UM to Remember Lives Lost During the Year

Annual campus memorial ceremony set for Thursday

This year’s memorial service to honor the lives of faculty, staff and students who passed away in the last year is set for 4 p.m. Thursday. Each gardenia in the bowl represents a member of the Ole Miss family who has passed away in the past year. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Each year, the University of Mississippi family pauses to honor and remember the lives of students, faculty and staff members who died during the past year.

This year’s ceremony is set for 4 p.m. Thursday (May 4) at Paris-Yates Chapel. Established by Chancellor Emeritus Robert Khayat, University of Mississippi Memorial Day is observed on the last Thursday of classes.

The day is important for friends and family of the deceased, said Brandi Hephner LaBanc, vice chancellor for student affairs.

“The university memorial ceremony gives us the opportunity to recognize the students, faculty and staff members who are taken from us and whose passing leaves a void in the Ole Miss family,” she said.

The service will include music by the University String Quartet and remarks from Hephner LaBanc; Gazel Giles, Staff Council president; Michael Barnett, former chair of the Faculty Senate; and Dion Kevin, Associated Student Body president.

The ceremony, which is open to the LOU community, will honor:


Frank Anderson

Raegan Barnhart

Michael Bonner

Elizabeth Cheek

Jonathan Cleveland

Ralph Floyd

Austin McGraw

Adam Pitts


Faculty/Faculty Emeritus

Thomas E. Bates

Lee N. Bolen Jr.

Ronald F. Borne

Fred J. Dorn

Wallace L. Guess

Lennette J. Ivy

Terry G. Klepzig

Sylvester Moorehead



Loretta Agnew

Robert Forster

Edwin William Mattox Sr.

Max R. Miller Jr.

Kimberly Westerfield Perry

Delta Students Get College Experience during Ole Miss Visit

Ninth-grade biology class learns about collegiate science courses and the admissions process

Students from Madison S. Palmer High School in Marks get biology lessons from UM instructors during their campus visit. Photo by Christina Steube/University Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Students from Madison S. Palmer High School in Marks got a hands-on learning experience in a college atmosphere recently when they visited the University of Mississippi’s Department of Biology.

These students attended learning sessions in Shoemaker Hall, where they participated in field sampling, isolated DNA and learned to use a microscope to view microbes.

Daniel Myrick, a first-year biology teacher at the high school, led the trip to improve academic standards and resources for his students. Myrick, who graduated from UM last May, reached out to Ole Miss assistant biology professor Erik Hom to plan this trip and another for the upcoming fall semester.

“As I spent the first three months with my students, I started to realize that not many of these students get the opportunities to spend time around college campuses via sporting events and educational programs,” Myrick said. “How can we expect students to apply and move away from everything they know if they have no experiences of what college is actually like?

“It is too big of a gap to bridge, so I wanted to start with my ninth-graders to show them what we as educators are pushing them toward for the next three years.”

Following the biology lesson, students attended a session with an admissions counselor at the Center for Manufacturing Excellence. The field trip ended with lunch at The Grill at 1810 and a tour of the Olivia and Archie Manning Athletics Performance Center.

Myrick reached out to the biology department to set up a tour that would include more than simply beautiful campus sites. Hom, who founded the pilot program ARISE@UM, designed to provide research opportunities for high school students over the summer, helped coordinate the visit.

After getting Myrick’s request, Hom and Renee Cunningham, assistant professor of math education, visited the school in Marks in November 2016.

“After that trip, I decided to apply for additional grant funding to make some of the things I talked with Daniel and was thinking about possible,” Hom said.

Madison S. Palmer ninth-grade biology students learn about field sampling and DNA during a visit to the UM Department of Biology. Photo by Christina Steube/University Communications

“I was intrigued by Daniel’s interest and wanted to help as best I could, since I’ve come to really believe our problems with STEM education and poor academic performance start well before college. High school is a really formative period for preparing students with the basics and habits to succeed in college and later in life.”

Hom applied for and received funding via his National Science Foundation grant, DEB-1541538. The additional funding included a Research Experiences for Teachers supplement and the Research Assistantships for High School Students supplement to support Myrick’s outreach efforts.

The RAHSS was approved for funding in late January, just in time to plan the field trip.

