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Pulling Double Duty: Handling two full-time jobs

 

Throughout our lives, we all face difficulties in our workforce where it seems that we can barely keep our heads above water. Now, multiply this by two and you have the stressful, chaotic, fulfilling and fun life of a Sports Information Director (SID)/assistant baseball coach.

This is Dan Rives and I fill both of these roles at Hinds Community College. This is the first of a two-part series, with the first installment describing my morning (and oftentimes, evening) job as SID. The second installment, which will come at a later date, will deal with my other full-time role as an assistant baseball coach.

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Yes, as noted, this is a stressful and chaotic role, or roles as I should say, but they are both fulfilling and fun as well.

I get to witness first-hand the outstanding athletic abilities of our student-athletes here at Hinds, both from a coverage standpoint in the Public Relations office, as well as serving as an assistant baseball coach for the Hinds baseball team, a powerhouse program that played for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) national championship in Enid, Okla., in 2014.

It would be nearly impossible and much too long of a read if I described to you the wide-ranging things that come across my desk here on a daily basis, but I will condense it down to give you an idea of what goes on here in the PR office.

I usually get to the office a little before 8 a.m. on a daily basis and like all of us, the first thing I do is check my email, which the length varies from day-to-day. During the football season, my Inbox may be filled to capacity with photo requests of action shots, updated rosters, press box requests, etc., as well as invitations to meetings to attend within our campus where we go over all of the pregame, in-game and halftime announcements and goings on for our home football games.

The next thing that I do is check for notifications on the social media outlets for the Hinds CC athletics department. It is part of my duty to update the Hinds current and alumni fan base on all events that are happening right now and in the near future in order to keep our fan following abreast of the many great things that our athletic department does.

Once these two things are taken care of, which both are checked constantly throughout the day and night, it is then on to the constantly changing tasks that I need to take care of, including the handling of our athletics website, www.hindsccsports.com.

The updating and additions to the website could be another full-time job in itself, and I consider this to be our main source of information, so it must be updated and added to on a daily basis. This includes, but is not limited to, rosters, coaches’ bios, staff directory, facilities, releases, schedules, upcoming tryouts, etc., etc.

Fortunately for me, I am able to add high-quality action and headshots of our athletes and coaches due to the work of Tracy Duncan, who works hand-in-hand with me in his role of Sports Marketing/Photography.

The role that he plays for our department is one of long hours and constant movement, as he shoots action photos, as well as team and individual photos of ALL 12 sports both here on the Raymond Campus and of the basketball teams on the Utica Campus of Hinds Community College.

We are able to provide our fan base, and parents especially, with the best action shots around of their children and family members in Hinds attire and on the playing fields and courts.

Another large part of what I do, which is again with Tracy’s help, is the production of media guides for many of our athletic teams. Much like the website, these guides provide our fans with an up-close look at the players and coaches of our teams.

I also spend a major chunk of time on the handling of statistics for each of our sports. Obviously I cannot attend every sporting event, so I get a large amount of help from our coaching staff in inputting these stats on the NJCAA website. In order for our student-athletes to be nominated for individual awards at the conclusion of their competitive seasons, ALL of their stats must be updated on the national site, so as you can imagine, this is a critical item.

I personally attend each and every football game, and have for years, in order for our statistics to be up-to-date and correct, and this can be a daunting task, especially on the nights we travel to the highest and lowest points of the state of Mississippi, meaning we arrive back to the town of Raymond well after midnight on Thursday nights (or should I say Friday mornings).

Once the stats are compiled each week, I will then put them on the NJCAA site and send my nominations for Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) Player of the Week to Blake Long, the SID at Northeast Community College, who compiles them into a file and sends this out to the other SIDs in the league for us to vote on.

As mentioned, I could add a laundry list of other tasks and duties that I come across on a daily basis, some planned, but most unplanned, and items that are asked to be done ASAP, which is a relative term.

I will say this, as busy as this job can sometimes be, it is extremely fulfilling to watch one of our teams here at Hinds come away with a victory. I see the long hours and hard work that each of our players and coaches put forth, so it is nice to see the effort come to fruition.

In the second installment, I will discuss the inner workings of what takes place in an elite college baseball program.

Behind the Scenes at The Miss Hinds Pageant 2015

 

Five Hinds Community College students competed for the title of Miss Hinds Community College 2015 on Jan. 22. As the multimedia specialist for Hinds, I spent some time backstage with the five contestants - Anney Pearson, Courtney Helom, Kaylee Scroggins, Shaniva Thomas and Maggie Shoultz, who won the title – as they made their final preparations before going on stage.

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In the basement of Cain-Cochran Hall the ladies get ready for the pageant. 

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Contestant Shaniva Thomas getting ready. 

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Contestants prepare for the Miss Hinds Community College 2015 Pageant.

 

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Kaylee Scroggins has her friends assist with makeup.

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Courtney Helom, who was named most beautiful at the Eagle Beauty Revue, curls her hair before the pageant. 

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Maggie Shoultz contours. 

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Courtney Helom talks with Miss Hinds 2014 Porsha Gatson. 

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Anney Pearson has help getting ready from her little sister. 

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Maggie Shoultz before the pageant begins. 

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Miss Hinds Community College 2014 Porsha Gatson meets with the new contestants to give them encouragement. 

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"I feel like Cinderella." -Anney Pearson 

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Contestants prepare moments before the pageant begins. 

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Kaylee Scroggins performs a jazz routine to Adele’s “Rumor Has It.” 

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Contestant Shaniva Thomas sings Houston & Carey “When You Believe” during the talent competition. 

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Maggie Shoultz is crowned Miss Hinds Community College 2015. 

 

IT Bits and Bytes: GoodBye! Go.Hinds

 

Your Go.Hinds file storage is going away.  If you have files stored there that you wish to keep, please save them to your computer hard drive.  This will not happen automatically, you will have to move them.  They can later be uploaded to OneDrive.

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This will happen very soon.  At the time that Go.Hinds disappears, you will not have another chance to save those files and we will not be able to retrieve them.  If you need help in getting your files moved, call the Support Center at 601-857-3344.

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Hard work pays off for SEC bound Dennis

 
Throughout Gene Murphy's tenure as head coach the Hinds Community College football program has developed some of the best talent to ever come through the state of Mississippi. Sophomore defensive back Kenya Dennis is a prime example of a player that needed the community college experience to reach the next level.

Dennis was a star on and off the field for Leland High School, a 2A school in a small delta town in Washington County.

"I heard Hinds had a great program my senior year and shortly after that they began to recruit me," said Dennis.

Dennis' position coach during the 2012 season, Chris Mattox, now at Coahoma Community College said, "We recruited Kenya because he was big, physical, and athletic, three things everyone wants in a corner. However, the type of person he is made me believe he would become a future SEC player."

A few months after his freshman season Dennis received a written scholarship offer from University of Missouri and in June of this year, he committed.

"It has always been my dream to play in the SEC," said Dennis. "Head coach Gene Murphy and his staff has done a fabulous job preparing me for the SEC and I cannot wait to go head to head with the best receivers in college football."

"Kenya is a physical freak of nature," said secondary coach Clarence McDougal. "He has tremendous heart, a high motor, and has great knowledge for the game."

It's that time again!

 

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Well yall, its that time again! School is back in session.

How was everyones summer? Mine was pretty amazing!! I managed to get alot done, but also enjoy the bright sun and cold swimming pools and lakes. I have now made it through my second week in new classes, and a new campus with new faces! I started at Hinds in Raymond last semester, but am taking classes on the Rankin campus now. I must say the Rankin campus is alot different than Raymond in many ways!

Luckily, all of my classes are in the same building for my busy days, and classes on my shorter days are the only ones in a different building. It would have been very stressful trying to walk or drive from building to building for my next class considering they are all back to back. At Raymond, all the buildings were close enough to walk-but not here!

Although I really like this campus, I do miss the cafeteria food at Raymond everyday (as weird as that sounds). Another thing I miss is all the new friends I made at the Raymond campus, but I am slowly making more new friends here at Rankin campus as well.

I hope everyone had an enjoyable summer and I wish the best for your school year at Hinds!

GO EAGLES!!

For education inspiration, try the obituary page

 

If you’re an adult who would like to go back to college but you’re afraid to, perhaps you should read the obituary of a lady The Clarion-Ledger, including on Aug. 26, the day I read it.

I’m in the habit of looking over the obituaries almost every day. I’ve gotten to the age, ahem, when I might know someone.

I don’t know Dr. L.C. Dorsey or her family at all. But her obituary caught my eye.

She was born in 1938. She left high school in her senior year “to become a wife and mother of six children.” In 1968, at the age of 30, she returned to school and received a GED, which is a high school equivalency certificate. But as the title of her obituary implies, she didn’t stop there.

Dr. Dorsey received a master’s degree in social work, a certificate in Health Management from John Hopkins University and a doctorate in Social Work from Howard University.

“She also studied in Israel, the People’s Republic of China, Kazakhstan, India, Russia and South Africa,” it says.

Wow.

She left behind six children, seven grandchildren, one great-grandson. Her family requests memorial gifts to be made to Tougaloo College, “which she loved dearly.”

I googled Dr. Dorsey and found a long and impressive career in public service in Mississippi. I won’t detail all that here. You can do the same and find what I found.

