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FALL 2016 // Volume 15 // No. 2


JSU Turns A Paige

Alum Returns as Interim President Our Alumni Our Legacy

Groundbreaking Research on Racial Trauma

U.S. Department of Education Taps JSU


Guest speaker will be one of three daughters of the late Rev. Oliver L. Brown who, in the fall of 1950 along with 12 other parents, filed a lawsuit with attorneys of the NAACP on behalf of their children against the local Board of Education. Their class-action suit, which included Delaware, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C., was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court; and on May 17,1954, it became known as the landmark decision Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas.






For more information, log onto: or contact 601-979-3935 I


FALL 2016 Volume 15, No. 2

14 Alum Winston Pittman gives donation valued at $500,000 19 TIGER TAKEOVER: BLUE WORLD ORDER 23 Braddy enters National College Baseball Hall of Fame


COVER STORY Former U.S. Secretary of Education and JSU alum Dr. Rod Paige returns to his alma mater to serve as interim president; works to address financial issues.




The U.S. Department of Education has tapped JSU and Jackson Public Schools to partner in a new venture giving access to Pell Grants for high school students to take college courses.

JSU’s Political Science Department tackles the hot-button issue of racial trauma in groundbreaking research into link between physiology and psychology funded by the NSF.



SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM AND MEDIA STUDIES trains students by hosting all-night local and national election coverage complete with pundits, polls and political bombshell.

The Jacksonian is published biannually by the Jackson State University Office of University Communications. The U.S. Department of Education Title III program helps fund its production.

Interim Executive Director of University Communications Danny Blanton

Director of Public Relations Olivia Goodheart Executive Editor

Art Direction/Graphic Design Kehinde Gaynor Exsail, LLC



Learning speech and language skills is fun for kids as Communicative Disorders hosts Fall Festival. (Photo by Dr. Brandi Newkirk-Turner)


5 | Interim president Dr. Roderick Paige shares his vision with JSU family


7 | A message from JSUNAA president 8 | Cortez Bryant is living the dream

10 | JSU saved my life - a testimony from Augustine Emuwa

14 | Winston Pittman gives back in a big way

20 | A Blue World Order:

Homecoming photo gallery


23 | Braddy makes it into National Hall of Fame 25 | Men’s basketball schedule 26 | Women’s basketball schedule

Editorial Services Dr. Karyn S. Hollingsworth



29 | JSU CARES: Students respond to Crosby crisis 33 | Career Pathways Grant to help JSU students move into employment

34 | Pulitzer nominee Clifton Taulbert speaks

at Global Entrepreneurship Week Conference


43 | Holmes endows scholarship that will benefit students in College of Liberal Arts

45 | Lockheed Martin gives $75,000 to fund STEM Academy


19 | The road to Destiney

Destiny Alexander, JSU Student Kennedi Cox, JSU Student Maya Brown Olivia Goodheart Rachel James-Terry Wesley Peterson Aundria Range L.A. Warren

Charles A. Smith, University Photographer Darek Ashley Justin Hardiman Anissa Hidouk Brandi Newkirk-Turner Kentrice Rush Frank Wilson

Jacksonian Online Spencer McClenty Kentrice Rush

University Communications 1400 John R. Lynch Street H.P. Jacobs Administration Tower Second Floor JSU Box 17490 Jackson MS 39217 601-979-2272


46 | Academy for Research and Scholarly Engagement inducts new members

47 | Staff Leadership Institute names Cohort 5


49 | Guest editorial: The bus to success

Facebook - Jackson State University Twitter and Instagram - @JacksonStateU

See related photo galleries at JSUMS.PHOTOSHELTER.COM

JSUMS.EDU Keep up with the latest news and events. Explore campus and course offerings.

University Leadership

A MESSAGE FROM THE INTERIM PRESIDENT Dear Fellow Jacksonians and Friends, It is my pleasure and certainly my honor to be given the opportunity to serve our dear alma mater, Jackson State University, as interim president. I have been blessed with many successes over the course of my career. However, I can tell you that it was never my expectation to serve as the leader of this institution as I walked the campus as an undergraduate student! Although times have changed, I am so pleased to be able to tell you that the heart of Jackson State University remains true. Our alumni, faculty, staff, students and supporters have continued to be faithful in their love for this institution. The academic enterprise is strong and our commitment to the education, nurture and progress of our students is solid. Research continues; programs continue; and service to the community continues. Over the next several months there will, of course, be changes. Any vital organization is always in a state of growth and development. Addressing issues of mutual concern requires that we are open to change that moves us forward; that pushes us further toward our goal of building the very best university that we can. I thank each of you who has offered me a welcoming hand of support. And, I ask that each of you continues to do your best and give your best – not just for today but for the young people of tomorrow who will embrace and love, mature and flourish, and share in the devotion to our dear old college home – Jackson State University. Sincerely,

Rod Paige, Ph.D. Interim President Jackson State University

jackson state university


University Leadership

Interim president aims to help JSU turn a new Paige by L.A. Warren

Previous roles: U.S. Secretary of Education; Houston Public School District superintendent; dean, Texas Southern University; JSU football coach Age: 83 Birthplace: Monticello, Mississippi Permanent home: Houston, Texas Education: Jackson State University; Indiana University Family: Wife Stephanie Nellons-Paige; 2 children Co-author: “The Black-White Achievement Gap: Why Closing It Is the Greatest Civil Rights Issue of Our Time”

Former U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Rod Paige, who was the 1964 head football coach at Jackson State University, has answered the call to serve his alma mater again by returning as interim president to help the HBCU improve its finances. Paige recently spoke candidly to media about the university’s cash reserve. He described JSU as a “premier university that will take its rightful place among higher education institutions in the United States of America and, indeed, across the world.” The native Mississippian acknowledged that JSU is facing a challenge with its rainy day fund and that many other universities endure such obstacles. “We want to have a full understanding of the current circumstances. … Jackson State is working toward reaching solid financial ground … and we’re going to fulfill our mission toward the future that’s been put in place by our forefathers and foremothers.” Moreover, Paige said, corrective actions are under way, and once all the data have been accumulated that information would be widely shared. “This is a public institution. … We want the public to be our friend and support us. We owe them the explanation.”


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Since returning to Mississippi, Paige has met with legislators, campus officials and students. He also plans to engage community members. “You can tell by the depth of their questions that they have a real strong interest in the university, and they want the best for the university. We need to try to provide them with information so that they can fulfill their mission as friends of the university.” In addition, Paige recently spoke to the president of the JSU National Alumni Association, and said, “We’re talking about ways that we can get our arms around this issue.” Paige indicated changes are on the horizon administratively, too. “If things don’t change, they stay the same. And clearly, we don’t want the same.” He said JSU has positively altered lives, including his. “Much of what I’ve achieved I can look back and say this university had a direct influence on me. I would never have been U.S. Secretary of Education absent my education at Jackson State. If that’s true for me, imagine how many other people in the world that is true for.” He indicated that the university’s growth would be defined by quality, not simply enrollment numbers. “We’re talking about the university’s image throughout the world, throughout Mississippi and throughout the United States.”

Celebrating a Legacy of Achievement, Success and Sustainability

Dear Jackson State University Family,

The mission of Jackson State University National Alumni Association, Inc. (JSUNAA) is to support and advance the interest of the University. JSUNAA believes in the University’s power to transform lives and to better the state, nation, and world. As alumni, we give our full support to the University as it continues to Challenge Minds and Change Lives. We also take seriously our responsibility to help sustain the legacy of JSU on behalf of our students, our faculty and staff, our alumni and the entire educational community. We are THANKFUL for our beloved Jackson State University and its 139 years of excellence as a diverse, technologically advanced four-year university steeped in history and committed to preparing its students to become global leaders. We are also THANKFUL for the Jackson State University community, for your unwavering support of our dear old college home during this time of transition. The National Alumni Association is only as strong as its membership. We are One JSU and encourage everyone to join us in support of the nation’s fourth-largest Historically Black College/University and the state’s fourth-largest University. We ask you to: • Become a member of JSUNAA; there is strength in numbers! • Think, speak and act positively about JSU in your daily life as well as on social media: • Give to JSU: Our vision is that all alumni are inspired and empowered to commit and connect to the University. The Jackson State University National Alumni Association, Inc. (JSUNAA) is proud of the University and what has been accomplished by the administration, faculty, staff, students and alumni since 1877. We stand united and resolved that Jackson State University will continue to be the beacon of light to shine knowledge in areas of darkness and hope to generations to come. As we prepare to write the next chapter of Jackson State University’s incredible story, let us work in unity to ensure that our dear old college home fulfills its mission and continues to build on the legacy established by our leaders – past and present. This is OUR alma mater.

Here to serve you The Jackson State University Office of Alumni and Constituency Relations develops, coordinates and promotes programs to keep our alumni connected to Jackson State University and to one another. The office is located at the JSU Downtown Campus, 101 Capitol Street, Jackson, Mississippi. WE CAN HELP YOU

• Find an alumni chapter in your area • Share your successes with other JSU alumni • Activate your membership in the JSU National Alumni Association • Organize a new alumni chapter • Learn about upcoming events • Start an affinity group • Connect with other JSU alumni • Set up an official JSU email address • Secure discounts for use of campus facilities • Learn about scholarship opportunities • Learn about tuition waivers


We look forward to working with every Tiger! Please call us at 601-979-2281 Tabatha Terrell-Brooks, director LaToya Moore, assistant director Sunyetta Foster-Jones, program specialist Daphne Moore, administrative assistant



Yolanda R. Owens, President

With Tiger Pride,

Jackson State University National Alumni Association, Inc. jackson state university



Music management phenom grateful for his JSU roots by Rachel James – Terry Whether it’s hobnobbing with the music industry’s elite, attending star-studded events or being named to Billboard’s 40 Under 40 Power Player’s list, for many, JSU alum Cortez Bryant is living the dream. Serving as co-CEO and co-founder of the highly influential artist management firm The Blue Print Group, Bryant, along with co-CEO Gee Roberson, commands touring, distribution, marketing drives, releases and key branding partnerships for the likes of rap heavyweights T.I., Nikki Minaj, Drake and Lil Wayne, to name a few. Growing up in New Orleans, Bryant met rapper Lil Wayne when they both attended Eleanor McMain Magnet Secondary School. “Today, every kid is trying to be a rapper. Back then it was Wayne, at 11, beating on his chest walking down the hall rapping,” Bryant said. “This was like 1995, and I’m like ‘Nah, that ain’t gonna get us out of this city.’” It’s a moment that still generates laughs between Bryant and Lil Wayne. Bryant says higher education would have been beyond his grasp if not for the help of Dr. Lewis Liddell, former director of the Sonic Boom, who gave him a music scholarship to Jackson State.


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Bryant also credits JSU and the Sonic Boom for giving him principles he utilizes today. “Sonic Boom was like a family. I have two or three people who work with me now that came from the Sonic Boom family. It taught me a lot about being a leader and being disciplined. Those same values I learned in the Boom I used as a CEO and a boss and running my company. That foundation is the heartbeat of a lot of things that are happening with me now.” At this year’s Notable Alumni Panel, Bryant encouraged giving back, referencing a moment in 2012 when he was finally able to present his former band director with a check for $500,000 to be used as an endowment for music scholarships. The ’01 mass communi-

cations graduate explained that interest generated from the endowment will sustain scholarships as long as Jackson State remains in existence and “long after I’m

dead and gone.” He added, “When I had an opportunity to give back, it was only right for me to give back to an organization that gave and taught me so much.”

“I believe in the statement ‘pay it forward.’ I was just a kid from New Orleans who got his shot. I didn’t have any money, and my band director at the time, Dr. Lewis Liddell, believed in me and gave me the scholarship to ensure that I was able to obtain my degree,” Bryant said. “So, I felt like it was only right for me to try and give back to help the next guy who may not be financially able to pay for college, to give them that same type of shot.”

