Jones College selects New Century Scholars representatives

ELLISVILLE – Sixteen, Jones College sophomores were selected from the student body to compete for the New Century Scholars Program in conjunction with the International Honor Society, Phi Theta Kappa’s academic scholarship program.  These top academic and career and technical students were nominated by faculty members and then selected by the JC Scholarship Committee and administrators.

Some of the requirements to earn a spot in this prestigious group include maintaining a 3.5 to 4.0 GPA, taking challenging academic courses, completing a minimum of 36-college credit hours, volunteering in their communities and college, doing well in an interview with the Scholarship Committee and students must submit an application for the New Century/All-USA Academic Team.

JC’s nominees for the New Century Transfer Pathway Scholarship or the New Century Workforce Pathway Scholarship are Trevor Amason, a civil engineering major from Mize; Madison Bolling, an accounting major from Petal; Caleb Brownlee, an electro-mechanical technology major from Moselle; Allison Byrd, a biology/pre-med major from Laurel; Shivum Desai, a biology/pre-med major originally from London, England and current resident of Oak Grove; Trace Henry, a civil engineering major from Mooreville; Da’Vondra Lynch, a biology/pre-med major formally from Quitman and current Atlanta, Georgia resident; Stephen Martin, a biology/pre-vet major from Laurel; Jess Robbins, a business administration major from Oak Grove; Will Russell, a nursing major from Columbia; Ryne Sasser, a biomedical sciences major from Ellisville; Steven Sasser, a biomedical sciences/pre-med major from Ellisville; Matthew Sexton, a mechanical engineering major from Laurel; Maggie Smith, a legal studies major from Richton; Mollie Smith, a speech pathology major from Richton and Jared Woullard, a civil engineering major from Leakesville.

“These students have already accomplished so much in their short lives. They’ve really set the bar high,” said JC Dean of Academic Affairs, Jason Dedwylder, Ph.D.

Selected to represent the college in the upcoming state and national scholarship competitions are academic students, Shivum Desai and Jared Woullard. In addition to the traditional academic scholarship program, PTK’s New Century Workforce Pathway Scholarship program is offering career and technical students a similar scholarship opportunity.

“I’m amazed at all the things our students are involved in at the college and in the community,” said Associate Degree Nursing Division Chair and Scholarship Committee member, Erin Knight, M.S. N., R.N. “It was very difficult to narrow down the choices.”

Working a full-time job at J Parker Services as an electrician’s helper with 22 hours in college coursework, Brownlee manages to find time to volunteer with the Magnolia Baptist Church in Laurel’s Rain Down Ministries. Brownlee said his mentor came up with the idea to get fathers and sons outdoors to enjoy creation. It gradually evolved into a mentoring program for boys without father figures. Working with children, teaching them about God’s Word while spending time hunting and fishing, has also impacted Brownlee.

“I had the privilege of watching young boys spend time in the outdoors for the very first time.  When I saw the impact that just a few weekends a year had on these kids, I knew I wanted to be like the men I had watched volunteer with this ministry.  I’ve been a guide on several hunts. It’s an amazing experience to give kids the opportunity to be outdoors, fellowship with other men and most importantly, hear the gospel,” said Brownlee.

Additionally, Brownlee is involved with the Awana ministry, Camp Macon and Fieldhouse for the Homeless programs. He has also served on international mission trips to Lima, Peru and Bucharest, Romania, and in Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, and North Carolina, as well as on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  At Jones, the Moselle resident is a member of SkillsUSA, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and he has earned the Letter “J” academic award. While he is finishing up on his degree in electro-mechanical technology, Brownlee has completed a Career Certificate in Electrical Technology. His future plans include a career in industrial electrical work.

“I want to find a job where I can work enough hours to provide for me and my future family. With the many different options that the electrical field offers, I am quite certain that with the knowledge I will have when I finish at Jones, I will be able to find a job that suits my desires,” said Brownlee.

Originally from London, England, Shivum Desai has already learned about the many opportunities an American school can offer students. At the Lyndon School in England, Desai was the Secretary of the student body and the captain of the cricket team.  At Jones, Desai was recently named the HEADWAE student recipient for the  College and he is the president of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, a member of the Student Government Association, and recipient of the Letter “J” academic award. He has maintained a 4.0 GPA while also working as the assistant manager at the Hattiesburg Baskin-Robbins. In pursuit of learning which area of medicine he wants to specialize, the Oak Grove High School graduate volunteered at both hospitals in Hattiesburg. When his grandfather had a heart attack in 2013, he realized cardiology and saving lives was his calling.

