UM Students Recognized by Mississippi Associated Press Broadcasters

Broadcast group wins 20 awards at annual competition

From left to right: David Kennedy, Payton Green, Steven Gagliano, Sereena Henderson, Leah Gibson, Kelly Smith, Shelby Sansone, Browning Stubbs

From left to right: David Kennedy, Payton Green, Steven Gagliano, Sereena Henderson, Leah Gibson, Kelly Smith, Shelby Sansone, Browning Stubbs

OXFORD, Miss. – University of Mississippi broadcast students were recognized for outstanding performance by the Mississippi Associated Press Broadcasters, bringing home 20 awards in the contest for college students.

Student newscast “NewsWatch” won the award for Best Newscast for the fifth year in a row. Senior Shelby Sansone from Memphis, Tennessee, won the award for Mississippi’s Outstanding Student Television Reporter. Senior Steven Gagliano, from Cumming, Georgia, won Outstanding Radio Reporter. Sansone and Gagliano each won cash scholarships.

“The fact that our student newscast has won the award five years in a row is remarkable,” said Nancy Dupont, UM professor of journalism. “The student managers in recent years have done a phenomenal job.”

The award banquet was held April 23 in Jackson. Students competed in college categories among 51 television entries and 23 radio entries from five Mississippi universities. The contest covered work produced during the spring and fall semesters of 2015.

“Our broadcast students had an excellent showing,” Dupont said. “This is a reflection of their talent and hard work. I’m sure they’d join me in congratulating my colleagues who teach broadcast journalism and the managers at the Student Media Center. All, in my opinion, are the best you’ll find anywhere.”

Ole Miss television and radio students won nine first-place awards, seven second-place awards and four third-place awards.

First-Place Awards for College Television:

Best Feature Story: Sereena Henderson, senior from Pass Christian, and Ji Hoon Heo, of Ulsan, South Korea, for their coverage of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church 10 years after Hurricane Katrina

Best News Story: Shelby Sansone for her coverage of the Dan Jones rally.

Best Sportscast: Browning Stubbs, senior from Memphis, and David Kennedy, senior from Colleyville, Texas, for their coverage of the Oxford Chargers state championship preview

Best Documentary or Series: “Atomic, Mississippi,” produced by students in a course taught by Brad Schultz and Kathleen Wickham.

First-Place Awards for College Radio:

Best Feature Story: Steven Gagliano for his end-of-the-semester feature

Best News Story: Steven Gagliano for his coverage of the state flag removal from campus

Best Sports Story: Riley Mueller, sophomore from College Station, Texas, for his concussion study coverage

Best Documentary or Series: Riley Mueller for concussion coverage

Other awards for college television:

Second Place Best News Story – Kelly Savage, senior from Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, for coverage of the state flag removal

Second Place Best Sports Story – Browning Stubbs for covering the “tip six” play at the Ole Miss-Alabama football game in September.

Third Place Best News Story: Browning Stubbs for coverage of the metro narcotics unit investigation

Third Place Best Newscast: “NewsWatch” for a Sept. 21 broadcast

Third Place Best Sports Story: Waverly McCarthy, senior from Jackson, for coverage of Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly

Third Place Best Sportscast: “RebelWatch” for a Nov. 20 broadcast

Other college radio awards:

Second Place Best Feature: Riley Mueller for his story on a fitness instructor

Second Place Best News Story: Steven Gagliano for his coverage of the new chancellor

Second Place Best Newscast: Meredith Parker, junior from Brandon

Second Place Best Sports Story: Steven Gagliano for coverage of women’s soccer

Second Place Best Sportscast/Sports Program: Steven Gagliano

Dupont was also honored at the awards presentation. Dupont is the NewsWatch adviser and president of the Mississippi Associated Broadcasters Board for the 2015-2016 year.

Recent Ole Miss working in broadcast also won first-place awards at the MAPB ceremony. Courtney Ann Jackson, a reporter for WLBT, Gerard Manogin, WJTV reporter, and Ryan Moore, WDAM reporter, were recognized for their work.

Boys State Begins Sunday at UM

Hundreds of delegates to get leadership training and experience at annual gathering

Boys State LogoOXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi will host the American Legion’s Boys State beginning Sunday (May 29), allowing young men from across Mississippi to perform the duties of state and local governments during a weeklong event designed “to develop tomorrow’s informed, responsible citizens.”

UM was chosen to host Boys State this year and will host it again in 2017 and 2018. As many as 400 delegates will stay on campus and be able to take advantage of the many resources of the university’s departments and programs. 

Chancellor Jeffrey S. Vitter said the partnership between Ole Miss and Boys State is a natural one. 

