Versatility of Wheat in Cooking Topic for October Science Cafe

OXFORD, Miss. – University of Mississippi professor Susan Pedigo will lead a program Oct. 16 examining “The Versatility of Wheat in Cooking” at this month’s Science Cafe.

Pedigo, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry, will speak on the subject at 6 p.m. at Uptown Coffee. The event is free and open to the public.

Susan Pedigo

The Oxford Science Cafe features monthly conversations about science known and unknown. Speakers and topics are scheduled through the UM Department of Physics and Astronomy.

This month’s discussions will center on the genetic rewiring of wild wheat to promote convenience in harvesting and planting, and how those changes promoted wheat’s meteoric rise in importance as a major food in civilization.

The event is sponsored by the Office of the Provost, University of Mississippi Women in Physics, Uptown Coffee and the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

For more information about Oxford Science Cafe programs, go to For more information about the Department of Physics and Astronomy, visit or call 662-915-7046.

MFA Ceramics Student Selected to Represent University in China

William McKinney is among seven artists chosen for fair

William McKinney

OXFORD, Miss. –William McKinney, a Master of Fine Arts student in ceramics, is representing the University of Mississippi this month at the Taoxichuan Creative Fair in Jingdezhen, China.

Selected by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, McKinney is among seven students chosen to represent universities in the United States.

“It’s a huge honor … it was pretty amazing I got this opportunity to do this,” said McKinney, who received his bachelor’s degree in ceramics from West Virginia University. “It will be good to get out of my comfort zone. I’ve been at Ole Miss for two-and-a-half-years, and this trip is going to challenge me.”

His work in ceramics is experimental in nature and investigates function versus abstraction, and explores environmental changes that are happening across the country, specifically in his home state of West Virginia.

McKinney is looking forward to new artistic ideas and perspectives and hopes that his experimental approach to ceramics will bring something special to the fair.

“I’m hoping to show people that this is a traditional material for pottery, but it can be adapted into very sculptural means and push those boundaries,” McKinney said.

Fall Webinar Series Aims to Improve Entrepreneurs’ Businesses

Series hosted by UM McLean Institute and Mississippi Development Authority

OXFORD, Miss. – A series of webinars to help fledgling and seasoned entrepreneurs across Mississippi improve their business profiles is hosted this fall by the University of Mississippi’s McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement and The Entrepreneur Center of the Mississippi Development Authority.

The webinars began Sept. 11 and continue Tuesday (Sept. 25), Oct. 9 and 23, and Nov. 6. On average, the webinars attract more than 70 participants. The Sept. 11 kickoff for the fall series, which focused on brand and social media marketing, hit a webinar series record with an audience of 115.

J.R. Love, project manager of the Catalyzing Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, or CEED, Initiative at the McLean Institute, works with students to create actionable partnerships that promote entrepreneurship and economic development.

“The webinars are a great venue to help share knowledge and best practices on how to start your own business or strengthen your existing business,” Love said. “We are thankful to the Robert M. Hearin Foundation for providing a financial gift to support the CEED initiative in bolstering community and economic development in Oxford and around the state.”

Nash Nunnery, development specialist at Mississippi Development Authority, has partnered with the McLean Institute for the past three years to host the webinar series.

“Both entrepreneurs in Oxford and on the Ole Miss campus, as well as those across Mississippi, can benefit greatly from the information disseminated from the webinars,” Nunnery said. “Our topics range from branding/social media to legal matters to attracting investment for small business.”

The 2018 fall webinar series schedule, with registration links, includes:

Sept. 25 – “Essentials of Advertising,” with Darren Schwindaman, of Creative Distillery –

Oct. 9 – “Legal Matters: IP, Copyright and Patents,” with Jeremy Smith, Bradley Arant –

Oct. 23 – “Attracting Investment in Your Business,” with Dean Didato, InnovaMemphis –

Nov. 6 – “Business Model Canvas,” with Michael Harris, The Entrepreneur Center –

For more information on the webinar series and how to register, visit

Politics Dominate Autumn Schedule at UM Overby Center

Twelfth year of programing continues with Wednesday evening discussion

OXFORD, Miss. – Fresh off the success of bringing the popular MSNBC program “Morning Joe” to Oxford, the University of Mississippi’s Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics is preparing a slate of election year-themed discussions on campus.

The center’s 12th year of programs at Ole Miss began Friday (Sept. 14), with an evening at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts featuring “Morning Joe” hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, along with historian and commentator Jon Meacham and biographer Walter Isaacson.

All remaining Overby Center programs this season are slated for the center’s auditorium, where events are free and open to the public. Arrangements have been made for free parking in the lot next to the auditorium.

“A broad array of nationally recognized journalists and commentators will give our audiences valuable insights,” said Charles Overby, chairman of the Overby Center.

The fall lineup features:

  • Wednesday (Sept. 19), 5:30 p.m., “In the Dark” Investigative journalists for an acclaimed podcast will talk about their yearlong probe into the reasons why a Winona man has been tried six times for a quadruple murder. Curtis Flowers has been in the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman for 21 years even though he has won repeated appeals. Madeleine Baran and Samara Freemark will reveal how their work focused on the prosecutor, the witnesses and how justice works – or doesn’t.
  • Sept. 25, 5:30 p.m., “Deep South Dispatch” – John Herbers was a Mississippi reporter who covered the early stages of the civil rights movement for United Press International before moving to a distinguished career at The New York Times. At the end of his life, he collaborated with his daughter, Anne Farris Rosen, on a memoir about his experiences in the South in the 1960s that was published this year. Rosen will talk about her father with other journalists in Mississippi during that period.
  • Oct. 10, 5:30 p.m., “Showcasing an Outstanding Alumnus” – James Autry, an Ole Miss graduate who rose to become editor-in-chief of Better Homes and Gardens and then took over as general manager of the Meredith Corp.’s magazine empire, returns to Oxford to talk about his years as an executive, educational speaker, consultant and poet. His latest volume of poetry, “Mississippi,” has just been published.
  • Oct. 19, 11 a.m., “Election Thoughts” – Two-and-a-half weeks before this fall’s critical congressional elections, political journalist Peter Boyer will be on hand to discuss the chances of a Democratic takeover on Capitol Hill. A native Mississippian, Boyer attended Ole Miss. His background ranges from The New Yorker to Newsweek, from Frontline to Fox News. He is a national correspondent for The Weekly Standard.
  • Nov. 14, 5:30 p.m., “Reading the Returns” – A pair of veteran Mississippi political handlers with opposing partisan interests – Republican Austin Barbour and Democrat Brandon Jones – will debate the outcome of the Nov. 6 election as well as a prospective runoff later in the month for the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by Thad Cochran.

Jon Meacham, MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe Live’ Coming to Ford Center

Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski join author at 5 p.m. Friday

OXFORD, Miss. – Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski wake up the nation each weekday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” Experience the Joe and Mika dynamic, called “revolutionary” by Time magazine, live at 5 p.m. Friday (Sept. 14) at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.

Presented by Mississippi Today and the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics, this event offers an up-close-and-personal experience with nationally recognized voices in the news media.

Best-selling author and historian Jon Meacham, who returns to Ole Miss after delivering the keynote address for the university’s 2017 Commencement, will lead a discussion with Joe and Mika around current events and how news is reported and consumed in the 21st century.

Questions will be taken from the audience during the hourlong program.

Tickets are $10. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Joe Scarborough, co-host

Former U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough (R-Fla.) is co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” alongside Mika Brzezinski. The show features interviews with top newsmakers and in-depth analysis of the day’s biggest stories. The New York Times has ranked “Morning Joe” as one of today’s top morning news shows and has praised Joe and Mika’s natural repartee and off-the-cuff commentary. The New Yorker has described the show as “appallingly entertaining.”

Mika Brzezinski, co-host

Mika Brzezinski is co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” founder of “Know Your Value” and author of four best-selling books. Most recently, she was awarded with the New York Women in Communications’ Matrix Award. Mika, along with co-host Joe Scarborough, was inducted into the Cable News Hall of Fame. She and Joe also served as visiting fellows at the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School in fall 2017. Mika’s expanded book “Know Your Value,” which includes timely material, statistics and interviews, will be released Sept. 25.

