Two Years after Katrina: System Prepared for Disaster
Two years ago this week, on August 29, every university and college campus in Mississippi was impacted by the worst natural disaster ever to hit the United States. During the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, as in previous crises, Mississippi's university administrators volunteered to help each other by providing fuel, food services, and other supplies, housing, cleanup assistance, and much more. These informal arrangements worked, but System leaders recognized the need for a structured yet flexible disaster plan. The resulting plan established a specific chain of command, with a primary disaster contact at the IHL Executive office and contacts at each university. The plan details how assistance requests should be made and provides instructions for the establishment of an incident command center. The plan is designed to ensure that System resources are made available to the affected institution(s) quickly and in a cost-effective manner. To facilitate the success of the plan, the System has invested in reliable communication technology, such as satellite telephones, created a resource inventory which is updated annually at a minimum, and established contractual relationships with outside vendors to provide necessary resources if needed. Though no one was truly prepared for a disaster like Katrina, Mississippi's university system is far better prepared should disaster strike again. For more information, contact Director of Insurance and Risk Management Cliff Tucker at email@example.com.
BRC Solicits Feedback from External Entities
Ms. Barbara Kidd and Mr. Claiborne Barksdale visit before the meeting.
IHL Commissioner Dr. Thomas Meredith (center) and Mr. Johnny Franklin (right) visit with Ms. Cheryl Beene (left).
(L to R) Dr. Daphne Buckley, Ms. Cheryl Beene, Dr. Sam Bounds, and Mr. Johnny Franklin participated in the meeting.
The IHL Executive Office of Academic and Student Affairs, which is coordinating the Blue Ribbon Committee (BRC) for the Redesign of Teacher Preparation, hosted a luncheon Thursday to solicit feedback on the BRC's preliminary recommendations from representatives of important external entities. After presenting the committee's recommendations for improving the quality and quantity of teachers in the state, IHL Assistant Commissioner for Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Lynn House moderated discussion on the proposed changes. "It is critical to the success of the BRC's redesign efforts that we hear from every constituent group," said Dr. House. "Even though these external entities have not been directly involved in the work of the committee, they are stakeholders with a vested interest in the committee's work and they possess valuable experience from which the committee can benefit." Meeting participants included Mr. Claiborne Barksdale, Chief Executive Director of the Barksdale Reading Institute; Ms. Cheryl Beene, Mississippi Teacher of the Year; Dr. Sam Bounds, Executive Director of the MS Association of School Superintendents; Dr. Daphne Buckley, Assistant Superintendent of the MS Department of Education; Mr. Johnny Franklin, Executive Policy Advisor with the Office of the Governor; Ms. Anna Hurt, Executive Director of the MS Association of School Administrators; Ms. Judy Rhodes, Executive Director of the MS Professional Educators; Dr. Mike Waldrop, Director of the MS School Boards Association; Mrs. Barbara Kidd, Director of Communications with the MS Association of Educators; and Ms. Frankie Walton White, Sr. Policy Research Analyst with SERVE. Mr. Eugene Bryant, President of the MS State Conference of the NAACP, and Ms. Mary Hardy, Director of the MS Parent Teacher Association, were unable to attend. Dr. House will also present the recommendations to the Mississippi Commission on Teacher and Administrator Licensure and Certification and Development next Friday, September 7. Learn more about the Blue Ribbon Committee for the Redesign of Teacher Preparation.
Data, Reports Available from IHL Office of Research and Planning
In addition to its oversight function, the IHL Executive Office provides support to Mississippi's eight public universities. The IHL Office of Policy Research and Planning fulfills this support role in part by collecting and analyzing a variety of data for use by the institutions, the IHL Board of Trustees, the Legislature, educational agencies, and the general public. IHL maintains over seven different databases that house information about courses and credit hours; degrees; and demographic, academic, and other information on employees, students, and financial aid recipients. Upon request, IHL may provide data and reports for use in grant proposals, performance evaluations, accreditation processes, cost studies, press releases, and other purposes. Recent data requests include student enrollment by ethnicity, gender, and degree objective; degrees awarded by ethnicity and gender; credit hour production by discipline; faculty by part/full-time status; faculty with terminal degrees; average class size; retention and graduation rates; average credit hours attempted by discipline; and average financial aid award by scholarship program. System Fast Facts, Enrollment Fact Books, Degree Books, and other statistical documents can be found by following the Research and Planning link on the IHL home page. Additional information may be obtained by contacting Director of Institutional Research and Analysis Jim Hood at firstname.lastname@example.org.
| |Fire Safety Tips: Prevent Residence Hall Fires
In the August edition of Safety and Loss Control News
, which is disseminated monthly to over 80 people with an interest in campus safety across our public university campuses, the IHL Office of Risk Management noted the recent rise in college residence hall fires and offered some practical tips for preventing such fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the estimated number of fires in campus housing nearly doubled between 1998 and 2005, rising from about 1,800 to 3,300. Nationally, from 2000 to 2005, campus fires caused 39 deaths and nearly 400 injuries. College housing fires most commonly occur in the evenings or during the weekends when students spend more time in their residences and usually involve cooking equipment, such as hot plates, microwaves, portable grills, etc. The majority of residence hall fire deaths and injuries occur in sleeping areas and are associated with smoking materials like tobacco products, candles, and incense. The Consumer Product Safety Commission and NFPA offer the following practical tips for reducing college housing fires:
- Cook in designated areas only, and never leave cooking equipment unattended when in use.
- Always extinguish flames before leaving a room or going to sleep.
- Electrical products, portable heaters, and lighting such as halogen lamps are the source of many dorm fires. Keep combustibles away from heat sources and don't overload electrical outlets, extension cords, and power strips.
- Take special care with holiday and seasonal decorations. Don't use combustible materials and never block access to safety devices, doors, etc.
- Know your building's evacuation plan in case something does go wrong.
- Don't disable smoke alarms.
- Sign-up to receive automatic electronic email notification announcements of recalls at www.cpsc.gov.
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.
JACKSON STATE UNIVERSITY NEWS
Jackson State/Meharry Partnership Encourages Teen Seatbelt Use
An August observation of students arriving for class at Jackson’s public high schools showed that 27 percent of teens wore seatbelts. That is not good, according to members of the Jackson State University (JSU) and Meharry Medical College’s State Farm Alliance in Nashville, Tenn. They say the overall rate should be more than 80 percent. “No matter how far, no matter whose car … always buckle up,” repeated Dawn Bishop-McLin, lead investigator of the project and a psychology professor at Jackson State. She spoke during the Aug. 23 press conference at the Jackson Medical Mall announcing the plan to increase teen seatbelt usage. Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the partners hope to change Mississippi’s status as the state with the lowest seatbelt use among teens and highest rate of death due to automobile crashes. “We need to change the behavior of people here in Jackson,” said Bishop-McLin. “Buckle up every single time.” The father of two teenage sons, JSU President Ronald Mason, Jr. said he routinely encourages his children to buckle up. “I hope that if I say it often enough, they’ll be in the habit of wearing their seatbelts, but it takes a village working together on this issue. This is one of a long list of things we are working on at Jackson State to challenge minds and change lives.” Learn more.
JSU Graduate Selected for the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame
Lewis to Don Tiger Mascot Suit
MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY NEWS
MSU Again Among Universities Cited for 'Service to Country'
Mississippi State University (MSU) continues among the top 100 universities in a national magazine ranking based on "what colleges are doing for the country." MSU is 82nd among some 240 major public and private institutions in the Washington Monthly's third annual survey--up from last year's inclusion at 108. The complete 2007 list is available in the September issue and at www.washingtonmonthly.com/ features/2007/0709.natlrankings.pdf .
The guide assesses universities on the basis of community service, research, and how frequently they admit and graduate low-income students. "As in previous years, our aim is to offer an alternative to the U.S. News & World Report and similar college guides," editor Paul Glastris explained in the article's introduction. "Those guides focus on what colleges can do for you. We focus on what colleges are doing for the country." MSU, a 129-year-old land-grant institution, now ranks third highest among the 12 Southeastern Conference universities. Florida is 26th and Vanderbilt is 39th. Learn more.
MSU Graduate, Doctoral Candidate Named STAR Fellow
Dates for MSU Art Faculty Exhibition Announced
MSU Releases Dates for 2007 Prospective-student Programs
MISSISSIPPI UNIVERSITY FOR WOMEN NEWS
MUW Honors Students Participate in Undergraduate Research
The Ina E. Gordy Honors College at Mississippi University for Women awarded four grants to fund undergraduate student research. Proposals that were fully or partially funded this past year covered a range of subjects including music used in video games, leadership, English literature, and pop culture. Rachel Delk’s grant funded her trip to a conference, where she presented her research, titled “A Video Gamer’s Use of Music in the Process of Self-Identification and Character Development.” Delk, who is a senior general music major from Vernon, Ala., said her research is the result of an honors seminar on media effects. “The class really interested me in the media, and I was particularly interested in the area of video games. I’ve been playing them my whole life.” Delk wrote a seven-page research paper about music in video games and after doing some additional research decided to develop the theory. She said game space immersion is one hook that video game companies use to draw people into playing more games. One tactic of immersion that video game companies use deals with the relationship that a gamer may have with a character. “According to a study conducted by Kim and McDonald (2001), children identify strongly with characters inside a video game to the point that they advance their social self,” she said. “This identification may come about by different means. Two theories that may explain these processes are self-verification and mood management. Learn more.
MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY NEWS
Mississippi Valley State University Online
UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI NEWS
Physics Researchers Join LIGO in Search of Gravitational Waves
Neutron stars, space-time ripples, and gravitational waves all sound more like something from the next Star Trek movie than serious science, but a team of University of Mississippi (UM) physicists has joined a worldwide collaboration to study these far-out phenomena. The UM researchers have joined the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) scientific collaboration, which includes more than 500 scientists from 47 institutions globally working to detect gravitational waves for the first time. Predicted by Albert Einstein as part of his theory of general relativity 91 years ago, these invisible "ripples" in space-time are accepted by many astrophysicists but have never been actually observed. The LIGO collaboration, backed by the National Science Foundation, could unlock unimaginable scientific advances in astrophysics. "In Einstein's theory, space and time are described as a single entity called space-time," said Marco Cavaglia, assistant professor of physics and astronomy and principal investigator of the UM LIGO team. "Just like a stretched piece of fabric is distorted by a heavy object placed upon it, the space-time geometry is continuously distorted by the presence of mass or energy." UM physicists have studied astrophysical sources of gravitational waves for years. Their scholarship has been recognized by their peers at other institutions and their findings published extensively in academic journals. Learn more.
Business Community Offered Education Sessions on Japanese Customs, Etiquette
Honors College Grants Scholarships to 14 Outstanding Freshmen
Museum Exhibition Showcases Theora Hamblett's ‘Famous Artists School' Experience
Williams Library to Host ‘Let's Talk About It' Reading and Discussion Series on Jewish Literature
UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI MEDICAL CENTER NEWS
Duty Hours Emphasize Training Over Cheap Labor
Three hours after 6:15 a.m. hospital rounds, Dr. Alden Kirk consults with a nurse at the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s post surgical clinic in the Jackson Medical Mall Thad Cochran Center. Kirk, completing his fifth year as a resident, saw about a dozen patients at the hospital, and he plans to spend about two hours seeing patients in clinic. After that, he has cases scheduled for the afternoon. He takes a moment to lean against the wall and talk about his experiences before and after the implementation of duty hour limits, which restrict residents to work no more than 80 hours per week. “It’s making residency more of a shift work,” said Kirk, who has since moved to Oxford to be a general surgeon. “There are more sign outs, and in the past, you stayed until the work was completed. In the surgical environment, you have cases that need to be done and that you want to do. Learn more.
ASB Joins Habitat, Yates to Construct New Home for Jackson Housekeeper
"Unexpected Opportunity" Elevates Mitchell to Chair of Surgery
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI NEWS
Southern Miss Residence Hall Facilities, Security Upgraded
The University of Southern Mississippi Department of Residence Life is committed to continually evaluating and improving security for the more than 3,600 students who live in campus housing. And the implementation of new security technology and an increase in public safety personnel assigned to housing facilities is evidence of that. “We examine our security strategy regularly to see what steps we can take to prevent crime and vandalism on our campus, and we believe our efforts will minimize those occurrences,” said Chris Crenshaw, director of the Department of Residence Life. Examples of these improvements include the security system installed in The Village, a new gated, mixed-use residence life complex for female students. In addition to being a gated community, The Village has a complex card access system that requires a student to swipe their identification card in three different locations and utilize a pin code before actually entering their room. Plans are also being made to install card access for the room doors of Hattiesburg and Mississippi Halls prior to the start of the spring semester, and as new residence halls are built, card access and video surveillance will also be added to those facilities. Learn more.
Southern Miss Thad Cochran Center Celebrates First Anniversary
Southern Miss Alumna Helping Residents Impacted by Katrina Find Jobs
Photos by Pulitzer-Prize-winning Photojournalist on Display at Southern Miss Museum of Art
Southern Miss Marching Band Starts Year with New Director
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST NEWS
Southern Miss Welcomes Students Back to Gulf Park Campus
As Bill Riffle sat on the second floor of the Advanced Education Center on The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park campus, he highlighted notes in his textbook and waited for his experimental design class to begin. The date is Aug. 22, 2007, and it is the first day for classes at Southern Miss. This day is also special because it is the first day that the Gulf Park campus has held both day and night classes since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast two years earlier. “I’ve taken classes at the Gulf Coast Student Service Center and I’ve taken classes up in Hattiesburg, but my first class was here at Gulf Park,” said Riffle, beginning his third year to earn his doctorate in educational leadership. “It’s much easier for me to take classes at Gulf Park.” Riffle, who is taking two classes at a time to reach his goal, hopes to work his way up to superintendent of a school district. Although he began taking classes at the Gulf Park campus years before, Riffle was impressed with the efforts put into opening the Gulf Coast Student Service Center in Gulfport following the destruction from Hurricane Katrina. “They did an outstanding job of getting the student service center up and running,” said Riffle. “There was a lot of work put into it and I appreciate their efforts.” Learn more.
