Homecoming Week to Feature Variety of Fun Events

Activities begin Monday on campus

The Pride of the South leads the 2107 Homecoming Parade and Pep Rally. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

OXFORD, Miss. – Starting Monday (Oct. 1), the University of Mississippi’s homecoming week will be in full swing. For students, faculty and members of the greater Oxford community, the week will be an opportunity to show some school spirit.

Here’s a list of the events scheduled for homecoming week, highlighted by Saturday (Oct. 6) afternoon’s showdown between the Rebels and the University of Louisiana at Monroe Warhawks:

Monday (Oct. 1)             

Homecoming Art Market – 10 a.m.-2 p.m., the Circle – Come enjoy this open-air market brought to you by the Student Activities Association.

Silent Disco – 9-11 p.m., the Grove – This dance party is one the likes of which you’ve probably never experienced, so come by the Grove Monday night to dance like no one’s listening. In case of rain, the event will be held in the Student Union Ballroom.

Tuesday (Oct. 2)

Alumni Association Class Cab – 10 a.m.-1 p.m. – Catch a ride to class on the class cab. Departs from Triplett Alumni Center.

Wheel of Wow – 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Galtney-Lott Plaza – Come one, come all and spin the wheel for a chance to win various giveaways for students. This event is sponsored by the Student Activities Association.

Trivia Night – 6:30-7:30 p.m., Student Union Ballroom – A great chance to meet some new people over some trivia and free food. This event is sponsored by the Student Activities Association.

Wednesday (Oct. 3)

Alumni Association Class Cab – 10 a.m.-1 p.m. – Catch a ride to class on the class cab. Departs from Triplett Alumni Center.

Mechanical Shark and Popcorn – 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Galtney-Lott Plaza – Daring people are invited to come ride a mechanical shark. Be honest, how long have you been waiting to ride a Landshark?

Antonina and David: The Mentalists – 7-8 p.m., Student Union Ballroom – Prepare to have your mind blown in this extraordinary show of telepathy and mindreading. Skeptics welcome.

Thursday (Oct. 4)

Free Sno-Biz with SAA – 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Galtney-Lott Plaza – Stop by and get a snow cone.

Meet-and-Greet the Homecoming Court – Noon-1 p.m., the Circle – Come meet the ladies and gentlemen on the homecoming court.

Everybody’s Formal – 8 p.m.-midnight, The Jefferson – Come to the event where – get this – everybody’s invited. Dress in semiformal attire and get ready to dance the night away.

Friday (Oct. 5)

Coffee with a Cop – 7:30-9 a.m., Galtney Lott Plaza – Come enjoy free coffee, fruit juice, Shipley’s doughnuts and great conversation with local law enforcement.

Homecoming Parade and Pep Rally – 5:30 p.m. – Get ready to rally, folks. The parade begins at the Circle and continues to the Square for a pep rally.

Distinguished Alumni Awards Reception honoring the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Awards Recipients – 6 p.m., The Inn at Ole Miss – The Alumni Association hosts a reception honoring the winners of the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Awards.

Distinguished Alumni Awards Ceremony and Dinner (ticketed event) – 7 p.m., The Inn at Ole Miss – Following the reception is the ceremony and dinner in the Gertrude C. Ford Ballroom.

Saturday (Oct. 6)

Annual Meeting of the Alumni Association – 10 a.m., Triplett Alumni Center – Alumni and friends are encouraged to join the annual meeting. The Ole Miss Alumni Association will not be hosting Member Zone, but the building will be open 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. to enjoy coffee and fellowship.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Tailgate – Noon, the Grove – The undergraduate and graduate chapters of the organization will host a pre-game tailgate at Metcalf Lane and Walls Walk.

BSU, MOX, E.S.T.E.E.M., Gospel Choir, NAACP and Black Alumni Tailgate – Noon, the Grove – Join alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends for a pre-game tailgate.

English Department Alumni Tailgate – noon, Triplett Alumni Center lawn – Join English alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends for a pre-game tailgate.

School of Applied Sciences Alumni Tailgate – Noon, Yerby Center lawn – Join alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends for a pre-game tailgate.

School of Engineering Tailgate – Noon, Brevard Hall lawn ­­­– Join Engineering alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends for a pre-game tailgate.

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Tailgate – Noon, the Grove – The undergraduate and graduate chapters of the organization will host a pre-game tailgate at Metcalf Lane and Walls Walk.

Homecoming Game: Ole Miss vs. Louisiana-Monroe – 3 p.m., Vaught-Hemingway Stadium – Head over to the Vaught and check out the 2018 edition of the Ole Miss Rebels football team.

Halftime ceremonies – No ordinary halftime show; another reason why you should come cheer on the Rebels. The show will feature the introduction of the Alumni Awards Day recipients and the crowning of homecoming queen Hallie Gillam. Plus, a performance by the Pride of the South Marching Band.

Sunday (Oct. 7)

70th Annual Miss University Pageant – 5:30 p.m., Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts – This ticketed event will round out Homecoming week.

School of Applied Sciences Enrolls First Student in Gerontology Program

New interdisciplinary degree provides academic preparation, practical experience

Clark Ross (right) thanks his grandmother, Gloria McGregor, for encouraging him to pursue the new Bachelor of Science in Applied Gerontology. Photo by Sarah Sapp/School of Applied Sciences

OXFORD, Miss. – The School of Applied Sciences at the University of Mississippi recently welcomed its first student into the school’s new interprofessional degree program for applied gerontology.

Clark Ross, a junior community college transfer from Oxford, was exploring academic majors at UM when his maternal grandmother, Gloria McGregor, recommended considering a new interdisciplinary degree that provides students with preparation for a range of aging-related careers and graduate study.

McGregor was familiar with the quality associated with programs in the School of Applied Sciences and the types of students they attract. With 32 years of service at the university, McGregor worked in the school from its inception in 2001 to her retirement in 2007 with roles ranging from records coordinator to assistant to the dean.

“Students in applied sciences are all about people,” McGregor said. “They interact with people. They care about people.

“I see this new program being one that is really needed because we are an aging population. We will need services and people who are compassionate, not just looking at it as a job. We need people who really know what is expected of them. This is a great and much-needed program.”

The compassion McGregor described as inherent in the school’s students is easily spotted in her grandson.

“When my grandfather was diagnosed with leukemia, hospice care came in,” Ross said. “They helped him quite a bit. I was kind of like, ‘I like what these people do. They’re providing a needed service.’

“I’ve always known I want to help people, so I looked into this major.”

Longer lifespans signal an imminent population shift. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job market for aging-related occupations is projected to grow 17 percent from 2014 to 2024 across health care, education, government agency, community and private practice settings, much faster than average.

The Ole Miss program is designed to meet career goals of a broad spectrum of students and give them a competitive edge in the job market. Ross aims his career aspirations toward counseling.

“If you have a sick or dying family member, your mind is going a million miles an hour; you really don’t know what to do,” Ross said. “You may say you do, but it helps to have someone there for you.

“If I could be there for someone who has an aging or sick family member, they could count on me.”

Coursework across diverse disciplines such as communication sciences and disorders, nutrition, social work, exercise science, legal studies, and sports and recreation administration offers a holistic approach to understanding the many facets of aging.

Besides 35 hours of general education courses, students must complete 33 hours of professional applied gerontology core courses and 27 hours of additional support courses for applied gerontology to earn their Bachelor of Science in Applied Gerontology. Students will have exposure to additional disciplines while completing the general education and minor requirements.

They will graduate with career-ready skills or may choose to pursue graduate study. The degree was designed to fulfill many of the requirements for graduate study in programs across applied sciences.

The program’s interprofessional educational structure provides students with a comprehensive educational foundation, which includes program-directed seminars and diverse community engagement experiences.

“For students, the practical experiences and skills learned through community engagement and practicum include the opportunity to observe and interact with professionals engaged in day-to-day activities in an agency working with older adults or needs of the aging population,” said Marcia Cole, lecturer and director of internships and community engagement for the program.

The program includes experiential learning opportunities in diverse public and private organizations that advocate for and serve older adults. This will include organizations providing services to healthy older adults as well as those serving elders with long-term care and family support needs, veterans and elders with disabilities.

Along with Cole, the program is under the leadership of Teresa Carithers, the school’s interim dean, who serves as program director.

“It is so exciting to be involved in education with such relevance for the future,” Carithers said. “While the majority of applied gerontology graduates will migrate toward the elder care workforce, the broad scope of experiential internship opportunities will prepare students to enter almost any occupation or graduate school venue with abilities to provide leadership in policy development, customer service and discipline-specific quality of life engagement to older adults, who will constitute a much larger portion of the population in the near future.”

To provide expanded academic exposure, all applied gerontology majors must complete an official minor or declare a second major. Ross found his minor in cinema studies.

“It kind of sounds like a weird pairing, but film is one of the best ways to preserve a piece of history,” said Ross, who expresses a deep reverence for the elderly, especially his grandmother and great grandmothers.

“I think it might be fun if someone wanted to film an aging family member and have them talk about what they lived through and their experiences,” he said. “As people, we want to feel important and we want to have a purpose. Your story needs to be told; otherwise, people will stop caring.

“If you can get some of that on film, you have that for future generations. You never know who can benefit.”

For more information about the applied gerontology program, call 662-915-7900 or email applsci@olemiss.edu.

Department of Social Work Hosts Voter Empowerment Seminar

Speakers offer insights on professionals' role in activism

Amber Cain (left), of Florence, discusses ways to influence policy change with Clark Ross, of Oxford, at the recent Voter Empowerment Seminar. Photo by Halleigh Derrick

OXFORD, Miss. – With the November primaries around the corner, University of Mississippi social work students examined their professional responsibility to affect change through the power of voting during a recent Voter Empowerment Seminar.

“Voter empowerment is a way to engage more with the community,” said Amy Fisher, associate professor of social work. “Voting is an incredibly important part of social work.”

Existing evidence indicates that voter engagement increases individual well-being, advances civic participation and increases social justice, all central goals of the social work profession.

The seminar was part of the Department of Social Work’s Voter Empowerment Project, a yearlong, student-led community engagement project funded by the Council on Social Work Education and supported by Mississippi Votes and the Campus Election Engagement Project.

Fisher joins Na Youn Lee, assistant professor of social work; Patricia Digby, visiting clinical instructor; and Austin Conner, a master’s student in the department, in steering committee work for the project.

Mississippi Votes is a nonpartisan organization that offers programming and outreach strategies to empower young people, encourage civic engagement and educate communities on voting rights through place-based grassroots organizing. Arekia Bennet, the organization’s executive director, addressed voting history and laws in Mississippi, barriers to voting and why voting matters.

“It is important to lift up the history of Mississippi’s voting past in order to understand where we are now,” Bennet said.

Bennett encouraged students to explore barriers to voting and why voting matters. She emphasized that as social workers, it’s important to know what is going on around the state in terms of voting.

Amber Cain, a senior psychology major from Florence, is taking a social work course as an elective and attended the seminar.

“I learned a lot about measures taken that make voting more difficult not only in Mississippi’s past, with things like literacy tests and taxes, but also modern-day (barriers) like difficulties with transportation, lack of online technology and Mississippi having the longest list of felonies that make you ineligible to vote,” Cain said.

UM students work in small groups to create a voter action plan during the Voter Empowerment Seminar, hosted by the Department of Social Work. Photo by Halleigh Derrick

The Campus Election Engagement Project is a nonpartisan national organization that helps administrators, faculty, staff and student leaders at American colleges and universities engage students in federal, state and local elections. Chris Shefelton, Southeast regional director of the group, explained how students can actively use their voice to promote change.

Students were divided into teams and given a position, either for or against various voting policies, such as automatic voter registration. Shefelton illustrated step-by-step how to construct a plan to influence policy change.

The conference also included a presentation by Tanya Smith, executive director of the Nancy A. Humphreys Institute for Political Social Work. The institute works to increase political participation and influence of social workers and the communities they serve through education and training, research and agency-based nonpartisan voter engagement.

Smith encouraged students to think about how they are building political power in their communities.

“Shift your thinking of social work from being a helping professional to an empowering one,” Smith said. “We are training your capacity to be evangelists for voting.”

The seminar included social work students from the Oxford campus and from Tupelo campus via distance learning technology. It also was recorded for dissemination to the social work program housed at the UM DeSoto Center campus in Southaven.

“Social work as a profession works at multiple levels,” Lee said. “Faculty and staff started this Voter Empowerment Project pilot in hopes that our students get to try social work at the macro level, in our surrounding communities and in the state of Mississippi, and develop a special social work professional identity.”

For more information about the Department of Social Work, visit http://sw.olemiss.edu/.

Health Risk Behavior Expert Offers Suicide Prevention Insights

UM social work faculty member explains warning signs, interventions

Yi Jin Kim

OXFORD, Miss. – September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, a time dedicated to sharing information and resources about this sensitive and prevalent topic.

Each year, more than 41,000 people die by suicide, often as a result of untreated mental health conditions, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Sixty-five percent of all mental health professionals are social workers, and faculty in the University of Mississippi Department of Social Work are doing their part to study health risk behaviors related to mental health, including suicide.

“People normally show a sign before they commit suicide,” said Yi Jin Kim, assistant professor of social work who dedicates his research to health risk behaviors. “That’s why suicide is preventable in many cases. If we understand suicide warning signs, we can prevent loved ones’ tragedy.”

Kim described several common suicide warning signs that concerned friends and family members should be aware of, including hopelessness, excessive sadness or moodiness, sleep problems, reduced social relationships, changes in personality or appearance, self-harmful behavior, writing a suicide note, giving away personal possessions and cleaning his or her room.

Much like mental health conditions, suicidal thoughts can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. More than 70 risk factors are linked to suicide, but the most common root causes include a previous suicide attempt, having a family member or close friend who committed suicide, substance use and mental health issues, Kim said.

“There is a significant association between high level of stress and suicidal thoughts,” he said. “There are diverse factors that might increase stress level, such as low income, poor relationships with others, substance abuse and low life satisfactions.

“Exercise can be an excellent method to reduce stress level. Also, it can directly reduce suicidal thoughts.”

Kim encourages anyone who notices a loved one exhibiting suicidal behaviors to act.                                

“If you think the person is in an urgent situation, call 911,” he said. “If you do not know what to do, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to get support. You may want to get professional help by calling a crisis line for advice and referrals.

“Encourage the person to see a mental health professional, help locate a treatment facility or take them to a doctor’s appointment. You can also remove lethal means of suicide, such as a firearm.”

downloadable card is available that includes contacts for several 24/7 hotlines, including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

“Please print this and share it with anyone you believe is contemplating suicide or wants to prevent a loved ones’ suicide,” Kim said.

Students also can connect with support systems on the Ole Miss campus, including the Student Health CenterPsychological Services Center or the Counseling Center.

Amy Fisher, associate professor of social work, encourages students who are passionate about helping others struggling with mental health issues to consider a career path in social work. Licensed clinical social workers must complete a Master of Social Work for employment in supervisory, clinical and specialty practice.

“Our MSW program prepares graduates to become clinical mental health practitioners,” Fisher said. “Students receive direct training that enables to them to effectively assess suicide risk and intervene appropriately on a professional level.”

Since mental health plays such a critical role in community well-being, the department contributes research, including health risk behavior research, to the Community Wellbeing Flagship Constellation at the university. UM faculty work across disciplines to find new solutions to the health and social issues affecting not only Mississippi communities, but also the nation and the world.

For more information about becoming a social worker, contact the Department of Social Work at 662-915-7336 or email socialwork@olemiss.edu.

New Hires in Applied Sciences Position School for Research Expansion

Incoming faculty bring expertise in data analytics, clinical service and community engagement

Teresa Carithers (front, second from left), interim dean of the School of Applied Sciences, welcomes post-doctoral research associate Heontae Kim (front, left) and new faculty members Vishaka Rawool (front row, third from left) and Marcia Cole and (back row, from left) Taeyeon Oh, Thomas Andre, Min Jung Kim, Shaun Riebl and Ovuokerie Addoh. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi’s School of Applied Sciences recently welcomed seven faculty members to the university’s professional school where academic study, clinical training, creative research, service-learning and outreach aim to improve human health and well-being.

The new appointments span several of the school’s academic and service units:

Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management

With a 30 percent enrollment increase over the last three years and a 78 percent increase in research productivity since 2016, the Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management, or HESRM, welcomed four new assistant professors in Taeyeon Oh, Thomas Andre, Ovuokerie Addoh and Min Jung Kim to fill recent faculty vacancies.

With a Ph.D. from Seoul National University and post-doctoral research fellowship from the Center for Global Sports and Recreation Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University, Oh brings a research focus in data analytics of sport phenomena, sports marketing, and media and sports industry.

“(The Department of) Applied Sciences at the University of Mississippi pays attention and invests its resources in analytics, which is my primary research interest,” said Oh. “I was hired not only as new faculty, but also to help pioneer new programming in sport analytics.

“My primary concern is to build and develop new courses, making sure they fit well with the existing classes in the department,” Oh continued.

Oh brings new data analytics techniques that will enhance researchers’ abilities to work with big data and advanced statistical problems . These are welcome skills for the department’s new Health and Sports Analytics Laboratory, under the direction of department Chair Minsoo Kang, and the school’s new Applied Sciences Research and Analytics Laboratory, opening this year.

Andre brings teaching and research experience from both Clayton State University and Baylor University, where he earned his doctorate. He also brings experience in personal training, rehabilitation and wellness programming.

He is author and contributor to journal articles that span a wide range of research areas within his discipline, from resistance training and skeletal muscle adaptation to dehydration and supplemental performance nutrition.

Addoh joins the HESRM faculty with education and training in medicine from Igbinedion University Okada in Nigeria and health and kinesiology from Ole Miss. Addoh, an August 2018 doctoral graduate, has been named director of research engagement for the Jackson Heart Study’s Vanguard Center at Oxford.

“Within the next year, I will be creating a new lab, the Physical Activity Translational Health Science, or PATHS, Lab,” he said. “This new line of inquiry will be complementary to ongoing work in applied sciences.

“I hope to further integrate with the ongoing Flagship Constellation for Community Wellbeing. Within the next five years, I hope to contribute to the translation of research findings into community practice.”

This is Kim’s first full year as a faculty member, having joined HESRM in the spring with a background in sports management, organizational behavior and human resource management in sport from Florida State University. With previous work as an FSU sport management instructor and sports management graduate coordinator at East Stroudsburg University, she brings unique experience and research interests to the sport and recreation management area of HESRM.

Kim said she is looking forward to enhancing the sport and recreation management emphasis in the doctoral program and contributing to its success. Measurement and statistics are her strong suit, and Kim hopes to bring those skills to her doctoral students and the new departmental and schoolwide analytics laboratories. 

Communication Sciences and Disorders 

Vishaka Rawool joins the school as chair and professor of communication sciences and disorders. She was attracted to the School of Applied Sciences because of its wide breadth of departments and potential to conduct collaborative research across fields of health and human services.

Over the next five years, she hopes to ensure reaccreditation of the master’s program in speech-language pathology, improve the national ranking of the program and establish a doctoral program in communication sciences and disorders.

“My research interests are unique – prevention, diagnosis and remediation of age-related deficits in speech perception – relative to other research expertise in the department,” Rawool said. “I have 40-plus years of experience in providing clinical services, teaching and administration.”

Applied Gerontology

Marcia Cole’s advanced academic preparation in sociology provides a rich foundation for her new role as lecturer and director of internship and community engagement for the school’s new applied gerontology program.

She is well-acquainted with departments across the school from her previous roles as lecturer in nutrition and hospitality management from 2008 to 2016, adjunct instructor in legal studies in 2006 and associate director of projects in social work in 2003-05. Most recently she served as an academic mentor for students in the Fastrack Program in the College of Liberal Arts.

“I am excited about the new challenges involved in developing and implementing a new academic program,” Cole said. “By actively participating in the marketing of the applied gerontology program, I hope to increase the number of students who are educated and trained to meet the needs of the older adult population.”

Cole looks forward to increasing the number of community partnerships and collaborating with other gerontology practitioners and senior service entities.

Nutrition and Hospitality Management

Shaun Riebl, visiting assistant professor, joins the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management from recent appointments as clinical research coordinator with Duke University’s School of Medicine and clinical assistant professor with the University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. Riebl earned his doctorate in human nutrition, foods and exercise at Virginia Tech.

Riebl’s primary research interest is eating behaviors, with emphasis on disordered eating in athletes. This interest stems in large part from his clinical experience using medical nutrition therapy to address chronic disease, since behaviors around food play a big role in how clinicians manage a disease state with their patients.

Applied Sciences and Institute for Child Nutrition

Although he will not have a faculty role on campus, Heontae Kim, a visiting post-doctoral research associate, will play a very important role in the research the school’s faculty conduct through his role as data analyst and research consultant.

The Institute of Child Nutrition and the School of Applied Sciences will share Kim’s time and expertise.

“ICN has a wealth of data and information that will truly tell the story of the effectiveness of our trainings and resources,” said Aleshia Hall-Campbell, the institute’s executive director. “Having Dr. Kim on board to delve into the data and establish metrics to provide the evidence of our impact is groundbreaking for our organization.

“We’re currently conducting ongoing evaluations and assessments of our training programs, but having an in-house expert to assist with the data analytics and establishment of our research protocols is noteworthy and allows us to expand our evaluation efforts.”

Kim’s research consulting for the last four years at Middle Tennessee State University, where he earned his doctorate in human performance, was focused in kinesmetrics measurement and evaluation.

For more information about the School of Applied Sciences and its programs, visit http://sas.olemiss.edu/ or call 662-915-7900.

‘Succeed with Hearing Loss’ Support Group Sessions Offered this Fall

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and its Speech and Hearing Clinic is conducting a series of support group sessions for individuals with hearing loss.

Significant others, such as partners, children and siblings, also can participate in these sessions.

Examples of topics discussed during these group sessions include tips to improve communication, concerns with using hearing aids, handling difficult listening situations, emergency preparedness and self-advocacy.

During the fall 2018 semester, the sessions are set for 1-3 p.m. Sept. 7 and 21, Oct. 5 and 19, and Nov. 2, 16 and 30 in Room 106E on the first floor of the J.D. Williams library.

You need not have hearing aids to participate in these sessions, which are free of charge.

For those participating in the group aural rehab sessions, parking will be available in the spaces reserved for clients in the parking lot near George Hall. If you are interested in participating in these sessions, contact Rebecca Lowe at rl1@olemiss.edu or Vishakha Rawool at vrawool@olemiss.edu.

Alumna Establishes Endowment in Sister’s Memory

Gift will fund scholarships and other assistance for students in School of Applied Sciences

A planned gift from sisters ZonaDale Taylor (left) and the late Bonita Lyons will help support the School of Applied Sciences. Photo courtesy ZonaDale Taylor

OXFORD, Miss. – Bonita Lyons’ giving spirit is evident in the sentiments shared on her Facebook page.

“Hers was a life of purpose disguised as work,” posted Cory Major, who worked with Lyons in her capacity as director of academic status and retention services for the University of Memphis, a position the University of Mississippi graduate held for 16 years until she retired in 2008.

“She drew people to her and they left all the better for having known her. Some may forget what she said and what she did. But she will never be forgotten because of how she made us feel.”

Nyrone Hawkins, a student of Lyons’, wrote: “Doc, you are truly a special lady. Your spirit will always live within me. As I think back over our history together, I am truly blessed. You were the embodiment of Christ’s love. You took young people full of potential and showed them unconditional love … you were the picture of His love to so many of your children.”

Lyons of Memphis, Tennessee, received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education in 1969 from Ole Miss and a doctorate in education from the University of Memphis in 1977. She had no biological children, yet when she died in May 2017, she left a legacy among the young people she mentored and treated as her own, many of whom called her “Mom.”

Her legacy continues at Ole Miss, where generations of students will benefit from a scholarship endowment established in her memory.

With a $100,000 planned gift, Lyons’ sister, ZonaDale Taylor of Collierville, Tennessee, has established the Dr. Bonita Lyons and ZonaDale L. Taylor Legacy Endowment. Half the gift creates a scholarship for transfer students pursuing a degree in the UM School of Applied Sciences; the remainder is available as an emergency fund for students facing unforeseen financial crises.

“We always said we would do something together for Ole Miss,” said Taylor who earned a bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in home economics at UM in 1961. “You always think you have a lot of time and, although we had never signed an agreement, we had often discussed what we wanted to do.

“After her unexpected death, I wanted to fulfill the actions that we had discussed because our time at Ole Miss was a very important phase in our lives.”

Like her sister, Taylor spent part of her professional career as an educator, teaching at Mississippi State University and later at McNeese State University. Over time, both educators witnessed financial crises among their students.

“My sister often worked with students with limited means who were struggling academically,” Taylor said. “As a result, she started a program early on, where she would pass the hat in the office when somebody couldn’t get a book or needed to pay a fee or had other unexpected expenses.

“Using that example, I’ve requested that Ole Miss use these funds to help those in similar situations who don’t necessarily have the higher grade-point averages. While advising students, we both worked with people who really wanted a degree and whose grades were average because they were either working one or more jobs, or they had children to support and they just couldn’t meet basic needs. They had ability but they just didn’t have much time to study. We discussed this need many times.”

The sisters, who grew up in New Albany, just 30 miles from the Oxford campus, would attribute their philosophy of giving to their parents. For example, their mother always emphasized the importance of helping others and of preparing for life by first obtaining a college degree.

Their father set an example of generosity by planting a larger garden in order to share food with older people in the community.

“We did things very differently, my sister and I, but our final goals were very much the same regarding the importance of education,” Taylor said. “We’ve always tried to provide assistance to the people who need help in attaining an education.”

On completing coursework for her degree from Ole Miss, Taylor had an immediate job offer.

“I was not even able to walk to get my diploma because I had started to work as a home economist for Mississippi Power Co. in Meridian before the ceremony,” she remembered.

“I loved my job. I had a little company car and went to several small towns near Meridian, visiting schools to present programs and also visiting homes to teach people how to use the features of an appliance that they had purchased from the power company.”

In 1964, after almost five years in Meridian, Taylor accepted a position in Birmingham, Alabama, writing articles about household equipment, housing and home furnishings for Progressive Farmer magazine. It was during this time that The Progressive Farmer Co. was developing a new magazine for urban residents, and she became one of the founding editors of Southern Living magazine, which boasts a circulation of 2.8 million.

A few years later she married and joined her husband, Charles, a chemical engineer with PPG Industries, in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Taylor began working toward a master’s degree at McNeese State University.

Upon completion of this degree, she was recruited to teach at Mississippi State University, giving her husband an opportunity to pursue a master’s degree at his alma mater.

After completing his degree, the couple returned to Lake Charles, where she joined the Home Economics Department at McNeese and Charles returned to PPG. A few years later, they were transferred to Pittsburgh. There, she became manager of consumer and public affairs for Beecham Products USA, which would later merge with GlaxoSmithKline.

After retirement and 23 years in Pittsburgh, the couple moved to Collierville to be closer to her sister and their aging parents.

“We are deeply grateful to ZonaDale Taylor for her longtime interest in and support of higher education,” said Teresa Carithers, interim dean of the School of Applied Sciences. “ZonaDale has enjoyed an exceptional career, and we are proud to count her among the esteemed alumni of our great university.

“ZonaDale and Charles’s compassion for students who face financial crises will truly meet a need in (the School of) Applied Sciences, where we had very limited resources to assist in the past,” she said. “They have a true understanding of the impact that such a resource can have on a student’s ability to complete their education due to an unexpected change in their financial status.

“Many students transferring from community colleges face financial challenges as well. The Lyons and Taylor endowment will therefore be especially beneficial to these students and will help enable them to receive an education that will serve them well throughout their lives. We greatly appreciate ZonaDale’s generosity.”

Planned gifts award donors membership in the 1848 Society, named for the year the university welcomed its first students. The society recognizes those who thoughtfully provide for the university through bequests and deferred gifts.

For information on including Ole Miss in long-term estate planning, contact Sandra Guest at 662-915-5208 or sguest@olemiss.edu.

Additionally, the Dr. Bonita Lyons and ZonaDale L. Taylor Legacy Endowment is open to gifts from individuals and organizations. To contribute, send checks with the endowment name noted in the memo line to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655; or visit http://www.umfoundation.com/makeagift.

UM Faculty Help Mississippi Students ‘Fuel to Learn’

Pilot curriculum integrates nutrition knowledge into math and language arts

Thirteen fourth-grade teachers from north Mississippi are taking part in UM’s Fuel to Learn pilot program, which integrates nutrition with mathematics and English language arts. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

OXFORD, Miss. – Several north Mississippi fourth-grade teachers are taking part in a University of Mississippi study that aims to help children learn more about nutrition while also learning mathematics and English language arts.

Called “Fuel to Learn,” the project is funded by a grant from the Mississippi Center for Obesity Research at the UM Medical Center in Jackson and led by Ole Miss faculty, including Melinda Valliant and Kathy Knight of the School of Applied Sciences, and Alicia Stapp of the School of Education.

“The vision is that this will become a statewide curriculum,” said Stapp, an assistant professor of health and physical education. “We are starting this very, very small, which is how we want to start, but we hope to have a regional presence and then a statewide presence.

“We see no reason why there can’t be a curriculum for the whole state.”

Thirteen teachers are participating in the pilot program. In each lesson, students will learn a math or English language arts skill while also learning about healthy eating. For example, one lesson requires students to measure the grams of sugar in multiple beverages and then break that number down into milligrams.

The lessons are centered on five “key messages”: hydration, portion size, fruits and vegetables, dairy, and healthy snacks.

“These five key messages are the big things that can have a snowball effect and make a big difference,” said Valliant, an associate professor of nutrition. “This is an outstanding curriculum, and I think it will really help children have a better understanding of what a healthy diet looks like.”

During a meeting July 24 at Ole Miss, Knight, Stapp, Valliant and recent UM graduate Sarah Howell trained the teachers – who hail from Myrtle, New Albany and Potts Camp – to implement the curriculum, which provides ready-to-go lesson plans.

The pilot curriculum includes 10 lessons in math and 10 in English language arts. Each teacher received a kit of teaching materials for their classrooms, as well.

Each lesson is aligned with Mississippi College and Career Readiness Standards as well as learning objectives in individual subject areas. Developers hope that besides helping students learn, an increased literacy in nutrition will improve long-term educational outcomes.

“The relationship between academic performance and diet cannot be understated,” said Knight, an associate professor of nutrition. “Most of the beginning research in this area started in the ’60s and ’70s and showed that children who were malnourished did not learn as well (as children who were).”

During the event, Knight also explained that research concerning school breakfast programs show that children who eat full breakfasts perform better academically.

From September through January, the 13 teachers will implement the pilot with a pacing guide that requires them to use a minimum of two lesson plans per month in their classrooms and upload their results to an online portal.

“I think it’s great because it fits into the curriculum that I already teach and goes right along with state assessment,” said Kristi Cox of Myrtle Attendance Center.

Between lessons, the teachers took “Brain Breaks,” where they got to know one other better and participated in active movement exercises, which they can use in their own classrooms. The teachers also got a tour of the Olivia and Archie Manning Athletics Performance Center.

“They are not just giving us the lesson plans; they are teaching us how to integrate these lessons into what we are already doing,” said Farrah Speck of New Albany Middle School. “This is really valuable to me as a teacher.”

Jackson Heart Study Vanguard Center at Oxford Debuts New Leadership

School of Applied Sciences commits to building research capacity in early-stage researchers

Paul Loprinzi (center), associate professor of health, exercise science and recreation management, celebrates his appointment as primary investigator and administrator for the Jackson Heart Study Vanguard Center at Oxford alongside Tossi Ikuta (left), assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders, who will continue to serve as data curator and Vokay Addoh (right), assistant professor of health, exercise science and recreation management, who will serve as the new director of research engagement. Submitted photo

OXFORD, Miss. – The Oxford-based Jackson Heart Study Vanguard Center that serves as a secondary data repository for the largest single-site, prospective, epidemiologic investigation of cardiovascular disease among African-Americans ever undertaken is under new leadership from the School of Applied Sciences at the University of Mississippi.

Paul Loprinzi, associate professor of health, exercise science and recreation management, has accepted the appointment as primary investigator and administrator. Tossi Ikuta, assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders, will continue to serve as data curator, and Ovuokerie Addoh, assistant professor of health, exercise science and recreation management, will serve as director of research engagement.

“The purpose of JHS is to engage and mentor faculty and graduate students in collaborative research, analysis and ancillary study requests,” said Teresa Carithers, interim dean of applied sciences. “Part of mentorship and capacity-building is to recognize unique potential in early stage investigators.

“Each of these faculty have unique skills and can bring novel approaches to this population-based longitudinal study.”

Teresa Carithers

Carithers was invited in as an investigator with the original JHS exam and wrote the initial diet assessment protocols while serving as co-primary investigator for the diet and physical activity sub-study. The sub-study resulted in the validation and calibration of two culturally sensitive food frequency questionnaires in a successful collaboration with USDA researchers.

Carithers, along with Ben Banahan from the UM School of Pharmacy, submitted the IHL request for the Vanguard Center in Oxford and served as the initial co-primary investigators. Banahan will continue as primary investigator for the School of Pharmacy, and Carithers will continue as an investigator and mentor.

The School of Applied Sciences has been intentional about capacity building among faculty researchers, as current research requires more robust and novel conceptual design, Carithers said.

“I expect great success from the new applied sciences leadership based upon their ability to design and execute innovative research with interdisciplinary collaboration and support of minority investigators, both key elements to the overall Jackson Heart Study’s mission,” she said.

“Dr. Loprinzi is a prolific publisher and highly respected mentor with deep familiarity of the data needed to examine health and physical activity. Dr. Addoh, a new assistant professor, came to UM with a medical background before earning his Ph.D. with us, which will lend a new area of expertise to our team. Dr. Ikuta is a neuroscientist who manages monumental amounts of neuroimaging data in his own research, so he brings both technical skill and unique research interest to this study.”

Ben Banahan

Funded by the National Institute of Health, JHS is a community-based cohort study of risk factors for cardiovascular disease among adult African-American men and women living in the Jackson metropolitan area.

A collaboration among three Jackson-area academic institutions, JHS operates a field center and a coordinating center with the University of Mississippi Medical Center; a community outreach center and graduate training/education center with Jackson State University; and an undergraduate training and education center with Tougaloo College.

JHS is supported by contracts from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, part of the National Institutes of Health.

For more information about Jackson Heart Study or the work done at Vanguard Centers such as the one at UM’s Oxford campus, visit http://www.jacksonheartstudy.org.

New Chair Brings Opportunities for Communication Sciences and Disorders

Vishakha Rawool contributes rich clinical expertise, research background to program

Vishakha Rawool

OXFORD, Miss. – The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Mississippi, under the leadership of a new chair, Vishakha Rawool, is poised to enhance its training of speech-language-pathologists by expanding clinical services to individuals with speech, language and/or hearing disorders and research activities in the field.

The School of Applied Sciences welcomed Rawool as the new department chair for CSD on June 1, beginning her tenure at UM as the department explores spaces off-campus to expand its training, research and clinical operations.

“With 45 years of experience in audiology and speech-language pathology, Rawool has extensive clinical experience in providing comprehensive diagnostic and rehabilitative audiological services and overseeing graduate students in clinical practicum,” said Teresa Carithers, interim dean of applied sciences.

Chief among Rawool’s areas of research expertise are auditory processing, hearing disorders, prevention of hearing loss and age-related deficits in speech perception – all critical elements of the clinical services the department offers through its Speech and Hearing Center, HILL Program for children with receptive and expressive language disorder, early intervention services and literacy programming.

Rawool comes to Ole Miss from West Virginia University, where she was a tenured professor, director of graduate study in audiology and director of the Audiology Research Laboratory.

Before her work at West Virginia, Rawool served in tenured professor roles in communication sciences and disorders at Southwest Missouri State University and the Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology at Bloomberg University.

She is the author of two textbooks and several publications, serves on the international editorial review board for the Journal of Audiology and Otology and has served as a peer reviewer for more than a dozen journals, including the American Journal of Audiology, the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, Audiology Research and Health Education Research.

“Dr. Rawool brings with her a rich history of mentorship and scholarship,” Carithers said. “She is respected internationally for her contributions to the field of communication sciences and disorders. She will be an incredible addition to this thriving department, and I look forward to even greater productivity under her charge.”

The department is looking for an off-campus location to increase the amount of space for its clinics and programs that help thousands of people throughout the region each year. More square feet designated for operations will provide more room for clinicians to offer vital community services and train graduate students.

Communication Sciences and Disorders graduate students (center, right) Ann Hazel of Tupelo and Rae Godart of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, perform a routine evaluation in the UM Speech and Hearing Center. Photo by Sarah Sapp

During the 2016-17 academic year, 122 students earned bachelor’s degrees and 31 earned their master’s. In the last year, associated clinics, under the directorship of clinical instructor Brad Crowe and clinical assistant professor Rebecca Lowe, provided speech-language-hearing screening services to 4,066 individuals, completed speech-language diagnostic evaluation for 23 clients, and provided speech-language therapeutic services to 101 clients and audiological services to 732 clients.

Meanwhile, the HILL Program served 27 children, offering hands-on training to 18 undergraduate and 29 graduate students. All these services and programs are housed in 11,640 square feet of space in George Hall.

Besides making a clinical impact in the community, faculty in the department published research across diverse areas of research.

Davis Henderson is lead author of “Dynamic assessment of narratives among Navajo preschoolers,” soon to be published in the Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research. Toshikazu Ikuta was lead author of “White matter integrity in the fronto-striatal accumbofrontal tract predicts impulsivity,” published in Brain Imaging and Behavior earlier this year. This study is the first ever to isolate impulsivity pathways in the human brain.

In 2017, Susan Loveall was lead author of “A cross-sectional analysis of executive function in Down syndrome from 2 to 35 years,” published in the Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, while Gregory Snyder was lead author of “The role of mirror neurons relative to the core stuttering pathology and compensatory stuttering behaviors,” published in Clinical Archives of Communication Disorders.

The department capped off the academic year on a strong note as faculty garnered statewide and national honors in their field.

At the national level, Carolyn Higdon, professor of communication sciences and disorders, was inducted into the National Academy of Practice in Speech-Language Pathology as a distinguished scholar and fellow. At the state level, Lisa Ivy, clinical instructor and speech-language pathologist, won the Mississippi Speech Language Hearing Association’s Clinical Achievement Award, and Lowe won the Honors of the Association awards for her years of dedication and service to MSHA.

With a new department chair, prospective new facilities, growing clinics and faculty drawing statewide and national attention for their contributions to the discipline, the department and the populations it serves have a lot to look forward to in the year ahead.

For more information about the UM Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, visit http://csd.olemiss.edu/or call 662-915-7652.