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

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Info: Danny Barrett Jr. is a 18-year journalist with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communication from Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La. Barrett covered county government and business at The Vicksburg Post for 10 years and came to Hinds Community College in 2015.
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 27 at the Muse Center on the Rankin Campus as students earn career or technical certificates and associate’s degrees from Hinds Community College.

Peggy Hobson Calhoun

The college will confer 389 credentials to 591 students in two ceremonies. All nursing and allied health graduates will receive their credentials at 8 a.m., with commencement for academic and career-tech graduates to follow at 11 a.m.

Peggy Hobson Calhoun, who represents District 3 on the Hinds County Board of Supervisors, is the speaker at both ceremonies.

Calhoun, of Jackson, was first elected in 1992 and has championed issues of economic development, public health and safety. Over the years, she has received numerous awards and recognitions for services rendered to promote the development of women, as well as small and minority-owned businesses.

In 2017, Calhoun was selected by fellow county supervisors on the Mississippi Association of Supervisors to be the organization’s president for the 2017-18 term.

She is a member of Mount Nebo Missionary Baptist Church and has two adult children with her husband, state Rep. Credell Calhoun.

17 July, 2018 News more
Environmental passion honed through Hinds’ CC Honors program
Posted by
13 July

Environmental passion honed through Hinds’ CC Honors program

RAYMOND – Christopher Lockhart is as plugged into the “connected” world as any self-respecting millennial. But, he hasn’t forgotten his love of the outdoors since graduating from Hinds just a few years ago.

Christopher Lockhart

“Growing up, I was one of those kids playing outside – digging in the dirt, bringing bugs in the house,” Lockhart said. “I caught a lot of stuff. Right now, even, I have a pet snapping turtle.”

That passion for enjoying a beautiful day on land or sea fuels both his jobs these days, teaching biology at Clinton High School and owning Capital City Kayaks, which offers tours of local waterways including the Pearl River and the reservoir.

“It’s a way to get people accustomed to the water,” he said of his business, started three years ago as an extension of his many outdoor hobbies as a kid. “There are pockets of hidden gems around here to see in a kayak where you feel like you’re not even in the city.”

Lockhart graduated from Murrah High School in 2008, then honed his aptitude for math and science at Hinds before earning a bachelor’s degree in biology education from Mississippi State University in 2012.

“It was a wonderful transition,” he said of his Hinds experience.

He credits his experiences in the Honors Institute and the Gamma Lambda chapter of Phi Theta Kappa on the Raymond Campus for becoming a well-rounded student – in particular the community service projects that open Honors students’ eyes to the world.

“I love all those instructors,” he said. “They gave me the opportunity to go to Costa Rica and study environmental science for free. And I got to kayak there, which was the highlight of my trip right there. We saw a sloth coming down a tree, which was a rare sight.

“We did a lot of team and character-building activities. It was definitely an experience being able to learn from those people, the kinds of people where you’re definitely not the smartest person in the room.”

Retired biology instructor and Honors dean Kristi Sather-Smith remembers the trip with Lockhart to Costa Rica well.

“That’s when I learned about how passionate he is about all things living,” Sather-Smith said. “Chris always took every opportunity to learn and ran with it. He never wasted time, but never seemed to be in a hurry.”

 

Starting his education at Hinds eased him into his higher education and offered a multitude of perspectives from peers.

“Hinds offered a four-year feel but in a more intimate space,” he said. “You still meet people from all around, even though it’s a community college. I met people in the dorm from Jamaica, from Russia, from all kinds of different places.”

His connection with Hinds has continued in the past few years, as he’s giving an assist to the same Honors program he enjoyed as a student.

“I was approached by the college’s Office of Sustainability and the Honors program to help out on community service projects geared toward preserving the environment, mainly donating some boats and time to work with Hinds’ Honors students,” he said. “I said ‘I most certainly would!’

“I saw some of my recent former students at Clinton High in the program. It was a heart-touching moment seeing them there, since it hadn’t been that long since I was in it. A lot of them hadn’t been in a kayak before. Before you knew it, they were paddling around picking up trash like professionals.”

 


Note: This story appears in the summer 2018 issue of Hindsight alumni magazine. Find out more information about the Hinds Alumni Association and Foundation scholarships.

13 July, 2018 News more
Scientist flies high in new career with help from Hinds CC
Posted by
13 July

Scientist flies high in new career with help from Hinds CC

VICKSBURG – Career changes can happen for a variety of reasons and at any time in a working man’s life.

Shea Hammond

For Shea Hammond, the reason was to hop on the latest wave of technology before it passed him by, with the help of the Unmanned Aerial Systems program at Hinds.

