If we want to restore the basic bargain of America — that if you work hard, you can get ahead — the most important step we can take is to produce more college graduates. The typical college graduate earns more than half a million dollars extra over the course of his or her life compared to a high school graduate, and the unemployment rate for college graduates is less than half what it is for high school graduates. The United States has made enormous progress over the last half-century in opening the doors of higher education to millions of Americans. Yet, there remains a persistent racial gap in who completes college. For students who enter college, white students are one and half times more likely to graduate within six years than Black students. In fact, less than 4 in 10 Black students who start college finish within six years. Black students are also much more likely to have to take a remedial course, work part-time while in college, and attend a two-year instead of a four-year college.
As a presidential candidate and the president of an HBCU, we are committed to partnering together to increase the college completion rates of African-Americans in order to expand opportunities and extend the American Dream to hundreds of thousands of more students each year. A key ingredient in this work will be supporting our Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
For millions of African-American college graduates in America, HBCUs have provided a pathway to the middle class. HBCUs graduate about half of Black teachers in America, large numbers of Black scientists and engineers, and one in three Black college graduates with degrees in biology and math. They do this while serving a population in which more than two-thirds of students receive Pell Grants, a demonstration of how they expand opportunity, even with limited resources, to new corners of society. But HBCUs cannot continue to offer this pathway to the middle class without real resources for their institutions and for their students.
First, we need to provide HBCUs with the funding they need to keep creating educational pathways for under-served students and improve their retention and graduation rates. We’re calling on everyone who cares about higher education to support a proposal that will make new direct investments in public colleges and universities, including public HBCUs, to make sure that those students at public HBCUs never have to take out a loan to pay tuition for a four-year degree and never have to pay a dime for tuition for a two-year degree. And because public HBCUs serve an above-average proportion of Pell Grant recipients, they will receive comparatively more federal funding under the compact, all while students can direct Pell Grant funding to living expenses. And for private HBCUs, the compact makes up to $25 billion available for HBCUs and MSIs. These funds will not only reduce attendance costs but improve support services that can be so critical to student success in college.
Fran Cutrell Rutkovsky was raised in Dixon Springs, but has ties with Hartsville and she and her husband subscribe to The Vidette. She recently contacted me to say that she had run across some historical reference to a fellow from here who made an important contribution to Tennessee State University in Nashville. She asked me if I had ever heard of him.
I hadn’t, but I quickly set to work to find out more about this amazing fellow.
I contacted the Tennessee State University library and asked the librarian if she had any information on Mr. Carr, who was also the school’s first agriculture teacher. She not only had his biography but she also had his “autobiography”!
Benjamin Carr had written down his own history!
I quote from the first page:
“I was born a slave on the farm of Jordan Carr, in Macon County, and with the exception of a few months in Kentucky, I have spent my whole life in Trousdale County, Tenn. As a boy I worked for different white farmers in this vicinity. From these I got my training and the inspiration for future work.”
The UI research team will look at potential vulnerabilities in the nation’s power grid and develop cybersecurity tools to prevent intrusions and mitigate the impact of a successful attack.
The UI team consists of members of CREDC, including Argonne National Laboratory, Arizona State University, Dartmouth College, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Oregon State University, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Rutgers University, Tennessee State University, the University of Houston and Washington State University. The consortium is also partnering with industry representatives, such as Illinois power company Ameren.
For the past year, a team of Tennessee State University students and I have been investigating the air quality in and around the Cayce Place community as participants in an Environmental Protection Agency research project.
Low-income and minority communities such as Cayce Place are often the hardest hit by the effects of air pollution and climate change.
The EPA’s new Clean Power Plan will, for the first time ever, limit power plant releases of carbon dioxide, particulate matter and related pollutants such as ozone.
Forty percent of the U.S. population living near power plants are people of color — so the plan will greatly benefit these communities. It will reduce incidences of asthma and other pollution-related illnesses, as well as create thousands of new jobs and save families money on utility and medical bills.
Yet, despite findings from several independent organizations showing how the Clean Power Plan will benefit low-income and minority communities, the National Black Chamber of Commerce released a report earlier this year misrepresenting its impacts. The report, funded by special interest groups seeking to preserve the bottom line for fossil fuel companies, alleges — wrongly — that the plan will harm African- American and Hispanic families.
By spreading misinformation, the National Black Chamber of Commerce is risking the health of thousands of children of color in Tennessee and across the country.
A ground based search for exoplanets featuring a new computer-run planet hunter has located a system of three “super Earths” orbiting a Sun-like star about 54 light years from Earth.
The team of astronomers who made the discovery used the Doppler method, in which “wobbles” resulting from the gravitational pull of orbiting planets on the parent star are measured.
That star, HD7924, is visible to the naked eye in the sky of Earth’s northern hemisphere.
All three planets are approximately six to seven Earth masses and orbit HD7924 closer than Mercury orbits our Sun, with periods of five, 15, and 24 days.
The research team, which included scientists from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa; the University of California at Berkeley; the University of California Observatories, and Tennessee State University, found the planets using three ground-based telescopes–the Automated Planet Finder (APF) Telescope at Lick Observatory in California; the W. M. Keck Observatory on Maunakea, Hawaiʻi, and the Automatic Photometric Telescope (APT) at Fairborn Observatory in Arizona.
The Dyer County Agriculture Extension Service will be presenting biodiesel workshops on Thursday, March 26. The workshops will be held at the Dyer County Extension Auditorium in Dyersburg beginning at 6 p.m. Featured speakers from Tennessee State University’s Department of Agricultural and Environmental Services, are Dr. Jason de Koff, PhD – assistant professor Bioenergy Crop Production; Dr. Prabodh Illukpitiya – assistant professor; Alvin Wade – Extension assistant professor; and Chris Robbins – Extension agent and farm manager. They are part of Tennessee State University’s cooperative extension program that is touring the state with its biodiesel education demonstration trailer to provide an up-close look at the biodiesel production process. The trailer is also scheduled to make stops in Somerville, Sweetwater, and Winchester.
The Tennessee State University Otis L. Floyd Nursery Research Center has been recognized as the Tennessee Recycling Coalition’s “Recycler of the Year” in the higher education school category.
The NRC has recycled approximately 200,000 pounds of polyethylene plastic since 2010.
“It is a great honor to be recognized for this program,” Dr. Nick Gawel, superintendent of the NRC, said in a release. “TSU is proud of our partnership with the Tennessee nursery industry and the opportunity to make this industry even more green and sustainable.”