The Mary S. Nelums (MSN) Foundation was founded and established by graduates from the premier class of 1995 in the name of Mary S. Nelums, a retired social work faculty.  The foundation’s mission is to provide scholarships to master-level social work students enrolled at Jackson State University (JSU).

Dr. Nelums, President of the Foundation stated, “Social Work is a profession of service.  In the words of Marian Wright Edelman, ‘service is the rent we pay for living.’  Thus, the foundation’s mission is to assist and develop a committed group of social workers who share this value…, and the students who receive this scholarship will be dedicated to working tireless toward resolving the serious and debilitating social problems that plague individuals, families and communities.”

On January 27, 2009, the Foundation awarded its first $1,000 scholarship to a JSU Master of Social Work student at its annual gala. Since that time, the foundation has held a gala each year and awarded over $13,000 in financial scholarships to master-level social work students.  Board leaders were ecstatic to receive an anonymous donation, in support of the foundation’s mission, that will allow them to award a $1200 scholarship to a deserving MSW student for the Spring semester 2016. Nelums said, “The foundation is grateful to receive the anonymous donation that will now provide funds to a student in need.”

Dr. Shonda Lawrence, Interim Chair of Graduate Programs quoted, “It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.’ ― Mother Teresa.  Dr. Nelums’ commitment to the School of Social Work is both inspiring and humbling. Her unwavering support over the years is truly a testament of her love for JSU and the School of Social Work.  To know that a deserving student will be able to continue his/her education that may not have been able to without the MSN Foundation scholarship is indeed exciting.”

In addition to awarding over $13,000 to eight master-level social work students, other successes of the foundation include: facilitating opportunities for young males in middle school to “shadow” giants who are social workers, lawyers, and a judge; and providing school supplies, homework assistance, and confidential group discussion for seven 8th grade students enrolled at a local middle school.

In August 2015, the Foundation expanded its mission and activities to include the adoption of a Jackson Public School District’s 3rd grade class. Activities the foundation provides consist of financial and enrichment support that develop positive social, emotional, and critical thinking skills.  The Foundation will follow and support these students until they complete college or choose a career path.

Dean Ricardo A. Brown, College of Public Service stated, “The School of Social Work has experienced record enrollment growth over the past several years, most notably in the MSW program.  The recent loss of Ayers support for our program emphasizes the importance of the MSN Foundation in assisting us to continue the legacy of providing well-trained professionals in service to our community.  Collectively, we thank this generous and anonymous donor for this gift.” 

(Pictured L-R) Terrence Spann, MSN Board Member, Mac Epps, MSW Scholarship Recipient, and Dr. Mary Nelums, Foundation President.

Posted in Uncategorized

Welcoming our new students

August 27th, 2015 by webmaster

New student orientation for full-time Master of Social Work students was held on Thursday, August 20, 2015 at the Jackson Medical Mall. The students represented a combination of traditional and non-traditional students who attended universities and colleges across the state of Mississippi. Michael Reed, a recent graduate of Alcorn State University, said, “I felt Jackson State University provides a nice learning environment and a number of my family members attended the university.” Reed chose to major in social work because he wants to impact society and communities in a positive way.

Dr. Shonda Lawrence, Chair of Graduate Social Work Programs, remarked, “It is inspiring to see the continued student enrollment growth in the School of Social Work. We are looking forward to a productive and successful year.”

Posted in Uncategorized

Red Carpet Gala

Red Carpet Gala a Success

April 15th, 2015 by webmaster

The School of Social Work– College of Public Service held its first Red Carpet Gala on Saturday, April 11th in the JSU Student Center. The red carpet was rolled out for attendees to stroll across and have their photographs taken. Proceeds from the event will provide scholarships and professional development opportunities for social work students. 

The atmosphere was charged with the excitement of a committed group of social work education supporters.  President Carolyn W. Meyers and members of her cabinet were in attendance. Ms. Tina Archie, a BSW student, drew a portrait of the president. Dr. Ricardo Brown, dean of the College of Public Service; Dr. Shonda Lawrence, chair of the Bachelor of Social Work Program and Gala Planning Committee, and Ms. Archie surprised the president with the portrait. Dr. Meyers was quite pleased and expressed her gratitude.

Joy Redmond, co-anchor, WLBT/Fox 40 News, served as the mistress of ceremony. Redmond reminded the audience that, “the School of Social Work at Jackson State University is the only university in the state that offers all three programs: BSW, MSW, and Ph.D. in Social Work.” Lucas Watson, Social Work/Field Supervisor for Jefferson County Hospital was among the attendees at the gala and looks forward to the next one. He said the event was, “well-organized and was exceptional for the first time.” 

Entertainment was provided by House of Cards and allowed everyone to unwind and enjoy the festive occasion by dancing to a wide range of music. The gala is truly the peak of this academic year for the School of Social Work. 

Dr. Shonda Lawrence remarked, “The Gala is the first annual red carpet event for the School of Social Work.  The culmination of hard work, dedication, and commitment to the successful matriculation of our students resulted in this spectacular evening.  Hats off to the committee members and cites Henry Ford’s quote, “’Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.’  I am already looking forward to next year.”

Posted in Uncategorized