http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=PT+Sans Hinds CC announces speaker for summer graduation ceremony

Monthly Archives: July 2017

Hinds CC announces speaker for summer graduation ceremony
Posted by
17 July

Hinds CC announces speaker for summer graduation ceremony

RAYMOND – Summer graduation ceremonies are set for July 28 at the Muse Center on the Rankin Campus as students earn associate’s degrees from Hinds Community College.

The college will confer 532 credentials to 464 students in two ceremonies. All nursing and allied health graduates will receive their degrees at 10 a.m., with commencement for academic and career-tech graduates to follow at 2 p.m. Angela Griffin, retired assistant dean for Career and Technical Education, is the speaker for both ceremonies.

Angela Griffin

Angela Griffin

Griffin retired from Hinds in 2017 after 34 years, a tenure that began as a Business Technology instructor at the Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center. Griffin went on to chair the Business Technology Department before becoming assistant dean for career-tech.

While at Hinds, she received several recognition for her work with students and colleagues. Those include being named a Hinds Hero, HEADWAE faculty member for 2006, Outstanding Vocational-Technical Instructor, Distinguished Vocational-Technical Instructor and being named Outstanding Junior/Community College Teacher by the Mississippi Business Education Association. Angela was also appointed to serve on the Board of Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services.

Griffin is a member of Anderson United Methodist Church where she serves as a member of Pastor/Staff Parish Relations Committee. She also serves on the church’s Pastor/Staff Parish Relations Committee.

College to confer credentials to summer graduates July 28

 

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Stewpot director uses Hinds CC experience to put faith into action
Posted by
10 July

Stewpot director uses Hinds CC experience to put faith into action

JACKSON – The faces of poverty, homelessness, addiction and despair walk the same hallways Rev. Jill Barnes Buckley walks daily.

Being able to lift spirits and fortunes with caring words and deeds is second nature to Buckley, who credits mentors at Hinds for helping her then so she can help others today.

Rev. Jill Buckley shares a few moments with those gatthered in the Stewpot Community Services cafeteria where meals are served daily. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Rev. Jill Buckley shares a few moments with those gathered in the Stewpot Community Services cafeteria where meals are served daily. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

“I decided I wanted to do something more meaningful with my education than sit at a desk most of the day,” Buckley said. “Hinds was a great experience for me – the perfect next step.”

In January, Buckley became executive director of Stewpot Community Services in downtown Jackson. Housed on West Capitol Street in a spread anchored by the former Central Presbyterian Church, the nonprofit operates four shelters that offer a clean place to sleep for up

to 100 men, women and children nightly. Hot meals are provided year-round at its on-site cafeteria for anyone in need. The organization estimates more than 650 poor and homeless individuals are served daily by its 17 different ministries.

Each person helped in some way by Stewpot can be a case study in sociology, which was Buckley’s major subject in college. Merging her religious faith with a desire to put that faith into action resulted from her education at Hinds and beyond, she said.

Rev. Jill Buckley

Rev. Jill Buckley

“The perception is that community college gets students ready for college, but it’s also good for students like me, who needed kind of a middle place where I knew all my professors and they challenged me,” she said. “I didn’t live on campus, plus I worked, so I learned how to balance school and work.”

She counts former instructor Mary Kuhn and current instructor Debbie McCollum, who directs the college’s Honors Institute, as key mentors during her time as a Hinds student.

Kuhn, who taught sociology and related subjects at Hinds, remembers a student willing to step outside the usual comfort zone for an 18-year-old.

“She had told me once about helping an older gentleman to read at the Eudora Welty Library in Jackson,” Kuhn said. “She was always very inquisitive and highly motivated.”

Buckley showed a calm focus in English Composition I class and interactions with classmates even as a fresh-faced teen, McCollum said.

“I remember Jill being a very positive, engaged student who had an air of self-confidence about her even as a very typical age college student,” McCollum said. “Jill formed friends easily and was a person other students could count on for help with assignments.”

“She moved me pretty quickly into Honors English,” Buckley said of McCollum. “Then I joined Phi Theta Kappa. Part of my experience at Hinds was having that kind of challenge. And so I’ve helped several teenagers coming out of high school in that same position connect to Hinds.”

After earning an associate’s degree at Hinds, the Sumrall native and Clinton High School alum secured a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Mississippi State University. She then earned a Master’s of Divinity from Boston University School of Theology.

