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Drake State Stories & News

American Association of Community Colleges selected Drake State President Dr. Patricia Sims to AACC Board

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) selected Drake State President Dr. Patricia Sims to join its board. The AACC represents more than 1,000 2-year, associate degree-granting institutions and nearly 12 million students.

“It’s an honor to be elected to serve on such an impactful organization,” said Dr. Sims. “As the leading advocacy group for our nation’s community colleges, the AACC supports workforce development efforts nationwide to improve the lives of our students. I look forward to assisting the needs of our two-year colleges in this capacity and more.”

Dr. Sims has been president of Huntsville’s Historically Black Community College since 2018. Under her leadership, the college has seen increased state and federal funding, expanded career pathways and programs, and strengthened community partnerships. Drake State is home to the tallest 3D-printed structure in the State of Alabama, thanks to its NASA-sponsored Frontiers Research Program ground-breaking research in space construction.

Dr. Sims has more than 28 years of progressive experience in education. President Biden recently appointed her to the National Infrastructure Advisory Council. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Alabama State Port Authority, the Alabama Partnership for Children, and the Huntsville Hospital Foundation.

New college representatives to the AACC board elected this year include:

AAMU Huntsville Progressive Alumni Chapter Honoree – Beth Richardson

AAMU Huntsville Progressive Alumni Chapter Honoree – Beth Richardson

The AAMU Huntsville Progressive Alumni Chapter will honor Beth Richardson with the Corporate Award at its 19th Annual Leadership Awards Gala. Congratulations!
The Corporate Award symbolizes Beth’s significant accomplishments in the banking industry. She began her banking career over 18 years ago with experience in consumer/retail banking, business banking, private banking, and regional management. Beth is the Madison Market President for Progress Bank and the Drake State Foundation Board President.
Leadership Awards Gala
June 3 at 6 pm
Ernest L. Knight Center at Alabama A&M University
Get to know all the honorees for their significant accomplishments in their respective fields.
  • Community/Civic Award – Ms. Leslie Ecklund, CEO, Burritt Museum
  • Corporate Award – Dr. Elizabeth (Beth) Richardson, President, Progress Bank Madison Market
  • Education Award – Dr. Barbara Cady, Retired Professor, Alabama A&M University
  • Government/Industry Award – Mr. Ronald Simon, Federal Government Employee
  • Governmental Relations Award – Mr. Curtis Summerville, Retired, Alabama State Trooper
  • Outstanding Service Award – Reverend Dr. Julius R. Scruggs, Pastor Emeritus, First Missionary Baptist Church
  • Religion Award – Reverend Tramaine Snodgrass, Pastor, Blackburn Chapel Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America
  • Small Business Award – Ms. Lillian Henderson, Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch
  • William Hooper Council Alumnus of the Year Award – Mr. Michael Ford, Corporate Vice President, Global Workplace Services, Microsoft Corporation
  • Huntsville Progressive Alumni Chapter, Inc., Alumna of the Year Award – Ms. Vanessa Williams, Retired, Accountant, Redstone Arsenal

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College Closed

Due to the threat of severe weather concerns, Drake State’s campus will be closed on Thursday, February 16, 2023. All students and employees are expected to work/attend class remotely. Students should check their Canvas accounts for more information from their instructors. Student questions should be directed to their instructors. Employee questions should be directed to their supervisors.

Fall 2022 President’s & Dean’s Lists


Fall 2022 President’s List

Congratulations to our Fall 2022 President’s List students! Your academic performance deserves a spotlight. In order to qualify for the President’s List a student must attain a semester GPA of 4.00 and must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours of college-level work. Cheers!

First name Last name Program
Carla Camargo Welding
Amanda Coots General Business
Michelle Dees Medical Assistant
Alan Duke Engineering Design
William Ellis Welding
Malik Everson Automotive
Alyson Guthrie Automotive
Ekeledirichi Kamalu General Studies
Nabonsbamba Ibrahim Kouraogo Electrical
Jaden Paul General Business
Rodney Rippey Computer Information Systems
Regina Robinson Cosmetology
Karyn Sheffield Automotive
Caitlin Smith General Studies
Whitney Taylor Cosmetology
April Thomas Cosmetology
Cayla Thompson Cosmetology
Destiny Turner General Studies
Shacara Washington Cosmetology
Stephanie Yell Welding

Fall 2022 Dean’s List

Congratulations to our Fall 2022 Dean’s List students! Your academic performance deserves a spotlight. In order to qualify for the Dean’s List a student must maintain a semester GPA between 3.50-3.99 and must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours of college-level-work. Cheers!

First name Last name Program
Christian Baugher Welding
Remond Bell Welding
Mario Bradford Heating & Air Conditioning
Micah Burrows Cosmetology
Zachary Bursler Welding
Dillon Burton Welding
Dezmon Cartwright Computer Information Systems
Marlon Cole Automotive
Brianna Draper Cosmetology
Runzell Edwards Electrical
Ike Enos Mechatronics
Mellena Everett Heating & Air Conditioning
Taliah Fletcher Cosmetology
Matthew Gattison General Business
Alexander Hazel Automotive
Ashton Higdon Machine Tool
Theresa Holstein Computer Information Systems
Austin James Welding
Ariana Leichnitz General Studies
Jessica Love Cosmetology
Niyari Malone Cosmetology
Spencer McReynolds Machine Tool
Tariq Reddick General Business
Kent Richardson Electrical
Makahla Riley Business Management
Cody Sharp Welding
Callista Throop Cosmetology
Brittney Toney Cosmetology
Brianna Turner Accounting
Jaylen Ware Engineering Design
Caleb Willmon Engineering Design
Andrew Wright Welding

Jacobs donates $200K to support Drake State’s Frontiers Research Program and industry diversity

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – On Wednesday, Jacobs presented the Drake State Foundation with a $200,000 commitment to support the college’s Frontiers Research Program. Notable speakers included Jacobs Critical Mission Solutions President Dr. Steve Arnette, Marshall Space Flight Center Director Jody Singer, Huntsville City Council President John Meredith, and Jacobs Space Exploration Group Team Lead and Harambee Ambassador Ayana Reese.

The $200K donation is part of Jacobs’ 2020 corporate commitment to donate $10 million dollars over five years with a priority on Black educational and professional development and scholarship opportunities under its global diversity Action Plan for Advancing Justice and Equality. Due to racial inequalities and lack of advancement among Black talent in the workforce, Jacobs tapped Drake State to collaborate and strengthen the participation of Black students in science and engineering educational programs.

“We’re creating change within our community by providing solutions to diversify the workforce,” said Drake State President Dr. Patricia Sims. “The Jacobs TogetherBeyond and Harambee Scholars Fund will support our additive manufacturing curriculum and help students develop the necessary skills to complete their associate degrees that could lead to potential internship and full-time job opportunities with Jacobs.” As NASA’s largest service provider, Jacobs has been the Prime Contractor on the engineering, science, and technology contract at Marshall Space Flight Center since 1989.

The Frontiers Research Program is a NASA sponsored Cooperative Agreement with Drake State and is the first of its kind to be awarded to a two-year institution and Historically Black College and University (HBCU). The Frontiers research interns have been working on a variety of additive manufacturing projects that contribute to current NASA needs in lunar habitat design and manufacturing.

“Advancing justice and equality requires strong leadership and a relentless drive to deliver on that vision,” said Jacobs Chair and CEO Steve Demetriou. “As a global leader, we know we must contribute to structural change not only at Jacobs, but in society as a whole. We believe in setting the tone and actively doing our part to create a future where everyone can thrive.”

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