Volume 1, Issue 8
December 15, 2006
News from the System
State Education Leaders Visit Harvard for K-12 Preparedness Workshop
The Phil Hardin Foundation of Meridian, Mississippi, recently awarded a grant to Dr. Tom Burnham, dean of the School of Education at the University of Mississippi, and his staff to develop a new strategy and process for the university to prepare K-12 school administrators. As part of the grant, Dr. Burnham led a team of education leaders to Massachusetts for a three-day visit with faculty and graduates of Harvard University. The visiting team was comprised of Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Thomas Meredith; Assistant Commissioner of Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Lynn House; State Superintendent of Education Dr. Hank Bounds; Executive to the Superintendent of Education Steve Williams; Director of Educational Programs at the Barksdale Reading Institute Dr. Richard Boyd; Senator Mike Chaney; and representatives from six of Mississippi’s eight public universities. The group heard presentations from Harvard’s faculty about their experience in training school leaders, participated in a panel discussion with Harvard graduates about their successes and setbacks as school leaders, and engaged in dialogue about applying what they have learned to more effectively train school leaders in Mississippi. The collaborative efforts of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, K-12, state legislators, and the Hardin Foundation on this initiative demonstrate an aggressive commitment by all groups to move Mississippi forward through education.
Southern Miss Receives 10-Year Accreditation from SACS
The University of Southern Mississippi has received a 10-year reaffirmation of accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). SACS (online at www.sacscoc.org), the recognized regional accrediting body in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia, requires colleges to demonstrate compliance with the Commission on Colleges’ core requirements and comprehensive standards and develop a Quality Enhancement Plan that focuses on enhancing student learning outcomes as part of the reaccreditation process. “We celebrate and recognize the efforts of our faculty and staff who worked hard over the past year to ensure this reaffirmation of our longstanding tradition of academic distinction,” said Southern Miss President Shelby Thames. The reaffirmation process has been spearheaded by Dr. Joan Exline, assistant to the president for accreditation, planning, and articulation. Commissioner Meredith relayed his congratulations on the reaffirmation, saying, “On behalf of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, I am pleased that Southern Miss has been reaffirmed by SACS. All Mississippi citizens should be assured of the University of Southern Mississippi’s commitment to higher education.” Read more, http://www.usm.edu/pr/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=335&Itemid=2 .
Commissioner Co-Authors Chronicle Article on Improving College Readiness
Commissioner Meredith co-authored an article, “A Coordinated Effort to Prepare Students for College,” which appeared in the December 15 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education. Co-authors include Michael Cohen, president of Achieve (an organization, led by state governors and business leaders, formed to raise academic achievement throughout the nation); Paul Lingenfelter, president of State Higher Education Executive Officers; and David Ward, president of the American Council on Education. The article, which represents a remarkable consensus among education leaders, outlines the steps that should be taken to ensure the high-school diploma is “a true indicator of readiness for success in both college and work.” The article argues that college and high-school leaders must work together to align standards; states must raise high-school graduation standards; statewide standards must drive not only course work but also assessment; and high schools and colleges must communicate results to each other. The potential pay-off is great. Fewer students will need remediation, which simultaneously reduces the cost of educating those students and increases the likelihood those students will graduate. Also, the plan should improve the average level of student achievement and result in a larger pool of well-prepared college applicants. The article is available to Chronicle subscribers at http://chronicle.com/weekly/v53/i17/17b02001.htm.
December Issue of Mississippi Economic Review and Outlook Now Available
The December 2006 issue of the Mississippi Economic Review and Outlook, which is published biannually by the Center for Policy Research and Planning of the Institutions of Higher Learning, is now available online at http://www.ihl.state.ms.us/urc/economic/review/outlook_dec06.pdf. According to Dr. Marianne Hill, senior economist and editor of the Outlook, the remarkable comeback of the casino industry on the Mississippi Gulf Coast was just one of the positive developments in the state’s economy in 2006. She forecasts that, following the slow pace of Coastal reconstruction this year, housing construction will pick up in 2007. The article “Rebuilding Housing along the Gulf Coast” summarizes policy recommendations of the recent RAND Institute study. Other articles of interest in the Outlook include “National Economic Outlook: A Pause that Refreshes,” “Mississippi Economic Outlook: A Count-down to Takeoff,” “Mississippi Wage Gap Persists,” and “Hispanic Population in Mississippi.” The Economics Department of the Center for Policy Research and Planning also offers other economic and demographic information on their website, http://www.ihl.state.ms.us/urc/planning/econdept.htm.
IHL Board Executive Office Holiday Schedule
The IHL Board Executive office will close for the holiday season at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 20, 2006, and will reopen on Tuesday, January 2, 2007, at 8:00 a.m. The System Review will take a holiday publication break as well. Expect to receive the next issue on Friday, January 12, 2007.
MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY NEWS
MVSU Awarded $1.2 million National Science Foundation Grant
Approximately 1,500 students and 25 teachers from 11 schools in a ten-county Delta area will be learning more about math, science, and technology, thanks to a $1.2 million grant awarded by the National Science Foundation to Mississippi Valley State University professors. The grant will be used to increase the state test scores in science of ninth grade students and ultimately increase the number of students entering the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines as desired careers. “Information Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers Using Catfish and Their Environment as a Model” was written by Dr. Abigail Newsome, Dr. Louis Hall, Dr. Mack Felton and Dr. Udai Kudikyala, all members of the MVSU Department of Natural Sciences and Environmental Health. Funding for the project will enhance the capabilities of MVSU in exploring greater research opportunities and building its capacity to compete for expanded funding opportunities while increasing opportunities for high school students and teachers in the region. Each participating school has been given a laptop computer, testing instruments to measure chemicals, and other supplies. Through the three-year program, schools will increase the use of information technology in science education as students increase their performance in science and mathematics. Scotland Fisheries of Itta Bena is participating in the project by allowing students to visit its ponds for science experiments.
Delta teachers test water samples using new equipment provided by MVSU through a National Science Foundation grant.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI NEWS
Law Student-run Network Gets National Recognition for Katrina Efforts
After Hurricane Katrina devastated the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 2005, a University of Mississippi law student helped start a nationwide network of law students to provide legal aid to victims. The resulting Student Hurricane Network (SHN), involving more than 65 schools, has been recognized with a national award. Soon after the storm, Allison Korn of Memphis, a third-year law student at UM, began calling coast organizations to offer assistance. Though grateful for her offer, those in charge were too overwhelmed to accept assistance. Undeterred, Korn continued her efforts and helped create the SHN, a law student public service group that continues to work as a liaison between coast organizations and law student volunteer groups to provide legal aid relief. After a year of diligent work, the founders of the SHN met together for the second time recently in Washington, D.C. The students were there to receive the Lexis-Nexis Martindale-Hubbell Exemplary Public Service Award during the 2006 Equal Justice Works Awards Banquet. In less than one year, the SHN secured a financial sponsor, accepted charitable donations and assisted 56 schools in planning trips to the coast. To date, about 15 UM law students have participated on coast trips, and several more have provided logistical support by providing names of people and organizations to contact or updates on repair work in their hometowns. Read more,
Oxford Native Larry Sparks Named Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance
Sociology Professor Gives State a Voice in Shaping 2010 Census
Business Professor Receives Outstanding Paper Award
Second High School Mathematics Tournament Fields 88 Students
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI NEWS
Southern Miss Campus Master Plan under Development
The University of Southern Mississippi is in the process of creating a new campus master plan with guidance from Sasaki Associates and a Master Campus and Facility Planning Committee composed of students, faculty, staff, alumni and representatives of surrounding communities. So far, the group has conducted several work sessions which began in July. During September, the Master Planning Collaborative conducted a design charrette strategizing the placement of future facilities and open spaces on campus. From this, a framework plan was developed and presented in November. Based on the feedback received from campus and community constituents, more detailed plans and recommendations will be presented in February. The goal of the planning collaborative is to create an environment that meets students’ developmental needs by providing opportunities for their intellectual, social and personal growth. The plan will serve as the conceptual armature for organizing land uses and academic, residential, athletic and student service zones for the next 20 years. With emphasis on the quality of the pedestrian experience, the collaborative’s work is inspired by the earliest architectural plans and celebrates The University of Southern Mississippi’s architectural history. The landscape must enhance the experience of campus life. To ensure the campus environment supports the institution’s goals, this plan is shaping the campus’ buildings and open space to reflect our unique cultural and educational mission. Read more, http://projects.sasaki.com/usm/index.html.
