From Saturday, September 25th to Sunday, October 3rd, the Texas Southern University (TSU) family will be celebrating Homecoming 2021, and the new president of the University— Dr. Lesia L. Crumpton-Young—has one solid message and theme for everyone. She wants you to:
Experience the Transformation
Dr. Crumpton-Young, who was recently hired as the 13th President of TSU, sat down with the Houston Forward Times to share her vision for the University and discuss the goal and intent of this year’s Homecoming celebration and the meaning of the theme.
Dr. Crumpton-Young began her new role as TSU president on July 1st, after being unanimously selected to replace TSU Interim President Kenneth Huewitt—who served in the role since April 2020—and Dr. Austin Lane—who served as the 12th TSU president from 2016 to 2020. She believes the time to take TSU to the next level is now, as has a solid commitment to do so.
“I am focused on ushering in a new era of transformation,” said Dr. Crumpton-Young. “TSU already has an outstanding legacy. I want to build on that legacy by transforming the lives of individuals who come to our campus, and who want to receive a quality education, and who have high aspirations. That is the number one reason I’m here at TSU.”
According to Dr. Crumpton-Young, her focus has not been on things that occurred prior to her arrival, but on what she can do in her new role to ensure TSU moves progressively forward and has a healthy future.
“Coming in as the new president, I have been focused on the future of TSU, and not the past,” said Dr. Crumpton-Young. “I want to garner all of the funding and resource opportunities that are out there for our students and our faculty. I believe TSU is a beacon of light for the community, and I want us to spur more University-led economic and community development initiatives that benefit communities across the Greater Houston area.”
Dr. Crumpton-Young is no stranger to Texas, in that the Lone Star State his home to her. She touts her Texas roots, having also received her BS, MS, and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Texas A&M University. She considers her new role as president of TSU a calling and believes her past experiences have prepared her for this new role to be able to transform the University and the lives of students for the better. She has an impressive set of qualifications.
Dr. Crumpton-Young holds the distinction of being the first African American female to receive a Ph.D. in Engineering and she holds an MBA degree from Tennessee State
University. Prior to being named TSU president, she served as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer at Morgan State University (MSU), where she led innovative and data-driven adjustments to campus operations and pedagogical shifts in response to COVID-19. Relative to her other overall experiences in education, Dr. Crumpton-Young previously served as the Vice President of Research and Institutional Advancement and Chief Research Officer at Tennessee State University, where she significantly increased the new research awards at the university, which advanced the university’s national research ranking. In addition, she led an initiative to create a 90-acre Research and Innovation mixed-use district at Tennessee State University and served as Director of the Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence (CAFÉ), which conducts research and provides professional development services for assisting faculty and students in enhancing their effectiveness, performance, and productivity. Dr. Crumpton-Young also served as the Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs for Research and Sponsored Programs and Chief Research Officer at Tennessee State University, where she assisted in restructuring faculty workload policies, enhanced faculty incentive programs, and engaged more students in research and innovation programs.
While at Texas A&M University, Dr. Crumpton-Young served as Associate Provost and had the distinction of being a Program Director at the National Science Foundation. She also served as Department Head and Professor of the Industrial Engineering and Management Systems Department at the University of Central Florida (UCF), where she led her department to become the first to be ranked in US News and World Report, and she received the “National 2006 Outstanding Women of Color in Science and Technology Educator Award” and the “Trail Blazer Award” for being the first female to serve as a Department Head within the College of Engineering. Dr. Crumpton-Young was also the first woman to serve as Associate Dean of Engineering at Mississippi State University (MSU) and served as the developer and Director of the Ergonomics/Human Factors Experimentation Laboratory during her tenure at Mississippi State University. She was one of the first women to receive the “Hearin-Hess Distinguished Professor of Engineering Award.” She also received the 1999 “Janice A. Lumpkin, Educator of the Year Golden Torch Award” from the National Society of Black Engineers.
In 1997, Dr. Lesia L. Crumpton-Young received the “Black Engineer of the Year Education Award,” which is given to the one candidate whose qualifications place him/her in the ranks of the nation’s highest achievers in the field of engineering. She also received the US Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) from President Obama for her achievements in helping to diversify the STEM Workforce in our nation. Dr. Crumpton-Young is a current fellow in the African Scientific Institute and holds the distinction of being one of the first African American females to reach the rank of Full Professor in Engineering in the country. She has served on the National Science Foundation (NSF) Congressional oversight Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE), the NSF Engineering Advisory Committee, and the United States Army Science Board. Dr. Crumpton-Young also currently serves on several national advisory boards focused on increasing the underrepresented students successfully completing degrees in STEM fields.
Dr. Crumpton-Young is an accomplished researcher and scholar and recipient of the STEM Innovators award in 2017. As a researcher, she has served as Principal Investigator on numerous research projects, published numerous scholarly publications and was awarded nearly $6 million in research funding. Dr. Crumpton-Young is also a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Beta Gamma Sigma, Alpha Kappa Mu, and Golden Key International honor societies.
As part of her first 100 days, Dr. Crumpton-Young has implemented “staff listening sessions” to share her vision with staff, but also allow staff to share their challenges, concerns, and expectations with her.
“I have received great feedback from staff and have asked them to join me in our quest to achieve unprecedented success at an accelerated pace,” said Dr. Crumpton-Young. “I wanted their buy-in so that together we can do more than we have ever done before in a short period of time. I was so pleased that the majority of them were excited to join in with me to seize the moment. We are anxious to move forward and are excited to experience the transformation.”
Dr. Crumpton-Young states that she believes in inclusive decision making at all levels, especially by making sure the students are engaged. One of her first acts of inclusion, was extending her president’s cabinet to include the TSU Student Body President and the University Program Committee. She wants the students, faculty, and staff to work with her to improve relations at the University and ensure there is open dialogue amongst all stakeholders.
“I have built a good relationship with our leaders, and I want them to feel comfortable letting me know if and when there is a concern,” said Dr. Crumpton-Young. “I want all of the student leaders to know that they are welcomed to sit at the table with me. I want to hear them out and I am committed to resolving any issue or problem that may arise at the University.”
In her new role as TSU president, Dr. Crumpton-Young has taken the reins just in time for Homecoming 2021. She appears to be excited and ready to usher in this new transformation, and she is encouraging all stakeholders in the community and on campus to participate.
For this year’s Homecoming celebration, Dr. Crumpton-Young wants all TSU alumni, students, and community members to know that all events that have been scheduled—both on and off campus—are for the purpose of encouraging camaraderie and fellowship. Popular and anticipated outdoor events include the Annual Tiger Paw Scholarship Golf Classic,
Homecoming tailgating experience, parade, and on-campus football game against North
American University at Alexander Durley Stadium.
TSU will be adhering to guidelines related to large group gatherings by hosting both indoor and outdoor events to keep the TSU Tiger community safe. COVID-19 testing will be available on-site, as well as vaccinations.
For a full schedule of events and additional information, please visit www.tsu.edu/homecoming.