Northwest Adult Education receives Dollar General Grant

The Northwest Mississippi Community College Adult Education (AE) program was recently awarded a $7,500 grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to support adult education/high school equivalency literacy.  The AE program offers high school equivalency classes to help students obtain their high school diploma and transition into college classes or advance in their current work placement with improved employability skills. “Thank you to the Dollar General Literacy Foundation!  This generous grant will help so many adult learners.  We are grateful to Dollar General for the continuous support of our program,” said Betty Cossar, AE transition coordinator. The local grant award is part of more than $8.3 million in grants awarded to more than 1,000 schools, nonprofits and organizations across the states that Dollar General serves. “In keeping with Dollar General’s mission of ‘Serving Others,’ we are excited to provide grants to support literacy and education initiatives in the communities we proudly call home,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s CEO and Dollar General Literacy Foundation board member. “Each year, funds provided by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation make a real difference by providing the tools that students, adults and families need to pursue new opportunities and accomplish their goals. We believe these programs empower the communities we serve, and we are honored to play a role in their success.” The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is proud to support initiatives that help others improve their lives through literacy and education. Since its inception in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $154 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 10 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy or continued education. For more information on Northwest’s Adult Education program or to sign up for AE orientation, contact Cossar at bcossar@northwestms.eduor visit the college’s website at  

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DeSoto Center Biology Department to adopt ARK trail

DeSoto Center biology instructors Dr. Darrell Barnes and Dr. Lindsay Massie and their students will be on hand on July 19 for a formal ceremony to officially “adopt” the ARK trails, where they have been working for over a year. Barnes and Massie, working in coordination with the Coldwater River Nature Conservancy (CRNC), take their students to the Arkabutla Lake Wildlife Rehabilitation and Nature Center (ARK) trail to not only teach, but to work on the conservation and clean-up of the area from debris that has invaded the trail from nearby Arkabutla Lake. Students walk along the two-mile trail cleaning it up while learning about concepts they have studied in class. They take time to stop and explore various plant and wild life that might be found along the way. According to the CRNC website, the ARK is located on 154 acres of natural habitat awarded to Mississippi Wildlife Rehabilitation, Inc. by the US Army Corp of Engineers at Arkabutla Lake. The ARK is able to repeatedly connect children and adults with nature and wildlife along the two miles of woodland walking trails,an outdoor stage, 5,000 sq. ft. education pavilion, beautiful interpretive signage, and open wildflower and grasslands. The ARK trail is on Hwy. 304 in DeSoto County. The July 19 event will be the formal ceremony to adopt the ARK trail, according to Massie. The ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. at the pavilion, which is located on the ARK trail. For more information on the DeSoto Center, visit and for more information on the ARK, Pictured: Students in Dr. Darrell Barnes and Dr. Lindsay Massie’s biology classes at Northwest Mississippi Community College DeSoto Center have been cleaning up the Arkabutla Lake Wildlife Rehabilitation and Nature Center (ARK) trail while learning about concepts they have studied in class. On July 19, Northwest DeSoto Center’s Biology Department will officially “adopt” the ARK trail during a formal ceremony at 2 p.m. Pictured left to right are, Michael Taylor of Olive Branch, Zach Rainbolt of Hernando, Heath Webb of Southaven, Hailey Livingston of Southaven, Samantha Shoffner of Holly Springs, Jason Holcomb of Olive Branch and Massie. (Photo courtesy Darrell Barnes)

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Northwest online courses receive QM certification

