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Volume 4, Issue 9
Friday, May 15, 2009
Edited by Jennifer Rogers
University News
News from the System
Mississippi Valley State University Online
Property Insurance Plan Saves Money, Improves Coverage
UM Director's Documentary Features Katrina Volunteer Efforts
Board Receives Update on African American Male Initiative
An Investment in Preparation: UMMC Pandemic Ready
Commissioner and Chancellor Interviews Begin
USM Students Awarded Study Abroad Scholarships
IHL Hosts NCAT Orientation Conference
Coast Community Leader Receives Honorary USM Doctorate
MS P-16 Council Advances Mission Statement and Vision
Alcorn State University Online
House Named to Redesign Alliance Advisory Board
A New Home - A New Beginning
IHL Mourns Loss of Two Friends
JSU President Leads Town Hall Meeting on Strategic Plan
MSU Landscape Architecture Program Ranked Nationally
MSU Cow Genome Blueprint Featured in Science Magazine
MUW Faculty Member Receives William J. Stickel Award
For more IHL News, click here.
To subscribe to this newsletter, click here.
Items included in the "University News" section of the System Review are submitted each week by the universities. These items are listed in rotating alphabetical order by university.

System Property Insurance Plan Saves Money, Improves Coverage
During its regular monthly meeting on Thursday, May 14, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL), acting as a committee of the whole, authorized the IHL Risk Manager to purchase a System property insurance plan that will improve coverage while saving money. ?The Board is committed to the goal of becoming more efficient, while improving our stewardship of state resources,? said Trustee Aubrey Patterson, who chairs the Board?s Budget, Finance, and Audit Committee. ?Economies of scale allow us to save money and improve coverage by purchasing property insurance as a System.? Currently, each institution negotiates its own property insurance coverage and rates. As a result of Senate Bill 3118, the IHL Risk Manager conducted a study to determine the most cost efficient way to provide the appropriate property coverage. The analysis revealed that the universities in general have inadequate coverage. The Board determined that it could achieve cost efficiency and provide more comprehensive coverage for all universities and entities by placing all property coverage through a System property program. The Board approved Willis as its insurance broker at the February Board Meeting, and Thursday moved forward in the process of selecting a coverage provider. For more information, contact IHL Deputy Director of Finance and Administration Dr. Linda Mcfall.

Board Receives Update on African American Male Initiative
During its meeting on Thursday, May 14, the IHL Board received a report on the African American Male in College Initiative from IHL Assistant Commissioner of Community and Junior College Relations Dr. Reginald Sykes. The purpose of the initiative, which is being undertaken by a task force that includes representation from all sectors of education as well as community, business, and civic leaders, is to identify strategies to increase enrollment, retention, and graduation rates of African American males in higher education. More than twice as many African American females as males enroll in Mississippi?s universities and community and junior colleges. The six-year graduation rate for African American males is also lower that the rate for African American females, though both fall below the System average. The task force proposed a number of recommendations and strategies for addressing the problem, including the need to collect more and better data; the need to identify specific barriers to student access and success and the best practices for overcoming those barriers; and the need to determine what resources are available. For more information, contact Dr. Sykes.

Commissioner and Chancellor Interviews Begin
The searches for the next commissioner of higher education and chancellor of the University of Mississippi enter the initial interview phase this week. On Wednesday, May 13 and Thursday, May 14, the Commissioner Board Search Committee, joined by the Interview Search Advisory Committee, conducted the first round of interviews to identify the individual who will lead Mississippi?s public university System. ?Selecting university and System leaders is one of the most important jobs we do, and we take our responsibility seriously,? commented Trustee Ed Blakeslee, chair of the committee. ?I?m pleased with the quality of candidates in the process, and I?m confident we will be able to employ an outstanding individual to lead our System.? The Chancellor Board Search Committee, chaired by Trustee Amy Whitten, will conduct initial interviews of candidates for the position of chancellor of the University of Mississippi on Sunday afternoon, May 17 and Monday, May 18. For both searches, following the first round of interviews, search consultants will assist with reference checks, and search committees will conduct a second round of interviews. Click here for more information about IHL?s institutional executive officer search process, including a timeline of events.