Workshop to Provide Update on Coastal Marine Environment
Southern Miss Students Raise Funds for Cleft Palate Surgery
USM’s Biotech Stature Growing
ALCORN STATE UNIVERSITY NEWS
Alcorn State Named Business of Year
Alcorn State University Nursing School and School of Business received the Business of the Year Award of the Natchez Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Mary Hill, dean of the School of Nursing, accepted the award at the annual Chamber of Commerce Dinner on Tuesday, December 5.
DELTA STATE UNIVERSITY NEWS
On Stands Now, Delta State Student’s Work Featured in Sports Illustrated
Delta State University senior Travis Chamblee’s photography work is currently featured in this week’s edition of Sports Illustrated, on stands now. An image of Statesmen quarterback Scott Eyster, captured by Chamblee during the 2006 season, was used by the SI staff in its “Week Ahead” section. A sports information major from Vicksburg, Chamblee is credited for the work. He first began shooting athletic events last fall as part of his photojournalism class work, under the direction of University photographer, Bill Moses. A natural talent and quick study, Chamblee’s work has since been featured in area newspapers, including the Delta Democrat Times, the Cleveland News Leader and the University’s school newspaper, The Statement. His camera work can also be regularly viewed on the Delta State athletic website, http://www.gostatesmen.com, as Chamblee currently serves as a student assistant in the Athletic Media Relations Office, under the direction of Matt Jones. Of his first appearance in the sports magazine, Chamblee offered, “Every young athlete dreams of being in Sports Illustrated. This is unbelievable and I am honored. I just thank Sports Illustrated for not only making my dream come true, but Scott’s too.”
Delta State Welcomes Redlin to VP for Finance Post
Delta State Celebrates Fall Commencement
Delta State Unveils ‘Health and Wellness in the Delta’ Logo, Continues to Celebrate Year’s Theme
JACKSON STATE UNIVERSITY NEWS
JSU Air Force ROTC Students Enlist in Reserve
Five students who are members of Jackson State University’s U.S. Air Force ROTC program enlisted in the Air Force Reserve on Thursday, December 7. The students were recognized during a ceremony at the John A. Peoples Science Building on the main campus. Jackson State is the only historically black college or university in the state of Mississippi with an Air Force ROTC program. Col. Joseph L. Brown, commander of Air Force ROTC Detachment 006, said he wants to help the students develop into superior officers and let others know what outstanding candidates they are. “These candidates are just as sharp as any candidate I’ve ever seen,” said
Brown, who has been on active duty for 29 years. The five enlistees include three from Jackson State and two from Belhaven College. They all are receiving Air Force ROTC scholarships. Read more, http://www.jsums.edu/~announcements/12.8.AFROTC.pdf.
Jackson State University U.S. Air Force ROTC program members (left to right) Daniel Paul Bond, Joel Johnson, Ethan Samuel Rodgers, Brandan Ward, and Ashley Michelle Stewart are sworn into the Air Force Reserve on Thursday, Dec. 7. Bond and Rodgers are Belhaven College students.
MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY NEWS
Tuck, McCullough Address MSU Winter Grads
Mississippi State graduates received warm send-offs from two successful MSU alumni this past weekend. Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck spoke at the fall semester's Friday night commencement, while former Tupelo mayor Glenn L. McCullough, Jr. addressed the university's Saturday morning program. Tuck, a Maben native, took a moment in the early part of her address to express the state's special thanks to 16 fall graduates who have served in the military during the Iraq war. She later urged all in caps and gowns, to "never stop seeking knowledge," adding, "remember that a good education remains constant, no matter how the world changes. It cannot be lost in the stock market, be eliminated in a corporate downsizing or be taken away in trying economic times." McCullough, now serving as a partner in a Jackson-based executive counsel and development firm, focused his remarks around the four Fs--family, faith, freedom, and future. Students in the Bagley College of Engineering and the colleges of Veterinary Medicine; Agriculture and Life Sciences, including the School of Human Sciences; Forest Resources; and Education received diplomas Friday. Degrees from the colleges of Arts and Sciences; Architecture, Art and Design; and Business and Industry, including the School of Accountancy, were awarded Saturday. Read more, http://www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=3690.
Podcasting Brings New Dimension to MSU Classes
Termite Control First MSU Cochran Endowment Beneficiary
Students Honored by Retired MSU Faculty
Workshop to Focus on Pest Management
MISSISSIPPI UNIVERSITY FOR WOMEN NEWS
Jordan to Join MUW as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Mississippi University for Women recently announced Dr. Sandra Jordan from Murray State University in Kentucky as its new vice president for academic affairs and provost. Pending IHL Board approval, she will join MUW July 1, 2007. “Dr. Jordan will be a wonderful addition to our team,” said MUW President Claudia A. Limbert. “I look forward to working with her as she takes on this very important position to our university.” She currently serves as associate provost at Murray State and has nearly 18 years of experience in higher education administration. In addition to Murray State, she has worked at Eastern New Mexico University, the University of Montevallo (Alabama), Lander University (South Carolina), and Auburn University (Alabama). Jordan earned her masters and doctorate in art history, both with honors, from the University of Georgia in Athens. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Jordan will oversee the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, College of Education and Human Sciences, College of Nursing and Speech Language Pathology, Culinary Arts Institute, Library, Registrar, Academic Support Services, Governor’s School, Graduate Studies, Honors College, Southern Women’s Institute, Study Abroad, Wicker Center for Creative Learning and the Women’s Center for Entrepreneurship. Read more, http://www.muw.edu/publicaffairs/2006_prnews/061208_Jordan.html.
Dec. 16 – The USM Steel Band, Percussion Ensemble and Samba Band will present its ever-popular “Rhythms of Christmas” at 7:30 p.m. in the Mannoni Performing Arts Building auditorium in Hattiesburg. This family holiday concert spectacular, of rhythmic proportions with a touch of jazz, will transform traditional Christmas music into toe-tapping, reggae fun. Learn more, http://www.usm.edu/pr/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=324&Itemid=2.
Jan. 6-7 – The Southern Miss Alumni Association will host several events leading up to the Golden Eagles’ appearance in the GMAC Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 7 in Mobile, Alabama.
On Saturday, Jan. 6 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., the Southern Miss Mardi Gras Madness will kick off the weekend at Martini’s Fine Food and Spirits at 250 Dauphin Street in downtown Mobile. On Sunday, Jan.7, beginning at 4:30 p.m. and ending just prior to the 7 p.m. kickoff, the P.O.D.S. / Southern Miss Pregame Buffet will be located on the east side of the stadium. Read More.
Jan. 7 – The University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles will face off against Ohio in the GMAC Bowl, in Mobile, Alabama, at 7 p.m. This will be the ninth bowl game appearance in the last 10 years for Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles last played in the GMAC Bowl in 2000 when they defeated TCU, 28-21. Get tickets at http://southernmiss.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/120506aad.html.
Jan. 11-14 – UM hosts the Mississippi Theatre Association's Annual Statewide Festival at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts. The Festival, which kicks off at 8 a.m., consists of nine high school productions, six community theatre productions, theatre workshops, a Theatre for Youth Festival and more. Performance tickets are $5. For more information visit http://www.mta-online.org, or contact Stephen Cunetto at (662) 325-8542 or email@example.com.
Jan. 15 – ASU will hold the Southwest Mississippi Meat Goat Sale at the Port Gibson Fairgrounds, from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. All goats will be sold “on the hoof.” Interested persons wishing to buy or sell should contact Dr. Gregory Reed at 601.877.3933. Persons wishing to receive periodic updates should join the Alcorn Goat Group online at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/alcorngoatgroup/.
Jan. 15 - MSU hosts the Martin Luther King Unity Breakfast in Bost Auditorium at 7:30 a.m. The Keynote speaker will be former congressman Mike Espy, who also served as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Jan. 18 - MSU's Lyceum Series presents jazz guitarist Jesse Cook, appearing with jazz vocal sensation Sophie Milman, both of Canada, in Lee Hall Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 24 – Southern Miss’ Trent Lott Center Entrepreneurs in Polymer Science Lecture Series will host Dr. Joseph DiSimone, principal researcher and founder of Liquidia Technologies, in the auditorium of the Shelby F. Thames Polymer Science Research Center. The lecture, “The Blending of Research and Teaching with Entrepreneurship: The Launching of Liquidia Technologies,” will begin at 3:00 p.m., and is to be followed by a reception at 4:00 p.m. and Perspectives on Entrepreneurship at 4:30 p.m. Read more, http://www.usm.edu/polymer/news/DeSimone%20TLLS.pdf.
Feb. 21 – Southern Miss will host Nobel Laureate Richard J. Roberts at 6 p.m. in Bennett Auditorium, where he will speak on "Friends and Foes: The Unseen Bugs who Share our Planet.” Roberts is chief scientific officer of New England Biolabs. For more information call 601.266.4497.
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.
Look for the next issue January 12.