Home Tags ALUMNI

Tag: ALUMNI

Margaret Walker Alexander inducted into The Max Hall of Fame

0
WalkerDr. Margaret Walker Alexander, professor emerita at Jackson State University, was inducted into the 2020 Hall of Fame class at the Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience (MAX) Museum in downtown Meridian on Thursday, Sept.

Margaret Walker Center, G.I.R.L. to host screening of “Grrrl Justice”

0
The Margaret Walker Center is housed inside of Ayer Hall at Jackson State University. (Photo by Charles A. Smith/JSU)The Margaret Walker Center, in collaboration with JSU’s student organization G.I.R.L. (Gathering Information Related to Ladies), will host a screening and panel discussion of the short narrative film “Grrrl Justice” on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, at 6:00 pm CST.“Grrrl Justice” explores three characters’ journeys – one released from juvenile detention, another exploited by a sex trafficker, and one navigating the school to prison pipeline.

JSU’s chief photographer presents at virtual PhotoShelter Summit

0
Charles Smith is the chief photographer for JSU.On June 25, Charles Smith presented at Photoshelter’s first-ever full day of professional development for creatives. His presentation topic, Storytelling in 2020: Higher Education, provided tips on how to engage students, prospective students, parents and alumni with compelling visual content.“I was a little nervous, but I knew the work put in over the last five years was substantial,” says Smith. “We were charged with covering everything from who we are, what we do, and how we serve our students first and foremost.

JSU’s Shahbazi: Blacks hit hardest than others by COVID-19 can blame ‘structural racism’

0
Although numbers have risen significantly now, it was reported on May 19 that more than 1.5 million Americans were confirmed to have been infected...

$467K NSF grant will allow CSET to develop the next generation of minority scientists

0
Various academic disciplines (chemistry, physics, biology, environmental science and materials science) in Jackson State University’s College of Science Engineering and Technology will collaborate to...

Quicker COVID-19 test: $200K grant could help identify killer virus fast with optical detection

0
The National Science Foundation has awarded JSU’s Department of Chemistry, Physics and Atmospheric Sciences a $200,000 Rapid Response Research (RAPID) grant to develop a fast,...

Virtual cooking celebration for Margaret Walker’s 105th birthday ft. Footprint Farms, Fauna Foodworks and...

0
WalkerIn celebration of Margaret Walker’s 105th birthday, Jackson State University’s Margaret Walker Center, in partnership with Footprint Farms, will present a 30-minute virtual cooking...

JSU’s Wilcox accepts mayor’s appointment to Jackson Historic Preservation Commission

0
Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba has appointed JSU’s Dr. Heather A. Wilcox to its nine-member board of the Jackson Historic Preservation Commission (JHPC) to help sustain, promote and develop the city’s invaluable landmarks and sites.As part of the board, Wilcox will advise governing authorities about the city’s historical resources and their sacred designations. At Jackson State University, she is director of Community Engagement, the Center for University-Based Development and the Metro Jackson Community Prevention Coalition.Dr. Heather Wilcox will advise governing authorities about the city’s historical resources and their sacred designations.“I am excited to be a part of the board because it will allow me to dive deeper into the logistics of historic preservation, one of my passions.  I also look forward to networking with other historic preservationists. I hope to have an influence on how historic preservation looks in our city, particularly as it relates to minority communities,” Wilcox said.JHPC consists of one representative from each ward and two members who serve at-large. All members are city residents with a demonstrated interest in historic preservation, architecture, history, Black planning, archaeology, law, and others.Furthermore, according to the JHPC website, the commission follows provisions outlined by the City of Jackson Historic Preservation Ordinance. The panel reviews proposals for all exterior repair and alterations. It also oversees new construction, moving, or demolition of buildings, structures and their appurtenances within the local historic districts and local historic landmarks.The commission’s decisions are based on the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for Rehabilitation.The JHPC website also indicates that these standards were developed for all national preservation programs and for advising federal agencies on the preservation of properties listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.The JHPC holds a public hearing once a month, on the second Wednesday, to review applications for proposed alterations, new construction, demolition and moving of structures.

$200K grant may help JSU develop a quicker, simpler optical detection for COVID-19

0
The National Science Foundation has awarded JSU’s Department of Chemistry, Physics and Atmospheric Sciences a $200,000 Rapid Response Research (RAPID) grant to develop a fast,...

TSU Board of Trustees Announces Two New Members, Approves Flat Tuition and Fees for...

0
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University Board of Trustees on Thursday elected two new members and officially announced freezing tuition...

Future Lawyer, Politician Sets Sights on Becoming Agent of Change for Justice, Says TSU...

0
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Mariah Rhodes always wanted to be a “change agent,” to fight the injustices she saw growing up in her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. And Tennessee State University is giving her the opportunity to make a difference.Mariah Rhodes“I witnessed many wrongful convictions and disparities in education while growing up as a child in Memphis,” says Rhodes, a top political science student at TSU. “I knew right then that I wanted to be a change agent because the injustices and disparities affected my family, friends and many others.”To accomplish her dream, Rhodes says she set her sights on becoming a lawyer and eventually entering politics as an elected official focusing on education and criminal justice reform. Coming to TSU, therefore, was no accident, she says, because the university was centrally located in the “political capital” of the state, with some of the best schools, and it is closer to home.“I am a mama’s girl. I am really closed to my mother. So, a college for me had to be three hours away or less so I can quickly get back home in case of an emergency,” says Rhodes, the older of two children raised by their single mother.Mariah Rhodes participates in student convocation as a member of the Student Government Association. (TSU Media Relations)“Second, as a political science major, I was looking for a school that offered the best opportunity that I can get for my future and my career. And, the state capitol is located in Nashville. Then I started looking at campus life and I fell in love with TSU. There are so many events, so many opportunities for minorities.”Saying that coming to TSU was the best choice, the former academic standout at Power Center Academy High School graduated fourth in her class with a 3.93 grade point average and received more than $3.8 million in scholarship offers.Mariah Rhodes, with her sister, Brianna Mason, left, and mother Denise Woods, received more than $3.8 million in scholarship offers when she graduated Power Center Academy. (Submitted photo)“I had many opportunities to go to many other schools with full academic scholarships. I chose TSU because that was the best place that was home to me,” she says. “The family atmosphere – people willing and ready to help. The professors, advisors motivate me. Once they see that you are trying, they will take you under their wings, and that’s something I will always be grateful for.” Rhodes has adjusted well and proven to be an overall outstanding student. Advisor and professor, Dr. Kyle Murray, refers to Rhodes as “one of the top students in the Political Science degree program at TSU.”“Mariah has thrived in the program and set an outstanding example of discipline and leadership among her peers,” says Murray, assistant professor of political science. “ Not only is Mariah one of the top current Political Science majors, her natural leadership skills have been exemplified by her service on the Student Court, and as TSU’s official ambassador to the White House HBCU Summit.”A former Miss Freshman and currently TSU Student Court Chief Justice, Rhodes is an HBCU White House Competitiveness Scholar. She is an honors intern with the U.S. Department of Justice. Although numerous, her extracurricular activities clearly exhibit her quest for knowledge and to be the best. With a 4.0 GPA, Rhodes is a member of the TSU Honors College, Golden Key International Honor Society, a graduate of the TSU Collegiate Police Academy, and president of Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity International, among others.“Mariah is a natural born leader, academically talented and committed to inspiring her peers,” says Frank Stevenson, associate vice president of Student Affairs and dean of students, one of the people Rhodes credits with her success at TSU.“She is the essence of Tiger perfection,” adds Stevenson.Rhodes’ proven leadership skills and desire to bring out the best in others have followed her from her days at Power Center Academy. At TSU, she mentors fellow students. A former vice president of Modern Distinctive Ladies, a girls’ mentoring program at Power Academy, Rhodes is still actively engaged in the program at her former school.“I love to help because I know how difficult it can be sometimes, besides many have helped me, and I am so grateful. I am just trying to give back, and I look forward to doing even more in my future career,” says Rhodes. After college, Rhodes says there is a “strong chance” she may stay in Tennessee for law school.For more information on the TSU Political Science program, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/history/polisci.aspx

Vanish elected as President-Elect of MBUG

0
Dr. Keilani Vanish has been unanimously elected as President-Elect for Mississippi Banner User Group (MBUG).The Board of Directors of Mississippi Banner User Group (MBUG)...

TSU program is helping 101 educators from the state’s largest school districts achieve their...

0
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University College of Education has received another $300,000 grant from the Tennessee Department of Education to...

New 2nd lieutenants: 13 Army cadets will join 1,000 U.S. comrades for virtual commissioning

0
Thirteen U.S. Army cadets from Jackson State University’s Tiger Battalion will earn the rank of second lieutenants along with 1,000 others during a historic national commissioning ceremony that will be held virtually because of COVID-19.The largest-ever Army commissioning will be at 9 a.m. (CDT) Friday, June 12.Lt. Col. Steven C. Robinson is chair of JSU’s Department of the Army ROTC in the College of Liberal Arts. Explaining the reason for the ceremony’s social distancing and physical isolation, he said, the U.S. Army Cadet Command’s primary focus is on the “health, welfare and safety of our soldiers, civilians, cadets and family members.”Lt. Col. Steven C. Robinson, chair of JSU’s Department of the Army ROTC in the College of Liberal Arts, said U.S. Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy will lead the cadets as they recite the oath.McCarthyAlso, Robinson said an invitation to family, friends and supporters to join the celebration has been extended by Maj. Gen. John R. Evans Jr., the commanding general of the U.S. Army Cadet Command.Robinson said, “In today’s COVID-19 environment of social distancing and physical isolation the command’s primary focus is on the health, welfare and safety of our soldiers, civilians, cadets and family members. With this in mind, Cadet Command remains focused on meeting the needs of our nation by commissioning strong and agile leaders of character for our Army.”Robinson, also a professor of military science, is advising soon-to-be officers to continue developing future relationships with people who can support their careers. “When I entered the Army there were not many people talking about mentorships. I hope these new leaders will seek out those who can help them during their service to the nation.”Robinson also said the newly minted officers will enter an environment and world stage that may be remarkably different than years past, especially with recent developments related to protests by marchers in the wake of the George Floyd tragedy.EvansWhile he acknowledges that’s it’s atypical for U.S. Army troops to partake in domestic missions related to protest marches, for example, he said that the U.S. Army has a responsibility to dutifully carry out orders by the U.S. president and commander in chief.Meanwhile, Robinson provided words of encouragement to the graduates.“Stay motivated, and keep your head raised high no matter how hard it gets. Being positive will get you through a lot of things. Also, be yourself but stick to your morals and values.”This year’s 13 JSU Tiger Battalion cadets represent four colleges and universities in Mississippi:Laquana Brumfield, Jackson State UniversityCrimson Driver, Mississippi Valley State UniversityElijah Greenfield, Jackson State UniversityJahniah Grimsley, Jackson State UniversityHeather Hill, Mississippi CollegeBrandon McCall, Mississippi Valley State UniversityDavid Pitchford, Mississippi Valley State UniversityParis Randle, Mississippi CollegeChristian Reynolds, Millsaps CollegeGabriel Ryce, Millsaps CollegeStephen Saucier, Mississippi CollegeCynthia Tidwell, Jackson State UniversityDominique Thomas, Jackson State UniversityCadet Grimsley, a native of Winter Haven, Florida, recently earned her degree in political science from JSU. She said she never imagined that the commissioning ceremony would be online. “Still, I don’t think it takes away from all that we have accomplished,” she said.On commissioning virtually in era of COVID-19: ‘I don’t think it takes away from all that we have accomplished.’ — Cadet Jahniah Grimsley, a JSU political science graduate Ultimately, Grimsley said she plan to attend law school at the University of Florida and become a JAG (Judge Advocate Generals Corp) officer. She envisions retiring from the military after 20 years of service.Cadet Stephen Saucier, a native of Collins, Mississippi, is a recent kinesiology graduate from Mississippi College. He said the virtual commissioning is “completely understandable given the circumstances.” He’s still trying to figure out his longtime career plans as he prepares for his military duties. However, one thing he said he’s certain about is how well JSU prepared him for his journey.“I appreciate the flexibility of the cadre as we went through our rigorous challenges. I especially appreciate the support of everyone with the Tiger Battalion for making this opportunity possible.”Below are the links to view Friday’s national commissioning ceremony live:YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHkFQRYy520Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArmyROTC/live/Meanwhile, Tiger Battalion leader Robinson shared how he benefited from a military career, and he’s urging others to follow suit.“Since I’m a structured guy; I like things in order and being on a schedule,” said Robinson, explaining how the Army fostered characteristics such as timeliness, accountability and punctuality.In addition to those traits, he said the military afforded him the opportunity to travel the world meeting “many wonderful people.” He also said the strong connections built between his comrades and his troops gave him the assurance that “they would always have my back.”Beyond that, he said individuals debating whether to enlist or join via an ROTC program should consider the financial awards, too. These opportunities include scholarships for high school students and monthly stipends through the ROTC, Robinson said.———————————————————–To follow the U.S. Army Cadet Command, click on the following links:Facebook, click hereTwitter, click hereYouTube, click hereInstagram, click here

