Auburn University College of Education, O Grows receive $500k grant from California company

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By George Littleton
Special to the
Opelika Observer

Compound Solutions, Inc. of Carlsbad, California has announced a $500,000 investment in Auburn University’s College of Education. CSI is an innovative company representing and distributing unique, patented nutraceutical ingredients that improve the health and performance of individuals.
“CSI’s commitment to maximizing human potential is evident in both its business and philanthropy,” said Duante Stanton, director of the College of Education’s Office of Development. “As stewards of their generosity, we are looking forward to maximizing their impact on our students and community by empowering our first-class experts to do great work. This gift will touch the lives of Auburn University faculty and students, Lee County residents, and scholars around the world.”
CSI’s gift will have a positive impact on three distinct areas of the college: teaching, research, and outreach, including an expansion of the O Grows garden initiative located at the Brown School.
A large portion of the gift will endow a professorship with the mission of advancing the field of molecular and applied science. The endowment will provide an important boost in the college’s recruitment and retention of talented faculty members dedicated to research and mentoring top graduate students in the field.
CSI’s gift will also provide unrestricted support for the college’s Molecular and Applied Sciences Lab, housed in the School of Kinesiology and directed by Michael Roberts, Ph.D. Roberts’ research focuses on how nutrition and exercise affect the molecular environment of muscle and fat tissues; how aging affects the genetic architecture of skeletal muscle; and how weight-training affects intra-muscle cell adaptations.
Roberts will use the funds to provide scholarship support for students in need, and continue to fund ongoing research projects and dissertations for outstanding graduate students.
CSI has also elected to support the college’s O Grows program, housed in the Department of Educational Foundations, Leadership, and Technology. CSI has a deep commitment to nutrition and connecting people to the earth, which aligns well with the O Grows mission of service to others. With the unrestricted support to O Grows, Sean Forbes, Ph.D., will establish a new community garden at the Lee County Youth Development Center (LCYDC). In its new location, O Grows will continue incorporating innovative practices with expertise in the areas of prevention, intervention, and residential care. The primary O Grows facility in Opelika carries out these functions through its work with students in the alternative school and its community market. The two installations in Lee County will complement each other, and bring an important resource to the LCYDC.
“With their operations thousands of miles away, CSI’s investment in the youths residing at LCYDC and their neighbors is a model of altruistic corporate giving,” Forbes said. “The gift also speaks to CSI’s commitment to their educational outreach program, the Farmacy Initiative. The initiative promotes community-based food production, cooking, and nutrition.”
“The Farmacy Initiative and O Grows share a mission of growing food and community. We achieve both of these through our collaboration with residents who are among the most marginalized in our area.”
Through its work supplying effective, science-based, quality ingredients to sports nutrition, functional food, and nutraceutical manufacturers, CSI has long been committed to building and maintaining strong relationships with global customers and suppliers. Some of CSI’s patented and trademarked brands include TeaCrine, Dynamine, PeakO2, and goBHB.
“We chose Auburn because we and our partners value the cutting-edge technology and research coming from Dr. Mike Roberts’ lab,” said CSI CEO Matt Titlow. “The lab is second to none, and Auburn’s mission and prestige is an ideal match.”
“As dean, I am grateful for such generous support from a partner who values our research and outreach,” said College of Education Dean Betty Lou Whitford. “The endowed professorship has generated great excitement throughout the college, and the additional location for O Grows will provide much needed research and outreach into food nutrition and sustainability – all of which contributes to our mission of improving the lives of others.”

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