Dr. Carmen J. Walters

JACKSON, MS – The Board of Trustees of Tougaloo College is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Carmen J. Walters as the 14th President of the historic institution.

As the college celebrates its Sesquicentennial Anniversary and embraces what lies ahead in the new era of higher education, Dr. Walters brings a depth of executive-level leadership and knowledge in such vital areas as strategic planning in enrollment facilities management, grant and budget management, workforce development, community and diversity relations and athletics management.

According to a press release by the University, Dr. Walters succeeds Dr. Beverly Wade Hogan, who is retiring June 30. Dr. Hogan has served as Tougaloo’s president since May 2002. She is the first woman and 13th president to lead Tougaloo.

“This position is a dream come true for me,” said Dr. Walters. “Tougaloo has such a rich and powerful history. You can feel it when you arrive on the campus and walk these hallowed grounds. It’s a great challenge and opportunity for me to help preserve that wonderful history but also carry Tougaloo forward so that it’s here another 150 years.”

Walters has served more than 24 years in Community College education. She spent the past six years at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Perkinston, where she is Executive Vice President for Enrollment Management, Student Success and Institutional Relations. Prior to that she worked 18 years at Delgado Community College in New Orleans.

Dr. Hogan said: “I am tremendously excited about the selection of Dr. Walters, and it will be my privilege to pass the baton of leadership to her. She brings a combined level of experiences, commitment and mature judgement that are useful in any leadership role. Her understanding and appreciation of the college’s history and mission, as well as her demonstrated commitment to faculty and student success, will be impactful in moving the college into its best years.”

Dr. Walters received her Bachelor of Science in accounting and business administration from Southern University in 1984, a Mater of Arts degree in post secondary counseling from Xavier College in New Orleans in 1990 and her Ph.D. in Community College leadership from Mississippi State University in 2009.

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JACKSON, MS – Tougaloo College welcomes two (2) presidential candidate finalists to campus on February 11 and 12.

Melva Williams, PhD – Monday, February 11, 2019

Carmen Walters, PhD – Tuesday, February 12, 2019

In a letter written to the Tougaloo College community from Edmond Hughes, Chair of the Presidential Search Committee, the visit purpose is centered to enable individuals to know the candidates better. There will be open forums during the visits held at the Bennie G. Thompson Academic Complex on campus. The meeting with faculty will be held each day at 2:00 p.m. and the meeting with the staff, students and others will be held at 3:00 p.m.

About Melva Williams, PhD

Dr. Melva Williams is the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Management at Southern University at Shreveport. Dr. Williams has over 17 years of experience in HBCU leadership. She has executive-level experience in Chancellor’s Office, Business Affairs, Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and Fundraising. She has demonstrated experience as a senior level administrator in sculpting budgets from static resources; creating sound community and developing partnerships; ensuring a student-centered campus environment; managing and redesigning curriculum to meet the needs of millennial students; and fostering collaboration with faculty and staff. She also serves on the SACSCOC advisory committee. Dr. Williams is well versed in program and curriculum development; faculty and staff development; student counseling and advising; and faculty and staff conflict resolution. Additionally, Dr. Williams has extensive professional development in strategic planning, strategic enrollment management planning, fundraising, human resources and organizational management

Dr. Williams earned her bachelor’s of arts in Mass Communication from Grambling State University; a masters of arts in Public Administration from Grambling State University; and a doctor of philosophy in Urban Higher Education from Jackson State University.

Her path of progression and professional experience in higher education began as a Program Advisor at Grambling State University. She transitioned to Southern University at Shreveport and advanced from the position of Director of Student Activities and Services to Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. From there she was promoted to Chief of Staff for the Southern University System and again advanced through the ranks to become Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs for the Southern University System. Dr. Williams returned to Southern University to Shreveport to serve as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. When offered a new opportunity, Dr. Williams left to become the Associate Dean of Centenary College of Louisiana in Shreveport. Following her tenure there, she again returned to Southern University at Shreveport as Executive Associate to the Chancellor and then was promoted to her current position as Vice Chancellor.

Dr. Williams has been recognized for her leadership including being a Board member for Centenary College of Louisiana and many other honors. She has supported a number of special projects including Board member for the Christus Shumpert Hospital in Shreveport. Dr. Williams has and continues to serve the community including serving as a founding board member and board vice-president for the Magnolia School of Excellence. She is affiliated with a number of professional associations. She is co-founder of the Higher Education Leadership Foundation.

About Carmen Walters, PhD

Dr. Carmen Walters is the Executive Vice President of Enrollment Management, Student Success and Institutional Relations at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, District Office, Perkinston, MS. Dr. Walter has over 24 years of experience in community college leadership. She has executive-level experience in the Chancellor’s Office, Business Affairs, Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and Workforce Development. She has demonstrated experience in university and community college policy and procedures; grant management; budget management; diversity relations; and athletics management. Dr. Walters is well versed in program and curriculum development; faculty and staff development; student counseling and advising; and faculty and staff conflict resolution. Additionally, Dr. Walters has extensive professional development in strategic planning, strategic enrollment management planning; facilities planning; human resources; and organizational management.