Recently, Northwest Mississippi Community College online instructors participated in a formal Quality Matters (QM) subscriber-managed review and certification. Beth Dickerson, Business and Office Technology instructor’s Medical Terminology course and Jennifer Hale, mathematics instructor’s Calculus II course both met the required QM standards. “Quality Matters (QM),” is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to define and maintain quality assurance in online learning. According to the QM website, the organization began with a small group of colleagues in theMarylandOnline, Inc.(MOL) consortium who were trying to solve a common problem among institutions: how do we measure and guarantee the quality of a course? In 2003 MOL outlined how the Quality Matters program could create a scalable process for course quality assurance, and applied for a Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant enabled QM to develop a rubric of course design standards and create a replicable peer-review process that would train and empower faculty to evaluate courses against these standards, provide guidance for improving the quality of courses, and certify the quality of online and blended college courses across institutions. The review of Dickerson’s and Hale’s courses were based on national standards of best practice, research findings and instructional design principles, according to Beth Adams, QM/course review manager. “The QM review process is part of an inter-institutional, faculty-driven, peer review process and helps to standardize the level of rigor applied to course reviews,” Adams said. Currently, in addition to Dickerson’s and Hale’s courses, Northwest has Trent Booker’s  American History, Marcus Perkins’ Intermediate Algebra, Kristin Watson’s Human Growth and Development and Leelee Haraway’s American Literature courses that have previously achieved official QM course certification, according to Adams.   “I am excited to see the enthusiasm when a class reaches the QM status. It means these instructors truly care about Northwest students and how we are delivering the material in a quality way. With the foundational work we have already accomplished, we are well on our way to having a good selection of quality structured online classes. QM is educating us about current best practices with online and hybrid courses. We plan on continuing our efforts in certifying courses until a majority of our online courses are qualified,” said Phyllis Johnson, dean of eLearning. For more information on Northwest’s eLearning program, visit the college’s website at, and to learn more about QM, visit their website at  

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Northwest Mathematics Department endowments established

