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Volume 3, Issue 5
Friday, February 8, 2008
Edited by Jennifer Rogers

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

News from the System
University News
yellowarrowIHL's Strategic Initiative to Kick Off with Summit on Wednesday
yellowarrowRep. Gene Taylor to Speak at USM Gulf Coast Campus on Feb. 29
yellowarrowIHL Makes Case for Adequate Stable Funding
yellowarrowAlcorn State University President Meets with Student Organizations
yellowarrowGEAR UP Sponsors Financial Aid Workshops for Parents
yellowarrowAuction Items Set for Upcoming Grisham Fundraiser at Delta State
yellowarrowCFTTC Conference Draws Record Attendance
yellowarrowJSU Hamer Institute to Host Workshops for Community College Teachers
yellowarrowMSU Researchers Seek Energy Sources in Unusual Places
yellowarrowMSU-led Master Gardeners Rebuild Public Landscapes on Coast
yellowarrowMUW Coaches to Help High School Juniors and Seniors Stand Out
yellowarrowMVSU Kicks Off Student Phone Center and Class Agent Programs
yellowarrowUM Remnant Trust Exhibition Allows Teachers, Students to Touch History
yellowarrowHeavy Supporters, Lovehandles Lead the Way in UMMC's Get Fit Charge
yellowarrowUSM Center of Higher Learning Completes Visualization Ctr. Expansion
yellowarrowFor more IHL News, click here.
yellowarrowTo subscribe to this e-newsletter, click here.

IHL's Strategic Initiative to Kick Off with Summit on Wednesday
The IHL Board will host a System-wide Strategic Initiative Summit with representatives from Mississippi's eight public universities next Wednesday, February 13, at the Mississippi TelCom Center in downtown Jackson. The purpose of the Summit is to focus university efforts on the Board's strategic goal of increasing the number and quality of Mississippi's baccalaureate graduates. "To compete in today's global economy, Mississippi must increase the quantity and quality of its baccalaureate degree holders," said Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Thomas C. Meredith. "The Board's Strategic Initiative Summit will give our public universities the opportunity to plan how they can work together toward this overall objective." The Summit will feature a presentation by Kati Haycock, President of The Education Trust, as well as a Mississippi 2020 Report by State Economist Dr. Phil Pepper; a presentation by Commissioner Meredith; and a Community College Transfer Report by Assistant Commissioner of Community and Junior College Relations Dr. Reginald Sykes. Following the scheduled presentations, university representatives will meet in institutional groups to discuss how they will work to implement the Board's strategic objective. The Strategic Initiative includes focused attention on such issues as increasing student retention and graduation rates; increasing student passage rates on exams such as the NCLEX and PRAXIS; increasing enrollment of non-traditional and part-time students, community college transfer students, and first-time, full-time freshmen; producing more and higher quality school teachers and leaders; and increasing need-based student financial aid; among others. For more information, contact Assistant Commissioner for Governmental Relations and Legislative Liaison Dr. Jim Borsig.

IHL Makes Case for Adequate Stable Funding
IHL Board members, institutional executive officers, and Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Thomas Meredith took advantage of two opportunities this week to make the case for adequate stable funding for Mississippi's university system. IHL leaders met with the Clarion-Ledger editorial board on Monday, then presented information to the Mississippi House of Representatives Appropriations Committee during a hearing on Thursday. Since fiscal year 2000, with the exception of two years, state appropriations for the public universities have declined or stayed level. Yet, in this time, enrollment has increased 10 percent. "The cost to keep the universities going has been shifted to the parents and the students through tuition, which some call a user tax," said Commissioner Meredith. "This shift implies that to have more citizens with a university degree is an individual benefit rather than a societal benefit. Certainly, the individual benefits from a university degree, but the benefits to society are overwhelming. Across America, the states which are prospering have significantly funded their public university systems. If Mississippi wants to be in that group, then it must do the same." For more information about IHL's FY 2009 appropriations request or this week's discussions, please contact Assistant Commissioner for Governmental Relations and Legislative Liaison Dr. Jim Borsig.
GEAR UP Sponsors Financial Aid Workshops for Parents
During January and February, GEAR UP Mississippi, in cooperation with the IHL Office of Student Financial Aid, USA Funds, and the Education Services Foundation, is sponsoring special workshops to help parents and students complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). These workshops will be held at 34 local high schools and colleges throughout the state. So far this year, GEAR UP parents have eagerly taken advantage of this opportunity. At a recent evening workshop held at Lanier High School in Jackson, over 100 parents and students showed up to complete the FAFSA. "Our goal is to help GEAR UP students locate and secure the financial aid they need to fulfill their dreams of higher education," said Dr. Di Ann Lewis, State Director of GEAR UP Mississippi. For more information, contact Dr. Lewis at (601) 432-7801.

February 6-8, Beau Rivage Resort and Casino, Biloxi, MS
CFTTC Conference Draws Record Attendance

The 12th annual Creating Futures Through Technology Conference, which has been taking place at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi this week, drew a record attendance of more than 400 participants. Faculty, administrators, and IT professionals from Mississippi's postsecondary institutions participated in the conference to learn about new ways to utilize technology to enhance teaching and learning and improve administrative processes. Sponsored by the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges and the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, the conference is the only statewide technology conference and trade show dedicated to postsecondary education. The conference explored the theme "Launching into the Deep" through keynote presentations, networking opportunities, and sessions on emerging technology; systems, services, and infrastructure; teaching and learning in a changing world; and the technical aspects of technology on college campuses. The conference also featured a trade show that allowed vendors to demonstrate new technology. To learn more, visit the conference website.

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.

Representative Gene Taylor to Speak at Issues + Answers Lecture on Feb. 29
The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast College of Business and the Sun Herald present U.S. Representative Gene Taylor for the Issues + Answers lecture, "The Insurance Crisis: A Case for Multi-Peril Coverage," at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 29, in the auditorium of the Advanced Education Center on the Southern Miss Gulf Park Campus in Long Beach, MS. A Katrina victim himself, Rep. Taylor has been a vocal critic of the way insurance companies have handled Katrina claims and has introduced Multi-Perils Insurance legislation into the U.S. Congress. After two and one-half years, can we make the numbers work - for insurance companies, policyholders and everyone else? Rep. Taylor will discuss this extremely important and timely issue on February 29. Learn more.

Alcorn State University President Meets with Student Organizations
As a part of the transition period Alcorn State University president Dr. George Ross participated in the Meet and Greet Unity Organizational Fair on Thursday, January 31, 2008. The purpose of this activity was to bring unity back to Alcorn State University campus and give Dr. Ross a chance to interact with the student body. Student organizations had a chance to express concerns and opinions about what can make Alcorn State University a better place for current and prospective students. Learn more.

Alcorn Professor of Biology Publishes in Journal of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences

Alcorn Receives a Check for $15,000 from AT&T for Preparation for Study Abroad Program

Auction Items Set for Upcoming Grisham Fundraiser at Delta State
Excitement is almost palpable on the Delta State campus, as the date nears for what is sure to be a "once-in-a-lifetime" evening with John Grisham and legendary Statesmen baseball coach Dave "Boo" Ferriss reuniting for the first time in 34 years. Event details are currently being finalized by the planning committee, as the program, "John Grisham on American Treasures: Books, Baseball & 'Boo,'" is just six days away. A 6 p.m. reception will precede the night's program, which is set to begin at 7:30 inside the Bologna Performing Arts Center. Following an entertaining hour of storytelling and joyful reminiscing by Grisham and Ferriss, a live auction will begin at 8:30 p.m. Athletic Director Jeremy McClain predicts, "The entire evening is obviously special, but I truly believe the live auction will be as much fun as anything we do." For the sports enthusiasts in the audience, arguably one of the most coveted items will be a baseball autographed by Major League Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Bobby Doerr. For more information, please contact DSU Athletics at (662) 846-4289 or email the department at athletics@deltastate.edu . Learn more.

GladRags: Sketches, Swatches, and Costume Designs by Myrna Colley-Lee

Delta State's Small Business Development Center to Offer Free Workshops

Delta State Athletics Celebrates National Signing Day

Hamer Institute to Host Summer Workshops for Community College Teachers
Jackson State University's Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy is accepting applications from community college educators who are interested in participating in its 2008 Landmarks of American Democracy Workshop at Jackson State. The deadline to submit applications is March 17. A grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities "Landmarks of American History" will allow educators from across the country to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the people, places, and events that provided critical momentum for the success of the Southern civil rights movement. "This is a rare opportunity to study under people who were personally involved in the civil rights movement as well as outstanding scholars," said Leslie Burl McLemore, Hamer Institute director and Jackson State political science professor. "This will teach not only civil rights history but American history as well. Last year, we had people from all over the country. This year, we would like to encourage people from our own state to participate." During the one-week sessions (June 15-21 and June 22-28), the teachers will visit historic civil rights sites in Jackson, Greenwood, Ruleville, Clarksdale and Memphis. Workshops include lessons about the hundreds of widely known and little-known historical landmarks that helped shape the 1964 Freedom Summer Project and the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers' Strike. Learn more.

Four JSU Students Win Awards for Graduate-level Scientific Research

Jackson State Hosting Workshop for Speech-language Pathologists

Jackson State Conference to Focus on Educating Children

MSU Researchers Seek Energy Sources in Unusual Places
As gas prices rise steadily and public concerns grow about the world's petroleum supply, Mississippi State researchers continue to ramp up research into possible long-term energy solutions. Engineers, scientists and other faculty members at the university long have investigated alternative energy processes and methods that could help supplement United States national energy reserves. For about a decade, campus scientists investigated biofuels within separate academic areas. In 2006, university leaders moved to create the Sustainable Energy Research Center (SERC) to provide a focused effort in alternative energy research at the land-grant university. SERC primarily tackles a range of areas with an eye on using resources readily available in Mississippi and the Southeast. Currently, a center team is creating fuel from crops, waste water, and other sources the average citizen wouldn't dream of pumping into their vehicle fuel tank. The center's work complements goals set by the U.S. Department of Energy to replace 25 percent of the nation's energy from traditional fuel sources with renewable energy by 2017. In January, a barrel of oil reached $100 for the first time on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That price seems a lifetime away from the less than $25 a barrel in 2003 and less than $11 in 1998. While the $100 mark dropped in recent weeks, analysts believe increased demands from industrialized countries like China and India will cause oil prices to again rise dramatically. Learn more.

Young MSU Alum Honored for Success

College Honorees Recognized by MSU Alumni Association

MSU Leadership Program Welcomes Meridian Community College

WorldCom 'Whistleblower' to Share Her Story at MSU

MSU-led Master Gardeners Rebuild Public Landscapes on Coast
Sixteen projects were completed across three counties in less than 72 hours when Mississippi Master Gardeners set Operation Swarm in motion last October. Most of the public landscapes in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties were damaged or destroyed after the onslaught of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. This time, however, the weather cooperated for positive change on the Gulf Coast. More than 100 Master Gardener volunteers from several states enjoyed sunshine and balmy temperatures as they dug holes, spread mulch, and set plants as part of Operation Swarm. Mississippi Master Gardeners asked their counterparts in other states to participate in a three-day work period, said Lelia Kelly, horticulture specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. Kelly, who is Extension coordinator for the Mississippi Master Gardener Program, worked with members to create the swarm after individuals across the United States were persistent in offering to help rebuild coastal landscapes. Extension offices in Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson counties worked with local Master Gardeners to assess job proposals from the community. Michele Venturi, a member of a Master Gardener group at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, drove up with gloves and tools at 8 a.m. the first day of the swarm. She and other Master Gardeners painstakingly picked out glass shards before replanting flower beds at Pineville Elementary School in Pass Christian and the Children's Library in Long Beach. Learn more.

MSU Extension Encourages Healthy Marriages to Benefit Communities

MSU Helps Catfish Producers Fight Cormorants to Save Crop

Regional Rose Grower Workshop Set at MSU

MUW Coaches to Help High School Juniors and Seniors Stand Out
In many parts of the United States parents are paying big bucks for "college coaches" to help their high-performing children stand out on their college applications, according to Dr. Sandra Jordan, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Mississippi University for Women. However, similar information will be shared for free with some of the region's best and brightest students at a "College Aspirations" workshop on Feb. 7. Dr. Eric Daffron, director of the Ina E. Gordy Honors College, said 25 high school juniors and seniors with at least a 24 on the ACT have been invited to MUW to participate in an afternoon-long workshop on writing a college application essay and on interviewing skills. The workshop will begin with pointers on interviewing skills from Dr. Martin Hatton, associate professor of communication at MUW. Following his presentation, participants will have the opportunity to sit in a mock interview and get immediate feedback from faculty members who regularly interview students for scholarships. Later that afternoon, Emma Richardson, English instructor at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, will offer advice on how to write a college application essay. After her presentation, students will write an essay, and a couple of weeks after the workshop, receive personalized feedback on the essay. Learn more.

MVSU kicks off Student Phone Center and Class Agent Programs in 2008
Mississippi Valley State University was recently awarded $194,000 over three years from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund to establish a University Student Phone Center Program and Class Agent Program. The programs will allow the University to establish and strengthen strong and vibrant lines of communication with alumni and other potential donors, according to Dallas Reed, assistant vice president for development. "The Phone Center and Class Agent Program have traditionally served as grass roots fund-raising initiatives for many institutions, and MVSU is extremely excited to be among that class of universities," Reed said. The Phone Center will be manned by a part-time manager and paid student callers who will be contacting alumni and friends of the university for contributions. Students will go through rigorous training to prepare them as front-line ambassadors for the university. "An exciting component of the program will be the ability to connect and communicate with alumni and friends," said Dr. Roy C. Hudson, interim MVSU president. "We will be able to update alumni records and solicit gifts. We commend the duPont Foundation for recognizing the needs of our institution and enabling us to create this program," Hudson added. Learn more.

Remnant Trust Exhibition Allows Teachers, Students to Touch History
"The Remnant Trust Anthenaeum," a collection of 35 original and first-edition works dealing with the topics of liberty and dignity - some pieces dating back to 1250 - is on display at the University of Mississippi. Co-sponsored by the Freedom Forum, the artifacts are on display at the University Museum through April 29. The items are meant to be handled, although due to the large number of patrons expected, "hands-on" viewing of the collection is limited to professors, teachers, and their students and must be scheduled by appointment, said Albert Sperath, museum director. Titles of note in the collection include a hand-lettered copy of the Magna Carta (1350), Common Sense (1776) by Thomas Paine, City of God (1494) by St. Augustine, Letters Concerning the English Nation (1733) by Voltaire and Minutes of the 2nd Continental Congress (1778). Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation (1862), Benjamin Franklin's Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Document (1787) and Thomas Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia (1801) are also featured. "That the Trust makes this collection available is commendable in itself, but the encouragement to touch, feel, and read the originals is what makes this a truly unique experience," Sperath said. "The university owes a debt of thanks to the Freedom Forum for underwriting this exhibit." (Multimedia news release contains photos and a video report.) Learn more.

Former Honors Program Leader to Speak at Honors College Convocation

Black History Month Celebration Features Keynote Address by Leader of Montgomery Bus Boycott

President of American Heart Association to Deliver Pharmacy School's Hartman Lecture

Senior Class Creates Scholarship Honoring Dean of Students

Heavy Supporters, Lovehandles Lead the Way in UMC's Get Fit Charge
With 70 teams and 730 people participating in the Get Fit UMC Weight Loss Challenge, the contest is bound to get competitive. Two teams, the Heavy Supporters and Losing Lovehandles, both believe they are leading the way in the "Get Fit" journey at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Learn more.

UMC Works on Organizational Fitness

Behavioral Medicine Team Measures Stress and Immunity

Center of Higher Learning Completes Visualization Center Expansion
The University of Southern Mississippi Center of Higher Learning at the John C. Stennis Space Center has received approval from the Mississippi Bureau of Buildings to occupy the recently completed addition to the High Performance Visualization Center (HPVC). This renovation added a 3,120-square-foot expansion at the cost of $1.25 million and includes office space, a research pod, and a graduate student laboratory. Originally established at the Center of Higher Learning in 1999, the Visualization Center's mission is to build the computational infrastructure for high performance scientific and engineering visualization. The HPVC houses not only a 3-D immersive visualization system but also an ACCESS Grid Center with state-of-the-art audio/video collaboration technology. Projects underway in the visualization laboratory include three dimensional simulations of the Hurricane Katrina high water marks in downtown Gulfport and the Biloxi Beau Rivage area. Learn more.

Southern Miss Alum, Student Head to Grammy Awards Ceremony

Sen. Wicker Visits Southern Miss Campus in Hattiesburg

Southern Miss Prof Authors Study of African American Women Playwrights

Marine Education Center Hosts Regional Ocean Sciences Bowl

Feb. 8 & Mar. 3 - A stallion service auction at MSU's College of Veterinary Medicine will raise funds for research and to purchase state-of-the-art equipment to definitively diagnose and treat lameness in horses. Contact Ann Rashmir-Raven, DVM, at rashmir@cvm.msstate.edu  or (662) 325-1400. Learn more.

Feb. 10 - Hailed as one of the country's finest female magicians, Lyn Dillies has captivated audiences of all ages with her spellbinding powers. "The Magic of Lyn" begins at 2 p.m. at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts. For tickets, call (662) 915-7411. Learn more.

Feb. 11 - Mississippi Valley State's Lady Devils Basketball Team is asking the entire Delta region to wear pink all day and at the 5:30 p.m. basketball game. The women are uniting as part of a global effort to raise breast cancer awareness. Learn more.

Feb. 12 - Jackson State University will host a town hall meeting to raise awareness about domestic violence on college campuses. The event, themed "Love Does Not Hurt," will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. in Lecture Room 166/266 of the Dollye M.E. Robinson Liberal Arts Building. Learn more.

Feb. 12 - Mississippi State University's Lyceum Series presents Ladysmith Black Mambazo at 7:30 p.m. at Lee Hall Auditorium. The South African group marries intricate rhythms and harmonies of their native country's musical traditions with Christian gospel music. For more information, call (662) 325-4201. Learn more.

Feb. 12 - 14 - The Mississippi Crop College at MSU's Bost Extension Center previews the 2008 growing season for crop consultants and Extension agronomists. Contact Larry Oldham at (662) 325-2701 or loldham@pss.msstate.edu . Learn more.

Feb. 13 - The IHL Board will host a System-wide Strategic Initiative Summit with representatives from Mississippi's eight public universities from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Mississippi TelCom Center in downtown Jackson. The purpose of the Summit is to focus university efforts on the Board's strategic goal of increasing the number and quality of Mississippi's baccalaureate graduates. Contact Dr. Jim Borsig for more information. Learn more.

Feb. 13 - Mississippi State University's Division for Academic Outreach and Continuing Education and The Center for Teaching and Learning presents Lunch and Learn at 11:30 a.m. at Memorial Hall's Coskrey Auditorium. This series teaches about types of technology available for distance learning. Learn more.

Feb. 13 - Mississippi State University's Riley Center in Meridian presents Chick Corea and Bela Fleck at 8 p.m. at the historic grand opera theater. The master musicians weave duets of staggering genius that blurs the lines between jazz and bluegrass. For more information, call (601) 696-2200. Learn more.

Feb. 13 - The Department of Fine Arts at Mississippi Valley State University is presenting an art exhibition by Jerry Baker in the Johnston Gallery Feb. 5 - March 7. A reception will be held Feb. 13 from 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. in the Johnston Gallery in the Walter Sillers Fine Arts Center. Learn more.

Feb. 14 - The Child Development Center at Mississippi Valley State University will hold a grand opening ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. at its new location in the L.S. Rogers Building on the Itta Bena campus. Guests are invited to a reception and tour of the remodeled facilities.

Feb. 14 - Tired of giving flowers and candy on the most romantic day of the year? Then consider joining Dena Kay Jones, a classical pianist who specializes in 20th-century Spanish piano music, in concert at 8 p.m. in Nutt Auditorium at the University of Mississippi. For tickets, call (662) 915-7411. Learn more.

Feb. 15-16 - The 23rd annual Southern Miss Coca-Cola Classic Rodeo will take place at the James Lynn Cartlidge Forrest County Multi Purpose Center on U.S. 49 South in Hattiesburg. Tickets are $10. For more information, call (601) 266-4505. Learn more.

Feb. 18 - Based on the true story of Argentina's infamous first lady Eva Peron, the musical production "Evita" is to be performed at the University of Mississippi's Ford Center for the Performing Arts. Told through song and dance, the story comes to life at 8 p.m. For tickets, call (662) 915-7411.

Feb. 20-23 - Jackson State University will present "Mama I Want to Sing," a musical about the life of Doris Troy at the Rose Embly McCoy Auditorium.  General admission is $10. For more information, call (601) 979-5956. Learn more.

Mar. 18 - The MSU Extension Service's 4-H therapeutic riding program is taking applications for riders and volunteers. The spring session runs each Tuesday from March 25 through April 29 with classes at the Mississippi Horse Park. Learn more.

Mar. 27 - Delta State University will present "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" in the Delta and Pine Land Theatre of its Bologna Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. For ticket information, please call the Box Office at (662) 846-4626. Learn more.

Look for the next issue February 15.

Mississippi's Institutions of Higher Learning
Attention: Public Affairs
Jackson, Mississippi 39211-6453
Fax: (601) 432-6891

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