Center for Manufacturing Excellence Receives Gifts from Milwaukee Tool

Wisconsin-based manufacturer delivered tool sets, equipment for UM students' use

UM engineering students Ashley Irons (left) and Vera Gardner (right) enjoy opening Milwaukee Tool packages as Satoka Watanabe (center), adjunct associate professor, shares the moment. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – The Haley Barbour Center for Manufacturing Excellence at the University of Mississippi received a generous gift Thursday (March 23) from Milwaukee Electric Tool Co.

Three representatives from one of the nation’s leading power tool manufacturers delivered more than a dozen toolboxes, power tools and accessories to the CME. University administrators and students welcomed the visitors and thanked them for the donations.

“The CME team is honored and humbled by this most generous gift from Milwaukee Tool,” said Scott Kilpatrick, CME associate director of internal operations. “We are thankful to the company leadership for their commitment to supporting our students and this manufacturing program.

“These tools will provide an outstanding environment for our students to use on a daily basis, and will hopefully be just the first step of many forms of collaboration between the university and Milwaukee Tool.”

A Brookfield, Wisconsin-based subsidiary of Techtronic Industries Co. Ltd., Milwaukee Tool is a manufacturer and marketer of professional, heavy-duty power tools and accessories. The company has three facilities in Mississippi: manufacturing operations in Greenwood and Jackson, and a distribution facility in Olive Branch.

Jack Bilotta, director of the company’s Greenwood plant, was accompanied by Chris Greer, continuous improvement manager at Greenwood, and Dale Russell Sr., manager of human resources at Greenwood.

“Our objective is to recruit the best talent possible and preferably people with Mississippi ties,” Bilotta said. “The addition of the CME and their growth strategy aligns very well with what our business needs. There is no question that Ole Miss is turning out some of the very best every year.”

Discussions leading to Thursday’s donation began last fall when company officials visited the center.

“Some members of the Milwaukee Tool leadership team visited the campus and immediately recognized the value in partnering with the university,” said William Nicholas, director of economic development at UM’s Insight Park.

“The donation of power tools and equipment helps cultivate brand awareness among students and provides Milwaukee Tool a great opportunity to hire some of our best and brightest after graduation. They provide an innovative company culture that will appeal to many of our students.”

The company’s engagement is not intended to be a one-year involvement, but to build a partnership that grows over the years, the representatives said.

The donation of tools will be crucial in supporting various labs and course projects that are part of the center’s program, Kilpatrick said.

“For example, when senior capstone teams are working on their final projects, they will be using the best tools available on the market,” he said. “From a functionality standpoint, it is hard to quantify how immensely helpful that will be.”

Additionally, from a cultural viewpoint, the Milwaukee Tool brand will be present in the minds of Ole Miss students, Kilpatrick said.

“This is a company that is a global leader in their industry but also has a very strong presence here in Mississippi,” he said. “This will certainly send an encouraging message to students about potential future professional opportunities with the company, as well.”

“We want the CME to have the very best of what is available in Mississippi,” Bilotta said. “A world-class facility should only have world-class equipment.”

UM administrators, faculty and students welcome representatives from Milwaukee Tool as they deliver power tools and equipment to the Center for Manufacturing Excellence. Pictured are (front row, from left), UM students Ashley Irons and Vera Gardner; Sakota Watanabe, adjunct associate professor; Cris Greer, continuous improvement manager for the company’s Greenwood plant; Chancellor Jeffery Vitter; Jack Bilotta, director of the Greenwood plant; and William Gottshall, CME interim director; and (rear, from left) Scott Kilpatrick, CME associate director of internal operations; Alice Clark, vice chancellor for university relations; William Nicholas, director of economic development at Insight Park; Tyler Biggs, CME admissions counselor; UM student James Halbrook; Dale Russell, manager of human resources at the Greenwood plant; and James Vaughan, CME director emeritus. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

Administrators anticipate future collaborations with Milwaukee Tool, Kilpatrick said.

“From the perspective of the CME, this is the type of partnership that can benefit all parties and clearly serves the mission of our center,” he said. “One of our primary goals is to support and serve manufacturers here in Mississippi, and an essential method that we use to accomplish that goal is to provide an educational and experiential program that prepares graduates to serve as leaders in the manufacturing industry.

“So the aim here is clear; we plan to provide Milwaukee Tool with talented graduates to help lead their operations while also exposing our students to fantastic career opportunities as well.”

Several CME students present expressed their appreciation for the new tools and equipment.

“This is like Christmas in so many ways,” said James Halbrook, a sophomore chemical engineering major from Madison. “Milwaukee Tool has given us everything we need and more to do our best work.”

Vera Gardner, a senior mechanical engineering major from Memphis, Tennessee, agreed.

“These will come in very handy as we complete our senior design capstone project,” she said. “We will definitely use the equipment in the production phase.”

Milwaukee Tools officials said they are certain UM graduates can and will find employment within the company’s Mississippi plants.

“We have a year-over-year need for the top engineering talent, adding as many as 10 or more to our facility each year,” Bilotta said. “We want to be a part of keeping Mississippi talent in Mississippi. It’s a ‘win-win’ for all involved.”

The Haley Barbour Center for Manufacturing Excellence was established in June 2008 to provide unique opportunities for students interested in manufacturing. The opportunities developed are considered distinctive to the CME and are not available to undergraduate students at other universities in the United States.

For more information about the CME, visit

For more information on the full line of Milwaukee power tools and accessories, call 1-800-SAWDUST or visit

UM English Major Wins Prize at Southern Literary Festival

Junior Page Lagarde took top honor in nonfiction category

Page Lagarde recently won the nonfiction category at the Southern Literary Festival. Submitted Photo

OXFORD, Miss. – Page Lagarde has always aspired to write professionally. Still, the University of Mississippi junior wasn’t expecting her first entry in a prestigious regional competition to win first place.

An English and French major from Winchester, Virginia, Lagarde won in the nonfiction category at the Southern Literary Festival. Besides receiving a cash prize, she will read her story at the event, set for March 30-April 1 at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith.

“I was so surprised,” she said. “I found out via email while studying with friends, and they can tell you that I gasped very audibly. It was very exciting!”

Lagarde won for a story titled “To Thaw.” In the piece, the fledgling author reflects upon an Outward Bound dogsledding experience she had.

“It’s a story about faith and surrender when we’re pushed to our limits,” she said. “This is the first writing contest I’ve ever entered, so this one is particularly exciting because I want to eventually be a published writer.”

Lagarde deserves the recognition, said Ivo Kamps, UM professor and chair of English.

“Page’s win is a testament to her talents, and we like to think that the instruction she received in her English and creative writing classes also played a role,” Kamps said. “Thanks to Beth Spencer, lecturer in English, the English department has had robust student participation in the Southern Literary Festival in recent years.

“Each year, Ms. Spencer mentors some of our fine young writers and takes them to the festival, where they can meet their peers as well as a group of impressive professional writers.”

While Lagarde is still processing this honor, she already has her sights set on even bigger achievements.

“After graduation, I hope to pursue an MFA in fiction writing,” she said. “After that, I want to continue writing and also teach.”

As for her publishing dreams, Lagarde said she remains hopeful.

“Creative writing is a fairly new endeavor for me, and I know that it’s so hard to be successful in this field,” she said. “This was really encouraging.”

The Southern Literary Festival is an organization of Southern colleges and schools founded in 1937 to promote Southern literature. For more about the event, go to

For more information about the UM Department of English, visit


UM Faculty Among Presenters at SEC Academic Conference

More than 60 researchers from across region to discuss 'The Future of Water' at March 27-28 meeting

Cris Surbeck (at right in white shirt) takes a group of students on a tour of a wastewater treatment plant as part of their coursework. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Four University of Mississippi professors will join researchers from across the Southeastern Conference for a two-day academic conference examining water and climate issues.

“The Future of Water: Regional Collaboration on Shared Climate, Coastlines and Watersheds” is set for March 27-28 at Mississippi State University. UM presenters include Catherine Janasie, senior research counsel in the Mississippi Law Research Institute; Scott Knight, director of the UM Field Station; and Cris Surbeck, associate professor of civil engineering. Stephanie Showalter-Otts, director of the National Sea Grant Law Center, will serve as a moderator.

