UM Again Named Among Nation’s Best Universities to Work For

Ole Miss on Chronicle of Higher Education's list for ninth time, makes Honor Roll

For the ninth consecutive year, UM has been named to the Chronicle of Higher Education’s list of ‘Great Colleges to Work For.’ Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – University of Mississippi employees enjoy a strong work-life balance, have confidence in senior leadership and feel appreciated. Those glowing job satisfaction reports have led the Chronicle of Higher Education to name UM a “Great College to Work For” for the ninth time.

The university has made the list, which was released Monday (July 17), nine of the 10 years it has existed. Ole Miss was not only on the list, but it also was recognized for the second year in a row in the Chronicle’s 2017 Great Colleges Honor Roll, an award given to only 10 universities with an enrollment of more than 10,000 students.

It’s rewarding for the university to receive this award for nine straight years because it recognizes the respectful and supportive atmosphere that emanates across all UM campuses, Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter said.

“Our people are our greatest asset,” Vitter said. “Our faculty, staff and administrators are deeply invested in our university and are responsible for our outstanding campus culture of genuine caring for each individual. They continue to make our vibrant work and learning environments ever greater.”

The Chronicle is a major source of news and information for college and university faculty members and administrators. Online, the Chronicle is published every weekday.

The Great Colleges to Work For recognition is based on thousands of surveys anonymously filled out by higher education employees across the country. 

It’s a great honor for the university to be named to the Chronicle list yet again, said Clay Jones, assistant vice chancellor for administration and human resources. 

“Receiving this acknowledgement multiple years in a row indicates the dedication we have in ensuring our workplace is one of integrity, inclusiveness and fairness,” Jones said. “We take great pride in doing the best we can with the resources we have to ensure our workplace is in fact a great place to work.

“Our faculty and staff are committed to maintaining the levels of excellence we have achieved, and the recognition proves these efforts are getting results.” 

More than 250 UM employees answered the questionnaire earlier this year. Their responses revealed they enjoy collaborative governance, have high confidence in senior leadership, work on a diverse campus, have high job satisfaction and have professional career development opportunities. They also feel respected and appreciated.

Workers report good relationships with their supervisors and department chairs. They also tout the positive work-life balance at Ole Miss. 

The perennial ranking on the Chronicle’s list builds on the university’s sterling reputation as a great place to work. In 2015 and 2016, UM was named one of Mississippi’s Healthiest Workplaces by the Mississippi Business Journal, the Mississippi Business Group on Health and the Mississippi Department of Health. 

The university has policies that allow employees to take two 20-minute breaks during the day to walk around campus, which research has shown improves overall employee morale and productivity.

 Ole Miss also has developed RebelWell, which offers a wide range of opportunities to become educated about living a healthy lifestyle and also offers group fitness classes, cooking demonstrations and nutrition counseling, among other services for employees. The university was also recognized for offering employees many professional development opportunities.

Andrea M. Jekabsons, associate director of human resources, said in addition to recognition for job satisfaction and work-life balance, she’s appreciative of the Chronicle honoring UM’s professional and career development programs.

Those programs have many benefits to employees.

“It’s rewarding to work with employees who are growth-minded and interested in all areas of wellness,” Jekabsons said. “We also continue to support our employees’ professional development efforts and interests, by offering further education benefits, salary increases for those who obtain either an applicable certificate, license or degree and LEAD, which is our employee leadership series.”

First Charles Walker Real Estate Scholarships Awarded

Family members, former students established award to honor longtime professor and attorney

Charles H. Walker Real Estate Scholarship winners Pittman Phillips (left, front) and Forrest Timmons (right, front) are the first recipients of the scholarship named for Walker (center). UM photo by Stella Connell

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi School of Business Administration’s first Charles H. Walker Real Estate Scholarships, which honor the dynamic, long-serving professor and local attorney, have been awarded to two rising seniors.

Walker taught business law and real estate law courses at the business school and the Patterson School of Accountancy for 38 years while locally practicing law. He mentored hundreds of real estate, business and law professionals.

His family members and former students established a scholarship honoring him in 2014. Pittman Phillips, a managerial finance and real estate major from Oxford, and Forrest Timmons, a real estate finance major from Tupelo, are this year’s recipients.

It’s a high honor to have former students create an endowment for Walker, said Ken Cyree, dean of the School of Business Administration.

“I believe this best exemplifies the impact that Charles had on students over the years, and we are happy to have this legacy to honor him,” Cyree said. “It is a wonderful way to remember a professor and mentor, and we are thrilled to have this scholarship that bears his name to help continue his impact for future generations.

“We are grateful for his dedication and commitment, and we are happy to see him being honored in this way.”

Phillips said winning the scholarship is a huge honor, and he wants to follow Walker’s example. 

“Mr. Walker has been a role model for many during his teaching and working career, and one day I hope to live up to his legacy,” Phillips said. “It is my goal to expand on this scholarship by getting more students interested in real estate and the numerous aspects that surround the major.”

Timmons said he hopes the scholarship will allow him to make connections in the real estate world.

“Meeting Charles was a great honor and a privilege of mine,” Timmons said. “This scholarship is not just money going into my pocket. I see it as a representation to carry on that spirit and love for real estate that Charles Walker has.

“I am honored and humbled to receive this scholarship and plan to use it to further my education and make an impact in the real estate market here in Oxford.”

George and Annie Haymans of Oxford, Ole Miss alumni who have been influenced by Walker both personally and professionally, wanted to give back to Ole Miss. The couple chose to establish the endowment in honor of the man who shaped their lives profoundly.

George Haymans (JD 06), who met Walker in 2003 while purchasing his first house, is a real estate attorney in Oxford. Annie Haymans (BA 06, BAE 11) was one of Walker’s students and rented a place from him and his wife, Mary, while attending Ole Miss.

George Haymans said they wanted to find a way to honor such a wonderful person, lawyer and mentor.

“When Charles retired and asked me to start teaching his real estate and business law classes, it was a huge compliment and I had very big shoes to fill,” Haymans said. “We hope to honor him for a long time with the scholarship.

“This will allow for students to find a way to become involved in the many different aspects of a career in real estate.”

Will Lewis, one of Walker’s friends and clients and co-owner of Neilson’s Department Store on the Square, contributed to the scholarship fund.

“Charles has a genuine interest in everyone he meets, be they students, clients or casual acquaintances,” Lewis said. “That is a wonderful legacy.”

To make a gift to the Charles H. Walker Real Estate Scholarship Endowment, contact Tim Noss, development officer for the School of Business Administration, at tlnoss@olemiss.edu or 662-915-5932. Checks also can be mailed with the fund noted in the memo line to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655 or online at http://www.umfoundation.com/makeagift.

University Featured in Fiske’s 2018 ‘Guide to Colleges’

Annual publication highlights nation's top 300 schools

UM is featured in the 2018 edition of the ‘Fiske Guide to Colleges,’ a prestigious publication that guides students and their families on college decisions. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi is featured in the 2018 edition of the “Fiske Guide to Colleges,” a comprehensive annual volume of the country’s best and most interesting schools. This is the seventh year UM has been included in the guide, and it is the only public institution in Mississippi included.

Edward B. Fiske, former New York Times education editor, compiles the annual report on more than 300 schools from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The prestigious publication, billed as “the top independent voice in college admissions,” has been a source of crucial information for students, parents and guidance counselors for more than 30 years.

The $24.99 guide was released Tuesday (July 11). 

“The university’s listing in the ‘Fiske Guide to Colleges’ is affirmation of our exceptional, nationally-recognized academic programs,” Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter said. “It also speaks to the Ole Miss family experience, especially our attention to students. We are always pleased to be recognized by prestigious, authoritative resources.”

Besides the printed edition, the Fiske guide is also available as an iPad app on iTunes and a web program here. Fiske Interactive, which is $19.99 for a 12-month subscription, allows families to go beyond the book by viewing photos of each campus, creating school lists, and taking virtual notes.

The guide also has overlap suggestions based on which colleges share the most common applications, a list of where ACT and SAT scored are optional and a professional guide that outlines the best schools based on majors or course of study. There’s also “Sizing-Yourself-Up” questionnaire that will help students figure out what kind of school is best for them.

During his 17 years as education editor of The New York Times, Fiske realized that college-bound students and their families needed better information on which to base their education choices. He is also co-author of the “Fiske Guide to Getting into the Right College” and “Fiske Real College Essays that Work.”

“Readers will discover the real personality of the University of Mississippi based on a broad range of subjects, including student body, academics, social life, financial aid, campus setting, housing, food and extracurricular activities,” Fiske said. 

Whaling Research Leads UM Professor to Japan on Fulbright Award

Noell Wilson also plans to sail 40-foot vessel from Massachusetts to Japan

Noell Wilson. Photo by Nathan Latil/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – A University of Mississippi professor of history and international studies is headed to Japan on a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award to work on a book about American whalers in the North Pacific in the 1800s.

Noell Wilson, chair of the Arch Dalrymple III Department of History and Croft associate professor of history and international studies, will travel to Sapporo, where she will be affiliated with Hokkaido University, for the 2017-18 academic year. She plans to complete archival work on a book about the experience of American whalers in Asia in the 1850s and 1860s, provisionally titled “The Birth of a Pacific Nation: Hokkaido and U.S. Whalers in Nineteenth Century Japan.”

Wilson said the award is immensely important because it will allow her to do the archival research, and also will help her find Japanese collaborators for a public history project she is planning with curators of the New Bedford Whaling Museum in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

“While in Japan, my goal is to finish collecting manuscript documents and maps related to the U.S. whaling industry’s interactions with Japanese officials, merchants and sailors in the 1850s and 1860s to add an overlooked chapter to the early history of United States-Japan relations,” Wilson said. 

Wilson is among more than 800 U.S. citizens who will teach, conduct research and/or provide expertise abroad for the 2017-2018 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Recipients are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields.

The program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the world. It is funded through an annual appropriation made by Congress to the U.S. Department of State. 

The program was created in 1946 through legislation offered by the late U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright, D-Ark., and it has given more than 370,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and scientists opportunities to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Its alumni include 57 who have been awarded the Nobel Prize, 82 who have received Pulitzer Prizes and 37 who have served as a head of state or government.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in history from Wake Forest University in 1994, Wilson spent a year with the Japanese Exchange and Teaching program in Hokkaido, Japan, before returning to complete a master’s degree in regional studies/East Asia in 1997 and a doctorate in history and East Asian languages in 2004, both at Harvard University.

Her first book, “Defensive Positions: The Politics of Maritime Security in Tokugawa Japan,” published in 2015, focused on the influence of coastal defense on early modern state formation.

Wilson is no mere “ivory tower scholar” as her interest in long-distance sailing is not purely academic, said Jeff Watt, who will serve as the history department’s acting chair while she is away. Wilson and her husband, Gary, are planning to retrace the route of the American whalers by sailing a 40-footer from New Bedford to Hakodate, Japan.

Wilson is a star among other historians of early modern Japan, Watt said. Her first book, which dealt with the politics of maritime security during the Tokugawa regime dynasty, was innovative and very well received, but her second project looks to be even more cutting edge, Watt said.

“Delving into both American and Japanese sources, she is researching the influence of 19th century American whalers on the transformation of Japan into a Pacific nation, a major maritime power that became more focused on the vast open sea rather than on Asia,” Watt said.

“Professor Wilson is the rare complete package: a brilliant scholar, motivating teacher, and exemplary citizen to the College of Liberal Arts and the University of Mississippi.”

UM Family Remembers Jeanette Phillips for Courage, Service

Longtime administrator forged career of teaching and upgrading nutrition programs

Jeanette Phillips. Photo courtesy of The Oxford Eagle

OXFORD, Miss. – Fearless. Gracious. Principled. Kind. A pioneer. Charming, with “a backbone of forged steel.”

There is no shortage of flattering terms used when people remember Jeanette Phillips, former professor and chair of the University of Mississippi’s Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management. Phillips, 85, died June 13.

A native of Kewanee, just east of Meridian, Phillips earned a bachelor’s degree from Blue Mountain College in 1953, a master’s degree in home economics from UM in 1954 and a doctorate in 1973. She spent decades teaching at Ole Miss and served as department chair, but was also one of the most respected child nutritionists in the country and successfully brought the National Food Service Management Institute (now the Institute of Child Nutrition) to the university in the early 1990s.

She mentored thousands of students and many faculty members during her time on campus. Kathy Knight, associate professor of nutrition and hospitality management who joined the faculty in 1985, is one of those who learned so much from Phillips.

“She really helped me as a young faculty member,” Knight said. “When I got here, I was green as grass and didn’t know anything. She showed me how to be a professional young woman when, back then, there weren’t very many role models for us.”

With her calming influence, Phillips served as a mentor, adviser and confidant to both teachers and students, Knight said.

“I just don’t know anyone who went into her office and didn’t come out feeling better,” Knight said.

Phillips caring nature and calm demeanor didn’t ever prevent her from taking a stand for what she thought was right. Home economics programs faced elimination in the 1980s, but Phillips, who was then chair, made students aware the program was in peril. They began protests that ultimately saved it.

She went to Jackson to advocate on behalf of keeping home economics at Ole Miss and never wavered in her conviction that it was important.

“She had a backbone of forged steel,” Knight said. “She saved our department.”

Phillips began her teaching career in 1954 at Hurricane High School in Pontotoc County and went from there to University High School in Oxford. After three years, she became a member of the home economics faculty at Ole Miss, teaching family life, nutrition and marriage-focused courses.

Her life’s work was teaching and upgrading nutrition programs throughout the state and nation.

Phillips won many awards, including the university’s Outstanding Teacher Award, the School of Education’s Outstanding Teacher Award, Magnolia Award, Mississippi Dietetics Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Profession of Nutrition and the Leston L. Love Award for Outstanding Service in the Area of Students and Mortar Board, among others.

She was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, an honorary fraternity that honors excellence in scholarship, leadership and service at the university.

Jim Payne, dean of the School of Education in the 1980s, was among Phillips’ friends and colleagues. At that time, home economics was part of the school, and Phillips was chair.

“She was so impressive in person and kind and soft-spoken, but you didn’t have to be around her long to know she was principled,” Payne said. “I saw her as a real pioneer, and she was always exploring uncharted waters.”

Payne, who had never been a dean before coming to Ole Miss, remembers there not being enough money in the budget for phones; all the lines were cut off except one at the secretary’s desk that the entire department had to use. Buildings weren’t being heating and cooled. There were hiring freezes. The roof leaked and there was no money to fix it. The department even ran out of paper.

Phillips knew of creative ways to get resources for her program when the state budget situation was dire, he said. The program not only continued, but flourished under her leadership.

“She made me look better,” Payne said.

Payne, who had been in the restaurant business before he getting into higher education, noticed the cafeteria that home economics operated had no walk-in cooler, which is essential for any restaurant. He and Phillips decided to have a telethon to raise the money for a cooler, which cost around $50,000.

When it came, Phillips knew exactly how to celebrate its arrival.

“Jeanette had me come over there, and me and (the home economics faculty) got in the cooler,” Payne said. “It was about the size of a large closet, and we walked in and all had champagne.

“We just celebrated in that cooler. I will never forget that moment.”

Upon learning the U.S. Department of Agriculture was hoping to establish an institute for child nutrition professionals, Phillips led the charge to have it established at UM. Her efforts, along with the help of others on campus, led to the National Food Service Management Institute being located here.

At first, the center had no building, but after getting it located here, she secured funds for the building and other needs. The street that passes in front of it is named for Phillips.

Charlotte Oakley, who helped Phillips with efforts to land the center, also served as its director later. Phillips taught Oakley and served on her graduate committee. They became friends and colleagues, and Phillips was her professional mentor for more than 50 years.

Oakley said part of what made her so adept at being an administrator is that she made everyone around her feel like they mattered. 

“She always magically seemed to have time for everyone,” Oakley said. “She never looked at her watch when you were with her. She just had the ability to draw you in and make you feel important to her.

“She had a real gift for engaging other people and getting you interested in something that is bigger and better than just the day-to-day things.”

Besides her storied academic career, Phillips was the first woman to serve on the board of directors for the Oxford-Lafayette Chamber of Commerce in 1974-77. She and her husband, Jesse Phillips, also owned and operated Jeannie’s Hallmark Shoppe and Rebel Press Office Supply Co. for decades.

She was an active member of First Baptist Church of Oxford from 1954 until her death.

“I don’t think there is any question Dr. Phillips was a gracious Southern lady of faith,” Oakley said. “She had the most amazing ability to balance life.

“She had family. She always put God first, her family second and her job third. I could talk about her all day. She is just greatly missed.”

Her survivors include two sons, Andy Phillips and Tim Phillips and his wife, Terri, both of Oxford, six grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Her husband of 60 years, Jessie P. Phillips, and a son, Dan Phillips, preceded her in death.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Daniel M. Phillips Memorial Scholarship at University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Avenue, Oxford, MS 38655.

History Professor Heads to Amsterdam for EURIAS Fellowship

Nicolas Trépanier plans to use time to collaborate with European colleagues and work on book

Nicolas Trépanier, UM associate professor of history, has received a European Institutes for Advanced Study fellowship. Photo Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Nicolas Trépanier, associate professor in the University of Mississippi’s Arch Dalrymple III Department of History, has received a yearlong research fellowship at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in Amsterdam.

Trépanier was awarded the European Institutes for Advanced Study fellowship, which brings together scholars in a variety of disciplines, ranging from neurology to art history and from journalism to philosophy. Their projects are not connected to one other, but the fellows are expected to interact. 

The idea behind the EURIAS model is that creative thinkers will benefit from being exposed to other creative thinkers in fields that are unfamiliar to them. 

Trépanier says he’s grateful to EURIAS for the opportunity to collaborate with such an esteemed group. 

“Spending a year at NIAS will allow me to concentrate on that research on a full-time basis, so it’s likely to be very important in the advancement of my research career,” Trépanier said. “It will also allow me to work with a few archaeologists I know in the Netherlands, which is also a precious opportunity because historians in my field rarely engage in such collaborations.”

EURIAS’ fellowship program is part of the Network of European Institutes for Advanced Study, which brings together 22 institutes across Europe. Within the network, more than 500 researchers are hosted every year for up to one full academic year, with the goal of creating international and multidisciplinary learning communities.

Trépanier holds a doctorate in Middle Eastern studies/history from Harvard University. His first book, “Foodways and Daily Life in Medieval Anatolia: A New Social History” explores the daily experiences of ordinary folk through the various parts that food played in their lives: from agricultural production to religious fasting and from commercial exchanges to meal schedules.

The fellowship will give him a chance to work on a second book, also focused on Anatolia, in medieval Turkey. This work explores the idea of landscapes, how people living at that time perceived the territory around them and what were the differences in perception between travelers, political elites, peasants and others. 

Trépanier is an exceptional scholar and teacher whose theoretical innovation and productivity in research places him within the top tier of an already accomplished Ole Miss faculty, said Noell Wilson, interim chair and associate professor of history and international studies. 

“His cross-disciplinary study of landscape in medieval Anatolia engages projects of colleagues not only within his home discipline of history, but in archaeology and the broader digital humanities,” Wilson said. “We are thrilled to see international recognition for his work beyond the U.S. academy, and the broader department will benefit from Professor Trépanier’s role as an intellectual bridge between Oxford and European scholars.”

UM Hosts Mississippi Bicentennial Concerts this Weekend

Governor's Concert featuring Marty Stuart will be held in the Grove

OXFORD, Miss. – The Governor’s Concert at the Mississippi Bicentennial Celebration North is set for Saturday in the Grove at the University of Mississippi as part of a weekend-long celebration of 200 years of statehood.

High interest in the event prompted state officials to move the concert from the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts to the Grove so many more can attend. The concert is the crescendo of bicentennial programming on campus and in the community this week. All events are free and open to the public.

“Interest in the Governor’s Concert showcasing Marty Stuart and many other Mississippi music stars has been consistent and strong,” Gov. Phil Bryant said. “The Grove provides ample space for many more families and friends to gather in celebration of Mississippi’s bicentennial.”

Attendees are welcome to arrive at the Grove early, picnic, and bring blankets and chairs before the exciting evening packed with some of Mississippi’s most talented performers and songwriters.

Ole Miss is tremendously pleased to take part in the state’s bicentennial celebration, Chancellor Jeff Vitter said.

“We look forward to the many exciting events that will honor our state’s history, culture, people and places,” Vitter said. “What a great opportunity to showcase the wonderful Lafayette-Oxford-University community and all of the north region.

“We appreciate all the hard work and coordination of Visit Oxford, Mississippi Hills Heritage Area Alliance, Visit Mississippi, Mississippi Development Authority and the Governor’s Office to celebrate the anniversary of Mississippi’s statehood in ways that pay tribute to the state’s accomplishments and contributions over the last 200 years.”

The Bicentennial Celebration North includes a weekend of events beginning Friday (June 23), with a special edition of Thacker Mountain Radio in the Grove at 7 p.m. The show will be taped for future broadcast on Mississippi Public Broadcasting. Following the radio show, Damien Wash & Friends will perform an hourlong Mississippi Soul Singer Tribute.

The entertainment begins in the Grove at 5 p.m. Saturday with Anne Freeman & The Garbage Sons. The Governor’s Concert follows at 6:30 p.m. Country and Americana legend Marty Stuart will headline the lineup, appearing with singer-songwriters Mac McAnally and Shannon McNally, and Mississippi’s Music and Culture Ambassador Steve Azar. The concert also features Vasti Jackson, the Roots Gospel Voices of Mississippi, the Mississippi Bicentennial Symphony Orchestra and the Mississippi Bicentennial Singers.

At 4 p.m. Sunday, the university will host a family day tailgate in the Grove with live music from Blackwater Trio. Additional events hosted in Oxford throughout the June 23-25 weekend are listed here.

Acclaimed Writer Rose McLarney Named UM Summer Poet in Residence

Public reading set for June 29 at Off Square Books

Rose McLarney is the University of Mississippi’s 2017 Summer Poet in Residence. Photo by Nicole McConville

OXFORD, Miss. – Rose McLarney, an acclaimed writer and professor whose work is deeply rooted in the South, is the University of Mississippi’s 10th Summer Poet in Residence.

McLarney will be on campus through July 15 teaching undergraduate classes and working with emerging writers in the Department of English’s Master of Fine Arts program. She also will give a reading at Off Square Books at 5:30 p.m. June 29. A book signing at 5 p.m. will precede the free event. 

McLarney’s two poetry collections came out in a two-year period, and she is working on her third and fourth manuscripts. She said she looks forward to working with students here and soaking up the rich culture of the LOU community. 

“Since the first book was published, following an academic career, I have moved between four states and all around the country,” McLarney said. “Currently, I am at work on my third and fourth poetry manuscripts. I very much welcome the time to write granted by the residency.

“And having the chance to participate in a residency that allows me to stay in the South, where my poetry has always been rooted, will be especially beneficial.”

“Its Day Being Gone,” which is the winner of the National Poetry Series, and “The Always Broken Plates of Mountains” are her first two published collections.

The MacDowell Colony, Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences and Warren Wilson College all have awarded McLarney fellowships. She was the 2016 Dartmouth Poet in Residence at the Frost Place and winner of the Chaffin Award at Morehead State University, and she also won the Fellowship of Southern Writers’ New Writing Award for Poetry.

McLarney’s poems have appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, New England Review, Missouri Review and many other publications. 

She earned her master’s degree from Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and has taught there and at other institutions. She is assistant professor of creative writing at Auburn University and co-editor in chief and poetry editor of The Southern Humanities Review.

