Honors College Class Explores ‘Who Owns The Past?’

Classics class visits Metropolitan Museum of Art, Christie's and other antiquities sites over spring break

A Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College classics class studying antiquities took an educational trip to New York over spring break.

An Honors College classics class studying antiquities took an educational trip to New York over spring break.

OXFORD, Miss. – A University of Mississippi class focusing on “Who Owns the Past?: Ethics in Archaeology” recently traveled to New York to learn about the financial, legal and political considerations in the ongoing international battle to properly preserve ancient artifacts.

Hilary Becker, a UM assistant professor of classics, teaches the 300-level class made up of Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College students. Over spring break, the class visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fordham Museum of Greek, Etruscan and Roman Art, and Christie’s Department of Ancient Art and Antiquities, among other educational attractions in New York.

“This is an opportunity to look at ethical dilemmas, using current events and case studies involving antiquities and ancient sites,” Becker said. “There are cases like the famous Elgin Marbles that once graced the Parthenon, but they’re in London now. The fact that they’re in London means millions of people can see them each year, but the Greeks think they should be in Athens because they would attract people there, and the marbles are also part of their heritage.”

The Honors College provided funding for the course and the trip. It funded another class this semester, a cinema studies course on New York City in film, which also traveled there during spring break.

The archaeology class’ visit to New York gave students an opportunity to see antiquities and also to explore questions of who can or should “own” these objects and care for them. The sessions in New York, as well as the ongoing class discussions, expose students to the wide range of legal and ethical issues over ownership of cultural heritage.

Preservation issues have recently made global headlines. The terrorist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, is looting artifacts and selling them on the antiquities market and also destroying cultural sites in the process. The money they make from the looting of historically important pieces helps to fund their terrorist operations.

ISIS is only one group responsible for plundering historical sites. Scholars, curators, archaeologists and others are battling this problem by trying to ensure artifacts are scientifically excavated with care to preserve information about the dates and locations in which those pieces were found. This information is often lost when artifacts are illegally and haphazardly removed.

“You can buy a cuneiform tablet through eBay, but it could be that it was looted by ISIS and, very indirectly, you could be funding ISIS,” Becker said. “Everyone agrees we don’t want to fund ISIS. That’s the worst case, but at the very least, if you have an undocumented object without a pedigree, far too often, it was probably looted from some site and it’s now devoid of context. … If you have that object out of context, you lose most of the information about it.”

The class also met with Nancy Wilkie, a professor emerita at Carleton College who serves on the Cultural Property Advisory Committee for the U.S. State Department. The committee advises the president and the State Department about cultural heritage and protects sites and archaeological objects around the world that are at risk of being looted.

Wilkie also gave a public lecture March 25 in Bryant Hall. She discussed looting and efforts to return those objects to their native countries.

The two classes were the fruit of proposals the professors submitted to the Honors College. The first was in 2013 and focused on the 2014 World Cup.

The experiential classes are an excellent opportunity for students, said John Samonds, associate dean of the Honors College. The college’s officials hope to continue funding  special topics courses each semester.

“We want them to engage with the world, not just spectate,” Samonds said. “We try to develop these experiential courses that allow students to grapple with issues, particularly with the classics course. There weren’t just issues of archaeologists taking things from Greece or taking things from Peru 150 years ago and displaying them in other museums. This is going on right now.”

Samantha Lund, a senior from Biloxi majoring in international studies and French, said the class has helped her understand the increasing focus on where artifacts came from, in addition to their actual financial value.

“There are countless unforeseen consequences to the discovery, distribution and legitimization of artifacts that influence a number of aspects of a nation’s identity and reputation,” Lund said. “Both public and private institutions will go to extreme lengths in order to prove legitimate provenance for a particular artifact and also to mediate conflicting claims of property rights.”

Jessie Smith, a sophomore liberal studies major from Jackson, called the trip “unforgettable,” particularly the opportunity to visit Christie’s auction house warehouse. There, the class met with experts from the antiquities department and carefully walked around golden tea sets and other artifacts.

“I’m still in shock that we got to very carefully pass around a small, scarab-shaped piece of carnelian with a soldier carved in intaglio on the other side (circa 500 B.C.),” Smith said. “This experience of holding such amazing and ancient objects in our hands was something that many other trips could never provide. I’m eternally grateful for this opportunity.”

Pharmacy Administration Student Wins ‘Three Minute Thesis’ Challenge

Sujith Ramachandran takes 'Peoples' Choice' award during annual conference in New Orleans

UM pharmacy administration student Sujith Ramachandran (second from left) was one of the winners at the competition at the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools held in New Orleans. He’s congratulated by  Donna West, Christy Wyandt and John Kiss.

UM pharmacy administration student Sujith Ramachandran (second from left) was one of the winners at the competition at the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools held in New Orleans. He’s congratulated by Donna West, Christy Wyandt and John Kiss.

