Homecoming Week Features Variety of Events

Freebies, fun and football are just a few of the highlights

Join the Ole Miss family for Homecoming festivities throughout the week of Oct. 5-10.

Join the Ole Miss family for Homecoming festivities throughout the week of Oct. 5-10.

It’s Homecoming Week!

Break out that red and blue (we know that’s what makes up most of your closet anyway) and get ready to show your school spirit throughout the week with tons of exciting events leading up to the Homecoming football game Oct. 10, when the Ole Miss Rebels take on the mighty New Mexico State Aggies.

Here’s a full list of activities you should definitely be involved in:

Monday (Oct. 5)

Homecoming Photobomb – 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Stop by the homecoming photo booth at the Student Union Plaza for free photos with crazy props!

Free SnoBiz – 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Free snow cones! Also at the Student Union Plaza. Grab one after your photo. That’s a good Monday.

Tuesday (Oct. 6)

Union Unplugged – 12:15-1 p.m. The UM Gospel Choir performs live at the Student Union Plaza.

Walk with the Chancellor – 4 p.m. Take a walk around campus with Interim Chancellor Morris Stocks, starting on the Lyceum steps. In case of rain, it’ll be at the Tad Smith Coliseum. But since Oxford is perfect, you probably won’t have to worry about that.

Laser Tag in the Grove – 7-11 p.m. It’s pretty self-explanatory. Run around the Grove and avoid lasers. Maybe also watch out for the squirrels. It starts on the Student Union Plaza.

Wednesday (Oct. 7)

Pancakes on the Plaza – 7:30-9:30 a.m. Start midweek off right with free breakfast! The Alumni Association is hosting a pancake bar on the Student Union Plaza. Everybody loves pancakes! Treat yo’self.

Rebels Got Talent Finals – 7 p.m. It’s the deciding moment! A winner will be crowned on the Grove stage during this final round. So come cheer on your fellow students, who are pretty good at this whole singing thing since they’ve made it this far.

Thursday (Oct. 8) 

Coffee with a Cop – 7:30-9:30 a.m. and 5-7 p.m. Come chat with local police officers and drink coffee at the Student Union Plaza. Ask them how they keep speeders from disrespecting Archie’s number around campus. Ask OPD how their Twitter is so awesome. It’ll be fun.

Food Festival – 10 a.m.-2 p.m. This celebration of food will offer cooking tips and a farmers market on the Union Plaza. Last year, they had really healthy recipe ideas and some awesome fresh food for sale. Definitely stop by!

Union Unplugged – 12:15-1 p.m. The Center for Cross Cultural Engagement is hosting Latin Dancing with the Stars. Check it out on the Student Union Plaza!

Movie Series: Inside Out – 8 p.m. Relax with a movie in the Grove. In case of rain, the movie will be shown at the Turner Center Auditorium.

Friday (Oct. 9)

Homecoming Parade and Pep Rally – 5:30 p.m. It’s game day eve! Get a spot along the parade route down University Avenue to see the cheerleaders and some awesomely creative floats. The parade ends on the Square with a pep rally to get everyone “Rebel Ready” for the game!

Square Jam – Don’t dip out after the pep rally, because Square Jam is back! The men’s and women’s basketball teams will be introduced and they’ll perform some drills to show off their talents before the season starts next month.

Grove Opens – 7:30 p.m. Make sure you grab your tailgating spot!

Saturday (Oct. 10)

Annual Alumni Association Meeting – 9 a.m. The yearly get-together for those who have completed education at the flagship university, because “one never graduates from Ole Miss,” is at Butler Auditorium in the Triplett Alumni Center.

Black Alumni Advisory Council Tailgate – 9 a.m. Alumni, faculty, staff and students are invited to gather on the front lawn of the Triplett Alumni Center for pregame festivities.

School of Engineering Tailgate – 9 a.m. Engineering alumni, faculty, staff and students are invited to enjoy pregame activities on the front lawn of Brevard Hall.

Homecoming Game, Ole Miss vs. New Mexico State – 11 a.m. Be early, be loud and wear red to cheer on your Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. There will also be halftime presentations, including the crowning of 2015 Homecoming Queen Heather Neilson and the introduction of the alumni awards recipients, followed by a performance from the Pride of the South marching band.

Sunday (Oct. 11)

Movie Series: “Inside Out” – 8 p.m. Wind down your week with a movie in the Grove! In case of rain, the movie will be shown at the Turner Center Auditorium.

Happy Homecoming and Hotty Toddy!

UM and Belhaven University Partner for Dual Degree Program

Students gain pathway to degrees from both institutions in minimum amount of time

UM Acting Chancellor Morris Stocks (seated, left) and Belhaven University President Roger Parrott sign a dual degree program agreement between the two institutions. UM staff and faculty observing the proceedings were (standing, from left) Noel Wilkin, acting provost; Jacob Najjar, chair of civil engineering; Dwight Waddell, associate professor of electrical engineering; John O’Haver, chair and professor of chemical engineering; James Chambers, associate professor of mechanical engineering; Alex Cheng, engineering school dean; A.M. Rajendran, chair and professor of mechanical engineering; Maurice Eftink, associate provost; and Ellen Lackey, professor of mechanical engineering. Dennis Watts, BU associate provost; (far right) was also present. (Photo by Robert Jordan, UM Imaging Services)

UM Interim Chancellor Morris Stocks (seated, left) and Belhaven University President Roger Parrott sign a dual degree program agreement between the two institutions. UM staff and faculty observing the proceedings are (standing, from left) Noel Wilkin, acting provost; Jacob Najjar, chair of civil engineering; Dwight Waddell, associate professor of electrical engineering; John O’Haver, chair and professor of chemical engineering; James Chambers, associate professor of mechanical engineering; Alex Cheng, engineering school dean; A.M. Rajendran, chair and professor of mechanical engineering; Maurice Eftink, associate provost; and Ellen Lackey, professor of mechanical engineering. Dennis Watts, BU associate provost; (far right) was also present. Photo by Robert Jordan, UM Imaging Services

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi School of Engineering and the School of Arts and Sciences at Belhaven University signed an agreement Wednesday (Sept. 30) to create a new dual degree program for undergraduate students.

