July 24, 2008

NWCC Director Has Deep Roots — Honed Skills As Student Leader

By Lajuan Tallo

Amy Payne's roots at Northwest Mississippi Community College run deep.

She spent her student years at the college playing an active role as a student recruiter and in student government. She came back to the school to teach first part-time and then full-time, serving on various committees and participating with her students as a group adviser and sponsor.

Recently, Payne was named the new division director of the college's academic business division, following in the footsteps of long-time director Russell Lott.

"Amy will bring a lot of energy to the program, and I am excited about the direction in which she will lead the division," said Dr. Marilyn Bateman, academic dean.

Payne says she has a clear idea of what she would like to do as division director. "In my role as division director I would like to educate prospective business majors on how a two-year business administration program is a spring board for bachelor's degree programs such as marketing, hospitality management, insurance and risk management," Payne said. "I would also like to expand the course and degree offerings of the business division by researching growing trends in four-year schools."

This past year, she chaired two major recruiting events at Northwest. In the fall, the event reached out to high school students interested in the academic business division, and in the spring, 300 high school students came to the campus to learn about programs offered at Northwest. She is interested in expanding those recruiting opportunities, she said.

"I hope to work with the Recruiting Office by adding a program which would spotlight a career in business each month. A guest speaker would be invited to campus to talk about his or her career and discuss opportunities in that field," she said.

Payne grew up in Hernando and graduated from Hernando High School in 1994, and then attended Northwest on a Presidential Scholarship. In addition to participating as a student recruiter and in student government, Payne was a member of Phi Beta Lamda, a student organization for future business leaders. She received the departmental scholarship from the academic business division, and graduated from Northwest with an associate of arts in business administration in 1996, and then went on to receive her bachelor of science in business administration and computer education from Delta State University in 1998.

She received her master of science in instructional technology from Mississippi State University in 2000, and has done advanced study at Delta State. She has several professional memberships including Pi Omega Pi, the national business education teachers' honor society, the Mississippi Business Education Association, the Mississippi Educational Computing Association,and the National Business Education Association. Payne has taught numerous professional development and continuing education classes .

Before returning to Northwest as an instructor, Payne spent several years teaching business computer classes in the DeSoto County Schools and at the DeSoto County Career -Technology Center in Southaven. She served on several committees and as adviser for the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and was named to Who's Who among American High School teachers during her tenure. In 2001, she began teaching Computer Information Systems at Northwest's DeSoto Center. She taught at DeSoto County Schools and as a Northwest adjunct instructor until 2005, when she accepted a full time position at Northwest on the Senatobia campus. She has taught business and computer courses in the academic business division, as well as online courses.

Payne has served on the computer and curriculum committees at Northwest. She is the Phi Beta Lambda adviser, and the sponsor for the college's Young Republican Club. For more information, contact the Academic Business Division at 662-562-3301 or e-mail [email protected]

Originally published by Lajuan Tallo Special to My Life .

(c) 2008 Commercial Appeal, The. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.