JSU alum lands $2.8 million grant by Destiny Alexander

Jackson State University alumna Dr. Krystal Martin, director of Student Success for South Louisiana Community College (SLCC) in Lafayette, has landed the Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI) Program – Formula Grants. The U.S. Department of Education will award $2.8 million to SLCC over the next five years. The college is the first in the state of Louisiana to host the grant. Martin is a three-time graduate of JSU, receiving her bachelor’s in social

Praising her alma mater for her current success, Martin explains that she was once required to write a grant as part of a class project. Through the aid of her professors, Dr. Nicole Campbell-Lewis and Dr. Felix Okojie, Martin submitted her first grant proposal to the Entergy Foundation. science in 1993, a master’s in guidance counseling in 1996 and recently completing her Ph.D. in urban higher education in 2015. “I won the grant due to the teachings we learned in class. I followed the instructors and everything they said, and with their assistance I won the grant,” said Martin, a native of Gloster, Miss. Unbeknownst to Martin, her class project would be the initial groundwork for landing the PBI grant. “Had it not been for that class, the

sheer experience and the foundation that the class provided for us, I probably would have never attempted a grant. It took that class to get me to try to write a grant on my own,” she says in a tone resounding with admiration. After graduation and transitioning to Louisiana, Martin said, “I immediately recognized a need in this community for more access opportunity for underserved students or students who may not necessarily go to college or finish college.” She added, “When you have a mentor or people in your corner who say, ‘Yes, you can’ I can tell you those students succeed.” Martin has served as the assistant coordinator of Student Success at Georgia Perimeter College; coordinator of the Office of Retention and Academic Support at Alabama A&M University; director of Student Success and Retention at Arkansas State University at Beebe; and director of TRiO Student Support Services at Navarro College. Martin’s plans for the grant also include establishing a Center for Minority Excellence on the SLCC campus. The center will offer support services such as tutoring and mentoring as well as helping students complete programs on time and graduate within two to three years.


Notable Alumni Panels Every year during Jackson State University’s homecoming celebration, the Department of Alumni and Constituency Relations, the University’s schools, colleges and departments, as well as the JSU National Alumni Association, Inc., host our JSU Notable Alumni Panels. We are incredibly grateful for our JSU alumni who return year after year to share their success stories with our current students. College of Science, Engineering and Technology Marcus Reed, Moderator Clarence Carris, ’73 Leslie Howard, ’99 Marcus Reed, ’86 Alton Franklin, ’06 Nathan Slater, ’82 Lorin Washington, ’06 Hursie J. Davis-Sullivan, M.D., ’84 College of Business Lauren Taylor, Moderator Barbara Blackmon, ’75 Danielle D. Coleman, CFE, ’08 Earcell Collier, ’85 Dr. Rosie J. Harper, ’00 Richard Russell, Sr. ’75 Dana M. Coleman, CFE, ’08 College of Education and Human Development Dr. Lucille Green, Moderator Dr. Reginald Barnes, ’95 LeKeisha Griffith Sutton, ’03 Dr. Lucille A. Green, ’10 Dr. George Everett Barnes, ’63 Dr. Gwendolyn S. Dawkins, ’82 College of Liberal Arts Maudine Eckford, Moderator Maudine Eckford, ’71 Sonya Williams Barnes, ’91 Dr. Malcolm Mazique “Mike” Black, ’59 Councilman Tyrone Hendrix, ’06 Damian D. Thomas, ’03 Cortez Bryant, ’04 CONTINUED ON PAGE 13 jackson state university


JSU saved my life

by Rachel James – Terry

A 10-year-old Augustine Emuwa is in another random Chicago city shelter. It’s number five or six of one too many he’s called home in his short life. The only other thing contending with his shelter record is the number of elementary schools he’s attended – eight – and he rattles their names off like items from a grocery list. Next to a newly made friend, he eats dinner while both their mothers hover nearby. “So, I’m sitting here eating this food, and another boy that was pissed off that my buddy didn’t give him his cookie, walked over and hit him in the face with like a brass knuckle or something. He did it right in front of my mom, his mom and my buddy’s mom,” says Augustine, now 37. The sheer viciousness of the incident shocked him into calmly getting up, walking over to a payphone and calling his father collect. When his dad answered the line, Augustine affectionately called Augie for short, told him: “Yeah, it’s time for you to take over full time. You got to let me come stay with you.” Today Augie holds a bachelor’s in business from JSU, a master’s in education from Roosevelt University and is married with three young children but hails himself as the father of many. It’s a reference

to his position as the principal of Chicago’s Gale Math & Science Academy. Rejecting limitations, he is also the brain behind Knits & Knots – a creative men’s brand that designs and produces unique and dapper neckwear for the classic man. Additionally, Knits & Knots sponsors the “Suiters Academy,” an eight-week fashion summer camp. The camp offers 40 of the Windy City’s African-American male youth an apprenticeship-style learning experience. While the fashion component is the lure, kids gain the social and emotional learning skills they need to become entrepreneurs no matter their career path. At the end of the summer, the fashion students receive a $500 stipend to use toward start-up costs for a potential business. Augie’s story is an adversity-marred

His father, a Nigerian immigrant, culturally believed babies and young children were to be raised by the mother. But doctors had diagnosed Augie’s mother with paranoid schizophrenia, which left little Augie spending the first six years of his life in foster care. “When my mother got herself back together, she got me out of foster care. But, she would go off and on her medication, and that’s why, throughout my childhood, I ended up bouncing around from shelter to shelter to shelter. I can remember this stuff like it was yesterday,” he says. Life with his “super rigid” West-African father provided Augie with a consistent form of structure and stability but “the nurturing and affection were super low, ” and expectations were extremely high. Among other things, his father’s Nigerian

was as a taxi driver. At age 15, Augie discovered his father inside their garage deceased from carbon monoxide poisoning. “No one ever said suicide, but in my heart … I know my dad, and I remember him crying a lot. I remember him going through his own little personal thing,” Augie says in a faraway voice. The former homeless kid took $5,000 he received after his dad’s passing and paid for a one-bedroom apartment for him and his mother on the far north side of Chicago. But Augie would occasionally come home to find his mother outside nude and talking incoherently due to bouts with her mental illness. “It just wasn’t an environment where I could rest and get adequate sleep. I never told anyone,” he says. Instead, the teen

“You walk into my office at my job, I have Jackson State stuff all over the place, and I talk about it on a regular basis,” he says with enthusiasm. “I’m the main person that should be at homecoming every year because Jackson State literally saved my whole freakin’ life.” biography that ends with an awe-inducing triumph, that he attributes largely to his alma mater – Jackson State University.

degree was rendered useless in the United States. Even after obtaining an accounting degree, the only steady work he could find

persuaded his friends that life was good or so he thought, until they secretly followed him home from school to see his fabulous jackson state university


new digs. “They saw my living situation and the type of building I stayed in, and one of my boys, Russell, told his mother, ‘Augie lives in something that looks like a crack house,’” he says, then laughs at the memory. Eventually, Augie moved in with Russell’s family, and despite his grades bearing evidence of his personal burdens, he signed

advocate for J-State.” While a co-principal at Chicago’s Sullivan High School, Augie promoted Jackson State to his students. Many took his advice, including Sullivan’s valedictorian Ornella Amoah who is currently a junior at the university. “Her entire family is from Ghana by way of Italy. I drove them all down to Jackson State to get her enrolled,”

Augie and Sullivan High School valedictorian Ornella Amoah proud to be JSU Tigers . (Photos special to JSU Communications)

up for an ACT preparation class that helped him achieve a mid-20 score. The Chicagoan had never considered a school in the South until several friends piqued his interest to apply at JSU. “A friend of mine was like, ‘You should apply to Jackson State because a buddy of mine is down there and it was a good fit for him. It’s smaller class sizes, that kind of thing.’ So, I was like; cool I’ll apply’.” In 1998, Augie arrived at the HBCU with only $15 in his pocket, and the taxi cab ride from the train station cost him half of it. “When I got accepted into Jackson State, it was my ticket out. That place completely changed my life, and that’s why I’m such an


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he says proudly. The principal position at Gale Math & Science Academy was offered to Augie due to him and his co-principal significantly improving statistics at Sullivan – once considered one of the lowest-ranking schools in its district. Under their leadership, suspensions were reduced by 86 percent; freshmen enrollment increased by 60 percent; attendance increased by 7 percent and the graduation rate improved by 20 percent. He credits two JSU professors for his hands-on paternal approach to education. “Dr. Princess Jones. Unfortunately, she passed a few years back, but she was my

English professor. She was always so warm but stern at the same time, and I couldn’t understand for the life of me why this woman took a personal interest in me,” he says. Laughter is interwoven in his recollection of Jones calling his dorm room demanding that he “get up and submit another draft – and another draft – and another draft.” He added, “That woman was a huge blessing to me. She really fine-tuned my writing. I had never just seen anybody reach out to kids like that during their off time.” Not only did his writing improve, but so did his sense of fashion – going from baggy jeans to tailored slacks, partly due to his marketing professor, Dr. J.R. Smith. “He used to pick with me a lot and tell me: ‘I can’t stand when you come in here with that slouchy style. You’re the last one that needs to be wearing dirty denim,’” recalls Augie before chuckling. “That very personal dad kind of touch was how he treated me as my professor, and I just remember carrying that with me. It’s the same way I talk to my students now.” Transformative is one word the alumnus would use to characterize his experience at Jackson State. He makes it clear that the university helped to cultivate his self-esteem and pride. The principal says, that for an African-American teenager from a “jacked up situation” who had run-ins with the police, JSU furnished an opportunity for him to see “professional, authentic black people,” he says. “I got a chance to see black people in a way I never got to see in Chicago. I’m not saying they were not in Chicago. I love Chicago. We have great folks in Chicago; that just wasn’t my life. So, when I got to Jackson State, it was an incubator that was feeding me positive images of people who looked like me.” After a cerebral pause, Augie says, “They almost reconstruct you a little bit from the inside out. That’s what I’m trying to do in education. I want to build the interior and the exterior, so we can have a product that’s really polished, and that’s what Jackson State did for me.”


Moments of manhood by Rachel James – Terry Like most college graduates, Eric Large returned home to Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 2001 after receiving a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing from Jackson State and immediately began working for corporate America. Six years into his position as a financial team leader, Large could no longer ignore his passion for mentoring and guiding young boys and teenagers. He transitioned to the world of education but still felt an urgency to make a tangible impression on inner-city youth. “I wanted to create a guide to help young men navigate their way to manhood with as little distraction and turbulence as possible,” said Large, who still relishes the time he led the 1997 JSU men’s basketball team to a state basketball championship title that has yet to be repeated. In 2014, Large authored the book, “Defining Moments of Manhood,” that addresses common issues young men face while offering solutions and possible strategies that will assist today’s generation in avoiding snares and pitfalls he believes most will undoubtedly encounter. The married father, inspired by his two young girls, wrote his second book, “Who’s Taking Care of Our Daughters,” in May. “I wanted to share my thoughts on how to raise daughters who will love and respect themselves while also celebrating how powerful women are,” he says. “I’m big on self-help and parenting because we get out what we put in,” Large added. The writer also serves as CEO of Grand Rapids-based Chocolate and Vanilla Productions, which offers acting classes to youth, presents plays in the community and annually awards six graduating high school seniors $500 academic scholarships. During his countrywide travels for speaking engagements and

2016 Notable Alumni Panels College of Public Service Dr. Catherine Estis, Moderator Brent Huley, ’01 Regina Lacking, ’15 Dr. Brian Pugh, ’14 Daisy Carter, ’14 Eric Jefferson, PE, AICP, ’13 Jaynae A. Young, ’15 Dr. Catherine Estis, ’08

(Photo special to JSU Communications)

book signings, Large is obliged to share his message of hope, encouragement and empowerment so others may embrace their inner talents and gifts. “Keep the fight!” is a mantra Large commands of his audiences and followers. He demands people thrive despite circumstances, setbacks, poverty, racism and other societal ills. For more information, please visit

To view the full profiles of the JSU Notable Alumni, visit The Jacksonian online at

School of Public Health (Initiative) Dr. Shemeka Hamlin Palmer, ’02, Moderator Corey C. Garner, ’02 Ajuanzie L. Ross-Johnson, ’98 Niya Hopkins Archie, ’99 Embra Jackson, ’09 Dr. Sandra C. Hayes, MPH, MCS. ’05

School of Journalism and Media Studies Deidra Harris Glover and William Kelly III, Moderators Don Spann, ’87 Lance Fuller, ’86 Jessica Simien, ’10 Kachelle S. Pratcher, ’14 Stan Branson, ’80

“We must be able to take care of our own, so they won’t have to depend on others. … It’s important for us as JSU alumni to support the institution that elevated us to where we are.” -Winston R. Pittman

Alum’s donation, with matching gift, adds $500,000 to JSU’s coffers Notable Jackson State University alum and automobile dealership tycoon Winston R. Pittman Sr. donated $250,000 to his alma mater – a gift matched by the U.S. Department of Education’s Title III, bringing the total award to $500,000.