The partnership offers students an opportunity to simultaneously earn a degree in biology, business, chemistry, mathematics or physics from Belhaven, a private, Christian liberal arts college in Jackson, and an engineering degree from UM, the state’s flagship public university.

The dual degree program does not guarantee students will earn two degrees, as each student must fulfill the degree requirements for each university to earn its degree.

“We are pleased to partner with Belhaven University on this important initiative,” said Morris Stocks, UM interim chancellor. “By joining our resources with those of Belhaven, we will be able to generate more STEM majors – a distinct need of the state of Mississippi. Our partnership will serve to benefit both universities, our region and state.”

“A partnership at this level is unique in higher education, and we are thrilled to collaborate with Ole Miss in providing such a high-quality engineering degree for our students,” said Roger Parrott, Belhaven president. “For these graduates to receive a diploma from both institutions makes them especially well-credentialed for the marketplace.”

A student pursuing the dual degree can be admitted to both universities. He or she will spend the first two to three years at BU pursuing a specified degree along with available pre-engineering and engineering courses. Upon satisfactory completion at BU, the student will enter UM’s engineering school to complete the remaining courses required for the engineering degree. Courses taken at UM that are suitable for the bachelor’s degree will be transferred back to BU.

The dual degree curricula will be created and agreed upon by both universities to ensure that students can complete the degrees on time.

“We are pleased to have this agreement with Belhaven,” said Noel Wilkin, UM acting provost. “It will facilitate the smooth transition of their students into our engineering program. As the first engineering school in the state, we are pleased to take steps that will give good students opportunities to earn their engineering degree at the University of Mississippi.”

“Following graduation, students will have a strong foundation in liberal arts and a broad-based engineering education that will enable both institutions to continue the proud tradition of placing alumni in positions of leadership in Mississippi and around the world,” said Dennis Watts, Belhaven associate provost.

Dean Alex Cheng said the UM School of Engineering looks forward to its collaboration with Belhaven.

“We are very pleased to work with this fine university in providing a pathway for STEM students to earn their engineering degree,” Cheng said. “Engineering has had a presence at the University of Mississippi since its founding and is the first professional school of engineering in the state.”

For more information about the UM School of Engineering, visit http://engineering.olemiss.edu/. For more about Belhaven University, go to http://www.belhaven.edu/.

UM Honored with Attendance Award at SEC Symposium

Graduates and undergraduates traveled to Atlanta to participate

Clay Wooley stands beside his exhibit displayed at the SEC Symposium.

UM mechanical engineering student Clay Wooley stands beside his exhibit at the SEC Symposium. Photo credit RDMoorephotography.com.

OXFORD, Miss. – A diverse group of University of Mississippi students, both graduate and undergraduate, traveled to Atlanta Sept. 20-22 for this year’s SEC Symposium. This year’s theme was “Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” and UM represented each of these areas at the event.

The university received the Excellence in Student Attendance Award, which is given to the university with the most students at the symposium. In recognition of the honor, the SEC will make a donation to the university’s general scholarship fund.

From engineering backgrounds to fine arts and everything in between, the UM team included nine undergraduate students, eight graduate students and two alumni.

“The SECU Symposium was a great opportunity for students and faculty to learn about ways to foster creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship within and across disciplines,” Interim Provost Noel Wilkin said. “It was nice to see our students participate in the conference and engage with faculty and students from other SEC universities.”

Since students were a central focal point for this year’s symposium, each school was asked to send one undergraduate student as an ambassador. The Ole Miss ambassador, Michael Davis, is a senior majoring in management information systems. Davis helped by with assisting speakers before their speeches, registering attendees for the event and performing other tasks assigned by conference organizers.

“I got the chance to meet and network with people all across the SEC,” Davis said. “My experience was great!”

“One of the best aspects of the SEC Symposium was the opportunity for students to showcase their knowledge and to work with faculty,” said Clay Dibrell, executive director for the Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship,

“I know that I have personally enjoyed working with students associated with the different schools across campus and faculty outside of the business school. Once again, it illustrates the diversity of talent, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit which permeates everything we do at the University of Mississippi.”

Clay Wooley, a mechanical engineering major and a member of both the Center for Manufacturing Excellence and Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, displayed a piece in the Student Applied Arts Exhibition.

Hailey Hodge (right) stands by her piece "Fragmented House" with her professor, Brooke White.

Hailey Hodge (right) stands by her piece “Fragmented House” with her professor, Brooke White.

Hailey Hodge, who is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree, displayed a piece titled “Fragmented House” in the Student Creative Works Exhibition.

