Learn to Create iOS and OS X Apps at Free Developer Workshops

Feb. 17 sessions led by Apple representative who worked with Steve Jobs

Adobe Photoshop PDFOXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi is offering free workshops for students and faculty to learn about the latest tools for creating applications for iOS and OS X. Each workshop, one for faculty and one for students, will be led by a consulting engineer with Apple’s Education Team.

The workshops will address how apps are produced and distributed through Apple’s Developer Program using its software tools, testing and support resources, distribution and usability analytics. They are led by an Apple veteran who was a colleague of company founder Steve Jobs.

The workshops are set for Wednesday (Feb. 17) in the Ole Miss Student Union. There is no registration and seating is first-come, first-served. The student workshop will be from 10 to 10:50 a.m. in the Union Ballroom, and the faculty workshop will follow at 11 a.m. in Room 412. The sessions are co-sponsored by the Office of Information Technology  and the Department of Computer and Information Science.

“These Apple workshops should be an excellent kick-start for students and instructors to jump into app development and a special event for UM,” said Errol Sayre, a software developer IV in the UM Office of Information Technology.

Students are encouraged to come learn what’s new for developers on the latest Mac and iPhone operating systems and find out how Xcode is used to create, test and perfect apps. To do this, the presenter will deconstruct some popular applications, showing their critical components while demonstrating how users can get started with app development.

The faculty and staff workshop is intended for any staff members and administrators interested in talking about how other organizations around the world have introduced iOS programming through the University Developer Program. The program is designed by Apple to help higher education institutions include iOS 9 development in their curricula.

Apple’s technologist will demonstrate the latest version of Xcode, Apple’s software used to build apps for Apple’s four platforms: iOS, OS X, watchOS and tvOS.

For more information, faculty can contact the Faculty Technology Development Center at ftdc@olemiss.edu or 662-915-7918. Others may contact the IT Helpdesk at helpdesk@olemiss.edu or 662-915-5222.

Inaugural Mighty Half and 5-K Set for Saturday

Organizers hope to encourage healthy lifestyles, establish a Mighty Milers program

The inaugural event is sponsored by RebelWell and the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation.

The inaugural event is sponsored by RebelWell and the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation.

OXFORD, Miss. – Run Oxford’s Mighty Half and 5-K is set for Saturday (Feb. 20) at the University of Mississippi. The community running group will host the inaugural event sponsored by RebelWell and the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation.

One of four races making up The Inn at Ole Miss 2016 Grand Prix series, the Mighty Half half-marathon will begin at 7 a.m. near the Manning Center, with the 5-K following at 7:30. Each route takes runners through the UM campus with the half marathon extending into Oxford.

Food and free activities will be available at the Manning Center during the races, including a pop-up Zumba class by instructor Caysie Lagrone at 8:30 a.m. All events are open to the public.

The event is a way to encourage health and wellness throughout the community, said Wendy Carmean, RebelWell project coordinator.

“RebelWell and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation is so pleased to work with Run Oxford by sponsoring the inaugural Mighty Half marathon and 5-K,” Carmean said. “We have a beautiful campus and community, and it’s exciting to be able to share it with runners from across the country.

“The race is also an excellent opportunity to bring our local runners together and provide an organized event that doesn’t require travel. Oxford and Lafayette County is such a healthy and vibrant community, and it’s a treat to be an advocate for wellness in such a dynamic town.”

The goal of race organizers is to create a youth running program for the community that will be managed by Run Oxford, said Marvin King, race director and Run Oxford president.

“Run Oxford will dedicate proceeds from this race to establish a Mighty Milers program in Lafayette County,” said King, who is also an associate professor of political science and African-American studies at UM. “We will partner with other nonprofits as we encourage youngsters to make running and exercise a regular part of their lives. Given how poor Mississippi often fares on common health measures, we know you can’t start too soon in reaching out to young people and finding fun ways to get them moving.”

RebelWell and the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation will also contribute funds to help establish and offer continued support to the Mighty Milers program.

Weekend festivities kick off at 3 p.m. Friday (Feb. 19) at the Manning Center, with the Visit Oxford Health and Race Expo featuring more than 25 vendors and sponsors. This free event will have activities for all ages, including a bounce house, yoga and hula-hoop demonstrations, and a 50-yard dash.

A nutritionist from the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will be on hand to answer questions beginning at 4:45 p.m. Food will be available from vendors, and The Grill at 1810 will serve the RebelWell pre-race meal from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

For registration, parking options and information on all events surrounding the Mighty Half and 5-K, go to http://www.runoxfordhalfmarathon.com.

Wellness Rebel: Barry Barnes

Barry Barnes

Barry Barnes

OXFORD, Miss. – Pizza was like a highly addictive drug to Barry Barnes.

But he only indulges in it and other less-than-healthy foods on weekends now. He prepares his meals well ahead of time and eats more fruits and vegetables. He’s added exercise to the mix, which has helped him lose about 30 pounds.

“Nutrition is the hardest part since most foods are like drugs,” Barnes said. “I don’t necessarily like veggies, but I eat them with my meals every day since food, like drugs, can also be medicine. To make it easier on myself, I consume most fruits and veggies in smoothies, but broccoli and lentils I eat cooked.”

Barnes, a Web developer at National Sea Grant Law Center, which is based at the University of Mississippi, also does yoga, resistance training, cardio, Wing Chun martial arts and meditation. He said the act of beginning was the toughest.

“I had to slowly make a habit of doing them,” Barnes said. “That way, it won’t seem mentally stressful in order to get started since each day is a new start. Starting small and building up helps, though whatever you do, it should be something that you can maintain in your life.”

Andrea Jekabsons, UM assistant director of employment and training, met Barnes at the Ole Miss chapter of Toastmasters, a group in which members enhance public-speaking skills and leadership skills in a social, supportive environment. Barnes has impressed her with his interest in personal growth and wellness.

“His enthusiasm about fitness and nutrition, including his love of pizza, comes through in his speeches,” Jekabsons said. “Barry has taught us and encouraged us along the way. And yes, real men do take care of themselves and even do yoga! Just meet Barry Barnes.” 

The progress also must be measured, Barnes said. He uses scales and Mynetdiary.com to track his progress and also tries to increase his fitness levels on the workouts he does.

“Progress can be hard to see,” Barnes said. “It’s hard to see the picture when you’re in the frame. I love making progress, but I first look to see if I’ve been following the process that I’ve laid before myself.

“How many days have I exercised, practiced, read and ate well? I keep notes of the exercises that I do and when they were done so that I can see if I’ve been slacking off.”

Some of his health gains are a testament to the power of positive messages to keep his mind right. He reads self-help books and listens to speeches by motivational speakers Jim Rohn and Les Brown and recorded lectures from Alan Watts, a philosopher, writer and speaker.

But Barnes said he also spends a lot of time motivating himself to stay on track. Once he starts, he always finds it easier to make himself finish his workout.

“I may not feel like doing my scheduled exercise, but I know that I’ll feel worse if I don’t,” he said. “I’ll feel like I let myself down by letting an opportunity go by, especially since I feel that each day is a new chance to get closer to where I want to be.

“If I don’t feel like exercising on those days, I’ll do just a little exercise. That’s really a trick, though. Once my blood is moving, I tend to feel like doing a bit more, but I’m not obligated to do the entire workout.”

Barnes is an extraordinary person who is always willing to work with others and help them find their motivation to get healthy, said Anne Klingen, director of the Department of Online Design and eLearning.

“He shares his experience and zeal for a healthy lifestyle with other staff members at UM,” Klingen said. “He recently completed his yoga instructor certification and can’t wait to share that, too. Barry’s enthusiasm is contagious and his dedication is inspiring to the sofa spuds amongst us.”

Scientists to Provide Update Thursday on Search for Gravitational Waves

Ole Miss astronomy students study the stars on a clear winter evening.

Ole Miss astronomy students study the stars on a clear winter evening.

OXFORD, Miss. – University of Mississippi students, faculty and staff, as well as science enthusiasts from the Oxford community, are invited to a live viewing event at 9:30 a.m. Thursday (Feb. 11) in Lewis Hall auditorium, Room 101, as the National Science Foundation brings together scientists from Caltech, MIT and the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory Scientific Collaboration for a status report on the effort to detect gravitational waves, or ripples in the fabric of space-time.

The live broadcast from the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., will be preceded by a brief introduction by Lucien Cremaldi, UM chair and professor of physics and astronomy. Doors will open at 9 a.m., and the event is free and open to the public.

As a follow-up to this event, Katherine Dooley, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, and Marco Cavaglia, associate professor of physics and astronomy, both members of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, will host a Q&A session about the latest LIGO research at 4 p.m. Feb. 16 in Lewis Hall.

They also will lead a session of the department’s monthly Science Cafe at 6 p.m. that day at Lusa Bakery Bistro and Bar, 1120 North Lamar Blvd.

