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March 2020 Issue

JSCC Speech and Debate

By Anna Jett, Student

I was given the opportunity to do some interviews with Dr. Janice Ralya and Mrs. Christine Goss, both coaches of the Jefferson State Community College Speech and Debate Team. The team recently started doing IPDA debate, but beforehand had been Individual Events.

Dr. Ralya values the team being supportive of one another, hard-working, and open to feedback and new ideas. She also values that team members learn how to research and develop communication and analytical skills. Mrs. Goss values the education that can be achieved through experience.

The team builds support from the community by advertising team successes on social media and Jefferson State's website. They are also planning to host a debate showcase in April to show campus and community members what they do.

Mrs. Goss was once a member of the Jefferson State Speech Team and knows exactly their fears and struggles as competitors and is well suited to help the team through anything they are having problems with. Dr. Ralya's goals for the team are to continue improving our skills in the IPDA debate and to recruit new team members for next year. She also would like to place high in the season-long rankings of community college teams at our national tournament in mid-March. Mrs. Goss's goal never changes, and it is for students to learn, to grow and to know they have a special skill.

Dr. Ralya's achievement she is most proud of is that this season the team won the Bennett Strange Power Award at the Middle Tennessee State University IPDA Debate tournament in November. The award goes to the team with the highest percentage of preliminary round wins. We had a 70 percent win ratio at the tournament and all 5 students made it into elimination rounds. Mrs. Goss's achievement she is most proud of is seeing a student go from being afraid to use their voice to be able to speak clearly and with purpose.

If you have any questions, you can email 

JSCC Speech & Debate Team Photos

Speech Team Photo
Speech and Debate Team Photo
Speech and Debate Team Photo

Roaring the Night Away

By Brian Rockett, SGA Advisor 

The Student Government Association held its annual winter formal on Friday, February 7th on the Shelby Campus in the Merritt Health Sciences Building. This year’s theme was Roaring 20s to mark the beginning of the new decade, and the Multipurpose Room was decked out in 1920’s era decorations, including a Gatsby-style car and black and white videos on the walls of folks doing classic dance moves like the Charleston and Salsa. 

About 250 students bought tickets and attended the event. Guests were greeted with Goodfellas jazz band playing in the lobby, and after mocktails like the Fizzy Flapper and Sidecar, made their way into the main room to enjoy a DJ and some tasty themed hors d’oeuvres. Partygoers also took advantage of a photobooth and were treated to a free photo strip to remember the night.  

Students voted on the King and Queen for the formal, which was won by Slater Brock and Caitlyn Smith, who each took home crowns and gift cards. The night ended with the Spotlight Drama Club giving a special performance of a scene from Gatsby. It was a perfect ending to a perfect night.  

While the planning and decorating was implemented by the SGA, countless faculty and staff members from all four campuses chipped in that night so students could let loose and have fun. This is the second year for the event, which was a follow up to last year’s “Fire and Ice” winter formal.  

The SGA would like to thank the support of the administration, faculty, and staff, and all the students who purchased tickets, as this would not have been possible without them. Plans are already in the works for Winter Formal 2021. The theme has already been chosen, and tickets should go on sale in the middle of fall semester.   

The Spotlight Drama Club Hosts Two Huge Events!

By Lesley Warren, Spotlight Drama Club Advisor

12 Angry Men by Reginald Rose, April 3 - 5 at The Center for Education and Performing Arts (CEPA) in Pell City. Be sure to catch this modern take on a classic play about 12 jurors who hold a young man’s fate in their hands. The tension builds as the jurors reenact the fatal stabbing and events surrounding it.  Is the boy guilty or not guilty? You’ll have to come to the show to find out!

Tickets for Jeff State students are just $7. Visit for more information or email Lesley Warren at

Love on Broadway April 10 at 6 pm at the Clanton Center for Performing Arts (CCPA). An evening of your favorite Broadway songs and scenes about love won, lost, forgotten, and celebrated. This is sure to be a great night filled with music, dancing, and, of course, love! The event is free for all students and staff.

What is an Ambassador at JSCC?

By Sadie Smith, Student Ambassador

The Jefferson State Ambassadors are a group of students that go through a selection process in order to become a part of this incredible team. The Ambassadors are in charge of working many different events on and off campus. We travel to all four of Jefferson State’s campuses in order to help work events such as Preview Days, Tours, and New Student Orientations. Joining the Ambassadors has been an incredible way to get involved at this school. It is an incredible way to build relationships and grow in knowledge about Jeff State. 

The Ambassadors, once they have been selected, are required to work five hours a week in some capacity. The most usual way to get in our five hours is to work at the welcome desk, helping point students and visitors to their proper location. We also give tours at our campuses, help during registration, and do community service projects. 

Joining the Ambassadors provides many incredible opportunities for students. The Ambassadors may be given a full-tuition and fees scholarship, they are also able to go on a two-day retreat in the summer, and a select few Ambassadors get to go to a Student Leadership Institution retreat during the summer. 

The Ambassadors have many different responsibilities. They are required to go to a one-day orientation workshop, where they are introduced to these responsibilities. They must maintain a 3.0 GPA during their time as an ambassador, be available for many different events during all

days of the week, serve as host and hostess of college events, and many more responsibilities. 

Joining the Ambassadors is an incredible way to find your place at Jefferson State!