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Lawrence Anderson, Third African-American to Graduate from UM Engineering School, Reflects on Achievements

Electrical engineering alumnus has enjoyed long, successful career in paper, pulp industry

Lawrence (Larry) Anderson received his electrical engineering degree from the University of Mississippi in 1972. Submitted photo

Lawrence (Larry) Anderson (BSEE 72) has successfully navigated a career in manufacturing operations and both domestic and international sales with multinational companies. Retired since 2013, the Jackson native quickly credits much of his career accomplishments to his personal growth while earning an electrical engineering degree at the University of Mississippi.

Fifty years ago, Anderson was one of a handful of African-American students on campus following the integration of the institution by James Meredith six years earlier. Attending the university wasn’t a decision he immediately embraced, but he became the third African-American to graduate from the School of Engineering.

Why Ole Miss?

“During the civil rights era, I was encouraged to attend the university after a recruiter visited Brinkley High School,” he said. “I enrolled with five students from my segregated senior class. Dr. Donald Cole (UM assistant provost and associate professor of mathematics) was a classmate of mine.”

A friend since childhood, Cole said that he and Anderson were like ‘peas in a pod’ who would either excel together or fail together.

“We were not only classmates; we were friends who always enjoyed each other’s company,” Cole said. “Lawrence was always the ‘smart one’ in the group who set the pace for the rest. We complemented one another and helped each other in those difficult classes.”

Cole said Anderson was a hard worker who would never give up, and he was not surprised by his friend’s success.

“He learned from every mistake, every subtle error and every mishap,” he said. “He was excellent at studying and performing under pressure and meeting deadlines. … His calm demeanor always provided rational decisions even in heated situations. We have remained friends over the years and, to this day, I appreciate the excellent advice that he renders.”

Anderson said he remembers his Ole Miss professors liked to give homework but were supportive.

“The entire staff was supportive of minority students, including Dean (Frank) Anderson,” he said. “Considering what other minority students faced in other schools at the university, the engineering school stood out as very receptive.”

Anderson said he chose electrical engineering as his major because he had an uncle who was an engineer for Lockheed Martin in California. His math background and aptitude proved to be a good match. When he graduated, he was also commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army.

“Graduating with a degree from Ole Miss went far beyond giving me the technical skills to compete in the workplace,” Anderson said. “I developed the soft skills and EQ (emotional intelligence) needed to work in a changing and competitive social environment. Both sets of skills continue to serve me well.”

After graduating from college, Anderson spent two years on active duty at Fort Belvoir and Fort Hood. He was hired by Procter and Gamble Cellulose after leaving the military. At P&G’s Perry, Florida, facility, he held a series of operational and manufacturing roles. Each role was unique in that he was the first African-American supervisor for which the mill employees had ever worked.

He got a chance to move closer to home in Memphis, where he was responsible for the development of maintenance systems for four plant locations and also became superintendent of the cotton linter pulp mill operations.

He moved into sales as the first African-American sales manager for P&G and established a solid reputation as he became highly proficient in both domestic and international sales and marketing. He effectively marketed and launched Champion International Paper’s first wet lap product line and was recognized by executive leadership for strategic excellence in sales in the company’s annual report.

As an international sales manager for Buckeye Cellulose, Anderson developed the business case for Buckeye to purchase a cotton linter mill in Brazil. He also was the specialty fiber sales manager for South America and Asia. He later worked as a senior sales manager for Weyerhaeuser, where he was the global account manager for Procter and Gamble, the largest account for the company.

Anderson retired as the director of technical services for the pulp business at Weyerhaeuser Co. in Federal Way, Washington. In this role, he was responsible for leading a global team of technical representatives that represented both customer and manufacturing interests and supported research and development of new products.

He also retired from the Army Reserve Corps of Engineers as a lieutenant colonel.

“My military experience was invaluable in my leadership development and personal success,” he said.

Reflecting on his professional achievements, Anderson said two stand out in his mind as the most fulfilling.

“Being inducted into the Eta Kappa Nu electrical engineering honor society is definitely at the top of my list,” Anderson said. “Considering the bumpy journey and environment that was present at Ole Miss from 1968 through 1972, this recognition appeared to be an improbable achievement.”

“Second, was being hired as the first African-American pulp sales manager with national and international accounts,” he said. “Being in a position on private planes to facilitate discussions with senior executives from several companies was a ‘pinch myself’ moment. For sure, I was a long way from Kansas.”

