Tag Archives: Funding

College of Agriculture secures five USDA NIFA grants

By Charlie Morrison

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University College of Agriculture research scientists recently secured grant funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The five different research grants come as part of the national agency’s recent $30.8 million investment into all 19 of the country’s 1890 land-grant HBCUs. The grant awards for TSU range from $449,000 to $600,000 in total. The grants will fund projects on topics such as nitrogen management in cover crops, climate-resilient urban forests, drinking water sanitation management on poultry farms, artificial intelligence, the impact of dietary fiber on gut microbiota, and much more.

Associate Professor of Urban Forestry Dr. Yujuan Chen said these grants will enhance the college of Agriculture, and a specific grant tailored to forestry will fuel the nation’s future scientists.

The grant Chen is referring to will fund a project titled, ‘Growing Future Climate-resilient Urban Forests from an Equity Perspective.’

“This grant will significantly strengthen TSU’s urban forestry program by enabling cutting-edge research in climate-resilient urban forests, heat equity, and community needs, especially for historically excluded populations,” Chen said. She also noted that the grants will enhance partnerships with USDA agencies, other universities, and the private sectors.

“In particular, it will allow us to establish a long-term urban forestry research site … which will provide numerous opportunities for urban forestry-related research, education/teaching, and extension activities and have long-lasting impacts on diverse stakeholders in the region and beyond.”

TSU’s agriculture faculty members Dr. Ying Wu, Dr. Pramir Maharjan, Dr. Anjin Chang, Dr. Resham Thapa, and Dr. Yujuan Chen were all part of securing grants as part of the funding. Each of the five grant awards will fund research projects for approximately three years, beginning this spring through 2027.

The investment, made through NIFA’s 1890 Institution Teaching, Research, and Extension Capacity Building Grants Program, will support groundbreaking research for the College of Agriculture on all aspects as faculty and students can address some of the nation’s most pressing agriculture challenges.

For all HBCU land grant institutions, nearly 70 research projects were funded through the grant awards, designed to “build 1890s’ capacity for teaching, research, and Extension activities including curriculum design, faculty development, student recruitment, and retention,” according to a USDA press release.

To learn more about the College of Agriculture, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/.

TSU to get major boost with infrastructure needs, research and increased federal aid  for students with final funding bill of 2022

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University students and those enrolled at historically black colleges and universities across the country will see an increase in Pell grants. Eligible students will receive an additional $500 as a part of the $1.7 trillion 2022 Omnibus Bill unveiled by congressional leaders. The final funding bill of the year also includes increased funding for research and infrastructure for HBCUs.

President Glenda Glover

This is a major boost for TSU as the university undertakes several capital improvement projects, as well as efforts to achieve an R1 Carnegie research designation.

“We are thankful to Congresswoman Alma Adams, members of the Congressional Black Caucus, the White House, and all others who were instrumental in getting this legislation passed,” said Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover. 

Included in the funding are several programs that will benefit TSU: $50 million for HBCU, TCU, and MSI Research and Development Infrastructure Grants, a program originally included in the IGNITE HBCU Excellence Act.

 “I am proud to have secured significant wins for Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the federal omnibus for Fiscal Year 2023,” said Congresswoman Adams (D-NC), founder and co-chair of the Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus.

“These planning and implementation grants are designed to promote transformational investments in research infrastructure at four-year HBCUs, TCUs, and other MSIs.”

Glover, who also serves as the vice chair of President Joe Biden’s Advisory Board on HBCUs, added that the funding aligns with TSU’s plans for long-term growth and sustainability. 

“I am pleased to have helped with advocating to lawmakers and others the importance of the bill that makes HBCUs stronger and helps our institutions continue the work of strengthening our communities by providing a quality education to our students,” Glover said.

“We currently have major capital infrastructure projects and increased research activities underway, This bill will provide additional resources to assist TSU in successfully reaching our goals of enhancing and upgrading our campus footprint and becoming an R1 research institution.” 

TSU is in the middle of a major facelift to academic buildings, improvements to outdoor lightings and interior décor as part of a campus-wide infrastructure upgrade initiative that is expected to last through 2023.

The increase in Pell grant awards is the largest since the 2009-2010 school year. Approximately 65 percent of TSU students depend on some type of financial aid, including the Pell grant. Nationally, about seven million students, many from lower-income families, receive Pell grants every year to help them afford college.

Terrance Izzard, TSU’s associate vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Success, echoed President Glover’s sentiments that the boost in funding for Pell grant award will help financially struggling students stay in school.

“Coming out of a pandemic, along with tough economic times, this increase in funding could not have come at a better time for parents and students,” Izzard said. “This certainly is big relief and lessens the added burden of students trying to achieve their educational goals amid high cost of tuition and other needs.”

For a detailed summary of the Congressional bill, visit https://appropriations.house.gov/sites/democrats.appropriations.house.gov/files/FY23%20Summary%20of%20Appropriations%20Provisions.pdf