Gingerbread Village to Open Dec. 3

More than 1,200 schoolchildren scheduled to visit display

Tiny snowmen and gingerbread men with candy are featured in the Calhoun Academy's gingerbread village.

Tiny snowmen and gingerbread men with candy are featured in the Calhoun Academy’s gingerbread village.

OXFORD, Miss. – The sixth annual Gingerbread Village is set to inspire the holiday spirit at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts. The event begins Thursday (Dec. 3) with an opening reception at 6 p.m. and runs through Dec. 19.

“The Gingerbread Village is one of my favorite Ford Center events,” said Kate Meacham, Ford Center marketing director. “I love seeing the creativity of the displays and joy of the visitors to the village. We hope that through the village, we can bring some holiday spirit to the community and give back a little through collecting donations to the Oxford Pantry and Ole Miss Food Bank.”

The exhibit started with four houses in its first year. Meacham said this year is expected to be the largest village to date with more than 25 houses designed by local businesses and organizations. Also, she said more than 1,200 schoolchildren are scheduled to visit and view the display.

Michelle Zerangue and her family have participated in the Gingerbread Village since its first year.

“I have always loved the idea of the village being a display for everyone to enjoy but also a community service project that helps to stock the local pantries during the holiday season,” Zerangue said. “In participating each year, we play a part in helping our community with a fun tradition that we have been able to build on each year as a family. Every year, building a display has also been a personal challenge to build something better than the previous year. It is just one more way for us to be able to share the joy and traditions of the holiday season with others.”

Christine Wallace, director of University and Public Events, and her team have joined with Ole Miss Catering to design a house this year. Wallace also has been involved since the event’s inception.

“We participate because everyone needs a little winter magic,” Wallace said. “It is a time to reflect, enjoy and celebrate. We enjoy bringing this magic to our campus colleagues and our community.”

In addition to the display, the exhibit includes a variety of events for children. Santa will be in the village for photos on Sunday (Dec. 13), 1-4 p.m., along with university choir carolers. On Dec. 17, a story time for big kids is set for 3:30 p.m., and on Dec. 18, toddler and preschool story time is slated for 10:30 a.m.

The Gingerbread Village display is free and open to the public, but donations of canned goods and nonperishable food items are encouraged. All donated items will benefit the Oxford Pantry and Ole Miss Food Bank.

Meet Molly Fryman, November’s Staff Member of the Month

Molly Fryman

Molly Fryman

Molly Fryman, international student adviser in the Office of Study Abroad, was chosen by the Staff Council as November’s Staff Member of the Month. To help us get to know her better, she answered some questions for Inside Ole Miss.

IOM: How long have you worked at Ole Miss?

Fryman: 2 years.

IOM: What is your hometown?

Fryman: Decatur, Illinois. 

IOM: What is your favorite Ole Miss memory?

Fryman: Time spent in the Grove on a fall Saturday.

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

Fryman: My favorite part of my job is interaction with students from all over the world and the people I work with.

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

Fryman: Spend time with friends and family.

IOM: What is one thing on your bucket list?

Fryman: Learn to drive a manual car.

IOM: What is your favorite movie?

Fryman: “16 Candles”

IOM: What is a fun fact about you?

Fryman: I lived in Nyirbator, Hungary, for a year.

 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.

MAC Honors Scott Barretta with Excellence in the Arts Award

Writer, editor and research has contributed greatly to the world's understanding of the blues

Mark Camarigg, publications manager of Living Blues magazine, Jim O'Neal, co-founder of LB, Brett Bonner, LB editor, and Scott Barretta, Highway 61 Radio host unveil the Blues Marker honoring "Living Blues" magazine which is published at The University of Mississippi.

Mark Camarigg, publications manager of Living Blues magazine, Jim O’Neal, co-founder of LB, Brett Bonner, LB editor, and Scott Barretta, Highway 61 Radio host unveil the Blues Marker honoring “Living Blues” magazine which is published at The University of Mississippi.

OXFORD, Miss. – Scott Barretta, writer and researcher for the Mississippi Blues Trail and an adjunct instructor in sociology and anthropology at the University of Mississippi, has lived in the state for 16 years, but his blues journey began long before his arrival here.

Barretta’s multidecade musical odyssey has led to him receiving the Mississippi Arts Commission 2016 Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts for Mississippi Heritage. The award will be presented at the 28th Governor’s Awards ceremony, set for 6 p.m. Feb. 11, 2016 in Jackson.

“I’ve worked with MAC over the years in various capacities, and have always followed and admired the Governor’s Awards because they’ve honored so many of my heroes and friends,” Barretta said. “I’ve previously written nomination letters for others and attended multiple ceremonies, and it’s kind of a shock to now be on the other side.”

Barretta, who grew up in northern Virginia, recalls first seeing live blues while visiting the Smithsonian Folklife Festival with his parents. He began exploring the Mississippi blues roots of rock artists around age 14.

He collected blues LPs and, within a couple of years, began venturing out regularly to clubs in the nation’s capital to hear artists such as Willie Dixon and John Lee Hooker.

As a student at George Mason University and the University of Virginia, Barretta focused his undergraduate and graduate work on political sociology, concentrating on homelessness. He remained a fan of the blues and did some research on blues history at UVA. In 1992, his doctoral studies took him to Lund University in Sweden, where his adviser encouraged him to pursue the topic further.

Barretta addressed issues around the reception of the blues by new audiences, including Swedes. To many people, the blues is both exotic and universal, he said.

“The larger-than-life figures in the blues and the legendary stories about artists such as Robert Johnson certainly have a romantic appeal, but I think that the blues’ typical themes about romantic disappointment and its pragmatic solutions to these problems, such as getting rid of the ‘blues’ by singing and playing the blues, is easy for any human being to relate to,” Barretta said.

There’s also a non-mainstream appeal in the songs that attracts listeners worldwide.

“It’s often hard to imagine nowadays but, like folk music, the blues was also an important ‘alternative’ music for many young people outside of African-American culture back in the ’50s and ’60s when there was so much questioning of mainstream values and culture,” he said.

Barretta began writing for the Swedish blues magazine Jefferson, named for Blind Lemon Jefferson and entirely in Swedish, and in 1995 became its editor. This led him to write for other publications in the United States, including Living Blues, which is based at Ole Miss.

He first came to Mississippi in 1988 to attend blues festivals and visit juke joints in Clarkdale, Greenville, Chulahoma and other places. He met Living Blues editor David Nelson, who recruited Barretta to succeed him as editor in 1999.

“I really had no plans for leaving Sweden when David initially approached me, but I eventually decided that it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get paid to study blues in Mississippi,” Barretta said. “I was an academic who was editing a blues magazine on the side, and becoming a full-time editor at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture seemed liked a good move.”

Sixteen years later, Barretta says he has developed a deep love for Mississippi while learning the intricacies of its musical culture and how its connections permeate the state. He has experienced the blues firsthand, getting to know legends such as Bobby Rush and going to Junior Kimbrough’s juke joint, Otha Turner’s fife and drum picnic, the Flowing Fountain in Greenville and Betty’s place in Noxubee County, where Willie King played every Sunday night.

Barretta has not only been witness to the blues, he has helped make it accessible to people around the world. Besides his work with Living Blues and “Highway 61” radio, Barretta is, along with founding Living Blues editor Jim O’Neal and graphic designer Wanda Clark, on the team that created the Mississippi Blues Trail, which features more than 180 historical markers across the state and as far away as Norway and France.

“It is groundbreaking in terms of cultural and historical interpretation of African-American vernacular culture – the fact that we have so many markers that featured multiple images and over 500 words, and the fact that we’re doing so in Mississippi,” Barretta said. “Other states and regions often contact us to inquire about how they can do this, but no one has really followed suit.”

Still researching and writing for the Blues Trail, Barretta hosts his weekly radio show, writes a weekly column for The Clarion-Ledger and teaches courses, including Anthropology of Blues Culture, at UM. He collaborated with photographer Ken Murphy on the coffee-table book “Mississippi: State of Blues” and is the coauthor of the Mississippi Blues Trail Curriculum.

He is working with filmmaker Joe York and UM’s Southern Documentary Project to produce the forthcoming documentary “Shake ‘Em on Down: the Blues According to Fred McDowell.”

Barretta has worked tirelessly to help students, faculty and all Mississippians better understand the social significance of the blues, said Kirsten Dellinger, chair and professor of sociology and anthropology.

“The Governor’s Award provides much-deserved recognition of Scott’s expertise and shines light on the tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes work he has done for many years to document, analyze and share the meaning of the blues with a wide range of audiences,” Dellinger said. “Scott has made a mark on Mississippi’s airwaves, highways and classrooms through his ‘Highway 61’ radio show, work to establish Blues Trails markers throughout the state and efforts to bring blues history into the curriculum at all educational levels.”

Foundation Launching Giving Tuesday

Goal is to raise $10,000 in 24 hours for Ole Miss Fund

Giving Tuesday will take place on December 1.

Giving Tuesday will take place on December 1.

OXFORD, Miss. – Seeking to raise $10,000 within a 24-hour period, the University of Mississippi Foundation is launching a crowdfunding initiative Dec. 1, calling it a global day dedicated to “giving back.”

Donations on the “Giving Tuesday” can be made beginning at midnight at While gifts of all sizes are welcome, those who make a contribution of $1,000 or more will get a slice of a Grove tree branded with the name Ole Miss. Trees downed by weather or disease on the Oxford campus are often used in some keepsake form.

All proceeds from Giving Tuesday will be directed to the Ole Miss Fund, which addresses needs across the academic community.

“Ignite Ole Miss is the University of Mississippi’s community fundraising platform,” said Suzanne Thigpen, director of annual giving. “Ignite Ole Miss allows everyone with a stake in the University of Mississippi to leverage their circles of influence – via social media, emails, blogs or otherwise – to help share more about our institution to a larger audience and bring awareness to projects that will benefit a range of organizations on campus.”

Crowdfunding, which has strengthened the university to the tune of more than $1.4 million since its inception last fall, is another avenue to provide support directly to the university’s schools, programs and specific projects that are most appealing or meaningful to donors.

“Having something specific to support often inspires people to embrace giving,” Thigpen said. “Today’s donors want to know where their money is going and how it will make an impact.”

Peer-to-peer solicitation, rather than institutional, is key to reaching the goal.

“Use your personal, group, department or team’s email lists, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, LinkedIn groups, etc., to promote this effort,” said Angela Avery, annual giving coordinator. “It’s best to bring your own ‘crowd.'”

Typical crowdfunding projects attract between $2,000 and $10,000. Project campaigns normally run for 30 to 45 days, requiring 10-12 weeks of focused, intense work before and after the campaign. All philanthropic contributions to UM Foundation are tax-deductible as prescribed by law. Donations are nonrefundable.

Visit Ignite Ole Miss Online Links or email For more about the UM Office of Development Annual Giving Division, call 662-915-6625 or 662-915-5946.

Unified Egg Bowl Set for Nov. 16 at UM

Ole Miss, MSU fans urged to support Special Olympics Mississippi fundraiser

The second annual Special Olympics Unified Egg Bowl is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Nov. 16.

The second annual Special Olympics Unified Egg Bowl is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Nov. 16 at the intramural fields on the Ole Miss campus.

OXFORD, Miss. – While the Egg Bowl football game remains the most divisive annual event in many Mississippi households, fans of both the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University are again being called upon to unite in support of Special Olympics Mississippi.

The second annual Special Olympics Unified Egg Bowl is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Nov. 16 at the intramural fields on the Ole Miss campus. Special Olympics athletes with intellectual disabilities will play flag football alongside traditional college students from both schools, sharing in the fanfare and passionate competition that the schools will display when their Division I teams meet the following week.

“The Unified Egg Bowl gives students and Special Olympics athletes an opportunity to interact and build camaraderie and community,” said Jim Beaugez, director of PR and communications for Special Olympics Mississippi. “The competition is real and strong among our athletes, and they have a lot of fun with the rivalry. This is their Egg Bowl, and they give it all they have.”

The organization’s mission is to build understanding and acceptance for individuals who have intellectual disabilities through athletic competition, Beaugez said.

“Engaging folks in unified sports – where Special Olympics athletes compete alongside partner athletes – is a great way to foster that understanding and build genuine friendships that can last beyond the field,” he said.

Fans of both schools can also use this opportunity to donate money to help establish Special Olympics programs on the campuses of both universities and support programs throughout the state. The school that raises the most money gets a three-point advantage to start the game.

“Last year $12,000 was raised from the event, and we hope to surpass that number this year so that our Unified Egg Bowl will continue to grow from year to year,” said Amanda Alpert, UM coordinator of intramural sports and sports clubs. “The more fans we have, the better overall experience for the athletes, and that’s really what this is all about.”

UM Athletics Director Ross Bjork will be on hand for kickoff activities, and Caroline Coker, the reigning Miss University, will perform the national anthem. The Ole Miss “Pride of the South” band is slated to perform at halftime.

Last fall, MSU won the Unified Egg Bowl fan fundraising challenge, but the unified Ole Miss team won the inaugural game in Starkville 23-17. The game swaps campuses each year like the traditional Egg Bowl, but in opposite years.

