Chipola College news


Eligible For $1 Million Aspen Institute Prize

Chipola student Tyler Hartsfield (left) identifies bones with instructor Amanda Clark in the college anatomy lab.

WASHINGTON, DC –Chipola College has been selected as one of only 150 institutions nationally to be eligible for the fifth biennial $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.

Joshua Wyner, Vice President of the Aspen Institute, called the nomination, “The nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance in America’s Community Colleges.”

For the fifth consecutive cycle of the awards program, Chipola is among the nation’s top community colleges eligible to compete for the prestigious 2019 Aspen Prize and $1 million in prize money.

Chipola President Dr. Sarah Clemmons, says, “We are proud that Chipola has once again been recognized by the Aspen Institute.  Our faculty work every day to ensure that our students receive a quality education. This nomination affirms the excellent work of our students and faculty.”

Chipola’s fifth consecutive Aspen nomination comes in a year when college officials already are celebrating being named a Gold College in the Florida College System’s performance-based funding program. Chipola was one of only seven colleges among the 28 in the Florida system to earn the Gold ranking.

The Aspen Prize, awarded every two years, recognizes institutions for exceptional student outcomes in four areas: student learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earnings, and high levels of access and success for minority and low-income students.

Community colleges eligible to compete for the 2019 Prize were selected from a pool of nearly 1,000 public two-year colleges nationwide using publicly available data on student outcomes. The list of 150 colleges is online

Chipola ranked from 19th to 37th in the nation in the five performance categories. Chipola ranked 19thnationally in Credentials Awarded per 100 Minority Students at 39.2% compared to the national average of 22.7%. Chipola ranked 23rd nationally in First-Year Retention Rate for all students at 65.9%, compared to 52.7% for all colleges. In Credentials Awarded Per 100 Full-Time Equivalent Students, Chipola was 28th at 56.2% with the national mean at 37.4%. Chipola ranked 33rd in Three-Year Graduation Rate at 57.2% compared to the national mean of 39.6%. Chipola was 37th in Minority Three-Year Graduation Rate at 51.5% compared to the national average of 34.5%.

The top ten finalists for the 2019 Aspen Prize will be named in May 2018. Aspen officials will conduct site visits to the ten finalist colleges to collect additional quantitative data, including employment and earnings data. A distinguished Prize Jury will select a grand prize winner, finalist(s) with distinction, and rising star(s) in spring 2019.

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program aims to advance higher education practices, policies, and leadership that improve student outcomes. Through the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the Siemens Technical Scholars Program, and other initiatives, the College Excellence Program works to improve colleges’ understanding and capacity to teach and graduate students, especially the growing population of low-income and minority students on American campuses. To learn more, visit

Nearly half of America’s college students attend community colleges, with more than seven million students – youth and adult learners – working towards certificates and degrees in these institutions across the country.

Chipola College is designated as a state college in the Florida College System. Established in 1947, Chipola offers the Bachelor of Science Degree, Associate in Arts Degree, the Associate in Science Degree and Workforce Development programs.

For information about Chipola College, visit or phone 850-526-2761.


MARIANNA—Come enjoy a special dinner and opening night performance of Chipola College’s fall production, The Odd Couple (Female Version), Thursday, Oct. 26, at the Center for the Arts.  Dinner begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Experimental Theatre with the show at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $30 per person which includes dinner and theatre admission. Deadline for reservations is Oct. 24.  Tickets must be purchased in advance online at or at the Center for the Arts Box Office.  There will be no additional seating available the night of the event.

Unger and Madison are at it again. Florence Unger and Olive Madison, that is, in Neil Simon’s hilarious contemporary comic classic: the female version of The Odd Couple. Instead of the poker party that begins the original version, Ms. Madison has invited the girls over for an evening of Trivial Pursuit. The Pidgeon sisters have been replaced by the two Constanzuela brothers, but the hilarity remains the same.

The cast includes: Ashleigh Braswell as Olive, Mary Keyton as Florence, Sarah Liffick as Mickey, Breeanna Bennett as Vera, Landry Tharp as Sylvia, Sydney Cobb as Renee, Kane Keffer as Manolo and Destin Dawson as Jesus.

The dinner theatre is sponsored by the Chipola Chapter of the Association of Florida Colleges, the professional association for Florida’s 28 state colleges, their boards, employees, retirees and associates.

