University of Mississippi College of Liberal Arts

UM Humanities Teacher of the Year: Felice Coles


The 2013 University of Mississippi Humanities Teacher of the Year Lecture will be delivered by Felice Coles, professor of modern languages.

The lecture, which Coles titles “Language Preservation: What’s It Worth?” is set for 7 p.m. Oct. 28, 2013 in Bondurant Hall Auditorium. The lecture is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and the Mississippi Humanities Council.

The Humanities Teacher Award recognizes outstanding contributions of humanities faculty during October, National Arts and Humanities Month, and at the Mississippi Humanities Council’s annual awards ceremony in the spring. Coles said she’s appreciative of the award because it means that in addition to her own efforts and the support of her mentors and colleagues, students have been showing results.

“I feel grateful to work in such an encouraging and intellectual environment,” Coles said.

She plans to speak about how languages hold insight into human knowledge and history and how preserving them can’t be valued in economic terms alone, but also in social terms and in the well-being and spirit of the community. She will discuss how “small Spanish and French rural communities with lively programs are better off, not necessarily in finances, but in happiness and security.”

Coles is very deserving of the recognition, said Donald L. Dyer, UM chair of modern languages.

“Dr. Coles is one of the finest teachers and researchers that the Department of Modern Languages has to offer,” Dyer said. “The students love her for the excellent and interesting instruction she provides, and her colleagues have the utmost respect for what she has accomplished as a professional. We are all looking forward to what she will say in her lecture.”

A member of the UM faculty since 1994, Coles teaches courses in Spanish and linguistics. She is also editor of the Southern Journal of Linguistics and spends time researching dialects of U.S. English and Hispanic “sociolinguistics and language obsolescence.” She holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Louisiana State University, a master’s in linguistics from the University of Utah and a doctorate in linguistics from the University of Texas.

“The Humanities Teacher of the Year award recognizes Dr. Coles’ outstanding work and her significant contributions to teaching,” said Glenn Hopkins, dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

The Mississippi Humanities Council sponsors, supports and conducts a wide range of public programs in traditional liberal arts disciplines designed to promote understanding of our cultural heritage, interpret our own experience, foster critical thinking, encourage reasonable public discourse, strengthen our sense of community and thus empower Mississippi’s people with a vision for the future.


Southern Living: Susan Glisson, Hero of the New South

                                      2013 Southern Living Heroes of the New South 

Dr. Susan Glisson (photo left) “looks that history squarely in the eye and insists that others do the same.”

“I believe the truth is the foundation for the future,” she says. Truth-telling [underscores] the whole approach for what we do.”

As executive director of The University of Mississippi’s William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation, Glisson, 45, has spent years bringing together black, white, and brown Mississippians, the powerful and the powerless, the descendants of Ku Klux Klan members with descendants of their victims. Her efforts have helped make Mississippi a leader in healing old wounds.

Glisson says her mission is social justice—working to change the conditions that have created a legacy of inequities. And she believes that racism can be eliminated in her lifetime. “I don’t think it’s easy,” she says. “It takes hard work. But it can happen. I’m seeing it happen in Mississippi every day.”

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Joshua Kryah Selected as Summer Poet in Residence

Poet Joshua Kryah has been chosen as the seventh annual Summer Poet in Residence at the University of Mississippi.

Kryah is the author of  two poetry collections, “We Are Starved” (2011), published by the University of Colorado Press as part of its New Mountain West Poetry Series, and “Glean” (2007), selected for the 2006 Nightboat Books Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, FIELD, Gulf Coast, The Iowa Review and Ploughshares, among others.

Kryah said he is “stoked” to come to Oxford.

“I learned about the Summer Poet in Residence program from an old friend, and past SPiR, Jake Adam York,” Kryah said. “Jake told me how wonderful the program was, how much time he had to write and how much he enjoyed interacting with the community, both students and other folks, there at Ole Miss. This all sounded wonderful to me, so I decided to apply.”

The Summer Poet in Residence program is designed to provide ample writing time to the poet while also allowing the University of Mississippi’s summer course offerings to be enriched by the presence of an active poet on campus. Kryah will also be invited to serve as judge for the Yalobusha Review’s Yellowwood Poetry Prize.

He will also give a reading, which is free and open to the public, at 5 p.m. June 26 at Off Square Books.

“To have the opportunity to dedicate myself for an extended period of time to writing is incredibly supportive and encouraging,” Kryah said. “I’m just incredibly excited to have the time and space to write.”

Beth Ann Fennelly, associate professor of English and director of the MFA program, said Kryah had applied to the program twice before and both times had been a finalist; this year he applied again with a new work sample.

“My colleague in poetry, Ann Fisher-Wirth, and I were thrilled to select Joshua Kryah for this year’s Summer Poet in Residence,” Fennelly said. “I’m amazed by the facility of his mind and imagination. In his sequence of poems about John Clare, the British peasant poet, he’s written ‘a call-and-response verse drama,’ which is to say, Clare speaks to his home, inhabitants, woodland creatures, etc., and they respond. The way Kryah inhabited the imagination of this revered yet troubled poet is profound.”

Kryah was also an attractive candidate because of his interdisciplinary interests.

“He’s taught Interdisciplinary Studies at UNLV and George Mason for the last five years,” Fennelly said. “One of the SPiR’s duties is to make class visits, because partial funding comes from summer school, and Josh has so many interests that I know the students will respond to his offerings.”

Since Kryah has two small children, in addition to teaching a heavy course load, his month here will provide time to focus on his craft while enjoying and enriching the university and Oxford communities.

“His reading at Off Square Books will be June 26, and all who attend will be glad to brag in years to come at having heard a major American talent early in his career,” Fennelly said.

Kryah received his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and his PhD from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, where he was a Schaeffer Fellow. He has been poetry editor of Witness magazine since 2007. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington, D.C., area, where he is at work on two manuscripts: Closen, a verse drama about the life and work of the British peasant poet John Clare and the English Enclosure Acts of the 19th century, and Holy Ghost People, a meditation on glossolalia.

Previous summer poets include Traci Brimhall, Jay Leeming, Sandra Beasley, Jake Adam York, Tung-Hui Hu and Paula Bohince.

Louis, Lucia Brandt Make Major Gift Commitment to Strengthen UM

   Louis and Lucia Brandt, from left, visit with UM Chancellor Dan Jones. The longtime benefactors have committed a planned gift to undergird faculty support, Ole Miss Athletics and the Brandt Memory House, home to the UM Foundation.

Growing up in Oxford, Miss., often means the University of Mississippi becomes part of the fabric of your life. At least that’s how it has been for businessman Louis Brandt of Houston, Texas, who is helping assure the well-rounded experiences he enjoyed as a resident and later as an Ole Miss student continue through a $1 million planned gift.
Brandt and his wife, Lucia, are directing half of the gift to a faculty support endowment, and another part will create one of the only unrestricted endowments for Ole Miss Athletics. The third portion will expand the existing Louis K. Brandt Memory House Endowment, which was created in 1998 for preservation of Brandt Memory House, home to the University of Mississippi Foundation.
When planning his gift, Brandt said he relied on university and foundation representatives to tell him about campus needs and learned of UM’s significant initiative to add $100 million to endowed funds for faculty members. With decreasing state funding for higher education and the nation’s universities vying for top professors, the availability of private funds assure Ole Miss students are taught by outstanding professors who are leading scholars in their fields, UM officials said.
Investing in faculty support is a goal Brandt understood and embraced, thinking specifically of his favorite professor at UM—his own father, Louis Brandt, who taught economics. Brandt never was able to enroll in one of his father’s classes because they were usually always full, said the alumnus who earned an undergraduate degree in mathematics.
Chancellor Jones said he appreciated Brandt’s endorsement of the university’s commitment to increase faculty support.
"Louis Brandt is a successful business professional who has been motivated to give back by his longstanding ties to Oxford and Ole Miss. He stays abreast of our priorities through his dedicated service on the board of the University Foundation. Through this latest gift, he has affirmed the importance of quality teaching and has committed to help this university attract top educators so that students for many generations are taught and mentored by exceptional faculty members. Louis and Lucia are gracious and generous individuals who continually seek ways to strengthen Ole Miss, and we are grateful for their involvement and vision."
Louis Brandt’s business career has been centered in Texas, where he is active with three companies, BMA, Ltd., Brandt Interest Ltd. and Timberwilde, Inc. and has served on an array of boards. In addition to a degree from UM, he holds an electrical engineering degree from UT. He invented a machine to separate solids from liquids during drilling, which was the basis for The Brandt Company, one of his enterprises that he later sold to TRW, Inc. He was inducted into UM’s Alumni Hall of Fame in 1993 and is the father to three sons.
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Barbara Leeton Receives Access Award


Congratulations to Barbara Leeton—-recipient of the annual Access Award for her outstanding support of students with disabilities!

College Corps Looking for New Members


The College of Liberal Arts is recruiting outstanding candidates for its third class of College Corpsmembers. College Corps is a community-based AmeriCorps program that addresses problems related to education and opportunity throughout Oxford and Lafayette County. As a College Corps participant, members are part of a powerful team of leaders united in service to the community.

Participants serve as minimum-time AmeriCorps members and are deployed to community host sites where they serve 300 volunteer hours throughout the course of the school year. Members generally serve 9-12 hours a week and add a new layer of strength to their designated site. Program sites include the Boys and Girls Club, Oxford Public Schools, the Leap Frog Tutoring Program, Doors of Hope, and the Mississippi State Veterans Home of Oxford, and Interfaith Compassion Ministries, among others. Upon completion of 300 hours, all members are eligible for a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award.

All interested applicants should fill out the form and submit it to Hume Hall 231 by April 19, 2013.

See more information on the program at the following link:

Contact Sharon Levine at or 662-915-1905 with questions.

Congratulations Phi Kappa Phi Student Nominees!


Recognized for academic accomplishments with an invitation to this national honor society are the following students in the College of Liberal Arts

Abigail Kathrine Abide, Gabrielle Rae Alonzo, Eleanor Chamberlain Anthony, Alison Bartel, Kaleigh Elizabeth Caldwell, Kyla Jenise Clark, Madison Elizabeth Coburn, Jillian Leah Cowart, Morgan Elizabeth Davis, Christine Nicole Dickason, Lance Robert Ezell, Lauren Anne Foropoulos, Dakota Lee Gilbert, Paige Elizabeth Gremillion, Allison Caroline Hatten, Kimber Lyn LaCour, Kristen Gale Laprade, Elizabeth Britt McClure, Dalton Tanner Moore, Zachery Layne Newton, Megan McKenzie Reed, Abigail Joy Sandifer, Tyler Martin Slay, Megan Lindsay Smith, Emory Caroline Smith, Mary Elizabeth Smithson, Cara Madeleine Thorne, Phillip Christopher Waller, Lindsay La’arriana White, David Kimble Wilbanks, Kristen Majure Wilson, Elizabeth Adair Abbot, Salma Akhtar, Kaitlyn Elizabeth Barnes, Emily Victoria Bennett, Kevin C Bui, James Craig Bullock, Patricia Lurline Bush, William Trevor Carroll, Noel Thomas Childress, Mattie Christine Codling, Taylor Elizabeth Cook, Samuel Walker Davidson, Adam McKenzie Davis, Kevin Patrick Diehl, Claire Morehouse Douglas, Christopher Bond Finseth, Harriet Elizabeth Fisher, Liria Frerer, Virginia Jane Geddie, Jade Michele-Helene Genga, Joseph Wellington Golden, Jacob Wallace Goolsby, Brad Alexander Gordon, Meaghan Katherine Hanson, Camden Story Hastings, Benjamin Allen Hewitt,  Teresa Elizabeth Hill, Casey Aaron Holliday, Megan Elizabeth Holton, Christina Michelle Holy, Tingting Annie Hu, Zackary Blake Huffman, Amber Mechelle James, Michael Bradford Jelks, Elyse Cosette Jensen, Trevor David Johnson, Ainslee Patricia Johnson, Alexandra Elise Jones, Christopher Lee Jordan, Vinod Kannuthurai, Matthew Todd Kiefer, Alaina Brooke King, Tamara Ibragimovna Khudoyberdiev King, Bailey Elease Kirby, Evan Alexander Kirkham, Wilson Lee Knight, Gabriel Joseph Labonia, ISAAC LICHLYTER, Stewart Logan, Elise Marce Luers, Ford Reid Maddux, Julie Kathleen Magee, Audrey Anne Mason, Thomas Neal McMillin, Chandler Glenn Mims, Charles Edward Moore, Benjamin Lee Moore, Kimberly Nicole Morel, Paul Douglas Neubert, Hope Owens-Wilson, Maria Dajung Pak, Andrew Robert Palmer, Natalie Rene’ Phongam, Rebecca Elizabeth Pocase, Karina Rene Popp, Blake Everett Pruett, Hillary Laine Puckett, Timothy Sean Ray, Peter Anthony Romeo, Susanna Mae Rychlak, Rachel Lisbeth Saliba, Kevin Gordon Scott, Alana Brooke Simpson, James Landin Smith, Brian Michael Spurlock, April Elizabeth Steen, Jean Steinwinder, William McKinley Steward, Sylvia Madison Stewart, Carmen Louise Taylor, Alexandria Nicole Tidwell, Cornelia Christian Tisher, Samra Blake Ward, Tara Hancock Whitfield, Matthew Michael Williams, Marie Elise Williams, Daniel Seth Wilson, Michael Spencer Woods, Leighton Victoria Wright, Benjamin James Zuerlein