JSU staff member wins Fulbright Scholarship to international seminar in India

The United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) has confirmed the selection of Jackson State University assistant dean of the Division of International Studies Patricia Jernigan to participate in the Fulbright Nehru International Education Administrators Seminar in India from March 19, 2011, to April 3, 2011. The program includes major expense paid visits to Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai.

Jernigan, one of 15 participants chosen throughout the country, will have an opportunity to visit institutions and learn about policies that play a key role in the planning and administration of higher education in India. 

“We also want to broaden our ties in India,” said Jernigan, who received the same award in 2002 for a trip to Germany. “I’m hoping to get some additional Memorandum of Understandings with universities there so that we can invite more students to come and study at JSU.”

The seminar is designed to provide first-hand knowledge of the higher education sector in India to U.S. higher education administrators and enable them to make better informed decisions about potential academic and institutional collaborations in India.

The seminar also will explore key issues of expansion, access and excellence that inform the debates on higher education reforms in India today.  The trip itinerary includes visits to several different kinds of education institutions, such as central universities, affiliated colleges and non-governmental organizations, as well as meetings and interactions with higher education administrators, teachers, students and policy planners.

Jackson State student awarded Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

Jackson State senior Chemistry major, Antoinette Liles has been awarded a $2,500 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study in Costa Rica. Liles, one of 2,900 applicants for the scholarship, was one of 850 national recipients.

“I’m very excited,” said Liles, who admitted that she “did a happy dance” when she learned of her award.  “I’m excited to study dance, Spanish, cooking and culture while in Costa Rica.”

The Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship Program was established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000. This scholarship provides awards for U.S. undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to participate in study abroad programs worldwide.

 Five Jackson State students have received the Gilman Scholarship over the last five years.

“I am so proud of Ms. Liles,” said Yolanda Davis, study abroad coordinator in the JSU Division of International Studies.  “I know she will have fun and learn a lot while in Costa Rica.”

Liles, an aspiring dentist from Saginaw, Mich., will depart for Costa Rica on Jan. 22 and will return on April 23. The Summer/Fall application deadline for the Gilman scholarship will be March 1.  Any interested students should contact Yolanda Davis at 601-979-1609.

ESPN.com article: Jackson State offers Therriault an oasis

By Pat Forde

“I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.”

— Martin Luther King Jr., Aug. 28, 1963

 JACKSON, Miss. — Scenes from an oasis:

A fence separated the old black woman from the football field, but it didn’t stop her. She wanted to meet the young white quarterback. She asked the coach to bring him over. If you don’t have a place to go for Thanksgiving, the old woman told the quarterback through the fence, we will feed you.

In the stands in Memphis, Tenn., weeks earlier, a black stranger struck up a conversation with the white quarterback’s father. He was easy to pick out, after all, a pale face in a section full of dark faces. By the end of the game, the quarterback’s father had been invited to stay at the stranger’s house for the next home game.

Everyone wanted to reach out to the white quarterback. He had come hundreds of miles from his native Michigan to this strange place — to Jackson State University, a historically black college — because he had nowhere else to go, with a past he was trying to escape. He didn’t know what to expect. He sure didn’t expect all this. All the support and attention and generosity directed his way was startling.

Just a few months before, no college wanted anything to do with him. Now, this novelty act of a quarterback was suddenly a minor celebrity.

In a state that was crippled by racial intolerance, the Jackson State fans didn’t care that he was different from them. They didn’t care about the trouble in his past and the chilling word that was attached to him. Or maybe it was because of the differences, and because of the trouble, that they reached out.

Maybe this was the latter stages of a dream come to fruition.

The guy was intensely drunk, with a blood-alcohol content that later would be measured at .27 — more than three times the legal limit to drive a car. He swung first. He hit Casey Therriault in the face.

The reaction was immediate, ………………. Read the rest of this article here.

JSU to receive $3.5 million to increase opportunities for female faculty

Jackson State University will receive $3.5 million over the next five years from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to help transform the work climate for women faculty in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and the Social and Behavioral Science (SBS) disciplines.

The award will fund a five-year cooperative agreement called JSUAdvance, which aims to advance the careers of tenured and tenure-track STEM and SBS faculty through mentoring, professional development and institutional change.


“Students need to be exposed to a variety of people,” said Loretta Moore, who is the project’s principal investigator and chair of Jackson State’s Department of Computer Science. “The value of diversity helps to better prepare students.”

Although women faculty serve in leadership positions at JSU and other universities, those in the STEM and SBS disciplines are notably less visible in administration levels.

Jackson State University is the only Historically Black College or University (HBCU) to ever receive a full award from the National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE Institutional Transformation program, and is one of seven schools this year to receive the NSF funding. Other awardees include the University of Maryland, Lehigh University, the University of Maine, Syracuse University, West Virginia University and Texas A&M University. Like Jackson State, the other awardees are challenged to increase the participation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers.

“Jackson State submitted a highly competitive proposal,” said Kelly Mack, program director for the National Science Foundation ADVANCE program. “NSF was particularly struck by the level of commitment from senior administration and by the university president.”

Over the next five years, the project at JSU will include such activities as university-wide surveys to measure attitudes about gender, seminars to examine women’s barriers to promotion and international travel opportunities, leadership training and summer writing programs for female faculty. The project also will look at university policies that affect the promotion of women faculty. The project is expected to add an understanding of the issues that impact women faculty in the STEM and SBS disciplines and promote strategies that can be adopted by other HBCUs. It is also expected to foster a culture that seeks the inclusion of faculty regardless of gender, race and other target characteristics.

“At the end of the five years, we really should see a different institution that is more supportive and a better environment for equal opportunity,” Moore said.

For more information, contact Loretta Moore at loretta.a.moore@jsums.edu or 601-979-2105.

Photo of Loretta Moore, principal investigator and chair of the Jackson State University Department of Computer Science: