Belhaven Builds COVID Center, JSU Business Partnership and USM VET Program | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Belhaven Builds COVID Center, JSU Business Partnership and USM VET Program

Belhaven University recently announced that it has completed construction on its own COVID-19 testing center to track asymptomatic students, faculty and staff. Photo courtesy Belhaven University

Belhaven University recently announced that it has completed construction on its own COVID-19 testing center to track asymptomatic students, faculty and staff. Photo courtesy Belhaven University

Belhaven University recently announced that it has completed construction on its own COVID-19 testing center to track asymptomatic students, faculty and staff. Belhaven is currently the only university in Mississippi to build a dedicated COVID-19 testing center on campus, a release from the university says. Construction of the new center began in November 2020.

Professors in Belhaven's chemistry and biology departments have expanded their roles to coordinate, test and conduct lab work with the facility, the release says. Center staff have started testing hundreds of students, faculty and staff using saliva samples each day. The university's lab tests the samples and produces results within hours.

In its release, Belhaven pointed to research from Dr. Deborah Birx, former White House Coronavirus Coordinator, which showed that colleges who did not conduct asymptomatic testing showed a 15% or greater infection rate, while those who conducted asymptomatic testing had a less than 1% infection rate.

For more information, call 601-968-5940 or visit belhaven.edu.

JSU Enters Partnership to Support Small Businesses

Jackson State University recently announced that it has entered into a partnership with Goldman Sachs, Hope Enterprise, seven cities and eight historically black colleges and universities as part of a $130 million effort to support small businesses in the deep south. The Deep South Economic Mobility Collaborative aims to preserve under-represented and under-resourced communities and address economic inequality, a release from JSU says.

DSEMC will provide access to financing, business education classes and business support services, with an emphasis on stabilizing and strengthening small businesses and boosting employment in regions with entrenched poverty and racial disparities. The collaborative plans to serve 4,000 to 5,000 businesses and support 30,000 employees and their family members.

Participating cities include Jackson, Miss.; Birmingham and Montgomery, Ala.; Little Rock, Ark.; Baton Rouge and New Orleans, La.; and Memphis, Tenn. The participating HBCUs are Jackson State University, Alabama State University, Miles College, Philander Smith College, Dillard University, Southern University, Xavier University, Tougaloo College and LeMoyne-Owen College.

For more information about the Deep South Economic Mobility Collaborative, visit hopecu.org/mobility.

USM Launches VET Program for Student-Veterans

The University of Southern Mississippi recently announced the launch of the Veterans Employment Trajectory Initiative, a collaborative effort with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to aid student-veterans.

VET is a fully funded 10-week professional immersion program in Washington, D.C., for U.S. military veterans who are in undergraduate or graduate school, a release from USM says. The program will take place from June 6 through Aug. 7 and will include an internship, coursework, career coaching, career strategy planning and one-on-one mentoring.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the program is offering both virtual and in-person internships. USM student-veterans may take part in a remote internship while participating in the coursework, coaching and training either remotely or in-person.

The program will fully cover costs for students traveling to Washington, D.C., as well as housing costs. Each student in the program will also receive $2,000 from The Washington Center to cover additional expenses during the 10-week period.

VET's application process is selective and the deadline for applications is Wednesday, Feb. 24. For more information about eligibility and selection, visit https://twc.edu/programs/veterans-employment-trajectory-vet-initiative.

For more information about VET, call the USM Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families at 601-264-4629 or visit usm.edu/military-veterans.

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