Federal judge, JSU alum Carlton Reeves to offer commencement address to JSU grads

Posted by Jean Gordon Cook

Judge Carlton Reeves

(JACKSON, Miss.) – U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves believes that he has learned a few lessons since he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1986 from Jackson State University. Reeves, who was nominated to the federal bench in 2010 by President Barack Obama, plans to share those lessons with some 375 graduates during the university’s summer commencement at 9 a.m. Saturday, August 6, at the Lee E. Williams Athletics and Assembly Center on the university’s main campus.

“I remember all of us packing up our stuff knowing our last day as students would be that day of graduation, and we would move on to the next chapter of our lives,” Reeves said. “I knew I was going to law school and had aspirations of being where I am now.”

A magna cum laude graduate of Jackson State with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Reeves earned his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1989. Upon his graduation, he clerked for Justice Reuben Anderson of the Mississippi Supreme Court. He practiced with the Phelps Dunbar law firm before serving in the U. S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of Mississippi as assistant U.S. attorney and chief of the Civil Division.

Reeves also served on the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Chiefs Working Group and was awarded a Certificate of Commendation by the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Immediately prior to his appointment to the federal bench, Reeves was engaged in the private practice of law with Pigott Reeves Johnson, P.A., a law firm he founded in 2001, where the focus of his practice was state and federal litigation. He also served as a special master with the Hinds County Chancery Court.

Reeves is a former president of the Magnolia Bar Association and Magnolia Bar Foundation. He has also served as commissioner of the Mississippi Board of Bar Commissioners.

The Jackson State summer 2011 graduating class includes Brandon K. Dumas, 26, who will become the youngest student to graduate from Jackson State’s Executive Ph.D. Program.

“I’ve been served extremely well by the program,” said Dumas, who works as the deputy chief of staff to the office of the president of Southern University system. “The administration and faculty members demonstrate the commitment to excellence and the nurturing component that is unique to Historically Black Colleges and Universities.”

A Baton Rouge native, Dumas holds a bachelor’s degree from Southern University and an M.B.A. from Salem University in Salem, W.Va. His ultimate goal is to lead an HBCU as president.

“I’m just thankful to Jackson State for the opportunity,” he said. “I plan to make the university proud.”


Jackson State University names provost

Jean Gordon Cook

Dr. Mark G. Hardy (right) pictured with U.S. Representative Bennie Thompson during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the JSU School of Engineering in 2010.

(JACKSON, Miss.) – After a nationwide search, Jackson State University appointed JSU College of Science, Engineering and Technology dean Mark G. Hardy as its new provost and vice president of academic affairs.

“Dr. Hardy is a forward-thinking administrator and an accomplished researcher,” said JSU President Carolyn W. Meyers. “His successful leadership as an academic administrator, along with his dedication to this university, makes him the best person to lead our academic enterprise.”

Now in his 24th year at Jackson State, Hardy, 54, has served as chairperson of the biology department, interim associate vice president of academic affairs, and associate dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology. As dean, Hardy oversaw the college’s academic programs that serve 1,800 undergraduate and graduate students.

“I am extremely proud and excited about the opportunity to help lead Jackson State to the next level of excellence,” Hardy said. “As a Jackson State graduate, I’m especially honored to serve my alma mater in this new capacity.”

Hardy earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in mycology, both at Jackson State, in 1980 and 1982 respectively. He earned a doctorate in phycology from the University of Alabama in 1986 and later did postdoctoral work in plant and soil science at Alabama A&M University.


 – JSU –

Jackson State University: Challenging Minds, Changing Lives

One University Place taking shape

Cassandra Mickens

The Penguin is back.

The fabled restaurant and hangout for past Jackson State University students and faculty will return to campus in September on the ground floor of One University Place, said owner and operator John Hardy.

Hardy, general manager of the University Club in downtown Jackson for the past 36 years,

One University Place

retired from that post last week to resurrect The Penguin and its beloved hot dog special.

“It’s two hot dogs piled with cole slaw, french fries and slathered with a spicy barbecue sauce from a special recipe that no one’s been able to replicate. It’s so different, yet so good,” Hardy said.

Hardy has purchased the recipe from the original owner’s family – a guarantee from the new owner that the special will mirror the original.

“I’ve had people question whether this will be an authentic hot dog special. It will be,” he said.

The Penguin will be open for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. The space seats about 70 people.

The 22,000-square-foot ground-floor retail space at One University Place, a mixed use development that includes apartments, is 75 percent leased less than a year after opening following construction delays, said Kimberly Hilliard, director of Jackson State’s Center for University-Based Development.

Other tenants include optometrist Tonyatta Hairston, who will open a second Jackson location for EnVision Eye Care in September. Hairston already has two practices in Magee and Belhaven.

Hairston said growth in downtown and West Jackson, and her love of Jackson State, factored into her decision to locate there.

“I drove my parents by the office the other night, and Jackson State is downtown Jackson now. It’s almost like it’s one in the same,” she said.

“This is a great opportunity to not only serve the students, but also the community at large.”

Another tenant, Gallery 1 at One University Place, will open in mid-August, said gallery director Kimberly Jaccobs. The Jackson State-owned gallery will display work from the university’s permanent collection, as well as work from local and national artists, Jacobs said.

Hilliard said two additional retail leases are pending.

For Hardy, The Penguin’s return complements the resurgence of West Jackson, an area he says more entrepreneurs should consider.

“I’m tired of people saying nothing can flourish in this area,” Hardy said. “There are 9,000 students across the street and 1,500 staff members. If I can’t make this work, I should fold up my tent and go home.”

Report shows JSU leader in educating African-American teachers and scientists

Anthony Dean

(JACKSON, Miss.) – Jackson State University has been ranked the No. 2 school in the country when it comes to educating African-American teachers. The ranking is consistent with the university’s ongoing standing, where it has been either No. 1 or No. 2 since 2005.

The annual ranking was published in Diverse Issues in Higher Education’s article, “Top 100 Undergraduate Degree Producers.” The report also ranked Jackson State high in two important science fields. Among all schools in the nation educating African-American students, Jackson State ranked No. 3 in both physical sciences and multi/interdisciplinary studies. When considering all disciplines combined, Jackson State held its 2010 ranking of No. 7.

The magazine also cites the strength of JSU’s master’s and doctoral degree programs in the article “Top 100 Graduate Degree Producers.”

Jackson State’s physical sciences master’s programs rank No. 2. Its rehabilitation and therapeutic professions rank No. 5. Also noted are the university’s communication disorders sciences and services, English language and literature, and social sciences programs, which each ranked No. 7. Biological and biomedical sciences earned a No. 9 ranking.

JSU’s doctoral programs ranked No. 6 overall for African Americans. More specifically, physical sciences ranked No. 4; psychology No. 5; business, management, marketing, and related support services No. 7 and education No. 7.

In its annual rankings, Diverse compares institutions of higher learning in various disciplines based on an assessment of 2009-10 academic year reports submitted to the

U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

“Jackson State has a long and proud history of educating African Americans,” said JSU Spokesman Anthony Dean. “As we work even harder in the years to come, we look forward to seeing even higher rankings.”

For more information on Diverse Issues and Higher Education rankings, visit the following links: http://diverseeducation.com/top100/BachelorsDegreeProducers2011.php and http://diverseeducation.com/top100/GraduateDegreeProducers2011.php.


About Jackson State University: Bridge to a Brighter Tomorrow

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 Blue Bengal Athletic Association donates $25,000 to university

Wesley Peterson

BBAA donates $25,000 to JSU

The Jackson State University Blue Bengal Athletic Association (BBAA) presented a $25,000 check to the university during its annual Awards Fellowship Ceremony, held Sunday afternoon at the JSU Sports Hall of Fame located in the Lee E. Williams Athletics and Assembly Center on the JSU campus.

JSU president Carolyn Meyers, interim director of athletics Robert Walker and associate athletic director Adrianne Swinney accepted the gift on behalf of the university.

Swinney was the guest speaker of the event. She encouraged all JSU alumni, fans and supporters to celebrate and preserve Jackson State’s rich athletic legacy.

“We must celebrate the great history of JSU’s athletic programs,” said Swinney. “We have one of the richest histories in the country and we will celebrate our greatness. We must work in a spirit of excellence. Our current situation will not get us down, it will get us going.”

She also stated that Jackson State will not shy away from greatness and will emerge as a powerhouse, not only in the SWAC, but also on a regional and national level.

Rev. Bobby Sutton, president of the BBAA, feels that the organization plays an important role for JSU.

“We got organized and formed this organization because we wanted to do our part to help the student-athletes,” said Sutton. “We feel that we can get out in the different communities and get support for the athletics department, as well as getting Jacksonians and non-JSU grads involved with JSU athletics.”

The BBAA will also sponsor the SWAC Kick-Off Party (Saturday, Aug. 27 @ VFW Post 9832, 8:00 pm – until, admission is $5) and the Blue and White Party Train to the Southern Heritage Football Classic (Saturday, Sept. 10, JSU vs. Tenn. St. Football Game, Memphis, TN, call Germon Sports @ 832-286-4222).

The BBAA is a non-profit organization existing to enhance, enrich and insure the continuous growth of Jackson State University athletic programs, both men’s and women’s in accordance and compliance with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) regulations. The BBAA operates solely on revenues generated through membership subscriptions and fund-raising activities. All contributions to the BBAA are tax deductible.

For more information about the BBAA call 601-979-0686.

JSU student to present research at international symposium in Vancouver

Spencer McClenty


Robert Hutchins

Jackson State University industrial technology student Robert Hutchins will present his research at the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) July 24-29 in Vancouver, Canada. Hutchins’ work focuses on the potential harm that can be caused if the ozone layer is depleted by air toxins and pollutants.

“It would be devastating,” said Hutchins, a 32-year-old from Jackson. “Lots of people would get sick. There would be droughts and global warming. It would affect everything. We’re trying to come up with unconventional ways to stop that.”

Hutchins’ research is titled “Some Studies in Regional Environmental Air Quality Modeling, Climate Change and Related Health Effects.” The internationally renowned Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society is one of the world’s largest professional societies. It works to advance science and technology in geoscience, remote sensing and related fields. Nearly 3,000 scientists, engineering researchers and other professionals attend its annual symposium.

“This conference is a great opportunity to show our work to the outside world,” said John Colonias, chair of the JSU Department of Industrial Technology.  “It’s great that Jackson State has been recognized by the worldwide community as a leading institution of world-class education and research.”

Hutchins’ mentor, Francis Tuluri, associate professor in the Department of Technology, will accompany him to the symposium. Tuluri’s research work covers multiple disciplines such as computer simulations and environmental modeling, robotics and nanotechnology. He has over twenty publications in peer reviewed national and international journals and has presented his work in reputed national and international symposia.

– JSU –

Computer Science scholarship opportunity for incoming freshmen and transfer students

Posted by Jean Gordon Cook

The Jackson State University Computer Science Department is offering a scholarship opportunity to help highly qualified, economically disadvantaged, freshmen and transfer students complete JSU’s Computer Science Bachelor of Science degree program.

Called SPICES (Students Promoting Interest in Computing Supported by Educational Scholarships), the program offers up to four years of support for freshmen and two years of support for transfer students. The maximum award amount is $10,000 per academic year.

The program provides SPICES scholars with faculty-to-scholar and peer-to-peer mentoring, research and internship opportunities and communication and leadership opportunities.

SPICES is funded by the National Science Foundation Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) project.

The application deadline is August 11, 2011.

For eligibility and application guidelines, visit: http://www.jsums.edu/announcements/7.22.11Science.pdf