     Anita Wilborn Graham
For 42 years Anita Stratton Wilborn Graham, known to her Northwest students as Mrs. Wilborn, set the standard for teaching excellence in the area of mathematics at Northwest Mississippi Community College. During that era, she educated many students who are now engineers, scientists, pharmacists, doctors, lawyers, and teachers. Several of her former calculus students have subsequently taught calculus at Northwest.  In addition, she mentored and encouraged her fellow faculty members. These students and co-workers cherish the memories, care, support, and example that Graham shared through a life of integrity and honor. In 2013, the faculty of the Mathematics Division of Northwest endowed a scholarship in Graham’s honor and is awarded to students pursuing either a mathematics or pre-engineering career pathway. Following her death in September 2018 at the age of 82, it was learned that she continued her devotion to helping students through a generous estate gift to the Northwest Foundation for the purpose of adding to the Anita Strattorn Wiborn Graham Endowment and establishing three scholarships in honor of her former colleagues, Wayne Ferguson, current director of Mathematics Instruction, Charlotte Alexander, the first and former division director of Mathematics, and Linda Lewis Hogan Harris, former computer science instructor and chairman of computer studies. It is significant and touching to remember that Graham taught Ferguson, Alexander and  Harris when these three were Northwest students. They later became colleagues as all three became Northwest instructors. Their final and dearest relationship was that of friends. The mathematics faculty members voted to add funds to the Graham estate gift to completely endow The Wayne Ferguson Endowment, The Charlotte Alexander Tate County Endowment, and The Linda Lewis Hogan Harris Endowment. These additional funds were taken from the Math Foundation Account established by the Mathematics Division at the onset of Northwest’s first Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), whose focus was to enhance student learning in mathematics. Patti Gordon, executive director of the Office of Institutional Advancement, appreciates the kind generosity of both Graham and the Mathematics faculty. “We are sincerely grateful for the actions of Mrs. Graham and these instructors. The combination of this extraordinary estate gift and the funds from the Mathematics Department totals $58,000, all of which will be placed in these permanent endowments. Of course, this means that students will receive scholarships from these endowments for as long as this college exists and that Mr. Ferguson, Ms. Alexander, and Mrs. Harris will also be honored through the lives of these students,” Gordon said. The Wayne Ferguson Endowment The younger son of Larry and Mary Hall Ferguson, Wayne Ferguson grew up in Senatobia, attending Senatobia City Schools through the 12th grade. He was valedictorian of his senior class and was elected to the Senatobia High School Hall of Fame. Ferguson attended Northwest for two years, majoring in mathematics, where he was named Outstanding Math Student and also elected to the college’s Hall of Fame. He then enrolled at the University of Mississippi, graduating with a B.S. degree in mathematics, followed just over a year later with a Master’s degree in mathematics. As an undergraduate, Ferguson was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and he received an award for outstanding academic achievement while working on his master’s degree. Ferguson says that he was blessed to have many exceptional instructors who inspired in him a love for learning and a lifelong fondness for the learning environment. While attending Northwest, he took many of Graham’s mathematics classes, including trigonometry, the calculus sequence, and differential equations. He also took two years of chemistry under the instruction of Jo Adams Cross. Both of these instructors increased Wayne’s desire to learn more about mathematics and the sciences. When Ferguson started teaching at Northwest in 1986, he worked with Cross and Graham, and he became even closer to them. Out of respect and fondness for these dedicated instructors, Ferguson dedicated a chair in the renovated Northwest auditorium in their honor. Ferguson taught mathematics on the Senatobia campus from 1986-2001, the last 11 of those years serving as department chairman. In August 2001, he transferred to the Southaven campus to teach math and to serve as the coordinator of mathematics at the DeSoto Center. On August 1, 2018, Ferguson returned to the Senatobia campus as Director of Mathematics Instruction. Ferguson’s early years teaching at Northwest included many moments of joy and inspiration. Some of the fun and entertaining times were provided by Graham, who never let her high standards decrease while she enjoyed fun times with colleagues. Many afternoons in the Physical Science Building were spent enjoying a special camaraderie. For the past 16 years, Ferguson has enjoyed being involved in service at Church of the Holy Communion, Episcopal, in Memphis. He continues to enjoy reading, attending theatrical events, and traveling to the American Southwest. He also treasures time spent with his nephew Lee and with Lee’s family. The scholarship will be awarded to students pursuing either the engineering, mathematics, or pharmacy pathway. Should there not be a qualified applicant in these pathways, then the scholarship should be awarded to a student pursuing any pathway in Natural Sciences. The Charlotte Alexander Tate County Endowment This is the second endowed scholarship established in honor of Charlotte Alexander. The first one was established in 2018, and the complete story of Alexander’s life was highlighted in the previous edition of Northwest Now(Fall 2018). She describes Graham as someone who made a profound difference in her life. “Anita was my teacher, my colleague, and my friend. I am extremely touched that she would provide this estate gift to Northwest to help students and that she would be specific in her instructions to include me along with Wayne and Linda to be honored with a scholarship endowment. To then have my mathematics colleagues provide additional funds truly leaves me overwhelmed with gratitude,” Alexander said. Alexander was encouraged by Graham to apply for a position at Northwest in 1989. She became the first division director of Mathematics in 2010 and served in that position until her retirement in June 2018. The scholarship will be awarded to students who are residents of Tate County and who maintain a 2.5 grade point average at Northwest. The Linda Lewis Hogan Harris Endowment Linda Lewis Hogan Harris grew up in Sledge, the youngest daughter of Harry and Cornelia Lewis.  She attended Sledge High School, where she was an honor student, Beta Club member, and Hall of Fame recipient. Harris was a member of the band, cheerleading squad, basketball team, and track team. After completing high school, she attended Northwest for two years and quickly fell in love with the college that would later become an integral part of her life. She remembered with sincere appreciation the many caring faculty who taught and inspired her, two of whom were Anita Wilborn Graham and Bob King. Who would have ever guessed that years later she would be working alongside them in a profession she cherished? After graduating from Northwest, Harris completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees with honors at the University of Mississippi. She taught in the Tate County Schools, Senatobia City Schools, and Desoto County Schools for nine and a half years before returning to college again to earn a degree in computer programming from State Technical Institute at Memphis. At STIM, she graduated with a 4.0 GPA and embarked on a new career journey dealing with computer programming. Later she also completed graduate computer science coursework at the University of Memphis, Delta State University, and Mississippi State University. In 1984, Harris was offered a full-time teaching position at Northwest. She taught computer programming and software application classes at Northwest from 1984 through 2005, serving as chairman of Computer Studies for the last 15 years that she worked at Northwest. Because of a family member’s serious illness, Harris took an early retirement and taught online computer classes from home for six additional years, ending in 2012. Harris remarked, “Retiring from Northwest was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made. I loved my years teaching at Northwest, and I knew that I was truly blessed to work in one of the best community colleges in the country.” Harris has also expressed gratitude for the city of Senatobia where she has lived for more than 40 years. Senatobia has consistently supported a strong educational system and has made quality education a priority. Harris feels extremely proud to have a scholarship named for her, which was established by her dear friend and mentor, Anita Wilborn Graham. Additional funds were added to this scholarship by the Department of Mathematics Instruction at Northwest, and Harris is sincerely grateful to the Mathematics Instruction Department Director, Wayne Ferguson, and his faculty for their support of this scholarship. Harris’s close friendship with Graham lasted for more than 25 years, and Graham continued to teach Harris in so many important ways through that friendship. Graham’s strength, integrity, honesty, and compassion were evident to anyone who knew her and, especially, to Harris, who was also her neighbor. Harris said, “Anita always demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the people she loved. I feel very blessed to be included in the group of people loved by Anita, and I’m honored to be remembered by Anita with a gift as precious as a scholarship named for me at the college because Northwest positively impacted both Anita’s life and mine.” Over the past 28 years, Harris has personally seen the significance of scholarships at Northwest. Harris’s first husband, who died at a young age more than 30 years ago, was honored by his co-workers at Chromcraft with a scholarship at Northwest in his name. The Thomas W. Hogan Endowed Scholarship has impacted the lives of recipients for many years that were studying Computer Science or Computer Information Systems at Northwest. Harris was honored that she was included in determining the criteria for recipients of this scholarship. Harris is now married to Ken Harris, who also was a former student of Graham’s. Ken has retired from over 30 years of teaching. During his tenure, he positively impacted the lives of many students. Harris commented, “One of the greatest privileges of living in a small community in which we both have taught for many years is being greeted by former students who remember us and express gratitude for the differences we’ve made in their lives. What a great honor to be remembered by former students.” Ken and Linda Harris will always remember with sincere gratitude their former teacher and dear friend, Graham. They both are thankful that Graham was a major part of their lives, and they will carry her positive life lessons in their hearts as long as they live. The Linda Lewis Hogan Harris Endowed Scholarship will be awarded to a student in the computer science or computer information systems pathway or to a student who has chosen a math or a science-related pathway at Northwest. Dr. Michael Heindl, president of Northwest, is deeply appreciative for all of the giving that these endowments represent. “An estate gift is such a compliment to our college. Mrs. Graham, who had already made a lasting and incredible contribution to Northwest in her classroom, was devoted to this college so much that she made careful and thoughtful plans to continue helping Northwest. None of us knew she had done this. I wish we had known so that we could have recognized her for her generosity. Then, to add to the generosity, the mathematics faculty members provided funds from the Math Foundation Account established during the implementation of the QEP.  I am completely elated by these acts of giving,” Heindl said. For more information, contact the Northwest Office of Institutional Advancement at 662.560.1103 or email Gordon at  

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Kimberly Webb Hollis New Beginning Endowment established at Northwest

Kimberly Webb Hollis and Dr. Marshall Hollis
The Kimberly Webb Hollis New Beginning Endowment was established at Northwest Mississippi Community College in December of 2018 by her husband, Dr. Marshall Hollis, in celebration of their recent marriage, which represents a new beginning and a new chapter in their lives. This is the third scholarship endowment established by Dr. Hollis, one being in his honor, The Dr. Marshall Hollis Endowment, and the other in honor of his sister-in-law, The Linda McGonaghill Hollis Endowment. Patti Gordon, executive director of the Office of Institutional Advancement, is excited over this new endowment. “I have known Kim for many years, and this scholarship is an absolutely perfect gift for her. How kind and insightful of Dr. Hollis to give a wedding gift that honors his wife for generations to come and helps student pursue the same career of nursing that Kim has practiced for so many years,” Gordon said. Born in Portsmouth, Ohio, Hollis spent the next 36 years of her life in Las Vegas, three years in Santa Ana, California, and then she moved to Senatobia. Her marriage to William Charles Webb ended in his death in 2016. The greatest blessings of her marriage include her three children, Stephanie Webb Wiley, Peter Webb, and Christopher Webb, and one stepdaughter, Gia D’errico.  Added to those blessings are her three grandchildren. She engaged in college studies in art and in hotel and restaurant management until she found the passion she had been looking for in a career and chose to study nursing.  At the age of 50, she earned her Associate Degree in Nursing from Northwest.  She worked as a registered nurse at Baptist Memorial Hospital before accepting a position with the Mississippi State Department of Health where she served as public health nurse for 11 years until her retirement in 2018. Throughout her adult life, Hollis’ faith has been the sustaining and guiding force in her life. Her membership at First Baptist Church in Senatobia provided her and her children with a place of comfort and service.  She sang in the choir, and she has continued that service at her new church, First Baptist Church in Ripley, Mississippi. About her faith, Hollis is quick to credit God’s grace to overcoming any challenges that she has faced in her life. “This scholarship is such a beautiful gift from my husband and not only represents a way to help nursing students with scholarship assistance, but it also represents a new beginning in God’s plan for my life.  Through every step, in every valley, on every mountaintop, I have always sensed God’s steady Hand and sweet presence,” Hollis said. Dr. Marshall Hollis has been a champion of Boy Scouts of America and has won countless awards and contributed innumerable hours of service and generous gifts to this organization. He was excited about enlisting his wife’s skills as a nurse in this wonderful organization, “Kimberly is now a member of BSA, and she has completed the training courses necessary to attend camp in June and the World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia this summer where she will be working on the medical staff as a Registered Nurse.”  Dr. Hollis is a pharmacist, and the couple will provide medical services to hundreds of scouts from all over the world. Dr. Michael Heindl, president of Northwest, sees this endowment as truly unique. “In all of my years in community college administration, I cannot remember a single time when an endowment was begun as a wedding gift. Dr. Hollis certainly came up with a gift that is both unique and eternal, and I am appreciative to him, and I am excited for Kim as they begin this new life together with an honor that will be helping students for generations to come,” Heindl said. The scholarship will be awarded to students who are second-year students in the Associate Degree Nursing program at Northwest. For more information, contact the Northwest Office of Institutional Advancement at 662.560.1103 or email Gordon at

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Charles Richard Winters, Sr. Endowment established at Northwest

