Edward Woo Wows at Work

Alumnus acts as pharmacy-information technology liaison at Vanderbilt Medical Center

Edward Woo

Edward Woo specializes in the practice of creating, storing, finding, manipulating and sharing information, otherwise known as informatics, within the field of pharmacy.

The University of Mississippi electrical engineering and pharmacy alumnus (BSEE 03, BSPh 05, PharmD 07) began his informatics and pharmacy career shortly after earning his electrical engineering degree. He started as a floater pharmacist at Walgreens, became staff pharmacist, then quickly was promoted to pharmacy manager of numerous 24-hour locations throughout South Carolina and Tennessee.

After moving to Nashville, Woo took a job at Vanderbilt University Medical Center as a principal domain specialist and now serves as manager of pharmacy informatics. The Sumner native also co-created Medalogix, a Nashville-based health care technology company that analyzes home health care companies’ clinical data to identify patient risk and then helps them act to improve outcomes.

“These have been two of my more notable recent achievements,” Woo said. “Being associated with these two organizations has allowed me to provide patient care from an informatics or technology standpoint. Instead of helping one person at a time, by using informatics or IT, I am able to make decisions that could affect an entire population at a single time.”

Woo said that Ole Miss is in his blood. Both his parents and most of his family also graduated from the university.

“All my professors were my favorite,” he said. “I think that Dr. (Atef) Elsherbeni stood out because I worked with him closely on the electrical engineering website and various other projects. My favorite course was Digital Systems because it taught me to think logically or in binary terms about all possible outcomes to a problem.”

In his present position, Woo oversees outpatient pharmacy applications in terms of upgrades, implementation and sometimes development. He works with the clinical pharmacist to help develop workflows and informatics solutions that can be incorporated into various applications.

“I see myself as a liaison between the pharmacy field and the IT side,” Woo said. “I am able to translate both IT talk and pharmacy talk between the two parties.”

Woo said that being able to look at issues or problems from a technical perspective, a skill he developed while at UM, is needed in his profession.

“Engineering taught me how to solve problems rationally and sometimes using different perspectives,” he said. “With my current position, I have to anticipate the needs of pharmacy applications from a pharmacist and technician perspective. I also have to look at it from a perspective of ‘does it make sense?’ and ‘does it make sense financially?’ Electrical engineering also gave me the background IT knowledge in computers and development along with rationale thinking to be successful in my current position.”

Kevin Gardner, development officer for the UM School of Engineering, said Woo is an example of what graduates of the school can accomplish.

“Edward follows a long line of family members who are Rebel entrepreneurs,” he said. “Combining electrical engineering with pharmacy degrees has created a unique approach for bridging the gap of medicinal science and technology at Vanderbilt Medical Center. It is evident that Edward is playing a significant role in improving the health and lives for those who come in and out of Tennessee.”

Woo and his wife, Susan, have a son, Nolan, and a daughter, Merritt. In his leisure, he enjoys playing with anything electronic.

“My favorite electronic toy is probably my Raspberry Pi,” Woo said. “I also like to play golf and tennis, watch sports and hang out with the family.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

English Professor Awarded ACLS Fellowship

Caroline Wigginton will spend the next year completing her second monograph

English Professor Caroline Wigginton will begin her ACLS Fellowship this July. Submitted Photo

OXFORD, Miss. – The American Council of Learned Societies awarded a 2017 fellowship to Caroline Wigginton, assistant professor of English at the University of Mississippi.

Wigginton is among 71 recipients chosen from nearly 1,200 applicants in the national competition, open to scholars from the humanities and related social sciences. She will begin her fellowship July 1 from Oxford and will work on her second monograph, titled “Indigenuity: Native Craftwork and the Material of Early American Books.”

One of the university’s most accomplished young professors, she has already completed one monograph and is deeply involved in research on her second book, said Ivo Kamps, UM chair of English.

“The highly competitive ACLS Fellowship will give her a year of uninterrupted research and writing, and puts her on a path to make good progress on her next book-length project,” Kamps said. “The English department’s Ph.D. program shot up 16 spots to No. 40 among public universities in 2017 U.S. News & World Report’s national rankings, and the innovative work done by Professor Wigginton and her colleagues is a big reason for that.”

Wigginton said the fellowship, valued at $40,000, means her research is important to other scholars and worthy of support. Additionally, the ACLS designated her as the first Carl and Betty Pforzheimer Fellow, named after philanthropists and activists for the humanities.

“I’m pleased to have their names attached to my fellowship,” she said. “I see my teaching and research as emphasizing the importance of understanding our histories and cultures and, as an educator, producing creative and critical readers and thinkers.”

Wigginton has spent most of her time conducting research in special collections and archives around the country, including Huntington Library in San Marino, California, Newberry Library in Chicago and Winterthur Museum in Delaware. She plans to spend the bulk of her yearlong fellowship writing the book and presenting her research at conferences.

“The fellowship provides me with the ability do research full time while also staying based in Oxford,” she said. “I love teaching and value service, the other two components of my professorship, but I’m excited about being able to devote myself to writing this book during the next academic year.”

Her research traces how early American books appropriated and propagated Native American knowledge about indigenous natural resources. Wigginton analyzes both Native and Euro-American artifacts along with travel narratives to argue that Native knowledge is present in the material of early American books.

“Here, the material of books is taken to be both imaginative and physical,” she said. “In other words, books are both repositories of instruction and also – in their incorporation of natural dyes, plant fibers and bespoke bindings – examples of that instruction being put to use.

“Still connected in their materiality to their Native roots, early American books retain indigeneity and are coextensive with a Native archive of texts and artifacts.”

Mississippi Robotics Champs Earn World Championship

Pearl team wins title as part of a three-team alliance in Texas

A robotics team from Pearl that won the Mississippi’s FIRST Tech Challenge robotics competition held in March at the University of Mississippi has gone on to win a world championship. The winners are, left to right, Lilli Stewart, Lauren Blacksher, Noah Gregory, Maisyn Barragan, Jordan Hariel, Logan Hariel and Mathew Blacksher. Submitted photo.

OXFORD, Miss. – A robotics team from Pearl that won the Mississippi’s FIRST Tech Challenge robotics competition in March at the University of Mississippi has gone on to win a world championship in Houston, Texas. 

The group of friends from Pearl has worked together for more than five years and was part of a three-team alliance that won the FIRST Tech Challenge World Championship. Their team, called Wait For It, worked with RedNek Robotics from Sun River, Montana, and Rise of Hephaestus from San Diego to win a best of three matches at the April 19-22 competition. 

The students had to pilot their robots to victory at the South Super Regional competition in Athens, Georgia, before making it to Houston for the finals. Paul Stewart, the coach and mentor for Wait For It, praised the team’s effort and determination. 

“I am very proud of what the team has accomplished,” Stewart said. “Our goal this season was to simply qualify for the world championship. For this group of young professionals, winning the world championship will be something that they will remember for the rest of their lives.”

The team members, all of whom are homeschooled, are Lilli Stewart, Lauren Blacksher, Noah Gregory, Maisyn Barragan, Jordan Hariel, Logan Hariel and Mathew Blacksher.

Four other Mississippi teams placed at the championship. Techno Warriors Advanced from Brandon placed 16th, Pure Imagination from Grenada placed 63rd, both in the Jemison Division. T.R.O.N. from Flowood placed 46th and Challenge Accepted from Senatobia placed 64th in the Franklin Division.

Mannie Lowe, UM’s FIRST program manager at the university’ Center for Mathematics and Science Education, praised the winning team. 

“We have seen them grow from FIRST LEGO League through the ranks of the FIRST Tech Challenge and excel both on and off the robot playing field,” Lowe said. “This team is truly an embodiment of what FIRST values in a team. Their work with their partners during the championship showed that they know how to complement any kind of team. 

The For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, or FIRST, nonprofit organization was founded 25 years ago by inventor Dean Kaman to build interest in STEM fields.

Teams comprise up to 15 people, and any organization – not just schools – can form a team. Students are guided by teachers, coaches, mentors and community members. Teams must design and build their own robots, keep an engineer’s notebook and do some kind of outreach to promote STEM careers.

During the competition, teams of two face off against each other. This allows participants to learn how to work with other teams and enjoy healthy competition at the same time.

The robots can be built out of virtually any material as long as teams follow regulation rules. In the past, some teams have built their robots out of PVC pipe, wood and aluminum. However, the competition is about more than just robots.

Mississippi FIRST Tech Challenge teams have always proven to be high-quality robot builders, and the program will grow, Lowe said. 