IHL Hosts NCAT Orientation Conference
As part of Mississippi?s activities for the Making Opportunity Affordable grant, IHL hosted an orientation meeting on May 5 to introduce the National Center for Academic Transformation course redesign process to faculty from 14 of Mississippi?s 15 community and junior colleges. Mississippi was one of only 11 states selected for participation in the competitive grant program, sponsored by the Lumina Foundation for Education and Jobs for the Future. Mississippi received a one-year, $150,000 planning grant. At the completion of the first year, five states will be selected to receive up to $500,000 for four years, based on plans developed during the planning year. The grants are designed to help states advance a productivity agenda in higher education by developing goals, policies, and practices that produce more degrees at a lower cost per degree. IHL is pleased to collaborate with the community and junior colleges to improve education outcomes at all levels of postsecondary education in the state. For more information about course redesign, contact IHL Assistant Commissioner for Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Lynn House.

Mississippi P-16 Council Advances Mission Statement and Vision
The recently reconvened Mississippi P-16 Council met for the second time on Monday, May 11, to craft the mission and vision for the council. Several mission statements were advanced during the work sessions. These are being sent to the membership for a vote, with results to be shared at the next meeting. Also at the meeting, council representatives were introduced to the council?s Board of Directors. The Board includes:
  • Chair - Rebecca Combs, Executive Director, Phil Hardin Foundation;
  • Vice Chair - Nancy Sylvester, Director of Student Support Services, Jackson Public Schools;
  • Secretary/Treasurer - Dr. Barry Morris, Chair, Department of Education, School of Education, William Carey University;
  • Dr. Jason Dean, COO Momentum Mississippi/Mississippi Economic Council;
  • Chantelle Herchenhahn, 2008 Teacher of the Year;
  • Dr. Roma Morris, Principal, Pearl Lower Elementary; and
  • Dr. Reginald Sykes, Assistant Commissioner for Community and Junior College Relations, Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning.
The P-16 Council includes representatives of the public and private sectors of education, the legislative bodies, the Governor's office, parent groups, and business and industry. The overarching goal of the Council is to establish high academic standards and to raise the academic achievement of all students across the P-16 environment. For more information, contact IHL Director of P-16 Initiatives Dr. Susan Lee.

Dr. Lynn House
House Named to Redesign Alliance Advisory Board

In recognition of her work with course redesign, IHL Assistant Commissioner for Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Lynn House has been invited to serve on the Advisory Board for the Redesign Alliance. The Advisory Board provides direction for Alliance members and advises the staff of the National Center for Academic Transformation. In November 2007, Mississippi?s universities initiated a System-wide project to redesign large-enrollment multi-section courses to improve learning outcomes and reduce instructional costs, based on the successful model developed by Dr. Carol Twig and the National Center for Academic Transformation. Currently, 16 redesign projects are underway at the eight public universities, and the universities are partnering with the community and junior colleges to expand the redesign initiative. For more information, contact Dr. House.

IHL Mourns Loss of Two Friends
IHL was deeply saddened this month to learn of the passing of two dear friends, Representative Charles Young and former University of Southern Mississippi President Dr. Horace Fleming.

Representative Charles L. Young
Representative Charles Young, Chairman of the House of Representatives Universities and Colleges Committee

The Honorable Charles Young served in the Mississippi House of Representatives for 30 years and led the Universities and Colleges Committee for many of those years. Representative Young was a forceful advocate for the interests of public higher education in the state of Mississippi. In February 2009, the IHL Board honored Rep. Young as the Black History Month Community Honoree of the Year for his lifetime of service to the advancement of education in Mississippi. ?The Honorable Charles Young has been a strong and faithful friend of higher education,? said IHL Interim Commissioner Dr. Aubrey Lucas. ?We will remember his encouraging words and tireless efforts to provide funding and other support for education in our state. We will truly miss him.?

Dr. Horace Fleming
Dr. Horace Fleming, former President of the University of Southern Mississippi

Dr. Horace Fleming led the University of Southern Mississippi from 1997 to 2001 as the university?s seventh president. During his tenure as president, Southern Miss made many significant advancements, including attainment of Carnegie Doctoral Research Extensive University status and initiation of the university?s first comprehensive university fund raising campaign, which surpassed its goal of $100 million.

NOTE: Representative Kelvin Buck of Holly Springs has been appointed by House Speaker Billy McCoy to fill Rep. Young?s vacated chairman position on the House Universities and Colleges Committee. Representative Toby Barker of Hattiesburg was appointed as Vice Chairman to replace Rep. Kelvin Buck.

Mississippi Valley State University Online

Documentary by UM Director Features Katrina Volunteer Efforts
A documentary created by a University of Mississippi filmmaker to chronicle the restoration of an iconic New Orleans restaurant after Hurricane Katrina has received national attention via airings on public broadcasting around the country. It is scheduled to play on Mississippi Public Broadcasting at 9 p.m. May 28. "In a way, this one restaurant, on this one corner, is a metaphor for the city as a whole," said Joe York, producer and director of "Saving Willie Mae's Scotch House." "It's still there, they still serve good food, but it is different somehow." Post-Katrina, Willie Mae's Scotch House, at the corner of Saint Anne and North Tonti streets, might have been torn down, like myriad other homes and businesses in New Orleans. York and his documentary crew followed volunteers - many of whom had never even heard of the Scotch House before - as they worked to bring the restaurant back. It was a process that started as a moderate repair job but evolved to an extensive overhaul that took more than a year. "It is just a wonderful little film," said Art Starkey, director of programming for Mississippi Public Broadcasting. "It has a strong regional interest coming from Katrina, but this is a film that anyone would like because it is filled with good people." Many of the volunteers featured in the film belong to Southern Foodways Alliance, housed in the UM Center for the Study of Southern Culture. They were called in to help after the storm, not knowing the scope of the project. Learn more.

UM Marks 156th Commencement, Last for Chancellor Khayat

Anthropology Major Wins First Place in International Essay Contest

UM Receives $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations Grant to Study Ways to Improve Malaria Drug

School of Pharmacy Ranks No. 5 Nationally in Research Funding

An Investment in Preparation: UMMC Pandemic Ready
The now-dwindling call for alarm over a new flu strain that claimed nearly 50 lives internationally leaves the state anticipating cases, and the University of Mississippi Medical Center ready to respond. Call it H1N1, Swine Flu or North American Flu, the strain that first surfaced in Mexico and went on to dot the globe will spread farther, for sure. The question is, how quickly? "This could be no more than the garden-variety flu we see annually. But we've planned and prepared for the worst and we'll work from there," said Dr. Rathel "Skip" Nolan, interim director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Medical Center. "It could change, but there are few cases of secondary infection - people getting sick from casual transmission of the virus as might happen in a public place like a subway, movie theater or classroom." As scientists splice and replicate the virus through the months-long process of vaccine manufacturing, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the media scaled down earlier warnings. As such, the CDC early this month canceled its recommendation that schools consider closing to prevent spread of the disease. Instead, citing nearly 1,000 cases covering most U.S. states, the CDC said closings would be ineffective for virus control and recommended those who feel ill stay home. Learn more.

Arrhythmia Invaders

Gaining MomentUM

Discovery Engine

No Equity, No Quality

Southern Miss Students Awarded Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Scholarships
Three University of Southern Mississippi students have been awarded a prestigious study abroad scholarship from Phi Kappa Phi, an honor society promoting academic excellence and service. The students include Suzanna Ellzey, a sophomore biochemistry major from Hattiesburg; Ruth Poe, a junior history and psychology double major from Vicksburg; and Alexis Smith, also a junior history and psychology double major, from Oak Grove. Another Southern Miss student, junior Christie Reynolds of Valley Grande, Ala., was chosen as an alternate in the event one of the others students is unable to participate. All four are students in Southern Miss' prestigious Honors College. The three recipients were among just 50 from across the country chosen for the $1,000 awards, which require applicants have at least a grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale; a minimum of 30 and maximum of 90 completed academic credit hours; and attend an institution with a Phi Kappa Phi chapter. Study abroad grant winners must also have at least two semesters remaining in their home institution after studying abroad, and participate in a study abroad program between May 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010. For more information about these and other scholarships, contact Southern Miss Officer of National Scholarships and Fellowships Robyn Curtis at (601) 266-4263; for more information about Southern Miss Study Abroad Programs, call International Education at (601) 266-4344. Learn more.

Perseverance, Giving Back Lessons of the Storm for Southern Miss Katrina Class

Measure Success Not by Money, Southern Miss Graduation Speaker Urges

Southern Miss Alumnus Wiest Appointed Director of Top Collegiate Jazz Band

Moore Selected as Grand Marshal, Distinguished Professor for 2009 at Southern Miss

Gulf Coast Community Leader Receives Honorary Doctorate from Southern Miss
Jerry St. Pé, former president of Ingalls Shipbuilding and retired executive vice president of Litton Industries, was awarded the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast's commencement ceremony May 9 at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. Southern Miss Provost Robert Lyman granted St. Pé his hood to indicate the doctoral distinction. "Throughout my professional life I have been blessed with many humbling experiences and opportunities," said St. Pé. "To be recognized in such a way by The University of Southern Mississippi is both humbling and overwhelming." St. Pé has been recognized and honored multiple times for his work as a community leader on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. For his service to America's naval shipbuilding, St. Pé received the Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz Award by the Navy League of the United States, the league's highest honor. "Having my name associated with a university whose values and vision have enriched our quality of life in so many ways will make me forever mindful to hold this degree with the respect and dignity its leadership and faculty - past, present and future - deserve," he said. "I proudly accept this honor on behalf of the many mentors who have had a positive influence on my life." Learn more.

Southern Miss Gulf Coast Recognizes Outstanding Students, Who's Who at 2009 Awards Day

Southern Miss Scientists, Students Study Greenhouse Gases on Gulf Cruise

Southern Miss Gulf Coast College of Business Students Awarded for Excellence

International Development Program Hosts Guest Lecturer

Alcorn State University Online

A New Home - A New Beginning
On a cloudy morning with rain threatening, a large crowd gathered on the Delta State University quadrangle at 8 a.m. on Friday, May 1 for a unique event. The fact that rain appeared imminent and the event didn't start until 10:30 a.m. reflected the excitement and anticipation of the first naturalization ceremony ever hosted by Delta State. "I was very excited to get here," said Amandeep Brar from India, who now lives in Greenville. "I took classes at Delta State in 2007 and 2008 and it is great to be back on the campus, especially for an event like this. The atmosphere is lively and it's great to be outside." The Honorable W. Allen Pepper, Jr., United States District Judge, presided over the ceremony. "Delta State has assured me the weather will cooperate with us for today's event," he said when opening the ceremony. "Today is the last day of class at Delta State, with graduation to follow. It is also the day that each of you graduate into United States citizenship." Noted theologian and world traveler, Dr. Macklyn Hubble, keynoted the ceremony. Hubble regaled the crowd with stories of his career and world travels. He noted the environmental beauty he's seen and the cultures he's experienced. "I've literally been from pole to pole and witnessed beauty beyond description but the most enjoyable part of all my travels is having the opportunity to meet and get to know the people," said Hubble. Learn more.