Dr. Walters earned her bachelors of science in Accounting & Business Administration from Southern University at New Orleans, Louisiana; a masters of Arts plus 30 in Post-Secondary Counseling from Xavier University, New Orleans, Louisiana; and a doctor of philosophy in Community College Leadership from Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi

Her path of progression and professional leading to her current position started as a high school teacher at Landry High School in New Orleans. She followed that assignment by serving as the case management supervisor in the Jefferson Parrish Department of Employment & Training. She transitioned to Delgado Community College where she rose from the position of Job Placement Counselor; to Academic Support Service/ Carl Perkins Coordinator; to Assistant to the Vice Chancellor, Academic and Student Affairs, College Provost, Carl Perkins Coordinator, SACS Liaison; to Executive Assistant to the Chancellor, Carl Perkins Coordinator, EAEO Officer, ADA Compliance Officer; to Assistant Vice Chancellor, Human Resources, Delegated Appointing Authority. Dr. Walters than transitioned to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Jackson County Campus, Gautier, Mississippi where she started as Campus Vice-President and now serves in her current position as Executive Vice President, Enrollment Management, Student Success and Instructional Relations.

Dr. Walters has been recognized for her leadership including being a member of Leadership Mississippi, Mississippi Economic Council, Class of 2015 and many other awards. She has supported a number of special projects including Team Member, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Scholarship Gala. Dr. Walters has and continues to serve the community including serving as a Board member of Jackson County United Way. She is affiliated with a number of professional associations. She currently serves as Chair of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Student Services Council.

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About Tougaloo College

Tougaloo College prepares its students to be lifelong learners who are committed to leadership and service in a global society through its diverse undergraduate and graduate programs. The college is accessible to all persons while making students aware of its rich history as an independent, historically black liberal arts institution, affiliated with the United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). For more information, visit www.tougaloo.edu.

Dr. Annie Rene Harris Slaughter is a JSU alum and Yazoo County native who now lives in Atlanta. She wants to make sure every student has an opportunity to succeed. Her endowment aims to help undergraduates with college expenses.

JACKSON, MS – Dr. Annie Rene Harris Slaughter earned three degrees from Jackson State University, and now she established a $100,000 endowment in memory of her mother – also an alum – to help undergraduates pursue their academic dreams at their alma mater. Funds will be matched by Title III, according to a press released by the university.

Harris Slaughter, a native of Yazoo County, currently resides in Atlanta. She said Rosetta Tolbert Harris Endowed Scholarships would help defray expenses for eligible candidates. Funds will pay for tuition, textbooks, supplies and other fees included in the cost of education.

“My mother started teaching around 1928. She liked school a lot. She felt that you should have a college education even if you don’t use it for anything but to fall back on. She was particularly concerned about children who lived in rural areas, where she chose to teach,” said Harris Slaughter, who recalled a doctor’s attempted to persuade her grandmother to keep her daughter (Harris Slaughter’s mother) from going back to school.

“He told my grandmother that going to school was the reason my mother head kept hurting,” said Harris Slaughter. “But my mother preserved.” Her grandmother would eventually support her daughter’s decision to go back to school.

Harris Slaughter earned her bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree from JSU and her doctorate from Indiana University in elementary and early childhood education. She was a longtime elementary teacher in Jackson and taught briefly at IU, Kentucky State and Western Kentucky University. She retired from Atlanta Public School in 2004. She said the endowment is a fitting tribute because her mother “loved helping children and parents in rural areas that other neglected. She was “no nonsense,” but some of her students were household names because her mother spoke about them so often.

Early on, Harris Slaughter described JSU as the “best state school in Mississippi.” She said, “JSU laid the foundation for everything that I w as to become.” She added, “At this point in my life, I want to assist some high school graduates who would not otherwise consider college an an option. I want to make sure young people have an opportunity.”

Also, she said, “When they become actively involved in campus life they will be more apt to go out in the world and become leaders.”

She said her life can be summed up in the words of a song by gospel singer Mahalia Jackson: “If I can help somebody… my living shall not be in vain.”

To be eligible, scholarship candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Be an undergraduate student attending Jackson State University
  • Reside in a residence hall on campus
  • Participate in one or more campus-life organizations
  • Maintain a 2.00 GPA or above
  • Be an African-American first-generation college student
  • Be a resident of Yazoo County in Mississippi (priority will be given to students who attended Linwood Elementary School)

Harris Slaughter’s desire now is to see more people support JSU through endowments and scholarships – especially since many African-American leaders graduated from HBCUs.

“People don’t need a handout as much as they need a hand-up,” she said.

JACKSON, MS – During Jackson State University’s homecoming pre-game show, the National Alumni Association publicly launch the Millions of Eyes on Excellence Fundraising Campaign with the anticipation of raising $5 million within two years.

