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

JSU researchers inducted into National Academy of Inventors

By Jean Gordon Cook

(from left) JSU College of Science, Engineering and Technology associate dean Paul B. Tchounwou and dean Mark G. Hardy join inventors Paresh Ray, John E. Piletz, JSU president Carolyn W. Meyers, inventors Ming-Ju Huang and Kenneth S. Lee and JSU vice president for research and federal relations Felix Okojie at the July 21 induction ceremony of the National Academy of Inventors.

(JACKSON, Miss.) – Five Jackson State University researchers were recognized as pioneers in their fields July 21 during an induction ceremony into the National Academy of Inventors.

 The inductees include biology professors Ernest B. Izevbigie and Hari Parshad Cohly and chemistry professors Paresh Ray, Ming-Ju Huang and Kenneth S. Lee.  Also inducted was former JSU biology professor John E. Piletz, who worked with Huang and Lee on the patent they received.

JSU President Carolyn W. Meyers opened the ceremony by thanking the researchers for their commitment to science and to the university.

“Thank you for putting Jackson State on the map of innovation,” Meyers said. “Because of you, the university’s image soars even higher.”

Earlier this year, Jackson State became a charter member of the National Academy of Inventors, which was founded at the University of South Florida to recognize inventors who have a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The JSU researchers are the first inventors at Jackson State to be inducted into the academy.

Ernest B. Izevbigie

Izevbigie has earned two patents, including one for a formula he created from a Nigerian herbal shrub called Veronica amygdalina, or bitter leaf. Izevbigie’s research led to the formation of the JSU-initiated company EdoBotanics, which sells dietary supplements to boost the immune system and help with the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. The government of Nigeria recently gave the company its approval to manufacture and sell the dietary capsules in the country.

Ming-Ju Huang, John E. Piletz and Kenneth S. Lee

Working with Piletz, Huang and Lee earned a patent for an invention that provides for methods and compounds for treating brain trauma and for designing and identifying inhibitors of agmatine in the brain. Lee also serves on the editorial board of the National Academy of Inventors international journal, Technology and Innovation-Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors.

Cohly earned two provisional patents, one for an oxygen displacement technology to remove rust from iron tools and structures, and one for clean green fuel technology.

Paresh Ray

Ray earned a provisional patent for his work using a laser system and popcorn-shaped gold nanoparticles to detect and kill cancer cells. His work is moving forward through partnerships with Penn State University and Harvard Medical School to conduct animal models.

“We’re looking forward to more patents with this,” Ray said. “This is a completely new technology.”

JSU vice president for research and federal relations Felix Okojie said the university is accelerating its efforts to encourage innovation among faculty, staff and students.

“We want to make sure the intellectual property of our researchers is used for the good of society,” he said.

Jackson State University names new athletics director

Jean Gordon Cook

Dr. Vivian L. Fuller

Jackson State University has named a seasoned athletics director and college administrator as its new athletics director.

Vivian L. Fuller, 56, will take the helm of Jackson State’s athletics program later this summer, just in time for the start of JSU’s celebration of 100 years of football.

“I’m excited to be a Tiger,” Fuller said. “Jackson State has such a long and proud tradition; I look forward to honoring that tradition and helping our student athletes be the best they can be.”


JSU President Carolyn Meyers announced Fuller’s appointment on July 20 before a large crowd of JSU fans inside the Lee E. Williams Athletics and Assembly Center’s Sports Hall of Fame.

“Vivian Fuller’s leadership skills, along with her experience as an athlete, academician, and director of athletics at three institutions, make her the best choice for Jackson State University at this time.” Meyers said. “I’m very confident that she will be able to lead our athletics programs to prominence, ensuring that JSU student-athletes succeed on the field or court as well as in the classroom.”


AUDIO: WJSU 88.5FM sports team discuss Vivian Fuller ]

Fuller comes to Jackson State University from Sojourner-Douglass College, where she serves as dean of the college’s Cambridge, Maryland campus. Before joining Sojourner-Douglass in 2003, Fuller spent more than a decade directing the athletics programs at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Tennessee State University and Northeastern Illinois University.

When named AD at Tennessee State in 1997, Fuller became the first African-American woman to lead a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Athletics program with a football team. That team finished its first season under her leadership with a 9-3 record and won the Ohio Valley Conference championship.

Jackson’s State’s new AD is a nationally known expert on academic support programs for student-athletes, academic advising, women in sports and management and gender equity. She has testified before the U.S. Senate in congressional hearings on gender equity and minority participation in sports and has been involved in numerous NCAA committees including the Management Council, the Peer Review Committee, the Initial Eligibility Standards Committee, the Gender Equity Task Force and the National Youth Sports Program (NYSP), for which she served as chairperson.

Fuller began her career in higher education at Bennett College in 1978 as the director of intramurals and instructor of physical education. From 1984-87 she served as assistant director for advisement programs for student-athletes at North Carolina A&T, earning a promotion to assistant director of athletics. In 1987, she became associate director of intercollegiate athletics at Indiana University in Pennsylvania, where she was responsible for internal operations of the program and developing the academic component for student-athletes.

Fuller earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education from Fayetteville State University in 1977, a Master’s of Education from the University of Idaho in 1978, and a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Iowa State University in 1985.

 For more photos, click the following link: http://jsutigers.cstv.com/view.gal?id=97221.

– JSU –


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 http://www.jsums.edu.

Founder of JSU Taekwondo Karate Club honored for 40 years at helm

The Clarion-Ledger


Lindsey Horton couldn’t fight back the tears this weekend as he was honored for 40 years as chief instructor of Jackson State University’s Taekwondo Karate Club. Students from as far as Bermuda returned to Jackson to celebrate the man who

Lindsey Horton has been chief instructor at the Jackson State University TaeKwonDo Karate Club for 40 years. / Special to The Clarion-Ledger

taught them the rules of martial arts and life. Several thousand students have joined the karate club since its founding in 1971.

“This program has the opportunity to reach a lot of young people,” Horton, 59, said. “I use taekwondo to get their attention because you have to get their attention before you teach them anything.”

Horton, an eighth-degree black belt and deputy chief of the Jackson Police Department, was introduced to taekwondo at an early age. His brother was a military man stationed in Korea.

“He would come back and talk to us about his experience,” Horton said. “The word alone amazed me – taekwondo.”

Horton took lessons at the YMCA throughout middle school and high school before enrolling at Jackson State. A snare drummer in the Sonic Boom Marching Band and a first-degree black belt, an 18-year-old Horton incorporated taekwondo into his personal workouts and caught the attention of his fellow bandmates.

“They observed me working out and approached me,” Horton said. “One workout led to many workouts, and at that time everyone wanted to be Bruce Lee, myself included.”

Horton soon got the green light from university officials to start the club, which was only open to students and faculty at the time. The club is now open to all ages 5 and up. Former students reflected on how Horton has shaped their lives. Robert Cook, who founded the spinoff Metro Karate Club in 1978, said Horton holds a special place in his life for several roles including as an instructor and law enforcement colleague.

“I have never been disappointed in any of those capacities,” said Cook, deputy director of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks.

Recalling the first day he met Horton in 1974 at JSU, Cook said he saw “this guy who wasn’t big in stature doing some amazing things.”

Many said Horton was the father they never had, the man who taught them the true meaning of respect, discipline and integrity. This past Father’s Day, he received 67 text messages, more than 40 cards and countless phone calls.

“I’ve been truly blessed, perhaps more than I deserve,” said Horton, who has received recognition from state, local and county officials.

Cook said Horton has made a significant difference in so many lives not just for teaching how to kick and punch “but for the life skills he teaches, by living by example.”

He’s taught that “your word is your bond, that your character is what you do when no one is watching,” Cook said.