Fall Football Touchdown! Kicks Off at UM Museum

Semester's first family day features fun activities for all

Local children enjoy painting outside the UM Museum.

Local children enjoy painting outside the UM Museum.

OXFORD, Miss. – Football season is in full swing, and the University of Mississippi Museum is getting into the spirit with a new exhibit featuring one-of-a-kind football helmets, entitled “Bloomingdale’s Fashion Touchdown,” and a fun day of family activities inspired by it.

The helmets were created by world-famous fashion designers for an auction to benefit the NFL Foundation. The museum’s first Family Day of the semester is inspired by this fun, family-friendly exhibit. Kids can design their own football helmets, participate in an obstacle course and taste healthy tailgating snacks. Families can pick up spirit gear and prizes donated by Ole Miss Athletics, meet surprise guests and enter a raffle to win free Ole Miss football tickets.

The event runs 10 a.m. to noon Saturday (Sept. 20) at the museum. Families can drop in any time within the two hours; this event is free and registration is not required. All ages are welcome, although children must be accompanied by an adult.

Children show off art projects they made at the museum.

Children show off art projects they made at the museum.

This event is supported by the UM Department of Athletics and is part of the museum’s involvement in the “Let’s Move! Museums and Gardens Initiative.”

“This exhibit and family day are very different than what many may expect to see at the museum, but we are so excited for the opportunity to celebrate fall, football and art all in one fun day for families,” said Emily Dean, curator of education. “We have been really fortunate to have wonderful partners in athletics who have added to the spirit and fun of this event.”

The University Museum, which is celebrating 75 years of exhibition and service to the community, is at the intersection of University Avenue and Fifth Street. Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays. For more information, visit http://museum.olemiss.edu or contact Dean at esdean@olemiss.edu or 662-915-7073.

Outstanding UM Fraternity Members Win National Awards

Gregory Alston, Anish Sharma and William Fowler recognized as outstanding leaders, scholars

Gregory Alston

Gregory Alston

OXFORD, Miss. – Three University of Mississippi students were presented awards this summer by their respective fraternities in categories such as outstanding leadership and academics.

Gregory Alston, a Hattiesburg native and former ASB president, was awarded the Sigma Chi Fraternity Balfour Award for the Eta chapter. Recognizing the fraternity’s most outstanding member, the award goes to only one member of each Sigma Chi Fraternity chapter each year.

“Sigma Chi has given so much to me, not only through the friendships that I have made but also through the leadership values that Sigma Chi instilled in me,” Alston said. “It is a true honor to represent my fraternity in this way, and I am very appreciative and thankful for this award.”

Anish Sharma

Anish Sharma

Anish Sharma of Greenwood was awarded the Sigma Nu Fraternity Man of the Year award, which recognizes excellence in leadership. He also won the Scholar of the Year based on outstanding academics. The Sigma Nu Fraternity recognizes only one member to receive each of these awards.

William Fowler, a native of Destin, Florida, and the Phi Delta Theta president, won the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity Arthur R. Priest award. This award recognizes the most outstanding undergraduate Phi Delta Theta in the nation.

“It is a great honor to accept this award on behalf of my family and the men of Phi Delta Theta Mississippi Alpha,” Fowler said. “I would also like to sincerely congratulate Anish and Gregory on their well-deserved recognitions.”

William Fowler

William Fowler

Alston and Sharma were inducted into the University of Mississippi 2013-2014 Hall of Fame. Sharma and Fowler served on Alston’s 2013-2014 ASB Cabinet.

Ole Miss Announces 2014 Racial Reconciliation Week Activities

Second Annual Events Will Take Place Sept. 22-27

The Chucky Mullins statue stands in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

The Chucky Mullins statue stands in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi Department of Athletics and the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation have announced a slate of activities for the 2014 Racial Reconciliation Week, which runs Monday through Saturday (Sept. 22-27).

Racial Reconciliation Week began in 2013 with a week of events dedicated to promoting racial equity and encouraging dialogue on the topic.

Highlights from the week include the first on-campus screening of the “SEC Storied: It’s Time – Chucky Mullins, ” which details the story of former Ole Miss football player Chucky Mullins, and a campus panel discussion of race and pop culture. Additionally, the Winter Institute will celebrate its 15th anniversary.