“We look forward to seeing bigger and better things from the team as we continue to grow the FIRST Tech Challenge program throughout the state,” Lowe said. “The program continues to grow with over 50 teams now, from four just five years ago, and we will see bigger growth in the future as others around the world now see that we have a first-class program here in the South.” 

Modern Languages Department Offers New Doctoral Program

Degree will prepare graduates to work in industry or run higher education programs

The University of Mississippi’s Department of Modern Languages will offer a new Ph.D. in second language studies this fall. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Beginning this fall, the University of Mississippi’s Department of Modern Languages will offer a doctorate in second language studies. 

The degree is designed to educate professionals who can provide second language training for firms that conduct business globally and need workers who can speak Spanish and other languages. The program also will train future modern language administrators for universities and other institutions.

“We aim to train language professionals to meet certain needs today in education and in the private sector,” said Daniel O’Sullivan, professor of French and interim chair of modern languages. “There is an increasing need for people to administer language programs. Also, companies with international business require a cadre of language professionals to help them train their workers.”

The degree program has two tracks. One is in applied linguistics, which is geared toward understanding empirical data about languages, the evolution of languages and various dialects in the media and across the nation, among other aspects.

The second track is in Spanish. It focuses on meeting the growing demand for professionals and academics who understand the language and culture of Spanish-speaking communities, O’Sullivan said. 

Many different faculty members from the department, which teaches 11 languages, will be involved in the new classes. The goal is to have a cohort of five people enter the program per year. 

“It’s the first new Ph.D. in the College of Liberal Arts in a very long time, and we’re very proud of that,” O’Sullivan said. “It’s going to highlight the achievements of the faculty, who are very active in research.

“We’re going to build a name for ourselves for developing language programs to train those who run programs at other universities and institutions.”

The degree will prepare students to be leaders locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, said Felice Coles, the program’s graduate coordinator and professor of modern languages.

“The emphases in applied linguistics and Spanish will give students a greater understanding of how to learn, teach and work with speakers of many languages around the world,” Coles said. “Using their valuable and marketable skills, our Ph.D. graduates will happily find jobs in education, government and industry.”

The program represents a big step in the continued growth of modern languages at the university, said Donald Dyer, associate dean for faculty and academic affairs in the College of Liberal Arts and professor of Russian and linguistics. 

“With the development of certain areas of research and teaching focus, the Department of Modern Languages has worked for nearly a decade to develop a unique doctoral program in second language studies and applied linguistics, a program which will provide training for future foreign language educators in academic positions at universities throughout the country,” Dyer said.

Shan Jiang Joins Mechanical Engineering Faculty

Postdoctoral fellow brings research expertise to department, students

Assistant professor Shan Jiang is a new addition to the UM Department of Mechanical Engineering faculty. Submitted photo

When it comes to athletics, the University of Mississippi and the University of Missouri are rivals. But when Shan Jiang decided it was time to begin his professional teaching and research career at an R1 institution, he didn’t find it too difficult to forsake the Tigers for the Rebels.

“I was a ‘Mizzou Tiger,’ but Ole Miss also had a long history and great reputation,” said the newest assistant professor in UM’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. “I learned of this position from my previous Ph.D. adviser, who is also actively conducting research in the area of computational solid mechanics. I accepted because I believe that I fit this position very well based on my background and research interests.”

Jiang teaches courses in statics, engineering graphics fundamentals, and numerical engineering design and analysis. His research interests include mechanics of materials and structures; multiscale modeling and simulations, and strength of advanced materials; atomic/molecular-level simulations; thermo-mechanical response of nano-/mesoscale structures to extreme loading conditions; blast-resistant structures and materials, energetic materials, shock simulations; and high-performance computation for simulation-based engineering science.

“My short-term career goals are publishing high-quality research papers (in) international, top-ranked, peer-review journals, successfully securing some external research grants, developing my own special style of teaching to realize effectively and efficiently learning for both undergraduate and graduate courses,” Jiang said.

“Long-term, I want to form a well-known research group focused on simulation-based engineering science at Ole Miss and to develop more advanced courses to meet the requirements of the fast-increasing student enrollments in the ME department.”

Arunachalam Rajendran, chair and professor of the mechanical engineering department, said Jiang is an asset to the program and its students.

“Dr. Jiang brings exceptional talents in multidisciplinary research areas, including chemistry,” he said. “I am positive that Shan’s outgoing and easily approachable personality would lead to effective student interactions and synergism in the department. I am sure our students would love his teaching and perhaps performing undergraduate research under (him).”

Jiang said that receiving the Outstanding Ph.D. Student Award in the College of Engineering at Mizzou is his most fulfilling achievement to date.

“I’ve been working so hard during my time there, maintaining a 4.0 GPA and writing 12 journal publications,” he said. “I think this award is a good reflection of my hard work.”

Formerly a postdoctoral research fellow in the Sewell and Thompson Theoretical Chemistry Research groups at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Jiang holds Ph.D. degrees in civil engineering from there and in computational mechanics from Dalian University of Technology. He also earned master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Dalian. His research involves multiscale modeling and simulation of advanced materials, engineering structures under extreme conditions and shock simulations of energetic materials and blast-resistant structures.

“I have participated in several research projects that have been funded by several agencies, such as the U.S. Defense (Threat) Reduction Agency, the U.S. Army Research Office and the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research,” he said. “Under these projects, I have co-authored 20 peer-reviewed papers and two book chapters.”

Jiang and his wife, Cindy, have two sons: Aiden and Ethan. The couple enjoys playing games and watching funny kids’ movies with their boys.

“Sometimes, we go hiking and fishing outside to enjoy the nice weather,” he said.

And as for his SEC university loyalty?

“Joining the ME department is my honor,” Jiang said, “and Ole Miss is a great place for me to start my academic career. Hotty Toddy!”

For more about UM’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, visit https://engineering.olemiss.edu/mechanical/

 

 

 

 

Alumnus William H. Baker Jr. Presented McCulloch Lifetime Achievement Award

Honor recognizes contributions to Association for Manufacturing Excellence

William H. ‘Bill’ Baker Jr. is the 2016 Mac McCulloch Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Submitted photo

Adding to many accolades during his career, William H. “Bill” Baker Jr. (ME 63) received the 2016 Mac McCulloch Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Manufacturing Excellence.

Established in 2004, the McCulloch Award not only recognizes service to the association but also honors an individual’s character, integrity and leadership. Recipients are nominated and selected by the AME Awards Council and presented the prize at the annual AME International Conference, which took place in Dallas, Texas, last year.

“After being a volunteer for 27 years, I am humbled to be given this recognition for my service,” said Baker, a Jackson native. “I’ve had many career highs over the years, but this one definitely tops the list.”

Baker retired in 2004 from Raytheon Co. and Texas Instruments Defense Systems (which Raytheon acquired in 1997). He is president and CEO of Speed to Excellence, a consulting company based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is also a prolific writer who has contributed articles to the National Productivity Review, Quality Progress and AME’s Target Magazine (of which he is now chairman of its editorial board).

He has co-authored best-sellers that include “Winning the Knowledge Transfer Race” with Michael English (McGraw-Hill, 2006) and “Lean for the Long Term” with Ken Rolfes (Productivity Press, 2015).

“Never dreamed I would be a writer and editor,” he said.

Baker’s other AME volunteer activities include serving as chairman of the 2005 international conference in Boston, where he had the opportunity to introduce the keynote speaker, Gov. Mitt Romney.

George Saiz, AME president and CEO, described Baker as “a tireless continuous improvement practitioner in his professional career (who) has brought that same spirit of improvement to his work at the organization.

“By adding his expertise to everything from AME publications all the way up to the most prestigious level of recognition through the AME Excellence Award, Bill has enabled thousands of continuous improvement practitioners to come together to share, learn and grow,” Saiz said.

Baker entered the University of Mississippi as a student-athlete and was on the freshman tennis team. He recalls Mechanics and Thermodynamics as a favorite engineering course.

“I liked the theories that I could visualize and enjoy,” Baker said.

As a mechanical engineering student, Baker also went through Air Force ROTC, where he was wing operations manager. He was also president of the student chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and was selected for the Arnold Air Society and Scabbard and Blade honorary ROTC groups.

“This helped me be one of the first USAF rocket-propulsion engineers, who helped launch satellites from 1963 to 1967 and evaluating contractors’ performance,” Baker said.

Following graduation, Baker began a career in manufacturing engineering at Texas Instruments Defense Systems with responsibility for delivering missiles, night vision equipment and geophysical exploration equipment. He later spent two years as manufacturing manager at the University of Texas at Dallas, building mass spectrometers for Apollo 15, 16 and 17.