OXFORD, Miss. – A University of Mississippi student’s “Three Minute Thesis” was the audience favorite at the recent Conference of Southern Graduate Schools annual meeting.

Sujith Ramachandran, a pharmacy administration student from India, won the “Peoples’ Choice” award during the competition in New Orleans. Audience members, rather than judges, selected his “Honey, We Drugged the Kids!” as the best and most interesting presentation.

“It was an amazing feeling to be standing up there with the best students from across the South,” Ramachandran said of his honor, which included a $250 cash prize. “I also feel like it was a very good conclusion to my thesis project. My department helped me put all of it together, from the project to the final presentation, and Dean Kiss helped me take it to the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools. So it was a rewarding experience for everyone involved.”

Ramachandran’s entry was based on his master’s thesis project, titled “Determining physician and patient characteristics that predict the use of atypical antipsychotics in children with mental health disorders.”

“It is an attempt to understand physician decision-making in the area of pediatric mental health,” he said. “My thesis is basically an insight into what causes physicians to prescribe new-generation antipsychotics (such as Abilify or Seroquel) to children under the age of 18.”

Twenty-six students from major universities throughout the South competed in the 3MT finals. Each has won his or her university’s title. Ramachandran qualified for the contest by winning the UM competition in November.

UM administrators congratulated Ramachandran on winning the honor.

“The competition was very intense in that the best students from other 26 major schools, such as the University of Virginia, Auburn University and the University of Kentucky, were represented,” said John Kiss, dean of the UM Graduate School. “Sujith’s win also is a testament to the interesting and vibrant graduate programs we are building at our university.”

Provost Morris Stocks said Ramachandran’s honor adds to UM’s reputation for academic rigor.

“Any recognition of UM research, particularly from fellow scientists, speaks to the high caliber of our students and our formidable faculty,” Stocks said. “Mr. Ramachandran’s achievement at the CSGS annual meeting is another bragging point for our already renowned standing as Mississippi’s flagship university.”

Ramachandran, who completed his master’s degree last year, is a doctoral candidate and is working on his dissertation.

“I hope to finish my Ph.D. within the next year or two,” Ramachandran said. “I plan to join the pharmaceutical industry after my graduation, but my long-term goal is to work in the health policy arena to help fix the problems with health care cost and quality.”

The Three Minute Thesis competition celebrates the exciting research conducted by doctoral students. Developed by the University of Queensland, the exercise cultivates students’ academic, presentation and research communication skills. The competition supports their capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a nonspecialist audience.

“Our 3MT program has done a great job of highlighting our graduate level studies as well as promoted interdisciplinary research,” Kiss said.

For more information on the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools, go to http://www.csgs.org/. For more information on the 3MT competition, see http://threeminutethesis.org/index.html.

Teaching Program Fellows Study Education Policy in Nation’s Capital

Spring break trip offers policy perspective for education students

METP fellows in from the of the U.S. Department of Education. The group includes (left to right): Brenna Ferrell of Ocean Springs, Lydia Hall of Madison, Emily Reynolds of Brandon, Kaye Whitfield of Birmingham, Ala, Katianne Middleton of Selma, Ala., James Wheeler of St. Johns, Fla., Abigail Sudduth of Flowood,Shelby Knighten of Gauthier, Ben Logan of Sherman, Kaypounyers Maye of Gulfport, Rachel Parbs of Southaven,, Anna Claire Kelley of Madison,Bella Hutson of Liberty, Jenna Smiley of Meridian and Abigail Null of Corinth.

METP fellows gather in front of the of the U.S. Department of Education. The group includes (left to right): Brenna Ferrell of Ocean Springs, Lydia Hall of Madison, Emily Reynolds of Brandon, Kaye Whitfield of Birmingham, Alabama, Katianne Middleton of Selma, Alabama, James Wheeler of St. Johns, Florida, Abigail Sudduth of Flowood, Shelby Knighten of Gauthier, Ben Logan of Sherman, Kaypounyers Maye of Gulfport, Rachel Parbs of Southaven, Anna Claire Kelley of Madison,Bella Hutson of Liberty, Jenna Smiley of Meridian and Abigail Null of Corinth.

OXFORD, Miss. – Fifteen University of Mississippi sophomores from the Mississippi Excellence in Teaching Program spent spring break in Washington, D.C., getting a close-up view of how education policy is crafted and administered at the national level.

Throughout the 2014-15 academic year, the cohort has studied education policy issues on a variety of levels as part of specialized seminars designed for METP participants, or fellows.

“This year, our goal is to help fellows understand how policy decisions at the national and state level directly impact schools,” said Ryan Niemeyer, the program’s director. “We’re training students to be exceptional educators. This means equipping them with content knowledge and a pedagogical understanding of teaching. But it also means producing educators who recognize how governing bodies operate and how they can have a voice in policy discussions.”

Established in 2012 with nearly $13 million from the Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation in Jackson, METP is one of the nation’s most valuable teacher education scholarships, designed to attract the best and brightest into the field. The program, which has a partner chapter at Mississippi State, includes four years of tuition, room and board, books, study abroad professional development and more.

METP fellows (left to right) Rachel Parbs of Southaven, Bella Hutson of Liberty, Jenna Smiley of Meridian and Shelby Knighten of Gauthier stand in front of the Washington Monument in the District of Columbia.

METP fellows (left to right) Rachel Parbs of Southaven, Bella Hutson of Liberty, Jenna Smiley of Meridian and Shelby Knighten of Gauthier visit the National Mall.

During the trip, fellows toured the U.S. Capitol and met U.S. Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker. The group also visited the U.S. Department of Education, where they met with Melody Musgrove, a Mississippi native who directs the department’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

On the first night, the group spent an evening discussing state and national education policy with Melody and her husband, former Mississippi Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, at their home in the district.

“I thoroughly enjoyed our evening with the Musgroves,” said METP fellow Ben Logan, a Sherman native who is majoring in both mathematics education and public policy leadership. “We gained an interesting perspective when we able to sit and discuss education policy with Gov. and Dr. Musgrove.”

Throughout the group’s stay, they also visited Arlington National Cemetery, Chinatown, Ford’s Theatre, the Library of Congress, the National Mall, multiple Smithsonian exhibits and more.

“We’ve jumped feet-first into education policy issues this year,” said fellow Rachel Parbs, a Southaven native majoring in English education. “So far, this program is going above and beyond my expectations. Our cohort is bonding and we’re getting to travel. I’m really looking forward to what’s next.”

To date, the UM chapter of METP has recruited 32 students from nine states with an average ACT score of 29.1. Each graduate makes a five-year commitment to teach in a Mississippi public school after graduation. Next year, METP plans to take a group abroad to study education issues from an international perspective when the fellows visit multiple countries within the United Kingdom.

“It was so encouraging to meet people who care about education issues and have ideas for the future,” said fellow Brenna Ferrell, an English education major from Ocean Springs. “Each experience we’ve had in the program has made me more excited to enter the classroom and make a difference.”

UM is interviewing applicants for METP’s third cohort, which will enroll this fall.

UM Chemistry Department Modifies Bachelor’s Curriculum

Undergraduate degree program offers traditional and pre-med emphasis

UM chemistry majors (from left) Ashley Williams, Sarah Sutton and Katelyn Allen conduct undergraduate research.

UM chemistry majors (from left) Ashley Williams, Sarah Sutton and Katelyn Allen conduct undergraduate research.

OXFORD, Miss. – The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Mississippi has begun offering two different pathways for students seeking a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.

“Our B.S. in Chemistry degree has been modified to have two tracks for students to choose from,” said Nathan Hammer, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry. “The first option is a traditional chemistry track that prepares students well for graduate school in chemistry or a career in the chemical industry. The second track has a biochemistry emphasis and is specifically designed for students who wish to go on to medical school or graduate school in biochemistry.”

The department has a suggested four-year course outline with electives that count toward the degree and are required for medical school admissions. These requirements are covered by the Medical College Admission Test, or MCAT. The modified degree went into effect this spring.

“Both tracks are certified by the American Chemical Society and are among the most rigorous in the country,” Hammer said.

By modifying its B.S. in Chemistry degree, the department better serves the growing number of pre-med students who wanted a rigorous bachelor’s degree in the physical sciences, he said. These students typically enjoy chemistry, physics and math, but eventually wish to serve others in a medical profession.

“Prior to modifying our B.S. degree, these students had two options,” Hammer said. “The first was to satisfy our previous B.S. (in) Chemistry degree requirements and then take additional biology and biochemistry classes. The second option was to pursue our B.A. (in) Biochemistry degree and supplement it with calculus-based physics, additional advanced math courses and additional advanced chemistry courses.”

Most students opted to pursue the B.S. degree and take additional biochemistry and biology courses. Creating a B.S. in Chemistry degree track incorporates these additional biochemistry courses as well an advanced biology elective.

“We have substituted these courses for other chemistry courses that are useful for a career in chemistry, but not helpful in preparing for the medical profession,” Hammer said. “We have essentially taken what our best and brightest pre-med students have been doing on their own the last few years and crafted a degree that serves them. We have approximately 20 students total that are pursuing the new B.S. (in) Chemistry degree with the biochemistry emphasis. Most of these are pre-med students associated with the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College.”

As a result of the additional students pursuing a B.S. degree each year, more space is needed for physical chemistry and inorganic chemistry laboratories. Coulter Hall’s new research annex includes a state-of-the-art molecular spectroscopy research lab that will serve CHEM 337 classes. CHEM 402 will be moved to a larger room that will be able to serve the larger number of students each year.

Since students in the new emphasis will be receiving a well-rounded chemistry degree, they will be taking courses in every area of chemistry and will have opportunities to take classes from almost every faculty member in the department, Hammer said.

“In their freshman year, they will take two semesters of general chemistry from Greg Tschumper, Steve Davis, Maurice Eftink, Jason Ritchie, Kerri Scott, Murrell Godfrey, John Wiginton, Jim O’Neal or Gerald Rowland,” Hammer said. “Students will take two semesters of organic chemistry in their sophomore year from Dan Mattern, Jared Delcamp or Davita Watkins.”

They will also take a number of advanced classes, including physical chemistry from Hammer, analytical chemistry from Amal Dass and Jim Cizdziel, biochemistry from Susan Pedigo, Randy Wadkins and Mike Mossing, and inorganic chemistry from Ritchie, Jonah Jurss and Walt Cleland.

“Students will also be required to perform original research with a faculty member in chemistry during their senior year, which could be with any research active faculty member,” Hammer said. “For this reason, this new degree track is especially popular with pre-med honors students who can get senior research credit for their honors thesis.”

Charles Hussey, chair and professor of chemistry and biochemistry, is enthusiastic about having two undergraduate degrees within the department.

“The new Bachelor of Science degree with emphasis in biochemistry is more versatile than our existing Bachelor of Arts degree in biochemistry,” he said. “It not only prepares students to compete for postgraduate opportunities in the pre-health professions, but also provides them with a solid foundation in advanced chemistry. With this foundation, they are well equipped for graduate studies in biochemistry as well as the research-based M.D.-Ph.D. programs offered by elite medical schools.”

For more information about the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, visit http://chemistry.olemiss.edu or call 662-915-7301.

33 Campus Construction Projects You Should Know About

Artist rendering for Residence Halls #2 and #3  located at the former site of Guess Hall.

Artist rendering for Residence Halls #2 and #3 at the former site of Guess Hall.

The University of Mississippi campus is constantly improving and growing to accommodate our increasing student population. Over the next few years, several construction projects will enhance student life and transform the campus.

Here’s a list of current and upcoming projects:


Coulter Hall Additions and Renovations

Renovations to Coulter Hall began in 2013 and the four-story east addition includes research laboratory space and support offices. The single-story north addition added a 200-seat auditorium, lobby and food service installation. Two existing laboratories are being renovated and will serve as teachings labs. Construction is estimated to be completed in May 2015.

National Center for Natural Products Research Phase II

This 96,000-square-foot building expansion includes a facility for clinical trials, an expanded botanical specimen repository and laboratories for expanding efforts to discover natural products. The project, funded by several federal grants, began in October 2012 and is virtually complete, pending a few minor items.

Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College Renovation

New addition to Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College is expected to be completed by December 2015.

New addition to Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College is expected to be complete by December 2015.

In March 2014, the renovation and addition on the Honors College began. The 15,695-square-foot addition will add classrooms, study nooks, administrative offices, a conference room and lounge area. The addition is expected to open by December 2015. Existing facilities will also be renovated after the addition is completed.

Music Hall West Wing Renovation

The west wing of the music building is getting a complete renovation, which includes a new porch for receptions and events, new facades, new entrance, a renovation of mechanical systems in the west and south wings and minor HVAC modifications in the Nutt Auditorium. Construction is estimated to be complete by May 2015.

Parking Garage

The university broke ground in 2013 on the new five-story parking garage next to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Construction is ongoing on the facility, which includes 829 parking spots. Reservations are available for spots for faculty and staff. The cost is $500 annually and selections will be made on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Pavilion at Ole Miss

Construction of the much-anticipated multipurpose arena is well underway. The new arena will includes seating for 9,500 fans, a student concourse, courtside seating, 1,500 premium seats and other amenities. It is expected to be completed for SEC basketball play at the beginning of 2016.

Artist rendering of residence hall currently under construction located on Northgate Drive between Crosby Hall and Northgate Apartments.

Artist rendering of residence hall under construction on Northgate Drive between Crosby Hall and Northgate Apartments.

Residence Hall 1

The new Student Housing building on Northgate Drive is a four-story building that will look much like Burns Hall. The building will accommodate 304 beds and should be ready for occupation by August 2015.This new residence hall, not yet named, is between Crosby Hall and Northgate Apartments.

Alpha Delta Pi House

The chapter broke ground in September 2014 on a new sorority house for Alpha Delta Pi on Rebel Drive. The chapter returned to campus in 2013, and this is the first new sorority house built on campus since the 1970s. The 18,790-square-foot house is expected to be completed by August 2015.

Residence Halls 2 & 3

Enrollment is steadily growing and so is housing. At the former site of Guess Hall on Rebel Drive, the university is building two new five-story residence halls to house 624 students. Demolition of Guess Hall finished earlier this year, and the new buildings have an estimated opening date of August 2016.

