http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=PT+Sans Lawrence County student receives prestigious Hinds nursing scholarship

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Lawrence County student receives prestigious Hinds nursing scholarship
Posted by
11 April

Lawrence County student receives prestigious Hinds nursing scholarship

 

Jennifer Watson of Monticello is the recipient of the annual Carla McCulloch Scholarship at Hinds Community College. The scholarship is awarded each year to a Hinds second semester nursing student to help pay for the second year of school.

Jennifer Watson of Monticello, left, was awarded the Hinds Community College Carla McCulloch Scholarship by Larry McCulloch, a former Simpson County resident. The scholarship is named for his late daughter. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

Watson, 24, has a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Mississippi State University but, like the namesake of the scholarship she is receiving, she felt a calling to become a nurse.

“It’s an honor to receive this scholarship. I’ve got some pretty big shoes to fill,” said Watson, who attends classes at Hinds’ Jackson Campus-Nursing/Allied Health Center. “But I believe I’m in the right profession. It’s always been in my blood to be compassionate, so I decided to choose nursing as a career.”

Watson plans to work as a labor and delivery nurse when she graduates in 2019. “I love babies. I’m a big ‘baby’ person,” she said. “I want to be with the mother and the kids during that time.”

This year is the 26th year the Carla McCulloch Scholarship has been awarded. It was created by Larry and Carol McCulloch, formerly of Magee but now residents of Roanoke, Va., in memory of their daughter Carla, a Simpson Academy graduate who was a Hinds nursing student at the time of her death in an April 1991 accident.

The award is made annually to a second semester nursing student who demonstrates the caring and enthusiasm for nursing that Carla embodied. She was a dedicated nursing student who took care of loved ones but also had a fun-loving streak.

The McCulloch family requests that the scholarship be awarded to a student who demonstrates the care and compassion that their daughter did.

“You are going to learn nursing, the medical techniques. I don’t know of any textbook that you can learn caring and compassion from. That’s what makes great nurses,” Larry McCulloch told Hinds nursing students. “We feel like, and we’re told, that Carla was like that when she was working part-time at the hospital. Whether it be emptying bedpans, getting ice, whatever it took for the patient – that’s what she would do.

“That’s what nursing is all about – taking care of people and having compassion,” he said. “It’s a calling.”

As Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is a comprehensive institution offering quality, affordable educational opportunities with academic programs of study leading to seamless university transfer and career and technical programs teaching job-ready skills. With six locations in central Mississippi, Hinds enrolls about 12,000 students each fall semester. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.

 

11 April, 2018 News more
Hinds CC Utica Campus’ Early Childhood and Teacher Education Conference Covers the Past, Present and Future of Education
Posted by
10 April

Hinds CC Utica Campus’ Early Childhood and Teacher Education Conference Covers the Past, Present and Future of Education

Hinds Community College’s Utica Campus held its 2018 Early Childhood and Teacher Education Conference Friday, April 6. The conference welcomed students and industry leaders from around the country with an overall goal of establishing a platform for educators and perspectives students to exchange fresh ideas, usable classroom techniques and strategies for teaching and learning success.

Keynote speaker for the conference was Dr. Thea Williams-Black, dean of the College of Education at Tougaloo College. Williams-Black focused her presentation on respecting past trends and techniques of education, leading the present generation into the most beneficial and needed areas of education and securing the future in education.

Breakout sessions served as a backup to information obtained in the general session of the conference. Workshops were offered on why a prospective student should choose education as an employment field as well as how to obtain an educator’s licensure in the state of Mississippi. Other sessions include incorporating technology in early childhood settings, movement in the classroom and ways to introduce creative arts into a classroom setting.

“The purpose of this conference is to reach out to current and future teachers who would like to enhance their skills. Showing respect for the past, leading the present and securing the future of education is vital to our growing industry,” said Yolanda Houston, director of Early Childhood and Teacher Education on the Utica campus.

“Taking resources we learned as students and young teaching professionals and updating them to accompany innovative trends keeps us as educators relevant and relatable to our student population,” she said.

The conference also welcomed vendors from Mississippi Early Childhood Education, Mississippi Building Blocks, The University of Southern Mississippi Disability Studies, Jobs for Mississippi Grads, Jackson State University, Alcorn State University, Division of Medicaid, Kaplan Early Learning, and others.

As Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is a comprehensive institution offering quality, affordable educational opportunities with academic programs of study leading to seamless university transfer and career and technical programs teaching job-ready skills. With six locations in central Mississippi, Hinds enrolls about 12,000 students each fall semester. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.

Jobs for Mississippi Grads representative Elizabeth Blackshire of Greenwood has attended the Early Childhood and Teacher Education Conference four years running. Blackshire’s goal for attending the April 6 conference was to introduce her program to new graduates looking to gain employment in the teaching field.

Third year attendee and vendor Dr. Alice McGowan of Clinton represented Mississippi Early Childhood Inclusion Center at the Early Childhood and Teacher Education Conference held April 6. McGowan, shown with Utica campus librarian Jean Greene, provided information to guests on early intervention services her company offered children with exceptional needs.

Early Childhood Education students Audrey Ward of Claiborne County, Aneekia McKenny of Simpson County and Samantha Boyd of Jefferson County attended the April 6 conference hoping to gather information about the industry. Ward and Boyd both have plans of becoming teachers, while McKenny hopes to one day become a social worker.

Dr. Tyrone Jackson, vice president for the Hinds CC Utica campus, spent time greeting guests and attending workshops at the Early Childhood and Teacher Education conference held April 6. He is shown with Dr. Will Smith, principal of Utica Elementary/Middle School.

 

10 April, 2018 News more
Hinds CC Jackson Campus holds College Carnival
Posted by
09 April

Hinds CC Jackson Campus holds College Carnival

JACKSON – College Carnival at Hinds Community College Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center on April 6 brought out lots of raw talent, desire and ability from metro Jackson high schoolers.

Hilda Wells, biology instructor at the Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center, shows off various models of the human body with Iasia Morgan, a senior at Wingfield High School. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

“I like working with people daily and I like biology,” said Iasia Morgan, a senior at Wingfield High School and one of many high school students and others at the come-and-go campus recruiting event.

Tacora Thomas, a senior at Jim Hill High School, sees nursing as a career and technology as a means to succeed anywhere.

“I’m interested in seeing how these new devices work,” Thomas said as second-semester Hinds student and computer support major Kevin Wansley explained the ins and outs of the latest tech tools.

“This is what I have always dreamed about doing,” Wansley said of his love and aptitude for the latest technology.

Held annually, these events held at all six Hinds locations give prospective students of all ages a chance to find out about everything they need to enroll at the college. At College Carnival, prospective students met with Jackson Campus faculty and staff, learn about admissions, majors, financial aid and registration – all while enjoying free food and prizes.

Tacora Thomas, a senior at Jim Hill High School, checks out the Computer Support Technology Specialist table with Hinds student Kevin Wansley, of Byram. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

“We look forward to many of the hundreds of students from metro Jackson and the surrounding area enrolling at the Jackson Campus and taking advantage of what we have to offer,” said Dr. Norman Session, vice president of the Rankin Campus and the Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center.

09 April, 2018 News more
Hinds CC, announces speakers for spring graduation ceremonies
Posted by
06 April

Hinds CC, announces speakers for spring graduation ceremonies

RAYMOND – The Muse Center at Hinds Community College Rankin Campus will have four graduation ceremonies for spring 2018, starting Thursday, May 10 and continuing Friday, May 11 with three events in succession.

Phyllis Polk Johnson

Phyllis Polk Johnson, executive director of the Mississippi Board of Nursing, is the speaker at the first ceremony 2 p.m. May 10, for nursing and allied health graduates. Mike Morgan, president of the Hinds County Board of Supervisors, will speak to the first of three groups of academic and career-technical graduates, at 8 a.m. May 11. State Sen. Josh Harkins, of Flowood, speaks to the second group, at 11 a.m. Dr. Andrea Mayfield, executive director of the Mississippi Community College Board, will speak to the third, at 3 p.m.

Tom Joyner, a nationally syndicated radio and television show host, will speak to graduates at the Utica Campus during a ceremony 2 p.m. Sunday, May 13.