Dr. Robert L. Elliott Conferred with Honorary Degree at Delta State's Spring Commencement

Delta State University Holds 82nd Spring Commencement

Delta State's Johnson Gives Presentation at Policy Conference in Jamaica

JSU President Ronald Mason Leads Town Hall Meeting on Strategic Plan
Jackson State University President Ronald Mason Jr. led a town hall meeting April 28 in the Jacob L. Reddix Building to provide an overview of the first phase of the university's strategic plan, called "Gearing up for Greatness." Initiated in January 2008, the overall strategic plan will map the steps for Jackson State's transition to a future learning system that will empower JSU graduates to compete and become leaders in an increasingly technological and dynamic global marketplace. "Ultimately, the goal is to produce the kinds of graduates the world will need in the coming decades," Mason said. "Is it ambitious? Yes. Is it something we have to engage in? Absolutely." More than 150 people attended the meeting, during which university leaders presented reports from strategic planning working groups that focused on academics, technology, finance and resources, and an overall assessment of Jackson State's progress over the past five years. The next phase of JSU's strategic plan is called "Planning for Greatness." It seeks to move the university toward a future learning system that will strengthen Jackson State's focus on technology and the global economy while operating in a more cost effective manner. Learn more.

Three Friends Earn Master's in Social Work at JSU

Jackson State Celebrates the Accomplishments of a 78-year-old Master's Graduate

JSU's Jazz Ensemble Wins National Awards, Records New CD

Pinkston, DuPree Serve as Speakers for Jackson State Spring Commencement

Publication Ranks MSU Landscape Architecture Program Nationally
A national architecture and design publication is ranking Mississippi State's landscape architecture department near the top nationally in two key categories. DesignIntelligence recently listed the university's landscape architecture academic program second in both skills assessment and a deans' survey of the undergraduate curriculum. The rankings are part of the Georgia-based publication's 10th annual survey titled "America's Best Architecture & Design Schools." DesignIntelligence is the bi-monthly report of the Design Futures Council, an interdisciplinary network of design, product and construction leaders. In the survey, leading practitioners in the field rank schools they feel are best preparing students to practice in architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, and industrial design. The deans' accolades for MSU cited the department's emphasis on sustainability, comprehensive education and research, said department head Sadik C. Artunc. "This ranking reflects the present-day qualifications and accomplishments of the programs better than the rankings of firms and practitioners," he added. Learn more.

Mississippi Leaders Graduate from Mississippi State Executive Development Institute

Texas Foundation Joins MSU Medallion Scholars Program

Mississippi State Students Honored for Online Entrepreneurship

MSU Professor, Student Among New National Business Education Group Leaders

MSU Cow Genome Blueprint Featured in Science Magazine
Cattle and dairy producers stand to benefit from cutting-edge genetic research conducted by scientists around the world and at Mississippi State University. More than 300 scientists from 25 countries formed a consortium to fully map the bovine genome. The study, partially funded by Mississippi's Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, was conducted over six years and has proven successful as researchers developed a blueprint of the bovine's DNA. The blueprint helps lay the groundwork for a better understanding of the species. The new information can be used to help produce cattle with valuable traits and possibly aid in better understanding human disease and development. The study received international attention and was published in the April 24 issue of the scientific journal Science Magazine. Dr. Erdogan Memili, assistant professor in MSU's Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences, and his former graduate student, Nelida Rodriguez-Osorio, had key roles in the study. They coordinated the analyses of specific characteristics of bovine genes affecting reproductive traits and early embryo development. They also collaborated with other researchers in writing the study's final report. Memili's research group and collaborators also published three companion papers to the cow genome study in the Journal of BMC Genomics. The full study is available at http://www.sciencemag.org. Learn more.

