Annual Conference to Explore ‘Faulkner and Money’

July 23-27 event expected to draw hundreds from around the globe

William Faulkner’s typewriter, along with copies of a few of his best-selling novels and those of some of his African-American contemporaries, are on display at Rowan Oak. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – “Faulkner and Money: The Economies of Yoknapatawpha and Beyond” is the theme for the University of Mississippi’s 44th annual Faulkner & Yoknapatawpha Conference, set for July 23-27.

Five days of lectures, panels, tours, exhibits and other presentations will explore the multifaceted economies of Yoknapatawpha County, the Faulkner oeuvre and the literary profession. Besides three keynote lectures, the conference program will include panel presentations, guided daylong tours of north Mississippi and the Delta, and sessions on “Teaching Faulkner.”

“This year’s theme was actually suggested a decade or more ago by one of the legendary figures of Faulkner studies, the late Noel Polk, who often mentioned how fascinating, and entertaining, a conference would be on Faulkner and money,” said Jay Watson, Howry Professor of Faulkner Studies and professor of English who serves as director of the conference.

“More recently, the program committee had contemplated building a conference around the slightly wider theme of Faulkner and economics. So two years ago, we decided to combine both the specific subject of money and the more general topic of economics and came up with ‘Faulkner and Money: The Economies of Yoknapatawpha.'”

This year’s subject is rewarding for a number of reasons, Watson said.

“First of all, William Faulkner spent his first 25 years or more as a serious writer of fiction in almost constant financial difficulty,” he said. “He had trouble supporting his extended family off his writing alone, and he worried all the time about money.

“His own financial arrangements, both personal and professional, his relationship to the literary marketplace and his search for other sources of income available to established writers all have the potential to shed important light on the profession of authorship in 20th century America.”

Additionally, and for some of the same reasons, Faulkner’s fiction is especially rich in economic content: money problems, elaborate business arrangements, convoluted bets and wagers, get-rich-quick schemes and con games.

“His people – and sometimes individual characters – run the gamut from enormous wealth to miserable poverty,” Watson said. “Many are unduly preoccupied with money, much like their creator.

“There’s a lot to learn from Faulkner’s work about the economics of rural and small-town life, of the South and of modern America. We’ll be exploring all of these issues in July.”

This bronze statue of William Faulkner near City Hall is a popular attraction for Faulkner enthusiasts visiting Oxford. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications.

The conference will begin with a reception at the University Museum, after which the academic program of the conference will open with two keynote addresses, followed by a buffet supper on the grounds of Faulkner’s home, Rowan Oak. Over the next four days, a busy schedule of lectures and panels also includes an afternoon cocktail reception, a picnic at Rowan Oak, the guided tours and a closing party on Thursday afternoon.

The “Teaching Faulkner” sessions will be led by James B. Carothers, of the University of Kansas; Terrell L. Tebbetts, Lyon College; Brian McDonald, Lancaster, Pennsylvania School District; Charles Peek, University of Nebraska at Kearney; and Theresa M. Towner, University of Texas at Dallas.

Throughout the conference, the university’s J.D. Williams Library will display Faulkner books, manuscripts, photographs and memorabilia. The University Press of Mississippi will exhibit books of interest published by university presses throughout the country.

Faulkner collector Seth Berner is organizing a display of his collection, with books for sale. Berner also will give a brown bag lunch presentation on “Collecting Faulkner.”

Also, collaborators on the Digital Yoknapatawpha Project, a database and digital mapping project at the University of Virginia, will present updates on its progress at a special conference session.

The conference early registration fee, good through June, is $150 for students and $275 for other participants. After July 1, the fee is $175 for students and $300 for others.

To register or for more information, visit

History Professor Heads to Amsterdam for EURIAS Fellowship

Nicolas Trépanier plans to use time to collaborate with European colleagues and work on book

Nicolas Trépanier, UM associate professor of history, has received a European Institutes for Advanced Study fellowship. Photo Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Nicolas Trépanier, associate professor in the University of Mississippi’s Arch Dalrymple III Department of History, has received a yearlong research fellowship at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in Amsterdam.

