DuPree was guest speaker for the Black History Month Observance at the PRCC Forrest County Center.
He cited Rosa Parks, Vernon Dahmer and his mother as bridge builders who helped make possible the educational and other opportunities today’s students enjoy.
“You should be bridge extenders,” DuPree said. “Don’t stop where they did. Make that bridge longer, put some more lanes on it.”
Parks’ refusal to give up her seat to a white person on a Montgomery, Ala., bus led to a boycott, the emergence of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as president of the Montgomery Improvement Association and a U.S. Supreme Court making segregated facilities unconstitutional.
“To set the record straight, it wasn’t a bunch of colored people who decided to boycott,” DuPree said. “It was black people and white people who banded together.”
Dahmer, a Forrest County voters’ rights activist, died after his family’s home on Monroe Road was firebombed in 1965.
“All he ever wanted to do was be treated like a first-class citizen,” DuPree said. “He died to make life better for us.”
DuPree said his mother, who didn’t finish high school and held down multiple jobs as a domestic to support three children, also was a bridge builder.
“My mama had expectations for us,” he said. “She would come home and say where is your homework. And we’d show it to her. We didn’t know my mama didn’t know anything about algebra or biology, but she made out like she did because she wanted better for us.”
DuPree spoke at the Forrest County Center’s fifth annual Black History Month observance.
“It gave me more knowledge about Rosa Parks,” said student Jessica Silas of Hattiesburg. “I didn’t know all of the story.”
The program also included a performance by The Voices jazz vocal ensemble. Students participating in the program were Geneva Leggett, invocation; Erin Green, Pledge of Allegiance; and Amber Baker, the national anthem.
Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree will be the keynote speaker for the Black History Month Observance at the Forrest County Center of Pearl River Community College.
The program will begin at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 3, in the multi-purpose room in Building 5 on the Hattiesburg campus.
In addition to DuPree’s speech, the program will include a performance by The Voices, PRCC’s jazz vocal ensemble, and a presentation by the Forrest County Center History and Humanities Club.
The program is open to the public.
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Bracco Diagnostics, a multi-national company with headquarters in Milan, Italy, is the newest tenant in The University of Southern Mississippi’s state-of-the-art science incubator known as The Accelerator.
Bracco’s Healthcare Protective Products Division (HPPD) in Hattiesburg will utilize The Accelerator’s resources to begin manufacturing a lotion that neutralizes chemical warfare agents that can prove hazardous to military personnel. The lotion is already used by the U.S. Department of Defense and most NATO militaries.
“We selected The Accelerator at The University of Southern Mississippi because their expertise and resources will allow us to further the development of new technologies in healthcare protective products,” said Tim Henry, vice-president and general manager of Bracco’s Healthcare Protective Products Division.
The Accelerator, which opened in March 2010, is Southern Miss’ newest initiative to support innovation and entrepreneurship. The $26 million facility offers more than 60,000 square feet of world-class resources and equipment to support early-state science companies.
“The Accelerator was established to attract entrepreneurs and industries to Mississippi to research, develop and market new products and services,” said U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), who was on hand for the March opening. “The fact that this state-of-the-art facility at The University of Southern Mississippi is gaining international attention bodes well for the future of The Accelerator as a center that benefits companies like Bracco Diagnostics and helps general jobs and economic growth here.”
Southern Miss President Martha Saunders noted that bringing a prestigious tenant such as Bracco Diagnostic into The Accelerator only fortifies the facility’s mission.
“We are excited to announce this relationship between The University of Southern Mississippi and Bracco Diagnostics,” said Saunders. “And we certainly look forward to developing additional collaborations. Initiatives like these are exactly why Southern Miss took the lead role in creating a unique business and science incubator like The Accelerator.”
Accelerator Director Sunny Corral said that in just 10 months of operation the facility has leased 80 percent of the leasable space.
“The Accelerator is creating the economic opportunities via supporting innovative high-tech companies,” said Corral. “Our companies innovate the world in which we live, and at the same time, create sustainable high-paying jobs.”
Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree sees the Southern Miss-Bracco partnership as collaboration that will yield important dividends in the Pine Belt area.
