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 http://sas.olemiss.edu/.

Celebrating Great UM Women

Inspiring stories reflect observance of Women's History Month

In conclusion of Women’s History Month, celebrate with accomplishments made by great UM women. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications

In celebration of Women’s History Month, this selection of stories highlights achievements by great UM women. These are just  few of the wonderful stories about faculty, staff, students and alumni:

Ole Miss Outdoors’ Dog Sledding Trip a Howling Good Time

Excursion to Ely, Minnesota, also includes visit to International Wolf Center

Dog sledding in Ely, Minnesota. Photo courtesy of Logan Vaughan

It’s my first time dog sledding, and I’m standing on a platform, bundled up like a polar explorer and holding onto a bar behind a sled while five Canadian Inuit dogs eagerly wait to hear “Ready, hike!”

Most people think of “Mush” as the command for dog sledding. But “Ready, hike!” is better. “Ready” gets the dogs’ attention. Whether they’re chewing on a paw or socializing with one another or peeing on a bush, they stand at attention as soon as they hear that word.

The dogs react to “Hike” like racers when the starting pistol is fired. They take off and pull the sled up and down trails in snowy woods of pine and spruce. I’m just along for the ride.

A dog-sledding trip to Ely, Minnesota, was organized by Ole Miss Outdoors, a program of the Department of Campus Recreation. The nine-day trip, Jan. 12-20, cost only $600 per person, thanks to the planning of trip leaders-graduate students-intrepid adventurers Francis Liaw and Alison Walker.

Twelve of us, mostly Ole Miss undergraduate and graduate students, went on this adventure. And it was an adventure. To get to Ely, which is 1,148 miles and almost a 22-hour drive from Oxford – you’re practically in Ontario, Canada – we traveled in two Ole Miss SUVs and stayed in unique Airbnbs along the way.

People in Wisconsin and Minnesota seemed both baffled and tickled that a group from Mississippi traveled so far up north in the winter, and everyone we met was friendly and hospitable. One morning, we stopped for breakfast at the Milk Jug Cafe in Ontario, Wisconsin. There, a local named Tor Edess told us that he lived in the town because he had run out of money during vacation and never left. He handed out a business card that read “Tor Edess Music Co.: Live Country Music, ‘for weddings & funerals & most other events in between.'”

When we reached Ely, snow was falling heavily and covering the roads. One student from a Mississippi town commented that he had never seen this much snow. The cabin we stayed in, part of Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge, was comfortable and cozy. Besides several bedrooms, it had one big dining table that seated all 12 of us, a great room with a gas fireplace, and modern kitchen and bathrooms.

We met our main guides, Isaak Ridge and Joe Gleiter, who were not only there for the dog sledding but also checked to make sure we had appropriate clothes, brought and made breakfast and dinner for us (including special meals for the vegetarian among us), as well as shared the meals with us each day.

Isaak loves to talk about everything and anything, and Joe is a mellow surfer-type dude from Illinois who loves salsa at every meal. He also enjoyed snow cream for the first time, which some of our group prepared one night, and we all wondered if snow cream is a Southern specialty since those among us from outside the South had never heard of it. We also met an unexpected guest, Kayuk, one of the sledding dogs, who enjoyed being petted and exploring the cabin.

Before leaving the cabin on the first day of dog sledding, we went over the “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of driving a dog team, such as “DO stand firmly on the brake when stopped or your team may take off without you” and “DON’T panic if you lose the sled – yell “LOOSE SLED” and the guides will get it.” Besides “Ready, hike,” we also learned the all-important “Whoa,” as well as “Gee” (go right) and “Haw” (go left).

We then dressed for the -4 degrees Fahrenheit weather (we were lucky since the temperature had dropped to -30 the week before) and went to the dog kennel. I carried my phone to take photos, but I guess it wasn’t made to function in subzero temperatures. It immediately froze and turned off.

Front row: Wintergreen guides Joe Gleiter (left) and Isaak Ridge, and Ole Miss dog sledders Alison Walker, Rachel Whitehorn, Benita Whitehorn, Logan Vaughan, Pete Dawkins and Sarah Pringle; back row: Noah Allen, Lilli Gordon, Johnathan Taylor, Ashleen Williams, Francis Liaw and Tyler Tyree

At the kennel, we were asked to set up six dog sleds (two drivers each), harness our dogs and then hook them up on a line in front of the sled. For me, this was the hardest part! All these dogs love people, but they didn’t necessarily love one another. Sometimes, we had to pull at the dogs to keep them from fighting each other. It took about an hour, but my sled partner and I were ready with lead dogs Gabe and Millie, swing dog Inuk and wheel dogs Mudro and Okra, as were the other members of the group with their sled-dog teams, and our guides, who were traveling on cross-country skis.

(Note: While Siberian Huskies are known as the fastest sled dogs and are the breed of choice for racers, these handsome, thick-furred Canadian Inuit dogs are known as hardworking. Also, we were told to pair male and female dogs on the line since the males tend to fight and the same goes for the females.)

What a scenic and crazy ride. We rode through miles of wooded trails. Sometimes it was peaceful, and I could just enjoy the beauty of the surrounding northern woods, part of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness*, made up of more than a million acres of wilderness and waterways. Other times, I felt like I was in a Space Mountain-type bumper car without a seatbelt when the sled would careen off a tree and/or the sled would tilt, and I’d have to lean the other way or go flying off – that was scary.

When going up steep hills, my sled partner or I would lessen the load for the dogs by jumping off the sled. Whenever it was my turn, I’d usually fall, and it was hard to stand back up and keep up with the sled while wearing heavy clothes and boots in powdery, foot-deep snow. Sometimes we went downhill, including one time when we had to duck to avoid an overhanging tree branch (and a major concussion).

More often than not, when we stopped, our dogs literally HOWLED with impatience. We would then pet and praise them to calm them down. They all have endearing personalities and habits. Inuk was steadfast and calm, for instance, while Mudro likes to bury his face in the snow any chance he gets.

We stopped for a campfire lunch, which also gave the dogs a chance to rest. We gathered twigs for the fire, and the guides cooked sugar-cinnamon bagels in a skillet and handed out cups of cocoa, frozen cheese sticks, meat sticks and Snickers bars. It was hard, if not impossible, to unwrap the snacks while wearing thick woolen mittens and outer mitts, but my hands instantly became red and frozen when I took the mittens off. That was the coldest part of the trip, just sitting still.

Toward the end of the day, we rode on the vast, frozen White Iron Lake. At one point I jumped off the sled and tried to walk a while and realized it would be frightening to have to walk across this lake alone, battered by snow, wind and cold, trundling along in my heavy boots and clothes. It wasn’t like a walk in the park. It was more like a walk in a frozen desert. Dog sledding is truly useful for those who live in harsh winter climates.

Just past sunset, we finally unharnessed the dogs and leashed them at a wooded spot down the hill from our cabins in the dark. We put out hay for them to lie on and gave them food and water. 

Back at the toasty warm cabin, I don’t think I ever appreciated warmth, food and sleep as much as I did that night.

The next day, after breakfast, we went out on our second dog-sledding adventure. Unlike the previous cloudy day, this day was sunny and several degrees warmer. In fact, it got up to 14 degrees, the same temperature as Oxford that day.

Video by Lilli Gordon

During another campfire lunch, the dogs lay down in the snow and napped peacefully. We went on a different, even more challenging but fun trail that included a long downhill run. I was getting the hang of this dog sledding thing. It was only when all the dogs were back at the kennel that I realized that I’d only known them for such a short time and I’d miss them.

The day didn’t end there, though. The end of a dog sledding trip at Wintergreen includes an “optional” activity. We put on our bathing suits and socks and went into a very hot sauna, six at a time. Then when we felt like we might faint, we ran down a hill and jumped in icy water, cut out with a chainsaw. It sounds crazy, but all 12 of us did it, and it truly did feel exhilarating.

The next day, we all received diplomas for completing our dog-sledding adventure. Then we packed up and left for the International Wolf Center, also in Ely, where we stayed overnight and were able to watch a pack of “ambassador” wolves in a wooded enclosure though an observation window, as well as learn all about wolves through the center’s educational program.

The following day, we headed home, staying at two Airbnb houses along the way in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and St. Louis, and we made it back to Oxford’s balmy 40-degree weather. On a trip like this, we all got to learn a bit about one another, had a lot of laughs and shared an unforgettable trip. We even learned a secret handshake, but I can’t tell you what it is because it’s secret.

More about Ole Miss Outdoors

Past weeklong Ole Miss Outdoors trips have including backpacking in the Grand Canyon, skiing and snowboarding in the Colorado Rockies, kayaking and snorkeling in the Florida Keys, and another dog sledding trip in Canada. OMOD also schedules daylong and weekend hiking, caving, rock climbing and whitewater rafting trips as well as other types of trips.

For a spring 2018 schedule and more information about Ole Miss Outdoors, go to https://campusrec.olemiss.edu/ole-miss-outdoors/.

*On our first night in Ely, some of us attended an environmental lecture about efforts to save the Boundary Waters from being poisoned by sulfide-ore copper mining. For more information about that effort, go to https://www.savetheboundarywaters.org/.

Benita Whitehorn is an assistant director/editor in University Communications.

RebelWell Offers 10 Steps to a Healthier You in 2018

RebelWell is here to help you reach your health goals in 2018. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

The new year is here, which means new goals are being made! Here are some tips from RebelWell to help with goals that will lead to a healthier you!

  1. Make you goals smart.This means that they are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Instead of “I will work out every week,” say, “I will walk or jog for 30 minutes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the next month.”
  2. Make basic alterations.Making a drastic goal of losing 30 pounds by March is unrealistic and can lead you to becoming discouraged and giving up. Making small changes will add up! These all do not have to be made at once, but changes in what you eat, when you eat and how much you move will ultimately help you lose weight. This is not a temporary change or a quick fix; this is a lifestyle change.
  3. Have someone to hold you accountable.Focus on one or two goals/areas and team up with a friend, relative or personal trainer who will make sure you stick to your plan. It’s much easier to go for a walk at 6 a.m. every day if you know a friend is waiting for you.
  4. Make your goals known!Telling others, especially those you encounter daily, about your goals not only will help keep you accountable, but can even help avoid temptation. If you tell your co-workers that you are limiting high-sodium foods to lower your blood pressure, instead of ordering pizza for the department lunch, they might choose a healthier option.
  5. Keep a diary.Writing down everything you eat or drink – even that little piece of candy – and logging all your exercise will help keep you accountable of the foods you eat. Studies show that people who keep a food diary end up eating 15 percent less than those who don’t keep a food diary.
  6. Make peace with trigger foods.Banning your favorite treat – whether it’s chocolate, soda, Frappuccinos, chips or French fries – is bound to backfire. Instead, remove the temptation from your home or work environment and allow yourself to indulge only once or twice per week.
  7. Find a physical activity you enjoy.Finding a gym you really like is a good start but remember that signing up does not mean you are on your way to losing weight. Instead, first figure out what type of physical activity you enjoy and then work on your specific goals.
  8. Measure you progress wisely.It’s important to check your progress to see how far you’ve come. For example, if you are working on managing your weight, weigh yourself once a week to keep track of your progress. If it’s difficult to measure your goal without proper equipment, use benchmarks to track progress until you have access to the equipment again. For example, to track improved cardiovascular health, you can monitor how far you can walk or how many stairs you can climb.
  9. Ditch the “all-or-nothing” thinking.The idea that you have to either do everything correctly or do nothing at all can set you up for failure. It’s important to know that if you do have a day that you missed your workout or ate more unhealthy foods than you had planned, it doesn’t make you unsuccessful. Instead, recognize your capabilities and move forward to reach your goals.
  10. Be prepared.As stated before, having setbacks does not make you a failure. But having a plan in case of setbacks and obstacles will help you overcome them. This is not an excuse to cut corners, but will help keep you prepared for events that are beyond your control. If you are unable to go for a walk outside due to weather or construction, have a backup place to walk that shield you from these things.

Mariana A. Jurss is RebelWell’s registered dietician. 

Top Stories on Ole Miss News in 2017

Year-end review reveals significant, widely-read headlines

The Ole Miss softball team celebrates a huge win over LSU on May 13th, 2017 in the championship game of the 2017 SEC Tournament in Knoxville, Tennessee. Photo by Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics

As 2017 draws to a close, we are pleased to share highlights of stories from Ole Miss News.  While we would quickly run out of room if we tried to share the more than 600 stories we produced in 2017, here is a nice sampling of great things that happened across our campuses: 

Be sure to check out our year in review in photos to see all these stories, plus so much more. 

Well, that’s it for 2017! Happy holidays and be sure to continue following us on Ole Miss News to stay up-to-date on all the exciting things happening at the University of Mississippi!

‘Sorts-Giving’ Volunteers Do Dirty, but Important, Work

Sorts-Giving volunteers Michael Newsom (from left) and Mariana Anaya sort through recycling items to collect cans and plastic. Photo by Marlee Crawford/Ole Miss Communications

There were cans. So many cans. There were plastic bottles, paper plates and a “Fins Up” button. There were the bones of so many fried chickens, Mississippi’s unofficial state bird.

Among the refuse piles of Ole Miss game days past, there have been high heels, a Brooks Brothers umbrella and even a discarded DVD about fixing a broken marriage, report volunteers with the University of Mississippi Office of Sustainability’s “Sorts-Giving.” The volunteers, who sort game day recycling every year during the university’s Thanksgiving break, have seen just about everything slide down the conveyor belt.

When Ole Miss football fans pack the Grove to tailgate among the oaks, the good times there lead to tons of trash. The Office of Sustainability collects the green bags, which are found throughout the Grove, and sort the cans and plastic from the garbage at the Oxford Recycling Center with the help of volunteers.

I decided to participate in Sorts-Giving this year to help with the leftovers from the Ole Miss-Texas A&M game festivities. It wasn’t my first time. It won’t be my last. I might never eat fried chicken again, though, after seeing what it looks like after being rained on and sitting in a bag outdoors for two days. This is probably a good thing for me. I’ve turned over a new leaf. 

Other than changing some of my eating habits, there’s the rewarding sense of doing something important with my time that I get from it. It’s also kind of fun to get out of the office and spend an afternoon with people who believe in a common goal and work together to accomplish it. As we stood out there ripping bags open so we could pull out the treasures, we took turns inventing little stories about how the items got there. I still can’t come up with a good reason why someone would leave her shoes. If you can think of an explanation for this, please let me know. 

Besides being a fun, but kind of dirty, diversion, Sorts-Giving makes you think long and hard about what you throw away. Recycling is important work. There’s no federal law that establishes it; city or state governments handle any legislation related to it. There’s the U.S. law, called the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which creates a framework for management of hazardous and nonhazardous solid wastes, but other than that, it’s basically left up to us.

IT IS UP TO US – the citizens and our local governments – to do something about the strain on our landfills excess waste causes each day. We make lots of garbage as a nation. That’s why I help out with Sorts-Giving. It’s why others do it, too. People like us have made a difference throughout the country, but we still have too much trash that isn’t being repurposed. 

“Despite the high quantity of waste being discarded in over 1,900 landfills across the United States, the country’s recycling rates have been increasing since the 1960s,” the Environmental Protection Agency reports. “In 2014, about the country generated roughly 259 million tons of municipal solid waste.”

The Mississippi Recycling Coalition reports Mississippians annually spend approximately $70 million to dispose of recyclables, which are worth $200 million. 

Sortsgiving volunteers work at the Oxford Recycling Center to collect items to be recycled from Ole Miss game day rubbish.Photo by Marlee Crawford/Ole Miss Communications

And there’s room to grow when it comes to making this a priority. A PEW Charitable Trusts survey on environmental issues found perceptions about the issue can vary widely among communities. Only three in 10 Americans said their community strongly encourages recycling and reuse. One-fifth said most people in their area don’t really encourage recycling and the remaining half said they live in places where norms around recycling are in the middle of the survey range. So in short, it’s still not really a big deal to most people.

But, we’ve made strides at Ole Miss. Sorting is part of the university’s Green Grove game-day recycling program, which is usually done by students, many of whom are out of town on Thanksgiving break. The Green Grove program was established in 2008, in collaboration with Landscape Services and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Four student interns in the Office of Sustainability, a team of Green Grove ambassadors and hundreds of volunteers manage it annually. 

Last year, more than 400 student volunteers helped out with the Green Grove program, both through engaging tailgaters on game day and by helping sort the collected recyclables, said Lindsey Abernathy, associate director of sustainability and Sorts-Giving maestro.

“Green Grove has grown to be one of our most popular sustainability programs among students,” Abernathy said. “We’ve still got a lot of room to grow, however.

“Our diversion rate is about 3 percent, so there’s a lot of opportunity to increase that number. We try our best to make it easy, convenient and fun to recycle on game day through Green Grove.”

In 2015, when Sorts-Giving last took place, UM employees diverted 1,400 pounds of recyclables from the landfill. As of this writing, the numbers for the 2017 event were still being tallied, but you can bet the total was likely just as much, maybe more.

Ian Banner, university architect and director of sustainability and facilities planning, sums the importance of Sorts-Giving up well. 

“A primary focus of the Green Grove program is to provide an engaging and educational volunteer experience to continue to build the recycling program on campus,” he said. “This is an opportunity to have a direct impact on the university’s waste reduction efforts and to learn more about the recycling process in Oxford.” 

I heard that, Ian. 

UM Alumna Finds Creative Inspiration in Hometown Support

Taylor Wilkinson

OXFORD, Miss. – University of Mississippi alumna and Oxford-based jewelry designer Taylor Wilkinson teams up with Cicada Boutique this weekend to showcase her jewelry line, Taylor Wilkinson Designs.

Wilkinson’s designs will be on display 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday (Oct. 27-28) and will be available for purchase at the store, at 307 South Lamar Blvd.

“It’s always thrilling to show in your hometown,” Wilkinson said. “There is a tremendous amount of support from not only personal friends, but the entire community. Oxford rallies around their hometown people.”

Wilkinson, who was recently featured in an alumni profile by the Ole Miss Alumni Association, turned personal meaning and her family heritage into inspired pieces of bold, geometric jewelry.

The trunk show will feature rings, bracelets, earrings, charms and necklaces from her latest jewelry collection. Wilkinson uses sterling silver, 18-karat gold vermeil and pave diamonds in her pieces.

Wilkinson’s inspiration comes from within the community not only with her pieces, but with everyday life.

“The underlying creative current in this town has always inspired me,” Wilkinson said “The ‘boost’ Oxford gives me is a personal one. My children attend our public schools. My husband’s own business is here.

“I’ve watched this town grow over the years, and even when I’m traveling, there is always the longing to get home.”

For more information regarding Taylor Wilkinson Designs, visit https://taylorwilkinsondesigns.com/ or follow her on Instagram @taylorwilkinsondesigns.

UM Alumnus Helps Produce ‘Same Kind of Different As Me’

Movie opens Oct. 20 in select theaters

University of Mississippi alumnus Stephen Johnston produced and helped raise $15 million for the movie “Same Kind of Different as Me,” which opens in theaters this weekend.

The movie was filmed in Jackson.

Based on the New York Times bestselling book of the same name, the film stars Academy Award winners Renee Zellweger and Jon Voight and Oscar nominees Greg Kinnear and Djimon Hounsou. It is based on a true story.

The story focuses on wealthy art dealer Ron Hall (Kinnear) and his wife, Debbie (Zellweger). The two are unhappily married, but their lives change when they befriend a homeless man named Denver (Hounsou).

The film has earned an 83 percent positive audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and Oxford residents can check it out starting today (Oct. 20) at Malco Oxford Studio Cinema on West Jackson Avenue.

Johnston, a Jackson native, graduated from Ole Miss in 1993 with a degree in managerial finance, and banking and finance.

Homecoming Week to Feature Variety of Fun Events

Activities begin Monday on campus

Homecoming week will feature a variety of fun activities for UM students, faculty, staff and alumni. Many events this fall will be staged on the Galtney-Lott Plaza. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – It’s that time of year again when University of Mississippi students, faculty, staff and the LOU community will unite to celebrate the Ole Miss Rebels.

A week of fun-filled events will lead up to the annual Homecoming game at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 14, when the Rebels will go head-to-head with the Vanderbilt Commodores.

Here is a list of events to look forward to during this year’s Homecoming Week:

Monday (Oct. 9)

Mechanical Shark – 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The Galtney-Lott Plaza will have a mechanical shark that daring people can ride. Be honest, how long have you been waiting to ride a Landshark?

Free Popcorn – 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Another event sponsored by the Student Activities Association on the Galtney-Lott Plaza. I don’t know about you, but I can smell the butter already.

Presentation: Frank King – 7 p.m. King, a comedian, writer and suicide prevention expert, is set to speak at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts. He will touch on his lifelong battle with depression and thoughts of suicide, as well as the importance of fighting stigmas, in an engaging, clever and thoughtful dialogue with his audience.

Tuesday (Oct. 10)

Sno-Biz – 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Stop by the Galtney-Lott Plaza to get a snow cone.

Silent Disco – 9-11 p.m. This dance party is one the likes of which you’ve probably never experienced. So come by the Grove Tuesday night to dance like no one’s listening. In case of rain, the Silent Disco will be held in the Tad Pad.

Wednesday (Oct. 11)

Games in the Circle – 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Come by the Circle to play a number of games that are sure to make lasting memories, and no, we’re not just talking about a neverending game of Trust Fall.

Wheel of Wow – 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Come one, come all and spin the wheel at the Galtney-Lott Plaza for a chance to win various giveaways for students. This event is sponsored by the Student Activities Association.

Trivia and Pizza Night – 6:30-7:30 p.m. This event will be held in the Grove, and to avoid any cheesy pizza puns, it’s a great chance to meet new people over some trivia. 

Thursday (Oct. 12)

Free Waffles – 8 a.m. They’ll be serving free, yes free, waffles Thursday morning on the Galtney-Lott Plaza. So get up and at ’em because the early bird gets the waffles.

Meet ‘n’ Greet the Homecoming Court – Noon-1 p.m. Come to the Circle to meet the ladies and gentlemen on the Homecoming court.

Rebels Got Talent – 7 p.m. The Grove Stage will be graced by students of many talents Thursday night. So come and cheer on your friends! It’ll be like “America’s Got Talent” except better because Domino’s Pizza will be providing free pizza. I wonder what Simon thinks about that?

Friday (Oct. 13)

Coffee with a Cop – 8 a.m. Come enjoy hot, fresh coffee with Oxford police officers on the Galtney-Lott Plaza. Ask them questions about their jobs, lives and/or experiences, because what’s less scary than seeing a cop at 8 a.m.? Sipping coffee with a cop at 8 a.m.

Homecoming Parade and Pep Rally – 5:30 p.m. Get ready to rally folks, the parade will begin at the Circle and continues to the Square Friday evening.

Everybody’s Formal – 8:30-11:30 p.m. The Jefferson will host this year’s Everybody’s Formal where – get this – everybody’s invited. Dress in a semiformal attire and get ready to dance the night away.

Distinguished Alumni Awards Reception – 6 p.m. The Inn at Ole Miss will host a reception honoring the winners of the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Awards.

Distinguished Alumni Awards Ceremony and Dinner – 7 p.m. Following the reception is the ceremony at the Gertrude C. Ford Ballroom followed by dinner. Please note that this is a ticketed event.

Saturday (Oct. 14)

Annual Meeting of the Alumni Association – 9:30 a.m. Come to mingle at the Gertrude C. Ford Ballroom at The Inn at Ole Miss with the Alumni Association.

Tailgates – Join alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends for a pre-game tailgate.

Black Alumni Reunion Kickoff Tailgate – 11:30 a.m., along the Student Union construction site in the Grove.

English Department Alumni Tailgate – 11:30 a.m., location to be announced.

Meek School of Journalism & New Media Tailgate – 11:30 a.m., Farley Hall lawn

School of Education Tailgate – 11:30 a.m., north lawn of the Triplett Alumni Center

School of Engineering Tailgate – 12:20 p.m., Brevard Hall lawn

Homecoming Game – 2:30 p.m., Ole Miss vs. Vanderbilt

Halftime – Introduction of the Alumni Awards Day recipients and Alumni Association President Hal Moore. Crowning of Homecoming Queen Christina Lawler by Alumni Association President Hal Moore. Performance by the Pride of the South Marching Band

Sunday (Oct. 15)

Miss University Pageant – 5:30 p.m. Come to the Ford Center to celebrate the end of Homecoming Week and to practice your best pageant wave as you cheer on participants in this year’s pageant.

Ole Miss’ Gerald McRaney and Jack Pendarvis Take Home Emmy Awards

Jack Pendarvis. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

For those of you who missed the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards show Sunday night on CBS, it was yet another night of witty banter, none of which was directed towards politics.

The Emmys is in the same family – think: Uncle Oscar, Uncle Tony and, of course, sweet Grammy – that recognize some of the most talented members and contributors to entertainment. The award that looks like an angel holding up a Hoberman ball smothered in real gold, you ask? Yes, precisely.

University of Mississippi alumnus Gerald McRaney and former faculty member Jack Pendarvis were amongst the list of winners Sunday night.

You may recognize McRaney as Dr. Nathan Katowski, aka Mandy Moore’s lady doctor on the hit show we love to love, “This Is Us.” This was his first Emmy Award in his nearly 50-year acting career, for Outstanding Guest Performance in a Drama.

McRaney, from Collins, married actress Delta Burke in 1989. Burke was part of the popular show “Designing Women,” in which she played a young woman who graduated from Ole Miss. See folks, love is clearly where the Grove is.

Pendarvis,who came to Ole Miss as a Grisham writer-in-residence, took home his second Emmy Award on Sunday for Outstanding Short Form Animated Program, celebrating his work on “Adventure Time,” an animated series on Cartoon Network that’s been on air since 2010. Pendarvis’ first Emmy win was back in 2015, followed by two nominations in 2016.

The creative vision of Pendarvis’ writing has been sure to touch the hearts of even the baddest-of-the-bad college students who claim they’re too cool for cartoons. Hint: he’s yellow, square, giggly all over, and if he attended Ole Miss, he’d be ready every time. That’s right, Pendarvis is a former “SpongeBob SquarePants” writer, having written 10 episodes for the series during Season 9.

Both McRaney and Pendarvis have made great strides in the world of entertainment. I think a hearty “HYDR” are in order for these two Ole Miss talents that prove if you work hard and have passion for what you do – you can do anything.