Issue 558: 11 / 24 / 2014

Southwest Celebrates Opening of Its New Nursing, Natural Sciences, and Biotechnology Building

Cutting the ribbon are (left ...

Cutting the ribbon are (left to right are) Rep. Larry Miller, Ed Lyons, Barbara Jacobs - Plough Foundation, Mike Nicoletta - Medtronic, Nathan L. Essex, John M. Farris, Mary McDaniel, Warren Nichols, Greg Duckett, and Susan Strange-McClora.

Nursing, Natural Sciences, and Biotechnology ...

Nursing, Natural Sciences, and Biotechnology Building lobby entrance from Myrtle Street.

Nursing, Natural Sciences, and Biotechnology ...

Nursing, Natural Sciences, and Biotechnology Building from Myrtle Street view.

Alas, after much anticipation, curiosity, elation, and at times, frustration, Southwest held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its New Nursing, Natural Sciences, and Biotechnology Building on November 20. Southwest President Nathan L. Essex conveyed, during his welcoming remarks, the rationality for erecting the ultra modern facility, particularly, the dire shortage of nurses in Tennessee and Shelby County, along with limited space at the college to enroll qualified nursing student candidates. After detailing the long, arduous road to completion, Essex stated, "Today the dream comes into fruition."

Supporters and well-wishers representing national, state and local governments, businesses, organizations and foundations, along with members of the community and Southwest employees attended the celebration including, TN State Rep. Larry Miller; Shelby County Commissioner Eddie Jones; School Board Commissioner Kevin Woods; Lora Jobe, representative for U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander; Jeremy Jordan, representative for U.S. Congressman Steve Cohen; and TBR Regent Greg Duckett, Former Regent John Farris, and Vice Chancellor Warren Nichols.

“We, at the Tennessee Board of Regents, applaud the quality of Nursing, Natural Sciences and Biotechnology Programs. …The new Nursing, Natural Sciences and Biotechnology Building will create yet another opportunity for higher education to better serve the academic and professional training needs of students, employers and communities throughout the Mid-South,” Nichols remarked.

Remarks were also made by Farris, Former Southwest Foundation Board Chair Mary Hayes McDaniel, Southwest Foundation Chair Ed Lyons, Southwest Interim Provost Barbara Roseborough – introduction of nursing graduate, Southwest Nursing Student Graduate and Adjunct Faculty Member Susan Strange-McClora, and Southwest Vice President for Institutional Advancement Karen F. Nippert – conclusion.

Designed by Fleming Associates Architecture firm, the three-story building sits on the corner of Union Avenue and Myrtle Street directly across from Sun Studios. The facility has approximately 61,000 square feet that includes a 250-seat teaching auditorium, four lecture rooms, a computer/tutorial lab for 100 students, four nursing skills labs, and a biotechnology lab with prep room. The new facility will allow Southwest to train up to 400 students a year, a 45 percent increase over the number of students currently served.

Donors who supported the Nursing, Natural Sciences and Biotechnology Building were granted the opportunity to select commemoratives to honor or memorialize loved ones or to express their commitment to education. Currently, naming designations include the following:

Nursing, Natural Sciences and Biotechnology Building Memorials

View Nursing, Natural Sciences, and Biotechnology Ribbon-Cutting Photo Gallery

Southwest Alumna Mia Atkins-Beason Wins Women’s Economic Council Foundation Scholarship

Pictured are (left to right ...

Pictured are (left to right) Scholarship Chair Patricia Pierce; Traditional Scholarship Recipients Payton Garland, Kaitlyn Carlton and Madeline Mac Arthur; First Lady Chrissy Haslam ; and Non-Traditional Recipients Lanesa Bowman, Naomi Bustamante and Mia Atkins-Beason.