Trépanier was awarded the European Institutes for Advanced Study fellowship, which brings together scholars in a variety of disciplines, ranging from neurology to art history and from journalism to philosophy. Their projects are not connected to one other, but the fellows are expected to interact. 

The idea behind the EURIAS model is that creative thinkers will benefit from being exposed to other creative thinkers in fields that are unfamiliar to them. 

Trépanier says he’s grateful to EURIAS for the opportunity to collaborate with such an esteemed group. 

“Spending a year at NIAS will allow me to concentrate on that research on a full-time basis, so it’s likely to be very important in the advancement of my research career,” Trépanier said. “It will also allow me to work with a few archaeologists I know in the Netherlands, which is also a precious opportunity because historians in my field rarely engage in such collaborations.”

EURIAS’ fellowship program is part of the Network of European Institutes for Advanced Study, which brings together 22 institutes across Europe. Within the network, more than 500 researchers are hosted every year for up to one full academic year, with the goal of creating international and multidisciplinary learning communities.

Trépanier holds a doctorate in Middle Eastern studies/history from Harvard University. His first book, “Foodways and Daily Life in Medieval Anatolia: A New Social History” explores the daily experiences of ordinary folk through the various parts that food played in their lives: from agricultural production to religious fasting and from commercial exchanges to meal schedules.

The fellowship will give him a chance to work on a second book, also focused on Anatolia, in medieval Turkey. This work explores the idea of landscapes, how people living at that time perceived the territory around them and what were the differences in perception between travelers, political elites, peasants and others. 

Trépanier is an exceptional scholar and teacher whose theoretical innovation and productivity in research places him within the top tier of an already accomplished Ole Miss faculty, said Noell Wilson, interim chair and associate professor of history and international studies. 

“His cross-disciplinary study of landscape in medieval Anatolia engages projects of colleagues not only within his home discipline of history, but in archaeology and the broader digital humanities,” Wilson said. “We are thrilled to see international recognition for his work beyond the U.S. academy, and the broader department will benefit from Professor Trépanier’s role as an intellectual bridge between Oxford and European scholars.”

University to Provide STEM Experience for Young Women

$20,000 grant will support environmental education in the Oxford community

Young women watch as the structural integrity of their popsicle stick tower is tested during last year’s STEM Camp for Girls on the UM campus. A grant from LRNG will allow Ole Miss educators to expand on programs such as this to provide STEM opportunities for Oxford youth. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi will offer an opportunity for young women in the Lafayette-Oxford-University community to experience hands-on science technology, engineering and math research while exploring their local environment. 

Ellen Shelton, director of pre-college programs for the Division of Outreach and Continuing Education, has been awarded a $20,000 grant to support a project to reimagine traditional education, specifically for young women interested in STEM fields. 

Shelton’s proposal, titled “Green is the New Pink: Young Women Environmentalists in Action,” will focus on exploring environmental issues in a local context, beginning this fall. A collaboration among the Office of Pre-College Programs, the UM Writing Project and Strawberry Plains Audubon Center in Holly Springs, the program will introduce real-world research strategies and generate curiosity about the natural environment, Shelton said.

“Even though Mississippi is predominantly a rural state, with more than 56 percent of students living in rural areas, we rarely take time to explore and appreciate the immediate environment beyond our classroom and office walls,” Shelton said. “The program’s intense focus on area birds, plants, and insects will reinforce the interconnectivity of all habitats and creatures in an environment.

“The participants will learn to explore the world around them; they will understand that great inquiry starts in the local space.”

In August, students in grades 8 to 11 can apply for the program and will participate in it on four Saturdays throughout the academic year. The cross-disciplinary partnership between English and science will allow students to conduct their own research, create a project and deliver a presentation.

Students will be guided through four field experiences of data collection, data exploration, analysis and interpretation of data, and drawing conclusions. In the fall, students will focus on migration patterns and the impact of birds in north Mississippi by visiting Strawberry Plains and exploring the forests, wetlands and prairies of the area. In the spring, students will observe plants and insects while learning how each help the local environment and how climate change affects plants. 

The award, a grant from the LRNG (short for learning) Educator Innovator Challenge, will connect learning with student interests. Shelton’s proposal was among only 10 chosen for funding, which will support 12 to 15 young women and their research into environmental inquiries.

This program is an extension of the STEM Camp for Girls, created several years ago at Ole Miss.

“Our goal in pre-college programs is to make spaces for all students to explore any opportunity that they wish,” Shelton said. “We are excited about this funding because our goal is to continue support for young women scientists as they move from Ecology Day Camp into STEM Camp for Girls to Green is the New Pink and then into more of our STEM summer offerings: Environmental Conservation Leadership Workshop, Code Monkeys Camp, Engineering Camp, Summer College or UM’s ARISE program.”

Scott Knight, director of the UM Field Station, is co-investigator on the grant and will work alongside Shelton with Oxford High School teacher Angela Whaley, Oxford Middle School teacher Martha Tallent and Lafayette Middle School teacher Katie Szabo to enhance education for students.

“Because science, engineering and math are often perceived as hard subjects, it can be a pretty tough sell to convince young people to consider careers in STEM,” Knight said. “This program will demonstrate, through hands-on participation, that while science can sometimes be challenging, the chance to discover something new is fun, rewarding and well worth all the hard work.”

Funding for the project comes from the support of the National Writing Project, John Legend’s Show Me Campaign, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and Collective Shift.

J.D. Williams Library Hosts Opening Reception for Bicentennial Exhibit

Reception includes keynote address by UM alumnus and author W. Ralph Eubanks

Greg Johnson arranges an exhibit featuring the Mississippi Bicentennial at the Archives and Special Collections in J.D. Williams Library. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – The Department of Archives and Special Collections at the University of Mississippi’s J.D. Williams Library will host an opening reception for the exhibit “Mississippi: 200 Years of Statehood” from 5 to 7 p.m. June 21.

The exhibit features a wide variety of items that defined Mississippi over the course of its history, including historical Mississippi textbooks, early territorial documents, 18th-century maps of the South by European cartographers, materials related to the women’s suffrage movement and civil rights movement in the state, sound recordings, Mississippi-themed sheet music and photographs of the state throughout the years.

The reception includes a welcome from Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter, a video statement from former Mississippi Gov. William Winter and a keynote address by W. Ralph Eubanks, UM alumnus and author. The event will be held in the Faulkner Room within Special Collections on the third floor of the library. It is free and open to the public.

“The UM Libraries are deeply honored to participate and host an event on such an important anniversary for the state,” said Cecilia Botero, dean of libraries.

The opening reception is one of many events of the week that celebrates Mississippi’s bicentennial in the northern part of state. On June 19, the library will host a brown bag luncheon at noon in Special Collections featuring the publication of The Mississippi Encyclopedia with remarks by editors Ted Ownby, Charles Reagan Wilson and Jimmy Thomas, in addition to several contributors from the library.

“The week of June 19th in north Mississippi is a very special one for the region, and Special Collections is proud to be able to contribute to the exciting programming schedule,” said Jennifer Ford, head of special collections. “We are deeply indebted to the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, former Gov. William Winter and W. Ralph Eubanks for helping us to create such a great lineup of events in the archives that week highlighting the state’s bicentennial.”

On June 24, the Governor’s Concert in celebration of the bicentennial will be held on the Grove Stage headlined by country and Americana artist Marty Stuart. In addition, Special Collection’s bicentennial exhibit will have special public viewing hours from noon to 4:30 p.m. that day in honor of the festivities.

For more information about events at the J.D. Williams Library, contact Jennifer Ford at 662-915-7408 or

The official bicentennial exhibit reception for the library was made possible by a grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council, through support from the Mississippi Development Authority.

To learn more about Mississippi’s bicentennial celebration, visit

Former Mississippi Governor William Winter comments on the significance of celebrating the bicentennial through the “Mississippi: 200 Years of History” exhibit at the J.D. Williams Library.


