http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=PT+Sans Hinds CC celebrated Homecoming with the annual 50+ luncheon

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Hinds CC celebrated Homecoming with the annual 50+ luncheon
Posted by
26 October

Hinds CC celebrated Homecoming with the annual 50+ luncheon

Hinds Community College hosted the annual 50+ luncheon for graduates 50 years ago and beyond on Oct. 14. Among those attending were graduates from the 1950s including, from left, JoAnn Taylor Smith of Florence, John Emory of Jackson, David Barton of Raymond, Ron Melancon of Poplarville, Douglas Moore of Jackson, Oliver V. Shearer of Clinton and Mark J. Chaney of Bovina.

Hinds Community College hosted the annual 50+ luncheon for graduates 50 years ago and beyond on Oct. 14. Among those attending were graduates from the 1950s including, from left, JoAnn Taylor Smith of Florence, John Emory of Jackson, David Barton of Raymond, Ron Melancon of Poplarville, Douglas Moore of Jackson, Oliver V. Shearer of Clinton and Mark J. Chaney of Bovina.

Hinds Community College hosted the annual 50+ luncheon for graduates 50 years ago and beyond on Oct. 14. Among those attending were graduates of the 1954 Hinds Agricultural High School class including, from left, Barbara Brummett Butler of Cartersville, Ga., Rosa Taylor Russell of Raymond, Stuart Spann of Raymond, Peggy Stubbs Sheppard of Meridian and Martha Gillespie Ferguson of Raymond.

Hinds Community College hosted the annual 50+ luncheon for graduates 50 years ago and beyond on Oct. 14. Among those attending were graduates of the 1954 Hinds Agricultural High School class including, from left, Barbara Brummett Butler of Cartersville, Ga., Rosa Taylor Russell of Raymond, Stuart Spann of Raymond, Peggy Stubbs Sheppard of Meridian and Martha Gillespie Ferguson of Raymond.

Hinds Community College hosted the annual 50+ luncheon for graduates 50 years ago and beyond on Oct. 14. Among those attending were graduates from the 1960s, including, from left, Joe Milano of Bolton, state Rep. Tom Weathersby of Florence, Alice Shuff Connelly of Raymond, Bill Ferguson of Learned and Warrene Hand Holliday of Terry.

Hinds Community College hosted the annual 50+ luncheon for graduates 50 years ago and beyond on Oct. 14. Among those attending were graduates from the 1960s, including, from left, Joe Milano of Bolton, state Rep. Tom Weathersby of Florence, Alice Shuff Connelly of Raymond, Bill Ferguson of Learned and Warrene Hand Holliday of Terry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hinds Community College Homecoming week activities included the annual 50+ luncheon for alumni who graduated in 1965 or in prior years.

As Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is a comprehensive institution offering quality, affordable educational opportunities with more than 170 academic, career and technical programs. With six locations in central Mississippi, Hinds enrolled nearly 12,000 credit students in fall 2014. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.

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Posted by on 29 September

‘Play therapy’ vocation has roots in upbringing at Hinds CC for Prewitt

It was a wooden ventriloquist doll named Jerry that brought Rebecca Brooks Prewitt out of her shell as a child.

“My parents taught speech at Hinds,” Prewitt remembers. “They were very verbal and well-spoken. As a child, I was very shy. I began using Jerry when I was in the seventh grade. Jerry became my voice. He’s been with me quite some time.”

Rebecca Prewitt, a pediatric outpatient social worker at University of Mississippi Medical Center, holds a rubber duckie, one of many toys she keeps around as a licensed play therapist. She earned her specialization in the emerging field of study earlier this year. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

Rebecca Prewitt, a pediatric outpatient social worker at University of Mississippi Medical Center, holds a rubber duckie, one of many toys she keeps around as a licensed play therapist. She earned her specialization in the emerging field of study earlier this year. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

These days, Prewitt, the daughter of longtime Hinds teachers Sue Brooks and the late Fred Brooks, is building on her own use of play as a voice to foster positive mental health in children. Earlier this year, Prewitt became a registered play therapist with the Clovis, Calif.-based Association for Play Therapy (APT). It came after completion of a specialized play therapy career track degree program at the University of Mississippi – the first of its kind in the nation.

Her upbringing spent in the academic atmosphere of Hinds shaped her own desire to be an educator. Her own experiences helped her see an even greater mission as it relates to children’s emotional health.

