Jackson State Ranked 17th in First NJCAA Division I Poll

After a 9-2 start and a series win in their first Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) series, the Generals of Jackson State debut at 17th in the first NJCAA poll of the 2014 baseball season.

The Generals have been led on the mound by Colton Harris (LHP) and Josh Tubbs (RHP). Harris has not allowed an earned run in 15.1 innings of work and has 15 Ks and only 1 BB. Harris also has 2 complete games.

Josh Tubbs is 2-0 with 2 complete games and only 6 hits in 13 innings of work. He has struck out 11 batters while allowing just 1 BB and has an ERA of 1.38.

Offensively, freshman Ben Drudy and sophomore Taylor Walker are leading the Generals after 11 games. Drudy currently ranks 4th in the nation with a .583 average. He has also hit 2 HRs, 1 double, and a triple with an On Base Percentage of 1.500.

Taylor Walker is 3rd in the nation with 4 HRs in just 10 games. He also ranks 6th in the nation with 19 RBIs and has an average of .444.

Jackson State returns to action Friday, Feb. 28th at Cleveland State CC.

For more information on this weeks NJCAA poll, please visit the link below.


Soup Du Jour Now Serving at JSCC

The wait is over. With the opening of Soup Du Jour, students, faculty and staff now have the option of purchasing a hot meal on campus. Owner Cynthia Manuel is happy to finally have another location of her restaurant open in the Student Union at JSCC. She is confident that everyone will appreciate the product she has to offer.

With the tag line Nothing Fried Inside, Manuel boasts that people can get a hot meal and feel good about the quality of what they are eating. The daily menu will have a number of things that everyone can enjoy. Her signature item, though, is the homemade soup of the day. The soup is hot and fresh and is served with a fresh, homemade cornbread muffin. There will be a different soup everyday, she says. We have 25 recipes in rotation to ensure there is sufficient variety.

Soup Du Jour has other items that Manuel considers to be signature as well. While different sandwiches are offered on a daily basis, the chicken salad on a sweet multigrain roll is something always available. The fruit tea is something that a lot of JSCC people are quickly acquiring as a new favorite. We try to have something on hand that will satisfy most tastes, Cynthia says. There are items such as sausage and biscuit or cereal for a quick breakfast and sandwiches, pizza, and salads for lunch.

Monday, February 24 was the first day of operation. Judging from the reaction of the crowd, everyone seemed to be happy that they were finally open for business. Workers at the caf stayed very busy. The caf will be open Monday through Friday, 8am to 3pm.

JSCC’s Patrick Davis to Participate as Maxine Smith Fellow

Patrick Davis, Director of Distance Education at Jackson State, will be participating in this years class of Maxine Smith Fellows. A number of participants are selected from various Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) institutions each year to participate in this program.

Patrick has been with Jackson State for 8 years and has served in the role of Director of Distance Education for the duration. He holds an Associate of Science in Communication from JSCC and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Tennessee at Martin with a major in Communication (A/V Production) and a minor in Political Science. Patrick has continued with graduate studies and earned an MBA in Technology Management and an MAEd with a specialization in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Phoenix. He is currently enrolled at East Tennessee State University School of Graduate Studies in the Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis doctoral program (Postsecondary and Private Sector Leadership Concentration).

I am excited, yet humbled to receive such a prestigious honor, said Davis. When asked how he felt the Maxine Smith Fellows Program would benefit him professionally, Patrick replied, Maxine Smith was such a pioneer, innovator and activist, tirelessly opening doors and creating opportunities for everyone to have access to higher education. My goal is to continue to support her vision and legacy. Davis feels this fellowship is not only an opportunity to get a first-hand look at the inner workings of TBR, but rather exposure to academic leaders and policymakers. It is his professional goal to one day earn the opportunity to lead a community college as its president in Tennessee.

As a part of the program, Patrick will be assigned to a senior level administrative mentor at the TBR System Office. He will be required to meet with his mentor at least once a month, February through September. They will determine a project that relates to a major activity in higher education administration. During the course of the program, Patrick will engage in a variety of observational and participatory activities which might include: an overview of the TBR System presented by the major division in the TBR central office; attendance at various system-wide meetings; or workshops and presentations on topics of special interest.

The Maxine Smith Fellows Program was originally created as a TBR central office Geier initiative designed to provide opportunities for African-American TBR employees to participate in a working and learning environment that would enhance work experience and career development. The TBR central office remains committed to the program as a tool for enhancing opportunities and as a means to increase the diversity of ideas, thoughts and experiences that ultimately enhance the educational environment at our institutions.

