Jackson State University outranks Yale, Princeton in national study

Tommiea King

August 30, 2011

(JACKSON, Miss.) — In its newly released study, Washington Monthly magazine ranked Jackson State University one of the top 10 institutions of higher learning across the country in terms of social mobility, research and service ratings. Coming in at No. 9 among 258 institutions, Jackson State outranked Princeton (No. 31), Yale (No. 39), the Georgia Institute of Technology (No. 54) and Howard (No. 73) universities. Jackson State is the only Historically Black College or University to break into Washington Monthly’s top 10.

“We’ve made very persistent efforts in recent years to better serve our students – especially those who don’t have the means for college tuition – and to train them for careers in research and community service,” said Mark G. Hardy, JSU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “This ranking reminds us that we are on the right track.”

This year’s ranking is up significantly from last year, when JSU appeared No. 45 on the list.

The research rating measures the rate at which students go on to receive Ph.D.s., the number of doctoral degrees awarded by the university and the amount of federal research dollars garnered. Last year Jackson State raised over $57 million research dollars.

The service rating also is a reflection of the number of students serving in U.S. Army and Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps programs, the percentage of alumni in the Peace Corps, the percentage of students receiving Pell grants and the percentage of federal work-study grant money spent on community service projects.

To view the entire report, visit Washington Monthly online: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/college_guide/rankings_2011/national_university_rank.php

Artist to sign JSU football poster, to donate proceeds to scholarship fund

By Jean Gordon Cook

"The Claw of the Tiger" by artist Willie F. Hobbs

(JACKSON, Miss.) – Professional sports and humanitarian artist Willie F. Hobbs of Pittsburgh will sign prints of his “The Claw of the Tiger” posters commemorating 100 years of Jackson State football from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2, outside of the Jackson State University Book Store.

The posters cost $10. A portion of the proceeds will go to the “Humphrey Hero Book Fund” established by Jacqueline Humphrey, executive director of administrative services for JSU’s Office of Academic Affairs. Humphrey and Hobbs are both natives of Winona, Miss. The book fund is intended for JSU students who need help paying for books. For information about applying for the scholarship, visit: www.humanartamerica.com.

"Coach W.C. Gorden" by Willie F. Hobbs

Hobbs will also appear with Coach W.C. Gorden at the Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, to sign and sell “The Claw of the Tiger” posters and 250 limited edition posters Hobbs created of JSU’s winningest coach. Gorden will sign copies of the poster featuring him. The cost for both posters is $50.

Hobbs founded the organization, Humanitarian Artists of America, to raise money for charities and nonprofit groups through the sale and auction of original art and prints. His posters have raised funds for groups including the Flight 93 National Memorial Campaign, the Afro-American Music Institute of Pittsburgh, the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association, Meals on Wheels, and for people affected by Hurricane Katrina. The Pennsylvania State Senate has honored Hobbs for his work.

JSU sponsors Washington Addition Family Fun Day

 (JACKSON, Miss.) – The Washington Addition Prenatal & Early Childhood Education Project will celebrate families during a Family Fun Day to be held from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, at T. B. Ellis Gym. The facility is located on JSU’s campus at the corner of Walter Payton Drive and Dalton Street.

Area families can enjoy storytelling, magic tricks, creative dance, arts and crafts, games, music and giveaways while also taking advantage of free educational and fitness activities.

The event is sponsored by the Jackson State University Human Capital Development Division and the Robert Hearn Support Foundation.

For more information, call 601-979-0663.

– JSU –

About Jackson State University: Challenging Minds, Changing Lives 

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.

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JSU professor authors book on childhood creativity

Spencer McClenty

Jackson State University education professor Nanolla Yazdani recently

published the book, Promoting Creativity in Childhood: A practical guide for counselors, educators and parents.

“This book explains the dynamics of human development in respect to creativity and giftedness from cognitive, physical, and personality domains,” said Yazdani, assistant professor in the College of Education and Human Development.

