JSU Women’s History Month

Guyna G. Johnson

March 23rd, 2018 by giving

Guyna G. Johnson’s love for Jackson State University started while growing up in Clarksdale, MS. Both of her parents, Walter L. and Dorothy Madlock Johnson graduated from JSU (’66, ’65 respectively), and Guyna proudly carried on the tradition, graduating cum laude in May 1992, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics. She later earned a Juris Doctor from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law where she was a scholarship recipient and member of The Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution.  She started her career serving a prestigious, federal judicial clerkship with the Hon. Charles M. Caldwell, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, S.D. Ohio.  Guyna is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals Bar.

Guyna’s career path led her to the finance industry where, as a Director, she currently is responsible for analyzing fixed income mutual funds in the Global Financial Institutions Department.  She successfully completed an expatriate assignment covering European and Asian credits in the London office and served as a member of the Dodd Frank Implementation Team in the New York. While at S&P Global, she has risen through the ranks while having held numerous assignments analyzing fixed income securities within the housing and structured groups and managing people and projects within risk, legal and compliance arenas. Guyna has written numerous industry articles, has been a global industry speaker, and has been quoted in trade news outlets.

Guyna serves in financial and governance areas based on Boards of Director memberships, including the Jackson State University Development Foundation and formerly with Girls in the Game, as Finance Chair, Executive Committee Member and the “Field of Dreams” Annual Gala Co-Chair. Her passion for community service includes being a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (Delta Pi, Spring ’91).

Philanthropically, issues resonating with Guyna are those involving children and women being empowered through financial freedom, educational advancement and self-reliance. Passionate about life as a participatory sport, she is an avid international traveler and is enthusiastic about engaging in photography, performing arts, water sports, fashion, interior decorating, and fine arts.

Vickie W. Bradley

March 23rd, 2018 by giving

Vickie Bradley began her career in Education in 1984 with Jackson Public Schools. From 1984–1996, Bradley worked as an assistant teacher, teacher, after-school site assistant and after-school site manager at North Jackson Elementary. In December of 1996, Bradley was promoted to Program Coordinator for Jackson Public Schools – Extended Day Enrichment Program providing quality after-school care for children ages five through twelve in twenty-four locations serving one thousand two hundred students. This position was held until the merger of Jackson Public Schools with Educational Solutions Inc. and Knowledge Learning Corporation (1999-2005). During this merger, Bradley became Regional Coordinator/ District Manager overseeing after-school Programs for Jackson Public Schools, Madison County Schools, MS Gulf Coast Schools and Morehouse Parish Schools in Bastrop, LA.

In December 2005 after the sudden departure of Knowledge Learning Corporation from the state of Mississippi, Bradley started her own business, Extended Learning Solutions, LLC serving over eight hundred students ages four through twelve and overseeing over eighty employees. Extended Learning Solutions’ is an afterschool program that functions as an extension of the school day. It prides itself on serving the whole child—with a multifocal approach on academic enrichment in literacy and mathematics, personal growth skills, creative arts, and health and wellness. Her entrepreneurial skills are extended to the successful management of the Metropolitan Sports Bar and Grill in Jackson, Mississippi. She is an active member of the NAACP, NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children), National School-Age Child-Care Association, National Academy for Early Childhood Development, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated- Beta Delta Omega Chapter, board member and secretary of APRI (Asa Philip Randolph Institute), and past board member – NYSP (National Youth Summer Program) at Jackson State University.

Vickie Bradley is the daughter of Nathan Williams and Dolores L. Williams. She is the eldest of three sisters, mother of three, and grandmother of nine. She is a member of Greater Pearlie Grove M.B. Church pastored by Rev. Stephen Mason and a proud graduate of Murrah High School (Jackson Public Schools). She is also a graduate of  Jackson State University earning her BS and MEd in Elementary Education, and has continued her pursuit of learning through graduate studies in the Department of Educational Leadership.

Sonya Williams Barnes

March 23rd, 2018 by giving

Sonya Williams Barnes is known for stepping forward to make a real difference in the lives of others, especially young people and the disenfranchised.

Barnes was born into a family in which community service and concern for others were part of the daily routine of life. She is the daughter of the Rev. Theodore R. Williams Jr. and the late Rev. RoseMary Hayes Williams. Her mother was a schoolteacher and her father is president of Lockett-Williams Mortuary, Inc. Their lives exemplify service to others and their example has propelled Barnes forward into key positions in the state of Mississippi.

Her quiet, friendly demeanor is well-suited for her role as vice-president of Lockett-Williams Mortuary. She shines there in serving others, but her truest voice perhaps is heard when she speaks on the floor of the Mississippi House of Representatives, where she champions for proper funding for public and early education and changing of the Confederate emblem in the state flag. 

She was first elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives in 2011. In the House, she is vice-chair of Ports, Harbors and Airports, and a member of the Gaming, Marine Resources and Tourism and Education committees. She also was elected chairperson for the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus, which is the second largest legislative black caucus in the nation. 

She further extends her influence and volunteerism to several community activities and organizations. She is a coordinator for Saving Our Sisters, 2008-present; charter president for Upsilon Chi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Sorority, Inc.; community organizer for Organize for America 2008; a lifetime member of the NAACP; and a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors and Morticians and Mississippi Funeral Directors Association. She is also a strong supporter of the Boys and Girls Club of America, and has been appointed to the Governor's Teen Pregnancy Task Force under current Governor Phil Bryant.  

She has one child, Kenson Shedrick and they live in Gulfport, Miss.

Lori J. Evans

March 23rd, 2018 by giving

Lori J. Evans currently works at International Paper as a communication specialist for the Global Cellulose Fibers (GCF) business. In this role, she is responsible for providing overall communications support for GCF senior leadership, employees and business projects by researching and writing for business leaders, developing effective communication strategies and tools for business specific projects and serving as a liaison between corporate headquarters and the business’ global market.

A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Lori is a proud graduate of Jackson State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Pathology in 1999; and a Master of Science degree in Counseling in 2004.

Lori’s undergraduate matriculation encompassed many facets of campus life at Jackson State University.  She was the only freshman selected by Student Government Association President James McGee to serve in his Presidential Cabinet as chair of community service. An active member of the SGA, she was elected Miss Sophomore Class 1996-1997; Junior Class Vice President (1997-1998); and during her senior year, she reigned as Miss Jackson State University 1998-1999. Other campus involvement includes Pre-Alumni Association; Tiger P.R.I.D.E. Connection; Dean’s List Scholar; Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities; JSU Insatiable Modeling squad (president); and founding member of JSU Pathfinders, (JSU’s first student mentoring organization).

Lori had a successful 14-year career at Jackson State University where she demonstrated a genuine love for her university and desire to see students succeed. This was evident through her leadership and service to students, faculty and staff through various roles in Student Affairs/Student Life, including admissions counselor and university scholarship coordinator, coordinator of student organizations/advisor to Student Government Association, director of student life communications and outreach, associate director for campus life and assistant director for greek affairs. In 2012, she was honored by the JSU Student Government Association as “Woman of the Year”. 

Lori’s passion to be a catalyst of change has led to the recognition of her commitment and service to her community. She was recognized by the Mississippi Business Journal as a Top 40 Under 40 honoree (2008); and named one of Mississippi’s Top 50 Leading Business Women (2010). In 2013, she was recognized by Dr. Carolyn W. Meyers as the first ever recipient of the JSU Inaugural One JSU Excellence Award “Public Servant of the Year”. Other notable accomplishments include, graduate of Leadership Greater Jackson (2006-2007) and Leadership Mississippi (2011), and elected to serve as president of the Leadership Greater Jackson Alumni Association (2009-2010).

Lori has been an active member of the Jackson State University National Alumni Association (JSUNAA) since 1999. She became a LIFE member of JSUAA and the Jackson-Hinds chapter in 1999. She has served JSUNAA in several roles including Mississippi Regional Vice President (2003), member of the Black-Tie Gala steering committee and currently serves as president of the JSU Memphis Alumni Chapter. She received the JSUNAA “Young Alumni Achievement Award” during the JSUNAA Inaugural Black-Tie Gala in 2011.

Lori is a member of the Junior League of Memphis, Memphis (TN) Chapter of The Links, Inc., New Memphis Institute Fellows graduate, NEXUS Leadership and is still an active member of the Jackson (MS) Alumni Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

She is married to Christopher K. Evans, (’91) and enjoys spending time with her family and friends and traveling. 

Dr. Felicia Gavin

March 23rd, 2018 by giving

Dr. Felicia Gavin is a seasoned executive with over 28 years of experience spanning the public and private sector. Currently, Dr. Gavin is the Chief of Operations for the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) where she manages the fiscal operation of the agency and serves as a member of the Executive Leadership team. Prior to joining MDE, Felicia served as the Executive Vice President and General Manager for DiamondJacks Casino and Hotel in Vicksburg, Mississippi where she managed a workforce of over 300 employees and a 50-million-dollar budget. After working many years in the gaming industry, she resigned in 2016 to begin her own female-owned Management and Consulting Company, Total Management Integration, LLC (TMI). Dr. Gavin is also an adjunct professor at Alcorn State University where she teaches in the Masters of Business Administration Program. Prior to joining DiamondJacks, formerly the Isle of Capri, she worked in the Governor’s Office for Governor Ronnie Musgrove as the Director of Administration. She has also worked for Hughes Aircraft, Harrah’s Entertainment and Belhaven College.

Her educational accomplishments include a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education from Jackson State University, a Masters of Business Administration from Mississippi College, Clinton, MS and a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting from Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA. In addition to her professional duties, Felicia is very active in the community such as serving as a Board Member on the Clinton Public School District Board of Trustees, Board of Directors for the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the Mississippi Council on Problem and Compulsive Gambling (MCPCG). Dr. Gavin is also the Clinton High School PTO treasurer and served as PTO President at Sumner Hill Junior High School in Clinton where she was named Parent of the Year. She is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Beta Delta Omega Chapter; a member of Leadership Jackson Alumni; former member of the Board of Directors for Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, and previous Chairman of the Board of Directors for United Way of West Central Mississippi. She is an active member of her church, Anderson United Methodist Church in Jackson. Dr. Gavin was recently selected for two awards:

Mississippi’s Business Journal Woman of the Year for 2016 and Girls Scouts Woman of Distinction for 2016.  Gavin was a member of the 2017 Class of Leadership Mississippi where she was selected by her peers to deliver graduation remarks. She and her husband, Vern, reside in Clinton, Mississippi along with their daughter, Verlecia. In her spare time, she enjoys outdoor grilling, reading, and traveling.

Ashley Wicks

March 23rd, 2018 by giving

As a member of Butler Snow LLP’s Business Services and Public Finance Groups, Ahsley’s practice focuses on public finance, general corporate transactions, and tax issues such as: public finance tax, state and local taxation, controversy matters, and tax credits. With over twelve years of experience, Ashley has represented qualified active low-income community businesses, leverage lenders, guarantors, source lenders, state credit investors, and community development entities in $250+ million federal New Markets Tax Credit (“NMTC”) transactions. She has also represented developers in hybrid NMTC transactions, historic rehabilitation tax credits, and/or renewable energy tax credit transactions. As bond counsel in tax-exempt bond financings, she has worked with mass transit agencies in the exercise of early buy-out options and voluntary terminations of tax-advantaged leases, including payment undertaking. In addition, she has represented taxpayers in controversy matters with the Mississippi Department of Revenue and the Internal Revenue Service, and served as counsel to banks in financing transactions.

She received a BBA in accounting from Jackson State University, a M.P.A. from Jackson State University, a J.D. from Tulane University, and a LL.M. in Taxation from the University of Alabama. She is admitted to the State Bars of Mississippi and Texas, the U.S. Districts Courts for both districts of Mississippi, and also is a certified public accountant. She is a member of the American, National, Magnolia, Mississippi, Texas, and Capital Bar Associations, as well as the National Association of Bond Lawyers and the Mississippi Society of Certified Public Accountants.  She has served in various leadership positions, including President of the Magnolia Bar Association, and chaired various committees.  She was named in the top 10 of Mississippi Business Journal’s 2016 “Top 50 Under 40” and a “Rising Star” in tax by Mid-South Super Lawyers®.

During her free time, Ashley enjoys mentoring high school, college and law students, volunteering and community /civic involvement. Currently, she serves as chaplain for the Jackson-Hinds Chapter of Jackson State University National Alumni Association and on the Board of Trustees of the Community Foundation for Mississippi as Treasurer.  She is also a member of the Beta Delta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the Junior League of Jackson (having served in various leadership positions in both organizations), and she was a 1999 initiate in the Gamma Rho Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. at Jackson State University.  She contributes willingness to try new things to serve her community from her many experiences at Jackson State University.

When she is not pursuing her volunteer and service-driven efforts, she loves to travel. She hopes to cross Italy, Egypt and Africa off her travel bucket list. She also enjoys spending time with family and friends, listening to music (which naturally leads to dancing) and attending concerts.  

Taya Sanders-Kelker

March 13th, 2018 by giving

Born in Jackson, Mississippi, Tanya Sanders-Kelker is the wife of Christopher Kelker, mother of three boys, sister, daughter, friend, as well as an accomplished accounting professional, published author, entrepreneur, and salon owner. Tanya is a self-proclaimed foodie that enjoys traveling with her family and has a pallet for eclectic music. She is a two time graduate of Jackson State University with a 2008 BBA in Accounting and 2009 MBA in operations management. While there she was very active on campus through her sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Student government and different leadership roles within the College of Business. She has dedicated her accounting career to excel in the areas of financial literacy and developing business strategies for increased profits and business growth for business owners. Tanya’s unique approach has earned her recognition as “BAE” The Beauty Accountant for All Beauty Industry Professionals and Entrepreneurs.

Having recognized that many businesses need not only someone to do their accounting, but a business partner to help coach them through the numbers of their business; Tanya discovered the opportunity to provide solutions to a plethora of entrepreneurs specifically in the beauty and service industries through her accounting and business development firm Profit and Growth, LLC, which she began in 2010.

Having helped so many entrepreneurs start and/or rebuild their businesses in the beauty industry, during the summer of 2017 Tanya set out to follow a hidden passion of bringing non-traditional beauty spa services to the Metro Jackson, MS area through her Day Spa Body Party Wax and Beauty Studios located in Pearl, MS. Her and her business partner was able to take the concept of this beauty studio and open and begin operations within 90 days; which is the prefaces of her next book scheduled to be released in 2018.


To learn more about Tanya Sanders-Kelker, MBA visit:



Email: latanyasanders@pgfinancialsolutions.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/thebeautyaccountant





Annie Partee

March 13th, 2018 by giving

Annie Partee serves as the Director of Minority/Women Business Enterprise Department for the Dallas Independent School District.  She has received the following professional accolades and awards: Certified Texas School Business Specialist, Compliance Administrator, Master Compliance Administrator, Minority Business Leader Award, DFW Native American Chamber’s Special Recognition Award, 2016 Jupiter “Most Supportive Leader” Award, and numerous Minority/Women Business Enterprise Advocacy awards.  She is a member of the Board of Directors for the North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency.  

Annie is a native of Tallulah, LA. While attending Jackson State University (JSU), Annie Holmes was blessed to fulfill one of her childhood dreams.  During Spring 1987, she was initiated into the Gamma Rho Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. In 2014, she reactivated with Omicron Mu Omega Chapter and serves on the Membership Committee and Devotion Committee.

During Spring 1989, Annie received her BS in Accounting from JSU and graduated magna cum laude.  She is a life member of JSUNAA and serves on the Membership Committer for the JSUNAA Dallas – Fort Worth Chapter.  

Annie and her husband Anthony Partee Sr.  have been married for 25 years.  They have been blessed with a daughter:   Santana, two sons: Anthony Jr. and Antoine (who’s a current JSU student), and two grandchildren:  Skylyn and Booker.  

Annie is active member of the Westside Baptist Church in Lewisville, TX and actively serves as a facilitator for the Kingdom Connection Hour.  Some of her ministry engagements include but are not limited to:   the Union Gospel Mission, Center of Hope, Christian Community Action, Operation Care, Women Running with Authority, etc.  

Annie’s recreational activities include vacationing, shopping, and enjoying family and friends.

Elizabeth Harper

March 13th, 2018 by giving

Born in Jackson, Mississippi, Elizabeth Harper is the daughter of Rosie Jimerson and Jarett Harper, aunt, friend, Soror of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority as well as an employee of Comcast Cable as a Human Resources Generalist. Elizabeth loves to travel, eat, relax and spend time with her family. She is a graduate of Jackson State University with a 2005 BBA in Business Management and a 2008 graduate from University of Phoenix with a MBA in Human Resources. While at Jackson State University, Elizabeth was active in SAM and various other organizations within the College of Business.

When Elizabeth graduated from Jackson State University she was accepted into the management training program with the Kroger Company, where she was promoted to a Senior Co-Manager a year later. In 2007, Elizabeth accepted a position the position of Executive Team Leader of Guest Services with the Target Corporation. Elizabeth started working for Comcast Cable in 2010 where she was a Technical Support Supervisor and was promoted to Human Resources four years later. Currently, Elizabeth is a Senior Human Resource Generalist where she conducts new hire orientation, investigates employees concerns and complaints and focuses on reducing employee turnover and the usage of leave of absence.  This year Elizabeth started the first annual Elizabeth Harper Book Scholarship which was awarded to Lamonica Watson. Elizabeth has a passion for helping the youth and being of guidance when it comes to real life work scenarios and situations.

Megan M. Patrick

March 13th, 2018 by giving

Megan Patrick is an Area Loan Specialist with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Rural Development. In her role as a Loan Specialist, she assist very low to low income residents in rural communities obtain loans to purchase or build new homes. She also assist very low income residents obtain grants and/or loans to repair their homes. In addition to her work at USDA, Megan owns and manages the Patrick Law Group, PLLC primarily focusing on social security disability claims and personal injury cases. Megan is also serves as Of Counsel in Mississippi for Krohn and Moss, Consumer Law Center.

Megan earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Finance from Jackson State University in 2006. Shortly after completing Jackson State, Megan moved to Washington, D.C. where she worked for Congressman Bennie Thompson and worked in Marketing and Public Relations for two telecommunication organizations. In 2010, Megan returned to Mississippi to prepare for law school. In 2011 Megan was admitted to Mississippi College of Law on a full academic scholarship where she completed her Juris Doctorate in 2014. Megan and her husband are members of Crossroads Missionary Baptist Church.