ELLISVILLE, MS (JONES COUNTY JUNIOR COLLEGE) - A pair of Jones County Junior College instructors will have an impressive summer experience to share with their students this fall. Faculty members Finee Ruffin and Joe Larry Mauldin have been chosen to participate in the Bernelli American Spirit Tour. They are traveling to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania July 29 for an eight-day entrepreneurial enrichment program.
Ten members were selected nationwide from the NACCE ( National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship) and received scholarships to participate in the American Spirit Tour. Ruffin and Mauldin will meet entrepreneurs and study their businesses on-site. The participants will identify aspects of the American spirit, which inspires individuals to become entrepreneurs.
Ruffin, who teaches fashion merchandising, has been at JCJC for three years. Since that time, enrollment in the fashion merchandising program has more than doubled. According to Ruffin, sixty-seven percent of the current marketing and fashion merchandising students at JCJC aspire to open their own business.
"I firmly believe that entrepreneurship is the key to building a healthy economy, which in turn builds a healthy community. As a member of that community, it is my responsibility to provide as much help, education, encouragement and knowledge as possible to the next generation of entrepreneurs, " said Ruffin.
"The methods I learn on the Bernelli American Spirit Tour will enrich the lives of all of my current students as well as those to come," she added.
Mauldin, a business instructor, is an alumnus of JCJC and received both Bachelor and Masters degrees in Business from the University of Southern Mississippi. Being an American Spirit Tour participant will give him the opportunity to enrich his business curriculum in the classroom.
"Integrating entrepreneurial enrichment into our courses is important in meeting the objective of equipping students with skills to increase their chances of success when starting their own businesses," said Mauldin.
He believes real-world business experiences inspire student learning.
"As we discover more about best practices in developing entrepreneurship initiatives in the community college setting, we look forward to using the Bernelli experience to enhance our efforts to teach entrepreneurship at Jones," added Mauldin.
JCJC offers numerous options to business majors including the fashion merchandising and marketing program. JCJC is an accredited institution offering over 100 associate degree programs and certificate options. For more information, visit www.jcjc.edu.