Union Theological Seminary. Barber’s publications include the co-authored books Forward Together: A Moral Message for the Nation (2014), The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of a New Justice Movement (2016), and Revive Us Again: Vision and Action in Moral Organizing (2018). He also is a contributing op-ed writer for The New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, and The Washington Post. Barber is a 2018 MacArthur Fellow, 2018 Tar Heel of the Year, an Auburn Seminary Senior Fellow, and holds the Visiting Social Justice Chair at St. John’s University.
SodexoMagic Contributes $1.3 Million to Central State University’s Sports Complex
SodexoMagic, Central State University’s food service provider, has contributed $1.3 million to the University. The gift will be used for upgrades to the McPherson Memorial Stadium sports complex. The contribution brings the University closer to an estimated funding amount of $2 million for the improvements, which includes a weather-resistant synthetic field and a track surface that will permit year-round collegiate and community activities.
“As a corporate partner with CSU, we’re delighted to make this contribution and support Central State’s efforts in improving their facilities as they continue and serve more students.” “We’re definitely strong believers in CSU’s mission and vision for the future. There’s a special place in our hearts for this University,” said Jeff Ervin, Sodexo district manager.
Central State University also received a $1 million contribution in 2018 from Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Both Mr. Johnson and SodexoMagic are ardent believers in the mission and vision of the University.
“We’re very thankful for the support from Mr. Johnson and SodexoMagic,” said Jahan Culbreath, CSU’s vice-president of Institutional Advancement. When complete, the improvements to the stadium will spur recruitment efforts and benefit countless CSU students and the community for many years to come.
Although this gift is their largest single contribution, SodexoMagic has been a strong supporter since 2007, by advancing student learning through meaningful internships and permanent career opportunities for Central State graduates.
Improvements to the stadium join an impressive list of recent University advancements and upgrades: repaved interior roads and sidewalks; security and IT/wi-fi upgrades; opening of the new CSU Xenia location (YMCA) for community extension services; and the Hallie Q. Brown Library renovation.
The stadium renovations will be completed this fall along with the grand opening of the new Academic/Wellness Center and a 250-bed apartment-style residence hall to accommodate current and projected increases in enrollment. Other initiatives reflecting the continued growth of the University include, the addition of new degree programs in Exercise Science, Agriculture Education, Sustainable Agriculture; the College of Business Summer Banking Institute, and most recently the introduction of the Masters of Business Administration degree program, available fall 2019.
Support Central State University on Giving Tuesday - #GivingTuesdayCSU
What Is Giving Tuesday?
It's a day for giving thanks and giving back. We have two days for getting deals—Black Friday and Cyber Monday; and now we have Giving Tuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, November 27, 2018, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose; to celebrate generosity and to give gifts of support.
Central State University is proud to participate in #GivingTuesday 2018, a global day of giving back. This #GivingTuesday, we ask that you consider supporting one of our unique student, faculty, or program projects on Be A CSU Believer.
What Is A CSU BELIEVER?
This year on #GivingTuesday, Central State University will be dedicating all giving efforts to fundraising projects on Be A CSU Believer, the official crowdfunding platform for Central State University! Be A CSU Believer specifically showcases student, faculty, and/or staff fundraising projects seeking support.
We have 17 CSU Believer teams that support projects from Athletics to Colleges. It is easy to participate, simply click on a team that interests you and join the group to make a difference in the area that matters most to you!
Tuesday, November 27, is NOT just another Tuesday. Please help give the gift of education to the next generation of students, who will go forth and set the world on fire.
Message to Central State University Students
On November 6, 2018, Central State University students will have an opportunity to exercise their inalienable voting right and duty which could change the civic engagement and political space of America’s democracy. Across America, there are numerous incidents of voter suppression where American citizens are fighting vigorously to vote in the upcoming election. Here, in Ohio and specifically, for you, the right to vote requires only that you do it!
Central State University has co-sponsored several voter registration drives; provided voter processes and will provide transportation to the voting poll which is at Wilberforce University. Nothing will be more important in your life and for years to come then the vote that you exercise on November 6th.
I encourage you to VOTE for yourself but also for those in American history who were tortured, killed and suppressed because they wanted to VOTE! I encourage you to VOTE for the thousands upon thousands of American citizens whose right to vote has been denied even today! I encourage you to VOTE in order to actualize the change that you want to see happen today and in the years to come. I encourage you to VOTE because you cannot afford to be a bystander as others decide your destiny.
College students across universities are taking this election very seriously and I know that you are too! Central State University has a Civil Rights history and our commitment to social justice, human dignity and integrity, and voter registration will not be just a memory in history. We continue to look to the current warriors of justice, YOU to continue the legacy.
VOTE as if your life depends on it…because it does!
Earvin “Magic” Johnson donates $1M in support of Central State University
XENIA, Ohio – NBA legend and business mogul Earvin "Magic" Johnson continues to show his dedication to improving the educational opportunities for today's youth with a $1 million donation to Central State University.
Speaking at CSU’s Hall of Fame Luncheon on Friday, Johnson spoke about the importance of giving back.
"It is so important for our young people to move on and get a degree from a quality institution. I love making sure that they receive a quality education and go on to become successful and do great things in our society."
Midway through his public address to the audience of 250 people, Johnson directly addressed CSU President Cynthia Jackson-Hammond with his donation to help provide initiatives designed to promote student success.
Jahan Culbreath, vice president of Institutional Advancement for the university talked about Johnson's gift.
"Magic believes in the mission of our university. His gift shows his commitment to education. We encourage others to join Magic in becoming CSU believers and invest in the future success of our students and institution."
Johnson has a history of supporting and promoting Central State University. In 2008, he served as a guest speaker at CSU's Leadership Speakers Series. In 2015, he was present for the University's official opening of CSU’s University Student Center.
Central State Celebrates Agriculture Teachers For National Teach AG Day
WILBERFORCE, OH. – Over 12,000 agriculture teachers across the nation mentor, motivate, and make a difference in the lives of students each day. For the last nine years, the National Teach Ag Campaign has celebrated the contributions agriculture teachers across the United States make each day in their classrooms with National Teach Ag Day. To commemorate this year’s celebration, the Central State University School of Agricultural Education and Food Science will host a Watch Party on September 20 for any student with an interest in Agricultural Education.
Designed to help address the critical shortage of Ohio agriculture teachers, CSU’s School of Agricultural Education and Food Science was established in 2016. The Agricultural Education degree programs were first offered to students in fall 2017.
Central State’s Agricultural Education Program provides students with the tools needed to succeed in the teaching profession and agricultural related careers. CSU provides instruction in teaching methods, curriculum planning, leadership development and community engagement.
Just recently, the school celebrated a milestone after the Ohio Association of Agricultural Educators (OAAE) named Central State University School of Agricultural Education and Food Science as the Outstanding Post-Secondary Program of 2018.
“Our goal over the past 18 months has been to promote awareness of our program. We have a great opportunity to train and develop a diverse group of students,” says Jon Henry, CSU Director of Agricultural Education. “We provide an accessible and affordable option for traditional and non-traditional students to develop the skills necessary to meet the high demand in agricultural related careers.” National Teach Ag Campaign encourages everyone affiliated with agricultural education to take time to recognize the vast impact agriculture teachers make in the lives of their students. Through the development of life skills, problem solving, and leadership, agriculture teachers help students become entrepreneurs and agriculturalists who will help shape the future of agriculture across the globe.