Designed specifically as a textbook for undergraduate courses in gifted education, early childhood education, counseling, and developmental psychology, the book offers a broad overview of foundational principles and practical approaches for developing the creative potential of children at school and home.

Yazdani holds a Ph.D. in educational psychology from Mississippi State University.

The 182-page book was published by AuthorHouse Publishing Company in May 2011. It is available at Amazon.com and other retailers.

JSU new Athletics Director featured in Diverse magazine

Chipping Away at the Glass Ceiling in Athletic Administration
by Pearl Stewart , August 23, 2011

When Dr. Vivian Fuller testified in 1992 at a congressional subcommittee

Vivian Fuller

hearing on gender inequities in intercollegiate athletics, she specifically addressed the lack of women in athletic administration.

“Women should not be limited to traditional positions in such as assistant or associate director of athletics. … In particular, when director of athletics positions become vacant, institutions should consider hiring a woman for the job,” she said in her prepared statement.

Fuller’s words have proved prophetic. At the time, she was in one of those “traditional” roles as associate director of Intercollegiate Athletics at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. But she went on to crack glass ceilings at several schools. She was athletics director at Maryland-Eastern Shore, Tennessee State and Northeastern Illinois universities.

Last month came another Fuller first: The 56-year-old daughter of a North Carolina sharecropper became the first woman athletics director at Jackson State University in Mississippi. Earlier this year, another gender barrier was broken when Dr. Carolyn Meyers became the institution’s first female president……………….. Read more here

Miss JSU, SGA president featured on JPS website

JPS Alums Elected as JSU Ambassadors  
August 19, 2011

Jackson Public Schools Alums Mea E. Ashley and Matthew S. Thompson have been elected to top student government offices at Jackson State University. Ashley is the 2011-2012 Miss Jackson State University and

Mea Ashley, 2011-2012 Miss JSU

Thompson is President of the Student Government Association.

Ashley is a 2008 graduate of Murrah High School and was a dance emphasis student at Power Academic and Performing Arts Complex. She is a senior at JSU majoring in Mass Communications with a concentration in Multimedia Journalism. Before capturing the crown, Ashley was a Prancing J-Sette from 2008-2011. Ashley is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, and Sigma Alpha Pi Leadership and Success Society. At Murrah, Ashley was selected as Homecoming Queen and was a Top Ten Scholar.

Matthew Thompson, 2011-2012 SGA President

Thompson graduated from Callaway High School in 2008. He is a JSU senior majoring in Accounting and Finance. In previous years, Thompson has served on SGA as a Justice, Business Manager, and as Mr. Freshman. He was a freshman residential assistant and is an active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated. Thompson was also active in student government and community service as a student at Callaway.

Jackson State seeks applicants for college-prep program

Posted by Jean Gordon Cook

(JACKSON, Miss.) – The Jackson State University Department of Mathematics is seeking applications from students in grades 7 through 10 for a two-year college preparation program focused on technology for the workforce in the 21st century. The year-round program, called “I-C-STEM in my future,” is funded by the National Science Foundation. It includes Saturday sessions during the school year and a residential summer camp.

The program aims to increase student knowledge of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers, provide training and certification opportunities in information technology and acquaint parents with STEM careers.

Tuition, room, board, meals, books and supplies will be provided. Prospective students must be enrolled in a school in Jackson or within a 70-mile radius. Applications must be postmarked by Sept. 6. Interviews will be scheduled Sept. 8-14. To apply, download an application from: http://www.jsums.edu/icstem. For questions, contact your school counselor or Edna Holbrook in JSU’s Department of Mathematics at 601-979-5993 or edna.l.holbrook@jsums.edu.

Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State awarded prestigious grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services

Tommiea King

(JACKSON, Miss.) – Thanks to a grant from the federal Institute of

Robert Luckett, Ph.D, director of the Margaret Walker Alexander Center

Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University will put in place a feasibility study for a state-of-the-art research complex dedicated to the African-American experience.

