Eight Jones College FBLA students head to national competition

ELLISVILLE- Eight of the thirteen Jones College students that competed in the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) State competition in Columbus, Mississippi over the weekend, came home as winners. The eight JC students placed first, second, or third in their competitive events, to qualify for national competition in June, in Atlanta, Georgia. During the three-day conference, each student competed in two business-related events. The events ranged from Fundamentals of Accounting and Macroeconomics to Programming Concepts and Public Speaking.

“Eight of the students will be going to the four-day national conference and competition in Atlanta,” said Jones College’s FBLA Advisor, David Ray.  “After taking a two-year club hiatus because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are excited to be back competing on the state and national level again!”

Carter Bales of Stringer landed in first place in the Client Service category. Taylorsville’s Destiny Brown earned first place in Foundations of Accounting and first place in Business Presentation. Elizabeth Blair of Waynesboro, along with Blane Graham of Stringer, and James “Austin” Stringer of Taylorsville, placed first in the Website Design team event. Graham also took home first place in Programming Concepts. Laurel’s Alondra Abad received second place in Organizational Behavior & Leadership and second place in Sales Presentation. Hattiesburg’s Robert “Mikey” Bryant placed second in Impromptu Speaking. Earning third place were Ni’riyah Bell of Laurel-Sales Presentation; Picayune native, Deshodrick Jefferson-Human Resource Management; Ethan Hammons of Raleigh-Computer Concepts; Logan Ingram of Morton-Help Desk and Jackson Jenkins of Stringer-Job Interview.

Photo Cutline: Jones College’s FBLA club members are headed to the national competition after winning nine categories in the state competition. Pictured in the front row, left to right are Robert Bryant of Hattiesburg, Alondra Abad of Laurel, Ni’riyah Bell of Laurel and Blane Graham of Stringer. Pictured in the second row, left to right is Carter Bales of Stringer, Ethan Hammons of Raleigh, Faith Collins of Heidelberg, Logan Ingram of Morton, James Stringer of Taylorsville, Elizabeth Blair of Waynesboro, Destiny Brown of Taylorsville, Deshodrick Jefferson of Picayune, and Jackson Jenkins of Stringer.

JC hosts MCTM Jr. H.S. Math Competition

ELLISVILLE – Jones College’s Math department along with the Mississippi Council of Teachers of Mathematics recently sponsored the district level MCTM Math Contest for Jr. High School students. Twenty-eight students from seven Pine Belt area schools spent the morning working out various math problems to earn a spot at the state competition. This is the first time regional competition was held since March 2020, due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

South Jones seventh grader, Kassidy Stewart took first place with Leakesville’s Piper James earning second-place honors. Eighth-grader, Collin Windham from Northeast Jones won first place and Jeb Barnes from South Jones achieved second place. These students will continue competing on the state level on April 1, 2023 at the Mississippi School for Math and Science.

Picture Cutline winners left to right: Jones College recently sponsored the Mississippi Council of Teachers of Mathematics district Jr. High School Math contest.  Winners pictured left to right are 7th grader, Kassidy Stewart-South Jones earning 1st place. Second place honors were awarded to 7th grader, Piper James of Leakesville. First place honors amongst 8th grade competitors was Collin Windham of Northeast Jones and 8th grader, Jeb Banes of South Jones earned 2nd place.

Replenish Blood Drive for Rick Bedwell, Jones College retired business instructor  

ELLISVILLE – Jones College’s community-wide spring blood drive will be held on Monday through Wednesday, February 27 to March 1, with two important goals. There is an increased demand for donors for various reasons, to not only replenish the local blood supply, but Jones will also be hosting a Replenishment Blood Drive honoring Rick Bedwell, a retired Jones College business instructor with leukemia.

“This blood drive is vital. Overall, nationwide we are currently experiencing an ‘emergency situation’ or blood shortage and need all types of blood,” said Michelle Anderson-Jones, Vitalant Donor Recruitment-Account Manager. “Donating locally is especially important to keep our supply levels up and before there is an emergency need.”

On Monday, February 27, the Blood Mobile will be parked at the Industrial Services Center from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. For the following two days, all blood donations will be received in the Student Union, behind the A.B. Howard/Bobcat Gym on Tuesday, February 28, and on Wednesday, March 1, from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. 

The overall goal for the three-days is 86 units of blood stated Benji Sessums, Jones College Blood Drive Coordinator and EMT instructor. To encourage donations, T-shirts will be given to all donors and Door Prizes will be available all three days for donors during random drawings.

