Jackson State Community College Presidential Search Advisory Committee’s first meeting and public forum set for Nov. 15

The Search Advisory Committee that will lead the search for a new president of Jackson State Community College has been selected and will meet Nov. 15 at the college, following a public forum to gather campus and community input.

The forum is scheduled from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in Room 111 of the Jim Moss Center for Nursing building on the college’s main campus at 2046 North Parkway, Jackson. Members of the public and the college community can express their views about the characteristics, qualities, and skills the next president should have.

The Search Advisory Committee will meet from 12:15 to 2:30 p.m. in Room 111 of the Jim and Janet Ayers Health Sciences Building. There will also be a brief public comment period at the start of that meeting. Both the forum and the first committee meeting are open to the public.

Jackson State’s fifth president, Dr. Allana Hamilton, was appointed Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs of the College System of Tennessee by the Tennessee Board of Regents in September and assumed her new role at the system office in Nashville last month. Dr. Jeff Sisk, president of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Jackson, is also serving as interim president of JSCC until the next president is selected and takes office.

The committee’s first meeting is mainly an orientation session for its members. The committee’s charge is to identify up to three finalists, who will be invited to the campus for interviews with the committee and forums with the campus community and public. TBR Chancellor Flora W. Tydings will then select a final candidate for submission to the full Board of Regents for its consideration and approval. The goal is to have the new president in office by July 1.

The 17-member Search Advisory Committee includes four members of the Board of Regents, the college’s governing board, plus representatives of the Jackson State faculty, students, staff and alumni, and the local community. The committee is chaired by Regent Barbara Prescott.

Read more about the presidential search process, including the preferred and expected criteria for the position and how to apply and submit nominees.

Members of the Search Advisory Committee members are:

Regent Barbara Prescott, Chair

Regent Emily J. Reynolds

Regent Greg Duckett

Regent Robert Pepper

Ms. Candyce Sweet

Ms. Terri Messer

Ms. Shiloh Coleman

Ms. Marian Sagahon

Ms. Robin Marek

Dr. Delita Thompson Johnson

Ms. Dana Nails

Mr. Tim Dellinger

Mr. Kyle Spurgeon

Mr. Jim Ferrell

Mr. Bill Kipp

Ms. Janet Ayers

Dr. Keith Carver
Chancellor of the University of Tennessee at Martin

Innovation choral ensemble to perform Winter Concert

Innovation, Jackson State Community College’s choral ensemble, will perform its winter concert on Monday, November 25. The performance will begin at 6 p.m. in Ayers Auditorium at the McWherter Center on the college’s main campus. The event is free and open to the public.

This year, Innovation will sing a medley from the movie The Nightmare Before Christmas. They will also sing a number of other Christmas selections including Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and several African spirituals.

Now an annual tradition, the event has made strides to help others by raising funds and awareness for the JSCC Nest (formerly the food pantry). In addition to providing food to students in need, Jackson State’s Nest also provides an emergency relief fund that supports students in need. The Nest also makes other essentials available such as clothing, personal hygiene products, and gas cards.

While admission is free, donations to the JSCC Nest are suggested. Most people attending this event either bring items for the pantry or make a monetary donation.

The Nest serves many students over the course of a year. Anyone can contribute to the food pantry year-round. Contact Student Services at 731-425-8820 to make a donation.

Smiley event at JSCC to be rescheduled

Due to unforeseen personal circumstances, the meet-and-greet event with Rickey Smiley at Jackson State Community College will be rescheduled. The event, originally scheduled for this Friday, November 8, will be rescheduled for a day in December. Information about a new date will be posted as soon as it becomes available.

JSCC professors enhance effectiveness through personal research

Scholarly works written by Dr. Liz Mayo and Professor James Mayo, both of whom serve as associate professors of English at Jackson State Community College, are receiving recognition.

Dr. Mayo’s essay, “‘Some Unheard-Of Thing:’ Performing Xenophobia and Gender Conformity in the play The Member of the Wedding,” was recognized by the Carson McCullers Society as the “Outstanding Conference Paper” for 2018. Her essay was presented at the Carson McCullers in the World: A Centenary Conference” in Rome, Italy.

Both Dr. Mayo and Prof. Mayo presented papers at the conference, and both of their essays were chosen to be included in an anthology of conference proceedings to be published this winter by Negative Capability Press.

A separate scholarly essay by Dr. Mayo will be included as a chapter in a forthcoming book on the short fiction of Carson McCullers published by Mercer University Press; she will present this chapter at the American Literature Association Conference in San Diego next May. Also, her scholarly work on South Korean writer Han Kang’s The Vegetarian will appear as part of an anthology to be published by Routledge in 2020. She continues to write both academic articles and creative nonfiction essays focused on teaching including publications appearing in The Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed.

