Mumford to receive JSU Humanities Teacher Award for 2012

Jimmy Mumford

(JACKSON, Miss.) – Jimmy Mumford, associate professor of graphic design at Jackson State University, has been selected as the humanities scholar to receive JSU’s Humanities Teacher Award for 2012.

As the recipient of the Humanities Teacher Award, Mumford will deliver the presentation, “Perspectives of Empowerment: How Graphic Design Affects Black America,” at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, in the Dollye M.E. Robinson Liberal Arts Building, Room 166/266 on JSU’s main campus.

Mumford received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a minor in drawing from Delta State University and a Master of Fine Arts in computer arts from Memphis College of Art. As a professor and designer, his awards and honors include a Silver Addy Award, American Graphic Design awards, the Communicator Award of Excellence, the Communicator Award of Distinction and the P.R.I.D.E. of Excellence Teaching Award.

Mumford’s lecture will focus on the study of signs and symbols that convey meaning and how ideas are constructed in society. For example, when Johannes Gutenberg invented the Gutenberg press, it revolutionized the distribution of knowledge by making it possible to produce a large number of copies of a single work in a short amount of time. But for slaves, the Gutenberg press revolutionized the way slaves were caught and sold, as posters and advertising were created for the purpose of selling and recapturing slaves.

Members of the public are urged to join university administrators, faculty, staff and students in attending this lecture.

Goodwin named president of regional facilities association

Wayne Goodwin

Wayne Goodwin, assistant vice president for Facilities and Construction Management at Jackson State University, has been named president of the Southeastern Regional Association of Physical Plant Administrators (SRAPPA).

Goodwin shed some light on his intentions for the upcoming year in a letter to board members saying, “As the newly installed President of SRAPPA along with the support of an excellent Board, I plan to work hard and have a successful year by building on some of the objectives started this past year.”

Among Goodwin’s goals in his new role is increasing recruitment and membership of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, community colleges and K-12 school districts.

SRAPPA is one of seven regional organizations dedicated to the operation of buildings on campuses of higher education. The SRAPPA region is comprised of the following:  Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

JSU teams up with Jackson Zoo for ‘Tailgating with the Tigers’

(JACKSON, Miss.) – Jackson State University and the Jackson Zoo will host the event, “Tailgating with the Tigers,” at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, at the Jackson Zoological Park.

Held on the eve of the JSU vs. Grambling State University football game (scheduled for Nov. 3 at Grambling), “Tailgating with the Tigers” will begin with a VIP reception for JSU alumni and friends at 5 p.m. and open to the general public at 6 p.m. Attendees must be 18 or older to attend; 21 and older must present ID for a beverage wristband.

Program highlights include members of Tiger Football’s “dark-side defense” and “aid-raid offense” along with the JSU drum line, pep band and cheerleaders.  Other features include music, speakers and a wing-eating contest.

Funds raised from “Tailgating with the Tigers” will benefit the JSU Development Foundation in support of book scholarships for JSU students and the Zoo’s Tiger Conservatory Fund.

The event is the firstcollaboration between JSU and the Jackson Zoo.

“The Jackson Zoo is one of our community partners,” said Kimberly Hilliard, JSU’s executive director of community engagement. “This event is part of our mission to take the campus to the community.”

General admission is $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Tickets include food, drinks and entertainment.  VIP tickets cost $30, which includes the pre-event reception and a behind-the-scene den tiger tour. Tickets are available at the Jackson Zoo or online at For more information, call Kimberly Hilliard at 601-979-1058.

JSU chamber orchestra to perform ‘Appalachian Spring’ in concert

(JACKSON, Miss.) – The Jackson State University Chamber Orchestra will perform a free concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, at F.D. Hall Music Center on the university’s 1400 John R. Lynch Street campus.

The hour-long concert will include “Unfinished Symphony” by Franz Schubert and “Appalachian Spring” by Aaron Copeland.

“Unfinished Symphony” is “hauntingly beautiful with dramatic transitions from sweeping melodies to powerfully energetic passages,” said Robert Blaine, JSU conductor.

The performance of “Appalachian Spring” will feature the world premier of a new orchestration written by Blaine and the original ballet projected onto a screen inside the hall.

“It is absolutely beautiful,” said Blaine, interim associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “The music and the choreography by Martha Graham are beautiful.”