Vaught Hemingway South End Zone

An expansion of the south end zone is underway, adding 30 luxury suites and 770 club-level seats. This work is expected to be completed by the beginning of the 2015 football season. The west skyboxes are also undergoing interior renovations to improve safety and comfort. The existing seats in each of the 48 suites will be replaced, in addition to exterior sliding windows, ceilings and furniture. The public areas will get new paint and carpet.

Manning Center Practice Fields

The Manning Center practice field will receive minor renovations in the coming months, including new lights and touchups around the area.


Fraternity Drive/Rebel Drive Connection

The area where Rebel Drive meets Fraternity Row will soon change. A new road addition will extend Rebel Drive to Fraternity Row behind Guyton Hall. The street in front of Guyton, now part of Rebel Drive, will be renamed Guyton Place. This project is expected to begin later this semester and completed by August 2015.

Storm Water Corrections

Construction on Coulter Hall is estimated to be completed in May 2015.

Construction on Coulter Hall is estimated to be completed in May 2015.

The underground storm water collection system on Hill Drive near the track facility will be corrected beginning after May commencement. Problems with the underground drainage system have created issues at the track facility. The entire drainage system in that area will be replaced, with work expected to be completed by August 2015.

Student Union Expansion

After May Commencement ceremonies, the university will begin a four-year, $50 million renovation to the Ole Miss Student Union. The renovation and expansion will include a larger dining area, new student government offices, a ballroom and conference space, among other amenities. This will increase the building’s size from 97,000 square feet to 157,000 square feet. The expansion will encompass the loading dock area and parking lot. During the expansion, the existing food court will remain open. When the expansion portion is completed in about two years, a new food court will open and the existing one will close. Student Union Drive will remain open during the project, though at times it may be reduced to one lane. The entire project is expected to be completed by May 2019.

University Avenue Bridge

This summer, the University Avenue bridge near Old Taylor Road will be renovated to increase its load capacity. The bridge will remain open to pedestrian traffic and some lanes will be periodically closed throughout construction to vehicular traffic, but it will remain passable. Work is expected to be complete by August 2015.

Kennon Observatory Bus Stop

The bus stop area near Kennon Observatory will be renovated to better handle bus transportation. The renovations will accommodate growth in the transit system and provide a central campus location for drop-offs and pick-ups. The project is expected to be complete by August 2015.

Croft Institute Renovation

Following May Commencement, the Croft Institute will undergo exterior renovations to its brick facades. It is expected to be complete by October 2015.

Physical Plant Department West Addition

In efforts to keep up with a growing campus, the Physical Plant is adding space for its growing staff. A new 5,000-square-foot building will be added to the existing Physical Plant Administration Building and will include additional office and departmental space for the Department of Facilities Planning. This projected will begin in August 2015 and is expected to be complete by May 2016.

Track Facility Restoration

Once storm drainage corrections near the track facility are completed, the track will get a brand new surface. The stands and existing building will remain. This project is expected to begin in September 2015 and be complete by March 2016.

Jackson Avenue Center Phase II Renovations

This project includes renovation of approximately 41,500 square feet of the 95,000-square-foot Jackson Avenue Center (old Wal-mart). This is the remaining area of the building that was not renovated in the 2012 project. The renovation project will provide a new location for the University Testing Center, multipurpose rooms, office space and support spaces. New HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems will be provided, and new restrooms will be constructed to accommodate the occupation of this area. The project will begin in September 2015 and expected completion is May 2016.


Vaught Hemingway North Addition

The north end zone will look completely different by the start of the 2016 football season. Construction will begin in December 2015 and the entire section will be bowled-in with a brick facade. A new scoreboard, measuring 109 feet wide by 49 feet tall, will be installed, and two smaller scoreboards, 30-by-50-feet each, will be added to the south end zone. The addition will increase stadium capacity by about 5,500 seats.

Johnson Commons East Renovation

Johnson Commons East building will receive a full exterior and interior renovation. The upper floor will continue to be used for banquet and large meeting spaces. The lower floor, formerly Human Resources Department, will be renovated to house the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Construction is anticipated to begin in spring 2016 and be complete by spring 2017.

South Campus Recreation Facility

To accommodate a growing student body, Campus Recreation plans to build a new facility. The South Campus Recreation Facility, near Whirlpool Trails, will include renovating the old Whirlpool factory building to house about 100,000 square feet of recreation space unique to Ole Miss. This area will also include a transportation hub and parking services.

New Science Building

Last year, Ole Miss received a $20 million lead gift from the Gertrude C. Ford Foundation for a new science building. The $100 million building will be added along Science Row between University Avenue and All American Drive, with construction expected to begin in early 2016 and be complete by August 2018. The building will include about 200,000 square feet for research and education efforts.

Chucky Mullins Drive Roundabout

Construction will begin on a roundabout to improve traffic flow on Chucky Mullins Drive in May 2016. It is expected to be complete by August 2016.

Garland, Hedleston and Mayes Renovation

Garland, Hedleston and Mayes halls were built in 1938 as men’s dormitories. These three Neo-Georgian buildings sit empty in the west-central part of campus. They are strong examples of their architectural style, but housing needs have changed, and their low floor-to-floor heights and tight structural bay sizes make them unsuitable for modern needs. Although not viable for housing, they remain appropriate for academic or administrative use. While the interiors have deteriorated, they are structurally sound. The project will completely replace the mechanical, electrical, fire protection and plumbing systems and reconfigure the space to support the needs of the School of Applied Sciences.

Gillom Center Expansion

In the planning stages, this project will eventually yield an expanded Gillom Sports Center Complex.


The University Museum is working on repairs to Rowan Oak and the Walton Young House. Rowan Oak will be repainted in areas and undergo some exterior repairs. The Walton Young House will also be repainted. Roofs will be replaced on both the National Center for Physical Acoustics and the Turner Center, and the ventilation system will be renovated in Meek Hall. All these projects are underway.

UM Student Media, Students Score Big at Journalism Conference Awards

Group wins Onsite Championship Team category for fourth time in five years

University of Mississippi print and broadcast journalism students proudly display awards won at the Southeast Journalism Conference competition.

University of Mississippi print and broadcast journalism students proudly display awards won at the Southeast Journalism Conference competition.

OXFORD, Miss. – Winning top honors in several categories, University of Mississippi journalism students dominated the annual Southeastern Journalism Conference competitions.

The weekend conference, hosted by Georgia State University in Atlanta, had two separate awards ceremonies. Best of the South awards honored student work published or broadcast from November 2013 through November 2014. Onsite competitions involved students working on deadline in 17 categories.

Combined, UM students won 26 honors. Ole Miss also placed first in the Onsite Championship Team category for the fourth time in five years.

“We are so proud of our students,” said Patricia Thompson, Student Media Center director and assistant professor of journalism. “They devote many hours each week to their work, and winning awards is nice recognition for their dedication.”

Onsite competition first-place winners were Cady Herring of Olive Branch for photography, Sierra Mannie of Canton for op-ed writing (read her winning piece at http://thedmonline.com/field-of-schemes/), Ellen Whitaker of Vicksburg for design, and the team of Suduhamsu Upadhyay of Oxford and Gabriel Austin Crystal Springs for television reporting.

Second-place onsite winners were Sarah Parrish of Mandeville, Louisiana, for copy editing, Payton Green of Pascagoula, for current events and Shawna (Mackenzie) Hicks of Athens, Alabama, for ethics. Lacey Russell of Tupelo won an honorable mention for feature writing.

In Best of the South, first-place winners included Upadhyay (best TV journalist), Adam Ganucheau of Hazelhurst (best special event reporter/editor for coverage of the James Meredith statue incident) and Herring (best press photographer).

“This means that Sudu and Cady, both sophomores, picked up first-place awards in both Best of the South and onsites,” Thompson said.

Taking second place were Clara Turnage of New Hebron (best feature writer) and Miriam Cresswell of Grenada (best journalism research paper).

Third-place winners are Lacey Russell of Tupelo (best news writer), Allison Moore of Brentwood, Tennessee (best news layout designer), Dylan Rubino of Tuscaloosa, Alabama (best sports writer), and NewsWatch (best college video).

NewsWatch placed fourth as best TV station. Other fourth-place finalists were Ian Cleary of Brandon (best editorial cartoonist) and Gabriel Austin of Crystal Springs (best TV news reporter). Sixth-place winners include Browning Stubbs of Memphis (best multimedia journalist), Amy Hornsby of Starkville (best advertising staff member) and The Daily Mississippian (best college newspaper and the only daily that won in this category).

Kendyl Noon of Bellaire, Texas, won ninth-best for TV feature reporter. TheDMonline.com won 10th place as best college website.

Judges chose from 523 entries from 33 universities in the Best of the South contest.

UM administrators extended their congratulations to Thompson, journalism faculty and the students.

“When our students are competing against students from other Southeastern universities on deadline and winning more awards than other students, I conclude that the adviser of the Student Media Center and the faculty are doing a good job of preparing these students to be media professionals,” said Will Norton, dean of the Meek School of Journalism and New Media. “My congratulations to the students, their professors and the adviser of the Student Media Center.”

Provost Morris Stocks concurred.

“Congratulations to Pat Thompson and her students,” Stocks said. “She has made the Student Media Center a model for the rest of the Southeastern schools.”

For more information about the Meek School of Journalism and New Media, visit http://www.meek.olemiss.edu.

Pharmacy Students Accept Johns Hopkins Internships

Experience offers chance to make hospitalwide effect on patient care

Rachel Lowe (left), Dean David D. Allen and Kelsey Stephens

Rachel Lowe (left), Dean David D. Allen and Kelsey Stephens

OXFORD, Miss. – Two University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy students have received and accepted summer internship offers from The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.

Kelsey Stephens, from Greenwood, and Rachel Lowe, of Memphis, Tennessee, both in their second professional year of pharmacy school, will participate in the Johns Hopkins Pharmacy Internship Program, which accepts fewer than 20 students annually. Johns Hopkins Hospital is consistently ranked as one of the leading health care institutions worldwide.

Stephens was encouraged to apply for the internship by Mary-Haston Leary, a third-year professional student who completed the program last summer. Stephens said the internship will provide an irreplaceable learning experience.

“This internship will not only provide me with an unforgettable learning opportunity, but will also help me develop into a more well-rounded future health care provider through personal and professional growth,” Stephens said.

Following a lengthy application process, Stephens received the call in February that she had been accepted into the Education Training and Personal Development internship, which will be located on-site at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The Education Division of the Department of Pharmacy trains and provides ongoing educational support regarding new policies, practices and drug therapies to the pharmacy staff.

As an intern, Stephens will assist with rotations, training, continuing education and staff development.

David Gregory, the pharmacy school’s associate dean for academic affairs, wrote a letter of recommendation on Stephens’ behalf. He said she has proven herself “time and time again” in both leadership and academics.

“Kelsey has been consistent in her commitment to practice in a clinical setting with a focus on research that improves patient care,” Gregory said. “She is dedicated to the profession, and I have no doubt that she will excel in this program.”

Lowe said she knew she wanted to expose herself to additional areas of pharmacy after interning at Walgreens last summer. She will be interning in the hospital’s Investigational Drug Services Department, where she will assist with dispensing investigational drugs, counsel research subjects, manage drug returns and summarize protocols and federal regulations for clinical drug trials.

Lowe said she is thrilled about the opportunity to be mentored by “experienced and brilliant pharmacists and staff” at Johns Hopkins. She said her experience at the UM pharmacy school has allowed her to develop and prepare for this internship.

“The School of Pharmacy truly fosters growth and excellence in each of its students,” she said. “The staff gives its time to further our education and development, and I am grateful to the faculty and the deans for their commitment to interacting with and encouraging students in all of their endeavors.”

John Bentley, pharmacy administration professor and Lowe’s faculty adviser, wrote one of her recommendation letters.

“Rachel is a scholar, a servant leader, a committed member of the pharmacy profession and a person of high integrity,” Bentley said. “She is an individual who learns for the sake of learning – to improve herself and to help others. I have been very impressed with her work ethic, her high standards and her willingness to go well above and beyond the basic requirements of pharmacy school.”

Both Lowe and Stephens will participate in weekly journal clubs, pharmacist and resident discussions, continuing education and individual research projects. They will also be able to shadow pharmacists in any specialty area of their choosing.

The internships begin June 1 and conclude July 31.

Frizzell Named to SEC Community Service Team

Second consecutive honor for Ole Miss junior

Ole Miss Women's Basketball vs Alabama on January 11th, 2015 in Oxford, MS.

Ole Miss Women’s Basketball vs Alabama on January 11th, 2015 in Oxford, MS.

BIRMINGHAM— Ole Miss junior Gracie Frizzell (Little Rock, Arkansas) was named to the SEC Community Service Team it was announced on Thursday by the Southeastern Conference office. It is the second consecutive year the Little Rock, Arkansas native has represented Ole Miss on the team.

Frizzell and her teammates have taken the idea of service to new heights this season and spent lots of time in the fall volunteering throughout the greater Oxford and Lafayette county communities.

Along with her teammates Frizzell has done Reading With the Rebels, an annual program that takes place in conjunction with Ole Miss’ student-athlete development area, going into elementary schools in Oxford-Lafayette County and reading to elementary school classes to promote education and literacy. Frizzell has also teamed her teammates to play bingo and other games with residents at Oxford’s Graceland Care Center while also spending an afternoon in the fall helping to build walls on a house under construction with the Oxford – Lafayette County Chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Frizzell and her teammates, in conjunction with the Ole Miss athletic department, helped with tornado relief efforts for Columbus, Miss, which was hit with deadly tornadoes over the holiday. Frizzell’s dedication to service also extends to the summer months as she helped with basketball clinics with the Horizons Learning Program on the Ole Miss campus, to promote summer learning and retention for local Oxford youth.

This marks the 17th year for the SEC Community Service Team for women’s basketball as well as for men’s basketball. All league-sponsored sports have had a Community Service Team since 2004, with at-large teams for men’s and women’s sports being chosen from 1999-2003. The SEC began this concept with a football Community Service Team in 1994.