The week kicks off Monday with a showing of the movie “Come Hell or High Water: The Battle of Turkey Creek” at 6 p.m. at Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics auditorium. The movie documents the painful but inspiring journey of Derrick Evans, a Boston teacher who moves home to coastal Mississippi when the graves of his ancestors are bulldozed to make way for the sprawling city of Gulfport. Over the course of a decade, Evans and his neighbors stand up to powerful corporate interests and politicians, and face Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill in their struggle for self-determination and environmental justice.

Several dedications are planned throughout the week, including the Chucky Mullins Drive dedication on Friday. The university is renaming Coliseum Drive as Chucky Mullins Drive in memory of the late Ole Miss football player. The dedication will take place on the School of Law courtyard at 2:30 p.m. All 25 winners of the Chucky Mullins Courage Award have been invited to attend.

“Partnering with the Winter Institute for a week of reconciliation is an honor and privilege for Ole Miss athletics,” Athletics Director Ross Bjork said. “Our commitment to giving back to the community through our core values stands strong each day, and events like this further strengthen our purpose.

“This year has special meaning as we honor the legacy and spirit of Roy Lee ‘Chucky’ Mullins and all that he has contributed to the university and athletics. We are humbled to be a small part of the never-ending crusade of respect and dignity for all humankind.”

The Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement also will have a dedication on Wednesday, and the M-Club Hall of Fame will induct six new members on Friday.

Jennifer Saxon, assistant athletics director for student-athlete development who has played a huge role in helping spearhead the second annual slate of Racial Reconciliation Week events, said she is pleased with the ability to engage in positive conversation regarding the issue of race.

“I am thrilled that for a second year we can continue this week of impactful activities that showcases our relationship with the William Winter Institute,” Saxon said. “The institute’s work, not only locally, but nationally, speaks volumes about the progress we have made as we continue to educate in an effort to heal. We were able to create programming opportunities for the campus and Oxford community that highlight campus resources while engaging positive conversation.”

The observance culminates with the Ole Miss vs. Memphis football game on Saturday. During the game, both Racial Reconciliation Week and the Winter Institute will be recognized on the field, and the Nathaniel Northington Groundbreaker in Athletics Award will be presented to former Ole Miss head football coach Billy Brewer and former Vanderbilt football player Brad Gaines.

Northington, who participated in the inaugural Racial Reconciliation Week in 2013, was the first African-American football player in the SEC. Northington broke the “color barrier” by becoming the first African-American to play any sport in the SEC when Kentucky played Ole Miss in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1967.The author of “Still Running,” Northington received the inaugural Groundbreaker in Athletics award.

“I cannot express what a great symbiosis is being created between athletics and the Winter Institute,” said Susan Glisson, executive director of the institute. “We’re already doing so much good work together, both on campus and off, and we’ve only just begun.

“Ross Bjork had a great idea to launch Racial Reconciliation Week last year and it lifts up our partnership to a level that folks can see. I’m thankful that we’re having a second Racial Reconciliation Week this year and I look forward to many more, symbolizing a long and fruitful partnership. ”

The university’s Winter Institute works in communities and classrooms, in Mississippi and beyond, to support a movement of racial equity and wholeness as a pathway to ending and transcending all discrimination based on difference.

The week’s full schedule includes:

Monday, Sept. 22

  • Movie: Come Hell or High Water: The Battle of Turkey Creek
    • Location: Overby Center Auditorium
    • Time: 6 p.m.
    • Moderator: Reilly Morse, president and CEO, Mississippi Center for Justice

Tuesday, Sept. 23

  • Campus Panel Discussion: Race and Pop Culture
    • Location: Overby Center Auditorium
    • Time: 6 p.m.
    • Moderator: Melody Frierson, youth engagement coordinator, William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation

Wednesday, Sept. 24

  • Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement Dedication & Reception
    • Location: Stewart Hall (Center)
    • Time: 2 p.m.
  • Integrated Community Service (Optional)
    • Location: Paris-Yates Chapel
    • Time: 7 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 25

  • Redefining the Welcome Table: Inclusion and Exclusion in American Foodways

Southern Foodways Alliance and William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation

2014 Graduate Student Conference

  • Location: The Depot
  • Time: 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • SEC Storied: It’s Time – Chucky Mullins
    • Location: Weems Auditorium, School of Law
    • Time: 6 p.m.
    • Moderators:
      • Deano Orr, Ole Miss linebacker (1990-1993) and executive director of IP Foundation
      • Micah Ginn, associate athletics director for sports production and creative services, Ole Miss Department of Athletics

Friday, Sept. 26

  • Redefining the Welcome Table: Inclusion and Exclusion in American Foodways

Southern Foodways Alliance and William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation

2014 Graduate Student Conference

  • Location: The Depot
  • Time: 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Chucky Mullins Drive Dedication
    • Time: 2:30 p.m.
    • Location: School of Law courtyard
  • Winter Institute 15th Anniversary Celebration & Open House
    • Time 4 p.m.
    • Location: Lamar Hall, Third Floor, Suite A
  • M-Club Hall of Fame Induction Reservations Required
    • The Inn at Ole Miss, Gertrude C. Ford Ballroom
    • Time: 6 p.m.

   Saturday, Sept. 27

  • Ole Miss vs. Memphis Football Game
    • Vaught-Hemingway Stadium
    • Time: 6:30 p.m.

-UM-

Media Contact:

Jessica Poole

Jepoole1@olemiss.edu

662-816-3877

UM Chemistry Professor, Postdoc Win R&D Magazine Top 100 Award

Collaborative research with ORNL yields breakthrough aluminum plating technology

Dr. Hussey with one of his students.

Dr. Charles Hussey with postdoctoral research associate Li-Hsien Chou.

OXFORD, Miss. – A revolutionary aluminum plating process developed at the University of Mississippi has been recognized as one of the most technologically significant products of 2014.

The Portable Aluminum Deposition System, or PADS, invented in the laboratory of UM chemistry chair and professor Charles Hussey, is a winner in R&D Magazine‘s 52nd annual R&D 100 Awards. The international competition recognizes excellence across a wide range of industries, including telecommunications, optics, high-energy physics, materials science chemistry and biotechnology. The award is considered to be the “Oscar” for inventors.

The work in Hussey’s lab is part of a larger project and carried out in collaboration with Sheng Dai and other scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the United Technologies Research Center. At UM, Hussey worked closely with postdoctoral research associate Li-Hsien Chou to develop PADS. This aluminum plating technology is expected to replace hazardous coatings such as cadmium, thereby potentially strengthening the competitiveness of American manufacturing companies worldwide and cutting the cost of aluminum plating by a factor of 50 to 100.

PADS allows manufacturers to safely conduct aluminum deposition in open atmosphere for the first time. Aluminum cannot be plated from water or most other solvents, so a special electrolyte that enables the safe plating is a critical part of the device.

“As basic scientists studying fundamental process and phenomena, so much of what we do is not immediately useful or obvious to society,” Hussey said. “Here, we have made something unique and obviously useful. This is very satisfying.”

Chou, who earned her doctorate under Professor I-Wen Sun at National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan, is Hussey’s “academic granddaughter” because Sun is one of Hussey’s first doctoral graduates, having earned his Ph.D. at UM in 1989.

Winning the R&D award is a dream come true for Chou.

“Every scientist dreams one day to develop a useful product with their name on it, and we did,” Chou said. “I am so happy we can bring this recognition to Ole Miss.”

Hussey said he is pleased with his Chou’s contributions to the project.

“I am very proud of her and hope this will benefit her career,” he said. “After all, this is really what we do or should be doing in academia, developing people and helping them to be successful in their careers and lives.”

The judges were impressed by the development of a process to use air-sensitive ionic liquids in the open atmosphere to make an air-stable plating system.

“The availability of air-stable plating systems allows the technology to be used in the field, giving PADS a competitive advantage,” said Paul Livingstone, senior editor of R&D Magazine. “The technology’s lower cost of use and prospect for displacing toxic corrosion protection alternatives were additional factors that contributed to the selection of this winning technology.”

Research on the technology was stimulated by a research contract from the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense to UM through ORNL. Plated aluminum is a protective coating and offers corrosion protection to any underlying metal.

Hussey has worked on ionic liquid projects for many years, including various U.S. Department of Energy projects involving the development of ionic liquid-based processes for the treatment of spent nuclear fuel.

