Jones College associate degree nursing students inducted into Alpha Delta Nu

ELLISVILLE –Jones College sophomore associate degree nursing students, Jamie Boleware-Collins, Hannah Bynum-Mendenhall, Anthony Daniels-Hattiesburg, Alyssa Mobbs-Hattiesburg, Callie Shows-Ellisville and Jeshaiah Stephens-Ellisville were inducted into the Nursing Honor Society, Alpha Delta Nu.  Requirements for induction into the Nursing Honor Society include having a “B” average in all nursing courses with no repeats, completing a capstone project prior to graduation and demonstrating conduct on campus and in clinical areas which reflect integrity and professionalism.

“The Jones nursing faculty were vital to our success. They nurtured us like our mothers while pushing us towards being the best nurses,” said Anthony Daniels.

Family, friends and students gathered for the induction ceremony to recognize the achievements of the five students.

Jones College celebrates retiring 2020 & 2021 employees

ELLISVILLE – Jones College held its annual “Retirement Tea” for 12 employees who retired in 2020 and the eight employees who are retiring this year. When combined, these 20 employees provided 459.5 years of service to JC, with some having additional years of service working at other educational institutions.

This year’s retirees include Ronald Bishop who has taught Social Science courses and served as the Division Chair for the department over his 32 years at Jones College. Lee Graham served in the Alumni and Foundation Office as Assistant Vice President for 18 years. For the last 15 years, Juanita Jefcoat worked for Workforce College as a Test Administrator at the Advanced Technology Center. Jeff Keeton has taught Forestry Technology for more than 26 years and served as Division Chair. Erin Knight also served the college for more than 26 years as Associate Degree Nursing Division Chair and instructor. Sonja McCaskill leaves Jones College after five years of teaching in the Social Science department. Tim Rayner is retiring after spending 28 years as a math instructor. Cheryl Windam has spent the last 25 years serving the college as an English instructor and Humanities Division Chair.

Retiring last May after 25 years, was Patricia Brownlee who worked in the Campus Housing department. Social Science instructor, Jacqueline Canizaro retired after 12 years. Joseph Davis served the college for 35 years as a Social Science and athletic trainer/instructor. After retiring as Athletic Director, Katie Herrington is also retiring as a physical education instructor after 32 years. Tim Ishee retired from teaching Agriculture Science after 34 years. Stan Lewis leaves Jones College with more than 17 years as an Electrical Technology instructor along with Randy Purdum, who spent 25 years also teaching Electrical Technology. Marilyn Long retired from the Duplicating Office after 22 years. David Lowery taught English courses for 18 years. After 29 years, Milton Newell retired from the Maintenance Department. Emily Phillips leaves the Associate Degree Nursing division as an instructor for 14 years. Winnie Walters ended her career as an instructor in Adult Education after 20 years.

Picture Cutline 20 and 21 retirees group – Jones College President, Dr. Jesse Smith and employees gathered to congratulate retiring employees from 2020 and 2021. These employees have served in various roles at the college and were honored at the annual Jones Retirement Tea. Pictured left to right seated are, Winnie Walters, Emily Phillips, Lee Graham, Erin Knight, Katie Herrington, Cheryl Windham, Jaqueline Canizaro, Sonja McCaskill and Marilyn Long.  Pictured standing in the back, left to right are Jones College President, Dr. Jesse Smith, Randy Purdum, David Lowery, Stan Lewis, Jeff Keeton, Joseph Davis, Milton Newell, Tim Rayner, Tim Ishee, and Ronald Bishop.


Jones College engineering students earn MS Engineering Society scholarships

ELLISVILLE –Jones College sophomores, Alyssa Adrion of Taylorsville, Raygen Keyes of Taylorsville, Halcyon Morgan of Laurel and Tanner Woolbright of Oak Grove each received Mississippi Engineering Society scholarships to earn their engineering degrees. All four students are planning to attend Mississippi State University to earn their bachelor’s degrees in various engineering fields. For the last 21 years, Jones College’s physics instructor, Mary Boleware has worked with the Southeast Chapter of the Mississippi Engineering Society which has awarded annual scholarships to her students.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to work with the MES because they support our students as they transfer to a University Engineering Program,” said Boleware. “These four students have exhibited exemplary academic performance in one of the most challenging times in education. I wish them all the best as they continue their degree plans at the next level.

Students receiving a scholarship from the MES are required to be members of the Jones College Engineering Society and have a GPA ranging from 3.5 to 4.0.  MES Scholarship Chairman, Steven Parker, explained each student’s GPA, essay and application were reviewed before being selected for the scholarship.

“The four students were awarded a total of $5,000 in scholarships to attend an accredited engineering program in the state,” said Parker. “The Southeast Chapter of the Mississippi Engineering Society promotes and defends the rights of licensed professional engineers. Being an engineer is a prestigious discipline; these students will be the problem solvers of the future.”

Morgan, who is majoring in aerospace/astronautical engineering is a non-traditional student with a technical degree in precision manufacturing and machining. Scholarships which help earn an engineering degree are vital for Morgan in reaching his lofty goals. Growing a company that builds products for space and starting a STEM based extracurricular program for kids are just some of Morgan’s future plans.

“The less mental energy and time I have to spend worrying about how my education is being paid for, the more time I can spend on making use of it. This is a great cycle to be in because the more time I spend doing better in school, the better my opportunity for more scholarships. Standing out academically, will hopefully carry me further into my career,” said Morgan.

