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11/6/2014 - Jackson, Miss.

Students from Mississippi Public Universities across the state are preparing to unveil their ideas for solving Mississippi's most pressing problems and helping reach the goals established by Blueprint Mississippi. Beginning tomorrow, student teams will compete in competitions held on campus. The winning team from each campus will advance to the state competition, which will be held in Jackson in March.

The schedule for the on-campus competitions includes:

  • Friday, November 7
    • University of Mississippi, Insight Park, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    • Judges:
      • Bethany Cooper, Corporate Recruitment & Talent Management Coordinator, FNC, Inc.
      • Dr. Clay Dibrell, Executive Director, Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Associate Professor of Management, UM
      • Randy Leister, President, BancorpSouth-Oxford
      • Jon Maynard, President/CEO, Chamber of Commerce, EDF, Oxford
      • The Honorable Pat Patterson, Mayor, City of Oxford
  • Wednesday, November 12
    • Delta State University, Baioni Conference Center, 1:00 p.m.
    • Judges:
      • Dr. Vicki Bingham, Chair of Academic Programs, Robert E. Smith School of Nursing, Associate Professor of Nursing, DSU
      • Dr. Cheryl Cummins, Director of Field Experiences, DSU
      • Dr. Paul Hankins, Chair, Music Department, DSU
      • Dr. Rebecca Hochradel, Chair of Management, Marketing & Business Administration, Associate Professor of Management & Marketing, DSU
      • Allan Mitchell, Interim Chair, Division of Language & Literature, Associate Professor of English, DSU
    • Jackson State University, College of Business Building, Pittman Auditorium, Room 134, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    • Judges: TBA
  • Monday, November 17
    • University of Southern Mississippi, Ogletree House, Hattiesburg Campus, Displays at 4:00 p.m., Presentations at 5:00 p.m.
    • Judges:
      • Julie Breazeale, CEO, Polk's Meats, Inc., Magee
      • Abb Payne, President, Camellia Healthcare, Hattiesburg
      • Wanda Simpson, Director, Forrest County Department of Human Services
      • Benny Waddle, CPA, Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending, BancorpSouth
  • Tuesday, November 18
    • Alcorn State University, Dr. Clinton Bristow Jr. Dining Hall, Gold Room, 10:00 a.m.
    • Judges: TBA
  • Friday, December 5
    • Mississippi State University, Foster Ballroom, Colvard Student Union, 10:00 a.m.
    • Judges: TBA

Students are asked to focus their efforts in support of one of the nine goals identified by Blueprint Mississippi. In 2012, Blueprint Mississippi, an independent cooperative of organizations and leaders conducted an objective review of Mississippi's economic opportunities and recommended actions for putting Mississippi in the place of greatest opportunity, identified nine goals to enable a more prosperous, vibrant, and resilient Mississippi, built upon a foundation of economic opportunity for all its citizens.

The nine Blueprint Mississippi goals include:

    • Increase the Educational Achievement of Mississippians
    • Cultivate a More Robust Workforce in Mississippi
    • Strengthen and Expand Mississippi's Economy
    • Promote Health Care as an Economic Driver
    • Support Mississippi's Creative Economy
    • Continually Develop the Infrastructure for a Competitive Economy
    • Increase Availability of Financial Capital
    • Cultivate Diversity, Community Cooperation and Racial Reconciliation
    • Improve Communication and Coordination Among Public, Private and Non-profit Leaders

The goals of the Blueprint Mississippi Social Business Challenge are to encourage students to develop ideas for solving Mississippi's most pressing problems, while learning important lessons about planning, teamwork and presenting ideas.

More information is available on Mississippi Public Universities' website and will be posted on Twitter @MSPublicUniv.

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The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

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