Jackson State President William B. Bynum, Jr. challenged the alumni to raise $5 million after they collaboratively raised $1 million by June 30, 2019, for the Millions of Eyes on Excellence Fundraising Campaign, according to a press release by the university.

“The Millions of Eyes on Excellence Fundraising Campaign is an excellence opportunity for the JSUNAA and Institutional Advancement to work collaboratively to raise the bar on alumni giving,” said Gwen Caples, assistant vice president for Institutional Advancement and External Affairs.

The co-chair of the campaign further explained that the alumni participate rate (APR) is often used by corporations and foundations to determine the amount of financial support to give to a college or university. This average APR for HBCUs is 11.2 percent.

“Currently, our APR is 3.8 percent. Our goal is to reach 10 percent in alumni giving by June 30, 2019. We can accomplish this by making monthly contributions to JSU,” she said. “In this way, we will display consistency and loyalty in giving and demonstrate to corporate American that JSU alumni are unequivocally vested in the future of Jackson State University.”

In working with alumni nationwide, the JSUNAA plans to raise $2.5 million annually over the next two years to reach the $5 million goal by 2020. Through collaborative efforts, JSUNAA and Institutional Advancement are asking all alumni to give $10.40 monthly or $125 or more by June 30, 2019, and repeat the financial commitment during the next fiscal year.

Tarita Benson-Davis, first vice president for JSUNAA, Inc. and campaign co-chair, said, “It’s really important for our alumni to give to THEE institution that has given so much to us. As first vice president of JSUNAA, it it my hope that all alumni value the importance of investing in the future of JSU by donating to the Millions of Eyes on Excellence Fundraising Campaign.”

Funds raised from the campaign will support student scholarships that will benefit priorities such as athletics, the excellence or gap fund, the Sonic Boom, etc. Each donor will have the option to specifically designate their gift to a JSU college or department, student fund, annual or endowed scholarship or academic program.

Benson-Davis explained that donating to JSU helps to give back to the next generation of students. The money often goes to new scholarships and to help fund new programs.

“It is wonderful to think that donating can have a lasting impact on future generations long into the future. If we don’t take care of our university and future generation, who will?” she said.

To make a donation to the Millions of Eyes on Excellence Fundraising Campaign, visit www.jsums.edu/giveonline.

Checks should be made payable to the JSU Development Foundation, P.O. Box 17144, Jackson, MS 39217. Please note “Millions of Eyes on Excellence” on the memo line.

JACKSON, TN – Lane College, a historically black college, located in Jackson, Tennessee announces ‘A Different World’ Actress Jasmine Guy as 2018 Homecoming Parade Marshal.

According to an press release by the university, Lane college is pleased to announced actor/dancer/director Jasmine Guys as the 2018 Lane College Homecoming Parade Marshal. Guy is best known for her portrayal of southern belle Whitley Gilbert-Wayne on the hit television series, “A Different World” from 1987 to 1993. The show, set at the fictional HBCU Hillman College is credited with re-introducing historically black colleges and universities to mainstream America. The Lane College Homecoming Parade, which will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 13, is one of the greatest highlights of homecoming for Jackson and the surrounding areas.

Guy continues to enjoy a diverse career in television, theater and film. She began her professional career at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City. She starred on Broadway in the original productions of “Beehive and Leader of the Pack,” and reprised hit productions of “Grease,” “The Wiz,” and “Chicago” (as Velma Kelly). After years on Broadway and touring the globe, Jasmine landed the role of Whitley Gilbert on “A Different World.” She won six consecutive NAACP Image Awards for her portrayal of the pretentious but funny southern belle.

She will next be seen later this year in “The Christmas Pact,” a Lifetime Original movie. Recently, she was seen as Aunt Nancy in the Syfy series “Superstition,” and as Professor Ella Grace in BET’s “The Quad.” She recently starred in “My Nephew Emmett,” nominated this year for the Academy Award for Best Short Film (Live Action), based on the true story of the 1955 murder of 14 year-old Emmett Louis Till in Mississippi.

Her other television performances include: “Melrose Place,” “NYPD Blue,” “Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” and “Living Single.” She was also recently seen in episodes of Disney’s “KC Undercover,” reunited once again with “A Different World” co-star Kadeem Hardison.

As a frequent motivational public speaker, Guy is called upon to share her story openly with those who may benefit from her trials and triumphs. her ongoing desire to blend balance and discipline with ambition and service continues to fuel her passion for the arts.

She has traveled throughout the U.S. and appeared at more than 100 speaking engagements, addressing diverse audiences at colleges, universities, conventions, corporations, affinity groups, churches, high schools and countless charitable and fundraising events.

“I am grateful for my journey. It has been interesting, fun and exhilarating. I’ve learned a lot, but I am still growing, changing, exploring and learning. That’s what makes life truly exciting,” Guy said.

Applications for participation in the Lane College Homecoming Parade are available online at www.lanecollege.edu and on the campus in the J.K. Daniels Building.