JSU seeks judges for regional science, mathematics and engineering fair

Science fair judge(JACKSON, Miss.) – Jackson State University is seeking judges for the annual Mississippi Region II Science and Engineering Fair scheduled for Thursday and Friday, March 22-23.

Judges are needed with expertise in behavioral, social science, public health, education, science, mathematics, engineering, technology, health and medical professions.

The fair will assemble close to 1,500 students from 250 public and private schools in Claiborne, Copiah, Hinds, Jefferson, Madison, Rankin and Warren counties. Students from grades 1-12 will present projects in the areas of science, mathematics and technology.

The lower fair for grades 1-6 will be held on Thursday, March 21. The upper fair for grades 7-12 will be held on Friday, March 22. Judges are needed from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and may volunteer for one or both days. The two-day fair will take place in the Lee E. Williams Athletics and Assembly Center at Jackson State University, 1400 John R. Lynch St. in Jackson, Miss.

Qualified judges should have a master’s or equivalent degree or a minimum of five years related professional experience to judge projects in the lower fair (grades 1-6). Upper fair (grades 7-12) judges and should have a Ph.D., M.D. or equivalent degree or a minimum of eight years related professional experience.  College juniors, seniors and/or graduate students may judge in the lower fair upon advisor recommendation and fair official approval.

First, second and third place winners from grades 7-12 will advance to the Mississippi Science and Engineering Fair on March 26, also at Jackson State University.

Interested persons may register online at www.jsums.edu/scifair  (click the “Judge” section near the top of the screen).

The judges’ application deadline is Friday, March 8. For more information, call 601-979-1603.


JSU Division of Student Life to host national conference

The Jackson State University Division of Student Life is set to host the 59th Annual Conference of the National Association of Student Affairs Professionals (NASAP), Jan. 31 – Feb. 2, at the Jackson Marriott Hotel.

NASAP is a professional organization dedicated to promoting excellence in the area of Student Affairs.

Workshop presenters and speakers will address the conference theme, “Transforming the Trends and Challenges of Higher Education through Student Engagement, Learning and Success.”  Noted speakers include:  Dr. Charlie Nelms, Higher Education Leader and Educational Consultant;  Bette Worley, President of  National Student Exchange; Ty Howard, nationally recognized motivational speaker and author; and Dr. Sharon Fisher Green, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs at Southern University.  Workshops will cover topics such as student leadership, hazing, advancing HIV prevention programs, veteran students, mentorship and mental wellness, student counseling and disability services, teamwork, and how to recruit innovative student affairs professionals, civic engagement and outreach, etc.

“During this conference, through collaboration with fellow colleagues, we hope to explore answers to the challenges we all face as student affairs professionals. Sharing our successes and failures will help us to become better at what we are charged with doing: helping our students become productive and successful citizens,” said Dr. Marcus Chanay, Vice President for Student Life at JSU and conference chair.

The annual conference provides a forum for professional growth and development for all who are involved in or work with students in the student affairs profession, and is open to professionals in higher education in general and to the nation’s business industry. Undergraduate and graduate students and student leaders from member schools are also welcome.

The conference also provides opportunities to: (a) foster team building and sharing of knowledge, skills and abilities between those holding administrative positions in Student Affairs; (b) create a network among student affairs administrators at diverse colleges with emphasis on the administrative challenges faced in such settings; and (c) provide opportunities to hear various administrative challenges and a range of successful strategies currently being implemented.

NASAP was founded in 1954. With a varied membership spanning across academic, administrative, corporate, and student affairs boundaries, the organization offers a variety of resources, and experiences.

For information on NASAP visit http://www.nasap.net.   NASAP 59th Annual Conference information can be found at   www.nasapconference2013.com  or call the Jackson State University Division of Student Life at 601-979-2241.

Sylvia Watley


Jackson State University President Carolyn Meyers discusses Madison campus plan

Jackson State University President Carolyn Meyers, Ph.D., on Monday held a news conference to discuss the institution’s plans for its Madison location.

Meyers said JSU’s entire community is “excited” about the project as it is an opportunity to continue to address the educational needs of the Jackson-metro area. The campus will accommodate non-traditional students by offering evening, weekend and online courses.

JSU President Carolyn Meyers, Ph.D., discusses Madison campus plans with media.

