JCJC faculty and staff accomplishments honored

Written By: Teresa Martin
Email Address: teresa.martin@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2012-12-07 10:26:34


ELLISVILLE - Fourteen Jones County Junior College faculty and staff members were recently honored for their accomplishments in the workplace. The Appreciation Awards began in 2004 and focus on four individuals from three categories of employees: faculty, office staff and administrative support, and employees working in, maintenance, housekeeping, campus grounds and campus police. Each individual was awarded a cash prize of $125 and the overall winner received $625. Two new honors were also bestowed upon two individuals at the luncheon.

The faculty recognition program was designed and funded by the JCJC Foundation, Inc., and the college, with the luncheon sponsored by the JCJC Student Government Association, the college and the JCJC Foundation. Finalists are selected and interviewed by the Faculty and Staff Recognition Program Selection Committee. The four finalists for the faculty awards were Jessica Bunch, Jeff Keeton, Erin Knight and Missie Meeks. 

Erin Knight won the overall award in recognition of her 17 years of experience in teaching, serving as a captain in the U.S. Air Force and for mentoring new faculty in her division as well as several graduate students. She was the 2011 Mississippi Organization for Associate Degree Nursing’s Educator of the Year and is very involved in her community with the Health Advisory Council, her church nursery, and the Petal School District.

“Thank you! This is a wonderful award and a great place to work,” said Knight. “I couldn’t do it without everyone working with me.”

Bunch has been teaching math at Jones for eleven years. She was instrumental in the development of the Math Bowl and the new JCJC Bobcat Math League, serving as Commissioner of the Math League. She tutors math students in her community and she is an active volunteer and teacher in her church in Wayne County. 

Jeff Keeton has been teaching forestry at JCJC for 18 years and is very involved in the coordination and facilitation of numerous campus and community events, and serves as a facilitator for the Forestry Teacher’s Conservation Workshop. He follows the old FFA motto: “Learning to do, doing to learn, earning to live, and living to serve,” in his classroom and personal endeavors.

For twelve years, Missie Meeks has been teaching English classes at Jones. She created the Kids College summer camp program, assists in the coordination of the Homecoming Court activities and is on the E-book committee. She is the SMART Club President at South Jones and Meeks is very involved in her church by planning and chaperoning youth activities and assisting with the technology in the music ministry.

Office Staff and Administrative Support nominees included Nelda Creel, who has worked as the Industrial Serves secretary for 31 years. She has been commended for keeping up with technology and keeping the predominantly male-oriented department, in order.
Gloria Newell has served in the food production and culinary arts department for nine years. She is credited for mentoring students while also offering a hand with the cooking projects and office work.

Sonya Graves ensures everyone at Jones gets paid in a timely and accurate manner. She has worked in various roles in the business office and payroll for 12 years.
The overall winner was April Phillips for her 10 years of quiet dedication, working in the IT department, handling all the campus-wide problems and projects. Her knowledge is considered a great asset to Jones.

In the maintenance, housekeeping, campus grounds and campus police departments, Melinda English was recognized for her 18 years in housekeeping. David Nayman’s four years in transportation and grounds earned him a spot as a finalist. Marvene Bosarge was also commended for her 12 years in the housekeeping department. The top finalist award went to David Harvey who has painted almost everything at Jones over the last 17 years as a member of the maintenance department.

A special recognition was awarded for the first time at the JCJC Employee Appreciation Luncheon. The Leadership Award for Administrative Excellence was established to honor a mid-level administrator whose commitment to the profession has stood out amongst their peers. Physical Plant Director, Michael Bradshaw was chosen as the inaugural recipient of this honor for his ten years of service in maintenance and most recently for his tireless efforts during and following a lightning strike of the C.L. Neill building in August.

Speech instructor, Joanna Cooley was honored with the Barbara and Gary Sauls Award for Excellence in Teaching Humanities. She received a $500 cash award in recognition of her abilities as a Humanities instructor who exemplifies intellectual integrity in the classroom, encourages independent analytical thinking skills, engenders a love for humanitarian pursuits and fosters a positive rapport with students.

“I was extremely surprised and humbled.  It truly means so much.  The Sauls' are very special people and it was an honor to receive this award,” said Cooley.

This award was initiated by JCJC alumni, Mr. & Mrs. Gary W. “Buddy” and Barbara Sauls.  Their daughter, Tracy was a 1990 JCJC graduate. Mr. Sauls was a former JCJC Board of Trustees member and Mrs. Saul is currently on the JCJC Foundation board. 


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