Meet Sarah Siebert, December’s Staff Member of the Month

The UM Staff Council has chosen Sarah Siebert, who teaches 4-year-olds at Willie Price Lab School, as December’s Staff Member of the Month. To help us get to know her better, Siebert answered a few questions for Inside Ole Miss.

IOM: How long have you worked at Ole Miss?  

Siebert: I started working at Ole Miss in August 2009.

IOM: What is your hometown?  

Siebert: Shorewood, Illinois

IOM: What is your favorite Ole Miss memory?

Siebert: There are so many to choose from. Professionally, helping prepare for the Education Reform Forum during the 2008 presidential debate as a grad assistant and then watching the debate in the Grove.  It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  Sports-wise, Ole Miss vs. Texas in Oxford.  I had a family member coaching at Texas that year, so my entire family came to Oxford for the first time.  Beating them the next year was even better!

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

Siebert: My students and my co-workers are incredible. My students are eager to learn, sweet and make me laugh all day long! My co-workers are the most positive and hardworking people I have ever met. Also, I love that we get to work with so many different groups of students who come to Willie Price for various reasons. You can’t help but be happy at Willie Price!

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

Siebert: Eat!  I love to cook for my friends and family. I also love to travel, especially for Ole Miss sporting events. I only missed one football game this season (home or away); of course, it was the Alabama game.  

IOM: What is one thing on your bucket list?

Siebert: Go to a Taping of the Jimmy Fallon show.

IOM: What is your favorite movie?  

Siebert: “Heavyweights.” So many great quotes, and you can’t help but laugh the entire time.

IOM: What is your favorite Ole Miss tradition?  

Siebert: The Walk of Champions before football games.

IOM: What is a fun fact about you?  

Siebert: I sang and danced onstage with the Beach Boys and John Stamos (Uncle Jesse) to “Barbara Ann” this summer in Tupelo with a bunch of my friends. It was like living an episode of “Full House.” 

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.

Snappy Hour to Return Jan. 5

University Communications to cover Supreme Court justices on Monday

Snappy Hour will return on Monday, January 5 for all faculty and staff members.

Snappy Hour will return Jan. 5 for all faculty and staff members.

University Communications will suspend Snappy Hour on Monday (Dec. 15) to cover the U.S. Supreme Court justices speaking event at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts. Snappy Hour, where Ole Miss faculty and staff members may have their portraits made free of charge, will be available every Monday from 9 to 11 a.m. at the University Communications photography studio in Sam-Gerard Hall beginning Jan. 5.

Long-term Closure of Hill Drive Begins Dec. 15

A portion of road will be closed to through traffic until mid-August 2015

Parking garage and Ole Miss basketball arena tabbed for completion in 2015.

The new parking garage and basketball arena are tabbed for completion in 2015.

A portion of Hill Drive, from the north side of the parking garage to the intersection with All-American Drive, will be closed beginning Monday (Dec. 15) and running through mid-August 2015 as construction on the basketball arena continues. We apologize for any inconvenience during this time of extreme growth on our campus.

Three-Year-Old Hero Drives Grandfather to Run

CME professor Jack McClurg is running in the St. Jude half marathon Saturday for his granddaughter

Jack McClurg and granddaughter Lylah

Jack McClurg and granddaughter Lylah

OXFORD, Miss. – Not many college professors would ascribe hero status to a 3-year-old, but Jack McClurg is not just any college professor. And his granddaughter Lylah is not just any 3-year-old.

Since April, Lylah has been at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital battling Stage 4 neuroblastoma. She has finished six rounds of chemotherapy, gone through three surgeries and is halfway through a stem cell transplant procedure.

Her grandfather, Jack McClurg, is an associate professor of practice at the University of Mississippi’s Center for Manufacturing Excellence and a UM alumnus. He wanted to do something to show support not only for Lylah but also for St. Jude, which has offered remarkable care not only for Lylah but also for her family, McClurg said.

So McClurg has been training to run in the St. Jude Memphis Half Marathon, set for Saturday (Dec. 6) in Memphis. For someone who hasn’t run in a very long time, it was a challenge to train and work up his distance. But it’s been worth every painful step.

“She is just the strongest little person I have ever known,” he said. “To say the least, she is my hero!”

On his St. Jude fundraising page, McClurg describes himself as “Lylah’s Pop” and says that until she was diagnosed, he did not pay a lot of attention to the fundraising efforts going on around him for many deserving organizations.

“Don’t get me wrong, I knew they were for a good cause, but I never knew how much good it was doing,” he explained. “The main reason I am doing this is because St. Jude has been so incredible to us! They have taken excellent care of my granddaughter, but they haven’t forgotten about the needs/concerns of the parents and immediate family. The fact is, they have provided outpatient housing for the family when they are not confined to the hospital, discounts on food, gas vouchers for travel back and forth from Booneville to the hospital for my son-in-law and many more things.”

McClurg said he took on the challenge to bring attention to the work of St. Jude and to show personally how much their care has meant to his family.

“They try so hard to make it such that the parents don’t have to worry about anything, except their child,” he said. “There is never a bill with St. Jude. Whatever the insurance doesn’t cover, St. Jude does. When you see and experience that firsthand, you have to do something.”

So when he laces up his running shoes Saturday at the starting line for this long-awaited race, McClurg said he will be racing for Lylah and for all the children touched by St. Jude.

“Running the St. Jude half marathon is my way of doing that,” he said. “It is hard to get this over-the-hill, overweight body out there and training, but it reminds me of the hardships that Lylah is going through and the good that St. Jude is doing, not just for my granddaughter, but for all of the children that are there.”

To make a donation to St. Jude, visit McClurg’s fundraising page at:


Jack McClurg and granddaughter Lylah

Jack McClurg and granddaughter Lylah


Chancellor Dan Jones Update

Ross Bjork reports that one of his first calls after the Egg Bowl win on Saturday was to Chancellor Dan Jones, who was very upbeat as he answered the phone on the first ring and enthusiastically shared his pride in the team, the coaches and the great game-day atmosphere. Combined with the delivery of a new grandbaby, the win was just the lift he needed before beginning a second five-day round of chemotherapy today (Monday).  The chancellor will receive a total of eight treatments over five months.

Lydia Jones said, “We are so proud to be a member of the Ole Miss family. We see so many examples every day of how strong and wonderful you are.”

Meet Joanne Mitchell, November’s Staff Member of the Month

Joanne Mitchell

Joanne Mitchell

The UM Staff Council has chosen Joanne Mitchell, a communications specialist for the Department of Writing and Rhetoric, as November’s Staff Member of the Month. She answered a few questions for Inside Ole Miss to help us get to know her better.

IOM: How long have you worked at Ole Miss?

Mitchell: I started in April 2012.

IOM: What is your hometown?

Mitchell: I am originally from Southaven.

IOM: What is your favorite Ole Miss memory?

Mitchell: This football season has been pretty special. Beating Alabama was definitely a highlight, but the team has been so impressive in each and every game. I love that they never give up. I have enjoyed being able to celebrate (or occasionally commiserate) with my friends and family at the games and the tailgates. 

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

Mitchell: I work in a department with what I consider the best people on campus. We are very collaborative, and everyone pitches in to get things done. I love that my position allows me to be creative and make use of my artistic skills. 

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

Mitchell: love to throw a party, whether it’s at my house or tailgating in the Grove. I can be found at almost every home football and baseball game.

IOM: What is one thing on your bucket list?

Mitchell: I have never been to Europe. It is definitely on my bucket list. My must visits would be: London, Scotland, Paris, Rome, Florence, Venice and Prague. 

IOM: What is your favorite movie?

Mitchell: “Almost Famous”

IOM: What are three words you would use to describe yourself?

Mitchell: Creative. Cheerful. Problem-Solver. 

IOM: If you could visit one time or place in world history, what would it be?

Mitchell: I would want to see what the future holds in 100 years. I can’t imagine what kinds of technology we will have access to at that time. 

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.

Note from Lydia Jones

Dan and Lydia Jones

Dan and Lydia Jones

The many expressions of concern and encouragement have been very meaningful for Chancellor Dan Jones, who is undergoing treatment for lymphoma at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. The following note from his wife, Lydia Jones, says those thoughts and prayers are making a real difference. We thought you’d like to hear that in her words:

The Chancellor and I are so blessed. Your outpouring of love and concern is beyond measure. We have received every note, every card, every email and every message you have sent. We thank you.

The University is in wonderful hands, and we are fighting hard to get well. After all, we are Ole Miss Rebels!