The 2014 R&D 100 Awards banquet is set for Nov. 7 at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas.

For a full list of this year’s winners, visit http://www.rdmag.com/award-winners/2014/07/2014-r-d-100-award-winners. For more information about the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, go to http://chemistry.olemiss.edu.

Origin of Universe Topic of Sept. 23 Science Café

Postdoctoral researcher working at LIGO is speaker

Science Cafe

The September Science Cafe is set for Sept. 23.

OXFORD, Miss. – The origins of the universe is the topic for a monthly public science forum organized by the UM Department of Physics and Astronomy.

The fall semester’s second meeting of the Oxford Science Café is set for 6 p.m. Sept. 23 at Lusa Pastry Cafe, 2305 West Jackson Ave. Shivaraj Kandhasamy, a UM postdoctoral research associate working at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, or LIGO, facility in Louisiana, will discuss “The Big Bang and Its Cosmic Messengers.” Admission is free.

“If the universe started with a big bang, traces of the primordial explosion should be observed in the form of electromagnetic radiation, gravitational waves and neutrinos across the sky,” Kandhasamy said. “The next generation of gravitational wave ground- or space-based detectors may directly detect these gravitational waves.”

Kandhasamy’s 30-minute presentation will review the beginning of the universe’s expansion, or “explosion,” often called the big bang.

“In 1929, Edwin Hubble discovered that most of the galaxies are receding with velocities proportional to their distances from the Milky Way,” he said. “This observation suggests that the universe was once very small in size and has expanded ever since.

“The cosmic (microwave) background of electromagnetic radiation was first observed by Penzias and Wilson in 1964. Recently, the BICEP2 experiment reported some indirect evidence for the presence of cosmological primordial gravitational waves.”

Kandhasamy earned his doctorate in physics from the University of Minnesota, master’s from Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India, and bachelor’s from the Vivekananda College of MK University in Madurai, India.

His research interests include the detection of gravitational waves using LIGO data. Particularly, his research focuses on the search for stochastic signals, the combination of gravitational waves from sources across the sky that are too faint to observe individually, as well as long-duration transient gravitational wave signals, which may last longer than 10 seconds.

For more information about Oxford Science Café programs, go to http://www.phy.olemiss.edu/oxfordsciencecafe. For more information about the Department of Physics and Astronomy, visit http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/physics_and_astronomy or call 662-915-5311.

Everybody’s Tent Invites All Ole Miss Students to Tailgate

Tent will be open four hours before kickoff for four home football games

Everybodys Tent

Everybody’s Tent, hosted by the Ole Miss Associated Student Body, will be set up at four Ole Miss football home games this fall.

Everybody’s Tent, hosted by the Ole Miss Associated Student Body, will be set up at four Ole Miss football home games this fall.

OXFORD, Miss. – Everybody’s Tent, hosted by the University of Mississippi Associated Student Body, is just that: a place where any Ole Miss student is a welcomed tent member.

Everybody’s Tent will be set up in the grass along the Student Union Plaza, tucked as close to the Walk of Champions arch as possible. Free food, nonalcoholic drinks and entertainment will be provided from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 13). The group started in 2013 as a student-led, student-organized tailgate and was born from a student’s desire to help make everyone feel welcome in the Grove.

“Everybody’s Tent serves our community by creating an inclusive, welcoming environment for people from all walks of life,” said William Fowler, a senior majoring in integrated marketing communications and one of the founding members of Everybody’s Tent. “Since last year, Everybody’s Tent has become a hub for fans navigating the Grove on game days.”

Alumni, faculty, staff and friends are also invited to stop by Everybody’s Tent to meet students and welcome newcomers to the Ole Miss family. Members of the ASB cabinet will be on hand to distribute the popular “I am a Rebel” stickers.

Everybody’s Tent will be in the Grove for the following games:

  • Louisiana-Lafayette, Sept. 13, 11a.m-2 p.m.
  • Memphis, Sept. 27, times TBA
  • Tennessee (Homecoming), Oct. 18, TBA
  • Auburn, Nov. 1, TBA

ASB also plans to have directors and presidents from various campus organizations stop by to talk with new students interested in getting involved in Ole Miss student groups.