In addition to his September conference paper presentation on Wallace Stegner at the Western Literature Association Conference in Estes Park, Colorado, Prof. Mayo has recently finished a scholarly essay on Norman Maclean’s novella, A River Runs Through It, which will be published in the journal Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature. Beyond academic writing pursuits, Prof. Mayo also published his poem “Revisionism” in the August-November issue of Our Jackson Home, and he was a featured columnist in the most recent Carson McCullers Society Newsletter.

Both professors say that working on their personal research enhances their effectiveness as writing instructors.

“The Pollinators” to be hosted by JSCC Honors Program

The Jackson State Community College Honors Program will host a screening of the award-winning documentary film The Pollinators, Wednesday, November 6, at 6:30 PM in the Ayers Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

The Pollinators is a cinematic journey around the United States following migratory beekeepers and their truckloads of honey bees as they pollinate the flowers that become the fruits, nuts, and vegetables we all eat. The many challenges these beekeepers and their bees face en route reveal the many threats to their survival that bees face now. The filmmakers talk to farmers, scientists, chefs and academics along the way to give a broad perspective about the threats to honey bees, what it means to our food security and how we can improve it.

This film has already been selected by 25 national and international film festivals and has been honored as “Best Documentary” at seven of them. The Tennessee Beekeepers Association, Tennessee Environmental Council, Tennessee Sierra Club, and many other groups fully endorse this documentary and are promoting it statewide.

The trailer for the movie can be seen at us.demand.film/the-pollinators/

JSCC RADT lab named for pioneering program director

The state-of-the-art radiologic technology lab at Jackson State Community College was officially dedicated as the Neta McKnight Radiologic Technology (RADT) Laboratory on Wednesday, October 23.

Dr. Walter Nelms, JSCC’s first academic dean and second president, often refers to Mrs. McKnight as a pioneer in the area of education for the field of radiology. The program, when first established in 1970, was the third college-based program in the country and the first one east of the Mississippi River. Prior to this, training for radiologic technicians was done in hospitals.

Neta McKnight served 37 years as the director for the program before her retirement in 2007. She continues to serve as a board member of the JSCC Foundation, establishing her as the longest-serving member with more than 40 years of service.

During her tenure as director of and faculty member for the RADT program, Mrs. McKnight helped to train hundreds of radiologic technicians in West Tennessee. Her passion for teaching and for the profession also led her to secure funding for scholarships that have met the needs of students for decades. McKnight successfully established nine endowed radiology scholarships that total approximately $185,000. These endowments provide approximately $5,000 to $7,000 per year in scholarships for students to successfully complete the program.

Current program director Kim Benson credits McKnight with a philanthropic vision to provide RAD Tech students with scholarships. “It is a blessing that Mrs. McKnight had the foresight to prepare a way for student needs for so many years,” said Benson. “She saw and understood the financial need in RAD Tech students nearly 40 years ago and her work continues to provide for students still today.”

Benson says that the naming of the RADT lab in McKnight’s honor is a way to preserve and highlight her dedication and vision and for students to always be aware and acknowledge her immense contribution.

Taylor Moore takes lead role for Green Jays Softball

South Gibson four-sport athlete and Medina native Taylor Moore is now the head coach for the Jackson State Community College Green Jays Softball team. Tuesday, October 29 was her first day on the job.

“We are extremely happy for the addition of Taylor to the Green Jays’ coaching staff at Jackson State,” said JSCC Athletic Director Steve Cornelison. “Taylor is an exemplary athlete with a passion for the game of softball. We look forward to the excitement and energy she will bring to the program.”

Graduating her 2012 South Gibson class as salutatorian, Taylor was a Wendy’s High School Heisman nominee as a senior after lettering in softball, basketball, soccer and running cross-country. She was honored as All-District 15-A all four years in high school, All-Tournament Team 2010-2012, All-State Team Honorable Mention in 2010, Jackson Sun Second Team All-West Tennessee in 2010 and All-State Second Team in 2012. She was the West Tennessee All-Star Game MVP in 2012. Moore was also a part of the 2010 ASA National Championship team with Impact Fastpitch.

Moore was an All-District selection for 2010-2012 for both soccer and basketball, and All-Tournament Team selection in 2012 for basketball. She was honored on the All-State Teams as an Honorable Mention in 2011, and Second Team in 2012 as a soccer standout.

In addition to her involvement with South Gibson athletics, Moore was a Student Ambassador and the Homecoming Queen and also participated in Beta Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Future Farmers of America, and Future Business Leaders of America.

After high school, Moore was a student-athlete at Dyersburg State Community College. She graduated with an A.A. in Science in 2014. During her time at DSCC, she was a career .365 hitter for DSCC with 57 total hits, 15 doubles, one triple, five home runs, and 56 RBI. She was nominated Most Valuable Player in 2013-14 season, and All-Conference First Team in 2014.

