Issue 529: 2 / 24 / 2014
The 25th Annual Carter G. Woodson Award Ceremony honored two remarkable African-American women who achieved success in different eras of the time continuum; Lawyer and Educational Reformer Rita Sanders Geier and Author, Entrepreneur, and Youth Advocate Summer Owens. This year's award celebrated, for the first time, the legacy of its Southwest founder, Clarence C. Christian, retired associate professor and director of the Honors Academy, by presenting the Clarence C. Christian Humanitarian Award to Summer Owens. “Usually a person is assigned to the award, but this award, ... was created with this young lady in mind," said MaLinda Wade, associate director of Southwest’s Honors Academy and the program’s organizer, as she welcomed guests and presented the occasion.
Owens, the founder and president of S.O. What! LLC and author of Life After Birth: A Memoir of Survival and Success as a Teenage Mother, became a mother at 15 as the result of a forced sexual encounter, but refused to let circumstances thwart her dreams. She graduated with honors, was number eight of her high school class, graduated magna cum laude and was crowned Miss University of Memphis. An active community speaker, Owens earned an MBA from Belhaven University, is a graduate of the Leadership Academy, was named to the Top 40 Under 40 by the Memphis Business Journal, received the Women of Achievement Heroism Award, the McDonald’s Community Hero Award, and the Tri-State Defender Women of Excellence award to name a few, and was featured nationally on CNN Headline News.
“I showed other young mothers that they can be more than just the girl with the baby. I showed everyone that no circumstance, obstacle, or mistake should hold you back from pursuing the incredible life that you deserve. Southwest is made up of people just like me, people with challenges,” Owens remarked in her acceptance.
The 2014 Carter G. Woodson Award of Merit recipient, Rita Sanders Geier, was born in Memphis, graduated from Melrose High School, and earned her jurist doctorate degree at the Vanderbilt University School of Law in Nashville. She is the former associate to the Chancellor and senior fellow at the Howard Baker Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee (2007-2011). Her extensive career in public service includes serving as the executive counselor to the commissioner of the Social Security Administration, the associate and deputy commissioner for Hearings and Appeals, and general counsel for the Appellation Regional Commission, among others. Geier received the Presidential Rank Meritorious Executive Award from President William Clinton. She is most noted for having led legislation that eradicated the vestiges of past legal segregation and the creation of a unitary system of higher education to provide greater access of equity for African-Americans throughout the state’s colleges and universities.
“This is the first honor that I've received from a community college in Tennessee. And I am so proud that it is Southwest Tennessee Community College,” Geier remarked in her acceptance. The word persistence resonated as she spoke of the challenges community college students face coupling work and family obligations while pursuing two-year degrees, many with university attainments in their scopes. “Yes, move forward to complete your degrees. But more importantly, become educated. Continue to pursue education; continue to pursue that enlightenment that will allow you to have a brighter employment future and to be even better parents,” said Geier. She was also presented the “Key to the City” by Memphis Mayor AC Wharton’s representative, Chief of Staff Bobby White.
Carolyn Head, executive director for Library Services, recited the poem, The Empowered Woman, by Sunny Carroll. The Southwest Singers sang several selections including the Negro national anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing. Other program participants were Akil Mensah, a Social and Behavioral Sciences instructor, who recited two original poems, Written and The Ant, and Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs Barbara Roseborough, who presented the Woodson Award. President Nathan Essex provided closing remarks.
View the Woodson Award Ceremony Photo Gallery.
The Student Services and Enrollment Management Division of Southwest recently launched a Student Success Center (SSC) that employs intrusive counseling and early intervention strategies to identify and resolve barriers to students’ academic success.
Students, tapped for intervention, meet routinely with their designated counselor and are required to actively participate in the development of personal and academic goals, as well as utilize campus and community resources necessary to achieve and/or enhance academic success in the classroom. The goal, according to the center officials, is for 70 percent of the students to earn a 2.5 semester grade point average.
The SSC, under the supervision of Nikita L. Ashford-Ashworth, director of Advising and Student Activities, provides the following as intervention strategies:
- Proactive advising/mentoring
- Life skills training
- College Success Seminars/workshops
- Information about college and community resources
- Work with faculty and departments for the success of students
- Help students set personal and educational goals.
For students’ convenience, the SSC is located on both the Macon Cove (Farris Building, Rm- 2135) and Union Avenue (Building M, RM- 110) campuses.
The Macon Cove Campus center is staffed with three counselors: Mike Boldreghini (333-4746), Lee Teague (333-4747), and Kay Wilson (333-4222). The Union Avenue Campus center has two counselors: Tyechia Barnes (333-5310), and Dr. Antonio Jenkins (333-5904).
Seamless Alignment and Integrated Learning Support (SAILS) is a high school/community college collaboration that introduces the college developmental math curriculum in the high school senior year. By embedding the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) Learning Support Math program in the high school Bridge Math course, students can get a head start on their college career. Students who successfully complete the program are ready to take a college-level math course, saving them time and money while accelerating their path to graduation.
The SAILS model utilizes a hybrid format of blended learning. Software is used to provide continuous assessment and instant feedback, allowing teachers to focus on individual assistance. By incorporating a diagnostic assessment into the program, students receive an individualized program of study which allows them to concentrate on improving their deficiencies needed for college readiness. Students are fully engaged, working online while receiving help from their teachers when they encounter difficulty.