Pittman, president and CEO of Winston Pittman Enterprises, has dealerships in Kentucky, where he resides in Louisville, as well as automobile businesses in Ohio and Georgia. His companies offer a range of vehicles: Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Nissan, Lexus, Toyota, Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Scion and Subaru. The native of Grenada, Miss., is a 1972 graduate of JSU. In October 2012, the university held a ribbon-cutting ceremony dedicating the auditorium in the College of Business in honor of Pittman and his wife, Alma Dent Pittman. Married 45 years, they have three children, Winston Jr., Misty Withers and Jabari D. Pittman; and four grandchildren.

- L.A. Warren


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JSU receives $25,000 from Los Angeles alumni chapter Jackson State University’s Los Angeles Chapter of the JSU National Alumni Association (JSUNAA) presented a $25,000 check to the JSU Development Foundation at a reception in Las Vegas in August. The gift is earmarked to fund scholarships for California residents attending JSU. After the presentation, Luther W. Williams, farwest regional vice president of JSUNAA, said the university’s influence is far-reaching, so contributions such as these are important. “As an educational institution, JSU is becoming worldwide with the Internet. Also, it is reaching out all over the world by sending students to foreign countries. … In my day, you would either teach or preach. Now, the doors are open to do anything you want. There is no limit, no glass ceiling. JSU is filling a void by helping students move forward,” Williams said. His chapter is among several throughout the country that have reached its $25,000 goal to support scholarships. Others achieving the benchmark include chapters from Holmes County, Mississippi, as well as Detroit.

“I have a PLAN for what I’m spending and for what I’m saving ” Ciara has made great progress toward chipping away at her student loan debt. With the advice of her Regions Banker, Mandy, and the helpful articles and calculators on Insights by Regions, she’s been able to pay down nearly $2,000 in less than a year and even do a little traveling. Now that she’s got a 360-degree view of her finances, her money is going further than ever. Ready to take your next step? We’re ready to help.

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Alumna to compete in Miss Black USA National Pageant Mississippi winner Kristy Johnson, alumna of Jackson State University, proves beauty queens are more than a pretty face as she prepares to represent the state in the Miss Black USA National Scholarship Pageant. Johnson will represent Mississippi in the national pageant Aug. 2-7, 2017, in Washington D.C. She will vie for a $5,000 academic scholarship, a trip to Africa, wardrobe by Liliana Shoes and ORS Olive Oil Hair products. As well, the winner will serve as a celebrity advocate for the Heart Truth campaign, which raises awareness about heart disease, the leading cause of death of women in the U.S.

Alumnus leads NWS Forecast Office Jackson State University alumnus, William “Bill” Parker has been selected to serve as the Meteorologist-In-Charge of the NOAA National Weather Service Forecast Office in Jackson, Mississippi. The office is one of 122 NWS Weather Forecast locations in the nation and one of 32 in the NWS Southern Region. In his new position, Parker will be responsible for ensuring the citizens of Mississippi, Northeast Louisiana, and Southeast Arkansas continue to receive timely and accurate weather warnings, forecasts and climate information. His responsibilities also include maintaining close working relationships with NWS partners, including the emergency management community and the media, and providing severe weather awareness, preparedness and safety education for the public. Parker has developed hands-on experience during his 23-year career with a variety of weather events – including tropical storms, hurricanes, thunderstorms, tornadoes and flooding. Notably, he has served the NWS during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, as well as historic river flooding events in 2015 and 2016. Not only has Parker proven his strong abilities as a forecaster and warning program leader, he serves as a true advocate for diversity and inclusion. Parker received the NOAA Administrator’s Award for leading the development of the “GiRLS GLOW” initiative in Shreveport, La., which provided the opportunity for young girls in the community to learn more about meteorology and STEM fields. In addition, Parker recently co-chaired the 40th anniversary celebration of the Jackson State meteorology program in November 2015. His work helped establish the JSU Meteorology Hall of Fame, which looks to highlight the achievements of meteorology alumni and faculty members. Parker received his Bachelor of Science degree in meteorology from Jackson State University in 1994, and he will be the first Jackson State alumnus to serve as Meteorologist-In-Charge of a Weather Forecast Office.


the jacksonian

“Thank You” Simply Isn’t Enough

On June 30, 2016, the Jackson State University family stood united as one. Together, we made JSU history: Never have so many people come forward in one day to lend their financial support to the university. Because of your support, we can continue to provide students with experiences they will never forget. Thank you, JSU family, for making the 2016 JSU Day of Giving one to remember.










by L.A. Warren


Founders’ Day speaker shares impassioned views about JSU

ducational expert and keynote speaker Cynthia M.A. Butler-McIntyre delivered a rousing message in October during Jackson State University’s 139th Founders’ Day Convocation, challenging the audience to “start talking” proudly about the institution. Butler-McIntyre, a former director of human resources for the Jefferson Parish School System in Harvey, La., told students inside the Lee E. Williams Athletics and Assembly Center “we are preparing you for the world. … You have a responsibility that when you go out and do well to always remember J-S-U, spaces in between.” She reiterated that message throughout her speech by urging everyone to embrace their alma mater and determine whether their fingerprints exist somewhere at “J-S-U” – letters that she crystallized in everyone’s minds in a fluid, melodious fashion. In general, the New Orleans native devoted her time explaining the importance of Jackson State and its renowned status as an institution of higher research.


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Keynote speaker Cynthia M.A. Butler-McIntyre delivers a rousing message during the 139th Founders’ Day Convocation. (Photos by Charles A. Smith/JSU)

She cited the university’s seal as proof-positive of educational excellence and explained many aspects of its shining emblem. She said the insignia, which includes outspread torched-flame wings suggests a “quest for excellence,” a phrase that she says is more than just an act but a habit. While perfection is never attainable, she said, “By chasing it “you’ll probably reach excellence.” She said JSU’s seal embodies greatness and reminded everyone that

their transcript isn’t authentic unless they can feel its well-engineered design. Butler-McIntyre is a staunch supporter of education and sees it as a lifelong process. Her career exemplifies her advocacy because she’s spent 30 years in Louisiana as a former kindergarten teacher, assistant principal, summer school principal and personnel administrator. Her sorority, the 300,000-member Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., for which she is a former national

president, even named an elementary school in her honor in Cherette, Haiti. Just as the Dillard alum is passionately devoted to her own university, she told the Jackson State crowd to always be “proud of who you are, where you are and your experiences at this great institution. … “It’s time to start talking about JSU,” Butler-McIntyre urged. Citing John 8:32, she said by doing so, “we will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”


It’s back to the books and the grind of a 9-5 for those who participated in Jackson State University’s 2016 Homecoming.

The Road to Destiney by Maya Brown

From growing up in a small Alabama town where the population was less than 15,000 residents and held very few opportunities for African-Americans to become the campus queen at the fourth-largest HBCU in the nation, Destiney Lawrence has made quite the transition. “Fairhope, Alabama, was very slow-paced and family oriented,” Lawrence says. “There weren’t a lot of black people, and there wasn’t a lot of open racism but... there was not a lot of praise of black people.” The lack of diversity or negative perceptions was not enough to discourage Lawrence. She excelled academically and socially, graduating from high school with a host of accolades in several sports programs and organizations. In the fall of 2012, she made her higher education home at Jackson State University. “My cousin moved me in. I was super nervous,” she recalls. “I just broke down crying. I was ready to get away from home, but I was a good distance from my family.” Eventually overcoming her angst, Lawrence’s warm and inviting personality earned her the 2014-2015 title of Miss Sophomore and the 2016-2017 title of Miss Jackson State University. Building her platform on service, leadership

and the mentorship of young ladies, the biology pre-med major admits that adjusting to her crown and heavy college course load has not come easy. “My biggest challenge while serving as Miss JSU has been balancing everything and knowing where my time is important. I learned the hard way, but it taught me to remain focused,” Lawrence says. A steady level of perseverance propels the soft-spoken senior closer to her plans of becoming an OB-GYN. However, school work has never distracted her from being true to herself, and Lawrence is adamant that people should follow suit. “I realize I had to stop seeking validation. If you’re in any type of position and you try to seek validation from everybody, that’s going to drive you crazy and make you lose sight of yourself.” Nonetheless, the newly crowned queen candidly concedes that there is one thing she would change about herself. “I would change the fact that I feel that there are things I need to change about myself,” Lawrence says. “God made me in his image. God took his time when he created my heart. So, I’m learning how to embrace it and love on it myself.”

From educational expert and keynote speaker Cynthia M.A. Butler-McIntyre delivering a fiery inspirational message at Founder’s Day and the Coronation of Miss JSU Destiney Lawrence to JSU’s illustrious Sonic Boom of the South battling Prairie View A&M’s Marching Storm Band, a flood of Greek organizations stepping rhythmically to the sounds of Drake and Future blaring over loud speakers to the Prancing J-Settes reminding everyone where Beyonce’ learned some of her dance moves – Jackson State’s 2016 homecoming offered a healthy dose of entertainment for all. But, one would be remiss not to acknowledge a traditional ingredient in the awesomeness of a JSU Homecoming gumbo – the alumni. This year, like every year, a large number of alumni returned to remember their “heyday,” reconnect with old faces and dish advice to current students.

Please visit for the full Homecoming story and photo gallery

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Jubilant parade participants from Jackson Public School’s John Hopkins Elementary colorfully display their spirit as they float down the street during JSU’s Homecoming celebration. (Photo by Charles A. Smith)

Javancy Jones, a linebacker and defensive end, huddles with his mother after a surprise appearance despite her health challenges. (Photo by Kentrice Rush/JSU)


Some millennials would probably frown on this type of “FaceTime” at Street Fest. (Photo by Justin Hardiman/JSU) Members of the Reformed University Fellowship get into the “wholly” spirit of Homecoming during a hotspot on the plaza. (Photo by Charles A. Smith/JSU) As it prepares for another heroic season, JSU’s men’s basketball team gets a “super”-charged boost during Midnight Madness in the AAC. (Photo by Kentrice Rush/JSU) JSU’s main campus becomes a Safari hunt for Tiger paw prints. (Photo by Charles A. Smith/JSU) Strutting near the pavilion, the women of Zeta Phi Beta try to prove they’re greater. (Photo by Charles A. Smith/JSU) High temps and tats were on display during Yard Fest. (Photo by Anissa Hidouk/JSU)

Powered by the propulsion of the Boom, JSU’s drum major lifts off. (Photo by Charles A. Smith/JSU)



Sports Hall of Fame inductees claim their place in history by L.A. Warren Fifteen former athletes inducted into the JSU Sports Hall of Fame declared that hard work pays off. About 350 gathered inside the Student Center ballroom on the main campus to hear honorees proclaim praise to God, family and Jackson State University for helping them persevere toward excellence. “This is one of my crowning achievements,” said Dr. Tamika Bradley, a former trackand-field star who walked onto the team. She earned the indoor long-jump championship in 1996 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Honoree Samuel Jefferson was the sports information director (SID) during the Walter Payton era. He referred to his induction as “indescribable.” Everyone in his family, including his mother, attended JSU. Jefferson graduated in 1968 and eventually would serve 29 years in his professional role. He was named SWAC’s SID of the Year nine times. JSU Athletics Director Wheeler Brown told former players that their honor is something they don’t have to tell a story about because “other people will tell the story for you.”


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Sports Hall of Fame inductees Leslie Duncan, a former JSU athlete who played with the NFL’s San Diego Chargers and Washington Redskins Robert Hardy, drafted in the 10th round by the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks in 1979 Annette Hibbler-Wells, listed in the Top 10 for the most blocked shots in a season Roy Hilton, a JSU alum who formerly played with the Baltimore Colts, New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons

Phillip Perkins, named JSU’s Defensive Player of the Year in football in 1979 Vanetta E. Robinson Kelso, part of the JSU basketball squad that was the first-ever team to represent the SWAC in an NCAA National Championship Tournament Janice Staffney, honored as JSU’s Best Defensive Player in basketball in 1986 and 1987, and recognized as MVP in 1987

Sandra Louis-Jenkins, a volleyball standout at JSU from 1978-1982

Frank LaRose Sutton Sr., regarded among the most dominant offensive guards and defensive tackles in the SWAC; played with the New York Giants

* Barney King, a former three-time All-SWAC performer in track who led JSU to its first NAIA National Championship died recently

James Turner, hailed as a pioneer coach who revolutionized basketball with a full-court pressure defense and the fast break

Willie Frank Molden Sr., who played with the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Rams

Henry Ward (honored posthumously), played with the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs To view the profiles, visit:


Braddy inducted into National College Baseball Hall of Fame by Wesley Peterson Jackson State’s legendary baseball coach Robert “Bob” Braddy has received his fair share of accolades during his career as the Tigers’ head coach, but there is always room for one more award in the trophy case. Recently, the National College Baseball Hall of Fame named Braddy to its 2016 Induction class. “This is unbelievable when they called me two weeks ago to tell me I was being considered,” Braddy said. “Then they called me a few days ago and said ‘Congratulations you are being inducted.’” After graduating from Jackson State, Braddy spent the next 34 years in service to his “dear old college home,” as either the baseball coach or athletics director. During that time span, he participated in and oversaw some of JSU’s greatest athletic successes. “We are excited to induct this class,” said Mike Gustafson, president and CEO of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame. “It is remarkable that this is our 11th induction class, and they are this accomplished.” Braddy is only the second coach from the SWAC to be inducted into the NCBHOF. Grambling State’s Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones was inducted in 2011. “One of the greatest things is to be recognized by your peers,” Braddy said. Braddy is the winningest baseball coach in Southwestern Athletic Conference history (824 wins). From 1973 to 2001 his teams won 12 conference championships, more than any other coach in league history, and he led the Tigers to three NCAA Tournament appearances, two NCAA play-in games and four NAIA Tournaments. He was named SWAC Coach of the Year nine times. During his 28-year coaching career, 52 of his players reached the professional ranks, producing two first round draft

picks in David Clark (1983) and Earl Sanders (1986). In 1978, his Tigers posted a 52-12 record, which is a SWAC and JSU record. Braddy also played baseball for the Tigers under head coach Joe Gilliam Sr. and was named an All-Conference selection in 1962 and 1963 as a pitcher. “Jackson State University has been so great to me. To think that in 1973 a country boy was chosen as Jackson State’s first head baseball coach and now this. I had no idea that this would be the end result,” he said. In 2003, Braddy became the first African-American to be inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the JSU Sports Hall of Fame in 1985 and the SWAC Hall of Fame in 2005. In 2009, JSU’s home baseball facility was named Robert L. Braddy Sr. Field in his honor. Although he has not coached on the collegiate level since 2001, Braddy is still a fixture in baseball. He recently received a charter to start a little league baseball/ softball team in Jackson. “I just believe there is a correlation between crime and the lack of our young people being involved in activities. It is a passion of mine to give back to our youth and help our boys and girls develop into useful citizens.” This year’s National College Baseball Hall of Fame class includes: Matt Desalvo (Marietta College), JD Drew (Florida State), Augie Garrido (San Francisco State/Cal Poly/Cal St. Fullerton/Illinois/Texas), Rick Monday (Arizona State), Tom Paciorek (University of Houston) and Tommy Thomas (Valdosta State). For more information about the National College Baseball Hall of Fame, visit:

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Jackson Touchdown Club gives Jones Most Valuable Senior Award When the Jackson Touchdown Club named its statewide honorees for its Most Valuable Senior Awards defensive end/linebacker Javancy Jones received the award for Jackson State University. Jones is a three-time All-SWAC (Southwestern Athletic Conference) performer, a four time All-American and was a finalist for the 2015 C Spire Conerly Award. At the end of his senior season, Jones finished just four tackles shy of smashing the FCS career record of 80 in the category of “tackles for loss.”

As one of the top defensive players in the SWAC, he posted 82 tackles (third in the SWAC), 19.5 tackles for loss (second in the SWAC), and four sacks (11th in the SWAC). On top of his on-field accomplishments, Jones displayed his leadership abilities by being an active participant in community service projects, while also maintaining a 3.5 grade-point average. Finishing his career as one of JSU’s most decorated defensive players, Jones is on track to graduate this spring.

Women’s bowling team receives proclamation from City of Jackson The championship Jackson State University bowling team and assistant football coach James “Toe” Hartfield received proclamations from the City of Jackson. The Lady Tigers bowling team was recognized for capturing the program’s first Southwestern Athletic Conference title during a historic run in 2015. JSU opened the 2016-17 campaign as the No. 24 ranked team in the National Tenpin Coaches Association (NTCA) Preseason Poll. The Lady Tigers were previously tied for 23rd place in the final ranking last season. Hartfield, who has been the kicking coach at JSU for the last 30 years, was recognized for his tenure as a member of the Tigers coaching staff.

Compiled by Wesley Peterson


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Dual enrollment between JSU and JPS U.S. Department of Education picks JSU for pilot program

Ted Mitchell, U.S. Under Secretary for the Department of Education, said partnerships between K-12 school districts and leading research and teaching universities provide pathways for students into higher education. (Photos by Charles A. Smith/JSU)

High school students at Jackson Public Schools will be able to earn college credit at Jackson State University under a dual enrollment plan touted by U.S. Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell in a visit to Jackson State. During a stop on a bus tour called Opportunity Across America, the high-ranking official with the U.S. Department of Education likened opportunity to JSU because, he said, the university provides support to students who traditionally have not had access to higher education. JSU is the only public four-year HBCU to receive this opportunity and one of only 44 postsecondary

institutions nationwide that will participate in the dual enrollment experiment. Mitchell said the program will help students develop skills and talents to succeed in a “highly charged competitive global economy.” Furthermore, Mitchell referred to opportunity as completion. “While access is great, it doesn’t matter a whole lot if you’re not walking across the stage at the end of the program.” He said Jackson State has excelled by providing access to education, implementing cutting-edge state-of-the-art programs, and focusing in “laser-like fashion” on completion and graduation.

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‘Radical’ Baraka shares practical human-rights agenda Green Party candidate visits JSU by Rachel James – Terry International human rights activist Ajamu (A-ja-mu) Baraka (Baa-raa-kaa) discussed the details of human rights with students and local supporters in Jackson State University’s College of Liberal Arts in October. Baraka seemed unassuming – dressed in an ebony business suit, white shirt and dark tie. But, his clean-shaven head, salt-andpepper goatee and heavy-black rimmed glasses suggested more Malcolm X than Green Party vice presidential candidate. “I’m here to talk about human rights and to put this issue in its proper perspective and to share why the campaign is centered on the idea of human rights,” said Baraka, who is also a geopolitical analyst. Canvassing the conditions and struggles of the people he encountered during his nationwide travels, he identified the following mutual and observed themes: • Homelessness • Disappearance of jobs • Inability of people to live and exist with dignity • Corporations poisoning communities with toxic waste • Uninsured or under-insured people “The fact is that we go to so many communities, and they are food deserts. There is no food. You have to get in a car and drive for miles to be able to shop and when you get to those places you find that there is inferior and very unhealthy food in those places,” Baraka said. His words seemed to be an indictment of a country that leads the world in food waste, disposing of millions of tons annually,


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(Photo by Charles A. Smith/JSU)

according to research. Additionally, painting a picture that emerged as more Third World than First World, Baraka stated that in 2016 all people in the United States still do not have access to “something as basic as water.” “All of these issues, all of these things that are lacking in the individual and collective lives of people: These are in fact human-rights violations, and we want people to understand that,” he said. Revealing hints of the ideologies that may have led to his branding as radical and controversial figure by mainstream media, Baraka asserted that transcending the limitations of U.S. Constitutionalism is one outcome for those who place civil liberty issues and violations within the framework of human rights. Baraka warns of the rising impediments if people relieve the government of any obligation to meet the most primitive thresholds of human survival. He explains that not viewing simple necessities as a human right narrows the range of appeals a society can make. “You undermine the morality of your demands, and you disconnect from what’s happening around the world,” he said. Baraka deemed an ability to view life from beyond a “U.S. lens” as an essential and significant development that enables a fresh perspective, correlating the human rights violations in the U.S. to those in the rest of the world.



Volunteers deliver supplies after crippling floods by L.A. Warren

Urban and Regional Planning earns two-year extension of accreditation Dr. Ricardo Brown, dean of the College of Public Service, said the Department of Urban and Regional Planning has an annual enrollment of about 50 doctoral students, 24 master’s students and 14 undergraduates.

by Rachel James-Terry

Volunteers at Jackson State University loaded goods collected at campus sites into a transport truck in September to deliver those items to flood victims in Crosby, Mississippi, after the town was deluged over the summer. Dr. Ricardo Brown, dean of the College of Public Service, assisted in the student-led effort. He said, “There was serious flooding in Mississippi. … So, we collected items. Students, as well as faculty, staff and administration, set up a drive supporting the victims.” The campaign also received monetary donations. The initiative started with people donating supplies at the downtown campus and Student Center. State Rep. Angela Cockerham, a JSU alum, represents the affected neighborhoods in southwestern Mississippi. Although hard hit by rainwater, the area, unfortunately, did not qualify for federal disaster funds. As a result, the campus community decided to help. Brown said, “Our main goal was to provide cleaning supplies and water so victims could get back into their homes.” Items collected on the first floor of the main drop-off site at the JSU Student Center included water, cleaning supplies, paper products, school supplies and wipes. SGA Vice President Isaac Gaines said, “This effort will help bring comfort to a number of area residents and show our compassion to the state.”

Jackson State University’s Department of Urban and Regional Planning (DURP), located in the downtown campus, received an additional two years on its four-year accreditation term. This distinction extends the department’s accreditation through December 31, 2020. According to Dr. Ricardo A. Brown, dean of the College of Public Service, “Very few programs enjoy the privilege of receiving such an extension.” Created in 1998 as a result of the Jake Ayers settlement, the department is the only accredited planning program in Mississippi. It boasts an annual enrollment of approximately 50 doctoral students, 25 master’s students and 14 undergraduates. Many of their graduates go on to pass the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) exam and gain employment as city and regional planning directors throughout the nation. Lisa Johnson, student coordinator and publicist for the department, explains that programs seeking accreditation must consider the following criteria: awarding degrees to at least 25 students or more; overall university accreditation status; timeframe for degree completion; and program focus among other factors. The department tracks crucial statistical data, which includes student demographics and achievement as well as monitoring the career progress of the DURP alumni. Accomplishing an accreditation extension is no easy feat and all involved in the process are elated. “This is exciting news and a reflection of the hard work that our faculty engages in daily to keep our curricula current, innovative and relevant,” Brown said. “Having accredited programs in our college is not optional; it’s mandatory. Our students deserve to receive the best training possible. Congratulations to the faculty and staff for doing their best work.” The department’s next self-study report is due in 2019. jackson state university



Jackson State Kids Kollege joins ‘Lights on Afterschool’ campaign by Rachel James - Terry In the late 80’s, the term “latchkey kids” was a popular phrase used to describe children who, after school, go home to an empty house due to their parent(s) being at work. According to the Afterschool Alliance, approximately 15 million U.S. children are currently without adult supervision during the afternoon hours. In efforts to combat such steep statistics, Jackson State University’s Kids Kollege Enrichment Program participated in the “Lights On Afterschool” campaign. “Lights On Afterschool is a national event where over 8,000 afterschool programs, including statewide, rallied for support and to get supporters out to hear and see what after-school programs are doing,” said Tierra Strong, program director for JSU’s Kids Kollege. Since its inception in 1983, Kids Kollege has sought to provide contemporary opportunities for Jackson metro area students to excel academically, emotionally and socially. From Monday to Friday, students are welcomed into an individualized approach environment that emphasizes continued learning in a fun atmosphere. Dr. Daniel Watkins, dean of the College of Education and Human Development, shared droll tidbits of his childhood without aftercare programs saying, “After school for me was work. When we would leave school, we had to do chores, but I was


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(Photo by Rachel James-Terry/JSU)

able to learn a whole lot.” “Growing up in a financially strapped family left little room for extracurricular activities,” Watkins remarked. So, he learned how to read his grandfather’s newspapers and from there an affinity sprouted for books and geography. He then challenged the room of students and supporters to “read, read, read, read – enjoy yourself and have an exciting time.” Fifth-grader Jamia Knox has been attending Kids Kollege for a little over three years. “I like coming here and learning after school. You don’t have to go straight home and be without someone helping you with your homework. There are a lot of things to

do at Kids Kollege, and more people should get their kids involved,” she said. Jasmine Young, a senior elementary education major at JSU, began volunteering at Kids Kollege as a sophomore to complete the university’s community service requirements. “I’ve been here ever since, and I love the experience. I love how the children are always so active and always learning the different activities,” Young gushed. Eleven-year-old Jonathan Buford took time out from a group of his friends to explain how they are collecting canned and packaged food to donate to parents whose kids are in long-term care at Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital. “It makes me feel good,” said Buford, smiling shyly.


