University Celebrates Food Day in October

Annual observance includes festival, compost 'sift-a-thon' and more

Food Day 2015

Food Day 2015

OXFORD. Miss. – The University of Mississippi’s annual Food Day celebration includes a variety of fun, interactive activities with the aim of highlighting the far-reaching impacts of Americans’ diet and the food industry, and why it matters.

Part of a nationwide movement toward healthy, affordable, sustainable foods, the UM event series kicks off Thursday (Oct. 8) with a campus farmers market and festival at the Student Union Plaza. The festival will feature vendors, music, a mobile farm bus, healthy tailgating samples and more. All events are free and open to the public.

“Food Day is a celebration of fresh, local unadulterated food and the heritage of agriculture that’s so ingrained in Mississippi,” said Alex Borst, a senior from Madison who is director of the Real Food Rebels student group. “The university hopes to bring awareness to food-related issues by empowering the university community to look more closely at problems present in existing food systems.”

Food-focused events will continue throughout October. On Oct. 20, a panel of experts will convene a discussion about “The Cost of Food.” The panel will touch on issues ranging from the costs of food production on the economy and the environment to the human costs, including the rights of migrant workers.

“Practically every facet of sustainability is encompassed by food, from human and environmental health to transportation, energy and waste production,” said Anne McCauley, assistant director of the UM Office of Sustainability. “You can touch on all of these issues by examining food. It’s relevant to everyone, and yet we’re so disconnected from what we eat.”

On Oct. 14, the UM compost team will hold a “sift-a-thon” offering an interactive way for volunteers to learn more about the composting process as they sift compost created from campus food waste. Sifting helps create a higher quality product for the UM Garden and other local gardens.

The Food Day celebration ends Oct. 21 with the second installment of Sustainable Oxford’s Autumn Speaker Series and Vegetarian Potluck Dinner at the Powerhouse Community Arts Center. Assistant City Planner Ben Requet will discuss “Oxford Vision 2037: Ensuring Sustainable Growth.” The potluck dinner will be a vegetarian chili cookoff.

Food Day events are sponsored by the Office of Sustainability, Real Food Rebels, Honors College Student Union and Sustainable Oxford. For more information or to volunteer for the Compost Sift-a-Thon, visit

2015 Food Day events include:

Oct. 8 – Food Day Festival & Farmers Market, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Student Union Plaza

Oct. 13 – “Food Chains” Film Screening, 7 p.m., Barnard Hall, Room 105

Oct. 14 – Compost Sift-A-Thon, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Student Union Plaza. Sign up to volunteer here.

Oct. 20 – “The Cost of Food” Interactive Panel Discussion, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Bryant Hall, Room 209

Oct. 21 – Sustainable Oxford’s Vegetarian Chili Cook-Off and Autumn Speaker Series, 6-8 p.m., Powerhouse Community Arts Center. Assistant City Planner Ben Requet discusses “Oxford Vision 2037: Ensuring Sustainable Growth.”

UM Honors College Creates Mississippi Water Security Institute

Program will help students learn to protect resources while supporting economic development

Clifford Ochs

Clifford Ochs

OXFORD, Miss. – The Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College at the University of Mississippi has established the Mississippi Water Security Institute to help students understand the delicate balance between promoting strong economic development and protecting natural resources.

 A $258,000 grant from the Robert M. Hearin Foundation is funding the institute, which is an educational project geared toward undergraduates. Students will study the various facets of how to best support and encourage a flourishing business environment while maintaining high water quality and availability.

“The term ‘water security’ can connote different images and meanings,” said Clifford Ochs, a UM biology professor and the institute’s director. “For us, water security refers to the challenges inherent in promoting and linking strong economic development with community health with natural resource protection.”

In May 2016, 2017 and 2018, the institute plans to offer a two-week summer workshop for rising college sophomores and juniors to explore water security in Mississippi. Those students will meet with and learn from representatives in multiple fields and also hear from the stakeholders: the business community, agriculture, law, urban planning, engineering and conservation.

The workshop promises to be “a fascinating, rich opportunity for interdisciplinary student education,” Ochs said. It also will allow students to visit sites that are caught up in the debate over how to promote and link economic development with water security.

“The workshop will include superb guest speakers from around the state,” Ochs said. “It will also include travel to representative sites where water security issues can be clearly defined and addressed. Most importantly, there will also be the opportunity to be a member of a vigorous team of students and teachers dedicated to applied and practical interdisciplinary research on water resource management in Mississippi.”

Students from all honors programs across the state are encouraged to apply, Ochs said. Only 10 spots are available for those students, but they will receive free on-campus housing for the two-week period and full board, plus a $500 per week stipend. 

Douglass Sullivan-González, dean of the Honors College, will serve as principal investigator and Debra Young, associate dean, will serve as coordinator.

“Dr. Ochs and his team of exceptional students will confront the problems of ensuring water quality and quantity to meet the needs of attracting business and industry while supporting community development and environmental stewardship,” Sullivan-González said. “The Honors College is once again proud to set the terms of debate not only for Ole Miss but also for the state of Mississippi.”

Applications for the Mississippi Water Security Institute will be available online in October. Those who are accepted will be notified by January. Application windows will be set and announced for the May 2017 and 2018 workshops at a later date.

For more information, contact Debra Young at

Marie Hull’s Life and Work Celebrated by UM Artist-in-Residence

Bruce Levingston to sign and read from 'Bright Fields: The Mastery of Marie Hull'

Pianist and author Bruce Levingston in front of Marie Hull's Pink Lady. Photo credit: Rick Guy

Bruce Levingston in front of Marie Hull’s ‘Pink Lady.’ Photo credit: Rick Guy

OXFORD, Miss. – Renowned Mississippi pianist Bruce Levingston pays homage to celebrated Mississippi artist Marie Hull in his new book, “Bright Fields: The Mastery of Marie Hull.”

A lifelong cultural ambassador in the state of Mississippi, Hull is one of the most influential Southern artists of the 20th century. Levingston, artist-in-residence at the University of Mississippi’s Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, has assembled a comprehensive journey through Hull’s nine-decade career with thoughtful analysis and beautiful reproductions of her work.

Levingston will sign and read from “Bright Fields” at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday (Oct. 6) at Square Books in Oxford.

Levingston, an acclaimed concert pianist and recording artist from Cleveland, Mississippi, who now makes his home in both Oxford and New York City, was first drawn to the brilliant colors and exotic birds in Hull’s paintings as a child. Both Hull and Levingston were introduced to the arts at an early age. Hull, a trained pianist, received a degree in music from Belhaven College before leaving Mississippi to explore her love of painting. Like Hull, Levingston studied painting, but it was his passion for music that took him around the world in pursuit of his career. Both artists returned to Mississippi.

Upon Levingston’s return, he rediscovered Hull’s work and realized the significance of her paintings in American art. Her work and shared passion for the arts led him to a deeper exploration of Hull’s life and work.

“She led her life in such an unconventional way, not just for a woman of her era, but of any time,” Levingston said. “She completely lived for art and continually sought to learn and grow as much as possible. She let nothing get in the way of her never-ending search for quality, in her art and in her life.”

Levingston lives his life similarly in dedication to advance the arts through performance and education. Besides his own performances, he is the creator of Premiere Commission Inc., a nonprofit music foundation that promotes the commissions and premieres of emerging and established artists. Through his position at UM, he serves an ambassador to bring the arts to his home state and to introduce Mississippi’s talent to the world.

Levingston says that exposing Mississippi students to the arts is essential to helping them grow and realize their dreams.

“Hull deeply believed that a real education in the arts and creative activities was one of the most important things a society could give to its young people, and so do I,” Levingston said. “In her day, Hull was perhaps Mississippi’s single greatest advocate for arts education, and her work has inspired me in what I try to do for students, not only at the University of Mississippi but also for students around the state.”

While photographing the Hull paintings, Levingston was asked to curate an exhibition of Hull’s work at the Mississippi Museum of Art. The collection of close to 150 works assembled from private donors and several museums, including the UM Museum, opened Sept. 26 and runs through Jan. 10, 2016. Many pieces in the exhibition have never been displayed publicly.

“Through this exhibition and monograph, Mr. Levingston has creatively rekindled the common regard that many have for Ms. Hull’s work,” said Philip Jackson, distinguished painter and UM associate professor of art.

“He has brought to light the most astonishing collection of Hull’s works that commemorate her achievements and remind us that this was the work of a national treasure. Levingston’s true appreciation for this superb artist is inspiring as it is one great Mississippian honoring another.”

Levingston’s book release and exhibition coincide fittingly with the 125th anniversary of Hull’s birth on Sept. 28, a day that the Mississippi House of Representatives has declared Marie Hull Day in honor of her life’s work and contributions to the advancement of the arts in Mississippi.

For more information on “Bright Fields: The Mastery of Marie Hull,” visit For more information on the exhibition at the Mississippi Museum of Art, visit

Greg Tschumper Honored with Faculty Achievement Award

Professor of chemistry and biochemistry is respected scholar, educator and mentor

Dr. Gregory Tschumper. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

Gregory Tschumper. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Greg Tschumper, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Mississippi, is the 2015 recipient of the university’s Faculty Achievement Award.

Since receiving his doctorate 16 years ago from the University of Georgia, Tschumper has been a significant contributor to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the entire university. As a teacher, he has the reputation of being extremely challenging and highly effective.

Tschumper said one of the things that motivates him is the respect he has for his colleagues.

“It is very humbling when you look at previous recipients of this award, and I certainly do not feel like my name belongs on that list,” Tschumper said. “This award says more about the amazing environment in which I have the privilege of working than it does about me.”

Tschumper said he is passionate about research and teaching, and considers himself fortunate to be at a university that places a high value on both.

“Every day I get to interact with outstanding students, not only in the classroom but also in the research lab,” he said. “All of my research at Ole Miss has been accomplished with the help of the bright minds and hard work of our graduate and undergraduate students. Any success I’ve had as a teacher or a scholar stems from the talented people around me and being in an atmosphere that fosters the growth of that talent.”

The Burlington Northern Award was established in 1985 to honor superior teaching faculty who were also active researchers. This award evolved into the Faculty Achievement Award, which is given annually to recognize unusual effort in the classroom, involvement with students, active scholarship and service to the university.

One student wrote of Tschumper’s courses: “His teaching style relies on self-study quite a bit. You’ll have to work for this class, for he is determined to make his students the best chem students on this campus.”

Another evaluation letter stated that he is “probably one of the most challenging professors on this campus, but he is always willing to work with you to get better.”

Tschumper joined the chemistry and biochemistry department in 2001 after working as a postdoctoral fellow at ETH Zürich in Switzerland and at Emory University. He has also provided service to the university, including his contributions on the University Research Board and the Faculty Senate.

In the area of scholarship, Tschumper’s achievements are remarkable, and he has established himself as an expert in physical chemistry, theoretical chemistry, computational chemistry, non-covalent interactions, hydrogen bonding and van der Waals forces. He has published an average of four-plus peer-reviewed journal articles per year since joining the UM faculty. Tschumper has also received more than $3 million in federal grants for research and student support.

Tschumper’s other professional honors and awards include the 2009 Cora Lee Graham Award for Outstanding Teaching of Freshmen. He has served as the Computational Chemistry Research Focus Group Leader on an EPSCoR award from the National Science Foundation that has brought in more than $20 million to the state of Mississippi for research and STEM education.

Tschumper is also the principal investigator on a major research instrumentation award from the NSF for a GPU supercomputer housed at the Mississippi Center for Supercomputing Research on campus.

He is the father of two daughters, Kate and Anne Paige.

Ole Miss Women’s Council to Honor Khayat

Group seeks sponsors for spring 2016 Legacy Award event

Chancellor Emeritus Robert C. Khayat

Chancellor Emeritus Robert C. Khayat

OXFORD, Miss. – Chancellor Emeritus Robert C. Khayat, leader of what has been called a “renaissance” at the University of Mississippi, has been chosen as the 2016 Legacy Award recipient by the Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy.

The OMWC and presenting sponsor C Spire will honor Khayat during campus events April 16, 2016, and additional sponsors are being sought.

Khayat, who served as chancellor from 1995 to 2009, personifies a servant leader, said OMWC chair Karen Moore of Nashville, Tennessee.

“We use the Legacy Award to honor someone who epitomizes leadership, mentorship and philanthropy, flagship components of our program,” Moore said. “These are also areas we want our scholars to be mindful of when they graduate. We could not find a better example of these attributes than Robert Khayat.

“He has had tremendous influence on our university’s achievements, as well as his fingerprints on universal changes. When you hear amazing leaders’ success stories, they always talk about giving back, being inclusive, leaving their places of leadership stronger than when they began and encouraging others to succeed. This perfectly describes Dr. Khayat.”

Proceeds from the annual Legacy Award event help fund OMWC leadership training and mentorship programs. In its 15th year of existence, the OMWC has built a scholarship endowment of more than $11 million with named scholarships awarded to male and female students selected after an in-depth interview process.

The scholarships – which have grown to be among the largest on campus at approximately $32,000 each – are awarded based on students’ academic performance, leadership and a desire to give back to society.

“The Women’s Council uniquely guides our scholars into their future careers and helps them develop life skills through leadership-mentorship programs,” said Becky West of Memphis, Tennessee, an OMWC founding member. “Funding an Ole Miss Women’s Council Scholarship is one of the best investments a person can make.”

Khayat was chancellor when the Women’s Council was formed and has continued to be a source of support, calling the council’s scholarships some of the most “innovative in the nation.” In addition, Khayat established an OMWC scholarship to honor the contributions and support of his wife, Margaret, in her role as Ole Miss’ first lady.

Khayat’s own experiences reflect a life journey that shaped his leadership style and abilities. While an Ole Miss student, he excelled in the classroom, earning both undergraduate and law degrees. As the kicker on the Ole Miss Rebels football team, he helped secure many victories under legendary Coach John Vaught, as well as wins as catcher on the baseball team.

Lessons learned from teamwork, competition, discipline and perseverance prepared him for other pursuits. His unusual resumé includes both “All-Pro kicker for the Washington Redskins” and “Sterling Fellowship for a Master of Law from Yale Law School.”

During his tenure as chancellor, major new programs were founded, including the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, Croft Institute for International Studies, Lott Leadership Institute, Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation and the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics.

He also helped secure a coveted Phi Beta Kappa chapter, attracted millions in private support, hosted the 2008 presidential debate and transformed the campus through renovation and new construction – including adult and children’s hospitals at the UM Medical Center, Paris-Yates Chapel, Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts, and the Indoor Practice Facility (since renamed the Olivia and Archie Manning Athletics Performance Center).

Under Khayat’s leadership, student enrollment increased by nearly 44 percent and the university’s operating budget grew from less than $500 million to nearly $1.5 billion annually.

His memoir, “The Education of a Lifetime,” was selected for the university’s 2015 Common Reading Experience. Incoming freshmen received a copy of the book before coming to campus, and the former chancellor spoke at the recent fall convocation.

Khayat’s achievements and awards include: Barnard Distinguished Professor of Law, NCAA Foundation president, NFL Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, National Football Foundation Distinguished American Award recipient, Innovate Mississippi’s Legend Award recipient, and Ole Miss Student and Alumni Halls of Fame and Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame inductee.

The chancellor emeritus joins a prestigious list of Legacy Award recipients, including Charles Overby, Donna and Jim Barksdale, Gov. William and Elise Winter, Olivia Manning and Leigh Ann Tuohy.

For more information on available sponsorships ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 for the 2016 Legacy Award Program, contact Nora Capwell at or 662-915-2384. To learn more about the scholarship program, visit

Special Collections Closed for Mold Removal

Materials remain available for use either online or by special arrangement

UM's Department of Archives and Special Collections at the J.D. Williams Library is temporarily closed so workers can clean up mold.

UM’s Department of Archives and Special Collections at the J.D. Williams Library is temporarily closed so workers can clean up mold.

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi’s Department of Archives and Special Collections at the J.D. Williams Library is temporarily closed so workers can clean up mold, and though it’s unknown how long the remediation will take, there are still many ways to access large portions of the collection.

The library still offers substantial access to Special Collections materials while the work continues, said Julia Rholes, professor and dean of UM Libraries. Much of the collection is available online.

“Over the years, we have digitized many of our archival collections and finding aids and they are available on the library’s website,” Rholes said. “We have also placed some Special Collections items on reserve for certain classes and we are also able to respond to phone and email questions. Finally, our Modern Political Archives collection and most of our visual archival collections are in a different building and can be accessed by users with prior notice.”

None of the items in the collections have been lost to mold, which is being attacked before the problem gets worse and causes damage. A few public service locations will be unavailable during the cleanup, as some space is needed to house items while work is being done in the Special Collections area.

The university’s Department of Facilities Planning has supported the library cleanup efforts and is also working on a new HVAC plan designed to prevent mold. The mold has not spread beyond Special Collections, library officials said.

Faculty, staff and administration have all been supportive, and scholars have been working with Special Collections staff to meet their research needs while the work continues, said Jennifer Ford, associate professor and head of Archives and Special Collections.

“We have been overwhelmed with the support we have received from the public, donors and the university community,” Ford said. “The entire library and, in particular, the staff of Special Collections wants to thank everyone for their patience and understanding.”

To contact the staff of Special Collections, which has been moved to accommodate the cleanup, call 662-915-7408 or email

‘Heads in the Game’ Study Continues on the Turf at Vaught-Hemingway

UM researchers, trainers gathering data in hopes of helping athletes prevent concussions

X2 impact sensors were used in Ole Miss spring football practice to document head impact during plays.

X2 impact sensors were used in Ole Miss spring football practice to document head impact during plays.

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi is continuing its pioneering concussion research collaboration with X2 Biosystems this fall as scientists and trainers monitor student-athletes in real time to collect data from on-field collisions.

This season, 20 Ole Miss Rebel football players are wearing an “xPatch” device, designed by X2 Biosystems, behind their ears during games. This chip registers any impact made to the athlete’s head.

The overall goal of the project, which is a partnership between the Ole Miss Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, the university’s departments of Electrical Engineering and Nutrition and Hospitality Management, its Division of Outreach and X2 Biosystems, is to find ways to be proactive in preventing concussions. This can be achieved through teaching proper playing form, nutrition and hydration, said Matt Morrison, a UM assistant professor of electrical engineering.

A few football players from several positions were chosen to wear the xPatch, including defensive backs, linebackers, offensive lineman, receivers and running backs, said Shannon Singletary, senior associate athletics director for health and sports performance.

The data collected so far shows the number of impacts to the head the player receives during practice and the amount of force behind that hit.

“We are also able to determine what part of the head is hit,” Singletary said. “If we see a player is hitting with the right side of his head, we can coach him to get his head up. In an immediate practical use, it’s become an educational tool to help them with tackling technique.”

The Ole Miss women’s soccer team is finalizing preliminary preparations to join the study and players should begin wearing the chips within a few weeks.

“We would like to continue to study this,” he said. “We think it’s important. We’re in this study for the long haul, or as long as they continue to choose us.”

This summer, 16 high school students from across the nation helped lay the foundation for the development of an application that will assist athletic trainers, sports dietitians and doctors by storing data, nutrition information and even the academic schedules of each student-athlete. The app, still in its early stages, is designed to improve the communication between doctors, trainers, coaches and professors, Morrison said.

The next stages involve monitoring 20 football players who wear the chip and outfitting Vaught-Hemingway Stadium with a new generation of technology for improved data collection, Morrison said.

“Our goal is to improve the relaying of information,” he said. “Some of the major challenges in the health of athletes are that there are pieces of information that aren’t linked. For example, the concussion data portion of the app will allow an easy flow of communication between athletic trainers and doctors.”

Because an athlete’s classwork and/or educational commitments may also suffer during the concussion healing process, proper steps must be taken to make sure the affected athletes have proper academic accommodations, including holding them out of class or decreasing their light exposure.

Communicating that information to professors is vital. Studies indicate that on average, a student-athlete with a concussion who misses two or more weeks of game play experiences a 0.3 drop in grade-point average that semester, Morrison said. By properly notifying professors, appropriate assistance could be provided to injured athletes in order to maintain classroom performance.

“By integrating the app with concussion research, we are able to have a multidisciplinary research project that meets the mission of the University of Mississippi and Ole Miss athletics, and to meet Athletics Director Ross Bjork’s vision for being on the forefront of student-athlete athletic and academic achievement,” he said.

Nutrition is another essential part of concussion recovery, said Melinda Valliant, co-director of the UM Center for Health and Sport Performance and co-principal investigator on the project.

“The importance of an individual’s hydration and nutritional status on concussion severity and recovery is a research area that is in its infancy now,” she said. “We want to collect data that drive the development of best practice in educating athletes at all levels regarding nutritional needs to not only improve their performance, but to help keep them healthy.”

“In a short period of time, Matt Morrison and his colleagues at Ole Miss have been able to establish a remarkable interdisciplinary research and teaching program that is addressing many important facets of concussions,” said John Ralston, CEO of X2 Biosystems. “X2 is excited to be collaborating with Ole Miss on topics that include stadiumwide secure wireless connectivity for wearable impact sensors, the development of safer playing and practice techniques, the role of athlete nutrition in concussion injury risk, and STEM teaching opportunities that leverage wearable sensor and computing technologies as a vehicle to engage young students.”

High schools from across the state are also participating in the research, with support from the Mississippi High School Activities Association and Oxford-based Mind Matters Foundation. Gulfport High School, Hattiesburg High School, Clinton High School, Booneville High School and Lewisburg High School all have student-athletes wearing the xPatch chips during the 2015-2016 school year, in an effort to help develop economically viable concussion-safety programs for the tens of millions of young athletes who benefit from participating in sporting activities, but at the same time are exposed to a wide variety of impact-related concussion risks. 

Free Family Law Clinic Set for Wednesday

University of Mississippi School of Law

University of Mississippi School of Law

OXFORD, Miss. – A free family law legal clinic, sponsored by the Pro Bono Initiative at the University of Mississippi School of Law and the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyer’s Project, is scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday (Sept. 23) at the law school.

Attorneys and law students will provide legal advice and assist with drafting complaints for guardianship, divorce, custody and visitation, and child support.

Call 601-960-9577 to see if you are income-eligible for this free service and to make an appointment. All participants must have an appointment, and no walk-ins will be taken.

Former Political Science Chair Robert B. Albritton II Fondly Remembered

UM administrators, faculty members recall late colleague and mentor as a great leader, example

Robert Bynum Albritton II

Robert Bynum Albritton II

OXFORD, Miss. – Robert Bynum Albritton II, chair and professor emeritus of political science, is being fondly remembered by his University of Mississippi colleagues as a visionary leader, loyal mentor and respected teacher.

Albritton, 78, passed Sept. 9 at his home in Oxford. A memorial service will be held later in Andalusia, Alabama. Coleman Funeral Home was in charge of local arrangements. Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, Tennessee 38101-9908 or Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society, P.O. Box 1674, Oxford, MS 38655.

“We will miss Bob as a colleague and a friend,” said Richard Forgette, senior associate dean of UM’s College of Liberal Arts and professor of political science. “Bob had far-reaching academic interests: state and local politics, democratic theory and Thailand. He was an active scholar who loved to discuss research with colleagues.”

John Bruce, UM chair and associate professor of political science, said Albritton was “simply a good guy” who held good values, worked hard and savored friendship.

“Bob was, in many ways, the ultimate Renaissance guy,” Bruce said. “He would carry on informed conversations about a huge range of topics. The Department of Political Science and the University of Mississippi are better for the time he spent here.”

Robert Brown, a former student of Albritton’s at Northern Illinois University who recruited his mentor to join the UM faculty as department chair, said Albritton was “everything an academic should aspire to be.”

“He was energized by the give and take of academic debate and was a thoughtful researcher who addressed important questions,” said Brown, a UM political science professor. “Bob was a lifetime learner who never tired of tackling new ideas and lines of inquiry. And he was a caring and energetic mentor and teacher who had a profound impact on the lives of his students.

“Those of us who are lucky enough to do this wonderful job should look to Bob Albritton as a role model of how to be a university professor.”

A native of Andalusia, Albritton earned his master’s and doctoral degrees from Northwestern University and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama. He moved to Oxford in 1998, serving as professor and chair of the Department of Political Science until 2003, when he left his administrative role to concentrate on teaching. He also chaired the university’s Faculty Senate in 2011-2012 before retiring in spring 2012.

Previously, Albritton taught at Northern Illinois University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Williams College, University of Vienna in Austria, Northwestern University and Chiang Mai University and Songkla University, both in Thailand.

Albritton’s professional activities included memberships and appointments in the Mississippi Political Science Association, Midwest Political Science Association, Policy Studies Association, Policy Studies Review, Journal of Politics, American Journal of Political Science, American Political Science Review, American Politics Quarterly, Social Science Quarterly, American Political Science Association and the Association of Asian Scholars.

He co-edited one book and co-authored more than 30 journal articles, textbook chapters and countless conference papers.

Having played football, Albritton was an avid football fan. He was also an animal lover who often volunteered at the animal shelter as a “paw-walker.”

He is survived by his wife, Nantaporn Apasiripol of Oxford; a son, Robert Bynum Albritton III of Herndon, Virginia; a daughter, Phyllis Mary-Anne Albritton of Evergreen, Colorado; a brother, William Leonard Albritton of Saskatoon, Canada; and three grandchildren.

Online condolences may be left on the Tribute Wall at!/Obituary.

Meet Jennifer Phillips, September’s Staff Member of the Month

Jennifer Phillips

Jennifer Phillips

Jennifer Phillips, assistant director for retention in the Center for Student Success and First-Year Experience, is September’s Staff Council Staff Member of the Month. To help us get to know her better, Phillips answered a few questions for Inside Ole Miss.

IOM: How long have you worked at Ole Miss?

Phillips: 15 years

IOM: What is your hometown?

Phillips: Carthage, Mississippi

IOM: What is your favorite Ole Miss memory?

Phillips: As a student, my favorite memory is when I attended the PACE pre-college program between junior and senior year. It was an amazing program in which I received college credit, but I also made lifelong friends. As a staff member, my favorite memory was receiving the 1848 pin at this past spring’s Student Affairs’ breakfast.

IOM: What do you enjoy most about your position or the department in which you work?

Phillips: The students are my favorite part of my job, and the staff in student affairs and the Center for Student Success and First-Year Experience is a close second. As an institution, we have made students and their experiences the No. 1 priority. This is what makes Ole Miss a leader in Mississippi for higher education. Because of our student-centered approach, I would not want to work anywhere else.

IOM: What do you like to do when you are not at work?

Phillips: I spend most of my spare time with my loved ones. During the fall, I love to watch college football and I attend all of the Ole Miss home games. I am also an avid reader.

IOM: What is one thing on your bucket list?

Phillips: I want to visit Russia.

IOM: What is your favorite movie?

Phillips: “Sliding Doors”

IOM: What is your favorite Ole Miss tradition?

Phillips: Football pregame; it feels like coming home.

IOM: What is a fun fact about you?

Phillips: I generally read over 100 books each year, but even at the current rate, I will never read all the ones I have on my to-be-read list.

To nominate a colleague for the Staff Member of the Month, email with the name of the individual you’d like to nominate as well as why you feel he or she should be recognized.