Anyone can participate in Central State’s School of Ag Ed Watch Party by visiting https://www.naae.org/teachag/webcast/index.cfm On campus, the party will start at 9 a.m. in the Joshua I. Smith Center for Education and Natural Sciences Conference Room.
Central State Experiences Surge In New Student Enrollment
WILBERFORCE, OH. – Central State University has announced that its entering freshmen class enrollment continues to grow. The 2018-22 class boasts over 900 new and transfer students. Central State University strategically focuses on recruiting quality, academically prepared students. Overall increases have resulted from early outreach and cultivation of these students with focused attention on those interested in pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and agriculture.
The 2018 incoming class at 920 are primarily from Ohio with high numbers coming from surrounding regions. Central State University has also tripled its international enrollment since 2014.
Central State has worked diligently to reduce internal costs which has allowed the University to pass savings on to their students.
"The continuing increases in new student enrollment and returning upperclassmen not only indicate an appreciation for the University's efforts to reduce costs, but also the quality of our academic programs and the overall collegiate experience", said Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, Dr. B. Sherrance Russell.
Central State lowered its cost for out of state students by 70% in 2015 and established initiatives to support affordability options for all students.
According to U.S. News & World Report, Central State University is the 3rd Most Affordable four-year public institution in the country. Among Ohio’s 14 public universities, Central State is ranked as the most affordable.
The surge in student enrollment has led to an increased demand for on-campus housing. Central State University is expanding its housing offerings and is in construction of a 250 bed apartment style residence hall that will be home to a state of the art wellness center and also house the new exercise science program. "Our campus is growing and we are investing in residence options that support our students' connection to the campus and amenities," said Vice President for Administration and Finance & CFO Curtis Pettis. The new residence hall will open in fall 2019.
Other factors contributing to the University's growth – Central State is celebrating three years of academic achievements including new academic degree programs in exercise science, agricultural education, and sustainable agriculture. Recently, the University's College of Business Banking Institute Program was just recognized as the top business school program of 2018 by HBCU Digest. Also, Central State University's School of Agricultural Education and Food Science was named the Outstanding Post-Secondary Program of 2018 by the Ohio Association of Agricultural Educators.
"This is an exciting time for CSU," said Central State President Cynthia Jackson-Hammond. "We are growing in many positive ways, including development of broader degree partnerships, international collaborations, and research with global-impact."
"Central State University students and families recognize the tremendous value of higher education and especially the value of a degree from CSU," said Jackson-Hammond. "The return on investment for their time and experience as a Central State University graduate will yield great success in their career options."
2018 at a Glance:
- Higher Learning Commission (HLC) reaffirmation of accreditation, 2023
- College of Business – HBCU Digest Best Business Program of the Year
- Social Work Program – Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education
- School of Agricultural Education and Food Science named OAAE Outstanding Post-Secondary Program
- Established School of Agricultural Education and Food Science
- New B.S. degree program – Agricultural Education
- New B.S. degree program – Exercise Science
- Increase in new student enrollment, highest in 10 years
- Research Sponsored Funding awarded: $12.7M (including $4.06M for research)
- College of Education professor Dr. Rajeev Swami named Supervisor of 2018 by the Ohio Teachers Education Association
- Professor Jeremy Winston, director of the CSU Chorus, earned the Congressional Award for Community Service
- Juan Scott (sophomore) – awarded HBCU Digest Male Athlete of the Year, for accomplishments in Track & Field
Ohio Governor John Kasich Appoints a New Trustee to the Central State University Board of Trustees
WILBERFORCE, OH. – Ohio Governor John Kasich has appointed a Dayton-area non-profit executive to the Central State University Board of Trustees.
Yonathan M. Kebede, Vice President of Operations at Fidelity Health Care, a community/home-base services provider for Premier Health of Dayton, Ohio was appointed to a nine-year term ending in 2027. He will fill a vacant position on the board. His appointment brings the number of trustees to eight plus one newly appointed student trustee Ms. Roshay Timmons.
Yonathan Kebede has served as the Director of Service Integration at Premier Health. During Mr. Kebede’s time with Premier, his responsibilities extended through six institutes: Women’s Health and Emergency and Trauma services, Sports Medicine, Orthopedics, and Cardiovascular. Prior to that, Mr. Kebede’s past experiences included Healthcare consulting, Innovation Projects Management, Process Improvement, Nursing operations management, and physician alignment strategies.
Within the community, Mr. Kebede serves as the Chair of the Logistics Committee on the Dayton’s African American Wellness Walk, and Chair of the Health and Social Services on the Welcome Dayton Committee for City of Dayton.
College of Business named Best Business Program by HBCU Digest; Juan Scott earns Athlete of the Year honors
Central State University was recognized for its strong academic and athletic prowess at the annual HBCU Digest awards as the College of Business earned the distincition of Best Business Program of 2018 while hurdler Juan Scott took home Male Athlete of the Year honors.
Renowned for its training and job placement of Central State students, CSU’s College of Business has instituted a wide variety of programs which includes the Ohio Summer Banking Institute. In partnership with Union Savings Banks and the Ohio Bankers League, the 10-week summer internship program trains and places Central State students in banks around the region.
Juan Scott, a hurdler from Dayton, Ohio, was undefeated in the indoor 60-meter hurdles this past season, culminating with an NCAA Div. II national title in March. In the outdoor season, Scott tallied three victories, finished sixth at nationals in the 110-meter hurdles and earned All-American honors.
HBCU Digest is a national publication dedicated to covering Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
The 2018 HBCU Digest Awards were held at the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland.
Central State University names Dr. B. Sherrance Russell as new Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management
Central State University has announced Dr. B. Sherrance Russell as its new Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.
Dr. Russell will be responsible for expanding and improving the student profile of the University. This includes continuing to improve the processes of enrollment management, student recruiting, selectivity, class quality, and admitting students who are most likely to thrive at CSU. He will also develop an enrollment marketing plan and a new retention plan.
“I am excited to have Dr. Russell join the Central State University team. I am confident that he will work to develop and implement strategic enrollment and retention practices,” says Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, President of Central State University.
Raised in Austin, Texas, Dr. Russell received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in General Business, with a focus on Management at Texas Southern University in 1993. He received a Master of Education degree, with a focus on Urban Education from Langston University in 1999. He is a 2006 graduate of the Urban Higher Education Executive Ph.D. Program at Jackson State University where he was a member of the inaugural cohort.
Dr. Russell is a seasoned higher education professional and has over 25 years of experience in higher education. Dr. Russell previously served as Senior Residence Life Officer at Prairie View A&M University, a position he has held since 2014. From 2010 to 2014, Dr. Russell was the Dean of Enrollment Management and Vice President of Enrollment Management at Huston-Tillotson University where he launched the new Adult Degree Program for working adults. While at Langston University from 1996 to 2006, he served in several capacities including Associate Director of Enrollment Management. Over the course of his career, Dr. Russell has managed more than 10,000 beds in student housing at various colleges and universities.
“I thank President Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, the Board of Trustees and the campus community for granting me this opportunity to make an impact at Central State University. We will continue to be innovative and effective in our efforts to recruit, retain and guide students on their way to graduation,” Dr. Russell said. “I strongly believe in the mission of Central State University and the role we play in providing opportunities for students to improve on their quality of life. Our goal is to continue to help future students achieve their educational goals at this great institution. For God, for Central, for State!”
