Jackson State Names Michael Winders as Head Baseball Coach

Jackson State’s own Michael Winders has been named as the new head baseball coach of the Green Jays for the 2019-2020 season. Winders, a former Jackson State baseball team member, served as the baseball team catching coach from 2005-2008, and has been the head softball coach since 2008, adding women’s basketball coach to his resume from 2011 to 2016.

Winders has won over 200 games in his career and set the single-season wins record in 2016 at 41 wins. As catching coach in 2005, he notably worked with Luis Martinez, who would later be drafted by the San Diego Padres in 2007.

“We are very excited that Coach Winders will be leading our baseball program,” says Jackson State athletic director Steve Cornelison. “He excelled as a player and as our softball coach, and he will bring the same level of intensity and dedication in his new role.”

Winders graduated from Hamilton High School in 2000 after winning the Mississippi 1A state Championships in 1997 and 1999. He began his collegiate playing career from 2001 to 2002 at Jackson State and was selected to the All TCCAA Team his first year. Winders later played baseball at Lambuth University from 2003 to 2004. He currently lives in Jackson with his wife and two sons.

Cornelison says the search for a new head softball coach will begin immediately.

JSCC designated F.A.S.T. Center for robotics training in Southeast

Jackson State Community College has been designated as a FANUC Authorized Satellite Training (F.A.S.T.) Center. This designation brings high-level training to West Tennessee on FANUC robotics systems. FANUC America states that they have over 24 million products installed worldwide and are the most familiar brand of manufacturing automation.

JSCC received a $175,000 grant in 2017 that allowed the college to purchase additional cutting-edge equipment and to create a unique robotics training center for college’s Engineering Systems Technology students and current workers at companies in West Tennessee. Additionally, the college became a certified trainer for FANUC Handling Tool Operation and Programming. FANUC is the primary robotics brand used by manufacturers throughout the region.

As a F.A.S.T. Center, JSCC is one of only 12 authorized training centers in the U.S. This location is 1 of 3 located in the South. Other centers in the area are located in Alabama and Georgia. Local businesses can now take advantage of nationally-approved FANUC training without incurring the costs normally associated with employee travel.

JSCC dean of business and industry, Terri Messer, states that the college added 3 FANUC robotics training stations with the grant funding. With a total of 5 FANUC robotics training stations, the college has already trained 42 local technicians from the surrounding 14-county workforce region.

“Jackson State has long been a trusted industry-training partner in West Tennessee,” said Messer. “We work closely with local business and industry to ensure that we provide them with quality training that is tailored specifically to their needs.”

Green Jays Head Baseball Coach to Leave Jackson State

Jackson State’s athletic department announced this week that head baseball coach, Tyson Malik, will be leaving the college ahead of next season to pursue a career opportunity near his hometown of Orlando, Florida. Malik served as head coach for the last seven seasons and as an assistant coach for four seasons before that.

“Coach Malik has done a great job with our baseball program and while we hate to lose him, we are excited for what the future holds for him and his family,” said Jackson State athletic director Steve Cornelison. “Regardless of where he is, Tyson will always be a part of the Green Jays family.”

During his tenure at Jackson State, Malik had a career record of 224-146 (.605 winning percentage). He coached 67 players who signed with four-year colleges and universities to continue their college careers, including 2013 alum Wes Parsons, who made his major league debut as a pitcher for the Atlanta Braves in 2018. During his final season with Jackson State, Malik led the Green Jays to a 33-22 record and a runner-up finish in the NJCAA Region VII tournament.

“I have been very fortunate to work with a great staff in this department and have made some lifelong friends in my years here,” said Malik, who expressed gratitude for his colleagues and the players he coached, crediting them for the evolution of his career. “It is hard to put into words how much this place and the people I have met mean to me. I wish Jackson State the best of luck in the future.”

Bagels and Bluegrass set for October 12 at JSCC

The 18th Annual Bagels and Bluegrass Bicycle Century Tour and 5K are set for Saturday, Oct. 12 at Jackson State Community College. The event includes bicycle road tours varying in length from 14 to 100 miles. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Dr. Kent Jones Scholarship Fund at JSCC and Friends of Chickasaw and Pinson Mounds State Parks.

The routes on the Bagels and Bluegrass Bicycle Century Tour are designed for beginners to advanced riders. There are 14-, 32-, 62- and 100-mile routes. The 100-mile century route will take cyclists through Chickasaw and Pinson Mounds State Parks. For completing this route, cyclists will receive a commemorative patch.

