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Communications Professionals Honored at Mississippi College

A 1995 Mississippi College communication graduate. Mark Jones joins MC Communication Chair Cliff Fortenberry. Jones was named the department's Alumnus of the Year.
A 1995 Mississippi College communication graduate. Mark Jones joins MC Communication Chair Cliff Fortenberry. Jones was named the department's Alumnus of the Year.

Mark Jones and Ashley Cockerham Rea are high-achieving communications
professionals making a difference in Mississippi.

Passionate about serving people, the Mississippi College graduates are getting noticed.

MC Communication Department leaders honored both Mississippians at the university’s 2018 Homecoming.

Jones was named the department’s Alumnus of the Year. Rea was selected Young
Alumna of the Year. They received awards on the Clinton campus on October 26.
A 1995 MC alumnus, Jones serves as director of communications for the City of Clinton.

He works closely with Mayor Phil Fisher and other officials, handles daily media
requests, oversees the city’s social media and does much more. Mark formerly led communications for the Salvation Army in Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana. It included investing an incredible amount of time when Hurricane Katrina devastated much of the region in 2005.

In the 1990s, Jones worked hard at MC’s campus radio station and assisted Mississippi
churches. After earning his MC degree in mass communication, he received a master of divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Texas.

Mark’s love of the communications business with the heart of a servant remains a
perfect fit. “This is a calling that God has put in my life,” Jones told communication

His job should get even busier in the coming years as the huge Continental Tire plant
gets completed two miles west of Clinton.

Mark and his wife, Kelly, stay active as Clinton parents. One of their children, Andrew
Jones, is an MC junior majoring in history.

Communications is a challenging field that opens doors and “gives people hope,” Jones said.

Ashley Cockerham Rea is equally passionate about her work at 15,000-employee
Sanderson Farms. When she began duties as a summer intern at America’s third
largest poultry producer, Ashley “knew nothing about chicken.”

But Rea learned quickly. The MC grad hires and trains recent college graduates at the
$3 billion company. Mississippi College students, she said, should find what they do best and pursue it during their careers. “I encourage you to discover your passion. If you enjoy what you are doing, you will never work a day in your life.”

Homeschooled from kindergarten through her senior year, Rea continued to hit the
books on the Clinton campus. She credits Mississippi College professors with providing her with a solid education from day one. “I am so blessed I chose MC.”

The Baptist-affiliated university, she said, “taught me how to think, act and dream like a professional.”

Rea earned her master’s in public relations at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Internships at the Godwin Group in Jackson, the University of Mississippi Medical
Center and Sanderson Farms proved invaluable. The manager of communication is
thrilled to work at Sanderson Farms. It’s “like family to me.”

Communication major Chessa Kosmicki, 20, of Brandon was impressed with both
graduates. “They were very good, very inspirational.”

Sandi Beason, director of communications for the Clinton Public School District, says
the city is blessed to have Mark Jones on the job. “He is a good person who loves God,
loves his family and the Clinton community.”

Jones and Rea are outstanding professionals, said Communication Department Chair
Cliff Fortenberry. “They represent the department very well in their careers.”