Dr. Russell is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and served as Chief of Staff for the 22nd Southwestern Regional Vice President. In addition, he received his license in ministry in January 1999 and was ordained by the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.
Dr. Russell will assume his new role at Central State University on July 1.
Central State University among Ohio’s 14 public universities adding billions to economy
Economic Impact Study shows $42 billion in income was added
Columbus, Ohio — Central State University was recently included in an economic impact study conducted for the Inter-University Council of Ohio (IUC) indicating that the state’s public universities, their students, and regional alumni added $42 billion in income to the state economy in 2016-17. The $42 billion figure represents about 6.7 percent of Ohio’s total gross state product.
Conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists International (Emsi) in Moscow, Idaho, the study demonstrates how the value of public universities in Ohio positively influences both the lives of students and the state’s economy. The 14 universities serve a range of industries in Ohio, support local businesses and benefit society as a whole from an expanded economy and improved quality of life. The benefits also extend to the state government through increased tax revenues and public-sector savings.
The universities’ $42 billion of economic impact supported 558,841 jobs in 2016-17. That means one of every 12 jobs in Ohio is supported by the activities of universities and their students.
“As a driver of the economy, the impact that public universities have in Ohio is undeniable,” said Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, President of Central State University. “Our economic focus at Central State is to develop and contribute to a high performing workforce, continue to seek innovative ways to build business partnerships and to drive economic vitality that benefits the University and local communities.”
The study makes clear that whether from a student perspective, a taxpayer perspective or a social perspective, higher education’s return on investment is solid. The study reports, for example, that students at Ohio’s public universities realize a 13.7 percent return on their investment – or $4.60 in future earnings for every $1 a student spends on tuition, supplies and opportunity costs.
“When it comes right down to it, Ohio’s public universities are one of the best investments available,” said IUC president Bruce Johnson. “University graduates benefit from a significant earnings premium. Public universities generate more tax dollars than they take. They create and retain wealth. And they perform better than the stock market. These are compelling reasons why supporting higher education should be a public policy priority in Ohio.”
The benefits to students are reflected largely in increased earnings over a lifetime. Benefits to taxpayers consist primarily of taxes paid to state government and used to benefit the state. Taxpayers realize additional benefits in the form of reduced costs incurred by the state to pay for healthcare, crime, and unemployment.
For additional information about benefits provided by Ohio public universities, please visit - https://forwardohio.org/.
About the Study
Data and assumptions used in the study are based on several sources, including the FY 2016-17 academic and financial reports from the public universities of Ohio, industry and employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau, outputs of Emsi’s Multi-Regional Social Accounting Matrix model, and a variety of studies and surveys relating education to social behavior. The study applies a conservative methodology and follows standard practice using only the most recognized indicators of investment effectiveness and economic impact. For a full description of the data and approach used in the study, please contact IUC for a copy of the full report.
Emsi is a leading provider of economic impact studies and labor market data to educational institutions, workforce planners, and regional developers in the United States and internationally. Since 2000, Emsi has completed more than 1,80 economic impact studies for educational institutions in four countries. Visit www.economicmodeling.co for more information about Emsi’s products and services.
Central State’s School of Agricultural Education and Food Science named OAAE Outstanding Post-Secondary Program of 2018
The Ohio Association of Agricultural Educators (OAAE) has named Central State University’s School of Agricultural Education and Food Science as the Outstanding Post-Secondary Program of 2018.
“We are continuing to build Central State University’s reputation as a great destination for students interested in agricultural education. The recognition by the OAAE signifies that we have successfully established the credibility of our program with the agricultural education professionals in the state of Ohio,’ says Jon Henry, CSU Director of Agricultural Education.
Designed to help address the critical shortage of Ohio agriculture teachers, CSU’s School of Agricultural Education and Food Science was established in 2016. The Agricultural Education degree programs were first offered to students last fall.
CSU’s Agricultural Education Program provides students with the tools needed to succeed in the teaching profession and related careers. CSU provides instruction in teaching methods, curriculum planning, leadership development and community engagement.
Students also gain hands-on experience in an off-campus, 12-week student teaching experience in a high school agricultural education program. Multidisciplinary coursework also includes agribusiness, animal science, horticulture, soils, agricultural machines, grain crops and natural resources.
“Our goal over the past 18 months has been to promote awareness of our program. We have a great opportunity to train and develop a diverse group of students,” Henry says. “We provide an accessible and affordable option for traditional and non-traditional students to develop the skills necessary to meet the high demand in agricultural related careers.”
CSU will be recognized at the 2018 OAAE Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, June 13 at the Ohio 4-H Center in Columbus. In addition, CSU also qualifies for consideration as the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE).
The OAAE is recognized by students, agricultural educators, and stakeholders as proactive leaders in Agricultural Education. The OAAE is committed to positively impacting, promoting, and developing professional interests of agricultural educators for the benefit of our students.
Central State University garners five finalist nominations from HBCU Digest
Central State University has been nationally recognized for excellence by earning final consideration in five award categories by HBCU Digest.
Finalists were selected from a field consisting of 700 nominations from across the country.
The University is once again in the running for HBCU of the Year. Earning 2017 HBCU of the Year recognition, Central State hopes to become the first institution to be named HBCU of the Year in consecutive years.
The recipient of the HBCU Female President of the Year award in 2016, CSU President Cynthia Jackson-Hammond returns for the 2018 edition seeking to become the first two-time winner of the individual award.
Presidents and University finalists have been selected by HBCU Digest based on the level of outstanding leadership, academic success rate, collaboration between the administration, faculty and staff and the overall progression of the institution.
Renowned for its training and job placement of Central State students in banks around the region, CSU’s Ohio Summer Banking Institute is nominated in the category of Best Business Program.
Professor Jeremy Winston is a finalist for Male Faculty Member of the Year. In March, Winston was presented the Black History Month Congressional Award for Community Service from Ohio Congressman Mike Turner. Winston, who directs the CSU Chorus, earned the state-level recognition by being a positive contributor to his community while molding the next generation of music professionals and creating music at a world-class level.
Juan Scott, a sophomore hurdler, is a finalist for Male Athlete of the Year. Scott was undefeated in the indoor 60 meter hurdles this season, culminating with a NCAA Div. II national title in March. In the outdoor season, Scott tallied three victories, finished sixth at nationals in the 110 meter hurdles and earned All-American honors.
HBCU Digest is a national publication dedicated to covering Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
The 2018 HBCU Digest Awards will be held on June 22 at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel beginning at 6 pm. Tickets may be purchased online on HBCU Digest Ticket page
For details on discounted hotel rates, visit Passkey.com's Site.
Central State University’s 2018 HBCU Digest Annual Award Finalists:
2018 Historically Black College/University of the Year
Central State University
2018 Female President of the Year
Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond
Best Business Program
Central State University Ohio Summer Banking Institute
Male Faculty Member of the Year
Jeremy Winston – Central State University
Male Athlete of the Year
Juan Scott – Central State University
Ohio Bankers League Joins Union Savings Bank to Expand Central State University’s Banking Industry Program
WILBERFORCE, OH - A unique Central State University career-development program for Ohio’s banking industry has received a significant endorsement from Ohio’s leading trade association for banks and thrifts.
