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Austin Peay State University Alumnus creates Joe Shakeenab Achievers & Scholars Endowed Scholarship

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University alumnus Joe Shakeenab (’04, ’14) recently made a generous gift to establish the Joe Shakeenab Achievers and Scholars Endowed Scholarship for APSU students.

“Many have facilitated my education, amazing experiences, and colorful achievements,” Shakeenab said. “Today, I’m simply honored to help achievers and scholars through this endeavor.”

The scholarship will be awarded to one undergraduate member of the Wilbur N. Daniel African American Cultural Center (WNDAACC) Achievers and Scholars Program each year. The scholarship will also be awarded to one undergraduate assistant of the WNDAACC each year.

To qualify, applicants must be full-time students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and be members of an underrepresented population on the APSU campus. This scholarship will be awarded only during spring semesters.

Shakeenab grew up in Mound Bayou, Mississippi. After graduating high school, he joined the U.S. Army at the age of 17, and went on to have a colorful career in Special Operations, where he served as an Army Ranger and in Special Forces (Green Beret).

Shakeenab retired from the U.S. Army in 2010 as a Chief Warrant Officer Four (CW4). He has immeasurable experience in planning, directing, and advising in support of military and civilian organizations, at the international, national, and community levels. He is active in APSU alumni activities and in the Clarksville community. He earned a bachelor’s degree in public management in 2004 and a master’s degree in strategic leadership in 2014, both from Austin Peay.

Shakeenab is vice president of the Montgomery County Veterans Coalition Board of Directors. He is also president of the APSU Military Alumni Chapter and the APSU National Alumni Association, and he is on the Advisory Committee for the WNDAACC. Additionally, he serves on the Board of Zoning Appeals for the City of Clarksville.

Shakeenab has participated in programs including Leadership Clarksville and Leadership CMCSS. He has received many community honors, such as the Governors Extended Community Service Award from APSU Student Affairs, the NAACP Award for Lifetime of Leadership and Community Service, the Outstanding Leader Award from the APSU Military Alumni Chapter, and the 2017 APSU Distinguished Alumni Award for Outstanding Service. He was also the Montgomery County honoree for the 2018 Tennessee Governor’s Volunteer of the Year.

During the recent APSU Military Alumni Chapter Dinner on October 8th, Shakeenab was presented the 2021 APSU Govs Who Lead Through Military Service Award by APSU Board of Trustees Chair Billy Atkins. Austin Peay established this annual award to show appreciation for an individual or organization who demonstrates support of the University through leadership, service, and advocacy.


The efforts of this group or person have brought both honor and distinction to APSU. The selected individual or organization also exhibits exceptional civic responsibility and integrity. To align with the award criteria, the recipient must currently be a veteran, active-duty military, or they must provide significant support to the APSU military community.

“Joe is one of our most dedicated alumni,” APSU Vice President for University Advancement Kris Phillips said. “He supports his alma mater in a variety of meaningful ways, and we are honored that he has expanded his commitment to the University through this scholarship.”

Endowments are permanently restricted funds managed by the Austin Peay State University Foundation. The amount of each scholarship award may vary and will be determined based upon the value of the endowment and the Foundation spending plan.

To support APSU fundraising initiatives, contact the Office of University Advancement at 931.221.7127.

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