Two Ole Miss students, Austin White and Daniel Roebuck, participated in the SEC Jazz Ensemble.

Alex Ray, who earned a bachelor’s degree in economics, and Caleb Robinson, who earned his bachelor’s in computer science, participated in the Student Entrepreneurial Pitch Competition with their Web-based business plan for ZynCareers.com.

“The judges offered a lot of great feedback for our business,” Ray said, “We now have a few ideas of where we want to take the site in the next few weeks, and I think it’ll make our future pitches a lot stronger.”

The remaining 12 students were competitively selected by the university’s SEC Symposium planning team to represent the university based on their interest or track record in creativity, innovation or entrepreneurship.

The students selected were Andres Diaz Lopez, representing MIS; Deidre Jackson, higher education; Nick Keeling, pharmacy administration; Colin Wattigney, MBA; Cary Allen, Business, Center for Manufacturing Excellence; Kristin Howitt, mechanical engineering; Ashley Irons, accountancy; Josh McGlawn, civil engineering; Michael Williams, integrated marketing communications and Chinese; Pierre Whiteside, integrated marketing communications; Dave Thomas, mechanical engineering and the Center for Manufacturing Excellence; and Valencia Lloyd, psychology.

“I’m excited to see how SEC students impact the future,” Ray said.

‘I’ve Been Accepted!’ – Students Share Admission Certificates

Are you #RebelReady?

Are you #RebelReady?

Congratulations! You’ve been offered admission into the Class of 2020 at the University of Mississippi.

Here at Ole Miss, there’s an important question we’re always asking: Are you ready?

The university is sending out admission certificates to your freshman class for the first time ever, personally signed by Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Brandi Hephner LaBanc and Interim Provost Noel Wilkin.

“The college application and admissions process is an emotional time and I appreciate our admissions staff making it all the more special for our newly admitted students,” Hephner LaBanc said. “It is an honor to individually sign the certificates. It is just another way I can personally welcome students to the Ole Miss family.”

Show that you’re “Rebel ready” and excited to embark on the next chapter of your life next fall by posting a selfie with your admission certificate along with the hashtag #RebelReady to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

“I am glad to have the opportunity to play a role in the personal attention that we provide students on our campus,” Wilkin said. “These certificates are a way to help communicate the significance of being admitted to our university, and, in a way, represent a ticket to the wonderful opportunities that we offer.”

We’ll be sharing the most creative posts on the official Ole Miss social media accounts, @OleMissRebels, @OleMiss on Instagram and the University of Mississippi – Ole Miss on Facebook.

We know you’re Rebel ready to be part of our next historic freshman class and the Ole Miss family!

Hotty Toddy!

University to Host Inaugural ‘TEDx’ Talk

Oct. 31 event to feature 10 brief lectures

TEDOXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi hosts its inaugural “TEDx” talk Oct. 31 at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts. The 9 a.m. event will feature 10 brief lectures from university faculty members to showcase “ideas worth spreading.”

“TEDxUM 2015” uses the TED Talks conference format, which brings together lecturers and other participants in a globally popular set of conferences run by the Sapling Foundation under the slogan “Ideas worth spreading.” Under the rules set by TED for the event, it will be open to only about 100 audience members this year, but organizers plan a much larger TEDxUM event for 2016.

“We believe it critical that Mississippi and the University of Mississippi, in particular, showcase the many ideas we have that are worth spreading,” said Marvin King, UM associate professor of political science and African-American studies. “We have incredible researchers and activists in our community, and the TED platform is among the best ways to make sure that Mississippi is a part of engaging discussions leading to real, positive change.”

The theme for the event is “In Plain Sight,” said TEDxUM organizer Lizzy Wicks, a senior international studies and French major from Ocean Springs.

“It will serve to highlight the great minds that we have here on our campus and show the world the amazing work being done in the Oxford area,” Wicks said. “Our theme for this year is ‘In Plain Sight’ and will remark upon those aspects of life which are right before our eyes, yet must be illuminated in order to receive recognition.”

She said audience members will be constantly engaged by a diverse group of speakers and they’ll also participate in interactive breakout sessions.

“The importance of an event such as TEDxUM on our campus cannot be understated,” Wicks said. “This will be the first event of its kind to occur at any university within the state of Mississippi and will be the second of its kind within the state as a whole. I believe that it will be an event that will better our community tremendously as well as show the world the talent and promise that we have here at Ole Miss.”

About 60 prospective faculty and staff lecturers were nominated to speak. A nine-member committee of five students and four faculty-staff members selected 10 speakers for TEDxUM 2015.

After the talks, breakout sessions will give audience members a chance to respond to the talks. The event also includes a reception, and audience members and speakers will receive small gift bags.

“We want people to remember the day not as a series of 12-to-18-minute lectures, but as a lifetime of engagement with ideas worth spreading,” King said.

The talks will be recorded and later posted on the TEDx Youtube channel.

Speakers for TEDxUM 2015 are:

  • Randy Wadkins, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, talking about nanotechnology
  • Matthew Wilson, assistant professor of performance, lecturing on humor
  • Mitchell Robinson, of Strawberry Plains Audubon Center, discussing diversity and environmental activism
  • Cathy Janasie, research counsel for the National Sea Grant Law Center, lecturing on water scarcity
  • Michele Alexandre, professor of law and Leonard B. Melvin Lecturer in Law, giving her talk titled “The B Word”
  • Gregory Heyworth, associate professor of English, lecturing on digital humanities
  • David Rock, dean of the UM School of Education, discussing classroom technology
  • Laura Johnson, associate professor of psychology, lecturing on cross-cultural engagement
  • Marc Slattery, professor of pharmacognosy, talking about drug research from the ocean
  • Chris McCurdy, professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacology, lecturing on natural products used to diagnose neural damage

For more information, visit the TEDxUM 2015 Facebook page, which will have details about how to register for the event when they become available.

