Toyota Wellspring Scholarships Available for UM Summer Camp Programs

Middle and high school students in Lee, Pontotoc and Union counties encouraged to apply

Several UM summer camps for middle and high school students, including ones focusing on engineering and STEM fields, have been chosen for the 2017 Toyota Wellspring Education Scholarship fund. The scholarships will pay full costs for select academic summer camps on the Oxford campus for students who attend public schools in Lee, Pontotoc and Union counties. UM photo by Bobby Steele

OXFORD, Miss.­­­ – Sixth- through 12th-grade students who attend public schools in Lee, Pontotoc and Union counties can take advantage of special scholarships that will pay all costs associated with attending select University of Mississippi summer camps this year.

“We are so happy to see local students receive scholarships that will help them expand their knowledge and future opportunities during these various summer camps,” said Ellen Shelton, UM director of pre-college programs.

Numerous weeklong camps offered on the Oxford campus by the Office of Pre-College Program have been approved for 2017 funding by the Toyota Wellspring Education Scholarship Committee at the Northeast Mississippi CREATE Foundation.

“The Toyota Wellspring Committee believes that summer camps can provide important enhancement in the educational process,” CREATE President Mike Clayborne said.

Interested students can use the funding to attend one-week overnight camps on the Ole Miss campus. Some programs have an application fee of $25.

The scholarship will provide full funding for students interested in attending the university’s Engineering Camp, STEM Camp for Girls, “Summer Days of Intrigue” Intelligence Studies Camp, Environmental Leadership Camp, CSI Camp, “Code Monkeys” Camp, Rebel Chefs Cooking Camp and Theatre Camp.

Students also can receive the scholarship if they choose to attend the UM Summer Academy ACT Prep, Debate or Introduction to Engineering sessions. Summer Academy is a two-week residential experience on campus.

These particular camps where chosen for scholarship funds because the special emphasis areas can help students master areas such as career exploration, science, creativity, presenting, time management, design and problem solving

“The Toyota Wellspring funding will allow students to learn more about an area that they might not have access to at their schools,” Shelton said. “These scholarships help cover costs for families and provide students with an academic experience on the University campus that is fun and enriching.”

Interested students can visit the pre-college programs summer camps website at http://www.olemiss.edu/precollege for camp dates and more information. Students are asked to complete a program scholarship application and indicate Toyota Wellspring Scholarship on that form.

Faculty, Students Prepare for Learning Adventures Across the Country

StudyUSA program participants take courses in a variety of cities this summer

University of Mississippi students joined biology professor Erik Hom and education professor Renee Cunningham for a StudyUSA Biology course taught in Hawaii over the 2017 Wintersession. The StudyUSA program has a full course schedule of travel learning experiences for UM students and faculty members coming up this summer. Submitted photo

OXFORD, Miss.­­ – This summer, University of Mississippi students will be eyewitnesses to the raising of Tappan Zee bridge in New York City, meeting with Pulitzer Prize-winning staff at The Washington Post and visiting Google’s headquarters in California.

These are just a few of the learning adventures that students have opportunities to experience when they enroll in a StudyUSA course during UM summer school sessions.

“My StudyUSA experience is hands-down one of the best things I have ever been a part of,” said Jontae Warren, a UM junior majoring in pharmacy. “I never would have thought I would get a chance to do scientific research in Hawaii with my professors.”

Warren, of Booneville, took part in Biology 380: Hawaiian STEAM: Microbes, Symbiosis and Culture in Honolulu during the recent Wintersession. Led by Erik Hom, UM assistant professor of biology, and Renee Cunningham, assistant professor of education, the class journeyed throughout the island of Oahu collecting and processing samples in hopes of finding new species and developments.

“It truly was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to do something like this,” Warren said.

Housed in the UM Division of Outreach and Continuing Studies, the StudyUSA program is designed to give faculty and students opportunities to learn about an academic subject firsthand outside the traditional classroom setting. These short-term domestic travel classes are typically offered during the university’s summer, winter and intersession terms. Ole Miss students can explore the United States while earning college course credit to use toward graduation requirements.

Several new classes are on the StudyUSA schedule for summer 2017. During May intersession, Chris Mullen, associate professor of civil engineering, will lead Engineering 497 to study bridge structures in New York City.

The class will meet on the Oxford campus May 17-19 and then travel to New York May 21-26. While there, students will meet with experts concerning the art and science of bridge design. They will also learn about construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of the Big Apple’s most famous bridges when they visit the Brooklyn Bridge, the George Washington Bridge and the new Tappan Zee Bridge.

The 2016 election cycle and inauguration of a new president provides plenty of material for Marvin King’s StudyUSA course POL 389: Political Media, taking place May 21-26 in Washington, D.C.

“I’m hoping this class will help students gain a better understanding of how politics and journalism intersect,” said King, associate professor of political science. “They will have the opportunity to meet with media who cover our government in real time.

“Students can gain a greater understanding of the pressure journalists and politicians are both under when dealing with the public.”

Jontae Warren (left), from Booneville, combed the island of Oahu, Hawaii, collecting and processing plant and animal samples during UM’s 2017 Wintersession as part of the StudyUSA program. Submitted photo

In June, Jennifer Sadler will lead the new course IMC 353: Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship in San Francisco and the Silicon Valley. Students will learn about digital marketing tools and strategies while meeting with entrepreneurs and start-up business leaders to explore business development and digital marketing.

This program is for students majoring in integrated marketing communications, journalism or business, those minoring in entrepreneurship, and anyone interested in these fields.

“I hope this class will give students a broad worldview and help them to expand their network,” said Sadler, an instructor in integrated marketing communications. “We are planning visits to Google and Facebook headquarters and will be learning more about community action plans and partnerships.”

Also new this summer in the StudyUSA program lineup will be Writing 399: Travel Writing in Austin, Texas, set for Aug. 1-7. While visiting some of the city’s popular and off-the-beaten-path attractions, writing and rhetoric instructor Jeanine Rauch will teach students to apply a range of rhetorical methods for conveying their travels through the written word. Students will spend time gathering ideas, writing and recording their experiences.

A variety of courses for various majors and interests are being offered this summer. The full summer 2017 UM StudyUSA course listing can be found at http://www.outreach.olemiss.edu/studyusa.

Scholarships are available. The application deadline for summer 2017 classes is April 6.

UM-DeSoto Graduate’s Career Soars

Alumna manages inventory accounting for Endeavor Air

Heather Gatzke

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. – After earning her degree in finance from the University of Mississippi at DeSoto Center-Southaven, Heather Gatzke’s career has reached great heights.

The 2011 graduate works for Endeavor Air as a manager of inventory accounting. Her journey with the airline began while she was still in school at UM-DeSoto.

“While I attended UM-DeSoto, I worked for Memphis-based Pinnacle Airlines as an aircraft parts buyer,” Gatzke said. “About six weeks before I graduated, a financial analyst position opened and I applied. I was offered the position and started in early September of 2011.”

From there, Gatzke began to climb the corporate ladder at Pinnacle, which became Endeavor Air after being purchased by Delta Air Lines.

“In May 2013, Delta relocated our corporate offices to Minneapolis,” she said. “Prior to the relocation, I was offered the position of manager of revenue, which I held until January of 2016, when I transitioned to the manager of inventory accounting.”

With initial plans to attend pharmacy school, Gatzke hadn’t always considered a degree in finance. After receiving her associate degree in business from Northwest Mississippi Community College, she experienced the deaths of two grandparents and an uncle.

Gatzke made the difficult decision to take a break from school and reevaluate her goals.

By the time she was ready to go back to school, UM-DeSoto officially offered the finance program. She was able to take advantage of the 2+2 partnership with NWCC.

“Through research and lengthy discussions with friends, I decided that the degree in finance from Ole Miss was the best fit for me,” Gatzke said.

Gatzke thrived in the finance program. She said the material she learned was excellent in terms of its application to the real world. She became close to faculty mentors, one of which was clinical assistant professor of finance Lynn Kugele.

Her professors had “very high expectations” and were “eager to share their knowledge,” she said.

Gatzke said she was honored to earn the Outstanding Graduate in Finance designation that year.

“My entire academic career was as a nontraditional student, attending classes at night, on weekends and online,” she said. “I put a lot of pressure on myself to obtain a certain GPA. All I did for three years was go to work during the day and go to class at night. If I wasn’t at class I was studying or doing homework.

“Graduating summa cum laude was already enough of an honor. It just proves how hard work and dedication can pay off.”

Kugele applauds both Gatzke’s academic and career successes.

“Heather is easily one of the most outstanding finance students we have had at Ole Miss-DeSoto,” she said. “Her career path upon graduating is exactly what we hope will happen for our graduates: a move into the field of their choice and continued opportunities to move up.

“The combination of Heather’s work ethic and an Ole Miss finance degree gave her the credentials she needed to start that move up the corporate ladder. Though Heather is in Minneapolis now, we have kept in touch and get to visit in person when she comes home to visit family.”

Gatzke encourages other students to consider pursuing a finance degree and a “quality education” at UM-DeSoto. She plans to further her education by pursuing an MBA in the future.

For more information about finance and the University of Mississippi’s regional campus in Southaven, visit http://www.olemiss.edu/desoto.

UM-DeSoto to Host Informational Events for NWCC Students

Regional campus staff aims to assist students with enrollment in a bachelor's degree program

UM-DeSoto partners with Northwest Mississippi Community College to help students finish their bachelor’s degrees. The campus is hosting two events in March to assist students with the enrollment process. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. – Northwest Mississippi Community College students who plan to transfer into a University of Mississippi bachelor’s degree-completion program are invited to two upcoming events at the university’s Southaven regional campus.

The first event, 2+2 Transfer Day, is slated for 10 a.m.-noon and 3-5 p.m. March 8 in the lobby of the NWCC DeSoto Center at 5197 W.E. Ross Parkway. Students will have a chance to sit down with advisers from all the campus’ degree programs, visit with financial aid and admissions staff, and enjoy refreshments while they are helped through the enrollment process.

“Transferring can be overwhelming, and 2+2 Transfer Day aims to simplify it,” said Blake Bostick, admissions counselor for the regional campus. “The event is a ‘one-stop shop’ for students to learn about degree programs, financial aid, admissions and anything else they need to know about transferring to the University of Mississippi-DeSoto.”

Additionally, during NWCC’s spring break, students can take advantage of “Catch a Break.” For one week only, application fees are waived for students who complete an admissions application for the UM-DeSoto campus.

To participate in Catch a Break, students should visit the main office at the DeSoto Center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week of March 13-17, meet with an admissions counselor to go over their transcript, and complete an application for summer or fall 2017.

“By attending these events, we hope students will gain a better understanding of the opportunities available at Ole Miss-DeSoto,” Bostick said.

NWCC graduating sophomores, as well as freshmen, are encouraged to attend both events. For more details or for general information about UM-DeSoto, visit http://www.outreach.olemiss.edu/desoto/.

University to Host Open House for 2017 K-12 Summer Camp Options

Locals invited to stop by Feb. 7 for info about variety of academic summer programs available

RebelQuest participants watch as a counselor tests one of their Lego bridges by loading the structure with water bottles to determine how much weight it can bear. The Office of Pre-College Programs will host an open house 4-6 p.m. Feb. 7 at the Yerby Conference Center so parents can learn more about the more than 20 academic summer camp options available to K-12 students in a variety of subjects and formats. UM photo by Larry Agostinelli

OXFORD, Miss.­­­ – Summer activities for school-age children are a hot topic this time of year as parents look to secure spots and decide on the best camp options for their children.

Local parents can get a head start on planning a fun academic experience for their children this summer when the University of Mississippi Office of Pre-College Programs hosts an open house Tuesday (Feb. 7) at the E.F. Yerby Auditorium.

The come-and-go event is set for 4 to 6 p.m. Camp directors and staff will be on hand to answer questions about the 20 different academic camps taking place at Ole Miss this summer for rising first- through 12th-grade students. Information will also be provided concerning costs, financial aid and payroll deduction options.

Anna Sayre, of Oxford, recently registered her 9-year-old daughter Nora for the university’s popular Rebel Quest weekly camps available for three age groups of elementary school children.

“I wanted my daughter to have a fun learning experience this summer,” Sayre said. “It is convenient for her to be on campus so close to my office, and the weekly camp options were reasonably priced. I think the variety and different subject matters will keep learning interesting for her over the summer.”

The camps provide opportunities for both academic and personal development for K-12 students.

The goal of these on-campus summer academic programs and camps is to bridge the gap between secondary and post-secondary education for area youth. Children have opportunities to develop skills and garner interest in a variety of academic areas.

“There can be this learning gap that takes place in the summer months,” said Matthew DeLoach, director of student services for UM Pre-College Programs. “That’s why these summer academic exploring opportunities are so important.”

CSI Summer Camp participants photograph and document a body in a staged crime scene as well at gathering data on other evidence at the University of Mississippi. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

Along with Rebel Quest for younger ages, a variety of week and monthlong camps are offered for middle and high schoolers to sharpen their skills in a number of areas, including creative writing, ecology, engineering, math and theater.

Resume and transcript-building options also are available for high school students preparing for college.

The UM Summer College for High School Students provides an opportunity to enroll in six hours of college credit courses while developing friendships and independence. Session one is offered May 30-June 27, with session following on June 29-July 28.

As with all programs for middle and high school students offered by the Office of Pre-College programs, students have the option to stay on-campus or commute to campus during the sessions.

For more information about the variety of summer youth program opportunities, stop by on Feb. 7 or visit http://www.outreach.olemiss.edu/summercamps.

UM Communiversity Classes Offer Variety of Enrichment Activities

Several new options this spring to include Latin dancing and sushi making

Dance instructor Arman Sahakyan will lead a four-week course in ‘Ballroom and Latin Dance with Arman’ at the Turner Center as part of the spring Communiversity lineup.

OXFORD, Miss.­­­ – Trying something new this spring might be the spark that energizes you for the new year, and the University of Mississippi Communiversity program has a great lineup of classes ready to help you explore new subjects and hobbies.

A full slate of enrichment course opportunities are scheduled this spring to help participants learn more about technology, healthy living, baking, floral design, landscaping and more. The schedule even includes a free cooking class! The full spring class schedule can be found online at http://www.outreach.olemiss.edu/funclassnews.

Last fall, Carol McGonagill gifted her sister Ginger Patterson, both of Oxford, with the Communiversity class “Intro to Essential Oils.” The two enjoyed learning about different plants and minerals beneficial to healing and good health.

“The class was awesome,” Patterson said. “I learned so many different ways to take care of my body without needing to turn to medication.”

Patterson is looking forward to learning more about this subject in the second part of the class, being offered this spring on the Ole Miss campus. The “Advanced Essential Oils-Lifestyle Change” class is offered from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, April 11, 18 and 25 in the E.F. Yerby Conference Center.

Participants get to try their hands at creating oil-based blends that are perfect for bath, body and home. They also will learn to safely replace household, personal care and wellness products with essential oils. Each person will leave with samples made in class. The cost is $85 plus a $9 materials fee.

The spring 2017 Communiversity schedule kicks off Feb. 1, with Jeff and Kathleen Taylor of Oxford’s Sweet T’s Bakery, who were contestants recently on Food Network’s “Cake Wars” program. Come find out all their secrets to decorating like the pros during the new “DIY: Make Award-Winning Cake Designs” from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Oxford-University Depot. The class cost is $75 plus a $9 materials fee.

Communiversity will host a free class Feb. 8 at the Institute for Child Nutrition on Hill Drive. From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., registered dietitian Mariana Jurss will teach participants to make “Delicious Soups to Warm Your Body and Soul,” including such favorites as potato corn chowder and catfish stew. Although there is no charge for this class, interested people are encouraged to register as soon as possible. Seats are limited. 

Gardeners will have several opportunities to plan for their spring gardens and learn floral design from area professionals during the popular lunch-and-learn classes that return this spring. Each class, offered from noon to 1 p.m. at the UM Depot, costs just $10.

The lunch-and learn-series kicks off with guided tips for “How to Create a Beautiful Hummingbird Garden” taught by Mitch Robinson from Strawberry Plains Audubon Center. Learn how to attract and support hummers and other pollinators with native plants and habitat enhancement on March 22.

The following week, Jordan Brown, of Oxford’s Discount Building Materials design center, will share tips on easy-to-do, affordable tablescapes and eye-catching centerpieces. Learn how to decorate your Easter table on March 29.

Proper techniques for pruning trees and shrubs will be taught during “Spring Pruning with Jeff McManus” on April 26. McManus will share tips from his book “Pruning Like a Pro” during the final lunch-and-learn of the season.

Oxford Floral’s Whitney Pullen will demonstrate how to pair different flowers to complement any theme during the hands-on course, “Making a Beautiful Spring Bouquet,” set for 5:30-7:30 p.m. May 4 at the Yerby Center. Participants will be inspired to pair different flower variations and design ideas for weddings and home decorating, and everyone will design their own arrangement to take home. The cost is $69 plus a $10 materials fee.

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, couples might enjoy “Ballroom and Latin Dance with Arman.” Learn step-by-step instructions with expert dance instructor Arman Sahakyan. The class will be taught 6-8 p.m. Feb. 16 and 23 and March 2 and 9 at the Turner Center dance studio. The cost is $69.

Arman will host a free meet-and-greet to discuss his class from 6:45 to 7:45 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Turner Center. There is no charge for this introductory event, but registration is required, at http://www.outreach.olemiss.edu/communiversity/classes_dance.html.

Many locals remember the popular Two Stick sushi restaurant on the Oxford Square. Sushi chef Jesse Mullin was trained by the owners of the former hot spot and will share tips on how to create your own Rebel Roll at home. Join him from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. April 10 at the Depot to learn to make the perfect sticky rice and sushi’s most popular sauces. The class fee is $39 plus $9 for ingredients.

Helping local first responders communicate effectively will be discussed in the new class, “Medical Spanish for Emergency Responders,” offered 6-7:30 p.m. Feb. 28 and March 3, 7 and 9 in Lamar Hall, Room 133.

The instructor starts with the basics of Spanish pronunciation and then moves on to simple words for everyday emergency situations. This class will provide basic knowledge needed when working with a Spanish-speaking patient. This class is perfect for first responders, EMTs, police officers and all medical personnel. The cost is $85.

A wide variety of classes are available for local professionals this spring, including “Marketing Your Business Using Social Media” offered from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 13, 20 and 27 in Weir Hall, Room 104. The cost is $69. Learn to set up social media sites for your business, generate targeted leads using Facebook ads and increase traffic to your website.

Find out more about these and the variety of other classes available this spring at http://www.outreach.olemiss.edu/funclassnews or call 662-915-7158 to request the spring class brochure.

Schools Look to DeSoto Writing Center for Insight

Faculty and staff offer advice, resources for development of middle and high school centers

Josh Green (right), director of Independence High School’s writing center, oversees a tutoring session with students Josh Figures and Martasia Copeland. Green reached out to the University of Mississippi – DeSoto Writing Center for resources and ideas. Submitted Photo

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. – As director of the Writing Center at the University of Mississippi at DeSoto Center-Southaven, Jeanine Rauch sees the value of honing writing skills early.

“Ultimately, writing is clear thinking,” said Rauch, an instructor in the university’s Department of Writing and Rhetoric. “When students are confident in their own writing, the writing process becomes more focused on audience and purpose, which leads to clear communication.”

The Writing Center at the UM regional campus offers free services designed to help students become stronger writers and critical thinkers. Teachers from DeSoto and Tate counties recently visited the center to glean ideas for creating and developing writing centers at their respective schools.

“Incorporating a middle school or high school writing center introduces the importance of writing and helps students become more aware and connected to their own writing,” Rauch said. “Peers helping peers allows for a collaborative conversation through the writing process.”

Robert Cummings, chair of the university’s Department of Writing and Rhetoric, said that Rauch’s leadership at the writing center “knows no bounds.”

“(Rauch) has long been of great service to her students, the students of the University of Mississippi, and to students at Northwest Mississippi Community College,” Cummings said. “Not content with this level of contribution, she is now extending opportunities for designing supplemental peer literacy instruction to her partners in the K-12 environment.

“Her work is truly exceptional and exemplifies the best work of writing centers on a national level.”

Tarra R. Taylor, English teacher and writing center director at Hernando Middle School, met with Rauch this summer.

“Teaching writing is a passion that I have,” Taylor said. “So, in an attempt to do what I love to do, I wanted to offer something to my school that would not only benefit the students that I teach but also the entire student body.”

Taylor began by reading and researching writing centers in colleges and secondary schools.

“Jeanine and her team of consultants were more than welcoming and helpful,” she said. “They informed me of how their writing center was run and offered me suggestions for the middle school level.”

The DeSoto Writing Center team provided Taylor with a number of resources, including “The Bedford Guide for Writing Tutors,” a sample writing center feedback survey, a tutor script and relevant articles. Rauch and one of the center’s consultants even accompanied Taylor when she presented the idea to faculty at Hernando Middle School.

Many students enter middle school with “negative attitudes toward writing,” Taylor said. This could stem from a lack of confidence or limited writing skills, she said.

“When the confidence level of students is built, students will want to write more,” she said. “In turn, writing achievement will be positively affected.

“The end goal is for students to become effective written communicators. They will write for a plethora of purposes and audiences; therefore, writing skills are important in order for them to be successful at it.”

The Hernando Middle School Writing Center launched Nov. 14. Taylor is confident that the center will make an impact on her students.

Josh Green, English teacher and writing center director at Independence High School, also recently met with Rauch. Green’s writing center began in 2014 under the direction of Jason Jones, the writing center director at Northwest Mississippi Community College.

When Green was named director, he began investigating new ways to develop the center.

“As a teacher consultant for the University of Mississippi Writing Project, I know firsthand the quality work that Ole Miss does within the field of writing,” Green said. “I knew that (Rauch’s) work with the writing center could provide critical insight and perspective for us. Jeanine and the writing center staff members were extremely helpful and personally met with us. “

This year, Independence High School’s center has served some 20 students so far.

“They have shown significant improvement and most have now visited more than once, which is exciting for us,” he said. “We love the fact that students are beginning to feel comfortable and continue to come back. Some of them have even become our biggest recruiters.”

Green recognizes the role that writing plays in student success.

“Writing is a vital skill that essentially permeates all academic disciplines and endeavors,” he said. “Whether it is at the elementary, secondary, post-secondary or corporate level, writing is a key component in succeeding in any field.

“Writing is not a vacuum skill that is applicable and/or useful only to students pursuing an English degree or a career in technical writing, but rather it is something that is used in practical facets of life such as: resume writing, surveys, engineering field reports, research proposals, etc.”

Rauch encourages schools to consider the development of a writing center.

“Writing centers create both a learning and collaborative space where students help each other improve upon their writing skills,” she said. “Students who frequent a writing center become more engaged with their own writing which leads to finding their own unique voice.”

For more information about UM-DeSoto’s writing center, visit http://www.outreach.olemiss.edu/desoto/current/writingcenter.html.

Grenada Hospital Employee Benefits from Scholarships at Regional Campus

Simpson family working toward college degrees with help from employee benefit

Sonia Thompson (seated) and daughter Jennifer, both of Grenada, are enrolled in college courses together this fall at the University of Mississippi at Grenada. The Thompsons are taking advantage of scholarships available to full-time employees and their children at the University of Mississippi Medical Center's Grenada hospital.

Sonia Thompson (seated) and daughter Jennifer, both of Grenada, are enrolled in college courses together this fall at the University of Mississippi at Grenada. The Thompsons are taking advantage of scholarships available to full-time employees and their children at the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s Grenada hospital.

GRENADA, Miss. – Sonia Simpson never imagined that she would one day be sitting in a college classroom with her daughter, but this fall semester she is doing just that as she works to complete her junior year of courses at the University of Mississippi’s Grenada campus.

“This has been a personal goal of mine for a long time,” Simpson said. “And now I have the help I need to meet that goal.”

Simpson works as a clinical supervisor over ambulatory care at the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s Grenada hospital. Previously, she worked for 20 years with Grenada Family Medicine before she joined those three providers who transferred to the hospital staff.

“My director encouraged me to take advantage of the employee scholarship that is available to hospital employees,” Simpson said. “I just go across the street after work and take my classes. It couldn’t be any more convenient.”

As a full-time employee of the Grenada hospital, Simpson soon learned that not only could she take advantage of scholarship benefits for herself, but she could also apply for a half-tuition scholarship for daughter Jennifer as well.

“The university strongly supports professional and personal development,” said Pam Johnson, UM assistant director of benefits and compensation. “As an institution of higher learning, we encourage continuing education to help create a stronger employee base.”

Simpson is a 1987 graduate of Grenada High School and received her associate’s degree in accountancy from the Holmes Community College Grenada campus. Her daughter graduated from Grenada High School in 2011 and also went on to take her freshman- and sophomore-level courses at Holmes-Grenada

Sonia and Jennifer both received the UM employee benefit scholarships and are enrolled this fall at the regional campus.

Full-time Grenada hospital employees who have worked for the institution for at least a year are eligible to apply for scholarship benefits for their single, dependent children under the age of 25 who are interested in completing their first bachelor’s degree with Ole Miss.

This scholarship covers 50 percent of tuition costs each semester.

“It’s great to be share this journey with my daughter,” Simpson said. “We are both taking the transfer student experience class this semester. It has really helped me get back into the expectations of college classes. It is really exciting to be learning together.”

Jessica Hughes, associate director of the Grenada campus and instructor of the transfer student experience course, said she enjoys having the Simpsons in her class, and that there is even a bit of friendly competition between mother and daughter.

“It’s funny how they get a little competitive when grades come out after a test,” Hughes said. “They are happy for each other, but they both want to get the top grade. They are engaged in class and encourage one another. It’s a great dynamic for the classroom.”

Sonia is taking upper-level courses to complete her bachelor’s degree in business. Jennifer is working on minors in education, history and psychology to earn her bachelor’s degree in general studies.

“I already see where my classes are helping me,” Simpson said. “Of course, my business courses are giving me new insight into the fundamentals of a successful business, but they are also helping me learn more about working with people and improving my writing skills.”

The Grenada campus offers most live classes in the afternoons and evenings as well as a selection of online course offerings.

Earning a degree at the campus is a family affair for the Simpsons. Sonia’s husband, Herman, who retired as Grenada’s fire chief in 2013, completed a degree there in 2015.

Upon retirement, he decided to enroll in classes and went on to complete his bachelor’s degree. He now works for the Social Security Administration office in Grenada.

Sonia said she isn’t sure whether she would be able to continue pursuing her education if not for the scholarships available to UMMC employees.

“It will be such an accomplishment for me to complete my bachelor’s degree,” Thompson said. “I’m excited to put this on my resume. I’m very happy to have this opportunity and have it work out so well for my family.”

For more information on the UM-Grenada campus and tuition scholarships available to full-time employees of UMMC’s Grenada hospital and their dependent children, contact Jessica Hughes at 662-227-2348 or visit http://www.olemiss.edu/grenada.

Give a Summer Youth Camp Experience for Christmas

New UM camps to include Code Monkey computer programming class, culinary arts courses

High school students start the final race with project cars they built during the UM Summer College for High School Students on the Oxford campus. The UM Pre-College Programs Department is offering certificates for parents, grandparents and relatives who want to the gift of a learning experience to a child or teen for summer 2017.

High school students start the final race with project cars they built during the UM Summer College for High School Students on the Oxford campus. The UM Pre-College Programs Department is offering certificates for parents, grandparents and relatives who want to the gift of a learning experience to a child or teen for summer 2017.

OXFORD, Miss. – Dreaming of warm days in the Grove is a great way to pass the cold winter months. The University of Mississippi Office of Pre-College programs has an offer to make this dream a reality as registration opens for the summer schedule of camps for students in kindergarten through 12th grades.

The list of classes includes several new courses and more available seats as well as a special offer for gift-giving this holiday season.

“We had such a great response to this past summer’s offerings that we wanted to open up more spots for students and expand even more on the variety of classes for next summer,” said Ellen Shelton, UM executive director of pre-college programs.

Registration is open for more than 25 summer programs offered to K-12 students beginning in late May 2017 on campus. There are monthlong, two-week and one-week camps to choose from. Some programs also offer options for students to stay on campus overnight or commute each day from home.

New camps in the lineup for summer 2017 include the “Code Monkey” crash course in computer code writing and programming. Offered for rising 10th-, 11th- and 12th-graders, the camp will take place June 25-30 on the Oxford campus.

A new Shakespeare camp is set for June 11-16 that will help high school students learn five different ways to examine Shakespeare’s works in five days. The class will include an excursion to Memphis to attend the Tennessee Shakespeare Company’s performance of “The Comedy of Errors.”

Also new this year is a culinary arts camp that will be offered July 16-21 for middle school students and July 23-28 for high school students.

Program staff anticipate this class will fill up quickly, said Ari Lugo, UM pre-college counselor.

“We think Mississippi, and Oxford in particular, have such a unique culinary scene that students will enjoy learning more about,” Lugo said.

Students will have an opportunity to try out their cooking skills and learn about working with locally grown food sources.

The popular Rebel Quest day camp has expanded for next summer to include a section for rising first- and second-graders, another section for rising third- and fourth-graders, and a third section for rising fifth- and sixth-graders.

The summer 2017 weeklong themes include “Mad Scientist Week,” “Gamer Week” and “All About Art Week,” among several others.

For high school students looking to get a head start on college, UM’s Summer College for High School Students and Jumpstart programs are taking applications.

These camps allow students to come to campus for one month over the summer and get a head start on college courses. Students can receive college credit in one of the numerous academic tracks available, including computer science, engineering, health professions, pre-pharmacy, journalism, integrated marketing communications, intelligence and security studies, legal studies, liberal arts or one of numerous intensive foreign language programs.

UM Summer Academy is a two-week academic program designed to provide U.S. and international rising 9th-, 10th-, 11th- and 12th-graders an opportunity to have a glimpse into college life for two weeks during the summer. During their stay on campus, students take one of the different classes offered in fields such as ACT/ SAT exam preparation, debate, engineering, arts, or literature and earn a one-half Carnegie high school credit.

There are also one-week academic camps available for middle and high school students looking to learn something new this summer. Those include CSI, creative writing, ecology, intelligence studies, math, theater and several others.

“We know that students can be very busy in the summer months and may not have a full month to dedicate to a program,” Shelton said. “These various shorter camp options allow students to have an engaging academic experience and explore the Ole Miss campus with a smaller time commitment.”

If you are looking for a unique gift for a student in your life, the UM Office of Pre-College programs has special gift certificates available that would be great for this holiday season.

“Giving the gift of a learning experience is something children and teenagers will keep with them always,” Lugo said. “And by making a summer camp opportunity available to a student in any grade from kindergarten to a senior in high school, you may be opening up a door to their future. Who knows how a summer camp program might pique their interest in a particular field or future career.”

To find out more about the UM Pre-College Programs’ summer 2017 schedule, including the full list of classes, dates and costs, as well as gift certificate and payroll deduction information, visit http://www.olemiss.edu/precollege, email precollege@olemiss.edu or call 662-915-7621.

Students Prepare for Careers through New York and D.C. Internships

UM program offers insight, connections and course credit

UM students share their experiences from the Washington and New York Internship Experiences program with Chancellor Jeffery Vitter (left) at the Lyceum. Joining Vitter are (from left) Graham White of Biloxi; Harris Ormecher of Austin, Texas; Gabriella Berlanti of Bradenton, Florida; Divya Gosain of Clinton; and Jesse Webb of Atlanta.

UM students share their experiences from the Washington and New York Internship Experiences program with Chancellor Jeffery Vitter (left) at the Lyceum. Joining Vitter are (from left) Graham White of Biloxi; Harris Ormecher of Austin, Texas; Gabriella Berlanti of Bradenton, Florida; Divya Gosain of Clinton; and Jesse Webb of Atlanta.

OXFORD, Miss. – Learning more about personal strengths and weaknesses is a big part of the college experience. The University of Mississippi‘s Washington, D.C., and New York Internship Experience programs in the Division of Outreach is helping more students have those learning experiences.

“Students involved in this program can gain so much from the real-world experience,” Chancellor Jeffery Vitter said. “An internship in the field they are interested in can really help them get the most out of their summer break.”

From attending the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia to helping uncover the next New York Times best-seller, UM students who participated in the 2016 Internship Experience Program each had their own extraordinary moments. They shared these highlights recently with Vitter and program faculty during a special presentation in the Lyceum.

“The program is a two-way pipeline between these cities and our university,” said Laura Antonow, UM internship experience program director. “Our students get the opportunity to work with successful UM alumni in their field of interest. In return, these alumni have the opportunity to stay connected to the students and happenings on our campus.”