JSU alumnus Gary Mitchell will join in the concert. The Little Rock, Ark., native recently completed additional studies at the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston in collaborative piano performance.

“I am sublimely elated and honored to be invited to perform with my alma mater’s acclaimed orchestra,” said Mitchell, a 2005 graduate. “Experiences that I had while matriculating through Jackson State University continue to serve as visible evidence of how my university challenges minds and changes lives.”

For more information, call 601-979-2141.

– 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

JSU civil engineering students take part in Habitat for Humanity project

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) student chapter members from Jackson State University, Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi recently joined forces to help with a Habitat for Humanity project in West Tallahatchie, Miss.  Each chapter and school was well represented by the members.

Congratulations go to JSU for winning the “represent your school” competition at the Ground Zero Restaurant in Clarksdale, Miss., with their tribute to the Sonic Boom of the South marching band.

“This is an excellent achievement by the JSU civil engineering students,” said Dr. Farshad Amini, professor and chair, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Jackson State University.

Habitat for Humanity Project Video

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National association elects JSU technology professor president of student division

Dr. Jessica L. Buck

Dr. Jessica L. Buck, associate professor in the Department of Technology in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, was elected president of the Student Division for the Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE).

ATMAE sets national standards for academic program accreditation, personal certification and professional development for educators and industry professionals involved in integrating technology, leadership and design.

Overall, the Student Division promotes and fosters the development of undergraduate and graduate students to become premiere practitioners and leaders of the technological and global workforce. The division hosts annual competitions for students in robotics, technology bowl challenges and research. It also awards student chapters throughout the United States for service and leadership endeavors.

Buck has been active in the Student Division for several years and served as vice president from 2010-2012. As president she will serve a two-year term from 2012 to 2014. She will be installed into office during the annual ATMAE conference in November.

JSU professor contributes to ‘Encyclopedia of Sustainability’

Dr. Evandro Santos

Dr. Evandro Santos, assistant professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning in the School of Policy and Planning, is a contributing author for the Berkshire Encyclopedia of Sustainability. The entire collection will be released on Oct. 31. Santos has written four articles, three of which appear in Volume 8: “The Americas and Oceania: Assessing Sustainability,” and one that is featured in Volume 10: “The Future of Sustainability.”

The encyclopedia as a whole provides complete coverage of what today’s readers need to know about sustainability, from the theories and practices that have shaped and challenged our concept of what is sustainable, to industries as diverse as pharmaceuticals and mining that impact it, and to methods and measurements, such as life cycle costing and material flow analysis, that assess sustainability’s progress and chart its future.

The creation of an encyclopedia of this nature brought together a unique global network of experts in business, law, environmental history, ecosystems and resource management, ethics and philosophy, and other related disciplines. Santos is the only Mississippi author who contributed to this huge work.

For more information, visit:

Dr. Evandro Santos is part of the global network of contributors to the Encyclopedia of Sustainability.

Fall 2012 commencement ceremonies combined

The Jackson State University Fall 2012 Commencement ceremony will be held at 9 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, at the Lee E. Williams Athletics and Assembly Center. This ceremony will recognize the accomplishments of both undergraduate and graduate students.

Those persons who completed degree requirements in August 2012 are invited to participate in a formal ceremony during JSU’s exercises in December.

There will not be a ceremony on Friday, Dec. 7, 2012. Updates will be placed on JSU’s commencement website,

JSU College of Business names auditorium for Pittmans

(JACKSON, Miss.) – Jackson State University named the auditorium of its College of Business for Winston R. Pittman Sr. and Alma Dent Pittman during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m., Friday, Oct. 19.

The Pittmans, first-time donors to the university, have contributed $250,000 that will be matched for a total of $500,000.

“This money will surely benefit students for years to come,
said David Hoard, vice president for Institutional Advancement. “We truly appreciate the Pittmans’ generosity.”

The Pittmans own Pittman Enterprises and have dealerships in Kentucky, Ohio, and Georgia that sell Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Nissan, CDAC, Lexus, Toyota, Ford, Lincoln Mercury, Scion, and Subaru vehicles.

“This is what we are supposed to do as a people,” said Alma Dent Pittman, a native of Yazoo City. “When you move away from your hometown and success happens, you give back to your community.”

Winston R. Pittman Sr., the president and CEO of Pittman Enterprises, is a native of Kilmichael and a Jackson State University alumnus.

This money, Pittman said, will benefit young, determined students who come to Jackson State University but may not have the funds they need.


– 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

AAC&U selects JSU for faculty development initiative

NSF-supported program provides professional and leadership development to women of color faculty in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields

(JACKSON, Miss.) — Jackson State University is among 10 colleges and universities selected by the Association of American Colleges and Universities to participate in the third cohort of Preparing Critical Faculty for the Future (PCFF). This project supports women of color faculty in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines in becoming strong academic and administrative leaders, both on campus and within their respective disciplines. The project is funded by the National Science Foundation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities-Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP). The institutions selected over the three cohorts represent many different types including two-year and four-year, public and private HBCUs.

The institutions include:

Alcorn State University (Lorman, MS)
Bowie State University (Bowie, MD)
Hampton University (Hampton, VA)
Howard University (Washington, DC)
Jackson State University (Jackson, MS)
Lane College (Jackson, TN)
Lincoln University of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Lincoln University, PA)
Southern University at New Orleans (New Orleans, LA)
Tougaloo College (Tougaloo, MS)
Xavier University of Louisiana (New Orleans, LA)

Each participating institution nominated two women of color faculty in STEM disciplines to participate in all phases of the project. Institutional leaders also identified three additional participants to engage in the second phase of the project, which will include participation in AAC&U’s Institute on Integrative Learning and The Departments in July 2013.

The first phase participants include Dr. Jana Talley, Department of Mathematics, and Dr. April Tanner, Department of Computer Science. The second phase includes Dr. Loretta Moore, Division of Research and Federal Relations, Dr. Evelyn Leggette, Division of Undergraduate Studies, and Dr. Kaye Sly, Department of Psychology.

“Jackson State University’s participation in this program is in concert with our mission and strategic direction of growing our human and intellectual capital in STEM and other areas,” said Dr. Felix Okojie, Vice President for Research and Federal Relations. “Our faculty participation in PCFF is also closely aligned with our leadership initiatives of JSUAdvance, the Center for University Scholars as well as our newly established Academy for Research and Scholarly Engagement.”

JSUAdvance participants Dr. Carolyn Howard (left), Dr. Kaye Sly, Dr. Evelyn Leggette, Dr. Ruomei Gao, Dr. Loretta Moore, Dr. Michelle Deardorff, Dr. Jana Talley, Dr. Jessica Buck, Brenda Johnson, Dr. Olga Olsby and Dr. Danuta Leszczynska took part in a summer writing retreat at the Twin Lakes Camp and Conference Center. Sly, Leggette, Moore and Talley will participate in PCFF with Tanner (not pictured).

Nearly 40 percent of the nation’s HBCUs will have participated in PCFF at the end of 2013, which marks the third and final year of the grant.

The goals of the PCFF project are to provide professional and leadership development for women of color faculty in STEM disciplines, or in NSF natural and behavioral science disciplines; and to enhance undergraduate STEM education at HBCUs and beyond. This project provides participants with the opportunity and the financial support to engage in and influence the national dialogue on improving undergraduate STEM education. Project participants will both contribute to and gain from national efforts to develop and implement innovative STEM teaching and learning practices and effective curricular change strategies.

“The project has already made great strides in advancing the professional and leadership development of women of color faculty in STEM fields,” said AAC&U Senior Scholar, Co-PI and Project Director Alma Clayton-Pedersen. “The 26 institutional leaders in the first and second cohorts are busy implementing the STEM education enhancement plans they developed over the course of their participation and refined during AAC&U’s summer Institutes on Integrative Learning and Departments (2012) and Engaging Departments (2011). Early indications from external evaluators are that PCFF is having a strong impact on the participants’ leadership development. Over time PCFF is expected to showcase curricular changes that improve undergraduate STEM education at the selected institutions.”

By uncovering useful strategies for preparing women of color faculty for academic leadership in STEM fields, PCFF is benefitting STEM education broadly, as well as at HBCUs through its dissemination efforts. Three women from two institutions have contributed articles in national print and online publications. Others are scheduled to make presentations at AAC&U’s national STEM conference in November. In addition, AAC&U hopes to extend PCFF efforts with the first two cohorts over the next three years through a pending proposal at NSF.

This initiative is supported with a grant from the National Science Foundation. For additional information about the project, see: