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Woodward Hines Education Foundation Broadens through Recent New Hires and Internal Restructuring


Woodward Hines Education Foundation Broadens through Recent New Hires and Internal Restructuring

JACKSON, MS. – The Woodward Hines Education Foundation (WHEF), formerly the Education Services Foundation, recently announced two internal promotions and three new hires. The infusion of new talent and internal reorganizing will support the foundation’s mission to help more Mississippians obtain postsecondary credentials, college certifications, and degrees that lead to meaningful employment.

Chellese Hall was named Communications Coordinator for WHEF and assists in the management of the foundation’s flagship program, Get2College, which serves students and families across the state. Hall previously served as Community Relations Manager for the Mississippi Children’s Museum. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electronic Communications and Journalism from Belhaven University and is a board member of the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi.

Melia Dicker recently joined WHEF as the new Director of Jackson’s Get2College Center, which serves students and their families and provides support to high school counselors in central Mississippi. Dicker previously served as Communications Director for the Mississippi Arts Commission. She is a graduate of Santa Clara University and has earned a Certificate from the Else School of Management at Millsaps College.

WHEF has also promoted key individuals to new roles within the organization. Minette Ketchings has been named Director of Operations. Ketchings has worked for WHEF for more than 20 years and previously served as the foundation’s Controller. She holds Bachelor of Professional Accountancy degree from Mississippi State University and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Shanell Watson was named Associate Program Officer for WHEF. Watson has worked for the foundation for more than 10 years, most recently serving as the Data Analyst and Technical Coordinator. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Accountancy from Millsaps College and is a Certified Public Accountant.

“We are excited about the new additions to the foundation and the new roles that staff members are taking on,” said Jim McHale, President and CEO of WHEF. “Our staff’s diverse experience and expertise are essential to realizing our vision of helping Mississippians secure the training and education beyond high school that will allow them to advance their quality of life and strengthen our state.”

Posted by Courtney Lange at Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Corporate Name Change Announcement to WHEF

Education Services Foundation Announces Corporate Name Change to Woodward Hines Education Foundation

Name Change Signals Major Step in Repositioning as a More Active Partner in College Access and Success

 JACKSON, MS. – Education Services Foundation, a nonprofit working to help Mississippi students plan and pay for college, has announced that it is changing its name to the Woodward Hines Education Foundation (WHEF).

The new name honors the vision and legacy of Jack Woodward and J. Herman Hines, both Mississippians instrumental in originally forming the foundation as a catalyst for improving access to postsecondary education for residents across the state.

“With this name change, we convey the tremendous contribution these two great men have made in improving college access and success in our state,” said David Martin, chair of the WHEF board of directors. “We are proud to continue the extremely critical work Jack Woodward and Herman Hines started nearly four decades ago.”

The foundation’s flagship program, Get2College, has centers in Jackson, Ocean Springs, and Southaven that reach more than 45,000 Mississippi students annually, providing individual counseling on college admission and financial aid.

“Our data shows the work we are doing around higher education access makes a difference for students in communities across the state,” said Jim McHale, president and CEO of WHEF. “However, we also know the higher education graduation rate for Mississippi students lags behind the national rate, which is why we want to continue to make smart investments in promising practices that not only increase access, but also support persistence and completion.”

In 2016, only 23 percent of Mississippians graduate from two-year colleges within three years, and only half graduate from four-year colleges within six years. According to the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, 65 percent of all jobs will require postsecondary education and training by 2020, which underscores the need to increase the number of Mississippians who obtain quality postsecondary credentials, certificates and degrees.

“We are excited about expanding our work with public and private sector partners to increase the number of Mississippians with the training and education needed to create long-term growth in the state,” said McHale. “That’s why Jack Woodward and Herman Hines started this work, and it’s why we are committed to continue building upon their vision.”

Posted by Courtney Lange at Tuesday, May 24, 2016