These former student-athletes at East Central Community College in Decatur were recognized for their academic success in 2013-2014 by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). The NJCAA honors are presented in three categories – Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence (4.0 Career GPA); Award for Superior Academic Achievement (3.79 – 3.99 Career GPA); and Exemplary Academic Achievement (3.60 – 3.79 Career GPA). EC honorees, shown prior to receiving diplomas at the College’s 2014 Commencement on May 10, include (seated from left) Alana Turner of Florence (women’s soccer and tennis), Superior Academic Achievement Kaylin Hopkins of Louisville (softball), Sydney Dawkins of DeKalb (women’s soccer), and Hannah Smith of Carthage (women’s tennis), all recipients of Exemplary Academic Achievement; Kennedy Castleberry of Meridian (women’s soccer), Superior Academic Achievement; and Paige Gower of Meridian (women’s soccer), Exemplary Academic Achievement; and (back row, from left) Sawyer Williams of El Dorado, Arkansas, (golf), Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence; Brandon St. Clair of Newton (men’s tennis), Miranda Clark of Philadelphia (women’s soccer), both recipients of Exemplary Academic Achievement; Jordan Walker of Decatur (men’s soccer), Superior Academic Achievement; and Will Thompson (men’s soccer), Russ Thompson (men’s soccer) and Jesse Vaughn (men’s soccer), all of Decatur and all recipients of Exemplary Academic Achievement. Not pictured are Maxwell Harmon of Enterprise (baseball), Aaron Tucker of Carthage (golf) and Caleb Woods of Carthage (baseball), all recipients of Pinnacle Awards for Academic Excellence; Nan Hartness of Louisville (women’s tennis) and Zachary Killion of Crestwood, Ky., both recipients of Superior Awards for Academic Achievement; and Hayley Stephens of Union (softball), Taylor Potter of Bentonia (men’s soccer), Heather Johnson of Chunky (women’s soccer), Mason Woodrow of Taylorsville (baseball) and Jake Bush of West Blocton, Ala., (baseball), all recipients of Exemplary Academic Achievement Awards.
Numerous East Central Community College student-athletes are recipients of academic honors awarded by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and MACJC (Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges).
ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart said academic honors received by the student-athletes reflect the type of athletic program the College strives to produce each year.
“East Central’s 2020 Vision includes a commitment to Student Success. The performance of these student-athletes demonstrates that we are making progress in realizing the commitment. I am also pleased that while 15 East Central student-athletes were nationally recognized for outstanding individual achievement last year, that number has increased to 24 student-athletes this year. Those numbers are remarkable for a college our size and I want to congratulate and thank our coaches and our student-athletes for their efforts in the classroom this year. They performed the EC Way – Excellence with Class, and I am proud of each of them.”
Added Chris Harris, Dean of Athletics and Personnel Services: “East Central Athletics are traditionally recognized as having some of the top performing student-athletes academically in the nation. This year is no different. This honor continues to be a tribute to our student-athletes, our coaches, our faculty and our administration. As a part of our expectations for our student-athletes, we will continue to develop student-athletes academically, socially, emotionally and spiritually. It’s who we are!”
NJCAA ACADEMIC HONORS
On the national level, honors are presented in three categories – NJCAA Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence (for those achieving a perfect 4.0 grade point average); NJCAA Award for Superior Academic Achievement (3.79 to 3.99 GPA) and NJCAA Exemplary Award for Academic (3.60 to 3.79 GPA).
Student-athletes who received NJCAA Pinnacle Awards for Academic Excellence and their respective sport and hometown include Maxwell Harmon (baseball), Meridian; Aaron Tucker (golf), Carthage; Sawyer Williams (golf), Eldorado, AR; and Caleb Woods (baseball), Carthage.
Recipients of NJCAA Awards for Superior Academic Achievement include Kennedy Castleberry (women’s soccer), Meridian; Alana Turner (women’s soccer/women’s tennis), Florence; Nan Hartness (women’s tennis), Louisville; Zach Killion (men’s soccer), Crestwood, KY; and Jordan Walker (men’s soccer).
