A team of staff and faculty members from Northwest Mississippi Community College have proudly worked together to coordinate a donation of personal protective equipment (PPE) to the Mississippi Department of Health (MSDH) in an effort to assist the state’s first responders during the COVID-19 outbreak. “We were happy to work with the Mississippi Hospital Association and the Mississippi Department of Health to collect such sought-after PPE supplies for our hospitals,” said Patti Gordon, Northwest’s executive director of Institutional Advancement and the coordinator of the donation effort. “Northwest program directors were already working extra hard to transition to an instructional online format, but gladly took the time to get extra PPE supplies together for this important mission.” According to Gordon, supplies came from the college’s associate degree nursing, practical nursing, cardiovascular technology, and surgical technology programs. Northwest initiated the effort after the Organization for Associate Degree Nursing and the American Association of Community Colleges encouraged colleges to help their local agencies. Joining in this effort were Dr. Denise Bynum, director of Nursing Instruction, Dr. Stephanie Mullins, director of Practical Nursing, Ricky Stevens, Cardiovascular Technology instructor, Dr. Don Jones, dean of Northwest’s Lafayette-Yalobusha Technical Center in Oxford, Jenny Hurt, Institutional Advancement specialist, David Kuchta, paramedic program director, and Northwest housekeeping employees. The supplies were picked up by MSDH Emergency Response Coordinator Curtis Jernigan, and have been transported to Jackson. They will be distributed throughout the state where needed. “Many thanks to all who helped in gathering, moving and loading these invaluable supplies for our frontline workers,” Gordon said. For more about Northwest, visit the college online at northwestms.edu.
The Mike and Celia Boren Endowed Scholarship has been established at Northwest Mississippi Community College to benefit students from Tunica County. Mike Boren, a graduate of Northwest, was born in Blytheville, Arkansas – 18 miles from his future wife, who entered the world a year and a half earlier in Manila, Arkansas. He is the son of the late David and Mildred Boren. His mother was a nurse, and his father worked in the cotton warehousing business. In 1964, his father was transferred to Drew, where the family remained until 1970, when his father was transferred again to Tunica. Entering his senior year of high school in a new town did not phase Boren, whose wife describes him as easygoing. “It didn’t upset me,” he said. “I just saw an opportunity to meet other people.” Upon graduating in 1971 from the Tunica Institute of Learning (TIL), later renamed Tunica Academy, he enrolled at Northwest. Boren has many fond memories of his time on the Senatobia campus, making new friends and earning a spot on the honor roll. However, he also recalls more sobering experiences from that time, such as listening to the draft on the radio as the Vietnam War raged on. Boren graduated from Northwest in 1973, and went on to study at Delta State University, where he studied banking and finance. He graduated with his degree in 1975, and bagged groceries for a brief time while applying for jobs with various banks. He soon received a call from Tunica County Bank, now Citizens Bank & Trust, in Tunica asking him to come aboard. Of course, he couldn’t have known at the time that he would eventually retire from the bank after serving as its president. Two years after beginning his career with the bank, he married his wife, Celia, in 1977. In June, the couple will celebrate 43 years of marriage. The couple met on a night out while Celia, a Kansas resident at the time, was in Tunica visiting her father, Cecil Blake. Now retired after almost 18 years as the city clerk for the Town of Tunica, Celia continues to work several days each month at Citizens Bank & Trust in customer service. The Borens are active members of the First Baptist Church in Tunica, where Celia plays the organ. She also sings in a local singing group, the Starlight Singers. She recalls being a “band nerd” in school, playing mostly clarinet, and even fondly remembers getting to march in the Tournament of Roses Parade when she was in high school. “That’s certainly a memory that stands out,” she said. Her husband also has no trouble staying busy, enjoying duck hunting, crappie fishing, playing golf, practicing woodwork, and perhaps most of all, riding his Harley Davidson. The latter has become a passion for both, as the two very much enjoy embarking on motorcycle trips together. “He’s fun to travel with,” she said. “He likes to stop at places and look at things. It’s not like you have to hurry up and get there.” A spontaneous and adventurous couple, Boren said he and his wife have set out on trips without even knowing where they were heading, booking hotel rooms along the way. So far, their longest trip has been a 10-day jaunt to San Antonio, Texas. Now that both have more time on their hands, they hope to hit the road together more frequently. Parents to two children, daughter Stacey and son Benjamin, the Borens also have three grandchildren, Blake, Taylor and Michael, and one great-grandchild, Ben. As a proud alumnus of Northwest, Mike Boren has served on the Alumni Association board for more than 15 years, and also acted as its president. He is currently serving as past president and Tunica County representative. He also served as a member of the college’s Foundation Board of Directors. The Mike and Celia Boren Endowed Scholarship will be awarded to a student from Tunica County, with each recipient required to maintain a 2.0 GPA while enrolled at Northwest. For more information on Foundation scholarships or to contribute to the Boren endowment, contact the Foundation Office at (662) 560-1103.
FROM THE PRESIDENT'S DESKGood Morning, Northwest Family, I had the opportunity to film a brief update video on current college operational plans yesterday in light of the state and national emergency. The video message may be found on Facebook and Twitter. The content of that message may be found below: Dear Northwest family, Over the past few weeks, our college’s leadership team has closely monitored the impact that COVID-19, the novel Coronavirus, has had on our community, state, nation, and world. Since 1927, our college has served Northwest Mississippi and, although, we have successfully been through events like tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, terrorist attacks, and wars, we have never seen the likes of a pandemic like this. But like these events I just mentioned, our communities are stepping up and rising to the occasion to meet this challenge at this important time. I want to take this opportunity to thank our leadership team, our employees and students for staying informed and doing what is necessary to keep our communities safe. We remain in contact with MS Department of Health, other health officials, emergency managers, as well as other community colleges in the state and region. Northwest is committed to taking all necessary precautions to keep our college community as safe as possible. Over the last few days, changes have taken place almost hourly. Mississippi and the nation is in a state of emergency. We are advising our college family to:
- Stay at home with your family. Only those employees that are deemed essential are to come to campus at this time.
- Please limit your exposure to other individuals by following CDC guidelines through social distancing
- It’s been repeated many times, but wash your hands frequently and practice good hygiene.
- Our goal is that all face to face academic classes will resume in an online delivery format next Monday, March 23. Our faculty are working from home to translate their course material into online format. We are working through a number of special issues relating to courses in the fine arts, the sciences, nursing and others and more detailed information will be released in coming days on our Northwest website.
- Lecture classes for our career and technical students will also resume on March 23. We know however that daily, hands-on work in lab settings is crucial to the learning process in many programs. Consistent with safety guidelines issued by the CDC, we are preparing alternative schedules so that students will have an opportunity to complete those experiences. More information will be available later this week.
- Many of our students are enrolled in dual enrollment courses in their high schools. We are working with our school districts to assist and we would ask for students to watch for information from your local school district for these classes.
- We know that some of our residence hall students need access to their belongings while they are staying home. Later today the housing staff will post a schedule of times and dates this week when the residence halls will be open for students to claim belongings.
FROM THE PRESIDENT'S DESK
March 15, 2020
Dear Northwest Faculty, Administration, and Staff,
College officials continue to actively monitor news and information pertaining to the novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). We remain in regular contact with the Mississippi Department of Health and other health officials, as well as other community colleges and universities in our state and region. The College is committed to taking all necessary precautions to keep our students, faculty, staff, and the community as safe as possible.
Yesterday, Governor Tate Reeves declared a State of Emergency for Mississippi. In his message, he stated, “We must all act together to stop the unnecessary spread of this virus. To that end, we’ve asked citizens to do things that may be hard.” One of the things he mentioned in his message was the recommendation for employees to work from home where possible. Therefore, in an effort to limit the spread of the virus and in keeping with Governor Reeves’ recommendation, only essential personnel will be needed to come in to work this week, March 16-20, 2020. All other employees will work from home, as necessary.
Essential personnel includes, but is not limited to, the Northwest Executive Council, the Northwest Leadership Forum, and select employees who will be contacted by their supervisor. Employees in this group with special risk factors or circumstances should contact their supervisor before returning to work.
This week we will continue to prepare and to train in the migration of face-to-face classes to online delivery, and/or prepare alternative schedules for those courses that will not readily transfer online. The college will be accessible to faculty and staff members who may need it.
All athletic practices and competitions have now been suspended until April 3.
As we continue to receive new information hourly/daily, I appreciate your support and flexibility as processes, services, and operations change. More information and communication will be taking place, so please check your e-mail often. Your health is our concern and we will get through this tough time together. Our institution is comprised of brilliant, creative, innovative, and talented employees, and our institution is uniquely situated to be able to continue in our transformational work for our students. Thank you as we go about this work together to ensure the health and safety of our community. Continue to stay safe.
Dr. Michael J. Heindl
Dear Northwest Students, Faculty, and Staff:
Northwest Mississippi Community College officials have been actively monitoring the spread of the novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). We remain in regular contact with the Mississippi Department of Health and other health officials, as well as other community colleges and universities in our state and region. The College is committed to taking all necessary precautions to keep our students, faculty, staff, and the community as safe as possible. Because of the continued spread of the virus, I am writing to update you on some major changes we are instituting as we do our part in mitigating the spread of the virus in our communities:
- In keeping with other community colleges and universities in our state and region, Northwest is extending spring break until Monday, March 23. This decision will allow us additional time to monitor the spread of the virus, as well as prepare to migrate many on-ground classes to online delivery, or prepare alternative schedules for those courses that do not readily transfer to online delivery mode.
- Dual enrollment classes that meet in the high school will continue as scheduled.
- The residence halls and the cafeteria will remain closed next week. More information will be forthcoming.
- All intercollegiate sporting events and practices are cancelled through April 3. Any fine arts performances and student activities scheduled for next week, such as the Spring Culinary Lunch, the Beauty Review and the Singers Concert, are postponed until further notice.
- Faculty and staff will return to work on Monday, March 16. We will maintain regular operations, engage in additional contingency planning, and prepare for a potential move to virtual or alternative instructional modes. Deans and Directors will be in contact with individual departments to provide guidance.
- Employees who have traveled to high-risk areas are asked to self-quarantine. Employees with special risk factors as described in CDC guidelines should consult with their supervisor before returning to work.
Let me assure you that these decisions were not made lightly. Our actions are consistent with the recommendations of health officials and in concert with other institutions.
For more information on college planning, health and cleanliness precautions, as well as updates on classes and events, please visit our COVID-19 webpage at the Northwest website: www.northwestms.edu.
For more information on Coronavirus, please visit the Centers for Disease Control website at www.coronavirus.gov or the Mississippi Department of Health at https://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/14,0,420.html.
Thank you for your continued patience as we work together to ensure the health and safety of our community.
Dr. Michael J. Heindl
Date: March 12, 2020.
The Mississippi Council of Teachers of Mathematics Junior High Math Competition was held recently at Northwest Mississippi Community College's Senatobia campus. On March 4, students from surrounding district schools traveled to campus for testing. Seventh grade winners were Mary Cile Meagher from Oxford Middle School, first place, and Reese McCoy from Northpoint Christian Academy, second place. Eighth grade winners were Noah Lee from Northpoint Christian Academy, first place, and Navaneeth Sirinath from Oxford Middle School, second place. For more information on Northwest, visit the college's website at northwestms.edu.
Students signing up for Northwest Mississippi Community College’s second round of Mini-Term classes of the spring semester have the chance to take a course that is only offered by a small number of colleges. Applied Behavior Analysis (PSY 2543) is best known in treatment of autism spectrum disorder, organization behavioral management, dementia treatment and elderly care. The course is designed to meet the 40-hour training requirement for the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB) certification process toward the designation of a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT). Dr. Emily Johnson, a licensed behavior analyst and a licensed clinical psychologist, will be the course’s instructor. According to Kristin Watson, Northwest’s director of Social Science Instruction, the goal of the class is to apply the principles of applied behavior analysis to problems involving human behavior change. It is recommended that a student have completed general psychology (PSY 1513) before signing up for the class. The online Mini-Term class is scheduled to begin on March 16. Students will be able to register for the course through that date. For more information, contact Watson at email@example.com. New students should follow the College’s admissions process at www.northwestms.edu/apply.
Northwest Mississippi Community College would like to announce that student Madison Triplett and English Instructor Lance Mejia have been named William Winter Scholars. Each year, Humanities students and faculty members from Mississippi’s higher education institutions are recognized as William Winter Scholars at the Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration (NLCC). This year, Triplett, of Coldwater, and Mejia, of Memphis, were selected to be honored at the 31st Annual NLCC on Feb. 28. “I was shocked, honestly,” Triplett said. “I didn’t even realize it was a possibility, and I was so honored.” Triplett is the daughter of Jeff and Laura Triplett. She is a sophomore studying communicative disorders. “My classes at Northwest have been really good, and I’ve had some excellent teachers,” Triplett said. Mejia has been an instructor at Northwest since 2013, and has taught full time since 2016. With Northwest as the 20th college for which Mejia has been an instructor, he has no shortage of experience as an educator. Still, this honor was not one he expected. “I was thrilled and very much taken aback when I heard about it,” he said. A Houston native, Mejia earned bachelor’s degrees in both literature and communications from the University of Houston. He received his master’s degree in rhetoric and composition from California State University at Dominguez Hills. “The thing I love most about teaching is connecting with young people in ways that make a positive difference in their futures,” he said. Mejia and his wife Anne have two children, Teddy and Madeleine.
