Maxine R. Greenleaf

Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) alumna Maxine R. Greenleaf has earned an appointment to the Strategic Communications Executive Committee for the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU). It’s the oldest higher education association in the country and aims to strengthen and advance public universities’ work in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

Greenleaf currently serves as the Executive Director of Communications and Marketing in Jackson State University’s Division of Institutional Advancement. She graduated from MVSU in 2007 with a degree in Mass Communications. From 2008 to 2012, Greenleaf worked in MVSU’s Office of Communications and Marketing. She held the position of director in the same department from 2013-2017.

As an executive committee member on APLU’s Council on Strategic Communications (CSC), Greenleaf will work with other professionals throughout the country to provide a forum that will bolster senior leaders’ work in communications and public affairs, as well as public relations.

“It is an honor to be appointed to APLU’s Council on Strategic Communications,” said Greenleaf. “I’ve spent over 14 years of my career in higher education because I believe in its transformational power. I am excited to contribute to conversations on this level to assist with improving access and communicating the public good benefits of higher ed.”

“We are pleased to learn of Mrs. Maxine Greenleaf’s appointment by the APLU, one of the country’s oldest higher education associations. It is an honor in which she should be proud.” said Thomas K. Hudson, acting president of JSU.

The council works to create coherent messaging and practical strategies that communicates public higher education value to key constituencies. The CSC also works closely with the Council on Government Affairs (CGA) on messages of importance to federal and state policymakers and the Commission on Economic and Community Engagement (CECE) to communicate issues about economic development.

APLU’s membershi[ consists of 246 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and affiliated organizations. Its core mission is to build a greater future for everyone through the following methods:

  • Expand access and improve student success to deliver the innovative workforce of tomorrow
  • Advance and promote research and discovery to improve society
  • Foster economic growth and address global challenges
  • Build healthy, prosperous, equitable, vibrant communities locally and globally

After months of planning, the Fannie Lou Hamer marker, spearheaded by Mississippi Valley State University students, honoring the 1965 Voting Rights Act, is finally ready to be revealed, according to the University.

On Tuesday, October 6, at 1 p.m., a ceremony will be held in front of the Sunflower County Courthouse located at 200 Second Street, Indianola, Mississippi.

Dr. C Sade Turnipseed, who currently serves as an adjunct professor at MVSU and students from her Public History course, worked diligently on the project led by 17-year-old Brian Diyaolu.

“At MVSU, we care about historical figures in America. We want to make sure these cherished and important people are remembered,” said Diyaolu. “Individuals are remembered in the sands of time, and Mrs. Hamer falls in this category of people, so we made it our sacred duty to honor her contributions so that she is not forgotten.”

MVSU President Dr. Jerryl Briggs, Sr., supported the project and shared what it means to the University and the students to be involved.

“Here at MVSU, we pride ourselves on putting students first, and Dr. Turnipseed truly does just that. I congratulate her and the students on this outstanding accomplishment. Understanding the significance of our nation’s history is extremely important because, through this knowledge, we can build stronger communities,” said Briggs.

Turnipseed said the location of the marker is significant.

“This is the historic spot where Fannie Lou Hamer, other Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) members, stood in protest of voter suppression in the state of Mississippi and throughout the American South,” she said.

“The date of the unveiling is significant because Mrs. Hamer was born on that day in 1917, on a cotton plantation in Sunflower County. This would have been Mrs. Hamer’s 103rd birthday celebration.”

The group received financial support from the Sunflower County Board of Supervisors, Khafre, Inc., Bell Grove Baptist Church, and other concerned citizens.

The historical marker will be the world’s first commemorating Hamer’s courageous stance to ensure all Americans’ voting rights. On August 6, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, guaranteeing African Americans the right to vote, due in no small measure to Mrs. Hamer’s and several other members of the SNCC advocacy.

Turnipseed expressed that the institution is committed to positively impacting the quality of life and creating extraordinary educational opportunities for the Mississippi Delta and beyond.

“This public history endeavor allowed MVSU students to reach new heights by demonstrating their appreciation for the contributions that Mrs. Hamer and her contemporaries made to America.”

###

About Mississippi Valley State University
Mississippi Valley State University, as a Carnegie Classified Master’s University, provides comprehensive undergraduate and graduate programs in education, the arts and sciences, and professional studies. The University is driven by its commitment to excellence in teaching, learning, service, and research–a commitment resulting in a learner-centered environment that prepares critical thinkers, exceptional communicators, and service-oriented, engaged, and productive citizens. MVSU is fundamentally committed to positively impacting the quality of life and creating extraordinary educational opportunities for the Mississippi Delta and beyond. For more information, visit www.mvsu.edu.

ITTA BENA, MS – Students attending Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) will benefit from a five-year $200,000 grant commitment from the Woodward Hines Education Foundation (WHEF) to support college retention, persistence, and completion through the Improving Mississippi’s Persistence and Completion Together (IMPACT) initiative.