Special Olympics Mississippi became one of the first pilot programs after Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver visited Ellisville State School in Jones County in 1968, and was officially incorporated and recognized by the state in August 1975, making 2015 the organization’s 40th anniversary in Mississippi.

The organization serves more than 3,000 athletes through a network of 17 multicounty areas and thousands of volunteers. Athletes compete locally at more than 50 events across the state, then statewide at the annual Summer Games and Fall Games. Athletes can then advance to the national and international levels of competition.

For more information, visit

Sarah Liljegren Honored with NSF Career Award

Associate professor of biology is sixth faculty member to receive the prestigious funding

Sarah Liljegren

Sarah Liljegren

OXFORD, Miss. – For the second time this year, a University of Mississippi professor has received a Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation.

Sarah Liljegren, associate professor of biology; is the sixth CAREER award recipient at UM in the last eight years. Jared Delcamp, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, received the same award in June. This is the first time two UM faculty members have been selected in the same calendar year.

The award provides $606,079 over a five-year period for Liljegren’s project, titled “Roles of Organ Boundaries in Arabidopsis Abscission.”

“My lab is investigating the design of molecular circuits that allow plants to release their organs – e.g. leaves, flowers, fruit and seeds – at specific points in their life cycle,” she said. “We would like to know which genes determine where separation zones are found in plants and which genes direct the development of the specialized cells within these zones.”

Using the flowers from a small mustard plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, as a model, Liljegren and her team are studying mutants that disrupt the abscission, or separation, process. In this way, they can identify which design elements are essential.

Liljegren’s award will also support training in genetics at UM in several ways.

“I will be collaborating with other biology faculty to develop new laboratory modules for our genetics course and will also begin teaching an interactive version of genetics for students in the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College,” she said.

“The outreach activities supported by this grant revolve around recruiting and training the next generation of scientists. My lab will have the opportunity to offer summer research internships for undergraduates and several yearlong research internships for recent biology graduates who are interested in graduate work in STEM fields.”

Liljegren’s Ole Miss colleagues are excited about her achievement.

“With federal research funding at the lowest level most of us have ever experienced, this grant represents a remarkable feather in Dr. Liljegren’s hat,” said Paul Lago, chair and professor of biology. “I believe she will continue to have a significant impact in the department and on biology students at the university for many years to come.”

John Z. Kiss, dean of UM Graduate School and also a respected professor of biology, agreed.

“This award places Dr. Liljegren among the top young scientists in the United States,” Kiss said. “She is clearly a leader in the field of plant biology, and I am very proud to have her as a colleague.”

Liljegren said she is appreciative of the research support NSF has provided throughout her career.

“This is my third NSF grant as a principal investigator, but this award is especially meaningful,” she said. “The five-year time period of the grant is simply unheard of for scientists in my field. It allows me to pursue a new research direction I’ve always wanted to explore.”

The timing of the award could not be better, she added.

“My lab has recently made some cool discoveries about some of the elusive interactions that regulate abscission zone formation in Arabidopsis flowers,” Liljegren said. “This grant will allow us to build on and publish these discoveries.”

The NSF CAREER program started in 1996. Recent UM recipients are Tamar Goulet, associate professor of biology, in 2008; Nathan Hammer, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, in 2010; Emanuele Berti, associate professor of physics and astronomy, in 2011; and Amala Dass, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, in 2013.

Liljegren, Delcamp, Hammer and Dass all have had previous funding under Mississippi’s NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Track-1 Grant. The CAREER awards attest to the effectiveness of that grant in helping to develop research competiveness within the state.

“CAREER awards are unique among single-investigator NSF awards in that they integrate research and education in a very substantial way,” said Alice Clark, UM vice chancellor for research and sponsored programs. “They go beyond funding a specific project. They are investments in the successful careers of the nation’s most outstanding faculty members in science and engineering.”

These awards are external validation of the growing research excellence of the science departments within the College of Liberal Arts, said Lee Cohen, UM liberal arts dean.

“These awards also exemplify the kind of success that can be achieved via mentoring,” Cohen said. “UM’s previous NSF Award winners helped mentor the new awardees in the development of their winning proposals.”

Liljegren earned her doctorate at the University of California at San Diego and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and UCSD. She has contributed to 20 peer-reviewed journal articles and received 10 U.S. patents.

Courses she teaches at UM include Genetics, Human Genetics, Cell and Molecular Biology and Plant Cell and Developmental Biology.

Liljegren’s funding is provided through NSF award No. 1453733, which began in September and runs through August 2020.