Selected to receive NJCAA Exemplary Awards for Excellence include Jesse Vaughn (men’s soccer) and Will Thompson (men’s soccer) and Russ Thompson (men’s soccer). all of Decatur; Brandon St. Clair (men’s tennis), Newton; Haley Stephens (fast-pitch softball), Union; Miranda Clark (women’s soccer), Philadelphia; Sydney Dawkins (women’s soccer), DeKalb; Taylor Potter (men’s soccer), Bentonia; Paige Gower (women’s soccer), Meridian; Heather Johnson (women’s soccer), Chunky; Mason Woodrow (baseball), Taylorsville; Kaylin Hopkins (fast-pitch softball), Louisville; Jacob Bush (baseball), West Blocton, Ala.; Hannah Smith (women’s tennis), Carthage; and Shedrick Fair (men’s basketball), Aberdeen.
MACJC ACADEMIC HONORS
Academic honors presented to student-athletes on the state level include MACJC Distinguished Academic All-State (those earning a 3.8 to 4.0 GPA) and MACJC Academic All-State (3.25 to 3.79 GPA).
ECCC recipients of MACJC Distinguished Academic All-State honors include Maxwell Harmon (baseball), Meridian; Aaron Tucker (golf), Carthage; Sawyer Williams (golf), Eldorado, AR; Caleb Woods (baseball), Carthage; Kennedy Castleberry (soccer), Meridian; Alana Turner (women’s soccer/women’s tennis), Florence; Zach Killion (men’s soccer), Crestwood, KY; Nan Hartness (women’s tennis), Louisville; Jordan Walker (men’s soccer), Decatur; and Brandon St. Clair (men’s tennis), Newton.
Those named MACJC Academic All-State include Will Thompson (men’s soccer), Jesse Vaughn (men’s soccer) and Russ Thompson (men’s soccer), all of Decatur; Haley Stephens (fast-pitch softball), Union; Miranda Clark (fast-pitch softball), Philadelphia; Taylor Potter (men’s soccer), Bentonia; Kaylin Hopkins (fast-pitch softball) and Megan Robinson (fast-pitch softball), both of Louisville; Sydney Dawkins (women’s soccer), DeKalb; Hannah Smith (women’s tennis), Carthage; Paige Gower (women’s soccer) and Claire Milling (women’s soccer), both of Meridian; Jacob Bush (baseball), West Blocton, Ala.; Heather Johnson (women’s soccer), Chunky; Morgan Luke (women’s soccer), Newton; Eliud Alvarez (men’s soccer), Forest; Mason Woodrow (baseball) and Conner West (baseball), both of Taylorsville; Martin Johnson (football), Nanih Waiya; Kendra Wilson (fast-pitch softball), Millport, Ala.; Lindsey Beard (fast-pitch softball), Clarkdale; Morgan Porter (fast-pitch softball), Enterprise; Ty Buckley (fast-pitch softball), Philadelphia); Amber Pierce (women’s tennis), Walnut Grove; Cojuante McMillian (baseball), Hamilton; and Mackenzie Britt (women’s soccer), Florence.
New and transfer students who plan to attend the fall 2014 semester at East Central Community College and have not registered for classes are encouraged to attend orientation activities scheduled Friday, June 20 on the Decatur campus.
“Although four sessions are scheduled during summer months, we encourage students to attend the earliest session as possible in order to get the classes they want for the fall semester,” said Dr. Randall E. Lee, Vice President for Student Services.
Prior to attending registration, students should have on file in the Office of Admissions a completed ECCC Application for Admission (www.eccc.edu); ACT or COMPASS scores, which will be used for placement in English and mathematics courses; and high school/college transcripts. Transfer students must have all college transcripts on file before they can register.
“As in years past, students may arrive anytime between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. to register,” Dr. Lee said. “Students who have completed the admissions process and have been accepted for admission should receive a letter in the mail instructing them how to proceed on the day of orientation.
Students who have not completed the application process are welcome to attend if they have the ACT or COMPASS score report and college transcripts turned in and will begin the process in the Eddie M. Smith Student Union on the west side of campus.
On the day of registration/orientation, students will complete their fall class schedules, have photos made for identification badges and the College yearbook, apply for a parking decal (must have tag number), and complete the online orientation.
Students who have not taken either the ACT or COMPASS test should be prepared to take the exam at 8:30 a.m. on the day of registration. The cost is $20.
Dr. Lee said remaining orientation sessions are scheduled Friday, July 11 and Friday, August 8.
Fall day and evening classes begin Monday, August 18, 2014.
For more information, contact Student Services, at 601-635-6205 or e-mail email@example.com.
Ben Cooper of Abilene, Texas, was recently selected a graduate assistant football coach at East Central Community College in Decatur, announced Warrior head football coach Ken Karcher.
Cooper will serve as tight ends coach.
