Department Links

JPMorgan Chase representatives engage Marauder Momentum students, extending partnership with Central State University

After interacting with the JPMC Representatives, I hope that [the students] saw themselves. That is half the battle; students cannot be what they do not see. – Kimberly Jones, Director of Strategic Partnerships & External Affairs, Central State University

JPMorgan Chase representatives from Advancing Black Pathways (ABP) led on-campus events throughout July as part of the Marauder Momentum Career Development Series. The Marauder Momentum program prepares prospective Central State students to successfully transition from high school to college. Through the Career Development Series, which ran from July 6-28, students were exposed to everything from resume building and mock interviews to social media branding and elevator pitches. In panels and discussions, the JPMorgan Chase ABP representatives shared their expertise on internships, financial literacy, and corporate America.
Advancing Black Pathways is the JPMorgan Chase program specifically designed to combat racial inequities. The ABP Fellowship Program is a six-week experience that provides students unfamiliar with the financial industry with the soft and hard skills necessary to succeed in the corporate space. As they engaged with the Marauder Momentum students, the JPMC ABP representatives shared both practical knowledge for securing corporate internships (such as the ABP Fellowship) and personal experiences from their academic and professional careers.
Mya R. Pollard, the program manager for the ABP Fellowship Program and panel moderator, said that their goal was to expose students to careers and information they might be unfamiliar with and for the students to see four people of color, specifically Black professionals, and know that “they too can be in those seats.”
The Marauder Momentum students, even those not planning to pursue a career in business, found the JPMC-led panels to be “informational” and inspirational. After the Importance of Internships Panel, one student, Omarion, said that business “was always in the back of my mind,” but it was encouraging “to see people who went through it.” Kaleb echoed Omarion, noting that it was motivational to see people who are a “success story.”
For JPMorgan Chase, the Marauder Momentum Career Development Series was an opportunity to engage with students who have the potential to be valuable assets to the corporation and community. As Pollard said, “We want Central State to become a fabric of JPMC.”
JPMorgan Chase’s involvement in the Marauder Momentum Career Development Series is a part of Central State University Office of Career Services and The Center of Excellence for HBCU Corporate Engagement’s ongoing efforts to engage with corporate partners, providing students with the tools and connections necessary to pursue successful careers.
Special Thanks to JPMorgan Chase Advancing Black Pathways; CSU Office of Career Services; the Center of Excellence for HBCU Corporate Engagement; Lisa Dunn, Kenneth Goodrum, Karla Harper, and Kimberly Jones for organizing the Series; Mya R. Pollard, Jordan T. S. Sibley, Daesha McPhaul, and Israel Chipman for representing JPMC ABP and sharing their advice, experiences, and time; the Marauder Momentum leaders; and the Marauder Momentum students, especially Omarion, Kaleb, and Nyshawnti.
For Further Information on the Programs:

JPMorgan Chase Advancing Black Pathways
CSU Office of Career Services
Center of Excellence for HBCU Corporate Engagement
Marauder Momentum Summer Program

President Jack Thomas featured on WHIO News speaking on the importance of Juneteenth

Dr. Jack Thomas provides an HBCU perspective on the importance of Juneteenth as a federal holiday and why it is an important day to remember.

CSU Trustee Jacqueline Gamblin elected as a director to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Congratulations to our very own Trustee Jacqueline Gamblin, who was recently elected as a director to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland effective January 1. 

Central State University Showcase | By the Numbers

Central State University will host By the Numbers, a University Showcase to highlight the role of the state’s only public HBCU and 1890 Land-Grant Institution in fueling research, corporate partnerships, record student enrollment, and new academic degree programs for a better Ohio. University students, faculty, staff, and their partners are active in a number of innovative efforts encompassing the widest range of business, science, and research disciplines. Through the Showcase, participating partners, faculty, and staff will present and discuss the future impact of their exemplary work. 

 “Through this showcase, Central State University is reaching out to the greater region to accelerate mutually beneficial collaborations,” said Vice President of the Division of Institutional Advancement, Dr. Zillah M. Fluker.

The University Showcase provides an opportunity for Central State to demonstrate its capabilities, resources, and innovations to the world. 

“The accelerated growth in research funding and projects, and university corporate partnerships demonstrate the persistence and excellence of Central State University faculty and staff as we strive to achieve our manifesto that Innovation is in our DNA™,” said Central State University President Jack Thomas. “The record-breaking achievements of the past 18 months are aligned with several University priorities and our newly developed strategic plan,” said Thomas. 

Central State University Showcase By the Numbers Highlights
By the Numbers will highlight the exemplary work and academic program expansion to support students, the University, and the state of Ohio. Hear from the leaders of these innovative efforts.

Record-setting research grant funding for signature projects, including Characterization of Chemical Constituents from Smokable Hemp Flower and E-cigarettes. Integrated Instrumental System for Research and Education in Analytical Chemistry, Excellence in Research: Yakubovsky Calculations for Six-Nuclear Bound, and Investigating the Biotic and Abiotic Stresses in Honeybees and Pollinators.

Single Largest Federal Research Grant Awarded to an HBCU for Innovative Sustainable Ag Research to address long-standing issues of food and health inequities, ensuring that CSU positively impacts regional and national agricultural economics, increase the diversity of the agricultural workforce, develop environmentally and economically sustainable hemp and aquaculture systems, and ultimately improve the quality of lives of Americans – particularly those from underserved populations.
Center of Excellence, HBCU Corporate Engagement focuses on outreach, research, and development for student placement and talent pipeline development. Since its inception, just over one year ago, the center has developed partnerships with global corporations, including P&G, JP Morgan Chase, Nationwide, and Fifth Third Bank.
Central State University Showcase By the Numbers can be found on

Ohio congresswoman Joyce Beatty and Ohio Secretary of State Frank Larose joined a host of dignitaries for Central State University Extension First – Ohio Small/Agri-Business Information Summit

Central State University Extension’s Community and Economic Development Program’s Ohio Small/Agri-Business Information Summit—Designed to Inform and Improve the Lives of Ohio Entrepreneurs, Business Owners, Agri-Businesses, and Farmers!
Central State University Extension’s (CSUE) Community and Economic Development hosted an Ohio Small/Agri-Business Information Summit on Wednesday, October 13, 2021. This live and virtual event included both state and federal leaders in Small Business and Agribusiness Development. Due to demand, the Summit will re-air on YouTube from Monday, November 8, 2021, through December 31, 2021. Visit to receive the viewing link.
The free Ohio Small/Agri-Business Information Summit took place from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and featured notable guests and speakers including, U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, 3rd District of Ohio, Frank LaRose, Ohio Secretary of State, and Dr. Jack Thomas, president of Central State University.
“The Summit showcases the newest federal, state, and local resources available to agencies and organizations,” said President Thomas. “It educates Ohio small businesses, agri-business, women-owned, veteran-owned, farmers and citizens and serves as an information platform to assist small and agri-businesses— existing, revised, new and farming learn about financial assistance programs that our resource partners are promoting, to better assist them with their entrepreneurial endeavors post covid.”
Dean of College of Engineering, Science, Technology, and Agriculture (CESTA) and director of 1890 Land-Grant Programs at CSU Michelle Corley Ph.D., stated in her remarks that “we (CSU Extension) are here to serve our stakeholders and are looking forward to building and strengthening these partnerships as we are moving full throttle in our Extension outreach, particularly in this area (small business, farmers, women, minority, and agri-business) in Ohio.”
“The purpose of the Summit was to provide information and to connect small and agri-business owners with federal, state, and local resources that can assist with business growth and sustainability,” says CSUE Community and Economic Development Program Leader Anthony Barwick. “One impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is that it has led to a record number of new business formations across the State of Ohio,” he added.
 “While this is a silver lining, it also means that if these businesses are to succeed, they will need vital information, education, and assistance. The Summit helps ensure that our Ohio businesses and farmers are connected with the organizations and resources they will need to grow and thrive.”
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose agrees. “Despite the headwinds posed by the pandemic, Ohioans continue to create new businesses at a record pace.  To help maintain this momentum, the State of Ohio needs to be a collaborative partner with agri-businesses to connect them with the resources available to help them launch, grow and prosper.  In hosting a forum to facilitate these discussions, Central State is helping to promote good government, entrepreneurship, and job creation in our communities.”
The Summit also consisted of remarks from organization executives and agency overviews from Summit partners including, Michael Rutherford, business program director—Rural Development, USDA stated, “I was impressed with all the speakers and presentations at the first Ohio Small/Agri-Business Summit hosted by Central State, an important 1890 Land-Grant Institution in Ohio.  We look forward to working together in the future.”
A panel discussion/Q&A session was led by CED Extension Educator Ambrose Moses followed by closing remarks by Congresswoman Joyce Beatty who said, “We are stronger together than by ourselves, and when you talk about small businesses and agri-business, we have to be in this together. The partners who have worked on this from the state level, academic level, etc., have all been stellar. This Summit is just the beginning of what we are doing in partnership.”
While the live event is over, businesses can still view the Ohio Small/Agri-Business Information Summit by visiting 

Quick Action: University police officer saves life of student

Quick Action: University police officer saves life of student

Central State University breaks record in sponsored research grant funding

Central State University faculty and staff set a new school record in sponsored research and external funding by garnering $26.7 million during the 2020-21 fiscal year.
Central State University beat its previous record of $21 million achieved in the fiscal year 2019-20 and continues the University’s rapid growth in annual sponsored research funding. Central State’s external funding has increased by over 114% over the last four years from, $12.5 million in 17/18 to $26.7 million in 20/21.
“The sustained growth demonstrates the persistence and excellence of Central State University faculty and staff as we strive to achieve our manifesto that Innovation is in our DNA™,” said Central State University President Jack Thomas. The record-breaking achievement complements the presidential priority to continue to “Meet and enhance CSU’s 1890 Land-Grant mission of generating knowledge through research and sharing it with the community through extension services,” according to Thomas. 
“Research and other externally funded activities greatly impact CSU’s ability to meet other presidential priorities,” says Central State University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. F. Erik Brooks. “Projects funded will help increase enrollment, improve retention and graduation rates, develop an Honors College to recruit high-achieving students, increase degree offerings, offer graduate studies, and provide flexibility in course delivery.”
“A robust research environment facilitates scholarly inquiries by faculty, staff, and students,” says Associate Provost for Research Morakinyo A.O. Kuti, Ph.D., The pursuit of knowledge is critical to the university’s core value of Academic Excellence. Central State is especially proud of the faculty’s efforts to seek additional resources to promote student learning outside of the classroom. “The experiential learning opportunities are vital for our students’ development and future careers,” says Kuti.
Major projects funded this year include the following:
$1.3 million contract from the Food and Drug Administration for the project, “Characterization of Chemical Constituents from Smokable Hemp Flower and E-cigarettes,” led by Craig Schluttenhofer Ph.D., and Brandy Phipps Ph.D., in the College of Engineering, Science, Technology, and Agriculture (CESTA). The purpose of the contract is to evaluate the chemistry of hemp cigarettes and vape products.
$1 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the “1890 Scholarship Program.”
Under the direction of Michelle Corley, Ph.D., Dean of CESTA and Director of 1890 Land-Grant Programs with Dr. Ibrahim Katampe as the Co-PD. The overall goal is to recruit and matriculate underrepresented minority students (URM) in the Food Agricultural, Natural Resources, and other AGRI-STEM fields to CESTA at CSU, to ultimately pipeline an increased number of URM graduates to fuel the AGRI-STEM Workforce.
$600,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the “Marauder Agricultural Scholarship Program” (MASP) – Workforce Development for the U.S. Agriculture Industry.
According to Dr. Saima Bashir, project director, “The project aims to enhance the labor force participation in the U.S. agricultural industry through education, regardless of students’ fields of specializations, and through research that explores the causes of misconception about agricultural jobs, and then provide narratives that will increase the awareness of students and families on the nobleness of agriculture.”
$600,000 “Integrated Instrumental System for Research and Education in Analytical Chemistry”' award funded by U.S. Department of Defense.
The project is led by Leanne Petry Ph.D., and Suzanne Seleem Ph.D., (CESTA), with the aim to better prepare students and cadets to address a variety of discipline-specific problems in a technologically oriented world.
$500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Interior to implement the conversion of the Historical Power Plant to the “Frank Murphy Student Success Center.”
The objective of the national program is to repair historic structures on campuses of Historically Black Colleges and Universities that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places,” says Director, Facilities Management Milt Thompson. CSU intends to use the building to enhance student success.
$443,483 U.S. Department of Education “TRIO Student Support Services” for year one of a five-year grant.
CSU was the only HBCU awarded in Ohio. The project is designed to increase the retention and graduation rates of participating students. According to the Project Director, Mortenous A. Johnson, “We [TRIO Student Support Services] have a success formula: provide intentional co-curricular services, support instructional methods, and encourage participants to explore, welcome research, and execute their growth plans.” 
$312,480 award from the U.S. Department of Education, “CSU Upward Bound Program.”
John Anene, the project director, says the “Upward Bound program aims to generate academic skills that will facilitate participant’s completion of high school, gain admission to and success in a program of postsecondary education.”
$306,343 award funded by National Science Foundation, “Excellence in Research: Yakubovsky Calculations for Six-Nuclear Bound.”
Mohammadreza Hadizade.h, Ph.D. (CESTA). The project aims to study the properties of six-nucleon-bound states (atomic number A = 6 in Yakubovsky scheme).
$250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to “Investigate the Biotic and Abiotic Stresses in Honeybees and Pollinators.”
Hongmei Li-Byarlay Ph.D. (CESTA), the principal investigator, says, “the project will facilitate training of CSU and the Ohio State University students by the best researchers on pollinator biology, opportunities for cutting-edge researcher tools and topics so they can enter sustainable agriculture careers and gain growth opportunities for a future in the sustainable agriculture and agricultural economy.”
$250,000 “Creating Excellence in Agriculture Workforce” scholarship program.
Under the direction of Morakinyo Kuti Ph.D. The goal of the U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded project is to increase underrepresented individuals to meet the future workforce needs for Natural Resources Conservation Services and throughout USDA. 
$249,875 project funded by the U.S. Department of Education, “Improving Mathematics Instruction for STEAM Students.”
Bhupendra Paudyal, Ph.D. (CESTA), says “the project will use innovative strategies that have the potential to lead to significant and wide-reaching improvements in the delivery of educational services and tangible educational benefits to students.”