Objectives of the program include increasing the academic and professional credentials of the participants, allowing them to observe and participate in decision-making situations, and providing them the opportunity to experience policy-making process at various levels in the organization. It is also a goal of the program to increase the number of qualified applicants from underrepresented groups for senior level administrative positions at TBR institutions.

The Tennessee Board of Regents system consists of 46 institutions with a combined annual enrollment of over 200,000 students, making it the nation’s sixth largest system of public higher education. TBR’s six state universities, 13 community colleges, and 27 technology centers offer classes in 90 of Tennessee’s 95 counties. The TBR system is a $2.2 billion per year enterprise.

The mission of the Tennessee Board of Regents system is to educate more Tennesseans in order to provide Tennessee with the workforce it needs for sound economic development. Our technology centers are exclusively focused on workforce development, which is also a major emphasis in our community colleges. The latter also provide degrees designed for transfer to a university. At our universities, the priorities are student preparation and research, with five of our six universities granting doctoral degrees.

JSCC Students Receive All-Tennessee Academic Honor

At a special ceremony in Nashville on February 4, two of Jackson State Community Colleges students were honored for academic excellence. Alaina Taylor and Addison Frazier were honored along with other students from Tennessees 13 Community Colleges. In all, there were 26 outstanding students that were named to the 2014 All-Tennessee Academic Team.

On Friday, February 14, a private ceremony was held in presidents office at JSCC. Dr. Bruce Blanding, President, and Bobby Smith, Interim VP of Academic Affairs, made an official presentation of the awards and expressed their appreciation for the hard work and dedication of Alaina and Addison. Dr. Blanding congratulated both students and expressed his gratitude for the manner in which they have represented Jackson State.

Addison, a Jackson resident, is a chemistry major and will receive her diploma this May. After graduation Addison plans to attend the University of Memphis, Memphis Campus, and plans to continue her degree in chemistry there. Ultimately, her plan is to become a pharmacist so she can help others in that capacity.

Alaina, a Lexington resident, is a sociology major and plans to continue her education at The University of Memphis, Lambuth Campus, after receiving her associates degree in May. There she plans to study psychology and possibly go on to continue her education in medicine. Alaina has a passion for helping people and learning about human behavior and relationships.

The ceremony at the Doubletree Downtown Hotel in Nashville offered special recognition for each student. They were honored for their accomplishments and were then presented with a medallion. TBR Chancellor John Morgan addressed the recipients and praised them for their hard work and commitment. He not only noted their high degree of success in the classroom, but also for the fact that many have made significant contributions to their communities through their volunteer efforts and leadership skills.

This years 26 honorees include students pursuing a variety of degrees and careers, including aerospace engineering, nursing, law, chemistry, communications and business. Most intend to transfer to four-year universities to continue their educations.

The All-Tennessee Academic Team is comprised of students nominated by their colleges to be considered for the All-USA Academic Team, sponsored by USA Today and Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. Each of the states 13 community colleges selects two outstanding students to recognize for their academic achievement, leadership and service to the community.

Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society in American higher education, with more than two million members and 1,200 chapters in the U.S. and beyond. Students must have a 3.5 grade point average to qualify for membership.

‘New Horizons’ Exhibit Features Students’ Work

Artwork by 9 students of Jackson State is currently on display in the gallery of The Ned in downtown Jackson. Their work is included in the exhibit, ‘New Horizons,’ that has been running since January 6 and will continue through February 27. It features the work of college student artists with a total of 46 pieces on display.

Carol Norman, JSCC art professor, is very active in the local art community and is the organizer of this event as well as another event known as Gathering 6. The exhibit is an opportunity for students to get their art in front of an audience. It is a chance for them to receive feedback about how others perceive or interpret their work. Norman states that, in teaching art, we work with critique. Feedback is important.

Norman is proud of the art program at Jackson State Community College. She contends that the program is on par with the first two years of any of the regions four-year university programs. She feels many people would be surprised at how good the program is at JSCC. A student can take two years at Jackson State, transfer anywhere and be at the same level as their four-year counterparts.

Opportunities for art students at Jackson State include regular trips to museums and galleries in larger cities. This could be Memphis or Nashville or even New Orleans or Chicago. Learning opportunities even include the chance to study abroad. Through association with the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies, JSCC students will have the opportunity to study in Greece this coming summer. Last year, a group studied drawing in the Galapagos Islands.

It is important to support our students and the art program at Jackson State. Everyone is encouraged to go to The Ned some evening or on the weekend and experience the budding talent at JSCC. The students will appreciate that others are interested in what they are doing.