Anderson is married to Dorothy Anderson, a Vanderbilt University alumna with an Ed.D. degree in human development counseling. She is a licensed certified mental health counselor and supervisor. Anderson has two sons: Lawrence, a University of Memphis graduate with a degree in computer science; and Kofi, a 2004 Ole Miss graduate with a bachelor’s degree in English who earned his Ed.D. from Seattle University. His daughter, Erica, is deceased.

Anderson named golfing, boating and Rotary as his leisure and volunteer activities. He has also served on the UM School of Engineering Alumni Advisory Board.

For more information about the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Mississippi, visit https://engineering.olemiss.edu/electrical/.

 

 

 

Two Mechanical Engineering Students Named Inaugural Hino Motors Scholars

David Biggs and Manny Dhaliwal benefit from financial and professional support

UM students David Biggs (left) and Manny Dhaliwal are the inaugural recipients of the Hino Motors Scholarship. Submitted photo by Kennedy Grazer

Two mechanical engineering students at the University of Mississippi are the inaugural recipients of the Hino Motors Scholarship.

Senior David Biggs, of Norman, Oklahoma, and junior Manny Dhaliwal, of Silver Creek, each received the awards last fall. The scholarships were created following a 2015 meeting in which representatives of Hino Motors Manufacturing Inc. contacted the UM School of Engineering in hopes of providing a combination of scholarship and professional development opportunities to students.

The intent of the award is to identify students with leadership potential and interest in the automotive manufacturing industry. Scholarship recipients have the opportunity to complete an internship with the company, in Marion, Arkansas.

“We are thankful for the opportunity to partner with Hino Motors,” said Ryan Upshaw, assistant dean for student services. Upshaw oversees the selection of the scholarship recipients and serves as a liaison with Hino Motors staff.

“This is a unique opportunity for students to benefit from financial and professional support while completing their undergraduate degree. Manny and David have been excellent representatives of the school, and we look forward to selecting a new scholarship recipient this spring,” Upshaw said.

Before receiving the award, Biggs had the opportunity to visit the Hino facility and learn more about the company’s operations. He said he appreciates Hino’s support.

“The Hino scholarship allowed me to focus fully on my studies,” Biggs said. “To pay for books and various other expenses, I often had to take on jobs and use up time that could go toward volunteer work, extracurricular activity or studying.

“With the scholarship, I was given the funds to put my full weight into school and truly work towards what I believe I can achieve. I will always be grateful to Hino for providing me that opportunity.”

A member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, Biggs is slated to graduate in May. His plans are to either work as a supplier engineer in Tucson, Arizona, or to work as a junior developer in his hometown.

Dhaliwal, who is a student in the Haley Barbour Center for Manufacturing Excellence, also said he appreciates the opportunities Hino provided.

“When I found out I received the Hino scholarship and summer internship, I was ecstatic beyond belief,” Dhaliwal said. “When I received the award, I felt blessed because Hino saw value in my diligent work ethic and personality.”

Besides receiving the scholarship, Dhaliwal had an opportunity to intern with Hino last summer.

“My internship experience with Hino was great,” he said. “The employees at Hino are very friendly and helpful. I enjoyed working alongside the engineers and other interns there. There is strong influence of Japanese culture at Hino, which permeates into how they operate as a company. It was truly an experience I will not forget.”

Dhaliwal also credits his internship experience with helping him develop both soft and technical skills that will benefit him as he prepares for a career in engineering. He hopes to complete another summer internship before his senior year. After graduation, he plans to keep working in the industry for several years and eventually pursue a master’s degree.

 

Colby Kimmel Named Mississippi Engineering Society’s 2018 Young Engineer of the Year

UM civil engineering alumna works as project manager at Mississippi Department of Transportation

UM civil engineering alumna Colby Kimmel (right) receives the MES Young Engineer of the Year Award from her supervisor, Richard Pittman, MDOT roadway project engineer. Submitted photo

Much like the roads she helps design, Colby Willis Kimmel (BSCE 08) goes the extra mile.

The University of Mississippi civil engineering alumna’s efforts have been noticed. Most recently, the project manager in roadway design at the Mississippi Department of Transportation was recognized by the Mississippi Engineering Society of the National Society of  Professional Engineers as the 2018 Young Engineer of the Year.

