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Meghan L.  Johnson, a graduate Co-Lin and graduate of Delta State University and Crystal Springs native, was recently awarded the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship valued at $30,000 per year for her medical training at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine in Jackson at the annual scholarship ceremony.  Johnson is the daughter of Bruce and Selena Johnson of Crystal Springs, MS.

Created in 2007, the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program (MRPSP) is designed to provide more primary care physicians in rural areas of Mississippi.  During medical school, each MRPSP scholar receives $30,000 per year based on available funding. Consistent legislative support of the MRPSP translates to 60 medical students receiving a total of $1,800,000 to support their education this fall.  In addition to the legislative support, 5 privately funded scholarships are also awarded this year. Other benefits include personalized mentoring from practicing rural physicians and academic support. 

Upon completion of medical training, MRPSP scholars must enter a residency program in one of five primary care specialties: family medicine, general internal medicine, medicine-pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology or pediatrics. The MRPSP Scholar must provide four years of service in a clinic-based practice in an approved Mississippi community of 20,000 or fewer population located more than 20 miles from a medically served area.

MRPSP provides a means for rural Mississippi students to earn a seat in medical school and to earn a $120,000 medical school scholarship in return for four years of service and learn the art of healing from practicing rural physicians.

For more information, contact MRPSP Associate Director Dan Coleman at 601-815-0564, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or http://mrpsp.umc.edu.

Co-Lin was recently awarded a $50,000 grant by the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi for the implementation of the Complete Co-Lin program. Co-Lin was one of eight Mississippi organizations to be awarded a portion of the $405,000 from the 2016 Access to Opportunity/ Community College Focus Area grants given by the Women’s Foundation.

Co-Lin will use grant funds to develop a “Corequisite Remediation” program that will assist 60 women in English Composition I and College Algebra courses, offering extra instruction and support along the way. Participants will be tutored and advised to ensure program completion and to enhance the opportunity for them to earn substantial income for their families. Additionally, the project will host a series of informational sessions that will introduce women to non-traditional career fields and help to guide them in making career and educational decisions. Partnership with community organizations and local businesses will allow for topics in resume writing, S.T.E.M. professions, and interview techniques to be discussed at the series of lunch-and-learns. Female professionals will present program topics whenever possible.

Dr. Jill Logan wrote and submitted the grant proposal with assistance from Dr. Tim Lea who will serve as Project Coordinator. A focus group has been created to oversee the implementation of the grant money over the next two years. For more information on the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi visit http://www.womensfoundationms.org/.

CUTLINE: The focus group for the recent $50,000 grant awarded to Co-Lin by the Women's Foundation of Mississippi include seated from left, Susie Patrick, College Navigator; Jackie Martin, Dean of Career, Technical and Workforce Education; standing from left, Eddie Britt, Mathematics/Computer Science Division Chair; Beverly Barnes, Academic Counselor, Dr. Jill Logan, Dean of Academic Instruction; Amy Cupit, Mathematics Instructor; Mary Warren, Humanities Division Chair; Amye Howell, I-Best Instructor; Dr. Suzanne Johnson, Program Coordinator of Business and Office Technology; and Dr. Tim Lea, Director of Veterans Services/Project Coordinator.

Graduating from Co-Lin’s Licensed Practical Nursing program are sitting from left, Keretha Jowers of Crystal Springs, Pam Buchanan of Monticello, Shana Schede of Silver Creek, Sharon Porter Perryman of Hazelhurst, and Kimberly Forman of Brookhaven; standing from left, Amber Brumfield of Columbus, Jessica Earl of Brookhaven, Amanda Wallace of Brookhaven, Kia Williams of Brookhaven, Kelsey Johnson of Crystal Springs, Stephanie Wicks of Jackson, and Alyse Reynolds of Meadville.

Co-Lin has been named one of the best colleges in the nation to work for according to a new survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education, a top trade publication for colleges and universities.

The results were released in The Chronicle’s ninth annual report on The Academic Workplace, are based on a survey of 281 colleges and universities.

Only 93 of the institutions that applied for the program achieved “Great College to Work For” recognition. Results are reported for small, medium, and large institutions, with Co-Lin included among the medium colleges and universities with 3,000 to 9,999 students.

Co-Lin was one of only three community colleges in Mississippi and one of only 25 two-year colleges in the nation to receive the honor this year. Three of the state’s four-year colleges and universities also receive the recognition.

Co-Lin was recognized in the categories Confidence in Senior Leadership, leaders have the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary for the success of the college; Job Satisfaction, there is an overall sense that the job is meaningful to the employee and to the college.; and Professional/Career Development Programs, employees get chances to develop skills and understand requirements for career advancement.

“We are very pleased to be included among the listing of colleges and universities that have been recognized as ‘Great Colleges to Work For,’ said Co-Lin President Dr. Ronnie Nettles. “For over 100 years, Co-Lin employees have impacted the lives of our students and the communities we serve and we have been blessed with instructors and staff who truly care about the success of our students.”

Great Colleges to Work For is one of the largest and most respected workplace-recognition programs in the country.

“The colleges and universities that make the list are highly rated by their employees for creating great working environments, an important achievement that helps them recruit top academic and administrative talent,” said Liz McMillen, editor of The Chronicle.

To administer the survey and analyze the results, The Chronicle worked with ModernThink LLC, a strategic human capital consulting firm that has conducted numerous “Best Places to Work” programs, surveying hundreds of thousands of employees nationwide.

The survey rates institutions on 12 categories in the fields of leadership, careers, the workplace, and compensation.

The survey results are based on a two-part assessment process: an institutional audit that captured demographics and workplace policies, and a survey administered to faculty, administrators, and professional support staff. The primary factor in deciding whether an institution received recognition was the employee feedback.

For more information and to view all the results of the survey, visit The Chronicle’s Web site http://chronicle.com/interactives/greatcolleges16

Co-Lin’s SeaWolves Underwater Robotics Engineering (S.U.R.E.) team finished in eighth place at the 2016 Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) International Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Competition recently held in Houston, Texas at the NASA Johnson Space Center’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab. The S.U.R.E team also captured the 2016 Design Elegance Award for the vehicle that incorporates aesthetics, simplicity, and functionality into its design.

The 2016 MATE Competition centered on the exploration of the waters of Europa, a moon of Jupiter, as well as the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The Neutral Bouyancy Lab was a fitting venue for the competition as it is the same pool in which NASA astronauts train on the replica of international space station.

According to the MATE ROV competition manual, the request for proposals of this year’s competition requires a “first-of-its-kind, dual purpose remotely operated vehicle that can operate in the harsh environments of both the deep ocean and outer space. Specifically, scientists and engineers at these organizations are in need of a robot that can 1) survive transport to Jupiter’s moon Europa and operate in the ocean under its ice sheet to collect data and deploy instrumentation; 2) find and recover critical equipment that sank in the Gulf of Mexico after a recent series of testing programs; 3) collect samples and analyze data from oil mats located in the northern Gulf of Mexico to determine their origin ; 4) photograph and collect samples of deep-water corals to assess their health post-Deepwater Horizon oil spill; and 5) prepare a wellhead for decommission and conversion into an artificial reef.”

S.U.R.E. entered this year’s competition with the hopes of capitalizing on a very successful year in 2015. However, just days before leaving for Houston, the SeaWolf V ROV started to experience technical difficulty with faulty parts that sent the team scrambling to troubleshoot and make needed repairs. With the needed parts replaced, the team entered into the first run of the competition; unfortunately, the first hardware outage led to a second in another location rendering a scoreless first run. The second run was the next morning which gave the team all night to reroute the robot operations in order to have a semi-functioning ROV the next morning. The SeaWolf V was not at 100 percent, but the team worked hard to overcome the faulty equipment and was able to complete a portion of the second run missions before the ROV ceased operating.

Team scoring is based on safety inspection, product demonstration (mission completion), engineering presentation, technical documentation and company marketing display. Despite technical troubles, S.U.R.E. made big accomplishments in all other areas of the 2016 competition. The safety inspection earned the team the full amount of points (40) which made them one of only eight teams who received all available points. In addition, the team presented the best scored engineering presentation to date. The SeaWolves rated third overall in their high-pressure verbal presentation and question/answer session to industry representatives. In the technical documentation and marketing display categories, the team saw score improvements over previous years.  Although the mission run was a challenge, S.U.R.E. came away with a very positive learning experience this year.

Dr. Kevin McKone, faculty advisor shared the team’s excitement about the 2016 competition experience. “It has been a privilege to work with another really great group of students,” McKone said. “Even with electronic issues at the competition, we came in eighth internationally out of 31 teams and the team was recognized for the best designed robot, which is really outstanding. I am very proud of this team.”

Sponsors and friends of the 2016 S.U.R.E. team include Georgia – Pacific LLC, Monticello Division, Brookhaven Country Club, Exxon Mobil, I-55 Engineering, Canvas Next Door, Concens, Tim Jones, Josh Hart, SeaTrepid, Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Copiah-Lincoln Community College Foundation, Co-Lin Workforce Education, Dr. Ronnie Nettles, Dr. Jane Hulon, Jackie Martin, Dr. Jill Logan, Howard Johnson and the MATE Center.

For more information about SeaWolf Underwater Robotics Engineering (S.U.R.E.), please contact team marketing staff advisor Dr. Kevin McKone at 601.643.8450 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Follow S.U.R.E. on Facebook (www.facebook.com/colinseawolves) or Twitter (@colinseawolves).

For more information about the MATE ROV competition, visit www.marinetech.org/rov-competition/.

CUTLINE: Members of the S.U.R.E Company attending the 2016 MATE international ROV competition are from left, Lauren Westrope (CEO, PR, Drafting), Thomas Westrope (Assistant Pilot, Precision Machining, Drafting), Reginald King (Pilot, Engineer, Electronics), all of Wesson; Bryan Miles (Missions Facilitator, Engineer, Electronics), and Colby Phillips (Safety, Drafting), both of Brookhaven and Blake Pryor (CFO, Technical Writer, English) of Laurel. Not pictured are Philip Dinicola II (Drafting, Fundraising) of Wesson, and mentors Dr. Kevin McKone, Carey Williamson, Wes Burkett, and Celeste Williamson.

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