Networking and gaining professional experience are key roles of the program, which also helps students earn UM academic credit while they intern in a large metropolitan city. The 2016 class consisted of juniors and seniors majoring in criminal justice, public policy leadership, computer science, psychology, exercise science, political science, journalism and marketing.

Gabriella Berlanti, an Ole Miss junior from Bradenton, Florida, interned with Interpol Washington.

“It wasn’t as James Bond as everyone thought, but it was still very exciting,” she said.

Berlanti worked in the transnational organized crime unit, particularly the violent crimes division.

“We sent out notices around the world about violent criminals, their activities and whereabouts,” she said. “It was such an amazing learning experience.”

Berlanti is double-majoring in criminal justice and psychology with a minor in intelligence studies. During her internship, the bombings in Paris became a major topic within her workplace.

“After that incident, our supervisors decided that all personnel needed to participate in active shooter response training,” Berlanti said. “It was pretty eye-opening, and I learned when and how to run, hide or fight if needed.”

Berlanti shared housing and participated in group tours and events with fellow UM students interning in the nation’s capital. They included Linda Bardha of Tirana, Albania; Patricia DeFelice of Southaven; Allison Hemmer of Tuscola, Illinois; Harris Ormecher of Austin, Texas; Emily McKee of Dyersburg, Tennessee; and Camille Walker of Tupelo.

UM senior Linda Bardha, a computer science major from Tirana, Albania, spent her summer serving as an intern in Washington with the broadcasting organization Voice of America. VOA is funded by the U.S. government and works to supply accurate, balanced and comprehensive information to an international audience.

UM senior Linda Bardha, a computer science major from Tirana, Albania, spent her summer serving as an intern in Washington with the broadcasting organization Voice of America. VOA is funded by the U.S. government and works to supply accurate, balanced and comprehensive information to an international audience.

Interning with Washington, D.C., shadow Sen. Paul Strauss was an interesting lesson in the political world for Ormecher, who helped host town hall meetings to gauge the concerns of constituents in the D.C. area. He was also involved in the New Columbia Statehood Initiative, tracking policy to help the District of Columbia gain autonomy.

“Mr. Strauss does not have actual voting privileges in the Senate, but he is playing an integral role in making sure the needs and concerns of D.C. citizens are heard,” Ormecher said.

Five UM students headed to New York City over Memorial Day weekend for welcome week events and tours to get them acclimated. The group enjoyed a tour at Fox News headquarters and a meet-and-greet with Ole Miss journalism alumnus Shepard Smith.

Graham White, a senior marketing major from Biloxi, spent the summer interning at the White Space Group, a marketing and digital rebranding company in New York.

“It was eye-opening to be a part of important sales meetings and learn how branding happens on the front end of promotion,” White said. “I learned more about the fast-paced atmosphere of the marketing world.

“Being a part of this program showed me the importance of getting outside of your comfort zone and how beneficial it can be if you do that.”

Divya Gosain, an Ole Miss junior from Clinton, also worked in the city this summer. She is majoring in psychology with a minor in business and has taken a particular interest in industrial and organizational psychology to study human behavior in the workplace.

“By interning with the Interdependence Project, I helped with research to see if meditation during the workday had any effect on the increased productivity of employees,” Gosain said.

She also interned with the law firm of Dewan and Associates, hoping to learn more about employment law and legal issues concerning various workplace settings.

UM senior Harris Ormecher, a marketing major from Austin, Texas, attended the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this summer as part of his work with Washington, D.C., shadow senator Paul Strauss.

Graham White, a senior marketing major from Biloxi, lived in Brooklyn, New York, this summer as he participated in the UM New York Internship Experience Program. He served as a marketing intern for the White Space Group, a digital rebranding company.

“I definitely have a new perspective due to these experiences,” Gosain said. “I believe I have grown personally and professionally. I am more motivated than I was before. I want to be more involved in campus activities now because I just feel more comfortable with putting myself out there and getting to know people.”

Jesse Webb, a senior marketing major from Atlanta and member of UM’s Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, is interested in a career in publishing. He was accepted for an internship with the Inkwell Management Literary Agency.

“I feel that as a publisher, I could play a part in our culture and help effect it in a positive way,” Webb said. “I received feedback on reports I was asked to write that helped me learn how to discuss writing better. I got to see the process of how a manuscript becomes a published and marketed book from the very beginning.”

Webb read more than 30 manuscripts and queries, helped to plan a book tour for a new publication about yachting and learned about international contracts and the auction process.

“It was a neat experience to think I might have played a tiny part in helping to get an interesting book to the public,” Webb said. “I’m really happy to have had this experience.”

Also, interning in New York this summer were Lynley-Love Jones of Oxford and Breanna Lomax of Indianapolis.

The university’s Washington and New York Internship Program is taking applications for spring and summer 2017 participants. Juniors and seniors interested in the program should visit http://www.olemiss.edu/internships. The deadline to apply is Nov. 11.