Also intrigued by “space” is Woolbright who is working on a degree in astronautical engineering.

“The ultimate goal is to work for a company with relations to space. Space fascinates me and I would really like to be involved in researching and discovering new things,” said Woolbright. “This scholarship helps reduce the financial stress and allows me to focus on my studies.”

Keyes’ dream job is to design launch sites for NASA. Receiving the MES scholarship keeps her focused on achieving her goal.

“I appreciate the support and confidence from my peers and I’m proud that I’ll be able to represent them through my ambitious career path,” said Keyes.

Taking a different path in the field of engineering, Adrion is pursuing a biomedical engineering degree. Her sights are set on developing medical equipment.

“My goal is to be a part of a team that designs and creates the newest and most innovative devices to be used in the medical field. A dream come true would be to create prosthetics,” said Adrion.  “It is an honor to be selected for this scholarship and representing Jones College and future engineers.”

Typically, The Southeast Chapter of the MES invites college and high school students to an annual meeting, exposing them to job opportunities and academic advice during Engineering Week. This year the festivities were canceled because of concerns with COVID-19.  JC’s Engineering Society co-hosts the annual event.

Jones College and WDAM-TV honor Top of Class 2021

ELLISVILLE- Jones College was thrilled to be able to host WDAM-TV’s annual Top of Class 2021 recognition program with a live event, after canceling the 2020 celebration because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The tradition of honoring the Valedictorians and Salutatorians from 45 high schools in the Pine Belt had never been canceled in the 22-year history of Jones College hosting the event, prior to last year. This year, the Top of Class 2021 event was held in two sessions for health and safety purposes.

“This group of seniors has dealt with so much because of the pandemic. Jones College was excited to be able to partner with WDAM-TV to honor the Top of Class 2021 with this special event and recognition program with everyone able to safely gather together,” said Jones College President, Dr. Jesse Smith.

Students heard from Miss Hospitality Mississippi, McKay Lee Bray who is a sophomore at Jones College, WDAM-TV General Manager & V.P., Tim Walker and Jones College President, Dr. Jesse Smith. Each student was recognized and received a special, Top of Class Certificate of Achievement, commemorative T-Shirt and participated in a modified version of the traditional, Hat Toss.

Highlights from the event, along with the academic achievements of the Pine Belt’s Top of Class 2021 will be seen daily on WDAM-TV beginning on Monday, May 17. The Valedictorian and Salutatorians from two high schools will be featured in a one-minute segment at 5:58 a.m. before WDAM 7 Sunrise Morning News program, through June 18, 2021. Additionally, the Top of the Class videos can be found on the WDAM-TV web page

Jones College celebrates graduates from 2020 and 2021

ELLISVILLE – Jones College has invited graduates from last year to join this year’s graduating class of 2021 to partake in commencement exercises on Saturday, May 22, at 8 p.m. on the north lawn of Jones Hall. About 715 students are expected to participate in the ceremony and will receive either, an Associate in Arts degree, Associate in Applied Science degree, a Technical Certificate or a Career Certificate.

This year’s Commencement Address will be from retired Major General, Byron Bagby who is the managing partner of BMB Solutions, LLC, which is an independent consulting firm. The agency provides services in executive leadership development and coaching, and strategy development.

Bagby served in the U.S. Army as Commandant of Joint Forces Staff College; Chief Operating Officer of the Office of Military Cooperation in Cairo, Egypt, managing security cooperation programs valued at $1.3 billion annually; and as the Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Army, in Europe, directing all the activities of more than 1,000 people in 30 locations, in nine countries. His duties included being at the Pentagon on the Joint Staff and Department of the Army Staff.

Bagby is a certified True Growth Leadership facilitator and a certified Authentic Leadership Development Coach through the Chambers Bay Institute and has coached more than 400 leaders to live a life of significance. He currently serves on the Advisory Board for Ryan Consulting Group (as Chair); on the Board of Directors of Management Support Technology, Inc.; and the Boards of Trustees of William Woods College and Columbia Southern University. From 2012-17, he served on the Board of Trustees of Westminster College (MO).

General Bagby has earned many decorations and honors, including two Army Distinguished Service Medals; the Ranger Tab; the Master Parachutist Badge; the Westminster College Lifetime Alumni Achievement Award; and has been inducted into the Fulton Public Schools Hall of Fame. He is a life member of The Veterans of Foreign Wars and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

He earned his B.A. in Economics from Westminster College and his M.Ed. in Adult Education from UNC-Chapel Hill. Bagby and his wife, Monique Hale Bagby have two adult children and live in Alexandria, VA.

To comply with health and safety guidelines, each Jones College graduate will be allocated four tickets for their guests to attend the graduation ceremony in person. The graduation ceremony will also be live-streamed on the Jones College web page,   Additionally, parking will be limited with assigned spaces reserved for each graduate. For more information about graduation at Jones College check the website: and for questions specifically regarding the 2021 graduation ceremony, please contact Kacie Birdsong at 601-477-4137.

Graduates & Degree Information

Spring 2021 – 676 Students Applied for Graduation

Fall 2020 – 345 Degrees Awarded

Summer 2020 – 252 Degrees Awarded

Spring 2020 – 910 Degrees Awarded amongst the 751 students who applied for graduation.

Fall 2019 – 362 Degrees Awarded

Summer 2019 – 179 Degrees Awarded