More than 60 scientists, representing all 14 SEC institutions, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Geological Survey and Environmental Protection Agency, are scheduled to participate.

“This conference will bring together the best of the best in the SEC doing water research,” said Daniel Petrolia, an MSU associate professor of agricultural economics and one of the conference organizers. “We will tackle some of the most pressing water issues facing the Southeast, the U.S. and the world.”

Knight will participate in a panel discussion of nonpoint source pollution and best management practices for dealing with it. Surbeck is moderator for the session.

Stephanie Showalter-Otts conducts research at the UM Field Station. Photo by Robert Jordan

As part of a panel on emerging water law and policy issues, Janasie will present “Mississippi v. Tennessee – the  Interstate Groundwater Dispute.”

“I will be covering the United States Supreme Court case over the use of groundwater near the Mississippi-Tennessee border, which focuses on Memphis’ water pumping and how that affects Mississippi’s water resources,” Janasie said. “My talk will also cover how freshwater is allocated and how interstate disputes are traditionally handled by the Supreme Court.

“The Supreme Court has never handled an interstate dispute over groundwater, so the case is groundbreaking law.”

Janasie said she hope those in attendance will learn about the specific laws concerning how freshwater is allocated, that surface water – lakes, rivers, streams – and groundwater – aquifers – are treated differently under the law, and that interstate disputes have another specific set of rules that apply to them.

Scott Knight is director of the UM Field Station. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications

“I also hope they learn that even though Mississippi seems to have an abundance of water resources, Mississippi relies heavily on groundwater,” she said. “That’s where we get about 90 percent of the water we use, so the case has big implications for both Mississippi, the city of Memphis and the innumerable other places throughout the country who rely on groundwater.”

Surbeck said that the intention of her session is to get academics together to discuss areas of research necessary to improve the characterization, modeling and management of pollution in water bodies that comes from storm water runoff.

Headlining the conference are best-selling author John M. Barry, former National Geographic executive environment editor; Dennis Dimick, professor at the University of California at Irvine; and Jay Famiglietti, senior water scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Increased climate variability and water demand are bringing water issues to the forefront of research discussion, conference organizers said. Drought, declines in aquifers used for irrigation and sea-level rise are among core topics of interest.

The conference is designed to stimulate communication and collaboration aimed at sustainable and resilient water resource management in the Southeast, with overarching themes to include shared inland waters and aquifers, coastlines, climate and regional policy.

Catherine Janaskie presents during last year’s TEDXTalk at UM. Submitted photo

The SEC Academic Conference is an expanded slate of academic programming that is expected to showcase SEC university research in areas of critical importance within the region and around the nation.

For the complete agenda and registration, visit

UM Again Makes Phi Theta Kappa Transfer Honor Roll

University among 65 institutions recognized for excellent service to transfer students

A UM professor answers questions and helps incoming transfer students adjust to campus life during orientation. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – For a second straight year, the University of Mississippi has been recognized by Phi Theta Kappa honor society for creating ways to support community college transfer students.

UM is among 65 top colleges and universities nationally in PTK’s annual Excellence in Community College Transfer Honor Roll.

“This honor recognizes the university’s continued emphasis on supporting transfer students and their success,” said Dewey Knight, associate director for the Center for Student Success and First-Year Experience. “We have expanded scholarship opportunities and built new residence halls for transfer students. Programs in support of transfers continued to be expanded.

“Ole Miss values transfer students and sincerely cares about them and their success.”

Applications were judged based on engagement, collaboration, impact and achievements related to the transfer of community college students as well as partnerships, support, admissions outreach, scholarships/financial aid, student engagement, opportunities and institutional priorities.

The Honor Roll institutions will be featured in the 2017 Phi Theta Kappa “Partners in Excellence” publication, which goes to higher education leaders nationally. They also will be recognized on PTK’s website and at PTK Catalyst, the 2017 annual convention April 6-8 in Nashville, Tennessee.

“Our recognition as a Transfer Honor Roll award winner for the second consecutive year is a clear endorsement to prospective students that Ole Miss is ‘transfer friendly’ and their experience will be positive and rewarding both academically and from a co-curricular perspective,” Knight said.

The recognition program reflects the growing importance of transfers in helping the U.S. achieve its college completion goals and promotes further study and sharing of best practices, said Lynn Tincher-Ladner, CEO and president of the honor society.

A University Police Department patrolman offers safety suggestions to transfer students new to campus. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

“Increasingly, students of all ages and achievement levels are choosing the community college, not only as their first step, but also their first choice, in the pursuit of a quality, affordable bachelor’s degree,” she said. “With this designation, we hope to connect community college students with institutions who value their unique transfer experience and prioritize their success.”

Colleges and universities that provide high-quality transfer programs benefit from the rich perspective and diversity community college students bring to the student body, she added.

“These students are scholars, leaders, global citizens, often with higher grade-point averages than students who started at the university,” Tincher-Ladner said.

“In order to ensure their continued success, the Transfer Honor Roll Program identifies colleges and universities that understand the unique needs of community college transfer students and applauds the dynamic pathways these colleges have created to continue fostering student success at the four-year college.”

Phi Theta Kappa is the oldest and largest honor society recognizing students pursuing two-year degrees. It has more than 3 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in nine nations.

Other members of the Transfer Honor Roll include Appalachian State University, Delta State University, Depaul University, Eastern Michigan University, Florida International University, Georgia Southern University, Hofstra University, Iowa State University, La Salle University, Lipscomb University, Loyola Marymount University, Miami University, Ohio University, Rutgers University at Newark, Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi, Texas A&M University at Kingsville, Ohio State University, University of Alabama, University of Arizona, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Kansas, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, University of Tampa, University of Texas at Arlington, Utica College and Wayne State University.

Physics of the Sun Topic of March Science Cafe

Sabrina Savage of NASA Marshall Space Flight Center is third lecturer of spring semester

NASA astrophysicist Sabrina L. Savage will discuss ‘The Physics of the Sun’ March 21 at Lusa Bakery Bistro and Bar. Submitted photo

OXFORD, Miss. – The sun and solar flares are the topic for a monthly public science forum organized by the University of Mississippi Department of Physics and Astronomy.

The spring semester’s third meeting of the Oxford Science Cafe is set for 6 p.m. March 21 at Lusa Bakery Bistro and Bar, 1120 North Lamar Blvd. Sabrina L. Savage, an astrophysicist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, will discuss “The Physics of the Sun.” Admission is free.

“Because the Earth resides in the atmosphere of our nearest stellar neighbor, events occurring on the sun’s surface directly affect us by interfering with satellite operations and communications, astronaut safety and, in extreme circumstances, power grid stability,” Savage said.

“I will walk through our current understanding of why flares occur, show several examples of these fantastic explosions and describe the technology and instrumentation being developed at Marshall Space Flight Center to observe these phenomena.”

Savage’s 30-minute presentation will include why solar flares, the most energetic events in our solar system, are a substantial source of hazardous space weather affecting our increasingly technology- dependent society.

“While flares have been observed using ground-based telescopes for over 150 years, modern space-borne observatories have provided nearly continuous multiwavelength flare coverage that cannot be obtained from the ground,” she said. “We can now probe the origins and evolution of flares by tracking particle acceleration, changes in ionized plasma and the reorganization of magnetic fields.”

UM administrators and professors said Savage’s appearance should be most interesting.

“Dr. Savage shares fascinating yet understandable knowledge gained from her research at NASA,” said Marco Cavaglia, associate professor of physics and astronomy. “Her discussion of solar flares and their effects upon the Earth should be most enlightening.”

This colorful graph depicts the many levels of solar radiation and flares emitted by the sun. Submitted photo

A native of Mobile, Alabama, Savage received her bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of South Alabama. She participated in the University of Wyoming’s Summer Undergraduate Research Assistantship Program, where she worked with the Red Buttes and  Wyoming Infrared observatories before receiving her master’s degree in Physics from UW in 2005.

Savage earned her Ph.D. in Physics from Montana State University as part of MSU’s internationally renowned solar physics research group. She then worked as a NASA post-doctoral fellow at Goddard Space Flight Center outside Washington, D.C., before assuming her current duties at Marshall Space Flight Center.

For more information about Oxford Science Cafe programs, go to For more information about the Department of Physics and Astronomy, visit or call 662-915-7046.

UM Engineers Without Borders Returns to West Africa

Following successful crowdfunding campaign, team advances infrastructure project in Togo

UM geology and geological engineering professor Bob Holt (seated) consults with graduate student Vera Gardner (standing, left) about soil samples during a 2016 Engineers Without Borders trip to Togo. Submitted photo

OXFORD, Miss. – Entering its sixth year of helping people of the West African nation of Togo build a sound infrastructure, the University of Mississippi chapter of Engineers Without Borders is continuing its work to help drill and complete a deep water well for a rural village.

Two faculty and six students are in the impoverished country through March 20, thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign on Ignite Ole Miss last year. With help from more than 100 donors, the group surpassed its $20,000 goal for the effort.

The money enables members of EWB and School of Engineering faculty members to spend 18 days in Africa supervising the drilling of a well to provide clean water in the village of Akoumape. Rotary International is funding the project.

“Although the drilling project has been well planned, it may face some challenges,” said Cris Surbeck, associate professor of civil engineering and faculty adviser for Ole Miss-EWB. “Last year, there were equipment issues. There is also the uncertainty of what may be buried underneath the surface once the drilling is underway.”

This year’s team includes Robert Holt, professor of geology and geological engineering; Paul Scovazzo, associate professor of chemical engineering and construction guru; Vera Gardner, a senior in mechanical engineering from Memphis; Zack Lepchitz, a graduate student in geological engineering from Keswick, Virginia; Luc Rebillout, a graduate student in computational hydroscience from France; Zach Bray, a senior in geological engineering from Iuka; Karl Brandt, a senior in civil engineering from Beverly, Massachusetts; and Benton Schenck, a senior in geological engineering from Earlyville, Virginia.

“Dr. Scovazzo, the grad students and I are going over first to assist the drillers at the site for the well,” Holt said. “In addition to supervising the drilling and making field adjustments to the well design, we will be collecting geological samples, monitoring the drilling of the borehole and casing installation, and conducting a pumping test to determine the aquifer properties.”

The well will be between 270 and 300 meters deep when it is completed.

“When it will actually be finished is uncertain,” Holt said. “Parts break. Repairs take time. We never know exactly what will happen during a drilling operation until it happens.”

The well will provide drinking water to a children’s hospital, which is being built by a nonprofit organization. EWB-Ole Miss is committed to drill the well and consult on the building of two water towers, a distribution pipe and a public tap stand.

Togolese driver Sewa (left) pumps water from an existing well while UM EWB team members (from left) Zack Lepchitz, Paul Scovazzo and Cris Surbeck read the label on the pump during last year’s EWB trip. Submitted photo

“It’s going to be an expensive effort requiring professional construction crews and electricians,” Surbeck said. “Several Rotary Clubs in Mississippi and Tennessee raised more than $100,000 for this particular project’s expenses.”

 The EWB-Ole Miss team made a long-term commitment in 2012 to work with rural villages in Togo to improve community infrastructure and health care. With five productive trips completed since that time, the EWB-Ole Miss team has built a school that provides a safe setting for dozens of children to learn and build better futures.

“All of these travelers, and countless other chapter members, have invested time, money and deeply committed efforts to see this project through to completion,” Surbeck said. “Faculty members donate all of their travel time without compensation.

“Participants are passionate about seeing this children’s hospital have clean water, which, in turn, will help health care workers care for sick children.”

The undergraduate students on this trip plan to write both a report for the national EWB organization and an article for publication in related academic journals, Holt said.