The grant will not only determine the expected size, cost, and design of this new venue, but will enable the staff of the Margaret Walker Center and its partners at Jackson State, including students from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and the Department of Art, to engage leaders at museums and archives across the nation in discussions about best practices.

“This IMLS grant is the first step in a process that will protect all archival collections at JSU and will enable the Margaret Walker Center to solidify its future, especially as we implement a strategic plan taking us to Margaret Walker’s centennial year in 2015,” said Robert Luckett, center director. “We are extremely excited.”

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.

“This year’s funding will help African-American museums train staff, improve business practices and increase the use of technology to preserve and share African-American history and culture,” said IMLS director Susan Hildreth. “These organizations, their exhibits, programs and collections, and the people who lead them are truly inspiring. We are proud to support them.”

Museum grants for African-American history and culture are intended to enhance institutional capacity and sustainability through professional training, technical assistance, internships, outside expertise, and other tools.

For more information, visit http://www.imls.gov or http://www.jsums.edu/margaretwalker. You can also contact the Margaret Walker Center at mwa@jsums.edu or 601-979-2055.

JSU professor publishes book examining urban planning in Brazilian city

Posted by Jean Gordon Cook

Evandro C. Santos

(JACKSON, Miss.) – Jackson State University urban and regional planning professor Evandro C. Santos has recently published the book, Curitiba, Brazil, Pioneering in Developing Bus Rapid Transit and Urban Planning Solutions (LAP Lambert Academic Publishing, 2011).

“The book is a good lesson from a city that has developed itself from continuously applying urban planning tools, master plans, and transit instead of automobiles,” said Santos, who holds a Ph.D. in transportation engineering from the University of São Paulo, Brazil. “It is also a great lesson in terms of balancing resources, protecting the environment and developing the bus as a metropolitan public transit solution.”

Santos started researching the book in 2006 during his post-doctoral studies at the University of California at Berkeley. According the book review at amazon.com, Curitiba has become a global model for urban development, environmental preservation and transit. Santos’ book contrasts Curitiba’s design as a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) with Brasilia’s design as a Design Oriented to Traffic (DOT).

The book is available for purchase through amazon.com at: http://www.amazon.com/CURITIBA-BRAZIL/dp/3844332995.

JSU grad earns Ph.D. from Princeton, to lecture at JSU Aug. 26

Posted by Jean Gordon Cook

JSU grad Angela Fortner McKoy earned a Ph.D. from Princeton University this summer.

(JACKSON, Miss.) –  Jackson State University alum Angela Fortner McKoy, who earned her Ph.D. from Princeton University this summer, will return to campus Friday, Aug. 26, to deliver lectures in the chemistry department and the Louis Stokes Mississippi Alliance for Minority Participation Bridge to the Doctorate Program.

McKoy graduated Summa Cum Laude from JSU in 2005 with a chemistry degree and a minor in piano performance. She went on to earn a master’s degree at JSU as a Bridge to the Doctorate fellow before heading to Princeton to work on her doctorate in chemistry.

Through the Bridge to the Doctorate Program at JSU, students receive funding for graduate studies along with mentoring, academic enrichment, research experiences, exposure to conferences and access to top scientists and engineers. The program also helps students secure funding for their chosen doctoral programs.

The newly minted Ph.D. credits Jackson State’s strong research component, its focus on mentoring and the university’s family environment for instilling in her the confidence and dedication to succeed at Princeton.

“The education I received at JSU is as good as any institution in the U.S.A.,” McKoy said.

While in the JSU chemistry department, McKoy worked with professor Paresh Ray in the area of nanotechnology and published three papers that made international news in England and the United States.

“Angela was a student who always desired more from her classes, which made her stand out among her peers and achieve what she has achieved so far,” said JSU chemistry department chair Hongtao Yu. “She also expected more from her professors.”

McKoy’s public lecture will be held at 3 p.m. Aug. 26 in room 209 of the J.A. Peoples building.

For more information, call Martha Tchounwou, director of student support services, JSU College of Science, Engineering and Technology, at 601-979-1604.