http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=PT+Sans Television and Radio Broadcast program at Hinds CC Utica Campus trains for media careers

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Television and Radio Broadcast program at Hinds CC Utica Campus trains for media careers
Posted by
17 December

Television and Radio Broadcast program at Hinds CC Utica Campus trains for media careers

As a girl, Alayshia Martin watched all the thrilling highlights of her favorite sport on the news and wondered, “How’d they do that?”

“As a little girl, I loved watching basketball,” Martin said. “I’d be watching the highlights come up, and they’re replaying them. I wanted to learn how to work the camera and make it look so interesting. If other people can do it, I can do it.”

As a first-year student in the Television and Radio Broadcasting program at Hinds Community College’s Utica campus, Martin is learning how the news, sports and more are put together in the modern-day, fast-paced broadcast media.

First-year Television and Radio Broadcast student Alayshia Martin eyes up a shot during a practice shoot at the program's studio on the Utica Campus. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

First-year Television and Radio Broadcast student Alayshia Martin eyes up a shot during a practice shoot at the program’s studio on the Utica Campus. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

“Television and Radio Broadcasting, offered on the Utica Campus, prepares students to work in broadcast media in areas such as announcing, broadcasting control, editing, and more,” District Director of Enrollment Kathryn Cole said. “In this program, students benefit from experienced faculty and small class sizes with both classroom instruction and hands-on training.”

Registration for spring 2016 is ongoing; classes begin on Jan. 11. For information about enrolling, go to the Hinds website at www.hindscc.edu. The campus is home to 14 career-technical programs including the  Television and Radio Broadcasting program, where students can earn a 2-year Associate of Applied Science degree. For information about the program, call director Tim Crisler at 601.885.7071.

Today’s visual media industries demand versatility beyond what Martin saw even just a few years ago growing up in Summit. Already an intern at a local television station as a result of the program, she’ll continue learning how to operate TV cameras, shoot video, find the best sound bites and write copy.

“You’ll be expected to shoot it, write it and post it before it even gets to the air,” Crisler said. “So, we teach a mixture, everything from writing, speaking and all the behind-the-scenes of putting together and anchoring a whole news show.”

It’s the quality cross-training that has Crisler’s students already in demand.

“All my students have internships at TV and radio stations in the Jackson market,” said Crisler, who worked in broadcasting and public relations 20 years in the Jackson area before coming to Hinds during the fall 2015 semester. “Our goal by the time they leave here is to have more experience than some university students. It’s essential to me to get them out into the industry, so that when they graduate they can walk right into a job.”

Martin and her classmates are taking full advantage of their education both in and out of the classroom.

“I didn’t know I had the capability with the equipment and the software,” she said. “I put what I learned in class into their workstation and it was interesting.

Quality time behind the lens, whether as part of the class or her internship, is priceless for Martin.

“It’s about getting the experience, then getting a good job,” she said.

Special projects and on-campus productions can include covering what’s going on at other career-tech programs on campus, among various opportunities to hone skills.

“We partner with all our departments here on campus and with career-tech to practice our production pieces,” Crisler said. “And I try to cover all six campuses, because learning about different people is part of being a good journalist.

“It’s a multimedia world, and it’s transformed to where you have to know it all. But, when you graduate, your talents will be on the level with the industry.”

17 December, 2015 News more
Culinary Arts program at Hinds CC Utica Campus trains for food careers
Posted by
17 December

Culinary Arts program at Hinds CC Utica Campus trains for food careers

The kitchen is a diverse, popular place these days, particularly in television and social media. But there’s plenty of room at the tables served in the economy.

Careers in food can lead students to several diverse lines of work, from restaurants to food management. In the case of Hinds Community College Utica Campus student James Chapman, it’s a way to keep his options as versatile and varied as his interests. Although he left the farm to attend college, farming is still close to his heart.

“My grandmother and mom both grew up cooking,” said Chapman, a first-year student from Carthage. “They grew crops and lived off the land, lots of greens, different vegetables and fresh food. Even with meat, they had pigs, cows and such.

“At first, I wanted to do weapons engineering for the military,” he said. “But I had talked to a recruiter for the military who told me how much they love cooking because they need an escape. I found out about the culinary program here, and I’m glad I joined it.”