Susan L. Taylor Calls Women to Action at UM

Former editor of Essence magazine delivered Women's Empowerment keynote Tuesday night

Susan L. Taylor speaks passionately about women uniting to change the world Tuesday night in Fulton Chapel. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Delivering the third annual Women’s Empowerment keynote address for Women’s Month observances Tuesday evening (March 7) at the University of Mississippi, Susan L. Taylor discussed social challenges and urged women to action to help solve our nation’s problems.

The former editor-in-chief of Essence magazine and founder-CEO of the National CARES Mentoring Movement addressed more than 200 students, faculty, staff and community members in Fulton Chapel.

“There’s real work to be done by women,” Taylor said. “We have to be organized, focused, disciplined and have a clear vision. We have to stand up for what’s right.”

After 27 years as chief editor of Essence and the visionary credited with building the brand, Taylor left publishing to devote her life to building an organization that is devoted to breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty among African-Americans. The National CARES Mentoring Movement, which Taylor founded in 2005 and serves as CEO, is a community transformation crusade dedicated to “changing the predictable futures defined for our young who are struggling along the margins and living with the indignity of poverty,” she said.

The National CARES Mentoring Movement is the nation’s fastest growing mentor-recruitment organization. In 58 U.S. cities, CARES affiliates recruit, train and deploy caring adults to schools and a variety of youth-serving organizations that need black volunteers to serve as mentors, tutors, reading buddies and role models.

Shawnboda Mead, director of the UM Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement, said she hopes that all members of the university community will respond to Taylor’s appeal.

“Ms. Taylor’s message was motivational, encouraging and inspirational,” Mead said. “Having engaged with Mrs. Taylor and learned more about her life, including the trials and triumphs, we should all be more determined to fulfill our purpose.”

Students and others in attendance said they were moved by Taylor’s words.

“I’ve always admired Ms. Taylor’s words and works,” said Leah Gibson, a senior broadcast journalism major from Starkville and reigning Miss University. “My admiration goes all the way back to my childhood when copies of Essence magazine were always coming into our house and being read.”

“She definitely motivated me to keep on working,” said Martha Thompson of Oxford. “I’m definitely inspired to continue teaching everything we know to the people of the community in which I live.”

Five awards were also presented during the evening’s ceremonies. Recipients and their awards were Brittany Brown, a sophomore broadcast journalism major from Quitman, the Breakout Award; Dominique Scott, a senior sociology major from Dallas, Texas, the Phenomenal Woman Award; Alexis Pam, a sophomore biology and journalism major from Sumrall, a Hidden Figures Award; Lynette Johnson, executive associate director in the Ole Miss Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, a Hidden Figures Award; and Toni Avant, director of the UM Career Center, Women’s Inspirational Award.

For a full list of sponsors and UM Women’s Month calendar of events, visit


Researchers Study Effects of Weather, Distance and Running on Athletes

Analysis of World Cup performance has implications for future host sites, players in other sports

The heat index at soccer matches, such as between Ole Miss and Northwestern in 2016, can adversely affect running performance, according to a recent study by UM professors. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Amid discussions of the possible effects of global warming, University of Mississippi professors have determined that extreme heat can greatly affect players’ performance in the world’s premiere international soccer competition.

Nick Watanabe and Grace Yan, both assistant professors in the UM Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management, joined Pamela Wicker of German Sport University Cologne in studying the effect of weather conditions, travel distances and rest days on running performance. Their results are published in the latest issue of the Journal of Sport Management.

“Our research finds that heat does decrease performance, and thus could have potential issues with the 2022 World Cup scheduled to be hosted in Qatar, where the weather is rather warm even in the winter months,” Yan said. “We think that with the World Cup qualifying about to start up again soon for the 2018 World Cup, the present study has implications for policymakers regarding the choice of future host countries.”

The group of researchers used data gathered from Matrics, a high-tech player tracking technology that FIFA, the international governing body for soccer, used to measure distances and speeds run by players during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The Matrics technology helped capture extensive data in real time from soccer matches, including heat maps, attacking zone, the number of sprints for individual players and the exact distance each player ran. From this, the researchers were able to observe the performance at both the player-level (1,644 of the total 1,777 player appearances during matches) and the team-level (128 observations over 64 matches).

