Jackson State Designated as National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance 2-Year Education by National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security

Jackson State Community College held a press conference today, June 26 from 10-11 a.m. in McWherter Centers Kisber Conference Room to announce the recent award recognition from the National Security Agency that designated Jackson State Community College as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance 2-Year Education.

Participants for the conference included: Dr. Tom Pigg, Professor of Computer Information Systems at Jackson State Community College; Steven L. Champine, Special Agent with the FBI; and Richard Harlow, Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service,Memphis Field Office.

The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security have jointly announced the designation of 52 colleges and universities as National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education, Information Assurance Research, and in Information Assurance 2-Year Education for the years 2012 through 2017.

Jackson State is one out of 24 community colleges across the nation to be honored with this distinction out of over 1,000 community colleges nationwide. It serves as the only Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance 2-Year Education in the state of Tennessee.

The centers – now totaling 166 in 42 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico – are recognized leaders in these fields. Program graduates often develop into cyber experts who help to protect national-security information systems, commercial networks, and critical information infrastructure in both the private and public sectors – meeting the increasingly urgent needs of the U.S. government, industry, and academia.

‘We have an incredible number of faculty and staff that are leaders in so many ways. Today, CIS (Computer Information Systems) is being recognized for an amazing accomplishment and I am so proud of them, said Dr. Bruce Blanding, president of Jackson State Community College.

‘It is quite an honor to be recognized with this designation,’ said Dr. Tom Pigg, Professor of Computer Information Systems at Jackson State Community College. ‘This didn’t happen overnight It has been a six-year journey.’ Pigg had to study Jackson State extensively prior to applying to be considered for the distinction. ‘Jackson State is very well prepared. This is not just a CIS distinction, but an institutional honor,’ he said.

Richard Harlow, Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service,Memphis Field Office, said that he was proud to be here to congratulate Jackson State. Jackson State Community College was the first academic partner in our Cyber Security Task Force, he said. He continued on to explain that nearly every crime has computerized evidence to go with it. ‘There is a need for forensic inspection on all computerized devices.’

Steven L. Champine, Special Agent with the FBI said, ‘The designation reflects highly on Dr. Pigg and the institution and I am so proud to be here.’

Dr. Pigg will be holding a three-day Digital Forensics Workshop on June 27-29 teaching community college faculty from across the state. He will be using AccessDatas Forensics Toolkit (FTK), which leads attendees to AccessData Certified Examiner status. This workshop is part of the Cyber Security Education Consortium funded by the National Science Foundation Advanced Technology Education Grant. We want others to be able to take this knowledge back to their respective campuses and teach others about this ever-important issue, said Pigg.

The complete list of centers and details about the selection process are available here.

All of the designations are valid for five academic years, after which the college or university must successfully re-apply. The NSA-DHS partnership was initially formed in 2004 in response to the 2003 National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace.

More information about the National Security Agency is available online at www.nsa.gov.

A Taste of Broadway at Jackson State

Covington native and former math instructor at Jackson State Community College (JSCC), Jack Hadley, has taken the time to share a bit of Broadway history with the Jackson community by allowing JSCC to display many of his very colorful posters and playbill magazines from numerous Broadway shows in the JSCC Library. The exhibit resides in the display cases in the front lobby and in the hallway leading to the Writing Center.

I had attended numerous amateur productions in college and at JSCC, but a road company of A Chorus Line at the Orpheum in Memphis made me want to experience the real thing in New York City, said Hadley. I have been going to NYC for almost thirty years.I did not start collecting posters until 2000 when a poster of ‘Kiss Me, Kate’ signed by the complete cast was offered for sale to raise funds for Broadway Cares.

The pieces are from shows that vary from ‘Ghosts: the Musical’ to ‘Spiderman: Turn off the Dark.’ Many of the posters don autographs from the cast of the historical performances.

When asked about his favorite performance to date, Hadley said, There were two shows that I would classify as favorites Les Miserables andMiss Siagon.Both had long runs on Broadway, and I saw them on each of my trips while they were there. Both have interesting stories to tell and both get you emotionally involved with the characters.

When asked about his favorite poster, Hadley replied, Several of the posters have interesting back stories how long it took me to get signatures, how accommodating some of the performers were, etc.As far as composition is concerned, Swan Lakeis my favorite.The menacing eyes over the dark water and the combination of colors makes it my favorite.

The entire community is invited to visit the JSCC campus to view this interesting display through July 31. Library hours in the summer are: Monday-Wednesday7:30 a.m.- 7:45 p.m.; Thursdays7:30 a.m.- 6:15 p.m.; and Fridays7:30 a.m.- 4:15 p.m.

For more information, contact Scott Cohen, JSCC Library Director at 731-425-2615 or at scohen@jscc.edu.

‘Sacred Arts of the Caribbean’ on Display at Humboldt Higher Education Center

Jackson State Community Colleges Tony Kail has created a display entitled Sacred Arts of the Caribbean. Kail works as a Learning Resource Center Assistant at the Humboldt Higher Education Center.

The display encompasses two large glass cases in the library at the Humboldt Higher Education Center. The library is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays. The event is free and open to the public. The entire community is cordially invited to come and view this display.

When asked how he came to own such treasures, Kail said, I have been researching and writing about religious cultures for over twenty years. These are collected from research among many of the Afro-Cuban religious communities throughout the U.S. in Miami and New Jersey. Some were donated to me from Cuba.

Kails background is in African religious studies and he finds the Afro-Caribbean religious cultures fascinating. There are a number of religious traditions being practiced throughout North America that originated in Africa. Santeria or Regla de Ocha originated among the Yoruba people of Southwestern Nigeria. It was brought to Cuba when many Africans were taken as slaves. Once in the new world, the religion evolved with practices from the Spanish colonialists. Today it practiced in thousands of households throughout the U.S., explained Kail.

When asked about his favorite piece, Kail responded, There is a beaded axe that belongs to the African deity Chango. Chango was a king that lived in the Oyo province of Nigeria. Chango represents thunder, fire and justice. The wooden axe represents Changos justice and is found in shrines dedicated to the king. The axe is colored in numerous red and white beads representing Changos favorite colors. I truly like this piece as it reflects the African heritage behind the religion.

For more information, contact Tony Kail at 731-424-3520, extension 782.

Jackson State Kicks Off New Student Orientation

On June 11, Jackson State Community College kicked off ‘Great Expectations’ a summer-long new student orientation and registration program.

Beginning with the Fall 2012 semester, all new degree-seeking students at Jackson State are required to attend a short orientation session. After learning about financial aid, student clubs, and all aspects of student expectations, students meet with an academic advisor before registering for classes.

‘After attending Great Expectations, a new student should be ready to tackle their first semester of college.’ claims Dr. William Seymour, Vice President of Student Services at Jackson State Community College.

Seymour believes that by engaging new students early in their collegiate careers, they are more likely to remain in school and complete their degree. ‘By forging an early relationship with students and ensuring a quality first registration, we expect to see an increase in student success.’ says Seymour.

Great Expectations was conceived as a response to the Tennessee Legislature’s 2010 passage of the Complete College Act which stresses the importance of degree fulfillment.

Over 100 day and evening sessions will be conducted on the Jackson, Humboldt, Lexington, and Savannah campuses this summer.

For more information, contact William Seymour, Vice President of Student Services, at 731-425-8820.

Jackson State players receive All American Honors

While Jackson States baseball season ended May 7th in the TCCAA baseball tournament, honors continue to be collected. The National Junior College Association (NJCAA) announced Tuesday, June 12, those receiving All-American honors.

KJ Roberts, the Tennessee Community College Player of the Year, was named NJCAA 1st Team All America. Roberts, a Belmont University signee, hit .427 with 8 HR and 43 RBI. ‘KJ is the example of a college athlete. From his work ethic on the field and in the class room to his character, he is a true champion. It has been a true privilege to have him in our program for the past 2 years.’

Roberts is a graduate of Summertown high school in Summertown, TN.

Kane Barrow, a red-shirt freshman from Paris, TN, was named Honorable Mention All-America. Barrow led Jackson in HR (12) and RBIs (68) He started 49 games for the JSCC Generals, most of which were at 1st base. ‘Kane is a very talented player that will have many options at the end of his sophomore season. We are very excited for Kane and are thrilled that he will have another year in our program.’

For more information please visit www.njcaa.org or contact the Jackson State athletic department at (731) 425-2649.

Rally Point in Support of Tennessee Veterans

Jackson State Community College (JSCC) will serve as a Rally Point in support of Tennessee veterans on Tuesday, June 5, from 9 a.m. 2 p.m. in the gymnasium located on the main campus at 2046 N. Parkway, Jackson, Tenn., 38301.

Rally Point is a free event designed to provide veterans and their families with a one-stop shop to access local resources. Services will include VA claim assistance, vocational rehabilitation, education, employment, mental health, housing, business loans and more.

The event is hosted by: the Offices of U.S. Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander; the Offices of U.S. Congressman Stephen Fincher and Marsha Blackburn; Mayor of Madison County, Jimmy Harris; Mayor to the City of Jackson, Jerry Gist; Tennessee Department of Veteran Affairs; and Jackson State Community College.

For more information, visit http://corker.senate.gov or call 731-424-9655.