“It was time to see what I could do with drones, perhaps start a business and make money off this technology,” Hammond said recently, from his office at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg, where he works as a wildlife biologist and lead UAS pilot and developer in the Environmental Systems Branch.

The 42-year-old Greenville native had joined the U.S. Marine Corps right out of Vicksburg High School, where his family moved when he was 12. It was during his days in uniform as a reconnaissance officer that technology first spurred his career and became a common thread in each step of the way.

“While in the Marines, I got to play with some of the toys of the time,” he said. “It was when GPS was coming out and when people were just learning to send texts and other digital messages. It was also when I began working with thermal night-vision glasses.”

After leaving the Marines, he earned a master’s in biological sciences at the University of Southern Mississippi, then went to work for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service studying bats and managing caves in the Ozark Plateau National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oklahoma. “I don’t mind getting rained on, getting muddy or being bit by bugs,” he said.

Over time, he saw the potential value in using Unmanned Aerial Systems, or drones, to do the kind of geospatial mapping that had been done for years using satellites in space. “An image coming off a satellite might be rather large, 30 meters by 30 meters per pixel, but one coming from a drone can be down to millimeters or centimeters in size per pixel. So, the resolution is much better and the questions you can ask from a biological standpoint become more resolute.

“I could see this wave coming with the technology,” he said. “So, my wife and I made a really tough decision, along with my mother-in-law who lives with us, to move back home to Mississippi and leave the comfort and security of working with the federal government so I could educate myself in this new technology.”

A few online searches and a conversation with Hinds’ UAS program director Dennis Lott helped him overcome his lack of experience with the aircraft, which have revolutionized aerial photography and related mapping technologies just in the past decade.

“I had no aircraft experience whatsoever,” he said. “I only had experience with the data.”

In a six-month span of time in 2016, Hammond took classes that covered the piloting, construction, design and practical mechanics of multi-rotor and fixed-wing drones. “I pretty much pitched a tent and lived there in the hangar,” he said. “We learned the nuts and bolts of how these things work, plus take data with the kinds of sensors drones carry.”

Lott recognized the willingness of the ex-Marine – one with a master’s degree in one science already – to learn a whole new science and enhance an already impressive resume’.

“Shea Hammond was the perfect student,” Lott said. “He came to the Hinds CC Unmanned Aerial Systems program anxious to learn all he could as fast as he could. He never missed a class and always engaged in discussions. Not only that, but he expanded the discussion.”

ERDC’s interest in a sensor Hinds owned turned into a job opportunity for the budding UAS specialist.

“I happened to be there the day they came in to see what the sensor could do,” he said. “Down the road, they told me they were interested in thermal tracking. Turns out, they developed the toolkit and software I was using to track bats with in the Ozarks.”

His job at ERDC involves all the skills he learned in just a few months in the UAS program at Hinds. When it comes to the aircraft themselves, flying them might be the smallest part of it all.

“It’s one of the most interdisciplinary jobs you can have in any STEM career,” he said. “There’s the biological sciences, the geographical sciences, the mechanical and electrical engineering, and the software, since these are basically flying robots. Then, you also have to be able to write about the science. We have to work as a team to make these systems work. When you go to the field with them and they don’t work, you need to be able to fix them on the spot.”

Those skills are easily accredited to Hinds and the level of instruction he received in a short period of time.

“I didn’t initially see myself transitioning into a completely different field,” he said. “I’m not a bat biologist anymore – I’m a pilot, a roboticist and developer. And that wouldn’t have happened without Hinds. I get the opportunity each day to play with $250,000 aircraft with state-of-the-art equipment.”

 

 


Note: This story appears in the summer 2018 issue of Hindsight alumni magazine. Find out more information about the Hinds Alumni Association and Foundation scholarships.

13 July, 2018 News more
Self-made businesswoman credits Hinds CC for ‘major role’ in life, career
Posted by
13 July

Self-made businesswoman credits Hinds CC for ‘major role’ in life, career

PORT GIBSON – Born into a family of 10 children in agrarian Lake Providence, La., Jeanette Felton was a breadwinner before she even learned to read at grade level.

Jeanette Felton

She had very little choice, she recalls.

“I missed a lot of classes in school since I was the oldest of 10,” Felton said. “I had to keep the children so my mother could work. A lot of basic things most people would have in school, I didn’t have. And I think I was the only black student in the class. I felt unprepared.”

Felton dropped out of high school in the 10th grade and, by 1973, had left her hometown. She and her husband landed in the Valley Park community in Issaquena County with her husband to work the vast tracts of farmland that blanket the South Delta.

It was the start of a long journey that continued at Hinds’ doorstep as one of the many success stories of the college’s Adult Basic Education program through the years. Now 67 and head of a company that’s among Mississippi’s largest home healthcare businesses, Felton continues to be awestruck by how big a role Hinds played in her personal and professional development.