A public lecture is being planned for later in February. More details about these events will be posted on the websites of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, http://www.phy.olemiss.edu, and the Oxford Science Café, http://www.phy.olemiss.edu/oxfordsciencecafe, as they become available. A special exhibit about the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, known as LIGO, also will be on display in the lobby of the Ole Miss Student Union through the end of February.

LIGO, a system of two identical detectors constructed to detect incredibly tiny vibrations from passing gravitational waves, was conceived and built by MIT and Caltech researchers, funded by the National Science Foundation, with significant contributions from other U.S. and international partners. The twin detectors are in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington.

Research and analysis of data from the detectors is carried out by a global group of scientists, including the LSC, which includes the GEO600 Collaboration and the VIRGO Collaboration. UM has been a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration since 2007.

For additional background about the project, go to:

UM Museum Receives National Recognition

Yearlong academy helps staff prepare for accreditation process

The University Museum was one of only 10 institutions in the country to be chosen to participate in the American Alliance of Museums Small Museums Accreditation Academy.

The University Museum was among only 10 institutions to be chosen for the American Alliance of Museums Small Museums Accreditation Academy.

OXFORD, Miss. – The  American Alliance of Museums has chosen the University of Mississippi Museum to participate in its new Small Museums Accreditation Academy, an honor extended to only 10 institutions nationally.

A grant from the National Endowment for the Arts funds the new accreditation academy. An advisory panel of leaders in the museum field assists the academy’s work. The staffs of the participating museums will undergo a yearlong readiness program with the goal of creating cultures of excellence inside those institutions to prepare them for accreditation.

The selection brings national recognition to the museum staff from peers, said Robert Saarnio, director of the University Museum and Historic Houses. The staff is exceptionally proud of this honor, he said.

“Our yearlong participation will require intensive focus on core documents such as a strategic plan and a disaster preparedness and response plan, among others,” Saarnio said. “At the end of the 12-month period, we will be positioned to commence the formal accreditation process, which is the pinnacle of achievement and acknowledged stature for American museums.”

The American Alliance of Museums, formed in 1906, is made up of 30,000 museum professionals, volunteers, institutions and corporate partners. The group brings those professionals together to develop standards and best practices, share knowledge and provide advocacy on issues that concern the museum community.

The academy uses a guided online experience. It combines live sessions, mentoring and collaborative activities for staff and governing body members at small museums. It is designed for “high-performing” organizations that are striving to achieve best practices to meet the accreditation demands.

“The limited staff and resources of small museums do not preclude them from being operationally excellent and having tremendous impact on their communities,” said Laura L. Lott, the alliance’s president and chief executive officer. “I’m excited to welcome these 10 museums to our new program as they take a major step toward being recognized by the field for that excellence.”

Other museums participating in the accreditation academy are:

  • Bainbridge Island Historical Museum, Bainbridge Island, Washington
  • Earth & Mineral Sciences Museum at the Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania
  • Godwin-Ternbach Museum, Flushing, New York
  • J. Wayne Stark Galleries, College Station, Texas
  • Monterey County Agricultural and Rural Life Museum, King City, California
  • Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, North Carolina
  • Museum of Art at University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire
  • Spartanburg Art Museum, Spartanburg, South Carolina
  • Zanesville Museum of Art, Zanesville, Ohio

The University Museum is open to the public 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. It is closed on Mondays and on university holidays. For more information, click here.

UM to Honor First African-American Faculty Member in Education

School of Education seeks donations for memorial Henderson endowment

Dot Henderson

Dot Henderson

OXFORD, Miss. – Members of the Lafayette-Oxford-University community are working to establish a new endowment to honor the legacy of the late Dorothy “Dot” Henderson, the University of Mississippi’s first African-American faculty member in education.

Henderson, who passed away in December, was an instructor in elementary education at UM from 1978 to 1998. She was the first African-American to hold a full-time faculty position in the School of Education, where she influenced a vast number of students, faculty and staff through her intellect, knowledge and enduring commitment to education in and out of the classroom.

An endowment in Henderson’s name is in the early stages and will provide scholarships for future education students. Donations to the fund can be made online.

“We never knew that (our mother) was the first, because she was never the type of woman to put herself before anyone else,” said Deborah Gipson, Henderson’s eldest daughter and one of six children. “I remember that people always smiled everywhere she went. She encouraged people to find their ‘spirit of strength.’ I think that was one of her greatest qualities – bringing out the best in people.”