“I grew up in the environment of academia, being a third-generation teacher,” said Prewitt, whose parents are the namesakes of Brooks Hall, where speech is taught, and Brooks Theatre on the Raymond Campus. A brother, Rick Brooks, and one of her sons, Matthew, are Hinds alumni.

Prewitt’s educational journey began at Hinds where she was extremely involved in campus life. She was a member of the Hi-Steppers dance team, sang in the choir, was an officer in Phi Theta Kappa and was involved in the Wesley Foundation.

She moved on to the University of Southern Mississippi where she received a bachelor’s in elementary education and a master’s in social work. She taught in Oklahoma for four years and one year at Hinds, in the Resource and Coordinating unit under former vice president Bob Mullins.

“I was in education for a while but wanted to do more counseling,” she said. “My goal at that time was to be a therapist. I was excited to find a way to blend the two. I don’t formally do play therapy, but it informs my work here.”

Those like Prewitt who are licensed in the discipline help client children use play as the language by which their emotions are expressed. The association claims a membership of more than 1,000 individuals and credentialed play therapists nationwide, a number that includes 35 in Mississippi.

Play therapy “is separate from my actual work, but it’s all tied in,” said Prewitt, whose official job is as a pediatric outpatient social worker at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. “In play therapy, children are brought over to a play room. As play therapists, we facilitate. We start at ages 3 to about 12. They may be too young to talk about their feelings, so they play out what’s bothering them.”

UMMC collaborated with Ole Miss to provide space and clients for Prewitt to complete a practicum for her degree in the specialty, though the discipline is not part of the hospital’s array of services.

Typically, cases are brought to specialists such as Prewitt through schools, pediatricians, other doctors’ offices and word of mouth. Analyses from play sessions can help school counselors, parents and other professionals draw conclusions.

“Children experience trauma of many kinds,” she said. “We have what we call ‘Big-T Trauma,’ which is like an earthquake, a hurricane, seeing someone shot or being in a family experiencing divorce or loss. Then we have ‘Little-t traumas,’ such as when a bicycle gets stolen, someone won’t share their cookie, or a friend moves a few blocks away.

“Play is a child’s language, and the toys are a child’s words,” she said. “So, we choose toys of different categories. One is real life, such as a toy kitchen area. Another is expressive toys, like puppets, stuffed animals, art or clay. The third is the aggressive category, such as dart guns or handcuffs like the cops use. We encourage them to show metaphorically what’s happening. A child who has distress might do some kind of nurturing activity, like they might serve somebody food or drink. They might put a doll to bed or give it a bath. These are all ways they might soothe themselves.”

As for Jerry, her ventriloquist doll, his legs and arms aren’t as sturdy as they used to be, but he’s still alive and kicking.

“I might have Jerry tell a story about his life, and it might mirror something going on in the child’s life,” Prewitt said.

Prewitt’s mother still remembers how Jerry – referred to almost in human terms when the subject comes up – helped a shy girl grow into a confident woman.

“My earliest memory of it was when she was in elementary school,” Sue Brooks said. “She was interested in ventriloquism, so we were able to get her Jerry and he really brought her out.

“She was always interested in things, but she was just shy. With Jerry, she could meet people and address them. He helped her find her voice.”

That same idea is being put to work for children with whom Prewitt works as a play therapist.

“If a child can play out their problem and put it out for themselves and us to see, there’s not a lot that can’t be helped,” Prewitt said. “Not a lot can be done to change a child’s situation, but the therapy can help the way a child relates to their situation.”

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2pm Academic and Career/Technical Graduation Ceremony
Posted by
15 May

2pm Academic and Career/Technical Graduation Ceremony

Former chief justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court James W. Smith, a Hinds Community College alumnus, spoke to graduates at four ceremonies Friday, May 15 about achieving success in life.

Of the total number of graduates, 73 are graduating summa cum laude, which is a perfect 4.0 grade point average; 151 are graduating magna cum laude, which is a 3.60 to 3.99 grade point average and 238 are graduating cum laude, which is a 3.20 to 3.59 grade point average.

The last Hinds ceremony will be at the Utica Campus at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 17 at J.D. Boyd Gym. Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr., president of Alcorn State University, will be the speaker. Nearly 100 students are expected to graduate that day.

As Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is a comprehensive institution offering quality, affordable educational opportunities with more than 170 academic, career and technical programs. With six locations in central Mississippi, Hinds enrolled nearly 12,000 credit students in fall 2014. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.

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Tania Romano of Ridgeland graduated from Hinds Community College on May 15 with a graphic design degree and already has a job with the Ramey Agency in Jackson.