Johnson oversees about 68,000 registered nurses, practical nurses and advanced practice registered nurses in her role leading the board. She has also directed the licensure, compliance and discipline for more than 5,000 advanced practice registered nurses, which includes nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and certified registered nurse anesthetists. Prior to her work with the board, served in various administrative and clinical roles with the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Mike Morgan

Morgan, of Clinton, has represented District 4 on the county board since 2015. Previously, he was an alderman in Clinton for eight years. During that time, the city completed several major infrastructure projects including Quisenberry Library, completion of Brighton Park, a new Parks and Recreation Department facility at Traceway Park, a visitor center at the Natchez Trace, improvements to Arrow Drive and Pinehaven Road and to the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

Prior to being elected a county supervisor, he was CFO and, later, president of Ridgeland-based software company Bomgar Corporation, which won numerous awards for being among the fastest-growing tech firms in the U.S. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Mississippi and an MBA from Mississippi College. He has taught finance and economics classes at the University of Southern Mississippi, Holmes Community College and Mississippi College.

Josh Harkins

Harkins has represented District 20 in the Mississippi State Senate since 2012. He graduated from Mississippi State University in 1997 and is a member of the Flowood Chamber of Commerce, ACI Real Estate and Home Builders Association. He is chair of the Universities and Colleges Committee in the state Senate, as well as vice-chair of the Energy Committee.

Among other committees he sits on include Business and Financial Institutions, Finance, Highways and Transportation, Public Health and Welfare, Public Health and Welfare, Public Property, Rules and Tourism.

Dr. Andrea Mayfield

Mayfield has been executive director of MCCB since 2015. Previously, she was vice president at East Mississippi Community College, for the Scooba Campus. She had risen through the ranks there as an instructor of biological sciences, e-Learning coordinator and later e-Learning dean, dean of instruction, vice president for instruction, vice president for institutional research and effectiveness, then vice president for the Scooba Campus.

Her service as an education leader has included membership to the Board of Trustees for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. She also serves on Gov. Bryant’s cabinet, the board of directors for Mississippi Public Broadcasting, State Health Insurance Board, Mississippi College Savings Board, State Workforce Investment Board, State Longitudinal Data System, Innovate Mississippi and the Education Achievement Council. She is also a member of Mississippi State’s Education Leadership Advisory Committee.

She holds a doctorate from Mississippi State University, in educational leadership with a special emphasis in the administration of higher education. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of West Alabama, where she also earned a master’s degree.

Tom Joyner

Joyner’s show is the nation’s top syndicated morning show, airing in 105 markets and reaching nearly 8 million listeners. The Utica Campus has been selected by the Tom Joyner Foundation as its June 2018 School of the Month, as part of his organization’s signature program that supports historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) through fundraising efforts, scholarships, endowments and capacity-building enhancements.

06 April, 2018 News more
Winners named in annual Hinds CC Rankin Campus Literary Festival
Posted by
06 April

Winners named in annual Hinds CC Rankin Campus Literary Festival

Winning first place and the scholarships to Hinds were, from left, Amber Rayne Jenkins of Pisgah High School; Katie Rester of Brandon, Hartfield Academy, short story and Kim Hill of Northwest Rankin High School, poetry. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

Three Rankin County students won full tuition scholarships for a year to Hinds Community College after placing first place in the annual Rankin Campus Literary Festival on April 6.

The top winners also won cash prizes of $100 for first place, $50 for second place and $25 for third place.

As Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is a comprehensive institution offering quality, affordable educational opportunities with academic programs of study leading to seamless university transfer and career and technical programs teaching job-ready skills. With six locations in central Mississippi, Hinds enrolls about 12,000 students each fall semester. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.

