UM, Georgia Music Professors Team Up for Teaching, Performance

Joint saxophone event funded by SEC travel grant

Adam Estes

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi saxophone studio traveled to the University of Georgia last month for a joint event that included a teacher swap, master class and collaborative concert.

Adam Estes, UM assistant professor of music, traveled with seven of his students to Athens, Georgia, where they worked alongside Connie Frigo, associate professor of saxophone at Georgia, and her students. The event was funded by a travel grant from the Southeastern Conference as part of its academic initiative.

“Our goal was to create as much student-to-student interaction as possible throughout this event,” Estes said. “We were delighted and inspired by the quality of work that our students completed.”

Estes and Frigo, who met while in graduate school at the University of South Carolina, proposed the idea last spring to gather students from both institutions for a joint event.

Generally, SEC travel grants are used for faculty support. Estes has previously used the program to travel with a pianist to various SEC schools and provide master classes to students there.

The board liked the idea that Estes and Frigo’s proposal was not only faculty-centric, but focused on student as well, Estes said. The grant had funded student travel expenses for the collaboration, which was structured differently from other events.

The event included Estes and Frigo teaching saxophone fundamentals and helping students improve their sight-reading skills. Students then engaged in peer-to-peer coaching under the supervision of both instructors. In addition, both instructors conducted a formal faculty master class, working with selected students from each studio in front of the entire class.

Finally, the combined students performed a large ensemble of a piece titled “Three Images.”

“Learning how to break the ice with people from other places is an invaluable tool and will serve me well in my future as I network with peers, colleagues and pedagogues from other universities,” said Ryne Anderson, a UM sophomore from Purvis who is majoring in history and music.

“The students weren’t simply the audience here but also the participators and the teachers in certain sessions. It was an interactive setting, making it tremendously more engaging for all of the students involved.”

Estes and Frigo agreed that the event has potential to grow. They are both open to expanding it in the future and inviting other SEC universities to participate.

“As always, the feasibility of these events relies almost exclusively upon funding, and we are grateful for the funding that is supporting us to create a special event like this that brings together our two studios,” Frigo said. 

UM Sophomore Wins Entrepreneurial Spirit of Mississippi Scholarship

Mary Eveleen Brown honored for accomplishments, involvement with $2,500 award

UM sophomore Mary Eveleen Brown (center) is presented with the 2017 JAMAS Entrepreneurial Spirit of Mississippi Scholarship by (from left) Ken Cyree, dean of the School of Business Administration; Madison Turnage, daughter of JAMAS CEO Ben Turnage and an Ole Miss senior; Karen Turnage, Ben Turnage’s wife; and Don Duckworth, senior adviser with JAMAS Capital Management. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – JAMAS Capital Management, a private investment firm based in Jackson, has named University of Mississippi sophomore Mary Eveleen Brown as the recipient of the 2017 JAMAS Capital Entrepreneurial Spirit of Mississippi Scholarship.

A native of Brentwood, Tennessee, Brown got an early start in entrepreneurship at age 12, when she made and sold purses to raise money for a charity that provides plastic surgery to burn victims. In high school, she started an online business making and selling headbands to raise funds to attend camp.

Most recently, Brown immersed herself in a start-up jewelry business, which was “transformative in my understanding of the business environment of today,” she said.

“I discovered that the most crucial question in today’s business environments is, ‘Why do we do things this way?’ It encourages people to look at their business from a different point of view.”

Brown is majoring in integrated marketing communications with a minor in business administration. She has become involved in the Ole Miss community, serving on the Student Activities Association Executive Council, the Associated Student Body Marketing and Engagement Board, and the Student Alumni Council.

She recently served on the sponsorship committee for RebelTHON/Children’s Miracle Network annual fundraiser, which raised more than $100,000.

“Mary Eveleen has demonstrated the motivation to create and succeed in new business opportunities while also serving her community,” said Ben O. Turnage, founder and CEO of JAMAS Capital Management. “We at JAMAS are proud to contribute to the success of this impressive young woman, who has a bright future as a pioneering business leader.”

Ken Cyree, dean of the UM School of Business Administration said, “We are very proud of Mary Eveleen’s accomplishments so early in her college experience and are confident she will continue to build on this success at Ole Miss and well beyond graduation.

“We are also thrilled that JAMAS Capital Management is funding this important scholarship that supports our Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and our entrepreneurship major.”

