Mississippi Gulf Coast/Delta Alliance for Economic Inclusion to host small business conference at Mississippi e-Center@JSU

Spencer McClenty

The Mississippi Gulf Coast/Delta Alliance for Economic Inclusion (AEI) will host its second statewide small business conference from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday, June 8, at the Mississippi e-Center@JSU, located at 1230 Raymond Road in Jackson. The AEI is a coalition of more than 60 financial institutions, small business resource groups, governmental agencies, and other community based organizations who work together to address key economic issues and other disaster recovery problems facing small businesses in Mississippi. The coalition also seeks to bring more of the unbanked and under-banked populations into the financial mainstream.

“This conference is yet another means by which Mississippi’s small, minority, women-owned and veteran-owned businesses may receive first-hand information from experts about how to start, enhance and grow their businesses,” said Janita R. Stewart, district director of the Mississippi District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

         The conference, themed “Accessing Opportunities for Growth,” will cover a variety of topics relevant to the start-up or expansion of small businesses. It also will offer information to banks and credit unions interested in increasingtheir small business portfolios and exploring strategies for greater market access and business opportunities for Mississippi’s small businesses.

     “There is a multitude of public and private sector organizations throughout our state that will take the time out to participate in this very important conference,” Stewart said. “We certainly hope that our small businesses will do the same.”

Topics and activities during the one-day workshop include:
• Marketing 101: Social Media Marketing and Technology for Your Small Business
• Tax Incentives/Professional Services for Your Small Business
• Creating and Maintaining Business Credit and Improving Your Credit Score
• Financing Your Small Business – Alternatives to Traditional Banks
• Traditional Banking Products and Services: What Are the Options? Where Do You Start?
• Strength in Diversity – Doing Business with the Corporate and Public Sector
• To Catch a Thief: Establishing Internal Controls to Eliminate Theft
• Small Business Resources Roundtable
• Small Business Expo and Exhibits
• Keynote Luncheon featuring William Cooley, Ph.D., CEO, Systems Consultants, Inc.

The event is sponsored in part by the Jackson State University Center for Business Development and Economic Research and Small Business Development Center, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Comptroller of the Currency, BankPlus, BancorpSouth, the Mississippi Development Authority, Regions Bank, Trustmark Bank, Whitney Bank, First Commercial Bank, Metropolitan Bank, MINCAP, Hope Credit Union, Entergy, and the City of Jackson.

Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. The cost to attend is $35, which includes continental breakfast, a luncheon and breaks. To view a full conference agenda, register online, or download a registration form, visit http://2011msaeismallbusinessconference.eventbrite.com/. For more information contact Patricia Chaffin at 601- 979-2029.

JSU to hold free money management workshops

(JACKSON, Miss.) – The Center for University-Based Development at Jackson State University will conduct a series of free workshops on budgeting, credit repair, payday lending, home ownership and investments beginning at noon, Tuesday, May 31. The public is invited, and lunch will be served.

The first workshop will focus on financial success. The presenter will be Amia D. Edwards, financial education specialist from CredAbility. The workshop will be held in the JSU Student Center, Ballroom A. The building is located on the east end of JSU’s campus on Dalton Street at the intersection of John R. Lynch Street.

To register, call 601-979-2255 by Thursday, May 27.

JSU biology grad selected for cancer training program at Harvard Medical School

Posted by Jean Gordon Cook

JSU 2011 graduate Dorothy Ndishabandi

Jackson State University spring 2011 biology graduate Dorothy Ndishabandi has been selected to participate in a summer program at the Harvard Medical School Comprehensive Cancer Center with more than 1,000 researchers across seven Harvard institutions. In this prestigious program, students will learn from experts who are devoted to preventing, treating and curing cancer.

Each year, a number of promising students are selected for this unique opportunity to expand and extend their interest in basic and clinical cancer training. The program runs from June 2 to August 24, 2011. A stipend is provided to each participant.

“I want to learn about cancer as much as possible,” said Ndishabandi, a magna cum laude graduate who plans to go to medical school.


Chinese exchange student wins gold medal at Mississippi fencing tournament

Spencer McClenty

Lei Wang

Jackson State University Chinese exchange student Lei Wang won a gold and silver medal in his United States Fencing Association Fencing Tournament debut, held April 30 in Oxford, Mississippi. He won the gold medal in the Men-Mixed foil event, and a silver medal in a Senior Men foil event.

Lei, a graduate exchange student from Shaanxi Normal University in Xi’an, China, is currently enrolled in the department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation in the College of Education and Human Development. He is a four-time National University Fencing Championship winner in  China and has been practicing fencing for seven years. Lei also had an opportunity to demonstrate his fencing skills at JSU’s 4th Annual Chinese New Year Celebration and Fundraiser in February 2011.

President Obama names JSU business professor ‘Champion of Change’ in business

Spencer McClenty

Slightly over a month after being named Mississippi’s Small Business Person of the Year, Jackson State University professor John. D. Calhoun has now been named by U.S. President Barack Obama as one of 18 national

John D. Calhoun, CEO of Integrated Management Services, LLC

Champions of Change in business. Calhoun, who was notified of the honor on May 12, is co-founder and CEO of Integrated Management Services (IMS), a 15-year-old full-service corporation that provides engineering, emergency management, technical, program management and operations services to its clients.

“It’s a great honor to be recognized for our entrepreneurial spirit,” said Calhoun, assistant professor of Entrepreneurship in the Department of Entrepreneurship in the JSU College of Business. “Small business is the engine that keeps this economy moving. We create more jobs and more people end up working for small companies than large corporations.”

The Champions of Change program is part of the president’s Winning the Future initiative. Each week, as part of this initiative, the Obama administration highlights a group of Americans, businesses or organizations who embody the presidents’ plan to “out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world”. The 18 people chosen as Champions of Change in business were selected from among the winners of each state’s 2011 Small Business Person of the Year award, of which Calhoun was the winner in the state of Mississippi.

“I think we were chosen to be Champions of Change because even in this tough economy, IMS has opened several new offices throughout the country and has hired new engineers, scientists and technical experts,” said Calhoun, who, along with his partner Rod L. Hill, founded IMS in 1996. “IMS continues to grow because the firm works very hard to bring global solutions to local problems.” 

            In 2008, for the fourth consecutive year, IMS ranked 30th on the Inner City 100 Award List for the fastest growing inner-city businesses in the United States. The firm, which currently employs 189 people in nine offices, is currently working on various public and private infrastructure projects in Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi, including a $90 million, 18-mile long Byram-Clinton Parkway corridor in Hinds County, Miss.

Calhoun and the other “champions” will be honored during an event at the White House on May 19.

JSU athletic programs to receive recognition award for APR

Tommiea King

 The Jackson State University women’s golf and tennis teams have received public recognition from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for being in the top 10 percent nationally in the respective sports in regards to Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores and achievement.

Each year the NCAA honors selected Division I sports teams by publicly

Eddie Payton, JSU Golf Coach

recognizing their latest multi-year NCAA Division I APR. This announcement is part of the overall Division I academic reform effort and is intended to highlight teams that demonstrate a commitment to academic progress and retention of student-athletes by achieving the top APRs within their respective sports. Specifically, these teams posted multi-year APRs in the top 10 percent of all squads in each sport.

Jackson State is the only Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) member to have more than one team to receive the award this year.

            The APR provides a real-time look at a team’s academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete on scholarship. The APR accounts for eligibility, retention and graduation and provides a measure of each team’s academic performance.

Those working with the golf and tennis teams say they strive to produce good student-athletes.

“Our group takes a lot of pride not only in their athletic achievement but academic achievement,” says Eddie Payton, JSU golf coach since 1986. “Our motto is that we recruit good students who happen to be good golfers.”

And good golfers they are. Through 2010, the team had won seven consecutive SWAC championships. In 2009, JSU honor graduate Shasta Averyhardt became the first African-American woman to qualify for the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour since 2001 and only the fourth in 60 years.

Adeniji Olagbegi, JSU Tennis Coach

Tennis coach Adeniji Olagbegi says the award means a lot.

            “It says a lot about what we have been doing for all these years,” said Olagbegi who has coached the team since 2005. “We’ve been trying to teach the students the importance of their education and not just sports.”

            To view the entire list of schools receiving this public recognition, click on the following link:  https://web1.ncaa.org/maps/lic8Le43aprRecognitionAwards.jsp.