Chapman was among a dozen students in instructor Durnitra Weeks’ class in the Culinary Arts program at the Utica Campus in the fall 2015 semester. The Utica Campus, formerly Utica Junior College, retains its HBCU (Historically Black College and University) status. The campus is home to 14 career-technical programs including Weeks’ class.

James Chapman, left foreground, and Durnitra Weeks, instructor in the Culinary Arts program at Hinds Community College's Utica Campus, stand in the kitchen with seven others enrolled in the program this past semester. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

First-year culinary student James Chapman, left foreground, and Durnitra Weeks, center foreground, instructor in the Culinary Arts program at Hinds Community College’s Utica Campus, stand in the kitchen with eight others enrolled in the program this past semester. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

“The Hinds Utica Campus Career-Technical Division is proud of the growth we’ve seen in the past year,” said Kenisha Shelton, dean of career-tech programs at the Utica Campus. “Our instructors have been working extremely hard this past year to recruit and retain students and to obtain certification for themselves to stay relevant and connected with industry. The Career and Technical division at Hinds Community College – Utica Campus is definitely turning vision into reality.”

Registration for spring 2016 is ongoing; classes begin on Jan. 11. For information about enrolling in the culinary arts program, go to the Hinds website at www.hindscc.edu or call Weeks at 601.885.7114.

“We start out covering the basics – how to boil water and the correct temperature in which to cook certain foods,” Weeks said. “Then, comes the sanitary part, which is cleaning the kitchen according to health standards. Later, we cover seasoning and flavoring techniques with meat and other things like that.”

Weeks, a Bolivar County native and former executive chef and dietary manager in the healthcare industry, herself chose a cooking career over healthcare since it was second nature from an early age.

“I’m from a family of four cooks,” she said. “So, the passion came from watching them and for the enjoyment on their faces.”

Students enrolled in culinary programs at all of Hinds’ locations also learn about the connection of the program to hospitality and tourism. The college’s Hospitality and Tourism Management Technology degree program includes culinary, hotel, travel and tourism concentrations.

Part of the Culinary Arts program at Hinds Community College's Utica Campus includes proper knife work with common food items, such as potatoes. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

Part of the Culinary Arts program at Hinds Community College’s Utica Campus includes instruction on proper knife work with common food items, such as potatoes. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

“In the Culinary Arts program on the Utica Campus, students receive hands-on training by an experienced chef,” District Director of Enrollment Kathryn Cole said. “Skills are built from the ground up – from simple boiling techniques all the way to working with specialized equipment and ingredients.”

Chapman is keeping his career options open, but both are straight out of the kitchen.

“I have two paths right now. One of them leads to be a culinary specialist in the Navy, and another is finding an apprenticeship for a restaurant, catering or food safety. With that, I’d like to stay in Mississippi.”

17 December, 2015 News more
Clothing and Fashion program at Hinds CC Utica Campus trains for new careers
Posted by
17 December

Clothing and Fashion program at Hinds CC Utica Campus trains for new careers

Finding the latest fashions at the right price had to become a talent when Shricker Johnson’s children developed their own tastes in clothes.

“I have two daughters, and my youngest one is a diva with clothes and everything,” said the Crystal Springs native and first-year student in the Fashion Technology program at Hinds Community College’s Utica Campus.

Shricker Johnson aligns a piece of material on a sewing machine in the Fashion Technology program at Hinds Community College's Utica Campus. Johnson is a first-year student in the program. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

Shricker Johnson aligns a piece of material on a sewing machine in the Fashion Technology program at Hinds Community College’s Utica Campus. Johnson is a first-year student in the program. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

In the program, Johnson is blending her desire to continue her education with her creative eye in the hopes she can make a better living for her family.

“I was interested at first in cosmetology, then early childhood education,” she said. “Now, I want to do my own business, me and my girls.”

The Fashion program is one of 14 career-technical programs offered at the Utica Campus. With a one-year career certificate in hand upon completion of the program, students can take the skill to the workforce – fabric stores, alterations companies and manufacturing plants, to name a few.

“The program offers experienced faculty and small class sizes that prepare you for successful employment in clothing, textiles and fashion design fields,” said District Director of Enrollment Kathryn Cole. “This program includes instruction and training in construction, fabric design, pattern design, principles of construction, fitting and alterations, custom tailoring, home furnishings and textiles testing.”