The $2,500 JAMAS Entrepreneurial Spirit of Mississippi Scholarship helps Ole Miss students pursue their education and goals to create successful businesses after graduation. For more information, visit http://jamascapital.com/.

UM Recognizes Three Employees with Frist Service Awards

Honorees are modern languages and political science professors and admissions director

Robert Brown, who teaches in the Department of Political Science and the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, shares this year’s Frist Award for UM faculty. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Following glowing letters of recommendation from students, fellow faculty members and parents, three University of Mississippi employees have been chosen to receive prestigious honors for their exceptional service.

The Thomas Frist Student Service Awards are presented annually to Ole Miss faculty and staff members who have “gone the extra mile” in unwavering dedication and service to students.

For the first time in the 21-year history of the awards, two faculty recipients share this year’s honor: Donald Dyer, associate dean for faculty and academic affairs in the College of Liberal Arts and professor of Russian and linguistics, and Robert Brown, professor of political science. Whitman Smith, director of admissions, is the staff award recipient.

“The Ole Miss family is fortunate to have so many outstanding individuals who go above and beyond to serve our students,” Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter said. “All three of this year’s Frist Award recipients exemplify this core value.

“We applaud their unwavering commitment to student engagement and exceptional level of personal attention to student success. These three are very deserving of this special honor.”

Examples of exemplary service include student guidance and mentorship above and beyond those expected of faculty and staff as part of their job responsibilities. Any full-time faculty or staff member, except previous winners, is eligible for the award, which includes a $1,000 prize and a plaque. The winners also are acknowledged during the university’s overall Commencement ceremony.

Each recipient said he was surprised to receive news of his honor.

“I was also humbled and a little bit embarrassed by it,” Smith said. “I am honored to be recognized as someone who serves students. I have nothing I can compare it to.”

Both Dyer and Brown expressed similar feelings.

“When he (Vitter) gave me the news about the Frist Award, I felt incredibly honored … and humbled,” Dyer said. “This (honor) means that my interaction over the years with students has positively influenced someone.

“The success of the students I have been privileged to teach and to advise has always been as important to me or more important than anything else I have achieved as a professor.”

Brown said he is grateful to know students who have made him want to be a better teacher and better person.

Whitman Smith, UM director of admissions, is this year’s staff honoree for the Frist Award. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

“This award is a reminder of how lucky I am to be a teacher, and to work with and care about the students I teach,” Brown said. “They have given me so much, and I am glad to be able to give back to them if I can.”

The decision to choose a faculty recipient was difficult due to the stellar praises expressed for each in the nomination letters, said Luca Bombelli and Anne McCauley, both previous Frist winners and co-chairs of the selection committee.

“Reviewing nomination letters for the Frist Award is an inspiring and uplifting task because all the letters express heartfelt gratitude for faculty and staff members who have really made a difference in a student’s life,” said McCauley, assistant director of the Office of Sustainability.

“Both were so equally deserving that selecting one over the other would have involved a degree of arbitrariness that most did not feel comfortable with,” said Bombelli, chair and professor of physics and astronomy. “Therefore, we made the unusual move to recognize both of them.”

Brown, who has been nominated for the award in previous years, teaches in both the Department of Political Science and at the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College.

In a nomination letter for him, one student wrote, “He has gone above and beyond as a professor, his dedication to his students shining every step of the way. Dr. Brown has visited sick students in their hometowns, gifted books to other students just because he thought they would enjoy, and has become a faithful campus voice outspoken against sexual assault.”

Don Dyer, professor of Russian and linguistics, is a faculty recipient of a 2017 Frist Award. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

When the student had doubts about her career path, “He sat with me and compiled a list of possible majors, helped me schedule appointments with deans and professors in each department, showing up to introduce me to each of them.”

Dyer, who had multiple nomination letters written by both students and faculty, was commended by a colleague for “having taken the language and linguistics programs to exceptional heights.

“He has always been supportive of new ideas and innovations in teaching languages, including less commonly taught languages, such as Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Arabic. Thanks to his hard work, professional and personal skills, the Department of Modern Languages has achieved great success, national and international recognition and respect.”

A student wrote that Dyer’s service has included funding graduate students’ trips to conferences in Idaho and New Mexico, teaching more than his required number of courses when necessary and even teaching a much-needed summer course for free as a gesture of good will.

