Issue 553: 10 / 20 / 2014

Southwest Holds TNPromise Mentor Training

To support the TNPromise call for mentors, Southwest is working with Ben Sterling, Kaci Murley, and Claire Brulatour to hold a Mentor Training meeting this Friday, October 24, at noon in the Bert Bornblum Library Auditorium (ML122) on the Macon Cove Campus.  Ben Sterling  ( will be reaching out via e-mail to those who are already registered for this event. If possible, he has also asked for our kind assistance in reaching as many people as possible to serve as mentors for these upcoming college students.

Southwest employees who are planning to serve as mentors may find it convenient to attend this Mentor Training meeting. The meeting is also open to the community. According to TnPromise, participation in one of the Mentor Training meetings is mandatory for those who will serve as mentors – however – those interested in becoming mentors can attend the training session to learn more, and will be able to register as a mentor at the training. So, it does not matter whether individuals have completed an application at the time of the training.

Southwest employees can register for the training on the Macon Cove Campus at this link:

A complete list of TNPromise Mentor Training sessions is available online via the TNPromise website.

Honors Academy Holds the Conversation Peace Forum: “Stop the Violence”

Pictured are panelists Kariem Salaam ...

Pictured are panelists Kariem Salaam, MaLinda Wade, Assistant Professor of Business and Legal Studies Joanitha Barnes, Circulation Librarian Zeb Mathews, and Southwest students Briana Lee, Toleta Patterson, and Robert Sullivan.

Audience participation was overwhelming.

Audience participation was overwhelming.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In light of the March 2014 assault by an NFL player on his then-fiancée, now wife, domestic violence has garnered a lot of national attention. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Justice reported, “It is estimated that almost 25 percent of college women have been victims of rape or attempted rape since the age of 14.” Southwest’s Honors Academy held its Conversation Peace Forum: Stop the Violence, on October 9 to try and tackle the issue of violence.

A lively conversation ensued regarding the NFL player’s assault. “The audience’s take on domestic violence is that it is unacceptable behavior from anyone, regardless of gender, occupation, background etc.," stated Associate Director of the Honors Academy MaLinda Wade, regarding the NFL player’s assault charge. “They did believe the media played a great part in the negativity of the issue. They seemed to highlight the race and the glamor of the "rich," versus the poor, in terms of domestic violence and its acceptability.”

As usual, students participated on the panel. Not withstanding, the audience’s participation was exceptional. “I think the timely topics induced participation ... as you see, many of our students have experienced domestic violence; both men and women. ...The key is 'how can Southwest be a change agent in these matters.' That’s why I created the Conversation Peace forums - to allow students to express their views and examine their needs as part of the general populace," said Wade.

The issue of parenting, particularly methods of disciplining was also a huge topic. Executive Director of Library Services Carolyn Head, discussed a method of discipline she used with her children that didn't incorporate corporal punishment. She felt it was highly effective and yielded lasting results. She indicated that disciplining should encompass lessons that encourage children to model acceptable behaviors.

Director, PBI Competitive Grant Kariem-Abdul Salaam stressed that discipline should be specific to the child, and the incident for which they are being chastised, not a one-fits-all approach. He also stated that children are different from their parents, and should be viewed as such. Parents, he stressed, should recognize that what worked for them may not, and many times doesn’t, work for their offspring.

The consensus among the students was that parents are oftentimes overbearing when they discipline. They frequently set unrealistic boundaries for their children, who, when giving any measure of freedom, conduct themselves with unabashed abandonment.  

 “I would like to see Southwest offer parenting and relationship seminars and workshops. We heal the student community, we heal the Southwest Community, we heal families and the community,” said Wade.

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The Latest Upward Bound College Tours

Upward Bound Program students at ...

Upward Bound Program students at UT Chattanooga.

The students explore Rock City ...

The students explore Rock City at Lookout Mountain.

Upward Bound students visited the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on September 20 where we  took them on tours of Lookout Mountain, Rock City and rode the Incline Railroad.

The Upward Bound program continues to expose students to various colleges and activities to spark their interest in higher education. The students visited Lane College on October 4, where they were provided a tour of the campus, got to eat in the cafeteria with college students, and had an opportunity to attend a football game.

Continuing efforts to broaden participants’ knowledge of colleges, we attended High School Day at Grambling State University in Louisiana on October 11. The students were provided an opportunity to see campus life and a Greek step show; entertained by the band and cheerleaders; and provided tickets to attend another football game.

Four Southwest students, who are Upward Bound alumni, also attended in search of transfer opportunities.

Submitted by Ouida Warren, director of Southwest's Upward Bound Program.

Upward Bound students are pictured ...

Upward Bound students are pictured at Lane College.

The students while visiting Grambling ...

The students while visiting Grambling State University.

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Nationally Accclaimed Writer Presents Workshop and Reading

Ellen Gilchrist

Ellen Gilchrist

Southwest’s Languages and Literature Department hosts visiting novelist and short story writer Ellen Gilchrist, who will conduct a fiction workshop on November 11 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. on the Macon Cove Campus. Later that evening, Gilchrist will give a public reading at Southwest's new Nursing Natural Sciences and Biotechnology Building at 5 p.m. She will read from her latest works: Acts of God (April 2014), ten scenarios thematically linked about people dealing with forces beyond their control who somehow manage to survive, persevere, and even triumph; and A Dangerous Age (Reprinted April 2014), a celebration of the women in the Hand family whose bonds of blood and shared loss, stretching back through generations of controversy, sadness and wars, hold them together.

Gilchrist is hailed as “a national cultural treasure” (The Washington Post) and the distinguished author of more than 20 works, including Victory Over Japan, which won the National Book Award. Noted as “smart, funny, moving, and elegant” (Vogue), she is among a small list of writers who “are adept at spinning funny, slyly insightful tales that radiate outward like tiny satellites, orbiting a fictional universe that mirrors the more unpredictable and tellingly human moments in our own” (The New York Times Book Review).

Born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Gilchrist spent part of her childhood on a plantation owned by her maternal grandparents. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and studied creative writing under renowned writer Eudora Welty at Millsaps College. She lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Fiction Workshop

The workshop is free and open to the public. However, advanced registration is encouraged since space is limited. To register and participate in the workshop, please submit an original fiction or non-fiction manuscript to Jerome Wilson at no later than Friday, October 31.

Gilchrist's books will be available for purchase at the Union Avenue Campus bookstore.


The reading will be followed immediately by a reception.

For additional information contact Jerome Wilson at 901-333-5215. This event is free and open to the public.

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The Maxine A. Smith Center Selected as a Parking Site for the 2014 Race for the Cure® 5K

Maxine A. Smith Center

Maxine A. Smith Center

Southwest’s Maxine A. Smith Center located at 8800 East Shelby Drive has been selected as a parking/pickup site for the 2014 Susan Komen Race for the Cure® “5k Co-ed Run/Walk and 1 Mile Subway Family Fun Walk.” The event will be held on October 25 at 9 a.m. at Carriage Crossing in Collierville, TN.

“We will have shuttles picking up and dropping off [at the Maxine A. Smith Center] to and from the event at Carriage Crossing,” said Marlene Wilson, who is in charge of logistics and shuttles for the event. “Shuttles will start at 6 a.m. and end approximately at 2 p.m.”

Wilson indicated the Collierville police and fire departments will provide security control.

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Beware of Ebola Scams

Reprinted from a Special to The Commercial Appeal
By Randy Hutchinson
President of the BBB

Con artists take advantage of the headlines to add an air of legitimacy to their scams. Two government agencies have issued consumer alerts about Ebola related scams.

The Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers about products sold online that claim to prevent or treat the Ebola virus. The FDA has seen and received complaints about a variety of phony cures.

There are currently no FDA-approved drugs or vaccines to treat Ebola. Some experimental treatments are under development, but they haven’t been fully tested for safety and effectiveness. The supply is limited and they aren’t available for purchase on the Internet.

The FDA also warns about dietary supplements that claim to prevent or cure the disease.

While it apparently hasn’t seen any stock swindles specifically capitalizing on Ebola yet, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) says that news coverage of viral outbreaks often catches the eye of stock scammers. It’s aware of investment scams that claim to offer the opportunity to profit from the development of products that will prevent the spread of viral diseases.

The crooks employ a classic “pump and dump” scheme. They pump the stock by creating a demand for it through aggressive and optimistic statements about the business in press releases, emails and other media.

After the share price spikes, they dump their shares at a profit, leaving later investors with a worthless, or near-worthless, stock. The people behind the fraud are often promoters or insiders at small companies in weak financial condition.

FINRA offers these tips for avoiding a viral disease stock scam:

Consider the source. Be skeptical of press releases, emails and promotional materials from unknown senders hyping a company and its products. Promoters often make exaggerated claims about lucrative contracts or acquisitions, patent-pending technology, potential revenues, profits or future stock price.

Do some sleuthing. Find out who is at the controls of a company before you invest, starting with an Internet search. Try to contact the company and its personnel. Non-working phone numbers and bogus business addresses often can be revealed through a simple phone call or Internet search.

Know where the stock trades. Most pump-and-dump schemes involve stocks that don’t trade on The NASDAQ Stock Market, the New York Stock Exchange or other registered national securities exchanges. Instead, these stocks tend to be quoted on an over-the-counter (OTC) platform.

Read a company’s SEC filings. Most public companies file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Check its EDGAR database to find out whether the company files with the SEC.

Remember that just because a company has registered its securities or has filed reports with the SEC doesn’t mean it has been approved by the SEC or that the merits of an investment in the company have been assessed.

Be wary of frequent changes to a company’s name or business focus. Frequent name changes may be a sign that a company is engaged in a potential fraud.

Read the fine print. Disclosure statements in promotional materials may reveal that the senders have been paid large sums of money to provide optimistic coverage of the stock.

Don’t fall for name dropping. Citing a relationship with a government agency, prominent company, or academic institution may be a ploy to create legitimacy for a company that doesn’t deserve it.

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