Duo Guitiano to Perform at Jackson State

Now a standing tradition at Jackson State Community College, the musical duo of Dr. Amanda Virelles and Dr. Carlos Castilla are set to perform at the college for their seventh straight year. This year, Japanese vocalist Dr. Ayumi Nakamae joins the instrumental duet. They will perform at the main campus in Ayers Auditorium Thursday, April 9 at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The International Education program of JSCC is hosting Virelles, Castilla, and Nakamae. They are all classically trained musicians. Virelles and Castilla have been performing together for many years. Nakamae has recently joined them and adds a whole new dimension to the performance. While their repertoire is very broad with many styles of music, their performance is typically tailored to consist primarily of Spanish and Latin music.

The term Duo Guitiano is used to describe the instrumental combination of guitar and piano. Dr. Virelles plays piano and Dr. Castilla plays classic Latin American guitar. Both Virelles and Castilla have studied music in world-renowned universities as well as performing in numerous orchestras and music ensembles.

Amanda Virelles is known as a versatile musician, who has played for audiences around the world. Her performances have been described as sensible, profound, and energetic. She has performed as a soloist as well as collaborative artist throughout the United States, France, Russia, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina, and Cuba. Currently, Dr. Virelles is assistant professor of Piano at Fayetteville State University.

Colombian-American guitarist, Carlos Castilla, has been featured as a soloist with orchestras and chamber ensembles, as well as in solo recitals in different cities of Latin America and the United States. He has worked as a collaborative artist with orchestras featuring stars such as Placido Domingo, James Galway, and Bernadette Peters. Carlos is the co-founder of Duo Guitiano, along with Cuban-American pianist Amanda Virelles, and is known for his innovative technique, clear sound, and soulful interpretations. Carlos currently teaches all guitar courses at Coastal Carolina Community College and runs his private studio.

Ayumi Nakamae is a faculty member at Coastal Carolina Community College, Jacksonville North Carolina, where she has twice been honored as Teacher of the Year. At CCCC she teaches voice, vocal ensemble and choir.She is currently District Governor of the North Carolina Chapter of National Association of Teachers of Singing, a member of the College Music Society, the Mid-Atlantic Chapter and of the American Choral Directors Association.

Mary Wadley, coordinator for this event, says, This is an annual tradition and a gift to the community. She continues, The International Education program at Jackson State is relatively new and this concert and other events such at this are a good way to communicate the program to the community. Each year, Jackson State sponsors several students to study abroad through the program. As Wadley notes, This is an opportunity most people do not associate with community colleges.

For more information, please contact Mary Wadley, at mwadley@jscc.edu or by calling (731) 424-3520 ext. 252.

Early College High School to Begin in Fall 2015

On Monday, March 23, Dr. Verna Ruffin, Superintendent of Jackson-Madison County School System, held a formal press conference detailing plans for Early College High School. A committee of district staff, parents and community leaders has worked diligently over the past several months to put together a plan that will benefit the students of the Jackson-Madison County School System, as well as, serve as a platform for moving the district forward in growth and achievement. Partnering with the Jackson-Madison County School System are Jackson State Community College and Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Jackson.

The location of Early College High School for this inaugural year, will be in North Side High School. North Side High School Principal, Jason Bridgeman will serve as administrator for both schools with the assistance of an Academic Coordinator and College and Career Counselor to be named in the coming weeks. In the inaugural school year of 2015/2016, Early College High will open with approximately 125 freshmen and will add approximately 125 additional students in each subsequent school year.

By establishing Early College High, the Jackson-Madison County School System is providing all students a unique approach to learning by blending and accelerating high school, work force and college preparedness. Early College High is a college preparatory high school designed to prepare students for college or workforce readiness by offering multiple pathways, rigorous curricula, strategic guidance, and academic support.

Early College High School will be available to students by application only. An informational meeting for parents and students has been scheduled for Thursday, March 26th, at 6:30 p.m. at Jackson State Community College in the Ayers Auditorium. Applications will be available at this meeting as well as an online application will be made available and can be found at www.jmcss.org . The deadline for students to apply for Early College High School is Wednesday, April 15, 2015 by 4:30 p.m. to the School Service Center located at 310 North Parkway, Jackson, TN 38305. Once students have completed all the requirements of the application process, applications will be reviewed and students notified if they have been granted an interview. Not all those who apply will be granted interviews. Additional requirements of acceptance to Early College High School include participation of parents and students in an orientation program and a Summer Academy that will take place in July 2015.