Prior to joining the ECCC staff, Cooper served the past two years as an assistant coach for the Abilene Bombers of the Arena Football League, and the past four years as a graduate assistant at Hardin-Simmons University, also located in Abilene.
His duties with the Abilene Bombers included coaching offensive linemen, tight ends and fullbacks. He also assisted with special teams.
Cooper helped lead the Bombers to the 2013 playoffs. His offensive line was voted “Best Line in the League” following the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Cooper was also selected to coach in the 2013 Arena Football All-Star Game.
He began his coaching career in 2010 at Hardin-Simmons, where he coached linebackers, quarterbacks and tight ends. He also served as a recruiter and was responsible for all out-of-state recruiting.
Cooper is a 2004 graduate of Austin (Texas) Hyde Park Baptist School, where he was a football standout at quarterback. He also excelled in basketball and track.
He continued his football career at Texas Lutheran University in Sequin, Texas, where he was a two-year letterman at tight end. He was also a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Cooper received a bachelor’s degree in theological studies at Texas Lutheran in 2009, and earned a master’s of divinity in family ministry at Hardin-Simmons in 2014.
He is the son of Walter and Juanita Cooper of Austin. He has a brother, Alexis Cooper.
A groundbreaking ceremony for a new synthetic turf field is scheduled Friday, June 13, 2014, at East Central Community College’s Bailey Stadium on the Decatur campus. The ceremony was scheduled following approval of the award of the bid by the ECCC Board of Trustees earlier this week.
Activities begin at 2 p.m. on Warrior Field for the new turf surface, which will not only be used for football games but will also host soccer matches and other special events.
CR Construction, Inc., of Flowood was the successful bidder for the eight-week project, estimated to cost approximately $727,000. The field is designed by Eley Guild Hardy Architects of Biloxi.
Funding for the installation of the turf field is provided in part from net proceeds of the recently held “Laying the Foundation: An Evening with Coach Tony Dungy.” The fundraising event was hosted March 28, 2014, at the Neshoba County Coliseum in Philadelphia and featured the current analyst for NBC’s Football Night in America, award-winning author and Super Bowl-winning coach who is also involved in a variety of charitable organizations.
“Thanks to the financial support from program sponsors - the Rush Sports Medicine Team, Anderson Regional Medical Center, Valley, and the more than 400 individuals who purchased tickets for the Dungy event, and the East Central Board of Trustees, we are able to begin the first phase of much-needed improvements to our football facility,” said ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart. “We are also in the process of providing opportunities for businesses and individuals to help fund construction of the Football Operations Center, which will be constructed on the north end of the football field. We are very pleased with the response thus far and look forward to completing fundraising for the facility in the very near future.”
Dr. Stewart will provide opening remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony. Also participating in the brief program will be Board of Trustees Vice Chairman Jerry Smith of Philadelphia; Athletic Director Chris Harris; Head Football Coach Ken Karcher; and Taylor Guild, representing the architectural firm.”
The public is invited to attend the groundbreaking ceremony.
East Central Community College graduates Estenfania Olmedo (left) of Philadelphia and Maxwell Harmon of Meridian received transfer scholarships to the University of West Alabama during the College’s annual Awards Day program held May 1, 2014, on the Decatur campus.
Dr. Krista M. LeBrun of Meridian was recently selected Dean of e-Learning at East Central Community College in Decatur, announced ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart.
“I am confident that Dr. LeBrun, under the leadership of Dr. Teresa Houston (Vice President for Instruction), will serve ECCC and our e-Learning students well,” said Dr. Stewart. “Also, I am confident that she has a desire to help the college fulfill our 2020 Vision as she demonstrated knowledge of our strategic plan during her interview.”
Dr. LeBrun, who began her new duties on May 1, 2014, previously served as Director of e-Learning at Meridian Community College since 2010. She earlier served as Distance Learning Coordinator.
She is also a former online academic adviser and interim director of online marketing for the University of West Alabama in Livingston.
In addition, Dr. LeBrun is a former adjunct instructor at MCC and UWA.
She began her career in education as a computer instructor at the Meridian Activity Center and later served as an elementary school teacher from 2004-07 for the Lauderdale County School District.
Dr. LeBrun is a member of numerous professional organizations and currently serves as Mississippi Virtual Community College (MSVCC) e-Learning Association President for 2014-15. She also serves as Chair of the eLearning Association Support Committee. Dr. LeBrun will also represent ECCC at the Mississippi Community College Leadership Academy (MCCLA) this year.
She is also a member of the Association for Advancement in Computing in Education (AACE), the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), the American Association for Community Colleges (AACCL) and the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and the Honor Society of Kappa Delta Pi.
After receiving her GED diploma, Dr. LeBrun continued her education by earning an associate’s degree from Meridian Community College in 2004; a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Mississippi State University-Meridian in 2006; a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction in adult education with emphasis in distance learning at the University of Phoenix (online) in 2008; and a doctorate in instructional leadership with emphasis in instructional technology from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, in 2012.
She was recognized as a dean’s list scholar at MCC and a president’s scholar at MSU-Meridian, where she twice received the William Winter Scholarship. She was a recipient of the Susan D. Bedsole Scholarship at the University of Alabama.
Dr. LeBrun is married to Patrick R. LeBrun, a Meridian police officer. They have a daughter, Lorelei M. LeBrun.
Neshoba County officials were luncheon guests of the East Central Community College Board of Trustees prior to the group’s May 13, 2014, meeting on the Decatur campus. The special campus visitors are shown with ECCC trustees from Neshoba County following the meal. Seated from left are county supervisors Marty Sistrunk (District Four), Keith Lillis (District One), Kevin Cumberland (District Two) and Obie Riley (District Five); Neshoba Board Attorney Wade White; and County Administrator Benji Coats. Standing from left are ECCC trustees Edsel Cliburn of Union, David Byars, Neshoba County Supt. of Education Tommy Dearing and Jerry Smith (vice chairman), all of Philadelphia; and Neshoba Tax Assessor/Collector Mike Lewis. ECCC Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Jimmy Hollingsworth of Lake and ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart expressed appreciation to the Neshoba County officials for their continuous support of the college.
David Case was recently selected Vice President for Institutional Research and Effectiveness at East Central Community College in Decatur, announced ECCC President Dr. Billy W. Stewart.
Case, who began his new duties on May 1, 2014, previously served as Director of Monitoring at the Mississippi Community College Board in Jackson, where he assisted in developing an improved statewide audit system for community colleges for more than 80,000 students.
Case has more than 21 years of experience in higher education, which includes 18 years of service at ECCC, where he first served as Director of Technology Management and later as Dean of Admissions, Records and Research.
While at ECCC, Case was actively involved in the development and submissions of the college’s 10-year reaffirmation report to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. He was also involved in educational research for a number of years.
“Mr. Case has unique insight into the needs of ECCC and is excited about the opportunity to assist us in our endeavors to fulfill 2020 Vision,” said Dr. Stewart.
A graduate of Jim Hill High School in Jackson, Case received a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Mississippi and earned a master’s degree in business administration from Millsaps College. He has completed additional coursework toward a doctorate in management science at the University of Alabama.
He is married to the former Paige Sullivan of Brookhaven, a Spanish and English instructor on the high school and collegiate levels. They have three daughters, Karen Elizabeth and Catherine Lovorn, both upperclassmen at Mississippi State University in Starkville, and Mary Madelon, a high school senior.
Students who transfer from East Central Community College to four-year institutions are once again recognized for academic success, according to a recent report from Mississippi’s Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL).
Results from the IHL report revealed that transfer students from ECCC achieved a 3.22 grade point average, which represents the highest cumulative grade point average of all community college transfers at the state's eight public, four-year institutions.
Students from the community/junior college in second place earned a 3.17 GPA, and the average for all 15 community colleges combined was a 3.12 GPA.
The report again showed that community college transfer students performed academically as well or better in university courses than students who began their education at the senior institutions. The “native” students earned a 3.09 GPA.
ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart said he was “elated and proud” at the news that East Central Community College students are once again recognized for academic success.
Dr. Stewart added, "This data, compiled and reported by IHL, confirms the results of our college’s dedication to Student Services and Teaching and Learning, two hallmark commitments of 2020 Vision, our strategic plan for the future. Our faculty and staff are preparing East Central transfer students well for the academic challenges of a university, and based on the performance of our transfer students, no one does that any better!”
East Central Community College offers the first two years of a four-year degree for more than 201 areas of concentration in academic studies. These academic courses are guaranteed to transfer as a result of an Articulation Agreement between Mississippi’s community colleges and the state’s public four-year colleges and universities.
The College also offers two-year terminal degrees in healthcare, career and technical fields of study.
For more information, contact ECCC Student Services, at 601-635-6205 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.