CHICAGO, IL (April 1, 2021) – Shedd Aquarium, a leader in animal care, conservation, education and research, announces the election of six new senior executives to the aquarium’s Board of Trustees which includes Zaldwaynaka “Z” Scott, Chicago State University President.

Zaldwaynaka Scott, president of Chicago State University.

“The dynamic group of leaders brings years of economic, cultural, social and community contributions that will bring great value not only to Shedd’s role in the healing and recovery of Chicago but also to informing and strengthening our future ambitions,” said Brain A. Kenney, chairman, president and CEO of GATX Corporation and Shedd Aquarium Board Chairman.

Scott serves as the President of Chicago State University as of 2018 and is considered a thought leader on issues of equity and access in higher education. In her time as President, she has overseen the development and advancement of student success initiatives, developed and implemented a five-year strategic plan and created a statewide, cross-sector Equity Working Group for Black Student Access and Success in Illinois’ Higher Education.

“Shedd Aquarium’s Board of Trustees is generous in so many ways, providing hard work, ideas, resources and connections that translate to meaningful and lasting impacts for Shedd and for Chicago,” said Bridget Coughlin PhD, president and CEO of Shedd Aquarium. “We are thrilled to usher in new insights and contributions from six tremendous leaders, who are also passionate about animals and saving this blue planet.”

Shedd is governed by the Shedd Aquarium Society, composed of volunteer corporate, civic and community leaders that make up the Board of Trustees with the primary responsibility for governance oversight and fiduciary accountability, as outlined in the Society bylaws. The board provides strategic direction for institutional priorities through work in both governance and programmatic committees.

About Shedd Aquarium
The Shedd Aquarium connects nature lovers and animal enthusiast with the aquatic animal world. Beluga encounters, beach clean-ups and 360 virtual dives with Caribbean reef sharks are all tools that deepen connections with wildlife and work toward this vision. For more information, visit www.sheddaquarium.org.

###

CSU Speaks to Grants’ Impact as Congress Consider the Program’s Future

Leslie Roundtree, Ph.D., Interim Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs at Chicago State University.

CHICAGO, IL – Dr. Leslie Roundtree, Interim Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at Chicago State University (CSU), testified on the impact of Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) before a Ways and Means Subcommittee of Worker and Family Support. Provost Roundtree was invited by the subcommittee Chairman Congressman Danny Davis as Congressman Davis supports continued investment in the program. The hearing “Health Profession Opportunity Grants; Past Successes and Future Uses,” was on Wednesday, March 10, at 1:00 PM CST.

“The Health Profession Opportunity Grants programs not only give individuals a first-opportunity at securing a post-secondary education, but also a chance to continue up the career ladder,” said Leslie Roundtree, DHS, Interim Provost & Senior Vice President, Chicago State University. “We have seen firsthand that success builds hope. These degrees put the individual participants on a new trajectory and impact families and the communities in which they reside.”

CSU provides one of 32 HPOG programs sponsored through the Administration for Children and Families, which provides much-needed life and job skill services. The grant is a five-year program, which started in 2015. The program assists individuals with low incomes at 200% of poverty and/or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients in securing careers in health sciences through education and financial support. The program, titled STEP UP, targets individuals who may otherwise be unlikely to secure a post-secondary education. The program provides job skill development, career readiness, employment boot camps, and supported employment placement to prepare participants for career and employment success after the program ends.

Provost Roundtree’s testimony is available here

###

About Chicago State University
Chicago State University (CSU) is a public, comprehensive university that provides access to higher education for students of diverse backgrounds and educational needs. The university fosters the intellectual development and success of its student population through a rigorous, positive, and transformative educational experience. CSU is committed to teaching, research, service and community development including social justice, leadership and entrepreneurship. For more information, visit www.csu.edu.

New Study Outlines the University’s Pivotal Role in Creating a Strong Diverse Economy & Providing a Robust Return on Investment for Students and Taxpayers

CHICAGO, IL (Feb. 12, 2021) – As Illinois’ only four-year Predominately Black Institution, Chicago State University (CSU) has a proven track record in supporting diverse students’ access and success in securing a college degree. On Thursday, CSU releases its inaugural Economic Impact Study, conducted by economists, that demonstrates the institution is a driving force in the Illinois economy by adding $1.6 billion in income to the Illinois economy, supporting 17,525 jobs, and providing a strong return on investment for students and Illinois taxpayers.

“For everyone dollar invested in Chicago State University, Illinois residents see a $7 return on investment; a clear signal of the depth of our contribution to the city and state,” said Zaldwaynaka Scott, Esq., President of Chicago State University. “Through academic research, community initiatives, and education, the institution is a driving force for not only educating diverse students, but also inclusive economic growth.”

Study Findings

The study found that CSU has a significant positive impact on the business community and generates a return on investment to its major stakeholders groups – students, taxpayers, and society. Using a two-pronged approach that involves an economic impact analysis and an investment analysis, the study calculates the benefits received by each of these groups.

Results of the analysis reflect fiscal year (FY) 2018-19. Through CSU’s operations research, student activities, and alumni employment and leadership, CSU generated more tax revenue than it received. Taxpayer’s average annual rate of return is 11.9%.

“The economic impact report makes clear what we have have long known: Chicago State University is critical to building a strong state economy,” said Governor Pritzker. “That’s why my administration was proud to support CSU with bold investments through the state’s Rebuild Illinois capital plan, which has provided nearly $30 million for campus infrastructure improvements and a state-of-the-art health sciences simulation facility. I applaud CSU leadership for their work to provide a quality education to its student and I look forward to our continued partnership to educate our next generation of leaders and innovators.”

“CSU’s inaugural economic impact study illustrates the full extent this incredible institution plays in our region’s economy,” said Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. “Chicago benefits tremendously from the CSU alum who are leading in their professions, and I share President Scott and the University’s passionate commitment to research and engagement that results in equitable development and improved social determinants which strengthen our city and entire region.”

The study also found that an education at CSU is a smart investment for students. Our bachelor degree graduate each earn additional $843,000 over the course of their professional careers. This means a return of $5.00 in increased future earnings for every $1 a student invests in their education at CSU.

“The Economic Impact Statement released by Chicago State University tell us what we already know – the university is an essential part of the economic fabric of the surrounding community, the City of Chicago and the state of Illinois,” said James Derwinski, CEO/Executive Director of Metra. “Among the many ways in the university spurs economic growth is through the focus on equity in public transit, a focus we share. We are honored to be its partner as we look to bring economic transformation to our neighborhoods and communities.”

“Chicago State University is the unacknowledged treasure among the Illinois institutions of higher education,” said Avis LaVelle, Executive Director of Business Leadership Council. “It is time for all to recognize what a jewel CSU is and the extent to which it has contributed to the educational success of so many.”

Study Background

Data and assumptions used in the study are based on several sources, including Fiscal Year 2018-19 academic and financial reports from CSU, industry and employment date from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau, outputs of Emsi’s Muti-Regional Social Accounting Matrix model, and 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 economic impact and investment effectiveness. Additional information on the study is available here.

###

About Chicago State University
Chicago State University (CSU) is a public, comprehensive university that provides access to higher education for students to diverse backgrounds and educational needs. The university fosters the intellectual development and success of its student population through a rigorous, positive, and transformative educational experience. CSU is committed to teaching, research, service and community development including social justice, leadership and entrepreneurship. For more information, visit www.csu.edu.

(CHICAGO, IL – 11/19/20) As Chicago State University students nearing graduation prepare to lead in their professions and communities, the institution announces that Chicago’s Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot will serve as the Fall 2020 Commencement speaker. Mayor Lightfoot will address the graduating class on December 17 at 11 a.m. for the university’s first virtual commencement ceremony.

“We are honored to have Mayor Lightfoot speak at this year’s commencement ceremony,” said President Zaldwaynaka Scott, Esq. “As the city’s first African American female mayor who has focused her administration work on bringing resources to all of Chicago’s neighborhood’s while also governing during a challenging period, our graduates will benefit tremendously from her insights as a civic leader and a trailblazer.”

About Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot

Mayor Lightfoot has undertaken an ambitious agenda of expanding opportunity and inclusive economic growth across Chicago’s neighborhoods and communities, with early accomplishments including landmark ethics and good governance reforms, worker protection legislation, and closing a then-record $838 million budget gap, as well as key investments in education, public safety and financial stability. Mayor Lightfoot also placed Chicago on the path to a $15 minimum wage by 2021.