 

 

 

 

 

All poetry winners include, from left, Kim Hill, Northwest Rankin High School, first; Hayley Bounds, Pearl High School, second; Amber Roberts, Pearl High School, third and Alecia G. Woodford, Pisgah High School, honorable mention. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

All short story winners include, from left, Katie Rester of Brandon, Hartfield Academy, first; Jordan T. Hariel of Brandon, Hariel Homeschool, second; Amber Rayne Jenkins, Pisgah High School, third; Laura Wingo of Brandon, Hartfield Academy, honorable mention and, not pictured, Mackenzie Beth Crowell, Puckett High School, honorable mention. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

All essay winners include, from left, Amber Rayne Jenkins of Pisgah High School, first place; Madison Lauryl Newman of Brandon, East Rankin Academy, second; Lauren Nicole Parker of Lena, East Rankin Academy, third; Krissy Watkins of Lena, East Rankin Academy, honorable mention. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

 

06 April, 2018 News more
Hinds CC places 15 students on All-Mississippi Community College Academic Team
Posted by
04 April

Hinds CC places 15 students on All-Mississippi Community College Academic Team

PEARL – Fifteen Hinds Community College students were named to the 2018 All-Mississippi Community College Academic Team, tops among the state’s 15 two-year colleges.

Honored among 15 students overall and named Academic First Team at a ceremony March 28 at the Muse Center on the Rankin Campus was Holt Hunter, of Hermanville, a student at the Raymond Campus. Hunter is a computer science major and president of the Gamma Lambda chapter of Phi Theta Kappa honor society. He is also a 3E Outstanding Student and won second place in the most recent Hack State competition for computer science students.

Holt Hunter, of Hermanville, was named All Mississippi Academic First Team.

Each of the college’s six locations are represented in the all-academic awards. One student from each of the state’s 15 community colleges is recognized first-team.

Named to the Academic Second Team were:

  • Taylor Ballard, of Vicksburg, a student at the Vicksburg-Warren Campus, general studies major
  • Jamye Davis, of Edwards, a student at the Jackson Campus-Nursing/Allied Health Center, nursing major
  • Jeffery Fairley, of Jackson, a student at the Utica Campus, biology major
  • Danielle Gipson, of Brandon, a student at the Jackson Campus-Nursing/Allied Health Center, respiratory care technology major
  • Jaylon Gooden, of Jackson, a student at the Utica Campus, radio/television production & broadcasting technology
  • Zerrian Greenwood, of Brandon, a student at the Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center, general studies major
  • Samantha Hawn, of Vicksburg, a student at the Vicksburg-Warren Campus, general studies major
  • Claudia Nelson, of Brandon, a student at the Rankin Campus, general studies major
  • Kena Span, of Jackson, a student at the Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center, general studies major
  • Nettie Stauts, of Vicksburg, a student at the Vicksburg-Warren Campus, early childhood development technology major
  • Joanna Stevens, of Terry, a student at the Raymond Campus, biochemistry major
  • Hannah Stovall, of Brandon, a student at the Rankin Campus, general studies major
  • Abigail Walters, of Vicksburg, a student at the Jackson Campus-Nursing/Allied Health Center, nursing major
  • Brianna Watkins, of Lake Charles, La., a student at the Utica Campus, accounting major

In addition, Hunter and Nelson were named 2018 Coca-Cola Academic Team scholars. The program is sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and is administered by PTK. As a Gold scholar under the designation, Hunter will receive a $1,500 scholarship. Nelson, as a Bronze scholar, will receive a $1,000 scholarship.

The All-Mississippi Academic Team, begun in 1994 as the first state-level academic recognition program for community and junior college students, recognizes the scholarly achievements and leadership accomplishments of students enrolled in community and junior colleges across the state. This year’s 63 team members were selected following several rounds of judging from education officials, business leaders from across the United States and a distinguished panel of representatives from federal agencies and national education associations based in Washington D.C.

Students named to the First Team received $1,000 scholarships. First and Second Team members receive special medallions, certificates and printed resolutions from each chamber of the Mississippi Legislature. They are also eligible for scholarships at many four-year universities designed exclusively for All-Mississippi Academic Team members.

The All-State team is coordinated by the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior College, the Mississippi Community College Board and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Dr. Steve Bishop, president of Southwest Mississippi Community College, is the program chair.

The All-State Academic Team recognition program is an outgrowth of the All-USA Community College Academic Team, administered by Phi Theta Kappa. Twenty students named to the team will receive $100,000 in scholarships.