Politician to professor: Former Gov. Musgrove teaching urban and media studies at JSU by Rachel James-Terry Former Mississippi Gov. Ronnie Musgrove patiently waits for the start of his Monday evening seminar in Mass Communications class at Jackson State University’s School of Journalism and Media Studies. While some students address him as “Mr. Musgrove,” others refer to him as “governor.” Either way, he casually answers to both. Having taught at his alma mater, the University of Mississippi, John Hopkins University and Mississippi College School of Law, the classroom seems second nature to the practicing attorney. “Jackson State has a tremendous program and a tremendous facility, and it has access to media, to the Capitol and to agencies that, truthfully, more universities in the state should take advantage of by partnering with Jackson State,” he said. “The School of Journalism offers a lot of opportunities for young people to excel in a field that may not have been open to them in times past.” A slow and steady procession of students trickles into the room, and Musgrove leads the class in a discussion on the Limited Effects Theory – which argues that the influence of mass media rarely directly affects people. When he asks the students to apply the theory to the current presidential election the class becomes engulfed in an animated dialogue. Musgrove moves comfortably around the room calling each by name and speaking with his hands like – well, like a politician. “I think about all the teachers I’ve had in elementary school all the way through high school and then college and law school and the profound impact that they have had on me,” Musgrove said in his amiable southern drawl. He recounts a recent visit with a prior teacher who was retiring from years of instruction in his hometown of Batesville. He said, “I had an opportunity just to stop by and say ‘thank you’ for the inspiration and the impact she had on my life. Hopefully, I’ll have some small impact on the students that I have a chance to be around because it’s our future, and I get excited about looking at our future.” A married father of four, Musgrove acknowledges the plausible benefits his government background and learned wisdom seem to offer. “Giving young people the opportunity to have a class

(Photo by Justin Hardiman/JSU)

with someone who has been through the political arena, who has experienced things, has a little gray hair now (laughs) – it gives them a chance to be exposed in ways that one may not otherwise have an opportunity,” he said. Establishing the Musgrove Smith Law Firm in 2014, the attorney has little issue harmonizing work and his personal life. “When you do things that you’re passionate about and that you love it’s easy to balance. I enjoy doing that, so I don’t view it as strenuous or hard work when getting ready for a class and anticipating some of the discussions that would be had. I just enjoy it.”

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(Photo by Charles A. Smith/JSU)

U.S. Department of Energy official discusses clean energy economy with STEM students Fellowship and research opportunities promoted by Rachel James-Terry Christopher A. Smith, assistant secretary for Fossil Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy, talked global warming while lauding the benefits of the Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship (MLEF) Program to an overflowing room of science, technology, engineering and math students in Jackson State’s College of Science, Engineering and Technology. “The Mickey Leland program is all about getting more underserved minorities and more women into the sciences, particularly into the challenge of developing the technologies for a clean energy economy in the future,” Smith said. Originally called the Minority Education Initiative, the program was later renamed in honor of Congressman Mickey Leland, a prominent advocate of cultural diversity, who tragically died in a plane crash in 1989. Eligible students who are accepted into the 10-week summer program are afforded an opportunity to develop research skills through mentorships with officials and scientists in the DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy. A weekly stipend is supplied; the specific amount varies based on the student’s undergraduate, graduate or doctoral classification. Although the program caps at 50 students per summer, Smith explained that the department looks beyond the requirements. “We don’t say, ‘Ok, let’s pick the top three GPAs’. We are really examining the entire candidate.” Smith’s multifaceted duties as assistant secretary include heading the National Energy Technology Laboratory. STEM disciplines are the crux of the lab’s production where “all the chemistry, all the engineering, all the physics, all the design go into creating energy


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systems of the future to reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses that come out of fossil fuel sources.” During last year’s United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) held in Paris, the “world” unified to tackle greenhouse gas emissions and global warming – an increasing societal issue Smith characterized as “classic” and arduous. The United States and China were the first to put forth individual Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) – a plan to aid in the decrease of global warming – in anticipation of the convention. The magnitude of U.S. and China’s actions were embodied in a parallel offered by Smith, who said: “The two countries with the two biggest economies, two biggest societies, two biggest consumers of energy; and the two biggest emitters of carbon dioxide.” All countries were called to design a plan defining how they would contribute to the overall goal of achieving net zero emissions, hold the increase in global average temperature significantly below 2 degrees Celsius, and explore ventures to restrict the increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the second half of the century. Instead of the expected 50 or 60 countries, 190 countries put forth a definitive strategy to address greenhouse emissions. “The fact that China and the United States went first showed real leadership,” Smith said triumphantly. With regard to skeptics of climate change, the U.S. official said, “From our viewpoint, the science is clear when you have 190 countries make an implicit commitment to move forward. The debate has reached a conclusion.”


JSU receives UNCF Career Pathways planning grant funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. by Olivia Goodheart

UNCF announced that Jackson State University is among 30 colleges selected as planning grant awardees for the new Career Pathways Initiative (CPI), a highly competitive grant process open to four-year historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and predominantly black institutions (PBIs), to help students gain the knowledge, preparation, insight and skills needed for meaningful employment upon graduation. JSU’s grant development team included Dr. Priscilla Slade, Dr. Michael Gates, Angela Getter, Dr. Lurlene Irvin, Lashonda Jordan and Dr. Kenneth Russ. Slade, special assistant to the provost for International Studies and Community Colleges, said, “This is a tremendous opportunity to utilize the collective knowledge of university constituent groups (faculty, staff, students and alumni) to

(Photo by Justin Hardiman/JSU)

The Career Services Center holds Career Fairs on campus at Jackson State University to allow students to meet face-to-face with potential employers. (Charles A. Smith/JSU)

assimilate ideas, cull the best practices and create new and innovative approaches to increasing career placement outcomes.”

Lilly Endowment Inc. committed $50 million in October 2015 to launch the UNCF® Career Pathways Initiative.

The Jackson State University College of Liberal Arts, led by dean Mario Azevedo, hosted the inaugural Conference on the Liberal Arts: [Re]Defining Liberal Arts Education in the 21st Century in October of this year. William D. Adams, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities was the keynote speaker. To view full conference information, visit The Jacksonian online at jackson state university



(Photo by Charles A. Smith/JSU)

Global Entrepreneurship Week features Pulitzer Prize nominee Clifton Taulbert Jackson State University’s Department of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management partnered with the Kauffman Foundation for Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) Nov. 14-17. “Unleashing the Entrepreneur Within” is this year’s theme. The week included myriad workshops and presenters who elucidated on topics such as how to craft an effective speech, entrepreneurship in agriculture, money management, how to push your image and much more. President and CEO of the Freemount Corporation, entrepreneur, author, and Pulitzer Prize nominee Clifton Taulbert was the keynote speaker. His book “Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored” became a national bestseller and major motion picture. Taulbert was also invited


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to address members of the U.S. Supreme Court by former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor after she read his novel “Eight Habits of the Heart.” Chosen by CNN to be a voice of the community, his literary work “Who Owns the Ice House? Eight Life Lessons From An Unlikely Entrepreneur” is described as “a powerful and compelling story that captures the essence of an entrepreneurial mindset and the unlimited opportunities it can provide.” Philanthropist, investor and accomplished businessman, and JSU alum Andrell Harris gave a franchising and wealth building presentation during the conference. At the age of 16, Harris, and a friend, began a vending machine service that grew into Harris’ Vending Services

with machines in over 50 locations throughout Mississippi. At the age of 24, Harris became an investor in Florida luxury beachfront property, and at the age of 28, he became the youngest sole Papa Johns franchisee in the history of the company. “I judge my progress in life by how well I am able to bless others with what God has blessed me with,” Harris said. GEW is not only celebrated across the United States but internationally noted Dr. Mary White, chair of the Department of Entrepreneurship and associate professor in the College of Business. “It’s a good opportunity to get students thinking about wealth creation. If you have an entrepreneurial mindset, it doesn’t matter where you are,” she said.


White named administrator of the year by MASA and MAEOP by Kennedi Cox Dr. Mary M. White, chair and associate professor for the Department of Entrepreneurship in the College of Business, was recently selected as the Mississippi Office of Educational Professionals Administrator of the Year 2016. The award was presented by The Mississippi Associa-

tion of School Administrators (MASA). White, who has been at Jackson State University 42 years and most recently served as interim vice president for Institutional Advancement, was recognized at the MASA Awards Luncheon on Oct. 18, at the Jackson Hilton. MASA’s executive director,

Lisa Karmacharya, told White that the recognition is a “truly well-deserved honor and tribute to your dedicated leadership and professional accomplishments.” Earlier this year, White was also bestowed the 2016-2017 Administrator of the Year award by the Mississippi Association of Educational

Office Professionals (MAEOP). MASA is the oldest educational organization in Mississippi that recognizes and serves administrators throughout the state. It is also an affiliate of The American Association of School Administrators (AASA) – The School Superintendents Association.

College of Business receives $300,000 NSF grant to spur innovation, entrepreneurship by L.A. Warren A team of JSU researchers Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” has received a three-year is under the direction of principal $300,000 grant from the investigator (PI) Ramin Maysami, National Science Foundation dean of the JSU College of Business. to establish an NSF The project co-PIs are: Dr. Loretta Innovations-Corps Site within Moore, vice president for Research Jackson State University’s and Federal Relations; Dr. William College of Business. McHenry, executive director of Combining experience and the Mississippi e-Center@Jackson guidance from established State University; and Dr. Deidre entrepreneurs with a targeted Wheaton, assistant professor of curriculum, I-Corps is a Continuing Education. public-private partnership “We are excited about providing program that teaches how the opportunity to JSU scientists Dr. Ramin Maysami, right, is dean of JSU’s College of Business and is the to identify valuable product and researchers from all academic principal investigator for an NSF grant promoting entrepreneurship and opportunities that can emerge commercialization of academic research. (Photo Special to JSU) fields to pursue commercialfrom academic research ization of their products and and offers entrepreneurship training to student participants. The services,” said Maysami. “We are equally excited about contributing I-Corps Sites program, in turn, enables academic institutions to to the economic growth and development of West Jackson, Jackson catalyze teams whose technology concepts are likely candidates for metropolitan area and Mississippi through this entrepreneurial commercialization. initiative, which is also open to interested teams of innovators and The project, “I-Corps Sites: Jackson State University Center for researchers from outside the JSU family,” Maysami continued. jackson state university



‘Flipped’ STEM classes earn $350,000 NSF grant Interdisciplinary learning is focus of collaboration between CSET and CEHD by Rachel James-Terry The National Science Foundation has awarded a $350,000 grant for “Investigating the Effect of Active Flipped Learning in STEM Education” to the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) and the College of Science, Engineering and Technology. According to, the “flipped” educational approach can be simply defined as “school work at home and homework at school.” Dr. Lin Li, professor of engineering and principal investigator for the grant, feels the novel teaching style “gives students more responsibility in the learning process.” Li will be heading the project with Jianjun Yun, professor in the university’s CEHD and Alo' co-principal investigator; Dr. Frashad Amini, engineering professor, and Dr. Tor Kwembe, chair of the math department. Li explains that in a traditional classroom students typically sit and listen to a lecture from their teachers and then go home and apply what they have learned during the execution of their homework. In the “flipped learning” project, JSU students will access their professor’s lectures online and listen to their lesson before attending class. Instructors meet with students at their regularly scheduled period to answer any questions that stem from the online lecture, which allows educators more time to address any challenges students may encounter with processing

the lesson. According to Dr. Richard Alό, dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, there will be five phases of the process: First phase: Faculty will be trained to understand the components of the flip classroom; faculty will record their lectures and upload them to Blackboard — JSU’s online teaching tool. Second phase: The flip and traditional learning method will be applied to one predetermined lecture class. Students will be surveyed and samples collected once completed. Third phase: Based on student and instructor Watkins feedback, methods are adjusted to make the process more efficient. Fourth phase: Apply revised methods to four classes (Calculus I and III; Physics I and Mechanical Engineering I), totaling approximately 360 STEM students. Fifth phase: Review results, write reports and make recommendations. “This is a wonderful opportunity for both education and CSET students. It shows the hard work and team efforts of all involved for the betterment of students and JSU as a learning community,” said Dr. Daniel Watkins, dean of the College of Education and Human Development.