Uddin Receives Ultimate Honor from Alma Mater

CAIT founder-director named University of Texas' distinguished alumnus

Waheed Uddin holding his award with his wife, Ruhksana

Waheed Uddin holds his award as his wife, Rukhsana, looks on.

OXFORD, Miss. – The founder and director of the Center for Advanced Infrastructure Technology at the University of Mississippi has been presented his alma mater’s highest honor.

Waheed Uddin, UM professor of civil engineering, is among 11 new inductees into the University of Texas at Austin’s Academy of Distinguished Alumni. The award cites “recognition of a distinguished professional career and lifelong dedication to the support and advancement of engineering education.” The UT Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering has inducted fewer than 125 members from its 10,000-plus living alumni.

“This award has been the highest honor of my professional/academic life,” said Uddin, noting that UT-Austin comes in No. 30 in the 2014 U.S. News and World Report rankings. Its CAEE department ranks third for its graduate program and sixth for undergraduate education in the same publication.

“To be elected a distinguished alum and recognized by one of the top-ranked universities in the U.S. and the world is truly gratifying.”

The department established the academy to acknowledge the professional achievements and contributions of its graduates. Twenty-seven charter members were inducted into the academy in 2003, and 84 additional members have been selected since.

UM School of Engineering administrators and faculty expressed pride in their colleague’s recognition.

“For many years, Dr. Uddin’s research, teaching and service have brought honor to the University of Mississippi School of Engineering,” Dean Alex Cheng said. “It is certainly most fitting that his alma mater recognize his achievements by inducting him into their Academy of Distinguished Alumni.”

Yacoub Jacob Najjar, UM chair and professor of civil engineering, said he has great respect for Uddin as an energetic teacher, researcher, adviser and leader.

“Considering his educational records, achievements and impact, I can truthfully attest that Waheed’s activities continue to yield great benefits to the state of Mississippi, University of Mississippi and the School of Engineering,” Najjar said. “It was very logical to see him inducted into the University of Texas at Austin’s Academy of Distinguished Alumni. This notable honor adds greatly to the national and international reputation of our department, school and university.”

Uddin, who earned his doctorate from UT-Austin in 1984, has more than 35 years of professional and research experience in highways, airports, air quality, traffic management, infrastructure and environmental sustainability. He is a pioneer in evaluating laser remote sensing terrain-scanning technology and geospatial analysis for infrastructure development and environmental applications.

Uddin’s innovative transportation and flood inundation mapping products were used for Hurricane Katrina impact assessment on Mississippi Gulf Coast in 2005, post-2010 floods in Pakistan and 2011 floods in Thailand. He has also received grants totaling more than $16 million as principal investigator and collaborator, including a $4.6 million software gift from the geospatial industry.

He developed several new engineering labs at UM that focus on asphalt testing, remote sensing-geospatial data analysis and modeling-visualization. He is studying intermodal integration and infrastructure disaster protection to assess disaster risk vulnerabilities and enhance the global supply chain.

Also a graduate of the Asian Institute of Technology and the University of Karachi, Uddin has worked, lectured and made presentations in 28 countries. He has published more than 220 papers, discussions and technical reports, including four books, two book chapters and 109 peer-reviewed papers in refereed journals and conference books.

Uddin said he is “very proud” that his wife, Rukhsana, and their three sons were all educated at UM during the last 22 years.

“My wife, who earned her M.S. in family counseling and Ph.D. in education from here, is a faculty and researcher in the UM teacher education program,” Uddin said. “Our oldest son, Omar, got most of his engineering education at Ole Miss before he decided to become a high-tech business entrepreneur in northern Virginia.

“Usman, our middle son, earned his BBA degree in business MIS at Ole Miss and his MBA from George Mason University. The youngest, Asad, is a junior in the Trent Lott Public Policy Leadership program.”

Uddin’s hobbies include reading, traveling, photography, tweeting and blogging.

“I’m also a fan of both the Ole Miss Rebels and the University of Texas Longhorns,” he said.

For more on the UM Department of Civil Engineering, visit For more on the Center for Advanced Infrastructure Technology, visit

Law School Launches Effort to Encourage Collaboration, Innovation

Affiliated faculty program designed to boost scholarship and teaching across disciplines

John Green

John Green

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi School of Law has approved its first four affiliated faculty as part of the school’s new affiliated faculty program, which is designed to spur interaction between the school and other university’s other academic units.

The inaugural affiliated faculty members are John Green from the Department of Sociology, Robert Mongue from the Department of Legal Studies, Steven Skultety from the Department of Philosophy and Religion, and John Winkle from the Department of Political Science.

“The law school’s new affiliated faculty program is meant to promote creative collaborations in teaching, research and service between law faculty and other UM faculty,” said Jack Nowlin, associate dean for faculty development and a professor at the school. “There is so much scholars from different fields can learn from working with each other. Our work only gets better when we collaborate across disciplines.”

Law school officials hope this program will increase interdisciplinary participation in the school’s academic workshop program, joint sponsorship of speaking events, joint research projects and team-teaching.

UM faculty recognized as law school affiliates appear on the school’s faculty page with that title and also receive invitations to attend law school speaking events and participate in workshop programs.

Robert Mongue

Robert Mongue

Each of the school’s four new affiliated faculty members is an outstanding scholar with a solid history of interdisciplinary collaborations with the law school.

Green is an associate professor of sociology and director of the UM Center for Population Studies. His interests include community development, health and health care, limited resource and minority farmers, and the social dimensions of disaster. He has worked with the law school’s transactional clinic and engaged in joint research projects with Desiree Hensley, assistant professor of law.

“I am elated to be an affiliated faculty member with the School of Law,” Green said. “As a research center director and faculty member in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, I am working on a wide range of applied programs in community development, agrifood systems and health. This association with the School of Law has expanded the reach of my work and my professional connections.”

Mongue, associate professor of legal studies, has had more than 30 years experience practicing law in addition to his academic accomplishments. He specializes in paralegal education and is the author of the “Empowered Paralegal” book series. His collaborations with the law school include giving guest lectures, organizing interdisciplinary speaking events and working on projects to better integrate graduate and undergraduate legal education.

Steven Skultety

Steven Skultety

“I look forward to the opportunity to strengthen the bond between the law school and the legal studies department, especially the Paralegal Studies program,” Mongue said. “While my previous communications have focused on those of our students who intend to apply for admission to law school, I think that it would be just as helpful to both paralegal students preparing for careers as paralegals and law students preparing for careers as attorneys to engage each other during their education for purposes of improving their working relationships when that education is complete.”

Skultety is an associate professor of philosophy and chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion. His interests lie in ancient philosophy, especially the work of Aristotle, and in republican and democratic theory. Skultety’s collaborations with the law school include co-sponsoring speaking events and regularly participating in the law school’s faculty writing groups.

“Philosophy and law both rest on an ability to make clear and persuasive arguments,” Skultety said. “Whenever I work with my colleagues in the law school, I’m struck by how much we have in common. Anyone who attends one of our co-sponsored events – like our annual Constitution Day talk or the Jack Dunbar lecture in philosophy and law – will also see the similarities. As an affiliated faculty member, I’m looking forward to continuing my own collaboration with law professors, and I’m also excited to search for new ways the law school and the Department of Philosophy and Religion can work together.”

John Winkle

John Winkle

Winkle is professor emeritus in the Department of Political Science. Over his 40-year career, he has taught courses on constitutional law, judicial politics the American legal process and many other topics. He has published numerous articles on wide range of subjects, including lobbying by federal judges before Congress, state-federal judicial councils and the political role played by the administrative office of U.S. courts. Winkle’s long history of collaborations with law faculty includes team-teaching, participating in joint speaking events and circulating drafts to law faculty for comment.

“I am delighted to be a law school faculty affiliate and look forward to continued work with my colleagues in the law school,” Winkle said. “Some of my fondest associations over the years have been with active and retired law school faculty whom I am pleased to call my friends.”

UM faculty interested in collaborative opportunities with the law school should contact Nowlin. Faculty members can apply for affiliated faculty status by sending Dean Richard Gershon a curriculum vitae along with materials highlighting recent collaborative activities with law faculty. A copy of the law school policy is available at Affiliated Faculty Policy.

Learn more about these affiliated faculty members on the faculty directory page.


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.

On Friday, Nov. 14, the Jazz Ambassadors, the official touring band of the United States Army, will visit the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts. Formed in 1969, this 19-member ensemble has received international acclaim and has performed with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony Pops, the Colorado Pops Orchestra and the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, among others.

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 93-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, Master Sgt. Matt Hayes, UM senior military professor, 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