JSU President Carolyn Meyers, Ph.D., discusses Madison campus plans with media.

“We’ve looked at the demographics of our area. The fastest-growing segment of learners is the 25- to 35-year-old group. These are the people who work, who have children, but still have educational aspirations,” Meyers said. “We want to enable them to conveniently have the opportunity to fulfill those aspirations through our programs at Jackson State University. This can be a valuable resource to developing a workforce for the whole state of Mississippi.”

Meyers also discussed the Jan. 10 meeting she, David Hoard, vice president of Institutional Advancement, and Eric Stringfellow, interim executive director of University Communications, had with Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler.

Meyers said the purpose of the meeting was to discuss JSU’s plan for a Madison branch. Butler also was informed that the new location’s programs would be geared toward non-traditional students and that classes would start in the summer.

“That was a thrill for me. I have long admired her, and I’m impressed with her leadership. We shared our plan. We continue to look forward to a fruitful relationship with Madison, the surrounding counties and cities and the leadership,” Meyers said.

During the Jan. 10 meeting, Butler asked the university to be mindful of the signage protocols within the city of Madison. Meyers said the university would respect all of the city’s signage regulations.

The Madison mayor also asked that JSU establish a working relationship with Holmes Community College. Meyers has already scheduled a meeting with the community college’s president to “talk about how we can ease that transition from the community college world to Jackson State University and establish an up-close, personal, one-on-one relationship with them.”

Meyers said she left the Jan. 10 meeting with the impression the city supported the plan. No concerns or objections had been expressed, Meyers said.

The university had adhered to the policies of the Mississippi Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning in regard to the campus expansion. IHL approved the project earlier this month.

Meyers said the campus programming is still evolving. She said some of the programs offered will be selected, in part, based on how they tie into long-term, state economic development plans, such as Blueprint Mississippi. The focus could include health care administration, public policy and business.

“As we learn more about the aspirations of the students in that area, we will try our best to accommodate them,” Meyers said.

Meyers also explained that the Madison location fits into the university’s enrollment management plan. She said the university would like to open other campuses throughout the metro Jackson area over the next three to four years to give the community more educational options.

JSU Cares: Volunteers pitch in on Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

The Jackson State University Region of America Reads-Mississippi celebrated the Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service by serving with Stewpot’s “Green” initiative. Volunteers enhanced the organization’s teen center, the “Hut,” clothes closet and the food pantry. They also worked at Lake Elementary School helping to finish construction of its outside classroom and tutoring stations. 

Jackson State University Region of America Reads-Mississippi

Jackson State University Region of America Reads-Mississippi

Click here to see slideshow: Jackson State University Region of America Reads-Mississippi celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service


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JSU professor named among top ‘African-centered Scholars of the Decade’

Bennett Odunsi

Bennett Odunsi

(JACKSON, Miss.) – Jackson State University professor Bennett Odunsi has recently become one of 10 recipients of the 2012 Topp’s African-centered Scholars of the Decade Award.

The awards are given to researchers who have built, nurtured and inspired communities of scholars to seriously investigate African issues. The award is named after the Egyptologist, Pan-Africanist and Mau Mau activist Mwalimu Baba Joseph “Topp” Wallace. The 2012 awards were given out at the 30th Annual Conference of the Association of Third World Studies convened at Berry College in Rome, Georgia.

Odunsi is an associate professor of public policy and administration. His research interests are in human resources, public policy and criminal justice. He has presented papers in Asia, Europe, Africa and several other major national conferences in the U.S.  He has published in the Journal of Third World Studies, Journal of Asia and African Studies and Journal of Global Awareness.  Other scholarly endeavors included publication in conference compendiums, several book chapters and a book. His current work is on comparative administrative law systems.

Veteran newsman, child abuse survivor to speak at Mississippi Child Welfare Institute Conference

Dominic Carter

Dominic Carter

(JACKSON, Miss.) – Veteran New York political reporter Dominic Carter will be the plenary speaker for the 11th annual Mississippi Child Welfare Institute Conference Feb. 13-15 at the Jackson Marriott Hotel, 200 E. Amite St., in Jackson, Miss.

Sponsored by the Jackson State University College of Public Service School of Social Work, the three-day conference will focus on the theme, Community Engagement: Toward Ensuring Successful Children, Youth, and Families. The event will feature local and national experts who will provide the latest information on issues affecting vulnerable children and families.

