JSU Women’s History Month

Gwendolyn S. Dawkins, Ph.D., ‘82

March 25th, 2017 by giving

Dr. Gwendolyn S. Dawkins is an assistant professor and Recreation Program Coordinator in the Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation at Jackson State University. Dr. Dawkins has worked at Jackson State for over 26 years. She received her B. S. degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation, with a concentration in Therapeutic Recreation Masters of Science degree in Special Education from Jackson State University and Doctorial of Education Degree from Mississippi State University. 

During her dedicated years, she has taught, advised and mentored many scholars in the department.  She has presented at local, state, national and international conferences, initiated and implemented a variety of community service and service-learning activities and developed many research programs and projects. 

As evidence of her teaching effectiveness and leadership, Dr. Dawkins was a recipient of the One JSU Excellence Awards in 2014, recognized a Professor of the Game, and many recognitions from the College of Education and Human Development and the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.  Dr. Dawkins was selected to participate on the Notable Alumni Panelist in 2016.  She also served as a faculty leader for JSU Passport to the World facilitating a study abroad experience in Madrid, Spain.

Dr. Dawkins is a member of American Therapeutic Recreation Association and Phi Epsilon Kappa National Honorary Society.  She serves as a board member of the Cure Sickle Cell Foundation, I!CAN- International Community Ambassadors Network (Founding Member), Our Community Salutes of Mississippi (Founding Member) and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She is an educator, mentor, advisor, community activist, community servant and leader. 

Dr. Dawkins is married to Mr. Charles Dawkins. They are the proud parents of Ariel Alexandria ’12 and Nicholas Dawkins, a freshman at JSU.

Felicia Adams, JD, ‘81

March 24th, 2017 by giving

Ms. Felicia C. Adams was confirmed as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi on July 3, 2011.  Ms. Adams is a twenty-two year veteran with the Department of Justice, having begun her career as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Mississippi in 1989.  Most recently, Ms. Adams served as First Assistant in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi.  During her eleven year tenure in that office, Ms. Adams also served as Deputy Civil Chief from 2005 to 2010 during which time she handled complex civil litigation in the areas of employment discrimination, constitutional tort claims and qui tam actions brought pursuant to the False Claims Act.  Additionally, she was a member of the Criminal Appellate Section and also served as Ethics Officer.

From 1989 to 2000, Ms. Adams was an AUSA in the Northern District of Mississippi.  She was assigned to the Civil Division where she handled tort claims, constitutional tort cases, employment discrimination cases, land cases and bankruptcy matters.  Moreover, Ms. Adams also worked in the Financial Litigation Unit collecting debts owed to the United States.  In 1998, she transferred to the Criminal Division where she prosecuted drug cases as a member of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.

Prior to coming to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Ms. Adams was legal counsel to former Governor Ray Mabus, who is currently Secretary of the Navy.  Ms. Adams also worked as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Mississippi as a member of the Capital Litigation Section where she wrote appellate briefs and argued death penalty cases before the Mississippi Supreme Court.  During this period, Ms. Adams was a member of the Execution Task Force which handled the executions of Edward Earl Johnson on May 20, 1987 and Lonnie Ray Evans on July 8, 1987. Ms. Adams was also a law clerk for the Honorable Odell Horton, Jr., United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee.  She is a 1984 graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law.  She received her undergraduate degree from Jackson State University in 1981.


Tepricka Morgan ’00, ‘03

March 23rd, 2017 by giving

Tepricka Morgan is a Canton, Mississippi native who currently serves as an U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Customer Relationship Manager to the U.S. Department of the Treasury and to the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C.  In this role, she acts as a senior specialist and recognized authority in strategy management that delivers mission value to agency customers and to American taxpayers.

Morgan earned the bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Business Administration from Jackson State University. She furthered her studies in the highly ranked, DeVos Sport Business Management program at the University of Central Florida, where she earned the Master of Sport Business Management (MSBM). 

In 2012, she became one of the youngest Division Directors in federal payments – a business line that disburses more than a billion payments, with an associated dollar value of more than $2.4 trillion – at the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal.  She also routinely served as an official Treasury spokesperson and helped to launch a retirement savings program announced by President Obama in his January 2014 State of the Union address. Prior to her career in public service, Morgan worked with sports entities such as the New Orleans Saints and the State Farm Bayou Classic.

Tepricka is passionate about helping young people build business careers and has volunteered with organizations such as INROADS, Inc., Junior Achievement, Inc. and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the National Capital Area. She is an active member of the Greater Washington D.C. Alumni Chapter of the Jackson State University National Alumni Association where she serves as Chair of the Scholarship Committee.

Karmyn Norwood, ‘93

March 22nd, 2017 by giving

Karmyn Norwood is the site vice president for the Air Mobility & Maritime Missions (AMMM) Line of Business (LOB) for Lockheed Martin Corporation. In this capacity, she is responsible for the Marietta site operations enabling program execution of multi-billion dollar platforms.  Her focus is to optimize the workforce and manage the plant’s physical footprint to drive affordability and efficiency to ensure long-term viability and competiveness.

Previously, Ms. Norwood was the C-130 Production Operations director and Meridian Site general manager at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company. She managed the day-to-day operations of the Meridian plant, including Meridian’s manufacturing and deliverables to the C-130 Program. She worked closely with leaders at the Marietta, Clarksburg, Johnstown and Pinellas facilities to achieve program level commitments and drive affordability.

Prior to this role, Karmyn served as director of Operations within Technical Operations at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, responsible for more than 7,000 engineers accountable for the design, development, integration, production and sustainment of military aircraft for the United States and countries around the world.  Ms. Norwood also served as Director of F-22 Program Operations, responsible for the day-to-day operations of the F-22 Program. In this role, she was responsible for leading the merger of two multi-billion programs to reduce costs, streamline processes and to strengthen the workforce.  This merger resulted in the formation of the Integrated Fighter Group.

A Lockheed Martin employee since 2002, Ms. Norwood has held various leadership roles of increasing responsibility, including director-level positions on the F-22 Program and Engineering and Technical Operations. Her 20-year career, including time in the U.S. Government demonstrates diverse experiences in the federal government, commercial, and aerospace industries.

Ms. Norwood holds a bachelor's degree in Mathematics from Jackson State University (Jackson, MS), a master's degree in Electrical Engineering from George Mason University (Fairfax, VA). She is currently pursuing an Executive MBA at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.  She is also a graduate of the Defense Acquisition University Program Management Institute.  Ms. Norwood is a recipient of the 2015 Black Engineer of Year Special Recognition Award.

Ms. Norwood is a member of the Jackson State University Computer Science Engineering and Technology Advisory Board where she provides student development opportunities as well as guidance on future industry opportunities in support of the board’s strategic vision.  In addition to giving back to her alma mater, Karmyn is dedicated to ensuring a pipeline of diverse talent is developed through Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) initiatives for Lockheed Martin’s future workforce requirements.


Courtney Rutledge, ‘07

March 21st, 2017 by giving

“Conviction and commitment to service and advocacy for those who are on the periphery of mainstream society” is the central mission of Courtney S.V. Rutledge. Cultivated through decades of perseverance, hope, and spirituality, Ms. Rutledge, a generational A.M.E, is a life member of Greater Allen A.M.E Church & she is the daughter of Rev. Albert and Mrs. Nona Rutledge of Dayton, OH & scholarship recruit of Dr. Jimmie James, Chair of JSU Dept. of Music. She is a graduate of the Brad Tillson National School of Excellence, The Stivers School of the Arts Jr. & Sr. High School. Committed to excellence, education, and service, Ms. Rutledge has served her hometown of Dayton, Ohio acting as the President of the Dayton Public Schools Superintendents Student Senate followed by her election as the youngest member of the Dayton Board of Education representing 20,000+ students of the Dayton Public School System.

Ms. Rutledge, a “2007” Summa Cum Laude Speech Communication Studies Major/ Vocal Music Minor of Jackson State University (JSU), achieved the highest departmental G.P.A of Speech Comm. Studies Graduates in “2007” and has obtained such honors as The A.E.A.N.O.M.S International Miss Shrine of North & South America and its Jurisdictions & The SCLC Women’s Coalition Princess Nefertiti Service Award, the Centennial Miss Black & Gold for the Delta Phi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., The District of Mississippi, & Talent and Interview Recipient Alpha South. In that same year she became elected Miss Jackson State University and placed as a finalist for the Miss National Black College Hall of Fame, she is distinguished as JSU’s first and only student 2 page feature in Ebony Magazine, and Co-Host of BET’s The Student Center.

As a Communication & Discourse scholar and protégé of Dr. Janice K. Neal- Vincent and her lifelong Academic Advisor, Dr. Mark G. Henderson, Ms. Rutledge has presented culturally relevant research on the history of African American Rhetoric of the early twentieth century. Her innate ability in public speech and scholarly research has led her to present her findings at academic research symposiums, national conferences, and competitions which led her to ultimately become the 1st place National Extemporaneous winner at the Black Academy of Arts and Letters in Dallas, TX.  A “2006” initiate of the Gamma Rho Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the service to which Ms. Rutledge is committed seeks to increase educational opportunities, increase economic advantages, and promote cultural expression through the arts, evident through her pursuit of transforming research into real life application as she became the President & Founder of For My People Org. Ms. Rutledge successfully established the nation’s first branch of the Feed the Children Network on a college campus at JSU which under her student leadership contributed $5,000.00 to the Abandoned Baby Center in Kenya, Africa which now carries the sponsorship name of Jackson State University. She furthered her commitment to the service of JSU, through The Campaign for Violence Prevention against College Students, conducting legal research and investigating safety provisions, sexual assault policies, laws, and police response to violence committed on college campuses. Her project as a scholar resulted in 1 million dollars allocated to campus safety improvements at Jackson State University. Her most recent service to JSU is as the President of “Thrive JSU,” the upcoming official Young Alumni Division of the JSUNAA.

 As a legal and political communication scholar, she is “2011” graduate of Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. where her interest in legal research and writing targeted legislative deficiencies surrounding the communicative branding of minority populations and urban centers. Ms. Rutledge has served, The DCI Political Communication Firm, producing relative grassroots statistical research portfolios for lobbyist in the war room during the “2008” and “2012” Presidential election cycle, The Executive Office of the Mayor, Adrian Fenty of Washington, DC working on grassroots volunteerism, communication and legal advocacy for constituents coordinating the Mayors official service agenda, the District of Columbia Public Schools & the 110th Congress of the U.S. House of Representatives House Committee on Homeland Security and the Congressional office of Congressman Bennie G. Thompson, (D-MS) while furthering her legal studies at George Washington University in Washington, DC. Ms. Rutledge reflects a strong track record as a communicative implementer and academician who thrives on managing a variety of key initiatives concurrently.

All of her experiences have solidified her commitment to use strategic communication, analysis and legal research to provide greater solutions on her path advocating for minority populations at all levels of government and education, namely Historically Black Colleges. To accomplish this end, Ms. Rutledge has recently returned to the “College of her Heart” conducting independent Ethnography in Speech Communication Studies as an abroad Minority Urban Researcher and Graduate guest lecturer in Communication Studies, while continuing her scholarship in Communication as a minority scholar of The Purdue University Brian Lamb School of Communication. As an avid scholar most recently, she has given her time as a fellow to the Mississippi Bar Associations’ Volunteer Lawyers Project and Thee Institute of Government as a December “2016” Public Management and Leadership Co-Hort Graduate. As Ethnographer, she is mastering her leadership development, conducting research, analyzing policy, and being trained in theoretical organizational management to communicatively assist governmental bodies and urban institutions as a thinker who delivers effective and efficient leadership that meets needs and enhances stability, growth, and sustainability of urban communities. Her motto is “What God can’t do, cannot be done, if I have the faith, God’s got the power”.