“Both Boys State and the University of Mississippi have a long history of nurturing young leaders and helping them develop their potential, so it’s only natural that we try to combine our efforts,” Vitter said. “We welcome all the Boys State participants to our campus and look forward to watching them mature and begin to serve our state and nation in the years to come. We expect great things from all of them.”

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, U.S. Reps. Gregg Harper and Trent Kelly, Gov. Phil Bryant, Attorney Gen. Jim Hood, Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith, as well as State Rep. Jay Hughes, D-Oxford, and State Rep. Shane Aguirre, R-Tupelo, and several other officials are among those who will address the delegates. 

The young men will learn how city, county and state governments function through simulating those jobs. They also hold debates and give speeches ahead of the Boys State elections. The election results will be announced live at 7 p.m. Wednesday (June 1) in Nutt Auditorium. 

The delegates will also participate in a Memorial Day service at 11 a.m. Monday at the flagpole in the Lyceum Circle. The general public and local officials are invited to attend. 

Brandi Hephner LaBanc, vice chancellor for student affairs, and her team lead efforts to bring Boys State to Ole Miss. She said the university is the perfect setting for it.

“We are thrilled about hosting Boys State and see it as another opportunity to serve Mississippians,” Hephner LaBanc said. “We believe our campus will be a perfect setting for them to meaningfully engage, learn and become empowered leaders.”

The Illinois American Legion created the program in 1934 and Mississippi’s began in 1938. The program was officially adopted by the national organization in 1945. The goal of the program is to show that democracy needs both an intelligent citizenry and also a moral, honest and impartial administration that is responsive to the will of the people.

The nonpartisan program is open to young men who are high school juniors and it is conducted each year across the country through each state’s Department of the American Legion. It’s estimated that more than 28,000 young men annually participate in the civic workshops.

The gathering is designed to be a virtual 51st state with a constitution, statutes and ordinances constructed by its citizens to govern themselves. Mississippi’s Boys State is known as the mythical state of Magnolia. Participants are required to review their knowledge about political workings of state and local government, but they also perform the same duties as actual officeholders in the real world. 

“Boys State has a tradition and proven track record in educating young people about the vital role of state and national government,” said William Gottshall, executive director of the UM Trent Lott Leadership Institute. “Boys State is a welcomed addition to Ole Miss’ leadership programming.”

UM Honors Five at School of Education Alumni Hall of Fame Induction

Honorees lauded for teaching, service and leadership

The 2016 UM School of Education Hall of Fame includes (left to right): Robert Depro of Sikeston, Missouri; Suzie Adcock of Jackson; Cathy Stewart of Oxford; Jahnae Barnett of Fulton, Missouri and Cecil C. Brown, Jr. of Jackson.

The 2016 UM School of Education Hall of Fame inductees are (left to right): Robert Depro of Sikeston, Missouri; Suzie Adcock of Jackson; Cathy Stewart of Oxford; Jahnae Barnett of Fulton, Missouri; and Cecil C. Brown Jr. of Jackson.

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi has inducted its second class of alumni into its School of Education Hall of Fame. Collectively, the group has more than 178 years of experience, commitment and public service to education.

The 2016 honorees are Suzie Mills Adcock of Jackson; Jahnae H. Barnett of Fulton, Missouri; Charles Robert Depro of Sikeston, Missouri; Cathy Stewart of Oxford; and Cecil C. Brown Jr. of Jackson. Brown received the School of Education’s first-ever service award for noneducation alumni.

“Our alumni board of directors selected our 2016 alumni award recipients for their distinguished careers as educational leaders and practitioners,” said David Rock, UM education dean. “Each of these five alumni are models for our current university students and graduates to emulate.

“We believe there is no more important or greater area of service in our state and nation than in the practice and advocacy of education.”

The ceremony was May 13 at the Inn at Ole Miss. Honorees were selected after being nominated by their peers and colleagues earlier this year.

Adcock, who graduated from UM in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, has taught in both public and private schools for more than 31 years and is still teaching. She serves as the lower elementary school librarian and media specialist at Jackson Academy.

Her service work includes the direction of “Read for Need” service projects, which have benefited school libraries that have burned and the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children. In addition, she has served on the UM School of Education’s alumni advisory board in various capacities throughout the years, including the presidency.

“I’m so humbled by this honor because I know so many teachers who should be in this spot; I really do,” Adcock said. “I am a teacher because I genuinely love what I do. I do everything that I do for my students. They are my heart. They really are.”

Barnett, who earned a master’s degree in business education from UM in 1967 and a Ph.D. in higher education in 1972, is president of William Woods University in Fulton, Missouri, a position the alumna has held for more than 26 years. Before her presidency, Barnett was a vice president and a department chair at William Woods.

When Barnett received her doctorate, she was only 24 years old and was the youngest individual to receive a Ph.D. from Ole Miss at that time. She was also the first female president of William Woods, an institution that has grown from a few hundred students to more than 3,000 during her tenure and grown from college to university status.

“I cannot imagine anything more rewarding that your peers, your colleagues and your academic institution saying that you’ve done exactly what you were supposed to do in your life,” Barnett said. “We just had our own alumni weekend at William Woods where we inducted some alumni into the hall of fame, and I knew exactly what that meant to them because of this honor.”

Depro, who earned a master’s degree in secondary education from UM in 1970, has taught history and social studies for more than 50 consecutive years and has taught more than 10,000 students in his career. From 1966 to 2000, he served as a social studies teacher and departmental chair at Sikeston Senior High School. He still teaches as an instructor in history at Southeast Missouri State University’s Sikeston campus, as part of a dual enrollment program with area high schools.

Among his other professional accomplishments include being named the Missouri Teacher of the Year and a finalist for the National Teacher of the Year in 1988.

“This is an honor that I never even in my wildest dreams thought that I would receive,” Depro said. “There are a lot of really good teacher out there; I teach with some of them every day. I accept this on behalf of all really good teachers.”

Stewart, who is a three-time graduate of UM, earned a bachelor’s degree from Ole Miss in elementary education in 1978, as well as a master’s degree and doctorate in curriculum and instruction in 1981 and 1995, respectively. Besides serving 20 years as an elementary teacher in the Lafayette County School District, Stewart also served as an adjunct professor at UM and as the founding director of the university’s World Class Teaching Program and director of the UM Writing Project.

She and her husband own and operate Wild Rose Kennels, the much-acclaimed breeder of British and Irish Labradors.

“I knew in first grade that I wanted to be a teacher,” said Stewart. “I never changed my mind and I never wavered. My advice for future teachers is to never quit learning and to always be open to learning a better or different way to do and improve the way you teach.”

Brown, who earned a bachelor’s degree in English and mathematics from UM in 1966, has been a public and private sector leader in Mississippi for more than 25 years. A Certified Public Accountant and the owner of his own accounting firm, Brown’s public service includes a stint at Mississippi State Fiscal Officer and a 16-year tenure as a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives, where he served as the chairman of the House Education Committee for seven years.

More recently, Brown was elected to serve as the state Public Service Commissioner in 2016.

“I’m very thankful for this award,” Brown said. “My hope is that somehow children will continue to benefit from the work that I have been able to contribute in service to education. They are the most important thing.”

The School of Education Alumni Hall of Fame was established in 2015, when UM inducted its charter class of three alumni: Milton Kuykendall of DeSoto County, Judith Reynolds of Clinton and Jerome Smith of Jackson.

Seven UM Employees Receive Outstanding Staff Awards

Personnel recognized for excellence in service categories

Seven UM staff members are recognized for outstanding service.

Seven UM staff members are recognized for outstanding service.

Human Resources employee Andrea Jekabsons was all smiles Friday (May 20) after being named the University of Mississippi’s 2016 Overall Outstanding Staff Member.

Chancellor Jeffrey S. Vitter presented the assistant director of employment and training a plaque, $1,000 and two season football tickets during the annual Staff Appreciation Awards program in the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.

“The overall award winner this year has been with us since 2006, but the contribution she is making is already significant,” Vitter said. “She is a role model for her peers and has proven herself to be one of the leaders on her team. She takes pride in all that she does and is an outstanding employee. She loves her job, and it shows in her performance.”

Beaming with joy as she jogged to the stage to accept her award, Jekabsons said she was truly humbled.

“I tried to get my staff to come on stage with me because I always say, ‘It takes a village,'” she said. “I’m taking my first two-week vacation this summer, so this (cash award) will certainly make that more enjoyable.”

Six other employees were equally surprised to be presented Outstanding Service Awards, including a $500 stipend, in their respective EEO categories. Winners were Jeffery McManus, director of landscape services and airport/golf course operations, for EEO 1 (Executive and Managerial); Jennifer Phillips, assistant director for retention, for EEO 3 (Professional Nonfaculty); Kimberly Barnes, executive coordinator to the Chancellor, for EEO 4 (Secretarial/Clerical); Jason T. Mangrum, instrumentation and controls technician in the Physical Plant Department, for EEO 5 (Technical/Paraprofessional); Jonathan Joe “J.J.” Potts, senior plumber in the Physical Plant Department, for EEO 6 (Skilled Crafts); and Sheila Ann Lewis, senior custodian in Custodial Services, for EEO 7 (Service Maintenance).

More than 280 UM employees were recognized during the ceremony. Those hired since May 1 were asked to stand in the assembly. Afterwards, 102 five-year, 72 10-year and 33 15-year employees were called. Each received a certificate and lapel pin in recognition of their service.

A plaque and keepsake was presented to 30 20-year, 19 25-year, five 30-year and 25 30-plus-year employees for their dedicated service to the institution. Among these was Katherine Tidwell, manager of contractual services and director of the University ID center, who received a lengthy standing ovation for her 47 years here. Having served under four chancellors, Tidwell has been a UM employee longer than anyone.

Near the program’s end, two surprise awards were presented. The first was the second annual Daniel W. Jones, M.D. Outstanding Team Service Award, which went to 10 employees known as “The Student Advising and Field Experience Team” in the School of Education.

The second award was the Staff Council Distinguished Service Award, presented to Sovent Taylor for his outstanding leadership as staff council president.

“You, the staff here, are what make the University of Mississippi work,” Vitter said. “I’m honored to be a part of this great, great family.”

The outstanding staff awards were created in 1990 as a way to honor staff members for their contributions to the university.

“Staff members can vote for other staff members in their respective EEO categories through myOleMiss,” said Taylor, instructor and assistant director of the Health Professions Advising Office in the Center for Student Success and First-Year Experience. “The person with the most votes in their respective EEO category is recognized at our awards day ceremony.”

Anyone can nominate someone for the overall outstanding staff member, regardless of EEO category.

“Individuals wishing to nominate a staff member for the overall outstanding award submit a narrative explaining why they believe their nominee should be recognized,” Taylor said. “These nomination forms then go before a committee of staff council members who choose the overall outstanding staff member.”

Congratulations to all this year’s winners! I’m celebrating a decade of employment at UM and look forward to many more years to come.

UM College of Liberal Arts Launches New Minor in Society and Health

Interdisciplinary program is collaboration with the Center for Population Studies

John Green Photo by UM Photographer Kevin Bain

John Green Photo by UM Photographer Kevin Bain

OXFORD, Miss. – A new academic minor with an emphasis on society and health is available at the University of Mississippi.

Housed within the College of Liberal Arts and directed through the Center for Population Studies, the interdisciplinary academic program consists of 18 credit hours. The minor was created in association with the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College to build a broader social and cultural understanding of the context of health outcomes and health care through perspectives from the individual to population levels.

“The minor in society and health arose partially as a result of changes in the medical school entrance exam, shifting expectations for the education of health professionals and recognition of the need for interdisciplinary approaches to address health problems,” said John Green, professor of sociology and anthropology and director of both the Center for Population Studies and the new minor.

“An advisory committee comprised of faculty representing several disciplines across the College of Liberal Arts helped craft the curriculum for the minor. The Honors College, School of Applied Sciences, the Meek School of Journalism and New Media and the School of Pharmacy are also represented on the committee.”

Required courses include Elementary Statistics and one of the two advanced courses: Society and Population Health or Medical Humanities. Following the completion of one of these courses, Ole Miss students can then apply to the minor program It is also recommended that students take General Psychology and Introductory Sociology to complete the general education social science requirements.

“In Society and Population Health, students learn about health disparities in Mississippi and the value of interdisciplinary and interprofessional teams in tackling these issues,” Green said. “They also make field visits to medical/nursing schools and public health programs.”

Medical Humanities is a combined readings and field experience course in a hospital setting to study the ethical, social and cultural issues in medicine. Additionally, students must take advanced elective courses.

Students must take courses from at least two different departments when completing the last requirement of 12 credit hours of advanced social science and humanities courses. They should note that the same course may not satisfy requirements for both the major and the minor.

Students who complete relative internships, special topics, study abroad or directed study courses must consult with the director before enrollment in the course for approval.

“This unique and timely minor provides a social science and humanities perspective to the understanding of health,” said Lee M. Cohen, UM liberal arts dean. “I believe such a perspective will foster an appreciation and respect for team-based problem-solving to improve the delivery of health care. The College of Liberal Arts is proud to provide this new program for our students.”

For more information about the minor in society and health, visit or contact Lynn Woo, research associate with the Center for Population Studies, at or at 662-915-7288.

Meet Kathy McMinn, May’s Staff Member of the Month

Kathy McMinn

Kathy McMinn

Kathy McMinn, administrative coordinator II at the University of Mississippi at DeSoto Center-Southaven, has been selected as Staff Council’s Staff Member of the Month for May. To help us get to know her better, she answered a few questions for Inside Ole Miss.

IOM: How long have you worked at Ole Miss? 

McMinn: 8.5 years

IOM: What is your hometown? 

McMinn: Southaven

IOM: What is your favorite Ole Miss memory?

McMinn: Graduation Celebration, an event held at the UM-DeSoto campus each year, about a week before graduation. Our dedicated staff has worked very hard to help our students complete their degrees. We all celebrate with our graduates, their family and friends at this event by recognizing their accomplishments, giving each student an opportunity to shine, reflect on a job well done and look forward to their future. 

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

McMinn: Our students and our family of co-workers; they are all awesome! 

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

McMinn: I love spending time with my grandkids. Yes, I am one of those “Let me tell you about my grandkids!” people. From baby dedication at church, baseball games, preschool events, fun days just playing ball in the backyard, swinging and eating pizza, birthdays, cookouts, anytime-anywhere, that is my happy time!

IOM: What is one thing on your bucket list?

 McMinn: Would love to travel, maybe by train.

IOM: What is your favorite movie?

McMinn: “McLintock!” with John Wayne

IOM: What is a fun fact about you?

McMinn: I love to sew and do creative projects. 

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

Construction Projects Continue to Transform Campus

New facilities, renovations will help accommodate growing Ole Miss student body

The Ole Miss Student Union is undergoing a $50 million renovation to add 60,000 square feet of space for dining, ballrooms and offices.

The Ole Miss Student Union is undergoing a $50 million renovation to add 60,000 square feet of space for dining, ballrooms and offices.

OXFORD, Miss. – The student population continues to grow at the University of Mississippi. As a result, the Oxford campus is growing and improving to accommodate the influx of students.

Over the next few years, several major construction projects will enhance campus life for students, faculty and staff. Here’s a brief look at current and upcoming projects:


Manning Center Football Practice Fields

The Manning Center football practice fields are being enlarged to add length to the short field affected by the construction of the parking garage. About 40 yards will be added to the west end of the north field adjacent to Hill Drive, giving the program two full fields for practice. This field will be converted to synthetic turf, and the renovation will also include irrigation, floodlights, observation towers, fence and post padding and audio equipment. This project will be completed by July.

Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Turf

The turf in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium will be changed as well. The artificial turf was deteriorating, so it has been removed and will be replaced with natural grass. A new irrigation system will be installed to help with upkeep of the natural grass. This project will also be completed in July.

Vaught-Hemingway Stadium North End Zone Addition and South End Zone Upgrade

Vaught-Hemingway Stadium is getting an upgrade that will completely change its look. The north end zone bleachers are being replaced with a seating bowl, creating a more complete game environment. A brick facade will be added to the exterior of the end zone, creating a more uniform look that matches other campus structures as well as serving as the new gateway to the stadium. The entry will be the new end point for the Walk of Champions. A new plaza will replace the existing parking lot and islands, and will include a “Wall of Champions.” The stadium projects will be completed by September.

The addition of the Honors College is complete, and the renovation of the existing building is expected to be completed in Fall 2016.

The addition of the Honors College is complete, and the renovation of the existing building is expected to be completed in Fall 2016.

Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College Renovation and Addition

This two-phase project began in March 2014 with a 15,400-square-foot addition of classrooms, study nooks and administrative offices. This phase doubled the building’s size and was finished in early 2016. The second phase is underway and includes renovations to the existing facility that will reconfigure space to better accommodate the growing honors program. This phase is to be completed this fall.

Two new residence hall are expected to be open to arriving students in August 2016.

Two new residence hall are expected to be open to arriving students in August 2016.

Residence Halls 2 and 3 (Student Housing Phase II)

The rapid enrollment growth has created a need for more on-campus housing. Two new five-story residence halls will house 624 students at the former site of Guess Hall on Rebel Drive. These buildings are slated to open to students arriving on campus in August.

The Ole Miss Student Union is undergoing a $50 million renovation to add 60,000 square feet of space for dining, ballrooms and offices.

The Ole Miss Student Union is undergoing a $50 million renovation to add 60,000 square feet of space for dining, ballrooms and offices.

Student Union Addition and Renovation

The Ole Miss Student Union is undergoing a complete renovation. Construction on the first phase began in summer 2015, including the addition of dining areas, a ballroom, support kitchens, a loading dock and a transit center, all scheduled to be completed next summer. The new dining services area will open in the fall of 2017. In January 2017, services in the existing Union will be temporarily relocated to allow renovation of the student government offices, bookstore, lounge, office spaces and box office. The entire $50 million project will add 60,000 square feet and is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2018.

Croft Institute Building Envelope Corrections

The renovation to the exterior walls of the Croft Institute is ongoing and has been extended due to the deteriorated state of the masonry on the 1853 building. The brick facade on the east side will be fully replaced. The project is expected to be complete later this year.

John W. White Facilities Management Building West Wing Addition

As demands for new buildings increase, so does the need for additional staff. The Department of Facilities Planning is constructing a new addition to the existing Facilities Management Administration Building on Hathorn Road that will include office and departmental spaces for Facilities Planning and the Office of Sustainability. This construction is expected to be complete by January 2017.

Track Facility Restoration

The track facility is getting a brand-new surface after storm drainage issues were corrected. The project involves filling, compacting and stabilizing all sub-soils at the facility. After that, the rubber track will be completely replaced. The project is expected to complete in July.

Jackson Avenue Center Phase II Renovations

The project involves renovating 41,500 square feet in the Jackson Avenue Center, space that was not renovated in 2012. The project will provide a new space for the University Testing Center, three multipurpose rooms, offices and support spaces. New HVAC and electrical systems will be installed and new restrooms will be added. Construction began in April and is expected to be complete in July 2017.

North Parking Garage

A new parking structure will be constructed in the north area of campus behind Kinard Hall. The seven-level parking garage will provide 1,300 additional parking spaces. Work will begin this summer, and the garage is expected to be open in August 2017.

Gillom Women’s Sports Center

The center will undergo interior renovation, which includes new offices, a new volleyball competition area, concessions, a new strength and conditioning facility, a sports medicine suite, ADA upgrades, an elevator, film rooms, spectator restrooms and visitor locker rooms. Work begins this summer and will be completed in the summer of 2017.


Renderings show the interior and exterior looks of the new STEM building, expected to be completed during the 2018-2019 academic year.

Renderings show the interior and exterior looks of the new STEM building, expected to be completed during the 2018-2019 academic year.

STEM Building

Renderings show the interior and exterior looks of the new STEM building, expected to be completed during the 2018-2019 academic year.

Exterior looks of the new STEM building.

Ole Miss received a $25 million lead gift from the Gertrude C. Ford Foundation for construction of a new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Building in the Science District of campus. The building will provide some 207,000 square feet. Due to the extreme size of this project, preparation of the site began before design completion. Preparation included removing the Smith Engineering Science Building, Central Heating Plant and Old Power Plant along All-American Drive. Also, all existing utilities in the area will be relocated. Construction is scheduled to start later this year, with project completion expected in the 2018-2019 academic year.

Oxford-University Stadium (Swayze Field) – Addition and Renovations

Starting this summer, the area behind home plate will be renovated to create a Dugout Club with club seating. A two-story Performance and Operations Center also will be added. Minor renovations along the third base line and outfield terrace also are planned. This work will be done in phases and completed before the 2018 season.

University Avenue Bridge

The University Avenue bridge near Old Taylor Road will be renovated to increase load capacity. During construction, the bridge will remain open to pedestrian traffic and some traffic lanes will be closed periodically throughout construction, but it will remain passable. Work begins this summer.

Garland, Hedleston and Mayes Renovation

These buildings, constructed in 1938 as men’s dormitories, are no longer viable as housing options, but they are appropriate for academic and administrative use. The buildings will be fully renovated, including the replacement of windows, roofs and mechanical, electrical, fire protection and plumbing systems. The space will be reconfigured for the School of Applied Sciences, and a two-story addition will provide classrooms. The north entrance will be updated with a new elevator and stair connector. The south courtyards will be updated with more plaza space with an ADA entrance.

Johnson Commons East Renovation

The east end of Johnson Commons will undergo a full renovation. The upper floor will continue to provide banquet and large meeting spaces. The lower floor, formerly the Department of Human Resources, will be renovated to house the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, Developmental Studies and the Center for Student Success – First Year Experience. Construction will begin this year and is expected to be complete in 2017.

South Campus Recreation Facility and Transportation Hub

The university acquired a 500,000-square-foot manufacturing plant (old Whirlpool plant) on 68 acres on the southwest edge of campus. Portions of the existing building will be repurposed to provide space for fitness activities, departmental offices, classrooms, food service and a hub for Ole Miss Campus Recreation and the Department of Parking and Transportation. Renovations to the exterior will transform the manufacturing plant into an active destination point for student life.

Lyceum Window and Envelope Restoration

The project in the central administration building includes restoration of 172 windows and repairs to the structure’s exterior envelope. Work is to begin this summer and be completed later this fall.

Franklin Wins Berlin Prize, Fellowship in Germany

Author plans to use time to focus on his latest novel

NJL_1749-AYOXFORD, Miss. – Tom Franklin, a celebrated novelist and University of Mississippi associate professor of fiction writing, is a 2016 recipient of the Berlin Prize, which the American Academy in Berlin awards to scholars, writers and artists. The prize includes a semester-long fellowship in Germany.

Franklin, who has taught at UM since 2003, is among 23 recipients of the prize and will begin his fellowship this fall. He will work on a novel, which is currently titled “Country Dark,” about a rural Alabama police officer named Rick Miller who mainly investigates farm-related crimes. While probing a strange animal death, Miller, who is referred to as “The Cow Man,” uncovers something entirely unexpected, including a connection to a cultish church with an interesting past. 

The opportunity to focus on the project is much appreciated, Franklin said.

“The fellowship will give me the greatest gift of all for a writer: time,” Franklin said. “Normally, I teach full-time and direct several master’s of fine arts and Honors College theses. So when I sit down to work here, student stories and novels fill my mind.

“But, at the academy where I won’t have classes to prepare for, student work to read and critique, theses to edit, the only thing, hopefully, filling my mind will be The Cow Man, and whatever’s gone wrong in Buford, Alabama.”

The Berlin Prize is awarded annually to artists, scholars, composers and artists from the United States who represent the highest standards of excellence in their fields. The prize’s fellowship includes a monthly stipend, partial board and accommodations at the academy’s lakeside Hans Arnhold Center in Berlin-Wannsee.

The program is designed to allow recipients the time and resources to step back from their daily obligations to work on projects they might not otherwise be able to pursue. The fellows are urged to work with the academy’s network of professionals and institutions and create connections and lasting transatlantic relationships.

The fellows will use public lectures, concerts, performances and readings, which take place at the academy but also throughout Berlin and Germany, to engage audiences.

Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke and other distinguished Germans and Americans created the American Academy in Berlin in 1994. The intent was to foster greater understanding and relationships between the United States and Germany. The academy is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan center for advanced research in a range of academic and cultural fields.

“We look forward to welcoming another group of outstanding fellows to the academy,” said Gerhard Casper, the institution’s president. “By working with their peers and partner institutions in Berlin and presenting their projects to the public, they will actively contribute to the exchange of ideas between the U.S. and Germany.”

Parking and Traffic Changes this Summer You Should Know About

Construction at the University of Mississippi will be in full swing this summer, affecting parking and traffic in some areas of campus.

Construction at the University of Mississippi will be in full swing this summer, affecting parking and traffic in some areas of campus.

Construction at the University of Mississippi will be in full swing this summer, affecting parking and traffic in some areas of campus.

Here’s a look at the projects that may alter traffic patterns and parking over the coming months:

  • Rebel Drive-Guyton Drive Intersection – The three-way stop sign at Guyton Drive and Fraternity Row will move to Fraternity Row and West Road. Guyton Drive will no longer connect to Fraternity Row after this project is complete. New stop signs will be installed at Rebel Drive and Fraternity Row and at Rebel Drive and the north entrance to Guyton Drive, as well as at the new road going to the back of Kinard Hall (see parking garage item below).
  • Chucky Mullins Drive – Chucky Mullins Drive, beginning at the intersection with West Road, is closed to through traffic for the installation of subsurface utilities and repaving. The project will progress to Fraternity Row. All traffic should use West Road or other routes to avoid closures. The installation and resurfacing is expected to be complete in mid-July.
  • University Avenue Bridge – The University Avenue bridge above Gertrude Ford Boulevard is in need of retrofits to maintain load-carrying capacity. Work is expected to begin this summer, resulting in the temporary closure of Gertrude Ford Boulevard and the reduction of University Avenue traffic to two lanes. Once the project begins, it should be complete in four to six weeks.
  • Turner Center – Two Turner Center parking lots used heavily during construction of The Pavilion will be resurfaced and restriped this summer. Closure notices in the area will be posted before the project begins.
  • STEM Building – Work at the STEM Building construction site behind Shoemaker Hall may cause occasional traffic disruption on All American Drive due to material delivery and connections to subsurface utilities.
  • Student Union – The expansion of the Student Union is underway and work in the area will continue, causing traffic delays and occasional road closures due to material and equipment deliveries.
  • Residential Parking Garage – Phase I of this new parking structure has begun, which includes a new access road to the Upper Kincannon Parking Lot. Phase II begins this month, and the entire project is expected to be completed by the 2017 fall semester.
  • Residence Halls 2 and 3 – These two new residence halls on Rebel Drive will be open for the start of the fall semester. As construction nears completion, expect delays on Rebel Drive for material and equipment delivery.
  • Vaught-Hemingway Stadium North End Zone – This project will continue to affect parking and transit along the north side of the stadium. Work is expected to be complete by the beginning of the fall semester.

New UM Museum Exhibit Highlights Antiquities Collection

Most Greek and Roman artifacts included have not been on display in at least six years

Gods and Men features artifacts from the UM Museum's David M. Robinson permanent collection, such as this sculpture of Emperor Tiberius.

