On May 26, 2017, the Dept. of Public Policy & Administration (PPAD), JSU, hosted Mississippi Department of Transportation's (MDOT) TRANS-CON Community Working Session: "A Call To Action-The Validity of Transportation Now." at Jackson State University's Downtown Campus located at 101 W. Capitol, Jackson, MS.

The TRANS-CON (Central Mississippi Transportation Connection) is one of the six regional coordination transportation groups in the State of Mississippi. TRANS-CON's mission is to provide safe, reliable, available, affordable and accessible transporation services for Copiah, Hinds, Madison, Rankin, Simpson, Warren, and Yazoo Counties in Central Mississippi through the development and implementation of regional and statewide transportation services coordination.

MDOT and the Department of Public Policy & Administration have a long working relationship to bring more effective and efficient transporation to the State of Mississippi.  According to Dr. Johnny Gilleylen, "the relationship between the two agencies goes back to the 1985 establishment of the Federal Transporation Administration's " T2 Transporation Center" at Jackson State University. The relationship has involved administration, research, and training provided through the department. This workshop is a continuation of a very long and durable relationship." MDOT's Intermodal Transportation Director, Mr. Charles Carr, stated that "its time to move beyond planning to implementation." The conference was led by the Executive Director of NROUTE, Ms. Evelyn Bumpers, who also serves as the coordination group's director.  

The intendees included representatives from state, county, and local governments, private foundations, and private companies. The goal for the session was not only to design policies and strategies to improve public transit, but also to create mechanisms of implementation under the concept of collaboration between public transit stakeholders. The discussion not only included methods of effective coordination, but also adoption of new technologies, and how agencies may secure more funding. One of the conference outcomes was to increase utilization of Jackson State University and PPAD as partners in this mission. Several agencies are in the process to establish more formal relationships with PPAD by entering into memoranda of understanding to utilize and fund department interns. They have begun to write PPAD interns into their FTA grant applications.  

TRANS-CON's Regional Mobility Manager Machelle Kyles personally thanked Dr. Ricardo Brown, Dean of the College of Public Service for being a valued TRANS-CON regional group partner and seeking to expand their relationship with the university.


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Sixteen Armed With Valuable Credentials

January 5th, 2017 by ppad


The road to completion for sixteen Public Policy and Administration’s students came through hard work, tears, and willing minds.  On December 9, 2016, the department proudly awarded five PhD degrees and eleven MPPA degrees.  The students receiving such honors concur with Jackson State University’s mission statement which states, “The University produces technologically advanced, diverse, ethical, global leaders who think critically, address societal problems, and compete effectively.”

The five Fall 2016 PhD graduates:  Quentin D. Holmes, Dianne M. Hooker, Anan Abu Hummour, Jason M. Pope and Edward D. Sivak are proud degree holders from the BEST: Jackson State University.   Mohammad Alrefai, Lashanda D. Bailey, Ebony L. Bingham, Ashley D. Caples,  Emmett Caston,  Alla Jeanae Frank, Melissa J. Johnson, Candance F. Miner, Unekia N. Oatis, Michael K. Spann, and Sonja J. Stokes-Greenleaf fulfilled their goals by staying on course until graduation day.   The hard work, tears, and willing minds were worth the efforts of being honored on graduation day.

Congratulations to the Fall Class of 2016.  The Department of Public Policy and Administration is proud to add sixteen armed graduates with valuable credentials to an ever changing society.


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Footsteps of a Soldier

October 28th, 2016 by ppad


Footsteps of a Soldier

Colonel Jennifer Hicks-McGowan has earned her stripes by serving her country through the United State Army.  Her military career spans two and half decades of services.  She started her profession as a Second Lieutenant upon graduating from Sam Houston State University in Texas.  From her first step to her current step she has proven her dedication to defending and serving her country.  On October 7, 2016 she was promoted to Colonel at the Pentagon in Washington, DC.  Colonel is the 24th rank in the United States Army that typically commands brigade-sized units of 3,000 to 5,000 soldiers.

Colonel Hicks-McGowan relationship with Jackson State is well documented.  She is currently seeking a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration.  In 2002 she earned her Master of Public Policy and Administration degree from Jackson State.  To show forth learning received while matriculating at JSU, she became the Chair and Professor of Military Science in July 2007. As the department leader, she was in charge of the Tiger Battalion, Senior Army Resource Officer Training Corps (ROTC).

The footsteps of a solider have taken Colonel Hick-McGowan from her home town of Victoria, Texas to Iraq.  Her dedication to the military are well authenticated through the numerous accolades given by the military and promotion received in the military.  Perhaps the greatest rewards of all are those who love and support her:  husband, Evangelist and their three children:  Emily, Evan, and Ethan.

A respectable leader, Colonel Jennifer Hicks-McGowan, well-embedded footsteps are recognizable as others follow strive to become worthy soldiers.



