Pharmacy Practice Professor Wins Mentoring Award

Laurie Fleming trains student pharmacists in workplace skills

Laurie Fleming

JACKSON, Miss. – Laurie Fleming, clinical associate professor of pharmacy practice at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, has been recognized by the American Pharmacists Association with its 2017 Community Pharmacy Residency Excellence in Precepting Award.

The role of a preceptor is to mentor postgraduate student pharmacists in workplace situations. As part of the School of Pharmacy’s residency programs, Fleming, who is also a pharmacy practitioner, works alongside students and acts as a role model to teach skills needed to work in an ambulatory care setting.

Dylan Lindsay, a previous resident of the university’s Community Pharmacy Residency Program, nominated Fleming for the award. In his nomination letter, Lindsay highlighted Fleming’s commitment to her patients, residents and the profession, saying that she embodied “professional commitment and leadership.”

“This award is an amazing honor and is a direct result of the outstanding residents that I have precepted over the past 10 years,” Fleming said. “Their successes have been the most rewarding part of my career. I am indebted to my students, my colleagues and my family.”

Fleming went on to say that winning this award challenged her to be a better preceptor for her students and residents.

“Our profession allows us the opportunity to improve the lives of patients, no matter the practice setting,” she said. “Making even a small difference is so very meaningful.”

Besides this honor, Fleming was named the School of Pharmacy’s 2016 Preceptor of the Year by the school’s students. She has been a recipient of the school’s Teacher of the Year award four times. Previously, she served as president and association manager of the Mississippi Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

“Laurie has demonstrated excellence in precepting, mentoring, leadership and administration of the residency program,” said Seena Haines, chair and professor of pharmacy practice. “She has endless energy and passion that is infectious to our students and residents. I truly appreciate her time and dedication to developing outstanding representatives of community practice.”

Fleming will receive the award at the APhA Annual Meeting and Exposition March 24-27 in San Francisco.

Southern Studies Center Launches M.F.A. in Documentary Expression

New UM program teaches the intersection of documentary skills and scholarly approaches

The new MFA program in documentary expression allows students to use their documentary skills, including photography, oral history and filmmaking. Photo by David Wharton

OXFORD, Miss. – A new Master of Fine Arts in Documentary Expression begins this fall at the University of Mississippi, and prospective students are encouraged to apply before the April 13 deadline.

The new degree, housed at the university’s Center for the Study of Southern Culture, will be a two-year, 30-hour graduate program that combines three forms of training.

Some classes will emphasize documentary production, with advanced training in photography, film and audio production. Some classes will emphasize the study of particular subjects. Also, students will spend about half their hours in the program completing a documentary project.

“We are excited to offer this opportunity, particularly because it grows out of the interest our students have increasingly expressed over the years,” said Katie McKee, the center’s graduate student adviser, McMullan Associate Professor of Southern Studies and associate professor of English. “They have found photography, oral history and filmmaking invigorating ways to explore region and place, and this degree will formalize the centrality of documentary work to our curriculum.”

As the proposal for the new M.F.A. states, “The degree emphasizes the skills – observing, listening, storytelling and understanding context and multiple perspectives – that are central to the Southern studies program.

“The degree program does not simply teach technical skills to Southern studies students or teach interdisciplinary techniques to documentarians. Rather, the degree program teaches the intersection of documentary skills and scholarly approaches so students who already have an advanced degree can conceptualize and complete documentary projects of exceptional quality.”

The new program allows students to learn documentary methods within the cultural studies framework that the center has developed for decades, said Andy Harper, director of the Southern Documentary Project.

“It recognizes and combines a few of the things we do best and allows us to pass those skills on to a new generation of storytellers,” Harper said.

A unique feature of this program is that it includes interdisciplinary study of the American South while also requiring that students master some of the skills of documentary work. Students will need to show an academic understanding of their subject as part of doing their films, photography and audio documentary work.

Students can enter the M.F.A. program only if they already have a Master of Arts in the humanities, social sciences or journalism. Students with master’s degrees in Southern studies likely will be among the students, but the program will accept students with graduate training in numerous disciplines.

“This program will offer a new generation of students who are actively studying something specific about the South an excellent opportunity to tell the rest of world what they have learned in new – personal, nontraditional and exciting – ways,” said David Wharton, the center’s director of documentary studies.

The impetus for the new degree came from several directions, said Ted Ownby, the center’s director.

First, Southern studies faculty and staff have been doing documentary work throughout the center’s history, dating back to the films and photography founding director Bill Ferris was making at Ole Miss in the 1970s, he said. Today, documentary work is the backbone of the oral histories, ethnographic work, films and photographic work of numerous faculty members, along with the filmmakers in the Southern Documentary Project, the interviews and photography of Living Blues magazine, and the oral histories, films, podcasts and publications of the Southern Foodways Alliance.