In addition to the bicycle tour, a 5K run will also be held on the JSCC campus. “This will be the second year for the 5K run,” said event organizer Mary Beth Hopper. “This allows for there to be more inclusion for friends and family members that don’t ride. The addition of the run is also an excellent opportunity to grow this long-standing annual event.”

A former surgeon and avid cyclist, Dr. Jones made the decision during the second year of the event to hold the event at Jackson State Community College. A large portion of the proceeds from the event support scholarship for non-traditional students at JSCC.

In addition to creating the Bagels and Bluegrass Bicycle Century Tour to support JSCC students, Dr. Jones was instrumental in establishing the EMT program at JSCC in 1982 during his tenure as Chief of Staff at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital.

Sadly, Dr. Jones, passed away in November. Consequently, the presentation of checks was delayed until this past April. The Dr. Kent Jones Scholarship at JSCC received a $2,000 donation and the Pinson Mounds and Chickasaw State Parks received $400 each at the check presentation ceremony.

For more information about the Bagels and Bluegrass Bicycle Century Tour and 5K event go to www.bagelsandbluegrass.tn.org or call 731-616-7474.

Four Green Jays earn Academic All-American honor

Four Jackson State student-athletes have earned the Academic All-American honors by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) for their outstanding work in the classroom. The following Jackson State Green Jays were named third-team awards:

  • Gracie Emerson – softball team – 3.68 GPA
  • Jacob Langham – baseball team – 3.75 GPA
  • Macy Muirhead – softball team – 3.73 GPA
  • Marissa Turrentine – softball team – 3.75 GPA

Congratulations to all! Go Green Jays!

JSCC to host open house

Jackson State Community College will host an open house event Saturday, July 27 on the main campus at 2046 North Parkway. The campus will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. that day.

Brian Gann, Student Services vice president, sees this as an excellent opportunity for anyone considering the next step beyond high school. “The Tennessee Reconnect and Tennessee Promise grants are making the prospect of getting a college degree a reality for both adult learners and traditional students,” Gann said. “It is now possible to complete your first two years of college tuition free.”

Anyone wanting to learn more about Jackson State is welcome to take a tour of the campus, meet with faculty and staff, and learn more about financial aid options.

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. 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. The library will also be open along with the writing center and academic assistance center.

Anyone attending this event should follow the signs on campus to the Student Center. Information about the campus along with guided tours will be located there.

For additional information or questions, contact student services at (731) 425-2601. Details about the event can also be found at www.jscc.edu/openhouse.

New start at JSCC “gave life back” to alumnus

After three children and back surgeries for ruptured discs following the birth of each child, Emma Long thought her working days were over.

With her back problems, she knew she wouldn’t be able to continue as a nursing assistant. But when Vocational Rehab offered her the opportunity to go back to school, she seized it and chose Jackson State Community College. Her major was psychology.

“Jackson State gave me a new beginning,” she said. “Jackson State gave me my life back.”

With her oldest child only 5 years old, Long wasn’t a traditional college student. The college worked with her so she could be successful, she said.

“They would help with anything I needed; all I had to do was let them know.”

For example, when her part-time, work-study job required a conference out of town the same week as a final exam, her professor let her take the exam the following week.

After graduating from Jackson State in 1986, Long received a scholarship at Lambuth University and completed her bachelor’s degree there.

She then spent 24 years working at Pathways, first as a case manager and then as a continuous treatment team leader. For her last 14 years at Pathways, Long was the Criminal Justice Mental Health Liaison for Jackson City Judge Blake Anderson. There, she said, she found her calling.

Her job was to set up treatment options – from mental health counseling to drug rehab – so those accused of crimes could get the help they needed to be successful, she said. “I started my day at 8 every morning at arraignment.”

Her program was working so well that others in the state used it as a model. “At one point, they told me I had seen over 10,000 people,” she said. “I never tired of it.”

Long, who is 67, retired when her husband, Willie Sr., got sick. He died in 2016. Best friends throughout their 45 years of marriage, they raised three children: LaShandra and Cindra, who live in Texas, and Willie Jr., who lives in South Carolina. Long also has three grandchildren.

A deeply religious person, Long credits the Lord for bringing Jackson State into her life. “It was the right place. I just took the long way around to get there. It was like my home. When I walk through those halls today, I still feel good.”

To anyone thinking of college, Long has one piece of advice: “Jackson State is where you need to start.”