Meridian Star


September 12, 2012

Excellence in Education

MERIDIAN —      • Courtney Knox has been selected to receive the Eva Mae Gilbert Edwards Memorial Scholarship at Meridian Community College. 

    This $650 award is funded through the MCC Foundation. Edwards served as the librarian at Meridian Community College for many years.

     Knox, a 2005 graduate of Southeast High School, will enter his second year in the electronics technology program at MCC. He is a participant in Skills USA and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year college students. Kox plans to continue his education at the University of West Alabama to earn is bachelor’s degree in electronics and telecommunications.

    • Menika T. Howard has been selected to receive the Gerry Wayne Purvis Scholarship at Meridian Community College. 

    This $2,000 award was established with the MCC Foundation by Betty Purvis to honor her husband for his service as president of the Foundation Board of Directors and his commitment to education. Mr. Purvis has been named to the College’s Hall of Fame — a recognition of alumni who have distinguished themselves in their vocational field.

     Howard, a 2000 graduate of Greenwood High School, is a fourth-semester student in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at MCC. She is a member of the Health Occupation Students of America. Her plans are to open a wellness clinic that offers several treatment options for a variety of conditions.

    • OXFORD – Maria Pierce, James-David Rumels, Griffen Gardner and Camden Weir, all of Meridian, were among 59 students from around the state who attended one of three sessions of Summer Academy, at the University of Mississippi.

    Summer Academy offered students entering grades 8, 9 and 10 this fall the opportunity to experience college life.

    The three, three-week sessions allowed the students to make new friends and contacts, learn time management, improve study habits and earn high school credit that may count toward high school graduation requirements.

    • Jasmine Burnside recently met all graduation requirements and received her diploma from Neshoba Central High School. Burnside's future plans are to attend East Central Community College.

    • OXFORD – Several local and area students  attended one of two sessions of the 13th annual Lott Summer Leadership Institute at the University of Mississippi. More than 900 students were nominated for the institute this year, and after a rigorous review process, 51 were selected to participate.

     The month-long sessions offer rising high school seniors the opportunity to develop leadership skills and prepare for college. The ideal outcome is for the students to return to their high schools and put their new skills to work for the betterment of their own schools and communities.

     Lott Scholars enroll in Political Science 101: Introduction to American Politics and Speech 102: Fundamentals of Public Speaking. They are given opportunities to mingle with college administrators, student leaders and community leaders, while participating in current event debates, discussions and decision-making activities. They also engage in discussions with leaders in industry and in the nonprofit sector.

     Following completion of their studies at UM, the scholars travel to Washington, D.C., to visit with federal officials, tour the Capitol, Library of Congress, Smithsonian Institution and other attractions.

     The institute is a partnership between UM’s Lott Leadership Institute and the Division of Outreach's Summer College for High School Students.

    Local and area attendees were: Jenna Smiley, Griffen Gardner, Maria Pierce and Camden Weir, all of Meridian; James-David Rumels of Toomsuba; Rachel May of Collinsville; Brock Mardis of Enterprise; Antajh Boggan of Philadelphia; and Harley Byrd of Beaumont

    • Kelsey Creel and Merry Elizabeth Driver have been selected to receive the Jacob Toney Memorial Scholarships at Meridian Community College. 

    These $2,200 awards are funded through the MCC Foundation from an endowment established by Rebekah Hurley “Ree Ree” Toney of Quitman. This memorial tribute to her son is designated for a student from Clarke County studying in one of the 12 Health Education courses at MCC.

     Creel is a 2012 high honors graduate of Enterprise High School, where she was a member of the National Honor Society and Beta Club.  At MCC, Creel is taking general education courses in preparation for acceptance into the Associate Degree Nursing Program.

     Driver is a 2012 graduate of Quitman High School, where she was a member of the Health Occupation Students of America and Quitman High School’s mentoring program. Driver is taking general education courses at MCC in preparation for acceptance into the Surgical Technology Program.

    • Michele Denise Stephens was selected to receive the Earnest Workers Circle

Of the International Order of King’s Daughters and Sons Nursing Scholarship at Meridian Community College. 

    This $500 award is funded through the MCC Foundation from an endowment established by the local service organization.

     Stephens, a 2002 graduate of West Lauderdale High School, is in her third semester of the Associate Degree Nursing Program at MCC. She is a member of the Organization of Student Nurses and the Mississippi Organization of Associate Degree Nursing. Her goal after graduating from MCC is to continue her education and become a nurse practitioner.

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