“The Accelerator continues to be a magnet for recruiting high-tech companies to Hattiesburg,” said DuPree. “We greatly appreciate Bracco’s confidence in our community. The company will create quality jobs for area citizens. Job creation is of paramount importance as our economy continues to rebound from the recession.”
Bracco’s plan is to initially hire 10 people to operate the new facility. First production of the life-saving lotion is targeted for this summer.
“We are thrilled to have Bracco join our corporate community,” said Chad Newell, Area Development Partnership president. “We hope Bracco’s global footprint and initial investment at The Accelerator is the first step in building a long-term relationship.”
For more information about The Accelerator, visit www.TheAcceleratorMS.com
HATTIESBURG- Forrest General’s star employees of care walked the red carpet on January 11 at the first annual “Red Carpet Event,” hosted by the hospital at the historic Saenger Theater in Downtown Hattiesburg.
This awards event, which will be held annually, was modeled after the classic Academy Awards show and served to honor several categories of awards given to Forrest General employees. Employees honored during the evening’s event included Forrest General’s Top Performers of 2010, which were based on patient feedback; We C.A.R.E. Award recipients who were honored for upholding the hospital’s We C.A.R.E. philosophy; and Service Award recipients who were recognized for years of service to the organization. This event also publicly honored the hospital’s 2010 Employee of the Year, Kathy Jones, who was announced as the winner during Forrest General’s annual Employee Christmas Party in December.
Also honored were the four winners of the 5th Annual Philip Rogers Quality Award. The award is named for Dr. Philip Rogers, a nephrologist with Hattiesburg Clinic, who dedicated 32 years of his life to serving the people of South Mississippi as a physician, mentor and humanitarian. Dr. Rogers, Forrest General’s first nephrologist, was known as a kind-hearted, brilliant physician and great medical staff leader, and was greatly admired and respected for his commitment to his patients and the medical field. Four recipients, each influential and important members of Hattiesburg’s medical community, were announced during the evening’s presentation and honored for their roles as a humanitarian, innovator, leader or mentor.
The star-studded extravaganza featured guest speaker Mayor Johnny DuPree and local celebrity emcee Randy Swan of WDAM-TV. Attendees were treated to special performances by the Forrest General Spirit Girls.
The following is a list of those Forrest General staff members and physicians who were honored as winners during the Red Carpet Event:
“Most Mentioned” Nominees:
Best Supporting Role for Most Mentioned: Richard Jones, Emergency Department
Best Leading Role for Most Mentioned: Stephanie Woods, 4FB
Most Mentioned Physician: Hilton Gillespie, M.D.
“Patient Pleaser” Nominees:
Best Supporting Role for Patient Pleaser: Brian Garcia, 9T
Best Leading Role for Patient Pleaser: Alice Twillie, Same Day Surgery
“Above and Beyond” Nominees:
Best Supporting Role for Above and Beyond: Donna Beard, Registration
Best Leading Role for Above and Beyond: Randa Anderson, 4FB
“Golden Needle” Nominees:
Best Supporting Role for Golden Needle: Angela Carter, 3T
Best Leading Role for Golden Needle: Sarah Cooley, 4FB
“Personal Touch” Nominees:
Best Supporting Role for Personal Touch: Sky Williams, Emergency Department
Best Leading Role for Personal Touch: Rose Contreras, Environmental Services
“Friendly Face” Nominees:
Best Supporting Role for Friendly Face: Wanda Wilborn, CCU
Best Leading Role for Friendly Face: Tammy Mills, Registration
“Setting the Standard” Nominees:
Best Supporting Role for Setting the Standard: Brittany Brown, 8T
Best Leading Role for Setting the Standard: Maria Lee, Pine Grove
Service Awards – 35 Years of Service
Ora Lee Shaheed
Donnie Sue Drane
Donna Gipson (accepted by Howard Nobles)
We C.A.R.E. Awards
Ramona Ridley, Outpatient Rehab, LiveWell Center
Evelyn Revies, Registration
Kizzy Reese, 4T
Martin Ready, Home Care
Philip Rogers Quality Award
Innovator: Clint White, M.D.
Leadership: Tom Messer, M.D.
Mentor: Allen Harris, M.D.
Humanitarian: Betty Bly Hatten, RN
Employee of the Year
Kathy Jones, Registration
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Known simply as The Accelerator, The University of Southern Mississippi’s unique business incubator is providing an enormous boost to start-up companies in the Gulf South region.
“This state-of-the-art facility represents opportunities for students, researchers and companies to take an idea and carry it to its fruition as a useful product or service,” said U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.). “In the end, it is a process – which now has a home in The Accelerator – that can lead to more job creation and economic growth in Mississippi.”
Cochran joined other state and local dignitaries for the official grand opening of The Accelerator held on Friday, Sept. 17 at The Garden, Southern Miss’ innovation and commercialization park.
Officially labeled The National Materials Science Innovation and Commercialization Accelerator, the incubator provides ample space for offices, laboratories and storage; the latest advances in technology and expert guidance for companies attempting to grow a business from the ground up. Currently, the 60,000-square foot Accelerator is operating at approximately 60 percent capacity.
“Throughout our history, Southern Miss has illustrated time and again our willingness to think creatively and act boldly,” said university President Martha Saunders. “The Accelerator stands as a lasting testament to the relentless pursuit of a vision that began as a simple idea more than a decade ago. I believe it is this attitude that makes Southern Miss attractive to entrepreneurs looking for an environment in which they can grow and thrive.”
The Accelerator’s anchor tenants include the following:
· Ablitech, a biotechnology company specializing in Versadel technology under development for curing cancer and other genetic abnormalities.
· Crosslink, a technology leader in Electroactive Polymer Materials focused on providing clients with technically advanced solutions that bring step-change improvements to their products and drive commercial sales.
· KDL Solutions, a professional forensic science company dedicated to providing timely, accurate information to clients.
· Scigenesis, which develops novel, high-performance, stimuli-responsive coatings and film adhesives.
· Mississippi Polymer Institute, which provides workforce development, expert consulting and technical service, produce development, rapid prototyping, pilot manufacturing and product commercialization to Mississippi’s polymer industry members.
· Noetic Technologies, an innovation and commercialization company assisting clients through the multiple phases of technology development, commercialization, process engineering, marketing and business start-ups.
Accelerator Executive Director Sunny Corral said the business incubator is strategically positioned to provide budding companies a blueprint for success in today’s highly competitive marketplace.
“If there is an opportunity to enhance a material’s performance, The University of Southern Mississippi is the place to do it, and The Accelerator is the facility that will equip industrial partners and early-stage companies with the tools required to do this,” said Corral.
For more information about The Accelerator, contact Corral at 601.266.5116 or 601.266.5515.*Southern Miss PR*
Video of today’s speeches will be posted on PineBeltPRESS.com this weekend.
The Hattiesburg Public School System vs. The City of Hattiesburg?
That could very well be the next step in an escalating battle between the two government agencies over money.
A statement read by Hattiesburg School Board President Marcus Cathey at Thursday nights board meeting says:
“The Hattiesburg School Board is currently consulting with legal counsel and considering the best option to move forward. The Board is looking closely at the recent actions taken by the Hattiesburg City Council and what those actions will mean for the district now and in the future. The Board has a fiduciary responsibility to meet the needs of the students of the district.
The law is very clear about how the district will submit its budget request to the city and that the city shall levy the taxes needed to meet that request.
The City Council took unprecedented action in regard to not following the requirements of state law in this matter.
The Board will be releasing more information after further consideration and in-depth review of all legal ramifications.”
This follows a 3-2 decision by the Hattiesburg City Council to not give the school system all the money they had requested for their upcoming fiscal year. Video of that meeting is available here.
Under state law, school systems can ask for a tax levy that amounts to no more than 55 mills. This year’s request is under that amount. However, the Hattiesburg City Council, in a bid to not raise taxes, voted 3-2 to not fund the amount requested by the school board. The board was asking for a $600,000 increase in budget over last year. The council decision in effect funds the schools at the same rate as last year and does not grant the extra money.
In an interview with PineBeltPRESS.com, Council President Kim Bradley was asked about the possibility of a legal fight with the school board. He said that if the issue goes to court that the council members will use their own money to pay legal fees and that no city money will be used.
Check back soon as we also have video reaction from Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny Dupree to the council’s decision.