Every so often, we hear about Southwest students and alumni who are exceptional. And sometimes, the people that tell us about them do such a good job, we want to tell it in their own words. Such is the story below about Mia Atkins-Beason, who recently won a $2,000 Women’s Economic Council Foundation (WECF) Scholarship, as told by Assistant Professor of Business and Legal Studies Joan McGrory:

Mia Atkins is a true Southwest "Completer" in that she has completed multiple degrees from Southwest.  Each time she completed with top honors.  She was student president of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and worked in the Student Services office (where she is often still found).  She and her family are active at Southwest and she participated in any program that she could including Ms. Nikita Ashford-Ashworth's Leadership Institute, the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature (TISL),  and she has been an unofficial mentor to many students at Southwest.  She has reached these heights despite overcoming many personal struggles.  She is an example of the success that students can achieve.  She is proudly representing Southwest as she continues to achieve. … She is an excellent role model for our students.

– Joan McGrory

Atkins-Beason was one of six women awarded a $2,000 scholarship and a Dell laptop computer during the recent Tennessee Economic Summit for Women, presented by the Women's Economic Council Foundation, Inc. and the Tennessee Economic Council on Women. Recipients were selected based on academic achievement, leadership, community activities, and financial need.

Atkins-Beason represented West Tennessee (non-traditional women) and is currently a student at the University of Memphis where she is studying business administration with a concentration in management. While at the University of Memphis, she has served on the Avon B. Fogelman Student Advisory Board, Society for Human Resource Management, and the Black Scholars Unified. Additionally while serving in the United States Navy Reserve, she received a Joint Service Achievement Medal and Joint Meritorious Unit Award. Atkins-Beason has volunteered in her community with the Upward Bound program and at Southwest Tennessee Community College as a tutor, peer advisor, and organization information agent.

Back to Top

SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative Graduates 15 Memphis Entrepreneurs

SBA's Emerging Leaders Initiative ...

SBA's Emerging Leaders Initiative graduates along with (far left ) TSBDC Executive Director for Southwest Rory Thomas, Emerging Leaders Facilitator Steve Pitcairn and (far right) Walter Perry.

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Emerging Leaders initiative graduated 15 entrepreneurs on October 30 from a prestigious nationwide initiative which has enjoyed great success in Memphis over the last seven years. 

“Here in Memphis, we are very fortunate to have one of only 27 communities in the U.S.  which were chosen to participate in the Emerging Leaders Initiative—a special SBA training initiative that is a “mini MBA” specifically focused on established businesses currently poised for growth,” said Walter Perry, SBA Tennessee District Director. “Our graduating class this year recognizes the seventh consecutive Emerging Leaders class in Memphis, bringing the total number of graduates to over 100,” he added.  The graduation was attended by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr., who also addressed the graduation class.

Participants received 100-plus hours of professional specialized training and peer-to-peer counseling delivered over the course of seven months. Through class instructor Steve Pitcairn and guest speakers, participants learned about development and expansion strategies for their businesses, options for accessing new capital, and opportunities for securing government contracts. The program enjoys support from EDGE, the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County, which along with the Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) at Southwest Tennessee Community College, has enabled participants to be aware of small business resources in the Memphis community.  

Distinguished Emerging Leaders graduates included the following Memphis area small business owners:  Anthony Norris − Worldwide Label & Packaging; Ronald Meredith − The Financial Center; Sabrina Whisenant − Three Point Graphics, Inc.; Michael Farmer − Glory Apparel & Advertising; Veronica Sanders − Spa Therapies; Alyson Frazier − Inquisitor, Inc.; Kris Clinton − Blue Line Investigations, Inc.; John  Love − Superior Funeral Home; Felicia Knowles − ADD & DYSLEXIA Therapy Center; Robert Ellsworth − Clean Sweep of America; Brent Hooks − Allworld Project Management; Tina Parmar − HIM, Inc.; Jonathan Nyaku − Memphis Consulting Group, LLC; Alandas Dobbins − Nsight Communication; and Ahmed Esmail − First Choice IT Group.

