http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=PT+Sans Hinds CC names Most Beautiful in annual Beauty Revue

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Hinds CC names Most Beautiful in annual Beauty Revue
Posted by
01 December

Hinds CC names Most Beautiful in annual Beauty Revue

Courtney Helom of Jackson was named Most Beautiful in the 2014 Eagle Beauty Revue pageant held Nov. 20 at Hinds Community College’s Cain Cochran Hall on the Raymond Campus.

Helom, 19, is a biology major on the Raymond Campus. Twenty-one women participated in the Eagle Beauty Revue, which is sponsored by The Eagle yearbook on the Raymond Campus.

The other top contestants, named as “Beauties”, were Courtney Walker of Crystal Springs; Taylor Jackson of Clinton; Shelby Simmons of Waynesboro; and Meagan Barnhart of Florence.

From left, Courtney Walker of Crystal Springs; Taylor Jackson of Clinton; Courtney Helom of Jackson, Most Beautiful; Shelby Simmons of Waynesboro; and Meagan Barnhart of Florence.

From left, Courtney Walker of Crystal Springs; Taylor Jackson of Clinton; Courtney Helom of Jackson, Most Beautiful; Shelby Simmons of Waynesboro; and Meagan Barnhart of Florence.

0 3702 01 December, 2014 News more
Hinds CC honors Neilsen, Alumni Service Award winner
Posted by
22 October

Hinds CC honors Neilsen, Alumni Service Award winner

RayNeilsen_portrait_JPatterson

 

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.”

0 2417 22 October, 2014 News more
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.

0 1948 16 October, 2014 News more
Posted by on 10 January

Hinds CC students compete for title of Miss Hinds

From left to right, competing for Miss Hinds 2014 at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, are students Moriah Boone of Pearl, Rankin Campus; Anna Taggart of Raymond, Raymond Campus; Jade Dalton of Flora, Raymond Campus; Jessica Rinehart of Utica, Raymond Campus; Kaylee Scroggins of Brandon, Raymond Campus; Tiaunna Smith of Jackson, Raymond Campus; and Porsha Gatson of Vicksburg, Raymond Campus.

From back. left to right, are Moriah Boone of Pearl; Jade Dalton of Flora; and Kaylee Scroggins of Brandon. From front, left, are Anna Taggart of Raymond; Jessica Rinehart of Utica; Tiaunna Smith of Jackson; and Porsha Gatson of Raymond. 

Seven Hinds Community College students will compete for the title of Miss Hinds Community College 2014 at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16 at Hogg Auditorium in Cain-Cochran Hall.

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

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

The contestants are Moriah Boone of Pearl, Rankin Campus; Anna Taggart of Raymond, Raymond Campus; Jade Dalton of Flora, Raymond Campus; Jessica Rinehart of Utica, Raymond Campus; Kaylee Scroggins of Brandon, Raymond Campus; Tiaunna Smith of Jackson, Raymond Campus; Porsha Gatson of Vicksburg, Raymond Campus.

 

0 3255 10 January, 2014 News more