We are … prepared. We are Alcorn.

Lorman, Miss. (May 9, 2014) – It’s a bitter sweet time for Alcorn State University as we get to send our student off to the "real world" at the 143rd Commencement. It’s bitter because it’s hard to say goodbye to our students that we love, nurture, take care of, help acquire knowledge and develop character. It is sweet because we know that our students are fully prepared to go out, be successful and make their alma mater proud. Our graduates are strong, well-educated, well-rounded and prepared to meet the world's challenges.

DeAundra Epherson

Home Town: Port Gibson, Mississippi

Major: Nursing

Activities, Clubs and Organizations involved in while at Alcorn: I am a member of the Tau Eta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society, a Student Ambassador and I work with Student Support Services.

Volunteer Work: I volunteer with the Mississippi Adolescent Center in Brookhaven, Mississippi, the New Hope Christian Church Health Fair in Natchez, Mississippi, Habitat for Humanity, also in Natchez. I've participated in High School Day at Alcorn, helped with health screenings at the Natchez Center for Battered Women & Children and flu vaccinations at Cathedral in Natchez.

Grad School or Career: I plan to continue my education after one year of clinical work in a hospital.

If you could thank someone who would it be: I would loke to thank my family, instructors and the many friends I met during my tenure at Alcorn. I have become a better person both inside and out because of these people.

What's your unique story? I am a first generation college student and now graduate. I worked for some time during school to offset bills. The road was rocky and times were very hard but I had so many supporters that cheered me on.

Tony Innouvong

Hometown: Seattle, Washington

Major: Master of Business Administration

Activities, Clubs and Organizations involved in while at Alcorn: I served as president of the International and Multicultural Student Organization (IMSO), and was a member of Diversity Champions and MADE Men (Men Achieving Dreams through Excellence). I also helped organize and participated in many events on campus reciting poetry.

Volunteer Work: I was a part of many volunteer projects with Diversity Champions and MADE Men. One of them being “Real Men Read” – young men from Alcorn would dress-up in business attire and read to the children at A.W. Watson Elementary in Port Gibson.

Grad School or Career: I would like to work for a consulting firm, I also want to travel and start a business internationally.

If you could thank someone who would it be…My mother. I am thankful to her for being resilient and instilling this quality in me, and for not allowing her struggles and our collective struggles to stop me from attainting my dreams, and for being continuously supportive.

What is your unique story: I am a first-generation college graduate, first in my extended family to get an advanced degree, first one to travel out-of-state to go to school, and I am also in the less than 1% of Asian students attending HBCU.

Tommie L. Green

Hometown: Vicksburg, Mississippi

Major: Music Performance

Activities, Clubs and Organizations involved in while at Alcorn: I am a member of the Sounds of Dyn-o-Mite Marching Band, Alcorn’s Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Volunteer Work: I volunteered with Habitat for Humanity where we organized multiple can food drives. I also participated in Greek Day at Port Gibson’s Elementary and Middle School.

Grad School or Career: I am planning on working as a percussion instructor for local middle and high schools.

If you could thank someone who would it be: There are a great deal people that I can thank for helping me to get where I am now.

What's your unique story? Being granted the opportunity to graduate this school year has been one of my biggest accomplishments thus far. Along with a cousin of mine who is currently attending Alcorn, I will be the first male in my family to graduate from a university. The hours and dedication I put into my school work made my Alcorn experience very much worthwhile.

Ashley Murray

Hometown: Dorchester Ontario, Canada

Major: Biology/Pre-Physical Therapy.

Why did you choose Alcorn? I like the fact that Alcorn is small which allows students to better contact with professors. One of my teammates from back home attended Alcorn and had positive things to say. I also liked that my major had a good reputation.

Activities, Clubs and Organizations involved in while at Alcorn: Lady Braves Women’s Soccer Team

Grad School or Career: After graduation, I am going back to Canada where I plan on attending graduate school to receive my master’s degree in either physical therapy or athletic therapy.

If you could thank someone who would it be…my parents — they have supported me though these four years both emotionally and financially. Whenever I needed help with anything they were just a phone call away.

How do you feel being a soon-to-be graduate? This experience at Alcorn has been bitter sweet. When I first arrived at Alcorn, I could not wait to graduate but now that graduation is around the corner I realized that I am going to miss this place. Being here at Alcorn made me more of an independent person. When I leave, one thing I know for sure, is that I am going to miss my teammates, my coaches and the staff and faculty.

Khalil H. Abdurrahman

Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee

Major: Agribusiness

Activities, Clubs and Organizations involved in while at Alcorn: I am a member of the Agribusiness and Economics Club ABEC) in the Department of Agriculture.

Grad School or Career: I am looking at positions as a soil scientists and meteorologist with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). I would also like to enroll in a graduate program in agriculture.

If you could thank someone who would it be: Alcorn Foundation for awarding me a scholarship. I would also like to thank my professors and everyone in the Department of Agriculture. One more person I want to thank is Ms. LaWanda Owens, for supporting me. It was not an easy journey for me to graduatefrom Alcorn: I had some financial hardships, and earlier this year, my mother passed away. I am especially thankful to everyone who supported me and helped me stay on track and graduate.

What is your unique story? I am a fourth generation Alcornite. My grandfather Luther Alexander was the first Alcornite in our family, he actually served as president of the National Alumni Association for many years. One of the buildings on campus – the poultry facility – is named after him. Also, my grandmother, mother, uncle, and aunt all graduated from Alcorn.

Innocent Tsorxe

Hometown: city of Vakpo in the Volta Region of Ghana

Major: Health Physics

Activities, Clubs and Organizations involved in while at Alcorn: I am a president of the Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) and a member of the Health Physics Society in the Department of Advanced Technologies.

Volunteer Work: I participated in a volunteer project with the Mississippi Department of Radiological Health where we held a drill preparing for response during a radiological emergency.

Grad School or Career: I plan to to enroll in the radiological health science graduate program here at Alcorn.

If you could thank someone who would it be: I would really like to thank my faculty advisor Jermiah Billa for helping me strengthen my expertise in health physics and providing me with opportunities to participate in research projects that were then reported at the Health Physics Society annual conference. He also helped me land a great summer internship and become a part of research on semiconductor radiation detectors at Fisk University.

Tell us about your experiences at Alcorn: my freshman year, I had some difficulties with my classes but made it on the Dean’s list. But what I really wanted and was aiming for – was to be on the President’s list. Beginning my sophomore year, I worked hard and made it to the President’s list. I was so motivated and inspired by the Honors Convocation; so, I kept working hard and stayed on the President’s list every semester.

Celina Clark

Hometown: Oakville, Canada

Major: Health and Physical Education

Activities, Clubs and Organizations involved in while at Alcorn: Lady Braves Women’s Soccer

Grad School or Career: Undecided.

If you could thank someone who would it be… Dr. Garry Lewis, head track and field coach and professor in the Department of Health and Physical Education.

What is your unique story? I am the first one in my family to further my education and get a bachelor’s degree, I am also the first to ever get a scholarship to attend school; and first to ever to leave the country for school.

We wish our graduates the best of success and invite everyone to join the Alcorn family at its Commencement Convocation Saturday, May 10, at 8:30 a.m. in the Davey L. Whitney HPER Complex on the Lorman campus. For more information, visit www.alcorn.edu.


Alcorn State University is a premier comprehensive land-grant university that develops diverse students into globally competitive leaders, and applies scientific research through collaborative partnerships that benefit the surrounding communities, state, nation, and world.