SSS TRIO students receive grant aid

Pictured: These students in the Northwest Mississippi Community College Student Support Services (SSS) TRIO Academic Program recently received the SSS Grant Aid. Pictured (l-r) are Kelly Stull, office manager; LaQuita Smith-Parker, director; Aerial Hudson of Senatobia; LaDarius Hudson of Oxford; Faith Givan of Hernando; Jalen Threatt of Olive Branch; Mon’Timmia Brooks of Charleston; April Lavorn of Senatobia; Tiffany Nichols of Holly Springs; Gabriel Bibbs of Batesville; Fredrick Tidwell of Grenada; Rashundra Riley of Jackson and Missy Kelsay, counselor. SSS, a federally funded TRIO program established to assist first-generation and/or low-income or students with disabilities in reaching their educational goals, provides academic and personal counseling, pre-advisement, tutorial services, assistance with college offices, academic and cultural events, workshops, learning laboratory, and the opportunity to build social ties and network. (Photo by LaJuan Tallo)

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Northwest to host foreign language regional workshop

Northwest Mississippi Community College will host a Mississippi Foreign Language Association (MFLA) Regional Workshop on June 13 on its Senatobia campus. The workshop is open to world language teachers from K-12 and community college levels, according to June Turner, Northwest Spanish instructor and workshop facilitator. Presenters at the workshop will include Edgar Serrano, Spanish instructor, University of Mississippi; Laura Hall, French and Spanish instructor, Tishomingo County High School and MFLA president; Michelle Turonek, 7th/8th grade Spanish I/II and ESL teacher, Pontotoc City Junior High School; Lori LeVar Pierce, French, German and Latin instructor, Mississippi School for Math and Science; David Higginbotham, Spanish instructor, University of Mississippi and Gabriel Garrido, Spanish instructor, University of Mississippi. The workshop will cover several topics including comprehensible input strategies, online portfolio and testing tools, and Mississippi’s current efforts to offer the Seal of Biliteracy to qualifying high school students. Participants are invited to bring lunch, or a catered lunch can be available for $10, according to Turner. The workshop will provide six hours of continuing education credits. “I am excited to welcome presenters and participants from such a wide variety of levels, backgrounds, and languages to this campus,” Turner said. For more information on the foreign language program at Northwest, visit the college’s website at or contact Turner at For more information on the MFLA, visit their website at or their Facebook page.  

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Northwest students shine in SkillsUSA competition

Students in Northwest Mississippi Community College's Career Technical programs traveled to Jackson on April 9 and 10 to participate in the SkillsUSA Leadership Conference. Northwest students brought home five gold medals, five silver medals and five bronze medals. “I am so proud of this group of young people. They represented us well in both competition and professionalism,” said Robin Douglas, assistant dean of Workforce Solutions and Career-Technical Education. First place winners from Northwest were Ryan Wallace of Senatobia, Major Appliance; Seth Daniels, Pulaski, Tennessee, Diesel Equipment Technology and Nicholas Allen of Southaven, Christopher Pittman of Lake Cormorant and Keith Vaiden of Olive Branch, Welding Fabrications. Second place winners were Griselda Ramirez of Coldwater, Early Childhood; Catlyn Wallace of Olive Branch, Nail Tech; John Owen Brown of Cullman, Alabama, Power Equipment; Ariel Zamora of Kosiusko, Collision Repair and Kiondrous Wortham of Senatobia, Automotive Refinishing. Third place Brian Wilkes of Courtland, HVAC; Mallory Johns of Southaven, Cosmetology; John B. Hollington of Flomaton, Alabama, Automotive; Drake Appleton of Batesville, Welding and Kayla Amagliani of Hernando, Job Skill Demonstration. “This year’s SkillsUSA team will have five Northwest students representing Mississippi in Louisville, Kentucky this summer,” Douglas said. For more information on Northwest's Career and Technical programs, visit the website at Pictured:Northwest Mississippi Community College Career and Technical Education students who participated in the 2019 SkillsUSA Leadership Conference in Jackson recently were honored at the May 2019 Northwest Board of Trustees meeting. Front row (l-r) Northwest President Dr. Michael Heindl, Kiondrous Wortham of Senatobia; Kayla Amagliani of Hernando; Ariel Zamora of Kosiusko; Catlyn Wallace of Olive Branch, Mallory Johns of Southaven and Dr. David Campbell, vice president, Workforce Solutions and Career-Technical Education. Back row (l-r) Drake Appleton of Batesville; Nicholas Allen of Southaven; Keith Vaiden of Olive Branch; Christopher Pittman of Lake Cormorant and Brian Wilkes of Courtland. (Photo by LaJuan Tallo)