Honorees from other institutions include: Nikki Hegstetter, Alabama; Joey Bailey, Arkansas; Tra’Cee Tanner, Auburn; Brooke Copeland, Florida; Erika Ford, Georgia; Bria Goss, Kentucky; Ann Jones, LSU; Savannah Carter, Mississippi State; Morgan Eye, Missouri; Elem Ibiam, South Carolina; Cierra Burdick, Tennessee; Tori Scott, Texas A&M; Kendall Shaw, Vanderbilt.

Ole Miss closes out the regular-season home schedule tonight against LSU at 6 p.m. The team will honor seniors Tia Faleru, Danielle McCray and Amber Singletary. The Rebels close out the regular season on Sunday with a trip to Starkville to take on the No. 11/13 Mississippi State Bulldogs. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m., and will be broadcast on Fox Sports Net.

For women’s basketball ticket information, go to OleMissTix.com or call the Ole Miss Ticket Office at 1-888-REB-TKTS (732-8587).

For all Ole Miss women’s basketball news and information, go to OleMissSports.com, and follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissWBB, Facebook at Ole Miss WBB and on Instagram at Ole Miss_WBB.   Fans can also follow Ole Miss women’s basketball head coach Matt Insell on Twitter at @minsell.

Fantastic Fantasia Coming to Ford Center

'American Idol' and Grammy winner expected to wow her UM fans with March 5 show

Fantasia ford center ole miss university of mississippi the color purple grammy award r&b pop black alumni reunion american idol ticket box office

Fantasia will perform at the Ford Center on March 5 at 7:30 p.m. Photo courtesy of Fantasia.

OXFORD, Miss. – As University of Mississippi electrical engineering student Michael Simeon continues to rise on the popular “American Idol” competition show, former winner Fantasia Barrino is preparing to perform on the Ole Miss campus.

The Grammy-winning singer and third season winner of “American Idol” performs March 5 at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets range from $75 to $100 for the general public, but a 25 percent discount is available. UM student tickets are $30.

Fantasia is renowned for her charismatic, energetic style onstage that is rooted in the traditions of gospel music. The North Carolina native takes her audiences to church even when she’s singing her own R&B/pop hits or those made famous by others. Add in some colorful costumes, lighting and stage moves and concert-goers get a memorable evening of entertainment.

“The American Idol who went on to become a best-selling recording artist and acclaimed Broadway star in the musical ‘The Color Purple’ will kick off the Black Alumni Reunion weekend in style with her 7:30 p.m. performance,” said Julian Gilner, assistant director of alumni affairs. “Knowing how Fantasia performs, it should be a fantastic show!”

To purchase tickets, go to http://olemissboxoffice.universitytickets.com/user_pages/event.asp?id=287 or call the UM Box Office at 662-915-7412. To buy online, users must create an account or log in to see the seating chart. At checkout, use the coupon code BAR2015 to receive a 25 percent discount.

Panhellenic Community Donates $40,000 to Baptist Memorial Hospital

Check to be presented Feb. 23 during Lady Rebels game

ole miss university of mississippi panhellenic donates community breast cancer CARE walk lady rebs basketball check baptist memorial hospital $40k greeklife

Members of the Oxford-Lafayette community and Panhellenic sororities participate in C.A.R.E. Walk 2014.

OXFORD, Miss. – When it comes to leadership and service, members of the University of Mississippi’s Greek community consistently demonstrate both. Such will again be the case Feb. 23 when the Lady Rebels host the University of Kentucky Lady Wildcats.

During the 6 p.m. game at the C.M. “Tad” Smith Coliseum, UM Panhellenic community representatives will present a $40,000 check to Baptist Memorial Hospital officials for breast cancer research. This was an increase from their $30,000 donation in 2013. The money was raised through donations from local businesses, Panhellenic sororities and those who participated in the Panhellenic Council Cancer Awareness Research and Eradication, or C.A.R.E., Walk in September 2014.

“This as a great way to showcase the work of the students giving back to their local community,” said Jenell Lanski, UM coordinator of Greek affairs. “Students, council officers and chapter community service chairs will be presenting the check to Baptist during halftime.”

Hospital officials said they are grateful for the Greeks’ generosity.

“The Ole Miss Panhellenic Council has been a great contributor to the Baptist Cancer Center over the years, and this year is no exception,” said Peter Dilatush, director of oncology at Baptist Cancer Center-North Mississippi. “These funds will go so far in fighting against breast cancer here in Oxford and the surrounding communities, and we are honored to be associated with such a great cause.”

The marketing and fan experience division is excited about the continued growth of its breast cancer awareness women’s basketball game and the partnership with Baptist, said Jason List, UM assistant athletics director.

“Over the past decade, breast cancer awareness initiatives in sports have really taken off, especially in collegiate women’s basketball,” List said. “To be able to work with such a terrific supporter in Baptist Hospital on a cause that has affected virtually everyone is not only enjoyable, but important.”

For more about fraternity and sorority life at the UM, call the Office of the Dean of Students at 662-915-7248 or visit http://www.olemiss.edu/greeks.