Hinds Community College Blog

When critters invade...

Posted by Danny Barrett on Fri, May, 29, 2015 @ 15:05:00 PM

Spring is usually a time for blue skies, green grass and maybe a little orange or yellow from hints of the barbecue chicken or hot dogs you might have eaten on Memorial Day.

But, in Mississippi, every few springs mean the appearance of a little red – the beady red eyes of the 13-year cicada, that is.

Yes, the birthplace of the blues and farm-raised catfish also boasts of the most populous cicada population in the United States, say state entomologists. Cicadas in the U.S. come in two broad varieties, one up north that’s on a 17-year life cycle and another down here on a 13-year cycle. Just three “broods”, in this case, types of cicada within the North American genus, of the 13-year variety exist in the world. And Mississippi is the only state where all three broods occur, according to an update published in March by the Mississippi State Extension Service and written by Blake Layton, an entomologist with the extension. The Magnolia State is home to “Brood XIII” (yes, these things are Roman-numerated like the Super Bowl) which emerged in much of the state’s western half. Each brood takes 13 years to complete a generation, but each of these three broods is on a different emergence schedule, Layton wrote.

Myself, I’m not afraid of these awkward-flying members of the insect world. Decades of research says they don't usually use the same tubular mouthpart they use to suck sap from a tree to bite a person, which is a good thing. I’m not much into pain and swelling! I can’t say the same for many of my co-workers, who went running at the sight and shivered at the thought of too many of these things in big numbers.

On and around the Raymond Campus, the sights, sounds and reactions to them were unmistakable. It began May 6 at the Golf Fun Fest at Eagle Ridge Golf Course, when I saw the first winged oddity of the season. It interrupted my conversation with multimedia specialist Melanie Boyd as festivities begin, causing her to panic a bit. That one's pictured below, and, judging from the lazy wing, is lucky it landed anywhere.


Evidence of the cicadas was everywhere at Eagle Ridge, mostly by the hundreds of small holes seemingly drilled in the hard grounds away from the golf course. This is where the insect emerges from life underground for 13 years, all the while feeding on tree sap.

Later, as Dr. Debra Mays-Jackson, vice president for the Vicksburg-Warren and Utica campuses, perused the event’s raffle items, they made their presence known again. A pair of cicadas landed opposite one another on a wooden bench near a gas grill being raffled off. The professional campus veep could only muster a concerned, puzzled face at the two insects, who appeared to re-create a stare-down from a Western movie.


The low hum of the cicada’s mating call – the result of the insect contracting its muscles to bend noise-making tymbals on each side of its abdomen – continued the following night as Hinds hosted the MACJC baseball tournament. Eagles spread their wings on the diamond nicely that evening as Meridian was vanquished, 6-2. But, the cicadas owned the night. Here’s a pic I managed between groups of people leaving after the final out. They know how to avoid a foul ball, evidently.


Brood XXIII’s spread this season isn’t limited to Mississippi. Researchers say the gray-bodied, golden-winged insects will be seen this year in much of the Lower Mississippi River system north into Indiana. It’s likely to be a region full of people mimicking longtime PR employee Tammi Bowles’ assessment of the natural phenomenon – “kinda freaky and scary – and so loud!”

A quick postscript to this creepy-crawly blog. I’d much rather encounter a cicada than one of these wee beauties below. Got two of these menacing yellow jackets in my apartment in the span of a week. These things pack a sting that can ruin your weekend, I’m told. One thing’s for sure – it’ll be a while before I can watch one of those killer insect movies from the 1970s again.


Topics: Hinds Community College, Hinds CC

Career Tech Programs from A to Z: Recap

Posted by Cindy West on Thu, May, 28, 2015 @ 14:05:00 PM


So, here’s where our journey has gone as we explored CTE FROM A TO Z on the Raymond Campus!  Agribusiness Management, Architectural Engineering, Automotive Machinist, Automotive Technology, Automotive Vehicles and Accessories Marketing, Aviation Maintenance, Barber/Stylist, Biomedical Engineering Technology,  Brick_Block and Stonemasonry, Collision Repair, Commercial Truck Driving, Computer Programing, Computer Network Support, Court Reporting ( Broadcast Captioning, CART, Steno Machine, Voice Writing), Diesel Equipment Technology, Electronics Technology, Electrical Technology,  Engineering Drafting and Design, Fashion Merchandising, Graphic Design Technology , Graphic and Print Communications, Heating and Air Conditioning, Industrial Maintenance, Interpreter Training,  Landscape Management, Land Surveying, Machine Tool, Marketing Management, Meat Merchandising, Office Systems Technology,  Paralegal Technology, Residential Carpentry, Small Engine and Turf Equipment Repair, Small Engine and Equipment Repair Power Sports, Veterinary Technology and last but certainly not least Welding

The facts about career and technical education……

Making a decision about going to college can be very difficult. Trying to figure out what types of careers you are interested in can be overwhelming. Maybe you are already working and you are thinking about going back to school to get a certificate to help you advance in your current career field. Maybe you are thinking about changing careers all together. Whatever your decision is, take the time to research the facts.

Knowledge is power…..

We’ve looked a lots of CTE programs in the past months but you need to continue to dig for the facts. Education is expensive!  Take time to research the job market and job growth in your career field. For example, if you are interested in agricultural related careers, use the tools and resources below to find out the job growth for a career in that area.  You may also use Career Coach which may be found on the Hinds Community College website. 

ISEEK Skills Assessment This assessment lets you rate yourself on 35 different skills and then see which occupations are a match for the skills that are important to you. Everyone has things that they love to do and skills they like to use.

My Skills, My Future Enter the title of your current or past job and you'll receive a list of careers that match your skills. You'll even be able to see current job openings in your city, a typical hourly wage and what type of training is required for the job. It's that simple.

My Next Move My Next Move is an interactive tool for job seekers and students to learn more about their career options. The site has tasks, skills, salary information, and more for over 900 different careers. Users can find careers through keyword search; by browsing industries that employ different types of workers; or through the O*NET Interest Profiler, a tool that offers personalized career suggestions based on a person's interests and level of work experience.

One final thought……

So I was thinking what do you want to be when you grow up…..doctor, lawyer, professional athlete, teacher or a nurse? Have you ever thought about being an auto mechanic, biomedical technician, land surveying technician or machinist?  Hopefully after exploring opportunities in this blog series the answer is YES!!!  These are just a few of the highly skilled careers out there that require a career certificate, a technical certificate or a two year AAS degree versus a bachelors, masters or doctorate degree.  

CTE from A to Z offered a look into highly-skilled, highly-paid career options that are available to you at Hinds Community College in the Career and Technical Education division on the Raymond campus. Keep watching as we explore some of the Career and Technical programs exclusive to the other campus locations at Hinds Community College. 

Topics: Career/Technical Program

Faculty housing is truly a family neighborhood

Posted by Tammi Bowles on Fri, May, 22, 2015 @ 16:05:00 PM

After living in faculty housing for about 20 years, there must be something that I like about it. I have heard some say that there is “no way that I would live that close to work,” or “don’t you feel like you never leave work?”

Well, for me, it is home. And for my kids, it is the only home they have ever known.

I think most who live on Park Circle or maybe on Faculty Drive (the two main little neighborhoods, if they are big enough to even call that) would agree with me: It’s not that hard to separate the work hours from home. Just like living anywhere, you can choose not to take your work home with you.

The thing I love most about living in faculty housing is how safe I feel. Campus Police and Raymond Police are riding through regularly, and I don’t worry too much about crime. But also, I love the fact that my kids can go outside and play anytime they want and nine out of 10 times there will be another kid or two (or four!) out on the Circle for them to play with, or maybe take a stroll with our neighbors, Mrs. Mary and Gracie.


I have taken a photo, every year of my kids, out in front of our house on the first day of school.


We have had almost every single birthday party at home, and I couldn’t ask for better memories of each and every one. Not to mention a snow day or two, and being right here by campus gives us the opportunity to go play in the snow on campus!


Faculty housing is not just “housing for Hinds employees.” Faculty housing is a community where neighbors look out for each other, borrow from each other and help each other out. Whether it’s watering your plants or walking your dog while you’re out of town, or babysitting for an hour, or mowing the neighbor’s grass while you are mowing your own (that is what my sweet neighbor does!), we care about each other. And I am thankful to have such a wonderful place for my kids to grow up that we will always call home!


Topics: adult student

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

New guy finds familiar feel

Posted by Danny Barrett on Wed, Apr, 29, 2015 @ 10:04:00 AM

For all the new names, places and roads to learn, I get the feeling I’ve been here before. Matter of fact, a certain sense of déjà vu has been unshakable these past few weeks.