“Dr. Dyer leads by example; he is ready to do what is best for the students and the university,” the student wrote.

In a nomination letter for Smith, written by the parents of a UM student, he was praised for having “rewritten the playbook” for the role of admissions director.

“Whitman went well beyond introducing students to the university and helping them acclimate to the college environment,” they wrote. “He built a relationship with (our son). Had it not been for Whitman and his ceaseless encouragement and open door, he may not be graduating in May.

“Whitman’s voice of reason and understanding encouraged him when it seemed nobody else could.”

The parents noted Smith has “a deep passion” for working with Ole Miss students.

“More than once, we have phoned Whitman at home and on his cell number after office hours. Whitman consistently goes beyond the role of a director of admissions, providing guidance and mentorship that serve students like our son every single day.”

All three recipients said they plan to give their stipends back to the university.

“I will donate half to the Larry Ridgeway scholarship fund and half to the Max Miller scholarship fund,” Smith said.

“I plan to give it to the Department of Modern Languages to help students in need of financial support to study abroad,” Dyer said.

“Half will go to the Department of Political Science and half will go to the Honors College to use for student projects and development,” Brown said.

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. Past winners of the Frist Award include faculty members Brett Cantrell, Denis Goulet, Aileen Ajootian, Don Cole, Charles Eagles, Ellen Meacham, Terry Panhorst, Ken Sufka and Eric Weber, and staff members Lindsey Bartlett Mosvick, Carol Forsythe, Thelma Curry, Dewey Knight, Valeria Ross, Marc Showalter and Linda Spargo.

UM Students Help Manage Investments for Tennessee Valley Authority

Ole Miss team places fourth in investment competition, gains real-world experience

UM students Christian May (left), Ian Soileau, Claire Fulkerson, Lamar Norsworthy and Makail Johannesson presented the team’s strategy and results to TVA officials at the Tennessee Valley Authority Investment Challenge in Nashville, Tennessee. Submitted photo

OXFORD, Miss. – Twelve students from the University of Mississippi School of Business Administration’s portfolio management team recently represented the university in Nashville, Tennessee, for the Tennessee Valley Authority Investment Challenge.

The TVA’s investment program is one of the nation’s largest student-managed investment plans. It allows student teams to manage stock portfolios for the agency, giving them better understanding of investments through experience. Based on the portfolios’ performances, students are awarded prizes by the TVA.

For calendar year 2016, the Ole Miss portfolio team earned a return of 11.95 percent, which placed them fourth among the 23 participating schools. Only Trevecca Nazarene University, at 18.7 percent; East Tennessee State University, 18.6 percent; and the University of Tennessee, 16.7 percent, earned better returns over the year.

“It was a cool experience to immerse ourselves in a professional environment like the TVA conference,” said Makail Johannesson, a junior economics major from Red Lake, Ontario. “We learn a lot of content and fundamentals in the classroom, but there is no better way to grasp corporate culture than being a part of it.”

The strong performance was supported by Ole Miss’ portfolio holdings in T-Mobile, Chevron and AT&T, stocks which recorded gains of 65 percent, 35 percent and 34 percent, respectively, during 2016.

The students managed approximately a half-million dollars of the TVA’s funds by designing long-term investment strategies, making trades and providing performance reports to the agency.

The real-world experience will be valuable in helping the students compete professionally, said Ken Cyree, dean of the business school.

“We are pleased that these students have an excellent experiential learning opportunity through the TVA,” Cyree said. “We are also thankful that the competition provided an opportunity for the students to hone their presentation skills.

“The use of real funds helps add to the importance of decision-making, and the presentation of the results adds to the importance of being accountable for our decisions.”

Besides Johannesson, the team included Jocelyn Cropper, a junior managerial finance major from Cypress, Texas; Claire Fulkerson, a junior majoring in accountancy from Dallas; Ashely Glennon, a senior managerial finance major from Austin, Texas; Boyce Holleman, a senior from Jackson majoring in managerial finance and banking and finance; Blake Maum a senior from Chattanooga, Tennessee, majoring in banking and finance; Christian May, a senior managerial finance major from Memphis; Lamar Norsworthy, a junior accountancy major from Memphis; Kyle D. Snyder, a junior marketing major from Keller, Texas; Ian Soileau, a sophomore from Hernando majoring in mathematics and managerial finance; Tyler Whitmore, a senior in accountancy from Sherwood, Arkansas; and Grant A. Wiley, a junior from Dallas majoring in banking and finance.

Five of the team members – Fulkerson, Johannesson, May, Norsworthy and Soileau – presented their performance results and explained their strategy to the TVA executives.

Travis Box, UM assistant professor of finance, and Jonathan Daigle, adjunct instructor of finance, organized the team and serve as faculty advisers.

“The students studied the markets and conducted meetings all year,” Box said. “They presented their research, fought for their ideas, and it paid off.

“There is so much talent in this group, and I can’t wait to see what they are able to accomplish going forward.”

The money used for the challenge comes from the TVA’s Asset Retirement Trust Fund, established in 1996 to meet the financial obligations of decommissioning the agency’s non-nuclear power units. The Investment Challenge is part of a larger strategy to diversify the financial management of the Trust Fund.

When the program began, 19 universities received investment funds of $100,000 each, totaling $1.9 million. The program has expanded to include 25 universities, with some $10 million being invested.

“The Investment Challenge is another example of the many great things the TVA provides people,” said Richard Howorth, an Ole Miss graduate, owner of Square Books in Oxford and chair-elect of the TVA’s board of directors. “This program is especially meaningful because it is an opportunity for the organization to help young people learn about the world of financial investment as well as broaden their interest in potential career paths.”

Delta Students Get College Experience during Ole Miss Visit

Ninth-grade biology class learns about collegiate science courses and the admissions process

Students from Madison S. Palmer High School in Marks get biology lessons from UM instructors during their campus visit. Photo by Christina Steube/University Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Students from Madison S. Palmer High School in Marks got a hands-on learning experience in a college atmosphere recently when they visited the University of Mississippi’s Department of Biology.

These students attended learning sessions in Shoemaker Hall, where they participated in field sampling, isolated DNA and learned to use a microscope to view microbes.

Daniel Myrick, a first-year biology teacher at the high school, led the trip to improve academic standards and resources for his students. Myrick, who graduated from UM last May, reached out to Ole Miss assistant biology professor Erik Hom to plan this trip and another for the upcoming fall semester.

“As I spent the first three months with my students, I started to realize that not many of these students get the opportunities to spend time around college campuses via sporting events and educational programs,” Myrick said. “How can we expect students to apply and move away from everything they know if they have no experiences of what college is actually like?

“It is too big of a gap to bridge, so I wanted to start with my ninth-graders to show them what we as educators are pushing them toward for the next three years.”

Following the biology lesson, students attended a session with an admissions counselor at the Center for Manufacturing Excellence. The field trip ended with lunch at The Grill at 1810 and a tour of the Olivia and Archie Manning Athletics Performance Center.

Myrick reached out to the biology department to set up a tour that would include more than simply beautiful campus sites. Hom, who founded the pilot program ARISE@UM, designed to provide research opportunities for high school students over the summer, helped coordinate the visit.

After getting Myrick’s request, Hom and Renee Cunningham, assistant professor of math education, visited the school in Marks in November 2016.

“After that trip, I decided to apply for additional grant funding to make some of the things I talked with Daniel and was thinking about possible,” Hom said.

Madison S. Palmer ninth-grade biology students learn about field sampling and DNA during a visit to the UM Department of Biology. Photo by Christina Steube/University Communications

“I was intrigued by Daniel’s interest and wanted to help as best I could, since I’ve come to really believe our problems with STEM education and poor academic performance start well before college. High school is a really formative period for preparing students with the basics and habits to succeed in college and later in life.”

Hom applied for and received funding via his National Science Foundation grant, DEB-1541538. The additional funding included a Research Experiences for Teachers supplement and the Research Assistantships for High School Students supplement to support Myrick’s outreach efforts.

The RAHSS was approved for funding in late January, just in time to plan the field trip.

“We both felt it necessary to bring the students out to UM and begin a steady effort to show them the opportunities for education at college and how exciting science can be,” Hom said. “We want to build relationships, and I do not believe in hit-and-run outreach, so I hope we might be able to continue what we have started in the years to come.”

The two grant supplements total more than $25,000. Hom will use part of the funds to support Myrick’s work by helping him develop teaching modules and supporting field trip activities.

Some of the funds will allow a Madison S. Palmer High School senior who attends UM beginning this fall to participate in summer research in Hom’s lab as part of the ARISE@UM program.

