New and Prospective Students Welcomed to JSCC Open House

Jackson State Community College will host an open house event Saturday, August 16 on the main campus at 2046 North Parkway. The campus will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. that day.

This is an opportunity for new and returning students to finalize details before the beginning of the term. Countance Anderson, director of registration and orientation, says, It is also an opportunity for anyone interested in finding out more about Jackson State, take a tour of the campus and meet with faculty and staff.

There are a number of things planned that will allow everyone to mingle and see what the school has to offer. Free snacks are being offered and drawings for door prizes. Many of the activities will be geared toward new and returning students. According to Anderson, This is an opportunity for students to get their IDs, parking permits, buy books, and finalize financial aid.

Prospective students will also be able to visit most all areas of campus and get a feel for the campus and what Jackson State has to offer. A number of faculty members will be on hand to talk to students and discuss classes. Students and staff will give guided tours and answer questions about campus life. The library will also be open along with the writing center and academic assistance center. Everyone is also encouraged to come by and visit the new fitness center located in the gym.

Anderson is excited to offer this event and hopes that it will become an annual event. This is a wonderful opportunity for the folks at Jackson State to showcase what we have to offer our students, she claims. Anyone attending this event should follow the signs on campus to the Student Union Building. Information about the campus along with guided tours will be located there.

For additional information or questions, contact student services at (731) 424-3520 ext. 50359.

JSCC Takes Lead Role in Cybersecurity Research

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a grant of $385,136 to Jackson State Community College to support a puzzle-based cybersecurity learning project. The ultimate goal of this project is to enhance defensive skills of front-line technicians in the area of cybersecurity.

This grant for this project was applied for by and is under the direction of Dr. Tom Pigg, Dean of Allied Health and Computer Information Systems at Jackson State. The project is in collaboration with the University of Memphis. Dr. Dipankar Dasgupta, Professor of Computer Science at The University of Memphis, will oversee the research design for the project and will be available for expert consultation

The project will start Sept. 1 and run for three years. The initial project will consist of the development of puzzles that CIS students studying information assurance will use as a method to learn and hone their skills in problem solving. According to Pigg, ‘Students will work through a variety of scenarios to achieve a desirable outcome. As with many things, there are multiple ways to solve a problem. Ultimately, there will be competitions where students will compete to determine the most efficient way to solve problems.’

Dr. Pigg sees this as a huge boost for JSCC and the Computer Information Systems program specifically. ‘This is a very unique situation,’ comments Pigg. ‘Due to the nature of the research component, these types of grants are normally awarded to four-year institutions where this activity is typically carried out. Select students and faculty of JSCC are the ones directly responsible for the implementation of this research. ‘This type of opportunity at the associates degree level is a great opportunity for both students and faculty,’ states Pigg.

Jackson State has the distinction of being the only community college in the state of Tennessee as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance institution. The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security grants this designation. JSCC is also a member of the Cyber Security Education Consortium (CSEC) of which it is the lead institution for Tennessee.

For more information about the Computer Information Systems program at Jackson State Community College, visit http://www.jscc.edu/computer-information-systems or contact Dr. Pigg at (731) 424-3520 ext. 50201 or tpigg@jscc.edu.

State Commissioner to Address Area Veterans at JSCC

Several local organizations have come together to present the West Tennessee Veterans Connection. This event brings together a variety of resources in one location to make information available about benefits and services to veterans in the West Tennessee area. The event will be held 8 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, Aug. 12 in Ayers Auditorium at Jackson State Community Colleges main campus.

The keynote speaker is Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner, Colonel (Ret) Many-Bears Grinder. Grinder was appointed to this position by Governor Bill Haslam in 2011 and is the first female to serve in this post. Grinder retired from the Tennessee Army National Guard as a Colonel with over 35 years of service. She is an Operation Enduring Freedom combat veteran, having served as the Head of Secretariat for the International Police Coordination Board. She traveled throughout Afghanistan, working with international diplomats and police as well as the Afghan leaders and local police officers, to ensure standardized training and equipment for the Afghan Police.

In addition to the keynote address, representatives from The CO> Center (formerly the Entrepreneur Development Center), Madison County Veterans Service, SBA, UT-PTAC, and Tennessee Small Business Development Center will also address those in attendance. Information will be available on a variety of topics including: GI Bill education and home loan benefits; health care and pension benefits; government contracting certification assistance; small business counseling and obtaining small business loans.

The event has been organized and sponsored by Jackson State Community College, Tennessee Small Business Development Center, The University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services, and The CO>. Ron Acree, director for TSBDC and lead coordinator for West Tennessee Veterans Connection, has called this a one-stop shop. According to Acree, many veterans are simply unaware of the benefits and resources available to them. It is hoped that this event will provide veterans the assistance they need to achieve success.

For additional information regarding West Tennessee Veterans Connection, contact Ron Acree or Joel Newman at 731-424-5389 or 731-499-0495 or email them at racree@tsbdc.org or jnewman@tsbdc.org.