JSU’s Washington Addition Early Childhood Education Project gets a Target grant

WashingtonAdditionProject(JACKSON, Miss.) – Target recently presented a $2,000 check to the Washington Addition Early Childhood Education Project (WAPECEP) for its Raising Readers Book Club.

The six-week initiative will promote literacy to parents and their children through interesting stories about history and culture. Once a week, community leaders will read the stories to participating children, and through those stories, encourage positive character traits, said Thomas Williams, WAPECEP project coordinator.

The Washington Addition Early Childhood Education Project is funded by the Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation and provides a comprehensive approach to early intervention for children and families. It involves a multi-disciplinary approach to address the various domains of human development.

– JSU –

About Jackson State University: Challenging Minds, Changing Lives

Jackson State University, founded in 1877, is a historically black, high research activity university located in Jackson, the capital city of the state of Mississippi. Jackson State’s nurturing academic environment challenges individuals to change lives through teaching, research and service. Officially designated as Mississippi’s Urban University, Jackson State continues to enhance the state, nation and world through comprehensive economic development, health-care, technological and educational initiatives. The only public university in the Jackson metropolitan area, Jackson State is located near downtown, with three satellite campuses throughout the city. For more information, visit www.jsums.edu.

JSU names Taylor director of bands

Dowell Taylor

Dowell Taylor

Jackson State University has named Dowell Taylor it new director of bands. Taylor, a 1976 alumnus and former member of the Sonic Boom of the South marching band, has served as interim band director since April. The Jackson native holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in music education from Jackson State and studied wind conducting at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music.

Taylor is familiar with the role. As JSU’s director of bands from 1984 to 1992, he led the Sonic Boom to nationally televised performances at Motown’s 30th Anniversary Celebration and the NBA All-Star Basketball game.

Taylor said he is excited about his future with Jackson State’s bands.

“I have a unique opportunity to continue to develop a group of instrumentalists into a fine marching machine,” said Taylor.

Dr. Okojie named to National Academy of Inventors Board of Directors

Dr. Felix Okojie

Dr. Felix Okojie

(JACKSON, Miss.) – Jackson State University Vice President for Research and Federal Relations Dr. Felix Okojie has been named to the Board of Directors of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

Jackson State University is a charter member institution of the NAI, which was founded at the University of South Florida to recognize inventors who have a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Five JSU researchers were among the first inventors to be inducted into the academy. The academy works to enhance the visibility of university technology and academic innovation, mentors innovative students, and translates the inventions of its members to benefit society.

Okojie joined Jackson State University nearly 20 years ago. In his current capacity, he has helped bring in more than $700 million to the university. He holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Auchi Polytechnic, a master of public health from Jackson State University and a doctorate in education from Atlanta University.

JSU contracts compliance specialist received third consecutive SMA award

HillKamesha Hill, contracts compliance specialist in the Jackson State University Office of Contractual Services, recently received a third consecutive Strategic Marketing Affiliates (SMA) Top Artwork Reviewer award. SMA is a collegiate licensing company that partners with Jackson State to generate revenue from the licensing of the university’s logo, image and brand.

Last year, JSU generated about $67,000 through the program.
Hill, who has held her position for seven years, said the award was special because it “shows that I take my job seriously”.

On average, Jackson State has about 112 licensed vendors who regularly submit artwork for approval to adorn various products ranging from t-shirts and caps to socks and area rugs.

“Our vendors submit their designs to SMA and once the company reviews it, they submit it to me for final approval,” she said.

The average turnaround time for vendors to get approval through the program is 125 hours. Hill’s average is three hours.

“I’ve reviewed more than 662 pieces of artwork this year,” said Hill, who’s peers only review (on average) 221 pieces of artwork per year. “It’s important for me to do a good job because I am an alum of Jackson State, I love Jackson State and JSU doesn’t make money if I don’t approve the artwork quickly. So when I approve it, the merchandise is able to get out to the market to be sold.”

For more information on the JSU licensing program, visit smaworks.com.

_______________________________

Spencer McClenty
601-979-1457

JSU awarded $900K NCAA grant

(JACKSON, Miss.) –The NCAA has awarded Jackson State University $900,000 to help enhance the academic outcomes of JSU student-athletes. The funds, which will be dispersed over three years, are part of the NCAA’s Limited-Resource Institutions Grant Program Pilot.

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“Jackson State University is thrilled to be selected by the NCAA for this innovative program,” said JSU President Carolyn W. Meyers. “We are committed to ensuring that our student-athletes are just as successful in the classroom as they are in their athletic competitions. This grant will help us build upon the great progress we’ve been making in ensuring academic excellence for all students.”

The NCAA grant will fund JSU’s “930 Initiative,” which aims to build a sustainable program that will improve Academic Progress Rate (APR) outcomes for student-athletes.

“Academic success is everyone’s business,” said Dr. Vivian L. Fuller, JSU’s Director of Athletics. “Jackson State University is committed to building champions for generations to come.”

In recent years, Jackson State has been working to steadily improve Academic Progress Rates, Graduation Success Rates, Federal Graduation Rates, team and division grade point averages and credit hours earned for the student-athletes participating in JSU’s 18 athletic programs. Those efforts have yielded great results, including increased APR scores for the six teams whose single-year APR scores had fallen below 930.

The NCAA-funded pilot program at Jackson State will enhance academic support programs for student-athletes and build upon the system of accountability. Expected outcomes of the “930 Initiative” are increased grade point averages for student-athletes, improved team APR eligibility and retention scores and zero teams falling into the penalty structure.

“As the academic expectations for Division I student-athletes continue to increase, the NCAA is proud to offer assistance to those institutions that have demonstrated need and a plan for using these funds to contribute to student-athlete success,” said NCAA Executive Vice President Dr. Bernard Franklin. “We hope these institutions will serve as a model for other schools as they seek to meet the new APR benchmarks. This pilot program is evidence of the NCAA’s commitment to the achievement of our member institutions and the student-athletes on their campuses.”

– JSU –

About Jackson State University: Challenging Minds, Changing Lives

Jackson State University, founded in 1877, is a historically black, high research activity university located in Jackson, the capital city of Mississippi. Jackson State’s nurturing academic environment challenges individuals to change lives through teaching, research and service. Officially designated as Mississippi’s Urban University, Jackson State continues to enhance the state, nation and world through comprehensive economic development, health-care, technological and educational initiatives. The only public university in the Jackson metropolitan area, Jackson State is located near downtown, with three satellite campuses throughout the city. For more information, visit www.jsums.edu or call 601-979-2121.

69-year-old mother of 11 earns JSU degree

Ethel T. Williams Singleton

Fall 2012 graduate Ethel Williams Singleton poses for photo with Jackson State University President Carolyn W. Meyers, Ph.D.

At 69, Ethel T. Williams Singleton has fulfilled her long-term goal of earning a college degree.

“I got married and had children, so I couldn’t go to college,” said the mother of 11, including four sets of twins.

Singleton, is one of close to 550 graduates who participated in Jackson State University’s fall 2012 commencement on Dec. 8.

Along with raising her own children – who all hold bachelor’s or associate’s degrees – the Raymond, Miss., resident worked for years with children at the Mississippi Department of Human Services’ Oakley Detention Center.

In the late 1980s, Singleton decided to go to college, and earned an associate’s degree in criminal justice in 1991 from Hinds Community College. After retiring in 2004, she thought about getting a bachelor’s degree, and returned to the classroom in 2010 at Jackson State University.

DSC_7592Despite the age difference, Singleton said she felt comfortable with her fellow students. She especially loved listening to and participating in classroom conversations.

“Some of my classmates were younger than I was, but they treated me just like I was one of them,” she said. “They didn’t treat me like I was old or anything like that. It just felt good.”

During commencement, Singleton marched along with her classmates to receive her college degree.

“I am very proud of myself,” said the grandmother of more than 30. “I can tell my grandchildren, ‘Keep going until you reach your goals.’ If their grandmother can do it, they can do it.”

Singleton is not rushing back into the world of work with her degree in hand.

“I just wanted my degree,” she said. “It’s a milestone that I had always wanted to accomplish.”

Join actress Vanessa Bell Calloway at scholarship reception – Dec. 8

 

DSC_7877To help raise funds for Jackson State University students who have aged out of foster care, the Friends of Jackson State will present the Vanessa Bell Calloway Fund Reception from 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Penguin Restaurant, 1100 John R. Lynch St. in Jackson. The suggested donation is $100. For more information, call 601-979-2281.

Jhamasa Noel Lewis-Adams

Jhamasa Noel Lewis-Adams

Actress Vanessa Bell Calloway will host the event with her goddaughter, Jhamasa Noel Lewis-Adams, who will graduate from JSU on Dec. 8. Lewis-Adams attended JSU as an emancipated foster youth.

Along with Calloway and Lewis-Adams, featured performers include:

Saxophonist Henry Clay, an 18-year-old who aged out foster care, got his GED and plans to attend JSU in the spring

Saxophonist Henry Clay, 18, who aged out foster care, got his GED and plans to attend JSU in the spring

Singer Kimberly Morgan, who in 2007 was crowned Miss Mississippi

Singer Kimberly Morgan, who in 2007 was crowned Miss Mississippi

Former American Idol finalist and Miss Atlanta Melanie Sanders

Former American Idol finalist and Miss Atlanta Melanie Sanders

Singer Sonja Stamps

Singer Sonja Stamps

The R&B group Compozitionz

The R&B group Compozitionz

Ecko Records recording artist Rick Lawson, who in 1994 won Most Outstanding New Artist of the Year at the Jackson Music Awards

Ecko Records recording artist Rick Lawson, who in 1994 won Most Outstanding New Artist of the Year at the Jackson Music Awards

Mississippi Learning Institute receives Entergy grant

Louis Wright of Entergy (left) presents a check to Mississippi Learning Institute executive director Dr. Nikisha Ware.

Louis Wright of Entergy (left) presents a check to Mississippi Learning Institute executive director Dr. Nikisha Ware.

Louis Wright, customer service manager with Entergy, recently presented a $3,200 check to Mississippi Learning Institute executive director Dr. Nikisha Ware.

The grant will help support MLI’s Parents as First Teachers Program, which is primarily funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Housed at Jackson State University, MLI is the state’s only nationally recognized public school-university partnership. The partners are JSU, Jackson Public Schools, the Mississippi Department of Education, the Barksdale Reading Institute and America Reads Mississippi-AmeriCorps Program.

MLI creates innovative teaching methods and programs that give underserved, socio-economically disadvantaged students a solid background in reading and literacy that guarantee proficiencies in math and science in order to succeed in today’s technology-driven global society.

The institute’s professional development hub provides specialized training for JSU College of Education and Human Development students, parents, administrators and community individuals who are passionate about teaching and helping economically disadvantaged children succeed.

Since its creation in 2001, MLI has demonstrated impressive results in improving the performance of public school children from underserved populations on standardized tests.

JSU professors co-author energy book

energybook(JACKSON, Miss.) – Jackson State University professors Dr. Anjaneyulu Yerramilli and Dr. Francis Tuluri recently published the book, Energy Resources Utilization and Technologies (2012, BS Publications).

The book, which is intended for university students with various backgrounds, provides a broad introduction to energy in all of its aspects, issues and potential solutions. The text explains the fundamentals of current energy resources and energy solutions including fossil fuel, solar, biomass, wind, ocean, geothermal, hydrogen and nuclear as well as nanotechnology concepts to generate clean energy.

Dr. Anjaneyulu Yerramilli

Dr. Anjaneyulu Yerramilli

Yerramilli is a visiting professor of chemistry/environment with more than 35 years of research and teaching experience in environmental/energy technologies. He has published more than 100 research papers in peer-reviewed journals and presented at various international conferences. He has authored a number of books on environmental impact assessment methodologies.

Dr. Francis Tuluri

Dr. Francis Tuluri

Tuluri has served as associate professor in the Department of Technology at Jackson State since 2001 and holds a Ph.D. in physics. Prior to his service in the United States, Tuluri served for more than two decades in India as a faculty member at an engineering college. He has published more than 40 research papers in peer-reviewed journals and holds certifications from NOAA and the EPA in computer modeling simulations.

Dr. Felix Okojie, Vice President of Research and Federal Relations at JSU, wrote the book’s foreword.