UM Visiting Professor Receives Summer Scholar Award to Vassar

Jaime Cantrell will spend three weeks studying poet Elizabeth Bishop

Jaime Cantrell, visiting assistant professor of English and faculty affiliate to the Sarah Isom Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, is studying American poet Elizabeth Bishop and Vassar University this summer. Submitted photo

OXFORD, Miss. – A University of Mississippi English professor is the recipient of a prestigious scholarship award from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Jaime Cantrell, visiting assistant professor of English and faculty affiliate at the university’s Sarah Isom Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, has been selected as an NEH Summer Scholar from a national applicant pool to attend one of 24 seminars and institutes.

Cantrell will participate in “Elizabeth Bishop and the Literary Archive,” a three-week program directed by Bethany Hicok at Vassar College. Each of the 16 educators selected to participate receive a stipend of $2,700 to cover their travel, study and living expenses.

“My reasons for participating in the ‘Elizabeth Bishop and the Literary Archive’ NEH summer institute are interwoven,” Cantrell said. “Archival research encompasses both bodies of knowledge and embodied experiences, and I am interested in how framing ‘Bishop As Archival Theorist’ begs affective inquiries about our relationship as scholars to the literary archival past – even as it reveals reinvigorated attenuations to space, emotions and material method.”

Bishop was an American poet and author who served as a consultant in poetry to the Library of Congress in 1949-50 and won a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1956 and a National Book Award in 1970.

Although Cantrell herself is not a Bishop expert, she’s a 20th century Americanist.

“In my American lit large lecture courses, students close read Bishop’s ‘One Art’ and ‘In the Waiting Room’ alongside other post-1945 female poets and their works, including Adrienne Rich’s ‘Diving Into the Wreck’ and Sylvia Plath’s ‘Daddy’ and ‘Morning Song,'” Cantrell said.

In her literary criticism courses, Cantrell stresses to students that developing the analytical skills for reading theory deeply and considering how texts continue to resonate can be difficult.

“I think, perhaps, admitting or even confessing our inner amateurs is critically germane to the evolution of our profession and to the excellence of our pedagogy,” she said. “Like our students, we don’t come to the classroom – or in this case, seminar – to learn what we already know.”

Each summer, the NEH supports these enrichment opportunities at colleges, universities and cultural institutions to allow faculty to work in collaboration and study with experts in humanities disciplines.

Cantrell said her strong desire to participate in this NEH summer seminar extends beyond pedagogical practices and into her own scholarly interests.

“As an interpreter of the humanities, I believe the slippages, overlaps and ambiguities between those (unstable) identities – teacher and researcher – are where radical potentialities lie,” she said.

Cantrell’s recognition speaks to her own achievement and those of the Ole Miss English department, said Ivo Kamps, UM chair and professor of English.

“Selection to NEH seminars is highly competitive, and it is to Dr. Cantrell’s credit that she has been chosen,” he said. “The National Endowment for the Humanities is perhaps the most important national agency to support the scholarship of English professors, and we are proud that the NEH has selected visiting professor Jaime Cantrell for one of its prestigious summer seminars.”

Cantrell also teaches specialized cross-listed courses in English and women’s, gender and sexuality studies, including Queer Theory, LGBTQ Literatures, Introduction to Gender Studies, Gender and Culture and Women in Literature.

She earned her master’s degree in women’s studies from the University of Alabama and her doctorate in English literature with a graduate concentration in women’s and gender studies from Louisiana State University. She has been awarded library and research grants from Cornell University, Duke University and the NEH.

Cantrell is the author of essays and reviews appearing in Feminist Formations, The Journal of Lesbian Studies, Study the South, Notches: (re)marks on the history of sexuality, “This Book is An Action: Feminist Print Culture and Activist Aesthetics” (UIP Press, 2015), “The Bohemian South: Creating Countercultures, from Poe to Punk” (UNC Press, 2017) and the Journal of Homosexuality.

She co-edited “Out of the Closet, Into the Archive: Researching Sexual Histories” (SUNY Press, Queer Politics and Cultures series, 2015). “Out of the Closet, Into the Archives” is a 2016 Lambda Literary Award finalist for Best LGBT Anthology.

