Jackson State’s Tinsley headed to 2012 Olympics with win in 400m hurdles

Michael Tinsley finished first during the men’s 400 meter hurdles at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials Sunday, July 1, 2012, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Former Jackson State University men’s track and field standout Michael Tinsley  will compete in the 2012 Olympics after winning the men’s 400 meter hurdles Sunday evening during the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon.  
Tinsley’s win (with a time of 48.33 seconds) earned him a spot on the 2012 United States Olympic team, who will compete in the 2012 Olympics in London, England beginning July 27. 
While at Jackson State, Tinsley earned national and international recognition in 2006 when he finished sixth at the USA Outdoor meet and won at the NCAA Championships, becoming the first JSU track athlete to win an NCAA Division I title.
Also in 2006, Tinsley won at the Texas Relays and continued to move up in the national rankings. He ended the year ranked number 10 in the Track and Field News World Rankings.
In 2005, Tinsley earned a third-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. He was ranked number 7 at the end of the year in the U.S. Track & Field News.
At the 2004 Southwestern Athletics Conference Outdoor Championships, Tinsley won both the 110-meter and 400-meter hurdles titles.
Spencer McClenty

JSU installs 750kw electric generator to enhance emergency preparedness

Jackson State University recently completed the installation of a 750kw electric generator at the T.B. Ellis Building on the university’s main campus.

Jackson State University recently completed the installation of a 750kw electric generator at the T.B. Ellis Building on the university’s main campus.

The generator was acquired after the university was awarded a $315,000 grant from the Mississippi Department of Health and the Federal Health Services to prepare the T. B. Ellis Building for use as a Special Medical Needs shelter during designated emergency periods.

“We have worked with the Mississippi Department of Health and the Federal Health Services on several projects, and it is indeed fortunate for JSU to have this generator to combat some of the challenges we could face during critical times,” said Curtis Johnson, director of Support Services and Emergency Management.

In the summer of 2008, the Mississippi State Health Department contacted Johnson to request that the university work with the Federal Health Service in housing some evacuees and health care professionals during Hurricane Gustav. After being impressed with services provided by various areas of JSU, the Federal Health Service sought to establish the university as a permanent emergency location.

“We are constantly striving to ensure that our university is prepared to be a safe haven during any emergency situation,” said Carolyn W. Meyers, president of Jackson State University. “This project truly supports that effort.”

Felix Okojie, vice president for Research and Federal Relations, also assisted in this project.

This is a very valuable resource for JSU,” Okojie said. “I am glad to have worked with Dr. Johnson, who is actively involved in emergency management collaborations with the university and various external agencies.”

The shelter project is expected to provide JSU with new opportunities for innovation in the areas of emergency management and safety.

“We are preparing to increase training for personnel, educate our communities and identify opportunities to garner resources through collaborations and grants,” Johnson said. “As we improve, we are asking everyone to join us and support this endeavor to improve preparedness and response at JSU.”

For more information, contact Curtis Johnson at cjohnson@jsums.edu.
Spencer McClenty


JSU names Derrick McCall offensive coordinator

Derrick McCall

Jackson State University head football coach Rick Comegy has named Derrick McCall to serve as offensive coordinator. The 2012 season marks McCall’s fifth as a member of the JSU Tigers coaching staff. In the last two seasons he served as the quarterbacks coach under Comegy.

For the first two seasons at JSU he was the wide receivers coach. Prior to coming to JSU he served two seasons with Shaw University as the Associate Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator.

McCall has a wealth of knowledge and experience. In 2007, his second season at Shaw, McCall helped lead the Bears to a Central Intercollegiate Athletics Association Championship and a historic NCAA Division II berth.

From 2002-05, he was the wide receivers coach for the Tuskegee University Golden Tigers. While at Tuskegee, he served as Interim Head Football Coach and won a SIAC Championship and Pioneer Bowl Championship. He has helped send two athletes to the National Football League, Harry Williams of the Houston Texans and Calvin Russell of the Green Bay Packers and one athlete to the Arena Football League, Ken Henderson of the Philadelphia Soul.

From 1985-87, he coached with the semi-pro football team, Buck Town Suns. He spent one season, in 1988, as the quarterback coach at Edison High School in Miami, Fla. From 1996-97, he coached at Shaw High School in Mobile, Al. From 1997-2000, McCall was the assistant head football coach and offensive coordinator at M.T. Blount High School, where he helped led them to three consecutive Alabama 5-A State Championship titles. He also served as quarter back coach for the Mobile Seagulls Arena Football League from 1999-2000.