Dr. John V. Winters and Charles Richard Winters, Sr.
The Charles Richard Winters, Sr. Endowment has been established by Dr. John and Mrs. Amanda Winters of Ames, Iowa, in loving memory of John’s father, Charles Richard Winters, Sr., to celebrate his entrepreneurial spirit and passion for learning. Winters died in February 2012. Winters impressed upon his family the values of education, a strong work ethic and a positive attitude, all of which created a legacy of entrepreneurship to be passed down for generations. Born on October 9, 1958 in Memphis, Winters was a 1976 graduate of Central High School. He managed convenience stores for all of his adult life. At the appropriate time, he used his many years of experience to follow his dream of opening his own convenience store, which he did in partnership with his two young adult sons, Charles Richard Winters, Jr. and John Virgil Winters. For many years, Winters was also an independent, contracted auditor for other convenience stores, a job he handled while managing his own store. He met many people over the years throughout his career. This was what he loved the most about the job. He was great at connecting with people, remembering their names and stories, and loved nothing more than good conversation with his customers, employees and coworkers, all of whom he considered friends Winters was a proud family man, community member, and business owner who strongly emphasized the importance of education to his children. Winters was married for 30 years to the former Cathy Ann Newsom of Horn Lake. Winters and Cathy raised three children in Horn Lake: Charles Richard Winters, Jr. of Middleton, Tennessee; John Virgil Winters of Ames, Iowa and Jessica Faye Winters of Horn Lake. They have seven grandchildren now, and, though Winters was only able to meet two of them before his passing, he was an incredibly happy and involved grandparent and would undoubtedly be proud of and overjoyed with all seven of his grandchildren: Landon Eric Crawford, Abigale Faith Holley, Jeremy Wayne Holley, Emma Faye Logan, Abraham Wyatt Winters, Amelia Marie Winters and Joy Ann Dell Winters. Winters always told his children to work hard. From the time they were very young, they accompanied their dad to work early in the morning before the start of their school day. He showed them the ins and outs of the business during those times, sparking an interest in business ownership and impressing upon them a strong work ethic. He also told his children to take their education seriously, and he especially hoped for, encouraged, and supported their becoming first-generation college graduates. Once his children began attending college, he decided to further his own education by attending evening classes at Northwest while operating his many business ventures. Winters enjoyed the challenge of college courses and maintained a remarkable grade point average during his college studies. Winters loved his family first and foremost, but also loved humor, trivia, couch naps, fried chicken and sports of all kinds. Winters was passionate about youth sports, coaching a generation of community youth in baseball and basketball for approximately 20 years, volunteering his time through Horn Lake Parks and Recreation and other Memphis/north Mississippi area leagues. He also served for many years as a referee for various youth sports. The bed of his pickup truck was always loaded with cases of sports drinks, buckets of sunflower seeds, and drawstring bags of basketballs or bags of bats and batting helmets, depending on the season. Dr. Michael Heindl, president of Northwest, is appreciative to Dr. and Mrs. John Winters for continuing the tremendous legacy of John’s father. “There is no way to adequately measure the impact that Charles Richard Winters, Sr., made on his family, his business associates, his customers, and the young people that he coached in youth sports.  Northwest is honored to have a scholarship that bears this distinctive name and to tell his story to students at Northwest for generations to come,” Heindl said. This scholarship will be awarded to non-traditional students pursuing careers in the fields of business and/or social sciences and who have demonstrated a financial need. For more information, contact the Northwest Office of Institutional Advancement at 662.560.1103 or email Patti Gordon, executive director at

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Williamson Endowment established at Northwest

The Jane Waldrop Williamson Endowment was established at Northwest Mississippi Community College by her husband, Wayne, and their children, Shannon and Wesley, to honor Jane’s lifelong career as an educator and to express appreciation for her loving dedication to her family. A native of Memphis, Williamson grew up under the loving guidance of her parents, Doyle and Lexie Waldrop.  She is a third generation teacher following in the path of her grandmother, Mary Shannon Waldrop and her father. Her sister, Cathy Doyle, is a former elementary teacher, and currently is the librarian at White Station High School in Memphis.  After graduating from Memphis Preparatory School, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Education from the University of Mississippi in 1979. She began her career in education at Northwest in 1979 as a Business Technology Instructor. While teaching, she earned a Master of Education in Business Education from the University of Memphis in 1983.  At the University of Memphis, she earned membership in the Beta Xi Chapter of Delta Pi Epsilon, a national graduate honorary society committed to the professional development of educators in business. It was in high school that she met her husband of 39 years, Wayne. As he has pursued his successful business career, currently being the managing partner of Easley Contractors for the greater Memphis area, Jane has been a constant source of encouragement while being a devoted mother to Shannon and Wesley.  Shannon earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Masters degree in Counseling from the University of Mississippi.  She is currently a counselor at Southaven High School. Wesley graduated from Northwest and continued his education at the University of Southern Mississippi, where he was an honor student, earning a bachelor’s degree in theater performance.  He is currently teaching English as a second language online and directing and acting in local community theater. During her 35-year career at Northwest, she taught Accounting, Machine Transcription, MicroComputer Applications and Word Processing. During the span of her career, technology took giant leaps.  During her early years, she was teaching students how to use mimeograph machines then the DOS operating system, and at the end of her career, she was teaching students advanced computer applications. Williamson was a member of the National Business Education Association and was chosen as the Northwest representative to the Lamplighter Conference in 2011.  Lamplighter is a program begun in 1990 by the Mississippi Community College Academic Deans Association to honor excellence in teaching. She was also named to Who’s Who Among American Teachers. Williamson’s fondest memories of her Northwest career are the colleagues that she had the privilege to work with each day. They were the ones who served as mentors to her during her teaching career. The faculty, staff, and administration of Northwest were all instrumental in making her years of teaching a rewarding career. Jane retired from Northwest in 2014 and will always be grateful to her Northwest family; “I experienced the death of my mother and the birth of my daughter on the same day.  Later, my son, Wesley, had to undergo three heart surgeries.  The people at Northwest surrounded my family with love and support.” During her retirement, Williamson has assisted Wayne in his business, enjoyed crocheting and reading, attending Bible Study and working in the women’s ministry at her church, taking piano lessons, and keeping in touch with her Northwest friends. The scholarship will be awarded to students pursuing one of the following career pathways:  Education, Career-Technical Business, or Theatre. The final preference for the scholarship is any Career-Technical pathway.