Tania Romano of Ridgeland graduated from Hinds Community College on May 15 with a graphic design degree and already has a job with the Ramey Agency in Jackson.

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Shamonica Roby of Jackson, left, and Regina Robinson of Pearl are thrilled to be graduating from Hinds Community College on May 15. Roby plans to transfer to Jackson State University for a biology degree. Robinson will use her new marketing degree in her own business.

Shamonica Roby of Jackson, left, and Regina Robinson of Pearl are thrilled to be graduating from Hinds Community College on May 15. Roby plans to transfer to Jackson State University for a biology degree. Robinson will use her new marketing degree in her own business.

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Associated Student Government members Abram Muhammed of Jackson, left, and Nathan Murrell of Vicksburg get ready to graduate from Hinds Community College on May 15.

Associated Student Government members Abram Muhammed of Jackson, left, and Nathan Murrell of Vicksburg get ready to graduate from Hinds Community College on May 15.

Michaele Duke congratulates her friend Jasmine Monroe, right, of Jackson after her May 15 graduation from Hinds Community College.

Michaele Duke congratulates her friend Jasmine Monroe, right, of Jackson after her May 15 graduation from Hinds Community College.

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Sherob McDonald Jr., 2, of Vicksburg celebrated the Hinds Community College graduation of his dad, Sherob McDonald Sr. on May 15.

Sherob McDonald Jr., 2, of Vicksburg celebrated the Hinds Community College graduation of his dad, Sherob McDonald Sr. on May 15.

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Christopher McCollum of Jackson graduated from Hinds Community College on May 15. Celebrating with him is his nephew Jeremiah Williams, 5.

Christopher McCollum of Jackson graduated from Hinds Community College on May 15. Celebrating with him is his nephew Jeremiah Williams, 5.

Shamonica Roby of Jackson, left, and Regina Robinson of Pearl are thrilled to be graduating from Hinds Community College on May 15. Roby plans to transfer to Jackson State University for a biology degree. Robinson will use her new marketing degree in her own business.

Shamonica Roby of Jackson, left, and Regina Robinson of Pearl are thrilled to be graduating from Hinds Community College on May 15. Roby plans to transfer to Jackson State University for a biology degree. Robinson will use her new marketing degree in her own business.

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Allea Paz of Jackson graduated from Hinds Community College on May 15. Celebrating with her are friends Reagan Chapman, left, and Christie Cloy, right.

Allea Paz of Jackson graduated from Hinds Community College on May 15. Celebrating with her are friends Reagan Chapman, left, and Christie Cloy, right.

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8am Academic and Career/Technical Graduation Ceremony
Posted by
15 May

8am Academic and Career/Technical Graduation Ceremony

RAYMOND – Former chief justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court James W. Smith, a Hinds Community College alumnus, spoke to graduates at four ceremonies Friday, May 15 about achieving success in life.

Hinds has a record number of graduation ceremonies this spring with eight scheduled over three days and nearly 1,200 receiving credentials. Those graduates will receive more than 1,500 certificates and degrees since some graduates will receive more than one credential.

As Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is a comprehensive institution offering quality, affordable educational opportunities with more than 170 academic, career and technical programs. With six locations in central

Mississippi, Hinds enrolled nearly 12,000 credit students in fall 2014. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.

Surrounded by members of her family, Kim Brookins of Jackson shows off the degree in office systems from Hinds Community College on May 15. Brookins, 45, said she is the first person in her family to graduate from college. “In order to increase my career opportunities, I needed a degree,” she said.

Surrounded by members of her family, Kim Brookins of Jackson shows off the degree in office systems from Hinds Community College on May 15. Brookins, 45, said she is the first person in her family to graduate from college. “In order to increase my career opportunities, I needed a degree,” she said.

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Develle Collier of Brandon, center celebrates his degree with soon-to-be-fiancé Kanesha McAllister, left, and his dad Clyde McAfee. Collier plans to major in business administration at Belhaven College.

Develle Collier of Brandon, center celebrates his degree with soon-to-be-fiancé Kanesha McAllister, left, and his dad Clyde McAfee. Collier plans to major in business administration at Belhaven College.

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Mario Evans of Jackson received a certificate in welding on May 15 at Hinds Community College. With him are his sister Jamanda Durke, left, her baby Calli, his girlfriend Schawanda Pierre and her sister Tiffany Pierre, far right.