She worked for the Secretary of State’s Office just after college, then went to work for Stewpot in 1996 as a volunteer coordinator. For 12 years leading up to her return to Stewpot, she was associate pastor of Northminster Baptist Church in Jackson. “It was due to my experiences at Stewpot and the impact it had on my life that I went to theology school to pursue my Master of Divinity.”

“Once I got here and started meeting people in deep need, I understood it more,” she said. “These are people with stories and histories, who had difficulty and ended up here needing help.”

Those stories can be as simple as a run of bad luck with money or as complex as the issues of poverty and homelessness themselves.

“For many people, it’s mental illness or substance abuse,” she said. “For others, it’s family tragedies. For the most part, those who come to Stewpot don’t have enough of a support network when they have life-altering situations.

We can be their stand-in family. Their stories are all unique, but they have common elements.”

In the past year, a connection has developed between Hinds and Stewpot as it relates to lifting people from hopelessness on multiple fronts. The organization connects people it helps with the MI- BEST program, in which those without a high school diploma can earn that credential and train for a job at the same time.

“We help people register for MI-BEST, and our commitment to those students is that we help with transportation,” she said.

Buckley’s lunchtime chats with those the organization helps lift out of despair offer her a comforting spiritual satisfaction.

“Getting here is the work of God’s spirit in my life,” she said. “I just wanted to make more of an impact on the world and for my work to have meaning.”

Stewpot director uses Hinds CC experience to put faith into action
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Working through school kept Hinds CC alum, top school chief honest
Posted by
10 July

Working through school kept Hinds CC alum, top school chief honest

Note: The following story appears in the summer issue of Hindsight alumni magazine. For more information about the Hinds Alumni Association, see the website.

PEARL – Dr. Ray Morgigno felt the importance of an education not with the sound of paper and pencil, but with the snap of a part on his once-cherished muscle car.

“I had a 1970 Corvette at the time I was in school and loved it, but it threw a rod,” Morgigno said. “I’ll never forget my dad saying, ‘If you think I’m going to pay for you to go to school and hot rod around, you have another thing coming.’ I had liked to play tennis, but that ended my tennis career and I had to get a job. But it was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

Dr. Ray Morgigno

Dr. Ray Morgigno (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

It spurred a love of the classroom and teaching, Morgigno said, which put him on a fast track to achieving a most gracious honor from his peers. The superintendent of the 4,200-student Pearl School District was named Superintendent of the Year in October 2016 by the Mississippi Association of Administrators during the organization’s annual conference in Jackson.

Morgigno is himself a product of the school system he leads, having graduated from Pearl High School. Attending Hinds after high school helped him mature, he said.

“I was one of six children and was the first to go to college,” he said. “What Hinds provided was an affordable opportunity to go to college. My parents were of the generation that thought if you graduated high school, you were a man, then. And then you just went to work and got married. With Hinds, my parents were able to pay by semester for me to become a teacher. I got there and I loved it.”

He earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Science Teacher Education at Delta State University. He earned a master’s in Educational Leadership and Administration from the University of Mississippi and a doctorate from Mississippi State University.

While at Hinds, he had worked his way through school at a Sears store. There, coworkers who were in the Mississippi Army National Guard talked up the benefits of joining. In 2011, he retired as a lieutenant colonel in the guard with nearly 22 years of service.

He was appointed superintendent in 2010 after four years as principal at his high school alma mater. His first foray into school administration was as assistant principal at Brandon High School, from 2000-06.

Fittingly, it was teachers who inspired him to pursue education as a career. That included Gary Fox, who taught his English Literature class at the Rankin Campus and is now academic dean, and Sheila Tedder, his high school English teacher who also taught at Hinds as an adjunct instructor.

“Ray always had an enthusiastic smile that reflected his personality and self-confidence,” Tedder said. “He was a humble, hard-working young man who set and achieved his goals.” Fox and Morgigno reconnected when the latter became chief and became involved in the dual enrollment program and added “a keen understanding” of student needs that proved invaluable, Fox said.

These days, he sees the value of a Hinds education from the opposite side of the desk from when he was a student. “Hinds has demonstrated outstanding community involvement through time,” he said. “The partnership we’ve had with Hinds as a school district has been very good, especially the programs for workforce training and with the kids who are dually enrolled.”

Working through school kept Hinds CC alum, top school chief honest 
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Former beauty queen Lucas still smiling thanks to Hinds CC
Posted by
10 July

Former beauty queen Lucas still smiling thanks to Hinds CC

Note: The following story appears in the summer issue of Hindsight alumni magazine. For more information about the Hinds Alumni Association, see the website.

MAGEE – After graduating from Mendenhall High School, Gloria Patrick Lucas felt as many young people do when they leave the nest.

Confidence and a ready smile weren’t a problem. The fine points of academics and other means of self-expression were another matter. But she found help at Hinds as well as an identity.

Gloria Patrick Lucas

Gloria Patrick Lucas (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

“When I graduated high school, I’d never heard of an essay,” Lucas said, crediting her freshman English instructor Anne Hardy with helping her double down on studies. “She taught us how to break it down and write paragraphs from note cards and just had us feeling good about it. Feeling good about yourself is just as important as anything you learn in a textbook.”

Challenging herself meant trying out for the Hi-Steppers precision dance team without prior experience. Still, she had no problem impressing the program’s legendary longtime director Anna Cowden Bee.

“I can remember being at marching practice early one morning when she came and patted me on the butt and told me, ‘Well, I can tell you were a majorette!’” she said, barely able to contain her laughter. “No! I wasn’t! I don’t know what it was, but I was trying hard to try to be one.”

Gloria Patrick Lucas' homecoming queen photo from 1966

Gloria Patrick Lucas’ homecoming queen photo from 1966

She also took the Homecoming Queen title for 1966 as well as winning Miss Hinds and the Eagle Beauty Revue pageants.

She completed her bachelor’s degree at Blue Mountain College, where she majored in elementary education. She taught math in Mississippi and Alabama for the better part of 30 years, along the way winning the Starkville Rotary Club’s Teacher of the Year honor in 1991. She had married longtime high school football coach Tommy Lucas after graduating from Hinds and had two children, Doug and Kara. Tommy Lucas died in 1999.

What’s endured from her Hinds days is numerous longtime friendships with former roomies and fellow former Hi-Steppers.

“Even today, she’ll light a room up and make you always feel like you’re her best friend,” said Bonny Burnham Tigrett, a former dorm roomie who often did the young beauty queen’s hair. “She likes making people feel special and has a servant’s heart.”

Years spent attending sports and academic dinners, banquets and parties produced a knack for hosting events, which helped set the tone for her life after teaching.

In 2002, Lucas purchased The McAlpin House, a quaint little manor tucked away off Highway 49 in Magee. Built in 1903, the home bears the name of Erman and Emma McAlpin, who for years ran a department store in town. Today, Lucas rents it out for wedding receptions and other special events.

“After hearing the house was for sale, I immediately fell in love with it and could see the potential of a new life back home,” she said. “With the help of my daughter, Kara, who’s an interior designer, the house was restored, making it a unique Southern venue for special events.”

More recently, Lucas has purchased a second venue for weddings and getaways – one that surely comes with a nod to Mississippians’ love for the outdoors.

Gloria Patrick Lucas, in front of the house her uncle built and she purchased in 2015

Gloria Patrick Lucas, in front of the house her uncle built and she purchased in 2015 (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Completed in 1971 and named for her uncle, the Johnny Knight tree house is situated in the middle of a thick patch of woods in Mendenhall. Knight, an Army veteran once stationed in Cheyenne, Wyo., developed a love for the mountains and the outdoors in general thanks to his stateside assignment, she said.

Sold upon his death in 2003 to artist Gail Hederman, the structure is supported by cypress trees and split logs and is essentially a domed postcard photo in the middle of a pine forest. Inside, exposed beams that meet at the roof’s peak support a heavy chandelier that illuminates a bedroom, bathroom, loft, kitchen and living areas all open to one another. A separate, smaller cottage on the property is a “dressing room” of sorts for prospective brides preparing to walk down the spiral staircase to the altar, which is just north of the main house.

The architectural wonder was put up for sale again in 2015, and Lucas and her children got it back in the family. It’s an added draw for couples desiring a new kind of “destination wedding,” she said.

“A lot of girls here want the barn wedding, the woodsy and rustic look,” she said. “Since I bought it, I’ve added a deck and the wedding site.”

These days, Patrick is satisfied seeing her clients all-smiles and happy, just as she was in her tiara and homecoming gown in 1967.

“Life needs to be all about happy, finding contentment and a reason for being,” she said. “What joy it is for me, seeing the happiness in the eyes of bride and groom as they prepare for their special day and their life together.”