Vitalant strongly encourages blood donors to make and keep appointments to give blood but walk ins are welcome. Scheduling appointments can be made through the website, www.donors.vitalant.org with JC1 being the Blood Drive Code.

Mississippi Humanities Council honors Jones College’s Tim Morris as Teacher of the Year

ELLISVILLE – Mississippi Humanities Council Assistant Director, Carol Andersen presented Jones College English instructor, Tim Morris with a check for being selected as the Jones College 2022-2023 Mississippi Humanities Teacher of the Year. He will be honored by the Mississippi Humanities Council in Jackson, on March 24, 2023.

“I am very honored to be selected as Humanities Teacher of the Year for Jones, and I enjoyed sharing my passion for The Epic of Gilgamesh, to the Jones College community and family recently,” said Morris, a JC English and World Literature instructor. “The plot intrigues me because as the term ‘epic’ suggests, it is a huge story filled with exciting adventures, but at its core is a man who learns to appreciate his own humanity.”

After his presentation, Morris was presented with an acrylic award to commemorate the honor by Jones College’s Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Tessa Flowers and Jones College President, Dr. Jesse Smith.

Artist Russ Farris inspires young and old at “Art Talk”

ELLISVILLE – Ellisville artist, Russ Farris invited several of his sixth and seventh grade art students from Northwest Meridian Middle School to his “Art Talk” at Jones College to expose them to his art and to also be around other art students. Additionally, he explained, exposing young artists to college artists will hopefully encourage the middle schoolers to include art in their future endeavors.

“I wanted my students to meet the college art teachers and to see there is an entire department just for art. I also wanted to show them how to express themselves through their art, as I have done in mine and to teach them not to be afraid to express themselves and to stay true to who they are,” said Farris.

Dylan McDonald and David Curry

The Jones College art majors and the budding artists from Meridian were inspired and some were relieved to hear Farris share that all art doesn’t have to be “Fine Art.” Drawing outside the lines or differently from what he thought others wanted or expected him to draw, Farris said allowed him to discover the true artist within himself.

“I want to encourage (JC’s and my students) in their pursuit of art and to show them that there are opportunities to make money at art because it’s possible now, more than ever to not be a ‘starving artist.’ I’ve sold a lot of this comic book style art, even the stuff that’s kind of weird. I’ve been very successful, and I credit that to spending more than five minutes on it and actually putting something of myself into it. You’ve got to have fun with it and enjoy creating. Art must come from within. Don’t do what you think someone wants or expects,” implored Farris.

As a comic book lover and collector since childhood, Farris combines the elements of comic books with other pop culture and rock music elements to create something fun and entertaining. The former, award-winning cartoonist for a local newspaper, and now middle school art instructor has spent decades pursuing his own style of art. Inspired by artists whose work was also more cartoon style, like Sean “Star Wars” Stewart and Daniel Johnston, Farris said helped him discover the style of art that also made him happy. Since his first exhibit at Jones College in 2010, his artwork has evolved. A glimpse of that evolution is on display at the Eula Bass Lewis Art Gallery until February 17.

Kandance Brown

“I was a cartoonist, and I was having a lot of fun. I was doing something that meant something to me; not what I thought someone else wanted to see,” explained Farris. “The point is, when you’re making stuff, creating art, you have got to put something of yourself in to it. You have got to make it real and if you do that, other people are likely to enjoy it too.”

After discussing the possibilities in the field of art with the college students, Farris’ young art students toured the Jones College art department. He also treated them to a charcoal drawing lesson in the college classroom and lunch in the college student union.

“My students were excited mostly about going back for seconds in the cafeteria and having the choice of ice cream for dessert,” laughed Farris. “However, I deeply appreciate Melanie Eubanks and Mark Brown for inviting me back to Jones College to share my art and for allowing me to bring my students. Everyone made us feel so welcome, and left us with a fantastic, memorable trip!”

For more information about the JC art show or to arrange a visit to the gallery call 601-477-8401. The Eula Bass Lewis Art Gallery is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., and by appointment only on Wednesdays. The gallery is closed during the holidays. If you want to know more about the Jones College Art Department, go to the JC Art Department’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/JCJCFineArts/ and on Instagram @artatjonescollege.

David Scarbrough, Russ Farris and Quintrey Houston with Merci Christopher, Dylan McDonald and David Curry