Students at Hinds Community College’s Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center have a new place to work and collaborate between classes and it comes with a very historical twist.
The Student Hub or, “The Hub” for short, officially opened on Feb. 25 on the Sunset Drive campus. JATC Dean of Students Dr. Tim Rush said it’s important the campus have a place for students to gather and work together. “This is a really a good shot in the arm and well-deserved for the students of JATC,” he said.
The Hub provides a space for students to learn about prominent African American figures in and around Mississippi. Plastered on the walls are graphics displaying several distinguished figures, from civil rights icon Medgar Evers to daytime television legend Oprah Winfrey.
When students come into the room, they will be immersed in a mini lesson about the significant achievements and contributions of Black Mississippians. The Hub will also host traveling exhibits from the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.
Ahmad Smith, Recruitment and Outreach Coordinator for Minority Male Leadership Initiative (M2M) at JATC, in The Hub showing artwork of Fannie Lou Hamer and Medgar Evers, two Mississippi civil rights leaders.
Ahmad Smith, Recruitment and Outreach Coordinator for M2M, said students will be able to attend special programs to help them academically and in life, with different guest speakers coming in to talk with students about finances, campus and community resources, and other relevant topics.
“The Hub has been a priority of President Stephen Vacik,” said Chief of Staff Renee Cotton said. “The very first time Dr. Vacik stepped on campus, one of the things he said was, ‘We really need a place on campus for students. We need a place that is not a lab, and that is not the library. A place where they can grow and learn, where they can study and they can share. A place that is really just for students,’ ” she said, adding that the Hub is a fulfillment of that vision.
This project is supported by the U.S. Department of Education Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI) formula grant program, which was established by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 and is authorized under Title III, Part A, Section 318, of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA).