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Booker T. Washington Leadership Institute awards five grants to Tuskegee University faculty members

October 07, 2021

Contact: Kawana McGough, Office of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing

Booker T. Washington Leadership Institute logo

The Booker T. Washington Leadership Institute (BTWLI) has launched a new mini-grant program focused on faculty and staff exploring the impact of student learning and success initiatives. The program will offer up to $2,500 in grant funding to projects promoting the Institute's mission to instill a culture of excellence, inclusion, scholarship, and service-learning.
The competitive mini-grants are awarded to eligible faculty who satisfactorily participated in the annual BTWLI workshops. This year's grant was awarded to five faculty members who will use the funds to facilitate the development of ten priority areas that align with the university's current career readiness goals, including, but not limited to, student awareness of careers related to their majors.

"We are thrilled to offer support to our faculty members who are directly enhancing the learning opportunities for our students," said Dr. Carla Jackson Bell, who chairs the Institute in addition to her role as dean of the Robert R. Taylor School of Architecture and Construction Science.

Funding for the mini-grant was provided by the BTWLI and Leon Richardson, chief executive officer of Chemico, and his wife, Cheryl, who gifted $25,000 to the Institute.

"This gift represents a commitment to investing in students' lives and their professional careers after graduation," Leon explained. "We hope that future engineers and business workers will be able to grow to their fullest potential. In doing so, this will provide an opportunity to help Tuskegee students assume future professional and leadership roles," Leon noted.

The list of mini-grant recipients include:

  • Dr. Zanice Bond and Dr. Lisa Bratton, (CAS), Title: Tuskegee University Students and the Tuskegee Airmen: Telling their Stories
  • Dr. Talesha Dokes, (CAENS), Title: Hunter Safety and Certification: The Importance of Traditional Utilization of Our Natural Resources 
  • Dr. Sheritta Fagbodun, (CAS), Title: Implementation and Assessment of a Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience (CUREs) in General Microbiology
  • Dr. Charissa Harris, (CAENS), Project Title: All Things Meat Training: Incorporating Instruction and Research into Developing a Niche for Meat Processing
  • Dr. Hyejin Lee, (CBIS), Title: Virtual Graduate School Fair Priority Area for Funding: Enhanced Academic/Career Advising

About the Booker T. Washington Leadership Institute

The vision of the BTWLI is to increase the number of transformational leaders and prepare for the growing needs of a community that seeks to positively change and improve leadership behavior through a process of self-awareness and self-discovery.

The university launched the Booker T. Washington Leadership Institute to inspire even more significant leadership potential on-campus and instill a culture of excellence, inclusion, scholarship, and service learning. Initially, programming will be tailored for faculty and staff and geared toward exploring the impact of student learning and success initiatives. Sessions were co-hosted by the Associate Provost, Dr. Tamara Floyd Smith, and Title III and are part of the 2020-21 Faculty Development Series. The workshops are themed around leveraging education and leadership, including student learning to cultural change.

The Institute's leadership team includes Dr. Carla Jackson Bell, chair and dean of Robert R. Taylor School of Architecture and Construction Science; Dr. Olga Bolden-Tiller, Assistant Dean and Department Head of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; Dr. Maria Calhoun, Interim Department Head of Mechanical Engineering; Dr. Shaik Jeelani, Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School; and Dr. Thierno Thiam Department Head of History and Political Science.

In partnership with Academic Affairs and Title III, the BTWLI provides additional benefits, including Certificates of Completion to all participants who attended the workshops to recognize their participation, and Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are also available to individuals who complete BTWLI sessions.

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