CUBD receives grant to preserve historic Mount Olive Cemetery by Kennedi Cox The Center for University-Based Development (CUBD) at Jackson State University received a $15,000 grant from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) to remodel and preserve historic Mount Olive Cemetery, located on John R. Lynch Street. Heather Wilcox, neighborhood development coordinator for the CUBD


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at Jackson State University, said Mount Olive Cemetery has a rich history. She said it also provides a final resting place for the first African-American doctors, lawyers, legislators, dentists and midwives in Jackson. The cemetery, next to the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) building, will have preservation work done to highlight the significance of the site as well as the people buried in it. “The history of the West Jackson community and Mount Olive Cemetery

are an interconnected story of a rich historical timeline dating back to the early 1800s and marks not only a point of beginning for West Jackson and this important story is worthy of preservation,” Wilcox said. Dating back to the first burial in 1807, this cemetery has a lot of rich history of former slaves and prominent African-Americans within the community. There are no plans for more burials. It is hoped that this site will become a tourist attraction.

Communicative Disorders hosts Fall Festival

Storybook theme promotes speech and language skills by Aundria Range

The School of Public Health Initiative’s Department of Communicative Disorders hosted its annual Fall Festival at the Central Mississippi Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic on Ridgewood Road. This year’s Fall Festival had a storybook theme. Each therapy room was decorated like a scene from a classic children’s storybook, including, The Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Snow White, 101 Dalmatians and There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat. Eighteen first-year graduate student clinicians participated, along with the department’s clinical supervisors. Clinicians dressed as various storybook characters welcomed their young clients into each

room to participate in fun therapy-related activities. These activities included several speeches and therapy tasks in the contexts of games, fun activities and storybook readings. The therapy focused on improving socialization skills, turn-taking, vocabulary, word recognition, word-finding, word association, visual sequencing, auditory comprehension, verbal sequencing and reading comprehension. Once the therapy was complete, the clients received a treat and moved along to the next room. The Fall Festival was a successful event filled with speech, language and literacy activities as well as fun.

(Photos by Brandi Newkirk-Turner/JSU)

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Does racial trauma impact the health of African-Americans? JSU’s political science department seeks answers by Rachel James-Terry

Research created a program to mentor undergraduate students. Orey said, “I applied and was awarded a small grant to mentor four students. Following this effort, I included funding for undergraduate students with the NSF grants. Over the three grants, roughly $75,000 has been appropriated for scholarships and travel.” Topics addressing the Confederate flag and police force involving African-Amer(Photo by Rachel James-Terry/JSU) ican males generate a range of emotions. But it was Orey’s rage, after leading and losing a referendum in 2001 to change Jackson State University’s political science department has received three grants, to date, totaling $410,000 from the National the Mississippi state flag, that would prove to be a catalyst for the research his department is currently exploring. Science Foundation (NSF) to conduct innovative research that “When we lost, we lost like 65-35. Folks didn’t want a change, so endeavors to understand the physiological ramifications of that was like a kick in the gut,” Orey said in his deep baritone voice. racially divisive subject matter on African-Americans. “It had gotten to the point where that rage, the same stuff I’m Through a series of student and community participation studying, was affecting me. I thought I was going to lose it. I studies, Jackson State political science professor Dr. Byron didn’t know what I was going to do – the flag disturbed me that D’Andra Orey and his team examine the material health effects of much. The more I began to read about it, the more it actually exposure to police and protestor violence, Confederate imagery increased my rage,” he exclaims. and implicit bias. Like many Mississippi youth, Orey grew up visiting the “It is an honor for me to be able to participate in such Vicksburg National Military Park. As a third-grader, he recalls groundbreaking research,” said junior Jauan D. Knight. “Looking at the racial and political climate of our country, I believe it is past wearing a Confederate hat to school and, after seeing a fellow classmate with a digital watch that played ‘Dixie’ – the de facto time for someone to find solid, scientific evidence of the effects of anthem of the Confederacy – he went home and asked his father racism and these racially traumatic, stressful events.” to purchase him an identical watch. Orey, who is also principal investigator for the grants, explains “I couldn’t understand, at first, why he wouldn’t get me one,” that Dr. Evelyn Leggette, provost and senior vice president for Orey said, adding, “He did eventually get me a watch, but it didn’t Academic and Student Affairs, was decisive about students play ‘Dixie.’ I now know why – the obvious story of it being rooted gaining opportunities to play major roles in the research. in slavery.” Under Leggette’s leadership, the Center for Undergraduate


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(Photos by Charles A. Smith/JSU)

The more Orey began to learn about the history of the Confederacy and its associated images, symbols and language the more he became cognizant of its prevalence throughout the South, which only intensified his anger. Feeling disenchanted with his home state of Mississippi, Orey accepted an associate professor position at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln (UNL) and headed West.

Twin Data Studies

During his time at UNL, Orey discovered his colleagues were analyzing identical twins and non-identical twins to determine if there was a genetic predisposition to people being liberal or conservative. “My position when we were doing the twin data stuff was that black folk have to have a certain type of gene to be able to survive and go through a traumatic experience similar to the post-traumatic slave syndrome (a theory sparked by researcher and social work educator Dr. Joy DeGruy Leary),” he said. Orey also noticed a large number of studies administered by traditionally white institutions did not have many black participants; therefore “none of them was interested in any questions related to race.” This prompted the professor, who has published a multitude of articles on race and politics, to ponder the effects of violent imagery on African Americans.

“This is just stuff you think about intuitively, but we wanted to see if, when you’re watching Facebook and a horrific shooting video pops up, like the Terence Crutcher video, the argument is people who see these videos can actually be doing physiological harm to themselves, and it’s unconscionable,” he said. The idea of intersecting race, biology and political science stayed with Orey upon his return to Mississippi after accepting a chair position at JSU in 2008.

The Obama Effect

The first grant Orey received was for “Elite level queuing in the era of Obama.” The guise behind the experiment was to determine if the overwhelmingly African-American support of Obama translated into African-Americans supporting everything the president says and does. “So, if Obama blamed blacks for their failures by suggesting that black males were simply not taking care of their responsibilities, this is why we have these inequalities, compared to Joe Biden, Colin Powell or Bill Clinton stating it. We wanted to see, essentially, and this is a crude analogy, if Obama said, ‘jump,’ do black people jump?’” Orey explains. The results of the experiment showed, if African-Americans had a strong racial identity, they were more than likely to discount the president’s position if he blamed blacks for their failures as opposed to blaming the system. If the president

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blamed the system, blacks supported his position more than the position of other elites when they shared a similar perspective.

Race-based trauma study

The second grant Orey received from NSF was for the investigation of the biological effects that racially traumatic and stressful events and symbols have on African-Americans. Participants are hooked up to a machine that monitors their sweat secretions (electrodermal), heart rate and facial expressions. They are then shown pleasant and startling images, at random, that include police brutality, protests in various stages of civil unrest, beautiful flowers and the Confederate flag among other things. So far, Orey and his students have only been able to test the electrodermal response. “We have convenience samples right now of faculty, staff and students, but we will start paying people to take the experiments. In order to increase our data pool, we have to go beyond the university,” Orey said.

Active shooter simulator

The most recent grant from NSF will allow Orey and Dr. Yu Zhang, co-investigator and criminal justice professor, to analyze the impact of subconscious racial biases in the killings of black males using active shooter simulators. First, one group of criminal justice students will undergo a week of cultural competency training designed to decrease the negative stereotypes associated with black people and strengthen racial identity. A second group of criminal justice students will forego the training. Next, both groups will be given a subconscious test, based on a study out of Harvard, to detect if they are biased toward different ethnic groups and if the cultural competency training decreased any prejudice. Lastly, students from both groups will wear state-of-the-art simulation goggles and be given an empty 9 mm Glock. The simulation goggles will project a variety of police-involved scenarios aimed at ultimately judging if they will shoot a black person faster than a white person. Their responses will then be correlated with their biases, if any. “This is a pilot study, and we’ll observe if those that received the cultural competency training will see that black folks are not the negative stereotypes. Hopefully, any implicit bias will decrease. We then can put together a module to show that this type of training does reduce these types of shootings,” Orey stated.

One-of-a-kind research

Pointing out that JSU is conducting research similar to top universities like UNL, Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Orey said, “So we adopted similar methods and applied them to the unique experiences of African-Americans.” Jasmine Jackson, a senior, agrees with Orey, “This research is significant because some may feel it does not fit into the field of political science or that the topics we study aren’t of any value to the field. But we are continuing to create a space for


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(Photo by Rachel James-Terry/JSU)

African-Americans in the area of political science,” she said. Orey encourages and supports more student involvement in higher education research. “They have some of the most brilliant insight that has been untapped. These students know a lot more than what we think that they know,” he said, chuckling. Knight appears to summarize the magnitude and overall aim of their research, stating: “It is not enough to just say, ‘I don’t like the flag’ or ‘I don’t like to see police killing black males,’ but it is another thing altogether to have solid physiological proof that people are traumatically affected by Confederate iconography and the police state. I believe the research we are conducting will have a lasting impact not only on my generation and race but also on our country as a whole.”


J-School >>>>>>

delivers all-night local, national coverage by L.A. Warren Well before Donald Trump was declared president-elect, politicians assembled inside the Mississippi e-Center@JSU with electronic and print media on campus for all-night Election Day coverage to address issues impacting all races, especially the White House. Aside from opinions about local and statewide contests, the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Jackson State University invited a slew of guests on Nov. 8 into its studios to discuss topics such as the Electoral College, immigration, swing states, voter apathy and voter ID. INTENSE EMOTIONS, OPINIONS Opinions, some rather intense, flared up throughout the night as professionals and aspiring journalists interviewed politicians and pundits. Dr. Elayne H. Anthony, dean of the journalism school who also served as election anchor on JSUTV, kicked off the evening with an interview with Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann about voter ID requirements. Hosemann, via Skype, explained there were no issues. He said unlike previous years, Mississippi wasn’t required to have monitors this time. However, 500 observers were sent to 28 other states, he said. Anthony said the live television coverage was an “awesome task.” She added, “We included our students, faculty, staff; and teams at the radio and television stations and students with the campus newspaper. Alumni donated

Student anchors and mass communications majors Kennedi A. Cox, a junior, and Gerald Harris, a senior in JSU’s School of Journalism and Media Studies, participate in election coverage. They prepare to interview state Sen. John Horhn in the greenroom on Tuesday evening. (Darek Ashley/JSU)

food for the event, and we received tremendous support from University Communications. We streamed live so viewers could watch us, and we were visible on Comcast Channel 14.” The entire night proved to be a “teachable moment” for students and “some of them even gave their analyses on the set,” Anthony said. As well, they received lessons about the Electoral College and “were able to look at those numbers to see where we were in the election.” WHAT IS ELECTORAL COLLEGE? With help from JSU political science professor Dr. Byron D’Andra Orey, the Electoral College was clearly explained as he addressed how votes are parceled

out based on each state’s congressional districts. For example, Orey said, Mississippi is awarded six votes, accounting for its two senators and four congressmen. A victorious presidential candidate must earn a minimum of 270 votes. (Trump – handily won Mississippi and Clinton eventually delivered her concession speech before noon after Election Day). Orey also suggested that many African-Americans were lukewarm about this presidential election – a contrast with Latinos this time around. SHOCK AND DISMAY Dr. Luis Camillo Almeida, interim chair of JSU’s Department of Integrated Marketing Communications, Multimedia jackson state university


Rachel Clapper, debate analyst, and Surrinder Singh, a community Sikh activist, joined Dr. Elayne Anthony on election night 2016 to discuss issues. (Photo by Darek Ashley/JSU)

Journalism and Media Production, monitored social media. And, throughout the night, students used Facebook and Twitter to share snippets about election results. Some of them even conducted interviews with guests in the designated greenroom. Anchoring the Election Night news desk and providing regular updates on breaking news, WJSU-FM news director Dwain Doty asked state Rep. Alyce Clarke how the nation should bridge the country’s deep political divide. “I’m hoping we’ll find a way,” said Clarke, delivering a clarion call for unity while trumpeting the message that “divided, we will fall.” She said: “My desire, my hope, my prayer is that we, as constituents, will work even harder than the president and his team to get ourselves together.” Meanwhile, Eric Walker, senior producer of JSU’s Election Night 2016, said he was pleased with the coverage provided by the team. “We accomplished our goals by tackling all the major elections in the state and the presidential race with in-depth analyses of those important local contests involving those who live around us and represent us.”