The approximately 537 NEH Summer Scholars who participate in these programs of study will teach more than 93,975 American students the following year.

For more information about the UM Department of English, visit

For more information about the Sarah Isom Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, go to

Gretchen Bunde Named Kramer Award Outstanding Teacher

Students nominated composition and rhetoric instructor for her excellence in teaching

Jane Magruder Walman, who represents the family of the Kramer Endowment (left) is pictured with Kramer Award recipient Gretchen Bunde and Chair of the Department of Writing and Rhetoric Robert Cummings. Thomas Graning/University Communications.

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi Department of Writing and Rhetoric awarded the X.A. Kramer Jr. Award for Outstanding Teacher to Gretchen Bunde.

Bunde, an instructor in composition and rhetoric, was nominated by numerous students for her long history of excellence in teaching.

“Gretchen dedicates herself to improving the writing and thinking of her students,” said Alice Johnston Myatt, assistant chair of the Department of Writing and Rhetoric and chair of the awards committee. “Her work as an exemplary writing instructor goes beyond the classroom.”

Bunde also leads a teaching circle to support professional development of teachers and serves on several committees, including curriculum, assessment and planning, Myatt said.

“I was surprised and humbled to receive the Kramer award,” Bunde said. “The DWR is filled with extraordinary educators, and I know that working with them makes me a better teacher every day.

“I’m so glad to know that my students can tell how much I care and genuinely enjoy teaching them how to become better writers.”

In their nominations, students highlighted that Bunde instilled confidence in their writing abilities, encouraged active learning and built a community in her classroom.

“With the frequency of each paper, I was able to expand my writing abilities with practice,” one student said. “The way in which she organizes her assignments helps me to create and develop good papers.”

Another student highlighted the safe environment Bunde creates for open dialogue.

“She always had group discussions and encouraged everyone to respond,” the student wrote. “She would ask us to respond to recent events in pop culture and the world around us, and then asked us to propose a solution.

“It really made me think about myself and the choices I had made in the past that may have not been the best.”

The award includes a $1,000 stipend and engraved crystal memento.

Bae Magruder established the Kramer award in 1986 in memory of her brother, X.A. Kramer Jr. The Kramer endowment supports the university’s writing and rhetoric program.

Nominations for the award open Feb. 1 of each year for instructors who taught in the preceding calendar year.

UM English Professor Receives Carnegie Fellowship

Adetayo Alabi to spend summer developing curriculum at Nigerian university

Adetayo Alabi, associate professor of English, will spend this summer developing courses at Kwara State University in Nigeria as a Carnegie Fellowship recipient. Photo by Nathan Latil/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – A University of Mississippi professor has received a prestigious Carnegie fellowship to help with curriculum development at a Nigerian university.

Adetayo Alabi, associate professor of English, was awarded the funding by the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program. He will spend the summer at Kwara State University in Malete, Nigeria, assisting Mary Kolawole, chair of English and dean of KSU’s postgraduate school.

“Professor Kolawole and I will review the curriculum of the English department, teach their postcolonial and world literature postgraduate program, and be involved in graduate student and early career training and mentoring,” Alabi said. “We will also facilitate workshops on graduate admissions, career progression and publishing in North American universities and carry out research in African literatures and cultures.”

Alabi’s achievement speaks to the high caliber of the department’s faculty, said Ivo Kamps, UM chair and professor of English.

“Professor Alabi is one of our more experienced faculty members, and as a native Nigerian, it should be relatively easy for him to share his knowledge about curriculum development with the faculty at Kwara State University in Nigeria,” Kamps said. “It’s wonderful that Professor Alabi is willing to give of his precious time over the summer to help improve education in his home country.”

The goal is to review and expand the graduate program curriculum in the Department of English at Kwara State to align it with best global practices, Alabi said.

“The fellowship allows me to train and mentor Kwara State graduate students and early career staff in my research areas and facilitate the students’ research, publishing and international exposure,” he said. “It will also enhance education and research collaboration between the University of Mississippi and Kwara State University following a memorandum of agreement signed by both institutions in 2015.”