WHEF is an endowed Mississippi non-profit organization that has focused it efforts on promoting increased postsecondary access among underrepresented students for nearly 25 years, and most recently expanded its mission to also support increased credential completion within the state.

“The need to support students and to improve the rates of college completion among Mississippians has always existed. But, in light of COVID, the need has never been greater and more pressing,” said Jim McHale, WHEF President and CEO.

“According to Georgetown University, it is estimated that 65% of all jobs require some kind of postsecondary education. Currently, Mississippi sits at 45.2%. In order to improve the lives of Mississippians, to support Mississippi’s economic recovery, and to competitively position our state within a global economy, there is a critical need to not only have more students enroll in college, but to have them successfully complete their degree or credential.”

MVSU’s project, “The Road to Success: Retention, Persistence, Graduation (RPG)”, is designed to improve academic out-comes for a yearly minimum of 50 at-risk, particularly first-generation, low-income minority students. To this end, RPG will provide students with intensive, intrusive targeted services geared toward successful college completion.

Included among these services are regularly scheduled academic advising and counseling, face-to-face and online mandatory tutorial sessions and career counseling. The project has, at its core, coordination and integration of tutorial into MVSU’s First-and Second-Year Experience programs, as well as gateway courses.

The tutorial services are designed as an umbrella collective, which prevents the duplication of services, while maximizing student usage throughout the academic term rather than around test time. Students will participate in individualized and small group sessions that offer flexibility but require at least two (2) hours of weekly attendence.

“We are elated to partner with the Woodward Hines Education Foundation to enhance the support and resources available to MVSU students,” said Dr. Jerryl Briggs, Sr., MVSU President. “We know that a college degree is transformative not only for the lives of our students but their families as well. Though funding from the Woodward Hines Education Foundation, we will be able to assist students with educational barriers to ensure their academic and personal success. I am certain that Dr. (Kathie) Stromile Golden and her team will develop innovative and impactful programs that will resonate with our students.”

In addition to the grant funding, WHEF will underwrite biennial IMPACT convenings for all Mississippi public baccalaureate institutions, with the goal of creating a state-specific, facilitated community of practice for the exchange of findings, insights, and ideas; in addition, WHEF plans to provide coordinated access to high-quality professional development opportunities for institutional faculty and staff, innovations in data collection and usage, as well as platforms for peer learning.

“In addition to providing financial resources to individual schools, we hope to create a learning community where generative conversations about college success can happen,” said Shanell Watson, WHEF Program Officer and IMPACT Project Lead. “Although each Mississippi institution has its own unique challenges and opportunities, they are also working to solve the same problems. Our goal with the IMPACT initiative is to provide a place where our universities can share with and learn from one another, for the betterment of all our students.”

###

About Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU)


Mississippi Valley State University, as a Carnegie Classified Master’s University, provides comprehensive undergraduate and graduate programs in education, the arts and sciences, and professional studies. The University is driven by its commitment to excellence in teaching, learning, service, and research~a commitment resulting in a learner~centered environment that prepares critical thinkers, exceptional communicators, and service-oriented, engaged, and productive citizens. MVSU is fundamentally committed to positively impacting the quality of life and creating educational opportunities for the Mississippi Delta and beyond. For more information, visit www.mvsu.edu.

JACKSON, MS – The Division I Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association (FCS ADA) has selected Ashley Robinson, vice president and director of athletics at Jackson State University (JSU), to serve as President for the 2020-21 membership year.

Robinson is the first African American to serve as FCS ADA President. He takes over for Kent Haslam, director of athletics at the University of Montana, who served for the 19-20 year and will transition to Immediate Past President. In addition to Robinson, the following athletics directors will serve as FCS ADA Officers for the 2020-21 membership year: 1st Vice President Nicki Moore, director of athletics at Colgate University; 2nd Vice President Tom Michael, director of athletics at Eastern Illinois University and 3rd Vice President Milton Overton, director of athletics at Kennesaw State University.

“It’s an honor to serve as the President of the FCS ADA for the upcoming year,” said Robinson, who begins his second year at the helm at JSU. “Our highest priorities remain giving voice to our membership while supporting both the incredible sport of football and the FCS brand. We are dedicated to building upon the outstanding work of the FCS ADA and ensuring our student-athletes have the first-class academic and athletics experiences they so deserve.”

Robinson is a Mississippi Valley State University graduate. As a four-year letterman in basketbal at MVSU where he is the single-season and career record-holder in assists after playing point guard for the Delta Devils. An MVSU Athletics Hall of Fame inductee in 2011, Robinson also was named MVSU Athlete of the Year in 2002, receiving the President’s Scholar Award in that same year. He served as the Athletic Director for MVSU during the 2012-13 academic year.