Using this and other data from the World Cup website, the team found that the heat index – combining temperature and humidity – significantly decreased running performance.

The next two World Cups have been awarded to Russia and Qatar, initiating discussions about temperature and travel distances related to the game, including whether some countries may have environmental conditions that make them unsuitable to host mega-events such as the World Cup.

“The results of our models, which control for factors such as travel distance and rest, find that the decreased running abilities not only affect the distance players run, but also reduces the number of attacking opportunities for teams,” Watanabe said.

“When these models are used to predict running performance at the 2022 Qatar World Cup, our projections indicate that the combination of heat and wind could hinder the performance of both players and teams and create potentially dangerous conditions for the players.”

Players in other outdoor sports, including football, baseball, track and cross country, also may potentially be affected by heat, travel times and opportunities for rest, the UM researchers agreed.

“While we cannot apply these results directly to other sports, it certainly opens the door to utilizing this type of technology and data to help better understand player and team performance,” Wantanabe said. “These findings are in line with previous research documenting that especially high-intensity running deteriorates as temperature increases.”

According to FIFA, 3.2 billion people worldwide watched the 2014 Brazil World Cup tournament.

To read the complete article, go to For more information about the Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management, visit

Former Essence Magazine Editor to Discuss Visionary Leadership at UM

Susan L. Taylor set for keynote of Women's History Month in Fulton Chapel

Susan L. Taylor, former editor of Essence magazine and founder-CEO of the National CARES Mentoring Movement, will speak March 7 in Fulton Chapel. Submitted photo

OXFORD, Miss. – Susan L. Taylor, former editor-in-chief of Essence magazine, is set to deliver the keynote address for Women’s History Month at the University of Mississippi.

The UM Women’s Empowerment Awards and Reception begins at 6 p.m. March 7 in Fulton Chapel. Taylor plans to discuss “Bold, Visionary Leadership: From the Inside Out.” Seating is free, but tickets must be obtained from the Ole Miss Box Office in the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.

“Susan L. Taylor is both inspirational and engaging,” said Shawnboda Mead, director of the UM Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement. “Her work with Essence magazine has surely left a lasting legacy for generations to come. Anyone who attends this event will not be disappointed.”

Besides Taylor’s address, several women will be honored for their contributions to campus.

“Through the presentation of the Women’s Inspirational Award, Breakout Award and Phenomenal Woman Award, we will recognize the contributions of women faculty, staff and students who are blazing trails on our own campus,” Mead said.

Taylor’s appearance is co-sponsored by the university’s Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement; the Educated, Successful, Talented, Evolving, Empowered and Motivated, or ESTEEM; program; University Lecture Series; departments of Student Housing and Intercollegiate Athletics; Panhellenic Council; National Pan-Hellenic Council; Meek School of Journalism and New Media; Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies; and Career Center.

After 27 years as chief editor of Essence, Taylor left publishing to help build an organization that is devoted to breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty among African-Americans. The National CARES Mentoring Movement, which Taylor founded and serves as CEO, is a community transformation crusade dedicated to “changing the predictable futures defined for our young who are struggling along the margins and living with the indignity of poverty,” she said.

At Essence, Taylor also authored the magazine’s most popular column, “In the Spirit,” the first in a mainstream U.S. magazine to champion spiritual growth as a pathway to total well-being and a meaningful life. Under her guidance, the publication’s readership soared to 8 million in the U.S., the Caribbean, Canada, United Kingdom and English-speaking African nations.

The Essence brand expanded into book publishing, broadcasting, eyewear, hosiery and its own fashion catalogue. Taylor also was instrumental in launching of the Essence Music Festival and its famous empowerment seminars.

Founded by Taylor in 2005 as Essence CARES, the National CARES Mentoring Movement is a national mentor-recruitment organization. In 58 U.S. cities, local CARES affiliates recruit, train and deploy caring adults to schools and a wide variety of youth-serving organizations that are desperate for black volunteers to serve as mentors, tutors, reading buddies and role models.