Tickets for the Thursday show without dinner are also available. The show runs Oct. 26-28 at 7 p.m., with a Sunday, Oct. 29, matinee at 2 p.m. Tickets—$10 for adults and $6 for ages 18 and under—go on sale Oct. 12 at the CFA Box Office or online Chipola students and employees get free advance tickets. For more information call the Center for the Arts Box Office at 850-718-2420.


All Night YahtzeeMARIANNA—The Chipola College Artist Series welcomes All Night Yahtzee on Tuesday, November 7 at 7 p.m. in the Prough Center for the Arts.

In the fall of 1998, Brian Haverkate gathered fearless singers, who needed no instrumental accompaniment, to form the first group of its kind at Florida State University. Dubbed All-Night Yahtzee, the group held its first concert in the spring of 1999, and thus, a cappella music was born at FSU and has since evolved into one of the most noted groups in the nation.

Yahtzee competes in the International Competition for Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) annually, and has received numerous awards and recognition over the years. They have been featured on the Pitch-Perfect reality TV series, and Sing It On on Pop Network.

Members come from different places, musical backgrounds and interests, but when blended together bring great music, entertainment, and a heck of a good time.

Individual tickets – $20 for adults and $10 for ages 18 and under, and $5 for Chipola students and employees – are on sale at the Center for the Arts Box Office or online at Learn more

The remaining Artist Series season lineup includes pianist Jason Farnham, January 18, 2018 and The Young Irelanders, March 13, 2018.  Tickets are on sale now for the remaining shows.  Single event ticket prices will vary between $20-$25 for adults.

Box Office hours are Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Fridays, 9 a.m. to noon.  The Box Office will be closed on all college holidays. For more information, call the Box Office at 850-718-2420 or


Painting from Michele Tabor Kimbrough’s Crucian Carnival Series.

MARIANNA—Original works by noted local artist Michele Tabor Kimbrough will be on display in the Chipola College Center for the Arts Gallery beginning Nov. 7. A “Meet the Artist” reception will be held at 6 p.m. in the gallery.  The opening will coincide with the Artist Series performance of All Night Yahtzee.

Michele Tabor Kimbrough is founder/owner of The Art Factory Framing and Gallery in historic downtown Marianna. She began her professional career after college as an Army aviator flying helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. Following the Gulf War, and after 10 years of service, Captain Kimbrough left the Army and took a position in the financial services industry. In 2000 she returned to the field of aviation as a commercial pilot for US Airways and moved to the Marianna area. Following the events of 9/11, she accepted a position as an academic flight instructor at Ft. Rucker’s Army Aviation Center.

In 2014 Kimbrough decided to pursue full time her lifelong passion for the visual arts by opening an art gallery offering art lessons, commissioned art, and custom framing. Her training in painting mediums (watercolors, acrylics, and oils) has been a life long journey through workshops by national and international artists as well as their books and videos.

Most of Kimbrough’s work focuses on three main areas; aviation art, community art, and floral art. Her most recent works have shifted to the Crucian Carnival Series, showcasing their vibrant, pulsating, joyous, island festivals stemming from her visit to St. Croix, Virgin Islands. After seeing the devastation from the hurricanes, she decided to donate 40% of all proceeds from the sale of the “Crucian Carnival Series” to the US Virgin Islands Foundation for Restoration at Forty percent of sales from art not in the “Crucian Carnival Series” will be donated to the Jackson County Habitat for Humanity Restore.

Michele says, “I am very blessed to do what I am doing. It is only right to give it to others who are in need.”

The show will be open Nov. 7 – Dec. 11. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Fridays, 9 a.m. to noon.


Chipola Cosmetology

MARIANNA—The Chipola College Cosmetology program is now offering Brazilian Blowouts, the latest method for taming frizzy hair. The Brazilian system helps improve the condition of the hair to allow the stylist to achieve a smooth, sleek result, or to keep the curl and lose the frizz. The blowout is available for only $100.

Chipola offers a full lineup of services for the cost of materials.  Services include: shampoo, blow dry styles, haircuts, color, highlights, waxing, manicures, pedicures, relaxers, perms, and up–styles.

For information and pricing, call 718-2439.


U.S. Rep. Neal Dunn recently visited Chipola College. He congratulated college President Dr. Sarah Clemmons for winning Gold in the Florida College System Performance program, and visited the Engineering Technology lab, the Academic Center for Excellence and the Automotive Technology program.

