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Rise to the Top: Lesia Crumpton-Young of Texas Southern University

Published Jan 16, 2023 by A.J. Mistretta

Lesia Crumpton-Young.jpg

Lesia Crumpton-Young

In this episode of the Partnership's Rise to the Top podcast, we're talking to Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, President of Texas Southern University. We explore TSU’s 90-plus-year journey from junior college to one of the most respected universities in our region and Lesia’s appointment to lead the prestigious institution.

Host and Partnership Chief Development Officer Katie Pryor talks with Lesia about the higher education landscape in Houston, her personal journey in academia and what advice she has for the next generation of female professionals.

Other topics include the evolution of opportunities for Black women and the specific challenges facing the nation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). We also learn about some of the Houston places and experiences that are special to Lesia as a newer Houstonian.  

Launched in 2021, the Greater Houston Partnership's Rise to the Top podcast aims to amplify the insight of accomplished female leaders in the Houston region. 

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Learn more about the Partnership's female-focused business resource groups Executive Women's Partnership and Women's Business Alliance

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6 Ways to Engage with the Partnership this Spring

The Partnership regularly offers many exciting opportunities to expand your involvement in not only our impact-driven work, but also with Houston's business community. From valuable program offerings and building relationships abroad to advocating for sound policy at our nation's capital, the Partnership is continuously working to bolster the region.  Looking to deepen your engagement in our work that's driving Houston as a great global city? Here are a few ways you can do just that.     1. Convene with Business Leaders and Industry Experts  The Partnership's signature events give our members the opportunity to engage in lively discussions on industry-specific topics and issues most important to the region, while also growing their business contacts through networking with fellow members and our region's business leaders.    View upcoming events, here.    2. Support Efforts to Increase Racial EquityOne Houston Together is the Partnership’s commitment to leverage the power of the business community to drive change in two priority areas: increase racial equity in the corporate talent pipeline as well as board leadership and grow spending with Minority Business Enterprises. There are many ways for members to engage in this work including workshops, roundtables and the bi-annual Houston Regional Equity & Inclusion Assessment.    3. Join an Upcoming Trade Mission Delegation  As Houston's biggest promoter, working to attract more people and businesses to the region, the Partnership serves as Houston's front door, hosting regional and international delegations and trade missions. From travelling to Brazil and the West Coast to hosting the Italian Trade Houston, members have the exclusive opportunity to make powerful connections that can expand their business abroad.    Learn more about the Partnership's trade missions and how you can join a delegation, here.    4. Join a Committee  The Partnership’s impact work is driven by our 16 committees, which convene business and community leaders with subject-matter experts to advance Partnership priorities. Through collaboration, information-sharing and collective insights, committees strengthen economic growth and expand opportunity for all in the region.    Learn more about committees, here.    5. Advance Your Business Skills  The Partnership offers a multitude of  Business Resource Groups  and  Forums, that allow members at all levels to come together and engage in topics centered around career stages or industry interests while also offering networking and professional development opportunities to flourish in their career and business.    View upcoming programs, here.   6. Take advantage of the Partnership's Digital Offerings  Through our digital offerings, you can easily stay up-to-date and engaged in the Partnership's work. Follow our social media accounts @ghpartnership and opt-in to our newsletter, The Partnership Pulse, for detailed information on upcoming events, news, research and data, public policy and more. You can also subscribe to Partnership Podcasts for insights on Houston's economy and conversations with female leaders.    Not a member?   Ask our team about how you can start your Partnership journey at  
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Partnership Members Making News - April 2023

