Tag: Lauren Jackson

The design of relief: JSU alumnae designs shirt to help hurting community

Lauren JacksonStaff Writer

There were warnings all day that severe weather was possible across Alabama on March 19. Schools released students early, and many businesses closed in preparation for the storm to come. The possibility of tornadoes was projected as early as a week in advance, and, throughout the course of the evening, eleven tornadoes broke out across Alabama.

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The shirt designed by JSU alumnae Hannah Green (photo from bonfire.com)

In Jacksonville, at least one tornado was confirmed with winds reaching 140 mph. According to an update provided to the Community Foundation of Northeast Alabama, 559 buildings were damaged. Of those damaged, 42 were destroyed, 146 took major damage and 371 took minor damage.

On the night of March 19, when the EF-3 tornado ripped through Jacksonville, Hannah Green was in Rome, Georgia visiting family. Green recently graduated from Jacksonville State University with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and anxiously followed the path of the storm.

“I was panicking. The storm was supposed to come to Rome too, but I was really worried about my friends. I kept messaging them all and trying to make sure they were all okay,” said Green.

By the following morning, Green knew that she wanted to do something to help. She knew that she wanted to make something and to donate but was uncertain of what to make. Green would later design a graphic in support of the community that she would turn into a t-shirt fundraiser. The fundraiser has raised $6,506.

“The idea started with a graphic. I wanted to make something with art. That is what I majored in, and that is how I express myself,” Green said.

Her original goal was to sell 50 shirts, a goal which was met in the first hour of posting them online. The momentum continued to grow as the shirts spread on social media, and Green has sold 651 shirts so far.

“I just wanted to make something that I would want to wear, and that would support the community. Honestly, it has been just so overwhelming that so many people have chosen to support my shirt. There were so many other shirts they could have chosen. My original goal was to raise $400 then it got to $1,000 and then $2,000 and it just kept growing! I am excited to see what it can do for people,” said Green.

Green decided to donate the money to the disaster relief funds at the Community Foundation of Northeast Alabama. All of the money donated to the Community Foundation Disaster Relief funds go directly towards the recovery process in the affected communities.

Green said, “At first I thought about donating the funds to the university, but after seeing the homes it was those people that I wanted to help.”

There are four county funds set up by the Community Foundation on their website, and one general fund. The funds have been in place since 2011 to ensure quick action after a disaster. After the March 19 tornadoes, the Community Foundation set up sub-funds to go directly to the communities hit by the storm.

Susan Williamson is the Vice President of Advancement and Communications at the Community Foundation. According to Williamson, the disaster funds have been in place since the 2011 tornadoes in preparation for any future disasters. The fund has had numerous donations since the devastation of the storm went viral.

“We have had donations from coast to coast,” said Williamson, “from Washington State to South Florida to Carolina. I like to call it generosity rising.”

Heather Lamey is the Director of Donor Grants and Standards for Excellence at the Community Foundation. According to Lamey, the Community Foundation helps with the long-term recovery of the communities.

“We step in during the long-term recovery, during the rebuilding process. As the months go by it is not so fresh on their minds and we are able to step in when resources run out,” says Lamey.

In a post on social media, Green shared her experience of donating the funds at the Community Foundation. There she and the ladies at the Community Foundation hugged and shared how the money would help the communities.

“The money we have raised can be used to fix roofs or to buy people new washer and dryers, and it has just made my day to know how we have helped so many people,” said Green in reference to those that purchased the shirts.

The Community Foundation assists the local area after other assistance has run out, working with contractors where insurance has not paid.

“After the 2011 tornadoes, we helped a lady that needed a ramp built at her home. We also had a school in DeKalb County that had been completely destroyed and we granted money for computers and new signs to the school. We pay contractors after the insurance claims have been exhausted – to meet the unmet needs,” said Lamey.

The long-term recovery efforts from the tornado can continue months after the storm. It can take time to determine all of the needs that insurance does not provide.

“Long-term recovery from 2011 took 18 months. It can be a year to a year and a half before we know the needs,” said Williamson.

Green’s donation to the Community Foundation has joined the numerous others that have come from across the nation. What began with an expression of support to her home of five years turned to a design of relief for her community.

“I have lived here my whole adult life. I always knew that it was home to me – it has a special place in my heart. Now after seeing how supportive everyone is of each other it has just made it so much more special,” Green said.


JSU gets colorful for Holi festival

International and American students celebrate Holi, the Indian festival of colors, at the International House on March 2 (Lauren Jackson/The Chanticleer).

Lauren JacksonStaff Writer

The first ever Holi celebration took place at the JSU International House on Friday, March 2. The event hosted students from all over campus and featured games, presentations and traditional Indian food.

“It’s a big festival celebrated in Hindu countries. It is about celebrating life and colors. This is something that has never been done before at JSU, and we are making sure that students can celebrate and that we support them,” said Stephanie Marmion-Smith, Coordinator of International Students and Programs.

The celebration began with Indian students sharing the meaning of the event and telling stories of their experiences from home. Holi is a festival of colors and love to celebrate the arrival of spring. Guests were given leis and presented with a dot of red powder on their forehead in welcome.

Students were able to participate in traditional games like the one pictured above, where students tried to pop others’ balloons while keeping their own balloon safe (Lauren Jackson/The Chanticleer).

Indian students then demonstrated how to play cricket and introduced various games to the attendees. In one game students attempted to pop each other’s balloons while protecting their own. In another, three students attempted to find a penny in a bucket of colored water among other coins. The person that was able to find the penny twice dumped the colored water on the other two players.

Wilson O’Dell, a Junior studying social work, initially came to event as part of a school project but enjoyed the games at the festival.

“It seemed like something fun and different to do around here,” said Wilson.

Sabin Banj Zara is an international student form Nepal. He is a freshman at JSU studying computer science. He was all smiles at the festival as he shared the celebration with students.

“This is amazing! It is our first time having this event, and we are so excited to have all these people!” said Zara.

Zara’s favorite thing about the ceremony was the involvement of the people.

“We have these events so that people can have a better understanding of other cultures,” he said.

Oore Olayinka was another International Student in attendance to the event. She is studying criminal justice and is from Nigeria.

Olayinka said, “I try to support students. I think people should come check out the International House events, because they are usually really fun. This has been much more fun than I thought it would be.”

The final part of the event took students to the back of the International House where the colored water and powder was used. Indian music played as students drenched themselves—and each other—in colors.

Students shake colored powder into the air in celebration of Holi, an Indian holiday that celebrates spring (Lauren Jackson/The Chanticleer).

“In India, this is such a big deal and to live this is like my bucket list,” said Grace Cockrell, a Freshman Communications student.

Cockrell added, “This is the coolest thing ever! It is so awesome to see all these cultures come together.”

Organizers of the event were impressed with the turnout

“This is great,” said Jim Hazarika, one of the international students leading the event. “We were expecting 30 people to come, but there was so much more than that!”


See more pictures from Lauren Jackson below:


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JSU presents The Vagina Monologues

Every February, “The Vagina Monologues” is performed roylaty-free across the world with 100% of proceeds benefitting anti-violence groups. The theme for the 20th anniversary is “Rise, Resist, Unite.” “The Vagina Monologues” has been performed in over 140 countries and raised over $100 million (photo from project-safe.org).

Lauren Jackson, Staff Writer

On March 8, the JSU Sociology Club and Women’s Issues Support and Empowerment (WISE) will host the tenth annual performance of “The Vagina Monologues” in the Leon Cole Auditorium. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the performance begins at 7 p.m.

Eve Ensler wrote the play twenty years ago, and the JSU performance will be directed by student Chibuzo Harbor. The play spotlights violence against women globally and raises funds to benefit local organizations. Student admission is $5, and public admission is $10. The production will be performed by local women and girls that are generally not trained as actresses so the emotionality of their experiences can be captured.