Jackson State University receives presidential recognition for community service

Tommiea King


–    One of 11 institutions to be named as a finalist for the Presidential Award, 641 recognized overall

Jackson State University has been named to the 2010 President’s Higher

JSU President Carolyn W. Meyers

Education Community Service Honor Roll. The Presidential Award is the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement. Only 11 institutions of higher education in the country received this honor. Jackson State is the only Mississippi institution and the only Historically Black College or University named this year.

“It is wonderful to be recognized on a national level for our community service work,” said JSU President Carolyn Meyers. “But more importantly, the work is really making a positive impact on our students. I’m convinced that our students are truly appreciating what it means to give of themselves to help others.”

Since 2007, JSU has required students to complete 120 community service hours to fulfill graduation requirements. During the 2009-2010 academic year, 28 faculty members and 9,000 students from almost every academic discipline offered service-learning courses in collaboration with over 65 community partners. Together, the JSU volunteers contributed 143,612 community service hours. The marked growth in service-learning and community service also represents a comprehensive planning and assessment process that encourages students and staff to engage in community and public service. In January, the university also received the Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement classification.

Among JSU’s many community service programs is Kids Kollege. For 26 years, more than 38,000 families and their children have received educational services through the Kids Kollege after-school, weekend and summer programs. Also, the Mississippi Learning Institute, a research-based literacy partnership between JSU and Jackson Public Schools, helps to improve student reading and comprehension outcomes through enhancing literacy instruction. JSU’s Center for University-Based Development focuses on the redevelopment of a five-mile area around the campus. A living/learning urban studio, the center is an economic and human development initiative where students learn through partnerships and human development efforts involving staff, faculty fellow students, community residents, non-profit organizations, government agencies and businesses. Finally, the university’s Department of Technology helps dispose of computers and also trains students to refurbish computers, which are often returned to community organizations.

Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school’s commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships, and measurable community outcomes as a result of service.

The Corporation for National and Community Service oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.

The Corporation for National and Community Service, which has administered the Honor Roll since 2006, admitted a total of 641 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth. Of that total, 511 were named to the Honor Roll, 114 received the recognition of Honor Roll with distinction, 11 were identified as finalists, and six received the Presidential Award.


To view the complete list of recipients, visit www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll. To learn more about Jackson State University’s volunteer programs, call 601-979-1240.

JSU professor appointed to U.S. Department of Energy-Department of Agriculture advisory committee

By Jean Gordon Cook

Huey-Min Hwang

(JACKSON, Miss.) – Jackson State University biology professor and environmental science master’s program director Huey-Min Hwang has been appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Energy and the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to the U.S. Department of Energy-U.S Department of Agriculture Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee.

The committee is an independent body that provides input to agencies regarding the technical focus and direction of the Biomass Research and Development Initiative. The federal initiative funds feedstocks development; biofuels and biobased products development; and biofuels development analysis.

“Jackson State is very happy to have one of its own playing this significant role,” said JSU vice president for research and federal relations Felix Okojie, who nominated Hwang for the committee. “He’s going to make a meaningful contribution to the national discourse.”

Hwang has been affiliated with Jackson State since 1990. His research interests include aquatic microbial ecology, environmental toxicology, bioremediation, aquatic photochemistry, and photoinduced toxicity and degradation. He has authored or coauthored 90 publications in peer-reviewed journals or books and brought in more than $6.5 million in external funding. His recent and on-going research projects received support from the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.

“During his tenure at JSU, Dr. Hwang has become one of the most productive researchers and dedicated educators I have known,” said Mark Hardy, dean of JSU’s College of Science, Engineering and Technology. “The list of his professional accomplishments is long. However, his greatest achievement is elevating JSU’s role in renewable energy research from obscurity to a powerhouse in immobilized enzyme technique.”

Hwang also has offered extensive services to the local and a variety of professional communities. He served in the editorial board of journals such as Quintessence© and Chemosphere and also serves as an external reviewer for numerous journals. Since 2009, he has served as a member of the Mississippi Energy Policy Institute to provide recommendations to Gov. Haley Barbour regarding energy policy. In 2010, he joined Mississippi’s Nutrient Technical Advisory Group to help finalize the nutrient criteria for the water bodies in Mississippi.