But if you’re on the fence about whether it’s “too late” to go back to school and get your GED, or “too late” to enroll in Hinds Community College and work on your associate degree, or “too late” to enroll in that bachelor’s or graduate program, just think about this: Every year you have a birthday. Every year you’re another year older. Those birthdays keep on coming, no matter what is going on in your life. Would you rather have your next birthday with another year wasted and no progress made? Or would you rather have that birthday come with the realization you are in the process of completing an educational goal on your bucket list?

I have a birthday coming up, one of those scary landmark ones that make you realize that time is marching on. Today, Aug. 26, is also the first day of my first class in the master’s program I enrolled in. I won’t lie – I’m nervous. But if Dr. Dorsey can do it, so can I.

If you’re interested in enrolling in Hinds and getting started, second eight-week classes begin on Oct. 15.

To get started, go to our website at www.hindscc.edu.

 

My Experience and Success at Hinds Community College

 

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Wow, I cannot believe that I am an official graduate of Hinds Community College. To this day, I still look back on the day in kindergarten when my teacher Mrs. Stewart asked me what I wanted to do when I grow up and my response was that I was going to graduate high school, go to Ole Miss and then medical school. As Hinds would end up being the first detour along the way to destination future, I am proud of my accomplishments up to this point. I encourage new Hinds students to be involved on campus and take advantage of all the opportunities offered.

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Me in Kindergarten with Stewie the bear :) 

Instead of going straight to Ole Miss, I was informed about an honors program at Hinds Community College in Raymond. I would later go with my dad to register for classes. At the time, I thought I would be commuting back and forth between school and home. After I turned in my cap and gown after high school graduation, I was told of a Resident Assistant (RA) postion that would guarantee housing for me at Hinds.


Unlike most students who get a feel of the school after classes start, I moved into Marshall Hall a few weeks prior for RA training. Although being an RA is time consuming, I managed to be involved in other campus orginizations such as RHA, ASG, honors program, public relations and biology club. Each of these orginizations benefitted me as a person and helped mold me into the person I am today.


Where did I find the time to be so involved on campus? As a college student, we must learn time management and I improved managing my time over the past two years.

My first semester as a writer for the Hindsonian, introduced me to faculty, staff, and other students who are a part of the Hinds family. This helped me in other orginizations as well, and I learned to communicate with people I didn't know well. I enjoyed writing for the newspaper and I know that I can look back on this and know I have improved not only in communication with others, but also as a writer. 

RHA opened up many doors for me. It was my membership in RHA that paved the way for my future endeavors. Over the past two years, I have been to both Ole Miss and Mississippi State University in order to attend MREAL leadership conferences. My first year attending would be the first time I would step foot onto the Ole Miss campus and I knew that it is exactly where I want to go after graduating from Hinds. Athough this was a good experieince, nothing could prepare me for what accomplishments I would have at MSU. While attending the MREAL conference at MSU this past February, I was introduced to a Housing Department falculty member from Ole Miss who works with the RAs, I was elected as the 2013-2014 Associate Director of Communications. The following weekend I went to an interview at Ole Miss and was hired as a RA. 

In ASG, I completed over 200 service hours while being involved in community service activities such as volunteering at the Stew Pot, Bethlahem Daycare Center, and Tour De Cure. I was sworn in as Vice President for the 2012-2013 school year. During that time, I worked alongside President Javarian Richards in helping improve Hinds and provide our service to the community. I left with many memories. I had the honor to receive the Joe Cooper Service Award. If I had the chance to live these three semesters over again, I would not hesistate.


Last, but not least, the highlight of my college experience would be studying abroad in England. While growing up, I had only been to a few close states for field trips or family related trips, and I never thought I would go any further. During Spring Break my last semester, I spent a few days with my host family and several days in a hotel in London. While on this trip, we were not confined to classes, but had the chance to see so much more. My favorite part of the trip was going to see a play. It felt weird knowing that I saw a major theatre production in England before visiting Broadway in New York. If it was not for Hinds, I doubt I would have ever had the chance to enjoy an experience such as this. 


I cannot help but think back on all that I have learned and accomplished since my admission at Hinds. If not for Hinds and the people here who have helped me along the way, I would not have had so many opportunities. I can without a doubt say that no matter what goal you may have for your future, Hinds is the perfect place to start.  


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                      Me and my mother the night I graduated from High School 
student government student life    Me with the other ASG officers during our final meeting of our Hinds career.

Inspiring words take root

 

Hinds wrapped up a series of 2012-2013 graduation ceremonies on June 6 with a special one for GED achievers in our district – adults who did not get a high school diploma by the traditional route but passed a battery of tests to get an equivalency certificate.

