Hattiesburg Art Council’s 2021 emerging artists inspire Jones College art students

ELLISVILLE – Two William Carey University and Jones College graduate’s artwork is currently on display at the Eula Bass Lewis Art Gallery on the campus of Jones College in Ellisville through February 19, 2024. Trinity Stewart of Ellisville recently shared her creative process with JC students and on Wednesday, February 14, at 1:30 p.m. in the Eula Bass Lewis Art Gallery, Janna Lewis of Stonewall will be giving her “Art Talk,” which is open to the public. Both students were selected as “Emerging Artists” in 2021, by the Hattiesburg Arts Council, and each artist has unique styles, according to their Jones College Art instructor, Melanie Eubanks.

“Trinity was always creating the most intricate pieces. She would build objects that included patterns and elaborate work which were usually difficult to piece together or display. Janna also worked on a different level of creativity, pushing herself to find unique ways to show off her art like using embroidery,” said Eubanks.

Stewart explained to Jones College art students during her recent Art Talk that functional art sells more often but she really enjoys working with intricate objects and trying different mediums and styles. Despite her dislike of creating large works of art, Stewart pieced together clay strips to form a large jug, then created bright butterflies to decorate the stoneware.

“This is what I tell students especially, give everything a try, different mediums, and styles. I guess my grandmother influenced me to explore art this way,” said Stewart.

Visitors will have to look closely at some of her unique artwork. Using a six-centimeter pottery wheel, she created a diminutive display of stoneware cups, pots, and vases, which also included her grandfather’s chair. Additionally, Stewart used embroidery hoops as her canvas to display small stoneware toggles, floral fasteners, and moth medallions.

“I aim to portray these oddities or unique objects in a playful manner through an exploration of pattern, color, and surface texture,” said Stewart. “Much of my work derives inspiration from the often-overlooked obscurities within nature, incorporating an insect motif throughout.”

Lewis’s artwork on display at Jones College also combines embroidery and painting. Her specialty or favorite genre is landscape painting, however, the graphic designer uses her creativity in designing logos and graphic illustrations to incorporate landscape designs. On display at the Eula Bass Lewis Art Gallery, are her ocean scenes from Cozumel and the Gulf Coast.

“I wanted to have contemporary compositions with a traditional palette, like Fairfield Porter, but I use photography to begin the process. Using Adobe Illustrator, I can create a graphic illustration of a landscape scene and use graphic shapes to show off the design, creating a landscape. This process gives me full control over color and shape, illustrating the importance of leaving things out,” said Lewis.

The unique graduate’s art show by Stewart and Lewis will be on display in the Eula Bass Lewis Art Gallery until February 20. For more information about upcoming JC art shows 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. To learn more about the Jones College Art Department, https://www.jcjc.edu/programs/finearts/ or the JC Art Department’s social media: Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/JCJCFineArts/ and on Instagram @artatjonescollege.

Jones College grad makes her mark & leaves a legacy of success

ELLISVILLE – Magee native and current Hattiesburg resident, Chanel Evans is “non-traditional” in every sense. After graduating from Columbia High School in 2003 and a brief taste of college life, Evans decided to take a break from academia. She thrived in the restaurant world as a young adult with companies like Popeyes and the Krystal Company. In 2021, she decided to return to college majoring in Psychology at Jones College. She graduated in May 2023 with two academic degrees, in addition to earning four certifications and she is almost finished with another degree.

“I’m a high performer; it just made sense to enroll in a second-degree plan,” said Evans. “This is for any student who felt discounted along their journey even if they’ve experienced imposter syndrome and have overcome any amount of adversity. Not only are you not the sum of your adversity, but just on the other side of fear is everything you desire.”

Evans is currently serving the Wendy’s Company as the Divisional Franchise Development Manager, by supporting the training of 400 restaurants in several states, through food safety, facilitating leadership and development workshops while also disseminating promotional product training sessions. After earning an associate degree in Psychology in 2023 from JC, she started her Bachelor of Arts in GST+: Diversity & Cultural Awareness with a minor in Criminal Justice at Southern New Hampshire University. In addition to juggling her job, she decided to return to classes at JC last fall to earn an associate of arts in general studies.

Chanel Evans (center) with her parents, Marvin Davis & Jeanette Davis.

“Upon acceptance into Southern New Hampshire University, I learned that I could transfer 30 free credits towards the completion of my bachelor’s degree, granting me 90 transferable credits in total. My love of Jones College and the Rho Sigma chapter of Phi Theta Kappa honor society alleviated the guesswork as to where I would complete the subsequent coursework.”

