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Volume 4, Issue 10
Friday, May 29, 2009
Edited by Jennifer Rogers
University News
News from the System
Former Chair Returns to Head New UM Journalism School
Preferred Candidate Announcement Expected June 2
UMMC: Graduation Bliss
State Director of Financial Aid Announces Retirement
Southern Miss Honors Grad on USA TODAY Academic Team
Safety First: Defensive Driving Course Instructors Certified
USM-GC: Distinguished Prof. Awards Recipients Named
Delta Revitalization Task Force Schedules Press Conference
ASU Dean Receives Alumni Achievement Award
May Issue of Mississippi's Business Released
Delta State Picked as National Finalist
System Review Takes Summer Vacation
JSU Students Win Video Contest Grand Prize of $5,000
Mississippi State Rises in NSF Rankings
MSU Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine
MUW Nursing Has Noteworthy Accomplishments
MVSU Offers Science and Technology Camp for Sixth Graders
For more IHL News, click here.
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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.

Preferred Candidate Announcement Expected June 2
Having concluded second round interviews of candidates for the positions of Chancellor of the University of Mississippi and Commissioner of Higher Education, the IHL Board plans to meet on Tuesday to name a preferred candidate for each position. The Board, joined by members of the Search Advisory Committees, conducted second round interviews of candidates this week. The Board then met to receive recommendations from the Board Search Committees regarding the candidates. With help from search consultants with Parker Executive Search, the Board will now conduct final candidate assessments before meeting via teleconference at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 2, to determine a preferred candidate for each position. Following the teleconference, the Board will hold a press conference at 3:00 p.m. in the IHL Board Room in the Universities Center, 3825 Ridgewood Road, Jackson, MS 39211, to announce the preferred candidates. The press conference will be available for viewing via webcast via www.mississippi.edu. Click here for more information about IHL's institutional executive officer search process, including a timeline of events.

State Director of Financial Aid Announces Retirement
Mary Jane Covington, director of the Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid, recently announced her plans to retire from state service on June 30. Covington has worked in the state financial aid office since January 1998, serving first as assistant director and later as director. Covington brought to the position extensive campus experience, having previously served as director of student financial aid for the University of Mississippi Medical Center. In her 11 years with the state office, she has overseen many changes. The office simplified the application process, by converting more than 20 applications into a single web-based application for state financial aid. The office has digitized the vast majority of its processes, enabling it to operate more effectively and efficiently. The office has also turned to technology to improve communication with students and parents. Jennifer Rogers, who currently serves as IHL's interim director of media relations, communications, and marketing, has been tapped to succeed Covington as the director of student financial aid, beginning July 1. Rogers led the project team that created Mississippi's new college access website which provides "the knowledge to get college" in Mississippi. She also secured a million-dollar federal grant to promote a college-going culture in Mississippi communities, while providing college preparation and planning information to Mississippi middle school students.

Safety First: Defensive Driving Course Instructors Certified
IHL's Office of Risk Management recently hosted the National Safety Council's Defensive Driving Instructor Developmental Course. Twenty-one individuals from seven universities are now certified to deliver the National Safety Council's four-hour Defensive Driving Course, called DDC-4. Over the past four years, IHL Safety and Loss Control Director Andy Taylor has delivered the course to over 600 university employees. "That may sound like a lot," Taylor stated, "but we have about 24,000 employees and over 1,700 university-owned vehicles - that's only a drop in the bucket. Having an additional 21 instructors will increase our driver training opportunities considerably." The DDC-4 is making a positive impact. Auto liability claims have decreased significantly in frequency and severity, since IHL began offering the DDC-4 in 2005. "Since driving is one of the most hazardous things we do and the leading cause of workplace fatalities nationwide, it makes sense to take part of a day to brush up on your skills and learn a few new ones," Taylor explained. "Those who transport students, whether it's a class, club or team, are hauling rather precious cargo!" DDC-4 participants receive practical strategies to reduce collisions and related injuries, fatalities, and repair costs. The course stresses the recognition of unsafe attitudes, conditions and behaviors, and then provides appropriate defenses for each recognized hazard. Each university has a DDC-4 primary contact, who can schedule courses for university employees. Andy Taylor is also available to conduct the course and can be reached at 601-432-6659 or attaylor@mississippi.edu.

