Vicksburg native graduates from Holmes Ridgeland Surgical Technology Class

Published 4:33 pm Thursday, June 29, 2023

The Holmes Community College Ridgeland Campus held a pinning ceremony for the Surgical Technology Class of 2023 on June 28 in the McGowan Workforce Training Center.

Five students were honored, including Vicksburg native Tiye Strong.

The ceremony began with a processional of the graduates, followed by graduate Eurickia Williams giving the invocation. Following the prayer, Ridgeland Campus Vice President Dr. Don Burnham welcomed the crowd before graduate Kenteria Griffin stepped up to introduce the speaker, Dr. Jared Davis.

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Davis is a surgeon at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC). He is double board certified in general surgery and plastic surgery and specializes in breast reconstruction, body contouring, liposuction and aesthetics. Davis earned his baccalaureate degree at Cornell University, followed by his medical degree at Meharry Medical College. He went on to complete a general surgery residency and plastic surgery residency and earned an MBA at the University of Louisville. He returned home to Jackson to join the faculty at UMMC in 2018, where he served as associate program director of the Independent Plastic Surgery Resident Program.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of you in the past and I want to say that I think the future of surgery can be and should be very bright,” Davis said. “That is largely due to a lot of people that are here in this room. What we do is very serious. I tend to think of surgery not just as an occupation or a job, but as a calling. In English, those words are very different, but in German, there is no word for job or occupation; there’s only a calling. Your job is your calling.

“Calling, I think, speaks to purpose,” Davis added. “It’s that idea of your calling that helps us to get out of bed in the morning knowing that what we do makes a difference. In the operating room, the calling or purpose that we all share is singular. It’s to take high-quality care of the patient. To do that, it calls for each one of us to be knowledgeable, professional and to communicate effectively with each other. This is something that we have to do sometimes despite long days, being on call, being fatigued, sometimes being sick ourselves or having family members who are sick, but ultimately, the patient is counting on us.

Following Davis’ address, Shea Coleman, instructor for the Ridgeland surgical technology program, approached the podium to present awards. Strong was named Dedicated Student of the Year, and Warren was named 2023 Surgical Technology Student of the Year. Graduate Jasper Warren was also recognized as valedictorian for having the highest GPA in her class and Williams was named salutatorian for having the second-highest GPA.

After the awards presentation, Career Technical Counselor Jovonna Parker called the students to the stage one by one to receive their certificates and pins. Burnham and Career Technical Coordinator Allison DeWeese presented certificates before Coleman pinned each student. Following the pinning, DeWeese addressed the graduates one final time.

“Congratulations to the graduates; we are so, so proud of you,” DeWeese said. “Thank you for pushing through all those early clinical mornings, those long days of labs and those long days of lecture. I know that was a challenge, but I’m so proud of ya’ll for pushing through. Your hard work and your dedication have been rewarded. You are now an alumnus of Holmes Community College. Congratulations!”

The graduates then recited the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) Code of Ethics before Strong concluded the ceremony with a benediction.