In response to the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, Mayor Lightfoot has led a coordinated, citywide response across government, business, and community organizations to effectively address its spread and broader public impact, including the creation of the Racial Equity Rapid Response Team, the COVID-19 Recovery Task Force, among other actions. 

Prior to her election, Mayor Lightfoot most recently served as a senior equity partner in the Litigation and Conflict Resolution Group at Mayer Brown. Previously, she also served as a civic leader in roles that include President of the Chicago Police Board, as well as the Chair of the Police Accountability Task Force.

A native of Massillon, Ohio, Mayor Lightfoot has been a resident of Chicago since 1986 and lives on the Near Northwest Side with her wife Amy Eshleman and their daughter.

The fall commencement ceremony is not Mayor Lightfoot’s first visit to CSU, having addressed the campus and community members during a forum with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle in March 2019, weeks before her election in April 2019.

“Having Mayor Lightfoot as our commencement speaker is an honor,” said Jasmine Moss, CSU Communications major and Fall 2020 graduating senior. “She has had a tremendous impact on the city of Chicago, in particular the Southside where Chicago State is located. As I prepare to graduate during an uncertain time, I look forward to learning from the insight of a leader mapping the city’s path forward.”

About Commencement

Commencement will be held on Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 11 a.m. The public is invited to watch the ceremony streamed online at www.csu.edu. Learn more.

About Chicago State University

Chicago State University (CSU), founded in 1867, is the oldest public university in the Chicago Metropolitan area. The University’s five colleges offer over 70 undergraduate and graduate degree-granting and non-degree programs. CSU is committed to equity in education, serving as the only U.S. Department of Education-designated four-year Predominantly Black Institution in Illinois and ranked by a Harvard economist in the top 4% of public and private universities nationwide in supporting graduates’ economic mobility. The University serves as a prominent civic space on the greater South Side of Chicago by hosting a multitude of athletic, educational, cultural, and recreational activities. The University is located near public transit that provides convenient access to the campus. For more information, visit www.csu.edu.

CHICAGO, IL – Members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation are urging Congress support for more funding for minority-serving institutions, including Predominately Black Institutions (PBIs). In a letter written to the Congress of the United States, Illinois officials are asking for additional funding to provide much-needed emergency relief to Illinois students from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods amid the ongoing pandemic. 

“HCF appreciates and supports members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation for their sincere call to action for more funds for minority-serving institutions, especially Predominately Black Institutions (PBIs),” said Demetrius Johnson, Jr., president and CEO, Founder of HCF. “As stated in their letter to the Congress, Illinois is home to Chicago State University (CSU), the only U.S. Department of Education designated public four-year PBI. For years, CSU has invested in the African American and Minority population throughout Chicagoland and the U.S., providing educational access to economically low-income students.”

The CARES Act allotted $18 million for the Strengthening PBIs Program, of which CSU was allotted just under $150,000. Amid the pandemic, CSU provided students with housing during the Illinois Stay at Home Order and covered the cost of student devices for online coursework. Through PBIs, Such as CSU, can foster conditions for equity by supporting and educating students, primarily African-American and low-income students, to enhance economic mobility.

“Our organization stands by its founded mission, which is to support every “Black” designated institution that is vigorously in operation, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Predominately Black Institutions (PBIs), and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs),” said Johnson. “We fully stand behind the members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation and CSU to urgently ask Congress to pass another measure that will give PBIs more access and the assurance that they need to provide the necessary resources and prepare for the uncertainties of the upcoming academic year.”

PBIs, as defined in the Higher Education Act of 1965, has a student population that is comprised of 50 percent of low-income individuals or first-generation students. In addition, the Higher Education Act ensures that PBIs maintain lower expenditure levels to enable the acceptance of high percentages of students within these categories.

Text of the letter to Congress from the Members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation, can be found here.

###

About Chicago State University (CSU)
Chicago State University (CSU) is a pubic, comprehensive university that provides access to higher education for students of diverse backgrounds and educational needs. The University fosters the intellectual development and success of its student population through a rigorous, positive, and transformative educational experience. CSU is committed to teaching, research, service and community development including social justice, leadership and entrepreneurship.

About HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF)
The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) is a nonprofit advocacy educational organization that is mission to support the significance and raises funds for scholarships, initiative programming, and for private and public HBCUs and MSIs. HCF remains today as a strong advocate for students and higher education. For more information, visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.

This new partnership allows Olive-Harvey College graduates to go directly into Chicago State University’s bachelor’s degree program in business administration with a focus on supply chain management

CHICAGO, IL – Chicago State University (CSU) and City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) announce a partnership to offer guaranteed admission to eligible transfer students from Olive-Harvey College (OHC), creating a clear path to a CSU bachelor’s degree and eventually a career in supply chain management.

Olive-Harvey College students who complete an Associate in Applied Sciences degree in Supply Chain Management and Logistics will see credit hours applied to their bachelor’s degree at Chicago State, allowing them to start the University’s Business Administration program with a concentration in Supply Chain Management as juniors.

“Partnerships with industry leaders and universities have been key as Olive-Harvey College has built a center of excellence in transportation, distribution and logistics, including a new state of the art facility and programs to match,” said Kimberly Hollingsworth, Olive-Harvey College President. “This agreement will take those programs to the next level — offering Olive-Harvey supply chain management students a clear pathway to transfer to a quality, affordable bachelor’s degree, just blocks away, at Chicago State University.”

“Supply Chain management is a vital component in running many businesses today,” said Zaldwaynaka Scott, Esq., Chicago State University President. “Strong supply chain systems are critical for rapid delivery and a flawless customer experience that are key to succeeding in a 21st century economy. Businesses across industries are looking to institutions such as Chicago State University for diverse leaders with an accredited bachelor’s degree and experience to lead their organizations. By partnering with Olive-Harvey College, we are expanding access to education for the next generation of supply chain leaders.”

Olive-Harvey College students like Suzzette Anderson are already taking advantage of this agreement, which will see its inaugural group of students start this fall at Chicago State University. Originally at Olive-Harvey College to earn her GED, Suzzette stayed on as a credit student and quickly took advantage of all the college had to offer — like the state-of-the-art Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics Center, which includes a high-tech central store warehouse environment, diesel and automotive engine and vehicle laboratories, and simulated driving faculties. As she worked toward her Associate of Applied Science in Supply Chain Management & Logistics, she landed a job at UPS to get hands-on experience in the industry. Eventually, she wants to open her own business, but first she wants to earn her bachelor’s degree at Chicago State University.

“Leadership matters — and I want to thank President Hollingsworth and President Scott for spearheading a transfer partnership that will help create a more diverse supply chain industry and a more inclusive Chicago economy,” said Juan Salgado, City Colleges Chancellor. “I encourage Chicagoans seeking to enter the growing TDL field to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Both institutions have worked to ensure that the partnership provides a seamless transition for OHC graduates like Suzzette, who will dive right into the core curriculum of CSU’s business administration bachelor’s degree program. To quality for this guaranteed admissions agreement, OHC students must earn at least a 2.0 on a 4.0 grading scale for all transferable coursework taken at OHC, and work with the OHC Transfer Center to sign on to the agreement.

To learn more about Chicago State University’s College of Business and its new Supply Chain Management program, visit www.csu.edu. To learn more about City of Colleges of Chicago, including Olive-Harvey College and its Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics degree and certificate programs, visit www.ccc.edu.

###

CHICAGO, IL – Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot named Chicago State University President Zaldwaynaka Scott, Esq. to the COVID-19 Recovery Task Force for the City of Chicago. The committee held its first meeting last week virtually, co-chaired by Mayor Lightfoot and Sam Skinner, former White House Chief of Staff.

The COVID-19 Recovery Task Force is comprised of five core committees led by industry experts and government leaders, with recommendations developed out of the Policy & Economic Stimulus Committee, the Mental & Emotional Health Committee, and the Marketing & Business Development Committee. President Zaldwaynaka Scott, Esq. joined the Task Force as a member of the Mental & Emotional Health Committee.

“I am honored to join the Task Force,” said President Scott. “COVID-19 is severely impacting the health and economic well-being of Chicago’s black and brown communities. An equitable recovery will not occur without a laser focus on the communities hardest hit. Chicago State University, located on Chicago’s South Side, is Illinois’ only four-year Predominately Black Institution. As President of Chicago State, I and the University are fully committed to the Mayor’s vision.”

The Mental & Emotional Health Committee is focused on ensuring the health and well-being of Chicagoans are supported holistically during COVID-19, as residents experience grief due to the loss of loved ones and stress and anxiety due to unemployment and uncertainty about the future.

There is also a Regional Coordination Committee to ensure alignment across neighboring governing bodies, as well as a Committee titled Change Study that is analyzing the economic and social impacts of COVID-19 on Chicago.

The Task Force will meet weekly for up to eight weeks to create recommendations for a strong recovery from COVID-19 in the City of Chicago. For more information on the COVID-19 Task Force, visit here.

###

Elliott Charles

CHICAGO, IL – Chicago State University (CSU) President Zaldwaynaka Scott, Esq. announced the hiring of Elliott Charles as the University’s Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. Charles has more than 14 years of intercollegiate athletics experience, including leadership positions at Clemson University and Florida A&M University.

Charles will join Chicago State on December 16, 2019. He will succeed Eric Hyman, who served as the Interim Director of Intercollegiate Athletics for the past few months.

“Elliott rose to the top as a candidate in our search for AD,” said Zaldwaynaka Scott, Esq., President of Chicago State University. “He understands the intercollegiate athletic program needs of our university and is passionate about his approach to student academic success and excellence.”

Charles comes to Chicago State after two year at Clemson University, a Division 1 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) program, with 256 employees, 19 sports and 500 student athletics. As Associate Director for Compliance Services at Clemson, he is responsible for day-to-day operations of the department with direct oversight of compliance and student services for athletics. He is a faculty members in the Athletic Leadership Program in Clemson’s College of Education.

“I would like to thank President Scott for the opportunity to serve Chicago State University,” said Charles. “I have been a proud member of the Clemson Tiger family and will be forever grateful to have been part of such a rich tradition of student success and service to the community. My family and I are excited to join Cougar Athletics while ushering n our championship era.”

Prior to Clemson University, Charles served as Deputy Director of Athletics at Florida A&M University, Associate Director of Athletics for Compliance at the University of South Florida, Assistant Director of Athletic Compliance at University of Alabama and the Assistant Commissioner for Compliance in the Mid-American Conference.

Charles holds an MBA from Northern Illinois University and a master’s degree in Sports Management from Illinois State University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the University of South Florida. He and his wife Stormie, are proud parents of two children.

###

About Chicago State University

Chicago State University (CSU) is a public, comprehensive university that provides access to higher education for students of diverse backgrounds and educational needs. The university fosters the intellectual development and success of its student population through a rigorous, positive, and transformative educational experience. CSU is committed to teaching, research, service and community development including social justice, leadership and entrepreneurship. For more information, visit www.csu.edu.

ILLINOIS – Illinois public universities have launched a statewide advocacy campaign that includes call-to-action for alumni and appearances from university presidents around the state to build grassroots community and legislative support for higher education.

The campaign, “The Time is Now: Re-invest in Illinois Higher Education” focuses on the importance of contacting legislators to urge for increased funding for Illinois public universities so the institutions can continue to drive the state’s economic growth and development. An increase in funding for public higher education will create jobs and spur more economic activity statewide, while providing students with much needed improvements to campus buildings, classroom and new technology.

“State funding is very critical to providing the necessary demands and affordability of students in today’s generation of higher education. It is imperative that we continue to fight no matter if its an HBCU institution or not. Illinois legislators must be held accountable for the future of its state institutions including Chicago State University, who HCF highly supports. The effect of funding lowers the effect of resources needed for the economic success of students, and preparing them for the future workforce,” said Demetrius Johnson, Jr., President and CEO at HBCU Campaign Fund.

During the FY 16-17 Illinois budget crisis, funding for higher education throughout the state of Illinois was significantly reduced by hundreds of millions of dollars forcing universities to defer maintenance and realign resources to ensure continued student success. Since that time, the state has seen an outmitigation of college students attending universities out of state due to the uncertainty of state support.

“The HBCU Campaign Fund will join Chicago State University and other Illinois state universities in the fight to increase funding by asking Illinois state legislators to invest in higher education,” Demetrius continued.

The Illinois General Assembly is set to conclude its work Friday, May 31. Each University has submitted a proposal detailing capital and operational needs and has requested a funding increase.

The time is now, you can join HCF and Illinois public universities by contacting the Illinois state legislation and asking them to invest in higher education. Click here for more information.