Alumni Applause

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Dr. Chaka Norwood is a native of Mound Bayou, MS. She received her Doctor of Optometry from the University of Houston. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Jackson State University and a Master of Public Health (Health Administration) from the University of North Texas Health Science Center. For the past eight...
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Chiketa Jiles was born in Fort Hood, TX, an Army installation, to Howard and Diane Jiles.  Jiles grew up as an “army brat” and moved often during her father’s 20-year military career.  Her formative years were mostly spent in Texas, but she also had the opportunity to live on other Army installations in Alaska and...
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Arlinda Fair is an innovative education professional who is passionate about developing educational opportunities that help underrepresented minorities achieve college and career success. Throughout her career, she has worked for several higher education institutions, both public and private, as well as the Chicago Public School district. These professional experiences have helped to build her essential...
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Cheryl McLemore Hearn is a 1995 graduate of Jackson State University and a 1998 graduate of The University of Mississippi School of Law. She currently serves as a senior assistant city attorney with the City of Memphis Law Division. As part of the Transactional Team of the Law Division, Hearn provides legal services which include,...
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Dr. Novella Bridges is currently an acquisition manager with Schafer-Gryphon Government Services working for the Department of Homeland Security. She was previously with Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Bridges has extensive experience leading research in radioisotope composites for cancer; reduction of diesel emissions in vehicles, locomotives and trucks; production of hydrogen for fuel...
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Lela Hubbard has been a licensed master’s level social worker since 1998.  She has been employed with the MS State Office of Capital Defense as the lead mitigation specialist for the past 13 years. Her job entails conducting background investigations for defendants who are charged with capital murder in which the death penalty is sought....
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LaTonia Banks is a native of Minden, Louisiana and the youngest of five siblings. She is a 1993 graduate of Jackson State with a bachelor's of business administration in finance.  Banks has worked for over 20 years in the field of construction as Document Control Manager, Project Support Manager, and Senior Project Analyst. She is...
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Dr. Denise J. Gregory is the Assistant Provost for Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives and an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Samford University.  Along with her administrative and faculty, she serves as the Faculty Athletic Representative and serves on various committees on campus.  Gregory attended Jackson State University and graduated magna...
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Dr. Reggie Sykes, president of Bishop State Community College, is a native of Meridian, Mississippi, where he graduated from Meridian High School. He earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Jackson State University and his doctorate in school administration from Mississippi State University.  Dr. Sykes previously served as director of the East Mississippi Center...
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Terel Key is a native of Jackson MS. He attended Jackson State University and obtained a bachelor's degree in mass communications with an emphasis on broadcast production. Key is a proud member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated. Also while attending Jackson State, he played in THEE Sonic Boom of the South playing the French...
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