“Part of the draw of teaching and working at UM is the opportunity to lend a helping hand to communities in need in Mississippi – a little bit of help here goes so much further than the much better-resourced places I’ve been before, and I find it quite rewarding to be able to effect change,” Hom said.

Thanks to the supplemental NSF funding, Myrick also will get to work in Hom’s lab this summer on research related to Hom’s primary project under the NSF Genealogy of Life program. Myrick plans to focus on how he can bring research with fungi, algae, field sampling and symbiosis to his classrooms through teaching modules.

The field trip was a huge success, Myrick said. He plans to work with Hom to improve the experience so his high school freshmen can continue to learn from and build relationships with a college professor.

“My students loved being treated like college students where they were just expected to work and do right, and they loved getting to work in the labs,” Myrick said. “What they had been learning recently in my class transferred to an experiment they could do in a college lab, and I think that started to give importance to what they are required to learn in high school.

“My goal was not for them to just love Ole Miss, but I wanted them to love the idea of pursing a college that fits them.”

UM Development Welcomes Annual Giving Director

Wesley Clark brings passion-driven skill set to Ole Miss

Wesley Clark outside his office at Carriage House. UM photo by Bill Dabney

OXFORD, Miss. – For Florida native Wesley Clark, not even a promising career in law was worth giving up his passion for fundraising.

“I earned a law degree and passed the bar, but after a few years of practicing, I knew that I didn’t want to be a lawyer for my whole life,” Clark recalled. “I recognized my passion was in higher education and fundraising.”

Clark, who earned both a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a juris doctorate from the University of Florida, is taking the next step of his dream career by becoming the new annual giving director at the University of Mississippi Office of Development.

Gifts to the Annual Fund support every aspect of an Ole Miss education. Yearly contributions from more than 8,000 donors top $7 million for schools, colleges and programs across the Oxford campus. Alumni, friends, parents, faculty, staff and students choose the area to which they designate their gift.

“I always hope to bring together people’s passions with areas of need and causes that matter,” Clark said. “Everyone has generosity within them that they want to fulfill. It’s a big part of my job to connect that drive to the needs of the university.”

Clark has no shortage of experience as he takes on this position. He began as a student worker in the Telefund program at the University of Florida before taking on professional fundraising positions at the University of Michigan, Humboldt State University and at his most recent workplace, Texas State University.

Each new experience has enhanced Clark’s fascination with the process and the purpose of fundraising for higher education.

“I love the balance between the rational side of strategic planning and the emotionally driven side that’s more creative and based on what people care about as human beings,” he said. “It creates significant leverage when people support a university because of the impact it has on the students and their futures. It’s not a one-time impact; it lasts forever.”

At Texas State, Clark spearheaded many profitable fundraising campaigns such as “Step Up for State,” a day of giving that raised more than $220,000 in support of diverse campus initiatives. He also managed direct mail appeals, the online giving portal, the fundraising call center and the faculty-staff giving campaign, which saw significant growth during his leadership.

“With experience at several respected universities, Wesley Clark brings outstanding expertise in annual giving, crowdfunding and day-of-giving programs to the Office of University Development,” said Robin Buchannon, associate vice chancellor for university relations. “We believe Wesley will be instrumental in developing new annual giving donors to help strengthen academic initiatives across our campus.

“Wesley’s strategic approach to annual giving – a bedrock of our fundraising efforts – will greatly benefit our schools and College of Liberal Arts.”

Clark and his wife, Angela, look forward to calling Oxford their new home.

“Once I saw the opportunity, we did our research and (Oxford) seemed like a perfect fit,” he said. “We love small-town communities and the connectedness that they allow community members to have.”

To learn more about supporting Ole Miss academic programs through the Annual Fund, contact Wesley Clark at whclark1@olemiss.edu or 662-915-2293.

ACT 7 Experience Focuses on Revival of Magazine Industry

Annual conference pairs UM journalism students with industry leaders

OXFORD, Miss. – Magazines and print journalism matter, and that’s the theme at this year’s ACT 7 Experience at the University of Mississippi.

The conference, hosted by the Magazine Innovation Center at the Meek School of Journalism and New Media from Tuesday to Thursday (April 25-27), will focus on the revival of the magazine industry in terms of publishing, advertising, creating content and distribution. The event also allows students to network with industry professionals.

Created in 2010 by Samir Husni, Ole Miss journalism professor and Magazine Innovation Center director, the conference will feature more than 50 speakers and 50 other attendees, including CEOs of major magazine and marketing companies, publishers, editors-in-chief and other industry leaders. Students will be paired with industry professionals throughout event to learn directly from them.

“There is no other place where we have this collection of experts with future industry leaders, our students,” Husni said. “When they see students in the audience, they tell us stuff from the heart and it creates an intimate atmosphere. CEOs and freshman students are on the same level of communication.”

All conference lectures are slated for the Overby Center Auditorium and are free and open to the public, thanks to the support of industry leaders and their sponsorships.

Husni tells his students to leave an impact on the industry professionals they shadow, and some have.

At last year’s conference, Austin Dean, a senior integrated marketing communications major from Hammond, Illinois, shadowed Jim Elliott, president of the James G. Elliott Co. By the end of the conference, Dean was offered an internship at the company and spent his summer in New York working in the industry.

“For me, the benefits have been spending one-on-one time with publishers, editors and distributors, getting to know them and making reliable connections with them,” Dean said. “Dr. Husni does a great job at putting together this collective group of people and makes sure each of his students have someone they want to shadow.”

Ashlee Johnson, a senior integrated marketing communications major from Monticello, Arkansas, enjoys the intimate aspect of learning from both the guest speakers and Husni.

“Even people that work with these professionals don’t get to know them like we do,” Johnson said. “It’s a great opportunity and it’s good for professional development.

“Another great part of this conference is watching Dr. Husni interact with the speakers. He is so well-respected in the industry. He’s a hidden gem in Mississippi and we’re lucky to have someone who cares so much about their students as a mentor.”

Students will accompany the guest speakers on a trip through the Delta to experience magazines, music and Mississippi. The group will travel to the B.B. King Museum, Dockery Farms Historic District and Delta Blues Museum before ending the evening with dinner at the Ground Zero Blues Club.

The conference, in its seventh year, has grown dramatically after beginning with just 14 speakers in 2010. It even has its own band, the ACT Band, made up of musicians from the Delta, the Netherlands and New York City that will perform at Ground Zero.

“When I started the Magazine Innovation Center, it was at a time when everyone was saying print is dead and new media is in,” Husni said. “It’s not an either/or situation. Print, broadcast, digital, mobile, social media – it’s all journalism. The necessity will never change, regardless of the platform.”

Husni teaches his students to be strong writers first to break into the industry.

“When magazines hire, they want writers,” he said. “The other stuff is great, but journalism is still what’s important.

“Magazine industry leaders are experience-makers. Reading a magazine is unlike reading something online. It’s an experience packaged together in your hand.”

A full schedule of events is available at http://maginnovation.org/act/.

UM Pharmacy Students to Present at Veterinary Conference

Both are leaders in campus Rebel Vets

Alexandria Gochenauer. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Two UM School of Pharmacy students are to speak this weekend at the Annual Veterinary Pharmacy Conference in Memphis, Tennessee, hosted by the American College of Veterinary Pharmacists.

Second-year pharmacy students Robert Ross and Alexandria Gochenauer, who are both interested in veterinary pharmacy, were recommended to speak at the April 20-22 conference by Erin Holmes, associate professor of pharmacy administration.

“Alex and Robert are very passionate about the practice of veterinary pharmacy and have developed a great relationship with ACVP,” Holmes said. “They’ve already written several articles designed for veterinarians, veterinary pharmacists and pet owners as part of the ACVP’s quarterly newsletter.”

Ross, a native of Homer Glen, Illinois, helped create the university’s student chapter of ACVP, called Rebel Vets, and is the organization’s president-elect. He will present at the conference on the treatment and prevention of diabetes in cats and dogs.

“I’m fascinated by the complexity of diabetes and how prevalent it is in our country,” Ross said. “I was interested to see that it’s very common in pets, just as it is in humans.”

Robert Ross. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

Ross is weighing his career options but is interested in the possibility of working in a veterinary hospital.

“I see this conference as a great opportunity to be able to meet people with similar interests from around the country,” Ross said.

Gochenauer, of Republic, Missouri, also played a key a role in establishing Rebel Vets and has served as its secretary for two years.