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“We included our students, faculty, staff, radio, television and the student newspaper. Alumni donated food for the event, and we received tremendous support from University Communications. We streamed live so viewers could watch us, and we were visible on Comcast Channel 14.” He also praised student anchors for being “poised and graceful” during interviews and well-versed on political topics. As a producer, Walker said he has “1,001 things going on at the same time, such as making sure the flow is going well, the guests are in place, watching poll results and managing graphics.” Yet, he was especially delighted that JSUTV was the first station to call the election between

incumbent Supreme Court Justice Jim Kitchens (the winner) and rival Kenny Griffis, despite just 89 percent of the precincts having reported. JSUTV would later score an interview with Griffis after the hard-fought match. Another swift decision occurred when JSUTV was first to call the race for Latrice Westbrooks against defeated incumbent Ceolo James for the Mississippi Court of Appeals, District 2. STATE DEBATE Former Mississippi Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove locked horns with GOP strategist Amile Wilson when Musgrove argued that candidates running for the Supreme Court are not supposed to have a platform because “it means you’re not going to be unbiased.” Musgrove, also a JSU adjunct instructor, pointed to a lack of transparency when outsiders try to bankroll judicial races. Later, Wilson zeroed in on the presidential candidates. Although some students might have been disappointed about some of the election results, Anthony said the experience they received watching the highs and lows are just part of the electoral process.


Endowed scholarship in College of Liberal Arts honors Holmes and helps students by L.A. Warren and Olivia Goodheart Supporters of Dr. Charles Holmes, retired chair and professor of the Political Science Department at Jackson State University, met to honor him at the announcement ceremony of an endowed scholarship in his name. Holmes was referred to as an innovator who had the university and students at heart. Those who spoke of his integrity, ingenuity and mentorship gave him high marks. Dr. Mario Azevedo, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, characterized Holmes as a man who always likes to explore things. “He is very active in preparing students for law school,” the dean said. He further indicated that gift-giving assures that worthy students will have an opportunity to attend Jackson State, creates an opportunity for perpetual income and benefits current and future generations. The scholarship further increases enrollment opportunities as well as ways to increase academic excellence. Chair of the Department of Political Science, Dr. Ricky Hill, said that freshmen majoring in social science, history and urban development would benefit from the Holmes scholarship. “We have seen someone who has been giving back all of his life,” Dr. Evelyn Leggette, provost and senior vice president

for Academic and Student Affairs, told those present. “We appreciate your providing scholarships for students, for your thinking about someone beyond yourself,” she said. During an interview following the session, Holmes mentioned, “This is an endowed scholarship in my name – $25,000 to be matched to $50,000. It’s to end in 2019. I feel highly honored, elated. Being a teacher, it means a whole lot when your students think about you that way.” The names of former students Holmes recalled having influenced then came to mind. Many of them have contributed to the scholarship. Carlton Reeves is a lifetime judge. Cornell Brooks is executive director of the NAACP. Janie Lewis Blackmon is a judge. Terri Fleming Love is a judge in New Orleans. Others include: Mississippi Sen. Hillman Frazier; Lee Jackson, a lawyer in Washington, D.C.; and Felecia Adams, U.S. Attorney in Oxford, who was appointed by President Barack Obama. Holmes envisions that with the scholarship students will attend law school or study in a law-related discipline. Yet, he desires that they move into even greater spheres. “We need our folks to be in control as copyright agents, etc.”

The JSU lover and widower contended that throughout his entire teaching career, he never got out of character with women. Among them all, he held two in high regard: Willene Holmes, his supporter and wife of many years, and his deceased friend Margaret Grice Teague. “I recall the scholarship drive. Margaret and I were classmates for four years. She helped to raise money for this scholarship,” said the professor. Among those who commented about Holmes was Teague’s daughter, La Sonya. “I am proud to be here and to see that my mother was acknowledged for us,” she said. Holmes’ former student, Gloria Hardiman, practices environmental law and is assistant chief counsel for the Southern Region for the U.S. Department of Transportation in Atlanta. Though she could not attend the event, Hardiman said of Holmes during a telephone interview: “He was such a unique person. When I think of him, I think of Carter G. Woodson. He often talked about men of scholarship and prophetic insight to lead us into the light. He made each student feel like he was there for him/her. He and I have made a long-time relationship since JSU.” Holmes served at JSU from 1966-1993.

Charles Holmes, center with photograph, is surrounded by JSU faculty, staff and supporters. (Photo by Spencer McClenty/JSU)


Jackson Public Schools students join Lockheed executive and JSU alum Karmyn Norwood inside a science museum on wheels called Trailblazers, parked on the main campus. The trailer provides information on energy, space, weather, biotechnology and aerodynamics. (Photo by Charles A. Smith/JSU)

JSU, Lockheed Martin urge JPS middle school students to consider STEM careers by L.A. Warren Jackson State University and representatives from Lockheed Martin Corp. gathered recently in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET) building to urge hundreds of visiting middle school students from Jackson Public Schools to begin thinking early about careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Derek McGowan, diversity outreach program manager for Lockheed Martin, offered startling statistics about the dearth of minorities pursuing careers in the various disciplines. He said despite 500,000 African-Americans who graduate annually from high


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schools that only 35,000 have math and science backgrounds to enter STEM. Even more disturbing, he said, is that only 5,000 of those graduate every four to five years with such degrees. “That’s a 1 percent yield on a 16-year investment on your education. So, the moment in time is now,” said McGowan, urging middle school students to begin considering STEM as a career path. CSET dean Dr. Richard A. Aló delivered a similar message. He said national studies show that African-Americans, Latinos and Native Americans are “less than 15 percent of the school-age population who are ready to go to college when they graduate from high school.”

Aló said, “Getting young people interested in technology is about motivation and inspiration. I hope we can improve that dismal figure. We’re pleased that Lockheed Martin has been able to do this. JSU named a summer program the Lockheed Martin STEM Academy, which is making a difference because it’s appealing to students in seventh, eighth and ninth grades. It’s academically intensive with English, computer science, science, physics and math. When students are done with the program 75 percent of them will graduate from college in STEM,” he said. In conjunction with Lockheed’s visit, students toured a science museum on

wheels called Trailblazers that provides hands-on exhibits. The mobile classroom teaches young students about energy, space, weather, biotechnology and aerodynamics. It also introduces them to educational and career opportunities in STEM. Scott Trapp, diversity outreach director at Lockheed, described his company as a trailblazer. “We recently were named the No. 1 HBCU supporter three years in a row by CCG (Career Communications Group),” said Trapp, describing the minority-owned services company as a business with a mission to promote career and educational opportunities for minority professionals and students in engineering, technology and science. “We got there through engagement and faculty development. … We also invested in student curriculum.” Trapp boasted that Lockheed also provides internships to “develop a pipeline of new talent. … We’re committed,” he said. Jackson Public School’s chief academic officer expressed gratitude to JSU and Lockheed for giving

young people a chance to believe in a brighter future. Chinelo Bosh Evans said, “Any of us can look in society and identify a challenge, but what Jackson State and this College of Science, Engineering and Technology have done is to create a catalyst for change and solutions by introducing our scholars to STEM opportunities and STEM-career exploration.” She said the partnership allows young people to see others who look like them and discover how they defied the odds. Lockheed representative Karmyn Norwood, a JSU alum and executive sponsor to JSU CSET, said the company is dedicated to creating future engineers and scientists. Norwood, also vice president for Lockheed’s AMMM (Air Mobility and Maritime Missions) Line of Business Integration, said, “It’s important for middle school students to be introduced to science, technology, engineering, mathematics so they will have an idea of the possibilities of what they can become as they matriculate through their education.”


Lockheed Martin invests $75,000 into its STEM Academy at JSU for JPS middle-school students by L.A. Warren A $75 million corporate investment is expected to provide a major boost to select students at Jackson Public Schools who will enroll in the Lockheed Martin STEM Academy at Jackson State University for a summer training program. The financial incentive will help support an intensive four-summer, six-week academy, which is in its third summer at JSU. Hands-on

experience is a major component of the initiative, which especially targets first-year program students in Grades 6-8. Other aspects of the academy include a one-week training for JPS teachers, who are expected to become master instructors over the years. Dr. Richard A. Aló, dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, said, “This investment will

impact our STEM Leader Early Identification Program and the continuation of our ongoing work with the Lockheed Martin STEM Academy.” Because the aim is to prepare students to become curriculum-ready for College STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) programs, academy teens at JSU will immerse themselves in many academic subjects and strategies. These include

math, computer science, problemsolving skills, introduction to engineering, physics and Angela Getter English. “Partnerships like the one CSET has developed with Lockheed Martin are deeply appreciated and invaluable to the development of our students,” said Angela Getter, development officer. jackson state university



(Photos by Charles A. Smith/JSU)

Student veterans will benefit from renovation project Home Depot Foundation partners with JSU Veterans and Military Student Support Center by Olivia Goodheart Jackson State University's Veterans and Military Student Support Center has a new look, and it is all thanks to The Home Depot Foundation and local Team Depot volunteers from all four stores in the Jackson metro area. According to Dr. LaToya Reed, executive director of the center, the project resulted from a grant funded by the Student Veterans of America (SVA)


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to build or renovate space where veterans can get access to school resources, study and connect with other veterans on campus. Grantees received up to $10,000 for their projects. “We’ve seen how vet centers can be the linchpin for veterans working toward graduation, and we’re grateful to be able to offer our SVA chapters resources like the Vet Center Initiative, thanks to partners

(Photo by Charles A. Smith/JSU)

(Top) Dr. LaToya Reed welcomes Team Depot to JSU. (Bottom left) New break room and lounge will serve student veterans. (Bottom right) Kimberly JonesWard, benefits counselor and Ashlei Ainsworth, administrator assistant, prepare to serve campus veterans at new work station. (Photo by Kentrice Rush/JSU)

like The Home Depot Foundation,” said Jared Lyon, president and CEO of SVA. The renovation started in October and was coordinated by the following individuals: Fred Hutto, pro desk supervisor/Team Depot captain; Krystal Buckner, associate support supervisor; Titus Gilbert, paint supervisor; Darryl Brown, kitchen and bath supervisor; Tavia Weatherspoon, associate support supervisor; and Erica Scott, appliance supervisor. Hutto said, “We will be bringing in talent and labor from all four stores in the metro area to come in and do the work

here. Our hope is that the transformation will make a positive impact on everybody who comes in and utilizes the facilities.” The JSU center received a new workstation in the office area, an upgraded break room/lounge area and re-painting and new carpet. It also includes a conference room and reception area. “Additionally, we are grateful to JSU Army and Air Force ROTC cadets, as well as the Alice Varnado Harden Center for Service for their willingness to volunteer in assisting with our project,” Reed added. The JSU Veterans and Military Student

Support Center is on the 3rd Floor, Suite 302, of the Jacob L. Reddix Building. The staff provides assistance to student veterans, dependents and military service members. For more information or assistance, call 601-979-0889 or 601-9791365, or visit

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Academy for Research and Scholarly Engagement inducts faculty members The Jackson State University Academy for Research and Scholarly Engagement inducted 18 faculty members into the fifth cohort this fall. The academy seeks to broaden the community of Jackson State University faculty members who competitively win extramural funding for their research agendas and/or creative endeavors. It matches a multi-disciplinary cohort of faculty at various stages in their careers with experienced Jackson State principal investigators (PIs) for sustained coaching. Academy scholars participate in a yearlong program of in-person workshops, self-paced online learning and engagement with program officers at federal agencies and foundations. Title III funds the Academy for Research and Scholarly Engagement through the JSU Center for University Scholars. (Charles A. Smith/JSU)

PROMOTION AND TENURE The following Jackson State University faculty members received promotion and tenure effective for the contract period 2016-2017: NADIA BODIE-SMITH, associate professor, Department of Speech Communication and Theater, College of Liberal Arts; MARK GEIL, associate professor, Department of Art, College of Liberal Arts; JANA TALLEY associate professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistical Science, College of Science Engineering and Technology; BRANDI L. TURNER, associate professor, Department of Communicative Disorders; School of Public Health (Initiative); LOMARSH ROOPNARINE, professor, Department of History; College of Liberal Arts. The following Jackson State University faculty members received promotion effective for the contract period 2016-2017:


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HYONSON CHONG, associate professor, Department of Management and Marketing, College of Business; EMMANUEL NWAGBOSO, professor, Department of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts; ALMAGIR HOSSAIN, professor, Department of Chemistry, College of Science Engineering and Technology; SUNGBUM HONG, associate professor, Department of Computer Science, College of Science, Engineering and Technology; and ZHENBU ZHANG, professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistical Science, College of Science, Engineering and Technology. DR. FENGXIANG HAN, associate professor, Department of Chemistry, College of Science, Engineering and Technology, received tenure effective for the contract period 2016-2017.


Staff Leadership Institute: Cohort Five Jackson State University’s Staff Senate announced its selection of 2016 Staff Leadership Institute fellows. Participants were selected from a competitive pool of campus-based applicants. The group will participate in an intensive three-month leadership development program that includes a series of training sessions, research, seminars and other events. The institute targets emerging leaders in higher education and seeks to build upon knowledge and skill sets of staff members in a manner that will improve their quality of work and service at Jackson State University. They are David Howard, left, Crystal Smith, Dwayne Thomas, Dr. Rosella Houston (JSU Staff Senate president), Calvin Matthews, Fallon Sutton, Latonia Harper, Sharon Griffin and Stevenson Paradeshi. (Photo by Charles A. Smith/JSU)

FA C U LT Y / S TA F F A C C O M P L I S H M E N T S DR. LUIS C. ALMEIDA, interim chair of the Department of Integrated Marketing Communications, Multimedia Journalism and Media Production, was featured by The Wall Street Journal in an article styled “How Managers Get ‘Interim’ Out of Their Titles.” DR. BRIAN ANDERSON, associate professor in the Jackson State University School of Social Work, has been appointed to a three-year term on the national accrediting body of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Commission on Education Policy (COEP). JASON BROOKINS was appointed business/ operations manager for the Jackson State University Development Foundation. He was formerly the director of the Center for University-Based Development.

DR. THOMAS C. CALHOUN, Jackson State University associate vice president for Academic and Student Affairs and professor of sociology, is co-editor of the book What to Expect and How to Respond, published by Rowman & Littlefield. The collection of essays is for students of any discipline who are interested in careers in higher education and offers a solutions-oriented glimpse into life in academia from the vantage point of students, faculty and administrators. GWENDOLYN CAPLES was recently named the assistant vice president for the Division of Institutional Advancement at Jackson State University. Caples will continue to serve as the director of the JSU Welcome Center. The JSU alumna previously held positions in Alumni Affairs and the Office of Development. jackson state university


FA C U LT Y / S TA F F N O T E S DR. HELEN CRUMP, assistant professor of English at Jackson State University, represented the institution’s chapter of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi – the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines – at the 44th Biennial Convention as a voting delegate. Crump currently serves as treasurer of the JSU Chapter. JSU was the first HBCU to establish a chapter of PKP. WAYNE GOODWIN has joined the president’s cabinet as vice president for Facilities Management and Construction. Goodwin has served as associate vice president and assistant vice president of the unit for more than 20 years. DR. LUCILLE A. GREEN, assistant professor and coordinator of JSU’s seniors college in the School of Lifelong Learning, has been appointed to join the leadership of the National Association of African-American Studies and Affiliates (NAAAS), a multicultural research association. DR. ASHTON HAMME III was appointed interim chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, effective Aug. 15. Hamme is an alumnus of Jackson State University. Hamme graduated from JSU with a 4.0 GPA.

KAMISHA HILL is the new executive director of Auxiliary Services in the Division of Business and Finance. She will oversee management of licensing for the JSU brand and serve as a liaison with vendors and on-campus retail outlets.

DR. EVELYN J. LEGGETTE, provost and senior vice president for Academic and Student Affairs, was honored with the Phi Beta Sigma Image Award, which acknowledges people who improved the communities in which they live. Leggette was recognized for her more than 40 years of service in academia – starting as a public school teacher to her current role as a senior administrator in higher education.


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DR. CANDIS PIZZETTA, associate professor in the Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages, has been appointed associate vice president for Research and Scholarly Advancement. She will be responsible for working with faculty and administrators to develop and implement a comprehensive strategic plan for promoting interaction between federal agencies and members of the university community. In addition, she will continue to serve as director of the Jackson State University Center for University Scholars. DR. PARESH RAY, chemistry professor in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, received this year’s Mahatma Ghandi Award from the government of India for his contributions to cancer research. The honor, named for the preeminent Indian leader who espoused non-violent civil disobedience, is exclusive to natives making a notable impact in their professional fields and society.

DR. LATOYA REED is the director of the Jackson State University Veterans and Military Student Center. Jackson State University has been named a military-friendly institution for the past several years, due to the services provided to veterans and their dependents by the center.

DOUG STRINGFELLOW, sound technician and stage manager for the Jackson State University Department of Events, was honored at the 42nd Annual Jackson Music Awards Association (JMAA) for his “remarkable service and commitment.” Stringfellow has served as the lead sound mixer for JMAA for more than 20 years. DR. JESSIE WALKER has been named chair of the Department of Computer Science in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology. He was appointed to the position in the Fall 2016 academic semester. Walker previously as chair of the Computer Science Department at the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

Compiled by Olivia Goodheart

the final say The bus to success by Angela Mae Kupenda To protect our Black youth and other youth of color given the many incidents still occurring today, many responses are necessary, including: nonviolent protests, demands for legal and justice reform, instructing our youth on the realities of racism in America, and lawsuits for the injuries from state-sanctioned and private-racialized violence. While all of these, and more, are needed, we must not lose sight of the offense that is also called for.

my children on the bus to success, and when they try to hop off, I run up beside the bus and push them back on.” Thus, even in the midst of the institutional and some intentional racism that we still are confronting as Blacks in America, I urge us to also focus on this offense strategy for the future. Let’s reinvigorate our efforts in putting our children on the bus to success, and when they try to hop off, run up beside the bus and push them back on. My mother’s saying is

“But my most important job is this: I put my children on the bus to success, and when they try to hop off, I run up beside the bus and push them back on.” Former slave and later human rights advocate and orator Frederick Douglass had it right when he discovered that education was a way out of slavery. And, higher education is a way out of the continued slavery-like oppressions and disregards Blacks and others in America have long endured. My mother had this insight as she struggled as a single parent to help all of her children, and other children in the community, to obtain their college degrees, get gainful employment, and to continue to help others do the same. She would say that she did not have land to leave to us or other wealth, and that our education would not make all the White folks we encountered, even at work, treat us right, but higher education could help us improve our lives and improve the lives of others. My mother used a wheelchair for many of her later years in her 70’s. Although she got out of the house often, she spent many days at home. People would ask her what she did all day. Her first response would be: “I work on my spiritual life; I do my stretching exercises, cook, visit and counsel others by phone and write my book.” But then she would add, with a twinkle in her eyes, “But my most important job is this: I put

filled with wisdom even for today. My mother argued we must “put” our children on the bus to success. In the Black community it seems we have a culture of individual coming of age and self-determination. We seem to resist being “helicopter parents”– constantly hovering over our children and their environments, cheating them of their personal growth. While treasuring our rich culture, we still must “put” them on the bus to success. This requires pointed action and, as always, a need to protect the self-pride that some others in the world may try to deny our youth. A young woman in our extended family was preparing to go to college. The historically Black college and university (HBCU) in the city was clearly her best choice, financially and otherwise. The young woman, though, was receiving many letters from predominantly White colleges inviting her to apply but with no promises of financial support. When we asked her why she was not considering the HBCU, her response was that they were not “courting” her at all. That next morning, my mother called the HBCU’s admissions office, told them about her young relative and asked them to please send her a letter inviting her to apply and telling her about their available scholarships and financial aid. They jackson state university


“And, when they try to hop off, I run up beside the bus and push them back on.”

gladly did. The young woman felt important and was ecstatic. She never knew that she had been “put” on the bus to success. She applied, did well and graduated. She is now a college educator.

Note: This is not a limousine to success; it is not a taxi to success, nor a jet plane, nor a midnight train, to success. It is a bus. A bus can be slow in getting one to the destination. A bus may seem not high-class to some, especially folks in the hot South, where traveling by auto is preferred. A bus ride is bumpy. A bus may not take one on a direct route; one may have to transfer buses. The bus requires one to get up early, to endure rain and heat, to walk a distance to get to the bus stop. Riding a bus is often not easy. My mother’s point is put your child on this

path to success, this bus, because it is headed to success even if it is rugged and not direct. Our children may not finish college in four years, it might take longer. Our children may have to get another degree to acquire the gainful employment they desire. All of this is acceptable as long as we can keep them on the bus to success. My mother did not say get on the bus with them, but put them on it. The bus is also carrying other passengers. On this journey, they may find other people to help encourage them who are also journeying on this bus seeking success. A young man in my extended family was trying to go to college but had waited late to apply. My mother exhorted several of us to help him. Another relative worked at the university and knew the departments and names of people he needed to talk with but did not have the time to walk all over the campus taking him to these people. But I did that summer. Each person he met got him one step closer to enrollment. Toward the end of the day, we stopped by the Honors College to visit the legendary head of that program. She gave him the biggest boost when she


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challenged his laziness and told him to cut yards or work all summer laboring with his hands and back – then in the fall to labor with his mind and focus 100 percent on his studies and that she would be watching him. That young man is now an educator. Our work is not done though once we put our children on the bus to success. Inevitably, they will try to hop off. They may hop off as they get impatient with the slow progress; they may think they see something more enticing that is off the bus to success. Bad relationship choices may make them want to hop off, short-term failures may make them want to hop off, fear may make them want to hop off; seeing all the isms (racism, sexism, classism, etc.) may make them despair and want to get off. By not paying good attention they may think “they have arrived already” and try to hop off way too early before their stop. They will inevitably try to hop off. My mother said, “And, when they try to hop off, I run up beside the bus and push them back on.” I don’t believe this is being an annoying helicopter parent. I think this is being an exceptionally good Black parent who understands the dangers and distractions that will entice children to hop off the bus to success. This means we must be alert and understanding of the things our young people face on this bus, and those things lurking for them off the bus to success. We must also stay in our best spiritual, mental and physical shape so we can get up beside the bus. When we get there, we must not get on the bus, as this is their bus to success. But we should “push them back on.” We must push them back on with our encouragement, wise instruction, sharing from our own mistakes, understanding, humility and all the strength we can muster, and all our love – even when our children get upset at what we have to say, as we speak the truth in love. Kupenda is a professor at the Mississippi College School of Law in Jackson. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Jackson State University and holds a master’s degree from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Professor Kupenda finished first in her class at the Mississippi College School of Law. (Reprinted with permission. higher-education-putting-our-children-on-the-bus-to-success/)

COMMUNITY OF LEADERS The decision to pursue a graduate education is a serious one, requiring commitment and hard work. The benefits of earning a graduate degree from JSU are many: • Opportunity to earn more money • Opportunity for scholarly growth • Opportunity to elevate your current career • Opportunity to change career path The Graduate School at Jackson State University is here to challenge minds and change lies. Contact us today so we can help you chart a course that meets your needs, fits your schedule and expands your horizons. 601-979-2455 // //

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The Jacksonian Magazine - Fall 2016  

The Jacksonian Magazine - Spring 2016

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