“We both felt it necessary to bring the students out to UM and begin a steady effort to show them the opportunities for education at college and how exciting science can be,” Hom said. “We want to build relationships, and I do not believe in hit-and-run outreach, so I hope we might be able to continue what we have started in the years to come.”

The two grant supplements total more than $25,000. Hom will use part of the funds to support Myrick’s work by helping him develop teaching modules and supporting field trip activities.

Some of the funds will allow a Madison S. Palmer High School senior who attends UM beginning this fall to participate in summer research in Hom’s lab as part of the ARISE@UM program.

“Part of the draw of teaching and working at UM is the opportunity to lend a helping hand to communities in need in Mississippi – a little bit of help here goes so much further than the much better-resourced places I’ve been before, and I find it quite rewarding to be able to effect change,” Hom said.

Thanks to the supplemental NSF funding, Myrick also will get to work in Hom’s lab this summer on research related to Hom’s primary project under the NSF Genealogy of Life program. Myrick plans to focus on how he can bring research with fungi, algae, field sampling and symbiosis to his classrooms through teaching modules.

The field trip was a huge success, Myrick said. He plans to work with Hom to improve the experience so his high school freshmen can continue to learn from and build relationships with a college professor.

“My students loved being treated like college students where they were just expected to work and do right, and they loved getting to work in the labs,” Myrick said. “What they had been learning recently in my class transferred to an experiment they could do in a college lab, and I think that started to give importance to what they are required to learn in high school.

“My goal was not for them to just love Ole Miss, but I wanted them to love the idea of pursing a college that fits them.”

ACT 7 Experience Focuses on Revival of Magazine Industry

Annual conference pairs UM journalism students with industry leaders

OXFORD, Miss. – Magazines and print journalism matter, and that’s the theme at this year’s ACT 7 Experience at the University of Mississippi.

The conference, hosted by the Magazine Innovation Center at the Meek School of Journalism and New Media from Tuesday to Thursday (April 25-27), will focus on the revival of the magazine industry in terms of publishing, advertising, creating content and distribution. The event also allows students to network with industry professionals.

Created in 2010 by Samir Husni, Ole Miss journalism professor and Magazine Innovation Center director, the conference will feature more than 50 speakers and 50 other attendees, including CEOs of major magazine and marketing companies, publishers, editors-in-chief and other industry leaders. Students will be paired with industry professionals throughout event to learn directly from them.

“There is no other place where we have this collection of experts with future industry leaders, our students,” Husni said. “When they see students in the audience, they tell us stuff from the heart and it creates an intimate atmosphere. CEOs and freshman students are on the same level of communication.”

All conference lectures are slated for the Overby Center Auditorium and are free and open to the public, thanks to the support of industry leaders and their sponsorships.

Husni tells his students to leave an impact on the industry professionals they shadow, and some have.

At last year’s conference, Austin Dean, a senior integrated marketing communications major from Hammond, Illinois, shadowed Jim Elliott, president of the James G. Elliott Co. By the end of the conference, Dean was offered an internship at the company and spent his summer in New York working in the industry.

“For me, the benefits have been spending one-on-one time with publishers, editors and distributors, getting to know them and making reliable connections with them,” Dean said. “Dr. Husni does a great job at putting together this collective group of people and makes sure each of his students have someone they want to shadow.”

Ashlee Johnson, a senior integrated marketing communications major from Monticello, Arkansas, enjoys the intimate aspect of learning from both the guest speakers and Husni.

“Even people that work with these professionals don’t get to know them like we do,” Johnson said. “It’s a great opportunity and it’s good for professional development.

“Another great part of this conference is watching Dr. Husni interact with the speakers. He is so well-respected in the industry. He’s a hidden gem in Mississippi and we’re lucky to have someone who cares so much about their students as a mentor.”

Students will accompany the guest speakers on a trip through the Delta to experience magazines, music and Mississippi. The group will travel to the B.B. King Museum, Dockery Farms Historic District and Delta Blues Museum before ending the evening with dinner at the Ground Zero Blues Club.

The conference, in its seventh year, has grown dramatically after beginning with just 14 speakers in 2010. It even has its own band, the ACT Band, made up of musicians from the Delta, the Netherlands and New York City that will perform at Ground Zero.

“When I started the Magazine Innovation Center, it was at a time when everyone was saying print is dead and new media is in,” Husni said. “It’s not an either/or situation. Print, broadcast, digital, mobile, social media – it’s all journalism. The necessity will never change, regardless of the platform.”

Husni teaches his students to be strong writers first to break into the industry.

“When magazines hire, they want writers,” he said. “The other stuff is great, but journalism is still what’s important.

“Magazine industry leaders are experience-makers. Reading a magazine is unlike reading something online. It’s an experience packaged together in your hand.”

A full schedule of events is available at

Ford Center to Host Russian National Ballet for ‘Sleeping Beauty’

Production of classic fairytale is accessible for families

The Russian National Ballet will perform Sleeping Beauty at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts Tuesday, April 25. Submitted Photo

OXFORD, Miss. -The Russian National Ballet brings the fairytale “Sleeping Beauty” to life for one performance next week at the University of Mississippi’s Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.

The show is set for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (April 25). Tickets are $46 for the Orchestra, Parterre and Tier 1 Box levels, $40 for the Mezzanine and Tier 2 Box levels and $34 Balcony. A 10 percent discount is available for all UM faculty, staff and retirees. Tickets can be purchased at the UM Box Office at the Ford Center, online at or by telephone at 662-915-2787.

The ballet is based on Charles Perrault’s classic fairytale. It tells the story of a young princess who, on the day of her christening, is cursed by an evil fairy to prick her finger on her 16th birthday and die, but the benevolent Lilac Fairy declares that the princess will only sleep until she is awakened by the kiss of a prince.

“The Russian National Ballet is dedicated to producing classic ballets like ‘Sleeping Beauty,'” said Kate Meacham, Ford Center marketing director. “They are a premier ballet company and their productions are always magical.

“‘Sleeping Beauty’ is a classic fairytale that most people know. It’s a great opportunity to introduce children to the ballet.”

The production is choreographed by Marius Petipa and is considered to be one of his greatest works. Petipa’s choreography paired with the compositions of Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky has made this ballet renowned. The lavish, yet refined blending of traditional ballet with the dramatics and eloquence of the theater is loved around the world.

The Russian National Ballet Theatre was founded in the late 1980s in Moscow. Originally known as the Soviet National Ballet, the company was founded by the graduates of the Russian choreographic schools of Moscow, St. Petersburg and Perm, and allowed them a place to showcase their works.

The Russian National Ballet is made up of 50 dancers, all experts in their field with decades of experience. Many of the dancers have been a part of the company since its inception.

For more information, go to

UM Museum to Host Kate Freeman Clark Family Activity Day

Children of all ages invited to explore people, places and things through interactive art projects

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi Museum’s Kate Freeman Clark Family Activity Day this weekend will allow families to explore artistic people, places and things.

The free drop-in event, from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday (April 22), will allow children to draw inspiration from the museum’s newest exhibit, featuring Holly Springs native and impressionist painter Kate Freeman Clark.

“This family day provides a great opportunity for families to check out our newest exhibition and be inspired by the talent and story of Kate Freeman Clark,” said Emily Dean McCauley, museum education curator. “We will have projects for families in every space as we create educational connections to the people, places and things captured in exhibit.

“Families with children of all ages are encouraged to attend, as we will also have a space for our youngest ‘Buie Babies’ to explore and discover.” 

The theme for the day is “People, Places and Things,” and interactive projects inspired by these nouns in the art of portraits, landscapes and still life paintings will be adapted for all ages. Activities include creating collages, painting and participating in a scavenger hunt through the exhibit.

All children must be accompanied by an adult.

This event is made possible by sponsorship of Baptist Memorial Hospital of North Mississippi.

For more information, contact Emily Dean McCauley at or at 662-915-7073.

UM Opera Theatre Presents Benjamin Britten’s ‘Albert Herring’

Production being performed in English by Ole Miss vocal music majors

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi Opera Theatre presents a lighthearted musical adventure that offers a perfect introduction to the world of opera when it performs Benjamin Britten’s “Albert Herring” this weekend at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.

“Albert Herring” is a comic three-act opera composed by Britten in 1947. Set in East Suffolk at the turn of the 20th century, the production depicts a May Day festival that goes wrong when the quiet young man who has been elected as May King chooses to experience life’s pleasures as he breaks away from the rules and expectations society has placed on him.

“Albert Herring” will be performed by Ole Miss graduate and undergraduate vocal music majors, supported by the UM Orchestra. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Saturday (April 22) and 2 p.m. Sunday (April 23).

“‘Albert Herring’ promises to be a delightful experience,” said Kate Meacham, Ford Center marketing director. “It’s also a great opportunity to try opera if you have never seen one.

“It’s sung in English, so it’s easy to follow the story. The show is very funny, and the cast and crew have done a wonderful job bringing the show to life.”

Before Saturday’s concert at 6:45 p.m., assistant professor of music Jos Milton will deliver a lecture offering a brief exploration into the life and works of Benjamin Britten.

“Come support our university student singers and orchestra as they present ‘Albert Herring,'” said Julia Aubrey, Ford Center director. “You will be delighted with the quality voices, acting and support from the orchestra pit from these young musicians. The set, lighting and costume designers have created a wonderful visual component that you do not want to miss.”

Tickets are $21 for Orchestra/Parterre, $18 Mezzanine, $15 Balcony $21 Tier 1 box seats and $18 Tier 2 box seats. A 10 percent discount is available for all UM faculty, staff and retirees. Tickets are available at the UM Box Office at the Ford Center, online at or by phone at 662-915-2787.

Second Annual Pride Weekend Kicks Off May 4

Events feature graduation ceremony, entertainment, parade

Parade-goers support the LGBT community during LOU Pride Weekend last May. Photo by Kevin Cozart

OXFORD, Miss. – The second Lafayette-Oxford-University Pride Weekend is set for May 4-7 throughout the city of Oxford and the University of Mississippi.

The event is organized by the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies and Out Oxford, with local support from The Lyric, Proud Larry’s, Oxford Film Festival and UM organizations including the Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement. Pride Weekend is designed to create inclusive and welcoming spaces for the LGBTQ communities of Lafayette County, Oxford and Ole Miss.

“Last year’s parade was a great experience,” said Jaime Harker, Isom Center director. “Members of the LGBTQ community and allies marched, and there was such joy in all the people who participated. When the parade turned onto Lamar, we were greeted with a roar of delight.

“I have never been prouder of my community. We are delighted to make Pride Weekend an annual event.”

The theme of this year’s parade is “Liberty and Justice for All,” and Harker invites all community members to join in the celebration.

“Attend one of three shows on the Square, come celebrate LGBTQ graduates, march in the parade or simply come and be part of the experience on the Square,” she said “Come create an ever more inclusive South in which there is room for all of us.”

Pride also will feature events throughout the week and weekend, including a May 2 fundraiser benefitting programming at the Isom Center.

The ticketed benefit dinner “Mississippi, Your Food is So Queer,” hosted by Saint Leo and OutOxford, will celebrate queer kitchen culture and chef Sydney Meers, owner of Stove restaurant in Portsmouth, Virginia.

A Senatobia native, Meers learned to cook from his grandmother at her restaurant, Johnson Cafe. He built upon those lessons and pursued both classical and informal training as he cooked in kitchens across the South and up the East Coast, exploring new flavors.

The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $65, available at

“The Sarah Isom Center is so proud to have chef Sydney Meers return to his home state to be a part of a fundraiser,” said Theresa Starkey, Isom Center associate director. “Meers is a James Beard-nominated chef, and we can’t think of a better talent and Mississippian to help us celebrate queer kitchen culture as a lead-in to Pride.”

Here is a full schedule of the weekend events:

Thursday (May 4)

Code Pink – 9 p.m., Proud Larry’s. The weekend officially begins with a dance party, hosted by OutOxford. The event is for ages 18 and older, with a $10 cover charge at the door.

Friday (May 5)

Lavender Graduation – 4 p.m., The Inn at Ole Miss. The UM Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement, along with campus partners, hosts a Lavender Graduation ceremony to celebrate LGBTQ students graduating from the university. Graduating students who wish to participate along with their family, friends and university faculty and staff should RSVP by April 22 at

Big Freedia – 8 p.m., The Lyric Oxford. New Orleans-based rapper Big Freedia, known as the Queen of Bounce, put a twist on hip-hop with call-and-response lyrics over quick beats. She has performed around New Orleans for more than 20 years and brings her talents to a national stage with her show “Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce,” in its fifth season on Fuse TV. The show is for ages 18 and older. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $15 to $26 and can be purchased at

Saturday (May 6)

Oxford Pride Parade – 2 p.m., downtown Oxford. Participants will meet at the University-Oxford Depot parking lot at 12:30 p.m. to prepare. The parade will stroll down Presidential Debate Way to University Avenue, up to Lamar Boulevard, around the Courthouse Square and back to the Depot. Everyone is invited to participate by marching or lining the route in support of the event.

Go-Divas Extravaganza – 8:30 p.m. The Lyric Oxford. This show, featuring the drag stars of Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub, is for those 18 and older. Tickets are $10m available at

Sunday (May 7)

Screening of “The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin” – 2 p.m., The Powerhouse, 413 South 14th St. The Oxford Film Festival hosts a free screening of the film.

A festival package, which provides access to all shows, can be purchased through The Lyric Oxford for $26. A percentage from each ticket sale will benefit the LGBTQ Arts and Culture Foundation Fund.

For more information, go to

Meek School of Journalism to Host Diversity Conference

Fox chief news anchor Shepard Smith among speakers for five-day series

UM public relations students, led by senior lecturer Robin Street (center), have planned It Starts with (Me)ek, five days of campus events celebrating inclusion and rejecting stereotypes. The committee includes (kneeling, from left) Emma Arnold and Brittanee Wallace, and (standing) Kendrick Pittman, Dylan Lewis, Street, Zacchaeus McEwen and Faith Fogarty. Photo by Stan O’Dell

OXFORD, Miss. – Just pause. Just pause before you assume you know me. Just pause before you stereotype me.

That’s the message of an upcoming series of events April 19-25 called It Starts with (Me)ek, hosted by the University of Mississippi Meek School of Journalism and New Media. Shepard Smith, a UM alumnus and chief news anchor and managing editor for Fox News Network’s Breaking News Division, is among the keynote speakers.

The five-day conference open to all students, faculty, staff and community members is designed to encourage inclusion and respect while rejecting stereotypes. It will feature panelists and guest speakers discussing race, gender, sexual orientation, disability and religion. A diversity fashion show and a festival also are included.

“This campaign is particularly important to our Meek School students because as professional journalists, public relations specialists or integrated marketing communications specialists, students will be dealing with and working with many different kinds of people,” said Robin Street, senior lecturer in public relations.

“We all need to learn the value of waiting before we make assumptions about other people. However, we also hope that everyone on campus and in Oxford will consider joining us for the programs.”

The program, designed to remind participants that one single factor does not define a person’s identity, was created by a 31-member student committee under Street’s direction. Through each panel and lecture, Street hopes all attendees will learn to approach individuals with understanding, dignity, respect and inclusion.

Both alumni and students will participate in panels about their personal experiences on race, sexual orientation, mental health, religion and disabilities. Smith will moderate an alumni panel, as well as provide remarks on April 21.

Other guest speakers include Michele Alexandre, UM professor of law; Katrina Caldwell, vice chancellor for diversity and community engagement; Mary Beth Duty, owner of Soulshine Counseling and Wellness; Jesse Holland, an Associated Press reporter covering race and ethnicity; Shawnboda Mead, director of the UM Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement; Sarah Moses, assistant professor of religion; Otis Sanford, political commentator and Hardin Chair of Excellence in Economic and Managerial Journalism at the University of Memphis; Jennifer Stollman, academic director of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation; and Ryan Whittington, UM assistant director of public relations for social media strategy.

Duty, Holland, Sanford and Whittington are all Ole Miss journalism alumni.

Student committee members enrolled in a course specifically to design the campaign. The group met weekly to plan events, promotional videos, communications, pre-campaign competitions and social media posts surrounding the five-day conference.

Rachel Anderson, a senior double major in broadcast journalism and Spanish from Chesapeake, Virginia, is co-chair of events and will moderate one of the panels.

“These events give students the opportunity to understand the experiences of people both similar and different from them,” Anderson said. “Understanding the experiences of others can help you learn more about yourself and the world around you.

“I hope attendees understand that we all have our differences, but at the same time, we also share so much in common. There is much more to people than outside appearances. One trait does not limit someone’s entire identity.”