UM Physicists Pleased with Advanced LIGO First Data Collection

Operation of the groundbreaking international collaboration's technology has begun

UM postdoc Shivaraj Kandhasamy works in the LIGO control room in Louisiana.

UM postdoctoral researcher Shivaraj Kandhasamy works in the LIGO control room in Louisiana.

OXFORD, Miss. – A team of University of Mississippi physicists involved in the creation of a groundbreaking technology designed to observe ripples in the fabric of space and time are elated that it began collecting data recently.

The Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory Project, created using significant contributions from UM scientists, initiated operations Sept. 18. A major upgrade from earlier LIGO detectors that operated in 2009-2010, the new Advanced LIGO detectors give scientists renewed hope of actually detecting the gravitational waves predicted in Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity almost 100 years ago.

“Gravitational waves are emitted by violent events in the universe, such as exploding stars and colliding black holes,” said Marco Cavaglia, UM associate professor of physics and astronomy and a spokesperson for the Ole Miss LIGO Group. “These waves carry information not only about the objects that produce them, but also about the nature of gravity in extreme conditions that cannot be obtained by other astronomical tools.”

Experimental attempts to find the rare phenomenon and its incredibly tiny signal amplitudes have been going on for more than 50 years. Designed and operated by the California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with funding from the National Science Foundation, LIGO consists of identical detectors in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington.

Each of the 4-kilometer L-shaped LIGO interferometers uses a laser beam split into two shafts that travel back and forth through the long arms, within tubes from which the air has been evacuated. The beams are used to monitor the distance between precisely configured mirrors. According to Einstein’s theory, the relative distance between the mirrors will change very slightly when a gravitational wave passes by.

“Although earlier LIGO runs revealed no detections, Advanced LIGO increases sensitivity, resulting in a possible thousandfold increase in observable candidate objects,” said David Reitze, the executive director of the LIGO program at Caltech.

“The first Advanced LIGO science run is taking place with interferometers that can ‘see’ events more than three times further than the initial LIGO detector,” added David Shoemaker, the MIT Advanced LIGO project leader. “So, we’ll be probing a much larger volume of space.”

UM joined the LIGO Scientific Collaboration in July 2007. Since then, researchers and students have received more than $1.8 million in NSF support to sustain LIGO’s core mission. More funding at this or higher rates are expected in the years to come.

While the scientific and engineering team at Caltech and MIT has been leading the effort to build Advanced LIGO, several groups from the international LIGO Scientific Collaboration also contributed to the design and construction of the world’s most-sensitive gravitational wave detector.

“The work performed by the UM LIGO group so far has involved the identification of unwanted noise sources in the detectors and their subsystems, an essential step for obtaining astrophysical results,” Cavaglia said. “We also developed educational and diversity initiatives, such as teacher workshops, physics and astronomy family nights, afterschool programs, interdisciplinary art and science events, and the traveling Astronomy’s New Messengers exhibits, which were first unveiled at the World Science Festival in 2009 and 2010 in New York City and have traveled the country since then.”

Katherine Dooley, UM assistant professor of physics and astronomy, worked directly with both the original and Advanced LIGO projects. She spent four years at the LIGO Livingston site, first installing new hardware to upgrade the initial LIGO detectors and then commissioning the interferometer.

“The goal of commissioning work is to create a detector with the best possible sensitivity to gravitational waves and to maximize the amount of time the interferometer is in a state in which it can collect scientific data,” Dooley said.

“My current work focuses on developing and testing new technologies that can be used to improve the sensitivity of the interferometers even further beyond that of the baseline Advanced LIGO design. This includes the use of squeezed light, a quantum optics technique that will enable us to more clearly and loudly witness the final moments of the inspiral of two neutron stars, for instance.”

Ultimately, scientists predict Advanced LIGO will be able to see 10 times as far as initial LIGO and, based on theoretical predictions, should detect many binary neutron star mergers per year.

“The improved instruments will be able to look at the last minutes of the life of pairs of massive black holes as they spiral closer together, coalesce into one larger black hole and then vibrate much like two soap bubbles becoming one,” Reitze said. “Advanced LIGO also will be able to pinpoint periodic signals from the many known pulsars that radiate in the range of 10 to 1,000 Hertz, frequencies that roughly correspond to low and high notes on an organ.

“In addition, Advanced LIGO will be used to search for the gravitational cosmic background, allowing tests of theories about the development of the universe only 10 to 35 seconds after the big bang.”

The scientists expect it will take five years to fully optimize the detector performance and achieve such design sensitivity.

“It has been a long road, and we’re very excited to resume the hunt for gravitational waves,” Reitze said.

For more on the Advanced LIGO Project, visit http://www.caltech.edu/news/advanced-ligo-begin-operations-47898#sthash.DAmQPJ1U.dpuf.