Chauncey Citchens, ‘08

March 20th, 2017 by giving

Chauncey Citchens, a native of Jackson, MS is the daughter of Claude and Linda Wilson. She is happily married to Christopher, a fellow JSU alum. If you ask Chauncey about her tenure at JSU, she will quickly tell you that it was four of the best years of her life. While on campus Chauncey was very active. She served in many leadership roles including class president, homecoming chair, and National Pan-Hellenic representative for the Gamma Rho chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She was also initiated into several honor societies and received the Jacksonian Award.

After graduating Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing, Chauncey received her MBA from Clark Atlanta University. During her professional career, Chauncey has worked in marketing, communications, and product development for companies including Clear Channel, H&R Block, and C Spire. She recently relocated to Nashville, TN where she is now a Senior Digital Marketing Specialist for The General®. In her new role, Chauncey oversees external digital marketing and communications including the email program, texting program, and digital paid media.

While growing professionally, Chauncey has also found time for personal development. She recently joined the Urban League Young Professionals of Middle Tennessee and is also pursuing her first love of writing. Her new blog chronicles her journey to self-publishing her first children’s book targeted at black girls. You can follow along at www.chaunceycitchens.com.

Andrea Williams, ‘97

March 20th, 2017 by giving

Andrea Williams is a very proud 1997 honors graduate of Jackson State University. The Smith County, Mississippi native and Raleigh High School graduate bleeds true “Tiger Blue!”

For almost the past 17 ½ years Andrea has worked as an anchor/reporter at WTOK-TV in Meridian, Mississippi.

Over the years, she has received a number of associated press and local awards. With a lifelong goal of simply having a positive impact on society, Andrea thanks JSU for helping to equip her with important skills that were needed to truly make this dream become an ever evolving reality.

Gwendolyn Caples, ‘77

March 18th, 2017 by giving

Gwendolyn Caples was named the Assistant Vice President for Institutional Advancement in June 2016. She manages day-to-day operations for the division. Since 2003, Caples has worked solely in the Division of Institutional Advancement in several positions, including events coordinator, director of Alumni and Constituency Relations, and director of the JSU Welcome Center.

Prior to her employment at Jackson State, she worked as public relations director at Mississippi Public Broadcasting for 11 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from JSU and a master’s degree in mass communications from Mississippi College.

Caples continues to manage the JSU Welcome Center and also provides oversight to Alumni and Constituency Relations, Development and University Events.

AVP Caples has received many awards and recognitions throughout her career, including an award from the JSU National Alumni Association for chairing the Biennial Conference, the “Hero Award” from the Jackson Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, and the Thurgood Marshall Award for Excellence in Alumni Affairs. She was also honored as one of “50 Leading Business Women in Mississippi” by the Mississippi Business Journal and has received the “One JSU Excellence Award” from Jackson State University.

Diane Delaware, ‘71

March 17th, 2017 by giving

The Honorable Diane Delaware is a native of Yazoo City, Mississippi and graduated from N. D. Taylor High School. She received her undergraduate degree from Jackson State University and her Master’s degree from the University of Missouri.  

Diane began her professional career in Jackson, Mississippi with the Xerox Corporation as a Collection Correspondent, where she quickly moved to sales covering the major accounts in the financial, government and manufacturing sector.  After her promotion to Sales Manager, Diane went on to run the Xerox Offices in Dallas and Houston, Texas as Marketing Operations Manager and Branch Marketing Manager respectively.  Being recognized as the top Marketing Manager across a 10-state Region; Diane was selected to assist in the transformation of the Company and was promoted to Director of Quality and Knowledge Management at the Xerox National Headquarters.  There she pioneered and deployed the leading edge Six Sigma Process company-wide which resulted in a profitable revenue growth and millions in cost cutting savings.

Following this success, Diane was promoted to Director of Major Account Negotiations where she was responsible for major account revenues totaling in excess of Three Billion Dollars in U.S. revenues annually.  Diane's career spans all areas of business operations for the Xerox Corporation.  She also managed the Latin American and European Manufacturing Operations Quality for the Company.  Furthering her education while at Xerox, Diane attended the Insead University (known as the Harvard of Europe) in Fontainebleau, just outside of Paris, France.  She completed the Executive Business Management Program and went on to complete the Marketing Executive Program at the Columbia University School of Marketing in New York City.  The CEO selected Diane to lead the transformation of the world-wide manufacturing organization and with that success; the organization awarded Diane Delaware with the Malcolm Baldrige Award for Excellence by the United States Government.

As the Global Vice President of Marketing Operations for the Xerox Corporation covering marketing for the United States, Europe, Middle East, Africa and South America; Diane launched a new line of products that we all use today in our everyday lives: multifunctional printers and copiers.  During her career, Diane served as Senior Vice President of Knowledge Management and Quality for the Xerox Corporation where she resided in England and traversed the globe to build talent and capital in the new international markets of Russia, China, India, Dubai, Brazil, and throughout the European countries.  In her last role at Xerox, Diane was Senior Vice President of Emerging Markets leading operations for the countries noted here.

Diane has consulted for Lockheed Martin, Credit Suisse, American Express, Frito-Lay, IBM, and the Stamford Connecticut Public Schools, creating its first Bullying Program, as well as many other international organizations.  Diane Delaware has received national and international honors and awards from the National Association of Black Engineers, the NAACP, The Urban League, the Executive Leadership Council, the Russian Marketing Association, The National Sales Association, Athena, The National Association of Quality Control and, of course, numerous awards from the Xerox Corporation. In 2011, Diane was honored for her contributions to the advancement of women in American business by the Black Women's Leadership Council, the national organization representing Black women in Corporate America.  Diane is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.  In 2014, she became the first female, African American mayor of Yazoo City.



Jessica Catchings, J.D., ‘09

March 16th, 2017 by giving

Attorney Jessica Catchings, a native of Ridgeland, Mississippi, graduated summa cum laude from Jackson State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History in 2009. From there she received a Juris Doctorate from the University Of Mississippi School Of Law and passed the Mississippi Bar in 2012.

While in law school she studied abroad at Downing College of Cambridge University in Cambridge, England. She also interned with former United States Magistrate Judge S. Allan Alexander of the Northern District of Mississippi, worked at the Public Defender Service of the District of Columbia and assisted Mississippi Innocence Project attorneys in petitioning the Mississippi Supreme Court to overturn the convictions of wrongfully incarcerated prisoners.

For the past four years, Attorney Catchings has served as a staff attorney at the Mississippi Center for Justice working in their Consumer Protection and Housing Divisions. There she has saved over one hundred homes by representing homeowners facing foreclosure.  Moreover, she has filed Fair Housing complaints to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development against local apartment complexes. She was among a team of attorneys who represented tenants who filed a lawsuit against the City of Ridgeland regarding a zoning ordinance that would have eliminated five apartment complexes in the City. While at the center, she also served as staff attorney at a legal clinic at Hinds Community College. 

Attorney Catchings is an adjunct professor at Belhaven University and she recently accepted a full-time position as an attorney in the Government Services division at Horne, LLP. She is a member of the Women in the Profession Committee of the Mississippi Bar. She serves as a member of Jackson State University's School of Business Community Ambassadors and Advisory Board and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Center for Social Entrepreneurship, a non-profit located in West Jackson.