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Working Together Yield Dividends

September 23rd, 2016 by ppad


Challenges in collaborative governance for coastal Restoration: Lessons from the Caernarvon River Diversion in Louisiana is a paper written by Dr. Jae-Young Ko, Jermesha Haywood, MPPA student; and Louisiana State University research team. The research paper analyzes stakeholders’ conflicts surrounding coastal restoration programs using a framework of collaborative planning, and suggests better ways in resolving conflicts, They conducted a case study of the Caernarvon River Diversion in Louisiana, which was once developed into a $1.3 billion lawsuit (abstract_caernarvon). For their combined efforts, this paper has been accepted for publication in Journal, Coastal Management , a "peer-reviewed, applied research journal dedicated to exploring the technical, applied ecological, legal, political, social, and policy issues relating to the use of coastal and ocean resources and environments on a global scale" (Coastal Management, 2016).


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sheliamalone82216Ms. Shelia Malone is a master’s student in the Department of Public Policy and Administration.  All masters’ students are required to do an internship and participate in Toastmaster.  This summer, Shelia elected to do her internship as a researcher at the University of California-Irvin.  Although she is a member of JSU PPAD Toastmasters Club #0142091, club rules allow her to participate in a local club which she elected to do while in California.

Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development.  It empowers individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders.

The world needs leaders.   Leaders head families, coach teams, run businesses, and mentor others.  These leaders must not only accomplish, they must communicate.  By regularly giving speeches, gaining feedback, leading teams, and guiding others to achieve their goals in a supportive atmosphere, leaders emerge from the Toastmasters Program.  Every Toastmasters journey begins with a single speech.  During their journey, they learn to tell their stories. They listen and answer. They plan and lead. They give feedback—and accept it.

If you have a desire to improve your communications and leadership skills, we encourage you to join PPAD Toastmaster Club #01452091.  You can contact Dr. Ester W. Stokes @ (601) 979-8787 or by email: Dr. Stokes serves as the Internship Coordinator for the Department of Public Policy and Administration.


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slack_3Professor James Slack will join the inaugural Community Advisory Board (CAB) for Clinical and Population Health Research at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. According to the letter of invitation, “The CAB will be an essential partner in achieving our mission of improving the health of all Mississippians…. As well-informed advisors, CAB members will be routinely solicited for their views and opinions and often influence decisions impacting the broader community.”  In addition to assisting in the advancement of health in the state of Mississippi, Professor Slack also hopes to gain our students opportunities whenever appropriate to explore additional dissertation ideas.  Congratulations, Professor Slack.

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 IMG_1708_1The first day of the ENACT workshop ended with a three-hour dinner meeting (at Wheelock College) with the 15 ENACT Fellows and the ENACT staff. In their own way, and using their own experiences, each of the 15 Fellows – from 15 different universities in 15 different state capitals – remarkably discussed the importance of new course creativity and old course renovation – thinking out of the box – in creating a successful environment for the student, her career, and for the development of actual problem-solving public policy. Tomorrow we go to Brandeis University and begin to work out the details that will be applied to the ENACT course that will be taught in various forms by the 15 ENACT Fellows.   The picture shows an exhausted Dr. Slack, taking a walk around Fenway Park, which is in the background.

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IMG_1658_1Professor James D. Slack (Ph.D., Ph.D.) was selected as one of its inaugural Faculty Fellows in the Educational Network for Active Civic Transformation (ENACT) program at Brandeis University last Spring (

The program is designed to be a strategic information hub to stimulate young people to acquire the types of personal interaction that will inspire them to adopt Supreme Court Justice Brandis' belief that the "most important political office is that of the private citizen."  ENACT serves to connect participants with their counterparts throughout the country.  The program is funded by Mr. and Mrs. Norbert Weissburg.  One of the selection criteria is for the recipient univeristy to be at or near a state capital city.  Jackson State University is one of 15 institutions selected for ENACT participation.

Professor Slack is now attending the ENACT workshop at Brandeis Univ. from May 22 – 26, 2016. The workshop is designed to develop learning opportunities to the students on knowledge, skills, and justice on the legislative proceesses on social justice issues

For more details, please check the Dept Facebook page, 

Have a productive trip to Boston, Professor Slack!


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JonesMs. Denita Jones, a PhD Candidate, was  elected as a Delegate for the Rankin County Democratic Party and Vice Chairman of the Rankin County Democratic Executive Committee on March 12, 2016.  Ms Jones was also elected as one of a team of Delegates to attend the Mississippi Democratic Party State Convention to be held May 21, 2016.   The Department congratulates Ms. Jones for taking the theory from her coursework and using it as a springboard to make a difference in her community. 

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Professor Slack’s 10th book

May 4th, 2016 by ppad

 IMG_1658_1Dr. James D. Slack, at his home in Hoover, Alabama, just after signing a contract for his 10th book. Tentatively titled THE CHRIST WORKER, this book is a devotional that combines Christian scripture with organization behavior, workplace theory, and other work and career challenges for people in the public and nonprofit professions. Published by Emeth Press, the book is expected to be in print toward the end of 2016. 



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