“The last one of moon exploration, Apollo 17, I physically helped build,” he said. “It is still on the moon.”

A frequent speaker on benchmarking, performance measurement, knowledge management, Raytheon Six Sigma and the Lean Enterprise, Baker has been instrumental in assisting several companies and organizations in pursuit of their strategic objectives. A senior Shingo Prize examiner and AME Excellence Award examiner, he was a key design contributor to the Lean Certification process developed by AME-Shingo-SME (Society of Manufacturing Engineers) and launched in 2006.

Baker, who also earned an MBA from Southern Methodist University in 1973, was responsible for knowledge management and benchmarking at both Texas Instruments and Raytheon from 1990 to 2004. Earlier in his career, he was the manufacturing manager on several high-profile missile/electronic systems, including Shrike, Paveway, Harpoon seeker, TOW Night Sight, HARM and Tacit Rainbow. Baker was the U.S. Air Force engineering chief, responsible for evaluating satellite launches at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Baker and his wife, Martha Rea, who attended Ole Miss for three years, have three sons: William, Mark and David.

“I assist Martha, who is an accomplished artist,” Baker said. “And I love to spend time with our four grandchildren: Cas, Ruby, Bodhi and Charan.”

Baker also enjoys playing competitive tennis in Santa Fe.

For more about Speed to Excellence, visit https://billbakerste.com/ For more about the UM Department of Mechanical Engineering, go to https://engineering.olemiss.edu/mechanical/. For additional information about the Association for Manufacturing Excellence, see www.ame.org.

 

 

Colbert Lehr Reflects upon Time as Engineering Student Body President

With experience, planning, electrical engineering senior accomplishes a lot during his time in office

Colbert Lehr served as Engineering Student Body president in 2016-17. (Submitted photo)

Colbert Lehr, an electrical engineering major from Brandon, said that his time serving on the Engineering Student Body Leadership Council since his freshman year helped him decide to run for the position of ESB president. He was elected ESB president by his peers last spring and has spent the past 12 months working to better things for students in the School of Engineering.

“When I chose to run for ESB president, I had previously served on the ESB Leadership Council for two years,” he said. “I had experience planning, promoting and conducting different social events for engineering students.”

Lehr said he believes that it was his experience with events such as National Engineers Week (E-Week), the School of Engineering tailgate and Engineering Formal that helped make him the best candidate for the position.

“The ESB is not just an organization that hosts social events to help students engage and meet each other,” Lehr said. “The group is also responsible for helping to develop programs that promote career and professional development as well as representing the needs of engineering students to the engineering faculty and administration.”

Lehr organized the council into an academic committee and a social committee to help make sure all council members were involved and had a role in coordinating activities during the course of the year.

ESB Leadership Council member Jake Azbell said he appreciated Lehr’s leadership.

“Colbert is very professional when it comes to his work, which is needed to manage a group of people with varying perspectives and ideas,” he said. “He was also very detail oriented and helped make serving in the ESB an enjoyable experience.”

Since the ESB is the umbrella student organization for the School of Engineering, one of Lehr’s goals was to develop stronger relationships between the ESB and other engineering student organizations.

“Often, organizations operate independently since they are based within a specific engineering department,” Lehr said. “I attempted to remedy this by bringing leaders of student organizations together and addressing everything from collaboration on events to funding and support for schoolwide events.”

Lehr said he saw more communication between engineering organizations over the course of the year. Another goal for Lehr was to increase involvement among first-year students in the engineering school. He spoke to incoming freshmen at the annual Engineering Freshman Convocation about the opportunities to get involved in ESB and other organizations to help them acclimate to campus and meet people within the school.

Lehr also encouraged them to begin thinking about their professional career and to use resources such as visiting the School of Engineering’s career planning specialist Megan Miller.

As with many student government organizations, Lehr found it a challenge to make sure students understood the role of ESB.

“Our greatest challenge has been visibility and exposure,” he said. “Even though we host Bowling Nights, events for E-Week and the Engineering Formal, there are many students that do not readily recognize ESB or know what the group does for students.”