Delta Revitalization Task Force Schedules Press Conference
Robert Clark, former Speaker Pro Tem of the Mississippi House of Representatives and chair of the Delta Revitalization Task Force will release the task force plan to revitalize the Mississippi Delta Region in a press conference to be held at the Mississippi Capitol Building at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 3. The plan represents the culmination of three years of work by the special task force. MDC, Inc. of Chapel Hill, N.C. and IHL Executive Office staff assisted the task force in the development of the plan. For more information, contact Pete Walley in the IHL Bureau of Long-Range Economic Development Planning.

May Issue of Mississippi's Business Released
The May issue of Mississippi's Business has been released by the Economics Department of the IHL Office of Policy Research and Planning. The issue, which can be accessed online as a PDF, provides an overview of the state's economic situation as indicated by the leading and coincident indexes. The issue also features an article on improvements in the levels of educational attainment for Mississippi workers since 1990. For more information about Mississippi's Business, contact Senior Economist Darrin Webb at (601) 432-6556.

System Review Takes Summer Vacation
The System Review will take a publication break during the summer months. A special edition of the newsletter will be distributed in the event of an emergency or important announcement.

Former Chair Returns to Head New UM Journalism School
Will Norton, dean of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism, returns to the University of Mississippi July 1 as founding dean of the new Meek School of Journalism and New Media. Norton served 13 years as chair of UM's Department of Journalism before becoming UNL's journalism dean in 1990. He joined UM in 1974 as assistant professor of journalism. "It was not an easy decision (to leave UNL) because the faculty, staff and students of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are such important parts of my life," Norton said. "However, the timing is right." UM Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Morris Stocks said he's pleased that Norton has accepted the position. "Dr. Norton is an accomplished administrator who has led the University of Nebraska College of Journalism and Mass Communications for the last 19 years," Stocks said. "As dean, he has provided outstanding leadership, has built strong relationships with alumni and the profession, and has led the program to a position of national prominence. I am confident that his experience and ability will serve our school and university well." A national leader in his profession, Norton served as president of the Association for Education in Journalism in 2000-01 and as president of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication in 1989-90. He is a member of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. Learn more.

UM Gains National Recognition for Number of Minorities Earning Doctorates in Mathematics

Natural Products Center Teams with Botanicals Trade Group for Training, Information Sharing

Jake Adam York is Third Summer Poet in Residence

Shepard Smith Supports Legacy Fund with Contribution Honoring UM Chancellor

Graduation Bliss
In his last presiding role at UMMC Commencement, University of Mississippi Chancellor Robert Khayat, who is retiring next month, told graduates of the health sciences campus, "most of what is said here today will be forgotten, but you must record in your memory your place in this happy event." So with speech-making at a minimum, 515 students received degrees at the Mississippi Coliseum in less than two hours. "My memory of this Commencement will always be tinged with a degree of sadness because it marks the final ceremony in which our dear friend (Khayat) will confer degrees to our graduates," said UMMC vice chancellor Dr. Dan Jones. "His leadership has been transformational, and he has inspired every member of the university family-not just to move our university forward, but also our state. Working with him has been a rare privilege." While lining up for the Commencement processional, both faculty and students expressed opinions about Khayat's leadership. Jeff Aycock of Madison, who received the D.M.D. in Friday's ceremony, said Khayat "led by example. He respected and was respected by everyone." Aycock was an undergrad at Ole Miss as was his classmate Jason Brown of Jackson, who said progress under Khayat's leadership has been "quite remarkable." Jeanette Adair, senior associate dean in the School of Health Related Professions, said Khayat is "a visionary leader who never forgot UMMC is part of his family." Learn more.

Graduate Stories

Leaps and Bounds

Accelerating Exploration

Beebe Elected to National Board

Southern Miss Honors Grad on USA TODAY Academic Team
No stranger to honors and awards, Jessica Shackleford, a recent chemistry and Honors College graduate, has added another coup to her long list of academic accomplishments. Shackleford has been named to the USA Today 2009 All-USA College Academic third team, the only student from a Mississippi university or college to be named to any place on the team, ranking her among its top 60 college students in the United States. Shackleford, who earned an honorable mention for the team last year, is only the third Southern Miss student to be named to the team. Her placement marks the first time in more than a decade a Southern Miss student has been named to the team. In 2008, Shackleford was named a finalist for the prestigious Truman Scholarship, an award conferred upon high-achieving college juniors who show commitment to public service and potential to continue that service beyond graduation. To qualify, Shackleford wrote a proposal for a statewide college prep program in high school based on a local high school program that she founded. Among Shackleford's additional awards is the Barry Goldwater Scholarship, which she won in 2007 when she was a sophomore. The highest honor given to undergraduate students in science in the country, the Goldwater is usually awarded to college juniors. Learn more.

Southern Miss Spring 2009 Graduate Receives First Jack Lucas Award

Bryant Honors Retired Southern Miss Professor at Memorial Day Program

Southern Miss Alumnus Brings Hollywood Screenwriting Experience to Classroom

Southern Miss Preview Orientation Dates Set for Freshmen, Transfer Students

Recipients of Distinguished Professorship Awards Named
The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast has named the winners of the 2008-2009 Butch Oustalet Family Distinguished Professorship Awards for the areas of service, teaching and research. Dr. Tim Morse, associate professor of special education, and Dr. Michael Mong, assistant professor of psychology are recipients of The Service Award for their collaborative efforts in the Southern Miss Autism Assessment Clinic, which serves as a resource addressing the needs of individuals with an autism spectrum disorder. Marlene Naquin, mathematics instructor in the College of Science and Technology, is the recipient of the Teaching Award for her commitment to student instruction. In addition to developing and directing the mathematics laboratory at Southern Miss Gulf Coast, Naquin advises math licensure students in their final semester. The Research Award is given to Dr. Shahdad Naghshpour, professor of political science, international development and international affairs, for his dedication and contributions to research. The Butch Oustalet Family Distinguished Professorship Awards were created to recognize Southern Miss Gulf Coast faculty who have demonstrated exemplary achievements in the areas service, teaching and research. Each award winner will receive $1,000 and a plaque recognizing their achievement. The winners, selected by a six-member committee, were judged on submitted material supporting the specified area of distinction. Learn more.

Southern Miss Gulf Coast Graduate Follows Dream Receives Awards, Fellowship

Southern Miss Gulf Coast Student Government Officers Chosen

Ghosts of Katrina Conference to Examine Community Preparation, Resilience

Southern Miss Gulf Coast Marketing and Public Relations Wins Five Awards, Grand Award

Dean of the College for Excellence Receives Alumni Achievement Award
R. Edward L. Vaughn, Sr., Dean of the College for Excellence, was one of four individuals who received the Alumni Achievement Award for professional accomplishments from Lincoln University (PA) during its commencement weekend activities May 1-2, 2009. The award was conferred at the Founder's Day and Alumni Awards Banquet on Saturday May 2, 2009. The Alumni Achievement Award is the highest award bestowed on an alumnus by the university through the auspices of the National Alumni Association. Alumni from the reunion classes are eligible for nomination by alumni. All awardees must be approved by the Executive Committee after being nominated. Professional accomplishments and civic involvement are considered in making the selections. Learn more.

