University’s EAC Report Cards Available Online

Report cards provide university, system-level data

OXFORD, Miss. – The Education Achievement Council report cards for the University of Mississippi, as well as those of all the state’s other public universities, have been posted online at http://www.mississippi.edu/eac/.

The report cards show the progress that has been made toward educational goals for each university and community college.

The reports include information on student enrollment, degrees awarded, college readiness, student progress, research and other university variables. They include university-specific information, along with system-level data. Archived reports from previous years are also available online.

The Education Achievement Council was established by the Mississippi Legislature in 2010 to bring attention to the state’s goal of increasing the educational attainment and skill levels of its working-age population benchmark to the national average by 2025.

The council members are representatives of state government, public K-12 leaders, public, private and proprietary higher education officials, and business community leaders.

Tuition Program for Law School Available for Veterans

Initiative covers costs for those qualifying under Post-9/11 GI Bill

OXFORD, Miss. – Beginning this fall, veterans eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program who enroll at the University of Mississippi School of Law will have their tuition paid in full.

Using a combination of funds from the Department of Veteran Affairs, the VA’s Yellow Ribbon Program and the university, veterans who served at least three years of active duty since Sept. 11, 2001 can go to law school for free.

“We are honored to participate in this initiative to fund law school for our veterans,” said Susan Duncan, UM law dean. “We owe a great debt to those who have served, and we feel this is the least we can do to honor their commitment to this country.”

The opportunity to utilize the Yellow Ribbon Program is available for any student veteran who has been accepted to law school and who meets the criteria for 100 percent of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, said Andrew Newby, the university’s assistant director of veteran and military services.

For student veterans accepted to Ole Miss who qualify for any other chapter of the GI Bill, they will be eligible for a nonresident tuition scholarship that will pay the out-of-state portion of their tuition.

“There is no limit to the number of students that can use the Yellow Ribbon Program, and no limit for students using the nonresident tuition scholarship,” Newby said.

For more information, contact Newby at 662-915-5021 or andrew@olemiss.edu.

Slavery Research Group Hosts Lecture on Educational Inequality

Alumnus Robert Reece will discuss research on racialized social outcomes

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi Slavery Research Group is sponsoring a lecture by alumnus Robert Reece on Friday (Oct. 13) in Barnard Observatory.

Reece plans to discuss his research on current school inequality and how these patterns are linked to the past. The lecture, at 3:30 p.m. in the Tupelo Room, is free and open to the public.

“Robert has developed some very innovative methods for measuring how current racial inequalities are connected to deep historical trends,” said Jeffrey T. Jackson, UM associate professor of sociology and co-chair of the Slavery Research Group. “His work is becoming widely cited in the field because of the methodological sophistication he brings to these important questions.”

Reece’s presentation should spark discussion, said Chuck Ross, UM director of African American studies and the group’s other co-chair.

“We look forward to Robert returning to our campus,” Ross said. “He clearly is establishing himself as a national scholar on race, and its sociological legacies and implications today.”

A native of Leland, Reece earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sociology from UM. He earned a doctorate from Duke University and recently accepted a position as an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Texas.

His work has been published in journals including Sociology of Race and Ethnicity and The Review of Black Political Economy, as well as in the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance magazine.

For more information about the UM Slavery Research Group, visit http://slaveryresearchgroup.olemiss.edu/.

Annual Miss University Pageant Set for Sunday

Participants competing for scholarships, spot in Miss Mississippi Pageant

Leah Gibson, Miss University 2017, will crown the new Miss University at the pageant Oct. 15 in the Ford Center. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Thirteen contestants will be vying for the title of Miss University at the 69th annual Miss University Scholarship Pageant, set for Sunday (Oct. 15) at the University of Mississippi’s Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.

The pageant, sponsored by the Ole Miss Student Union and the Student Activities Association, is set for 5:30 p.m. Tickets, priced at $10 for UM students and $15 for the general public, are available at the Ford Center Box Office and online at https://olemissboxoffice.com/.

The winner advances to the Miss Mississippi Pageant in June 2018 in Vicksburg. Miss University 2018 also gets a scholarship and other benefits, said Bradley Baker, director of the Ole Miss Student Union and pageant host.

“The winner will receive over $5,000 in scholarships and prizes from various sponsors for the Miss University Pageant,” Baker said. “This pageant not only provides scholarships but it empowers young women to achieve their dreams while serving as role models for their communities, states and the nation.”

Contestants complete an interview session with judges before the pageant, and the on-stage competitions include talent, evening gown, swimwear and on-stage question events.

These contestants for Miss University 2018 and their platforms are:

  • Shelbee Avelino, of Arroyo Grande, California; Seventeen Strong and Overall Wellness
  • Asya Branch, of Booneville; Empowering Children of Incarcerated Parents
  • Madison Demotts, of Gulf Breeze, Florida; Move Mississippi
  • Emma Gaddy, of Moulton, Alabama; Dance For All
  • Kimberly Gordon, of Brooksville; Body Dysmorphic Disorder
  • Baylee Howard, of Corinth; Women in Engineering Proactive Work
  • Mary Margaret Hyer, of Hattiesburg; Advocate, Celebrate, Donate
  • Mary Randall Ivy, of Oxford; Listen Carefully: Healthy Hearing Awareness
  • Ciara Knapp, of Chatham, Illinois; Crowning Success: The Four Points Mentoring
  • Charley Ann Nix, of Batesville; Don’t Wait, Educate: A Bullying Prevention Program
  • Dana Wesley, of West Point; Language-Learning to Foster Understanding
  • Hannah Whitlock, of Pontotoc; Game On for Literacy
  • Blair Wortsmith, of Little Rock, Arkansas; Guiding Youth to Financial Freedom

For more information about the pageant, go to https://saa.olemiss.edu/miss-university/.

Students, Faculty, Staff Encouraged to Attend UM Town Hall

The second annual UM Town Hall is scheduled for 3 p.m. Wednesday (Oct. 11) at The Inn at Ole Miss.

OXFORD, Miss. – The second annual University of Mississippi Town Hall is set for 3 p.m. Wednesday (Oct. 11) in the Gertrude C. Ford Ballroom of The Inn at Ole Miss.

All students, staff and faculty are encouraged to come hear about exciting initiatives in Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter’s “State of the U,” be among the first to learn about the university’s new strategic plan from Provost Noel Wilkin, share ideas about our future and interact with university leaders and other members of the UM community.

The session will be moderated by David Magee, longtime Oxford resident, Ole Miss alumnus and publisher of The Oxford Eagle.

In keeping with Vitter’s commitment to transparency and broad communication, the first-ever universitywide Town Hall was conducted in August 2016. The results of that dynamic and interactive event engaged the university community in the first steps toward developing a shared vision for UM.

In fact, more than 550 ideas were shared by hundreds of faculty, staff and students around the themes of (1) academic excellence, (2) vibrant and healthy communities, (3) athletics excellence and (4) people, places and resources. Those ideas have served as the foundation of the university’s new strategic plan, which will be unveiled Wednesday at this year’s event. 

Be sure to attend the Town Hall as we continue developing plans and next steps to harness the transformative power of higher education. For those unable to attend, the event will be live-streamed on the university’s official YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/olemiss. To share your thoughts on how we can continue to improve and take the University of Mississippi to the next level of greatness before and during the event, please visit this link.

Deadline to Register for Study Abroad Wintersession is Wednesday

Students encouraged to consider options for educational experiences this winter

OXFORD, Miss. – The deadline to apply for University of Mississippi Wintersession study abroad programs is Wednesday (Oct. 11).

The Study Abroad Office is offering four programs during the upcoming Wintersession, ranging from international business to a close-up look at British theater.

“Faculty at UM teach a group of students overseas for winter, spring break and summer terms on our faculty-directed programs,” said Blair McElroy, interim senior international officer and director of Study Abroad. “We are very excited about the options available during this Wintersession, which include fantastic experiential learning opportunities in the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, Cuba and Spain.

“Students from any major, subject to some prerequisites, can join these programs and have a winter break unlike any other.”

The Wintersession study abroad programs are as follows:

  • “Biology in the Caribbean,” taught by Brice Noonan, associate professor of biology
  • “Dance in Cuba,” led by Jennifer Mizenko, professor of movement and dance
  • “International Business Seminar in Barcelona,” led by James R. Flanders, program coordinator for the general business undergraduate degree program
  • “Theatre in London,” taught by Carey Hanson, associate professor of costume design

Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter is a strong advocate of study abroad experiences, calling these opportunities “life-changing and life-expanding experiences that position students for success in the increasingly global world that they will live and work in each and every day.”

Students are encouraged to study abroad because the experience can be have a profound impact on their outlook and career. After an experience studying abroad, Kate Hall, a UM senior who studied in Spain during summer 2016, has decided to move to Argentina after graduation to become a teacher.

“Studying abroad was such a fun way to learn more about Spain and the Spanish language and culture in a real and personal way,” Hall said. “I learned so much and met so many awesome people that I wouldn’t have known otherwise.”

The Dance in Cuba program application deadline has passed, but the other three programs are still open. Click here to learn more about the remaining programs and apply online. For more information, contact the UM Office of Study Abroad at 662-915-1508.

North Mississippi VISTA Project Hosts Donation Drive for Veterans

OXFORD, Miss. – In honor of the Sept. 11 Day of Service, the North Mississippi VISTA project is hosting a communitywide donation drive for the veterans in residence at the State Veterans Home in Lafayette County.

The Volunteers in Service to America project encourages community members to donate items requested by the State Veterans Home, including wheelchair bags, headphones, acrylic paint and art supplies, black ink pens and stationery supplies, Kleenex, and candy. Donations will be accepted during normal business hours at the Chamber of Commerce, Volunteer Oxford and the United Way of Oxford-Lafayette County.

The drive is ongoing through Sept. 22.

The North Mississippi VISTA Project sponsors 18 organizations throughout north Mississippi and the Delta. VISTA members commit to one year of indirect service where they focus on building sustainable capacity within community-based organizations.

“The Days of Service allow our VISTAs several chances to join direct service efforts throughout the year,” says VISTA leader Edy Dingus. “We hoped that this drive would highlight the importance of impactful service by connecting our community to our VISTAs and our veterans.”

The VISTA Donation Drive for Veterans is just one of the scheduled activities offered through Volunteer Oxford and community partners in honor of the Sept. 11 Day of Remembrance.

For more information about the drive or the North Mississippi VISTA Project, contact VISTA leaders Shannon Curtis and Edy Dingus at VISTA@olemiss.edu or 662-915-2397.

Annual Program Educates Students on Sexual Health and Related Topics

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi’s Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies, Office of Violence Prevention and Office of Health Promotion are co-sponsoring Sex EDxtravaganza, a program on sexual health, consent, gender identities and healthy relationships, on Sept. 11-13.

The event will focus on three goals: decreasing sexually transmitted diseases, preventing sexual violence and decreasing gender-related violence, all important topics for college-aged adults.

On Monday (Sept. 11), student organization FEMISS will host a screening of the documentary “Jackson,” which follows three women in a debate about women’s health and the last abortion clinic in Mississippi. The film by Maisie Crow debuted in 2016, winning numerous awards at film festivals. The screening begins at 6 p.m. in Lamar Hall, Room 129, and a discussion will follow.

The Office of Violence Prevention and Rebels Against Sexual Assault will co-sponsor a Consent Carnival from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday (Sept. 12) in the Circle. The goal is to educate students about affirmative consent by playing games and talking with peer educators.

The observance closes out with Wellness Wednesday: Sexual Health Education, sponsored by the Office of Health Promotion, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Galtney-Lott Plaza. The event will serve as a respectful approach to sexual health and sexual relationships, with the goal of engaging students to make informed choices regarding sexual health. Education and campus resources will be available.

For more information, visit http://sarahisomcenter.org/sex-edxtravaganza/.

Southern Studies Center Sets Slate of Fall Brown Bag Lectures

Free series explores region through lenses of art, music and social change

OXFORD, Miss. – The fall Brown Bag Lunch and Lecture series begins this week at the University of Mississippi’s Center for the Study of Southern Culture.

Most lectures are scheduled for noon Wednesdays in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory, Room 105. They are free and open to the public.

The schedule begins Wednesday (Aug. 30) with “Brotherhood and Brotherhoodism: Studying Family Problems in the Twentieth Century South,” presented by Ted Ownby, director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture and an Ole Miss professor of history.

Other lectures in the series are:

  • Sept. 21 – “Mississippi in the Work of Sherwood Bonner,” presented by Katie McKee, McMullan Associate Professor of Southern Studies and UM associate professor of English. Lecture will be in the Department of Archives and Special Collections of the J.D. Williams Library.
  • Sept. 27 – “El Sur Latino: Migration, Identity and Incorporation,” by Simone Delerme, McMullan Assistant Professor of Southern Studies and UM assistant professor of anthropology.
  • Oct. 4 – “Introducing the Do Good Fund Exhibit,” by David Wharton, UM director of documentary studies and assistant professor of Southern studies, and Brooke White, UM associate professor of art.
  • Oct. 19 – “A Screening of ‘An Outrage’ and Conversation with Filmmakers,” by Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren, co-directors of Field Studio in Richmond, Virginia.
  • Oct. 25 – “‘That’s for the White Folks’: Race, Culture, and (Un)Making Place in the Rural South,” by Brian Foster, UM assistant professor of sociology and Southern studies.
  • Nov. 1 – “A Discussion of ‘Beyond the Crossroads: The Devil and the Blues Tradition,'” by Adam Gussow, UM associate professor of English and Southern studies.
  • Nov. 8 – “Bobbie Gentry’s Odes to Mississippi,” by Kristine McCusker, of the Department of History at Middle Tennessee State University.
  • Nov. 15 – “Politics and Poetics: Writing about the Twentieth-Century Appalachian South,” by Jessie Wilkerson, UM assistant professor of history and Southern studies.

MDA Entrepreneur Center Presents 2017 Fall Webinar Series

McLean Institute partnering with organization to boost business profiles around the state

OXFORD, Miss. – The Mississippi Development Authority’s Entrepreneur Center 2017 Fall Webinar Series kicks off at noon Sept. 12 with “Financing Your New Business,” led by George Broadstreet, Renasant Bank community outreach specialist.

The series is designed to help entrepreneurs boost their business profile in communities around the state. The webinars, presented in partnership with the University of Mississippi’s McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement, are designed especially for entrepreneurs.

“We are excited to work with MDA and the Entrepreneur Center through the webinar series,” said J.R. Love, project manager for the institute’s Catalyzing Entrepreneurship and Economic Development initiative. “The webinars provide our CEED students and community partners throughout Mississippi relevant information as they seek to start and strengthen their own business.”

Nash Nunnery, project manager for the Entrepreneur Center and host for the webinar series, agreed.

“We are happy to partner with the McLean Institute on our 2017 Fall Webinar Series featuring an outstanding lineup of presenters,” he said. “Entrepreneurship is booming in Mississippi, and these webinars are designed to enlighten and inform both aspiring and existing entrepreneurs in our state.”

UM alumna Mary Blessey said she is looking forward to the webinar series.

“The Entrepreneur Center’s webinar series is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs around the state to connect with each other and learn about new opportunities,” said Blessey, founder of Holley Street Media LLC. “As a graduate of the McLean Institute’s CEED Initiative and a new small business owner myself, I’m excited to follow along with this helpful series.”

To register for Week 1, go to: http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=ED51D788814A30.

The series also includes:

  • Sept. 26: Improving Operational Efficiency – Liz Donovan, MCC Mississippi
  • Oct. 10: An Entrepreneur’s Story – Karen Kurr, No Time 2 Cook CEO
  • Oct. 24: Customer Service That Brings Back Customers – Jeff Good, Mangia Bene
  • Nov. 7: Build Your Personal Brand – Janet Parker, Innovate Mississippi
  • Nov. 21: The Legal Side of Entrepreneurship – Michael Williams, Bradley Law Firm

For more information, contact Nash Nunnery at nnunnery@mississippi.org or 601-359-9241.