Congressman Dunn congratulates Chipola College President Dr. Sarah Clemmons for being a Gold College.

Chipola Automotive instructor Chase Vlieg discusses technology with Congressman Dunn and Chipola President Dr. Sarah Clemmons.

Pictured from left, are: Chipola College President Dr. Sarah Clemmons; Congressman Dunn; Darwin Gilmore, Chipola Dean of Workforce Education; and Aubri Hanson, Chipola Engineering Technology instructor.


Jamie McAllister has been selected the Chipola College Faculty/Administrator/Other Professional Award of the month for October.  McAllister serves as the Director of Public Service Programs and has worked at the college since 2013.

Pictured from left are, Chipola president Dr. Sarah Clemmons, Jamie McAllister, Dr. Pam Rentz, Vice President of Instructional Affairs and Darwin Gilmore, Dean of Workforce & Economic Development.


Mike West, Plant Control Operator with Gulf Power, recently spoke to Chipola College students in a Stage Lighting class taught by Connie Smith, Chipola Technical Theatre Director. West discussed electricity generation, transmission and safety.


Chipola College TRiO Society members wore pink and decorated the center of Chipola College’s campus with pink bows and ribbons for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In 1991, pink ribbons were distributed to breast cancer survivors and participants of the Komen New York City Race for the Cure®. Today, any generic pink ribbon are used to represent breast cancer awareness.

Chipola Trio Raises Cancer Awareness


Chipola College recently hosted the Florida Council of Teachers of English (FCTE) professional development institute.

Pictured from left, are: Chipola President Dr. Sarah Clemmons; Kristin Pitts, FCTE First Vice-President; keynote speaker Carol Jago, past president of the National Council of Teachers of English, and associate director of the California Reading and Literature Project at UCLA; Carrie Dunkle Perry, a native of Marianna and President of the FCTE; and Dr. Pam Rentz, Chipola Vice President of Instructional Affairs, FCTE board member and Executive Editor of the Florida English Journal.

Other speakers included: Chipola alumnus Mark Hinson, columnist for the Tallahassee Democrat, Troy Hicks, Professor of English at Central Michigan University and poet Elizabeth Thomas, organizer of the International Youth Poetry Slam.


Representatives from Emerald Coast Hospice recently addressed students in the Chipola College Honors program.

Pictured from left, are: student Isabella Wilson; Melissa Yount, Hospice Volunteer Coordinator; student Kalvin Peterson; Chris Milton, Hospice Specialist; student Maxx Harrell; and Zachary Perkins, RN, Hospice Case Manager.

Students learned about hospice services and the steps required to volunteer.  Several Honors students volunteer in their local communities. For information on Chipola Honors and the Pre-Med Society, call Bonnie Smith, Honors Adviser, at 850-718-2247.


The Chipola College Workforce and Economic Development Division recently hosted the Annual Advisory Committee Meeting.  The. Pictured from left, are: Darwin Gilmore, Chipola Dean of Workforce and Economic Development; Sarah Clemmons, Chipola College President; keynote speaker Andra Cornelius, Senior Vice President, Business & Workforce Development with CareerSource Florida; Richard Williams, Executive Director of CareerSource Chipola; and Dr. Pam Rentz.  More than 100 area professionals and business leaders serve on 14 separate advisory committees for each of the college’s career and technical programs.


MARIANNA—The Chipola College Cross Country team hosted a dual meet with Tallahassee Community College, Oct. 14, at Citizens Lodge in Marianna.

TCC won the meet. Only two Chipola runners competed, as the three other members were hampered by injury.

Chipola’s Summer Hill was second in the women’s college 5K with a time of 23:53. Meagan Giddens of TCC was the winner with a 21:49.  Hannah Rees of Chipola ran a 28:07.

by The Lady Indians head to NJCAA Regionals Oct. 28 in Tallahassee.

Rutherford and Crestview were the team winners in the high school contest. Rutherford was first in the girls team race, with Crestview second and Marianna third. Lauren Locke of Marianna the individual champion with a time of 21:44. Chipley’s Lila Taylor finished third with a 24:07.

Girls top 5: 1. Lauren Locke, Marianna 21:44.80, 2. Taina Sanchez, Crestview 22:50.15, 3. Lila Taylor, Chipley 24:07.18, 4. Brianna Jones, Crestview 24:15.79, 5. Darby Bennett, Rutherford 24:37.68.