“Hinds is absolutely the best,” Felton said. “They did things so well and so organized. People were always so encouraging. Hinds played a major role in my life and career.”

A mother of five by age 23, Felton felt a desire to work and make her own money in life despite not having completed her high school education. “After a while, I really wanted to start work,” she said. “But, if you don’t have a GED, you can’t get a job.”

In 1977, she aced her high school equivalency test on the second try, then worked at Rolling Fork Elementary in a variety of positions over the next several years. “I was a bus driver, then a cook,” she said. “The following year, I was able to work as a teacher’s assistant. Doing those jobs, I wasn’t even earning what the teachers were, but I liked the profession.”

Being around educated people made her want that level of achievement that much more, she said.

I knew nothing about college. I was out of my comfort zone. But, I just knew I wanted to do something. Working in the school system, these people had educations. And I wanted to prove myself.

“Elementary education was the early drawing point for me, but coming to Hinds and being exposed to other people taking classes in different things showed me nursing was a field where you could also earn a good living and go further in life.”

With that in mind, Felton went for broke on her education. She quit her jobs and set her sights on her first healthcare credential, which came in 1985 with her associate degree in Practical Nursing at the Vicksburg-Warren Campus and passing a licensure test. “You know the pressure was on, then. Failing was not an option. Back then, it took about three months to get the results back, but when I got them it gave me such a sense of accomplishment.”

The desire to keep helping people and the earnings potential of doing so propelled her to her next degree three years later. “Back then, you really weren’t supposed to be working while going to nursing school, but I did because I had to. And like today, nursing school isn’t easy. In LPN school, we started with a hundred people and graduated with about 17. But, when I finished, I was happy I’d be able to provide better for my children.”

 

In 1998, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Alcorn State University. Shortly thereafter, she began At Home Care, in Port Gibson.

The business has grown mightily in just 20 years – now employing about 450 people in its 11 offices statewide, including the main office along Church Street in Port Gibson. Its caregivers work in 48 Mississippi counties offering in-home care to those dealing with chronic medical conditions that might otherwise result in permanent residency in nursing homes.

“We try to help people in those situations stay at home longer,” she said. “As people age and if they’ve been self-sufficient all their lives, they prefer staying in their own homes. They can do that with the help our service provides, which include running errands for them, cooking for them, assisting them with a bath. It definitely has an important place in these people’s lives.”

Felton credits several instructors and counselors at the Vicksburg campus and in the ADN program for providing just the right helping hand at all the right times. “John Thomas, at the Vicksburg campus, was a counselor there and talking to him was always very encouraging. Becky Tustain taught some of my classes in the RN program, and, of course, Bobbie Anderson was the dean.”

In February, Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse spoke at this year’s Industry Appreciation Banquet in Claiborne County, organized by the county’s Economic Development District. There, Felton was recognized as an outstanding business leader.

“If you’re an economist and want to look at from here to here,” Muse said, holding his hands apart to demonstrate distance, “Look what we were able to help her do – not only for herself but her family and her community in economic development. That’s the kind of story you love to hear and tell people about.”

Her best advice to any young person in a similar situation to hers, particularly single mothers, is that there’s no substitute for persistence. It’s advice that, nowadays, she and her current husband, the Rev. Columbus Felton, impart to their 12 children, 17 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

“You have to stick to it and not give up,” she said. “You’ve got to lock your mind up around that. You can’t do anything else but keep moving. I’ve never been a lazy person. If you’re lazy, you can forget it. God will allow you to do whatever you want to do.”

 


Note: This story appears in the summer 2018 issue of Hindsight alumni magazine. Find out more information about the Hinds Alumni Association and Foundation scholarships.

13 July, 2018 News more
Career-tech scholarship eases struggle for Hinds CC student
Posted by
13 July

Career-tech scholarship eases struggle for Hinds CC student

 

RAYMOND – The struggle has been real for Gena Barlow long before the concept became a popular talking point. 

Gena Barlow

“I was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of six,” said Barlow, who grew up around the Byram and Terry area. “Back then, there just wasn’t much you could do about it. 

 

“I had a problem keeping up in school. I’d stay up all night studying, but I just struggled with it so bad. With dyslexia, you’re still as smart as everybody else. It just takes a little longer to get it. When you get older, you then have so much more life experience to draw on, so your mind has calmed down.” 

 

The 54-year-old mother of five left high school early, but earned a GED a few years later. To support her family, she learned bookkeeping from her own mother and managed apartments and other rental properties.  

 

“I really wanted to go back to school, because I could hardly support myself since I lived on the properties,” she said. “I just had a fear of failing, and I was busy being a mom.”