Pardon the first-person stream of consciousness there. Bland introductions aren’t as exciting to read. But, since chronicling the best of what Hinds Community College has to offer is part of my job now, I’ll do the handshake thing…

I’m Danny Barrett Jr. and I arrive here in the Public Relations office from a world in which many a PR guy arrives, that of print journalism. Working for The Vicksburg Post for just shy of 10 years afforded me insight on how the sausage gets made when it comes to making laws and how everyday Joe Q. Publics make their way through what Prince once termed “this thing called life.”



So why is this familiar and why did I choose Hinds to continue my communications career?

Education and the free flow of information is the only way a civilized society can advance. And I know firsthand the value of an associate’s degree as a hand-up in one’s schooling. I’m a product of a solid, two-year program myself, having graduated from Delgado Community College in my native New Orleans in what seems like a thousand years ago. It eased me into college life like so many of Hinds’ students right now.



In my first few weeks on the PR staff, I’ve talked to high school students in the budding Gateway to College program at the Vicksburg-Warren Campus and to those in the welding program at four of Hinds’ six campuses. And I know plenty enough people in social circles who’ve benefitted from skilled labor courses at Hinds and elsewhere to appreciate the value of an education here. They vary in age, but not in motivation, which is to put their talents to work in a global economy.


I remember an old saying from a longtime managing editor at the Post handed down through the decades. Everyone has a little red wagon they like to show off and you just have to find out what it is to see if it’s worth writing about. Here’s hoping I can find out about what kinds of wagons Hinds’ graduates will assemble, nurse, weld, represent, upgrade, propel to the air and more in the future.

Topics: Gateway to College, welding

Is that a kitchen mixer I hear?

Posted by Jamea Ginyard on Fri, Apr, 24, 2015 @ 16:04:00 PM

What is that noise I hear? On my seemingly peaceful walk from visiting the toddlers in the Freddie J. Jackson Child Care Center on campus I am greeted with loud and jarring noise coming from a sizable mixing bowl…or so I hope and think. With a bit of inquisitiveness, I found myself not getting ready to taste a cake or sample some cookies but rather watching the collision repair technology students fixing and painting several damaged cars. How lucky are they I had my camera with me!


Instructor Carlton Brown in the midst of repainting a damaged car, stops for a split second to take a photo. “I love what I do,” said Brown. “I really enjoy being able to teach my students and watch them move on and work after they have finished the program here.”




First year collision and repair technology student Dondre Ford decided to enter the program because of his love of cars. 


Second year collision and repair technology student Larry Johnson. 








I was told to call these painting supplies!

Topics: Collision Repair Technology, Utica Campus, career-technical

Cookie Dusters In The Dugout

Posted by Tracy Duncan on Fri, Apr, 17, 2015 @ 15:04:00 PM

Mustache March at Joe G. Moss Field in Raymond, MS:

No, fake mustaches were not drawn on these Hinds baseball players. They were temporarily allowed to grow them for a Hinds baseball tradition known as Mustache March.

This baseball fad was begun at Hinds Community College in 2009 and has become a tradition on the diamond because the players love the chance to sport facial hair in March, the only time they are allowed to grow crumb catchers during regular season play. The Hinds head baseball coach, Sam Temple, has a rule. His guys will look professional, classy and clean-cut during baseball season when they are representing themselves, his program and the college. He relaxes this rule only for Mustache March, when the players are allowed to grow mustaches for one month, if they so chose. After regular season play, including play-offs, they may be allowed to grow beards. Temple feels that if the team makes the play-offs, they've earned the luxury of growing a little 'stache, goatee or full beard for all of their hard work during the season.

Take a look at these shots of some of the players sporting their own styles, if only for a fleeting moment during March.


Below are just a few images of our Hinds CC baseball players in their natural environment.MustachdMarch-BSB-nosmiles_9961_1

Hinds Community College baseball players sporting March mustaches are, left to right, Joshua Sterling (39-C) , Casey Echols (21-OF), Keller Bradford (14-RHP) and Randy Bell (2-RHP).


Matt Jones (6-INF)


Marshall Boggs (19-INF)


Quade Smith (3-OF)


Trent Driver (28-RHP)


Corbin Jamison (26-OF)


Ok, so there is one photo with a drawn, or rather PhotoShopped, mustache on. I couldn't resist since Case Echols (21-OF) asked me to enhance his mustache with bicycle handle bars. 