Delta State Picked as National Finalist
Delta State University has been selected as a finalist to host the 2010 Teach For America Charter Summer Institute. Teach For America is the national corps of outstanding recent college graduates and professionals of all academic majors and career interests who commit two years to teach in urban and rural public schools and become leaders in the effort to expand educational opportunity. If awarded, Delta State will host over 800 participants for eight weeks of intensive teacher training in the summer of 2010. In a January letter, Mississippi Superintendent of Education, Dr. Hank Bounds, urged Teach For America to send over 200 corps members to the Delta in 2009, making it the largest incoming corps in Teach For America's 18 year history. "This is an opportunity for leaders with compelling ideas to help the Delta prosper," stated Bounds. "This is an opportunity for you to be the leaders that Mississippi Delta children need and deserve." Admission to Teach For America is highly selective with just over 10 percent of the more than 35,000 applicants representing over 500 of the nation's top colleges and universities earning acceptance into the 2009 corps. Learn more.

Delta State to Host Janice Wyatt Summer Arts Institute Camps

Delta State Dietitians Shine at State Conference

Eli Whiteside Makes 2009 Debut with Giants; Starts Sunday Against Seattle

Jackson State Students Win Video Contest Grand Prize of $5,000
Jackson State University freshmen Lionel Reaves and Kendrick Law were named the winners of the grand student prize of the Power Down for the Planet Video Challenge on May 4. The pair won $5,000 and each team member received a 2009 Specialized Globe Vienna Deluxe 1 bike and a license for Microsoft Expression Studio. Power Down for the Planet is a program that encourages universities and campus communities to reduce their energy consumption and get their students, faculty, and staff involved in the fight against climate change. "The criteria were for us to come up with a video that would show the benefits of efficient computing," said Law, an 18- year-old biology major. "We were trying to figure out a way that would show that using your computer every single day and leaving it plugged in would waste energy." After researching the topic of energy consumption, the students learned new information about the role wasteful energy consumption plays in global warming. "I found that certain things you think might be saving energy may not, such as screen savers," said Reaves, a 19-year-old business management major. "I knew that somehow wasting energy had something to do with global warming and greenhouse gases," Law said. "But I found that the more energy you waste, the more energy you have to keep producing. That means more fossil fuels have to be burned, and more carbon and pollutants are emitted into the ozone." Learn more.

JSU Alumni Association Honors 20 Graduates with Jacksonian Award of Distinction

Jackson State Soccer Star Postpones Professional Soccer Career for College Education

Mississippi State Rises in NSF Rankings
Mississippi State's Bagley College of Engineering now ranks 34th among all engineering colleges nationally in research and development expenditures. The university also ranks fifth in agricultural sciences research. A National Science Foundation report for fiscal year 2007--the most current year for which figures are available--also lists the university as a whole at 58th among all public institutions of higher learning. The survey included 680 higher education institutions in the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. All grant bachelor's degrees or higher in science and engineering fields and expect at least $150,000 in separately funded science and engineering research and development in a fiscal year. From finding solutions to sustainable energy sources to protecting the public in the cyber universe, MSU research efforts have focused on the improvement of lives at the regional, national and international levels, said Glenn Steele, interim vice president of research and economic development. In the recently released report, MSU's $37.5 million in agricultural sciences expenditures and its Bagley College's $56.4 million in research expenditures placed the university one of only two Southeastern Conference programs--University of Florida is the other--in the top five and top 40 in the respective areas. The ranking places the MSU academic unit among the highest 10 percent of all engineering colleges in the nation. Learn more.

MSU Honors Burgess with Powe Research Award

Steele Named MSU's Interim VP of Research and Economic Development

MSU Archaeologists Dig at Poverty Point National Historic Site

National Honor Society Recognizes Two MSU Business Majors

Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine Online

MUW Nursing Has Noteworthy Accomplishments
The graduate nursing program at Mississippi University for Women announces for the third consecutive year a 100 percent pass rate on the American Nurses Credentialing Center nurse practitioner exam. The program once again surpassed the national average score of 397.07 scoring an average 413.19. The test covers basic knowledge and practices nurse practitioner s are required to master and serves as the credentialing exam for all nurse practitioners throughout the United States. "The W has always had a high pass rate and our graduates are highly sought after for positions in health care provision for our state," said Dr. Patsy Smyth, professor and chair of the graduate nursing program at MUW. "This fine work is a result of the exceptional faculty at our school." In addition to its successful pass rate, the program has received a Department of Health and Human Services Resources and Services Administration grant for $39,795 for the 2010 fiscal year. Learn more.