About 100 folks who may or may not have had a previous connection with our college came to celebrate their achievement with us. It’s always an honor for me to see the happy faces of the graduates and their family and friends at these ceremonies.

When my boss Colleen Hartfield, who oversees adult education, asked the General Education Development graduates who have already enrolled at Hinds to continue their education to stand up, about half of them did. Impressive.

Local attorney Jonathan Bullock did a fabulous job offering an inspiring message. Bullock dropped out of Clinton High School after a troubled adolescence, realized his mistake and got his GED. He started his college career with us before moving on to Mississippi State and getting a law degree at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma. Yep, that’s right. From high school dropout to lawyer, with Hinds Community College a step on the path.

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As an aside in his remarks, Bullock mentioned a talk by Frank Melton, then CEO of WLBT, he heard in the old Cain Hall (before it burned in 1998) during his first semester at Hinds in the early 1990s. He remembers it pretty well.

Frank, as he insisted everyone call him, gave a pretty kick-butt speech to young people, one that I heard a number of times in my years as an education reporter. He would swoop into an auditorium in his three-piece suit with a couple body guards. He’d give his speech, then to close it out he’d start a chant in segments and get the kids to repeat the phrases after him over and over:

 “I can be…

 anything I want to be….

 The only thing I need to do…

 is to want to be something.”

While they were occupied screaming the chant, Frank would disappear, almost magically in a puff of smoke it seemed, leaving behind the message.

It made a huge impression on Bullock, and on countless others as well.

“He gave the most passionate, motivating, goal-oriented speech I’ve ever heard,” Bullock recalled. “And I’ve heard a lot of them. But I never forget what he said. It was a packed house. It was about staying in school. Working on your grades. Creating goals. Staying off drugs. And doing the right thing. That stayed with me for many, many years.

“I wrote him a letter when I graduated law school and I told him ‘Thank you for that wonderful speech. You don’t even know who I am but I was a little person in the crowd when you gave the speech.’ It just happened to be the right time when I needed to hear something like that.”

He told the graduates, “Hopefully, this might be the right time for some of you as you go forward in your career paths and in life.”

Bullock’s words triggered in me the thought that you never know when you might be a positive influence on someone else, either by your actions in persevering through difficult circumstances or motivating words at just the right time.

Frank Melton influenced him. Jonathan Bullock may have influenced someone in the crowd. Who knows who you and I can influence today.

Spring 2013 Graduation is almost here!

 

It's hard to believe it's graduation time again! It seems like yesterday Hinds CC students and faculty were returning from the holiday break and preparing for the new semester. I guess the old cliché "time flies when you're having fun" is true.

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Throughout this semester, our student bloggers wrote entries on a variety of topics, including the weather (January snow day), student events (Ms. Hinds Community College pageant, blood drive), studying abroad (Honors Institute's exchange with Bridgwater College), sports (Spring Football practice) and cultural events (Marie Hull Art exhibit). I have enjoyed reading our student bloggers' entries and hope you have as well.

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Now that finals are almost over and the semester is offically coming to an end, I'd like to be the first to congratulate two of our graduating student bloggers, Christi and Danielle. Ladies, congratulations on a job well done! I am confident you both will continue to excel wherever life takes you. Thank you for your contributions to Hinds Community College and please stay in touch! 

I'd also like to congratulate another graduating student blogger, Megan. Megan is a dual enrolled student and Hinds cheerleader who will be graduating from Mendenhall High School later this month. Well done Megan! We look forward to more blog entries from you in the fall! 

Graduation Storify

With graduation only days away, I'd like to remind everybody that they can be a part of Hinds Community College's Spring 2013 graduation ceremonies. To participate in graduation, simply include the official Hinds CC graduation hashtag (#hindsgrad) when posting to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! Feel free to upload photos, status updates and tweets; your posts could even be featured on Hinds Community College's Spring 2013 Graduation Storify page!

For those who are unable to attend graduation, don't worry! You can follow our graduation Storify page for live updates and/or watch the ceremonies via webcast.

Congratulations Class of 2013!   

Hinds Students Spend Spring Break 2013 in England

 

Hinds Leadership and Business students took advantage of a ten day travel abroad opportunity to England. Students and faculty departed for England March 7 and returned March 17.

Hinds Community College and Bridgewater College have been sending students and faculty members back and forth for nineteen years and look forward to many more successful exchanges.

Students sat in on classes at Bridgewater, had fun shopping in London, and attended a play of their choice. In addition to tourism, students also had fun in the remake of their own version of the Harlem Shake upon Glastonbury Tor.

Below is a recap of this year's study abroad trip to give you an idea just how much this trip is worth the deal offered to us at Hinds.

 

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