The group appreciates donations to help Everybody’s Tent continue to grow. Four different levels of sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, visit http://dos.olemiss.edu/org/umasb/ or like them on Facebook.

For more information about Everybody’s Tent, contact Fowler at wdfowle1@go.olemiss.edu.

Music of the South Concert Series Continues Sept. 17

Cajun French band Feufollet to perform at Ford Center Studio Theater

Feufollet

Feufollet

OXFORD, Miss. – Cajun roots-rock band Feufollet gives listeners a taste of Louisiana Sept. 17 at the Music of the South Concert Series at the University of Mississippi.

The concert is set for 7 p.m. in the Studio Theater of the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts. The venue has a capacity of 150 people. Tickets are available for $10 through the UM Box Office, 662-915-7411, and at the door.

Feufollet is a Cajun French band deeply rooted in the Francophone soil of their hometown of Lafayette, Louisiana. They first came together and recorded in 1995, when they were all in their early teens or younger. Though famous for their renditions of heartbreaking songs and rollicking tunes, the group features original songs that draw on deep roots tempered by a cutting edge of contemporary life.

“Three members of Feufollet came to the Music of the South Symposium in 2013,” said Ted Ownby, director of the UM Center for the Study of Southern Culture. “The topic that year was experimentation and innovation, and the band members told some intriguing stories about how, as children, they played music considered traditionally Cajun, and how they have experimented with those traditions while listening to and feeling the influence of all sorts of music. We’re excited to have them performing at the Ford Center.”

The name Feufollet translates to “swamp fire.” Band members Philippe Billeaudeaux, Kelli Jones-Savoy, Chris Stafford, Mike Stafford and Andrew Toups sing and even compose in French, and their music is a blend of modern sounds and ancient styles, mixing zydeco, rock, rhythm and blues, and country.

Billeaudeaux, who plays bass, said he is looking forward the show.

“At the Music of the South Conference last year, we had a great time talking about our musical influences and our creative process, and had the ability to present examples to an interested audience,” he said. “We’re very happy to be asked back, this time with the band.”

The band has been hard at work on its forthcoming album “Two Universes,” which will be its first with new singer-guitarist-fiddler Jones-Savoy and now-full-time keyboardist Toups.

“With the addition to our new members, our sound has helped us move forward,” Billeaudeaux said. “Kelli is rooted in old-time and country music as well as Cajun and Creole, while Toups’ keyboards add new colors to our repertoire.”

Recently, the group won the 2014 Gambit Weekly’s Big Easy Music Award for “Best Cajun Artist.”

The Music of the South Concert Series, which highlights intimate evenings with Southern performers, is a partnership between the Center for the Study of Southern Culture and the Ford Center that began in 2012. Previous performers include Caroline Herring, Randall Bramblett, Valerie June, Blind Boy Paxton and John “JoJo” Hermann.

UM Enrollment Tops 23,000 Students for Fall Semester

State's flagship university sees improvement in freshman ACT scores, GPAs

Students gather for class outside of Holman and Connor Halls.

Students take advantage of beautiful weather by gathering for class outside Holman and Conner halls.

OXFORD, Miss. – Enrollment at the University of Mississippi surged this fall for the 20th consecutive year, making history with more than 23,000 students across all its campuses for the first time.

Preliminary enrollment figures show a total unduplicated headcount of 23,096, largest in the state. That’s up 805 students from last fall, or 3.6 percent. The figures include the largest freshman class ever for any Mississippi university, a class that sports the highest ACT scores and high school GPAs in Ole Miss history.

“We are very pleased that students and families across Mississippi and throughout America continue to recognize the quality education and outstanding college experience we offer at the University of Mississippi, all at a very competitive price,” Chancellor Dan Jones said. “Our faculty and staff work very hard to deliver the very best academic programs for students, and it’s truly rewarding to see those efforts being acknowledged with extraordinary interest in attending our university.”

The incoming freshman class swelled to 3,814 this fall, up 6.5 percent from 3,582 last year. Student retention also remains near record levels, with preliminary reports showing 84.6 percent of last year’s freshmen have returned to campus this fall, the second-highest retention rate in school history.

“While we’re very happy with the endorsement of so many new freshmen this fall, we’re particularly pleased with the success of the first-year programs we have in place to help freshmen adjust to the rigors of a world-class university,” Jones said. “Many of our students are the first in their families to attend college, so we try to give them all the tools they need to be successful during their time on campus and then as they launch their careers.”