Dylan Lewis, a senior broadcast journalism major from Mooreville, will serve on the LGBTQ student panel.

“The things we say or think about people affect everyone around us,” Lewis said. “Stereotypes hurt specific people or groups being stereotyped, but in reality it hurts all of us because our friends are part of those marginalized groups. When they hurt, we all hurt.

“While this campaign may not end stereotypes completely, it is a way to start the conversation, hence our campaign name ‘It Starts With (Me)ek.’ I hope students come to just see the perspectives of these individuals and realize that just pausing, our key message, can make a difference when trying to understand someone.”

The conference concludes with a festival April 25 on the front lawn of Farley Hall. Students are encouraged to wear purple to show their support, while faculty and staff will wear 1960s-inspired outfits to celebrate the many activist movements of the decade.

Students wearing purple will get a free treat from Chick-fil-A. If students have attended at least two events throughout the week and have their program stamped, they will receive a free T-shirt.

All events take place in Overby auditorium or in the front lawn of Farley Hall. For more information, visit or follow the campaign on social media at or

The full schedule for the series features:

Wednesday, April 19

10 a.m. – Opening ceremony

11 a.m. – Lecture: “Other Moments: A Class Photography Exercise in Honoring Difference at Ole Miss,” Mark Dolan, associate professor of journalism

1 p.m. – Lecture: “Making a Difference by Engaging with Difference,” Jennifer Stollman, William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation.

2 p.m. – Lecture: “Tell Me a Story: Using Personal Narratives to Navigate Cultural Difference,” Katrina Caldwell, vice chancellor for diversity and community engagement

Thursday, April 20

9:30 a.m. – Panel Discussion: “From James Meredith to Millennials: Race Relations at Ole Miss,” moderated by Shawnboda Mead, director of CICCE

11 a.m. – Panel Discussion: “Red, Blue and Rainbow: An Inside Look at Being LGBT at UM,” moderated by journalism major Rachel Anderson

1 p.m. – Lecture: “Building Trust Within Professional and Personal Communities: A Workshop,” Jennifer Stollman

2:30 p.m. – Panel Discussion: “Sometimes I Feel Invisible: Living with a Disability,” moderated by Kathleen Wickham, professor of journalism

5:30 p.m. – Spoken Word Performance

Friday, April 21

10 a.m. – Lecture: “Race in America: A Journalist’s Perspective,” Jesse Holland, AP reporter

11 a.m. and 1 p.m. – Panel Discussions: “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” black UM journalism alumni discuss their experiences, moderated by Jesse Holland

2 p.m. – Panel Discussion: “Red, Blue and Rainbow Alumni,” LGBT alumni discuss their experiences, moderated by Shepard Smith

3 p.m. – Lecture: “My Journey from Farley Hall to Major News Events Around the World,” Shepard Smith, Fox News chief news anchor

4 p.m. – Reception for speakers and students

Monday, April 24

9 a.m. – Lecture: “Normal Does Not Exist, Mental Illness Does,” Mary Beth Duty, professional counselor

10 a.m. – Lecture: “From the Bible Belt to Baghdad: What Today’s IMC and Journalism Professionals Need to Know About the World’s Major Religions,” Sarah Moses, assistant professor of religion

11 a.m. – Panel Discussion: “Keeping the Faith,” members of the Jewish and Muslim faiths discuss challenges they face, moderated by Dean Will Norton

1 p.m. – Panel Discussion: “Mental Health and Me,” panelists discuss their experiences with mental health, moderated by Debbie Hall, instructor of integrated marketing communications

2 p.m. – Lecture: “Role of Individual and Institutional Accountability in Doing Diversity and Equity,” Michele Alexandre, professor of law

3 p.m. – Lecture: “Keeping it Real on Social Media: Guidelines for Handling Diversity Issues,” Ryan Whittington, assistant director of public relations for social media strategy

4 p.m. – Fashion Show: “Unity in Diversity,” entertainment on Farley Hall lawn

6 p.m. – Lecture: “Racial Politics in Memphis,” Otis Sanford, University of Memphis

Tuesday, April 25

10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. – Farley Festival Day

Ten UM Seniors Inducted into Hall of Fame

Recipients honored for achievement, service and potential for success

The 2017 Hall of Fame inductees are front row ( L to R) Acacia Santos, Leah Gibson, Yujing Zhang, Alex Martin. Back Row (L to R) Austin Dean, Chase Moore, Austin Powell, Miller Richmond, John Brahan, James Roland Markos. Photo by Robert Jordan Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Ten University of Mississippi seniors have been inducted into the university’s 2016-17 Hall of Fame, one of the highest honors afforded students at UM.

The inductees were honored Friday (April 7) in a ceremony at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts. A committee in accordance with policy developed by the Associated Student Body chooses Hall of Fame members. Selections are based on academic achievement, community involvement and potential success.

This year’s Hall of Fame members are John Brahan of Hattiesburg; Austin Dean of Hammond, Illinois; Leah Gibson of Starkville; James-Roland Markos of Jackson, Tennessee; Jane Martin of Madison; Chase Moore of Horn Lake; Austin Powell of Corinth; Miller Richmond of Madison; Acacia Santos of Southaven; and Yujing Zhang of Oxford.

“The students who are inducted into the Hall of Fame are leaders, scholars and community servants,” said Mindy Sutton Noss, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students. “Their combined list of accomplishments and contributions to the university community is impressive and inspiring.

“They each leave a legacy at Ole Miss, and I know they will all go on to make a difference in the world around them. I believe we will hear more about the achievements of these individuals throughout their lives.”

John Brahan.Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications

The 10 students were among 150 Ole Miss seniors recognized for inclusion in Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. They are to be listed in the national publication’s 2017 edition.

Brahan, pursuing a double major in public policy leadership and theatre arts, is a member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and a Trent Lott Institute Scholar. He served in several roles over the course of his education, including ASB vice president; director of Greek affairs for RebelTHON, the Miracle Network dance marathon benefitting the Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital; and vice president of standards for the Interfraternity Council. Brahan served the community as a Leap Frog tutor and mentor. He’s performed in theatrical productions of “Clybourne Park” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and plans to pursue a career in the entertainment industry upon graduation. His parents are Tammy Kolbo and John Brahan of Hattiesburg.

Austin Dean. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications

An integrated marketing communications major, Dean has served as vice president of the Columns Society, an organization of 24 of the top students who serve as official hosts for the university. He also served as vice chairman of the University Judicial Council in the Office of Conflict Resolution and on the board of the directors for The Big Event, the largest community service project at the university. Dean was awarded Excellence in Integrated Marketing Communications and the Christine Wallace Service Award. After graduation, he plans to move to Washington, D.C., to work for a firm focused on running campaigns for legislation and political candidates. His parents are James Dean and Christy Amey of Hammond, Illinois, and Katrina and Tyrone Wilkins of Atwood, Illinois.

Leah Gibson.Photo by Marlee Crawford/Ole Miss Communications

Gibson, a journalism major, is a member of the Columns Society and a McLean Institute Innovation Scholar, a distinction awarded to students with interest in entrepreneurship and economic development in Mississippi’s rural communities. She is Miss University 2017. Gibson served as station manager of Rebel Radio at the Student Media Center and special events coordinator of the Black Student Union. After graduation, she will compete in the 60th anniversary Miss Mississippi pageant in June and plans to spend a year traveling abroad. Her ultimate goal is to work as a television host on her own network. Her parents are Kelvin and Tamara Gibson of Starkville.

James Roland Markos.Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications

Markos is completing a triple major in public policy leadership, biological sciences and biochemistry. He is a student director of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and a Trent Lott Institute Scholar. Markos is president of Sigma Nu fraternity and served as president of the UM Interfraternity Council in 2015. He is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of the UM Undergraduate Research Journal, a yearly, peer-reviewed publication of research articles written by UM undergraduate students. Markos was awarded a Taylor Medal, an award given to fewer than 1 percent of students each year for outstanding scholarship in their field. Upon graduation, Markos will attend the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota, to pursue M.D. and Master of Public Health degrees to prepare for a career as a clinical physician. His parents are George and Clare Markos of Jackson, Tennessee.