A fixture in the TV news industry for 25 years, Carter overcame great odds to achieve his success. He grew up poor without a father in NYC’s South Bronx neighborhood. His mother, a paranoid schizophrenic who had been in and out of state psychiatric institutions, physically and sexually abused him.

Carter went on to become one of New York’s top political reporters, interviewing the likes of Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. As a victim of childhood sexual abuse, Carter’s life story has been told in Oprah Winfrey’s magazine and on the Nancy Grace show.

Carter currently works as a political commentator at RNN-TV, and has appeared on national TV programs including “Face the Nation,” “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” CNN, MSNBC and the Fox News Channel. His awards include the Samuel P. Peabody Award for his vision, innovation and dedication to children and families.

The Mississippi Child Welfare Institute Conference will begin with a youth empowerment session at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13. Carter will lead the plenary session at 8:20 a.m. Friday, Feb. 15.

Johnetta McSwain-Clay

Johnetta McSwain-Clay

Other speakers include empowerment speaker, author and life coach Johnetta McSwain-Clay and University of Georgia social work professor Alberta Ellett, who is editor of the Journal of Public Child Welfare.

Alberta Ellett

Alberta Ellett

Social work students, educators, practitioners, human service workers and mental and health care professionals are invited to attend.

For a complete schedule, call 601-432-6816. To register, click here.

MLK convocation speaker urges new generation to keep fight for equality, freedom alive

The keynote speaker for Jackson State University’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation urged listeners to “embed in their DNA” three words etched on the U.S. naval ship that bears her father’s name: courage, integrity and perseverance.

The words, said Reena Evers-Everette, appropriately describe her father, Medgar Evers, the first NAACP state field secretary in Mississippi. Evers was gunned down by a sniper in 1963 because of his fight for freedom and equality.

In the years following his slaying, there have been numerous honors added to Evers’ legacy, including the christening of the USNS Medgar Evers in 2011.

In an emotional address, Evers-Everette spoke of personal moments she shared with her father, and described vivid memories of living under constant threats from those determined to keep a segregated society alive in America.

The efforts of Evers, King and countless others helped tear down a system that treated black people as second-class citizens, Evers-Everette said.

“As the children of the Civil Rights Movement, we all understand how important it is to keep the dreams of Dr. King, of my father, of Malcolm X  and so many others, alive and forward,” she told the crowd Thursday at the Rose Embly McCoy Auditorium.

Evers-Everette is the executive director of the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Institute. The institute was established to fulfill the couple’s civil rights vision through education and civic engagement. It was relocated from Oregon to Mississippi in 2012.

JSU Interim Provost Dr. James Renick; Dr. Robert Luckett, director of JSU’s Margaret Walker Center, SGA President Brian Wilks and Miss JSU Sarah Brown were among those who joined Evers-Everette on stage in the auditorium.

Evers-Everette was an 8-year-old when her father was murdered. Before that fateful night, the family was terrorized with threatening phone calls, bomb threats and an actual firebombing at their home.

She said her father once told an interviewer that if he died, it was for a good cause because he was “fighting for America.”

Evers-Everette said King’s numerous contributions to the fight against inequality are important and undeniable. She referenced the organization of the March on Washington and the inspirational letters written by King, specifically his 1963 Letter from Birmingham Jail.

“Everyone can be great because everyone can serve. That’s why we’re here — to honor the servants,” she said.

The convocation was followed by the 18th annual For My People Awards luncheon. The Margaret Walker Center honored Evers-Everette and the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretative Center for their contributions to the public preservation of African-American history and culture.

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Weathervision hosts its first satellite uplink since moving to the Mississippi e-Center @JSU


Weathervision, a service that provides weathercasts to more than 100 stations nationwide, on Thursday hosted its first satellite uplink since moving to its new location at the Mississippi e-Center @JSU.

The interview on CNBC’s popular show, “Closing Bell,” featured T. Doug Dale, chief investment officer of Security Ballew Wealth Management. Dale, a Jackson-based financial expert, weighed in on issues around the current stock market.

“Everything worked well,” said Edward St. Pe, WeatherVision chief executive officer.

WeatherVision’s partnership with Jackson State exposes students to many real-world experiences while expanding the university’s broadcast capabilities.

To see the video, click here.