Experts, Athletes and Soldiers Part of UM Neuroscience Conference

Dr. Esther Sternberg, author of 'Healing Spaces: The Science and Place of Well Being,' set for keynote

Neuroscience and Learning

Neuroscience and Learning

OXFORD, Miss. – Former football players and soldiers, as well as neuroscience experts, are set to participate in a conference next month at the University of Mississippi, which has a groundbreaking Ph.D. program to train education professionals to help speed recovery from traumatic brain injuries.

In 2014, the UM School of Education launched a doctoral program in special education with a curriculum that includes courses in Cognitive Neuroscience, the Learning Brain and the Mind. Drawing on the resources of this program, the university will bring experts to the Oxford Conference Center Oct. 19-20 for “Neuroscience and Learning: Healing the Injured Brain.”

Roy J. Thurston, UM assistant professor of special education whose research focuses on neuroscience and cognition, organized the conference, which is expected to attract professionals from the fields of health care, pharmacy, research, academia and education.

“We want to explore the impact injuries such as concussions have on memory, learning and a person’s ability to reintegrate back into the classroom, athletics, career and society as a whole,” Thurston said. “This conference will show how an interdisciplinary approach to these issues is being met by researchers, and how it can benefit survivors, families, educators and medical and athletics professionals.”

Concussions and other head injuries, including those suffered by football players and military personnel in combat, have attracted widespread attention in recent years and have challenged medicine and science professionals to find answers. The conference will offer opportunities to hear about the experiences of those who were injured both in sports and combat and who have struggled to recover from traumatic brain injuries, or TBI.

Dr. Esther Sternberg, director of research at the University of Arizona, is the conference’s keynote speaker. She is the author of “Healing Spaces: The Science and Place of Well Being,” which explores the idea of how distractions and distortions around a person, including colors and sounds, could shake up the brain’s healing chemistry, and whether surroundings have healing powers.

The agenda also includes discussions on the effects of lighting on classrooms, the future of neuroscience, cognition and injury, and neuropsychology therapy.

Thurston will discuss memory and learning and talk about his research, as well as how UM is training professionals to help victims of TBI recover. The conference is made possible by a generous donation from Dr. Carl Lindgren, of Courtland.

The special education doctoral program has multiple components. One helps students learn how the brain works, while other sections of the curriculum deal with literacy, diversity and behaviors. Neurosciences are studied in all areas of the new program.

One of only three programs of its kind in the nation, the UM curriculum is designed to train professionals to help those with traumatic brain injuries recover better. The program trains educators to use therapies that incorporate mathematics, language and other subjects to speed and improve recovery.

Thurston’s research is in cognitive rehabilitation of people with traumatic brain injuries and also in neuroscience applications to education. He previously worked in Canadian hospitals, where he tested patients with brain injuries, looking at how they performed in math, language and other subjects. Those tests and therapies helped patients exercise their brains, which sped up their recovery, he said.

“The more you socialize with the people, the faster you heal,” Thurston said. “Experts are doing clinical studies. They don’t understand it physiologically, but we would see people come into our classroom and as soon as they got to talk and interact with each other and help each other with tasks, their mood affect would go up. They would also heal faster and set goals for themselves and they weren’t depressed all the time.”

Students who pursue the UM doctorate can work in a variety of settings, including K-12 education, rehabilitation systems and hospital environments.

The university’s Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and schools of Medicine, Pharmacy and Education are helping with the conference, along with Dr. Michael Lehman, head of neuroscience at the UM Medical Center. 

David D. Allen, UM pharmacy dean, said he is “very excited about this conference and the opportunity to have three schools at Ole Miss working together.”

David Rock, dean of the School of Education, expressed thanks to Lindgren’s support, as well as the support of other university departments and schools. 

“This is an exciting opportunity for professionals in the areas of education and medicine to share, collaborate and learn from experts in the field,” Rock said. “We hope this event will grow to become a nationally recognized conference in neuroscience and education.”

Registration is $50 for the general public and $25 for students. Continuing education credits are available for attendees. For more information or to register for the conference, visit this link.

Ignite Ole Miss Campaign to Expand Kottkamp Memorial Scholarship

Students will hand out #lovefenton stickers Saturday in the Grove to support effort

The Kottkamps (from left), Rush, Harrison, Jane, Stephen and Fenton enjoyed the Grove last fall.

The Kottkamps (from left), Rush, Harrison, Jane, Stephen and Fenton enjoyed the Grove last fall.

OXFORD, Miss. – Fenton Kottkamp of Louisville, Kentucky, would have turned 23 next Tuesday (Sept. 29), but a tragic accident earlier this year took his life. Several well-known friends are promoting a scholarship in his name to expand his legacy at the University of Mississippi.

The crowdfunding initiative https://ignite.olemiss.edu/lovefenton launched Friday (Sept. 25) to build on a scholarship created in Fenton’s name by Annette and John Schnatter, president-CEO of Papa John’s Pizza, and Olivia and Archie Manning, Ole Miss alumni and the “First Family of Football.” Both John Schnatter and Archie Manning appear in a video for the IgniteOleMiss site, which has as its goal doubling the $29,000 in the endowment.

Ole Miss students, alumni and friends will be handing out #lovefenton stickers in the Grove before Saturday’s football game. The hashtag was inspired by the last line of Kottkamp’s obituary: “In honor of Fenton, please love one another.”

“Fenton would want everyone to love one another, and he would want all of us to go forward with our lives,” said Stephen Kottkamp of Louisville, Kentucky.

The popular student was poised to receive his diploma in May 2015 commencement exercises from UM’s Patterson School of Accountancy with his twin brother, Rush. The brothers had chosen Ole Miss because of its nationally recognized accountancy program and well-rounded college experience.

“My family and I have been deeply impacted by the tragic passing of Fenton Kottkamp, not only because of the fine young man that Fenton was, but also because of the relationship between the Kottkamp family and my family” said Schnatter, also of Louisville.

“Working with Ole Miss alumnus Archie Manning to create the Fenton Kottkamp Memorial Scholarship Endowment was a way for my family and other donors to honor Fenton’s memory and highlight for the Kottkamp family how much affection and respect we hold for their son.”

Manning added, “Our hearts continue to be with the Kottkamp family. … We hope others will join us in remembering this extraordinary young man by helping to build this scholarship endowment, so others can experience Ole Miss in Fenton’s name.”

Rush Kottkamp, now pursuing a master’s degree at UM, said, “Ole Miss gave us the best four years anyone could have wanted. Fenton loved everything about Ole Miss and Oxford. He loved every single sporting event. No matter what time the football game started, Fenton was in the Grove as early as possible.”

Gifts of all sizes can build the Fenton Kottkamp Memorial Scholarship to assist eligible students pursuing majors in the Patterson School and the School of Business Administration. The levels on the crowdfunding platform begin at $23 in honor of the late student’s upcoming birthday.

Parents Jane and Stephen Kottkamp, as well as brothers Rush and Harrison Kottkamp, have joined with the university to promote the scholarship initiative.

“We love Ole Miss for Ole Miss,” Stephen Kottkamp said. “Ole Miss became our happy place. As Rush said to Jane on the way home from Fenton’s visitation, ‘Fenton and I caught lightning in a bottle when we chose Ole Miss.’ Fenton and Rush hit their stride in the Ole Miss environment; they blossomed and excelled. Our family will strive to make Ole Miss our happy place again.”

For more information on the Fenton Kottkamp Memorial Scholarship, contact Maura Wakefield, development officer, at 662-915-2712 or mmwakefi@olemiss.edu. Gifts to the scholarship endowment can also be made by sending a check with the fund noted in the memo line to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655.

‘Teddy Ferrara’ Opens Ole Miss Theatre’s New Season

Performances continue through Oct. 4

Photo credit: Marya Paolillo

Photo credit: Marya Paolillo

OXFORD, Miss. – The curtain went up this week on Ole Miss Theatre‘s 2015-2016 season with the staging of “Teddy Ferrara.”

The play will be performed at 7:30 p.m. tonight (Sept. 24) and Friday and continue nightly Sept. 29-30 and Oct. 1-2, with matinee performances at 2 p.m. Sunday (Sept. 27) and again Oct. 3-4. All performances are in the Meek Hall Auditorium.

“‘Teddy Ferrara,” described as thought-provoking and emotional, focuses on a college senior named Gabe. When the play opens, Gabe seems to have a bright future. Not only does he run the Queer Students Group, but he has finally arranged for a single room and recently started dating a great guy.

But Gabe’s neatly organized world is thrown into chaos after a campus tragedy occurs and the ensuing media attention ignites a firestorm, according to the “Teddy Ferrara” website.

The main character discovers the events surrounding the tragedy aren’t as straightforward as they seem, and Gabe is forced to question popular assumptions as well as his own life’s contradictions.

Max Mattox, a senior musical theater major who portrays Gabe, said the play is a contemporary examination of society.

“It’s a look at how people deal with relationships today in places like college, especially with technology being a big part of our world now and how we meet people and interact, and how it affects the world,” Mattox said. “You kind of follow the life of a college kid, building his life from the ground up, getting up on his feet.”

The play will touch those who see it, said Rory Ledbetter, UM professor of theatre arts and the show’s director.

“By the end of the show, many audience members will feel frustrated, melancholic or tragic,” Ledbetter said. “This play does not have a happy ending, but it will leave you thinking.

The show deals with a lot of issues from LGBTQ rights, depression and communication in our society. Every audience member will relate to at least one character during the show.”

“Hair,” the Vietnam-era musical classic, is the second show of the season with performances Nov. 13-15 at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts. The popular musical features several popular songs, including “Let the Sunshine In,” “Aquarius” and “Good Morning Starshine.”

Theatergoers should know that both “Teddy Ferrara” and “Hair” contain adult content that might not be suitable for children.

Kicking off 2016 is the third production of the season, “Anton in Show Business.” This madcap comedy follows three actresses across the footlights, down the rabbit hole and into a strangely familiar Wonderland that looks a lot like American theater. In the tradition of great backstage comedies, this show conveys the joys, pains and absurdities of putting on a play at the turn of the century.

The final production of the season is William Shakespeare’s most popular comedy, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The production will coincide with the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death and Shakespeare’s first folio coming to UM.

In addition, Ole Miss Theatre is continuing its Patron Appreciation Night, which will be the first Friday of each production. Only patrons, season ticket holders and Friends of Ole Miss Theatre will be able to purchase tickets for these performances, providing a perfect environment for those who enjoy the magic of the theater.

Individual tickets are $12.50 for adults, $9 for Ole Miss students and $8 for seniors and children. For ticket information, contact the UM Box Office at 662-915-7411 or visit http://theatre.olemiss.edu.

UM Croft Institute Awards Scholarships to 10 Exceptional Students

Incoming, returning students come with impressive pre-college pedigrees

2015 Croft Scholars include (front , from left): Zac Herring, Abby Bruce, Alexis Smith; (middle, from left): Marguerite Marquez, Caroline Bass, Jarvis Benson, (top, from left to): Jacob Gambrell, John Chappell and Wes Colbert. Not Pictured: Delaney Holton. (Courtesy photo by Joe Worthem Photography).

2015 Croft Scholars include (front , from left): Zac Herring, Abby Bruce, Alexis Smith; (middle, from left): Marguerite Marquez, Caroline Bass, Jarvis Benson, (top, from left to): Jacob Gambrell, John Chappell and Wes Colbert. Not Pictured: Delaney Holton. (Courtesy photo by Joe Worthem Photography).

OXFORD, Miss. – The Croft Institute for International Studies at the University of Mississippi has awarded full scholarships to 10 exceptional students, eight of whom are members of its largest freshman class ever.

Freshman Croft Scholarship recipients include Caroline Bass of Murfreesboro, Tennessee; Jarvis Benson of Grenada; John Chappell of Albuquerque, New Mexico; Wes Colbert of Amory; Jacob Gambrell of Ringgold, Georgia; Zac Herring of Olive Branch; Delaney Holton of Plano, Texas; and Marguerite Marquez of Gulfport. All are also members of the university’s Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College.

Sophomore scholars are Abby Bruce of Saltillo and Alexis Smith of Picayune.

Recipients receive $8,000 per year for four years, a total of $32,000, which may be combined with other scholarship support. Between 15 and 20 applicants are interviewed annually by a five-member, Croft-affiliated panel. Interviewees are asked the same round of questions that range from current global political issues to students’ personal interest in the international studies major. Winners are chosen based upon their answers.

“This cohort is unique in a lot of ways, but the fact that we enrolled our largest Croft cohort to date, as well as increasing our average overall ACT to 30.845, was exciting,” said Will Schenck, Croft Institute associate director. “Previously, we have had 60 students, but now we have an incoming class of 71 total students, which is an increase of 18 percent. Also, 55 percent are in-state and 45 percent are from 16 different states.”

All the students selected were extremely involved in several different high school organizations.

Each one held at least one type of leadership role in some capacity – whether it was a sports team, an academic club or a school student council.

Here’s a closer look at each of this year’s Croft scholars:

A graduate of Siegel High School, Bass was a class representative for the Student Council, a project leader for Key Club and a member of the Excalibur National Honor Society and Beta Club. She also led a nonprofit organization called Sustaining a Village Everyday.

“We raise money by hosting events in our area and use the money to do sustainability work in a village in Haiti called Boukeron,” Bass said. “We travel there each summer to communicate with the villagers and assess their needs.”

The main reason Bass, daughter of David and Michele Bass, wanted to be in Oxford is because of the Croft Institute.

“I have always been very interested in other cultures and international work,” she said. “The Croft Institute is an amazing program that I feel confident will allow me to achieve my goals and dreams in this field. The people of Ole Miss also worked with me to find scholarships that made coming here an easy choice.”

After graduation, Bass hopes to attend graduate school for social work or psychology. “I would love to use the knowledge I gain from the Croft Institute to move to another country and work with an organization that rescues and rehabilitates victims of sex trafficking,” Bass said.

A Grenada High School graduate, Benson was drum major of the marching band, dance captain and vocal captain of the show choir, senior class president, National Honor Society president, Spanish Club president, Anchor Club treasurer and debate team vice president. A National Merit Achievement finalist, he also participated in the Quiz-Bowl team, Mu Alpha Theta and GHS Wellness Council, was awarded the highest average in STEM and was selected Bandsman of the Year.

“I decided to attend Ole Miss ultimately because the Croft Institute seems to have a warm and inviting, yet challenging, spirit about it, and that is exactly what I was looking for in a college,” Benson said. “I chose the international studies major with a concentration on Latin American countries and the Spanish language because I wanted to learn more about the world around me.”

The son of Patrick and Regina Benson, he plans to attend graduate school and hopes to pursue a career in the Department of State as a foreign service officer.

A graduate of the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, Bruce was a Hall of Fame member, a Spirit of MSMS award recipient and an emissary.

“After all my college searching, Ole Miss was the best fit,” said Bruce, an international studies and Spanish major who is minoring in business administration. “The Honors College was one of the best I encountered and the Croft Institute for International Studies tied together several of my interests.”

After graduation, Bruce, daughter of Mike and Faye Bruce, is considering earning an MBA.

“I am interested in the fair trade movement and would love to have a career regarding alternate, more transparent ways of conducting international business,” she said.

Finishing from Albuquerque Academy, Chappell was most involved in Model United Nations, speech and debate, and Model International Criminal Court. A National Merit Finalist and a track and field athlete, he was an AP Scholar with Distinction in world history, U.S. history, comparative government, microeconomics and macroeconomics.

Honors Chappell received include the John “Wolfie” Smeltzer Memorial Award from the University of New Mexico World Affairs Delegation, the high school’s history department Book Award, world languages Book Award and Nancy Lynne Parker Memorial Award.

“I am double majoring in Arabic and international studies,” said Chappell, who studied the language in high school and would like to reach native speaker proficiency. “After graduating, I intend to pursue a master’s degree. I am unsure as to what I would like to do for a career, but some areas of interest are foreign policy, intelligence, diplomacy and work for an intergovernmental organization or NGO.”

