The Holmes Community College Ridgeland Campus recognized its students’ achievements and honors during the 2023 Honors Day Program held April 19 in the Pat McGowan Workforce Training Center on the Ridgeland Campus. Representatives from each academic and career-technical program presented awards to students who have shown excellence in their given major, program or extracurricular activity. Other special awards were given, as well, in various categories.
The evening began with a welcome from Ridgeland Campus Career and Technical Coordinator Allison DeWeese and an invocation from Ridgeland Campus Vice President Dr. Don Burnham. Award presentations began with recognizing the 2023 Ridgeland Campus Hall of Fame inductees. Hall of Fame is the highest honor a student can receive and recipients were voted on by faculty and staff based on academic achievement, campus involvement and community service.
The 2023 Hall of Fame inductees included: Darian Alexandra Blackburn of Vestavia Hills, Alabama; Jaylen Grays of Jackson; Cooper Herrington of Brandon; Charlotte Lamar of Jackson; Elijah Dustin Mangum of Florence; Mikala Alayne McDonald of Byram; Callie Kurth McKinney of Flowood; Makyra Miller of Brandon; Daniel Patrick O’Dell of Madison; Hollyn Grace Oswalt of Clinton; Derrick Lashun Taylor II of Clinton and Garrett Michael Viator of New Iberia, Louisiana. A few of the Hall of Fame inductees received other awards, a well. Grays received the Social & Behavioral Science Award, Lamar received the Literature Award, Mangum, the Journalism Award and McDonald, the Educational Programs Award.
For academic awards, the Biological Science Award went to Jaden Gonzalez of Brandon; the Physical Science Award went to Andrea Bonner of Madison and the Engineering Award to Clara Chapol of Ridgeland. Alex Abramovich of Flowood took home the Mathematics Award; Zoe Lewis of Madison, the Computer Science Award and Tierra Lonie of Jackson, the Business Administration Award. Additionally, Jessica Gibbons of Flora received the English Composition Award and Rachel Mallord of Brandon, the Spanish Award.
The Public Speaking Award went to Sarah Hammons of Clinton; the Ambassador Award, to Olasike Olagbegi of Jackson and the History & Political Science Award, to William Barksdale of Madison. Jared Snyder of Madison took home the Criminal Justice Award, Laura Collier of Ridgeland received the Fine Arts Award and Larry Kuhn of Pelahatchie received the Health, Physical Education, & Recreation Award.
For career-technology and workforce programs, Connor Lofton of Canton received the Heating, Ventilation, AC & Refrigeration (HVAC) Technology Award; Juan Chacon of Ridgeland, the Welding & Cutting Technology Award; Margie Martin of Bentonia, the Engineering Technology Award and Michael Waltman of Canton, the Electro Mechanical Technology Award.
The Paralegal Technology Award went to Michelle Stallings of Canton; the Culinary Arts Technology Award to Angelica Mejia Gonzalez of Madison; the Business & Office Technology Award to Jodi Perron of Carthage and the Information Systems Technology Award to Kendell Williams of Jackson. Erin Hill of Ridgeland received the Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Technology Award, Christopher Sullivan of Brandon received the Emergency Medical Science (EMS) Award and Diamond Boyd of Jackson, the Associate Degree Nursing Award.
Winners of the Literary Contest were also recognized. In the Short Story Category, Emma Christy of Madison won first for “Fossil Finds” and Peyton DeLaune of Madison placed second for “Rental Cars, Stray Cats, and Storms.” In the Poetry Category, Addy Huddleston of Madison had two of her poems tie for first place: “Your Skeleton” and “Tomb for a Bird.” DeLaune came in second place for her poem, “Proverbs of Our Love.” In the Literary Essay division, Sean Jordan of Byram won first place for “The Influence of Christianity in the Works of Phillis Wheatley.” Finally, in the Personal Essay Category, Laura Box of Jackson won first place for “Blame Shifting.”
The ceremony concluded with closing remarks by Dean of Academics Dr. Tonya Lawrence.
IN THIS PHOTO: Pictured are the 2023 Ridgeland Campus Awards & Honors Program recipient. They are (front row, left to right) Darian Blackburn (with Nikki Blackburn in front), Callie McKinney, Hollyn Oswalt, Elijah Mangum, Makyra Miller, Mikala McDonald, Cooper Herrington, (second row, left to right) Sean Jordan, Sarah Hammons, Williams Barksdale, Andrea Bonner, Zoe Lewis, Clara Chapol, Tierra Lonie, Laura Box, Jaden Gonzalez, Olasike Olagbegi, (third row, left to right) Angelica Mejia Gonzalez, Margie Martin, Diamond Boyd, Jodi Perron, Jessica Gibbons, Laura Collier, Rachel Mallord, Addy Huddleston, (back row, left to right) Connor Lofton, Juan Chacon, Michael Waltman, Kendell Williams, Larry Kuhn and Alex Abramovich. Not pictured: Jaylen Grays, Erin Hill, Charlotte Lamar, Daniel O’Dell, Jared Snyder, Michelle Stallings and Garrett Viator.