Going Above and Beyond: UM Winter Weather Shout-outs

Ole Miss campus community shares thanks, appreciation following winter weather

UM faculty, staff and students overcame obstacles and challenges brought on by the winter weather to keep the university’s mission on track. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

OXFORD, Miss. – As snow and ice covered Oxford, Lafayette County and much of the South last week, University of Mississippi faculty, staff and students overcame obstacles and challenges brought on by the winter weather to keep the university’s mission on track.

Ole Miss News asked the campus community to recognize colleagues and departments across campus who went above and beyond last week. While this list is in no way exhaustive, below is a compilation of some of those responses we received regarding the amazing work that happened across our campus last week:


Grove Grocery: Grove Grocery (food pantry) students worked hard in preparation for the winter weather and during the winter weather to pack up emergency grab-and-go food bags for our community.

University and local first responders: Thanks to our amazing first responders who have been working in these adverse weather conditions around the clock over the past week helping to keep our campus and our communities safe!

University Health Center: Even though the University Health Services had to close during the extreme winter weather – especially when a burst pipe that caused flooding – it didn’t stop Millie Wright (nurse practitioner) and Alex Langhart (director) from making a “house call” to a student in a dorm who needed some medical attention. Great job keeping the campus healthy even in snow/ice, frigid temps and hazardous road conditions!

Office of Admissions: On, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday the entire admissions department worked remotely. The recruiters continually reached out to prospective students and the admission specialist continued to process applications and admit students. Great job, team!

School of Business Administration advising office: The advising office has met with students via Google Meets and continued to answer emails and respond to pre-advising questions.

Facilities Management: Thanks for being a great UM partner and supporting Student and Employee Health during our unfortunate pipe burst.

Crisis Action Team: Huge shout-out and thanks to these great people for their tireless efforts and support over the past week!

School of Education Communication Team: For always going above and beyond to engage students and for working as a team to use social media to positively show all the great things that SOE and UM continue to do.

Community Assistants, Student Housing: Due to the icy road conditions, many of our community desk assistants, who work our front desks in the residence halls, have not been able to make their shifts on campus. Therefore, our community assistants across campus within Student Housing have worked a lot of open desk shifts, navigated keeping residents informed of the available resources on campus, and all while maintaining their online school work. Their work often goes unnoticed and they are critical to keeping our communities and students on campus informed and safe!


Peter and Hope Tulchinsky: Shout-out for the Tulchinskys for going above and beyond for their campus community this week! After having some difficulty navigating on the icy roads, a student was found upset and sitting in the middle of the road in their vehicle. Peter and Hope were happy to assist this student in getting – themselves and their car – back to Luckyday safely!

UM Vivarium (animal facility) staff: Harry, Penni, Anne, Jeff and Brittney in the vivarium, as always, went above and beyond this week to maintain critical research functions. Thank you all!

Stacey Reycraft and Student Disability Services: Thank you, Stacey, for always being a supportive and flexible supervisor. You always allow us to take care of ourselves and our families without fear of punishment or judgement. I appreciate you.

Student Housing: Huge thanks to Jillian Webber, Darian Dye, Carl Edwards, Bradley Westbook and all the CAs, maintenance and custodial teams who have been responding to the weather issues in the residence halls, particularly Campus Walk. They are out there in the ice and snow helping students while the rest of us are stuck at home, and we are so incredibly appreciative of their hard work!

Facilities Management – Custodial Services: Oscar Terrell Parham. I recently served on a search committee with Oscar and I was reminded how dedicated and how much he cares for the university. Then a week later, I learned of his tireless work assisting with busted pipes – including working through the night to help with Student Pharmacy. Well done, Oscar! He is a university gem.

Iveta Imre and the Jour 480 Advanced TV Reporting Class: People on campus and throughout Oxford and Lafayette County were hungry for information about the winter storm and its impact. The students in Jour 480: Advanced TV Reporting did an amazing job of putting together a newscast that kept the community updated on this historic event: https://youtu.be/O5I7GAlYLMU

Mike Bruner – Student Housing Maintenance: Mike has been on call for Student Housing as one of two maintenance employees who have been able to make it campus. He has had minimal sleep, has handled multiple leaks and a buildingwide flood, and helped a countless number of students in our residential communities. He is a rock star and we could not have survived without him!

Josh Glasz and the entire Crisis Action Team: Josh and the CAT held multiple meetings over the past week to review forecasts and other intel to arrive at recommendations for campus operations intended to keep everyone safe!

Nicole Ashpole: Nicole went above and beyond to help handle emergent facility issues and save research. Thank you!

Facilities Management and Oscar Parham: On Tuesday, Feb. 16, a pipe broke and flooded Student Health with a couple of inches of water – it was a disaster. Dean Hansen immediately had his team deployed in all the ice to cut off the water and replace the pipe. Oscar Parham came with his team, and they stayed for hours cleaning up water, debris and drying the carpeted areas. The next morning, the floors were completely dry and ready to start putting everything back together. Thank you so much to Oscar and the rest of Facilities Management who responded to our call for help and stayed extremely late to get the job done. University Health Services appreciates you!

Jeffrey Watt, professor of history: During this past week, Jeff kept going to his office, walking to campus through Faulkner’s woods.

Charlie Ramage, Student Academic Services: While the snow was coming down and campus was closed, Charlie Ramage was on Zoom with his students making sure they had the resources needed as many class due dates remained in place. His dedication to make the best of being snowed in shows his true work ethic!

Sam Johnson, Tom Dickerson, Steven Boatright, Joe Veazey, Edward Duke Landscape Services Department: These particular workers from Landscape Services drove in unfavorable road conditions to get to work. Ole Miss campus was in need for sidewalk, road and parking lot snow/ice clearing and trash removal, and these folks came to work to get a job done. This was a cold job to endear, but these workers in landscape services helped make the campus a safer environment. So, hopefully, there aren’t too many slips and falls and everyone got to where he or she needed to go.

Cory, Aja, Shonda, Nancy, Paula, Aaron, Alonzo, Keunte, Julie, Hannah – The Inn at Ole Miss: Way to make our guests feel like family. All of you went above and beyond. All I can say is that we have rock stars working at this hotel.

Department of BioMolecular Sciences: We had so many people, faculty, staff and students in BMS go above and beyond to keep our animals and equipment safe, our experiments going despite the cold, and clean up from multiple water leaks. While I am sure I am not listing everyone, some standouts were: Dr. Nicole Ashpole, Dr. Paul Boudreau, Dr. Marc Slattery, Dr. Tess McCann, Ashton Custer, Maggie Craze, Alyssa Whitehead and Mohammed Salahuddin. I am incredibly grateful for everyone’s dedication and help through the week. I’m ready for spring now!