Accountancy Professor, Violence Prevention Officer Win Frist Awards

Recipients honored for their exceptional service to students

Lindsey Bartlett Mosvick

Lindsey Bartlett Mosvick

OXFORD, Miss. – Each day, University of Mississippi students are affected by the words and actions of faculty and staff members who extend their work beyond classrooms, labs and office space.

Two of them – Brett Cantrell, assistant professor of accountancy in the Patterson School of Accountancy; and Lindsey Bartlett Mosvick, assistant director of the Office of Violence Prevention in the Counseling Center – have been selected as this year’s Frist Student Service Award honorees in recognition of their exceptional service to students.

They were chosen from among dozens of nominees, submitted by students, alumni, faculty and staff. A chancellor’s committee weighed all the nominations and made the picks.

“Of all the awards we bestow on faculty and staff each year, the Frist Awards are extra-special because they recognize unwavering commitment to serving our students and making sure they are successful,” Chancellor Jeffrey S. Vitter said. “Students are the central reason we are here, and service is part of our core mission. I am grateful for the work of Ms. Mosvick and Dr. Cantrell, and on behalf of the entire university, thank both of them for their dedication and remarkable example.”

The awards, one for faculty and one for staff, were established with a gift from Dr. Thomas F. Frist Sr. of Nashville, a 1930 UM graduate. This is the 22nd year for the awards.

Cantrell and Mosvick each receive $1,000 and a plaque, and are to be recognized May 14 at the university’s main Commencement ceremony. Both recipients expressed surprise upon learning that they had been chosen for the recognition.

Brett Cantrell

Brett Cantrell

“My first thought was, ‘I wonder if this is really correct?'” Cantrell said. “There are just so many professors at the University of Mississippi that go above and beyond in student service, and who have been doing so for so much longer than I have. I certainly see that here in the accounting school.”

Mosvick was equally astonished to receive the award.

“The work I do in the violence prevention office frequently involves confidential information, so I never expected something like this to happen,” she said. “I also thought I have not worked here long enough to deserve the honor. I am starting a master’s program in higher education through the university and I will put this (her stipend) toward those costs.”

Cantrell, who joined the Ole Miss faculty in 2013, received his doctorate in accounting from the University of Texas. His bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting are from UM.

His research examines the quality and usefulness of bank accounting estimates such as the allowance for loan losses. Cantrell’s work has been published in The Accounting Review, and he is a certified public accountant in the state of Mississippi. Before his doctoral studies, he served in the audit practice of KPMG’s Birmingham, Alabama, office.

“This is really the first award I’ve won,” said Cantrell, faculty adviser for the UM chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants. “I am certainly honored to get to serve in that position, and I imagine it had something to do with me winning this award.

“Our chapter works to foster a sense of community for African-American students in the accounting school as well as developing the professional skills of our members.”

One nomination for Cantrell, from a graduate student, stated in part: “Dr. Cantrell not only does his duties as NABA adviser . . . but he goes above and beyond. He has generously opened his home to all of NABA on numerous occasions and is always willing to help us when needed. He has even donated money to start the Patterson School Minority Summer Scholarship.”

In another nomination, a former student wrote: “Dr. Cantrell has worked diligently to always keep our best interest at heart. He has been a voice for our community.”

Mosvick, who earned her J.D. from the University of Virginia law school, has also been employed at the university since 2013. Formerly project coordinator in the Office of Violence Prevention, she also works as adviser of Rebels Against Sexual Assault, the campus student organization that assists in raising awareness about sexual assault and implementing peer education programs.

She previously received the Students First award at the first annual Women’s Empowerment Awards in March 2015.

“That award was also an honor, but this award obviously leaves a greater legacy,” Mosvick said. “Learning about how my name will be on display in Martindale Hall and seeing this list of names I am joining is just as great an honor, as it includes many folks who I admire greatly like, Valeria Ross and Thelma Curry.”

One nomination for Mosvick, from a staff member, stated: “Lindsey is always putting the needs of her students above her own. She works weekends, nights and early mornings to ensure the survivors are getting the care and attention that they deserve. She never complains about the intense workload because she truly cares about the lives of Ole Miss students.”

A student wrote, “The professional support she provides is important, but the emotional support that she is willing to give is what sets her apart from the rest. I am convinced that, if financially able, Lindsey would do this work for free. That’s how much she cares about our students.”

Cantrell and his wife, Stacey, have a 1-year-old daughter, Bronwynn.

“She’s a delight,” he said. “Since having Bronwynn, the concept of leisure time seems pretty foreign to us, but I used to read and play sports.”

Mosvick is married to Nicholas Mosvick, a doctoral candidate in the university’s Arch Dalrymple Department of History.

“If not for him, I would have never joined the university in the first place,” she said. “Outside of the office, I enjoy reading, cheering on my favorite sports teams and spending time with my family, especially my 1-year-old nephew.”

‘Operation Magnolia Lightning’ Teams Up ROTC, Arabic Students

UM language program and military cadets both benefit from realistic simulation exercise

Ole Miss ROTC students teamed up to sharpen their skills Photo by Rusty Woods

UM Arabic language students teamed up with ROTC cadets to help sharpen their language and mediation skills. Photo by Rusty Woods

OXFORD, Miss. – Two neighboring Muslim villages – one Sunni and one Shia – were locked in a dispute after one of the communities accused the other of intentionally contaminating its drinking water.

Fourteen students from the University of Mississippi’s Arabic Language Program and 250 ROTC cadets from UM and four other Mississippi universities found themselves in the thick of it. But the conflict wasn’t real; rather, it was only a drill to sharpen their language and mediation skills.

The simulated dispute was part of “Operation Magnolia Lightning,” staged at the Mississippi National Guard’s sprawling Camp McCain Training Center near Grenada.

The Ole Miss students came up with the water dispute storyline and spent a week in class developing key roles they chose to play in each village, said Allen Clark, assistant professor and director of UM’s intensive Arabic program. ROTC cadets were the military force dispatched to intervene.

“There were sectarian differences and ideological differences between the two villages,” Clark said. “The students had to figure out how to bridge the gap between English and what we know as cultural norms, how to cross that bridge and also what behaviors were accepted by the Arabs and the Muslims.

“The ROTC cadets had to figure out how to find certain common elements within these two villages and solve their problems at a shura (negotiation).”

Being thrust into the conflict forced the ROTC students and the Arabic students to rely on one other’s skill sets, much like they would in the “real world,” Clark said.

“The ROTC students have to depend on our knowledge of Arabic, and we depend on their knowledge of military science to make this work,” he said. “It leads to what we hope to be close to a real-life scenario, like experiential language learning for us and experiential real-world military training for them.”

The event showed Army ROTC cadets how to interact with a given populace despite language and cultural barriers, said U.S. Army Lt. Col. E. Scott Walton, UM professor and department chair of military science and leadership. The complexity of the conflict and longstanding divisions between the two groups also forced them to adapt and think critically.

arabic1“If they didn’t display proper customs and courtesy, properly use their interpreter or take into considerations the local’s needs, the scenarios became much more challenging,” Walton said. “Much of which is very relevant today as these students will very soon go on and lead soldiers in various countries with differing missions.

“Having the Arabic department out there was essential for achieving these outcomes.”

Sabrina Kosloske, a UM senior linguistics and Arabic major from Stafford, Virginia, worked as a translator for one of the villages. She quickly came to understand the difficulties of overcoming language barriers in a tense environment.

“It opened my eyes to how important translators are,” Kosloske said. “They can soften someone’s words or make them more offensive. Cultural customs were hard to get across.”

James Stubbs, a junior Arabic and political science major from Bolton, played the role of a sheik, which is the social and religious leader of an Arabic tribe, family or village. He represented his village in negotiations with the other village, which were held exclusively in Arabic and translated to the cadets acting as soldiers who facilitated the shura.

“Operation Magnolia Lighting not only gave the UM Arabic department a chance to practice our language skills, but also to help members of the Army ROTC better understand the culture of the Near East and value of communication, which is essential to the success of operations overseas,” Stubbs said.

Corey Fuller, a senior Arabic major from Pinson, Alabama, is also an ROTC cadet in charge of operations for the ROTC program. His role in Operation Magnolia Lightning was to use the “Military Decision Making Process” with other members of his battalion staff to come up with a scenario that would be mutually beneficial to the cadets and the Arabic students.

We accomplished this through the help of our cadre and the Arabic department,” Fuller said. “The cadets were forced to adapt in a both culturally and linguistically different environment to make decisions that would drive their mission success.”

Zach Crosby, a freshman Arabic and international studies major from Baltimore, played the Shia imam at the shura. He answered many questions about his village, never straying from speaking in Arabic. 

“I was able to speak to many soldiers about mundane things, but it allowed for the creation of a more cohesive image of the village,” Crosby said.

“Having very few people around me who spoke Arabic made it easy for it to fall right off my tongue. This was because I was no longer held back by the fear of making a mistake. It was definitely a great feeling to speak without limitations.”

For more information about the Arabic Language Program at UM, go to

Joel Kotkin to Discuss Urban Development at UM

May 6 talk to examine issues of growth and economic development in smaller communities

Joel Kotkin

Joel Kotkin

OXFORD, Miss. – A respected professional in urban development is the guest speaker for a public forum Friday (May 6) at the University of Mississippi.

Joel Kotkin will address UM students and the local community in The Pavilion at Ole Miss beginning at 11:30 a.m. The author’s appearance is being co-sponsored by the UM Real Estate Advisory Board, the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, School of Business Administration and Meek School of Journalism and New Media.

“To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time in 36 years that academics and athletics at the University of Mississippi have joined together to sponsor an event such as this,” said Blake Tartt III, a UM marketing alumnus and owner of New Regional Planning, a real estate and strategy firm in Houston, Texas.

“Joel Kotkin is an internationally recognized author and professional in the global, economic, political and social trends of urban development. He studies patterns, why people are moving and where they are moving.”

One of the ongoing conversations in Oxford has been expansion and economic development with the growing student and local populations. For example, more than 50 percent of Ole Miss students are millenials from out-of-state, Tartt noted. Also, more and more adults 50 and older are moving away from urban areas and into nonurban/small towns, similar to Oxford.

“All the members of the advisory board are passionate about Ole Miss and Oxford,” Tartt said. “We feel it is extremely important to bring professionals like Joel Kotkin to Mississippi. As urban development rapidly continues, it is essential that the Oxford’s infrastructure expand to accommodate its growth. That also helps create much-needed job opportunities in Oxford and the state of Mississippi.”

Representatives of the other sponsors of the event echoed Tartt’s opinions.

“We believe this type of event, that students from throughout the campus may attend, enables students to be exposed to practical ideas that they may never have considered,” said Will Norton, UM journalism dean. “Despite the depth of his knowledge, the topics he addresses are so practical that students need to hear him so that they can be preparing themselves for internships and jobs.”

The Ole Miss real estate program partnered to provide an opportunity for students to engage in discussions and hear from industry leaders to add perspective to the academic information and how it relates to the real world.

“We definitely realize the value of bringing speakers of the quality of Joel Kotkin to further prepare our students as they transition into the global workforce,” said Chip Wade, assistant professor of finance.

“Joel Kotkin is a forward thinker with great insight into topics ranging from the future of class in global cities to the places with the best opportunities for minorities. These are extremely pertinent topics in today’s economic landscape. Moreover, these are challenges that the millennium generation is going to have to address head-on.”

The athletics department has a stake in the continued growth of Oxford, said Stephen Ponder, senior executive associate athletics director.

“It is an exciting time to be at Ole Miss, and I think campus and our community will find the remarks beneficial as our leaders continue to work on plans for campus and Oxford,” he said. “We want to be an integral part of our campus and community beyond athletics.”

Kotkin is the Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University in Orange, California, and executive director of the Houston-based Center for Opportunity Urbanism. He is executive editor of the widely-read website and writes the weekly “New Geographer” column for

He serves on the editorial board of the Orange County Register and writes a weekly column for that paper. He is also a regular contributor to the Daily Beast and Real Clear Politics.

His new book, “The Human City: Urbanism for the Rest of Us” was published by Agate in April. Other books by Kotkin include the critically-acclaimed “The New Class Conflict” (2014, Telos Press), “The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050” (2011, Penguin Press), “The City: A Global History” (2005, Weidenfeld & Nicolson) and “Tribes: How Race, Religion and Identity Are Reshaping the Global Economy” (1992, Random House).

Kotkin has published reports on topics ranging from the future of class in global cities to the places with the best opportunities for minorities. His 2013 report, “Post-familialism: Humanity’s Future,” an examination of the world’s future demography, was published by the Civil Service College of Singapore and Chapman University and has been widely discussed not only in the United States, but in Israel, Brazil, Canada and other countries.

During the last decade, the speaker has completed studies focusing on several major cities, including a worldwide study examining the future of London, Mumbai and Mexico City, and studies of New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Houston, San Bernardino and St. Louis, among others. In 2010, he completed an international study on “the new world order” for the Legatum Institute in London that traced transnational ethnic networks, particularly in East Asia.

Kotkin also has worked in smaller communities, including a report – working with Praxis Strategy Group – on the rise of the Great Plains for Texas Tech University. He is coordinating major studies on Texas urbanism, the future of localism and the re-industrialization of the American heartland for the Center for Opportunity Urbanism.

As director of the Center for Demographics and Policy at Chapman, he was the lead author of a major study on housing, and is involved in a project about the future of Orange County, California.

For more information about the UM School of Business Administration, visit For more about the Meek School of Journalism, go to For more about Ole Miss athletics, visit

Sustainability Enthusiasm Wins UM Student Udall Scholarship

Grace Sullivan is the university's third award recipient since 2008

Grace Sullivan is congratulated by her parents, Claire and Dr. David Sullivan (left) and UM Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

Grace Sullivan is congratulated by her parents, Claire and Dr. David Sullivan (left) and UM Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Every leap year since 2008, a University of Mississippi student has been surprised with a Morris K. Udall Scholarship. This year is no exception, as Grace Sullivan became the university’s third recipient of the prestigious academic award.

The junior social work major from Madison got the news recently when she was summoned to Chancellor Jeffery Vitter’s office in the Lyceum. Led to believe that the chancellor was meeting with all institutional nominees for national fellowships, Sullivan had no idea she had actually won the Udall.

“I was just overwhelmed by the support that I have been given in my years at Ole Miss,” she said. “So many people have come alongside me and provided me with opportunities to serve and develop my ambitions in sustainability. I know that I would not be a Udall Scholar without the support of all of them.”

As the chancellor announced the good news, he extended thanks to her professors, staff members who have assisted her and family supporters.

“I love to see effective passion, and Grace has taken a lot of good advice and channeled it in healthy and constructive ways,” Vitter said. “Part of what education is about is helping people find what they love and then use it to make the world a better place. Our students are making a difference, and we are pleased when their efforts are recognized on a national scale. We look forward to following Grace’s career and seeing what she will accomplish.”

The Udall Scholarship provides $7,000 for one year of study. Previous UM students to be awarded Udall Scholarships are Alecia Waite in 2008 and Taylor Cook in 2012.

Sullivan is among 60 national winners of the scholarships, given annually to college sophomores and juniors who are committed to careers related to the environment, tribal public policy or Native American health care.

“I will be putting the monetary scholarship from the Udall toward my graduate studies,” Sullivan said. “I plan to attain a master’s in social work and a law degree, so I am thankful to have this assistance as it seems I have a lot of education left to go. More importantly, I think that the Udall will help me in my further studies by providing a network of support through the other scholars.”

Sullivan is a graduate of Madison Central High School. A member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, Phi Kappa Phi and Order of Omega, she is actively involved in the Associate Student Body, Green Fund Committee, Delta Gamma fraternity, Active Transportation Advisory Committee and Gamma Beta Phi community service honors society.

She is also a member of the Ole Miss Cycling Club and UM Garden Club.

As a sophomore, she led her sorority’s team in the Green Cup competition, an annual event among Greek houses to be named the most sustainable, culminating in Green Week. Intent on being interactive with members and on encouraging involvement, the team developed a project to reduce transportation waste.

“I had everyone sign a pledge to carpool, take a bus or ride a bike to campus at least once a week,” she said. “When I gave a presentation about easy sustainable choices on campus, I asked to see the hands of those who had used our recycling receptacles or who had noticed them and chosen the nearby trashcans instead.”

As a second project, Sullivan took groups to local recreation trails to pick up litter.

“After that year, I think that a significant difference will be made,” Sullivan said. “I see this experience as a microcosm for culture around sustainability in Mississippi and the potential for progress. For anything to change, individuals have to be engaged and understand their impact.”

“I have known Grace Sullivan since her freshman year, and I have worked with her extensively both formally through internships and informally through collaborative partnerships and committee service, which speaks to the kind of dedication and commitment she has,” said Anne McCauley, assistant director of the Office of Sustainability. “She is passionate, driven, smart and yet humble. I am thrilled to see her being recognized and know that she certainly deserves this honor.”

Honors College Dean Douglass Sullivan-González said he was pleased, but not really surprised.

“Grace Sullivan leads by example,” Sullivan-González said. “She makes her academic pilgrimage come alive with her commitment to our university community as both citizen and scholar, and Udall distinguished that record with this extraordinary award.”

Sullivan credits the university with developing her leadership skills.

“Social work and law are not the typical avenues through which people expect environmental activism to grow, but I think that the Udall Foundation appreciates that change has to come from every direction,” she said. “Getting to know the diverse group of students that will become the generation that fights with me will likely help direct and support me in my future studies even more than funds can.”

Besides her work in the world of environmentalism, Sullivan fosters education and activism for local birds, volunteers at an Oxford nursing home and is a member of the Student Gardening Club, all while maintaining a 3.76 GPA.

In her Udall application, she wrote that she hoped “to go into public service in Mississippi, eventually transitioning into a community planning position in which I will encourage sustainable practices as a way to combat social ills.” This scholarship is a sign of Sullivan’s dedication and potential, and will offer unique opportunities as well.

One of Sullivan’s mentors is Tess Lefmann, assistant professor of social work.

“Grace is a wonderful student whose passion for sustainability is evident in her work and presence in the classroom,” Lefmann said. “Her united interest in social welfare and the environment has sparked new dialogue among social work students, which has been a joy to witness.”

Lefmann said she has no doubt that Sullivan will continue to make valuable contributions to the country’s policies on energy use and environmental sustainability.

Sullivan’s parents are Dr. David and Claire Sullivan of Madison, both UM alumni.

Congress established the Udall Foundation as an independent executive branch agency in 1992 to honor Morris K. Udall’s 30 years of service in the U.S. House of Representatives. Students interested in pursuing a Udall Scholarship can contact Tim Dolan, the university’s Udall representative, at

The Office of National Scholarship Advisement conducts workshops each semester to introduce students to major national scholarships. Go to for more information.

Friends of the Museum Seeks Harvest Supper Sponsors

Support group explores support for popular event

Friends of the Museum members (from left) Joy Clark, Mary Solomon, Donna Gottshall, Mary Ann Frugé, Dorothy Howorth and John Hardy are working on plans for the Harvest Supper, the main fundraising event that supports the University of Mississippi Museum.

Friends of the Museum members (from left) Joy Clark, Mary Solomon, Donna Gottshall, Mary Ann Frugé, Dorothy Howorth and John Hardy are working on plans for the Harvest Supper, the main fundraising event that supports the University of Mississippi Museum.

OXFORD, Miss. – If a Southern writer looked out a window of Rowan Oak, home of the late novelist William Faulkner, the gathering taking place on the front lawn on a crisp September evening might inspire a scene in a novel or short story.

The sense of community created as people gather under the stars enjoying locally grown food and gentle music would not only be appealing for a writer, but also for participants. That’s why so many people are drawn to the Friends of the Museum’s Harvest Supper, the only evening fundraising event hosted annually at Rowan Oak.

The fifth annual Harvest Supper is Sept. 22, the Thursday before the Ole Miss Rebels’ SEC football game with the Georgia Bulldogs.

Friends of the Museum members are seeking sponsors for the dinner, which has become one of the signature events of the Lafayette-Oxford-University community’s fall season. Previous Harvest Suppers have sold out, and the 2015 event attracted more than $100,000 in support for the University Museum.

The 2016 event will be no exception, said Carlyle Wolfe, president of the Friends of the Museum, a volunteer organization that supports museum fundraising, advocacy and special programing.

“Harvest Supper, our main fundraiser, has quickly become an extremely popular event among area residents and Ole Miss alumni and friends here for a football weekend,” Wolfe said.

“Proceeds from this annual event and the generosity of sponsors enable the Friends organization to address some of the tremendous opportunities and needs of the museum. It means so much to see community members interacting in the museum programs and exhibits and attending this community-building dinner.”

Robert Saarnio, director of the University Museum and Historic Houses, voiced his appreciation for the support that comes from the event.

“Harvest Supper is a quintessential moment in the annual calendar of the museum and Rowan Oak, as it is for the community of supporters who sustain us,” Saarnio said. “Without the Friends of the Museum’s dedication to this magical evening and the generosity of myriad sponsors and attendees, so much of what we offer to our audiences would simply not be possible.

“This extraordinary event inspires us as a staff, and fosters an invaluable degree of good will for the museum and its historic houses – for which we are immensely grateful.”

Joy Clark, vice president of the Friends and chair of the Harvest Supper, revealed a few event changes designed to enhance participants’ dining experience.

“We are hosting the event a month earlier than usual, and participants can expect expanded food choices, and the live art auction will be accompanied by a silent art auction,” Clark said. “We will continue featuring two musical groups for the entertainment. The whole evening is being planned as a welcoming and enticing experience, and we are excited to share plans with prospective sponsors and participants alike.”

The Harvest Supper was born out of a need to host a major fundraiser instead of seeking financial support each time the museum has a need, said Dorothy Howorth, a board member and former president of the Friends. Part of the Harvest Supper proceeds is being used to build a permanent endowment for the University Museum.

“The University Museum is the only museum in north Mississippi with such an extensive and diverse collection of art and artifacts that are accessible to all in the area,” Howorth said.

“There is also the cultural and physical aspect: the unique circumstance that puts the museum squarely in the middle between the town and the university. The museum is used by the Oxford community, the university and all across north Mississippi. Harvest Supper helps the community give back to this valuable asset.”

Howorth points to the two upcoming exhibitions as examples. “Gods and Men: Iconography and Identity in the Ancient World,” May 10-Aug. 24, will showcase some of the museum’s David M. Robinson Collection of Greek and Roman Antiquities, one of the finest university collections of its kind in the United States, covering the period from 1500 B.C. to 300 A.D.

“The Beautiful Mysterious: The Extraordinary Gaze of William Eggleston,” Sept. 13-Jan. 14, will focus on the work of Eggleston, an internationally renowned photographer and a pioneer in fine art color photography.

The Harvest Supper continues to provide a platform to promote the collections and programs available at the University Museum, which was recently named No. 12 on the Best College Arts Museum ranking by Best College Reviews, with Yale University’s museum earning the No. 11 place and Princeton University at No. 14.

Mary Ann Frugé, a Friends of the Museum board member, says when it comes to the museum, she wants sponsors and participants to know that a gift of any size can “do a huge amount of good.”

“The University Museum is a treasure in our community, and it is exciting for us to see more and more people of all ages involved in its programs on a regular basis,” Frugé said. “Harvest Supper is a tremendous undertaking each year, but it comes together thanks to a very dedicated group of board members who want to see the arts continually enhanced. We will be seeking sponsors for this amazing event now and will make tickets available for sale in August.”

Individuals, businesses and other organizations can become Harvest Supper sponsors at these levels:

  • Presenting Level: $10,000 and up
  • Platinum Level: $5,000 to $10,000
  • Gold Level: $2,500 to $5,000
  • Silver Level: $1,000 to $2,500
  • Bronze Level: $500 to $1,000

Sponsors will be listed on the 550 event invitations mailed in August as well as included in news articles, website and social media posts, electronic newsletters and other communications on the event. The various sponsorship levels also provide tickets to the Harvest Supper, admission passes to Rowan Oak, membership to the University Museum and much more.

Proceeds from the evening will help support numerous aspects of the University Museum, including acquisitions, the “Conversations” guest lecture series, exhibitions, educational programming and special events. The event also generates awareness about the ongoing needs to maintain and operate Rowan Oak and the Walton-Young Historic House, also managed by the museum.

For more information on becoming a Harvest Supper sponsor, contact Joy Clark at For more information on becoming a member of the University Museum – with membership levels ranging from $25 for students, $45 for individuals and more – or for those interested in supporting the museum, contact Rebecca Phillips at or 662-915-7073.

The University Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and admission is free.

UM Annual Memorial Ceremony Set for May 5

Event honors members of the Ole Miss family who died during year

The 2016 memorial ceremony will be May 5 in Paris Yates Chapel.

The 2016 memorial ceremony will be May 5 in Paris Yates Chapel.

OXFORD, Miss. – Each year, the University of Mississippi sets aside time to remember the lives of students, faculty and staff members, and emeritus faculty who died during the year. This year’s ceremony is set for 4 p.m. May 5 in Paris Yates Chapel.

“Our annual memorial ceremony is our opportunity to remember individuals the University of Mississippi has lost throughout the year,” said Brandi Hephner LaBanc, vice chancellor for student affairs. “It is a time to cherish their contributions to our campus and celebrate their lives. Whether they have been here one semester or numerous years, they were an important part of the Ole Miss family.”

The L-O-U community is invited to this year’s ceremony, which honors:


Robert S. Forster
Donald H O’Dell
Ronny J Tackett

Faculty/Faculty Emeritus

Robert B. Albritton
Ward Charles Barnes
James Ronald Bartlett
Goberdham Bhagat
James P. Chambers
James Jerome Cooke
Thomas Ashley Crowe
Columbus Burwell Hopper
Robert Lawrence Jordan
Frances B. Maxey
John Willis McCauley
Henry Pace
James E. Shollenberger
Kenneth A. Stead Jr.


Bryce Berry
Andrew Fox
Anastasia Hirsch
Taina Laporte
Carli Sears
Alison Tuberville

UM Senior Prepping for International Service

Outstanding general studies student working toward education to serve others

UM Outstanding Student in the BGS program, Connor Edwards, with his 7th and 8th grade students in Satun, Thailand where he first taught English during the summer of 2014.

Connor Edwards (center), the UM Outstanding Student in the BGS program, with his seventh- and eighth-grade students in Satun, Thailand, where he first taught English during the summer of 2014.

OXFORD, Miss.­­­ – Although University of Mississippi senior Connor Edwards is from a small town – Pickens, in Holmes County – he has his sights set on some big-world experiences and has set his future in motion with the goal of helping people on the other side of the world.

A transfer student from Holmes Community College, Edwards has excelled during his time at UM. He recently was named the 2016 Outstanding Senior in the Bachelor of General Studies degree program as well as the class marshall. He will deliver an address during the university’s May 14 graduation ceremonies.

“I knew Connor was a remarkable young man when I began recruiting him to transfer to Ole Miss,” said Jason McCormick, a UM development officer and former community college admissions counselor.

Edwards earned the prestigious Lyceum Scholarship when he transferred to the Oxford campus  to begin his junior year in fall 2014. When he arrived at Ole Miss, he was considering a career in the medical profession, but a summer trip to Thailand changed his mind.

“I spent the summer before coming to Ole Miss as an English teacher for seventh- and eighth-graders in Thailand, and my whole mindset changed,” Edwards explained. “I wanted my future career to be one where I could help change people’s lives for the better. That is when I decided that completing a well-rounded education would be of great use to me in the real world.”

Edwards changed his major to a specialized BGS degree. The BGS program at UM is a cross-disciplinary degree plan offered to maximize opportunities for individuals who want to reach personal goals, meet job requirements and advance their careers. Students can choose any three minors offered at the university and create a specialized educational path.

“By changing my major, I was able to study things I was interested in, like language and philosophy,” he said.

Edwards’ degree comprises minors in biology, chemistry and religion.

“I had taken many science classes preparing for the medical field,” he said. “These classes helped me learn to think through problems and really examine situations in a thorough way. I’m grateful for the skills I learned.”

The travel bug had bitten and in the summer of 2015, Edwards headed back overseas to teach English to college students in Japan.

When he returned, he helped start the “Global Café” on the Oxford campus to give international students an opportunity to meet and foster friendships with American students.

“I enjoy languages and learning about different world-views,” Edwards said. “It’s exciting to see communication and friendship come out of our exchanges. It has really been a learning experience for me to find ways to connect with others even when we are speaking a different language.”

When Edwards returned to campus following his Japan visit, his learning didn’t stop. He dove into a strenuous senior year of courses and continued to achieve. His hard work paid off as he was selected to receive membership in the prestigious Phi Kappa Phi academic honor society in November.

“The significance of this honor is that it recognizes Connor’s school and service work as being at the highest level for a college student,” said Tony Ammeter. UM dean of general studies.

Upon graduation in May, Edwards plans to pursue his master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language.

“I think this career path will be very rewarding,” Edwards said. “I can help others learn a new skill that could possibly improve their future.”

McCormick said he has stayed in touch with Edwards since his arrival in Oxford and has been especially proud of his work with international students.

“Connor is the definition of a servant leader; you don’t find kids like him every day,” McCormick said. “We were lucky to have him at Ole Miss. He really found his niche working with international students, and he’s a great ambassador for Ole Miss.

“A unique student like Connor has reached out and done a great job welcoming others into the university.”

For more information about the BGS program at UM, visit

UM Team Competes in Archaeological Ethics Bowl for First Time

Three honors students debate ethical dilemmas faced by archaeologists

The UM Archaeology Ethics Bowl team is made up of UM juniors Alicia Dixon, Zachary Creel, and Libby Tyson

The UM Archaeology Ethics Bowl team is made up of juniors Alicia Dixon (left), Zachary Creel and Libby Tyson.

OXFORD, Miss. – Earlier this month, three University of Mississippi students spent the day putting themselves in the shoes of professional archaeologists, debating issues of ownership, trespassing, reporting, stewardship, commercialization and sexual harassment in Orlando, Florida.

The students, all juniors in the university’s Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, are the first Ole Miss team to compete in the Society for American Archaeology’s annual Archaeological Ethics Bowl. The event pits teams from universities across the country to discuss and debate various scenarios representing ethical quandaries professional archaeologists may face in their work.

“These dilemmas included real problems that archaeologists face when conducting fieldwork, as well as issues relating to conservation and preservation of cultural heritage,” said Hilary Becker, UM assistant professor of classics and adviser for the team.

The Ole Miss team – Alicia Dixon, Zachary Creel and Libby Tyson – decided to enter the competition after taking Becker’s honors class in classics, “Archaeological Ethics: Who Owns the Past,” where they argued cases from previous Archaeological Ethics Bowls.

“The most exciting part of competing was hearing different sides to the cases and thinking about how we might think outside the box for next year,” said Dixon, a classics and philosophy double major from Baldwyn. “We were also very excited to meet the other teams, who we know put in time and effort learning the cases, just like we did.”

Dixon, Creel and Tyson worked since last summer to prepare for the competition, meeting at least weekly since June. The team conducted their own research on the legal and ethical implications of various archaeologist cases, in addition to debating amongst themselves.

“There’s something awesome about working really hard for an extended period of time and then seeing that work pay off when a judge smiles because of a point your team just made,” said Tyson, of Hazlehurst, who is majoring in classics and English.

Four teams competed in this year’s competition: UM, the University of Georgia, the University of Puerto Rico and California State University at Los Angeles. The competition was conducted in three elimination rounds. First, UM faced the University of Georgia, and the second round matched UCLA with the University of Puerto Rico. In the finals, Georgia defeated the University of Puerto Rico.

Despite the UM team being all undergraduates, they competed against five graduate anthropology students from the University of Georgia.

Although they did not win the championship, which carries an American Institute of Archaeology membership for each member of the winning team and a school trophy, the experience has them already planning for next year’s event.

“We competed well and learned a lot so that we will certainly be even more competitive next year,” said Creel, a classics and art history major from New Orleans.

Meek Honored for Excellence in Online Instruction

Paragon Award winner encourages students to work collaboratively in writing course

Jane Meek

Jane Meek

OXFORD, Miss. – Jane Meek, a writing and rhetoric instructor at the University of Mississippi, has been named the recipient of this year’s Paragon Award for Excellence in Distance Teaching, honoring her work in teaching Writing 102: First Year Writing II online.

“Teaching online has been the biggest, but best, challenge of my career,” Meek said. “I have learned to connect with students in a very different way, but it has helped me to stay in sync with technology and the ways that students of today are grasping concepts.”

In its sixth year, the annual Paragon award is designed to recognize UM faculty who use online learning technology effectively through good practices in course design and innovative use of technologies. Nominees’ efforts are acknowledged for engaging students as well as their commitment to providing them with a quality education. The honor includes a $1,000 award.

This is not Meek’s first award applauding her dedication to education. In 2013, she received the Kramer Outstanding Teacher Award that is presented annually within the UM Department of Writing and Rhetoric.

Meek’s strong teaching skills in the face-to-face classroom have translated well into her online classes, said Robert Cummings, director of the UM writing and rhetoric department.

“One of the hallmarks of Jane’s teaching, which led to her acknowledgement through our department’s annual Kramer award, is her ability to intuitively understand the challenges of learning from a student’s perspective,” Cummings said.

“Consistently Jane’s students comment on her ability to understand their challenges in approaching literacy, and her gift for organizing her class online to facilitate their learning.”

In 2013, family matters required Meek to move to Miami. As she prepared to resign from her Ole Miss position, representatives from her department approached her about teaching online courses.

“I enjoyed teaching live classes on campus in Oxford,” Meek said. “When switching to online courses, I was worried that I would miss the class chemistry of lively discussions with my students, but really students have to be more engaged in an online course. Students can’t hide in the back of a classroom.

“Now I am hearing from all of my students, not just the ones who are confident enough to raise their hands in class.”

Originally from the Delta town of Cleveland, Meek completed her undergraduate degree in English from UM and earned a graduate degree in English from the University of Alabama, as well as a graduate degree in women’s gender and sexuality studies from the University of Cincinnati. She joined the UM faculty in spring 2011.

Meek’s online course is the second part of the required freshmen-level writing course that serves as an important building block for Ole Miss students. The course is designed to prepare students for the various writing tasks they will need throughout college.

“It is a pretty demanding course,” Meek explained. “But, I take pride in giving students the tools and confidence to be able to write well for any of their future college courses. We want them to be successful.”

Most students in Meek’s class are freshmen, so she focused on helping them stay organized and ready for each week’s assignments through weekly to-do-lists and calendars.

She also says she created her course to appeal to the different learning styles of students.

“I presented information in a variety of formats from readings in textbooks, short videos, narrated PowerPoint presentations, links to online articles and still images,” Meek said. “The class assignments were similarly diverse, requiring that students post to discussion boards, attend videoconferences with me, conduct research using the library’s databases, as well as write and revise essays with the aid of Blackboard online tools.”

Meek demonstrated her commitment to providing quality education in her online course by requiring that each student attend a one-on-one video conference to discuss their writing assignments. Several students liked working with her in this way and requested more than one feedback session.

“In these conferences, students could see on their own computers what I was looking at on my computer screen,” she said. “We would discuss my detailed feedback on their drafts, and I could pull up examples to show them.

“This just helped me to make a more personal connection and engage students as we worked together to improve their writing skills.”

After a previous semester of online teaching where students seemed to lag behind, Meek created a student manual to help students adapt to online learning.

“I wanted to offer students more resources than what a traditional syllabus provides,” Meek said. “My department has since asked me to develop this manual into an orientation document for new online instructors in the writing and rhetoric program.”

Staying involved with other UM faculty members has also been key to success for Meek. She says her teaching development circle gathers together online every two weeks in a virtual meeting between six or seven faculty members.

“We get together to share resources, talk about issues that might arise in our courses and serve on committees,” Meek said.

The connection with other UM faculty and with support she receives from the UM Online Design and eLearning department has been a great resource for her transition from a traditional classroom instructor to an online one, she said.

“Jane’s insights have helped all of our online classes develop and grow,” Cummings said. “Her growth as an online teacher has served as a catalyst for the entire department.”

Sandersons to Chair $100 Million Campaign, Commit $10 Million Gift

Effort will benefit pediatric care at UMMC and help children statewide

Providing the best health care for Mississippi's children means Children's of Mississippi needs to grow along with them, Joe Sanderson, CEO and chairman of the board of Sanderson Farms, tells a news conference audience Monday. He and wife, Kathy, left, will be leading a $100 million capital campaign for Children's of Mississippi and are making a $10 million gift to the fund over the next five years. Looking on is Dr. LouAnn Woodward, right, UMMC vice chancellor of health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine.

Providing the best health care for Mississippi’s children means Children’s of Mississippi needs to grow along with them, Joe Sanderson, CEO and chairman of the board of Sanderson Farms, tells a news conference audience Monday. He and wife, Kathy, left, will be leading a $100 million capital campaign for Children’s of Mississippi and are making a $10 million gift to the fund over the next five years. Looking on is Dr. LouAnn Woodward, right, UMMC vice chancellor of health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine.

JACKSON, Miss. – Joe and Kathy Sanderson are chairing a $100 million fundraising campaign for Children’s of Mississippi, the umbrella organization that includes all pediatric care at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and Batson Children’s Hospital.

Leading by doing, the CEO and chairman of the board of Sanderson Farms and his wife are not only heading up the drive, the largest in the history of Children’s of Mississippi, but they are also making the campaign’s first large gift: $10 million over the next five years.

“This is a wonderful day for the Medical Center,” said Dr. LouAnn Woodward, UMMC vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine.

The funds will help the Medical Center expand and update its space dedicated for pediatric care, including an expanded and renovated neonatal intensive care unit, more rooms for the pediatric intensive care unit, more operating rooms and the creation of an imaging clinic especially for pediatric patients. A new pediatric clinic will make care for outpatients more convenient and comfortable for families.

Expansion of the Children’s Heart Center is also on the drawing board. Batson Children’s Hospital is the only hospital dedicated exclusively to the needs of children in Mississippi.

“Children’s of Mississippi must grow so Mississippi’s children can keep growing,” Joe Sanderson said.

“The goal to provide the best health care for children in Mississippi today and tomorrow is one that we must meet and exceed,” Woodward said. “We consider it an honor and a privilege to take care of Mississippi’s children, but we are taking care of those children in areas that are undersized and outdated.

“A healthy future for our children depends upon the priorities we set now. This investment in the growth of Children’s of Mississippi that each of us is called on to make will mean that little ones here will grow up with the best of medical care, right here at home, and it will pay dividends of healthier families and a healthier state.”

Knowing the demands of serving a growing population and of raising funds to meet those needs, Woodward said the question was who had the vision as well as the concern for Mississippi’s children to bring these goals to fruition.

“And extraordinary plan needs extraordinary leaders,” she said. “Joe and Kathy Sanderson were the first people we thought of. We knew if anyone could help us reach this lofty goal, Joe and Kathy, with their track record of dedication to Mississippi, to Children’s of Mississippi and to UMMC, could.”

The Sandersons know Batson Children’s Hospital well, not only through their philanthropy but because their granddaughter, Sophie Creath, was a patient at the hospital as a young child, suffering from pancreatitis.

“After witnessing the competent, loving care of (pediatric gastroenterologist) Dr. Paul Parker and the team at Batson, we realized the importance of this wonderful hospital,” Kathy Sanderson said.

“Sophie was in severe pain, but she was never afraid because of the extraordinarily competent and very loving care she received. That all the children of Mississippi can receive this kind of care has got to warm your heart. I know it does mine. We are all here for such a time as this, to give them the most wonderful care.”

Though they received the best of care for their granddaughter, the Sandersons realize that growth and expansion are needed.

“We believe that the hospital is at maximum capacity and is lacking in several vital areas,” Joe Sanderson said. “The hospital is beyond capacity in the neonatal intensive care unit and is badly in need of additional space.

“Children have to be transported to the main facility at UMMC because of a lack of equipment at Batson. Children sometimes need sedation when being transported. And further, there needs to be additional facilities for pediatric surgeries, particularly cardiac surgery.

One of the state’s leading businessmen, Joe Sanderson said a state-of-the-art children’s hospital would be an economic boost to Mississippi that would draw the best employees to the state.

“Knowing the state has resources to care for children of their employees would certainly be a comfort to any business or family considering Mississippi as a potential home,” he said.

The Sandersons are leading the way with their own generosity, giving a tenth of the goal themselves.

“Kathy and I feel like Children’s of Mississippi is the most important and most worthy charitable endeavor in the state at this time,” Joe Sanderson said. “This will be the largest gift we have ever made because we felt like this project was the most important to the state and to the children of Mississippi now and for years to come.”

Support for Children’s of Mississippi in the state has been unwavering, said Guy Giesecke, CEO of Children’s of Mississippi.

“The people of Mississippi want us to have a strong children’s hospital, and they want it to thrive and be successful,” he said.

Having the best of care for children is a cause the people of Mississippi can embrace, Joe Sanderson said.

“I think people across the state have a great deal of respect and admiration for what is being done at the state’s only children’s hospital. I think that when the story is told about the need of today and for the future, I think people will be willing to help make the project become a reality. Of all the things to which they could give, this project will be one of the most important and last longer and impact our state and the children of our state more than anything else they could do.”