Roses and thorns: 2/9/14

February 8, 2014 9:48:34 PM



A rose to East Mississippi Community College, which has been chosen as one of the nation's Top 150 community colleges by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. The distinction will allow EMCC to compete for the 2014 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence and $1 million in prize funds. The Aspen Prize is one of the most prestigious recognitions in the country for two-year colleges. Colleges do not apply for this recognition. Eligibility to compete comes as a result of information in federal reports as compared to criteria established by the Aspen Prize Committee. The prize, awarded every two years, is the nation's signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America's community colleges and recognizes institutions for exceptional student outcomes in four areas: student learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earnings, and high levels of access and success for minority and low-income students. 




A rose to the citizens group in charge of plans for Unity Park in Starkville for its decision to honor the late Starkville-based physician, writer and civil rights leader Douglas Conner and the historic "Game of Change" when the Mississippi State University men's basketball team defied the governor by stealing away to play an integrated Loyola University team in the NCAA Tournament in East Lansing, Mich., in 1963. While elected officials struggled to complete the planning of the park and determine who should be honored there, the committee of citizens took ownership of the project and has acted quickly and cooperatively in filling the two remaining plaques with tributes to Conner and the 1963 MSU basketball team. With those decisions behind them, we eagerly await the opening of the park, which is the next order of business for the committee. 




A rose to Starkville Young Professionals and Starkville Main Street Association for organizing one of Saturday's tastiest events. SOUPer Bowl 2014 let area restaurant chefs put their best soups forward as ticket holders voted for their favorites. The event held at The STAGgerIN Sports Grill also generated donations of canned soups for Starkville food pantries. 




A rose to former Dispatch photo intern Sam Gause, who recently won first place in a prestigious collegiate competition. Gause, a University of Missouri graduate won for his submission in the category of Narrative Multimedia Storytelling - Features category of the national Hearst Journalism Awards Program. Gause's entry was tops among 69 competitors representing 42 schools. The win qualifies him for the Hearst National Championship, which will be announced in June. Gause also received ninth-place honors in Hearst's news and feature photojournalism category. Gause worked as a photo intern at The Dispatch during the summer of 2012. Based on his work here, we are not at all surprised to learn that Sam has excelled in his craft.