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SGA students participate in community service project

Northwest Mississippi Community College Student Government Association (SGA) students recently read an interactive version of the “Three Little Pigs” to children in Northwest’s Early Childhood Education Technology Program as part of their community service project. SGA representatives (l-r) Samantha Lawrence of Hernando, Jessica Herron of Charleston, Tiffany Nichols of Holly Springs, Matt Williams of Hernando, David Suarez of Olive Branch, Damarius Reynolds of Memphis, Shaquira Hall of Belzoni, Adam Conner of Southaven, SGA president and Dr. Tara Dunn, dean of Students. (Photo by KayLeigh Mitchell)  

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Northwest creates new Office of Early College Programs for dual enrollment needs

One of the fastest growing trends in higher education is dual enrollment (DE) for high school students in college classes. Students who dual enroll are able to earn college credits while still in high school, thereby giving them a “jump start” on their higher education. Northwest Mississippi Community College has seen its own DE program more than double in size since 2015, and today DE students comprise over 22 % of the college’s population. In August 2018, Northwest’s new president Dr. Michael Heindl and the administration recognized that the college needed to do more for its growing DE student population, and decided to implement a new department at Northwest to meet this need. The Office of Early College Programs (OECP) was created out of this need. To head up the new department, Heindl called upon then dean of DeSoto Center, Dr. Jeremy Isome, who had previous to his tenure as evening school director, assistant dean and dean of DeSoto Center, been assistant director of Recruiting for the college. Isome, who recently earned his doctorate in Higher Education from the University of Mississippi, has worked at Northwest for 13 years. In addition to his work as a college administrator, Isome has taught adjunct classes in business administration. “Over the past several years, the DE program has experienced exponential growth. We are pleased to have a seasoned administrator, Dr. Jeremy Isome, at the helm of this sought -after program. We anticipate continued growth and Dr. Isome and his team have employed many new initiatives to better serve our students,” said Dr. Matthew Domas, vice president of Academic Instruction and College Parallel Programs. As district dean of OECP, Isome works closely with Dr. Suzanne Strehle, coordinator of Dual Enrollment and Stacy Stewart, OECP administrative assistant to coordinate and facilitate Northwest’s Early College program across its 11-county district. In order to be considered for enrollment in DE classes, students must have completed 14 high school units, complete a Northwest application for admission, have taken and received official ACT scores, and have a written recommendation from their high school principal or guidance counselor. Homeschooled students must have a transcript with a sworn affidavit and a written recommendation from a parent or legal guardian. If a student has not met the required 14 units, they must have a composite score of 30 on the ACT. Currently, there are 155 DE sections offered, with 87 at high schools and the rest online. Classes in English, mathematics, history, trigonometry, music, art and biology are among those taught in the dual enrollment program. The classes that are taught on high school campuses are mainly taught by high school teachers, but Isome emphasized that these teachers must meet the same requirements that Northwest instructors do. “We do not deviate on the requirements for teachers or for students. It is the same for them as it is on our campuses and in eLearning,” Isome said. He noted that most of the online classes are taught by Northwest adjunct or full-time instructors. Isome noted that DE students come mainly from DeSoto, Tate and Lafayette counties, with some from the smaller counties. “It really mirrors the college’s enrollment, actually,” Isome said. He said that the program is also open to private schools. One of the big projects OECP is working on currently is their Middle College program. According to Isome, they are currently developing a Middle College curriculum and plan on how to implement the program. He explained that in Middle College, juniors in high school who enroll in the Middle College would be able to take a minimum of 15 college hours per semester. They would not take high school classes and would be a full- time Northwest student while in high school. Upon high school graduation, the student would earn both an associate degree and a high school diploma. “We are looking into starting this program in the near future and working on what we need to offer that would match what is needed to earn the high school diploma concurrently,” Isome said. He explained that Middle College students are different than DE students because they are taking enough hours to be full-time students. He stated that they could take up to 29 hours on their own campus but then would have to go to a Northwest campus or take the additional classes online. Working together             Isome and his staff work closely with high school administrators and counselors as well as with the college’s Office of Admissions and Records, Business Office and eLearning department. They are responsible for getting DE students admitted, registered and advised while making sure that DE students get the same level of instruction and service that other Northwest students get. They also have to comply with the requirements of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC), the accrediting agency for community colleges. “We recently held training in Senatobia, DeSoto and Oxford for all high school counselors who participate in dual enrollment. The training was very well attended. Representatives from our Admissions Department, OECP, eLearning program, Recruiting Department and Helpdesk shared new policies and procedures for the upcoming fall semester with the counselors,” Isome said. When he took over the OECP, Isome found himself having to hit the ground running. As the DE program grows, he and his staff are seeing what works for the program and molding and changing things in order to improve them and make them work. “We are trying to improve our processes, implement what SACS-COC has asked us to do, potentially retain the students who are taking college classes and get the Middle College program set up for students who want to graduate from high school with an associate degree,” Isome said. For more information on the OECP, contact them at dual@northwestms.eduor call the office at 662.562.3235. Pictured: Dr. Jeremy Isome, center, is the new district dean of Early College Programs at Northwest Mississippi Community College. The Office of Early College Programs (OECP) was formed by administration to address dual enrollment, one of the fastest growing trends in higher education. Assisting Isome in the OECP are (l-r) Stacy Stewart, OECP administrativeassistant and Dr. Susanne Strehle, coordinator of Dual Enrollment. (Photo by LaJuan Tallo)  

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State Rep. Reynolds visits Senatobia campus

Northwest Mississippi Community College President, Dr. Michael Heindl (far right) welcomed Mississippi State Representative Tommy Reynolds (District 33) and his wife Liz (l-r, center) to the Senatobia campus on May 3. Reynolds serves Grenada, Tallahatchie and Yalobusha counties. He and his wife have been instrumental in establishing and endowing eight Foundation scholarships and being instrumental in joining with others to endow two additional scholarships. Also welcoming the Reynolds was Patti Gordon, executive director of Institutional Advancement (far left).  (Photo by LaJuan Tallo)  

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President receives first issue of 2019 Rocketeer

Northwest Mississippi Community College President, Dr. Michael Heindl, center, receives the first copy of the 2019 Northwest Rocketeerfrom Carroll Gunn Huebner, English instructor and yearbook adviser, left, and Christopher Blake Kave of Byhalia, Rocketeer editor. The theme of this year’s book is “New Perspective.” Not pictured is editor Sarah Grace Knight of Oxford. (Photo by LaJuan Tallo)  

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Lamar to speak at Northwest graduation ceremonies May 17

Northwest Mississippi Community College will hold its 103rdcommencement exercises on Friday, May 17. A ceremony will be held at 8 a.m. for the Associate of Arts degree candidates and at 1 p.m. for Career Certificates, Technical Certificates, and Associate of Applied Science candidates. Both ceremonies will be held in Howard Coliseum on the Senatobia campus. This year, the ceremonies will be live streamed on the college’s You Tube Channel, which can be found at This year, approximately 800 students will participate in the graduation exercises, according to the Office of Admissions and Records. Doors will open approximately one hour prior to each ceremony, and guests are encouraged to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the event. Balloons, signs and noise makers are not permitted, and guests are asked to hold applause until all of the graduates’ names have been called. To help expedite traffic to and from the ceremonies, Northwest Chief of Police Zabe Davis requests visitors use the Alumni Drive entrance to campus off Wilson Drive (Highway 4 bypass). The Honorable Ann Hannaford Lamar, member, Board of Trustees, Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) and Mississippi Supreme Court Associate Justice (Retired) will be the keynote speaker for the ceremonies. A Northwest alumna and lifelong Senatobia resident, Lamar was appointed to the Mississippi IHL Board of Trustees by Gov. Phil Bryant in February 2017 to represent the Third (Northern) Supreme Court District. Lamar became the third woman to serve on the Mississippi Supreme Court after her appointment by Gov. Haley Barbour in May, 2007 following the retirement of Presiding Justice Kay B. Cobb. Lamar was elected in November, 2008 to serve an eight-year term, and retired from the court in 2018. Prior to her Supreme Court appointment, Lamar presided over the 17th Circuit Drug