University of Mississippi College of Liberal Arts

2nd Annual Stem Summit: Forensics & the Future

Sponsored by the University of MIssissippi Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (Forensic Chemistry Program), UM BioMolecular Sciences Department, Mississippi State Crime Laboratory, and CAPS-ATL

July 18, 2014—July 19, 2014

Friday, July 18, 2014
7:00 a.m. Breakfast & Registration: National Center for Natural Product Research (NCNPR)/Thad Cochran Research Center (TCRC) – TCRC 1000 and 1044
8:00 a.m. Welcome & University of Mississippi STEM Initiative: (Dr. Maurice Eftink) Associate Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
8:30 a.m. Purpose: (Mr. Darrell Davis) Former Director of the DEA South Central Laboratory and CEO/President of the Committee for Action Program Services – Analytical Training Laboratory (CAPS-ATL)
9:15 a.m. Keynote Speaker: (Mr. Tucker Carrington) Director of Innocence Project and Prof. of Law
10:15 a.m. BREAK
10:30 a.m. (Mr. Sam Howell) Director of Mississippi State Crime Laboratory
11:15 a.m. Mississippi State Crime Laboratory Panel
12:00 p.m. LUNCH
1:00 p.m. Board Double Decker for Tours
1:15 p.m. Tour of Marijuana Field and Medicinal Garden: (Mr. Don Stanford) Assistant Director of The Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences
2:15 p.m. University/Oxford Tour
3:45 p.m. Overview of UM Forensic Chemistry Program: (Dr. Murrell Godfrey) Director of Forensic Chemistry and Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
4:00 p.m. Agency Panel Discussion: Dr. Candace Bridge (Army Crime Laboratory), Mr. Brock Sain (TBI), Mr. Darrell Davis (DEA - retired), John LaVoie (FBI – retired), Mr. Lucas Marshall (Aegis Analytical Laboratory), and Mr. Johnnie Bennett (MS Crime Laboratory)
6:00 p.m.- Until- Social at Irie on the Square

Saturday, July 19, 2014
National Center for Natural Product Research (NCNPR)/Thad Cochran Research Center (TCRC) – TCRC 1000 and 1044
7:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:00 a.m. Keynote Speaker: (Dr. Christopher McCurdy) Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacology and Research Professor in the Research Institute in Pharmaceutical Sciences
9:00 a.m. UM STEM Research Panel Representatives: Drs. Jim Cizdziel, David Colby, Bonnie Avery, Tracy Brooks, John Rimoldi, and Tyrus McCarty.
10:00 a.m. GK-12 Panel:
Representatives from: Oxford, Lafayette, Mississippi School for Math and Science, etc.
10:45 a.m.: BREAK
11:00 a.m. STEM Statistics: (Dr. Kerri Scott) Associate Director of Forensic Chemistry
11:30 a.m. Closing Remarks: Mr. Darrell Davis

Why are liberal arts so important?

Carl Case, a senior psychology and Spanish double-major from Brookhaven, shares his thoughts in The Daily Mississippian.

Throughout the country, many people discuss what makes a good college education and what aspects attract students to attend a particular school. Probably the most central of these concerns is, comparatively, how strong of a liberal arts education each university provides.

As I prepare for my inevitable graduation, I realize just how great a liberal arts education I have received here.

Liberal arts and humanities are so vitally important to a college degree. They teach students how to reason, argue and evaluate. Liberal arts expose us to new worlds, new cultures and new avenues of thought.

The University of Mississippi has an extremely strong liberal arts education. New languages are continually being added to the course catalog. Great, outstanding professors are increasingly being added to the already amazing faculty roster.

Strength in liberal arts can bolster performances in other domains.

Ole Miss is continually recognized for its exemplary English department. As home to arguably one of the greatest American writers, Oxford has a unique environment that fosters excellence in English and writing.

Having personal experience with the modern languages department, I have no problem proclaiming how extraordinary the professors are and how dedicated and passionate they are about their courses and students. Each student is in charge of their own education, and I found the resources necessary to make my time here successful within the College of Liberal Arts.

Scholars and academics alike would attest to the importance of a liberal arts education.

As the United States falls further and further on global education rankings, as thorough education becomes more and more crucial.

Since the costs of higher education are so outrageously expensive, why not make sure it is an extensive one?

An education in the liberal arts is diverse. Through these diversities, students can learn new perspectives and learn how to look at old perspectives in a more critical manner.

I believe a liberal arts education teaches its students to never stop questioning. An education in liberal arts is not trivial but perception-altering.

As I reflect on my experience in the liberal arts, I recall enthusiastic professors and new perspectives. I recall mind-opening conversations with classmates and professors, which I had not previously considered interesting. I have learned so much about languages, cultures, interactions between people and boundless amounts of information that I can apply to multitudes of situations outside of the classroom.

Liberal arts does not only teach students to train their thoughts, but it also teaches them invaluable life lessons.

I will forever be grateful for the liberal arts education I received and the invaluable experiences I have acquired throughout my years here.


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.