Super Seven Incentive$

Fall 2021 Registration

New, returning, and transfer students are eligible for incentives, grants, and scholarships making college an affordable choice
Central State University has announced a number of key initiatives designed to facilitate student enrollment and registration for the 2021 calendar year. First-year students just beginning college, returning students registering for the fall semester, and transferring students coming to finish their degree will all benefit. The Top Midwestern HBCU is comprised of four highly respected colleges in (1) education, (2) business, (3) engineering, science, technology, and agriculture, and (4) humanities, arts, and social sciences.
“We’re excited to unveil these innovative tools and incentives,” said Brandon Davis, Director of Admissions & Enrollment Management at CSU. “Enrollment at Central State is the key to the start of a bright future as our students embark on the career path of their dreams. With our beautiful grounds, dorms, and state-of-the-art classrooms to our award-winning programs, life on campus becomes a cherished experience as students grow, build lifelong friendships and enjoy close-knit communities.”
Central State has developed several packages tailored to get students on the road, with seven different incentives to help students and families save money and time:
1. Fee Reductions: All new and returning students who are in good academic standing with the University will receive a 10% tuition reduction and a 30% reduction of housing fees for the fall 2021 and spring 2022 semesters. Enrollment Confirmation Grant $500 (GPA 2.25 to 2.69) or $1,000 (GPA 2.7 or higher) will be awarded to incoming students who commit to Central State University by August 1 for the fall 2021 semester. Enrollment Transfer Grants $1,000 (GPA 2.7+) or $500 (GPA 2.25 to 2.699).  Transfer Tuition Scholarships and Grants are stackable.
2. On-campus Housing Benefits: For the 2021-22 academic year benefits will include customized move-in dates based on student requests and flexible housing fees for students who stay on campus for a minimum of two months.
3. Expanded Free Tuition: CSU has expanded its free tuition program for CSU employees, Alumni, and their families to enroll in degree-seeking classes regardless of age or financial dependency.
4. Transfer Scholarships:  CSU offers transfer students tuition scholarships up to $4K based on GPA and transferring credits.  Transfer Tuition Scholarships and Grants are stackable.
5. University Honors College: Incoming freshmen students who have a 3.5 unweighted cumulative grade point average coming out of high school qualify to apply to the University’s Honors College. Honors students will receive a First Semester Scholarship which covers tuition and fees. Those who qualify will also have the option of residing in honors residence halls with other academically motivated students.
6. Marauder Cares Free Text Books: Provides all required textbooks, lab manuals, access codes, and digital textbook versions to all undergraduate students at no cost.  Students save over $1500 during the school year.   
7. Marauder Tuition Guarantee: This guarantee freezes the amount students pay each year based on their first year, no matter how tuition costs may rise around the nation.
Davis summed up the excitement around campus for the 2021 school year. “With these seven initiatives, our hope is that even more students will enroll in the college with the lowest published costs in all of Ohio.” Then he added, “The University’s expansive 638-acre campus is exceptional in every way. And with 39 majors from which to choose, a fully online MBA program starting up in the fall, and help with scholarships and grants, Central State has it all, making advanced education attainable and affordable.” 
For assistance with fall registration, information about all the ways Central State University is right for you or your high school grad, visit as well as contact the Office of Admissions 937-376-6348.
Central State University. Start your future…today.


Central State University Extension awarded $250,000 grant to increase health/economic viability with creation of incubator farms and farmers’ markets within underserved communities

Improving the health and economic viability within struggling communities that are classified as food deserts is vitally important.  Central State University Extension (CSUE) has been awarded a three-year, $250,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture/National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA/NIFA) that will establish incubator farms and farmer’s markets in underserved Dayton-area neighborhoods.

“Many communities face barriers that prevent them from obtaining access to fresh fruits and vegetables within communities defined as food deserts,” says CSUE Agriculture/Natural Resources Program Leader Alcinda Folck, Ph.D. “Access to affordable and healthy foods is difficult because of limited transportation, low number of retail outlets selling fresh produce, and a high number of fast-food options. The end result leaves residents at greater risk for obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.”

The program will, says Dr. Folck, empower new farmers through training at incubator farms to establish their own farming operation; develop a curriculum for training farmers at incubator farms within underserved and underrepresented communities; improve community health through access and knowledge of incorporating fruits and vegetables into the diet, and encourage minorities to choose agriculture as a career.

Central State University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs F. Erik Brooks, Ph.D., stated, “One of my beliefs about institutions of higher education is that we cannot only take resources from the communities that we are located in, but rather we should be a resource to empower the people who live within them. This is a perfect example of fulfilling this belief.”  According to Dr. Brooks, many urban communities and rural communities are located in food deserts and this is one of many ways Central State plans to strike a blow against this issue that plagues low socio-economic communities. “Community health and wellness are on Central State University’s radar. This federal grant funding will allow our Extension Services to make a positive impact on health disparities and the lack of food in this community,” said Dr. Brooks. 

“This is a great opportunity for the College of Engineering, Science, Technology, and Agriculture (CESTA) at Central State University to be instrumental in addressing Food and Nutritional Insecurity in our underserved communities,” added Michelle M. Corley, Ph.D., dean of the CESTA/director 1890 Land-Grant Programs. “We look forward to the successful impacts and outcomes of this and many more endeavors to come.”

The grant funds will be used to create and support a local food system by training local residents to become sustainable farmers through educational opportunities and incubator farms. The grant also connects these beginning farmers with local consumers through farmer’s markets and other marketing outlets.

Mary Kershaw, Ph.D., Family & Consumer Sciences (FCS) program leader, is a co-author of the grant.  Her primary responsibilities for the project include training participants in family and consumer science, human nutrition, and leading cooking demonstrations. Anthony Barwick, Community & Economic Development program leader, will work with beginning farmers to teach them about record keeping, business planning, and the business aspects of agriculture.

Two incubator farms have been created, one in the Edgemont neighborhood in Dayton in partnership with Edgemont Solar Gardens, and another in the City of Trotwood, located on the grounds of the Trotwood Community and Cultural Arts Center.