“I was lucky to be offered this opportunity, and I am very excited to break into the world of veterinary pharmacy,” Gochenauer said.

She will present on cancer therapeutics in cats and dogs, focusing on available drugs and treatments for the disease in these animals. Upon graduation, Gochenauer hopes to complete a veterinary pharmacy residency and eventually work in a veterinary teaching hospital.

“These students’ working knowledge of veterinary pharmacy sets them apart as speakers for the upcoming conference,” Holmes said. “As a new organization in the School of Pharmacy, I’m very excited for the opportunities that are emerging for the Ole Miss Rebel Vets, and I could not be prouder of all they have accomplished.”

UM School of Engineering Honors Alumni, Faculty and Students

Annual awards recognize recipients' achievements, service

UM Engineering Dean Alex Cheng presents 2017 Engineer of Service Awards to brothers Chuck (center) and Steve Smith during the annual awards banquet. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Successful University of Mississippi School of Engineering alumni, faculty and students received their due Thursday (April 20) during the school’s 2017 Honors Banquet.

The annual awards were presented by Dean Alex Cheng and others at the Inn at Ole Miss. Alumni recipients are Karen Comer Matthews (BSCE 85), president and CEO of Delta Health Alliance, and Charles E. Smith Jr. (BSEE 83) and Steven A. Smith (BSEE 93), co-founders of Guardian Manufacturing Inc. Matthews received the Engineer of Distinction Award, while the Smith brothers were given Engineer of Service Awards.

“We’re enjoying a warm and wonderful evening celebrating the accomplishments and service of our students, faculty and alumni,” Cheng said. “We are proud of them and are honored to join them to celebrate together.”

Each honoree expressed gratitude for the recognitions.

“You have honored me today with this recognition, one in which I accept with both humility and gratitude,” Matthews said. “I truly hope that I have been true to my quest, that I have created some positive forward motion in Mississippi – however slight it may be in the grand scheme of life – and, most importantly, lived a life that validates the love and respect of my family, my divine guidance and the desire to return the respect that we all have for this institution.”

A nonprofit organization that funds and operates more than 20 health care and education initiatives throughout the Mississippi Delta, the alliance works to overcome health and education disparities in rural communities. It has been a leader in using information technologies to improve delivery of services, nurturing collaborations among professional disciplines and community organizations, and applying quantitative assessment and evaluation to guide development and improvement of programs.

“Engineers, regardless of discipline, are people who contrive and derive from cleverness, and we are this little secret group of problem solvers that the rest of the world sees as nerds, but we know better,” said Matthews, a Fulton native who also earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Memphis and her doctorate in health science administration from the University of Tennessee.

Before joining Delta Health Alliance, she served as vice chancellor at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, where she was responsible for promoting, establishing and supporting interdisciplinary and inter-organizational collaborations in research, education and patient care.

Karen Comer Matthews accepts the 2017 Distinguished Engineer of the Year Award during the annual UM School of Engineering awards banquet. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications

Under her direction, Tennessee Health Science Center was an early leader in establishing telemedicine networks as a way of bringing health care specialists to underserved communities. The Tennessee system ultimately grew to more than 110 sites throughout the Mid-South and was named the third largest network in the country in 2005.

Matthews has served as principal investigator on numerous state and federal contracts, authored more than 50 articles for academic journals and written successful grant applications for more than $250 million in research support.

Chuck and Steve Smith are the oldest and middle of three sons of the late Charles E. Smith Sr., who from 1975 to 2004 devoted his life to the advancement of the UM electrical engineering program as chair and professor. Years later, his legacy is being maintained by the benevolence of his two sons.

The Smith brothers have served as members of the Engineering Advisory Board since 2007. Steve served as an executive committee member since 2010 and as chair for 2014 and 2015.

“Receiving an award that was previously given to our father many years ago is very special,” Chuck Smith said. “His dedication and service to Ole Miss and the School of Engineering meant everything to him and to be honored in a similar way is a humbling experience.”

Both served in the Engineering School’s Vision Council in 2010-12 for strategic planning. They have spoken to students on multiple occasions and generously donated to rename the former Engineering Science Building to Charles E. Smith Sr. Hall in 2004.

“Ole Miss and Oxford represent a very special place for our family,” Chuck Smith said. “We have so many friends and fond memories of family and growing up here. Although we live in Florida, our roots are and will always be in Oxford.”