Topics: Hinds Community College Athletics, Hinds CC, baseball

My Latest (and Possibly Greatest) Challenge Part 2

Posted by Tammi Bowles on Fri, Apr, 10, 2015 @ 11:04:00 AM

Hi again! Tammi Bowles here with part 2 of my very first blog. Here it is in case you missed it:


I have been thinking about what I was going to say for part 2 lately, and finally decided I wanted to talk about my reasons for wanting to teach. Everybody knows how important teachers are — that is no secret — but even more important are teachers who actually care. We all know that there are those teachers who just go through the motions and teach what needs to be taught, and then there are those who go the extra mile and really seem to care about the student.

I am still undecided about what age and/or subject I would like to teach, but lately I have been thinking a lot about the middle school or secondary level and how hard this age can be. My son just turned 14 and, although he has some wonderful teachers, it has not been the easiest time of his life (which I realize is normal.) I see him struggle with certain things that all teenagers have to struggle with and am thankful that he has some teachers and school counselors who understand and care.


Here is my son Colby (far left) with some of his eighth grade classmates this year.

According to www.slate.com, “Turnover at this level is higher than it is at both the elementary and high school levels, but the teachers who stick around tend to do so because they’re dedicated, determined, and maybe just a little bit crazy.” I guess if this statement doesn’t freak me out, then I am good to go!

I realize that some decide to become teachers just for the summers off, and I have to admit that is a perk! And some surely don’t become teachers for the pay… But for me, it is the only thing that I could get excited about when thinking about what kind of degree I wanted! (I currently am taking from one to three classes per semester at Hinds Community College.)

If you don’t remember from Part 1 of this blog, I work in the PR Department at Hinds CC as the PR/Photographer Assistant (switched positions last year from the District Photographer) and am so grateful that I have had a job for almost 23 years that I love now more than ever. But I am also excited about the future and what it holds!

Topics: nontraditional student, adult education,, middle school

Pulling double duty: Handling two full-time jobs (Part 2)...

Posted by Dan Rives on Thu, Apr, 02, 2015 @ 13:04:00 PM

This is Dan Rives again with the second installment of “Pulling double duty: Handling two full-time jobs.” In the first installment, http://hub.hindscc.edu/blog/bid/360525/Pulling-Double-Duty-Handling-two-full-time-jobs, I spoke of one of my roles as the Sports Information Director here at Hinds.

In this installment, I write about my role as an assistant coach for the Hinds Community College baseball team, which is currently ranked No. 1 in the country for the second straight week in the latest National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) poll.



As previously noted, these roles can be stressful and chaotic, but when you see all of the hard work and effort come to fruition, it is well worth it.

For those unaware, we started off the 2014 season with a 4-8 record before catching fire and finishing the season 40-21 overall. We had a chance to win the NJCAA World Series, but lost in the national championship game, 9-7, in 11 innings to Mesa (Ariz.) Community College.

We are currently 24-1, meaning we have gone 60-14 in the 74 games since our 4-8 start a year ago.

Coaching baseball has been a goal of mine throughout my entire life. Both of my parents were in education, with my dad coaching high school and college basketball for 34 years. This allowed me to witness the world of coaching from him first hand. Even though there were highs and lows, it was what I always wanted to do.

The outside perception is that we spend all of our time coaching and teaching the game of baseball, but in actuality, this makes up a very small amount of our time. Most of my time is spent finding players who are the right fit, both academically and athletically, for our program.

We are much better coaches when we have good players and young men with great character, so I am constantly making phone calls and sending emails to potential recruits, their families and their coaches. This often takes me well into the night. However, the satisfaction that I receive of seeing 11 of our players sign with Division I schools in the early signing period in November 2014 makes it worth it.

Our baseball program has had more than 90 student-athletes go on to the four-year or professional level after they have left Hinds. This is a number that brings head coach Sam Temple and myself a great sense of pride because of how much the academic side is emphasized in our program. Not only do we make a concerted effort to improve their play on the field, but we work just as hard on their effort in the classroom.

As far as the actual coaching side of things, I work with our infielders, serve as recruiting coordinator and head up our strength and conditioning program, among many other things. I also work with our hitters and base runners, as well as coach third base during the games.

There are a number of behind-the-scenes duties that go along with this job, but there are too many to explain in this short post.

My hope is that the Hinds Community College family will take an opportunity to come watch this team and these young men play, as they represent this college and this state in a first-class manner.

In a shameless plug for the SID side of my role, go to www.hindsccsports.com to view our entire schedule so that you don’t miss out on an opportunity to come catch our No. 1 Eagles in action!

Topics: Hinds Community College Athletics, Hinds CC Eagles, baseball