Puckett Machinery donates engine to Ag/Diesel program

Author Archives: Lauren Cook

Puckett Machinery donates engine to Ag/Diesel program
Posted by
11 February

Puckett Machinery donates engine to Ag/Diesel program

Puckett Donation

Puckett Machinery based in Jackson recently donated an engine worth $14,341 new to Hinds Community College’s Pearl/Rankin Career and Technical Center for high school students.

The Caterpillar 4.2 Acert engine went to the high school Ag/Diesel program. Puckett Machinery, which moves to Flowood this fall, is the CAT Dealer in Central South Mississippi with 411 employees in 15 locations.

“We hope that it will assist instructor Mack Abernathy in teaching the latest engine technology,” said Michele Branch, director of Human Resources for Puckett Machinery. “We at Puckett Machinery Company are big fans of this program as they have produced a number of technicians who are our brightest stars.”

Puckett Machinery has invested in the program in other ways in the past. Two graduates of the program have received scholarships for national training programs.

“Many of their graduates go on to complete the Diesel Program at Hinds’ Raymond, where we recruit their top grads every year,” Bunch said.

Said Eric Smith, director of the Pearl Rankin Career and Technical Center:  “Puckett Machinery continually supports our program by providing the latest equipment for our students. This allows us to train on the latest technology available in industry. Through their support we have been able to provide the community with a highly trained workforce.”

Among the students who will be able to use the engine to learn are, front from left, Ben Pace, Richland High School; Orry Yarbrough, Florence High School; Joey Whatley, McLaurin High School; Peyton Jones, McLaurin High School; Elmer Jones, Brandon High School; Joseph Alderson, Brandon High School; back row, Timothy Merritt, Brandon High School; Peyton Sharplin, Brandon High School; Will Foreman, Brandon High School; Cody Thompson, McLaurin High School and Trey Sparenecht, Brandon High School.

11 February, 2013 News more
Pottery students fight hunger with art
Posted by
07 February

Pottery students fight hunger with art

Jason Boyd

Jason Boyd of Raymond creates a bowl in his Hinds Community College pottery class to donate to the Empty Bowls project, an international grassroots effort to end hunger.

Linda Beasley of Utica knows what it’s like to go hungry.

“There were times in my life when I knew hunger in a real way, and that’s why it’s so important to help fundraisers like Empty Bowl that serve a greater purpose,” she said.

That’s exactly what Beasley, and five other Hinds Community College students, did in Sarah Teasley’s pottery class – helping others.

Empty Bowls is an international grassroots effort to fight hunger and was created by The Imagine Render Group. The premise involves craftspeople, educators and others working with the community creating handcrafted bowls. In participating cities, guests are invited to a simple meal of soup and bread. In exchange for a cash donation, guests are asked to keep a bowl as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world. The money raised is donated to an organization working to end hunger and food insecurity.

Teasley said she hopes the project will instill a sense of responsibility in her students and teach them about the importance of community.

“The definition of community extends beyond the mere fact that we are a group of people who live in close proximity,” she said. “Whether we realize it or not, we are interdependent. In our hectic schedules it is rather easy to become disconnected and lose sight of the fact that we are all the same and we all need assistance from time to time. I hope that this project creates a moment where students can move beyond their own circumstances and think of others.”

So far, the students have hand-crafted 93 bowls to donate to the nearest Empty Bowls project in Oxford. Together with the University of Mississippi’s contribution, there are between 500-600 bowls donated. All of the proceeds from the Oxford event, which took place in early February, go to the local food pantry.

Jason Boyd of Raymond says he enjoyed making the bowls knowing they were going to help a cause. “I’m here to develop my skills, of course,” he said. “But it’s nice seeing my hard work pay off when it’s helping someone else.”

Teasley plans on repeating this project in future pottery classes, as well as working toward creating local awareness on Empty Bowls and hunger.

“I am very interested in starting a local chapter of Empty Bowls in Hinds County,” Teasley said. “Right now, I am brainstorming ideas about where the event can take place, and thinking about the logistics. Hopefully in the next year we will be able to introduce the annual tradition of Empty Bowls locally.”

