JSCC announces task force for graduation plans

These times of uncertainty and constant change have made the decision of conducting a large gathering such as the Jackson State Community College’s graduation an unusual challenge. The administration of JSCC has assigned a graduation task force that will develop a plan for the 2020 graduation ceremony. This plan will be ready for approval by the president by June 5.

The task force will develop a way to survey the entire campus community, gather their input, and bring forth recommendations for the new president who will be appointed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

The interim president has approved the purchase of caps and gowns. Student Services will be contacting all students eligible for graduation and will have the graduation regalia available as soon as possible. “Having caps, gowns, and cords available for photo opportunities has been a primary request of graduates and their parents,” said Robin Marek, interim vice president of Student Services. “We want to get these significant mementos of accomplishment to students as quickly as possible.”

2020 Recommended Summer Reading List

BEHAVE – The Biology of Humans At Our Best and Worst, by Robert Sapolsky; recommended by Scott Woods

Why Don’t Students Like School? By Daniel T. Willingham; recommended by Nancy Hickey

The Tree of Meaning: Language, Mind and Ecology, by Robert Bringhurst; recommended by Abby Lackey

Das Kapital, by Karl Marx; recommended by Lawrence Gundersen

Red Moon, by Kim Stanley Robinson; recommended by Tony Rafalowski

Franklin and Winston: A Portrait of a Friendship, by Jon Meacham; recommended by Bob Raines

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America, by Erik Larson; recommended by Tammy Prater

Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from Our Culture of Contempt, by Arthur Brooks; recommended by Kim Rawson

Calypso, by David Sedaris; recommended by Kim Warren-Cox

This Is How You Lose The Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar; recommended by Will Shull

A Wrinkle In Time, by Madeline ‘Engle; recommended by Sara Youngerman

If Beale Street Could Talk, by James Baldwin; recommended by Anna Esquivel

Quichotte, by Salman Rushdie; recommended by Mechel Camp

Less, by Andrew Sean Greer; recommended by Liz Mayo

The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle, Hugh Lofting; recommended by Ryan Guth

White Noise, by Don DeLillo; recommended by David Hart

The Flight Girls, by Noelle Salazar; recommended by Melissa Sellers

The Demon in the Freezer, by Richard Preston; recommended by Kristi Watson

The Angel and the Assassin: The Tiny Brain Cell that Changed the Course of Medicine, by Donna Jackson Nakazawa; recommended by Vivian Minton

Black Hole, by Charles Burns; recommended by Candyce Sweet

The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin; recommended by Joseph Kappel

American Gods, by Neil Gainman; recommended by Ben Lawrence

William Shakespeare, the Complete Works; recommended by John Koons

Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel; recommended by Steve Cornelison


2019 Recommended Summer Reading List

Dr. Raines
The Overstory, by Richard Powers

Professor Hickey
Educated: A Memoir, by Tara Westover

Professor Cornelison
The Threat, by Andrew McCabe

Professor Lawrence
The Perfectionist, by Simon Winchester

Professor Woods
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History Paperback, by Elizabeth Kolbert

Professor Fore
The Worst Hard Times, by Timothy Egan

Dean Camp
Washington Black, by Esi Edugyan

Professor Lackey
When Things Fall Apart, by Pema Chodron

Professor Sellars
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, by Tom Franklin

Professor Rafalowski
On Reading Well, by Karen Swallow Prior

Professor Prater
Melmoth, by Sarah Perry

Dr. Mayo
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, by Yuval Noah Harari

Dr. Esquivel
To the Lighthouse, by Virginia Woolf

Professor Mayo
Poachers, by Tom Franklin

Adjunct Professor Shull
The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal

Dr. Hamilton
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and It’s All Small Stuff, by Richard Carlson

Dr. Ashbaugh
The Coddling of the American Mind, by Greg Lukianoff

Dean Youngerman
Joe Pickett, by CJ Box

Professor Kappel
Soccer in Sun and Shadow, by Eduardo Galeano

Professor Franklin
The Unvanquished, by William Faulkner

Professor Baker
The Wife Between Us, by Greer Hendricks

Professor Rawso
Limbo, by Alfred Lubrano

Dr. Smith
Pompeii, by Robert Harris

Dr. Kelley
Separate: The story of Plessy v. Ferguson, by Steve Luxenberg

Professor Sweet
Giraffes on Horseback Salad, by Josh Frank

Fuller, TCCAA Hall of Fame inductee, honored on home court

Paula Fuller, who played basketball at Jackson State from 1979 to 1981 and later coached the Lady Generals, was elected to the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association Hall of Fame.

Fuller was honored at a ceremony in the Jackson State Gymnasium on Feb. 23. The event was between the women’s and men’s basketball games.

“It was a total surprise,” Fuller said of learning about her election to the hall of fame. “It’s an awesome honor. You play ball all your life that you’re able to, and you do it because you have a love of the game. But you don’t think about your accomplishments, and being noticed for your play; it’s a tremendous honor.”