According to Dr. Folck, the goals of the program are to recruit individuals and teach them how to farm and how to operate a farm business. Farmers are assigned plots to grow produce and are allowed to choose which crops they would like to grow, and they are trained and mentored by CSUE educators and community partners, who provide guidance on which crops are more likely to succeed based on things like seasons and soil conditions. Educational workshops are also videotaped so more individuals may benefit from the program. They can be viewed on YouTube @centralstateuniversityextension.

“We have had such a great response,” says Dr. Folck, “that all of our current incubator farm plots are now assigned. Our new farmers are regularly attending the classes, and we have held two successful farmers' markets, proving to participants that they can contribute to the local food system.”  Dr. Folck added that all farmer’s markets are located within the communities served by the program, are coordinated with local partners. Monthly cooking demonstrations will focus on produce that is available seasonally.

Wellness is a key component of the incubator program and to that end, Dr. Kershaw utilizes the CSUE Mobile Teaching Kitchen to host educational programs led by FCS Educators and Expanded Food and Nutrition Program (EFNEP) staff, to teach classes on food preparation and preservation.  Programs, such as the Diabetes Empowerment Education Program (DEEP), will be offered during non-growing seasons, as well as programs on financial management, stress management, communications, and more.

“CSUE programs are designed to make life better for the residents it serves,” says Dr. Folck.  “Our new Beginning Farmer Program will impact the lives of our neighbors by improving their family economics, health, and food preparation skills as well as create a stronger sense of community built around local food systems.” The program is designed to be replicated throughout the State of Ohio as funding becomes available with potential sites identified.

For more information about the CSUE Beginning Farmer Program, contact Dr. Folck at 937-376-6101.


Central State University Bee Research Program takes flight with expansion of bee yard

Research into bee genetics will take flight at Central State University (CSU) with the expansion of the apiary (bee) research yard located across from the University on the Central State Agriculture Research and Demonstration Farm, US 42 E, Wilberforce.

According to CSU Field Technician Ashley Cordle, the fully enclosed flight cage will allow research projects to occur with controlled and expanded genetic testing. “Specifically, CSU research will continue on comparing different stocks of honeybees and their mite-biting behavior,” says Cordle. “Some honeybees exhibit more grooming behavior towards the mites or have varying physical mandible characteristics.”

Central State University honeybee research is led by CSU Research Assistant Professor of Entomology Dr. Hongmei Li-Byarlay. Dr. Li-Byarlay, an expert in bee genetics, social behavior, and physiology, is committed to helping save honeybees through dynamic and innovative research and community presentations. Her research at CSU centers around honeybee genetics, behavior, breeding, and physiology.
“Honeybees are called a “Superorganism” with a collection of social behavior,” said Central State University Research Assistant Professor of Entomology Dr. Hongmei Li-Byarlay.  “A lot of questions on how honeybees communicate by their dance language are not answered yet. We use the flight cage to study their brain, their behavior, and genes determining the specific behavior. Of course, honeybees are important pollinators for our agriculture and environment for the production of fruits, vegetables, and crops.” she added.  “So learning how bees think and communicate is important for us to understand the ecosystem and evolution.”

For more information about the bee research program at CSU, contact Dr. Hongmei Li-Byarlay at

Central State University Partners with Propel Center, a New Global HBCU Headquarters for Innovation

Propel Center will provide students and faculty with world-class skills and leadership development opportunities through virtual and in-person instruction


Central State University is proud to announce its partnership with Propel Center, a new global campus headquartered in Atlanta that will support innovative learning and development for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) nationwide. Central State will collaborate with Propel Center and the entire HBCU community to bring leadership and career development programming to its students.


Propel Center was imagined and designed by Ed Farm, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing education through technology — with Apple and Southern Company supporting the project as founding partners. The Propel Center is designed to connect HBCU students to technology curriculum, cultural thought leaders, entrepreneurship skills development, and accelerator programs, with a focus on social justice and equity. 


The first-of-its-kind initiative will serve as a hub for all 100+ HBCUs and is designed to connect students and faculty from across the community and provide them with the knowledge, skills, tools, and resources necessary to transform our nation’s talent pipeline and workforce. Curriculum options will include AI and machine learning, agricultural technologies, social justice, entertainment arts, app development, augmented reality, design and creativity, career preparation, and entrepreneurship tracks. 


“We are delighted to build upon our partnership as an Apple C2 Regional Hub, which is part of Central State University’s Center for Academics, Research, and Innovation,” said Central State University President Jack Thomas. “Joining with these transformational leaders as part of this unprecedented and far-reaching initiative aligns with our journey as a premier innovative Midwest HBCU tech center focused on advancing our students as global leaders.”

Students from participating schools will access Propel Center’s online digital learning platform from anywhere and will also have access to the 50,000 square-foot Propel Center headquarters in Atlanta, equipped with state-of-the-art lecture halls, learning labs, and on-site living for a scholars-in-residence program.


“The HBCU community is a tremendous engine of Black creativity, entrepreneurship, and inclusive opportunity,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives. “We are thrilled to join with partners and community stakeholders to support the Propel Center and be part of this groundbreaking new global hub for HBCU innovation and learning, devoted to helping faculty create best-in-class curriculum and ensuring students have access to cutting-edge skills.”