In January, the UM School of Education opened the Dorothy Henderson Memorial Scholarship Fund. A total of $25,000 is needed to finalize the legacy endowment, which will benefit future Ole Miss education students. Nearly $24,000 is needed to achieve this goal, which many community members hope to accomplish in the near future.

“Dorothy Henderson’s imprint is seen and felt throughout our community,” said David Rock, UM education dean. “Those who knew her best are inspired by her life. Her pioneering leadership role deserves a permanent remembrance for her contribution to Ole Miss, Oxford and her passion for the education of children.”

For more than half a century, Henderson was a beloved and respected figure in the LOU community. She was an active member of many local and state organizations including the Second Baptist Church, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, the Oxford School District Board of Trustees, the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, the Mississippi Early Childhood Association, Head Start, the Mississippi Humanities Council, the YWCA, Church Women United, the League of Women Voters and numerous others.

A native of De Kalb, Henderson moved to Oxford in 1963 when she and her husband, Robert Lee Henderson, who was also an educator, took faculty positions in local schools. The Hendersons raised six children in Oxford. Over the decades, their family grew to also include 15 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren and one great great grandchild.

“Her presence could change the whole atmosphere of a room,” said the Rev. Andrew Robinson, pastor of Second Baptist Church in Oxford, where Henderson was a dedicated member of the congregation. “She was always full of wisdom and worked with our mission faithfully. She was the type of person who could always see beyond the challenges in front of you. She saw the positive and the good in all people.”

At Second Baptist, Henderson held multiple leadership positions, including serving on the church’s board of trustees and missionary board. She also taught Sunday school, sang in the choir and more.

Before joining the LOU community, Henderson held teaching positions at elementary schools in Heidelberg, Meridian, Lexington and in Memphis, Tennessee. She also served as director of education at the Institute of Community Services in Holly Springs before joining the UM faculty. Her community service with Head Start and young children would continue throughout her university career, as well.

“Dot was always a real go-getter,” recalled Fannye Love, a longtime colleague of Henderson and UM’s first African-American to obtain the rank of tenured, full professor at the School of Education. “We presented multiple papers and attended multiple conferences together and I remember that she had a great knowledge based of how teachers should be prepared to work with children. She was always involved with so many people across the campus and community.”

Henderson was a published scholar in her field and received many awards and honors for her teaching and service during her Ole Miss tenure. She was her high school salutatorian and held a bachelor’s degree from Jackson State University, a master’s degree from UM and an education specialist degree from Mississippi State University.

“Dorothy always brought a unique perspective to any situation,” said Jean Shaw, UM professor emerita of elementary education. “I remember that her philosophy was that you need to know the children that you teach. They each have significance as individuals and have different backgrounds, likes and dislikes.

“It’s easy to say that children are our future, but she really believed it and lived life as she taught.”

Contributions to the Henderson endowment can be made online or via check to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 401 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655, and designated for the Dorothy Henderson Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Nominate Somebody for Women’s Empowerment Awards

Honors to be given to faculty, staff and students who exhibit core values

The University of Mississippi departments of Student Housing and Intercollegiate Athletics, E.S.T.E.E.M., Sigma Gamma Rho and the Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement are calling for nominations for the Women’s Empowerment Awards.

Faculty, staff and students can submit nominations for the awards, which will be given to one student and one faculty or staff member who demonstrates each of the core values of the UM Division of Student Affairs. Those values are “Students First,” “Everyone Speaks,” “Embrace Differences” and “Lead with Learning.”

An overall award called the Women’s Empowerment Award will be given to the faculty, staff member or student who exhibits all the aforementioned core values. The Women’s Empowerment and Awards Reception is set for 6 p.m. March 1 in Fulton Chapel.

The deadline for nominations is Feb. 19, and they can be submitted here.

UM, ‘Empire’ Star Slated for NAACP Honors

Campus chapter, actor/singer Jussie Smollett among prestigious Chairman's Award recipients

Apparently, some type of connection exists between the University of Mississippi and the Fox TV megahit drama “Empire.”

For starters, a UM broadcast communications specialist once interned for the popular show’s casting director. Then, a former Ole Miss women’s basketball star-turned-actress had a cameo appearance on the program’s mid-season winter finale in December. Now, it appears representatives from UM’s chapter of the NAACP and rising “Empire” star Jussie Smollett will both be receiving the Chairman’s Award when the 47th annual NAACP Image Awards airs Feb. 5.

