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Beloved VSU professor passes away

On March 18, 2018, Valdosta State University Professor Dr.  Prosper Yao Tsikata, 45, passed away after exercising in the Physical Education Complex.

According to Chief of Police Alan Rowe, Dr. Tsikata felt weak while exercising and collapsed. Soon after, four UPD officers who were also exercising in the P.E. Complex, responded to the situation. The officers used CPR to try to resuscitate Dr. Tsikata but ended up calling Emergency Medical Services to send an ambulance.

Dr. Tsikata was transported to South Georgia Medical Center where he officially passed away at 7:17 p.m.

“This was just sudden and unexpected,” Blake Pierce, dean of college of the arts, said.

Pierce said that Dr. Tsikata was intensely devoted to his family and loved to watch students succeed. Pierce said that Dr. Tsikata even went so far as to attend every graduation in support of the students.

Though Dr. Tsikata only spent three years of his time at VSU, he remains in the hearts of the students, faculty and staff who mourn his passing. Students as well as faculty and staff revered Dr. Tsikata as an excellent teacher and a brilliant man.

“I didn’t have him as a teacher, but I knew him,” Travis Edwards, senior anthropology major, said. “He was an amazing person. Too good for this university for sure.”

Dr. Tsikata acquired multiple degrees including a PhD in health communication, a master’s in communication and development, a master’s in journalism and public relation, a master’s in applied social research and a bachelor’s in classics and religion. Dr. Tsikata used these degrees to teach students about health, intercultural and organizational communication.

Dr. Tsikata leaves behind a wife and two children, one of which a newborn.

As of right now, no cause of death is reported and no foul play is suspected. A coroner is in the process of investigating a cause of death. This story is subject to updates as more information is released.

Written by Bryce Ethridge, News Editor. Photo courtesy of VSU.

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