“We know inequities exist in our society, and it’s up to each of us to be more intentional in our efforts to make a difference and bridge the gap,” said Tom A. Fanning, chairman, president, and CEO of Southern Company. “We know more must be done, and the establishment of the Propel Center is another important demonstration of Southern Company fulfilling our commitment to move our communities to a more equitable future. Partnering with Apple in this initiative is an exciting way to connect future leaders with these critical resources.”


“These investments are critical as we begin to truly scale Black innovation ecosystems,” said Anthony Oni, chairman, Ed Farm. “By leveraging technology and partnerships to connect students with unique learning opportunities, we can lift up the talent that already exists at these institutions of higher learning and accelerate their development. In doing so, we will have a hand in shaping the workforce of the future — and the leaders of tomorrow.”

Central State University announces enrollment incentives for new and returning students

Central State University will offer a variety of financial incentives for new and returning students starting this fall.

Central State University President Dr. Jack Thomas and University leadership emphasized the importance of providing additional financial assistance for students and their families as the country continues to navigate through the impacts of the global pandemic.

“In line with our mission to provide a quality and well-rounded education for our students, it is imperative for Central State University to give every opportunity in order to enable deserving and motivated students the ability to attend and benefit from our great institution,” said President Dr. Jack Thomas. “At Central State, students have an opportunity to fully develop and position themselves for lifelong success. While we continue to persevere through the pandemic, CSU is here to offer our support for those who wish to move forward with their educational development and professional aspirations.”

All new and returning students who are in good academic standing with the University will receive a 10% tuition reduction and a 30% reduction of housing fees for the fall 2021 and spring 2022 semesters. An enrollment deposit scholarship of $500 (GPA 2.25 to 2.69) or $1,000 (GPA 2.7 or higher) will be awarded to incoming students who commit to Central State University by May 1 for the fall 2021 semester.

On-campus housing benefits for the 2021-22 academic year will include customized move-in dates based on student requests and flexible housing fees for students who stay on campus for a minimum of two months.

CSU has expanded its free tuition program to CSU employees, Alumni, and their families to enroll in degree-seeking classes regardless of age or financial dependency. 

Incoming freshmen students who have a 3.5 unweighted cumulative grade point average coming out of high school qualify to apply to the University’s Honors College. Honors students will receive a First Semester Scholarship which covers tuition and fees. Those who qualify will also have the option of residing in honors residence halls with other academically motivated students.
In its ongoing efforts to ensure a safe and healthy campus community, CSU will continue to offer campus-wide Covid-19 testing and vaccine availability for all students. The University will also provide additional activities and on-campus resources for students in order to optimize the collegiate experience. CSU plans to upgrade a variety of areas on campus, including James J. Walker Gymnasium and surrounding areas in order to provide a multi-purpose outdoor area for sports and physical activities, a rock-climbing wall, additional intramural programs, common outdoor areas, and new workout facilities.
“We want to provide every opportunity for individuals to be able to attend our University,” says CSU Dean of Enrollment Dr. Harold Dixon. “We have nationally recognized academic programs along with faculty and staff who remain dedicated to the best interest of each and every student.”

Students interested in applying to Central State University are encouraged to visit as well as contact the Office of Admissions 937-376-6348.

Dr. Jack Thomas: A leader creating meaningful and transformative opportunities

“An era is defined by our focus and determination to elevate the standard of excellence that each of us delivers,” says Dr. Jack Thomas, President at Central State University. Currently, the world is steering the challenges of the pandemic. The education sector—especially—can not wait for things to go back to normal. Now is the time to innovate with traditional approaches. Given the current circumstance, it becomes more than vital to access all the opportunities and reach the limits possible .....

The Education Magazine link to the full article

Central State University welcomes new advisory trustees to the board

Central State University is pleased to announce that they have expanded the Board of Trustees seats to continue to enhance the service and mission of its role and capacity.  Three new seats have been created for University alumni representation in which they will serve as Advisory Members.  These appointments on the Board, including two Student Trustee positions, will bring the total number of Board members to 14. The advisory and student trustee seats are non-voting members.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Natalia S. Harris
, an advisory member, is the City Attorney for the City of Delaware, Ohio. She is the chief legal officer for the City of Delaware, providing legal advice to the City Council, City Manager, and all city departments. Harris is the first African American female and youngest to serve as city prosecutor for Cincinnati, Ohio – one of the three largest cities in Ohio. Having served as the first African American female in several roles, Harris is a facilitator of diversity and inclusion and a transformative leader.

