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8 Holmes students named to Phi Theta Kappa All-Mississippi Academic Team

Holmes Community College students Baker Avant of Carrollton, Colin Crosby of Ridgeland, Lilia Deason of McCool, Ashlyn Gillespie of Greenwood, Jaden Gonzalez of Brandon, Mary Patton Henderson of Kosciusko, Luke Walker of Gluckstadt and Isaiah Wilson of Madison were all named to the 2024 Phi Theta Kappa honor society All-Mississippi Academic Team. Nominations are based on outstanding academic performance and service to the college and community.

Baker Avant

Avant, son of Alyssa and Greg Avant, is an accounting major on the Grenada Campus. He is active on campus as an Ambassador, vice president of scholarship for the Alpha Mu Beta Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, vice president of Student Government Association and as a member of Baptist Student Union. He is also a President’s List Scholar, President’s ACT Scholarship recipient, a 2023 Business Administration Award recipient, a 2023 Grenada Campus Favorite and an inductee to the Grenada Campus Hall of Fame.

Avant also volunteered as audio/visuals director for Providence Baptist Church in Carrollton his freshman year, and serves as youth director for Holcomb Baptist Church as a sophomore. Additionally, he has served as a 911 dispatcher for Carroll County E-911 since 2022. Avant is skilled in graphic design and photo/video editing, so he often assists family and friends with projects, as well. After Holmes, he plans to transfer to Mississippi State University to pursue a Bachelor of Accountancy. He then plans to work toward a Master of Professional Accountancy and study to become a licensed CPA. Avant also has a dream of one day becoming an attorney.

Colin Crosby

Crosby, son of Brandi and Stacy Crosby, is a mechanical engineering major on the Ridgeland Campus. He is a Hall of Fame inductee, President’s List Scholar, Phi Theta Kappa vice president, an Ambassador, Rotaract member and calculus tutor. He wrapped Christmas presents for Mission First with Rotoract and served as an escort for the 2023 Homecoming Court, as well. Additionally, Crosby is employed as a part-time barista at Mocha Mugs Coffee Shop and serves as a mentor/leader for middle and high school students at Colonial Heights Baptist Church.

Crosby plans to attend Mississippi State University where he will pursue a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering. During his summers and second year at MSU, he plans to co-op to gain job experience and make personal connections with future employers. Crosby is also interested in pursuing a master’s in automotive engineering. He wants to use his degree to design cars and make them greener. Crosby also said that if the Lord allows him to be financially stable enough to do this, He wants to open a repair shop out of his house to provide free labor and car repairs to families who can’t afford repairs themselves.

Lilia Deason

Deason, daughter of Lorie and Glenn Deason, is a business management technology major on the Goodman Campus. She is vice president of Baptist Student Union, a lead team member, worship team member, member of the Holmes Chorale and Phi Theta Kappa. Off campus, Deason is a worship leader at McCool Baptist Church, assistant director of VBS, a substitute Sunday school teacher, a committee member of the McCool 39108 Committee and a barista for CC’s Bake Shop. After Holmes, she plans to work in business management technology-related fields to gain hands-on experience so she can own her own business one day.

Ashlyn Gillespie

Gillespie, a pre-vet major on the Grenada Campus, is the daughter of Velvet and George Gillespie. She is an Ambassador, Phi Theta Kappa vice president of leadership, Student Government Association secretary and treasurer, and a member of Baptist Student Union. Gillespie is also a Hall of Fame inductee, President’s List Scholar, Dean’s Scholarship recipient, 2023 Grenada Campus Favorite, 2022 Homecoming Freshman Maid, English Composition Award recipient and a member of the Honors Social Science class. Outside of Holmes, she is a member of First Baptist Church of Greenwood and works at Webster’s Food and Drink. After completing her studies at Holmes, Gillespie plans on transferring to Mississippi State University as a junior with a major in animal and dairy science. After graduating from Mississippi State, she hopes to be accepted into the university’s veterinary program, with a long-term goal of becoming a veterinarian with her own practice.

Jaden Gonzalez

Gonzalez, son of Cheryl and Mario Gonzalez, is a microbiology major on the Ridgeland Campus. He is active on campus as a vice president for the Phi Theta Kappa Alpha Lambda Sigma Chapter. He also served as an escort for the 2023 Homecoming Court. Off campus, Gonzalez is a veterinarian assistant at Oakdale Animal Hospital and intermittent employee at MVRDL (MSU veterinary lab). He is also a member of the worship team and college worship team at Fondren Church. As a freshman, he was awarded the Biological Sciences Award during the Holmes Spring Awards Ceremony. Upon graduation from Holmes, Gonzalez will be attending Mississippi State University to earn a bachelor’s degree and apply for vet school. He plans to continue working at different clinics to acquire experience for his future career as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

Mary Patton Henderson

Henderson, daughter of Connie and Ricky Henderson, is a business administration major on the Goodman Campus. She is also president of Phi Theta Kappa and a Bulldog cheerleader. Additionally, Henderson was voted as the 2023 Holmes Community College Homecoming Queen. She is also a member of First Baptist Church Kosciusko, where she teaches preschool Sunday school, and is employed with Holt & Company in Kosciusko. After Holmes, she plans to attend Mississippi State University to pursue her marketing degree.

Luke Walker

Walker, son of Sandra and Mark Walker, is a computer networking technology major on the Ridgeland Campus. He is involved in Phi Theta Kappa and off campus, enjoys working as a small engine mechanic. Walker’s career goal is to become a computer hardware engineer.

Isaiah Wilson

Wilson, son of Deanna and Nate Wilson, is a mass communications major on the Goodman Campus. He is an officer for Phi Theta Kappa, a member of Baptist Student Union and was voted as a 2024 Class Favorite. Wilson also plays the music for Holmes basketball games. Off campus, he works at Raising Canes. Upon graduation from Holmes, Wilson plans to attend either Mississippi State University or Jackson State University.

For more information about Holmes’ Phi Theta Kappa chapters, visit

For more information about Phi Theta Kappa, visit


Holmes Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion,
national origin, sex, age, disability or genetic information in its educational programs and activities,
employment practices, or admissions processes. The following administrators have been designated to handle
inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies of Holmes Community College:

Inquiries regarding compliance with Title VI, ADEA, and Title IX are coordinated by the Vice President for
Compliance and Institutional Research, Henry B. McClellan Administration Building, Post Office Box 369,
Goodman, MS 39079, Phone: 662-472-9429,

Inquiries regarding compliance with Section 504 and ADA are coordinated by the Disability Student Services
Coordinator, M.R. Thorne Vocational-Technical Building, Room 110, Post Office Box 369, Goodman, MS 39079,
Phone: 662-472-9088,
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