Northwest Mississippi Community College is excited to announce the groundbreaking ceremony for its newest residence hall, set for Thursday, March 19, at 1:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend.
The new building will be located between the McLendon Center and the Ranger Outdoor Complex, facing Alumni Drive. The building will be segmented into two wings, allowing flexibility for male students in one wing and female students in the other wing. According to Mary Ayers, director of Northwest’s Physical Plant, it has not yet been decided whether the residence hall will be all male, all female or a combination.
A central courtyard at the front entry to the building will provide outdoor space and benches for student gathering. Each floor of the facility will have a large student lounge, quiet study rooms, laundry facilities and vending. Each room will have a private bath, and will accommodate living space for two students. A parking lot will be provided at the south side of the building.
The new 45,170-square-foot, two-story residence hall will offer 168 beds and 84 rooms, with eight of those rooms built to be ADA accessible. The architect for the $10,523,500 project is Eley Guild Hardy of Biloxi, with the work helmed by contractor Murphy and Sons, Inc, of Southaven.
Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2020 and be complete by the summer of 2021 for occupancy in the fall of 2021.
Students and instructors involved in Northwest Mississippi Community College’s theatre program have much to be proud of after sweeping the regional Allie Awards and seeing exciting successes at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. The Allie Awards are hosted by the Northwest Mississippi Theatre Alliance, and recognize regional high school and community theatre performers. The awards show is meant to resemble Broadway’s Tony Awards. The 17thAnnual Allie Awards took place at the Landers Center in Southaven on Feb. 7. Allie Awards received for Northwest’s production of “Aida”: Best Vocal Direction – Dr. Saundra Bishop; Best Sound – Alyssa Algee; Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical – Rodney Hall, of Olive Branch; Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical – Brietta Goodman, of Horn Lake; Best Musical; and Best Overall Production. Allie Awards received for Northwest’s production of “An Inspector Calls”: Best Set – Algee; Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play – Abby Morton, of Hernando; Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play – Wesley Williamson, of Southaven; Best Director of a Drama – Algee; and Best Drama. Additionally, Northwest’s production of “Play On!” earned the award for Best Comedy, with the show’s director, alumna Katie Hardeman, earning the award for Best Director of a Comedy. Northwest also fared well at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF),competing in KCACTF’s Region IV festival, which encompasses Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Southern Virginia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The University of South Carolina Upstate hosted this year’s event. Sadie Shannon, Northwest Speech and Theatre chair, and Algee, technical director of Fine Arts, took 16 students to the competition. “There are not many community colleges that attend the festival, so we’re competing against four-year universities and grad students, and we always do very well,” Shannon said. Student Ja’Sha Triplett, of Horn Lake, was awarded first place for makeup design in the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC)/David Weiss Award for Theatrical Design Excellence. Student nominees Goodman, with partner Joshua Luther, of Senatobia, and Kate Walker, of Hernando, with partner Bret Arton, of Hernando, made it to the semifinals of the Irene Ryan Acting Competition. “That is an incredible accomplishment; not only because of the level of talent and having to compete with universities and graduate students, but also because of the cut,” Shannon said. “They start with 400 people and for the semifinals, they cut to 80 students.” Goodman also made it to the finals (top six) of the Musical Theatre Initiative, and was able to perform in the final gala on the last night of the festival. In addition, student actors Nelson Meredith, of Olive Branch, and Chapell Chumley, of Tupelo, were cast in the Ten Minute Play Festival, in which they rehearsed with the playwrights and student director and performed original shows within a four-day span. During this year’s event, Shannon received the Meritorious Achievement Award for Excellence in Direction and the Meritorious Achievement Award for Excellence in Costume Design for “Aida.” Algee earned the Meritorious Achievement Award for Excellence in Direction for “An Inspector Calls,” the Meritorious Achievement Award for Excellence in Scenic Design for “Aida,” the Meritorious Achievement Award for Excellence in Scenic Design for “An Inspector Calls,” and the Meritorious Achievement Award for Excellence in Lighting Design for “Aida.” Additionally, guest director Hardeman won the Meritorious Achievement Award for Excellence in Direction for “Play On!”, and Bishop won the Meritorious Achievement Award for Excellence in Music Direction for “Aida.” For more information about Northwest’s theatre program, visit the college’s website at northwestms.edu.