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Volume 2, Issue 2
Friday, January 19, 2007
Edited by
Jennifer Rogers

Mississippi's Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning

News from the System University News
yellowarrowBoard Elects New Leadership Team yellowarrowSouthern Miss Luckyday Scholars Program Receives Recognition
yellowarrowNASH Initiative on Access and Success Adopted by Board yellowarrowASU Schools of Education, Psychology Accreditation Completed
yellowarrowHouse Appropriation Bill Passes; Senate Hearing Scheduled yellowarrowDelta State Tabs New Head Football Coach
yellowarrowReview Team Finalizes Grant Recommendations yellowarrowJSU Dedicates Dr. Matthew Holden, Jr., Reading Room
  yellowarrowMSU Organization Helps Students Make ‘Toast’ of Speaking Fears
  yellowarrowSmyth Named Chair of MUW’s Department of Graduate Nursing
  yellowarrowPsychology Researcher Helps Pioneer ACT Therapy
  yellowarrowWalking, Diet Help Mississippians Start! Heart-Healthy Living
For more IHL News, click here. To subscribe to this e-newsletter, click here.

Dr. L. Stacy Davidson, Jr., Board President-elect 

Ms. Amy Whitten, Board Vice President-elect
Board Elects New Leadership Team

During its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) elected Dr. L. Stacy Davidson, Jr., as its next Board President, and Ms. Amy Whitten as its next Board Vice President. Trustees Davidson and Whitten will begin their one-year terms on May 8, 2007. Dr. Davidson, who will succeed Dr. D.E. Magee, Jr., was appointed to the Board by Governor Ronnie Musgrove in May 2000 to represent the former Third Congressional District for a term to expire May 7, 2012. A resident of Cleveland, Mississippi, Dr. Davidson received his medical training from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine and has actively practiced opthalmology since 1960. Ms. Whitten was also appointed to the Board by Governor Ronnie Musgrove to represent the former Second Congressional District for a term to expire on May 7, 2012. She received Bachelors' and Juris Doctorate degrees from the University of Mississippi, and is currently a practicing attorney in Oxford. Ms. Whitten is also the founder of The Whitten Group, a consulting and development firm. The Board of Trustees is the constitutional governing body of the State Institutions of Higher Learning. Board members represent each congressional district and were appointed by the governor to serve nine- or twelve-year terms, depending on whether they were appointed before or after recent changes in legislation. Learn more about the Board of Trustees. In other business, the Board heard a presentation by Ms. E. Lander Medlin, Executive Vice President of the Association of Physical Plant Administrators, on a Facilities Management Evaluation Program for future Board consideration.
NASH Initiative on Access and Success Adopted by Board
During its monthly meeting, the IHL Board also approved the implementation of the National Association of System Heads (NASH) Initiative of Access and Success.  The initiative is focused on expanding access to and success in university systems, especially for low-income students and students of color. This voluntary initiative, conducted in partnership with The Education Trust, will bring participating system heads throughout the nation together to learn from each other and from outside experts on critical action steps, including setting goals, talking with the public, identifying and mounting powerful action strategies, and reporting progress. Systems participating in the initiative set goals to halve the gap in college entry separating low-income and/or minority students from others and to halve the graduation rate gap that separates low income and/or minority freshmen from other students. Mississippi Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Thomas C. Meredith serves in a voluntary capacity as president of NASH. “The intent of the initiative is to break the cycle of inadequate access to education to make sure every student has an equal opportunity for success,” said Commissioner Meredith.
House Appropriation Bill Passes; Senate Appropriation Hearing Scheduled
On Thursday, January 11, the Mississippi House of Representatives passed a bill appropriating approximately $783.7 million to IHL, which represents a $102.1 million increase over FY 2007.  IHL originally requested $931.3 million for FY 2008. Having passed the House, the bill will now be taken up by the Senate, where an appropriations committee hearing is scheduled for January 29.  In other legislative news, the House also passed a $125 million bond bill for repair and renovation at the state's universities. The bill provides funding for all of the projects on IHL's priority list.  Each week during the 2007 Legislative Session, the IHL Executive Office will produce and distribute a one-page newsletter to assist senators and representatives with their deliberations on legislation related to higher education. See recent editions of the "News from the System".

Review team members are: front row, Mr. Arthur Holbrook, Cleveland High School; Dr. Charles A. Pickett, Sr., retired higher education administrator; back row, Mariea Banks, Mississippi Department of Education; Kimberly VanUden, Murrah High School; Juanester Russell, Gearup MS; Marsha Wambsley, Mississippi Department of Education; Dana Pittman, Dexter Attendance Center; Angela McDaniel, Power APAC; and Harriett Whitehouse, Power APAC.
Review Team Finalizes No Child Left Behind: Improving Teacher Quality Grant Recommendations

The second of three phases of the No Child Left Behind: Improving Teacher Quality Grant Program was completed on Saturday, January 13. Nine review team members, Assistant Commissioner of Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Lynn House, and Pearl Strickland Pennington, director of academic student affairs at IHL and director of grant program administration in Mississippi, reviewed 15 grant proposals and finalized recommendations for awarding approximately $1.2 million. The award announcements are scheduled to be made on January 26. The grant proposals, submitted by the state's universities, outline the universities' plans to partner with local educational agencies to provide professional development activities in core subject areas for teachers, paraprofessionals, and principals during the summer months when school is not in session. The program is designed to help the state abide by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, which requires reform of traditional teacher training, innovative expansion of alternative routes to teacher licensure, and more effective in-service training and professional development for teachers currently in the classroom.

Items included in the “University News” section of the System Review are submitted each week by the universities. The news items are listed in rotating alphabetical order by university.

Southern Miss Luckyday Scholars Program Receives National Recognition
The Luckyday Citizenship Scholars Program at The University of Southern Mississippi won a Silver Award in the 2006 NASPA (National Association of Student Personnel Administrators) Excellence Awards Program. NASPA is the premier professional organization in student affairs. Southern Miss won the silver award for the Enrollment Management, Orientation, Parents, First-Year, Other-Year category. “We’re honored to have been selected for this award,” said Larry Sparkman, director of the Southern Miss Luckyday Citizenship Scholars Program. “The Luckyday Foundation has provided Mississippi’s sons and daughters with amazing opportunities for student success and development and has been a generous supporter of Southern Miss by equipping us to do truly unique work with students as they pursue higher education.” Mandy Lawrence, a Southern Miss Luckyday Scholar, who is a senior from Biloxi majoring in history and English, said, “I like how the program develops the scholars who participate, including the freshman development program, study-abroad opportunities and the community service and leadership development components.” The Luckyday Foundation was created by the late Frank Rogers Day of Jackson and awards scholarships to exemplary high school seniors who are committed to community service. Students may receive $2,500 per year and up to $10,000 over four academic years along with opportunities to apply for a $4,000 study-abroad scholarship. Learn more.

Southern Miss Students Perform Community Service on King Holiday

Southern Miss Professor Co-edits Book of Hurricane Poems

40th Annual Children's Book Festival Set for March 28-30

ASU School of Education and Psychology Recent Accreditation Completed Successfully
The Professional Education Unit, through the School of Education and Psychology, at Alcorn State University was recently evaluated for continued accreditation by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The team consisted of both state and national team members. The team was most impressed with their visit and findings. It has been recommended to the Unit Accrediting Board (UAB) that the Professional Education Unit have continued accreditation based on the findings that all standards at both the undergraduate and graduate levels have been met. Upon the final decision from the Unit Accrediting Board, which is expected during the March or April, additional information will be announced. Learn more.

Delta State Tabs New Head Football Coach
Delta State University announced Ron Roberts as its 17th head football coach this week. The defensive coordinator for the Statesmen since 2005 and the architect of one of the top defenses in the Gulf South Conference, Roberts assumes the reigns immediately from outgoing head coach Rick Rhoades, who stepped down after five seasons late last week. “Ron Roberts has everything I was looking for in a coach,” said Dr. Brad Teague, Director of Athletics. “Ron has produced a proven track record of success everywhere he has been, and I believe he has the integrity, values, and desire to lead this program into the future.” Learn more.

‘Suit Yourself,’ Delta State Career Services Launches Innovative Program

22 and Counting, Delta State Professor to Speak at Ag Leadership Program for 22nd Straight Year

Tony Award-Winning Man of La Mancha Set to Inspire Audiences at the Bologna Performing Arts

JSU Dedicates Dr. Matthew Holden, Jr., Reading Room
Growing up in the Mississippi town of Mound Bayou, Miss., Dr. Matthew Holden, Jr., remembered his mother chastising him for reading the newspaper while he was supposed to be cleaning the floors with it. “That’s OK,” his grandmother chimed in. “I used to do the same thing.” That act led the young Holden to a lifelong love of reading, where he would amass thousands of books on topics ranging from the Atlantic slave trade to East Asian history and philosophy. On Wednesday, January 10, about three years after Holden donated nearly 4,000 books to Jackson State University and its University Scholars Program, school officials dedicated the Matthew Holden Jr. Reading Room in Johnson Hall Room 3. Read more, or review the library's holdings.

JSU’S College of Liberal Arts Establishes Advisory Council

Customer Service, Accurate Info, Key to JSU’s Successful Registration

JSU/NASA Educator Resource Center Announces Spring 2007 Workshops

MSU Organization Helps Students Make ‘Toast’ of Speaking Fears
Tommy Thompson stood in a McCain Hall classroom a few years ago and told an audience how music has defined generations. He also talked about deep-sea fishing, a famous Hawaiian surfer, investing money, and the day music died. While studies have shown people are less afraid of death than to speak in public, Thompson volunteered to speak to the weekly crowd. He looked forward to each speech so he could become a better speaker. Thompson served as an active member of Mississippi State University’s Bulldog Toastmasters. The campus group is associated with Toastmasters International – a national organization begun more than 80 years ago to foster better public speaking. Thompson, now working for Exxon Mobil’s development division in Texas, appreciates the investment in honing his public speaking skills. During his job interviews after college, each potential employer asked about Thompson’s experience with Bulldog Toastmasters. Alexis Powe, a Bagley College technical communications instructor who advises Bulldog Toastmasters, has seen students increase their confidence in public speaking after participating in the program. She said most in Toastmasters get used to speaking to strangers because they’ve practiced what it takes to deliver a strong speech. Learn more.

Former Belhaven Official Now Leads MSU Annual Giving Program

Beethoven’s ‘Greatest Hits’ on Tap for Symphony Concert

MSU Library Program: xTreme Google: Super Searching Tips & Tricks

Acclaimed Guitarist, Singer to Perform at MSU’s Lyceum Series

Smyth Named Chair of MUW’s Department of Graduate Nursing

Dr. Patsy Smyth is the new chair of Mississippi University for Women’s Department of Graduate Nursing. She has the philosophy that “if you can’t do it, you can’t teach it.” That is why Dr. Smyth steps out of her administrative position every week to work in the Health Center as a nurse practitioner. She also works some weekend hours at a clinic in north Mississippi. She said she does this to “keep fresh” and to retain the reason she became a nurse: to help people. Smyth, a former native of Pennsylvania, served as a faculty member at MUW for 10 years before going to Western Carolina University as director of the graduate nursing program. When she discovered that the position as director of the graduate nursing program at MUW was open, she immediately applied for the position. Upon hearing that she was selected for the position, she was thrilled to be returning to MUW. Dr. Sheila Adams, dean of the College of Nursing and Speech Language Pathology, echoed Dr. Smyth’s excitement. “She has been an excellent faculty member… [I was] very happy to see that she was interested in coming back.” Smyth’s responsibilities include making sure the graduate program reflects current standards for nurse practitioners, as well as guiding the faculty and making sure that the graduate students receive a good education. Learn more.

Psychology Researcher Helps Pioneer Therapy that Puts Patients in Control of Their Actions
A new wave is sweeping through the discipline of psychology, and University of Mississippi students have a front row seat to learn about this innovative concept from one of its developers. For 17 years, Kelly Wilson, UM assistant professor of psychology, has worked closely with Steven Hayes at the University of Nevada-Reno, to pioneer Relational Frame Theory, or RFT, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, or ACT. In 1999, Wilson co-authored the first book on ACT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: An Experiential Approach to Behavior Change. Whereas cognitive therapy focuses on changing the content of a patient's thoughts, RFT holds that efforts to control negative thoughts only make them more intense. So ACT focuses on defusing the power of negative thoughts. Wilson is co-investigator on a project funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse to develop treatment protocols and train psychologists to use ACT for methadone detoxification. Now that ACT has the public spotlight, Wilson is hopeful that the publicity will solidify the research. "I think it will get more people interested in helping us sort this out empirically and clinically. It'll bring more academics and researchers to the work, and that is for the good." Read more.

Sen. Eastland's Political, Personal Papers Available for Research in Williams Library

Engineering Alumnus New Director of NASA's Kennedy Space Center

Honors College Student Finalist for Gates Cambridge Scholarship

Senior Class Creates Scholarship, Honors Chancellor with Gift

Walking, Diet Help Mississippians Start! Heart-Healthy Living
Dr. Dan Jones, vice chancellor for health affairs and president-elect of the American Heart Association (AHA) challenged Mississippians to walk more and eat well to live longer during the launch of the AHA’s Start! wellness campaign. Read more.

University Rehab Director Named Surgery Department Interim Chair

JHS Ancillary Study Explores Genetic Characteristics of Heart, Lung Disease

Jan. 16 - Feb. 9 - The Mississippi University for Women Art Gallery presents "Jeffrey Haupt: Recent Paintings." The gallery, located in Shattuck Hall, is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information on the exhibit or to arrange visiting times, contact the Department of Art and Design at (662) 329-7341 or email gallery director Alex Stelioes-Wills.

Jan. 18 - Feb. 1 - The University of Southern Mississippi Museum of Art will present its first exhibition of the new year with a two-part show that combines the beauty of art and poetry through the works of visiting art professor Jan Laurens Siesling and artist Christopher Karnes. Learn more.

Jan. 22 - Mar. 10 - Delta State University’s Capps Archive & Museum currently has on display, “History and Heritage of the Mississippi Delta Chinese.” A Delta bus trip is scheduled to How Joy’s in Greenville, for the Chinese New Year, Feb. 20. For more information, please call Emily Weaver at (662) 846-4780.

Jan. 22 - Apr. 27 - Delta State University’s Delta Center for Culture and Learning and the Department of Languages and Literature are partnering this spring semester to present a unique class, “The River as Myth, Metaphor, and Reality” which will explore rivers as both a reality and metaphor. Learn more.

Jan. 23 - Mississippi State University's Career Center will sponsor the Spring 2007 Career Day at noon in Humphrey Coliseum to provide an opportunity for students and alumni to meet with company representatives about potential internships and full-time positions. For more information, contact Jan Fitzgerald at (662) 325-3344.

Jan. 24 - Jackson State University’s Trent Lott Geospatial and Visualization Research Center will host an Access Grid event, “SSH Toolbox for MATLAB,” from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the Visualization Laboratory at the Mississippi e-Center located at 1230 Raymond Road. MATLAB is a high-level technical computing language and interactive environment for algorithm development, data visualization, data analysis and numeric computation. The Access Grid is a multimedia conferencing system for group-to-group collaboration. Learn more about the Visualization Laboratory. For details about the Access Grid event, contact Monika Rabarison at (601) 979-5933.

Jan. 24 - The University of Southern Mississippi Trent Lott Center Entrepreneurs in Polymer Science Lecture Series will host Dr. Joseph DiSimone, principal researcher and founder of Liquidia Technologies, in the auditorium of the Shelby F. Thames Polymer Science Research Center. The lecture, “The Blending of Research and Teaching with Entrepreneurship: The Launching of Liquidia Technologies,” will begin at 3:00 p.m., and is to be followed by a reception at 4:00 p.m. and Perspectives on Entrepreneurship at 4:30 p.m. Learn more.

Jan. 25 - Delta State University, in conjunction with its “Health & Wellness in the Delta” theme and in cooperation with its Center for Community and Economic Development, will host the Third Annual Delta Health & Wellness Day at the Bolivar County Expo. Free health screenings will be available, including cholesterol and blood sugars. For more information, contact Rori Herbison at (662) 846-4675.

 Jan. 25 - 26 - Jackson State University Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education is hosting a literacy Conference, “Reading Together:  Promoting Family Literacy.”  For more information, contact Dr. Rodney Washington at (601)979-3414. Read more.

 Jan. 25 - 26 - The University of Southern Mississippi will host the 11th annual DuBard Symposium on Dyslexia and Related Disorders at the Hattiesburg Lake Terrace Convention Center. For more information, contact Michelle Coleman at (601)266-4709, or visit the DuBard School online. Read More.

Jan. 26 - 28 - Mississippi University for Women will host its annual Hearin High School Leadership Conference on campus. Participants will enhance their leadership skills, work with other high school students, be mentored by MUW students, and have the opportunity to interview for the MUW Hearin Leadership Scholarship, which can be up to $10,000 over four years. Students who are selected become part of the Hearin Leadership Program at MUW and become leaders across campus. Learn more.

Jan. 27 - University Sports Medicine will offer free athletic physicals for students in grades 8-12 who participate in any extracurricular activities for their schools and for collegiate student-athletes from 8 to 10 a.m. at the UMC Medical Pavilion. Parent or guardian authorizations or appropriate athletic department forms will be required. To schedule a physical, call University Sports Medicine at (601) 984-6519.

Jan. 30 - The University of Mississippi Gertrude Castellow Ford Center for the Performing Arts will present novelist Howard Owen, who will reads from his work at 7 p.m. in the rehearsal hall. The free program is sponsored by the John and Renee Grisham Visiting Writer's program. Learn more.

Feb. 1 - The University of Mississippi presents award-winning dancer, choreographer and critic Gus Solomons, Jr., as the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar. The lecture is set for 7 p.m. in Bondurant Auditorium. Learn more.

Feb. 1 - 2 - Jackson State University College of Public Service in the School of Social Work is sponsoring the fifth annual Mississippi Child Welfare Institute Conference at the Jackson Marriott.  For more information, call (601)979-1123.  Read more.

Feb. 20 - The University of Mississippi School of Engineering hosts a Trebuchet-Building/Tennis Ball Hurling contest for high school teams as part of Engineering Week activities. Registration deadline is Feb. 2. For more information, contact Maxine Woolsey at 662-915-1849. Learn more.

Feb. 22 - Mississippi University for Women's Honors Forum presents Arun Gandhi, grandson of the legendary peace fighter and spiritual leader, Mohandas K. Gandhi, also known as Mahatma Gandhi, at 6:30 p.m. in Nissan Auditorium, Parkinson Hall. For more information, contact the Honors College at (662)241-6850.

  Mar. 22 - 23 - The University of Southern Mississippi will host the Second Annual Eagle Institute for School Leaders in the Thad Cochran Center.  The conference, "All Means All:  Ensuring the Success of Students with Unique Learning Needs," will be convened by State Superintendent Hank Bounds and Dean W. Lee Pierce of the USM College of Education and Psychology. The conference promises to be a powerful session on leadership strategies for helping disadvantaged/displaced students, English language learners, gifted students, and students with special needs to achieve academic success in an era of high stakes accountability. Complete information can be found online.
Look for the next issue January 26 .
Mississippi's Institutions of Higher Learning
Attention: Public Affairs
Jackson, Mississippi 39211-6453
Fax: (601) 432-6891

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