###

About the FCS ADA

Now in its 27 year, the Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association’s mission is to enhance Football Championship Subdivision football. For more information on the FCS ADA, please visit www.fcsada.com. The FCS ADA is administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which is in its 56th year. For more information on NACDA and the 17 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com.

ITTA BENA – A Mississippi Valley State University alumnus recently teamed up with his employer to present the institution with a $5,000 grant.

According to a press release by the university, Itta Bena native Kortney Haymore, a 2017 graduate of MVSU’s Environmental Health program, currently serves as an industrial hygienist with Gobbell Hays Partners (GHP), Inc. in San Antonio.

The company recently awarded its inaugural $5,000 community grant to MVSU by way of a nomination made by Haymore.

“When GHP first announced the contest, I knew I wanted to nominate MVSU – particularly the Environmental Science program. Valley is the only school in the Mississippi Delta with an Environmental Health program and that makes it unique,” said Haymone.

In a post announcing MVSU as the recipient of the award, GHP stated, “Thank you, MVSU for equipping bright minds like Kortney to improve environment health in Mississippi and across the world.”

Dameon Shaw, MVSU’s interim vice president for university advancement, said that the grant will help equip more students with skills to make a different in a global society.

“We are thankful to GHP for being visionaries in giving back. We are also excited that one of our alums, Mr. Kortney Haymore, has found a place in this amazing company,” said Shaw. “Korney’s love for the University motivated him to nominate MVSU for the company’s first-ever community grant, which will enable us to touch the lives of more students and improve our capacity to serve our community.”

For Haymore, Valley has been a beacon of light and having the chance to give back means a great deal to him.

“The professors poured so much knowledge into me and countless others assisted me throughout my matriculation at MVSU, so now to be able to reach out and help another student means everything to me,” he added.

GHP specializes in the fields of Architecture, Forensic Architecture, Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), LEED/Sustainability and Project Management in Healthcare, Hospitality, Historic Renovation, Multi-Family, Government, Laboratories, Commercial and Education. This firm is one of the first to successfully integrate architectural design with environmental and industrial hygiene consultation.

To learn more about GHP visit, www.ghp1.com.

To learn more about MVSU’s Environment Health program, call (662) 254-3377 or visit www.mvsu.edu.

Dr. Elizabeth Evans

ITTA BENA, MS – Mississippi Valley State University President Dr. Jerryl Briggs has announced Dr. Elizabeth Evans as the Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs, according to a press release by the university. Her appointment comes after the sudden death of Dr. Constance Bland, who was the current Vice President of Academic Affairs. Dr. Bland passed away on October 9.

In this role, Evans will as the institution’s chief academic officer, overseeing the Office of Academic Affairs. As a member of the institution’s Executive and Extended Cabinets. She was also play an integral role in the overall management of the institution.

“Dr. Evans has had a remarkable career, both in the United States Air Force and here at Mississippi Valley State University,” said Briggs. “She is extremely committed to our students and university’s success, and I look forward to her continuing to more our academic mission forward.”

Evans, who most recently served as the associate vice president of academic affairs, said she is humbled by the opportunity to serve.

“My experience in the military and the field of education have converged to prepare me for this executive administrative position. I embrace the opportunity and welcome supportive ideas,” she said.

A 1975 graduate of Genty High School in Indianola, Miss. Evans earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Mississippi Valley State University, where she was commissioned as a Distinguished Graduate of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) program (1979).

She is a 24-year veteran of the United States Air Force, where she spent the first 20 years of that time in the “Space Operations” career field working with satellites and their role in the defense of the United States of America. The remaining four years were spent recruiting, educating, training, motivating, and selecting college students for military service.

Her years of active military service and specialized training are foundational pillars for her experience in leading various technical, operational and research/study groups, leading various groups and project, managing organizational budgets, and developing and implementing organizational policies. She tire as a Lieutenant Colonel in November 2003.

Evans joined the Mississippi Valley State University faculty in the fall of 2003, serving in the Social Science Department. Her service included teaching as well as membership in and leadership of various university and departmental committees, academic program coordinator, program internship coordinator, membership in and leadership of the MVSU Faculty, Senate, and acting department chair.

She began serving as associate vice president of academic affairs in Feb. 2017. Her tenure included developing and implementing policies, procedures and practices designed to ensure effective delivery of academic programs at the undergraduate an graduate levels.

Among her responsibilities were planning and supervising the improvement of academic programs and faculty development, collaborating with department chairs and faculty to implement the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), communicating and advancing the mission and core values of the University by ensuring that Academic Affairs has positioned the University’s academic programs to carry out such, and collaborating with senior leadership in the periodic review of academic programs to monitor the institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) program productivity.

Evans’ primary interest in student achievement. She believes that teaching is more than the giving of information; is it working to ensure learning takes place.

Evans is the mother of two children, Constance Caesar and Lawrence Caesar, and on granddaughter, Caitlyn Caesar.