Since 2008, the Emerging Leaders Initiative has helped promising small business owners in underserved communities across the country sustain and grow their businesses. In concluding remarks to Memphis Emerging Leaders graduates, Perry said, “Congratulations to a successful group of graduates as they are equipped to grow their business and create jobs in Memphis and Shelby County, benefiting the entire Volunteer State.”

The SBA was established in 1953 to help people get in business, stay in business, and grow their businesses. For more information on SBA programs and services, including the Emerging Leaders initiative, please visit the SBA website,; or contact the SBA Tennessee District Office, 616-736-5881,

Back to Top

Beware of Calls That Violate Telemarketing Sales Rule

Reprinted from The Jackson Sun
By Randy Hutchinson
President of the BBB

Most people are familiar with the National Do Not Call Registry, but not the federal regulation that established it and that provides other protections from unwanted and unethical telemarketing calls. It’s the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR).

Before I describe some of the lesser known, but equally important, provisions of the TSR, I’ll remind readers about how the National Do Not Call Registry works.

You can put your phone number on the registry by calling 1-888-382-1222 (TTY: 1-866-290-4236) from that number. You can register online at, but must provide an email address and respond to a confirmation message within 72 hours. Registration is free.

Telemarketers subject to the TSR must check the registry every 31 days and avoid calling numbers on it. Violators could be fined up to $16,000 per call.

When the registry was first established, you had to re-register your number every five years. That was changed in 2008 and now a number will only be removed when it’s disconnected and reassigned or when you elect to remove it.

Certain calls are exempt from the TSR, including those from political organizations, charities and telephone surveyors. Organizations that you have an established business relationship with can call you for up to 18 months after your last purchase, payment or delivery. If you simply made an inquiry or application, they can call you for three months.

You can request that a for-profit telemarketer calling on a charity’s behalf or an organization with whom you have an established business relationship not call you again.

Beware of sales calls disguised as surveys or attempts to establish a relationship that may come in the form of a survey, a sweepstakes entry, or the offer of a “free” product.

The TSR also prohibits deceptive and abusive practices and establishes standards of conduct for callers:

Have you ever answered the phone and heard nothing on the other end? Such “dead air” or hang-up calls are usually being made by an automatic dialer that places more calls than the telemarketing staff can handle. The TSR requires telemarketers to connect you to a sales representative within two minutes; and, if one isn’t available, to play a recorded message telling you who is calling and the number they’re calling from.

These are other key provisions of the TSR:

If you get a call that violates any of the provisions of the TSR, there’s a high likelihood it’s a scam.

Back to Top

Southwest Basketball Teams Sweep Dyersburg State

Brandi Whitaker

Brandi Whitaker

DeAndre McKinnie

DeAndre McKinnie

The Southwest men’s and women’s basketball teams both defeated Dyersburg State on November 22 at the Verties Sails Gymnasium for their second conference sweep of the season.

LaKyesha Stennis scored 19 points to lead a balanced scoring attack in the Lady Saluqis’ 87-76 victory.  Also in double figures were Brandi Whitaker (career-high 18 points), Keoshia McGhee (13 points) and Iesha Humphrey (12 points).  The Lady Saluqis out-rebounded Dyersburg State by a 52-35 margin led by Keoshia McGhee, who grabbed 14 rebounds and earned her fourth double-double (points and rebounds) of the season.

In the men’s game, DeAndre McKinnie, Johnathan Burroughs-Cook and Earl Bryant each scored at least 20 points, combining for a total of 70 in the Saluqis’ 105-99 win.  McKinnie led the team with a career-high 25 points while Burroughs-Cook added 23 and Bryant 22 points. Jimario Rivers came off the bench to record his second straight double-double of the season with 10 points and a team-high 12 rebounds.

The Southwest men will travel to Tallahassee, Florida this week for the Tallahassee Thanksgiving Tournament.  The Saluqis will take on Northwest Florida State on November 26, then will play the host school Tallahassee on November 27. 

Back to Top