Alex Martin. Photo by Marlee Crawford/Ole Miss Communications

Martin is double-majoring in international studies and mathematics. She is a member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and the Croft Institute for International Studies. Martin has served as executive director of The Big Event, managing editor of the UM Undergraduate Research Journal and ASB director of academic affairs. She has been inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society and was awarded a Taylor Medal. Martin plans to work as a research assistant at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and pursue a career in economics research. Her parents are Trey and Rebecca Martin and Traci Tigert of Madison.

Chase Moore. Photo by Marlee Crawford/Ole Miss Communications

A business management major and member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, Moore founded and served as president of Student Affairs Leaders of Tomorrow. He served in the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate achievement program, designed to prepare students for graduate research. Moore also served as student assistant for the Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement, director of the UM Gospel Choir and an ASB senator. After graduation, Moore plans to attend Ohio State University to pursue a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs, with hopes of later earning a doctorate in management. His parents are Milton and Phyllis Moore and the late Nigela Patreece Moore of Horn Lake.


Austin Powell. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications

Powell, completing a double major in public policy leadership and philosophy, He served as ASB president during the 2016-17 academic year. He is a member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and a Trent Lott Institute Scholar, and he was a Rhodes Scholar finalist last spring. Powell also served as assistant director for The Big Event and is a member of the Columns Society. He has been accepted to graduate school at the University of Oxford in England and will pursue a master’s degree in criminology. His parents are Eric and Gwen Powell of Corinth.


Miller Richmond.Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications

Richmond is an international studies major and a member of both the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and the Croft Institute for International Studies. He served as executive co-director of The Big Event and chief of staff for the ASB. Richmond is also a member of the Columns Society and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. He also conducted research with Syrian refugees in Jordan while studying abroad during the 2015 fall semester. He plans to continue his work globally in the public health field and attend medical school in the future. His parents are Jim and Jennifer Richmond of Madison.

Acacia Santos. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications

A mechanical engineering major, Santos is a member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and the Haley Barbour Center for Manufacturing Excellence. During her time at Ole Miss, she has served has president of the Columns Society, community assistant for the Department of Student Housing and an orientation leader for incoming students. In 2016, Santos was elected Miss Ole Miss by the student body. She also served as committee chair for recruitment and retention for the Black Student Union. After graduation, Santos plans to go to Disney World, catch up on sleep and then attend graduate school at Boston University. Her parents are Paula Santos of Southaven and Francisco Santos Jr. of Bremerton, Washington.


Yujing Zhang. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications

Zhang is a pharmaceutical sciences major and is member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College. She is a member of the Columns Society, served as RebelTHON director of catering and was a member of the Honors College student senate. Zhang also was awarded a Taylor Medal and inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi honor society. Upon graduation, she plans to attend the UM School of Pharmacy to pursue a Doctor of Pharmacy. Her parents are Darryl Scott and Jinping Stevens of Oxford.


UM Museum Hosts Lafayette County Master Gardeners Series

Lectures set for Thursdays throughout April

OXFORD, Miss. – The Lafayette County Master Gardeners are hosting the Master Gardener Spring Brown Bag Lunch Lecture Series on Thursdays this month at the University of Mississippi Museum.

With a theme of “Garden Survival,” the lectures are set for noon in the museum’s Speakers Gallery. The free series also features plant exhibits and opportunities to win door prizes.

The series covers topics ranging from eating what you grow to how insects can be helpful in the garden.

“The University Museum is pleased to once again host the Master Gardener series,” said Debbie Nelson, the museum’s events and communications coordinator. “For a decade, the community has looked forward to this annual event, not only for the lecture series, but to speak to gardening experts and actually see plants native to the area.”

The series opened Aug. 6 with a presentation by Susan Haltom, president of the Southern Garden History Society and garden designer and preservations coordinator for Eudora Welty’s garden. Upcoming lectures feature Blake Layton, professor of entomology at Mississippi State University, on April 13, and Jeff Wilson, regional horticulturalist with the MSU Extension Service in Verona, on April 20.

Nathan Lazinski, assistant superintendent of the UM Department of Landscape Services, wraps up the series April 27 with “Proven Winner Plants for Your Yard.”

Nelson encourages audiences to arrive early for the lectures, allowing time to browse the new exhibit, “Lasting Impressions: Restoring Kate Freeman Clark,” which features numerous floral paintings by the acclaimed Holly Springs artist.

For more information, visit or