International Education Week at JSCC

The week of November 18 at JSCC was International Education Week. There were a variety of activities planned on the main campus in Jackson as well as the satellite campuses in Humboldt, Lexington and Savannah.

At the Jackson Campus, the weeks activities began Monday, with the International Food Festival. Faculty, staff and students stopped by the gym lobby and enjoyed a variety of dishes that were served. Student Melissa Risk was the recipient of a $25 gift card and JSCC hoodie for preparing homemade sweet tamales. Dr. Blanding made a visit to this event to share this time with students.

On Tuesday, several students tried their hand at Latin Dance. Instructor Sra. Lynn Nieves encouraged everyone to get out of their comfort zones and get on the dance floor. She demonstrated several easy techniques to get the complete novice on the floor and dancing quickly. Several styles were explored including Salsa and Merengue.

The weeks events culminated in a Brazilian Carnaval drumming performance in the Student Union lobby on Thursday. Dan Sherrill demonstrated this style of drumming. Additionally, attendees at the event were encouraged to participate with a number of percussion instruments.

Jackson State works to extend opportunities to its students that allow them to achieve the educational experiences necessary to help them reach their personal and professional goals. The International Education program gives students a chance to experience other cultures through special programs as well as an opportunity to study abroad.

Students are encouraged to participate in the International Education Program. Students interested in the study abroad program should pay the $100 application fee by December 1. A $100 discount is available for those making early application. To learn more about what the program has to offer contact Dr. Mechel Camp for more details.

Additional photos from the above events can be seen on Flickr at

JSCC Library Presents JFK Display

There are a few occasions in history when people can remember where they were when they heard monumental or life-changing news. The assassination of John F. Kennedy was definitely one of those events.

Library Director Scott Cohen with the assistance of several JSCC faculty and staff contributed items that help tell the story from this dark and sobering time in American history. Library personnel Gloria Hester and Debra Lee were responsible for designing the display.

You are welcomed to come and see the display at the library. Contained in the display are original edition newspapers including The Dallas Morning News, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Commercial Appeal and The Jackson Sun. There are also several photos, memorabilia, books and magazines including Life, and the Saturday Evening Post.

The display will be open until the end of November. Be sure to stop by to see the display and take time to recollect this telling time in our nations history.

Jackson State Leaders Accepted to WestStar

Two Jackson State directors have been selected to participate in the WestStar leadership program. Amy West, Director of Human Resources, and Sandy Stanfill, Director of the Lexington Center, were notified at the first of this month that their applications to the program had been accepted.

Amy West

WestStar is a leadership program that accepts an elite group of individuals with a common bond of educational, economic and social development in the West Tennessee area. According to the WestStar website, ‘the WestStar mission is to identify, encourage and equip community-minded people who want to become more involved, want to help West Tennessee become a better place, and are willing to accept assertive and dynamic leadership roles.’ Those participating in the program learn new leadership skills and strategies that assist communities in solving problems. Networking is also a key component of the program. Participants have the opportunity to become a vital part of a growing network of leaders from West Tennessee.

The selection process starts with an application that is then reviewed by the Board of Trustees who is responsible for choosing participants. There are many things that go into the selection process such as leadership achievements and the candidates potential to contribute to the development of the region. Other factors considered are occupation, diversity and level of community and regional involvement. There is only one class selected each year. Candidates are notified by the first of November and attend sessions that run from December through June.

Sandy Stanfill

The leadership class meets at least once every month over the 7-month program. While the program is administered through the University of Tennessee at Martin, locations vary monthly throughout the West Tennessee area. A variety of topics are covered including economic development, public policy, and social issues along with many other relevant subjects.

WestStar serves the 21 counties of West Tennessee by providing leadership development and training. Participants have the opportunity to take part in more than 100 different presentations including private briefings, special presentations, skill development and demonstrations. Class participants are required to attend all sessions including the graduation banquet.

Congratulations to Sandy and Amy on their acceptance to this great program and the opportunities that this brings to them. For more information about the program, visit the website at

Remembrance Day National Roll Call at JSCC

The students, faculty and staff of Jackson State Community College came together at 11:30 today in the campus quad for a time of remembrance. As a part of Remembrance Day National Roll Call, the JSCC Office of Veterans Affairs hosted this ceremony in which fallen soldiers from this area are remembered.

Tracy Morton, Coordinator of Veterans Affairs, opened the ceremony by introducing the color guard. The Presentation of Colors was done by Jackson State students/veterans and the schools chorus, Innovation, performed the National Anthem.

The keynote speaker for the event was Mr. Bobby Smith, Vice President of Academic Affairs. Mr. Smith noted the origins of Armistice Day and how this day coincides with what is now Veterans Day and Remembrance Day. It was mentioned how important it is for all American citizens to take time to remember the ones who have fought for our freedom and especially those who paid the ultimate price with theirlives.