The award recognizes an MES member, age 35 years or younger, who has advanced the profession; exhibited technical competence, high character and integrity; developed improved member attitudes toward the profession; and contributed to public service outside his or her professional career.

“It is one of the most rewarding events of my life,” Kimmel said. “I work with so many talented young engineers in both the public and private sectors. To be recognized among this group is truly an honor.”

Ole Miss engineering is a family tradition.

“My father received his B.S.C.E. from Ole Miss in 1980, and my mother earned her Juris Doctor from the UM law school in 2002,” she said. “Growing up in Grenada, I naturally visited Ole Miss a few times, especially with my mother being in law school while I was in high school. She loved to take us to Ajax Diner on the Square.”

Spending time on campus and on the Square made the university an obvious choice for Kimmel.

“And what better place to get an engineering degree than the place where my dad got his,” she said.

As an undergraduate, Kimmel took several classes related to transportation under Waheed Uddin, professor of civil engineering and director of UM’s Center for Advanced Infrastructure Technology. Uddin’s classes allowed Kimmel the opportunity to visit a variety of places to get a glimpse of the “real world.”

“We took trips to the airport, an asphalt plant, a traffic management center and much more,” Kimmel said. “I also really enjoyed my senior design class with Dr. (Christopher) Mullen. We worked on creating a green hospital following the requirements in place for a hospital to be LEED certified.”

Uddin and Mullen said they remember Kimmel as one of their best students.

“Colby was one of a select group of junior and senior students who excelled in CE courses and were responsible and dependable students,” Uddin said. “After her graduation, Colby worked full time as CAIT research associate for an aviation research project funded by the National Academy of Sciences’ ACRP (Airport Cooperative Research Program) and Federal Aviation Administration. She contributed immensely to the successful completion of this national project, where we pioneered the accuracy evaluation and use of the airborne LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) remote-sensing survey for obstruction-free airspace in and around airports.”

Kimmel spent several semesters working at CAIT. Through these experiences, she learned about working for clients, meeting deadlines, managing time, budgets and reporting data. The senior design class permitted Kimmel and her classmates to work with civil engineers in the real world and apply their knowledge to an actual project. It also provided interview experience by requiring them to present their projects and then answer questions posed by a panel.

“I knew Colby as Catherine Willis during her stay here,” Mullen said. “I really came to know her abilities through group project activity she engaged in during the capstone design sequence I led at the time. She proved capable both individually and as a team player, receiving A’s in both semesters.”

While grateful for the Young Engineer Award, Kimmel said serving on the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Subcommittee on Design, Joint Technical Committee for Non-Motorized Transportation is her most fulfilling achievement.

“My interest in this began with a class on designing pedestrian facilities for the disabled community,” she said. “Since then, we have updated our standards in Mississippi as well as worked to educate other engineers, contractors, designers, inspectors, etc., on the importance of making sure our facilities are accessible to all.”

Being selected for this national committee has allowed Kimmel to expand her knowledge, work with representatives from other states and aid in the development of design criteria and guidelines.

“This issue impacts more people than most of us realize, and I have had the pleasure of meeting some of these people while teaching classes throughout the state,” Kimmel said. “It is truly fulfilling to be able to see the positive impact you are having within a community and for individuals.”

Uddin said that he is proud of Kimmel’s professional achievements, which culminated in her being honored as Young Engineer of the Year.

“Colby’s expertise in geospatial analysis and GeoMedia Pro software was instrumental, besides the world-class civil engineering education at Ole Miss in securing her a job for (an) EIT (engineer-in-training) position in the highway design division of the Mississippi DOT,” he said. “She has been a licensed PE for several years and recruited many Ole Miss CE alumni who work in the MDOT highway design division.”

Mullen agreed.

“I am especially glad to see that she has excelled in her work at MDOT, where leadership and teamwork are valued highly along with technical competence,” he said. “Her involvement in ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) is additional proof of both her leadership skills as well as her commitment to professional service.”

Kimmel and her husband, Chris, have two sons: Barrett and Jack. Her favorite leisure activities include reading and being active in the Northminster Baptist Church in Jackson.

For more about the Mississippi Engineering Society, go to http://www.msengsoc.org/. For more information about the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Mississippi, visit https://engineering.olemiss.edu/civil/. For additional information about the Center for Advanced Infrastructure Technology, visit http://www.olemiss.edu/projects/cait/home/.