Nearly two-thirds, 61.2 percent, of Ole Miss students are from Mississippi, including students from all the state’s 82 counties. The university also attracts students from across the nation and world. Overall, the student body includes representatives from every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 92 foreign countries.

Ole Miss By the Numbers.

Ole Miss by the Numbers.

This year’s freshmen are better prepared for college course work, with an average ACT score of 24.3, compared to an average of 24.1 last fall. Their high school GPA increased too, from 3.46 to 3.49. Both measures have increased every year since 2010.

This year’s freshman class includes 57 class valedictorians, 52 salutatorians, 73 student body presidents, 83 Eagle Scouts and 10 Girl Scouts who achieved the Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouting.

“Student leaders are an important component of our campus community,” said Morris Stocks, UM provost. “The University of Mississippi has a long history of attracting top students with demonstrated leadership skills. We have the wonderful opportunity to provide a leadership training ground and to influence these young people for a short but important period of time. We are thrilled that this freshman class is filled with future leaders.”

Minority enrollment totaled 5,488 students, or 23.8 percent. African-American enrollment is 3,285 students, or 14.2 percent of overall enrollment.

The student body also is diverse in age and national origin, ranging from four 15-year-old students to an 87-year-old pursuing a bachelor’s degree in French. Two of the 15-year-olds are dually enrolled at Oxford High School and the university. One of the other students, from Vietnam, has not declared a major, and the other is an international studies major from Lee County. The youngest graduate student is an 18-year-old from China who is pursuing a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences.

The university’s Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College continues to expand, enrolling 1,210 students this fall, a more than 15 percent increase since fall 2012. The acclaimed Honors College has a record 373 incoming freshmen, with 54 percent being Mississippi residents. This fall’s honors freshmen have an average ACT of 30.2 and an average high school GPA of 3.93. The college’s facility on Sorority Row is undergoing a major expansion and renovation to accommodate its larger student body.

The university’s undergraduate schools of Accountancy, Engineering, Nursing, and Journalism and New Media all enjoyed double-digit growth. The number of undergraduate students in accountancy hit a record of 962, up from 869 last fall, and enrollment in the School of Journalism and New Media topped 1,000 for the first time – 1,044 this fall, compared to 886 last year.

Students travel across campus in between classes.

Students travel across campus between classes.

In the School of Nursing, based on UM’s Medical Center campus in Jackson, enrollment is up by 18.4 percent this fall, from 685 to 811 students. That follows a 28 percent spike last year. The dramatic growth reflects the school’s emphasis on lifelong learning, from the undergraduate level through its doctoral programs, said Marcia Rachel, the school’s associate dean for academics.

“Faculty members in the School of Nursing have worked hard to make sure all programs are current and relevant, and that the classroom and clinical experiences are distinctive, dynamic and engaging,” Rachel said. “We have excellent pass rates on national licensure and certification exams, and our reputation in the community is solid.

“In short, we are committed to our mission – to develop nurse leaders and improve health through excellence in education, research, practice and service.”

After seven consecutive years of growth, the UM School of Engineering ranks as one of the nation’s fastest growing. The undergraduate enrollment, which topped 1,000 for the first time in 2012, is 1,419 this fall, up from 1,285 last year.

“The UM School of Engineering has always been somewhat of a hidden treasure with small classes and personable faculty,” said Alex Cheng, the school’s dean. “But lately, more and more students from across the country and around the world are discovering just what we have to offer: a first-rate engineering education with the added liberal arts element, preparing our students for leadership positions in their careers.”

The numbers of students majoring in mechanical engineering, geology and geological engineering, and chemical engineering have more than doubled in the past five years. During that time, the school renovated many classrooms and laboratories, and moved its administrative offices into the renovated Brevard Hall. The university also added the Center for Manufacturing Excellence to complement and enhance existing engineering programs.

Another area experiencing rapid growth is the university’s professional pharmacy program, which leads to a Pharm.D. degree and professional certification. The number of students pursuing their Pharm.D. after earning a bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences grew from 232 in 2013 to 290 this fall.

