JSU’s female faculty work to understand gender bias in the academy

(JACKSON, Miss.) – Female faculty members from Jackson State University’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) disciplines gathered at the Mississippi e-Center @ JSU on Dec. 10 to offer insight into the perceptions and realities of gender bias toward single and married/partnered academic women in the STEM and SBS areas. Many of the partnered women were joined by their spouses/partners, who also participated in the workshop.

JSU President Carolyn W. Meyers (left) participated in the JSUAdvance workshop, "The Academic Woman: Balancing Responsibilities, Expectations and Biases." Also pictured are JSUAdvance principal investigator Loretta Moore (standing), psychology professor Debra Pate (next to Meyers), biology professor Jacqueline Stevens, Mississippi College law professor Angela Kupenda, psychology professor Kaye Sly and political science professor Lenice Davis.

“Two of the things we wanted to look at was the impact of marital status on advancement in the academy and the impact of a woman’s degree or the professoriate on her marital status,” said Loretta Moore, who is the interim associate dean of JSU’s College of Science, Engineering and Technology and principal investigator of the JSUAdvance program, which organized the workshop.

Funded by a $3.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation, JSUAdvance is a five-year project designed to advance the careers of STEM and SBS women faculty and transform the institutional climate of Jackson State University.

University of Alabama at Huntsville communication arts professor Eletra S. Gilcrist facilitated a session during the Dec. 10 JSUAdvance workshop. Gilcrist is the editor of "Experiences of Single African-American Women Professors: With this Ph.D., I Thee Wed."

Close to 40 people participated in the Dec. 10 seminar including JSU President Carolyn W. Meyers, the majority of JSU’s STEM and SBS female faculty members, most of their spouses/partners and national experts on issues that face women in the academy.

“It was great that Dr. Meyers came out and supported the event,” Moore said. “It means a lot to the women faculty who where there.”

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.

The JSUAdvance project is expected to add an understanding of the issues that impact women faculty in the STEM and SBS disciplines and promote strategies that JSU and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities can adopt. It is also expected to foster a culture that seeks the inclusion of faculty regardless of gender, race and other target characteristics.

Spouses and partners of JSU female faculty took part in a focus group to help understand the unique challenges facing academic women in the STEM and SBS disciplines, particularly women of color. Pictured are chemistry professor John Watts (left), Reginald Buckley, Mississippi e-Center @JSU executive director William McHenry and facilitator Anthony L. DePass, assistance vice president for research development at Long Island University.

“The majority of married female faculty in STEM and SBS at Jackson State have spouses who work outside of the university,” Moore said. “We had some great suggestions coming out of the event that will help support the women in their advancement. For example, the men at the workshop said they would like to continue to meet to build a community of spouses of STEM and SBS faculty.”

Posted by Jean Gordon Cook

Mississippi Manufacturers Association presents $60,000 to JSU for endowment fund

(From L to R) David Hoard, Vice President for Institutional Advancement; Evangeline Robinson, Director of Foundation Relations; Carolyn W. Meyers, President of JSU; and Jay C. Moon, CEO of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association

Jackson State University and the Mississippi Manufacturers Association (MMA) have partnered to form the Mississippi Manufacturers Association Endowed Scholarship Fund. The association presented a $60,000 check to the university Dec. 14 during a ceremony held on the JSU campus.

“This gift from the Mississippi Manufacturers Association is truly one that will keep on giving,” said JSU President Carolyn W. Meyers. “This organization clearly understands that an investment in education is an investment in the future of our state.”

The endowment fund will provide two $1,000 academic scholarships annually to declared Manufacturing and Design Technology majors at Jackson State. Additionally, the fund is eligible to be matched through a Title III Endowment.

“MMA believes in supporting the next generation of leaders,” said Jay C. Moon, president and CEO of MMA. “We anticipate this scholarship will provide an incentive for young people to pursue the education and training required to take advantage of the opportunities available in advanced manufacturing.”

Recipients will be full-time students who are Mississippi residents and classified as juniors with at least a 3.0. grade point average.

Spencer McClenty

JSU Unveils Branded JATRAN Buses

Jackson State University recently unveiled two new JSU-themed JATRAN buses. The buses, wrapped in JSU colors and images, were displayed on campus Monday, Dec. 12.

Dr. James Renick, senior advisor to the president (left) and Pamela Berry-Johnson, JSU marketing manager.


posted by Spencer McClenty

JSU earns 10-year reaffirmation of accreditation

ImageDecember 6, 2011

Posted by Jean Gordon Cook, 601-979-1571 (direct)                                                              

(JACKSON, Miss.) – Jackson State University faculty, staff and students celebrated the news Tuesday that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools reaffirmed JSU’s accreditation for 10 years. The association, which is known as SACS, is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. JSU’s reaffirmation followed a thorough evaluation of the university’s academic quality.

“Jackson State University has long established itself as an institution that prides itself in preparing its students for the careers that they want and that the world needs,” said JSU President Carolyn W. Meyers. “This reaffirmation acknowledges the hard work Jacksonians do every day to remain on the cutting edge and to push us into the future.”

Part of the reaffirmation process included an evaluation of JSU’s Quality Enhancement Plan, or QEP, which SACS requires of institutions so that they make continuous improvements to their educational programs. JSU’s QEP includes a university-wide curriculum-enhancement program that teaches analytical reasoning through exploration of world issues.

The SACS reaffirmation process required two years of preparation with input from the entire Jackson State community of administrators, faculty, staff, students and alumni.

“I especially extend a heartfelt thank you to the leaders of our SACS reaccreditation team Dr. Nicole Evans, the SACS director and associate vice president for institutional research and planning, and Dr. Robert Blaine, the QEP director and professor of music, for their hard work,” Meyers said. “I’ve again been made proud to be a Jacksonian.”


– 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.