 

A leasing agent at her last apartment complex, who was also attending college at the time, persuaded her to go back to school. 

 

“I was nervous about taking notes, but she just said, ‘Nah, they have people now who can take notes for you.’ I just said ‘Wow’!” 

 

Two years later, Barlow finds herself achieving things in school she thought weren’t meant for her. She’s attending Hinds on the Excellence in Career-Technical Education Scholarship, which has helped tremendously in paying for her continuing education. She’s been inducted into the Gamma Lambda Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa on the Raymond Campus and is on track to earn an Associate of Applied Science degree by spring 2019. 

 

She chose to focus on carpentry based on a previous try at a career in real estate brokerage.  

 

 “I’ve always liked working with my hands and like to fix things myself,” she said. “I’ve worked around real estate and property management, so now I want to start making money by building the houses myself.”  

Her experience at Hinds far exceeded all her initial expectations about going back to school. 

 

“The help I got getting through my first few classes is how I got here,” she said. “I wouldn’t have made those grades to get the scholarship. And I had no idea what Phi Theta Kappa was at first – I thought it was a sorority! But having an honor society on your resume will get you into so many things after school. 

 

“I have loved it because everybody is so nice. I just can’t say enough about the instructors and the people here.” 

 

 


Note: This story appears in the summer 2018 issue of Hindsight alumni magazine. Find out more information about the Hinds Alumni Association and Foundation scholarships.

13 July, 2018 News more
Hinds CC awarded for work to renovate Jenkins Hall on Raymond Campus
Posted by
12 July

Hinds CC awarded for work to renovate Jenkins Hall on Raymond Campus

RAYMOND – Hinds Community College has won an award from the state’s premier historic preservation organization for the renovation of Jenkins Hall on the Raymond Campus.

From left, Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse, Belinda Stewart, lead architect, and Bill Campbell, project architect at Hinds (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

The Mississippi Heritage Trust recognized the renovation among 43 other restoration efforts across the state as part of the 2018 Heritage Awards Celebration on June 7 in Ocean Springs.

“The pride of the college and the community is evident through the care and commitment to the structures and landscapes of each campus,” said Belinda Stewart, of Belinda Stewart Architects, PA, lead architect on the project and who nominated the project to MHT for consideration. “The Jenkins building is a wonderful example of rehabilitating an important historic campus resource to meet the current needs of the college.”

Jenkins Hall was first built in 1951 and is named for Adam Jenkins, a longtime former employee of the college who retired in 2002 as vice president for Business Services. It was called simply the Administration Building until it was renamed for Jenkins. The renovation was a three-year effort financed by state bond proceeds and cost about $3 million.

Offices for the Financial Aid and Veterans Services departments occupy space in the newly renovated structure, as does the campus’ Honors Institute and offices for the Vice President for the Raymond Campus and the Academic Dean.

Every other year, the MHT awards significant restorations around the state to recognize the work of individuals, civic organizations, educational institutions and local, county and state governments to preserve the places that tell the story of Mississippi. 

12 July, 2018 News more
Mississippi labor pool grows as 110 earn High School Equivalency at Hinds CC
Posted by
26 June

Mississippi labor pool grows as 110 earn High School Equivalency at Hinds CC

RAYMOND – Brian Tiblier had worked for years in what he called “survival jobs” prior to re-entering school to earn a High School Equivalency certificate.

“I hung drywall and did a lot of commercial painting,” said Tiblier, 48, of Terry, who finished a job of a different kind June 22 by earning his HSE, formerly known as a GED, and valuable job training skills along the way.

Brian Tiblier, center, earned his High School Equivalency certificate this summer through Hinds Community College. With him are Howard Gollotte, an uncle, Jenny Matthews, his mother, Kristi Duran, his girlfriend, and Larry Tiblier, his brother. (Hinds Community College/Tracy Duncan)

Being part of an ongoing program to blend necessary academic courses and career training means Tiblier has the credentials he needs to qualify for the kind of work he pursues.

“I surely needed it for the job I want, in manufacturing by way of the Industrial Maintenance program here at Hinds,” he said.

Tiblier was among 110 people of varying ages and stations in life recognized during a ceremony Friday, June 22 at Cain-Cochran hall on the Raymond Campus. All earned their HSE this academic term. A portion of them had already gone a step further and earned either a technical or career certificate from the college during spring graduation ceremonies in May.

Nearly half, including Tiblier, participated 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.

Alfred Brown with his mother, Mildred (Hinds Community College/Tracy Duncan)

Kristina Tillett, 16, and Alfred Brown, 22, both of Vicksburg, earned their HSE certificates after difficulties in high school in recent years.

