Published September 20, 2021

Success Fest a hit with students, organizers

"There were among more than 200 students who attended Success Fest: A Hinds Cares Carnival, a collaboration of the Student Success Center, the Honors Institute and the Gamma Lambda chapter…
By: Danny Barrett Jr.

Jay Ward didn’t know so much about the Success Fest on Sept. 14 as he knew he simply needed help in some of his tougher classes.

“I was looking for ways to get help with my harder classes,” said Ward, of Pearl, who plans a career in civil engineering. “I’m good at math, but not in chemistry.”

Jay Ward fills out his Passport after visiting each table at Success Fest.

Charity Crowley was in much the same boat when she entered McLendon Library for the event.

“I found out about what the Writing Center has to offer, plus all the tutoring and all the ways to help us succeed,” said Crowley, of Pocahontas, who lives on campus and plans a career in psychology.

Molly Blakeney assists student Charity Crowley during Success Fest on Sept. 14.

There were among more than 200 students who attended Success Fest: A Hinds Cares Carnival, a collaboration of the Student Success Center, the Honors Institute and the Gamma Lambda chapter of Phi Theta Kappa honor society. The event doubled as this year’s College Project for chapter members.

The threat of rainy weather pushed the bulk of fest events indoors, but Hinds Cares partners visited with more than 200 students attended the 2 ½ hour event. Students started with a “Passport to Success” that was stamped as they stopped at each table. Students who travelled widely were invited to complete an exit survey and enter a prize drawing for Hinds gear and two Amazon gift cards.

Gay Saxon and Janie Gaddy staff the Caring Campus table at Success Fest on Sept. 14.

“Collaboration between the Honors Institute, the Gamma Lambda Chapter, and the Student Success Center will be continuing,” said Debbie McCollum, Honors Institute Dean. “As SSC begins to develop tutor training, our PTK and Honors Program members are committed to learning how to become peer tutors in the Student Success Center.”

Hinds Cares partners at the event included Writing Center, Student Services, Student Success Center, Honors & PTK, Counseling & Advising, Library Services, Single Stop, Financial Aid, TechNest and Caring Campus.

“As they traveled to the different stations, they were able to learn about the service, talk to representatives, and have fun along the way with candy and games,” said Dr. Jennifer Rodgers, director of the Student Success Center.

Esha Arora, of Clinton, learned she could single out helpful faculty members through the Caring Campus initiative as she partook in games that included guessing the number of candy pieces in a jar and super-short-range golf putts. The initiative is a way to involve staff to improve student success students. Colleagues may nominate Hinds employees who goes above and beyond to demonstrate a caring attitude.

“They were all very helpful here,” said Arora, who plans to complete a degree in either education or allied health. “I’d never heard of Caring Campus before.”

Student Esha Arora chats with Gay Saxon and Janie Gaddy at the Caring Campus table at Success Fest on Sept. 14.

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