‘Nukes can’t stop hurricanes’: Meteorology grad prepares for next chapter in research

0
As hurricane season begins and commencement season ends, a JSU meteorology alum who’s preparing for graduate research is making it clear that a nuke won’t prevent the natural disaster.Michael Jacquari Smith, 22, a native of Tuskegee, Alabama, wants to better protect the public with improved data but said past notions of a nuclear response to hurricanes is “far-fetched” and “illogical.” The recent graduate was referring to an idea bandied about by President Donald Trump last year. As deadly Hurricane Dorian barreled through the Caribbean, Trump reportedly discussed an atomic option with his top national security officials.Michael Jacquari Smith, 22, is a native of Tuskegee, Alabama. At an early age, he developed a fascination with severe weather. He recently earned his bachelor’s degree in meteorology from Jackson State University’s Department of Chemistry, Physics and Atmospheric Sciences. Now, he’s preparing for graduate school in atmospheric sciences at Howard University. (Photo special to JSU)“Nukes can’t stop hurricanes. If anything, it could heat up the earth’s core. And you have to take into account the jet stream and atmospheric rivers. There’s so much to consider. Yes, meteorology is very advanced. So, you’d think it’s such a simple solution, but it’s not,” said Smith, who recently earned his bachelor’s degree in meteorology from Jackson State University’s Department of Chemistry, Physics and Atmospheric Sciences.Smith has worked on several projects in JSU’s College of Science, Engineering and Technology. He will continue his atmospheric research in the fall as a graduate student at Howard University in Washington, D.C.‘WEATHER really excites me – not just any kind of weather but severe weather. I love lightning and thunder. I want to see tornados. It gives me an adrenaline rush. I’m like, ‘Oh, snap! What’s really going on outside?’ ”Smith said he’s big on “tornadogensis” because “there’s so much that we don’t know when it comes to predicting a tornado.” His fascination developed when he was very young.“When I was little most kids were watching cartoons on TV, but I would be watching The Weather Channel. My people are from the country part of Tuskegee. My grandmother had a house with a tin roof. When rain would hit the tin I would go outside and sit on the lawn and watch the storms roll through. I wanted to understand what was making this happen.”Many years ago, he recalls an even closer experience with wicked weather when the family drove 12 hours to his mother’s native Chicago from Tuskegee.“We were driving through Tennessee and saw a lot of lightning ahead of us. We figured it would be a normal storm, so we pulled over to gas station. The people there told us it was going to be a really bad storm and that the bridge might flood. They warned us to stop driving,” he said.“But, we decided to push through anyway. While driving, the lightning got brighter, and the clouds descended just above the hood. As soon as we went under the clouds, we were met with torrential rain, hail and a lot of thunder. It looked scary at first because I could just reach out and grab the elements.”A little unnerved, he said he still prefers such excitement. “I don’t like days to be boring. I like surprises, and weather is just a perfect thing for that because it’s just a change in the atmosphere at a particular place and time.”‘As soon as we went under the clouds, we were met with torrential rain, hail and a lot of thunder. It looked scary at first because I could just reach out and grab the elements.’ — Michael Jacquari Smith, meteorology gradNow, he’s ready to expand his knowledge, and he still spends time watching those he admires in the industry such as Jim Cantore from The Weather Channel.“He would be out there in front of the storm whether it was a hurricane, blizzard or hailstorm – just reporting from the field,” Smith said of Cantore. “At the most, he had only an umbrella. I knew then that I had to be like that man.”There are other meteorologists he admires, too. However, his greatest inspiration is his mother. He described her as a then-single parent who defeated the odds. She was pregnant at age 17 and had dropped out of high school. Eventually, though, she would earn her GED, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. His mother, Jeanette Moss-Smith, is the Title III director at Tuskegee UniversitySmith is the only biological son of his mother’s four children.He’s taken full advantage of the academic opportunities at JSU, having earned several internships. From one, he learned about QLCS (quasi-linear convective system). It’s line of thunderstorms that happen suddenly – similar to his family’s experience while traveling to Chicago.Formerly shy, Smith has developed an outgoing, extroverted personality that resulted in him being elected Mister Senior. “I love JSU. It has formed me.” Furthermore, he’s become more involved in community service, with fellow students and the university as a whole and has engaged with great black minds at other HBCUs. (Photo special to JSU)He also was advised by JSU alum Dr. Dereka Carroll-Smith of UCAR (University Corporation for Atmospheric Research) in Boulder, Colo. “She really pushed us when I first got to Jackson State as a freshman.”Still, it would be during his junior year