VOTE for JSU in the Home Depot Retool Your School Program

Please go and vote for Jackson State University to win up to $50,000 from the Home Depot Retool Your School Program.

This year, Home Depot has expanded the program. They are introducing a new $25,000 Campus Pride Grant for the school that shows the most initiative in promoting their proposals and garnering votes. They are also providing an additional $10,000 Tier II Grant. In all, they’ve increased the total grant funds available to $185,000.

Last year, they awarded grants totaling $150,000 to HBCUs. A $50,000 Tier I Grant went to Bethune-Cookman University to help upgrade their Student Center with wheelchair ramps and barrier-free automatic access doors in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Ten additional schools received $10,000 each for a variety of projects, from landscaping to lighting to irrigation.

JSU Ph.D. student chairs new historic preservation foundation

Calling Panther Heritage Foundation board members Jim Shannon, attorney (left); Perry Hood, vice chair; Daphine Foster, chair; Renee Marable, board member; James Mitchell, treasurer; and Bonnie Jackson, secretary.

Jackson State University Urban and Regional Planning Ph.D. student Daphine Foster has become chair of the new organization, Calling Panther Heritage Foundation, which was founded to preserve and promote the history and culture of Copiah County, Miss.

The mission of the foundation is to preserve the county’s historic sites and buildings, promote its culture and heritage through tourism and community development and educate the community on the value of history and heritage. Foster is one of six board members involved with this venture.

The new organization was featured in the Feb. 15, 2012, edition of the Copiah County Courier.

For more information, visit

Posted by Jean Gordon Cook

JSU honors Mississippi’s African-American lawmakers

(JACKSON, Miss.) – In recognition of Black History Month, the Jackson State University College of Liberal Arts departments of History/Philosophy and Political Science celebrated the important and historic contributions of African Americans in the Mississippi Legislature during a program Feb. 29 on JSU’s Gibbs-Green Pedestrian Walkway. Close to two dozen lawmakers joined JSU faculty, staff, students and administrators for the program.

“We know that you make history every day,” JSU President Carolyn W. Meyers told the assembled lawmakers. “We thank you for everything you have done to make sure the quality of life in Mississippi is as good as it is.”

Mississippi State Sen. Derrick Simmons, a JSU graduate, poses near his brick.

The program included the unveiling of bricks engraved with the names of all current and past African-American legislators in Mississippi. The bricks span the width of the Gibbs-Green Walkway between the H.P. Jacobs Administration Tower and the Student Center.

During the celebration, JSU Department of Political Science chair D’Andra Orey spoke about the impact the state’s African-American legislators have had on Mississippi. To help document what he called “the ascendency of black power” in Mississippi’s government, Orey and the Department of Political Science have started to collect oral histories from the state’s African-American lawmakers.

Mississippi State Rep. Omeria Scott

Near the close of the program, state Rep. Omeria Scott challenged the crowd to join the Legislative Black Caucus’ persistent effort to advocate for Jackson State University and Mississippi’s other historically black public universities.

“When we’re over at that Capitol fighting, you need to be engaged,” she said.

JSU President Carolyn W. Meyers (seated, center) poses with members of Mississippi's Legislative Black Caucus


Jean Gordon Cook

JSU staff member featured in Clarion-Ledger: “JSU grad fills myriad roles at alma mater”

by Cassandra Mickens

Lori Stewart

Whenever Lori Stewart needs a shot in the arm during a stressful work week, she reaches for a stash of thank-you cards stowed in her desk and reads them one by one.

As Jackson State University’s associate director of Campus Life, Stewart is both a mentor and friend to students. She’s the big sister and the parent; the cheerleader and the enforcer. No matter the role, it’s clear Stewart has won over one of the toughest crowds known to man – college kids.

An anonymous email sent to this reporter reads: “Wanna meet Superwoman? Allow me to introduce you to Ms. Stewart. … She finds time to attend church regularly, cook dinners and host social gatherings at her home, spend time with her father, two nephews Cameron and Kendall, and mentor young women and men OUTSIDE of her career description, donate money, feed the homeless, save the at-risk and bake cookies.”

The remarks left Stewart a little misty-eyed. She’s honored and humbled.

“I’m a firm believer in helping someone realize their potential,” Stewart said. “That is what keeps me going.”

Always ready to lend an ear to students, Stewart is following the example set by her parents, both educators who taught a combined 67 years. She steered clear of the education track at first. The Murrah High School graduate earned her bachelor’s degree in speech pathology from JSU in 1999 followed by a master’s in guidance counseling in 2004.

Stewart has served her alma mater for the past 11 years in various student life roles.

Working under the umbrella of JSU’s Center for Student Leadership & Involvement, Stewart is adviser to the campus National Pan-Hellenic Council, the coordinating body of historically black fraternities and sororities. She is also adviser to reigning Miss JSU Mea Ashley and the Queens Court. Stewart herself was crowned Miss JSU in 1999.

During her reign, Stewart realized the impact of being a role model to young girls. She kept busy last week coordinating “A Day Out with Miss JSU,” an opportunity for middle and high school students to spend time with Ashley and discuss topics such as peer pressure, self-esteem, goal setting and fitness and nutrition.

As a child, Stewart always looked up to Miss JSU. She even wore tiaras to home football games, declaring to her parents she’d wear the crown one day.

Today, Stewart continues to inspire young girls to dream big. And despite having a jam-packed schedule, she hopes to start her own mentoring program.

“I want to make a difference and teach our young women about life,” Stewart said. “I want to teach them how to be a better lady, how to be a better you.”


JSU Ph.D. grad named Jackson Public Schools Administrator of the Year

Kathy Broom (left) of Parents & Kids magazine congratulates Jane Everly.

(JACKSON, Miss.) – Jackson State University Ph.D. graduate Jane Everly has been named the Jackson Public Schools’ Administrator of the Year. Everly is principal of Davis Magnet Elementary School.

The honor was announced during the Jackson School Board meeting on Feb. 21.

Davis Magnet is Mississippi’s first elementary school authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program. Under Everly’s leadership, the school has been rated a star school by the Mississippi State Department of Education and was named a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School in 2008.

“Probably the most important factor in my decision to become an educator was that I loved being a student,” said Everly, a former gifted education teacher and administrator. “I have always enjoyed learning and believe strongly in the premise that educators must be life-long learners.”

Everly received an undergraduate degree from Belhaven College and master’s and specialist’s degrees from Mississippi College. She received a doctorate degree in educational leadership in 2006 from Jackson State University.

Everly led Davis Magnet in the development of an arts integration focus through a partnership with Ask4More Arts. The school recently began a collaboration with the University of Mississippi Medical Center where medical professionals work with students at the school in using scientific inquiry to solve problems.

JSU Scholars Day 2012 – Feb. 25

Jackson State University will host “JSU Scholars Day 2012” from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, in the School of Engineering building.

The day will feature presentations by JSU’s academic colleges, career services center and the international program. Other highlights include student walking tours, an information session for parents and lunch with academic college representatives.

Entertainment will include performances by MADDRAMA, the Interfaith Gospel Choir, the JSU Jazz Band and Jazz Singers and the JSU String Quartet.

JSU Tigers basketball games will begin at 3 p.m. for the women’s team and 5 p.m. for the men’s team.

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Miss JSU Mea Ashley to appear on “Midday Mississippi” – TODAY

Miss Jackson State University Mea Ashley will appear today on the WLBT show, “Midday Mississippi,” which airs live from 12:30 – 1 p.m.

She will be interviewed about her Day Out with Miss JSU program for middle and high school girls.

Ashley is a senior mass communications major from Jackson, Miss.

