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Jarvis Christian University – News


Hawkins, Texas—Jarvis Christian University has named Michael Ray Bradley, Jr. of New Iberia, Louisiana, its new band director. Bradley, 30, graduated from Grambling State University as a music education major under the tutelage of Dr. Larry J. Pannell, who served as JCU’s interim band director last year.

A Grambling State University legacy student, Bradley served three years as the world-famed Tiger Marching Band drum major. He played saxophone in multiple ensembles, including show band, jazz band, symphonic band, and orchestra.

Bradley remembers the honor of playing for President Obama’s second inauguration in Washington, D.C., multiple NFL football and NBA basketball games, and serving as the band’s drum major when the Grambling Band first played for Apple Computer Headquarters in Cupertino, California. The Grambling Tiger Band performed in the first Super Bowl. The band has won numerous awards throughout the years. Grambling type of “show-style” marching, popular at other historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), is featured in the 2002 movie, “Drumline.”

Bradley completed his undergrad degree in 2017 and went directly to the University of Lafayette for his master’s degree in music education. His first teaching job after completing graduate school was at Ville Platte High School in Ville Platte, Louisiana. After his first year, he moved to Donnie Bickham Middle School in Blanchard, Louisiana, where he built the program from two to 84 students in two years.

“I enjoyed teaching middle school because that’s when you have the opportunity to set them on the right path from the beginning and help them build good practice habits and mindset,” Bradley said. “That’s an important part of setting them up for success. A good band director assesses aspects such as their embouchure, how the facial muscles work together to help them play an instrument and intonation, and the ensemble’s tuning. Some are better for brass instruments. Some are better suited for woodwind instruments. Getting beginning band students on the right instrument is a big part of their success.”

Bradley said that music teaches students essential life lessons, as well.

“Band helps teach students the importance of time management, perseverance, teamwork, team building, and a love for a wide variety of music and culture,” he said.


UT Tyler School of Medicine Launches Early Assurance Program

Enrolled local colleges and universities celebrate signing day

HAWKINS, Texas – On August 16, The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine, collaborating with Jarvis Christian University and other colleges and universities, gathered for the Early Assurance Program Signing Day.

“This is a significant milestone for UT Tyler School of Medicine and our partnering colleges,” said President Kirk A. Calhoun, MD, FACP. “The Pathways program reflects our commitment to recruiting local talent and promoting excellence in medical education. Through this program, we are creating a pathway for East Texas students to pursue a medical career.”

The early assurance program, known as “Pathways to Medicine,” will prepare 40 students each year from local colleges and universities for a successful career in the medical field by providing clinical exposure and developing necessary study skills for medical school. They will admit up to 15 into the School of Medicine.

The eight partner institutions include:

· East Texas Baptist University

· Jarvis Christian University

· LeTourneau University

· Stephen F. Austin State University

· Texas College

· Texas A&M University – Texarkana

· The University of Texas at Tyler

· Wiley College

The Pathways program encompasses a 1–2-year curriculum for junior and senior years. Program activities include professional development, speakers and panel discussions, standardized test prep, MCAT, volunteering, and physician shadowing. Participants undergo the same rigorous admissions process and interviews as other prospective students, and they base their selection on a holistic evaluation of their qualifications.

“With a strong emphasis on community engagement and preventive care, the Early Assurance program will encourage and support greater numbers of students interested in medicine,” said Dr. Gisele Armond Abron, associate dean of admissions. “This initiative is not only shaping the future of health care but also ensuring that our region welcomes more dedicated and competent physicians.”

If you attend a participating institution and are interested in enrolling in the Pathways program, email to obtain contact information for your institution’s early assurance program designee.

About The University of Texas at Tyler:

With a mission to improve educational and healthcare outcomes for East Texas and beyond, UT Tyler offers more than 90 undergraduate and graduate programs to nearly 10,000 students. Through its alignment with UT Tyler Health Science Center and UT Health East Texas, UT Tyler has unified these entities to serve Texas with quality education, cutting-edge research, and excellent patient care. Classified by Carnegie as a doctoral research institution and by U.S. News & World Report as a national university, UT Tyler has campuses in Tyler, Longview, Palestine, and Houston.

About Jarvis Christian University:

Jarvis Christian University empowers students to achieve their career goals through an affordable academic experience that prepares them for today’s global economy. Whether a student is a recent high school graduate or a working adult seeking career advancement, Jarvis Christian University develops intellectually, socially, spiritually, and emotionally students of all ages.