Jon Meacham, contributor

Jon Meacham is a Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian. A contributing writer for The New York Times Book Review and a contributing editor of Time magazine, he is author of the New York Times best-sellers “The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels,” “Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush,” “Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power,” “American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House,” “American Gospel” and “Franklin and Winston.” Meacham lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

“Joe and Mika Live at the Ford Center with Jon Meacham” is co-presented by Mississippi Today and the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics with support from the Dick Molpus Foundation, UM, John Palmer, Lisa and Jack Reed Jr. and the Mississippi Book Festival.

UM Updates Alcohol and Other Drugs Sanction Policy

The University of Mississippi has updated its Alcohol and Other Drugs Sanction Policy to reflect an emphasis on education, rehabilitation, and the health and safety of students and the larger university community.

The purpose of this update is to set forth the sanctioning philosophy and range of possible outcomes for students and recognized student organizations found in violation of any university alcohol or drug policy. It mirrors the value the university places on maintaining a safe and welcoming learning environment.

The updated policy will allow university officials to consider each student as a unique individual. Administrators also hope the revised policy will encourage conversations regarding health and wellness and a collaborative educational process regarding alcohol and other drugs with a harm-reduction and early intervention focus. 

“In implementing this update to the Alcohol and Other Drugs Sanction policy, we conducted a thorough review of current campus trends as well as best practices across higher education and decided upon an educational and restorative approach,” said Tracy Murry, director of the Office of Conduct Resolution and Student Conduct.

“This update aims to address individual behavior by the best means available to the institution, which includes conversations with the student, assessment and creative sanctioning that will help a student understand and benefit from the educational process.”

Additionally, UM officials will be able to make decisions about off-campus incidents in the same manner as on-campus incidents. Implementing this change will ensure all students receive timely resources and support and reduce the time between incident and adjudication.

The updated policy replaces the Minimum Sanctions Policy, also known as the “Two Strike Policy,” which was developed and implemented in 2006.

The updated policy states:

Any student or student group found in violation of a university policy regarding the use of alcohol or other drugs shall be subject to a range of possible outcomes that include but are not limited to: expulsion, suspension, probation, suspension of a student groups’ social activities, community service and/or participation in an alcohol/drug education program for which there could be fees or fines.

To determine the appropriate sanction for a particular student or student organization, the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct will consider the totality of the circumstances giving rise or related to the infraction, along with the following factors:

  • the severity of the infraction,
  • the likelihood that alcohol and drug education will minimize the risk of repeat violations,
  • the scope of the damage or harm the infraction caused,
  • the likelihood that substance abuse/misuse education will encourage responsible behavior,
  • the benefits gained from restorative reconciliation where the student or student group: (i) accepts and acknowledges responsibility for the violation and (ii) works to rebuild trust with the university community through positive social behaviors, such as community service and other rehabilitative exercises, and
  • whether the removal of the student or student group from the university community on a permanent or temporary basis is necessary to sustain a healthy and safe campus environment.

The above sanctions are appealable using the university’s published student conduct process. Students who are suspended or expelled from the university should be aware that this action may impact the following:

  • tuition, residence hall costs and fees (suspension does not forgive financial obligations)
  • student financial aid
  • athletics participation and eligibility
  • health insurance (students are encouraged to contact their personal health care provider)
  • university housing
  • meal plan
  • use of university resources and access to university facilities
  • immigration status for international students
  • veterans and dependents of veterans
  • internships, assistantships and study abroad

The above list is not a complete list and does not include all potential consequences for suspension or expulsion.

The university may bring a charge under this policy against any student or student group committing any alcohol or drug-related offense that is otherwise sanctionable under the university’s conduct policy describing the authority and jurisdiction of the university’s conduct system. For students, such offenses include but are not limited to any drug-related crime, public intoxication and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the university is made aware of such offenses.

If the university brings a charge against a student based upon the student’s criminal conviction by any trial court of competent jurisdiction or other court proceeding that includes an admission or finding of guilt, the admission or finding may be accepted as a final factual determination that the student has violated applicable university policy and the sole function of the university’s conduct process will be to determine the appropriate university sanction under this and other university policies.

For more information, contact Tracy Murry at

UM Project Featured on National Coalition Website

OXFORD, Miss. – A University of Mississippi project is in the national spotlight after receiving an extended profile on a new website for the National Humanities Alliance.

Behind the Big House was among 51 projects, chosen from 1,402 featured programs, to receive an extended profile on the website for the national coalition, which seeks to showcase the full range of higher education-based public-engaged humanities initiatives throughout the country.

Behind the Big House is a community-driven tour and programming series that illuminates the African-American history of grand historic homes in Holly Springs. The project has been integrated into the coursework of Southern studies, African diaspora studies and archaeology programs at UM.

Nineteen other projects throughout Mississippi were included on the website, including Delta Jewels Oral History Partnership – an 18-month collaboration between the Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University and UM journalism professor Alysia Burton Steele.

Visit to learn more about the organization.

‘Succeed with Hearing Loss’ Support Group Sessions Offered this Fall

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and its Speech and Hearing Clinic is conducting a series of support group sessions for individuals with hearing loss.

Significant others, such as partners, children and siblings, also can participate in these sessions.

Examples of topics discussed during these group sessions include tips to improve communication, concerns with using hearing aids, handling difficult listening situations, emergency preparedness and self-advocacy.

During the fall 2018 semester, the sessions are set for 1-3 p.m. Sept. 7 and 21, Oct. 5 and 19, and Nov. 2, 16 and 30 in Room 106E on the first floor of the J.D. Williams library.

You need not have hearing aids to participate in these sessions, which are free of charge.

For those participating in the group aural rehab sessions, parking will be available in the spaces reserved for clients in the parking lot near George Hall. If you are interested in participating in these sessions, contact Rebecca Lowe at or Vishakha Rawool at

Student Health Pharmacy Changes Name, Expands Operations

Renamed Student and Employee Pharmacy Health Services offers options for faculty and staff

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi’s Student Health Pharmacy has changed its name to Student and Employee Pharmacy Health Services and expanded its offerings to provide pharmacy services to employees.

“The main goal of Pharmacy Health Services and the pharmacy school is to improve health care and make it more available,” said David D. Allen, dean of the School of Pharmacy. “Providing pharmacy services to the entire Ole Miss community was a natural next step in fulfilling the school’s mission of improving health, well-being and quality of life.”

The renaming better reflects the scope of services and target population, said Chad Westmoreland, a pharmacist at the center.

“Up until this year, our prescription services were limited to current Ole Miss students, but now we have expanded to provide services for university students, employees and employee families,” he said.

“We will provide the same services as always – prescriptions, medication counseling, immunizations – with the addition of on-campus delivery upon request to faculty-staff and the option for payment through payroll deduction.”

Hours of operation are 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Fridays. For more information, call 662-915-5279, visit or email

Mississippi Poet Laureate, UM Professor Takes Stage for Performance

Beth Ann Fennelly, along with Jackson native Claire Holley, treats audiences to songs and poems

OXFORD, Miss. – The work of University of Mississippi English professor and Mississippi’s poet laureate, Beth Ann Fennelly, along with a Mississippi native singer-songwriter, can be enjoyed by all in August through a broadcast of an intimate performance of songs and poems.

Mississippi Public Broadcasting Television will air “An Evening with Claire and Beth Ann” at 9 p.m. Aug. 6, with encore presentations set for 9 p.m. Aug. 10 and noon Aug. 12.

Fennelly and Claire Holley took the stage inside The Cedars, Jackson’s oldest surviving residential structure, for the performance. Holley and Fennelly, who have been friends for 15 years, take turns treating the audience with their unique artistic talents during the performance, as reported by MPB.

Fennelly previously served as director of the UM Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program, as well as teaching poetry and nonfiction writing at Ole Miss, before being named by Gov. Phil Bryant in 2016 as the state’s poet laureate. The designation comes with a four-year term she is using to make poetry more accessible to Mississippians.

In 2011, she was named UM Humanities Teacher of the Year and College of Liberal Arts Teacher of the Year. Her first collection of poetry, “Open House,” was a Book Sense Top Ten Poetry Pick and won a Kenyon Review Prize, a Zoo Press Poetry Prize and a Great Lakes College Association New Writers Award.