Meridian Star


July 31, 2013


MERIDIAN — • Cemetrice L. Spencer and Josie A. Holyfield have been selected to receive the Mae Carroll Thornton Scholarship at Meridian Community College. 

    This $1,300 award is funded through the MCC Foundation from an endowment established by Dr. William L. Thornton Sr. A philanthropist and civic leader, “Dr. Bill” served this community as a general surgeon for over 40 years. He was a Trustee for Meridian Community College and served as president of the MCC Foundation Board of Directors. His gift to the foundation was specifically intended to pay tribute to his wife.

     Spencer, a 1993 graduate of West Lauderdale High School, is in the Associate Degree Nursing Program at MCC and a member of the Organization of Student Nurses. She works for the Lauderdale County Sherriff’s Department. After graduation, Spencer plans to enter the workforce as a registered nurse and work in the Meridian community.

     Holyfield, a 2007 graduate of Southeast Lauderdale High School, is in the Dental Hygiene Program at MCC. A President’s List scholar, Holyfield is a member of the Health Occupation Students of America. After earning her associate’s degree in dental hygiene, she plans to work with pediatrics.

    LIVINGSTON, Ala.— J. William (Billy) McFarland Jr., has been named special assistant to the president of the University of West Alabama.  

    McFarland’s new role, which is effective Aug. 1, will include business and industry partner outreach on behalf of UWA President Richard D. Holland in connection with the University’s workforce development initiatives, and a special emphasis on the four-year, $2.19 million U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration technical training grant project currently underway. McFarland will also continue to coordinate federal governmental affairs issues on behalf of the President.

    Also effective Aug. 1, McFarland will assume the role of director of the UWA James Suttles Entrepreneurship Institute. Endowed in 2008 with a major gift by James Suttles, the institute works to create an innovative and sustainable entrepreneurial infrastructure in the Black Belt region.

    McFarland will continue to serve as director of the UWA Center for Business and Economic Services (CBES), a role he assumed in January 2011. The center was endowed in late 2010 by a generous donation from the Alabama Power Company Foundation and has been successful in securing major federal, state, and private resources to benefit economic and workforce development efforts in the Black Belt region.

    McFarland, a Tuscaloosa native, graduated from the University of Alabama. Prior to joining the University of West Alabama, he served as a director and officer of a privately held commercial real estate and property management firm in Tuscaloosa. He was appointed by Governor Bob Riley in 2009 to the Southern Rail Commission, an Interstate Compact authorized by the U.S. Congress, in 1982. He was reappointed by the governor in 2010 for a full term and served as chairman of the Commission in 2011-12.

    McFarland graduated from the Delta Leadership Institute in 2011, after being appointed by Governor Riley to the Delta Regional Authority Executive Academy in 2010. McFarland worked as an intern in the Capitol Hill office of U.S. Congressman Jo Bonner in 2003 while in college, and has also served as the youngest elected member of the Republican Party of Alabama’s State Executive Committee.

    • Carly Owen has been selected to receive the Ida Mae James Alexander Memorial Scholarship at Meridian Community College. 

    This $2,000 award is funded through the MCC Foundation by the Alexander Family. This scholarship will be given to a student majoring in English or journalism. Ida Mae’s son, Jimmy Alexander, is on the MCC Foundation Board.

     Owen, a 2013 honors graduate of Northeast Lauderdale High School, is in the University Transfer Program at MCC. She wants to follow her dream of becoming a novelist. After graduating from MCC, she will continue her educational path at Mississippi State University and double major in English and software/graphic design.

    • Haley Parker has been selected to receive the Charlotte and Richard Armstrong Scholarship at Meridian Community College. 

    This $1,000 award is funded through the MCC Foundation. The Armstrongs are Meridian natives and have chosen to come home in their retirement. Richard is retired from the US Marine Corps (25 years) and the Mississippi State University Foundation (14 years). The couple actively serves the community through various organizations. 

     Parker is a 2012 honor graduate of West Lauderdale High School, where she was a member of the National Junior Honor Society and the National Society of High School Scholars. A sophomore in the University Transfer Program at MCC, Parker is a member of the Ivy League Student Recruiters and serves as vice president of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two year college students. Parker will continue her education through the master’s level in biological studies and specialize in genetics at Mississippi State University.

    • DECATUR – Candy Anderson was recently named Community Based Job Training (CBJT) Grant coordinator at East Central Community College.

    Anderson, who began her new duties on July 1, previously served the College as Certified Nursing Assistant (CAN) Grant Navigator, a position held since 2010.

    A 1991 graduate of Warren Central High School, Anderson received an associate degree in nursing in 1994 from Hinds Community College in Raymond. She received an associate degree in liberal arts from ECCC in 2012 and the same year earned a bachelor of science in nursing from Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, graduating magna cum laude.

    She is currently pursuing a master of science in nurse education from William Carey University in Hattiesburg.

    Anderson and her husband, Steven, have three children – Cole, Payton and Madalyn.

    • Thomas A. Spivey III has been selected to receive the Meridian Exchange Club/Bo Russell Memorial Scholarship at Meridian Community College. 

    This $1,400 award is funded through the MCC Foundation by the local civic organization.

     Spivey is a 2013 honors graduate of Meridian High School. He is a member of the Boy Scouts of America and an Athletic Scholar. Spivey is in the University Transfer Program at MCC. After receiving his associate degree, he will transfer to the University of Georgia to pursue a degree in biomedical engineering.


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