The LOU literary community looks forward to hosting a talent of McLarney’s caliber, said Beth Ann Fennelly, UM English professor, Summer Poet in Residence director and Mississippi’s poet laureate. 

“We are excited that Rose will be living here for a month, working on her poetry and visiting classes,” Fennelly said. “Her poems are imagine-rich, steeped in the Southern vernacular. She’s from Appalachia and has a deep attention to the natural world and the way we build community through stories.”

Nadia Alexis, a poetry MFA student who helps with the SPiR program, said as a young writer, she is especially looking forward to a chance to spend time with McLarney. 

“In addition to the class visits in which Rose will be doing a range of enriching presentations for undergraduates, MFA students will also have the benefit of meeting with her in a literary salon setting,” Alexis said. “As writers who are in the earlier stages of our careers, I’m excited we’ll have the opportunity to get to know and learn from such a talented, accomplished poet.”

Manning Way Outlet Opens Monday to Improve Traffic Flow

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi will open an exit Monday (June 12) to alleviate traffic congestion on Manning Way and the south side of campus as construction of a roundabout on Chucky Mullins Drive continues through the summer. 

The alternate route, which will be open between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. weekdays, will allow vehicles leaving campus to travel from Manning Way to the South Parking Lot and then turn right onto Old Taylor Road. Drivers will not be allowed to turn left onto Old Taylor Road and should continue up Manning Way to Gertrude Ford Boulevard if they wish to go north. 

Markers will be in place to guide motorists. 

“It is our hope that providing this additional exit will alleviate the congestion on Manning Way during these peak times,” said Mike Harris, director of parking and transportation.

The campus entrance at Chucky Mullins Drive will remain closed through the summer so a roundabout can be built at where Hill Drive and Hathorn Road intersect with Chucky Mullins Drive. The project is expected to improve traffic flow on the south side of campus. 

Drivers have been using other entrances to campus since the work began in May. It’s expected the new outlet from Manning Way will be in place until the work on the Chucky Mullins Drive roundabout is complete. 

Job Fairs Address Workforce Needs for New Campus Dining Options

250 jobs available for students and local community

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi’s upgraded dining options will offer far more choice than ever when students arrive on campus this fall. The new restaurants also will create 250 new jobs, and several upcoming job fairs aim to fill them. 

The biggest improvements will be made to the dining experience at the Ole Miss Student Union, which is undergoing a massive renovation and expansion project. The university, Ole Miss Dining and Aramark have announced several new dining options, including a McAlister’s Deli, Which-Wich, Chick-fil-A, Panda Express and Qdoba.

Ole Miss Dining is seeking a number of employees with a variety of skill sets, ranging from dishwashers, general utility workers and food service workers to cashiers, food prep workers and experienced culinary professionals to fill positions at these locations. 

“We are pleased to offer students more variety, convenience and value,” said Amy Greenwood, Ole Miss Dining/Aramark marketing manager. “All of the enhancements we made to the dining program are based on student feedback, and are designed to provide students with even more opportunities to enjoy their meals, as well as their overall dining experience.”

The first level of the Student Union will feature Chick-fil-A, with an expanded menu and multiple points of sale for speed and convenience. Qdoba, Panda Express and Which-Wich will be part of the downstairs food court. A full-service McAlister’s, featuring soups, salads, sandwiches and entrees with dedicated seating, will anchor the second level.

Ole Miss Dining is hiring students and workers from the area for these locations and others on campus.

Interview dates and times are as follows:

  • June 7 – Job Fair for community members at the Pontotoc WIN Job Center, 182 Highway 15 North in Pontotoc, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • June 13 – Job Fair for community members at the Batesville Governor’s Job Fair, Batesville Civic Center, 290 Medical Center Dr. in Batesville, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • June 28 – Job Fair for community members at the Oxford WIN Job Center, 204 Colonnade Cove, Suite 1, in Oxford, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • July 10 – Job Fair for community members at the Batesville WIN Job Center, 103-16 Woodland Road in Batesville, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • July 12 – Job Fair for community members at the Tupelo WIN Job Center, 3200 Adams Farm Road in Belden, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.