Tag Archives: GRANTS

TSU Aviation Program receives $500,000 grant from FAA

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University aviation program is expected to reach new heights with a recent $500,000 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The grant will be used to enhance the TSU aviation program by attracting and training students for careers not only as pilots but aviation maintenance technicians with hands-on experience and more.

Dr. Ivan Mosley, Chair of the Department of Applied and Industrial Technology expressed his excitement for the impact this grant will have on students. Mosely is the principal investigator (PI) for the grant.

TSU administrators and engineering faculty joins FAA representatives who presented a $500,000 maintenance grant to TSUs aviation program. (Courtesy of Tennessee State University)

“This will impact our students for the overall profession of aviation networking which includes but not limited to maintenance, airport management, air traffic controller, and more,” Mosley said. “So, this particular grant is exposing them to the maintenance portion of the networking.”

The FAA maintenance grant represents a significant milestone for TSU. Dr. Mosley said that even if students don’t pursue a four-year degree, they can receive a certification through the program, providing an affordable and accessible route to network not only in Nashville and surrounding states, but throughout the United States and abroad.

“This grant will attract people to aviation and give them hands-on experience for those who want to pursue it.”

TSU administrators and engineering faculty joined FAA representatives for the check presentation during their visit to TSU. This included Dr. Mosley, alongside Dr. Lin Li, Interim Dean of the College of Engineering, Dr. Quincy Quick, Associate Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs, Dr. Carlos D. Beane, Co-PI and Aviation Assistant Professor, Dr. Catherine Armwood-Gordon, Engineering Associate Professor, and Dr. Curtis Johnson, Chief of Staff to the President.

Dr. Lin Li stated that the College of Engineering is very excited about this FAA workforce grant. “Through this grant, we will develop comprehensive education initiatives to bridge the gap between classroom learning and practical application, with a focus on increasing underrepresented and minority students within the aviation maintenance workforce,” Li said.

The initiative includes recruitment, instruction by experienced aviation instructors, development of aviation maintenance courses, academic career counseling and more.

“The grant will support up to 20 students to receive FAA scholarships to pursue their degree study toward aviation maintenance,” Dr. Li said.

“It will attract future students for the aviation management program in the AIT department. State-of-the-art equipment will be provided through the grant, increasing the training capacity of TSU in aviation maintenance technical training.”

In addition to the academic benefits, the program will host the High Flight Academy starting June 1, offering underrepresented students ages 16 -18 a chance to get certified as pilots.

With this grant effort, TSU is set to play a critical l role in shaping a skilled and underrepresented workforce in aviation maintenance, contributing to the industry’s growth while ensuring aircraft safety and reliability.

To learn more about TSUs aviation program, visit www.tnstate.edu/ait/aviationflight.aspx

TSU’s College of Engineering looks for success with $2.25 Million NSF Grant for first-year students

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Ethopine Choping always wanted to build a home for her East African single mother of two. Choping initially wanted to become an architect, but thought, why design the structure of her mother’s home when she can build dams and bridges for the entire city she’d live in?

“Coming from a disadvantaged community is what inspired me to become an engineer.”

An engineering professor assisting a student during an in class assignment.

Choping’s family moved to the United States from Ethiopia in the late 1990s. She later moved to Tennessee to start her college journey at Tennessee State University in 2021 to pursue a degree in civil engineering. She will be graduating in spring 2024.

“The faculty is the reason why I decided to come to TSU,” she said. “They are so dedicated. That’s what convinced me to go to TSU, and my first semester experience is what convinced me to stay.”

Choping recalls returning to TSU the following year, but many of her classmates did not due to the rigorous academic curriculum and financial obligation. 

Ethiopine Choping presenting a study of photoelastic effect in zinc.

These are two of the reasons Tennessee State University’s College of Engineering is continuing its commitment to fostering a community of budding first-year engineering students. Earlier this year the college received a $2.25 million grant from the National Science Foundation to continue this endeavor. The grant will create a five-year pilot engineering curriculum that includes a pre-engineering program and an immersive engineering studio dedicated to undergraduate research experiences (CUREs), focused on student retention and graduation. College of Engineering Associate Professor Catherine Armwood-Gordon said the college is excited about providing scholarships to first-year students through the grant. 

“We’re looking at ways to support students’ progression through their mathematics and success in the first term,” Dr. Armwood said, noting that she is grateful to be able to provide students with scholarships and resources to excel. 

 Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Ph.D. Graduate student Brandon Jones, center, and Engineering student Marvellous Eromosele.

The focus on student retention also extends to the female population within the College of Engineering department.

According to Dr. Armwood, who also serves as Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies, TSU has graduated over 600 students from the College of Engineering from Spring 2018 -2022. Yet fewer than half of these graduates were women pursing engineering degrees. Currently, there are over 228,900 engineers employed in the United States. Only 13.7% of all engineers are women, according to Zippia. 

Alexia Brown, a TSU freshman studying mechanical engineering, said she looks forward to being a part of the 13% female engineering population post-graduation.

Camron Henderson

“It’s empowering to see women succeeding regardless of the industry,” Brown, of Jackson, MS, said. “It pushes me to finish my degree and to continue on this path.”

As a first-year college student, Brown started college just last month and said she already feels like she’s right at home.

“Everything has been really well,” she said. “I love my classes, and I love my professors.” She also noted that she is excited about the college receiving grants for first-year students as the overall goal is to enhance the retention and success of students in engineering programs at TSU.

Funds from the first-year student grant will be able to support the engineering population growth by awarding more than 80 students a year.

TSU freshman Camron Henderson, a computer science major from Atlanta, said he has hopes that the freshman student grant will be resourceful for out-of-state students like himself. “I’m very happy to know the university has received this grant,” Henderson said. “It will bring more retention to the college.” Henderson is the freshman class treasurer and said his time at TSU, ‘so far has been great,” stating that he loves his teachers as well.

Alexia Brown

TSU grad Tupac Moseley is currently pursuing a master’s in computer and information systems engineering at TSU and said the college is worthy of the $2.25 million investment. “I hope that students, after me, have an even better experience. This will help them transition smoothly into the college of engineering.

This department was extraordinarily helpful throughout my senior year,” he said. “The college cares about me and it only felt right to come back to TSU to pursue my next degree.” This is the third time the National Science Foundation has provided an Implementation Project grant to the university. The first two grants were approximately $1 million each.

Tupac Moseley is currently pursuing a master’s in computer and information systems engineering at TSU

A STEM Enhancement Institute is also being established as part of the grant to provide support to students who struggle with their STEM courses in their pre-engineering program. $150,000 per year will go toward the STEM institute.

To learn more about TSU’s engineering programs, visit www.tnstate.edu/engineering/.

TSU College of Agriculture Awarded $18 million Grant Award from USDA

By Dr. Alyssa Rockers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s College of Agriculture has been awarded an $18 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA). TSU’s award is a part of USDA NIFA’s NextGen grant program, a $262.5 million investment in higher education to create and sustain a more diverse workforce for the next generation of food, agriculture, natural resources, and human sciences professionals. Of the 33 awarded projects across 24 states, TSU is only one of five institutions awarded Tier 3 funding. This includes projects up to $20 million and at least three partnering institutions across two states.  

“This is game changer for Tennessee State and further enhances our stellar reputation as a premier land-grant institution, with one of the top Agriculture programs in the country,” said TSU President Glenda Glover.

“Our goal as an institution is to provide our students with a quality education that will position them to compete and have successful careers in the global marketplace. This amazing opportunity with USDA will allow us to continue to fulfill that goal due largely to the commitment and vision of Dean Chandra Reddy and Dr. John Ricketts, principal investigator for the grant, and their staff.”

 The program is funded by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. Dr. Chandra Reddy, TSU’s Dean of Agriculture, and Dr. John Ricketts were on hand for the official announcement in Washington.

“We are quite excited with this announcement today by USDA Secretary Vilsack that the TSU College of Agriculture will be receiving $18 million to cultivate the next generation of agricultural graduates,” said Dean Reddy. “We are one of the select few institutions that received this level of funding recognizing our longtime efforts in this area through many successful initiatives particularly the Dean’s Scholars Program.” 

“I congratulate Dr. Ricketts and the team for putting together a comprehensive proposal and we will deliver on our commitments.”

 TSU’s project entitled, “NEXTGENeration Inclusion Consortium for Building the Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Human Sciences Pipeline (FANHP)” is led by Ricketts, who is a professor in the Department of Agricultural Sciences at TSU.

“This project will establish an inclusive consortium of institutions to build and sustain the future of the workforce in food, agriculture, natural resources, and human sciences,” said Ricketts.

“Through this project, TSU and our partners will be able to advance equity in this workforce for future generations.”

Scholarships and learning opportunities are crucial components of the grant. The project will allow TSU students to apply for full scholarships covering tuition, board and other related expenses,  internships, and other learning opportunities to expose them to careers in Agriculture. Dr. De’Etra Young, who oversees all the College of Agriculture’s scholarships, will serve as a co-project director along with Dean Reddy.  

“I am excited to be a part of this historical funding opportunity from USDA,” added Dr. Young, associate dean for the college’s academics and land-grant programs.

 “The Next-Gen grant will allow us to transform our student success portfolio, provide greater access to higher education through scholarships, and strengthen our current experiential learning and study abroad opportunities.” 

Additionally, programs related to FAHNP will be provided to community members to help them gain more information about the career options available to their young people. In addition to TSU, this project is a partnership with faculty from Fort Valley State University, Alcorn State University, the University of Houston, Chief Dull Knife College, Middle Tennessee State University, University of Tennessee – Martin, University of Tennessee – Knoxville, Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt University, and the Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences organization.

TSU faculty involved in this project along with Dr. John C. Ricketts (Principal Investigator), are College of Agriculture Dean, Dr. Chandra Reddy (Co-Project Director), Dr. De’Etra Young, ( Co-Project Director , Dr. Alyssa Rockers, Dr. Brione Lockett, Dr. LaPorchia Davis, Dr. Thomas Broyles, Dr. Yujuan Chen, Dr. M.S. Mahmud, Dr. Pramir Maharjan, Dr. Dilip Nandwani, Dr. Kilonzo-Nthenge, and Dr. Samuel Nahashon.

 For more information about programs sponsored by this grant award, please contact TSU Media Relations at 615.963.5331 or [email protected].

TSU earns spot in top eight teams at the Honda Campus All Star Challenge national championship

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University Honda Campus All Star Challenge (HCASC) team earned a spot in the top eight teams at the National Tournament held in Torrance, California. HCASC is a knowledge bowl competition for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) sponsored by the American Honda Motor Company, which supports HBCUs.

Members of the HCASC TSU team competes against Tuskegee University during the national competition in California. From left to right: Kelley Zumwalt, Tyler Vazquez and Morgan Gill.

This tournament brought together 32 HBCUs from around the country. The TSU team earned a total of $12,000 in grant money from American Honda for earning a spot in the top eight teams.

The team’s coach, Dr. John Miglietta, who is a professor of political science, said the HCASC is a unique competition that brings together scholars and showcases their knowledge from many HBCUs throughout the country.

“We are very grateful for the support that American Honda provides to HBCUs,” Miglietta said. “The grant money we receive will benefit both our students and our HCASC program.”

TSU’s HCASC team earns a spot in the quarter finals after competing on a national level in California. From left to right: Tyler Vazquez , coach, Dr. John Miglietta, Morgan Gill, team captain Cameron Malone and Kelley Zumwalt.

The tournament was divided into two parts, followed by a single-elimination playoff with the top two teams playing a best two out of three.

TSU played in the Purple Division with teams from Alabama A&M, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, and Hampton University.

TSU compiled a 4-2 record, winning the division and advancing to the playoffs. TSU then lost a challenging match against Tuskegee University.

The team earned $10,000 in grant money from American Honda with an additional $2,000 grant due to one of the team players outstanding performance. Morgan Gill, a sophomore majoring in urban studies, was named the All-Star player in the Purple Division based on the number of toss up questions answered correctly.

TSU’s HCASC member Tyler Vazquez competing against a Tuskegee University student during a knowledge bowl competition in California.

“The team was very excited to finish in the top eight and play on the big stage,” Miglietta said. “It takes a great deal of preparation to get to that level.” The team is proud of its accomplishment and is preparing to win the overall competition next year.

The Team members are:

  • Cameron Malone (Captain), junior Electrical Engineering major from Oak Ridge, TN
  • Morgan Gill, sophomore Urban Studies major from Conyers, GA
  • Tyler Vazquez, sophomore Biology major from Winston-Salem, NC
  • Kelley Zumwalt, junior majoring in History, Political Science, and English from Loveland, CO

Check out the TSU HCASC team national quarter finals against Tuskegee University.

TSU part of $30 million U.S DOE investment for next generation STEM leaders

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University will serve as the lead institution to promote STEM education and careers for Nashville’s HBCUs. TSU is one of 11 minority serving institutions that will share a $30 million grant from the U.S Dept. of Energy to invest in the next generation of STEM leaders. The goal is to develop highly qualified students and foster a well-trained, technically skilled, and a more inclusive workforce. 

TSU in partnership with Fisk University and Meharry Medical College were awarded $5 million in total. 

“Preparing more technically skilled students will allow TSU graduates to be more competitive in the global marketplace,” said TSU President Glenda Glover.  

TSU is serving as the lead institution of a Tennessee HBCU consortium with Meharry Medical College and Fisk University to create an education workforce pipeline for the DOE’s Environmental Management Office.

“With our efforts, this grant will provide access to internships and career opportunities that have traditionally been non-existent or very limited for the HBCU student population.”  

Dr. Quincy Quick, professor and interim assistant vice president for Research and Sponsored Programs at TSU, said this is an outstanding effort for Tennessee HBCUs. 

“Tennessee State University is serving as the lead institution of this Tennessee HBCU consortium with Meharry Medical College and Fisk University to create an education workforce pipeline for the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management as part of the Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program,” Dr. Quick said. 

“Socially, this partnership will also contribute to the DOE’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. This is an outstanding opportunity for all Tennessee HBCUs and the students we serve. Tennessee State University is honored to lead this effort.” 

Dr. Quincy Quick, professor and interim assistant vice president for Research and Sponsored Programs .

These grants are distributed by DOE’s Office of Environmental Management’s (EM) Minority Serving Institution Partnership Program (MSIPP).

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said leveraging the full potential of America’s best and brightest means including students from every pocket of the nation, and of all races and ethnicities. 

“DOE is following through with our previously announced commitments to MSIs to remove barriers and unlock opportunities for millions of Americans—inspiring the next generation of science and technology leaders and positioning America to lead the world in the industries of the future, from artificial intelligence and clean energy to quantum computing and advanced engineering,” Granholm said. 

By advancing the education and training of a culturally diverse workforce of scientists, engineers, and managers, MSIPP builds upon the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to increase the participation, leadership, and success of students from underrepresented and historically marginalized communities. 

Photo CUTLINE: TSU is serving as the lead institution of a Tennessee HBCU consortium with Meharry Medical College and Fisk University to create an education workforce pipeline for the DOE’s Environmental Management Office.  

TSU engineering program gets major boost from Turner Construction Company

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Turner Construction Company awarded three $15,000 scholarships for engineering students and will fund $65,000 to the department in Tuition Assistance Program grants to qualified students. TSU and Turner have partnered in efforts to support STEM students, and specifically those majoring in engineering.  A check presentation and roundtable discussion were held to highlight the partnership.  

More than 50 students attended along with TSU President Glenda Glover, executives from the company, and alumni in engineering. In addition to the scholarships, roundtable discussion focused on internships, career opportunities in the field of engineering and HBCU impact.   

The three scholarship winners of Turner award are:  Gregory Hobbs, Havilah Akachukwu and Ethiopine Choping.

Gregory Hobbs, left, Havilah Akachukwu, center, and Ethiopine Choping, right, were awarded $15,000 scholarships from Turner Construction Company. (Photo by Alexis Clark)

Akachukwu, a junior from Nigeria majoring in Mechanical Engineering, said she is thankful for the awarded funds and thought the overall event was amazing. 

“To be able to see people in the industry take out time from their busy schedules to be there, just to talk about ways in which we, the students in engineering could help ourselves was wonderful,” Akachukwu said.  She looks forward to one day becoming a design engineer and thanked Turner for believing in the university as majority of the panelists were either HBCU or TSU graduates. 

“For the efforts they have put into our school and the students, I am grateful. They were all lovely and tried their best to communicate and interact with every student present.” Choping, a civil engineering major from Alaska, was shocked when she was notified about the scholarship and mentioned how informative the event was.  

“I learned that there are different paths to take to be successful and each path is unique,” Choping said. “As long as you’re putting in effort, you will get the results you want.” 

Hobbs, an Architectural Engineering major from Alabama, said that he prayed about receiving the scholarship to help cut cost of his tuition. 

“The Turner Company event was wonderful,” Hobbs said. “The speakers provided a lot of insight on making it through school and choosing the correct career path. They spoke on managing school, personal life, and mental health.” Hobbs said the panelist assured him how much TSU alumni take care of one another and appreciated the insight. 

Students, TSU President Glenda Glover, and engineering department staff listens during roundtable discussion from Turner panelists about career goals in the field and HBCU impact. (Photo by Alexis Clark)

“I learned that TSU is a family,” Hobbs said. Everyone wants you to succeed and are willing to help you.” 

Charles Stewart, Vice President, Diverse Recruiting and Outreach, said the program is about, “the development of the student, helping the university enhance their pipeline and develop their students to be prepared to step out in the communities where we work every day, and be able to work with companies like ours.” 

TSU graduate Jimmie Jones, told the students that the foundation of being able to be his true self at the university is one of the reasons he is a superintendent at Turner now. “The biggest things I received from here (TSU) is the support from my peers.” 

Charles Stewart speaks about his company experience and program efforts. (Photo by Bethany Legg)

Dr. Catherine Armwood-Gordon, Interim Chair and Associate Professor for the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering, said having TSU and HBCU alumni as part of the panel was a great way to show representation. 

“It allows students to relate and form relationships with people in the industry and company who at one point were exactly where they are now,” Armwood-Gordon said. “Allowing them to see the possibilities of their future with their degrees and understand that the time, commitment, and rigorousness of the degree will pay off in the end. The College of Engineering is grateful for Turner Construction Company investing in our students by providing scholarships and support to student activities and engagement.” 

Along with Jones, panelist Don Hardin Jr., and the event moderator Susan Vanderbilt, are all TSU alumni. Vanderbilt is the executive director and owner of Entrée Savvy, LLC, while Hardin is the owner of Don Hardin Group, the firm that designed and constructed the National Museum of African American Music located downtown.

The panel also included Stewart, Valarie Franklin, a Senior Associate/Client Relationship Manager for Moody Nolan, and the companies Lead Estimator, Cerise Inganji.

Grant Writing Specialists Visit TSU for Nashville’s First NSF Day

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – National Science Foundation (NSF) representatives visited the campus of Tennessee State University on Thursday to provide insight for researchers who hope to secure funding from the agency.

The daylong workshop, called NSF Day, included discipline-specific breakout sessions featuring NSF representatives, a panel with NSF-funded researchers from Tennessee and discussions about things to consider before writing a proposal as well as opportunities for fellowships.

Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, vice president of Research and Institutional Advancement, welcomed the group to TSU’s Avon Williams Campus with the shout, “Big Blue”, as she applauded them for attending the first NSF Day held in Nashville, Tennessee.

“We are here today to spend time on a topic that is near and dear to my heart,” Crumpton-Young said. “One of the things I love most about each day is the opportunity to think about research, discovery and the things that we have an opportunity as faculty, staff and students to work on that will address global challenges and make a difference in how we live our lives.”

The NSF is the federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance national health, prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense,” according to the foundation’s website. NSF supports fundamental research in science, engineering and education across all disciplines.

Fahmida Chowdhury (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Fahmida Chowdhury, program director in the NSF Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE), said researchers should make sure NSF is the right funding agency for them before they begin writing a proposal. She also stressed the importance of pinpointing what is unique and important about the proposed study.

“A lot of times scientists who have a great idea take it for granted that everyone knows it is a great project. It’s a great project for you, but why is it so great for everybody else in your field and not only for the advancement of your field, but also for society at large,” Chowdhury said. “You have to think about those things, and make those part of your motivation for writing the proposal.”

Chowdhury also highlighted the importance of having an effective assessment plan.

“How will you know that what you will do in the next five years has been successful,” she said. “Always make that part of your proposal.”

Muhammad Khan, who currently works as a molecular research analyst with Dr. Ahmad Naseer Aziz, TSU associate professor of Molecular Genetics, said attending NSF Day may help him secure funding to further his research, as well as provide opportunities for students.

“One of our key priorities in writing grants is to benefit the students,” Khan said.  “Grants help us provide them with stipends, the chemicals important to their research, and we also expose them to approaches which will help maximize their learning.”

Holly Brown, NSF Lead for the TSU NSF Day said the event gives the foundation an opportunity to reach out to the research community and individuals who are potential researchers.

