Jo Sistrunk Receives Doc Quick Staff Service Award at Mississippi College
As a young Mississippi girl, Jo Sistrunk always loved taking family trips to the Neshoba County Fair.
For the Philadelphia native, there was something truly fascinating about seeing the rustic cabins on Founder’s Square during blazing hot Mississippi summers. The political speeches, fabulous food, fellowship time, entertainers & daring rides amid the dusty red clay soil were the main attractions. It made people like Jo frequently return to “Mississippi’s Giant House Party.”
Decades later, Sistrunk keeps returning to the work she loves at the Mississippi College School of Nursing. Her outstanding performance as administrative assistant to Nursing Dean Kimberly Sharp is getting noticed. At MC’s Spring 2018 commencement, Sistrunk was saluted as this year’s recipient of the Van “Doc” Quick Distinguished Staff Member award.
The announcement came at the School of Nursing commencement on May 4. Thirty-six new MC nursing graduates received diplomas on stage at Swor Auditorium. Jo is surprised, but quite pleased she was selected for the honor.
A beloved MC administrator, the late Doc Quick remained an icon in the university’s family for more than a half-century. Until his passing a few years ago, the MC graduate was a walking encyclopedia of all things Blue and Gold.
With the support of Dean Kimberly Sharp, along with a top-notch faculty and staff, the fast-growing MC School of Nursing will enroll more than 150 students in Fall 2018. People like Sistrunk working behind the scenes helped the school achieve success.
Sistrunk joined the Mississippi College School of Nursing School staff in January 2004. She became an integral part of the MC family after working with her husband, Hubert, for 25 years in the automotive glass business in the Clinton area. In a state where motorists often see their windshields damaged by flying rocks on highways, their mobile auto glass installation business proved pretty convenient for customers.
Jo brought that same interest in the thriving business to assist people at the School of Nursing. She loves serving students, faculty, staff and literally anybody who walks in the doors at Cockroft Hall.
Serving first Dean Mary Jean Padgett, and then Dean Sharp, Jo Sistrunk always goes above and beyond. Whatever is needed at Nursing School graduations, White Coat ceremonies or other duties, she does it with excellence. And a smile on her face.
Her heart’s focus is to remain positive and ensure a Christ-centered approach to all situations at the Baptist-affiliated university, Dean Sharp says. The Mississippian is seen by her co-workers as a true servant of the Lord.
“We are blessed to have Ms. Jo as our colleague and it is a privilege to call her our friend,” Sharp said. “She is a highly valued member of MC and the School of Nursing.”
In many ways, Jo Sistrunk “models the mission and ministry focus of Mississippi College,” Sharp added.
Jo and her husband lived in Clinton for over 25 years when they worked in the automotive glass business. The Sistrunks now reside in the Raymond area. Their two sons, Robert Gregory Sistrunk and Thomas Philip Sistrunk grew up in MC’s hometown of Clinton. Jo and Hubert Sistrunk have been faithful members of Parkway Baptist Church for 46 years.
Family life is always a top priority for the Sistrunks. They enjoy visits with their six grandchildren. Their youngest son and two of their grandchildren (Carole-Anne and Joshua) are MC graduates. Their granddaughter, Leighton Sistrunk, of Germantown, Tennessee, will enroll as a freshman this Fall at Mississippi College.
Jo Sistrunk applauds the dedicated service of retiring MC President Lee Royce, and his wife, Rhoda. The Royces will finish their 16 years at the university in late June and move to Northern Virginia to be near their son, Mark, a college instructor. “The Royces have been wonderful leaders.”