The Office of Career Services hosted their first Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Professionalism and Leadership Symposium. This event was held on January 20th from 9:00 am until 3:30 pm in Dumas Hall on Alcorn State University’s (ASU) Lorman campus.
Dr. Felecia Pittman, Director of Career Services at ASU, coordinated this event to help students network their skills, prepare for internships, their careers, and graduate and professional school. To sign up for this symposium, students went through an app called Handshake and were required to pay a $25 fee which covered snacks and lunch.
Junior Social Science Education major, Trinity Jones, attended the event and stated, “I enjoyed the event. I’m glad that we have something on campus that is beneficial to everyone. Something new I learned were the things to have on and to not have on my resume. I redid my entire resume and now it looks more professional.”
In this program, students were separated into three groups and proceeded to go to different workshops held by the Alcorn State Faculty/Staff Volunteers. Some of the volunteers included, Demyia Graham, the Administrative Assistant for the Office of Career Services, Monica Burr, an Alcorn alumna who is a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences as well as a Special Project Coordinator in the Office of Pre-Professional and Honors Curriculum Programs and her husband Roy Burr, who served twenty-two years in the United States Army.
Other volunteers included, Carey Butler, who works in Student Support Services as the Guided Transition Counselor, Addie Davis, an Academic Advisor and Instructor and Latonia Patterson, who is the Bursar at ASU. Following the first few workshops, students then attended a panel discussion. Theresa G. Kennedy, another Alcorn alumna and CEO of Fifty-five|twenty LLC Public Relations, Marketing and Brand business development agency, was the moderator.
Panelists there included Betina Brandon, manager at Diversity and Workforce Development at Entergy Nuclear Headquarters, Shernica Ferguson, Policy Research Analyst for the Socially Disadvantaged Farms and Ranchers Policy Center at Alcorn State University, Robert “Bobby” Smith, District Business Manager with the Innovative Health Unit of Pfizer Inc., Michael Trusclar, United States Department of Agriculture 1890 program liaison for ASU’s Agriculture and Applied Sciences, and LT Kevin Whalen, Supervisor of Marine Safety Detachment (MSD) in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
The panelists all answered questions on topics regarding professionalism, things needed to progress in your career and how to always be an active learner. They also shared various well paying career options available that many people do not usually consider.
After the event ended Dr. Pittman shared, “I’m really excited about the students that came out to the MLK symposium. Not only did they get here early but they came in professional attire. Several students said they had not experienced anything like this before and they learned a great deal of information and made important industry contacts. There were even some business partners that expressed interest in partnering for future events. Overall, the event was a success. The auditorium was packed this year and I’m looking forward to it growing to an even larger crowd and providing relevant content for our students.”
For more information concerning this event and future professional and leadership symposiums contact Dr. Felicia Pittman at firstname.lastname@example.org or (601) 877-6246.