Tag Archives: William Sutton

TSU College of Ag awarded nearly $2 million in grant from National Institute of Food and Agriculture

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) –  The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced an investment this week of nearly $4 million – $1.9 million of which will be award to TSU’s College of Agriculture.

The NIFA is awarding the college $1,920,000 for a new 1890 Center of Excellence grant, an investment that helps increase rural prosperity and economic sustainability of food systems in underserved farming communities, according to Dr. Dionne Toombs NIFA Acting Director.

Dean and Director of Research/Administrator of Extension Chandra Reddy

TSU is one of two institutions to receive the grant this year, along with Delaware State University.

Dean and Director of Research/Administrator of Extension Chandra Reddy said the funding is a recognition of TSU’s capacity in Environmental Sciences and capabilities in finding solutions to the Climate Change, which is threatening the sustainability of human life on earth. 

“Together with our 1890 partners, we will not only generate smart ways to manage climate change problems but also train minority workforce in this all-important field,” Dr. Reddy said. “This Center of Excellence will strengthen our graduate programs and improve our research and extension capabilities in climate change field.”

The College of Agriculture will collaborate with four other HBCUs – Alabama A&M University, Southern University, Florida A&M University and Langston University, to host the 1890 Center of Excellence for “Natural Resources, Renewable Energy, and the Environment (COE-NREE): A Climate Smart Approach.”

Dr. Reddy will be the Centers director, while Dr. De’Etra Young, Associate Dean for Academics and Land-Grant Programs, and Associate Professor of Wildlife Ecology, Dr. William Sutton, will be the co-directors.

“These grants continue to support projects that address critical needs for developing global food security and defense, enhance academic and career activities for students pursuing careers in food and agricultural sciences, and address vital needs in nutrition and health to improve the quality of life of underserved populations,” Dr. Reedy said.

Dr. Sutton said the 1890 Center of Excellence will begin this month and the term will last 3-5 years following initial approval.

“It feels great to receive approval to move forward with this effort,” Dr. Sutton said, noting how talented the faculty and students are.

“We put in a large amount of work with this effort, and to get the announcement that we received the funding is a huge validation on what we are doing in our Department and the College of Agriculture.

Drs. Reddy, Young, and I are excited to lead this effort.”

This will provide collaborative opportunities among 1890 Institutions to develop management practices that will promote natural resources, explore renewable energy sources, and develop climate smart agricultural production practices to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and improve environmental quality and sustainability, according to NIFA.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight doctoral degrees. TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee. With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Four TSU Professors Receive USDA Capacity Building Grants for Research and Extension Services

USDANASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has divided its annual funding awards for capacity building in teaching, research and extension. With nearly $1.4 million, Tennessee State University is among the highest recipients of this year’s $18 million allotted for the 20 Land-Grant Colleges and Universities that submitted successful proposals.

The capacity building fund, attained through a competitive grant writing process, is an initiative intended to increase and strengthen food and agriculture sciences at the schools through integration of teaching, research and extension.

Four professors in the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences will share this year’s awards in research and extension services, according to Dr. Carter Catlin, associate dean for Research. They are John Hall, Agnes Kilonzo-Ntheng, William Sutton and Samuel Nahashon.

“These grants help us build our capacity in new frontiers of research and education,” Dr. Chandra Reddy, the dean of CAHNS said.  “We have immensely benefited from this program by adding teaching and research capacity in many new areas such as biofuels, remote sensing, urban forestry, biotechnology, to name a few.  Our faculty have been doing a superb job of competing and securing these funds at the highest rate possible.”

Dr. John Hall

Hall, assistant professor in Extension Services, received $455,923 to design a state-of-the-art mobile education trailer to increase agricultural literacy in urban communities across the southeastern United States. Additionally, the funding will support the creation and implementation of a comprehensive plan to recruit students for all degree programs in CAHNS as well as develop leadership training program for youth, collegiate, and adult audiences.

“This is an integrated project that seeks to meet teaching and extension needs,” Hall said.

Kilonzo (1)
Dr. Agnes Kilonzo-Ntheng

In research, Kilonzo-Ntheng will use her $350,000 award in a collaborative effort with the University of Maryland Eastern Shore to implement Good Agricultural Practices certification programs for small and medium-sized produce farms, and determine risk practices and profiles for generic E. coli, Salmonella and Enterobacteriaceae in produce farms. She will also conduct risk communication workshops for small and medium-sized scale growers, and increase students’ participation in food safety outreach.

“Produce growers have come under increasing pressure to ensure that their products are safe, wholesome, and meet the proposed rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act, said Kilonzo-Ntheng, associate professor of Family and Consumer Sciences. “While the goal for GAPs certification is clear, limited-resource growers often do not pursue the certification due to the costs. However, to succeed in the 21st century economy, these growers must be GAPs certified and empowered to meet food safety requirements.”

Dr. William Sutton

For Sutton, assistant professor of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, his $400,000 research award will study how landscape alteration in the form of forest management impacts wildlife conservation.

Dr. Samuel Nahashon

Nahashon, professor and chair of the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, received $100,000 to research new and emerging areas of biotechnology such as transcriptome analysis and computational bioinformatics. He will collaborate with an expert in computational bioinformatics at the University of Georgia to determine the mechanisms and modes of action of probiotics in conferring beneficial effects to poultry.

“This project is also an effort to continue strengthening the biotechnology research and teaching program in the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at TSU,” Nahashon said.

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 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.