Tyler Gay is the student organizer of the event and became involved after attending last year’s performance.

“This is an issue that is important to me. I saw how impactful it was and knew I needed to get involved,” said Gay.

The play features the stories of women and girls around the globe and is performed by local student and alumni at JSU. Dr. Tina Deshotels is the faculty member over the production.

Deshotels said, “The event is raising awareness that there is a problem with violence against women. It gives women the chance to share their experience through other women’s experiences and voices. It is often easier to share when the story is not your own. It also gives the audience the chance to experience it.”

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JSU’s 2018 “Vagina Monologues” poster by Brandon Vernon (via @jsu_sga/Instagram)

This year’s performance will also feature special guests.

Lilly Ledbetter, a fair pay activist will be in attendance to the event. Ledbetter spoke out about unequal pay at Goodyear in Gadsden and became a national advocate for fair pay.

Veronica Kennedy will also be in attendance. Kennedy broke the story of her sexual assault by former Anniston Star publisher, H. Brandt Ayers earlier this year. In having local advocates, the event connects the global and local issues women face.

“We are very fortunate to have local advocates that are also national advocates. We are proud of our local activists,” Deshotels said.

“The Vagina Monologues” is part of the V-Day movement which is an international movement to end violence against women. The proceeds from JSU’s event will be benefitting local and international charities. Second Chance, Inc. will be receiving 90% of the profit and the other 10% will be directed towards the V-Day campaign to continue hosting events like “The Vagina Monologues.”

Second Chance is based in Anniston and is a local domestic violence and sexual assault prevention center. According to their website, their programs include 24-hour crisis hotlines, emergency shelter, support groups and counseling services among other things. All services are free to domestic abuse and sexual assault survivors.

For students that have not attended the event before, Gay says, “expect the unexpected. It is so powerful, it is hard to put into words. It’s emotional. It’s shocking. It’s a must see and must experience.”

Dr. Deshotels says, “It is art-it crosses the boundary between humor and tragedy. You laugh and you cry.”

Forks on the left, knives on the right: SAA hosts 10th annual etiquette dinner


Students Hunter Peterson and Kayla Fowler pose for a photo at the 10th annual SAA Etiquette Dinner on Tuesday, March 7. (Lauren Jackson/The Chanticleer)


Lauren Jackson, Staff Writer

The Student Alumni Association (SAA) hosted their annual Etiquette Dinner on the 11th floor of the library on Tuesday, March 7. The free event aimed to help students prepare for job interviews and dinner functions following graduation.

The dinner consisted of a three course meal with intermittent tips and presentations on proper manners in dinner gatherings. The tips ranged from proper silverware usage to correct handshake form. Hands-on skills and presentation were intermingled to provide practice and instill the topics.

Each table consisted of “guests” and a “host”. The host would lead the table in the proper dinner etiquette and correct improper form. They would also address any questions from the presentation. The table setup allowed students to practice in a comfortable setting among peers, while learning for professionals.

Sammy Jo Hosler, an SAA Ambassador has attended the event for three years. Hosler says, “I like being able to see what I already know, and also what new thing I can learn.”

Hosler is active within SAA, and enjoys the many facets the club has to offer. “SAA is a club that helps students prepare for life after college, while also having fun in college. There are both professional and fun events,” says Hosler.

Alan Renfroe, the Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, co-hosted the event. According to Renfroe, the dinner is in its 10th year. Each year more students attend the event, as SAA earns more recognition on campus as a new student organization. “When we first started it, it was difficult to spread the word. It grew when professors got on board and began offering extra credit for their students to attend,” says Renfroe.

This year, there were 150 seats open for reservation. With the growing demand from students, SAA is looking for sponsors to help make the dinner possible for both the Spring and Fall semesters. According to Renfroe, the most rewarding part of providing the event is the feedback. “Because we have hosted the dinner for 10 years, I love hearing back from young alumni that have used the skills they learned at the dinner. It is one of those things that you need to know, but do not know you need to know.”

In addition to the dinner, SAA hosts multiple events for students. Events range from professional to fun. The Tuesday following spring break, SAA will host mock interviews. Social events include game nights, dinners, bowling, and oozeball among others. “We want to create memories for students on campus,” says Renfroe.

Membership in SAA has tripled in the last several years. “Our organization is just now gaining popularity on campus. Some of the things we have been part of include the “Fear the Beak” tshirts and slogan,” says Renfroe.

SAA is a branch of the Alumni Association specifically for students. “It is the crossroads of where students and alumni meet,” says Renfroe.

Students can apply for membership to SAA by visiting the Alumni Office Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 4:30 PM, or by mailing applications to: JSU Alumni Office, ATTN: Alan Renfroe, 700 Pelham Rd. North, Jacksonville, AL 36265.

Tuesday Talks gives first-hand look at careers

By Lauren Jackson

Staff Writer

The JSU Department of Academic Advisement hosted the first Tuesday Talks on September 26 at the Houston Cole Library. Consisting of a four-person panel of successful professionals from health care, the talk allowed students to go beyond requirements and prerequisites of a career of interest and learn more information about the daily life of a professional in the field.

The possibility of the Tuesday Talks began with an idea from the Director of Academic Advisement, Michelle Green. Green advises many students that are undecided in their major. Instead of just informing students of the requirements for their degrees, Green wished to allow students to experience the degree’s career path in a more personal way. She was able to make the event happen through the help and planning of Jennifer Wood.

“I wanted professionals to come in and give the day-to-day activities they do while working and to have a more personal career talk with students for their field of interest,” said Green.

Two alumni of JSU were on the panel for the health care talk and offered insight into getting into a master’s program after graduation, as well as practical information on the responsibilities of their jobs. The careers represented by the panel included occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy and respiratory therapy.

Occupational therapy is a profession designed to help people to take care of themselves after injuries or other issues. Jenna McCoy is an occupational therapist and JSU alumna. McCoy says that occupational therapy is a career that has allowed her to travel and have fun in her day-to-day activities.

In addition to offering details on requirements for GPA and GRE for students interested in applying for programs in occupational therapy, McCoy said, “The most important aspect of preparing is observational hours, because it shows an interest and desire to be in the field.”

Shayna Wheeler is a speech therapist, and helps her patients with issues such as communication disorders, or, in some cases, swallowing issues. In addition to offering students insights to requirements for entering speech therapy programs, Wheeler encouraged interested students to apply for graduate school early, and to keep their options open.

Another JSU alumni on the panel was Dr. Treacy Hunter, a physical therapist. While sharing the benefits of the field of physical therapy, Hunter urged students to learn to study before entering a doctoral program, because it is now required for physical therapists to have a doctorates degree.

“The beauty of this profession is that you can go anywhere, and the health field is always hiring; you just have to be ready,” Hunter said.

Respiratory therapy is a new program that will be offered on the JSU campus starting in the fall of 2017. Ed Goodwin has 25 years of experience in the field and will be overseeing the program. Respiratory therapy helps with breathing disorders or lung injuries.

Goodwin said that one of the greatest rewards of the job is to “see people at death’s door and to see them leave alive and well because of the help they received.”

Jenna McCoy, Shayna Wheeler, Dr. Treacy Hunter and Ed Goodwin spoke to students at the first Tuesday Talk on September 27. Tuesday Talks are meant to show students the practical lives and day-to-day activities of professionals in their chosen field. The first talk focused on health care professions and featured information on occupational, speech, physical and respiratory therapy. (Lauren Jackson/The Chanticleer)

“The information was great, and to see students interact with the panel afterwards is amazing,” said Wood. “I think they went above and beyond with sharing personal stories and information to help students.”

Tuesday talks will be held once a month for different professions, with the next one on October 18 for students interested in criminal justice.

According to Anna Bowden, a senior interested in occupational therapy, the talks “keep you from having to travel to other colleges and cities to learn about the things students are interested in and allows them the chance to network.”