Alabi earned his doctorate in English from the University of Saskatchewan, master’s degrees from both the University of Guelph and the University of Ibadan and a bachelor’s degree from Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. His teaching and research interests include postcolonial studies, literary theory and autobiographical genre in comparative black studies.

A respected author, he has written several books and articles. His publications include “Telling Our Stories: Continuities and Divergences in Black Autobiographies” (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2005), “I of the Valiant Stock: Yoruba Bridal Chant and the Autobiographical Genre,” “Yoruba Creativity: Fiction, Language, Life and Songs” (Africa World Press, 2005), “When a Mouth Is Sweeter than Salt: Toyin Falola and the Autophylographical Genre” (Africa World Press, 2005) and “Theorizing Blackness.’Marvels of the African World: Cultural Patrimony, New World Connections and Identities'” (African World Press, 2003).

The Kwara State University project is among 43 projects that will pair African diaspora scholars with one of 35 higher education institutions and collaborators in Africa to work together in the coming months. The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program, in its fourth year, is designed to reverse Africa’s brain drain, build capacity at host institutions and develop long-term, mutually beneficial collaborations between universities in Africa, the U.S. and Canada.

It is funded by Carnegie Corp. of New York and managed by the Institute of International Education in collaboration with U.S. International University-Africa in Nairobi, Kenya, which coordinates the activities of the advisory council.

Some 282 African Diaspora fellowships have been awarded for scholars to travel to Africa since the program’s inception. Fellowships match host universities with African-born scholars and cover the expenses for project visits between 14 and 90 days, including transportation, a daily stipend and the cost of obtaining visas and health insurance.

For more information about UM’s Department of English, visit

Acclaimed Writer Rose McLarney Named UM Summer Poet in Residence

Public reading set for June 29 at Off Square Books

Rose McLarney is the University of Mississippi’s 2017 Summer Poet in Residence. Photo by Nicole McConville

OXFORD, Miss. – Rose McLarney, an acclaimed writer and professor whose work is deeply rooted in the South, is the University of Mississippi’s 10th Summer Poet in Residence.

McLarney will be on campus through July 15 teaching undergraduate classes and working with emerging writers in the Department of English’s Master of Fine Arts program. She also will give a reading at Off Square Books at 5:30 p.m. June 29. A book signing at 5 p.m. will precede the free event. 

McLarney’s two poetry collections came out in a two-year period, and she is working on her third and fourth manuscripts. She said she looks forward to working with students here and soaking up the rich culture of the LOU community. 

“Since the first book was published, following an academic career, I have moved between four states and all around the country,” McLarney said. “Currently, I am at work on my third and fourth poetry manuscripts. I very much welcome the time to write granted by the residency.

“And having the chance to participate in a residency that allows me to stay in the South, where my poetry has always been rooted, will be especially beneficial.”

“Its Day Being Gone,” which is the winner of the National Poetry Series, and “The Always Broken Plates of Mountains” are her first two published collections.

The MacDowell Colony, Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences and Warren Wilson College all have awarded McLarney fellowships. She was the 2016 Dartmouth Poet in Residence at the Frost Place and winner of the Chaffin Award at Morehead State University, and she also won the Fellowship of Southern Writers’ New Writing Award for Poetry.

McLarney’s poems have appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, New England Review, Missouri Review and many other publications. 

She earned her master’s degree from Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and has taught there and at other institutions. She is assistant professor of creative writing at Auburn University and co-editor in chief and poetry editor of The Southern Humanities Review.

The LOU literary community looks forward to hosting a talent of McLarney’s caliber, said Beth Ann Fennelly, UM English professor, Summer Poet in Residence director and Mississippi’s poet laureate. 

“We are excited that Rose will be living here for a month, working on her poetry and visiting classes,” Fennelly said. “Her poems are imagine-rich, steeped in the Southern vernacular. She’s from Appalachia and has a deep attention to the natural world and the way we build community through stories.”

Nadia Alexis, a poetry MFA student who helps with the SPiR program, said as a young writer, she is especially looking forward to a chance to spend time with McLarney. 

“In addition to the class visits in which Rose will be doing a range of enriching presentations for undergraduates, MFA students will also have the benefit of meeting with her in a literary salon setting,” Alexis said. “As writers who are in the earlier stages of our careers, I’m excited we’ll have the opportunity to get to know and learn from such a talented, accomplished poet.”

Center for Population Studies Releases State Health and Hunger Atlas

Map addresses food insecurity and poor health outcomes around Mississippi

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi Center for Population Studies has developed an extensive reference guide to poverty, hunger and chronic health problems in the state, the Mississippi Health and Hunger Atlas.

Modeled after the Missouri Hunger Atlas, the resource is the first iteration of its kind in Mississippi and in the South. This atlas addresses high rates of food insecurity and poor health outcomes, two important issues in the state.

“Alarmingly, while national food insecurity trends are declining, Mississippi’s rates are rising,” said Anne Cafer, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology and co-coordinator of the atlas project.

“For the last 15 years, Mississippi has consistently ranked among the top two states with the highest food insecurity rate. Mississippi also consistently ranks poorly for a number of demographic, economic and health statistics when compared to national thresholds.”

This project is also headed by John Green, professor of sociology and anthropology and director of the Center for Population Studies, and Rachel Haggard, an Ole Miss graduate student from San Diego.

Cafer worked on the Missouri Hunger Atlas, which has proven useful to an array of community organizers and legislators. Wanting to bring the concept to Mississippi, she quickly found support from community and university stakeholders.

With the help of Green and Haggard, the Mississippi Health and Hunger Atlas was initiated and completed in less than four months.

“The atlas seeks to shed light on county-level variations for a variety of these demographic, health and hunger indicators,” Green said. “Examining these indicators at a county level, patterns, normally overshadowed by standard macro, national, level analysis begin to emerge.

“This atlas is intended to offer a tool for improving assessment of need and performance to promote improved practices and decision-making related to hunger and health in Mississippi.”

The developers have five goals for the atlas:

– Raise awareness regarding the extent and depth of food insecurity and health disparities and needs in Mississippi

– Spread knowledge of what public and private programs are doing to reach vulnerable populations

– Reveal geographic patterns in the state

– Provide need and performance measures that can be updated on a regular basis

– Aid public and private stakeholders to assess their performance and provide a means for improving better resource delivery to the Mississippians they serve

Meeting to discuss the Mississippi Health and Hunger Atlas in the UM Department of Sociology and Anthropology are (from left) Clifford Holley, Rachel Haggard, Anne Cafer and John Green. Submitted photo

“In this atlas, health and hunger indicators are mapped and used to assess need – such as food security rates, obesity rate, etc. – and performance – including SNAP enrollment and primary care physicians per 100,000 people,” Cafer said. “The economic and demographic data are also mapped to provide additional information on county level context surrounding health and hunger.”

“This visual, spatial analysis helps community stakeholders, policymakers, researchers and other practitioners target their efforts and resources to places most in need,” Green said. “Additionally, each county has a separate page, which provides their exact rates and rankings for each of the variables.”

Efforts to produce the atlas were supported by public agencies such as the Mississippi Department of Human Services and the members of the UM Department of Pharmacy Administration.

“It is through partnerships and collaboration that efforts to reduce hunger and health disparities in Mississippi are possible,” Haggard said. “The atlas is a compilation of hard work from these partners and faculty and students as well as the resources provided by the Center for Population Studies at the University of Mississippi.”

The Mississippi Health and Hunger Atlas is available at

Seven UM Freshmen Receive Omicron Delta Kappa Awards

Honor society recognizes outstanding leadership, community service

This year’s recipients of the Omicron Delta Kappa Freshman Leader Awards are (from left) James ‘JC’ Pride of Jackson, Olivia Lanum of Brandon, Caroline Glaze of Hattiesburg, Leah Davis of Tupelo, Savannah Day of Fayetteville, Arkansas, Summer Jefferson of Cumming, Georgia, and Brock Huerkamp of Arkadelphia. Photo by Ryan Upshaw

OXFORD, Miss. – Seven University of Mississippi freshmen have been inducted into the Alpha Phi chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa, a prestigious national leadership honor society.