Fuller led the Lady Generals to a national third-place finish in 1981. She went on to Memphis State University and helped the Lady Tigers reach the Sweet 16 in the 1982 NCAA women’s basketball tournament. In 1983, Fuller and the Lady Tigers finished runner-up in the National Women’s Invitational Tournament.

As a player, she said she enjoyed traveling and experiencing different cultures. She also enjoyed the camaraderie with her teammates.

“The experience was extremely valuable, and the relationships that were established were ones that were lifelong,” she said.

After her playing days, she eventually returned to Jackson State and coached the Lady Generals. It was a different experience being on the other side of the ball she said, and she enjoyed coaching the players and watching as they matured into college student-athletes.

“Helping them understand what it means to be a team and seeing them exemplify the same attitude on and off the court was always rewarding,” she said.

Fall Semester Honor Roll Announced

The Office of Admissions and Records at Jackson State Community College released the honor roll for the Fall 2018 semester. On the honor roll, there were 227 full-time students who achieved a quality point average over 3.00. There were 409 students who made the dean’s list by achieving a quality point average of 3.50 or better.

Honor Roll is reserved for students who are enrolled for twelve (12) or more hours of college-level work (Learning Support excluded) and who complete a semester’s work with a quality point average between 3.00 and 3.49. See Fall 2018 Honor Roll

Dean’s List is reserved for students who are enrolled for twelve (12) or more hours of college-level work and who complete a semester’s work with a quality point average between 3.50 and 4.00. See Fall 2018 Dean’s List

Musician, songwriter to perform The Suitcase at JSCC

Jackson State Community College is scheduled to host Tim Lorsch and his performance of The Suitcase on Thursday, November 1 at 6:30 p.m. in the college’s Ayers Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public, and it is sponsored by the JSCC Honors Program and International Education. The one-man show tells the extraordinary true story of his German-Jewish family’s survival of the Holocaust through original music and narrative storytelling.

“I am the first-born son of Jews who fled From Nazi Germany in the late 1930s”, Lorsch states on his project website for The Suitcase. “Before the Holocaust, Germany was one of the safest places in the world for Jews. In less than a decade, that all ended.”

Dr. Bob Raines, Professor of Psychology at Jackson State and one of several advisors for the JSCC Honors Program, was drawn to this show for its story and what it could bring to the Jackson State community. “The story of Tim’s family is one of resilience in the face of horrific cruelty and brutality,” he says. “It’s a story about the potential consequences of bigotry, intolerance, and dehumanization. But it’s also a story about hope, beauty, and the power of art to transform us.”

In 2016, Lorsch received a suitcase sent to him in Nashville from an antique shop in Czechoslovakia. It was the suitcase his great uncle, Julius Israel Lorsch, took with him to a concentration camp. The arrival of this piece of family history sparked an idea to create music to tell his family’s story. Using looping technology he is able to layer different instruments together live on stage and weave his songs into the narrative. Lorsch writes that this project “reflects the hopes, dreams, resilience and vulnerability of the immigrant experience.”

Lorsch is a lifelong musician and began playing the violin at the age of seven. During his performances he uses the violin, octoviolin, and cello to tell his story, adding commentary and narratives along the way. Based in Nashville, Lorsch has a more than 40-year career in the music industry as a producer, session player, arranger, and songwriter. He has produced critically acclaimed records and has contributed to Grammy and Emmy Award-winning projects.

Ultimately, Dr. Raines believes that the audience will not only be entertained, he also believes they will be inspired to reflect on our collective capacity for kindness, benevolence, decency, and grace. “Empathy is the ultimate antidote to dehumanization, and stories help us to identify the humanness in others,” he says. “Maybe this is a good time to remind ourselves that we are all much more alike than we are different.”

For more information about Tim Lorsch and his project, The Suitcase, go to www.thesuitcase.world. For event information or other opportunities in the JSCC Honors Program, contact Dr. Bob Raines at 731-424-3520 x. 50438 or by email at braines@jscc.edu, or Mary Wadley for International Education at 731-424-3520 x. 50252 or by email at mwadley@jscc.edu.

Jackson State provides foundation for agent’s FBI career

Scott Lawson, a storied FBI agent who helped break a multimillion dollar money laundering scheme by one of Mexico’s most notorious drug cartels, traces the roots of his career to Jackson State.

A basketball player, he wanted to further his athletic ambitions while taking basic undergrad courses. He hadn’t picked a major, so he felt Jackson State would be a good fit and a good bargain for the prerequisite classes he would need to take. After earning an associate degree in computer networking in 2002, he left for Middle Tennessee State University.

“JSCC did an excellent job both in preparing me for the workforce and preparing me to excel in my studies at a four-year university,” Lawson said. “My instructors at JSCC really took a hands-on approach, actively assisted in helping me obtain internships, and seemed concerned in my career progression.”

His transition from Jackson State to MTSU was flawless, he said, and all of his classes easily transferred. “The teachers at JSCC challenged me in a way that made me feel prepared to take the next step in my education. Also important to me was not wasting money at MTSU for the first two years of my degree while being unsure of what my future major would be.”

Lawson ultimately pursued a degree in criminal psychology at MTSU. His father was in law enforcement, and he decided he wanted to serve his community in a similar manner.

“My ambition guided me to the FBI because I wanted a professional atmosphere in which I could investigate and track the most heinous of perpetrators.”

His background at Jackson State gave him a well-rounded resume with computer science training, which is beneficial for federal employment. Jackson State also helped him land an internship that turned into a two-year position as a network administrator, which helped as he was recruited by the FBI.

After joining the FBI, Lawson was assigned to Laredo, Texas, on the Mexican border and tasked with investigating drug activity. In January 2010, Lawson was asked to check out a tip about the sale of a horse. It led to a massive investigation that exposed a money laundering scheme by the brutal drug cartel, Los Zetas.

Lawson helped determine that the cartel used the lucrative quarter horse racing industry to hide millions of dollars in drug money as it bought, bred and raced its horses. The cartel also fixed races.

The investigation resulted in the June 2012 arrest of Jose Trevino Morales, the brother of cartel leader Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, and the seizure of millions in assets from the Morales’s farm. Ten people, including Jose, were convicted on charges related to the case. Miguel was arrested by Mexican authorities a year later.

The success of the investigation garnered several national news stories and inspired a couple of books. A movie with actor Channing Tatum is also in development.

UT Martin and JSCC Sign Dual Admission Partnership

Representatives from Jackson State Community College and UT Martin signed a dual admission partnership (DAP) agreement as a continuation of the partnership between the two colleges on Monday, September 10, 2018. The event took place on Jackson State’s main campus in the McWherter Building lobby.

“Jackson State Community College has an excellent partnership with UT Martin, and we are pleased to continue this partnership with a dual admission agreement,” said Dr. Allana Hamilton, JSCC president. “This partnership is a tremendous opportunity for students to complete their degree at both the associate and baccalaureate levels.”

The partnership will offer students a structured, guaranteed pathway for attaining a four-year bachelor’s degree by providing a seamless and guaranteed transition from a JSCC associate’s degree program to a UT bachelor’s degree program. UTM will also guarantee admission to eligible JSCC students.

JSCC students will have access to both JSCC and UTM faculty and staff throughout their tenure in the DAP, including access to advising, support services, library services, academic and computer labs, career services, and sporting and cultural events.

The DAP will provide an opportunity for students to save money and avoid costly student loans by enrolling for their first two years at a community college with lower tuition and fees as well as the ability to take advantage of state incentives available such as Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect.

“We are excited about this partnership with Jackson State Community College,” said Dr. Keith Carver, UT Martin chancellor. “Both UT Martin and Jackson State are committed to driving access and completion for this region, and this agreement solidifies a smooth, clearly-defined path for students all across west Tennessee.”

Dual Enrollment Student Wins FFA Essay Competition

Jackson State Dual Enrollment student Hunter Goodman recently won first place in the Agriscience essay for the State of Tennessee through Future Farmers of America (FFA). Goodman is a senior at Henry County High School in Paris.

Goodman’s essay, “Effects of Corn Variety Comparisons on Migrating Waterfowl”, stems from an experiment he developed with his father. He says they worked with the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Association (TWRA), who supplied the two with supplies and a place to plant the crop. The experiment consisted of field evaluations to check for insect infestations, crop yield, and plant height.

Ultimately, Goodman’s experiment revealed that controlling corn ear heights could help control the duck migration. He also says the experiment can also be applied in conservationism. “You can put more food on what land you’ve got, and the waterfowls can stay there longer during the season,” he says.

After his essay was chosen as a first place winner in the state, Goodman had the opportunity to present it at the national convention in Nashville last month. He is still deciding between colleges but plans to pursue a degree in agronomy, the study of soil and plants.

JSCC Community Career and Job Fair a Huge Success

The April 11 career and job fair at Jackson State marked the third year the event was opened to the public. The event has experienced remarkable growth each year with 85 vendors having booths. There were 14 colleges and universities participating this year.

There was a noticeable increase traffic this year, too. While the actual number of people attending the event is not known, there was a steady flow of attendees for the duration of the job fair. At times the entire gym floor was awash with people. Nearly 400 attendees took the time to complete the survey.

Those attending the event included 7 area high schools, 4 TCATs, and job applicants from 4 employments agencies. Annette Deaton, JSCC’s coordinator of placement and career services, stated that there were many attendees outside of the ones that were actually accounted for.

“The response to the career fair has been tremendous,” said Deaton. “I cannot thank everyone at Jackson State enough for their response for this event. It would not be possible without their participation and willingness to help.”