“While at Merit Hospital volunteering in the ICU, I met a patient that survived a heart attack and stroke simultaneously. She had lost the use of one of her arms so I occasionally fed her. She explained, her husband passed away three months prior to her heart attack and she was not able to have kids.  I would often visit her and even though I was just talking with her, her whole mood changed. This is very significant to me because I realized I could serve someone by just talking to them. I didn’t realize the impact it had on her life, and mine too,” said Desai.

After graduating from Jones, Desai plans to get his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Mississippi and his doctorate degree in medicine from the University of Mississippi Medical Center, specializing in invasive cardiology.

Greene County’s Jared Woullard hopes to also make a difference in the lives of his peers as the Student Government Association President at Jones and in his hometown. While pursuing a degree in civil engineering, Woullard also participates in all intra-mural sports, Sigma Kappa Delta English Honor Society, Concert Choir, Bobcat Brigade and he is a member of the Presidential Student Advisory Task Force, the Charles Pickering Honors Institute and Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society.

“I am motivated by everything that I come in contact with whether it be a person or an experience. I am always pushing to be the best me so that I can help others and inspire greatness,” said Woullard. “Being involved on campus has given me a platform to encourage leadership and participation. This platform has allowed me to help others, learn from others, and most importantly, it has allowed me to touch lives.”

Ultimately, Woullard would like to earn a law degree and run for a seat in the Mississippi House of Representatives with the goal of bettering the State of Mississippi for future generations.

The sixteen students were treated to a special luncheon held in their honor with PTK sponsors and administrators prior to the announcement of the three students selected to continue in the competition.  Brownlee, Desai and Woullard spent the holidays writing essays for the application process to have the opportunity to earn state and national scholarships along with other honors. They will be recognized next spring in Jackson upon the conclusion of the competition.

This program annually recognizes 100 scholars. Each New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar receives special recognition at the Association of Community College Trustees Congress. Each New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar receives special recognition at the American Association of Community Colleges Convention. The New Century Pathway Scholarship program is sponsored by The Coca-Cola Foundation, The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, the American Association of Community Colleges and Phi Theta Kappa.


Jones College is offering an 8-week welding class in Ellisville

ELLISVILLE – Jones College’s Workforce College is offering a welding day class at the Whitehead Advanced Technology Center in Ellisville in January. The course will meet Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., beginning Monday, January 22, 2019, through Friday, March 29, 2019.

This 8-week welding class will cover welding safety, Oxyfuel cutting, basic metal preparation, weld quality, SMAW (stick welding), steel prep and basic fabrication. A workforce certificate will be issued to successful students upon completion of the course.  The cost of the class is $350.  Students are responsible for their own personal protective equipment. Financial assistance may be available to qualified students.

To register and pay for the welding class please come to the Whitehead Advanced Technology Center or call 601-477-4114 to register and to pay for the cost of the class with a credit card.


Jones College selects HEADWAE recipients

ELLISVILLE – Two highly motivated and hard-working men in the science field were selected to represent Jones College as the Higher Education Appreciation Day, Working for Academic Excellence representatives. Science instructor, Eric Shows of Ellisville and Jones College sophomore and pre-med/biology major from Hattiesburg, Shivum Desai were selected to represent the college in Jackson during a special day of recognition. They will join 70 outstanding students and faculty members from 34 Mississippi public and private universities and community colleges in Jackson to receive special recognition from the Mississippi Legislature in February, at the 32nd annual HEADWAE luncheon as a reward for their excellence in education.

“I am honored to represent the college and also my division, as we have had several high caliber science faculty and student honorees for the program during my time at Jones.  This year it is extra special because I get to share the honor with Shivum.  I have served as Shivum’s academic advisor and have seen him in action as a Phi Theta Kappa honor society officer, so the whole experience has an extra dimension of significance,” said Shows.

Additionally, this honor is also shared with Shows sister and mother. His sister, Natalie was the HEADWAE student representative with their mother Sandra, who retired from JC after teaching cosmetology for 29 years, represented the faculty HEADWAE representative in 2007.

“I’m sure this is probably a rarity to have family members chosen for this same honor but that also makes it extra special,” said Eric Shows. “I am humbled to be selected also knowing I was nominated by a faculty member and because I know I have the support of my colleagues and the college administration.”

Shows has been the Science Division Department Chair for the last five years and has been teaching freshmen honors biology and microbiology courses for the past nine years at Jones College. The South Jones High School graduate was a dual-enrolled student at Jones in 2000, before his senior year of high school, taking general physics I and II and college algebra.  He earned his bachelors of Science degree from Mississippi State University and his master’s degree in cell and developmental biology from Vanderbilt University. Shows has published several reports, abstracts and presentations with his colleagues including a report in Science magazine.

At Jones, Shows has been recognized as a finalist for the Faculty of the Year award in 2014, he was also selected to participate in the Mississippi Community College Leadership Academy, and he serves the college as the Mississippi Space Grant coordinator for Jones College, the co-principal investigator for the National Science Foundations’ Geo-SPARCC (Geosciences Streamlined Pipeline and Research for Community College’s Grant), he is the Advisement coordinator for the Science department and a PTK advisor.

“Eric is a valuable asset to the college. His student-centric focus embodies the very reasons why we are here. Whether it is in the classroom or an extracurricular activity, Eric is constantly challenging our students to be their best. He is an inspiration to us all!” said JC Dean of Academic Affairs, Jason Dedwylder, Ph.D.

Jones College student representative, Shivum Desai has aspirations of being a cardiologist. When the Oak Grove High School graduate is not working as the assistant manager at the Baskin Robbins in Hattiesburg, or in classes, Shivum is volunteering in Hattiesburg’s hospitals, while also maintaining a 4.0 GPA. During spring break he “job shadowed” at Forrest General Hospital and he routinely volunteers in the ICU at Merit Health Hospital. He is also the president of the International Honor Society, Phi Theta Kappa at Jones. Recently, Desai was also chosen as one of three Jones student recipients as a New Century Scholars/All-State Academic Team member through Phi Theta Kappa.

“Serving students and those in the community is an accomplishment for me.  But, if I can serve those that are in need, it then becomes an honor because of the impact it has on their lives,” said Desai.  “Being selected as the HEADWAE representative as a Jones student is a huge honor for me. I am thankful for those who believed in me and have been there to support my goals.  I hope I can inspire others to do great things and excel in their future endeavors.”

Dr. Dedwylder said Desai’s self-less attitude is a rarity among college students. Volunteering in the hospital has made Desai more aware of others’ needs. He enjoys spending time with these strangers in need, comforting them. I am very impressed because Desai is a full-time college student who works, volunteers and has a difficult and time-consuming field of study, yet freely gives of himself.

“Shivum is a remarkable student. There is no doubt he is committed to improving the quality of life of all around him. His journey to be a cardiologist will open doors for him to serve others and fulfill his purpose. He lives out our motto of ‘Inspiring Greatness’ every day,” said Dedwylder.

Desai’s future plans include graduating from Jones in May and earning his degree in biological sciences at the University of Mississippi, attend medical school and complete his residency in cardiology or internal medicine. His parents are Sanjay and Karuna Desai, who moved to Hattiesburg from London, England a couple of years ago.

Jones College receives EDA grant for robotic training

ELLISVILLE – The Economic Development Authority of Jones County and PG Technologies, LLC in Ellisville have formed a partnership with Jones College to provide advanced technology training with robotics at the Whitehead Advanced Technology Center.  Jones College has purchased two, 140 ABB Robotic Arms with controllers, teach pendants, grippers and transformers with PG Technologies’ EDA Funding Support grant of more than $62,500.

“Jones College is excited to partner with PG Technologies to offer training utilizing equipment purchased with an allocation from the EDA Funding Support. This equipment will be used to train PG Technologies’ new and existing employees. Training will be managed by PG Technologies and Jones College,” said Jennifer Griffith, Dean of the JC Workforce College.

PG Technologies employees have utilized Jones College’s workforce training programs and are excited to be able to add another component with the purchase of this new equipment at Jones. Workforce Coordinator/ Financial Lead of Workforce College at JC, Greg Butler said the robotic equipment purchased will not be limited to just PG Technologies employees. The Mechatronics Department of Jones College will utilize the robotic arms for training Jones students in the Electro-Mechanical and Mechatronics programs as well as provide training for companies through Jones’ Workforce College training programs.

“This equipment will give Jones College the ability to provide world-class training to the workforce in our area,” said Butler.

The EDA of Jones County President, Ross Tucker said the EDA is excited to be able to provide advanced workforce training to boost economic growth in the region.

“It is a wonderful partnership to have with Jones College and PG Technologies. This is an opportunity to offer high-tech training for current and future employees, with the possibility of attracting more business to the county,” said Tucker.

PG Technologies combined the expertise of GE Aviation and Praxair in 2016 and chose to move into the GE plant in Ellisville. The combined efforts of the Economic Development Authority of Jones County, Mississippi Power, the city of Ellisville and Jones County joined the Mississippi Development Authority to offer incentives for PG Technologies to invest in Jones County, Mississippi. The Mississippi Development Authority provided assistance in support of the project for infrastructure and building improvements, relocation of equipment and workforce training. State and local officials pledged more than $20 million in grants and tax breaks to attract the plant to the Magnolia State.  The manufacturing joint venture provides the development, support and application of specialized coatings for GE components associated with nearly all of GE’s aircraft engines. GE Aviation delivers jet engine parts from its locations throughout the U.S. to PG Technologies to undergo surface coating through various processes.

For more information about Jones College’s Workforce College training contact the Whitehead Advanced Technology Center at 601-477-4114.


Jones College’s Christmas Show helps Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program

ELLISVILLE – The partnership between Jones College’s Fine Arts department and the Salvation Army has brought hundreds of toys to children and smiles from adults enjoying the last five Christmas benefit shows. This year, the audience attending the Christmas Show, “Santa’s Swingin’ Pajama Party” was extremely gracious in giving unwrapped toy donations for the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program in lieu of a ticket for the concert.  After the show, Jones students helped the Salvation Army fill a dozen bags full of toys for children in the Pine Belt.

“Giving has been up this year but it is always amazing to witness the outpouring of love from the community for these kids.  With the booming economy, we have collected more gifts with about the same number of people requesting our assistance. The donation of toys from the community and Jones College will help greatly,” said Laurel Salvation Army Major, Raymond Pruitt.

JCJC Fine Arts Division Chair, Mark Brown said he is happy about the big crowd attending the Christmas Show and donating presents. The music groups, JC Voices, JC Jazz, Bridge, along with the Touch of Gold Dance Team and theater students combined their talents to reward the crowd for their generosity with various traditional, new and jazzy Christmas songs and a show, directed by Bruce Smith.

“‘Santa’s Swingin’ Pajama Party’ was a tremendous success and I would like to thank the community for giving so generously to The Salvation Army Angel Tree Campaign. The students and faculty involved in the performance were pleased to have such a wonderful audience full of friends, young and old enjoying an entertaining show,” said Mark Brown.

For more information about the Angel Tree program, contact the Salvation Army at 601-428-4232 or go to For more information about the JC Fine Arts programs call at 601-477-4203. Follow JC Fine Arts on Facebook and Twitter.

Guest Stars in order of appearance

Jingle – Landon Williams of Waynesboro

Belle – Coco Caldwell of Laurel

Barbie – Sydney Brady of Madison

Ken – Jared Woullard of Leakesville

Mrs. Claus – Shaylee Thames of Petal


Members of JC Jazz

Dr. Ben Burge, Director

Joshua Anderson, Sandhill

John Harrison, Laurel

Kenton Henderson, Richton

Kendall Herrington, Enterprise

Sydney Herrington, Enterprise

Ryan Nowell, Ellisville

Hunter Gammil, Petal

Logan Donald, Ellisville

Michael Brown, Laurel

Bethany Miller, Ellisville

Linda Echenique, Laurel

Cole Johnson, Laurel

Clay Whitt, Vancleave

John Ivey, Petal

Zack Gregore, Petal

Matthew Dodd, Petal

Matthew Haight, Mobile, AL

Tristan Garrett, Laurel

Courtland Goff, Ellisville

Members of JC Voices

Dr. Susan A. Smith, Conductor

Ms. Jennifer Bruton, Assistant Director

Dr. David Goldblatt, Accompanist

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

Addison Nelms, Brandon

Lamar Saddler, Quitman

Jordan Sistrunk, Mize

Kendra Stevison, Lucedale

Alyssa White, Laurel

Davonzell Moncrief, Montrose

DeMoynedre Morgan, Houston

Eli McMellon, Moselle

Stuyuncey Nobles, Laurel

Caleb Pearce, Ellisville

Shellie Roberts, Ellisville

Members of The Bridge:

Dr. Susan A. Smith, Conductor

Mr. Gregory Wascoe, Assistant Director

Dr. David Goldblatt, Accompanist

James Bilbo, Ellisville

Jorge Castillo, Moselle

Kassidy Chandler, Laurel

Reagan Dukes, Laurel

Shedrick George, Laurel

Addison Nelms, Brandon

Davonzell Moncrief, Montrose

Caleb Pearce, Ellisville

Kendra Stevison, Lucedale

Touch of Gold Dancers

Anna Catherine Hampton, Petal High School

Sydney Jolly, Petal High School

Ryleigh Meadows, Petal High School

Lauryn Wheat, Petal High School

Sydney Beech, Laurel Christian High School

Rylee Gavin, South Jones High School

Lauren Hankins, Northeast Jones High School

Mary Hanna, South Jones High School

Holly James, South Jones High School

Taylor Martin, South Jones High School

Timber Prince, South Jones High School

Victoria Strickland, South Jones

Ashley Sumrall, West Jones High School

Courtney Thigpen, Laurel High School

Faith Lewis, Lawrence County

Julia Fairley, Richton High School

Victoria Carter, Brandon High School

Audrey Johnson, Warren Central High School

Lakeryia Lacey, Wayne County High School