RAYMOND – Raymond Campus Engineering and Drafting Design Technology instructor Phil Cockrell, of Raymond, and Maria Serratos, of Clinton, a sophomore studying to be a civil engineer, have been named the Hinds Community College honorees for the Legislature’s HEADWAE (Higher Education Appreciation Day – Working for Academic Excellence) program for 2020.
As the faculty HEADWAE honoree, Cockrell is also the graduation speaker for fall ceremonies Dec. 18 at the Muse Center on the Rankin Campus. Nursing and allied health students will graduate in a ceremony at 9 a.m. Academic and technical students will graduate at ceremonies set for noon and 3 p.m.
Cockrell, employed at Hinds since 2008, holds an Associate of Applied Science from the college in the program he directs.
In 2017, Cockrell became director of the Fab Lab on the Raymond Campus, which houses the latest equipment used for preparing students in the program for jobs in the manufacturing industry. The lab has 3-D printing machines, laser cutters and related equipment capable of etching designs or cutting flat sheet material such as acrylic and metal.
The Fab Lab “is helping to produce students who have jobs before they graduate due to the high demand in the manufacturing industry for people who can run these machines,” Cockrell said.
Serratos, a Clinton High School graduate, is vice president of the Gamma Lambda chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, which is the Raymond Campus chapter of the national honor society for two-year colleges. She is also a member of Psi Beta Psychology Honor Society and Hinds Connection.
“I’m grateful for having been chosen out of 13 people at Hinds nominated for HEADWAE,” she said. “It’s hard to put into words how excited and grateful I am. I’m studying to be a civil engineer and help work on infrastructure here.”
She is also a Hinds Community College Foundation Scholar, attending school on the Marvin & Virginia Riggs and Bill Derden Memorial scholarships.
HEADWAE was established in 1988 to honor academically talented students and faculty who have made outstanding contributions in promoting academic excellence.