Longtime JSCC professor memorialized with scholarship fund

The Mary Jo Boehms Endowed Scholarship Fund has been established in memory of the longtime professor of Jackson State Community College. The endowed scholarship was established by the family through the Jackson State Community College Foundation.

Mary Jo contributed her time, talent, compassion, knowledge and love to everything she did at JSCC where she was a professor of business for over 35 years. The family felt it was only fitting that the scholarship continues her legacy by assisting students with college expenses. The scholarship can cover the cost of books and/or other fees not related to tuition and is structured so that it can award up to four (4) full-time students each semester in any program or major.

“We are so appreciative of the Boehms family for supporting our students with this scholarship,” stated Dr. Allana Hamilton, JSCC president. “Mary Jo gave selflessly to Jackson State and our students, always going above and beyond. The Mary Jo Boehms Endowed Scholarship will continue the great work and compassion that Mary Jo showed all of us.”

Contributions to the fund in honor and memory of Mary Jo Boehms will be accepted by the JSCC FOUNDATION. Checks may be mailed or delivered to: JSCC FOUNDATION, 2046 N. Parkway, Jackson, TN 38301. Please designate that your donation is for the Mary Jo Boehms Endowed Scholarship. For questions regarding the fund, call 731-425-8825.

Exonerated Mississippi Death Row Inmate Sabrina Butler Smith to Speak at Jackson State

Sabrina Butler Smith will join a group of panelists at Jackson State Community College on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, at 12:30 p.m. for a discussion entitled A Broken System: Perspectives on the Death Penalty. The event will be held in Jim Moss Center for Nursing, Rm. 203 at Jackson State. In 1990, Sabrina Butler Smith, a teen mother from Mississippi, was convicted of murdering her nine-month-old son, Walter. She was later exonerated of all wrongdoing and is one of only two women in the United States exonerated from death row.

On April 12, 1989, Mrs. Smith rushed Walter to the hospital after he suddenly stopped breathing. Doctors tried to resuscitate the baby, but failed. The day after her son’s death, Mrs. Smith was arrested for child abuse because of bruises left by her resuscitation attempts. She was convicted of murder and sentenced to death.

Her conviction was overturned by the Mississippi Supreme Court in 1992. The court said that the prosecution had failed to prove that the incident was anything more than an accident. At retrial, she was acquitted on Dec. 17, 1995, after a very brief jury deliberation. It is now believed that the baby may have died either of cystic kidney disease or from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Mrs. Smith spent more than five years in prison and 33 months on death row.

Other panelists at the event include Cynthia Vaughn, whose mother, Connie, was murdered in Memphis in 1984 and whose stepfather, Don Johnson, is now on Tennessee death row convicted of the crime; Amy Lawrence, Coordinator of Tennessee Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty; and Reverend Stacy Rector, Executive Director of Tennesseans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (TADP).

“In October, Rickey Dale Newman of Arkansas became the 160th person since 1973 to be exonerated and released from death row in this country,” said TADP Director Reverend Stacy Rector. “Since 2000, Tennessee has released four individuals who were wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death while executing six. Mrs. Smith’s story reminds us of just how real this risk is.”

JSCC nursing division to hold open house

The nursing program at Jackson State Community College is inviting anyone interested in learning more about a career in nursing to visit an open house in its Jim Moss Center for Nursing. The event will be held on Monday, November 13. The facility will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. on that day.

Now in its 27th year, the nursing program at Jackson State has garnered a reputation as one of the state’s best and most respected programs. The Jim Moss Center for Nursing, opening its doors in the fall of 2015, is home to state-of-the-art labs and equipment that utilize the same technologies as hospitals.

Equipment in the facility includes human obstetric, pediatric, and adult simulators that enable faculty to simulate real-life scenarios. “The new facility really does give our students an experience that better prepares them for what they will encounter in a real-world setting,” said Monica Ray, admissions director for nursing.

“While the program is rigorous, the rewards are great,” Ray states. “Our faculty work to ensure that our students are prepared to pass the NCLEX certification exam. Our pass rate in the spring was 100%.”

The 2-year RN program also has a high employment rate. “98% of our students are employed within a year of graduation,” stated Ray. “Nurses are in short supply and the opportunities in healthcare are abundant.”

While a career in nursing offers a good salary (projected income for an experienced RN is $65,590), Ray mentioned that a career in nursing opens the door of possibility for a number of other career opportunities in healthcare.

“Anyone that has ever thought about a career in nursing should come to this event,” stated Ray. “This is an opportunity to see what a career in nursing has to offer, and, more importantly, what Jackson State has to offer you.”

For more information about the open house or about Jackson State’s nursing program, call 731-425-2622 or email Connie Geary at cgeary@jscc.edu.