Tracy Morton along with seven others read the roll containing 140 names of Tennessee soldiers that have died in the line of duty since 2001. It was a poignant moment in the ceremony when Tracy described all the elements of the POW-MIA Table that was on display. Each element of the display carries a special significance that describes how a soldier missing today may not be with us, yet remembered. At the end of the ceremony, a National moment of silence was observed at 1:00 p.m.

Following the event there was a reception in the Student Union Building. This provided an opportunity for students and veterans to fellowship.

JSCC Receives Proceeds of Bagels and Bluegrass Bicycle Century Tour

The proceeds from the 12th Annual Bagels and Bluegrass Bicycle Century Tour were presented in a special ceremony at Jackson State Community College.

A check for $2,500 was presented to Dr. Bruce Blanding, JSCC President, by Mr. Randy McKinnon, JSCC Foundation Board member and President of TLM. This money will be used to fund scholarships for non-traditional students. Since its inception, the Tour has raised in $27,150.

Events like Bagels and Bluegrass are so important because now, more students will be able to get the help they need to attend Jackson State and we are so grateful for that, said Dr. Bruce Blanding.

Checks in the amount of $500 each also went to Pinson Mounds State Park and Friends of Chickasaw State Park. Bagels and Bluegrass event organizers say the parks are an important part of the ride.

We are so appreciative of all the support received from the sponsors of this event, said Dr. Kent Jones, chairman and founder of the Bagels and Bluegrass Bicycle Century Tour. We couldnt have done this without the support of our contributors, sponsors and partners. Dr. Jones, an avid cyclist, founded this event based on his enthusiasm for the sport and his love of nature. He saw this as a way to support the state park system and to also create scholarships for individuals who have a real need.

Bagels and Bluegrass is a one-day cycling event with routes in varying lengths from 14 to 104 miles. The ride features Pinson Mounds State Archaeological Area and Chickasaw State Park and miles of scenic roads. The 100 mile route has a total climb of greater than 7,000 feet.

The twelfth Annual Bagels and Bluegrass event attracted more than 100 cyclists. Next years event is tentatively scheduled for October 11, 2014 at Jackson State Community College. For more information on the Bagels and Bluegrass Bicycle Century Tour, go to the website at

JSCC to Honor the Fallen

For 2013, Jackson State Community College has joined the Remembrance Day National Roll Call project to honor American service men and women in hosting simultaneous ceremonies across the nation.

On Monday, Nov. 11, Veterans Day, campus and community volunteers at 85 college and universities in 33 states across the nation will read the names of the fallen. Each campus has organized its own ceremony to recognize those who have served, are serving, and those who died in service to the nation. All participating campuses will observe a simultaneous nationwide minute of silence at 11 a.m. Pacific Standard Time or 1:00 local time.

The Remembrance Day National Roll Call is sponsored nationally by the Veterans Knowledge Community of NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. NASPA is a 12,000-member association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs professionals. The Veterans Knowledge Community (VKC) mission is to advocate for best practices to help student veterans transition to college and succeed. The National Roll Call began in 2011 to mark the 10th anniversary of the post 9-11 conflicts.

Program starts at 11:30 am. Presentation of Colors, and the National Anthem will be performed. The National Roll Call of Tennessee veterans that have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country will take place, as well as a National moment of silence at 1:00 pm. The keynote speaker will be, Mr. Bobby Smith, Jackson State Community College, Vice President of Academic Affairs. A light reception after the ceremony will be in the Student Union Bldg.

Spanish 2010 Students Celebrate Dia de los Muertos

Students from the Spanish 2010 class set up a special display in the hallway of the classroom building on November 1. The display was similar to what might be set up in a family’s living room in Mexico to celebrate Da de los Muertos, ‘Day of the Dead’ in English. Da de los Muertos is a holiday with Mexican origins that is celebrated on November 1 – 2. This is a national holiday in Mexico, and is now celebrated in many other countries around the world.

The name suggests that this is a celebration of death. It is actually a celebration of the deceased. Families participating in this celebration of the deceased build an altar (ofrenda) similar to the display built by our students. The night of November 1, they would go to the cemetery, keep vigil all night and ‘welcome the spirits’ of their dearly departed. Favorite foods and drinks of the deceased are placed on the altar and fresh orange marigolds are taken to the cemetery to decorate the tombs.

Another traditional food for the occasion is pan de los muertos (bread of the dead). This is heavy yeast bread made in the shape of skull and crossbones. Sometimes teardrops are added on the sides because death is a bittersweet occasion. JSCC student Hannah Thompson made pan de los muertos for the Spanish 2010 class.

The actual holiday lasts for two days. The celebration became intertwined with All Saints Day (November 1) and All Souls Day (November 2). The holiday was originally a month long tradition of the Aztecs. The holiday took on Catholic traditions when the Spanish conquistadores arrived. As mentioned, this celebration has spread from Mexico and is now in countries such as Guatemala, Brazil and Spain. With the growing number of Mexicans immigrating to the U.S., the celebration of this day is becoming more and more common here in the states.