Search Results for: graduate school

ChE Graduate Staying at UM for Law School

Sneed seeking juris doctor and career with successful firm


Lindsey Sneed

At a time when many University of Mississippi engineering graduates are securing their first position with an engineering company or pursuing graduate work in their fields, Lindsey Sneed of Jonesboro, Arkansas, is taking a different route.

Sneed, who graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, is staying in Oxford to begin studies at the UM School of Law, where she received a generous scholarship.

After considering the University of Arkansas for her undergraduate work, Sneed chose to attend the Ole Miss because of the opportunities available through the School of Engineering and the affordability of the university. She is confident that her engineering school experience will be beneficial as she pursues her law degree.

“Being a student in the School of Engineering has taught me a completely different way to approach and solve problems,” Sneed said. “Reasoning skills are key to the successful practice of law, and I feel that the Ole Miss School of Engineering has taught me that there is no problem too big or too hard.”

Sneed’s short-term goals include completing her law degree and passing the bar exam. She would also like to live in a larger city (such as Nashville, Tennessee) and join a reputable firm with an environmental or intellectual property practice. Ultimately, Sneed hopes to become a law firm partner or begin her own practice.

As an undergraduate, she has developed a passion for environmental engineering. She participated in a study abroad program at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom that focused on the field. She said she believes that the increasing interest in sustainable energy practices will lead to new technological advancements that require patent protection.

“While abroad at Leeds, I learned a lot about alternative energy, as well as the practicality and feasibility of different types of energy: solar, hydro, tidal, and wind power,” Sneed said. “The use of biomass as a fuel source was also touched upon.

“It was very interesting to analyze climate trends, and then discuss the different ways to try and fix some of the damage we’ve done over the past few decades. It was very much an ‘engineering’ approach to climate change.”

During her time outside of class, Sneed was involved with the Associated Student Body, Alpha Omicron Pi sorority and Mock Trial, and she served as treasurer of the Society of Women Engineers. She credits John O’Haver, director of UM’s Center for Mathematics and Science Education and professor of chemical engineering; and Peter Sukanek, professor of chemical engineering, for their mentoring and advice during her undergraduate experience.

Five Oxford High School Graduates Receive UM’s Highest Academic Award

OXFORD, Miss. – Five Oxford residents are among 59 University of Mississippi students to receive a 2013 Taylor Medal, the university’s highest academic award. The outstanding students were recognized recently during the 70th annual Honors Convocation at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.

They are seniors Jacqueline Grace Boyce, Samuel Liyang Di, Laura Jansen, Elyse Cosette Jensen and Alexandria Nicole Tidwell. Boyce, Jensen and Tidwell are slated for graduation May 11. Di and Jansen are scheduled to complete their degrees in May 2014.

Boyce is a senior international studies and German major in the College of Liberal Arts. She is a member of UM’s Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and Croft Institute for International Studies. Her other honors include membership in Phi Beta Kappa, UM’s highest academic honor in the liberal arts. She is a Croft Scholar and recipient of the Milden Language Award.

Di is a senior electrical engineering major in the School of Engineering. A member of the Honors College, he received the Eta Kappa Nu Outstanding Junior Engineer Award.

Jansen received the Taylor Medal as a senior hospitality management major in the School of Applied Sciences. She is also majoring in art in the College of Liberal Arts. Her other honors include listing on the Chancellor’s Honor Roll and receiving the Student Art Association Award.

Jensen is a senior physics major in the pre-med curriculum. A member of the Honors College, she is listed on the Chancellor’s Honor Roll. Her other honors include membership in Phi Beta Kappa and in Phi Kappa Phi, UM’s highest academic honor across all disciplines. She is a certified veterinary assistant.

Tidwell is a senior English major in the College of Liberal Arts. Her other honors include the W. Alton Bryant Award and AAUW Sarah Robinson Scholarship.

Taylor Medals recognize no more than 0.45 percent of undergraduates for meritorious scholarship and deportment. Recipients of the award must have at least a 3.90 grade-point average. The award was established at Ole Miss in 1904 by Dr. William A. Taylor of Booneville in memory of his son, an honored 1871 alumnus of the university.

UM Education Graduate Student Helps Rebuild Smithville School Library One Book at a Time

Application completed for class project lands $15,000 grant

Kerry Baker, librarian at Smithville High School, and school principal Chad "Coach" O'Brian show off the oversize check from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. UM photo by Jerra Scott.

OXFORD, Miss. – After an EF-5 tornado demolished the town of Smithville in April 2011, many citizens did not know where to begin to rebuild what was left of the lives they once knew.

For Kerry Baker, librarian at Smithville High School and an online graduate student at the University of Mississippi, one step toward recovery was landing a Beyond Words: Dollar General School Library Relief Fund grant worth $15,000 for the school where she has taught for 24 years.

“I was able to pursue the grant as part of my literacy classes,” explained Baker, who is earning a master’s degree in literacy education from UM. “The tornado wiped out the school. Right now, we’re on a temporary campus until August of 2013.”

The relief fund was created by Dollar General to help libraries recovering from major disasters. This grant will help provide replacement items, including books, media and equipment, that were destroyed by the violent storm that left the school unusable. In the library, the tornado did significant damage, shifting the roof and destroying literacy materials, including more than 800 books.Read the story …

Business School Doctoral Candidate Honored as Top Graduate Instructor


Laura Williams

Miss. – The accolades for Laura Williams resemble that of a Hollywood
blockbuster. “Engaging.” “Inspirational.” “Brilliant.”

graduate instructor in the University of Mississippi School of Business
Administration, Williams reaps such acclaim from her students, and the
praises haven’t gone unnoticed. She was recently honored with the
university’s 2008-09 Graduate Instructor/Teaching Assistant Award.

Williams truly is a remarkable teacher worthy of this prestigious
honor,” said Joi Todd, a sophomore business major from Jackson. “I
nominated her for the award because of the kindness, patience and
excellence exhibited both in her teaching style and personal conduct.”

Williams exemplifies amazing qualities,” said Katherine Sneed, a junior
accounting major from Jackson. “Within the first class, she knew each
and every one of our names. I’ve never had a teacher so eager to know
all of their students.”

A doctoral degree candidate in
organizational behavior in the UM business school, Williams said she
was thankful to receive the honor, sometimes called the Apple Award,
from UM’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. The award
includes a $1,000 prize.

Read the story …

Spring Ole Miss Graduate Coaches Surprise Winner of State’s High School Latin Exam

The poverty-stricken Mississippi Delta community of Hollandale might seem like an unlikely place to find a rising Latin program, but it is home to this year’s winner of the Magnolia State’s high school Latin examination.

Led by Mississippi Teacher Corps participant Austin Walker, an English teacher who graduates Saturday with a master’s in curriculum and instruction from the University of Mississippi, students at Simmons High School studied Latin this academic year for the first time in school history. The work paid off as Alexis Hicks, a 15-year-old sophomore, outscored students from established programs to take first place on the statewide high school Latin exam.

School of Pharmacy Graduates Post 100 Percent Pass Rate on Licensure Exam

OXFORD, Miss. – This year’s Doctor of Pharmacy graduates at
the University of Mississippi have posted a 100 percent
pass rate on their first attempt at the North American
Pharmacist Licensure Examination.


Read the story …

UM Graduate, Football Great Tutan Reyes Fell in Love with SEC via TV

His son, Ty Reyes, carries on the family tradition as a freshman at Ole Miss

Tutan Reyes played left tackle for Ole Miss in the late 1990s.

As a teenager in the early 1990s, Tutan Reyes spent Saturdays watching SEC football on TV. He liked the powerhouse programs: Alabama, Georgia and Ole Miss in particular.

He still clearly remembers watching speedy Ole Miss wide receiver Roell Preston dive into the end zone for the Rebs on one of the old Jefferson-Pilot broadcasts. 

The then-aspiring football player, who had grown up in Queens, New York, but spent time in Georgia, was getting offers to play college football. Ole Miss was the right fit for him. It was the family atmosphere he felt while visiting with a high school teammate that convinced him to come to campus, he said.

He earned a degree in business management and minored in marketing. Coming to the South to a large university that attracts students from around the world was beneficial for him, he said.

“To go from being a kid from New York and also being from the inner city, going down to Oxford taught me how to deal with different demographics and how to understand people who were culturally different from me,” Reyes said. “It taught me a lot. I just love Ole Miss for what it did for me, and my connection with the school is still very strong.”

After being converted from a tight end to a left tackle, Reyes started 25 games at Ole Miss and was named second team All SEC his senior season. He was a major reason the Rebels had the SEC’s second-best rushing attack, as he helped clear running lanes for legendary Ole Miss running back Deuce McAllister each Saturday. 

Tutan Reyes

The New Orleans Saints selected Reyes in the fifth round of the 2000 NFL draft, and he spent 10 seasons in the league including time with the Saints, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina Panthers, Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants and Houston Texans.

Today, Reyes lives in Kennesaw, Georgia, where he is a broadcaster for the Kennesaw State University football team and works in business development for the Atlanta Havoc arena football team. He is also founder and president of “Beyond the Boroughs,” which helps students across the country with their college tuition costs. 

Reyes still comes to Ole Miss football games and visits with his former teammates, who include Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke and former Ole Miss and NFL players Todd Wade, Terrence Metcalf and Derrick Burgess, who still live in Oxford. He said he feels a strong bond with the former players and those he met on campus. 

“It’s just the family vibe and the atmosphere there,” Reyes said. “There is that brotherhood because we took a shot at Ole Miss when Ole Miss was on probation, and we won games. That brotherhood is something I can’t help but appreciate.”

Ty Reyes. Photo by Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics

His love for Ole Miss rubbed off on his son, Ty Reyes, who is playing football for Ole Miss now and just completed his freshman year. Taking his son to college 20 years after he came to Ole Miss was special for Tutan Reyes.

“It’s just amazing being in the stadium and seeing that Reyes name out there on a jersey,” Reyes said.

Ty Reyes knew on his visit in 2014 that Ole Miss would be the right place for him. He and D.K. Metcalf, a wide receiver on the team, whose father, Terrence Metcalf, played with Tutan Reyes, grew up being close friends. 

He is enjoying the life of a college football player but is also very excited about learning the tools that will help him break into broadcasting like his father one day. At the Meek School of Journalism and New Media, he is learning to work both in front of and behind the camera. He is also minoring in Spanish. 

“I love it here,” Ty Reyes said. “I like the fan base and all of the culture around Ole Miss like walking through the Grove. It’s just a great place to learn broadcasting. Education is first, and having the tools here to succeed is one of the main things I love about being at Ole Miss.”


Pharmacy School Begins Cooperation with University of Chile

Agreement focuses on student exchange and collaborative research

David Allen (left), UM pharmacy dean, meets with Pablo Caviedes, director of the Center for Clinical Research and Studies at the University of Chile’s Faculty of Medicine. UM photo by Sydney Slotkin DuPriest

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi has signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of Chile’s Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences to collaborate on graduate education and research.

Although details of the collaborations are yet to be finalized, the agreement will initially focus on research collaborations and graduate and post-doctoral student exchanges between the School of Pharmacy and the University of Chile’s Santiago campus.

Potential collaborations could include training on the School of Pharmacy’s state-of-the-art nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy instruments, sharing of the synthetic facilities and natural product resources, and select graduate level courses offered through the departments of BioMolecular Sciences and Pharmacy Administration, said Soumyajit Majumdar, associate dean for research and graduate programs at Ole Miss.

“This collaboration will tremendously benefit graduate students, research scientists and faculty from both institutions by exposing them to different technologies, culture and ways of thinking,” Majumdar said.

Since the formal agreement includes the entire university, other schools could benefit as well.

“This agreement will open up exciting opportunities for students and for faculty research,” said Blair McElroy, the university’s interim senior international officer and director of study abroad. “We anticipate hosting Chilean students in labs on campus, fostering intercultural exchange in the teaching and learning environment at UM and helping to expand the horizons of UM students who study in Chile.”

Pablo Caviedes, director of the Center for Clinical Research and Studies at the University of Chile’s Faculty of Medicine, was instrumental in establishing the partnership. He hopes the agreememt will set a foundation for a long-term cooperation between the two institutions, including a dual degree program and a robust cooperation between his university and the National Center for Natural Products Research.

“NCNPR has enormous expertise and infrastructure in the study of new molecules derived from natural sources,” Caviedes said. “Chile, due mainly to its geographical isolation, possesses a vast and unique flora, which represents a source for a largely unexplored number of novel compounds.”

David D. Allen, dean of the School of Pharmacy, hopes the agreement will allow members of each institution to learn from each other.

“This kind of agreement not only contributes to the depth of our research, but promotes a better relationship with our scientific partners around the world,” Allen said.

“Science is the main tool available to humanity in the search for the truth and the advancement of knowledge for the better of mankind,” Caviedes said. “Such an undertaking necessitates the joint efforts of researchers around the globe. We hope our efforts under this new program will further this goal.”

Legal Studies Offers 3+3 Option with School of Law

Paralegal studies enhances program, adds new fast-track to Juris Doctorate

Susan Duncan, UM law dean (center) and Macey Edmondson, interim assistant dean for admissions and scholarships (left) join Linda Keena, interim chair of legal studies, to announce the launch of the Bachelor of Paralegal Studies 3+3 emphasis. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi is offering a new fast-track to the School of Law through a Bachelor of Paralegal Studies 3+3 emphasis in the Department of Legal Studies, reducing the time and tuition dollars needed to complete a bachelor’s and law degree.

Under this new pre-law emphasis for paralegal studies majors, a student’s fourth-year requirements for the B.P.S. are satisfied by completing first-year law school classes. The student must meet the law school’s admissions requirements, which are established each year based on the previous year’s data on grade-point averages and Law School Admission Test scores for students admitted to the school.

While there is no guaranteed entry to law school, students who designate this new emphasis of study are signaling their passion for the field.

“The fact that they picked an undergraduate degree that closely aligns with the legal profession shows us they have a strong interest in law,” said Susan Duncan, UM law dean.

In their first three years of study, students take courses in legal research and writing, civil litigation, and criminal law and procedure, providing them with a critical understanding of the total system of justice and the society in which it functions. An extensive internship program enables students to link classroom learning with practical experience.

In their fourth year, students will begin taking classes offered to first-year law students, including contracts, torts, civil procedure, property and constitutional law.

“We have students tell us, ‘I’m interested in law school. What should I major in?'” said Linda Keena, interim chair of legal studies. “Paralegal studies, if you look at the curriculum, is a perfect entree to law school. If you look at how the curriculum is set up, the focus is on critical thinking in every course, which is so beneficial in law school.”

Recruiting the best and brightest students to law school is a priority for Duncan and Macey Edmondson, the school’s interim admissions director.

“This program allows us to get strong students from our own institution,” Edmondson said. “We can work with them earlier and help them map out their law school path.

“I think students who engage in the 3+3 program are a little ahead of the curve because they will have had some experience with law firms and different legal backgrounds, so we can meet them where they are and guide them on their path.”

A student who chooses this emphasis but does not meet law school admissions requirements or elects not to attend law school can switch to legal studies’ paralegal emphasis and complete a fourth year of undergraduate study to earn their B.P.S.

“If a student decides not to go to law school, they will still have the expertise to do most of the legal research and work done in a law office under the supervision of a licensed attorney,” said Whitman Smith, UM admissions director. “This will be a major attraction to students interested in the legal profession.”

Campus leaders concerned about overall affordability point out the program’s cost savings for students.

“I think we have an obligation to try and hold down student debt,” Duncan said. “This is really attractive, because the students can take a whole year off the process and get into the workforce faster.

“These people know what they want to do, so let’s help them get there quicker and eliminate part of the tuition burden.”

The new emphasis is the brainchild of now-retired legal studies professor, Robert Mongue, who recently returned to Ole Miss as an adjunct faculty in legal studies.

“Once I began discussing this type of program with faculty from other institutions, it became clear that we owed it to our students, the university and the state of Mississippi to implement a 3+3 option for qualified students,” he said.

Several similar programs exist across the nation and seem to being doing well, Mongue said. In fact, the 3+3 concept appears to be a trend in legal education.

“My alma mater, the University of Maine, has one initiated by the law school,” Mongue said. “It has agreements with three undergraduate educational institutions, so some of my initial investigation was based there.

“However, since our model is a UM undergraduate-to-UM School of Law only, it is closer in operation to those at Fordham University, University of Central Florida, Florida State University and the University of Iowa, a top-50 law school that started its program in 2013.”

Before his retirement, Mongue created a supervisory board, soliciting help from legal professionals, educators and alumni to modify the paralegal studies curriculum, get valuable input about trends in the field and promote the program. He worked to enrich the curriculum with more critical thinking by adding courses such as logic and LA 440: Access to Justice.

Heather Joyner, paralegal studies coordinator and instructor. Submitted photo

Students who take Access to Justice can work for legal organizations, such as North Mississippi Rural Legal Services, that help populations without appropriate access to legal representation or services, said Heather Joyner, paralegal studies coordinator and instructor. Students get hands-on experience doing intakes and writing legal document, such as wills, for people with financial need.

Program internships also are available, ranging anywhere from the U.S. Attorney’s Office to private law firms, during students’ junior or senior year of undergraduate study.

“If a student wants to have part-time employment while they’re in law school, these internships and classes that give them real-world experience open doors for jobs in the legal profession,” Joyner said.

Previously an adjunct professor at UM and Northwest Mississippi Community College, Joyner served as assistant district attorney for the 1st Judicial District from 2002 to 2011 and public defender for Lee County Youth Court in 2000-02. She earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Alabama and her master’s degree in political science from Mississippi State University.

“The students entering higher level courses have shown marked improvement in being able to apply foundational knowledge in the upper-level courses since Heather started teaching,” Keena said. “Her contacts in law offices, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, state prosecutors’ offices and the like strengthen her credentials. We are very excited to have her join our faculty on a full-time basis.”

Stakeholders are optimistic that compressing the amount of time and money involved will provide opportunities for students to earn law degrees and apply that knowledge in a variety of fields outside of the courtroom.

“There is so much more you can do with a law degree other than being a litigator,” Keena said. “Many of our students are interested in homeland security, and there are things they can do with a law degree in that capacity.

“Entrepreneurially thinking, it is so helpful to have that law degree, so if at this stage, as freshmen and sophomores, they can start to see that there are options for them beyond being a litigator, I think we’ll see this 3+3 program blossom.”

For more information about the Bachelor of Paralegal Studies 3+3 emphasis, email

Estate Gift to Benefit UM Patterson School of Accountancy

Major contribution will establish new chair, among other support

Mary and Lucian Minor share a moment during the dedication of Minor Hall in 2013. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – A recent $6.3 million gift from the estate of alumnus and University of Mississippi supporter Lucian S. Minor will establish a new chair within the Patterson School of Accountancy while also providing scholarships and supporting the school’s academic programs and activities.

The Lucian S. Minor Chair of Accountancy Endowment will support the recruitment and retention of outstanding faculty to ensure that quality teaching, research and service will be available for generations of UM students, Dean Mark Wilder said.

“We are extremely grateful to Lucian Minor for his foresight to include the Patterson School of Accountancy in his estate planning,” Wilder said. “The generosity of Mr. Minor will enable us to ensure a quality education for students through scholarships, faculty support and operating funds for our program.

“We are honored to have the Lucian Minor name and legacy forever associated with the Patterson School of Accountancy.”

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.

Minor’s gift also establishes the Lucian S. Minor Accountancy Endowment, which will provide funds for academic programs and activities, and supplements the existing Lucian S. Minor Scholarship in Accountancy Endowment, established by Minor and his wife, Mary, in 1998.

“He was a remarkable individual whom I was very proud to have known well for many years,” said Larry Hardy, of Memphis. Hardy earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Ole Miss in 1968 and a master’s degree in accountancy in 1969. Minor hired Hardy to work for him at Ernst & Young right out of college.

“To have worked with him and then to have known him personally after working with him … he just became a really good friend,” Hardy said. “I was so pleased that he chose Ole Miss and the School of Accountancy to be the beneficiary of his will.”

A UM residence hall bears the Minor name – an honor awarded the couple in 2013 to acknowledge their generous and continued financial support.

“I’ve enjoyed my relationship with Ole Miss for many, many years,” Minor said at the time. “Many of the courses I took at Ole Miss contributed to my success in the business world, particularly the accounting field.

“I’m glad to share some of my success. Hopefully, some needy students will benefit from our gifts.”

Minor graduated from Ole Miss in 1937 with a degree in accounting. He was recruited by General Mills Inc. to join the company’s internal audit staff in Minneapolis, where he worked until beginning his service in the U.S. Navy in 1942.

He was stationed with Douglas Aircraft Co. in Los Angeles as a cost inspector and passed the CPA exam during his enlistment.

Minor was discharged as a lieutenant commander in 1946 and opened his own accounting firm in Memphis. During the next 20 years, his firm, Minor and Moore, grew to be the city’s largest accounting firm. In 1969 he merged his firm with the international accounting firm of Ernst & Ernst and became partner in charge of the Memphis office until his retirement in 1978.

He was inducted into the Patterson School of Accountancy’s Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Ole Miss Alumni Association’s Hall of Fame in 2005.

He served as a mentor to young professionals such as Hardy all his life.

“I’m glad now to see his name around campus on the building and on the scholarships that have been given out every year and soon to be associated with the chair of accountancy,” Hardy said. “I’m very pleased that he was able to do all that and pleased that he did it.”

Minor’s nephew Jim Moore, of Memphis, said his uncle’s decision to give back to the university likely stemmed from his upbringing.

“He came up during the Depression, so he was able to go to college when it wasn’t easy, and he knew how his own education helped him in his life and career,” Moore said. “He always had a strong desire to help people who wanted to get an education and improve themselves.

“He was very supportive of those who really wanted to work to get ahead. Also, he loved the accounting profession and was very dedicated to that.”

Moore said Minor enjoyed watching Rebel football, playing golf and entertaining friends while hunting quail and other game birds at his family’s Circle M. Ranch near Macon, his hometown, and later at his farm, “the Old Rainey Place” near Blue Mountain. Additionally, he was a member of Menasha Hunting and Fishing Club in Arkansas for more than 50 years and the Memphis Hunt and Polo Club.

“Private giving from extraordinary alumni and supporters like Lucian Minor is so vital to ensuring the margin of excellence for which our university has become renowned,” Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter said. “We are very appreciative of Mr. Minor’s generous gift, which will have a tremendous impact upon our highly-ranked Patterson School of Accountancy.

“It will help maintain accountancy’s stellar academic profile and accelerate its path of excellence, as well as extend Mr. Minor’s legacy.”

For information on including the university in long-term estate and financial plans, alumni and friends can visit or contact Sandra Guest, UM Foundation vice president, at 662-915-5208 or