Students who received their high school equivalency diplomas at the annual GED Graduation Ceremony held recently at East Central Community College in Decatur include (first row, from left) Alexius Hardin of Forest, Erika Harrell of Morton, Alicia Bell and Darla Bozeman, both of Philadelphia; Saradine Celissaaint of Gulfport, Hunter Comans of Carthage, Leslie Ellingburg of Lake, Matthew Garces and Francis Pittman, both of Forest; and Alicia Morehead of Lake; (second row, from left) Kristen Harris of Forest, Terria Maze of Madden, Abbygail Dukes of Newton, Christina Bailey of Decatur, Allison Hamilton of Union, Emily Lynn Sanders of Forest, Taylor Pfeifer of Philadelphia, Sierra Ingle of Forest, Catherine Joiner of Meridian and Nicole Parnell of Decatur; (third row, from left) Michael Carpenter of Forest, Kory Banks of Philadelphia, Randy Comans of Walnut Grove, Johnny Harrison of Sebastopol, Samantha Roeder of Philadelphia, Cody Smith of Union, Bryan Rodgers of Philadelphia, Unique Brown and Quality Brown, both of Carthage; Megan Sanders of Forest and Allyson Peters of Carthage; and (back row, from left) Quadell Hunter of Philadelphia, Bethany Rowell of Carthage, Jaquayla Spight of Philadelphia, Joshua Dixon of Newton, John Crowley of Philadelphia, Nicholas Grover of Decatur, Shyanne Harris of Union and Emily Robison, Lewis Thompson and Alexis Webb, all of Philadelphia. ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart presented diplomas during the special program held in Huff Auditorium. Dr. Rachel DeVaughan, program specialist for adult education for the Mississippi Community College Board, served as guest speaker. ECCC offers free ABE/GED/ESL classes for those 17 and older throughout the college’s support district, which includes Leake, Neshoba, Newton, Scott and Winston counties. For more information, contact Ryan Clarke, director of adult basic education and GED testing, 601-635-6387 or call toll free, 877-462-3222, ext. 387. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
East Central Community College student Ryan Hill of Forest was awarded a $500 Clifford H. "Ted" Rees, Jr., Scholarship, in recognition of his successful participation in the recent SkillsUSA Championships in the HVACR (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration) category.
The Championships – held June 22-23, 2016, in Louisville, Ky., brought together students who won local and statewide competitions before qualifying to compete on the national stage. Hill finished as a finalist at the championships.
Rees scholarships are aimed at helping students continue studying to become technicians in the HVACR and water heating industry.
"We are proud to help these qualified and dedicated students, and promote careers in the HVACR and water heating industry, to help close the employment and skills gaps we currently face," said Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) President and CEO Stephen Yurek. "We wish them success in their programs and look forward to welcoming them into the industry."
Since the Rees Scholarship Foundation was founded in 2003, it has awarded almost $440,000 in scholarships to more than 250 deserving students and instructors.
About the REES Scholarship Foundation
The Clifford H. "Ted" Rees, Jr. Scholarship Foundation was established to assist with the recruitment and competency of future HVACR and water heating technicians by awarding scholarships to qualified students enrolled in an institutionally accredited school. Eligible students must be preparing for a career in either residential or light commercial air conditioning, heating, or water heating, or commercial refrigeration. www.ReesScholarship.org.
East Central Community College students placed in five areas of competition during the 52nd annual SkillsUSA Leadership Conference held recently in Louisville, Ky. Pictured are (from left) Alan Graham of Forest, seventh, industrial motor controls; Jason Forrest of Decatur, 14th, technical drafting; Ryan Hill of Forest, 21st, heating, ventilation and air conditioning; Jordan Prisock of Louisville, 27th, automotive refinishing; and Enoc Reynoso of Carthage, 11th, restaurant service.
Members of East Central Community College’s Theta Chi Chapter of Phi Beta Lambda received top honors at the organization’s 2016 National Leadership Conference held June 24–27 in Atlanta. More than 1,700 students from across the United States participated in the conference to enhance their business skills, expand their networks, and participate in 60 business and business-related competitive events.
Theta Chi chapter received a first place award and $700 cash prize in the Local Chapter Annual Business Report category, was awarded sixth place in membership for PBL Big Ten Chapters, and received the Hollis and Kitty Guy Gold Seal Chapter Award of Merit.
Group winners included Morgan Jones of Pontotoc and Kimberly Watkins of Philadelphia, third place, small business marketing; Ben Pace, Cody Stevens and Caleb Brown, all of Philadelphia, Madelon Taylor of Louisville and Anna Claire Housely of Morton, fourth place, parliamentary procedures; Memry Thompson and Paxton Holmes, both of Morton, and Jennifer Watkins of Decatur, sixth place, integrated marketing campaign; and Khalil Triplett and Alely Cruz, both of Philadelphia, and Enoc Reynoso of Carthage, 14th, community service project.
Individual winners included Paxton Holmes, seventh place, administrative technology; Madelon Taylor, eighth place, business communication; and Morgan Cain of Carthage, 10th, business presentation.
Members of East Central Community College’s Theta Chi Chapter of Phi Beta Lambda who received top honors at the organization’s 2016 National Leadership Conference included (front row, from left) Alely Cruz of Philadelphia and Jennifer Watkins of Decatur; (second row, from left) Madelon Taylor of Louisville and Paxton Holmes of Morton; (third row, from left) Kimberly Watkins of Philadelphia and Anna Claire Housely and Memry Thompson, both of Morton; and (back row, from left) Cody Stephens, Caleb Brown and Ben Pace, all of Philadelphia, Morgan Jones of Pontotoc, Morgan Cain of Carthage, Enoc Reynoso of Carthage and Khalil Triplett of Philadelphia. (Submitted Photo)
Alana Knowles of Decatur, a May 2016 graduate of East Central Community College, was selected for the Mississippi INBRE Scholars program, an 11-week long summer internship which allows students to explore their chosen field of study outside of a classroom setting.
The program, directed by Dr. Mohamed Elasri, a professor at the University of Southern Mississippi, seeks to engage talented researchers and students in biomedical research projects that will increase the state’s research competitiveness as well as impact the health of citizens of Mississippi.
For more information about Mississippi INBRE, visit the website at msinbre.org.
The East Central Community College men’s and women’s tennis teams were both named to the 2016 Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s All-Academic Teams released this week.
In addition to the team honors, nine ECCC tennis players were also honored as ITA Scholar-Athletes for their academic performance during the 2015-16 school year.
The ITA All-Academic Team award is open to any ITA program that has a cumulative team grade point average of 3.20 or above.
ITA Scholar-Athletes must be a varsity letter winner, have a GPA of at least 3.5 for the current academic year, and have been enrolled at their school for at least two semesters.
The ECCC men’s tennis team finished with a 3.20 GPA, while the women’s tennis team led all ECCC varsity sports teams with a 3.67 GPA.
Members of the ECCC women’s team named an ITA Scholar-Athlete were sophomore Kaley Bufkin of Decatur, freshman Emily Dykeman of Forest, freshman Andi McCrimon of Louisville, freshman Samantha McCrimon of Louisville, freshman Chaney Mills of Hickory, and sophomore Brooke Payne of Union.
Members of the ECCC men’s team named an ITA Scholar-Athlete included sophomore Cole Duty of Louisville, freshman Brandon Rodgers of Louisville, and sophomore Devin Skinner of Philadelphia.
The teams are coached by Jay Pacelli.
The ITA is the governing body of college tennis, overseeing men’s and women’s varsity tennis at all levels—NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College.
Brenda Carson, director of financial aid for East Central Community College in Decatur, recently received the Jack Woodward Award of Excellence from the Mississippi Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators at the organization’s annual conference held at the Pearl River Resort in Choctaw.
The Woodward Award of Excellence is the highest honor presented annually by the MASFAA. It is presented to an individual who best exemplifies leadership, knowledge, expertise, cooperation, professionalism, commitment, service and involvement in the statewide professional organization for financial aid administrators.
Carson of Decatur said she was shocked to receive the award at the president’s banquet during the 49th MASFAA Annual Conference.
“I was both shocked and honored,” said Carson, who joined the ECCC staff in 1982 as its first financial aid director. “The recipient of the award is confidential until the awards ceremony; therefore, when I realized I was being introduced as the recipient, I was overcome with emotions. This is the highest honor I have ever received.”
Carson said that knowing Jack Woodward personally made receiving the award named in his honor that much more special. “Jack Woodward was a founding member of MASFAA, and his legacy in financial aid made receiving this award mean even more to me. MASFAA has provided me opportunities personally and professionally for growth in many areas.”