In the past eight years, Hwang has been promoting ecological sustainability by lecturing on environmental remediation, renewable energy, and nanotoxicology in the International Symposia on Green Chemistry in China. In 2008, as the local organizer in Jackson, he joined the nationwide education effort initiated by Focus The Nation to hold a town hall meeting to highlight the urgency of action and the solutions to the global warming issue.

JSU student selected for Hydrogeophysics summer course at Penn State University

by Spencer McClenty

Stone Abdullah

Jackson State University student Stone Abdullah has been selected to participate in the Penn State Hydrogeophysics Field Experience at Penn State University. The program, which enrolls eight students, is a three-week summer course where students learn about hydrogeology and environmental geophysics through field work, data analysis, and numerical modeling.

“We’ll study the earth’s water system, which is vitally important to understanding the earth as a system, rather than the individual components that make up the system,” said Abdullah, a 24-year-old Earth Systems Sciences major.

The program began on May 16 and ends June 3. Students will conduct field work, build instrumentation, construct numerical models, and spend time in the classroom learning about hydrogeology and geophysics. 

“I want to learn as much as possible,” says Abdullah, who calls himself a ‘nature boy.’  “Maybe I’ll finally learn how to swim, but overall I want to learn the skills of fundamental field hydrology and apply those to my future research and ultimately my Ph.D from Penn State.” 

The class is designed for students interested in academic and professional careers, and will teach skills sought after by both future employers and graduate schools in the context of real-world problems. Lodging, meals, and travel are covered, and a stipend of $500 is provided to each participant.

JSU Bridge to the Doctorate students intern in India and Poland

Posted by Jean Gordon Cook

JSU interns working in India include Kyle Swanier (front row, left), Maria Dixon-Smith, Ravin Bryd, Jameka Grigsby, Turquoise Alexander (back row, left), Antrice Walker and Sakeli Hall. Interns Haleigh Eubanks and Antoneicka Harris are not featured in the picture.

On May 7, two groups of students from the Louis Stokes Mississippi Alliance for Minority Participation (LSMAMP) Bridge to the Doctorate program at the Jackson State University College of Science, Engineering and Technology traveled to India and Poland to start three-week summer internships conducting research in specialized areas of science and technology.

The group that went to India is comprised of nine graduate students from the JSU Biology Department. While in India, the students will conduct biotechnology-related research at the People Education Society of Institute of Technology (PESIT) in Bangalore. JSU vice president for research and federal relations Felix Okojie, LSMAMP director Abdul Mohamed and associate provost James Maddirala worked in collaboration with V. Krishna Murthy, professor and head of the department of biotechnology at PESIT and the Indian Institute of Technology, to secure the internship.

JSU interns in Poland include Marquita Watkins (front row, left), Marcy Pilate, Lionel Lovett (back row, left) and Takia Wheat.

The group that went to Poland is comprised of four graduate students who are interning at the Laboratory of Environmental Chemometrics at the University of Gdansk. The students will be performing research in specific areas of environmental science, under the guidance of Piotr Urbaszek, who is a former postdoctoral fellow of Jerzy Leszczynski at JSU.  The internship arrangement was made possible through an ongoing collaboration between Leszczynski and the JSU Chemistry department and Tomasz Puzyn from the University of Gdansk.   

All students travelling to India and Poland understand the importance of global education and the benefits of being global students. After returning from abroad, the students will head to either the Indiana University, the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences, Oakridge National Laboratory, EDRC or the University of California Santa Barbara for additional summer research internships.

The (LSMAMP) Bridge to the Doctorate program is a highly interactive and secure pathway for under-represented minority students to earn doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.  Funded through the National Science Foundation, the program includes student stipends, funding for the first two years of graduate school at JSU, and then a bridge to doctoral programs such as Albany Medical College, Carnegie Mellon University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Howard University, Princeton University, the University of Mississippi Medical Center and Vanderbilt University, just to name a few. Students also receive mentoring, academic enrichment, research experiences, opportunity to travel abroad to conferences and access to top scientists and engineers.

For more information about the LSMAMP Bridge to the Doctorate program at Jackson State University, contact Martha Tchounwou, director of student services at the JSU College of Science, Engineering and Technology, at 601-979-1604 or martha.n.tchounwou@jsums.edu.