‘Gods and Men’ features artifacts from the UM Museum’s David M. Robinson permanent collection, such as this bust of Emperor Tiberius.

OXFORD, Miss. – Dozens of ancient Greek and Roman artifacts are coming out of the vault for “Gods and Men: Iconography and Identity of the Ancient World,” the newest exhibit at the University of Mississippi Museum, which debuts Tuesday (May 24) with an opening reception.

“Gods and Men” offers a preview of the extent of the David M. Robinson Greek and Roman Antiquities collection, more of which will be on display in the reinstalled Mary Buie wing of the museum.

The opening reception is set for 6-8 p.m. and will be part of the Oxford Arts Crawl. A Greek-themed menu catered by Party Waitin to Happen and Greek-inspired cocktail are available at the reception.

“The UM Museum’s summer exhibition ‘Gods and Men: Iconography and Identity in the Ancient World’ represents a significant moment in the history of the museum’s internationally-renowned Greek and Roman antiquities collections,” Director Robert Saarnio said. “The ‘Gods and Men summer exhibition represents a tip-of-the-iceberg view into the 2,000-object collection and is a perfect opportunity for potential supporters to familiarize themselves with the exceptional range and depth of these university cultural treasures.

“We expect this show to be a catalyst that will deepen the interest of our Oxford and campus communities in new and meaningful ways, as we plan for the exciting future that the reinstallation project represents.”

The temporary exhibit from the permanent collection vault highlights more than 200 artifacts, including terra cotta mythology lamps and figurines, coins, Roman surgical instruments, inscriptions, and sculptural heads and busts. Most of these items have not been on display for at least six years.

These items differ vastly from the Greek and Roman antiquities on regular display, and this exhibit includes narratives and anecdotes with each piece to provide historical context for it.

“This exhibit has been an opportunity to show the diversity of the collection in material and learning potential while also providing a preview of the visual look and reinterpretation that has been in development behind the scenes,” said Melanie Munns, the museum’s antiques collection manager and exhibit curator.

Munns said she hoped by displaying these smaller items along with magnifying glasses, viewers would be encouraged to look more intently at the artifacts.

“What many people don’t realize is that the coins and lamps also contain these rich narratives and beautiful illustrations,” Munns said. “I hoped that by isolating these smaller objects into groups set in wider spaces, that it will encourage viewers to look closer and stay longer.”

Planning for this exhibit has been a universitywide effort. Munns worked closely with the Department of Classics and student interns for three years to study and reinterpret the items in this collection.

UM faculty members Aileen Ajootian, Brad Cook, Jonathan Fenno, Hilary Becker and Jeffrey Becker and students Sarah Sloan, Libby Tyson, Alicia Dixon, Chelsea Stewart, Hali Niles and Zac Creel assisted with research to provide accurate historical context to these pieces.

Sloan, a May graduate from Madison with a bachelor’s degree in English and art history, has interned with the museum for two years to learn collections management, exhibition planning and curating. She assisted in researching, writing text for the artifacts, determining paint colors and organizing the exhibit.

“As an aspiring curator, my experience working on ‘Gods and Men’ has been invaluable,” Sloan said. “While working on ‘Gods and Men,’ I felt like my opinion was valued in the planning of this exhibit and that is something you do not always get with an internship. I feel like my hand was in ‘Gods and Men’ and that is immensely exciting for someone who is just out of undergrad.”

The exhibit includes the technology of an interactive iPad kiosk and would not be possible without the moral and financial support of Friends of the Museum, said Rebecca Phillips, the museum’s coordinator of membership and communications.

All visitors to the exhibit are encouraged to take photos and share them with the hashtag #UMGodsandMen and even take selfies with the bust of the Unknown Roman using hashtag #HadriansJohnDoe

The museum is continuing fundraising efforts for the installation of the Mary Buie wing, which is slated to house more items from the Robinson Collection. The first gallery there will showcase items in the near future as fundraising continues for the rest of the project.

Gifts in support of the reinstallation can be made on the museum’s website.

The museum will also host programs later this summer to highlight the exhibit. Eta Sigma Phi and the Vasari Society will partner with the museum Aug. 19 for a toga trivia night, moderated by Ole Miss art history and classics professors.

On Aug. 24, the museum will host a panel discussion that focuses on the exhibition as well as the permanent collection of Greek and Roman antiquities. Former museum director and retired classics professor Lucy Turnbull will be the guest of honor. Turnbull assisted in moving the Robinson collection from Bondurant Hall to the museum in 1977.

University Museum, at the corner of University Avenue and Fifth Street, is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays. Admission is free to most exhibits. More information about the University Museum and its exhibits can be found at