Summer Jobs and Internships

-Tiffany Babb, Contributing Writer

As temperatures rise and Finals draw nearer, the need for summer employment increases. This summer there will be opportunities for both internships as well as jobs available on MC’s campus. Each department determines what positions are available and if student help is needed. These departments also determine pay rates for students. However, students should act quick because these are limited due to the fact that summer is a slower season for the MC.

The Department of Career Services offers a career link on their page at mc.edu/career. This link connects to another link known as Vault, which provides a list of paid internships, as well as job opportunities available on campus over the summer. Career service professionals on campus will help students find specific internships relating to their future career paths that may or may not be available online. Stephanie Gandy, coordinator of on-campus student employment and internships, said, “We don’t limit students to just what is online.”

Career Services does not put a limit on the amount of internships a student takes during the course of his or her studies at MC. In fact, students are highly encouraged to engage in these internships in order to gain experience and career enhancement. For more information on summer job and internship opportunities contact Stephanie Gandy at 601-925-3901 or SLGandy@mc.edu.

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“Hayes Gets Down to Business with a Bluegrass Band”

-Leah Letson, Contributing Writer

On a typical day at Mississippi College, a student may find many treasures on campus, one of which is Bryan Hayes, associate professor of marketing in the school of business. He can run a 5k in 18 minutes and 20 seconds, enjoys flying radio-controlled airplanes, submerses himself into his music, and has three different degrees from three different colleges.

Hayes considers himself a Mississippi boy, having lived in Hazelhurst, Jackson, and primarily Hattiesburg, as a child. He obtained a degree in business with an emphasis in marketing from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1982, a general MBA with an emphasis in marketing at Mississippi College, and a doctorate in marketing with a minor in economics from Mississippi State University.

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After attending three different colleges, what is it that brought Hayes back to MC? Family. “I come from an MC family. My father and mother both graduated from here, I have a degree from here, my brother attended here before graduating from Southern, and I have many relatives that also went here,” Hayes said. But it doesn’t stop there. Hayes was collecting research at MC for his dissertation while in the MSU doctoral program in the fall of 1998 when he was informed of a tenure track faculty position opening at MC in the fall of 2000. Initially, his response was negative because he already had a job at a marketing firm in the Jackson area. After more encouragement, he made the decision to teach a marketing research course as an adjunct professor in the spring of 1999. “While I wouldn’t say that first teaching experience was wonderful, it did get me thinking along the lines of, well, if I was ever going to start teaching, I’d never have a better opportunity than this to do it because I loved MC and I really felt that The Lord had a hand in bringing me in that direction,” he said. After much prayer and consideration, he took the job and began as a full time professor in the fall of 2000 and has been here ever since, teaching classes such as Marketing Principles, Consumer Behavior, Marketing Research, Market Administration (a graduate course), and Marketing Management.

Besides being a vital part of many committees on campus, as well as sponsoring the MC Bass Fishing Team for three years running, Hayes’ real love is music. His father, a music minister, gave him his first baritone ukulele when he was twelve, and throughout his youth he was a member of the church choir and ensemble, as well as the school choir. He began playing gigs in his own band when he was just a junior in high school. When asked what got him interested in music in the first place, Hayes said, “I don’t consciously remember, it’s just always been a part of my life.”

After 18 years playing the guitar for three bands at different times, Professor Hayes is currently a four-year member of Crooked Creek String Band. The bluegrass band features three-part harmonies to accompany a guitar, Dobro, banjo, mandolin, and bass collaborated musical group. “We rehearse on the weekends and play no more than two gigs a month. We don’t spend an inordinate amount of time with it… but maybe we will after we all retire,” he laughed.

Why bluegrass? “I never knew a thing about bluegrass music until a couple of months before I started playing in the band 18 years ago,” he explained. He grew up listening to rock and pop, such as The Beatles and Led Zepplin, saying, “The only bluegrass music I knew was the theme of the ‘Beverly Hillbillies’ and the theme from the movie ‘Deliverance.’” During Thanksgiving of 1997, he went to a gathering at a friend’s house where a bluegrass band was performing. He instantly became fascinated by the sound and fell in love, saying now that his favorite bluegrass bands are Blue Highway, The Lonesome River Band, Balsam Range, and the Stanley Brothers. “Even if you don’t like bluegrass music, you can always appreciate it,” Hayes stated.

The most rewarding part about playing guitar in Crooked Creek String Band is a simple one that has a lot of meaning to Hayes. He said, “I like the feeling and the sound when a song finally comes together, and when everybody is firing on all cylinders. It doesn’t even really matter if it happens in a performance or a rehearsal, it’s just when it happens, it’s just a great feeling.”

The passion and success he has for his band goes hand-in-hand with the passion and success he has with his students. His idea is to give students as many real world experiences as he can, because that is what is going to take them far in life upon graduating from Mississippi College. Xue Zhi Lin, a junior finance major from Madison, said, “Professor Hayes broadened my view of marketing. It’s a very important factor to the business world, and after taking his marketing class, I understand the different methods applying to business which will increase my chance of success.”

In addition to his passion for bluegrass music and inspirational teaching, Hayes and his wife Joey also have a love for their dog, Choco. He shared, “I bring him to class with me sometimes. I call him my therapy dog.” One of Hayes’s former Principles of Marketing students, junior accounting major Pete Thomason from Birmingham, validates this statement. “The fondest memory I have from his class was when he brought his poodle to our classroom on the day of the final exam.”

Mississippi College has gained an enormous amount from Hayes’s time and devotion to this University, and it’s safe to say the feeling is mutual because he said, “I truly feel like it’s God’s will that I’m here at MC because I’ve been so content and fulfilled since I’ve been here on day one.”

Paxton Peak: Clinton’s Outdoor Headquarters

-Abbie Walker, Editor

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Nate and Beth Shores have always been outdoor fanatics. But it wasn’t until this past December that they turned their love of exploring nature into a business. Now Clinton residents can embrace their own outdoor spirits by visiting Paxton Peak, Olde Towne’s newest addition.

The store is named after the Shores’ 11-month-old son, Paxton, who can often be seen on his mother’s hip behind the store’s counter or greeting customers with a smile. Paxton Peak specializes in outdoor apparel and gear, but the Shores are also outdoor experts themselves.

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Nate grew up spending most of his summers at his grandparents’ farm in rural Mississippi, where he explored the woods and countryside. He also learned woodsman skills from his father while out at a family cabin near Taylorsville, Miss. Now, he works as a federal tech for the Mississippi Army National Guard and has served with the Army for 17 years, including 9 years with the Special Forces and combat deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Beth has also enjoyed the outdoors since she was little. Coming from a “heavily boy scout-influenced family,” she grew up doing a lot of camping, splunking, and hiking.

“I just love the outdoors,” Beth said. “I’ve always had a passion for it. So why not showcase it in your own store and try to get other people excited about the outdoors too? It’s just such a big world out there.”

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The Shores have been on quite a few adventures together, including a trip to “England, Scotland, and everywhere in between.” With four children—ages 12, 11, 5, and 11 months, the Shores have their hands full, but they make time to enjoy the outdoors as a family. So it was no surprise that they channeled their nature enthusiasm into a business.

However, much of the inspiration for Paxton Peak came from Mississippi College. “We noticed, while driving through Olde Towne, a lot of the students hanging Eno hammocks on campus, and I said to Beth, you know what Clinton needs, an outdoor store,” said Nate.

“This was really our five-year plan, not our right-now plan,” Beth said. “It was one of those do-or-die things.”

Despite opening during the holiday season and a lot of their merchandise not coming in until the week before, Paxton Peak’s start has been a successful one.

“It was a lot to do in very little time, but we got it done together,” Beth said. “January is notorious for being the slowest month for retail, but the response has been great!”

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Beth’s business sense developed long before Paxton Peak. Her family used to own a balloon company called Mr. Charlie’s Balloons, which taught her about business at a young age. “The entrepreneurial gene has always been in my blood,” she said.

Beth also started two restaurants in Clinton before she took time to stay home and care for her children. And though retail is a new world for her, Beth is excited about the challenge. “I’ve always had creative juices flowing, so this was just a fun new palette,” she added.

With clothing brands like Southern Marsh, Kavu, Prana, Outdoor Research, Mountain Hardware, and LaSportiva, customers are sure to find what they are looking for. But Paxton Peak mostly specializes in gear. Besides Big Agnes and Granite Gear tents and sleeping bags, the store offers all the camping essentials, including pocket knives, stoves, compasses, flashlights, dehydrated food, and anything else one would need for spending a couple of days out in the woods or mountains.

Beth said she loves “all the little gadgets and gizmos that can make your trip a lot more fun.” And with newly-arrived GroPro video equipment, outdoor enthusiasts can also capture their adventurous moments.

For the Choctaw student, Paxton Peak sells Eno hammocks, Nalgene and Camelbak water bottles, and Innova disc golfing equipment. Students can also get a 10 percent discount with their college IDs. Paxton Peak hopes to offer MC students “the convenience of not having to leave town,” as well as provide an “outlet” for them to explore their outdoors side.

In fact, the Shores are all about helping out the local community. Beth used to be on the board of directors for the Clinton Nature Center, and she wants to continue to support them, as well as Clinton Parks and Recreation and the Main Street program. “Clinton is a great place for family; it’s so active,” she said. “It’s been growing a lot, especially the downtown, and we want to support that.”

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Right now, most customers simply stumble upon the store while walking through downtown, but the Shores hope to soon make a name for Paxton Peak as an “outdoor revival” for the community. At some point, they would like to start offering trips and tours for customers, such as taking groups camping and hiking.

“We want to start an outdoor club,” Beth added. “We’ve had so much interest.” The goal is to become a “hub” for outdoor tips. “We want to get the information out about great places that are around here.” She said they are still learning a lot about outdoor equipment and enjoy hearing from others about their experiences and what worked well for them.

“We want to be an open door for everybody. You don’t have to want to buy something to just hang out and talk,” said Beth. “People come in just to share their adventures. It’s really bringing out of the woodworks people in this town who love the outdoors. And hearing about adventures makes me want to do adventures and vice versa.”

In fact, one opportunity to share in the love of an outdoor sport is a disc golf clinic being held on Mar. 1 at Brighton Park. Paxton Peak is partnering with Innova Discs and Clinton Parks and Recreation for this event, and two professional disc golfers will be teaching the fundamentals of the sport and hosting a mini tournament. The clinic will be free for all ages. Beth said she wouldn’t be surprised if some disc golf leagues resulted from this event.

Overall, the goal for Paxton Peak is “to promote and share a passion for the outdoors” and “to provide high-quality apparel and equipment that makes your outdoor adventure more enjoyable,” said Nate. “I believe the store will also encourage my family to spend even more time exploring and having outdoor adventures.”

Paxton Peak is located at 108 West Leake Street in Clinton and is open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday noon to 6 p.m. For more information call 601-473-2200 or go to paxtonpeak.com. Follow them on Facebook, as well as Twitter and Instagram under @paxtonpeak.

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Player Profile: Senders Barrick

-Marcelo Maziero, Sports Editor 

Senders Barrick was born in Brentwood, Tenn. in a family that always had a close relation with sports. His father, Steve Barrick, used to play college basketball for Western Kentucky University and now works as the associate athletic director at Belmont University, and his mother, Jan Barrick, was a tennis player at Belmont University. If that was not enough, his oldest brother, Houston Barrick, was also a tennis player at University of Virginia. While playing at Virginia, Houston Barrick managed to take his school to the number one position in tennis in the United States. He was also the number one college tennis player in the country.

According to Barrick, “The influence my brother had on me was the main reason why I started playing tennis myself. I looked up to him, I wanted to play like he played.” This pushed Barrick to give tennis a try when he was seven-years-old, and he ended up liking it. He took his practices and tournaments very seriously, but when he was a freshman in high school he decided to stop playing tennis. “I was feeling a lot of pressure on me. At that point my brother was the best college tennis player in the whole country and I could not be nearly as good as he was. Because of that I decided to quit tennis.”

Two years after he decided to stop playing, Barrick had a conversation with his mother that made him rethink about the sport. “I remember her telling me that I should try to start playing again . . . .She told me that if I were an athlete it would be much easier to get into a great college. That was the moment I decided to bring tennis back to my life,” Barrick said. In his junior year he joined his high school tennis team and did not lose one single match.

When the time to go to college came, his mother’s words became reality. The fact that Barrick was part of a team in high school helped him to have several options indeed, and he found himself interested in Belmont University and Mississippi College. “I knew I wanted to be a part of a team in college as well, and I also had in my mind that it had to be a Christian University. I came to MC visitation, met coach Boteler, walked around campus, and I knew that here was the place I wanted to come,” Barrick said.

Currently majoring in administration of justice, he feels like he made the right choice coming to MC. Besides being a tennis player, he is also a Civitan member. “I like being here a lot. I met great people, people with huge hearts. And being with the tennis guys brought me some experiences I never thought I would have, such as meeting people from very different countries. I learn a lot from them, and I hope I am affecting them somehow as well,” Barrick said.

Barrick said he is confident about the upcoming season and believes the team has what is necessary to do great. “I have not played here while we were DII, but I have seen my brother playing DI so many times that it makes me believe we are a very solid team. It is going to be a great challenge for all of us, but nothing we can’t overcome,” he said.

The tennis season starts at Feb. 18 with a home match against Alcorn State University.

Why read the news?

-James Osborne

I believe staying informed about local current events, national news, and world news is extremely important. Not just casually glancing at the headlines in our social media news feeds, but really being curious and seeking information about what is going on in the world. I might be a bit biased since I’m a journalism major and the current news editor of the Collegian, but I believe that everyone has a responsibility to stay informed about the world around them.

There are many excuses that may seem to be valid like “I don’t have the time,” “The news is too depressing,” “You can’t trust the press, everyone is so biased,” or “if it doesn’t affect me personally why should I care?” But all of these excuses are not enough reason to not have some curiosity and seek information about the world around us. In today’s digital age we don’t have an excuse for not being able to know the news. With just a few clicks of the keyboard and mouse or on our smartphones, we can instantly find important or just interesting information about local and world news.

Staying informed about the news is part of my job as a journalist, yet I still fall short of staying well informed like I need to be. I love movies and science fiction, so I stay informed with entertainment news more than regular news, like I should. I have had some jobs where part of my responsibility was to know what is happening in the community and because of that, I have had a deeper respect for where I live and the interesting events in the community and the people who make it happen. I’m thankful for my journalism classes and some of the different jobs I’ve had that force me to stay informed and to know what is going on in the world, but there are several reasons why I think everyone needs to keep up with current events.

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            Other countries and the problems they go through seem so far away from us, but we are all connected as citizens of planet Earth, and the terrors and problems in one land can easily influence or head to another land. What happens to one country can easily happen to us here in America, maybe not instantly, but over time.

One big reason to stay informed is to have something to talk about with the people around you and to be able to add to the conversation “around the water cooler” at school and work. Stories from the news are great conversation starters and good for small talk and can even be a way to dive into deeper conversation. Be able to know what is happening around you and in the world—not to look smart, but to be smart about what is going on in the world.

Besides being able to be a smarter conversationalist, watching or reading the news can help you be more informed about your chosen industry or career and the events that may influence those types of careers. Being well informed and curious about the world around you can make you more attractive to employers.

If we don’t know the troubles of the world and especially those close to us, we won’t know how we can personally make a difference and seek to do good in the world. We can’t know what to pray about outside our own network if we don’t look beyond it and seek what we can pray about for the world. We can’t find new ways to serve those in the world if we don’t seek out the needs and the problems that we might be able to help fix.

Also, current events are history in the making, and just like in learning history, we can seek and find wisdom from the good and the bad. It has been said that the average life span of a civilization is 200 years. The United States of America is over 200 years old, and it is up to the people of the country to be watchful and make sure that this country does not make the mistakes of past civilizations or be affected by the same things that destroyed civilizations like the Roman Empire. If people want to vote and be involved in the political process, then a knowledge of current events should be mandatory.

Ben Carson reminded people at the National Prayer Breakfast in 2013 that the American system of government was created by the founding fathers for a well-informed and educated populace, but when the public becomes less informed, they become vulnerable. If people are not educated, then they are more easily manipulated. To be a successful country we have to not only be educated and well-informed, but care about what is going on around us.

In the Christian community there is often the view that Christians have a responsibility to watch the news and seek to understand world events because of biblical prophecy about Christ’s second coming. Mark 13:33-37 (NLT) says, “And since you don’t know when that time will come, be on guard! Stay alert! The coming of the Son of Man can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. When he left home, he gave each of his slaves’ instructions about the work they were to do and he told the gate keeper to watch for his return. You, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know when the master of the household will return- in the evening, at midnight, before dawn, or at daybreak. Don’t let him find you sleeping when he arrives without warning. I say to you what I say to everyone: Watch for Him!”

Let us be curious and to stomp out apathy. We have the time and the means to stay informed and educated. For these and many more reasons, we should seek to stay informed about the news and the world around us.

The “Netflix Culture”

-Alexa Jenkins, Copy Editor

Netflix leads the pack of instant streaming sites, including Amazon Prime and Hulu, which are a big part of the lives of most college students. The convenience of on-demand movies and TV shows, combined with the ability to watch entire seasons of shows at a time, appeals to the odd schedules of college kids. In fact, it appeals to the American population as a whole. Business Insider says that Netflix has “revolutionized” the television industry several times in the 17 years since it began, first with its extensive catalog of mail-in DVD orders, then with a large selection of streamable television and movies, and now with the regular release of entire seasons of original shows. The most recent development is seen in the popular shows “Orange is the New Black” and “House of Cards,” the latter of which won a Golden Globe in early January. Amazon has been developing its own instant video services, and while it has not reached the level of popularity Netflix has, its original shows, including Golden Globe-winner “Transparent,” are also taking off. Amazon has also started releasing pilot episodes of potential programs to find out how the public will respond to new ideas.

These new original shows add to Netflix and Amazon’s business credibility, but another factor truly reaches most people, especially college students: community. Netflix’s cultural impact comes from shows like “Gilmore Girls,” which was released on the site in October 2014. Entertainment blogger Spenser Milo of BasedonNothing.net says that the release of the early 2000s drama, as well as the more recent release of 90’s favorite “Friends” in early January, does something for the online community that shows like “House of Cards” don’t do. It gives both old and new fans a chance to talk about shows that were previously absent from the online world. Real conversations happen about these shows because it’s too late for bloggers to catch up on reviewing episodes that are 10 or more years old. This gives individual viewers the chance to create content and form opinions about the programs, as well as providing an opportunity to simply indulge in some nostalgia.

The combination of new content with current favorites and 90s nostalgia all in one place is something that did not exist before the past couple of years. Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu have created a new television experience that seeks to respond to what viewers want, all while creating new content and re-releasing old favorites. College students are among the millions that benefit from services like Netflix, which seek to provide quality entertainment in a convenient and affordable way.

Lighting of the Quad brings Christmas cheer to MC’s campus

-Alexa Jenkins, Copy Editor

The Campus Activities Board welcomed Mississippi College students to a “Candyland Christmas” themed Lighting of the Quad on Dec. 2. Guests were welcomed by CAB members to walk among Christmas trees and through a gingerbread house for cocoa and cookies. This year, for the first time, Lighting of the Quad was hosted as a community event for the city of Clinton, and a large turnout of MC students and Clinton families attended.

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The evening began with a telling of the Christmas story by professors Ivan and Mary Ann Parke, whose lively and truth-filled account was enjoyed by many. They were followed by CAB Chairperson Hunter Sandoval, who took the stage to welcome visitors and explain the various aspects of the event.

CAB has adopted the Lighting of the Quad as a night of philanthropy—a way to give back to the community. A collection of Christmas trees was admired by the guests and donated the next day to the 4 C’s, a local charity that will give the trees to families in need. Students also filled a sleigh with donated t-shirts for the fourth year in a row. These shirts will be sent to a missionary in Nicaragua, who will distribute them as needed. The final way that Lighting of the Quad was used to give back was through their t-shirt sales. Event t-shirts were available for students to purchase, and proceeds were given to the Make-a-Wish foundation.

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In addition to celebrating the act of giving this Christmas, Lighting of the Quad also provided a fun diversion for students as finals week nears. All of MC’s clubs and tribes built gingerbread houses to be voted on by the students. Laguna took first place this year, followed by Civitan in second place and Nenamoosha in third. Guests also enjoyed hot chocolate, cookies, and other sweet treats as they mingled and listened to music provided by a variety of MC musicians.

CAB members Elizabeth Rogers, Jarvis Stampley, and Emily Boyd were recognized at the end of the event for their work putting Lighting of the Quad together. Their efforts are appreciated by many MC students. Several mentioned the tradition that Lighting of the Quad has become throughout their time at MC, and everyone was excited to see the community participate in this MC tradition. Students and families alike enjoyed the opportunity to celebrate with loved ones as the semester and the year nears an end.

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Graduate students start cancer exercise rehabilitation therapy program

-James Osborne, News Editor

This past semester, MC graduate exercise science students have been working on a new internship program in partnership with Central Mississippi Medical Center. The program will help benefit cancer patients and survivors who are still fighting to gain back their strength. The program is called Cancer Exercise Rehabilitation Therapy, and its goal is to help cancer patients improve their quality of life, self-esteem, and motivation. The graduate students involved so far are Katelyn Zachary, Jon Phillips, Travis Twilbeck, and Zack Villarubia. The program is sponsored by MC kinesiology professor and licensed exercise physiologist Suzanne McDonnough.

On Tuesday, Dec. 2, the group met their first official participant for the program. “She is the first cancer survivor to have received official doctor’s orders for cancer exercise rehabilitation therapy, not only at this particular hospital, but in the state,” said Phillips. “So this marks a monumental advancement in the field of cancer treatment.” The participant will begin her exercise therapy next week on site at CMMC.

“Before beginning our partnership with CMMC, it was crucial that those of us involved in this project be able to pilot this health screening, fitness assessment, and exercise prescription model with a handful of individuals to assure our readiness to begin working with patients at the hospital,” said Phillips.

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                  McDonnough’s interest in exercise rehabilitation first came from talking with a neighborhood friend, Annette Thomas, who was a cancer patient, but is now cancer free. When Thomas was going through chemotherapy, McDonnough suggested a regular exercise regimen to boost her health. “I saw it really work,” said McDonnough, “And when you see something work like that you know it’s a big deal.”

McDonnough was contacted by CMMC about starting a joint cancer exercise rehabilitation program. Over the summer she went to the University of Northern Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Cancer Rehabilitation Institute (RMCRI) to take classes and study the program they have there.

According to McDonough, regular exercise promotes good health and can be very beneficial for cancer patients. Regular exercise can actually help boost a person’s immune system. Doctors may have recommended exercise in the past, but now, thanks to this program, a doctor can actually write a prescription for an exercise plan. “If doctors would actually prescribe exercise, more cancer patients would do it,” said McDonnough. She said if something is written on a prescription it is thought to be more thought out and needed than just a recommendation.

The goal of the program, said McDonnough, is self-sufficiency and a patient feeling that exercise at least three times a week is something they need to do.

Thomas has been the test participant for the program this past semester. For the past eight weeks, Travis Twilbeck has been training Thomas at the Healthplex using RMCRI’s model under the supervision of McDonnough. Each day she shows up for training, she reports how beneficial the exercise therapy has been for improving her muscular strength, mood, and overall quality of life. “I was thrilled,” said Thomas. “I see so much potential in a program like this.” Thomas has had a program filled with cardio, weights and strength training, and balancing, and she regularly walks and rides a bike. “It gives me a sense of accomplishment,” said Thomas. “The students are very encouraging, kind, and patient. We’ve had a lot of fun. I think this program will help all cancer patients.”

“Seeing her improve over these past eight weeks has been phenomenal,” said Katelyn Zachary. “When you show someone that you believe in them then they start believing they can do it too,” said Zachary, who said she is very affectionate toward cancer patients because her father died of cancer when she was seven. “Helping people have a better quality of life makes me fulfilled, especially since I couldn’t do that with my dad.”

Besides the internship for graduate students, McDonnough is hoping to start a class for undergraduate students on the benefits of exercise for cancer patients and how to prepare an exercise program for them. If MC is able to begin class it will be the second college in the nation to have such a class, with RMCRI being the first.

“Cancer Exercise Rehabilitation Therapy is not a widely-used method of care for cancer patients,” said Phillips. “Adopting a class for students to learn about the ways exercise can attenuate cancer progression and mitigate the negative side-effects that typically come along with the treatment process will be a fantastic addition to any health-related field of study’s curriculum. The provision for internship opportunities that will accompany such a class will hopefully encourage students to pursue careers as healthcare professionals with a focus on exercise as a means of adjuvant care for cancer and various other diseases. Should this program prove to be effective in improving the quality of life of participating cancer patients, we hope the hospital considers adopting cancer exercise rehabilitation therapy as permanent part of their cancer treatment program.”

Clinton Public Schools, MC work together to make Clinton an Educational Powerhouse

-Alexa Jenkins, Copy Editor

Clinton, Miss., is a good place to get an education. Not only is it home to Mississippi College, the state’s oldest university which is consistently ranked on ‘Best College Buys’ lists, but the Clinton Public School District has also been recently ranked as the No. 1 district academically in the state. All but one school in the district received A ratings, making it the only A district in the state based on this year’s test scores. Other schools were given a waiver to keep the A if their scores dropped due to the introduction of Common Core curriculum, but CPSD’s scores met the benchmark without the waiver. Based on a state-wide scoring system, all but one of the schools in the Clinton District are A-rated schools, and the one B-rated school was only seven points shy of an A.

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These test scores and high ratings benefit Clinton’s children and the community as a whole, but they are also closely related to Mississippi College. Tim Martin, Assistant Superintendent of CPSD, says, “A major part of our success as a school district is attributed to our partnership with MC.” Each year approximately 125 students from the MC Department of Teacher Education are placed to observe, assist, and student teach in Clinton schools. These placements give principals and administrators an opportunity to get to know individuals over several weeks, which, according to Martin, enables them to hire some of the best MC graduates.

Many CPSD employees continue their own education at Mississippi College, taking advantage of the master’s and doctoral programs. Martin says that having MC nearby makes it more convenient for teachers to take night and summer classes, and better educated teachers create better schools. Mississippi College’s teacher education faculty also includes individuals who were formerly involved with CPSD. Department Chair Dr. Cindy Melton, an MC alumnus, was a teacher in Clinton schools before continuing her career at MC, and assistant professor Tommye Henderson was superintendent of the Clinton Public School District before joining MC’s faculty. Additionally, partnership with Mississippi College gives CPSD access to professional development programs to better educate their teachers. Melton says that almost 2/3 of the educators in the district have earned a degree from MC, and many have been involved as adjunct teachers in the department.

Lastly, many students who attend and graduate from Clinton schools choose to enroll at MC. Those students have benefited from the work of MC alumni and have been poured into by the staff at CPSD, and they bring the knowledge they’ve gained back into the MC community. As Martin pointed out, this is especially significant when a Clinton graduate attends MC, majors in education, and finds himself or herself student teaching and eventually employed by the schools they once attended.

Mississippi College is involved in the community in many ways, and its partnership with Clinton schools is definitely a significant connection. Melton concludes that, “We recognize that CPSD is doing an excellent job of educating our K through 12 students, and they are also providing our teacher candidates with some of the best hands-on training in the country.  We are proud that so many of the outstanding teachers that contribute to the success of CPSD were once our MC students!”

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