Women’s History Month Kicks Off at JSCC

Every March, Jackson State Community College hosts a series of presentations to celebrate Womens History Month. The fifth Annual JSCC Womens History Month Celebration is currently taking place on campus, and the program is more diverse than ever. In addition to a wide range of presentations by professors and students, there are also various film screenings sponsored by campus clubs and panel discussions surrounding a variety of topics that relate to global womens history, achievements, and plights.

On Monday, March 16, Jackson State students gathered in the student union commons for the official kick off reception for womens history month. Students, faculty and staff came to hear about special presentations and events that would be taking place for the remainder of the month. A panel made up of students and faculty members also presented their thoughts on feminism to students and entertained questions from those in attendance.

The celebration kicked off with an opening reception that included an essay contest awards ceremony and a panel presentation about what feminism means. Students enjoyed free food and a broad discussion about womens roles in contemporary society.

Upcoming events include a presentation about women in bluegrass, screening of the film Who Does She Think She Is?, and two talks about traditional representations of masculinity and femininity in film. Dr. Liz Mayo, Associate Professor of English and the event founder, along with planning committee representatives Dr. Anna Esquivel, Assistant Professor of English, and Professor Tammy Prater, Assistant Professor of History, welcome any members of the community to these open presentations. The schedule can be found online at www.jscc.edu, or contact Dr. Mayo at lmayo6@jscc.edu for more information.

JSCC Students Receive All-Tennessee Academic Honor

At a special ceremony in Nashville Feb. 11, two of Jackson State Community Colleges students were honored for academic excellence. Aaliyah Yisrael and Joshua Roberson 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 at a special luncheon in the Sheraton Nashville Downtown Hotel.

Aaliyah Yisrael states that she has always loved school. Throughout her education, she has won a number of awards in writing, art and science. Before moving to Jackson, she was accepted into the Wyman Teen Leadership Program in St. Louis, Mo. This is a seven-year program that fosters leadership skills and better prepares students for college. Aaliyah still maintains an active role in this program.

Aaliyah also has a love for community service. She regularly volunteers with the Salvation Army and works in her church. After receiving her associates in business administration at JSCC, she plans to pursue a four-year degree in Finance at MTSU. A big fan of Dave Ramsey, she hopes to be a financial adviser after graduation from college.

Joshua Roberson has been challenged with a number of unusual family struggles over the past few years, but he has persevered. Josh states that he has a strong will and desire to learn new and exciting things and this has been a driving force for him. Being from Parsons, Josh has maintained an active presence on both the Lexington and Jackson campuses of JSCC. He has been a student worker on campus and has been very active in the Lexington Area Student Service Organization (LASSO).

Josh has excelled as a business student at JSCC and plans to pursue a career in HR management. Upon graduation from JSCC, he plans to enter the HR business management degree program offered by Trevecca University on the JSCC campus

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 2 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.

Lady Generals Progress to Semi-Finals in TCCAA/NJCAA Region VII Basketball Tournament

The Lady Generals defeated Columbia State 78-73 in the 1st round of the TCCAA tournament Wednesday night in Memphis, TN. The team finished the regular season in 3rd place and had 2 players awarded all conference honors: Andrea Moffitt (1st team) & Chelsea Wyatt (2nd team).

The Columbia State Lady Chargers had led Thursday night’s headliner for 30 minutes of the previous 31 that had gone by. And with a little over 8 minutes left, the Lady Chargers seemed to be in charge of the contest leading 63-50. Jackson State saved their best for last by outscoring the Lady Chargers 28-10 the rest of the way and kept Columbia without a field goal in the last 2:25 en route to a 78-73 victory. Statistically throughout, both teams were neck and neck with the largest disparity being that Columbia State picked up 44 points from the bench while the Lady Generals failed to tally from that direction.

For the third game in a row, a new player scored a tournament high. This time it was Columbia State’s Alexis Lang who pounded in 34 points while two other Lady Chargers scored double figures. Four players had double figures for the Lady Generals with Chelsea Wyatt Cara Beth Holt leading with 26 and 18 respectively.

Jackson State moves on to play number 2 seeded Columbia State, Friday at 2p.m. in the semifinals. Columbia State ends their year (11-14, 8-11).

Link to game photos: