Gann begins tenure as VPSS at JSCC

Beginning June 27, the office of vice president for student services (VPSS) was filled by Alabama native Brian Gann. Gann comes to Jackson State Community College with work history rich in a variety of administrative positions in higher education.

Mr. Gann most recently filled the position of Director of Recruitment, Retention, and Student Success at Calhoun Community College in Decatur and Huntsville, Alabama. He readily professes his connection to community colleges and the role they play in the lives of students and in lives of the communities they serve.

“I am a proud graduate of a community college and a first-generation college student,” he states. “I can readily attest that I would not be who I am today without my community college experience.”

Dr. Bruce Blanding, JSCC president, enthusiastically welcomes Gann into the VPSS role. “The leadership role for student services has been in a transitory state for many months. The addition of Mr. Gann will add much needed stability and leadership in this crucial role of serving our students,” states Blanding.

Mr. Gann received an associate of arts in liberal arts from Bevill State Community College in Fayette, Alabama, and a bachelor of arts in communication and a master of arts in higher education administration from The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Since that time, he has spent his career in a number of roles in service to community colleges.

Gann has held leadership positions in a number of areas including continuing education, institutional advancement, human resources, grants, campus management and student services. “Having such a broad range of experience from student to administrator in the community college setting should prove very beneficial,” said Blanding. “Brian truly understands, embraces, and lives the mission of community colleges.”

“I am lucky to have spent 14 years in community college work, and I have learned from a number of great people,” said Gann. “I feel I have a great mix of experiences that have brought me to this place.”

When asked about the most immediate challenges he sees in the next few months, Gann stated, “…the biggest challenge is coming to a new college, a new state system, and getting up to speed on all the good work that is going on at Jackson State and in Tennessee.” He continued, “…I will be working hard to understand the ins and outs of the many initiatives and trying to determine how we can maximize opportunities for our students.”

The VPSS is a chief officer with the responsibility for ensuring that all student support services are highly effective and successful. Student Services includes admissions, registration, recruitment, student organizations, and a host of other services that promote student engagement and enable academic achievement.

High school student earns associate degree and diploma concurrently

Mikinze Anne Collins accomplished an impressive feat of academics through dual enrollment and flexible scheduling at Jackson State Community College.

She earned her associate of science degree in general studies this spring. A week later, she received her diploma during the commencement ceremony for Adamsville High School’s graduating seniors.

Collins chose Jackson State after calling other colleges in the region. She was repeatedly told it was impossible to earn an associate degree and a diploma at the same time. Her mother attended Jackson State, so she gave the school a chance and heard a much different response.

“Jackson State was all for it,” Collins said. “It’s a really good school. They really care about your education and where you want to go with your career and what’s next for you.”

Beginning her junior year, she completed 21 college courses. Most were online, some were night classes at Jackson State, and one she took at Adamsville High School.

She said it was hard work completing several college courses in two years with a full plate of high school courses. But she still made the dean’s list at Jackson State and graduated with honors at Adamsville.

Collins said her teachers at Jackson State were amazing and worked with her busy schedule. They accommodated her, for example, if one of her many high school extracurricular activities conflicted with a class at night.

She plans to attend the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in the the fall and pursue a marketing degree. She may also pursue a master’s degree, but she hasn’t decided where.

Collins said she feels prepared for a four-year university and she’ll leave McNairy County without apprehension. “I’m excited about it, and I think I’m ready academically.”

Her ultimate goal is to work in the marketing department for large companies in industries such as cosmetics or the airlines. She wants to focus on advertising.

Her new associate degree has helped her get a head start on her dream, and she would recommend dual enrollment at Jackson State to anyone in high school who is considering it.

“It’s hard work and you have to be sure it’s something you want to do, but the whole experience at Jackson State was just great,” Collins said.

JSCC’s Maness Commits to King University

Candace Maness, a second baseman from Lexington, TN, has committed to continue her career at King University in Bristol, TN. Maness started 101 out of 103 games played, and compiled 26 doubles, 6 homeruns, 59 RBIs, and 17 HBPs in two years as a Lady General. Maness helped lead her team to a 36-23 record while leading the team in RBIs and doubles.