The Summer Banking Institute 2018, which started as a partnership between Central State and Union Savings Bank, now has a third partner - the Ohio Bankers League, which represents 230 banks in Ohio. The 10-week summer internship program, which trains and then places Central State students in banks around the region, now offers more bank placements and year-round employment.
Michael Adelman, President and CEO of the Ohio Bankers League, said, “A lot of banks are saying we don’t have young people in the community who want to take up this career. The Summer Banking Institute looks like a great opportunity to give a flavor of what banking looks like.” He said the program’s structure is what makes it unique because “students are being brought into a classroom setting to really ensure they have a baseline knowledge of banking and then we take that cohort of students into a bank.”
On Monday, this year’s program began with 23 students, which is a little more than double the number of participants from last year. After four weeks in the classroom, the students will complete a six-week internship at one of seven participating banks around Southwest Ohio.
In the classroom, students are exposed to different functions of the bank such as Marketing, Accounting, Mortgage Lending, Commercial Lending, and Retail Banking among other topics. Upon completion of the program, they are awarded college internship credit plus a certificate in Universal Banking.
The participating banks are:
- Union Savings Bank
- Guardian Savings Bank
- The Park National Bank of Southwest Ohio & Northern Kentucky
- 1st National Bank
- Peoples Bank
- Monroe Federal
The program addresses a critical Ohio workforce need. Evan Kleymeyer, Executive Director of the Ohio Bankers Foundation, said currently Ohio has about 60,000 bankers, but the expectation is that 20,000 of those positions will become available over the next 10 years. The Foundation works on issues of financial literacy and building the next generation of bankers. He said two issues they see in the industry are a slow pipeline and a need for more diversity.
“We love the (CSU) program and we think it makes sense for our members,” Kleymeyer said. “Our vision is eventually we could have 100 kids going through the program every year.”
The innovative program, which is a great example of a public-private partnership, was the idea of Louis Beck, chairman of Union Savings Bank, whose branches serve Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. Year one results were so positive that Beck scaled up the program by soliciting the involvement of the Bankers League so more CSU students could be placed as interns. “I give credit to Louis,” said Dr. Fidelis Ikem, Dean of the CSU College of Business. “As this program grows, we could become a center for training future bank employees for the state of Ohio and Louis Beck has been a major part of driving toward this goal.”
Beck said, "Union Savings Bank & Guardian Savings Bank are excited about the Ohio Bankers League's support of the Central State University 2018 Summer Banking Institute. We approached OBL about this collaboration because it allows more students to experience working in the banking industry and it has the potential to lead to increased diversity. Our vision is that the CSU College of Business becomes the institution for the best banking talent in the state of Ohio."
Adelman said this program makes sense for his membership because roughly half of Ohio Bankers League members are small community banks with $100 million in assets or smaller. But banks are an important lifeblood for a community. “Show me a town that has a good strong bank and that is a healthy community,” Adelman said.
Of the nine participants last year, seven were hired permanently to work at various Union Savings Bank locations. Sharonda McDaniel, a senior accounting major, said she had not considered a banking career before her participation in the Summer Banking Institute last year. Today, she works part-time in the Union Savings Xenia branch. “I learned so much about credit, interest rates, the federal reserve. The four weeks in class were the best part. If we had just jumped into the industry, I would have been lost,” McDaniel said.
Dr. Ikem said, “We’re really excited. I am more excited about the future potential this has for students and for Central State and we’re delighted to be a part of addressing a need in our community.”
Central State University Works Collaboratively with Ohio’s Public Universities to Close Degree Attainment Gap
WILBERFORCE, OH – Central State University, one of Ohio’s 14 institutions of higher education, is working collaboratively with public and private sectors to provide quality educational opportunities that support workforce development. “Higher education degree attainment is the catalyst for innovation, creativity, economic security and sustaining an informed citizenry,’’ said Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, president of Central State University.
Central State joins other sister public institutions in a collaborative effort, launched today, called Forward Ohioto mobilize energies in ensuring higher education is a public policy imperative for state government. “Central State University believes that the Ohio ‘talent gap,’ is of concern but can be mitigated by providing an outstanding education for students in order to strengthen the workforce,” Dr. Jackson-Hammond said.
Studies indicate that about 66 percent of jobs in Ohio in 2025 will require postsecondary certificates or above. Currently, just 44 percent of working-age Ohioans have these credentials. Given the fact that Ohio public universities produce the majority of skilled workers in the state, maintaining a strong system of public higher education is essential to closing this gap and meeting the economic and workforce needs of our business community.
Central State’s new agricultural education degree, designed to address a critical shortage of Ohio ag teachers, is an example of new degrees the University is offering to meet Ohio’s needs. The Summer Banking Institute, which trains CSU students for jobs in Ohio’s banking industry, is an exemplary public-private partnership that will yield dividends for Ohio’s workforce. As Ohio’s most affordable four-year institution, the quality and value Central State provides to all students is an indication of CSU’s commitment to provide access to Ohio citizens. All of Ohio’s public universities stand united in our quest to educate and graduate students so they are better prepared for thriving careers in Ohio.
Forward Ohio’s information portal at http://forwardohio.org/illustrates how all of Ohio’s public universities are addressing the attainment gap and providing significant value to the state. It also provides evidence on the critical need for more skilled workers and how enhanced state investment and policy reforms can further assist public universities in closing the attainment gap.
According to a recent poll, 85 percent of Ohioans agree that a four-year degree from a public university in Ohio prepares students for a good job in today’s economy. “I encourage Ohio citizens to stand with me and my fellow public university presidents as advocates for a strong and productive system of public higher education in Ohio, for the benefit of our students, our economy and our state,” said Dr. Jackson-Hammond.
Thurgood Marshall College Fund Appoints CSU President Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond to Board of Directors
Washington, D.C. – The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) Board Chairman Jim Clifton announced the addition of Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, President, Central State University, to the TMCF Board of Directors.
Recognizing the importance of having more HBCU subject matter experts to help lead the 31-year-old organization into the future, the decision was made to identify leaders from the HBCU community at large to bring the expertise and first-hand perspective to TMCF’s diverse Board of Directors. Dr. Kent J. Smith, Jr., President, Langston University, was also appointed to the TMCF board.
“Our board is proud to have Dr. Hammond and Dr. Smith join the TMCF family because we know they appreciate the work we do as an organization and will work to find ways to make TMCF an even better partner in advocacy, scholarships and capacity building for our 47 member-schools,” said Jim Clifton, TMCF board Chair and Chairman and CEO of Gallup.
Dr. Jackson-Hammond is the eighth president of Central State University where she is recognized as an innovative leader expanding course offerings and infrastructure for the students. She earned a Doctorate of Higher Education from Grambling State University, an Education Specialist degree in counseling education and a Master’s degree in communications from the University of Louisiana-Monroe, and a Bachelor’s degree from Grambling State University in English and communications. Hammond was recently awarded HBCU Digest’s Female President of the Year for her bold leadership.
“I am pleased to serve on the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Board of Directors, said Dr. Hammond.” “I look forward to contributing to the strong advocacy and support for countless students, which has been the hallmark of TMCF’s tremendous success!”
TMCF president and CEO, Dr. Harry L. Williams, said, “As a former college president who also served on our board, I found the experience to be incredibly rewarding. I know Dr. Hammond and Dr. Smith well, and am confident their perspectives as HBCU presidents, being so connected to our students and faculty, will prove to be invaluable to our TMCF Board of Directors.”
About Thurgood Marshall College Fund:
Established in 1987, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. TMCF member-schools include publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs). Publicly-supported HBCUs enroll over 80% of all students attending HBCUs. Through scholarships, capacity building and research initiatives, innovative programs, and strategic partnerships, TMCF is a vital resource in the K-12 and higher education spaces. The organization is also a source for top employers seeking top talent for competitive internships and good jobs.
TMCF is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, charitable organization. For more information about TMCF, visit: www.tmcf.org.
Central State Introduces Next Generation of Campus Living with $24M
WILBERFORCE, OH. – Central State University took another solid step into the future after breaking ground for a $24M Residential/Academic/Wellness Center.
Students were introduced to the next generation of campus living- a complex where students can live, focus on exercise and wellness, and take classes. The apartment-like facility, which will be the first of its kind on campus, offers new choices for students starting August, 2019.
Curtis Pettis, Vice President for Administration and CFO, said this “groundbreaking is yet another step in the continued renaissance of Central State.”
CSU President Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond said, “I just want you all to celebrate. This is a wonderful day of new beginnings.” She said we are here “to celebrate something grand that we offer to our students. We are a university of innovation. We are a university focused on moving forward. We are a university focused on being progressive.”
About 80 people, including students, alumni, city officials and faculty and staff, attended the April 27 ceremony. Kristin Johnson, president of the Student Government Association, asked all the students to stand during the ceremony. “We are about to…do something exciting for this University,” she said.
The complex is being built by University Housing Solutions, a Columbus-based student housing development company. A long-time business collaborator with the University, UHS built the Harry G. Johns Living Learning Center and John R. Fox Hall in 2011. In addition, last fall UHS donated in-kind services close to $1M to help revitalize Williamson Hall, another residence hall on campus.
James Schmidt, president of UHS, said the company is excited to be able to partner with Central State again and to be a part of this new residential project. UHS will own the facility and lease it back to the University. The 250-bed facility will feature studio, one-, two- and four-bedroom apartments, along with a state-of-the-art health and wellness center, a health café and an outdoor activity space.
Mark Hatcher, Esq., chair of the Central State University Board of Trustees, said, he was excited to be in attendance because “Central State is entering into an era of prosperity and you all will be a part of that.”
Thirty-Three Elite Central State Students Awarded Presidential Scholarships
WILBERFORCE, OH. – More than $50,000 in scholarships were awarded to Central State University students pursuing Manufacturing Engineering or Environmental Engineering degrees as a part of program to develop a highly qualified agriculture/engineering applicant pool.
Central State, part of the Ohio Land-Grant system, presented scholarships to 33 students on Tuesday, April 24, in a ceremony held on campus. The scholarships represent excellence in engineering and the promise of greatness in the students. The students ranged from sophomore to seniors. “Through my hard work and perseverance I appreciate being recognized for my achievements,” said Bobby Gist, a junior majoring in manufacturing engineering.
The funding is part of a $2M grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service to support the development of a diverse student agriculture/engineering applicant pool for NRCS and the United States Department of Agriculture. The departments support the integration of disciplines that apply engineering science and technology to agricultural production, conservation, and processing.
Dr. Morakinyo A.O. Kuti, Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research, said, “These scholarships are investments by Central State and the Natural Resources Conservation Service to increase the human capital, particularly underrepresented minorities, necessary to provide food and to conserve natural resources in the United States and globally. Scholarship awards were made to scholars with a demonstrated a level of academic excellence.” Alisha Helm, a sophomore environmental engineering major is taking 18 credit hours this semester. She believes the hard work has been worth it. “I’m overjoyed,” Helm said. “This recognition motivates me to work even harder.”
The grant has three components:
- Scholarships for undergraduate students engaged in agriculture/engineering science disciplines.
- Pre-College outreach pipeline programs to support the goal of producing students with integrated knowledge and experience.
- Participation of students, faculty, and staff at conferences and experiential learning events that support the agricultural sustainability, natural resources conversation, and agricultural production.
The selection of the Presidential scholars generally is made on a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and above. Close to one-third of the scholars are female.
Central State University to Build State-of-the-Art Residential/Academic/Wellness Complex
WILBERFORCE, OH. – Central State University will build its first apartment-style residence hall to give students more on-campus housing options.
The complex, which will feature studio, one-, two- and four-bedroom apartments, will also feature a state-of-the-art health and wellness center, a wellness plaza and an outdoor activity space. The amenities will provide new housing solutions for students who want to stay on campus to live, learn and grow.
The 250-bed facility will be located behind McPherson Stadium and will create an anchor and public face on the east part of the campus. It will be the largest single residential facility to date. The most recent dorms added were the Harry Johns Living Learning Center and Fox Hall, both built in 2011.
“Our campus is growing and we are glad to make this investment for our students so that students can have different living options that keep them connected to the campus and other campus amenities, said Curtis Pettis, Vice President for Administration and Finance & CFO.
Currently 1,221 CSU students, or 70 percent of enrolled students, live in University housing. The University is leasing apartment-style spaces from Payne Theological Seminary and the Greene Meadows Apartment complex for 30 juniors and seniors.
The planned health & wellness center will include two classrooms that can be used as additional academic space for the University’s Exercise Science major and rooms for exercise classes. A Health café, where food and beverages will be sold, will be located there.
Jahan Culbreath, Vice President of Institutional Advancement & Athletics, said the new Wellness Center “empowers the CSU family and community to focus on health, wellness, and fitness, while providing hands-on space for the Exercise Science program.”
The new complex will be built by University Housing Solutions (UHS), which specializes in developing living/learning communities on university campuses. According to UHS, the Ohio-based company has planned, designed and built more than 2,500 beds within the past six years. UHS was the contractor that built the Harry Johns Living Learning Center and Fox Hall.
Cost of the project is $24M. UHS will own the residence hall and lease it back to the University. A groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Friday, April 27.
Montgomery County and Central State University Will Collaborate to Develop a Smart Water Distribution Model
WILBERFORCE, OH - Central State University, Ohio’s 1890 Land-Grant Institution, will assist Montgomery County officials in continuing its mission to supply high quality water 24/7 to the region.
The University is entering into a two-year memorandum of understanding with Montgomery County to collaborate on the development of a Smart Water Distribution and Wastewater Collection model across the Montgomery County System. The $400,000 deal between Montgomery County and Central State includes a $200,000 match from the University. On Tuesday, April 10, Montgomery County Commissioners approved the resolution for the MOU.
The partnership will also promote projects, initiatives, and collaborations that focus on Water Resource Management, Health/Food/Exercise, Workforce Development and Advanced Agricultural Technologies. The University will utilize the expertise of its International Center for Water Resources Management, which has addressed both global and statewide water quality challenges. The Center was the first of its kind in Ohio and among all Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
“Central State is committed to collaborating with municipalities to share best practices and opportunities that will enrich the student experience and drive research and economic initiatives for communities,” said Dr. Alton Johnson, Dean, College of Engineering, Science, Technology, and Agriculture and Director, 1890 Land-Grant Programs. “We are excited our University will play a key role in Montgomery County’s water distribution strategies as we increasingly institutionalize both our research and our economic development mandates.” University and research collaboration is a critical part of the Land-Grant mission. Late last year, Central State entered into a partnership with the City of Trotwood to provide agricultural research and Extension activities.
This new agreement will enable both organizations to promote further dialogue and coordination in the areas of research in agricultural, food sciences, and water resources for students and researchers. The MOU is through April 30, 2020.
The Impact of Increasing Diversity and Inclusion in the Field of Economics
April 6, 2018 - WILBERFORCE, OHIO - Dr. Loretta J. Mester, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, delivered a pragmatic and yet visionary message at Central State University focused on the necessity of inclusiveness in the field of Economics.
"I like to think of economics as a social science that helps us think about how people use scarce resources," Dr. Mester said during her keynote address on April 4 at the L.E.E.D. Conference, hosted by the College of Business.
L.E.E.D., which stands for Leaders, Executives, Entrepreneurs and Directors, is a two-day annual event focused on providing a networking opportunity for business majors to share substantive practical knowledge in planning, teamwork and decision-making.
Dr. Mester's speech was filled with facts, figures and statistics. But she also shared anecdotes from her own life with more than 250 students, business leaders and industry attendees.
She said she 'lucked' into the field through the recommendation from two Princeton professors who thought she could use her math degree to gain a leg-up in the Ph.D. program at Princeton University.
"It has provided me with a fascinating career, and I hope that at least in a small way I’ve been able to provide some good in return through economic research and policymaking," Dr. Mester said. "Economics has many real-world applications," she stated. "It can help us understand the issues facing people in or entering the workforce and provide evidence on which programs are most effective at helping them finance their education, develop new skills, and manage the changing job landscape driven by technological innovation."
Dr. Mester was emphatic in her message that a more diverse Federal Reserve makes better policy.
"I have seen firsthand how having a diversity of views expressed and discussed around the table can actually lead to better policy decisions, and there is actual research to back this up," said Dr. Mester. “When a more diverse group is at the table making policy, she said, it helps avoid "group-think."
Today only about a third of women are choosing to major in economics as compared to their male counterparts, while the rate for minorities is about half that of white students, she said. But not only is the field of economics missing out on the diversity of thought, ideas and solutions, but minority students are losing out on a degree that provides lucrative career opportunities immediately upon graduation.
One recent study found that those with a bachelor's degree in economics earn about 20 percent more than graduates with degrees in other fields. Some of the salary differences reflect the fact that economics majors have access to a wide variety of occupations, many of which are higher-paying.
Dr. Fidelis Ikem, Dean of the College of Business, understands the opportunities for students studying economics. The College is working to develop a concentration in agricultural economics to meet the increasing demands for this field in Ohio.
"We think this program will go hand-in-hand with our agribusiness program," said Dr. Ikem. "Our students love challenges and this will be a great challenge and complement to their business degree."
Remi Lambirth, a sophomore sustainable agriculture major, asked about the current trade dispute with China. Secretary Perdue said he had spoken to President Donald Trump and President Trump told him, "Sonny I want you to assure our farmers out there that we will not let them be the victim of a trade dispute."
Frederick Hayes, Jr., a senior who is also Mr. CSU, said after leading a tour of campus for Secretary Perdue, "He actually seemed like a very down-to-earth person."
“It’s been a pleasure having him here," Hayes said. "I hope he gained a lot of insight into the University."
U. S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue Visits Central State University to Promote Agricultural Careers and Research
April 5, 2018 - WILBERFORCE, OHIO - U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue came to Central State University on Thursday, April 5, to evangelize about the varied careers in the Agriculture Industry, saying “the future of agriculture is bright.”
By the time he left, he was even more convinced of that after talking with about 20 Central State students during a roundtable discussion.
Perdue brought his “Back to Our Roots” RV Tour to Central State, Ohio’s only 1890 Land-Grant University. During the Secretary’s visit, he also spoke to faculty researchers on the myriad of research projects faculty and student researchers are working on. “The thing about Land-Grant Universities is they solve problems for real-world issues,” Secretary Perdue said.
Central State University President Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond said, since the University became a Land-Grant Institution in 2014, “We are the baby” of the 1890 Land-Grant Institutions. But she said, “we act, we think, we strategically plan as if we are the senior of the 1890 institutions.”
As an 1890 Land-Grant University, Central State’s focus on teaching, research and extension is centered on student development, cutting-edge research and providing critical knowledge to farmers and urban and rural communities. Signature research activities focus on Water Resources; Food, Health and Nutrition; and Advanced Agricultural Technologies.
Secretary Perdue talked about agricultural issues facing Ohio and other states, such as the problem of algal blooms, the need to do a better job with nutrient management and how to make the nation’s supply of food more affordable and healthy. The USDA is “vast, broad, it’s wide and deep. I would love for you all to look at the USDA as a career,” he said.
Mairah Gill-Pillow, a senior biology major, working on a research project using directed energy weed control, asked Secretary Perdue, “What is your advice for women in Agriculture?” Secretary Perdue replied, “the good thing is agriculture is not gender specific.”
Remi Lambirth, a sophomore sustainable agriculture major, asked about the current trade dispute with China. Secretary Perdue said he had spoken to President Donald Trump and President Trump told him, “Sonny I want you to assure our farmers out there that we will not let them be the victim of a trade dispute.”
Frederick Hayes, Jr., a senior who is also Mr. CSU, said after leading a tour of campus for Secretary Perdue, “He actually seemed like a very down-to-earth person.”
“It’s been a pleasure having him here,” Hayes said. “I hope he gained a lot of insight into the University.”
Leaders, Executives, Entrepreneurs, and Directors Program
WILBERFORCE, OH - LEED is an annual program presented by the Central State University College of Business to promote a networking environment for the students. Leaders, Executives, Entrepreneurs, and Directors convey their practical and substantive knowledge with the schools most prized assets, our students.
The photo is of LEED Keynote Speaker Dr. Loretta Mester, Central State University President Cynthia Jackson-Hammond and Union Savings Bank CEO Louis Beck in Wilberforce, Ohio at the April 4, 2018 event.
Central State University Celebrates Student Academic Excellence during its 2018 Honors Day Convocation
WILBERFORCE, OH - More than 325 Central State University students will be recognized for outstanding academic achievement during the University’s Annual Honors Day Convocation on Tuesday, April 3, 2018.
All students honored have a 3.2 grade point average or above. Class Honors will be given to those with GPAs up to 3.49 and College Honors will be giving to those with GPAs of 3.5 and above. This year’s theme is “Above and Beyond in the Pursuit of Excellence.”
The event, which begins at 10 am, will take place in the Paul Robeson Cultural & Performing Arts Center. The public is invited to attend.
This year’s class of honors students in the largest in the past two years. High achieving seniors receive special Gold Cord Honors. The person in each class with the highest GPA is recognized as a Top Scholar.
The 2017 Top Scholars are:
- Mr. Daniel Ntakiyinanira, Columbus, OH, Senior Class Scholar
- Ms. Arame Diouf, Dakar, Senegal, Junior Class Scholar
- Mr. Jehan Wagenaar, Xenia, OH, Sophomore Class Scholar
- Ms. Jazlyn Visor, Carmel, IN, Freshman Class Scholar
Ms. Diouf, the Junior Class Scholar, has been the top scholar of her class for the past two consecutive years. Mr. Wagenaar, the Sophomore Class Scholar, is a College Credit Plus student attending Central State.
Two Central State Students Receive a Leadership Award for Spearheading a Letter-Writing Campaign
WILBERFORCE, OH. – Two Central State University students received youth leadership awards from the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument for spearheading a letter-writing campaign in support of recognition for Colonel Young.
The Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park may be 2,300 miles away in California’s southern Sierra Nevada mountains, but the impact that Colonel Young made there in the summer of 1903 is still being remembered today. A California Assemblyman is sponsoring an effort to rename a road leading into the park for Colonel Young, the namesake of the National Monument located in Wilberforce. Through the efforts of Kristin Johnson and Sydney Johnson, more than 180 letters were written and sent in support of that effort.
On March 15, the two students received the Brandon Billips Youth Service Leadership Award, named after Billips, who was a CSU graduate and the first intern at the Charles Young Monument. The event was a celebration of Colonel Young’s 154th birthday. Also, Attorney Benjamin L. Crump received one of two Trail Blazer Awards.
Dr. Joy G. Kinard, Superintendent of the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument, said the two sisters received the honor because their volunteer-efforts exceeded expectations.
Both work at the Charles Young Monument. After hearing about the campaign, the two built a strategy to solicit as many letters as possible. Sydney Johnson, a CSU Junior, said it was fun “creating a small piece of history.” More than half of the 180 letters came from CSU students and employees, she said.
Colonel Young was the first African American superintendent of a national park. He also was the third African American man to graduate with his commission from the US Military Academy at West Point. While commanding a black company at the Presidio of San Francisco, Young received orders to take his troops to Sequoia National Park. Their task - complete the first road to the Giant Forest, making the grove with giant sequoia trees easily accessible for the first time. On the day the road opened, modern tourism began in Sequoia National Park, according to the Park.
Sydney Johnson said it was an honor to receive the award. “I was more humbled by the award not because of the task I was given..but because I was given an award named after Brandon Billips. He created such a love for me of Central State University,” she said. Also at the March 15 event, the University’s Student Government Association was named Volunteer of the Year for helping to recruit student volunteers for the National Monument, and Mr. Gorgui Ndao was named Volunteer Educator of the Year for his work with the Seed to Bloom Ag-STEM Institute Camp. Cadets from CSU’s Marauder Battalion were also recognized for helping out at a Buffalo Soldiers Pep Rally during Black History Month.
Congressman Mike Turner Presents Black History Month Congressional Award for Community Service to Central State University Chorus Director Jeremy Winston
GERMANTOWN, OH. - This weekend, Congressman Mike Turner (OH-10) presented the Black History Month Congressional Award for Community Service to Central State University Professor Jeremy Winston.
“Jeremy’s talented voice is critical to our community,” said Congressman Turner. “His leadership at Central State University as the Chorus Director is shaping the next generation of Miami Valley’s minds. I am proud to recognize his service by presenting him with the third annual Black History Month Congressional Award for Community Service.”
Winston, who is assistant professor of music and CSU Chorus director, said, “This honor is special to me because I take it as an endorsement of my commitment to the work of educating the population of students at Central State University.” He continued by saying, “This education comes in the form of music-making at a world-class level. With our group of dedicated musicians and leaders, I know that we can capture the imagination and admiration of Ohio, the nation, and the world.”
Winston joined Central State University in 2013 and assumed leadership of the world-renowned CSU Chorus to continue its legacy of excellence in choral music. The 45-member choir has performed at the White House and abroad at the Vatican, throughout China and across Europe, where they performed for sold-out audiences including in Prague, Czech Republic with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra.
“We are pleased that Congressman Turner selected Mr. Winston as the recipient of this award,” said Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, president of Central State University. “Mr. Jeremy Winston is an outstanding conductor and musical maestro of extraordinary talent! To have this distinguished musician of international acclaim is of immense value to our students, the CSU community and to the professional profile of the University.”
The Chorus appears on several Telarc International CD recordings: The Best of Erich Kunzel, Gershwin Centennial Edition, Play Ball, Blue Monday, Porgy and Bess, and Amen: A Gospel Celebration which was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1994. In January 2015, they were invited by Governor John Kasich to perform at his inauguration.
“Like Mr. Winston, Central State University has a wide array of co-curricular programs designed to educate, build leadership, cultivate talents and develop team camaraderie,” said Jackson-Hammond. “We are so fortunate to have his talents shared with young musical aspirants.”
The Chorus is set to release a live-recorded CD this year to include its most requested song, “Total Praise,” and songs from well-known movies such as Porgy and Bess, Dreamgirls, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Ray.
Central State University, based in Wilberforce, Ohio, is an 1890 regionally accredited Land-Grant University with two Ohio Centers of Excellence in Emerging Technologies and in Fine and Performing Arts. U.S. News and World Report has ranked the University the third most affordable University nationwide for out-of-state students and it is the most affordable University in Ohio.
131 Charter Day Convocation
More than 700 people Celebrated Central State University during its Annual Charter Day Convocation
For 131 years, Central State University has stood as a bright shining light of hope for thousands of students. During Tuesday’s Charter Day Convocation, Speaker Cook County Commissioner Richard R. Boykin challenged more than 700 people to use that light to set the world on fire.
“This has been our house for 131 years. This has been our home. I encourage you to let your light shine,” Boykin said. “I challenge you today to light your candle and set the world on fire.”
At the Charter Day Convocation, Central State paused to reflect on over a century of academic excellence and on molding students into productive professionals. Faculty, staff, students, alumni and members of the community celebrated the University’s rich history and future vision.
“This is a place where you can develop things you never dreamed of,” said 2018 Alumni Achievement Hall of Fame Inductee William H. Wiley.
Alumna Lisa Peterson, who also was inducted into the Alumni Achievement Hall of Fame, said, “I am only a leader or a success story because of Central State University.”
Seven CSU alumni were inducted into the Alumni Achievement Hall of Fame. They were:
- Mr. Gonzalo J. Rodriguez, Sr., deceased, Class of 1952. He was faculty manager where he successfully operated and managed the Central State University Bookstore for 26 years. Mr. Rodriguez became affectionately known as “Mr. Bookstore."
- Mr. David A. Lister, deceased, Class of 1962. He supported his alma mater on many levels throughout the years. His legacy and inspiration led to three subsequent generations of family members to follow his path by attending and graduating from Central State.
- Mr. William H. Wiley, Richton Park, IL., Class of 1963. Mr. Wiley has been involved with the Central State Chicago Alumni Chapter for almost 50 years. He has been instrumental in leading a class that has exhibited for 54 years a sense of giving back to Central State. The class of 1963, under his leadership, has raised more money during the classes in reunion campaign than any other class.
- Colonel Brad M. Beasley, Atlanta, GA., Class of 1973. After completing his studies at CSU, Colonel Beasley served as a U.S. Army Officer for more than 25 years. He is Airborne and Ranger qualified and attended the United States Army Command and General Staff College and the United States Army War College. During his Army career, he commanded at the Company, Battalion and Brigade levels of leadership.
- Ms. Deborah Perkins, Chicago, IL., Class of 1973. A Central State University Foundation Trustee, Ms. Perkins is the past president of the Chicago Alumni Chapter. During her tenure as president from 1997 to 2004, membership grew from 15 paid members to more than 200 paid members. She has recruited more than 500 students to attend Central State. She not only has recruited them, she has assisted them in getting financial assistance to complete their years at Central State University.
- Ms. Marcella A. Sampson, Huber Heights, OH., Class of 1974. Ms. Sampson, who has worked for every CSU president, except President Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, has held numerous positions at the University, but was best known as the Director of the Career Services Center and the Dean of Students.