“Today we have a crowd that is typically early career researchers. Some of them are assistant professors, a lot of them are from the TSU community themselves, and we also have people from other universities in the area,” Brown said.

“At the end of the event we want everyone here to know how to apply for a grant, and to feel comfortable talking to us as program officers and us as the experts,” she added.  “It really comes down to, ‘Contact your program officer if you have questions.’ And people really don’t do that if they don’t know who they are.”

US Senator Lamar Alexander said in a video message to attendees that the National Science Foundation has an annual budget of about $7 billion and makes about 12,000 new funding awards each year in fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences.

“Tennessee State should be proud to be selected as one of the four sites that will host an NSF Workshop Day this year,” he said.

Nicholas Kovach, research specialist in the TSU Division of Research and Institutional Advancement, said the university secured more than $2 million from NSF in the last fiscal year.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.



Tennessee State University Receives More Than $2.6 Million Grant for Research, Teaching, Extension

Dr. Ahmad Aziz, associate professor of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, carries on an experiment with graduate assistant Abdul Mujeed Yakubu, in his lab. Dr. Aziz received a teaching grant for his research on bio-energy/biofuel and natural resources. (courtesy photo)
Dr. Ahmad Aziz, associate professor of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, carries on an experiment with graduate assistant Abdul Mujeed Yakubu, in his lab. Dr. Aziz received a teaching grant for his research on bio-energy/biofuel and natural resources. (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Coming on the heels of a soon-to-be dedicated multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art biotechnology center, agricultural research, extension and teaching at Tennessee State University have received a major boost with new funding from the federal government.

On Wednesday, Feb. 26, the University received a $2.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to support capacity-building endeavors.

The amount was part of 76 grants totaling $35 million awarded to 21 Historically Black Colleges and Universities or 1890 institutions to support research, teaching and extension activities through the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture program.

This achievement for TSU is the result of the success of six grant proposals submitted by faculty members or project directors and their collaborators in the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, in addition to funding received for NIFA programs.

In the last four year, TSU has been one of the leading 1890 grantees, usually ranking in the top three spots. This year is no different, with University officials and students expressing their excitement about the institution’s success rate.

“We are quite pleased with the success of our faculty in garnering these USDA funds to build our Ag program,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of CAHNS. “These funds help to build capacity in new areas of agricultural research, teaching and outreach, as well as help in remodeling and building research facilities.”

Alison Leathers, a graduate student in Agricultural Education, Leadership and Extension from Preston, Minn., described the new funding along with the upcoming biotechnology center as “positives” that will enhance learning in new areas of research and awareness.

“I think the new money and building will certainly help to expand the amount of knowledge and expertise we have in the college by having more labs and more equipment that will help my fellow students and me,” Leathers said.

In announcing the grants Wednesday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the goal was to build on efforts that foster strong partnerships with the 1890 community, ensure equal access to USDA programs and services, and support educational opportunities for the next generation of farmers and ranchers.

“For nearly 125 years, the 1890 land-grant institutions have played a vital role in ensuring access to higher education and opportunity for underserved communities,” said Secretary Vilsack. “These competitively-awarded grants support high quality research, teaching and Extension activities and support the continued leadership of 1890 institutions in the fields of agriculture, the environment and public health.”

Faculty members (or project directors) who led the proposal submissions that resulted in the research, teaching and Extension grant awards, and their research focus are:

  • Dr. Karla Addesso, assistant professor of Chemical Ecology – Sustainable agriculture – $299,751 (Research)
  • Dr. Dafeng Hui, assistant professor of Biological Sciences – Bio-energy/biofuel and natural resources; Global climate change – $299,874 (Research)
  • Dr. Fur-Chi Chen, associate professor of Food Science – Food Safety – $299,999 (Research)
  • Dr. George Smith, assistant professor of Landscape Architecture – Water quality – $249,797 (Extension)
  • Dr. Janice Emerson, associate professor and director of the Center for Prevention Research – Childhood Obesity – $248,886 (Extension)
  • Dr. Ahmad Aziz, associate professor of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences – Bio-energy/biofuel and natural resources – $150,000 (Teaching)

Additionally, TSU received about $1.1 million NIFA award through the 1890 Facilities Grant Program, with Dr. Reddy as the PI. The fund will be used to remodel the Ferrell Westbrook Building with new laboratories for recently hired agricultural faculty.




Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209


About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.