Court, encompassing DeSoto, Tate, Panola, Yalobusha, and Tallahatchie counties, and previously served five and a half years as a circuit judge from the 17th Circuit Court. Lamar served as District Attorney in the 17th district until her appointment to the circuit bench in November, 2001. Upon graduation from law school in 1982, she began practicing law with her husband in Senatobia at Lamar & Lamar, where she served for eight years before serving as an assistant district attorney for nine years. Lamar earned her law degree in 1982 from the University of Mississippi School of Law, after attending Northwest and earning a Bachelor of Science in education from Delta State University in 1974. She is a member and past president of the William C. Keady American Inns of Court. Named Citizen of the Year by the Tate County Economic Development Foundation in 2010, she was inducted as a Fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation in 2011. She received the Mississippi Bar’s Susie Blue Buchanan Award for commitment to the advancement of women in the field of law, the Outstanding Women Lawyer Award, presented by the Mississippi Women Lawyers Association, and the Chief Justice Award, presented by Chief Justice William L. Waller, Jr. Active members of First Baptist Church in Senatobia, Lamar and her husband, John, are the proud parents of two adult children, Trey (and wife, Jill) and Vance (and wife, Emily), and have three grandchildren. For more information on Northwest’s graduation, contact the Office of Admissions and Records at 662-562-3219. To reclaim a lost item after the ceremony, please contact Campus Police at 662-562-3314.  

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Northwest cheerleaders named for 2019-2020

The Northwest Mississippi Community College Cheerleading Squad for 2019-2020 has been announced by college officials. They are:front row (l-r) Katie Abernathy of Southaven, Audry Tapp of Oxford, Erin Douglas of Enid, Rainy Bordelan, Caroline Smith, McKenzie Riley, Kaleigh Keel and Hayley Belew, all of Hernando and Abby Billingsley of Senatobia. Second row (l-r) Jordan Johnson of Maben, Kayla Horne and Ky'Nija Robinson of Grenada, Mary Mason Langford of Calhoun City, Ma'Kayla Ales of Batesville, J'La Jones and La'Niya Gilliam of Tupelo, Destiny Slate of Oxford and Emily Baker of Olive Branch. Third row (l-r) Satsha Burden of Tupelo, Justin Hudson of Sardis, Weston Phipps of Tupelo, “Danger,” Nolan Pestana of Hernando, Caleb Southward and Gregory Williams of Tupelo and  Carson Darnell of Hernando. Captains are Riley, Burden and Billinglsey.

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EMT program director named "Educator of the Year"

Recently, Northwest Mississippi Community College’s Paramedic Program director David Kuchta was named “Educator of the Year” by the Mississippi Emergency Medical Technicians Association (MEMTA), a state organization that promotes the professionalism, public welfare and the education of the general public of Emergency Medical Services. Kuchta received the award at their annual conference held in Tunica.  (Photo by LaJuan Tallo)  

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