“High school just wasn’t for me,” said Tillett, who earned honor student status in the program and is eligible for a half-tuition scholarship to earn college credit going forward.

Brown left high school before his senior year. His results in the classroom in just a few years speaks volumes, as he’s now earned a high school equivalency, a career certificate in Culinary Arts Technology and his ServSafe food and beverage safety certificate.

“I had to help out my mom and sister,” Brown said. “But, being in the program kept me from just staying at home. This is all about the pride and happiness I get from being in the kitchen.”

Mary Powers, workforce director for Central Mississippi Planning and Development District, spoke to this year’s recipients on the value of their accomplishment down the road in life. She used the analogy of riding a dead horse to mark how important an accomplishment the ceremony represented.

Kristina Tillett, center-right, earned her High School Equivalency certificate this summer through Hinds Community College. With her are Marta Nixon, her mother, Debbie Denley, her grandmother, and Marisa Nixon, her sister. (Hinds Community College/Tracy Duncan)

“I want you to think about yourselves and your circumstances before you came to Hinds,” Powers asked of the newly-minted high school graduates. “None of you had a high school diploma. What matters is somewhere along the way, you realized your horse was dead. Maybe you tried to get a job, and they turned you down. Maybe you got a job, but it didn’t pay very much.

“You and Hinds Community College have buried those dead horses. You can decide to take on anything you decide to take on. Some of you have gone further and maybe gotten a career certificate. You have my utmost respect, as it took a lot of courage and effort on your part.”

 

Hinds Community College President Dr. Clyde Muse presents a plaque to Mary Powers, workforce director for Central Mississippi Planning and Development District, during a ceremony June 22 at Cain-Cochran Hall on the Raymond Campus recognizing those who had earned a High School Equivalency through the college. At right is Dr. Chad Stocks, vice president of Career and Technical Education and Workforce Development. (Hinds Community College/Tracy Duncan)

 

 

 

 

Eighty-three HSE recipients present Friday and their state hometowns included:

