Jones College students tour Munn Enterprises and discover future careers

ELLISVILLE- Sign Manufacturing Day at Munn Enterprises in Hattiesburg offered a look into future careers for Jones College students from the drafting and design or CAD Engineering Technology, and the Precision Manufacturing and Machining Technology programs. The group of about twenty students had an up-close look at how the skills they’re learning in class are applied in the sign manufacturing industry.  Jones College drafting and design instructor, Karen Kirk also had the opportunity to reunite with 2016 drafting and design graduate and current draftsman, Nicholas Underwood.

“It’s true. What you learn in school you can apply to the industry,” said Underwood as he explained his technical drawings to Jones students touring Munn Enterprises.

Another graduate from Kirk’s program, Tonya Bynum Davis took a chance by building upon her drafting experience. The 2002 Jones graduate is currently a project manager at Munn Enterprises. Kirk said she hopes her students are inspired by these Jones graduates’ examples of work-related success.

“After the tour at Munn Enterprises, my students said they had not even considered a future career in the sign business. Meeting Nick, seeing his drawings and touring the company inspired them to explore the possibility of employment in the sign industry. It was very interesting to us all!” said Kirk.

 In the fabrication department, Jones machining students were challenged by one of the company’s welders, Clyde Ward to interpret the drawings to build a sign structure. A couple of students with welding knowledge had some success but would need Munn’s experienced welders to interpret the drawings used to create the metal structures. Jones students and faculty were also intrigued by the metal bending process in the lettering department. Munn’s Shannon Calder demonstrated how the Accu-Bend channel letter bending machine uses hydraulic power to quickly bend aluminum into font styles and various shapes.

“All of my students and I enjoyed the tour. I am actually going to try and see if they will hire one of my guys part-time,” said Jones Precision Manufacturing and Machining instructor, Chase Elmore. “They do not really have the equipment and processes that are used in our field but I respect the company for what they have accomplished. Riding through Hattiesburg’s Midtown is even more interesting now that I have an idea of how these signs are constructed.”

Jones College students were part of more than 100 students from the area participating in the first Sign Manufacturing Day at Munn Enterprises. Company representatives said the goal of the event was to show students the career possibilities in the sign industry range from fabrication to drafting and beyond. They also emphasized nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will likely be needed over the next decade and believe the Sign Manufacturing Day event was an opportunity to encourage students to consider a career in a manufacturing related field.

Jones College’s “Madrigals & More” concert at Laurel’s First-Trinity Presbyterian Church

ELLISVILLE –Jones College’s Fine Arts Department invites the public to enjoy an evening of Renaissance music with the JCJC music department at its annual, “Madrigals and More” concert, free of charge. The various JCJC student and faculty small ensembles will be performing at First-Trinity Presbyterian Church in Laurel, on Tuesday, October 30, at 7 p.m. This special event spotlights a diverse group of performers from student ensembles and solos, to faculty solos, and faculty-student collaborations. Performances will include musical selections from composers such as Orlando de Lassus, Thomas Tallis, Clément Janequin, Claudin de Sermisy, Orlando Gibbons, William Byrd, Thomas Weelkes, Tomas Luis de Victoria, and Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina.

Concert hosts, JC Voices, under the direction of Dr. Susan A. Smith will perform a variety of selections from the Renaissance, including, “Pastyme with Good Companye,” and “Innsbruck, I Now Must Leave Thee.” In addition to the choral selections, the audience will also see and hear rarely heard instruments of the period, including the harpsichord played by Jones piano instructor, Dr. Victoria Johnson, and the lute, played by JCJC guitar instructor, Dr. Michael Boyd. The group will also perform important French madrigals of the period, including, “Revecy venir du printans,” accompanied by Dr. Lindsey Keay on flute and Boyd on the lute.

The wind ensembles are also prominently featured in this year’s program with the Jones College Brass Ensemble, directed by Dr. Patrick Richards playing a well-known canon of the period, “Non nobis domine,” by William Byrd. Woodwind chamber groups, the Flute Choir, conducted by Dr. Lindsey Keay, the Clarinet Choir, directed by new faculty member Michelle Graham and the Saxophone Trio conducted by Dr. Ben Burge will perform several pieces from the Baroque and Romantic Periods.

For more information about “Madrigals and More,” or to find out how to support JC Voices or JC Fine Arts, call the JC Fine Arts Department at 601-477-4203

2018 Members of the Chamber Choir and Madrigal Singers are:

Kenneth Anderson, Sand Hill
Kalyn Bales, Stringer
Ella Barker, Hattiesburg
James Bilbo, Hattiesburg
Faith Bufkin, Ellisville
Jorge Castillo, Ellisville
Kassidy Chandler, Laurel
Mary Coats, Taylorsville
Hayden Dillistone, Laurel
Reagan Dukes, Laurel
Nathaniel Gamblin, Waynesboro
Shedrick George, Laurel
Matthew Haight, Mobile, AL
Victor Harris, Laurel
Dakota Malone, Raleigh
Eli McMellon, Moselle
Davonzell Moncrief, Montrose
DeMoynedre Morgan, Houston
Addison Nelms, Brandon
Stuyuncey Nobles, Laurel
Caleb Pearce, Ellisville
Shellie Roberts, Ellisville
Lamar Saddler, Quitman
Jordan Sistrunk, Mize
Kendra Stevison, Lucedale
Alyssa White, Laurel

Jones College selects three Honor Alumni-Dennis Bohannon, Paul Culliver & Clyde Dease, Jr.

ELLISVILLE- Jones College’s 2018 Honor Alumni have contributed a lifetime of service to the institution and their communities in numerous ways.  Laurel’s Dennis Bohannon, Paul Culliver, who is a Raleigh High School graduate and current resident of The Woodlands, Texas, and former Ellisville native and current resident of Picayune, Clyde Dease will be honored at the annual JCJC Alumni Luncheon on Homecoming Saturday, October 20, at 11:30 a.m. in the A.B. Howard Gymnasium. Reservations for the luncheon can be made through the Alumni and Foundation Office at 601-477-4049 or by emailing

“Each of the three Honor Alumni has poured their heart and soul into working or volunteering in various ways at JCJC. Dennis dedicated his life to education and athletics and has been a loyal supporter of the college, as have Paul and Clyde, who are also lifetime members of the JCJC Alumni Association. Paul currently serves as the Vice President of the JCJC Foundation Board and as a member of the college’s Finance and Investment Committee. Clyde Dease, Jr. is the only true rocket scientist I know!  His contributions to NASA and Picayune reflect the amazing life he’s lived. We are excited to recognize these alumni for their outstanding service,” said VP of Advancement and Executive Director of the JCJC Foundation Inc., Charlie Garretson.

Dennis Bohannon of Laurel retired from West Jones after more than 26 years teaching 8-12 grade math courses and then finished his math teaching career in May 2018 after two years at Wayne County High School. At West Jones, he was the head coach for the Lady Mustangs soccer team for twelve years and he spent two years as head coach of the soccer and golf teams.  He was also the assistant coach of the baseball, softball and football teams and spent twelve years as the football statistician for the West Jones Mustangs. The highlight of his soccer coaching career came in 2004 while coaching the South team of the Mississippi Association of Coaches’ Girls Soccer All-Star Team.

The 1974 Northeast Jones High School graduate earned All-Desoto Conference First-Team baseball honors and Second-Team football honors. He came to Jones in 1976 to play football and baseball where he lettered in football both years, and in baseball in 1975. After transferring to USM, he earned his B.S.B.A. in accounting in 1979. Additional honors Bohannon received include the Boy Scouts “God and Country” medal, he was elected as a JCJC Sophomore Representative and he was included in the Who’s Who in American Junior Colleges. Later, Bohannon would return to Jones to be part of the football radio broadcast crew in 1985 until 2000. Outside of education, Bohannon retired as VP of Bohannon, Inc. DBA the Popcorn Place in Sawmill Square Mall as co-owner with his parents after being in business for more than 27 years. As a member of Oakland Grove Baptist Church in Laurel, Bohannon has served as the treasurer since 1998, Sunday School Director and sound system director since 1984.  Bohannon is also a member of the Laurel North camp of The Gideon’s International.

Currently living in The Woodlands Texas, Paul Culliver is a man with many “hometowns.” He was born in Jackson but his family moved to Raleigh where he discovered football. As a high school football player, he was selected as All-Conference, team captain, Most Valuable Player, and he was a member of the Wayne Bowl Championship team. He was also a member of the high school District 5 Track Championship team in the late 1970’s.  At JCJC, the 1981 graduate started as a tight end in 24 consecutive games under Coach Sim Cooley.  Playing in two football state championship games, Culliver was also part of the 1979 JCJC Mississippi Junior College State Football Championship team over Gulf Coast.  He also competed for two seasons at the state level on the Bobcat track team in hurdles.

After earning an associate’s degree in construction engineering at JCJC, Culliver headed to Texas to work in the oil field industry. At age 23, he started the first of several oilfield service companies. Two years later, Culliver became operations manager of Triad Drilling & Supply, Geosouthern Energy Corporation and USX Exploration. He participated in the drilling, completing and operating of hundreds of producing wells throughout Texas before becoming an independent businessman in the real estate and healthcare industries, in addition to growing timber.

Continuing to be active in Raleigh, Culliver served as an officer and director of Rolling Acres Retirement Center from 1992 until its sale in 2014. Culliver also kept in touch with his alma mater by serving as vice president of the JCJC Foundation Board of Directors, the Foundation Finance & Investment Committee and he has endowed several scholarships, including one named for he and his brothers, Tim and Wayne who are also JCJC alumni. His contributions to Adam’s Angles Ministries, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families cope with the diagnosis of childhood cancer, led to trips to Washington D.C. for several years as a representative with the Children’s Oncology Group seeking legislation and funding for pediatric cancer research. He and his wife Cindy have been married for 33 years and have two children who live in the Houston, Texas area.

Clyde Dease Jr., also has family ties to Smith County, but grew up in Ellisville and is currently living in Picayune. The 1969 valedictorian of Roosevelt High School in Ellisville graduated from JCJC in 1971 and transferred to USM to earn a bachelor’s of science degree in biology with certifications in chemistry, physics, instrumentation and biochemistry.  Before his current position as president and C.E.O. of the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation in Picayune, Dease served as a NASA satellite and rocket scientist. He was a member of the NASA leadership team at Stennis Space Center where he served as Lead within the Center Operations Directorate providing a variety of scientific, engineering, laboratory, programmatic and institutional support to the flight certification testing of rocket engines, in addition to overseeing an annual budget of $75 million.

The former educator and chair of the Picayune High School Science department worked for NASA in various leadership roles for 35 years. From developing satellite sensors and applications for utilizing the data collected from satellites to being on the space shuttle’s rocket engine flight certification team to developing the requirements for the design and construction of the first large-scale rocket test stand and the upper stage testing of the Orion Spaceship launch system in preparation for the mission to Mars, Dease played an integral part in numerous operations at NASA. The past national Chair of the NASA Metrology and Calibration Working Group for NASA earned numerous awards including the MCAFA award, where he was selected as the Federal Employee of the Year from 25,000 federal employees on the Gulf Coast.



Fall Break slows action in Jones College’s Bobcat Math League

ELLISVILLE – While nine of the thirteen teams participating in Jones College’s Bobcat Math League were off this week for various school-related programs, next week everyone will be observing Fall Break. This week’s matches were fairly uneventful scoring-wise but division rankings were affected.

Northeast Jones and West Jones High Schools came out ready for battle. Science Division leaders, the West Jones Mustangs were able to keep its first place ranking in the division as they trampled over the Laurel Tornadoes, 46 to 35.  Because the Northeast Jones Tigers earned the win against the Raleigh Lions in a close match, 27 to 21, combined with Laurel High School’s loss, the Tigers moved up a notch to third place in the division, knocking Laurel out of second place.  Presbyterian Christian moved up to the second place spot even though they did not compete this week.

In this week’s race to be the Most Outstanding Player, Sacred Heart’s Benjamin Dunn keeps the top spot with his 75 percent accuracy average.  Previous second-place MOP student from Laurel High School, Maxwell Dobbs moves to third place tied with Wayne County’s Joshua Curry with a 65 percent accuracy average.  Presbyterian Christian’s Mathew Morgan keeps his second place MOP ranking with a 70 percent accuracy average despite having this week off. Four students were tied for fifth place with a 60 percent accuracy average.

Competition returns the week of October 15, with the likelihood of more divisional changes. Top contender, West Jones will battle it out with cross-county foe, the Northeast Jones Tigers in the “Jungle.” Laurel High School gets the opportunity to possibly rise in the ranks as they face the Presbyterian Christian Bobcats who have the advantage of meeting on their home turf. Raleigh has the “bye” this week.

In the Technology Division, the Sacred Heart Crusaders will be bracing for an attempt from the Oak Grove Warriors to knock them off the top, allowing the Warriors to possibly take the lead in the Engineering Division. In order to accomplish that feat, the Wayne County War Eagles would have to lose its match against Wayne County foe, Wayne Academy which is currently in third place in the Technology Division. The odds are in favor of the War Eagles based on cumulative points but the Jaguars are ready to pounce on its cross-county competitor. Blocking any possible gains in division rankings for Wayne Academy could be the final results between the Columbia Academy and Heidelberg match-up.  The Cougars have a solid grip on second place in the Technology Division and could also benefit from an Oak Grove win.  Throwing a kink in everyone’s plans to rise in the division is the Perry Central Bulldogs who face the Quitman Panthers. Depending on who wins the match, an upset in the rankings is probable.

Results will be posted on the JC Bobcat Math League web page under “Division Standings/Schedules at: and scores in real time will be posted on the Bobcat Math League Facebook page: Bobcat Math League – Facebook. Weekly results can also be found in local media outlets.  For more information about the Bobcat Math League contact Dr. Jessica Bunch (JC Bobcat Math League Commissioner) at 601-477-5422 or email at

Comic Book Art Display

A celebration of comic book character portraits created through layers of pastel, acrylic and digital effects are on display now at the Eula Bass art gallery on the Jones College campus.

Thomas Jackson of Hattiesburg, artist and comic book enthusiast, will present an “Art Talk” on campus on Tuesday, October 23rd at 1 p.m. The “Art Talk” and gallery are open to the public. Besides Jackson’s comic book collection on display, his talents also include a wide variety of literary figures and scenery.

The Eula Banks Art Gallery is open Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., and Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.