Military Appreciation Month Set For November

Campus events include football game, military review ceremony and Egg Bowl Run

Military Appreciation events begin Nov. 8.

Military Appreciation events begin Nov. 8.

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi will celebrate those who have served our country with a monthlong celebration throughout November.

Cadets from four military branches will participate flag football games Nov. 8 before the Ole Miss football game against Presbyterian College. Cadets and veterans will be honored at halftime during the game, and a World War II veteran will fire the cannon during halftime.

The Chancellor’s Review will take place at 2 p.m. Nov. 11 in front of the Lyceum. Here, the chancellor will have a chance to walk around with the ROTC commander and speak to cadets.

The month’s activities will conclude with the Egg Bowl Run on Nov. 24. During the run, cadets from both Ole Miss and Mississippi State make the 47-mile run from Starkville to Oxford in two separate legs. Cadets exchange the game ball in Calhoun City during a short ceremony. The event is expected to begin at 5 a.m. and conclude about 9 p.m.

The game ball will be on display in the Student Union following the Egg Bowl Run. On Saturday, Hayes and the cadets will walk in front of the team through the Walk of Champions carrying the ball. A website is being created for those who wish to purchase the game ball. All proceeds go to the Ole Miss ROTC fund.

“It is very important for everyone who attends Ole Miss, lives in Oxford to take a minute and thank a soldier or a cadet,” Hayes said. “November should be a time to honor our military, veterans and future leaders.”

For more information about Military Appreciation Month activities, contact Veteran and Military Services at 662-915-5021 or at umveterans@olemiss.edu.

Summers Picks Up Preseason Honors

Preseason SEC Player of the Year by CBSSports.com

Ole Miss Basketball vs Mississippi Valley State on November 22nd, 2013 at the C.M. "Tad" Smith Coliseum in Oxford, MS.

Ole Miss Basketball vs Mississippi Valley State on November 22nd, 2013 at the C.M. “Tad” Smith Coliseum in Oxford, MS.

CHARLOTTE – Ole Miss senior guard Jarvis Summers picked up a preseason honor Wednesday, as he was named first team All-SEC by the league’s media.

A Jackson, Mississippi native, Summers is the SEC active career leader in points, assists and minutes played, and earned second team all-conference honors both the Associated Press and the coaches last season.

The senior was joined on the first team by Michael Frazier, of Florida, Aaron Harrison, of Kentucky, Jordan Mickey, of LSU, and Bobby Portis, of Arkansas. The media picked Ole Miss to finished sixth overall in the league standing and tabbed Kentucky as the conference champion.

Summers was also named the preseason SEC Player of the Year by CBSSports.com, who also honored Summers on its preseason first team.

Summers and the Rebels open the 2014-15 season at home Nov. 14 against Charleston Southern. Ole Miss will face Delta State in an exhibition game Nov. 7 at Tad Smith Coliseum. For ticket information go to OleMissTix.com or call the Ole Miss Ticket Office at 1-888-REB-TKTS (732-8587).

SEC Players and Coaches Go Through Carwash at SEC Network Studios

Ole Miss Women's Basketball vs Mississippi State on Thursday, January 23rd, 2014 at the C.M. Tad Smith Coliseum in Oxford, MS.

Ole Miss Women’s Basketball vs Mississippi State on Thursday, January 23rd, 2014 at the C.M. Tad Smith Coliseum in Oxford, MS.

CHARLOTTE – Head coach Matt Insell along with Ole Miss women’s basketball players Tia Faleru (Ozark, Ala.) and Danielle McCray (West Palm Beach, Fla.) represented the Rebels at the 2015 SEC Tipoff on Tuesday at the SEC Network Studios.

Coach Insell and the Rebels went through a carwash type day doing interviews with traditional press as well as doing television and radio interviews at the SEC Network Studios. One of the highlights was an on-court demonstration on a court setup outside the studios. Faleru and McCray showed ESPN’s Carolyn Peck and Kara Lawson how they will use their post tandem this season.

Additionally, the players sat in on a panel with some of the most successful and influential women in basketball learning some lessons about options open to them after basketball both in the world of athletics and outside.

The 2015 SEC Tipoff was the first season of the carwash style media day and gave the women’s players and coaches ample coverage on the SEC Network as highlights from the day’s events aired on SEC Now.

During the event the All-SEC Media Poll was announced as well as the SEC Network’s women’s basketball commentators for the upcoming season.

Faleru and McCray each acknowledged that the Tipoff served as a very real reminder that the 2014-15 season is right around the corner.

“Today really gave me a reason as to why I go on the court and grind everyday,” said Faleru. “We have a lot to prove this season and I know that we’re up for the challenge.”

McCray thought the day was a learning experience.

“It was an eye-opening experience,” said McCray “The panel that we listened to taught me a lot of things that could help us later in life and not only in basketball.”

Insell shared his thoughts about his team entering the 2014-15 season.

“We’ve made a lot of progress.” Said Insell. “I think that anything is realistic for this team. I don’t’ really look at any other teams, but ours and I look at how we can be the very best we can be. We have eight newcomers and we’re a lot more talented from 1-13 than we were at this time last year.  Right now I’m trying to figure out who’s going to play because they’re all competing at a very high level.

Our team this year reminds me of a team I coached at Kentucky six years ago. There is a lot of unknown, a lot of players who hadn’t done a lot in the league, but decided to have a great year. I see that with our roster and I see that in our players.”

Insell also talked about Tia Faleru, who returns as the leagues top returning scorer and rebounding after averaging 16.4 points and 9.4 rebounds last season.

“Last year, she went in night in and night out and had double doubles all year. You have a player like Tia, whom you can build around and add in some young talented players with her — it’s exciting to think about what we can become. We’re not there yet, were still developing, but what we can become in January is really exciting.”

Last season, Insell and the Rebels became known for playing a fast up-tempo game and that isn’t something that’s going away.

“We’re going to play a really unique up-tempo style, very similar to what we did at Kentucky years ago,” said Insell. “It’s going be a lot of pressing and trying to create mismatches offensively and not playing small ball so much.”

The women’s team opens the 2014-15 regular season on Nov. 14. The women’s team will host Grambling in its annual School Kids Game at 11 a.m. at Tad Smith Coliseum while the men’s team will kick off its season at 6 p.m. against Charleston Southern.  For ticket information go to OleMissTix.com or call the Ole Miss Ticket Office at 1-888-REB-TKTS (732-8587).

7 Ways to Observe #GivingTuesday in the Oxford-Ole Miss Community

One holiday that sometimes goes overlooked is one that speaks to every person who has ever stepped foot inside the “Hospitality State.” It’s a relatively new holiday, but it falls squarely in line with the mission of the University of Mississippi.

Started in 2012, #GivingTuesday is a global day for giving back. This year, it falls on Dec. 2, the day following Cyber Monday. While it may fall between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s a day that doesn’t necessary involve a financial commitment. It could be as simple as holding the door open for a stranger. Or, you could give your time and energy to any of our outstanding local service organizations. Check out this video (courtesy givingtuesday.org).

 

 

Need some help finding a way to give back to the Oxford-Ole Miss community? Here are just a few throughout our area:

1. Ole Miss Food Bank

2. Ole Miss Students for a Green Campus

3. Oxford-Lafayette Habitat for Humanity

4. Boys and Girls Club of North Mississippi

5. RebelTHON

6. Leap Frog Program

7. United Way of Oxford-Lafayette County

Ole Miss Returns Home to Host Missouri Friday Night

Rebels Face Tigers Friday Night, Return To Road Sunday At Vanderbilt

Head Coach Matt Mott

Head Coach Matt Mott

OXFORD, Miss. – After a stretch of more than three weeks without a home contest, the Ole Miss soccer team returns home to defend the home field and seek to start a new winning streak when the Rebels host Missouri at 7 p.m. on Friday night at the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium.

The first 300 fans at the game will receive a free Ole Miss Soccer flag to proudly display their support of the Rebels and can help the program in its drive to hit the 10,000 fan mark for attendance this season. Ole Miss has two games left at home in the regular season and is closing in on the mark for the first time in program history.

Ole Miss (7-5-4, 2-3-3 SEC) takes the field against the Missouri Tigers for only the fourth time in the history of the two programs on Friday night. The Rebels lead the series 2-1 and last faced the Tigers in the 2012 season on the road. All three contests have been decided by a score of 2-1.

The Rebels are led in scoring by freshman Addie Forbus and sophomore Olivia Harrison with six goals each this season. Eight different players have scored for the Rebels on the year with 11 different players distributing the ball on those goals.

Senior goalkeeper Kelly McCormick will break the school record for shutout victories with her next shutout. Currently, McCormick holds 22 shutouts to tie with Brittany Gillespie for the record set in 2003.

Missouri (10-4-2, 5-3-0) enters the weekend after falling to Alabama in the last outing. The Tigers are 3-2 in their last five outings with wins over Georgia, Kentucky and Vanderbilt. Missouri dropped matches to Alabama and Auburn.

The Tigers are led in scoring by Taylor Grant and Reagan Russell with six goals each. Kaysie Clark is the leading ball distributor with nine assists this season for Missouri.

Ole Miss and Vanderbilt have faced each other 15 times in the history of the two programs and the all-time series stands at a 5-5-5 mark. The Rebels have won four consecutive matches in the series.

Vanderbilt (7-8-1, 2-5-1 SEC) is coming off a pair of wins last weekend as the Commodores defeated Mississippi State and Tennessee on the road to pick up the first two SEC wins of the season.

Simone Charley leads the Commodore scoring with seven goals this season and is one of nine players to find the net this year. Charley is also the top passer, tying Ashley Oswald with three assists this season to help lead the Vanderbilt offense.

LSU Hands Ole Miss First Home Loss

Rebels Travel to Tennessee Sunday

Volleyball1OXFORD, Miss. – A great crowd of 874, a nationally-televised audience, an undefeated record at home and riding a three-match win streak, everything was set up for the Ole Miss Volleyball team against LSU.  The Tigers had other plans, handing the Rebels their first home loss, 3-0, here at the Gillom Sports Center Wednesday night.

Sophomore Melanie Crow recorded 13 kills and freshman Lexi Thompson notched 10, but the Rebels were unable to set up junior middle blocker Nakeyta Clair as often as they would have preferred.  She finished with just eight kills on a .235 clip, well below her average of .427.

As a team, the Rebels hit just .198, falling to 0-4 in the SEC when hitting below .200.

“Sometimes our first ball contact hurt us with being able to stay aggressive offensively,” head coach Steven McRoberts said.  “Early on we weren’t able to get Nakeyta involved as much as we would have liked.  We have to give credit to LSU, they played really well, and we didn’t do a good job of matching their intensity.”

LSU came out firing in the first set, but the Rebels hung around to take a 15-13 lead into the media timeout.  Ole Miss built a 20-16 lead and eventually had two set points both from big kills by Crow. LSU answered each time and went on to win the set 28-26 to take the early momentum.

Ole Miss led 8-6 early in the second set, but LSU went on an 11-4 to run to gain a 17-12 advantage.  The Tigers never looked back winning it 25-18 for the 2-0 lead in the match.

The Rebels fell behind 5-1 to start the third set and Coach McRoberts called his first timeout. Ole Miss hung around and pulled to within two points, 22-20, before the Tigers won the final three for 25-20 and the match.

The Rebels travel to Knoxville, Tennessee, Sunday to face Tennessee at 12:30 p.m. CT.  The Lady Vols are 2-8 overall and 0-8 in the SEC.

For more information on Ole Miss Volleyball, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissVB, on Facebook at OleMissVolleyball and on instagram at OleMissVB.

LSU (11-7, 6-3)               28    25    25
Ole Miss (18-4, 4-4)        26    18    20

UMMC Among Top 10 Medical Schools to See Increase in Research Funding

Lab manager Zannel Blanchard, front, assists in the translational research of Dr. Wael ElShamy, associate professor of biochemistry, back. Research at UMMC continues to draw in more federal funding, putting the Medical Center among the top 10 in the nation to see an increase in funding from National Institutes of Health this year.

Lab manager Zannel Blanchard, front, assists in the translational research of Dr. Wael ElShamy, associate professor of biochemistry, back. Research at UMMC continues to draw in more federal funding, putting the Medical Center among the top 10 in the nation to see an increase in funding from National Institutes of Health this year.

JACKSON, Miss. – During one of the most competitive times to access funding from one of the nation’s largest research sponsors, the University of Mississippi Medical Center has received more awards and more money than the previous year.

The National Institutes of Health, the primary federal agency for biomedical and health-related research, has been forced to become more selective in distributing its awards over the last few years, a product of cost-cutting among government agencies.

But in that same time, UMMC has managed to pull in more funding for its extensive research projects, nearly $42 million this fiscal year, a feat placing the university among the top 10 in the nation for increased percentage of NIH funding. During the last fiscal year, NIH-funded projects at UMMC stood at $23.1 million.

“We are very proud that our NIH funding is on the rise. It gives us incredible prestige and credibility in the academic community to have that source of funding, and we are going to look forward to doing that further every year,” said Dr. Richard Summers, associate vice chancellor for research at UMMC. “It’s a real challenge because it’s a pretty hard and competitive point right now.”

Overall, UMMC received more than $52.1 million this year for research from multiple funding sources, representing an 83 percent increase in research funding from last year.

“This success comes from the hard work of the individual researchers at our institution,” said Summers.

Researchers such as Dr. John Hall, chair of the department of physiology and biophysics and the lead investigator in UMMC’s Mississippi Center for Obesity Research, continue to draw in NIH funding because of the magnitude and potential global impact of his studies.

“We were fortunate to receive two major NIH grants this past year,” said Hall, citing an $11.4 million and a $10.3 million grant, both over a five-year period that will continue his team’s research into obesity and cardiovascular and kidney diseases.

The second grant comes from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, a component of NIH, and is a continuation of a program project grant for cardiovascular studies that has been funded at UMMC for 45 years, said Hall.

Dr. Thomas Mosley, a UMMC professor of geriatrics and lead researcher at the MIND Center, has pulled in funding from many sources thanks to his research into Alzheimer’s disease.

“We’ve been successful and lucky in some ways. We’ve certainly worked hard and we’ve tried to be very strategic about the institutes where we seek funding,” said Mosley. “Specifically, we try to closely match the institute’s priorities.”

Mosley said because cohort-studies like his are expensive to run, it’s become increasingly important to cultivate buy-in from multiple institutes within NIH.

“So instead of going to just one institute and saying we need a whole lot of support to get this study done, we look for ways to work across institutes and get multiple partners involved,” said Mosley.

The tightening of the purse strings at NIH also has prompted the MIND Center to identify alternative funding sources, said Denise Lafferty, chief of operations at the center.

“The compound effect comes into play, and one result impacts the other; the NIH funding helped us to get state funding and the state funding and private support can help us get more NIH funding,” said Lafferty.

During 2013, Mississippi allocated $3 million to the MIND Center, marking the first time for state funding at the center, she said.

The federal and private funding – for which the MIND Center has raised more than $10 million – encouraged state leaders to pay attention, Lafferty said.

The funding from the state and private entities is helping pay for infrastructure projects, which also is critical in gaining NIH funding, said Lafferty.  “If you don’t have the staff and equipment to be able to prove you can really deliver the results of the grant, then they are less likely to give you the funding.”

Even as the future of research funding means finding alternative strategies to obtain it, UMMC and its researchers remain committed to the cause, said Summers.

“It’s always important to remember that the point of the research mission is not to get grants,” said Summers. “That’s very important as the fuel for funding the research mission, but the point of the research mission is the discovery itself and the discovery in the context of helping the health care of Mississippians. That’s the real main goal.

“As long as we have our eyes on the prize of discovery and improving the health care of Mississippians, that’s really what we want to do.”

By the numbers

FY 2014 – $52,185,653 in research funding
FY 2013 – $28,488,789 in research funding

FY 2014 – $41,995,434 in NIH funding
FY 2013 – $23,137,306 in NIH funding

FY 2014 – 127 awards
FY 2013 – 119 awards

Diabetic No More: UMMC Patient Gets State’s First Isolated Pancreas Transplant

Nancy Smith and famiily

Nancy Smith with daughter Braeden and son Carruth

JACKSON, Miss. – Ask brittle diabetic Nancy Smith why she opted for a pancreas transplant, a rare procedure not without risk or potentially devastating complications, and she’ll tell you about her heart.

There’s her son Carruth, an 18-year-old high school senior. There’s daughter Braeden, 23, a college graduate and preschool teacher.

“They’re amazing,” the Jackson resident says of her children. Carruth copes with the challenges of Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism, and a rare neuropsychiatric disorder associated with strep infections.

“They made the decision easy. I want to watch them continue to grow, and to be around for all the major life events to come,” Smith said. “He needs me, and so does she. Nobody is like a mama.”

On Sept. 30, Smith became the first person in the state to receive an isolated pancreas transplant at the University of Mississippi Medical Center – not the more medically common combination of a pancreas and kidney, but a pancreas alone.  “It’s an incredibly rare procedure,” said Dr. Mark Earl, an assistant professor of surgery at UMMC, who performed the transplant and whose expertise includes all aspects of liver and pancreas surgery and transplant.

“It’s especially rare for someone who has no kidney failure, but has other life-threatening complications from type 1 diabetes,” Earl said. And, he said, the surgery marks the 10th transplant of a pancreas at UMMC this year, putting its transplant program on par with other acclaimed programs in the Southeast.

Diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, 52-year-old Smith said she and her doctors knew it would be a matter of time before she’d need a transplant. She lost sight in one eye. Her neuropathy was worsening. Quality of life was waning.

Because Smith’s pancreas wasn’t producing the hormone insulin and couldn’t regulate her blood sugar levels, her blood sugar was unpredictable and would drop without warning, causing her to pass out.  “Low blood sugar can be immediately life threatening. You pass out, and if it doesn’t come back up, you can die,” Earl said.

“Because Nancy is a Type 1 diabetic, the insulin-producing cells in her pancreas had been killed by her own immune system,” Earl said.

During a three-hour operation, Earl left her native pancreas alone; it worked well except for that one potentially fatal flaw. The donated pancreas he positioned into her abdomen produces crucial insulin, which stimulates cells to absorb sugar from the blood.

Before the surgery, Smith had tried to do all the right things:  Frequently exercise. Watch her diet and weight. Pray. Try not to fret about the future.

“If I could stay calm and not worry about things as much, that would help,” Smith said. “I wouldn’t be here today if I didn’t exercise like I do.”

But as her health continued to deteriorate, Smith in July 2013 secured a place on the transplant waiting list at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans. It was right before UMMC’s transplant program began performing pancreas-kidney procedures.

“They had to take me off the waiting list at Ochsner because I couldn’t find anyone who could go to New Orleans and stay there three months with me,” Smith said.

The timing could not have been better.

“It was ironic,” said Smith’s sister-in-law, Terri Gillespie of Jackson, who happens to be UMMC’s chief nursing executive officer. “She came over to the house and said she wished UMMC would get approval for a pancreas transplant. I said, ‘Oh, my gosh. That happened yesterday! ‘ ”

In January, Smith met with Dr. Kenneth Kokko, an associate professor of nephrology and member of UMMC’s transplant team. “Dr. Earl came in, and he said, ‘You’re going to be the first person to receive a pancreas transplant, and if there was any person who needed a pancreas transplant, you’re it,” Smith remembered.

On Sept. 24, Earl called her:  A donor pancreas had been located. She grabbed the bag that had been packed for months and headed to UMMC, only to find out that the pancreas wasn’t viable for transplant. “We got back into the car, and Nancy said, ‘I feel like I had Braxton-Hicks contractions and I went to the hospital to have a baby, and I got sent back home,’ ” said her sister, Janie Robbins of Ridgeland.

“Carruth was so sad when I came back home,” Smith said. “He didn’t say a word. He just put his head on my shoulder. Braeden was bummed, but positive that all things happen for a reason.”

Just days later, Earl summoned Smith again with news of a potential pancreas. She hurried back to UMMC, donned a hospital gown, and counted down the hours before surgery in a patient room, Gillespie and Robbins at her side.

Earl stood at her bedside and detailed the risks:  There would be a 30 percent chance she’d have to go back into surgery the first week. There was a 10 percent chance the blood supply to the new pancreas could become blocked during the first six weeks.

“There’s about a 20 percent chance of rejection, but in the overwhelming majority of folks, the transplanted pancreas lasts a long time and they are done taking insulin injections,” Earl told her.

“I’m the overwhelming majority!” Smith told him.

As Smith, Gillespie and Robbins waited for word from Earl on the pancreas’ viability, they shared a laugh over memories of Smith owning a cupcake store in the face of diabetes. And, they somberly contemplated the fact that because someone died, Smith could have a better and longer life.

“I’m overwhelmed,” Robbins said. “You know someone’s going to be giving us the greatest gift.”

“If I can just have five more years ….” Smith said, willing back her tears. “I just need a little more time.”

When they thought a transplant was imminent a week earlier, Gillespie said, “I felt elation, and then did a lot of praying.

“Often times with a transplant, if it’s an unexpected death, it gives a donor family a feeling of closure – that it wasn’t all for nothing,” said Gillespie, who spent many years as an emergency room and recovery nurse.

Earl sent Smith home just five days after she got her new pancreas.

“Everything’s a miracle,” said Smith, who wants to help people understand the importance of organ donation. “When I woke up from surgery, I didn’t have diabetes. Now I can see shapes and some other things out of my right eye. I’ve never had this many normal blood sugars this many days in a row.

“I cannot imagine having anyone else in charge,” she said of Earl. “He has given me quality of life back.”

Said Earl: “She’s not just recovering from surgery. She’s recovering from years of diabetes. But with her energy level and the rate she is recovering, we’re going to have to slow her down, rather than tell her she needs to get moving and start living life.”

He and his staff are watching Smith carefully, taking frequent bloodwork and making sure she regularly checks her blood sugar. “That is one of our best markers for pancreatic function,” he said.

As Smith’s recovery continues, Earl said, so does her prospect of a long and healthy life.

“I want her to get 20 more years completely free of diabetes. That’s the whole point. If this wasn’t the point, it wouldn’t be worth the risk,” he said.

“My hope is that she goes on to die of something else as a very old lady.”

Rebel Hoops Opens Fall Practice

Ole Miss boasts SEC-best five seniors

Ole Miss Men's Basketball vs Missouri on Saturday, February 8th, 2014 at the C.M. Tad Smith Coliseum in Oxford, MS.

Ole Miss men’s basketball vs. Missouri on Feb. 8, 2014 at the C.M. Tad Smith Coliseum.

OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss basketball squad opened fall practice Friday at the team’s practice facility at the Tuohy Center.

Although this marked the Ole Miss’ first official practice of the season, the Rebels have worked together much of the off season, including individual work and the team’s trip to the Bahamas in August.

Head coach Andy Kennedy, the all-time winningest coach in school history, noted the team’s extra work is already paying dividends

“We’re so far ahead based on what we had the opportunity to experience in the Bahamas,” Kennedy said. “We have been with this team for 10 practices in July and August, and then we had two games in the Bahamas, so I feel much further along with this group.

“We already put in some of our baseline stuff so that we can start to make adjustments based on what we saw this summer. Our foundation is pretty much set. Now, we’re building off that based on the skill set of our players.”

The Rebels boast one of the most experienced teams in the SEC, with a league-high five seniors led by returning All-SEC performer Jarvis Summers. Summers is the SEC active career leader with 1,233 career points and 370 assists.

“This is the most-experienced team I have coached at Ole Miss, where nine of our 13 scholarship players are upperclassmen. I’m pleased with where we are and the prospects of this team.”

Ole Miss also added five newcomers to this year’s squad, highlighted by a pair of fifth-year transfers in M.J. Rhett and Terence Smith. A presence in the low post, Rhett ranked 18th in the nation last year with nine double-doubles at Tennessee State, while Smith was a career 1,000-point scorer and 40 percent 3-point shooter (101-253) at Tennessee-Martin, and averaged 14.6 points a game last year for the Skyhawks.

Stephan Moody, a junior college transfer, also joins the Rebels after being named the Sunbelt Conference Freshman of the Year at Florida Atlantic University, where he averaged 15.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.

Ole Miss tips off the 2014-15 season Nov. 14 with Charleston Southern and will play a nonconference slate that includes Cincinnati, Creighton, Dayton, Oregon and Western Kentucky. The Rebels open the conference play Jan. 6 on the road at Kentucky.

Clarion-Ledger: Mississippi Soldier Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

JACKSON, Miss. – When Army Reserve Sgt. Randy Sandifer of Pinola deployed to Iraq as a sophomore at Ole Miss, he didn’t realize he was on a journey that would take him not only overseas, but eventually would tie his name to one of the most prestigious honors in the world.

Sandifer, now 30 and a ballistics expert at the Army Crime Lab in Atlanta, is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for research he did while stationed at Abu Ghraib prison — research that ultimately would lead to the closure of the controversial facility.

Read the full story here.