The Greater Houston Partnership celebrates our members making important announcements and sharing news about their operations and impact in our community. Learn more about some of those announcements over the last month below.    Innovation As a result of its $1.5 billion fund to invest in technology that supports the ongoing energy transition,  Aramco has joined climatetech incubator Greentown Labs as a top-tier partner. Aurora Innovations’s autonomous Aurora Driver product is officially "feature complete" and its self-driving abilities are now capable of being carried out on public roads. Aurora's team is working on refining its technology before commercial deployment in 2024.  A new Baylor College of Medicine study found that electrical stimulation as a treatment could benefit people who show minimal atrophy, weakness, pain, fatigue, and whose respiratory systems were affected by long COVID.  NASA awarded a $719 million Omnibus Multidiscipline Engineering Services (OMES) III contract to Space Networks Solutions LLC, a joint venture led by Intuitive Machines and KBR. The contract will allow Intuitive Machines to support NASA in designing, developing, and demonstrating critical technology required to support the emerging orbital servicing market.  NASA awarded Prairie View A&M University with $1.5 million to create a system that uses artificial intelligence to share interactive, instantaneous and user-relevant information in a manner that is easily accessible and discoverable for an audience beyond engineers and scientists. In collaboration with Texas Southern University and Texas A&M University-College Station, PVAMU will offer many learning opportunities for students through hiring them as research assistants and summer programs and internships. Additionally, PVAMU will establish a NASA Data Science Equity, Access, and Priority in Research and Education (DEAP) Institute to accelerate innovation.  Five startups founded by Rice University students pitched their companies recently at the annual H. Albert Napier Rice Launch Challenge competition and walked away with more than $100,000 in prizes. Winning startups include Goldie at first place, earning a $50,000 investment prize, Tierra Climate in second with a $25,000 prize, Separion in third with a $15,000 prize, Sygne Solutions, who won the Audience Choice Award and $1,500 and Tidepay, who took home the Outstanding Undergraduate Award and $5,000.  Through its first comprehensive fundraising campaign, Many Faces One Mission, UTHealth raised $534.4 million, making it the largest gift of its kind in Houston history. These donations will be dedicated to the campaign’s three points of impact: training the next generation of physicians and nurses, improve access to health care in Houston and advancing brain and behavioral health.   Energy As a key component in its $9 billion Mad Dog 2 project, BP has started oil production at its Argos offshore platform. Argos has a gross production capacity of up to 140,000 barrels of oil per day and is expected to increase BP's gross operated production capacity in the Gulf of Mexico by 20%.  Calpine is planning new natural gas power plants in Texas, beginning with a 425-megawatt gas unit next to an existing facility in Freestone County. Other projects include additional gas plants and installing equipment to capture carbon dioxide emissions at some facilities.  Chevron plans to showcase “renewable gasoline," saying that it will eventually offer similar emissions savings to electric cars. According to Chevron, tests show that the fuel, partly made from renewable feedstocks like used cooking oil, produces 40 percent fewer greenhouse gases than regular gasoline. As part of its $1 billion initiative Project UP, Comcast will commit more than $1 million to shrink the local digital divide this year by supporting more than 60 organizations and programs that help people connect to the Internet, learn digital skills, and climb the economic ladder.  Halliburton Labs added FuelX, LiNa Energy and Solaires Entreprises to its clean energy accelerator. These companies will receive support from mentors from within Halliburton's workforce and network, as well as go through the accelerator's programming. Sempra Infrastructure reached a positive final investment decision (FID) for its Port Arthur LNG Phase 1 project in Jefferson County, Texas. The Port Arthur LNG Phase 1 project is designed to include two natural gas liquefaction trains, two liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage tanks and associated facilities with a nameplate capacity of approximately 13 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa). The project's total capital expenditures are estimated at $13 billion.    Education Houston Community College will launch two bachelor’s degree programs for the first time in the system's history this fall. The new majors include health care management and artificial intelligence and robotics, which build off existing technology and medical offerings at HCC.  San Jacinto College was one of the top 10 finalists in the 2023 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, one of the country’s most premier awards for two-year colleges.  Texas Southern University and PNC Bank are collaborating to launch the PNC Regional Center for Entrepreneurship, an initiative aimed at expanding opportunities for Black businesses. PNC has committed a total of $2.5 million to the TSU center, which will help build Black-owned small business capacity through partnerships, mentorships and networking opportunities.  The University of Houston-Downtown is asking the Texas Legislature for a total of $67 million for transformative programs and constructions. Through this funding, UHD hopes to provide more basic needs for students by hiring mental health counselors, providing financial literacy training, redesigning courses to eliminate learning gaps and increasing academic advising/peer monitoring support. Additionally, UHD would like to build an entrepreneurship center and Public Safety and Emergency Operation Command Center. In effort to increase access to both undergraduate and graduate-level programs, the University of Houston’s College of Technology is merging with the College of Engineering and will move to the Sugar Land campus. The four departments under the College of Technology will now be housed within the College of Engineering. The merged Cullen College of Engineering will serve 11,000 students, making it the third-largest engineering/technology college in the state and one of the largest ones in the nation.   Real Estate Hines purchased 954 acres of undeveloped land outside Iowa Colony with plans to develop its largest master-planned community - Sandy Point, which is slated to have 2,100 single-family homes at buildout. Hines expects to start construction in the second quarter and deliver the first phase, consisting of about 400 homesites, late next year. Construction has started for Memorial Hermann's $167 million expansion that will add a third medical plaza, a parking garage and a larger emergency center with more operating rooms. This expansion project is expected to wrap up in 2024. Additionally, the hospital opened a new 40-bed medical and surgical acute-care unit that will bring the hospital’s total bed count to 254 and will serve a variety of patients, including those who are recovering from surgery or have an acute illness. The Ion is expanding quickly and is close to reaching a 100% leased status. With ten new tenants, The Ion is now at 86% leased. Additionally, a new lab at The Ion is currently under construction and will house Rice University’s Nexus Lab, which will be designed for prototyping and scaling technologies.  The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is set to build a $668 million laboratory expansion in the heart of the Texas Medical Center. Spanning 600,000 square feet and seven stories tall, the space will be designed to increase collaboration among researchers across MD Anderson facilities with its centralized location.    If you are a member and want us to help communicate news about your organization, please send a press release or information about the announcement to and we will share it with our content team for possible inclusion in an upcoming roundup. Learn more about Partnership membership. 
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