Mario Evans of Jackson received a certificate in welding on May 15 at Hinds Community College. With him are his sister Jamanda Durke, left, her baby Calli, his girlfriend Schawanda Pierre and her sister Tiffany Pierre, far right.

Mary Catherine Harvey of Forest is surrounded by her family after graduating from Hinds Community College on May 15. Harvey represented Hinds Community College in the HEADWAE event in February and is an officer in the Raymond Campus chapter of Phi Theta Kappa.

Mary Catherine Harvey of Forest is surrounded by her family after graduating from Hinds Community College on May 15. Harvey represented Hinds Community College in the HEADWAE event in February and is an officer in the Raymond Campus chapter of Phi Theta Kappa.

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Andrew Bailey Coomes of Vicksburg graduated from Hinds Community College on May 15 and plans to major in marine biology at the University of Southern Mississippi. With him are his parents John and Kim Coomes.

Andrew Bailey Coomes of Vicksburg graduated from Hinds Community College on May 15 and plans to major in marine biology at the University of Southern Mississippi. With him are his parents John and Kim Coomes.

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Betsi Turner, left, celebrates with new Hinds Community College graduate Mkaysha Butler of Clinton.

Betsi Turner, left, celebrates with new Hinds Community College graduate Mkaysha Butler of Clinton.

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 Tracy Duncan of Florence graduated with an associate degree in auto body repair on May 15 at Hinds Community College. With him are his children, from left, Aiden, Laura and Ben. Duncan is the sports marketer/photographer at Hinds.


Tracy Duncan of Florence graduated with an associate degree in Applied Science- occupational education, automotive collision repair on May 15 at Hinds Community College. With him are his children, from left, Aidan, Laura and Ben. Duncan is the sports marketer/photographer at Hinds.

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James Davis of Jackson celebrates graduating from Hinds Community College on May 15 with his nephew and adopted son, Jarontae Craft. Davis plans to major in social work at Jackson State University.

James Davis of Jackson celebrates graduating from Hinds Community College on May 15 with his nephew and adopted son, Jarontae Craft. Davis plans to major in social work at Jackson State University.

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Former Hi-Steppers Kaylee Scroggins of Brandon, left, and Shelby Byrd of Florence head to the University of Southern Mississippi after graduating from Hinds Community College on May 15. The Hinds Hi-Steppers is one of the oldest precision dance teams in the country.

Former Hi-Steppers Kaylee Scroggins of Brandon, left, and Shelby Byrd of Florence head to the University of Southern Mississippi after graduating from Hinds Community College on May 15. The Hinds Hi-Steppers is one of the oldest precision dance teams in the country.

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Spring 2015 Commencement- Allied Health Graduates
Posted by
14 May

Spring 2015 Commencement- Allied Health Graduates

Hinds has a record number of graduation ceremonies this spring with eight scheduled over three days. Nearly 1,200 will graduate in those commencement exercises, with more than 800 participating in the largest ceremony.

Those graduates will receive more than 1,500 certificates and degrees since some graduates will receive more than one credential.

As Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is a comprehensive institution offering quality, affordable educational opportunities with more than 170 academic, career and technical programs. With six locations in central Mississippi, Hinds enrolled nearly 12,000 credit students in fall 2014. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.

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Jerimy Brown of Clinton and his classmates received degrees in Radiologic Technology from Hinds Community College on May 14. He asked classmates including Kayla Hensarling of Terry, standing, and Kacey Thomas of Brandon, sitting, to sign a shirt for him as a going away present since he is moving.

Jerimy Brown of Clinton and his classmates received degrees in Radiologic Technology from Hinds Community College on May 14. He asked classmates including Kayla Hensarling of Terry, standing, and Kacey Thomas of Brandon, sitting, to sign a shirt for him as a going away present since he is moving.

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As Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is a comprehensive institution offering quality, affordable educational opportunities with more than 170 academic, career and technical programs. With six locations in central Mississippi, Hinds enrolled nearly 12,000 credit students in fall 2014. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.

As Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is a comprehensive institution offering quality, affordable educational opportunities with more than 170 academic, career and technical programs. With six locations in central Mississippi, Hinds enrolled nearly 12,000 credit students in fall 2014. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.

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Graduating in Radiologic Technology from Hinds Community College on May 14 was Courtney Bullock of Florence.

Graduating in Radiologic Technology from Hinds Community College on May 14 was Courtney Bullock of Florence.