Registration for spring 2016 at Hinds Community College is ongoing; classes begin on Jan. 11. For information about enrolling, go to the Hinds website at www.hindscc.edu. For information about the Fashion program, contact Dr. Curtis Gore, the program’s director on the Utica Campus, at 601.885.7116.

“The Hinds Utica Campus Career-Technical Division is proud of the growth we’ve seen in the past year,” said Kenisha Shelton, dean of career-tech programs at the Utica Campus. “Our instructors have been working extremely hard this past year to recruit and retain students and to obtain certification for themselves to stay relevant and connected with industry. The Career and Technical division at Hinds Community College – Utica Campus is definitely turning vision into reality.”

The expansive Fashion program prepares home tailors, crafters, novice sewers and every other kind of student in between with comprehensive coursework on the latest in sewing and embroidering technology. In short, it’s not your grandmother’s sewing machine anymore. Today’s machines are faster and more versatile, Gore said.

“Those machines are computerized, so they have different types of stitch settings,” said Gore, a 20-year clothing designer featured in more than 100 fashion shows in the South. “If you wanted to do some embroidering, say the cuff on your shirt, it has patterns ready once you log into the machine. You can also use a jump drive to download certain images and patterns you want to do.”

Dr. Curtis Gore, director of the Fashion Technology program at Hinds Community College's Utica Campus, points out the next step in making a dress for Shricker Johnson, a first-year student in the program. Johnson is making the dress for her daughter's prom. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

Dr. Curtis Gore, director of the Fashion Technology program at Hinds Community College’s Utica Campus, points out the next step in making a dress for Shricker Johnson, a first-year student in the program. Johnson is making the dress for her daughter’s prom. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

Students in the program begin with the basics and work up to mastering the modern-day machines used in large-scale manufacturing outfits.

“We start off with garment construction, where we help students use the equipment in the classroom, mainly the sewing machines,” Gore said. “In the tailoring class, students learn to tailor garments to the body, working with linings and things like that. Another is equipment usage, industrial and domestic, which is about how to safely use and maintain the latest sewing and embroidery machines, such as the ones made by Brother and Entrepreneur.

“We teach them to use industrial machines because they may end up having to use one, especially if they end up working in a factory,” Gore said.

For the entrepreneurs-in-waiting like Johnson, it’s a chance to show off some practicality. Her final exam in the class was a turquoise polyester show-stopper of a dress tailored for her older daughter’s senior prom.

“The class shows me how I could take it and transform a shirt I might see on sale somewhere for $40 or $50 into what I really want,” Johnson said. “You can get some fabric of your own and make a top-notch shirt – a shirt of your dreams that won’t look cheap and that nobody else has.”

17 December, 2015 News more
Founder’s legacy garners Humanities grant for Hinds CC Utica Campus
Posted by
17 December

Founder’s legacy garners Humanities grant for Hinds CC Utica Campus

Jean Greene, left, Dan Fuller

Jean Greene, left, Dan Fuller

Hinds Community College’s Utica Campus has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to highlight the work of the campus’ founder, William Holtzclaw, a pioneer in African American education.

Black Man’s Burden: William Holtzclaw and the Mississippi HBCU Connection will contribute to a growing body of research and interest in the “Little Tuskegees” as important forerunners of the Civil Rights Era in the Deep South.

William Holtzclaw is the founder of the Utica Normal and Industrial Institute, which later became Utica Junior College, and is now the Utica Campus of Hinds Community College. The campus still has its status as an HBCU (Historically Black College and University).

This two-year research program is designed to equip faculty and student-scholars to explore themes in Holtzclaw’s writing in humanities courses, combined with the development of a Summer Teachers’ Institute and teaching resource kit that will be used by other institutions to extend the work beyond the institution.

The work will be focused on the critical study of Holtzclaw’s 1915 autobiography as an important marker of African American education in the Deep South. One outcome of the project will be to publish a digitally typeset edition of Black Man’s Burden, with critical notes, to support student study both at the high school and college level through our summer teacher’s institute and humanities course.

The co-directors of the project are Jean Greene, head librarian and Holtzclaw Collection Archivist, and Dan Fuller, English instructor on the Utica Campus, who is also the 2015-2016 Mississippi Humanities Teacher Award recipient for Hinds.

