Where Knowledge and Character Matter ®

Youth and Motivational Task Force

Our Youth and Motivational Task Force (YMTF) is comprised of alumni and prestigious individuals employed in various occupational fields. YMTF serves to assist Alcorn State University's students with making healthy career and positive life choices. Members provide students reality based feedback about expectations as they matriculate through college. In addition, YMTF serves the institution through retention efforts and helping today's student become tomorrow's successful alumni. Current members are as follows:

Sandrena Durr is a 1990 graduate of Mendenhall High School. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Pre-Law/Political Science from Alcorn State University in 1994, her Paralegal Degree and Master's Degree in Social Science from MS College. She is currently employed as a litigation paralegal at Butler Snow, and is an adjunct professor at MS College. She is an active member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Rho Iota Zeta Chapter, Mendenhall, MS. She is a charter member, and is the current President for the chapter. She is also the youth Choir director at her church and serves on the board for Angel Wings, a battered women shelter in Mendenhall, MS. Lastly, she is a member of the Simpson County Alumni Chapter.

Cynthia A. Bell is a Sr. IT Specialist and ITIL Certified Software Testing Professional with IBM's North America Quality Testing Services organization. Within IBM, Ms. Bell has supported both internal and external projects for clients within multiple industries with specific focuses on quality assurance, software test management, defect management and requirements management. She obtained her B.S. degree in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics from Alcorn State University and an M.B.A. from Jackson State University. She currently serves as the National Parliamentarian for the ASU National Alumni Association; National Secretary and local committee chairman for Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated; San Antonio City Chair for IBM's Network for Emerging Women Leaders; Treasurer for the National Society of Black Engineers - Denver Alumni Chapter, just to name a few organizations that she assists with.

Walter L. Armstrong was selected as Chief of Police for the City of Vicksburg on July 10, 2009. Chief Armstrong earned his Bachelor’s Degree and a Master of Science Degree in 2002 from Alcorn State University. Chief Armstrong began his law enforcement career with the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol in 1984 as an enforcement trooper. During his tenure with the Vicksburg Police Department, one of Chief Armstrong’s many accomplishments is the accreditation of the Vicksburg Police Department by the Mississippi Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission and national recognition by the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies as only one of 25 agencies in the State of Mississippi.

Percy O. Norwood, Jr. is a former Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Headquarters Support Command and Coast Guard Headquarters Staff and the first Director of the Coast Guard Recruiting. While pursuing his Coast Guard career, Norwood performed numerous other jobs that included search and rescue; oil and hazardous material cleanup; conducting investigations, evaluations and training; planning, logistics, budgeting and personnel support; and teaching Chemistry courses at the U. S. Coast Guard Academy. His education includes a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry from Alcorn State University in 1968; a Master of Science Degree in Analytical Chemistry from Tuskegee University, and a Master of Science Degree in Human Resource Management from the Naval Postgraduate School. His thesis entitled, “A Comparison of the Fit between the Organization Climate of the Coast Guard, the Job/Career Expectations of Black College Graduates and their Perceptions about the Coast Guard” provided the basis for several initiatives that would ultimately change the racial and gender makeup of the Coast Guard.

Triva Watts is currently the Program Coordinator of Vocational Rehabilitation Programs for Overton Brooks VA Medical Center. She graduated from Alcorn in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science. She then attended Jackson State University and obtained a Master's degree in Rehabilitation Services, a certificate from the University of Missouri-Columbia in Rehabilitation Administration, Certification as a Rehabilitation Counselor from the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification and National Certification as a Job and Career Transition Coach and Job and Career Development Coach. She is a member of the National Rehabilitation Association, Louisiana Rehabilitation Association serving as the Regional Director, National Career Development Association, National Association of Multicultural Concerns, Association of VA Vocational Rehabilitation Professionals, the Vicksburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., where she is currently serving as Assistant Recording Secretary, Order of Easter Star- King Hiram Grand Lodge, Purple Heart Auxiliary, Heir O Link with Links, Inc. and an active member of the Shreveport-Bossier Alcorn State University Alumni Chapter where she serves as Historian.

Terris L. Thomas attended East Marion High School & graduated in the year 2000. He furthered his education at Alcorn State University. While at Alcorn, he was a member the Alcorn State Cheering Squad & became a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Ofc. Thomas graduated with a Bachelors' degree in Political Science/Pre-Law. He became employed as an officer for Alcorn & received his Masters' in Guidance Education. He transferred to the Jackson Police Dept. where he currently holds the position of Field Training Officer.

Johnny Johnson is the Assistant Director of Bands in the Hattiesburg Public School District. Mr. Johnson is a 2011 graduate of Alcorn State University, where he graduated from the department of Fine Arts with a degree in Music Education. Mr. Johnson has taught on the middle and high school levels and is in his 5th year of teaching. During Mr. Johnson’s tenure in Hattiesburg, he has been responsible for the matriculation of his students from high to college with a 100% scholarship rate, with most of those students receiving full scholarships. Mr. Johnson has formed the HHS Saxophone Ensemble, as well as the HHS Pep band with regular performances around the city of Hattiesburg for various public and private events.

LaKeshia N. Myers is a Director of Education for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. In this post, she serves as the administrator of the Oakview School and as the chief education consultant to the warden at Oakhill Correctional Institution. She is responsible for preparing former incarcerated persons as they prepare for reentry into society. Prior to this, she served for eight years as Instructional Lead Teacher/curriculum specialist for the Prince George’s County Public Schools of Maryland, where she created a series of citizenship based service projects to assist and enhance civic education for students in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. LaKeshia is a 2006 graduate of Alcorn State University receiving a BA in Political Science and a Master’s in Education from Strayer University. She is currently a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership at Argosy University.

Jessica McLaurin is an attorney that helps families recover financially and emotionally following an injury or death of a loved one and guides them through the complicated maze of their legal nightmare. Her primary practice areas and experience stems from personal Injury advocacy and local business and non-profit representation. She gives of her time providing pro bono services to individuals through Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project, Mississippi Access to Justice Commission and individually to those in need of legal assistance who otherwise cannot afford such services. An undergraduate Thurgood Marshall Scholar, Jay pursued an Accounting degree at Alcorn State University; and received her law degree at the University of Mississippi in 2013. She is a member of the Mississippi Bar Association, Mississippi Women Lawyers’ Association, Smith/Jasper Alcorn Alumni chapter, and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated.

Dr. Elmira Ratliff is the Curriculum Specialist at the Office of Curriculum and Instruction at the Mississippi Community College Board in Madison County. She graduated from Alcorn in 2007 from the English Department and obtained a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Mississippi. She is an Educational Specialist in Educational Leadership-Licensed K-12 Administrator in the State of Mississippi. Dr. Ratliff taught middle and high school English for 6 years; Taught English and Education courses at Alcorn State University and the University of Mississippi. She is currently, managing the development of Career and Technical Education curriculum for the fifteen community colleges in Mississippi.

Douglas Lamar Farmer has worked for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)- National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Environmental, Economics, and Demographics Office in Washington, DC. He graduated from Alcorn in 1997 with a master science degree in agricultural economics. He is currently working on multiply assignments related to the 5 year Census of Agriculture and other environmental statistical survey programs. Mr. Farmer has also started his own company called Farmer Sports Network Group (FSNG) located in Largo, Maryland. FSNG is a group of basketball, football, and lacrosse officials from the Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas that provide high quality officiating services for youth and adult sporting events.

Kimberla Little is an Assistant Vice President with expertise in Human Resources for a Regions Bank. Her varied career includes serving as an internal consultant to all levels of management in interpretation of company policies, recruitment and retention strategies and people management. Kimberla received her Bachelor of Science Degree from Jackson State University in Childcare and Family Education in 2005 and a Master of Science Degree from Belhaven University in Leadership 2012. Kimberla is a member of the Junior League of Jackson, Leadership Greater Jackson Class of 2012-2013, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated. In the past she has served her community as a volunteer with Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure to help fight against breast cancer, Young Leaders in Philanthropy and an Advisory Board Member for Business and Office Technology at Hinds Community College. In addition to her philanthropy work, she is also an online adjunct instructor for Hinds Community College Jackson Campus in the Banking and Finance Department.

Jordon Hillhouse joined DREAM (Developing Resources for Education in America) in April 2008. Formerly, he worked in Prevention Education coordinating the logistics of DREAM’s many professional workshops. He then served as a Hinds County Senior Transition Coordinator where he assisted high school seniors with the transition from the high school environment into an independent lifestyle of work or college. In addition to providing mentoring to students, Jordon was also responsible for scheduling qualified members of local community businesses and public agencies to lead workshops for the students. Currently, Jordon is the Program Director for the Madison Rankin Prevention Partnership which is responsible for bringing awareness to and preventing youth from prescription drug abuse and underage drinking. He received his Masters of Business Administration from Alcorn State University and a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Mississippi College.

Collus J. Brown originally from Clinton, LA. Started his journey at the Alcorn State University in August 2005 as a National 1890/USDA Scholar. While at Alcorn he majored in Agricultural Education/General Agriculture and became a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, Inc. Upon receiving his Bachelor of Science Degree in May 2009, he moved to Washington, D.C. There he was hired by the USDA as a Management Analyst for the Office of Civil Rights, Diversity, and Inclusion. He is currently still with the agency serving in the same position.