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Jones named dean of Northwest’s Lafayette-Yalobusha Technical Center

In January 2019 Dr. Michael Heindl, president of Northwest Mississippi Community College, announced the appointment of Dr. Don Jones as the new dean of the Lafayette-Yalobusha Technical Center (LYTC) in Oxford. Jones joined the Northwest family in mid-March. “Dr. Jones has extensive higher education experience in teaching and providing leadership in student services, enrollment management and campus administration. I am excited about Dr. Jones joining our Northwest family,” Heindl said, in his announcement of Jones’ hiring. Prior to his appointment at Northwest, Jones served as director of Recruitment and Admissions at Tulane University’s School of Professional Advancement (SoPA) campuses in New Orleans and online. He worked for Belhaven University for several years as enrollment manager, director of Enrollment and Student Services, and as assistant vice president of Adult, Graduate and Online Enrollment and Student Services where he oversaw seven campuses in five states. Jones is excited about his new position at Northwest. “I feel like people are beginning to see the value of the community college and the community partner that we are. Coming to Northwest is an opportunity for me to be a part of that,” Jones said. Coming from private higher education institutions to Northwest has been a change for Jones. “We don’t make decisions hastily,” Jones said, adding, “and I think that is good. I feel like faculty, staff and all of our stakeholders have a voice. I’ve been impressed with the committees I have been asked to serve on. Even as the new guy, I have a voice here.” Jones says another thing that has impressed him about Northwest is that he feels like there is a genuine and sincere respect for the student throughout the Northwest culture. “I hear over and over, ‘What’s best for our students?’ in every meeting. Everyone in higher education gives lip service to serving students, but here at Northwest it is a real thing from the top all the way down to our adjunct instructors and staff,” Jones said. With respect to the Oxford campus, Jones has hopes to expand program offerings, especially the Career-Technical programs. “We are maximizing the use of our facilities and staff. Career-Technical programs are especially poignant to me because they allow students to start their careers quickly in areas that excite them. They can fast-track their careers and move on with their lives,” Jones said. “Plus, students often return for more advanced certifications so they can accelerate their career trajectories. The student who starts in our Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program often returns to pursue Practical Nursing and then RN credentials. It isn’t uncommon to see them go on to become nurse practitioners as their life progresses,” he added. “Seeing someone’s education propel their career like that is exciting.” Another initiative that Jones is excited about is Northwest’s middle college program, the Scholastic Institute. This program is being piloted with Oxford High School in fall, 2019. High school juniors who enroll in the Scholastic Institute will take a minimum of 15 college hours per semester and will be full- time Northwest students while still in high school. Upon high school graduation, the student would earn both a high school diploma from Oxford High School and an associate degree from Northwest. Jones said that the motto he tries to live by is simple. “The motto I try to live by is ‘He who is greatest is servant of all.’ If you want to be great, serve others. Jesus washing the feet of his disciples is the example we should follow. Our positions at Northwest are not about us being wonderful or deserving of titles and rewards. Rather, they are opportunities for us to serve our students. They have been put into our care during this part of their academic journey. I take that as a calling,” Jones added. He said that he is also a believer in strength-based leadership. “We ask ourselves what our strengths are and play to those strengths, but work to strengthen our own weaknesses,” Jones said. He stated that a good leader should recognize that each individual on his team has particular strengths and they might not be the same as the leader’s, but they are valuable. Each person’s strengths are what make the team successful. Jones also borrowed leadership principles from a former Mississippi State Guard commanding officer, Brigadier General (retired) Benjamin Inman. “Ben Inman had three simple rules for his military units: Courtesy, Cooperation, and Competence. I added ‘Creativity’ because colleges should be havens for creative solutions and out-of-the-box thinking. If we as a team strive to interact according to these rules, we will achieve much and fulfill the Northwest mission,” Jones said. Before Jones began working in higher education, he spent several years in sales, marketing, and management. Jones served in the Army National Guard and is currently a staff officer in the Mississippi State Guard. He is a Rotarian and was a recipient of the Southeast Shelby County Rotary Community Heroes Award. He is a member of the Horn Lake Lion’s Club, the Phi Delta Kappa Educational Fraternity, Golden Key, the State Guard Association of the U.S., and the Southern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. He has been the recipient of several service awards for his community involvement and military service. His teaching experience includes learning strategies for adults, business administration, and educational leadership for Belhaven University. He also taught biblical studies and liturgical studies coursework for ministry students in his diocese. Jones graduated from Horn Lake High School and earned a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management from Bethel University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. He received an Educational Specialist in Community College Teaching from Arkansas State University (ASU) and went on to earn his Doctorate of Education from ASU. He also holds degrees in biblical studies and liturgical worship that prepared him for chaplaincy and pastoral work. He has one daughter (Mary Victoria) who will be a student at Northwest beginning in fall 2019. He is also “Uncle Don” to Chris and Jennifer Evans of Horn Lake. One of the things that Jones would like to do is to make the Oxford campus a center of community activity. “We are small but we are going to be special. Community outreach is vital to what we are doing,” Jones said. He hopes to partner with churches, civic groups, and businesses. For more information on Northwest and the Oxford Center, visit the college’s website at

