Hinds Community College Blog

Valley Services Wins 2015 Alumni Service Award

Posted by Danny Barrett Jr. on Fri, Oct, 23, 2015 @ 11:10:00 AM

It’s possible to change with the times and be a model of consistency  so says the leadership team that runs Valley Services Inc., the Mississippi-based company that feeds students and faculty at Hinds’ cafeterias but also caters many of the college’s special events. Valley is this year’s winner of the Alumni Service Award.


It’s the first time a company, instead of an individual, has won the award.  “It’s an honor for Valley Services to receive this award,” CEO Jim Walt said. “We’re certainly humbled.”

The most recent event Valley Services catered was the Winter-Reed Partnership Award ceremony that honored Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse. Valley Services was the title sponsor, also announcing a new Hinds scholarship to be given to a member of Hinds Connection.  


Founded in 1960 by the late Bill Hogg, the company is the sixth-largest contract food service company in the U.S. and the single-biggest contractor that specializes in meals for seniors. It has been the contract food products provider for Hinds since 1971. 

At Hinds, the company serves student and employee cafeterias at the Raymond and Utica campuses, as well as Eagle’s Nest Grille and Eagle Ridge Conference Center. The company also caters fundraisers and other functions at the college, such as being the title sponsor of the April Golf Fun Fest and Employee Appreciation Day, both annual events, providing breakfast monthly for President’s Cabinet meetings and donating food for many other Hinds events.

 “I depend on Valley quite a bit, and they have never let me down,” said Vice President for Advancement Jackie Granberry. “Whether it is a very dignified dinner for a few at the president’s home, a dinner for 500, a reception for dignitaries or anything in between, they always provide the best service and the best food.”


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*The content & images from this post are from the October 2015 OnCampus Publication


Topics: alumni, Valley Services

Tom Burnham: Hinds CC 2015 Alumnus of the Year

Posted by Cathy Hayden on Fri, Oct, 23, 2015 @ 10:10:00 AM

Tom Burnham (1967), the Hinds Community College 2015 Alumnus of the Year, is the director of the Principal Corps based at the University of Mississippi where he recruits great teachers to become public school principals and visionary leaders.


Among his many other jobs, he has been dean of the College of Education at the University of Mississippi, 2004-2009, and state superintendent of education twice, 1992-1997 and 2010-2012, crafting education policy for the state’s more than 500,000 public school children.

He received bachelor and master’s degrees at Mississippi College and a specialist degree and a doctorate at Delta State University. A native of Puckett, Burnham was the first person in his family to attend college. A defining moment in his life was about three weeks after he finished his doctorate at Delta State University in 1985. His son, Tom, just shy of 10 years old, was killed in Rankin County when he walked in front of a car.

It took him years to come to terms with his son’s death, ultimately using it to fuel his passion for doing the right thing for children. “The only thing I could do at this point was to make things better for all children, to create a legacy for Tom through what I could do for children,” he said.

Now at the Principal Corps, he tries to take what he’s learned over the years about leadership and education and pass that on to aspiring young school administrators, continuing to mentor them after they are Principal Corps graduates. He was a mentor for Hinds Vice President Dr. Norman Session. “Dr. Burnham is …very knowledgeable about education issues and just about life in general. He is a very strong leader and a mentor to many.” Burnham is married to Terri, who has also had a life-long career in education. 

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*The content & images from this post are from the October 2015 OnCampus Publication

Topics: alumni

Leaving a Lasting Legacy

Posted by Melanie Boyd on Tue, May, 12, 2015 @ 08:05:00 AM

As the Multimedia Specialist for Hinds Community College, I work closely with the students. Below are a few of our amazing students that are graduating from Hinds this semester. They allowed me to photograph them in the studio and gave me quotes on the impact Hinds Community College had on them during their time here. 


"My journey at Hinds has given me the chance to grow as a person, take on full responsibilities, find out college was no game, find my life-long friends, and to be a part of a great dance family that has been so supportive. The most memorable times I will take with me are all the trips I had the opportunity of going on - from Disney World, to England, to coming back the next day and performing in Nashville. I wouldn't trade any of my time here. I have truly been blessed by Hinds. Always follow your dreams." 

- Brianne Johnston


"Being at Hinds these two years has been amazing! I've made so many friends (and gained) mentors and instructors who have helped shape me as a student and leader. Through the Hinds Honors Program, I have gained close-knit friendships that will always be with me even after graduation. My ASG family has helped me see the best in myself and others. I'm much more confident than the extrovert I was before coming to Hinds. I am proud to be a Hinds Eagle!!!" 

-Shane Savannah


"Hinds has given me more opportunities than I could have imagined. Between joining the Honors Institute and taking advantage of so many different music groups that the campus had to offer, I immediately had my place. Being a Music major, I realized how important it is to be in an environment that strongly supports the arts. Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse shares this support, as he and the Music Department were able to finance a trip to France last year for the Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band. There is nothing that can compare to playing jazz in Paris in front of thousands of people, and I never would have gotten that experience if not for Hinds."