“Students have struggled with the text of the book,” Greene said. “The timeline is not linear so students have difficulty keeping the process of the creation of the school in context.  An annotated version of this book will help students and faculty understand who Holtzclaw was and why his founding of this school is important in the Mississippi Black Experience.”

Fuller said he is eager to connect students with the work.

“I am thrilled that the NEH has recognized the importance of Dr. Holtzclaw’s legacy here in Mississippi. His story of perseverance in the face of adversity is one that deserves a wider audience. As an instructor, I’m excited about the opportunities to engage our students directly in this research.”

This project builds on the work the William H. Holtzclaw Library spearheaded with the Utica Institute Traveling Exhibit and the Utica Normal and Industrial Institute collection at the Mississippi Digital Library.

The project, like all NEH awards, has gone through four levels of review to reach the award stage.

Level 1: Knowledgeable persons independent of the agency read each application and advise the agency about its merits.

Level 2: NEH’s staff synthesizes the results of the outside review and prepares a slate of recommendations for the National Council on the Humanities.

Level 3: The National Council meets in Washington, DC, to advise the Endowment’s chairman on applications and matters of policy.

Level 4: The chairman considers the advice he or she has received and makes the final funding decisions. All levels of the review process prior to the chairman’s decision are advisory.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.

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

17 December, 2015 News more
‘Bring It’ reality show, to be taped at Hinds CC, features Hinds student choreography
Posted by
11 December

‘Bring It’ reality show, to be taped at Hinds CC, features Hinds student choreography

Javadric Kelly -20 Javadric Kelly -45

Fruits of the labor of Hinds Community College sophomore Javadric “Jay” Kelly could be showcased Dec. 19 as Lifetime’s “Bring It” reality show is set to tape at Hinds’ Utica Campus.

Kelly, 21, is a dance student on the Raymond Campus and manager for the Hi-Steppers dance team. He is one of the hip hop choreographers for Dianna Williams’ Dancing Dolls, the featured Jackson team that competes with other teams on the reality series entering its third season in January.

Kelly of Bolton and his buddy Timothy Jones have been dancing together 10 years. Jones had previously done some choreography for Williams, known as Miss Dianna on the show. When she called him to choreograph for the show, Jones stipulated that he and Kelly are a team.

“I teach hip hop to the girls and I help assist Miss Dianna. When she needs some new moves or new ideas, she calls me or my friend Tim,” Kelly said.

He has been dancing since he was 3 years old and is self-taught, but has learned technique in his Hinds classes taught by Tiffany Jefferson, director of Montage Theatre of Dance.

“I learned by watching Michael Jackson, James Brown, Chris Brown, Omari, everybody. I just started doing stuff they were doing,” he said. “But once I got to Hinds, Tiffany Jefferson taught me to get better technique – tap, jazz, ballet, modern, all those type dance genres.”

 

Jefferson said she first met Kelly when he was in the eighth grade through his work in a dance company.

“Anyone could tell then that he was destined to be a great performing artist. Javadric Kelly has boundless energy and talents. His charisma alone is so infectious, one can’t help but to fall for him,” she said. “Since he has been under our direction at Hinds, he has been very open-minded to learning any and everything about the art form of dance. He takes his craft very seriously even if he doesn’t take himself so seriously. He is very playful, but he is no nonsense about his dancing.”

“Bring It” will tapeSaturday, Dec. 19 at J.D. Boyd Gym at Hinds Community College’s Utica Campus. The doors open at noon with the show beginning at 2 p.m. Admission is $5 or $4 with a $1 discount by registering ahead of time at http://hub.hindscc.edu/bring-it-utica-campus .

“When ‘Bring It’ first came out, we were always behind the scenes with the girls but we never received any recognition for it. Season 2 is when they started adding us into the shows and letting us be a part of the episodes,” Kelly said. “Me and Tim had a whole episode to ourselves when we came in and taught the girls a hip hop routine. They won first place. Season 2 we danced in the season finale. She (Williams) utilized us as the secret weapons, and they won first place as well.”

Kelly said being involved with the production and teaching the Dancing Dolls is fun. “I love working with the Dancing Dolls,” he said. “We are in a roomful of young ladies who are very, very talented, diverse and versatile. It’s kind of fun dealing with all the personalities. They catch on real fast so that makes the job even easier and funner. They have these great, goofy, enormous personalities that I love, and they have enormous energy.”