One success that Lehr noted was increased student attendance for events hosted by the organization. This year, the annual formal had over 300 students in attendance, surpassing previous events. He is also proud of the friendships formed within the Leadership Council since all of the students come from different engineering majors and are at different stages in their academic career from freshmen to seniors.

Lehr’s advice for future ESB presidential hopefuls is to make sure they truly want to work with a diverse group of people. He would also encourage them to listen to the quietest voice in the room when making decisions to ensure that all voices, thoughts and opinions are heard and taken into consideration. Lastly, he would advise future ESB presidents to lead by example and never require anything of anyone that they would not be willing to do themselves.

Lehr said he appreciates the generous support of Dean Alexander Cheng as well as the help and advice of ESB adviser Ryan Upshaw. He also thanks his fellow officers, Holly Pitts and Andrew Huff, for their work as well as the rest of the ESB Leadership Council.

In addition to his role as ESB president, Lehr has served on the executive committee of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and was selected to attend the UM PULSE Leadership Conference in 2016. He has volunteered with the FIRST Robotics Competition, Engineers Without Borders and the Leap Frog program. Additionally, he has been selected for membership in Lambda Sigma, Golden Key, Tau Beta Pi, Omicron Delta Kappa and Mortar Board honor societies.

Last summer, he interned with Raytheon in Forest and plans to return as an intern for summer 2017. He said he hopes to pursue further education in electrical engineering or in business administration.

 

 

 

In Memoriam: Mark David Harrison

Electrical engineering alumnus lent expertise to defense agencies, companies in Huntsville

One of the University of Mississippi School of Engineering’s electrical engineering alumni, Mark David Harrison (BBA 83, BSEE 85) of Huntsville, Alabama, died April 1, 2017 at age 57.

Harrison was born to Louie Vardaman Harrison Jr. and Mary Ann (Pegues) Harrison in Winona, Mississippi, on Oct. 12, 1959. He grew up in Winona and graduated from Winona High School, where he played both offensive and defensive positions on the football team. As a young boy he played baseball, which he continued through junior high, high school and Holmes Junior College in Goodman, Mississippi.

Besides graduating from Ole Miss, Harrison also attended classes at the University of California, Los Angeles. He started the publication of Ole Miss Engineer and was recognized for accomplishments within the Department of Engineering. His expertise in the field of electromagnetic propagation theory within zinc compounds led him to achieve his first of many positions at Nichols Research in 1985 and positions at Coleman Research, both in Huntsville.

Harrison was the seeker subject matter expert for the Theater High Altitude Area Defense system, which continues today to be a system within our nation’s defense for the Missile Defense Agency. He contributed to efforts within missile defense, which included engineering expertise support within the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, various Program Executive offices and throughout the Department of Defense.

He extended his career knowledge by joining Miltec Corp., and while contributing to many programs and proposals, helped to lead a team to form and support the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon program. Within the last decade, he was employed by two companies, including one in 2009, which was started in collaboration with a group of colleagues, Harrison Research Corp., a system engineering company; and OTG/OPS Inc. (Over-the-Garage Operations), a software security company to support enterprise technology advanced security and operations/maintenance.

Harrison also supported and was a member of many defense and commercial organizations within the Huntsville area, such as the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers, National Defense Industrial Association and Information Systems Security Association.

He enjoyed many activities outside of work including playing golf and shooting pool in the American Poolplayers Association league, and composing and playing music. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Anne (Cooley) Harrison; his sisters and brothers, Pam Hoover and her husband, Steve, of Mississippi; Kitty Stallings and her husband, Neil, of California; Dr. Louie Vardaman Harrison III and his wife, Sonya, of Mississippi; and Lee Harrison and his wife, Patty, of Texas, and many nieces and nephews.

Harrison had many friends and colleagues who remember his passion for his work, compassion and love of animals, as well as his intellect, ability to tell a great joke and dedication to the Ole Miss Rebels.

The family extends thanks to the dedicated medical staff at Crestwood Medical Intensive Care Unit in Huntsville and to Harrison’s personal physicians. Harrison was memorialized April 3, 2017 with a visitation at Laughlin Service Funeral Home in Huntsville. In his honor and remembering his love for animals, donations can be made to A New Leash on Life at anewleash.org or Tender Loving Care at TLCPaws.org.

Information for this article came from The Birmingham News and The Huntsville Times.

Counseling Center Has New Home, Same Values of ‘Acceptance and Respect’

Officials plan to expand staff and add more services in coming years

Michael Hirschel, a licensed psychologist at the University of Mississippi Counseling Center, works in the new and improved center in Lester Hall. Photo by Robert Jordan/University Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi Counseling Center, which focuses on treating clients with “acceptance, respect, compassion and support” through a broad range of services, recently celebrated its first anniversary in its new location on the third floor of Lester Hall.

The space is an improvement over the center’s old home, in the old Band Hall near Bishop Hall. Along with the new office, officials plan to expand the counseling staff with four or five new positions in the coming years and offer more outreach services to the Ole Miss community, Director Bud Edwards said.

Anxiety and depression are two of the most common issues the Counseling Center handles.

“The way stress manifests itself is really varied,” Edwards said. “Some people get anxious when they’re under stress and some people get depressed when they’re stressed.

“In terms of the diagnostic categories we see clients with, anxiety is the No. 1 issue and depression is No. 2. It has been that way for about eight to 10 years now.”

Counseling is beneficial to anyone struggling with these and other issues. When things just aren’t right, the important thing is to know that it is OK to get help, Edwards said.

“The first thing I suggest is to recognize when something is different,” Edwards said. “The second thing is ask yourself whether it persists.

“If you know yourself well enough to know that occasionally you’re going to have bad days, or you may feel down in the dumps, that’s about as normal as it gets. If you know the extent of that, then you can know whether the situation is something more.”

The center’s staff works to create a warm, welcoming environment that fosters respect for patients. The staff firmly believes in self-determination and growth. Trust and safety are also cornerstones of the Counseling Center’s values.

Personal counseling and therapy, group counseling and therapy, crisis intervention, consultation, employee assistance and campus outreach programs are offered to faculty, staff and students. Anxiety and depression, relationship problems, substance abuse, college adjustment issues, eating disorders, grief and loss issues, and family or work problems are among the issues the staff can handle.

Employees can get four consultations per calendar year through the employee assistance program. The first is free, and the remaining three are $30 apiece, payable through payroll deduction. The short-term service is often used by employees dealing with challenging work or life situations.

Visits are free for students, but a $20 fee is charged for no-shows or late cancellations. There are no session limits on visits for students, and the center makes external referrals at students’ requests.

Several different free group therapy sessions are also available. The topics include “Calm In Chaos,” a four-week educational class designed to help participants bring tranquility to even their most hectic days, and “Understanding Self and Others,” a special group for graduate students to gain insights about themselves, grief and loss, and other topics. Support groups also are available for international students, making peace with food and group meditation, among others.

In response to a recent presidential executive order that limited immigration from several countries, the Counseling Center has opened a support group for anyone affected by the issue.

“We do try to be sensitive to current events going on in the state, as well as globally, and we keep the staff apprised of those things so clients can access appropriate services,” Edwards said.

Services there don’t stop at 5 p.m. The crisis intervention program makes a counselor available 24 hours a day for emergencies. The center asks those who need after-hours help for an emergency situation to call the University Police Department at 662-915-7234 to be connected to a counselor.

Speaking with a counselor after hours doesn’t require any official police action and no police report is filed for those cases.

The Counseling Center also refers clients to the psychiatrists and other mental health professionals in the University Health Center when needed.

The Office of Violence Prevention, which helps students navigate concerns about relationship violence, stalking or other issues, is also located in the Counseling Center. The office also provides prevention programming for students.

Lindsey Bartlett Mosvick, UM assistant director of violence prevention and an attorney, helps students who may have been sexually assaulted, or the victim of a physical assault, stalking or other crimes to navigate their options. She provides information to help them decide whether to file criminal charges or handle the issue through the student conduct process or with the campus Title IX coordinator’s office.

She is also on call after hours to help students work with authorities and seek medical treatment or help with the evidence collection process when requested.

“My office is driven by the students,” Mosvick said. “I never tell them what to do. I give them all the information available so they can make the best decision for them because they’re the ones who have to live their lives.

“I call it an ’empowerment model.’ It’s about empowering the student to make the best decision.”

Mosvick often helps students, and sometimes their friends, work through concerns over a situation to determine the best course of action. She urges anyone with an issue about themselves or a friend to call or email her.

“I can be that person’s advocate throughout the entire process,” she said. “I’m nonjudgmental. If you make a decision, I am going to be supportive of that decision.”

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