 

 

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Hinds CC honors Neilsen, Alumni Service Award winner
Posted by
22 October

Hinds CC honors Neilsen, Alumni Service Award winner

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Neilsen

Hinds Community College will honor Ray Neilsen, the 2014 Alumni Service Award winner, at the Alumni Dinner, held at 5 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 23 in Mayo Gymnasium on the Raymond Campus.

Neilsen believes in second chances. His second chance came at the College of Idaho where history professor Howard Berger saw potential, while others saw a brash kid from a middle-upper class family who was passed from grade to grade, more trouble than untapped potential.

The relationship got off to a rocky start when Berger challenged Neilsen’s ability to read. He recalls the “horrible” experience of being asked to read aloud and struggling to string the words together. After taking a written entrance exam, Berger told Neilsen, “Ray, your writing skills stink.”

“I didn’t know how bad I was until I met someone who cared about me and my success,” Neilsen says. “He opened my eyes to the value of education and learning.”

It was just the second chance he needed. With Berger’s help — and a lot of hard work and dedication — Neilsen committed himself to his education, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Over a 20-year period, Neilsen earned his way up the ladder, from busser to chairman of Ameristar Casinos with eight locations in six states and more than 7,000 employees.

Neilsen began his relationship with Hinds in 2006 when his passion for learning surfaced in an onsite GED preparation program at Ameristar Casino in Vicksburg. As general manager he recognized that many Ameristar team members missed opportunities to grow with the company because they lacked a high school diploma. Their second chance came with a boss who gave them a pathway to personal fulfillment and $1,000 when they passed the GED test.

His father, Craig H. Neilsen, was the founder of Ameristar Casino. “He was proud of the GED program we established at Ameristar Vicksburg,” Ray Neilsen says. Wanting to make a bigger impact in his adopted community of Vicksburg, Neilsen called upon the resources of the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, which was established by his father in 2002 to support spinal cord injury (SCI) research and rehabilitation. Ten percent of the foundation’s resources go to other entities helping to improve lives.

Craig Neilsen, who became quadriplegic after a 1985 car accident, rarely spoke about his injury, but once said, “…I think that most people – when push comes to shove – take their hard knocks and then pick up the pieces and go on.”

Perhaps prophetically, the Neilsen Foundation is doing just that – helping Adult Education students pick up the sometimes messy pieces of their lives and go on to better things. With Ray Neilsen’s urging, the Neilsen Foundation made a $50,000 gift in 2009 to establish the Education Pays program, which awarded $500 checks to Warren County GED achievers enrolled in the college’s Adult Education program.

From that initial investment, the foundation has awarded more than $600,000 to support the ABE/GED program at the Vicksburg-Warren Campus and the Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center. From a computer lab staffed by tutors to instructional dollars to provide more class time for adult learners, the Neilsen Foundation has been the college’s partner in improving outcomes in Adult Education. This year Neilsen Foundation funds support a Single Stop office at the Vicksburg-Warren Campus and a basic computer applications course designed specifically for adult learners who must now take a computer-based GED test.

Most recently, the Neilsen Foundation is funding scholarships and supplemental support for two Hinds students with spinal cord injuries. After his father’s death in 2006, Ray Neilsen was named cotrustee and chairman of the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation.

“After several years of therapy, my dad only had limited use of a few of his fingers, nothing else,” Neilsen explains. “The accident only slowed him down for a little while, and over time, his focus and attention became more laser-like and intense.”

Those same words might be used to describe Ray Neilsen, says Colleen Hartfield, vice president for Community Relations and Governmental Affairs at Hinds. “When Ray makes a decision to be personally involved in a project or a cause, he’s all-in. He expects that same commitment from others.”

She credits the Neilsen Foundation for being a catalyst for positive changes in the Adult Education program. “Ray doesn’t just write a check; he brings resources and connections gained over a successful career to the college. Most of all, he brings a genuine concern, coupled with an incredible drive to make a difference,” Hartfield says, adding with a laugh. “It can be exhausting trying to keep up with his mind.”

Neilsen says, “There’s this crazed energy, under the surface. It’s doesn’t make my life easy, but I can’t imagine doing it any other way.”

Today, Neilsen and his wife Nancy, a Vicksburg native, live in Edwards on a meticulously landscaped ranch, where visitors will find a rock garden. Etched into the rocks are words that describe his personal brand, and nestled among words such as “integrity,” “courage” and “family,” are rocks inscribed with “Hinds Community College” and “GED.”