- Ms. Lisa M. Peterson, Springfield, OH., Class of 1987. Ms. Peterson is a distinguished educational administrator, who is the Principal of Cox Elementary in the Xenia Community Schools district. Her support of Central State’s student teachers is strong. Students seeking onsite practices are welcomed into her building and are provided a global experience to practice and develop their teaching skills in a classroom setting.
CSU President Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond said, “I ask all of you…keep your eyes looking forward, the past gives us the foundation….But it is our future that defines our relevance.”
“’Let us collectively have the will to move Central State to heights unknown,” President Jackson-Hammond said.
University Invests Close to $2M on Safety and Security Upgrades
WILBERFORCE, OH – Central State University is taking several crucial steps to upgrade its safety and security systems on campus by adding lighting, security cameras and a new emergency alert system.
Approximately $2M is being spent, with the largest investment going toward the installation of 460 new, state-of-the-art, high-definition video security cameras. These cameras are in addition to the 60-plus cameras already installed at the new University Student Center in October 2015.
The video cameras have been placed in strategic locations around campus to monitor parking areas, residence halls, stairwells, academic buildings, corridors, and other high circulation areas. Many cameras are concealed, thus increasing the ability to monitor activity on campus. Video taken by the surveillance cameras is DVR recorded and available to law enforcement and campus safety personnel at all times. The video quality in some areas is able to show vehicle license plate numbers and facial recognition. In addition, exterior lighting upgrades have been completed.
Charles Shahid, chief government officer for the University, said, “This video system gives us surveillance of critical gathering places, parking lots and common areas in residence hall, and gives the Office of Public Safety points of view to react quickly to ensure student and staff safety.” Newly installed data and fiber systems, paid for with another $3M, help to connect all campus buildings. A new 10GB fiber-optic backbone allows for the high-speed transfer of data and video across the new University network.
Central State has chosen Alertus, an emergency mass notification system, for its campus-wide alert system. Alertus sends immediate text messages to students, faculty and staff, and to audio/visual beacons that will be installed indoors and outdoors around campus. The beacons will sound alarms and give verbal instructions to persons to seek shelter in an emergency. The system also will "take over" video monitors in buildings, and computers in computer labs to provide emergency response notifications once the system is activated by emergency response buttons at campus police operations center or the City of Xenia 911 dispatch center, which covers the campus at present. Other universities that use Alertus include Ohio State University, Michigan State University and University of Virginia.
The video camera project will be completed in March. The Alertus System will be implemented Fall, 2018.
Central State University Theatre Arts Program Presents The Drowning and Innervisions
WILBERFORCE, OH – The 2018 Central State University Theatre Arts Program will feature two new works, one written and directed by a CSU alum, and the second one highlighting the works of Stevie Wonder.
The Drowning, written and directed by CSU Alumnus Ethan Stewart, will be performed on March 9-10. The Drowning chronicles the experience of young African-Americans as they transition from secondary school to a university educational experience. The play, performed by CSU students, unfolds from dilemma to success as the characters adjust and then prosper in the face of new surroundings and challenges. Stewart, who is a native of Cleveland, graduated in 2016. He currently resides in Fairborn, Ohio.
“Mr. Stewart’s play provides insight into the challenges of first-year college students,” said John Fleming, Title III Activity Director. “The show follows a group of students from their high school graduation party, through the first day in the dorm at Central State University, and onto finding themselves in new educational horizons and personal goals.”
Innervisions is a theatre production based on Stevie Wonder’s 1973 album of the same name. The play contains many of Stevie Wonder’s most popular songs including “Living For The City,” “Higher Ground,” “Don’t You Worry ’Bout A Thing,” and “He’s Misstra Know It All.” It uses the songs of the album as both a soundtrack for dance and an inspiration for playwriting.
Students from CSU have written speeches that accompany the music and dancing that reflect on the meaning of Stevie Wonder’s songs within a contemporary context. Dancers from the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company2 will perform in the production, which is March 16-17.
Innervisions is choreographed by DCDC Artistic Director Debbie Blunden-Diggs and directed by Fleming. It features musical direction by Deron Bell, media art by Basim Blunt and costumes by Ayn Wood.
Both performances will take in the Paul Robeson Cultural and Performing Arts Center on campus. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Ticket costs for both productions are by donation at the door. The 2018 Theatre Arts Program is presented by Central State University’s Title III Program in conjunction with the Department of Fine and Performing Arts.
Central State University will pilot an American Democracy Project Initiative to Improve Student Political and Civic Engagement
Wilberforce, OH – Central State University has been selected to partner with a national project to train students to be informed and engaged citizens.
The American Democracy Project (ADP), a program of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), is starting a new two-year initiative to improve nonpartisan student political learning and participation. Twelve colleges and universities have been selected to work with researchers from the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE) at Tufts University to pilot processes for engaging campus communities in measuring, understanding and improving campus climates in order to ensure that all students are prepared to be informed, engaged citizens. Central State is the only Ohio university selected.
Amanda Antico, executive director of AASCU’s American Democracy Project, said, "Too few young Americans participate in even the most fundamental forms of civic engagement, such as voting. Unequal participation results in unequal representation. These conditions obstruct our ability as a nation to address and resolve complex social and political problems, which is why this initiative is important and necessary. ADP hopes to educate, inspire and prepare college students for a life of active civic engagement in order to cultivate a more vibrant democracy."
The goal of the American Democracy Project is to produce graduates who are equipped with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and experiences they need to be informed, engaged members of their communities.
Nancy Thomas, IDHE Director, said, "Colleges and universities play a critical role in ensuring the health and future of our democracy."
As part of the project, Central State and the other Universities will develop an approach to assessing and changing campus climates for political learning and engagement, as well as a set of interventions for other campuses to use. The campuses will serve as a model, so other campuses can learn about how to cultivate campus climates that best prepare students with the necessary knowledge, skills and commitment to political learning and participation.
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
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
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
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
Central State University’s Fall 2016 First-time Student Class Grows by 22 Percent
Central State University’s 2016 incoming class of new first-time students allowed the University to achieve double-digit growth among new students.
New and increased recruitment efforts helped to fuel the growth. This year’s class of 634 first-time students is the largest in the past five years. It represents a 22 percent increase over Fall 2015.
The University's projections of new students were also exceeded when new transfer and College Credit Plus students were added.
Dr. Stephanie Krah, Central State University's Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, said, "Our recruitment efforts increased the University's visibility and once they heard about our academic programs, opportunities for growth and value, their interest increased.”
“These students are coming from 21 states and international countries - the most diverse in recent years. They are serious about their academic pursuits and we will provide all of the necessary support services to ensure their successful matriculation, graduation and job attainment, right here in Ohio," Dr. Krah said.
This Spring, Central State lowered its out-of-state surcharge by 76 percent for new incoming students. As a result, the 2016 new student class reflects a strong out-of-state contingent with the largest number of first-time out-of-state students coming from Michigan, Illinois and Indiana.
As the most affordable University in Ohio, Dr. Krah went on to say, "Central State University's quality academic programs are the best value for students seeking a rigorous rewarding collegiate experience. It is the perfect choice for any student, in-state, out-of-state and international."
The University is projecting a record incoming class for Fall 2017, as more families understand the value and benefits of a Central State University education.