Victoria Adams, Vicksburg

Ayana Alexander, Jackson

Shanada Alexander, Jackson

Jadarian Amos, Jackson

Braxton Bailey, Raymond

Houston Connor Battenfield, Raymond

LaRhonda Bell, Raymond

Arlando Bingham, Pearl

Allexis Brooks, Raymond

Memory Brooks, Raymond

Alfred Brown, Vicksburg

Olga Burgess, Jackson

LaVoshia Carson, Raymond

Maria Chavez, Jackson

Lauren Dalton, Vicksburg

Kenda Darby, Utica

Denesa Davis, Utica

Lemarcus Dixon, Jackson

London Duke, Vicksburg

Adarius Evans, Raymond

Jessica Evans, Utica

Jasmine Felps, Raymond

Hanna Fortenberry, Pearl

Patrick Gerard, Pearl

Lauren Geter, Raymond

Darryl Gilmore, Raymond

Alexander Pryce Greenlee, Raymond

LaTricia Greer, Pearl

LaToya Gusta, Vicksburg

Jennifer Hampton, Vicksburg

Sakinah Hatch, Utica

Johnna Lacie Henson, Vicksburg

David Holiday, Raymond

Nicholas Humphery, Raymond

Chelsha Hunter, Raymond

Forrest James, Vicksburg

American Johnson, Vicksburg

Jayquan J.G.Johnson, Raymond

Tekesan Johnson, Utica

Audreia Jones, Jackson

Taneisha Kittling, Rankin County

Karah Klemme, Vicksburg

Tabatha Brooks Lelonek, Vicksburg

Meghin Lick, Vicksburg

Taylor Lick, Vicksburg

Monifah Lockhart, Utica

Misty Lopez, Raymond

Chad Martin, Jackson

Ivin McFarland, Raymond

Dearell McGill, Utica

Allexis Moore, Vicksburg

Diavion Mosley, Raymond

Cheyenne Parker, Rankin County

Viviane Petienve, Raymond

Angelica Pigee, Raymond

Shane Michael Pyron, Clinton

Ta’Neeshana Qualls, Vicksburg

Niger Ragsdale, Vicksburg

Kimberly Rather, Vicksburg

Ian Rehers, Raymond

Megan N. Resendiz-Barrera, Raymond

Lela Richardson, Raymond

Terrilicia Robinson, Jackson

McKaelyn Sanders, Rankin County

Jessica Sanford, Rankin County

Kelicia Shoto, Rankin County

Shetogie Sims, Raymond

Eddie Singleton, Jackson

Jessica Spann, Brandon

Eric Stimage, Utica

Toujour Tate, Vicksburg

Damario Terry, Jackson

Erin K. Terry, Vicksburg

Brian Tiblier, Terry

Kristina Tillett, Vicksburg

Damesha Toney, Jackson

Mattilyn Wade, Vicksburg

Devin Wall Sr., Utica

Latonia Washington, Jackson

Chester Webster, Vicksburg

Ayla Whitehead, Raymond

Darrenlyn Williams, Utica

Joshua Wilson, Jackson

Charakey Wright, Rankin County

26 June, 2018 News more
Joyner asks Utica Campus grads to ‘keep on pushin’ to goals, rewarding careers
Posted by
14 May

Joyner asks Utica Campus grads to ‘keep on pushin’ to goals, rewarding careers

UTICA – The man who’s known as the “Hardest Working Man in Radio” and “The Fly Jock” asked this year’s graduates of Hinds Community College Utica Campus to take a page from his own book and never rest on their laurels.

Tom Joyner, syndicated radio show host, speaks at the graduation ceremony at Hinds Community College Utica Campus on May 13, 2018. At left are Hinds Community College President Dr. Clyde Muse and Dr. Tyrone Jackson, vice president for the Utica Campus. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

“You’ve all worked hard to get here today,” nationally syndicated radio and television show host Tom Joyner told about 130 who earned credentials inside J.D. Boyd Gymnasium on Sunday.

“So, turn to your neighbor and say, ‘the struggle is real.’ Some of you had financial issues. Some of you had academic issues. Some of you had problems at home. Some of you had school and jobs. Some had presentation issues – you name it. Some of you had all these issues at once. But, like the old song by The Impressions, you kept on pushin’.”

The Utica Campus, which is designated an HBCU (historically black college and universities), was selected by the Tom Joyner Foundation as its June 2018 School of the Month. The program is the signature such effort of his foundation in its support of HBCUs through fundraising efforts, scholarships, endowments and capacity-building enhancements.

The Utica Campus is one of two, two-year HBCUs selected for the honor, which is traditionally reserved for four-year institutions. Annually, the Tom Joyner Foundation selects 11 HBCUs with which to partner. During the partnership, funds are raised in support of student scholarships and other initiatives to help sustain the HBCU.

Joyner asked students to stay focused on the next step in their education and added a twist uncommon to most graduation ceremonies but common indeed for times when he delivers a keynote address at one – he gave $5 to each graduate with a tacit pledge from each that they’d make it grow as they continued their education.

“I’ll put it in your hand, and you’ll make it grow – with your good ideas,” he said. “I want to see you add to that $5, with some more zeroes and some commas. When I see you again, I want you to tell me you made your idea work, and how you helped someone else.”

From left, Hinds Community College President Dr. Clyde Muse, keynote speaker Tom Joyner and Dr. Tyrone Jackson, vice president for the Utica Campus

On Saturday, Joyner visited the Mississippi Job Corps Center in Crystal Springs and attended a special program on campus recognizing his foundation’s work to support HBCUs.

“I heard so many stories there of overcoming adversity,” Joyner said of the visit, adding he was impressed by his tour of the campus. Joyner shares a hometown – Tuskegee, Ala. – with that of William H. Holtzclaw, who founded the Utica Normal and Industrial Institute in 1903, which is the Utica Campus today.

“What I love most about Hinds Community College in Utica, is that it offers something for everyone,” he said. “There’s traditional students who come straight from high school who intend on changing their direction. Whatever the situation, whatever your goals, God brought you to Hinds at the right time. Take it from me, HBCUs are the right place to be.”

Joyner also urged students to participate in civic life to make sure their voices are heard.

“We can tweet about social injustice, we can even march about it, but nothing will happen until we vote out elected officials we don’t believe in. It won’t happen at all unless you go vote.”

Traditional students with honors credentials walked in the grand processional into the gym side-by-side with those who took a more circuitous route to starting college.

One, Antonio Green, beamed with happiness outside the gym with his mother, Leah.

“I wanted to play football coming out of high school in New Orleans, but I’ve gone into Electronics Technology to start a career there,” Green said.

Daphanie Bryant, left, of Jackson, and Lemontez Brown, of Edwards, line up with fellow graduates of Hinds Community College Utica Campus before the graduation ceremony May 13, 2018. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Jennifer Burnett, a custodian at Hinds Community College Utica Campus, earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Computer Programming Technology during the graduation ceremony on campus May 13, 2018. Burnett earned a Career Certificate in the subject last summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Bobby G. Cooper, director of the Jubiliee Singers at Hinds Community College Utica Campus, carries the mace en route to the graduation ceremony held on campus May 13, 2018. Cooper, who is retiring this year, is Hinds’ longest-tenured employee, with 45 years of service.

Hinds Community College President Dr. Clyde Muse speaks during graduation ceremonies at the Utica Campus May 13, 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Vanessa Wilson, reading instructor at Hinds Community College Utica Campus, sings the national anthem before graduation ceremonies on campus May 13, 2018.