“The growth in our professional program is directly related to the quality pharmacy education that we provide,” pharmacy Dean David D. Allen said. “We’re proud of our program’s accessibility and affordability for both Mississippi students and out-of-state students. Not only do we have a tuition ranked in the country’s lowest 20 percent, but our graduates also have top scores for the national pharmacy licensure exam. I think students are additionally encouraged by our high job placement rate. Nearly 100 percent of our graduates are employed by the time they receive their degrees.”

To help accommodate the growing student population, the university has opened Rebel Market, a totally new dining facility in Johnson Commons, replacing the old cafeteria, as well as several satellite eateries across campus. Construction began this summer on a new residence hall in the Northgate area of campus, and Guess Hall is slated to be demolished soon to make way for two new five-story residence halls on that site.

Construction is continuing on a new facility for the School of Medicine, which will allow the university to increase class sizes, helping train more physicians to serve the state’s health care needs. A major expansion is underway at Coulter Hall, home of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and a new water tower is nearly complete near Kinard Hall. Work to renovate and modernize locker rooms and other fitness facilities at the Turner Center should wrap up by the end of the fall semester. Also, a three-year project will begin soon to expand and modernize the Student Union.

For more information on enrollment and programs at UM, go to http://www.olemiss.edu.

UM Showcases Creations of Campus Artists

Ford Center gallery features work of 11 faculty members, Meek Hall hosts graduate student art show

UM Ph.D. Student Alona Alexander, a music education major from Madison, looks at the faculty art exhibit at the Ford Center. Photo by Michael Newsom/University Communications

UM doctoral student Alona Alexander, a music education major from Madison, looks at the faculty art exhibit at the Ford Center. Photo by Michael Newsom/University Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi is hosting an art show featuring the work of 11 faculty members in the gallery at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts through Oct. 24.

A reception honoring the artists of the exhibit is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. Oct. 9. There’s no admission fee to view the artwork or attend the reception.

The exhibit offers the public a chance to see paintings, prints and mixed media from the Department of Art’s distinguished faculty, said Virginia Rougon Chavis, associate professor and chair of the art department, who is also one of the featured artists.

“Our faculty members are nationally and internationally recognized for their research,” Rougon Chavis said. “This is a great opportunity for the public to see the work of our faculty from the art department right here on campus. While the Ford Center and the university does a great job at bringing outside artists and performers to campus, we also have some wonderful faculty doing exciting things in the area.”

The exhibit features the work of:

  • Paula Temple, professor emeritus of graphic design
  • Robert Malone, adjunct assistant professor of art
  • Ashley Chavis, adjunct assistant professor of art
  • Virginia Rougon Chavis , chair and associate professor of art
  • Ross Turner, visual resources specialist
  • Carlyle Wolfe, adjunct assistant professor of art
  • Brooke White, associate professor of imaging arts
  • Sheri Rieth, associate professor of art
  • Jere Allen, professor emeritus of painting
  • Amy Evans, adjunct art instructor
  • Jan Murray, associate dean of liberal arts and associate professor of art

Also, Gallery 130 in Meek Hall is showing works created by graduate art students in an exhibit running through Oct. 9. A reception is planned at Meek Hall on the same evening as the Ford Center reception, but it runs 4-6 p.m. to allow visitors to attend both events in one evening.

“The graduate students play an important role in the Department of Art,” Rougon Chavis said. “The work they create is more than the acquisition of knowledge under competent instruction. These students make a contribution to the art world that is of original and independent value.”

Croft Institute Announces Its 2014-15 Scholars

New international studies undergraduates enter the premier study program at UM

2014-15 Croft Scholars. Bottom Row (L to R) – Hadley Peterson, Sarah Meeks, Matthew Forgette, Alexandra Gersdorf, Natalie Gagliano. Top Row (L to R) -   Kate Hill, Matthew McInnis, James DeMarshall, Sydney Green.

2014-15 Croft Scholars. Bottom Row (L to R) – Hadley Peterson, Sarah Meeks, Matthew Forgette, Alexandra Gersdorf, Natalie Gagliano. Top Row (L to R) – Kate Hill, Matthew McInnis, James DeMarshall, Sydney Green.