“It’s a place of honor,” Hartfield says. “I am so pleased that the college is responding, in kind, and recognizing Ray with the very well-deserved Alumni Service Award.”

Neilsen says he is honored and pleased to accept on behalf of the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation and the Adult Education students at Hinds Community College.

“I believe the American dream is still alive,” he says. “However, I tell students in the program that to succeed, an education is paramount. I tell them that education gives you hope that your life can be better. I teach them what my Dad taught me—success must be earned, and you must do what you do better than anybody else. That’s the difference the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation and Hinds CC are making in the lives of Adult Education students and in our community. It is my intention that our partnership will continue for many years to come.”

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Hinds CC honors Mullins, Alumnus of the Year
Posted by
16 October

Hinds CC honors Mullins, Alumnus of the Year

Hinds Community College will honor Bob Mullins, the 2014 Alumnus of the Year, at the Alumni Dinner, held at 5 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 23 in Mayo Gymnasium on the Raymond Campus. Also being honored at the Alumni Dinner is Ray Neilsen, the 2014 Alumni Service Award winner, and the 2014 Hinds Community College Sports Hall of Fame inductees.

As vice president for Economic Development at Hinds, Mullins spent a large portion of his time developing relationships, marketing the college and doing public relations.

“When I worked at Hinds, it wasn’t a job – it was a position. It was a position that I loved,” he says. Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse “wasn’t just my boss, he was my friend. I traveled with him to the state and nation’s capitals to promote the good things we were doing at the college. We worked together on making strong relationships within the community.”

Muse says Mullins had a large impact on the college and the community.

“Bob was one of the most talented and gifted vice presidents I have worked with,” Muse says. “He is creative and has tremendous energy as well as a unique ability to work with business and industry to help them develop a skilled workforce.”

Mullins first started at Hinds in 1967 as a student, then received a bachelor’s degree at the University of Southern Mississippi. Mullins was hired to teach by Walter Gibbes and was called to active duty training for the National Guard shortly after. When he returned from service, he finished his master’s degree at USM and picked up right where he left off, teaching at Hinds.

After two years of teaching architectural drawing, surveying, math and industrial psychology, Mullins began overseeing night school programs at the Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center.

He eventually moved back to the Raymond Campus as assistant dean of Vocational and Career-Technical programs, and then started taking care of industry training courses for the entire college district.

“We were able to do a lot of training and also make a profit,” he says. “We paid all our expenses plus contributed to the college. That’s when we began discussing a conference and training center.”

After several years of budgeting and finding the right funding, Eagle Ridge Conference Center was born.

Mullins also spearheaded a partnership with Bridgwater College in the United Kingdom, growing the roots of what has become one of the college’s most popular international study abroad options for students and faculty.

“Someone from the U.K. was visiting the states and saw the Hinds CC sign. They came to meet Dr. Muse, he referred them to me and the next thing you know, I’m getting a call from someone with a British accent asking when they can send their students to visit our college,” Mullins says. Jackie Granberry, vice president for Advancement and Student Success, remembers going on the first Bridgwater trip overseas with Mullins.

“I am overjoyed to see how the program has grown over the years, and I know it wouldn’t have happened without him,” she says. “He’s always been very visionary and a step ahead of his time.”

After 28 years as a college employee, Mullins accepted a position at Nissan North America, where he began as section manager for training and communications. He was the first employee the company hired at its Canton plant. By the time he retired in 2013, he had advanced to senior manager for training and was responsible for technical training for the entire North American district.

Although Mullins is technically retired, he owns and operates his own consulting business and provides services nationally and internationally. He also has a unique hobby of making stained glass, and has pieces in two Raymond churches and more than 60 churches across the state.

Mullins is married to Deborah Mullins. He has a daughter, a son-in-law and two grandchildren, all of Pelahatchie. The family enjoys spending their time at their Eagle Lake retreat.

“Although I don’t get to spend as much time with the college as I used to, Hinds is a special place to me still, because it helped create a lot of things that led to success in my life,” he says. “The things I learned there — the value of getting things done, making contacts and being fair and honest with people — that’s invaluable.”

For more information on Hinds Community College homecoming events, visit www.hindscc.edu.

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Posted by on 27 March

Hinds CC alumni reflect on Sugarman’s life, impact

 

Hinds CC alumni Jody Gore, left, and Gary Walters

Hinds CC alumni Jody Gore, left, and Gary Walters

Back on March 29, 1939, a legend was born out of a tragedy.