In addition to receiving the Woodward Award of Excellence, Carson had the additional honor of being elected as director of the executive board of MASFAA for a three-year term, which began July 1. Carson also has served as vendor-sponsor chair, legislative committee chair and a trainer and instructor for MASFAA, among other roles.
She was president of the Mississippi Community and Junior College Student Aid Administrators Association during 2015-16.
A native of Neshoba County, Carson is a graduate of ECCC, holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Delta State University, and is a member of the Xi Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, an organization for key women educators.
MASFAA was established in 1967 to provide a community for financial aid administrators to exchange ideas and professional expertise to effectively and ethically promote access to higher education. MASFAA provides training opportunities for its members, allows individuals to network and create professional relationships, and enhances public awareness of student financial aid assistance.
Members of MASFAA are from colleges, universities, lending institutions, government agencies, foundations and others associated with private and community organizations concerned with the support and administration of student financial aid programs.
East Central Community College in Decatur today was named one of the best colleges in the nation to work for in an annual survey of more than 46,000 college and university employees by The Chronicle of Higher Education.
The Chronicle, a top trade publication for colleges and universities, released online today its annual report on The Academic Workplace, including its list of the 2016 Great Colleges to Work For. The report will also be published in The Chronicle’s Academic Workplace Special Issue to be released July 22.
ECCC was one of only three community colleges in Mississippi and one of only 25 two-year schools in the nation to be honored this year by The Chronicle. In all, only six two-year or four-year colleges and universities in the state received recognition.
Only 93 of the institutions that applied for the program achieved 2016 “Great College to Work For” recognition. Results are reported for small, medium, and large institutions, with East Central Community College included among the small institutions with 2,999 students or fewer.
East Central was recognized in the categories of Collaborative Governance, for faculty members who are appropriately involved in decisions related to academic programs; Confidence in Senior Leadership, for leaders who have the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience for institutional success; Supervisor/Department Chair Relationship, for supervisors who make expectations clear and solicit ideas; and Work/Life Balance, for policies that give employees the flexibility to manage their personal lives.
“This is a recognition we have worked hard to achieve since I arrived on campus in July 2012,” said ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart upon receiving word that East Central is a ‘Great College to Work For.’ “This is a well-deserved honor for our campus community and is indicative of the wonderful things that are going on at East Central Community College. It also is a testament to the commitment of our faculty, staff, and administration who desire for ECCC to be among the best places to work in the nation.”
The Chronicle’s Great Colleges to Work For is one of the largest and most respected workplace-recognition programs in the country. Now in its ninth year, it recognizes the colleges that get top ratings from their employees on workforce practices and policies.
To administer the survey and analyze the results, The Chronicle worked with ModernThink LLC, a strategic human capital consulting firm that has conducted numerous “Best Places to Work” programs.
The survey rates institutions on 12 categories in the fields of leadership, careers, the workplace, and compensation.
The survey results are based on a two-part assessment process: an institutional audit that captured demographics and workplace policies, and a survey administered to faculty, administrators, and professional support staff at participating colleges and universities. The primary factor in deciding whether an institution received recognition was the employee feedback.
“It’s especially humbling that East Central Community College is a ‘Great College to Work For’ based solely on confidential input from our faculty, staff, and administrators,” noted Stewart.
“Nine years in, The Chronicle’s Great Colleges to Work For program is well known as a mark of a college or university that puts thought and effort into serving the needs of its faculty and staff,” said Liz McMillen, editor of The Chronicle. “The colleges and universities that make the list are highly rated by their employees for creating great work environments, an important achievement that helps them recruit top academic and administrative talent.”
For more information and to view all the results of the survey, visit The Chronicle’s Web site http://chronicle.com/interactives/greatcolleges16.
Former East Central women's basketball guard Alexia McDonald, a product of Petal High School signed with Dillard University in New Orleans, LA to continue her academic and basketball career. McDonald averaged team-highs of 16.2 points and 2.7 steals per game. She also had 7.8 rebounds per game for the 2015-16 season.
Former East Central Community College shortstop Maegen Ellis, a product of Oak Hill Academy, signed with Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, LA to continue her softball in the fall. Ellis finished the Lady Warrior season batting .364 on 55 hits and 42 RBI.