The annual ODK Freshman Leadership Awards, which identify outstanding freshman leaders and community servants, were presented at the organization’s annual induction ceremony. Previous recipients have gone on to serve in roles such as Associated Student Body president and to be inducted into the university’s student Hall of Fame.

This year’s recipients of the ODK Freshman Leader Awards are Leah Davis of Tupelo, Savannah Day of Fayetteville, Arkansas, Caroline Glaze of Hattiesburg, Brock Huerkamp of Arkadelphia, Arkansas, Summer Jefferson of Cumming, Georgia, Olivia Lanum of Brandon and James “JC” Pride of Jackson.

“Each year, the selection process becomes more difficult as the university attracts outstanding students from all over the country,” said Ryan Upshaw, ODK adviser and assistant dean for student services in the School of Engineering.

“Our society is excited to be able to recognize their outstanding contributions during their first year on campus. We also look forward to their potential membership in our society later in their college career.”

A psychology major, Davis expressed gratitude at the recognition.

“Receiving the ODK Freshman Leader of the Year Award was a very humbling experience for me,” she said. “I was honored to know that the work and service I have done for my beloved university was recognized.

“I am excited for the opportunities that this recognition will bring, and cannot wait to continue to serve my campus!”

Davis is a member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and is a LuckyDay Scholar. She has participated in the ASB Freshman Council and Black Student Union and is a member of the UM Gospel Choir and Concert Singers. She has volunteered with Green Grove, “Groovin’ at Move-In” and the Oxford Film Festival.

Day is double majoring in public policy leadership and broadcast journalism as a member of both the Honors College and the Lott Leadership Institute. The recipient of a scholarship from the Lott Institute, she served as a legislative aide for the ASB Senate and was a member of the inaugural ASB Freshman Forum program and Lambda Sigma. She also is a news reporter for NewsWatch Ole Miss and has volunteered with RebelTHON and Big Event.

Glaze is an Ole Miss Women’s Council Scholar studying public policy leadership and secondary math education. She is a member of the Honors College, Lott Leadership Institute and the Mississippi Excellence in Teaching Program. She serves as vice president of Pittman Hall Community Council and is a member of ASB Freshman Council and Lambda Sigma. Glaze has volunteered with the Marks Tutoring Project and the Ole Miss Food Bank.

A member of the Honors College and the Lott Leadership Institute, Huerkamp is studying public policy leadership. He has volunteered with RebelTHON and the Big Event and has been a member of the ASB Freshman Council and Lambda Sigma. He will serve on the executive board of RebelTHON 2018.

Jefferson is a biology major as a member of the Honors College. She is the recipient of the Stamps Scholarship, the highest campus scholarship, and is a member of the Chancellor’s Leadership Class. Jefferson is a team leader and accounting chair for Coaches Against Cancer and has begun undergraduate research in the Department of Biology. This summer, she will intern with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A member of the Haley Barbour Center for Manufacturing Excellence and the Honors College, Lanum is studying mechanical engineering with an emphasis in manufacturing. She is president of the Stewart Hall Community Council and a member of the Engineering Student Body Leadership Council, Society of Women Engineers, Lambda Sigma and the NASA Student Launch Initiative Outreach and Structures Team. She has volunteered with the FIRST Robotics Tournament and will travel to South Carolina next fall to work as a co-op student with International Paper Co.

Pride is studying mechanical engineering with an emphasis in manufacturing as part of the CME and the Honors College. He has volunteered with the Big Event, RebelTHON and Coaching for Literacy. Pride is the recipient of the W.R. Newman scholarship and is a member of the Chancellor’s Leadership Class, ASB Freshman Council and Lambda Sigma.

Omicron Delta Kappa is a 103-year-old leadership honor society that has initiated more than 300,000 members at since its founding. The society has more than 285 active chapters at colleges and universities across the United States.