Chappell is the son of Cael and Mary Chappell.

Colbert, Amory High School valedictorian, served as the student body president and state president of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. He was also involved in Amory Students for Change, the National Honor Society and National Spanish Honor Society. The son of Kerry Colbert and Jim and Holly Reeves, he was a STAR student and a National Merit Finalist.

“My decision to attend Ole Miss was rooted primarily in scholarship opportunities and in the relationships I had with many members of the faculty,” he said. “I am double majoring in international studies and Spanish because of my love for Spanish and because of my attraction to politics.”

Upon graduation, Colbert plans to attend graduate school, either in the Northeast or at the University of Oxford in England, and later pursue a career in immigration law.

The Boyd-Buchanan School valedictorian, Gambrell played football and soccer and wrestled. An actor in four musicals, he also served as co-president of both the student body and student council and was charter president of the Junior Civitan Club. Gambrell held memberships in the National Honor Society and National Spanish Honor Society and earned class awards in AP Biology, current events and modern history, government, economics, AP statistics, honors pre-calculus and AP world history.

“I received the school Service Award, Ronald Reagan Citizenship award, the AP scholar with distinction and was voted Most Likely to Succeed,” he said. “My highest achievement was setting the school record for the physics class trebuchet competition at 127 yards.”

After being impressed by Croft and the Honors College, Gambrell, son of Tim Gambrell and Jim and Jennifer Owens, applied and made plans to visit in January.

“At my visit I fell in love with the campus,” Gambrell said. “It was definitely the most beautiful I had seen. And to seal the deal, the university gives great financial aid. I really felt like I was properly rewarded for all of my hard work in high school. Ole Miss is the place for me.”

Gambrell said his future plans are to work for the U.S. State Department and someday be an ambassador, but recently he’s had more of a desire to work for an NGO and help people around the world more personally and hands on.

“I want to go to grad school and get my master’s, and possibly even pursue a doctorate depending on my career aspirations at the time,” he said. “After I retire from international service, I wish to teach social studies and coach at a high school.”

A DeSoto Central High School graduate, Herring started a speech and debate club, was president of the Model United Nations Club and won either a speaking or writing award at every tournament he attended. He was the captain of the school’s News Channel 3 Knowledge Bowl team, which made it to the semifinal round – the farthest in school history – in the annual, televised tournament.

The son of Tom and Shannon Herring, he was also vice president of the Mu Alpha Theta mathematics honor society, played varsity football and soccer, and was selected for the all-county soccer team.

“My older sister, who was also a ‘Croftie,’ and several of my teachers were instrumental in my decision to attend the University of Mississippi,” Herring said. “Her experience is what first inspired in me a vision for the international studies program through Croft. It matched perfectly with my desire to study abroad and my interest in the German economy.”

Herring plans to graduate with degrees in German, international studies and economics. After graduation, he would like to work as a financial analyst in the United States or abroad.

Holton, a Plano West Senior High School graduate, was devoted to Key Club and the French National Honors Society. A National Merit Scholar, she received a scholarship through the National Security Language Initiative for Youth to study Korean in Seoul, South Korea, for six weeks.

“Ole Miss offers great programs in my chosen areas of study, Chinese and international studies,” Holton said. “I’m considering pursuing a career within the intelligence community, in organizations like the CIA or NSA. Such a job would allow direct application of the international relations topics I will be studying, as well as the opportunity to continue developing language skills.”

Holton is the daughter of Steven and Joyce Holton.

The valedictorian at Gulfport High School, Marquez received the Kiwanis District Foundation Scholarship, Gulfport Chamber of Commerce Whittemore Scholarship and Gulfport Rotary Club Scholarship, and won the Get to College Essay Scholarship Contest. A GHS Hall of Fame inductee, she held leadership positions in Mu Alpha Theta, Key Club, Student Council, Beta Club and the National Honor Society.

The daughter of Johnny and Margaret Marquez, she was selected Lindy Callahan Scholar Athlete, Ray Bishop Scholar Female of the Year, “Who’s Who” Most Likely to Succeed Female, Graduation Herald, Rotary Youth Leadership Award winner, Mississippi Girls’ State Representative, Common Core Top Student and Mississippi Eminent Scholar. She was also captain of the championship varsity soccer team and a varsity track and cross-country finalist.

“I think I knew Ole Miss was my school when I discovered the Croft Institute,” Marquez said. “Suddenly, the horizons broadened, and it was possible for me to get the best of both worlds throughout my college experience: Mississippi, and then the rest of the world.”

Marquez’s plans are to attend medical school and work in pediatrics. “Ideally, I would like to serve lower income areas; possibly somewhere that has the need for a French-speaking doctor,” she said.

A Picayune High School graduate, Smith just finished her first year at UM, where she was involved in International Justice Mission, Honors Senate and More Than a Meal. She received the Omicron Delta Kappa Freshman Leader Award and is a member of Lambda Sigma honor society.

“I decided to attend Ole Miss because, frankly, I love Mississippi,” said Smith, an international studies major with an emphasis in Latin America. “The Honors College and Croft Institute are both comparable to Ivy League and top-tier schools, and I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to be a member of the Ole Miss family.”

After graduation, the daughter of Tony and Angie Smith hopes to earn her doctorate in sociology.

“I’d either like to work in a nonprofit or to teach at a university while simultaneously conducting research,” she said.

For more information about the Croft Institute, visit http://www.croft.olemiss.edu/home/.