MUW's Hilliard Named Post Secondary Educator of The Year at Link Banquet

Senior Exit Project at MUW More Than Lights, Camera, Action

MUW's Biddy Directs Production of 'Smokey Joe's Cafe' in Jackson

MVSU Offers Science and Technology Camp for Sixth Graders
Rising sixth grade students will have an opportunity to learn about science and computer applications during a special camp June 15-26 at Mississippi Valley State University. The camp is free and open to the first 20 students who submit a completed application. The two-week session is through MVSU's Information Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers Using Catfish and Their Environment As A Model (ITEST-CEMO) Program, funded through a grant by the National Science Foundation. The ITEST-CEMO summer component will introduce students to 3-D animation using the computer program, Alice. In addition, students will visit a national fishery service laboratory at the Stennis Space Center and interact with scientists and administrators who are utilizing technology which have future implications in the leading industry in the Delta area-catfish farming. Students will also be exposed to remote sensing technology at the Stennis Space Center "This will be an exciting experience for the sixth graders," said Dr. Louis Hall, project director and MVSU assistant professor. "They will be exposed to technology and science in hands-on activities. Hopefully, this will motivate them into choosing a science career," he said. "They will be looking at water quality, pesticides and how these chemicals interact with the environment. The students will present their findings at the conclusion of the camp," Hall said. Call 662.254.3036 or e-mail mmays@mvsu.edu for details. Learn more.

MVSU Vice President to Head Greenwood-Leflore United Way

B.B. King Set to Host Annual MVSU Blues Workshop June 5

MVSU Hosts Rural Grant Writing Workshop on June 4

Teacher Workshops Planned Throughout Summer at MVSU

May 29 - Faculty and graduate students from the UM Department of Physics and Astronomy will man telescopes at Kennon Observatory from 8:30 to 10:00 p.m. to give visitors close-up looks at the moon, Saturn and several colorful double stars and star clusters. Families are welcome, and admission is free. Learn more.

 May 31 - The Southern Miss trombone choir will give listeners a tour preview concert. Learn more.

June 2 - Mississippi Valley State University's Institute for Effective Teaching Practices (IETP) invites teachers to participate in the professional development workshop, "Sharpen the Saw: Cutting Edge Skills for Teacher Success" on the Itta Bena campus. For more information, call (662) 254-3918 or (662) 254-3719. Learn more.

June 4 - Mississippi Valley State University will host a Federal Rural Health Grantwriting Workshop on Thursday, June 4 from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. in the Business Education Building auditorium on the Itta Bena campus. There is no registration fee. For more information, call (662) 254-3882. Learn more.

June 5 - The ninth annual B.B. King Blues Workshop is scheduled for Friday, June 5, beginning at 9:00 a.m. The event will culminate with Dr. King hosting the workshop finale from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. in the H.G. Carpenter auditorium. Learn more.

June 12 - Mississippi State University's Mitchell Memorial Library presents "creating budgets," a program to explain how to use spreadsheets to create and track budgets. The free program will take place at the library from 10 a.m. until noon in the Instructional Media Center. 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. Tickets are available by calling (662) 915-7411. Learn more.

Through January 31 - Artwork by renowned painter, writer and naturalist Walter Inglis Anderson is on exhibit at the UM J.D. Williams Library. The 60-piece display, "Walter Anderson and World Literature," is hosted by the Department of Archives and Special Collections on the library's third floor. Admission is free. Learn more.

Mississippi's Institutions of Higher Learning
Attention: Public Affairs
Jackson, Mississippi 39211-6453
Fax: 601.432.6891

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