Communication Sciences and Disorders Workshop for Parents of Children with Disabilities Set for Saturday

Clinician and educator address children's behavioral problems as potential sensory issues

OXFORD, Miss. – The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Mississippi will offer a free parent workshop on Saturday, June 16 from 10 a.m. to noon to help families better understand if their child’s behavioral issues are actually sensory issues.

“A child’s tantrums or inattentiveness are not always strictly behavioral problems – they can be sensory issues,” said Amy Livingston, a UM instructor and speech-language pathologist with the HILL Lab, an on-campus learning-language program for children with moderate to severe receptive and expressive language disorders.

A joint presentation by a licensed special education teacher and a licensed speech-language pathologist will offer strategies for parents whose children with disabilities may have a sensory issue such as being hypersensitive to sights, sounds, textures, flavors, smells and other sensory input.

The program will be held at Willie Price Lab School on UM’s Oxford campus in 107 Kinard Hall. Free child care will be available for children of all abilities.

A “Sib Shop” will offer free games, snacks and activities for siblings (ages 6 and up) of children with disabilities.

The HILL program specializes in maximizing children’s language-learning capabilities while providing clinical training for undergraduate and graduate students seeking careers as audiologists, speech-language pathologists and SLP associates. The program works to engage with the community and conduct research that positively affects the lives of children in Mississippi and beyond.

For more information about this event, contact Livingston at or call 662-915-2942.

Applied Sciences Recognizes Schoolwide Honors and Awards Winners

Students lauded for academic excellence, service and leadership

The UM School of Applied Sciences produced a record number of 2018 graduates, including dozens of winners of school and university awards. UM photo by Sarah Sapp

OXFORD, Miss. – The School of Applied Sciences at the University of Mississippi recently wrapped awards season for the 2017-18 academic year. The following students were honored for academic achievements, service and leadership:

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Marianne Tillman Scholarship in Speech and Language Pathology Endowment – Rebekah Bosley, of Southaven; and Marianne Rivers Wylot, Prosper, Texas

McRight Biology Scholarship Award – Meliah Grant, Jackson; Destiny Hodges, Baldwyn; Bailey Clare McLemore, Madison; Carolyn Brooke Owens, Brandon; and Emily Claire Reedy, Horn Lake

Patricia Ann Ridgway Endowment Award – Madison Taylor Savoy, Southaven; Leah Margaret Strope, Bolivar; and Peyton Willoughby, Tupelo

Robert Guy Millis Endowment Award – Sydney Gully, Saltillo; Lexy Lindsey Pharr, Golden; and Courtney Walden, Booneville

Tommy and Susan Thames Communicative Disorders Endowment Award – Kathryn Calahan Grisson, Murfreesboro, Tennessee; Jennifer Ann Grove, Forest; Sara Kingsley Tolson, Lynn Haven, Florida; Emma Thome, Peachtree City, Georgia; and Amy Walker, Batesville

Patricia Ann Ridgway/Sue Hale Scholarship – Lacie Preston, Aberdeen

Graduate Achievement Award in Communication Sciences and Disorders – Molly Grace Williams, Corinth

Clinical Speech-Language Pathologist Award – Shelby Elisa Whitsell Edmonds, Holly Springs


Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management

Robert Blackburn Graduate Award in Exercise Science – Samuel Louis Buckner, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Leon Garrett Achievement Award in Health Promotion – Emily Frith, Stanford, Kentucky

Ryan P. Malone Undergraduate Achievement Award in Exercise Science – David Edward Green, Gautier

Graduate Achievement Award in Health and Kinesiology – Scott Dankel, Howell, New Jersey; and Emily Frith, Stanford, Kentucky

Gordon McMurray Graduate Achievement Award in Sport and Recreation Management – Alison Hovatter, Meridianville, Alabama; and Sydney Elizabeth Malone, Tuscumbia, Alabama


Legal Studies

Columbus B. Hopper Scholarship Endowment Award – Natalie Swords, New Albany

Chief Richard Michael Popernik and Joan Grisham Popernik Legal Studies Scholarship Award – Janice Dewitt, Renton, Washington

Robert Langley Memorial Scholarship Award – Adrianna Cheyenne Guin, Guntown

Robert T. Warren Outstanding Criminal Justice Student Award – Jason Hunter Robbins, Shannon

Outstanding Legal Studies Graduate Student Award – Kirby Rhodes, Bay St. Louis

Outstanding Criminal Justice Student Award – Allison Dillon, Belden; Ja’Michael Handy, Water Valley; and Maryana Tyshkivski, Olive Branch

Outstanding Paralegal Student Award – Emma McNair, Brandon; and Hunter Story, Oxford


Nutrition and Hospitality Management

Outstanding Coordinated Program Student in Dietetics – Virginia Ellen Mitchell, Memphis, Tennessee

Outstanding Student in Dietetics and Nutrition Award – Elizabeth Baylee Edwards, Birmingham, Alabama

Outstanding Student in Hospitality Management Award – Mallory Kaitlyn McAlister, Southaven

Outstanding Graduate Student Award in Nutrition and Hospitality Management – Prabhdeep Sandha, Jalandhar, Punjab India

NHM Faculty Award for Student Service – Charles Sheriff, Marietta, Georgia

Sydney E. Pucheu HM Scholarship – Elizabeth Hurdle, Oxford; Nadia Radowick, Munster, Indiana; and Harley Saxton, Water Valley

Ole Miss Hospitality Management Scholarship – Danielle Foster, San Antonio, Texas; and Katherine Grizzel, Lorton, Virginia

Susan Haskins Scholarship – Emma Cousins, Plainfield, Illinois; and Chandler Law, Birmingham, Alabama

Tommy Ramey Scholarship – Caroline Acomb, Pass Christian; Meghan Bullock, Columbia; and Marlee Young, Oxford

Louise Burnett Scholarship – Katelyn Tarr, Pawnee, Illinois

Vasilyev Family Scholarship – Danielle Foster, San Antonio, Texas; and Chandler Law, Birmingham, Alabama


Social Work

Velmer Stanley Burton III Memorial Scholarship – Ericka Barnes, Greenwood Springs

Liz Triplett Walker Scholarship – Austin Conner, Batesville; Alexandra Eben, Olive Branch; and Ashleigh Jones, Oxford

“We are so proud of these students and all they’ve accomplished,” said Teresa Carithers, interim dean of applied sciences. “We commend them and wish them continued success in all of their academic endeavors.”

For more information about the School of Applied Sciences, visit or call 662-915-7900.

Communicators Lauded at Statewide Conference

Staff recognized for newswriting, design and creative partnership

Sarah Sapp (left), communications specialist for the UM School of Applied Sciences, accepts her first-place award in the senior division news story category at the College Public Relations Association of Mississippi’s annual conference. Photo courtesy Holmes Community College Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Communications officers from the University of Mississippi’s School of Applied Sciences and Division of Outreach and Continuing Education were recognized at the College Public Relations Association of Mississippi’s annual conference and awards ceremony for outstanding writing, design and creative partnership.

Sarah Sapp, communications specialist for the School of Applied Sciences, won first place in the senior division news story category for her story, “UM Students and Faculty Help Children Develop to their Potential.” Sapp also brought home first-place accolades in the admissions and recruitment piece category for the School of Applied Sciences’ departmental program handouts.

The Division of Outreach brought home awards in the single piece of artwork and creative partners categories. Anna Sayre, web developer and senior graphic designer, won second place for her StudyUSA design, while Pam Starling, assistant director of creative services and marketing, and Kris Zediker, web developer and senior graphic designer, brought home second for their Two-Plus-Two Grenada marketing project with Holmes Community College.

Starling was nominated to represent Ole Miss on the CPRAM board of directors for the 2018-19 academic year.

Twelve Mississippi four-year colleges and universities competed, submitting more than 100 entries to the competition.

Pam Starling (left), assistant director of creative services and marketing for the UM Division of Outreach and Continuing Education, accepts a second-place award in the creative partners category at the College Public Relations Association of Mississippi’s annual conference. Photo courtesy Holmes Community College Communications

Robin Street, UM senior lecturer in journalism, presented the opening conference session about the Meek School of Journalism and New Media‘s internal public relations campaign, “It’s all about (Me)ek.”

Ole Miss alumni representing colleges and universities from across the state met with Street following the presentation. The group included Donna Thomas of Itawamba Community College; Julie Bauer of Northwest Mississippi Community College; Steve Diffey, Barin von Foregger and Mary Margaret Busby of Holmes Community College; Natalie Davis of Copiah-Lincoln Community College; Nell Luter Floyd of Millsaps College; and Cathy Hayden of Hinds Community College.

For more information about the conference, visit

New UM Graduates Begin Tenure-track Appointments Across the South

Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management sends six students into faculty positions

The 2018 doctoral graduates from the UM Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management include (from left) J. Grant Mouser, Samuel Buckner, Matthew Jessee, Kevin Mattox, Robert Davis, Sam Wilson, Charles Caleb Williams and Vokay Addoh. UM photo by Sarah Sapp

OXFORD, Miss. – During Commencement ceremonies earlier this month at the University of Mississippi, the Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management celebrated a record number of health and kinesiology doctoral students walking across the graduation stage directly into full-time, tenure-track appointments across the South.

“We had a remarkable group of nine doctoral students hooded this year,” said Allison Ford-Wade, professor and graduate program coordinator. “Of those, seven of the nine have accepted tenure-track faculty positions and one is pursuing a second doctoral program.”

Vokay Addoh, of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, was invited to join UM’s own faculty. Samuel Buckner, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, will join the faculty of the University of South Florida. Matt Jessee, of Claremont, North Carolina, accepted a position at the University of Southern Mississippi.

J. Grant Mouser, of Norman, Oklahoma, will begin his new appointment at Troy University in August. Charles Caleb Williams, of Lake Butler, Florida, will join the faculty at LaGrange College in Georgia. Sam Wilson, of Senatobia, will begin his tenure at Georgia Southern University.

Finally, Robert Davis, a December graduate, joined the University of Arkansas as an assistant professor of public health in January.

When you ask these students what attracted them to Ole Miss, their answers have a common thread: a talented, dedicated faculty and administration, the beautiful campus and all the resources that come along with studying at a flagship research university with Carnegie R1 status, indicating the highest research activity.

For Addoh, the prevalent health disparities in Mississippi and the need for health care professionals were another important aspect of his decision to join the program. His dissertation examined a potential method to enhance the positive experience of exercise, an area of health behavior research with potential ramifications for physical activity promotion.

“Moving forward, I intend to extend my inquiry on methods to enhance the experience of exercise and to further contribute to the science on physical activity translational research,” Addoh said.

Addoh credits Paul Loprinzi, associate professor of health, exercise science and recreation management, for his mentorship throughout the doctoral program.

Loprinzi not only is highly regarded by students for his caring mentorship, but he is one of the department’s most prolific publishers. Having published 73 peer-reviewed papers in 2017 alone, Loprinzi’s work has been cited more than 5,000 times since 2011.

Under Loprinzi’s direction, Addoh added 26 scholarly articles to his list of published works.

The potential to work alongside an intensely productive researcher drew Buckner, Jessee and Mouser to Ole Miss as well, specifically to study skeletal muscle adaptations to resistance exercise with Jeremy Loenneke, assistant professor of health, exercise science and recreation management and director of the Kevser Ermin Applied Physiology Laboratory, affectionately called the Ole Miss Muscle lab.

Jessee, who accrued 40 publications while at UM, explained that it was Loenneke’s passion for science and ability to prepare students for success that drew him to stay for his Ph.D.

“I felt that I could learn so much more from him than going elsewhere, because he is always pushing people to think critically and not just align with the status quo,” said Jessee, who will continue studying skeletal muscle health and function in his new research faculty role. He will be searching for new ways to attenuate muscle function loss due to aging and immobilization or injury.

While Mouser counts producing one of the largest published studies on blood flow following exercise as his most exciting project to date, Buckner found his passion in exploring the relationship between changes in muscle size and changes in muscle strength.

“The work we have done here is changing the way people think about skeletal muscle and how it adapts to resistance exercise,” said Buckner.

Loenneke also advised spring doctoral graduate Kevin Mattox of Pittsburgh, who is interviewing for assistant professor positions at a variety of institutions.

“I am both excited and sad to see these students graduate and move on with their careers,” Loenneke said. “All of them have done tremendous research here at the University of Mississippi, and it has been really special to work with each of them over the past three to four years. Their futures are bright.”

Martha Bass, associate professor and former graduate program coordinator, advised Williams’ research examining changes in bat swing kinematics in different areas of the strike zone among collegiate baseball and softball players. She also directed Wilson’s dissertation, where he found his true research interest.

“Our lab’s findings in this dissertation included novel aspects of possible roles of the neuromuscular system in the slip recovery process,” said Wilson, who plans to expand this research, examining older adults and special populations in his new role at Georgia Southern. “We hope we can translate these findings into effective ways of mitigating fall-related injuries and mortality.”

Minsoo Kang, chair of the Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management, congratulates Xi Jin at the 2018 Commencement exercises for the UM School of Applied Sciences. Jin will begin her second doctoral program in nutrition and hospitality management this fall. UM photo by Sarah Sapp

Xi Jin of Harbin, China, also a May graduate, will expand her research base by pursuing a second doctoral degree in nutrition and hospitality management in the UM School of Applied Sciences while assisting Teresa Carithers, interim dean, with the new undergraduate applied gerontology program.

Each of the graduates pointed to the outstanding professional and academic values of their fellow graduate student cohort, indicating the quality of their experience directly related to the academic profile and camaraderie of this particular group.

Davis, who is conducting studies focusing on substance use behavior and its association with mental health concerns since starting his career at the University of Arkansas, explained that it wasn’t only the talented faculty mentors, such as Bass, who helped pave his way to success.

“I am immensely thankful to have studied with the group of grad students,” Davis said. “I was fortunate enough to come through the HESRM department at a time of immense progress concerning scientific exploration and rigor.

“The quality of students who came through the program with me should be admired. These are some of the finest minds that I have had the pleasure of encountering. As great as the faculty I studied under are, I can say that I would not be the scientist I am without the advice, challenge and leadership exhibited in these friends.”

This progress in scientific exploration is exhibited not only in the success of this graduating doctoral class, but in the sheer number of peer-reviewed publications produced by the department. Faculty, with the help of these doctoral students, published 134 unique publications in 2017.

On average, faculty members in the field publish 3.6 peer-reviewed papers a year, said Minsoo Kang, HESRM chair, citing data from the 2015 National Academy of Kinesiology Doctoral Program Review. The Ole Miss department’s score of 9.57 publications is much higher than the national average.

“Considering that the top 25 percent of doctoral programs published only 5.52 publications per faculty per year, we just had a remarkable year in 2017,” Kang said. “We could potentially be ranked No. 1 in the nation in the number of publications category.”

The department’s research productivity exemplifies the teacher-scholar model, preparing students to lead their own research teams in an R1 environment, Carithers said.

For more information about the UM Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management, visit

Social Work Advances in National Rankings of Top Master’s Programs

U.S. News and World Report ranks UM at No. 62 among public universities

Susan Allen (center), director of the UM Master of Social Work program, discusses crisis counseling and domestic violence with her students. The program has moved up significantly in national rankings and is among the nation’s top 100 programs. UM photo by Sarah Sapp

OXFORD, Miss. – U.S. News and World Report has ranked the University of Mississippi’s graduate program in social work among the top 100 in the country, up an impressive 60 spots in the national rankings since the program started in 2011.

The latest report ranks the Master of Social Work at UM tied at No. 62 among the nation’s public universities.

Since 2014, the Department of Social Work grants and contracts have grown 111 percent. Faculty generated peer-reviewed articles are up 230 percent, and national and refereed faculty presentations have increased by 250 percent.

“The School of Applied Sciences has invested the resources needed to build and promote the Department of Social Work,” said Daphne Cain, department chair.

“We have hired nine tenure-track faculty from premier schools of social work across the U.S., and in collaboration with our more senior faculty, the more junior faculty have dedicated themselves to research, teaching and service that has translated into national visibility through scholarship, teaching and service. That positive national visibility translates into improved national rankings.”

Although thrilled to move up in the rankings, Susan Allen, director of the Master of Social Work program, points to other important indicators of success that reinforce those numbers.

“For example, Patricia Tortora, a 2015 graduate, was the only M.S.W. student selected for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Leadership Initiatives for Tomorrow Fellowship,” Allen said. “Based on a competitive nomination process, only 22 students were selected nationwide and 21 were Ph.D. students.

“I believe that is a quality measure based on a tangible indicator. Our 100 percent pass rate on the Licensed Master of Social Work exam last year is another tangible indicator of the quality of the program.”

Viktor Burlaka, assistant professor of social work, agreed that the infusion of faculty from some of the nation’s top programs has significantly enhanced the department’s teaching and research capacity.

“I feel proud that our students have the ability to learn from dynamic scholars with active research agendas,” Burlaka said. “Surrounded by caring and enthusiastic faculty, they thrive academically, develop critical thinking and hone their clinical skills to become competitive and successful social workers.”

Despite the incredible growth in enrollment – nearly doubling the number of full-time M.S.W. students from 2016 to 2017 – the department has purposely maintained a low student-to-faculty ratio, said Jandel Crutchfield, assistant professor of social work.

“The program has been able to maintain its small class sizes while expanding its reach and rigor,” Crutchfield said. “The rise in the rankings of our M.S.W. program reflects the concerted effort of our faculty and the exemplary students in each cohort.”

Maintaining that small class size and close-knit relationship between faculty and students is a major factor in student success, said Younghee Lim, associate professor of social work.

“I also think that the caring mentorship these talented faculty provide to the students increased retention and graduation rates, which contributed to the increased ranking,” Lim said.

Recent graduate Claire Griffin, of Decatur, said the program helped her grow both as a professional and as a person.

“The smaller classroom setting provided a positive environment for students to have healthy discussion on the variety of topics covered within this program,” Griffin said. “The relationships I built with teachers helped me to develop a confidence in myself and in my capacity to be a clinician that I never thought possible.

“The best takeaway I gained was the importance of taking the time to stay up-to-date with the latest research because delivering the best services for clients is, in part, a result of knowing this information.”

Consistent student success leads to consistent employment for graduates. In a 2016 employment survey conducted by the department as a part of its accreditation process, 89 percent of the program’s graduates found employment within six months of graduation – 25 percent in community mental health, 25 percent in aging/gerontology, 13 percent in child welfare, 13 percent in schools, 13 percent in nursing home/assisted living and 13 percent in in-patient mental health.

For more information about the Department of Social Work, visit

Faculty Member Wins Outstanding Dietetic Educator Award

Kathy Knight lauded at state and regional level

Kathy Knight

OXFORD, Miss. – Kathy Knight, associate professor of nutrition and hospitality management at the University of Mississippi, has been recognized as the 2018 Outstanding Dietetic Educator in a Coordinated Program at the state and regional level. 

This distinction is awarded annually by the Nutrition and Dietetic Educator and Preceptor practice group in association with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Before qualifying for the South Central Region Award, Knight received the Outstanding Dietetic Educator award for the state of Mississippi.

She was nominated by colleague Laurel Lambert, also an associate professor of nutrition and hospitality management.

“I met Dr. Knight in 1987 when I attended my first North Mississippi Dietetics Association meeting here in Oxford,” Lambert said.

At that time, Knight had earned her bachelor’s degree in biology at Ole Miss and a master’s degree in nutrition at Mississippi State University. By 1989, Knight earned a doctorate in nutrition from Auburn University and began teaching as an assistant professor at UM.

Throughout her professional career, she has been an innovator, mentor and leader in education and dietetics. The NDEP practice group considers nominees’ experience in each of these roles when determining the recipient of the Outstanding Dietetics Educator Award.

Knight founded the hospitality management program at Ole Miss and wrote the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management’s planning document and application for the master’s and doctoral programs to the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning.

Knight’s research grants have funded several graduate students, and she was once a writer for questions on the registered dietitian exam. She also co-wrote a manual for food preparations laboratories with Lambert.

Knight served as the department’s interim chair when both the didactic program and coordinated program in dietetics were undergoing re-accreditation and accreditation. The hospitality management program also was going through accreditation at that time.

Melinda Valliant, an Ole Miss graduate and associate professor of nutrition and hospitality management, has known Knight since 1987. Over the years, she has seen how Knight’s leadership has been influential in the department.

“Dr. Knight was my professor in several classes,” Valliant said. “She has been part of a department that has gone through several drastic changes as a result of both the evolution of the profession and department.”

Knight also started a service learning component in the department. For more than 30 years, students in her nutrition classes have worked at The Pantry and the Ole Miss Food Bank.

She has served as chair of seven master’s thesis committees and six undergraduate Honors College thesis committees. She also mentored three McNair students, an honors program for African-American students.

Kathy Knight (center) receives the 2018 Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Outstanding Dietetic Educator Award. Submitted photo

While Knight’s professional experience distinguishes her from other professors, Lambert said Knight can also be set apart from other professors by her sense of humor and her innate ability to connect with students.

Valliant offered similar praise and described Knight as a genuine and humble professional who truly cares about making everyone she encounters feel important. Valliant said she and students can learn from Knight’s driven, goal-oriented nature while enjoying her humor, which shines through almost any situation.

“Dr. Knight has taught me that hard work pays off,” said Valliant. “She is an excellent teacher and colleague. She can interject humor into most any situation and that makes working for her fun.”

Tiffany Shirley, a first-year graduate student from Corinth who took Knight’s advanced nutrition class, said Knight provided her class with unique learning opportunities and was always looking for ways to help them. She said Knight makes a noticeable effort to be considerate of her students’ work and life balance.

“She really wants to see students succeed as a whole person, not just academically,” Shirley said. “She cares about students’ well-being but teaches so much about the subject area all the while.”

Students Explore Culture and Cuisine in Italy

Nutrition and hospitality management faculty offer international experiences through Study Abroad

Laurel Lambert (right), UM associate professor of nutrition and hospitality management, joins her students for a cooking class at Apicius International School of Hospitality in their ‘Exploring Florence: Culture and Cuisine’ course through Study Abroad. The students are (front row, from left) Baylee Edwards, Michelle Weber, Caroline Crunk, Ellie Stamerjohn and Kate Cowne, and (back row, from left) Elizabeth Gunn, Abigail Johnson, Nicole Johnson, the AISH class instructor, Lucy Johnston, Teresa Eddy, Claire McCraw and Anna Kathryn Carson. Submitted photo

OXFORD, Miss. – University of Mississippi students will travel in May to experience the culture and cuisine of Florence, Italy, through the school’s Study Abroad program.

Laurel Lambert, UM associate professor of nutrition and hospitality management, will travel for her fourth year with students to Florence to facilitate the course titled, “Exploring Florence: Culture and Cuisine”. This course offers students six credit hours for NHM 468 or NHM 595 and focuses on food in the context of Italian culture and hospitality as it relates to lodging and tourism. This is the sixth year for the course to be offered.

“For two weeks students travel to Florence and have amazing experiences everyday with different activities that expose students to foods and their regions,” Lambert said. “It is especially educational for students because the Study Abroad Italy organization, based in Florence, has all the connections and are able to teach us things about places that most people wouldn’t know of if they were only vacationing.”

Lambert teaches Principles of Food Preparation, which teaches students the science of cooking and foods at UM. She said that traveling to different vineyards and visiting with cheese, balsamic vinegar and olive oil producers in Florence allows students to not only see processes and foods they have learned about in her class, but actually try them.

“In Florence, students really get a sense of the passion Italians have for their food,” Lambert said. “One of my most favorite things is to see the students understanding that food doesn’t just come in a box to be prepared. Italians live it. It is part of who they are.”

Some of the food-related activities students participate in while abroad are olive oil tastings, wine tastings and pairings, and cooking classes at different vineyards and at the Apicius International School of Hospitality. They also visit cheese factories, balsamic vinegar production sites, local markets, historic restaurants, and an elementary school cafeteria.

Students also go on tours around Florence including tours of artisans, castles, hotels and the world-famous Uffizi Museum.

Lambert said both the food and culture related activities organized for students are led by local and world famous instructors and guides who are respected and well-educated.

“The quality of instruction that Study Abroad Italy provides is amazing,” Lambert said. “I’m very thankful, and I’ve been able to learn a lot.”

Lambert said she has seen how experiencing the study abroad program has made an impact on students’ confidence while traveling the world. At the end of the course, some of the students who traveled with her last year decided to stay in Europe together for a few more weeks to continue exploring. She said she enjoys seeing how friendships develop among students over the two-week course.

“When the 12 students first get together, hardly any of them know each other,” Lambert said. “By the end, they’re just like best friends.”

Caroline Crunk, a senior hospitality management student from Brentwood, Tennessee, traveled to Florence last summer with Lambert and 11 other students. Crunk said her favorite part of the trip was visiting vineyards and learning how to make Italian cuisine.

“My favorite part of the trip was going to a vineyard in Tuscany,” Crunk said. “It was the most beautiful view I’ve ever seen, and it was so much fun learning how to make tiramisu and gnocchi.”

All spots for the Study Abroad trip to Italy have been filled this year. However, the course will be offered in future semesters. For more information on studying abroad, visit

Researcher Presents Blood Flow Restriction Research in Denmark

Applied Physiology Laboratory recognized internationally as contributor to emerging exercise therapy

UM doctoral students (from left) Sam Buckner, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Kevin Mattox, of Pittsburgh; and J. Grantmouser, of Norman, Oklahoma, demonstrate blood flow restriction technique used in the Kevser Ermin Applied Physiology Laboratory. UM photo by Sarah Sapp

OXFORD, Miss. – Research being conducted at the University of Mississippi on blood flow restriction therapy is drawing international attention for its clinical and sports performance applications.

Under the leadership of Jeremy P. Loenneke, assistant professor of health, exercise science and recreation management, the Kevser Ermin Applied Physiology Laboratory is quickly gaining renown for breakthroughs in low-load alternatives to traditional resistance exercise.

This therapy helps rebuild muscle using less weight and less intensity by slightly inflating a pressure cuff that is attached to a person’s limbs for a few minutes to restrict blood flow.

“This allows a muscle to work harder than it normally would so a person can gain the same benefits of normal exercise without having to physically lift heavy weights,” Loenneke said.

“Typically when people exercise, they have to train pretty heavy to see any type of benefit. For most people that’s OK, but people who have had surgery or who are older may not have the ability to do that. Our current work focuses a lot of the methodology and the safety of applying blood flow restriction therapy, which is something many clinicians are wanting to know more about.”

Loenneke was in Denmark over the weekend, speaking at a symposium and leading a workshop on blood flow restriction therapy at the Danish Association of Physiotherapy Congress meeting in Odense. This is Loenneke’s second time to hold a workshop there on this subject.

The researcher first came across blood flow restriction when he was interning at the University of Illinois in 2007. He began completing his own work on the subject in 2008 while at Southeast Missouri State University and later while earning his doctorate at the University of Oklahoma.

When he first read of this therapy in literature, he was surprised by the broad application of its benefits.

“My first thought when I came across this literature as an undergraduate was that I must be reading this wrong,” Loenneke said.

While studying at Oklahoma, he was contacted by a physical therapist at the Center for the Intrepid, a rehabilitation center for wounded soldiers. Loenneke said he helped explain how to best apply blood flow restriction for rehabbing soldiers with blast trauma.

“The problem is that a lot of these injuries cannot be trained with normal exercise intensities,” Loenneke said. “Blood flow restriction is a potential utility that clinicians are using a lot in clinical trials or hospital settings.”

Jeremy P. Loenneke

At Ole Miss, Loenneke has six doctoral students working alongside him, as well as Takashi Abe, a visiting professor and longtime friend.

“We are lucky here at Ole Miss, because Dr. Abe has been studying blood flow therapy for a long time,” Loenneke said. “I first began reading his literature in 2007, and now he works with our group. We are one of the groups that is more known for blood flow restriction literature in the United States.”

At the Danish symposium, Loenneke focused on blood flow restriction exercise after surgery or disease. Clinicians are interested in focusing on immediate post-surgery recovery because there is a short window of time after surgery for a person to regain muscle strength, he said.

As an academic, Loenneke’s role at the meeting is to educate clinicians on how this therapy works within a laboratory setting so they can use their best judgments in considering the use of this therapy and making the proper adjustments to apply it to post-surgery patients.

To gather data at UM, Loenneke and his team study the effects of blood flow therapy on healthy people, ages 18-35, by applying the cuff and measuring what happens in different situations.

“Sometimes we study the effects of this therapy with no exercise at all, and sometimes we do it with exercise and training,” he said. “We get the data, write it up and publish it. Our work is primarily published within sports medicine-related journals.”

Blood flow restriction therapy benefits normal, healthy people in many ways, Loenneke said. While researching the methods, the team wanted to create a practical model using equipment that most lifters already have or could easily get, he said.

He has seen Ole Miss students using blood flow restriction therapy.

Blood flow restriction therapy works by slightly inflating a pressure cuff attached to a person’s limbs for a few minutes to restrict blood flow during exercise. UM photo by Sarah Sapp

“I’ve seen people doing it upstairs in the Turner Center,” Loenneke said. “I don’t think they know that a lot of the work put in creating those methods was actually done by people who are now here. It’s a really cool thing to see.”

Minsoo Kang, chair of the Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management, expressed his excitement for the lab’s research to be seen on an international stage.

“Dr. Loenneke and his research students have earned national attention for their work with blood flow restriction exercise over the past three years,” Kang said. “It is quite significant of him presenting at an international stage, which I believe will increase the visibility of our department, school and university.”

For more information about the UM Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management, visit

School of Applied Sciences Lauds Annual Research Symposium Winners

Students present research in broad range of fields

Ovuokerie Addoh (left) and Emily Frith bring home first- and second-place awards in the Eighth Annual Graduate Student Council Research Symposium. Photo by Paul Loprinzi

OXFORD, Miss. – Administrators and faculty in the School of Applied Sciences offer congratulations to the school’s winners of the Graduate Student Council’s Eighth Annual Research Symposium:

  • Christopher Hill, Sam Wilson, James Grant Mouser, Caleb Williams, Lauren Luginsland and Harish Chander for their third-place podium session, “Impact Of Repeated Balance Perturbations on Lower Extremity Lean Muscle Activity”
  • Daegeun (Dan) Kim, Eun-Kyong (Cindy) Choi, Euntae (Ted) Lee for their second-place podium session, “The Secret to Winning the Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence: A Case Study on Hotels”
  • Jeremiah Blough and Paul D. Loprinzi for their first-place podium session, “Experimentally Investigating the Joint Effects of Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior on Depression and Anxiety: A Randomized Controlled Trial”
  • Kurt Pollack, Georgianna Mann and Kathy Wachter for their third-place poster session, “The Relationship Between Millenials’ Health-Related Lifestyle Behaviors and Label Attitudes and Their Purchase Intention of Organic and Non-GMO Produce”
  • Emily Frith and Paul Loprinzi for their second-place poster session, “Experimental Investigation of Exercise-Related, Perceived Hedonic Responses to Preferred Versus Imposed Media Content”
  • Kirby Rhodes for her second-place poster session, “Police Officers and Procedural Justice: The Forgotten Perspective”
  • Ovuokerie Addoh and Paul D. Loprinzi for their first-place poster session, “Experimental Investigation of Priming Hedonic Responses to Acute Exercise: Pilot Study”

The symposium acts as a mini-conference, allowing graduate students to discuss their research through podium and poster presentations in the categories of social sciences, education, business, accounting, physical and life sciences, arts, humanities, journalism, mathematics, computer science and engineering.

For more information on graduate programs in the School of Applied Sciences, go to

UM Departments Help Quitman County Schools Host Career and Health Fair

Students and faculty provide health assessments for Marks community

Marta Dees (right), a food and nutrition services graduate student from Oxford, discusses several of the health posters on display with Quitman County High School students at a career and health fair hosted by the University of Mississippi and the Quitman County Career and Technical Center. Photo by Michaela Cooper

OXFORD, Miss. – Faculty and students from the University of Mississippi recently helped coordinate and host the Quitman County Career and Health Fair to educate Marks-area high school students and community members on career opportunities and healthy living.

The career and health fair stemmed from the university’s partnership with the Marks Project, a nonprofit, community-based outreach program launched in 2016 that focuses on improving the overall quality of life for citizens of this struggling Delta community – a project supported by numerous, interdisciplinary faculty delegates from Ole Miss.

Kegi Wells, Quitman County curriculum coordinator and member of the Marks Project, expressed a need for a career fair to help inspire high school students. With the imminent opening of a community fitness center, where UM volunteers will help conduct regular health assessments, the group decided to expand the career fair to include a health component.

“Our students, along with student volunteers from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, were trained at the University of Mississippi Medical Center to collect blood glucose samples and blood pressure readings, as well as calculate body-mass index,” said Georgianna Mann, assistant professor of nutrition and hospitality management.

“We want to get a baseline indication of what health looks like in Marks, so our students can know what to expect when they begin helping at the fitness center.”

Besides gathering data, this event was meant to help Quitman County students become aware of all the opportunities available to them and to help the Marks community become better connected to outside communities, Mann said.

Kymberle Gordon, of Canandaigua, New York, works with the Marks Project and is earning her doctorate in nutrition and hospitality management. She finds the community to be a welcoming place to conduct research and knows the importance of understanding its culture while researching.

“You can come into a community and assume that people think a certain way,” Gordon said. “But until you actually get feedback from the community members, you don’t really know what they think is important.”

At the event, Gordon gathered data to better understand the food environment and level of physical activity in Quitman County by conducting a food access and physical activity survey.

Dria Price, a senior Spanish, nutrition and international studies major from Oxford, attended the event to begin observing fellow student researchers in preparation for her upcoming project examining food insecurity in Quitman County.

“I think any research going on in the Marks community is really great, because I know the research won’t just be published and die,” Price said. “The people that are invested in this community will be able to use the research to help make it better, and that’s what I am excited about.”

Connor Ball (left), a senior pre-med biology student from Madison, talks with Quitman County High School students about the importance of hydration and healthy snacking. Photo by Michaela Cooper

Anne Cafer, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology, regularly works with the Marks Project and helped organize the student-led effort.

This project is just one component of the university’s larger effort to meet needs that communities have through outreach and engagement, Cafer said. The projects she has students complete are based on the needs of communities.

“We don’t come to communities and say, ‘This is what we want to do,'” Cafer said. “We come to them and ask what things we can help with. Each semester, the projects my students work on are projects the community has told me they want help with.”

Connor Ball, a senior pre-med biology student from Madison, reached out to Cafer when searching for a research project based in health and nutrition to help with his medical school application. He joined other UM students in hosting a poster session that explained to participants the importance of hydration, dental hygiene, drug and alcohol awareness, portion control, and smart snacking.

“We study what the issues are, where they come from and what kind of solutions we can create for the future to produce a steady incline in the health and nutrition status here,” Ball said.

One of the group’s goals is to increase citizens’ knowledge of health and how to treat themselves, Ball said, explaining that collecting data allows the team to find trends and detect specific issues.

“Maybe blood sugar is really high,” he said. “We can consider it an issue, and we can tackle it. We can go in and change people’s diet and their understanding of what causes blood sugar to surge.”

The Quitman County School District and its Career and Technical Center coordinated the event. Partnering with the university and adding a health component offered students a range of valuable information, said Cynthia Washington, the district’s career technical education director.

“We want our students to see all of the avenues and opportunities available to them through this partnership with Ole Miss,” Washington said. “The health component is vital for our students to know that along with having careers, they also need to be healthy.”

For more information on the Marks Project, visit For more information about UM programs in nutrition and hospitality management, visit