Black History Month is an annual observance honoring the achievements of African American men and women who have made significant contributions to their communities, career fields and society. CSU is proud to recognize our Black alumni, students and faculty whose dedication to their communities and professions are making an impact now and for future generations.
As the industrial division manager of Greenup, a provider of construction, maintenance and third-party procurement services, Naiika Bass is making waves for women in her field. After earning an associate degree in occupational safety and health from CSU, Bass worked in the oil and gas industry as a safety professional. Now in her role as manager, her highest priority each day is to make sure her team gets home safely. Because of her dedication, Greenup has won numerous awards for their excellence in safety including the Specialties Services Award for Outstanding Safety Performance.
Luther DuPree III
Lieutenant Luther DuPree of Alameda, California, wanted to enter the law enforcement field to show people how to treat others. He knew he was the man for the job when an opportunity arose for him to chair an anti-bullying program for middle school students. A decade later, DuPree has been presenting anti-bullying techniques in local schools, via a program he created himself. DuPree spent his childhood years in the Boys and Girls Club and later volunteered for the organization as a young adult. Because of his dedication to make a difference, DuPree has won numerous awards including Officer of the Year and the Medal of Valor. He is a 2020 CSU graduate.
CSU graduate Brittnie Granville represented the state of Alabama as the 2021 Miss Black Alabama USA. She used her title to raise awareness of many causes including literacy in children and being an advocate to raise awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder. A resident of Madison, Alabama, Granville earned her MBA at CSU followed by her certification in Entrepreneurial Essentials from Harvard Business School online and Women’s Entrepreneurship from Cornell University. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; United Women of Color; NAACP; AUM Foundation Mentor; and the Black Girls Social Club.
Laynnea Myles of Franklin Park, New Jersey, is the assistant vice president of environmental health and safety for L’Oréal. She is a member of the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), ASSP’s Blacks in Safety Excellence Common Interest Group and ASSP’s Women in Safety Excellence. Myles earned her master’s in occupational safety in health from CSU. Read more about her story in the fall 2021 issue of the alumni magazine.
Army veteran Elroy Widow started his journey to earn a college degree in 1982. After one year in school, he withdrew and enlisted in the military. While in the military, Widow earned 20 years of experience in logistics in management and warehousing operations. His dedication to his work in safety earned him the Environmental Health and Safety Award at Pentair Valves and Control in 2013. After retirement from the Army, he picked up where he left off and started working on his degree at CSU. Widow graduated from CSU in 2021 with a bachelor’s in occupational safety and health.
Dr. Haynes of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is a full-time psychology instructor at Columbia Southern University. As someone whose life has been changed by education, she works daily to provide her students with the tools they need to sustain in society. Dr. Haynes is a life member of Psi Chi International Honor Society, National Association for Social Workers, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and The American Psychological Association. She was most recently nominated by CSU students for the faculty “Raising the Bar” award.
A 28-year veteran in the fire service, Cornelius Robinson of Sharpsburg, Georgia, serves as the fire chief for the City of Fairburn, Georgia. Robinson has earned his associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees all from CSU. He is expected to graduate with his MBA in public administration in early 2022. With his degree, Robinson hopes to climb to the next level and reach his goal of becoming a city administrator.
It is an honor to recognize our outstanding CSU students, alumni and faculty members. If you are a CSU student or alumnus and would like to be recognized for your outstanding achievements, please email Communicator@ColumbiaSouthern.edu.