Brannin Overcomes Personal Hardship to Help Restore Southern Miss Gulf Coast Beauty
Watch WLOX's Coverage of The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Fall Convocation on August 24, 2007
Southern Miss Gulf Coast Professor Douglas Bristol Presents at Conference
Watch WLOX's Trang Pham-Bui Report on the Southern Miss Gulf Park Campus Opening to Students for Day Classes
ALCORN STATE UNIVERSITY NEWS
Alcorn Saturday Science Academy Promotes Excellence in Academic Achievement
Recently, Alcorn State University Saturday Science Academy (SSA) launched a program to promote a structured volunteer program where faculty, students, and staff can earn recognition and credit for their work. Alcorn State University’s Saturday Science Academy is a Title III funded program under the direction of Dr. Franklin Jackson, vice president for institutional advancement planning and research. The SSA provides enhanced math and science activities to the middle school students of Jefferson and Claiborne Counties on Saturdays from September to May. Operating since 1997, SSA has made a name for itself among the programs that promote excellence in academic achievement. Over this period of time, statistics have revealed that SSA participants consistently achieve advanced levels in math and science and overall achievement. For this reason, SSA has experienced a steady growth in the number of middle school students who are interested in math and science. SSA now has a waiting list for enrollment. All of this success would not have been possible without the commitment and active involvement of teachers, university students, faculty and staff as volunteers, mentors, presenters, and instructors. The level of voluntarism that the Academy has enjoyed over the years is truly appreciated. Learn more.
DELTA STATE UNIVERSITY NEWS
Delta State University Breaks Ground for DMI Recording Studios
Members of Delta State’s administration, faculty, and staff took golden shovels in hand and donned hard hats Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the groundbreaking for the Delta Music Institute Recording Studios on the campus of Delta State University. The studios, which will be the centerpiece of the Delta Music Institute program, will be constructed inside the old Whitfield Gymnasium. Completion of the project is set for the spring of 2008. Dr. John M. Hilpert, President of Delta State, offered, “These studios, housed in this historic building, will give our students an opportunity to apply their audio recording skills under the supervision of DMI faculty in a unique facility. The Delta Music Institute program also fits in nicely with our overall academic program.” The design for the studios was drawn by veteran engineer/producer Norbert Putnam, and will consist of two main recording spaces. Studio A will serve as an orchestral studio, able to accommodate symphony orchestras, concert bands, mass choirs, and other large ensembles while Studio B will serve the recording needs of smaller ensembles or solo performers. There will also be a Studio C, which will serve as a small project lab. Learn more.
Delta State Partners to Present First-Ever ‘Mississippi Delta Children’s Arts & Letters’ Festival
Delta State’s Brooks Receives National Recognition
Statesmen Name Wilson Starter for Jackson State Contest
Delta State to Open Football Season Saturday vs. Jackson State
Sept. 4 - Mississippi State University's libraries present a workshop on how to use the library at 11 a.m. in Mitchell Memorial Library's ELI Electronic Classroom. Sessions include the basics of finding books and journals in the Mississippi State library system. For more information, call (662) 325-3834. Learn more.
Sept. 5 - Mississippi State University's Delta Xi Phi Multicultural Sorority Inc. presents the cultural movie series Over the Rainbow at 7 p.m. at Mitchell Memorial Library. No admission is charged to view the romantic comedy in Korean with English subtitles. For more information, call (501) 940-8949. Learn more.
Sept. 5 - The 1960 drama Inherit the Wind, starring Spencer Tracy and Gene Kelly, kicks off the University of Mississippi's Censorship Film Series, which runs through Nov. 19. The films are presented in Bondurant Hall auditorium, followed by a discussion. Admission is free. Learn more.
Sept. 8 - All freshmen are invited to run across the field at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium before the Ole Miss-Missouri game, get a free T-shirt, and earn free admission to the game for the second annual Rebel Run. Participants should sign up in advance. Learn more.
Sept. 13 - Rik Reppe's Staggering Toward America: The Journey Home, a fascinating story of Reppe's trek from California to New York in the wake of September 11, 2001, kicks off the new "108 Ford Center" series at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Mississippi. Tickets are $15 for general admission. Learn more.
Oct. 6 - Jackson State will host "High School Community College Day" for prospective students. For more information, call (601) 979-2913. Learn more.
Oct. 10-12 - JSU's 6th Annual Conference on Eliminating Health Disparities will focus on heart disease and obesity. For more information, call (601) 979-1101 Learn more.
Nov. 14-16 - JSU's College of Lifelong Learning will host the Spirit of Safety (S.O.S.) Conference, featuring television host Judge Greg Mathis at the Hilton Hotel and Convention Center. The conference's goal is to promote violence free educational environments. For more information, call (601) 432-6649. Learn more.