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
Former U.S. Ambassador Visits Jackson State University
Former U.S. Ambassador to South Africa Delano Lewis is visiting Jackson State University this week to learn about the University’s radio station, WJSU 88.5 FM, and television station, TV23. In the 1990s, Lewis served as president and chief executive officer of National Public Radio (NPR) in Washington, D.C. He is currently senior fellow at New Mexico State University, where he has been charged with developing an Institute for International Relations and strengthening the university’s public broadcasting. “I look forward to learning how Jackson State handles its university communications model, which includes its public radio and television stations,” said Lewis. Jackson State hopes to take advantage of his experience, said Anthony Dean, director of University Communications at Jackson State and Lewis’ former co-worker at NPR. “He took NPR to a whole different level, increasing fundraising and listeners,” Dean said. “We can learn a lot of how to be better broadcasters and how to better serve the public through this visit.” WJSU celebrates 30 years this year and will soon be the first radio station in the state to offer listeners a digital broadcast. Television station TV23 recently moved to a multimillion-dollar space at the Mississippi e-Center at JSU. Lewis will speak with students in Radio/Television News Writing, Business Law and Electronic News Gathering classes on Wednesday. Read more.
Tom Joyner Foundation’s HBCU College Tour Stops at JSU
See picture: Students from across the country tour JSU as part of the Tom Joyner Foundation’s HBCU Tour Give-A-Way.
Students, Community Leaders Benefit from Health Literacy Grant
JSU Tiger Foundation Donates $100K
JSU Renews Contract with Southern Heritage Classic
MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY NEWS
MSU Pathfinder Program Creating Path to Student Success
Now in its ninth year, a Mississippi State program to remind freshmen of the importance of class attendance is having a significant impact on the number remaining in school. For 2005—the most recent year for which figures are complete—more than 82 percent of freshmen returned for their sophomore year, up from just over 75 percent when the program began in 1997. The number is the highest since the program's inception. Based on research that showed student grades decline with the rise in classes missed, Pathfinders encourages faculty members to voluntarily report absences. Initially the program asked to be notified after three absences; that number is now two. The program makes personal contact with students reported to be absent, because research conducted by social scientists that shows even the best students suffer when they don't attend class. The percentage of MSU students reported to have absence problems in their first semester is dropping each year—to an all-time low of 6 percent at the recent mid-term for the fall 2006 semester. Read more.
Coast Institute Could Improve Storm Forecasting
MSU to Contract Campus Dining Services
Danielle Smith Named Miss MSU
Flyover, Patriotic Programs to Highlight Weekend Events
MISSISSIPPI UNIVERSITY FOR WOMEN NEWS
MUW Hearin Leaders Devote Weekend to Helping Others
About 40 students from Mississippi University for Women’s Hearin Leadership Program recently traveled to Jackson and Canton to help build houses for those in need as part of the fourth annual Alternative Break for the Hearin program. Over the past three years, the group has traveled to places around the state providing volunteers for organizations in need. This year the students worked with the Madison Countians Allied Against Poverty, a group that builds homes for needy individuals in the Madison County area. Students also worked with Habitat for Humanity by helping landscape two homes that were close to completion. Each night, students had time to reflect on the meaning of volunteer service and what they were able to learn about themselves, others and service. Hearin Leadership Community Service Committee member Rachel DuFour of Lexington, KY, said, “The Alternative Break is a great way for Hearin students to display servant leadership through helping others who are less fortunate than they are. This is my third Alternative Break and I become truly humbled after each experience.” Funding for the trip was provided by the Hearin Foundation Grant, which also funds the Hearin Leadership Program. Read more.
MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY NEWS
Mississippi Valley State University Now Offers Weather Updates 24/7
Mississippi Valley State University now has the technology to give accurate, real-time weather updates through WeatherBug, the leading provider of weather information services. A strategically placed weather satellite and camera on top of Edna Horton Residence Hall takes and distributes pictures every three minutes, giving users to-the-minute weather updates and allowing them to actually see the campus. Dr. Joseph Wahome, chair of the Department of Natural Science and Environmental Health and author of the proposal to receive the service, said WeatherBug will be useful to the university in a number of ways. “WeatherBug will not only be used in the classrooms of various departments, it will also serve as a means of providing campus security and as a recruitment tool,” said Wahome. The live, Internet accessible camera is a good selling point, he said. Soon students will be able to log on to the MVSU website and click on live cam and see what the campus looks like. Wahome, who plans to utilize WeatherBug in his ecology class, said the system can also alert the area to chemical spills, and in the future, seismic detectors will be installed to detect movement in the earth’s surface, giving geologist a heads up on any possible earthquakes.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI NEWS
Student Blog for Online, Non-Major Chemistry Courses Attracts National Attention
Two instructors in the University of Mississippi Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have created and monitor an interactive blog for students taking their online courses. John Wiginton and Kerri Scott, instructors and laboratory managers in the department, started the blog, to create an open discussion forum accessible to their students and the general public. Some 200 students enrolled in either Online Environmental Chemistry, Online Survey or Traditional Lecture are involved, according to the instructors. “Everybody uses blogs,” Scott said. “Because having the ability to express one’s ideas with an understanding of chemical principles is key to the students’ success in these courses, having their ideas exposed and critiqued on the Web is proving highly useful.” Since its inception, the blog has archived as many as 1,000 posts per week. Wiginton shared the concept with a colleague at an American Chemical Society (ACS) conference last summer, and reaction since then has been most favorable. “I have been reading your blog and student entries with interest,” wrote Melody Voith, director of Web strategy for ACS. “I have shared your blog with my colleagues and was so pleased to have this ‘report from the field’ for them.” Read more.
Fund Maintained to Help Students, Employees with Sick Children
Law Professor Honored by National Social Scientists Group
Civil War-Era Letters, Other Family Heirlooms Donated to UM Archives
Support Meeting Needs of Langley Family, Long-term Assistance is Encouraged
UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI MEDICAL CENTER NEWS
UMC Grad First Mississippian Appointed to Armed Forces Epidemiological Board
Medical epidemiologist Dr. Mills McNeill is contributing his expertise on issues critical to the nation’s defense. The University of Mississippi Medical Center graduate and director of the Mississippi Department of Health Public Health Laboratory was recently appointed to the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board (AFEB). The AFEB serves as a continuing scientific advisory body to the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs and the military surgeons general. It provides timely scientific and professional advice concerning operational programs, policy development and research needs for the prevention of disease and injury and the promotion of health. “This is such an honor for me because it allows me to continue to contribute to the health and welfare of our military forces,” McNeill said. “And it is a great honor to serve on an advisory board that has a long history of contribution to military and civilian medicine.” McNeill, a clinical professor of preventive medicine, is the first Mississippian to be appointed to the board. Read more.
University Hospital’s First Patient “Happy” about Place in History
Dental Care Safe during Pregnancy, Doesn’t Reduce Risk of Premature Birth
Scene Landings Added to Medical Center’s Helicopter Ambulance Repertoire
Pinpoint Accuracy Puts UMMC at Forefront of Revolutionary Sinus Surgery
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI NEWS
Southern Miss Center Serves as Hurricane Katrina Information Clearinghouse
The University of Southern Mississippi’s Hurricane Katrina Research Center offers an unprecedented opportunity for educational growth in the storm’s aftermath as an interdisciplinary, school-wide effort for the collection, research and evaluation of post-Katrina conditions in Mississippi and the affected areas of the Gulf South. The center will serve as an information clearinghouse, offering its results to the university and community, and providing and maintaining a Katrina exhibit to be housed on the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach. “The idea is to have an interdisciplinary center of excellence that will both compile information about what’s been done and will collect historical materials in regards to Katrina and its aftermath,” said Dr. Ray Scurfield, professor of social work and director of the Center. "Katrina has confronted us with a unique opportunity to document, archive, analyze and evaluate the artifacts and processes associated with the greatest natural disaster in American history,” said Dr. Cecil Burge, vice president for research and economic development for the University of Southern Mississippi. “We owe it to ourselves and future generations to build and sustain the Katrina Research Center as a unique entity for the study of disasters and dissemination of data to researchers around the world.” Learn more about the Hurricane Katrina Research Center. Read more.
University Researcher Develops Model for Ethanol Production Plant
Southern Miss Athletics and Students Receive Halbrook Awards
Southern Miss Program Helps Meet Management Need for Coast Construction Industry
Gulf Coast Research Laboratory Reels in Research First with Spotted Seatrout
ALCORN STATE UNIVERSITY NEWS
Alcorn State Honors Day Speaker Encourages Students to Raise Global Awareness
The 54th Honors Day Program was held on Tuesday, November 14, to recognize students that received a GPA of 3.0 or higher in the spring 2006 semester. Honor students are classified as either Dean’s List Scholars or Presidential Scholars. To be on the dean’s list, a student must register for at least 12 semester hours of academic credit and maintain a “B” average. To be a Presidential Scholar, a student must register for at least 12 semester hours of credit and maintain a straight “A” average. Mr. Anthony L. Pinder, Executive Director of the Andrew Young Center for International Affairs at Morehouse College, delivered the keynote address for the biannual Honors Day Program. “The world has become a much more competitive place, and the USA is in a very challenging position now. The quality of education in many countries has developed tremendously. It is up to you, the future professionals of America, to make sure that the United States remain on the global forefront. What can you do to increase your competence? Go study abroad, learn a foreign language and develop a global mentality.”
See picture: Konstantin Galperin, a sophomore, Economics major from Voronezh, Russia, receives his President’s Scholar certificate from Dr. Lillie Jones, Interim Director, Honors Curriculum Program.
See picture: Mr. Anthony L. Pinder, Executive Director, Andrew Young Center for International Affairs at Morehouse College, delivered a motivational speech.
Nov. 14-Dec.8 – MUW Senior Exhibition showcases artwork by eight fall 2006 graduates of MUW’s art and design program. The MUW Art Gallery is located in Shattuck Hall on the northeast corner of the MUW campus. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. To arrange a visiting time or special tour, contact the Department of Art and Design at 662-329-7341.
Nov. 16-17 – USM hosts the 59th Annual Mississippi Youth Congress at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Thad Cochran Center. The two-day conference features a slate of political campaigns, elections and legislative debate, as more than 120 students from 13 high schools around the state compete. Learn more.
Nov. 16-18 – JSU hosts the 2006 National Research Symposium, designed to showcase faculty-mentored research of undergraduate and graduate students and to foster the leadership and professional development of students. Learn more.
Nov. 17 – USM hosts CNN’s Kathleen Koch, who will show the second part of her documentary—“The Town That Fought Back.” The film examines the continued impact of Hurricane Katrina on Bay St. Louis, the coastal town where Koch grew up. The viewing is at 2 p.m. in the Gonzalez Auditorium in the Liberal Arts Building in Hattiesburg. Learn more.
Nov. 17 – USM presents R&B Singer, Mya, to perform at Eaglepalooza. The annual music festival in downtown Hattiesburg kicks off at 6:00 p.m. and features musical artists Vast Eye, Mya and Sister Hazel. A pep rally for the Golden Eagles is set for 9 p.m. For a list of the events and times, call Mike Mitchell, Southern Miss assistant dean of students at 601.266.6028 Learn more.
Nov. 18 – MSU holds dedication ceremonies for the new G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery Center for America's Veterans. The public program, which includes an open house, begins at 10 a.m. at 45 Magruder St., next door to Hathorn Residence Hall. Learn more.
Nov. 27 – UM presents Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke's School of Divinity. Hauerwas, whose presentation begins at 7 p.m. in the Paul B. Johnson Commons Ballroom, is the inaugural speaker for the Will Campbell Lecture Series. Learn more.
Dec. 2 – JSU in collaboration with OPERA/SOUTH, will host The “Magic” Opera Ball and Auction: A Black-Tie Affair at the Mississippi TelCom Center, 105 E. Pascagoula St. The night of fine dining, dancing and live musical performances will begin with a silent auction at 6:30 p.m. The ball will follow at 8 p.m. Learn more.
See picture: OPERA/SOUTH alumni Curtis Rayam and Faye Robinson performed during the company’s reunion benefit concert in April 2006.
See picture: Emma Goldman performed the lead in OPERA/SOUTH’s first production, Aida, in 1971.
Dec. 5 – UMMC’s Face Center will host a seminar on the latest cosmetic skin care and facial skin rejuvenation treatments from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at the Norman C. Nelson Student Union. The seminar will include informal discussions about facial skin care with Dr. Randy Jordan and Christy Waggoner, and a short presentation on the latest technology. To register, send an e-mail to email@example.com with the attendee's name, department and extension number. For more information about the Face Center, call 601-815-3037.
Feb. 22 – MUW’s Honors Forum presents Arun Gandhi, grandson of the legendary peace fighter and spiritual leader, Mohandas K. Gandhi, also known as Mahatma Gandhi, at 6:30 p.m. in Nissan Auditorium, Parkinson Hall. For more information, contact the Honors College at 662-241-6850.