Jackson State University celebrates Black History Month 2013

Black History 2013 - Cover2


(JACKSON, Miss.) – The Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy, the COFO Civil Rights Education Center, and the Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University will celebrate black history, culture and civic engagement during a three-day event Feb. 19-21.

Tuesday, Feb. 19, 6 p.m.
The JSU Reading Community will discuss Medgar Evers: Mississippi Martyr by Dr. Michael Vinson Williams at the COFO Civil Rights Education Center, 1017 John R. Lynch St. in Jackson. This biography of a lesser-known but seminal civil rights leader draws on personal interviews from Evers’ widow Myrlie Evers-Williams, his two remaining siblings, friends, grade-school-to-college schoolmates, and fellow activists to elucidate Evers as an individual, leader, husband, brother, and father. The panel will include Dr. Rico Chapman, JSU Assistant Professor of History; Dr. Michael Vinson Williams, author of Medgar Evers: Mississippi Martyr; and Precious Vines, graduate student, JSU Department of History.

Wednesday, Feb. 20, 10 a.m. 
Jackson State University, the COFO Civil Rights Education Center, and the Department of History and Philosophy will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Evers’ assassination and celebrate his life and legacy. This event will be held on the JSU campus at the Dollye M.E. Robinson Liberal Arts Building, Room 166/266. This event will feature keynote speaker Dr. Michael Vinson Williams, author of Medgar Evers: Mississippi Martyr. Other guests for the afternoon include Colia Lafayette Clark, special assistant to Medgar Wiley Evers; Derrick Johnson, President, Mississippi State Conference of the NAACP; Yohance Myles, Assistant Professor, JSU Theater Department; and Albert Sykes, Director of Advocacy and Policy, the Young People’s Project.

Thursday, Feb. 21, 6:30 p.m. – WATCH TODAY’S EVENT LIVE HERE
The Medgar Evers/Ella Baker Civil Rights Lecture Series will discuss “Voting  as a Constitutional Right in the 21st Century: How Do We Institutionalize the 1965 Voting Rights Act” at the Java Café located inside the H.T. Sampson Library. The panel includes: Dr. Michelle D. Deardorff, Professor and Chair, JSU Department of Political Science; Rob McDuff, civil rights and criminal defense attorney, McDuff Law Firm; Mike Sayer, senior organizer and training coordinator, Southern Echo; and Ellis Turnage, attorney, Turnage Law Office. This panel will discuss how, today, minority voters still face significant obstacles in registering to vote and casting ballots and how attempts to manipulate the law in ways that will disadvantage communities of color still continue 48 years later after the passing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

All events will be streamed live on the JSU website, http://www.jsums.edu.  For further information, contact the Hamer Institute at 601-979-1562, 601-979-1563 or hamer.institute@jsums.edu, or the COFO Center at 601-979-4348 or COFO.Center@jsums.edu.

JSU professor added to author team of textbook

Jackson State University professor and chair of the Department of Political Science, Michelle D. Deardorff, has been added as the third author to McGraw Hill’s American Government NOW, which is currently in its third edition.

michelledeardorffThe book is designed to focus on engaging students taking the US Government survey course in the democratic process by showing how students across the world are engaged in social change and governance. It is the only survey textbook that emphasizes the role of technology, including social media, in American Politics. It is also the first such text that integrated the McGraw Hill Connect program to create an individualized, adaptive learning program that guides students from merely expressing an opinion to forming a point of view based on critical thinking, analysis, and evidence.

Deardorff has been working with Harrison and Harris on this project since the second edition, but was formally added to the author team for the third edition, released in December 2012. She has been a member of the political science department since 2003 and was a founding faculty member of the Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy at Jackson State in 1997.

Historic JSU enrollment for spring 2013

(Jackson, MS) — Jackson State University’s spring 2013 enrollment is historic.

Mississippi’s urban university enrolled 8,760 students, the highest ever for a spring semester and a nearly 3 percent increase over spring 2012. Last spring, 8,523 students enrolled at JSU.

That figure is also the university’s third-highest overall enrollment, according to the Office of Institutional Research.

The spring 2013 enrollment also marked the first time in the university’s history that the full-time equivalency spring enrollment surpassed that of the previous fall.

JSU President Carolyn Meyers said the numbers reflect the university’s growing appeal as an educational environment that cares for its students as it prepares them for success.

“Students and their families know Jackson State provides a quality education. Our faculty and staff are committed to helping students reach their full potential,” Meyers said.

“The increase is a testament to the hard work of the Enrollment Management Council and its execution of our Enrollment Management Plan. This is extremely gratifying to me and should be extremely gratifying to them. I thank the council for its diligence,” said Meyers.

The Division of Graduate Studies, which was included in the overall enrollment figures, also showed a growth trend, along with the College of Public Service and the College of Education.

The enrollment increase is significant as it comes amid a sluggish state and national economy and changes in funding options for students. Congress recently adjusted requirements for the federal Pell Grant.  One of the congressional changes was a lowered maximum family income for students to be eligible for the full grant.

Yet, JSU’s enrollment was still up.

“This shows the level of confidence people have in JSU. They know the education they receive here is valuable,” said Nicole Evans, assistant provost and enrollment manager for JSU.

Kendrick Goldsby, an 18-year-old freshman from Jackson, said he made up his mind to continue his higher education at JSU after the fall semester.

“I tell my friends who are still in high school that they should also come to JSU,” Goldsby said. “This campus offers so much.”


The Sun Herald, Feb. 15, 2013
JSU sets enrollment increase




Jackson State lecture series features U.S. Attorney Felicia Adams

Image(JACKSON, Miss.) United States Attorney Felicia C. Adams will be the guest speaker for the university’s Black History lecture series from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Friday, Feb.15, at the College of Liberal Arts, lecture room 166/266.

The event is sponsored by the Political Science Department and the Fannie Lou Hamer Pre-law Society.

Adams was confirmed as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi on July 3, 2011.  A 22-year veteran with the Department of Justice, Adams began her career as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Mississippi in 1989.  She previously served as First Assistant in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi. 

Adams earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Jackson State University and law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law.

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JSU Welcome Center reaches 1,000 visitors

(JACKSON, Miss.) – The Jackson State University Welcome Center recently reached a milestone by receiving its 1,000th visitor.

The JSU Welcome Center, commonly referred to as the university’s official “front door” by director Gwen Caples, serves as the JSU’s hospitality site for campus visitors, including prospective students and their families, alumni and people interested in JSU. The center opened in the summer of 2012.

gwencaples1“This accomplishment is just the beginning of a larger role that I see the Welcome Center playing in future undergraduate recruitment,” says Caples. “We desire to be more efficient by employing interpreters, and engaging in community projects.”

The Welcome Center provides opportunities to share the breadth of academic programs and state-of-the-art facilities on the campus of JSU. Campus tours are also one of the services of the center. They include the standard one-hour walking tour, and customized tours. In the near future, the Welcome Center will offer heritage tours, which will include tours of places such as the COFO Civil Rights Education Center, the Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy, and the Margaret Walker Center.

-Darrell Robinson, Jr. 

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JSU administrators address Leadership Jackson



Jackson State University interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs James C. Renick, Ph.D. (left), and vice president for Institutional Advancement David Hoard spoke to members of Leadership Jackson on campus Wednesday. The two shared with the group JSU’s plans for development, including campuses in downtown Jackson and Madison.

JSU to join Millsaps College in conversation about race, art and identity

Luther King


(JACKSON, Miss.) —  For the first time in the history of Jackson State University and Millsaps College, the institutions will come together to address race in a two-part program on both campuses Feb. 19-20 titled, “Necessary Tension: An honest conversation on Race, Art and Identity” with Kiese Laymon.

Kiese Laymon

Kiese Laymon

Laymon, a writer and an associate professor of English and co-director of Africana Studies at Vassar College, recently earned notoriety for his essay, “How To Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America,” which explores his personal experiences with race, racism and coming of age in Jackson. Before graduating from Oberlin College, Laymon attended Millsaps College and Jackson State University.

The two day event — conceived and planned by a committee of students, faculty, and staff from the two schools — seeks to open dialogue between the two campuses about the complexities of racial identity formation on college campuses, the need for creating spaces where students can explore and express identity, and the role of artistic endeavor in that process.

The public is invited to participate in two connected panel discussions; the first will be held at Millsaps College from 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, in the Gertrude C. Ford Academic Complex. The second will be held at JSU from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, in the Dollye M.E. Robinson Liberal Arts Building Room 266. WATCH THIS EVENT LIVE HERE

Charlie Braxton

Charlie Braxton

Brad "Kamikaze" Franklin

Brad “Kamikaze” Franklin

Laymon will be joined on the Millsaps panel by Louwanda Evans, Millsaps visiting assistant professor of sociology, and Millsaps alumni, Natalie Collier and the Rev. Ricky James. The JSU panelists will include Laymon, Evans, Collier along with JSU alums Charlie Braxton, a poet, playwright and journalist, and Brad “Kamikaze” Franklin, a hip-hop artist, community activist and entrepreneur.  The JSU event will open with performances by Franklin, Skipp Coon and Pyinfamous.

Skipp Coon

Skipp Coon

Laymon also will offer a master class in creative writing for JSU and Millsaps students from 1-2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, at Millsaps College in the Gertrude C. Ford Academic Complex Room 215. JSU will provide transportation for students between the two campuses for each event.

Laymon earned an M.F.A. from Indiana University and is the author of the forthcoming novel, Long Division (Agate Bolden) in June 2013 and a collection of essays, How To Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America (Agate Boldenin August 2013. Laymon is a contributing editor at Gawker.com. He has written essays and stories for numerous publications including Esquire, ESPN.com, Gawker, Longman’s Hip Hop Reader, Mythium and Politics and Culture.

For more information about the Millsaps College portion of the event, contact Kenneth Townsend at 601-974-1001 or Kenneth.townsend@millsaps.edu.

For information about the Jackson State University portion of the event, contact Jean Gordon Cook at 601-979-1571 or jean.g.cook@jsums.edu.