View the program at:

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Tour 4 Diversity in Medicine conference at JSU – Feb. 24

Jackson State University Pre-med Coordinator Dr. Bridget Rideau (left) counsels pre-dental seniors Charnia Hall, Christopher Cathey and pre-med senior Korey Johnson Feb. 16 at the John A. Peoples Jr. Building on campus. / Greg Jenson/The Clarion-Ledger

Students interested in health care careers are reminded to attend the Tour 4 Diversity in Medicine conference starting at 9 a.m. Friday, Feb. 24, in room 204 of the John A. Peoples Jr. Building. Registration starts at 8 a.m. Lunch will be provided. Excuses for classes may be obtained through the Office of Student Life.

Read more about the conference in the Feb. 21, 2012, The Clarion-Ledger article, “Seeking advice: Minority health care students to gain insight into careers.”

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Dr. Dollye M.E. Robinson receives Dean Emeritus status

(JACKSON, Miss.) – The Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning approved Dean Emeritus status for Dollye M.E. Robinson at its February 16 meeting. The former College of Liberal Arts Dean, who has served Jackson State University for 60 years, is also a full Professor in the Department of Music.

“Dr. Robinson’s lifetime of service and commitment to excellence has been a tremendous asset to this university and its students,” said Carolyn W. Meyers, JSU President. “The Dean Emeritus designation ensures that students will continue to benefit from all that Dean Robinson has to offer.”

Mark Hardy, JSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, agreed.

“The Dean Emeritus distinction is a special honor reserved for those who have not only given so much of themselves, but in doing so have left an immeasurable mark on their respective institutions,” Hardy said.

In recognition of Robinson’s numerous contributions, the College of Liberal Arts building bears her name.

Robinson’s dedication to Jackson State will long be remembered, said Thomas Calhoun, Interim Dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

“Dr. Robinson has molded generations of leaders,” Calhoun said. “I consider myself fortunate to have been mentored by her.”

Robinson began her career at JSU in 1952 as the Assistant Band Director and Instructor of Music. Since that time, Robinson has served in leadership positions including head of the Department of Music, Chair of the Division of Fine Arts, Associate Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. During her tenure at JSU, Robinson has led significant progress at the university including designing and supervising the construction of the F.D. Hall Music Center and providing significant input in the design of the College of Liberal Arts building, which is named in her honor. She also initiated the degree programs for the Bachelor of Music Education, Bachelor of Music Performance and the Master of Music Education, while supervising the self-study process for initial accreditation for the Department of Music and the Department of Art, and for the university in 1971 with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

A Jackson native, Robinson earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Jackson State and a bachelor’s degree, two master’s degrees and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University. She has also studied at Boston University and the Boston College of Music.

– 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

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JSU Executive Ph.D. grad earns national dissertation award

Kendra Preer

Jackson State University Executive Ph.D. in Urban Higher Education graduate Kendra Preer has earned the 2012 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Board of Directors for the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE). The Outstanding Dissertation Award recognizes dissertation research that will contribute substantially to the field and serve as exemplary models of research. Preer’s dissertation, titled “Interracial Diversity at Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Understanding African-American Student Perceptions,” was recognized for an award because it provides an understanding about how students of color experience diversity within their own ethnicity and encompassed issues of gender, sexuality and class within the African-American community.

“It really inspires me to do more research and work with other professionals in higher education and diversity,” said Preer, who earned a Ph.D. from JSU in August 2011. Preer, who directs the Upward Bound Math-Science Academy at Stark State College in Canton, Ohio, commuted to Jackson once a month for her doctoral studies.

“The faculty and staff and my dissertation chair Dr. James Maddirala were absolutely helpful,” Preer said. “Also, the faculty around campus strongly supports the Executive Ph.D. program, which is important.”

JSU’s Executive Ph.D. in Urban Higher Education program prepares students to assume senior leadership roles in post-secondary institutions and other organizations that relate to institutions of higher learning. Through the program’s cohort model, all students simultaneously complete the 24-month program of study.

“I absolutely love the program at Jackson State,” Preer said. “It would have been challenging to do my studies outside of the Executive Ph.D. cohort model.” Preer will receive her award at the NADOHE Annual Conference March 12-14 in Los Angeles. She will also present her research at the Noel-Levitz Symposium on Recruitment and Retention of People of Color in Denver April 18-20.
by Jean Gordon Cook