Up to 150 graduating high school seniors could gain full employment beginning next June under a program unveiled recently by Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings and Southwest Tennessee Community College President Dr. Tracy D. Hall. Dubbed the “Blue Path,” program, it was announced as a pathway for young people to serve in police services and develop as well-rounded, community-focused police officers. The all-expense paid college education would yield an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Southwest and a position as a Police Service Technician with MPD.
Southwest worked with the MPD Training Academy to create an academic curriculum for an associate’s degree (AAS) in criminal justice. Students will complete coursework together as a cohort over a period of four semesters, during which time they will be employed by MPD as Police Service Technicians with an annual salary of $26,000 per year. Once they complete the degree and reach age 21, graduates are eligible to undergo MPD’s sworn officer training and become a police officer.
The student rolls at Southwest are rife with students who overcome immense obstacles in order to pursue their education. One such student is Kim White, a Nursing student who'd grown up with stomach ailments that were misdiagnosed as duodenal ulcers by a doctor when she was a pre-teen. "I was scared to death of getting a colonoscopy because I had a family relative who had Crohn's disease, and I'd known that she'd had a ileostomy." An ileostomy is a surgery where an opening is made in the abdominal wall, and the lowest part of the small intestine is brought through the opening to form a stoma. "When I finally was diagnosed with Crohn's, I was very afraid of getting an ileostomy. Today, I'm on my third."
Pain is one of the most difficult things that Kim has faced in living with Crohn's. "It really feels like that if something could go wrong with my medical care, it has. For instance, a few years ago I needed a hernia surgery. Surgical mesh is standardly used in hernia surgeries and usually that works fine for most, but for a Crohn's patient it was a disaster." Kim battles with PTSD because of the lack of pain control after her first ileostomy. She has battled MRSA bacterial infection after hospital stays as well.
In addition to the troubles that Kim has had with pain, the financial aspects of the disease have been an additional hurdle to overcome. "I've had medicine I needed desperately that cost tens of thousands of dollars per month that my insurance would not pay for."
The one main point that Kim would like to share with any and everyone is, "you have to become your own medical advocate because people who work in the medical field are human and may not understand the whole picture." She had gone to a local hospital for pain and due to faulty lab levels was given Tylenol which would have been devastating to her liver. Knowledge she has gained in both her experiences and her classes at Southwest has allowed her to become a knowledgeable patient who can be that advocate.
"I found the will to overcome the depression that comes with my health troubles because I am a single mother to a beautiful 11-year-old child and I don't have much time to feel sorry for myself. Once I became my own advocate, I felt a lot more in control of what was happening to me." Her instructors call her "resilient," and her Honors Academy status says that she is an excellent student. Kim White's experiences and perseverance show us all that we should not give up no matter the adversity we face.
Southwest's Workforce Development has been teaching a class at Steel Warehouse/Steel Fabricators International, a local steel service center to develop their employees. The classes consist of 15 employees, who attend class twice a week for two hours each session. These classes have been going on since early April of 2016. Students have gone over blueprint reading, applied math, mechanical concepts, welding, and are now being taught electrical concepts. They all have received industry certifications as a result of the welding training.
Anita Bracken, of the Memphis Chamber of Commerce, originally put Southwest's Workforce Development Department in contact with Steel Warehouse when she found that they were looking to forge this type of partnership.
Danny Spencer, a welding instructor who has been a instructor for 30 years teaches the class. He recently reported that 15 of the 15 students who took the class have received job certifications that will further their careers.
Everyone is talking about improving the workforce. Steel Warehouse is a company that is investing in their employees to great success. Steel Warehouse and SFI employees are coming to class on their own time. Everyone who has taught the class has said how motivated the employees are and how the company’s atmosphere is like a big family.
This partership shows just how much of a role Southwest is playing along with local industry like Steel Warehouse/Steel Fabricators International in improving ther local workforce. Southwest will continue to play a large role in the future of Memphis and the Mid-South workforce.
Students studying entrepreneurship in Dr. Joan McGrory’s BUSN1305: Introduction to Business class in September met successful entrepreneurs who are encouraging entrepreneurship and startup companies locally.
The first to speak was Andre Fowlkes, president of Start.Co, which is a venture development group and startup accelerator in downtown Memphis. Fowlkes described to students how he serves our community by applying his education and experience in finance to develop business and economic growth in Memphis. He is also chairman of Orion Federal Credit Union, a $600 million financial institution. Moreover, Fowlkes is the managing partner of Wolf River Angels, a validation investment fund for early stage startup companies.
As he spoke to Southwest business students, Andre Fowlkes described the stages that all new businesses experience and the financial resources that are often needed to support successful completion of each stage. He introduced students to free resources including the Start.Co Founders' Toolkit for enabling startup companies to plan and grow a business successfully.
Beverly Anderson, president and founder of the National Home-Based Business Chamber of Commerce and successful home-based entrepreneur, was next up. She encouraged students to develop their natural talents into successful businesses. Anderson advised on the importance of debt-free startups whenever possible. She immersed students into the advantages and disadvantages of different forms of business including sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations as she coached them through an interactive and highly participative exercise. In this exercise, students formed friendships and family businesses that evolved and changed with different life situations. With each change, students were asked to consider profit, loss, and ownership of assets. Students were smiling and laughing as they engaged in these dynamic and interactive critical-thinking tasks.
By Randy Hutchinson
Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South
The National Retail Federation projects that overall holiday sales will increase 3.6 percent over 2015. Online sales will continue to grow at a faster clip – 7 to 10 percent.
The BBB offers the following tips for safe and secure online shopping on your computer or mobile device:
Locally Researched by the Memphis Business Journal, Nov 25, 2016
* Rank - 1
Program: Southwest Tenn. Community College
Enrolled Fall 2016: 136
Expected Grads 2017: 36
Degree Offered: Medical laboratory technician associate degree & laboratory phlebotomy technology certificate
Rank - 2
Program: University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Medical Laboratory Science Program
Enrolled Fall 2016: 49
Expected Grads 2017: 27
Degree Offered: Medical laboratory science
Rank - 3
Program: Baptist College of Health Sciences, Medical Laboratory Science Program
Enrolled Fall 2016: 13
Expected Grads 2017: 7
Degree Offered: Medical laboratory science/medical technologists
Rank - 4
Program: University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Cytotechnology & Histotechnology Program
Enrolled Fall 2016: 12
Expected Grads 2017: 6
Degree Offered: Master of cytopathology
Rank - 5
Program: Genetics of Memphis Inc., Cytogenetics Training Program
Enrolled Fall 2016: 0
Expected Grads 2017: 2
Degree Offered: Cytogenetic technologist
* 1 Estimate based on degrees and certificates awarded in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016.
Reprinted from La Prensa Latina
Alex Ortiz, a 24-year-old Honduran, has shown that when you want to do something to progress in life, you can do it; especially if you do it with perseverance and have a good education. His commitment to being better – on a personal and professional level – and to help his community, has led him to do things he had never imagined before, such as receiving a scholarship at a private university, working at the U.S. Congress, or getting training at Google. He has also participated in activism and is now working at Southwest Tennessee Community College as a Student Recruiter and Counselor. In short, Alex Ortiz is a role model for every human being, especially for young Hispanics living in the Mid-South.
In an exclusive interview with La Prensa Latina, Ortiz recounted his story of how he came to the United States. He was only 10 years old when he crossed the river with his mother. It took them 2-3 weeks to cross the border. Upon arrival in the United States, they were immediately detained by immigration officers, who took them to the offices of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). After being processed, they were released with a permit to stay for six months in this country.
“I still remember when we crossed the border, it was an adventure for me,” Ortiz said. “We came in buses, in jeeps, and the only thing that mattered to me was to see the landscapes, because from childhood I have always liked mountains, water masses, and I got to see the volcanoes in Guatemala, the mountains in Mexico.”
Once in Memphis, Ortiz went to study 5th grade at Goodlett Elementary, without knowing a word in English. In less than six months, he learned the language and began to improve significantly in school; he went from getting incomplete grades to only A’s, and remained like that until graduating from high school. Due to his dedication in school and his excellent grades, Ortiz managed to be accepted in all the universities where he applied to (more than 25). Unfortunately, none of these universities could offer him a scholarship because he was an undocumented student; except for Tougaloo College in Mississippi, where they gave him a full scholarship of $20,000 a year, for the four years in college (2011-2015), plus a computer and another amount of money for housing expenses, food, books, etc. “I was able to get a full scholarship at Tougaloo College, a private university.”
Through Tougaloo, Ortiz had the opportunity to enter the “Tougaloo-Brown Exchange Program”, which allowed him to study at Brown University for a semester. He was also able to do an internship in 2014 in the U.S. Congress, under the chairmanship of the United States Department of Homeland Security committee; Ortiz worked for three months as an assistant to Bennie G. Thompson, Democrat Representative for Mississippi.
At the end of his internship in Congress, Ortiz visited the Google’s offices in Palo Alto, California. “I was accepted as a ‘Google Student Ambassador’ to see the facilities and have a week of training (all expenses paid) to make programs that promote the Google’s software programs or hardware in your university.”
Ortiz graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Economics at Tougaloo College in 2015. He later began working as a Spanish teacher and Latino Outreach Coordinator at Memphis Business Academy. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Education at Union University, and works at Southwest Tennessee Community College.
He decided to change his career because “although I had always wanted to work in the field of corporate law, while learning more and getting to know more people, I see there is a need to help students in achieving a higher education. I want them to have a person of reference, a person to whom they can say, ‘Well, if he can, I can too.’ With Corporate Law, I will not be able to do that, because I will not have the scope that I can have working in superior education.”
In his free time, he tries to continue doing community service or activism whenever he can – Ortiz has collaborated with Youth for Youth, TIRRC, and United Communities; he was also part of the “Walk Against Fear” march (2012), which went from Memphis, TN, to Jackson, MS. Meanwhile, at home, he helps his two sisters (8 and 11 years old) to excel in school just as he did. “I want to be an example for my sisters.”
“As a young Latino and as an undocumented person, it is an experience that fills me with honor and satisfaction to know that, despite so many obstacles, I have been able to get to do these things. I just hope that with my new position at Southwest, and in the future, I can continue to help the community, looking for ways to bring more undocumented young students to college,” Ortiz said. “Going to the university does not require nine digits, but the desire to do it,” he concluded.
Submitted by the Department of Police Services/ Public Safety
Automated Teller Machine (ATM)
Strangers at Your Door
The goal of Operation Identification is to deter property-related crime and to assist the Memphis Police Department in their efforts to find and return stolen or lost property to its rightful owner. Remember the following:
Submitted by Police Services/ Public Safety
Influenza Symptoms - Influenza (commonly called the “flu”) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza viruses. The information below describes common flu symptoms, how to protect yourself and those close to you from getting the flu, and what to do if you get sick with flu-like symptoms.
Be Aware of Common Flu Symptoms
Influenza usually starts suddenly and may include the following symptoms:
Having these symptoms does not always mean that you have the flu. Many different illnesses, including the common cold, can have similar symptoms.
Diagnosing the Flu - It is very difficult to distinguish the flu from other infections on the basis of symptoms alone. A doctor’s exam may be needed to tell whether you have developed the flu or a complication of the flu. There are tests that can determine if you have the flu as long you are tested within the first two or three days of illness.
If you develop flu-like symptoms and are concerned about your illness, especially if are at high risk for complications of the flu, you should consult your healthcare provider. Those at high risk for complications include people 65 years or older, people with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women, and young children.
Know the Risks from the Flu - In some people, the flu can cause serious complications, including bacterial pneumonia, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma or diabetes. Children and adults may develop sinus problems and ear infections.
People May Have Different Reactions to the Flu -The flu can cause mild to severe illness and at times can lead to death. Although most healthy people recover from the flu without complications, some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), are at high risk for serious complications from the flu.
Know How the Flu Spreads -The flu usually spreads from person to person in respiratory droplets when people who are infected cough or sneeze. People occasionally may become infected by touching something with influenza virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose or eyes.
Healthy adults may be able to infect others one day before getting symptoms and up to five days after getting sick. Therefore, it is possible to give someone the flu before you know you are sick as well as while you are sick.
Best Protection against the Flu: Vaccination - The single best way to protect you and others against influenza is to get a flu vaccination each year. Two kinds of flu vaccine are available in the United States:
Yearly flu vaccinations should begin in September or as soon as vaccine is available and continue throughout the influenza season, into December, January, and beyond. This is because the timing and duration of influenza seasons vary. While influenza outbreaks can happen as early as October, most of the time influenza activity peaks in January or later.
Reprinted from TN.GOV - Department of Health
Content provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Know what to do when winter storms hit.
Although our winter season is limited in the Mid-South, we still run the risk for wintry weather; particularly, icy conditions. Even if temperatures rise quickly after a winter storm, damage and power outages may last for several days or even weeks.
It’s important to keep up to date on weather reports and predictions. In winter, weather forecasts can sometimes provide you with several days’ notice. Remember, even if there’s a chance the storm might miss your community, it’s always better to be prepared.
Five Simple Steps
After a Storm
The Testing Center has implemented an online scheduling and payment system which has officially been launched this fall. Students can now view potential testing dates/times and register for the test/exam they want without having to physically visit our campuses. Once registered, students can then pay online in the same system. This student-focused initiative is just one of many new changes at Southwest that will make our processes easier for students and everyone involved.
The Testing Center test/exam list and the ability to register can be found at: www.southwest.tn.edu/testing/tests.htm (link opens a new window)
* The Best College Electrician Programs have been named for 2016-2017 by AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org and Southwest is included. The site ranks the nation’s top two and four-year schools offering electrician programs. As a leader in higher education information and resources for students, the site ranked schools offering on-campus or online electrician programs to find those providing the best overall value for students. It included 50 community and technical colleges and Southwest ranked 39th.
* Sincere congratulations go to Cynthia D. Elliott, Accounting Professor at Southwest. She has been selected as the recipient of the Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants’ (TSCPAs) 2016 Distinguished Achievement in Accounting Education Award. The award is presented in recognition of her excellence in classroom teaching and active involvement in the accounting profession. This prestigious award is a testament to her significant contributions to the accounting education. The nominations were taken for professors across the State of Tennessee, but only one was selected. The award was presented on Tues., Sept.13 Memphis Chapter meeting during the noon luncheon.
* The Board of Mayor and Aldermen have approved the FY 2016-2017 budget for the Town of Collierville. Within this budget, the grant request submitted for the Alive @ 25 Program at Southwest Tennessee Community College was approved in the amount of $11,600.
* Meet your new Alumni President, Ryan Zuber. This Southwest Alum is currently a member of the Memphis Fire Department’s Special Ops Rescue Team where he graduated as the top overall recruit. He is the youngest candidate for membership on the Tennessee Urban Search and Rescue Team and the Tennessee Task Force for FEMA.
* The Communications and Marketing Department at Southwest continues its excellence in marketing efforts for the College. The College is pleased to announce winning seven MarCom Awards and five National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR) Medallion Awards in the 2016 competitions.
MarCom is an international and national awards competition that recognizes outstanding creative achievement by marketing and communication professionals. The College received four Gold awards: 2015-16 Student Planner, 2014 Foundation Annual Report, Southwest Now TV Show (Fall 2015), and Annual Report Photography. Honorable Mentions were received for Southwest Fast Facts Brochure, Education Over Poverty Fund Raising Brochure, Southwest Now Education Magazine Spring/Summer 2015.
The NCMPR District 2 Medallion Awards recognize outstanding achievement in communications at community and technical colleges. It's the only regional competition of its kind that honors excellence exclusively among marketing and PR professionals at two-year colleges. A Gold award was received for the College's Online Newsletter "Southwest Scoop." Two Silver awards were garnered for 2015-16 Student Planner and Southwest Now TV Show (Fall 2015). Two Bronze awards were presented for 2014 Foundation Annual Report and Southwest Now Education Magazine Winter 2016.
* Congratulations to our men's basketball team, coming off an "elite eight" finish in last season's NJCAA Division 1 national tournament, was ranked 7th in the 2016-17 pre-season poll. Head Coach Jerry Nichols returns five players from last year's 30-5 team that won the TCCAA regular season and NJCAA Region VII tournament championships. Brandon Key, one of the top point guards in the country, led the Saluqis in assists as a freshman and is the lone returning starter. Also back from last year's championship team are combo guard Julian Daughtry, forwards Payton Wilson and Jaquez Johnson, and center John Crnogorac.
As part of the service learning component for the Medical Hematology and Medical Microbiology classes in the fall semester of the MLT program, all 14 students in two classes participated in the Shelby County Health Department’s 150th Medical Reserve Corps’s NDMS full-scale exercise as an exercise participant. NDMS is a federally coordinated system that augments the nation’s medical response capability.
The students acted as role players to simulate a Hurricane Evacuation scenario (into Memphis); and a second evacuation scenario due to a weather event (out of Memphis). Students had the opportunity to be “moulaged” (wear make-up to simulate injuries) and play out an illness, injury or situation. This was an excellent opportunity to experience triage, patient tracking procedures, hospital surge and disaster scenarios. This exercise was held in conjunction with the Tennessee Department of Health, Tennessee Air National Guard, 17 regional hospitals, Veterans Administration, and the Memphis Fire Department.
The Southwest Women and Men's Basketball Schedule for the 2016-17 season has been released. Students, Faculty and Staff are encouraged to attend as many games as they can, as our Saluqis battle for a conference championship.
Southwest Tennessee Community College, in conjunction with ASU Mid-South, hosted a Process Technology Career Fair on November 29 at Southwest. The Process Technology Career Fair focused on Southwest and ASU Mid-South Process Technology Programs, our ability to train the workforce in this area, and respective process technology companies. Hershey, Valero, Coca-Cola, Blues City Brewery, and Lucite had agreed to attend the career fair.
This event increased community awareness of the many different programs and benefits that Southwest offers, and better prepares workers with customized training necessary to grow and advance in a manufacturing career. It is expected that more than 3,000- plus jobs in this field will become available by 2018. Southwest and ASU Mid-South also worked with Graduate Memphis, Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce (GMACW), and the Memphis Chamber to sponsor this event.
Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) saluted small businesses in five states and 11 cities during a recent SBA Main Street Road Tour across the Delta Region. “Main Street entrepreneurship is at the heart of the American economy, contributing half of our nation’s productivity and creating two out of three net new jobs,” said Contreras-Sweet. “Communities throughout the country depend on local family restaurants, shoe stores, barber shops, and other small businesses to provide good jobs, generate vital economic activity, and deliver products and services at home and abroad. We launched this bus tour to make sure small businesses throughout the Delta Region know that the SBA is here and ready to support them through access to capital, counseling, federal contracting and even disaster assistance.”
While in Memphis, Contreras-Sweet visited TSBDC at Southwest client and SBA award-winning firm, Carpenter Primary Healthcare in Memphis. Founded in February 2015 to address the need for quality primary care in the underserved Whitehaven community where the owners Dr. Terri and Ken Carpenter live, Carpenter Primary Healthcare has already served hundreds of patients, created new jobs and continues to offer free healthcare screenings to individuals in the community each month. Dr. Tracy Hall, President of Southwest Tennessee Community College, Dr. James “Jay” Robinson, Chief Executive Officer of Methodist South Hospital and Christopher Masingill, Federal Co-Chairman of the Delta Regional Authority participated in the visit and shared insights into the Memphis community.
Rory Thomas, TSBDC at Southwest executive director shared, "It's a tremendous honor to have the 24th and current Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration in Memphis. It's an even bigger honor to have the Administrator choose to visit a client of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center at Southwest Tennessee Community College.”
Southwest's Allied Health and Nursing departments in collaboration with University of Tennessee Health Science Center conducted a Breast Cancer Summit/ Research on November 29 in the Nursing, Natural Sciences and Biotechnology Building Auditorium on Southwest's Union Avenue Campus.
Oncologist Dr. Gregory Vidal and Researcher Dr. Athena Davenport discussed current issues relating to breast cancer and research. Women of African-American descent, between the ages of 18 to 55, were allowed to participate in groundbreaking research. The summit showed that a saliva sample is all that is needed to unlock the mystery as to why certain breast cancer(s) are prevalent in Memphis/Shelby County areas. Dr. Osborne Burks, email email@example.com, or call 901-333-5769 coordinated the summit.
The Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature (TISL) was a four-day mock legislative session for college students across our state. Each student serving in the mock legislature was required to write a piece of legislation that will be debated and voted on just like Tennessee’s real General Assembly. Southwest students are chosen each year to participate in TISL. This program offers students at Southwest an opportunity to learn how our state legislature works. This year Southwest was represented by 11 delegates: two in the Senate, five in the House of Representatives, two lobbyists, one media representative, and one Chief Clerk of the TISL Supreme Court. TISL’s 47th General Assembly was held November 17-20, 2016 at our beautiful and historic state capital in Nashville, Tennessee.
According to TISL advisor Dr. Patricia Nozinich, “Preparation for TISL is quite intense, requiring hard work and commitment to become knowledgeable about the legislative process, the bills, and other elements essential to success of the team. TISL is a wonderful opportunity for students who are interested in government because it gives them the opportunity to experience first-hand the legislative process. They are challenged to draft and present legislation as well as to serve in numerous other capacities during this mock legislative session. TISL provides students with the opportunity to develop leadership skills and to network with other students from across the state who share their interest in government and the political process.”
The Southwest TISL team drafted and present eight bills this year, spanning a variety of topics. The team’s bills include a bill to require veterinarians and shelters to scan pets for microchips when lost animals are brought in and notify owners identified by the scan; a bill to require that prison inmates be informed of and given an opportunity to execute a Durable power of Attorney for Health Care and Living Will to encourage organ donation; a bill to end private prison contracts; a bill to remove references to the Confederacy and Confederate supporters from the protection of the Tennessee Heritage Preservation Act; a bill to require identification cards for senior citizens diagnosed with dementia or other cognitive disorders to aid in searches when those persons are missing; a bill to require local public health offices to set up and operate clean needle exchanges; a bill to require parents and legal guardians of minor children who are recipients of Tenn. Care benefits to attend and successfully complete parenting classes; and a bill to lower the drinking age for active, full-time military personnel from 21 to 18.
Of the eight bills filed by the Southwest delegation, so far five have been adopted. One of those five is a bill vetoed by the TISL Governor. That veto was overridden by the TISL General Assembly. Southwest joined with the Freed-Hardeman delegation in sponsoring a bill that already has passed the Senate and is pending in the House. However, most of the general assembly Bill 85 was signed by the TISL governor and adopted. Of the remaining three bills from Southwest, two were defeated. One of those passed the General Assembly but was vetoed by the TISL Governor. The House declined to reconsider the bill after the veto. The third bill, though on the House calendar, was not heard prior to final adjournment of the 47th General Assembly. The Southwest delegation received three awards during the 47th General Assembly. Tennessee Teachers Lobbying Firm was the best lobbying firm and Marvin Ransom won best lobbyist for the Tennessee Teachers Lobbying Firm. In the AMC3 portion of the program Natalie Siano McCloud won Best Court Clerk and Southwest Tennessee Community College won Outstanding House Delegation.
The Southwest delegation includes five Representatives, a Senator and Alternate Senator, two lobbyists, as well as the TISL Media Director. This year’s Southwest team includes the following students: Michael Leverett, House and head delegate, Lori Franklin, Senator, Michelle Malone, Alternate Senator, Joseph Page, House, Beth Whipple, House, Brandi Hall, House, Treston Coleman, House, Breanna Taylor, Lobbyist, Marvin Ransom, Lobbyist, Janal Mason, TISL Times Media Editor, and Natalie Siano, Chief Clerk of the TISL Supreme Court.