Upon graduating DSCC, Moore continued to play at Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, TN. At Martin Methodist, Moore was a heavily regarded defensive player for the RedHawks and spent two seasons as starting third baseman. She was a career .301 hitter for MMC with 97 total hits, 14 doubles, four triples, five home runs, and 53 RBI. She served as the President of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Biology Club. Moore graduated with a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Chemistry in 2017.

While finishing up her B.S. degree, Moore stayed involved in the softball program as the student-assistant. After graduation, she was hired as a full-time assistant for the softball program and was in that role for the last two years. Moore graduated in May of 2019 with her Master of Business Administration from Martin Methodist College and is a member of Sigma Beta Delta.

PTA and OTA information sessions to be held at JSCC

The Physical Therapist Assistant and Occupational Therapy Assistant programs at Jackson State Community College will host two information sessions for those interested in learning more about the programs. There will be two sessions on Monday, November 11 from noon to 1 p.m. and again from 5 to 6 p.m. Both sessions will meet in conference room 224 of the Jim and Janet Ayers Center for Health Sciences.

Both programs are designed for students who intend to begin careers in their respective fields upon graduation. Graduates of Jackson State’s PTA and OTA programs are eligible to apply for licensure in any state and, if approved by that state, sit for the National Physical Therapy Examination or the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy.

Additional information about the PTA and OTA programs at JSCC can be found at www.jscc.edu/pta or www.jscc.edu/ota, respectively. For more information regarding the information sessions, contact Jane David, PTA program director, at 731-424-3520 ext. 50214 or jdavid@jscc.edu, or Julie Bezold, OTA program director, at 731-424-3520 ext. 50755 or jbezold@jscc.edu.

Tennessee Board of Regents schedules conference call meeting Oct. 31 to consider criteria for next president of Jackson State Community College

The Tennessee Board of Regents will meet by telephone conference call Oct. 31 to consider approving the criteria and job description for the next president of Jackson State Community College, the first step in the presidential search process.

At its Sept. 20 quarterly meeting, the Board of Regents appointed Jackson State President Allana Hamilton as vice chancellor for academic affairs for the College System of Tennessee, which the Board governs. Hamilton assumed her new duties Oct. 16, creating a vacancy at the West Tennessee college. TBR Chancellor Flora W. Tydings appointed Dr. Jeff Sisk to serve as interim president until the search process is completed and the next president takes office. Sisk is president of the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology at Jackson and Whiteville, and continues those duties while serving as interim chief executive officer at Jackson State.

The Regents’ teleconference meeting is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. CT, Oct. 31. The call is open to the public and anyone wishing to listen can request call-in information by contacting Board Secretary Sonja Mason at sonja.mason@tbr.edu or 615-366-3927.

Regent Barbara Prescott will chair the Jackson State Presidential Search Advisory Committee, whose members are in the process of being selected. The committee will include representatives of Jackson State’s faculty, staff, students, alumni and the broader West Tennessee community served by the college. When the committee is fully selected and appointed, its membership, date of first meeting and details of the search process – including candidate application and nomination information and a timeline – will be announced and posted on the TBR website at https://www.tbr.edu/hr/executivesearches.

The criteria for the next president will also be posted on the website above when approved by the Board. The proposed criteria the Board will consider include but are not limited to: an earned doctorate from an accredited institution (preferred); a distinguished record of teaching and experience in public higher education (preferred); a minimum of five years successful campus administrative experience at a level with significant decision-making responsibilities affecting an entire campus or as head of a major academic or administrative unit in an academic environment (preferred); a distinguished record of extensive senior-level administrative experience in a complex business, industry or government enterprise.

FAFSA workshops to be held at JSCC

The time to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2020-2021 academic year has arrived. Jackson State Community College is hosting a series of workshops to assist students and their parents in completing the application. The workshops will begin on October 28 with the last one being held on January 30.

Completion of the FAFSA is an essential requirement to access financial aid for attending college. This requirement extends to all of those who have applied for or receive the last-dollar scholarships known as Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect.

John Brandt, Director of Financial Aid, encourages everyone to attend the free workshops at JSCC. “This is a great opportunity to take care of this detail that is essential for receiving financial assistance of any kind,” said Brandt. “With a small amount of preparation, this task can be completed in approximately 30 minutes, and we are more than happy to help.”

The documentation needed at the workshop includes tax returns, W2 forms, amounts for child support paid or received, and any other relevant financial documents for the 2018 tax year. Students who are claimed as dependents are asked to bring a parent with them.

For a complete listing of dates and times, visit www.jscc.edu/fafsa. Call 731-425-2605 for any other questions.