Antonio Green, center, originally from Algiers, La., earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Electronics Technology during a graduation ceremony at Hinds Community College Utica Campus May 13, 2018. With him is friend and classmate Hosea Jackson Jr., left, and Antonio’s mother, Leah Green. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Jubiliee Singers perform during graduation ceremonies at Hinds Community College Utica Campus May 13, 2018.

Louis Perry Jr., center, earned a Career Certificate in Welding and Cutting Technology during graduation ceremonies held at Hinds Community College Utica Campus May 13, 2018. With him, from left, are his mother, Eddie Perry, sister Catina Perry, girlfriend Taylor Liggins, Utica Campus Chief of Police and family pastor Perry Terrell, niece Shay Miles, and cousin Maleek Bruce. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amber Sanders, second from right, of Jackson, earned an Associate of Arts degree from Hinds Community College Utica Campus during the ceremony held on campus May 13, 2018. With her are sisters Charlotte Sanders and Samantha Johnson, and brother Romeo Johnson. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

 

 

 

 

Students hold $5 bills distributed by keynote speaker Tom Joyner after the graduation ceremony at Hinds Community College Utica Campus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Students hold $5 bills distributed by keynote speaker Tom Joyner after the graduation ceremony at Hinds Community College Utica Campus.

 

 

From left, Alexis Williamson, Jeffery Fairley, both of Jackson, and Brianna Watkins, of Summit, each of whom graduated from Hinds Community College with honors at ceremonies held at the Utica Campus May 13, 2018.

 

14 May, 2018 News more
Hinds CC awards record number of credentials in spring ceremonies
Posted by
14 May

Hinds CC awards record number of credentials in spring ceremonies

PEARL – The road to a college education and a rewarding career doesn’t always resemble a straight line, Hinds Community College graduates were told just before receiving their hard-earned credentials.

Not giving up in the face of adversity is key, speakers said in ceremonies Friday.

State Sen. Josh Harkins, of Flowood, speaks to academic and technical graduates at Hinds Community College during a ceremony at the Muse Center on the Rankin Campus May 11, 2018. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

“Some of you took the road less traveled to get here today,” said state Sen. Josh Harkins, of Flowood. “You may not be a ‘traditional’ college graduate, but you made the commitment to improve your life and the life of your family. That takes a level of commitment and determination not possessed by many.”

Dr. Andrea Mayfield, executive director of the Mississippi Community College Board, asked graduates to persist in their studies and pursue careers for which they are most passionate.

“Without the financial means for a traditional educational pathway, I forged my own road in the best way I could – attending college full-time and working as a janitor late in the afternoons and evenings,” Mayfield said. “And have a passion for what it is that you do.”

Dr. Andrea Mayfield, executive director of the Mississippi Community College Board, speaks to academic and technical graduates at Hinds Community College during a ceremony at the Muse Center on the Rankin Campus May 11, 2018. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Over five ceremonies May 10, 11, and 13, Hinds awarded 1,839 degrees and certificates to 1,319 people, with some people receiving multiple credentials in academic, career or technical programs. This is the largest number of credentials Hinds has ever awarded for one graduation season.

Over the academic year including summer 2017 and fall 2017 ceremonies, the college will have awarded more than 3,900 credentials, a 12 percent increase over last year and an 85 percent increase over five years ago.

Of the 1,319 spring graduates, 265 achieved cum laude, 3.2 to 3.59 grade point average; 204 achieved magna cum laude, 3.6 to 3.99 GPA and 137 achieved summa cum laude, 4.0 grade point average. Nearly 900 are expected to participate in one of the five ceremonies.

Tom Joyner, a nationally syndicated radio and television show host, spoke to graduates at the Utica Campus during a ceremony Sunday.