In a SAILS classroom, students who have struggled in math can become successful. The program blends online instruction with individual assistance to give students the help they need. Students in SAILS save both time and money, gaining up to three semesters and saving $1,500 in college tuition. Students completing the program in the fall are eligible to take a college-level math class in spring and may qualify for Dual Enrollment Grant funds.
For more information, contact Angela K. Ventura-Wooten, executive director of Special Academic Programs, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 901-333-5358 or 901-333-4592.
Angela Payne, associate professor of Office Technology, attended the "Google: Memphis Get Your Business Online" workshop on February 14 at the Maxine A. Smith Center. The presenter and trainer was Rory Thomas, executive director of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center at Southwest.
This initiative encourages business owners to get a three-page website for their business for free, for one-year, sponsored by Google.
"This is an excellent opportunity for businesses (including start-up businesses) to market themselves online to the masses. Some businesses have seen a 25 to 40 percent increase in business by having a website. The website design software has tons of templates, clip art, and a web page editor that is similar to using Microsoft Word," said Payne.
The Southwest Tennessee Alumni Association is seeking nominations for the 2014 Alumnus of the Year award. You can nominate someone by completing a Nomination Form.
The purpose of the Southwest Tennessee Alumni Association is to promote interest in the general welfare of the college, its student body, faculty and staff, and promote the college in business and industrial circles and other areas of potential growth.
Specific activities that support the purpose include:
- Forming a network for dispensing information about jobs and career opportunities.
- Helping recruit students for Southwest.
- Serving as an "information bank" about jobs for Southwest students.
- Providing scholarships for Southwest students and/or other fundraising activities.
- Helping track alumni and keeping alumni records up to date.
All graduates and students, former and current, are eligible for membership. All members will receive the Southwest Alumni News, a bi-annual newsletter that focuses on Southwest and graduates of Southwest. Other services and benefits include:
- Alumni Services - See what the college offers after you graduate
- Alumni Spotlight - see what your fellow alumni are up to
- Career Services - Job listings, resume software and more!
- Constitution of the Southwest Alumni Association - Learn more about how the Alumni Association operates
- The Cornerstone Online - Southwest Alumni newsletter
- We Want to Hear From You! - Share announcements, employment, promotions and more
- Watch videos of Southwest Alumni - see successful alumni like yourself
For more information about the Alumni Association, contact the Alumni Office at 901-333-4997.
Chris Hawkins, who had not played since November 28 due to an injury, returned to the Southwest men’s basketball team over the weekend and led the Saluqis to conference road wins over Chattanooga State (87-80) and Cleveland State (89-68). Hawkins scored 17 points in each of the games, making 14 of 16 field goal attempts and also averaged 9.5 rebounds.
Rasheed Brooks was the top scorer against Chattanooga State with 22 points including four of five from three point range. As a team, the Saluqis shot 53.7 percent from the field and assisted on 18 of 29 field goals. Against Cleveland State, the Saluqis again shot the ball well at 53 percent and dished out a total of 22 assists, led by Perrin Buford with six and Brooks with five.
The Saluqis, now 21-3 on the season and ranked 17th in the latest NJCAA poll, will host Volunteer State on February 26 at the Verties Sails Gymnasium in the final regular season game. Tip-off will be at 8 p.m.
The Southwest women’s basketball team lost conference games on the road over the weekend to Chattanooga State 75-71 and Cleveland State 88-72. The Lady Saluqis’ record now stands at 8-14 on the season, with one regular season game remaining.
Five players scored in double-figures in the loss to Chattanooga State, led by Matoria Henley with 16 points. Tatiana Allen added 10 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to record her sixth double-double. Allen led the team with 25 points against Cleveland State, her second highest point total of the season.
The Lady Saluqis will host Volunteer State on February 26 at the Verties Sails Gymnasium in the final regular season game. Tip-off will be at 6 p.m.
The Southwest softball team lost all four games of a conference series over the weekend at Buckhead Creek Recreation Complex to defending Region VII champion Walters State. The Lady Saluqis lost by scores of 7-0, 4-0, 8-0 and 9-7.
In the series finale, the Lady Saluqis scored seven runs on six hits in the sixth inning to take a 7-4 lead before surrendering five runs in the seventh. Alex Turner had three hits in the game including, two doubles. Kelsey Knight added three hits on the day and Sami Jo Kelly had two.
The Southwest softball team will host Northeast Mississippi in a non-conference doubleheader on February 25 before returning to TCCAA play at Jackson State on February 28-March 1.
The Southwest baseball team opened conference play over the weekend in Morristown, Tennessee, winning one of three games against Walters State, the 12th-ranked team in the NJCAA’s pre-season poll. After losing 7-6 in the last inning in the series opener on February 21, the Saluqis came back to defeat the Senators 8-7 in the first game of a doubleheader on February 22, before losing the series finale 9-4.
In the victory, the lead changed hands six times before Southwest grabbed the lead in the sixth on a two-run home run by Cade Smith. Pitcher Blake Witt got the win in relief for the Saluqis, allowing no runs in one inning.
Other top hitters in the series for Southwest were Sam Seaton (two hits, two runs batted in, home run in game one), Michael Ince (home run in game one), and Ryan Bell (home run in game three).
The Southwest baseball team will travel to Senatobia, Mississippi, on February 25 for a non-conference doubleheader against Northwest Mississippi. This weekend, the Saluqis will host Chattanooga State in a three game TCCAA series at USA Stadium on February 28 and March 1.