The university’s NAACP chapter is being recognized for its successful student-led campaign to remove the Mississippi state flag, which includes the Confederate battle emblem in its upper left corner, from campus.

Smollett, who plays singer-songwriter Jamal Lyon on “Empire,” has been an activist for civil rights, HIV-AIDS awareness and social issues since he was 15. He is being honored for his volunteer work with such nonprofits as the Black AIDS Institute, Artists for a New South Africa and the United Negro College Fund. Recently, Smollett interrupted his performance at the BET Awards to speak out about the Supreme Court decision allowing gay marriage.

Other recipients of the Chairman’s Award include the Justice League NYC, the University of Missouri Concerned Student 1950 Collective, Brittany “Bree” Newsome, the Rev. Dr. Jamal Harrison Bryant, the Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III and the Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley.

“It is a rare privilege for me to present the NAACP Chairman’s 2016 Award to an outstanding group of trailblazing leaders all under the age of 50 who have given voice and vision to the mantra that black lives matter,” said Roslyn Brock, chairman of the NAACP national board of directors. “The five individuals and three organizations have raised awareness of social, educational and economic injustice from college campuses, church pulpits and the streets, and exemplify what this award symbolizes: ‘Courage will not skip this generation.’”

The Image Awards will air live from the Pasadena Civic Center on TV One, beginning at 6 p.m.

To read more about the UM NAACP receiving the Chairman’s Award, visit here. To read more about the 47th annual NAACP Image Awards, go to http://www.naacpimageawards.net/

UM Sets Black History Month Observances

Social activist Alicia Garza to deliver keynote address Feb. 29 in Fulton Chapel

Alicia Garza

Alicia Garza

OXFORD, Miss. – Continuing the dialogue on racial reconciliation, social activist Alicia Garza is the keynote speaker for Black History Month observances at the University of Mississippi.

Garza’s address is scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 29 in Fulton Chapel. Admission is free, but tickets must be obtained from the UM Box Office in the Ole Miss Student Union beginning Feb. 1.

“Over the years, notable African-Americans such as Cornel West, Marian Wright Edelman, Michael Eric Dyson and Myrlie Evers-Williams have been invited to provide the Black History Month keynote address,” said Shawnboda Mead, director of UM’s Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement. “We believe Ms. Garza will be equally as dynamic and that she will provide a very memorable experience for everyone in attendance.”

The keynote is the final event of Black History Month 2016, and Mead said she hopes everyone will take advantage of this opportunity to hear from Garza.

“It’s essential to recognize that the Black Lives Matter movement has never asserted that other lives don’t matter,” Mead said. “In fact, the primary intent is to build connections between black people and allies, to fight anti-black racism, to encourage dialogue, social action and engagement.

“As our university strives to be a leader in racial reconciliation and inclusivity, this year’s keynote address is a continuation of our educational efforts. Therefore, we look forward to engaging with Ms. Garza and learning more about the founding, as well as the guiding principles, of Black Lives Matter.”

Other scheduled activities:

  • Feb. 1 – Kick-Off Celebration: 4 p.m. in Fulton Chapel. Featuring the UM Gospel Choir, a welcome from Chancellor Jeffery Vitter, a keynote address by Grisham Writer-in-Residence Kiese Laymon and the presentation of the annual “Lift Every Voice” Awards.
  • Feb. 2 – Good or Bad Hair: 7 p.m. in Bishop Hall, Room 209. Panel discussion and viewing of clips from the films “Good Hair” and “School Daze.”
  • Feb. 4 & 7: Film Series: “Selma”: 7 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively, in Turner Center, Room 205.
  • Feb. 9: Lecture by Clifton Taulbert: 5 p.m. in a location to be announced. The Pulitizer-nominated author will discuss his new memoir, “The Invitation.”
  • Feb. 9: Tupac Monologue: 12:15 p.m. in Ole Miss Student Union, Room 405. Join a discussion about the role of hip-hop culture and its effect on political and cultural change in America.
  • Feb. 12: Black History Month Gala: 6 p.m. in the Inn at Ole Miss’ Gertrude Ford Ballroom. Admission free to UM students, faculty and staff. Tickets available at Ole Miss Student Union Box Office beginning Jan. 25.
  • Feb. 15: Film Series: “Straight Outta Compton”: 5 p.m. in Turner Center, Room 205.
  • Feb. 16: Soul Food Luncheon: 11:30 a.m. in Luckyday Residential College dining hall. Use meal plans or purchase meal at regular rates.
  • Feb. 16: “I Know Black People” Trivia Game: 7 p.m. in Residential College South Cafeteria.
  • Feb. 18: “Are You Ready?” Dialogue Series: Appropriation vs. Appreciation: Noon in Ole Miss Student Union ballroom.
  • Feb. 19: Panel Discussion: “The Image of Black Love”: 5 p.m. in Barnard Observatory.
  • Feb. 19: Film Series: “Fundi: The Story of Ella Baker”: 1:45 p.m. in Powerhouse Community Arts Center. Tickets are $10. Hosted by the Oxford Film Festival.
  • Feb. 20: Independent Black Film Collective Panel Discussion: 1 p.m. at Malco Oxford Commons. Admission free, but limited seating available. Hosted by the Oxford Film Festival.
  • Feb. 20: Film Series: “Dixie”: 4:45 p.m. at the Oxford Conference Center. Tickets are $10. Hosted by the Oxford Film Festival.
  • Feb. 22-23: Sankofa African-American Museum on Wheels: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and 9 a.m.-1 p.m., respectively, in Ole Miss Student Union Ballroom.
  • Feb. 23: Black History Month Concert: 7:30 p.m. in Nutt Auditorium.
  • Feb. 24: “Ain’t I a Woman?”: 7 p.m. in Nutt Auditorium. Celebration of lives of Zora Neale Hurston, Sojourner Truth, Clementine Hunter and Fannie Lou Hamer.
  • Feb. 25: Throwback Thursday: Celebration of Black Entertainment: 12:15 p.m. in Ole Miss Student Union Ballroom.
  • Feb. 26: Sister2Sister Leadership Retreat: 3 p.m. in Ole Miss Student Union Ballroom.
  • March 1: Women’s Empowerment Awards & Reception: 6 p.m. in Fulton Chapel.

Sponsors for the university’s BHM observances include the Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement, the University Lecture Series, the Office of the Provost/Multicultural Affairs, University and Public Events, the Student Activities Association, ESTEEM, the Men of Excellence, the McLean Institute, the Black Student Union, the Department of Student Housing, Ole Miss Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, the Black Graduate and Professional Students Association, the School of Education, the Ole Miss Student Union, the Sarah Isom Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation, and the departments of History, Music, Sociology and Anthropology, and African-American Studies.

For a full list of sponsors and Black History Month calendar of events, visit http://inclusion.olemiss.edu.

Outraged by the 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, Garza took to social media to express her anguish and love for the black community. Ending her message with “Our Lives Matter/We Matter/Black Lives Matter,” she, along with Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullor, turned those powerful last words into a Twitter hashtag. Immediately prompting activism nationwide, #BlackLivesMatter has evolved into the banner under which this generation’s civil rights movement marches.

An established social activist committed to challenging society to recognize and celebrate the contributions of all individuals, Garza’s activism is rooted in organizational strategies to connect individuals and emerging social movements. She is also a prominent advocate for the preservation of an open Internet to provide a space for these movements to emerge. Garza’s work has earned her various honors, including two Harvey Milk Democratic Club Community Activist Awards.

In 2015, Garza and the Black Lives Matter co-founders were honored with inclusion on The Root’s Top 100 List for the movement’s social and political impact.

The special projects director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Garza previously served as executive director of People Organized to Win Employment Rights, where she led the charge on significant initiatives, including organizing against the chronic police violence in black neighborhoods.

Meet Stefanie Delmastro, December’s Staff Member of the Month

Stefanie Delmastro

Stefanie Delmastro

Stefanie Delmastro, administrative assistant in the Department of Electrical Engineering, was selected as Staff Council’s Staff Member of the Month for December. To help us get to know her better, she answered a few questions for Inside Ole Miss.

IOM: How long have you worked at Ole Miss?

Delmastro: 17 years 

IOM: What is your hometown?

Delmastro: Detroit, Michigan

IOM: What is your favorite Ole Miss memory?

Delmastro: The first day I started working at Ole Miss. The faculty, staff and students were very welcoming.

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

Delmastro: Our students. They bring a lot of fun energy every day.

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

Delmastro: I practice yoga every day. Also, I am pursuing a Master of Arts in higher education/student personnel here at Ole Miss.

IOM: What is one thing on your bucket list?

Delmastro: I would like to travel more.

IOM: What is your favorite movie?

Delmastro: I don’t really watch movies because I can’t sit still for over two hours.

IOM: If I could be an animal for a day I would be:

Delmastro: One of my six cats.

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