Students thinking about documentary work might look to the center’s multimedia documentary website Mississippi Stories at, the films of the Southern Documentary Project, and the films, podcasts and oral history work of the Southern Foodways Alliance as examples.

“Second, many of our students have asked for the M.F.A. or something like it,” Ownby said. “Several have said they are becoming comfortable with some documentary skills just as it’s time to wrap up their M.A. theses.

“Third and more broadly, we live in an age in which technology allows all of us to be documentarians. One could make a good argument that documentary skills represent a new type of literacy. So this M.F.A. degree will bring together people who already know how to study social and cultural issues and turn them loose to do great things.”

The program will start on a limited scale in fall 2017 and have a full range of classes beginning in 2018. Students can apply at

UM Moves Up in Measures of Academic and Research Performance

University included in several rankings of the nation's and world's best institutions

The University of Mississippi is ranked among the nation’s best public institutions in several third-party evaluations of academic and research performance. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Efforts by faculty, staff and students to excel in their pursuit of knowledge have given the University of Mississippi, the state’s flagship university, new momentum in its mission to lead the way in learning, discovery and engagement for the state and nation.

UM has been ranked among the nation’s best public institutions in several third-party evaluations of academic and research performance, and the university has climbed in recent measures of those areas.

In 2016, the university was included for the first time among the elite group of R1: Doctoral Universities – Highest Research Activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, the definitive list of the nation’s top doctoral research universities. UM is among a distinguished group of 115 institutions, including Harvard, MIT and Johns Hopkins in the highest research category, which includes the top 2.5 percent of institutions of higher education.

The university also achieved its highest-ever standing in the 2017 U. S. News & World Report annual rankings of Best (Undergraduate) Colleges and Universities, where UM tied for No. 64 in the Top Public Universities category, up seven places from the previous year’s rankings. The rankings reflect 15 indicators of academic excellence, such as graduation and retention rates, undergraduate academic reputation, faculty resources, financial resources and alumni giving rates.

The business (including accounting) and engineering programs were also ranked nationally.

Chemical engineering students conduct an experiment. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

“These achievements and rankings reinforce our flagship status and are a testament to the value of our degrees, the impact of our research and the competitiveness of our students, staff and faculty,” Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter said. “While they provide important benchmarks for our university, we remain committed to achieving even higher levels of excellence.

“We will focus upon growing the reach and impact of Ole Miss to continue making a positive difference for Mississippi, our nation and the world.”

The university ranked in the top 20 percent of U.S. institutions for total research and development expenditures in a report issued by the National Science Foundation based upon 2015 expenditures. For the 10th consecutive year, the university was ranked in the top 20 percent in this report.

The university also performed well in the inaugural ranking of U.S. colleges and universities by The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education publications. This measure ranked UM 74th among all the nation’s public universities.

This ranking constitutes a comparative assessment of more than 1,000 colleges and universities, measuring factors such as university resources, student engagement, outcomes and environment. The latter includes a gauge of the university’s efforts to build a diverse and inclusive environment for students, faculty and staff.

“Many of our academic offerings continue to gain exposure and recognition,” said Noel Wilkin, the university’s interim provost and executive vice chancellor. “I fully expect this trend to continue because of the quality and commitment of our faculty and staff.”

Success in international education and research partnerships contributed to the university’s standing on U.S. News’ 2017 list of Best Global Universities. Among the top 1,000 research universities in 65 countries, UM ranked in the top third on this year’s list.

Ole Miss students attending the PULSE Sophomore Leadership get to interact with Corporate Execs from FedEx, Hershey’s, Chico and others. PULSE is a two-day sophomore leadership workshop that brings together sophomore students from a variety of roles on campus to learn about themselves and their leadership potential. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

The Best Global Universities list ranks each institution’s international and regional research reputation, including a statistical analysis of peer-reviewed publications, citations and international collaborations. The university ranked in the top 10 percent in international collaborations, and the university’s research areas of physics and pharmacology/toxicology were ranked in the top 20 percent.

“The reputation of the university in national and international research circles has been steadily growing over the past few decades,” said Josh Gladden, interim vice chancellor for research and sponsored programs. “We have seen this trend through an increasing number of national leadership positions in societies and consortia, an increase in the number of grant awards, as well as in statistical reports such as U.S. News and World Report.

“It is an exciting time for the research community at the university, and I look forward to increasingly higher impact of UM research.”

U.S. News and World Report ranked two of the university’s graduate academic programs in the top 25 nationally among public universities: the online MBA program (No. 19) and pharmacy (No. 23). Here are some of the other U.S. News rankings of UM graduate programs among public universities:

  • School of Education online program (tied No. 35)
  • History (tied No. 48)
  • Master of Business Administration (tied No. 51)
  • English (tied No. 56)
  • Clinical psychology (tied No. 67)
  • Civil engineering (tied No. 70)
  • Education (tied No. 72)
  • Social work (tied No. 77)
  • Physics (tied No. 84)
  • Electrical engineering (tied No. 85)
  • Mathematics (tied No. 91)

In national rankings by other sources, the university achieved several additional accolades among all public and private universities:

  • Patterson School of Accountancy (all three degree programs ranked in the top 10 nationally by the journal Public Accounting Report)
  • Patterson School of Accountancy master’s and doctoral programs (No. 1 in SEC)
  • Patterson School of Accountancy undergraduate program (No. 2 in SEC)
  • Creative writing (No. 6 among “Top 10 Universities for Aspiring Writers” by
  • Online health informatics undergraduate program (No. 3 by the Health Informatics Degree Center)
  • Business law program in the School of Law (one of only four schools to earn a perfect score of A+ by preLaw Magazine, ranking it as one of the country’s top programs)

The university’s efforts to achieve excellence in all its endeavors also has helped recruit talented students to learn and contribute on all its campuses. The Chronicle of Higher Education named the university as the nation’s eighth-fastest growing among both public and private colleges in its Almanac of Higher Education, moving up from 13th in 2014.

The ranking is based upon enrollment growth from fall 2006, when the university enrolled 14,497 students, to fall 2016, with 24,250 students registered.

The university’s incoming freshmen continue to be better-prepared for the rigor of college, posting an average ACT score of 25.2 in fall 2016, surpassing the school record of 24.7 set in 2015. The high school GPA of incoming freshmen also increased, growing from 3.54 to 3.57, another university record.

“Ole Miss is committed to student success,” Vitter said. “The demand for a University of Mississippi degree is unprecedented, and the success of our programs and initiatives aimed at helping students stay in school and graduate is clear in our increasing retention and graduation rates.

“Each and every day, our faculty and staff demonstrate strong commitment to transforming lives through higher education.”

Endowment Honors Memories of Three Friends

Scholarship recipients carry on fraternity brothers' legacies

Kappa Alpha fraternity brothers (with plaques, from left) Michael Deauville, Kyle Thigpen and Dillon Pitts, recipients of the 2017 Kelly, Kelly and Wilbanks Scholarship, are joined by (from left) chapter President Hayden Poer, Lynn and Ken Wilbanks, Chris and Christine Kelly, and Sam and Kim Kelly. Photo by Bill Dabney

OXFORD, Miss. – A scholarship endowment paying tribute to the lives of three University of Mississippi students has grown to more than $335,000, and three new recipients of the scholarship say they feel honored to represent the men for whom the endowment is named.

Continuing gifts from the Kappa Alpha fraternity have expanded the Charles Walker Kelly, Samuel Clayton Kelly and Bryant Mason Wilbanks Memorial Scholarship Endowment that pays tribute to the lives of lifelong friends tragically killed in a 2011 car accident. Kappa Alpha fraternity recently contributed an additional $60,000 to the endowment and $15,000 for this year’s scholarship awards. 

All natives of Madison, the friends graduated together from Madison Central High School, attended Broadmoor Baptist Church, enrolled at Ole Miss and pledged the same fraternity. Their legacies are kept alive by fellow KA brothers who receive scholarship awards.

This year’s recipients are Michael Deauville of San Jose, California, Dillon Pitts of Pearl and Kyle Thigpen of Jackson.

“One of the biggest fears of a parent who has lost a child is that the child will be forgotten,” said Ken Wilbanks, father of Mason Wilbanks. “Thanks to the generosity and support of KA and the Ole Miss community, our sons’ legacies will continue on the Ole Miss campus long after we are gone.

“It is truly humbling and such an honor to be able to present these three scholarships annually to active KA members in memory of Mason, Sam Clayton and Walker. I know our boys are smiling, knowing they are continuing to help those in the fraternity they loved so much at the university they loved so dearly.”

Alumni advisers of the KA Alpha Upsilon Chapter and UM’s Scholarship Committee work together to select recipients. The award is based on a number of criteria, including financial need, leadership and academic performance.

Deauville, a sophomore biology major with a minor in chemistry who hopes to attend medical school, said the scholarship will enable him to have the resources he needs to pursue his goals.

“From the bottom of my heart, I am incredibly blessed and grateful for this recognition and scholarship,” Deauville said. “It is nothing short of an honor. Knowing that I am continuing the legacy of the three men is a very good feeling, and I aspire to be everything that they were.

“I am humbled by this recognition, and while I believe that there were many other deserving men, I will vow to continue their legacy in all that I do.”

At the recent Kappa Alpha awards banquet, Deauville spent time with Sam and Kim Kelly, parents of Sam Clayton Kelly.

“They opened their arms to me, and after a few short minutes I felt I had known them my entire life,” he recalled. “Mrs. Kelly even noted that I too am now a part of her family.

“I just want to thank them, as well as the other two families, for their enduring support of KA. I am honored to call them friends. I know they will all be a part of its family, and the chapter is better for that relationship.”

Pitts, a junior marketing and corporate relations major with a minor in manufacturing engineering, said the scholarship will help him pursue his goal to attend law school.

“Receiving this scholarship is an honor – not only to myself, but an honor that I get to represent three amazing young men who were members of our chapter,” Pitts said. “To me, being a part of KA has opened numerous doors. I have been blessed to grow and make many lifelong connections and I owe it all to being a part of KA.”

Thigpen, a junior accounting major who plans to work for an accounting firm after graduation, said the scholarship will help him offset tuition costs as he pursues his degree.

The Kelly, Kelly (and) Wilbanks Scholarship is an awesome way to remember the lives of our three brothers who were lost,” Thigpen said. “Their story has led me to think about the relationships I’ve built throughout my short time at Ole Miss, and I’ve come to realize how great of an impact the ones I love have had on my life.

“Mason, Sam Clayton and Walker continue to impact lives every day, and it’s awesome to know that they will continue to do so for years to come.”

Chapter adviser Trey Horne, of Oxford, has been instrumental in growing the endowment.

“Mason, Sam Clayton and Walker were strong men of character who loved God and their families,” he said. “Through this scholarship endowment, their legacies will live on by providing three men of Kappa Alpha Order scholarships each year.

“As new classes enter Ole Miss, this endowment will remind these men that the lives that Mason, Sam Clayton and Walker lived are worthy to be followed.”

Sandra Guest, vice president of the UM Foundation, said she’s heartened by KA’s generosity.

“By memorializing its members through scholarships, Kappa Alpha has set an outstanding example for other student organizations to follow,” she said. “I commend Mr. Horne for his leadership efforts to sustain the momentum of this initiative over the last four years and to the chapter for working hard to keep the spirit of their lost brothers alive.

“KA has turned a tragic situation into a lasting tribute, ensuring the legacy of Mason, Sam Clayton and Walker will forever remain at Ole Miss.”

The endowment is open to gifts from individuals and organizations. To contribute, send checks with the Kelly, Kelly and Wilbanks Scholarship noted to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Avenue, Oxford, MS 38655; contact Sandra Guest at 662-915-5208 or; or visit

Former UM Director Receives Arts Commission Lifetime Achievement Award

Bill Ferris to be honored at 2017 Governor's Arts Awards

Bill Ferris (left) looks over a copy of Living Blues magazine with blues great B.B. King during a visit by King to the University of Mississippi in the 1980s, when Ferris was director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – William R. Ferris, the preeminent scholar and documenter of Mississippi’s rich culture, music and folklore, has been documenting the lives of Mississippians for more than 50 years. On Feb. 16, the Mississippi Arts Commission will honor him with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2017 Governor’s Arts Awards.

Ferris is a scholar, author, documentary filmmaker and founding director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi. For him, the award is linked to the center in a deep and wonderful way, as well as to the Oxford community.

“It’s a tremendous honor, and I know it would never have happened without the work I was blessed to do at the University of Mississippi and at the center,” Ferris said. “It was a special period in my life that connected me to Mississippi in ways that were very special and very moving, and I know full well that the friendships I was able to share there are a big part of why I was selected for this honor.”

The award is an opportunity to look back and appreciate more deeply what one’s life’s work represents, since in the moment, totally engaged and working, it can be difficult to see where things will land, said Ferris, who was on the Ole Miss faculty from 1979 to 1998.

Southern studies students are leading various areas in new and exciting ways, said Ferris, who keeps up with the program’s students and alumni.

“I look around the state, the region and the nation and know there are powerful voices that were shaped at the center and by the Southern studies program,” he said.

Ferris grew up on a farm south of Vicksburg and developed an early love of storytelling, books, art and music. In 1997, he became chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities under President Bill Clinton.

Since 2002, he has served as Joel Williamson Eminent Professor of History and senior associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina.

The 2017 recipients will be recognized at the 29th annual Governor’s Arts Awards ceremony at the Old Capitol Museum in downtown Jackson at 6 p.m. Thursday (Feb. 16). A public reception at 4:30 precedes the awards.

“When I first found myself out in the cultural landscape of Mississippi’s vast richness, Bill was already there, established and knee-deep in the exploration of art and culture,” said Malcolm White, executive director of MAC. “Bill is a pathfinder and an icon of this work, and I am proud to be at the helm of MAC on this occasion of his recognition.”

Other award recipients include Sammy Britt (MFA art ’66), Excellence in Visual Art; Vasti Jackson, Arts Ambassador; Lucy Richardson Janoush, Arts Patron; Jaimoe Johnie Johnson, Excellence in Music; and the Mississippi Opera, Artistic Excellence.

“Because these six recipients have made a significant and lasting impact on our state’s arts culture, it is fitting to recognize them during Mississippi’s bicentennial celebration,” White said.

Ferris is the author of 10 books, including “Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues” (University of North Carolina Press, 2009), “You Live and Learn. Then You Die and Forget it All: Ray Lum’s Tales of Horses, Mules, and Men” (Anchor Books, 1992) and his latest, “The South in Color: A Visual Journey” (University of North Carolina Press, 2016).

He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Charles Frankel Prize in the Humanities and France’s Chevalier and Officer in the Order of Arts and Letters. The Blues Hall of Fame recognized his book “Blues from the Delta” (Anchor Press, 1978) as one of the classics of blues literature.

Established in 1988, Governor’s Arts Awards are given to individuals and organizations for the excellence of their work in a wide variety of art forms including visual, literary and performing arts, and community development through the arts in Mississippi.

Applicants Sought for Entrepreneurial Spirit Scholarship

JAMAS Capital Management created award to encourage pursuit of innovative business careers

The $2,500 Entrepreneurial Spirit of Mississippi Scholarship is intended to help UM students become the entrepreneurial business leaders of the future. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Students in the University of Mississippi’s School of Business Administration are encouraged to apply soon for a new scholarship funded by JAMAS Capital Management, a private investment firm based in Jackson.

The Entrepreneurial Spirit of Mississippi Scholarship, worth $2,500, is intended to help UM students become the entrepreneurial business leaders of the future by easing the financial burden of a college education. Applications must be received by Feb. 28. For more information and to apply for the scholarship, visit the JAMAS website.

Young leaders are capable of innovation and creative new approaches to all aspects of business, including innovative start-ups, said Ben O. Turnage, founder and CEO of JAMAS.

“We know that these young leaders have a unique, fresh perspective not always seen in the business world, as well as their own personal experiences to draw upon,” Turnage said. “Our hope is that by easing the financial burden of secondary education, we will see new UM graduates developing more innovative business start-ups in Mississippi.”

The JAMAS Entrepreneurial Spirit of Mississippi Scholarship is open to all students who are enrolled or have been accepted at Ole Miss. To be considered, applicants must have at least a 2.8 grade-point average and must submit a 500-to-1,000-word essay from their choice of three topics.

“We are thrilled that Ben, one of our outstanding entrepreneurs and investor in many Mississippi businesses, is funding this important scholarship,” said Ken Cyree, dean of the School of Business Administration. “Through this generous gift, we are able to enhance our Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and our entrepreneurship major, thereby encouraging our students to create new businesses and innovate in existing businesses. 

“This scholarship will allow us to have a long-term impact that enhances the economic value of businesses in Mississippi, the Southeast and throughout the world.”

The scholarship is a timely partnership with the Ole Miss entrepreneurship program because the full entrepreneurship major goes into effect this year, Cyree said.

Also, the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which received the Emerging Entrepreneurship Award in 2015, provides opportunities for budding entrepreneurs to hone their start-up business ideas through the Gillespie Business Plan Competition, Pitch Night and Land Shark Tank Pitch programs. Interested students should contact the CIE for more information about how to get involved in programs that foster innovation and entrepreneurship for all businesses.

JAMAS Capital Management is a private investment firm providing a unique source of strategic capital to a broad spectrum of industry sectors. For more than 30 years, Turnage has founded, invested in and profitably grown companies across a variety of businesses, including enterprises in construction, residential/commercial real estate, oil field services and agri-foods.

For more information about JAMAS Capital Management or the Entrepreneurial Spirit of Mississippi Scholarship, contact Susan Segars at 404-808-0075 or by email at

For more information on programs in the UM School of Business Administration, go to

Fan, Donor Returns to Campus

Faithful alumnus visits UM for Pavilion tour and game

UM School of Pharmacy alumnus Francis Cerniglia (center) enjoys a campus tour hosted by (from left) Matt Mossberg, development officer at the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation; Keith Carter, executive director of the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation; and UM development officers Raina McClure and Barbara Daush. UM photo by Bill Dabney

OXFORD, Miss. – After years away from campus, University of Mississippi alumnus and sports fan Francis Cerniglia of Cordova, Tennessee, recently received a tour of The Pavilion at Ole Miss and a visit with Chancellor Jeff Vitter. He also got to root on the Rebels at a basketball game.

UM development officers Barbara Daush and Raina McClure hosted Cerniglia as a token of appreciation for his history of financial contributions to the university. Cerniglia, who has supported the university through various gifts to different areas of need for more than three decades, made annual, major and planned gifts to benefit the School of Pharmacy and Ole Miss athletics.

Cerniglia said he chose to support the two departments because, “the School of Pharmacy allowed me to have a successful life in my chosen field” and “since 1947, when Ole Miss won the SEC championship in John Vaught’s first year as head football coach, I immediately became attached to Rebel sports and never looked back.”

The retired pharmacist said he found The Pavilion, home to Ole Miss basketball, and the campus in general “remarkable.”

“I have merely echoed what everybody has been saying about The Pavilion: a stupendous addition to the Ole Miss sports field!” he exclaimed. “My tour of the campus was most impressive to one who had not had the chance to view the campus in several years.”

Sandra Guest, vice president of the University of Mississippi Foundation, accompanied Cerniglia and others on his tour.

“The Ole Miss welcome Mr. Cerniglia received was something he will always remember, and the many kindnesses that were shown to him throughout the day made me proud to be a member of such a gracious and caring Ole Miss family,” she said, adding that Cerniglia’s planned and lifetime gifts leave a tremendous legacy for his family.

A Greenwood native, Cerniglia’s first experience in pharmacy was during a summer internship at Chaney’s Pharmacy in his hometown. Earnings were quite different back then – Cerniglia made $50 per week in his early days at the store and said he was very satisfied with it.

“That was new training for me as I hadn’t had much experience filling prescriptions yet,” he said. “I had to quickly apply what I learned in the classroom.”

After graduating from pharmacy school in 1959, Cerniglia went to work for Morgan’s Pharmacy in Yazoo City. It was an “old-timey” pharmacy where the “smell of medicine would knock you out,” he said.

Cerniglia later joined the staff at Walgreens in Vicksburg, where he worked eight years before deciding to relocate.

“I could have gone to New Orleans,” he said. “Though I love it there, I decided to work in Memphis.”

Cerniglia worked 32 years for Walgreens in Memphis before retiring in 1992.

David D. Allen, dean of pharmacy, is grateful for Cerniglia’s support.

“When visiting with Mr. Cerniglia, you can see that he has a great love for all things Ole Miss, especially the School of Pharmacy,” Allen said. “I know I speak on behalf of everyone at the school when I say that we are extremely thankful and humbled by his support over the years.”

Keith Carter, senior associate athletics director for development and executive director of the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation, led Cerniglia’s tour of The Pavilion and echoed Allen’s sentiments.

“It was a pleasure to get to know Mr. Cerniglia and, of course, as a former player, I’m always eager to talk about Rebel basketball with such a great fan of the sport,” Carter said. “His gifts to our program will help keep us competitive for years to come, and we appreciate his ongoing generosity and support.”

Cerniglia’s planned gifts award him membership in the 1848 Society, named for the year the university welcomed its first students. The society recognizes generous donors who thoughtfully provide for the university through planned and deferred gifts.

For information on including the university in long-term estate and financial plans, alumni and friends can visit or contact Sandra Guest, UM Foundation vice president, at 662-915-5208 or

University Places 72 on SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll

Ole Miss tally includes 24 from history-making cross country teams

FedEx Student Athlete Academic Support Center

OXFORD, Miss.  While setting records on the fields and courts, 72 student-athletes from the University of Mississippi were named to the 2016 Fall SEC Academic Honor Roll announced Wednesday by SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey.

Overall, 1,029 student-athletes from the conference’s 14 teams made the honor roll, which is based on grades from the 2016 spring, summer and fall terms.

Football led the way with 21 on the honor roll, including record-setting quarterback Chad Kelly for the second time. Kickoff specialist Nathan Noble made the honor roll for the fifth time, and punter Will Gleeson earned the honor for the fourth time. Wide receiver Quincy Adeboyejo, offensive lineman Sean Rawlings and kicker Gary Wunderlich were among the three-time honorees on the list.

Soccer placed 19 on the honor roll, including four-time honorees Melissa Capocaccia, Addie Forbus, Gretchen Harknett, Madi Killeen, Caitlin Lewis and Georgia Russell.

Women’s cross country made history this year qualifying for the NCAA Championships for the first time in program history and posting the team’s best-ever finish in the SEC, taking runner-up honors. Fifteen runners earned honor roll status, including All-SEC first team honoree Mary Alex England and All-SEC second team member Bo Ummels.

Men’s cross country followed up a banner season with nine on the SEC Academic Honor Roll, including All-American Wesley Gallagher, who helped lead the men to a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championships.

Volleyball posted its highest semester GPA in seven years last fall, paced by eight players on the honor roll, including CoSIDA First Team Academic All-American Aubrey Edie, Lexi Thompson, who led the SEC in double-doubles, and Caroline Adams.

For further academic accolades, follow @UMTrueRebel on Twitter.

Ole Miss Honorees

Dylan Day – M Cross Country – Mathematics

Robert Domanic – M Cross Country – General Studies

Craig Engels – M Cross Country – General Studies

Wesley Gallagher – M Cross Country – Mechanical Engineering

Derek Gutierrez – M Cross Country – Accountancy

Brandon Harvey – M Cross Country – Marketing

Ryan Manahan – M Cross Country – General Studies

Abraham Merinar – M Cross Country – Real Estate

Mark Robertson – M Cross Country – Chemical Engineering

Saga Barzowski – W Cross Country – Political Science

Emily Bean – W Cross Country – Exercise Science

Anna Braswell – W Cross Country – Geological Engineering

Shelby Brown – W Cross Country – French

Julia England – W Cross Country – Special Education

Mary Alex England – W Cross Country – Master of Accountancy

Scarlett Fox – W Cross Country – Journalism

Tavyn Lovitt – W Cross Country – English Education

Katherine Macneal – W Cross Country – Exercise Science

Maddie McHugh – W Cross Country – Art History

Nicole Park – W Cross Country – Accountancy

Madison Rawson – W Cross Country – Exercise Science

Bo Ummels – W Cross Country – Master of Criminal Justice

Britt Ummels – W Cross Country – Master of Criminal Justice

Haley Ward – W Cross Country – General Studies

Quincy Adeboyejo – Football – General Studies

Talbot Buys – Football – Banking and Finance

Luke Davis – Football – Managerial Finance

Ross Donelly – Football – Business

Will Few – Football – Master of Business Administration

William Gleeson – Football – Accountancy

Martin Johnson – Football – Criminal Justice

Sam Johnson – Football – Banking and Finance

Chad Kelly – Football – General Studies

Dawson Knox – Football – Risk Management and Insurance

Chad Lamar – Football – Public Policy Leadership

Cale Luke – Football – Banking and Finance

Nathan Noble – Football – Master of Business Administration

Jason Pellerin – Football – Business

Tyler Pittman – Football – General Studies

Tayler Polk – Football – General Studies

Sean Rawlings – Football – Marketing

Ray Ray Smith – Football – General Business

Hunter Thurley – Football – General Studies

Grant Warren – Football – Biology

Gary Wunderlich – Football – Managerial Finance

Melissa Capocaccia – W Soccer – Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders

Courtney Carroll – W Soccer – Marketing

Sara Coleman – W Soccer – Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction

Mackenzie Dickerson – W Soccer – Psychology

Susie Dineen – W Soccer – Exercise Science

Bella Fiorenzo – W Soccer – Biology

Addie Forbus – W Soccer – Psychology

Danielle Gray – W Soccer – Managerial Finance

Liza Harbin – W Soccer – General Studies

Gretchen Harknett – W Soccer – Biochemistry

Amanda Karlsson – W Soccer – Integrated Marketing Communications

Madison Killeen – W Soccer – Communication Sciences and Disorders

Cece Kizer – W Soccer – Integrated Marketing Communications

Marisa Kutchma – W Soccer – Biology

Caitlin Lewis – W Soccer – Biology

Marnie Merritt – W Soccer – Management

Mackenze Parma – W Soccer – Geology

Georgia Russell – W Soccer – Master of Accountancy

Tara Sullivan – W Soccer – Sport and Recreation Administration

Caroline Adams – Volleyball – Communication Sciences and Disorders

Laina Carnes – Volleyball – Accountancy

Kathryn Cather – Volleyball – Exercise Science

Aubrey Edie – Volleyball – Elementary Education

Audrey Fischer – Volleyball – Undeclared

Taylor Gill – Volleyball – Accountancy

Alexis Lee – Volleyball – Management

Lexi Thompson – Volleyball – Civil Engineering

Ole Miss Student-Athlete Development Mission 
The mission of Ole Miss’ Student-Athlete Development program is to challenge student-athletes to be lifelong learners while pursuing continuous improvement academically, relationally, socially, personally and professionally during and beyond their careers as student-athletes.

Overby Center to Salute Mississippi’s 200th Anniversary

Programs examine state's history and look to the future

State Rep. Jay Hughes will discuss Mississippi’s commitment to education Friday at the Overby Center.

OXFORD, Miss. – In recognition of the 200th anniversary of Mississippi’s statehood, the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at the University of Mississippi will put special emphasis on Mississippi programs during the spring semester.

“The people and events in Mississippi’s past provide an interesting glimpse into our state’s future,” explained Charles Overby, chairman of the center, in announcing the lineup.

The first of six events – “How Deep is Mississippi’s Commitment to Education?” – will concentrate on one of the most controversial issues in the state. Rep. Jay Hughes, an Oxford Democrat who has been outspoken in his criticism of the administration and the Legislature’s approach to education, will be joined by Bracey Harris, an education reporter for the Clarion-Ledger, for a conversation at 6 p.m. Friday (Feb. 10).

Using the slogan “It ALL starts with education” for his frequent emails to constituents and other interested parties, the first-term legislator has closely tracked bills involving educational issues and sharply faulted a new formula devised by a New Jersey firm hired by the Republican leadership to determine levels of state aid for various school districts in the state.

“Jay Hughes has become one of the most urgent voices in the Legislature,” Overby fellow Curtis Wilkie said. “Our program is designed to give him an opportunity to expand on his thoughts, while offering members of our community a chance to question him during a Q&A session.”