Kelly and Jones aren’t paid for the work they do with “Bring It,” but it has led to some paid outside gigs, both performances and teaching.

It has also led to some recognition. When he and Jones were at Disney World, he heard passersby say, “‘Oh, my God, there go Tim and Jay.’ This is really real. They knew us, he said. “It opens plenty of doors for us.”

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.

 

11 December, 2015 News more
Utica instructor named Hinds CC Humanities Teacher of the Year
Posted by
20 October

Utica instructor named Hinds CC Humanities Teacher of the Year

web_Dan Fuller

Dan Fuller, English instructor and Uticanite yearbook adviser on the Utica Campus, is Hinds Community College’s 2015 Humanities Teacher Awardee for the Mississippi Humanities Council.

As the awardee, he will have a presentation, “From Gilgamesh to the Green Lantern – Uncovering an Ancient Near East Superhero in a Technology Infused World,” at 9 a.m. Oct. 21 in the Bobby G. Cooper Fine Arts Center Auditorium.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

20 October, 2015 News more
Hinds CC Utica student named to 2015 HBCU All-Stars
Posted by
02 October

Hinds CC Utica student named to 2015 HBCU All-Stars

Erica Harris was among 83 students from the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) named a top achiever by The White House.

Harris, a sophomore studying physical education, was named earlier this semester to the 2015 HBCU All-Stars by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Erica Harris

Erica Harris

As part of the honor, Harris participated in this year’s White House HBCU Conference Sept. 21-22 in Washington, D.C.

“It’s been a pleasure to be an All-Star and I had a wonderful time,” Harris said. “We met with Vice President Joe Biden, who spoke to us about how we all need to come together as a whole.”

Harris, of Edwards, said the spirit of teamwork on the Utica Campus is what she’ll take away from her Hinds experience, as she plans to attend Alcorn State University next year.

“It’s been wonderful,” Harris said. “I’m happy I picked Hinds to come to school. The people help out a lot.”

“Erica displays scholarship, service and leadership on and off campus,” said Dr. Mitchell Shears, academic dean for the Utica Campus. “We are proud that she was able to elevate to the top tier of the over 450 applications that were submitted.

Chances to share ideas with other scholars and professionals is a shared objective between initiative leaders and individual HBCUs.

“It’s opportunities like this that validates our mission,” said Dr. Debra Mays-Jackson, vice president for the Utica and Vicksburg Warren campuses. “It is great to be able to provide students with an opportunity to be exposed to once-in-a-lifetime events and programs.”

HBCU All-Stars serve as ambassadors of the White House initiative by providing outreach and communication with fellow students on the value of education and the initiative’s role as a networking resource. Through social media and their relationships with community based organizations, the All-Stars will share promising and proven practices that support opportunities for all young people to achieve their educational and career potential.

In addition to attending the conference, Harris and other All-Stars will take part in various national events and web chats with professionals from a range of disciplines.

02 October, 2015 News more
Hinds CC sets ‘Terrific Tuesday’ summer registration events
Posted by
04 May

Hinds CC sets ‘Terrific Tuesday’ summer registration events

Hinds Community College will have “Terrific Tuesday” special registration events all summer at the six locations to draw students to campus earlier rather than later to register for classes.

“We want to prepare new students for the first day of classes by making sure they have financial aid or payment plans in place, make sure they understand their bill, show students how to login into My.Hinds, show them where the bookstore on their campus is located, and more,” said Kathryn Cole, dean of Enrollment Services.

During Terrific Tuesdays, each campus will offer extended registration hours, popcorn, drinks and a free t-shirt to all who register for classes.

Terrific Tuesday will be held at the following times and locations:

  • June 2, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., Jackson Campus-Nursing/Allied Health Center
  • June 9, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., Vicksburg-Warren Campus
  • June 16 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Utica Campus
  • June 23, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., Rankin Campus
  • June 30, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., Raymond Campus
  • July 7, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center
  • July 21, 1.p.m. to 7 p.m., Raymond Campus
04 May, 2015 News more
Hinds CC Utica Campus Hosts Student Leadership Forum
Posted by
10 October

Hinds CC Utica Campus Hosts Student Leadership Forum

Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber addresses the audience of high school and college students.

Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber addresses the audience of high school and college students.

Students seated inside of the Bobby G. Cooper Fine Arts Center for the closing session

Students seated inside of the Bobby G. Cooper Fine Arts Center for the closing session

Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber signs autograph for ninth-grader Litako Towers of Wingfield High School.

Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber signs autograph for ninth-grader Litako Towers of Wingfield High School.

Utica Campus Vice President Dr. Debra Mays-Jackson and Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber

Utica Campus Vice President Dr. Debra Mays-Jackson and Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber

The Student Learning Assistant Program sponsored its 21st Annual Student Leadership Forum, Friday, Oct. 10 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hinds Community College’s Utica Campus.

The one-day leadership conference was geared toward high school and community college student leaders who are members of clubs and organizations on their campuses and in their communities. Breakout sessions included: building effective teams, career goals, civic engagement, leadership styles and other character building topics.

“Being a great leader takes hard work and dedication, but most of the necessary skills can be learned if you’re willing to put in the time and effort. If you want a seat at the big table or you have aspirations of greatness, then certain leadership skills are necessary to take you to the next level and that is what this conference is designed to do,” said Dr. Priscilla Robinson, director of student learning assistance program, who is in charge of the conference.

“We want all students who want to become better leaders to attend the conference,” she said. “We want to help students enhance their leadership skills.”

The keynote speaker was Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber. His message to the audience of more than 300 high school and college students was that leadership is selfless and when you lead, you lead not for yourself but for everyone else.

“Leadership is about more than you, it is about the people that may never meet you but may be impacted by what you do,” Yarber told the audience.

For more information about the Utica Campus, see the website at http://www.hindscc.edu/Map_Locations/ut/default.aspx

10 October, 2014 News more
Hinds CC Utica Campus music directors honored with building dedications
Posted by
30 September

Hinds CC Utica Campus music directors honored with building dedications

 

Family members of Louis Lee along with Hinds Community College Board of Trustees President Robert Pickett, far left, unveil the sign for the Louis Edward Leon Lee Classroom Building on the Utica Campus.

Family members of Louis Lee along with Hinds Community College Board of Trustees President Robert Pickett, far left, unveil the sign for the Louis Edward Leon Lee Classroom Building on the Utica Campus.

Dorothy Shannon Lee, widow of Louis Lee, cuts the ribbon for the new Louis Edward Leon Lee Classroom Building on the Utica Campus with the help of her daughter, Dr. Clara Lee.

Dorothy Shannon Lee, widow of Louis Lee, cuts the ribbon for the new Louis Edward Leon Lee Classroom Building on the Utica Campus with the help of her daughter, Dr. Clara Lee.

 

Dr. Clara Lee stands beside the plaque that will go in the building named for her father, Louis Edward Leon Lee, at Hinds Community College's Utica Campus.

Dr. Clara Lee stands beside the plaque that will go in the building named for her father, Louis Edward Leon Lee, at Hinds Community College’s Utica Campus.

 

Speakers at the Sept. 25 Hinds Community College Utica Campus ceremony to rename two buildings include, from left, Elder Kenneth M. Thrasher, Utica Campus alumnus; Beverly Trimble, coordinator of Workforce Investment Act; Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse, Utica and Vicksburg-Warren Campus Vice President Dr. Debra Mays-Jackson; Dr. Clara Lee, daughter of Louis Lee; Dr. Bobby Cooper, Jubilee Singers director and honoree; Bolton Mayor Lawrence Butler and Hinds Board of Trustees President Robert Pickett.

Speakers at the Sept. 25 Hinds Community College Utica Campus ceremony to rename two buildings include, from left, Elder Kenneth M. Thrasher, Utica Campus alumnus; Beverly Trimble, coordinator of Workforce Investment Act; Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse, Utica and Vicksburg-Warren Campus Vice President Dr. Debra Mays-Jackson; Dr. Clara Lee, daughter of Louis Lee; Dr. Bobby Cooper, Jubilee Singers director and honoree; Bolton Mayor Lawrence Butler and Hinds Board of Trustees President Robert Pickett.

 

Dr. Bobby G. Cooper, director of the Jubilee Singers at Hinds Community College's Utica Campus

Dr. Bobby G. Cooper, director of the Jubilee Singers at Hinds Community College’s Utica Campus

 

Current and former members of the Utica Campus Jubilee Singers gathered to honor Dr. Bobby Cooper during the Sept. 25 ceremony naming the building for Cooper. It's now the Bobby G. Cooper Fine Arts Center.

Current and former members of the Utica Campus Jubilee Singers gathered to honor Dr. Bobby Cooper during the Sept. 25 ceremony naming the building for Cooper. It’s now the Bobby G. Cooper Fine Arts Center.

 

Family members of Dr. Bobby Cooper gather for the ribbon-cutting for the building on the Utica Campus.

Family members of Dr. Bobby Cooper gather for the ribbon-cutting for the building on the Utica Campus.

Hinds Community College honored two distinguished Utica Campus employees and musicians by renaming buildings in their honor on Sept. 25.

The Fine Arts Building on the Utica Campus was renamed the Bobby G. Cooper Fine Arts Center, after the chairman of the Humanities Division and coordinator of music and art. He is best known as the director of the renowned Jubilee Singers, the historical African-American spiritual vocal group that traces its roots to the 1920s. As part of the ceremony, a number of former Jubilee Singers joined current members to perform on stage at the Cooper Center.

Cooper attended Tougaloo College, the University of Illinois and the University of Colorado, furthering his studies at Chicago Musical College.

“My love affair with this campus started in August 1972,” Cooper said. “Little did I know that that love affair would someday be turned into a building that would bear the name Bobby G. Cooper Fine Arts Center. What a thrill! I am indeed humbled by this honor.”

The building that housed the band for Hinds Agricultural High School on the Utica Campus is now the Louis Edward Leon Lee Classroom Building after the former music instructor and band director who retired in 1992 and died in 2007. Lee received a Bachelor of Science degree in music at the Jackson College for Negro Teachers (now Jackson State University). He was a member of the Jackson College band and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

Dr. Clara Lee, representing the Lee family, said the Utica Campus as well as the community was special to her father. “Louis Lee loved this campus. For 39 years he drove 70 miles (from Jackson) to come here to be with the students and be a part of the faculty,” she said. “It is such an amazing blessing to know that Louis Edward Leon Lee’s name will forever be a part of this campus. And it’s so special because I can certainly tell all of you that you will always certainly be a part of him.”

Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse knew both men.  Lee “was a great teacher, he was well liked and certainly deserving of his name being on the building, a building in which he taught for so many years,” he said.

Muse credited Cooper with resurrecting the Jubilee Singers, which had long time been identified with the campus.  “He is one of the best ambassadors this college has and we appreciate him,” Muse said.

Current Utica Campus Vice President Dr. Debra Mays-Jackson was a student of both men. Cooper convinced her to change her major from accounting to music. Lee was responsible for teaching her to play the saxophone.

“I am only one of countless students who have personal and precious stories we will cherish for a lifetime,” she said. “As with music, both Mr. Lee and Dr. Cooper have shown no boundaries, no biases, no prejudices. They have exposed and nurtured thousands of students.

 “Their humble spirits resonate from each conversation and performance. Their contributions have enhanced the music department and enriched the culture of the Utica Campus as a whole surpassing our surface knowledge of their work,” Mays-Jackson said.

Bolton Mayor Lawrence Butler was a driving force behind the naming of the Cooper Center.

“When I think of Dr. Cooper, I think of a man of faith and education, a man who has really committed himself to the Utica Campus of Hinds Community College,” he said. “From now on when we talk about Utica … this is what I’m going to say. ‘You go to Utica. Look to your left. It’s Dr. Cooper’s building.’ ”

Robert Pickett, president of the Hinds Board of Trustees, was a contemporary of Lee at a Brookhaven high school. “He mentored me; he taught me how to play,” Pickett said. “He was a good person. I don’t think he ever changed. He was a kind person, always liked to make jokes and converse with you.”

“When the college and the Board of Trustees make the decision to name a building in honor or memory of the individual, it is a decision made with deliberate thought,” Pickett said. “I think this event is significant because we’re honoring two people who have dedicated their entire lives at this institution.”

For more information about the Utica Campus, see http://www.hindscc.edu/Map_Locations/ut/default.aspx

 

 

30 September, 2014 News more