Rutherford: 5. Darby Bennett 24:37.68, 6. Keira Banton 24:52.10, 9. Mary Granducci 26:34.93, 10. Danielle Bansagi 26:52.29, 11. Ari Cortes 27:21.24, 12. Cecilia Shuler 28:24.18.

Marianna: 1. Lauren Locke 21:44.80, 14. Chloe Temples 28:54.97, 22. Emily Locke 38:39.30. Chipley: 3. Lila Taylor 24:07.18, 9. Nicole Reyes 26:40.96.

Crestview won the boys division with Delrico Pearson as Rutherford’s top runner, finishing third in 18:10. Marianna High School and Marianna Middle School also competed in the boy’s 5K. Boys top 5: 1. James Webb, Crestview 17:28.67, 2. Jonathan Staples, Crestview 18:01.21, 3. Delrico Pearson, Rutherford 18:10.38, 4. Reese Gomez, Crestview 18:10.66, 5. Eric Reid, Rutherford 19:17.34.

Rutherford: 3. Delrico Pearson 18:10.38, 5. Eric Reid 19:17.34, 12. D’Vante Sims 20:35.52, 15. Manuel Folsom 21:53.98, 16. Jake Julian 22:02.79, 35. Keivontie Logan 28:06.85, 36. Matthew Richards 28:09.06.

Marianna: 11.Izec Isabella 20:31.93, 21. Caden Akerson 23:25.68, 22. Garrett Ziglar 23:52.46, 23. Hank Simms 23:58.42, 24. Riley Torbett 24:14.66, 27. Mason Young 24:44.92, 33. Gage Bannerman 26:15.88, 37. Victor Dubeux 29:08.51.


MARIANNA—Members of the Chipola College Softball team are preparing for some big-time opponents in their Fall schedule.

Chipola will face eight different Division 1 teams in the pre-conference season. The Lady Indians host Mississippi State, Saturday, Oct. 28, at 1 p.m. and Jacksonville University at 5 p.m. On Friday, Nov. 10, The Lady Indians host Embry-Riddle at 1 p.m., and the Lady Seminoles of FSU, at 5 p.m.

Chipola also travels to Ole Miss, the University of Tennessee, the University of Florida and LSU throughout the Fall season.

Chipola Coach Belinda Hendrix, says, “This is a program first for us. We have never hosted a Division 1 program and I’d like to invite our fans out to watch some great softball on our home field.”

The Lady Indians finished the 2017 season with an overall 59-9 overall record and a Panhandle Conference title with a 17-3 league record. Chipola was the third-ranked team in the NJCAA National Poll for much of the season. The Lady Indians finished as runner-up in the State FCSAA/NJCAA Region 8 Tournament falling to Florida Southwestern 4-0 in the title game. The runner-up finish at state earned the Lady Indians a berth to the 2017 NJCAA National Tournament.

Chipola won the NJCAA National Championship in 2015 and 2007. Coach Belinda Hendrix has been named state coach of the year for the five times in 12 years, and she also picked up her 500th win in 2016. Hendrix and her Associate Head Coach and husband, Jimmy Hendrix, lead the team along with Assistant Coach Kelly Brookins.


Former Chipola player and current Atlanta Braves catcher Tyler Flowers poses with a little fan at last year’s Chipola Baseball Alumni event.

MARIANNA—Major league baseball stars and dozens of other former Chipola College players are expected to return to their alma mater for the 11th Annual Baseball Alumni Weekend Jan. 26-27, 2018. Parents and families of current and former players are invited to attend.

The weekend will include live college baseball action, a Homerun Derby, great food and the chance to rub elbows with the pros.

An Alumni Dinner and Auction is Friday, Jan. 26, at 6 p.m. at the National Guard Armory. The 2017 Chipola National Championship Team will be recognized along with former Chipola head coach Jim Duncan of the 1965 Indians. Tickets are $100, with table sponsorships available for $1,000. Sponsors earn recognition, 8 dinner tickets and 4 HR Derby Field Passes.  Other sponsorship opportunities are available.

A full day of activities is set for Saturday, Jan. 27. The Indians will host Wallace-Dothan in an 11 a.m. game. Members of Chipola’s 2017 National Championship team will be presented their championship rings in a 2 p.m. ceremony. An MLB Alumni Homerun Derby starts at 2:15 p.m., and for the very first time, the event will feature an Alumni Softball Game.

For information, email Jeremy Carrell at or visit