When Clear Creek in Edwards flooded during a torrential rainstorm, washing out the Highway 80 bridge and plunging cars headed from Jackson to Vicksburg into the angry water, Andrew “Sugarman” Daniel jumped into the water time after time pulling up bodies. According to a June 1969 story in The Clarion-Ledger/Jackson Daily News, Sugarman pulled up most of the 16 bodies and helped haul out 10 cars.

Seventy-five years later, a book by Joedda “Jody” Gore of Clinton, who attended Hinds Community College in the 1980s, commemorates the legend of Sugarman, a powerhouse of a man also known as an “animal whisperer” and friend to local kids, who got his nickname from handing out free candy.

Gore said she got the idea to write the fictionalized account of Sugarman’s life when she first moved to Edwards in 1976. “Local people kept saying, ‘You’ve got to write something about Sugarman,’” she said. “There were so many stories.”

The town of Edwards is commemorating the 75th anniversary of this disaster on March 29 with a full day of activities ranging from music to a pet parade to a Sugarman look-a-like contest, all as a way to pay tribute to a local town character turned hero. The Utica Campus Jubilee Singers will perform as part of the 9 a.m. opening ceremony.  Warren County supervisors are renaming a section of road between Warriors Trail and the county line in Warren County as Andrew “Sugarman” Daniel Memorial Highway. Hinds County supervisors have done likewise between Smith Station Road and Highway 80 West.

Gore never met Sugarman, who died on June 7, 1969, but another Hinds alumnus did. Gary Walters (1967), who taught for many years at Mississippi College and elsewhere, met Sugarman a couple years before he died.

Walters said he was painting a water color of a 100-year-old bridge in Edwards, sometime around 1967, when Sugarman walked up with his entourage of dogs. Walters said he complained the dust and rocks they were kicking up were threatening his painting, so Sugarman said something like “Dogs go on home now,” and off they headed at a run back home. Sugarman also had a trained goat and pig that did his bidding as well.

“It was an interesting experience,” Walters said. “I never will forget meeting him. I had heard he could talk to the animals. I knew no one else could get them to pay attention. He didn’t raise his voice or anything.”

The experience of meeting Sugarman made such an impression on Walters that in 1976, as part of a Bicentennial collection of watercolors, he painted a portrait from memory.

Many of those watercolors sold at an exhibit at the old Deposit Guaranty Plaza in Jackson, but Walters held on to the Sugarman painting until Hinds Community College bought it a few years ago. It now hangs in the Utica Campus office of photography instructor Randy Minton.

Gore’s book “Sugarman” is available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

For information about joining the Alumni Association at Hinds Community College, see

http://www.hindscc.edu/alumni_community/

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Posted by on 28 February

Local Ainsley’s Angels running group has deep connections to Hinds CC

The first race of the Angels with Mollie Coward was Chill in the Hills in Vicksburg. They are, from left, Paige Hutchinson, Chrisanna Saums, Robert Saums and Ginny Odom and Mollie in the front.

The first race of the Angels with Mollie Coward was Chill in the Hills in Vicksburg. They are, from left, Paige Hutchinson, Chrisanna Saums, Robert Saums and Ginny Odom and Mollie in the front.

Members of a competitive running group that includes Hinds Community College employees and alumni have been going the extra mile to make sure the disabled in their communities get to participate.

After learning of the story of Dick Hoyt and his disabled son Rick, a father and son running team in Holland, Mass, who has inspired millions of other runners, Hinds Community College biology instructor Chrisanna Saums researched ways to help disabled citizens in her community.  A few months later in November 2013, the Mississippi chapter of Ainsley’s Angels was founded, with Saums as its president.

Ainsley’s Angels are athletic ride-along programs created for children, teens, adults and veterans with disabilities who normally would not be able to experience endurance events like road races and even triathlons. The volunteer-based service founded in Norfolk, Va., provides jogging chairs, bike trailers and rafts for anyone who is disabled, known as Captains, and runners, known as Angels, to push them in endurance events. Ainsley’s Angels is named after 11-year-old Ainsley Rossiter, who was diagnosed with a rare terminal illness, Infantile Neuroaxonal Dystrophy (INAD) at the age of four, which slowly causes global paralysis.

“We want to be able to provide any disabled child or adult an opportunity to compete in road races and endurance events with us – maybe even triathlons in the future,” Chrisanna Saums said. 

Ainsley’s Angels member Terri Henderson reached out to a Facebook friend, Johnna Coward of Raymond, about the possibility of her 18-year-old daughter Mollie becoming a Captain. Mollie, who attends Raymond HS, was born with cerebral palsy and uses non-verbal cues to communicate.

