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Alumni make Hall

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College has inducted three honorees into the Alumni Hall of Fame. James E. “Jay” Huffstatler Jr. attended the Jackson County campus from August 1992 until he graduated in August 1994. While at Gulf Coast, he was active in the Student Government Association and Baptist Student Union and served on the Reflections Team. Now serving as a private consultant, he was the chief of staff for James Lee Witt Associates’ BP Gulf Coast Restoration Organization for staff in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Huffstatler has 16 years of experience in disaster preparation and response, long-term disaster recovery planning and program/project implementation. He has worked for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Hancock County Long-Term Recovery Committee, Gulf Coast Community Foundation and Swift Oil & Gas/BP.

Shelly B. Ford graduated with honors from the Jefferson Davis campus in 1986, receiving an associate degree in business technology. After completing her degree at Gulf Coast, she received a bachelor of science degree in business administration at the University of Southern Mississippi, graduating in the top 10 of her class. Ford was appointed by Gov. Haley Barbour to serve a five-year term on the Mississippi State Board of Public Accountancy; she is currently vice chair of that board. With 20 years of experience in accounting, auditing, tax planning, and preparation and business consulting/management, Ford opened her own accounting firm in 2011 in D’Iberville.

Russell Eaton’s enthusiasm for theatre was exemplified by his participating in every theatre production while at Perk, his writing of scripts and serving as a member of the Perk Players Touring Company. After graduation from Gulf Coast and the University of Southern Mississippi, that passion translated into a career with more than 40 films to his credit as editor, first assistant editor and assistant editor. Eaton’s work includes such varied films as Disney’s “D2: The Mighty Ducks,” Columbia Pictures’ “Stuart Little” and “Dance With Me,” along with Paramount Pictures’ “Congo.” He has been editing for Disney Toon Studios, working to bring Disney characters to life in the world of computer-generated animation. He is currently working as film editor on “Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas.”


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