UM Chemistry Professor, Postdoc Win R&D Magazine Top 100 Award

Collaborative research with ORNL yields breakthrough aluminum plating technology

Dr. Hussey with one of his students.

Charles Hussey with postdoctoral research associate Li-Hsien Chou.

OXFORD, Miss. – A revolutionary aluminum plating process developed at the University of Mississippi has been recognized as one of the most technologically significant products of 2014.

The Portable Aluminum Deposition System, or PADS, invented in the laboratory of UM chemistry chair and professor Charles Hussey, is a winner in R&D Magazine‘s 52nd annual R&D 100 Awards. The international competition recognizes excellence across a wide range of industries, including telecommunications, optics, high-energy physics, materials science chemistry and biotechnology. The award is considered to be the “Oscar” for inventors.

The work in Hussey’s lab is part of a larger project and carried out in collaboration with Sheng Dai and other scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the United Technologies Research Center. At UM, Hussey worked closely with postdoctoral research associate Li-Hsien Chou to develop PADS. This aluminum plating technology is expected to replace hazardous coatings such as cadmium, thereby potentially strengthening the competitiveness of American manufacturing companies worldwide and cutting the cost of aluminum plating by a factor of 50 to 100.

PADS allows manufacturers to safely conduct aluminum deposition in open atmosphere for the first time. Aluminum cannot be plated from water or most other solvents, so a special electrolyte that enables the safe plating is a critical part of the device.

“As basic scientists studying fundamental process and phenomena, so much of what we do is not immediately useful or obvious to society,” Hussey said. “Here, we have made something unique and obviously useful. This is very satisfying.”

Chou, who earned her doctorate under Professor I-Wen Sun at National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan, is Hussey’s “academic granddaughter” because Sun is one of Hussey’s first doctoral graduates, having earned his Ph.D. at UM in 1989.

Winning the R&D award is a dream come true for Chou.

“Every scientist dreams one day to develop a useful product with their name on it, and we did,” Chou said. “I am so happy we can bring this recognition to Ole Miss.”

Hussey said he is pleased with his Chou’s contributions to the project.

“I am very proud of her and hope this will benefit her career,” he said. “After all, this is really what we do or should be doing in academia, developing people and helping them to be successful in their careers and lives.”

The judges were impressed by the development of a process to use air-sensitive ionic liquids in the open atmosphere to make an air-stable plating system.

“The availability of air-stable plating systems allows the technology to be used in the field, giving PADS a competitive advantage,” said Paul Livingstone, senior editor of R&D Magazine. “The technology’s lower cost of use and prospect for displacing toxic corrosion protection alternatives were additional factors that contributed to the selection of this winning technology.”

Research on the technology was stimulated by a research contract from the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense to UM through ORNL. Plated aluminum is a protective coating and offers corrosion protection to any underlying metal.

Hussey has worked on ionic liquid projects for many years, including various U.S. Department of Energy projects involving the development of ionic liquid-based processes for the treatment of spent nuclear fuel.

The 2014 R&D 100 Awards banquet is set for Nov. 7 at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas.

For a full list of this year’s winners, visit http://www.rdmag.com/award-winners/2014/07/2014-r-d-100-award-winners. For more information about the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, go to http://chemistry.olemiss.edu.

Origin of Universe Topic of Sept. 23 Science Café

Postdoctoral researcher working at LIGO is speaker

Science Cafe

The September Science Cafe is set for Sept. 23.

OXFORD, Miss. – The origins of the universe is the topic for a monthly public science forum organized by the UM Department of Physics and Astronomy.

The fall semester’s second meeting of the Oxford Science Café is set for 6 p.m. Sept. 23 at Lusa Pastry Cafe, 2305 West Jackson Ave. Shivaraj Kandhasamy, a UM postdoctoral research associate working at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, or LIGO, facility in Louisiana, will discuss “The Big Bang and Its Cosmic Messengers.” Admission is free.

“If the universe started with a big bang, traces of the primordial explosion should be observed in the form of electromagnetic radiation, gravitational waves and neutrinos across the sky,” Kandhasamy said. “The next generation of gravitational wave ground- or space-based detectors may directly detect these gravitational waves.”

Kandhasamy’s 30-minute presentation will review the beginning of the universe’s expansion, or “explosion,” often called the big bang.

“In 1929, Edwin Hubble discovered that most of the galaxies are receding with velocities proportional to their distances from the Milky Way,” he said. “This observation suggests that the universe was once very small in size and has expanded ever since.

“The cosmic (microwave) background of electromagnetic radiation was first observed by Penzias and Wilson in 1964. Recently, the BICEP2 experiment reported some indirect evidence for the presence of cosmological primordial gravitational waves.”

Kandhasamy earned his doctorate in physics from the University of Minnesota, master’s from Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India, and bachelor’s from the Vivekananda College of MK University in Madurai, India.

His research interests include the detection of gravitational waves using LIGO data. Particularly, his research focuses on the search for stochastic signals, the combination of gravitational waves from sources across the sky that are too faint to observe individually, as well as long-duration transient gravitational wave signals, which may last longer than 10 seconds.

For more information about Oxford Science Café programs, go to http://www.phy.olemiss.edu/oxfordsciencecafe. For more information about the Department of Physics and Astronomy, visit http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/physics_and_astronomy or call 662-915-5311.

Music of the South Concert Series Continues Sept. 17

Cajun French band Feufollet to perform at Ford Center Studio Theater

Feufollet

Feufollet

OXFORD, Miss. – Cajun roots-rock band Feufollet gives listeners a taste of Louisiana Sept. 17 at the Music of the South Concert Series at the University of Mississippi.

The concert is set for 7 p.m. in the Studio Theater of the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts. The venue has a capacity of 150 people. Tickets are available for $10 through the UM Box Office, 662-915-7411, and at the door.

Feufollet is a Cajun French band deeply rooted in the Francophone soil of their hometown of Lafayette, Louisiana. They first came together and recorded in 1995, when they were all in their early teens or younger. Though famous for their renditions of heartbreaking songs and rollicking tunes, the group features original songs that draw on deep roots tempered by a cutting edge of contemporary life.

“Three members of Feufollet came to the Music of the South Symposium in 2013,” said Ted Ownby, director of the UM Center for the Study of Southern Culture. “The topic that year was experimentation and innovation, and the band members told some intriguing stories about how, as children, they played music considered traditionally Cajun, and how they have experimented with those traditions while listening to and feeling the influence of all sorts of music. We’re excited to have them performing at the Ford Center.”

The name Feufollet translates to “swamp fire.” Band members Philippe Billeaudeaux, Kelli Jones-Savoy, Chris Stafford, Mike Stafford and Andrew Toups sing and even compose in French, and their music is a blend of modern sounds and ancient styles, mixing zydeco, rock, rhythm and blues, and country.

Billeaudeaux, who plays bass, said he is looking forward the show.

“At the Music of the South Conference last year, we had a great time talking about our musical influences and our creative process, and had the ability to present examples to an interested audience,” he said. “We’re very happy to be asked back, this time with the band.”

The band has been hard at work on its forthcoming album “Two Universes,” which will be its first with new singer-guitarist-fiddler Jones-Savoy and now-full-time keyboardist Toups.

“With the addition to our new members, our sound has helped us move forward,” Billeaudeaux said. “Kelli is rooted in old-time and country music as well as Cajun and Creole, while Toups’ keyboards add new colors to our repertoire.”

Recently, the group won the 2014 Gambit Weekly’s Big Easy Music Award for “Best Cajun Artist.”

The Music of the South Concert Series, which highlights intimate evenings with Southern performers, is a partnership between the Center for the Study of Southern Culture and the Ford Center that began in 2012. Previous performers include Caroline Herring, Randall Bramblett, Valerie June, Blind Boy Paxton and John “JoJo” Hermann.

UM Showcases Creations of Campus Artists

Ford Center gallery features work of 11 faculty members, Meek Hall hosts graduate student art show

UM Ph.D. Student Alona Alexander, a music education major from Madison, looks at the faculty art exhibit at the Ford Center. Photo by Michael Newsom/University Communications

UM doctoral student Alona Alexander, a music education major from Madison, looks at the faculty art exhibit at the Ford Center. Photo by Michael Newsom/University Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi is hosting an art show featuring the work of 11 faculty members in the gallery at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts through Oct. 24.

A reception honoring the artists of the exhibit is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. Oct. 9. There’s no admission fee to view the artwork or attend the reception.

The exhibit offers the public a chance to see paintings, prints and mixed media from the Department of Art’s distinguished faculty, said Virginia Rougon Chavis, associate professor and chair of the art department, who is also one of the featured artists.

“Our faculty members are nationally and internationally recognized for their research,” Rougon Chavis said. “This is a great opportunity for the public to see the work of our faculty from the art department right here on campus. While the Ford Center and the university does a great job at bringing outside artists and performers to campus, we also have some wonderful faculty doing exciting things in the area.”

The exhibit features the work of:

  • Paula Temple, professor emeritus of graphic design
  • Robert Malone, adjunct assistant professor of art
  • Ashley Chavis, adjunct assistant professor of art
  • Virginia Rougon Chavis , chair and associate professor of art
  • Ross Turner, visual resources specialist
  • Carlyle Wolfe, adjunct assistant professor of art
  • Brooke White, associate professor of imaging arts
  • Sheri Rieth, associate professor of art
  • Jere Allen, professor emeritus of painting
  • Amy Evans, adjunct art instructor
  • Jan Murray, associate dean of liberal arts and associate professor of art

Also, Gallery 130 in Meek Hall is showing works created by graduate art students in an exhibit running through Oct. 9. A reception is planned at Meek Hall on the same evening as the Ford Center reception, but it runs 4-6 p.m. to allow visitors to attend both events in one evening.

“The graduate students play an important role in the Department of Art,” Rougon Chavis said. “The work they create is more than the acquisition of knowledge under competent instruction. These students make a contribution to the art world that is of original and independent value.”

Three UM Professors Launch Racial Climate Study

Professors to examine students' experiences with racial and ethnic issues

A monument to James Meredith, the first black student at the University of Mississippi, stands on campus. Photo by UM Brand Photography.

A monument honoring James Meredith, the first black student at the University of Mississippi, stands on campus. Photo by UM Brand Photography.

OXFORD, Miss. – Three University of Mississippi sociology professors are launching a comprehensive study to understand racial and ethnic issues on campus and are seeking student participants to chronicle their experiences in online diaries.

Professors Kirk A. Johnson, Willa M. Johnson and James Thomas are seeking volunteers to confidentially journal their experiences with race issues at UM. The identities of the students will be known only to the investigators. For now, the study is expected to last at least until the end of the school year, but the hope is to continue it through coming academic years.

“We’re casting a broad net, so all students are eligible to participate,” Kirk Johnson said. “We want to hear from undergraduate or graduate students, those taking classes on the main campus or satellite campuses and those from all races and ethnic groups as long as they have some sort of racial and ethnic experience to share.”

The professors will collect diary entries and then analyze them to see what sort of factors lead to everyday incidents of racial and ethnic tensions or conversely, racial and ethnic cooperation. The professors are still making arrangements for other universities to join the project, so for the time being, UM is the only school being studied.

Students who wish to enroll in the study can click this link on or after Aug. 24. The link takes students to an online consent form, after which they’ll be directed to the diary website. There’s also a brief tutorial that explains how to write a diary entry.

Deadly riots ensued when James Meredith became the first black person to enroll at the university in 1962. Over the years, other racial incidents have been reported at the university. In response to those incidents, Chancellor Dan Jones recently issued a comprehensive report with recommendations for making the university a more welcoming environment for all. Part of that recommendation is that the university deal head-on with issues of race.

Willa M. Johnson said the university is in a unique position to study the issue.

“We think that the University of Mississippi is well situated to discuss these things,” she said. “We think our history gives us an opportunity. Rather than just look at this as the grave problem that it truly is, we look at it from the perspective of the opportunity that it affords the University of Mississippi to both understand race and also to put scholarship out that explains prejudice, both where it comes from, how it’s expressed in all its iterations.”

Since the nation elected its first black president in 2008, many wonder if the country is “post-racial,” Willa Johnson said. She doesn’t believe that’s the case, but thinks the study can be a valuable look into how racial and ethnic dynamics work.

“We’re not post-racial, but where are we?” she added. “That’s what we’re trying to figure out.”

Professors who would like their students to participate in the diary project for extra credit should contact Kirk Johnson at kjohnson@olemiss.edu.

UM to Screen ‘Justice Is a Black Woman’

Civil rights attorney Constance Baker Motley biopic to be shown Sept. 3 at Overby Center

Mosley_Poster JPEGOXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi will host a screening of “Justice Is a Black Woman: The Life and Work of Constance Baker Motley” at 6 p.m. Sept. 3 at the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics.

Producer Gary Ford will participate in the showing of his award-winning biographical movie, narrated by journalist Juan Williams. It tells the story of Motley, the civil rights attorney who acted as legal counsel for James Meredith on his case to become the first black student at UM. Major cases she handled throughout her career also led to many schools, universities and businesses being desegregated.

Some of the most important events in Mississippi history are covered in the movie, said Curtis Wilkie, Overby Fellow and Kelly G. Cook Chair of Journalism at UM.

“It’s so important to Mississippi history that young people today see this and learn about some of the actors that were involved in all of the enormous changes that took place in this state in the late 1950s though 1960s,” Wilkie said. “(Motley) was a major figure, and I think it’s important that students today know about her.”

The event is co-sponsored by the university’s College of Liberal Arts, School of Law, Overby Center, Provost’s Office and Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College. The screening is the first of a planned series of annual events focusing on issues of race that are to be held early each academic year. The events are intended to create a respectful community discussion to help sensitize students and encourage them to think about and discuss race.

“Constance Baker Motley is a singular figure in the civil rights era,” said Richard Forgette, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and professor of political science. “She’s someone people need to know more about. This is an opportunity to learn more about her, but it’s also an opportunity for the university community to have a dialogue about race. The hope is people can watch the video and there will be a good discussion afterward.”

Motley, a native of New Haven, Connecticut, served as a New York state senator and worked as a lawyer with the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund. She successfully argued 10 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Wilkie said she was one of many strong women who fought racism and segregation during the civil rights movement.

“So often in the movement, the guys took credit for so much that was done, but there were so many influential, powerful women who were involved,” Wilkie said. “I think of Fannie Lou Hamer and also Marian Wright Edelman, who was a great civil rights lawyer. Judge Motley was also a major figure. She did her work in the courtroom rather than demonstrating in the streets, but she was a major figure in the civil rights movement, no question about it.”

She was a key legal strategist in other cases that helped desegregate schools, buses and lunch counters. Motley wrote the original complaint in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case, in which the U.S. Supreme Court struck down school segregation.

She was also the first African-American woman to argue a case before the Supreme Court, Meredith v. Fair, which won Meredith the right to enroll at UM in 1962.

In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson also appointed Motley as the nation’s first black female federal judge.

Following a long legal career, Motley died in New York in 2005.

The production team for the documentary included Michael Calia, director of the Quinnipiac University Ed McMahon Mass Communications Center and director-producer of the film; Susan Bailey, scriptwriter; Lynn Bushnell, executive producer; and Gary Ford, co-producer who wrote his dissertation on Motley.

For more information, contact the UM College of Liberal Arts at 662-915-7178 or libarts@olemiss.edu.

Sexuality Emphasis Added to Gender Studies Minor

UM becomes first in Mississippi to offer program

Gender Studies

Sarah Isom Center for Woman and Gender Studies is offering a new emphasis in sexuality.

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi’s Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies is offering a new emphasis in sexuality beginning this fall semester.

The new field of study will allow students to study sexuality in an open and engaging academic environment. Sexuality studies explore the social construction of sexuality, ways in which society shapes and determines its meanings, as well as the differences that exist within various cultures and moments in history.

The curriculum will feature two courses in the emphasis each semester, including a new course in queer theory and a course on Oscar Wilde this fall. The new program grew out of faculty concerns that the university needed a safe space for educational discussions about sexuality, said Jaime Harker, interim director of the Isom Center.

“It became clear that students needed more opportunities to be educated about issues of sexuality,” Harker said. “As faculty, we decided that setting up an academic program, where students could learn and ask questions in a structured environment, was one way to address this larger need for education.”

UM is the first in the state to offer the sexuality emphasis through a gender studies minor. However, a number of universities across the country have already incorporated programs in sexuality/queer studies, including Indiana University, New York University, and the universities of Florida, Maryland and Ohio.

“This new sexuality emphasis through the gender studies program at Ole Miss reflects the university’s commitment to undergraduate education built on inclusion, a perspective that embraces the complexities and diversity of human experience,” said Jaime Cantrell, a visiting assistant professor of English who will teach the queer theory course cross-listed with the Department of English and the Isom Center.