Development Officer for School of Engineering Sought

Job is posted on two websites

Electrical engineering students Bridget Roal (foreground, left), Eli Carson and Haithem Mahmoud discuss theory during a microprocessing lab. Development officers help raise funds for lab equipment and other needs of the engineering school. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

The University of Mississippi Foundation is seeking to fill an opening for a School of Engineering development officer.

For more information or to apply, visit:

 
 
 

 

University Seeks Nominations for Annual Frist Awards

Honor recognizes faculty and staff members for outstanding service to students

Brandi Hephner LaBanc (left), UM vice chancellor for student affairs, presents Lindsey Bartlett Mosvick with her Frist Student Service Award during Commencement 2016. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Away from home, often for the first time, many college students encounter challenges or hardships. But at the University of Mississippi, faculty and staff members often step in to lend a helping hand or words of advice and encouragement.

These efforts often go unacknowledged, other than the students’ gratitude and success. But students, parents, alumni, faculty and staff can formally recognize those who have truly “gone the extra mile” to help students by nominating them for the Thomas Frist Student Service Award.

“The Frist award is the greatest honor I have received in my career because I was nominated by the students I serve,” said Lindsey Bartlett Mosvick, assistant director for violence prevention at the University Counseling Center and a 2016 Frist recipient. “My goal is to put students first in all I do.”

Students, alumni, friends, faculty and staff can submit nominations for the annual awards online through 5 p.m. April 6. Any full-time faculty or staff member, except previous winners, is eligible for the award, which includes a $1,000 prize and a plaque.

Written and submitted by individuals, nominations can be entered at http://www.olemiss.edu/frist_award/. Past nominations also may be considered.

“At the University of Mississippi we talk about being a family, and nominating a faculty or staff member who made a difference in your life honors those who go above and beyond, not for the purpose of awards but because they care so much for every student on our campus,” Mosvick said. “Anyone can submit a nomination; the faculty and staff who receive these honors will know the influence they had and will use it as motivation to continue creating the campus community we all love.”

Nominations should not focus on classroom teaching or tutoring efforts. Letters that cite only teaching-related activities may not be considered for the award.

The Elsie M. Hood Outstanding Teaching Award, announced at the annual Honors Day convocation, recognizes excellence in that area.

The nomination narrative should differentiate between obligation and service by citing specific examples in which the person being nominated has gone beyond the call of duty to help a student or group of students.

“At the University of Mississippi, we are fortunate to have so many extraordinary faculty and staff who demonstrate an unwavering commitment to student engagement and success,” Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter said. “Each year, I look forward to presenting the Frist Awards, which allow us to recognize and honor individuals who exemplify the core value of serving our students. 

“I encourage everyone to nominate faculty and staff who serve as examples for all of us.”

All nominees are notified that they have been so honored, and a campus committee appointed by the chancellor chooses the winners. Awards are to be presented May 12 at UM’s spring Commencement.

The 2017 Frist winners were Robert Brown, professor of political science; Donald Dyer, associate dean for faculty and academic affairs in the College of Liberal Arts and professor of Russian and linguistics; and Whitman Smith, the university’s director of admissions.

Previous recipients include faculty members Aileen Ajootian, Luca Bombelli, Don Cole, Charles Eagles, Ellen Meacham, Terry Panhorst, Ken Sufka and Eric Weber; and staff members Thelma Curry, Carol Forsythe, Dewey Knight, Ginger Patterson, Valeria Ross, Amy Saxton, Marc Showalter and Linda Spargo.

The Frist Student Service Awards were established with a $50,000 gift from the late Dr. Thomas F. Frist of Nashville, a 1930 UM graduate.

For more information or to submit a nomination, visit http://www.olemiss.edu/frist_award/.

Southern Studies Professor Receives Fulbright Award

Catarina Passidomo to spend four months in 2019 in Peru

Catarina Passidomo

OXFORD, Miss. – University of Mississippi professor Catarina Passidomo is looking forward to traveling to Lima, Peru, to teach and conduct research in 2019 as the recipient of a Fulbright U.S. Scholar award.

While in Lima, the UM assistant professor of Southern studies and anthropology will teach two courses in the Department of Social Sciences at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. She also plans to engage in independent and collaborative research on Peruvian cuisine and foodways for a project titled “Gastrodiplomacy in Peru: Cuisine as Nation-Brand in Postcolonial Context.”

“As a scholar of Southern (U.S.) foodways, I have taught and directed research that uses food as a lens to explore social and cultural phenomena: who has power in a society and who lacks it; how people interpret or remember the past; how race, class and gender identities influence what and how people produce, consume and think about food,” Passidomo wrote in her Fulbright application.

The grant period is four months, beginning in March 2019. 

“I first became aware of Peru’s culinary renaissance – what is often referred to as its ‘gastronomic boom’ – the explosion of global interest in Peruvian food and the tremendous national pride that accompanies it – during a CIEE Faculty Development Seminar on Peruvian Foodways in Lima during the summer of 2015,” Passidomo said.

“Funding for that seminar was provided by the Provost’s Faculty Development Award for Campus Internationalization, which allowed several UM faculty members to participate in CIEE programs all around the world. Thanks to a College of Liberal Arts Summer Research Grant, I was able to return to Peru in 2016.” 

Passidomo, who also works closely with the Southern Foodways Alliance, said she is ecstatic about the opportunity.

“This allows me to do what I’ve been wanting to pursue for a long while,” she said. “I am struck by the similarities of cuisine to national identity and pride of Peruvian foodways, and it is reminiscent of how Southerners connect to food, and since I already study and teach here, it’s a synergistic opportunity to combine food and identity in the two regions.”

Once a year, Passidomo teaches Southern Studies 555: Foodways and Southern Culture, an innovative class available to graduate students and advanced undergraduates. She also is also a successful teacher outside the classroom, said Ted Ownby, director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture.

“People come to foodways scholarship from lots of directions, and Catarina has done an excellent job both listening and teaching,” Ownby said.

Passidomo leads the Southern Foodways Alliance fall graduate seminar in foodways by both critiquing and encouraging papers and presentations in the quickly-changing academic field of foodways scholarship. At one Southern Foodways Symposium, she served as scholar-in-residence, introducing talks by various speakers, connecting them to each other, raising academic questions to an audience that mixes many people, only a few of whom are professional scholars.

Passidomo serves on the SFA’s academic committee, which is committed to setting high academic standards for the organization’s projects, and she is a mentor to Ole Miss students outside the classroom, serving as a faculty adviser for the “Real Food Rebels at the University of Mississippi” student group.

The Fulbright program, which aims to increase mutual exchange between the people of the United States and of other countries, is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government.

Fulbright alumni have become heads of state, judges, ambassadors, cabinet ministers, CEOs and university presidents, as well as leading journalists, artists, scientists and teachers. They include 59 Nobel laureates, 82 Pulitzer Prize winners, 71 MacArthur fellows and 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients.

The Fulbright offers fellowships for teaching, research and teaching/research. Passidomo’s award is teaching/research, part of the Educational Exchange Program between Peru and the United States. 

Kirsten Dellinger, chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and professor of sociology, said she was thrilled to learn that Passidomo received the Fulbright.

“Catarina has been a key player in our department’s efforts to bring a global lens to both teaching and research, and her Fulbright experience will expand these efforts even further,” Dellinger said. “Her comparative and transnational analysis of gastro-diplomacy in Peru and the U.S. South is cutting-edge and helps us all to better understand how to examine food through the lens of power.”

A native of Naples, Florida, Passidomo received her doctorate in human geography from the University of Georgia in 2013. She also holds a master’s degree in ecological anthropology from the University of Georgia and a bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology from Washington and Lee University.

Employee Health Center Adds Dr. Hubert Spears as Staff Physician

New doctor brings surgical skills to boost patient services

Dr. Hubert Spears

OXFORD, Miss. – Dr. Hubert Spears has joined the physician staff of the University of Mississippi Employee Health Center, bringing more than 30 years of medical experience, new areas of expertise and his “careful and kind” approach to serving patients.

Spears, a native of Grenada who earned his M.D. from UM in 1980, has a surgical background, which adds to the services offered at the health center for employees. He joins Dr. Jean Gispen at the health center, which gives the center two doctors to see patients. Spears, who joined the staff in January, said he’s excited to be on campus. 

“I’m an Ole Miss grad and I’ve always thought the Ole Miss campus is one of the best places in the world,” Spears said. “I’m enjoying being here.”

He said he’s also looking forward to working with and learning from a doctor the caliber of Gispen, who has been a staff physician at the health center since 2005.

Before coming to the Oxford campus, Spears was a general surgeon with the UM Medical Center at Grenada, and he also had a general surgery practice in Grenada. Before he moved there, he practiced general surgery in Oxford for more than 20 years.

