Law Alumna and Adjunct Professor to Clerk on U.S. Supreme Court

Tobi Young hopes to apply her real-world legal experience while clerking for Justice Neil Gorsuch

Tobi Young

OXFORD, Miss. – Tobi Young, a 2003 graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law and an adjunct professor, has been selected as a U.S. Supreme Court clerk for Justice Neil Gorsuch.

Young, who graduated with high honors, will serve during the court’s 2018-19 term.

“The law school is so excited for Tobi, who has been an excellent professor and mentor to our students,” said Susan Duncan, UM law dean. “She has had an incredible career thus far, and we know she will be excellent in this position.”

Young is the school’s first female graduate to clerk for the Supreme Court. W. Wayne Drinkwater, who graduated in 1974, clerked for Chief Justice Warren Burger during the 1975-76 term, and Judge Rhesa Barksdale, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, clerked for Justice Byron White during the 1972-73 term after graduating in 1972.

Coincidentally, Gorsuch also clerked for White, as well as for Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Young first met Gorsuch while working at the Department of Justice. He helped oversee the Civil Rights Division, where Young worked initially as a trial lawyer and then as counsel to the assistant attorney general. Gorsuch later recommended her as a clerk to Judge Jerome A. Holmes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

Gorsuch also was appointed to the Tenth Circuit in 2006.

“After my clerkship, my husband and I kept in touch with then-Judge Gorsuch during his 10 years on the bench,” Young said. “He would occasionally send us articles he wrote, and when we visited Denver, he always made time to join us for lunch or visit with us in his chambers.

“When I learned he was going to be announced as the next Supreme Court nominee, I joined a few former colleagues and traveled to D.C. to assist with his confirmation.”

Young recalls Gorsuch’s confirmation process as both exhilarating and exhausting.

“We worked around the clock for nearly three months,” she said. “I was fortunate enough to be at the White House when he was announced as the nominee by President Trump, and it was such an inspiring moment watching a mentor accept the nomination with such humility and humor.”

It’s common for newer justices to bring in former clerks and colleagues in their first few years on the Supreme Court. Gorsuch asked Young if she was interested in clerking for him, an idea that she hadn’t even considered.

But, as Young said, “How can you turn down an opportunity to clerk at the Supreme Court? It’s not a prospect I had ever pursued, but it was such an honor for him to have placed his trust in me. I’m excited to work for him, and lucky to have an amazing support system that enables me to be a mother and take this position.”

Young’s husband, Evan, who also is an adjunct professor at the Ole Miss law school and a partner at Baker Botts LLP, clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia during the 2004-05 term.

“Evan still frequently refers to his experiences at the court and with Justice Scalia, who also had a great affinity for Mississippi,” she said. “Being Justice Scalia’s clerk transformed his life and the way he approaches the practice of law.

“If he is still buzzing about his clerkship, there must be something magical to that experience.”

Young is general counsel in the Office of President George W. Bush, as well as general counsel and board secretary for the George W. Bush Presidential Center. Before that, she was an associate White House counsel under Bush.

“I am extremely grateful to President and Mrs. Bush for their example and for having given me the opportunity to work for and with them for over a decade,” she said. “Having practiced law in both the government and the private sector, I have experienced the profession as more than a theoretical puzzle. I hope this real-world experience will help me serve Justice Gorsuch well.”

Young excelled during her time at Ole Miss and was invited to give the Commencement speech for the 2016 School of Law graduation.

“I truly enjoyed my time at Ole Miss, and appreciate the support that has continued,” she said. “My professors taught me the fundamentals of the law, while also consistently emphasizing the importance of upholding the ethical expectations of our field – an area lawyers can never underscore enough. That’s a topic that Evan and I focus on with our Ole Miss students.”

This spring, Young and her husband are teaching a class together entitled “Uncle Sam Wants You?” which focuses on opportunities for and ethical responsibilities of lawyers who work at any level of government. As professors, the Youngs feel that not only teaching the curriculum, but also being a mentor to their students, is vital.

“We could not have been more impressed with the engagement level and the intellectual curiosity of this class,” she said. “We hope to continue being involved with the law school for many years to come.”

Researcher Presents Blood Flow Restriction Research in Denmark

Applied Physiology Laboratory recognized internationally as contributor to emerging exercise therapy

UM doctoral students (from left) Sam Buckner, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Kevin Mattox, of Pittsburgh; and J. Grantmouser, of Norman, Oklahoma, demonstrate blood flow restriction technique used in the Kevser Ermin Applied Physiology Laboratory. UM photo by Sarah Sapp

OXFORD, Miss. – Research being conducted at the University of Mississippi on blood flow restriction therapy is drawing international attention for its clinical and sports performance applications.

Under the leadership of Jeremy P. Loenneke, assistant professor of health, exercise science and recreation management, the Kevser Ermin Applied Physiology Laboratory is quickly gaining renown for breakthroughs in low-load alternatives to traditional resistance exercise.

This therapy helps rebuild muscle using less weight and less intensity by slightly inflating a pressure cuff that is attached to a person’s limbs for a few minutes to restrict blood flow.

“This allows a muscle to work harder than it normally would so a person can gain the same benefits of normal exercise without having to physically lift heavy weights,” Loenneke said.

“Typically when people exercise, they have to train pretty heavy to see any type of benefit. For most people that’s OK, but people who have had surgery or who are older may not have the ability to do that. Our current work focuses a lot of the methodology and the safety of applying blood flow restriction therapy, which is something many clinicians are wanting to know more about.”

Loenneke was in Denmark over the weekend, speaking at a symposium and leading a workshop on blood flow restriction therapy at the Danish Association of Physiotherapy Congress meeting in Odense. This is Loenneke’s second time to hold a workshop there on this subject.

The researcher first came across blood flow restriction when he was interning at the University of Illinois in 2007. He began completing his own work on the subject in 2008 while at Southeast Missouri State University and later while earning his doctorate at the University of Oklahoma.

When he first read of this therapy in literature, he was surprised by the broad application of its benefits.

“My first thought when I came across this literature as an undergraduate was that I must be reading this wrong,” Loenneke said.

While studying at Oklahoma, he was contacted by a physical therapist at the Center for the Intrepid, a rehabilitation center for wounded soldiers. Loenneke said he helped explain how to best apply blood flow restriction for rehabbing soldiers with blast trauma.

“The problem is that a lot of these injuries cannot be trained with normal exercise intensities,” Loenneke said. “Blood flow restriction is a potential utility that clinicians are using a lot in clinical trials or hospital settings.”

Jeremy P. Loenneke

At Ole Miss, Loenneke has six doctoral students working alongside him, as well as Takashi Abe, a visiting professor and longtime friend.

“We are lucky here at Ole Miss, because Dr. Abe has been studying blood flow therapy for a long time,” Loenneke said. “I first began reading his literature in 2007, and now he works with our group. We are one of the groups that is more known for blood flow restriction literature in the United States.”

At the Danish symposium, Loenneke focused on blood flow restriction exercise after surgery or disease. Clinicians are interested in focusing on immediate post-surgery recovery because there is a short window of time after surgery for a person to regain muscle strength, he said.

As an academic, Loenneke’s role at the meeting is to educate clinicians on how this therapy works within a laboratory setting so they can use their best judgments in considering the use of this therapy and making the proper adjustments to apply it to post-surgery patients.

To gather data at UM, Loenneke and his team study the effects of blood flow therapy on healthy people, ages 18-35, by applying the cuff and measuring what happens in different situations.

“Sometimes we study the effects of this therapy with no exercise at all, and sometimes we do it with exercise and training,” he said. “We get the data, write it up and publish it. Our work is primarily published within sports medicine-related journals.”

Blood flow restriction therapy benefits normal, healthy people in many ways, Loenneke said. While researching the methods, the team wanted to create a practical model using equipment that most lifters already have or could easily get, he said.

He has seen Ole Miss students using blood flow restriction therapy.

Blood flow restriction therapy works by slightly inflating a pressure cuff attached to a person’s limbs for a few minutes to restrict blood flow during exercise. UM photo by Sarah Sapp

“I’ve seen people doing it upstairs in the Turner Center,” Loenneke said. “I don’t think they know that a lot of the work put in creating those methods was actually done by people who are now here. It’s a really cool thing to see.”

Minsoo Kang, chair of the Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management, expressed his excitement for the lab’s research to be seen on an international stage.

“Dr. Loenneke and his research students have earned national attention for their work with blood flow restriction exercise over the past three years,” Kang said. “It is quite significant of him presenting at an international stage, which I believe will increase the visibility of our department, school and university.”

For more information about the UM Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management, visit

Group Brings Discussions of Slavery, Historic Preservation to UM

Several events set for students, faculty, staff and community members

The UM Slavery Research Group is hosting Joseph McGill to talk about the preservation of slave dwellings. McGill will host an overnight stay in the old kitchen behind Rowan Oak for select students and faculty members. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi Slavery Research Group will host several events April 18-22 that explore the stories of enslaved people in north Mississippi.

“Slave Dwellings: Rediscovering the Enslaved in North Mississippi” aims to discuss the narratives of the lives of enslaved people and the houses in which they lived.

“The goal of these events is to bring attention to the issue of slavery as it relates to the history of our campus,” said Jeffrey Jackson, UMSRG co-chair and associate professor of sociology. “We also hope to emphasize the importance of historical preservation and the need to preserve existing slave houses in the area.”

Jobie Hill, historic preservation architect, will deliver a lecture during a brown bag lunch on saving slave houses. Hill has conducted research to examine the homes of American slaves and started a database in 2012 to protect these structures and the information they provide to historians.

Slave Dwelling Project founder Joseph McGill also will deliver a presentation. The project’s mission is to raise awareness of these dwellings and assist with their preservation.

McGill, a descendant of slaves, had traveled to nearly 100 historic sites in more than 18 states to give lectures and spend the night in the slave dwellings.

“Now that I have the attention of the public by sleeping in extant slave dwellings, it is time to wake up and deliver the message that the people who lived in these structures were not a footnote in American history,” he said.

McGill will host an overnight stay for 12 Ole Miss history, sociology and anthropology students and faculty members in the old kitchen behind Rowan Oak.

“We hope that students who will be sleeping over with Joseph McGill will develop a deeper appreciation of what life was like for the enslaved and that this event will help us remember the legacies of slavery for our campus and our nation,” Jackson said.

This will be McGill’s fifth visit to the UM campus.

“He is looking forward to the opportunity to discuss preserving structures where slaves lived,” said Chuck Ross, UMSRG co-chair and director of African American studies. “His visits to these locations are helping to facilitate discussions about the institution of slavery, more importantly and specifically about the lives of the slaves themselves.”

The Slavery Research Group also will conduct a campus tour, detailing the history of slavery on campus.

The UMSRG has also partnered with the city of Holly Springs for this year’s “Behind the Big House” programming. The preservation initiative is aimed at interpreting the legacy of slavery through educational efforts and examination of historic sites.

This year’s focus is the Hugh Craft House, its slave quarters and kitchen on Memphis Street in Holly Springs. McGill will return to the site to spend the night in the structures.

Carolyn Freiwald, assistant professor of anthropology, will take students to the site to conduct an excavation of the slave quarters and kitchen area. A table exhibit of past finds at the site will be on display for the public.

The events are sponsored by the UM Slavery Research Group, Center for the Study of Southern Culture, Preserve Marshall County, Holly Springs Inc. and the Whiting Foundation.

Here is a full schedule of events that are free and open to the public:

Wednesday (April 18)

Saving Slave Houses – Noon, Barnard Observatory Tupelo Room

Slavery on Campus History Tour – 2 p.m., meet at the Department of Archives and Special Collections on the third floor of the J.D. Williams Library

The Slave Dwelling Project – 4 p.m., Barnard Observatory Tupelo Room

Friday (April 20)

Slavery in Antebellum North Mississippi – 4 p.m., Holly Springs Depot, 540 Van Dorn Ave., Holly Springs. Max Grivno, University of Southern Mississippi professor and historian, will deliver a lecture on his research.

For more information, visit

ACT 8 Experience Brings Magazine Industry Leaders to UM

Journalism students can interact with industry leaders at eighth annual media conference

OXFORD, Miss. – “Print Proud and Digital Smart” is the message of this year’s ACT 8 Experience, a one-of-a-kind magazine media conference at the University of Mississippi.

The ACT Experience, which stands for “amplify, clarify and testify,” is hosted by the Magazine Innovation Center at the Meek School of Journalism and New Media. This year’s conference, set for Tuesday through Friday (April 17-20), brings in the top names in every aspect of the magazine media industry for the only comprehensive conference of its kind in the country.

This year, the discussions focus on a multiplatform approach to magazine media brands, whether in print or digital. The main goal of the experience is to have students directly interact with industry professionals with the goal of landing a job in the magazine industry.

“The idea is that the experience is student-driven,” said Samir Husni, Ole Miss journalism professor and Magazine Innovation Center director. “That’s why these professionals come here. The presence of students in the audience has a positive effect on the speaker, in which they lose their guard and engage more freely with the future industry leaders when they are at an academic setting.”

Husni launched the annual conference in 2010 with 14 featured speakers. After just eight years, the conference has grown to feature more than 30 speakers and nearly 100 total attendees, including CEOs of major magazine and marketing companies, publishers, editors and other industry leaders.

Journalism and magazine students have opportunities to network with industry professionals from major companies including Hearst, Meredith, Trusted Media Brands, LSC Communications, Sappi Paper Co. North America, Democrat Printing, James G. Elliott Co., and Delta Magazine.

Jim Elliott, president of the James G. Elliott Co., has served as a sponsor for all past ACT conferences and has attended six. Elliott said this conference is by far his favorite.

“It is the most interactive and informative of all the conferences due to the way it is set up,” Elliott said. “It is not only the speakers and attendees, but also the interaction with the students that makes this so valuable. I’ve always gotten a number of great ideas from this conference, and as an added plus, a number of summer interns.”

Anna Grace Usery, a graduate student in integrated marketing communications from Elkmont, Alabama, hopes to strengthen her established relationships with industry professionals and gain more insight into today’s magazine industry.

“Even though it can be overwhelming to realize these professionals hold impressive titles, they still enjoy conversation with us students because they know we are the future magazine industry leaders,” Usery said. “They understand their love for all things magazines extends to providing an avenue for future leaders to succeed, which is the essence of this conference.”

Each year, students have received job offers as a result of the experience, Husni said.

“They have a captive audience with these CEOs, and some of them leave an impression,” Husni said. “Our ultimate goal as professors is to get a job for those students. I feel like we fail the students if we don’t provide them with jobs when they graduate.

“Anytime we put students first, including them in these events becomes the normal thing to do.”

Students also will accompany registered participants on a trip through the Delta to experience the music, food and culture of north Mississippi. The group will travel to Clarksdale to visit the Delta Blues Museum and the Shack Up Inn, ending the day with dinner and music at Ground Zero Blues Club.

“As a man who attends a dozen media conferences a year, Dr. Samir Husni’s ACT Experience at the University of Mississippi is the best,” said Bo Sacks, president of Precision Media Group. “There is no other event that mixes students and professionals in such an intimate and thoughtful environment.

“It is an opportunity for students to meet and mingle with top magazine leadership and sometimes even get a job. I have made lasting friendships there and look forward to it every year.”

ACT 8 Experience lectures will explore a range of topics related to the magazine industry, including storytelling, advertising, creating digital platforms, reaching audiences and creating the best print product.

All lectures are free and open to the public and will be conducted in the Overby Center Auditorium. Registration for the conference includes all meals, additional sessions and transportation to and from the Delta.

A full schedule and registration can be found at

Documentary About UM Professor Premiering at Tribeca Film Festival

Filmmaker V. Scott Balcerek screening 'Satan & Adam' after two decades of work

Adam Gussow

OXFORD, Miss. – The film industry is achieving big things as this year’s 17th annual Tribeca Film Festival is set to premiere 75 new films. Adam Gussow, University of Mississippi associate professor of English and Southern studies, is among the stars of the festival and will attend the Friday (April 20) premiere of “Satan & Adam,” a documentary about his longtime blues duo, in New York City.

“Satan & Adam” is the story of two emerging musicians who not only found each other, but their passion for blues, on the streets of Harlem. After 23 years of closely following the lives of Gussow and Sterling “Mr. Satan” Magee, filmmaker V. Scott Balcerek has finally finished the story of the acclaimed blues duo.

“It’s remarkable,” Gussow said. “I think it’s a film about a lot of things. First, I think it shows the potential of someone who looks old and broken down. It’s obviously about New York and the racial strife of the 1980s and ’90s.

“And in the end, I think it’s testifying to what Dr. King called ‘beloved community’: the ‘true interrelatedness’ of the human family.”

Gussow began his musical career when he picked up the harmonica at age 16, and he continued to play through his adolescence and into his college years. As a young white harmonica player, a Princeton graduate and Columbia graduate school dropout, Gussow was driving through the streets of Harlem in 1986 when he found “Satan,” an African-American guitarist and local legend.

The two men bonded over their love of music and immediately found their rhythm as a blues duo. They began as street musicians in Harlem in 1986 before taking their talents further as a touring act, playing at clubs across New York, until they were finally “discovered” in 1991.

They issued their first album, “Harlem Blues,” which was nominated for a W.C. Handy Award for traditional blues album, in 1991.

Promising young filmmaker V. Scott Balcerek found the duo in the fall of 1995 and instantly had the idea to make them the subject of his newest project. Balcerek’s other projects include the short documentary “Street Songs,” which received a Student Academy Award, and the acclaimed LeBron James documentary “More Than a Game.”

“Satan & Adam” was initially going to be filmed over the span of a few years, following the duo as they trailblazed their way through the New York music scene.

Although Balcerek started filming the musicians in the ’90s, he begins the documentary with original footage of the two men from the mid-’80s, in a moment when New York was rippling with racial tension and musical expression. More than two decades later, Balcerek’s efforts are complete.

“We’re all incredibly excited to be going up to New York,” Gussow said. “We’ll be there for the screenings at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 20 and 21 – they’re all sold out, too. We’re really hoping for the best-case scenario with it.”

The Tribeca Film Festival, founded in 2001 by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff, has evolved into a cultural event that brings together visionaries across industries and diverse audiences. It celebrates the power of storytelling in a variety of forms.

As a platform for creative expression, independent filmmaking, and immersive entertainment, Tribeca champions emerging and established voices, discovers award-winning filmmakers and creators, curates innovative experiences, and introduces new technology and ideas through premieres, exhibitions, talks and live performances. This year’s festival runs April 18-29.

See for a list of showings.

Jaz Brisack Named UM’s 15th Truman Scholar

Oxford junior was among three Ole Miss finalists for prestigious award

Jaz Brisack (center) is congratulated by Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter (left) and Douglass Sullivan-Gonzalez, dean of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, on being named the university’s 15th Harry S. Truman Scholar. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Jaz Brisack, a junior at the University of Mississippi, has been named the university’s 15th Harry S. Truman Scholar. Brisack was one of three UM finalists for the coveted scholarship.

Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter surprised the Oxford native and Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College student Wednesday (April 11) with the announcement in the Lyceum.

“Jaz Brisack is upholding our strong and distinguished tradition of student excellence and public service,” Vitter said. “We are so pleased to offer programs and learning opportunities that prepare our students to be competitive on a national stage.”

Brisack’s honors include having an article, “Organizing Unions as Social Policy,” published in the Global Encyclopedia of Public Policy, being a winner in the Creative Nonfiction division of the Southern Literary Festival and receiving the UM Outstanding Freshman award. A National Merit Scholar finalist, she is also a member of the UM debate team and a recipient of Honors College Extraordinary Research Funds and Penny Leeton Service Award.

Brisack’s plans include earning a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and later working with a small and independent union or network of unions to help empower workers to bring democratic processes to their workplaces. 

“I want to help create a network of independent locals with self-determination that retain nationwide leverage while maintaining a decentralized approach,” Brisack said.

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, the federal memorial to the 33rd U.S. president, awards merit-based scholarships to college students who plan to pursue careers in government or elsewhere in public service. Truman Scholars receive up to $30,000 for graduate or professional school, participate in leadership development activities and have special opportunities for internships and employment with the federal government.

For more about the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, visit

Botanical Experts Gather in Oxford for International Conference

UM School of Pharmacy and NCNPR welcome 280 conference attendees

Attendees at the 18th annual International Conference on the Science of Botanicals had more than 75 presentations from which to choose, on topics ranging from the history of cannabis as medicine to dietary supplements’ effect on the liver. UM photo by Whitney Tarpy

OXFORD, Miss. – Scientists and visitors from around the globe gathered in Oxford this week (April 9-12) for the 18th annual International Conference on the Science of Botanicals.

Organized and hosted by the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, the conference welcomed 280 registrants from universities, government and business institutions who explored the topic of synergy between natural products and human health. Participants discussed current research topics related to natural products research, development, safety, quality and regulations.

“With the NCNPR being internationally known for its botanical products expertise, the conference is a great opportunity to bring natural products experts to Oxford,” said Ikhlas Khan, NCNPR director. “ICSB continues to be instrumental in facilitating conversation related to botanicals among scientists and industry leaders.”

Steven Tave, director of the Office of Dietary Supplement Programs at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, served as a special guest speaker at the conference’s opening session. John Finley, the national program leader for human nutrition at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, followed Tave with the keynote address.

Numerous internationally recognized experts and researchers in the field of botanicals presented at the conference, including attendees from Australia, Central America and Africa, as well as representatives from U.S. Pharmacopeia, Procter & Gamble, DuPont and Waters Corp.

“Over the past 18 years, this conference has really evolved into a symposium on basic medical research and botanicals,” said Joseph Betz, director of the Dietary Supplements Methods and Reference Materials Program at the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements. “The scope has increased, the quality of presentations from international researchers has increased, the distance people are willing to travel has increased, so it’s just gotten better every year.”

Steven Tave, director of the FDA Office of Dietary Supplement Programs, speaks during the conference’s opening session. UM photo by Whitney Tarpy

Attendees had a chance to socialize and explore the Ole Miss campus and Oxford community. Events included dinner each evening with different local and international cuisines, an afternoon picnic with competitive field games and tours of NCNPR facilities and the School of Pharmacy’s medicinal plant garden.

“This is my favorite conference,” said Wendy Applequist from the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. “It has a diverse attendance that keeps it interesting, but it’s small enough that you can see most of the talks that interest you and meet most of the people you’d like to meet. It’s simultaneously international and intimate.”

The National Center for Natural Products Research was founded in 1995 to research, develop and commercialize potentially useful natural products. NCNPR collaborates with academia, government and the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries to create natural products that can be used to improve human health and agriculture as crops, pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements and agrochemicals.

For more information on programs at NCNPR, visit

Pharmacy School Introduces Application Option for Rising Sophomores

Advanced Standing Program offers qualified students seat in professional program

Ole Miss pharmacy students work in a skills lab on the Oxford campus. UM photo by Sydney Slotkin DuPriest

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy is providing university freshmen a new way to secure their spot in its professional pharmacy program with the Sophomore Advanced Standing Program.

The program allows qualified UM freshmen to earn a guaranteed seat in the School of Pharmacy’s professional program, thereby avoiding the competitive selection process for regular entry admission that normally occurs during a pre-pharmacy major’s junior year. Upon completion of three years of pre-pharmacy courses and one year of professional courses, students also will receive a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Upon earning the B.S.P.S., student pharmacists then complete three additional years of the professional program before earning a Doctor of Pharmacy, or Pharm.D., and sitting for the national licensure exam to practice pharmacy.

Chelsea Bennett, the school’s assistant dean for student services in Oxford, said that the Sophomore Advanced Standing Program is an excellent opportunity for Ole Miss freshmen to enter the professional program and take advantage of other benefits the school offers.

“We have some exciting plans in place for our new Sophomore Advanced Standing students,” Bennett said. “They’ll have opportunities to take part in site visits, shadow pharmacists and be involved in our pharmacy student body events and professional organizations.”

This program is ideal for freshmen interested in pharmacy who did not enroll in the Early Entry program before they began their first year at Ole Miss.

“We are thrilled to offer another opportunity for aspiring pharmacists to join our program,” said David D. Allen, dean of the School of Pharmacy. “These high-achieving students will benefit from our amazing faculty and facilities as they prepare for this diverse profession.”

The deadline to apply is May 1.

Eligible UM freshmen must be enrolled in a minimum of 14 hours per semester during their freshman year, have completed freshman science courses for the B.S.P.S. degree requirements by the end of July and hold a 3.25 GPA or better in their attempted courses. A minimum composite ACT of 25 is also preferred.

To apply or for more information, visit

UM Departments Help Quitman County Schools Host Career and Health Fair

Students and faculty provide health assessments for Marks community

Marta Dees (right), a food and nutrition services graduate student from Oxford, discusses several of the health posters on display with Quitman County High School students at a career and health fair hosted by the University of Mississippi and the Quitman County Career and Technical Center. Photo by Michaela Cooper

OXFORD, Miss. – Faculty and students from the University of Mississippi recently helped coordinate and host the Quitman County Career and Health Fair to educate Marks-area high school students and community members on career opportunities and healthy living.

The career and health fair stemmed from the university’s partnership with the Marks Project, a nonprofit, community-based outreach program launched in 2016 that focuses on improving the overall quality of life for citizens of this struggling Delta community – a project supported by numerous, interdisciplinary faculty delegates from Ole Miss.

Kegi Wells, Quitman County curriculum coordinator and member of the Marks Project, expressed a need for a career fair to help inspire high school students. With the imminent opening of a community fitness center, where UM volunteers will help conduct regular health assessments, the group decided to expand the career fair to include a health component.

“Our students, along with student volunteers from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, were trained at the University of Mississippi Medical Center to collect blood glucose samples and blood pressure readings, as well as calculate body-mass index,” said Georgianna Mann, assistant professor of nutrition and hospitality management.

“We want to get a baseline indication of what health looks like in Marks, so our students can know what to expect when they begin helping at the fitness center.”

Besides gathering data, this event was meant to help Quitman County students become aware of all the opportunities available to them and to help the Marks community become better connected to outside communities, Mann said.

Kymberle Gordon, of Canandaigua, New York, works with the Marks Project and is earning her doctorate in nutrition and hospitality management. She finds the community to be a welcoming place to conduct research and knows the importance of understanding its culture while researching.

“You can come into a community and assume that people think a certain way,” Gordon said. “But until you actually get feedback from the community members, you don’t really know what they think is important.”

At the event, Gordon gathered data to better understand the food environment and level of physical activity in Quitman County by conducting a food access and physical activity survey.

Dria Price, a senior Spanish, nutrition and international studies major from Oxford, attended the event to begin observing fellow student researchers in preparation for her upcoming project examining food insecurity in Quitman County.

“I think any research going on in the Marks community is really great, because I know the research won’t just be published and die,” Price said. “The people that are invested in this community will be able to use the research to help make it better, and that’s what I am excited about.”

Connor Ball (left), a senior pre-med biology student from Madison, talks with Quitman County High School students about the importance of hydration and healthy snacking. Photo by Michaela Cooper

Anne Cafer, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology, regularly works with the Marks Project and helped organize the student-led effort.

This project is just one component of the university’s larger effort to meet needs that communities have through outreach and engagement, Cafer said. The projects she has students complete are based on the needs of communities.

“We don’t come to communities and say, ‘This is what we want to do,'” Cafer said. “We come to them and ask what things we can help with. Each semester, the projects my students work on are projects the community has told me they want help with.”

Connor Ball, a senior pre-med biology student from Madison, reached out to Cafer when searching for a research project based in health and nutrition to help with his medical school application. He joined other UM students in hosting a poster session that explained to participants the importance of hydration, dental hygiene, drug and alcohol awareness, portion control, and smart snacking.

“We study what the issues are, where they come from and what kind of solutions we can create for the future to produce a steady incline in the health and nutrition status here,” Ball said.

One of the group’s goals is to increase citizens’ knowledge of health and how to treat themselves, Ball said, explaining that collecting data allows the team to find trends and detect specific issues.

“Maybe blood sugar is really high,” he said. “We can consider it an issue, and we can tackle it. We can go in and change people’s diet and their understanding of what causes blood sugar to surge.”

The Quitman County School District and its Career and Technical Center coordinated the event. Partnering with the university and adding a health component offered students a range of valuable information, said Cynthia Washington, the district’s career technical education director.

“We want our students to see all of the avenues and opportunities available to them through this partnership with Ole Miss,” Washington said. “The health component is vital for our students to know that along with having careers, they also need to be healthy.”

For more information on the Marks Project, visit For more information about UM programs in nutrition and hospitality management, visit

Pharmacy Student Elected Speaker of National Professional Society

Third-year student pharmacist Regan Tyler named to Phi Lambda Sigma's Executive Committee

Regan Tyler

OXFORD, Miss. – Regan Tyler, a third-year student at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, was elected as Phi Lambda Sigma’s speaker of the house during the organization’s national meeting, held in conjunction with the American Pharmacists Association annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.

Phi Lambda Sigma is a pharmacy leadership society that aims to develop leadership qualities among student pharmacists to strengthen the future of the pharmacy profession.

In Tyler’s new role on the Executive Committee, she will control the annual PLS House of Delegates meeting, serve as a voice for student pharmacists on the committee during monthly conferences and attend the annual Executive Committee retreat in June to discuss its mission for the upcoming year.

“Honestly, I was in shock,” Tyler said of being elected. “It really did not hit me that I had been elected until the current speaker of the house asked me to return to the podium to dismiss the House of Delegates as my first ‘act of duty.'”

A native of Collierville, Tennessee, and president of the Ole Miss pharmacy student body, Tyler knew she wanted to serve PLS at the national level after the organization provided her with many opportunities to grow as a leader. She noted that attending the organization’s retreats helped her fine-tune her public speaking and learn more about her leadership style.

As she approaches her final year of pharmacy school, Tyler plans to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical industry as a medical science liaison or the medical information field. She believes her role as speaker will help her achieve her professional goals as she meets other leaders in the pharmacy profession.

“Regan is very deserving of this national recognition and responsibility,” said David D. Allen, dean of the School of Pharmacy. “She does a wonderful job leading as student body president, and I’m excited to see how she will impact the future of pharmacy.”

Ole Miss is actively involved in PLS. Fourth-year student pharmacist Kathy Lee Barrack serves as president of the local chapter, making her a House of Delegates member, and School of Pharmacy alumna Jillian Foster is the organization’s parliamentarian.

The school’s chapter also initiates between 20 and 30 students and several faculty members each spring.