Anna Hill, center, of Terry, earned an Associate of Arts in Elementary Education from Hinds Community College during graduation ceremonies held May 11 at the Muse Center on the Rankin Campus. With her are her father, Dennis Hill, and her mother, Deborah Hill. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Ariel Merlin, center, of Clinton, earned an Associate of Arts degree from Hinds Community College during graduation ceremonies at the Muse Center on the Rankin Campus. With him are his mother, Rosie, and his father, Sadek. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cyla Logan, center, of Edwards, earned an Associate of Arts degree from Hinds Community College during graduation ceremonies held May 11, 2018 at the Muse Center on the Rankin Campus. With her are her mother, Patricia Logan, left, and her father, Clay Logan Sr. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Forrest James, center, of Vicksburg, earned a Career Certificate from Hinds Community College after also completing his High School Equivalency at the college through the MIBEST program. With him are his mother, LaVonne James, left, and Dr. Robin Parker, district director of Integrated Pathways at Hinds. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jordan Jackson, center, of Ridgeland, earned an Associate of Arts degree from Hinds Community College during graduation ceremonies held May 11 at the Muse Center on the Rankin Campus. With him are Patricia H. Jones, his grandmother, and Lisa Compton, his mother. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Brooke Patterson, left, and Olivia Oakes, both of Vicksburg, prepare for graduation ceremonies at the Muse Center on Hinds Community College Rankin Campus May 11, 2018. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rapheal Spears, of Vicksburg, and Bianca Williams, of Clinton, graduated from Hinds Community College during ceremonies held for academic and technical graduates at the Muse Center on the Rankin Campus May 11, 2018. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Kimberly Surratt, center, of Vicksburg, earned an Associate of Arts degree from Hinds Community College during graduation ceremonies at the Muse Center on the Rankin Campus. With her are her mother, Marcia, and her father, John. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Claudia Nelson, of Brandon, a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor soceity at Hinds Community College, was among those earning degrees in ceremonies held May 11, 2018. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Matthew Meadows, of Brandon, was among those earning degrees in graduation ceremonies held at Hinds Community College Rankin Campus May 11, 2018. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From left, Hinds graduates Joshua Wahl, Chardonna Adams, State Sen. Josh Harkins, Hinds graduates Bryan Spurlock and Trenton Maulding (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Navdeep Kaur, of Clinton, a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor soceity at Hinds Community College, was among those earning degrees in ceremonies held May 11, 2018. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sydney Huey, of Moorhead, earned an Associate of Arts degree in biology during graduation ceremonies held at Hinds Community College Rankin Campus May 11, 2018. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

 

14 May, 2018 News more
Hinds CC provides path to American Dream for Honors international students
Posted by
14 May

Hinds CC provides path to American Dream for Honors international students

PEARL – For four Hinds Community College graduates this semester, their Hinds Experience is part and parcel of their developing American Dream.

Muammar Saeed, Zaid Qasem, Azzam Goraee, Abdulaziz Yafai (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Muammar Saeed, Azzam Goraee, Zaid Qasem and Abdulaziz Yafai each earned an Associate of Applied Science degree Friday, a first step in each’s goal of majoring in engineering at a four-year university.

“Being an engineer in the future, you also have to know about many things in life,” said Qasem, 22, who, like his three fellow native Yemeni students, attended Hinds as part of the federal F-1 student visa program. “I found something special about my journey in life being in the Honors program.”

The Honors Institute at Hinds affords high-achieving students a chance at challenging coursework and community service opportunities. Generally, incoming freshman students and current Hinds students may enter the program with a 3.5 GPA, composite ACT score or instructor recommendation.

“When I first came to Hinds, I felt a little isolated and didn’t really interact with others,” Saeed said. “But in the Honors program, they do lots of activities to get you involved. I can say being in the program helped me a lot to help me communicate with others.”

In five ceremonies May 10, 11 and 13, Hinds awarded 1,839 degrees and certificates to 1,319 people, with some people receiving multiple credentials in academic, career or technical programs. This is the largest number of credentials Hinds has ever awarded for one graduation season.

Including summer 2017 and fall 2017 ceremonies, the college will have awarded more than 3,900 credentials, a 12 percent increase over last year and an 85 percent increase over five years ago.

Of the 1,319 spring graduates, 265 achieved cum laude, which is a 3.2 to 3.59 grade point average; 204 achieved magna cum laude, a 3.6 to 3.99 GPA and 137 achieved summa cum laude, a 4.0 grade point average. Nearly 900 are expected to participate in one of the five ceremonies.

Zaid Qasem, Abdullah Mansour, Azzam Goraee, Abdulaziz Yafai, Muammar Saeed (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

The four students, related only by their Hinds experience, participated in community service projects such as the Hinds County Relay for Life, held on the Raymond Campus, recycling efforts to build awareness about a healthy environment and a trip to England to work with Bridgwater University, with which Hinds has a student exchange program.

“I listened to people with inspirational stories about surviving cancer,” Goraee said.

Yafai, 21, has achieved U.S. citizenship and learned as much about culture and language to round out his education. He visited England with fellow Honors students as part of international studies classes and enjoyed it immensely.

“I’ve lived in New York for a little while before coming to Mississippi,” he said. “If you learn a language without knowing the culture, it’s just empty words.”

His instructors shared his enthusiasm.

“These young men earned top grades and gave back to the local community through service projects while they were with us,” said Debbie McCollum, dean of the Honors Institute at the Raymond Campus. “Our program and our students’ lives were enriched by having them in the Honors Program.”

14 May, 2018 News more