Taylor Ballard

Jeffery Fairley

Jayme Davis

 

Danielle Gipson

Zerrian Greenwood

Jaylon Gooden

 

Samantha Hawn

Kena Span

Claudia Nelson

 

Nettie Stauts

Hannah Stovall

Joanna Stevens

 

Abigail Walters

Brianna Jenae Watkins

04 April, 2018 News more
Hinds CC opens registration for summer, fall classes for new students
Posted by
03 April

Hinds CC opens registration for summer, fall classes for new students

Registration for current students at Hinds Community College is now open with registration for new students to open on April 9. Students can register for both summer and fall classes at any of the six Hinds locations.

Mini-term classes are May 9-22 and are offered at Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center, Rankin Campus and Raymond Campus. Eight-week and first four-week summer term classes at all six Hinds locations begin on May 29, and second four-week summer term classes begin on June 26. Fall classes begin on Aug. 13.

To register for classes for any term, students must first be admitted to the college. After meeting with a counselor, new students can then register for classes. Offices are open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and until 6 p.m. on Tuesdays. The Admissions office can be reached at 601.857.3212.

Or visit the Admissions tab on the Hinds website at www.hindscc.edu.

As Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is a comprehensive institution offering quality, affordable educational opportunities with academic programs of study leading to seamless university transfer and career and technical programs teaching job-ready skills. With six locations in central Mississippi, Hinds enrolls about 12,000 students each fall semester. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.

03 April, 2018 News more
Hinds CC, partners celebrate Metrocenter Mall project
Posted by
03 April

Hinds CC, partners celebrate Metrocenter Mall project

JACKSON – Donning hardhats and wielding sledgehammers, partners in a venture to create a “Comprehensive One-Stop Center” for workforce training and support services celebrated the launch of the project on March 29.

From left, Jackson Councilman Aaron Banks, Councilman De’Keither Stamps, Hinds County Board of Supervisors Mike Morgan, Councilman Charles Tillman, Hinds Board of Trustees President Paul Breazeale, Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, Central Mississippi Planning and Development District Workforce Training Director Mary Powers, Mississippi Community College Board President Lee Bush, Hinds County Supervisor Peggy Hobson Calhoun, Hinds Vice President Dr. Chad Stocks, Hinds District Director for Integrated Pathways Dr. Robin Parker, Retro-Metro Managing Partner Leroy Walker, and Hinds Director of Workforce Manufacturing Training David Creel (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

The center will house multiple career-technical and workforce training programs aimed at both high-tech training and middle-skill education along with support services in part of Metrocenter Mall.

The project to redevelop the former Belk and, previously, McRae’s department store into a 189,000-square-foot center for workforce training promises to be a driver of economic development for central Mississippi, speakers said.

“This is a very significant event in the life of Hinds Community College,” said Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse before more than 200 guests at the announcement held inside the old store space. “It’s taken so many people to help bring this together.”

At the top of the list, Muse credited the Central Mississippi Planning and Development District and the Hinds County Board of Supervisors.

“It’s a collaboration between a lot of different agencies as well as community helpers,” Muse said. “A person no longer has to spend a lot of time trying to find agencies to help them get a job or be trained for a job. It’ll be right here. It’s going to be a wonderful economic development opportunity for our area, and it’ll serve 17 counties in this area of the state.”

The center would encompass now vacant space on both floors of the southeast end of Metrocenter mall that formerly housed bustling retail shops. The bottom floor will include an event area and programs for metal fab machining and welding. The top floor would include the bulk of the offices for all the partners and more classrooms, including those for mechatronics, robotics and 3D design.

Hinds would administer the center on behalf of all the partners, which includes multiple government agencies and private partners.

“None of this would be possible today without the support of the partners you’ve heard about,” said Dr. Chad Stocks, vice president for Career and Technical Education and Workforce Development, who thanked members of the partnership for exploring other venues in the Southeast during nearly two years of planning leading up to the announcement.

“The vision has always been there, and it’s given us an opportunity to repurpose this store, where the old arcade games will probably turn into simulators. Today, it’s not enough to get a job. You’ve got to get a skill for high-wage jobs and good careers,” he said.

Dr. Robin Parker, district director of Integrated Pathways at Hinds Community College, speaks to those gathered for the public announcement of the Comprehensive One-Stop Center at the former Belk department store at Metrocenter Mall in south Jackson. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

Hinds County is allocating .92 mills of property taxes annually, or about $1.6 million, for the college’s share of the money to fund the operation. The center will not only be financially self-supporting through millage and external grant funding, but it also has the potential to increase enrollment by tapping into an unserved population of students.

Mike Morgan, president of the Hinds County Board of Supervisors, dreamed of a large sign that says “Hinds Community College” at the entrance. “What are people going to think when they see that sign? They’re going to think education; they’re going to think training,” he said.

The center also will have classrooms for MIBEST, a community college program that teaches adult students without a high school diploma both academic and technical skills so they will be job ready.

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said the project “checks so many boxes” for bringing south Jackson back to life. “There’s no reason for Highway 18 and Highway 80 to not look like Lakeland Drive.

“There was a day and time where you had people waiting for jobs,” Lumumba said. “Now, we have arrived at a point where we have jobs waiting for people.”

The center’s focus will also be on other workforce-related and support services for those students, such as job search, workshops, assistance with unemployment insurance benefits, funding to pay for career tech training, on-the-job training opportunities, TANF/ SNAP, Vocational Rehabilitation and others.

Officials who spoke at the ceremony, which capped off by having each take a sledgehammer to a wall that once divided parts of the old store, lauded the efforts of CMPDD, a key economic development agency for the region, for helping kick-start the project.

“For probably the first time in the history of workforce, we all came together with a common purpose in mind,” said Mary Powers, workforce director for the agency. “It was to develop a plan that would provide all of our services in concert together to meet the need of people and the businesses.

From left, Retro Metro Managing Partner Leroy Walker, Central Mississippi Planning and Development District Workforce Training Director Mary Powers, Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse, Central Mississippi Planning and Development District Executive Director Mike Monk (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

“People will be able to get the services they need, the training they need and the skills they need to walk out the door with a job. And they’ll get all those services in the same place,” she said.

Once started, renovation is expected to take about six months.

“We’ve got to make the community better by having skilled workers in our community. That’s why we’re investing our money, our time and our resources in this effort,” said Leroy Walker, managing partner of Retro-Metro, which owns the space and will lease it to Hinds.

Walker said a revitalized mall with workforce development as its focus will be a “generator” for economic development in the area around the former retail mecca where highways 80 and 18 essentially meet.

The college’s administrative functions for MIBEST, Adult Basic Education, the Early Childhood Academy and career-tech programs related to manufacturing could be moved to the One-Stop Center in the future to support the initiative.

Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse, with one of the sledgehammers used to signify the start of renovations for the Comprehensive One-Stop Center in the former Belk department store at Metrocenter Mall. (Hinds Community College/April Garon)

“To put this in perspective, the workforce training and student service area equates to three football fields of space,” said Dr. Robin Parker, District Director of Integrated Pathways, which involves programs such as MIBEST that links high school and college credentials with job-training. “Throughout the process of working on this project, we have heard so many Metrocenter stories. We are thrilled to be a part of writing the next chapter.”

 

03 April, 2018 News more
Hinds CC Utica Campus named Tom Joyner Foundation’s June 2018 School of the Month
Posted by
03 April

Hinds CC Utica Campus named Tom Joyner Foundation’s June 2018 School of the Month

Hinds Community College’s Utica Campus has been selected by the Tom Joyner Foundation as its June 2018 School of the Month.

The “School of the Month” program is the signature program of the foundation, which supports historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) through fundraising efforts, scholarships, endowments and capacity-building enhancements.

The designation is an opportunity for supporters of the HBCU campus to help raise money for student scholarships. The Utica Campus enrolls more than 800 students per semester. To donate online, supporters can go to the website: https://hub.hindscc.edu/tomjoyner. Additional fundraising opportunities will be available over the next few weeks.

“We are so very proud that the Tom Joyner Foundation has selected Hinds Community College’s Utica Campus as its June 2018 School of the Month. We are also proud to have Mr. Joyner as our 2018 Commencement speaker,” said Dr. Tyrone Jackson, vice president for the Utica Campus.

“The Joyner Foundation has made tremendous strides assisting students in their quest for academic achievement. This partnership will allow so many deserving students the opportunity to obtain the education they so rightfully deserve,” Jackson said.

Joyner, a nationally syndicated radio and television host, will speak at the Utica graduation, set for 2 p.m. Sunday, May 13. His show is the nation’s top syndicated morning show, airing in 105 markets and reaching nearly 8 million listeners.

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.

Fundraising efforts include a monthly day of giving by faculty, staff and students; church and community outreach programs; a donor reception; alumni support initiatives and a visit from Joyner.

All donations received during the campaign will be used for student scholarships at Hinds’ Utica Campus. Although selected for June, the campaign officially kicked off March 1 and will continue through Dec. 31.

Since 1998, Joyner’s foundation has provided support to HBCUs to help sustain and preserve their legacies through fundraising and donor development initiatives. More than $65 million has been raised to support more than 29,000 students attending selected colleges and universities. Additionally, the foundation has recommended internships, offered matching grant support and career development to deserving students.

As Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is a comprehensive institution offering quality, affordable educational opportunities with academic programs of study leading to seamless university transfer and career and technical programs teaching job-ready skills. With six locations in central Mississippi, Hinds enrolls about 12,000 students each fall semester. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.

03 April, 2018 News more
Award a time for reflection for trailblazing physician, Utica Institute alum
Posted by
28 March

Award a time for reflection for trailblazing physician, Utica Institute alum

 Note: The following story appears in the spring issue of Hindsight alumni magazine. For more information about the Hinds Alumni Association, see the website. To apply for a Hinds Community College Foundation scholarship, go to the Admissions tab on college web site at www.hindscc.edu or click here.

A life spent at the forefront of battles for social justice and affordable health care has come full circle for local physician Dr. Robert Smith.

Dr. Robert Smith

In November, the American Medical Association awarded Smith the Medal of Valor Award for fighting social injustice and providing health care to Mississippians during the civil rights era.

“In riotous and dangerous times, Dr. Smith placed himself repeatedly in harm’s way and made it his mission to stand up for the health care rights of African-Americans,” said AMA president David O. Barbe, M.D. “He is a man of compassion and courage who has and continues to fulfill his Hippocratic Oath by providing medical care to the poor, uninsured and underserved citizens of Mississippi.”

Smith’s academic career began at the Utica Institute, which later became Hinds Agricultural High School, part of Hinds Community College’s Utica Campus.

His education flourished beginning when he was a precocious teen at the Utica high school, where he graduated as valedictorian.

“It was one of the best things that happened to me,” Smith said of his time there starting in 1949. “In today’s terms, I would be considered ADHD. I had the opportunity to go to high school very early.

“We didn’t have a public high school in the county at the time. But, this was around the time of Brown vs. Board of Education, so the county bought a small, struggling school modeled after Booker T. Washington’s school. It was just a blessing for me,” Smith said.

The Utica school was both a boarding school and day campus.

“My folks didn’t want me to leave home for schooling, so I became one of the first teens to get up at 4:30 in the morning and ride a little old bus 45 miles nearly all through dirt roads to get to school. In the winter, I’d leave home at night, and I’d get home at night. Many times the bus broke down, but luckily my daddy had a car that would come and find us and retrieve us all.

“But, going to Hinds AHS was like going to heaven,” Smith said. “I found a great bunch of people, and it was the first time I had people around me who had gone to college and were degreed.”

Once there, Smith found “mentors, father figures, mother figures, the whole nine yards – and people who believed in discipline,” as he put it, once again remembering his teen years.

“I had a math teacher who’d tell me, ‘Robert Smith, sit down! You’re not going to take over my class!’ There were other teachers like Maggie Dunson who told me, ‘Just wait till you get to college. They’ll fix you.’”

Dr. Robert Smith speaks during the Summer 2014 graduation ceremony for Nursing/Allied Health students.

Where he found a niche was in agriculture, then taught by A.D. Williams. “I had been in the 4-H Club before I went to Utica,” Smith said. “I was 4-H champion and among the first to show Polled Hereford cattle in a livestock show. I transferred my experience to being in New Farmers of America, where I was the first Mississippian of record to hold office in it.”

Smith credits Williams with teaching him the basics of communication and formal self-expression. “He taught me how to develop and present a talk,” Smith said. “He left, and A.D. Boykins came in. He had the same personality. I ended up winning state and regional speaking contests and going to Washington D.C.”

