Co-Lin psychology instructors recently attended the Child Advocacy Studies Training conference in Jackson. The conference raises awareness of child abuse issues and methods used to identify and report these crimes against children. Attending the conference were from left, Neisha Leggett and Melnee Berry, both of the Wesson Campus; Dr. Victor Vieth, founder/director of the Gunderson Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse; and Kathy Graves of the Simpson County Center. The program is a collaboration between the State Attorney General’s Office, Mississippi Department of Human Services, and Silent Tears. David Higgs, Co-Lin Social Science Division Chairperson and Joe Swoveland, Social Science Instructor Natchez Campus, attended the initial planning meeting of the conference earlier in the fall.
Eleven Co-Lin nursing students on the Wesson Campus have received a Boyne Foundation scholarship through the Co-Lin Foundation. The $1,800 scholarship is awarded to students in the health care field. Recipients are pictured front row from left, Dusti Rawls of Bogue Chitto, Melody Smith of Brookhaven, Jessica Jackson of Wesson, Mary Catherine Franklin of Brookhaven; back row from left, Jamie Riley of Prentiss, Emily Blakeney of Terry, Alayna Hood of Wesson, Rebekah Bullock and Gunner Ard, both of Monticello. Not pictured are Erin Goldsmith and Kelli Rego, both of Brookhaven. The Co-Lin Foundation receives and manages gifts to benefit Co-Lin, its students and faculty.
Construction has begun on the pedestrian corridor on the Wesson Campus that will upgrade and re-establish walking access to the historic sections of the campus. The project will make several health, fitness and recreational areas and activities on campus safe and easily accessible to the citizens of the Town of Wesson and to the college population. This includes pedestrian walkways, landscaping and connectivity to the city through existing pedestrian walkways and paths.
“We are very excited to finally get the Pedestrian Corridor project started at Co-Lin,” said Co-Lin President Dr. Ronnie Nettles. “It has been a three year process of planning and preparation but when finished will transform the appearance of our campus. I am very grateful to our staff for getting us to this point, especially Dr. Jeff Posey who wrote the original grant proposal and was very involved during the engineering and design process. All of us are very grateful to the Mississippi Department of Transportation and especially central district Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall for their assistance and support in securing the funds for this project.”
Funds for the pedestrian corridor is provided by a $1 million federal grant through the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) for the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP).
The TAP program works with local public agencies such as municipalities and community college districts to construct, plan and design facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists and other non-motorized forms of transportation.
"It will transform our campus and have a positive and lasting impact on generations of students at Co-Lin," said Nettles. "This project will complete our plan to move vehicle parking to the outer areas of campus and will allow the center of our campus to become a safe and accessible area for students."
The approximate completion date for the project is July 2016.
In 2014, Co-Lin was awarded a Round 4 Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant to create the Southeastern Transportation Network consortium. The grant is a four state consortium allowing the expansion and improved delivery of career training programs that can be completed in two years or less. The grant focus is on careers in the transportation industry. Through this grant initiative, Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s Natchez campus has developed a beneficial partnership with Jordan Carriers, a successful Natchez trucking business who was one of the signature sponsors supporting the grant.
Beginning in the 2015 fall semester, Co-Lin’s Natchez campus will offer a two-year Diesel Technology program. However, to start the program a strong partnership was needed. Thanks to the support of Charles Jordan, owner of Jordan Carriers, a partnership has been created.
As part of the partnership, the company offered off-campus lab facilities to the Diesel Technology classes while the new facilities at the Natchez campus are being completed. They have also agreed to provide resources to the college to assist in student learning.
This TAACCCT grant encourages students from diverse educational backgrounds including high school graduates, GED students, veterans, underemployed, and unemployed workers to pursue a new career pathway.
The program will use the MI-BEST teaching model, which provides two teachers in the classroom, with both having responsibility for students being two year completers. Major features of the MI-Best model include team teaching with a basic skills instructor and the technical instructor, an integrated curriculum to enhance basic skill competencies, career pathways to assist students with training and advancement, support and coaching through student barriers with assistance from the College Navigator, and employment transition for students. This integrated approach is a best practices that has proven to lead to greater success in the workforce. In addition to the TAACCCT funding, Co-Lin will leverage funds through additional grant funding received from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to assist in the deliverables of this program.
Without the support of businesses like Jordan Carriers, the Natchez program would not be starting with maximum enrollment for its inaugural class.
This is a great success story for Copiah-Lincoln Community College and Natchez/Adams County area.
The Co-Lin Alumni Association honored five outstanding faculty and staff members during the annual fall convocation on the Wesson Campus and will also recognize the group during the alumni luncheon at Homecoming on Oct. 3.
Those honored were Amy Case of Brookhaven, Blake Oberschmidt of Wesson and Velesta Young of Wesson, all from the Wesson Campus; Amanda Hood of Utica, Natchez Campus; and Bryon Conville of Mendenhall, Simpson County Center.
Case was selected as outstanding academic instructor of the year. She has been employed at Co-Lin since 2002 and began her career at Co-Lin working part-time in the humanities lab before returning to school to receive a bachelor’s degree from The University of Southern Mississippi and a master’s degree from American InterContinental University. Today she serves as a Beginning and Intermediate English instructor.
She is active in the Mississippi Association of Developmental Education organization and is a member of Brookway Church of Christ where she teaches Bible class. She is married to Jason Case and they have a daughter, Jaycee.
Oberschmidt was selected as outstanding career/technical instructor of the year. He has been employed at Co-Lin since 2010 and serves as program coordinator of Automotive Technology
He is a graduate of Co-Lin’s automotive program. Prior to Co-Lin, he worked at Stan King Chevrolet for over 14 years. He is an ASE Master Certified Auto Technician and attends Strong Hope Baptist Church. He is married to Sandy Oberschmidt and they have two children, Kayla and Preston.
Young was selected as outstanding staff member of the year. She has been employed at Co-Lin since 1996. She is a graduate of West Lincoln Attendance Center and serves as accounts payable manager in the Business Office.
She is a member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church where she serves on the building and grounds committee. She is married to Gwyn Young and they have two children, Lane Young and Jessica Hynum, and five grandchildren.
Hood was selected as outstanding faculty/staff member for the Natchez campus. She has been employed at Co-Lin since 2011 and serves as a mathematics instructor and Phi Theta Kappa advisor. She received an associate’s degree from Co-Lin, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Mississippi College, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at Mississippi State University.
Prior to Co-Lin, she was a math teacher and tennis coach at Hillcrest Christian School and a mathematics instructor at Hinds Community College. She is a member of Mathematical Association of America and Pine Bluff Baptist church, and serves as director of the Mississippi Regional Science Olympiad. She is a recipient of the Howell Garner High Performance Award and the SOAR Golden Apple Award. She is an avid runner, having completed several half marathons and marathons and was Mississippi Track Club’s Grand Prix Champion in 2012. She is married to Charles Hood and has a stepdaughter, Lauren and a grandson, Bryson.
Conville was selected as outstanding faculty/staff member for the Simpson County Center. He has been employed at Co-Lin since 2005 and serves as librarian and teaches English Composition and British Literature courses. He received a bachelor’s degree from Auburn University and a master’s degree from the University of Alabama.
Prior to Co-Lin, he was a librarian in Charlotte, North Carolina and at the Canton Public Library. He personally built the entire collection at the Taylor Library at the Simpson Center. He is a recipient of the Howell Garner High Performance Award and serves as a Boy Scout Leader. He is married to Alison Conville and they have two children, Daniel and Michael.