Entergy Mississippi, Inc., presents $50,000 to support JSU School of Engineering

(left to right): Entergy Mississippi, Inc., senior specialty clerk Joyce Windmon, JSU Development Foundation, Inc., executive director Evangeline W. Robinson and Entergy Mississippi, Inc., manager of external affairs Liz Brister.


Entergy Mississippi, Inc., presented the Jackson State University Development Foundation, Inc., with a $50,000 check toward its $500,000 commitment to the College of Science, Engineering and Technology at Jackson State. The grant is part of the company’s support of JSU’s Entergy Power Systems Laboratory and scholarships for the university’s engineering students.  

 “Students are going to benefit in two ways,” said Mahmoud Manzoul, chair of Jackson State’s Department of Computer Engineering. “One way is in using top-of-the-line equipment and the other way is by getting scholarships.” 

In 2009, Entergy Mississippi, Inc., pledged $400,000 to Jackson State to establish the Entergy Power Systems Laboratory in the School of Engineering and an additional $100,000 for scholarships. The grant also helps fund the power systems track in Jackson State’s electrical engineering program, which launched this fall. 

Speaking at a press conference when the $500,000 award was announced. Entergy Mississippi, Inc., president and chief executive officer Haley Fisackerly  said, “The students who graduate from this program will be an incredible resource not only for Entergy, but for businesses and industry throughout Mississippi.” 

The Entergy Power Systems Laboratory at Jackson State is being equipped to enable students to conduct experiments in power simulation, power electronics, electrical machines and other subjects related to managing and modernizing the nation’s energy transmission systems. Students also will learn about electric grid infrastructure, energy conservation, renewable energy and large-scale smart grids. 

“We’re ready to offer courses in the approved track,” said Robert Whalin, associate dean of the School of Engineering at Jackson State.  

 The availability of engineering graduates is especially critical for the utility industry, where a large percentage of the work force is nearing retirement. To guarantee a steady supply of qualified replacements, Entergy has increased efforts to renew interest in engineering-related fields and work with schools to expand degree programs.

Jackson State chorale members sing at Kennedy Center, earn scholarships

Felix Hall and Briana Sheriff


Four Jackson State University students took part in the 105 Voices of History Choir performance on September 19 for a sold-out audience at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The choir is made up of students representing 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities from the United States and Virgin Islands. 

The four students, Felix Hall, Briana Sheriff, Michelle Woods and Tiffany Williams, are all members of the University Concert Chorale at Jackson State, which is conducted by W. Cortez Castilla. Hall, Sheriff and Williams are also members of the University Choir, conducted by Loretta Galbreath. 

Two of the students, Hall, a junior music education major, and Sheriff, a junior voice major, each received a $5,000 scholarship. Both students are studying in the vocal area of the music department.  

During the concert, the choir sang African-American spirituals, selections from Beethoven, Brahms and Verdi, jazz and gospel selections and classical pieces by African-American composers including Roland Carter, Undine Smith Moore and former JSU conductor Robert Morris. 

“All of them did an outstanding job,” Castilla said.

Memo from Interim President McLemore concerning JSU president search

September 13, 2010

Dear Jackson State University Family:

The formal process to name a new permanent President of Jackson State University has begun. Dr. Hank Bounds, IHL Commissioner of Higher Education, has indicated that a new president of the University will be named by the end of November. As the Interim President of Jackson State University, I look forward to working with the Presidential Search Committee and others to insure a seamless transition from my administration to the new administration. Please know that I am not a candidate for the permanent position. IHL Board policy does not permit an Interim President to apply for the permanent position.

We have many challenges and opportunities to address before a new person is named to the permanent post. I am looking forward to working with the Jackson State University Community as we raise our institution to new heights.


Leslie Burl McLemore, Ph.D
Interim President

Jackson State-Penn State collaboration awards scholarships to 16 future scientists at JSU

Pictured: (back row, left to right) Jarrett Claiborne of Lorman, Miss; Wade L. Jackson Jr. of Raymond, Miss.; John Moore III of Centreville, Miss.; Britton Mosley Jr. of State Line, Miss.; Alvin Presley of Jackson, Miss.; Brandon Norwood of Jackson, Miss.; (middle row, left to right) Dr. Quinton Williams, Breawna Kirkpatrick of Detroit, Mich.; Alexius Elam of Holly Springs, Miss.; Dereka Carroll of Dallas, Texas; Tamika Shannon of Jackson, Miss.; Joya Anthony of Belleville, Ill.; Dr. Wilbur Walters, (front row, left to right) Alyssa Louis of Greenville, Miss.; Sarah Brown of Jackson, Miss.; and Niquita Armfield of Chicago, Ill. Not pictured: Warith Abdullah of Jackson, Miss., and Carcia Carson of Terry, Miss.


Faculty from Jackson State University and Penn State University have selected 16 JSU students to receive a $5,500 award through the Future Geoscientists for a Sustainable Earth Environment (FGSEE) scholarship program.
Funding for the scholarships, which total $88,000, comes from the National Science Foundation’s Opportunities for Enhancing Diversity in the Geosciences program, which seeks to increase the number of African Americans and other minorities in geoscience careers. 

“Among the STEM areas, which include science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the geosciences have the lowest percentage of African Americans,” said JSU interim provost Dr. Quinton Williams. “We’re trying to increase the number of minorities in the geoscience fields.” 

Jackson State’s partnership with Penn State started in the fall of 2008, when JSU started offering a Bachelor of Science degree program in Earth system science. Jackson State is the only Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in the nation that offers this degree program. 

Jackson State was funded by the National Science Foundation because of the university’s academic quality and the fact that most African Americans with degrees in science earn them at an HBCU. Through JSU’s partnership with Penn State, graduates from Jackson State’s Earth system science program will be eligible to receive scholarships to continue their master’s and doctoral studies at Penn State. 

“These students are high-quality and have a serious worth ethic,” said Dr. Tanya Furman, a key collaborator who is a professor of geosciences and the assistant vice president and associate dean for undergraduate education at Penn State University. “For Penn State to be able to play a role in their education is a great opportunity.” 

The renewable scholarships are available to minority students who major in the geosciences or closely related areas of science, such as Earth system science, meteorology, physics, environmental science or chemistry. The selected scholars are expected to become graduates who have the potential to help sustain the Earth’s environment through research and service. 

“The students were all chosen on merit,” said Dr. Wilbur Walters, interim chair of JSU’s Department of Physics, Atmospheric Sciences and Geoscience. “Each one of them exudes not only an academic desire but also a desire to excel in their field.” 

Earth system science is an emerging field that integrates geology, atmospheric science, oceanography, physics and other disciplines to understand how land, air, water and space are interconnected. 

“The field is designed to generate a new type of scientist for the 21st century,” Williams said. “We have some serious environmental problems we need to tackle.”