In April of 2023, Evans earned one of two spots from JC to be selected to the PTK All-Mississippi Academic Team and was nominated for the All-USA Academic Team, after earning a 4.0 GPA with all, online courses and accumulating many hours volunteering and assisting PTK and Jones College. Her hard work earned her an invitation to be a PTK officer for the 2023-24 academic year. 

“At our first meeting, she was one of the very first members to volunteer for all of our service projects,” said Sarah Ishee, Jones College Dean of Students and PTK Advisor. “All of our officers are wonderful, but she is so exceptional that everybody has really stepped up their game. She is that kind of a person, but she doesn’t realize that we all want to be better because of her. We genuinely see Chanel as a shining star. She makes us so proud with her message of love, working hard, and leadership!”

PTK headquarters also discovered her story and how PTK helped in her pursuit of educational greatness. In September, Evans was featured in a blog by the International Honor Society, which shared her story about being an online student actively involved in PTK. (https://www.ptk.org/2023/09/19/post-traditional-student-finds-her-place-at-community-college/)

“For years, I merely existed. I was a shell of my former self, tethered to the remnants of a life that did not measure up to societal norms. To share my story on such an immense platform required a profound level of vulnerability on my part. Admittedly, the perfectionist in me felt great reluctance but the survivor within hoped that the challenges I have overcome would serve as inspiration for my greater community.”

Chanel continues to share her story by actively helping others as the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society’s, Honors in Action Director. Last semester, Evans led a group of PTK students, with the assistance of Construction & Residential Maintenance students, in the purchase and delivery of toys, through a grant she procured, to Ellisville’s Loving Mother’s Day Care & Preschool.

“The Honors in Action Project’s focus was to identify the limitations to and effects of play in children of poverty. The daycare center director was tasked with evaluating the quality of play amongst her students before and after the recreational toy donations. After which, the Honors in Action Project Team quantified the impact of the project by analyzing the survey’s data prior to the submission of their findings to PTK Headquarters,” explained Evans.

A second component of the project involved Evans’ job. PTK introduced Wendy’s “Frosty Key Tags” to accomplish part of the project’s mission, which is to refine childhood disparities. The Frosty Key Tags enable the HIA Team to contribute to a local mission with a global impact because the Key Tags entitle the children of the daycare to one complimentary Jr. Frosty a day for the entire 2024 calendar year, at no cost. The Jones College PTK chapter is also soliciting permission from the Jones County Board of Supervisors to adopt Roosevelt Park in Laurel, under Evans’ leadership.

“I am committed to being of service in any capacity bestowed upon me to the very best of my ability. Their decisions are sound, and I am honored to contribute to Phi Theta Kappa, Jones College, and our community!” 

Evans also shared, “This leadership opportunity has been the stretch assignment that I never knew I needed, and I have never known this level of support! I now have the confidence to pursue my Ed. L.D. at the University of Southern Mississippi as a Golden Scholar following a master’s degree in organizational leadership and an Organizational Leadership Specialty Certificate from Harvard Business School. I begin grad school in May!”

As Evans continues to drive her own “brand” to new heights, she is honoring the one person who inspired her to reach her dreams. Chanel recently established a Jones College Foundation scholarship for a non-traditional Jones College student to honor her brother Rashad, who is the catalyst for her returning to college and who passed away in 2020. The Rashad Evans Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually each year for $1,000.  Evans hopes to be able to add to the scholarship in the years to come.

JC Dean of Students & PTK advisor, Sarah Ishee (right) is pictured with Chanel Evans who is holding a picture frame of her brother Rashad Evans.

“As a PTK advisor, faculty member, and now in administration, I don’t think I’ve ever known of another student who established a scholarship like Chanel,” said Sarah Ishee. “When she told me she was doing this, I was like, well of course Chanel is going to honor her brother in such a lasting way and in a way that is going to help other students because she pays it forward.”

The Jones College Foundation is now accepting scholarship applications for the Fall 2024/Spring 2025 academic year through the JC App. Applicants must be current Jones College students, maintain a minimum GPA of 2.50, and be enrolled full-time for the upcoming academic year.

“Even when I am not here, Rashad’s legacy will thrive and that opportunity will continue to enable others to accomplish their goals,” said Evans. “Donors are investing in the leaders of tomorrow, affording them boundless opportunities through their graciousness. This is just one way I can help.”

Jones College mourns the loss of former Ellisville Mayor and Jones College VP of Student Affairs

Tim & Pat Waldrup

ELLISVILLE – Employees of Jones College and the City of Ellisville, along with friends and colleagues across the state are mourning the loss of Thomas Mack or “Tim” Waldrup who passed away Wednesday, January 31, 2024. The Louin, Mississippi native was active in athletics at Bay Springs High School before attending Jones County Junior College. He continued his education at Mississippi State University majoring in forestry. While fighting brush fires in California and working on pipelines throughout the United States to earn college funds, he switched careers to education. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Delta State University, where he met his wife, Patricia of 54 years.

Waldrup taught at Bay St. Louis and Ruleville High School before landing a job at Jones College in 1967. Over Waldrup’s 34-year career at JCJC, he served the college as dean of men and vice president of Student Affairs. His wife Patricia also enjoyed a long career at JC as the cheerleading advisor and dean of women as Tim dedicated his life to shaping the lives of students through student government and other leadership opportunities.

“Mr. Waldrup had a profound impact on countless students including my wife, Jennifer, and me,” said Jones College President, Dr. Jesse Smith. “He was a very wise and frugal leader. His wit and charisma made it easy for him to connect with others. Mr. Waldrup was loyal and kind. The JC community will miss him dearly.”

Waldrup is credited with bringing recruiting efforts to new heights, which also brought record enrollment numbers during his career. He understood education was not confined to the classroom; it extends to the essence of a person.

“Tim came to JC a few years before I came to teach computer technology in 1974,” said Robert Landrum, retired Business Division Chair and Computer Information Systems Technology instructor. “We became good friends because we hunted together at the same deer camp and worked together every day. When he became the dean of students a couple of years after that, his goal was to increase student enrollment in academic as well as all the Vocational and Technical programs. Tim was “blind” as to where students went on campus, he just wanted JC to increase in enrollment. He encouraged the instructors to invite private industry to the campus to visit their programs and he also encouraged faculty to let him know if we had something interesting or new so we could invite the news media to come visit our programs. He was a real marketer of all programs on campus.”

Upon his retirement as the Ellisville Mayor, colleagues and friends spent a night “roasting” Tim Waldrup before he retired from public office in June 2017. Pictured left to right are, JC retired Presidents, Dr. Terrell Tisdale and Dr. Ronald Whitehead (seated), current JC President, Dr. Jesse Smith and his wife, Jennifer (standing), Martha Tisdale and Charlotte Whitehead (seated) and friends of Waldrup, Jennie and Robert Landrum.

JCJC graduate and retired journalism instructor, Rebecca Patrick assisted Waldrup with recruiting efforts for 10 years as the Director of Public Relations, before becoming the journalism instructor. Working in student affairs was never a dull moment with Waldrup, she explained.

“He was a prankster who loved a good joke, but he was all business at the same time,” said Patrick. “I learned a lot from Waldrup about how to work and have fun at the same time, how students and their growth were our main priority, and how a top-quality educational product will always attract top-quality students. He is an individual who, I believe, was uniquely called to be a servant of the people. Whether it was the thousands of students he assisted at Jones, or the citizens of Ellisville he served as mayor, Waldrup always worked to make lives better than they were. There is no possible way to put a number on how many lives he impacted during his lifetime.”

As Mayor of Ellisville in 2011, Tim Waldrup (left) gives Jones College Baseball Head Coach Christian Ostrander (right) the Key to the City after capturing the MACJC Championship.

After retiring from Jones in November 2001, Waldrup was elected mayor of Ellisville, becoming a public servant to his community. In this capacity, he continuously embodied unwavering dedication to the people of Ellisville. Serving 16 years as mayor allowed him to become president of the Mississippi Municipal League, thus improving his relationships and network and improving infrastructure and the quality of life for residents. In 2017, Waldrup retired for the last time, after 50 years of public service. Unfortunately, he was plagued by serious health issues until he succumbed to complications.

“Waldrup’s influence extended beyond his professional accomplishments. He was a loving husband, a devoted father, and a doting grandfather,” said his wife, Pat Waldrup. “His family was his pride and joy, and he cherished every moment spent with us. Waldrup’s wisdom, guidance, and unconditional love will continue to resonate through the generations, leaving an indelible mark on his family’s lives.”

Visitation will be at First Baptist Church of Laurel, on Saturday, February 3, 2024, from 12:30-2:30 pm. A memorial service will follow in the sanctuary at 2:30 pm. A private family burial service will follow. Pallbearers will be, Kaleb Robert Meeks (Grandson), Dylan Thomas Meeks (Grandson), Robert Landrum (Lifelong Friend), Dr. Ronald Whitehead (Professional/Close Friend), Donald Ray Barefoot (Nephew), and John Gentry (Nephew).

The Waldrup family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Tim Waldrup Leadership Scholarship at Jones College or the building fund at First Baptist Church of Laurel or First Baptist Church of Ellisville.

Jones College’s Livestock Show Team competing & thriving in 2nd year

ELLISVILLE – As the Jones College Livestock Show Team begins the spring semester, they are returning from Oklahoma City after attending the Cattlemen’s Congress. The team is adding 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place ribbons, after showing their Red Angus heifers on a bigger-than-life stage. According to the Cattlemen’s website, “The Cattlemen’s Congress is an opportunity for breeders across North America to showcase their top genetics and connect with fellow beef producers in a central location, in the heart of cattle country.” Livestock Show Team advisor and JC Agriculture Science instructor, Leanne Kilgore, said she was excited to be able to bring the team to network with some of the nation’s best cattlemen.

“To be a part of this show and place is an incredible accomplishment,” said Kilgore. “These students have been showing animals individually for 10 or 11 years, and to participate and place as a team is an enormous achievement.”

Sadie Morris showing her heifer at Cattlemen’s Congress in Oklahoma City. Picture by Mykenna Nettles

The JC Livestock Show Team also competed at the North American International Livestock Show in Louisville, Kentucky in November. Freshman Sadie Morris of Batesville said even though she’s far from home, Jones College and the team have become like “family” and the experiences her first semester have been very rewarding.

“This semester went great for me! The team works well together, and everyone seems to be enjoying it so far. We have so much fun working the heifers at the barn,” shared Morris. “We had our first show in November in Kentucky. While there, we got to go to Churchill Downs, sightsee, and eat great pizza!”

Returning to campus in December, the eight-member team consisting of Sadie Morris-Batesville; Tucker Woods-Seminary; Graham Gunn-Petal; Grant Goree-Lorena; Chase Boone-Raleigh; Bailey Blakeney-Magee; Collin Culpepper-Ellisville and Mykenna Nettles of Georgia, worked at the Farm Bureau Show in Jackson, for one week before returning to compete.

Chase Boone of Raleigh showing his heifer in Oklahoma City. Picture by Mykenna Nettles

“The students worked the ring and cleaned pens at the Farm Bureau Show and then went back the next week and showed three heifers. We had the Reserve Champion Red Angus Heifer in the Red Angus breed. It was a really good outing for the students because it takes time to learn to work together as a team,” explained Kilgore. “Being on the Livestock Show Team is different from how they grew up showing animals. As a team, they have to learn how to work with their peers at different levels and they have gelled well.”

In February, the team will venture to Houston for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo where they will show three or four of the six heifers the students manage.

“I’m looking forward to going to Houston this semester with the team,” said Morris. “It’s a major show that I haven’t been to, and it will also be a good experience for the team. I’m excited to see what else this semester has to offer!” 

Before they head to Texas, a lot of care and cleaning of the heifers will ensure they are ready for the show. The Team is divided in half with the leader of each team responsible for ensuring the group completes the daily chores. Not only does the team clean, groom, and brush the heifers daily, but they also make sure the pens and barn are clean and maintained, keep a check on the feed inventory, and share pictures and publicity on social media.

“This allows the team leader to develop some leadership skills,” said Kilgore. “I can tell them but at some point, these students have to learn responsibility and build leadership skills. It can be a little frustrating as they work through the process, but If I come and run it for them, they don’t learn any true leadership skills. It’s great seeing them pull together like a family.” 

While freshman Collin Culpepper of Ellisville enjoys being able to be on the Livestock Show Team, he is looking forward to how the experience of working with animals will enhance his career in biology.

Grant Goree showing his heifer in Oklahoma City. Picture by Mykenna Nettles

“Being able to continue working with show cattle provides me the opportunity to continue the application of theory and principles in daily life throughout the show barn. Although I have shown cattle most of my life, the Jones College Livestock Show Team provides the opportunity to further my show career on a collegiate level,” said Culpepper.

Later this spring, the Livestock Show Team will be moving into their new show barn which should make it easier to tend to the animals. Livestock Team members receive a full tuition scholarship for their service and are required to live in the dorms on campus. For more information about the state’s only Livestock Show Team, click the link for application and information at, JC Livestock Show Team, contact Leanne Kilgore by email at leanne.kilgore@jcjc.edu or by phone at 601-477-4261, and for more information about the Agribusiness, Agriculture, and Poultry Science at the links, https://www.jcjc.edu/programs/agricultural/ and https://www.jcjc.edu/programs/poultryscience/

JCJC President, Dr. Terrell Tisdale’s legacy; the foundation of Jones College

ELLISVILLE – Jones College’s third president, Dr. Terrell Tisdale will be remembered as the “Building President,” with a larger-than-life career that touched thousands of students’ lives. The 86-year-old peacefully passed away at Forrest General Hospital’s Palliative Care Unit in Hattiesburg, on Saturday, January 20, 2024.

“His visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to education have left an indelible mark on the college, the broader educational community, and thousands of alumni,” said current Jones College President, Dr. Jesse Smith. “His dedication to the development of our institution has shaped countless lives, and his legacy will continue to inspire future generations.”

Tisdale began his 42-year career in education at Ellisville Elementary School before launching a 37-year career at JCJC in 1960. Serving as dean of men and assistant to the president, before being selected as the third President of JCJC in 1970, Tisdale was the first president to have attended both Jones County Agricultural High School and Jones County Junior College, now called Jones College. While in school, Tisdale played tuba in the band, and he drove the bus for the JCJC transportation department as a student worker. Furthermore, he served his country for eight years, from 1955 through 1963, in the United States Army and the Mississippi National Guard.

He retired as president of JCJC in 1997 yet continued to serve in higher education as an adjunct professor at the University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey University and as legislative liaison from 2000-2007. The Mississippi Legislature recognized him for his many years of distinguished service in higher education.

2006 Homecoming-Dr. Ronald & Charlotte Whitehead, Dr. Jesse & Jennifer Smith & Dr. Terrell and Martha Tisdale.

“Dr. Tisdale was honored by the JCJC Foundation with his cohorts, president emeritus, Dr. Ronald Whitehead, and retired V.P. of student affairs, Tim Waldrup as Honor Alumni in 2010 for their service and the indelible impact on the college. The three were leading administrators during the nearly 30 years they worked at JCJC, guiding the thriving college into the 21st century,” said Smith. “Tisdale was also inducted into the USM Alumni Hall of Fame, where he earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees.”

Tim Waldrup

Individually, Tisdale’s legacy is the very foundation of Jones County Junior College because he is responsible for either building or renovating every building on campus during his 27 years as president of the college. The Old President’s House is the only remaining building original to the campus, along with the three wisteria arbors and stone wall. 

“Over 25 years, 26 buildings were constructed on campus under Tisdale’s leadership. New buildings included Covington, Clarke, Greene, Jasper, Smith, and Wayne dormitories, the current President’s House, the Community Services Center, the Hutchison-Hubbard Administration Building, D.O. Thoms Sr. P.E. Building, the C.L. Neill Student Center which includes the cafeteria and Student Center, the Academic Support Center, Bobcat Field House, Visual Arts Center and Eula Bass Lewis Art Gallery, King Chemistry Center, Alfred and Adella Foote Chapel, the Welding Building, Sports Complex, Smith Hall, the Student Activities Building, the Stringer-Huff Business Building, the Terrell Tisdale Library, Allied Health Center, the Life Sciences Center, and the Industrial Service Center.

Additionally, renovations were made to the Agricultural, Horticultural, M.P Bush Fine Arts, Home and Health Services, Bush-Young Stadium, Center for the Humanities, the Mathematics Center, the J.B. Young Technical Business Center and the Thomas H. Harris Science buildings.  

Tisdale, with his wife, Martha, and son, J.T., who grew up on the JCJC campus, continued to engage in campus events long after the education giant retired in 1997. J.T. and Heather’s children, Thomas Reese, George Grayson and Margaret Ansley often joined the Tisdale’s for activities on campus.

A native of the Boggy Community, which is located west of Ellisville, Tisdale served on the boards of numerous organizations including the Lions Club, Boy Scouts of America, Phi Theta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, Mississippi Junior College Association, and Laurel Community Concert Association. While living in Ellisville, the Tisdale’s were members of the First Baptist Church of Ellisville and after retiring and moving to Hattiesburg, they joined Main Street Baptist Church.