“A good portion of my practice has always been surgery,” Spears said. “I won’t be doing much surgery here, but I can do some things that Dr. Gispen hasn’t been doing, little minor procedures like removing skin cancers, ingrown toenails, and things like that will be beneficial.”

The employee health center, part of the V.B. Harrison Health Center on Rebel Drive, offers care for acute medical problems, general wellness examinations, laboratory testing, radiology services, immunizations and, now, some light surgical services. 

Gispen said she’s happy to have Spears at the center.

“Because Dr. Spears has surgical training, he can do skin biopsies, incise and drain abscesses, and sew lacerations,” Gispen said. “This broadens the scope of what Employee Health Services can offer, as I do not biopsy skin lesions or sew. He also has excellent skills in family practice and internal medicine, learned from years of pre-op and post-op care of his surgical patients.

“He is a careful and kind physician.”

Having a second doctor has improved patient service, said Dr. Travis Yates, director of the University Health Services. 

“I am very pleased to have Dr. Spears on board in Employee Health, as he offers an additional source of compassionate and competent care that our faculty and staff have become accustomed to,” Yates said. “He has already had an impact in reducing the number of delayed appointments as compared to last fall, prior to his arrival.”

Yates expects Spears to be an asset to the health center for years to come. 

“I anticipate that our staff and faculty will develop an appreciation for his care and expertise,” Yates said. “I feel fortunate to have attracted a physician with his experience to our staff and look forward to enjoying a long term relationship with him.”

Office of the Provost Creates Initiative to Improve Work-Life Balance

Career-Life Connector offers navigators for faculty and staff

In an effort to improve career-life balance for University of Mississippi employees, the Office of the Provost has created the Career-Life Connector Initiative to help faculty and staff balance professional and personal responsibilities.

The initiative includes four career-life navigators who share their experiences of integrating work and personal life with the understanding that individuals have different priorities in their own lives. Navigators guide and direct faculty and staff to multiple resources so they can make informed decisions based on individual situations, from starting and raising a family to caring for a sick partner or aging loved one to managing difficult situations while balancing work.

Faculty and staff members may email careerlife@olemiss.edu or a navigator directly to schedule a meeting.

“We are committed to helping faculty and staff balance the responsibilities in both their professional and personal lives,” Associate Provost Donna Strum said. “Navigators will provide information that employees need to achieve a healthy work-life balance. We are pleased to foster an environment that supports work-life integration.”

The navigators are John Adrian, business manager for the Office of the Provost; Katherine Centellas, an associate professor of anthropology in the Croft Institute for International Studies; Kelly Brown Houston, an administrative coordinator in the Department of History; and Melinda Valliant, an associate professor of nutrition and hospitality management.

“The navigator may serve as a ‘first stop’ for employees in need of direction,” Strum said.

Faculty and staff may not want to go directly to their supervisors to share personal information or ask questions about family caregiving needs or work-life balance, so the navigators allow faculty and staff members to speak with peers and inquire about various work-life situations confidentially.

The navigators attended several training sessions and engaged with leaders across campus to learn about available resources. They also met with people in various units, including Human Resources, the offices of Equal Opportunity and Regulatory Compliance, Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Community Engagement, and the University Ombuds, and the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies.

Employers that offer work-life balance are likely to have the competitive edge. The most successful businesses realize that effectively addressing work-life balance issues with their workforce can increase morale and foster commitment, improve employee recruitment and retention, and raise productivity.

“Having a work-life balance leads to lower stress levels, better overall health, and better job satisfaction and performance,” Centellas said. “It also can help address issues proactively. A satisfactory work-life balance – however that is defined by the employee – also can contribute to a more inclusive, respectful and equal campus. This is because how people define and achieve work-live balance will be diverse, but we want to support the paths that are meaningful to each employee.”

The Career-Life Connector Initiative also provides career-life consultants to facilitate recruitment and provide information about work-life integration during the search process, as requested by job candidates. Consultants include Derek Cowherd, senior associate athletics director for academic support; Melissa Dennis, head of research and instruction services at the J.D. Williams Library; Kathy Knight, associate professor of nutrition and hospitality management; and Shawnboda Mead, director of the Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement.

Search committee chairs can email careerlifesearch@olemiss.edu to request assistance with the interview process.

For more information about navigators, consultants and the UM Career-Life Connector Initiative, visit careerlife.olemiss.edu.