McCall also had a successful collegiate career as a quarterback for Jackson State from 1979-82. While at Jackson State, he won two SWAC Championships and made two NCAA Division I-AA playoff appearances.

 The Mobile, Ala. native is a 2001 graduate of Spring Hill College, he received a bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in management. He is a member of the American Football Coaches Association, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Mt. Hebron Baptist Church. McCall is the proud parent of three daughters, Tiffany, Tanesha and India. He has two grandchildren, Isaac and RhyAnn. He is married to the former Theresa Middlebrook

JSU awarded $5.4 million to establish a center of excellence on minority health disparities

Dr. Felix Okojie

Jackson State University, through the Institute of Epidemiology and Health Services Research, has been awarded a five-year $5.4 million grant by the National Institutes of Health – National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to establish a NIH Transdisciplinary Center of Excellence on National Health Disparities.

The Center will be managed by Dr. Marinelle Payton who serves as the Assistant Dean for Research in the College of Public Service and Principal Investigator of this grant award.  “This project has much public health relevance in that it will utilize multi-transdisciplinary research approaches and strategies to implement multi-level individual, population –based, and policy interventions to address health disparities, especially, as related to obesity and becoming a model for understanding and improving the health of minorities and underserved populations in Mississippi,” says Dr. Felix Okojie, Vice President for Research and Federal Relations and Professor of Public Health and Education.

The JSU Center will focus on understanding minority health disparities through

Dr. Marinelle Payton

intensive, multidisciplinary research projects and approaches designed to accelerate the translation of research findings into improvements in patient care, community health, education and training of current and future health disparity researchers and practitioners.  The specific aims are to: develop and maintain an administrative and institutional infrastructure to support the project as a whole; advance scientific understanding of the interrelationship between abdominal obesity and genetics; carry out translational research that will contribute to knowledge and eliminate health disparities; provide exemplary research training and education activities to students and junior faculty from health disparity populations to increase the numbers of well-trained researchers from minority and health disparity populations; and, to engage minority and health disparity communities in effective and sustainable partnerships and activities for improving the health of their communities, increasing the numbers of individuals from minority and health disparity populations engaged in research activities for increasing health literacy and knowledge of health disparities.

Most significantly, the Center will enhance the quality and quantity of research on minority health and health disparities, provide high quality research career development training, and strengthen community ties.

“As a result of being funded as a NIH Center of Excellence on Minority Health Disparities, Jackson State University will be eligible to apply for the endowment funds available for health research, education, and training,” according to Dr. Felix Okojie.


Spencer McClenty

Jackson State to observe the 42nd anniversary of May 1970 campus shooting

Alexander Hall, May 15,1970

Click here to watch the memorial luncheon live at 11:30 a.m. April 20. 

Jackson State University will honor the memory of Phillip Lafayette Gibbs and James Earl Green during the 42nd Anniversary Gibbs-Green Memorial on April 19-20 on the university’s main campus at 1400 John R. Lynch Street. The annual Gibbs-Green Memorial serves as a reminder of the tragic campus shooting of the spring of 1970, which claimed the lives of two young men and injured 12 others.

On May 14, 1970, dozens of city and state policemen unloaded more than 460 rounds of gunfire into JSU’s Alexander Hall after claiming to have seen a sniper in a window on the building’s top floor. The shooting was the culmination of years of racial tension between white motorists who traveled through the JSU campus on John R. Lynch Street and JSU students.

Additionally, during the opening festivities of this year’s observance the university will officially unveil the Mississippi Freedom Mile Marker at Alexander Hall West as part of the Mississippi Freedom Trail. This cultural initiative is designed to commemorate the state’s Civil Rights heritage.

Other events will include the following:

 Thursday, April 19, 2012

JSU Freedom Mile Marker Unveiling
9 a.m., Alexander Hall @ Gibbs Green Pedestrian Walkway (Indoors for Inclement Weather)
This year’s memorial observance will include the unveiling of Jackson State University’s Freedom Mile Marker.

Open Mic and Talk Time:  Educating our Students – Gibbs-Green 101 Interactive Session
noon, Gibbs Green Pedestrian Walkway
This interactive session with members of the Class of 1970 and current students will focus on the conditions and climate that precipitated the May 1970 campus shooting at Jackson State

Campus Tours and Meet and Greet with Members of the Class of 1970
A tour of Jackson State’s facilities that gave rise to our community connectivity and involvement in the pre and post 60s will be rediscovered along our historic Lynch Street tour route.

Candlelight Vigil
5:30 p.m., Gibbs-Green Memorial @ Alexander Hall
In memory of Phillip Lafayette Gibbs and James Earl Green, the memorial Candlelight Vigil will honor the legacy of our fallen heroes.

Commemorative  Celebration – ‘When The Shots Rang Out’
7– 9 p.m., JSU Interfaith Choir, Gibbs-Green Pedestrian Walkway (McCoy Auditorium – Inclement Weather)
This commemorative celebration includes a night of inspirational entertainment from Jackson State University’s Interfaith Choir and local community choirs.  Special program highlights will also include performances from the JSU Maddrama dramatic guild, Spoken Word and oral presentations from eye-witnesses who were on the scene ‘when the shots rang out’.

Opening Reception
9 p.m., Penguin Restaurant
Hosted and sponsored by the Hinds County Black Legislators, the private Opening Reception will feature an exhibit of photos and collectibles from the 1970 campus shooting.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Students’ Forum on Race Relations and Sub-Cultures in Higher Education
9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m., Student Center – TBA
Participants facilitating our student forum will examine the impact of race relations in today’s markets and sub-cultures in higher education at historically black colleges and universities.  The audience is encouraged to share in the exchange of these experiences as they relate to their experiences in the higher education academy.

 Victims’ Impact Session
10 a.m. – 11:15 a.m., Student Center – TBA
Members of the Class of 1970 will share their experiences of the fateful night of May 14, 1970.  The impact of the campus shooting, its aftermath and how the event shaped their lives will be shared with our students, faculty, staff and community.

Fannie Lou Hamer Institute Humanitarian Awards Luncheon
11:30 a.m., Student Center Ballrooms A & B
This year’s Fannie Lou Hamer Humanitarian Awards Luncheon will honor members of the Class of 1970 and activists John Garner, Dr. Susan Glisson, Dr. Hickman Johnson . Flonzie Brown-Wright and a special tribute to Reverend Isaiah Madison (posthumously). General admission tickets are $35 and $25 for members of the Class of 1970.

Campus Tours
2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Enjoy the campus scenery and buzz with guided tours of our College of Engineering, Campbell Suites, Johnson Hall, College of Liberal Arts, College of Business, Payton Health & Wellness Center and our Student Center.

Jazz on the Plaza featuring Cassandra Wilson
7 p.m., Gibbs-Green Pedestrian Walkway
Relax, unwind and take in the cool sounds of JSU jazz-extraordinaire, Dr. Russell Thomas and Time Magazine’s New Jazz Artist of the Year and JSU alumnus Cassandra Wilson at Jazz on the Plaza.

For additional information, contact Jean C. Frazier in the Office of Community Affairs and Events at (601) 979-1732.
Spencer McClenty

JSU staff member chosen as interim project manager for Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

Angela Stewart

Jackson State University employee Angela Stewart has been selected to serve as Interim Project Manager of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, which will be constructed in downtown Jackson next to the William F. Winter Archives and History Building.

Stewart has served as the archivist for the Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University since 2004. She received a master’s degree in public history from Kent State University and a bachelor’s degree in history from Alcorn State University. Stewart received additional training from the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C., the Modern Archives Institute and also served as a summer intern at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.

“I am really looking forward to this opportunity to collaborate with others and help develop the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum,” Stewart said.

During the 2011 legislative session, the Mississippi Legislature appropriated approximately $40 million for the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the Museum of Mississippi History, which will be built simultaneously. The two museums will share some facilities but be distinct in their exhibits and missions. The goal is to open both by 2017, the bicentennial of the state of Mississippi.

“This is a great opportunity for Ms. Stewart, the Margaret Walker Center, and Jackson State to play a key role in the development and future of the Civil Rights Museum,” said Robert Luckett, director of the Margaret Walker Center. “We couldn’t be any happier.”

Community meetings to provide public input into the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum will be facilitated by Hilferty Museum Planning/Exhibit Design and Monadnock Media on Tuesday, Feb. 28, in Hattiesburg, Miss., and on Wednesday, Feb. 29, in McComb, Miss. Additional meetings will be scheduled in communities around the state. For more information, contact the Margaret Walker Center at 601-979-0255 or mwa@jsums.edu.
Posted by Spencer McClenty


JSUgo approaching 10,000 downloads

Thanks to the Jackson State University community, the JSUgo mobile app has garnered nearly 10,000 downloads in less than four months! Help us get over the hump by downloading the JSUgo mobile app on your Android or Apple mobile device TODAY.
For more information visit http://www.jsums.edu/jsugo .

by Spencer McClenty

JSU Payton Center launches Camp Tiger Watch

Jackson State University’s Walter Payton Recreation and Wellness Center recently launched Camp Tiger Watch, a new child watch service for commuter students who have children. The camp consists of books, movies, television, homework zones, safe toys and an outside play area for campers.

“The university realized that we have lots of commuter students who are parents, who would love to be able to leave their children in a safe and secure environment on campus while they attend classes,” said Shedrick Rogers, assistant director for Recreation Programs and Youth Services at the Walter Payton Center.

“Additionally, this program will expose these students to the Payton Center as a resource for other services.”

Camp Tiger Watch, which is also available for Payton Center members, is for children up to 14 years of age. All children must be potty trained. Fees are $20 per month or $5 per day. Each child will be signed in upon arrival by their parent and signed out by the same parent during departure. A photo I.D. must be presented by the parent before any child is released.

“We designed the camp to ensure that campers will spend idle time productively in a safe and secure place,” Rogers said.

Camp Tiger Watch will be available Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Fridays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will accommodate a maximum of 30 campers at a time. Parents who use the camp must be either using the Payton Center or attending evening classes. Those attending classes will be required to show proof of their class schedule. For more information contact the Walter Payton Center at 601-979-1368.
by Spencer McClenty

MLI touts new logo designed by JSU student

The Mississippi Learning Institute (MLI) at Jackson State University has a new logo. In January, Nikisha Ware, executive director of MLI, launched a campus-wide student competition to create a fresh and innovative new logo that illustrates the new tagline: MLI…When educating differently requires a different kind of partnership.

After receiving nearly 30 submissions, a panel of MLI partners and representatives from JSU, chose the image above that now identifies the state’s only public school-university collaborative partnership.

The winner of the $500 contest is James E. Roach II, a senior Professional Interdisciplinary Studies major, who earned an associate’s degree in Graphic Design from Hinds Community College. Roach, who’s been designing for 12 years, intends to complete his current studies at JSU and afterward, obtain a master’s degree in Divinity.

MLI currently serves 16 schools in the Jim Hill and Callaway High Schools feeder patterns.  The institute has had a significant impact on reading achievement, teacher performance, and principal leadership development.

“Great things are happening at MLI, and who better to assist with the branding transition than our own Jackson State students,” Ware said. “I commend Mr. Roach on a job well done.”

For more information about MLI, visit mlims.org.
posted by Spencer McClenty


JSU recognized as top “Military Friendly School” for second consecutive year

For the second consecutive year, G.I. Jobs magazine has ranked Jackson State University in its annual list of Top Military Friendly Schools.  This list honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace America’s service members and veterans as students.

“We’re honored to receive this distinction,” said Kimberly Jones-Ward, coordinator of veterans affairs in the JSU Office of Registrar and Records. “It means we take care of our student-veterans.”

Jackson State University, the only Mississippi-based Historically Black College or University to make the list, offers a variety of services for veterans, reservists and their dependents throughout the campus. The university is currently in the process of finalizing plans for its new Center for Veterans Services, which will focus on three major initiatives: recruiting, academic and career enhancement, and job placement assistance. The center also will be able to provide veterans with services that will ensure academic success.

“Veterans or military-oriented students want to know what programs schools have that will address their unique needs and concerns,” Jones-Ward said. “So we feel honored to be recognized as a school that is willing and able to serve our veterans in a unique way.”

The 2012 list of Military Friendly Schools was compiled through extensive research and a data-driven survey of more than 8,000 schools nationwide. The 1,518 colleges, universities and trade schools on this year’s list prioritize the recruitment of students with military experience. These schools are making the grade by offering scholarships and discounts, veterans’ clubs, full-time staff, military credit and other services to those who served. Methodology, criteria and weighting for the list were developed with the assistance of an Academic Advisory Board consisting of educators from schools across the country.
by Spencer McClenty