Goals of the NSF CAREER program include providing stable support for five years to allow the career development of outstanding new teacher-scholars in the context of the mission of their organization and building a foundation for a lifetime of integrated contributions to research and education. Success rates vary across NSF divisions/directorates and competition years, but in biology are generally between 10 percent and 15 percent. The mathematics and physical sciences funding rates are around 20 percent.

For more information about the UM Department of Biology, visit or call 662-915-7203.

UM Museum Unveils 2015 Holiday Keepsake Ornament

Herakles Neck Amphora illustrates the Greek hero defeating the Nemean Lion

The 2015 University of Mississippi Museum keepsake

The 2015 University of Mississippi Museum keepsake ornament

OXFORD, Miss. – For the 15th year, the University of Mississippi Museum is offering a new keepsake ornament for the holidays. This year’s design features an ancient Greek neck amphora, c. 510-500 B.C., from the David M. Robinson Collection of Greek and Roman Antiquities.

On this amphora, the hero Herakles, known as Hercules to the Romans, is shown completing the first of his 12 labors, which was to defeat the invulnerable lion that was terrorizing the hills of Nemea in Greece.

This vase is among more than 2,000 artifacts in the University Museum’s Greek and Roman Antiquities Collection. It was formerly in the private collection of David M. Robinson, who taught in the UM Department of Classics after retiring from Johns Hopkins University in 1947. The amphora was later purchased from his widow by Mr. and Mrs. Frank S. Peddle Jr. and donated to the university.

“Although the artifacts are internationally known to scholars and continuously studied today, there are many Ole Miss faculty, students and alumni that are not aware of these signature university cultural treasures,” said Robert Saarnio, University Museum director.

“This particular vase was chosen to represent the collection because it depicts Greece’s most famous Greek mythological hero, Herakles. Ornament sales from our Museum Shop provide the museum with significantly meaningful financial support, for which we are very grateful.”

The Herakles Neck Amphora commemorative ornament is available for $25, plus tax.

Collectible ornaments from previous years that remain available include the Old Skipwith House, Brandt Memory House, Ventress Hall, Lafayette County Courthouse, Oxford City Hall, the Ole Miss Women’s Basketball Jersey, William Faulkner’s Rowan Oak, Theora Hamblett House, Theora Hamblett’s “Christmas Trees,” Walk of Champions, Oxford’s Double Decker Bus, and Faulkner’s Hollywood Typewriter. They retail for $20 apiece, plus tax.

Keepsake ornaments can be purchased in the museum store or by calling 662-915-7073. Orders to be shipped must be placed by Dec. 11 and require a $7 shipping and handling fee.

Museum members and Friends of the Museum receive a 10 percent discount on all merchandise in the museum store.

The University Museum is at the intersection of University Avenue and Fifth Street. Holiday hours for the Museum Shop are 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Museum visiting hours will remain the same, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. For information about events and exhibits, visit or call 662-915-7073.

LaTanya Dixon Hears Call to Serve Community

Doctoral student works to help students succeed in STEM fields

 LaTanya Dixon

LaTanya Dixon

OXFORD, Miss. – LaTanya Dixon came to the University of Mississippi in 2001 to study pre-medicine, but her service as a tutor and mentor at the Boys and Girls Club made her reconsider her career goals.

When Dixon was an undergraduate, a friend introduced her to AmeriCorps, an organization that places college volunteers in nonprofits and schools across the community. On top of her studies, she spent 20 hours a week working with the youth at the Boys and Girls Club and also volunteering with Leap Frog, an after-school tutoring and mentoring program.

She learned the importance of early reading success and of supporting junior high and high school students on their academic journey.

“A small seed was planted in my heart: academic and social support for students must begin before college,” Dixon said. “I tucked that new truth and passion away in my heart assuming I would do something to help once I retired from a career in medicine or science.”

But by the end of Dixon’s senior year at UM, she changed her focus from medicine to higher education with plans to pursue a doctorate in chemistry.

While teaching a freshman chemistry laboratory course as a graduate student at Jackson State University, Dixon recognized the need to improve recruitment and retention of minority students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

She remembered far too many peers, including herself, falling behind in their undergraduate studies in STEM fields. She watched as many minority students changed their majors or did not use their degrees after graduation.

“I was puzzled as to how most of those ambitious and accomplished students were not succeeding or remaining in STEM,” Dixon said. Therefore, I stopped at the master’s level in chemistry, and I tried to approach the issue from a different angle.”