For more information on Hinds pottery classes, visit

07 February, 2013 News more
Posted by on 05 February

Pell Grant ‘lifeblood’ of Hinds CC, other Mississippi community colleges

Dr. Stephen G. Katsinas, director of the Education Policy Center at the University of Alabama, set the stage for the opening of the spring 2013 semester at Hinds Community College with an in-depth report on the impact of Summer 2012 federal Pell Grant restrictions at the state’s community colleges, and Hinds in particular.

“It’s the lifeblood of America’s community colleges,” Katsinas told Hinds faculty and administrators. “It should not surprise any of you that there is a relationship in Pell funding and enrollments at U.S. community colleges. Pell Grant is the de facto state student aid program in Mississippi. As the recession has deepened and lengthened more of your total student body is on Pell today than they were four years ago.”

Students at Mississippi’s 15 community colleges are being hit hard by Summer 2012 changes in the federal Pell Grant and will be hit harder in coming months, with many losing crucial dollars they need to attend college, according to Katsinas, who has studied the impact of the federal dollars in Mississippi.

“The statistics (shared by Katsinas) put into perspective how many students we have on financial aid and the importance of Pell in moving them out of poverty,” said Chelia Woodfork-Thompson, administrative coordinator and workforce project coordinator, Jackson Campus-Nursing/Allied Health Center. “I believe federal aid is a part of economic development. With it, students are able to move into paying into a tax base and contributing back to society.”

For many low-income students, Pell Grant status determines whether or not they can attend college for crucial job training or academic skills that lead to good, living wage jobs.

Michal Phillips of Jackson, who is in the associate degree nursing program at Jackson Campus-Nursing/Allied Health Center, and her sisters worked jobs throughout high school to help her family pay the bills. She never thought she’d be able to afford a

college education – until she received a Pell Grant.

“There would have been no other way for me to further my education,” she said. “But now I am on my way to making a better life for myself.”

Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse and other community college presidents and trustees are traveling to Washington D.C. this month to ask Mississippi congressmen to protect the Pell Grant program from further cuts as Congress debates the U.S. budget deficit and debt.

“The Pell Grant is critical to assuring access to higher education, specifically in Mississippi,” Muse said.

Pell Grant for both students and the colleges becomes more important as state funds have not increased to meet the funding need. The colleges are only halfway to achieving state Mid-Level Funding, which was promised in 2007 legislation. Senate Bill 2364 provided that community colleges would be funded on a per-student basis at an amount that is midway between the per-student state funding for a K-12 and regional public university student.

“Though the Pell Grant program is federally funded, cuts in the program have a significant impact in Mississippi,” Muse said. “Ultimately, Pell Grants are the single, most important financial aid resource for the majority of community college students in Mississippi.”

05 February, 2013 News more
Kelsey Sellers wins title of Miss Hinds 2013
Posted by
01 February

Kelsey Sellers wins title of Miss Hinds 2013

Kelsey Sellers

Kelsey Sellers of Raymond, freshman at Hinds Community College, was named Miss Hinds 2013 on Thursday, Jan. 31 at Hogg Auditorium in Cain-Cochran Hall.

Sellers was crowned by Miss Hinds 2012, Lindsey Claire Muse of Raymond. Sellers’ talent was dancing. As Miss Hinds, she will be eligible to compete in the Miss Mississippi pageant over the summer.

Her platform issue is “Fun with Fitness”, focusing on evolving young people’s ideas of staying fit. Sellers has instructed Zumba classes within the community to demonstrate that exercise can be fun. “Seeing people enjoying moving and exercising is a wonderful experience,” she said.

01 February, 2013 News more
Posted by on 31 January

Four students compete for title of Miss Hinds 2013

Four Hinds Community College students will compete for the title of Miss Hinds Community College 2013 at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31 at Hogg Auditorium in Cain-Cochran Hall.

The winner of the pageant is eligible to compete in the Miss Mississippi pageant over the summer.

The pageant is open to the public. Admission is $5.

The four contestants include:

  • Kelsey Sellers of Raymond; talent is dancing.
  • Kelsey Chandler of Pearl; talent is dance.
  • Megan Ware of Meridian; talent is dance and tumbling.
  • Paige Fowler of Vicksburg; talent is jazz dance.
31 January, 2013 News more