Another source of pride is having been taught by Dr. Walter Washington, who later presided over Utica Junior College and Alcorn State University. “His speeches about achievement and educational preparing were inspirational,” he said.

In 1963, the Terry native founded Mississippi Family Health Center in Jackson. The facility later became Central Mississippi Health Services and has locations in south Jackson and at Tougaloo College, where Smith had earlier earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry. His medical degree was earned at Howard University School of Medicine.

Smith witnessed the civil rights movement in Mississippi from a perspective few other people could, given his profession.

“I’d been a member since college of the NAACP, and I got to know Medgar Evers in college at Tougaloo when he was invited to talk,” Smith said. “I had attended a reception for him the night he was killed.

“The outgrowth of it all is that, through other memberships such as the Freedom Democratic Party, I became the unpaid physician to the movement.”

He was assisted in establishing a clinic in Bolivar County’s Mound Bayou by doctors from the Northeast, who, a year later, were part of 1964 Freedom Summer in Mississippi. The clinic served the poorest of the poor for basic medical needs.

“I was concentrating on how to get black folks into health care,” he said. “I helped prepare reports for Congress that brought about regional medical programs that brought advances in the care of heart, cancer, strokes and renal disease to local communities.

Both Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse and Dr. Robert Smith were honored with the Whitney Young Service Award from the Andrew Jackson Council of the Boy Scouts of America in 2015.

“It’s about education, education, education. The best way to lower costs is to teach prevention. That has to come from grade school. It ought to be like English,” he said.

Two friendships he treasures are with the living giants who helped shape the modern-day Hinds Utica Campus and the college as a whole – Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse and Dr. George Barnes, former vice president for the Utica Campus who retired in 2013 after 51 years.  Both men were instrumental in the merger between the Utica Campus and the Hinds Community College district.

“When they talked about merging those institutions, obviously there were concerns. But, I don’t know anything that could have done better since then,” Smith said.

He credited both men with the Utica Campus keeping “its traditional value system,” such as its colors and annual events such as the Coronation, while “providing opportunities for the least of these in education.”

Muse has known Smith for many years. He met him through his brother, George, who served on the Hinds County Board of Supervisors. Both had gone to the Utica Institute.

“Early in his life and career, he had a burning desire to see that all people had good medical attention and services,” Muse said, noting his work to establish the Mound Bayou clinic. “He was a pioneer in providing or getting medical services to people. And it was not the popular thing to do in those days. He had the courage to step out there and do it.”

Smith sees the American Medical Association honor as a benchmark not just for himself, but African-American membership in the organization.

“It was a national problem,” Smith said of the scarcity of full-member black doctors when his nearly six-decade medical career began. “In Mississippi, it was magnified. Even in a place like New York City or in Chicago, there was only a handful of black physicians – maybe five people – who were full members of the AMA.”

Among Smith’s numerous staff appointments through the years was at Central Mississippi Medical Center, now Merit Health Central.

“The contributions Dr. Smith has made in the healthcare field, not just in our community, but throughout our state cannot be lauded enough,” Merit Health Central CEO Barry Moss said. “We are grateful for his continuing leadership in his field, and I am proud he is a part of our Merit Health Central medical staff.”

In the spirit of gratitude, Smith has given back to the Utica Campus and Hinds, speaking at graduations several times and at the Utica Campus annual Founder’s Day celebration. He spent six years on the Hinds Community College Foundation Board, where he and his brother started a scholarship aimed at helping eligible Utica Campus students pay for college. He is a frequent presence at important Hinds events.

And, his service also continues in the medical community.

“He is a great person with a great medical mind that is still providing wonderful service to people in need of medical help,” Muse said.

Barnes literally owes his life to Smith. “About 29 years ago, he recommended me to Johns Hopkins University to treat pancreatic cancer,” Barnes said. “So I can’t really say enough about him. Any awards he has gotten, he deserves.”

Smith is quick to say that his path to success started in Utica.

“My education at Hinds prepared me for the opportunity to become the first black physician of record and board-certified physician, a fellow in family medicine, a teacher, a researcher, an author, and most of all, a family physician to the least of these that have come from many parts of the country.”

28 March, 2018 News more