-Asher Mitchell


"My decision to come to Hinds was one of the best choices that I have ever made. As a graduate of the Honors Institue, and a member of Phi Theta Kappa, I have learned the importance of strong leadership, community service and friendship. I have also had the opportunity to broaden my horizons by studying abroad in both England and Costa Rica! Hinds has opened so many doors for me, and I will be forever grateful."

-Mary Catherine Harvey


"It's always hard to put into words what someone or something has done for you and it is even harder when what they've done for you seems endless. If I had to put into words what Hinds has done for me, I would have to say that Hinds has given me hope. Although, hope seems so cliche to say it is true. Hinds has granted me leadership opportunities and introduced me to so many great people, all of which have inspired me to be better. So, if Hinds doesn't represent hope, then I must not know what hope means." 

-Edward Williams


"Graduating from Hinds has been the best decision I have made for my future. Phi Theta Kappa and the Honors Institute have opened inummerable doors for me both academically and professionally. The professors have impacted my life significantly and challenged me to go beyond what I thought possible. I have learned how to be an effective leader and found how to apply what I am passionate about to my career. Going to Hinds has been an amazing experience and I will cherish my time here always."

-MaKensey Sanders


"Going to Hinds has been a rewarding experience. If I only say one thing about it, I would have to praise the faculty and staff. Each of them show care and concern for every student. I have learned a lot in the classroom, but the teachers at Hinds have left an impresson on me that will never go away."

-Peter Beathea

"Attending Hinds has been a great experience and definitely life-changing. There is a lot to do here on campus and the faculty are great. I appreciate all that they've done for me and my siblings while we've been here. I am excited about studying chemistry at Mississippi College, and I know that Hinds has prepared me well for what's to come. I'm very grateful for these years at Hinds."

-Jonathan Bethea

Topics: Hinds Community College, alumni, Hinds CC, graduates

Special former student taking on special job

Posted by Cathy Hayden on Fri, May, 08, 2015 @ 14:05:00 PM

After eight plus years, I’ve been at Hinds Community College long enough that I am seeing students I encountered in some form or fashion “making good” in the world. And one fun thing about social media, I can keep up with former students and what they're doing. (I typically don’t accept friend requests until after they graduate.)

One former student that I’m especially partial to is Christi Reynolds. She was a student on The Hindsonian newspaper staff who loved photography. But she turned out to be one of my best reporters, not because she was necessarily the best writer, but because she has some of the best qualities any reporter should have – persistence and curiosity. Plus, she would tackle any assignment I needed her to do. Christi would volunteer for anything and everything, and I would sometimes caution her “You can’t write the entire newspaper. Give someone else a chance.” But she was so dependable it was a temptation to give her every story.

We eventually hired her as a student blogger on our website, which helped her pay for extras for a trip to Bridgwater College in England through our Honors Institute program. She was an enthusiastic and prolific blogger.


What I like most about Christi, however, is her pure heart and eternal optimism. No matter what life hands Christi, pictured above, she always comes up smiling and finding a silver lining to the storm cloud. She feels things keenly but it doesn’t make her afraid to feel.

Christi is from south Rankin County, near where I live, and wound up at my alma mater, Ole Miss, where she is graduating this weekend (May 9) with an education degree. She has accepted a job for this fall teaching special education students in Hinds County schools.

Yes, she will be back in Hinds County, a hop, skip and a jump away from my office. Plus, she will be fulfilling her dream of helping disabled students.

Every year Hinds Community College hosts a field day for special education students in Hinds County schools so they can have a fun day just like all the other kids. The school district sets up all sorts of field day games on our football field, and Mark Stanton, our director of Student Activities, provides student and staff volunteers as well as popcorn and snow cones.


Pictured above are Larina Mason, center, physical therapist for the Hinds County school district and a graduate of Hinds Community College who came up with the idea for the field day in 2010; Jackie Granberry, vice president for Advancement, (Jackie says this is her favorite event of the year) and Mark.

It’s a special time for those who work here to get to spend a day with kids who really appreciate what we can do for them. We are seeing the same kids year after year, only one year older and bigger. This year, I walked over to the gate where the kids were getting off the bus and a little boy I didn’t know propelled himself into my arms for a hug and proceeded to do the same with every adult standing there.

Later on, Tracy Duncan, sports marketing/photographer, (below) showed another little boy how to take a photo. Everyone who works that event comes away with a little bit larger heart because of it.


I’m thrilled to know that next year when we do that event, in all likelihood Ms. Reynolds will be there with her class of students. I don’t think I’ll be able to top that day. It will put the “special” in special education.

Topics: alumni

My Experience and Success at Hinds Community College

Posted by Christi Reynolds on Sun, Jul, 07, 2013 @ 10:07:00 AM

college degree 

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.

student at community college in Jackson, MS
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.  

college student success
                      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.

Topics: Residence Halls, Student Life, Things to Do, service, exchange, campus life, graduate, alumni