Steve Smith echoed his brother’s sentiment.

“Being recognized from my Ole Miss home is humbling, yet brings a deeper purpose to strive even harder,” he said. “Raised in the halls of engineering, I was fortunate to have many mentors, many who grace the walls today.

“I always remember walking by plaques that adorn the walls, many whom I knew, thinking one day I would join them. Little did I know, I would join with my father and brother – a family affair.”

Both are both involved in Shema Ministry of Merit Island, Florida, serving as board members. This is a group of business leaders committed to helping meet financial needs of individuals in the community.

Steve Smith and his wife, Karen, have served as ministry leaders to other couples through Calvary Chapel Viera. He is also a board member of My Community Cares Inc., served as a Lafayette County volunteer firefighter during the years he lived in Oxford and Yocona communities and donated airline miles a year ago for UM’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders travel to the West African nation of Togo.

Chuck and Steve support the Veteran’s Airlift Command and other charitable causes, where they donate time on their corporate aircraft to provide transportation to veterans and others in tough situations at no charge. Chuck also serves on the Luis Palau President’s Council.

Employees who received awards included Ramanarayanan (“Dr. Vish”) Vishwanathan, chair and professor of electrical engineering, Outstanding Engineering Faculty of the Year Award; Wei-Yin Chen, professor of chemical engineering, Senior Faculty Research Award; Matt Morrison, assistant professor of electrical engineering, Junior Faculty Research Award; Alexander Yakovlev, professor of electrical engineering, Faculty Teaching Award; Dwight Waddell, associate professor of electrical engineering, Faculty Service Award; and Paul Matthew Lowe, machine shop supervisor, Outstanding Staff Award.

Students recognized as Outstanding Senior Leaders during the ceremonies included Dustin Dykes, a mechanical engineering major from Madison, Alabama; Holly Pitts, a civil engineering major from Indianola; and Adam Schildhammer, a geological engineering major from Alpharetta, Georgia. Frances Miramon, a civil engineering major from Shreveport, Louisiana, received the David Arnold Engineering Award. Graduate students Bradley Goodwiller, a civil engineering major, and Matthew Nelms, a mechanical engineering major, both from Oxford, received Graduate Achievement Awards.

For more about the UM School of Engineering, visit https://engineering.olemiss.edu/.

 

Ford Center to Host Russian National Ballet for ‘Sleeping Beauty’

Production of classic fairytale is accessible for families

The Russian National Ballet will perform Sleeping Beauty at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts Tuesday, April 25. Submitted Photo

OXFORD, Miss. -The Russian National Ballet brings the fairytale “Sleeping Beauty” to life for one performance next week at the University of Mississippi’s Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.

The show is set for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (April 25). Tickets are $46 for the Orchestra, Parterre and Tier 1 Box levels, $40 for the Mezzanine and Tier 2 Box levels and $34 Balcony. A 10 percent discount is available for all UM faculty, staff and retirees. Tickets can be purchased at the UM Box Office at the Ford Center, online at http://fordcenter.org/event/2402/ or by telephone at 662-915-2787.

The ballet is based on Charles Perrault’s classic fairytale. It tells the story of a young princess who, on the day of her christening, is cursed by an evil fairy to prick her finger on her 16th birthday and die, but the benevolent Lilac Fairy declares that the princess will only sleep until she is awakened by the kiss of a prince.

“The Russian National Ballet is dedicated to producing classic ballets like ‘Sleeping Beauty,'” said Kate Meacham, Ford Center marketing director. “They are a premier ballet company and their productions are always magical.

“‘Sleeping Beauty’ is a classic fairytale that most people know. It’s a great opportunity to introduce children to the ballet.”

The production is choreographed by Marius Petipa and is considered to be one of his greatest works. Petipa’s choreography paired with the compositions of Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky has made this ballet renowned. The lavish, yet refined blending of traditional ballet with the dramatics and eloquence of the theater is loved around the world.

The Russian National Ballet Theatre was founded in the late 1980s in Moscow. Originally known as the Soviet National Ballet, the company was founded by the graduates of the Russian choreographic schools of Moscow, St. Petersburg and Perm, and allowed them a place to showcase their works.

The Russian National Ballet is made up of 50 dancers, all experts in their field with decades of experience. Many of the dancers have been a part of the company since its inception.

For more information, go to http://fordcenter.org/event/2402/