She headed to the classroom to teach science at the high school level and worked with local nonprofits in education for almost six years before deciding to pursue her Ph.D. In 2012, Dixon returned to UM, not to study chemistry, but to obtain her doctorate in K-12 educational leadership with a cognate in higher education.

Dixon is continuing her dedication to making a difference in students’ lives while working toward her doctorate. She serves as an academic mentor for the UM Foundations for Academic Success program, known as FASTrack, a program that assists students with the transition to college and offers support throughout their freshman year.

She also coordinates UM College Corps, an AmeriCorps service program, the same organization she volunteered with when she first came to Ole Miss.

“LaTanya Dixon is a dedicated educator who cares about her students and her community,” said Stephen Monroe, assistant dean of liberal arts. “She and her colleagues have shaped FASTrack and the College Corps into exemplary programs that are improving UM and our state. The University of Mississippi is a great place to work because of colleagues like LaTanya Dixon.”

Dixon’s commitment to students does not end at the university. As a board member for United Way of Oxford-Lafayette County, she remains committed to early childhood reading success and helped launch LOU Reads, a communitywide coalition that works to ensure all children are reading proficiently by the time they enter fourth grade.

Dixon is the kind of volunteer that every nonprofit dreams of finding, said Alice Ricks, United Way executive director.

“She is committed, passionate, smart and – perhaps more important than anything else – an exceptional team player,” Ricks said. “Now, in addition to her very busy ‘day job,’ her doctoral studies and her many other responsibilities, LaTanya serves on United Way’s board as our secretary while continuing to play a key role with LOU Reads. She is a true asset to our organization and our community.”

Cyclists Must Remember Rules of the Road

Bicycle safety a critical concern on campus and around Oxford

UPD is encouraging bicyclists to be knowledgable of safety practices.

UPD urges cyclists to be knowledgeable of safety practices.

Between the return of cooler temperatures and the appearance of fall colors, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stay indoors. A popular activity to enjoy the outdoors and the scenery on campus and around town is bicycling.

While cycling is a great and healthy way to travel around town, it is important to keep some tips in mind to stay as safe as possible while riding.

Perhaps the most important tip is to follow the rules of the road.

University Police Department officers work to enforce all traffic laws and regulations on campus, including for bicycles, UPD Chief Tim Potts said.

“Bicycles are considered a vehicle, and they must obey all traffic laws as cars and trucks do,” Potts said.

The general philosophy for cyclists in Oxford and on the Ole Miss campus is, “Same road, same rules,” said Jeffrey Kellum, UPD crime prevention coordinator. However, those rules are often violated, he said.

“I cycle for exercise several times a week, both on and off campus and it has been my observation that the rules of the road are violated by cyclists and motorists alike,” Kellum said. “In Oxford, I often see cyclists failing to stop at traffic-control devices and not using safety equipment. On campus, I also see cyclists weaving through pedestrians and traveling the wrong way on one-way streets.”

These are dangerous practices, and Kellum encourages cyclists to inform themselves on staying safe.

“Over the past few years, the educational efforts of the city of Oxford’s Pathways Commission, the Oxford Bike Club and the Bike Ole Miss initiative have greatly decreased the frequency of these safety violations,” he said. “With a new group of motorists and cyclists arriving every year, it is important that we continue to support the educational efforts of these groups.”

Bike Ole Miss offers five safety tips for cycling around campus:

  • Follow the rules of the road
  • Be visible
  • Be predictable
  • Anticipate conflict
  • Wear a helmet

The Oxford Pathways Commission also offers biking information, including a map of bike lanes throughout the city, on its website.

Ole Miss Dining Survey Offers Delicious Rewards

Participants could win gift cards; everyone will enjoy improved dining experience

2015 Fall Dining Styles 403x403We’ve heard it all before.

“The food on campus is gross.” “Why is all the food so unhealthy?” “When the heck is Steak ‘n Shake opening?” “We want mobile ordering.” “The Grill at 1810 is the best!”

Now is the time to make your voice count. Ole Miss Dining Services is in the process of gathering data for its annual DiningStyles report. Most importantly, Dining Services is making the 5- to 10-minute process of filling out the survey worth your while. Complete the survey before Nov. 6 and be entered to win a $150 e-gift card or one of three $50 e-gift cards.

The DiningStyles survey helps the department gather information about our campus population so it can better satisfy needs and address common themes. This greater understanding will enable Dining Services to create and deliver a more satisfying customer dining experience. Survey topics include purchasing behavior, service performance, customer profiles, meal plan participation, health and wellness, customer suggestions and sustainability.

The survey is available at