Foster care child-turned-NASA engineer to speak at JSU child welfare conference

Terry Morris

(JACKSON, Miss.) – NASA engineer and child advocate Terry Morris will be the opening speaker for Jackson State University’s 10th annual Mississippi Child Welfare Institute Conference Jan. 25-27 at the Jackson Marriott Hotel, 200 E. Amite St., in Jackson, Miss.

Sponsored by the JSU College of Public Service School of Social Work, the three-day conference will focus on “Building Bridges for a New Decade of Transformational Services with Children and Families.” The event will feature local and national experts who will provide the latest information on issues affecting vulnerable children and families.

Morris endured an abusive childhood before entering the foster care system as a youth. He later earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Mississippi State University and went on to earn a master’s in electrical engineering at Old Dominion University and a Ph.D. in systems engineering at the University of Virginia. He now works as the manager for integrated hazard analysis within the safety-critical avionics systems branch at NASA.

Juli Alvarado

The conference will begin with a youth empowerment session at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25. Morris will lead the opening plenary session at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 26.

Anton J. Gunn

Other speakers will include Juli Alvarado, president and owner of the personal and professional development firm Coaching for LIFE!; Anton J. Gunn, Region IV director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and Rowena Wilson, associate dean, professor and director of the Ph.D. program at  Norfolk State University’s School of Social Work.

Rowena Wilson

Social work students, educators, practitioners, human service workers and mental and health care professionals are invited to attend. Participants are eligible for up to 11 continuing education hours.

For more information, call 601-432-6816 or 601-979-1123.




Posted by Jean Gordon Cook


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