Former beauty queen Lucas still smiling thanks to Hinds CC
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Great-grandmother among 45 at High School Equivalency ceremony at Hinds CC
Posted by
06 July

Great-grandmother among 45 at High School Equivalency ceremony at Hinds CC

RAYMOND – Ruby Hardy came home to Jackson last year the way countless people make their way back home – to take care of family.

“I came back to take care my mother,” Hardy said. “It prompted me to go into the job center, but I didn’t qualify much since I didn’t have a GED. I was even thinking of working in foodservice because I have to take care of a family.”

Ruby Hardy

Ruby Hardy

Hardy, 70, was among 45 people of varying ages and stations in life recognized during a ceremony Friday, June 30 at Cain-Cochran Hall on the Raymond Campus for achieving their High School Equivalency certificate, formerly known as the GED, this academic term.

The great-grandmother of five had left Lanier High School before her senior year was up and went to California, where she took part in a jobs program established by the federal government during the Kennedy administration, then worked several years for Pacific Bell in various roles.

“Back then, if you passed an entry-level test, you could just get a job and after about five years, you could move around,” she said. “Nowadays, the first thing they’ll ask you for is a GED or a high school diploma.”

She plans to become a certified medical data technologist and open her own business.

“To reach this milestone, it’s an awesome feeling,” she said. “I never thought I’d be at a loss for words, so that’s the only thing I can say. It’s just awesome.”

Hardy was among eight participants in the MI BEST program at Hinds who received a GED during the ceremony. MI BEST is Mississippi’s version of the nationally recognized Integrating Basic Education and Skills Training program, or I-BEST. It allows adult students to train for a job skill while earning their GED high school equivalency certificate at the same time. Students are prepared to be job-ready in six months to a year, train in high-demand areas and earn national certifications.

Tommy Dotson, left, of Vicksburg, shakes hands with Dickie Scruggs following a ceremony June 30, 2017 at Cain-Cochran Hall at Hinds Community College Raymond Campus to recognize those who earned a High School Equivalency certificate this past academic term. (Hinds Community College/Tammi Bowles)

Tommy Dotson, left, of Vicksburg, shakes hands with Dickie Scruggs following a ceremony June 30, 2017 in Cain-Cochran Hall at Hinds Community College Raymond Campus to recognize those who earned a High School Equivalency certificate this past academic term. (Hinds Community College/Tammi Bowles)

Dickie Scruggs, former prominent lawyer and founder of the nonprofit Second Chance Mississippi, spoke to this year’s recipients on the value of their accomplishment down the road in life. The collaborative effort with the state’s community colleges raises awareness and funds for High School Equivalency and adult education.

“My charge to you today is simple,” Scruggs said. “If you will do one thing the rest of your life, you will succeed. Just three words – just show up. If you just show up, anything you undertake to do, chance are you will succeed.”

GED recipients who were honored Thursday and their stated hometowns included:

 

Brianna Allen, Vicksburg

LeDarius Anderson, Byram

Stephanie Bell, Vicksburg
Kadeem Bilal, Clinton
Michael Boyles, Clinton
Amy Bray, Raymond
Brittany Caldwell, Vicksburg
Willie Chapin, Utica
Jason Chapman, Jackson
Lateisha Chatman, Jackson
Tyler  Davenport, Jackson
Tommy Dotson, Vicksburg
Brandi Eucare, Jackson
Connor Evans, Vicksburg
William Everett Jr., Jackson
Bobby Hannah, Jackson
Ruby Hardy, Jackson
Malik Harvey, Byram
Mandy Hart, Raymond
Cherie Hayes, Jackson
Alease Hobson, Jackson
Courtney Holmes, Jackson
Melissa Irby, Jackson
Isreal Jenkins, Clinton
Darien Johnson, Jackson
Kyra King, Vicksburg
Javen Love, Brandon
Rachel Majoria, Vicksburg
Antoniesha McCoy, Jackson
Timothy Myles, Clinton
Khaaliq Nunn, Jackson
Jenny Pettis, Raymond
Chester Price, Jackson
KaDarius Price, Jackson
Valanta Pruitt, Vicksburg
Jarrett Riles, Byram
Octivitia Smith, Jackson
Chyrianne D Sterling, Jackson
Olivia Tarver, Vicksburg
Frank Jr Tullos, Edwards
Rosemary Washington, Clinton
Alexandria Watkins, Raymond
Candace Watson, Byram
Robert Watson, Vicksburg
Tanya White, Jackson
Great-grandmother of five among GED recipients at Hinds CC
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