The Jackson Sun recently featured Carol Norman in the Art Life section. Click on the link to learn more about Carol and exhibit at The Ned. http://www.jacksonsun.com/article/20140202/LIFESTYLE07/302020008/-Art-not-finished-until-someone-looks-

Haslam Unveils Visionary ‘Tennessee Promise’

During his fourth annual State of the State address before the General Assembly, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam introduced the ‘Tennessee Promise.’

The historic proposal commits to providing on a continuing basis two years of community college or a college of applied technology (TCAT) absolutely free of tuition and fees to graduating high school seniors.

‘Through the Tennessee Promise, we are fighting the rising cost of higher education, and we are raising our expectations as a state,’ Haslam said. ‘We are committed to making a clear statement to families that education beyond high school is a priority in the state of Tennessee.’

After graduating from a community college, if students choose to attend a four-year school, the states transfer pathways program makes it possible for those students to start as a junior. By getting their first two years free, the cost of a four-year degree would be cut in half.

‘This is a bold promise,’ Haslam continued. ‘It is a promise that will speak volumes to current and prospective employers. It is a promise that will make a real difference for generations of Tennesseans, and it is a promise that we have the ability to make. Net cost to the state, zero. Net impact on our future, priceless.’

To make the Tennessee Promise sustainable over time, the governor proposed transferring lottery reserve funds to create an endowment, with the goal of strategically redirecting existing resources. He recommended leaving $110 million in the lottery reserve fund to ensure there is a healthy balance moving forward.

The Tennessee Promise is part of Haslam’s ‘Drive to 55’ initiative aimed at increasing the number of Tennesseans with a certificate or degree beyond high school. In 11 years, 55 percent of Tennesseans will need a certificate or degree to get a job, but today, only 32 percent of Tennesseans qualify.

Other Drive to 55 efforts this year include:

  • Statewide expansion of the Seamless Alignment of Integrated Learning (SAILS) program to eliminate the need for remedial math courses for students entering college with $2.6 million in the proposed budget. Currently, 70 percent of high school graduates need remedial classes before they are able to take a college level course.
  • Offering one dual enrollment course to high school students at no cost with discounted courses available after that. Dual enrollment allows high school students to take college credit courses, and there is a 94 percent probability that those students will go on to college.
  • Expansion of the Degree Compass program that predicts the subjects and majors in which students will be most successful with $300,000 in the proposed budget. The program was pioneered at Austin Peay University and is modeled after companies like Netflix, Amazon and Pandora that tailor their recommendations to what their customers are looking for.
  • Creation of an Adult Student Data System to help state colleges and universities both public and private do a better job of identifying and recruiting adults that are most likely to return to college and complete their degree with $300,000 in the proposed budget. There are nearly one million Tennesseans that have some college credit but havent earned a certificate or degree.
  • Appointment of a new Director of Workforce Alignment that will work with state departments and local officials.
  • Workforce alignment grants to local communities that have strategic plans in place to connect education institutions with employers with a focus on closing the skills gaps in their area with $10 million in the proposed budget.
  • Changing the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship allotment to incentivize completion by raising the scholarship for two-year schools from $2,000 to $3,000 and shifting the scholarship for four-year schools from $4,000 to $3,000 the first two years and $5,000 the last two years.

As part of the address, the governor also discussed his budget proposal for FY 2014-2015. ‘This years budget is a conservative one,’ Haslam said. ‘Revenue collections over the past several months have not met projections, and our budget reflects that realityIn Tennessee, education is a top priority, and this budget reflects that.’

Highlights of capital investments to support higher education include:

  • $13 million to fund the Complete College Outcomes Formula;
  • $63 million to fund capital maintenance projects at institutions across the state;
  • $36.7 million to fund a new Williamson County campus for Columbia State Community College;
  • $28.7 million to fund a new classroom building at Volunteer State Community College.

Notable K-12 investments include:

  • $63 million to increase teacher salaries as part of the governors ongoing effort to make Tennessee the fastest improving state in terms of paying teachers more;
  • $48.6 million dollars to fully fund the BEP formula.

Other budget highlights include:

  • $1.7 million to fund a new statewide residential drug court in Middle Tennessee;
  • $6.4 million to fund new child protective services and case manager positions as well as other critical childrens services including foster care and adoption assistance;
  • $7 million increase for the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to care for some of the states most vulnerable citizens;
  • A one percent pay raise for state employees;
  • $40.3 million to the Rainy Day Fund bringing it to $496 million on June 30, 2015;
  • $61 million in Fast Track Infrastructure and Job Training assistance;
  • $6 million for a statewide tourism fund to support the work of the tourism commission.

The complete text of the governors speech and an archived video of his speech will be available at www.tn.gov/stateofthestate.