The term “queer” has historically been used in a number of ways, meaning things ranging from the strange to pejorative, Cantrell said. However, though her teaching, she is far more interested in providing an introduction to what queer theories do than defining what queer theory is.

“Certainly it suggests an anti-normative positioning in terms of sexuality, but someone who is heterosexual might also identify as queer with regard to their particular sexual preferences or pleasures,” she said. “Queer is an inclusive, fluid label that allows individuals to acknowledge that anti-normative positionality without necessarily revealing how or in what contexts.”

Harker hopes that the addition of these courses will begin a needed dialogue.

“We hope to continue to offer new and interesting courses such as the ‘South and Sexuality’ course in the spring,” Harker said. “We need to learn how to discuss sensitive topics in an unemotional, factual manner. The more institutional support this program has, the more it becomes a part of the fabric of our university.”

The Isom Center, named after the university’s first female faculty member, was established in 1981 to address the changing roles and expectations of women students, faculty and staff. The center is responsible for integrating scholarly research on women’s and gender issues.

New Journal Examines Culture of American South

Inaugural article explores post-civil rights foodways

Study the South

Study the South

OXFORD, Miss. – The Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi has launched Study the South, a new peer-reviewed, multimedia online journal.

The journal, which is published and managed by the center, exists to encourage interdisciplinary academic thought and discourse on the culture of the American South, particularly in the fields of history, anthropology, sociology, music, literature, documentary studies, gender studies, religion, geography, media studies, race studies, ethnicity, folklife and art.

The title of Study the South itself is unusual, since it takes the form of a command.

“The commands are to take both the subject matter and the methods of study seriously, to conduct the study as part of a community of scholars and to study in ways that address topics of lasting importance,” said CSSC Director Ted Ownby.

James G. Thomas Jr. and Ownby serve as senior editors, and an editorial board composed of CSSC faculty and staff is in place.

Study the South also offers an invitation to join the effort to expand the questions, methods and topics of Southern studies.

“It encourages innovative approaches or, as Eudora Welty wrote, ‘all serious daring,'” Ownby said. “In encouraging interdisciplinary scholarship, it encourages work that not only tells about the South, to paraphrase William Faulkner, or documents the South or interprets the South, but work that uses all the tools available to good scholars.”

The first article published in the journal is “How to Eat to Live: Black Nationalism and the Post-1964 Culinary Turn,” written by Jennifer Jensen Wallach of the University of North Texas. She explores the alternative foodways of various black nationalist groups in the wake of the civil rights movement. Wallach’s piece goes alongside the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed segregation at spaces of public accommodation such as restaurants.

Wallach’s article is available via the center’s new website at http://southernstudies.olemiss.edu/study-the-south/how-to-eat-to-live/.

Future issues of the journal will include calls for papers on topics the Center for the Study of Southern Culture has defined, and others will come from submissions from authors.

Second UM Fulbright Scholar Named

Michael Shea plans to teach English, study literary and cultural connections in Argentina

Michael Shea

Michael Shea

OXFORD, Miss – Both a poet and a scholar, Michael Shea earned a Master of Fine Arts in May from the University of Mississippi. Now he is headed to Argentina as a 2014 Fulbright U.S. Student Award winner, the university’s second Fulbright Scholar of the year.

Shea will participate in the English Teaching Assistant program, which places Fulbright recipients in classrooms abroad to provide assistance to the local English teachers. ETAs help teach English language while serving as cultural ambassadors for the United States.

A native of Clearwater, Florida, Shea is interested in the connections between Argentina and American literature and culture

“As a student of Spanish, it was the ability to contextualize my language skills through literature that allowed me to fully understand my new tongue,” Shea said.

With an English teaching assistantship to Argentina beginning in March 2015, Shea plans to establish a community poetry workshop where students will read poems by American poets and attempt to write their own works in English to encourage cross-cultural awareness and language acquisition.

“I hope to offer my students a similar experience by teaching English through poetry, while also fostering greater understanding between the two nations on a grass-roots level,” he said.

Shea also wants to establish a virtual reading series in which American poets will be invited to read their work via video chat programs to a live Argentine audience (and vice versa), creating an international dialogue.

This opportunity “will allow me to lay a strong foundation for future studies in global literature and translation,” Shea said.

“As a graduate student in our Master of Fine Arts program, Michael Shea has demonstrated a high level of talent, creativity and dedication,” said Derrick Harriell, assistant professor of English and African-American Studies. “He’s been a model for our program and is extremely deserving of this distinguished honor.”

At UM, Shea was the senior editor of Yalobusha Review, the university’s literary journal, while coordinating the monthly Trobar Ric Reading Series.

In Argentina, Shea plans to seek out contemporary Argentine poets and translate their work into English, a project that will continue with the eventual goal of publication upon his return to the U.S. He also plans to pursue a doctorate in comparative literature, with a specialization in Pan-American poetics. Shea’s parents are Michael and Annie Shea of Clearwater.

“We are proud of Michael’s award and his vision and poetic sensibilities,” said Douglass Sullivan-Gonzales, dean of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College. “We hope that his sojourn in Argentina enables him to understand the depth of dilemmas facing humanity and that he retraces successfully the paths that the great Argentinian poets have trod.”

Shea is the university’s 14th Fulbright U.S. Student Award winner since 2000. Katie Shuford also won a Fulbright to Hungary this year. Last year, Ryan Ezelle won a Fulbright to serve as an English Teaching Assistant in the Dominican Republic.

Established in 1946, the Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

Students interested in applying for the Fulbright U.S. Student Award are encouraged to contact Debra Young of the Office of National Scholarship Advisement at onsa@olemiss.edu.

High School Students Study Chinese at UM

Mississippi StarTalk introduces prospective students to the Chinese Language Flagship Program

Students attended

Students participating in the 2014 StarTalk program

OXFORD, Miss. – Exceptional high school students from 13 states recently received intensive instruction in Chinese through the Mississippi StarTalk program at the University of Mississippi during summer session 2014.

Each of the 29 high school sophomores and juniors selected were given full StarTalk scholarships to delve into a cultural program that introduced them to China, its people and the culture.

While earning six hours of college-level Chinese credit, students were introduced to the University of Mississippi’s premier undergraduate Chinese Language Flagship Program, one of only 12 such programs in the United States. They also had the chance to sample the college experience.

Adam Jackson, a sophomore at Episcopal Collegiate School in Little Rock, Arkansas, took Chinese 101 this term and enjoyed studying the language while taking the illustrative glimpse into college life.

“I’m glad I got to get a feel for college and learn Chinese,” Jackson said. “I’m starting to look at colleges now and it was helpful to experience living in the dorm and experiencing other aspects of college, like time management.”

StarTalk was created eight years ago to meet the United States’ economic competitiveness and national security needs in learning critical languages. The program can take a student interested in learning the language and teach them enough to enroll in a Chinese language program in college, said Alex Kynerd, program coordinator and 2007 participant.

“It’s a rewarding experience getting to see new students learn the language,” Kynerd said. “Many of them start the class knowing zero Chinese and leave with the ability to talk about their family, friends, hobbies and write diaries in Chinese.”

Jackson had studied Chinese at various camps, but lauded Mississippi StarTalk as the most fulfilling experience to date.

“I had a really good teacher here, and I learned a little more than I expected,” said Jackson.

He intends to submit an application to participate in Mississippi StarTalk next summer.

Other participants in Mississippi Startalk 2014 included: Vincent Bolfer of Edmond, Oklahoma; Jacob Crossno of Hernando; Amira Coger of Olive Branch; Tina Guo of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin; Andarion Hawkins of Coldwater; Kristin Howitt of Perkinson; Taylor Jackson of Rogers, Arkansas; Haley Jones of Mandeville, Louisiana; Elizabeth Keefer of Jacksonville, Florida; Jacqueline Knirnschild of Brunswick, Ohio; Ashleigh Moore of Ocean Springs; Saloni Nahar of Buffalo Grove, Illinois; Alessandra Otondo of Starkville; Kayla Owens of Oxford; Lance Pagel of Edmond, Oklahoma; Thomas Ramsey of Huntsville, Alabama; Hunter Reid of Valdesse, North Carolina; John Russel of Valley Park, Missouri; Jack Sauls of Carriere; Gunner Spahn of Senatobia; Emily Spencer of Newville, Pennsylvania; Jake Stewart of Ocean Springs; Jasmine Stoudemire of Clinton; Carmen Stowe of Birmingham, Alabama; Matthew Travers of Chesterfield, Missouri; Sidney Wester of Jonesboro, Arkansas; Katherine Williams of Hattiesburg; and Hanson Zhou of Dry Ridge, Kentucky.