while attending a conference of the American Meteorological Society when he really ratcheted up his interest in the field. There, he was able to sharpen his skills to impress potential graduate schools and future employers.At his internship led by Tuskegee’s engineering dean Dr. Heshmat Aglan, Smith learned to identify and analyze global weather conditions in locations with extreme temperatures by looking at daily averages, humidity, sandstorms, UV intensity and airborne salt particles. He also studied environmental factors that may impact newly manufactured aircraft by Boeing.EVENTUALLY, Carroll-Smith (no relation) recognized Smith’s growth and dedication. She helped him land an internship at the University of Oklahoma at the National Weather Center. He calls it his best internship. While there, he attended national and international weather briefings at the National Severe Storms Laboratory. He also experienced storm-chasing.His research involved classifying rare storms and tornadic outbreaks, especially since rarity affects public preparedness. Through methods such as coding in Python and with help from the Storm Predicion Center’s (SPC) database, he successfully linked some rare instances based on intensity and area that could lead to potential measures to protect the public.He also interned at the Storm Prediction Center. That opportunity enabled him to experience storm-chasing.Loaded with so much acquired knowledge, Smith was able to lead a JSU organization known as I.M.A.G.E. (Increasing Minorities in Atmospheric Science through Geoscience Experiences). I.M.A.G.E. introduces students from schools all around the Jackson area and beyond to JSU’s meteorology department.As for his future, Smith said, “Wherever there’s an opportunity I’m taking it because tomorrow is not promised to anyone. We didn’t even know we would be home today because of the coronavirus.”While he can see himself on television forecasting weather, “right now I just want to get a better understanding of what I’m doing.‘In Tornado Alley, the weather is just totally different. When a storm rolls in you feel the wind; you see signs of it. It’s like you’re in a totally different altitude.’ — Michael J. Smith As well, he’d like to be part of research one day that could successfully generate regular readings from inside tornadoes using instrument packs. He knows that accurate predictions about tornado occurrences can protect lives.“I want to study mesoscale meteorology, climate dynamics and tornado genesis. Mesoscale meteorology is learning the dynamics and motions and the convective side of meteorology. I call it the more exciting side. I also like to see how climate changes – from where it’s been to where it is now. As for tornado genesis, I just absolutely love tornados – not the destruction but the dynamics,” Smith said.“In Tornado Alley, the weather is just totally different. When a storm rolls in you feel the wind; you see signs of it. It’s like you’re in a totally different altitude.” Tornado Alley is where twisters occur more frequently.Smith said, “Being a cheerleader, I discovered we’re not just a team. They were like my other family. We worked together and built human pyramids by standing six people on shoulders. We’d fall, pick up each other, catch one another and laugh together.” (Photo special to JSU)Before COVID-19 struck, Smith’s desire was to work this summer on a project called TORUS (Targeted Observation by Radars and UAS of Supercells). It’s powered by the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma.Through TORUS, researchers and students deploy a wide range of instruments to collect data on supercell thunderstorms throughout the Great Plains. They collect data on convective storms that are created by surface heating.THE goal, Smith said, is to understand the relationships between severe thunderstorms and tornado formation. Often, participants chase storms across the Great Plains and other areas in Tornado Alley, such as Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas. Several other states are included as well.Smith credits JSU for helping him to work toward his dream of becoming a meteorologist.“I love JSU. It has formed me. It has helped me with my networking skills. I used to be shy. But I’ve been given more exposure by being a Jackson State cheerleader/tumbler,” he said.“Being a cheerleader, I discovered we’re not just a team. They were like my other family. We worked together and built human pyramids by standing six people on shoulders. We’d fall, pick up each other, catch one another and laugh together.”Furthermore, he said JSU challenged him to become more outgoing.“With me being Mister Senior that really helped me to develop as I prepare for my career. I’ve been involved with community service, fellow students, the university as a whole and have engaged with great black minds at other HBCUs.”Despite those activities, he still considers himself a homebody and believes “people may consider me a nerd because I like to watch anime in my pastime. I do like to hang out with friends, too,” he said.He urges others to never give up on what they believe in even when others don’t see their vision.Smith said, “For some reason, many scientists hate imagination. But technology is in constant motion for improving everyday life. Ideas are limitless, even though some things are better left to God.”

NEW POSTS