Jackson State launches COVID-19 task force to reopen campus

Jackson State University Acting President Thomas K. Hudson established the COVID-19 Reopening Task Force to develop a plan for the safe reopening of the campus.

While considering the safety and well-being of the campus community, the task force will implement a plan to reduce the risk of the novel coronavirus at JSU.

“Jackson State’s focus is to use all necessary precautions outlined by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and the Mississippi State Department of Health to protect the well-being of JSU students and personnel,” said Ashley Robinson, COVID-19 Reopening Task Force co-chair and vice president of athletics.

The task force is composed of professionals from various disciplines and departments.

“As a member of the task force representing the Faculty Senate, we all understand that the lens through which we view higher education in the face of COVID-19 has changed,” said Dr. Dawn Bishop McLin, co-chair of the task force. “There is no cookie-cutter approach on how to reopen any campus. We are working in a transparent manner to make sure plans for reopening and communication are both consistent and considerate of everyone’s well-being,” she added.


“At this time, JSU has to modify the manner in which it conducts business,” she said. “Still, our stalwart efforts for all students and our goal of ‘Challenging Minds and Changing Lives’ remain the same.”


The group began meeting last week and will provide updates to the campus community as it finalizes its plans.


Members of the task force:


Ashley Robinson, vice president and director of Athletics, chair

Dr. Dawn Bishop McLin, professor in the Department of Psychology and vice president of the Faculty Senate, co-chair

Dr. Victor D. Sutton, JSU alumnus and director of the Office of Preventive Health and Health Equity, Mississippi State Department of Health, ad hoc


Subcommittee – Return to Work and Campus Reopening

Robin Pack, executive director of Human Resources, chair

Dr. Carlos Wilson, director of special academic programs for Continuing Education

Dr. Rosella Houston, assistant director of Institutional Research and president of the Staff Senate

Dr. Tangelia Kelly, assistant director of marketing for University Communications

Dr. Debra Dent, chief information officer for Information Technology

Jacqueline Woods, legislative liaison for the Office of the President


Subcommittee – Academic Plan

Dr. Dawn Bishop McLin, chair

Jacori Daniels, president of the Student Government Association

Wendell Fountain, undergraduate recruiter for Undergraduate Recruitment

Dr. Girmay Berhie, dean of the School of Public Health

Dr. Timothy Turner, chair and professor in the Department of Biology

Dr. Patrice Jenkins, assistant professor in the School of Social Work

Dr. Samuel Perkins, assistant professor in the College of Business

Dr. Tony Latiker, associate professor in Elementary and Early Childhood Education

Dr. Huie T. Cunningham, assistant professor in the Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages

Dr. Thomas Kersen, associate professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology


Subcommittee – Health and Safety Plan

Julius Green, assistant director in Safety and Energy Management, chair

Thomas Albright, chief of the Department of Public Safety

Jacqueline Martin, nurse (LPN) in the Health Center

Dr. Sophia Leggett, associate professor in the School of Public Health

Shanice White, therapist in Student Affairs


Subcommittee – Housing and Facilities

Tammy Timbers, executive director in Housing and Residential Life, chair

La’Kitha Hughes, associate director in the Department of Facilities and Construction Management, co-chair

Christopher Lane, research compliance officer in Research and Federal Relations

Ashley Robinson, vice president and director of Athletics


Subcommittee – Auxiliary and Events

Alla J. Frank, assistant director of Auxiliary Enterprises, chair

Carol Woodson, director of Events and Visitor Services, co-chair

Dr. Laquala M. Coleman, dean of students for Student Affairs