Coward is the youngest of John Heiden’s five daughters; Heiden is former chair of the Hinds Community College Foundation and is currently an ex officio member.

Mollie has participated for several years in Hinds Community College’s annual Special Education Field Trip in May on the Raymond Campus. The annual event allows special education students in the Hinds County school district to participate in field-day type events such as a wheelchair race and enjoy snow cones, popcorn and other treats. The event organizer is also an Angel, Larina (Mason) Smith (1996).

One of Mollie’s favorite activities of the field day held at Joe Renfroe Stadium is always the wheelchair race. Her mother said she knew Mollie would love to be a part of Ainsley’s Angels.

“Mollie loves to move,” said Coward, whose first race with Mollie and the Angels was in January at the Chill in the Hills in Vicksburg. “She was so excited at the starting line of her first race; she was moving her arms like she was running. She really loved crossing the finish line.”

The local Angels chapter includes a number of Hinds alumni.  Katie (Turnage) Murphy (1999), academic counselor at the Raymond Campus, Ginny (Askew) Odom (1995), Belinda (Fisher) Sollie (1988), Paige (Mellon) Hutchinson (2001) and Jenny (Robertshaw) Winstead (1999) have since run in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in New Orleans with Mollie and are always looking for interested runners to join them in future races.  

 

The Angels feature event, the first annual Ainsley’s Angels Cannonball Run, is set for Saturday, May 3 in Raymond.  For more information contact Saums at 601.201.8887 or by email at ainsleysangels_ms@yahoo.com.

 

“Running is my outlet and I felt God calling me to use what I love to help other people and I want others to experience what I experience,” Saums said. “We have plans to include dozens of Captains this year.”

As a non-profit organization, Ainsley’s Angels of Mississippi accepts donations to help purchase more jogging chairs, which retail for $1,000. They have two chairs now, but seek more corporate support.  Logos could be printed on the chairs as well. Contact the group at http://www.ainsleysangels.org/Mississippi.html.

For more information about Hinds Community College see http://www.hindscc.edu/

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Posted by on 27 September

Alumnus of the Year named

6 Dean Liles

Hinds Community College will honor Hinds graduate and former athlete Dean Liles of Plano, Texas, as the 2013 Alumnus of the Year at the Oct. 17 Alumni Recognition Dinner, held at Mayo Field House on the Raymond Campus. The reception begins at 4:30 p.m. and dinner is at 5 p.m.

With a family legacy at Hinds Community College running its roots back to the early 1920s, Liles followed the path to Hinds and made his own footprint – one that has had a lasting impression.

Liles was a two-year letterman in basketball, a member of Phi Theta Kappa and graduated with honors in 1961. He has served on the Foundation Board and has established two scholarships at Hinds, which help deserving students get an education.

His claim to fame, and his fondest memories of his alma mater, can be found on the basketball court. Liles was inducted into the Hinds Community College Sports Hall of Fame in 2000 for his record for the most points scored in a Hinds basketball game, a whopping 51 points.

After he graduated from Hinds, Liles went to Mississippi College, where he graduated with honors in 1963. He graduated from Louisiana State University with his master’s degree in 1964.

Liles has a full career history, working for companies such as IBM Corporation, Zale Corporation, National Store Systems, Deloitte Haskins and Sells, Neiman Marcus, Computer Language Research and Tactica Technology Group, an independent company that  prompted him to open his own company, Dean Liles and Associates. Liles retired from the company in 2007.

In 2009, Dean Liles established the Dean and Rebecca Legg Liles Scholarship at Hinds, in memory of his wife. In 2012, he established a second scholarship, the Euell and Etoile Liles Family Scholarship, to honor his parents, Euell and Etoile Liles.  Both scholarships were endowed because of his desire to help others achieve their goals in life.

Liles said he believes Hinds provides a quality education that can be the catalyst for a senior college degree and the start toward achieving career goals, as was the case with his own family members.

Dean resides in Plano, Texas. His late wife, Rebecca, who was also a Hinds graduate, passed away in July 2009. Dean and Rebecca have two children, Brad Liles and Lori Hall, who also live in Plano. They have four grandchildren, Ashley Liles, Matthew Liles, Mark Liles and Grace Hall.

For more information on the Alumnus of the Year award, or on homecoming festivities, contact Libby Posey in Advancement and Student Success at 601.857.3350.

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