The program, like all Overby Center events, is free and open to the public. Arrangements are being made to provide parking in a lot adjacent to the Overby Center.

Following most of this spring’s programs, a reception also will provide opportunities for members of the audience to mingle with special guests.

Other events on the Overby agenda this spring:

– Feb. 17, 1:30 p.m. – “Assault on the Media.” Four prominent Mississippi journalists  discuss a growing hostility toward the press. Overby fellow Bill Rose will moderate a panel discussion that includes Jerry Mitchell, prize-winning investigative reporter at the Clarion-Ledger; the newspaper’s popular cartoonist Marshall Ramsey; Ronnie Agnew, executive director of Mississippi Public Broadcasting; and Kate Royals, another award-winning education reporter for Mississippi Today.

– March 8, 6 p.m. – “Revisiting Jefferson Davis and J.Z. George: U.S. Capitol Relics?” William “Brother” Rodgers, director of programs at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History; Marvin King, an Ole Miss political science professor; and Charles Overby will consider whether the subjects of Mississippi’s two statues in a capitol hall for all 50 states are appropriate today.

– March 27, 6 p.m. – “Mississippians Say the Strangest Things.” David Crews of Oxford has compiled a collection, “The Mississippi Book of Quotations,” and will talk with Overby about the new publication, his choices in it and his longtime interest in memorable lines by people from the state.

– April (date to be determined) – “The Free State of Jones.” Retired federal judge Charles Pickering, a native of historic and colorful Jones County, will join Overby and others in a discussion about the breakaway movement during the Civil War, a fascinating piece of Mississippi history that was recently celebrated in books and a movie.

– April 24, 6 p.m. – “Racial Politics in Memphis.” Otis Sanford, an Ole Miss journalism graduate who writes a column for the Commercial Appeal and teaches at the University of Memphis, will talk about his new book, “From Boss Crump to King Willie: How Race Changed Memphis Politics.”

Ikhlas Khan Becomes NCNPR Director

Former associate director takes lead after 25 years with UM research center

Ikhlas Khan

OXFORD, Miss. – Ikhlas Khan became director of the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy on Jan. 1.

After receiving his doctorate in pharmacy from the Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology in Munich, Khan joined the School of Pharmacy in 1988 as a postdoctoral research fellow. He became NCNPR’s associate director in 2015.

Khan’s plans as the center’s director include steady improvement and a continuation of past successes.

“The vision is very simple and broad: We want to continue doing what has worked, but keep evolving,” Khan said. “Change is the only one thing should be constant. We have done a wonderful job over the last 20 years. The timing is right, and the expertise is in the house to take on any natural products challenge.”

Founded in 1995, NCNPR is the nation’s only university-affiliated research center devoted to improving human health and agricultural productivity through the discovery, development and commercialization of pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals derived from natural products. The center’s former director of 15 years, Larry Walker, retired Dec. 31, 2016.

Khan has been internationally recognized as a leader and innovator in the study of natural products. He has received honorary degrees and professorships from several international universities, including the University of Chinese Medicine in both Shaanxi and Hunan.

In the field of natural products research, he has won the UM Distinguished Research Award, the Indian Association for the Study of Traditional Asian Medicine Zandu International Oration Award for Excellence in Research Contribution to Ayurvedic and/or Natural Products and the American Society of Pharmacognosy’s Varro E. Tyler Prize.

Khan’s research focuses on drug discovery and developing scientific tools for assessing the safety and chemical makeup of dietary supplements. Scientists at the NCNPR use these methods in conjunction with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a partnership established in 2001. The center was recognized by the FDA as a Center of Excellence for its research of botanical dietary supplements in 2006, and received the FDA Commissioner’s Special Citation in 2009.

Khan also established and directs the Sino-U.S. Traditional Chinese Medicine Research Center and the Center for Research of Indian Systems of Medicine, both at Ole Miss.

“He has a very strong collaborative vision,” Walker said. “He’s very open to new ideas and good at evaluating them. He knows how to take an opportunity and grow it to make it into an even bigger and more beneficial opportunity.”

One such opportunity was the creation of the annual Oxford International Conference on the Science of Botanicals, which has grown to more than 250 participants from around the world. Khan was instrumental in launching the conference, designed to gather an international community of stakeholders to discuss issues related to quality and safety of botanicals.

He also co-directs the NCNPR’s marijuana project, which grows marijuana and distributes it to researchers under a contract with the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

“Ikhlas will be fantastic in this role,” said David D. Allen, UM pharmacy dean. “He has a clear vision for the quality and safety of natural products, and has a knack for leadership and for drawing people together to make things happen.”

“This is really an honor, and I am very grateful for this opportunity,” Khan said. “We have a state-of-the-art facility and wonderful colleagues with diverse expertise here.”