Harris is an alumna of Central State University, Class of ’97, Cum Laude, B.A. She obtained her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Dayton and became a licensed attorney in 2000. She is also honored in the Central State University National Alumni Association Hall of Fame, a life member of the Central State University National Alumni Association, a member of the National Black Lawyers Association Top 100 (Ohio), and an Ohio Supreme Court Lawyer-to-Lawyer mentor. She has served on several boards throughout her professional career.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Dr. Harry Good, an advisory member, is a 1970 graduate of Central State University with a BA degree in Sociology, Urban Education, and an economist with an emphasis on distressed areas development.
As an entrepreneur, he serves as the President of HKG International Inc., an import, research, consulting, and publishing company. He also serves as a principal for Tabriztchi, Winfree, Bloom and Good, a municipal financial, research, and consulting company.  
Academically, he has served as the counseling coordinator, mentor, and professor of Africana Studies, Finance and Management, in the State and City University systems of New York.
In service to largely distressed communities, Good founded and presided over the Varick Memorial Federal Credit Union and the Jackson Memorial Economic Development Corporation of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) Church in Hempstead, New York.
A lifelong fundraiser for causes he is passionate about, Dr. Good serves in leadership roles in various community service organizations that focus on community development through self-help measures. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Shirley L. Mays, ’96, an advisory member, is a magna cum laude graduate of Central State University with a BA in Political Science and History and a graduate of Harvard Law School with a Juris Doctor degree. Mays clerked for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Ohio; worked for the international law firm of Squire Sanders & Dempsey in the areas of corporate and local government law; served as a Law Professor and Academic Dean for Capital University Law School, and served as a Law Professor and Dean for Arizona Summa Law School. Currently, she is.  the General Counsel for EVO Transportation & Energy Services, Inc. in Phoenix, Ohio, where her practice focuses on corporate, human resources, contract, and employment law. 

Mays is a Life Member of the HBCU Central State University Alumni Association and has been inducted into the Central State University Alumni Achievement Hall of Fame. Honored with many awards, Mays received the NAACP Distinguished Service Award, the Living History: Art of Jurisprudence Award.  She is a member of The Phoenix (AZ) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Jacqueline Bogan, a student trustee, is a native of Dayton, Ohio, and a Central State University junior majoring in Early Childhood Education. She has a passion to be of service to children and those she encounters on her campus and the Dayton community. 
Bogan has been on the Dean’s list during her entire college career, maintaining a 3.59 GPA. In addition to her studies, Bogan has participated in various campus activities and programs.

Along with serving as a Student Trustee on the University Board of Trustees, Bogan serves as a second-year Resident Advisor, Miss College of Education 2020/2021, and Vice-President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Beta Xi Chapter. Bogan is the recipient of the Delta Zeta, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated Scholarship, and the Dr. Arthur E. Thomas Scholarship. Upon graduation, she plans to attend graduate school and fulfill her dream of opening an early learning center and cheer academy.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Djimon Smith, a student trustee, is a Central State University graduating Senior majoring in Music Education from Chicago, Illinois.

Djimon is a diligent student who prides himself on his incredible work ethic, efficiency, and accomplishments. Amongst Djimon’s greatest accomplishments is writing music for live ensembles alongside the longtime musical director for Aretha Franklin, Fred Nelson III.  Upon graduation, Smith's future plans include opening and managing a charter school and becoming a superintendent. 

Djimon’s favorite quote is from the Honorable Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. where he says: “The measure of a man is not where he stands in the moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in the times of challenge and controversy.” 


Central State University Opens Corn Research Satellite Location To Meet Needs of Growing Research Efforts

For Immediate Release: March 18, 2021

Media Contact: Gretchen Rives

WILBERFORCE – Thanks to Central State University (CSU) being designated as an 1890 Land-Grant, CSU has been able to begin research initiatives that will have positive impacts across the globe. As a result, the university is growing, and that growth has added benefits to the local community.

To help meet the needs of its expanding corn research program, Central State University Agricultural Research & Development (CSU-ARD) has leased space in Beavercreek for processing the seed used in its research efforts, says Dr. Luke Farno, CSU research technician. The satellite offices are located at 1340 N. Fairfield Rd., Beavercreek, and were leased as there currently is no immediate space available on the CSU campus for the rapidly growing corn research program.

“The space allows for drying down, shelling, storing, and isolating seed, and the five offices will provide the additional space needed to allow our team to be more efficient and impactful in our research efforts,” said Dr. Farno.

“Much of the corn research at CSU focuses on high-amylase corn that has applications in both the health and industrial fields,” Dr. Farno added. “The CSU research team, under the guidance of CSU Research Professor Dr. Mark Campbell, is working to create new hybrid seed corn for use by both individual and private growers.”

The Central State University corn research team works with the Germplasm Enhancement of Maize Project (GEM), a collaborative research effort of the USDA-Agriculture Research Service (ARS), land grant universities, private industry, and international and non-governmental (NGO) organizations to broaden the germplasm base of maize.

High-amylase corn has potential uses ranging from 3-D printers to ethanol to creating foods for diabetic individuals due to its slower digestibility in the diet.

For more information about any CSU research or extension programs, visit

CSU Extension offers Free --- and Virtual --- Diabetes Education Class Series

For Immediate Release: March 15, 2021

Media Contact: Gretchen Rives

WILBERFORCE – Learn simple lifestyle changes that can prevent serious health concerns by enrolling in Central State University Extension’s free Diabetes Empowerment Education Program (DEEP) series of classes that will be offered virtually from 4:30 to 6 p.m., Tuesday(s), April 13 to June 1, via Microsoft Teams.

The Diabetes Empowerment Education Program is a series of eight classes conducted by Central State University Extension (CSUE) and community partners. DEEP certified Central State University Extension educators will teach the classes.

This program says CSUE Family and Consumer Program Leader/EFNEP Coordinator Mary Kershaw, Ph.D., is designed for adults interested in learning ways to manage their pre-diabetes/diabetes and reduce health risks.

Participants attend one session per week for eight weeks to participate in presentations, hands-on activities, and simple exercises. Participants will learn to manage their quality of life by preventing complications, developing self-care skills, as well as understanding and using available resources, Dr. Kershaw adds.

Topics will include:

---Understanding the human body

---Diabetes risk factors and complications

---Nutrition education and meal planning

---Importance of physical activity

---Managing stress

---Diabetes medications

Participants in the series of classes will identify unhealthy habits and learn skills to live a healthier lifestyle; learn techniques to manage and prevent common diabetes complications, such as stress, nerve pain, heart disease, stroke, blindness, and kidney failure; as well as receive free educational materials to maintain lifestyle changes.

For more information or to register, contact CSUE Family and Consumer Science Regional County Educator Renita Porter at or CSUE Family and Consumer Regional County Educator Juliana Erwin at

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:

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 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


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 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
Hocking College
   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

CSU president leading fundraising efforts by example

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


Central State using Land-Grant funds for Wright-Patt partnerships

Central State using Land-Grant funds for Wright-Patt partnerships

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  

Resource Plan
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:

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:

scan the QR code

- 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, 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.

Margaret and Me: Finding Our Way Home | Dr. Jennifer Cruz

Link to the YouTube video click here

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 or Dr. Nedunuri at

New AUA/CSU Agreement Creates Admissions Pathway for African-American Medical Students

American University of Antigua (AUA) College of Medicine has partnered with Central State University (CSU) to create an admissions pathway for qualified students to attend AUA and earn their Doctor of Medicine (MD) degrees.

New AUA/CSU Agreement Creates Admissions Pathway for African-American Medical Students.

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 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

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."

CSU President Cynthia Jackson-Hammond and Mitch Stevens, President of Union Privilege are present with others during the signing ceremony

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
12 p.m.
Louis Stokes Center for Aging (Ransier Room)
1400 Brush Row Road
Wilberforce, Ohio

Session 2 – for CSU Faculty and Staff
October 10,2019
9 a.m.
Louis Stokes Center for Aging (Ransier Room)
1400 Brush Row Road
Wilberforce, Ohio

Session 3 – CSU Alumni and Community Stakeholders October 10, 2019
12 p.m.
Louis Stokes Center for Aging (Ransier Room)
1400 Brush Row Road
Wilberforce, Ohio

Additional information on the search process can be found on the Central State University web site at and the web site of Academic Search, Inc. at, or by emailing questions to


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
    12 p.m.
    Louis Stokes Center for Aging (Ransier Room)
    1400 Brush Row Road
    Wilberforce, Ohio
  • Session 2 – for CSU Faculty and Staff
    October 10, 2019
    9 a.m.
    Louis Stokes Center for Aging (Ransier Room)
    1400 Brush Row Road
    Wilberforce, Ohio
  • Session 3 – CSU Alumni and Community Stakeholders
    October 10, 2019
    12 p.m.
    Louis Stokes Center for Aging (Ransier Room)
    1400 Brush Row Road
    Wilberforce, Ohio

Additional information on the search process can be found on the Central State University web site at and the web site of Academic Search, Inc. at, or by emailing questions to


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, has been established for your use. For more information regarding this process, please visit the “Presidential Search” page on our website

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.



Mark Hatcher, Esq, Chair
Central State University
Board of Trustees


Marauder Pride Community

We know you're excited about the new housing community coming to campus. We're excited also!

The new, multiplex Residence Hall is still in construction and the crew is working day and night to complete this massive, new state of the art residence facility.

Click Here to view the Marauder Pride Community video page, complete with a building tour with Jahan Culbreath


Central State University is pleased to announce that Dr. Fred Aikens will serve as interim dean of the College of Business, effective immediately.

photo of Dr. Fred Aikens, Interim Dean, College of Business

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.

Philanthropist Frank Murphy

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.

Students and SodexoMAGIC staff at the news conference


Congratulations Retirees

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

Glenda Skinner
Administrative Coordinator
8 years

Division of Student Affairs & Enrollment Management

Victor Adegbola
Counseling Services
13 years

Division of Academic Affairs

Nurjehan Henry
Library Assistant
11 years

Dr. Helen Senu-Oke
Associate Professor
College of Education
11 years

Dr. Kwawisi Tekpetey
College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences 20 years

Dr. Lennard Moses
Professor/Department Chair
College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences 35 years

Dr. Omokere Odje
College of Engineering, Science, Technology & Agriculture 38 years

Division of Administration and Finance

William Riggins
13 years

Wilfred Jones
Grounds Keeper
19 years

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.

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II is a contributing op-ed writer for The New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, and The Washington Post. Barber is also a 2018 MacArthur Fellow

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.

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

photo of Magic Johnson.

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 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

photo of Dr. B. Sherrance Russell, 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

photo from the Ohio Statehouse Inter-University Council meeting, including Central State University President Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, second from right.

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 -

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.

About Emsi

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 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'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.

Summer Banking Institute participants

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
  • LCNB
  • 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 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

Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, President, Central State University

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:


Central State Introduces Next Generation of Campus Living with $24M
Residential/Academic/Wellness Center

WILBERFORCE, OH. – Central State University took another solid step into the future after breaking ground for a $24M Residential/Academic/Wellness Center.

Students participate at the Groundbreaking ceremony in Wilberforce, Ohio

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.

Rendering of the new residence hall