Taylor is the editor of eight books and author of four more: “In the Spirit,” “Lessons in Living,” “Conformation: the Spiritual Wisdom That Shaped Our Lives” and “All About Love.” She is the first and only African-American woman to be recognized by the Magazine Publishers of America with the Henry Johnson Fisher Award, the industry’s highest honor, and the first African-American woman to be inducted into the American Society of Magazine Editors Hall of Fame.

Her other honors include the NAACP President’s Award.

For more information or for assistance related to a disability, contact the Center for Inclusion & Cross Cultural Engagement at 662-915-1689 or

Mary Donnelly Haskell, Daughter to Perform at ‘hUManities affair’

Second annual fundraiser set for March 5 at Lyric Theater

Mary Donnelly Haskell (left) and daughter Mary Lane Haskell are coming to the Lyric March 5 in a benefit concert for the UM Department of Music. (Submitted photo)

OXFORD, Miss. – Mother and daughter singer-actresses Mary Donnelly Haskell and Mary Lane Haskell are the featured performers Sunday (March 5) for a University of Mississippi Department of Music fundraiser.

The department’s second annual “hUManities affair” is set for 4:30 p.m. at the Lyric. Tickets are $50 for singles and $75 for couples. All proceeds benefit innovative and educational programs produced by the Living Music Resource.

“This is the first time for LMR to showcase Mary Donnelly and Mary Lane in concert, my first time to perform with them and our first event at the Lyric,” said Nancy Maria Balach, professor of music and event coordinator. “The repertoire includes American standards (popular and jazz songs from the early 20th century).

“The evening will also include Guy Hovis, whom many will remember from ‘The Lawrence Welk Show.'”

For tickets, visit

To date, LMR has brought Grammy Award-winning composers, Broadway performers and Metropolitan Opera artists to Oxford. The Haskells also were featured on an LMR LIVE live-stream interview series Tuesday (Feb. 28) at The Powerhouse.

They are set to lead a “Between the Bar Lines” master class at noon Wednesday (March 1) in the music department’s Choir Room.

“Although I’ve sung in Oxford many times, I’ve never had the opportunity to do a whole concert of songs from the Great American Songbook, or as most people refer to as ‘standards,'” Mary Donnelly Haskell said. “I grew up listening to the music of Rosemary Clooney, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra, so this is a chance to sing many of my favorite songs.”

Nancy Maria Balach Schuesslin, UM professor of music, will also perform at Sunday’s event at the Lyric. (Submitted photo)

The mother and daughter have performed together in Oxford before, including the successful production of “Hello, Dolly!” and “Sounds of Stage & Screen” concert, both held at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts. Still, Sunday’s benefit will be a unique experience for them both.

“Mary Lane and I have chosen songs for the concert that will definitely have this audience humming along,” she said. “We have songs by Gershwin, Cole Porter, Duke Ellington and many more. The hardest thing was narrowing the list down, since we love them all!”

As an UM undergraduate, Mary Donnelly Haskell often performed with the Mississippians Jazz Ensemble.

“It is extra-special that The Mississippians will again collaborate with her on this concert,” Balach said.

Originally from Beaumont, Texas, Mary Donnelly Haskell was crowned Miss Mississippi in 1977 and graduated with distinction from UM in 1981. She has starred in episodes of “Touched By An Angel,” “Seventh Heaven,” “Sisters,” “Diagnosis Murder,” “Days Of Our Lives” and more than 20 movies for television, including two of the Hallmark Channel’s highest-rated Christmas movies: “Once Upon A Christmas” and “Twice Upon A Christmas.”

An accomplished singer, she has performed at venues including the Kennedy Center and the White House. and with the Prague Symphony Orchestra. She is also a popular recording artist, having released four children’s CDs, an adult contemporary album and a collection of sacred hymns and praise songs.

Mary Lane Haskell has performed at Carnegie Hall with Michael Feinstein and Elaine Stritch, serves on the Great American Songbook board and appears regularly on TV series and movies. Most recently, she was featured on NBC as Miss Moody in the Dolly Parton movie “Christmas of Many Colors.”

For more information about the UM Department of Music, go to