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Volume 1, Issue 4
Friday, November 10, 2006
Edited by
Jennifer Rogers

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

News from the System University News
yellowarrowBoard Search Committee Met with USM Constituency Groups yellowarrowNASA CFO to Return to Delta State Campus Saturday
yellowarrowCommissioner Presented IHL Today to Hattiesburg Leaders yellowarrowJSU Chemistry Student Wins Poster Award
yellowarrowCommissioner Participated in Capitol Press Corps Luncheon yellowarrowMSU Study Targets Safer Vaccines for Often-Fatal Whooping Cough
  yellowarrowValley Staff Member Recognized by Congressional Black Caucus
  yellowarrowLifelong Learners Program Offers Seniors Good Deal in Education
  yellowarrowSouthern Miss Dedicates Thad Cochran Center
  yellowarrowSouthern Miss Program Helps Meet Management Need for Coast Construction Industry
  yellowarrow“Mind-Brightening” Experience of Alcorn State Students and Faculty
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Board Search Committee Met with Southern Miss Constituency Groups
The Board Search Committee for the next president of the University of Southern Mississippi as well as Commissioner Meredith and executive search consultant Dr. Jan Greenwood met with Southern Miss constituency groups yesterday to determine what qualities are needed in the university’s next president. The feedback gathered from students, faculty, staff, athletics, alumni, university leaders, and foundation and city leaders will be used to develop the profile and job description for the university’s next president. Learn more about the University of Southern Mississippi institutional executive officer search process, including a timeline of events. See picture: Board Search Committee meets with USM constituency groups.

Commissioner Presented IHL Today to Hattiesburg Leaders
Commissioner Meredith delivered the presentation, IHL Today: Partnering for the Future, to Hattiesburg business and city leaders and legislators yesterday. The presentation followed lunch at the Hattiesburg Country Club, hosted and sponsored by Mr. Ted Webb, president of the Hattiesburg Division of BancorpSouth, and organized by the University of Southern Mississippi. In his presentation, Commissioner Meredith discussed the importance of higher education to individuals and the state of Mississippi. He thanked legislators for past support and urged them to increase appropriations in the upcoming fiscal year for faculty pay increases and repair and renovation of aging buildings, among other things.The luncheon was the ninth of twelve regional luncheons across the state. The next luncheon will be held November 28 in Tupelo. See picture: Ted Webb, president of the Hattiesburg Division of Bancorp South hosted and sponsored the IHL Today luncheon in Hattiesburg on Thursday, November 9.

Commissioner Participated in MSU Stennis Institute Capitol Press Corps Luncheon
Commissioner Meredith participated in the monthly Mississippi State University’s John C. Stennis Institute Capitol Press Corps Luncheon on Monday, November 6. In attendance were print and broadcast media representatives, including the Clarion-Ledger, the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, the Associated Press, and the Commercial Dispatch. Business leaders and lobbyists also attended to hear the Commissioner discuss the Board’s search process for Alcorn State University and the University of Southern Mississippi. The Commissioner took advantage of the opportunity to share information about Mississippi’s higher education system, issues related to higher education that will impact the upcoming legislative session, and national and statewide higher education trends. The Commissioner also entertained a healthy round of questions from the floor. See picture: Commissioner Meredith spoke during the Mississippi State University John C. Stennis Capitol Press Corps Luncheon.

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.

NASA CFO to Return to Delta State Campus Saturday

Gwen Sykes, Chief Financial Officer for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), will return to Delta State University’s campus this weekend, her second appearance in 2006. Sykes has been invited to deliver the keynote address at the African-American Alumni Luncheon and Scholarship Gala on Saturday, November 11 at noon in the State Room of the H.L. Nowell Union on campus. All proceeds from the event will go toward the endowment of four minority scholarships, two for incoming freshmen and two designated for transfer students. Sykes last appeared on campus during Delta State’s 79th Spring Commencement service, during which Hollywood icon Morgan Freeman was recognized with an honorary doctorate degree. For more information on the luncheon, please contact the Delta State Alumni Office at (662) 846-4660. See picture: Gwen Sykes.

Delta State School of Nursing to Address State Nursing Shortage

Delta State Boasts Top Enrollment in School History, Ten Percent Growth Over Five Years

Lady Statesmen Basketball Down D-I Alabama, 66-59

JSU Chemistry Student Wins Poster Award
Jackson State University student Teri Lynn Robinson of Jackson recently won first place in the Best Student Poster Award competition at the 15th Conference on Current Trends in Computational Chemistry. The international event, sponsored by Jackson State’s Computational Center for Molecular Structure and Interactions, was held Friday and Saturday in Jackson. Robinson, a fourth-year graduate student, is pursuing a doctorate in chemistry. See picture: Teri Lynn Robinson.

Researcher Snags National Grant to Boost Health Literacy

JSU Inducts 2006 Hall of Fame Class

JSU Receives $50,000 from Corning Inc. for Physics Students

MSU Study Targets Safer Vaccines for Often-Fatal Whooping Cough
A pair of Mississippi State biological scientists are conducting potentially life-saving research that may result in the development of safer whooping cough vaccines, which sometimes lead to brain damage and death. University professors Lakshmi Pulakat and Nara Gavini are heading a research team that has discovered a unique mechanism in existing vaccines that may trigger neurological damage among whooping cough patients. Read more.

Four from MSU Named 'Dynamic' Women

Financial Literacy Center at MSU Gets National Praise

Noted Costume Designer Donates Collection to MSU

Valley Staff Member Recognized by Congressional Black Caucus
Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) outreach counselor Yolanda Jones was recently recognized by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) for her years of hard work and dedicated service to the Student Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP), a program she has been instrumental in implementing at MVSU. Established by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in 2003, SHOP is designed to bridge the wealth and homeownership gap in underserved communities. The Foundation provides member organizations with a $1,000 contribution toward the execution of the SHOP program. If a minimum of 10 percent of the student population attends the workshop, CBCF will provide an additional $2,000 contribution to be used at the institution’s discretion. In addition, the Foundation will provide attendees who satisfy their requirements for graduation with a voucher of $1,000 to be used towards down payment and closing costs on their first home. “It was an honor for me to accept the award for not only Valley, but for all HBCUs,” Jones said. “I think it is important for colleges and universities to encourage students to begin building wealth through ownership at an early age. It is also important for youth to become involved in the political process, too.”See picture: Yolanda Jones, center, outreach counselor for Comprehensive Counseling at MVSU, receives an award from Dr. Elsie Scott, left, interim president and CEO of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, for her efforts and dedication in working with the Student Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) at Mississippi Valley State University. Also pictured is Buford Jones of Greenwood, Jones’ father.

Lifelong Learners Program Offers Seniors Good Deal in Education
Maurice Crommie may be close to 80, but he is energetic and enthusiastic, talks fast and just plain loves learning. He has been taking academic classes in some form since 1934. One of the retiree's main attractions to Oxford was the Lifelong Learners program at the University of Mississippi. Coordinated through the Division of Outreach, the program offers several options in partnership with other campus departments. It enrolls individuals age 65 and older in any academic class on a space-available basis at no cost. Twenty students are enrolled in Seekers this semester. Requirements for the program include completion of an application for admission 10 days before the semester begins and registration through the Office of the Registrar on the first day of class. Personal student IDs are also available. Transcripts are not required unless the learner is seeking an academic degree. Other Lifelong Learning programs include Independent Study and Ole Miss Online. Goals of Lifelong Learning are to energize the mind, challenge the body, explore interesting topics and share wisdom with young people. Read more.

History Professor, Doctoral Students Attract National Attention with Oral History Project

Dean of Tupelo Advanced Education Center Edits Collection of Civil War Letters

Students Research Medieval Texts at Prestigious Library in France

Southern Miss Dedicates Thad Cochran Center
More than 14 years of planning and three years of construction of the University of Southern Mississippi’s Thad Cochran Center culminated Saturday when the facility was formally dedicated with its namesake on hand for the ceremony. The $34 million project is a 237,000-square-foot expansion of the university’s existing R.C. Cook Student Union and includes a new dining area known as the Fresh Food Company, conference rooms, the new Barnes & Noble Bookstore and a ballroom where Saturday’s ceremony was held. The Center officially opened this past summer. U.S. Senator Thad Cochran, who has served Mississippi in the U.S. Senate since 1978, expressed his appreciation for the dedication of the building in his name, and for the friendships and associations he has made over the years through Southern Miss. More than 200 people turned out for the event, including local and state public officials and university faculty, staff and students and alumni. The ceremony also marked the formal completion of the Center’s mural, titled “The University’s Bounty,” created by Southern Miss Professor of art William Baggett. See photos and read more.

Southern Miss Hosted International Polymer Symposium (Scroll down.)

Gulf Coast Research Laboratory Reels in Research First with Spotted Seatrout

Southern Miss Center Helps Higher Ed Institutions Prepare for Natural Disasters, Terror Attacks

Southern Miss Program Helps Meet Management Need for Coast Construction Industry
The University of Southern Mississippi is helping meet the exploding demand for quality construction professionals on the Gulf Coast by placing its Construction Engineering Technology program in the heart of the action. Before Hurricane Katrina hit, construction managers and estimators were two of the top growing occupations nationally. Now, the demand on the coast has become much higher for quality professionals in the industry. “When you’re looking at 40,000 - 50,000 houses destroyed that have to be rebuilt, there is just a huge, huge backload of work. Regardless of what happens to the rest of the country, we’re going to have a boom here for the next 10 years,” said David Marchman, associate director of the School of Construction. To illustrate, Marchman points to projections from a national homebuilder who recruits Southern Miss students, which indicates there will be enough openings to “hire every one of our graduates.” Marchman adds that residential is but one construction category among others with openings on the coast, including commercial, specialty and heavy/highway. Learn more about the new Construction Engineering Technology program. Read more.

“Mind-Brightening” Experience of Alcorn State Students and Faculty
During the first week of November, 13 Alcorn State University students and four faculty members attended the National Association of African American Honors Programs (NAAAHP) conference in Columbia, South Carolina. Dr. Lee, Interim Dean, School of Graduate Studies; Dr. Jones, Director, Honors Curriculum Program; Dr. Konecky, Assistant Director, Honors Curriculum Program; and Dr. Igwebuike, Assistant Professor, School of Business, were the professors that attended the meeting. The goal of the conference was for students to interact with other honor students, to gain experience and acquire more skills in communication. Conference activities included a debate, a quiz bowl booth, and a Model African Union. “The NAAAHP Conference is the annual get-together of honor students and faculty and staff from members of HBCUs around America. Students should attend this annual event because it is such an eye-brightening and mind-opening experience. It’ll bring friendships that’ll last for a lifetime and the skills and knowledge that you will only learn at the conference,” says Hong Loan Nguyen, a sophomore from Vietnam and biology/pre-med major. Learn more.

Lost In Translation (Scroll down.)

Nov. 10-12 – JSU hosts first annual STEM Conference, “Advancing the Status of Diverse Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics,” at the Mississippi E-Center. Learn more.

Nov. 11 – DSU’s Office of Admissions and Recruiting is hosting a fall visit day for all prospective high school seniors, community and senior college transfers, and parents, to begin at 10:00 a.m. and conclude after the home football game.

Nov. 11 – MSU hosts high school robotics teams from Mississippi and Louisiana, who will test their engineering and robotics skills in the 2006 Bulldog BEST competition at Mississippi State University. The free, public event begins at 9:00 a.m. at Newell-Grissom gymnasium. The top two teams will advance to the South's BEST regional competition at Auburn University in early December. Learn more.

Nov. 11 – UM Music Department hosts the third Ole Miss Choral Festival for more than 2,000 middle, junior high and high school students from around the state, beginning at 8:00 a.m. at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts. Learn more.

Nov. 13 – MSU hosts New York-based Ailey II, a nationally acclaimed dance troupe, which will present a signature program of works by contemporary choreographers at 7:30 p.m. in historic Lee Hall auditorium as part of the university's 2006-07 Lyceum Series. Learn more.

Nov. 13 – MSU hosts the 2006 Mississippi Theatre Association/Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival for the state. Learn more.

Nov. 13 – UM professor emeritus of history and author Michael Landon plans to read a selection of his new book on the history of the law school and sign copies at 5:00 p.m. at Off Square Books in Oxford. He will also be reading and signing on December 12 at 5:00 p.m. at Lemuria Bookstore in Jackson. Learn more.

Nov. 13 – USM hosts Rachel’s Challenge, a program designed to bring positive change to school environments, from 7:00-8:30 p.m. in the Thad Cochran Center’s Ballrooms 1 and 2. The program honors Rachel Scott, a victim of the tragic 1999 Columbine High School massacre. Learn more.

Nov. 14 – UM hosts “An Evening with Ole Miss,” an open house for Jackson-area high school juniors and seniors, as well as prospective transfer students, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum's Forestry Auditorium on Lakeland Drive. Learn more.

Look for the next issue November 17.
Mississippi's Institutions of Higher Learning
Attention: Public Affairs
Jackson, Mississippi 39211-6453
Fax: (601) 432-6891

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