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.

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.

UM Communiversity Helping Community Capture the Holidays

New 'Happy Holiday Hour' lunchtime classes offered for just $10

Area residents are invited to come prepare to deck the halls with the UM Communiversity program's array of holiday classes being offered this fall. Seasonal favorites returning this year are 'Wreath Making' and 'Holiday Sweet Treats.' New this year are $10 lunchtime classes to help participants spruce up their homes in a hurry.

Area residents are invited to come prepare to deck the halls with the UM Communiversity program’s array of holiday classes being offered this fall. Seasonal favorites returning this year are ‘Wreath Making’ and ‘Holiday Sweet Treats.’ New this year are $10 lunchtime classes to help participants spruce up their homes in a hurry.

OXFORD, Miss. – As the leaves begin to turn bright red and orange on the University of Mississippi campus, the Division of Outreach’s Communiversity program is ready to help local residents prepare for the hustle and bustle of the upcoming holiday season.

“We know everyone is so busy this time of year,” said Sandra Sulton, the university’s Communiversity coordinator. “We wanted to help make decorating, cooking and capturing precious holiday memories a little easier.”

For people who are short on time but would love to decorate like the pros this Christmas, Communiversity will offer five unique one-hour classes that meet during the noon lunch hour.

“These ‘Happy Holiday Hour’ classes pack a lot of great ideas into 60 minutes and cost just $10,” Sulton said.

First up, Robert Jordan, the university’s director of photography services, will pass along his best photo tips for “Capturing Your Christmas Card Photo.” From what to wear to camera settings, Jordan has rounded up some of his tried-and-true tricks for family photos, kids and babies, and even pets, plus some fun Christmas card photo ideas.

The class is set for noon to 1 p.m. Oct. 26 at UM’s Insight Park, off Hawthorn Road near the Ole Miss softball and soccer fields.

Jeff McManus, UM director of landscaping services, is preparing to show participants how to have a beautiful winter arrangement that greets your holiday guests during the “Holiday Container Gardens” class offered at noon Nov. 9 at the University-Oxford Depot.

Participants will learn to use beautiful natural elements from the outdoors including spruce, fir, cedar, holly, dried flowers, pinecones and many other items to create a beautiful outdoor focal point.

On Nov. 16, Jordan Brown, of Oxford’s Discount Building Materials, will teach her favorite techniques for putting together a lovely Christmas tree from start to finish in “Tips for Trimming Your Tree.” The class will meet at noon at the University-Oxford Depot.

Another new class for this year is “Merry Mailboxes,” with Oxford Floral’s Whitney Pullen. The class will show you how to add holiday flair to your street by assembling the perfect holiday display using beautiful greenery on your own mailbox. The one-hour class will meet at noon Nov. 30 at the Depot.

The final “Happy Holiday Hour” $10 class is a special meeting with Mitch Robinson from Strawberry Plains Audubon Center in Holly Springs. Robinson will lead the “Christmas Tree for the Birds” class, where participants will learn different ideas for decorating a tree that can be moved outdoors after the holidays and enjoyed by our feathered friends. The class is set for noon Dec. 14 at the Depot.

Two more holiday-themed classes will be offered in the evening to give participants a little more time to create. The first is “Holiday Sweets and Treats” class taught by Jeff and Kathleen Taylor, owners of Oxford’s Sweet T’s Bakery and recent contestants on the Food Network show “Cake Wars.”

The Taylors will share their best tips for making holiday meringues and other sweet treats from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Depot. The cost is $68.

Oxford Floral’s Whitney Pullen will be back on Dec. 8 to teach the “Wreath Making” course again this year. One of the most popular Communiversity courses from previous years, this one teaches participants to create a beautiful, fragrant holiday wreath that they take home. This class has been a great girl’s night outing in years past. The class meets from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and the cost includes greenery and a wreath form for just $70.

You can find out more and register for these or any classes being offered this fall at http://www.olemiss.edu/communiversity.

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.

Explore Photography with UM Communiversity Series

Award-winning photographer set for four sessions this fall

Robert Jordan

Robert Jordan

OXFORD, Miss. – Famed Mississippi author Eudora Welty once said, “A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.”

Robert Jordan, award-winning director of photography services at the University of Mississippi, will show participants how to capture their own memories during a series of photography classes being offered through the UM Communiversity program this fall.

“It’s reinvigorating for me to see others learn something new and watch their enthusiasm for photography expand,” Jordan said. “There are so many ways to express your personality and view of life from behind the lens.”

Jordan will inspire class members to compose and take great photos with their digital cameras during the “Digital Photography Basics” class offered from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 13) and 9-11:30 a.m. Saturday (Oct. 15).

“People who attend this class have made a financial investment in their camera, and this course will teach them how to get the most out of it,” Jordan said.

Topics include efficient use of manual modes, quick-shooting techniques for more professional-looking shots and, most importantly, how to have fun with your camera. Jordan will touch on post-production editing and enhancing images, as well as hardware options for archiving and printing. The cost is $85.

“Most people struggle with the technology when they are learning about a new camera,” Jordan said. “Engineers usually write the manual books, so they’re not really written for the everyday person. I aim for this class to take the guesswork out of getting started with your digital camera.”

If most of your photos are taken on your cell phone, you might want to sign up for “iPhone Photography,” meeting from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 20 and 22 at UM’s Insight Park, off Hathorn Road.

Jordan will share tips and tricks to improve point-and-click phone photos and how to enhance photos using applications such as SnapSeed and Camera+. The fee is $75.

On Oct. 22, experiment with Adobe Photoshop and learn to change the size and resolution of photos, color correct, remove red eye, restore photos and much more. Amanda Keys, owner of Bright Ideas and Solutions, will teach this course from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Weir Hall.

Participants will learn tips for restoring old family photos, as well as how to apply artistic and textural photo effects. The cost for this class is $89.

A new class offering this fall that should be a great resource for the upcoming holiday season is Jordan’s “Capturing the Perfect Christmas Card Photo.” This class will meet noon-1 p.m. Oct. 26 at Insight Park. As part of the Holiday Happy Hour series, the cost is only $10.

From what to wear to camera settings, Jordan has rounded up some of his tried-and-true tricks for family photos, kids, babies, and even pets, plus some fun Christmas card photo ideas.

Find out more and register for these or any of the other fall offerings at http://www.olemiss.edu/communiversity.

UM Helps Oxford Doctor and Son Prepare for Medical Mission Trip

Communiversity course bridges the gap for health care workers and Spanish-speaking patients

Oxford Oncologist Dennis Morgan and his son Joshua practice greetings in UM Communiversity's "Spanish for Healthcare Workers" class taking place this month on the Oxford campus. The Morgans enrolled in the course to prepare for a medical missions trip to Mexico they will participate in next year.

Dr. Dennis Morgan (left) and his son Joshua practice greetings in UM Communiversity’s ‘Spanish for Health Care Workers’ class on the Oxford campus. The Morgans enrolled in the course to prepare for a medical mission trip to Mexico next year.

OXFORD, Miss. – Oxford oncologist Dr. Dennis Morgan and his son Joshua are preparing for a visit next year to Oaxaca, Mexico, where they will tend to medical needs of residents living in the poorest communities.

Among the challenges they will face is the language barrier when speaking about medical issues with people in the villages they will visit.

Hoping to overcome this hurdle the Morgans enrolled in the University of Mississippi Communiversity program’s “Spanish for Health Care Professionals” class that began last week and will be offered in four evening sessions this fall.

“I spoke with a nurse practitioner who told me about the class, and it sounded like something that could be pretty useful,” Morgan said.

Morgan volunteered on a medical mission trip to Peru back in 2011. He wanted to give his son the same life-changing opportunity. After partnering with Ole Miss graduates Jeff and Liesa Holeman who are Baptist missionaries in Mexico, the city of Oaxaca became his next destination.

“We will go into people’s homes and ask if anyone needs to see a doctor,” Morgan said. “Once we are able to see a few people and establish trust, several more will come to us with their issues. Working to understand and communicate in the patients’ native language should go a long way to facilitate that trust.

“Most of these people live in huts with dirt floors and open fires. They truly do not have anything, but they are so kind to us. Once we can help address their physical issues, it opens the door for our mission team to come in and share the Gospel.”

Morgan has been practicing medicine in Oxford for 19 years, and Joshua is a junior at Oxford High School.

“I have two years of high school Spanish and three years of college Spanish classes,” Morgan said. “It has been 31 years, though, so I felt like I needed a refresher course. The good thing is the class is very interactive. I’m learning without really knowing that I’m learning.”

The Communiversity course offered this fall is taught by Mexico City native and UM Division of Outreach international counselor Ari Lugo.

“This is the first time we have offered a course like this, and it has attracted a wide range of people,” Lugo said. “There are doctors, nurses, records coordinators, a nurse practitioner and a respiratory therapist taking the class right now.

“The professionals who have enrolled in this course have one main thing in common. They truly want to help people to feel better.”

The Division of Outreach is in talks to offer the class again in the spring and build on what is being taught, Lugo said.

“This has been a great class that actually fits great into my schedule,” Morgan said. “I’m learning practical terminology for the health care setting that I can use with my Spanish-speaking patients in Oaxaca and also here in Oxford.

“I can now use different words to describe pain and symptoms. This will be a very useful resource for me in the future.”

UM Communiversity to Offer Fall Child Safety Series

Free social media safety course for parents coming up Oct. 4

Oxford area residents are invited to participate in the free UM Communiversity class 'Social Media: Is Your Child Safe' coming up Oct. 4 in Lamar Hall. The class is part of the 'Child Safety Series' of courses offered by the program this fall on the Oxford campus. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

Oxford area residents are invited to participate in the free UM Communiversity class ‘Social Media: Is Your Child Safe’ coming up Oct. 4 in Lamar Hall. The class is part of the ‘Child Safety Series’ of courses offered by the program this fall on the Oxford campus. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi Communiversity program is offering a free course for parents and others who are interested in understanding more about keeping their children, grandchildren or students safe on social media.

“We have had a lot of people asking questions about the different social media platforms and how their children and teens can be affected,” said Vanessa Cook, assistant director of marketing for the UM Division of Outreach and Continuing Education.

“In this class, we will share with you some strategies for deterring bullies and internet predators, as well as suggestions on how to educate children and monitor the online activity of minors.”

Cook’s class “Social Media: Is Your Child Safe?” is set for 5:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 4 in Lamar Hall, Room 207. The course is free, but participants are asked to register to reserve their spot.

UM’s crime prevention coordinator, Jeff Kellum, will offer a new course this semester on “Personal Safety” to share intellectual and physical components for staying safe. The class will meet in Lamar Hall, Room 207 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Nov. 19, and the cost is $10.

Participants will discover the early warning signs of danger, ways to use their voices and body language to prevent harm, and simple, effective physical skills to disable an attacker long enough to escape. Individuals and families are invited to attend.

If your teenager would like to help care for other children, the “Safe Sitter Essentials for Kids Ages 11-14” course will prepare them with lifesaving skills and the confidence to handle any situation that may arise while babysitting.

“This course will help future babysitters to feel comfortable and prepared in a variety of situations that may occur when caring for a child,” said Mary Leach, UM director of non-credit programming and Safe Sitter course instructor.

The workshop is slated for 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 8 in the Insight Park HR Training Room. The fee is $65.

“CPR and First-Aid Training” is one of Communiversity’s most popular classes. New parents, health care assistants, childcare workers, church staffs, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, and entire university departments have learned to save lives by enrolling in this course.

“CPR and First-Aid Training” will meet from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Nov. 12 in the Insight Park HR Training Room. The cost is $75, which includes materials and American Red Cross Certification.

“The classes in this series include some of our most popular offerings that community members continue to recommend to their friends and family,” said Sandra Sulton, UM Communiversity coordinator.

To find out more about these and the full fall slate of Communiversity classes, visit http://www.olemiss.edu/communiversity.

Local Senior Citizens Invited to Learn Something New this Fall

Variety of noncredit classes available through UM Communiversity Program

Oxford residents can learn more about taking and sending photos, texts, and much more during the UM Communiversity class, 'iPhone, iPad, iWhat?' offered Thursday (Sept. 8) in Weir Hall. Communiversity is a noncredit enrichment program open to the community with no tests, papers, or grades.

Oxford residents can learn more about taking and sending photos, texts, and much more during the UM Communiversity class, ‘iPhone, iPad, iWhat?’ offered Thursday (Sept. 8) in Weir Hall. Communiversity is a noncredit enrichment program open to the community with no tests, papers or grades.

OXFORD, Miss. – Senior citizens in the Oxford area who would like to try out a new hobby or learn a new skill are invited to check out the University of Mississippi’s fall Communiversity schedule, which is packed with a variety of classes that anyone in the community can try.

Senior citizens can take advantage of a special discount for people ages 55 and over.

“There are no tests, papers or grades,” said Sandra Sulton, UM Communiversity coordinator. “These classes are for those who want to have fun and learn something new.”

If you are still trying to figure out your iPhone or iPad, a special course for senior adults will be offered from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 8) in Weir Hall. The course, “iPhone, iPad, iWhat?” is designed to help users feel comfortable with basic settings and navigation of your devices. The cost is $45.

“We have a lot of grandparents enroll in this class so that they can communicate with their grandkids through their cellphones,” Sulton said. “They want to learn to take photos and send them and to keep in contact via their phones, computers and iPads.”

The opportunity to learn more about computers and computer programs such as Microsoft Excel, Word, and PowerPoint will be offered 5:30-7:30 p.m. Sept. 13, 15 and 20 in the computer labs in Weir Hall. The cost for all three sessions is $85.

“Digital Photography Basics” will be led by award-winning UM photographer Robert Jordan. The class meets 5:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 13 and 9-11:30 a.m. Oct. 15. The cost is $85.

Topics in this class include efficient use of manual modes, quick-shooting techniques for more professional-looking shots and, most importantly, how to have fun with your camera. The instructor will touch on post-production editing and enhancing images, as well as hardware options for archiving and printing.

If sewing is a hobby you always wanted to explore, check out two classes being offered this fall by Oxford artist Andi Bedsworth. Learn more about the basics of using your sewing machine with “Sewing 101: Introduction to Using a Machine,” offered from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 12 in Lamar Hall, Room 133. The cost is $59.

“I’ll show you what all the buttons and knobs on your sewing machine are for,” Bedsworth said. “You’ll learn how to sew in zippers and button holes, thread your machine, change out your bobbin and all those little things that may be intimidating when you take your machine out of the box.”

Bedsworth’s next course in the series, “Sewing: Basics and Beyond,” will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 17, 18, 24 and 25, and Nov. 1. The cost is $145 for all five sessions and will show participants how to use patterns, make simple garments and upgrade their sewing skills.

Ann Saxon from Oxford’s Knit1 store will lead the “Knitting for Beginners” class from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Oct. 20 and 27 and Nov. 3, 10 and 17 in Lamar Hall. This class will cover beginning knit and purl stitches, how to cast on and bind off, and increasing and decreasing. The cost is $45.

New this year are the “Happy Holiday Hour” lecture-and-learn classes held during the noon hour for those who want to explore new decorating ideas for this holiday season, but are short on time. The classes cost $10 each.

Kicking off the series on Oct. 26 will be tutorials for taking the perfect Christmas card photo with photographer Robert Jordan. The class meets in the HR Training Room at Insight Park.

If you have always wanted to have a Christmas tree like the ones you see on Pinterest, stop by the Oxford-University Depot on Nov. 16 for the “Tips for Trimming Your Tree” class.

On Nov. 30 at the Depot, Whitney Pullen from Oxford Floral will show you how to transform your mailbox into a festive decoration that your whole neighborhood will enjoy.

The final holiday hour class will be, “Designing a Christmas Tree for the Birds.” This class will demonstrate what beautiful elements to use in decorating a tree that can later be moved outside for the birds to enjoy. This will be taught Dec. 14 at the Depot.

The fall Communiversity class schedule is full of many more great classes, including the popular CPR certification and Safe Sitter courses, public speaking and self-defense for mother and child.

To find out more, visit http://www.olemiss.edu/communiversity or call 662-915-7158.

 

Communiversity Offers Range of Professional Development Courses

Fall classes include info on getting promoted, time management and social media for small businesses

Vanessa Cook (standing), a Communiversity program instructor and UM Division of Outreach assistant director of marketing, will lead a course on "Social Media Marketing" on Sept. 29 and Oct. 6 and 13 as part of the fall Professional Development series of courses. The class will help participants learn to generate leads via Facebook ads, increase traffic to their sites and enhance return on investment for this powerful and cost-efficient marketing tool.

Vanessa Cook (standing), a Communiversity program instructor and UM Division of Outreach assistant director of marketing, will lead a course on “Social Media Marketing” as part of the fall Professional Development series of courses. The class will help participants learn to generate leads via Facebook ads, increase traffic to their sites and enhance return on investment for this powerful and cost-efficient marketing tool.

The University of Mississippi’s Communiversity program is offering a new series of classes this fall for anyone looking to advance in his or her career and polish professional skills.

“This professional development series of classes will help people in our community make strides in their management, technical and communication skills,” said Sandra Sulton, Communiversity coordinator.

First up in this series is Brave Communication owner Julia Winston’s “Time Management for Real Life” offered from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday (Aug. 29) at Insight Park on the UM campus.

The course guides participants into finding the right time and energy management practices that can fit their busy lives. Topics will include setting priorities, organizing your day and delegating tasks.

“Your confidence will skyrocket as you achieve the results you really want to see because not only do I focus on your outcomes, but I also focus on you as a whole person,” Winston said.

Winston’s slate of classes continues Sept. 12, when she offers the popular course “How to Have Difficult Conversations at Work.” Attendees will learn a proven way to take the fear out of difficult conversations at work, how to deal with defensive responses, and how to do it in a way that builds trust.

The course meets 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Insight Park. The fee is $59.

The third component of Winston’s series, “How to Get Promoted: Quicker, Faster, Sooner,” will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Sept. 26, also at Insight Park.

Participants will discover how to use seven steps to career advancement that are easily overlooked, as well as what strategies and mindset are needed to land a promotion. The course fee is $59.

Julia Winston

Julia Winston

Designed for the computer novice, “Computer Basics” is a three-night class developed to provide a crash course in Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint for people who want to understand these useful programs for their businesses.

The class is set for 5:30-7:30 p.m. Sept. 13, 15 and 20 in Weir Hall, Room 107. The cost is $85.

Ole Miss instructors JoAnn and Dex Edwards have a combined 30 years of experience in public speaking and teaching the art of speech and debate. They will share their expertise in “Public Speaking: Stand and Deliver,” slated for 5:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 12, 19 and 26 in Lamar Hall Room 133.

The class fee is $59.

Small business owners, local organizations and corporate representatives alike are can benefit from “Social Media Marketing,” taking place Sept. 29 and Oct. 6 and 13.

“Social media is an accessible marketing option for so many entities, but also confusing,” said Vanessa Cook, assistant director of marketing for the UM Division of Outreach and Continuing Education.

“This class will help you execute a social media marketing plan by discussing recent research, application, trial and error, and professional benchmarks so that small business people and creative entrepreneurs can better use this medium to support their business goals.

“Previous classes have been very interactive. Participants have implemented much of what they learned in the class. I try to adapt sessions two and three to the needs of individual participants so that they get answers for their particular needs.”

Participants will walk away from this boot camp knowing how to set up and optimize social media sites, generate targeted leads via Facebook ads, generate traffic, increase returns on site investment, apply practical strategies, and navigate the do’s and don’ts of social media.

The cost for this course is $69.

Another element of social media advertising is creating images and videos to draw your audience and increase engagement. “Social Media for Non-Designers,” also taught by Cook, will focus on design trends and low-cost options for creating the best presentation.

This course costs $54 and will meet 6-7 p.m. Nov. 7, 14 and 21 in Weir Hall.

To register, or for more information on these and other courses offered through the Communiversity program, visit

http://www.outreach.olemiss.edu/communiversity/classes_professionaldevelopment.html.