Hog Market Concerns Misguided Say MSU Specialists

MSU Website Highlights Southeastern Ant Species

MSU Ag, Forestry and Vet Medicine Honors Alumni Fellows

MSU Extension 4-H Interactive Exhibit Encourages Health, Fun

MUW Faculty Member Receives William J. Stickel Award
Mississippi University for Women Assistant Professor Ghanshyam Heda has received the 2008 William J. Stickel Award for Research in Podiatric Medicine. Heda's paper, "Role of Tissue-type Plasminogen Activator in Salicylic Acid-Induced Sloughing of Human Corn Tissue," was published in the September/October 2008 issue of the Journal of American Podiatric Medical Association. Salicylic acid based compounds have been used for several decades for the removal of skin corns and calluses. The William J. Stickel Award is a retrospective honor that, each year, recognizes the original research paper published in the Journal during the preceding calendar year. Winning authors receive a $1000 cash prize and a commemorative plaque. "This award gives me a great sense of satisfaction," said Heda. "A good work never goes unnoticed, turns out to be true, I am really excited." Learn more.

Kerzel Receives Kossen Faculty Excellence Award at MUW

MUW Faculty Members Elected to State Nursing Organization Board

Oppenheimer Named MUW Faculty Member of the Year

MUW Alumni Association Announces Board of Directors

May 13 - MSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteers will have tours, workshops, educational sessions and awards recognition at the Bost Extension Conference Center on campus. Contact Lelia Kelly at (662) 566-2201 or leliak@ext.msstate.edu. Learn more.

May 14 - MSU and WTVA-TV present "Television Going Digital" through a free teleconference at all MSU Extension offices within the WTVA viewing area. The conference provides information on how to prepare for the final DTV conversion. Contact Shelaine Wise at (662) 728-5631. Learn more.

May 15-17 - Former Gov. William Winter and the UM Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation are supporters of a 50th anniversary observance of the "wade-in" civil rights protests on the Gulf Coast. Programs will be at the Jefferson Davis Campus of Miss. Gulf Coast Community College and the Biloxi Lighthouse. Learn more.

May 18-21 - Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers hold their annual meeting at Griffis Hall on the Mississippi State campus. Contact Reba Bland at (662) 832-3554 or rbland@ext.msstate.edu. Learn more.

May 21 - Mississippi State University's Riley Center presents Chris Botti performing at the historic grand opera house from 8 to 10 p.m. The gifted trumpeter, talented composer and charismatic performer will entertain. For more info, call (601) 696-2200. Learn more.

May 21 - Mississippi State University's Mitchell Memorial Library presents a seminar on academic integrity at the IMC presentation room from 2-4 p.m. For more info on the program co-sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs, call (662) 325-0810. Learn more.

May 23 - The Southern Miss Gulf Coast Civic Chorale will perform the opening act for the Sounds by the Sea Outdoor Family Concert at 6:30 p.m. in Gulfport's Jones Park. Lawn admission to the concert is free and guests are welcome to bring chairs and blankets. Learn more.

 May 26 - The Southern Miss Gulf Coast College of Education and Psychology and Sun Herald present Jack Blitch, Vice President of Walt Disney Imagineering, to discuss "IMAGINEERING: The Disney Way" at the Advanced Education Center Auditorium at the Gulf Park Campus in Long Beach. The lecture is free. Learn more.

June 1-26 - MUW present Culinary Camp for Kids (session dates vary by grade). In the professional setting of MUW's Culinary Arts Institute, your child will have the opportunity to explore the wonderful world of food. For more information, call (662) 241-7472. Learn more.

June 7-26 - The Mississippi Governor's School at MUW is a residential honors program established in 1981 at MUW by the administration and faculty and by Gov. William F. Winter. For more information, call (662) 241-6096. Learn more.

June 12-July 1 - "Cymbeline," based on legends concerning the early Celtic British King Cunobelinus, kicks off this summer's Oxford Shakespeare Festival at the UM Ford Studio Theatre. Tickets are $14 for adults and $11 for senior citizens, students and children, available by calling (662) 915-7411.

June 14-16, 19 & 23 - Freshman and Transfer Orientations at MUW are designed to help newly enrolled students transition into college life. For more information, call (662) 241-6944. Learn more.

Look for the next issue May 29.
Mississippi's Institutions of Higher Learning
Attention: Public Affairs
Jackson, Mississippi 39211-6453
Fax: 601.432.6891

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