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Northwest student recruiters participate in leadership summit

Four Northwest Mississippi Community College student recruiters participated in the 10th Annual Community College APEX Leadership Summit May 19-21 at the University of Mississippi. Students from statewide community colleges participated in leadership training sessions throughout the weekend. Gabe Waldrop, Kira Adams and Shukira King, all of Senatobia and Kaleb Joyner of Batesville attended the summit with Abby Embrey, assistant director of Recruiting. According to Embrey, the students stayed on campus at the Luckyday Residential College and met student leaders from other community colleges across the state. They participated in group activities where they created their own team name, team flag, and completed a group project introducing a child toy and explaining how that toy relates to teamwork.  They also learned more about themselves with the Myers Briggs Personality Test and spent a full morning at the Rebel Challenge Course at the Ole Miss Intramural Fields. “My favorite thing about APEX was meeting new people. Making connections is part of college that is almost as important as getting a degree.  I met a lot of new people that I plan on keeping in touch with for a long time,” Waldrop said. Embrey stated that King's team won First Place-Overall. King received an application fee waiver, as well as an orientation fee waiver if she decides to attend Ole Miss after Northwest. Adams' team placed Second Place-Overall. Adams received an application fee waiver if she decides to attend Ole Miss after Northwest. “This is my 9th year attending the APEX Leadership Conference with our student recruiters, and Ole Miss never disappoints us. They do an excellent job showing our student leaders the importance of knowing yourself, the people you communicate with, and how important it is to know that we are all very different when it comes to work, play, and how we approach conflict.  I love that they get the chance to do the Myers Briggs personality test. It really gives them insight on how people work, and being in groups with other student leaders gives them a new sense of how to work with others,” Embrey said. For more information about Northwest, visit the website at Pictured: Northwest Mississippi Community College student recruiters attended the 10thAnnual Community College APEX Leadership Summit May 19-21 at the University of Mississippi where students from statewide community colleges participated in leadership training sessions and team building exercises. Students who participated in the summit are front row (l-r) Shukira King and Kira Adams, both of Senatobia and back row (l-r) Gabe Waldrop of Senatobia and Kaleb Joyner of Batesville.  (Photo by Abby Embrey)

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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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