OXFORD, Miss. – Seven new freshmen with outstanding academic records and the desire to pursue global careers have entered the University of Mississippi this fall on prestigious Croft Scholarships as members of the Croft Institute for International Studies. They are joined by two sophomores who were awarded the Rose Bui Academic Excellence Scholarship this year.

Five of the seven freshmen are from Mississippi, one is from Wisconsin and one is from Grossnape, Germany. Each will receive $8,000 per year for four years as long as they make good progress through the international studies major. The 2014-15 Croft Scholars have ACT scores ranging from 30 to 35. They include National Merit Finalists and Semifinalists and a National Merit Commended Scholar.

“After an intensive application and interview process, we selected an outstanding crop of students for 2014-15,” said Kees Gispen, executive director of Croft Institute. “Each student selected was heavily recruited by top-ranked academic institutions.”

The new Croft Scholars are Matthew Forgette of Oxford; Sydney Green of Hattiesburg; Natalie Gagliano of New Berlin, Wisconsin; Kate Hill and Sarah Meeks of Madison; and Matthew McInnis of Canton. The International Scholarship recipient is Alexandra Gersdorf of Grossenaspe, Germany. The winners of the Rose Bui Academic Excellence Scholarships are Hadley Peterson of Jacksonville, Florida, and James DeMarshall of Mantua, New Jersey.

“To be chosen for the Croft Institute is an honor and a blessing,” DeMarshall said. “You see the success of the people ahead of you and you want to push yourself to achieve what they have achieved.”

As members of the Croft Institute, scholars begin a rigorous yet rewarding plunge into an international studies major specializing in a foreign language. Croft courses are taught in smaller classes by institute professors, which allows for in-depth discussion, reflection and analysis. Students also have opportunities to take classes in the larger university community. Scholars must also spend one semester abroad in a country where their chosen language is spoken.

The Croft Institute was established in 1997 and is funded annually by the Joseph C. Bancroft Charitable and Educational Fund. By combining the best features of small and large academic institutions, Croft provides the best of both worlds for a truly unique college experience.

Forgette, a National Merit Semifinalist, graduated from Oxford High School with a 3.92 GPA and 35 ACT. He was a member of the National Honor Society, an AP scholar and a mock trial state finalist. His other achievements included a state championship in tennis and a district championship in cross-country.

Green graduated from Oak Grove High School with a 4.0 GPA and 34 ACT. She was secretary of the class of 2014. Her community service activities included a student ambassadorship with People to People and an Excellence in Service Award from Oak Grove High School.

Gagliano graduated from Eisenhower High School in New Berlin, Wisconsin, with a 4.0 GPA and 32 ACT. She was part of the National Honor Society, an honorary thespian, and a soccer player and golfer.

Meeks, a National Merit Commended Scholar, graduated from Madison Central High School with a 4.0 GPA, 32 ACT and 1410 SAT. She was president of the National Honor Society, an AP scholar and a representative for her student government. She received a citizenship award for her public service.

McInnis, a National Merit Semifinalist, graduated from Germantown High School with a 4.0 GPA, 32 ACT and 1340 SAT. He is an Eagle Scout and a seasoned musician, and was president of GHS Beta Club, an AP scholar and a member of the Future Business Leaders of America.

Hill, a National Merit Semifinalist, graduated from Madison Central High School with a 4.0 GPA and 32 ACT. She was editor-in-chief of the MCHS newspaper and president of the Rosa Scott French Club. She was a senator in the Mississippi Youth Legislature and is a published author.

Gersdorf, the recipient of the International Scholarship and a National Merit Semifinalist, graduated from Klaus-Groth-Schule with a 3.67 GPA. She was a member of the German Red Cross, School Paramedics and the student parliament, and was a Model United Nations participant. Her public service included tutoring children with learning disabilities and working as a peer mediator for student conflict management.

Peterson, recipient of a Rose Bui Academic Excellence Scholarship, is entering her sophomore year. She is a member of the Lambda Sigma honor society. She chaired the Relay for Life Council, was nominated as a community assistant alternate and is a global ambassador.

DeMarshall, recipient of the other Rose Bui Academic Excellence Scholarship, also is entering his sophomore year. As a freshman, he was recognized for academic excellence from the Department of Modern Languages in freshman Chinese. He was elected to the Croft Senate during the spring 2014 semester and studied at Shanghai University over the summer.